1 Monday, 30 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 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 to
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 The Chamber regrets that we had a late start although not as late
12 as the clock in the courtroom tells.
13 We'll start with giving an opportunity to the Prosecution to
14 respond to -- to reply to the responses given by the Defence on the
15 54 bis motion.
16 Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Always dangerous to say I will try to be brief.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, it's not -- it is encouraging.
20 MR. TIEGER: Fundamentally, Your Honours, the Rule 54 bis
21 application is a matter between the Prosecution and the state of Croatia
22 The prosecution's obligation is to demonstrate to the Chamber under the
23 terms of Rule 54 bis that it has taken reasonable step to obtain
24 documents from the Croatian authorities that are relevant and important
25 to its case. The Prosecution has met this burden.
1 Indeed, the Defence challenges have not asserted that the steps
2 taken by the Prosecution were insufficient to warrant a Rule 54 bis order
3 nor have they challenged the importance or relevance of the documents.
4 Indeed their response itself impliedly acknowledges that the motion is
5 well founded and that the necessary steps have indeed been taken.
6 Instead rather than focussing on the reasonable steps requirement
7 of Rule 54 bis which has been fulfilled, the Defence attempts to
8 introduce Rule 65, and focus on the timing of the application. In fact,
9 Your Honour, there is no overlap between the two. The issue of the
10 introduction of documents is a separate matter, no prejudice results from
11 the Prosecution's attempt to obtain documents, and if and when such
12 documents are obtained, if and when the Prosecution seeks to introduce
13 those documents either in the context of an expert report or otherwise,
14 the Trial Chamber will be in a position to assess the propriety of
15 introducing those documents in the context of both what occurred and the
16 particular documents involved.
17 Now, the Defence in part attempts to overcome the problem that
18 Rule 54 bis is not the same as Rule 65 by mischaracterizing exchanges
19 with the Pre-Trial Chamber during pre-trial proceedings. In fact no
20 instructions were issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber to the Prosecution to
21 do any particular thing. The issue of the possibility of assistance from
22 the Pre-Trial Chamber arose in the context of the Prosecution's attempts
23 to gain access to the archives before July of 2007, by -- that was a
24 concrete problem with -- to which the Pre-Trial Chamber might have been
25 able to direct its attention and the Prosecution alerted the Pre-Trial
1 Chamber to that possibility by July of 2007, when the Court sees some
2 citations to the pre-trial conference and the 65 ter, the Prosecution had
3 managed to overcome that particular problem and then new issues arose, in
4 particular the question of having gained access to the archives and
5 having scoured the archives and continuing in its determination to make
6 sure that those documents were not there as represented by Croatian
7 authorities. Then the Prosecution continued to work with Croatian
8 authorities as they claimed that they were attempting to locate documents
9 that were purportedly not in the archives and certainly not accessible
10 based on the Prosecution's review.
11 It was when the convergence of information revealed that those
12 steps, though efforts to work cooperatively with the Republic of Croatia
13 as mandated but Rule 54 bis were not successful and not only were the
14 efforts an investigations of the Croatian authorities yielding negligible
15 result but further information revealed that the same persons previously
16 involved in efforts to secret or conceal documents from the OTP had now
17 been engaged in the purported effort to locate the documents that were
18 purportedly not in the archives that the Prosecution move forward on the
19 basis of the fact that those cooperative efforts were not going to yield
20 the appropriate results.
21 Further, Your Honour, let me note that in addition to what I have
22 indicated is a mischaracterisation of the events at the time of the
23 pre-trial conference, there is no basis whatsoever for the allegation by
24 the Defence that the Prosecution deliberately delayed the filing of the
25 54 bis in order to affect the outcome of the Gotovina motion to strike,
1 apart from the fact that that was a procedural motion which was not
2 dependant upon any kind of factual basis in any event, the Defence
3 motions themselves reveal that the Defence and the Court was fully aware
4 of the fact that the Prosecution was looking for a large number of
5 documents related to artillery, and one merely needs to look at the
6 October 2007
7 offered by the Defence themselves to realise that and I say again that
8 that allegation is baseless, unfounded, and is categorically rejected.
9 Finally, Your Honour, with respect to the issue of documents
10 allegedly object obtained in violation of the rules, I will emphasise
11 these documents are not covered by Rule 70 or Rule 54 bis (F) and with
12 that I would like to move quickly into private session to more fully
13 address this issue.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Page 5387 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
20 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Your Honour, in response to Mr. Tieger's presentation let me say
22 that I believe that is a mischaracterisation of what their obligations
23 under Rule 354 bis in order to obtain the order. This whole situation
24 basically amounts to what is fair and what is happening here is
25 fundamentally unfair to the defendants, in particular to my client,
1 General Gotovina, in light of the extensive discussions, conversations
2 with the Trial Chamber prior to trial specifically at Rule 65 ter
3 conferences and at Status Conference regarding the need to ensure that
4 the rights of the accused were properly taken care of prior to trial,
5 combined with the Prosecution's need to obtain relevant documents prior
6 to trial.
7 I need only cite you to Mr. Tieger's own words about the need to
8 balance these efforts at the 6 July 2007 Status Conference, at page 249,
9 and in an exchange with Judge Moloto, when Mr. Tieger pledged, and I
10 quote: "Now when we come to a point that begins to implicate the
11 commencement of trial the Defence's ability to prepare and deal with
12 documents that we'll be submitting, then we have to impose a deadline
13 irrespective of the success of these efforts," and I should say we may be
14 asking the Court at some point to assist with those efforts if they're
15 not successful. At this point, we're pursuing them as vigorously as we
17 Judge Moloto then says: "When you talk of imposing a deadline,
18 imposing it on who, on the archival sources or on --"
19 Mr. Tieger then says: "On ourselves for the preparation and
20 submission of those calling it a deadline for the submission of those
22 So, the linkage between their efforts with the archival source,
23 their need to prepare expert reports, the commencement of the trial date
24 and the Defence's ability to prepare and deal with their documents, all
25 were the subject of extensive conversation, discussion with both the
1 Defence and the Pre-Trial Judge.
2 Now, what this amounts to or what this boils down to is what is
3 fair in this situation. Rule 54 bis in addition to imposing the step
4 which Mr. Tieger referred to in his presentation under Rule 54 bis (B)
5 (ii) about taking reasonable steps, the first problem that they have to
6 -- the first hurdle that they have to clear says Rule 54 bis (B)(i) that
7 the documents they seek or information -- I'm sorry. Let me read the
8 whole rule: "The judge the Trial Chamber or may reject an application
9 under paragraph A in limine if in satisfied that, one, the documents or
10 information are not relevant to any matter in issue in the proceedings
11 before them or are not necessary for a fair determination of any such
13 Now there in the rule, the matter of fairness is inserted and can
14 be considered and should be considered by the Trial Chamber before
15 issuing an order under Rule 54 bis and fairness, is precisely what our
16 response deals with. So the Trial Chamber in fact at this stage should
17 consider whether these documents ultimately would be admissible or would
18 be necessary for the Trial Chamber or would be fair to admit.
19 It is our submission, Your Honours, that not only are these
20 documents not necessary for a fair determination, it goes beyond that.
21 The use of these document would say be fundamentally unfair, in light of
22 the Prosecution's own failures not only I would say to act with due
23 diligence, but this was a conscious thought-out considered decision by
24 the Prosecution not to take up the Trial Chamber's offer from July and
25 October to assist them in obtaining these documents.
1 This is not a situation where the Prosecution has discovered new
2 evidence or discovered the existence of evidence in the middle of trial.
3 This is a situation where and even at the July 2007 conference, if I may
4 speak for the Defence, Mr. Kehoe said if you need the documents, then we
5 would just urge you to go ahead and ask the Trial Chamber for assistance
6 now but please, please, please, please, don't do it on the eve of trial
7 and implicitly don't do it during trial so that the Defence is
9 Our position, Your Honour, is that now, as a result of the
10 Prosecution's conscious willing thought-out decision to not raise this
11 issue for a year, to wait until the middle of trial to do this, all of
12 the negative consequences of this action is being proposed to be shifted
13 on to the defendants. That is fundamentally unfair. The Prosecution,
14 and let me start it off by saying we are assuming for the purposes of
15 this motion that these documents even exist. But let's say they do
16 exist. It is now the Prosecution's implied position that any negative
17 consequences as a result of their own dilatory conduct are now the
18 defendant's burdens to bear. That is not fair.
19 With respect to the assertion in Mr. Tieger' argument that they
20 took reasonable steps I think our position on the papers is quite the
21 opposite. I believe that the reasonable steps that should have been
22 taken were clearly spelled out in July and in October. That reasonable
23 step was to move then before the commencement of trial to seek the Trial
24 Chamber's assistance.
25 The Prosecution from the Prosecution apparently now is is that
1 having failed to do what was reasonable a year ago, they start with a
2 clean slate and now we can start as if this issue has suddenly appeared
3 and we can go into the matter again, without having to refer back to
4 their failure to take the reasonable step from before.
5 With respect to -- and I'm not sure I understood the argument but
6 there was some I think attempts to say that what we were discussing in
7 July is not related to what we're discussing today. I think that, quite
8 frankly is contradicted by the Prosecution's own motion. One only need
9 to look at the fact that the document request they are seeking assistance
10 on was issued in November 2006. So apparently this was what was
11 discussed in July of 2007 and in October of 2007. They know it and they
12 know they failed to take steps on this.
13 Whatever was going on behind the scenes, it seems quite clear and
14 Judge Moloto made it quite clear that they needed to move prior to trial
15 to seek the Trial Chamber's assistance. They failed to do so.
16 Your Honour, if I may, how much time do I have left? I didn't
17 mark the beginning.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think you have seven minutes left.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 I'm not -- I don't believe we're mischaracterizing any of the
21 exchanges is what Mr. Tieger suggests. I think the record is quite clear
22 and the Trial Chamber needs only to review the transcripts of what was
23 being discussed. Our point was quite simple: Let us have a fair
24 opportunity to meet the Prosecution's case. I have already quoted
25 Mr. Tieger as having acknowledged that to be fair to the defendants, this
1 needed to be taken care of prior to trial. Now I can only look at the
2 Prosecution's shelling expert report and say that apparently the
3 Prosecution felt that that was, to them, simply an early draft of the
4 report that they intended or intend to submit, because, at the same time
5 that they're submitting an expert report on shelling, they're also
6 pursuing apparently several hundred categories of documents on shelling.
7 They don't alert the Trial Chamber to this fact, they don't alert the
8 defendants to this fact and now presumably we're going to get -- after a
9 Rule 54 bis order is issued they want to then submit a final report which
10 will be I'm certain much different than the report that is currently
11 filed with the register.
12 This is fundamental unfairness and the defendant should not be
13 made to bear the burden of the Prosecution's own decisions prior to trial
14 to essentially reject the Pre-Trial Judge offer to seek the Trial
15 Chamber's assistance.
16 We still have not heard a rational explanation of why this was
17 not taken care of last year. I waited for Mr. Tieger to provide that
18 explanation. I still fail to understand in light of the importance to
19 the Prosecution's case of the artillery allegation in light of the fact
20 that this Trial Chamber has heard now three months of evidence on
21 artillery, it is clearly a pillar of the Prosecution's case that we still
22 have not heard a rational explanation of why this was not handled before
23 or why the Prosecution decided not to seek the Trial Chamber's
25 With respect to the remaining parts of Mr. Tieger's presentation,
1 I am quite frankly surprised that the Prosecution takes the position that
2 communications -- well, let me take a step back. The document at issue
3 was indeed not authored by the Defence. It was my understanding based on
4 practice that communications of one party and a Rule 70 provider were
5 confidential. The Prosecution is now taking a contrary position and
6 therefore I assume is of the position that the defendants have free reign
7 now to discover all their communications with Rule 70 providers. I don't
8 think that is their position and I don't think a double standard should
9 be imposed on us. To the extent that there is implication that and, I
10 think I read between the lines, Mr. Tieger implying that the Croatian
11 government itself is secreting documents, I found nothing in the
12 Prosecution's papers s to suggest that. Indeed the assertion that the
13 Croatian government since March 1996 is secreting documents that the
14 Prosecution didn't even think to ask for until November 2006 borders on
15 the absurd.
16 And then the subimplication that the Gotovina Defence is
17 secreting documents from the Prosecution is an allegation that requires a
18 bit more proof than was given by Mr. Tieger there and I can say without
19 any hesitation that that is -- that implication is categorically false
20 and disappointing to hear.
21 In short, Your Honour, and in conclusion, again, to me and to us,
22 this boils down to simply a question of fairness. The question of
23 fairness is something you can consider under Rule 54 bis as I cited. We
24 would ask that the Trial Chamber consider that, consider whether it would
25 be fair ultimately to admit these documents and in the absence of any
1 coherent explanation from the Prosecution as to why this -- these issues
2 were not addressed prior to trial, I would ask the Trial Chamber to
3 reject the Rule 54 bis application.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic. You also stayed well within
6 the time allocated to you.
7 One of the things that puzzles me in your submissions is that
8 you're talking about a Rule 70 provider. I always understood Rule 70 to
9 be that certain information or documents are provided under Rule 70,
10 which, of course in relation to that material makes the provider a Rule
11 70 provider, but it seems that you have a broader concept of what the
12 rules are if material is provided by a provider who has previously or at
13 other instances invoked Rule 70 protection.
14 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, this would require a bit more
15 briefing, but I think I can cite, if given the opportunity or if the
16 Trial Chamber wants the citations there is prior Tribunal jurisprudence
17 which analogises the Rule 70 (A) provisions to what is known in the
18 United States and I believe in the UK as the work product doctrine. I
19 believe that the work product doctrine, if in fact the Tribunal's
20 jurisprudence can be ready to say that Rule 70 actually is more akin to
21 the work product doctrine, communications between a party and what we
22 refer to as a third-party provider, although not technically a
23 representative, would be confidential, both in the request that is
24 submitted to the third-party provider and the -- any internal memoranda
25 created by the third-party provider to comply with the request that was
2 Now, as I said, as a matter of practice, it was and would have
3 been and has been, to me, up to this point, inconceivable that we would
4 ask, for example to issue a document request to the Republic of Croatia
5 saying, Please give us all of your communications with the Office of the
6 Prosecutor. It simply would be fundamentally unfair and I believe that
7 the parties at the very least up until now have been operating under the
8 assumption that parties should be able to have communications with a
9 third-party provider that are not discoverable by the other side because
10 I think that inherently then impedes both sides, because our theory of
11 the case, what avenues we're pursuing, what avenues they're pursuing can
12 be deciphered from communications as to what it is that we're interested
13 in or what it is that they're interested in.
14 So, as it strictly -- on its face, you are you correct, we would
15 assert that the Republic of Croatia
16 as I don't think they are a representative of the Office of the
17 Prosecutor. But up until this point we have I think not just in this
18 case but I'm pretty sure, and the other counsel can speak to the other
19 cases that they have appeared in before this Tribunal, that requests for
20 communications with the other side by a third party is not something that
21 generally has been done at this Tribunal and it is for that reason that
22 this situation we believe has gone outside of the norm here and I believe
23 would be outside what has generally been interpreted as the work product
24 doctrine thus far of the Tribunal.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, which raises the issue the Chamber has no idea
1 where these documents come from. I don't know whether we can deal with
2 it in open session or not. Because --
3 MR. MISETIC: These documents -- well, we don't either so ...
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but nevertheless you invoke that this is the
5 result of a kind of a protected communications with the -- but perhaps
6 before we continue here we move into private session again.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 5398-5405 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 I think we then are at a point to ask the Prosecution whether
15 it's ready to call its next witness.
16 Mr. Du Toit, is it you who is going to take that witness?
17 MR. TIEGER: That's correct, Your Honour. And if we could just a
18 moment just to switch positions.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Mr. Du Toit, I think there was one issue of the status of an
21 information sheet, which I think you communicated to the Chamber's legal
22 officer that you would seek guidance.
23 MR. DU TOIT: That is indeed so, Mr. President. And the
24 appropriate time might be at a certain stage where the certain document
25 is dealt with and my intention is to, especially the one orientation map
1 will be dealt with sort at the end of the witness testimony and maybe at
2 that time it would be appropriate for me to request the Court some
4 The one other matter is, as you probably have also seen,
5 Mr. President, is that these two statements that the witness made that is
6 not -- was not part of the 92 ter motion itself, these two statements is
7 referred to in one of the statements of the witness, the one on 18
8 July 2007
9 witness made on the 10th of March in 1996 and in paragraph 43 of the 18
10 July 2007 statement there's also reference of another statement that the
11 witness made in August 1995, and I will request the Court to allow me
12 from the bar table to also refer to these two statements.
13 As I say, I have uploaded them into e-court. They have been
14 provided provisional 65 ter numbers and I will request at the appropriate
15 time to be permitted to add them to the 65 ter exhibit list and also to
16 deal with the witness. I have informed the Defence about that also.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Steenbergen. I suppose. Yes. I
20 didn't see you come into the courtroom. We were dealing with a
21 procedural matter. I apologise for that.
22 Mr. Steenbergen, before you give evidence in this Court, the
23 Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration
24 that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
25 I see that your microphones are not switched on.
1 May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
3 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, please be seated.
5 Mr. Steenbergen, I addressed you in English, not in Dutch since
6 we have no interpretation. Whenever you feel uncomfortable either by
7 understanding what is asked or in expressing yourself in answering
8 questions, you may address me, not to say that we will then continue in
9 Dutch but at least we're aware there is a problem.
10 Mr. Du Toit, are you ready?
11 MR. DU TOIT: I'm ready. Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 WITNESS: HERMAN STEENBERGEN
14 Examination by Mr. Du Toit:
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Steenbergen. Can you state your full name for
16 the record, please?
17 A. My name is Herman Steenbergen.
18 Q. Can you state your present occupation?
19 A. At this moment I am a medical inspector at DUD medical
21 Q. And you have the rank of colonel, is that correct?
22 A. The rank of lieutenant-colonel.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Steenbergen, is it correct that over the weekend we meet
24 and we dealt with various statements that you made on various times with
25 the Office of the Prosecutor?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Now the first one I want to deal with you is your witness
3 statement that you made to the office dated the 18th of July, 2007
4 MR. DU TOIT: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could maybe please call
5 that up, it is 65 ter 05236, please.
6 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, in front of you is that statement. Do you
7 recognise it?
8 A. I recognise this statement.
9 Q. Now, during your conversation you also provided certain
10 additional information and informed me that you wanted to correct a few
11 aspects of this statement. Is that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. Registrar, can we move please to page 5 of that
14 statement, paragraph 32, please.
15 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, the second line of that paragraph reads:
16 "During this second period of shelling we received an evacuation order
17 for Knin HQ?"
18 Is that correct?
19 A. No, that is not correct. From, must be from the HQ.
20 MR. DU TOIT: Can we move, please, to page 6, paragraph 40, the
21 next page, please.
22 Q. The last line, you indicated: "During the afternoon of the 4th
23 of August we observed Croatian troops by JorBat 3 camp."
24 Now, did you observe any troops in fact on the 4th, or was that
25 also a mistake?
1 A. It must be on the 5th.
2 Q. Thank you. That is all.
3 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I will also deal with certain other
4 aspects once the statement is admitted.
5 Q. Can I then move to your -- another statement you made on the 18th
6 of September, 2007.
7 MR. DU TOIT: That statement, Mr. Registrar, if you can call it
8 up, please, is 65 ter 05237, please.
9 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, in front of you is a statement dated the 18th of
10 September, 2007. You also had the opportunity to read that statement and
11 this is the statement that you made on the 18th of September, 2007. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, then I would like to move to another
15 statement that the witness made which I indicated when I -- when you
16 requested me at the beginning, and that is a statement that was allegedly
17 made on the 10th of March, 1996. And as I have indicated, I have given
18 notice to my learned friends and we've loaded this statement already on
19 the e-court. It is not part of the 92 ter submission. I would like
20 permission from the Chamber to add that statement to the 65 ter list and
21 to request the registrar to call it up first, please.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Any objection against the document being added to
23 the 65 ter list.
24 I see no objections so therefore permission is granted to add the
25 10th of March, 1996 statement to the 65 ter list.
1 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Mr. Registrar, can we then call up, please, 65 ter exhibit 05254,
3 please. That is the statement of March 1996.
4 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, it is in front of you. Can you perhaps just
5 indicate to us this statement that you made on the 10th of March 1996
6 that you prepared it yourself or that any person assisted you in
7 preparing this statement?
8 A. No. I prepared this statement myself on request of the UN.
9 There was no assistance from other individuals.
10 Q. And in the statement was basically facts, as I understand it, to
11 the Office of the Prosecutor?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Now, I want us to refer to one aspect of the statement, the
14 second-last entry where it reads: "The UNMO team observed several SP
15 policemen being involved in looting of properties."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. I see this statement, yeah.
18 Q. Now, is that in fact a correct statement?
19 A. The statement I made during that period was, to my belief
20 correct. If I go back now in time, I cannot remember specific details of
21 being special police involved in looting. Now I'm talking about almost
22 13 years ago and at this moment I cannot recollect anything of these
24 Q. That you personally observed?
25 A. That I personally observed.
1 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, then lastly, the fourth statement,
2 if I can call it that, is another statement that the witness made during
3 August 1995. It is a similar position like the previous one. I would
4 also like permission to introduce it from the bar table and it has been
5 already loaded on to e-court and the number is 05257, please, and I would
6 also like permission to add that --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Any objections against the statement being
8 added to the 65 ter list? No objection. Then permission is granted to
9 add it to the 65 ter list.
10 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, just one aspect regarding this statement that
12 you made in August of 1995, dealing with the loss of certain of your
13 properties. The sort of first paragraph, the fourth line from the bottom
14 you indicate five, 1600 hours, be August, 1995 the HV troops entered
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes, I see that.
18 Q. Is that correct?
19 A. To my knowledge, this is correct.
20 Q. Did you see any troops yourself moving into Gracac on the 5th of
21 August, 1995?
22 A. No, not entering Gracac itself. I have seen troops passing by
23 the Jordanian compound from JorBat 3.
24 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I would like to then put some
25 questions to the witness regarding the admissibility of these four
2 Q. Firstly, Mr. Steenbergen, as you indicated before, you have
3 basically read these four statements that you just testified about. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Now, do the statements accurately reflect the information that
7 you provided to the Office of the Prosecutor with the corrections or
8 caveats that you just made?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And is the information contained in the statements true and
11 correct to the best of your knowledge, subject to the corrections you
12 have made?
13 A. To the best of my knowledge, they are correct.
14 Q. And if you were asked in Court today the same matters here,
15 subject to the caveats, would your information be the same again?
16 A. It would be the same.
17 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, with that I would request that the
18 four statements be moved into evidence and be allocated P numbers. The
19 first one is in the 5236 statement, 18 July 2007.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I do understand that you said -- the last
21 two were not part of the 92 ter application you tender them from the bar
22 table. I do understand what you are actually doing is to orally
23 introduce them under Rule 92 ter.
24 MR. DU TOIT: That is so, Mr. President, thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I always understand tendered from the bar table just
1 that they are tendered into evidence without any further explanation of a
2 witness, but that is apparently not the case here.
3 Mr. Registrar the first one, 65 ter 5236, statement of the 18th
4 of July 2007.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes exhibit number P516.
6 JUDGE ORIE: No objections, P516 is admitted into evidence.
7 Next one is 65 ter 5237, witness statement 18th of September,
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P517, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. P517 is admitted into evidence.
11 Next one is 65 ter 5254, statement of the 10th of March, 1996
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P518, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: P518 in the absence of any objections is admitted
14 into evidence.
15 The last one, 65 ter 5257, statement of the 21st of
16 September 1995.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P519, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P519, in the absence of any objection is admitted
19 into evidence.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Du Toit.
21 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Mr. President, as the Court is aware in our 92 ter motion we have
23 also requested to add 16 photographs that's been dealt with in the
24 witness statement of the 18th of September 2007 that has just been
25 admitted as P17 [sic] and I would like to request permission to add also
1 these photographs to the court exhibits and they have been marked as 65
2 ters 05238 to 05253, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No objections from what I see, and we learn this
4 from the written submissions as well.
5 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I don't if you want me to read them
6 out one by one.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. Let me first see. Yes. Permission to add
8 them to the 65 ter list is granted. May I take it that you want to have
9 them admitted into evidence as well?
10 MR. DU TOIT: Yes, please, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE ORIE: A practical way of doing it is that Mr. Registrar
14 provides a list and that after the break we'll finally decide on the
15 basis of numbers he will then have provisionally assigned.
16 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Mr. President, I would like now to move to read a short witness
18 summary of this pending testimony of this witness and as is the custom I
19 have explained to the witness the purpose of this but maybe the Court
20 will just want to add to this.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that the explanation will do for
22 Mr. Steenbergen.
23 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you. The statement reads as follows:
24 "Witness 147 was an UNMO in Sector South from April until October 1995.
25 During Operation Storm he was deputy team leader of UNMO Team Gracac and
1 a few days later became team leader.
2 "The witness observed the shelling of Gracac on the 4th of
3 August 1995 and coordinated the evacuation of UNMO personnel from the
4 town to the JorBat 3 contingent on that date due to the danger posed by
5 the shelling.
6 "On 5th of August 1995 he observed from JorBat 3 headquarters two
7 groups of HV special police forces advancing towards Gracac.
8 "On the 6th of August 1995 he returned to Gracac and observed and
9 sometimes photographed damage from shelling, looting and burning in and
10 around Gracac in the aftermath of Operation Storm.
11 "In particular, on 6 August 1995, he observed HV special forces
12 being present in Gracac and persons dressed in civilian clothes wearing
13 orange arm bands being involved in an organised way by cleaning and
14 stripping of the houses within Gracac. The persons wearing orange arm
15 bands would remove furniture from houses and place it outside and a
16 mixture of civilian and military trucks would then take it away.
17 "He also observed HV regular troops on the 18th of August 1995
18 while he was on patrol near Velika Popina on his way to observe many
19 houses on fire but was stopped before reaching his destination by HV
20 regular troops that banged the UNMO vehicle with their weapons.
21 "The witness will also testify that during the end of August 1995
22 he visited the police station at Gracac to complain about the continuing
23 burning of the houses by the Croatian police. He was informed that it
24 was due to faulty wiring installed by the Serbs."
25 That is the end of the statement, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Du Toit.
2 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I would like to move now to certain
3 maps that the witness prepared, and I want first, Mr. Registrar, can you
4 please call up 65 ter 04687, please.
5 THE WITNESS: Is it possible to make a correction from that
7 JUDGE ORIE: This statement is not evidence. It is just to
8 inform the public. If there would be a major mistake of course we would
9 allow you. If is a minor matter then -- but if you think that --
10 THE WITNESS: Well, there is actually stated Croatian police
11 about the continued burning of houses by Croatian police.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That was --
13 THE WITNESS: That is not observed by me, only being seen houses
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that correction.
16 Again, evidence is what is in your statement as corrected by you
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, is this correct that this is it a map that you
21 prepared and it has been part of your 18 September 2007 statement and you
22 also identified certain areas on this map. Is that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, just maybe for practical purposes we
25 have also prepared another version of this map which we use sort of more
1 computer technology and it's basically similar as this one and we've just
2 added the legend to that so maybe for the purposes may maybe also ask to
3 introduce a second similar map from the bar table and it has been marked
4 exhibit 05271.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think the markings are -- it is difficult
6 to --
7 MR. DU TOIT: That is so, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have it on the screen then for a second so
9 we can see what the other one looks like.
10 Any objections by the Defence. Not.
11 Then I take it you want to tender them.
12 MR. DU TOIT: Yes, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 04687 becomes exhibit number
15 P536. 65 ter 05271 becomes exhibit number P537.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P536 and P537 are admitted into evidence.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. DU TOIT:
19 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, if we can deal with this last map that has been
20 introduced as 537, is it also correct that in your statement you made
21 certain -- identified certain points and just maybe for the sake I don't
22 think that will be in dispute.
23 If I can maybe just read that basically point A on the map deals
24 and you identified the UNMO team offices in the centre of Gracac. Is
25 that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And then point B on the map is the UNMO team offices in the
3 centre of Gracac as of the -- as of June, July, 1995. Is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And point C on the map is the military storage factory. Is that
7 A. Yeah, that's correct.
8 Q. And then points D and point E represent cross-roads. Is that
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Now, in our meeting over the weekend I have also requested you to
12 identify the police station that you mentioned in your statement that was
14 Can you maybe, with the help of Madam Usher on this map just mark
15 it with an F, just identify, please, for us, the location of the police
17 JUDGE ORIE: The colour code is known.
18 MR. DU TOIT: Maybe again red if -- if is okay with the, Judge --
19 with you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see, red is for the Prosecution; and blue is
21 for the Defence, yes.
22 MR. DU TOIT: Can you maybe just stay there.
23 Q. And can you also identify on this map with a G the place where
24 you stayed in your rented house, as you explained in your statement,
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I would like to also move this map
4 into evidence, with the additions of F and G, please.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes exhibit number P538.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P538 is admitted into evidence.
8 And just it avoid whatever misunderstanding, the F on the line
9 going from south to north ending up in a oval just north of the lower
10 circle is F, whereas G refers to the circle lowest on the map marked.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you.
13 Mr. Registrar, I would like to move back to the witness statement
14 that the witness made on the 18th July 2007, P16 [sic] please. And
15 specifically to page 3 of that statement, please, paragraph 7 -- sorry,
16 paragraph 13.
17 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, in paragraph 13 of this statement you talked
18 about weapon caches. Do you recall whether you saw any of them in Gracac
20 A. No, negative. I didn't see any in Gracac itself.
21 Q. In paragraph 14, you also deal with certain aspects in Gracac
22 town specifically. Now, can you remember when you left the town on the
23 4th of August whether you in fact passed this military storage that is
24 marked C and whether you in fact observed any damage to the storage?
25 A. Not to my knowledge at this moment. And also we didn't report it
1 during that time.
2 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I see it is 10.30. I don't know, it
3 may be an appropriate time.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is an appropriate time for a break. Since
5 the estimates of how much time you would need are not always fully the
6 same, could you give us an indication of how much time you would still
8 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I would probably another say 40
9 minutes, 45 minutes with the witness would suffice. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And we started at 10.00 with the examination of this
11 witness so it stays even within the most optimistic time estimates.
12 We'll have a break and resume at five minutes to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du Toit, if you would allow me, I would like to
16 deliver a rather short decision.
17 Mr. Steenbergen, sometimes procedural matters need a minute as
19 This is the designation on the Prosecution's application to reply
20 to the Defence responses to the Prosecution's submissions of Rule 92 ter
21 statements of Witness 81. I will now deliver this decision.
22 On the 17th of June, 2008, the Prosecution filed its submission
23 of 92 ter statements for Witness 81. On the 19th of June, the Cermak
24 Defence filed its response, not objecting to the Prosecution's
25 submission. The Gotovina Defence and the Markac Defence filed separate
1 responses, objecting to the Prosecution's submission on the 25th of
2 June and 26th of June respectively.
3 Also, on the 26th of June, the Prosecution filed its application
4 to reply to these Defence responses.
5 The Chamber hereby grants the Prosecution leave to file a reply
6 and orders that the Prosecution's reply should be no longer than a
7 thousand words, to be filed no later than 10.00 a.m. on the 1st of July,
9 The Defence are given leave to respond to the Prosecution's reply
10 and each such response to be no longer than a thousand words and to be
11 filed no longer than close of business on the 2nd of July, 2008.
12 I think the parties were already informally given notice that
13 they should already start working because the time-limits are rather
15 This concludes the Chamber's decision on this matter.
16 Mr. Du Toit, please proceed.
17 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, before the break we were looking at your
19 statement, and I'm going to go with it further to just to clarify and to
20 highlight certain passages thereof.
21 MR. DU TOIT: So -- just hold on. If we can move to paragraph 24
22 of your -- of that statement. I think it is probably the next page.
23 Thank you.
24 Q. Regarding paragraph 24 of your statement, can you perhaps just
25 clarify the following for us, please. Did you at any stage in fact
1 observe a shell hitting either one of the houses or your house directly?
2 A. No, I didn't observe directly a shell. I only observed shrapnel
3 hitting the houses and heard it.
4 Q. Did you hear any other aspects or any other sounds while you were
5 standing there at your house?
6 A. Yeah, that's correct. I heard shells flying over my location
7 where I lived.
8 Q. Do you know where these shells came from?
9 A. At that moment, I didn't know, no.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DU TOIT: Can we move to paragraph 38, please. It's on the
12 next page. Maybe just -- sorry, it's my mistake, to page six because it
13 is in the second part of that paragraph 38, Mr. Registrar. Sorry.
14 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, at the top of that page, you made the following
15 observation, that you saw or that you stated that there was ten
16 explosions in the general area of Gracac from a direction 220 to 230
18 Now can you maybe just explain that, what do you mean by that?
19 A. Actually, that means that the observer hears outgoing fire from
20 that direction, 220 degrees, and if you go to that situation there, it
21 was probably in the vicinity of Mali Alan.
22 Q. Now, the person that observed this, where is this person
24 A. That person was at the JorBat 3 compound.
25 Q. And do I understand you correctly that you observed the 220 to
1 230 degrees means that they observed shelling from the direction of Mali
2 as you explained it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. DU TOIT: If we can go to paragraph 40, please.
6 Q. You already corrected some aspects thereof. But is it also
7 correct that when we met you also informed me of certain movements of RSK
8 troops that you observed basically on the -- on the 8th -- on the 5th of
9 August, 1995
10 A. What we observed from that location was a group of RSK soldiers
11 passing over a ridge line just north of our location of the JorBat
12 compound, and we could see them travelling in the direction of east
14 Q. And did anything happen to that group of people?
15 A. Not to my knowledge.
16 Q. Was there any shelling directed towards them?
17 A. Yeah. Later on, we seen an incoming, yeah, artillery shell in
18 the vicinity where we first observed this group.
19 Q. Do you know where the shelling came from?
20 A. No, I do not know.
21 Q. Now, if we move to paragraph 41 of your statement. You talk
22 there about the special police forces that you observed in the morning.
23 Now, can you just explain, did you talk to anybody that -- from
24 these forces that you observed on the 5th of August, 1995?
25 A. I cannot recall that it was me or another team member, but I know
1 for sure, or remember the incident that the advancing column in front of
2 JorBat was observed by us and we more or less asked the commander if he
3 wanted to speak to us, and he just briefly came to us and he said, Well,
4 I'm heading for Gracac and I have a job to do and I have no time. I'm in
5 a hurry.
6 Q. What language did you speak with you?
7 A. He spoke in clear English.
8 Q. Did you observe the clothing that these persons wore that was
9 part of this group when you spoke to the commander?
10 A. Yeah. They were wearing olive-green military suits. The
11 commander was wearing a Kevlar helmet and they were wearing ops vests.
12 Not everybody was wearing that same Kevlar helmet. Only I observed that
13 it was the commander who spoke to us.
14 Q. And with regard to the shoes, did you observe anything?
15 A. Yeah. Regarding the shoes, they were wearing mountain shoes, not
16 the regular army boots but mountain boots.
17 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. Registrar, can we perhaps request to show
18 Exhibit P324 to the witness, please.
19 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, when we met over the weekend, I also showed you
20 this exhibit that was already introduced in court. And do you see the
21 person carrying a television set to the -- to the left of the truck. Do
22 you see that?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. Now --
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, excuse me, I don't think it has
1 ever been established that that is a television set but ...
2 MR. DU TOIT: Okay. I will accept that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: An object.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you.
6 Q. Now, the clothes that this person is wearing, if you compare that
7 with the persons that you saw on the 5th of August at the JorBat 3 camp,
8 can you provide any explanation to any similarities, if any?
9 A. This is similar uniform, similar boots, a uniform without
10 camouflage pattern.
11 MR. DU TOIT: And can we just move to the second page of this
12 exhibit, please, Mr. Registrar.
13 Q. Now, the person sitting there is also wearing something. You
14 talked previously about them, an ops vest. Do you recognise any
15 similarity here?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. I observed the same uniforms as showed in
17 this picture.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. Registrar, can we go back to the statement
20 again, please. To paragraph 42; page 6, please.
21 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, the last sentence of that paragraph you
22 indicated that you attempted to travel to the border, you managed to
23 reach Otric but you were turned back by Croatian troops "who were banging
24 our vehicle with their weapons and threatening us."
25 Is that correct?
1 A. This is not correct stated in time. This is later on stated.
2 Q. Yeah. And we will in fact --
3 MR. DU TOIT: Sorry, Mr. Registrar, to jump around, but can we
4 show the witness Exhibit D92, page 2, please. And sort of subparagraph 8
5 where it says UNMO Gracac reported, sort of the last paragraph of that
6 heading, if you can just blow that up for us, please.
7 Q. The entry there, Mr. Steenbergen, is as can you see on the 18th
8 of August, 1430 UNMO patrol observed at Velika Popina, and gives the grid
9 reference, approximately 10 burning houses, HV troops at the spot acting
10 in a hostile manner by banging the UNMO vehicle with their weapons.
11 Is this the incident that you were referring to?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. When you use the term "HV troops," what do you understand by that
14 or what do you mean by that?
15 A. First of all, you can use HV troops as a regular word. It's the
16 same if you go for Dutch troops but you can subdivide them in various
17 types of units or elements.
18 For example, you have general Dutch troops, infantry, or you have
19 Special Forces. And this word can be meant as general, but in this
20 specific incident it is meant as general HV troops, not Special Forces.
21 Q. Can you remember whether you observed any specific sort of
22 clothes that they were wearing, this group of people that you observed on
23 the 18th?
24 A. To my knowledge, I can remember that they wear camouflage
1 Q. And how big was this group of people, approximately?
2 A. Yeah ... about 20 persons.
3 Q. Now, is it correct that you, in fact --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic -- sorry, I apologise, Mr. Mikulicic.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, counsel, maybe it is a right
6 time just to clear up something, because while we have this document on
7 the screen. The paragraph that you are referring is dated 18th of
8 August, and the paragraph in the middle statement under 42 when he was --
9 when he was turned back by the Croatian troops is dated around 5th or 6th
11 So could you just make clear whether this is referring to that
12 date or some other.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. DU TOIT: Yes, thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, you heard that and maybe I should have been more
16 clear about that. When you talked about in your statement that around
17 5th or 6th you receive orders to monitor the movement of HV troops
18 towards and into Bosnia
19 sentence that I just read out. What was your intention within you made
20 paragraph 42? Did you want to indicate that also during 5th or 6th
21 August that you visit that place or was it in time distinct from each
22 other, two instances distinct from each other?
23 A. Yes. It is more in time, because during that period we didn't
24 travel that far outside, and it is more given within the time-frame.
25 Q. So do I understand you correctly when you say 5th or 6th August,
1 you did not mean that you also travelled to that incident on the 5th or
2 the 6th of August?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Because you were still at the camp?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Okay. And is it correct, just to finalise this aspect, that you
7 in fact did not go to these incidents of burning houses that you saw
8 because of the incident with the soldiers?
9 A. That's correct. We were, no, we can called it repelled, we
10 were -- this group where we are talking were hitting our vehicles with
11 their rifle-butts, showing hand-grenades, and -- well, made us clear that
12 we were not welcome there.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. Registrar, can we go back to the statement
15 again, paragraph 49 on page 7, please.
16 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, if you read through paragraph 49 and also on 51
17 and also in 52, you also talk generically about HV troops, if you read
18 paragraph 49, the first line: "Initially we saw regular HV troops taking
19 property from the houses."
20 Now you've already testified to that in the earlier part of your
21 testimony, but can you perhaps just clarify that again for us, please?
22 A. Just to clarify, I did not observe, at this moment what I can
23 recollect, HV troops doing any looting. What we observed is -- what I
24 remember what happened is that HV troops were present at the scene.
25 Q. What type of HV troops were present at the scene?
1 A. During that time I only observed special police forces in Gracac.
2 Q. And you also, in paragraph 39 of your statement, talk about this
3 group of people wearing civilian clothes with an orange band.
4 Can you perhaps just elaborate more on that, please?
5 A. Yeah. What we observed was a group of individuals wearing
6 civilian clothes, wearing an orange arm-band. They were stripping
7 houses, taking out furniture, threw it on the street, and later on it was
8 collected by trucks.
9 Q. Can you any -- provide any more clarification about the identity
10 of these people? Were they men, women? What were they?
11 A. No. What I remember from that period is that were more or less
12 elderly, 50-plus years, not fit for duty. Yeah, just wore civilian
13 clothes with this arm-band and were performing these tasks.
14 Q. Thank you for that.
15 The trucks that you have observed, can you also perhaps be more
16 specific about the trucks that you observed that were used?
17 A. Yeah, what we observed during that period as -- were just general
18 and military and civilian trucks, open lorries, where you put, yeah,
19 equipment or just your belongings in the back of the truck. It's open
21 Q. Now, if we can move to paragraph 58 of your statement. It is the
22 next page, please.
23 You talk of an incident there on the 19th of August, 1995
24 you present when the photographs were taken?
25 A. Again, I cannot recollect that I was present during the taking of
1 those pictures I was shown. I can recollect the incident as described in
2 this paragraph.
3 Q. And then in, lastly, in paragraph 59, you talk about the visit
4 to -- and you met with Croatian police.
5 Now, the place that you visited, was it the police station?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. The same one that you previously identified on the map as point
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Now, can you remember what type of clothes that this person wore
11 which you spoke to?
12 A. Now, during that period it was normal civilian -- civilian police
13 in grey uniform.
14 Q. And why did you want to go and talk to the police at that stage?
15 A. Well, because in -- our houses started burning and we asked for a
16 clarification of -- of that.
17 Q. The person that you talked to, can you describe him, can you
18 remember who he was or what position he held?
19 A. No, I cannot remember at this time.
20 Q. Did you speak in English or in Croatian?
21 A. I don't know at this time anymore, no.
22 Q. And you indicated that -- that the person indicated to you that
23 they would blame the arson on faulty wiring installed by the Serbs?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Have you observed anything like that before or did you have any
1 information at your disposal at that time that it in fact happened
3 A. Not to my knowledge, no.
4 Q. Thank you. That is all for that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: What happened before? It is unclear to me to what
6 was supposed to have happened or not have happened before.
7 MR. DU TOIT: Sorry, Mr. President, I should be more clear on
9 Q. The information that was provided to you that the -- some of the
10 houses in fact was something wrong with the electrical equipment, did you
11 know at that time when you visited that person on the -- round about in
12 August 1995, did you have any other information at your disposal before
13 that, starting, say, from 4th of August, that in fact of the houses that
14 you observed that were burning that there was in fact something wrong
15 with the electrical equipment?
16 A. No, no.
17 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I would like to move now to two
18 further documents that was prepared by this witness, and it is dealt with
19 in 65 ter 00 -- sorry, just one, 05255 and 05256. It is a reports that
20 was prepared by this witness on the 3rd of July, 1995 and as I have
21 indicated also in regard to previous documentation, I have disclosed this
22 to my learned friends but these documents were not filed as part of the
23 92 ter motion. They came to us -- our knowledge after that, and I just
24 want to -- the witness cannot really talk much about it but I just felt I
25 should of inform the Court ant parties about this document and I would
1 request for it to be added again to the 65 ter list and then moved later
2 into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections against the --
4 MR. MIKULICIC: No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- two documents mentioned to be included in the 65
6 ter list.
7 Then grant -- leave is granted to add them to the 65 ter list.
8 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, is it correct that with regard to these two
10 documents, at some stage as part of your duties as an UNMO you were also
11 asked to operate basically as the duty officer at Knin HQ. Is that
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And these two documents were prepared during a week that you were
15 stationed at Knin headquarters and you prepared this information from
16 reports you received from people on the ground. Is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. You personally do not have any knowledge of the incidents
19 referred to these two sitreps?
20 A. That's correct.
21 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President can I request to move them into
22 evidence, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
24 Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 05255 becomes exhibit number
1 P339 -- sorry, P539. 65 ter 05256 becomes exhibit number P540.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P539 and P540 are admitted into evidence.
3 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you.
4 Mr. Registrar, can you please call up for us 65 ter 00375,
6 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, is it correct that during your meeting over the
7 weekend I also showed you this document, it is a two-page document,
8 allegedly talking about human rights violations within your Team Gracac.
9 Is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to the preparation or the
12 information contained in this document?
13 A. I have not.
14 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, as the Court has probably observed,
15 some of the aspects referred to the witness have already referred to in
16 his statement and I can put it on the record, but I cannot take the
17 matter any further. It was filed as part of the 92 ter motion and, as
18 you just heard, the witness has sort of limited information about the
19 content of this document. But I would, nevertheless, request to move it
20 into evidence.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: No objection.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
23 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour, if there is no basis, I mean the
24 witness is the team leader at that time and I don't know where does this
25 document come from. I mean it just is as a document that is out there.
1 If I doesn't know about it, I mean who does. So on that basis, just as a
2 no foundation, we object.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du Toit.
4 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, as you can see from -- if we can
5 just refer to paragraph 6 of the statement, this is an incident that the
6 bus-stop which is referred to in paragraph 53 of the witness first
7 statement and paragraph 10 of his second statement. Point 8 is an
8 incident, it is it referred to in paragraph 56 of the witness statement,
9 the first statement, and if you can go to the second page, for example,
10 incident number 9, we just talked about it previously, it is also
11 referred to in paragraph 42 of the witness statement.
12 So that is the linkage I could find and maybe for that limited
13 purposes, Mr. President, but as I've indicated it was filed as part of
14 the 65 ter, and as you just heard the witness hasn't got very much
15 information as to the preparation.
16 As you can see at the top right-hand corner it says L 99, this
17 document came -- comes from the statement made by Colonel Leslie before,
18 but that is all can I inform the Court about it.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So you say reporting is corroborated or at least
20 consistent with some of the evidence.
21 MR. DU TOIT: Some of the -- that is it all can I say,
22 Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Do the objections stand.
24 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I mean I suppose that Your Honour has
25 allowed these documents in before and just takes it to weight. I don't
1 want to --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. KEHOE: -- stand on ceremony on this particular document. It
4 of course comes in through a witness where we can't cross-examine him
5 because as a team leader he doesn't know anything about it, so I assume
6 Your Honour, if you would admit it, just give it the weight that it is
7 due given the fact that nobody can talk about it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes exhibit number P541.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: P541 is admitted into evidence.
12 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, just lastly, as I have indicated
13 before and when you asked me when we -- witness entered the court. We
14 have also prepared a document basically for orientation purposes only and
15 we've loaded it on to the e-court system as 05272. What it basically
16 depicts is a -- using this previous document as a guide and also any
17 other information relevant to Team Gracac which we just dotted down on a
18 map for the assistance basically to the Court and the witness cannot take
19 it any further but we just felt it may be of assistance to the Court in
20 understanding the areas which the witness and other people from Gracac
21 can talk about. So for that limited purposes only, we may offer it as a
22 guide or assistance to the Court.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: I have no objections, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I do not hear of any other objections.
1 Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes exhibit number P542.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P542 is admitted into evidence.
4 Mr. Du Toit, do we have to understand that we're now talking
5 about a map with all kind of markings. Please proceed with whatever is
6 or may be related to this.
7 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I also prepared, as you can see,
8 from the map, these different locations and I have also linked it back to
9 evidence that is already before court that this witness or other
10 witnesses have given and I have also made a type of an index which I have
11 disclosed to the Defence teams yesterday and we may also be of assistance
12 to the Court in understanding may be relevant evidence that has been
13 introduced regarding these aspects. It is -- as I indicated, it's just
14 an aid to the Court only and I can maybe deal with your staff in
15 assisting you on this aspect.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It is a table of references rather than anything
17 else, I think.
18 MR. DU TOIT: Yeah, that is so.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections against -- yes, you're not admitting
21 MR. DU TOIT: No.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You're not seeking admission but you -- then I
23 should ask whether there is any comment on assisting the Chamber in this
25 MR. MIKULICIC: For the moment, Your Honour, we have no comment,
1 because we have no opportunity to study this map more carefully.
2 JUDGE ORIE: It is not evidence. What we find here as a matter
3 of fact it is for us and the Defence as well to verify whether these
4 cross-references are accurate or not. Whenever you find any inaccuracy
5 in what we find here, please inform the Chamber.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: We will notify the Chamber, okay.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And if the Chamber finds any inaccuracy, we will
8 inform the Defence as well.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. DU TOIT: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Mr. President, just before I end, there's just one aspect that I
12 misspoke when I talked about the photographs, and that is I referred to
13 65 ter 5238 and it should be 5328, so I just apologise for that. But
14 that is all I have for this witness at the moment.
15 Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You, as a matter of fact, now we have it on the
18 Thank you. Thank you Mr. Du Toit.
19 Mr. Mikulicic, are you the first one to cross-examine
20 Mr. Steenbergen?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I will be the first one.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Steenbergen, Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for
23 Mr. Markac and he will be the first to cross-examine you.
24 Could you give us time indications, Mr. Mikulicic.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Let me see my clock because this one is obviously
1 not working properly. Well I, believe I could manage by the end of the
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and then for the other Defence teams.
4 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, if I -- counsel is going to cover quite
5 a few bits of territory, I'm not sure how much I have, but it would just
6 be based on exactly what Mr. Mikulicic is going to do. But I don't think
7 it is going to be extensive because I do believe he will cover most of
8 the topics here.
9 MR. CAYLEY: As things stand, Mr. President, we don't have any
10 questions for this witness.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for the information.
13 Mr. Mikulicic, you will encouraged to finish today.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: I will do my best, Your Honour.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Steenbergen. My name is
18 Mikulicic. I am Defence counsel for Mr. Markac in these proceedings.
19 I'm going to put a few questions to you so could you be so kind
20 as to answer them to the best of your recollection.
21 Mr. Steenbergen, you said that you are a medical officer of the
22 Dutch army and that that is your profession.
23 Before you were send to the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
24 you went through certain training in order to be a military observer of
25 the UN. Could you tell us briefly what the content of this training was
1 and how long it lasted?
2 A. Before I was deployed to former Yugoslavia, I received training
3 here in the Netherlands
4 trainings throughout the Netherlands
5 Then we deployed to HQ Zagreb and we received training for about
6 a week there, in-theatre training.
7 Q. The -- did the training involve some basic training and concepts
8 from the field of artillery, including artillery use?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. At the time when you arrived in Zagreb -- or, rather, in May,
11 1995, when you arrived Gracac, what was your mandate exactly, in rough
13 A. When we arrived at our post in Gracac, our task was to monitor
14 the Zone of Separation between the warring factions.
15 Q. You said that after you became team leader you had between eight
16 and ten men. How many vehicles did your team have at its disposal?
17 A. There will be -- I cannot exactly recall it, but it will be
18 around three vehicles.
19 Q. In your assessment, the manpower you had and the vehicles you
20 had, were they sufficient to cover the territory that you had within your
22 A. Given the equipment and related to the task, we felt confident
23 with the equipment we received during that period.
24 Q. At that time, as you were carrying out your mandate were there
25 any restrictions that were imposed upon you by the authorities of the
1 so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina or did you have full freedom of
3 A. There were times that we had restrictions of movement and that we
4 were not able to perform or tasks and then we would formally complain
5 with the local military commander and via the HQ of former Sector South.
6 Q. I'm going back to paragraph 14 of your statement, P516.
7 You said -- this is it paragraph 14, as I said. You described a
8 particular locality and town that you marked as number C in your map and
9 you said that you noticed a truck belonging to the army of the Republic
10 of Serbia Krajina moving there, but you said that you could not be sure
11 as to whether this was a military storage facility or not, because this
12 location was not included in the list that you had received.
13 Did I correctly interpret your statement, sir?
14 A. That's correct.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'm a bit surprised the statement says trucks. You
16 put to the witness whether it was a truck from -- if we're in
17 paragraph 14, and then the witness says, yes, this reflects what I saw.
18 And now my question of course it was in the plural.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Plural, of course.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that's not -- at least it was translated
21 you noticed a truck.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed. And Mr. -- you were listening
24 to the English. Was it a truck or were there trucks?
25 THE WITNESS: Trucks.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I would have expected to you comment on
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you explain to us the way in which you carried out your
7 monitoring or observing? On the basis of this, we can deduce that you
8 had a list of localities that you observed on a daily basis or on a
9 weekly basis.
10 Who compiled the list and do you know who did?
11 A. The UNMO Team Gracac team leader decided the patrol route for the
12 specific week, and he also more or less made clear which team with which
13 vehicles was going to drive a specific patrol route. This was done by
14 the team leader.
15 And every morning, this team leader would just clarify the week's
16 mission again and send everybody on his way to do their patrolling.
17 Those patrols were randomly chosen or on indication.
18 Q. I understood that. But after you arrived in Gracac, according to
19 your statement, you yourself became team leader. In that capacity did
20 you compile lists of facilities and objectives or targets that your team
22 A. That's not completely correct. I became team leader of UNMO
23 Team Gracac in the third -- approximately the third week of August.
24 Q. Well, roughly, that would be two or three months after May when
25 you arrived Gracac. I think we can agree on that. But the dates are not
1 really that important.
2 What I'm interested in is the following. On the basis of what
3 did you as team leader compile your list of localities or facilities that
4 the UNMO team toured and observed? What was the source of your
6 A. That was in -- I have to go back, but those lists were provided
7 by the RSK during that period, and they showed us the facilities where
8 they had the weapon caches.
9 Q. Were you able to expand this list so that it would include some
10 other localities on the basis of your own observations?
11 A. Not to my knowledge, no.
12 Q. Did I understand your evidence correctly, sir, when you said that
13 when you noticed military trucks moving at a particular locality in
14 Gracac you were not able to visit that locality and see what this was all
16 Is that correct?
17 A. I'm not aware of which incident you are referring.
18 Q. I am referring to what you described in paragraph 14 of your
19 statement, P516, in which you say the following: "[In English] I cannot
20 be certain it was a weapons storage site. It may have been used for
21 maintenance or other military purposes. It was not on the list of the
22 weapon storage sites that we would regularly inspect."
23 [Interpretation] My question was, if you were to notice that at a
24 particular locality that was included in the UNMO list, there was some
25 military activity going on, could you, independently of that list,
1 inspect that location? That is it my question, to see what was going on
3 A. No. We needed a formal request on that, and, as I referred,
4 the -- the only time that I observed there this activity was only -- only
5 once, actually, yeah.
6 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, as a UN Military Observer in the town of Gracac
7 did you realise that there was the so-called Gracac Brigade of the
8 so-called army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, the 9th Motorised
9 Gracac brigade?
10 A. At this moment I cannot recollect this. I don't know. It is
11 almost 13 years after that -- that I was stationed there. I cannot
13 Q. Can you remember, after all this time of course, whether you had
14 any contacts with officers of the army of Republic of Serbian Krajina
15 Gracac or in the surrounding area?
16 A. That's -- that's correct. We had a weekly meeting at the HQ at
18 Q. Does the name Jovan Kordic ring a bell? He was commander of the
19 Gracac Brigade.
20 A. No. I do not remember, sorry.
21 Q. When you mentioned the command in Medak that you had visited, did
22 you realise that they were in the town of Gracac itself during May and
23 June 1995? Or, rather, that there were some facilities there that were
24 also used by the army of the Republic of Serb Krajina?
25 A. No, not to my knowledge, no.
1 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, we heard testimony here from a witness,
2 Mr. Sovilj, who was an inhabitant of Gracac. Of course, he was aware of
3 the situation in town, and he told us that there were some military
4 storage facilities in the municipality building or, rather, there were
5 some military premises at the municipality, at the railway station,
6 opposite the mill near Jaksic Vrel [phoen]. Does this perhaps jog your
7 memory now that I have mentioned all of this?
8 A. No. I cannot recall anything described here.
9 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, you included the location of the police station
10 in your map, in Gracac. Again, we're talking about the time before
11 Operation Storm was launched. Were you ever in this police station while
12 it was within the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina?
13 A. I can remember that we were once in this mentioned police
15 Q. Did you have occasion to see the interior of the building and the
16 positions where police weapons were stored, as well as other equipment?
17 A. No, we did not. We only spoke to the police commander there.
18 Q. Were you aware of the fact that the police of the so-called
19 Republic of Serb Krajina was fully in the function of the army of the
20 Republic of Serb Krajina or was, rather, engaged in military activities?
21 Do you know about that?
22 A. I am aware of, and I still can recall this, that a friend of --
23 the husband of a friend of my interpreter was also military special
24 police and that they were involved in military activities as well.
25 Q. I'm going back to paragraph 18 of your statement from 2007, in
1 which you said that the front line was approximately 15 kilometres west
2 of town.
3 Can you tell us specifically where the separation line was in
4 relation to the town of Gracac
5 A. For us in -- to our knowledge in the direction or west, so if
6 described east from Gospic and west of Medak, between there, and of
7 course, it -- the Zone of Separation was as well throughout our AOR,
8 roughly crossing -- yeah, if you can pull up a map I can more or less
9 show you, but ...
10 Q. We'll get to the map, Mr. Steenbergen. Or, actually, we can show
11 the map now for these purposes.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] And I would kindly ask the
13 registry to display it, 3D00-141 --
14 THE INTERPRETER: 1410; interpreter's correction.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, on this map in front of you, can you mark
17 roughly where the front line was in relation to the town of Gracac.
18 A. Is it possible to have a more accurate geographical map or the UN
19 map? Because this is from Google Earth. Is it possible have to have the
20 genuine UN map?
21 Q. Unfortunately, we don't have the actual UN map. But we can try
22 another one.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] 3D00-1408.
24 Q. Does this map seem to be better for you, Mr. Steenbergen?
25 A. This map is -- is better. But do not expect to be fully accurate
1 at this moment after 13 years, but ...
2 Is it possible to -- to zoom the map a little bit more to
3 north-east -- north-west, excuse me.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Oh.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Around Bilaj Medak, of course,
6 it's the upper left-hand corner.
7 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, you mentioned that in Medak you visited the
8 command of the army of the Republic of Serb Krajina. That is number 2 on
9 this map, or, rather, the circle next to number 2. This should assist
10 your memory now, 13 years later.
11 A. Thank you for the explanation.
12 Is it also possible to put Gospic on it?
13 Q. [In English] Unfortunately, not here.
14 A. Not? I'm not certainly aware if Bilaj was included but must be
15 roughly like this.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the witness
17 marked in blue two straight lines which, in his memory, represent the
18 front line immediately preceding Operation Storm.
19 Could the registrar please return this map to the normal
20 resolution, or, rather, the normal size so that we can see the legend
21 underneath, and I will read it.
22 Measuring from --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, if we change the zoom level of the
24 map, then we'll --
25 MR. MIKULICIC: We will lose the blue marking. Yes, I'm aware of
1 it now. Thank you, Your Honour. And I will try to just interpret what I
2 had in my mind.
3 Or we could enter this map as an evidence and then start with
4 a -- with a -- with a previous map that we have been shown on the screen.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du Toit, any objection?
6 MR. DU TOIT: No objection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that you wanted to tender it now.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D432.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D432 is admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Could we now have the same map again on the screen
13 but in its actual size, 3D00-1408. Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, if you look at the legend on this map, you can
15 see in kilometres the distances measured from the JorBat in Stikada,
16 which is marked with a circle and numbered 7. To Medak and Bilaj, if you
17 recall the separation line that you drew, was to the north-west of Bilaj,
18 according to the measurements it is about 36 kilometres; to Medak, the
19 distance was it 27.5 kilometres. As far as you can recall, the front
20 line was actually a bit further away than what you mentioned in your
21 statement, which was 15 kilometres.
22 A. If these measurements are correct on this map, that is a correct
23 statement, yeah.
24 Q. I assure you that they are correct, Mr. Steenbergen.
25 Let's take a look since the map is on the screen now, we can take
1 a look at the other locations and maybe that will jog your memory,
2 whether this actually corresponds to the actual memories that you have of
4 You can see Stikada under number 7. This is where the JorBat
5 was. Where you moved in the morning of the first day of Operation Storm
6 on the 4th of August, 1995. Is that correct?
7 A. The Stikada location is correct, yeah.
8 Q. Could you now go to the south-west of Stikada. Under 6 you can
9 see M. Alan. Can you confirm that this is the place called Mali Alan,
10 from which direction you can hear -- you could hear the blasts, the
11 explosions of shells on that first day of Operation Storm?
12 A. That's correct. The direction I quoted, actually we didn't hear
13 explosions of shells but outgoing fire.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, perhaps I would like to clarify
15 earlier observation.
16 You asked the witness to draw a confrontation line and then in a
17 question in a lot of words and kilometres, et cetera, you more or less
18 put it to the witness or, although in a rather unclear way, that he was
19 wrong and it was somewhere else.
20 Isn't that what you did?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: That's correct, but that was not my intention.
22 My intention was, in a way, to instruct Chambers of the distances between
23 Gracac area and the front line.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But where the front line it, it appears -- let
25 me just check ... you mentioned in your statement, yes. Now I see that
1 you draw our attention to the fact that what the witness marked on this
2 map is not fully consistent with what we find in his statement.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear to me now. At least I
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Steenbergen, do you know the locality called
9 Celovac where there was a radio relay location? Have you heard of it;
10 can you recall it? And to assist you, look at the number 3 here. Does
11 this correspond to what you -- do you recall it as it is here?
12 Can you recall Tulove Grede location on Velebit near Mali Alan
13 pass? Does that name ring a bell today?
14 A. No, not to my now.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] My colleague tells me that your
16 answer was not recorded in the transcript. Your answer to the question:
17 Do you recall the Celovac location, could you please repeat it for the
18 transcript, yes or no.
19 THE WITNESS: Can you ask me the question again, please.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
21 Q. [Interpretation] My question was, first, did it sound familiar,
22 did the location Celovac where a radio relay communication centre was
23 located, was that familiar to you?
24 A. Yeah, that's correct.
25 Q. Is the location marked on this map with number 3 consistent with
1 what you remember, where you remember it to be?
2 A. Yeah -- to my best knowledge, yes, at this moment. Yeah.
3 Q. Thank you. I think that the locality marked with 5 should not be
4 under a question. It is the town of Gracac
5 A. I agree.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Could we please assign a number to this map and
7 enter it into evidence.
8 MR. DU TOIT: No objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D433.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D433 is admitted into evidence.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, let us now move to the 4th of August, 1995
14 onwards. We know that action storm began on the 4th of August and you
15 described everything that transpired on that day.
16 My first question is: After the -- after Operation Storm was
17 launched did you, as a UN observer, receive any instructions as to what
18 your new mandate would be? Was there any change in the mandate and in
19 fact what was your task once the territory of the Republic of Serbian
20 Krajina was liberated?
21 A. What I still can remember is that we received a task to make a
22 militarisation of remaining Serbian people in our AOR.
23 Q. Within the new mandate that you were given, was it your task to
24 observe the movement of Croatian army troops?
25 A. Later on, we received the order to follow the advance of the
1 Croatian army.
2 Q. Could you please be a bit more precise. When was this and when
3 did you receive such instruction, such an order?
4 A. I do not exactly know or remember the date anymore, but it must
5 have been about the end of August.
6 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, I would like to refer you to paragraph 42 of
7 your statement, your 2007 statement, P516, where you said: "[In English]
8 I cannot recall when exactly but around 5th to 6th August we receive
9 orders to monitor the movement of HV troops towards and into Bosnia
10 [Interpretation] Can you recall who issued that order in those
11 early days of Operation Storm? This was on the second or third day after
12 Operation Storm was launched.
13 A. What I stated already in the amendment that the date was actually
14 not correct, we stated that already. And the order was received was from
15 HQ Sector South.
16 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, do you know what the role of the special police
17 was in the Storm action?
18 A. No, I do not know. Because I was not present, actually, during
19 enemy engagements, so I do not exactly know what their role was.
20 Q. Did you ever have occasion to talk to or exchange some
21 communications with the special police officers?
22 A. That's correct, only one time at the main gate of JorBat we had
23 contact with a special police officer and that's the time that we spoke
24 to him.
25 Q. That is the event that you described when you provided evidence
1 and answered the Prosecutor's question.
2 However, my question is, did you ever have occasion to talk about
3 the mandate of the special police, their roles and tasks during
4 Operation Storm with any officer of the special police, a higher officer?
5 A. No, we didn't discuss that task. The only time when we had -- we
6 went out into Gracac town, we had a contact then with the police officer,
7 special police officer and asked for permission for patrol in Gracac.
8 So ...
9 Q. And what was his reply?
10 A. You are allowed to patrol or just to go to your accommodations.
11 Q. No restrictions were imposed regarding your mandate?
12 A. That's correct.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please pull up
14 the map that we saw previously, 3D00-1410.
15 While we're waiting for the map to appear, a general question.
16 Q. In view of your experience at the time and your military
17 background, would you agree with me that the position of Gracac town was
18 very important strategically because it was on the cross-roads at the
19 junction of roads leading from east to west and from south to north and,
20 of course, the other way around.
21 We can see here a Google map and we're showing it here just to
22 show what the position of Gracac was in relation to these roads.
23 So would you agree with me that the position of Gracac was very
24 important strategically on this cross-roads at that time in this
1 A. I didn't -- I didn't know during that time the objectives of the
2 Croatian army so I cannot judge if this was a strategical area for their
4 Q. Was Gracac of strategic importance for the army of the Republic
5 of Serbian Krajina, according to your opinion and knowledge?
6 A. Not to my knowledge.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could we please enter this map
8 into evidence.
9 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, as my colleague has indicated, it is
10 a Google map and we have no problem with that. But as you can see
11 there's some entries there, MUP special police axis of attack operation
12 and some other information and we would very much like to see the
13 foundation documents for that, if that is it going to be part of the
14 weight this document is going to be attached to. Otherwise, if it's just
15 the map, we don't have an objection in principle.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, for the very moment this is only a
17 map that should provide with us the knowledge of the strategic position
18 of town Gracac. And the other entries into the map will be discussed
19 further on with the next witnesses who we expect to come next week.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So no factual foundation is laid for any of the
21 comments in this map. It is just a map.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Just a map.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course we then prefer just to have the map,
24 but, at the same time, it is so clear --
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Well, to save some time for the Court we will
1 discuss it later on with another appropriate witness.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Up to that moment we will more or less ignore the
3 comments on the map.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours this becomes Exhibit number D434.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D434 is admitted into evidence.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. [Interpretation] While the map is on the screen, Mr. Steenbergen,
10 do you know that units of the special police on the first day of
11 Operation Storm moved from the direction of Velebit towards the valley to
12 the cross-roads leading from Gracac to Medak and further on to Gospic.
13 Do you know that?
14 A. You mean in the direction of Gospic?
15 Q. I mean the way it's shown on the map, and this is the -- from the
16 direction of Velebit following the arrow to the road that leads from
17 Gracac to the north-east to Medak Bilaj and further on to Gospic.
18 Are you aware that this was the way that the -- where the actions
19 or this was the direction of the actions of the special police forces?
20 A. I'm actually not aware of this. Only seen them passing by the
21 roads Gospic-Gracac.
22 Q. [In English] Fair enough.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- "road that leads from Gracac to the
24 north-east to Medak Bilaj."
25 MR. MIKULICIC: North-west. I'm sorry, that was my mistake,
1 Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now I understand that better.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Just one more question. You're certainly aware who
6 General Forand was?
7 A. Actually, I never met him in person, so ...
8 Q. But you know that he was the Sector South commander at the time
9 when you were there, serving there.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Would you agree with the statement of General Forand's that the
12 Gracac town was in an important strategic position, because the road that
13 connected it to Gospic to the north-west was actually the road dividing
14 the Krajina into two parts, the northern and southern parts.
15 Would you agree with that?
16 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I don't -- if it is perhaps possible
17 to give us some references. I don't want to object but very
19 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from that --
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes. I was expecting that --
21 JUDGE ORIE: The witness was asked about his views on the
22 strategic position of Gracac.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: I will move then, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: He said, "I don't know, I didn't know what the
25 objectives were."
1 So, therefore the question has, although in a bit of a different
2 form, has been asked and has been answered.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: I will move on, okay.
5 Q. [Interpretation] On the 4th of August, 1995, in the morning, the
6 shelling of Gracac began. You said that you were in your apartment.
7 Before the shelling started, you did not receive any information
8 from the Sector South command. There was no red alert issued. Is that
10 A. Is it possible to repeat the question? My headphone was ...
11 Q. On the eve, or before the shelling started of Gracac, did your
12 team receive any information about that from the Sector South command,
13 and was the level of alert raised from orange to red?
14 A. No, we actually -- during that evening or before -- pre-Storm we
15 didn't receive a warning that the attack was imminent, only that there
16 was a raise in tension, but I do not know what colour or alert state that
17 was during that time.
18 Q. Very well. Around 5.00 in the morning when the shelling began,
19 you were in your quarters, and according to your statement you went to
20 the basement and then later on, around 11.00, you sought shelter at the
21 JorBat in Stikada. Is that correct?
22 A. I have to go back to the statement in time because now you're
23 pinpointing me on time.
24 Q. I can refer you to your statement, Exhibit number P518, this is
25 your statement of the 10th of March, 1996, where you say: "At 5.00 on
1 the 4th of August, the shelling of Gracac started and the UNMO team was
2 evacuated to JorBat 3 on the 4th at 11.00."
3 That's in your statement of 10th of March, 1996. Can you confirm
5 A. Given the time and made the statement during the time I assume it
6 was correct, but at this moment I cannot give an answer on that anymore
7 because I cannot recall that after 13 years, the exact time.
8 Q. That is quite understandable, Mr. Steenbergen.
9 Let's go back to paragraph 40 of your 2007 statement; that's
10 Exhibit P516. In which you state: "At JorBat everybody was in the
12 Once you arrived at the compound you had very limited ability to
13 observe the situation and you receive an order from the JorBat commander
14 to remain on the -- in the compound. Is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, before the 4th of August, 1995, did you ever
17 have any personal experience with shelling of an area where you happened
18 to be?
19 A. No, only in training purposes.
20 Q. During the training, were you trained to tell the difference by
21 just the sound of the firing of a shell and discern that from an
22 explosion or an echo that can -- that can be heard in some geographic
23 areas, I mean in valleys. In that sense, did you undergo any training?
24 A. I received general training regarding artillery and its like
25 directing artillery fire and it was in my initial training during the
1 Military Academy
2 In Zagreb
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, if you could find a suitable moment
5 MR. MIKULICIC: I think that is precisely right now a suitable
6 moment, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
8 We will have a break and we will resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, parties have received by now a
12 list 65 ter numbers and exhibit numbers for the photographs sequential
13 numbering 65 ter 05328 up to and including 05253 that is -- let me see,
14 no, it is not sequential numbering. The first one was correct and the
15 second one is 05239, and then sequential numbering up to and including
16 05253, exhibit numbers provisionally assigned, P520 up to and including
17 P535, no objections, are admitted into evidence in accordance with what I
18 just said and what we find on the list prepared by Mr. Registrar.
19 Mr. Misetic, referring to an earlier part of the hearing of today
20 you referred to 70 (A) case law authorities, if you could assist the
21 Chamber by providing -- I don't know if it a list so that we know what
22 you had in mind when you refer to the cause law.
23 MR. MISETIC: Can I have 24 hours, Your Honour? Or I'll have to
24 do a little bit of research or I can do it in less, just if I can get
25 some guidance as to when you need it by.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Referring to the case law and asking for time.
2 MR. MISETIC: I'll do it a memo on it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Not necessarily give -- if you give the
4 authorities just [Overlapping speakers] ...
5 MR. MISETIC: That's fine, that's fine.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Otherwise we enter into a new round of -- and that
9 is not what the Chamber is seeking at this moment.
10 Then, Mr. Mikulicic, you may proceed. If it would be true that
11 the other Defence counsel would have no questions, Mr. Kehoe, we're
12 always optimistic, aren't we, then, of course, we could not exclude for
13 the possibility that we conclude -- whether we can conclude the testimony
14 of the witness for today.
15 I don't know, Mr. Du Toit, how many questions you would have.
16 MR. DU TOIT: I've just got one at the moment.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one at the moment. So let's try to be as
18 efficient as possible. The witness certainly assists in giving us
19 concise answers and let's see whether we can finish. Of course, if not,
20 the way Mr. Steenbergen has to travel might not be comparable to what
21 other witness versus to do.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We can barely hear the
25 speakers. Could all other microphones please be switched off. Thank
2 JUDGE ORIE: This is a dilemma for me. I'm invited to switch my
3 microphone off as unnecessary, but then I can't ask everyone to -- first
4 of all to adjust your microphone perhaps, Mr. Mikulicic, and ask everyone
5 to switch his microphone off as I do now.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: I believe mine is adjusted. Okay.
7 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Steenbergen, just before the break, you
8 gave an answer to the effect that in Zagreb
9 included crater analysis.
10 My question is whether, during your mandate in Gracac you ever
11 analysed the crater of a shell that had been fired.
12 A. Not by me and not by my knowledge by the team. I can state again
13 I was not team leader during that moment, but no.
14 Q. On the basis of sound only, without visual observation, can you
15 tell how far away a shell was fired without analysing the crater?
16 A. Now you go in more detail of specific artillery knowledge. At
17 this moment I am a medical officer, and the knowledge I had at that time
18 is not present at this moment anymore.
19 Q. Can I take your answer to be a no?
20 A. As I speak at this moment, I do not know anymore.
21 Q. At the time when you were team leader in Gracac, when you just
22 heard explosions from the JorBat shelter in Stikada, could you tell how
23 far away and in what direction that the shells that you heard were fired,
24 without analysing the craters?
25 A. Just to state again, I was not team leader during that time. I
1 became team leader the third week of August. And regarding your -- your
2 question, you can only give an estimate of the direction. That's what's
3 stated in the sitrep.
4 Q. At the time, could you make a distinction in terms of types and
5 calibres of shells that were fired, judging by their sound?
6 A. No, I'm not going to assume this -- at this moment. I do not
7 remember that anymore.
8 Q. Very well.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Could the registry please display on our screens
10 document P100, P100, page 2.
11 Q. The document that you will see on your screen is the sitrep for
12 the 4th of August, 1995. Page 2 of this document refers to the JorBat
14 Be as brief as possible, please let us look at this paragraph at
15 the bottom of the page. We can see that there was artillery fire in
16 Tulove Grede. That's the first reference. Then Mali Alan, that's the
17 second reference. Likewise, there was artillery fire coming from the HV,
18 going against the army of the Republic of Serb Krajina in a certain area,
19 and the references are given further on. Tanks were used as well. Then
20 there was artillery fire towards Medak.
21 The next reference states that artillery fire was used against
22 Mali Alan and so on and so forth.
23 Mr. Steenbergen, do you agree with me that this reference
24 indicates that, at the time, that is to say, the 4th of August, around
25 10.00 in the morning, in the area specified here, there was fighting,
1 rather significant fighting at that time?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du Toit.
3 MR. DU TOIT: Mr. President, I think what -- what the sitrep is
4 referring to it looks at the -- it is a JorBat 3 report and it deals
5 with, looks like maybe incidents that occurred later on.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course we should know because it's P00 --
7 MR. DU TOIT: Yeah, because it's --
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- [Overlapping speakers] ... because it's clear --
9 MR. DU TOIT: [Overlapping speakers] ... so it is indeed before
10 1040 on the --
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... okay. So they are
12 talking about the same date.
13 MR. DU TOIT: It's on the 4th at look likes 5.00 in the morning
14 until 7.25, and the witness was not -- okay. I don't want to testify.
15 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
16 Yes. Mr. Mikulicic, I take it you that you wanted to ask the
17 witness whether at the times indicated in this sitrep that there was an
18 exchange of artillery shelling, yes.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Precisely, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Are you in a position to answer the question?
21 THE WITNESS: I cannot stand for the exact -- the things
22 described here because I didn't draft this and I was not present at the
23 current situation, but it paints a picture of a fight.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Reading your report it gives the impression
25 that there was what Mr. Mikulicic included in his question.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [In English] I will go on.
3 Q. [Interpretation] D102, please, no, sorry, P102. P102.
4 Yet again this is a daily sitrep dated the 4th of August, and in
5 paragraph 1, we see the highlights, and it says that the Croats were
6 successful in their efforts from the eastern part of Velebit where units
7 of the special police cut off the main road between Medak and Gracac in
8 the area of Lovinac.
9 Are you aware of this, Mr. Steenbergen?
10 A. I was not present at the location, so I don't know.
11 Q. Let us focus on 65 ter document number 4572, please.
12 While we're waiting for it to appear on our screens, I will tell
13 you that this was a document that was issued by the commander of the
14 Gracac Brigade, Colonel Jovan Kordic. The date of the document is the
15 9th of August, and this is a report that relates to what happened at the
16 very beginning of Operation Storm.
17 On the basis of this document, the Gracac Brigade, I'm talking
18 about paragraph 1, had received information even a day before Storm
19 started that Ustasha forces would attack early in the morning.
20 Further on, it is stated that the focus was on Mali Alan, the
21 village of Luka, the cross-roads by Lovinac. Then it say that the
22 Ustasha forces advanced with their infantry in the area of Gospic, Medak
23 and Bilaj Mogorac with artillery support as well.
24 Further on it states that the commander had been informed that he
25 would receive reinforcements from the 103rd Infantry Brigade. Also part
1 of the Guards Brigade of the army of the Serb Krajina. That is on the
2 second page of the document.
3 In the second paragraph, it is stated that the above-mentioned
4 forces had not come for reasons unknown, apart from three tanks and two
5 armoured personnel carriers.
6 Mr. Steenbergen, not to read the entire document now, this is a
7 document of the 9th Motorised Brigade that was within your area of
8 observation. As for this information about the deployment of military
9 forces and units, or, rather, the fighting that was taking place, were
10 you aware of all of this at that time?
11 A. I was not aware of.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Could this document please be assigned a
13 D number.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du Toit.
15 MR. DU TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number D435, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D435 is admitted into evidence.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
21 Q. [Interpretation] To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Steenbergen,
22 on the basis of what you heard from the shelter in the basement of your
23 house in Gracac and later on from the shelter at the JorBat base, to the
24 best of your recollection, on that first day, on that first morning, how
25 many shells fell on Gracac and the surrounding area? Can you give us an
1 approximate number?
2 A. Well, approximately when the firing started, will be two or three
3 shells a minute. Later on -- initially it was more, but I do not know
4 exactly the number, and later on it was two or three CLs, I mean,
5 something like that.
6 Q. Can you make a distinction between the shells that fell on the
7 town itself, in relation to those that fell in the surrounding area,
8 namely, the cross-roads and the roads around Gracac? Can you make a
9 distinction between the two?
10 A. What do you mean exactly by "distinction by the two."
11 Q. I do apologise if my question wasn't clear enough. Then I'm
12 going to put two questions.
13 Can you tell us how many shells fell in total on that day on the
14 town of Gracac itself?
15 A. I cannot tell that exactly. Only during the period I was able to
16 observe that and I was -- when I was present in Gracac at my house, at
17 the office, and after we left Gracac, we were not able to view it
18 anymore. So I cannot give you a exact or approximately estimate of how
19 many shells, only what I observed during the period that I was still in
21 Q. I'm going back to paragraph 37 of your statement from 2007, P516,
22 paragraph 37.
23 What you say here is the following: As you were driving to the
24 JorBat 3 camp in Stikada you observed troop movement approximately two to
25 three kilometres out of Gracac. These troops you say were withdrawing
1 from the front line. Further on, you say that you were concerned that
2 the withdrawing Serb troops might try to hijack your vehicles and that is
3 why you instructed your men not to stop but to drive straight through to
4 JorBat 3.
5 And now my questions: How many troops of the army of the
6 Republic of Serb Krajina with withdrawing at the moment when you saw
7 them? Can you be more specific about when?
8 A. No, not -- not in how many but just groups were who retreating on
9 the road from Gospic to Gracac and then between Stikada and Gracac.
10 That's what we observed, groups.
11 Q. As the withdrawing troops were moving, were they moving on foot
12 or were they using vehicles?
13 A. They were moving on foot. They had no means of transportation.
14 Q. At that point, or later, did you see vehicles and equipment of
15 the army of the Republic of Serb Krajina withdrawing along the roads in
16 Gracac or around Gracac? Did you have occasion to see something like
18 A. No. No. The only time we mentioned, and we were already on
19 JorBat compound, that we saw a group moving at the ridge line just above
20 JorBat 3 compound. But no equipment.
21 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, when you were in Gracac and the surrounding
22 area, did you ever see an armoured train of -- of the army of the
23 Republic of Serb
24 A. Not to my knowledge, no. No.
25 Q. Further on in your statement in paragraph 41, you say -- or,
1 rather, you refer to a sitrep dated the 5th of August. And say that you
2 noticed scouts of special police forces passing by JorBat -- the JorBat
3 base and then you say that you saw about 500 members of the special
4 police forces moving towards Gracac.
5 Can you tell us whether the members of the special police were
6 moving on foot or in vehicles, and also whether they had any weapons? If
7 so, what were the weapons?
8 A. They were moving on foot, two columns left and right of the road.
9 There were some vehicles, but they were not used to transport the
10 soldiers, only to provide them with logistical means like food and water.
11 Actually, they threw out a package of water to the soldiers who were left
12 and right of the road.
13 Q. So you did not notice any heavy weaponry that was moving in that
14 direction, together with the police. I'm referring to tanks, guns,
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Please let us go back to paragraph 36 of your statement,
18 Mr. Steenbergen.
19 You say in the last sentence in this paragraph: "In this sense,
20 I can say that the update sitreps I have been shown," I assume by the
21 OTP, "for this period do not comprehensively reflect the shelling" that
22 you observed in Gracac.
23 Could you please clarify this assertion a bit.
24 A. I will do. That's the same what I stated before, because we were
25 in our accommodation or in the UNMO office or we were moving to JorBat 3
1 compound, we were not able to monitor the situation throughout the whole
2 day. So, more or less, when we left for JorBat 3 compound we had a
3 blackout of our observations in Gracac.
4 Q. Nevertheless, Mr. Steenbergen, reports were written and they were
5 sent to the command of Sector South and further on to Zagreb and even
6 further than that, in the UN.
7 What purpose do they serve if they do not reflect an accurate
8 picture of what was going on? Can you explain that?
9 A. I can only reflect to the situation that I was present in -- in
10 Gracac itself and that's what it is more or less is the situation, what
11 I -- what is described here in this sitrep. We're not making
12 assumptions, only the normal observations.
13 Q. With all due respect, Mr. Steenbergen, you are talking about
14 normal observations. However, on the 4th of August, you were in a
15 basement in a shelter of the building that you lived in. After that, at
16 11.00 you went to a shelter, again, at the JorBat base and you say
17 yourself, in paragraph 40 of your statement, that that is a location from
18 which you cannot really see the situation very well. Nevertheless,
19 reports are written about what was going on in Gracac.
20 What is the value of these reports? What would your comment be?
21 A. The comment will be that these observations are not only mine
22 observations but throughout the whole team, and for the initial moment
23 when I was in my accommodation I also stood in the door just in front --
24 just entrance door of my house and, yeah, could you observe the shells or
25 hear the shells flying over my accommodation and falling left and right
1 of my accommodation as well.
2 Q. Approximately how much time did you have to observe these shells
3 as you were standing in front of the house that you lived in? How long
4 were you there, to the best of your recollection?
5 A. I have to guess but in my initial location where I stayed in my
6 accommodation, approximately two hours and then I picked up a fellow UNMO
7 who was staying in another house and then we moved to the UNMO office.
8 Q. [In English] In Stikada?
9 A. No, in the UNMO office in Gracac.
10 Q. Okay. [Interpretation] In paragraph 61 of your statement you say
11 that your patrols visited the hamlets and villages in the surrounding,
12 area, that you observed damaged and looted houses and you say: "At this
13 time we did not have any interpreters."
14 Mr. Steenbergen, at the time when you were in Gracac, could you
15 speak the language of the local population? Did you understand the
17 A. Are you talking pre-Storm?
18 Q. [In English] No, I'm talking -- [Interpretation] No, I'm talking
19 about the events after the Storm and I'm referring you to paragraph 61 of
20 your statement.
21 A. Mm-hm. Later on, we received a Croatian interpreter from Croatia
22 from, actually, I don't remember -- I don't remember his name but where
23 he was from, he was from Sibenik. And received that -- this interpreter
24 through Sector South and on various patrols in that described period he,
25 yeah, assisted us.
1 Q. Can you recall when you were assigned an interpreter, in relation
2 to the beginning of Operation Storm? We're talking about the period from
3 August 4th and onwards. How long were you there without an interpreter
4 and when did you get one?
5 A. No. I do not exactly recall.
6 Q. Very well. In the next paragraph, paragraph 62 of your
7 statement, you say that: "Immediately following Operation Storm,
8 check-points were established."
9 Who manned these check-points? Were they manned by the army, the
10 police, or both? Do you recall?
11 A. Depends in time and location. Initially in Gracac those
12 check-points were manned by Special Forces, special police. Later on,
13 and I do not exactly when, but it was normal police, still having their
14 Kalashnikovs, more to the east of Gracac, and I'm referring now to Otric
15 junction, there was regular HV forces manning check-points.
16 Q. Can you tell us which check-point exactly, in which part, in what
17 area did you see the special police, and when?
18 A. No, no.
19 Q. Let us go back to paragraph 49 of your statement, where you say
20 that you noticed people in civilian clothing with orange arm bands,
21 carrying out the cleaning of houses in an organised manner in groups,
22 removing furniture and putting it outside the houses.
23 Do you know who these people with orange arm bands were?
24 A. No, I do not know. I only know that they wear civilian clothing
25 and they had a distinguished orange arm-band on them.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Could the registry please pull up document
3 Your Honour, for your reference, this is a -- these are rules on
4 uniforms, insignia and special signs or marks worn by the civilian
5 protection. For the need of these proceedings we had Article 24 of
6 this -- of these rules translated, and we would like to use it now, but
7 we would also like to enter it into the e-court and ask for the entire
8 document to be translated for later use.
9 So could we please pull up document 3D00-138 on the screens,
10 Article 25. 1385, I apologise; it is my mistake. 3D00-1385. I omitted
11 the last digit.
12 Q. While we're waiting for this to come up on our screens,
13 Mr. Steenbergen, allow me to read Article 25 for your reference just to
14 say that these rules were adopted by the -- were promulgated by the
15 minister of the interior of the Republic of Croatia
16 the Official Gazette in --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the number of
18 the Official Gazette.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, could you please repeat the number of
20 the Official Gazette.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: The number of the Official Gazette is as you can
22 see on the first page, 76 from 1994 and at the end of the document it is
23 written that the document itself was issued 18 of April 1995.
24 [Interpretation] I will now read Article 25 of these rules, which
25 were in force at the time when Operation Storm began.
1 It reads as follows, can you see it on the monitors.
2 So it says here: "If the members of units, headquarters and
3 other organised protection and safety units for any reason do not have
4 specified uniforms and are engaged in completing the tasks of civilian
5 protection in peace or war, they are to wear on their upper left arm an
6 orange coloured band 10 to 12 centimetres wide upon which there is
7 equilateral triangle of blue colour. The distance between the sign of
8 the triangle and the edges of the band are one to two centimetres.
9 Q. Mr. Steenbergen, I put it to you that the individuals that you
10 saw in civilian clothes with orange bands were in fact members of
11 civilian protection of the Republic of Croatia
12 A. In this Article it is stated that people were wearing orange arm
13 bands were probably part of this civilian protection organisation, only
14 during that time we were not aware of such an organisation being present
15 there. We observed those individuals wearing the orange arm bands.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You asked the witness to follow a conclusion where
19 he has testified or stated that people were having an orange band and
20 then you say, Please compare this with Article 25 and would you also
22 Now, first of all, there is of course for someone who first
23 thing, I think that should have been asked, is whether he had any
24 knowledge of this Article 25, whether he has given it ever some thought,
25 and then you said: I put to you that the individuals in civilian clothes
1 with orange bands were members of the civilian protection of the Republic
2 of Croatia
3 Now, if I look at Article 25 which I'm now familiar with, I think
4 since 90 seconds approximately, it talks about members of units, don't
5 know what unit, headquarters, and the other organised protections and
6 safety units for any reasons do not have specified uniforms but are
7 engaged in completing the tasks of the civil protection in peace or
8 war ...
9 So what it says about civil protection is that they're performing
10 tasks of assist protection. So, therefore, to -- if in 90 seconds it
11 raises five, six, or seven questions on my mind, why ask a witness who
12 apparently is not familiar with this. He knows what he saw. But to ask
13 to draw legal conclusions, that is really an exercise which may lead to
14 more confusion than to clarity.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Could I have number for this document, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du Toit.
19 MR. DU TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D436, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: D436 is admitted into evidence. And we are waiting
23 for this single article to be completed by a translation of the whole of
24 the document, Mr. Mikulicic --
25 MR. MIKULICIC: That is precisely what we want to do.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Of course the Chamber would like to be informed
2 about it once have you done so so it can keep an eye on it. Please
4 MR. MIKULICIC:
5 Q. [Interpretation] The Honourable Judges raised the question of
6 what the tasks of civilian protection were. I have a document which has
7 not been translated, unfortunately, but we've entered it into the e-court
8 and have asked for the translation to be done, 3D00-137 --
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Just a moment, Your Honour.
10 Okay. I was advised by my case manager that the document has
11 been translated in draft, and the number is 3D00-1378.
12 Q. [Interpretation] This is a handwritten document, as we can see on
13 page 2 as we wait for it to appear on the screen. It was compiled by the
14 commander of the civilian defence of Gracac, Mr. Livio Fabee. And on the
15 second page, they talk about the tasks completed in Gracac.
16 In item 3 it says that emptying and cleaning disinfection of deep
17 freezer cabinets has been completed on the 28th of August, 1995 in 81
18 houses. And then all the localities are mentioned. Mention is also made
19 that approximately 1100 kilograms of meat and rotten food were taken away
20 and disposed at the waste dump.
21 Mr. Steenbergen, I put it to you that the civilian protection's
22 task as we can see in this document was, among other, to, once civilians
23 leave their homes and leave behind certain foodstuffs and other items,
24 that houses had to be disinfected, and this was the reason why civilian
25 protection members entered these homes.
1 Could you -- what would you say about that?
2 A. What I observed during that period in Gracac that there was more
3 on the street than only deep freezers and the contents of these deep
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we have a
7 number for that document pleas.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du Toit.
9 MR. DU TOIT: No objection.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D437.
12 JUDGE ORIE: D437 is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see 3D00-1376
14 on the screens.
15 Q. This is a document also compiled at the civilian protection
16 section of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia
17 can see that members of the civilian protection had some other
18 responsibilities. Under item 1, we can see that 12 houses had been
19 cleaned up, water wells in Stikada was disinfected and so on and so forth
20 and also in item 4 it says that about 14.000 pieces of ammunition were
21 found, rifle grenades, hand-grenades, rocket shells and so on. In other
22 words, explosive devices were found in houses that had been abandoned
23 after the population was evacuated.
24 Mr. Steenbergen, are you aware that that too was the
25 responsibility of civilian protection, to search houses and homes, in
1 order to find any left-over ammunition and explosives?
2 A. I am, and I was not aware of.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have a number for
4 this document.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, you said that these were ammunition
6 that was found in houses. Where does the document say so?
7 MR. MIKULICIC: In paragraph 4.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Discovered and destroyed mine and explosive devices.
9 I do not see any references to houses.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [In English] Ammunition up to 20 millimetres. The
11 reference on houses goes from the first paragraph where it says that it
12 was search of 12 houses.
13 JUDGE ORIE: 12 houses.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And now paragraph 2 says surface in square meters,
16 40.000 square metres. May I take it that that is it not the 12 houses.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: Of course not.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, could you link as you did searches in
19 houses and not searched surface to what was found, that, at least, is not
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, I see your point, Your Honour. It is my
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
25 Could we have a number.
1 MR. DU TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D438, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: D438 is admitted into evidence.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Steenbergen, were you familiar, did you know
7 of the evacuation plans for the local population?
8 A. I was not aware of.
9 Q. [In English] Okay.
10 [Interpretation] Could we now have document D391 pulled up on the
12 This is a document, a summary of daily reports, from the 7th of
13 August to the 8th of September, 1995.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Could we please have page 5 on the screens.
15 Q. The first paragraph, from the first paragraph we can see that UN
16 observers were informed that 71.200 refugees had used the check-point
17 towards Banja Luka, but most of them had come from Knin. And it was also
18 observed that there were a lot of damaged trucks, cars, tractors, and
19 various items abandoned along the road. Some vehicles had been smashed,
20 run down by tanks. And UN observers asked the commander if he had seen
21 acts against civilians or RSK soldiers, and he was told that this was not
22 possible because all the local -- all the locals had left before HV
23 troops arrived.
24 The UN observers were also informed that on the evening of the
25 6th of August, a company had been attacked and some materials and fuel
1 were confiscated, that the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
2 carried out this attack, and that they also confiscated an UN APC vehicle
3 with a Red Cross symbol.
4 Are you familiar with the number cited here, the number of
5 refugees and the incident that is described here, the incidents that
6 happened in the refugee column.
7 Could you tell us a bit about it?
8 A. No, I'm not aware of. No.
9 Q. I see that we are nearing the end of today's session, so I will
10 try to just have a few more questions.
11 Mr. Steenbergen, in your contacts with the civilian police after
12 Operation Storm, did you have occasion to speak with the commander of the
13 civilian police in Gracac?
14 A. Yeah, we did -- we did, yeah.
15 Q. Can you tell us what kind of contacts you had with him, what
17 A. Yeah, I remember that we -- of the team went to that police
18 station and we asked for what was the reason why those houses kept on
19 burning after hostilities ceased.
20 Q. Can you recall, Mr. Steenbergen, when the police station in
21 Gracac was established, what day?
22 A. No, I cannot recall. No.
23 Q. Did you personally or the members of your team report to the
24 civilian police of the -- the incidents that you had occasion that you
25 had occasion to encounter in the course of your duties, and I mean fires,
1 criminal offenses, thefts, murders.
2 Did you ever report any such acts to the civilian police?
3 A. Not to my knowledge now. I only remember that the team visited
4 the police station just to ask the reason why those houses kept on
6 Q. Thank you for your answers, Mr. Steenbergen. My time is up.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
8 Could I just inquire.
9 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour. I have less than -- approximately
10 a half an hour, no more than that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that can be done tomorrow because we have
12 to --
13 MR. KEHOE: I understand.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- leave the courtroom to another chamber.
15 If you give me one second.
16 Yes, Mr. Mikulicic, I just checked again. You said large number
17 of ammunition, 12 houses, I see that under paragraph 1 it's is a far
18 wider area, isn't it?
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That's not only -- I think you referred to Gracac in
21 your question.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: And surrounding area.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and the whole of the area. Yes, thank you.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: And I believe there was a wrong digit entered
25 into the transcript. The document says for about 14.000 of ammunition
1 and I believe I said 1400 or something like this.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let me once ... yes, well, if you said so,
3 the ammunition up to 20 millimetres says in the report 14.000.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, 14.000.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, 14.000, yes, that's ... I'm a bit puzzled. You
6 said I believe there was a wrong digit entered into the transcript and
7 you believe -- oh, so you misspoke; yes, now I understand.
8 Then, Mr. Steenbergen, we'll not manage to finish your testimony
10 THE WITNESS: Okay, No problem.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And we would like to see you back tomorrow morning,
12 1st of July, 9.00 in the morning this same courtroom, and I'd like to
13 instruct you that you should not speak with anyone about your testimony,
14 whether the testimony you gave already today or you will give hopefully
15 tomorrow and not beyond that. Also for your information, I would like to
16 know from the Cermak Defence whether the position has changed until now
17 as far as the time required is concerned.
18 MR. CAYLEY: There's no change in that position, Your Honour.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us an indication, Mr. --
21 MR. DU TOIT: No change in my position either at the moment.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one question.
23 That means that we should -- if there are not too many questions
24 of the Bench, we should finish not at the end of the first session but
25 well before that.
1 This gives you some guidance as to what to expect tomorrow,
2 Mr. Steenbergen.
3 We stand adjourned until the 1st of July, 9.00, Courtroom I.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.
6 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st day of July,
7 2008, at 9.00 a.m.