1 Tuesday, 29 April 2008 2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
8 Madam, registrar, could you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 WITNESS: MIKHAIL ERMOLAEV [Resumed]
13 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, I would like to inform the parties
14 that due to health reasons Witness 69 will not testify, certainly not
15 viva voce, this week. You will receive further information.
16 Then, Mr. Cayley, are you ready to continue your
18 MR. CAYLEY: May it please, Your Honours. Thank you. Good
20 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps, Mr. Ermolaev, before I allow Mr. Cayley to
21 continue, I would like to remind you that you're still bound by the
22 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
23 Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Cayley.
24 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Cayley: [Continued]
1 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, good morning to you.
2 A. Good morning.
3 MR. CAYLEY: If, please, the court officer could bring up Exhibit
5 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, just to orientate you on this document, it is a
6 request for information from the deputy minister of the interior of the
7 Republic of Croatia
8 including, you can see there, Zadar, Knin, and Knin [sic]. Do you see
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. If we could just go over the page, please. The date of the
12 document just to be clear is August 22, 1995. Do you see that? Did you
13 see that?
14 A. Yes, I saw it.
15 Q. Now, if you could just read that through. Mr. Ermolaev, if you
16 could just let me know when you've finished reading that page and I'll
17 move it to the next page for you.
18 A. Well, number 4, the last one that I finished, "The above cited
20 Q. Yes, so I'll move it to the next page for you so you can read the
21 whole document. If the next page, please, could be brought up. You'll
22 be glad here is a shorter page.
23 If the -- if the document could be brought back to the first page
24 and just one preliminary question. You're happy, are you, Mr. Ermolaev?
25 You've read it?
1 A. Mm-hmm.
2 Q. Yes. From what you can see in that document it's broadly dealing
3 with operational police matters, yes?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, if you look at the front of the document, you'll see that
6 it's from the deputy minister of the interior to various police
7 administrations. Now, for your information, and it's not disputed in
8 this case, at this time the head of the police administration in
9 Zadar-Knin was a man called Mr. Cetina, and the head of the police
10 administration in Knin was a man called Cedo Romanic. Did you know
11 either of those two gentlemen [inaudible]?
12 A. No, I don't remember.
13 Q. And you'll note that Mr. Cermak is not copied on this document at
14 all, is he?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. He's not copied, is he?
17 A. Yes, I just see it, yes.
18 Q. And if he had been in the chain of command somewhere between the
19 deputy minister of interior and these chiefs of police administration you
20 would have expect him to have been copied on such a document, wouldn't
22 MR. RUSSO: Objection, Your Honour. That calls for speculation.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Can I answer that, Your Honour. I don't think so
24 because the witness actually gave evidence pursuant to questions that
25 Your Honour put in which he said that Mr. Cermak had operational control
1 of the police. This is an operational document. You would have expected
2 Mr. Cermak to have been copied on it if that was in fact true.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You can ask about standard routine and procedures,
4 whether that included copying Mr. Cermak. What one would expect depends
5 on what usually was done and what that person was aware of what was
6 usually done.
7 So therefore under these circumstances in view of your knowledge
8 of the position of Mr. Cermak, would you consider it within I would say
9 ordinary routine that you would copy Mr. Cermak on these matters?
10 THE WITNESS: So if not regarding, you know, such particular
11 document in general at least as I understand it, that at least to the
12 best of my knowledge. So when we have federal ministers and they have
13 their branches in different territories, there is no doubt that they keep
14 being with the control and command to the minister, and at the same time
15 we do know that police as well is under control and guiding from the
16 governing person who is in charge, who is the head on this particular
17 territory. This general that I can just say about it.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on. Please proceed.
19 MR. CAYLEY:
20 Q. Now, you gave evidence yesterday that you met Mr. Cermak, I
21 think, on one occasion. Yes?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And it's fair to say isn't it that General Forand dealt with
24 Mr. Cermak on a fairly regular basis as far as you can recall, yes?
25 A. Yes. At least all -- everything, because we kept close
1 cooperation on operations level and as well between myself and Forand and
2 Leslie. So that's why on regular basis we exchanged opinions on the
3 situation on the ground and if needed -- so we worked out, and he kept
4 regular contact with the Cermak office, yes.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you. If we could have, please, Exhibit 1856
6 brought up. I'm sorry that's the 65 ter number. My apologies.
7 Q. This, Mr. Ermolaev, is a letter from General Forand to General
8 Ante Gotovina, and the particular passage that I'm interested in is on
9 the second page.
10 MR. CAYLEY: If we could move, please, to the second page.
11 Q. And if you could please read the one, two, three, fourth
12 paragraph on that page. And for completeness you might also wish to read
13 the next paragraph.
14 A. Yes, I've read it.
15 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ermolaev, do you recall this episode, the theft
16 of the UN equipment?
17 A. Well, you mean with --
18 Q. I think it was digging equipment. It was heavy plant equipment
19 that was stolen at an early stage after Knin fell. Do you recall that
21 A. Well, I -- I generally remember that then we experienced problems
22 with stealing UN equipment on battalions as well as -- I mean, my UNMOs,
23 but particularly what was stolen from battalions were never
24 [indiscernible], just never control it, yes.
25 Q. And you see that in essence General Forand is stating that
1 General Cermak was frustrated to find that his authority was limited in
2 assisting in essentially recovering the -- I have to be careful in how I
3 express this. But General Cermak that his authority was limited in terms
4 of assisting a joint investigation by the UN and HV military police to
5 recover this equipment. Do you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were you aware of General Forand's opinion on this matter
8 regarding Cermak?
9 A. First of all at least as I understand that was purely battalions
10 relations with what happened to them on 24th August with KenBat vehicles
11 or I -- I just cannot read everything here.
12 As a rule, with the battalions' activities and activities of
13 UNMOs usually we never exchanged, you know, such information, because
14 actually, I mean, UN battalion commander, so it's an independent body,
15 and so he has his own headquarters. I had my own. It so turned out that
16 our headquarters were together in such particular mission. Usually in
17 other missions we have separate, you know, headquarters and we just, you
18 know, support just relations by visiting each other if needed.
19 Q. So you're not familiar with this particular episode?
20 A. I'm not particularly acquainted with battalions' activities,
21 their problems, and relations between battalion commanders Forand and his
22 reaction to the Croatian authorities at that particular moment.
23 Q. Okay. Fine. We'll move on. Thank you. If I could ask for that
24 to be marked for identification, please, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
1 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D150.
4 JUDGE ORIE: D150 is admitted into evidence.
5 Mr. Cayley, if you could give me on yesterday's transcript the
6 page and the line where the witness said that Mr. Cermak had operational
7 control over the police. So not control over check-points or -- but
8 operational control over the police.
9 MR. CAYLEY: Page 33 of the draft transcript, lines 8 to 11.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
11 MR. CAYLEY:
12 Q. One last area, Mr. Ermolaev, and then I will be finished with you
13 for the day. You were trying to recall the name of an individual
14 yesterday, the principal human -- I think he was known as the PHAC, the
15 senior UN civil servant, Mr. Al-Alfi. Do you remember Mr. Al-Alfi?
16 A. Yes, I mean visually something vague, yes.
17 Q. And he was the senior UN civil servant within Knin, yes?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If that's the right description.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And he had a reporting chain to Zagreb like you, didn't he?
22 A. Well, it's a separate structure. The United Nations for sure he
23 had his own command and he reported his own information, yes.
24 Q. And were you aware at the time that he was actually reporting
25 directly to the office of the special representative of the
2 A. Yes, because actually, I mean, after Op Storm, and I just
3 remember to that morning, I couldn't sleep with -- your answer when
5 just simply --
6 Q. I see you --
7 A. -- cannot remember so, you know, quickly, you know, yeah. I
8 anticipate when Akashi
9 results of negotiations. But in any case, with this, yes. At least as I
10 remember, our civil affairs they became the central focus of -- of all
11 activities, and we repeatedly met with him and discussed it, and human
12 rights and everything, it was two maybe focus point. I mean, maybe even
13 three. So we worked for all three structures just trying to do what they
14 asked us to do.
15 MR. CAYLEY: Could we please have Exhibit D56.
16 Q. Now, you'll see on this document, and I won't ask you to read all
17 of it, but it's a report from Mr. Al-Alfi to Paavko [sic] Pitkanen at
18 UNCRO headquarters in Zagreb
19 you see that?
20 A. Yes. His chain of command, yes, I see it. HQ Zagreb.
21 Q. If, please, we could go to 3603. It's the last page of the
23 And if you could read from numeral 2 down to the end of the
24 second paragraph, please, Mr. Ermolaev.
25 MR. CAYLEY: And maybe that could be enlarged, please.
1 THE WITNESS: I've read to UNPF headquarters level.
2 MR. CAYLEY:
3 Q. Ah. You've read to the bottom of the page?
4 A. Yes, UNPF headquarters.
5 Q. I'm only interested actually the second paragraph, and you can
6 see in that paragraph that the individuals present in the meeting,
7 actually you can see the individuals present in the first part of the
8 meeting and then in the first paragraph on that page, and then in the
9 second paragraph you can see that Mr. Al-Alfi says that he brings to
10 General Cermak his concerns about looting and burning. You see that,
12 A. Yes, I see it, yes.
13 Q. And you can also see that he states in essence that Mr. Cermak
14 shared the concern over this issue and expressed his unhappiness; yes?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you can see that he promises to take tough action and give
17 some kind of explanation as to why these events are taking place, yes?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And this is all on the 18th of August, isn't it?
20 A. The 18th of August; right.
21 Q. If we could please have P94, which is your statement. And if we
22 could please go to page 9 of the statement.
23 And what I'm interested in here, Mr. Ermolaev -- do you have that
24 in front of you.
25 A. Yes I have it.
1 Q. Now if you go to the one, two, three, the fourth paragraph where
2 you say in your statement: "What made Cermak to admit in September 1995
3 that arson and looting took place in the territory of the former RSK?
4 "He kept denying everything till then."
5 A. So you want when I command?
6 Q. No. I mean I have a question for you.
7 A. Right, okay.
8 Q. You were not aware of this meeting that had taken place on the
9 18th of August --
10 A. Mm-hmm.
11 Q. -- were you?
12 A. Mm-hmm. So it's a little bit obvious to me. So I mean we're not
13 now asking me. So my eye witnesses is as follows: So we have a document
14 here and yesterday we discussed it, when in the beginning of September
15 General Cermak officially informed there are no looting and or burning
16 and everything okay in Sector South. That was an official protest letter
17 from Croatian governmental authority, and where we yesterday we just read
18 it where he said that I would be -- "And I'm astonished to hear that it's
19 going on in the sector."
20 So to my mind at the beginning of September whenever there is,
21 let me say, internal reports between UNMOs what somebody send -- send a
22 note, we have an official statement signed by the person in charge from
23 the government of Croatia
24 we receive in written form such a challenging answer which we all read
25 yesterday, what direction do you expect to get from me?
1 Q. But your statement is not right, is it? He wasn't denying
2 everything until September, was he?
3 MR. RUSSO: Objection, Your Honour. The witness has not said
4 whether or not he was aware of the meeting in which this admission was
5 made by General Cermak.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, his statement is not with this
7 reservation that to his knowledge. But I think --
8 MR. CAYLEY: We can move on --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I think we see --
10 MR. CAYLEY: -- Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- a letter here which apparently -- a report here
12 describing a meeting in which the witness apparently did not take part,
13 and the witness points at another source for his statement. Let's move
15 MR. CAYLEY: If, please, we could have 65 ter 4135 brought up.
16 Q. Now, you can see that this is another report from Mr. Al-Alfi of
17 the 24th of August of 1995. Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I see it.
19 Q. And you can see, I think, in the first paragraph that this is
20 referencing a meeting at 1.30 on the 24th of August of 1995.
21 General Forand is meeting with General Cermak. You see that, yes?
22 A. Yes, I see it.
23 Q. If we could please go to the next page. And if you could please
24 read paragraph 5.
25 A. Yes. "Cermak gave strict orders to the civilians and military
1 personnel to stop such violations." Yes, I've read it.
2 Q. Now, one simple question. I'm not going to ask you on the
3 content. You were not aware of this meeting taking place, were you?
4 A. No. I yesterday informed that from 17th to my regret 25th August
5 I was on my CTO days in Zadar. I think that if I was there I would have
6 participated, no doubt about it.
7 Q. In this meeting.
8 A. For sure.
9 MR. CAYLEY: If, please, we could now have Exhibit P94 --
10 actually, prior to that, I'm sorry, Your Honour. If that document could
11 be marked for identification.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
13 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 151.
16 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That would be D151.
18 MR. CAYLEY: D, D.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, D 151 is admitted into he have. Mr. Cayley,
20 I've tried to find your reference to page 33. I only have the now
21 correct transcript. I tried to reconstruct that but still couldn't find
23 MR. CAYLEY: I will, if you wish Your Honours, just so you
24 know -- I'll photocopy it during the break and then give it to your legal
25 officer and then you can have a look at it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
2 MR. CAYLEY: We have a copy here.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. I'll read meanwhile.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. If, please, we could have Exhibit P94 brought
6 Q. And, Mr. Ermolaev, if you'd just go to page 6 of your statement.
7 I just want to try and get through this as quickly as possible, so I
8 won't bring this statement -- ah, okay. We have it now. Yeah. And the
9 section that I'm interested in is the one, two, three, four -- the fifth
10 paragraph where it begins --
11 A. "This sounded."
12 Q. "On 7 September." It's the second sentence of that paragraph --
13 A. Yeah --
14 Q. -- that you've got. Do you see it?
15 A. I found it. Yeah, I see it.
16 Q. And you recall that that protest letter was signed by
17 General Forand to Mr. Cermak, yes?
18 A. Well, at least as it is stated here that was supposed to be sent
19 by General Forand, yes.
20 MR. CAYLEY: If, please, we could now have 65 ter -- oh, I'm
21 sorry, P38, actually. It has an exhibit number.
22 Q. And you can see that this is a report again from Mr. Al-Alfi,
23 dated the 8th of September to UNCRO headquarters in Zagreb, yes?
24 A. Yes, I see it.
25 Q. And if, please, we could go to page 3 of that document. And I'm
1 interested in the first four lines of the second paragraph. Can you read
2 that all right, Mr. Ermolaev? It's at a slight angle.
3 A. Yes, mm-hmm.
4 Q. And you see that the meeting between Mr. Cermak and the PHAC was
5 held actually on the same day as the letter that you refer to in your
6 statement from General Forand complaining about criminal activity, yes?
7 A. Well, I -- well, yes. On 7 September, yes.
8 Q. And you can also see that the deputy sector commander
9 participated in that meeting. That was General Forand's deputy, yes?
10 A. Yes, I see it.
11 Q. And if you could now go, please, to the next paragraph which
12 begins "During ..."
13 A. Yeah, I read this paragraph, actually.
14 Q. Okay. You were back from Zadar by now, yes?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But you were not aware of this meeting taking place either?
17 A. What do you mean by "either"?
18 Q. I'm sorry. Were you aware of what took place at this particular
20 A. So -- so practically the system as I mentioned --
21 Q. Yes. I understand the reporting mechanisms. It's really a
22 simple question. Were you aware of what took place at this meeting?
23 A. We -- we -- we usually, you know, just discuss it and each branch
24 had its own meeting and its own responsibilities, so that's why -- I
25 mean, this particular meeting maybe just when we discuss it with Forand,
1 maybe he regarded to this meeting as well, but I do not clearly remember
2 that on 17th, because I remember the whole day we were preparing the
3 answer to General Cermak letter, and this was not in the focus of
4 attention, this meeting, and what was said there, because we will prepare
5 an official report on -- you know, a government letter. So I do not
6 quite recall. I received information from -- from him about his
7 meetings, what they discussed, but I cannot particularly -- because the
8 7th September came down in my memory as a flash of the answer that was
9 prepared and that we did to be able to properly answer the questions
10 raised in Cermak's letter, yes.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one additional question in relation to
13 this document. The last line of the paragraph you've just read is:
14 "General Cermak agreed to give his instructions for more joint patrolling
15 between UNCIVPOL and the Croatian police, particularly in the remote
17 Do you have any knowledge about joint UNCIVPOL and Croatian
18 police patrols at that time?
19 THE WITNESS: Yes. I cannot say when really, but, I mean, you
20 know, after some time being I cannot set exact date, but I do confirm
21 that United Nations Civilian Police. So if there was some concerns we
22 informed their structures, and they were in close cooperation with their
23 Croatian colleagues, and they conducted joint patrollings, that's for
25 JUDGE ORIE: Would you give us any indication as to the frequency
1 or intensity of joint patrolling?
2 THE WITNESS: Oh, no. I cannot.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You don't know.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I don't have any further
6 Thank you, Mr. Ermolaev.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cayley, before we continue you gave me page 33.
9 I'm not a native English speaker. You said that you did put the question
10 to the witness, and you said that in response to an objection raised by
11 Mr. Russo because the witness testified yesterday that he was -- I think
12 you used the word "operational control of the police." What I see,
13 however, on page 33 is that the witness said that the main roads and all
14 operations of Croatian police was under his direct command. Now, command
15 and control is, for good reasons, always used as a -- two different
16 things. So therefore, I was -- I'd prefer you always to specifically
17 quote what the witness said rather than to give your own interpretation,
18 because operational control and operational command is not exactly the
20 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then who is next in line? Mr. Kuzmanovic.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I just need to use the --
23 JUDGE ORIE: The lectern for you.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, you'll now be cross-examined by
1 Mr. Kuzmanovic, who is counsel for Mr. Markac.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ermolaev.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, in several of the sitreps the term "bombreps" is
6 used. Can you tell us what that means?
7 A. Can I just have a look from the context?
8 Q. Sure.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Could we pull up P102, please. Page 3.
10 Q. At the very bottom under "Reports from KenBat." "There were a
11 total of 1230 bombreps," and then in parentheses, "(638 ARSK, 592
13 I'm reading that, and this is a sitrep dated August 4, 1995,
14 which was released by you.
15 What is a bombrep?
16 A. Actually, it was released by me. I'm just turning back to my eye
17 witnessing and the precision. So this report by battalions which
18 exclusively for these days, when we exchanged information. So typically
19 I mean we just did not use bombardment report. We use, you know, just
20 artillery shellings or arty shell or some firing rep -- firerep, but
21 Canadians they use bombrep. So I just.
22 Q. Okay. In this case it was the Kenyans. KenBat is Kenyans?
23 A. Kenyans okay. Kenyans okay.
24 Q. So bombrep would mean essentially artillery --
25 A. Well, to me yes. To me yes.
1 Q. Would be artillery?
2 A. Well, they have their specifications. Better to consult with
3 them. So I think as bombrep, bombardment report.
4 Q. Okay so at least --
5 A. To me, I mean we had just firing report, fire reps we calls them.
6 Maybe they're not equal I do not know.
7 Q. Okay. Well, at least according to this document this sitrep of
8 the 4th of August which is the first day of Operation Storm; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The report from KenBat is that there were -- there was at least
11 more bombreps from the ARSK side than there was from the HV/HVO side;
12 correct? Mr. Ermolaev, let me just --
13 A. Yeah, I see. 63 -- 63 P -- yeah, I just see. There were a total
14 of 1230 bombreps; yes? Right.
15 Q. And at least KenBat in this report, not to belabour it, actually
16 counted the bombreps and found that the ARSK had 638 and the HV/HVO had
17 592; correct?
18 A. Yes. I see it.
19 Q. The first page of the sitrep of 4 August 1995, Mr. Ermolaev, if
20 we could go to the first page, please. If we could focus on highlight
21 number 1. The second paragraph of highlight number 1 says: "RSK
22 authorities requested UN to assist in evacuation of approximately 32.000
23 civ population from N. Dalmatian Corps AOR."
24 So in your mind when you put this report together and released
25 it, Mr. Ermolaev, was it your understanding that the RSK authorities were
1 asking the UN to help evacuate 32.000 civilians from the area of
3 A. So it's a little bit -- I don't understand, I mean, your
4 question. Can you just rephrase it?
5 Q. Was it your understanding that the RSK was asking the United
6 Nations to evacuate 32.000 civilians from the area of responsibility?
7 This is your report, Mr. Ermolaev, released by you.
8 A. It was released by me. It states that we had a meeting with
9 local authorities after the heavy shellings which took place the whole
10 day, and when even united --
11 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Ermolaev. It doesn't say that. It says "RSK
12 authorities requested UN to assist in evacuation --"
13 A. Yeah, that's all.
14 Q. Okay?
15 A. [Overlapping speakers] so why should I comment it.
16 Q. What did you do?
17 A. We didn't do anything. We just informed in that.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Ermolaev, you said in your statement, which is P94 --
19 actually, we'll go to P95. I'm sorry. Paragraph 4.
20 A. Mm-hmm.
21 Q. "I personally reviewed and released all daily and update
22 sitreps." Correct?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. So this was a sitrep of the 4th of August, the first day of
25 Operation Storm that you personally had released; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Now, is it true, Mr. Ermolaev -- we'll go to P94. Page 8. Could
3 we go to page 8 of P94, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness has a hard copy, we can continue even
5 before it's on the --
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
7 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, do you have a hard copy?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I'm sorry. Thank you, Your Honour. In the second paragraph that
10 begins, "I do not remember," I'd like you to go down to the third last
11 sentence which starts "I can," and I will read it. "I can add that all
12 highlights in all sitreps were written personally by me."
13 Did you find that, Mr. Ermolaev?
14 A. Mm-hmm.
15 Q. Yes?
16 A. Yes. I found it. Right.
17 Q. And going back to the sitrep of the 4th of August, 1995, which
18 was P102, the commentary regarding the evacuation request for the
19 civilian population was listed as a highlight; correct?
20 A. Yes, for sure.
21 Q. I'd like you to go to --
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Madam Registrar, please, to P104. And when we
23 get to P104, first page, this is a sitrep dated -- update, dated the 5th
24 of August at 0400 Bravo, that's 4.00 in the morning, correct,
25 Mr. Ermolaev?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In August of 1995. And in the paragraph that begins "In the
3 evening of 4 August," I'd like the registrar to please go to the section
4 that begins "from the early morning" and highlight that, please. "From
5 the early morning CA, Croatian army -- arty," and I'm assuming that's
6 artillery, "shelled various Krajina towns, especially targeting barracks.
7 The goal of the offensive is to take the whole Krajina."
8 Did I read that correctly?
9 A. Absolutely.
10 Q. This was your sitrep; correct?
11 A. This was sitrep issued by UNMO Sector South at that particular
12 time, yes. I do confirm it.
13 Q. Thank you. And then on page 2 of that document, P104, at the
14 very top "KenBat reported," and KenBat is the Kenyan Battalion that we
15 mentioned earlier; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The second notation under "KenBat" was beginning on the second
18 line of the second notation: "There was an exchange of HMG and arty fire
19 from both sides of the WFs." WFs meaning warring factions; correct?
20 A. Yes, absolutely correct. Yes. I see it.
21 Q. Underneath the JordBat-3 section, about halfway in, the Jordanian
22 battalion reports at about 2235 Bravo, meaning in the evening; correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. "Hundred of vehicles were reported heading BiH," and BiH is
1 A. Right.
2 Q. "The vehicles are mostly from Gracac, Knin, and Udbina."
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. So people were already leaving for Bosnia as of the 4th of August
6 in the evening; correct?
7 A. Well, generally -- well, what I just remember that starting from
8 2022, I mean, military and civilians, they started departing Krajina
9 area, yes. I know about it.
10 Q. I'd like the registrar to please move on to P -- sorry, Your
11 Honour. We just recently got these P numbers, and with the dossier I'm a
12 little slow at getting the particular exhibit number. Actually, this is
14 JUDGE ORIE: Can't blame anyone for having received that number
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
19 Q. This is another sitrep, the 5th of August, day two of Operation
20 Storm. Correct, Mr. Ermolaev?
21 Actually, it's not the same document that I have. Could the
22 registrar please pull up 65 ter 4696. Is that the same -- is it the same
23 document? Okay. Thank you.
24 It's different from the -- can we try an ERN number? R --
25 JUDGE ORIE: If you move up just a tiny little bit then you'll
1 see that D124 is R0642981, which is exactly the same number as we see on
2 the screen. I take it that you pulled that up as 65 --
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I have a different ERN number --
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- under the number.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I have a different ERN number, Your Honour. I
6 think that was problem. And I will give the registrar the ERN number.
7 It's R0642991 --
8 JUDGE ORIE: It's an eight-page document. Let me just see how
9 far it goes.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Mine is only three pages, at least from the
11 dossier I received.
12 JUDGE ORIE: The D124 appears to me to be an eight-page
13 document --
14 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- but the last two digits are 88. Mr. Russo.
16 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I believe he's looking for Exhibit
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Russo.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P105.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thanks for your patience.
21 Q. All right, Mr. Ermolaev -- thank you for pulling that up for us,
22 Madam Registrar.
23 This is another the sitrep update dated 5 August of 1995, and I'd
24 like you to go to page 2, please. The Jordanian battalion is reporting
25 in its second note "Exchange of artillery fire by both of the warring
1 factions ongoing." And in the middle of their report the Jordanians note
2 that 137 vehicles were reported crossing from RSK to BiH. Later in that
3 same paragraph, "203 vehicles in addition to 2.000 refugees were reported
4 crossing borders to BiH." I read that correctly, did I not?
5 A. Absolutely.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Just to have this clear, this kind of report, you're
7 reporting about vehicles, is this mainly civilian vehicles or --
8 THE WITNESS: So as a rule battalions they have the same
9 procedure of reporting. If they were military, let me say, and
10 identification, kinds, and et cetera. They would have mentioned it that
11 these vehicles -- or anything that is moving, I mean, with military
12 purpose, then they would indicate. So out of the stacks. So it's clear
13 that these are exclusively civilian cars, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Please proceed.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And I'll demonstrate
16 the difference in the next exhibit, P108, page 1. At the bottom of page
17 1, again the Jordanian battalion.
18 Q. And your recollection is, Mr. Ermolaev, is that the Jordanian
19 battalion was close to the border between Croatia. Its area of
20 responsibility was -- included the border between Croatia and Bosnia
22 A. Well, vaguely, yes. You reminded me. Thank you.
23 Q. Again this time the Jordanian battalion reports in this exhibit,
24 P108 --
25 A. Mm-hmm.
1 Q. -- "10 ARSK tanks followed by 200 soldiers with their individual
2 weapons were reported heading Bosnia
3 A. Mm-hmm.
4 Q. "One tank remained deployed in the area and aiming towards
5 JordBat 3 position." Did I read that correctly? Meaning JordBat 3
6 position going on to the following page.
7 A. HV soldiers with tremendous around the P -- what this?
8 Q. The Jordanians were specific over distinguishing between military
9 and civilian vehicles, were they not, Mr. Ermolaev?
10 A. I have another page about -- on the screen. "45 HV soldiers in
11 addition to mine destroyer and an APC were reported around the OP."
12 Q. Yes. That's the next entry, correct? That's the following entry
13 from the one that I had read?
14 A. Yes, JordBat's reposition. Yes, I see it.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'd like to move to P109, please. First page.
16 This is also something that was released by you, Mr. Ermolaev, on the 6th
17 of August of 1995.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The fourth page of this document -- actually, the fifth page of
20 this document. Now, I'll read the section B at the bottom. "UNMO team
21 Gracac reported."
22 "UNMO team met with commander of HV special forces and allowed
23 to carry out patrol in Gracac."
24 So this is August 6th the UNMO team in Gracac essentially has
25 freedom of movement; correct?
1 A. No, absolutely not correct. I mean, that doesn't clearly
2 indicate the system. I mean, the system of patrolling and everything we
3 just establish with governor Cermak. That was, you know, initiative and
4 good relations between UNMOs and Croatian forces there that particular
5 day, but that was not the system.
6 Q. Well, this is August 6th. I'm not talking about any time General
7 Cermak came into Knin. This is August 6th on day two of Operation Storm,
8 the UNMO team Gracac is reporting that they are allowed to carry out a
9 patrol in Gracac; correct?
10 A. Yes. In -- in some particular case. In this particular minute
11 that it took place, yes, but it was not the system, yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, just let's try to get to the core.
13 I mean, if you are allowed to come to this courtroom, does that mean that
14 you have freedom of movement in these UN premises? I don't think so.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Well, I think I made my point.
16 JUDGE ORIE: At least certain places I would expect not to see
17 you. Cafeteria, fine. Defence counsel room, fine. But let's try to --
18 I mean, we -- the Chamber can read --
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- and the Chamber is -- it does not escape our
21 attention if by this way of putting words on an equal footing where they
22 could easily be understood not to be the same that -- that doesn't escape
23 our attention it. I just wanted you to know that.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
2 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, you aware that the Sarinic-Akashi agreement had yet
3 to be signed as of the time that this patrol was in Gracac?
4 A. So I'm sorry, but I -- I was not informed about the conscious
5 plannings for agreements and negotiations between United Nations
6 authorities and governmental authorities of Croatia. That was not my
7 level just to know about it. So that's why I mean for us till the time
8 you get an order that your function is finished, so we continued to carry
9 out and implement very important system and activities we had as we have
10 it till the time we get, Please stop it, and that's it.
11 Q. My question used -- was fairly simple, Mr. Ermolaev.
12 A. Mm-hmm.
13 Q. The Akashi-Sarinic agreement was what set forth the parameters as
14 to how the UN would operate in Croatia
15 Storm. That's correct, isn't it? I mean, that's how you were operating
16 as UNMOs.
17 A. Yes. I was informed about it from Mr. Akashi on the -- on the
18 day of his arrival, and, yes. But till that time I hadn't known about
19 it, yes.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could we please go to P111. Mr. Ermolaev, are
21 you aware that, and you can tell me if you're not, that Gracac was an
22 important crossroads in terms of going from north to south, east to west?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If we could go to page 3, in the middle of the paragraph. "UNMO
25 team Gracac reported."
1 "UNMO team enjoyed freedom of movement between Gracac and
2 Gospic. UNMO team discovered that the main arty (HV) impacts was around
3 main junction. Arty shell missed UNMO house by 50 metres." Did I read
4 that correctly?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. P117, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Before we move on, I see in this -- this same
8 sitrep, Mr. Ermolaev, lines like "UNMO team was stopped at junction
9 Bruyno by HV special forces. They informed UNMO that operation is still
10 on." If it is reported that you had freedom of movement between Gracac
11 and Gospic, what does that actually mean, that you are allowed to move
12 between Gracac and Gospic, or that you're allowed to freely move in the
13 whole of the area and -- I'll first perhaps ask you these questions.
14 THE WITNESS: Well, so to me it's obvious that we could not have
15 any just even think about to my understanding about freedom of movement
16 when we were blocked in headquarters Sector South, the main bulk of UNMOs
17 there. So just to explain why and whether we can assess from our point
18 of view the fact that we have in Gracac that my UNMOs managed going out
19 of the house and see Croatian forces, different kinds, different types,
20 and speak to them. So my assessment is -- I mean, it's typical for
21 anyone working in such conditions. The Croatian units which met our
22 UNMOs, they didn't have any instruction and anything.
23 So they know UNMOs because we had half of our forces, I mean
24 United Nations observers, were on the territory of Croatian
25 they know that United Nations military observers, they monitor the areas.
1 So -- and I can imagine that they just arrived there in the area because
2 they were not yet, you know -- because there were absolutely different
3 taskings at that particular moment, at least as I assess it. And that's
4 why they didn't have any restrictions of movement received from high
5 command that you should not deny access of UNMOs or whatever.
6 So my explanations to this fact is yes, that we were very happy
7 that we received that at least, you know, some teams and such days
8 managed to go out to speak, to clarify situation on the ground. That was
9 the main aim. But to speak about freedom of movement as we understand it
10 in accordance with the agreement signed between the United Nations and
11 government of Croatia
12 mean, to my understanding. I mean, this is the fact that we had such an
13 episode, and I -- I never expected, frankly speaking, that after
14 reintegration we will experience such, you know, severe restrictions of
15 movements, yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although this was a rather lengthy answer,
17 Mr. Kuzmanovic, it might not be a very direct response to my question.
18 It appears to me that when we're talking about freedom of
19 movement that if the basic position is that you've got freedom of
20 movement that whatever report there is that you have freedom of movement
21 in A or in B or on the road between A and B, you can look at it from two
22 different angles. The one is that at least you could move from A to B or
23 you could move in A, or you to move in B, but of course the other
24 approach would be that you are limited and not had freedom of movement in
25 the whole of the area. So that's the first issue. What does freedom of
1 movement mean? The second is if there are limitations, for what reasons.
2 And the third question, and I remember that there was one agreement that
3 who decides whether the reasons for the limitations are applicable, and
4 what is the procedure so as who consults whom before of a decision is
5 taken. I think these are the core questions as far as freedom of
6 movement is concerned, and I do not know then whether -- I just want you
7 to know that that is on my mind, and if I see such a document that you
8 should not be surprised that I look at from the different angles.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure, I understand that, Your Honour. I think
10 it's pretty clear that since this report of the 7th of August was
11 released by Mr. Ermolaev, that had there been any qualifications those
12 would have been included in the rather lengthy sitrep of this date.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: This is --
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- some of them aren't isn't it. That's exactly
16 what I'm drawing your attention to if there are any qualifications. If
17 you say you've got -- let's take this building again. If you say,
18 "You've got freedom of movement from the cafeteria to the Defence
19 counsel's room," then again you could say, "That's fine. I can move
20 freely around this building." And of course the other approach is that
21 you're really strictly limited from going to this place to that place on
22 this premises. And therefore I just want to let you know that you're
23 putting of course the questions very much in see there was freedom of
24 movement in the line next to the one where it says that there is no
25 freedom of movement and people were blocked, et cetera, but that it has
1 two sides this coin.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Well, certainly, Your Honour. I think that the
3 earlier -- the earlier notation on this sitrep on the same page saying
4 that the UN team was stopped at Junction Bruyno, as Your Honour said, by
5 special forces. I mean that's pretty clear. It's a specific issue that
6 obviously limited freedom of movement, but there were no such
7 qualifications or limitations on the section related to Gracac and that's
8 why I wanted to point that out to the Chamber and obviously talk to the
9 witness about it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, are you -- let's then explore that. Between
11 Gracac and Gospic is that municipalities or cities or -- and why doesn't
12 it say in the whole of the whole of the municipality of Gracac
13 it between? Between suggests a line connecting to two items.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure.
15 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, there's a significant road that goes between Gracac
16 and Gospic, does it not?
17 A. Well, I -- I do not remember exactly now, but, yes, there's a
18 road there. So -- and here we have, you know, grid reference, if I
19 understand it correctly now.
20 Q. Well, at least on the --
21 A. Junction, yeah. So I mean we -- we could, I mean, just find out.
22 But in any case, I mean, that significant road, yes. So my answer yes.
24 Q. Are you aware of whether or not the Special Police of the
25 Ministry of the Interior were the forces that were essentially covering
1 the ground at Gracac and were the leading spearhead of that activity?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know whether or not General Markac informed the UNMO on
4 the 7th of August in Gracac of what he was doing and where he was going?
5 A. I can't remember exactly. I just only -- just something vaguely,
6 you mentioned this name, because it's -- I can't remember exactly, but
7 something I remember, but not so much specifically. Okay. So far.
8 Q. Who was the UNMO team Gracac, if you recall?
9 A. I don't remember, you know, the names, you know.
10 Q. How many people? I know it's hard to remember, but --
11 A. You know, I had too many, you know, people, you know, under my
12 command, so I cannot remember everywhere. But I do believe that with all
13 CTOs, leaves, and et cetera, there might have been maybe 4, plus minus.
14 I can be mistaken now. But we can -- I mean, we've made all results of
15 those UN personnel for the security reasons those who were there on the
16 Croatian side and some -- and on this side, on the former RSK territory,
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, you have a tendency of not only
19 sincerely trying to answer the question but also to give some
20 explanation, some further explore the matter that was in the question.
21 May I ask you to very much focus to answer the questions, first of all.
22 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. I'd like to move on to P117, please. I'd like to go to the
1 second page of that document. In the middle of the page where it says:
2 "At D. Polijce check-point." P117, just for reference, is a sitrep dated
3 the 12th it of August of 1995, and in that sitrep there's a notation that
4 "The platoon commander told UNMOs 5.000 RSK refugees passed through that
5 point toward Drvar BiH." He also stated that there was one brig --"
6 brigade, is that what that means?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. "... deployed around the AOR with six --"
9 A. Mm-hmm.
10 Q. "-- tanks inside BH territory." Now, the following paragraph
11 discusses at second Sekanivrsak, I probably mispronounced that and I
12 apologise, we were informed that 71.200 refugees used that check-point
13 towards Banja Luka, most of them came from Knin.
14 Where did you get -- oh, sorry. From whom was that number
15 received? The number of 71.200.
16 A. To my regret I cannot just comment on this UNMO team now at this
17 particular minute. I mean, more towards the source. I see here
18 something is --
19 Q. Maybe I'll re-ask the question. Upon what basis, if you know,
20 are these numbers reported? What is the source?
21 A. Mm-hmm. Well, the main source, at least as I understand, was
22 that when we had some, for example, civilians or as we saw in report by
23 battalions when they observed some movement and they report the number if
24 they see it. So generally about refugees, at least as I remember. So
25 that the main sources, as I mentioned, was physical seeing of such an
1 event. Secondly, if information was told by someone. I mean, by local
2 population, by Croatian side, by liaison officers. Thirdly, we received
3 as well information from different other United Nations organisations --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev --
5 THE WITNESS: From ICRC, human rights --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. A number appears in a report
7 saying, "We were informed that 71.200 refugees used that check point."
8 Now, Mr. Kuzmanovic would like to know what this specific number is
9 based. Now you start explaining to us what in general your sources of
10 information were, but --
11 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I -- I --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I would gladly accept that but that's not what
13 Mr. Kuzmanovic is trying to find out.
14 THE WITNESS: Yeah, okay. So I do not --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know or do you --
16 THE WITNESS: I do remember.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That could have been a shorter answer.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
19 THE WITNESS: Okay. We'll proceed in such ways. Thank you, sir.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ermolaev, can you direct us, or the Chamber, or
22 anyone to determine how that number or who we can find out from whom that
23 number is reached?
24 A. I do believe that it's very easy to be done. I mean, those UNMOs
25 who reported they might remember where this figure came from.
1 Q. So your advice is to go to the UNMO Gospic, whoever they were, at
2 the time of this report of August 12th of 1995?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I think we're not asking the witness
4 advice specifically. At least that's not what we should do. What we
5 should do is ask for what the witness knows, what he observed, what
6 information he could give to us, and then it apparently here he has some
7 difficulties in leading us to the source.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll move on. Thank
12 Given the time, Your Honour, would you like me to continue with
13 the next theme or break?
14 JUDGE ORIE: It depends. If your next subject could be dealt
15 within not more than three to eight minutes, then it's fine. Otherwise,
16 it would be time for a break now.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
18 JUDGE ORIE: I don't hear you.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sorry. I will not be done in three to eight
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll have a break now. We'll resume at
22 five minutes to 11.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- I don't know who I have to address, but --
1 MR. HEDARALY: Good morning, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, it's you which will address the matter
3 which I just wanted to announce, that is, that the Chamber was informed
4 that the Prosecution would like to make an oral application for a -- for
5 a testimony through videolink, and we'll deal with that in private
6 session for the time being. So can we move into private session.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 2416-2417 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, for the Chamber's notice I have one
10 general area to cover and then I should be done.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, one of your colleagues, UNMO colleagues, was a man
15 by the name of Alexander Tchernetsky; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And he was during the time of and after Operation Storm was on
18 Team Podkonje, was he not?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Madam Registrar, could you please pull up
21 3D00089. It's a statement of Mr. Tchernetsky dated May 18, 2002. And
22 with the assistance of the usher I'd like to get a copy of that statement
23 to Mr. Ermolaev.
24 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, I'd like you to turn to page 4 of Mr. Tchernetsky's
25 statement, please. And let me know when you're there?
1 A. Yep.
2 Q. The bottom of page 4. Before I get to that, you in your
3 statement, Mr. Ermolaev, noted for us in P94, on page 3, that the new
4 duties of the UNMOs, which included monitoring and reporting on human
5 rights, carrying out surveillance, designating two UNMOs for HRAT
6 activity, and assistance in providing civilian population with
7 humanitarian needs and monitoring the general situation, that was within
8 the mandate of the UNMOs at least as of your understanding; correct?
9 A. Absolutely correct, yes.
10 Q. We'll go back to --
11 A. Can we just -- thank you.
12 Q. Okay. Can we please go back to the Tchernetsky statement now
13 again, page 4.
14 At the bottom of page 4, and it goes into page 5, states:
15 "Approximately on 24-25 August 1995 during the patrol to the region of
16 Podinarje I found a small hamlet between Bukvin Stan and Musica Stanovi
17 where remained several elderly Serbian families. I got information from
18 the residents that several RSK soldiers were hiding," I'm going to the
19 top of page 5, "in the woods. With the help of the of civilians I met
20 two of the soldiers and spoke to them. Firstly, I decided not to report
21 to the HQ about the soldiers and only reported about civilians in order
22 to organise the humanitarian aid for them."
23 And I'll stop there for a moment.
24 Now, Mr. Ermolaev, it's true, is it not, that in the sitreps of
25 August 24th, 25th, through the 28th, the UNMO Team Podkonje did not make
1 any report about civilians in this region mentioned in the Tchernetsky
2 statement to organise humanitarian aid.
3 A. If we could have a look --
4 Q. Sure.
5 A. -- daily sitreps for these days, because I was in Zadar with
6 this. Just to remind me a bit.
7 Q. We'll go to the 24th, which is 65 ter 4712. And if we could go
8 to the fourth page of that document.
9 A. Mm-hmm.
10 Q. Under section D, ii, "UNMO Team Podkonje." It says what it says.
11 There's no mention in that section of the civilians in order to organise
12 humanitarian aid; correct?
13 A. Yeah. 24th, no.
14 Q. Okay. Let's move, then, to the 25th, which is 65 ter 4713. And
15 if we can go to the third page. Under section H, "Team Podkonje
16 reported." Again, no mention of reporting civilians in order to organise
17 humanitarian aid for them; correct?
18 A. Yes. No, Podinarje right now. Yes.
19 Q. Then if we can go to 65 ter 4146, which is the 26th of August.
20 And you can correct me if I'm wrong, but on section E, which is one, two,
21 three, four -- the fifth page, there is no mention again of Bukvin Stan
22 and Musica Stanovi humanitarian assistance; correct?
23 A. No. I don't see here in the report, yes.
24 Q. And then if we go to the 27th of August, which is 65 ter 4714 --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, are these all outside the range of
1 the sitreps that were [overlapping speakers].
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: They are not, Your Honour. They are exhibits,
3 unfortunately I don't have them matched up in my book answer as exhibits,
4 and I will go back and correct the record for that, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't know whether the record can correct it
6 for those purposes, because of course what you said in court is a
7 reference to the 65 ter numbers which makes it almost impossible to -- to
8 correct the record, and it's very difficult for those who will consult
9 the record at a later stage to find the proper exhibit numbers which, as
10 Madam Registrar tells me, are P126, P127, and P128.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I have the references now, Your Honour. Thank
12 you. The August 27th sitrep is P129, Your Honour. And on page 2 of
13 P129, under section (h), "UNMO Team Podkonje ..."
14 Again, Mr. Tchernetsky's assertion in the statement that they
15 reported about civilians in order to organise humanitarian aid is not
16 contained in the report; correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And we move to the sitrep dated August 28th, 1995, which is P130.
19 This sitrep discusses the hand-over of the former RSK soldiers, does it
20 not, Mr. Ermolaev?
21 A. Yes, clearly stated, yes.
22 Q. And it's a report that was released by you; right?
23 A. Absolutely, yes.
24 Q. Before going into the details of P130, I would like to go back to
25 Mr. Tchernetsky's statement, which is 3D00089. Page 5. To the top of
1 page 5, please.
2 Now, Mr. Ermolaev, to be clear, we went through the daily sitreps
3 from the 24th to the 27th of August, and Mr. Tchernetsky's statement
4 about reporting civilians in order to organise humanitarian aid for them
5 was not contained in any of those sitreps; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Continuing with the statement on the top of page 5: "We agreed
8 with the soldiers that I would bring them a map the following day. Next
9 day I arrived in the hamlet again and gave a map to the soldiers. I
10 showed them a possible route to Bosnia
11 again and found out from the local residents that the soldiers failed to
12 get to Bosnia
13 Now, Mr. Ermolaev, it's true that the UN, particularly the UNMOs,
14 were supposed to be neutral and/or impartial; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in this particular case one of your subordinates was
17 attempting to assist combat forces in an escape to Bosnia; correct?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I think we need a proper foundation
19 for the question. We have two matters. First that we find such a thing
20 in the statement, and we have the question whether the witness is aware
21 of this. Let's take it step-by-step.
22 Were you aware of these activities as described in this
23 statement, Mr. Ermolaev?
24 THE WITNESS: No, I was not aware, and I just see it, and I mean
25 Tchernetsky on witnessing a report as well as about what was going on
1 while I was out of the sector. So I think that it's for the first time I
2 see it, to answer your question, yes.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I think this next
4 question I have really is relevant to your question as to whether or not
5 he was aware, if I may --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Then I let you proceed.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. P94, please, page 8. By the way, before we get to that,
9 Mr. Ermolaev, you came back on the 25th of August, 1995; correct? You
10 were gone for a week, from the 17th to the 25th?
11 A. Well, you know, I cannot remember exactly, I mean, the days when
12 I returned back. That was somewhere there.
13 Q. If we could go to page 8, please. The second paragraph of your
14 statement that says: "I do not remember an exact date, but in the same
15 region some eight-nine ARSK soldiers surrendered to an UNMO team which
16 was sent for patrolling in the Dinara area. The team was headed by the
17 Russian UNMO A. Tchernetsky. Having received initial report from
18 Tchernetsky from the field I moved there myself and then informed
19 General Forand and asked for his support in hand-over procedures."
20 Did I read that correctly, Mr. Ermolaev?
21 A. Absolutely correct. Thank you.
22 Q. So you received the initial report from Mr. Tchernetsky, and you
23 went there yourself. That is according to your statement of May 2002.
24 A. I cannot -- I'm just trying to recollect this particular -- my
25 goings for patrol on this particular date, and I do think that I visited
1 myself these villages. I do not quite remember whether I spoke with
2 these persons or with locals. I do not exactly remember. But what I do
3 remember, that such an intention we started immediately decide, because
4 that was unusual and not the function of UNMO to deal with, you know,
5 those people who'd like to surrender, yes.
6 Q. Okay. And it wasn't UNMO's function either, was it, to provide
7 enemy combatant forces with maps to aid them to get to Bosnia; correct?
8 A. You see it's a little bit difficult for me to comment on your
9 question with enemy combatant forces and that UNMOs function whether or
10 not to give them maps.
11 Q. Was it within your mandate, Mr. Ermolaev, the UNMO mandate, to
12 give the ARSK force hidden somewhere in the woods maps to go into Bosnia
13 It's a pretty simple question, sir.
14 A. Well, it's -- it's a bit difficult for me to explain. I want to
15 attract attention to this fact, because first of all I --
16 Q. [Overlapping speakers] Mr. Ermolaev, it's pretty simple question,
18 A. And I do not know, I mean, what map we're speaking about, whether
19 it was a touristic map to show the roads, and I do believe that local
20 populations know their local roads much better than --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, what you're explaining to us that
22 there was no need to give the maps because they knew the roads already
23 which is a rather --
24 THE WITNESS: No, no --
25 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, you were not asked for an explanation
1 why it was useless to give them the maps, but the question was simply put
2 to you whether giving maps, whether of any use or not, in the context of
3 finding the way to Bosnia
4 That's the simple question.
5 THE WITNESS: No. We -- we never instructed just to --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Even that is not the question whether you instructed
7 anyone, but the first question was whether it was within the mandate.
8 THE WITNESS: That was not within the mandate we had.
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] please proceed,
10 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I don't have any other questions.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Mr. Kehoe.
13 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You are next.
15 MR. KEHOE: I am next.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You're next.
17 You will now be cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe. That's -- yes.
18 The -- even in a high-tech courtroom the logistics as far as lecterns are
19 concerned is still complicated.
20 You'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe who is counsel for
21 Mr. Gotovina.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ermolaev. Excuse me. I didn't put the
24 microphone on. Good morning, Mr. Ermolaev.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. I'd like to turn your attention to P99. If I can bring that on
2 the screen.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, have we dealt with the other
4 statement? Is that -- and I'm still looking at Mr. Kuzmanovic, the
5 statement given by Mr. --
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Have we -- have you tendered the statement you
8 earlier referred to or would you leave it to having read a portion of
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I would like to tender that portion
11 of the statement.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now -- one second.
13 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you for reminding me, Your Honour.
16 MR. RUSSO: I have no objection, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: No objection. Now, we are talking about the
18 portion, it's a bit of a --
19 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, just to clarify --
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... a good thing to do.
21 MR. RUSSO: We will certainly be entering the entire statement
22 into evidence through Mr. Tchernetsky.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then why not yet --
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's fine, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- let the entire statement, then we have the full
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Exhibit D152, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And for the whole of the statement did you
6 intend to tender that under Rule 92 ter?
7 MR. RUSSO: We had, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll reserve the position of the Chamber in
9 respect of if the witness would come and say, "This is not what I stated
10 and this is not what I would repeat," then of course we would have to
11 further deal with the matter and we might have to reconsider the
12 admission of the whole of the document.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: D152 with this proviso is admitted into evidence.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, I'd like to direct your attention to some days
18 prior to Operation Storm and to some of the activities in the Cetina
19 valley. Do you recall that, sir?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. And if we could pull up P99, which is a situation report
22 from the 23rd of July, 1995. And if we can go to page 8 of 22. Now,
23 page 8 of 22 we have the summaries of meetings, and if you could just
24 glance at that one for one moment, and we will get back to it. That
25 addresses a meeting with a liaison officer concerning activities in the
1 Cetina valley, doesn't it?
2 A. "To inform Pero [phoen] that tension in Cetina had eased after
3 some Simo requested Karlo [phoen] to use his influence." Yeah, "to stop
4 the shelling." Yes, I see it.
5 Q. Okay, sir. Let us go to 1D100537 so we can place ourselves here.
6 If you could just take a look at that, General. This is the map of the
7 Cetina-Grahovo area mid-July 1995. If you can take a look at that Mr.
8 Ermolaev, and you can see the RSK positions as well as the joint RSK
9 positions being in red along a confrontation line and a joint HV/HVO
10 forces in blue to the right.
11 A. Yes, I see it.
12 Q. Okay. Now, if we move to the centre of that and we point to the
13 centre and we see a box with an X in the middle. That indicates an
14 artillery position in Cetina, does it not?
15 A. Yes, I see it.
16 Q. And there also was the -- and that's on behalf of the ARSK. Take
17 your time, sir.
18 A. You mean that -- these articles RSK. Am I correct?
19 Q. Well, you are familiar with the ARSK in dealing with your UNMOs,
20 you are familiar with the ARSK positions that were located in the Cetina
21 valley south of Grahovo and next to the confrontation line with the HV
22 and the HVO; correct?
23 A. I'm not quite sure that we had such exact and detailed knowledge
24 of any -- of all positions there on any side I can assure you.
25 Q. I understand, but you did have an idea that this was the
1 approximate locations of the warring factions --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- in late July of 1995, didn't you?
4 A. Yes, for sure.
5 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I would just like to
6 clarify. When he says that -- that this was the approximate locations,
7 is he asking the witness to confirm that the map is accurate or that the
8 general area he's described was the location of these units?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, may I take it that you're willing to
10 clarify for Mr. Russo.
11 MR. KEHOE: These are the approximate locations of the various
12 ARSK units in the Cetina valley. The witness said that he didn't know
13 the exact locations, but these were the approximate locations of ARSK
14 units in the Cetina valley.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. KEHOE: Now, Your Honour, if we can have this marked and
17 moved into evidence.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
19 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I would ask for some foundation of
20 whether or not this is actually accurate. The witness hasn't indicated
21 that the positions, as they're represented on the map, are accurate. I
22 think there has to be some foundation laid for what is -- what this
23 document purports to represent.
24 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, the witness said that these are the
25 approximate locations. That will go to weight, not to admissibility.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, weight or admissibility.
2 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'm not sure if the witness actually
3 adopted this map as the approximate locations. It's my -- I mean, the
4 way I read this transcript he was asking him if the general area of
5 Strmica, Grahovo, and Cetina was the area where these units were located.
6 Not that this map happens to represent where they were located in those
8 MR. KEHOE: We scroll back, Your Honour, and go into the
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you already assign a number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D153.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Your objection is denied, Mr. Russo.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Now, Mr. Ermolaev, in the Cetina valley in late July -- mid to
16 late July of 1995, there was shelling going on both from the RSK to the
17 HV side and the HV side to the ARSK side, wasn't there?
18 A. I cannot recollect that such reporting I had from UNMOs.
19 Q. Well, let us turn our attention then to -- back to P99, page 8.
20 A. Mm-hmm.
21 Q. What we were reading before on the summaries of the meetings.
22 A. Mm-hmm.
23 Q. If we could go -- put that back on the screen. And that summary
24 of meeting is at --
25 A. Page 8.
1 Q. Page 8. Yes, if you can see that. I'm sorry. If you can
2 just -- page 8 of that document, and it begins "Summary of meetings."
3 And just to orient you just a bit, this is 23 July, 1995. And if we
4 could just blow-up, Madam Registrar, that number (3) where it says
5 "Summary of meetings."
6 Do you see that, sir? Do you see that okay?
7 "At 210900 SMO, senior military observer, had a meeting with the
8 chief liaison officer to UN and ECMM in Zadar. SMO was pleased to inform
9 CALO, that's the Croatian army liaison officer, that the tension in
10 Cetina gives the grid reference had eased after SMR requested CALO to use
11 his influence to stop the shelling of civilian targets. The farmers are
12 now harvesting their crops; at the same time, UNMOs patrol the area to
13 ensure that there are no military targets deployed there. However, the
14 shelling on 9 July was an exception in that this could only be regarded
15 as the deliberate targeting of innocent people.
16 CALO replied that "According to their information there were
17 military targets in the area at that time." He also stated that "If the
18 combined Serb/Abdic forces did not halt their attack against Bihac, the
19 Croatian forces would likely have to intervene."
20 Now, the Abdic forces were the forces were operating in
21 conjunction with the Serbs in the Bihac pocket, weren't they?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, the information that you received back, did you receive
24 information that the Serbs had military weaponry in the Cetina valley?
25 A. So to my mind, and it's clearly from this report, and I -- I'm
1 just trying to recollect it, I've never seen a report from UNMOs that
2 they observed military targets in Cetina in those villages where they
3 were monitoring the situation.
4 Q. Now, when you wanted to go to the Cetina valley, you did not have
5 freedom of movement when you were operating with the ARSK, did you?
6 A. Yes. We had in July many problems there, right.
7 Q. So you had to get permission of the ARSK to travel into the
8 Cetina valley, didn't you?
9 A. I just don't want to be mistaken, but --
10 Q. Let me help you out then. Why don't you just -- why don't we
11 turn to a sitrep --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kehoe. I waited to intervene to see
13 whether the witness would come with an answer.
14 Your last question, whether you have to get permission, could be
15 understood in a normative way and could be understood in a factual way,
16 and -- you understand what I mean?
17 MR. KEHOE: I don't understand the discrepancy. Permission in
18 the context --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, permission is that if you need permission, it
20 can be that the party which gives the permission requires you to ask a
21 permission, although under the normative system applicable at that time
22 they should not ask for that. Then it's a factual situation. So if you
23 ask, "Do you -- do you need the permission of the Italian Mafia to have a
24 restaurant on Sicily
25 in a factual situation it might be that you have to get such permission.
1 So that's the difference I was pointing at and that was not clear from
2 your question, whether it was put in a normative way or a factual way.
3 MR. KEHOE: That's probably yes in both contexts, Judge,
4 but nevertheless --
5 JUDGE ORIE: It could be. I'm not giving the answers, I'm just
6 analysing your questions.
7 MR. KEHOE: In the spirit of precision Judge, and using only the
8 words that are used, the reason I picked the word "permission" as opposed
9 to some other maybe appropriate word in whatever context is that it
10 comes -- that particular word comes from the situation report which I'll
11 address now. That's why I picked that word because that was written in
12 the report.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the way in which you used this in your
14 question leaves some discrepancy. Please proceed.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. And just to assist you along, let us turn our attention to 65 ter
17 173. And if I could just go to page 1 first. And I'll just orient you,
18 Mr. Ermolaev. This is a situation report from 4 July 1995. And if we
19 could turn our attention to the top of page 7 in that document. And I
20 don't know if you want to see the prior page, Mr. Ermolaev, because that
21 is summary of meetings, so it's just on the prior page and I'll gladly
22 show you that, but this is a -- at the top of the page the Team Podkonje
23 meeting and the subject of the meeting is "Lifting Restriction of
24 Movement, Security Situation UNMO Team, ARSK Official Stated."
25 "UNMO teams should have freedom of movement in the area -- AOR
1 area of responsibility of 1 Brigade North Dalmatian Corps but to secure
2 their safety there must be a permission from the liaison officer in
4 So you would agree with me, Mr. Ermolaev, that in July, in order
5 to move into the area of the 1st brigade of the north Dalmatian corps you
6 had to have the permission of the army of the Republic of Serb Krajina
7 didn't you?
8 A. Yes, but regarding July and answering yes, I mean we had general
9 deterioration with the freedom of movement, I mean, in this side as well.
10 Right, absolutely correct. Not only there, not only in this area.
11 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time we will offer 65 ter 173
12 into evidence.
13 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Exhibit D154, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. D154 is admitted into
17 evidence. And Mr. Kehoe, I'm looking at your last question. You had to
18 have the permission of the army is similarly not distinguishing between
19 factual permission without which you would be obstructed in your
20 movements and whether it was legally right to ask for permission.
21 MR. KEHOE: Well, then I'll clarify that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Same problem. Yes.
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, in order to go into the Cetina valley in July of
25 1995, you had to go down to the ARSK headquarters in Knin and ask them
1 whether or not an UNMO team could go to that area, didn't you?
2 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, if I could object. The document states
3 that "UNMO teams should have freedom of movement in the ACR of 1 Brigade
4 North Dalmatian Corps, but to secure their safety there must be
5 permission." It appears from the reading that they can go.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It seems, Mr. Russo, that you're now interpreting
7 the text, which is not appropriate at this time.
8 Where you say that you had to go down to the -- to ask for
9 permission, was that in accordance with the agreed -- I'm not fully aware
10 yet on the basis of what agreement exactly you were operating there, but
11 under the terms of your mandate, were you under an obligation to ask for
12 permission to the ARSK forces or the republican government to seek
13 permission before you could enter a certain area?
14 THE WITNESS: According to the mandate in Sector South UNMOs were
15 supposed to get full freedom of movement in carrying out their
16 obligations, and they were not supposed to get any permission from any
17 authority on this side as well.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Despite that mandate, in fact you were asking
19 for permission, or the forces insisted on you getting permission before
20 you entered a certain area?
21 THE WITNESS: Yeah. It's a good question. That was the process.
22 A little bit complicated. So from both sides. So from one side we in
23 any case, I mean, teams tried to carry out in spite of all barriers, you
24 know, we experienced in this territory to be able to monitor a situation
25 particularly in Cetina. Sometimes our teams managed to come through and
1 be non-stopped. Sometimes not. And -- but in July and with every
2 passing day you're absolutely correct. We had extremely strict freedom
3 of movement, and in some cases you're absolutely correct. When they went
4 on the 31st, we were allowed to go only with their liaison officer.
5 JUDGE ORIE: When you say we had extremely --
6 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- strict freedom of movement, did you mean to say
8 that your freedom of movement was restricted, or because strict freedom
9 of movement means for me full freedom of movement. But if you say
10 restricted then is it that you were not --
11 THE WITNESS: I mean severely restricted.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Restricted. Thank you.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Just going back to the Cetina valley, there was a restriction on
16 movements by the UNMOs into the Cetina valley in July 1995; correct.
17 A. Yeah, correct.
18 Q. Now, one of the issues was the shelling during harvesting time,
19 isn't that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And General Gotovina -- well, let me just put this on the screen
22 65 ter 2007. Excuse me, 2079. Thank you very much. I was just
23 corrected in my numbering.
24 We can take a look at this, Mr. Ermolaev. This is an order from
25 General Gotovina dated -- and the date it is sent and received -- or
1 received is 7/16/95
2 subject is suspension of action:
3 "Further to the request of the commander of the south commander
4 and with regard to the suspension of fire action in the area of
5 Cetina ... due to harvesting of the local Serbian population who are
6 carrying out works under the escort of UNCRO patrols, I hereby order:
7 "Suspend the fire actions in the mentioned area of Cetina to a
8 maximum degree therewith enabling harvesting.
9 "In view of the fact that on Wednesday, 19th July ... a meeting
10 with the commander of --" should be Sector South, Jug being Sector
11 South --
12 A. Jug Sector South.
13 Q. -- Jug as Sector South. I know. "... has been organised, the
14 details of the request will be separately discussed and a final decision
15 given of which you will be informed."
16 Now, Mr. Ermolaev, were you aware that --
17 A. Of this order?
18 Q. Yes, sir?
19 A. No. No.
20 Q. You were never told of this order?
21 A. No. I mean, it was not addressed to me.
22 Q. No. I'm just -- did you learn about the fact that
23 General Gotovina had --
24 A. No, no, no. I'm -- I just hear for the first time and I'm really
1 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour at this time we'll offer 65 ter 200079
2 into evidence.
3 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D155.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D155 is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. KEHOE:
8 Q. I mean General let me bring up a document which is 65 ter 4490.
9 And, Mr. Ermolaev, this is a document that comes from General Gotovina
10 entitled "Supplementary Report on Positions and Types of Enemy Weapons in
11 the Area of Separation," and it -- if we can go to the bottom of page 2,
12 we note at the bottom at number 31, 32 there are some pieces in the
13 village of Cetina and the hamlet of -- excuse me, in Cetina. If we go to
14 the following page I believe it reads -- Palacevici is the hamlet.
15 During the course of your work as an UNMO and as the deputy
16 senior military observer. Were you made aware by the sight of the
17 quantity of the artillery pieces that they had in and about the zone of
18 separation and exactly what those pieces were?
19 A. In the zone of separations --
20 Q. If I may sir, in and around the zone of separation. I don't want
21 to restrict you to just the zone of separation because I know that there
22 were people --
23 A. [Overlapping speakers] yeah. I was there myself and
24 saw Croatians so --
25 JUDGE ORIE: You are speaking the same language.
1 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you make a pause between question and answer
3 then again between question and answer. Please proceed.
4 MR. KEHOE: Apologies to the booth.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes. Just turning back, yes. We had information
6 which we were supposed to check, and -- but I cannot and would like to
7 draw attention to have such exact data as General Gotovina had, I can
8 assure you.
9 MR. KEHOE: Okay. Your Honour, at this time we'd like to offer
10 65 ter 4490 into evidence.
11 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, that would be number?
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D156.
14 JUDGE ORIE: D156 is admitted into evidence. Thank you,
15 Madam Registrar.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
18 Q. Now, in fact -- let me put on the screen 65 ter 2424. We can
19 just -- just blow-up the top part of that, Madam Registrar. The date
20 being 20 July, 1995
21 between General Gotovina and General Forand. Do you see that, sir?
22 A. Zadar 20th, yes.
23 Q. And if we can just go to the next page, the centre of that page
24 where -- and it begins: "Within the course of further negotiations."
25 Can you just blow that up just a little bit more? That's it.
1 Okay. Good.
2 It notes: "In the course of further negotiations that was based
3 on the central points of the letter by the UNCRO delivered to the
4 commander of ZV Split General Gotovina responded. As for the area of
5 Cetina temporarily occupied area of the RH Republic of Croatia," and by
6 the way, this is a document from the ministry from the Republic of
8 area giving as the explanation the fact that local population is engaged
9 in the process of harvesting. Gotovina responded that UNCRO needed to
10 control the fire and positions where Croatian units were being targeted
11 from, and then the civilians would be able to carry out the harvest
12 without hindrance. Otherwise, Croatian artillery would be forced to act
13 in response."
14 Now, Mr. Ermolaev, did UNCRO either under -- the troops under
15 General Forand's commands or the UNMOs under Colonel Hjertnes' and your
16 command, did they take upon the task of controlling these firing -- these
17 Serb firing positions in the Cetina valley?
18 A. As I stated before, so we didn't know, I mean, exact, I mean,
19 position, and UNMOs were not deployed at the positions where allegedly
20 RSK pieces were deployed.
21 Q. Well, who in the United Nations took it upon themselves to
22 control these firing positions, or did they?
23 A. Well, just to put it bluntly, I -- I just was not so much aware
24 of -- at that particular, you know, days in July about such outcomes.
25 What I do remember, that there -- there was big, you know, discussions
1 about what should be done just with this harvesting time and people
2 living there. That what I clearly remember. And, as well, I clearly
3 remember that I -- I never heard that UNMOs were asked or tasked by
4 General Forand to ensure that there is no firing from these villages. I
5 do not remember, I mean, the consequences and outcomes of his meeting
6 with Gotovina. It's -- and I'm not quite sure whether we have such
7 report from SMO in these days. I'm not quite sure. So -- I only
8 remember that we were pleased when finally it come down there. Just
9 general feelings I remember. But about such taskings and requests from
10 Mr. Gotovina I do not remember absolutely.
11 Q. I take it when you say that you "remember that we were pleased,"
12 are you saying that you were pleased that the shelling stopped --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- so the Serbs could harvest?
15 A. Yes, for sure. Because we had confirmation from UNMOs. I don't
16 remember the dates, but --
17 Q. I understand. I didn't mean to cut you off. Mr. Ermolaev, I
18 didn't mean to cut you off.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please finish your sentence. You
20 said, "Because we had confirmation from UNMOs," you didn't remember the
21 exact date, about what?
22 THE WITNESS: I -- I do not remember, I mean, the dates when
23 intensive firing reports from this area stopped, and I started getting
24 information that the situation there particularly stabilised. I do not
25 remember exactly days and how long such, you know, peaceful time took
1 place there. But there was a period when I want to confirm that we
2 received no reports from UNMOs about fire reps.
3 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time I would like to offer into
4 evidence 65 ter 2424.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
6 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D157.
9 JUDGE ORIE: D157 is admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. Yes. And I'd like to now shift myself a little bit further north
12 and just a few days later, Mr. Ermolaev, and to the area of Strmica, and
13 if I may, I would like to put on the screen 1D100538.
14 Sir, I'd like you to take a look at this map, and we're talking
15 about the time, this was August 1, 1995
16 again between the ARSK/ARS being the army of the Republika Srpska, which
17 would be to the north. ARSK is the Republic of Serb Krajina is a little
18 next to that, and the HV/HVO units being on the blue side. Can you take
19 a look at this and you recognise generally this area, sir?
20 MR. RUSSO: Objection, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Objection against the question or --
22 MR. RUSSO: No. I'd like to ask what the provenance of this
23 document is.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You're not objecting, but you're trying to explore
25 who created. Could you inform us, Mr. --
1 MR. KEHOE: The people who were involved in the military side of
2 this planning on the HV side had these, and we'll show you many of them
3 as we go through the course of this trial. Frankly, Your Honour, the
4 confrontation lines and the units that are in these areas I didn't think
5 was a subject of dispute, but that being said --
6 JUDGE ORIE: We're not yet there.
7 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Judge.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Are these contemporaneous documents or were they --
9 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Contemporaneous documents. That means that this
11 one, for example, is created on or around the 1st of August.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, it is. And if I may say this, Judge,
13 contemporaneous, the confrontation lines changed and they what they did
14 is they changed it along. And what I'm -- in this particular instance,
15 this is a smaller recitation of a much larger map, because the
16 confrontation line, of course, extends dramatically far to the south and
17 other areas, and I just wanted to focus on the Strmica area because that
18 is the subject of some issues in the witness's statement.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And it has been -- is it -- you said contemporaneous
20 document. You explained to us that it was part of a larger map or set of
21 maps. Now, has it been redacted in any way since then or has it been
22 worked --
23 MR. KEHOE: I could certainly tell you, Judge, that things like
24 the -- something like the Strmica village down there of course for
25 certain -- first of all, anything that was in there was initially in
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so as we see it now it's not a contemporaneous
4 MR. KEHOE: That's exactly right.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It is a further development of what you say was a
6 map which was created in approximately August 1995. I take it that the
7 agenda, et cetera, also added or are they not?
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, I'm sorry, Judge. The information that's at the
9 top, this is all created by our trial team. Where it says the Strmica
10 village, the English aspects that are in the lower left-hand corner, the
11 situation Grahavo-Strmica, 01 August 1995
12 reference issues.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, are the originals still available? I mean it
14 might be very practical the way of presenting these maps with English
15 text of course has major advantages. And nevertheless, I can imagine
16 that Mr. Russo is more concerned about whether it reflects what
17 originally was in these maps. Mr. Russo, is that --
18 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there anyway to figure out on the basis of
20 the originals that Mr. Russo can see how skillfully your team translated
21 the original information in such a way that the Chamber can easily
23 MR. KEHOE: The answer to that is yes, Judge. There are -- if I
24 can clarify this. There are -- as we move from winter 1994 to various
25 stages of this, jump one, jump two summer 1995, you will see the
1 confrontation lines move. This was attempted to be a snapshot of a
2 particular time in this is August 1, late July or early August of 1995,
3 and it's taken from that; but if the counsel wants to see the underlying
4 data, hard data from which this was taken from, we'll gladly produce it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking this because you said there was still a
6 lot to come. So therefore in order to avoid further discussions about
7 it, Mr. Russo, this offer, this spontaneous offer by Mr. Kehoe, is
8 that -- does that satisfy you? Of course, if Mr. Russo would find out
9 later that the information is distorted, distorted and not accurate,
10 then, of course, I take it that you would have no problem that he
11 revisits the matter.
12 MR. KEHOE: Absolutely not, Judge. I -- I --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Under those circumstances, Mr. -- are you
14 sufficiently informed, Mr. Russo, about the source of this map, and are
15 you satisfied that with this opportunity to verify that if Mr. Kehoe is
16 tendering it that there will be no objections?
17 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
20 MR. KEHOE: Now -- thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Ermolaev, in late July, early August of 1995, there was
22 activity up in the Strmica area, was there not?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And Strmica was an area where the ARSK had a lot of personnel and
25 equipment, didn't they?
1 A. Strmica area was monitored by UN battalions, so I -- I just can
2 only reference to the information battalions had at the time. So I have
3 no information about in the area because it was not the zone of
5 Q. Well, if I -- if I may, sir, you did consult with the UN
6 battalions, and that would be the Kenyan Battalion? Is that right?
7 A. Well, let -- let me explain and return back again. So I mean we
8 did not consult anyone, because I mean the structure of UNMOs is an
9 independent institution as well as battalions. We carry out, I mean,
10 every day cooperation, but usually if the area -- usually battalions are
11 to be deployed along confrontation lines or zone of separation so that's
12 everywhere and -- so if as a rule such a hot-spot, I mean, confrontation
13 line, zone of separation, as a rule we deploy there stationary battalions
14 observation post. And we did not see a necessity to deploy close to UN
15 battalion posts as well UNMOs, because we didn't have too many UNMOs for
16 the whole sector. I had 80 persons and General Forand had 13.000, so you
17 can imagine.
18 Q. I understand. But going back to my initial question,
19 Mr. Ermolaev, the Kenyan Battalion was the battalion that was located in
20 and around Strmica in July 1995?
21 A. Yes. Yes, for sure.
22 Q. Now, there was -- was there or was there not to your knowledge a
23 significant ARSK position in Strmica in late July of 1995?
24 A. Well, I would answer in another question. I was fully aware that
25 there was some combat activities between conflicting sides in that
1 direction, yes.
2 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time before I move off this map
3 I would like to tender this map into evidence.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. KEHOE: Subject to the caveats that we discussed.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
7 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D158.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 I come back to your last answer, Mr. Ermolaev. You were asked
12 whether to your knowledge there was a significant ARSK position in
13 Strmica in late July of 1995. Then you said you would answer in another
14 question, although no question then followed, because you said, "I was
15 fully aware that there was some combat activities between the conflicting
16 sides." Why not just answer the question whether you were aware of a --
17 THE WITNESS: Of positions of --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
19 THE WITNESS: -- of conflicting sides, weaponry.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You don't know now.
21 THE WITNESS: If I don't know I just say no.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, fine.
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. Now, let me address ourselves to 65 ter 1344. Thank you very
25 much. Mr. Ermolaev, this is an order that comes from the 7 corps
1 command, the ARSK notes -- order on sending units to any tank detachment.
2 To the command of the 7 mixed anti-tank artillery regiment and the
3 2nd Infantry Brigade. Urgent. "Under the current circumstances and with
4 the aim of preventing further advance of Ustasha in the direction of
5 Grahovo-Strmica, I hereby issue the following:
7 "Send 100 millimetre T-anti-tank guns from the 7th mixed
8 anti-tank artillery regiment to Tactical Group 2.
9 "Send 9K11 anti-armour missile systems platoon from 2nd Infantry
10 Brigade to Tactical Group 2.
11 "Send units as standard formations with standard issue
13 "Units carrying pioneer tools with them.
14 "Units must report to Colonel Stevo Draskovic," I think it should
15 be in the area of the Golubic MUP by 1600 hours on 31 July 1995.
16 "Commanders of all units will prepare ... at the Tactical Group
17 to command post in the area of the village of Strmica
18 the 7th corps by 1400 hours on 31 July ...
19 "Commanders will prepare units and bring them to the designated
21 Mr. Ermolaev, on this document dated 31 July, did you and your
22 UNMOs observe the ARSK moving personnel and weaponry to the Strmica area?
23 A. I do not remember such reports from UNMOs, and I do want to say
24 that we had, you know, restrictions of movement as I mentioned before,
25 and we must check the reports. But I do believe they really conducted
1 such a redeployment, I don't think that they allowed us to move out from
2 our place.
3 Q. So when it came to going to the Strmica area, there were
4 restrictions of movement on the UNMOs?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I'll offer 65 ter 1344.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
8 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D159.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. D159 is admitted into
13 Mr. Kehoe, I don't know whether you're touching upon a new
14 subject or not. The Chamber would like to start a break within the next
15 two to seven minutes.
16 MR. KEHOE: Judge, we can take a break now. That's fine. I
17 could pick up.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then we will resume at a quarter to 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Ermolaev, there is a chance
22 that we might not finish today. Are you still available on Thursday?
23 THE WITNESS: I would like to return back tomorrow. I have some
24 meetings, appointments already done.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Is there anyway you can, because going and then
1 having to return might be a bit of a problem for you as well. Is there
2 any way that you could reschedule your return?
3 THE WITNESS: Well, to my regret I would not like to. This is
4 really important to me, yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's understood that you'd rather not do
6 that. At the same time -- I'll consider it with my colleagues, and I
7 also can imagine that you do not feel free in an open court session to
8 give the reasons why it's so urgent for you to go back, and if there's
9 any other way in which you'd like to inform the Chamber about your
10 personal reasons why it's so important for that you can return tomorrow
11 rather than one day later, then we'll find a way to do that. Because
12 you'll understand that there's also a great interest to hear your
13 testimony and in terms of procedure it's always to be preferred not to
14 interrupt, apart from all the other aspects, that you would have to
15 return, that we have additional costs, et cetera.
16 THE WITNESS: You see that when we discussed the days, windows,
17 as we say, which I could find in my schedule, I applied just for May, but
18 I was asked to find days, this five days, and so I rescheduled
19 everything. And so first of all I had some great issues on a personal
20 events in my family, first of all, and that's why I asked just to
21 postpone it a bit. It's okay with my work. I just rescheduled it. So I
22 had two important -- three important events on 26th, 29th. My wife and
23 my mother's birthdays. Today is my mother's birthday.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Congratulation to start.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you. And then I promised my daughter the
1 final, I mean important event, in my life, so is one year celebration of
2 her marriage, and I promised to her that in any case I will be there, and
3 then I rescheduled my studies with my students starting from the 2nd May.
4 So it's a bit problematic to me.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the celebration of this one year would
6 be --
7 THE WITNESS: 1st May, right.
8 JUDGE ORIE: 1st of May. That would then be on Thursday.
9 Morning, afternoon?
10 THE WITNESS: Departure, morning, afternoon so I have tickets
11 reserved for at 9.00.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand, but celebration on the 1st of
14 THE WITNESS: On the 1st of the May, right.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The whole of the day or? I'm not trying to find out
16 about your family, perhaps even secret arrangements.
17 THE WITNESS: At least we agree that afternoon, so for sure.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER: Just raising one matter that I imagine the Court has
20 considered, but I would have felt bad if not mentioning is the
21 possibility of extending into the afternoon in light of the current
22 competing court schedules.
23 JUDGE ORIE: There might be an opportunity for that, but I have
24 to attend an initial appearance early in after the noon, which, however,
25 keeps me not busy for more than 45 minutes to one hour, and I'd like to
1 ask Madam Registrar to find out whether ...
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev we're doing our utmost best.
4 Madam Registrar will further inquire into the possibilities of continuing
5 to sit this afternoon although that would not be immediately at 2.15 but
6 perhaps at 3.00 or 4.00. If that is for Defence counsel, I'm just
7 inquiring whether that would be a possibility.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
10 Yes. I asked the presence of Mr. Ermolaev because the Chamber
11 had in mind to -- and of course we -- to grant another hour after this
12 morning's session, which will finish at 1.45. Of course the Chamber had
13 in mind that Witness 69 will not testify this week, so therefore we might
14 have a little bit more time than we initially scheduled. We'll hear from
15 the registrar.
16 Of course, Mr. Kehoe, it's a bit of a problem now because we
17 don't know where we're heading. Focus at the most important things
19 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. KEHOE: If I could just bring up 65 ter 1346.
22 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, this is order that is ordering the formation -- it
23 comes from the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina, an order to form a
24 units of 80 men who will be engaged in a combat task in the village of
25 Strmica. I take it from your prior answers that you were unaware of
1 these types of troop gatherings; is that right?
2 A. Absolutely correct.
3 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, we'll offer 65 ter 1346 into evidence.
4 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D160.
7 JUDGE ORIE: D160 is admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. We can turn our attention to 65 ter 194. And again this is a
10 document coming from the Republic of Serb
11 MR. KEHOE: I'm getting a little ahead of myself, Judges.
12 Q. This is a diary from -- provided by the Office of the Prosecutor.
13 The assistant commander for logistics. If we can go to page 3 in the --
14 I'm sorry. I've been reminded he's commander of the logistics for the
15 ARSK. If we turn to page 3 and scroll up just a bit, we can just look at
16 the inclusions of --
17 MR. KEHOE: Go you can scroll that up just a bit,
18 Madam Registrar. Thank you.
19 Q. Inclusion of ammunition being sent up to the Strmica area. I
20 take it, sir, you were unaware of this -- this as well given your other
21 answers about movement of ammunition by the RSK to Strmica?
22 A. No, I -- I do not know about it.
23 Q. And if you see down there on the 7th of July -- excuse me, the
24 31st of July, 1995, it notes: "I was informed that ammunition was loaded
25 onto 12 railroad shippers in order to remove the Golubic," should be "to
1 remove the Golubic depot," should be "to the Golubic depot."
2 Sir, were you aware that they were using their rail lines to move
4 A. Do I not remember such a report.
5 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour at this time I would move 65 ter 194 into
7 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, is he moving in the entire diary or
8 just the portion?
9 MR. KEHOE: I am moving in pages 1 through 10, which is the part
10 that has been translated by the -- by the Language Services.
11 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Madam Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D161.
14 JUDGE ORIE: D161 is admitted into evidence.
15 MR. KEHOE: If I might have just one moment, Judge.
16 Q. Let me put up 1D100539, and this is a -- I have distributed paper
17 copies on this, Your Honour, and I've just translated one excerpt from
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, you are so kind to correct an apparently
20 wrong translation although it's from handwriting, so it could also how to
21 decipher that portion. It says that the translation is unrevised. I
22 think especially since you are --
23 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- already correcting that the translation should be
25 a final one.
1 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. By the way, we don't need to go back to this. In the insert of
5 the prior document, which would be D161, if we look at the bottom of that
6 you see that, sir? At the bottom two lines it says "At 1800 I had
7 ordered the transfer of 12 shippers loaded with ammunition to tunnels."
8 Do you see that, sir?
9 A. "To tunnels," yes.
10 Q. Were you aware during the period of time you were there that they
11 were moving their ammunition on railway lines through the tunnel system
12 that was in Sector South? Are you still thinking, sir? I don't mean to
13 move you --
14 A. No, I'm just trying to remember generally. 31st, 1600 -- well,
15 it's a bit difficult. I don't remember.
16 Q. Well, I mean, let's talk about the area -- the period of time
17 when the ARSK was operating in Sector South in your AOR, area of
18 responsibility. Did you see them moving ammunition on the rail lines?
19 A. Well, I think that, yes, we had reports from different movements
20 of military, but I do not remember exact dates and teams reporting, but
21 we clearly observed a repositioning of RSK in most cases, but in such
22 particular case, 31st July, 1600
23 Q. I understand.
24 A. But I -- I fully confirm that they were -- in spite of our, you
25 know, restrictions of movement, when we succeeded we saw such
1 redeployments of military, yes.
2 Q. Now, if we can go to 1D100539.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, I can't say that it's completely clear to
4 me yet. To remove to the Golubic depot and then a couple of lines later
5 it goes to tunnels. Is the Golubic depot in tunnels, or is it -- how do
6 we -- that -- I just put to you that it's not clear whether these are the
7 same 12 railroad shippers. The number at least is the same. I'm not
8 asking you to give evidence, but at least inform you that this creates
9 some confusion as far as I'm concerned.
10 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, what -- and we can work on the
11 translation, but my understanding coming from the B/C/S is that they were
12 going to the Golubic depot and using this -- these railway cars to take
13 ammunition out. We can work on this translation further, but it's taken
14 from a written diary.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Just for this moment for you to know that it
16 confuses a bit. Yes. Please proceed.
17 MR. KEHOE: Okay. Madam Registrar, if --
18 Q. I do believe we, Mr. Ermolaev, we did give you a paper copy of
19 this particular exhibit which is an excerpt of (redacted)
21 (redacted). Now, this is dated the 30th of July, 1995.
22 Now, you sent Mr. Tchernetsky up to Strmica in and about that
23 time, didn't you?
24 A. Well, I think that was before 1400, because what I remember, he
25 departed Sector South HQ, then they were supposed to pick up liaison
1 officer, who was supposed just to give them a movement there. So I think
2 that was in the morning.
3 Q. Okay. And when you sent him up there he was being escorted by
4 ARSK --
5 A. Yes. Yes. I think so he -- he was escorted. Right. So it's
6 okay. Good.
7 Q. Did he report back to you the units or any such as what we have
8 in this particular document that was described by this ARSK soldier? Did
9 he report back seeing anything like this? And this, I'm referring to the
10 document that's before you.
11 A. You mean the one I see on the screen on the 30th July?
12 Q. Yes, the 30th of July, sir. That's right.
13 A. No.
14 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time I'll offer 1D100539 into
16 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D162.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D162 is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. Now, there ended up being in the latter part of July and early
22 August quite a bit of shelling.
23 MR. HEDARALY: Excuse me, Your Honour. Could we move into a
24 private session for a minute?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes we'll move into a private session. I'm not yet
1 aware for what reason, but I take it that you have a serious reason,
2 Mr. Hedaraly.
3 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
18 MR. KEHOE:
19 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, let me turn your attention to 65 ter 1353. This is
20 the cover sheet of an UNCRO report dated 31 July 1995. If we can go to
21 page 2. And towards the bottom of the page there is the excerpt D,
22 "Sector South." And it reads: "The situation in the sector remains
23 tense, especially in the south-east corner of the sector where 115
24 artillery shells were fired or impacted (30 HV and 88 RSK).
25 Now, the south-east corner of the sector is the area that's
1 covered by CanBat, isn't?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And the area referring to this shelling that's reported on 31
4 July 1995
5 isn't it? Well, let's read the rest of it?
6 A. Yeah, okay.
7 Q. "Higher than normal level of air activities in the northern part
8 of the sector. Could not be assessed whether it's linked in activities
9 in the Bihac pocket of Bosanski or B. Grahovo. The ARSK are reacting to
10 events in Bosanski -- or B. Grahovo by redeploying forces. However, the
11 HV so far does not appear to close with or cross the border. The sector
12 assessed the Croatian efforts in the face of ARSK opposition as
13 'unlikely' in the Dinara area. The situation at Strmica is being
14 monitored closely to foresee the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 which might spill over into the sector and to make sure the security of
16 UN troops."
17 Now, based on your recollection and also you can refer to your
18 statement of P94 at page 4, the shelling that was taking place there was
19 shelling in and around Strmica, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And at this particular point the assessment that you recall from
22 UNCRO is that the HV was not going to be successful in defeating the
24 A. Who said this?
25 Q. Or did they. I mean, I'm just saying this because it says
1 here --
2 A. [Overlapping speakers]
3 Q. -- if you read this "The sector assessed the Croatian forces in
4 the face of ARSK opposition as unlikely in the Dinara area." Do you take
5 that to mean that the assessment is that if the HV attacks they will be
7 A. Well, I would not like to comment the conclusions of battalions,
8 but I didn't have such feelings at that time.
9 Q. Okay.
10 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time we will offer 65 ter 1353
11 into evidence.
12 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D163.
15 JUDGE ORIE: D163 is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Judge, I think I just threw away my number
17 to this document -- this document. If I might have a moment. It is 65
18 ter 3122.
19 Q. This is another -- the cover sheet is dated 2 August 1995. The
20 date becomes significant because there is a -- if we can turn to page 2
21 and the general situation, it notes that: "The situation in Sector South
22 was in recent days calm and stable. Exchanges of indirect fire continue
23 in the Strmica area. The RSK has moved its guns eastward and the
24 exchanges are more even, even than they have been. Indications of
25 moderate to heavy fighting in the bordering areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 are heard, including air activity originating in the RSK."
2 And if we can scroll down that page, we note from the warring
3 party activity at -- on the 2nd of August -- we'll just take a look at it
4 this. I mean it says 2nd of August, but if I might just one moment
5 scroll up to the top of that page so I can correct something. If we can
6 scroll up. This document notes that it's April, but the body says
7 August, does it not sir?
8 A. Because it's April on it, [indiscernible] to April 27th, 1995.
9 Q. But it's -- the body at the bottom is talking about August 1995.
10 If we can go back to the warring party activity. If we can blow-up that
11 number 3.
12 In those three points in August on the 2nd, it notes the exchange
13 of gunfire between -- excuse me, artillery fire between HV/HVO, as well
14 as the ARSK, does it not?
15 A. Yes, for sure.
16 Q. So bit --
17 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour at this time I'll offer 65 ter 3122 into
19 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit D164.
22 JUDGE ORIE: D164 is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. So, Mr. Ermolaev, the latter part of July and the first few days
25 of August there is a significant amount of fighting going on up in the
1 Strmica area, at least shell-fire in the Strmica area between the HV and
2 the ARSK, isn't there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, let us talk a little bit about -- I'm going to shift
5 subjects here and I want to talk a little bit about the shelling of Knin.
6 And I want to ask you a couple of questions, at least initially. You
7 note in your statement, and I am talking about P94 -- I'm sorry. P95,
8 paragraph 11. You note that: "I do not believe that the shelling of
9 Knin on 4-5 August was intended to destroy military targets, because the
10 RSK Ministry of Defence building was neither destroyed nor seriously
11 damaged." Do you see that hard copy, sir?
12 A. What page number?
13 Q. It is page 7 of your 2007 statement.
14 A. 2007.
15 Q. Page 7, it should be paragraph 11.
16 A. Mm-hmm.
17 Q. Now, sir, you said that in your statement. Is it your testimony
18 before this Trial Chamber that the only military target in Knin was the
19 RSK Ministry Of Defence?
20 A. No. I think it's a bit out of the context that we discussed with
21 the Prosecutor. So I was asked a question about provisional assessment
22 of -- of Colonel Steinar that the shellings these days bore exclusively
23 military out of the 70 they found, and we discussed already this document
24 and my assessment, so I -- I do believe that it's a little bit, you know,
25 misunderstanding here, and that was to some extent, I mean, an answer
1 that the only targets on the 4th and 5th were exclusively civilians.
2 Just to correct a bit, what I meant to say, that -- that I do not believe
3 that the shelling of Knin on the 4th and 5th of August was intended to
4 destroy exclusively military targets. Let me say so, because for sure, I
5 mean, there were military targets.
6 Q. Now, sir, there were in fact military targets near where you
7 lived, weren't there?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now let us bring up a map which has been previously received in
10 evidence as Exhibit P78.
11 Now, if I could use that, and if we could go to the area that is
12 marked with a C and blow-up that area. That's in the left-hand side. Do
13 you see that there? Okay. And just scroll down a little bit.
14 Now, sir, you see that letter C in the centre of that page?
15 A. Yes, I see it.
16 Q. Now, where you lived was just a little bit down from that, isn't
17 that right?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. And how far did you live away from the North Dalmatian Corps
20 barracks? Approximately.
21 A. Well, everything is very -- very close in Knin, you know, and so
22 it's a little bit difficult, but, well --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Was it not more than 50 to a hundred metres, or was
24 it by far more.
25 THE WITNESS: Well, I think a bit more.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us how much?
2 THE WITNESS: No, I can't be so much exact, you know --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe --
4 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers] -- with the metres, maybe
5 you can get some information.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, isn't it true that we have the marking on
7 the map where the witness lived and that we have clear map where we are
8 aware of the northern barracks, where that is, clearly defined areas.
9 MR. KEHOE: We can measure it, Judge. I mean, that's fine.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. Now, the area that is designated as C, a Prosecution witness
13 testified, and this is Andreis Dreyer, Page 1720, to, if I may, line 25
14 going over to page 1721 lines 1 and 4, and you see the C at that location
15 and he's talking about the 4th of August. If we could look at that
16 marking, C, which the registrar is ahead of me and doing very well, "Is
17 it correct that this is a mortar section you observed by the school?"
18 Answer "Yes?"
19 Now, on the morning of the 4th did you see a mortar section at
20 that location marked with C?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, that location, sir, was - again without specific distances -
23 relatively close to your residence, wasn't it?
24 A. No. Absolutely I cannot confirm whether there was something or
25 not, because, you know, we spent time in the basement and then we just
1 departed with APC. I didn't have time just to have a look. We were
2 running into APC, you know.
3 Q. Well, sir, when you were in the basement did you hear any type of
4 weapon being fired from that location?
5 A. You know, I -- I can assure you that it's impossible being in the
6 basement when there is conducted alongside at the same time with the
7 same, I mean, targeting different kinds of usage of weaponry, just to
8 peek out one weaponry which maybe even standing close to you. No. I
9 couldn't -- let me put it in such a way: I couldn't even theoretically
10 identify, I mean, any outgoing, which at least as I understood from your
11 statement or from statement of this person. No. I cannot confirm it,
13 Q. So basically you couldn't confirm either ingoing or outgoing
14 shell-fire, as to who was responsible, could you?
15 A. Yes, for sure.
16 Q. Now, you noted in your statement that -- and this is your
17 statement of P94, and it's page 4, last paragraph. If you can take a
18 look at it for yourself, sir. I mean, I just -- I don't want to read it
19 and not give you the opportunity to look at it. You have that, sir, page
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, you note on the bottom of the page: "Speaking of
23 destruction in Knin residential areas as a result of shelling, I would
24 like to --" and I'm sure you said make two points, but it says "to -- two
25 points. First the Croatian army conducted an unprecedented massive
1 artillery rocket launcher mortar fire against Knin and surrounding areas
2 where there were tens of thousands of civilians. I spent eight months in
4 of fire against civilians I've never seen."
5 Now -- now, sir, you also noted in your statement of - this is
6 P95 - at page -- P95, paragraph 10, page 7, the second to last sentence,
7 when asked to comment on this -- do you have that paragraph 10? And you
8 note that: "I was in my office for most of the day during the 4th and
9 the 5th and was not actively observing the shelling."
10 Do you see that, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So when you made this statement in -- back in 1997 and signed in
13 2002 about this unprecedented destruction, you hadn't even observed the
14 shell-fire, had you?
15 A. So, first of all I -- I observed the shell-fire. There's no
16 doubt about it. And secondly, yeah, I answered the question. Yes, I
17 observed it myself as well.
18 Q. But --
19 A. But it is clearly stated here. I was in my office most of the
20 day and was not actively observing the shelling. It clearly stated here
21 that I was not standing and 24 hours observing shelling of Knin, yes.
22 Q. So -- I'm sorry. So let --
23 MR. KEHOE: Okay, Judge? No? I'm sorry.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
25 MR. KEHOE:
1 Q. So you made that statement in your statement -- you made that
2 comment in your statement of, if I may, of P94 where you spent most of
3 the day in your office; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, let's turn our attention to, if I may, before we even get to
6 that particular sitrep -- let us put P83 on the screen.
7 Now, this note, sir, this is the letter that was sent by
8 General Forand, and it notes in the first sentence or sent by General or
9 drafted by General Forand or signed by him. "So this was a protest in
10 the most vigorous manner, the unprovoked artillery attack on Knin and the
11 towns of Drnis, Medak, Bunic, Benkovac, and Kistanje."
12 Now, Mr. Ermolaev, did you have anything to do with the writing
13 of this letter or the selecting of these particular towns when they were
14 put in this letter?
15 A. What is the time of this protest, do we know?
16 Q. Well, that's a very good question, sir.
17 JUDGE ORIE: There's a fair chance that it would be the 4th of
19 THE WITNESS: No, no, no. I mean --
20 MR. KEHOE: He's talking about temporally, I'm sure.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You mean in time.
22 MR. KEHOE: And I think he's talking about within the 24-hour
23 time frame.
24 THE WITNESS: No, in this letter I didn't participate in issuing
25 this protest. So that was done by General Forand without consulting me.
1 So he did it as usual way.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. So you had nothing to do with this list of these towns?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now let us turn our attention to D -- I don't know if I have this
6 date correct. I believe it's D5, Judge.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's look at it.
8 MR. KEHOE: I guess that's always a good start. It is D5.
9 Q. Now, in D5, if we -- this is a sitrep from 1610 on the -- 1610 in
10 the afternoon on the 4th of August, 1995. I direct your attention to
11 paragraph 4.
12 By the way -- by the way, Mr. Ermolaev, did you write this?
13 A. Well, the style would be different from mine. So I mean, it's --
14 I think released yes, but [indiscernible] yes.
15 Q. So you approved the content?
16 A. Yeah, for sure.
17 Q. All right. Let's talk about paragraph 4. "The initial shelling
18 of the centre of Knin was coordinated with artillery attacks -- with
19 artillery attack along the ZOS, zone of separation. Other civilian
20 centres of Krajina were indiscriminately targeted."
21 Now, you approved that what --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
23 MR. KEHOE: Yes, sir.
24 Q. Now, what centres, civilian centres, were indiscriminately
1 A. Can we just have a look further on.
2 Q. Sure. Absolutely. You can take --
3 A. UNMOs reported and we can should find the answer this -- or
4 further reports about it. Let's have a look.
5 Q. If we can just take that back to normal size so the witness can
6 look at the document. Maybe take it up a little bit. Thank you. And
7 there is another page.
8 And, Mr. Ermolaev, if you tell me when you're ready to go to the
9 next page. I don't want to rush you, but there is page 2 at some point.
10 A. Yes, I've read it. "Incoming mortar fire had been within 100
11 metres of UNMOs teams." Yes. I'm finished this.
12 MR. KEHOE: And could we go to the next page, Madam Registrar.
13 THE WITNESS: And can we return back, please, to the first page?
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Absolutely. Absolutely. Mr. Ermolaev, if you want any portion
16 of that blown up yet further. I know sometimes it's difficult to hear
17 [sic]. I certainly have some difficulty with it, so please ask and I'm
18 sure the registrar can do that for us.
19 A. And can we see the times and the purpose this --
20 Q. [Overlapping speakers] Absolutely, sir. Can you see that? Do
21 you want it blown up a little bit?
22 MR. KEHOE: We're talking about the top of the page,
23 Madam Registrar.
24 THE WITNESS: So that must be the report for -- for 4 hours. And
25 do we have the report for -- so it's 16 -- 1600, right? Okay. Good. So
1 I just looked through, yes. I'm ready to answer.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. Is there any reporting that you see in here from any of the UNMO
4 teams that note that civilian centres were indiscriminately targeted?
5 A. Mm-hmm. Okay. Thank you. So the first -- during the beginning
6 of reporting of the situation in the Sector South, you know, immediately
7 we tried to redeploy UNMOs from their locations. You can see from their
8 reports that they were being shelled 5.100 metres from their positions.
9 And I received the reports about general situation in the sector from
10 General Forand office and operations officer from battalion's
11 headquarters. So that's why initially, initially, the information
12 received there about the results, what was seen and heard by 13.000 UN
13 soldiers in the sector, they were giving only highlights about general
15 Later on we decided just that such a report must include
16 battalions' assessments and what they see on the ground. So that's why
17 later I discussed it with Sector South, UN battalion sector, and we --
18 and we started including, and we already run through that report from
19 some date, I do not remember the timings, started including such reports
20 on the basis of which, I mean, highlights and general assessment had been
22 So generally, I mean, the sense, the feelings that was reported
23 here we can see give the same assessment as was given by General Forand.
24 And to this extent we closely cooperated and discussed the situation, and
25 if battalions it is reliable United Nations information source for us so
1 that's why we cannot say that everything is calmed down when battalions
2 reports our situation across the sector. Thank you.
3 Q. So you -- so you're saying that this particular comment is based
4 on observations by UNCRO; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So -- and based on the observations, did you write down someplace
7 for the benefit of the UNMO headquarters in Zagreb what you were being
8 told about indiscriminate fire on individual villages? Did you do that?
9 A. Yeah. Well, good question. Yes. So first of all I do want to
10 understand the jury [phoen], and because we all the time just returning
11 back to the same question. So we must clearly understand that UNMOs, it
12 was little bit not fully fledged, you know, I mean, military
13 organisation. It included only several, you know, UNMOs on the spot. So
14 that's why we for sure used the materials from UN battalions and
15 assessments done by the sector commander.
16 Secondly, about assessments which were given in the first hours
17 when they were started. We must clearly understand that UNMOs, as well
18 as battalions, worked in real combat situations. It is very good to sit
19 here and, you know, just discuss what I was writing during the wartime.
20 For sure, I mean, later on we started improving, and we felt it as well.
21 So that's why we included not only general assessment that battalions
22 gave us but as well if they saw it included that. But we tried to divide
23 information which was received by UNMOs, and we clearly see it, that here
24 we included the highlights, the protest letter we see which confirmed the
25 situation on the ground there. So the war started. What do you -- how
1 do you expect it to be reported.
2 And here we see that destruction started across Knin and in other
3 cities reported by battalions and et cetera. I mean, on commanding level
4 we give general assessment, and for sure later on such mechanism of
5 reporting so to maximum extent to which battalions or UNMOs could do it
6 they did it.
7 Q. So when you got -- let's go back to P83 again then. So when you
8 got this information from the UNCRO battalions, I assume that you got the
9 information about the individual towns of -- that are listed in this
10 letter in addition to Knin. And I'm talking about Drnis, Medak, Bunic,
11 Benkovac, and Kistanje; right?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. Now after you got that information, after Operation Storm, and in
14 this letter it says an artillery attack on these places, did you go --
15 did the UNMOs good back to those villages and do an artillery assessment
16 on the artillery fire on each of those villages? Yes or no?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, if you put a composite question to the
18 witness you can't ask him to say yes or no. It could be that they went
19 back but did not do an artillery -- whatever. But if you want a yes or
20 no, then the question should be --
21 MR. KEHOE: I'll ask a general question.
22 Q. Did --
23 A. Okay. I'm answer. I got your point. No doubt about it. It's
24 not a problem. I will answer it.
25 You know, after Operation Storm, okay, I do understand that you
1 mean in general, in September or October, whatever. I mean, situation on
2 the ground allowed. Am I correct in understanding you.
3 Q. You are correct, sir.
4 A. Okay. At least not there in these days. So I never received
5 from United Nations Zagreb any instructions to change the mission of
6 UNMOs and start conducting a greater analysis of the Operation Storms and
7 et cetera. We had clear mandate to monitor situation on the ground with
8 the -- that we discussed already, and I didn't get such orders to
9 investigate and conduct greater analysis. As well to the best of my
10 knowledge, battalions' engineers, they as well didn't do, but it's better
11 to clarify with them.
12 I never received such new additional taskings to my ten persons
13 or whatever. I mean, you know, I was very much limited with -- very
14 limited with my resources just to provide, you know, PRAC [phoen]
15 activities, to provide civil affairs, to provide you know this one and
16 just having at your disposal several tens of brave, you know,
17 international community representatives. No. For sure not.
18 Could I not even imagine such a taskings to UNMOs to conduct, you
19 know, a greater analysis in August, September, while the situation on the
20 ground and decision of the United Nations was to monitor the situation.
21 I'm sorry, we didn't do it. I never received any order from my direct
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, it's a quarter to 2.00. There's an
24 option to continue this hearing this afternoon in courtroom 2 immediately
25 after the initial appearance which will take place in courtroom 1, this
1 disadvantage being that your whole teams might not fit into the
2 courtroom. Another option would be to continue in this courtroom but
3 then we need to have an hour break.
4 Now, my estimate is that the initial appearance will not take
5 more than 45 minutes up to one hour, although you never know in advance.
6 That would mean in this courtroom we most likely would be able to
7 continue at a quarter to 4.00, whereas in the other courtroom we might be
8 able to continue at quarter past 3.00 approximately. That's one.
9 Second, if we sit is this afternoon, time would be limited to one
10 session, that is, at the most one hour and 45 minutes. As I said before,
11 Mr. Kehoe, you would have another hour so that 45 minutes remain for
12 other questions.
13 Of course I do not know whether there needs further
14 redistribution of the time available to the Defence among the teams. I
15 take it that the other teams would -- Mr. Cayley, I'm looking at you.
16 You're not putting huge claims on --
17 MR. CAYLEY: No, Your Honour. It depends what arises, as always,
18 but I anticipate nothing further.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Same here, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Kehoe, you have one hour available. We
22 will then adjourn and we'd like to see you back, Mr. Ermolaev. We all
23 know that family life is a fundamental right, although not under all
25 THE WITNESS: Even in the Russian Federation.
1 JUDGE ORIE: From what I understand the Russian Federation is a
2 party to the European Convention on Human Rights as is many other
4 We will resume in this case half an hour after the initial
5 appearance has finished, which starts at a quarter past 2.00 in this
6 courtroom this afternoon.
7 --- Recess taken at taken at 1.48 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 3.27 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. Madam Registrar, I never know
10 whether such a continuation is the continuation of the morning session or
11 just a new session. Just out of an abundance of caution would you please
12 call the case.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
14 number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Kehoe, I'm looking at the clock. We're
16 now at 3.28. I'll give you until 4.30.
17 MR. KEHOE: I feel privileged, Judge. Sixty-two minutes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, I'd just ask us to look at the screen. It's the
21 document that we looked at previously, P83, that notes town of Bunic
22 you see that? The village of Bunic
23 A. Yes, I see it.
24 Q. Let us turn our attention to P100, the document my colleague
25 Mr. Kuzmanovic talked to you about this morning. And I want to turn
1 your -- just if you could look at P100 first, the face page.
2 If you could just blow that up a little bit. Yes. Thank you.
3 It's an UNMO report of 4 August at 1040. And if we can turn to
4 the second page. And towards the top of that page we see the -- in the
5 right above the CanBat AOR: "OPSZC 31, Bunic.
6 A. CanBat.
7 Q. No, above CanBat.
8 A. Oh, okay.
9 Q. Actually the paragraph above CanBat that begins "OPSCZ 31 Bunic"?
10 A. Yes, I see it.
11 Q. "Bunic is in critical condition. ARSK suffered large casualties,
12 Bunic and Colonel Savo ordered to take transport means from this OP.
13 CzechBat soldiers did not want to issue them and ARSK started shooting.
14 Then CzechBat persons in this OP issued," and it says, "1 APC and terrain
15 --" although I'm not sure exactly what that is, "car."
16 Now, Bunic, sir, was a brigade headquarters for the ARSK, wasn't
18 A. I'm sorry, I do not remember each brigade headquarters and I
19 cannot comment on it.
20 Q. Are you familiar with Colonel Savo, the Krajina Serb colonel
21 who's mentioned in this sitrep? Did you know him?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Let us move ahead. And I want to talk to you about another
24 sitrep, 124. That would be D125. Excuse me.
25 Now, if we can look at the -- just wait for the ELMO to load.
1 This is a sitrep of 5 August 1995
2 Czech soldiers died while awaiting Croatian authorisation for
3 evacuation." Did you write that, sir?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. Let us churn to the CzechBat reporting section, and I ask
6 you -- and that's on the next page. And please look at the section under
7 "Military information," and what CzechBat reported in their AOR.
8 Now, there is nothing in that report that reflects your
9 assessment that Czech soldiers died while awaiting Croatian authorisation
10 for evacuation, is there?
11 A. Sorry. About this episode, I'd like to inform that actually, I
12 mean, United Nations UNMO teams, and I do believe at that it must be here
13 in daily sitreps, so practically, you know, soldiers from this particular
14 area, when they were living there, OPs, they came to our location, United
15 Nations UNMOs, and initially, if I remember correctly, so gradually, I
16 mean, our UN UNMOs house, there was several, you know, Czech soldiers.
17 They came to us there more and more initially. And that's why all
18 information regarding their transportation, the status of soldiers, their
19 injuries, and et cetera, et cetera, that was conducted and observed
20 physically by UNMOs on the spot, and we received this information,
21 particularly from UNMOs of this team who give their place for these
23 Q. My question to you, sir, there is nothing in what they reported
24 that reflects that Czech soldiers died while awaiting Croatian
25 authorisation for evacuation, is there?
1 A. That means that --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, if the question is whether there's
3 anything in that report, then I think you could say yes or no. And if
4 Mr. Kehoe is seeking new explanation for the situation, or if you would
5 like to add that, please first answer the question and then we'll see
6 what else we would hear from you.
7 Apart from that, Mr. Kehoe, D125, is for me a --
8 MR. KEHOE: D124.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. I thought you were correcting yourself.
10 At least on the transcript it reads sitrep D124, that is D125, but I now
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes. I --
13 THE WITNESS: Just let me read it if I'm correct, just, please,
14 so on the 5th/7/00, two UN soldiers on OPT23 were seriously wounded (died
15 at 1000) and the bodies are still in T23." So we clearly have indicators
16 in this report about status of two UN soldiers.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Now, sir, when the Czech medical people tried to get up there,
19 the report reflects that their APC was taken by the ARSK, wasn't it?
20 A. I don't remember, you know, all details. You're just asking me
21 about why I just put that soldiers two soldiers. We see the report as
22 well as reports of my UNMOs. About APC whether it was taken or not. I
23 do not remember.
24 Q. Let us go to a video and this is an HTV video from 5 August,
25 1995, 1D100500.
1 [Videotape played]
2 Q. Now, sir this, a video of a conversation with the Czech medical
3 personnel from Sector South headquarters.
4 Start from the beginning.
5 [Videotape played]
6 "Everything happens from this morning
7 "Yeah. We arrived there at half past -- half past 9.00, and
8 then we were -- we were stopped by Serbian side, and they -- so they
9 didn't want to -- to -- to let us through this -- this check-point. They
10 said, 'We have to wait for our commander, our commander.' Their
11 commander wasn't there. So we were -- we were waiting for 20 -- 20
12 minutes. And then some guys, but not commanders, not their commander,
13 said that we can go there but by foot, not by APC, by our APC. And --
15 "Half the guys from Tango 23 will take a middle of the way and
16 we will take another.
17 "Mm-hmm and they will meet [indiscernible].
18 "That's correct. Right.
19 "So those people who were dead they are -- they were from Tango
21 "I'm sorry?
22 "These dead people they were from --
23 "From Tango 23, yeah."
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Now -- now, Mr. Ermolaev, did you discuss what happened at
1 CzechBat with these medical personnel from Sector South headquarters when
2 they returned to Sector South headquarters?
3 A. First of all, I'm not quite sure that they returned to Sector
4 South headquarters and they for sure not. They couldn't have returned
5 because they were from Cern [phoen] battalion. And secondly, well, I
6 answer this question. No, I didn't speak to these people, no.
7 Q. And the time that they -- on the video that they were stopped was
8 9.30. Isn't that what he said?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the time in the CzechBat sitrep is 10.00.
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time I'd like to offer the HTV
13 video into evidence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
15 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D165.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D165 is admitted into evidence.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. Now, changing subjects one more time and then talking to you
22 about a document that you introduced into evidence, which is P97. If we
23 can bring that up.
24 Now, you recall that, sir, your report?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in part of that report was -- were the annexes was P98. If
2 we can move to P98.
3 MR. KEHOE: Can we blow that up just a bit, Madam Registrar?
4 Q. Can you see that document well enough, Mr. Ermolaev, to -- to
5 orient yourself with this?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, sir, this -- these -- these numbers in here, where do these
8 numbers come from, do you know?
9 A. So these numbers come from the report of UNMOs Sector South.
10 Q. And who put this together?
11 A. Well, this signature here of the officer in charge, I think --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, do you know, then please tell us, and
13 do not try to find from signatures who may have --
14 THE WITNESS: No, but the question is so much general who did it
15 I answered UNMO Sector South. Who just put it together, so my
16 headquarters, yes.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. But do you know an individual person who put it together?
19 JUDGE ORIE: If you don't remember, just tell us.
20 THE WITNESS: I just don't remember.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's fine. Please proceed.
22 MR. KEHOE: That's fine, sir. I'm sorry Judge, I didn't mean ...
23 Q. Now, as part of this document you had another annex which was a
24 summary of human rights violations. Do you recall that, sir?
25 MR. KEHOE: And if we can pull up P68 so we can orient the
2 Q. Now, sir, this -- this, I believe you testified, at least the
3 segment of P68 that goes from 7 August 1995 through 4 September 1995 was,
4 I believe, an annex to your report; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, looking at these sitreps, is the information that is
7 contained in P98, the numbers in P98, is that information that was taken
8 from the situation report extracts that we have in P60 -- P68?
9 A. At least to the best what I remember, just a bit different, let
10 me say, directions of reporting. So first of all in this summary which
11 is given here, I mean, we mostly included those information, okay, which
12 we received on daily basis from United Nations military observers on the
13 ground. So practically partially this information could be found in
14 daily sitreps.
15 Returning back to the first annex with the number of figures that
16 you asked me, that was a special table developed --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev --
18 THE WITNESS: All right.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Here again the question was quite simple, whether
20 the numbers, whether the data in this report, whether they are taken from
21 the daily sitreps as Mr. Kehoe said, P60 to P68. What you're now doing
22 you're describing on how these reports were put together, which might be
23 very interesting to know, but is not an answer to the question of
24 Mr. Kehoe.
25 THE WITNESS: Well, okay, if -- well, okay. Well, my answer --
1 well, to me very clear. Maybe, you know, we have different, you know,
2 methods of thinking. I do understand this.
3 So the reports, the basics for this report, there were special
4 taskings of UNMO to filling such format and they did it. According to
5 the format they received and they informed you that somewhere in the
6 middle of August there was a meeting with the taskings that they should
7 collect such information particular for this table and that's why their
8 information, well, they were collecting, would be different would be from
9 the information which was compiled from daily sitreps. So that was a
10 purposeful task, specific task, which we received and they carried it
12 JUDGE ORIE: But still then you said they were collecting the
13 data. Where did they collect them from? Did they collect them to -- did
14 they take them, extract them from the sitreps, or did they have any other
16 THE WITNESS: No. No.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's a clear answer please continue,
18 Mr. Kehoe.
19 THE WITNESS: I wanted to explain it.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. If it didn't come from the sitreps, where did it come from?
22 A. So again we return to the bases, you know, of operations, who is
23 tasking it. So we were staying there before my departure for CTOs, there
24 was conducted a meeting where UNMOs were tasked to start collecting
25 information about each village, each centre, and to check how many people
1 left there, to put it down, and to prepare summary report that we were
2 requested to do, and so such a position, I mean, while they were
3 collecting information by the date they were supposed to present it, so
4 that's why some information according to this format was collected and
5 reported not in realtime, because you know -- I mean, it was difficult.
6 Later on we changed the system. Steinar, he changed a bit, and
7 we -- due to the fact that we did not have sufficient personnel as well
8 as UNCIVPOL, we decided that Knin area and the area around it, all the
9 villages there would be monitored by UN police, because we didn't have
10 too many people, you know, to go everywhere, and everyone was asking, you
11 know, what's going on.
12 So that's why I want to be clear that everything, I mean, was
13 done subsequently the system to ensure that we can cover more and more
14 areas to comply with the decision and orders we received from UN Zagreb.
15 So they were in large adjusted, but for this particular question that you
16 asked me I'm just returning back and want to pinpoint attention to the
17 jury [phoen]. So we had special format worked out together with human
18 rights and civil affairs office.
19 Q. So you're saying sir, and correct me if I'm wrong, because I'd
20 like you to be as precise on this as possible, that the collection of a
21 numbers of houses that were burnt, for instance, the collection of that
22 money, that number in P98 did not come from the sitreps?
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 Q. It did not?
25 A. No, no. I just said what I'm saying. Partially such information
1 is included in sitrep. That's why you cannot, I mean, find identical
2 figures in that annex and in the annex of particular question how many
3 houses were burnt. I want to draw attention of the jury [phoen]. There
4 are two different absolutely purposes. So the purpose of this one to
5 investigate the number of houses being burned down and how many people
6 live there, because ICRC requested it, because food distribution, water,
7 et cetera. So that was another mission.
8 The second one, annex as you asked me, was particularly to
9 summarise that within these taskings new was reported in daily sitrep
10 that high command just not to open daily sitreps again and do it just to
11 combine it together to make it easier for UN UNMOs headquarters Zagreb
12 Q. Now, sir, you are aware that in the P68 that's on the screen, and
13 we can page through this, literally every page has insertions in there of
14 number of houses burnt. You know that?
15 A. As I mentioned, you know, practically maximum information that we
16 had regarding new taskings we received was included here because we don't
17 have any other information to be reported.
18 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, it is, the number of houses
19 that are burnt is included in the situation report that you see before
20 you as P68?
21 MR. RUSSO: Objection, Your Honour. He's been asked this
22 question now twice --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and we have received unclear answers twice as
25 Therefore, let me put it quite simple to you. We have this list
1 with all the numbers in it. Now, you explained to us that those data had
2 been collected at a separate occasion for separate purposes, yes. Now,
3 was the information we find in the sitreps, was that information, as far
4 as burning houses and destruction of houses concerned, was that also
5 considered or was it totally separate and was it total -- totally
6 separate set of data collected? And was that taken into consideration,
7 these sitrep reports about houses burned and destroyed, or was it just a
8 totally separate collection of data?
9 THE WITNESS: So summary of humanitarian violations, okay, from
10 my headquarters. So it was primarily based on daily sitreps of UNMOs
11 from the teams as well as daily sitreps of these headquarters to Zagreb
12 regarding to humanitarian violations.
13 If we see the previous table, so, for example, we have a village
14 which was reported, for example, 20 burning house, they saw, for example,
15 today, it doesn't mean that after they were tasking that such a number
16 was the final one and, for example, they go to this place and the number
17 of people living there, so -- and when they go this message so
18 alongside -- I -- I just repeat again that information is included, what
19 they reported yesterday, but as well there was some additional pinpoint
20 if they needed, if they didn't find or didn't -- there was not sufficient
21 enough or just re-check it, so they did it separately.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, it's still it's rather unclear to me.
23 What I want to know, and it's really a very simple question, were these
24 sitreps among the sources which assisted in compiling that list of
1 THE WITNESS: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Were there other sources apart from the sitreps?
3 THE WITNESS: The sources only additional data received
4 subsequently by UNMOs regarding this or that objective.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So the answer is yes.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: There were other sources. Now, please proceed
8 Mr. Kehoe.
9 THE WITNESS: But I mean only UNMOs. Not --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What you tell us that the additional sources
11 were still UNMOs or also --
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- although not contained in the sitreps.
14 THE WITNESS: Right.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, please proceed.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. And what forms did those other sources take? The information
18 source, what other information source did they take -- what form did they
19 take, excuse me.
20 A. So during this meeting, and on 14th, 15th, before my departure in
21 any case, all UNMOs including those deployed in Croatian side, right? So
22 Steinar put in new order. So -- and for the first time we had UNMOs
23 deployed on that side of former zone of separation. They started
24 participate -- so we redeployed all our forces just to be able to monitor
25 the whole areas. So actually this, let me say, teams were observing
1 according to the new zones of separations or zone of responsibility of
2 each team. So Steinar pointed to team leaders. There are no new areas
3 of responsibilities. And they were supposed to -- to report such data to
5 Q. And these are the same teams that are listed here in P68 on
6 the --
7 A. Yes. That's why we can see -- I mean, Sibenik and other teams in
8 spite of the fact that initially that were not their areas of
9 responsibilities, yes.
10 Q. Sir, go back to P98, these numbers, who ordered that this
11 statistical compilation be put together? Was it the HRAT? Was it UNMO
12 in Zagreb
13 back on the screen.
14 A. I do not remember the date. I do not remember the date.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, could you -- the question was who
16 ordered it. If Mr. Kehoe is interested to know when it was ordered --
17 THE WITNESS: Okay.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then, so if you could first focus on who did it.
19 THE WITNESS: Mm-hmm.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If you know.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If you don't know, tell us.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes. So first of all there was a meeting of civil
24 affairs and Human Rights Watch, and I do believe that there was no
25 Mr. Forand there because that was a new mission of the -- of the sector.
1 I think that he was not present there. So -- and during several meetings
2 we conducted, and according from Zagreb
3 power in leading this process was United Nations Civil Affairs Office,
4 and that's why the recommendation what UNMOs are supposed to do there
5 were elaborated there, and then subsequently I just asked preparations,
6 and when Steinar arrived. So the -- such a work started, yes.
7 MR. KEHOE: If I might have one moment.
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. KEHOE:
10 Q. Now, you note in this that it was --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, would you allow me.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You have now clearly explained that there were
14 meetings and matters changed, et cetera, and that you said you started
15 preparing and then Steinar arrived and then it started. I still do not
16 know who instructed, who gave the order, to make this compilation. I
17 know who prepared it. I know when it started. I know a lot, but not an
18 answer to the question.
19 If you know, please tell us. If you don't know, tell us as well.
20 Or was it a body that ordered it, whatever it was, but ...
21 THE WITNESS: So with the -- with the -- with any activity which
22 we initiate and then implement is ordered by, in such particular case --
23 was authorised, let me say, and -- by UNMO headquarters Zagreb, and -- so
24 we just -- this new functions are discussed, and Steinar was in contact
25 with the chief military observer, and such a taskings, and on the basis
1 how to do it, how to make it in a proper way.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: But the order, the final on the activity of the
4 United Nations military observers is fully authorised and is done by our
5 high command. I mean UNMO Zagreb, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You initiated it. It got the green light. That's
7 from your command. Is that well understood?
8 THE WITNESS: So that the proposals how do we plan it. When we
9 conducted meetings with civil affairs and with Human Rights Watch we
10 prepared our proposals as usual for sure.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
12 MR. KEHOE:
13 Q. Now -- I'm sorry. Now, sir, you noted in this P97 that 13.000 --
14 MR. KEHOE: If I can pull that back up, please, Madam Registrar.
15 That would be P97.
16 Q. You noted in this paragraph 1 that: "As of 13 September 1995
17 out of 18.232 houses and 24 villages and hamlets checked by UNMOs.
18 "More than 13.600 houses have been completely or partially
19 burnt/destroyed after Operation Storm."
20 MR. RUSSO: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'd just like to make a
21 correction. It's actually 240 villages, not 24.
22 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry. I apologise. I apologise. I stand
23 corrected. It's absolutely right. It's 240 villages. I'm getting a
24 little ahead of myself. Thank you.
25 Q. Now, you noted for us during the course of your testimony
1 yesterday that -- and it was yesterday, on page 2323, lines 16 to 18 --
2 excuse me, even starting at 13: "So the role of the UNMOs regarded to,
3 if I properly got it, concerning human rights violations, that was not
4 the proper mission I had there. You must clearly understand, so that is
5 why we had subordinative function. And if and when we found something we
6 reported it to human rights --"
7 Do you recall that, sir?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you participated in nightly meetings with the Human Rights
10 Action Teams on a daily basis, didn't you?
11 A. Not personally myself every day, but there are at initial stage I
12 participated in the first, but then there was our -- and then we attached
13 some people there. I'm not quite sure that all the time, I mean the
14 whole month or whenever, in the evening civil affairs meetings there was
15 an UNMO representative. I'm not quite confident in it.
16 Q. Well, sir, do you remember Mr. Edward Flynn? He was a
17 Prosecution witness here back on April the 11th, 2008, who was a human
18 rights coordinator in Sector South.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And he testified on page 1314 and 1315 as follows, starting on
21 1314, line 24: "Question: At some point your HRAT teams had nightly
22 meetings; is that correct?
23 "Answer: Yes.
24 "Question: As part of those nightly meetings, did
25 representatives of the UNMOs, the UNMOs, attend the meetings?
1 "Answer: Yes.
2 "Question: Do you recall anyone specifically from UNMO who
3 would attend the meetings?
4 "Answer: May I -- excuse me, may I refer to my notes?
5 "Question: Yes.
6 "Answer: Sorry I'm having trouble locating that. All right. I
7 remember Colonel Sethsun [phoen] being quite involved in these meetings
8 and also Colonel Ermolaev."
9 He may have had the rank wrong but Ermolaev. There was only one
10 Ermolaev in Sector South; right?
11 A. No, but -- yeah.
12 Q. Question at line 12 -- actually we can go down to line 16.
13 "Question: Did the UNMOs ever appear at that HRAT evening
14 meeting and tell you that they counted, let's say, 11.000 burnt houses?
15 "Answer: No, not to my recollection.
16 "Question: That number would have been something that you would
17 have remembered; is that correct?
18 "Answer: I think so."
19 Mr. Ermolaev, why when you went to these meetings or why when
20 UNMOs went to these meetings were they not reporting to the Human Rights
21 Action Team coordinator Mr. Flynn the number of houses that were being
23 A. Mm-hmm. So first of all I -- I do believe as him -- forgotten,
24 you know, my rank and proper name, as well as I by the way forgot his.
25 So we can see here a fact from UNMO HQ Zagreb side by me personally, and
1 you can see an information HRAT SS, PAO SS, UNCIVPOL SS, I do not how can
2 I confirm that I inform them.
3 That means that they are immediately all adversat [phoen] which
4 are here that they receive such a report. Thank you.
5 Q. So is it your testimony here that you, in fact, advised Mr. Flynn
6 and the HRAT teams of the number of houses that you -- that the UNMOs
7 counted as being burnt and destroyed? You informed him of that?
8 A. Yeah. We -- we see according to this paper which was, you know,
9 we can see here that it was addressed to him. So I'm a little bit, you
10 know, taken aback by hearing it.
11 Q. Well, let me turn to line 23 in the testimony of -- again on page
12 1315 of Mr. Flynn.
13 "I know that the UNMOs were conducting a survey, and I know that
14 their numbers were high. Again, as I say, when I refer to my own
15 estimate my extent is to be on the conservative side. I don't recall,
16 though, any discussions with regard to those numbers while I was there,
17 those kinds of numbers."
18 A. Mm-hmm. No one could discuss those numbers till the entire final
19 report was ready and because no one had any idea about the picture of
20 what was going on in Sector South till the date when it was combined by
21 officer in charge and issued.
22 Secondly, Mr. Flynn, and we closely cooperated with him, was
23 actively involved in his field activity. He has his deputies, Maria
24 Teresa, whatever. We travelled with her as well a lot. So it might be
25 there with there some chain of command, but it's strange to me to hear
2 Q. Well, sir, let us continue on on 1316.
3 Question line 3: "Let's discuss what you would discuss at an
4 HRAT meeting at which UNMOs were present and if they counted 11.000 homes
5 would that not be something that would be discussed at the evening
6 meeting of HRAT?
7 "Answer: Yes."
8 A. Mm-hmm.
9 Q. "Question: So you're telling us at least through your time
10 which is I believe you said through the 16th of September," by the way
11 your report is the 13th of September, "no UNMO came to a meeting and said
12 we've counted 11.000 burnt houses?
13 "Answer: I only recall and I only reported on the sightings
14 that have been made yet -- that day, and I don't recall that we discussed
15 any information as you've described."
16 Now --
17 A. What's this? I just cannot understand what --
18 Q. That is the testimony of Mr. Flynn.
19 A. Ah, okay. Mm-hmm.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Flynn was the person to whom you were supposed to be
21 providing human rights information, isn't it?
22 A. Let me explain to you with Mr. Flynn. It's a very good question
23 you raised.
24 Human rights team was mostly at least at this stage till 15th
25 August when I was there, because then actually, you know, Steinar visited
1 this meetings and I had no connections with him, I mean, direct
2 connections with him. So that's why I cannot comment whether Steinar
3 reported to him about or not. But returning back to person to whom we
4 were supposed to be providing human rights information, so the chain of
5 command and no one disclosed such chain of command as to report to UNMO
6 headquarters Zagreb
7 Secondly, we -- you can see here that such a report is addressed
8 to my commander, chief military observer, and information number one to
9 chief civil affairs Sector South.
10 So the chain of command was the same, but here with the
11 information on the ground primarily he has only one car, and the only
12 place where Mr. Flynn went to -- Flynn, when there was some reports about
13 some killings or some episodes in cemetery and he spent there days, days,
14 and weeks, and we put in line just expecting him to visit any other area
15 where he was supposed to investigate. And he could not and never was
16 interested in other operational activities of UNMOs or battalions because
17 he was mostly concentrated on his main mission to conduct in-depth
18 evaluation of these cases.
19 Q. Well, Mr. Ermolaev, let's move to another topic. The -- let me
20 turn our attention to -- back to P111.
21 Now -- I'm sorry. P111 is a situation report from 7 August 1995
22 and if we can turn our -- it doesn't have a pagination to it, but I do
23 believe it is page 4 of this document. And if we go to the Jordbat AOR
24 and just blow that up it notes there on the 07 -- "The 7th of August HV
25 troops enter Uzelac with the grid number and then headed to Nablisi --
1 Nabulsi," excuse me, "with the same grid reference comment. HV troops
2 are moving to the Bosnian border." Is that your comment, sir?
3 A. No, no, no, no. I never touched, you know, with my hands reports
4 by battalions, no.
5 Q. Well, HV troops as of the 7th were in fact moving into Bosnia
6 weren't they?
7 A. I don't remember.
8 Q. You don't recall. Well, let's go to -- how many pages up. We go
9 one, two, three -- four pages up, and it should be R1059163 is the ERN
10 number. It should be part of the same report. Can we just go four and
11 five pages up with the "Not be guaranteed," line at the top? It should
12 be the next page.
13 Okay. I'm sorry. Can you just ...
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, excuse me.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Yes. It seems to be page 8 of the document which
18 was just on the screen.
19 MR. KEHOE: It is.
20 MR. TIEGER: Which is -- and ends with the ERN 9578 it appears.
21 MR. KEHOE: I have a different ERN number on that. Thank you
22 very much, Counsel.
23 Q. Now, on the top there it notes that: Sector South delegation, do
24 you see that, "was told military and civil police took over control of
25 Knin and that the last two brigades had left Knin on 6 August." Was that
1 consistent with the information that you were receiving?
2 A. Well, it's according to this one. So it is clear that Sector
3 South delegation was told, so -- I mean. So it's clear, I mean, for me
4 that information received, not confirmed. Yes.
5 Q. Now, without going through all these situation reports, over the
6 next several weeks from the 6th and 7th of August, your UNMOs were
7 tracking troop movements by the HV, weren't you? It might be quicker
8 just to show you something. Let me show you P120, and we'll go to the
9 first page of P120.
10 A. You mean that -- you suggest that UNMOs were tracking Croatian
11 troops' movements or what?
12 Q. Yes?
13 A. By saying that. No.
14 Q. They were not?
15 A. No, absolutely.
16 Q. Okay, well let's go to this particular sheet, and I believe that
17 P120 at the first page, this is in your highlights that you wrote. You
18 see "Jordbat reported troop movements into Bosnia." If we go to the next
19 page under -- the next page of that document under -- that's the -- next
20 page under that document. If we could just about under little (a )which
21 is UNMO headquarter patrol reported. We can read that. That reflects,
22 for instance, in the second paragraph, a convoy of 15 military trucks
23 with approximately 300 soldiers heading north.
24 If we move down two paragraphs: "Ambulances four time minor HV
25 vehicles with approximately 200 soldiers heading north probably towards
2 Let's go to P122.
3 MR. KEHOE: And, Your Honour, trust me I won't go through all of
4 these. They'll speak for themselves. I'm just clarifying for --
5 adjusting the witness. I can certainly go through them all.
6 Q. P122 SMO assessment at the bottom of that page. This is 17 of
7 August, 1995
8 the eastern part of the sector indicates possible offensive towards the
9 general area of Drvar with the grid reference. Most likely this is part
10 of a larger operation."
11 Now, where is Drvar, sir?
12 A. You see, I would not like to comment on SMO's assessment Colonel
13 Steinar and what he put down here and conclusions he did.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, Mr. Kehoe has drawn our attention and
15 to some extent your attention as well to what's written in sitreps. He
16 has not put any further question in relation to that. The simple
17 question he now puts to you, "Where is Drvar?" If you could tell us
18 where it is.
19 THE WITNESS: Yeah I cannot recollect exactly all the cities, you
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. Well let me help you, sir. Isn't Drvar in Bosnia?
24 A. Well, I think that I answered so far that I can recollect now at
25 this stage and today.
1 Q. Now, I can go through more sitreps and cite them to you, sir, but
2 I really don't have the time. Is it your testimony to this Chamber that
3 the -- that the UNMOs were not tracking HV troop movements throughout
4 August into September?
5 A. So let's just return back to a question because you changed it.
6 Q. I'm asking this question. I asked the question and you can just
7 read it from the screen or I can repeat it.
8 A. You changed it. Your first question was --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, you asked a similar question, then you --
10 not exactly the same, then you put a lot of examples where apparently you
11 find there was at least observation of troop movements, and then you put
12 a question slightly differently phrased. The witness is not invited to
13 at length comment on what the differences are, but the witness may draw
14 our attention to the difference in the language you used and may also
15 answer now this question, and if it's in every -- in any respect
16 different from the previous question he may, although very briefly,
17 explain where the differences are, not the full background of the
18 differences. Please proceed.
19 THE WITNESS: Okay. Sorry. Two sentences. So my answer is that
20 the new taskings to ensure monitoring of the situation with humanitarian
21 situation in the terrain, that was the new taskings to UNMOs, but no one
22 can sold the main taskings of military observers in Knin or any other
23 place, not to monitor military situation on the ground, because that's
24 why they are called by the United Nations Security Council as United
25 Nations Military Observer to observe military situation and that's why
1 humanitarian taskings was a brand new for us. We were not trained to do
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. Sir, your testimony on -- yesterday on page 2291, you testified
5 at line 15: "That was the primary mission of these negotiations, because
6 we clearly understood that mandate we had terminated."
7 And -- excuse me.
8 A. Mm-hmm.
9 Q. The only mandate you had at that point was to examine or surveil
10 for human rights violations pursuant to the Sarinic-Akashi agreement.
11 Isn't that right?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Well --
14 A. Absolutely -- absolutely incorrect. And allow just United
15 Nations structure of command to decide what to do and how to do. This is
16 not our -- your and my area of responsibilities, what taskings should be
17 tasked to the United Nations personnel.
18 Q. Well, sir, if you said in your testimony yesterday that your
19 mandate had terminated.
20 A. So I can specify that the mandate to monitor zone of separation
21 was physically finished because of events that took place, by saying that
22 I mentioned zone of separation, just to be specific. Thank you.
23 Q. Let us pull up D28.
24 JUDGE ORIE: While waiting, you've still got five minutes,
25 Mr. Kehoe.
1 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
2 Q. Sir, I want you to look at this. This is the Sarinic-Akashi
3 agreement that was signed on 6th August, 1995, which refers to the
4 continuing activities of the UN in what was -- in Sector South and Sector
5 North. There is nothing in this agreement that allows UNMOs to monitor
6 military movements of HV personnel and equipment, does it?
7 A. This --
8 Q. And I can go to page 2 and read that as well.
9 A. This we can see as addition to the mandate because UNCRO mandate
10 no one cancelled. So that's why this in addition to the basic mandate
11 for UNCRO activities in the area, yes.
12 Q. So your testimony is that your mandate continued and then you got
13 human rights violations examination on top of that, right?
14 A. Wait a second. So we officially reported to the United Nations
15 command. General Forand reported to UNCRO command Zagreb, as well as I
16 reported through my chain of command, that we do consider that the
17 presence of battalions of UNMOs in new surroundings and et cetera. So
18 but we didn't officially receive any command from high command that we
19 should stop our activity with its mandate which was signed by President
20 Tudjman. That's very simple. If I got -- if I had got such an record,
21 Terminate your activity and go home, I would have immediately withdrawn
22 my UNMOs. Thank you.
23 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
25 Mr. Russo, any need to re-examine the witness?
1 MR. RUSSO: Just a few brief questions if I could, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You could.
3 MR. RUSSO: Thank you. Madam Registrar could we please pull up
4 Exhibit P147.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Russo:
6 Q. And if we could please turn to page 7 of that document. I'm
7 sorry, page 6. And if we could enlarge the top portion. Thank you.
8 Mr. Ermolaev, you were asked questions with regard to this
9 document, specifically questions regarding the passage which appears on
10 the preceding page about the operational responsibility of General
11 Cermak -- I'm sorry, the non-operational responsibility of General
12 Cermak. I'd like to direct your attention to where it indicates at
13 number 2: "As per the order of the Ministry of Defence, only the
14 Generals Gotovina and Cermak can deal with the international
15 organisations directly. All other official contacts have to pass through
16 CALOs. Therefore it is not necessary for the international organisations
17 to have the list of the names of the responsible and/or commanding
18 officers of the Croatian army."
19 Can you please explain to the Court, was there some effort on
20 behalf of the UNMOs to determine who was responsible for doing what in
21 Sector South?
22 A. Well, actually I never ask such a question, because from the very
23 beginning, from my first meeting with Cermak and information as stated
24 here, so to me, I mean, the main person who was -- whom we were dealing
25 with and on all matters in Sector South, not only in Knin that fishing
1 plant was opened, but about all situation in Knin, and we saw things
2 everywhere which clearly confirm that he was in charge of at least all
3 answers and all activities were done officially through Cermak, yes.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. If we could please now bring up document D50.
5 Mr. Ermolaev, if you will recall you were shown this document on
6 cross-examination by I believe it was Mr. Cayley and this is document
7 request from the Ministry of the Interior requesting to collect
8 information on crimes which were occurring in Sector South. I'd like to
9 ask you, did the Ministry of Interior ever contact you or other UNMOs to
10 ask for the information which you were collecting at the time?
11 A. Never we were asked to present the first one when we were asked
12 that was letter by General Cermak where he wrote that he doesn't know
13 anything about such activities in the area of his responsibilities.
14 So -- and repeatedly we asked, I mean, ourselves, I mean, whom we should
15 address such questions if, for example, there are Serbs population found
16 in some village. So who would take care of them? Who would provide them
17 with food, with water.
18 So partially UNMOs, as much as we could, we delivered it. We
19 received rations from ICRC, delivered it to villages. Later on we
20 started when United Nations CIVPOL gradually took over and later on as I
21 already witnessed they started some joining operations of civilian
22 police, with Croatian police, but that took place later on, I mean, in
23 September, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Did the Croatian police ever seek to interview any of
25 your UNMOs with regard to the observations regarding any of the crimes
1 that they reported?
2 A. Well, I do not remember a case when they didn't interview with,
3 and particularly, I mean, in such sensitive issues when UNMOs or
4 international community, for example, German TV, when they were coming
5 and, you know, seeing such violation of human rights, particularly
6 burning of houses and et cetera, so immediately they were merely attacked
7 rudely and physically by representatives of Croatian police, or if it was
8 a mixed patrol. So depending on the place where they were also. I can
9 say at least till the time I was there. I cannot say that -- for sure
10 there were some places, and I want to make it clear where we didn't
11 experience absolutely problems with, you know, Croatian police, yes. But
12 there -- but in general, what I remember, so every day such reports were
14 Q. I think you may have misunderstood my question --
15 A. Oh, sorry.
16 Q. -- Mr. Ermolaev. What I was attempting to find out is whether or
17 not the Croatian police in conducting an investigation into any of the
18 crimes which had been reported by your UNMOs, if they interviewed your
19 UNMOs as witnesses to those crimes, as part of a Croatian police
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour I think there is a lack of
22 foundation here. I think there has to be an establishment first that the
23 UNMOs reported these directly to the Croatian police. It's my
24 understanding that they went straight up the chain of command to Zagreb
25 and that Zagreb
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well --
2 THE WITNESS: So they were two --
3 JUDGE ORIE: One second. One second. Yes. The lack of
4 foundation would be only the reporting by the UNMOs, but the question,
5 therefore, is now, Mr. Ermolaev, whether your UNMOs were ever interviewed
6 by the Croatian police directly on events, including violations of human
7 rights that were reported as witnesses of those events. Did the Croatian
8 police ever come and say, "We'd like to interview Mr. A, Mr. B," or,
9 "Please try to find out who witnessed it so that we can interview him"?
10 THE WITNESS: No. Well, at least as I remember, no.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
12 THE WITNESS: That was misunderstood, sorry.
13 MR. RUSSO: Madam Registrar if we can please pull up document
14 number P63.
15 Q. Mr. Ermolaev, you were asked a number of questions regarding who
16 ordered the turning of survey regarding the burned houses and individuals
17 left behind. I will ask you please to take a look at this document,
18 first of all tell me if you recall ever seeing this document before.
19 We'll start there.
20 A. I can't recall this document, yes.
21 Q. Okay. Looking at the date of the document, 17th August 1995, can
22 you tell us who was the SMO at that time?
23 A. Colonel Steinar.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. RUSSO: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Russo.
2 Has the re-examination triggered any need for further questions?
3 MR. KEHOE: No, Your Honour.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ermolaev, the Bench has no further questions for
6 you. This means that this concludes your testimony. We'd like to thank
7 you very much for coming and for your answers to the questions of the
8 parties and of the Bench, and the Chamber wishes you not only a safe trip
9 home again but also a timely trip home again so that you'll be in time to
10 attend the celebration.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, could you please escort the witness out
13 of the courtroom.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, I think we have dealt with all the
16 exhibits, so there's no need -- we have no open MFIs for this witness.
17 Is there any procedural matter, any other procedural matter we have to
18 address at this very moment? If not, we stand adjourned until Thursday,
19 the 1st of May, 9.00 in the morning.
20 Madam Registrar, is that the same courtroom? The same courtroom.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.40 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st day
24 of May, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.