1 Tuesday, 31 January 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic
9 and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Before we start, I have a few preliminaries. The first one being
12 that the statement on bar table motions which was already distributed
13 among the parties, at least a courtesy copy, still has to be read into
14 the record, which I'll start to do now.
15 The Chamber will now address the issue of the upcoming bar table
16 motions by the Stanisic Defence.
17 On the 21st of November, 2011, the Stanisic Defence notified the
18 Chamber informally that it intended to a file a bar table motion. This
19 matter was subsequently discussed in court, including on the
20 24th of November and the 7th of December, in 2011, when the
21 Stanisic Defence clarified that it intended to file three bar table
22 motions, two of which covered some 800 documents.
23 On the 7th of December, the Chamber expressed concern about such
24 major bar table motions being filed at a relatively late stage of the
25 trial and asked the parties to meet and try to reach an agreement with
1 regard to some of the subject matter covered by the documents.
2 On the 13th of January, 2012, the parties updated the Chamber
3 informally on the state of their discussions. The Chamber will make a
4 number of observations in this respect.
5 As mentioned, the Stanisic Defence has indicated that the bar
6 table motions would tender at least 800 documents for admission into
7 evidence. The Chamber notes that the total number of Defence exhibits
8 tendered by the -- by both Defence teams, at present, is around
9 650 documents. The Chamber further notes that the Stanisic Defence case
10 is, too a large extent, over and the proceedings in this case are drawing
11 to a close.
12 When the Prosecution, during its case, submitted a bar table
13 motion covering a large number of document, the Chamber expressed its
14 concerns about being flooded by hundreds of documents without precise
15 information about how they would fit into the tendering party's case.
16 The Chamber further emphasised that it would prefer to receive evidence
17 through witnesses. This can be found on transcript pages 3685 through
18 3690. These considerations apply equally to the presentation of evidence
19 in the Defence cases.
20 In cases before this Tribunal, where there is an enormous amount
21 of potential evidentiary material that can be considered relevant and of
22 probative value, the burden falls heavily on the parties to organise the
23 presentation of their evidence in such a way that the Chamber is able to
24 properly consider it. It is for the parties to carefully select the most
25 relevant and probative documents and to provide a clear indication as to
1 the documents' place within the wider case and the party's purpose in
2 tendering them. Not doing this creates a practical and organisational
3 problem for any responding parties and for the Chamber. More
4 importantly, however, the party runs the risk that the Chamber will not
5 be able to consider that piece of evidence in the way the party intended.
6 In this respect, the Chamber notes that a document can be relied
7 on to establish a number of different fact, only some of which are
8 obvious at first glance. For example, a government report describing a
9 series of events can be used to establish that a specific governmental
10 institution had information that these events took place. However, the
11 same document might be used to establish that the institution took action
12 in response to the events. In addition, or alternatively, the report can
13 be used to demonstrate that the series of events in fact took place.
14 On the other hand, the tendering party might only have intended
15 for the document to prove that the author of the report worked at the
16 governmental institution at that time.
17 The Chamber expects the party tendering such a document to
18 indicate precisely which information contained in the document it seeks
19 to rely on. When a document is tendered through a witness, the tendering
20 party's line of questioning and the witness's testimony provide a certain
21 amount of context to the document. When a document is bar tabled,
22 however, it is for the tendering party to explain the context in detail.
23 The Chamber notes that the parties have made some progress
24 regarding the possible future bar table motions by the Stanisic Defence.
25 In particular, in paragraphs 5 and 7 of the informal communication of the
1 13th of January, 2012, the parties indicate that some of the
2 documentation is being transformed into agreed facts. The Chamber
3 welcomes this.
4 In the informal communication, the parties indicate that there
5 might be disagreement about what conclusions to draw from particular
6 documents. However, such disagreements should not be an obstacle to
7 agree on the content of the documents. The parties could address the
8 interpretation of and conclusions to be drawn from specific documents
9 separately; for example, in their final briefs.
10 Considering the size of possible future bar table motions and the
11 stage of the proceedings, the Chamber expects the parties to treat this
12 issue as a priority. Once a bar table motion is submitted, the other
13 parties need time to respond, and the Chamber needs time to consider it.
14 The Chamber expects the first concrete steps by the
15 17th of February, 2012, either in the form of a record of agreed facts
16 and/or in the form of a bar table motion tendering those documents on
17 which no agreement could be reached. These first steps do not have to
18 deal with all of the documents, and the Chamber will set further
19 deadlines in due course.
20 Considering that the parties have already discussed the documents
21 in depth, the Chamber expects responses by the parties to any such motion
22 not later than the 2nd of March, 2012.
23 As the parties are aware, this is a departure from the Chamber's
24 guidance on bar table motions of the 7th of July, 2009, which foresees a
25 joint filing.
1 And this concludes the Chamber's statement.
2 Mr. Jordash.
3 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, it's slightly -- it's slightly
4 unfortunate timing, but we are going to disclose another bar table to the
5 Prosecution today. And I say unfortunate timing because it will probably
6 not make me very popular. But there are 330 documents within that bar
7 table, and in some senses it's the largest bar table because it contains
8 many of the governmental-type minutes which we'd like to rely upon. I
9 raise it now simply just to -- in the spirit of candor.
10 In light of Your Honour's guidance, we'll do what we can to --
11 with the Prosecution to reduce that. But we do see some fairly
12 intractable problems with trying to reduce these types of minutes to --
13 in line with Your Honours's guidance. But obviously we'll do our best
14 and we do appreciate the guidance and what it's trying to achieve.
15 JUDGE ORIE: If you're talking about the minutes, I think the
16 first step should be that -- to find the relevant parts of those minutes,
17 because usually minutes of meetings cover far more subjects than perhaps
18 relevant for the party to tender that portion of the minutes.
19 But we'll first leave it to the parties to see -- and, of course,
20 finally, there are -- filing a motion and agreeing or trying to reach an
21 agreement with the Prosecution is the first step to, I would say, to
22 enhance the possibility that the tendering will be successful, that is,
23 leads to admission of the documents into admission. Because, that's, of
24 course, the second step.
25 MR. JORDASH: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It is important for the tendering party, and I can
2 imagine that selection and self-restriction may enhance the chances of
3 success if we're talking about these amounts.
4 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes. I mean, on one view -- well my
5 preliminary view is that it may well be useful to have a short hearing on
6 the subject, because I can see that we are going to hit an impasse. And
7 the impasse will be that which has been indicated to Your Honours,
8 which -- and resolves around notice, something that, as Your Honours
9 know, I've been talking for many, many a month. And I put it like that,
10 because if I just take the governmental-type minutes, the
11 governmental-type minutes often tell a very detailed story about who was
12 making decisions, the type of decisions being made, the type of supplies
13 from, for example, the Serbian government or the FRY to the Bosnian
14 Serbs, and it is, from our perspective, very difficult to remove much of
15 that and just take the highlights, in the absence of the Prosecution
16 indicating with greater clarity what their case is.
17 If their case is as they advance -- have advanced it so far,
18 these accused were responsible for pretty much everything, and they were
19 the ones guiding and controlling everything. It's very difficult then to
20 have in our possession documents from government meetings showing that
21 there are many other people who are the front runners in that -- on that
22 issue but then be asked to reduce or take away some of that evidence. If
23 the Prosecution would supply greater precision, then -- instead of
24 alleging everything, then we might be able to get somewhere a bit more
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Your proposal was to have a short hearing on
2 the matter. You started already, Mr. Jordash.
3 MR. JORDASH: Apologies.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We'll consider that. I take it that the parties --
5 first that you'll indicate to the Prosecution what that material is. And
6 let's not anticipate on getting stuck on matters where apparently the
7 discussion has not started yet.
8 Ms. Marcus.
9 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, I just wanted to add,
10 before we express our view or anything on a proposed hearing, following
11 the Chamber's statement we are going to be sending informal communication
12 to the Stanisic Defence, basically giving them our current position and
13 our view, asking them a few questions. Based on their response, we will
14 then send information to the Chamber as to what we believe from our
15 position our current view is. I think with that information,
16 Your Honours, the Chamber will be in a position to assess perhaps what
17 next steps need to be taken in this regard.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Marcus.
19 Then the second item on my agenda are the leftovers of tendering
20 of documents from last week, Witness Pelevic. There were some problems
21 with the format of video materials, et cetera. We were running out of
23 Could the parties inform me what material, hopefully properly
24 uploaded in the e-court, is still there to be tendered.
25 Mr. Weber.
1 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, the Prosecution had two videos in that
2 regard of note. One was 2D1001, which I believe was displayed during the
3 Simatovic examination, related to the five-minute speech of Arkan's --
4 including the text of the "united states of Serbia."
5 The second one was a Prosecution video, 65 ter 6316, which had
6 not been uploaded at the time that it was displayed, which was two
7 video-clips from the funeral proceedings of Radovan Stojicic, Badza. The
8 Prosecution also used a still with the witness, 65 ter 6316.1, which was
9 related to that video. Aside from that, we did have three other exhibits
10 that were marked for identification that we would be seeking to tender
11 again; that's P307--
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- let's take it one by one. Let's first
13 focus on the videos.
14 2D1001, Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
15 THE REGISTRAR: The number would be P3073, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections?
17 P3073 is admitted into evidence.
18 The other video, 65 ter 6316, Madam Registrar ...
19 THE REGISTRAR: The number would be P3074, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections?
21 P3074 is admitted into evidence.
22 The still from that video, 6316.1, or is that included,
23 Madam Registrar?
24 THE REGISTRAR: This will P3075, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
1 P3075 is admitted into evidence.
2 Then the three --
3 MR. WEBER: Your Honour --
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- documents marked for identification. These
5 were -- could you please briefly refer to them.
6 MR. WEBER: Yes. The three that the Prosecution had of record,
7 they were carry-overs from the end of the cross-examination of
8 Mr. Pelevic, were documents produced by Mr. Pelevic to the
9 Simatovic Defence but then the Prosecution examined Mr. Pelevic upon
10 towards the latter part of the day. They're exhibits P3070, which is a
11 form related to an individual by the name of Zarka Radnov; P3071, which
12 is a form related to Aleksandar Manojlovic; and P3072, which was a
13 certificate that was pertaining to an individual by the last name of
15 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections against admission? Not.
16 P3070, P3071, and P3072 are admitted into evidence.
17 Nothing else remaining?
18 MR. WEBER: Not from the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Defence?
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That's then all on the record.
22 Mr. Jordash, the -- during the 26th of January proceedings, the
23 Prosecution proposed that an investigator from its Belgrade office go to
24 the home of Witness Pelevic to photograph a board of photographs at the
25 witness's home, and the Stanisic Defence objected, linking its objection
1 to its submissions that the Prosecution violated Rule 90(H)(ii) in its
2 cross-examination of the witness.
3 Now, that objection was followed by some additional questions put
4 by the Chamber to the witness and some questions you wanted to put to the
5 witness, which creates a situation which is at least slightly different
6 from the situation when you made these observations. The first question
7 I would have is whether you are still seeking a ruling on your
8 Rule 90(H)(ii) objections in light of these subsequent questions which
9 were very much focussing on the Prosecution's case.
10 Could I hear whether you still, now knowing what the answers of
11 the witness have been, whether you still --
12 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, we don't seek a ruling at this point,
13 but we say that without prejudice to submissions we'd like to or may make
14 at the closing stage concerning what the Prosecution, in our view, should
15 have put to that witness. We -- we appreciated the course that
16 Your Honours took, but Your Honours will also appreciate that the time
17 was extremely limited, and I'd like to be able to look at, again, how the
18 Prosecution proceeded with the witness, and what they may seek to rely
19 upon in the future and what our position would be in they do seek to rely
20 upon certain aspects of his evidence without having, in our view, put
21 their case very clearly.
22 So we don't ask for a ruling, but ...
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, now, of course, Mr. Jordash, I will discuss it
24 with my colleagues, but at a certain moment it should be clear whether
25 the evidence is there, yes or no. I mean, I take it that your objection
1 against violation of Rule 90(H)(ii) would be that some of the evidence
2 would be stricken from the record. That's, I mean ... unless you had
3 other ideas on what remedies would be there.
4 MR. JORDASH: Well, either stricken from the record, or --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Or ignored? Or, I mean, if it's on the record, the
6 Prosecution would --
7 MR. JORDASH: Or -- well stricken from the record or that the
8 Prosecution not be allowed to rely upon that evidence in particular ways,
9 depending upon the way that they questioned the witness. For example, if
10 they didn't put to the witness proposition A, they couldn't rely upon an
11 answer he gave to support proposition A.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I see your point. At the same time, of course,
13 it is a bit -- if you would do this only in -- during closing argument,
14 for example, then, of course, it would be a bit late because at that
15 moment it would be unclear for the Prosecution what they can rely upon or
16 not because no ruling then has been made yet.
17 So, therefore, whether -- your proposal, to say, Well, we do not
18 insist on a ruling on Rule 90(H)(ii), but we keep it open to -- to -- to
19 seek certain remedies at later stages, might, from a procedural point of
20 view, create some problems.
21 I suggest the following. At this moment, you're not insisting on
22 a ruling. Could you please discuss with the Prosecution whether there
23 are any elements remaining where you say, Well, this and this and this,
24 you shouldn't use that, and then see to what extent you can agree with
25 the Prosecution. If there's no agreement, then perhaps at a later stage
1 it would be -- it would be clear to the Chamber what kind of remedy in
2 respect of what portions of the evidence you're seeking. Rather than to
3 wait until the final argument.
4 MR. JORDASH: The problem I can foresee in that is as follows.
5 That if the -- we don't object to the witness -- sorry, to the
6 Prosecution investigators going to the witness's premises and taking
7 those photographs, but we don't know what the Prosecution are going to
8 say about the five individuals they cross-examined about. I don't think
9 anyone in the courtroom could know what they're going to say about those
10 five individuals, because they do not explain that position except that
11 they were paid by the DB. But we don't know any -- much more than that.
12 We don't know which operations they are alleged to have been a part of,
13 and so on. Or what their criminal conduct, if any, was, or how that
14 relates to the criminal purpose alleged against the accused.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So perhaps you could at least start a conversation
16 with the Prosecution in what respect they want to rely on the evidence of
17 this witness in relation to those five persons. That's one.
18 Second, apparently there's no objection at this moment against
19 sending an investigator. I do not know -- it's -- it's -- the Chamber --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
22 [B/C/S on English channel]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I get some nice B/C/S on my English channel.
24 There's no objection against sending an investigator. At the
25 same time, the Chamber has not, at this moment, doesn't feel it of such
1 importance that we would urge you to do that. But, of course, there's no
2 objection. If you want at a later stage to show us that photograph, then
3 we will consider that. But it's certainly, at this moment, it is not
4 a -- something the Chamber considers of such importance that it -- that
5 it either invites you or encourages you to do that. We leave it entirely
6 in the hands of the Prosecution.
7 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honour, it is understood. In an
8 abundance of caution, if the Prosecution does proceed, we do anticipate
9 making arrangements through VWS just in order to do that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what was on my list remaining from last
12 Anything else to be raised by the parties?
13 MR. JORDASH: May I raise an issue concerning Mr. Stanisic's
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. JORDASH: Your Honours will recall that last week I indicated
17 that Mr. Stanisic was attending the Bronovo hospital for the second round
18 of treatment, the long-awaited treatment.
19 Unfortunately, it appears that options have run out at the
20 Bronovo hospital. Mr. Stanisic has been told that he cannot receive the
21 second treatment because it would be too dangerous to his health to take
22 the risk of, I think, allergic or other reactions.
23 He has been told that the last option is surgery, surgery which
24 is not possible in the Netherlands, but is available at the US -- in the
25 USA, at the Cleveland Clinic, which apparently is the paramount clinic
1 for this type of illness.
2 Apparently Dr. van Geenen is going to write an official report
3 following a telephone consultation next Thursday at 3.00 with Dr. Bo Shen
4 in Cleveland and Mr. Stanisic's long-standing doctor, Dr. Tarabar from
5 Belgrade. Things I -- we hope would be much clearer then.
6 We would respectfully request that the Trial Chamber request an
7 urgent report from a specialist, the reporting specialist dealing with
8 this latest subject, this latest news.
9 Yesterday we received answers from the reporting medical officer
10 to the questions which we asked Your Honours to pose, and we're very
11 grateful for those answers, answers which, as Your Honours know, we have
12 not been able to obtain through the Registry from the treating doctors.
13 And similarly --
14 JUDGE ORIE: You are talking about the specific questions the
15 Chamber put to the reporting medical officer?
16 MR. JORDASH: Yes. Yes. And the answers were extremely useful
17 to us.
18 We would, ideally, like to take the same route through the
19 Registry and to the treating doctors with this latest subject, just to
20 try to find out what precisely is the situation and the urgency of the
21 treatment proposed. In light of the Registry's present position, or
22 present position, we are not going to get answers to that -- to those
23 questions via that route.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And you're now talking about the questions in
25 relation to the treatment -- the illness which triggered the need for
1 this new medication and -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
2 MR. JORDASH: Yes. In sum, we would say the best route for
3 obtaining information which relates solely to Mr. Stanisic's treatment
4 rather than the -- directly to the accused's fitness would be to go to
5 his treating doctors. Unfortunately, the Registry do not take the same
7 So what we're asking again is that the Court intervene to this
8 degree to the extent that Your Honours would order the reporting
9 specialist to report on this latest development. That serves two
10 purposes: One, it provides us, or, rather, Mr. Stanisic with more
11 detail; and, secondly, it would reassure, we hope, the Court, that
12 Mr. Stanisic's ability to participate in the trial is not affected by
13 this latest development. And for the avoidance of doubt, we're not
14 suggesting at this stage that it does. We don't have the evidence to say
15 that. But we do think, given the seriousness of this development, that
16 caution is perhaps the best approach, and more information would be a
17 wise course.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, of course, the difference between the
19 reporting on the matter where you had difficulties in obtaining
20 information and the reporting on gastro-enterological problems was that
21 we had a specialist-reporting doctor in that field, where we did not have
22 any specialist reporting on psychological and psychiatric -- well,
23 Dr. de Man, of course, but there was this conflict with the treating
25 Now, wouldn't it be best that with seek an urgent report
1 immediately after that contact this week, Thursday, has taken place,
2 because then most likely we have the relevant information, and that we
3 then specifically will ask the reporting specialist doctor to gain all
4 the information from the treating doctors, including their communication
5 with specialists in Cleveland, and then to receive a full overview of his
6 opinion about that situation in terms of discontinuing the treatment in
7 the Bronovo hospital, perhaps the Cleveland hospital as being the only
8 one, or the best, for treatment, so that we formulate a few questions?
9 If you have any suggestions, you may have noticed that the Chamber
10 prefers to formulate the questions itself. We've done -- always done
11 that because we are the ones who receive, first of all, the information.
12 We are seeking it, first of all. But, of course, we are open to any
13 suggestions. And you may have noticed that apparently what you were
14 seeking in the recent past about the treatment on which you couldn't get
15 the information that hopefully the Chamber included what you wanted to
16 know in the questions it put to the -- to the reporting medical officer.
17 MR. JORDASH: We completely agree that the right course would be
18 to wait until this consultation. And perhaps the way for me to answer
19 the second part is to say that there are some outstanding issues and we
20 are -- but we're not going to concern the Trial Chamber with them at this
21 stage. We're filing the motion to the President today concerning OLAD's
22 position, but certainly the information that Your Honours elicited was
23 extremely useful and we're extremely grateful for that intervention.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You'll understand that what you'd like to know
25 may be a mix of what Mr. Stanisic wants to know as a patient and what he
1 wants to know so that it can be passed on to the Chamber as being
2 relevant for the proceedings. And we try to make a clear distinction
3 between the two so that we, especially, to the extent possible, will
4 assist the Defence in receiving the information which, for the Chamber's
5 relevance to receive for its purposes, and what is outside that scope,
6 that we leave that to Defence and Registry or Defence and President or
7 whomever is competent to deal with that.
8 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes. And I hope that I've tried to
9 also maintain that distinction, because I can see that distinction quite
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll consider -- if there is any input
12 as far as questions are concerned, again, we may formulate them
13 ourselves, we may impose certain limitations or even extensions, but if
14 you, in whatever way, make that, your wishes, available to the Chamber,
15 then we can consider them, because in view of the fact that it's Tuesday
16 and when, Thursday, the communication between Cleveland and The Hague
17 takes place, we would like to receive as soon as possible after that
18 communication the information we need.
19 MR. JORDASH: And we'll send any questions, if we have them, by
20 tomorrow, close of play.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Ms. Marcus, usually the Office of the Prosecution does not
23 intervene a lot, but -- on the manner, but you're on your feet.
24 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour, it's only to say we fully support
25 what's taking place now. We would just welcome also the opportunity to
1 put some proposed questions to the Chamber as we've done previously on
2 many instances.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then if we would stay within the same
4 time-limits as the Defence indicated, that would be good.
5 MS. MARCUS: We'll do so.
6 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that the Simatovic, although it may
7 have an impact on the proceedings at this moment, has no observations, or
8 would you like to address the Chamber, Mr. Petrovic?
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we will have a
10 position to state on this matter, but it is too soon now. As soon as we
11 have sufficient information, we will inform you of our position.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Simatovic [sic].
13 Then no other preliminaries.
14 Then, in relation to the next witness.
15 MR. FARR: Your Honour --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. FARR: -- there is one thing: There's a pending motion for
18 protective measures from Serbia, and the Prosecution has a --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was exactly why I had on my mind to go to
20 private session.
21 We move into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 16669-16670 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
8 I will re-start reading the decision of the Chamber.
9 On the 23rd of January, 2012, Serbia requested protective
10 measures for Witness DFS-017. Firstly, Serbia requests that the identity
11 of the witness be protected. The request is denied.
12 The witness is a former BIA operative, and Serbia has not
13 sufficiently explained how public disclosure of his identity could give
14 rise to a potential threat to Serbia's security interests.
15 Secondly, Serbia requests that the witness be allowed to testify
16 in closed session. Serbia argues that the witness will testify, and I
17 quote, "in relation to nature, type, and intensity of the contacts he
18 exchanged with Serbian MUP DB officials in the period from 1990 to 1995."
19 Another quote:
20 "Circumstances, facts, events and tasks pertaining to ..." and I
21 leave out a certain portion, "his employment within the Serbian DB."
22 And then last portion of the quote:
23 "His knowledge regarding the co-operation with the Serbian DB and
24 exchange of information and intelligence data and co-operation ..." and I
25 again leave out a certain portion, "with the accused Franko Simatovic."
1 The witness will be heard in open session, and the parties and
2 the witness are now instructed to request provisional private session
3 when their questions or the witness's answers might reveal, first, the
4 identity of a BIA source; second, the identity of a BIA operative; or
5 third, a location used by the BIA.
6 Following the testimony of Witness DFS-017, the Registry will
7 provide Serbia with the portions of transcripts of the testimony
8 provisionally held in private session in order for them to request
9 necessary redactions.
10 And, Madam Registrar, you are hereby instructed to inform the
11 Republic of Serbia of this decision.
12 Mr. Petrovic, I -- you stated a minute ago that the witness is
13 not seeking protective measures on his own behalf. Is that -- have you
14 verified that recently?
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I asked him about it
17 JUDGE ORIE: That's recent.
18 Then could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning --
21 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Draca.
23 Before you give evidence in this court, the Rules of Procedure
24 and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration that you'll speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The text is now
1 handed out to you by the usher.
2 Could you make that solemn declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: ACO DRACA
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Draca. Please be seated.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Draca, I'd like to inform you about a decision
10 the Chamber delivered only a few minutes ago, a decision related to
11 protective measures which were requested by the Republic of Serbia.
12 Republic of Serbia had requested that you would testify in closed
13 session and not under your own name but that your identity would be --
14 would not be disclosed to the public. That request has been denied. But
15 where the Chamber has decided that you'll be heard in open session,
16 you -- at the same time, your attention is drawn to the following. That
17 when the questions or your answers might reveal, first, the identity of a
18 BIA source, or, second, the identity of a BIA operative, or, three, a
19 location used by the BIA, then we would turn into private session. The
20 parties are instructed to notify the Chamber of such an event, and you
21 are under a similar instruction. If your answers would reveal any of
22 this information, we would then go into private session so that that
23 information would not become public and that the Republic of Serbia later
24 has an opportunity to review those portions of the testimony in order to
25 further argue whether they should or should not necessarily be withheld
1 from the public.
2 Is that clear to you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then you'll now first be examined by Mr. Petrovic.
5 Mr. Petrovic is, as you will be aware of, is counsel for Mr. Simatovic.
6 Mr. Petrovic has informed us that there were no personal reasons
7 for you to seek protective measures in view of your own personal
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Petrovic, please proceed.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Examination by Mr. Petrovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Draca.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Could you first state your full name for the transcript, as well
16 as your place and date of birth.
17 A. Aco Draca. I was born in Sinj, the Republic of Croatia, on the
18 13th of December, 1958.
19 Q. Mr. Draca, can you tell us what sort of educational background
20 you have.
21 A. I completed the high school in Benkovac and went on to get a
22 degree in law from the Zagreb university.
23 Q. Can you tell us where you first took employment and where.
24 A. In December of 1981, in the State Security Service, in the Zagreb
1 Q. Can you tell us briefly what sort of duties you performed in your
2 position for the state security in Zagreb.
3 A. At the start of my career, I was first involved in secret
4 surveillance and documentation, and after a while I was transferred to
5 operative duties. I don't know if you're interested in the specific
6 lines of work involved.
7 Q. If need be, I will put specific questions to you.
8 Witness, were you, at some point, relocated from Zagreb?
9 A. Yes. In 1986, at my own request, I was transferred to the Split
10 centre, the Zadar branch.
11 Q. Can you tell us, the Zadar branch, under which structure did it
12 fall; and how many workers did it have?
13 A. As I said, it was the centre in Split, and it was the largest
14 territorial centre in the former Yugoslavia, stretching all the way to
15 Rijeka in the north and Montenegro in the south. There was Zadar,
16 Sibenik, and Dubrovnik branches. I worked in Zadar. There were nine
17 operatives in all, but we had other administrators, drivers, et cetera.
18 Q. Witness, are you able to tell us what activities you carried out
19 when the political parties came to the political scene in the
20 Republic of Croatia in 1989/1990?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly pause between
22 question and answer.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for my professional engagements,
24 I worked --
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Draca, just one moment. His Honour would like to address
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the interpreters are asking whether you would
4 make a pause between question and answer and then between answer and
5 question again, otherwise they will not be able to keep up with your
6 speed of speech.
7 Please proceed.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My professional engagement had to
9 do with counter-intelligence vis-à-vis eastern European intelligence
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Draca, at a certain point the political parties that were
13 coming into being in 1989 and 1990, did they become the subject of
14 interest of your service in Zadar?
15 A. Yes. In 1989, the multi-party system was introduced in the
16 socialist Republic of Croatia as in all the former -- republics of the
17 former SFRY, and then because of ethnic tensions that were becoming
18 evident in that area the Split centre decided that all the operatives
19 would exclusively cover the newly created parties in the sense of newly
20 established extremists and possible terrorists' acts, violence. A large
21 number of parties was founded. It was not even know what their
22 objectives were. And if I may put it that way, it was just a democracy
23 that was coming into being, and all nine of us who were working neglected
24 all the other lines of work and covered exclusively the parties.
25 Q. Mr. Draca, at this initial time when you received this
1 instruction, were you covering political parties of all the peoples who
2 were living in the territory that was covered by your branch?
3 A. Yes, that is correct. Perhaps I didn't explain it in the best
5 We didn't cover the political activities of those parties. Only
6 those activities of those parties that had to do with potential terrorism
7 and interethnic strife. There was only one party founded among the
8 Serbian people, this is the Serbian Democratic Party, while the Croatian
9 people had more parties, among whom the leading one was the Croatian
10 Democratic Union headed by Dr. Tudjman.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could I also invite you to slow down slightly. Take
12 a breath now and then so that the interpreters can do the same.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Draca, at a certain point was this order changed as to the
16 activities that were to be monitored and of which parties?
17 A. Yes. I have to explain one more thing. According to the law
18 that was in force at the time in Yugoslavia, there was some provisions
19 referred to in citing ethnic intolerance and racial intolerance, and in
20 the first orders the position of the SDB was to collect evidence, films,
21 to document the activities which could be processed pursuant to that
22 article of the criminal law. A few days, perhaps ten to 15 days before
23 the first democratic elections in the Socialist Republic of Croatia,
24 which is what it was at the time, an order came from Zagreb clearly
25 stating that according to an order of the Central Committee of the
1 Socialist Republic of Croatia the SDB must not put a hold to democratic
2 processes in the country, and we were ordered to cease with these
3 particular activities.
4 Q. Mr. Draca, was the activity suspended? Actually, can you first
5 tell us what happened to the documentation that was compiled while you
6 were working on the political parties in the previous period.
7 A. We received an order from the Split centre to destroy the
8 complete documentation which we organised on the same day. This was
9 quite voluminous paper documentation and all the audio and video material
10 from different meetings and encounters. That order was specific in one
11 aspect as well, because it related exclusively to Croatian political
12 parties. It did not refer to the Serbian Democratic Party. We continued
13 to work on that with the explanation that extremism among the Serbian
14 people could contribute to a growth in the conflict. And there was an
15 order to fully devote ourselves to our work on the SDS so that at one
16 point in time in Zadar we had a curious matter, where we were not working
17 on Croatian nationalism, whereas we were working on Serbian nationalism.
18 We had 12 actions in relation to people who were in the SDS. The
19 curiosity was then that in that area the majority population was Croat.
20 Q. Sir, if we can very briefly talk about the situation in Zadar at
21 the time and around the elections in 1990: What was the situation, were
22 there any incidents, and what is the position of your service in relation
23 to those incidents?
24 A. The security situation was quite bad, especially after the
25 elections which were won by the HDZ. Up until that time there was a hope
1 that the SDP, the former communists headed by the late President Racan,
2 would win the elections. They were much more mild. However, when the
3 HDZ won the elections, interethnic tensions occurred and there was even
4 an occurrence of the first Serbian Guards being formed in the Serbian
6 JUDGE ORIE: If you take it sentence by sentence and then make a
7 very short break, that certainly would assist.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that period, the first village
9 guards were established at night in the Serbian villages exclusively.
10 The Zadar area covered three municipalities other than Zadar. These were
11 Beograd na Moru, Benkovac, and Obrovac. And Obrovac and Benkovac had a
12 Serbian majority population.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Sir --
15 A. I just wanted to add that in that period the service monitored
16 everything that was happening in the field and was reporting back to
17 Split and Zagreb about these nightguard duties as well. The JNA service
18 was functioning also at the time and had joint meetings with
19 representatives of the Yugoslav People's Army, or, rather, their security
20 department. They undertook to go and visit those villages and to assure
21 the people that there was no need for any guards because they were still
22 guarantors of peace there.
23 Q. Witness, we will come to these questions. I would just like to
24 ask you to try to focus on what I'm asking you and to -- so that we could
25 present that the Trial Chamber in a brief and efficient manner.
1 My question was: At this time in 1990 were there any incidents;
2 and did your service interfere, did it react, to these incidents; and
3 what was the information that it acquired?
4 A. There were incidents, especially after the parliamentary
5 elections which were won by the HDZ. Our direct instructions were, and
6 it was partially a written instruction, not to interfere in the incidents
7 but just to record them and to report on them. Not interference meant
8 that we should not gather material evidence in order that these
9 proceedings would be processed and so that criminal charges could be
11 Q. Witness, sir, and what happened with the operatives in the DB of
12 Serb ethnicity and also in the Split Police at this time, after the
14 A. Shortly after the elections, or after the authorities were
15 formed, the first multi-party authorities in Croatia, all the staff of DB
16 received a loyalty document which they were obliged to sign. The
17 document didn't indicate anything in particular, its content was similar
18 to the ones we signed before about keeping state and professional
19 secrets, other than the letterhead was changed. It was now the
21 As for the other things, the -- the insignia, the first decision
22 was to change the insignia on the hat and the sleeve. It was no longer
23 the star, but the chequer-board. Some workers refused to that accept
24 that insignia and they would get fired. In places like Knin and
25 Benkovac, the staff continued to work but with old insignia.
1 Q. In one sentence, are you able to tell us why Serb staff refused
2 to accept new insignia for their uniforms?
3 A. Exclusively because the new insignia, in the form of the
4 chequer-board, was almost identical to the insignia of the NDH from 1941,
5 under whose administration over one million Serbs died in Croatia. So
6 this associated them to that period, because the Serb population had
7 suffered terribly under those symbols.
8 Q. Witness, were there any new units being created at that time in
9 the Croatian police; and if they were, who was joining those units?
10 A. Yes. There were new units being created. The service's security
11 assessment at this point in time -- well, I cannot say the service, but
12 the Zadar branch, was that the establishment of these new units was
13 considerably contributing to the tensions, because the old cadre of the
14 public security service in the assessment of the Croatian leadership were
15 not capable of covering the complete territory. President Tudjman made a
16 decision to form --
17 President Tudjman made a decision to form special reserve forces
18 of the police that would be mobilised exclusively from among the tough
19 Croatian ethnic men, a vast majority of whom had a criminal record, in
20 the area of Zadar where practically everybody knew each other. It was
21 not a big place. We knew exactly who these people were. And this caused
22 a lot of opposition even among the Croatian public. They got uniforms
23 without any particular training. Camps were formed where these people
24 were accommodated. Nobody knew what they were going to be used for, and
25 this gave rise to fear in Serbian villages that one day or one night they
1 would barge in and take over the police stations that were in the areas
2 where the Serbs were living.
3 Q. Witness, do you know about the 17th of August? Was there some
4 sort of meeting scheduled in Benkovac? 17th of August, 1990.
5 A. Yes. This was in the outskirts of the village Bukovic, which is
6 close to Benkovac. A meeting was scheduled and it was held.
7 Professor Jovan Raskovic, president of the Serbian Democratic Party,
8 convened a meeting for that day.
9 Q. Witness, did anything happen on the eve of that meeting, on the
10 17th of August, 1990?
11 A. Yes. On the evening before the meeting, in the evening of the
12 16th, sometime after midnight, a special unit from Zadar came to
13 Benkovac, occupied the police station, broke down the door to the
14 warehouse, because it was locked, and seized all the reserve forces'
15 weapons, mostly long-barrelled weapons, automatic weapons, and they also
16 seized the active forces' weapons which were being held there in case of
17 some sort of emergency situation.
18 At that time, they arrested and took with them the duty policemen
19 whom they brought back the next day. That person was part of the Zadar
20 police administration even though he was in Benkovac.
21 Q. Sir, do you know if there were any plans to carry out similar
22 actions in other areas with Serb majority populations?
23 A. Yes. A similar action was supposed to be carried out in smaller
24 towns, like Obrovac, Gracac, and then Knin, as a larger centre, would
25 have its turn, when it was surrounded and its police stations were
2 Q. Witness, how did you find out about the existence of these plans?
3 A. Because at that point in time I was still working, just like all
4 of my colleagues were. Nobody had left at that point. We were coming to
5 work. From time to time, our manager would inform us about plans, even
6 though I have to emphasise that this was a time when most Serbs were
7 going on sick-leave, were avoiding going to work, because we kept
8 receiving, persistently, orders, especially Serbs, to cover Serbian
9 territories. And so it would happen that you would submit a report as to
10 what happened over the past week in the Benkovac or Obrovac area, then
11 they - when I say "they," I'm thinking mostly of the leadership in Split
12 and -- in Zadar and Zagreb - then they would say that we were minimizing
13 Serbian activities. They would be skeptical.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can see the time.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Petrovic. One second, please.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: We will take a break.
18 Mr. Petrovic, until now we have heard a lot about the background,
19 but I don't know to what extent it was explored with the Prosecution
20 whether there is any disagreement, because I never felt that the
21 Prosecution took a position that there was not rising ethnic tensions and
22 administrative measures which might have considered to be against the
23 Serbs in that area at that point in time.
24 Perhaps you could use the break to find out. Because let's get
25 as quickly as possible to what is the core of the testimony of this
1 witness. And I take it it's not just background information.
2 We take a break, and we resume at a quarter to 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.19 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, you may proceed. But could I urge you
6 and the witness to make pauses between question and answer and answer and
7 question. And could I invite specifically the witness to slow down a bit
8 because we would lose some of your words, which you would not wish to
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Draca, you have described the event in Benkovac of the
13 16th of August, 1990. Can you please tell us how the population reacted
14 to the situation in the northern Dalmatia municipalities following these
15 events. Was there something that happened out in the field?
16 A. Yes. This event drastically changed the security situation in
17 the field and heightened interethnic tensions.
18 On the following morning, of the 17th of August, at this rally
19 which had been scheduled earlier on, a great many citizens gathered
20 because they had heard that the Benkovac SUP had had its weapons seized.
21 Over 20.000 people attended the rally. News circulated of the Croatian
22 police forces having used their helicopters to fly to Lika to seize
23 weapons from the Serbian municipalities there. The information was
24 confirmed by the JNA, and this was the first time that the JNA intervened
25 and had its fighter planes up in the air to send the helicopters back.
1 That was the first time that the population who gathered at the rally
2 called on those present to issue them with weapons to protect themselves.
3 The President of the SDS, Professor Jovan Raskovic, said at the
4 rally that no weapons would be needed, that he would take it upon himself
5 to speak to President Tudjman to prevent the conflict from escalating.
6 Unfortunately, these words of reassurance didn't have the desired effect,
7 and that very night roadblocks were erected with logs and all manner of
8 other obstacles, severing all the various roads in the general area of
9 Lika and the Cetina river.
10 Q. Witness, who erected these roadblocks; and who manned them?
11 A. It was the local villagers who did. There were no roadblocks in
12 Benkovac, but there were in all the villages around it. They mostly used
13 hunting weapons and some of the trophy weapons that people still had from
14 World War II.
15 Q. One other question on this particular issue, Witness: Can you
16 tell us, What was the Crystal Night in Zadar?
17 A. We are skipping onwards to 1991 now. I think it happened on the
18 4th of May. A day or two earlier, a Croatian reserve policeman was
19 killed in the area between Benkovac and Zadar. The villagers of the
20 village where the policeman hailed from organised a large protest rally
21 in Zadar, and more than 10.000 people headed to destroy, on a rampage, to
22 destroy everything that was owned by the Serbs - restaurants, bars. Even
23 the open market stalls in Zadar that were owned by a Serb were destroyed.
24 Every Serb that they came across in Zadar that day was lynched. People
25 were injured. Quite a few stores and offices were set on fire, like, for
1 instance, the Yugoslav Airlines offices as well as a number of other
2 offices owned by companies from Belgrade who had their branches there.
3 There were fires appearing across Zadar in some ten locations, and many
4 people were out in the street.
5 Q. Witness, what happened to the Serb inhabitants in Zadar on the
6 following day?
7 A. That night in Zadar was a very difficult one for the Serbs.
8 Nobody could sleep lest somebody should barge in their homes. And people
9 would take off their name tags outside the front door so that nobody
10 would know that they were Serbs. There were trucks pulling up in front
11 of many homes, and many Serb inhabitants of Zadar left the town that day
12 and headed for the areas where the majority of the Serbs lived.
13 To describe the situation to you clearly: Zadar itself had some
14 100.000 inhabitants and of these, 25- to 30.000 were Serbs. The column
15 that headed toward Benkovac and Knin of the Serbian refugees that day was
16 endless. People were frightened, and they were frightened by that
17 Crystal Night in Zadar, which got its name from the glass that had been
18 smashed on the numerous window-panes and shop windows, and they were
19 afraid of what might become of them. They were afraid to suffer that
20 same fate.
21 Q. Witness, we mentioned the role of the JNA in 1990 and early 1991.
22 Can you tell us, in that early period of the conflict what sort
23 of reaction was there from the JNA with regard to the conflict and the
25 A. At the time, the Yugoslav People's Army wanted to enforce peace.
1 At night they would not go to these roadblocks because they didn't want
2 to heighten tensions, but in day-time they would go to Knin, Obrovac, and
3 the nearby villages, and I mean the JNA officers. They would be visiting
4 more prominent members of those communities, trying to persuade them to
5 remove these roadblocks, saying that they would be the ones to guarantee
6 peace as the army.
7 They did the same by visiting Croatian villages. There were many
8 villages with mixed population; half of them Serbs, half of them Croats.
9 And then you would have JNA troops with armoured vehicles standing guard
10 round the clock to make sure that no individuals would be able to cause
11 any incidents that would inflame the situation.
12 Q. These buffer zones between Croat and Serb villages that you've
13 just been referring to served, in fact, to form a line of separation
14 between Serb-inhabited areas and Croat-inhabited areas, if my
15 understanding is correct.
16 A. Well, I can't really call it a line of separation. There were
17 several APCs, several soldiers, mostly of the military police. They
18 would go from village to village. In some areas where relations were
19 good, they were more successful. In others, less. You can't call it a
20 line of separation, really. There were literally a couple of patrols
21 trying to make sure that no incidents occur between the two peoples.
22 Q. While the JNA was playing the role that you've just described,
23 were there instances of Croat villages being taken by Serb forces or Serb
24 villages being taken by Croat forces? Or ...
25 A. No. Not in that period of time. No areas were taken. There
1 were no major provocations or acts of aggression on either side. There
2 weren't even instances of either Croats or Serbs leaving these villages.
3 Q. Mr. Witness, do you know whether in the summer of 1991 there
4 occurred a change in the personnel of the JNA commands and units in the
6 A. Yes. There was a change in that the JNA was being understaffed
7 because a great many officers and soldiers started leaving the JNA ranks
8 and joining the Croatian side. At this time, the national corps guard --
9 National Guard Corps was being set up and the Croatian authorities were
10 calling on everyone to leave the JNA ranks and join the National Corps
11 Guard [as interpreted]. And these events came to a head in the summer of
13 Q. In the summer of 1991, was there a shift in the attitude on the
14 part of the Croatian authorities towards the JNA?
15 A. Yes, there was a major shift. In July and especially in August,
16 after President Tudjman and the Croatian authorities called on the army
17 to withdraw from Croatian towns, the General Staff of the army rejected
18 the ultimatum and suggested that the political situation be resolved --
19 that the situation be resolved through political means.
20 I think that once a month the presidents of all the various
21 republics met in order to agree on the political future of the country.
22 Q. Sorry, witness, I'm interrupting you, but could you focus on my
24 In the area where you were, was there a shift in terms of how the
25 Croatian authorities regarded the JNA; and if so, what was it?
1 A. Yes. An order was issued for the barracks to be placed under
2 blockade. I can't say that it was just the MUP and the National Guards
3 Corps, but at any rate there was a call for the barracks to be placed
4 under a blockade. And when I say "under a blockade," that their water
5 and electricity supplies should be severed and that they should be
6 physically blocked as well.
7 Q. Can you tell us how many barracks there were in Zadar and what
8 became of them in that period of time?
9 A. There were three major barracks in Zadar and several smaller
10 ones, and they were all placed under a blockade.
11 Q. Witness, I'd like us to discuss now your particular movements at
12 the time.
13 Did there come a time when you came in touch with the MUP of the
14 SAO Krajina?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you tell us when this was and who with?
17 A. It was in late Autumn or early winter of 1990. My assumption at
18 the time was that we would all have to leave Zadar one day or another,
19 and I got in touch with the Benkovac Police Station and discussed the
20 possibility of me joining their ranks.
21 Q. Did you meet Milan Martic at some point?
22 A. Yes. It was a briefing. It was shortly after that first meeting
23 in the SUP of Benkovac. The commander of the Benkovac SUP took me to
24 meet Milan Martic in Knin.
25 Q. Did Martic tell you of some of his ideas about forming
1 institutions in the area of Krajina at this point?
2 A. Yes. It was a long discussion, more than an hour. I knew that
3 the area which was called the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina at
4 the time did not have a security infrastructure when it comes to state
5 security. It didn't have either the personnel, officers, equipment, or
6 anything else, because in what was then the Socialist Republic of Croatia
7 these regions were covered by centres located in major towns. Martic did
8 confirm to me that they did not have a security structure branch but that
9 would the situation be developing in the direction of them having to
10 resist the new government in Zagreb, he would be planning to set up a
11 State Security Service for Krajina.
12 Q. In the SAO Krajina, were there any state security professionals
13 from the pre-war service?
14 A. No. I should clarify this a bit perhaps.
15 The Kordun area was covered by Karlovac. Banija was covered by
16 Sisak. For instance, Knin was covered by Sibenik. Benkovac and Obrovac
17 were covered by Zadar. As I said, these small towns didn't have either
18 the personnel or the offices. However, in the town of Knin there were
19 two operatives who would be visiting on occasion from Sibenik, but they
20 would be using the premises of the SUP of Knin.
21 Q. Was a decision taken at some point to form a State Security
22 Service of the SAO Krajina? And if so, do you know anything about it?
23 A. Yes. With the negative developments that followed - when I say
24 "negative," I mean in terms of peace - a body was established in Knin
25 called the Serb National Council which took care of negotiations and
1 anything that had to do with the region. They decided that the ministry
2 of the police should be set up as part of the Serbian National Council.
3 I don't think they called it ministry at the time at all. It was called
4 the Krajina Police.
5 I was in touch with Martic at that point. That was just on the
6 new year's eve of 1990, because it was on the 5th of January that Martic
7 officially issued the decision to set up the Krajina Police, so the
8 meeting must have taken place ahead of the 5th of January, and he
9 introduced me to Dusan Orlovic who he said was charged with running the
10 State Security Service in Krajina.
11 Q. Witness, did Dusan Orlovic have any experience in the DB area of
13 A. No. He had never worked at the police before or in the state
15 Q. At some point did Orlovic give you any assignments?
16 A. At the beginning there were no particular tasks other than the
17 general tasks to compile data relating to the threats to the area around
18 Benkovac because of the special units of the Croatian MUP so that we
19 could alert the inhabitants of the villages in time to get ready for
20 defence or evacuation.
21 I must emphasise that in that period the JNA still existed. And
22 when I say "ours," I mean our Serbian population in that area. So our
23 hopes were that the army would secure peace. But if this did not happen,
24 we had to prepare in a way, in the event of an attack, to be able to
25 inform the inhabitants of the village so that they could withdraw to be
1 safe. Because, at that time still there were no adequate weapons for
2 them to be able to defend themselves.
3 Q. Witness, at some point was there a -- a branch of the state
4 security that was established in Benkovac?
5 A. Yes, it was. That's why I said earlier that these were initial
6 assignments. And then in late winter/early spring 1991, I was given an
7 order to form an SDB branch in Benkovac, to pick my own personnel, seven
8 to eight operatives, and he also informed me about the organisational
9 chart. He also said that the other areas in the Krajina area were also
10 setting up branches in the same way, and we all were linked to the Knin
11 centre, which at that point in time was under his leadership.
12 Q. Witness, in that period, in 1991, what were the work conditions
13 in the State Security Service of the Krajina?
14 A. Well, it was a total improvisation. Literally. There were no
15 typewriters, never mind any more advanced technical equipments or the
16 ability to be able to perform analysis or do any basic tasks. The main
17 task then was also to gather information about threats to the inhabitants
18 of that area.
19 Q. And, witness, are you aware as to how the state security of
20 Krajina was financed in that period?
21 A. The Krajina State Security Service was being financed in the same
22 way as the public security service, in the identical way. It was a
23 decision by the Serb National Council, or, rather, they appealed to the
24 citizens to help different individuals and businesses who wanted to give
25 donations. All policemen, regardless of their rank, position, their
1 work, they all were receiving an identical salary at that time from that
2 same fund.
3 Q. And, sir, who led the State Security Service of Krajina in 1991?
4 A. Dusan Orlovic.
5 Q. Are you able to tell us - if you know - if the service received
6 instructions and directives for its work in that period? And if it did,
7 who did they come from?
8 A. Judging by the meetings that I had with Orlovic in Knin quite
9 frequently in that period, because there was no other communication, we
10 had to submit all our reports by messenger -- I'm sorry, can you please
11 repeat specifically what your question was.
12 Q. Well, my question was this: Who did the service in -- receive
13 its instructions and directives from in that period? If it did.
14 A. Orlovic informed me that it was exclusively from the
15 Serbian National Council. But it was known that Martic also had a
16 certain influence over that. At the time, the council changed its name
17 to the Council for National Defence, so it was the same thing.
18 Q. Witness, in 1991, how did Milan Martic evaluate the work of the
19 Krajina State Security Service?
20 A. In the beginning, the reporting to Martic indicated that he was
21 quite satisfied, but then as the year evolved he was less and less
22 satisfied. We had a several -- several meetings where he objected to the
23 quality of the work, meaning that he was not satisfied.
24 Q. Witness, did the SDB at any point cease to exist? The SDB
1 A. Yes. Martic made a decision to dissolve the service in late
2 November/early December 1991.
3 Q. Was this decision implemented?
4 A. Yes, it was.
5 Q. I just have a few questions now about an earlier period and on a
6 different topic, but I think this is a good place to put those questions
7 to you.
8 Do you know how the first weapons were received in Benkovac? How
9 and when.
10 A. The first weapons that arrived in Benkovac - and I was personally
11 informed about this action, if I may call it like that - there was
12 considerable pressure from inhabitants of villages bordering on Croatian
13 villages towards Zadar. The JNA at the time refused to distribute
14 weapons to arm and mobilise the village population. Since Benkovac had a
15 TO but did not have its own depots, at a number of meetings in Knin and
16 written proposals to the Serb National Council it was indicated that the
17 population was threatened by the Croatian forces in these border areas,
18 so the council made a decision and from the TO Golubic depot in Knin they
19 took old weapons, carbines, old Russian weapons from World War II,
20 machine-guns, and so on.
21 Q. Witness, you mentioned the TO Golubic depot. What kind of
22 facility is this, this depot in Golubic? Can you describe it? Who ran
23 the facility, where is it located?
24 A. The depot is close to the village of Golubic, some 15 kilometres
25 from Knin, in the direction of Bosnia. This is believed to be one of the
1 largest depots in the central Dalmatia area. It's under the control of
2 the JNA. A smaller part of the depot was used by the TO. This was a
3 decision dating from the 1960s, when the TO system was established. So a
4 part of that depot was given for the use of the TO, and that depot mostly
5 had old weapons to be used by the TO reserved forces.
6 Q. Witness, this -- these weapons, this initial quantity of weapons
7 that arrived in Benkovac, how was this distributed? Whom was it given
9 A. The local commune presidents came from those villages, and then
10 it was decided that the weapons should go there. I don't know -- I know
11 the names of the villages. I don't know if that means anything to the
12 Trial Chamber. These people came. Since no institution took it upon
13 itself to distribute the weaponry - there was no war yet, the JNA still
14 existed as a cohesive force in the field, although there were threats,
15 but there were no lines, there was no -- there were no clashes - so the
16 initial quantities of the weapons were distributed to representatives of
17 the local communes, at the entrance to Benkovac, in a pine forest,
18 according to a list which wasn't very long. It was about ten rifles that
19 were issued per village. The action was conducted by a representative --
20 or by the representative of the Knin TO in co-operation with the
21 commander of the Benkovac TO.
22 Q. You mentioned the TO Benkovac representative. Do you know the
23 name of that person?
24 A. Yes. It's Milan Dragisic.
25 Q. Witness, do you know Zdravko Zecevic, a person by the name of
1 Zdravko Zecevic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Are you able to tell us, in 1991, whether this person had any
4 duties that they were carrying out in the SAO Krajina area?
5 A. Zdravko Zecevic is from the same place that I am. I know him
6 from my childhood.
7 In 1990 he joined the SDS party, and he was the first president
8 of the Benkovac municipality because that party won the elections in
9 Benkovac. At the same time, he was the vice-president of the SDS party.
10 He was the vice-president to President Jovan Raskovic and a member of the
11 Serbian National Council.
12 Q. In May 1991 --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one question to clarify one of the
14 previous answers of the witness.
15 The decision to use some of the TO weaponry from the Golubic
16 depot and to distribute that, could you give that a date or an
17 approximately -- an approximate date?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This was in early May 1991,
19 after the Zadar Crystal Night. This was then approximately on the
20 10th of May, 1991.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. In 1991, Zecevic was the president of the Benkovac municipality.
25 Did Mr. Zecevic summon you to a meeting in May 1991?
1 A. Zecevic frequently called me to meetings that mostly -- because
2 he personally believed that he completely was out of his depth in
3 security areas. He would often ask for my security assessments. So I
4 don't know which meeting you mean. We had a lot of meetings in April as
6 Q. Did Mr. Zecevic call you to a meeting to meet some people who had
7 arrived in the Krajina area in April or May 1991? People from outside
8 who were not from Benkovac or from the Krajina.
9 A. Ah, yes, now I know which meeting you mean now. The meeting took
10 place in April, not in May. He called me and said that he would like me
11 to attend the meeting with him because a particular man was coming about
12 whom he didn't know anything. He asked me if I knew anything about him.
13 This was Captain Dragan that he was talking about.
14 At that point I didn't know of this man. I met him for the first
15 time at this meeting with Zecevic. This happened in early April 1991.
16 Q. Why did Zecevic want you to see Captain Dragan?
17 A. He told me himself that he felt on uncertain ground there, that
18 he didn't know this Captain Dragan. He was told that this was a man who
19 was a high-ranking officer of the Australian army, with excellent
20 connections with many security companies in the United States, in
21 Ireland, throughout the world, so he didn't feel sure of himself, and he
22 suggested that I wait for this man together with him, who was coming upon
23 the recommendation of his friends from Belgrade and from the Serbian
24 diaspora, especially from the United States, and simply to help him to
25 evaluate this man as a person.
1 To put it briefly, he was afraid that perhaps this was some kind
2 of crook, because in that period people like that did come to the Krajina
3 area an offer their services.
4 Q. Other than this meeting, this first meeting, were there any other
5 meetings that you attended between Captain Dragan and Zecevic?
6 A. Yes. After three to four weeks - this was already May - there
7 was a second meeting.
8 Q. And who attended this second meeting?
9 A. Zecevic called me in the same way, and he said that Captain
10 Dragan was coming again but this time he was in the company of Martic.
11 He also insisted that I attend that meeting, and this did take place in
12 May 1991.
13 Q. And at that time did Martic say anything about Captain Dragan?
14 A. Yes. He was quite taken by him. He was full of praise for him.
15 He said that he was a man who could help, because a problem cropped up at
16 the time. It was a process that took a while, and that was the departure
17 of all the Croatian cadres from all the Krajina police stations. So
18 there was a need for somebody to make up those missing staff, and
19 Captain Dragan could do that. Martic said that he could facilitate a
20 course of infantry training, and if any war broke out, this police force
21 would have basic police skills. And Martic told Zecevic and myself that
22 Captain Dragan was going to be taking this course, that he was actually
23 going to be organising a course in Golubic.
24 Q. If you know, why did Martic come to Zecevic to talk about the
25 topic of Captain Dragan and the setting up of this infantry course that
1 you have just referred to?
2 A. Well, the first thing is that Martic, in that period, had a lot
3 of respect for Zecevic as an intellectual, a very calm and capable man
4 and politician. Secondly, through Zecevic the first contact was
5 established with Martic. So I don't know exactly who these people are.
6 Perhaps I knew their names at the time, but they didn't mean anything to
7 me. I don't know who it was who came to Zecevic with Captain Dragan and
8 then told him about Martic. So Martic knew Zecevic had a lot of
9 connections in the Serbian diaspora, throughout the world, and he wanted
10 him to help in the sense of putting out the word in the world that
11 Captain Dragan was setting up this camp, that assistance was needed.
12 Q. Witness, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but it says here in line
13 47 -- on page 47, line 6 and 7, that Zecevic set up the first contact
14 with Martic.
15 Is that what you said or did you say something else?
16 A. Zecevic set up the first contact of Captain Dragan with Martic.
17 Q. Yes, thank you.
18 Mr. Draca, what was your impression about Captain Dragan on the
19 basis of the contacts you had with him?
20 A. Well, in the beginning it was completely positive. He was a very
21 energetic man and he wasn't an extremist, which I liked. He did not
22 mention any extremists or, if I may freely say so, pro-Chetnik attitudes.
23 But as time went by, my opinion changed.
24 Q. Mr. Witness, you say that your opinion changed. Why did you
25 change it?
1 A. Well, considering my job at the time, that is to say, collecting
2 information, I was well aware of what was happening in the area of all
3 villages in the vicinity of Benkovac and Knin. And I noticed that
4 Captain Dragan came on his own initiative, without agreements with anyone
5 from the Serbian authorities, the Serbian National Council, or police, or
6 the army. He would come on his own. He would hold rallies. He would
7 try to cause a rebellion of the people against the army. He claimed that
8 he was the only one who could save the Krajina and that he could only
9 save Krajina one day when the JNA toppled, because that was what he
10 foresaw. He would also slander the local politicians and he would cause
11 unrest in a way.
12 The simple-minded people who were afraid of a possible Croatian
13 attack did not see him in such a way. He was accepted wherever he went.
14 There would be euphoria in every village. I could feel, however, that
15 that was not good in the overall context for the unity of the people in
16 the area. He was spending less and less time at the camp.
17 At one point, I even asked Orlovic whether he knew what was
18 happening and why, if his position was to train the police in the camp,
19 he wasn't doing his job. And then - I may have missed to say this - he
20 brought another foreign citizen, whose name was Mark Lynch; he was an
21 Irishman. He would most often leave him in the camp and he would wonder
22 around the area.
23 I also talked about this with Zecevic who told me that it would
24 be better not to be too harsh against him because all the Serbian
25 diaspora saw him as a man who could help us a lot and that it wouldn't be
1 a good idea to criticise him publicly, and so I refrained from doing
3 Q. How did the political structures of Krajina react to this sort of
4 Captain Dragan's conduct, as you have just described it for us?
5 A. At the very beginning, perhaps they were not aware of what I just
6 told you or didn't observe that. But he went a step further. He began
7 attending the sessions of the Serbian National Council though he was
8 uninvited, and he would make suggestions and proposals which the
9 president of the Serbian National Council, which was Milan Babic at the
10 time, did not like at all, and tension between of two of them began to
12 Q. You said that he attended the sessions of the Serbian National
13 Council. Did he mention any proposals; and what was the reaction to
15 A. In that period, he was very popular. If he made a suggestion,
16 the members of the council did not feel like opposing him openly, except
17 for Babic and Martic. Primarily Babic. Later on Martic as well.
18 His proposals were impossible to achieve, they were not realistic
19 at the time, in an area where the authorities were improvised, where
20 everything was a matter of improvisation, so that none of his proposals
21 ever took off the ground.
22 Q. Did, at any point, anyone prohibit Captain Dragan from attending
23 the sessions of the Serbian National Council?
24 A. Yes. His activity went too far when he made the proposal at one
25 of the meetings that he should take the control of all the
1 Territorial Defence Staffs. Babic expressed his dissatisfaction very
2 harshly. And later on, without Captain Dragan's knowledge, he prohibited
3 access to the premises where the meetings of the Serbian National Council
4 were held. Captain Dragan did not know this. He came to one of the
5 meetings and the guards or, rather, the security sent him back, and he
6 was greatly disappointed at that time with this particular move.
7 Q. What did Captain Dragan do after this incident?
8 A. Well, in several places in Knin he held -- I cannot call them
9 rallies, but his public appearances were famous at the police station
10 where he expressed his dissatisfaction. He said, I have come here to
11 defend, to help you, and you are chasing me away. He was very
12 disappointed and he looked as if he was.
13 At that moment, I happened to with Dule Orlovic in the Knin SUP,
14 so at one point I saw him and he even addressed me at one moment and he
15 told me, I will leave the area and you will see what will follow when I
16 do that. You cannot establish anything, you cannot achieve anything with
17 such authorities. That was his thrust. And as I heard from Orlovic a
18 few days later, he left Knin, indeed. That could have been in early
19 August or thereabouts.
20 Q. What year was that?
21 A. 1991.
22 Q. Just two additional questions about this.
23 Where did the Serbian National Council hold its meetings and
24 sessions, if you know?
25 A. I do. The sessions were held in the citadel which dominated the
1 town. It's an old mediaeval citadel which is on a hill located above
2 Knin. Before the war and everything else, it housed the museum and other
3 cultural institutions of the town of Knin. However, the Serbian National
4 Council was allowed to hold its sessions there. It had it at its
6 Q. Do you know whether any police, military, or other unit was ever
7 stationed at the citadel?
8 A. No, absolutely not. Unless you mean that the security was quite
9 strong, because there were rumours going around quite often that there
10 could be a helicopter attack carried out by the Croatian forces and that
11 they could arrest or kill all the members of the Serbian National
12 Council, so that at any given time there were between 15 or 20 soldiers
13 or policemen who were guarding the Serbian National Council. They were
14 security for them.
15 Q. Mr. Witness, did you at any point in 1991 hear that some
16 colleagues of yours from Serbia had arrived in Knin?
17 A. Yes. I heard that the first time in a public statement. And
18 then Orlovic confirmed for me that that was really the case.
19 Q. Did you hear -- can you tell us what you heard -- what did you
20 hear in the public, and what did Orlovic confirm to you later on? What
21 did you hear?
22 A. Well, you see, the population was mostly uneducated, so some
23 people said, Well, some guys from the Serbian DB arrived. But we didn't
24 know their role or why they were here. There was quite a lot of mystery
25 about that.
1 When I heard this, I asked Orlovic whether it was true. He
2 confirmed for me that it was true and that this was a group of
3 intelligence men.
4 Q. You say, Well, one could hear among the people. What sort of an
5 environment is that? How many people live there? How did the news
7 A. This is an area that is sparsely populated. For example, Knin is
8 the biggest town. There was no one who didn't know everyone else from
9 the area. So you would learn very quickly if anyone from outside arrived
10 there. It was something that was very easy to notice.
11 Q. Can you tell us whether you learned or heard the name or any
12 other particular information about the people who arrived in Knin from
14 A. Not at first. Later on, I heard from Orlovic that -- he just
15 told me Frenki. He told me that he arrived at first as a journalist but
16 that very quickly that was -- I cannot say uncovered, but this is just
17 such an environment that it's impossible for anyone to say that he's a
18 journalist without the people learning after ten or 15 days who he really
20 Q. Was it mentioned where Frenki was accommodated?
21 A. Also not at first. But then later on I heard that he had a
22 conspiratorial apartment.
23 Q. Did you meet Frenki? And if so, when and how?
24 A. Yes. That was in mid-May. I came to a meeting with Orlovic in
25 Knin. As I didn't find him in official premises, they told me where he
1 was. It was a catering establishment. I went there, and I found Orlovic
2 with another man. It turned out later on that this was Mr. Simatovic.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, I know what an apartment is. I know
4 what conspiracy is. But I do not know what a conspiratorial apartment
6 Could the witness explain what that exactly means.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say a conspiracy, but a
8 conspiratorial apartment. But maybe I expressed myself in a way that is
9 a too professional.
10 A conspiratorial apartment is an apartment which someone rents
11 but the one who is hiring it -- or nobody else knows what it is used for.
12 So a type of safe house. I'm not sure if I have managed to describe it
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that's ...
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] If you allow me, Your Honour.
16 Q. Why are such apartments rented within your service? What are the
17 reasons for renting out such apartments?
18 A. Such an apartment would be rented only in order to hold secret
19 meetings and have secret contacts with the sources and agents to provide
20 secret information when we didn't want anyone to see that we would meet
21 such persons there.
22 Q. Mr. Witness, you say that you met Frenki at the restaurant in the
23 company of Dusan Orlovic. Did you learn at that time or later the
24 reasons of Frenki's stay in Knin; and did you learn what were the duties
25 that he was discharging in the service for which he was working at the
2 A. Yes. That's only natural, because I was a professional. I
3 worked for the service, and I was interested in this. He conferred to me
4 that he was an active employee of the security service of Serbia. The
5 conversation was quite long. We talked about all manner of things,
6 including how long each of us worked and what duties we were discharging.
7 He told me that he worked with the American Group, as we used to call it.
8 In order not to widen the topic too much, I can say as a sort of summary
9 that he was primarily interested in the security situation in the area,
10 and also the fact that many members of an extremist Ustasha organisation
11 had appeared. They used to be emigres, and in 1991 they returned to
13 Next, the reaction of the JNA, their relations with both ethnic
14 groups. So everything that the Republic of Serbia was interested in at
15 the time and that could possibly have an impact on its own security
16 situation and the activities that Serbia would have to carry out, and it
17 would have to have the information in good time.
18 This is how I understood it all.
19 Q. The information which, as you say, Frenki was interested in, did
20 he explain to you why he was there? Did he explain what type of work --
21 what line of work of the service he was in charge of when he was sent to
23 A. Well, as colleagues who know how the State Security Service
24 operates, we could understand each other immediately. This is typical
25 intelligence information, which he confirmed; that he needed intelligence
1 from the Krajina area so that Belgrade could take a proper attitude, that
2 is to say, the state leadership of Serbia, and that they could do that in
3 good time.
4 Q. Were you in a position to receive some information from him?
5 A. Well, that was my intention. I asked him if he could help us
6 too. As Orlovic had not worked for the State Security Service
7 previously, he probably did not recognise that something could be
8 received as a sort of feedback. On that occasion, I asked him to submit
9 information to us in good time, if he could, in case that the political
10 leadership in Belgrade obtained such information. What we were primarily
11 interested in at the time was a possible Croatian attack on our area.
12 Q. Mr. Witness, is it usual for the services for which you worked to
13 exchange information about subjects which are of interest for each of
14 such services?
15 A. Yes. In principle, that is correct. But it depends from one
16 situation to another. And when I say that, I primarily have in mind the
17 following. When we sit down together, we do not exchange everything,
18 each one of us, but we narrow it down to what pertains to the specific
19 interests of each side at that particular moment.
20 Q. Did you consider the representative of the intelligence service
21 of Serbia a representative of a friendly intelligence service? And was
22 this the reason that you were willing to exchange information that Frenki
23 was interested in?
24 A. Yes, that's absolutely correct.
25 Q. Are you aware whether in addition to Frenki there were any other
1 people from the state security of Serbia who were in the area of Knin at
2 the time?
3 A. Yes. There were two others.
4 Q. Do you know who these other two were? And what were the reasons
5 for their arrival to that particular area?
6 A. Well, at the time I didn't know at first. But later on I learned
7 they had the same duties but they were in charge of various areas.
8 As for their names, I'm not sure I can say that directly, because
9 they are members of the State Security Service of Serbia. I'm not sure
10 if I can do that in open session.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I would ask if we could please
12 move briefly into private session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
14 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Witness, did Frenki or anyone else you mentioned ensure any sort
3 of assistance in the form of equipment that would help you in your work?
4 A. No. No sort of assistant, be it in money or in technical
6 There was this one occasion where I asked for it, and
7 Mr. Simatovic said, I am an intelligence officer and not a logistics man.
8 And we were kind of joking about the whole situation.
9 Q. Did Frenki ever give you any sort of instructions, orders,
10 directions in 1991?
11 A. No. At no point did I receive instructions or even a piece of
12 advice, save for our informal meetings when we would exchange information
13 off the record, but that was just a discussion among colleagues.
14 Q. Did Frenki try to influence in any way the structure of the
15 service or its method of work?
16 A. No, absolutely not.
17 Q. Did the service continue having inadequate equipment, personnel,
18 or methods of operation?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did Frenki tell you anything about Captain Dragan at any point?
21 A. Yes, he did. But it was an hour into our first meeting that he
22 mentioned it, because we needed to take each other's measure. He told me
23 at one point that I should pay special care about Captain Dragan and keep
24 an eye on his activities. He didn't tell me why. I felt relieved to
25 hear him say so because at last there was a man who shared my same view
1 of Captain Dragan, because I knew that he was not the man he was
2 purported to be, and Mr. Simatovic confirmed as much. He told me, though
3 I can't remember if he said specifically that, but I think he did, that
4 the SDB of Serbia was conducting surveillance of him.
5 Q. You say that he told you to pay attention where he is concerned.
6 What did he mean, and in what way did he say it?
7 A. Well, as I said a moment ago, that I should keep an eye on his
8 activities that went outside the scope agreed with the Serb National
9 Council and Milan Martic, i.e., his attempts to head the TO and to become
10 politically engaged in Krajina, his frequent tours accompanied by people
11 who came from Serbia whom he knew nothing of.
12 Q. Did Frenki mention any foreigners coming along with
13 Captain Dragan?
14 A. Yes, he did. We discussed that. I knew these foreigners. They
15 were Mark Lynch, that I already mentioned, and one Robert from Germany.
16 I can't recall his last name.
17 Q. What did Frenki want to know about these foreigners and why? If
18 you can explain that.
19 A. I understood his interest to be, in fact, mistrust of these
20 individuals; how did they come to be with Captain Dragan, where did they
21 acquire their combat skills, were they members of any terrorist groups.
22 They were even suspicions entertained for a while that Mark used to be a
23 member of the IRA, although there were no -- there was no proof to that
25 So our discussions boiled down to an exchange of information. I
1 would give him my assessment of these individuals, and we were discussing
2 as to the ways in which we would be able to verify the information in any
3 given time.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one additional question in order to
5 better understand the evidence.
6 Witness, you said that you should keep an eye on the activities
7 that went outside the scope agreed with the Serb National Council and
8 Milan Martic.
9 Now, you've told us a lot earlier about Captain Dragan, who liked
10 him, and whether he had access to ... but what now was exactly agreed
11 between the Serb National Council and Milan Martic on the activities of
12 Captain Dragan?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was one of the issues that
14 Martic told us about at this meeting with Zecevic. Martic said that he
15 had proposed to the Serb National Council, which agreed, that
16 Captain Dragan should, with regard to the Golubic centre which had been
17 working from earlier on, August of 1991, put together a serious infantry
18 course. And my understanding was that this was to be the context of his
19 activities, that he should organise and conduct training of police
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that is what you observed him doing?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I myself was never in the
23 camp in Golubic in that period of time. So, no.
24 JUDGE ORIE: But did he conduct training of police personnel in
25 the camp, as far as you knew?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he did. But when I said that
2 it went out of that context or scope, I meant that he was less and less
3 involved in the training of policemen and more and more engaged in his
4 various travels across the area.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When did training of police personnel start
6 under his authority, under his supervision?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in the spring of 1991. I
8 can't recall the exact date.
9 To put it simply, I wasn't involved in that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You earlier said that the Golubic centre had been
11 working from earlier on. And then you said:
12 "... August of 1991, put together a serious infantry course."
13 What do you intend to say: that Captain Dragan took
14 responsibility in August of 1991 or that the centre had been working from
15 August 1991?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said August of 1990. I may have
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... then that's --
19 that is then hereby corrected.
20 How did he get his people to be trained? I mean, who sent them
21 to him?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Following tensions and the
23 incidents of August 1990 that I related, it so happened that the Croatian
24 cadres in the police stations of Lika, Kordun, Knin, et cetera, were
25 leaving their posts, and these stations remained vastly understaffed.
1 And then the Serb National Council, or Martic, or whoever it was, I
2 wasn't present, decided that a reserve police force should be put
3 together which should be trained at the Golubic centre in order to make
4 up for the missing personnel.
5 However, since a great many people were still on the JNA
6 mobilisation lists, the people who were recruited were mostly volunteers.
7 There were many instances of wounds having been self-inflicted due to
8 lack of experience, et cetera. And Martic welcomed Captain Dragan to
9 train these men. But that happened only as of April 1991. Up until that
10 point, the camp had been run independently with the personnel that was
12 JUDGE ORIE: And who finally selected those to be sent for
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The leadership of the SUP of Knin
15 headed by Martic. They were the sole ones to select the personnel.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
17 Mr. Petrovic, I had to ask these questions before, because
18 earlier, when speaking about Captain Dragan, who felt what and who had
19 what kind of attitude, but the facts on what happened were not dealt
20 with, with the witness.
21 That is clear now.
22 I suggest that we take a break at this moment, that we resume at
24 --- Recess taken at 12.03 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, are you ready to proceed?
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Witness, during your encounter with Frenki, did you observe
4 him carrying a bag of sorts?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us what you observed, and how?
7 A. I observed a bag, the sort that we used during my career in the
8 SDB, which camouflaged a camera in its interior. And I observed him
9 carrying a bag that he would use to take photos of people and/or
10 buildings. This was a way of conducting surveillance and documenting the
12 Q. And how did you recognise it? Does it have a peculiar
14 A. Well, the fact of the matter is that we all carried the same sort
15 of bag for those purposes, because the central service in Belgrade
16 produced such bags for all the services across the republics. And I
17 recognised that this was the bag. Even the colour matched.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like us to look
19 at 2D146, which is the first in a series of photographs.
20 2D -- I'm sorry, 2D1046; my mistake. I apologise.
21 Q. Witness, we are about to see on our screens the photographs that
22 you brought along when you came to The Hague.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can it be rotated, please.
24 Q. Can you tell us briefly who we can see on the right-hand side;
25 how the photograph came to be taken; and what is it that we see on the
1 shoulder of the person on the right-hand side?
2 A. That's me carrying a -- or wearing a white T-shirt. Next to me
3 is a colleague of mine. The photograph was made out of that same bag
4 that I have on my shoulder. And apart from the building, also the team I
5 worked with was photographed. In that way it was taken out from the
6 whole batch of photographs and set aside.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see the second
8 photograph of the exhibit.
9 Q. Can you tell us how it came to be taken?
10 A. The person with -- with the glasses is the subject of the
11 photograph; however, next to him a colleague of mine was also
12 photographed, and that's why it was set aside, for security reasons.
13 And you can see how there is no regular format that has been
14 prescribed for these photographs.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, could I seek clarification of one of
16 the previous answers.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You said, witness, on the previous photograph:
19 "That's me carrying -- or wearing a white T-shirt. Next to me is a
20 colleague. The photograph was made out of that same bag that I have on
21 my shoulders."
22 I can imagine that it's a similar bag, but the same bag sounds a
23 bit strange to me, because how could you take a photograph of yourself?
24 Did you mean a similar bag?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I meant a similar bag. I may
1 have expressed myself awkwardly.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, who took the photograph and what was the
3 purpose of that first photograph? I'm not talking about the second one.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This photograph, as was the case
5 with the previous one, were taken during one and the same operation. We
6 would all be heading for that one operation and take photographs. Should
7 any of our colleagues appear on the photographs taken, such photographs
8 are destroyed. That's why I kept this one for myself.
9 So we have several teams of operatives taking photographs of the
10 subject surveilled.
11 JUDGE ORIE: But on the previous photograph, the first one that
12 was shown, what was the object?
13 Perhaps we could show it.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's quite natural in that
15 sort of business, since you actually take photographs by pressing a
16 button on the bag, it is it only natural that at times you wouldn't see
17 the subject, really. And in this particular photograph the subject was
18 not included in the -- in the photo. It's not there.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. It would just have done if you'd say
20 it's not on the photograph.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Can the witness be given a pen to mark on this photograph the bag
24 slung across his shoulder so that we can see it more clearly.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] If we turn to the next photograph,
3 I'm afraid we're going to lose the marking, so can we save this as a
4 Defence exhibit, please.
5 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Madam Registrar,
6 the number would be ...
7 THE REGISTRAR: The number would be D670, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
9 Please proceed. And that's the marked copy of the photograph.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Can we now look at the third photograph of the set.
12 Can we have the third photograph?
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Photograph number 3.
15 Q. Witness, what does the -- who does the photograph show; and what
16 is that across the person's shoulder?
17 A. That's me. When we were given this sort of bag, we went out to
18 test them out, to see what sort of photographs we would get, and we used
19 the same bags as we used in the previous photographs.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can 2D --
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Petrovic, is
23 there any issue in the way in which someone would use a hidden camera,
24 whether it was in a bag or whether it was on his right shoulder or on his
25 left shoulder, or ... I mean, is there any issue about that? It seems
1 that there may be an issue about other matters, but is there any issue
2 about this?
3 Could I ask, Mr. Farr: Colour of the bag; next, how -- whether
4 it could take ten pictures a minute or 20 or 30.
5 MR. FARR: There's -- there's no dispute about those matters,
6 Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, let's focus on what really seems to be
8 important. Unless, but then come to that point as quickly as you can,
9 that the bag is apparently and the camera is the important thing rather
10 than other matters that may be important in this context.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me, one
13 There is a dispute among the sides as to what sort of bag
14 Mr. Simatovic had when he was in Knin and what it contained, but I only
15 have a question or two left on this issue.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I can imagine that there is a matter about the bag
17 and what is in there. But assuming what -- which apparently is the
18 position of the -- of the Defence, that it's cameras rather than anything
19 else then, then, of course, the colour, the size, whether it's on the
20 right shoulder, the left shoulder, whether it's held with the hands,
21 or ... seems to be totally irrelevant, because even if persons would have
22 had cameras in their bags, that doesn't answer the question whether in
23 the bag used by Mr. Simatovic, as I now understand is the issue, whether
24 there was a camera in there, yes or no. That's apparently -- if that's
25 an issue, then let's focus what is in the bag, rather than how it
1 functions if there's a camera in it.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Witness, the bag you saw at Mr. Simatovic's, is it the same bag
5 that we were able to see in these photographs?
6 A. It was similar.
7 Q. When this bag contains a camera and the necessary equipment, can
8 anything else fit into that bag?
9 A. No. Because you have the camera within and the mechanism for
10 taking shots.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can this -- these photographs
12 please be admitted. And then I will move on to a different subject.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, I don't know whether they have been
14 uploaded as separate files or not. Could you assign a number or numbers.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D1046 will receive number D671,
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Can the witness be shown document 2D536.2.
20 Q. Witness, can you tell us briefly what sort of document this is.
21 A. This is one of the reports of the then-State Security Service of
22 the SAO Krajina.
23 Q. Have a look at the document and tell me if you saw back in 1991
24 this document or similar documents and if you know who these documents
25 were sent to.
1 A. Based on the format of the document, I can tell you that this is
2 a report that the Knin centre, i.e., Dusan Orlovic or one of his
3 associates in Knin, made to give an outline of current issues that were
4 sent to the Serb National Council and Milan Martic.
5 Q. Do you know if this document was sent to anyone else?
6 A. No.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can the document be admitted as a
8 Defence exhibit, please.
9 MR. FARR: No objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just try to understand.
11 Are we supposed just to look at the format? Is that what you
12 present it for, Mr. Petrovic?
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, both the format and
14 the contents.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although no question has been -- yes, let me
16 see ...
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. But my next
18 questions will perhaps make the issue quite clear when it comes to this
19 document and the others to follow.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If it's about content, I have had no time to
21 even look at the content and no questions were asked about it. So
22 there's no objection. But we'll see, then, in a minute, whether it
23 becomes clear.
24 And if we have to look at the content, then it's better to draw
25 our attention to it now so that for the next documents and the next
1 questions that we know what was relevant in this document.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Witness, what sort of information does a document such as this
5 one we have on our screens contain?
6 A. This document is, as its title suggests, a summary of current
7 information. However, since it is a report made by the State Security
8 Service, i.e., containing information gathered from associates,
9 collaborators in a sensitive way, from sources even political, we can say
10 that this was a fully confidential document that was only for the eyes of
11 Milan Martic and the Serb National Council.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now show P2670, please.
13 Q. Witness, look at this document. It's a two-page document. Tell
14 me when you've read the first page and then we'll move on to the second.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] If Their Honours have read this
16 page, can we have the second page, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] May I, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, can you tell us what sort of document this is and who
23 made it?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Farr.
25 MR. FARR: The objection is to foundation. We've had no
1 information that would indicate that this witness would be able to
2 recognise this kind of document. It's a different kind of document than
3 the previous one, which might plausibly have had knowledge of. But until
4 foundation has been laid, I think that question is inappropriate.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you meet the concerns of Mr. Farr,
6 Mr. Petrovic.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I hope, Your Honours.
8 Q. Mr. Witness, did you come across such documents in 1991 in the
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you tell us what sort of a document this is and who drew it
13 A. By contrast with the previous document, this is a document issued
14 by the Territorial Defence Staff. It was produced on the basis of the
15 amalgamated reports from the TO Staffs in smaller towns. They sent it to
16 the staff in Knin to prepare something that I would call the daily
18 I could see such reports at the time for the reason that local
19 commander of the TO staff in Benkovac used to submit or, rather, forward
20 such a report to me on a daily basis.
21 We considered such reports fully public documents. For example,
22 they were given to the media as a sort of survey. There was nothing
23 secret whatsoever to be found in them.
24 Q. What sort of information did such reports contain?
25 A. Well, I can just see the second page now and not the first one,
1 but I can tell you off the top of my head. That was a chronology of
2 events, describing incidents on the ground, and the TO from Knin would
3 even remove some items that it did not consider to be important. So they
4 would make a sort of summary or an overview of what was happening in the
5 entire territory.
6 Q. You said that the documents contained the events listed in the
7 chronological order, and you also mentioned the media. Do you know who
8 it was from the media who received such reports in the Benkovac area
9 where you worked?
10 A. Well, every journalist wanted to get it, but the journalists of
11 the then-Politika Ekspres from Belgrade is the one who was the most
12 persistent and who regularly received such reports. They were sometimes
13 even addressed to him.
14 Q. Can you tell us what was the name of the person in Benkovac who
15 used to receive these reports?
16 A. Yes. I remember. The name of this journalist was
17 Svetozar Borak.
18 Q. Mr. Witness, the list of those who received the report includes
19 Frenki as the fifth addressee. Do you know why this report was submitted
20 to Frenki, among others?
21 A. Well, specifically, I have never seen this report, when I was
22 down there, with these addressees listed. But I suppose that when
23 Mr. Dragisic submitted this to Frenki, the purpose was for him to be
24 informed on a daily basis, because he told us that one of his tasks
25 during his stay in the area of Knin was to collect information on a daily
1 basis. And as this person was a close relative to Martic, I suppose that
2 Martic told Dragisic that he should provide this type of information to
4 Q. Mr. Witness, I will now ask for document 2D559 to be shown on the
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] 2D559.2, please.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, please have a look at this report.
8 Look at the parties that it was sent to, and Frenki is not one of
9 these. And it's a report dated the 19th of September, 1991.
10 Do you know why this was so?
11 A. The answer is very simple. For a month already, Frenki, or,
12 rather, Mr. Simatovic was not in that area any longer.
13 Q. Do you know when Franko Simatovic left Knin in 1991?
14 A. I cannot tell you the exact date, but I think that it was the
15 first half of August. Certainly approximately at that time, in 1991.
16 Q. In Knin, Benkovac, or anywhere else in SAO Krajina in 1991 or
17 later, did you ever hear that Franko Simatovic managed the camp in
18 Golubic or that he was in charge of some military operations in the
19 territory of SAO Krajina in 1991?
20 A. All the relevant factors, such as the SUP Knin, the TO, the
21 politicians, I know that he did not. However, there was a phenomenon.
22 Among the people it was rumoured that there were people from Serbia
23 around. You know how it is, in a moment of fear, fear from attack,
24 people wished for someone important to show up, some kind of units or the
25 JNA, anyone who would protect or train the people. So that it did happen
1 that rumours went about. And even then people were not specifically
2 named. They wouldn't say Mr. Simatovic, but they would say that people
3 from Serbia were in charge of the camp. But we know for sure that this
4 is not true.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would tender
6 2D536.2 and 2D559.2.
7 MR. FARR: No objection to either document, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the numbers would be ...
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D536.2 will receive number D672,
10 Your Honours. And document 2D559.2 will receive number D673,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Both are admitted into evidence.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Witness, you told us earlier today that in Zadar the barracks
15 were blocked. Were there any activities carried out at any point to lift
16 the blockade of the barracks?
17 A. Yes. The Yugoslav People's Army, after unsuccessful
18 negotiations, in early October, I think on the 2nd or 3rd October,
19 carried out a widespread activity of surrounding Zadar and moving in on
20 Zadar, and I think that on the 4th of October or thereabouts, because of
21 its overwhelming strength in terms of numbers, the forces in Zadar
22 declared a truce and allowed the lifting of the blockade of the barracks.
23 And after that the JNA did not enter the town.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please show the witness
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 2D192.2.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] This is the command of -- the
3 commander of the Knin Corps to attack Zadar. The document is quite long,
4 and we received it from the Government of the Republic of Croatia.
5 I would ask first that page 1 be shown on the screen.
6 I'm interested in item 4, which is on page 2 in the B/C/S version
7 of this document, and in English it begins on page 2 and then continues
8 on page 3.
9 In item number 4, it is said:
10 "I have decided in co-ordinated action with the blocked forces of
11 the Zadar garrison," and then the units are listed, "I will continue the
12 defence and begin -- launch an attack with the corps main body on the
13 following axis ..."
14 Was this attack ever launched as it is formulated in this
15 document, along the axis Knin-Benkovac-Zadar, as far as you know?
16 A. Yes, I know. It was exactly along this route, this axis, that
17 they launched it.
18 Q. Mr. Witness, in this offensive operation against Zadar launched
19 in October 1991, was the village Skabrnja, which is located not far from
20 the road which is mentioned here, taken?
21 A. No.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would tender this
23 document into evidence as a Defence exhibit.
24 MR. FARR: Your Honour, we have no objection in principle, but
25 the English translation is missing, it looks like, the stamp of the
1 9th Corps and then the handwritten name "Babic" that appears on the
2 original. So just an objection pending those corrections to the
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look at the portion you drew our
5 attention to at the top --
6 MR. FARR: The top of the first page. If we could have the top
7 of the first page in both languages, I think it will be clear.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, it looks as if the stamp is not
9 translated and that the handwriting -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
11 continues] ... Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes?
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I can see it myself now,
14 Your Honour. It really has not been translated. And I wish to apologise
15 to everyone for this. We shall send the translation for these
16 corrections to be added, then we will uploaded the corrected version, and
17 then we will ask for the document to be admitted.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We MFI it for this very moment.
19 Madam Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D192.2 will receive number D674,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Witness, you told us that in the offensive operation on Zadar
25 the village of Skabrnja was not taken. Is any road going close to the
1 village and were there any problems with this road after this lifting of
2 the blockade in Zadar in early October 1991?
3 A. Yes. Right next to the Skabrnja village, the artery road
4 Benkovac-Zadar stretches, and the Yugoslav People's Army found it to be
5 of strategic importance because it leads to the Zemunik airport. It is
6 the military and civilian airports, they are one next to the other, and
7 so the road goes between the military and the civilian airports and it
8 was necessary for logistics and transportation and everything else.
9 There were problems because there were continuous provocations from
10 Skabrnja. There was a shooting at all the vehicles which were moving
11 along this road, both military and civilian vehicles.
12 At some point after the attack was launched and after the truce
13 was declared so that the blockade would be lifted and so that the army
14 would leave with its forces and go out of Zadar, there were no
15 provocations. But very soon after that they were continued. I know this
16 because I attended a number of meetings at the garrison or, rather, at
17 the command of the 180th Brigade in Benkovac that the talks and
18 negotiations with the command of Skabrnja were unsuccessful. They were
19 warned against doing that.
20 Q. Mr. Witness, what was the position of the JNA leaders in the area
21 as regards the resolution of the problem with Skabrnja? Are you aware of
23 A. Yes, I am. The Yugoslav People's Army never engaged its forces
24 if there was no need. If they did, the goal was to lift the blockade of
25 the barracks in Zadar. Skabrnja was on the left from this road, and
1 there was no need for any operations against the village. The position
2 of the brigade command was, generally speaking, as Skabrnja is quite a
3 large village, with between two and a half and 3.000 inhabitants or,
4 rather, members of the National Guard Corps and policemen, so they
5 believed that there would be huge casualties, and the village was not
6 attacked during this period.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, were you present at any meeting where the resolution
8 of the Skabrnja problem was discussed?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell us where and who attended this meeting.
11 A. We discussed that at the brigade command. But I would ask if we
12 could move onto the private session because of people who are living in
13 Belgrade today and they do not have much to do with all this but we need
14 to protect their integrity.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we could briefly
16 move into private session, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me have a look.
18 We move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Page 16730 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
25 Mr. Petrovic.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Witness, did anyone attend the meeting out of the command of
3 the Knin Corps? And I mean of some of the lowest officers.
4 A. Yes. The Chief of Staff of the Knin Corps attended the meeting,
5 Colonel Mladic, unbeknownst to us. It hadn't been announced.
6 Q. Witness, of the most senior officers of the
7 Benkovac 180th Brigade, was anybody in attendance?
8 A. Yes. The commander, the Chief of Staff, chief of security of the
10 Q. Mr. Witness, do you recall what Colonel Mladic had to say at this
11 particular meeting about the situation in Skabrnja?
12 A. Colonel Mladic said that strategically speaking it was impossible
13 to have the Benkovac-Zemunik airport stretch of the road unserviceable
14 and that the army had to react.
15 This lasted long, these negotiations. They did everything to
16 have the check-points on the perimitre of Skabrnja were there were
17 snipers removed, but since they failed, the next morning they sent out a
18 contingent of forces with infantry and tanks to form a perimitre around
19 Skabrnja simply to make a show of force.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown 5596, a
21 65 ter document, page 349 in B/C/S and 348 in the English translation.
22 It's a page out of Mladic's diary, the tasks as noted down on the
23 17th of November, 1991.
24 349 in B/C/S, and 348 in English.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar informs me that there are five
2 documents under this number, Mr. Petrovic. Could you assist in ...
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think that
4 the English translation is in dispute. And we have the typed-up version
5 of the B/C/S. But this doesn't seem to be helpful.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether translations are in dispute,
7 Madam Registrar has difficulties in identifying the document you'd like
8 to have on the screen.
9 Or is this the one you'd like to have on the screen?
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's not the
11 document. ERN number is 0668-2799 in English.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it looks as if this is the one, if I look at
13 the ERN number, which matches with what you mentioned, isn't it?
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's the first page,
15 and I need page 348 of the document.
16 This is the page, Your Honours.
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... we need the
18 number for B/C/S version, please.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] In the B/C/S it's 349.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Overlapping speakers] ...
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter 5596. 0668-2799 is the
22 first page.
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... [Overlapping
24 speakers] ... 2799, or 2799/B/C/S?
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] /B/C/S, yes.
1 Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Can we see the bottom part of the page for Their Honours. That's
3 what I'm interested in.
4 Q. Mr. Witness, among the tasks for the 17th of November, the diary
6 "180th Brigade should move the armoured battalion a little
7 towards Skabrnja and Nadin - to erase that."
8 In your presence, was a task formulated to the commander of the
9 180th Brigade in these same terms that we can read in the diary?
10 A. In front of us, and we were civilians after all, Colonel Mladic
11 did not relate any details. However, he did use this same term to shake
12 up a bit, to move the battalion, to shake it up a bit. And my
13 understanding was that the intention was to frighten them a bit.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 357 of the
15 same document, the B/C/S version; and page 356 of the English. It's an
16 entry made on that same day, which reads:
17 "Meeting with the commander. To be completed in combat: Properly
18 mop up the sectors of Nadin, Skabrnja. (If necessary work for two days)
19 The Chief of Staff of the 180th Brigade made preparations."
20 And it reads:
21 "NB to dispatch the VP company in BOVs ..."
22 Witness, can you tell us what the abbreviations in this last line
24 A. NB stands for the chief of security. VP stands for the military
25 police, so it should dispatch military police. And BOV is short for
1 armed combat vehicle.
2 Q. Witness, if you know, did there follow any combat activities in
3 the Skabrnja area the following day?
4 A. Yes. In the early morning hours of the 18th.
5 Q. Do you know how the conflict around Skabrnja broke out?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, I'm a bit confused. We started with a
7 document dated the 4th of October of a meeting where, in item number 4,
8 the attack was announced. And we are now somewhere in late November.
9 And the witnesses says how he understood the language of Mr. Mladic.
10 Shouldn't we first establish whether the witness attended the meetings
11 which are covered six weeks later by the -- and because he interprets,
12 apparently on the basis of -- of the language used by Mr. Mladic, that to
13 be erased means to frighten people.
14 What's the basis for that? Was he present? Was he not present?
15 What explains -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
16 MR PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] -- I can give you my understanding
19 of the evidence given by the witness.
20 The document, 2D192.2, which is about the attack on Zadar and the
21 lifting of the blockade --
22 MR. FARR: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honour, I --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that is -- Mr. Petrovic has not said anything
24 more as but what I find already on page 73, that is, he referred to
25 2D192.2, and that it is about the attack launched along the axis
1 Knin-Benkovac-Zadar. That's clear. That's what he said until now.
2 Mr. Petrovic is not going to give evidence, and he knows that.
3 But I'd like to -- if we move to other meetings, I'd like to know what
4 the source of knowledge of this witness is. If he starts interpreting
5 the notebooks of Mr. Mladic, then it should be clear on what basis he
6 does that - because he was present or because he has studied them for
7 ages and has made a linguistic comparison of the language used.
8 But I'd like you to ask that the witness if you want us to better
9 understand what the evidence is. If you leave it, you are now aware that
10 these questions came to my mind.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I based my questions
12 on his attendance at the meeting a day before Skabrnja, which we
13 discussed, where those individuals who the witness wanted to name in
14 private session were present. And, as I understand it, the meeting took
15 place a day before the action on Skabrnja where Mladic presented his view
16 of the situation.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I'll have a further look at those -- at that
19 Meanwhile, you may proceed.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Witness, you said that the following day there followed a
22 conflict in Skabrnja. To the best of your knowledge, how did the
23 conflict break out? How did the clashes break out?
24 A. To explain this, I have to go back to the meeting of the day
25 before, the 17th of November. There were no special secrets there.
1 Representatives of the War Staff in Benkovac, there was the briefing of
2 the 180th Brigade. We had the chief of the TO staff, the president of
3 the municipality, the president of the Executive Board, i.e., government,
4 and I as the head of state security.
5 When Mladic said that this was unacceptable and that they needed
6 some shaking up, the president of the Benkovac government suggested that
7 they should not opt for combat, but, rather, that they should make a show
8 of force with tanks and everything else and try, through peaceful means,
9 to have the various check-points around Skabrnja removed.
10 From what I know, that's how things happened the following day.
11 The assistant who set out to speak to the National Guards Corps, or the
12 MUP, whoever it was on the other side, as he approached the first
13 check-point, he was hit in the head by sniper. I think his last name was
14 Stefanovic. I don't recall his first name. The soldier who accompanied
15 him, who was an inexperienced recruit, an 18-year-old man, he approached
16 the officer to see how he was faring and received a shot from a sniper
17 too, so they died seconds apart, both of them. Since I wasn't in command
18 there, and I'm not a military expert, so I can't say that this was the
19 reason for it all, but that was when the action on Skabrnja commenced.
20 Sorry, I remembered that this private's name was Lazic.
21 Q. Very well.
22 Witness, do you know if the action in Skabrnja ended that same
23 day, the 18th of November, or not?
24 A. No. The army took most of the village, but not all of it, at the
25 end of that day.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at 2D198.2, please.
2 It's a report of the command of the 180th Brigade for the
3 18th of October, 1991.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: the
5 18th of November, 1991.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Let's look at item 5: Conclusions.
7 Which reads:
8 "The activities have so far gone to plan. The action has been
9 co-ordinated well. We took Gorni Zelunik [phoen] fully and reached
10 Razovljeva Glava outside Skabrnja." The Skabrnja railway station, I
12 And it goes on to say:
13 "We are keeping encircled the part of the village of Skabrnja
14 that had not been taken as well as the village of Nadin."
15 The Razovljeva Glava station mentioned here as part of Skabrnja,
16 do you know if that was the line reached by the JNA on that first day of
17 action in Skabrnja?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Farr.
19 MR. FARR: Objection on foundation, Your Honour. I perhaps
20 should have raised this objection earlier. The questions were more
21 general about the way in which the conflict broke out, something the
22 witness could reasonably know about. He's now being asked about, you
23 know, specific tactical points. And there's no -- there's been no
24 indication of how he would know that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, do you have any knowledge as to which part of the
3 village was captured by the units on the 18th of November, 1991? So do
4 you know which part of the village was captured?
5 A. At the moment, I cannot recall all the toponyms, but I know that
6 most of the village was captured.
7 Q. In view of the fact that you are familiar with the layout there,
8 are you able to tell us these toponyms, Razovljeva Glava, Skabrnja, does
9 that correspond to those two-thirds that were captured in the geographic
11 A. Yes. Razovljeva Glava is a hill in the village of Skabrnja.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Farr.
13 MR. FARR: Your Honour, the question was asked and answered. The
14 witness said he didn't know how. And then Mr. Petrovic just led him to
15 agree with what's in the document after he said he didn't have that
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, no --
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... one second.
19 Mr. Farr, you did not present the evidence of the witness that he
20 didn't know he said -- at the moment I cannot recall all the toponyms,
21 but I know most of the village was captured. So he says that he knows
22 something about parts of the village being captured, but not knowing the
23 names. And then, of course, the next question seeks to establish whether
24 refreshment of the witness's memory would help out.
25 MR. FARR: If that's how the Chamber understood it, then I
1 withdraw my objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Petrovic.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 I don't know if the witness's answer was recorded. I just need
5 to look at that.
6 I think that the answer was recorded on page 85, line 17, and
7 that I can continue.
8 Q. Witness, sir, can you please look at paragraph --
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... you totally
10 misunderstood Mr. Farr's observation that the question was answered,
11 because what Mr. Farr wanted to bring to our attention, that this was a
12 situation of question asked, question answered. Isn't it, Mr. Farr?
13 Now, the witness has told us that the geographical name you used,
14 that that is a hill in the village of Skabrnja. That's what the witness
16 You may proceed, Mr. Petrovic.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Witness, what is the name of the hill above Skabrnja? Are you
19 able to help us? Can you tell us? Do you know up until which line the
20 JNA came? Can you give us some toponyms?
21 A. That is Razovljeva Glava. It's a point above the Skabrnja, and
22 that is captured. In the military sense, it means that most of the
23 village is captured.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at paragraph 6 of this
25 document. This is on the second page.
1 Q. And before we look at that, witness, are you able to tell us if
2 the activities in Skabrnja continued the following day? Are aware of
4 A. Yes, they did continue the following day.
5 Q. Are you able to tell us, to the best of your recollection, which
6 forces took part in this combat in and around the village of Skabrnja?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Foundation?
8 MR. FARR: Yes, once again, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's not only that the witness knows certain
10 names, but could you -- did he observe that himself, did he read it in a
11 report, was he told? That's what Mr. Farr wants that you would establish
12 before the witness tells us about which forces took part in this combat.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, in 1991, in November, did you have any direct knowledge
15 as to which units participated and if units participated in actions in
16 and around Skabrnja?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. How did you know that?
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to repeat his
22 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
23 Could you please repeat your last answer. But did you say
24 anything more when Mr. Petrovic asked you whether you knew about units
25 participating in actions in and around Skabrnja? You said: "Yes, I
2 Did you add anything to that, or was that your answer at the
3 time? That is, half a minute ago.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said that I did know which
5 units took part in the action.
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... and could you
7 now tell us how you knew that.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of state security -- as
9 the chief of security for that district, I took part in most of the
10 meetings and at the command of the 180th Brigade, in the TO, in the SUP,
11 in the municipality of Benkovac War Presidency. It's a small area.
12 So that this answer that I can give can be given by the majority
13 of soldiers who were mobilised at the time, and even by citizens from the
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Petrovic, I'm looking at the clock. We
16 have to finish at a quarter to 2.00 sharp. So, therefore, I would
17 suggest that you would continue tomorrow.
18 Could you give us a indication as to how much time you would
19 still need tomorrow?
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm about halfway
21 through putting what I wanted to put to this witness. So I think that
22 probably I could be finished by the end of tomorrow's second session, if
23 you allow me.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If you say you're halfway, and your initial estimate
25 was four hours, perhaps Madam Registrar could inform us about how many --
1 how much time you've used.
2 But even if that would be the case, then two sessions tomorrow is
3 two and a half hours, which would bring you already to four and a half
4 hours, rather than to four.
5 And you've used, until now ... we'll let you know. I first
6 already instruct the witness.
7 Witness, we'll adjourn for the day, and we'll continue tomorrow.
8 I hereby instruct you that you should not speak about your testimony in
9 any way or communicate in any way about your testimony either given
10 already or still to be given tomorrow. And we'd like to see you back
11 tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this same courtroom.
12 MR. JORDASH: Sorry to interrupt --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Do we need the witness for ...
14 MR. JORDASH: Perhaps, yes. I was going to ask if the parties
15 mind at all or if Your Honours mind if we gave some exhibits to the
16 witness to read this afternoon.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I would not oppose if the Prosecution does not
18 oppose. Could you first show them to the Prosecution. As I said, I have
19 to finish at quarter to 2.00 sharp, which is now.
20 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And so if the parties can agree on that and if there
22 be any need, we would intervene, if necessary, this afternoon, if the
23 parties cannot agree on it.
24 Is that clear?
25 MR. JORDASH: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then we -- Mr. Petrovic, you have used a little bit
2 over two hours. So, therefore, your original estimate was four hours. I
3 would rather keep you to that for the time being, unless dramatic things
4 develop. Also because you paid such a lot of attention to background
5 information, and not always of great relevance. So try to finish
6 tomorrow in two hours.
7 We adjourn for the day. And we'll resume tomorrow, Wednesday,
8 the 1st of February, 2012, in this same courtroom, II, at 9.00 in the
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day of
13 February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.