1 Tuesday, 20 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Mr. Russo, are you ready to continue your examination-in-chief.
12 MR. RUSSO: I am, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then the usher is already trying to find the witness
14 to escort him to the courtroom.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Tchernetsky.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by
19 the solemn declaration that you gave yesterday at the beginning of your
21 Mr. Russo will now continue his examination.
22 Pease proceed, Mr. Russo.
23 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 WITNESS: ALEXANDER TCHERNETSKY [Resumed]
25 Examination by Mr. Russo: [Continued]
1 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, we left off yesterday at a discussion or
2 attempting to start a discussion about the shelling in the Cetina area in
3 July of 1995. Do you recall those incidents?
4 A. I do.
5 MR. RUSSO: If I could ask, Mr. Registrar, to please pull up
6 65 ter number 4938.
7 Q. While that is being pulled up, Mr. Tchernetsky, I'll tell you
8 that we've tried to enlarge portions of the map which was admitted
9 yesterday. That was Exhibit P206.
10 MR. RUSSO: That was Exhibit P206, if we could maybe make that a
11 bigger. If I could ask for the assistance of the court usher.
12 Q. I would like to have you, please, circle the area which you
13 indicated in your witness statement that was being shelled in July of
15 A. It was this area.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, I would like it tender this exhibit.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No further markings to be made on this section.
19 MR. RUSSO: No, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: No objections, may I take it.
21 MR. KEHOE: No objection.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 Mr. Registrar, that would be?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P207, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is part of a map marked by the witness,
1 and is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, can you please explain to the Court what the
4 Operation Harvest was and how it came about?
5 A. From time to time, there was shelling of the Cetina area,
6 particularly when the harvesting began, when the season began. The
7 Serbian leadership, the Serbian authorities, approached the HQ of the
8 UNPROFOR, protesting against the shelling and asking for assistance in
9 preventing further shelling, because it didn't allow peasants to harvest.
10 As soon as the machinery came out into the field, shelling began
11 from the side of Bosnia. In order for peasants to be able to harvest, we
12 organised a joint operation; that is, joint between monitors from the
13 Sector South and the civilian police of the UN.
14 How did we do this? On a daily basis, we allocated one patrol in
15 a vehicle that bore a flag visibly, and this patrol helped people
16 harvest. We monitored any appearance of weaponry, including tanks, from
17 the Bosnian side; but while we were there, there was no shelling. One
18 patrol would work until lunch-time; and after lunch-time, it would be the
19 civilian UN police. We rotated. This operation lasted for a week, maybe
20 a little longer.
21 Q. Thank you for that. Prior to the time that you began this
22 mission, had you been to the Cetina valley area before?
23 A. Yes. That area was in our area of responsibility, and we
24 regularly patrolled it.
25 Q. Can you tell the Court whether or not you or your UNMO teams ever
1 experienced restriction of movement patrolling in the Cetina area?
2 A. No. In the area of the Cetina, the Serbian authorities did not
3 put up any obstacles to our work.
4 Q. And can you please give the Court an idea of what the Cetina
5 valley looks like. How big is the area that was being shelled?
6 A. Well, this valley could have been two or three kilometres in
7 length, and houses were laid out on both sides; in fact, three sides,
8 west, north, and east. And in the centre, there was a large field.
9 As for dimensions, as far as I know, before Operation Storm,
10 there were about 1500 people living in the area.
11 Q. Then are you able to tell the Court whether or not this area was
12 predominantly Serb or predominantly Croat?
13 A. There were only Serbs.
14 Q. And can you tell the Court exactly what was being shelled. Where
15 did you find evidence of shelling?
16 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Your Honour. The question what was being
17 shelled, as opposed what's the evidence of the shelling. So those are
18 two different issues. I assume he wasn't there when the shelling took
19 place, so he doesn't what was being shelled. If he is talking about
20 evidence, that is a different question.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, if you take it step by step, what was
22 shelled and then on what evidence, or what evidence the witness may have
23 found which led him to the conclusion that that area was shelled.
24 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, if I may, my only footnote to that is
25 that, I think, the witness stated he wasn't there when any shelling took
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Sometimes you find evidence even if you are
3 not there --
4 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping Speakers] ... no. I understand, Judge.
5 In fact, that was the second part of my question prior to that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
7 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, can you tell the Court if you ever saw any
9 evidence of shelling in the Cetina valley?
10 A. Yes. I did observe aftermath of shelling in Cetina valley; and
11 at least two times, I personally went out into the field to investigate.
12 Q. Can you please explain to the Court what exactly what it is you
13 saw that lead you to believe that shelling had occurred?
14 A. We went out on assignment by the HQ of the sector, to investigate
15 after instances of shelling. We observed the craters, we found traces of
16 shrapnel, and we observed traces of shrapnel on houses and on cars.
17 Q. Can you tell the Court whether or not, during any of the times
18 you went to the Cetina valley, if there were any ARSK weapons deployed in
19 the area?
20 A. In the area that I indicated on the map, not a single of our
21 patrols found any weaponry or artillery.
22 Q. Can you tell the Court whether or not there were any ARSK troop
23 positions in the areas that were being shelled?
24 A. For the entire duration of my field missions into that area, I
25 only once saw a soldier who said he was on leave in the area of Cetina.
1 He was unarmed.
2 Q. Can you tell the Court whether, during your patrols or the
3 patrols of your UNMO team, you found anything of military significance in
4 the Cetina valley?
5 A. In the area that I indicated, there was no weaponry, artillery,
6 or ordnance, or troops. The closest weaponry was several kilometres away
7 in the area of Kijevo, and further on, closer to the confrontation line,
8 to the south of Cetina, maybe six or eight kilometres.
9 Q. And, Mr. Tchernetsky, you just mentioned the name of a place
10 called "Kijevo." If you could please look at your screen, there is a
11 Kijevo indicated to the top left side.
12 Is that the place that you're talking about? You don't have to
13 circle it. I'm just asking if that's it.
14 A. It's here. It's to the west, north-west of Cetina several
15 kilometres away.
16 Q. Can you tell the Court what exactly was there at Kijevo?
17 A. I don't remember exactly; but in the area of Kijevo, as far as I
18 remember, we saw a piece of artillery, a rocket launcher in position.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Tchernetsky, if the ARSK had fired from the area of your
20 team's responsibility into an area controlled by the HV or by other Croat
21 forces, is that something that your UNMO team would have been tasked to
23 A. That would depend on the area targeted because the sector was
24 divided into areas of responsibilities among various groups of UNMO
25 monitors. And on the Croatian side, we also had two of our groups, one
1 in Sinj and one in Sibenik. If a territory was targeted that was in
2 their area of responsibility, it was their job to investigate. But if
3 the shelling was from the Serbian side by Serbian artillery, in our area
4 of responsibility, then it was our job to investigate, to find out where
5 exactly the shelling came from.
6 Q. Can you tell the Court whether or not you were ever tasked to
7 investigate shelling by the ARSK in the Cetina valley?
8 A. I'm sorry. I didn't understand the question. Do you mean that
9 the area of Cetina was being targeted by ARSK, by the Army of the
10 Republic of Serbian Krajina.
11 Q. No, I'm sorry. I think you misunderstood my question. What I
12 was asking is if you had ever been tasked to investigate shelling by the
13 ARSK coming from the Cetina valley, firing across into Bosnia?
14 A. No, at least not while I was on mission among the UNMOs. We did
15 not get any such assignments from the headquarters.
16 Q. I think my question was a little more specific than I should have
17 asked. Did you or your UNMO team ever investigate any shelling by the
18 ARSK, coming from the Cetina valley to any other area.
19 A. To the best of my knowledge, and I was an ordinary monitor at the
20 time, there were no such investigations, at least not by our group of
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'm going to move to
24 another topic. I don't know whether or not you wanted to ask any
25 questions on this.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I have no further questions.
2 MR. RUSSO: Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, I'd like to move now to a discussion of the
4 events in the area of Strmica prior to Operation Storm. I believe you
5 discussed this in your first witness statement. That would be P204 at
6 page 2, paragraph 4. In that paragraph, you indicated you had gone quite
7 often to the area of Strmica to investigate cases of artillery fire by
8 the Croatian side.
9 Can you please tell the Court approximately how many times you
10 went to Strmica to investigate the area being shelled?
11 A. To investigate shelling, I went there at least twice.
12 Q. And, again, if you could, for the benefit of the Court, explain
13 what evidence you found, if any, that shelling had occurred in that area.
14 A. Again, we found craters from explosions of shells. We found
15 partially destroyed buildings, destroyed by shelling, with traces of
17 Q. Can you tell the Court what kinds of things were affected or hit
18 by this kind of shrapnel?
19 A. Residential houses were damaged; and in the course of one
20 investigation, I personally noticed there were --
21 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, sir. None of this information about what
22 was hit and houses, et cetera, concerning Strmica is anywhere in any the
23 statements or proofing notes, nothing.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
25 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, his witness statement indicates that the
1 area of Strmica was shelled, and that there were no military positions.
2 I don't think it is a stretch to ask the witness what exactly was hit by
3 the shells.
4 MR. KEHOE: Well, Your Honour, there are roads going through
5 Strmica, there are other facilities going Strmica. There is nothing in
6 any of these that beg the question that counsel just asked, that civilian
7 houses in some fashion was hit, or, better still, that this witness had
8 been any crater analysis while he was there. There is nothing in that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No military purpose. The question was quite open.
10 What kind of things. There could have been roads. So I think this is a
11 type of clarification Mr. Russo is entitled to ask. And if that causes
12 any problems in cross-examination of the witness, we'll first hear his
13 answers, then you may apply for further time.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
15 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Tchernetsky. It seems that you may have been cut
17 off in the middle of an answer. I will ask you again to explain what
18 kind of things were affected by the shelling.
19 A. We knew that there had been shelling because we could observe
20 craters from exploded shells. We could see residential houses,
21 buildings, and a school building damaged by shrapnel.
22 Q. And did your UNMO team ever experience any restriction of
23 movement prior to Operation Storm in the area of Strmica?
24 A. No. The thing is that, in Strmica, there were positions of the
25 Knin Battalion of the UNPROFOR on the edge of the area. It was the
1 Kenyan Battalion, and neither we nor the troops of the UNPROFOR had any
2 difficulty moving around the area. Our group of UNMOs regularly
3 controlled that area, and would send out patrols on a daily base.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, in your witness statement, you discuss a
5 specific incident of shelling in Strmica for which you were personally
6 present, along with others. I would like to you please explain to the
7 Court the circumstances of what happened on that day.
8 A. It was in the end of July. We received an assignment from the
9 Sector HQ to investigate shelling that had occurred during the night,
10 targeting the residential area of Strmica. This investigation was
11 performed at the request of the ARSK command, and with cooperation of the
12 military units of the army of RSK. We sent out two vehicles to Strmica;
13 and before we reached the positions of the Kenyan Battalion, because,
14 first of all, we wanted to hear their testimony about this since they had
15 been in position at the time, shelling started against.
16 It was a massive rocket and artillery attack. It was an
17 artillery barrage from guns and mortars. We were forced to turn back,
18 trying to exit the area targeted by artillery fire; but since shells
19 started falling very close, we abandoned our vehicles and hid behind one
20 of the houses nearby. The shelling continued for rather a long time as
21 we were hiding in the basement of that house. As soon as it stopped a
22 little, we reached our vehicles, trying to keep under cover and left
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. RUSSO: Mr. Registrar, if we could please pull up 65
1 ter 4936.
2 Q. While that is pulling up Mr. Tchernetsky, I'll -- I'm going to
3 tell you that is an aerial image of the area of Strmica, and I'm going to
4 ask you to take a look at it and to please, if you're able, circle the
5 areas which were being shelled on the day that you -- that you just
6 testified about.
7 A. The shelling started when we were approximately here in this
8 area. The first shells fell approximately here, to the west of the
9 positions of the Kenyan Battalion.
10 Then, a bit to the south -- you can remove this.
11 All right. Then to the south, we were either here or here when
12 we abandoned the vehicles and went downstairs into that basement. The
13 shelling covered all this territory, like this.
14 Q. And, Mr. Tchernetsky, you indicated "here and here," where you
15 may have abandoned the vehicles. Can I ask you to place an X at both of
16 those spots where you believe you may have abandoned your vehicle?
17 A. I cannot remember precisely, but it was roughly here.
18 Q. And if you could, please, place a circle around the area where
19 the KenBat position was.
20 A. The Kenyan Battalion was here.
21 Q. And if could you please label that small circle you just made
22 with a "UN."
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I would like to tender this as an
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now we have a map with a lot of circles and ovals.
3 Let's try to see. I see that the witness testimony was that he was
4 approximately at the place where he added "UN" to the map, when he first,
5 I think, experienced shelling. He then indicated that to the west of
6 that position, with the not-perfect circle, the highest, was what the
7 area where the shelling --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first shells, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Yes, I'm just
10 putting it on the record. That's where the first shells were.
11 Then the circle further down within the oval shape was where
12 subsequently the shells fell. Where we found a cross or an X, that's
13 where the witness said he abandoned his vehicle, but he earlier indicated
14 that it could have been also at the dot just north of that. And,
15 finally, the witness indicated that in the whole area surrounded by an
16 oval shape, that's where the shelling took place.
17 Finally, the very small circle, UN, is where the KenBat was
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And then a number should be assigned, Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this becomes Exhibit P208.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No objections? I see here no objection. P208 is
24 admitted into evidence.
25 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, can you please tell Court whether during any of
2 your previous investigations to the Strmica area or during the time that
3 you experienced the shelling if there were any ARSK weapons in that area?
4 A. Not in the Strmica area. We came across armaments and military
5 units, those of the ARSK. They were to the south, a great deal to the
7 Q. Were there any ARSK troop positions or camps in that area of
8 Strmica that was shelled?
9 A. We did not investigate the area that was shelled, so I can't
10 really say.
11 Q. I'm asking in specific about the areas that you have just
12 indicated where shells fell.
13 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, that's what he just answered.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see whether the witness understood the last
16 Did you investigate the areas you just circled, or do you say,
17 "No, I've got no knowledge of any ARSK"? I think it was troops or
18 positions there.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I said that in
20 Strmica, in the residential neighbourhood of Strmica, we did not see any
21 military units or armaments of the ARSK. And after the shelling, we did
22 not investigate the areas that were to the west that provided support
23 during the shelling.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Mr. Russo.
1 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, the -- I believe you indicate that there were
3 areas that were to the west that provided support during the shelling.
4 What areas are you referring to? Are the areas to the west located on
5 the image that you see before you here?
6 A. Yes. What I said was that the areas that were subjected to
7 shelling, that were targeted, we did not investigate that area. We did
8 not visit that area.
9 As for Strmica itself, in the residential area, there were
10 neither military units nor weaponry of the ARSK.
11 Q. And I'm now confused by your answer. You're saying - and correct
12 me if I'm wrong - the areas that you circled on this map were areas that
13 were shelled while you were there. Is that right?
14 A. Yes, yes, yes.
15 Q. And are those the residential areas which you did not
17 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, that is not what the witness said.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No. There is quite a lot of confusion about the
19 answers of the witness, so Mr. Russo is perfectly entitled to seek
21 Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
22 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. The areas that you have circled, are those the residential areas
24 which you did not investigate?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, it seems that you and your questions are adding
1 to the confusion.
2 MR. RUSSO: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I think I asked the question
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tchernetsky, you have put two circles and an
5 oval on that map. That's where you said the shells fell. Are those the
6 residential areas you mentioned or not?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not claiming that those were
8 residential areas. We saw explosions in that area; but as for what was
9 located there, I really couldn't tell you anything about that. We did
10 not investigate the impact, the results of the shelling of that
11 particular shelling because we eye-witnessed that shelling, and we simply
12 went back to the headquarters and reported about very intense shelling of
13 the Strmica area with rocket artillery.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One second, please.
15 Yes, that's clear now. In the very beginning of your answer,
16 when you said it was in the end of July, you said you received an
17 assignment from the sector headquarters to investigate shelling that had
18 occurred during the night, targeting the residential area of Strmica.
19 When you went there, did you find out what was the residential
20 area which caused you to be assigned to investigate?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were sent to the area to the
22 north of Strmica. By your leave, I will show it, I will indicate it. We
23 were sent to this area here, to this area; but we didn't reach that area
24 because another shelling started. I'm showing now the area.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The area that we had been sent to
2 look into, it's to the north of Strmica.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's the area you never reached. Is that well
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please mark that and put an R.
7 Mr. Usher, could you perhaps assist the witness.
8 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There we have an R.
10 Now, you said, in one of your other answers, you said: "I said
11 that in Strmica, in the residential neighbourhood of Strmica, we did not
12 see any military units or armaments of the ARSK."
13 What area did you have in mind when you gave that answer, this
14 same area or another area?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Strmica area is a
16 settlement, a populated area, that stretches down the road. If I can
17 show that on the map, this is the Strmica area. And to us, Strmica was
18 this whole area.
19 Earlier, we had investigations in that area when there were
20 incidents of shelling, and we found there craters and houses damaged by
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you said in that area, you did -- this is
23 the larger area. Could you please put an R and a 2 to that area you just
25 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now you said you did not see any military units or
2 armaments of the ARSK. Were you referring to your earlier
3 investigations, or were you referring to the day you just described when
4 you arrived to investigate?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both during earlier investigations
6 and on the day we arrived to investigate that particular shelling and
7 were shelled ourselves. In this area, that I just circled and marked
8 with R2, we did not see any armed military units of the RSK there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. That answer appears, again, on page 13,
10 line 20. I take it that is correct. Yes.
11 Mr. Russo, since the map was presented by you and it just adds to
12 what the witness earlier said, I suggest that you tender this into
14 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honour, I will do that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Any objections? No Objections.
16 Mr. Registrar, this map, again marked by the witness with
17 different markings, would be?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P209, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P209 is admitted into evidence.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm going to move now to
22 another topic. I assume the Court has satisfied itself.
23 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, I'd lake to now discuss your discovery or a
24 discovery of two bodies in a house in Knin on or about the 12th of
25 August. You discussed this in your statement -- your first statement.
1 That is P204 at page 4 the second paragraph.
2 Do you recall this incident?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Can you please explain to the Court the circumstances of how
5 those bodies were discovered?
6 A. The owner of the house where our office was located and where
7 UNMOs lived asked us to go and check the neighbouring house, which was
8 right next door. It was an abandoned house. Because as she was passing
9 by, she felt she sensed this stench. She used to know the tenants of
10 that house, and she asked us to go in and check about -- to check what
11 had caused this stench.
12 Together with the Polish observer, I don't remember his name but
13 he was a member of our team, we entered the house and we found there two
14 corpses: One was in one room, sitting in an arm chair, shot, because we
15 saw blood traces, shot in the head. The other corpse was located in the
16 room next door, lying next to an open window. There was a terrible
17 stench in the house. Corpses had been lying there for quite sometime,
18 started decomposing. It was quite hot at the time.
19 We came out of the house, following which I went to the
20 headquarters and reported about the incident to our leaders. I was
21 ordered to turn that incident over to the civilian police of the United
22 Nations because that fell under the jurisdiction the military police of
23 the UN, which was located in the same camp, and I reported this to them
24 as well. After that, I went to patrol.
25 As for what happened afterwards, my colleagues told me about it.
1 The civilian police of the UN arrived, and then Croatian civilian police
2 arrived to the site. They entered the house, following which the bodies
3 were removed, and that's the whole story.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, in your second statement - that's P205 - at
5 paragraph 17, you discuss attempts that you made to assist the relative
6 of these diseased to obtain some evidence of their death. Can you please
7 explain to the Court the efforts that you made in that regard?
8 A. One of those who were killed was quite a wealthy person. His
9 family, who had left the area during Operation Storm and fled to
10 Belgrade, did not have any money left. They contacted me through some
11 relatives, asking me to obtain some kind of evidence in order to declare
12 the fact that this person had died and, thus, proceed with the
14 At that time, I was already a member of a different mission,
15 since our mission was -- initial mission was terminated. I was on leave
16 and I went to Zagreb, and all the documents from my initial mission were
17 deposited in the archives. I was given permission to enter the premises
18 of the archives in order to find documents that would confirm that these
19 people had been found dead.
20 However, when I entered the archives, I realised that a number of
21 documents pertaining to the military observers, both in Podkonje which
22 was our team, as well as the observers from the human rights team, in the
23 period between August and October of 1995 were missing. All of these
24 documents were missing. There were several boxes of documents that were
25 missing, even though they were listed there and were supposed to be
1 present in the archives.
2 The clerk who worked in the archives, when asked by me about the
3 whereabouts of these document, couldn't provide me with a reasonable
5 Following this, and knowing that the file was turned over to the
6 civilian police of the United Nations, I tried to find some documents
7 pertaining to that investigation in the archives of the civilian police.
8 At that time, in Zagreb, we had a training team remaining there, a team
9 that prepared the civilian police, that conducted training. There was an
10 archive of the civilian police of Sector South within their premises.
11 So I addressed the chief of that centre, and he allowed me to
12 look for these documents. And as I was doing so, I found the documents
13 which pertained to the events, the relevant events; rather, the box where
14 the documents were supposed to be. The documents pertaining to events
15 and investigation which took place in August of 1995.
16 However, many documents, including the file on investigation,
17 were missing. I just found the initial report of the leader of the
18 civilian police who came there. There was just his initial report of
19 that incident. I asked the permission of the chief of that centre and
20 copied that document, and this is the document that you see before you.
21 After that, I made --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... let me stop you there.
23 A. Very well.
24 MR. RUSSO: Mr. Registrar, if we could please pull up document
25 65 ter 1754.
1 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, is this the document that you found?
2 A. Yes, that is the document.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, at this time, I would tender this as an
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I believe we need to check. I believe
7 I used this document in cross-examination. It's been admitted through
8 the testimony of Mr. Flynn. I think it is a Defence exhibit now. Let me
9 double-check on that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, if you keep it in the back of your mind,
11 then we wait a second to assign a number to it and first seek
12 verification of whether it is already a Defence exhibit.
13 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Your Honours.
14 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, while we're investigating that matter, I'd like
15 to move to --
16 MR. RUSSO: Well, first, let me ask the Court if there are any
17 questions regarding this incident. I'm going to move to another area.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, there is another matter. 84 and 85 are
19 mentioned as items annexed to this supplemental witness statement. I
20 think, however, that in confidential annex A and confidential annex B to
21 the Prosecution submission of Rule 92 ter statements, we find three
22 documents attached but not 84 and 85. Could you please verify whether
23 that is the case or not. That is at least what reached us, and also
24 perhaps something for the next break.
25 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Judge, before we move on. Mr. Misetic is,
1 in fact, correct. This document is D65.
2 JUDGE ORIE: D65.
3 MR. KEHOE: And it was -- again, Mr. Misetic is correct. It came
4 in during the course of the testimony of Mr. Flynn on -- I don't have the
5 exact date here. It must have been 7 August 1995.
6 MR. RUSSO: And for further clarification, Your Honour, this
7 particular report is appended as AT-4 to the supplemental witness
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We didn't find it, but I have got it now in
10 front in hard copy. So we can proceed.
11 MR. KEHOE: That was apparently not 7 August 2008, but
12 10 August 2008 that came in -- excuse me, April, 2008 that D68 came in.
13 I apologise.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This being clarified, Mr. Russo, please
16 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours. I was going to move to
17 another topic. I didn't know if the Court had any additional questions
18 with regard to the discovery of the two bodies.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Not at this moment.
20 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, I would like to discuss now some of the things
22 that you witnessed after Operation Storm. If I could direct your
23 attention to the first statement - that is P204 - at page 3 in the last
24 paragraph, where you discuss the incident of burning in Knin sometime
25 between the 10th and the 12th of August of 1995.
1 Do you recall that incident?
2 A. Yes, I remember that incident.
3 Q. And if you could, please briefly explain to the Court exactly
4 what happened on that day on what you observed.
5 A. At that time, our group was still within the area of the
6 headquarters -- or, rather, was using the premises of the headquarters.
7 We did not have separate premises in Knin.
8 Late one evening, we received information about the fact that an
9 entire neighbourhood was on fire in Knin. I don't know where that
10 information had come from. Perhaps somebody just saw it from the balcony
11 of their building. I can't remember now exactly. Either I was given a
12 task from Tennard [phoen], the Senior Military Observer of the sector, or
13 I was perhaps given assignment from our team leader to go out and
14 investigate the fire.
15 We went to investigate together with my Norwegian colleague, Tor
16 Munkelien, and another person asked to join us. He was an English
17 journalist, Alun Roberts. We set out. But as we reached the centre of
18 Knin, we were halted there because there was -- the road was blocked by
19 police cars, and we were stopped there. And even though we had all the
20 valid observer papers, they did not allow us to move through. Croatian
21 policemen ordered us to turn back. We were escorted by two vehicles of
22 Croatian police back to our camp.
23 After that, we decided to go back to the fire, the area that was
24 on site, and check out what was going on there. We left Alun Roberts
25 there, and Tor and myself went back into our patrol vehicle and left the
1 camp. As we left our compound, there was a Croatian police car waiting
2 for us there. They started escorting us. We did not drive towards
3 north, towards Knin, but rather to the south, to Drnis. Croatian police
4 moved away, drove away. We made a U-turn, and went back to Knin. I was
5 familiar with the area. We asked for directions. We came back to the
6 area arriving from the north and reached the site that was on fire.
7 The entire neighbourhood was practically on fire. There were
8 several fire engines there and fire brigade teams. There was several
9 police cars, as well. But what shocked was that none of them did
10 anything to put the fire out.
11 Tor made several photographs while I distracted the police,
12 manoeuvring in the car and making them believe that we were lost, that we
13 had lost our way and asking for directions. During that time, Tor
14 managed to make some photos, and then we continued on our way. He gave
15 our photos to the British reporter, Alun Roberts; and, as far as I know,
16 these photos were later published.
17 MR. RUSSO: Mr. Registrar, if we could 65 ter number 4881 brought
18 up on the screen.
19 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, do you recognise this document?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Is this the document that is referenced as Annex AT-3 in
22 paragraph 16 of your second statement?
23 A. Yes, that's it.
24 Q. And if you could --
25 A. That's it.
1 Q. If you could please explain to the Court what the markings on
2 this photograph mean.
3 A. The first mark is the location of our team after we were finally
4 able to organise our own office.
5 Number 2 is the point where Tor, Alun Roberts, and I were stopped
6 on our first attempt to reach Knin.
7 The dotted line is the route we moved along from the camp to the
8 point where we were stopped and turned back.
9 The other dotted line is the route -- the roundabout way towards
10 Knin, the site of the fire. Number 3 is the fire. It is very hard to be
11 more precise now, but it is approximately there, in the area of the
12 northern settlement.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tchernetsky.
14 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, at this time, I would tender the
15 exhibit. I don't know if I have any specific questions about it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No specific questions.
17 Any objections?
18 MR. KEHOE: No objection.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
20 Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P210, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: P210 is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. RUSSO:
24 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, this incident of burning is not reported in any
25 of the UNMO sitreps. Can you explain why that might be?
1 A. I can't say why. I was an ordinary monitor. I did my job. Why
2 it wasn't reflected in reports, I don't know.
3 Q. Do you recall making a report of this incident to your HQ?
4 A. Yes. We were, our team, was directly at the headquarters. We
5 worked in the same place as the HQ of the sector.
6 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move now to your first statement - that's
7 P204, page 4 - the third paragraph where you discuss a special police
8 mop-up operation in the Plavno valley area.
9 Do you recall that?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. I'd like you to please try and locate this area on one of the
12 other maps you provided with your second statement, and we will take it
13 in this fashion.
14 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, I would like to have, as yesterday, the
15 entire map admitted, and then we will have enlarged sections of it for
16 the Court's benefit.
17 Mr. Registrar, if we could then have 65 ter number 4879.
18 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, do you recognise this document?
19 A. Yes, I do. It's my map.
20 Q. And is it the map that you provided as AT-1 in your second
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, at this time, I would tender 4879.
24 MR. KEHOE: No objection.
25 JUDGE ORIE: No objection. No one jumps up.
1 Mr. Registrar, that would be?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P211, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P211 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. RUSSO: Thank you.
5 And, Mr. Registrar, if we could please now have 65 ter 4939.
6 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, the area indicated here in this enlargement, you
7 can see a Plavno written quite large towards the bottom, and there's a
8 Palanka toward the top as you directly north.
9 Is this the area that you discuss regarding the mop-up operation?
10 A. Yes, that's precisely the site.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, I would tender this as an exhibit as
14 JUDGE ORIE: No objections, I take it?
15 Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P212, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: P212 is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, can you please explain to the Court what your
20 understanding of what these mop-up operations was at that time?
21 A. As far as I know, we were informed about two mop-up operations,
22 one in the Dinara mountain range area, and the other in Plavno.
23 What exactly was a mop-up operation? The area was blocked. All
24 exits from that area would be blocked. And after that, the area would be
25 combed, both population centres would be combed, as well as the entire
1 territory. From what I know from local residents, they were ordered, all
2 the remaining population and that was not much, was ordered to stay
3 within their settlements because anyone found outside a settlement would
4 be killed, liquidated. In that way, Croatian army troops would mop up
5 areas, searching for remaining ARSK soldiers or any other military units.
6 Q. I think you've already indicated as part of your answer, but I
7 want to be clear about what your source of information for this
8 understanding was.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Which understanding is that, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The understanding that the population was
12 ordered to stay, or the understanding that people would be liquidated?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Can you please be more precise, Mr. Russo.
14 MR. RUSSO: Of course, Your Honour. I will take it one by one.
15 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, you indicated that during a mop-up operation,
16 the area would be blocked, all exits from the area would be blocked.
17 Where did that piece of information come from?
18 A. I saw it from my own eyes. I know it from my own experience when
19 such an operation was carried out in the Dinara mountain range area and
20 in the Plavno area.
21 Q. You also indicated that the entire area which was blocked off
22 would be combed, including the population centres, as well as the entire
24 Where did that information come from?
25 A. The first such information I received from our Sector HQ; that
1 is, the Sector South. The HQ got that information from Croatian
2 authorities. They said that within a given time-frame for a certain
3 period, the area would be blocked off, due to a special mop-up operation.
4 Q. And your understanding that within the area blocked off, the
5 remaining inhabitants would be ordered to stay within their settlements
6 and anyone found outside of those settlements would be killed, or I
7 believe you used the term "liquidated."
8 Where did that information come from?
9 A. That is something we learned from local residents who told us
10 about it. Local residents were warned not to leave their homes and not
11 to leave their towns or villages during a mop-up operation. That's
12 something we learned from the people themselves.
13 Q. And specifically about the fact that people not found in those
14 areas would be killed, where did you get that information?
15 A. The same source. Local residents said they were warned to that
16 effect by Croatian authorities.
17 Q. Thank you. And the final thing I would like to discuss would be
18 the discovery of the ARSK soldiers in the area of Podinarje that you
19 explain at pages 4 and 5 of your first statement. That's P204.
20 MR. RUSSO: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could please have 65 ter
21 number 4937.
22 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, looking at the enlarged area on the screen, is
23 this generally the area that you referenced, about where you found these
25 A. Yes, precisely.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. RUSSO: I'd like to tender this as an exhibit.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I take it there are no objection.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P213, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: P213 is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Tchernetsky, in your first statement, this is at page 5
9 in the first paragraph, you indicated that, initially, you decided not to
10 report the discovery of these soldiers, and that you gave them a map to
11 try to help them escape do Bosnia.
12 Let's be clear, as an UNMO, you're not supposed to do that, are
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's a leading question, Your Honour.
15 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I don't think there is any dispute
16 whether or not he is supposed to do that, but I can ask it in non-leading
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I understand he is trying to rehabilitate the
20 witness in direct, but I think it is a little --
21 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether he is trying to rehabilitate.
22 Is there any dispute about whether it is within the mandate of an UNMO to
23 provide maps to soldiers in order to help them to escape?
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Of course not, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then this is agreed between the parties. The
1 only thing is now whether the witness was aware of --
2 Were you aware that this was as the parties here think was not in
3 accordance with your mandate as an UNMO to provide a soldier you find
4 with a map in order to facilitate for him to escape.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. But at that
6 moment, it was my first spontaneous reaction to assist people who were
7 facing death, who were in danger, and I violated the mandate of UNMOs at
8 that moment because I could not see any other way out if I wanted to help
9 and save these people.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
11 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours, and thank you,
12 Mr. Tchernetsky, for that answer.
13 Q. Now, prior to this incident, were you ever given any instructions
14 by anyone about what you were supposed to do when you find, or if you
15 found, ARSK soldiers during your patrols?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you know what happened to these soldiers after you helped
18 negotiate their surrender?
19 A. Yes. In the presence of representatives of other international
20 organisations, we turned over those soldiers to Croatian authorities.
21 After which, one of these soldiers, as far as I know, was let go and he
22 was given release documents; whereas, others were convicted, and I know
23 from my colleagues from the human rights team they were transferred from
24 Knin to Zadar.
25 MR. RUSSO: Mr. Registrar, if could I please have Exhibit P138.
1 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, if you will follow along with me here. This is
2 an UNMO HQ sitrep from the 2nd of September which, I believe, according
3 to your statement is several days after you negotiated the surrender of
4 these soldiers. And you will notice that the highlights indicate that:
5 "Croatian authorities continue to severely violate Geneva Convention
6 towards POWs. Eight former ARSK soldiers, whose surrender was monitored
7 by UNMOs on 28 August, continue to be kept in custody in Knin's school.
8 They were traumatised. Some of them had clear signs of beating on their
9 faces. See HRAT report 1 September."
10 Were you at all involved in the HRAT which visited these soldiers
11 at the Knin school?
12 A. No. No. I did not visit those soldiers myself. It was only the
13 representatives of the human rights team who were able to do that, and
14 the human rights team consisted of our monitors, UNMOs, and
15 representatives of the Red Cross.
16 Q. Do you know which UNMOs from your team would have been assigned
17 to the HRAT teams?
18 A. From our team, Peter Marti, as vice-captain; and Ivo, I don't
19 remember the last name, Czech captain, became part of the human rights
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. They visited those POWs.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, I have no further questions for the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps it's best that we first take a break.
2 Who will be the first one to cross-examine the witness?
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I will, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: It will be you, Mr. Kuzmanovic. Could you give us
5 any indication of how much time you will approximately need?
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Between an hour, hour and a half, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could the other Defence teams -- Mr. Cayley.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Your Honour, I think I will probably require
9 less time, and I would estimate three quarters of an hour at the most.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, I take it.
11 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Hour Honour. Obviously, it depends on how much
12 is covered here, but I think it is approximately two hours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll first have a break. We'll resume
14 at ten minutes to 11.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises for the delay. I was kept in
18 a meeting which took more time than expected and so I did not want it to
19 be cancelled.
20 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You will now be cross-examined by Mr. Kuzmanovic who
23 is counsel for Mr. Markac.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tchernetsky. I'd like you to refer to P204
1 which is your statement dated December -- excuse me, May 18th, 2002, page
2 4, please.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And if the usher could call that up, I'm
4 specifically referring to the third paragraph that starts,
5 "Unfortunately ..."
6 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, you were speaking earlier during direct
7 examination, or almost left on direct examination, talking about mop-up
8 operations. You said you had witnessed two mop-up operations during your
9 time as an United Nations Military Observer. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. I witnessed one operation in the Podinarje
11 area and the second one in Plavno.
12 Q. I want to refer to the one in Plavno that we talk about in P204.
13 Before I get to that, you were an United Nations Military Observer from
14 June 1995 till December of 1995. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. And in that entire time-frame, it's your testimony that you saw
17 no more than two mop-up operations. Correct?
18 A. The mop-up operations took place after Operation Storm; that is,
19 in end August and September, as far as I know -- as far as can I
21 Q. So you were aware that there were ongoing mop-up operations
22 beginning at the end of August and through September of 1995 conducted by
23 the special police of the Ministry of Interior. Correct?
24 A. As to what units were directly involved in the operations, I
25 don't know. The only time when I had personal contact of the unit
1 involved in such an operation was in Podinarje, and that is reflected in
2 my statement. I even named that man, Colonel Vrsaljko. He was commander
3 of the special Zadar-Knin unit. Who conducted the operation in Plavno,
4 which units, I cannot tell you. Because when we arrived with the human
5 rights patrol - in fact, at that time, we are carrying humanitarian aid
6 into Plavno - we were stopped at that entrance into that location. The
7 two roads leading to it were blocked, and the military police soldiers
8 manning the check-point told us that the area was closed, axis was
9 denied, and we had to turn back.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sorry. I was just trying to get to the
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tchernetsky. Do you know that the special police
13 mop-up operations did not begin until on or about August 21st, 1995?
14 Were you aware of that?
15 A. I was not informed of the commencement of these operations
16 officially. The first time I had anything to do with it was when that
17 RSK soldier was found in the area of Podinarje. In fact, soldiers were
18 found, and I organised the process of turning them over to international
20 At the time of the morning briefing, the senior UNMO warned us
21 that Croatian authorities had officially warned him that there would be
22 special mop-up operations in the area and the area would be blocked off.
23 I cannot remember the date.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Tchernetsky. I know you have a tendency to
25 want to explain your answers. If you would try as best as can you to
1 limit your responses to the question I pose, then we can make these
2 things go a little bit quicker. Okay?
3 A. I will try.
4 Q. Thank you. Going back to P 204, page 4 in the paragraph that
5 begins, "Unfortunately." From your statement, you start:
6 "Unfortunately, I do not remember the date when the Croatian special
7 police were conducting the mop-up operation in Plavno valley. We were on
8 patrol when we discovered this fact."
9 It is true that at least as far as you know this may have
10 happened in August of 1995, correct? It didn't happen certainly before
11 August 21st.
12 A. I cannot tell you the dates. I don't recall.
13 Q. You had stated in your earlier response that you were stopped at
14 the crossing by military police?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What crossing were you stopped at?
17 A. It was the intersection of the main road with the village road,
18 leading into Plavno valley.
19 Q. Now, did you have a chance to observe that mop-up operation as it
20 progressed, or did you just hear about it and then you were prevented
21 from going into the area?
22 A. We were simply not given the opportunity to stay in that area.
23 Q. You said you came back to the area of Plavno two or three days
24 after you were stopped by the military police. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, could we have the map on the screen,
3 so that the witness can indicate where exactly the cross-roads are where
4 he was.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I wanted to that, Your Honour, but the maps
6 aren't the best quality, so I didn't want to lose time doing that.
7 But I will --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Isn't it true that we had a cutout of the Plavno
9 area in evidence?
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I will find it, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
12 MR. RUSSO: That is correct, Judge. I will locate the P number
13 for you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It's P212.
16 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, the map, P212, of Plavno from your map -- strike
18 This is an excerpt of your map, P212. Correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Would you be able to circle in blue where you say that you were
21 stopped by the military police, with the assistance of the usher?
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think we need the usher there.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am afraid I wouldn't be able to
24 do that because this intersection is somewhat south, to the south of the
25 area shown here.
1 Q. Okay. So the intersection in which you were stopped was to the
2 south of the area depicted in P12 [sic].
3 A. To the south of the shown area, this is where the intersection
4 is. The main road goes from south to north, and the village road goes to
5 the right.
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... if we get the
7 whole of the map on the screen. And, meanwhile, of course,
8 Mr. Kuzmanovic, just proceed. When we get that map on the screen, we'll
9 find the portion.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Will do.
11 MR. RUSSO: Your Honours, I don't know if this is too large for
12 the ELMO or not.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No. As a matter of fact, I think it is in evidence,
14 and then we can enlarge, zoom in most likely on that portion.
15 MR. RUSSO: I don't think the zoom-in function will allow the
16 resolution necessary to --
17 JUDGE ORIE: We'll see. If not, then bad luck.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That map is P211, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: If P211 could be put on the screen.
20 Meanwhile, you may continue, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, we will wait for the P211 to get on the screen,
23 and I will ask you some additional questions regarding this Plavno valley
24 Croatian special police operation.
25 You, yourself, came back to that area three days later and had
1 you a conversation with a woman, an elderly woman, about her husband.
3 A. Yes, that's how it was.
4 Q. Is there any indication of what her name was? Do you have any
6 A. I don't remember, and I didn't keep any notes.
7 Q. She had said that her -- she was trying to find her husband, and
8 you and your colleague, Mr. Komper, tried to find the man, but you could
9 not find him. Correct?
10 A. The first time, when we tried to locate him, we learned where he
11 had gone. It was a settlement called Kozja Jama, ten to 15 kilometres to
12 the north of Palanka. We found Kozja Jama. We found the only remaining
13 men there. There was just one elderly man remaining in the settlement,
14 together with his daughter. We learned that the man who had gone
15 missing, indeed, came to see him on that day but went back.
16 So the first time we went to patrol Kozja Jama area, we didn't
17 manage to find him; but on the following day, Pavel Komper, as member of
18 another patrol, went approximately to the area indicated by the woman.
19 They had a shelter for sheep there; and in this shelter, they found a
20 corpse, the corpse of the man who was killed; several sheep that had been
21 killed; and a dog.
22 Subsequently, they helped remove the body because it was
23 impossible to reach that area in a vehicle. The body was carried away
24 and turned over to the woman.
25 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, none of this is contained in any sitrep, as far
1 as you're aware. Correct?
2 A. I can't say. The report about the fact that a body of the killed
3 man was found was mentioned. I remember that that report was mentioned
4 among us.
5 Your Honours, in the map that I'm seeing now, I can show the
6 intersection where we were stopped, as we were attempting to reach the
7 Plavno valley.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I take it that the witness may mark
9 that intersection where he was stopped --
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- with a blue marker, please.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes.
13 Q. Please do so, Mr. Tchernetsky, with the assistance of the usher.
14 A. This is the intersection.
15 Q. And where you've circled on this particular map is the
16 intersection of where you were stopped by the military police and were
17 not allowed to proceed into Plavno. Correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... we have a --
20 A. Previously so.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: -- number for this document? I'd like to tender
22 it, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, no objections, I take it.
24 Mr. Registrar, that would be number?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D217, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps the parties, before I admit it into
2 evidence, is Plavno just a valley or also a village, because sometimes
3 where the text is put on the map, it takes the view of what might be
4 under that marking.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Plavno is a valley. That's a
6 valley. Then around the valley, there are many hamlets that make up that
7 area, the region, what we used to refer to as the Plavno valley.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for the answer.
9 D217 is admitted into evidence.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 I'm just trying to find out where I left off. Sorry, Your
14 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, where we left off was before you identified the
15 area on the map was. It's fair to state that you have not seen a sitrep
16 that contains any information about this incident in the Plavno valley.
17 Is that fair to say?
18 A. I can't remember that, and I'm not claiming that I didn't see it.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, just to perhaps you read the last
20 answer the witness gave before he went back to the map; that is, "I can't
21 say ..." at page 39, line 1. I'll read it to him.
22 Mr. Tchernetsky, the last thing before we went back to this map
23 and the intersection, Mr. Kuzmanovic asked you: "Mr. Tchernetsky, none
24 of this is contained in any sitrep, as far as you're aware. Correct?".
25 Then your answer was: "I can't say. The report about the fact
1 that a body of the killed man was found was mentioned. I remember that
2 that report was mentioned among us."
3 That's where we left the witness.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. You, yourself, did not see the man. Correct?
7 A. I didn't see him. I didn't see the man.
8 Q. Your colleague found the man; and as far as you know, that was
9 the end of the situation, as your involvement was concerned. Correct?
10 A. My colleague, as member of the patrol team, found the corpse and
11 helped in evacuating the body. That's it.
12 Q. Now, there is no indication in your statement as -- as to how
13 this gentleman was killed, other than there's a notation of found -- that
14 he was found shot dead. Correct?
15 A. Yes. He was shot.
16 Q. There is no evidence, as far as you know, of who may have shot
17 him. Correct?
18 A. No. There are no witnesses.
19 Q. And you would agree with me, would you not, Mr. Tchernetsky, that
20 to attribute this unnamed man's death to any Croatian military force,
21 whether it is a special police, the military police, the Croatian
22 military, would be speculation. Correct?
23 A. That's the most likely version because at that time there was a
24 mop-up operation going on, and there were no other people from outside in
25 the area.
1 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, you have no names of anyone who may have been
2 involved in this operation. You have no evidence of how this man was
3 killed, other than he was shot. Don't you agree with me that it would be
4 a complete guess to figure out whether it was the Croatian military, the
5 Croatian special police, or any other person that might have shot this
7 A. I certainly don't have any evidence that would show directly that
8 he was killed by any units of the Croatian special police.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask the witness one question?
10 When you said the report that a man was killed was -- that the
11 killed man was found was mentioned, did you refer to a written report or
12 that it was orally reported to you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We provided written reports on a
14 daily basis.
15 JUDGE ORIE: When you say "I remember that that report was
16 mentioned among us," were you referring to a written report, or were you
17 referring to what was orally reported to you?
18 If you don't remember, tell us.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. I don't
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, did you report this incident to the civil police
24 for investigation?
25 A. No. We informed our headquarters, the headquarters that was in
1 charge of us. We informed them.
2 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, I'd like to change topics here for a moment.
3 I'd like to talk to you generally about your work as a UN
4 Military Observer, and you're main task at the end of Operation Storm,
5 according to your May 18th statement, P204, was to observe and report on
6 violations of humanitarian law. Correct?
7 I guess I will read it to you on page 3, in this centre page 3 of
8 your statement, page 204.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could please pull that up Mr. Usher or
10 Mr. Registrar.
11 MR. RUSSO: Excuse me. I'm sorry. The witness has hard copies
12 of his thing. I don't know if that will make things quicker, perhaps.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
14 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, do you see on page 3, just above the centre of
15 the page, where it says that: "The main task of the military observers
16 after Operation Storm were, one, to estimate the destruction caused by
17 the Croatian military operation; two, to monitor the movement of the
18 Croatian military units; three, registration of the Serb civilians who
19 remained in the area; and, four, to provide humanitarian aid to the
20 civilians in coordination with ICRC and UNHCR."
21 Did you read that correctly?
22 JUDGE ORIE: You did, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
24 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, you had a continuing obligation of impartiality
25 as a United Nations Military Observer. Correct?
1 A. In this particular case, I think that the mandate that was given
2 to UNMOs in Sector South, after the Operation Storm, was exhausted, and I
3 was given the tasks that were just enumerated.
4 When carrying out these tasks, we were, first and foremost,
5 supposed to be guided by -- or, rather, our mission turned from a
6 military mission into a humanitarian one, and that was our first and
7 foremost guiding principle. We were to provide help to people,
9 Q. But had you a continuing obligation of impartiality, meaning that
10 could you not take sides. Correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. And that was the same --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, the Chamber has considered to what
14 extent it is assisted by going, again, through the impartiality. If
15 there are any issues in relation to that, as we heard earlier this
16 morning and not for the first time, that providing maps to a soldier is
17 beyond the mandate, fine. We'll hear if there is any news on that
19 But to spend - I don't know how much time you had in mind - but
20 to spend another five minutes on the impartiality of the mandate,
21 required by the mandate, that at this moment doesn't seem to assist the
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That was the last question on that issue, Judge.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I wasted the time.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sorry.
2 Q. Could you tell us, please, about the modalities of how you would
3 report after Operation Storm. On each day you conducted a patrol, who
4 would choose the route? Would you choose it, would the HQ choose it?
5 Could you explain to us how those patrols were set up?
6 A. In our area of responsibility, there was several permanent
7 itineraries or routes, and they were patrolled regularly.
8 In addition to that, whenever there were some extraordinary
9 events or circumstances or when we received information about them in
10 area under our responsibility, then we would set up a separate patrol
11 team. But if there were no additional tasks, if there was nothing
12 extraordinary, then we would just patrol the routine previously
13 established and planned routes.
14 Q. Okay. How did these previously planned and established planned
15 routes get set up? Who was the person who set these routes up?
16 A. These routes were defined by the team commander, and they needed
17 to receive approval of the sector commander.
18 Q. Let's just focus on your team for the purposes of my questioning.
19 You were on Team Podkonje. Correct?
20 A. Yes, correct.
21 Q. And on a typical day, how would your team get its instructions on
22 where to go and what to do, and how many people would go on those
24 A. As a rule, the group commander would, on the previous evening,
25 define tasks, indicate routes; and then in the morning, upon receiving
1 information from the headquarters, if there were no additional tasks, the
2 patrols, after briefing, would set out on previously established routes.
3 Q. How often would you visit a specific area? For example, how
4 often would have you gone to Plavno over the course of your routes? Once
5 a week, twice a month?
6 A. Prior to the Operation Storm, once a week, not more often than
8 After Operation Storm, after our mission became a more
9 humanitarian one, in the Plavno area we found quite a large number of
10 remaining Serb residents; and, periodically, perhaps two or three times a
11 week, we would visit that area, in order to check on the situation there,
12 and provide humanitarian assistance.
13 Q. So, at the end of your day when your patrol was done, would all
14 the team members then present their observations to a duty officer, and
15 then the duty officer would put together an UNMO report? If it's not
16 that way, then --
17 A. Yes, precisely so.
18 Q. And, then, that UNMO report would be delivered to UNMO HQ in
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And your HQ was actually in Knin itself, was it not,
22 Team Podkonje?
23 A. Yes, in Knin.
24 Q. And then any significant event that you would determine would be
25 significant would be reported in your report that would go to HQ, like
1 burning of houses or if someone was killed. Correct?
2 A. Yes, precisely so.
3 Q. How many people at the end of the day would be gathered together
4 on your team to put together the team report?
5 A. The team report was written by the duty officer and handed over
6 to the team commander. And as for our team, it numbered 12.
7 Q. Who was your team commander?
8 A. They changed, the group commanders. For a while -- are you
9 interested primarily in the period after Operation Storm?
10 Q. Yes, I am. Thank you.
11 A. After Operation Storm, for a while, it was Felix Anglada, a
12 Spanish major; and then Peter Marti a Swiss military officer; and then
13 following them, I was appointed group commander.
14 Q. And, then, who was the superior to your group, meaning that did
15 it go to a -- from the team leader, it went to whom? Who was the next
16 person up the chain?
17 A. The group commander reported to the Senior Military Observer from
18 Sector South. At that time, it was the Norwegian Lieutenant-Colonel
20 Q. And the deputy military commander or deputy military observer,
21 was that Mr. Ermolaev?
22 A. For a while, yes.
23 Q. And he was the deputy essential after Operation Storm through
24 most, if not all, of August. Correct?
25 A. More likely in August, because he was transferred later.
1 Q. So at least at the time relevant to what we're talking about,
2 mid-to the end of August, he was the deputy military observer behind
3 Colonel Hjertnes. Correct?
4 A. Perhaps. I don't remember exactly.
5 Q. Now, at some point, Mr. Tchernetsky, all the UNMO teams were
6 ordered to conduct a survey, correct, a survey of damage in your area of
8 A. Yes. We had that task.
9 Q. And that's something that you were involved with yourself, as a
10 member of Team Podkonje. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the order for the survey to be conducted asked each team to
13 classify damages on buildings within your area of responsibility.
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Mr. Registrar, could you please pull up P63.
17 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, if you could look at the first written
18 paragraph that begins, "Reference," and I'll read the sentence below
20 It says: "This HQ requires a survey of all teams AOR concerning
21 number of houses destroyed or looted, minority people left behind, and HR
22 violations, during HV Operation Storm or earlier."
23 Now, I wanted to ask you, Mr. Tchernetsky, as far as you were
24 aware, the part that says "or earlier" means that you were also tasked in
25 your survey of damage to list damages which occurred from the period of
1 1992 to 1995, when the area was under the control of the authorities of
2 the Republika Srpska Krajina. Correct?
3 A. No, that's not correct. Earlier -- what I meant by that word
4 "earlier" was that the damage that was inflicted upon buildings and harm
5 that was caused to people by shelling prior to the operation, the period
6 preceding the operation, which means July. Those were the shellings that
7 were discussed in the first part of my testimony.
8 Q. So it's your testimony that the term "or earlier" does not
9 include a survey of damage of buildings or villages that were damaged or
10 destroyed during the Serbian occupation of 1992 to 1995?
11 A. Yes, that is my position.
12 Q. Was that every team's position, or was that just Team Podkonje's
14 A. I think that all teams believed that to be so.
15 Q. Now, you do agree with me, Mr. Tchernetsky, that there was damage
16 to buildings, villages that occurred between 1992 and 1995. Correct?
17 A. Yes. The damage was there. But when evaluating the damage, we
18 did not include the destroyed buildings, prior damage, because it was
19 obvious when it had been inflicted.
20 Q. Did you exclude the prior damage?
21 A. We excluded it. We did not take that into account.
22 Q. How did you determine what you considered to be a damaged
23 building? What was the level of damage for a building to be noted
25 A. We divided damage into two main categories: Minor damage, that
1 is, shrapnel damage do walls, shattered windows, and glass, on the one
2 hand; and complete destruction, that is, damage that makes buildings
3 unfit for use for habitation with structural damage to the walls, roof,
4 et cetera.
5 Q. Now, when you determine whether or not something had been looted,
6 how would you make that determination? What criteria would you use?
7 A. We entered these buildings, especially when touring villages and
8 hamlets. We entered practically every house and observed what was inside
9 and in what condition it was. We made these tours repeatedly, and we
10 could see that initially a building was intact. Then after a while, the
11 furniture and property inside was removed. Yet later, there was
12 destruction inside, windows would be broken, things were partially burned
13 inside, et cetera.
14 That sort of damage.
15 Q. Was there ever a survey conducted of what the damage was done to
16 the buildings and villages separate and apart from the one that was done
17 after Operation Storm?
18 Maybe that was an unclear question. I will rephrase it.
19 Was there a damage evaluation or report done by UNMO or anybody
20 at UN HQ in Sector South of the damage that was done between 1992 and
22 A. I arrived into Sector South in end June. During my tenure,
23 neither the team nor the headquarters received such assignments. What
24 happened before me, I cannot know.
25 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, when you conducted your surveys, your damage
1 surveys, did you have a form that you used, that you filled out for
2 making your damage notations and assessments?
3 A. No. We got an approximate format, according to which we had to
4 assess damage, and we worked with it. It consisted of three or four
6 Q. Who gave you that format?
7 A. The headquarters.
8 Q. Was that a printed format?
9 A. No. At the beginning, it was a verbal instruction. Later, a
10 uniform form was developed in the course of our work.
11 Q. Do you know how much later, after August 17th, 1995, a uniform
12 form was -- started to be used?
13 A. I couldn't say. Maybe three or four days into it, maybe more.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Mr. Registrar, could you please pull up P65.
15 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, is this the form that Team Podkonje used?
16 A. Give me a second.
17 Q. Sure.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Would this happen to be your handwriting on this form?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you recognise whose handwriting it might be, from your
22 Team Podkonje?
23 A. I couldn't say.
24 Q. Is this how you would typically fill out one of these forms, your
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How many of these forms do you estimate that you filled out?
3 A. I couldn't tell.
4 Q. More than this one. Correct?
5 A. Certainly. Such forms were filled in by every patrol upon
6 completion of their mission every day, after they toured a certain area.
7 Q. Now, in this particular form under section - it says number - but
8 it is letter C: "DTG visited," and this is for Plavno. The last visit
9 is noted as: "5, 1600 Bravo, September, 1995." Do you see that?
10 A. I can see that.
11 Q. But there is no date on this particular document, other than the
12 area was last visited on 5 September, 1995. Correct?
13 A. I cannot see the date here. It's a working form that we were
14 issued in order to make our daily report, and in order to compare if
15 there was any damage inflicted later. That's why we have column C, date
16 of the last prior visit until the present one, so as to enable us to
18 Q. Okay. That's understood. But there is no date for what this
19 present visit is on this sheet, P65. Correct?
20 A. It's not indicated. This is a working document of the patrol
21 commander that was turned over to the officer on duty, so that he could
22 make his report.
23 Q. So just so I get an indication, you said that you were involved
24 in helping and assisting in filling out P65. When you would go to Plavno
25 and visit, for example, the village area in this P65, would all of you
1 get together and then count the buildings? How was that done
3 A. That would depend on how many vehicles we used when we went on
4 mission. If we had one vehicle, we would drive up to a population
5 centre, we would walk around, count, assess, and, later, we would sum
6 things up. If we had several vehicles, two or more, we would divide the
7 area into sectors to cover them jointly.
8 All this data is not the work result of one person. It is the
9 whole patrol.
10 Q. So, essentially, something like P65, if there was one vehicle,
11 you would all put together everything on one document. But if there were
12 more than one vehicle, is it fair to state that often there would be more
13 than one document per visit?
14 A. No, no. This is the report of a patrol, of one patrol, and the
15 patrol could consist of one, two, or three vehicles.
16 Q. It is fair to say, is it not, that at least on every patrol that
17 you went after August 17th, 1995, if there was damage to be assessed, a
18 form would be filled in on each patrol?
19 A. I told you that at the beginning we didn't have these forms, and
20 we worked according to instructions we were given; that is, complete
21 damage, total damage, partial damage, looted buildings, et cetera.
22 Later on, the headquarters developed these forms so that the
23 output of all patrols and all teams would be uniform in assessing damage.
24 Q. How did you ensure that the same building wasn't counted more
25 than one time, in terms of partial or total damage?
1 A. We tried not to allow such things, but, of course, there is no --
2 there is no absolute guarantee that one and the same building wasn't
3 counted twice, because there is all the human error and the human factor.
4 All these are approximate figures, assessment, evaluation.
5 As for the work of our team leaders, we didn't count in dozens.
6 We went into every house. We assessed every single building, every
7 structure, trying our best to be objective.
8 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, I'd like you to -- to focus your attention now
9 on the arrest and the hand over of the ARSK soldiers in Podinarje.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: First, I'd like to refer to P130.
11 Q. And, Mr. Tchernetsky, P130 is an August 28th, 1995 sitrep that
12 talks about this arrest and hand over of these ARSK soldiers, and I'd
13 like to go over this with you in some detail.
14 On page 1, under the highlights section, the highlights note
15 that: "A large number of Serbs, including former RSK soldiers, are still
16 hiding in the forests and mountains and wish to surrender."
17 Now, you knew that, as far as late August of 1995, this was
18 occurring throughout areas of Sector South, that there were former RSK
19 soldiers still at large hiding in the forests and mountains. Correct?
20 A. No, I was not aware of that. And in my practice, it was a unique
21 case, when I found soldiers high in the mountains of Podinarje area.
22 Q. That's not what I asked you, Mr. Tchernetsky. I asked you: Were
23 you aware, on or about August 28th, that not just in Podinarje but in
24 other areas of Sector South there were large numbers of ARSK soldiers who
25 were hiding in the woods and mountains? Were you aware of that?
1 A. I understood you very well, and I can only say once again that I
2 was not aware whether any soldiers were hiding all over Krajina or not.
3 I knew only about that single case, when I found nine soldiers high up in
4 the mountains of Podinarje. As to any other such cases, I had no such
5 information, neither from the headquarters or any other source.
6 Q. So you were not aware of special police operations starting
7 August 21st, 1995 throughout all different areas of the Sector South in
8 which some of these ARSK soldiers were attempted to be captured?
9 A. I was not aware of those operations until the very day, when it
10 was planned to turn over those soldiers that I had found in the presence
11 of other international organisations to Croatian authorities. And only
12 that morning, prior to that operation, the Senior Military Observer of
13 Sector South informed me that such a special operation would take place.
14 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, I don't think you understood my question. I
15 didn't ask you about this specific date or this specific incident. I
16 just asked you, in general, throughout Sector South, were you aware that
17 the special police forces of the -- of the Ministry of Interior were
18 conducting mop-up operations to find Serb soldiers throughout the forest?
19 It is a simple question.
20 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
22 MR. RUSSO: I think he has given a quite simple answer to that
23 several times.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You moved from his awareness of soldiers, where he
25 said, "I was aware only of these two," and that it was exceptional; and
1 then you moved without further explanation to operations, apparently, as
2 you said, in which some of these ARSK soldiers were attempted to be
4 Apparently, you are referring to soldiers. The witness told us
5 he was not aware about. So by moving from one subject to another, mixing
6 up things, matters do not become much clearer.
7 Take it one by one. The witness has answered the question about
8 his awareness of presence of soldiers. The witness has told us something
9 about what he knew and what he was informed about special operations.
10 So let's try to keep things simple.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's what I was trying to do, Your Honour.
12 Thank you.
13 Q. Can you tell me precisely what your responsibilities are when you
14 find ARSK soldiers, or what your responsibilities were when you found
16 A. As to specific responsibilities or special procedures when we
17 found soldiers, we didn't have any. We had received no orders on the
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The sitrep, P130, I'd like you to go to page 6,
20 please. Section E, "UNMO Team Podkonje reported ..."
21 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, on this sitrep of August 28th, it says, at 1000
22 hours, you found four Serbs in the village of Milivojevici and six Serbs
23 in the village Musica Stanovi, and that they asked the UNMOs to help them
24 with food and to provide their transportation to the HQ Sector South
25 refugee camp.
1 On the next page, on the third line, it says: "UNMOs were
2 informed that there was a group of former RSK soldiers hiding in the
3 vicinity, and that they would like to lay down their weapons and start a
4 civ," meaning civilian, "life."
5 Now, were you -- I'd like to compare that to your statement,
6 Mr. Tchernetsky, P204 on page 4.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to that, please, the very bottom
8 of page 4.
9 Q. It says: "Approximately on 24-25 August 1995, during the patrol
10 to the region of Podinarje, I found a small hamlet between Bukvin Stan
11 and Musica Stanovi where remained several elderly Serbian families. I
12 got information from the residents that several RSK soldiers were
13 hiding," and on to page 5, "in the woods. With the help of the
14 soldiers -- civilians, I met two of the soldiers and spoke to them."
15 Now, your sitrep of August 28 is the first time that anything is
16 ever mentioned about these ARSK soldiers. That's five days after
17 August 24th, if you include the 24th as a date.
18 Isn't that correct, Mr. Tchernetsky?
19 A. The thing is you are why now operating with some documents that I
20 didn't have; and when I was making my statement, I was trying to remember
21 after so many years how things were; but I couldn't, of course, remember
22 precise dates.
23 I had found them earlier. I stated that much. I tried to give
24 them the possibility to leave the territory of Krajina, and I didn't
25 report it to the headquarters. I admit that freely.
1 Later on, when they attempted to get out and failed, and they
2 returned, I talked to them, I explained the situation to them, and I
3 organised their turnover to Croatian authorities with guarantees that
4 their lives would be spared.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, you started questioning whether he
6 received instructions, what to do if you'd find ARSK soldiers. That
7 question had been put witness by Mr. Russo. The question had been
8 answered. He gave the same answer and you didn't give it any follow-up,
9 so apparently that was not necessary.
10 Now, the witness clearly stated in his statement that he did not
11 immediately report, but only after a couple of days, after he first --
12 Now you put questions which do not bring, at least until to now,
13 any new elements. If you want to emphasise that it was not immediately
14 reported, the Bench knows that because we have read it, and it is clear
15 there were a couple of days. Then to ask whether 28 August is five days
16 after the other date, that is really not something that adds anything to
17 what we know already.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour --
20 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, in your statement, P204, you did say that you
21 didn't report them to the HQ, but you only reported to civilians in order
22 to organise the humanitarian aid for them. You did not report the
23 civilians in any of the sitreps before August 28th. Correct?
24 A. You probably meant to say that I did not report the soldiers. I
25 just don't understand your question.
1 Q. None of the sitreps from August 24 through August 27 contain any
2 mention of providing humanitarian aid for civilians in this area, which
3 means that you say in your statement that you reported about civilians,
4 but you did not report that in any sitrep between August 24th through the
6 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'm to object to that. The testimony
7 that's been in already and gone over several times is that the teams sent
8 the sitrep to the HQ Sector South, the HQ Sector South sends its own
9 sitrep to Zagreb. I think it is unfair to the witness to indicate that
10 he didn't make a team report because it doesn't appear in the HQ
11 Sector South sitrep.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We, by now, know that sitreps are there at several
13 levels. Providing humanitarian aid to civilians might not have been --
14 please focus on this because Mr Russo apparently is focussing more on the
15 report. You are focussing on the content; that is, providing
16 humanitarian aid to civilians.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With your permission, I will answer
18 this question.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that moment, one of our main
21 tasks was to search for remaining Serbs in the territory of the former
22 Serbian Krajina, to register them, in fact to record their needs, and
23 poll them whether they want to stay in Krajina or leave. That's the
24 information we were collecting at the time. That was our main task, and
25 to turn over that information to international organisations and to
1 headquarters. If people made any requests, we also tried to meet those
2 requests as ordered by the headquarters, to provide food, to provide aid,
3 to bring a doctor, et cetera.
4 In that specific case, we were searching for people, we were
5 registering them, and collecting information on what they needed.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
7 Q. None of the sitreps you discuss in those days talk about
8 registering any people from this area, from August 24th to August 28th,
9 do they?
10 If we have to go through every single sitrep, Mr. Tchernetsky, I
11 will it that, but I will represent to you that not one single sitrep from
12 August 24th, 25th, 26th, or 27th, contains any information about
13 humanitarian assistance for these people or the fact that you were
14 registering them.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, is there any dispute about this?
16 MR. RUSSO: There is no dispute about that, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
19 Q. The map that you brought to the soldiers, Mr Tchernetsky, that
20 was a map that you brought with HV military positions, wasn't it, to help
21 them escape capture?
22 A. No, that is not correct. It was a blank map used by UNMOs. It
23 was an absolutely blank map, only used for orientating yourself on the
24 territory. As for Croatian military positions, I did not have that
1 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... in your
2 statement, it reads that you gave them a map, you showed them a possible
3 route to Bosnia, and two days later you learned that the soldiers failed
4 to get to Bosnia. That appears to be a clear attempt to assist them to
5 escape to Bosnia.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic. I think, as a
8 matter of fact, that most of these things are pretty clear. This Chamber
9 is not seeking -- or, first of all, wants to hear about facts and not by
10 the questioning of the witness to be subject of the apparent need of the
11 parties to emphasise certain matters in full detail. I mean, what the
12 meaning of it is, what the weight to be given is, is rather
13 argumentative, and it's pretty obvious what happened here, isn't it.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
17 Q. I wanted to just focus, Mr. Tchernetsky, on P130 again, page 7,
18 the lower portion of that statement where it says, "At 1545 hours ..."
19 This is again referring to the ARSK hand over. "Five young men
20 of military age came inside the yard where UNMOs and HRAT were
21 interviewing the civilians. They were civilians without arms. All of
22 them are residents from the general area, Podinarje, and escaped from
23 their units on 5th of August."
24 My question to you, Mr. Tchernetsky, is: If these soldiers were
25 all residents of the general area of Podinarje, why would you need to
1 give them a map to get to Bosnia, when Podinarje is about five kilometres
2 away from Bosnia?
3 A. Yes, but they had never been there, in Bosnia.
4 Q. Okay. Who told you that they had never been to Bosnia?
5 A. They lived in Podinarje. They were peasants, farmers before they
6 were mobilised into the army. And when discussing the fact that they
7 wanted to go to Bosnia, they told me that they didn't know how to get
8 there, which roads to take to get there. One of them -- as far as I
9 remember, I spoke to only one of those soldiers, and he could read the
10 map, more or less. I gave him the map so that they could orient
11 themselves and move accordingly.
12 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, there's a map lying next to you in a binder.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And for the benefit of the Court, it is map 30
14 of the pack, and I would just like to use it for demonstrative purposes.
15 And with the assistance of the usher, if we could put that on the
16 ELMO. Thank you, Mr. Usher.
17 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, if you could take a look at the map and just
18 point to Podinarje on the map.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: For the benefit of the record. It's on the
21 Q. And the area just above it, which is white, that's Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, is it not? Is that correct, Mr. Tchernetsky?
23 A. Yes, yes. That's the border of Bosnia.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: You can take that down now.
1 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, the sitrep of August 28th, where you start at --
2 where it starts at page 5 under "UNMO Team Podkonje" -- page 6, I'm
4 Now, if you page through page 6 until the second-last page of
5 that sitrep, the sitrep makes it appear that all of this happened in one
6 day, on August 28th, meaning that they were found, that they were turned
7 over, that everything happened in one day. But, in fact, it happened
8 over the course of four days, did it not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, do you find the fact that reporting this
11 incident as one day in one sitrep, when it happened in fact in four days,
12 do you think it was a bit deceptive?
13 A. I don't think so, because this sitrep was compiled by the sector
14 headquarters, and it summarizes the information that had been provided
15 during several days. Yes. It summarizes the information that had
16 arrived by certain period of time.
17 Q. Well, on the front page of the sitrep, it is called "UNMO HQ
18 Sector South daily sitrep." Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Then, Mr. Tchernetsky, would you agree with me that the method in
21 which these people were turned over endangered the lives of the civilians
22 that were there, potentially?
23 A. I did everything in order to avert any danger primarily to
24 civilians and also to the lives of those soldiers. I saw simply no other
25 solution under the circumstances --
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
2 A. -- as how to provide their security, safety, in the presence of
3 international observers and representatives of international
5 Q. On the first of four days, you did not have them disarmed, did
6 you? Correct?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, let's just assume that the witness
8 says "yes," then we can start over all the examination, the whole of the
9 statement. It is not the first useless question you are putting. You
10 apparently seek to emphasise the wrongdoings of this witness. I think
11 that is not in dispute that he did not act within the mandate. And in
12 order to explore all the details, not only to learn that Podkonje is five
13 kilometres from the border, but then to see on the map where it is and
14 then to see where the border is and that is really only four and a half
15 kilometres even, that is not assisting the Chamber.
16 Let's focus on core matters.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Why didn't you get the ICRC involved, Mr. Tchernetsky?
20 A. We did involve representatives of the Red Cross and also
21 representatives of the UNHCR, as well as representatives of the OSCE.
22 But as you well know, representatives of the ICRC, according to their
23 statute and mandate, did not take part in any joint operations. They
24 always act independently. We simply provided to them the information on
25 the fact that certain people were found in certain areas, and then they
1 proceeded after that independently on their on.
2 I don't remember whether they went out in the field with us or
3 not, but the practice showed that representatives of the Red Cross never
4 took part in joint operations.
5 As for representatives of other organisations that were present
6 in the UN camp, at the time were involved. I got them involved.
7 Q. Was Mr. Ermolaev with you during one of the four days up at
8 the -- up in the area?
9 A. No, no. Mr. Ermolaev was -- or, rather, worked at the
10 headquarters, and this is where he was.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Can we pull up P94, please, page 8, second
13 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, Mr. Ermolaev states in his statement, P94: "I
14 do not remember an exact date; but in the same region, some eight, nine
15 ARSK soldiers surrendered to an UNMO team which was sent for patrolling
16 in the Dinara area." It identifies you as the Russian UNMO on the team.
17 Then it says: "Having received initial report from Tchernetsky
18 from the field, I moved there myself."
19 So, at least, according to this statement, Mr. Ermolaev received
20 a report from you, and came to that area where these soldiers were.
21 Do you have any comment on that?
22 A. I can't comment on that because I don't know about this. He
23 didn't go there, at least not with me. I went there with members of my
24 team: Pavel Komper, Peter Marti. I didn't travel there with Ermolaev.
25 Q. I apologise if I have asked this already. Mr. Ermolaev, in his
1 statement, says that he received an initial report from you. Are you
2 denying that you reported initially to him?
3 A. I reported to the headquarters, naturally. I reported through
4 the deputy operations officer of the staff. All reports go through the
5 deputy to the senior UNMO, and this is how he received the report.
6 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, when you first found these soldiers, why didn't
7 you report them to the Croatian authorities?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, it seems that you have not fully
9 understood my previous guidance, isn't it? Just to continue in the way
10 you do is not what I was giving you as guidance.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'll move on, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
14 Q. I'd like you, Mr. Tchernetsky, to move to the latter part of your
15 statement where you talk, on page 5 of P204, of another patrol you went
16 on to Podinarje on the 30th and 31st of August, 1995.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could get to that portion of the
18 statement, please.
19 Q. Now, before we get into that portion of the statement,
20 Mr. Tchernetsky, in none of the sitreps of August 30th or 31st is there
21 contained any information about what is stated here in your statement.
22 Is that a fair assessment? We could go over those sitreps, if you'd
24 A. I haven't seen them, so I can't say.
25 Q. If I tell you that there is nothing in those sitreps which are
1 P132, P133, and P135, you would have no reason to disagree with me, would
3 A. I would like to ask: Are these sitreps of the headquarters or of
4 the UNMO team.
5 Q. UNMO HQ, Sector South, daily sitrep.
6 A. Most likely, such insignificant details were not included by the
7 headquarters of the sector in their daily report. It depended on the
8 senior UNMO, and his deputy, what was going to go in, in the sitrep.
9 This information had to be included in the report submitted by our team.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I'm looking at the clock. We're
11 close to a time we need a break. I asked you before the break how much
12 time would you need. You said hour, hour and a half. And in view of the
13 way in which you use your time, I'm going to strictly keep you to one
14 hour and a half.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I have just this section and then I
16 am done, which probably take about ten, 15 minutes, and then I will be
17 all done.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You will have another seven minutes, and we will
19 have a break until ten minutes to one, and use your time as efficiently
20 as possible.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Stevo Macakana, how do you know that person that you mentioned in
23 your statement here, in P204?
24 A. That's how he introduced himself to me.
25 Q. Was that the first time that you met him?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know that he was a member of the Serbian special police?
3 A. He told me that.
4 Q. He told me -- he told you he was a member of the Serbian special
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, you didn't indicate what member of what force he was with in
8 your statement, Mr. Tchernetsky. It is it a pretty significant thing to
9 meet a member of the Serbian special police in the Podinarje area, isn't
11 A. Not Serbian, but Croatian. This is an misunderstanding here.
12 You are referring to Stevo Macakana. He is a representative of the
13 Croatian special police - that is how he introduced himself to me - from
14 a group called Dzi-Bu. That was by his own admission. That is what he
15 told me, and I recorded that and I have that notation. But these are not
16 Serbian special forces but, rather, Croatian special police.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Let's pull up 3D00-110 -- 3D00-0110, please. I
18 put too many zeros. 3D00-110. Sorry.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: My mistake, Your Honour. I apologise to the
21 registrar and to the Court.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think this system is always eight digits.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It is 3D00-0616 -- 0619. There we go.
1 Q. Mr. Tchernetsky, this document is a special report regarding
2 criminal charges that were levelled against Mr. Macakana, who was a
3 member of the military of the Serbian autonomous district of Krajina.
4 Mr. Macakana was charged in November of 1992 with being involved in the
5 killing of a Croatian civilian Milan Bulic.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, could I have an exhibit number for
7 this document, please.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you want to then put questions to the question?
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections, Mr. Russo. No objection.
11 Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D218, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Now, Mr. Tchernetsky, Stevo Macakana, according
15 to this information, was a member of the Serbian autonomous district
16 militia. Correct?
17 A. I apologise. Anything is possible. I did not check his
18 documents, and I wrote down information as he told me in the presence of
19 another UNMO, Ivo Maknanaje [phoen]. He was the Czech captain.
20 Q. And Mr. Macakana was a Serbian person who was in the area of
21 Podinarje. Correct?
22 A. I apologise. Is this question directed to me?
23 Q. Yes, it is, Mr. Tchernetsky.
24 A. No, no. Not Serbian. He was a member of a two-person team in a
25 police -- in the Croatian police vehicle. He wore a uniform and had
2 Q. Well, in your statement, you said, on P204, on that patrol -- on
3 page 5: "On that patrol in a place called Grabovica Drazica, I saw a
4 group of special police headed by Stevo Macakana." A group -- you
5 determined that a group is two people?
6 A. Two people is a group. With them was one of the former soldiers
7 that we had turned over to Croatian authorities.
8 Q. And that soldier was released and he made it back to Podinarje,
9 and he, Mr. Macakana, was trying to find his weapons. Correct?
10 A. He wasn't released. These two policemen were supposed to escort
11 him to the location where he, according to his own words, had left his
12 weapons, because he was supposed to show them where the weapons, pick up
13 the weapons, and go back.
14 Q. Were these special police headed by Stevo Macakana armed?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What kind of uniform were they wearing?
17 A. Camouflage uniform. I don't know how else I can describe it to
18 you. Just camouflage uniform.
19 Q. Do you know whether any of the Croatian special police wore
20 camouflage uniforms?
21 A. When the operation in Podinarje was carried out with the
22 participation of the military special police, I saw their members wearing
23 this uniform at the time when these soldiers were turned over to Croatian
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, your seven minutes have become ten
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I think we got a number
3 for that document and it's been admitted, and I have no further
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, any objections against this document?
6 Mr. Registrar.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE ORIE: We're talking about the document of Stevo Macakana?
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Correct, Your Honour.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry for the interruption, Your Honour.
11 This becomes Exhibit D218.
12 JUDGE ORIE: D218 is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you for the extra time, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tchernetsky, we will have a break of 20 minutes.
15 Who will be the first one after the break? Will it be you,
16 Mr. Cayley.
17 MR. CAYLEY: It will be me, Mr. President. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Very well. We resume at 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.38 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tchernetsky, you will now be cross-examined by
22 Mr. Cayley, who is counsel for Mr. Cermak.
23 Mr. Cayley, please proceed.
24 MR. CAYLEY: May it please, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Cayley:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tchernetsky. I don't have many questions for
2 you, but I would immediately like to you direct your mind to the subject
3 matter which you were speaking about before the break and that is the
4 discovery and arrest of the nine ARSK soldiers.
5 Now, do you recall in your evidence this morning you stated that
6 the soldiers were turned over to the Croatian authorities? Do you recall
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. You stated that one was released?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that you had heard that the others, the other eight, were
12 convicted, yes; do you recall that?
13 A. No. I don't know about what the court decided. They were in --
14 remanded in custody. They were detained in a school house. While they
15 were in that school house, they were visited by the human rights team and
16 representatives of the Red Cross, and it was from them that I learned
17 that these people were transferred to Zadar; or to prison in Zadar,
18 possibly, I don't know.
19 MR. CAYLEY: Could we have Defence Exhibit 100, please.
20 Q. I'd just like to very briefly, Mr. Tchernetsky, show you the
21 criminal report that is actually related to exactly what you're talking
23 Now, in you look at the document in front of you, it says "6th of
24 June, 1995" in the English translation; but, in fact, in you look at the
25 original version, it is, in fact, the "06.06.95". So that is a mistake.
1 So the document does not date from 6 June 1995. It dates from
2 6 September 1995.
3 You see, it is a criminal report from the Zadar-Knin police
4 administration. Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I see that.
6 Q. Now, I don't think it is disputed between the parties that the
7 names listed there are eight of the soldiers that were concerned in these
9 MR. CAYLEY: But if we could please go to the last page -- I'm
10 sorry, the page before last. I apologise. There's a big space. The
11 prior page to that one.
12 Q. And if you could just read the final paragraph, I think this will
13 shed some more light on what you were discussing. So the final
14 paragraph on that page.
15 Have you read that, Mr. Tchernetsky?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. A very straightforward question for you: Were you aware at this
18 time that the Zadar-Knin police administration was the superior police
19 headquarters of the Knin police station, so the police station located in
21 A. I can't hear the interpretation.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please repeat your question and then
23 they'll see whether the witness received interpretation.
24 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you.
25 Q. The question was this: Were you aware at this time, in
1 August and September of 1995, that the Zadar-Knin police administration
2 was the superior police headquarters for the local police station that
3 was based in Knin?
4 A. No, I was not aware of that.
5 Q. So, equally, you were not aware that it was the Zadar-Knin police
6 administration that was responsible for the investigation of serious
7 crimes in the region?
8 A. No.
9 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you. We can move to the next subject.
10 Q. I would to now direct your mind, please, Mr. Tchernetsky, to the
11 episode that you described taking place sometime between the 10th and the
12 12th of August of 1995. This was the fire that you say that you observed
13 in Knin.
14 Can you direct your mind to that for me, please.
15 What I'd like to try and do this in respect of this event -- and
16 if you wish you can actually turn to page 3 of your first statement.
17 That's Prosecution Exhibit 204, and it is, in fact, the last paragraph on
18 page 3 of that statement concerning these events.
19 Now, you estimate that this particular event took place sometime
20 between the 10th and 12th of August, 1995. Yes?
21 A. I cannot tell you the precise date but it was somehow just after
22 I returned from leave at the beginning of my tenure, when our group, our
23 team, was stationed in the same place as the headquarters.
24 Q. Now, do you have your statement in front of you at the moment?
25 Do you have that page in front of you?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Can you go to the last three lines of that paragraph. Do you see
3 that it concerns the renting of an office, of a house for your office
4 needs, from a lady whose name has been redacted, and it gives her phone
5 number; and then it says that her apartment in Cara Lazara Sinska Cesta
6 was looted and set on fire.
7 Now, did that event, did the renting of that new office happen
8 around about the same time as the observation of this fire in the centre
9 of Knin?
10 A. The apartment was burned down later, after we rented a new office
11 and after we moved there.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
13 A. A few days later --
14 Q. You misunderstood my question. I'm interested in the actual
15 renting of the office. Did the renting of the new office, the
16 acquisition of your new premises, take place around about the same time
17 that you observed the fire in the centre of Knin?
18 A. Yes. We were renting that office. But for security reasons,
19 many of the members of our team refused to be there during the night.
20 And as a rule, only three our four people were on duty there by night
21 during the first days, while the rest were at the base. It's
22 approximately those same days.
23 MR. CAYLEY: If, please, we could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 118.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Tchernetsky, you can see that this is an UNMO's report
25 dated the 13th of August of 1995, and that it covers the period from
1 0001, so one minute past 12.00 on the 12th of August, to 2000 hours on
2 the 13th of August.
3 Do you see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Now, if we can go to the final page of this
6 document, please.
7 Q. There you will see in the final paragraph that your team,
8 Team Podkonje, reported during this period, and I'm actually interested
9 in the last paragraph, which is "Admin." I guess admin stands for
10 administration. Yes?
11 Sorry. I realise I am asking you in English, and it's being
12 translated --
13 A. Yes, administrative. Administrative issues, administrative
14 affairs. Nothing to do with operations, that is.
15 Q. And you see there that it refers to your team moving into new
16 team accommodation. Do you see that?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Is it likely that you reported that matter to the duty officer at
19 Team Podkonje?
20 A. No. It was the team commander who reported, and the duty
21 officer. At that time, I was not the commander of team.
22 Q. And do you see that it also says that the landlady, this old
23 Serbian lady, was protected by her Croat neighbours when the Croat
24 offensive moved into Knin? Do you see that?
25 A. I can see that, and I can confirm it. It was really so. She
1 said so herself.
2 Q. Now, would it be fair to say that the latest time that could you
3 have seen this fire, based on the information in this report, was perhaps
4 sometime on the 13th of August of 1995?
5 A. I cannot remember any precise dates, I did not keep a diary --
6 JUDGE ORIE: It appears, Mr. Cayley, that you seem to draw some
7 conclusions from the information until now. I heard the witness say that
8 when they moved into that new building or that new premises, that only a
9 few stayed there overnight and then overs stayed in the UN compound. I
10 also understand from his testimony, the earlier parts of it, that they
11 moved from the UN compound and were stopped, more or less, where you
12 crossed the railroad.
13 Now, if it is about logic, then I have difficulties to follow
14 your logic, because part of the team would stay in the UN compound and
15 the other part would be --
16 If it's not logic then, let's ask the witness what he knows.
17 MR. CAYLEY: I think -- well, you've misunderstood me, so I must
18 have misled the Court. What I was trying to establish is exactly the end
19 day on which he could observed the event. And if you look at the
20 statement, you will see that he refers to this particular event after the
21 observation of the fire, the event of renting the new accommodation.
22 So, in that sense, this would have provided an end date, or and
23 end time and an end date, to when he could have observe the fire.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well is that, as you say, in his statement?
25 MR. CAYLEY: If you go to his statement, Your Honour, page 3,
1 final three lines, you will see that he refers to this event.
2 JUDGE ORIE: "I know from her that her apartment ..."
3 You asked a question about that, and he said that was later.
4 That it was her apartment.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. I'll move on, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: This is a lot of confusion. I have really have
7 difficulties in following, if it is about logic.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. CAYLEY:
10 Q. Now, the actual observation of the fire itself, Mr. Tchernetsky,
11 did you select that particular route that day for yourself, or were you
12 ordered to go on that route, to patrol around Knin town centre?
13 A. We set out directly towards the site of fire. That was the
14 shortest way.
15 Q. So you decided yourself to go on that day. You weren't ordered
16 to go by your team commander?
17 A. No. I received an assignment, but I chose the route myself
18 because it was the most direct and the shortest route.
19 Q. Now, on the first occasion, when you tried to observe the fire,
20 you were stopped at a check-point. Yes?
21 A. No. In the centre of town, near the railroad bridge, we were
23 Q. And you were stopped by military police. Yes?
24 A. We were stopped by civilian police, if I remember correctly.
25 MR. CAYLEY: If could I have a moment, Your Honour.
1 Q. Now, on the second occasion, when you observed the fire, were
2 there military police officers present or civilian police officers
4 A. I can't say who was wearing the camouflage uniform, was it the
5 military police or soldiers; but there was also civilian police, together
6 with the fire brigade.
7 Q. Let's go back your first statement, which is P204, and it's the
8 final paragraph of page 3.
9 And if you go halfway down, you will see it begins: "We managed
10 to approach the site from the other side of Knin. Tor took the camera
11 and started taking pictures when I was talking to the military police
13 Do you see that?
14 A. Yes, I can see that.
15 Q. And is that right? Were you talking to a military police
17 A. It was probably not an officer. One or two persons, one or two
18 men in uniform, approached me when they saw our vehicle. It was not a
19 long conversation. We just pretended that we had lost our way, we asked
20 for directions, they showed us the way, and that was enough.
21 MR. CAYLEY: If we could now look at P205, which is the second
22 statement, Prosecutor's Exhibit 205 of the 6th of December, 2007. And,
23 please, if we could about to paragraph 16.
24 Q. And you will see in the second sentence, it states: "I recall
25 this location as the railway bridge. Marked as 3 on annex AT-3 is the
1 location of the block of houses that we could see burning when we were
2 stopped by the military police. I know they were military police because
3 their vehicles indicated so."
4 Do you now recall identifying these military police because the
5 vehicles had insignia which demonstrated that they were military police?
6 A. You know, it's hard to say now. I see the discrepancy between my
7 statements from 2002 and 2007. I find it hard to -- to remember now and
8 to state clearly whether it was military police or civilian police. But
9 they were police.
10 Q. Now, you've given a number of different descriptions of the
11 nature of the fire. Today, you referred to the entire neighbourhood was
12 practically on fire.
13 MR. CAYLEY: And that, Mr. President, is at page 25, line 19.
14 Q. In your first statement, you say the following, and I will read
15 it to you. It's the fourth -- the third sentence, actually, on the last
16 paragraph of page 3. I'll read it to. If you wish to find it, you can.
17 "We went by car directly to the centre of Knin where we saw
18 the whole part of the town on fire?"
19 Then, in your second statement, Prosecution Exhibit 205, you give
20 a slightly different description again, in that you say, at the second
21 sentence of paragraph 16: "Marked as 3 on annex AT-3 is the location of
22 the block of houses that we could see burning when we were stopped by the
23 military police."
24 How many houses do you recall burning at this time?
25 A. It's hard to say because it was night. A number of houses were
1 on fire. This whole territory was surrounded by people and by vehicles.
2 But when I was saying "neighbourhood," I understood it to mean a block, a
3 block of low houses, one or two floors.
4 Q. So are we speaking about one house or two houses, and can you
5 give me a number, please?
6 A. Not less than ten.
7 Q. Not less than ten houses.
8 Now, you said earlier today that all significant events would be
9 reported up the chain to UNMO headquarters in Knin. Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the burning of ten -- up to ten houses, you would accept, as
12 a significant event, isn't it?
13 A. I think so.
14 Q. Let's take a very brief look. I'm not going to show you the UNMO
15 reports that don't actually mention anything described by Team Podkonje,
16 but I will show you a number of the reports during this period which
17 address burnings of houses?
18 MR. CAYLEY: So if we could please have Prosecutor's Exhibit 116.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any dispute about ten houses burning not
20 being in the sitrep.
21 MR. RUSSO: No, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: No. The Chamber is aware that individual houses
23 being burned appear in many sitreps.
24 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, may I just show him two sitreps, which
25 actually describe the events that were being addressed by this team at
1 the moment. It will be very brief. I will be finished before the end of
2 the session.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so. May I take it that your reference to
4 page 25, line 19 was page 23, line 19.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
7 MR. CAYLEY:
8 Q. This, you can see, Mr. Tchernetsky, is a report from UNMO
9 headquarters Sector South, P116, and it addresses the time-period between
10 1800 hours on 10 August and 1800 hours on the 11th of August, 1995.
11 MR. CAYLEY: And if we could please go to page 11 of this report,
12 last two digits 11 -- it's page 3. I'm sorry.
13 Q. Now, if you look at paragraph 8, you will see that the only thing
14 that Team Podkonje reported to the UNMO team headquarters was the issue
15 of a patrol trying to repair a radio repeater.
16 Do you see that?
17 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'd like to object to that. The
18 question is not a fair characterise. It indicates only that that's what
19 HQ reported from Team Podkonje's report, not that that's the only thing
20 that Team Podkonje reported to the HQ.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you put it in such a way that it reflects --
22 MR. CAYLEY:
23 Q. Witness, do you see that here is reported by Team Podkonje the
24 fact that a patrol was sent with a radio technician to a radio repeater?
25 Do you see that?
1 A. I see that. I see that. However, that was only during the last
2 day, between the 10th and 11th. I re-emphasise that I do not remember
3 the exact date when that happened.
4 Q. Now, I'm also right in saying that restrictions on movement that
5 affected UNMO patrols were also affected, weren't they, to UNMO
6 headquarters by all of the teams. Yes?
7 A. That's how it should have been.
8 Q. And if you look at the bottom to of this page, you will see here
9 "restrictions on movement." Do you --
10 A. Not on the 10th.
11 Q. No. I'm --
12 A. On the 10th, it mentions only the relocation of the
13 administrative patrol.
14 Q. No. If you could direct your attention to this particular
15 report. I just want you to look at where it mentions "restrictions of
16 movement" at the end of this report. You will see that the only thing
17 that the Podkonje team reports, in serial 1, is that the fact that they
18 needed written permission to go to the Promine repeater station. Do you
19 see that?
20 A. I see that.
21 Q. And there is no report, is there, on restrictions of movement
22 affecting Team Podkonje in the centre of Knin?
23 A. I see that on the 10th, between the 10th and 11th.
24 Q. Let's now look at P117, Prosecutor's Exhibit 117, which covers
25 the period that you want to refer to.
1 Now, this, Mr. Tchernetsky, you will see is a report from the
2 11th of August at 1800 hours to the 12 of August at 1800 hours. Do you
3 see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. CAYLEY: And if we could please turn to page 3.
6 Q. And you'll see there --
7 MR. CAYLEY: If, please, the page could be moved down, and if,
8 please, the UNMO Team Podkonje reported part could be enlarged.
9 Q. Now, you can see there, Mr. Tchernetsky, what was reported for
10 that period of time, the period of time 11th August, 1800 hours, to
11 12 August, 1800 hours. You will see here that Team Podkonje observed a
12 burning house on the 12th of August at 1645 hours.
13 Do you see that?
14 A. I see that. I have to reiterate that I don't remember the exact
15 date, so I can't really say why. At least, I don't see this incident
16 reflected in these two reports.
17 Q. And you would accept that if a single burning house was regarded
18 as significant to report, then ten houses on fire would have been even
19 more significant, wouldn't it?
20 A. Certainly so.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Tchernetsky, Mr. Munkelien has already given evidence in
22 these proceedings, and he did not arrive in Knin until the 14th of
23 August of 1995. Were you aware of that?
24 A. I can't remember the exact chronology, but I know for a fact that
25 he was with us. That means that this may have happened later, not on the
1 10th, but, say, the 12th, the 15th, the 16th.
2 Q. Well, let's take a look, then, at Prosecutor's Exhibit 67.
3 MR. CAYLEY: And if, please, we could go to page 2, and if,
4 please, we could go to paragraph 9, and if that could be enlarged.
5 Q. Now, you can take it from me that this is the first indication in
6 any UNMO report of you being on patrol with Major Munkelien, and he is
7 referred to there by his first name, Major Tor. You can see that's on
8 the 17th of August.
9 A. I can see that.
10 Q. And you can see here that the team observed one burning house in
11 Knin town, only 200 metres from the team's new office accommodation.
12 A. Yes, I remember this case.
13 Q. Is it possible that you may be confusing events, Mr. Tchernetsky,
14 and that this is, in fact, what you think you observed between the 10th
15 and the 12th of August of 1995?
16 A. No. I insist that I saw a major fire; in fact, not less than a
17 block was burning. It was in the late evening hours after dark, and that
18 was in August.
19 Now, as to the exact date, I really wouldn't be able to say. But
20 I'm sure about the fact, and I'm sure about the location where this was
21 taking place.
22 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, I don't have any further questions to
23 ask this witness. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
25 There is an little time left. Would you have a subject,
1 Mr. Kehoe, that could be dealt with in three minutes to start with?
2 MR. KEHOE: No, not really, Judge.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Mr. Tchernetsky, we have to adjourn for the day. We'd like to
5 see you back tomorrow, the 21st of May, at 9.00 in the morning. But I
6 would ask, Madam Usher first to escort you out of the courtroom.
7 I instruct you that you should not speak with anyone about your
8 testimony, whether already given or still to be given, and we'll
9 certainly finish your testimony tomorrow.
10 Would you please follow Madam Usher.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to give the parties some guiding on how to
13 deal with non-reported matters in sitreps.
14 There are apparently two situations: The one where there's no
15 reporting, and another more specific case where this is a risk of
16 confusing an event that appears in the testimony with an event that was
17 reported by different day, different area, perhaps, different details.
18 Now, if it is just about not reporting, if a witness says,
19 Something happened to me between 10th and 17th of August, then the
20 parties are invited to agree on whether this events appears in the
21 report, yes or no. If not, we don't have to go through all of this. You
22 just put to the witness that the parties have reviewed the sitreps, and
23 then you should detail a report by whom, to whom, so that we don't have
24 the different level of reporting problems. That can be put to the
25 witness, and then the witness can be asked whether he has an explanation
1 for the non-appearance of this event.
2 That, of course, would be different, if there's, I would say, not
3 an invented risk but objectively supported risk of confusion, in which
4 case, of course, the attention can be drawn to the event that was
5 reported, and then ask the witness as, I think, in the second instance
6 Mr. Cayley did, whether there was any risk that he may have confused two
8 That might save some time. Of course, this is based on the
9 assumption that the parties would sit together prior to the testimony of
10 the witness, where the Defence wants to draw our attention to the fact
11 that a certain matter was not reported. At the same time, these events,
12 of course, I take it, are taken from the 92 ter statement of the witness
13 or from the summary of his testimony. So, if it was not reported, I
14 don't think that it would reveal a great secret if the Defence, under
15 those circumstances, would address the Prosecutor and ask whether the
16 Prosecution agrees that in none of the sitreps at whatever level this
17 event was reported. That might save some time in court.
18 We stand adjourned until tomorrow, the 21st day of May, at
19 9.00 a.m.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of May,
22 2008, at 9.00 a.m.