1 Thursday, 4 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Before we hear the testimony of the next witness, a few
12 procedural matters.
13 Mr. Carrier, we tried to find out whether there were any
14 protective measures sought, and I'm also addressing the Defence.
15 Apparently, there's no request for protective measures for the next
17 Then the second item: I'd like to put on the record that on the
18 25th of February, Chamber staff has informed the parties by e-mail of the
19 intended scope of the examination-in-chief of Witness Juric. The e-mail
20 reads, in the relevant parts, as follows:
21 "First, the Chamber intends to question Witness CW-2," as he was
22 still called then, "about his role in Sector South between approximately
23 the 3rd and the 13th of August, 1995. The Chamber may ask the witness
24 specific questions concerning his appointment and authority.
25 "Second, the Chamber intends to question Witness CW-2 about his
1 knowledge and sources of his knowledge of events on the ground in the
2 context of the reporting system.
3 "Third, the Chamber intends to question Witness CW-2 on some
4 aspects of the relation of the military police with other civilian and
5 military authorities, including the Special Police. The Chamber does not
6 intend to examine Witness CW-2 on the functioning and structure of the
7 military police in general, other than stated above."
8 I move on to the next issue.
9 On the 4th of February, 2010, the Gotovina Defence filed a
10 stipulation to portions of the Prosecution's pre-trial brief in which the
11 Gotovina Defence stipulated to paragraphs 105 to 108 of the OTP's
12 pre-trial brief, except to the second sentence of paragraph 105, to the
13 extent it implies that the armed conflict in 1991 was initiated by the
14 Croatian government. On the 26th of February, the Cermak Defence joined
15 the stipulation, which is found at transcript page 27.399.
16 On the 28th of February, the Markac Defence informally informed
17 the Chamber that it would not join the above-mentioned stipulation due to
18 its position that the armed conflict within the territorial scope of the
19 indictment ceased on or about the 8th of August, 1995. The Trial Chamber
20 wanted this to be put on the record and asks the Markac Defence whether
21 it joins the stipulation, except insofar as it implies that the armed
22 conflict continued beyond the 8th of August.
23 Mr. Mikulicic, I'm addressing you, because it seems that the
24 Markac Defence main concern is whether the mop-up operations are still
25 part of the armed conflict. Therefore, the Chamber wondered, but we'd
1 like to hear from you, whether on the remainder -- on other aspects of
2 the stipulation, you would still join -- or at least that we would know
3 to what extent you challenge what is found in the other parts of the
4 paragraphs where the Gotovina Defence and the Cermak Defence jointly made
5 their stipulations.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Indeed, Your Honour.
7 First of all, good morning, Your Honour, and everybody in the
9 Indeed, Your Honour, the main concern of the Markac Defence is
10 exactly what you pointed out. As it regards to the rest of the
11 stipulation subject, we have no problem with it. So our main concern is
12 the statement that the armed conflict has ceased from the or about
13 8th of August, 1995. So as it regards to the other part of opening brief
14 of the Prosecution which the Gotovina Defence would like to stipulate, we
15 have no problem with that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any way that you could very precisely
17 define what is and what is not agreed upon?
18 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I'll try to do that. But the
19 wording of that paragraph pointed out by the Gotovina Defence from the
20 opening trial brief, the wording is such -- in such a manner that it's
21 very complex, and then I simply cannot exchange one sentence from, let's
22 say, paragraph 107, and as it regards to the other paragraphs, that
23 sentence is some way stipulated in the other form of the paragraphs. So
24 I don't think I could do that, I don't think. I tried to follow the
25 guidance of the Trial Chamber and just to focus on the main subject, but
1 the wording of that paragraph are so, I would say, complex that I simply
2 cannot extract one part of it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I can imagine that there are other aspects on
4 which -- whether or not you follow verbatim the wording of the OTP's
5 pre-trial brief, that there are other parts on which you could agree
6 perhaps in free language. For example, it might clarify issues as
7 whether the Markac Defence considered the armed conflict as an
8 international or a non-international armed conflict. There are a few
9 other parts remaining on which you may seek agreement and which would not
10 contradict the stipulations as they were made by the Gotovina and the
11 Cermak Defence.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, we could easily do that, and we
13 could easily address the Chamber and the other parties with our position
14 as it regards. But as I said, the wording of that paragraphs are simply
15 not easy to be stipulated in totality, so I have to express what position
16 is from Markac Defence as it regards to the other part of the --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Even if you would not follow literally every
18 word --
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- then, nevertheless, it may -- it may assist in
21 the Chamber in establishing that some matters are not contested, even if
22 you do not follow verbatim the text of paragraphs 105 and 108, and you're
23 encouraged to see what can be done in this --
24 MR. MIKULICIC: We will proceed that way, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then having dealt with those procedural issues, is
1 there anything else? Otherwise, I would like the witness to be brought
2 into the courtroom.
3 When later today I refer to pages of documents, I will always
4 refer to the e-court page numbers and not the page numbers on the hard
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Juric.
8 Mr. Juric, before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and
9 Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration, the text of which is
10 now handed out to you by the usher, and I would like -- yes. You were
11 not able to follow my first words. You had not your earphones on. I'll
12 then repeat what I said.
13 Mr. Juric, before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and
14 Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration, the text of which is
15 now handed out to you by Madam Usher. May I invite you to make that
16 solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: IVAN JURIC
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Juric. Please be seated.
22 Mr. Juric, you'll first be examined by the Chamber. Then the
23 Prosecution will put further questions to you. And after that, you'll be
24 examined by the Defence of the -- the three Defence teams.
25 Mr. Juric, could you, first of all, state your full name and date
1 of birth for the record?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ivan Juric. I was born on the
3 28th of October, 1963.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, could you tell us what your present job
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm the commander of the Command
7 for Doctrine, Fran Krsto Frankopan, affiliated with the Croatian Army.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And what is your rank in the army?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a brigadier general.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you also tell us what your military rank was
11 in the first half of August 1995; that is, during Operation Storm?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, I was a member of the
13 Administration of the Military Police, and my rank was major.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And you kept that rank until ...?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up to the end of 1995.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, in some of the questions the Chamber will
17 rely on the evidence it has already received, not to say that if you
18 disagree with that, please don't hesitate to tell us.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE ORIE: Can you confirm that you arrived in the former
21 Sector South on the 3rd of August, 1995, and that you left again around
22 the 13th of August?
23 A. Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, the indictment in this case alleges that
25 during and after Operation Storm, crimes were committed by Croatian
1 military and police forces against the population of Serb ethnicity
2 living in the Krajina region in a period which did include August 1995.
3 During your mission in the field, did you receive any information
4 that crimes, such as looting, burning, killings and mistreatment, were
5 committed by the HV or by the MUP Special Police, members of the HV and
6 members of the MUP Special Police?
7 A. I can't say with any certainty what form of information I
8 received when I was in the field. However, I am sure that I did receive
9 a couple of pieces of information that some members of either the armed
10 forces or individuals wearing parts of the uniform or without uniform
11 were involved in some illegal acts. However, I can say with 100 per cent
12 certainty that I did not receive information about any major crimes, as
13 it were, being committed.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Two follow-up questions.
15 When you talk about the armed forces, that would include what
16 forces exactly?
17 A. Members of the Croatian Army.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You do not include members of MUP forces or
19 Special Police forces which may have taken part in operational --
20 A. No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Does that mean that you received information only
22 about HV members and individuals wearing uniforms, or did you also
23 receive information about possible crimes committed by police or Special
24 Police forces?
25 A. No, Your Honour, I did not receive information about any crimes
1 that might have been committed by members of either the civilian police
2 or the military police.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was talking about civilian police -- about
4 MUP forces, I earlier said, and Special Police forces. I had not yet
5 mentioned military police forces. So we have --
6 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I was going to rise because I think
7 we needed to check the interpretation of the last police force that he
8 mentioned on page 8, line 1.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 When you said you did not receive information about any crimes
11 that might have been committed by members of either the civilian police
12 or -- what did you then say? What other police force did you mention;
13 Special Police, military police?
14 A. The civilian police or the Special Police. These are the terms
15 that we use, and imply the MUP.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, as far as military police is concerned, did you
17 receive any reports about crimes that may have been committed by members
18 of the military police?
19 A. No, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us in a bit more detail, as you said
21 before, of these crimes committed? I think you excluded major crimes.
22 You said:
23 "I can say with 100 per cent certainty that I did not receive
24 information about any major crimes being committed."
25 Now, what do you consider to be major crimes?
1 A. That some killings were committed somewhere, that there were
2 major violations of military discipline. In any case, had I received
3 such information, I would have remembered it. But whatever information
4 we received on the happenings on the ground, we tried to act upon it and
5 deal with the situation.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, in my question, I included burning,
7 looting, killings. Would you consider all of these not to be major
8 crimes or did you not receive any information about such crimes?
9 A. No, I did not receive information about such crimes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then could you explain to us what illegal acts you
11 were talking about when you said that you received some information? You
13 "A couple of pieces of information that some members of either
14 the armed forces or individuals wearing parts of uniforms or without
15 uniforms were involved in some illegal acts."
16 What illegal acts and what pieces of information did you refer
18 A. That mostly concerns information that I received from the
19 commander of the 72nd and 73rd Battalion of the Military Police about the
20 work of their members at check-points, and the work and what they noted
21 during their patrols across certain areas. The whole area of
22 responsibility was very big. We had very few people at our disposal. At
23 the check-points, they stopped everybody who entered or left the area of
24 responsibility at the places where we, as members of the military police,
25 found ourselves. And as we inspected them and their personal --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I'll stop you there. You're explaining on what was
2 the situation in which information could be received. Could you tell us
3 what illegal acts, then, were -- came to your knowledge at the time, if
4 not looting, burning, killing? What kind of illegal acts do we have to
5 think about or, as a matter of fact, you referred to in your answer?
6 A. Certain individuals who came to the check-point were in
7 possession of some objects that they could not prove that they rightfully
8 belonged to them, and we seized those things. I can't say whether those
9 objects were obtained by looting or -- most of them said that those
10 things belonged to them or had belonged to them. In any case, all those
11 objects were seized and handed over -- I can't remember exactly where.
12 There was a reception centre that was organised by the civilian
13 structures of authority that received all those goods, cattle, or
14 whatever was found in the possession of those individuals.
15 JUDGE ORIE: That reception centre was situated where?
16 A. Your Honour, I really can't say with 100 per cent certainty. I
17 can't answer. I know that one was in the area of Zadar -- in the region
18 of Zadar, another one in the region of Sibenik, and I believe that one
19 was in the region of Sinj, but I'm not 100 per cent sure of that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Until now, we talked about illegal acts, and my
21 question was also about crimes that were reported. Did you personally
22 witness any crimes committed by Croatian forces during your posting in
23 Sector South in this period between the 3rd and the 13th of August?
24 A. No, Your Honour, not me, personally.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I will then move on.
1 Mr. Juric, is it correct that in the first half of August 1995,
2 you were posted to the area where Operation Storm took place, pursuant to
3 an order of General Lausic?
4 A. Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what your specific tasks were and
6 what the area of responsibility was in the former Sector South in this
7 period of time?
8 A. Together with a team of officers from the Administration of the
9 Military Police, I was sent to the area of Split and to cover the area of
10 responsibility of Split Military District, and co-ordinate the work of
11 the 72nd and the 73rd Battalions of the Military Police in their joint
12 work. And together with the team, I was supposed to extend professional
13 support to the military police in co-ordination and co-ordinated work of
14 the military police, civilian police, members of the SIS, and all other
15 security services, if you will.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us exactly when you arrived in Knin?
17 A. I think it was on the second day of the operation, around 6.00 or
18 7.00 or 8.00 in the evening. I can't remember exactly.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Would it be the 5th?
20 A. That would be the 5th, yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: As far as your authority is concerned, Mr. Juric,
22 could you tell us, in this period of time between the 3rd and the
23 13th of August, did you have authority over the commanders of the
24 72nd and 73rd Military Police Battalions?
25 A. In principle, the orders that I received, and as I received these
1 orders, in a way, I was the superior of the commanders of the 72nd and
2 73rd within the part of their tasks where they had joint activities to
3 carry out. As far as the military police is concerned, I had the right
4 to issue orders to them, but I don't think I was their superior in the
5 formal or legal sense of the word.
6 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if we could ask the witness again to
7 repeat part of his answer. At page 12, line 3, I believe he made a
8 reference to from where his authority flowed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Could you answer the question? And you told us that you were
11 superior to the commanders of the 72nd and 73rd within the part of their
12 tasks, as you said, where they had joint activities to carry out. And
13 then you continued by saying:
14 "As far as the military police is concerned ..."
15 And could you then repeat what you then said, what right you had?
16 A. I said that I had authority from the Administration of the
17 Military Police, and that on that basis I could give them tasks. But
18 from a formal and legal point of view, I was not their superior.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you further explain what you mean
20 exactly with: "I had authority from the Administration of the Military
22 A. The Military Police Administration was the superior of units. I
23 was head of the Traffic Department in the Military Police Administration,
24 and on the basis of the position I held, the job I held, where I came
25 from, and on the basis of the order of the chief of the Military Police
1 Administration, I had this authority in terms of issuing orders or tasks.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is it true that General Lausic delegated some
3 of his powers to you on the basis of the existing legislation?
4 A. Your Honour, I really don't know.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You have --
6 A. Could you perhaps give me an example?
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'm at this moment talking rather in the abstract,
8 and the question was focusing on the powers General Lausic had under the
9 order of the Croatian Ministry of Defence concerning the military police
10 which was issued in 1994. The question was whether some of the powers
11 were delegated to you by General Lausic.
12 A. If I understood you correctly, you are speaking about the Rules
13 of Service of the Military Police. Do you mean whether I got any powers
14 from General Lausic on the basis of those rules? Is that what you're
16 JUDGE ORIE: Whether he delegated part of his powers to you by
17 appointing you.
18 A. Only what General Lausic wrote in his order when he sent me down
19 there, and in the way in which I received that task and explained to him
20 how and in which way I understood the task he gave me, but he could not
21 have transferred any of his own powers or did I have any specific powers
22 that the chief of the Military Police Administration had.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me move on.
24 I asked you to explain to us -- I asked you to explain what you
25 meant exactly by:
1 "I had authority from the Administration of the Military Police."
2 Now, were you -- and I'm seeking further explanation of another
3 part of your answer. Were you superior to the commanders of the 72nd and
4 the 73rd Battalion of the Military Police; the 73rd to the extent that
5 they assisted the 72nd? Were you superior to those commanders?
6 A. Your Honour, I can say that partly, yes, to the extent to which
7 they acted in co-ordinated fashion, but only in terms of that
8 co-ordination, this co-ordinated activity, to work on that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that your focus was on
10 co-ordination, but could you give orders, then, to these military police
11 battalion commanders, if need be?
12 A. I would say tasks, that I issued tasks to them, and they were
13 supposed to carry them out and to co-ordinate them. I did not write or
14 issue any direct orders.
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, but if you give a task to someone who's then
16 under an obligation to fulfill such a task, is that -- whether you call
17 it orders or not is another matter, but what you said, they would have to
18 do -- they would have to do it?
19 A. Yes, but I did not have any personal powers that an original
20 commander has and that we can say that a commander has in general. I
21 only had partial powers related to the execution of particular tasks.
22 Specifically, I did not have any powers in the domain of personnel, and I
23 could not do anything in that regard in these units. I only had
24 something to do with the execution of the particular task involved.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look at D268.
1 Mr. Juric, the texts will appear on your screen. If, however,
2 you would feel the need to read a hard copy of a text, please ask us, and
3 then we'll provide you with a hard copy.
4 Could I have D268; page 2 in English, page 1 in B/C/S.
5 Mr. Juric, you see the original on the screen.
6 Perhaps enlarge it a bit so that you can better see it.
7 Do you recognise this order?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We see, among other matters -- perhaps we go through
10 it in the several elements.
11 First of all, it reads that in the command system, that the
12 commanders of the 72nd and the 73rd, in some respects, that you are
13 superior to the commanders of those battalions. We discussed that
14 already. If you have any further comment on that, please give it.
15 A. Well, Your Honour, I can repeat what I've said. I really haven't
16 seen this order in a long time.
17 JUDGE ORIE: There's no need to repeat anything. But since you
18 have now the text in front of you, I wanted to give you an opportunity to
19 add anything to your previous answer.
20 Now, the second bullet point says that you are responsible for
21 the implementation of all military police tasks in the 72nd Military
22 Police Battalion zone of responsibility. That sounds as if your
23 responsibility is unrestricted in respect of all military police tasks.
24 A. Yes, but if you look at the first bullet point, you will see that
25 it says that in the command system, I am superior to the commanders of
1 the 72nd and 73rd Battalions with regard to extending assistance to the
2 72nd Battalion; that is to say, that it says explicitly that I am
3 superior to these commanders only in that part of their tasks that
4 pertain to assistance, as for the responsibility of carrying out all
5 military police tasks in the area of responsibility of the
6 72nd Battalion, in terms of co-ordinating supervision and control of the
7 implementation of tasks. However, by the time I got down there, almost
8 all plans had already been worked out, and the commanders only told me
9 how and in which way they carried out this planning, how and in which way
10 the tasks would be carried out in stages.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I read the first bullet point, but please correct me
12 when my understanding is wrong, that the superiority over the commander
13 of the 73rd Battalion is limited; however, not vice versa, that is, that
14 your superiority to the commander of the 72nd would be also limited in
15 the other direction of assistance. If my question is not clear, please
16 tell me.
17 A. Your Honour, what I'm telling you now is how I understood the
18 order or task at the time, and I then expressed that particular
19 understanding of the order. I still claim that I did not have full
20 command responsibility over the 72nd and 73rd Battalion of the Military
21 Police or did I get that kind of transfer of authority.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In the semi-last bullet point, it reads that
23 you are authorised to undertake all measures to ensure efficient and
24 effective implementation of military police tasks in the 72nd Military
25 Police Battalion and North OS zones of responsibility.
1 A. Yes, Your Honour. I said that drawing on the authority of the
2 Administration of Military Police, I did issue tasks to the members of
3 the 72nd and 73rd Battalion of the Military Police, in terms to improve
4 efficiency, methods, tactics, remove all observed shortcomings, and in
5 order to carry out co-operation and co-ordination.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Your authority, would that be irrespective of the
7 rank of the commanders of the 72nd and 73rd Military Police Battalions?
8 A. I don't understand the question, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, could you tell us, were they higher in rank or
10 were they not higher in rank compared to your rank, these commanders of
11 the 72nd and 73rd?
12 A. I think that all three of us held the same rank.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, usually people of the same rank do not
14 give orders to each other, isn't it? And that's what I meant with,
15 irrespective of rank, that you would -- that you could give orders,
16 although the commanders were not lower in rank.
17 A. Frankly speaking, I don't know what would have been the case had
18 they held higher ranks than me. But I only considered them to be
19 colleagues, and we worked on this job together, and that's why I keep
20 saying that I issued them tasks rather than orders.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But even if they were of equal rank -- equal
22 military rank to you, that did not negatively impact on your authority
23 over them, being superior to them as commanders of the 72nd and 73rd?
24 A. In the implementation of all of these tasks that we received and
25 that we issued, they resolved that and they tried to resolve all of that
1 on the ground.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you earlier said you could give them tasks
3 and they had to fulfill those tasks. Now, you were of equal rank. The
4 only thing I'm asking you, whether that in any way affected or negatively
5 affected your authority, the fact that you were of equal rank, but, as
6 you told us, you could, nevertheless, give them tasks and they had to
7 perform those tasks?
8 A. I don't think that it had any effect, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, you have given an interview to
10 investigators of the Office of the Prosecution in March 2002; is that --
11 can you confirm that?
12 A. Yes, they conducted an interview. I don't remember the exact
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the last part of your
18 A. Yes. They conducted an interview with me, but I don't remember
19 exactly when that occurred. I think that it was in the beginning of
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The date on the notes of the interview is that
22 this interview took place on the 5th of March, 2002, which seems to be in
23 line with your recollection.
24 Could I just seek clarification of your statement, at least your
25 statement as it was put on paper. I read off paragraph 26, where you
2 "Two or three days ...," that's at least how it is reflected in
3 the notes:
4 "Two or three days after the president left Knin, I also left. I
5 went out into the whole of the area that I was responsible for. I went
6 to visit locations where the military police were situated. We were
7 setting up military police posts in the liberated area. In some areas,
8 we were tasked by other military police commanders to ensure the security
9 of certain buildings."
10 Could you tell us, "other military police commanders," to whom
11 were you referring there?
12 A. Your Honours, I believe that there has been a mistake in the
13 translation. I'm sure I didn't say "other military police commanders."
14 When it came to providing security for certain facilities and certain
15 parts in the liberated areas, we could only receive orders from our
16 superiors. Whether they arrived from the Administration of the Military
17 Police, the Main Staff, the Ministry of Defence, that's the institutions
18 that I had in mind when talking about orders and who orders came from,
19 and I suppose that that's what I said at that time. And I don't know why
20 somebody decided to translate it with the words "military police." I'm
21 sure that I didn't say that, because we didn't receive orders from the
22 military police. I'm sure of that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We are talking about, as it is put on paper,
24 certain buildings, including two or three churches, electrical and water
25 installations, and other parts of the infrastructure. So you say, When
1 we received instructions to ensure the security of those buildings, those
2 orders came from either the Administration of the Military Police, from
3 the Main Staff, Ministry of Defence?
4 A. That's correct, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: In the that same interview, you are reported -- and
6 I'm referring to paragraph 29, and I will read that to you. You're
7 reported to have said:
8 "During my time in the liberated area, I had no problems with the
9 other military police commanders. I did not interfere with their jobs.
10 I just tried to connect the work of the MUP and the military police. If
11 there had been a problem, I would have informed General Lausic."
12 Here, again, the wording, as we find it, is "other military
13 police commanders." Could you tell us, in this context, to whom you
15 A. Your Honour, I don't know what the question was. But if we were
16 talking about the area of responsibility, then we were talking
17 exclusively about the commanders who were on the strength of the 72nd and
18 the 73rd Battalions of the Military Police and were deployed in the area
19 of responsibility.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You referred to your area of responsibility. How
21 was that exactly defined? Was it defined by fixed geographical area or
22 was it defined by the movement of other troops? Could you tell us what
23 defined your area of responsibility?
24 A. Your Honour, at first the area of responsibility was the area of
25 responsibility of the Split Military District. And as time went on, it
1 followed the dynamics and the rate at which the units of the Croatian
2 Army went on to liberate the occupied parts of Croatia.
3 JUDGE ORIE: So you would say it was a -- when they moved, your
4 area of responsibility moved with their movements; is that how I have to
6 A. Yes, to a certain line that we considered the separation line
7 between the combat area and the so-called non-combat area.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now, in Operation Storm, not only HV forces were
9 operational, but other forces as well. For example, this Chamber
10 received quite some information about the role of the Special Police in
11 combat. Now, if the Special Police took part in the overall military
12 Operation Storm, what influence would that have on your area of
13 responsibility which, as you said, moved with the troops?
14 A. Your Honour, the military police did not have any authority over
15 the Special Police. As far as I can remember, members of the Special
16 Police participated in the performance of combat tasks in the area where
17 I was in charge of the implementation of military police tasks. If my
18 memory serves me well, I believe that to the left from us, in the
19 direction of Lika, that's where they were deployed.
20 JUDGE ORIE: To the left of you, you understand -- could you be a
21 bit more precise? This Chamber received information - perhaps you could
22 either confirm or challenge that - that, for example, the Special Police
23 forces were moving from west to east, involved in the liberation of
24 Gracac, then moved further east -- north-east to Donji Lapac. Is that
25 what you're referring to?
1 A. Yes, I had that part in mind, but that was beyond my area of
2 responsibility -- or, rather, it was not in my area of responsibility.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now, if you exclude that, could you then be a bit
4 more precise? Apparently, your authority moved with -- your area of
5 responsibility moved with HV troops. Do we have to understand that there
6 were no HV troops in that area; let us say, Gracac, and then on to
7 Donji Lapac, Bruvno?
8 A. Your Honour, as far as I can remember, that area of the
9 Republic of Croatia
10 responsibility for which I was responsible in the implementation of
11 military and police tasks. Therefore, I'm really not informed about the
12 work and activities of the military police during Operation Storm. I
13 didn't see them during Operation Storm. I didn't come across them.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes. I believe page 22, line 11, he says he was
16 not informed about the work and activities of the --
17 JUDGE ORIE: I'll ask the witness to repeat that.
18 You told us that that that area of Croatia did not belong to the
19 part of the area of responsibility for which you were responsible in the
20 implementation of military and police tasks, and you then said:
21 "Therefore, I'm really not informed about ..."
22 And could you then please repeat what you then said? I think you
23 said informed about the work and activities of -- of what, exactly?
24 A. The work and activities of the Special Police during
25 Operation Storm.
1 JUDGE ORIE: How did you know exactly where HV troops were
2 operational and where they were not, because that apparently defined your
3 area of responsibility?
4 A. We had meetings every day, and either I or the commander of the
5 72nd Battalion of the Military Police were present at those meetings. We
6 were briefed about how far the units reached and how they had implemented
7 their tasks. In principle, we learned, at that evening briefing, how far
8 did the Croatian Army go in liberating that area the previous day, what
9 lines they had reached, and that's how we knew where to set up our
10 military and police check-points, what areas to patrol, up to a certain
11 extent, up to the extent of the area where that was possible.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Were there any mixed operations between the several
13 parts of the armed forces, such as HV or police forces, taking part in
14 Operation Storm; for example, troops moving on, receiving artillery
15 support from other elements of the armed forces?
16 A. Your Honour, I was a member of the military police. I did not
17 participate in the planning and implementation of that type of operation,
18 nor was I privy to that information. I was not familiar with that kind
19 of operation, so I'm not in a position to answer your question.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If your area of responsibility is defined by the
21 movement of troops, I can imagine that it may have raised some questions
22 as to your area of responsibility if operations were carried out by both
23 HV and non-HV elements in the armed forces.
24 A. Yes, Your Honour. However, I repeat that we followed the units
25 of the Croatian Army that were assigned to the Split Military District
1 for the implementation of that task. The part where a special unit was
2 deployed did not fall under the Split Military District, in terms of our
3 responsibilities, so I would say that we exclusively followed those units
4 that, according to our divisions, were assigned to the Split Military
6 JUDGE ORIE: I move to another subject, Mr. Juric.
7 In performing your tasks, were you moving around on the ground?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us, how did you plan your movements,
10 and what made you decide to go here or there?
11 A. It was mostly based on either reports received from subordinated
12 officers attached to the 72nd Battalion of the Military Police, or parts
13 of the 73rd Battalion, and those reports were relative to the
14 organisation and establishment of new units of the military police,
15 co-ordination, co-operation, the monitoring of the implementation of some
16 of the tasks, the control of check-points, and how people manning
17 check-points were performing their tasks. And in those terms, I did my
18 planning as to where to go and how to make my inspections of the area.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Just for our impression - you spent approximately
20 10 days - what would be the distance you would travel on an average day?
21 A. Your Honours, I did not make rounds of the units every day. It
22 all depended on whether I had received some other tasks that I was
23 supposed to carry out. On the 5th, we entered Knin. On the 6th, the
24 president of Croatia
25 to do with regard to that, a lot of tasks. And I believe on the 7th,
1 Mr. Yasushi Akashi came to Knin, which means that I had to be involved in
2 providing security for him. And I believe that on the 8th or the 9th, or
3 perhaps even on the 10th - I can't remember exactly - was when I carried
4 out my first inspection of some elements of the units on the line
5 stretching from Obrovac, Benkovac, Drnis, of that part, I believe.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, the Chamber understands that you had a
7 co-ordinating role in at least two respects; the first being the
8 co-ordination between the 72nd and the 73rd Military Police Battalions,
9 and the second co-ordinating role in respect of the work of the civil and
10 the military police. Could you further explain to us what this
11 co-ordination exactly was in both these areas, the first, 72nd and 73rd,
12 and the other one, civilian and military police? Could we start with the
13 first one, 72nd and 73rd, perhaps give us some examples on what exactly
14 you then co-ordinated, how you co-ordinated.
15 A. Well, when the decision was being made about the engagement of
16 the units of the military police in Operation Storm, due to the
17 relatively small number of available police officers, the chief made a
18 decision for the 73rd Battalion of the Military Police and its forces
19 actively participated in the implementation of tasks in Operation Storm
20 in the area of responsibility of the 72nd Battalion of the Military
21 Police, which means that the 73rd Battalion of the Military Police, with
22 some of its men, was involved in the work and activities that one could
23 say were overlapping with the area of responsibility of the OG Sibenik.
24 Within the framework of the OG Sibenik, they were active even during the
25 first couple of days, and they covered the area of responsibility of the
1 region of Drnis and around Drnis. That was the way how things were
2 co-ordinated between those two units. Those two units were linked up,
3 and they worked together, in concert.
4 As far as co-ordination is concerned with the civilian police,
5 the civilian police also had certain units, if we wanted to use military
6 terms, and they were tasked with establishing police stations in most of
7 the bigger settlements that had been liberated, and that form of
8 co-ordination happened daily and involved the commanders of the units of
9 military police and the commanders of the police stations that had been
10 established in that area. My role was to establish whether that
11 co-ordination evolved on a daily basis, whether it was effective, and
12 whether there were possibly some problems that we could deal with at
13 other co-ordination levels.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Just to check whether I understood you well,
15 is it like, You'll go there and cover this area, or, You establish a
16 police post here, whereas we will do that; is that the kind of
17 co-ordination to divide tasks and to see that no double work was done,
18 and that as effectively as possible the area was covered by the
19 activities of the 72nd and 73rd? Is that how I have to understand
20 your -- could you give us, perhaps, one clear decision where you said,
21 This is a decision I took in the context of co-ordination, just by way of
22 an example?
23 A. You mean the civilian police, the military police, or --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let's start with the 72nd/73rd.
25 A. We can say that one part of the area of responsibility that was
1 covered by the 73rd in Drnis was covered by certain activities, which
2 means that we looked at the number of check-points, the number of
3 patrols, and the areas that certain patrols covered during their regular
4 patrols. And this was all aimed at relieving those units that were
5 over-worked and had too much to do, and we wanted to distribute the
6 burden evenly between the 72nd and the 73rd Battalions of the Military
8 JUDGE ORIE: And now an example of co-ordination between civilian
9 and military police.
10 A. I personally -- when I went either to Obrovac, or Benkovac, or
11 Drnis, or when I was in Knin itself, I personally checked on a daily
12 basis with the members and commanders of the military police, maintained
13 the regular co-ordinations with members of the civilian police, and this
14 was all to do with manning check-points, whether they would be manned by
15 the military police only, by the civilian police, or whether they would
16 be manned jointly, or how we would co-ordinate the work and activities of
17 both the police forces in that area where they were responsible.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. In the context of this co-ordination,
19 did you attend meetings of high-level authorities, and I'm now -- whether
20 that would be meetings purely within the military context, or with
21 civilian authorities, or MUP authorities?
22 A. No, Your Honour. Those were mostly co-ordinations with the
23 commanders of the police stations that had been organised in the
24 liberated areas. I can't remember, but perhaps somebody from the
25 Police Administrations also attended those co-ordination meetings, but
1 nobody above them.
2 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber received evidence, a witness who told
3 us that you attended a high-level meeting -- and for the parties, I'm
4 referring to transcript page T-8973 -- that you attended high-level
5 meetings to agree on the work, and that you would then provide this
6 witness, who was also working in the military police, as to how the task
7 that had been agreed upon should be carried out. So it describes, more
8 or less, you attending a meeting with -- high-level meetings, and he was
9 talking about co-ordination between military police and civilian police,
10 and then give further instructions down the line.
11 A. I don't know, Your Honour. Could you please jog my memory? What
12 meeting are you referring to, and where did that meeting take place?
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not referring to a specific meeting. I'm
14 referring to the evidence this Chamber received, and let me just check
15 for one second. I'll try to find the place where the witness -- I am
16 trying to find exactly what he said. He was talking about you, as a
17 co-ordinator, and he said the following:
18 "He co-ordinated the work of the military police and the work of
19 the civilian police. He attended high-level meetings to agree on the
20 work, and then he would provide me ..."
21 And the witness was a company commander in the 72nd Battalion --
22 Military Police Battalion:
23 "... and then he would provide me with guide-lines as to how the
24 task that had been agreed on should be carried out."
25 So there are no further details. That's the reason why I'm
1 asking you.
2 A. Your Honour, I really can't remember a meeting attended by high
3 officials of the Ministry of the Interior and us, discussing operational
4 matters during Operation Storm. I really don't know. Was that some
5 other kind of meeting, a meeting of a different nature? That may well
6 have been the case, but I really can't remember officials of the Ministry
7 of the Interior -- high-ranking officials of the Ministry of the Interior
8 attending a meeting that I, myself, also attended, and that meeting
9 dealing with operational matters, on top of that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: As far as your recollection goes, what was the
11 highest level of meeting you remember to have had with MUP officials when
12 you were in the area between the 3rd and the 13th of August?
13 A. I believe that the chief of the Police Administration of Sibenik
14 and Knin was the one.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you ever attend meetings where Mr. Cermak
16 was present?
17 A. Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And who else were present at those meetings? Were
19 MUP officials present, were others present? Could you tell us?
20 A. As far as I can remember, I attended perhaps one or two meetings
21 that General Cermak organised. However, those meetings were attended by
22 large groups of people. I remember that we could not even find seats in
23 the largest room that we had. There were representatives of the civilian
24 police, the military police representatives were also there, and I
25 believe that there were also representatives of some international
1 organisations, perhaps the UN or some others. I don't know. I really
2 can't remember the composition of people who attended that meeting, but I
3 remember a large crowd. That's what I remember very well.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, we'll first have a break, and we'll
5 resume at 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, I'll move to a new subject, that is the
9 reporting system, primarily.
10 When you were posted in Sector South in the period I mentioned
11 before, did you report to General Lausic on issues of crime?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could your microphone be activated? Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The system of reporting that had
15 been established was as follows: I was at the forward command post of
16 the -- the commander of the 72nd Battalion of the Military Police that
17 had operative duty service, and that is where reports came from all
18 subordinate units. Either I or one of my colleagues would draw up a
19 single report on the basis of the information received from the
20 subordinate units, and in accordance with General Lausic's orders, we
21 sent this to Zagreb
22 2000 hours every day, I think.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You only did send those reports to the Military
24 Police Administration, Zagreb
25 A. As far as I can remember, I only sent my report to the Military
1 Police Administration.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, apart from the system of reporting - we'll come
3 back to that at a later stage - would the occurrence of crime be subject
4 of reporting if it would have happened?
5 A. Absolutely. Everything we got from the subordinate units by way
6 of reports or information, that would be included in any report.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In your previous answer, you said that reports
8 came from all subordinate units, and then you would -- you or your
9 colleague would draw one single report. Would you include any
10 information you gained by your personal observation of what you saw in
11 the field?
12 A. As far as I can remember, yes, I would. Also, I would usually
13 call the Military Police Administration on the phone, and I would inform
14 them about all the knowledge I had, personally, that had to do with the
15 implementation of tasks or some problems that I had observed during the
16 course of the day.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Would that then not appear in the written report,
18 what you told them by phone?
19 A. Yes, yes, if I were personally present when the report was being
20 written up. However, I thought that written reports and oral reports had
21 the same value, the same significance, the same importance.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us an example of some personal
23 observation, which you included in the report, which you had not seen in
24 the reports by the subordinate units?
25 A. Your Honour, I cannot remember specifically. I cannot remember
1 any specific matter that I perhaps did or did not include in the report.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could I take you to some of the reports which you
3 may have received.
4 Could we have a look at P1193. And I'd like to go to page 9 in
5 the English, 7 in the B/C/S. Yes, the second paragraph I'd like to have
6 highlighted. Yes, that one. That seems not to be page -- is that
7 page 7? Let me have a look. One second, please. Apparently we do not
8 have the right page in B/C/S. Let me just have a look.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, in the B/C/S it is on the screen.
10 It's the third paragraph on the bottom.
11 JUDGE ORIE: It's the third paragraph. Oh, then I made a
12 mistake. My apologies for that. Yes, I see the "five to six." Yes,
13 it's my mistake.
14 Mr. Juric, could you please read the last paragraph of your page
15 in B/C/S? This, apparently, is a report on the events of the
16 5th of August.
17 Do you remember whether you received this report of five to six
18 bodies being found during searches, and then security services being
19 informed? And then it says:
20 "Considering the shortness of time passed since our entrance into
21 the city, we assumed that these were people of Croatian ethnicity who had
22 been killed by Chetniks."
23 Do you remember that you received such a report?
24 A. Your Honour, I cannot say with 100 per cent certainty whether I
25 received it or not. However, if that is the report that was sent by the
1 military police of Benkovac on that day, then most probably it did arrive
2 at the centre there and that we read it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, reading that, five to six people being
4 killed, easily assumed that these were Croatians killed by Chetniks, you
5 considered, I think, that no serious crimes were reported to you. Would
6 you join the conclusion here that exclusively on the basis of timing,
7 that this must have been Croatians killed by Chetniks?
8 A. No, Your Honour, I did not draw any conclusion on this basis,
9 either then or would I do so now. This is a report that was compiled on
10 the 6th of August. That is to say, it was related to the 5th, the 5th,
11 6th, that's right. That is to say that fighting was still going on,
12 intensive fighting in the area. This report clearly shows that members
13 of the military police found five or six dead persons there, and they
14 certainly informed those who they were supposed to inform about that.
15 And the documentation of the military police would certainly have to have
16 this, and especially the crime military police that was in charge of
17 going out into the field, on the scene, doing their part of the work. I
18 mean, we did not take into account this allegation and opinion of the
19 person who wrote the report and stated his personal view.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Did you give any instructions as to the persons that
21 were found to be identified so that you could establish whether or not
22 the assumption expressed in this report had any factual basis?
23 A. Yes. As you could see, members of the crime military police and
24 members of the general military police were with me on this team. All of
25 them received precise and clear tasks down their own line of work. One
1 of the tasks of the crime military police was precisely that; namely,
2 that all persons that are found -- all the bodies that are found should
3 be dealt with appropriately, as usual, by the crime police, and if they
4 cannot do that, they should inform, as soon as possible, the closest
5 civilian police unit that should record that, and they should do whatever
6 should be done, in professional terms, in such cases.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're now talking in general terms. But in
8 relation to this report, were any orders given such as, Take care that
9 the bodies are properly identified? Do you have any recollection of
10 taking such action?
11 A. As I read this report and at the time, I certainly would give
12 such guide-lines, either I or somebody who was duty operations officer,
13 or whoever was present at the time from the crime military police. That
14 was regular procedure. It wasn't anything extraordinary, to give that
15 kind of task and to have that kind of thing done.
16 JUDGE ORIE: This is, again, an answer in general terms that this
17 is what would be done or would usually. Is there any documentation, any
18 record of giving such instructions in this case, as far as you know?
19 A. I'm not sure. I'm not sure whether there are any kind of records
20 and whether I, myself, issued any tasks in relation to this particular
21 case. However, I repeat once again, Your Honour, that at any rate, for
22 such cases tasks to have this done had to be given.
23 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time, in this report it appears that if
24 there were any such instructions, that on a loose assumption based on
25 timing only, one would not investigate?
1 A. Your Honour, with all due respect, the regular tasks that were
2 carried out and the way in which this was carried out involved such cases
3 as regular cases that had to be recorded and that had to be processed.
4 Once again, I repeat, perhaps the person who wrote up this report was not
5 educated enough and, therefore, gave his own views here, but those were
6 the tasks of the members of the military police, and checks were made as
7 to whether tasks were being carried out properly. And I can say with
8 certainty that this had to be recorded.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I take you to the next page in B/C/S, and, in
10 English, the same page, last paragraph. There, it is reported that:
11 "It should be emphasised that only one fire incident occurred in
12 the town itself ..."
13 Do you have any recollection of this part of this report? This
14 is the report by Mr. Kranjcevic, and it is about Benkovac.
15 A. If that is what is written in this report, then I accept that
16 that was reality.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This is reported by the military police, but
18 we do not see any indication of the matter be investigated. Did you
19 receive reports or were there instructions that if houses were on fire,
20 that it should be investigated, what caused the fire?
21 A. Yes. I can just engage in guess-work to the effect that the
22 members of the military police who came across this obviously did not
23 find anyone around that house, and, therefore, nothing was written in the
24 report itself. In case they had noticed anyone, if they had noticed some
25 persons in the vicinity, that certainly would have been intimated in this
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you agree with me that at least the
3 matter is considered in the context of possible arson or torching of
4 houses, because the report says there were no attempts of house-torching
5 and that the situation was satisfactory?
6 A. Yes. But what was particularly highlighted there is that it was
7 noticed that a house was in flames and that measures were taken for the
8 fire to be put out as fast and as efficiently as possible in order to
9 prevent possible spread of damage. I do not see that any attempt was
10 made to conceal or hide anything that had happened.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to take you a little bit further down in
12 this document; page 10 in English, page 8 in B/C/S.
13 Could you please read the third full paragraph from the bottom in
14 your language, and forgive me for the pronunciation, starting with:
15 "Treba napomenuti."
16 A. Thank you. I've read it, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Here, it is described that the problem started in
18 the locations from which the military police withdrew in order to go to
19 the front-line, and that places were left without military policemen, and
20 that that complicated the work for the MUP, that there was a manpower
21 shortage. Do you remember to have received such report?
22 A. Your Honours, this is one of the statements that appeared almost
23 every day in co-ordinations and talks among us, members of the military
24 police, and when we had our joint co-ordination meetings with MUP
25 members. Our area of responsibility was quite large. We were
1 under-staffed. People worked for 12 hours, and then they were off for
2 12 hours. We tried to do as much as possible in order to cover as much
3 of the area of responsibility and be present as much as we could. You
4 know that it's very difficult to cover a relatively large area of
5 responsibility if you're seriously under-staffed.
6 JUDGE ORIE: We'll further look at some of the reports at a later
7 stage, but I'd just touch upon another matter meanwhile.
8 Would the commanders of the 72nd and 73rd Military Police
9 Battalion, who reported to you, would they also report to
10 General Gotovina, or would they receive any reports from military
11 commanders? I'm interested to know what the reporting links, either
12 receiving or sending, were between the military HV operational command
13 and the military police.
14 A. The practice continued, the customary practice of the military
15 police. The highest-ranking commander in an area of responsibility, who
16 was the operative commander, was supposed to receive daily operative
17 reports from military police units, and that had, indeed, covered all the
18 developments in the corresponding area over the period of 24 hours.
19 Also, those commanders were supposed to be present at the briefings that
20 operative commanders in their respective areas of responsibility held.
21 At those briefings, they were supposed to receive certain information --
22 or, rather, they were supposed to be briefed and they were supposed to
23 provide briefings to others.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Did you also report -- apart from to the
25 Administration of Military Police in Zagreb, did you report to also
1 non-military police, military commanders? And if so, to whom did you
3 A. No, Your Honour, I sent my reports only to the Administration of
4 the Military Police.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the Chamber received evidence that there was a
6 reporting system along two different chains of commands; that is, both in
7 the HV hierarchy and in the military police hierarchy. I do understand
8 that you say that is not what happened. Were you supposed to report in
9 the HV hierarchy? Yes?
10 A. Your Honours, I didn't say -- if I understood your question well,
11 I didn't say -- in the introductory part, I said that the reporting
12 system followed the old system, as it had been established in the
13 military police, which means that commanders were duty-bound to report to
14 the operative commanders at the highest level of the developments that
15 had taken place. And I, personally, I was duty-bound to report only to
16 the Administration of the Military Police.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you then tell us -- apparently, if I
18 understand your answer well, other military police commanders, they would
19 report to -- well, within the HV hierarchy. Could you tell us to whom
20 the commanders of the 72nd and 73rd Military Police Battalion would
21 report in the military HV hierarchy?
22 A. The commander of the 72nd Battalion of the Military Police needed
23 to receive a summary of security developments, and he was supposed to
24 send it to the commander of the military district.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Did that happen?
1 A. I don't know, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: But your responsibility for the performance of all
3 tasks within the military police would not include any responsibility for
4 appropriate reporting within the HV hierarchy, or to supervise that and
5 to check whether that happened?
6 A. Your Honour, it was an established procedure which started or was
7 launched at the moment when the military police was organised and when
8 the Rules of Service of the Military Police were introduced and continued
9 thereafter, so I did not need -- I did not feel the need to check whether
10 those rules were being implemented.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I leave this subject, Mr. Juric.
12 Did you become aware, when you were posted in Sector South, of
13 burning and looting committed by HV members in the town of Kistanje
14 the surrounding villages on or around the 6th of August, 1995?
15 A. No, Your Honour. I was in Kistanje personally on the 8th or the
16 9th -- I can't remember when it was. It was either on the 8th, the
17 9th or the 10th. I inspected a small group of the military police which
18 had been sent there pursuant to a special order in order to provide
19 security for an Orthodox monastery and a factory which was a
20 special-purpose factory, as we called it, which means that it
21 manufactured some military equipment or materiel. And as I arrived in
22 Kistanje, I did not notice anything that would be out of the ordinary,
23 and I didn't notice anything that fell out of the scope of regular combat
24 activities. At the moment when I was there, I am certain that I did not
25 see a single house burning at that moment, and I saw some four or five
1 destroyed houses that could have been destroyed during the war. And as
2 far as I can remember, on that day, in passing or in Kistanje, itself, I
3 saw UN members who were present on that day, on the same day I was there,
4 and there was nothing going on on that day, nothing out of the ordinary,
5 nothing that would suggest anything of the kind you indicated.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have P203 on the screen, the first page
7 both in English and B/C/S. Could you please focus on the paragraph
8 starting with:
9 "In the liberated areas of the hinterlands of Zadar and
10 Sibenik ..."
11 This is a report from Mr. Gugic of the SIS, the Security and
12 Information Services, to Gojko Susak and Miroslav Tudjman, and I read the
13 relevant part. He says:
14 "More precisely," and the report is dated the 8th of August, "in
15 the liberated settlements Bribirske Mostine, Djeverske and Kistanje, the
16 situation is rather chaotic. Incidents of mass burning of houses,
17 plundering of property, alcohol consumption occur, and the units lack
19 That does not match, apparently, with your observations. Do you
20 have any explanations, where you said, There wasn't even a house burning,
21 I didn't even see a house burning, that apparently the assessment of
22 Mr. Gugic is quite different?
23 A. Your Honour, I said that I was in Kistanje on that day, and I
24 really did not see any of that. I don't know what was going on in other
25 places. I was not there, so I can't tell you anything about them.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, this report continued to say that this was
2 reported by the -- was reported to the commanders of the operational
3 groups, and it then continues:
4 "A military police platoon has been assigned to the area in order
5 to normalise the situation concerning the HV members."
6 Which seems to fall within the scope of your responsibility, that
7 is, giving tasks to military police platoons.
8 Did I understand you well, that -- let me just check -- that you
9 had a different reason for military police being sent there to provide
10 security for an Orthodox monastery and a factory which was a
11 special-purpose factory? That's not what Mr. Gugic reports. He says
12 that it was to normalise the situation concerning the HV members.
13 A. I've spoken about the military police in Kistanje. This had been
14 planned and agreed, and they were sent to Kistanje without any
15 information about anything happening in Kistanje. It was our task to
16 secure the two or three facilities that were there. I can't remember the
17 date when that military police unit was sent to Kistanje. Whether that
18 unit was recognised by Mr. Gugic as a unit that had been sent to
19 normalise the situation, I wouldn't know. In any case, that unit that
20 was billeted in Kistanje was also tasked with securing public peace and
21 order in the area of responsibility that was assigned to them.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You said you visited the area. The Chamber received
23 evidence that you would have visited the area on the 9th of August. Does
24 that match with your recollection?
25 A. Yes, Your Honour, I said that on the 8th and 9th and 10th, I
1 toured the area, but I can't give you a specific date. I can't remember.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, others who were present in that area reported
3 that on that day when they saw you in that area, that they went through
4 Kistanje, which was totally destroyed and smelled of bodies. Do you --
5 that also does not match very much with your recollection, does it?
6 A. Your Honour, I can only repeat that on the day when I was in
7 Kistanje, I did not see a single house burning. I did not notice a
8 single body or anything that you have just indicated.
9 JUDGE ORIE: One of those who had seen you in that area on that
10 day was asked whether you were aware of the situation. I'm referring to
11 the testimony of Mr. Hill; transcript page 3849 and 3850. And he said,
12 Absolutely. And perhaps I add to that that in that area, on the
13 9th of August, another person went to that area and said that he
14 encountered -- had an encounter with you in Kistanje municipality, and
15 that you would have asked him what they were doing in a restricted area,
16 that you gave them food, and that you then told them to return to the
17 UN compound.
18 Does that trigger any recollection as to the encounters you may
19 have had? And as you said, you did see representatives of the
20 international community when you went to Kistanje.
21 A. Yes, Your Honour, I said that on the day I was down there, I
22 spotted a member of the Canadian military police on the road. I stopped,
23 I invited them to come and visit us. I never hindered their movement
24 across the area of responsibility. I never forbade them to move around.
25 On the contrary, we had received an order to allow them and enable them
1 maximum freedom of movement across the entire area of responsibility.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, apparently your recollection is different
3 from what that witness told us. He said that later on that day, they
4 drove through the town of Kistanje
5 of the car because of the heat emanating from the burning buildings.
6 Did you ever observe or receive reports about, on the
7 9th of August, still burning buildings in Kistanje?
8 A. I don't know whether I received a report about what you are
9 describing, but let me repeat, once again, that all -- on the day, at the
10 moment when I was there, not a single house was ablaze, and these are the
11 facts. That's what I noticed or didn't notice on the day when I was
13 JUDGE ORIE: Would you agree with me that if houses would have
14 been in flames, that it may have been very difficult to miss that, to not
15 observe that, if that was the case?
16 A. Absolutely.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then, of course, the Chamber is still puzzled by the
18 fact that some persons saw houses burning, and there were even reports of
19 HV soldiers going to houses and then those houses being in flames briefly
20 after that, that we are puzzled by the fact that you apparently did not
21 observe anything; whereas reports from internationals, but also a report
22 by Mr. Gugic on the 8th of August, give a totally different picture on
23 matters which you almost could not have missed to observe if they were
24 there. Could you assist us in resolving this puzzle?
25 A. Your Honour, if the commander of the Canadian military police was
1 present there and if I was there, I don't know how many other military
2 police officers were there. Also, I believe that maybe two or three
3 Canadian police officers were also there. Would we have been sitting
4 together or standing together in the middle of the road, and would we
5 have been watching houses burning without doing nothing? I'm sure that I
6 would have done something. I would have gone there, and I'm absolutely
7 sure that the Canadians would have also behaved the same.
8 I repeat, once again, I don't know when I was there. I don't
9 even know what time of day it was. But when I was there, I did not see a
10 single house ablaze at that time.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Was there any specific reason why you went to
12 Kistanje on this day, which is by others reported as being the
13 9th of August?
14 A. Yes, Your Honour. I've already told you that we had received a
15 task to send some of the military police officers there to secure those
16 facilities, and I went to check how the task was being implemented. I
17 wanted to see whether the men did their job, whether they were well
18 equipped, whether they were well informed and briefed about the task, and
19 whether they were performing their basic task, the one that they were
20 there for.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember when for the first time a military
22 police platoon was sent to Kistanje?
23 A. I don't remember, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If I would tell you that a duty officer log-book
25 reported that on the 6th of August, at 20 minutes to 9.00 p.m., military
1 policemen were sent to Kistanje, would you have any reasons to doubt the
2 accuracy of such an entry in the log-book?
3 A. No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember what specific purpose was served by
5 sending a platoon? Was that just to protect the Orthodox monastery or --
6 and the other facilities, or are you aware of any other reasons? I'm
7 asking you this also in the context of the report by Mr. Gugic and by the
8 observations of others, but limiting myself to Mr. Gugic, who already on
9 the 8th of August observed the chaotic situation, mass burnings,
10 et cetera.
11 A. I know that before Operation Storm started, the company in
12 Sibenik had the task of securing particular facilities at the moment when
13 the members of the Croatian Army liberated the area. That was the plan,
14 and that is why my military police unit went to Kistanje. Now, whether
15 in the meantime the task of that unit was changed and whether anything
16 else changed, I cannot recall at this point in time.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you reported to General Lausic about events the
18 9th and the 10th of August, in which report no mentioning is found at all
19 of any mass burning and/or looting. In your report of the
20 10th of August, if you'd like to see it, but to see that there's no
21 mentioning there of something, if you'd like to look at it, it's fine,
22 but I think that the parties and the Chamber agree that there's not such
23 a report on mass burning or looting.
24 However, in the report of the 10th of August -- and perhaps we
25 could have a look at that, and that is D733. Could we have that on the
2 In item 2 of this report, it's mentioned that the members of the
3 unit are still guarding the two industrial facilities and the Orthodox
4 monastery. Here, again, if Mr. Gugic reports about mass burning, if two
5 internationals are describing, with some detail -- any problems in
6 receiving translation? Do you receive translation at this moment?
7 A. Yes, I am.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now, it is surprising that those who are guarding a
9 monastery and other facilities would have missed such information as
10 extensively described by the internationals and being in accordance with
11 earlier observations by the SIS. Do you have any explanation for that,
12 that where you may have missed, if it was there, the burning and looting,
13 why those who were stationed there would have missed that as well?
14 A. Your Honour, as regards my reports that I received from the units
15 and then sent to the chief of the Administration of the Military Police,
16 I described what I learned. Whether there was a special report about
17 Kistanje or apparently about Kistanje on the 10th, I don't know, I can't
18 remember. However, if there had been a lot of arson and burning, I'm
19 sure that members of the military police should have reported that,
20 either in a regular report or an interim report, and I really don't know
21 how that was done.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on.
23 I just told you that no reference to burning or looting was found
24 in the reports of the 9th and the 10th of August. The days prior to
25 that, do you remember whether reports were sent as you were supposed to
1 do, that is, reports on what happened on the 6th, the 7th, and the 8th,
2 because - and I'm now looking at the parties - such reports are not in
3 evidence, from what the Chamber could find. Could you tell us whether
4 such reports were made and sent?
5 A. It is quite certain that we wrote reports every day, and it is
6 quite certain that we sent those reports. I don't know. I don't
7 understand how come they couldn't be found anywhere in the archives.
8 JUDGE ORIE: But you say they must have been there?
9 A. That's right. It is quite certain that we compiled them.
10 JUDGE ORIE: On a daily basis also for the 6th, the 7th, and the
12 A. [No interpretation].
13 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber looked into the reports that are in
14 evidence, the reports you sent to General Lausic. Nothing in those
15 reports is said about any burning and/or looting in the town of Knin
16 Could you tell us whether this was ever reported, because, as you know,
17 we've seen some reports and evidence, but apparently some reports are
18 missing. Did you report any burning and looting ongoing in Knin?
19 A. Yes. In addition to this report, the members of the crime
20 military police sent separate reports every day along their own line. I
21 cannot remember right now whether that was in writing or orally.
22 However, at any rate, I do know that such incidents were reported and
23 that superiors were informed about such incidents.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You say these incidents were reported and superiors
25 were informed. Was there any other action taken?
1 A. I cannot say specifically against how many persons military
2 police initiated proceedings and filed criminal reports, or against how
3 many persons had disciplinary reports filed against them to the
4 Military Court
5 JUDGE ORIE: Were people arrested for those purposes, as far as
6 you know?
7 A. I cannot remember specifically.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did you report this to General Lausic?
9 A. About what, specifically, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE ORIE: About looting ongoing in Knin, burning, perhaps, in
11 Knin ongoing.
12 A. It is quite certain that I informed him about all of the
13 incidents that occurred throughout the area, not only in the area of
15 JUDGE ORIE: And was that in your reports?
16 A. I beg your pardon. About those that I knew of and those that I
17 found out about through the channels of regular communication.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Would those be in your written reports?
19 A. I cannot recall whether everything was recorded in the written
20 reports, because written reports were compiled by the Operations Duty
21 Service and I could not always reach them. But, at any rate, I informed
22 the Military Police Administration by telephone of all the knowledge that
23 I had and everything that I had received by way of reports in my area of
24 responsibility from the units there.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, on the basis of the 2nd of August order, you
1 were tasked with reporting, which reports would include, and I quote:
2 "The status of crime in liberated areas and in zones of combat
3 operations, number of crimes, crime reports filed, and escort of
4 HV members who committed crimes."
5 To report this by telephone looks quite uncommon, because giving
6 such details by telephone, names, numbers of reports -- do you have an
7 explanation, or was this reported in writing?
8 A. As for this telephone conversation of mine and that way of
9 reporting, it was mostly in general terms. I did not report on names or
10 specific cases. In written reports, that had to be referred to more
11 specifically. I don't know whether, in addition to these reports, there
12 are reports where members of the military who were in the same group that
13 I was in reported about this. I don't know. I simply do not remember
14 how or in which way -- well, how come some things are not in this report.
15 Were they sent through some other report? Obviously, perhaps on that day
16 units had not reported anything to us.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could we address the parties.
18 These reports of the 6th, 7th -- covering the 6th, the 7th, and
19 the 8th, are they available anywhere? Because we have seen the
20 5th of August, we've seen the 9th, the 10th.
21 MR. MISETIC: We haven't been able to locate the 6th and the 7th.
22 I will check to see if we have it for the 8th, to check to see if it's in
23 evidence, because I'm not certain.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It may be that we -- in our searches, that we missed
1 Mr. Carrier.
2 MR. CARRIER: We don't have reports for those days.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You don't have reports for those days. I would
4 like, then, to move on.
5 The next subject I'd like to ask you some questions about,
6 Mr. Juric, is about the relations between the military police and its
7 responsibilities in relation to civilians. Could you tell us, what
8 exactly was the role of the military police in relation to civilians that
9 were found when you were there in Sector South?
10 A. The military police had a twofold role in this respect. As for
11 all civilians that would be found within the combat area, they were
12 supposed to evacuate them as soon as possible and as efficiently as
13 possible and hand them over to the civilian police that was organising
14 the collection centres. As for finding civilians in the area of
15 responsibility, exclusive authority in the zone that does not belong to
16 classical combat, it is the civilian police that had that authority.
17 JUDGE ORIE: What do you consider "combat area"? I mean, if you
18 moved in together with the troops and if there would have been no
19 resistance or no resistance anymore, would you then still have to
20 evacuate the civilians?
21 A. No. I don't know what I can answer specifically at what point
22 the zone of combat activity stops or starts. At any rate, at the moment
23 when the units of the Croatian Army liberated a particular locality, and
24 when relative peace was established, the units of the military police and
25 civilian police relatively soon came to that area, so I can say that
1 practically at the same time all units of the civilian police and all
2 units of the military police would arrive within a liberated area.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Would they stay in the collection centres, these
5 A. I am not aware of that, Your Honours. I don't know how it was
6 organised later.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's say just before you left,
8 11th of August, perhaps 12th of August, would there be any reason to keep
9 civilians in the collection centres?
10 A. I don't know. I don't know how to answer this question. Not all
11 civilians were in collection centres. There were civilians who were --
12 well, when we're talking about Knin, itself, there were some civilians
13 who were within the UN camp. Part of the civilians were in the areas of
14 Sinj and Sibenik. I think that at the moment when all kinds of combat
15 activities stopped, in a way, it should have been possible for those
16 civilians to go back home. I don't know how that was done and in which
17 way. That was not within the scope of authority of the military police.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, nevertheless, the presence of civilians in
19 reception centres was part of reports by the military police. Does the
20 name of Mr. Glavan --
21 A. Yes, yes, he was an officer who was with me on the team, and he
22 was responsible for the work of the crime military police.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And he reports about civilians in reception centres.
24 You said it was not within the scope of the military police.
25 Nevertheless, it's part of a report dated the 11th of August by
1 Mr. Glavan.
2 A. Perhaps he wrote how many people from the war zones was handed
3 over to the civilian police, whereas you asked me how and in which way
4 they were received in these centres and when they were supposed to be
5 released from the centres. My answer to that was that I was not aware of
6 that part of the activities involved. However, I know that all were
7 transferred to a safe place from the combat areas. Maybe it's that that
8 Mr. Glavan is reporting about.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Glavan gives the numbers of people, both
10 prisoners of war in collection centres but also the number of civilians
11 at present, the 11th of August, in reception centres, so he does not
12 report on handing over. If you'd like to have a look at this report
13 during the next break, I'll be glad to give it to you so that you can --
14 would you like to have a look at it and see whether there's any further
15 comment on your part?
16 A. No, Your Honour, no. No, I'm quite sure that my colleague
17 Mr. Glavan, in his report, speaks of the total number. Now, whether it's
18 military persons or civilian persons who were transferred from the war
19 zones, or if we're talking about prisoners of war who were transferred
20 for their own safety, so that they would get out of the war zone as soon
21 as possible, and that these people, in a way, went through the hands of
22 the military police.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I'll briefly deal with one last subject
24 before the break.
25 As far as you're aware of, were the units of the 72nd or the
1 73rd Military Police Battalions ever engaged in guarding cemeteries?
2 A. No, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now, this Chamber heard evidence in relation to the
4 6th of August, and I'm referring to P875 [Realtime transcript read in
5 error "P785"], and I quote from that statement:
6 "Some of my military police were involved in the guarding of the
7 Knin Cemetery
8 Does that in any way refresh your memory or are you not aware?
9 A. I cannot recall, Your Honour. I really don't know.
10 JUDGE ORIE: In that statement, the person gives as the reason
11 that it was in order to protect those who were burying the bodies. Does
12 this trigger any thoughts on the task of the military police in
13 protecting those who were burying bodies? Is there anything in your
14 recollection which would tell you anything about, if such a task was
15 performed, when it would have been handed over to the civilian police
17 A. No.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently the whole matter does not --
19 A. No, Your Honour. No, Your Honour. I can say with 100 per cent
20 certainty that I do not remember any such thing having happened or that I
21 knew in any way that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: We'll then have a break first.
23 We'll resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber was informed, Mr. Carrier, that you
3 would like to address the Chamber before the witness comes in.
4 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President. Just very briefly.
5 Today, you put to the witness that in August 2nd -- or he was
6 tasked with reporting, and went through some criminal reporting. I'm
7 assuming you referred to D844, and it's not clear from that document
8 whether it was ever sent to --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether I was referring to that
10 document. I can tell you what I was referring to -- let me have a look.
11 MR. MISETIC: I think it's D267, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think I referred to 2D844.
13 MR. CARRIER: Yes, and, Mr. President, just looking at that
14 document, and Mr. Misetic perhaps mirrors the confusion, it would seem
15 that the August 2nd order that you have referred to before was D267 or
16 D268, whereas D844 hadn't actually been sent to Mr. Juric.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me have a look. D844 is sent by General Lausic
18 and is addressed to the Command of the Military Police Detachment,
19 3rd Company, Zadar, 4th Company, Sibenik, and, fourth, Dubrovnik. So --
20 and then let me just see whether I find the same or similar language --
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. MISETIC: I can assist because I was going to do this in
24 cross. The order from General Lausic to Mr. Juric --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. MISETIC: -- has not been admitted yet into evidence, and I
2 was going to do that in my cross. It's 65 ter 2193.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any -- let's say the following. I
4 put this to the witness, even if I referred to a wrong document, is there
5 any dispute about whether he was supposed to report on the crime
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I was going to show the witness that it was in
8 D844 --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. MISETIC: -- which was an order directly from Mr. Lausic to
11 the 4th Company of the 72nd MPs. The substance of the report in D844 is
12 the same as what Mr. Lausic issued in 65 ter 2193 to the officers he was
13 sending into the field, just so there's no confusion.
14 JUDGE ORIE: So we -- do we have any problem in substance or is
15 it just to correct me - I think you're right, Mr. Carrier - that I at
16 least referred to a document which was not directly addressed to
17 Mr. Juric?
18 MR. CARRIER: I'd have to check the document that Mr. Misetic
19 just referred to and make sure --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let's do that and see. If after
21 cross-examination any matter remains, we'll then hear from the parties.
22 And if I have been inaccurate in this respect, my apologies. I try, as
23 you all do, try to be as accurate as possible.
24 MR. CARRIER: Thank you.
25 And just -- I apologise, just while we're on the subject of
1 correcting things, in the transcript today, you referenced document -- or
2 at least it showed up in the transcript, on page 52, line 21, as "P785,"
3 and I believe it should be P875.
4 MR. KEHOE: Judge, I think Mr. Carrier is correct on that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: 785, and you say it should be 875. Yes. I intended
6 to refer to P875.
7 MR. CARRIER: And finally, Mr. President, I understand that you
8 had offered to have Mr. Juric look at an order --
9 JUDGE ORIE: He seemed not to be very much interested.
10 MR. CARRIER: No, clearly he wasn't interested, although I think
11 what he was explaining was that he had received reports about civilians
12 being handed over to -- by the MPs, and there are a number of reports,
13 just for the record.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not saying that this was not reported. I was
15 just inviting him to look at this specific document I referred to. I
16 remember that there are such reports which -- then anything else? If
17 not, could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, I'd like to ask you about any dealings
20 you may have had with Mr. Cermak. Did he play any role in co-ordinating
21 co-operation between civil and the military police?
22 A. Mr. Cermak was appointed the garrison commander. He organised a
23 couple of meetings. I've already told you that those meetings were
24 attended by a lot of people who discussed a lot of things.
25 General Cermak was not my superior. As the garrison commander, he did
1 have the right to issue tasks to the military police in terms of
2 implementing security details, checks, and similar things. However, I
3 don't think that he played any major roles with regard to the military
5 JUDGE ORIE: You said he had a right to issue tasks to the
6 military police. Could you tell us on what basis he had that right or
7 that authority?
8 A. Duties, tasks, and whatever the military police had, in keeping
9 with the rules. Every officer had the right to issue requirements and
10 tasks that the military police then implemented if they were in
11 accordance with the area of work and the authorities of the military
12 police. In that case, the military police were duty-bound to carry them
13 out in the way prescribed by the scope of their work.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the Chamber has received, although, a limited
15 number of documents in which orders are given by Mr. Cermak and which
16 were sent to the -- sometimes, among others, to the military police. I'd
17 just like to put them to you to see whether you have any recollection.
18 First - and for the parties it's D503, and I'd avoid to have
19 everything on the screen again and again - in which General Cermak orders
20 that a team, made up of members of the military police and personnel from
21 the Knin police, should be set up with the task of finding the following
22 UNCRO vehicles. Apparently, UNCRO vehicles had disappeared or had been
23 stolen, and General Cermak orders setting up a mixed team, military
24 police and personnel from the Knin Police Station. Do you remember such
25 an order?
1 A. I can't remember -- with 100 per cent certainty, I can't remember
2 that order. However, if you say that it was drafted, then I'm sure that
3 it was, which confirms what I've already said. General Cermak issued a
4 task pursuant to a piece of information that he had received about a
5 crime having been committed, and that the perpetrators had to be
6 discovered. And in this case, as you have just said, some vehicles had
7 been stolen. This certainly fell within the scope of the work of the
8 military police, and the military police were duty-bound to accept that
9 task and implement that task.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, there is an order which is, to some extent,
11 similar, dated the 12th of August, in which teams are ordered to be
12 constituted to find equipment that apparently had been stolen or at least
13 which was missing from UNCRO. Would that -- do you have any specific
14 recollection of that? It's about earth-diggers and trucks and Land
16 A. Just like before, I don't specifically remember any such order.
17 However, obviously General Cermak received information from UN members,
18 and then he shaped them as orders and issued them to the civilian police,
19 and ordered them to find the perpetrators of such crimes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Do you consider this to be in the same range as the
21 previous one we discussed and within the competence of Mr. Cermak; is
22 that -- the previous one about the vehicles?
23 A. Precisely so. This was not only within the competence of
24 Mr. Cermak or General Cermak. The military police was duty-bound to
25 receive any information, record that knowledge, and follow up on any such
2 JUDGE ORIE: Earlier, you talked about tasks being given by
3 Mr. Cermak to the military police. Do you consider this in the context
4 of tasking or just informing?
5 A. I would consider both cases as General Cermak having information
6 that was not available to the civilian police, and that he issued an
7 order -- or, rather, a task to follow up on such information. And both
8 police forces had the authority to act upon such information and carry
9 out the tasks issued to them with this regard.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, another document - for the parties, I'm
11 referring to D788 - contains what is written on paper as an order which
12 is sent to the military police and the archives, not to any other police
13 organisation, and which says, the order:
14 "Control all entrances to the UNCRO barracks, including the main
16 And, second:
17 "Particularly, checks are required when refugees leave the
18 barracks. Do not allow them to leave without adequate authorisation."
19 I don't want to go too much in the subject matter of the order,
20 but did you consider this to be a kind of order or giving tasks, as you
21 mentioned before, which was within the competence of Mr. Cermak, or did
22 you not consider an order of this content to fall within that scope?
23 A. General Cermak communicated directly with UN members who were
24 billeted in the area of Knin. It seems that they had a conversation or
25 talks as to how they would check the entry of people and their movement,
1 and how they would protect the area. If an order was drafted in a way to
2 give the military police authority to protect that area, that would have
3 been within the scope of the military police. If they were asked to
4 prevent people from exiting the area without any authorisation, that
5 would also be within the scope of the work of the military police, and I
6 personally don't see a problem there.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And did you consider it within the competence
8 of Mr. Cermak to give you, by this order, that task?
9 A. I don't know the date, I don't know the context. Maybe you
10 could --
11 JUDGE ORIE: 8th [Realtime transcript read in error "2nd"] of
12 August, 1995. The transcript reads "2nd." Perhaps I was unclear. It is
13 the 8th of August.
14 A. Obviously, the general decided to refer that to the military
15 police because that case involved army members in the region. Those were
16 members of the UN who were there, and I believe that he was governed by
17 that when he conveyed that information to the military police and not to
18 the civilian police.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If such an order was addressed to you, to
20 guard the main entrance, was this also such an order which you felt
21 duty-bound to follow?
22 A. In terms of what I said previously, if that was to secure and
23 protect an area of some military significance, which it was, indeed, in
24 this case, I would see this as a regular military police task and I would
25 implement that. I would carry that out.
1 JUDGE ORIE: In relation to freedom of movement both -- of UNCRO
2 elements, we have seen an order -- at least a document with "Order" on
3 it, dated the 8th of August, which was sent both to the Knin military
4 police and the MUP, in which it is stated that all UNCRO elements with
5 clearly-displayed insignia may move freely in the areas of Knin and
6 Drnis. They are advised to use the main roads. Would this, as far as
7 you are concerned, fall within -- would you accept this as an order which
8 was given within the competence of Mr. Cermak and which you would feel
9 that you'd have to follow?
10 A. Yes, Your Honour. As I've already stated previously, members had
11 the freedom of movement. Namely, I received information, and I can't
12 remember whether that was from the Administration of the Military Police
13 or from somebody from the Ministry of Defence, that we were duty-bound to
14 guarantee the freedom of movement to all UN members who were billeted in
15 our area of responsibility. It was only after that, after that
16 information was received and after I had issued a task to my units, that
17 this particular order was issued.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You say this order came at the moment where you had
19 already prepared and organised the implementation of orders or
20 information you had received previous to this order being issued by
21 General Cermak; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, I was privy to that information much before that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: There is an order of the 8th of August which is
24 addressed -- at least is sent to the military police and the Knin Police
25 Station. The order -- the content of the order is that UNCRO helicopters
1 must be inspected before each flight, and the inspection could be carried
2 out by military police according to previously-submitted flight plans and
3 in co-operation with UN and EU liaison officers. I leave alone other
4 matters, such as movement of humanitarian convoys and the movement of
5 UNCRO vehicles delivering food and equipment. I would like to focus on
6 the first part, UNCRO helicopters being inspected. Is that -- first of
7 all, is this 8th of August order an order you remember?
8 A. No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did -- as far as you know, did the military police
10 ever inspect UNCRO helicopters before they took off?
11 A. Not in this form. We assisted security forces when VIP persons
12 arrived in the region, and then we carried out anti-sabotage checks and
13 similar checks. I don't remember this specific case that you've just
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Juric, you told us that if you were tasked
16 in this way by documents which contain the word "order," that you felt
17 duty-bound to do what you were tasked with. Was there ever any
18 discussion about that, Do we have to do what Mr. Cermak asks from us or
19 tasks us with? Was there any discussion ever, any dispute, about his
20 authority to give you those tasks and you being duty-bound to perform
22 A. I don't remember any specific discussions about that, and I also
23 don't remember any tasks or General Cermak issuing anything in the form
24 of order that would have contradicted the work and activities of the
25 military police as described and regulated by the rules. In such a case,
1 I'm sure that some of the military police members who would have received
2 such an order would have come back to General Cermak, telling him that
3 that was not within the scope and authority of the military police, and
4 he would have also informed his superiors in the military police. And
5 I'm sure that a decision would be made as to how to go on about
6 implementing that particular task.
7 You have to know that we were terribly under-staffed, and
8 whenever people were assigned to carry out some tasks, that would have
9 reduced the policing capacities and their ability to perform everyday
10 tasks. And that was the number-one rule that guided us in our everyday
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'd like to move on to another subject.
13 Military police patrols, would they be confined to the main roads
14 and intersections and crossroads, or would they also go into the depth of
15 the terrain, apart from the main roads?
16 A. Patrols mainly stuck to main roads for two reasons. We did not
17 have enough vehicles or personnel at our disposal, and, on the other
18 hand, there was a fear that much of the area was contaminated by mines.
19 And for those two reasons, we could not have many patrols at the same
20 time and we could not send them very far into the depth of the territory.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the Chamber received evidence that some of
22 those who were still in active service would go home at night in their
23 villages. Now, could you explain why it was safe enough for them to go
24 to the villages, whereas you felt unsafe to go into the terrain? I'm now
25 talking about smaller roads, villages, rather than the main roads. I'm
1 not talking about going off-road.
2 A. When I said "main roads," I meant asphalt roads, and we stuck to
3 those. That was our principal work. Small auxiliary roads could not be
4 covered, due to the lack of vehicles and lack of personnel. A lot of
5 people, civilians and members of the Croatian Army, did want to go and
6 check on their houses, and if they wanted to do that, they could not have
7 been prevented by us, because they were more familiar with the terrain
8 than us and it was their own responsibility that they went to check on
9 their properties, on their houses and their farms.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now --
11 A. And if you will allow me just one more thing. Please take into
12 consideration the size of that area of responsibility, as opposed to the
13 number of police officers that we had at our disposal, and how many
14 check-points we had to man at all times in order to carry out that part
15 of our responsibility. You will understand that we had very few people
16 at our disposal, and we could not increase the number of our patrols and
17 extend their working hours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look at D1533, paragraph 12.
19 Madam Registrar, just out of an abundance of caution, could you
20 check whether there was any protection. If so, it should not be shown to
21 the public.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE ORIE: I have got two times the B/C/S on my screen, rather
24 than one English and -- there we are.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I certainly don't have an objection,
1 but I just want to make sure that I haven't missed any additional e-mails
2 from Chambers about exhibits to be used with this witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: It may be that we missed this one. That is, then,
4 our apologies for that. I know that it was added at a late stage. And
5 it makes the Chamber more humble in criticising not fully reporting, but
6 if you'd have a similar forgiveness as you often show to each other, then
7 the Chamber would highly appreciate that.
8 MR. MISETIC: Certainly, Your Honour.
9 As I've said, obviously this is one we're very familiar with, but
10 just in case there are any additional ones, it would be helpful. Thank
12 JUDGE ORIE: I don't think so at this moment.
13 Could you have a look at paragraph 12, and you see -- let me just
14 check. No, I'd like you to look at the end of this paragraph, and we
15 have to move slowly from this page into the English. It is about
16 Brigadier Biskic issuing tasks to secure the depth of the area within the
17 newly liberated territories. And then he lists a number of activities
18 under A up to and including E.
19 Could we move to the next page in English.
20 You see some measures are indicated here. Could you please look
21 at the last one:
22 "... to travel only via the main roadways, to avoid side roads or
23 short-cuts when travelling at night."
24 The Chamber wondered, in this respect, how you could effectively
25 secure the depth of the area when you primarily stay on the main roads.
1 A. Every day, every evening, we engaged in such small-scale analyses
2 as to how we managed to cover the area. In essence, on the basis of the
3 reports we received for the previous day, we would try to move blockade
4 check-points, and somehow, in this way, to channel these small auxiliary
5 roads to bigger roads, where we would actually have the checks. With the
6 personnel we had available, we tried to do the best we could. When we
7 changed the check-points every day and when we changed the directions
8 involved, and when we changed patrols, we tried to ensure this presence.
9 I don't know specifically whether at that particular meeting
10 Brigadier Biskic presented these tasks, I cannot remember exactly, and
11 whether it was stated specifically that we should not take small roads
12 and paths during the night. But, at any rate, he was probably guided by
13 the number of people available, the number of vehicles available, and the
14 fact that quite a few of these very small roads had been mined.
15 JUDGE ORIE: In this context and in this same statement,
16 reference is made to something that happened on the 11th August 1995
17 the area of Derala, where 20 members of the 141st Brigade of the
18 Croatian Army were killed, as an indication of the danger going off the
19 main roads. Could you tell us exactly, do you have any recollection of
20 this event where over 20 members were killed?
21 A. Yes, I remember that. However, I don't remember the specific
22 details involved and how this happened. I think that they were ambushed
23 or something like that. I cannot say with 100 per cent certainty how
24 that happened.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us, do you have any specific
1 knowledge as to where Derala is? And what is it; is it a hill, a
2 mountain, a village?
3 A. To tell you the truth right now, I really don't know. I cannot
4 say. However, at the time of this particular information, I must have
5 known roughly where it was, and it's quite certain that we would have
6 looked it up on the map. As far as I can remember, one of the soldiers
7 who got killed on that day there was related to Captain Glavan, who was
8 on the team with me, and that's why I remember that particular event.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did I understand from one of your previous answers,
10 when we were talking about patrolling and the effectiveness of the
11 measures taken, that the check-points were all, or most of them, on the
12 main roads and intersections?
13 A. I would not say that they were only on main roads. Our intent
14 was to channel the smaller roads towards the main roads as much as
15 possible, or, rather, those roads where we thought point B could be
16 reached from point A, and in that way we thought we would increase our
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did you -- at the time when you were there, did you
19 have check-points manned by civilian and military police? I think you
20 earlier referred to that kind of co-ordination decisions. Did that
21 happen, that the mixed check-points were set up, when you were there?
22 A. Quite certainly, but I cannot tell you exactly now at which
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This Chamber heard evidence that uniformed
25 police, and that was primarily civilian police, would not often visit
1 villages which were situated at a distance from the main roads. Would
2 the same be true for the military police?
3 A. Well, I cannot tell you with 100 per cent certainty, I cannot say
4 yes or no. But, at any rate, whenever we received information that
5 something was happening and when we were able to send a patrol, we would
6 certainly do so, regardless of whether it had to do with a village that
7 was on an asphalt road or beyond an asphalt road.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Juric, the Chamber has at this moment no further
9 questions for you. I'd like to -- I don't think that it makes much sense
10 to start cross-examination at this moment, Mr. Carrier, five minutes
11 before -- four minutes before we have to adjourn.
12 Could the parties give us an indication as the time they would
13 need, now knowing what the examination-in-chief has covered?
14 MR. CARRIER: I hope to finish within the first session tomorrow
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could I hear from the Defence. Mr. Misetic.
17 MR. MISETIC: Then I would hope to finish within the second
18 session tomorrow morning.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Second session.
20 Mr. Kay, don't tell me that you will hope to finish in the third
22 MR. KAY: No, Your Honour. It depends very much what goes
23 before, but it would certainly be a session.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Mikulicic.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: I would have no questions, Your Honour, as the
1 matter stands now.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Now we are at the -- tomorrow we have three sessions.
4 Mr. Carrier takes one, Mr. Misetic takes another, Mr. Kay doesn't take
5 less than one session.
6 Mr. Juric, I am sure that the parties will do their utmost best
7 to see whether we can conclude your examination tomorrow, but there's no
8 guarantee for that.
9 I'd like to instruct you that you should not speak with anyone
10 about your testimony, whether that is the testimony you have given
11 already or whether that's testimony still to be given tomorrow and
12 perhaps on Monday.
13 We'd like to see you back tomorrow, Friday, the 5th of March,
14 9.00 in the morning, in this same Courtroom III.
15 We adjourn until then.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Friday, the 5th day of March,
19 2010, at 9.00 a.m.