1 Thursday, 18 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Should we now have the witness in again. Would you
6 call the matter.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-01-42-T, the Prosecutor versus Pavle Strugar.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Stringer. If I could remind
11 you that your affirmation from yesterday still holds.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you.
13 WITNESS: ADRIEN STRINGER [Resumed]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Now, it's Mr. Rodic, I think, is going to
15 cross-examine. Is that correct?
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, good day. I am counsel for General
19 Strugar, and I will put some questions to you about your testimony of
20 yesterday. You said that you worked in the Ministry of Defence in London
21 from 1962 to 1965 and that the last four years you were the director of
22 security in the Ministry of Defence, in charge of physical security of
23 persons, buildings, and facilities. Is this correct?
24 A. No. I was in the Ministry of Defence between 1962 and 1995, not
25 1965. Otherwise, it's correct.
1 Q. Can you tell us when you became director of security of the
2 security department.
3 A. At the end of 1991.
4 Q. Was this on your return from your mission to the former
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. Can you tell us, before this appointment, what did you do in the
8 Ministry of Defence? What post did you hold and what duties did you
10 A. In the immediate period prior to my going to Dubrovnik, to
11 Croatia, I was what we call an inspector of establishments, looking after
12 the financial and manpower requirements of the Royal Air Force.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what schools you completed, how long
14 you attended those schools, and when you graduated from them.
15 A. I, first of all, attended St. Ignatius College in London until
16 1950. Between 1950 and 1953 I was at Mercers' School in London, which is
17 run by the Mercers' company. I then went to the University of Southampton
18 to study navigation.
19 Q. Did you graduate from that university?
20 A. I graduated, but it is a non-degree graduation in that I went into
21 the merchant navy as a navigating officer cadet.
22 Q. Did you have any diplomatic experience or as a soldier were you
23 ever sent on a mission abroad?
24 A. During my national service, I was sent to Cyprus on active
25 service. During my reserve service in the territorial army I also went to
1 Aden for a short period on active service, and during my career with the
2 Ministry of Defence, I also went to Washington, at the British embassy
3 there as head of the British defence staff administration.
4 Q. Can you tell us precisely where and when you did your national
6 A. My national service was between 1957 and 1959, and the bulk of it
7 was done in Cyprus after initial training in England.
8 Q. Was this military training in the navy, because you mentioned the
9 merchant navy. So could you clarify this, please.
10 A. Yes, I served in the merchant navy between 1953 and 1957 but had
11 to retire from that due to poor eyesight. It was then, because I was
12 under 25 years old at the time, that I had to do national service.
13 Q. You also mentioned that you spent 13 years in the Territorial
14 Defence and that you are a reserve major. Throughout these 13 years, were
15 you constantly in the reserves or were you simply on a list of reserve
17 A. No, I was constantly on the reserve list with the territorial army
18 throughout that period, but left in 1951 when I had to go to Northern
19 Ireland as the command secretary for the army there. Not 1951, I beg your
20 pardon, 1971 -- 1973. I beg your pardon. I must get my dates right.
21 Thinking back, it was 1973 that I left the territorial army.
22 Q. When you were leaving England to go to this mission in the former
23 Yugoslavia, you said that you received a briefing in the intelligence
24 service of the Ministry of Defence as well as a briefing by the ambassador
25 of the mission in Zagreb. Can you tell us in greater detail what
1 information you were given at those briefings and what you were told about
2 the situation in Yugoslavia.
3 A. I can't recall the precise details of those briefings at this time
4 - it was rather a long time ago - but essentially it was, as I stated
5 earlier, a general briefing on the situation pertaining in Yugoslavia at
6 the time, that the Croatian and the Yugoslavian armies were in conflict at
7 that time.
8 Q. Did they explain what sort of conflict this was?
9 A. A military conflict.
10 Q. Between whom did this military conflict take place, where, and
12 A. The conflict took place in Croatia between the Croatian forces and
13 the Serbian army, the JNA.
14 Q. Do you know why this conflict broke out? Did they tell you that?
15 A. I can't recall the precise details of the situation at the time
16 except that Croatia wanted independence from the Federal Republic of
17 Yugoslavia at the time, and this resulted in what I suppose effectively
18 you could call a civil war.
19 Q. At the time, did you know more about the social organisation of
20 Yugoslavia? You mention the Federation of Yugoslavia. Do you know how
21 many republics there were, what peoples lived in those republics? Did you
22 know anything about the history of the former Yugoslavia?
23 A. I did read about the history of the former Yugoslavia before I
24 went, from books, and I was briefed on the disposition of the ethnic
25 groupings within the Yugoslavian Republic at the time.
1 Q. I will try to summarise the questions I have put so far by asking
2 you whether one could say that at the moment of your arrival in
3 Yugoslavia, due to your briefings and what you had read, you were familiar
4 with the political situation in the former Yugoslavia in 1990 and 1991.
5 Would that be true or not?
6 A. That would be basically true.
7 Q. Do you know, then, who the regular armed forces were in this
8 period, according to the constitution of the former Yugoslavia?
9 A. Yes, the JNA.
10 Q. In your view, what would the Croatian armed formations be then?
11 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: On what basis do you put that, Mr. Weiner?
13 MR. WEINER: He's asking him for an expert legal opinion as to how
14 one would characterise the legality of the Croatian armed forces.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I didn't see in it a request for a legal opinion
16 rather than a general appreciation, but maybe I didn't understand the
17 question correctly.
18 Perhaps, Mr. Rodic, can you tell me more fully what it is that
19 you're seeking to get.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour. Precisely
21 what you just mentioned. In view of the former questions, the previous
22 questions about Mr. Stringer's education, military experience, and the
23 briefings he was given before leaving for the former Yugoslavia, and his
24 knowledge of the situation with which he was familiar, knowing that the
25 JNA was the regular armed force according to the constitution of the
1 former Yugoslavia, I'm asking him for his opinion as to how he viewed the
2 situation and the Croatian armed forces in connection, of course, with
3 this conflict. This is not an expert opinion but his personal opinion.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic.
5 Mr. Weiner, I propose to allow the question despite your
6 objection, but I do so on the basis that the witness, A, is not a legal
7 expert; B, is not giving an expert legal opinion but is giving a general
8 factual impression in his answer.
9 Have you lost the question by now, Mr. Stringer?
10 THE WITNESS: I have got the question, actually, yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Good.
12 THE WITNESS: I mean, all I can say, I think, at this point in
13 time is that when we went there, there was a de facto situation with the
14 JNA as the federal army, but also a Croatian force which was uniformed.
15 Now, the legal definition as to whether the Croatian force was a legal
16 entity I can't comment on.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stringer, yesterday you also said that you had
19 read something about Dubrovnik as a city, about its significance. So I
20 would like you to explain more about what you knew and what you had read
21 about Dubrovnik.
22 A. Well, I'd read, of course, that it was an ancient city of cultural
23 importance, and it was defined as a World Heritage Site, of course a great
24 tourist attraction, and of commercial significance to Croatia.
25 Q. I don't know whether you answered part of my question, so I'll
1 repeat it: Before arriving in Yugoslavia in 1991, had you ever been there
2 before, in Yugoslavia or in Dubrovnik?
3 A. No. No.
4 Q. And when you gleaned this knowledge about Dubrovnik, you mentioned
5 that it was a World Heritage Site. Did you ever come across information
6 that this city was demilitarised before being declared a World Heritage
8 A. My understanding is that a World Heritage Site cannot be occupied
9 by armed forces, that it is in fact a demilitarised zone effectively.
10 Q. So you are aware that in that period and before the war there were
11 no military facilities in Dubrovnik?
12 A. I understand that is the case.
13 Q. Can you tell us the following, please: Do you remember when, on
14 how many occasions, and where you talked to the investigators of the
16 A. I talked to them on two occasions, I believe, in London.
17 Q. On those two occasions, can you tell us in what year that was and
19 A. Last year, at the Ministry of Defence in London, 2002.
20 Q. Were both those interviews in 2002 in the ministry or was there
21 something different?
22 A. No. They were both held within the Ministry of Defence.
23 Q. And did both interviews take place in 2002?
24 A. As far as my recollection goes, yes.
25 Q. And during both interviews did you talk to the same investigator?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Can you tell us more about the period of time that lapsed between
3 the second and first interviews.
4 A. It must have been at least six months.
5 Q. Can you tell us why the interviews were held in the Ministry of
6 Defence? Because, as we heard, you are retired and have been since 1995.
7 Q. My understanding is that my duties in Croatia at the time, that I
8 went there -- I went on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, so they did
9 have an interest in this, but it was also to ensure security that these
10 interviews took place within a secure Ministry of Defence building.
11 Q. Please don't hold this against me, but don't you feel safe in
12 England if you talk to an investigator outside the Ministry of Defence
13 building? As a retired person, you were invited to an interview with an
14 investigator, and as far as I understand, you shouldn't be in any danger.
15 A. I don't think it was a question of being in danger. Indeed, I was
16 asked if I would like to be interviewed at home, but it was more
17 convenient for the investigator and for myself to have the interview in
18 London, and being within the Ministry of Defence building was convenient
19 if nothing else. And the security is not so much to do perhaps with
20 physical security of the person but with any documents that there might
22 Q. Did you contact, in connection with these talks with the
23 interrogators, anyone from the Ministry of Defence? Did anyone talk to
24 you about the importance of these interviews or that you had to talk to
25 the investigators?
1 A. Nobody said that I had to talk to them.
2 Q. Who did you talk to from the Ministry of Defence on this subject
4 A. I talked to the officials who are responsible for the former
5 Yugoslavian desk within the Ministry of Defence.
6 Q. Were these officials from the intelligence service?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Can you say more specifically, then, from what service were they?
9 A. They were general civil servants like myself, administrative civil
11 Q. What specifically did they say to you?
12 A. Specifically that it would be helpful if I told the investigators
13 what I knew and what I was aware of, but there was no obligation on me to
14 do so.
15 Q. Does this mean that the investigators of the Tribunal got in touch
16 with you through the Ministry of Defence and not personally?
17 A. There is a procedure for investigators to approach witnesses in
18 the United Kingdom, and this is done, I believe, through the Foreign
19 Office and the Ministry of Defence as a former Ministry of Defence
21 Q. And did you on that occasion talk with the representative of the
22 ministry about the details of those interviews; i.e., the documents? Did
23 you seek any documents from them?
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, you indicated before that two
1 interviews took place in the year 2002, and as far as you could recall,
2 about six months had elapsed between the two interviews. Did you also
3 draw up and sign with the investigators a statement on both occasions or
4 what did you do?
5 A. It was only on the second occasion that I drew up a statement and
6 signed it in the presence of the investigator.
7 Q. And during the first interview, was any record made, any minutes
8 taken? Did you sign anything during the first interview?
9 A. No, I didn't. I handed over some papers that I had which I took
10 with me because I thought they might be of use.
11 Q. Can you tell us when it was that you handed over these papers that
12 could be of some use? Was it during the first or the second interview?
13 A. The first interview.
14 Q. This refers, if I understood you correctly, to all the documents.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. I have here a statement with data on the witness
17 Stringer, Adrien Paul, and the date and the place, the venue of the
18 interview given, is the 6th and 7th of March, 2001, and 26th and 27th of
19 March, 2002. The interview was conducted in the Ministry of Defence of
20 the United Kingdom in Whitehall, and this statement was signed on the 27th
21 of March by you personally and on the part of the investigator. Is this
22 the statement that was the result of your talk with the investigator?
23 A. Sorry, I haven't seen the statement. It must be the statement.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Will the usher kindly distribute this
25 statement. Please also provide a copy of the statement to the witness for
1 identification purposes.
2 MR. WEINER: Excuse me. Your Honour, for clarification, are they
3 using this to impeach the witness or are they introducing this as an
4 exhibit, or what are they doing? Are they tendering this?
5 JUDGE PARKER: At the moment, all that's asked is for the
6 statement to be identified. We haven't yet learnt where that's going.
7 I'm waiting too.
8 THE WITNESS: I confirm that this is the statement, yes. The
9 answer, Mr. Rodic, was that that is the statement.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course it is the
13 intention of the Defence, with the aid of this statement, as well as to
14 verify the credibility of the testimony of Mr. Stringer, meaning that this
15 statement also refers to subjects and contents that were the subject of
16 yesterday's examination-in-chief. And whether we shall also tender it
17 into evidence is something is that we should decide after having completed
18 our cross-examination.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Is it that you are to suggest that there are
20 matters in this statement which differ from the evidence given yesterday?
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. And I think that answers your question,
23 Mr. Weiner.
24 MR. WEINER: No problem, Your Honour, but is the policy here on
25 impeachment by prior inconsistent statements that the full statement is
1 tendered to the Court or is the statement only tendered to the Court if it
2 is offered as an exhibit?
3 JUDGE PARKER: To that I don't know the answer, Mr. Weiner, let me
4 say. At the moment, we have them in front of us, but we will see. It
5 will assist us in following the cross-examination on the document to have
6 it. Whether we keep them afterwards will depend whether or not it becomes
7 an exhibit or not.
8 MR. WEINER: No problem. Fine.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic. If you'd continue.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Stringer, as you have confirmed that this is indeed your
12 statement that you gave to the investigators, in the statement, the time
13 when you performed the -- conducted the different talks with the
14 investigator is different. It is not a six-month lapse between the two
15 interviews but, rather, over a year, and they were not both conducted,
16 both interviews, in the year 2002 but one in 2001, and then after over a
17 year the second interview was conducted when this statement was drawn up
18 and signed.
19 As this is the near past, can you tell us, please, why these
20 differences occur?
21 A. Simply my faulty memory. The original interview was clearly in
22 2001, but over a period of two to three years it does become slightly
23 difficult for me to recall precisely that time frame, which is why I said
24 there was at least a six-month gap between the two interviews.
25 Q. Can we then note that the same goes for your memory for a period
1 of ten to 11 years back?
2 A. When questioned orally about events that happened 12 years or so
3 back, clearly one's memory is not entirely fresh, which is why I have to
4 occasionally refer, to jog my memory, to my diary, which is an accurate,
5 in my opinion, statement of the events as they happened at the time. The
6 problem is, as I think you will understand, sir, that when questioned
7 about individual conversations that took place, it's almost impossible to
8 recall exact details from memory, which is why we have this statement
9 here, which is a transcript, basically, of my notes taken
10 contemporaneously whilst in Dubrovnik.
11 Q. I fully understand you, Mr. Stringer, but what I really wanted to
12 know is whether precisely the content of this statement and your memories
13 are mainly based on your notes or the diary that you consulted when you
14 gave your statement to the investigators in connection with the substance
15 of your statement, namely that in that connection you used the diary and
16 your notes rather than what you could remember.
17 A. As I understand the question, yes, I used the diary and my notes
18 rather than my memory for the substance of this statement.
19 Q. Would you remember all the names, all the events had you not used
20 your notes?
21 A. I would not remember all the names had I not got my notes in front
22 of me. The events certainly are fresh in my memory, but getting them in
23 chronological order over a period of a week, you know, may be a little
24 difficult without reference to the notes and the diary itself which is set
25 out in chronological order.
1 Q. Thank you. Today, as yesterday, you said that you refreshed your
2 memories by consulting your notes which you have preserved, if I
3 understood you well, and yesterday you said that you have kept all the
4 copies of your diary and the documents sent to you and to others. Is this
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell me, where was it that you kept these documents?
8 A. I kept them in a secure safe.
9 Q. And why did you keep those documents at all, copies of these
10 documents for a period of 11 years?
11 A. For historical interest.
12 Q. Did you also keep other official documents in this way?
13 A. Not in connection with my defence work. This was quite separate.
14 Q. But you said that precisely during your mission you were also an
15 official of the Ministry of Defence, meaning that we can also view these
16 documents through the Ministry of Defence just as those documents while
17 you actually worked at the Ministry of Defence in London that you came by
18 during your term of office. Did you copy those also and keep them in a
20 A. No, these are not Ministry of Defence documents, these are
21 documents of the European Community Monitoring Mission.
22 Q. Then can we say that these are official, that this is official
23 documentation of the European Community's Monitoring Mission in the former
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is it allowed for such official documentation to be copied and
2 taken to one's home for private purposes?
3 A. It can be. Yes.
4 Q. Is it possible to be done also with the official documentation of
5 the Ministry of Defence in London that you handled?
6 A. If it's not classified documents, and these are not classified
8 Q. So you said that since the time that you returned from your
9 mission in the former Yugoslavia to the time you met with the
10 investigators, you had all these documents, all these copies that we have
11 been referring to yesterday and today.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Awhile ago to my question you replied that you handed over the
14 copies of these documents which you kept in your safe to the investigator
15 during your second interview when also you drew up and signed a statement.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. I thought I said that I handed over copies of the documents to the
18 investigator at the time of my first interview, and it was at the second
19 interview that we signed the statement.
20 Q. You're right. I apologise. You said that you handed over all the
21 documents to the investigator during the first interview.
22 Can you tell us where the originals of these documents are?
23 A. I'm not aware where they are at this point in time.
24 Q. Did you at all hand over the originals to the European Community's
25 Monitoring Mission, or are you keeping them as things of historical value?
1 A. The originals were handed over and filed, as I understand it, by
2 the mission itself.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Will the usher please -- Prosecution
6 Exhibits P1 and P4, can she present them to the witness, please.
7 Q. This document marked P2 is, if I'm not wrong, a letter addressed
8 to you signed by a Lieutenant Colonel General Milan Ruzinovski. Do you
9 see it?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 MR. WEINER: Excuse me. Are we dealing with P2 now or P1?
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] P1.
13 MR. WEINER: It says P2.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. You first mentioned P1, and then
15 specifically mentioned P2, as I followed it, Mr. Rodic. You've got me
16 lost as well as Mr. Weiner. Which document are you wishing?
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Sorry. This is document P1, that is
18 the letter addressed to Mr. Stringer, signed by a Lieutenant Colonel
19 General Milan Ruzinovski. The B/C/S version and the English translation.
20 Q. Do you have it in front of you?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. In the document which is the English translation of the B/C/S
23 version, is there a -- is there your signature at the bottom of that
25 A. Yes. My initials, yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us when it was exactly that you affixed your initials
2 to this document?
3 A. 26th of March, 2002, according to the date on the bottom.
4 Q. Is the date also written in your handwriting?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Will you please now look at document P4. This is a handwritten
7 report dated 10th of October. Do you have that document? Is it your
8 signature at the bottom of the page?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. And who wrote the date on it?
11 A. 7th of March, 2001. I did. It's clear that my memory was faulty
12 in regard to the handing over of the document P1 at the original
13 interview. This was clearly handed over at the second, and it was simply
14 a slip of mind.
15 Q. Can you reply to my question why were not all the documents handed
16 over at the same time?
17 A. Because I think the second document, Exhibit P1, was a document
18 which I found later, and after discussion with the investigator, it was
19 thought that this would be helpful for the Tribunal.
20 Q. Is there -- is it possible that the investigator may have given
21 you this document?
22 A. Not at all.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Will the usher please also give the
24 witness document P2.
25 Q. Do you have the B/C/S version in front of you? It is also a
1 letter addressed to you by General Ruzinovski.
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Can you tell me whose handwriting is this in this note under the
4 signature of General Ruzinovski?
5 A. It is mine, and the same date as the other letter.
6 Q. Is it the same handwriting as the one in document P4? Because
7 they do not look alike, but I have to ask you.
8 A. Yes, they are the same.
9 Q. In the B/C/S version of this document, P2 that is, is it your
10 signature on the bottom of the page?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And is the date written in your hand?
13 A. The 13th of October, 1991? No.
14 Q. Is this your handwriting? This is what I want to know.
15 A. No, that's not my handwriting.
16 Q. Let's go back. Note on the B/C/S document, ADRM 03 number
17 02191321, the note written under the signature of General Ruzinovski, that
18 is not your handwriting; right?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. Do you know who wrote this?
21 A. I can't recall who wrote it.
22 Q. Will you look at the English version, please, and tell me, is this
23 your signature --
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. -- under General Ruzinovski?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. And you also wrote the date?
3 A. I did.
4 Q. Can I take it then that you also handed this document to the
5 investigator after more than a year relative to the other, previous
7 A. Yes, that's correct. These were documents that were referred to
8 in my diary notes, I think.
9 Q. Please, so let us go back once again to document P4. At the
10 bottom of that page, next to your signature, something has been added.
11 Near the signature and the date, something has been added in handwriting.
12 Can you read it for us.
13 A. Yes. It's my handwriting and it says "Compiled in Dubrovnik on
14 dates shown." I was asked to put that statement on it with my signature
15 at the time that I handed the document over to the investigator, to
16 confirm that this document was in fact compiled and written in Dubrovnik
17 on the date contemporaneously.
18 Q. Can you tell us where this diary of yours is right now?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Do you have any special reason why you cannot say that?
21 A. Not at all. I handed over my copy to the investigator, and I
22 assumed that the monitoring mission would have retained its copy, but I
23 can't say where it is now, whether they kept it for a period of 13 years.
24 I don't know.
25 Q. If I understood you correctly, does this mean that you no longer
1 have in your possession these notes and this diary?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And these documents?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Did you keep them only for the sake of the Tribunal?
6 A. No. I was not aware there was going to be a Tribunal.
7 Q. I'm asking you this because you previously explained that you kept
8 these documents out of historical interest, and yet you handed over these
9 documents to the investigators, not expecting them to be returned to you.
10 A. I believe it is more important for documents such as this to be
11 handed over to a Tribunal rather than be held by a personal individual.
12 So just in the interests of justice, so that we can have the facts set out
13 in the best possible manner.
14 Q. In connection with this diary, can we call it a compilation of
15 notes which, during your mission in Dubrovnik, you kept, as did your
16 colleagues Nolan and Zak from the mission?
17 A. This report, if I could just explain, that the -- each individual
18 mission team would report back and submit a report of its activities as
19 soon as possible after completion of the individual mission. Clearly,
20 from Dubrovnik, it was only possible to submit a report at the end of our
21 tour, which was, what, one week. Therefore, this document was written up
22 at the time, day by day, and submitted as a report - which it states at
23 the top, "Report of Team Bravo" - to the mission upon our return.
24 Q. What I would like to clarify here is whether these notes are your
25 personal diary in which only you jotted down your personal observations or
1 is it a diary, the contents of which were entered by you perhaps but which
2 constitute actually a compilation of all the notes made by all your
3 colleagues for any particular day?
4 A. Yes. This -- each date's entry was made at the end of the day.
5 It was a compilation of the notes by each member of the team, but we were
6 all together on each occasion. So I transcribed these notes onto this
7 report at the end of each working day. It was a compilation of the notes,
8 if you like, made on the spot by the team, although I tended, because I
9 was English, to actually write the notes.
10 Q. So we can agree then that this is a compilation of notes which you
11 transcribed at the end of the day, but this compilation consists of notes
12 made by all three members of the mission. Is this correct?
13 A. It is correct insofar that I was the one that actually wrote notes
14 during the course of the mission. We discussed between ourselves that my
15 transcription of the events of the day was in fact correct so that we all
16 three agreed that these notes were in fact a true reflection of what had
17 transpired during the course of the day.
18 Q. Let me ask you specifically: During the six or seven-day mission
19 in Dubrovnik, did Mr. Nolan and Mr. Zak write down anything of their
20 observations, meetings, issues raised during their contacts? In other
21 words, did they make any notes at all during their mission in Dubrovnik
22 and then show them to you so that this report or diary that you are
23 talking about could be compiled?
24 A. To the very best of my recollection, they made no notes as such.
25 This was oral discussion between us as to what had happened, because we
1 were all together at all of the meetings. I mean, none of us acted
2 individually and separately.
3 Q. If I'm correct, you mentioned yesterday in one part of your
4 testimony that Mr. Nolan was in Cavtat for a while, separated from you, in
5 connection with the situation concerning shots fired, and can you then
6 assert that Mr. Nolan and Mr. Zak, during your mission, made no notes of
7 their own as to what they found?
8 A. Mr. Nolan, at that time, was separated from us for about ten
9 minutes, I suppose, but of course I can't say whether they individually
10 made notes which they didn't show me.
11 Q. I'm asking you whether they made any notes that they did show you
12 on the basis of which they discussed the daily report with you.
13 A. No. I can recall no occasion where they had made any written
14 notes as such.
15 Q. To be quite honest, I'm very surprised that the other two members
16 of the mission didn't use their pens when working in the mission. Can you
17 tell me whether they read the final version of the daily report compiled
18 by you?
19 A. Yes, they did. This was a report which was agreed between the
20 three of us before it was submitted.
21 Q. Did anyone sign these reports to show that they stood by their
23 A. I can't recall, to be perfectly honest. I have a feeling that we
24 all signed a note at the end of the day, but I cannot recall.
25 Q. As far as I was able to see from the notes exhibited by the
1 Prosecutor pertaining to these daily reports which you compiled, as you
2 say, not a single one of them has any signature apart from your initials
3 which were placed there only 11 or -- ten or 11 years later.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Is it usual for official reports to be sent without signatures?
6 A. In these circumstances, yes.
7 Q. Can you tell me whether there was anything to prevent you or your
8 colleagues from the mission from signing those documents at that time?
9 A. No, not at all. It may be that we had signed or initialed a
10 covering note on the top, but I can't recall it. The essence of the
11 report is as stated there. The covering note, if there was one, I'm not
12 aware where it might have ended up, if there was one.
13 Q. Can you tell me whether, apart from you, anyone else from the
14 mission in Dubrovnik compiled reports pertaining to this period?
15 A. Not the specific period when I was involved in Dubrovnik.
16 Q. You said that you spent a certain period of time in the tasking
17 cell of the mission in Zagreb before going to Dubrovnik, and you said that
18 you visited barracks in and around Zagreb. Is this correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. You also said that after the mission in Dubrovnik, you returned to
21 Zagreb. Can you tell me exactly what you did in Zagreb then in this
22 tasking cell?
23 A. In that tasking cell, as I recall it at the time, we were
24 primarily concerned with the events in Vukovar which happened on the day
25 that I returned. So we were making the necessary reports to the
1 Presidency in The Hague about that.
2 Q. So on your return to Zagreb, you dealt more with Vukovar and
3 another mission went to Dubrovnik instead of yours. Is this correct?
4 A. Another mission went to Dubrovnik, and we handed over to that
5 mission when in Dubrovnik on the day that we left, which was the 16th of
6 October, I think it was.
7 Q. The handwritten letters that were marked for identification
8 yesterday bearing the dates 19th, 20th of October, and none of these
9 letters or messages is addressed personally to you. Is this correct?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Can you tell us, where did you get these documents from then?
12 A. These documents I obtained from the mission in Zagreb when the
13 team returned.
14 Q. Were these documents addressed to you personally or to the mission
15 in Zagreb, just as you sent letters to Zagreb while you were in Dubrovnik?
16 A. These letters, I understand it, were addressed to the specific
17 members of the teams, the team that went out there.
18 Q. But why, then, did you take these documents for yourself?
19 A. Because this wrapped up, as far as I was concerned, my mission to
20 Dubrovnik. It just tied the loose ends up at the end of it.
21 Q. Did you then select for yourself official documents in the mission
22 in Zagreb which you would keep and take with you?
23 A. If they were relevant to my mission.
24 Q. But you handed over your duties in Dubrovnik before these
25 documents were created, if I'm not wrong, because on the 16th you already
1 left Dubrovnik.
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. And the messages that we are talking about refer to the next
4 mission which came to Dubrovnik after yours, that had nothing to do with
5 your mission, and the letters are dated three or fours days after your
6 departure. Why then did you take these letters? These are official
8 A. These are documents which related to the events in Dubrovnik which
9 again were of significance.
10 Q. Can you tell us until when you stayed in Zagreb?
11 A. Until the 25th of October.
12 Q. Do you have any other documents as there are five days to go until
13 the 25th of October?
14 A. No, because as far as I can recall, nothing further significant
16 Q. So up to the 25th of October, as far as you know, and you followed
17 the work of the mission, there were no significant events in Dubrovnik
18 which would attract your attention?
19 A. I wasn't involved at that stage with Dubrovnik, and that was the
21 Q. As far as I could understand you, on the 19th and 20th, you were
22 not involved in Dubrovnik either and yet you took the documents. These
23 were two specific documents that were given to me, and I had no other
24 interest in Dubrovnik after that.
25 Q. Who gave you these documents?
1 A. I can't recall at this stage.
2 Q. Do you know the reason why these documents were given to you of
3 all people?
4 A. I believe there was a change in the tone of the negotiations
5 between the team that succeeded us and with General Strugar and the JNA at
6 the time.
7 Q. I don't understand what this has to do with my question in
8 connection with the documents.
9 A. This was an interest -- an interesting development that had
10 happened at that specific time.
11 Q. I don't understand. Are you trying to say that the situation in
12 Dubrovnik deteriorated after your departure?
13 A. Certainly relations between the team and the JNA had deteriorated.
14 Q. And who reported this to you and what did it have to do with you?
15 A. I can't recall who reported this to me at this stage. It had
16 nothing specifically to do with me except that I had been there at a
17 critical time prior to the advancement of the front line around Dubrovnik.
18 Q. Since, as you say, the mission in Zagreb also monitored the
19 developments in Osijek, Vukovar, Zagreb as well as Dubrovnik and probably
20 a number of other places throughout Croatia; is this correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. On your return from Dubrovnik, you said you dealt with the
23 situation in Vukovar. Is this correct?
24 A. I was one of a number of people who were involved in the events
25 subsequent to the evacuation of certain people from -- from Vukovar.
1 Q. Do you have in your possession the same sort of documents
2 connected with Vukovar or Osijek or other places?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Were the situations there not as interesting as the one in
5 Dubrovnik as far as you were concerned?
6 A. I was not so personally involved.
7 Q. Very well. I will move on. Yesterday, you said that on the 5th
8 of September, you arrived in Zagreb. Is this correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. In the statement you gave to the investigators in 2001 and 2002,
11 it says that you arrived in Zagreb on the 29th of September. It's on the
12 first page, third paragraph on page 1 of your statement. So there is a
13 discrepancy of almost a month.
14 A. 29th of September. I'm sorry, I can't identify that.
15 Q. It's in the third paragraph from the top. The paragraph begins
16 with the words, "In September 1991, I was requested by the Ministry of
17 Defence to go to Croatia ..."
18 A. I do see that. I think that must be a misprint.
19 Q. Did you read the statement before signing it?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. At the end, as far as I can see, you confirm that everything in
22 the statement is true.
23 A. That's correct, but occasionally there may well be a small error
24 that one has overlooked in such a long statement, and for that I do
1 Q. All right. When you mentioned the mobile mission in Zagreb,
2 yesterday you said that for the first seven days of your stay in Zagreb
3 you visited barracks in and around Zagreb and visited the JNA troops that
4 were in the barracks blockaded by Croatian forces, that you made sure that
5 they had food and water, and that you monitored the situation to see
6 whether the JNA would try to break out. My question to you, as you spent
7 a long time in the army, is: Is this not an odd situation, and what did
8 you think of it at that time, and what did you think of your role in that
10 A. I think the whole situation was odd at the time, and the mission
11 was there to try and calm things down and enable the two sides to reach
12 amicable settlement of their problems. The JNA were confined within their
13 barracks, and of course that was a peculiar thing to happen.
14 Q. Do we agree that it's odd that a regular armed force of a country
15 should be confined to barracks and that, with all due respect, as a
16 foreigner in a mission you should visit them and monitor the situation to
17 see whether they had enough food and water?
18 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. This question is: Do you
19 agree that it's odd that a regular armed force of a country should be
20 confined to the barracks. His opinion as to oddities is not relevant to
21 this case.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, I'm of the mind that I would allow the
23 question. It's a -- there is some substance in what you put, but I think
24 it very much reflects the general tenor of the cross-examination and what
25 is being explored. We can understand that.
1 Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes. I mean, my opinion is that it was a very odd
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Were you afraid that the JNA might try to break out of the
7 barracks by force, you as a member of a mission with the task that you
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I would also like to hear your opinion, bearing in mind your
11 experience and the position you held, whether in view of the fact that
12 this was a regular armed force which was in fact occupied by the Croatian
13 armed forces and confined, whether that kind of break-out would have been
15 A. I can't comment on the legality of this situation, I'm afraid.
16 Q. To put it more simply, in your view, is it a normal situation for
17 a soldier to sit in the barracks and to be prevented from communicating or
18 going out of the barracks? How would you as a soldier respond in such a
20 A. I can't say how I would respond to such a situation because you
21 can't be specific about this. All I can say is that it was a peculiar
22 situation at the time, and we have to recognise the de facto situation,
23 that they were confined in their barracks and surrounded by Croatian
25 Q. Can such a situation become a source of conflict or tension in the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And did such situations happen throughout Croatia, as far as you
4 know? Did you receive similar reports from other mission centres outside
6 A. Yes, I believe there were.
7 Q. So could an armed conflict erupt because of such a situation?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In your statement which you gave to the investigators, you said
10 that on the 1st of October, 1991, the JNA launched an offensive against
11 the municipality of Dubrovnik. You also said - this is the fourth
12 paragraph of your statement - that "There had been no obvious political or
13 military reason to launch such a campaign."
14 A. Yes. That was our opinion.
15 Q. Do you think that the events in Dubrovnik can be viewed in
16 isolation from the overall situation in Croatia which we have just been
17 talking about?
18 A. To the best of my knowledge, there were no JNA barracks being
19 confined by Croatian forces in the area, and Dubrovnik was a demilitarised
21 Q. What period are you referring to when you say that Dubrovnik was a
22 demilitarised zone?
23 A. I'm referring -- sorry. I beg your pardon.
24 Q. When you say that Dubrovnik was a demilitarised zone, what period
25 of time exactly are you referring to?
1 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
3 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, some of these statements - and I just
4 want some clarification here - he's not -- he's attempting, I think, to
5 impeach with prior inconsistent statements, but this is not inconsistent
6 with his testimony. Some of this information we have not raised. He's
7 asking these questions directly out of his statement, and these are not
8 inconsistent with his statement.
9 If he's going to do that, I think he should try to move and have
10 the document admitted as a piece of evidence.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It seems to me that the whole document may be far
12 wider than the purpose of this cross-examination. He's merely dealing
13 with one particular issue at the moment.
14 One of the effects of what is occurring may be that it will become
15 admissible at your hands, Mr. Weiner. I don't feel there is reason to
16 disturb what's happening at the moment.
17 Carry on, Mr. Rodic.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. But perhaps
19 to clarify this for our colleague, I said at the beginning why I was using
20 this statement, and I said absolutely it was on account of the
21 discrepancies between the content of the statement and yesterday's
22 examination-in-chief. Of course, I can say right now that at the end of
23 the cross-examination, we will indeed be asking for this statement to be
24 tendered as an exhibit.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Do I take it then, Mr. Rodic, that you'll be
1 identifying some further matters that you say are discrepancies as you
2 move through the document?
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour, because it is
4 of the essence for the Defence of General Strugar. And I should like to
5 ask you another question, because we are not au courant with the actual
6 schedule of this sitting. Is it the time for a break now?
7 JUDGE PARKER: I have been watching the clock and it's just a
8 little past the time. I was waiting for a convenient time in your
9 questioning, and by the sound of it, we've reached a convenient time,
10 Mr. Rodic.
11 But before we break, could we just be clear then so that
12 Mr. Weiner is more at ease with the matter, that it is your intention to
13 be tendering -- or seeking to tender this document at the conclusion of
14 your cross-examination.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
16 MR. WEINER: We have no objection.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I rather gathered that, Mr. Weiner.
18 We will have, then, a quarter of an hour break now.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. From the contacts that you had during your mission in Dubrovnik
24 with the representatives of the Yugoslav People's Army, did you obtain any
25 information from them as to why they were there in that area around
1 Dubrovnik and generally in the area and what the specific task of the
2 army, that is, and the role of the army was in that area and the entire
3 area of the 2nd Operational Group?
4 A. We were advised when we met with General Ruzinovski and
5 representatives of his command that they believed the Croatians had taken
6 up positions within Dubrovnik and were attacking their forces.
7 Q. Did you believe such claims on their part?
8 A. From our observations, we saw no such forces within the Dubrovnik
10 Q. Are you saying that at the time of your mission you did not at all
11 see Croatian forces in and around Dubrovnik? I'm talking about Croatian
12 armed forces.
13 A. The only time I saw any Croatian armed forces was when we had a
14 captain of what I believe was -- I think he was in the reserve forces of
15 the Croatian army, and he came as a liaison officer for the Croatian army
16 to one of our meetings with the JNA liaison officer, Captain Sofronije.
17 And I believe there may have been some Croatian army personnel lightly
18 armed with rifles at the time we left the port of Dubrovnik on the Slavija
19 ferry after we had been returned there having been stopped in the Adriatic
20 by a JNA warship. Otherwise, I saw no Croatian army forces at all, only
21 civilian police.
22 Q. Yes. In your statement, also on page 1, paragraph 4 from the top
23 you say: "To the best of my knowledge in this region there were no
24 hostilities nor was there a major ethnic Serb population to protect, as
25 the JNA and the Serbian government were claiming to be the case in other
1 parts of Croatia."
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know at all, did you have any information as to whether
4 there were any hostilities in the area that I'm referring to?
5 A. We had information by the time we got to Dubrovnik that there had
6 been some hostilities in that part of the villages around the Dubrovnik
7 airport had been shelled and also shells had fallen into the village of
8 Cavtat and that there had been shooting around the -- Dubrovnik itself
9 from the hills surrounding the city.
10 Q. Do you know anything about the preparations for war which were
11 undertaken in Dubrovnik during the years 1990 and 1991?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Are you aware of the tasks which were assigned to the police and
14 military units of the Croatians according to the orders of their
15 commanders at the time?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you know of any cases of barriers being erected on
18 communication links and roads? Do you know of cases of numerous attacks
19 on military facilities, of military columns of soldiers in the area in the
20 period 1990 by Croatian forces?
21 A. 1990, no.
22 Q. In 1991. I was referring to 1991.
23 A. We were aware -- we believed that there were renegade Croat forces
24 that may have attacked JNA forces.
25 Q. Can you clarify, explain what these renegade Croat forces were.
1 A. It was our understanding that these were not regular, if I can put
2 "regular" in quotes, Croatian forces in the same way that there were also
3 irregular Serbian forces which were allegedly attacking villages in the
5 Q. Is this statement that you made about the protection of Serbs,
6 namely that there were no Serbs in the area, was not the story about the
7 protection of Serbs just a cliche which you yourself also accepted and
8 took for granted during your initial days of your stay in Zagreb and as
9 you explained the situation in Zagreb as well as in other places in
11 A. I'm not sure that I actually understand the question.
12 Q. When in your statement you said that there was not an obvious
13 political or military reason for launching a campaign around Dubrovnik,
14 you said: "As far as I know, to the best of my knowledge, there were no
15 hostilities in the area nor was there a major ethnic Serbian population to
16 be protected, as the JNA and the Serbian government claimed to be the case
17 in other parts of Croatia."
18 A. Yes, that's true. We could not understand why there should be any
19 attacks on Dubrovnik itself. The fact that there may have been incidents
20 that had occurred well outside the area was not, we thought, of itself
21 reasons for any attacks to be made on Dubrovnik or areas where there were
22 no apparent Croatian forces.
23 Q. Did it seem to you that there were no Croatian forces or do you
24 assert that there were no Croatian forces in the areas in question?
25 A. No, I cannot assert that there were no Croatian forces in the
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 393 to 398.
1 area. We saw none.
2 Q. Was it a sufficient reason for hostilities if irregular Croatian
3 forces were attacking the regular armed force of the former Yugoslavia at
4 the time?
5 A. In my opinion, there was no sufficient reason for this.
6 Q. On page 2 of your statement, and this is the B/C/S version, you
7 say that there are numerous assumptions why the JNA had attacked
8 Dubrovnik. That is the last paragraph in the English version, on the
9 first page the English version.
10 A. Yes. These are hypotheses.
11 Q. I will read hypothesis number one, which is extensive, and it
12 says: "The JNA recognised the tourist and economic potential of the
13 region and the role it could play in the new Yugoslavia. The only way to
14 achieve this was to intimidate the local population into leaving. The
15 subsequent role and actions of the JNA appeared to be consistent with that
16 of an organised campaign intended to expel the Croats from the region."
17 Is this your assumption; and if it is, what is it based on?
18 A. It's not an assumption, it's a hypothesis, a number of hypotheses.
19 We can't say which one is correct. These were views taken at the time, a
21 Q. When you say -- when you say these were views taken at the time,
22 are you referring to your personal view or I presume the view of the
23 entire mission that you worked with?
24 A. I think this is a general view of the mission, that this was one
25 of the possibilities for the attack on Dubrovnik.
1 Q. I would also like to ask you in connection with the other
2 possibility which you stated, which is that they wanted to use it as a
3 bargaining chip for the release of JNA barracks from the Croatian
4 bureaucrats in Croatia. Were you personally satisfied of the truthfulness
5 of such a hypothesis? When I say this, I'm specifically referring to the
6 fact that the barracks were blockaded in Croatia and so on.
7 A. You can't be truthful about a hypothesis. This is merely one of
8 the considerations that one had to take into account as to whether it was
9 a possibility that this is a reason for the attack. I'm not saying it was
10 the reason, I'm simply saying that it's a possibility that it was a
11 reason; and there were a number of these possibilities.
12 Q. In view of the fact that you participated in the mission, that you
13 went out in the field, that you had extensive information on the basis of
14 which you replied to my questions inter alia also on the blockade of the
15 barracks, that is why I'm asking you. According to your knowledge and
16 experiences from the area, could this second hypothesis be taken into
17 serious consideration?
18 A. All these hypotheses can be taken into serious consideration.
19 Q. I'm asking you personally: Does your experience confirm the
20 second or the -- the first or the second hypothesis more?
21 MR. WEINER: I object to that. We're into -- we're into
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, I'm not sure whether you fully
24 understand the significance of the word "hypothesis" in the paper -- in
25 the statement of Mr. Stringer. He, I believe from his statement and his
1 evidence, he is merely saying, "These were possible views that we took
2 into account which could have justified the attack when, in our
3 appreciation, we could not ourselves see that there was any military
4 justification for the attack," and therefore, they searched around for
5 possible justifications, and these were identified.
6 I don't understand Mr. Stringer to be saying, "I firmly held this
7 view or that view." He's merely saying these were the possible views that
8 were held by the mission which could have justified the attack. So he's
9 not really in a position to answer your last question, I don't believe.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I shall
12 Q. In your statement, you say that the shelling was indiscriminate
13 and reckless at best. During your stay in the Dubrovnik area, was there
14 any shelling, how much, and where?
15 A. During the course of my stay there, we heard mortar fire in the
16 background on the hills and Plat which is the hills surrounding Dubrovnik
17 itself, and also rifle fire. And as you know, we did experience heavy
18 machine-gun fire ourselves on our last day in Cavtat, which came from the
19 JNA forces. But we had observed, of course, the destruction of houses in
20 the area of Cavtat and in Cavtat itself, civilian houses, in areas where
21 we could determine no indication of any Croatian or other military
23 Q. Did you personally see any houses that had been damaged in Cavtat?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Can you tell us exactly where? If you entered Cavtat, can you
1 describe what houses in Cavtat were damaged?
2 A. We visited one house in Cavtat where the bedroom of a little girl
3 had been damaged, and there was part of a rocket launcher - I can't say
4 what kind - still lodged in the walls of that particular building. We
5 didn't go inside any other houses, but we did see damage to houses,
6 particularly on the route towards the -- towards the rendezvous where we
7 met up with the JNA liaison officers, and also damaged boats within the
8 area -- within the harbour of Cavtat. This had all been done just before
9 or before we arrived. So we did not ourselves actually witness the
10 shelling itself apart from the machine-gun fire we experienced on our last
12 Q. The damaged houses that you say you saw on the road leading to the
13 place where the meetings were held, I believe that this is the road
14 leading to the airport, isn't it?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. That's why I can assert that no houses were damaged in Cavtat nor
17 was Cavtat shelled during that campaign. I will move on.
18 A. I'm sorry, but I do have to say that the house that we saw and
19 visited was in Cavtat itself and not one of the houses on the route out of
20 Cavtat. The house we saw was where a little girl's bedroom had in fact
21 been hit by a rocket.
22 Q. Very well. Can you tell me whether you saw any shelling anywhere
23 during your stay in the area.
24 A. We saw no evidence of shelling other than what we heard in the
25 distance. No evidence of current shelling, should I say, whilst we were
2 Q. What you heard as weapons in the distance being fired could have
3 been directed at the other side, by one side -- any side against the other
4 side. By this I mean not directed at the Dubrovnik area because there
5 were operations taking place elsewhere. Isn't that correct?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Thank you. I will now ask you to look at the following part of
8 your statement where you say: "This is not to say that the Croats in the
9 form of their defence did not provoke or breach the many cease-fires at
10 the time."
11 That is the fourth paragraph on page 3.
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. As you are evidently familiar with the many breaches of the
14 cease-fires by the Croatian side also, can you tell us whether you saw
15 these breaches, when, where, and how many approximately there were during
16 the time of your mission. How many reports of this did you receive?
17 A. The reports of this during my mission in Dubrovnik, there were two
18 reports, I believe, from the JNA side as to attacks against their forces
19 where JNA soldiers had been killed. I'm not aware of further cease-fire
20 breaches other than those that I stated in my statement. I would also --
21 I would, of course, regard the machine-gunning at Cavtat as a breach of
22 the cease-fire.
23 Q. Did someone fire shots at you, the members of the mission?
24 A. The shots went over our head sufficiently close to make us take
25 cover. We did not believe that the attack was against us. We considered
1 that in fact what was being shot at was a church on the side of the
3 Q. Did the Croats ever shoot at you?
4 A. No.
5 Q. With the aim of frightening you or keeping you there?
6 A. There was one occasion which is when we left -- we were going to
7 leave Cavtat where we were threatened by a Croat if we were to leave them
8 alone, but my Polish friend who spoke a little language was able to calm
9 him down and tell him that, you know, we were going and that was it. But
10 otherwise, there were no occasions where we were frightened by or
11 intimidated by Croatians, or indeed I must, in fairness, say the JNA.
12 Q. Can you tell me, these Croats who tried to keep you there, what
13 were they wearing?
14 A. They were trying to persuade us to stay and they were civilians,
15 and they were really scared that if we went, they would be attacked.
16 Q. What weapons were these civilians carrying?
17 A. They weren't carrying any weapons at the time.
18 Q. Is it correct that these Croatian civilians fired shots at you in
19 front of the Croatia Hotel in Cavtat?
20 A. No.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to show
22 the witness and to distribute to the other parties this document.
23 Q. Can you first tell me whether you are familiar with this document.
24 A. Yes. This is a note I made. I think it was probably on my return
25 to England.
1 Q. Can you tell us what this note refers to precisely.
2 A. This refers to the incident where a patrol had moved forward on
3 our last day in the area, had moved forward into Cavtat and where a
4 loudspeaker announcement had been made to the villagers of Obod to return
5 to their homes, otherwise Cavtat would be flattened, and where rifle fire
6 or heavy machine-gun fire was directed from the JNA side across to what we
7 believed was the church.
8 Q. Very well. You mentioned this event yesterday, but I'm interested
9 in something else now. I would like to know whether the signature on this
10 document, on the first page, and there are initials on pages 2, 3, and 4,
11 whether these are your signatures.
12 A. Yes, they are.
13 Q. And the date on the document, was it entered by you?
14 A. Yes, it was.
15 Q. Does this mean that you handed in this document to the
16 investigators in 2001?
17 A. Yes, it does.
18 Q. Can you explain to us why this is the only typewritten document
19 while all the others are in handwriting?
20 A. Because this, to the best of my recollection, was done upon my
21 return to England.
22 Q. I really cannot understand now why you would type this out in
23 England if on the 16th of October you went to Zagreb where you stayed
24 until the 25th. Wouldn't it be logical for you to compile the report
25 while you were working for the mission and not to type it out in London?
1 A. I can't recall exactly when this was typed. It could have been
2 typed at the mission, or it could have been typed upon my return to
3 England. It was simply an elaboration of my manuscript notes.
4 Q. Is this the only purpose behind this typewritten document?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Why didn't you do the same with the other documents that we
7 discussed previously?
8 A. Because this was what we regarded as a major incident and we
9 thought this was the beginning of the eventual attack on Dubrovnik itself.
10 Q. Did you give this document to anyone?
11 A. I can't recall.
12 Q. Can you read out what it says under item 10 in this document.
13 A. Yes. "At the same time Nolan went to the Cavtat hotel to
14 telephone Dubrovnik and then to Zagreb about the incident, the team was
15 threatened with shooting by Croatians if it attempted to leave, 'because
16 you are our only hope.'"
17 Q. You just said that you were not shot at. Why?
18 A. That is correct; we weren't shot at, and we saw no weapons held by
19 these Croatians. They merely threatened to shoot us, and we believed that
20 they did probably have some weapons hidden somewhere where they could do
21 that. The shooting that happened in fact came from the heavy machine-gun
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know anything about the military plans,
24 disposition, and operations of the Croatian forces on the stretch from the
25 border with Montenegro to near the town of Dubrovnik?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you warn the Croatian side of the risks that civilians and
3 their property were exposed to because of the military operations of the
4 Croatian forces?
5 A. We certainly made the Croatians aware of risks that would be
6 incurred if there were hostilities taken against JNA forces.
7 Q. You will not hold it against me if I say this, but what you have
8 just said is something I have not seen in any of your written reports
9 which you call your diaries or in any of these statements. That's why I
10 would like to know how real, serious, and persistent the warnings to the
11 Croatian side were in connection with cease-fire breaches or the
12 provocation of further hostilities.
13 A. They were certainly serious, and I think that in my notes, I did
14 in fact mention somewhere that in the event of any incident arising from
15 either side, we should be immediately informed and that no precipitate
16 action should be taken in the event of any accidental shootings.
17 Q. I would like to know whether in your official reports, that is the
18 ones you sent to Zagreb, you warned the headquarters of the monitoring
19 mission of the cease-fire breaches by the Croats.
20 A. We certainly -- they were warned in respect to my report that
21 there had been alleged breaches the cease-fire by the Croats. That's
22 stated in my -- in my diary.
23 Q. Did you have any feedback, response, or instruction sent to you,
24 or did you find out whether the mission had said something to the Croatian
25 government or somewhere at a higher level?
1 A. I'm not aware as to what discussions had taken place at a higher
3 Q. In your statement and during your examination-in-chief, you said
4 that on the 11th of October, 1991, you met for the first time with JNA
5 officers in the port of Zelenika and Montenegro and that this meeting was
6 attended by General Ruzinovski, Admiral Jokic, and Colonel Svicevic. Is
7 this correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. In your statement, you say -- just a moment, please, and I'll tell
10 you what paragraph it is in the English version. It's on page 3,
11 paragraph -- no, the second paragraph from the bottom of the page.
12 Counting from the bottom of the page, it's the second paragraph. Have you
13 found it?
14 A. Sorry, yes. Page 3.
15 Q. You say here, yes, that General Ruzinovski was the officer
16 commanding Operational Group 2. "Ironically, the meeting took place was
17 in a JNA military hospital which had a large Red Cross flag over the roof
18 of the building. It appeared that the regional headquarters of the JNA
19 was in fact in the hospital as we were ushered into the hospital for the
20 meeting. This may itself have been a breach of international law."
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I'll then now ask you, do you know exactly where you were when you
23 attended this first meeting on the 11th of October?
24 A. We were given to understand that we were meeting at the
25 headquarters of the general. And we were also given to understand that
1 this in fact was a hospital, which we assumed it was because of the big
2 Red Cross which was flying outside, on the roof of the building.
3 Q. Did you enter a compound? Did you pass through a ramp in order to
4 enter a military compound?
5 A. I don't recall precisely how we entered, whether it was over a
6 ramp or not. The building that we entered didn't contain medical wards,
7 and it was a conference room where this meeting was held.
8 Q. May I remind you you probably entered the port of Zelenika, you
9 sailed into it, and then you were taken to the military hospital in
10 Meljine, which is a large military compound which also contains the villa
11 of Josip Broz Tito within that large compound. And I assume that the
12 meeting room was in that villa and that that's where the meeting was held.
13 Would that correspond to what you remember of the meeting in 1991?
14 A. That is -- that could be correct.
15 Q. Then what you say about breaches of international law and having a
16 meeting in a hospital would not stand.
17 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that, Your Honour. Once again we're
18 into speculation, his speculation as to international law, and asking him
19 questions about whether or not this is in fact a breach. He's not the
20 witness to ask that question.
21 JUDGE PARKER: There is substance in that, Mr. Rodic. You may be
22 able to explore part way down that road, but having gone as far as you
23 have is going too far. If you could either move on or deal with some more
24 limited part of the subject.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. My last
1 question was connected to the witness's statement, because the witness
2 stated in the last sentence of this paragraph: "It appeared that the
3 regional HQ of the JNA was in fact in the hospital as we were ushered into
4 the hospital for the meeting. This may itself have been a breach of
5 international law."
6 This was what the witness said in his statement, and after this
7 clarification about the venue of the meeting being in fact in the villa, I
8 asked the witness whether he would still abide by what he said or whether
9 he would desist from this statement.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I appreciate how you've got to where you've got.
11 You may want to have it confirmed by the witness whether the building with
12 the red cross on the roof was the building in which the meeting occurred
13 or whether it was in a villa that didn't have a red cross on the roof. I
14 would remind you that the witness, in his evidence, did not actually speak
15 about this subject and did not deal with the opinion that's set out in
16 this statement; it's your cross-examination that is taking him to that.
17 So is that -- I'm trying to help you to allow you to go as far as
18 can properly be taken. Yes.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. Thank you, Your
20 Honour. I will then repeat Your Honour's question.
21 Q. The villa in which you held the meeting, did it have the red cross
22 on it or was the Red Cross flag on another building?
23 A. To the best of my recollection, it was actually on that building.
24 It may have been a villa, I can't say.
25 Q. Very well. During your stay in the Dubrovnik area after you met
1 General Ruzinovski, who introduced himself as the officer commanding
2 Operational Group 2, did you know where his military command was, where
3 the headquarters was of this Operational Group 2 commanded by General
5 A. We assumed it was where we had held the meeting, but that was an
7 Q. Was your assumption valid for the entire period you spent in the
8 Dubrovnik mission?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. During your stay in Dubrovnik or in Zagreb, did you hear of a
11 place called Kumbor? It's also in Montenegro and near the places we have
12 just mentioned.
13 A. I have heard the name.
14 Q. Do you know that there was a navy command there?
15 A. I can't recall that.
16 Q. Can you tell us more about what General Ruzinovski told you when
17 he was telling you about the area of responsibility of Operational Group
18 2, that is, the territory on which the units of Operational Group 2 were?
19 A. According to my diary, he confirmed that he was responsible for an
20 area bounded by the Bay of Kotor in the south to Slano in the north and
21 Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Was the river Neretva mentioned?
23 A. I can't recall specifically, although my attention was drawn to
24 the fact that that river formed one of the boundaries.
25 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you whether now you have an idea about the
1 size of the territory which was indicated to you by General Ruzinovski
2 along the Montenegrin border up to Mostar, up to the river Neretva, to
3 Slano, and down towards the sea. Do you now have any actual knowledge or
4 any idea about the actual size of that territory?
5 A. Not without looking at a map.
6 Q. Are you familiar with any particular data associated with this
7 stretch of territory measured in kilometres? Do you recall any such
9 A. No, I don't. Our interest was really centred on Dubrovnik.
10 Q. With respect to the area of Dubrovnik where you were, do you know
11 how far the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina is?
12 A. Not very far.
13 Q. And this border towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, was it measured in
14 metres or kilometres relative to the Dubrovnik area?
15 A. Measured in kilometres.
16 Q. Well, do you know approximately? Was it 10, 20 or more?
17 A. I wouldn't like to hazard a guess.
18 Q. Do you consider that it was definitely more kilometres?
19 A. At its narrowest point, I can only guess that it was probably
20 about 20 kilometres, but I can't be certain.
21 Q. Do you know, during your stay with the mission in Dubrovnik, what
22 the disposition was or the points manned by JNA forces?
23 A. Only those in the Cavtat region.
24 Q. Where exactly in the Cavtat region? What towns, what places, what
1 A. I can't say the towns and villages. All I can say is that we were
2 aware of the front line of the JNA forces around Cavtat, which effectively
3 was the southern end of the Cavtat -- of the Dubrovnik airport. There was
4 also lines which went around the hills by Komolac where the power station
5 had been destroyed.
6 Q. Since you've mentioned Komolac repeatedly in your statement, you
7 refer to that particular problem, so I'd like to know what your impression
8 of this was in terms of the cooperativeness and willingness of the army to
9 resolve the problem of Komolac, which is to say water and electricity
10 supply. Were they in earnest in favour of resolving that problem and did
11 they undertake measures in order to address it?
12 A. Yes, they did. They were in fact very cooperative from the
14 Q. Thank you. When you said that the team of European Community
15 Monitoring Mission came to this meeting at this villa, can you say exactly
16 who apart from you, Nolan, and Zak was also on this team? Were there any
17 other people?
18 A. Only our interpreter. Our interpreter was there.
19 Q. What is the name of your interpreter?
20 A. Misa.
21 Q. You also said that General Ruzinovski instructed Admiral Jokic to
22 meet with the Croatian delegation on that same afternoon on a military
23 vessel off Kotor Bay. Was this so?
24 A. Yes, that is so.
25 Q. Do you know what was precisely Admiral Jokic that he instructed to
1 meet with you and with that delegation?
2 A. Do I know precisely -- I'm sorry, I don't quite understand that
4 Q. Let me put it this way: Do you know what the position and
5 function of Admiral Jokic was at that time? What was he at the time?
6 A. I'm not aware of what he was at that time. We assumed that he was
7 second in command to General Ruzinovski, but also of course commanding the
8 naval forces.
9 Q. During your mission in Dubrovnik, did you -- do you know whether
10 the forces under the command of Admiral Jokic, which is naval and land
11 forces, were they also part of the cooperation with Dubrovnik?
12 A. Sorry, part of the cooperation with Dubrovnik? What do you mean?
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter corrects herself: Of the
14 operation around Dubrovnik.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I didn't say "cooperation," I said "the operation," the Dubrovnik
18 A. Yes, we believed that they were.
19 Q. After Admiral Jokic had been ordered to hold the meeting with the
20 Dubrovnik Crisis Staff, in your statement you say on page 5 -- no, sorry,
21 on page 4, third paragraph from the top. You list the people on the
22 Croatian Crisis Staff, and you said the ECMM team returned to fetch the
23 Croatian negotiating team which comprised Zeljko Sikic, president of the
24 executive counsel; Pero Poljanic, mayor of Dubrovnik; Hrvoje Makan,
25 engineer; Misa Mihocevic, producer of the Dubrovnik Festival and ECMM
2 Is it correct that the member of the negotiating team from the
3 Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik had a dual function as a negotiator of one side
4 and also as an interpreter for your mission which should have been neutral
5 in that -- in those talks?
6 A. No, he wasn't, to the best our knowledge, a member of the
7 Dubrovnik Crisis Committee, but he came as interpreter, and he's simply
8 listed there as the Croatian interpreter for the mission. So it may not
9 -- arguably that paragraph is not -- it's precise, but it's -- the
10 inflection is that Misa Mihocevic is not a member of the team from
11 Dubrovnik, he's actually the ECMM interpreter. And we put producer of the
12 Dubrovnik Festival just to indicate what his civilian function was.
13 Q. Why did you then also list Misa as belonging to the Croatian
14 negotiation team under 4, under number 4?
15 A. Well, he shouldn't -- he wasn't, in fact, part of the negotiating
16 team. When this was written, I didn't read it, but that was in fact the
17 case now you point it out. It probably would have been better to have put
18 a space under there and say that he was yet another member of the
19 Dubrovnik community who acted as our interpreter.
20 Q. When it came to conversations and contacts with the JNA and the
21 Croatian side, was Misa Mihocevic always present as your interpreter?
22 A. Yes, he was. He was our interpreter throughout the period.
23 Q. So you did not have another interpreter engaged from Zagreb nor
24 anyone specifically assigned to your mission?
25 A. No, we didn't.
1 Q. In addition to these meetings at which Misa Mihocevic participated
2 together with you and the representatives of the Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik
3 and the JNA, what other interpreting services did he also perform for you?
4 A. Only general interpreting services when we needed to speak to the
5 hotel staff who perhaps didn't speak English, although most of them did,
6 but otherwise, he was simply acting as our interpreter in the course of
7 our negotiations with the JNA. The JNA had their own interpreter, of
9 Q. Does this mean that he spent all his time with your mission, with
10 your team and you personally?
11 A. Most of his time. Not at night, of course, when he went home.
12 Q. Did you ever directly communicate by phone with any one of the
13 parties or was this done on your behalf by the interpreter?
14 A. No, it was always done on our behalf by the interpreter.
15 Q. Did you ever use any other interpreter during your stay there
16 apart from Misa?
17 A. No.
18 Q. In your statement, you also stated that at this meeting on the
19 vessel with Admiral Jokic, your mission sternly warned him that civilians
20 were getting wounded and --
21 A. Yes, that's correct. Civilians had been killed in the area of
23 Q. Also on that occasion you informed him that the Croatian military
24 presence in the city was either weak or nil. Can you tell us what you
25 meant by that? Can you explain a bit? Can you amplify on the Croatian
1 military presence?
2 A. Yes, we advised the admiral that we'd seen little or no Croatian
3 military presence in the town. We'd seen no armed military personnel.
4 Q. What did the admiral reply? Did he tell you that he had different
6 A. I can't recall the precise terms of the admiral's reply, but in
7 the course of our discussions throughout this period, the JNA did allege
8 that Dubrovnik was being used by armed Croatian military personnel and
9 that military operations were being directed from Dubrovnik, but this was
10 something we could not confirm.
11 Q. Was this the answer you gave to Admiral Jokic also?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Did Admiral Jokic give you guarantees that work to repair the
14 electricity and water supply facilities would start soon and they would
15 not be hindered?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. He agreed to secure the area around Komolac
17 to ensure that the electricity supplies and water supplies could be
18 repaired quickly.
19 Q. Did Admiral Jokic, prior to giving you such guarantees, call
20 anyone or did he say this to you personally?
21 A. I don't recall him actually calling anyone, but he did give this
22 assurance to us personally, because the assurance had already been given
23 by General Ruzinovski that the area would be secure.
24 Q. When you speak about the next meeting, you say that on the 12th of
25 October, Captain Milan Zec received you, waited for you at Cilipi airport.
1 Was he there on behalf of the Admiral Jokic?
2 A. He appeared to be there on behalf of both Admiral Jokic and
3 General Ruzinovski.
4 Q. On what basis are you now mentioning General Ruzinovski? The fact
5 being that Captain Milan Zec is a naval officer and you knew that as well
6 as --
7 A. Absolutely. I knew that he was a naval officer, and of course our
8 liaison officer, appointed by General Ruzinovski, was also a naval
9 officer. But the captain was acting apparently on behalf of Admiral Jokic
10 when he handed a letter to the mayor soliciting a number of conditions
11 that they required to be met. But he also said to us that the general,
12 and that's referring to General Ruzinovski, had confirmed that he would
13 honour the agreement to continue with the repair of electrical supplies --
14 Q. Please do not read the statement before I indicate a specific part
15 of it.
16 Did Captain Zec put any ultimatum to the Croatian side in your
18 Would you be so kind as to close that statement, put it down.
19 A. The ultimatum that was put to the Croatian side was done in our
20 presence, yes.
21 Q. Why do you call this piece of paper on which something was written
22 an ultimatum? Do you know its content, and it is on that basis that you
23 call it an ultimatum, or was it the Croatian side that informed you that
24 it was an ultimatum?
25 A. I can't recall which side it was that said it was an ultimatum.
1 It listed a number of conditions that were required to be met.
2 Q. Are you familiar with any of the content of that document or the
3 conditions which were to be met which was requested by the JNA?
4 A. I did not have a copy of that document, but if you want me to
5 simply recollect what I remember now, it was that the Crisis Committee
6 should surrender. That was the one thing that stuck in my mind. But as
7 to the other conditions, I cannot recall.
8 Q. Can you explain to me why it was not important enough for you to
9 jot it down in your daily log, in your diary? In particular, in view of
10 the fact that the other side experienced it as an ultimatum.
11 A. We didn't have a copy of that document. That was retained by the
12 Croatian side. So we merely noted the fact that an ultimatum had been
14 Q. Why did you not then record the content of that document, because
15 it is very important, the content that you yourself just referred to.
16 A. It was important, but I don't recall the circumstances arising at
17 the time which meant that we didn't take a copy of it or weren't given a
18 copy of it by the Croatian side.
19 Q. Tell me, did General Ruzinovski designate Captain Sofronije
20 Jeremic --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- to act as liaison officer?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. At this first meeting with Admiral Jokic, is it true that Jeremic,
25 Svicevic, the interpreter Uljarevic, so the naval officers that I referred
1 to and this interpreter were present?
2 A. That's my understanding.
3 Q. I'm interested in a person that today you have not mentioned, and
4 you mention him in the statement, that is the Croatian army liaison
5 officer, Captain Ante Karaman. How can he be a liaison officer for the
6 Croatian army whereas to several of my questions -- to a number of my
7 questions you repeatedly answered that you didn't see any army on the
8 Croatian side at all.
9 A. We saw no -- we saw no members of the Croatian army. That's a
10 fact. Other than this particular captain who came with the Crisis
12 Q. On that date, the 12th of October, Captain Zec told you that an
13 incident had happened in Ravno in Bosnia-Herzegovina where JNA soldiers
14 were killed and there were wounded, and on that occasion he handed over to
15 you a letter by General Ruzinovski with apologies for having to postpone
16 that meeting for the following day. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was it clear to you why he was seeking a postponement of the
20 A. No, because the incident that occurred in Ravno in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina was a long way away, and we didn't see the relevance of
22 that particular incident to the meetings that we wished to hold with the
23 -- between the Dubrovnik Crisis Committee and the JNA.
24 Q. Did they inform you on that occasion with the problems that the
25 commanding officers had with the troops because of that incident and that
1 those were the reasons why the meeting was being postponed?
2 A. I don't recall problems the commanding officers had with their
4 Q. At that meeting on the 12th of October, were you informed of the
5 fact that the blockade of Dubrovnik was actually on in order to prevent
6 arms and ammunitions from being imported into the city, from entering
8 A. I believe that is the case.
9 Q. In view of your previous statements about Dubrovnik and according
10 to your knowledge, would it be -- would this be quite legitimate, to
11 prevent the importation of arms and ammunitions into a protected city?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And during your mission in Dubrovnik, were you informed or was
14 there any -- did you have any reports about the breaches of these -- of
15 the blockade with a view to arming people inside?
16 A. We were informed about two incidents with ferries which were
17 refused entry into Dubrovnik, but that was not because of -- that they
18 carried any arms or ammunition, I believe. One of them was because they
19 were carrying journalists who were not accredited, which was a requirement
20 at that time by the Yugoslavian authorities. There may have been some
21 incidents in the countryside, but I believe not at sea.
22 Q. If I'm correct, you said that you had occasion to travel or sail
23 by boat, to be stopped by the navy for control. Did they tell you what
24 they were controlling and why they were stopping you?
25 A. They didn't specifically tell me why they were stopping us, but we
1 were made aware by the captain of the ferry that they were being stopped
2 -- that we were being stopped to check our bona fides and to ensure that
3 we were not carrying any unauthorised supplies or personnel into
4 Dubrovnik. And on the second occasion, leaving Dubrovnik, we were
5 stopped, and I was told then that we were stopped because we were carrying
6 men out of Dubrovnik as refugees. The ship had about 3.000 civilians on
7 it, and we were turned round then by the JNA and sent back to Dubrovnik to
8 discharge the men that had -- that were on the ferry.
9 Q. These were military-aged men?
10 A. Some. Some, certainly.
11 Q. During these checks, were the boat crews asked whether they had
12 any weapons or ammunition? Did the army ask those questions?
13 A. I'm not aware what questions were actually asked of the crew of
14 the vessels.
15 Q. Were you able to conclude that the army was checking vessels in
16 order to make sure they weren't importing weapons and ammunition into
18 A. That was one of our conclusions, yes.
19 Q. Thank you. At the meeting of the 13th of October, you mentioned
20 that at that meeting you were handed a letter from General Ruzinovski in
21 which he informed you that he had been transferred and that he would be
22 replaced by General Pavle Strugar. Is this correct?
23 A. That is correct, yes.
24 Q. As this letter was handed to you on the 13th of October, do you
25 know whether the handover was actually carried out on the 13th or later?
1 A. No.
2 MR. WEINER: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. It has nothing
3 to do with the questioning, but we had advised the legal officer that at
4 certain times the witness would request juice or some food because of a
5 health condition, and I just want to make sure that he's -- everything's
7 JUDGE PARKER: Before we deal with that, Mr. Stringer, could I
8 ask, Mr. Rodic, where you see yourself in the cross-examination. Have you
9 nearly finished?
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am about two-thirds of
11 my way through, but I may be able to shorten my examination. In any case,
12 I am prepared to take a break or to continue tomorrow, because the general
13 also has been sitting here for quite a long time.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. It seems to me that the cross-examination is
15 going on to a length that we may not be able to finish with Mr. Stringer
16 and finish with the next witness tomorrow, which is creating a problem.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we were to continue
18 the cross-examination tomorrow I would do my very best to shorten the
19 remainder of my cross-examination and to focus on essential questions.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I'm very glad to hear that, Mr. Rodic, because I
21 think this afternoon, while you have dealt with many significant matters,
22 you've also dealt with others that are not significant, and it's taken a
23 long time, and it will be essential that we try and avoid that much time
24 on unimportant matters. There are significant issues in this trial, and
25 if we can focus on those, I think it will be in the best interests of your
1 client as well as in the best interests of finishing this matter with as
2 much expedition as possible.
3 Now, Mr. Stringer, if I could ask of you whether you feel the need
4 for a break at this moment.
5 THE WITNESS: I'm all right, actually, at the moment, Your Honour,
6 thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Right. That being the case, I think we might press
8 on for just a little longer, Mr. Rodic. I detect that your client is not
9 in any particular distress from what I can see, so that we will continue
10 for a little while. We did arrange that your client would go back at
11 6:00, and we'll try and keep to that. But if you could now focus on what
12 is important to your case, I'd be grateful.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. As you have confirmed, I will just repeat, you don't know whether
15 the changeover of generals was carried out on the same day as you were
16 handed the letter.
17 A. No, that's right.
18 Q. I will now ask you whether you personally ever saw General
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. Have you ever personally talked to General Strugar?
22 A. No.
23 Q. During your mission in Dubrovnik, did you know exactly where
24 General Strugar was?
25 A. No.
1 Q. When you mentioned the shifts in the front line for some -- by
2 some 800 metres, it was the Croatian forces that advised you of this, if
3 I'm not wrong.
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Did you receive a detailed explanation by the JNA in connection
6 with this shift?
7 A. There had been a shooting some way behind the JNA lines, and they
8 wanted to improve their tactical position.
9 Q. Did Admiral Jokic postpone a meeting for this reason, because it
10 was necessary to find people to work at Komolac, and he had a problem in
11 explaining to the troops what had happened in that incident? Was that how
12 it was?
13 A. That's not as I understood it.
14 Q. I will now ask you to look at the statement, point 42. That's on
15 page 9 of your statement. In paragraph 42, the sentence where you say:
16 "In the circumstances, the admiral had ordered the meeting scheduled for
17 1200 hours the following day to be postponed by 24 hours and also the
18 commencement of electricity repair at Komolac because the troops needed to
19 have the incident explained to them and why the safety of the workers
20 could not be guaranteed."
21 Is this your statement?
22 A. Yes, and my immediate recollection, probably, was inaccurate. I
23 stand by what was said in the actual statement.
24 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, that's not the complete statement. If
25 you look at the next sentence, it goes on that they do in fact plan a
1 meeting, in the next sentence. I request that the full quote be read.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I was just about to do so, yes. It
3 goes on to say: "We asked that a meeting be arranged between monitors,
4 the liaison officer, and the admiral if possible, and this was agreed for
5 1100 hours Monday the 14th of October."
6 Q. Is this correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Is it correct that at the meeting of the 14th of October the JNA
9 representatives were only Sofronije Jeremic, the liaison officer, and his
10 interpreter? Would you please not look at the statement.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In relation to the letter you received on the 13th of October in
13 the evening, how much time elapsed before you left Dubrovnik?
14 A. Before we left Dubrovnik for the following meeting.
15 Q. I meant when you left from Dubrovnik for Zagreb.
16 A. Oh. Two and a half days.
17 Q. Is it correct that you asked the liaison officer if possible to
18 meet with General Strugar in that period?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Is it correct that this meeting never took place in that
21 two-and-a-half-day period that you were in Dubrovnik?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you were explaining to the JNA representatives that you had
24 an obligation to monitor all cease-fires and all activities that were a
25 risk for the cease-fire, did you ever have any kind of information from
1 the Croatian liaison officer, Ante Karaman, that their side had breached
2 the cease-fire?
3 A. No. We only had an assurance from the Croatians that there had
4 been no breaches from Dubrovnik, but to the best of my recollection we
5 didn't see the Croatian liaison officer Ante Karaman after the first
6 meeting that we had with him.
7 Q. Who on the Croatian side gave you guarantees or assured you that
8 the Croatians had not breached the cease-fire?
9 A. This came from the Crisis Committee itself.
10 Q. Can you give us any names? Who from the Crisis Committee informed
11 you of this?
12 A. I can't give names at this stage. I can't recall them.
13 Q. Did you ever ask for any kind of meeting with the commander of the
14 Croatian forces with a view to successfully carrying out the cease-fire
16 A. No, because it appeared that the problems arose with the --
17 between the Crisis Committee, the Dubrovnik civilian population, and the
18 JNA, not the Croatian army as such. And so the discussions and
19 negotiations were between the Dubrovnik community and the JNA.
20 Q. When speaking of monitoring the cease-fire, I see the JNA as an
21 armed force on the one side and on the other side there should be the
22 Croatian police and the military formations which were armed, not the
23 population, the citizens of Dubrovnik. I'm asking whether you asked to
24 see the commander of the other side or to contact him with a view to
25 establishing and maintaining a cease-fire and prevent breaches, just as
1 you did in the case of the JNA.
2 A. No, because our understanding was that it was the Dubrovnik Crisis
3 Committee that were in charge of all matters concerning Dubrovnik and that
4 there were no Croatian military presence there.
5 Q. Are you claiming that in the city of Dubrovnik there was no
6 Croatian army, no Croatian armed formations --
7 A. We saw --
8 Q. -- defenders of Dubrovnik or whatever you wish to call them?
9 A. No. We saw none, no uniformed military personnel within the city.
10 The only people that we saw were armed were the civilian police, and on
11 one occasion there were about three or four, maybe five civilians with
12 shotguns and rifles protecting one of the entrances to the Old City when I
13 tried to go in late at night one day, but no military presence as such.
14 Q. These armed civilians, from whom were they defending the entrance
15 to the Old City?
16 A. From the JNA or the regular Serb militia.
17 Q. We're speaking about the Old Town, the town of Dubrovnik.
18 A. That is correct, yes.
19 Q. And where were the members of the Serbian militia while these
20 armed civilians were protecting the entrances to the Old Town?
21 A. In the hills around the town. There were a number of civilians
22 who had been evacuated from the villages in the vicinity of Dubrovnik.
23 Q. I must ask you, were you ever in the Old Town in Dubrovnik?
24 A. Yes. We went inside the Old Town.
25 Q. Can you tell me where exactly you saw these armed civilians
1 protecting the entrance to the old town.
2 A. It was in the middle of the night when we sent to send a fax to
3 the mission in Zagreb, and we were told that there was a fax facility
4 which I think operated by satellite from within the walls of the Old City,
5 and we were escorted there by the Croatian police, and at the gate -- I
6 can't explain precisely where in the walls the gate was, but there was a
7 gate with a kind of old-fashioned wooden portico, and just there there
8 were these three or four civilians with old shotguns and things. Not an
9 effective fighting force, I must say, it was just a bit of a Dad's Army
11 Q. In relation to these armed civilians in the Old Town, do you know
12 where the closest JNA forces were, what the distance was between them?
13 A. I should say probably five to ten kilometres, maybe closer. I
14 could not be precise because we were merely told that they were in the
15 hills that surround the city.
16 Q. If I tell you that it is indisputable from Croatian sources and
17 the command of the defence of Dubrovnik - and when I say indisputable I
18 mean that there were defenders, as they call them, of Dubrovnik or the
19 Croatian army and that there were even heavy weapons, weapons stronger
20 than infantry weapons - I'm referring to mortars. I'm just telling you
21 what is beyond dispute and that this was in the town of Dubrovnik. Does
22 this mean anything to you?
23 A. No, because we saw none.
24 Q. Did the Croatian side ever mention anything like this to you?
25 A. No, they didn't.
1 Q. When you mentioned -- when you mentioned the situation with regard
2 to the evacuation of refugees from Dubrovnik towards the north and the
3 south, you expressed concern that the JNA wanted to expel the Croatian
4 population from Dubrovnik. Is this correct or justified?
5 A. We expressed some concern that there was this possibility. We
6 weren't entirely clear, I think, at the time, what the reason was. At
7 this point in time, I can't really elaborate on that.
8 Q. If we use the term "refugees," somebody is trying to flee from a
9 place, isn't it logical for that person to leave? Whether the place is
10 called Dubrovnik or The Hague, that's immaterial if people want to leave a
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Were all the inhabitants of Dubrovnik refugees or was there a
14 number of people who had fled from the villages they lived in and they
15 wanted to continue on their way from Dubrovnik?
16 A. Not all the inhabitants of Dubrovnik were refugees, of course, but
17 there were a number of people who had been displaced from their villages,
18 and they had accommodated themselves either in the Old City or in
19 villages, including Cavtat, where they felt that they were safe or safer.
20 Q. Since the city of Dubrovnik already had problems with water and
21 electricity supplies and there were large numbers of people who had fled
22 from other places around Dubrovnik, this conversation with the JNA
23 concerning the evacuation of the refugees who had come to Dubrovnik and
24 who were to go to the north or south towards Croatia or Montenegro, wasn't
25 it an effort to take care of these people rather than moving all the
1 population of Dubrovnik out of the city? Can you make that distinction?
2 A. That is a possibility.
3 Q. I'm asking you this because the concern you mentioned in
4 connection with moving out the population of Dubrovnik is something I have
5 not found in any of the reports, and this would have been a very important
6 matter of which you would certainly have informed the mission in Zagreb;
7 isn't that correct?
8 A. That's right, but the report was really basically factual.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
10 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time now to interrupt your
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I hope it will be possible overnight for you to
15 focus more tightly.
16 I must ask you to return in the morning -- tomorrow afternoon, I'm
17 sorry, Mr. Stringer, at 2.15 again.
18 Mr. Weiner, there was some matter that you wished to raise. Is it
19 necessary to do it now?
20 MR. WEINER: One -- I can raise one in the morning, but one might
21 be of aid to the Court concerning the 92 bis motion.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 MR. WEINER: Mr. Kaufman could address that matter, please.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Kaufman.
25 MR. KAUFMAN: Your Honours, on the 30th of September, 2003, the
1 Prosecution submitted an application pursuant to Rule 92 bis of the Rules
2 of Procedure and Evidence. As Your Honours are fully aware, the Rule 92
3 bis is a time-saving device which allows the Court to accept evidence in
4 lieu of oral testimony, assuming that there is no objection from the
6 In the application on the 30th of September, the Prosecution
7 requested that 17 witnesses' evidence be adduced pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
8 Since that date and in the last filing to the Court, one witness was
9 mentioned in the last list of witnesses, whose name is Nikola Jovic, who
10 was not included in that original list of witnesses. The Prosecution
11 would request to add that witness to the list of witnesses pursuant to
12 Rule 92 bis. I seized the opportunity prior to the start of the hearing
13 today to speak to my learned friend Mr. Petrovic, and he agrees to allow
14 the Prosecution to add that name to the list orally.
15 So in lieu of written motion, Your Honours, I would request that
16 the name Nikola Jovic be added to the list of witnesses pursuant to Rule
17 92 bis.
18 If I may just add, this particular witness fulfils the
19 requirements of Rule 92 bis in that he does not give evidence which
20 relates to the acts and conduct of the accused. Furthermore, his evidence
21 will be of a cumulative nature such that other witnesses who you will hear
22 from in this court will amply adduce the same type of evidence which will
23 be adduced by Mr. Nikola Jovic.
24 I have copies of the witness statement of Mr. Nikola Jovic. I
25 offer them to the Court since when we requested that the 17 witnesses be
1 adduced pursuant to Rule 92 bis their witness statements were also
2 tendered to the Court. So I can offer those to the Court now.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. I take it, Mr. Petrovic, you
4 do not object to that name being added to the application orally.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I only wish to avoid
6 any misunderstanding. The Defence agrees, in order to save time, to
7 present the request orally. However, the Defence opposes the essence of
8 the motion, that is that the witness should be a 92 bis witness. And the
9 reasons for this are contained in our reply to this motion on the one
10 hand, and on the other hand, I would like to ask Your Honours for
11 instructions as to the deadline by which we should present our arguments
12 on the merits of this motion, whether you wish us to use the general
13 14-day deadline or whether you wish us -- whether you wish to alter this
14 in view of the fact that the recess is ahead of us. So please give me
15 your instructions in this respect.
16 I can now mention some of the basic reasons why we oppose having
17 this witness testify as a 92 bis witness. Out of two dead and three
18 wounded with the deaths of whom our defendant is charged, one of the
19 wounded is Nikola Jovic, so that including him as a 92 bis witness would
20 directly affect the right of our client to have the evidence against him
21 presented in public and directly. I only ask Your Honours now to give me
22 instructions as to the deadline by which I should submit my written filing
23 in this respect.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. I take it you mean your
25 filing only in respect of the witness Jovic.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, because we have
2 already responded with respect to all the other witnesses put forward on
3 the 30th of September, as Your Honour knows.
4 JUDGE PARKER: My expectation is that it would be of assistance to
5 the Trial Chamber if it were possible for you to have filed your written
6 opposition submissions by the commencement after the break, that is, by
7 the 12th of January. Is that feasible?
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you very
10 JUDGE PARKER: Is there anything further, Mr. Kaufman, on that?
11 MR. KAUFMAN: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will then adjourn.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.05 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of January,
15 2004, at 2.15 p.m.