1 Tuesday, 22 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in this courtroom, and
7 around this courtroom.
8 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-06-90-T, The Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 And, Mr. Kay, are you ready to continue your cross-examination.
13 MR. KAY: Yes thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Roberts, I'd like to remind that you
15 the -- that you're still bound by the solemn declaration you gave at the
16 beginning of your testimony.
17 Mr. Kay, you may proceed.
18 WITNESS: ALUN ROBERTS [Resumed]
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay: [Continued]
20 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Roberts, I'm going to ask you some questions about the events
22 in Grubori this morning.
23 As you told the Court, you went there on the 25th of August, 1995
24 not specifically for the purpose of going to Grubori but to another
25 location within the Plavno valley as part of an UN mission, and that
1 mission concerned the registration of the local inhabitants. Is that
3 A. That was part of the purpose of the visit. It was generally the
4 day before that expressed to party of the UN where I was also present
5 issues of security concern. They had shown us the location of a person
6 or maybe two, but I remember the grave of one man who they claim had been
7 shot by Croatian soldiers but the purpose was to discuss security issues
8 in general, yes, that's right.
9 Q. Yes. Can you tell us whether the whether the registration of
10 those people actually took place that morning on the 25th at the school
11 hall where the rendezvous was arranged?
12 A. That meeting was not to arrange the registration then. It was to
13 try to facilitate a meeting from the Croatian civilian police from Knin
14 to come and meet with them so that the police rather than the UN whose
15 responsibility it really is is to hear the concerns and requests from the
16 villagers. There was -- at the point of establishing that the Croatian
17 civilian police, although we had been to see them in the police station
18 the evening before after the first meeting on the first -- on the day
19 before, had not arrived. We continued to try and have a general
20 briefing. The reason was that word had got around to other hamlets in
21 Grubori of such a meeting where the Croatian police would be present with
22 the UN and the number of other hamlets represented by villagers who came
23 to that meeting across the valley from Grubori.
24 Q. At that meeting it was also arranged that Mr. Pasic, the mayor of
25 Knin, was also going to be with Mr. Romanic and address the local
1 population. Is that right?
2 A. I understood that later, but at the time of going to Plavno that
3 morning, I myself didn't know that was part of the plan or purpose of the
4 Croatian CIVPOL to come with the mayor.
5 Q. Yeah. Do you know if there had been a definite time for this
6 meeting that was arranged with Mr. Romanic?
7 A. I can recall, sir, that when we went from the meeting in Plavno
8 at that village the day before it was it was late afternoon when we went
9 to the CIVPOL station in Knin. My colleague Maria Teresa Mauro was
10 there, I think EJ Flynn also, three or four people. I was just standing
11 in the lobby as they discussed with the Croatian police in the police
12 station in Knin the concerns the villagers and the need, if possible, to
13 come to a meeting the next day at about late morning on the 25th, and it
14 was okay, noted, right, from my observation. And we left thinking, okay,
15 that they understood and maybe they will, maybe won't, that we've told
16 them and they've said that they would come.
17 Q. The 25th of August, was that a day when the weather was bad in
18 that region?
19 A. I would describe it when we set off that morning to Plavno from
20 Knin it was cloudy, it was not raining in any extent. During the course
21 of the meeting with the villagers, at the village we had gone to discuss
22 with, there was light drizzle during the course of that hour or so, which
23 later on, in the course of the events around Grubori, was very heavy
25 Q. Yes. At some stage, as you've told us, an alert was sounded and
1 it was noticed that there was smoke in Grubori and the upshot was you
2 went in the direction of that hamlet.
3 A. That's right. We --
4 Q. I don't won't to go into great detail on this. We've got your
5 evidence on it and what I'm doing is taking you in staging points to deal
6 with the substance of it. We've no need to repeat it.
7 A. Okay.
8 Q. You go there with a number of UN people.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And this is your first visit to that hamlet on the 25th of
12 A. It was my first visit to Grubori on that morning, yes.
13 Q. Yeah. Had you ever been to the hamlet before?
14 A. To Grubori, no, I hadn't. I had been to Plavno valley before,
15 but not to Grubori.
16 Q. Right. Is it right that it is remote and inaccessible?
17 A. I would say it's remote but it is not inaccessible, sir. It's on
18 the steep other side of the valley. You drive around from the main
19 access road leading back to Knin, around to your right pass Besici and
20 up. It's a fair climb, it is narrow, but I wouldn't say it was difficult
21 to get to or to really find. The villagers themselves would know, as
22 they told us and showed us, different routes down to the valley. So I
23 wouldn't say it was hard to find in that sense, but I understand the
24 purpose of your question, yeah.
25 Q. Yeah. You needed someone to show you where it was.
1 A. Yes. Jovan Grubor one of the inhabitants of Grubori, had come
2 across to the meeting at the side of the valley and he was in the car at
3 the head showing EJ Flynn and the UN TV crew exactly where it was and we
4 were in about three or four cars, UN cars in that convoy with the various
6 Q. It's right, is it not, you cannot see the hamlet from the main
8 A. No, you cannot, if you are at the main junction to Knin looking
9 up you would see trees and would you not see the rooftops of Grubori, no,
10 you would not.
11 Q. I don't know how well you know the area around that. You can see
12 a settlement called Opacici?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Other little settlements but this is particularly secluded from
15 the main road?
16 A. From the main road, yes, you would you have to head off up and
17 away from that --
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. -- visible point.
20 Q. When you get there on this first visit you do not discover that
21 anyone has been killed. Is that right?
22 A. I would refer -- I'll comment now but refer to my statement in
23 detail, my report 29th August on the whole affair. But when we got there
24 there were three women villagers, they were in a state of panic. They
25 told us that they could not find certain people. We had been told by
1 other people at the foot of the road going up to Grubori who we later
2 discovered were from the village, soldiers came, soldiers came.
3 Buildings were on fire and we ran around to try to see if we could find
4 anybody else alive or needed help. In the rain the UN TV crew took shots
5 and so on. But the only location I think we were taken to, which is
6 immediately at the entrance to Grubori, was the house of Marija Grubor
7 who was 90, and one of the villagers told her that they thought in that
8 still burning ashes was her body, but that was it. We didn't see
9 anything. We decided then the most important thing was to go and report
11 Q. Your party went back to Knin and a report was made to General
12 Cermak's office?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. And a report was made to the police station in Knin?
15 A. I was with Maria Teresa Mauro and EJ Flynn at the meeting we had
16 with Major Colonel Dondo, forgive me, the liaison officer or one of them
17 to General Cermak. I did not go and I'm not completely sure whether
18 exactly at that moment my colleagues went to the CIVPOL station to report
19 it. I myself after the meeting in the lobby or the entrance room of the
20 office of General Cermak went back myself to the headquarters of
21 Sector South.
22 Q. You've described the three of you. Was there also someone from
23 UNCIVPOL as part of the group?
24 A. I recall there was in that meeting there was -- with interpreter,
25 with a meeting with Colonel Major Dondo, at least three or four people
1 with the interpreter as well. That's the best of my memory, yeah. Yeah.
2 Q. And you were aware at that time, it was the normal procedure for
3 matters to be reported to the local police?
4 A. It was. I think our concurrence, sir, on what we had been
5 seeing, just to digress a very quick moment, in the days and weeks before
6 of hearing these shots from the village of the side, of seeing the smoke,
7 going with Jovan in the car, being shown and seeing what we found
8 directly in front of us, the most apparent thing for me being there was
9 this was something that had happened very, very recently, and we wanted
10 to go directly to establish, first of all, a sort of clear sense of
11 urgency at the office of General Cermak, that something should be done.
12 But you're right, CIVPOL are the -- Croatians are the main body for that.
13 But my colleagues did say to Major Dondo that we wanted to see an
14 investigation which we really felt to be pushed at the level of General
15 Cermak based on past descriptions and that something should be done in
16 terms of security which might be beyond police that he may have the
17 capacity and resources to do. And then I myself left, went back to the
18 Sector South headquarters, and filed a report to my press office in
20 Q. The purpose of going to General Cermak was because he was there
21 to help the UN with problems and this was seen as an UN problem that he
22 might be able to help with.
23 A. I would say that our feeling was that we, my colleagues
24 especially, should leave this at the doorstep of General Cermak based
25 upon our reporting and observations passed to him by my colleagues of a
1 sense of unlawness developing and that he had told us early on at the
2 meeting I referred to yesterday that he was the person who could address
3 these issues. It was a little bit wider than that, I think, just in
4 terms of he could help the UN. We went there to make a distinction. It
5 was a very serious development. We wanted him to be aware of it and to
6 carry out an investigation, urgently. It was happening at that moment.
7 The time to do things was to act, and I am not sure here whether my
8 CIVPOL colleagues in the UN went to the Croatian CIVPOL station to file a
9 report. I understood - careful word, understood - that they had, but we
10 wanted to see action on something that had taken place at the very
11 moment, in Plavno.
12 Q. I'm just waiting for the translation to ...
13 The report to the police was something that you don't know
14 whether that took place or not on the 25th. Is that right?
15 A. I do not know, no. I do not know.
16 Q. Was there any coordination between the UN team as to who was
17 doing what and who was reporting to whom?
18 A. I understood later that evening after we had been to Grubori a
19 second time on talking briefly at the UN CIVPOL station that this had
20 been passed to Croatian CIVPOL. I was told that. Beyond that, I
21 thought, okay, well, they've been informed and from a press office point
22 of view, if I'm asked, I can say that the UN have checked with the
23 Croatian police and they have been informed of it. So if not
24 [indiscernible], I would assume that we were informed of it latest on the
25 evening of the day that we had seen what we saw.
1 Q. There's no reason to doubt that information, that they were
2 reported it on the 25th to the police. Is that right?
3 A. I have no reason to doubt it, no.
4 Q. Yeah. When Dondo was spoken to, the report there was that there
5 was burning and there was trouble, but he was not informed that there had
6 been any killings.
7 A. I would first refer you to my report again 29th of August, 1995
8 on this and on the actual description I gave there on the encounter and
9 description of my colleagues and myself to Mr. Dondo. It was made very
10 clear that we had heard shots from across the valley while we were across
11 the valley, a sense of insecurity prevailed from our point of view in
12 Plavno, based upon previous visits before those two days. That the women
13 had told us at the bottom of the road, "soldiers, soldiers," crying and
14 in panic. When we got to the top of the road entering Grubori clearly
15 something very dramatic and violent had happened. Building were burning
16 and I think we emotionally extolled to him this was a situation ongoing,
17 it could get worse, now we need to have action. We did not however say
18 we've seen bodies, there's people discovered by the UN, numbers, no, we
19 did not. It was very forceful, very emotional, that we wanted to see
20 some action take place.
21 Q. Did you appreciate then, firstly, that General Cermak only had a
22 unit of nine people under him?
23 A. I did not know then that he had what you're saying now is such a
24 limited amount of staff that he, from what you're saying, could
25 personally muster to go and solve problems or help the UN. My
1 understanding, digressing, but I think it's relevant is from what I
2 understood him to say at the meeting on 8th of August and through my
3 colleagues in other meetings since that time, he was the person who had
4 authority to make things happen. I do not see why if we had thought that
5 General Cermak, in all fairness, had such limited resources we would not
6 have then gone directly to his office. We would have gone, I'm sure,
7 through Maria Teresa Mauro, EJ Flynn, not just myself, to the police, to
8 people who we felt had better resources to do things and move things. I
9 think there is a very important distinction, with all respect.
10 Q. Exactly. That is why I'm putting it to you. You didn't
11 appreciate that he actually didn't have any command over any troops
13 A. I didn't appreciate that. I'm hearing that now. Again, my
14 understanding from the situation on the time of what was described to us
15 and I heard was that General Cermak portrayed the impression of being a
16 person who had overall authority, and that was the impression that was
17 not just with me but with people like the sector commander, the head of
18 civil affairs and so on who had meetings with him to try and get things
19 addressed in regard to such authority existing.
20 If we were all wrong, well, we should have been advised, I think,
21 of the real terms of reference on paper, but we did not have that.
22 Q. Did you appreciate, for instance, that Dondo wasn't under his
23 command, he was under a completely different line of the Croatian army as
24 a liaison officer? He had a different commander, a Brigadier Plestina?
25 A. Well, on seeing him, Colonel Dondo, I also, not at that time but
1 on one or two meetings in the office of General Cermak, was wondering
2 what exactly was the overall remit of the entire structure of the office
3 of General Cermak. It wasn't as far as I understand a regular kind of
4 functioning in the Republic of Croatia
5 such exceptional circumstances after the fall of the Krajina. So,
6 obviously, with perhaps piecemeal with various people doing various
7 things who may have allegiances to other different commander units. I
8 accept that. But my clear impression, sir, is that the expressions given
9 to my colleagues that I heard from General Cermak were to imply that he
10 was a person with authority who could coordinate and guide things, and
11 that's my recollection still.
12 I'm hearing what you've said now for the first time, accept very
13 much sincerely what you've said but I just wonder so much about how
14 things might have been different in many respects.
15 Q. If he had power.
16 A. No. If we had, as the UN been clearly aware that General Cermak
17 did not have such authority and did not have the ability to coordinate
18 and to exercise power as I felt, I understood he portrayed that he did.
19 To have on paper your guidelines and terms of reference in a job is one
20 thing. If you say, Well, I will do my best to address that; yes, this is
21 shocking, we must do more to correct this, I will get on to it, I will
22 bring an extra detachment of police to Knin from wherever in Croatia
23 address these unlawful acts. One thing is okay, if you're saying that,
24 then you have some authority.
25 Q. You didn't appreciate that he was saying that because he was
1 trying to help you. That was his whole purpose of being there, was that
2 he was helping you.
3 A. I can --
4 Q. And that's why his door was always open?
5 A. I can extend that sympathy that I felt many things that General
6 Cermak said to my colleagues, not many of them I heard directly, that he
7 was, I think, very frustrated with a range of issues, but if I in coming
8 to this testimony, look through with all due respect the records of the
9 letters of General Forand, the protest letters, there are 11 of them,
10 submitted by the Sector South commander to General Cermak, four them in a
11 row between late August and 1st September, all protesting the issue of
12 freedom of movement. Why is the chief military officer of the UN doing
13 that? Because I assume, and it is speculation, with due respect that he
14 feels that his counterpart of authority in Knin is General Cermak.
15 Q. We've heard evidence from General Forand, and I won't go into
16 that and he has spoken for himself on -- on these issues.
17 A. I didn't know, I'm sorry, okay, thank you.
18 Q. Yeah. Turning back, then, to the 25th, and you go back for a
19 second visit to Grubori by which time it is right that the weather has
20 worsened. Is that a fair description?
21 A. I wouldn't know. I -- I wouldn't agree with you. I -- I can
22 recall very well that it was heavy rain on the time that we left the
23 village across the valley from which we saw these plumes of smoke
24 breaking out. We got up towards Grubori, it was raining quite hard.
25 When we went back in the late afternoon, early evening of the 25th there
1 was some I would say light rain, overcast, but I know when we were in
2 Grubori it was quite light weather with sunshine. And there was not bad
3 weather, no. No, there was not.
4 Q. It's on this visit that two bodies are discovered, that there has
5 been two recent murders. Yes?
6 A. It's on that visit that when we arrived, I think Milica Grubor
7 was taking us and what was the Dutch TV crew that had come with us who
8 had arrived in my office, they went back with us, UN TV did not, and we
9 went to this very narrow doorway about 20 metres away from the entrance
10 of the village, climbed these stairs and there was the body of an elderly
11 man lying by the bed covered in blood around his head.
12 We looked at the scene, there was a CIVPOL officer, as I recall
13 there, and I took four or five shots of that from different angles and
14 I've stated in my report my assessment of how he was shot at close range.
15 I observed cartridges on the floor which I also photographed. The window
16 of the small bedroom was closed --
17 Q. Can I stop you. Time is limited and it is it not out of any
18 disrespect at all, Mr. Roberts. And it's a shocking scene; let me make
19 that clear.
20 I'm actually interested in these little facts I'm putting to you
21 and how matters develop because there's no issue that the murders
23 A. Two bodies, yes.
24 Q. Two bodies. And why I put it as starkly as that is that having
25 discovered those two bodies, you then return to Knin. Is that right?
1 A. We photographed quite extensively the two bodies and where the
2 other body of -- I think the elderly man who had his throat slashed in
3 the field where Jovo found him and we photographed, I think my colleagues
4 at the time had found the body of another male in the field with a woman
5 and I recall those were photographed at the same time. So we had, if I'm
6 not wrong - and I have to refer to my report of 29th of August - four
7 bodies and the report of a women saying that her husband was almost for
8 sure in the house that had collapsed from fire. So --
9 Q. Are you saying that you discovered five bodies or four bodies on
10 that second visit on the 25th?
11 A. I'm pretty sure that had seen the body upstairs, the body in the
12 hallway, there were two bodies in the field, that I know CIVPOL saw.
13 Photographs were taken and we also had this discussion with the wife of a
14 gentleman who was apparently invalid who didn't make it. We never saw
15 the body. She assumed he die in the fire.
16 Q. Because in the UN TV interview the next day at 11.00, only two
17 bodies are mentioned, no more.
18 A. Yeah. It says that, but we had found late afternoon in the team
19 assessment four people, I'm almost sure, at that second visit and I think
20 maybe two days later I photographed again the doorway of Marija Grubor's
21 house and photographed what had we thought was the remains of her arm.
22 This is the 90-year-old lady. And one paragraph in my report explains
23 the sequence of events of -- of finding bodies and photographs, I think,
24 pretty well.
25 When we left that time, we knew for sure we had seen more than
1 two bodies. We had accounted for more or less all of the villagers who
2 were missing in regard to that incident.
3 Q. You returned from there to Knin. Is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What time did you arrive in Knin after this second visit on the
7 A. On the 25th, well, it was sometime mid-evening around 8.00 or
8 9.00. I can't put a precise time. It was getting dusky dark for sure.
9 We had been in Grubori the second time, longer than the first occasion in
10 the morning, we had made a pretty thorough assessment the second time,
11 and Jovo and Milka had showed us what they had discovered in the
12 afternoon while we were not in there, so it was about an hour, hour and a
13 half, maybe we were in Grubori and then went back to Knin, which took
14 about 45 minutes, went back to the headquarters of Sector South myself.
15 Q. You didn't file a fresh report at the police station in relation
16 to the number of bodies.
17 A. I do not know if that happened, sir. I went myself directly to
18 the HQ Sector South. I don't know whether my colleagues did or did not.
19 When I returned that evening, my colleagues filed quite broader reports
20 on what had happened, EJ Flynn, especially, I think. I began preparing
21 something I did not complete that night and I popped in to the UN CIVPOL
22 office to ask, okay, you know what has happened, has it been passed on,
23 and that's what I was referring to before, they said yes, the police had
24 been informed and so on. I did not add to that what I had seen or
25 observed in the second visit.
1 Q. You didn't go back to Dondo and say to him in fact we have now
2 discovered four murders --
3 A. No.
4 Q. -- in Grubori?
5 A. No. Yeah, that's correct. No, I did not. I do not know if my
6 colleagues had a second visit with him. My understanding is that they
7 did not, but I'm not sure.
8 Q. But you have seen no information to that effect?
9 A. Correct. I have seen no report from CIVPOL, from civil affairs
10 saying they had a second meeting that evening, that's correct, yeah.
11 Q. So then we move to the 26th, and -- which is the next day,
13 MR. KAY: If we could just look at two documents which have been
14 in evidence or two pages of a document that has been in evidence. It's
15 Exhibit D57.
16 May we turn to page 59. It's box 193 dated the 26th of August,
17 1995. It's the Knin daily log-book. And the English will be coming
18 soon, box 193. Page 59.
19 Q. This is a document that's in evidence, Mr. Roberts, to help you.
20 It's the log-book down at the Knin police station. We see at 3.00 the
21 commander of that police station, Milos Mihic. Did you know Mr. Mihic?
22 A. Not in terms of a working relationship, I knew he was the
23 commander, I observed him several times, at the police station lobby with
24 my colleagues. We didn't have any direct interaction, though.
25 Q. He reported that two male bodies were found and we see that
1 Mr. Romanic agreed to do an on-site investigation as written in that box.
2 A. Yes, I see those two --
3 Q. Two bodies being found.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. No report of the four or five bodies at that stage.
6 A. That's what it's saying here, yeah. That's what --
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Right.
9 Q. Did you go back to Grubori on the 26th of August?
10 A. Now I recall on the 26th of trying to go to Plavno again, which,
11 if I'm not mistaken was a Sunday, and it was with CIVPOL and human
12 rights -- one of the human rights action team interpreters and I did not
13 put this in my report, but on that afternoon we got to the edge of Plavno
14 and a police check-point blocked us from going into Plavno, and my
15 recollection is that it was the next day, the 27th, that a group of us
16 had returned again to talk to the people who were still there, because
17 earlier, on the -- on the day we left on the 25th, I think there was some
18 concern of their security but they had said for now, although in shock
19 and distressed, that they were okay to stay where they were. That was
20 25th, and now on the 26th, I recall we did not get to Grubori or Plavno
22 Q. Thank you. We'll turn now to page 61 of this document.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, would it be of any use to explore about any
24 issue of the 26th being a Sunday or not?
25 MR. KAY: No, Your Honour. If I neglected to say it, I meant to
1 say it in my own mind.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Roberts, 26th of August, 1995.
3 MR. KAY: This was a Saturday. 27th is a Sunday.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. KAY: 26th is a Saturday.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You say your recollection is that it was a Sunday.
7 Could there be any confusion about the chronology, because according to
8 my information the 26th was a Saturday, not a Sunday.
9 THE WITNESS: I felt that we went back again the day after, sir,
10 so it would have been a Saturday, if the 26th was a Saturday.
11 JUDGE ORIE: But Sundays didn't have a different rhythm from
12 Saturdays or --
13 THE WITNESS: For us, no, no.
14 JUDGE ORIE: No. So there could be no confusion that you
15 rather -- that your recollection is rather that you went back on Sunday
16 rather than the next day?
17 THE WITNESS: I felt almost for sure we went back again because
18 of the seriousness of it and it was a CIVPOL team and we didn't get to
19 Plavno on that occasion.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
22 MR. KAY:
23 Q. Page 61, we're looking here at box 197 and 26th of August, 1995
24 at 2000. And you see the name Dondo there, Karolj Dondo.
25 A. I do, yes.
1 Q. And there's the report there of five bodies. Do you see --
2 A. Yes, I see in the event --
3 Q. Yes. And that's at 8.00. Were you aware of Mr. Dondo visiting
4 Grubori on that day of the 26th, in the afternoon?
5 A. I'm not sure exactly if I knew that Mr. Dondo was there. I know
6 that there was a visit quite quickly after by General Cermak, who went to
7 the village and was accompanied by a number of Croatian press and made a
8 statement from the village describing what he said had taken place,
9 and --
10 Q. That was on the 27th. That was on the 27th.
11 Let's turn to -- just looking at those pieces of information
12 there, they're compass points, let's turn to the UN TV report, which we
13 know took place on the 26th of August at about 11.00 in the morning, all
15 MR. KAY: If we could have Exhibit P504.
16 Q. This is now the 26th. And is it right that, in fact, this was an
17 unscheduled visit to Mr. Cermak's office that morning by UN TV and one of
18 its purposes was to ask him questions about Grubori?
19 A. I'm just waiting for this to come up. Sorry.
20 Q. I'm giving you the generality. No need to look at the specific,
21 just answer -- I do that to save Court time.
22 A. Okay. Yes, I am aware that they had sought an interview with
23 General Cermak personally, were granted one and went to make that
24 interview for UN TV, yes.
25 Q. Were you present at that interview?
1 A. No, I was not present during the interview, no, with the UN TV
3 Q. But you knew it was taking place?
4 A. I knew that they had requested a meeting through Colonel Dondo or
5 his office, I think both things had happened through the UN TV guys, and
6 they had been granted and went to have the interview.
7 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I notice the B/C/S transcript wasn't on
8 the screen and it is now there.
9 Q. In relation to the questions of UN TV to General Cermak, did you
10 consider the questions that were to be asked by the particular
12 A. I can't recall whether we had some discussion about the kinds of
13 questions to ask. I don't think that I had proposed specific questions
14 that should be asked. It was the UN TV crew that, anyway, even if
15 colleagues might make proposals or I, it was for them in the end to
16 decide what to ask, and in those kind of situations it depends on the
17 responses of the interviewee as to how an interview develops regardless
18 of what might be in your mind to ask, but general areas. But I can't
19 recall that I drafted something that they must ask.
20 Q. You agree that the report given to Dondo the previous day was
21 that there had been fire trouble but that there had been no report of the
22 murders that you had found, be it two bodies, four bodies, to Dondo or
23 the office of General Cermak?
24 A. Yeah, I think that's a fair description. There was nothing like
1 Q. Yeah.
2 MR. KAY: I'm told, Your Honour, that the wrong document in
3 Croatian is on the screen -- a wrong translation in English is on the
4 screen. It's -- P504 should be 03062714. There have been several
5 versions of this document, Your Honour, in the proceedings as disclosed
6 and --
7 JUDGE ORIE: But they are apparently all attached to this one,
8 because I have 00572865 which apparently was on the screen, and yes, the
9 other one you just mentioned is also attached. Could the parties sit
10 together and see whether we have one translation attached whereas as a
11 matter of fact it is a -- I don't know to what extent it is a transcript
12 or a translation.
13 MR. KAY: A transcript.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then I've got three translations attached to it.
15 Could the parties sit together and find which is the best and then the
16 others would be removed then.
17 MR. KAY: Yes. I'm told the second is the perfected one and I
18 see nodding from the Registry.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If we could get that one on our screen.
20 MR. KAY: That is the one I'm working on.
21 Q. Sorry, Mr. Roberts, these are matters that have to be attended to
22 for the record.
23 MR. KAY: Yeah, apparently we're okay.
24 Q. In this interview, if we just go through it very quickly and then
25 I'll be finished in all my questioning, we can see the first question,
1 answer, second question, second answer, and General Cermak said: "Yes, I
2 know about these events."
3 And in his answer to the question about whether he knew what had
4 happened in Grubori in the last two days, was about a Serb terrorist
5 being arrested, one body being found, we believe it was the body of a
6 Croatian army soldier, because hands were tide with wire behind the back.
7 No mention there of any Serbian people being killed by him.
8 Isn't that right?
9 A. Yes. The response in the interview was describing what had
10 happened from General Cermak's perspective. I think that is quite clear
11 and talks about the causes of what he says the causes are for the
12 incident in Grubori.
13 Q. From what he says, two houses were burned, there had been a
14 wounding, an arrest and the body. The first mention of villagers being
15 killed is actually by the UN interviewer. Isn't that right?
16 A. That's right. And I think it's further down --
17 Q. Yeah. It's on that page. It is the last question on page 1,
18 were two dead old men, sick in bed in his pyjamas --
19 A. Right.
20 Q. -- shot in the back of the head?
21 A. Could I just draw your attention, sir, if I may --
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. -- to a couple of points. It's only my personal observation.
24 General Cermak seems to be very well informed of this military special
25 unit sweep team. He gives there the fact that they found 70 civilians of
1 Serbian ethnicity who were taken care of who stayed in their houses.
2 Now, bear in mind this is the same time, the same day that the UN party
3 across the village, across the valley with a good many -- good many
4 civilians for the meeting on the morning, and I've not put it in my
5 report but there were more than 20 villagers at that meeting put on the
6 record now approximately that number, and then he talked further down the
7 kind of combat activity, combat that took place in this village,
8 questioned to himself. Generally a mopping up operation and achieving
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Then when I saw this by my colleagues in transcribing of the tape
12 I asked, Do you know seriously that General Cermak said some 500 to 700
13 members of the special police or do you think you're mistaken and it was
14 50 to 70 and they said no, it is 500 to 700.
15 Q. So quality of information?
16 A. No. I'm just thinking when I saw that and asked them and they
17 said, no, he did say 500 to 700, I was a bit astonished because, why?
18 The number of hamlets there are around Plavno, yes, it is a bit of
19 speculation again, but just the isolation of the place and how many
20 possible Serb bandits, if you like, are on the run there. It suggests a
21 large operation is my only overall assessment on reading that, a large
23 Q. I take your observation and we've got the point, so what I'll put
24 to you is this. If he's wrong about that, his information is wrong, he
25 doesn't know what he's talking about. Would you agree? If he's wrong
1 about that? Do you see what I mean?
2 A. I would say that he seems very assured at saying 500 to 700
3 people as if he does know that that was the number or the number he was
5 Q. We've had evidence in court about the number.
6 A. Fair enough.
7 Q. All right. So if he is wrong about that, you agree his
8 information is bad. He doesn't know what he is talking about?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, you're asking for kind of conclusions which
10 are pretty useless, if you say, A where the truth is B, then either you
11 are not informed about B and therefore you say A, it could also be that
12 you'll well-informed about B but for whatever reason you say A.
13 So, therefore, asking this kind of conclusions from a witness
14 doesn't assist the Chamber because it doesn't resolve the -- what may be
15 the problem.
16 MR. KAY: I understand that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. KAY: I allowed the witness free reign, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: But the witness couldn't answer the question unless
20 he has specific knowledge and then he should be specifically asked about
21 it whether he had any reasons why A was said rather than what some people
22 say that B was the correct --
23 MR. KAY:
24 Q. In fact, he said he didn't know that people were killed in
25 Grubori. If we go to page 2 of the document, we see in the second
1 answer: "Again, I don't know where the gentleman has this information
2 from about two civilians killed."
3 The next answer: "I don't know. I'll find out. I don't know if
4 this morning there was anybody with the people up there."
5 That's what he was saying, wasn't it?
6 A. Well, when I read --
7 Q. He didn't know?
8 A. Yes. When I read the transcript, having been in Grubori, and,
9 yes, you're right, we did not report to Mr. Dondo the number of bodies.
10 Q. Any bodies.
11 A. Right.
12 Q. Let's -- let's --
13 A. No, we did not respond about any bodies being seen or found at
14 that time when we went to report to Mr. Dondo. I had the impression that
15 at the beginning General Cermak is stating what has happened, that he is
16 aware of this incident, and then later, when it is put to him clearly by
17 the UN TV crew who he does not know had been there and filmed is a kind
18 of different reaction, saying, I don't know where you got this
19 information, well, the UN TV, sir, had been there, had filmed it, and
20 they had seen by that time the tape of the Dutch TV crew because my
21 understanding is they swapped tapes and they clearly had good visual
22 information in terms of what happened in terms of the fire and the bodies
23 being discovered, which at this time it seems that General Cermak does
24 not know.
25 Q. Yes. And at the top of that page -- at the top of that page, in
1 the first question, the interviewer says: "...the Croatian police went
2 to the local larger village but they haven't yet been to the village
3 where the burning took place?"
4 Are you able to shed any light on that, bearing in mind this
5 interview was 11.00 in the morning of the 26th and the statement there by
6 the interviewer that the police had been there? Are you able to help
7 with that?
8 A. I'm just reading the paragraph. Just one second.
9 I can't shed any light in terms of the UN TV crew interviewer
10 knowing for sure unless that information from CIVPOL, but I don't know
11 that the Croatian police had been to the larger village in the way that
12 the question is suggesting that he had firm information to that effect.
13 Q. Well, in the second question on that page, they say they were
14 there that morning.
15 A. Yes, I see that.
16 Q. And he says: "There's been no Croatian police presence in that
18 We take that to mean Grubori.
19 A. I'm looking at the answer here of where it says: "General, I
20 don't wish to contradict. We were there this morning --"
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. "-- and there has been no Croatian police presence in that
24 Q. We take that to mean Grubori?
25 A. Right. Meaning the Croatian police have not been to commence any
1 kind of investigation within the period by which this interview took
2 place is the claim of the colleagues of UN TV.
3 Q. It seemed they had been at the local larger village, as the first
4 question indicates?
5 A. It's not clear, though, do you agree that where that local larger
6 village is, it could be at the bottom of the valley at Besici. It could
7 be another hamlet in Plavno.
8 Q. As we've seen, in fact, the first report is after this interview
9 of two bodies to the Croatian police that we have recorded in the Knin
10 police log-book. After this interview.
11 A. Yes, it's later on that that's recorded.
12 Q. Were you, in fact, as part of this UN team, not focussed clearly
13 on how to deal with this incident properly, that you didn't follow it up
15 A. I am not sure we could not have done more in covering all the
16 bases, perhaps. I can't speak for my colleagues who would have that kind
17 of decision making process, not me as the press officer. I don't know
18 this exact specifics of it, only to the extent of a meeting with
19 Mr. Dondo and clear expression, as we've said, of wanting to see urgent
20 reaction and at the time it was said to him, Please ensure that General
21 Cermak is fully informed of this because we want to see him that
22 afternoon. And he wasn't there, which is why we informed Mr. Dondo.
23 Q. Did you, for instance, on that day, the 26th, as the questioner
24 said, would Mr. Cermak go up to Grubori with them? Did anyone go to his
25 office later that afternoon and say, We will take you there?
1 A. I don't know that there was.
2 Q. No. You know -- you have never seen a report to that at all?
3 A. I have not seen that at all, no.
4 Q. No. But we do know that his men went up there later that day.
5 A. Later that day, then you'll concur is the 26th?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. And that then is more than 24 hours after General Cermak's office
8 has been informed on the late morning of the 25th of a very disturbing
9 violent incident where gunshots are heard and scenes of distress are
10 recorded by the UN and asking for urgent action and an investigation
11 report was made very clear and we were told that we passed on to General
12 Cermak, and that was the morning of the 25th. So that's over a day
14 Q. No, it's not.
15 A. Sorry.
16 Q. No deaths were reported till this interview at 11.00 --
17 A. I am afraid, sir --
18 Q. -- to him?
19 A. All right. I understand what you're saying. I'm afraid, sir,
20 that an incident at a hamlet where we have seen civilians in distress and
21 we have heard gunshots is for me a clear issue to address that the
22 civilian police be sent there or those under whose authority it is be
23 sent to ensure security and commence an investigation, first of all at
24 least, of arson, first of all, at least of distress and destruction,
25 which were clearly made apparent to Mr. Dondo, and we're now looking at
1 issues which are over one whole day later and we're talking about a
2 distance that can be covered in less than 45 minutes driving time.
3 Q. Did you appreciate that Dondo had no command over the police?
4 Did you know that?
5 A. I did not know he had no authority. Again, I am finding myself
6 now back in the days almost of Knin, sir, which is that the UN must go to
7 the police and report what we've seen and basically escort them to a
8 place where we've seen distressing scenes. We reported this to what we
9 understood was, as I said before and repeating myself now, the senior
10 authority official in Knin, and I do not say we did everything right.
11 No, I would not say that. I can say myself I thought there was some
13 But is it not for the office of General Cermak to go to, to make
14 a phone call? They have more kind of authority and persuasion on the
15 police, I think, than we do, from several experiences of passing on
16 incidents to the Croatian police previous to this.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Roberts and Mr. Kay, as well in putting
18 questions to the witness, what should have been done and what could have
19 been done are questions of a mixed nature. It comprises both factual
20 elements but also whether or not priorities should have been given and
21 what the number of people were available, what else there was to be done.
22 I think that the matter has been covered in a way which gives hardly any
23 expectation that we come any further.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. KAY:
1 Q. Did you know that General Cermak had no right or ability to
2 investigate crimes?
3 A. I did not know that he had no authority to investigate crimes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. KAY: No further questions.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
7 Next in line, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, let me just get set up,
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Meanwhile I can inform Mr. Roberts that the
11 next one who will cross-examine you is Mr. Kuzmanovic, who is counsel for
12 Mr. Markac.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile, Mr. Kay, the Chamber notes that where you
15 indicated that you needed two hours yesterday that --
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Probably less, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Kuzmanovic, I was addressing Mr. Kay.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Oh, I'm sorry.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Almost two hours, but I do see that for you to ask
20 is also 65 minutes. That's appreciated.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
24 Q. Mr. Roberts, I'd like to follow up a little bit on a discussion
25 you had with Mr. Kay.
1 The list that you put together of the vehicles at the scene, it's
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If that can be called up, please.
4 Q. Do you have that in front of you, Mr. Roberts?
5 A. Yes, I see that. Thank you.
6 Q. There's a notation on the right, it says AR. I'm assuming that
7 is Alun Roberts, correct, handwritten?
8 A. The very top right. Yes, that's my initial, yeah.
9 Q. 1-2008, I'm assuming that's January 2008 or if you can explain
10 what that is?
11 A. That was the date that it was, I think submitted or handed in
12 to -- it's like sort of a mark of identity with the investigation part of
13 the Tribunal, I think. It wasn't on there at the time the note was
15 Q. You had testified yesterday, I believe, that you thought the note
16 was written on the 25th of August of 1995. But this is the second list
17 that you had written, was it not?
18 A. Yes. What the sequence of this is, I -- I had written --
19 Q. Mr. Roberts, I understand you want to explain. My question to
20 you was this is the second list you had written, correct?
21 A. This is the second list, yes, on leaving the valley.
22 Q. Thank you. The first list you said had 10 to 12 vehicles;
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. That is the list you couldn't find?
1 A. That's the list we couldn't find.
2 Q. And then you put together a second list of -- where six vehicles
3 are noted and a white vehicle with no plates. Correct?
4 A. Yes, on leaving the valley.
5 Q. And these are registration plates for these vehicles. Correct?
6 A. That's right, yes.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
8 question and answer. Thank you.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sorry.
10 Q. You did not give this document to the Croatian police at any
11 time, correct?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. This is a pretty important piece of potential evidence, is it
15 A. Yes, but I shared this with colleagues from CIVPOL and with UNHCR
16 who I also thought took a list as well.
17 Q. And the first time this list of vehicles shows up anywhere in any
18 report is in Elisabeth Rehn's report of November 1995, does it not?
19 A. I wasn't aware it appeared for the first time in her report.
20 Q. Why did you not give this list of vehicles to the Croatian police
21 with registration numbers for vehicles at or near the scene of where the
22 alleged crime occurred?
23 A. Because I passed this to CIVPOL and I felt this had been passed
24 on. I also shared it with UNHCR and I understood also that the UNHCR had
25 taken a similar list, a longer list, a full list of the 11 vehicles
2 Q. Did you see in the police log-book -- Mr. Kay showed you the
3 police log-book. There was no list of vehicles contained in the police
4 log-book. Correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. You took photographs at the scene yourself. Correct?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Did you provide those photographs to the Croatian civilian
10 A. The problem with some of the photographs taken in around Knin was
11 the issue of developing them, of being safe and many of those photographs
12 were not developed immediately.
13 Q. That was not my question, Mr. Roberts?
14 A. No, they were not passed on.
15 Q. Thank you. And they are theoretically and most certainly what
16 happened in Plavno was essentially a crime scene, was it not?
17 A. Well, that is the distinct impression that myself and my
18 colleagues had, yes.
19 Q. And photographs that you took at that crime scene potentially
20 could benefit a police investigation, could it not?
21 A. I think it could, and I think also one was on the receiving end
22 wondering what the Croatian civilian police might have done as well with
23 the investigation.
24 Q. Well --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask for the benefit of
1 interpretation and the transcript to make a pause between question and
2 answer. Thank you.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, strike two. I will slow down. I get
4 six strikes here, though, right, Judge?
5 Q. The photographs taken at the scene, I think you said were not
6 provided to the Croatian civilian police but you essentially were the
7 first people on the scene. Correct? Meaning the UN.
8 A. I'm pausing.
9 Q. Sure. Thank you.
10 A. Yes, we were the first people on the scene of that crime.
11 Q. Now, you were not a forensic expert, Mr. Roberts?
12 A. No, I'm not.
13 Q. You are not a crime scene investigator?
14 A. No. I'm not.
15 Q. You are not a coroner?
16 A. No. I'm not.
17 Q. Obviously these people were tragically killed in this village,
18 but as far as a specific cause of death from a forensic standpoint, you
19 could not tell us that; correct?
20 A. No, I could not.
21 Q. There's a photograph that you took of Mr. -- I think his name was
22 Jovan Grubor showing someone -- the particular area where one civilian --
23 the area in which he had been killed outside, correct? Do you recall
25 A. Yes. Jovo showed us the place where he had been killed or said
1 he had been -- he found them dead at, yes.
2 Q. That's P693. Before we get to that document I wanted to ask you
3 a few more questions, sir, about P692.
4 At the bottom of this page, there is it some handwritten note
5 regarding Rade in Bijeljina. What was the purpose of writing -- can you
6 explain that significance, please?
7 A. I think it bears no relation to the information -- if you just
8 scroll up. Yes, I think this is information back in Knin headquarters
9 that I just had the paper and scribbled on a phone number which was of no
10 relation to the actual information on the note pad. It may have been
11 that it was covered by some other paper and went through, but I think it
12 was on that same piece of paper.
13 Q. What about Ika Todorovic at the bottom here at UNHCR Belgrade?
14 A. Yeah, this is a contact office of the UNHCR in Belgrade and a
15 phone number alongside.
16 Q. And could you please explain the purpose of -- if any, of that
17 notation regarding UNHCR Belgrade on this document?
18 A. I think it is completely unrelated on irrelevant to what happened
19 on what is on that piece of paper. It is just a by-chance add, addition
20 of some information of Bijeljina, a phone number, and Ika Todorovic,
21 phone number in Belgrade
22 information above that line.
23 Q. Did you have any -- what contact, if any, did you have with
24 Mr. Todorovic?
25 A. On this matter?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. I didn't have any direct contact with him on this matter. I
3 think UNHCR from Knin may have done. In regard to some of the people who
4 later went to Belgrade
5 contact between Benny Otim, the UNHCR chief in Knin, with Mr. Todorovic,
6 who was the I think legal affairs office at UNHCR in Belgrade, but I was
7 not in contact with Mr. Todorovic on this matter.
8 Q. Mr. Roberts, I note that during the course of the disclosure of
9 evidence -- or documents over the past few weeks relating to you, there
10 are many documents we hadn't seen before, this P692 being one of them.
11 Do you happen to have your own trove of archived documents in
12 your office?
13 A. I have many documents we kept from the UN public affairs office
14 in Knin, yes, I do.
15 Q. And did you disclose all of the documents related to events
16 surrounding this particular case to the Prosecution?
17 A. As far as I know, all of the documents that I made or produced as
18 reports on this issue have all been handed over and I have also handed
19 over to the investigators each of the respective sitreps reports of
20 UNMOs, UNCIVPOL and Human Rights Action Teams that corroborates the
21 information of my I think 12th of October report.
22 Q. So those are all documents that you kept copies of and you have
23 in your personal possession?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Are there any documents in your possession related to this matter
1 that have you not produced to anyone?
2 A. On this matter of Grubori or --
3 Q. On this case in general, relating to this case, Gotovina, et al.
4 A. I have kept in my possession, I think, most of the reports of the
5 various UN departments operating in Sector South since I arrived there in
6 1993, not every single document but a good section of the work of
7 UNCIVPOL, UNMOs, UN humanitarian affairs, et cetera as kind of a record,
8 historic record.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Roberts, I think the question was whether you
10 had any documents which you had not produced to the Office of the
11 Prosecutor, not what you actually had in your possession.
12 THE WITNESS: No. I have given everything that I think is useful
13 to this case, yes.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
15 Q. Can you tell me, Mr. Roberts, in relation to P692 whether at any
16 point in time you know of anyone that gave this specific list of vehicle
17 plates to any Croatian police office?
18 A. On this list, I don't know anyone who gave this list to any
19 Croatian official authorities, no.
20 Q. The archive of your own personal documents that you have, where
21 is that located?
22 A. Some of it is in New York
23 Q. And where is the rest of it?
24 A. Some of it is in Banja Luka at the former UN office in Banja
1 Q. Is there still an UN office in Banja Luka?
2 A. No. Some of it is in my apartment. A lot of it is in New York
3 and in my private accommodation.
4 Q. Where is your apartment located?
5 A. One of my apartments is in -- is located in Banja Luka.
6 Q. Where do you currently reside?
7 A. I reside in two locations, New York and in Banja Luka
8 Q. What do you currently do for a living, sir?
9 A. At the present time I am not actually working. I completed a
10 contract with the international court in The Hague and I have doing some
11 private work, consulting work both in relation to international
12 organisations and NGO.
13 Q. When you say international court in The Hague, you're not talking
14 about the ICTY, are you?
15 A. No, I'm not.
16 Q. Is that the ICC?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: P693, if that could be pulled up, please.
19 Q. Mr. Roberts, is that Mr. Grubor standing on the left with the
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Who is the gentleman on the right?
23 A. UN CIVPOL. I don't know his actual name, but I think the
24 investigators have it.
25 Q. And this is the location at which you testified that Mr. Grubor
1 found one of his neighbours?
2 A. This is -- this is a location that Jovo took us to after he had
3 showed us the body of the gentleman in the front lobby with throat
4 slashed. He said he had not found him there and took us to a nearby
5 field not very far away where he showed where the body was found, and
6 this the photograph of him pointing to where he said he found the body.
7 Q. In this particular spot, and I don't doubt for a moment that the
8 gentleman that you saw in the room was the same gentleman, but there is
9 no evidence of any kind to show that there was a body there, blood, or
10 anything, is there?
11 A. No. I'm just -- the photograph shows what it shows and that's
12 all I've said in the caption, that he showed us the location where he
13 said he found the body he took or dragged to the front lobby.
14 Q. So it's your testimony that Mr. Grubor here on the left dragged
15 the body of the dead gentleman back into a house?
16 A. That's what he said. I understood he had some help to drag him.
17 That's his description, that he pulled him back into the lobby, the
18 reason why was -- why did you do that, was that okay, in terms of pigs or
19 animals or problems, he put him back inside the -- the front lobby of his
20 own apartment, which was partly burned.
21 Q. Okay. How long of a distance was it from this particular spot to
22 where the gentleman's body was?
23 A. It was not so very far, maybe, hmm --
24 Q. You said 250 metres in the statement, did you not?
25 A. I can't recall that I said that. It was a closer distance to the
1 field from the actual front of the apartment. It was not big a distance
3 Q. Do you know if anyone had done anything to that particular body
4 like change its clothes or clean it up or anything like that before you
5 saw it?
6 A. You mean inside the lobby of the apartment?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. No, I don't know of somebody come to do what you have stated.
9 We're talking, I think, about four or five hours between when the UN was
10 there in the morning and when we went back in the late afternoon,
12 Q. Okay. So that is the same day that you came back and this is the
13 position at which Mr. Grubor found the dead body, and from this position
14 in the photograph, 693, the body was dragged some distance, considerable
15 or not, into a house. Correct?
16 A. That's what he described, yes. We saw the body lying in the
17 lobby of the house which is where the photographs were taken.
18 Q. This photograph obviously was not taken in the house, right?
19 You're referring to other photographs. Correct?
20 A. Yes, I am. This photograph is outside in the field as I have
21 described. This is it where he said that body was found.
22 Q. Were there any shell casings that were found at or about this
24 A. I do not know. I did not go and really look. I don't think I
25 took many photographs, maybe even just one or two of this particular
2 Q. Did you note any in this area evidence of people who had been
3 traversing through the area? It was raining, was it not? People would
4 leave tracks with boots. It was muddy. Did you see any of that?
5 A. No, I did not. It was a field -- the front here on the
6 photographs was a field with grass. I did not see signs of lots of
7 people or lots of boots or whatever in regard to what you have just said.
8 Q. Now, the way to get to this particular hamlet of Grubori, you had
9 described briefly during your examination by Mr. Kay. This was not a
10 paved road that led to Grubori, was it?
11 A. Not the way you got there, no sir. You would go to Besici on a
12 tarmac road, turn left and swing up and then you begin climbing a gravel,
13 mud road going up, which is basically one track vehicle more or less.
14 Q. So for one to get to Grubori, especially in the weather the way
15 it was on the day that you were there, you would pretty much need either
16 a beast of burden or a four-wheel drive vehicle. Is that a fair
18 A. Well, it was certainly suitable for UN-type vehicles which had
19 four-wheel drive to go up there, yeah. They were all UN jeeps, yeah.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That of course was not the question. The question
21 was focussing on whether you needed that to go there. That you could
22 easily -- or reach it if you had a four-wheel drive is of course
23 different from whether you couldn't get there without a four-wheel drive.
24 THE WITNESS: Well, to -- thank you, Your Honour. On that
25 context you could easily walk to the village --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But from the question it is clear that
2 Mr. Kuzmanovic is interested to know that if you wanted to drive there,
3 whether you would -- then he --
4 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure you would need a four-wheel drive
5 vehicle but certainly something that we would use was very easy to get
6 there, UN vehicles, four-wheel drive, pick-up, something quite strong.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So you're not certain about whether you would make
8 it if you had a non-four-wheel drive?
9 THE WITNESS: Or an old kind of vehicle, I think it would be
10 difficult, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Roberts, the road itself was a basically a one-lane road,
14 correct, I mean, if there was someone else coming the opposite way, there
15 was no way for the vehicles to pass?
16 A. Yeah, that's right.
17 Q. If you could please pull the map up that you had drawn. And I
18 will find it here.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think it's P694, if I'm not mistaken.
20 Your Honour, it might be a good time for a break, since I can't
21 find the map.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's one of the best reasons I have heard for
23 a break.
24 We will have a break and we resume at five minutes to 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, you may continue with making pauses.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you. I will do my best.
4 Q. Mr. Roberts, we'd left off -- before we get to the map that I
5 have found, the map that you drew, I wanted to get back to the issue of
6 Mr. Grubor and the photograph that you took.
7 If we could go to P677, please.
8 That's your statement dated February of 2007. And if we could go
9 to page 11.
10 A. For the moment I'm seeing the map or the sketch.
11 Q. Okay. The efficient registrar was ready with my map, so I
12 changed gears on her.
13 The second paragraph of this statement, Mr. Roberts, this is when
14 you went back to Grubori on the first day. If you looked in the middle
15 of the paragraph toward the right it says: "The elderly man of the
16 village," and I'm assuming Mr. Grubor, correct, Mr. Roberts?
17 A. It's the top paragraph now.
18 Q. I'm sorry. The second paragraph which, which --
19 A. No. I have got it.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. "The elderly man of the village," and that is Mr. Grubor,
23 correct, the man whom you've photographed?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. "Took us to a field where we found the body of a male person who
1 had been killed with his throat cut."
2 Now according to statement, I will continue with the statement,
3 the body of this man was taken to the hallway of a house, and I took
4 photographs of him there.
5 Now, Mr. Roberts, your statement in 2007, a little more than a
6 year and a half ago, tells us that you were at the spot where the body
7 was found and then moved and that you observed the body taken to the
9 A. This is not correct. As I've said in my statement yesterday,
10 this statement is 2007. I stand by my statement that describes this in
11 quite some detail of 1997 and my report of 12th October. This is the
12 wrong way around and it's -- I apologise, it's the wrong interpretation.
13 We photographed the body, first of all, in the hallway, as is accurately
14 recorded in those reports, I think, and we were shown the body first of
15 all by Jovo in the lobby of the house which he said was the house of the
16 subject who had been killed and we saw him then and photographed him with
17 his throat cut in the lobby, as the photograph I think display. Later he
18 took us to show us the location where he said the body of this man was
19 found by him killed in that way.
20 Q. Okay. Mr. Roberts, you gave what, six statements or so
21 throughout the course of this investigation, and in this particular
22 statement there is no proofing note or supplementary statement correcting
23 that this was in error, is there, as far as you know?
24 A. There is no correction to this particular reference to this 2007
1 Q. I wanted to ask you about this issue of the throat being cut.
2 Now, you said before you're not forensic expert, you're not a criminal
3 investigator, but it would be pretty logical, would it not, that if
4 someone's throat is cut, there's going to be quite a bit of blood and
5 that blood is going to be remaining either in the spot where the person
6 was found or the spot where the person was dragged, correct?
7 A. Well, as you said, I'm not an expert, so I'm not going to comment
8 in terms of what an expert might have found.
9 I will concur that when I went to see the field, I did not in the
10 photograph portray any blood found at the scene. I think if you or we
11 look at the photograph itself, it shows what it shows, the conclusion of
12 us, is this man had a number of stab wounds and his throat had been
13 slashed. I'm not saying any more in terms of how it happened or why
14 that's what the photograph shows.
15 Q. Let's look at page 8 of your statement, this same one.
16 And if we look at the fifth paragraph from the bottom, it says:
17 "Jovo Grubor who had been brought into a house from the meadow and who
18 appeared to have had his throat cut."
19 Now, in this particular portion of the statement, you said that
20 it appeared to have been cut, not that it was cut.
21 A. That's what it says here. That's what I said, yes, it appeared
22 to have his throat cut. The cause of death appeared to be that his
23 throat was cut.
24 Q. Okay. Whether that in fact happened or whether it didn't happen,
25 you don't know. That's an accurate statement, isn't it?
1 A. I saw what I recorded, that his throat was cut. I can't say
2 that's definitely the cause of death, but we observed this man lying with
3 his throat severed, cut.
4 Q. Let's look at page 3 of P679, which is your statement of 4
5 March 2008. And we go to paragraph 12.
6 And the last sentence of that paragraph says: "I understood that
7 Jovo Grubor had his throat slashed."
8 So that is the third variation of that particular theme. I mean,
9 it's fair to state, Mr. Roberts, that you didn't know whether it's the
10 throat slashed or whether it wasn't slashed or whether it was a bullet
11 that grazed his vein or anything?
12 A. I don't think myself, looking at this statement, the one I made
13 in 1997 and the detailed report of 12th October 1995 --
14 Q. That's not -- Mr. Roberts, that is it not my question. That's
15 not my question.
16 A. Well, I don't hear any question.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, the witness may continue his answer.
18 THE WITNESS: I understand, sir, the direction you are coming
19 from. I see that the word used here throughout these statements is
20 "throat cut," "throat slashed," and on finding the body and taking the
21 photographs, my opinion as a press officer was he had died a violent
22 death of which the wound most outstanding was the severely slashed
23 throat, his throat was cut --
24 Q. And you as a press officer have no specific medical knowledge to
25 say whether his throat was cut or whether it wasn't cut?
1 A. What I could see, sir, was a man lying with his throat severely
2 slashed, and that is what the caption says.
3 Q. Did you manipulate the body to see whether or not -- what it
4 looked like?
5 A. No, I did not manipulate the body. What had happened is Jovo had
6 obviously turned over the body from I understand where he placed it face
7 down so that the colleagues and myself, UN colleagues could see the
8 extent of the wound, that he wanted us to see as what he had said was the
9 cause of death and the way he found him, and we photographed from, I
10 think three or four angles the main wound and I think the top of his
11 chest which had another stab wound, as far as I remember.
12 Q. And did you take his shirt off to determine that?
13 A. No, I did not. It is not my job to go start doing things now
14 that you have suggested I have no expertise for. I photographed the body
15 for the record. My colleagues from CIVPOL were there, and that's what we
17 Q. Have you ever seen any kind of death certificate or forensic
18 report related to that death?
19 A. No, I have not seen any forensic report or investigation report
20 of that death or the deaths in Grubori.
21 Q. When I had asked you earlier when I showed you the photograph of
22 Mr. Grubor pointing out the spot, you had said initially that he had
23 dragged the body there himself and then after the photograph, you had
24 recalled that he was helped by someone to drag the body to where you
25 ended up photographing it. Who helped him? The two elderly ladies that
1 were in the village?
2 A. I can't say for sure. That's the only people who were there,
3 sir, when we went back on the late afternoon and he said that he had
4 dragged him bag to his hallway. And, yes, I can recall we asked, By
5 yourself or alone. He said, Well, Marija, others, which were the two
6 women that were in the village at the same time we went back. This is
7 what he told us he had done to bring the body back inside.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to P690, please.
9 Q. This is the map that you discussed yesterday, Mr. Roberts. The
10 top of this has again your initials AR and then the number slash 2/2008.
11 Is that when you tendered this to the Prosecution as something they could
12 potentially use?
13 A. This is accompanied with the note of the vehicle tablet numbers.
14 They had been together.
15 Q. Okay. All right. So this map and the vehicle tablet numbers
16 were two documents that were made at the same time?
17 A. Yes [inaudible], yeah.
18 Q. And can you tell us when this particular map was drawn?
19 A. The map was drawn more or less the day after or within a few days
20 of the actual incident in Grubori, portraying the roads we had been on
21 and the main aspects of that particular visit.
22 Q. Do you know where the original of this is? I know I can see it
23 looks like a colour on -- on the screen and --
24 A. Well, if it --
25 Q. I'm sorry, go ahead.
1 A. I can explain. Well, if it got dirty or muddy in terms of papers
2 that it was with, and at the time I don't know what this colouring was.
3 It's not anything for effect. It was just in terms of what it was lying
4 under had collected on the face of the actual piece of note pad.
5 Q. All right. The bottom of this map there's an arrow pointing to
6 Knin. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then there's a squiggly line above, if we can scroll down
9 just little bit.
10 A. I think I've got.
11 Q. Right above that the arrow there, do you see that squiggly line
13 A. Yeah. That is to show the road is kind of broken. That road
14 continues on to Knin is the significance of the line.
15 Q. Okay. So there is some distance between -- of the road between
16 those squiggly lines showing that that's not the exact scale of how far
17 or close it is to Knin. There's some distance in there. Correct?
18 A. It is what I think is normal in a sketch, you just show that
19 that's the broken road that goes to Knin and this the main portion that
20 comes into the junction of the Plavno valley.
21 Q. Okay. Obviously the map is not drawn to scale. Correct?
22 A. No, it is not. It's just a sketch map. It's not a map. It is a
23 sketch I think is the proper word.
24 Q. Okay. When you go up the left side of the road here, is that
25 road paved?
1 A. This was a -- yes. This is at the time -- I don't know how it is
2 now. This was a tarmac road suitable for vehicles. You could certainly,
3 although narrow, have two vehicles passing in either direction on that
5 Q. And then -- I'm just waiting for the interpretation.
6 The vehicles that you depict here, a line of 11 blue and white
7 jeeps and mini-bus/vans, which way were they facing?
8 A. They were facing in the direction that road continues as if they
9 had been, this is also speculation, as if they had been driven in and
10 they were facing in the way we were going to the village we were going to
12 Q. Now, there's another sort of a squiggly line just above that. Is
13 that also designed to depict that there's some additional road there?
14 A. There is additional distance up to -- from where the vehicles
15 were toward where we turned left to go to the village that we were
16 meeting the Serb civilian villagers.
17 Q. Okay.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, the previous answer was rather
19 confusing. Let me see whether I have understood it well.
20 You have in your sketch the vehicles are -- you could consider
21 them to be at the right side of the road or to the left side of the road
22 depending on where they were heading.
23 Now, if I would say that there are situated on the right side of
24 the road seen in the direction they were facing, is that correctly
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, they're on the right side of the road facing
2 the direction upwards on the sketch.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Upwards on the sketch.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
6 Q. So if we're looking at it obviously in the top view, the front of
7 the first vehicle would be where the headlights would be?
8 A. Yes, that is where the cursor is now. They'd be facing -- they
9 are all facing in the same direction on the right in the direction the UN
10 team were going to this visit.
11 Q. Okay. Now let's go back to the junction for a moment and the
12 school and community hall to the right of the junction and that's the
13 place where you -- where you were going to meet?
14 A. No. The meeting was in the village, sir. If you carry on up in
15 the direction past the vehicles on the right where the squiggle is, that
16 road goes on. If you stayed on that road all the way around and did not
17 go left to this hamlet called Zecevici here, you carry on to the top end
18 of the Plavno valley and you can go no further. There are other roads
19 off to the left as you go around. We were there the day before at this
20 same village that I described earlier, to save time for the Court, and we
21 were going to meet the villagers again with the Croatian police at that
22 village to the left.
23 Q. All right.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That village, are you referring to that hamlet or --
25 because --
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, sorry, that hamlet.
2 JUDGE ORIE: That village is where we see several villages. It
3 is it not very clear. So Zecevici hamlet, that is where you would meet.
4 THE WITNESS: That's where -- those are supposed to be houses,
5 sir. I'm sorry.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, no, no. I do understand that these are houses
7 but -- or other hamlets as well on the sketch.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. As you go back to the junction and toward the school, community
11 hall, then you go up again toward the top toward the Grubori hamlet, and
12 before we get to the Grubori hamlet there appears to be a hard right turn
13 that you would have to make. Would the road continue going straight up?
14 Did you just not depict that road there? Was there another road there?
15 A. Where you go to the -- if you'd move the cursor back to the left
16 where that junction is, there was a small hamlet there and you're
17 climbing. That road to the right was maybe -- if you go to the right
18 with the -- doesn't maybe go hard right like that and then hard left. It
19 was more of a curve upwards towards Grubori.
20 Q. And that was all a climb?
21 A. You're climbing up from that point, certainly, yes, and you're
22 climbing up slowly from the direction of the school, community hall.
23 These villages -- these two locations at the bottom of the hamlet is
24 Besici and you go up from that point.
25 Q. Now, this Grubori --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, from that point here --
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'll be more specific.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- there, is of course for the record is not very
4 helpful for those.
5 What we've seen that the cursor was moving and apparently the
6 witness agreed with that, from the Zecevici hamlet then on the -- if I
7 could consider the north -- the top of this map to be north, is that
9 THE WITNESS: That's correct, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That facilitates describing. So then to go
11 southerly direction of the map -- of the road we find on the left of the
12 map, up to the junction described, then to go in an easterly direction,
13 passing school, community hall, then turning to the north again, to what
14 appears to be a -- a bend in the road, where the road further up north is
15 not continuing in this sketch, I think the witness said that from there
16 the road was climbing and these were not angles but rather winding, and
17 up -- going up to Grubori.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 I would ask the assistance of the usher, if we could get a blue
21 pen for Mr. Roberts.
22 Q. Before I ask you to mark that, Mr. Roberts, in the upper
23 right-hand corner of the drawing is the Grubori hamlet. Is that where
24 the road ends?
25 A. Yes, it is. The squiggly line before it is -- is representing
1 that the road continues a little bit further up. It was not much but it
2 was a bit longer a climb up.
3 Q. All right. If you could just mark for us on this -- on the road
4 itself near the school or -- and community hall or anywhere, which would
5 be responsive to the question where the road starts climbing toward
7 A. About here is where it would start climbing up.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. And certainly here steeply.
10 Q. Okay. So --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps that's I think the usual way of indicating
12 that the climb is more -- is steeper to put three arrows in the direction
13 of -- of climbing. Yes, I meant on the line of the road, but apparently
14 this is --
15 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
16 JUDGE ORIE: What I see on maps if I try to find my holiday
18 THE WITNESS: Sorry. It's not very --
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's all right. We're not all artists, so
20 don't worry about it. We'll note for the record that where the three
21 squiggly lines are, that's where the climb starts becoming fairly intense
22 and at the bottom of the blue line is where you start climbing. Correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I would like to tender that,
2 JUDGE ORIE: No objection, Mr. Waespi.
3 Therefore, Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be exhibit D695.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D695 is admitted into evidence.
6 Mr. Kuzmanovic, the Chamber, I at least, I will further check on
7 one of the huge military maps we have, but on all the maps that we have
8 at this moment to say that we have a clear picture of exactly where
9 Grubori is, we have it on one map indicated, the map in the series of
10 maps we received from the Prosecution, which gives no details at all. Of
11 course, the Judges are very familiar with Google Earth and these kind of
12 things. At the same time it doesn't give much information, especially
13 about names of hamlets. If there would be a detailed map or if you could
14 produce with sufficient detail, and again I have to check whether it is
15 on the military maps. If it's there, then of course there is no need,
16 but on all other maps we have at this moment, we're a bit lost.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I believe there was a map tendered
18 through Mr. Janic that has a semi-detailed view of the area.
19 JUDGE ORIE: If you have the number, then I will immediately
20 check that.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't have it off the top of my head, Your
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: We'll find one --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: -- and make it --
2 JUDGE ORIE: If it is there, of course there is it no need to --
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Okay. I will move on to another exhibit, Your
4 Honours, and another area.
5 P691, please, page 2 of that document.
6 Q. The last sentence, it relates -- and I will represent to you,
7 Mr. Roberts, this is your 29 August 1995 Grubori village report by
8 Sector South press office. The last line notes that it was decided to
9 record the licence numbers and for UN TV to film them, and you're talking
10 about the vehicles that were seen in the Plavno valley. Correct?
11 A. Yes. That's what that relates to, yes.
12 Q. Did you provide the video to the Croatian police?
13 A. I did not have the video directly. The UN TV had the main video,
14 which was then cut into an edit broadcast version and was shown as part
15 of the UN TV series on various TV channels in the region.
16 Q. Okay. I guess my question is that you -- in answer to my
17 question, you did not provide that to the Croatian police, correct?
18 A. No, I didn't.
19 Q. And do you know whether UN TV provided that to Croatian police?
20 A. I had thought they certainly gave one to CIVPOL. I cannot say
21 that for sure, but that's as far as I know, I do not think the UN TV crew
22 gave a copy to the Croatian police.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If question go to the next page of that
25 document, please, paragraph 10.
1 Q. Paragraph 10 of this report says: "After going on to the
2 Sector South HQ to inform senior Sector South personnel of the attack and
3 filing reports to our offices at mission HQ, we decided to return to
4 Grubori to check on the villagers were safe."
5 And I will stop there. In this particular portion of the report
6 there is nothing that discusses going to report this to the Croatian
7 civilian police, is there?
8 A. No, not in my report there, there's not. It is describing
9 exactly what you read.
10 Q. Okay. So you went to Sector South, you informed senior
11 Sector South personnel, and those reports that you filled in would go to
12 mission HQ, which presumably is in Zagreb. Correct?
13 A. That's right, yes.
14 Q. But nothing was given to the Croatian police?
15 A. As I said there I'm recording what I did. I said before in
16 earlier cross-examination that I understood on the return that evening
17 that the Croatian police had been informed by UN CIVPOL.
18 Q. Now, if we go -- okay. I'll move on to another exhibit.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we can go to P684.
20 Q. Mr. Roberts, this is a 12 October 1995 memo from the public
21 information office, Sector South, which discusses human rights
22 violations. And if you go, and I will give you the reference to the
23 stamped page numbers on the upper right, to the last four numbers are
25 A. Stamped page numbers.
1 Q. You'll see on the upper right -- if the registrar will see on the
2 upper right, there's a number that starts 06348096. And that's how this
3 document is page numbered, because I don't see any page numbers on the
4 document otherwise.
5 You'll see on the upper right-hand corner 0348107.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Paragraph 11 of this document discusses UN CIVPOL Knin and that's
8 UN civilian police, not Croatian police, correct, UN CIVPOL, just so
9 we're clear?
10 A. This is the United Nations civilian police and this is reporting
11 on assessing the joint patrols issue, yes.
12 Q. Okay. The joint patrols between the Croatian police and UN
13 CIVPOL Knin and it says: "The third time in a row for the Croatian place
14 to cancel the joint patrol with Knin UN CIVPOL team because of lack of
15 vehicles or manpower."
16 Now was it your experience on -- based upon your observations
17 into October of 1995 when this report was issued that the Croatian
18 civilian police had a lack of vehicles and manpower?
19 A. I'm going on what my colleagues from CIVPOL informed me and of my
20 own visits not often to the CIVPOL station in Knin, that I would say fair
21 assessment, I didn't see at any one time more than maybe four or five
22 vehicles parked outside the UN CIVPOL station in Knin, and I think
23 speculative, my colleagues in CIVPOL did feel this was clearly a
24 combination of problem and a lack of resources by that situation.
25 Q. And the vehicles normally that you would have for the
1 specifically for UN CIVPOL but even for the Croatian police would be
2 four-wheel drive vehicle, would they not?
3 A. I can't say for sure. They were the familiar blue jeep vehicles.
4 Some of them we saw in Knin were not exactly new but that's what the --
5 be the recognised standard Croatian CIVPOL police vehicle, yes.
6 Q. And the following paragraph again reports a meeting with the Knin
7 police commander. He is identified as the Knin Croatian policija
8 commander, Zvonko Gambiroza and it says: "In the meeting UN CIVPOL team
9 was informed that joint patrols with Croatian policija are to be
10 cancelled owing to lack of manpower and vehicles in the Croatian police
11 and at the same time commander Gambiroza, said that the Cro-policija
12 recently established some additional check-points in the villages to
13 prevent new criminal actions in the area."
14 Did you in any way observe that these additional check-points
15 were established?
16 A. I myself did not observe that, no. It's -- for reference, these
17 are the three sources at the bottom describe or corroborate that meeting
18 from CIVPOL.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. Yeah.
21 Q. Was it your experience at least from what you observed, and I
22 think I asked you that to some extent regarding paragraph 11, that there
23 was a lack of manpower and vehicles that the Croatian police had?
24 A. My view was that they were really stretched, if I can put it like
25 that, yes, always -- quickly, always the lobby of the police station full
1 of many people with a lot of frustrations and we did not see many
2 Croatian police vehicles on the roads. At least I didn't in my
3 [indiscernible] field.
4 Q. I would like to ask you some questions regarding your statement
5 of February of 2007. That's P677. And if we could go to page 10 of that
7 At the top of that paragraph or at the top of the page you
8 discuss what you observed might be a sweep team because "we had
9 previously seen similar activity in visits to remote villages in the
10 weeks previously. One example being during a visit to a remote village
11 close to the bottom of the Dinara mountain not far from the border of
12 BiH," meaning Bosnia-Herzegovina, "the name of the village, I do recall
13 at the moment." I think you say do not recall, correct?
14 A. Correct. It should be do not recall.
15 Q. "Was there a group of some 15 to 20 Croatian special forces
16 suddenly arrived in an assortment of vehicles and behaved very abruptly
17 to the inhabitants of that village."
18 At least from your experience there, there was nothing about
19 their behaviour that was physically injurious to any of the residents,
21 A. No, there was nothing of the kind of serious physical assault
22 that we observed while the UN team were there. It was a pretty tense
23 situation, but --
24 Q. That was a situation in which several ARSK soldiers had been
25 given maps in a way to escape to Bosnia, was it not?
1 A. That occasion was in a style of A, B, C. We had gone to the
2 village like on a return visit after being informed of problems from ECMM
3 patrol team, we went there. There was obviously from our presence
4 something wrong, people were very nervous, and then they revealed to us
5 that I think there were one or two men actually in a -- the back of a
6 room in one of the rooms of the villagers. As I recall, there were a few
7 men, they were very afraid, and they did not know what to do.
8 My recall quickly is that they were trying or wanted to get
9 across to Bosnia-Herzegovina. I can't recall exact flow of the
10 conversation but in the course I think of the next half-hour this group
11 of Croatian special forces arrived by surprise at the village and there
12 was a stand-off and eventually as far as I can recall they were agreement
13 to be handed over to them and the UN would monitor. That's the kind of
14 basic recall I have of everything on that, and I think this is documented
15 in an account by civil affairs and the way that the UN followed up on
16 monitoring it in liaison with the Croatian authorities is documented all
17 through, I think.
18 Q. Mr. Roberts, wasn't this a case in which the UN military
19 observers, including you, went to this place on more than one occasion in
20 which some 15 to 20 ARSK soldiers were given maps in a way to try to get
21 to Bosnia
22 A. Not correct at all.
23 Q. So if Mr. Tchernetsky testified that as a UN military observer he
24 gave these people maps to try to get to Bosnia and that you were involved
25 in that, you would deny that?
1 A. I would absolutely deny it. The first time I was at this hamlet
2 was on this particular day with my civil affairs and UNHCR colleagues.
3 That's the very, very first time and the only time I was ever there. I
4 absolutely would deny anything like that completely.
5 Q. So it's your position that you were unfailingly neutral
6 throughout this whole process?
7 A. Yes. My position, I was very objective throughout the whole
8 process, yes.
9 Q. I just want to make perfectly clear that from your perspective
10 you deny having assisted a group of eight to nine ARSK soldiers, giving
11 them maps in an attempt to evade capture by the Croatian military?
12 A. Absolutely, completely would say I never ever had done that.
13 This is the first occasion I have heard of this information, and the
14 portrayal I have given very briefly of our UN presence is what I recall
15 did happen. The first contact we had of problems was as I recall from
16 ECMM who had suggested that UN Civil Affairs and humanitarian affairs go
17 there to assess the problems in this village. We had certainly no
18 knowledge whatsoever of any so-called RSK soldiers hiding there or being
19 in the vicinity until they came out of the room concerned.
20 Q. And did you work together with Mr. Tchernetsky? Did you know who
21 he was?
22 A. I did not work together with Mr. Tchernetsky. I know was from
23 your recall now UNMO, now, but that's all I know.
24 Q. How about Mr. Ermolaev?
25 A. I knew him as a senior UNMO, sometimes deputy UNMO of
1 Sector South headquarters.
2 Q. Did you recall the date of when the activity you were involved
3 in, in assisting these people occurred in August? Was it in August?
4 A. I think on recall, this particular encounter I'm not sure whether
5 it was very close to the situation in Grubori or actually after what
6 happened in Grubori. But I know that it was well documented not by me
7 only in this reference here, so the date and the exact location and the
8 name of the village is available.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Can we go to P204, please. Page 5.
10 Q. At the top of the page, this is the statement, by the way, in
11 evidence of Mr. Tchernetsky, who discusses this incident at the end of
12 August fairly close to the Grubori incident. And it discusses the fact
13 that Mr. Tchernetsky met with two soldiers and he spoke to them and did
14 not report to HQ about the soldiers and only reported about civilians.
15 Now you had said earlier that you had initially met with two
16 soldiers. Correct?
17 A. They were men who came out -- when I say me, the UN team who was
18 there, met with or were introduced to these two men. As far as I recall,
19 they were not dressed in a full military uniform. It was a combination,
20 I think, of clothes and, as I recall, some military and that was an issue
21 of concern about what would happen if they were in military uniform.
22 May I just if I could just to read that paragraph.
23 Q. You may.
24 A. I have not seen this before. I think this is something that
25 needs to just be carefully looked at in terms of your raising questions
1 about it.
2 Q. Feel free to read it, and I would suggest you read this portion
3 that ends at the full first paragraph where it says "...detained at Knin
4 school" and then let us know when you are done reading it.
5 A. Thank you.
6 I've pretty much skimmed it as carefully as I can, all right?
7 Q. Having read that, Mr. Roberts, does that jog your memory at all
8 as to whether or not you were involved in this particular action?
9 A. I was certainly not involved in any kind of assistance. I was
10 present at the time when the Croatian unit entered the village, and there
11 was a good deal of negotiations done of the special unit colonel was, I
12 would say, firm, polite, in charge, make clear what his responsibilities
13 were, the UN, likewise, said they had an issue of concern of what might
14 happen next and there was a discussion, conversation.
15 Q. Okay. So you were present but you were just not involved in
16 bringing them maps?
17 A. Oh, I certainly was not involved in bringing anybody any maps any
18 time at all. That's not the function of a public affairs or a civil
19 affairs officer.
20 They -- the initial reason for the meeting was as I told you we
21 had gone to the village having been notified as far as I thought by an
22 ECMM team member and were at the village ourselves when all of these
23 things happened, the entry of the special Croatian unit just a short time
24 after, as I recall it, two men had entered from a back room wanting to
25 know from my recall what they should really do. Discussion of maps going
1 into Bosnia-Herzegovina is not anything we were discussing or suggesting
2 from the UN side at all.
3 Q. This is a notation here that said in the -- toward the bottom
4 third of the paragraph: "After the conversation the colonel promised
5 that nobody would be harmed."
6 As far as you know, nobody was harmed. Correct?
7 A. At that time I think nobody was physically assaulted in front of
8 us. It was just, as I said before, quite a tense situation. Colonel --
9 the Colonel Rasko [phoen] was quite insistent but I understand the
10 reasons why or we understood the reasons why and we, not myself but my
11 colleagues, pointed out okay, there was a need for the UN to observe this
12 and there was agreement what should happen, the process of what should
14 Q. So I mean he was obviously trying to arrest armed enemy
15 combatants, was he not?
16 A. That was his very clear point. These had been or thought to be
17 combatants, they were hiding and this was the purpose of his -- as I
18 understand and recall, this was the purpose of his particular unit and
19 what they were searching for, and the location of the village, which I
20 still am searching for the exact name, was close to the foot of the
21 mountains. It was really a very unusual village not like you would find
22 on the road. It was very isolated along the side of the mountains.
23 Q. If you look at the previous stage, Mr. Roberts, in
24 Mr. Tchernetsky' statement, page 4 and we will get that up on the screen
25 for you, the very bottom. It says the area is a small hamlet between
1 Bukvin Stan [phoen] and Musica Stanovi? Does that refresh your memory?
2 A. Not in terms of the names meaning anything to me at this point in
3 time. It's as I've described it. It certainly would be a place that is
4 not exactly very easy to find.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could pull up D99, please. If we could
6 get to the next page, please.
7 Q. And while we're getting to the next page, this is a report from
8 the special police dated August 28th, 1995 regarding, among other things,
9 this specific incident.
10 If we could go to -- thank you.
11 It discusses you there toward the middle of the page.
12 A. Yes, I see that. Just let me read the thing carefully.
13 Q. It says: "A member of the United Nations, Alun Roberts, UNCRO
14 spokesman for former Sector South, and another three military observers
15 were found in one of the houses in the cited settlement. They were in
16 the company of five enemy soldiers," and they listed the soldiers, if we
17 could scroll down.
18 A. Is that the same date as the arrival of the Croatian company
20 Q. We'll see who signed the report as we scroll down.
21 It says: "The enlisted persons were not immediately detained in
22 the Knin police department due to the presence of Alun Roberts but it
23 will be done tomorrow in the presence of the fundamental police unit of
24 the Knin police department." It says four automatic rifles, one
25 semi-automatic rifle and one hunting rifle were found in a nearby house.
1 This was the first of two days in this particular incident, was
2 it not?
3 A. I can't recall at all being in the presence of military observers
4 and armed ex-combatant troops in any way at all. I'm trying to recall
5 anything to do with my being present with other UN colleagues to try to
6 ensure that the persons who had been taken by the unit of the special
7 police unit of the colonel at the time, I know we made some later
8 intervention on wanting to visit them but that's I think a completely
9 separate issue to what is stated here.
10 Q. Do you know whether or not these persons were charged with any
11 criminal complaints involving their activities?
12 A. All I can recall, if this is correct, is that they were -- if
13 this is the right process or the right case exactly, after that group of
14 men all handed themselves over and went with the colonel, either that
15 time or -- yes, it would be -- the reference is the same time that
16 afternoon or day, we, UNHCR, especially wanted to go and check on their
17 security and well-being. As I understood it, they retained part of the
18 school centre in the centre of Knin and there was some problem, I was
19 told by UNHCR, in getting access to them, and I don't want to say here
20 that it's completely correct and it may not be that UNHCR felt that they
21 were still in a big situation of some fear some days after having been
22 taken captive or being arrested. And what happened after in detail, I
23 don't know in terms of the process or the allegations or the -- any kind
24 of trial for -- for military activity that may have been brought against
1 Q. Was it typical for a UN press officer to be involved in activity
2 such as this?
3 A. I'm saying now that the UN press officer was not involved in
4 this. There was a -- it was very regular [Realtime transcript read in
5 error "irregular"] that I go out with human rights action teams to these
6 villages and record them. This is what happened on that day and the rest
7 of this, I don't know who has written it, but in terms of my involvement
8 as portrayed is completely absolutely incorrect.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: I'm not sure whether the witness said it was very
11 regular or irregular to go out.
12 THE WITNESS: It was very regular for the public information
13 office to accompany HRATs teams. We were in fact part of the HRAT
14 process and we'd go also with UN CIVPOL and UNMOs as they were our UN
15 colleagues on occasions.
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
17 Q. Mr. Roberts --
18 JUDGE ORIE: That's corrected then for the record. Please
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Roberts, you've given I think you said six statements in this
22 case and there were at least one supplemental statement and there are
23 many, many documents that have been tendered through you. There is not
24 one single mention in any statement or in any document that I have seen,
25 and can you correct me if I'm wrong, that mentions General Mladen Markac
1 anywhere does it?
2 A. That's completely correct. I had no conduct as a press officer
3 with General Markac and I had made as far as I can recall no reference to
4 our, the public information office observations of special police or his
5 department or his behaviour. No.
6 Q. All right. Thank you.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't have any further questions, Your
8 Honours. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Your two hours also are reduced to --
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
11 MR. MISETIC: My colleagues are setting a bad precedent, Your
12 Honour. I feel pressure now.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I have got now two Defence counsel who managed
14 to get two hours and 65 minutes.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think, Your Honour, we saw the statistics
16 yesterday, so...
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Roberts, you will now be cross-examined by
18 Mr. Misetic, who is counsel for Mr. Gotovina and he will cross-examine
19 you for 65 minutes. No, no, no.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Roberts.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. I'd like to start off with a topic that is dear to the Chamber's
1 hearts, and that is a little background information.
2 First I'd like to talk about generally what the role of a public
3 information office is in a peacekeeping operation and for that -- sorry.
4 MR. MISETIC: If I could have the registrar please call up
5 1D41-0330, please.
6 Q. I'd ask you to ignore the yellow highlights. This is the way I
7 obtained the document. It is irrelevant for purposes of this discussion.
8 This is an excerpt from the handbook on multi-dimensional
9 peacekeeping provided by the United Nations. This is the section on
10 public information in United Nations operations.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn to the next page, please. If we
12 could go to the bottom.
13 Q. Section 1 says: "Priority number one is to communicate," and
14 then the indented paragraph says, "the PIO must explain the presence of
15 the UN mission to the local and international public, the mandate, what
16 the UN mission will do, and what it will not do."
17 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please.
18 Q. Under -- there's the paragraph each commission component. If you
19 could see that.
20 A. Second paragraph, mm-hm.
21 Q. Yes. The third indented says -- sorry. The first indented says
22 a fully operational public information component brings immediate
23 benefits to the overall mission, bullet point 1, by establishing the UN
24 presence and "showing the flag" in the mission area and internationally.
25 And bullet point 3, by promoting through understanding of the mission
1 mandate and realistic expectations. Says delays in implementing public
2 information activities can give rise to unrealistic expectations and
3 demands sowing the seeds of future disappointment or anger.
4 And then immediately below that, the six objectives of public
5 information, the second paragraph starts, a structured public information
6 office spokesperson, radio, TV video, publications, web site, community
7 outreach has six objectives. Bullet point 1 says, to ensure that the
8 mission's mandate and responsibilities are fully and widely understood.
9 And bullet point 3, to implement a communication strategy that actively
10 supports all the mission's key tasks.
11 Now if we could stop there. I understand that a PIO has a wide
12 variety of responsibilities but would you agree with me that one of the
13 chief functions of a PIO is to explain what the mandate of the UN
14 operation in the theatre is and explain that to the population at large?
15 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are kindly asked to slow down for
16 the benefit of the interpretation and to pause between question and
17 answer. Thank you.
18 A. I would say that that's a general reflection that is accurate,
19 yes. I would also just add that in a conflict situation extra
20 sensitivity needs to be exercised in the ways that those descriptions are
21 put over in close cooperation with political civil affairs officers in
22 the mission area and in the sector areas of any UN international mission.
23 MR. MISETIC: Now if we could turn to page 7 of this document,
25 Q. Talks about within the mission, and actually that yellow
1 highlighted area. You talked about this throughout your now one and a
2 half days of testimony about all information you would receive from the
3 various UN entities in the field. But it says: "The military component
4 (contingents and/or military observers) headed by a Force Commander or
5 chief military observer should regularly update the PIO on its
7 Then it goes on: "Close working relations between the PIO and
8 the military spokesperson or military press liaison officer are
10 A. Can I make just one --
11 Q. Let me just ask the question.
12 A. Sorry.
13 Q. I'm waiting for the interpretation.
14 So within the mission the PIO has access to information from
15 various different UN entities in order for you to be able to do your job.
16 Is that accurate?
17 A. That is what we should be getting support from, from the various
18 departmental heads as well as battalion information sections and UNMOs.
19 Yes, I would just say at the sector level, sector level basis, it is not
20 always that we have a military spokesperson or military press liaison
21 officer of the UN present. That's certainly the case at headquarters
23 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to the next page, please.
24 Q. Talks about PIO local staff, "local staff who are thorough
25 knowledgeable of the society, culture, language and history of the
1 mission area are essential to the success of public information
3 Do you agree with that statement, sir?
4 A. Yes. Also where it continues "they should be viewed as partners
5 rather than merely UN employees," yeah.
6 Q. Can you identify for us who some of your key local staff was in
7 helping you achieve your mission?
8 A. I have no problem with that. You want me to name them by name.
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Is that appropriate for the Court?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. We had -- just very quickly we had a combination office in Knin
13 which was local staff who was a pooled, interpretation pool of about five
14 or six people, and they would serve both the political affairs office and
15 also the civil affairs office in Knin.
16 Q. And what their names?
17 A. Well, I would like to ask if it is possible to have this, for
18 various reasons, in closed session, if that is possible. I will explain
19 my reasons for saying that in a moment.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 6988 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 MR. MISETIC: Madam Registrar, if we could go to the next page of
10 this document, please.
11 Q. The local population, bullet point 3 says: "All mission
12 personnel must remain non-partisan and objective in their behaviour.
13 Public information personnel in particular must be conscious of
14 maintaining impartiality in their conversation and private statements.
15 Sympathy to a cause or a party must not be permitted to undermine the
16 mission's credibility and affect the PIO's outputs or the behaviour of
17 its staff. Impartiality however should be not be confused with
18 neutrality. UN staff are expected to be impartial at all times but not
19 neutral in the face of, for example, human rights violations."
20 Mr. Roberts, did you at all times while you were working as the
21 PIO in Sector South -- I should say did you and your staff at all times
22 maintain the impartiality as described in this portion of the UN handbook
23 on multi-dimensional peacekeeping?
24 A. In the promotion of the work I felt that we were impartial in the
25 work that we did, yes.
1 Q. I note you said in the promotion of the work. Were there times
2 when you were not impartial outside of times where you were promoting
3 your work?
4 A. I think we were at all times impartial, but in terms especially
5 of the contact with journalists and the contact with media agencies that
6 was promoting the objectives and mandates, I think that was very
7 important we were impartial in the way that that was carried out.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Roberts, is that an answer to the question? The
9 question was whether outside the area you mentioned whether you were
11 THE WITNESS: Impartial at all times.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Impartial at all times, all activities.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. MISETIC:
16 Q. And that goes for your staff as well, as far as you know?
17 A. As far as I know, yes.
18 Q. We've talked about -- we've seen what the handbook says about the
19 PIO working to explain the mandate to the public at large and we note
20 from your statements that you arrived in the theatre in Sector South in
21 August of 1993.
22 So if we could first take a look at --
23 A. Middle September, but it is not a big issue. Middle of
24 September 1995 is when I arrived.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, first, if I could tender the document
2 on the screen into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No objection, apparently.
4 Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit D696.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D696 is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. MISETIC: Madam Registrar, if we could have 1D41-0290.
8 Q. I'm going to show you a few documents just to save time,
9 Mr. Roberts, but this is no -- you said you arrived in
10 mid-September 1993. This is it resolution 871 of the Security Council
11 which was passed a few weeks after you arrived in the theatre as the PIO.
12 You will note on the first page towards the middle, the Security Council:
13 "Deeply concerned that the United Nations peacekeeping plan for the
14 Republic of Croatia
15 particular Resolution 769, have not yet been fully implemented," and I'll
16 show you the resolution in a moment, but while this is on the screen, if
17 we could turn to the next page.
18 Paragraph 3: "Security Council condemns once again continuing
19 military attacks within the territory of the Republic of Croatia
20 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and reaffirms its commitment to ensure
21 respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of
23 MR. MISETIC: And now, Madam Registrar, if we could call up the
24 peacekeeping plan which was referenced on the first page, which is
25 1D41-0268. If we go to page 15, please. This is it annex 3 referred to
1 in that Security Council resolution.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, do you intend to --
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- tender Resolution 87? Let's try to keep the list
5 as short as possible. I take it no objections.
6 Madam Registrar, that would be 1D41-0290 which recently was on
7 our screen. That would be...
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be exhibit D697, Your
10 JUDGE ORIE: D697 is admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
13 Q. As you can see, this is the annex referred in the 1993 Security
14 Council resolution. It's the concept for United Nations peacekeeping
15 operation in Yugoslavia
16 The basic concept, paragraph 7?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. "The United Nations troops and police monitors would be deployed
19 in certain areas in Croatia
20 These areas would be demilitarized. All armed forces in them would be
21 either withdrawn or disbanded. The role of the United Nations troops
22 would be to ensure that the areas remained demilitarised and that all
23 persons residing in them were protected from fear of armed attack. The
24 role of the United Nations police monitors would be to ensure that the
25 local police forces carried out their duties without discriminating
1 against persons of any nationality or abusing anyone's human rights."
2 The last sentence says: "The United Nations force would also, as
3 appropriate, assist the humanitarian agencies of the United Nations in
4 the return of all displaced persons who so desired to their homes in the
6 If we could go to the next page, please.
7 A. Can I just go back to that page you were on? Just one moment, if
8 I could?
9 Q. Sure.
10 A. Sorry.
11 Just would quickly for the information we're focussing on in
12 terms of this document as part of the history of the UN presence,
13 paragraph eight, first sentence: "The UNPAs would be areas in Croatia
14 which the Secretary-General judged that special arrangements were
15 required during interim period to ensure that a lasting cease-fire was
17 And in the document you had earlier, sir, paragraph 6 of it talks
18 about the need for a lasting cease-fire.
19 Q. Well, we're --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Roberts, perhaps apparently you consider certain
21 aspects of special importance or special relevance. If at the end of
22 your testimony you would think that we really missed something important,
23 then you can add it, but please first wait for Mr. Misetic to put his
24 questions to you.
25 THE WITNESS: I apologise.
1 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to the next page, please. Towards
2 the bottom, paragraph 10.
3 Q. "The function of protecting the inhabitants of the UNPAs would be
4 shared between the United Nations forces infantry units and its civilian
5 police monitors. The infantry would ensure that the UNPAs remained
6 demilitarised. The police monitors would ensure the local police carried
7 out their duties without discrimination against any nationality and with
8 full respect for the human rights of all residents of the UNPAs."
9 Paragraph 11 towards the middle: "They would also investigate
10 any complaints made to them about violations of the demilitarised status
11 of the UNPAs, any confirmed violations would be taken up with the
12 offending party and would, if necessary, be reported by the
13 Secretary-General to the Security Council."
14 And if we could go to paragraph 20, just -- not paragraph 20,
15 page 20. This section is entitled return of displaced persons to their
16 homes. "In accordance with the established international principles, the
17 United Nations policy is to facilitate the return to their homes of all
18 persons displaced by the recent hostilities who so desire. The lead in
19 this matter is being taken by the humanitarian agencies of the United
20 Nations. If a United Nations force were established in Yugoslavia
21 would provide all appropriate support to this effort in the UNPAs. The
22 United Nations police monitors would have an especially important role in
23 this regard."
24 Now, Mr. Roberts, we have seen a Security Council resolution
25 passed three weeks after your arrival, and let me just ask you, as the
1 PIO, were you regularly working with the local Serb population and
2 leadership and emphasizing the fact that United Nations resolutions and
3 the peacekeeping plan called on the Serbs to demilitarise, called on all
4 attacks against non-Serbs in the UNPAs and violations of human rights to
5 cease and that all persons who had been previously displaced should be
6 allowed to return to their homes?
7 Was that part of your public information campaign?
8 A. Can we just go from when I arrived in the mission on the way down
9 to Knin?
10 Q. I'm just asking you between September of 1993 and August 4 1995,
11 were you engaged in those activities to have -- to explain the mandate as
12 passed by the Security Council to the local Serb population and its
14 A. Yes, I was involved in explaining that in partnership with my
15 political colleagues under the direction, I have to say, of our SRSG and
16 our chief of public information in Zagreb. On the way down to Knin to be
17 the spokesperson, I was well briefed on the evening I went, what to
18 expect, what to try and do, and that's basically why I was being brought
19 from Skopje
20 proactive public information presence in Sector South and throughout the
21 sector, linking up with my colleague in the Sector North public
22 information office.
23 Q. Mr. Roberts, would you agree with me -- or I should better say,
24 the Trial Chamber of this Tribunal in the Martic case at paragraph 299
25 made a finding that "there is considerable evidence that Croats were
1 being displaced until the end of 1994."
2 And I also have reports of the Special Rapporteur Mr. Mazowiecki
3 from 1994 talking about continuing human rights abuses of the remaining
4 Croat population in these areas.
5 A. Right.
6 Q. I have for you so that can you take look at the break every
7 comment attributed to you in the English speaking world press, I should
8 say, from September 1993 to 4 August 1995
9 will put it to you and allow you to review it during the break, that not
10 one time did you make a comment calling attention to the fact that the
11 human rights of Croats in the area were being abused.
12 Would you agree with that you?
13 A. No, I would not. You're saying English speaking press.
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. Right. Well, my role was to talk to the public opinion and the
16 policy makers in Knin and the so-called Krajina, and the very first press
17 briefings I was permitted to have through headquarters, I made an
18 oversight of what our humanitarian affairs office of the UN had observed
19 and documented in much the same way as you have said here, and the basic
20 response was that the press would not take that information and report
21 it. The day after we saw nothing covered in the Knin media at all in
22 terms of the way that I had stated to the media at a public information
23 conference that kind of representation of the UN.
24 Q. Let me ask my question again. Do you agree with me that in the
25 English speaking press for those almost two years, do you agree that you
1 never made a comment in the international press, English speaking,
2 calling attention to the ongoing human rights abuses against the non-Serb
3 population in Sector South?
4 A. No, I would not agree with you. I can't remember why it's not
5 there, but I know on certainly more than four, five occasions interviews
6 with international journalists where I pointed these observations out at
7 the beginning of the UNPA by UN personnel who were deployed and those
8 accounts were well documented and I had them to pass on and I did pass
9 them on on more than one occasion, for sure.
10 Q. I will hand the binders and let you to take a look on the break
11 to see which journalists you may have spoken to that didn't publish it.
12 I will also call your attention to the fact that of the 62 articles, 31
13 of them deal with HV troop movements.
14 One is for the witness, Madam Usher, and one is for the
15 Prosecution. If the Trial Chamber wishes to have copies, I have for the
16 Trial Chamber as well.
17 But I also note if you could explain to me then, I have a second
18 binder if you wish from 4 August 1995
19 Both are -- both sections are in your binder. Where you make extensive
20 comments in the international English speaking press about human rights
21 abuses in Sector South, and I'm wondering if you could explain to us why
22 after Operation Storm, you were on a very regular basis in the
23 international press about human rights violations, but for the almost two
24 years prior to that, at least I can't find a single reference.
25 Can you explain why that might be?
1 A. I can certainly explain that in the two years previously we were
2 doing a lot in Sector South to try and get international press attention
3 in to the Sector South area directly, to travel widely and report, and we
4 did not get, I think, the focus that I wanted the international press to
5 come in to Sector South to conduct interviews, to hear the views of UN
6 personnel besides myself who would make those kinds of observations.
7 Q. So your testimony is you were trying to do it, it was just that
8 the international press wasn't interested in the human rights abuses? Is
9 that what you are saying?
10 A. They certainly were, but the issue I would draw to your
11 attention, sir, is the great difficulty we with the Serbs in Knin to
12 permit international journalists to travel into the UNPAs through Zagreb.
13 Q. Well, would that mean that the Croatians afterwards were
14 providing that kind of access to allow international journalists to
15 report on human rights violations?
16 A. The time that I was the press officer we had this rebel regime of
17 the Krajina Serbs and they held that territory. You couldn't go in there
18 without any special paper being provided. When the Krajina had fallen
19 and the Republic of Croatia had taken back the whole territory,
20 journalists came in. There was no opposition for them to not be able to
21 travel in and down from Zagreb very easily and quickly. It was certainly
22 a problem of getting any international press in. You had two options,
23 which was, one, to come across from Belgrade through the corridor again
24 held by Bosnian Serb forces, and two is to come in through Zagreb through
25 some special consent from the United Nations press office in Zagreb, or
1 you had phone call communication with those journalists.
2 Q. Mr. Roberts, we've seen your own list of how many international
3 correspondents went through your own office, correct? They didn't have
4 any particular problem from the Croatian government getting into the
5 theatre and being able to report?
6 A. This is after the 4th of August, 1995.
7 Q. Obviously, correct?
8 A. Well, that is a big difference, an extremely big difference
9 between the situation in the war conflict area that I was dealing with in
10 the course of mid-September, 1993 until the 4th of August when we had one
11 complete country and people can come in from Zagreb and come down by road
12 as they did, but that was the not case before.
13 Q. Okay. But my point is that there was -- you noticed yourself a
14 difference between how much access was being granted by Croatian
15 authorities after Storm and how much access to international journalists
16 was being given by the Krajina Serb authorities prior to Operation Storm.
17 Is that correct?
18 A. There was a very good difference for the simple reason the
19 territory was not completely one in the hands of the Croatian government
20 in Zagreb
21 obvious reason of much of this documentation by the UN Security Council.
22 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. MISETIC: May I tender this document into evidence please and
25 we can take the break now.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it then that this is a separate
2 document. You said earlier that it was attached to the other one. It is
3 not yet part of it because it has a different -- it's the one on our
4 screen at this moment. It's 1D41-0268. You earlier said that this was
5 attached or related at least in --
6 MR. MISETIC: It's only referenced in the 1993 Security Council
7 resolution from 1991.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So it is a separate document --
9 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- being a UN document, I do not expect any
12 In the absence of objections, Madam Registrar, this would be?
13 THE REGISTRAR: That would be exhibit D698, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: D698 is admitted into evidence.
15 MR. MISETIC: One question --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. MISETIC: -- while he's looking at the binder.
18 Q. Is it fair to say then that the Krajina Serb authorities were
19 allowing to you comment internationally or giving you enough access so
20 that you could internationally comment on HV troop movements, but on
21 human rights issues that you were having a problem reporting on that?
22 Can you explain that?
23 A. No, I don't I don't think so. I think that I reported to a
24 number of international press on human rights problems. I remember
25 reporting about the several villages of Croats inside the sector, inside
1 the UNPA in terms of various threats and abuse that they were receiving.
2 Pod Lapac was one near Korenica, which was a special UN concern, and we
3 explained to the Serb journalists and Serb politicians very clearly that
4 when we got towards the late part of 1994 the purpose of UNPA and
5 UNPROFOR was not to protect the so-called Serb community of the UNPAs.
6 It had been originally to protect the inhabitants inside the rebellion
7 areas of Croatia, including especially the Croat population in the UNPAs,
8 and I did report on those --
9 Q. Who did you complain to?
10 A. To complain to?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Or report.
13 Q. Did you complain to the international press about this problem
14 with the Krajina Serbs?
15 A. Yes. In terms of the fact of getting any negotiations going in
16 terms of their responsibilities and impartiality was almost a loggerhead
17 to get that kind of negotiation going and we made that public both
18 locally and to a number of international journalists.
19 Q. Can you name the journalists?
20 A. Can I name the -- Misha Glenny was one. John Pomfret, Washington
21 Post, was another one. Certainly, interviews from CNN, another one.
22 There were several serious stand-offs between the Croat military and the
23 Serbs and we responded in terms of what we were doing especially in
24 regard to the Croat minority population to ensure that they stayed, but
25 it was very tense. And that, I think, was to New York Times, Chris
1 Hedges. Certainly there was Owen Stuart Bennett -- or Bennett-Jones, BBC
2 World Service Radio.
3 Q. Let's -- in order to get to the break, you have your binder in
4 front of you. If you can look through that and see whether there's any
5 such articles. There's an index at the beginning for you and if you
6 could tab for us during the break where those appear, I would be
8 A. I think we may need more a little bit more than the break it's
9 the first time I've seen this, but I can try to do it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let's give it a first attempt now and if you need
11 more time, then there might be another break later today, Mr. Roberts.
12 Could you also -- because I'd like to put a question to you,
13 perhaps you could consider it already without answering it now. You said
14 that there was quite a difference between getting access to the Krajina,
15 driving down the road from Zagreb when the Croats had -- were in control
16 compared to the previous situation.
17 THE WITNESS: When the Serb were in control. I'm sorry.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think it was easier to drive down the road to
19 Krajina once the Croats had --
20 THE WITNESS: Taken control.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us whether an issue that came up as
24 far as the UN agencies are concerned whether the freedom of movement of
25 the journalists in the area was also secured or whether they were just
1 having access to Knin and the roads or whether there had a possibility to
2 travel around and to observe what happened. I'm not asking you to give
3 an answer now, because we will have a break first.
4 And we resume at five minutes to 1.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.37 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.06 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises for the late start, but, as I
8 said sometime, sometimes the breaks are more busy than we are here in
9 Court where you are keeping the right pace.
10 Mr. Misetic, you're invited to continue the right pace.
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Roberts, were you able to find the articles by the reporters
13 you referenced in the binder during the break?
14 A. I went through the binder. I thought I was supposed to mark the
15 articles where I was not quoted properly in terms of being objective. I
16 didn't find articles of those that you referred to, no. But I would like
17 the opportunity to try and find those articles myself. I don't see them
19 Q. Let me say I don't think I said find articles where you're not
20 being objective. I said find articles where you are being quoted
21 concerning human rights abuses against Croats prior to Operation Storm.
22 A. Right.
23 Q. Or non-Serbs, I should say.
24 A. Right. Well, in this file that you have compiled and have given
25 me to look at now, first, for the record it's the first time that I have
1 seen this document, obviously. I do not see in this compilation in the
2 first maybe ten, 12 articles I looked at myself responding or talking
3 about or being interviewed specifically by the journalists on the issue
4 of human rights issues in Croatia
5 What we have here on the first small number over a -- I think 100
6 or so selections that you have put together very neatly, I got as far as
7 only the first 12 and hopped on then to number 30. These are journalists
8 and articles that concern the initial cease-fire agreement of March 1994
9 and its implementation and the role of the United Nations and observers.
10 Q. Let me -- to be fair to you, I'm going to be continuing into the
11 morning. We'll let you take that binder with you tonight back to the
12 hotel and you can look at it. Let me just tell you, the selection
13 criteria that we used was putting the name Alun Roberts, spelling it both
14 Alun with U and Alan with an A in case there was typo, putting it into
15 the database and running every article that mentions your name from
16 August 1993, actually, until 4 August 1995 and then in the tab in the
17 back is from 4 August 1995 to 31 December 1995.
18 So when you go back what I'm telling you is those are the
19 articles that mention your name, go back and see whether you are quoted
20 anywhere as bringing human rights abuses to the attention of the
21 international public.
22 A. I have no problem with that at all. May I also at the time of
23 coming back give with a response to that give a fair observation of what
24 these interviews and articles of the journalists focus on section by
25 section? I have no problem with the first point.
1 Q. Let me actually follow up with that, because I wanted to follow
2 up with that right now.
3 Mr. Kuzmanovic asked you about your archive that you maintain.
4 In that archive do you have pictures taken by your UN camera of the human
5 rights abuses that were taking place against Croats from the time you
6 arrived in Sector South until 4 August 1995?
7 A. I don't in the archive but I did pass on some photographs to head
8 office in Zagreb
9 visit of the then head of civil affairs, Cedric Thornberry whose name I
10 think you maybe are familiar with.
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. He was the very first deputy head of mission when I arrived from
13 Skopje into the Sector South area and he brought me or ordered me to be
14 transferred to be in Sector South Knin. There were two meetings I think
15 in Pod Lapac where there was concern about the stability and the safety
16 of the Croats. There was no violence against them but we took
17 photographs of the situation but we had no conflict zone at that time
18 against the village. I can say I produced to headquarters office
19 photographs of broken Croat villages, hamlets, some near Drnis, some near
20 the way out towards Benkovac and some around the area of I think up
21 towards Korenica and beyond that were destroyed. I didn't know they were
22 broken Croat villages but we were told by people who knew that this was
23 the situation prior to and during the whole rebellion establishment of
24 the Serb Krajina forces in Sector South.
25 Q. Okay. Let me pause for a minute.
1 We've seen admitted into evidence a list maintained by you and
2 Judy Jacob regarding the number of bodies in Sector South. Do you also
3 have a list of people killed in Sector South from the time you arrived as
4 the PIO until 4 August 1995?
5 A. No, I do not.
6 Q. Is there a reason that you didn't keep such a list prior to
7 Operation Storm?
8 A. Mainly because there was no big conflict or war conflict that was
9 taking place. There were reports that I would follow by UNHCR of
10 problems inside Sector South with the Croats but I did not document
11 specific instances of the villages concerned and so on, no, I did not.
12 Q. Okay. Now --
13 A. I can say that they were documented and I knew about them from
14 the very careful documenting of UNHCR in our office in the same
15 headquarters at Sector South.
16 Q. Now at the beginning of my cross-examination I showed the
17 multi-dimensional peacekeeping handbook. One of the things I pointed out
18 to you was the necessity to "show the flag."
19 And right now I'd like to show you a video-clip. It is a
20 compilation. We don't need to play the sound, although we have disclosed
21 the sound to the Prosecution.
22 What is important here, Mr. Roberts, is for you to look at the
23 background. These are three spokesmen or PIOs for the United Nations.
24 The first person you will see is Christopher Gunness, who was the UN
25 spokesman in Zagreb, as you know. The next person you will see is
1 Alexander Ivanko, who is the UN spokesmen in Sarajevo, and the third
2 person you will see is yourself. And if you could look in the background
3 we can play the clip. We don't need to the play the sound, and for the
4 booths, we have no need for any translation.
5 [Videotape played]
6 A. Okay.
7 MR. MISETIC:
8 Q. Mr. Roberts, that is it just one example. I could have brought a
9 lot of video of you holding your press conferences in the Serb army of
10 Krajina press centre under the Republika Srpska Krajina flag and map.
11 You note what your colleagues, where and how they would hold their press
13 I pointed out to you at the beginning the need for impartiality
14 and its impact on a peacekeeping mission. Do you think it was
15 appropriate for you to be holding your press conferences in the army of
16 Serb Krajina press centre?
17 A. No, I do not think it was appropriate. At the time we had also
18 attempted to have press conferences in the Sector South headquarters with
19 the UN flag behind. We passed on this information to our chiefs of
20 public information in Zagreb that they were not prepared to come or
21 rarely would come to press briefings at the UN Sector South headquarters.
22 Q. Who wouldn't come?
23 A. Journalists.
24 Q. Which journalists?
25 A. Journalists from the so-called Krajina Serb press centre and
1 journalists who were based there from -- throughout Knin representing the
2 various media agencies, Belgrade, Serbs from Banja Luka and Serbs from
3 Knin who were based or working out of Knin at the time. And the advice
4 back was twofold.
5 I was asked for my opinion on this. I gave my opinion that what
6 was important, I'm not sure the actual date of the clip you're showing,
7 but I had advised very early on in my presence in Knin it was not
8 appropriate to only talk to the press in Knin. We had to be giving the
9 same picture, the same information, the same chance for access to
10 journalists in Croatia
11 what was rightfully their territory, Croatia, and we established press
12 briefings, I established press briefings with the support of our
13 headquarters in Zagreb
14 town. Sometimes we had the UN flag; sometimes we did not. But the
15 importance was we wanted to convey information not only to one side of
16 this big dispute. It was that we broke out and went to the press also in
17 Zadar and gave them in the same information from the UN in regard to the
18 UN's actions and the mandate and the cease-fire agreement to both press
20 Q. Mr. Roberts, name, first of all, the person in the United Nations
21 who authorised you to hold UN press conferences in the army of Serb
22 Krajina headquarters.
23 A. Oh, it wasn't a secret.
24 Q. I'm asking you who authorised it?
25 A. The then public information officer, Michael Williams, chief
1 public information officer. Before Michael it was Shannon Boyd, who is
2 the chief of public information under Cedric Thornberry. And later Chris
3 Gunness, who's the deputy chief spokesperson in Zagreb and Phillip
4 Arnold, who was the chief of public information after Michael Williams.
5 They knew about this. It was not a secret. Importance was as we
6 saw it and as in your manual to regularly inform the public about the
7 role and mandate and work of the United Nations. This -- sorry. This we
8 did. It is not for any spokesperson of the UN to control how a
9 journalist will portray what he or she says, and I'm beginning to look
10 through this thing of the quotations that you put me in there.
11 Q. Mr. Roberts, you can certainly control where you're holding your
12 press conferences. You can certainly hold your press conference in
13 Sector South. You could have them in a neutral site in town under the UN
14 flag. Isn't that correct?
15 A. I told you that we tried to do this in the obvious location,
16 which is Sector South headquarters.
17 Q. And because of some apparent pressure now that you're saying from
18 the Krajina Serb authorities or journalists, you decide to move a UN
19 public information campaign into the ARSK headquarters.
20 A. I'm hearing you use the words "because of some pressure."
21 Q. Well --
22 A. No, there was not a pressure. There was an issue of do we try to
23 inform the public through the Krajina Serb press and continue to do press
24 briefings or do we not hold them at all.
25 Q. Well, let's get to that.
1 MR. MISETIC: First if I could tender the video.
2 A. I think it is important to get to that, yeah.
3 MR. MISETIC: Tender the video 1D41-0091.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The previous one, Mr. Misetic.
5 MR. MISETIC: That I just showed, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's tendered.
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes, we have no objections, but do we have dates and
8 locations of these video-clips?
9 MR. MISETIC: I think the dates were on the -- on the videos. If
10 it's not on the last one [Overlapping speakers] ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: At least of some of them.
12 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: If not all.
14 Madam Registrar, the video without transcripts or translations.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Exhibit D699, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D699 is admitted into evidence.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
19 Madam Registrar, let's show Mr. Roberts 1D41-0323. This is a
20 Security Council resolution from March 1995.
21 Q. This is now 3 is March 1995. If we could scroll to the middle.
22 The Security Council reaffirming its commitment to the independence,
23 sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia
24 including its rights and obligations in respect of control over its
25 international trade.
1 In the last paragraph, once again, the Security Council says:
2 "Recognizing that major provisions of the United Nations peacekeeping
3 plan for the Republic of Croatia remain to be implemented, in particular,
4 those regarding demilitarisation of the areas under the control of the
5 local Serb authorities, the return of all refugees and displaced persons
6 to their homes, and the establishment of local police forces to carry out
7 their duties without discrimination against persons of any nationality in
8 order to protect the human rights of all residents, and urging the
9 parties to agree to their implementation."
10 If we could go to page 3, please.
11 Paragraph 5: "The Security Council decides that UNCRO shall be
12 an interim arrangement to create the conditions that will facilitate the
13 negotiated settlement consistent with the territorial integrity of
14 Republic of Croatia and which guarantees the security and rights of all
15 communities living in a particular area of the Republic of Croatia,
16 irrespective of whether we constitute in this area a majority or a
18 Now that is the Security Council's resolution of 31 March 1995.
19 My question to you is: Do you see any inconsistency between the Security
20 Council reaffirming its commitment to the independence, sovereignty and
21 territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia
22 information officer holding press conferences in the army of the Republic
23 of Serbian Krajina?
24 A. I think that the resolution is very clear, and the position of
25 myself and my senior personnel in Zagreb was that the press and the
1 politicians in Knin be informed of that as vigorously and as often as
2 possible. And that --
3 Q. How seriously --
4 A. And that was the message that we had to keep --
5 Q. How seriously were they going take you insisting on the
6 sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia at your
7 press conferences which are sitting under the Krajina Serb flag and in
8 the army headquarters? How seriously do you expect the Krajina Serb
9 leadership to take you?
10 A. Well, the job was to get across the message to the press and that
11 was the role we had, and the press there were not just from Knin and the
12 immediate Krajina. They were from other areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
13 mainly Serbs, who would also report those stories. The position was that
14 we continue to give press briefings to the Serb community in Knin. This
15 was known about by the headquarters in Zagreb and I had asked for
16 guidance certainly on more than one occasion and there had been no
17 objection and there had also been a view that so long as that time we
18 were advising, informing the press on both sides, both access points, to
19 continue trying to inform the press.
20 Q. Mr. Roberts, I'm going take you to your 1997 witness statement
21 now, at paragraph 40.
22 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, if I could tender that
23 Security Council resolution, please.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No objections from Mr. Waespi.
25 Madam Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit D700.
2 JUDGE ORIE: D700 is admitted into evidence.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Mr. Roberts, at paragraph 40 of this statement, you talk about
6 General Gotovina. In the last -- second-to-last sentence --
7 A. Could that just come up --
8 Q. Sure. It is it P675, please.
9 Here at paragraph 40, second-to-last sentence, sorry. In the
10 middle of the paragraph let's start there. You say: "General Gotovina,
11 however, he turned away from the discussion and came over to say he
12 wanted to tell me he thought the UN information I was giving was
13 incorrect and it was keeping Serb hopes alive. He said they had heard me
14 on the radio Korenica in the Lika area and that, inter alia, 'you're
15 referring to this word Krajina. You should know there is no such place
16 as Krajina. You should tell the Serbs they are in Croatia, be part of
17 Croatia, and put away dreams of something, you are responsible for this
19 General Gotovina told you at that time meeting, General Gotovina
20 was consistent with the UN handbook of what a public information officer
21 should be doing, which is explaining to the Serb population what the UN
22 mandate is. Correct?
23 A. Well, I'm putting this out in my statement to show without any
24 kind of wish to hide anything what General Gotovina said at that time to
25 me in terms of his views, if that's what his carry correctly, then fine.
1 Q. Okay. And he had a problem with the fact that you were not
2 telling the Serb population and its leadership of the UN Security Council
3 resolutions referring -- or reaffirming that this area was part of the
4 sovereign state of the Republic of Croatia
5 A. I disagree.
6 Q. Well, that's what he told you.
7 A. He told me. I am not sure that General Gotovina or Croatian
8 authorities are aware of what I said on record as the UN spokesperson in
9 Knin to the Serb press on many, many occasions, that this is for the UN,
10 the Republic of Croatia, you can call it what you wish, but any final
11 settlement has to be on the basis that this is the Republic of Croatia
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. These are not reported for the obvious reasons that I have said
14 before, but they were stated.
15 Q. I don't know what obvious reasons are, but let me ask you this.
16 Do you think that in your dealings with General Gotovina he may have had
17 a problem with you for, amongst other reasons, holding these conferences
18 under the RSK flag in the RSK headquarters?
19 A. Well, an issue of that, that is for General Gotovina to express,
20 but he didn't in the meetings that I was present at with sector
21 commanders express that to me in terms of, You should stop doing that.
22 And on this issue of you're referring to this word Krajina, yes, I did
23 say on the radio station in Korenica the word Krajina not with the
24 republic of but in terms of the region of Krajina.
25 Q. Well, there also is no -- and there wasn't an administrative
1 region of Krajina even under the Socialist Republic of Croatia. Isn't
2 that correct?
3 A. I would differ with you. I think that there is if you go back
4 historically a geographic reference to the term Krajina as being a
5 region. In terms of it being on both sides of the present international
6 border of Bosnia and Herzegovina the western Krajina and the Krajina.
7 Q. Now we're talking about --
8 A. Well, we're talking now also, sir, are we not, about Krajina in
9 terms of this ICTY trial.
10 Q. I refer it as Sector South. I don't use that term, but you would
11 agree with me that that term is a historical term and not an
12 administrative term that existed in the Socialist Republic of Croatia in
13 1990. Is that right?
14 A. I would agree with you and also say that on the most part we were
15 advised from head office public information Zagreb that the safest way of
16 dealing with these very strong emotive claims by the Serbs in the
17 so-called Krajina was to use the word United Nations Sector South. And
18 that's something we did regularly to try and avoid problems or to get the
19 message across that there was an UN presence here and what we were doing.
20 Q. I would like to turn to a different topic, Mr. Roberts.
21 MR. MISETIC: Madam Registrar, if we could call up 1D41-0087.
22 Q. I'm going to show you two documents, so I'd ask you to -- I will
23 take you through the first one, I'll take you through the second one and
24 then I will ask you a few questions.
25 This is an order from Milan Martic dated 5 April 1993, is an
1 order for the beginning of an intelligence operation called operation --
2 operative action Horizont. It says: "In order to gain timely
3 information of the position, further intentions and the true function of
4 the UNPROFOR in our territory, the operative action Horizont is being
6 Third paragraph: "Due to previous negative experiences and the
7 elimination of new ones, it is absolutely necessary to direct maximum
8 operative effort the at the entire UN operations?"
9 And in numbered paragraph 1: "Conduct complete operative
10 verification of information for the citizens of the RSK who were in
11 whatsoever way (interpreters, drivers, liaison officers, et cetera)
12 connected with the UN members. Based on the verification, results such
13 individuals should be contacted, instructed and trained with the aim of
14 collecting quality information."
15 "3. The members of the UNPROFOR who demonstrated a certain bias
16 towards us and realistic view of our situation, should be instructed and
17 conditions be created for their involvement either in monitoring the
18 activities of the UNPROFOR or the positions of the Croatian side."
19 Number 4: "Special focus should be drawn on the members of the
20 civilian sector and civilian police because they have so far been the
21 most activity (reporting to the UN base about the assessments of the
22 current situation in the RSK, as well as proposals for undertaking
23 further measures, intelligence activities, et cetera) and as such are of
24 vital interest for the service."
25 If we could go to the next page, please.
1 Paragraph 5: "If possible, their radios and other means of
2 communication should be controlled."
3 MR. MISETIC: And Your Honour, I tender this exhibit and I move
4 on to the next one before I pose a question.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No objection.
6 Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours that will be Exhibit D701.
8 JUDGE ORIE: D701 is admitted into evidence.
9 Mr. Misetic, I take it that you have carefully considered whether
10 there was a need to read all these documents --
11 MR. MISETIC: I have, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- before you put a question to the witness. We'll
13 hear your question.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. MISETIC: It will be a series of questions, some of which I
16 won't get to today, but ...
17 Madam Registrar, if I could now call up 1D41-0003.
18 This is an RSK General Staff security department document, 29
19 May 1995, security situation in the Serbian army of the Krajina. You can
20 look through it. There are various operative actions underway.
21 If we could go to the next page, please. The bottom of the page
22 in English.
23 "In relation to the activities of the UNPROFOR and other
24 international institutions, we are conducting five OPOs, these being the
1 If we could go to the next page, please.
2 A. Can I just read that from down a little bit -- sorry.
3 Q. [Microphone not activated] finish today, so -- finish this
4 portion today, I mean.
5 If you can start in the section that says OPO Prag. I will read
6 this portion to you. It says: "The processing was introduced on 3
7 October 1994 aimed at monitoring the activities of the UNPROFOR members
8 in Sector South." The next sentence says: "The focus of processing was
9 on the Sector South commander General Kotil and the Sector South
10 spokesmen Alun Roberts." The following methods were applied: "Work with
11 agent, secret wire trapping and secret search of personal belongs, the
12 activities of the persons who are objects of this processing is being
13 monitored by than more than ten agents. The agents network is composed
14 of mostly interpreters and a small number of administrative and assistant
15 staff. Through the agents we managed to establish partial control of the
16 activities of the said persons, objects of processing, to identify the
17 main persons responsible for the intelligence work directed at the Serb
18 army of the Krajina and to create the conditions for the application of
19 other combined work methods of the security organ towards these
21 Go to the paragraph that says "through mediation of the agents, a
22 number of original written materials and documents have been seized
23 indicating the activities, the responsible persons and connections of the
24 UNPROFOR members in the territory of the Sector South AOR, as well as the
25 activities, locations and strength of the HV forces in the zone of
1 contact in the sector."
2 Mr. Roberts, as you read this document and as you reflect back on
3 this period, what might -- have the RSK army intelligence have been doing
4 such that they felt that they had managed to establish partial control of
5 your activities?
6 A. I have no idea. I can tell you that several of us were
7 reasonably sure that phones were being tapped and maybe that a number of
8 our interpretation staff should be very carefully -- I wouldn't say
9 watched but we should be careful with certain people in terms of
10 documentation being available and not taking them into any
11 confidential-type meetings inside the Sector South headquarters.
12 For the record, this is the very first time have I seen this
13 document. I was told by local staff in Sector South that I might be
14 subject to being monitored, but --
15 Q. Well --
16 A. I'm not surprised to read it, but I have no idea what it amounts
17 to. In fact I would say, in a way, it's really a rather ambitious
18 nonsense. I'm not trying to wipe it away, but it is in a way for me,
19 without being dismissive, rather amateurish from the style we so often
20 saw, I think, of the so-called RSK authorities in Knin.
21 Q. Well, Mr. Roberts, these amateurs managed to get the PIO in
22 Sector South to conduct his press conferences in the ARSK army
23 headquarters, so how amateurish do you think they were?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is that asking for a judgement or --
25 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... he used the term
1 amateurish --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, Mr. Misetic, please. Further,
3 Mr. Roberts, could I look at C, is there -- no -- move to the next page.
4 I do understand there is some time but are you putting to Mr. Roberts
5 certain portions where apparently the -- the --
6 MR. MISETIC: There's a lot more.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course, but there is also -- if you have
8 read under C, he would have also have seen, because I have an opportunity
9 to read it, that the sympathy for the Croatian cause was apparently also
10 on the mind of the Serbs and that's of course, part of the story as well.
11 MR. MISETIC: Okay. He can do that, but I have a lot more
12 material to cover and then we can make the judgement on -- you know,
13 without --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the witness --
15 MR. MISETIC: -- for the third time the witness saying let me see
16 the document so I can read, you know --
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes, at the same time we
18 should be careful not put one line, not giving a witness an opportunity
19 to look at the context and then ask some questions and that's not in
20 every respect fair to a witness.
21 Mr. Misetic.
22 MR. MISETIC: I'll tender the two documents, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No. I have, unfortunately, I have to very strictly,
24 that's for all of your cross-examination.
25 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Two documents you would like to tender?
2 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I'm very limited today in my time as to stop at
4 strictly quarter to 2.00, so if you could --
5 MR. MISETIC: That's fine. I'll finish -- oh, I'll tender it
6 tomorrow, you mean?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I do not whether these were the last two
8 documents of your cross-examination or the last two documents of the
9 subject for today.
10 MR. MISETIC: Of today, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then under those circumstances I prefer that you
12 keep them for tomorrow.
13 MR. MISETIC: Okay. That's fine.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Mr. Roberts, we'll adjourn for the day and I would like to
16 instruct you again that you should not speak with anyone about the
17 testimony, whether already given or still to be given.
18 We will adjourn until tomorrow, the 23rd of July, courtroom --
19 and I'm looking at you, Madam Registrar. Courtroom II.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of
22 July, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.