1 Thursday, 12 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me remind you once again - good morning - that
7 you made a declaration at the beginning of your testimony to tell the
8 truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the truth and that you are
9 still bound by that declaration. Understood?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I
12 WITNESS: NIKOLA MEDAKOVIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: How much longer are you going to be Mr. Whiting?
15 MR. WHITING: Very brief, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
19 Q. Good morning, sir. I'm sure you will be relieved to know that I
20 have just a few more questions.
21 A. You're a very pleasant person to talk to.
22 Q. Sure. Before I move on to another topic, just a few more details
23 I wanted to ask you about. You would agree, sir, that the attack on
24 Saborsko was originally scheduled to occur on the 10th of November, 1991,
25 but that it was delayed until the 12th of November because of bad weather;
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. So you must have received your order to participate in the attack
4 no later than the 9th of November; correct?
5 A. I can't say with certainty, but definitely to place several hours
6 ahead of the first planned attack which took place on the morning of the
7 10th. Therefore, I mean in the afternoon on the 9th.
8 Q. Okay. So on the -- you received the -- you would agree that you
9 received the order on the 9th of November?
10 A. Yes, I would agree.
11 Q. Now, sir, the -- the three men that were killed at Glibodol Cross,
12 they were killed, you say, on the 8th of November, 1991, but in fact their
13 bodies were not dug out until the 9th, the morning of the 9th of November,
14 1991. Isn't that true, sir?
15 A. I wouldn't agree with you. I think that the bodies were dug out
16 on the 8th.
17 Q. Let's -- sir, let's look --
18 A. I don't know the exact --
19 Q. Let's look, please, at Exhibit 605, which is the report of Dusan
20 Latas, which was written on the 23rd of November. So just 11 days or so
21 after these events. And -- I think -- I think you have the English up on
22 the B/C/S screen.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I've got English, not B/C/S.
24 MR. WHITING: That's right. There's English on both at the
25 moment. That's still the English.
1 I wonder if I could inquire of Defence counsel if they have a copy
2 of this exhibit in B/C/S. I do not have a hard copy of it in B/C/S.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Let me just take a look.
4 MR. WHITING: Ah, here we go. It's on. And if we could zoom in
5 on the second half of the page. And this is the second half of the page
6 in English to.
7 Q. It says "On the 8th of November, 1991, our unit was given the task
8 to retake the Glibodol Cross", and then he describes all the things that
9 were done, "searched the sector around Licka Jasenica barracks" and
10 railroad tracks were searched in the morning and then headed toward
11 Glibodol Cross. They go through a minefield. "And then further searches
12 of the road area uncovered our colleague Bogdan Petrovic's vehicle as well
13 as the tractor and trailer belonging to his neighbours. It was
14 immediately obvious that they had been ambushed."
15 A. I don't have it on my screen, the part that you've been reading
17 Q. Yes, okay. I think we need to turn to the next page in B/C/S.
18 And if we could turn to the next page in English as well. And if you
19 could just read there, do you see that the scene is found, and there's
20 some digging starts. This is still on the 8th. "We continued digging and
21 found a man's leg under the horse but might fell and we had to cease
22 digging. We waited" -- "we received" -- at the end of the paragraph it
23 says, "We received reinforced security and waited for dawn. The next
24 day," so the 9th of November, 1991, "we extracted two dead horses from the
25 earth pile and then the bodies of the three men were found."
1 Do you see that, sir? And in fact that's how it was, wasn't it?
2 The bodies were dug out on the 9th of November, 1991, as is described in
3 detail in this report.
4 A. Yes. There is a detailed description of it here. However, there
5 was an exhibit, an official note, a wartime logbook of TG-2 was presented
6 to me and I believe that there is a report concerning the scene there. I
7 don't recall, but I believe that before I received the order for the
8 attack on Saborsko, I had in my pocket the photographs from the scene.
9 Don't ask me about the time, but I know that it was either on the 7th, 8th
10 or 9th, but you have an exhibit wherein this particular detail is stated,
11 and the report was made on that day.
12 Q. Sir, the exhibit -- the exhibit that you're referring to, it's
13 Exhibit 108 in evidence. It's the operational report of Tactical Group 2,
14 and all it says is that these men were killed on either the 7th or the 8th
15 of November, 1991. It doesn't say anything about when the bodies were
16 uncovered or anything.
17 A. Yes, but somewhere to the side the time is stated when this was
18 reported. You have the time and the place of the Official Note, when it
19 was compiled.
20 Q. Well, we can look at -- there actually is no time there. It just
21 states the date that it occurred and the date, and that's all that's noted
22 there. Sir, in fact the truth is, isn't it, that the -- you -- you never
23 believed for a moment -- you -- or let's put it this way: You knew, even
24 on the 9th of November, 1991, that -- you knew even then that the order --
25 that the decision to attack Saborsko had been made before those bodies
1 were found. Isn't that true? You knew that on the 9th, you knew that on
2 the 13th, and you knew that on Monday when you testified here in this
4 A. That's not true, sir. When I received the order for the attack, I
5 had three Polaroid photos in the pocket of my overalls, and I showed them
6 to others rather selectively, because I knew that it wasn't a good thing
7 to incite anger --
8 Q. But sir --
9 A. -- in others, but I hope I will be able to track down these
11 Q. But, sir, those Polaroids -- if you received the order on the 9th
12 of November, those Polaroids could have only be taken on the 9th of
13 November, 1991, and you could not have believed that an order to -- that a
14 decision to attack Saborsko had been made within the JNA, that it had been
15 passed down and that you had received it all in a matters of hours. You
16 could not have believed that all happened in a matter of hours, sir. You
17 knew that that decision had been made before the bodies were found. Isn't
18 that right, sir?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm intervening
21 because I don't see the point of the question. I don't see it, and I
22 wonder how the witness will. We have led written evidence showing
23 precisely when and why the decision was taken. It has nothing to do with
24 Glibodol Kriz. I don't know whether my learned friend is trying to test
25 the credibility of the witness or the reason for the attack or something
1 else, but then he should put a direct question stating his case. We have
2 already lost and wasted an hour discussing the link between the attack on
3 Saborsko and Glibodol Kriz. The witness has spent half of the time
4 yesterday talking about the fact that his comment on Glibodol Kriz was his
5 comment alone and had nothing to do with the order. Besides, we -- the
6 witness has been pointing and referring the Prosecutor to TG-2 report item
7 13, and I believe the Prosecutor should at least take the time to take --
8 to look at item 13 before proceeding. And I really don't see the point,
9 and I don't see what the Prosecutor is trying to elicit from the witness
10 through these questions.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting.
12 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, the objection comes as quite a surprise
13 to me I have to say because if counsel is so clear and he thinks it's so
14 clear that the decision to attack Saborsko was made before the killings at
15 Glibodol Kriz, then I'm a little at a loss as to why counsel allowed the
16 witness to testify on Monday to the opposite, which is -- he said on
17 Monday before the order these events at Glibodol Kriz occurred.
18 Now, when -- when on cross-examination the witness was confronted
19 with the fact that in fact the decision had been made before the murders,
20 the version we got was, well, I received the order before -- I received
21 the order after those killings occurred. And what I'm trying to establish
22 now is that that's false and that is not true.
23 So I -- and finally, Your Honour, it is the witness in his letter
24 which he has adopted, which he wrote on the 13th of November, 1991, it is
25 the witness who said on the 13th of November and said it again in this
1 courtroom on Monday that the -- well, on the 13th he said the immediate
2 cause for the attack was the killings, and on Monday he said before the
3 order -- order was made -- before the order to attack Saborsko the
4 killings occurred. So it is the witness who has linked the two things.
5 I'm simply trying to show that he knew already on the 9th of November that
6 those two things were not connected. I think it's a fair line of
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, do you have any response directly
9 to what the Prosecution has just said?
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The
11 Prosecutor is aware of the document. The document is in evidence. This
12 is the decision setting up Tactical Group 2 issued on the 23rd of October,
13 1991. He also knows that pursuant to this decision TG-2 is tasked with
14 the Plaski area and all its units for the implementation of certain tasks.
15 This took place on the 23rd of October, and the decision was issued by the
16 5th district -- military district pursuant to an order from the SSNO. The
17 Tactical Group was not set up just merely to march about but to carry out
18 a mission.
19 The other document which is in evidence is the decision setting up
20 Tactical Group 2 issued by the command of the 13th Corps, dated 7
21 November, 1991. Then the decision issued by Commander Bulat. This is the
22 chronological order that can be found in these military documents, and my
23 learned friend yesterday put to this witness a text which is 1251 or
24 Exhibit 52, and the Prosecutor read out the text himself. The forces of
25 MUP and ZNG have been entrenching themselves in Saborsko, Kusan for some
1 time now, and it is estimated that the -- their strength stands at 400
3 So that's the reason why the deployment of the MUP and ZNG forces
4 and there is no logic that can indicate the opposite, not even these
5 witness's testimony. What happened at Glibodol Kriz is an incident which
6 has to do with all of this and with witness's conduct as the witness
7 himself explained.
8 Thirdly, Your Honour, the learned friend showed item 11 of the
9 order on the security of the operation, which stated that any unknown
10 person which happens to be in the area of combat should be taken to the
11 command, but what he didn't read was item 1, and that was -- the purpose
12 of it was to preserve the secrecy of the operation and the witness himself
13 stated that he received the order for the attack several hours ahead of
14 the attack. But we cannot leave aside all the written evidence we have
15 and base our case merely on what this witness said.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, Mr. Milovancevic --
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] On the one sentence this
18 witness said.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: You addressed yourself to the points the
20 Prosecution made. The objection is overruled.
21 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Medakovic, I'm going to put my question to you again. You
23 knew, if you received the order only on the afternoon of the 9th of
24 November, 1991, you knew that those bodies had not been dug up and
25 photographed until the morning of the 9th of November, 1991, and you must
1 have known that that order for the attack of Saborsko could not have been,
2 therefore, a result of the discovery of those bodies. You knew that on
3 the 9th of November, 1991, didn't you, sir?
4 A. Sir, I cannot agree with you at all. I asked you to show me the
5 document that was drafted at the time of these events that I was already
6 shown. Now you show me the document which was drafted some 10 to 12 days
7 later on and was written from memory. Latas came at the time but he was
8 unable to take notes because we spent together three days in the action of
9 defending the Licka Jasenica barracks. You are trying to persuade me into
10 something --
11 Q. I'm just trying to get the truth, sir. I'm really just trying to
12 get the truth. If you want to look at that document, it's Exhibit 108.
13 We can look at it.
14 If we can go to page 3 of the English, and we're looking for entry
15 13. It's either on page -- I'm not sure on the B/C/S, whether it's 3 or
17 A. If we could start --
18 Q. Sir, let's -- we'll look at the entry you were talking about.
19 Could we look at page 3. It's entry --
20 A. Yes. It starts from item 3. Could you just lift it up a bit.
21 I'd like to see the date.
22 Q. Yes. Here we go. This is it. Look at number 13. It's the top
23 half of this page. If we could zoom in, please.
24 Do you see there for the entry it says -- for number 13 it says
25 Glibodol Kriz, and the date, it's 7/8 November, 1991. It says on the 7th
1 or 8th of November, 1991, in the region of Glibodol Kriz --
2 A. Between the 7th and the 8th. So the night between the 7th and the
3 8th is what it reads.
4 Q. It says the three members of the TO of Plaski were killed and it
5 gives their names. You see, sir, there is nothing there which says when
6 the bodies were dug out or when the information was learned. It only says
7 when they were killed. And it was known when they were killed because the
8 scene was found on the 8th of November, 1991. So there is nothing here
9 which contradicts the report of Dusan Latas. Correct, sir?
10 A. I indicated that in the left-most column there is the time of the
11 entry when it was written probably by the duty officer, and the duty
12 officer says it happened between the 7th and the 8th, but it is highly
13 likely that the scene had been photographed on the 8th. I'm not sure. I
14 told the Trial Chamber that there was this Polaroid camera.
15 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you.
16 A. You're not allowing me to explain.
17 Q. Sir?
18 A. Why don't you let me explain what this is about?
19 Q. I want you to answer my questions and I want you to look at
20 something, please. Look at the entry for -- the entry for number 12,
21 please. When was that -- what's the date and time of that, number 12?
22 A. The 9th of November, 8.10.
23 Q. So entry number 13 must have been written after the 9th of
24 November, 0810 hours; correct?
25 A. Could we please go back to the beginning of it --
1 Q. Sir.
2 A. -- which chronologically states when the attack commenced, because
3 you are pulling things out of their context. Would you please --
4 Q. Sir.
5 A. -- take us back to --
6 Q. Sir.
7 A. -- entry 3.
8 Q. Sir.
9 A. Because again you're asking me to speculate.
10 Q. Sir, would you please answer my question. Entry 13 is after entry
11 12 and the date and time for entry 12 is the 9th of November -- the 9th of
12 November at 0810 hours. So entry 13 must have been written after that,
13 sometime after -- actually, it's quite clear that it was written between
14 0810 hours and 1000 hours because entry 14 is 10 o'clock on the 9th of
15 November. So you would agree with me wouldn't you that entry 13 is
16 written between 8.10 in the morning on the 9th of November, and 10.00 in
17 the morning on the 9th of November. Right, sir?
18 If you could answer that question, we could move on. I don't
19 really want to get bogged down on this topic, but I do want answers to the
21 A. This time I fully agree with you.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. Could we go back to entry 3 where the attack is mentioned for the
24 first time, and there you can see chronologically how the order unfolded,
25 because --
1 Q. Sir?
2 A. -- all of this took place --
3 Q. Sir?
4 A. -- that was written here after the attack on Licka Jasenica.
5 Perhaps then the Defence counsel will put the question to me.
6 Q. Sir. If Defence counsel wants to raise anything that he thinks is
7 important, he will have an opportunity to do so. It's not of interest to
8 me at this moment.
9 I'm going to ask you one last question about this, sir, one last
10 before I move on. And that is that the truth of the matter, sir, is that
11 in your letter that you wrote on the 13th of November, 1991, and in court
12 here today, what you have tried to do is use the death of those three men
13 and the circumstances of their death to justify the evil that occurred at
14 Saborsko. Isn't that true? Isn't that really what's going on? Yes or
15 no, and we can move on.
16 A. In the instruction I was given by the department for victims and
17 war crimes, I believe you are not entitled to offend me because you are
18 trying to tie up my own person with something that I have nothing to do
19 with. You call me a liar, and you are implying that I manipulated with
20 human lives in order to justify crimes, and my answer to your question is
21 a categorical no because that's merely your fabrication.
6 Q. Your Honour -- Your Honour -- excuse me, sir?
7 A. Whoever is a liar is also a thief.
8 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, we're going to need to redact, and I
9 think while we're redacting we should just go ahead and redact from page
10 12, line 15, all the way until page 15, line 21.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think that was an unnecessary
17 intervention and an unhelpful one by Defence counsel for reasons which I
18 think should be obvious.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: That we are in public session?
20 MR. WHITING: No, that we have a witness in front of us and he
21 just made a statement about another witness.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will the Chamber please move into private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Page 9241 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 Mr. Whiting.
13 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. I just have a -- one or two
14 more brief topics.
15 Q. You testified yesterday, sir, that civilians were killed in the
16 attack on Saborsko, but let's be a little more precise and clear about
17 that. You actually learned that civilians had been murdered in Saborsko,
18 correct, that they had been deliberately killed?
19 A. You're forcing me to speculate once again. I said I knew this
20 from the records after the sanitisation of the terrain. The records
21 showed that there were women who were dead. When it said MUP members,
22 that would imply enemy soldiers, but the reports actually mentioned women
23 and men. So I learned this from the records.
24 Q. Well --
25 A. I was not --
1 Q. Did you --
2 A. -- in Plaski immediately following these events.
3 Q. Did you learn either from records or from hearing or from any
4 other source or knowledge that on the day of the attack on Saborsko on
5 12th of November, 1991, a 71-year-old woman by the name of Kata Matovina
6 was killed by gunshot, Mato Matovina a 96-year-old man was killed by
7 gunshot, Jure Vukovic --
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. My
9 learned friend can only say that these people died. Whether they were
10 murdered, that's something that even the expert brought by the OTP could
11 not say. He corrected himself and said that these people were killed in
12 the firing, perhaps in the crossfire. To kill or murder is a very
13 specific action. People were killed. There is no doubt there were
14 corpses. But the -- my learned friend should say not that these people
15 were murdered but that they died.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I'm not quite sure what it is
17 you're objecting to on the question that was raised by Mr. Whiting. Mr.
18 Whiting, when you, just before you stood up said, did you learn either
19 from the records or from hearing or from any other source or knowledge
20 that on the day of that attack on Saborsko on 12 November, 1991, a
21 71-year-old woman by the name of Kata Matovina was killed, not murdered,
22 by gunshot. Mato Matovina, a 96-year-old man was killed by gunshot. Now
23 you're talking about crossfire. Crossfire is still gunshot and killing
24 results. So killing by gunshot. I don't know what the basis of your
25 objection then is, Mr. Milovancevic.
1 Yes, Mr. Whiting talked about murder earlier. You didn't stand
2 up. Now when you stand up, it's not using the word murder.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the interpreter
4 has just corrected himself, but the interpretation I received and that the
5 witness received was that the word "murdered" was used. The interpreter
6 has now corrected himself and clarified the situation. It is as Your
7 Honour said.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. I understand why you
9 stood up.
10 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, nonetheless, I would object to
11 objections that start feeding answers to the witness.
12 Q. Now, sir, I'm going to go back to this topic. Did you learn, sir,
13 that among the civilians killed that day was Kata Matovina, a 70-year-old
14 woman who was killed by gunshot; Mato Matovina, a 96-year-old man killed
15 by gunshot; Jure Vukovic, a 62-year-old man killed by gunshot. Did you
16 learn about those people and how they were killed?
17 A. No. I know nothing about the circumstances of their killing. I
18 only know of a certain number which I learned from the report on the
19 sanitisation of the terrain. I didn't know those people while they were
20 alive, and I cannot say anything about them.
21 Q. Did you learn that some 14 civilians were buried in a pit near
22 where the church was located, the big church in Saborsko? Was that part
23 of the sanitisation?
24 A. Yes. When passing through Saborsko, when you go from the
25 direction of Licka Jasenica, I often saw this row of wooden crosses. I
1 didn't know exactly how many bodies were buried there. It was on the
2 other side of the road than the church. The church is on the right-hand
3 side, and this was about a hundred metres before you reach the church and
4 on the other side of the road in a little depression, a kind of small
6 Q. Now, speaking of the church, sir, the big church in Saborsko was
7 damaged during the attack on the 12th of November, 1991, but it was still
8 standing, and it was mined and blown up some two to four weeks after the
9 12th of November, 1991. Isn't that correct?
10 A. Unfortunately, I know nothing about this. I wasn't in Plasko at
11 the time. I was in Serbia.
12 Q. You were in Serbia two to four weeks after the 12th of November,
14 A. The first time I passed through Saborsko along that asphalt road
15 in the direction of Korenica and Knin the church wasn't there. I don't
16 know the time of its destruction or the manner of its destruction.
17 Q. And when was that? When did you see that it was no longer there?
18 A. I can't remember the date, Mr. Prosecutor, believe me. After the
19 events in Saborsko, events happened very quickly. There was an attack on
20 Slunj, a counter-attack. The brigade was established. There was an
21 assembly in Knin, and then I went to Belgrade. So I didn't actually pass
22 through Saborsko again until December.
23 Q. Okay. So it was sometime in December of 1991.
24 A. Most probably. I can't recall the exact date.
25 Q. Fine. Now, to your knowledge, nobody among the forces, the armed
1 forces that attacked Saborsko, was ever disciplined, investigated, or
2 prosecuted for the crimes that occurred in Saborsko by the 12th of
3 November -- on the 12th of November, 1991, by the authorities of the SAO
4 Krajina; correct?
5 A. I wasn't part of the judicial system.
6 Q. Sir, if you don't know -- sir, sir?
7 A. I can't speak about that.
8 Q. Okay. So you have no knowledge of that. You don't know anything
9 about that?
10 A. That's correct, yes.
11 Q. Now, sir, finally -- the final topic I want to ask you about is
12 something you said yesterday. It's at page 92 of the transcript, and you
13 said, "Saborsko was turned into a stronghold when people from elsewhere
14 were brought. You were able to see yourselves that Muslims were brought
15 there, non-Catholics were brought to a Catholic area to have people under
16 their command there."
17 Now, you're talking about before November 12, 1991, here; correct?
18 A. I was very specific. I said I was surprised when I saw that one
19 of the three men who had been taken prisoners was a Muslim. He had been
20 taken prisoner in the same group as Vlado Vukovic.
21 Q. That was in September of 1991; right?
22 A. That's correct, yes.
23 Q. And you went on to say, this is still on page 92, "Nothing is
24 sacred to those people. They sacrificed them deliberately because they
25 knew that they would draw a response from the JNA. They needed human
1 victims in order to attract the pity of Europe."
2 So today as you sit there -- sit here in this courtroom, you
3 actually believe, don't you, sir, that the Croats deliberately caused the
4 murders of civilians in Saborsko in order to get the pity of Europe?
5 That's what you believe, isn't it, sir?
6 A. I said that to the first group of European Community monitors who
7 came to Plaski, and I compared this to people misusing their children and
8 sending them begging in cities of western Europe. That's a comparison I
10 Q. And you still believe that as you sit here today, don't you, sir?
11 You haven't changed your view on that at all. You still believe it today;
13 A. You should view these events in the context of the events of the
14 time. You should see who was in power in Croatia at the time and who was
15 making decisions in Croatia at the time.
16 Q. Could you just answer my question, please? You still believe
17 that, don't you, sir?
18 A. I'm firmly convinced of it.
19 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I have no further questions. Thank
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 Mr. Milovancevic.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Before I put a few questions to the witness, I wish to draw
25 attention to the fact that my learned friend has used up two and a half
1 more time than the time used for the direct examination. In principle,
2 the Defence has no objection to my learned friend doing his job, and we
3 believe he needs to take as much time as he needs to arrive at important
4 information, information important to him. The reason I'm saying this is
5 that the Chamber should keep in mind that estimates are one thing, and
6 without anybody being at fault, the time that actually has to be taken can
7 be longer.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. The Chamber has to respond
9 what you're saying, sir. I just want to say to you the Chamber is -- has
10 noted the time taken by the Prosecution in cross-examination. The Chamber
11 has noted the time taken by the Defence in leading this witness, and the
12 Chamber has noted that the Prosecution also did indicate at the beginning
13 of its cross-examination that there are issues that were raised by the
14 Defence in the leading which had not been mentioned in the summary that
15 was given to the Prosecution and that the Chamber does intend dealing with
16 this question at the end of this witness's testimony and regrets that you
17 raised this issue while the witness is here.
18 You may proceed.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Do you remember, sir, that my learned friend
22 asked you about the date when the victims at Glibodol Kriz were
23 discovered. Do you remember that question?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Do you remember that you pointed to the log of Tactical Group 2,
1 which says that between the 7th and 8th of November, 1991, it was
2 discovered that three men were killed and their names are listed. Do you
3 remember that?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to the
7 Q. I would ask you --
8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: What are you talking about? This log saying that
9 the discovery was made between the 7th and the 8th? I don't remember
10 that. The translation I got is do you remember that you pointed to that
11 log of Tactical Group 2 which says that between the 7th and the 8th of
12 November it was discovered that three men were killed. If this is really
13 what we saw in this log.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was simply
15 trying to introduce the topic and get the witness to know what we are
16 talking about. I may have interpreted something in a way which is not the
17 best way, but I am simply leading up to a question I want to put to the
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Please ask a question.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your
21 Honour. Excuse me.
22 Could we look at Exhibit 108. It's the operation log of Tactical
23 Group 2. Page 3 in B/C/S, 7799 in the upper right-hand corner. And it's
24 ordinal number 13, entry 13, that is, in the logbook.
25 Q. Do you see the date next to entry 13? It says Glibodolski Kriz
1 between the 7th and 8th of November, 1991?
2 A. I have a page showing entries, 1, 2, 3 and 4.
3 Q. Could we please turn to page 3, 7799. Yes. Yes. Thank you.
4 This is it.
5 Entry 13 in the first column, it says Glibodolski Kriz between the
6 7th and 8th of November, 1991. Do you see this?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I will read out the text to you. "Between the 7th and 8th of
9 November, 1991, in the area of Glibodolski Kriz, three members of TO
10 Plaski were killed as follows: Last name Susnjar, son of Vaso Stevo; and
11 Susnjar, son of Djuro Milan; and Petrovic, son of Milan Bogdan." Do you
12 see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And then in column 4 there's a signature. It's not very clear but
15 can one say this is a signature?
16 A. Yes, it's a signature.
17 Q. In the fifth column, it says "TO Plaski." This fifth column on
18 the front page is entitled "Note." Do you see that it says "TO Plaski"?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. My question is as follows: Do you know how it was possible to
21 establish that the three men bearing these names were killed? How could
22 it have come to light that they were killed? They might have been missing
23 or whatever. So what is your opinion?
24 A. My opinion is that you can say someone has been killed when you
25 find his body and establish that he is really dead and when the body is
2 Q. The Prosecutor showed you a part of Latas's report where it says
3 that underneath the carcasses of two horses a human leg was discovered.
4 Do you remember this?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you remember that the Prosecutor also showed you a part of the
7 report which says, "We interrupted digging because night fell, and we
8 continued on the following day"?
9 A. Yes, I remember. That's also there.
10 Q. Does this, in your opinion, confirm what you have just said, that
11 the victims could have been identified only after they were dug up?
12 MR. WHITING: I'm going to object to the leading nature of these
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave I
16 will withdraw my question and will not follow up on this in this way.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me give you advice for what it is worth, Mr.
18 Milovancevic, because I think the Chamber has talked about this to you a
19 lot of times during this trial.
20 You know, you weaken the weight of your own witness's testimony if
21 you keep leading, and it doesn't help you to say, "Okay. I'm going to
22 lead, and when I get caught I'm going to say I withdraw. Sorry, sorry."
23 You have weakened your testimony already by that time. The weight to be
24 attached to that -- this is counsel testifying, not the witness
1 So I would like to urge you to please refrain from leading and
2 just try to ask questions and not give answers. Let's get the answers
3 from the witness. You -- this is your witness. The only person who can
4 lead is the cross-examiner.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in principle I
6 fully agree, but in this particular case I did not think I was putting a
7 leading question because of the witness's previous answer. I wanted to
8 bring things -- to carry this through all the way to the end, but as my
9 learned friend raised an objection, I desisted.
10 May I proceed, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Q. Mr. Medakovic, do you remember that you asked to be shown the
14 front page of this report?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Could we please have a look at page 1 of this log. 7797 in the
17 upper right-hand corner. Yes. Let's look at columns 2 and 3, not column
18 1. So could we scroll down a bit.
19 In column -- or, rather, in row 2, in entry 2, it says: "Slunj
20 barracks, 4th November, 1991, 2200 hours." And next to it says: "At
21 around 2200 hours, the forces of the MUP and ZNG illuminated the barracks
22 in Slunj, and after that they opened fire from artillery weapons."
23 Do you see this before you? This was on the 4th of November,
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In entry 3 where it says Slunj, and the date is the 5th of
2 November, 1991, it says: "Around 1800 hours, from the area of Glibodolski
3 Kriz, forces of the ZNG and MUP began firing on Licka Jasenica on the fuel
4 depot in Licka Jasenica. The firing lasted until 2200 hours. Enemy
5 forces fired from the areas of Alan and Veliki Sivnik. The fire was
6 responded to by artillery fire with 26 shells."
7 A. Yes, that's what I was talking about. Let me remind you that Alan
8 and Veliki Sivnik are elevations in the area of Saborsko.
9 Q. In entry 4 on this same page, again it says Slunj. The date is
10 the 7th of November, 1991.
11 A. Can we scroll down, because I don't see entry 4 now.
12 Q. It says here: "Firing on the barracks, Licka Jasenica and forces
13 of TO Plaski. Fire was opened from MB," and I believe this means
14 mortar, "and a Browning by ZNG forces from the direction of Saborsko,
15 Bozin Vhr and other directions."
16 A. Yes, and another elevation is mentioned but it's illegible.
17 Q. Let's look at the next page, 7798 in B/C/S. It's entry 5. It
18 says: "5, Licka Jasenica, 7th of November, 1991." I won't read out the
19 whole text because it's quite long, but in this first column there are
20 many indications of the time, 1600 hours, 1630, 1645, 1700 hours, 2000
21 hours. Do you see this?
22 A. Yes, yes, all the way down to entry 8.
23 Q. Do you see that next to entry 5 it says: "Licka Jasenica 7th of
24 November, 1991." And it says: "Suffering strong firing from Saborsko and
25 Glibodol on the barracks." And then in entry 6 it says: "Extremely
1 strong attack on the barracks in Licka Jasenica by the ZNG."
2 A. Yes, I see all that.
3 Q. And next to where it says 2000 hours in entry 8 it says: "One
4 soldier killed. Barracks defended."
5 Is this what you were talking about when answering to questions
6 put both by the Defence and my learned friend? You were explaining that
7 for three days you participated in fighting around the barracks in Licka
9 A. Yes. And it says clearly that the TO positions are near to the
10 barracks. That's in entry 8. So the operation of defending the barracks
11 was finished on the 8th at 2000 hours.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe it's a
14 convenient time for a break.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. We'll take a break
16 and come back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Before the break, you looked at the contents of the operational
22 log of the Tactical Group 2, the entry concerning the length of the attack
23 on Licka Jasenica. Do you recall that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. When did that incident at Glibodolski Kriz take place as a result
1 of which there were three human corpses and horse carcasses?
2 A. In my testimony I said that this took place in the period during
3 which the attack lasted. I don't know when it took place, but it was
4 uncovered on the 7th or 8th. I said I could not recall the date
6 Q. Thank you. Do you remember the Prosecutor asking you about the
7 strength of Tactical Group 2?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Let us please turn to one Prosecution document. According to my
10 notes, this is 65 ter, document 1247. That is the only marking I have,
12 You have before you this specific document. To gain time, I will
13 read what is contained in the upper-left corner. "5th military district
14 command, strictly confidential, 23rd October, 1991." Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Do you see the text below the setting up of Tactical Group 2
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Do you see the text immediately below the title we have just read
20 out? The text reads as follows: "Pursuant to the directive of the
21 Federal Secretariat for National Defence for the use of forces," and I
22 will now skip the numbers, "dated 20 September 1991, and based on the need
23 that has arisen and with a view to making the command and control system
24 more efficient, I hereby order." Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, on the matter of the strength of Tactical Group 2, I will
2 read out item 1 of the order, which says: "Setting up TG-2 with the
3 following composition," and now we have several entries there. I will
4 read them out, not the abbreviations that are stated here but the full
5 text, and you will tell me whether this corresponds in fact to the text
6 here. Therefore, "I order under 1 to set up TG-2 of the following
7 make-up." First entry: "Armoured battalion of the 4th armoured brigade."
8 Next entry: "Mixed artillery battalion of 560th mixed artillery brigade."
9 MR. WHITING: I'm just -- since this is re-examination, I'm just
10 wondering why it wouldn't be better just to let the witness read the
11 abbreviations and says what he knows about them rather than counsel giving
12 his version of what the abbreviations mean and leading the witness that
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree. Perhaps
16 the witness should start from the beginning. If that will make the
17 matters more clear, then I agree, but I wanted to save us time.
18 Please start reading from the beginning.
19 A. "Set up TG-2 of the following make-up: Armoured battalion from
20 the 4th armoured brigade. Next entry: Mixed artillery battalion,
21 abbreviation MAD, from the 506th mixed artillery brigade. Third entry:
22 Light anti-aircraft artillery battalion (mixed of 306th light artillery
23 regiment of the anti-aircraft defence). 185th Slunj training grounds
24 signals platoon from 367th Signals Regiment. Security company from the
25 mixed" -- I'm not sure about the -- "65th ZATP Reconnaissance Platoon.
1 Platoon from 113th Engineers Brigade and then the automobile squad
2 from" -- I'm not sure about 243rd. I believe the automobile unit.
3 Q. The text you just read out, based on your knowledge and knowledge
4 of the terrain is consistent with what TG-2 consisted of?
5 A. Yes. And these forces were mostly stationed at the Slunj training
6 grounds, all the forces mentioned here.
7 Q. Thank you. Since it is possible for the term "divisione" in B/C/S
8 to cause confusion, because it may be confused with "divisione." Can you
9 please explain for us what this is? The second entry says "MAD, mixed
10 artillery divisione." What is that unit?
11 A. In 1985, 1986, I served the army in Zadar in the artillery branch,
12 and I know that the mixed artillery divisione or artillery battalion
13 consists of several batteries. The battery corresponds to a company in
14 the infantry forces, and the battery is used for artillery units. The MAD
15 abbreviation is normally used in reference to artillery pieces such as
16 howitzers and in reference to anti-armour combat.
17 Q. Thank you. In item 3 of this order it is stated: "The task of
18 the command of TG-2 is to coordinate the activities of the units of the
19 JNA in the Slunj training grounds." Could we please scroll down a bit to
20 see item 3 in its entirety. Thank you. "Therefore, the task of TG-2 is
21 to unify, coordinate the activities of the JNA units in the Slunj training
22 grounds and the units of the TO [indiscernible] in Plaski, in the area of
24 Were there -- were their activities, in fact coordinated?
25 A. Yes, I am aware of all these locations mentioned here and I went
1 to all these places.
2 Q. Thank you. We don't need this document any more. Could we please
3 look at the following document, Exhibit 52.
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Milovancevic, I wonder if I could hear a bit
5 more about a battery and what the function of the battery is, how it
6 operates. I'm interested to know.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Medakovic, you've heard Her Honour Judge Nosworthy. Can you
9 tell us what is a battery in the framework of artillery?
10 A. Yes. The battery is the basic unit consisting of several
11 platoons. Each platoon must have at least two artillery pieces which can
12 be either a cannon or a 120-millimetre mortar or a howitzer. The battery,
13 therefore, consists of four to six artillery pieces, either mortars,
14 howitzers, or cannons. There was at least at the time I served the
15 obligatory military service, but I don't think much had changed in these
16 five years.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, do you wish us to
19 expound on this issue of batteries or does this suffice?
20 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: It will suffice for the time being. Thank you.
21 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I would just like to add that we discuss now
22 Exhibit 50, court Exhibit 50, and now you are changing the subject, aren't
23 you? Just for the record.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes,
25 that's correct.
1 Can we please now turn to Exhibit 52.
2 Q. Mr. Medakovic, you recall the Prosecutor showing you the order
3 issued by the 13th command -- 13th Corps Command addressed to the command
4 of Tactical Group 2. This document was also shown to you in direct
6 A. Yes, I remember that.
7 Q. The Prosecutor read out item 1 of the order, which we can see now
8 on our screens, and it reads: "Order for attack." Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, I see that clearly.
10 Q. Thank you. Item 1 reads: "The forces of MUP and ZNG of Croatia
11 have for some time now been fortifying themselves in the sectors of Borik
12 Hill, the villages of Saborsko, Funtana, Panjici and Kuselj." I will skip
13 one part just to remind you of the text. "Toward the end of the paragraph
14 the Prosecutor quoted that the enemy was not organising classical defence
15 but was getting entrenched and using the pillbox system of gun machine
16 emplacements and buildings (basements)." Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Within item 1 the locations where enemy forces are stationed are
19 mentioned, and one entry reads as follows: "In the area of the village of
20 Borik, there are six gun machine emplacements, and at the edge of the
21 village or to the south of the village around 50 Ustashas are located."
22 It goes on to say that: "To the south of the village of Tuk
23 there is a light machine-gun emplacement and in the area to the
24 north-west -- or to the area to the south of the village there were two
25 gun machine emplacements. Then to the north-west of Alan, an unknown
1 number are stationed and in the nearby grove there are 200 Ustashas and
2 the air forces fired upon them. In the village of Saborsko, the strength
3 of the enemy is estimated at 150 Ustashas and the same number of them is
4 estimated to be stationed in the village of Funtana. In the slopes of
5 Mali Sevnic, 82-millimetre mortars in unknown numbers and to the west
6 there are light machine-gun and machine-gun emplacements. And to the
7 south of that area on the dirt road there, there are also gun machine
8 emplacements. And then in the village of Kusan, again, the presence of
9 the enemy was detected but the numbers are unknown." Do you see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. On page 2 of the document, right below the text we've just been
12 reading, below item 3 or, rather, midway through item 3, the following
13 words are contained that's 7774, "I hereby order." That's the very top of
14 page 7774. That's page 2 in B/C/S.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Milovancevic. Suddenly my English
16 version has disappeared from my screen and the B/C/S version has jumped up
17 on my screen.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We
19 have page 2 in B/C/S. I'd like to know whether the difficulty you had
20 with your version has been solved.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Tell us what paragraph are you looking
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: What paragraph are you reading at page 2. I'm
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for your benefit,
2 this order has detailed specific orders under items 1, 2, 3. We are
3 looking at -- at item 3, the third paragraph of item 3, which starts with
4 the following words: "I hereby -- I have decided". And it goes on to
5 say: "From --"
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. Thank
9 Q. Mr. Medakovic, I will put only some portions of the text to you,
10 and I will be skipping others to show you what the aim of the order
11 is. "I have decided to carry out an order in the villages of Kusan and
12 Funtana and Licka Jasenica and Saborsko with the following objective:
13 Along the mentioned axis, crush and destroy the enemy formations in the
14 area of Saborsko, prevent them from pulling out to the north and thus
15 definitely crush their resistance in the area."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The next item is item 5. Item 5 again contains a part of the
19 order relating to the 5th Partisan Brigade.
20 MR. WHITING: You know, Your Honour, I don't want to kind of delay
21 things even more than they are, but I'm just not sure I see the point in
22 reading out this document point by point which is already in evidence.
23 There have been no real questions about -- it's just is this in the order,
24 is this in the order and that was the same with one of the previous
25 exhibits and I just don't see the point of it.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm just sort of trying to exercise my patience to
2 wait for a question.
3 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it won't take
5 long, and I would really ask for you to be patient. I think it's very
7 Q. Therefore, item 5 of the order reads that -- or, rather, let's
8 look at line 3 of item 5. "We'll attack along the axis of the villages of
9 Kusan and Funtana with the following task: The forceful engagement of the
10 tanks and infantry should crush the enemy present along the mentioned
12 Do you see that, Witness?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. In item 7 of the order entitled "Fire support," can we please
15 scroll down to see item 7, "Fire support." Under (A), air support. "As
16 part of fire preparations, air force will launch an attack to neutralise
17 the targets in the areas of villages of Borik, Alan, Saborsko, and the
18 village of Funtana." Do you see that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Under (B) it says artillery support. Do you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Below the heading "Tasks," under artillery support --
23 A. Which is on the next page.
24 Q. Yes. That's on page 3 in B/C/S, and then we will come to the end
25 of the part of the document that is of interest to us. Within item 7
1 we're turning to page 3 in B/C/S, which is page 7775, and there the tasks
2 of artillery support are listed. "The rocket launcher, 128-millimetre,
3 will be active with the following tasks," and then you have the
4 tasks. "Neutralise, and there are abbreviations ZS and VS of the enemy in
5 the sectors of the villages of Borik, Tuk, Brdine, Alan and the village of
6 Saborsko." Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you tell us what this "neutralise Z/S V/S of the enemy,"
9 what does this mean?
10 A. Z/S means manpower and V/S means weaponry.
11 Q. Does this mean that the task of TG-2 is to neutralise the manpower
12 and the weaponry of the enemy in the areas mentioned therein?
13 A. Yes, that's precisely what it says.
14 Q. Finally, does this order or any other order that has been
15 presented to you here state as a target objective or axis of engagement
16 to -- or, rather, does it state as a target objective or axis of
17 engagement Glibodolski Kriz?
18 A. No, I haven't seen that anywhere.
19 Q. Thank you. We've finished with this document, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I ask the witness about this document one
21 general question. Who is the author of this order?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the beginning we said it said
23 command of the 13th corps, forward command post, village of Mukinje,
24 Plitvice. I looked at the signature. This colonel later became General
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And how does this document look like to you? This
2 is a carbon copy, it seems, with some added words in the beginning. Would
3 you agree?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see the beginning of the
5 document now. I can see --
6 JUDGE HOEPFEL: [Previous translation continues] ... page 1 of the
7 B/C/S original. Of the B/C/S original, yes. I'm addressing the question
8 of authenticity of this document. This seems to be a carbon copy, doesn't
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what I see, it does
11 look like a copy, because in the corner you can see where it was stapled
12 together, and in the upper right-hand corner underneath where it
13 says "Military secret, strictly confidential," it says: "Hand over
14 directly to the forward command post 13th Mukinje at 0730 hours, 9th of
15 November, 1991." This means that whoever wrote this was writing on the
16 7th and the order was that it should be handed over directly at the
17 forward command post two days later on the 9th of November. And section 1
18 toward -- 1:50000, referring to Bihac 1, Karlovac 3, Ogulin 4 and Gospic 2
19 is typed differently. These are military maps where you can see the
20 layout of the terrain.
21 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you. And have you seen this document
22 before, or only here in the trial?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was not addressed to company
24 commanders. I did not receive any written orders. The battalion
25 commander only told me the axes and the time.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Would you regard this document authentic, a real
2 order of that time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, especially in view of the fact
4 that certain abbreviations are skipped over which only the JNA used. I
5 mean when counsel was reading allowed, he skipped over some things such as
6 TT, meaning trig point, and other abbreviations which I remember were used
7 by the JNA. This is the form, the pattern in which orders were issued in
8 that army.
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you. And the fact that there is a signature
10 but no stamp at the end as we saw that doesn't cause any special doubts
11 about authenticity?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't believe that military units
13 at that level had stamps. It was the military post that used to have
14 those stamps. It would say VP.
15 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you very much. That was all about this
16 document. Please, my -- oh, just a second, please.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE HOEPFEL: You can continue.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. In connection with this document which we have just shown you and
23 discussed, can you tell us one thing, please. In your opinion, the events
24 at Glibodolski Kriz, that is the cruel murder of three territorials, was
25 that the reason why this order was issued by the JNA?
1 A. These two events are not connected at all. Evidently the
2 commander of the 13th Corps and the Operative Group and the commander of
3 Tactical Group 2 did not know that this had occurred when they wrote these
4 orders. There's a difference in time, and it's clear from these
5 documents. I think these are two entirely separate events.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Medakovic, when you mentioned the action in
7 Saborsko and linked it to the events at Glibodolski Kriz, why did you do
9 MR. WHITING: I'm wondering if it could be clarified when he's
10 talking about. Is he talking about in his letter of the 13th of November,
11 or is he talking about in his testimony here in court on Monday.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Or both.
13 JUDGE HOEPFEL: What do you mean?
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, both. It is
15 both. The letter cannot be separated from his testimony, especially in
16 view of these numerous questions. So in view of his entire testimony and
17 all his explanations, I'm asking why he mentioned this.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I explained yesterday --
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The Chamber has to rule.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, there's nothing to rule on because it's just a
21 request that you explain what you are linking it to and you have
22 explained. What I wanted to find out from Mr. Whiting and Judge Hoepfel
23 was whether they're satisfied with your answer. Go ahead.
24 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This would make it a double question, actually.
25 Maybe you can ask it for the letter and then maybe for some statement
1 here. These are two different actions.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank
4 Q. Yesterday, you spoke in detail about that letter. Can you add
5 anything to the explanation you gave, or do you wish to change something,
6 or do you still abide by it?
7 A. I abide by what I said.
8 Q. Thank you. That's sufficient. When you mentioned Glibodolski
9 Kriz in your testimony here, and the action in Saborsko, what kind of
10 connection did you make between the two?
11 A. The beginning of the action took place after the events at
12 Glibodolski Kriz.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that my learned friend asked you how
14 it came about that Plaski was blocked, and you said that you went towards
15 Gracac or Vrhovine at least twice a month. Do you remember that question?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Do you remember that you replied that on two occasions or, rather,
18 at least twice a month you took a forest trail to Vrhovine and that your
19 life was always in danger?
20 A. Yes. I first said always, then often, and then the Prosecutor
21 made an inappropriate remark.
22 Q. The Prosecutor's remark to what you said about your life being
23 threatened. Let me ask you this: Did others use those forest trails in
24 order to reach certain destinations? I'm referring to civilians, to other
25 people from Plaski and the surrounding area.
1 A. I mentioned that that forest trail was used only in cases of
2 extreme necessity, and those three poor people who ended up the way they
3 did at Glibodolski Kriz used it. I had to use it because I had to
4 maintain links with the rest of the Krajina. As I was the top man in this
5 conference of municipalities of ours, later our municipality, and we had
6 no telephone connections, we had to rely on personal visits and couriers.
7 We tried to secure the road so that children could go to school, to Rudo
8 Polje. We secured the route and took the children to Rudo Polje no foot
9 risking terrible things along the way.
10 Q. What terrible things?
11 A. This was a forest trail which one could reach from various
12 directions, Lipice, and others.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not catch them all.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All these four directions converge,
15 and someone could approach without being seen by you. It was a place
16 where ambushes could easily be set, and many incidents occurred there.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. When you say it was a place where ambushes could easily be set,
19 who did that? Who -- who laid ambushes?
20 A. Members of the MUP and the ZNG.
21 Q. And what were the results of these incidents? Do you know
22 anything about that?
23 A. Well, the results were that from the area of Dabar, that's a
24 village which you arrive at when you go from Licka Jasenica through the
25 Glibodolski crossing and go straight ahead you come to the village of
1 Dabar which is a mixed village but there were more Serbs there by far, and
2 they had a kind of Territorial Defence company there, and on that road
3 they suffered terrible losses. In the course of only one day, seven
4 people were taken away. Some of them, unfortunately, were minors. They
5 were tortured and killed. And the only exchange carried out when urns
6 containing ashes were returned to the Serb side this happened in Dabar in
7 November 1991. No one has mentioned this here yet.
8 Q. Excuse me. Sorry. Why do you say people were either killed or
9 murdered, but why do you mention these urns? What do they have to do with
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, let me just ask a question. The
12 witness has just said now that nobody has mentioned this in this court.
13 This is completely new evidence, if I am not mistaken. Of what relevance
14 is it to the cross-examination?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned friend
16 made a sarcastic remark when Witness Medakovic said that every time he
17 used a forest trail his life was in danger. He didn't put a question. He
18 just said, really? The witness noticed this. The Prosecutor insists that
19 other roads would have been used, either this long training ground or
20 through the mountains or through the woods. It seems that the Prosecutor
21 thinks this is all the same and it's very relevant to establish whether it
22 was possible to pass through and how. So this is not a new area. It's a
23 response to questions put by the Prosecutor. I will not go further into
24 the events in Dabar. I did not know about this piece of information that
25 the witness is now presenting. That's why I asked. I'm checking to see
1 whether what the witness says is logical.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. As you mentioned urns, why urns? Did you talk about urns of
5 people from Dabar?
6 A. I have to explain what happened. After the Sarajevo truce was
7 signed in late 1991 or early 1992, there was an all for all exchange of
8 prisoners of war and bodies of those killed on both sides. I think that
9 the JNA commission for negotiations was headed by Colonel Svetozar
10 Marjanovic, and if I'm not mistaken, it's the same colonel who signed
11 another agreement. This colonel received these urns from the Croatian
12 sides, and seven names were provided. The rumours were that these bodies
13 were so disfigured that they didn't want them to be seen. In Croatia
14 there are not so many crematoriums, so the question is who cremated the
15 bodies and what they looked like before the cremation.
16 Q. Could we look at Exhibit 23. It's an atlas we often use. The
17 page is page 19. The -- my learned friend gave a number for the page, but
18 I don't have it now. I believe it is page 19. It should be easy to find.
20 JUDGE HOEPFEL: [Microphone not activated]
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank
22 you for your assistance.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: [B/C/S on English channel]
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at page
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Maybe we can enlarge the region between Ogulin and
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That's
4 precisely what I was about to ask. On page 19, the area between Ogulin
5 and Plitvice, could we zoom in on that, please. That's the right-hand
7 JUDGE HOEPFEL: In the middle of the right-hand side.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] This is the left-hand side.
9 We're looking for the right-hand side. And could we scroll down a bit.
10 We see Ogulin now. Can we -- oh, yes. Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Medakovic, do you see the map?
12 A. Yes, yes, quite clearly.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher hand Mr.
14 Medakovic a marker which he could use to mark the places he mentioned on
15 this atlas.
16 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Can we zoom in it would be a very good idea.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] If we could zoom in it would be
18 a good idea.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: The very upper end and Otocac and Plitvice in the
20 lower end. And Plaski would be --
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, this part.
22 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
23 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, I'm not identifying Plitvice. I saw
24 a reference to Plaski right now.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Right lower corner, the lakes, you'll see that.
1 But zoom in a little more. Just click on Plaski so it's better.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Below Poljanak, Your Honours,
3 yes. Plitvice are underneath Poljanak in the right-hand corner, the lower
4 right-hand corner. This is enough.
5 JUDGE HOEPFEL: [Previous translation continues] ... between
6 Plaski, Saborsko, Glibodol.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please focus on Ogulin
8 again on the map. It's in the upper left-hand corner.
9 Q. Please, would you first circle Plaski on this map, Mr. Medakovic.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Can you now circle Saborsko.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. In your evidence, you mentioned Josipdol and Skradnik. Could you
14 please circle those always well.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. You also mentioned Slunj. Please circle it.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. You mentioned Dabar, Stajnica and Lipice. Circle them as well.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. You also mentioned Vrhovine. I not sure whether we can see it on
21 the map. Perhaps we should scroll up a bit. Or, rather, scroll down so
22 we can see the top of the map. Let us see the top of the map. I'm not
23 sure if we actually have to scroll down or up.
24 MR. WHITING: I don't know but I think you lose the marks if you
25 scroll down.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Yes, yes.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think that's enough. I
3 thank my learned friend. I don't think we should deal with this. We will
4 deal with the other place later on. I would like to keep this as a
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I'm hearing the
7 English interpretation now.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we help the witness, please, to make sure he
9 hears the correct interpretation.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Medakovic, can you tell us, at the time of the events you
12 testified about, in 1990, 1991, up until the November attack on Saborsko,
13 in which of these locations were MUP and ZNG forces stationed?
14 A. At Skradnik, Josipdol, Stajnica, Modrusa which is one place along
15 the road from Josipdol to Kapela.
16 Q. Can you please circle Modrus.
17 A. Yes this is the road all the way to Stajnica. Lipice. The
18 village of Dabar was under our control and Drenov Klanac and Brlog at the
19 very bottom of the map was already in the hands of MUP and ZNG.
20 Q. And Saborsko was under whose control?
21 A. Under the control of the MUP and ZNG as were all the locations
22 along the main road to Saborsko across Poljanak, Krakovice and then to
23 Slunj. Rakovice, Poljanak, Saborsko were all places.
24 Q. Can you please circle them.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Am I right in saying that in addition to Plaski in the middle and
2 Dabar for which you said was a mixed village all the other locations were
3 under the control of MUP and ZNG forces at the time?
4 A. Yes. There was also Kamenica, Stradnicka.
5 Q. Yes, please circle it.
6 A. Gornje Premise was under Serb control. Gornji Blagaj under the
7 Croatian control, and all the places from Slunj to Velubno. Velunj.
8 Q. Could you please draw a line from Slunj to Velunj. I wish to
9 tender this document into evidence as a Defence exhibit, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Save it you mean?
11 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Save the page you mean with the markings?
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I wanted
14 this page containing these markings to be admitted into evidence.
15 Judge Nosworthy, I'm sorry, we interrupted you.
16 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: No, no. It's quite all right. I was just
17 wondering if there was some way of distinguishing where the MUP and ZNG
18 forces were stationed and where the Serb forces were stationed. It's all
19 ringed in red now. I wondered if to add greater clarity there was some
20 way of making the distinction.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for this
23 Q. Can you please place a cross on the locations where MUP and ZNG
24 forces were stationed, and this is how we shall interpret them later on.
25 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
1 A. [Marks]
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This remark, we discussed more or less only such
4 places and we didn't go into the details where Serb forces were stationed.
5 It wasn't the only places.
6 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, I thought the witness had mentioned
7 where Serb forces were.
8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Was that the only two places you mentioned,
9 Plaski and -- what was the other one, Licka Jasenica, where Serb forces
10 were stationed?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Halfway between Plaski and
12 Josipdol was where the separation line was. These are inhabited areas,
13 and the front line was closer to Plaski on all the sides. Licka Jasenica
14 is an inhabited place as is Jezero, and that's where the Serb forces were
15 stationed, namely TO. Plaski is the largest inhabited place.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave --
17 MR. WHITING: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
19 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry. I do think that this has now gone way
20 beyond anything I asked on cross-examination. It's new evidence which
21 could have been elicited in the direct examination. You know, for
22 example, he's now talking about Poljanak which consistently in
23 cross-examination he said he knew nothing about and now he's making
24 representations about what happened there. So I'm just a little bit -- I
25 think this really has gone beyond anything that I asked about on the
1 cross-examination. This is all new, new evidence that is coming in.
2 Also, we don't know what dates we are talking about. This is sort of
3 vague time periods. I think this has gone beyond.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I find it hard to
6 agree with my learned friend. My learned friend has in the course of
7 cross-examination asked about the actions of MUP and ZNG forces from
8 Ogulin and Saborsko toward Glibodolski Kriz. He asked about the conflict
9 on the 22nd of July near Ostarije and Josipdol. He spoke of the front
10 line. He mentioned all these places, and he claimed -- and this
11 particular map has to do with the part of the cross-examination where the
12 Prosecutor stated that the Serbs from Plaski could move freely and that it
13 was no hindrance to them the fact that the road was blocked. I wanted the
14 Bench to have an idea of where these locations are and where the forces
15 were stationed so that you can interpret what the witness is testifying
16 about and to see the points made both by the Prosecution and Defence.
17 Therefore, I can't see how this document can be superfluous, especially
18 with regard to the fact that the Prosecutor used maps in his examination
19 of this very area and of -- involving these very locations.
20 MR. WHITING: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The only problem about what I see about what's
22 happening now, Mr. Milovancevic, is that you're giving details of
23 positions of these -- whatever you call these MUPs and what have you,
24 which you should have done in your examination-in-chief. You're now
25 behaving like a cross-examiner instead of a re-examiner, and that is the
1 only problem I have with this. Surely it was within your power to lead
2 this evidence in its entirety in the beginning to show why the MUP of
3 the -- of the JNA or the JNA itself took the particular routes that it
4 took because other routes were blocked by the MUP of the ZNG. You're
5 coming up with this -- this necessitates a further cross-examination of
6 this witness on these issues. This is the problem. Because it is now new
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm telling you, unless you're saying I'm wrong.
10 And I don't deny that I could be wrong.
11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, if I may.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, allow me, please,
13 to be of assistance. Since His Honour Judge Moloto addressed me, I ask my
14 learned friend to allow me to go first.
15 In direct examination, the witness mentioned each and every one of
16 these locations as the locations where the Croatian forces were stationed
17 at. The only thing we didn't do was mark these places on the map. Since
18 in the course of cross-examination the Prosecutor insisted on matters that
19 were the opposite of what the witness stated, I wanted to have them down
20 on the map. There is not a single new piece of evidence of fact here
21 except that we are able to see these locations now.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... mentioned in
23 evidence in chief then there's no need to repeat them. You're just
24 rehashing the evidence in chief again and it is unfortunately taking a lot
25 of the precious time that we need to finalise the case. You don't need to
1 rehash. Whether you did mark them or didn't mark them, they are in
2 evidence. Exhibit 23 is an exhibit. When the judgement has been drafted,
3 we will look at them and we will circle them. We'll say, what date did
4 they mention these places? Where are they on the map? We'll find them.
5 Circling them if you have mentioned them doesn't take your case any
6 further. But anyway, before I ask Judge Hoepfel to say something, Mr.
7 Whiting, you wanted to say something?
8 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I don't want to drag this out, but I
9 would respond to two things. One, I never suggested that the Serbs could
10 move freely. I only suggested that this witness was able to travel
11 outside of Plaski two times a month and that's all I put to him. So this
12 elaborate long re-examination based on that point to show, you know, where
13 the forces were in the whole region is not justified by that.
14 The second point is that it's not true that all of these locations
15 were mentioned. That's not true. In fact, the contrary. It is the
16 contrary. And I would object to this being made an exhibit and I think we
17 should move on in the re-examination.
18 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This is exactly what I wanted to say, that I don't
19 remember all these places having been mentioned.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't remember myself, but I was saying --
21 assuming that short memory and particularly because I'm dealing with names
22 that I don't know. It is in this that all of these names were mentioned
23 in evidence in-chief. Mr. Milovancevic, as a result, there is an
24 objection to that admission of this page. Do you have a response to the
25 objection? We have moved away from what you were saying now.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Also to the examination in cross.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have come to the
3 very end of my re-examination. This was my last question. I just wanted
4 to state this clearly. That's one point. The other point is that the
5 witness, at the outset of his direct examination explained the setting up
6 of the association of local communes involving Plaski and all the other
7 places and he clearly listed the places where the Croats were in the
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt you. Not Croats being the
10 majority, where the MUPs were existing. Can you refer us to the text on
11 the transcript in the examination-in-chief?
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... standing
14 there and trying to explain. Just refer us to where the witness mentioned
15 all these names in the examination, because I've got to rule on the
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I can't find it now, Your
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: You'd better find them.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] But I can inquire -- Your
21 Honour, I desist from this question. If this is causing confusion, well,
22 then this is something I do not need. I cannot find it at this time. I
23 withdraw this question, and I find what the witness says stated so far
24 sufficient. Therefore, the map need not be admitted into evidence as a
25 document. I believe my questions will suffice. My re-examination is
1 complete, and I thank the witness for his patience.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. The
3 objection is upheld and the -- that page will not be made an exhibit or be
4 saved as -- in the form in which it was circled.
5 Any questions, Judge.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE HOEPFEL: While we have this on the screen, I would like you
8 to give us an idea about the distance between certain locations. First,
9 how many kilometres it is between Plaski centre and Ogulin centre about?
10 A. I don't have to tell you approximately. It's exactly 26
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I'm assuming you would know that. And then Plaski
13 to Licka Jasenica it's something like 10 kilometres.
14 A. That's correct.
15 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Between Licka Jasenica and Saborsko it's 6 or
17 A. Roughly 6 to 7 depending on which part of Saborsko you're looking
18 at. I don't have the map anymore.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Saborsko is a street -- village and then of course
20 there's different distances. Yes. That's about all. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Judge.
22 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I don't have further questions.
23 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Yes. I do have a couple of questions.
24 Mr. Medakovic, is it? I wanted to ask you about the training at
25 Gula beach. Who was it who trained you? Who gave you your training?
1 A. By coincidence, my instructor and commander was one and the same
2 person, Stevo Plejo.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter isn't sure about the last name.
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Could you repeat the last name for the purposes
5 of our interpreter. Thank you.
6 A. The witness who testified before me in this case, Stevo Plejo.
7 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: What were the ages of the persons being trained
8 with you?
9 A. The eldest was around 40, and the rest were between 25 and 30
10 years of age, but most of them were young-ish people.
11 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Whilst you were receiving your training at
12 Golubic, did you see the accused, Mr. Martic, there at any time?
13 A. The training took place outside the area except for the training
14 that took place on a concrete strip. We would go out into the forest. I
15 had occasion to see only my immediate commander. The training would start
16 with jogging, a 7 kilometre jog, and then we would have other training.
17 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Please bear in mind the question I had asked
18 you, which was whether or not you had seen the accused whilst you were
19 training at Golubic. You're taking the point that your training did not
20 take place there but it took place elsewhere. So maybe you could answer
21 in respect of the two. Firstly, where it is that you physically had your
22 training. Did you see the accused at any time and also did you see him at
23 Golubic training ground?
24 A. In my evidence here, I stated that I saw him before I went for my
25 training. During the training I no longer saw him.
1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Very well. So the answer is a simple no.
2 A. No. Yes. You asked me where the training took place. As one
3 left the compound, there was a small pine wood there and a lake.
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: [Previous translation continues]... took place.
5 You actually gave that answer to me, but I really wanted to find out about
6 Mr. Martic and whether you had seen him at any of those two locations, and
7 I take it that in relation to the training ground, you are saying, no, you
8 did not see him at Golubic, nor when you were doing your training. And
9 I'm going to leave that area now unless your answer has been misunderstood
10 by me.
11 The next question for my own education, in military terms, what is
12 an axis?
13 A. Axis, if it's been interpreted well, well, the axis means the
14 direction of the attack. You have the starting point and then a line
15 leading you to another place. So we will move along the axis, meaning the
16 line connecting two places, the point of departure and the point of
18 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: It may be a gender thing, because my two male
19 colleagues do not appear to be in difficulty there. I'm going to go on to
20 another area now.
21 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I appreciate your clarification.
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much, Judge Hoepfel for
23 reassuring me. I'm not at a disability by virtue of my gender.
24 It has to do with the functions of the Special Purpose Unit, and I
25 believe you gave your evidence and you said in part the function was to
1 materialise the will of the people. Do you recall that?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I must confess that I didn't quite understand
4 what you meant, and I would like you to tell me what it means, to
5 materialise the will of the people as one of the duties of the Special
6 Purpose Unit.
7 A. The will of the people as expressed at the referendum on annexing
8 to Krajina and on abandoning the Korenica municipality. This meant that
9 the local communes of Vojnovac, Latine, Plaski, Plavca Draga, Jajan Goran,
10 Licka Jasenica would operate as an area secured by the police forces loyal
11 to the SUP of Krajina. This was the will of the majority of the people
12 expressed at the referendum. We merely operationalised it, which meant
13 that we had our own police force on our own territory.
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: So how would the will of the people be effected
15 or materialised?
16 A. Precisely by establishing full control over the material,
17 preventing the arrival of the Croatian police, and that police force was
18 not welcome at the time. If there is the Krajina police force, then the
19 MUP of Croatia can no longer have any authority there. They're mutually
21 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I crave your indulgence. One moment, please.
22 Thank you very much, Mr. Medakovic.
23 I'm finished. Thank you, Judge.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 Mr. Medakovic --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm also going to start off by asking you questions
3 relating to your military -- your training at Golubic. When you gave your
4 evidence in-chief, I remember you saying something to -- I'm not quoting
5 you, but I'm just sort of giving you the subject that you talked about.
6 When you talked about your training, you said you were jumping off wooden
7 walls, and it was a simple military training. Do you remember that?
8 A. I remember saying that we would descend wooden wall. We would be
9 descending along ropes. And then I don't know if I mentioned that the
10 first day we were instructed how to load and unload a rifle, which I found
11 quite elementary. But we were divided into small groups.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: You did mention that, yes. You did mention that
13 you were taught on how to load and unload a rifle, and you did say you
14 found it quite elementary because you had undergone military training.
15 What I'm trying to suggest -- what I'm trying to find out from you
16 is that having told us what you went through, you gave a general
17 description of the training, and you said simple military training. Do
18 you remember that? I'd like you to focus on that.
19 A. I believe I spoke of the police training of the special police
20 force. I don't think that I used the term "military," although the
21 training is quite similar. I said that we had the training for marching
22 group, about left, about right, and those sort of orders, when we were in
23 a line. So that's the term I might have used.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm telling you the term you used. You
25 said "Simple military training." I might not be able to get you to that
1 because these pages change every day and I'm not sufficiently computer
2 literate when the pages have changed. It's better to ask you questions on
3 the same day as you testified, then I can refer to the pages correctly.
4 But this was quite early in your testimony, and I'm going to try and find
5 the place.
6 A. Your Honour, I don't know how this -- oh, it's drill. It's drill.
7 This is the training --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second. Just a second. Don't talk too
9 much. Let's find the --
10 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This is page 8969, line 1.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't have that page. I still have page --
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: The 9th of October.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: I must click on 9th of October.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, in the English it says at page 8969: "We
16 spent the longest time on establishment, movement, sweeping of terrain.
17 Simple military training. Getting to know your weapons, how to handle
18 them and so on." That's the answer from you as we've got it on the
19 transcript. Okay? Can you see that?
20 A. That's what it says. I didn't say cleansing, I said sweeping of
21 the terrain.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I didn't say cleansing either. I said sweeping.
23 Just a minute. I'll tell you what I said. Yes, what we've got here is
24 sweeping. But be that as it may, it's time now for the break. We'll take
25 a break and come back at half past 12.00, and we'll carry on when you come
1 back. Court adjourned.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.03 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, before we went on the break, you were saying
5 that you did not use the word "sweeping," you used the word "cleansing,"
6 and so that -- or the other way around, or whatever it is. So that we can
7 move forward and not waste time, that's not where I'm focusing my
8 attention at the moment, and I'm prepared to concede that we use the word
9 you want used there.
10 What I do want you to concentrate on, and please try to
11 concentrate on what I'm saying, is the little sentence composed of three
12 words "Simple military training." Remember that? Can you see it now on
13 the screen? Well, you may not see it on the screen, but do you remember
14 saying that?
15 A. Your Honour, I'm certain I said "simple drill." I don't know how
16 the word "drill" was interpreted. I did not use the term "military
17 training," because I had done my military service and I know what military
18 service implies. I had even been a squad leader in the JNA. We had
19 simple drills.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Be that as it may, after your training, one of the
21 things that you did with your group was to form the right flank of the
22 attack on Saborsko; is that correct?
23 A. One can't say after the training. It was six months after the
24 training, Your Honours, and the unit no longer existed as such. I was not
25 its commander at the time that I commanded the group that was in the right
1 flank. I spoke about that at length.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: What unit did you command when you were
3 commanding -- when you formed part of the right flank of the attack on
5 A. The unit that was assigned to me numbered about 60 men. They
6 comprised active-duty and reserve policemen, police who had formerly been
7 part of that unit which I led to Knin, and volunteers from other parts of
8 the Plaski Territorial Defence brigade. Altogether, the manpower was
9 about 60.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Therefore, some of the people that you were with --
11 in training with in Knin were part of the 60 men that you commanded when
12 you were -- when you formed the right flank of the attack on Saborsko; is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes, you are correct. Yes.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was part of the materialising of the will of
16 the people, was it?
17 A. I am not linking up the two. What I said was that on our return
18 from our training, we materialised the will of the people, because apart
19 from that police squad, we also did policework within the conference of
20 local communes. So my response when I spoke about materialising the will
21 of the people, this did not refer to Saborsko. There is a time distance
22 of six months between the two.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that you are not saying so, but I
24 am -- please listen to my questions. I'm trying to find out -- you said
25 that -- you explained that by materialising the will of the people was to
1 ensure that the Croatian MUP doesn't come into your way and you fend them
2 off, and I'm just asking you whether it would be fair to say that that --
3 being part of the right flank of the attack on Saborsko was part of the
4 materialising of that will of the people. And you can just say yes, it
5 was, or no, it was not. You don't have to give me a long explanation.
6 A. No. It was part of the operation carried out by Tactical Group 2.
7 I had clear orders as to what I was to do, very clear and precise,
8 specific orders.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. So your answer is really that you were not
10 trained in military-work, in military functions when you were in Golubic?
11 A. That's right, I wasn't.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I'll leave that topic now.
13 You mentioned that from Golubic you were supplied with uniforms
14 and weapons. Do you remember that?
15 A. It was interpreted to me "from there." When we arrived there, we
16 arrived in civilian clothes and unarmed. When we started our training, we
17 were issued with personal weapons, boots, and a uniform.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I implore you once again to please listen to my
19 questions and answer my questions. You know, if I want a full explanation
20 from you, I'll ask for it.
21 What I'm asking you is you were supplied from Golubic with
22 uniforms and weapons. Is it correct or is it not correct? Isn't that
23 what you said?
24 A. Only for those who underwent training. Only the men who went
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of course I'm talking about the men who were
2 undergoing training. Just say yes or say no, sir.
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Can you describe the uniforms
5 that you were supplied with in detail, please? Now I want an explanation
6 from you.
7 A. I remember well, Your Honours. We received two-piece camouflage
8 uniforms. On the sleeve there was the patch shown to me here,
9 semi-circular with the words milicija and Krajina with the Serbian
10 tricolour. We received ankle high boots and on the uniform there was a
11 piece of canvas I found on the uniform with a handwritten message saying
12 may God protect your brother. These were messages from the women who
13 sewed the uniforms. And I kept that piece of canvas with me for a long
14 time. So these were two-piece camouflage uniforms.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that all?
16 A. Yes. We didn't have caps those first days, but later on some
17 people got berets.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any patch on the berets?
19 A. I think it was the Serbian tricolour, but I'm not certain. I
20 received one which was a camouflage beret with no markings.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, you mentioned also in your evidence that you
22 made no ethnic distinctions in the beginning that in fact you had friends
23 among Croats and you all grew up together. Remember that? I'm probably
24 embellishing a little bit, but you made no ethnic distinctions in the
25 beginning. Do you remember that?
1 A. That's right. We didn't grow up together. I grew up in an
2 exclusively Serb community, but we went to school together. When I went
3 to school in Plaski and Ogulin there were some Croats in our class. In
4 fact, in Ogulin they were in the majority.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, if you make no ethnic -- if there were no
6 ethnic distinctions being made -- before I say that, do you also remember
7 saying that you had a checkpoint along the ethnic boundary of Vojnovac?
8 A. One can't say that there were many of them. There was only one at
9 the ramp, at the barricades in Vojnovac. The railway, the railway barrier
10 that is. There was a crossing between the railway track and the asphalt
11 road, and there was a barrier there.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please listen to my questions and please answer my
13 questions. Don't formulate questions for yourself and then go ahead and
14 answer them. I didn't suggest that there were many. I've said: You said
15 in your evidence that there was a checkpoint along the ethnic boundary of
16 Vojnovac. That's one. That's not many. Do you remember saying that?
17 A. Yes, I remember. That's correct.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine. Now, don't waste time.
19 Now, surely if there is this kind of ethnic geographic
20 distinction, then ethnic distinctions were being made.
21 A. The ethnic distinction ran along the border of the local commune,
22 which through a referendum --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I must interrupt you.
24 Ethnic distinctions were being made. Yes or no?
25 A. Borders of territories were drawn up where there was a majority of
1 Croats and a majority of Serbs. We controlled the territory where there
2 was a large Serb majority. On the other side were the Croats and their
3 police. That was the ethnic distinction and the ethnic border.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: So -- and this was done in various areas. Each
5 area had -- was known to be either a majority Croat or a majority Serb.
6 Isn't it so? If not hundred per cent Croat or hundred per cent Serb.
7 A. We were a compact community surrounded on all sides by a Croat
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right. Croat geographic majorities. So
10 there were geographic ethnic distinctions being made. They were not just
11 made socially. They were not just made mentally, recorded mentally. They
12 were actually there geographically, physically on the ground, these
14 A. The Serb people had a referendum where they declared that they --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm going to interrupt you. I'm sorry. I'm not
16 asking you about a referendum. I'm talking to you about distinctions that
17 were being made on the ground geographically even before the referendum.
18 Villages and towns composed of predominantly either Croats or
19 predominantly Serbs. There were geographic distinctions, isn't it?
20 A. Your Honours, I don't understand the term "geographic
21 differences." That's how it was interpreted to me. Distinctions,
22 geographic distinctions. Geography is unified. You can't divide hills
23 and valleys. It's not clear to me. I apologise.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Fine. I'll try to explain myself. The
25 town, for instance, or the village of Saborsko would have been a village
1 composed either entirely or predominantly of a particular ethnic group.
2 Is it not so?
3 A. Correct.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: And some other village, let us say, for instance,
5 Slunj or Poljanak, would be composed of predominantly some other ethnic
6 group. Isn't it so?
7 A. In this case Slunj and Poljanak were inhabited by the same, yes.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right. That is so. Now, that is what I
9 mean by geographic distinction, is that if you look at the geography of
10 Saborsko, it is entirely Croat or predominantly Croat. Some other little
11 area within the same Krajina or within the same Croatia or within the same
12 former Yugoslavia would still -- would be predominantly a particular
13 ethnic group.
14 Do you now understand what I mean by geographic ethnic
15 distinctions? Do you understand that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And I'm saying to you -- now
18 that we understand what we mean by geographic ethnic distinction, I'm
19 saying to you these geographic ethnic distinctions were there. They
21 A. For hundreds of years, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Therefore, it is not
23 absolutely correct to say that you made no ethnic distinctions. You knew
24 in your sleep that a particular village was predominantly Croat or Serb.
25 A. I didn't deny that. That's true.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I didn't say you denied that. All I said is that
2 you said in evidence you made no ethnic distinctions. I'm saying,
3 therefore, it wasn't correct to say such ethnic distinctions were not
5 A. I was referring to specific events and specific names, and if need
6 be I can repeat, Your Honour.
7 When looking for a job, if I was the boss, the one who made the
8 decision, I didn't make any distinctions. If there was a Serb lawyer and
9 a Croat lawyer applying for the same job, they had an equal chance of
10 getting that job, and the criterion used was their expertise.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That's not what I was asking
13 Now, Savo, I'm not sure whether I'll be able to pronounce the
14 second name, Trbojevic, where was he trained?
15 A. I don't know anything about that. I think he did his regular
16 military service. He's some 15 years my senior, maybe more, maybe 20.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you said that he was a commander of a platoon
18 during the attack, isn't it? Saborsko.
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: And he was part of the army that attacked Saborsko.
21 Is that not correct?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: And after the attack on Saborsko, you said he led
24 the looting of Saborsko; is that correct?
25 A. That's not precisely the way I put it. I said that his duty was
1 to remain there and secure the battlefield. So he let it happen. The
2 commander of the company who was his superior told me that when we met up
3 at the command post after the end of the action. He said to me a platoon
4 commanded by Savo Trbojevic has been left there to secure the area.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'll read to you page 14 of today's proceedings at
6 line 20. Let me start at line 17 where the question is put to you. "The
7 truth is, sir, he did not command any plan, and he did not have any
8 responsibility, or he was not responsible for the looting and burning that
9 occurred in Saborsko, was he?" Your answer was: "He was the one who led
10 the looting exercise in Saborsko and in Glibodol. I know that even in
11 front of his house there was a gun showdown because they were vying over
12 war booty."
13 Now, the transcript shows that you said he led the looting
14 exercise in Saborsko. Are you --
15 A. Your Honours, please. There are several misinterpretations here.
16 First I said Saborsko and Glibodol. The event was in Glibodol. That
17 operation was a little -- took place a little later than the operation in
18 Saborsko. And I didn't say he was showing his weapons. What I said was
19 that they argued over who would get a knitting machine, he and his
20 workmates. I got this information from his best man. They were
21 brandishing pistols, arguing over a knitting machine from Glibodol. I
22 wanted to use this incident to illustrate the character of that man. He
23 said something about me --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Medakovic, please understand that I don't know
25 B/C/S. I know English. I can only read to you what is translated to me,
1 and unfortunately we don't have the record in B/C/S.
2 I'm saying to you and I'm reading to you what's written here.
3 Your answer was: "He was the one who led the looting exercise in Saborsko
4 and in Glibodol. I know that even in front of his house there was a gun
5 showdown because they were vying over the war booty." That's what is said
7 Now, do you agree with that or you don't agree with that? Just
8 say yes or no. Don't give me a long explanation. Because now you're
9 telling me about knitting machines, and I don't remember seeing anything
10 about knitting machines on the transcript or even hearing anything about a
11 knitting machine.
12 Did you say what I've just told you?
13 A. Your Honours, as for the second version you read to me, yes, it
14 was interpreted differently than the first time. The first time it was
15 interpreted that a gun was shown, a rifle, but this time it was
16 interpreted correctly. There was a showdown because of an argument about
17 the distribution of stolen property, and I told you where I heard this.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fine. Just -- now, understand that my
19 concentration and my focus is not on the showdown but it is on the leading
20 of this looting. Do you accept that that's what you said?
21 A. Well, to lead is perhaps putting it too strongly, but I'm certain
22 he participated.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking you to interpret what is written
24 here. I'm asking you if this is what you said. Just tell me if this is
25 what you said or didn't say.
1 The word "led," as I understand it, comes from your mouth if the
2 interpreters interpreted you correctly. And if you used a strong word,
3 that's of course you who used it, not anybody else.
4 Is that what you said, sir?
5 A. Yes, I did say that as an answer to a question.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. And what became of him as a result of
7 the leading of the looting exercise?
8 A. He was not under any jurisdiction of mine. I was not able to
9 punish him in any way. And personally, I had never been on good terms
10 with him.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just listen to the question put to you, Mr.
12 Medakovic. I'm not asking you if you punished him. I'm saying what
13 became of him, to your knowledge.
14 A. I know that he lived in Plaski. I know that during --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking you where he lived, Mr. Medakovic.
16 I said, what became of him? Do you know what became of him as a result of
17 his leading the looting exercise?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can tell, he was
19 responsible to no one and nothing happened to him.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking you who he was responsible to. I'm
21 asking you if you know what became of him.
22 A. Nothing happened to him. I saw him after that.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And don't tell me he was not
24 responsible to anybody, because you have told us that he was a commander
25 of a platoon. He was part of the armed forces. He must be responsible to
2 Do you know -- or let me put it this way: You said yesterday that
3 you regretted some parts of the letter that you wrote to your counterpart
4 in Ogulin. I can't remember his name. Do you know what became of the
5 forces, the JNA forces, together with the TO and the Special Purpose Unit
6 that attacked Saborsko? Do you know what became of them as a result of
7 the attack on Saborsko?
8 A. I don't know anything about that, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That completes my questions.
10 Any questions as a result of the questions by the Bench?
11 Mr. Milovancevic.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Only one, Your Honour. Thank
14 Further re-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
15 Q. His Honour Judge Moloto ask you whether you knew what became of
16 the JNA units, TO units, and the Special Purpose Unit which took part in
17 the attack on Saborsko. My question to you is as follows: Did the
18 Special Purpose Unit exist and did it take part in the attack on Saborsko?
19 A. I stated on several occasions that the unit was officially
20 disbanded in September of 1991. I did not wish to point to that in His
21 Honour's question because I was warned on several occasions not to speak
22 about matters that were not asked of me.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
25 Mr. Whiting.
1 MR. WHITING: I have nothing. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
3 Mr. Medakovic, we have come to the conclusion of your testimony.
4 We thank you very much for coming to testify in the Tribunal, and we thank
5 you for the time you took to come and testify. You are now excused. You
6 may stand down. Thank you very much.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: There are a few housekeeping issues that we need to
9 raise before we call the next witness. I'm sorry. I'm not on the
10 microphone. I was just saying there are a few housekeeping issues that we
11 need to raise before we call the next witness, and as I shuffle through my
12 papers to find them, can we start with -- while I'm looking for the issues
13 that I wanted to raise, can we deal with the question of time.
14 At the beginning of this witness's testimony, we were already
15 something like three and a half days behind schedule. This witness in
16 particular had been earmarked to testify for something like five hours in
17 total. It took the Defence 4.05 hours to lead the evidence in chief. It
18 took the Prosecution 8.10 hours to cross-examine him. That must mean that
19 we're falling precipitously behind schedule as we go along. We are just
20 making -- we are not covering the time lost. In fact, we're losing more
21 time. And the Chamber is mindful of the fact that the parties must be
22 given a fair opportunity to present their case, but that being so, the
23 parties are also aware, and the Chamber is aware that we are called upon
24 in terms of the Rules to limit our times and to try and keep as far as we
25 possibly can to the estimates that we have made. I do not think we are
1 succeeding. I do not see how we can hope to cover this time lost unless
2 we sit more sessions per day than are allocated so far. And if it means
3 sitting on a Saturday, we may have to perhaps even think of that. But if
4 we must avoid that, I'd like us to address the question of time.
5 Mr. Milovancevic, you also raised the question of time just before
6 you did your re-examination this morning. Do you want to develop on that?
7 And I would like us to think much -- a little more ahead than go backwards
8 trying to find out how we can cover this time.
9 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the reason why I
11 intervened before re-examination was merely to ask the Trial Chamber to
12 keep in mind the fact that there comes a time when the estimates are
13 simply not feasible because we had to have enough time for the Prosecutor
14 to examine the witness.
15 I'm aware of the situation as you presented it, Your Honour. I am
16 aware of the fact that we are running behind our planned estimate, but I
17 do not think that the situation is quite as drastic as that, because I
18 think that the time has been used most expediently. We had ministers of
19 foreign affairs, ministers of justice, Prime Ministers, chiefs of public
20 security stations as witnesses here. These were relevant witnesses
21 testifying to longer periods of time.
22 As you noticed, the Prosecutor used quite a lot of time examining
23 these witnesses. We are not opposing to that, and we do not wish to
24 criticise the Prosecutor for that fact. Our intention is to fully
25 establish the facts, and if the Prosecutor is contributing to that
1 purpose, then of course I will not criticise that. But I do not wish the
2 Defence to have to bear the consequences of the fact that the Prosecution
3 took longer in their examination than expected. But I do expect that we
4 will have witnesses here who will testify in less time than was set aside
5 for them, because some of their testimony may have been covered by others.
6 This is as much as I have to say on that matter.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, it does look as if you're missing
8 my point. I understand what you say, but you yourself started off by
9 saying there comes a time when it's not possible to keep within the
10 estimates. Now, my concern is that it doesn't look like it happens as
11 coming at a time. It seems like it is becoming a pattern. It is a
12 pattern. I said before this witness testified we were already three and a
13 half days behind schedule. So the pattern is growing, and the loss of
14 time is increasing with every witness, and I don't see on the plan where
15 we can get time to cover up this time, and this causes concern.
16 You will remember that I had mentioned to you when you raised it
17 at the beginning of your re-examination that I'd mentioned to you that,
18 yes, I will address this at this point as we are now doing, but I also
19 indicated that the Prosecutor had mentioned, and I think I'm not wrong --
20 if I'm wrong, I'll be corrected. I think the Prosecutor mentioned at the
21 beginning of this witness's testimony -- or at the beginning of the
22 cross-examination of this witness, that he came up with evidence that had
23 not been supplied in the summary. Now, that causes the problem, you know.
24 If you don't give exhaustive summaries, then we cannot come here and
25 say "We don't want the Prosecution to take the consequences of the
1 Prosecution taking long to cross-examine, because indeed, we didn't give
2 them a full summary."
3 I will ask Mr. Whiting in due course to say what he has to say
4 about this point, but all I'm saying is that the Chamber is concerned
5 about the waste of time. If we take this witness as against five hours
6 that have been estimated, we have used 12 hours. That's more than twice
7 the amount. Now, that is far out of the realm of estimation. You know,
8 if you estimate five hours and you take five and a half hours, the Chamber
9 is not going to gripe about that, but this kind of missing the target is
10 cause for concern.
11 Having said that, Mr. Prosecutor, do you have anything to say?
12 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour. First, I'd like to say that I
13 think we have consistently tried to keep our cross-examinations within the
14 time roughly that the direct examination is. Obviously, with this witness
15 it was very different. I would submit -- I don't want to go into it but I
16 would submit that there were very good reasons for it in terms of trying
17 to get answers from the witness. There were a number of interventions
18 from the Trial Chamber itself, and I think that contributed to -- not the
19 interventions, but the fact that it was difficult to get answers to
20 questions, that that contributed to the length.
21 The second thing is another problem that we face is that there are
22 a number of times when the -- when the Defence will cover a rapid series
23 of topics with a witness and will refer to documents without showing the
24 documents to the witness, without going into them. For example, the
25 letter that we had with this witness. There was about a minute of direct
1 examination about the letter, and the letter was not shown to him even
2 though it was listed by the Defence as an exhibit that they would use in
3 their direct examination. It was not shown to him. That's fine. That's
4 their choice. I'm not criticising that. But of course we then feel some
5 obligation to show these documents, talk about them, and that takes some
7 So -- so -- and, also, we feel an obligation to cover the topics
8 that have been covered by the Defence. We have an obligation under the
9 Rules to put our case to the witness and to answer those issues. So
10 sometimes those things when they're covered in rapid succession -- for
11 example, I'm not sure why this witness had to talk about events in 1990
12 and about the chequer-board and we've heard that from witness after
13 witness after witness. But if the witness is going to talk about it, it's
14 our obligation to put our case to the witness. So perhaps there's --
15 that's one way to save time, would be to focus.
16 But having said that, it's our view that trying to manage the time
17 on a witness per witness basis is a losing proposition for the simple
18 reason is that we think the time estimates that have been given are widely
19 unrealistic and that is the problem. The problem is that the Trial
20 Chamber assessed the Defence case, the nature of the Defence case, came up
21 with a time limit for the Defence case, issued an order about that, and --
22 and we submit that the Defence should then be left to make their decisions
23 about how that time is going to be used and make their choices about
24 witnesses, picking and choosing witnesses and making decisions if they're
25 going to drop witnesses, if they're going to shorten them, if they're
1 going to emphasise certain ones. That's up to them. Let them do it.
2 Instead, what's happened is the Defence has tried to take this,
3 its original case, and it's trying to shrink it and fit it into the time
4 limits that the Trial Chamber has given, and therefore they have shrunk
5 all the individual estimates of each witness down to unrealistic numbers
6 and so we're caught into this pattern where with each witness we're
7 exceeding those limits, because the limits themselves are not realistic.
8 And really what should happen is the Defence should just make their
9 decisions about how they are going to use their time and what should be
10 firm is the November 20th deadline. That's what's been given to them and
11 the Defence has indicated again and again that they will meet that
12 deadline, that they will not ask for more time.
13 And we submit in the strongest terms, Your Honour, that nothing so
14 far -- there is nothing so far which has provided a basis for extending
15 that deadline because we think the Defence has wasted a lot of time, and
16 that's their choice. That's their decision, but it's a decision they have
17 to live with, and they cannot now come and ask for more time because there
18 has been frankly witness after witness after witness who have testified
19 about cumulative matters, about matters which are not really at issue,
20 about matters that are not necessarily in dispute, and we've had several
21 witnesses who have testified for days on direct examination without even
22 mentioning Milan Martic's name. And the fact that these people may have
23 important titles I do not think is a measure of their relevance to this
25 And so that is really the decision that they -- they have made,
1 and for that reason, we do not think that the Defence has a basis to now
2 come and say, "Well, we're behind schedule. We've had these important
3 witnesses. We need to extend the deadline." No. The deadline is the
4 deadline, and they should -- we should stick to it and let them manage it
5 in that time and let them make the decisions and we'll proceed that way.
6 That is our view.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hear what you say, Mr. Whiting, on that point. I
8 just want to ask you a question. You know, my problem -- or the problem
9 of the Chamber, rather, is that it's all very well to say, "You've been
10 given this time, Defence, to present your case. Use your time as you
11 please." And then come the 20th of November, they've called 10 out of 20
12 witnesses and 10 more witnesses have still not testified. Can it be then
13 said at that stage when you cut them off that they really put their case?
14 I think in short what I'm trying to say to you is the Chamber is
15 trying to balance the question of time with the question of the fair
16 opportunity to present one's case, and I do not think that any Chamber can
17 ever at the end of the Defence case or at the end of the time the Defence
18 is allocated say, "Well, you have 30 more witnesses to call, but I'm
19 sorry, you're not going to call them because you've squandered your time."
20 It would impact very negatively on the fairness of the trial, and this
21 Trial Chamber is trying to make sure that any witness found relevant by
22 any of the parties gets an opportunity to testify, hence the attempt to
23 regulate the time on a witness by witness basis to make sure that they fit
24 in to the time given.
25 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I understand certainly what Your Honour
1 is saying, but I -- I do think that the Trial Chamber can say, "This is
2 the time you have," and the Trial Chamber can cut off the Defence when the
3 time is up unless the Defence can make a compelling showing why another --
4 one other witness or, you know, two or witnesses needs to be called and
5 was -- and why that witness wasn't called instead of some other witness.
6 And this has been done in other Trial Chambers with both the Prosecution
7 and the Defence. This is not just a Defence issue. This is -- this is --
8 can be done on both sides.
9 The problem -- the problem the other way, as we see it, is that if
10 that if the Trial Chamber adopts the position that the Defence should be
11 able to call every witness it wants to call, then the time limits will
12 break down and we will continue and this will become unmanageable, because
13 as we can see, the only way to do that is for the Defence to provide
14 witness time limits which are -- which are unrealistic and cannot be met,
15 and they have not been met once I think in this case. Maybe once they
16 have. But with virtually all the witnesses -- I mean, the pattern is
17 clear. And the Defence is in the best position to know who the important
18 witnesses are, how they need to present their case, in what form. If they
19 have decided to spend witness after witness after witness talking about
20 peripheral matters, that is their choice. That is their choice. And if
21 they come at the end of the day and say, "Well, we have 10 more witnesses
22 to call," that unfortunately is too bad. They should have called them.
23 And if they're put on notice now that that is going to be the consequence
24 and those are the choices they have to make, then they are the ones who
25 are in the best position to know and best able to make those choices and
1 make those decisions and make it happen.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting. I don't think it's
3 necessary for us to belabour this point.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. When it comes to
7 what my learned friend Whiting said, there are matters I agree with and
8 there are others I disagree with and which I consider inappropriate.
9 It is, of course, up to the Defence to decide which witnesses it
10 will call and not the Prosecution. The witnesses we will call will be the
11 witnesses that will benefit our case and not the case of the Prosecution.
12 Of course, it is also up to us to make the time estimates.
13 That is why the statement that we have called witnesses dealing
14 with cumulative matters, peripheral matters simply does not hold. So why
15 does then the Prosecution waste so much time on these so-called peripheral
16 matters? They overstepped every single time limit they had in respect to
17 every witness. So why did the witness yesterday have to talk about the
18 Ustashas for an hour? We've already had this matter discussed.
19 In addition to that, the Bench had numerous questions for our
20 witnesses, and of course we do not find that objectionable. We are quite
21 pleased with that, but this speaks quite to the contrary of what the
22 Prosecutor has been saying. This shows that the witnesses were very much
23 relevant, and it was for that reason that we spent so much time examining
24 these witnesses. That's one matter.
25 The other matter is that the Prosecutor said the time limit is the
1 20th of November. As far as I know, we haven't asked for the time to be
2 extended, nor do we have that intention. We are quite pleased with the
3 pace of the proceedings.
4 We appreciate the fact that these proceedings bring facts into
5 light. We have a charge involving joint criminal enterprise covering a
6 long time span, and in that context I cannot accept my learned friend's
7 statement that the witness's evidence was cumulative. We are proceeding
8 on the basis of certain time estimates, and we are consuming as much time
9 as we are, but I cannot accept the fact it's been said that we are wasting
10 time on irrelevant on peripheral matters. I believe all the matters we
11 dealt with were very specific. They were not generic, or else we would
12 not be investing as much effort into every single witness's evidence.
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't want to go into what the Defence may lead
15 evidence on or may not lead evidence on. That's your choice. And I have
16 my own views as to whether or not the Defence has gone on to cumulative or
17 not, and I'm not expressing that view at all.
18 There was one specific point I wanted to raise with you, to
19 respond to you, Mr. Milovancevic. I can't see it now. Let me say, then,
20 by way of looking forward, I want to suggest specifically to you, Mr.
21 Milovancevic, now that you -- we are in the Defence case, if you can
22 caution your witnesses and control them to be -- to focus on the question
23 and to answer the question put to them. That's the first point.
24 Now, I'm sure you will bear me out that this last witness, and
25 he's not the only one, but it happened many times with him, has been
1 warned by the Bench to please listen to the question and answer that
2 question. And some questions require just a yes or no and then he wants
3 to go into a long story which wastes time. That's one area in which we
4 can try and save time.
5 The other area which we can try and save time is by you putting
6 questions and not prefixing your questions with long dissertations. If
7 you can just put your questions and let's get the answer from the witness
8 and not you first telling a whole long story, at times which contains the
9 answer, and then puts the question. And then you get another story from
10 the witness, and we don't control our witnesses.
11 Otherwise, you're going to force the Bench now to intervene at
12 every question as soon as the witness goes off, the Bench will have to
13 say, "I'm sorry. That's not the question put. That's not the question as
14 put to you." I don't want to do that, particularly when the questions are
15 asked by the parties. I don't want to do that because then the Bench
16 would be taking over the questioning. But I would like you to control
17 your witnesses. And we must control ourselves, too.
18 I think enough said about the subject. I don't want to waste more
19 time on it.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, please, if I may
21 be allowed to make one point. I would like to direct the Trial Chamber's
22 attention to the fact that the Defence had no difficulties with this
23 witness. All the problems that arose in the examination of the witness
24 were there as a result of the Prosecution's questions or the questions put
25 by the Bench, of course there I can't intervene. That's why I believe the
1 last point you made does not refer to me, or there's nothing that I can do
2 there. If the Prosecutor is the one putting the question, I can have no
3 say in how the witness will answer that question.
4 When I was examining the witness, not a single objection or
5 comment was made to that effect.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... the matter is
7 you do make long statements before you put the questions, and he did
8 answer questions even by you by making long statements which again do not
9 relate to the question put to him.
10 Yes, I can say, too, that he has done the same also to questions
11 from the Prosecution, and I would ask you, too, Mr. Whiting, as soon as a
12 witness does not answer to your question, stop him. Tell him, "That's not
13 my question." I know you've done it. You haven't done it as much as I
14 would have loved to see.
15 I don't know that you have done it, Mr. Milovancevic, at all.
16 That's why I really addressed myself to you.
17 So again enough said, but I realise that Judge Hoepfel wanted to
18 say something.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Well, I just wanted to add, Mr. Milovancevic, you
20 will have noticed we interrupted and intervened yesterday during the very
21 extensive, in my view, over-extensive cross-examination, and that was
22 necessary. And I think there was some reason to have a longer
23 cross-examination, but it was not completely justified, I would say. Just
24 for the future.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We agree with you, Judge
1 Hoepfel. Thank you. That's precisely the case.
2 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: [Previous translation continues] ... at this
3 stage, Mr. Milovancevic. Remember also that in terms of economy, the duty
4 is yours in respect of your case. And also part of the preparation
5 process in respect of a witness is to advise him and counsel him as to how
6 to manage his questions and how to answer questions effectively without
7 wasting the Court's time or without being extensive. So it is your
8 specific duty, and you have to always bear that in mind.
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And actually, as I understand this system here,
10 it's not only the Court's time, it's your time budget you have to
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. I think we've said enough. I
13 think that the Chamber is going to have to jump in at every point
14 virtually now, and that might actually cause more delay, but we're going
15 to have to do that if we must save on time.
16 Can I now move on to the next point. The next point really is --
17 it's not house -- well, it is housekeeping. The next witness is a
18 protected witness and something has to be done and they need more time
19 than usual to do what they have to do to set things up. Unless,
20 therefore, anybody has anything to raise by way of housekeeping, I would
21 suggest that we take the break now and come back at the normal time to
22 give the technicians time to set up for -- in preparation.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's how zealous I am to continue on with the
25 case to cover the lost time.
1 It looks like we can't hear this witness, because they will need
2 more than the time remaining to set up the court.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's all very
4 well. There are no problems in that regard. If I remember well, we
5 normally adjourn at 1.45, and on behalf of the Defence, I can say that we
6 are not opposed to that.
7 Does that mean that we will resume tomorrow at 9.00 in the
8 morning, I believe?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I answer that question after hearing what Mr.
10 Whiting has to say?
11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I certainly have no objection to
12 starting with the next witness tomorrow, but there was -- there were two
13 other matters I needed to raise, and I'm sorry to delay what could have
14 been a welcome early break, but --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, no. We are here to work.
16 MR. WHITING: Okay. Very good.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are not here to break.
18 MR. WHITING: The first issue was one that I raised that I hadn't
19 really had an opportunity to address, which was the nature of the 65 ter
20 summaries. I don't know if Your Honours have the summary for this witness
21 handy. I have copies available.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: When you say this witness --
23 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry the last witness. The witness who just
24 completed his testimony.
25 And I think it's fair to say that many of the topics which were
1 covered by the witness in direct examination -- do Your Honours need a
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Just to make sure that we have the same.
4 MR. WHITING: Yes. I assume the Defence has this available, but
5 there's a copy for the Defence.
6 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I think it's the same, but just to be on the safe
7 side. This is it.
8 MR. WHITING: I think it's fair to say that there were some very
9 important topics that were covered by the witness in direct examination
10 which are not on here. There's nothing about the accused Milan Martic.
11 No mention of him here. And yet that was covered. There's nothing about
12 Golubic. There's nothing about Martic's -- the Special Purpose Unit or
13 the witness's role in the Special Purpose Unit. There's nothing about the
14 Territorial Defence. There is nothing about what happened in the attack
15 in Saborsko. It ends with the action took place on the 12 November 1991.
16 You know, I could go on but I think the point's been made. And
17 the -- I'd like, actually, to also hand out a 65 ter summary of a witness
18 who is upcoming that we -- and -- and this is a witness -- this is Dusan
19 Latas, who we've heard about from this last witness. So we know a little
20 bit about this witness. And there are a couple of things to note.
21 First of all, the 65ter summary for Dusan Latas is nearly on all
22 the relevant points a cut and paste job from the Metkovic 65 ter summary.
23 It's word-for-word the same. That's the first point to notice.
24 The send point is obviously from the testimony that we've heard,
25 we could expect to -- that Mr. Latas would testify about -- about the
1 police and about his role in the attack and what happened, and none of
2 that appears on his 65 ter summary. So I'm foreseeing that this problem
3 is going to occur again. And it's a double problem, Your Honours, because
4 the problem is, first, that of course it makes it very difficult for us to
5 prepare for cross-examination. For example, for this last witness, I was
6 prepared to elicit all that information and I had to completely kind of
7 rework it because then he talked about it, so then I had to deal with it
8 that way. It makes it very difficult and it's unfair.
9 And secondly, it -- this -- not providing us with the information
10 that the witness is going to testify about creates the possibility that
11 future witnesses who come to testify about these events can in some ways
12 consciously or unconsciously mould their testimony to what has occurred
13 before, because obviously we've now had this witness, we've gone through
14 the details, we've put our questions, we've put our case, and the witness
15 coming up, Mr. Latas, could -- again it's the possibility that
16 unconsciously or consciously he could now adjust his testimony to -- to
17 what has occurred, and this is -- this -- I'm a little uncomfortable
18 raising this possibility, but it is frankly an issue that the Tribunal is
19 in the jurisprudence, because for example, when an accused testifies in
20 the Defence case, an accused's testimony will be given more weight if he
21 testifies at the beginning than if he testifies at the end for this very
22 reason. So it is a real possibility, and we think that the weight of the
23 evidence of these Defence witnesses should be affected by the fact that
24 nobody knows what they're going to say about these events until they
25 arrive and they actually say it. They are not in any way committed to
1 anything. There's nothing, and that is in plain breach of the Rules.
2 So that is the concern we raise and we think we should be provided
3 with 65 ter summaries which are accurate and detailed and provide the
4 information on the relevant issues.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting. Mr. Whiting, I think this
6 question of 65 ter summaries has been -- is some kind of a beaten track by
7 now. We have more than one set of them.
8 Now, I think the solution to this problem should now lie in the
9 hands of the Prosecution. When during leading, a witness is asked
10 questions about issues that are not on the 65 ter summary, I think it
11 should be the responsibility of the Prosecution to jump up and object and
12 say, "That's not on the 65 ter summary. Sorry, you can't lead on it."
13 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I appreciate that, and we have done
14 that on certain occasions. The difficulty with -- the difficulty here
15 that we faced with this last witness was that I knew that these were
16 matters that I was going to ask him about, because they're obviously part
17 of our case and they're relevant, and so it made -- it puts us in a very
18 difficult position, because I could jump up and say, "Well, you can't talk
19 about that," but then it becomes a little -- well, maybe I could do that
20 and he can't ask any questions about it and I get up and do a
21 cross-examination on those topics.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. What you do your cross-examination, you are
23 at large.
24 MR. WHITING: Okay. Well, that's the way we will proceed, then.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Isn't that how trials are conducted?
1 MR. WHITING: I don't see any other way because we have asked and
2 asked and asked. And with this last witness we specifically sent an
3 e-mail to the Defence asking -- because we could see that there was going
4 to be more information. It was obvious. We said you must have a
5 supplemental 65 ter. And we got back a few details. I have a copy of the
6 e-mail but, again, nothing about the topics that were covered by the
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hope you hear that, Mr. Milovancevic, and the
9 Trial Chamber is going to be very strict on this one now. If things -- if
10 issues are not raised in the 65 ter summary, I don't think it's fair to
11 allow the Defence to lead that evidence, because then you'd -- it's --
12 you're taking the Prosecution by surprise, number one.
13 Number two, that's against the rules.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I agree fully, Your Honours.
15 Yes, I fully agree. My learned friend is right. Before setting out on
16 the field visit, I should have informed him about the detail concerning
17 Golubic. It's my omission. I had no time, because I was preparing for
18 the visit.
19 Mr. Whiting spent 10 minutes on Golubic, and he already had
20 documents about people from Plaski being in that centre, and it was my
21 omission that I didn't know this fact. But we will do whatever we can in
22 the case of future witnesses. And Latas is not in fact the next witness.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Whoever is next, sorry.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Do you want to say something, Judge?
2 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Yes, just a short observation now, and I think
3 Judge Nosworthy wanted to add something also.
4 Mr. Milovancevic, I'm really also concerned now realising, for
5 example, the issue of the action against Saborsko on 12th of November,
6 1991, is being mentioned in both summaries in the very same words, and
7 this is just headings more or less. It's not a summary of the details.
8 It lacks any specificity, I am afraid, so it could cause serious problems
9 for your client. I don't know what to do about that problem, but maybe my
10 colleagues will do that.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: And may I just mention, Mr. Milovancevic, that when
12 a statement is said, "Due to the overall situation a decision was reached
13 to free the road," free it from what? We don't know what you're talking
14 about there. I think you've got to be clear what you say in here. Is
15 Saborsko the obstacle on the road? And if Saborsko is the obstacle on the
16 road, why is Saborsko an obstacle on the road? Is it because it's a Croat
17 village and therefore the Croats had to be attacked to be removed from the
19 You know, to put it in this kind of euphemistic language, which
20 doesn't really mean much, is not helpful, because then it is not known
21 whether was the road mined and therefore it had to be de-mined, or was the
22 road having some blockades and the blockades had to be removed? You know,
23 I think it's very cryptic, if I may use that term, and I think the
24 summaries leave much to be desired. And I think the only way, as I say,
25 the Chamber is going to have to be very strict on what is on the summary
1 and what is not on the summary. That's the only way that we will be able
2 to get supplemental summaries.
3 Thank you very much. We have come to the end of the day. We are
4 going to take an adjournment, and we will reconvene tomorrow, Friday, the
5 13th, at 9.00 in courtroom 2, courtroom 2.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day
8 of October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.