1 Tuesday, 26 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon Your Honours; good afternoon to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Mr. Waespi, are you ready to continue your examination-in-chief?
13 Mr. Mirkovic, I'd like it remind you that the solemn declaration
14 you gave yesterday that you would speak the truth, the whole truth and
15 nothing but the truth, still binds you. That may be clear to you.
16 Mr. Waespi.
17 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. I have about ten or 15
18 more minutes to complete my examination in chief.
19 WITNESS: SAVA MIRKOVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Waespi: [Continued]
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mirkovic.
23 A. Good afternoon to all.
24 Q. Yesterday we ended with you telling the Judges why your family
25 left on the 4th of August, 1995. Can you tell us whether it was a
1 difficult decision for you to leave?
2 A. Not only for me, but for everyone who loses everything that you
3 have earned for ages and centuries and then you lose if in one day. When
4 we left we had no idea where we were going and where we would end up.
5 And this -- since the moment when we arrived in Serbia up to this day we
6 are just wandering around the world. In other words, we lost everything,
7 we have never been able to recover any of the property we used to have
8 and as for the younger folk, they weren't able to get a job; for the
9 older folk, they weren't able to have a pension and to get anything was
10 very difficult.
11 Q. You said in your statement that is now in evidence that you heard
12 Mr. Tudjman talking over the radio. Can you briefly reiterate what you
13 recall him saying?
14 A. Yes. I heard this on the radio, Radio Zagreb, he was calling on
15 the Serbian people. He was saying that they shouldn't fear anything that
16 they will be tried, that they will be given a fair trial. That's what he
17 said. And there was repeated throughout the day, while we were still
18 there. And of course people did not believe that they would get a fair
19 day in court, so they did not remain there.
20 Q. So you just said you did not believe what Mr. Tudjman was saying.
21 A. No.
22 Q. And why not?
23 A. I mentioned already, you probably know the history of that region
24 you know what happened in World War II with the orthodox population there
25 and even after that when I told you what happened in Miljevci in the
1 Medak pocket in Western Slavonia, so knowing all that, how could you just
2 stay there, and await this army to arrive, because we knew that all those
3 people who did stay and waited, they did not fair well. This actually
4 happened to my mother, and she remained there, and the first days when
5 the soldiers arrived there they kept saying don't worry just feed your
6 cattle and so on but then eight days later, someone who did not like this
7 whole thing came along and did what he did.
8 Q. What is the name of your mother?
9 A. Her name is Djurdjia Mirkovici. Her maiden name was Ivakic. She
10 was born in 1925.
11 Q. And what exactly do you know that happened to her?
12 A. When I arrived Serbia
14 finally we did manage to get in touch. I got in touch with the late
15 Dusan Mirkovic; I think he died about a year and a half ago, and I asked
16 him all he told me was I went to your house, she was killed, she was
17 dowsed with something black and set on fire. This was the first
18 information I learned.
19 He said that he had told Jovo Mirkovic and Mijo Lazic who were in
20 the Lora prison to bury her remains when they go home. So when Jovo came
21 from the prison, and Smilja, his wife, I got in touch with them; I found
22 them in Bosansko Novo Selo where they gave a statement to your
23 investigators, and she was the one who told me about how -- what
24 transpired and how everything went and I can repeat what she told me in
25 1995, if you like.
1 Q. Yes. Before you do that --
2 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, the two persons that were mentioned
3 by the witness, Jovo and Smilja Mirkovic they gave also witnesses
4 statements to the ICTY and they have been admitted by you as 92 bis
5 statements. The statement of Jovo Mirkovic is P628 and the statement of
6 Smiljana Mirkovic is P629.
7 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, yes, if you can please recall what you were told
8 about the death of your mother.
9 A. Not only can I recall, I can recall every detail, because this is
10 something you cannot really forget.
11 She told me that there were at home those days, that they fed the
12 cattle that was left behind, because most people had left the village.
13 Until the 12th of August, as she recounted it, that morning, they were
14 outside in the -- in the yard outside my home when two soldiers arrived.
15 They weren't coming along the road. They came across the fields and
16 jumped over fences, and one of them just started shooting. He, as she
17 recounted, according to what she told me, he start shooting from about a
18 distance of ten meters. My mother fell immediately and the woman, the
19 one who told me about, she fainted. She also fell down.
20 So after a while, when she came to, she realized that she hadn't
21 been hit. Maybe they weren't -- they didn't mean to hit her. Then she
22 realized that my mother was dead. She was lying underneath her. So then
23 she went to a neighbour's home to tell him what happened to my mother,
24 and then he left the Mirkovici hamlet and went to Podinarje where some 25
25 to 30 people were who had sought shelter, there figuring that no Croatian
1 soldier would go there. When Jovan Mirkovic came out of the prison, he
2 told me this was about the 21st of August, he told me that he went there,
3 with Mijo Lazic and his son Dusan. He worked in Porice. So he was
4 telling me that they -- we entered your house, not everything had been
5 looted. We found some blankets and we put in the blankets whatever bones
6 remained there, because her whole body was not intact. Probably it had
7 been burned, but also maybe some animals just took the bones away, and
8 they buried the body, the remains that they found, they buried in the
9 yard by the well, the water well.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mirkovic. Do you know whether people returned to
11 the hamlet of Mirkovici?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So are there any persons living now in Mirkovici?
14 A. No one lives in Mirkovici.
15 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President, I have no further
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Waespi.
18 Mr. Misetic you will be the first one to cross-examine the
20 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mirkovic, you will now be cross-examined by
22 Mr. Misetic, who is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mirkovic.
1 A. Good afternoon to you, too.
2 Q. Mr. Mirkovic let me start off by asking you about your trip on
3 the evening of the 4th, your flight from your village of Mirkovici
4 Did you have any physical impediments on the night of the 4th
5 that hindered your ability to leave towards Bosnia?
6 A. There were no impediments. At least not on the roads when we
7 started off. We took off about 9.30/10.00 p.m. There were no
9 Q. I think you may have misunderstood my question. Did you
10 physically have any physical ailments that hindered your ability to
11 travel on the night of the 4th.
12 A. No.
13 Q. Was your vision good?
14 A. What do you mean? My vision was good then and it's still good.
15 Q. Your legs were okay, your back is okay.
16 A. Yes, thank God.
17 Q. The next question I had is your witness statement identifies your
18 father as being named Djuradj is that the formal name for Djuro?
19 A. Djuradj is his name.
20 Q. Was he known as Djuro?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. MISETIC: Now, if I could call up Mr. Registrar 1D44-0192,
25 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, this is a supplemental information sheet that was
1 prepared by the Office of the Prosecutor after you spoke with Mr. Waespi,
2 on your arrival here in The Hague
3 clarifying portions of your witness statement.
4 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please.
5 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, is that your signature on the second page?
6 A. Yes. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Does this supplemental information sheet accurately reflect what
8 you told the Office of the Prosecutor?
9 A. Yes, I told the truth.
10 Q. And, Mr. Mirkovic --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- Mr. Misetic, I see an English text and I'd
12 like to have verified in which way the witness has been able to review
13 the text as we see it here in English.
14 MR. WAESPI: The practice is that we read these notes back to the
15 witness in English, and correct whatever the witness tells us and then
16 once the process is completed, the witness signs it.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You read it in English to the witnesses.
18 MR. WAESPI: Yes. But we have an interpreter who translation --
19 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... so it is orally
20 interpret what had you read to him.
21 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And then he signs it on the basis of the
23 interpretation given to him.
24 MR. WAESPI: That's correct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that information.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions that you were asked when
4 Mr. Waespi was interviewing you and preparing this supplemental
5 information sheet, would your answers be the same today as they were when
6 you gave these answers to Mr. Waespi a few days ago?
7 A. Yes. They can only be the same.
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I would tender this supplemental
9 information sheet as an additional 92 ter statement of the witness.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
11 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No objections. In view of the positions taken by
13 the parties, we -- the Chamber is very likely to take a position to
14 admit, but we have not -- at least I have not seen any copy of it, a hard
15 copy of it. It's not tendered so usually before taking an admission
16 under 92 ter we'd like to read the whole of the statement rather than
17 just have a glance of it.
18 MR. WAESPI: I do have a few hard copies.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you'd give them to us and we can proceed on
20 the basis that there is an likelihood in view of the positions taken by
21 the parties that the Chamber will admit the document.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. MISETIC: Could we get a MFI for that, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number D327,
1 marked for identification.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Mirkovic --
5 MR. MISETIC: It is it important that the Bench have a copy of
6 this if I wish to ask you questions.
7 Q. In the second paragraph of this supplemental information sheet,
8 you say that when you gave your witness statement to the investigators of
9 the Office of the Prosecutor on the 9th of March, 2007, you were sitting
10 together with Jovo and Smilja Mirkovic. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, we were.
12 Q. And when Jovo and Smilja Mirkovic were giving their statements to
13 the investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor you were present in the
14 room with them as well. Is that correct?
15 A. I don't know whether -- what time you mean, because the
16 investigators came to Bosansko Novo Selo twice, on two occasions and on
17 the second occasion I wasn't there. I was only there on the 9th of
19 Q. So when Jovo and Smilja Mirkovic gave their statements on the 9th
20 of March 2007 you were present in the room. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In your supplemental information sheet you say, "Although I was
23 trying to refresh their memory because they were older people I did not
24 try to influence them in any way."
25 Now, can you tell the Court specifically which portions of the
1 testimony of Jovo and Smiljana you assisted them by refreshing their
3 A. There was no -- nothing specific because they started telling
4 their story from the end. They weren't very focussed, and I just told
5 them then, Do you recall what he told me in 1995? Is that how it
6 happened, and they said yes.
7 So it wasn't that I really had to refresh their memory. They
8 could remember all of that, but it was a bit difficult for them, because
9 a lot of time has elapsed and these were older people. They are sick,
10 ill, and even a bit senile. So they weren't really -- their memories
11 weren't really all that great.
12 Q. So if I understand you correctly at certain time you would say,
13 Don't you remember you told me this, and they would say simply say, Yes.
14 Is that how it went?
15 A. Yes, yes, nothing more.
16 Q. Do you remember specifically how many times you said, Do you
17 remember that you told me this, and they would say, Yes?
18 A. I can't really recall. Maybe twice or three times. I don't
19 really recall.
20 Q. Do you remember what the topic was, when you said, Do you
21 remember you told me this, and they said, Yes?
22 A. I think that I told Jovo when he started telling the
23 investigators about this event, instead of telling them about what
24 happened and how he buried the remains of my mother, he started telling
25 them, You know, they chased me, they beat me, and so on and then I told
1 him, Wait a minute Jovo just tell them about what they came for to hear
2 and then you can tell them about the rest or for, instances, Smilja said
3 the two of them came, they were in uniform these two soldiers, one of
4 them started shooting, I fell over Djuka. After this I got up and then I
5 asked her, Well, what do you mean you got up? You remember you told me
6 that you had fainted, because that is what she had told me and then she
7 just confirmed she said, yes, that ask how it went. So there is nothing
9 Because the way she said -- or the way she recalled the way she
10 told these things it seemed as if she was just lying over my mother and
11 then she got up and left but that is not really how it really went,
12 because they were at the time they were at the high school building
13 that's where they were taken, that's where they were sheltered and that's
14 where she told me about this, but then because so many years had elapsed
15 in the meantime and because of all of the problems that they had had in
16 the mean time she couldn't really recall all the details; but there was
17 nothing really important in the reminding.
18 Q. Do you recall the names of the investigators that were there?
19 A. It was Mr. -- I think his name was Steven; he said he was from
21 other name. Because these weren't, you know, our names that I would
22 recall easily.
23 Q. Now, did either one of the investigators at any point of the
24 interview of Smiljana and Jovo tell you that you shouldn't try to assist
25 the witnesses in refreshing their recollection?
1 A. They said you needn't tell them anything you should just tell
2 them what you know, and that's what they did.
3 Q. At what point in the interview did the investigators tell you
4 that you needn't tell them anything?
5 A. Right at the very start. I tried to draw their attention to
6 their previous accounts at the very outset.
7 Q. Okay. Let me move on to a different topic.
8 Mr. Mirkovic, in your 2007 statement at paragraph 1 you say: I
9 "Thought there may be an attack by the Croatian army and the Serbian
10 soldiers may be defending us."
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. Why did you think that the Serbian soldiers would be defending
14 A. I don't quite understand, sir. Are we supposed to talk about
15 that, are we supposed to discuss my mother's death? Are we now going
16 back to the attack or shall we go on discussing my mother's death? There
17 were people who were under attack. I suppose there should be someone
18 defending them, right?
19 Q. Where were they defending you from, what positions?
20 A. Sir, I don't know what positions those were because there was no
21 one defending. You see that's why we are here because there was no one
22 to protect us.
23 Q. Well, on the morning of the 4th, at 4.55 a.m., where did you
24 think the Serbian soldiers were from what positions on the morning of the
25 4th did you think they were defending you?
1 A. I don't know sir. I don't know where they were. You should ask
2 someone who was in charge of the military. I didn't know. I'm here to
3 testify about one thing and you're asking me about something different
4 altogether. I'm no specialist in strategy; therefore, I could hardly be
5 expected to tell you anything about this.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mirkovic, from your last two answers it appears
7 that you had little, if any, knowledge about military matters.
8 Nevertheless, Mr. Misetic, when -- since you said that you -- you would
9 expected some Defence is entitled to ask you questions about that, this
10 does not in any way shift the -- the substance of your testimony away
11 from what you considered to be an important matter, especially for you,
12 which is quite understandable.
13 Nevertheless, Mr. Misetic is entitled to ask you these questions,
14 and to the extent you have knowledge of the matters he asks you, please
15 tell us. If you have no knowledge of it, please tell us that you do not
17 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say I know nothing because
20 we all knew that on one side there was the Serb army the army of the
21 Republic of Serbian Krajina, on the other side there was the army of the
22 Republic of Croatia
23 knowledge, too. Those who were shelling us were the ones we fled and
24 then we want to the move on to Bosnia
25 we started out that way. And that is much as I know, where were they,
1 now, that is something that I can't say.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. Well, Mr. Mirkovic, you also say in paragraph 1: "We were under
4 the protection of the United Nations and I believed that nobody could
5 attack us."
6 Why did you think that you couldn't be attacked because of the
7 United Nations?
8 A. Well, because this area was the responsibility of the UN or the
9 international community. We had every confidence that the UN would
10 achieve some sort of peaceful solution in the area and that people would
11 not come to any great harm. We'd also heard that some representatives of
12 the Republic of the Serbian Krajina several days before had been off to
13 some talks in Geneva
14 on Radio Srpska Krajina, Radio Belgrade, Belgrade TV, or whatever you
15 chose to call them. We, the people, were hearing such things at the time
16 there were talks under way they were trying to achieve some sort of
17 peaceful solution, and we didn't expect that anyone would go attacking us
18 during the talks.
19 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, at paragraph 4 of your statement you indicate that
20 the people could not go to Bosansko Grahovo because it had already been
21 taken over by the Croatian army so they were moving through Lika, through
22 Srb and further on. You were aware were you not on the morning of the
23 4th, that the Croatian army had taken Grahovo the week before?
24 MR. WAESPI: I do have a B/C/S copy for the witness because it is
25 not on the screen.
1 MR. MISETIC: That's fine -- oh, sorry.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you -- I think it is it good if the witness
3 has an opportunity to read the portion of this statement you're referring
5 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
6 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
7 Q. Do you see at paragraph 4, sir, that you say that the people
8 could not go to Bosansko Grahovo because it had already been taken over
9 by the Croatian army?
10 The question is you were aware on the 4th of August that the
11 Croatian army had launched an attack and had seized Bosansko Grahovo the
12 week before. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you were aware that Mr. Martic had issued a general
15 mobilisation order at the end of July 1995, after the fall of Grahovo.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. I didn't know about that at all.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Mirkovic, on the 4th of August, 1995, you would have
19 been 35 years old. Were you ever in the army of the Republika of Srpska
21 A. I had been mobilized, just like everyone else.
22 Q. What were the dates of your mobilisation?
23 A. I can't remember.
24 Q. It doesn't have to be specific dates. Months -- can you give us
25 months that you were mobilized, years?
1 A. It was an on-and-off thing. I sometimes had to go.
2 Q. Were you a mobilized soldier of the army of the Republika Srpska
3 Krajina on the 4th of August, 1995?
4 A. No, I was at home at the time.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could call up, please,
7 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, this is a document seized by Croatian authorities
8 after the fall of the Republika Srpska Krajina in the archive of the army
9 of the Republika Srpska Krajina, there's a list of junior officers of the
10 army of the Republika Srpska Krajina.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please. In the B/C/S if
12 we could turn the page, and if we could leave that in English.
13 Your Honour it is a 40-page document; we have only translated the
14 first page and the relevant page. I have the full 40 pages, though, in
15 case any needs -- I think we have produced it to the Prosecution in case
16 they want to look through it. I don't know if the Bench wants to see it
17 but ...
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
19 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I'm fine with this -- this excerpt.
20 MR. MISETIC:
21 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, at number 419 of the list of junior officers of the
22 ARSK is a Mirkovic, Savo, son of Djure, born in 1960. Is that you?
23 A. I don't know if this is me. But name is definitely not Savo. My
24 name is Sava
25 Q. Were you an officer of the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you know anybody named Savo Mirkovic, son of Djure, born in
4 A. No.
5 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd ask that this exhibit be marked,
6 and I tender it into evidence.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar. Perhaps, yes, I do agree, Mr. Waespi
8 that usually I give an opportunity first to --
9 MR. WAESPI: Yes. No objection but I would love to see the cover
10 page of the document.
11 MR. MISETIC: I think --
12 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... it's on my screen --
13 what is not on our -- the original cover page.
14 Mr. Misetic, nevertheless, the cover page doesn't give any
15 information about the date of the document.
16 MR. MISETIC: I understand that, Your Honour. That is the way
17 the document is.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes so you can't provide us further
20 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
21 JUDGE ORIE: No. Any other details about this document which
22 would make it easier for us to understand what it actually is.
23 MR. MISETIC: I can provide the source -- the date the document
24 was taken, the place that it was taken.
25 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... of course after -- after
1 the early day the of August, 1995, then -- I take it it was not -- it was
2 not found before Operation Storm.
3 MR. MISETIC: Correct, correct. That is correct.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that is, Mr. Waespi, I take it, you
5 would -- if it seized by the Croatian authorities as -- there's a logical
6 expectation that it would not be in their hands before Operation Storm.
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes, the document says what it says. The little we
8 have seen, the witness said what he had to say about the -- his name.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That's content.
10 MR. WAESPI: We don't have any objections to the document itself.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number D721.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D721 is admitted into evidence. But it is cover
14 page and one page, including number 419. But I saw very quickly another
15 page, which seemed to be not exactly the same as the cover page, or was
16 I -- are there any other pages which are not just giving names, but I
17 think I very briefly saw something. Perhaps the last page.
18 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I think we just attached -- we did first the
19 cover page, the page that's relevant for this witness and the last page
20 of this document.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I remember that I had seen another page.
22 So it is now a three-page document. And if we could see also the
23 last page. Is this the last page?
24 MR. MISETIC: That is the last page, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, I asked you some questions about your health at the
3 beginning. You were a healthy 35-year-old male on the 4th of August,
4 1995. How is it that the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina didn't
5 mobilize you prior to Operation Storm?
6 A. Sir, not everyone was mobilized.
7 Q. Again, how is it that you weren't mobilized? Did you receive a
8 mobilization call-up?
9 A. I told you it was an on-and-off thing with me. I would be
10 mobilized at times. When I wasn't mobilized, I spent my time at home. I
11 explained to the gentleman how much we believed in our survival in the
12 area and what faith we had in the UN. We put up tents with my neighbour,
13 we put up tables and staged a whole wedding for 100 people. That's how
14 great our confidence was.
15 Q. From the 28th of July, 1995, to the 4th of August, 1995
16 receive a mobilisation call-up?
17 A. I don't remember. I don't think so though.
18 Q. Now, with respect to President Tudjman's call, it is in your
19 statement and you repeated it again today apparently one of the things
20 that stood out to about his statement was the fact that President Tudjman
21 said that people would get a fair trial.
22 On the 4th of August, were you aware that you could be tried for
23 treason by Croatian authorities?
24 A. That's not what I was thinking about at the time, not at all. I
25 didn't expect to be tried by anyone. I didn't expect there to be any
1 trials. Why would anyone try me or anyone else? I committed no crime.
2 I was a victim of a crime.
3 Q. I'm asking you, sir, you were -- you were asked some questions
4 about your decision to leave on the 4th of August, and having been a
5 participant in the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina you were aware,
6 were you not, that that would be considered an act of treason by Croatian
7 authorities. Is that correct?
8 A. I was not aware of anything, treason or no treason. This simply
9 isn't what was on my mind at that time. My mother was no soldier. Look
10 what became of her. Did anyone call her a traitor?
11 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, were you aware at the time that you could be tried
12 for anything by Croatian authorities?
13 A. Why would I have been tried by anyone?
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could call up, please,
17 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, what I'm showing you now is an aerial satellite
18 view of Polace. You said in your supplemental information sheet you
19 describe the fact that Polace is comprised of several hamlets. That is
20 in paragraph 4 of your supplemental information sheet. We have circled
21 many of the hamlets in Polace, and as you can see on the map, your
22 village of Mirkovici is that the location of where Mirkovici is?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If you look there are now two rather large shaped objects. The
25 one to the right we have marked Velika Polace; the one to the left we
1 have marked Mala Polace. Are you familiar with the terms Velika and Mala
3 A. Yes. I explained about that yesterday. Velika Polace, Mala
4 Polace. All the hamlets that we looked at yesterday on that map.
5 That whole lot makes up Polace. This covers an extensive area.
6 The area ranges from the Knin-Split road and then through Biskupija up to
7 Kijevo, Mount Dinara
8 it were, so it is an extensive area covered by that village. It's a
9 large village.
10 Q. Do you see the area to the right that is marked Sivo Brdo?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you recognise that as a location of the area known as
13 Sivo Brdo?
14 A. That is also quite an extensive area, the one that people refer
15 to as Sivo Brdo as a matter of principle this should not be south of
16 Lazici because that is what the map shows. This is Lazici and this is
17 Sivo Brdo; it should be behind Lazici but Sivo Brdo should be above
18 Lazici, Mirkovici, and Cinguri [phoen]; and that is the area this
19 mountain range in a manner of speaking that is normally referred to as
20 Sivo Brdo.
21 MR. MISETIC: May I ask the court usher to actually mark on the
22 map what he perceives as Sivo Brdo.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Misetic, at the same time, we have to be
24 very careful because places are identified primarily by what you have
25 marked on this map and I take it you did this to the best of your
1 abilities. At the same time, the -- as appears from the witness answers
2 he can locate matters relatively but whether this is the middle of France
3 or the area you say it is, of course, is without thorough studying of the
4 details of such a map, of course are rather adventurous exercise. I hope
5 you are aware of that.
6 MR. MISETIC: Is the issue whether this is in fact the area of
8 JUDGE ORIE: I take it you have chosen that. But to ask the
9 witness to say where is this, this, this, and this, this, that then of
10 course the witness has not found it on the map as you did it. He sees it
11 and whether it is again the middle of France or the middle of Germany
12 the place you say it is, which I'm quite inclined to accept it is,
13 requires something I would not expect a witness to be able to do
15 MR. MISETIC: If can I ask a few more questions.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just putting it this to you. Yes or look at
17 some more details or for example to zoom in on Mirkovici and see whether
18 he recognized the shape of the roads and then [Overlapping speakers] ...
19 MR. MISETIC: That's what I was going to ask, if he recognises
20 the road that starts from the upper left-hand corner and goes down
21 towards the middle of the page and then goes back up to the right and
22 then comes back down.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But then of course a road of this shape you
24 find that in -- could we prepares first zoom in and see with what
25 precision we can look at Mirkovici and to see whether the witness
1 recognises by the shape, the position of the houses, at least one point
2 on this map so that we have a better anchor --
3 MR. MISETIC: That's fine Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: For the --
5 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have to try and find out whether --
7 MR. MISETIC: Can we zoom it in a little more?
8 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, are you able to identify by looking at this whether
9 this is in fact Mirkovici?
10 A. I'm a bit uncertain about this map. Can you tell me about this
11 blue line? Is this the Split-Knin road or is that the other one?
12 Q. The blue line is something that we drew in to show -- you should
13 ignore that. That is showing Velika Polace. The road you are talking
14 about, I believe, if I can orient the witness, the Split-Knin road is to
15 the left, that road that goes from the middle of the left-hand side of
16 the page --
17 A. The white line, right?
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... towards the top of the page?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could we ask the witness perhaps with the assistance
20 of the usher or by using the cursor to tell us where he thinks the road
21 is which he just mentioned. So not to mark it, but for the time being
22 just to --
23 Witness -- perhaps you guide the witness, Mr. Misetic.
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, do you recognise -- this is quite a zoom-in, so I'm
1 not sure he's going to be able to recognize it.
2 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... you can zoom out, zoom
3 it out back.
4 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes we can zoom in and out as --
6 MR. MISETIC:
7 Q. Mr. Mirkovic --
8 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think we should leave it and -- leave it as a
10 MR. MISETIC: Because it a bigger area [Overlapping speakers] ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have the whole of the -- yes, this picture.
12 MR. MISETIC:
13 Q. Do you see the Knin-Drnis road or the Knin-Split road?
14 A. Knin-Drnis. I didn't get that part. What we're looking at is
15 the Knin-Split road and then on through Polace, the hamlet of Maglovi
16 that is the middle of Polace and then we move on.
17 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. Would it not as evidence of --
18 of the map but rather as evidence of what the witness apparently
19 recognizes on this map ask him to mark with the marker where he thinks on
20 this map we find the --
21 MR. MISETIC: That's fine. Knin-Split road.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Knin-Split road and then always have to remind the
23 colours is blue for the Defence.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be given a blue pen and could he
1 mark on this map where he recognizes or where he sees the Knin-Split
3 Yes, please, you can do it on the screen and then it will appear.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the Split-Knin road it
5 forks off to the right here for the hamlet of Mirkovic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And could you tell us what the Knin direction and
7 what is the Split
8 in the direction of Knin; and for Split
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Knin is this way, and Split
11 JUDGE ORIE: I was just trying to verify to what extent it was a
12 good comprehension of what is on the screen, Mr. Misetic. May I take it
13 that -- do you need further markings?
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes, one more.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, if you could circle the area that is it called
18 Sivo Brdo?
19 A. Circle it? It is a rather broad area and concept to, Sivo Brdo.
20 I will try to show it to you.
21 That's as far as I know. That's what older people used to tell
22 me. These were Sivo Brdo.
23 MR. MISETIC: For the record, the witness drew a half-circle to
24 the right-hand side of the page to indicate Sivo Brdo.
25 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, based on your knowledge if someone were on
1 Sivo Brdo and wanted to go to Knin would they have to take the Knin-Split
2 road and go past Mirkovici?
3 A. Could you please repeat that what do you mean someone is in
4 Sivo Brdo?
5 Q. Hypothetically, if I were in a car and I went as far as I could
6 up Sivo Brdo and decided from there now I want to go to Knin by road,
7 which road would I have to take?
8 A. It's not like there was a road out there. It was a dirt track
9 for tractors, maybe small vehicles, but not passenger vehicles, not nice
10 cars, but you could take the road through Lazici, Mirkovici, and though
11 Bukvet. I don't see Bukvet here, it's just a small hamlet Bukvet to
12 Borovici, Ranici. There's a whole group of those. People made roads
13 themselves. They would go to the woods they would take their cattle
14 there, that sort of thing.
15 Q. Okay.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic may I ask you one question, I heard a
17 couple of time in English translation a pronunciation of Siva Brda rather
18 than Sivo Brdo. Is there any way or singular or plural --
19 MR. MISETIC: Sivo Brdo is one; Siva Brda are the mountains, so
20 it would be [Overlapping speakers] ...
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That might I'm trying to understand. I
22 noticed this and I also noticed that the difference is not for example if
23 you look at page 24, line 22/23 the plural is these were and then it
24 appears Sivo Brdo which apparently is the singular.
25 MR. MISETIC: It is correct.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Whereas in the words were spoken as.
2 MR. MISETIC: Siva Brda.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Siva Brda so that might also explain some of the
4 confusion and some of the corrections.
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you. If we could just leave this on the
10 screen for a moment.
11 Q. Was there a, and I will use the B/C/S word and the English word
12 because there's some difficulty in the translation, I believe a zadruga,
13 which is spelled Z-A-D-R-U-G-A or in English, the best we could come up
14 with was cooperative hall in Mala Polace, that you're aware of? Do you
15 know where the zadruga was there Mala Polace?
16 A. Yes. There were several different places those were just shops.
17 Q. Were you familiar with the zadruga in Maglovi?
18 A. No, there wasn't one in Maglovi. I think it was right in the
19 middle of the village where the monument was, the culture hall. It was
20 right between the two hamlets Maglova and Milivojevici.
21 Q. Would that be between within the --
22 A. Where you wrote Maglovi. This road to Knin, to the left where it
23 says Maglovi that is Maglovi to the right heading towards Knin that is
25 Q. So would the cooperative hall have been on the right-hand side of
1 the road in Milivojevici?
2 A. What I'm telling you is this, between Maglova and Milivojevici
3 between these two hamlets, you can't say it was on neither side
4 specifically. It was right in the middle.
5 Q. Are you aware of a meeting that took place in that meeting, the
6 zadruga in that area on the 4th of August that was held between
7 representatives of the hamlets of Polace and the civil defence of the
9 A. First I hear of that.
10 Q. Well, you said in one of your statements - let me find it -
11 paragraph 6 of your 2007 statement. You say: "We were not told to
12 leave. However, later friends told me there were teams of people coming
13 to some villages around Knin telling people to pack up and evacuate."
14 Can you explain a little bit who you heard this from, and what
15 you heard?
16 A. When we arrived Serbia
17 five, some 20, it was an arduous journey before we got there; and then we
18 would meet people a month later, six months later. We would talk about
19 what had become of us, how we left and who had told them, and I can't
20 remember specifically but I know for sure that around [indiscernible]
21 there was a group, or at least that is what we were told at the time
22 meaning I didn't hear this myself, that people were being evacuated and
23 were leaving. I said we were at home. Nobody told us anything we didn't
24 know and now we realized that people from Cetina, Civljane, and Vrlika
25 were leaving and they were taking this road that you marked. We from our
1 hamlet were looking at this. The distance being perhaps 400 meters, 200
2 or 250 meters as the crow flies.
3 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm going to have to clarify something
4 because I believe the witness mentioned Maglovi in the answer and it is
5 not in the transcript so I would like to follow up with him on that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
7 MR. MISETIC:
8 Q. In your last answer, Mr. Mirkovic, you mentioned that people told
9 you about something in Maglovi. Can you clarify that, please, because it
10 wasn't picked up by the transcript.
11 A. I don't quite understand. What do you want me to say about
12 Maglovi? Whether I said that?
13 Q. I believe you had said something to the effect of that you heard
14 that people had been in Maglovi and had said something --
15 A. No, no, I didn't say that. It just seemed that way to you. You
16 just heard it that way.
17 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I will tender this exhibit. This is
18 an page after this, which I do not need now based on the witness's
19 answers so I will tender the exhibit that is marked.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before doing so, would there be an
21 opportunity, the witness has told us several times about Milivojevici.
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And could we invite the witness to mark with a
24 letter M where he finds Milivojevici on this map.
25 Do I then understand that Milivojevici is in the same area
1 although at the other side of the road, compared to Maglovi?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
4 And -- yes. That makes it clear for me.
5 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
6 MR. WAESPI: No objection, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No objections. Map, one page marked by the witness,
8 Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number D722.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D722 is admitted into evidence.
11 MR. MISETIC:
12 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, did you hear at any point about a meeting that was
13 held in the zadruga in Milivojevici in which the civil Defence told the
14 leaders of the hamlets to evacuate the civilian population?
15 A. No, never. This is the first time that I hear of it, from you.
16 Because these people there would have loved had someone told them you
17 know you should pick up and leave because this and this is going to
18 happen, but nothing of that sort happened, and this is the first time
19 that I hear of it.
20 Q. Now, in your statement, as I mentioned before you said that
21 people couldn't go through Grahovo but instead went through Lika to Srb
22 and further on. Why would people want to go to Grahovo?
23 A. The reason I mentioned that was to describe which way we took,
24 because if you were heading towards Bosnia
25 Grahovo, Drvar, Petrovac, and Banja Luka, that direction. No one went by
1 Lika. That is it the only reason I mentioned that. There was no other
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MISETIC: If we could put the map that the witness marked
5 back on the screen, please.
6 Q. Did you see ARSK forces on the evening of the 4th or the morning
7 of the 5th in and around the area of Polace?
8 A. I didn't see, I just saw these columns of tractors and trucks and
9 cars, convoys people were walking. There was no army anywhere, and
10 people were wondering where the army was in fact. There was no one, no
11 military, no one.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar may I call up 1D04-0043, please.
13 This is again for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, the book of the RSK
14 General Milisav Sekulic. This is an excerpt, begins at page -- sorry.
15 192 and 193 in the original. 1D44-012 in the English and 1D44-0042 for
16 the B/C/S.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could all the microphones but the witness's
18 please be switched off.
19 MR. MISETIC: We can start at the bottom.
20 Q. This is General Sekulic reporting on the activities of General
21 Milan Celeketic on Nebojsa Popovic commander of the 1st Light Vrlika
22 Brigade on the 4th of August. And in the English, I think it should be
23 -- towards the top of the English, please. In the English. Oh, sorry,
24 towards the bottom of the English; I apologise and it is the section that
25 begins under number 3 in the B/C/S. No, sorry, above number 3. Talks
1 about General Celeketic appointed Captain Popovic as commander of the 1st
2 Light Brigade Vrlika and continues on down:
3 "The enemy artillery relentlessly pounded the territory of Vrlika
4 municipality not knowing what was happening on the Dinara axis, Captain
5 Popovic went to the forward line of defence on Dinara and issued tasks
6 for defence on reserve posts. At night between 4 and 5 August ..."
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
8 MR. WAESPI: I think the B/C/S is obviously the previous page,
9 number 2.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes it came into my mind as well.
11 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 JUDGE ORIE: 4th and 5th of August. Yes, we will have to move up
13 to the top of the page in B/C/S to see whether. No it seems not --
14 MR. MISETIC: Enemy artillery is it the -- [Overlapping speakers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Enemy artillery.
17 MR. MISETIC: I will start at enemy artillery.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because you started earlier higher up.
19 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
20 JUDGE ORIE: Fine.
21 MR. MISETIC:
22 "The enemy artillery relentlessly pounded the territory of Vrlika
23 municipality. Not knowing what was happening on the Dinara axis, Captain
24 Popovic went to the forward line of defence on Dinara and issued tasks
25 for defence on Dinara and issued tasks for defence on reserve posts. At
1 night between 4 and 5 August, the brigade pulled out to Polace, Sivo
2 Brdo," and that is it a Z in the English and if you look in the B/C/S,
3 Your Honours, it is should be Polace. That's an error.
4 "Most of the men willfully abandoned the brigade and went to
5 their homes to get their families. The remaining troops were retreating
6 with the equipment toward Knin but due to lack of fuel, they left the
7 vehicles and therefore the equipment. Popovic arrived in Petrovac with
8 part of the command, weapons and equipment via Padjene and Srb."
9 Now, if we can go back now to the map, the previous exhibit that
10 was admitted into evidence.
11 Now, according to General Celeketic's book recounting the
12 statement of Captain Popovic, on the evening of the 4th and the morning
13 of the 5th he pulled out the first Light Infantry Brigade Vrlika to Sivo
14 Brdo. And then evacuated his equipment, at least portions of his
15 equipment and personnel out to Knin and on to Petrovac. You were there
16 on the evening of the 4th in Mirkovici, you saw ARSK troops in and around
17 Sivo Brdo, did you not?
18 A. We did not see anyone and we can't really see anyone from
19 Mirkovici because it is in a depression as compared to Sivo Brdo which
20 was higher up so we couldn't see anyone; and I don't see why you are
21 reading something that someone wrote in a book, because from 1990 onwards
22 when the events in Yugoslavia
23 about Yugoslavia
24 This man wrote the book to sell it. Because wouldn't it be nice
25 if people only wrote the truth and not just anything in order to sell the
1 book, regardless of whether that really transpired or not.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mirkovic, the book has been written. It
3 describes a situation close to your village, and Mr. Misetic can ask
4 questions about it and if you say, and that's how I understand your
5 answer to be, This is not what I saw, then I'm not convinced that what
6 the book says is the truth, then please -- please focus on what you have
7 seen, what you have heard, and don't bother too much on why people may
8 write things that are not all the -- in accordance with the truth and why
9 Mr. Misetic asks these questions to you.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I will tender -- one
12 moment, Your Honour.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, the last time we used portions of this
15 book we told the Court that we would translate several chapters through
16 it through CLSS. That has now been done. We have the -- I think it is
17 three chapters of the book translated. They are here. Portions of it
18 have been used before but for ease of reference in the future we would
19 tender all three chapters of it so we don't have to admit portions of the
20 book at various stages.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: Obviously there is a thin link to the witness but as
23 a bar table motioning, I don't have an objection.
24 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not discuss at this moment the weight of the
1 document. There are later stages where this can be done.
2 Of course my hesitation at this moment is that we admit into
3 evidence apparently quite a volume of evidence, which of course we
4 haven't seen, but since there's no --
5 MR. MISETIC: Actually, if can I correct that. We have gone
6 through many portions of this translation through a protected witness, if
7 the Court will recall, several portions of the chapters are not
8 translated. It just now all been put in three chapters.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I was not aware that the total volume would not be
10 larger because you are also referring to what we might expect in the
12 MR. MISETIC: That is also the case, but we'll refer back to it.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: It occurs to me, Your Honour, that the practice with
15 the bar table submissions has been to indicate those particular portions
16 or aspects of the submission that are relevant, both to guide the Court
17 and the parties which would make our job easier in going through the
18 volume of material. I don't mean to --
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, what happens Mr. Tieger is quite surprising.
20 Mr. Misetic introduces a book through a witness, and other portions of
21 that book have been introduced through witnesses as well. Since
22 Mr. Waespi now uses the word I consider it a bar table, you immediately
23 now switch to what is the guidance of the Chamber for really bar table
24 evidence, that is evidence which is not introduced through a witness but
25 just on itself, that all apparently as a result of Mr. Waespi's comment
1 that link with this witness was thin, and where Mr. Misetic has explained
2 to us that there are links with other witnesses as well.
3 MR. TIEGER: I leave that to the Court, Your Honour and I didn't
4 mean to focus on a formality. That wasn't the issue, it is just in the
5 context of bar table submissions it seemed a way to aide both the parties
6 and the Court in identifying what might otherwise appear to be voluminous
7 material at least navigating its way through there. If it is not helpful
8 here, that is no problem. If it seems like a useful approach to larger
9 volumes of material I suggest it for that purpose.
10 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I am more or less in the air at this moment because
12 I haven't seen it. I don't know exactly what total volume is. I don't
13 know of what is now presented has been dealt with earlier through other
14 witnesses or through this witness. If the parties would be in a position
15 to together to look at what is now presented, what chapters, and then
16 give a shared description of what these chapters are about in if not in
17 one-liners then perhaps in two-liners so that we have the guidance, and,
18 at the same time it is not the same as the purely bar table evidence
19 which we discussed before and for which we gave guidance.
20 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if I could just respond.
21 First, this is far from a bar table submission. There are
22 various points that were actually led on direct by the Prosecution
23 regarding military targets on the 4th, regarding presence of troops on
24 the road, whether there were any military in the area, et cetera, whether
25 a witness agrees with the Defence is not -- on a document in
1 cross-examination is not the test to see whether it is admissible or
2 whether it is bar table. If I could also just add this one point.
3 None of the chapters that we are tendering are things that were
4 not previously tendered. We can pull the Defence exhibit numbers that
5 have been admitted. All we're doing is taking the chapters that deal
6 specifically with Operation Storm, putting them in one place so that we
7 can refer back to them instead three pages here, five pages here, et
8 cetera; and quite frankly, it's for the benefit of all the parties to
9 have the full context of what we're talking about but I will be happy to
10 sit down with them and work through it, but I don't see the need to break
11 down every page of a book to see the relevance.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not talking about the page of book, but if you
13 say it is chapter 3 pages so-and-so describing page so-and-so there or
14 chapter describing event there, then that might be of guidance for the
15 Chamber as well, later to consult the -- to look at this evidence in a
16 focussed way.
17 If there's -- if my suggestion -- it is not more than a
18 suggestion could be followed, that would be appreciated.
19 MR. TIEGER: I think Mr. Misetic's clarification is helpful. I
20 think if we get together quickly we can resolve this.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for your efforts in this respect.
22 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
24 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
25 Q. With respect to the question of -- or actually, let me take you
1 through the break now with a few follow-up questions.
2 It's true, Mr. Mirkovic, at the beginning of your witness
3 statement you said you thought that the Serbian troops were going to
4 defend you, that on the evening of the 4th you saw on the roads and you
5 heard that Serbian forces were on the road and were in fact leaving the
6 area and that given that your -- you thought Serbian forces were going to
7 defend you when you found out that the Serbian forces were evacuating,
8 you decided to evacuate as well. Isn't that correct?
9 A. No, sir. I did not see those troops. I said that I saw columns
10 moving, but as we set off in the evening, around 9.30 or 10.00, on the
11 way, we were travelling in a passenger vehicle, and we overtook a
12 military truck. That's all. In other words, on the road from Polace --
13 between Polace and Knin this is where it happened. Whether there were
14 one, two, or three vehicles, I can't really recall anymore because I
15 didn't really pay heed. All I wanted to do at that time was just leave
16 from there.
17 Q. At paragraph 9 of your 2007 statement, you say that when you got
18 to Serbia
19 Can you describe what happened when you arrived Serbia, how were
20 they directing you to Kosovo, why, if you know.
21 A. I don't know, but there was police on the sides of the road and
22 they were directing us where to go, and later on, I learned from people
23 that I met that some of them were directed towards Kosovo, and there were
24 some families who left for Kosovo.
25 Why? I wouldn't know. Perhaps they had accommodations for more
1 people there, or something to that effect.
2 Q. Well, you say in the statement: I removed my licence plates so
3 the police did not know where I was coming from and left the highway.
4 You removed your licence plates, sir, because you knew that the
5 Serbian authorities wanted you to go to Kosovo. Isn't that correct?
6 A. No. I had already realized that they were directing traffic,
7 that they wouldn't allow people to get off the highway. So what did I
8 do, because I had Knin registration plates, I removed the front plate,
9 and then I just got off the road. Nobody really checked me, and maybe
10 it's also because I was lucky there was this good man who wasn't really
11 paying much attention, because were he more weary maybe he wouldn't let
12 me just go on; and that's how I got to Belgrade.
13 Q. What did you think would happen to you if you left the Knin
14 plates on your car?
15 A. I don't know. Some people drove off towards Kosovo, and some
16 found a way - I don't know what way - to remain in Serbia. Serb proper.
17 Q. Again, my question is what -- what did you think would happen if
18 the plates remained on your car?
19 A. At that moment, I wasn't really thinking, but I had a sister in
21 find shelter for a while until I found a place where I could live with my
22 family. I wasn't thinking anything really.
23 Q. Is it safe to say, Mr. Mirkovic, that you thought if you kept the
24 Knin plates on your car that the Serbian authorities wouldn't let you go
25 to Belgrade
1 A. Well, this did happen to some people. It didn't happen to me, so
2 this is what I did. I got off the road and I found -- finally I found a
3 way to my sister. To my sister's place.
4 Some people drove towards Kragujevac, Valjevo, Kraljevo, Cacack,
5 but as for Belgrade
6 there were all these cars where on the outskirts and they were stopped
7 there, and they weren't allowed to get in.
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, there would be a good time for a
9 break. I'm going to change topics.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Misetic could you give us any impression
11 as to what to expect?
12 MR. MISETIC: Less than half an hour, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Other parties.
14 MR. KAY: No questions Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Depends on Mr. Misetic's questioning. I will
17 probably have half an hour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That means that we will finish most likely
19 within the next session. I can inform the parties I don't know whether
20 the reasons have been communicated already but that the Prosecution has
21 no other witness for this afternoon available. And that matters are
22 uncertain for tomorrow as well. Is that well understood?
23 MR. WAESPI: Yes, this is it correct. In fact, it appears that
24 the witness has a serious medical condition and that she will not even be
25 able to testify tomorrow. That's what I just heard.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So the uncertainty appears to develop in the
2 direction of certainty of not being available.
3 We will have a break and we will resume at a quarter past 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, please proceed.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, in the months prior to Operation Storm, did
9 Mala Polaca have M-77, 128-millimetre rocket systems?
10 A. I don't know about those systems. When I was in the JNA, I was a
11 cook. Therefore, I'm not familiar with these rocket systems.
12 Q. Did you see anything that would like a rocket system, regardless
13 of whether you could identify the type?
14 A. I don't know about those. The roads that I took, I saw nothing
15 along those.
16 Q. You are aware, are you not, of a depot in Polace that housed two
17 T-34 tanks, are you not?
18 A. I never heard of anything like that in Polace. No depot or
19 anything like that.
20 Q. In June of 1995, you must have seen a check-point that was set up
21 on the Knin-Split road in Polace by the ARSK. Isn't that correct?
22 A. What year?
23 Q. June 1995.
24 A. No. I didn't see that at all. There was no check-point along
25 the road in Polace, not along the Knin road. I took that road every day,
1 or perhaps every third day, but I never saw a check-point there.
2 Q. From the time the war began in 1991 through Operation Storm, did
3 you hear the sound of rockets being launched from Polace on to Croatian
4 towns, such as Split
5 A. No. I heard nothing from Polace.
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd like to show the witness some
7 documents which I propose that I show as a group and then ask him a few
8 follow-up questions for the sake of efficiency.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, any objection against the proposed --
10 MR. WAESPI: No, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
13 Mr. Registrar, may I please have 1D44-0001.
14 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, what I'm going to do is I'm going to show you a
15 series of documents. You don't have to comment on them at this point
16 unless you feel there is something you feel needs to be clarified. But
17 let me just point out a few things to. This is a Croatian intelligence
18 document dated 7 May 1995
19 see the paragraph says:
20 "On the basis of cooperation with the office for the protection
21 of the constitutional order, Zadar, we obtained the follows information."
22 And the last point is:
23 "Two tanks, T-34, were taken out from the depot in Mala Polaca
24 and they were observed entering the village of Vrlika
25 position and then the coordinate was identified."
1 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I tender this and ask that a number be
2 given of to it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I see that some text is stricken out.
4 I, of course, first have to see what is stricken out.
5 Usually the Chamber is not --
6 MR. MISETIC: I will tell you Croatia because it is a security
7 service document produced it to us under their Rule 54 privilege in this
8 way. We don't have any other copy of it.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's -- that then explains ... let me just
10 read again the portion you just ...
12 MR. WAESPI: I don't know whether I already said we don't have an
14 JUDGE ORIE: You want numbers to be assigned immediately.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number D723.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D723 -- I'll just write them down and then you put
19 the questions to the witness and then we'll --
20 MR. MISETIC: That's fine. I can pose the question simply --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I thought you would provide the series.
22 MR. MISETIC: That's fine, I will.
23 Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D44-0177.
24 Q. This is a report, a portion of a report from the Split military
25 district command to the minister of Defence, Minister Susak. You don't
1 have the date on it, but from the text you can see that it is at least as
2 of 7 June 1995
3 command in Knin that the Serb forces did not allow the patrolling in the
4 Vrlika area.
5 And then second sentence from the end: "It is noted in the
6 report that all patrols heading from the direction of Knin towards Vrlika
7 are being halted at Mala Polaca check-point."
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I tender this document into evidence.
9 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number D724.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, the next one is 1D44-0179. This is
13 a witness statement given -- or a statement I should just say, a
14 statement dated 9 September 1995
15 Interior by Slobodan Despanic, who was the company commander of the
16 Vrlika Brigade of the ARSK. It is a long document so we have only taken
17 the portions that are relevant to the issue of Polace. I will skip to
18 the relative portion of this person's statement. He talks about in early
19 1994 the Zagreb
20 artillery tanks, Howitzers, and guns were withdrawn to the area of the
21 village of Polace, i.e. approximately 15 kilometres away from the combat
23 If we go down on that same page in English, which is page 73 of
24 the B/C/S version. Sorry, it's page 70 of the B/C/S version; I
25 apologise. Back one page, please.
1 The beginning sentence I'm just going to read. It says: "At
2 this time, in the beginning of 1995 from the corps commander in Vrlika
3 Colonel Bozo Kostur and Lieutenant-Colonel Radic arrived from Knin to the
4 forward command post of the brigade," and then it goes on.
5 If we can go to the next paragraph, please.
6 No, I mean, I'm sorry, if we could go back in the English and
7 stay on that page, and the next page in the B/C/S.
8 In the middle of --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I have not received the last line in French or ... I
10 may have missed or mixed up the -- the line, if we can go to the next
11 paragraph and what then appears two lines further down and the next page
12 in B/C/S. It's clear that we move on to the next page in B/C/S --
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- and go back to the last page in English.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes, thank you.
17 Towards the middle of that paragraph, it says: "In the area of
18 the village of Polace
19 transporters had been deployed. Two 88-millimetre coastal guns were
20 deployed in the area of the village of Civljane and Cetina."
21 If we could go to the next page in English and page 74 in the
22 B/C/S, please. Okay.
23 It says: "That night we slept in the house of Vuckovic Momcilo
24 where we listened to the news. On 5 August 1995 at around 1000 hours a
25 woman from Vuckovici came to us and said that combats were ongoing in
1 Knin itself. As we realized that the situation we found ourselves in was
2 hopeless, and having heard the message of President Tudjman on Radio
4 out carrying a white flag with the aim to surrender. We all wanted to
5 the surrender, except for Mjilkovic Mirko, aka Koca, who threatening us
6 to be traitors, escaped to nearby forest, while Vuckovic Momcilo returned
7 to his house in Polace, saying that he would wait there for the HV
8 soldiers and surrender."
9 And then the bottom of that page in English, and page 75 of the
11 Q. In the B/C/S version, sir, at that paragraph that starts [B/C/S
12 spoken], which in English starts at the paragraph when he came to the
13 brigade command in Vrlika, in the middle of that paragraph it says:
14 "He also boasted showing at the map that with the Oganj he had
15 all the targets directly in front of us and that almost all Croatian
16 towns were in the range of the Orkans. The fire on Muc was Split was
17 executed by Zeljko Tisma, yet the names of the other Orkan crew members
18 are unknown to me. The area of Muc and Split are fired at from the
19 Polace area?
20 Your Honour, I ask that this exhibit be marked and tendered into
22 MR. WAESPI: I think I have to object to this one unlike the
23 previous documents which were contemporaneous documents on their face had
24 some authentication, this we know it is a gentlemen called Slobodan
25 Despanic, as represented by counsel we don't know who this gentleman is,
1 by whom he was interviewed, we know some kind of Croatian authorities,
2 and so I don't think -- it can be put these parts to the witness and see
3 what he says, but the document itself, a witness statement, I don't think
4 it should be admitted.
5 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I disagree I think I identified
6 Mr. Despanic that he was the company commander in the Vrlika brigade. I
7 gave the date of the statement which means it is contemporaneous as 9
8 September 1995. I said interviewed by the Croatian MUP. That is how the
9 document is identified in e-court and it is a document has been produced
10 through us through the Croatian state archives as are most of the other
11 documents in this case. Concerning authenticity there is nothing about
12 the document that has been produced that is any different than other
13 document produced either by the Prosecution or the Defence in this case
14 and I would submit there is no reason not to admit it into evidence.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi some of your concerns seem to have been
16 dealt with. Contemporaneous.
17 MR. WAESPI: Yes. But it is a big difference between a document
18 that was compiled and the witness statement. I don't know under which
19 circumstances what the MUP had in mind within a week or weeks after --
20 after the events of getting information out of this gentleman. I just
21 see it is a huge difference between the witness statement. We don't see
22 the cover page, we don't see who the persons from the MUP who were
23 present eliciting that information. For me it's a big difference between
24 this statement and the normal document.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
1 MR. MISETIC: We will provide the entire document to the
2 Prosecution. I will say that given that the Prosecution first let me say
3 that given the Prosecution has admitted UNCIVPOL witness statements and
4 other similar-type witness statements was taken by a different entity
5 contemporaneously I don't see the objection as being well founded.
6 Secondly these are all issues that go to weight and not to
7 admissibility of the document anyway.
8 MR. WAESPI: I think each of these CIVPOL documents were
9 accompanied by people, witnesses who could talk about the procedures
10 under which these documents were taken. I'm looking forward to the
11 Defence case to see MUP officials from the Croatian authorities to talk
12 about these witness statements and then they can be introduced at that
14 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether in every respect an accurate
16 description of the documents that were tendered by the Prosecution is
17 still to be seen. If I think about, for example, I think it was P320
18 attachments to -- a matter which has not been settled yet.
19 MR. MISETIC: I believe, Your Honour --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could we do the following: Some of the concerns may
21 be --
22 MR. MISETIC: May I just make one point, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. MISETIC: I would draw Mr. Waespi's attention to Witness 136,
25 I believe was her number, the first witness in this case where Mr. Waespi
1 tendered witness statements because she was the translator. Mr. Flynn,
2 who wasn't present for many of these HRAT witness statements they were
3 tendered through Mr. Flynn several such witness statements where just
4 because they were HRAT documents they were tendered he wasn't even
5 present for the witness interviews.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I suggest the following at this moment. Apparently
7 one of the things that is it bothering Mr. Waespi is that he doesn't have
8 the -- the whole of the document, therefore I suggest that you provide
9 Mr. Waespi with the documents in its entirety and then perhaps also
10 discuss with him whether the whole of the document or just these portions
11 you would like to tender whether there is in objections to see to what
12 extent you a can agree on the matter. For the time being, I think you
13 have read the whole portion of this document, which is relevant for the
14 question you want to put to the witness.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's part of the record. Therefore, at this
17 moment, I'll not invite Mr. Registrar to -- to assign a number to it.
18 Leave it until you've spoken and then there's still an opportunity for
19 you to re-tendered it and we know whether it is just this portion,
20 whether there would be any further -- I'm looking at your expression
21 Mr. Misetic. It is my suggestion surprises you.
22 MR. MISETIC: I'm only concerned that I forget about it later on
23 that's why I told my case manager not to forget to come back to the
24 issue. That's all.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that is imaginable. Another way of dealing
1 with the matter is that we assign a number to it at this moment. That we
2 leave it marked for identification and we hear later from you and then at
3 least it on the MFI
4 it is one more.
5 MR. MISETIC: I understand, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the document as it is -- at this
7 moment present by Mr. Misetic would be number ...
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number D725
9 marked for identification.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it keeps that status until the parties have
11 come back to us.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Okay.
13 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, I showed you several documents there. First you
14 saw the note about the check-point being set up in Polace where UNCRO
15 allegedly could not pass. Does that refresh your recollection about a
16 check-point having been set up on the road from the direction of Knin
17 towards Vrlika by the RSK army?
18 A. No. It doesn't, because there was no check-point. I saw
19 UNPROFOR vehicles drive through Polace every day. That's true.
20 Q. You also saw a document that says in -- after the signing of the
22 Polace. You are obviously familiar with Polace. Can you tell us where
23 heavy weapons in the village of Polace
24 A. I don't remember there being any heavy weapons at all in 1994 and
25 1995. But perhaps the Polace that you have in mind is the one near
1 Benkovci because there is another village named Polace.
2 Q. I'm talking about the Polace near Sivo Brdo.
3 A. Yes. I didn't see any heavy weapons there, the tanks or whatever
4 it was that you mentioned, rockets, none of that.
5 Q. And the portion that talks about Mr. Zeljko Tisma and Orkans
6 being fired on Muc and Split
7 sound of outgoing rocket fire from the village of Polace
8 A. No, I don't.
9 Q. Okay. You said you were mobilized several times. Where were you
10 deployed to?
11 A. I was deployed to Knin and also Kosovo. That's where I was.
12 Q. When you referred to Kosovo, are you referring to a village close
13 to Knin?
14 A. Yes. Yes, that village, the village of Kosovo
15 Q. We also saw in this statement where Mr. Despanic talks about how
16 he and his group surrendered in Polace on the 5th of August. You had
17 already been gone by that point. Did you hear subsequently from anyone
18 about with RSK soldiers being present in Polace on the 5th of August and
19 surrendering to the HV on or about that time?
20 A. No, I didn't hear any of it, nor do I know who Despanic was, nor
21 did anyone actually surrendered. I don't know. Maybe someone did do
22 that, but my problems were far greater when I arrived Serbia, the
23 problems I had to think about, so I have to say I'm sorry for every
24 person who was killed or who suffered, whether Croat or Serb, but at the
25 time when I was in Serbia
1 about others. I just had to fight for the survival for my own family and
3 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, did you hear subsequently the fact that there were
4 ARSK soldiers, such as Mjilkovic Mirko who refused to surrender and
5 escaped to the nearby forest in the Polace area?
6 A. No, I didn't. As I already said, I didn't have the time nor the
7 wish to listen to stories about who did what and how. So when you -- if
8 you were in my position, had you arrived in Serbia without anything, I
9 wonder whether you would be thinking about what to do to feed your family
10 or about whether somebody had surrendered to someone or not. In other
11 words, I was absolutely not interested in those kinds of stories.
12 Q. Not having been present in Polace from the 5th of August onwards,
13 you don't know whether there were ARSK soldiers still in the Polace area
14 who had still refused to surrender. Is that correct?
15 A. That's correct, I was not there. I left on the 4th of August.
16 Q. And you also don't know whether there were any remaining ARSK
17 soldiers in Mirkovici from the 5th of August onwards that refused to
18 surrender. Isn't that correct?
19 A. Well, according to the woman who told me about these things, this
20 woman who had survived as -- in Mirkovici, Smiljana Mirkovic of the
21 people there, Smiljana Mirkovic, Jovo Mirkovic and Petar Mirkovic had
22 remained. And Petar's son, Milan
23 unarmed people and if you think that people like that could defend
24 themselves, well, then, I don't know.
25 Q. I'm not talking about people like that. I'm talking about people
1 like Mirkovic Mirko who were combatants and you don't know whether people
2 such as Mjilkovic Mirko were in Mirkovici on the 5th of August and
3 thereafter. Isn't that correct?
4 A. Can you please clarify whom you mean? Who is this Mirko
5 Mirkovic? I'd like to know.
6 Q. Mr. Mirko Milkovic I said.
7 A. Yes, I'm listening.
8 Q. I read you a portion from a statement saying that there was a
9 group of ARSK soldiers, some of whom surrendered in Polace, others who
10 refused to surrender and went into the forest in the Polace area. My
11 question to you again --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, is that an accurate description of what
13 you just read? It was about surrender. One person who wanted to stay in
14 the woods and wait and the other one going home.
15 MR. MISETIC: No, there was one who went home.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and one who stayed in the woods.
17 MR. MISETIC: Escaped, sorry; yes, correct, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... only the one who went to
19 the woods, from what I remember you reading said that he refused to
20 surrender, whereas the other just said, I'll go home. Nothing about
21 whether or not to surrender.
22 I want accurate --
23 MR. MISETIC: That's fine I can read it back verbatim:
24 "We all wanted to surrender except for Mjilkovic Mirko, aka Koca,
25 who threatening us to be traitors, escapes to the nearby forest --" I'm
1 sorry, I was correct, Your Honour. That's Mirko Mirkovic. The second
2 man is -- while Vuckovic Momcilo to return to his house on Polace saying
3 that he would wait there for the HV soldiers and surrender.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, others did not want to surrender.
5 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
6 JUDGE ORIE: There was one who went home and would surrender,
7 ones that would arrive and there was only one who said, I will not
8 surrender, you are traitors, I'll go to the woods. So it wasn't an
9 accurate --
10 MR. MISETIC: Correct. We have one person who said he refused to
11 surrender, one person who said he was going home, but we don't know
12 whether he surrendered. My question to you again is, you have no
13 knowledge of whether these two individuals or others were in the village
14 of Mirkovici and had, as much 5 August, 1995, and thereafter, refused to
15 surrender to the HV, correct?
16 A. The man that you are calling Mirko Mjilkovic, I don't know of
17 this man. He is not from Polace. The other man, Momcilo Vuckovic this
18 is an older man I think he was born in 1930 something and why would he be
19 in Mirkovici when his house was about 600 meters away from Mirkovici.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mirkovic, the question simply was whether you
21 had any personal knowledge of persons, such as the two persons mentioned,
22 whether they would have been after you had left in Mirkovici on let's
23 say, the 5th of August, whether you have any knowledge of that.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, sir. I don't know anything
25 about that. I have never heard anything about it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Those who told you what had happened after you had
2 left, including the events in relation to your mother, did they ever tell
3 you anything about ARSK soldiers being present, or not being present, in
4 Mirkovici, after you had left? Did anyone ever tell you anything about
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, sir. All they talked about was
7 about the Croatian soldiers who arrived in Mirkovici on the 5th of
8 August already, and I think on the 5th, or the 6th of August, they took
9 Jovo Mirkovic with them to Vrlika and then to the Lora prison in Split
10 and in Mirkovici at that point were my mother, Smiljana Mirkovic, and as
11 for any other people or any members of the military, the Serbian army, I
12 don't know. I've never heard anything about that. These people who came
13 on the first days, they told, that's what Smiljana recounted, they told
14 these people who stayed back just stay at home, feed your cattle, no one
15 will touch you, and that's how it actually was in the beginning, and on
16 the 12th, that is when the event took place.
17 All I know about the whole story is this. I don't have any other
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
20 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, turning your attention to paragraph 8 of your 2007
22 statement you mention that when you reached Banja Luka we saw
23 representatives of our authorities in Krajina who had returned from
24 negotiations in Geneva
25 Would you please describe who you met with, who else was present,
1 what was the discussion about, and where this took place?
2 A. Well, if you want me to tell you exactly where this happened, I
3 don't really know what part of Banja Luka it was in. It was in
4 Banja Luka. As for representative of the Serbian Krajina, I saw there
5 the late Milan Babic, Lazo Matsura [phoen] they said that he had returned
6 from Geneva
7 returned from Geneva
8 plan was, according to what we ordinary folk knew, was the plan that was
9 offered to the republic of the Serbian Krajina.
10 Q. Was this a big meeting with a lot of people from the --
11 A. What do you mean, meeting? It was not a meeting? These were
12 just people who came to a field, an open field. It wasn't even a square.
13 And I don't know how these men happened to be there. Maybe when their
14 convoy was directed off the road. I think Mr. Matsura was looking for
15 his wife, and he was asking the people in the convoy what was going on
16 and then they asked what was happening, because they were saying we are
17 just back from Geneva
18 I'm telling you is what I saw and heard myself. This is what I saw then.
19 Q. Were these individuals, these representatives of the authorities
20 in Krajina, were they addressing all of the people in the field, or was
21 this just something that you heard as these representatives were passing?
22 A. No. As they were passing, there was a group of people, I don't
23 know, maybe a couple of thousand people, and maybe there were some other
24 people like that who talked about it in some other places, but I don't
25 know, I did not talk to them directly. Someone from our group asked,
1 What are we going to do? And they said they didn't know.
2 But no one had a microphone to address the people who were
3 collected there. This was not a gathering or a rally. It was just a
4 group of people and they were talking about this in this open space.
5 Q. Okay. Mr. Mirkovic, concerning the death of your mother, you
6 didn't file any requests with the Croatian authorities until 2004 or
7 2005. Is that correct?
8 A. Probably. When we arrived Belgrade
9 Red Cross, we first registered with the International Red Cross and then
10 with the Red Cross of Yugoslavia, I think; and we registered there the
11 members of our family who had left, who had arrived Serbia. My mother
12 had stayed behind, at home. And then later on when I heard about my
13 mother's death, then I reported to the same organisations that my mother
14 had been killed.
15 After this, I did not ask about or search for, I thought that
16 somebody from these international organisation would do to that, but at
17 this point, later on, much later, I went to Veritas in Belgrade and they
18 told me that I can submit a request to the Croatian government for an
19 exhumation of my mother's remains. That's when I did that, but up to
20 this moment, nothing has been done. No follow-up, as far as I know.
21 Q. And I just need to confirm roughly the year that you filed that
22 request. Am I correct to say it was 2004 or 2005? Your witness
23 statement, I believe, says two and a half years - let me find it.
24 Paragraph 11 of your 2007 statement you say: "I filed a request about
25 two and a half years ago."
1 Is it correct to say, then, that given that this statement was
2 given in March of 2007, that your request was given sometime in late
4 A. Yes. I can't say exactly what month or what date it was, but you
5 can find that in the organisation, the organisation for the missing
6 people and victims of war. The name of this organisation is Veritas, and
7 you can find this information as to when I filed this request there.
8 Q. Jovo and Smiljana Mirkovic also did not file any complaint with
9 the Croatian authorities that your mother had been murdered. Is that
10 accurate, as far as you know?
11 A. Well, why would they file a complaint? Nobody filed anything.
12 They were just neighbours, and they told me what had happened to my
13 mother. That's all.
14 Q. Okay. Given that your mother was buried by Jovo, do you know
15 prior to the filing of your request in late 2004 whether there had been
16 any notice to the Croatian authorities of the allegation that your mother
17 had been murdered?
18 A. Sir, this is not an alleged murder; it was a murder. And as for
19 whether they were informed or not, I don't know.
20 Q. Okay. With respect to your request for exhumation, who did you
21 file that with?
22 A. I've already said this. To Veritas in Belgrade. And they
23 forwarded this to an organisation in Croatia
24 it on. And according to these representatives in Belgrade, they -- there
25 was no information, no new information on this, that nothing had been
1 done in Croatia
2 that point yet.
3 Q. Do you know the name of the organisation in Croatia to whom
4 Veritas was supposed to forward this?
5 A. No, I don't.
6 Q. Did you ever get a receipt or a confirmation letter or any other
7 confirmation from any institution in Croatia that they had received your
8 request for exhumation?
9 A. No. No, I never received anything.
10 Q. Okay. Did you ask the Office of the Prosecutor to see what they
11 could do to conduct an exhumation?
12 A. When they were at my place and when we discussed this, that was
13 one of the things that we talked about as well, and I thought that this
14 whole procedure would be speeded up.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. MISETIC: One minute, Your Honour, please.
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. Mirkovic.
19 Your Honour, have I nothing further.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
21 MR. KAY: No questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
23 Mr. Mikulicic.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mirkovic, you will now be cross-examined by
1 Mr. Mikulicic, who is counsel for Mr. Markac.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mirkovic.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. On behalf of General Markac's Defence, I will pose a few
6 questions to you.
7 A. Please, go on.
8 Q. Would you please when answering my question, pause before you
9 actually begin so that the interpreters can interpret this into English
10 and French.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, could you please tell me what schools did you
14 A. I completed the middle school for catering.
15 Q. Where?
16 A. In Knin.
17 Q. Where did you work, if you did work, after you finished school?
18 A. For a while, I worked at -- on the island of Ugljan
19 Punta [phoen] company and also on the island of Hvar
20 company. And after that I worked in Knin. I think since 1981 I worked
21 in Knin.
22 Q. What exactly did you do, what kind of work?
23 A. I worked as a waiter.
24 Q. And what schools did your wife finish?
25 A. She completed high school.
1 Q. And your mother?
2 A. She was a housewife. She did not attend school -- actually, she
3 did finish elementary school.
4 Q. Mr. Mirkovic you told us that you served in the army and that you
5 were a cook in the JNA?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What kind of military duties did you have in the army of Republic
8 of Serbian Krajina when you were mobilized?
9 A. Everyone did or had assignments according to the military
10 speciality that they had in the Yugoslav People's Army.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Did I understand your answer correctly you were a cook also --
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, one second. One second.
16 Could you please put again the last question to the witness and
17 ask him to repeat his answer.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We will need to repeat what you have said for interpretation.
20 So my question was, did I understand you correctly that you also
21 worked as a cook during the mobilisation for the army of the Republic of
22 Serbian Krajina?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Were you issued any weapon?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you tell us what kind of weapon?
2 A. I was issued a rifle.
3 Q. Where was your weapon after -- once you were drafted?
4 A. Could you please repeat that question again?
5 Q. Where was your weapon kept when you were not mobilized?
6 A. In the unit where I was assigned.
7 Q. What unit was this and where was its command?
8 A. Its command was in Knin.
9 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, please tell us -- my colleague has just reminded me
10 that you did not reply when I asked you what unit you were serving in.
11 A. I can't remember the name of the unit. I was just in the army.
12 I don't know what you mean when you ask me about the unit.
13 Q. Who was your commander?
14 A. Well, so many years have passed. I really can't recall the name
16 Q. Sir, how many able-bodied men with military training were there
17 in the Polace area in your assessment?
18 A. You mean how many people lived there over all?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. I couldn't give you the exact figure.
21 Q. Maybe a ballpark figure then?
22 A. I should do some clarification in order to do that for you. I
23 simply never pondered the issue. I'm here to something else. The
24 thought never crossed my mind that I would be asked questions about this.
25 You see what I mean.
1 Q. Did you perhaps have any friends nearby, near your hamlet in the
2 Polace area?
3 A. Of course I had friends.
4 Q. What about those friends. Were they mobilized like you by the
5 army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
6 A. Some were and some weren't. Some were fit for military service,
7 and some weren't. Some dodged it. That's how it was.
8 Q. Do you remember that, on the 31st of July, 1995 President
9 Milan Martic declared a state of war and general mobilization throughout
10 the Republic of Serbian
11 A. I don't remember him declaring a state of war. There was a war
12 on and what that meant for us is we couldn't leave the homes, we had
13 nothing to eat or drink, we weren't worrying about him declaring a state
14 of war or anything. But I never heard and that must be the reason.
15 Q. What was the ethnic makeup of the population in your area of
17 A. In my case, that was Polace. The population was entirely
18 orthodox. Over in Knin, 92 per cent Serbs, the rest Catholics.
19 Q. When you talk about these figures or statistics, which period of
20 time do you have in mind? Is that before the hostilities broke out in
21 the area or do you mean after the Republic of Serbian Krajina
23 A. I'm talking about the time of the former Yugoslavia before it
24 broke up in Knin. There were over 92 per cent Serbs that's what my
25 information suggests. Perhaps you have other sources. Polace was always
1 100 percent orthodox. There were no Catholics or Muslims there. No
2 Jews, no one else apart from Serbs.
3 Q. Are aware of what became of the Catholic population the Croats
4 after the Republic of Serbian Krajina was established in the area?
5 A. I heard stories about people leaving some people staying behind,
6 that sort of thing.
7 Q. I'm looking at your 2007 statement. This is it P723,
8 specifically paragraph 5 of your statement as well as paragraph 7 of your
9 statement. You talk about the fact that your wife started crying when
10 the war broke out, and she said that the Ustasha would kill all of you.
11 This is followed in paragraph 7 by the following. You claim that your
12 mother as well said that the Ustashas might as well kill her if they so
14 Mr. Mirkovic, in your family, was it usual for Croats to be
15 referred to as Ustasha?
16 A. It wasn't about Croats, generically speaking, it was about the
17 soldiers milling around our area. They called our soldiers Chetniks and
18 we called theirs Ustashas. That's how both parties referred to each
20 Q. It is a derogatory term and a term that was used by your wife and
21 by your mother who was no soldier, nor was she moving around any
22 soldiers, as far as I understand?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Paragraph 7 of your statement, your 2007 statement. You go on to
25 state this. You say you weren't certain if you would be able to leave
1 the Krajina area because you were a man.
2 Can you please elaborate on that?
3 A. Well, for that very reason. I wasn't certain that they would
4 allow any men to leave the area. That's what I was thinking about. When
5 I headed away from home, I was thinking would any of us men be allowed to
6 leave the Krajina, and that's why I told my mother that she should leave
7 with other ladies and other children. When I joined the column, I
8 realized that there was no one checking on anyone else and I saw that
9 this was the end.
10 Q. Mr. Mirkovic you told us a while ago that you had not been
12 A. I said I was. I would be on an on-and-off basis. Sometime I was
13 and sometimes I wasn't.
14 Q. If I could just complete my question before you start answering,
15 I would be very grateful for that concession.
16 A. Sure, go ahead, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, if you introduce a question by
18 stating the testimony of the witness which he finds inaccurate,
19 incorrect, then the witness can interrupt you, Mr. Mikulicic.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] All right. Mr. Mirkovic, my question, given
23 what you told us a while ago, that at the start of Operation Storm, the
24 4th of August, 1995, you were not in fact mobilized, why, then, did you
25 believe that men and you as a man would not be allowed to leave the
1 territory of Serbian Krajina?
2 A. I didn't know what thoughts were crossing other people's minds.
3 Someone might have walked up to me and said, You're an able-bodied man,
4 you are now mobilized, you have to stay. All I was thinking about at the
5 time was to -- how to survive this horrible situation.
6 Q. In paragraph 6 you say some friends told you about the villages
7 around Knin and about teams or groups of persons arriving in these
8 villages telling the local population to pack and evacuate. Did they
9 specify which groups of persons these were that were arriving in these
11 A. No names were named, but probably those were people belonging to
12 some local authorities. Like the civil protection or such-like.
13 Probably. They told them to leave. They told them they had to leave
14 their homes.
15 Q. And then, based on your statement, that evening you joined a
16 convoy through Knin.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. How were you travelling, you and your family?
19 A. We had our own car.
20 Q. Where did you get your fuel?
21 A. It was very difficult to come by fuel in that area. There was a
22 lot of fuel being used up we had some coupons used every month. I'm not
23 sure if that was on a monthly basis or not. Every month, each of us were
24 entitled to a total of 20 litres of fuel and we could get some oil as
25 well to work our land. I saved mine up in order to stop myself from
1 using it all up at once and then I had some still remaining.
2 Q. How far would that take you, a full tank?
3 A. It took me as far as Banja Luka.
4 Q. What about after that?
5 A. After that, there was some petrol stations. They had fuel and
6 everybody was free to go and get some.
7 Q. Can you please explain this. This is something you state in
8 paragraph 8. You say that there would be no turning back that there
9 would be no returning to Krajina and that was after you joined that
11 A. I saw this long convoy leaving. All these people leaving, no one
12 stopping them. At no point along the road, no one was telling them,
13 Don't go. Stay. I realized then there would be no turning back and that
14 there would be no staying in the area.
15 Q. You say that you were receiving coupons for fuel. Can you please
16 describe the procedure briefly how was this organised and who gave these
17 coupons to you, how were they distributed?
18 A. Those of us who had a vehicle that was registered in an orderly
19 American that went there applied and we each got 20 litres of fuel a
20 month, give or take a fuel. Sometime there is was enough to go around
21 and sometimes not and when I say we got it, I don't mean for nothing. We
22 bought this fuel. And we used these coupons in order to buy fuel from
23 these people. We didn't just get it like that.
24 Q. I see. There was a way to make it possible for you to buy some
25 fuel. Is that right?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. However, you still didn't answer my question. Who did you get
3 the coupons from, who distributed them which specific institution or
5 A. Was the same body that we registered our vehicles with. I'm not
6 sure what it is called it was the SUP
7 words that was where you would go with your vehicle registration papers
8 and you would then be issued a coupon that was worth 20 litres of fuel
9 and that was that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, the Chamber unanimously is wondering
11 what is the point. Would you either come to your point or move to the
12 next subject.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Are you aware of the fact that there was a depo at Polace where
15 fuel was being kept for the eventuality of the evacuation?
16 A. Sir, there is no depot there, there is no petrol station this is
17 just not true there was no place to keep fuel there. Where does one keep
18 fuel? At petrol stations.
19 Q. A while ago, you mentioned the Geneva talks and the Z-4 plan. Do
20 you know about the fact that the authorities of the Republic of Serbian
21 Krajina, specifically Milan Martic, refused this plan that provided for
22 the autonomy of the Republic of Serbian Krajina within Croatia simply by
23 dropping the issue all together even before the talks started and the map
24 was discussed?
25 A. My information about this was the information that I received as
1 an ordinary citizen I knew this was a plan that was being considered but
2 I didn't know specifics. I heard bits of this and bits of that what
3 should have been done and would be done, but simply I wasn't privy to any
4 detail. Just as I didn't read that book by that general wrote therefore
5 you can hardly expect me to say anything about that.
6 Q. Paragraph 11 of your statement dated 2007. This is the
7 exhumation request. This is what you said there. You say that you had
8 heard from some neighbours who had previously return to the village about
9 them seeing civilian police around the place. First of all,
10 Mr. Mirkovic, I'm ever so slightly confused because a minute ago you told
11 my friend Mr. Misetic that no one remained in the village and now you're
12 telling us that you talked to some neighbours who returned to the
13 village. So what does this mean then? Was there anyone living in the
14 village or not?
15 A. No, not in Mirkovici. I'm talking about general Polace area and
16 indeed there were people who eventually returned to the general Polace
17 area. Elderly people who simply went back to die.
18 Q. May I continue? You're telling us about your neighbours seeing
19 civilian police around, that location. I suppose by location you mean
20 Mirkovici, right?
21 A. Yes. The exact location where the remains of my mother were
23 Q. Can you remember the specific people who shared this information
24 with you?
25 A. Why not? Dragoljub Tadorovic, who said that they had been to see
1 him, policeman wearing plain clothes and they also asked about my
2 whereabouts and they also asked him if he knew the whereabouts of my
3 mother's burial site or grave; and he took them to the very spot and
4 pointed it out to them. This man then said -- we know everything we know
5 exactly who killed her. This shouldn't be a problem.
6 I'm just telling you what that man told me. This is hearsay. I
7 didn't hear this myself.
8 Q. I do realize that, but I don't quite realize who said what.
9 A. The policeman wearing civilian clothes, are you listening to me?
10 I'm talking about the policeman who went there and he went to
11 Dragoljub Tadorovic and wanted him to show where we had lived and he
12 wanted to see where my mother had been buried and then this policeman
13 said, We know exactly who killed her. There shouldn't be a problem with
15 Q. Having heard this, did you maybe go back to the police to see if
16 you could find out more about their information. You were at one point
17 told about the police knowing who the perpetrator of the crime against
18 your mother was?
19 A. Which police are you talking about, sir, if you don't mind me
21 Q. I assume Croatian police in your village?
22 A. Yes, yes, Croatia
23 ask these questions?
24 Q. Maybe we're just talking at cross purposes here, Mr. Mirkovic.
25 It is my duty to ask you questions. If you know the answers, please
1 state them.
2 A. Yes, sir, but I was in no position to talk to Croatian police. I
3 simply wasn't able to do that. I never returned to Polace after 1995 and
4 I am not here to name any names, who killed my mother. I know someone
5 did. I don't know who. I don't want to go too far and name some person
6 or another. I'm not here to lay the blame at anyone's door. What I'm
7 here to say is the truth. My mother was murdered. I'm not here to
8 blame, I'm not here to point my finger or indeed to defend anyone.
9 Q. I understand that and I respect that.
10 A. Thank you for your understanding.
11 Q. Given the fact that you were in touch with Mr. Savo Strbac from
12 Veritas, did you perhaps try to enlist the assistance of that
13 organisation in order to see what results, if any, the Croatian police
14 investigation had achieved about these events?
15 A. I never asked to know who it was that killed my mother. All I
16 asked for was to have a chance to bury my mother's mortal remains in a
17 dignified manner and take her to our family grave. I never wanted to
18 know who exactly killed my mother. I don't think I want to know. One
19 thing I do know is it was no human being it was a beast who killed an old
20 lady, aged 70. No human being in their right state of mind could
21 possibly have done that. Serb or Croat. I'm trying to see this matter
22 from a more generically humane position, sir.
23 Q. Mr. Mirkovic, have no doubt about this, please, that's what we're
24 all trying to do here, to see in a more humane perspective.
25 My last question: How exactly did you get in touch with
1 Mr. Strbac for Veritas?
2 A. I had the -- caught wind of the existence of this organisation
3 and then I went straight to them to report my case that was in Belgrade
4 I think roughly about the same time there people who came over from some
5 international organisation they took blood samples from me and my sister
6 in order do some DNA
7 thought I would go straight to them and speak to them about this. I
8 didn't know who else to go to.
9 Q. Did you and Mr. Strbac go back to some previous period when he
10 was a secretary of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
11 A. No, I'd heard his name being mentioned on TV, that sort of thing.
12 They were talking about human suffering about searches for missing
13 persons and victims.
14 Q. Thank you very much for your answers, sir. I have no further
15 questions for you.
16 A. You're welcome.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
18 Mr. Waespi, any further need to put questions to the witness.
19 MR. WAESPI: No, Mr. President.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: The Bench has no further questions for you either,
22 Mr. Mirkovic.
23 This concludes your testimony in this court. The Chamber is
24 aware that the events you have testified about are about, as you told us,
25 the loss of your mother. The Chamber would like to thank you very much
1 for coming to The Hague
2 were put to you by the parties and by this Bench, and we wish you a safe
3 trip home again.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for calling me. My
5 greetings and my very best wishes to you all.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Mikulicic, the witness said
8 that he was not -- he said he never returned to Polace, and he said: I
9 never wanted to know who exactly killed my mother.
10 I'm trying to see this matter from a more generically humane
11 position. That means overview rather than what actually and precisely
12 happened. You then said, Mr. Mirkovic, have no doubt about this, please,
13 that's what we are all trying to do here, to see in a more humane
15 Where the witness made a distinction between knowing about the
16 facts and a more generically approach generically human approach, where
17 you referred to all, I have to bring to your attention that this Chamber,
18 of course, is trying to seek as much concrete information, not to say
19 that the generic humane approach would not be of interest but certainly
20 not to replace our wish to receive as much evidence on the facts and all
21 the details available.
22 I just wanted to put this on the record.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm not sure -- aware of it, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As far as scheduling is concerned from what I
25 now understand, Mr. Waespi, that there's no chance that the witness who
1 was next scheduled not only would not appear today, but there is no
2 chance that that witness will appear tomorrow.
10 This means that the next witness we'll hear testimony of will be
11 on Friday.
12 MR. WAESPI: This is correct. There is one option to move the
13 videolink forward to Thursday afternoon and all party, including
14 Mr. Monkhouse who did a great effort to reorganize, we could start around
15 3.00 on Thursday afternoon. I'm not sure whether that helps us a lot but
16 these are the two options we have.
17 JUDGE ORIE: But is there a fair chance that we would then finish
18 the videolink evidence, because, for other reasons, having some
19 additional time on Friday would not be bad. If we would start at 3.00
20 that would mean that we have a session of effective three hours would
21 that do for the videolink witness? A little bit over three hours.
22 MR. WAESPI: I'm sure that the Prosecution will not -- we are
23 scheduled for 1.5 hours but I'm confident that Mr. Hedaraly who will lead
24 the witness will not take more than one hour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then my question to the Defence is for the
1 videolink witness, if the Prosecution would take one hour would, it be
2 possible to conclude the testimony of that witness on that same day,
3 because as you will understand I have great difficulties in accepting
4 that we would have to send the witness home and then to have her return
5 again on Friday.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, I do understand that, Your Honour, I will be
7 the first one to examine the witness on behalf of Markac Defence and I
8 don't estimate it to take more than one and a half hour. I will try even
9 to squeeze this.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes that. Would make so two and a half hours.
11 Could I get an impression from other Defence counsel.
12 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, on behalf of the Gotovina Defence,
13 obviously we have to see what happens, but at this point we would have no
14 questions for the witness.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay.
16 MR. KAY: I have no scheduled questions.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Then let me confer for one moment.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Although the schedule for preparations will be
21 rather tight, there seems to be a fair chance that the witness could
22 commence giving evidence at approximately 3.00 on Thursday, in the
23 afternoon, and that of course doesn't change anything, because I do
24 understand that the witness next to that might be available on Friday,
25 but that Defence counsel have strongly opposed against hearing the
1 evidence of that witness.
2 Now, is that a witness, Mr. Waespi, how much time would the then
3 next witness take in chief, because preparing for cross-examination, of
4 course is a different matter from hearing the evidence in chief.
5 MR. WAESPI: According to -- this is Witness 98. According to
6 the 65 ter estimate it is 2.5 hours, but I'm sure this could be reduced.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think as a matter of fact that that is exactly
8 what the Defence opposes against that they would have to start the
9 cross-examination on Friday.
10 If cross-examination would start on next week --
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour that would be beneficial for
12 me, Your Honour, because I cannot be here on Friday and that is my
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that.
15 Would there be any problem with the Defence teams if the witness
16 would give his evidence in-chief on Friday, so that we could start
17 immediately --
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- with the cross-examination on Monday.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I really have a difficulty with that because I'm
21 not going to be here, and I don't want to have to read his transcript to
22 prepare for cross-examination which is what I would have to do. I was
23 all prepared for him to be examined as is scheduled on Monday and
24 understanding the difficulties that have occurred recently that are not a
25 problem of the Prosecution, it's just you know that happened. Things
1 happened sometimes. My preference is keep this particular witness on
2 Monday, the direct, because it is my witness. I have been preparing for
3 that witness and would really rather be here but I can't be because I
4 have a conflict on Friday, will be gone, out of Holland on Friday.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we'll consider that. Let's at least, for
6 several reasons, let's reschedule the videolink witness for Thursday in
7 the afternoon, with the firm expectation that the Defence team would not
8 take any longer than Thursday afternoon, based on the assumption that we
9 would not start later than 3.00.
10 We would further consider whether we would start on Friday.
11 Mr. Waespi, please assist me. The witness to follow the video
12 conference witness, was he firmly scheduled to start at Monday only, or
13 was he scheduled to follow the video-conference witness.
14 Of course, I'm considering this, Mr. Kuzmanovic, you will
15 understand to what extent the Chamber will have to consider your absence
16 because if that witness would have been scheduled just as a follow-up
17 witness to the videolink witness then of course it might be different
18 compared to a situation where it was firmly scheduled that the follow-up
19 witness would not start his examination-in-chief this week.
20 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I think I would put him into the category of
21 being firmly scheduled for Monday.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's at least then --
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I appreciate that we have the
24 witness order that we received from Mr. Waespi and that's what it showed.
25 Your Honour, just so you know I have to serve on a jury in my
1 home state, so I deferred it twice and I can't defer it a third time so
2 I'm leaving tomorrow and I will be back on Monday, so ...
3 JUDGE ORIE: Serving justice in a different capacity,
4 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
5 Yes. That's one thing. That's for Thursday. For tomorrow, I
6 would like to go with the parties through the MFI list and how much time
7 that takes depends on all of us. And we'll have no further programme
8 then on Wednesday in the afternoon apart perhaps from some other
9 housekeeping matters.
10 Then since we have not that much time left, I would like to
11 deliver one oral decision at this moment before we adjourn.
12 This is a decision on the admission into evidence of a document,
13 marked for identification, P320.
14 On the 29th of May of this year, at transcript page 3933, the
15 chamber admitted into evidence an UN report as P318. On the same day, at
16 transcript page 3997, the Prosecution tendered into evidence under seal
17 the annexes to the report, which were marked for identification as P320
18 on the grounds that it simply reproduced third-party information which
19 the Defence was not in a position to challenge.
20 The -- I am afraid that I missed one line. I'll start reading
21 again, where I said that the Chamber admitted into evidence a UN report
22 as P318.
23 On the same day, at transcript page 3997, the Prosecution
24 tendered into evidence under seal the annexes to the report, which were
25 marked for identification as P320. And that's where I made my mistake.
1 On the 11th of June, 2008, the Defence objected to the admission
2 of P320 on the grounds that it simply reproduced third-party information,
3 which the Defence was not in a position to challenge.
4 The Prosecution responded that the arguments of the Defence
5 should go to weight rather than admissibility.
6 The Defence objections and Prosecution response can be found at
7 transcript pages 4830 to 4833.
8 Under Rule 89 (C), the Chamber may admit into evidence any
9 exhibit that is relevant and probative. P320 contains one incident
10 report, several clearly sourced statements taken by UN staff an
11 associated photos.
12 The statements were not taken for the purpose of proceedings
13 before this Tribunal, and therefore do not fall within the scope of Rule
14 92 bis. The documents are contemporaneous, concern incidents reported to
15 have taken place in the former UN Sector South during or after Operation
16 Storm and are relevant and probative to allegations made in the
18 Furthermore, they clarify the sources of the UN report admitted
19 as P318 and enhance the Chamber's ability to properly assess the weight
20 to be given to that report.
21 The Chamber therefore admits P320 into evidence, under seal. The
22 Chamber will take into consideration the arguments raised by the Defence
23 when ultimately assessing the weight to be attributed to P320.
24 And this concludes the Chamber's decision on the admission of
1 Then, I think, this is an decision still missing on the admission
2 of D723 and D724 which were this afternoon tendered by you, Mr. Misetic.
3 There were no objections against these two documents. Therefore, D723
4 and D724 are admitted into evidence.
5 We adjourn until tomorrow, Wednesday, the 27th of August, quarter
6 past 2.00 in this same courtroom.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.55 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
9 August, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.