1 Tuesday, 23 August 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is the case IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 If there is no procedural matter to be raised, we'll move into
12 closed session.
13 [Closed session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
7 Good afternoon, Witness DST-044. I'd like to remind you that
8 you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the
9 beginning of your testimony. And Mr. Groome will continue his
11 Mr. Groome, the Chamber considered yesterday the issue raised by
12 Mr. Jordash, discussed during the last five minutes. You may put to the
13 witness what you find in the statement you refer to. However, it should
14 be perfectly clear that there could be no suggestion going beyond what is
15 actually found in that statement. So nothing about conversations if it's
16 not there. So it should be perfectly clear.
17 And, Mr. Jordash, if you find anything in that statement you
18 would like do put to the witness where you consider that he might shed
19 some additional light on matters, then you are free to do so.
20 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, just to be sure that I understand the
23 Chamber's Ruling, that not to characterise anything found in that
24 statement as an indication that a conversation took place, or ...
25 JUDGE ORIE: It's whether it's in relation to time of
1 conversation, whatever.
2 MR. GROOME: Okay.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You can put to the witness what is found in that
4 statement but without any suggestion as to where it comes from or what
5 was the situation in which he gained any information. So strictly
6 limited to what you find in the statement.
7 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
8 WITNESS: DST-044 [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through the interpreter]
11 Pages 13479-13522 redacted. Closed session.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, the Chamber wonders whether we could
9 move on.
10 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, I will do that.
11 Q. Sir, do you know the -- a unit referred to as Plavci? Or Plavsi?
12 I'm not sure about my pronunciation.
13 A. No, I never heard about it.
14 Q. Can I ask you just to say the name of the unit that I -- that you
15 think you heard me say, just to confirm that I have pronounced it
16 correctly. What's the name of the unit that I've just asked you about?
17 Or perhaps a better way for me to do it is just to simply spell it:
19 A. [In English] Okay. S, not C, Plavci.
20 Q. Yes. Have you heard of that unit?
21 A. [Interpretation] No. No, never. I never heard of that unit.
22 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that D31 be brought to our screens.
23 Q. Sir, this is an information report issued by
24 Major-General Mile Babic, commander of the 1st District security organ on
25 the 19th of October, 1991.
1 Now, in it --
2 MR. GROOME: Sorry, now I've omitted the reference that I need.
3 Oh, I'm sorry. In the third paragraph. If we can look down at the third
4 paragraph in both. I think on the English we need to go to the second
6 I apologise to the Chamber. I'm thinking about a different
8 Q. Sir, my last question to you, or last series of questions to you,
9 I want to return to the men at Pajzos. Can you describe for us their
11 A. They wore what, at the time, were regular, standard-issue,
12 camouflage military uniforms. And what distinguished them from the
13 others were the red berets which they wore on their heads. And all wore
14 them, without exception.
15 Q. Did they refer to themselves, their unit, by the name
16 "Red Berets"?
17 A. No. The red berets on their heads were a signal, a sort of a
18 signal, to the environment. If they had worn blue berets, we would
19 probably have called them Blue Berets.
20 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that P2158 be brought to our screens, and
21 could I ask that we go immediately to page 3.
22 Q. Sir, when you see this exhibit on the screen before you, it is a
23 composite exhibit that includes a number of photographs of men in
24 uniform. Could I ask you to look at it and, once you have, to tell us
25 whether the uniforms Bozovic and his men were wearing in Pajzos are
1 similar to those we see on page 3 of P2158.
2 A. No, no. These uniforms that I see now are of a more recent type.
3 And the only similarities are that they are both camouflage uniforms.
4 Q. How about the beret that the men are wearing in these
5 photographs, in particular the insignia that we see on them; do you
6 recognise that from the men in Pajzos?
7 A. The berets were red. As for the insignia, I'm almost certain
8 that they had no such insignia on their berets.
9 Q. Thank you, DST-044.
10 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honours. I have no more questions
11 at this time.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
13 Mr. Jordash.
14 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, I'd like to address you, if I may, on
15 Rule 90(H) in the absence of the witness.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break anyhow soon, I would say. So,
17 therefore, perhaps we could already ask the witness to be escorted out of
18 the courtroom.
19 And we'd like to see you back after the break, Witness DST-044,
20 which might take another -- a little bit over half an hour.
11 Pages 13526-13536 redacted. Closed session.
25 Q. Could you please look at D68. It's about to come up on our
2 Can you please look at this exhibit. It's a short one. Please
3 read it.
4 There's a reference here to patrol activity in Sarengrad at the
5 Bapska cross-roads. Can you tell us where this junction is in relation
6 to Pajzos, geographically speaking?
7 A. I saw the report when I came here. This is the portion of the
8 road leading into Pajzos itself, but they didn't control that area at
10 Q. When you say "they," you mean the group at Pajzos; right?
11 A. I mean the group and also the person who signed the document, if,
12 indeed, he was there, was he a member of that group. But he couldn't
13 have been someone from the police units, the units under the police
14 station. I would have known of him. But they certainly weren't
15 patrolling that particular area.
16 Q. Thank you, Witness. The header reads that this is a report
17 produced by the Republic of Serbian Krajina Ministry of the Interior Ilok
18 Special-Purpose Unit. You never saw any ID or any proof offered by those
19 men. Do you allow for the possibility that this group was perhaps a part
20 of some special-purpose unit of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
21 A. Yes, particular in view of the date that I see there. At the
22 time, the Republic of Krajina operated more and more, in terms of its MUP
23 being fully functional.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
1 questions for this witness.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 MR. JORDASH: I don't have any questions, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You don't have any questions.
5 Mr. Groome, do you have any questions?
6 MR. GROOME: I'm just -- let me -- I'm just still trying to
7 digest, Your Honour, the last couple of questions and answers.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Take your time.
9 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, if I could just ask a question, a
10 few questions, regarding the last couple of questions and answers.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
12 Further cross-examination by Mr. Groome:
13 Q. Sir, the last answer that you gave to Mr. Petrovic, you said:
14 "... in particular in view of the date that I see there."
15 Does that mean that your answer, the evidence that you've given,
16 relates to the document that's now on our screen, this exhibit? D68?
17 A. Yes. That's the report that I'm looking at.
18 Q. So when Mr. Petrovic asked you: "Do you allow for the
19 possibility that this group was perhaps a part of some special ... unit
20 of the ..." and then we don't have the rest of the question, when you
21 said "yes," you were referring to the people that are described in D68?
22 A. Yes. I saw the report when I came here, and I was shown the
23 report. Then I compared the substance and signature, a person I don't
24 know, and in the heading, the date and everything, by this time the MUP
25 of the Krajina had already been set up and fully operating, and they may
1 have started some regular activities as a regular unit at Pajzos.
2 Q. I believe I've cleared that up, Your Honour. I have no further
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I have one question or a series of
7 questions to you.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE ORIE: You have extensively answered questions about your
10 encounter with Mr. Stanisic, which took place at a checking point nearby
11 Ilok on the route from Sid to Backa Palanka. You remember?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Did I understand your testimony well that it was
14 purely coincidental that you, there, met Mr. Stanisic?
15 A. Yes. I was on a controlled tour of the check-point. The
16 policeman pulled over a small white vehicle, a small jeep, and the
17 policeman said, Come over --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I saw in your statement that your answers
19 are slightly different from your testimony given today, mainly in the
20 area of who told who what. In your statement, it's Jovica Stanisic who
21 told you about the problems in Mohovo and Bapska and about the pressure
22 Croats and Slovaks were exposed to.
23 Now, today, it -- I understood your testimony mainly to be that
24 you told him about these kind of problems.
25 Is that correctly understood?
1 A. Yes, you understood me correctly. But he asked me, when we met,
2 if there were any problems involving the Slovaks. The emphasise was
3 always on the Slovaks.
4 Then I told him, as I said today, that, yes, there were problems,
5 that I had problems bordering on incidents in the villages of Bapska and
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you apparently then exchanged views on
8 these matters. Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
9 A. Yes, that's fair.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And he suggested the solutions to you, either
11 directly or indirectly. Is that also well understood?
12 A. He indirectly proposed solutions. It was a mere suggestion. No
13 more than that. But I was an experienced professional, and I knew how to
14 take a suggestion.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, people might wonder and consider it very
16 coincidental that you, as a pure coincidence, happened to see
17 Mr. Stanisic, that you briefly discuss a matter on which you apparently
18 had not taken action before, and then take action upon suggestions made,
19 although indirectly, to you on how to resolve this matter.
20 Why had you not acted before?
21 A. You are right. Previous to this indirect suggestion, I hadn't
22 taken any steps. Prior to our meeting, that is. The reason being, I
23 believed the incidents in those two villages to be marginal as compared
24 to the overall security situation. They hadn't escalated that far.
25 This, however, was a signal for me, a reliable signal, that it was time
1 to prevent any possible escalation of the clashes there.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you gave all the information to
3 Mr. Stanisic, or was he aware of these problems?
4 A. As I said, he indirectly suggested this to me, so logic dictates
5 that he probably had an idea about it. He had someone from the service
6 there that I mentioned, Mr. Sarac, who was monitoring the situation
7 throughout. There was nothing alarming about what was going on, but it
8 strikes me as quite certain that Mr. Stanisic was already in possession
9 of that information which I then confirmed for him.
10 JUDGE ORIE: So you, purely coincidental, meet Mr. Stanisic. You
11 give him -- when he asked you to tell about the situation, and
12 then you -- he apparently is already aware of all the problems, then you
13 said: "... which I then confirmed for him."
14 At the same time, you tell us that you were the one who informed
15 Mr. Stanisic about the problems. At least that's what we hear in your
16 testimony and which is not in your statement.
17 Could you comment on that?
18 A. It's not in the statement because I wasn't asked specifically,
19 about the meeting, the sort of specific question that I received today.
20 I answered the question as it was asked. I don't think it's
21 contradictory. And I think I've just had a chance to explain it fully.
11 Pages 13543-13549 redacted. Closed session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
2 The Chamber was -- had informally inquired with the Prosecution
3 how much time you would need, Mr. Groome, for cross-examination, and I
4 think you performed quicker than announced. And on the basis of the time
5 we would expect to need for re-examination and questions by the Chamber
6 and potentially further cross-examination, we considered that the next
7 witness should not wait. If we would have known how matters had
8 developed, we might have taken a different decision as far as the --
9 whether the witness should remain stand-by or not, because we're losing
10 more or less half an hour which we hardly can afford.
11 I leave it to that for the time being, but I encourage the
12 parties that even if this information is given informally, that it should
13 be reliable to the extent possible.
14 We adjourn for the day. And we'll resume tomorrow morning,
15 Wednesday, the 24th of August, and 9.00 in this same Courtroom II.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.42 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
18 August, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.