1 Monday, 6 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Mr. Margetts, is the Prosecution ready to call its next witness.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. We're ready to call Witness
13 Number 76.
14 Mr. President, there is one matter that arises with this witness
15 and that is that we are not certain as to whether this witness has any
16 concerns as to his security because we haven't had the opportunity to
17 speak with him. Our recommendation may be or our suggestion may be that
18 he be called into the court and we possibly start in private session.
19 And we inquire with him as to whether there are any objective bases for
20 any security concerns.
21 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that there is no objection from the
22 Defence teams to such an approach?
23 Then we turn into closed session.
24 [Closed session]
11 Page 9914 redacted. Closed session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
6 Mr. Buhin, may I invite you to stand. Mr. Buhin, before you give
7 evidence in this court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you
8 to make a solemn declaration, that you will speak the truth, the whole
9 truth and nothing but the truth.
10 The text is now handed out to you by Mr. Usher. May I invite to
11 you make that solemn declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
13 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: STJEPAN BUHIN
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Buhin. Please be seated.
17 Mr. Buhin, you will be first examined by Mr. Margetts.
18 Mr. Margetts is counsel for the Prosecution.
19 Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
20 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Examination by Mr. Margetts:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Buhin.
23 Mr. Buhin, do you recall that on the 15th and 16th of
24 September in 2001, and again on the 9th of March, 2002, you met with
25 representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you recall that at the --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, it is a good tradition that we first
4 have the name and date of birth on the record.
5 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Buhin, apologies, I neglected just one matter and that is you
7 could you please state your full name and date of birth for the record.
8 A. My name is Stjepan Buhin. I was born on July 1st, 1953.
9 Q. Yes, Mr. Buhin, I referred to meetings that you had with the
10 Office of the Prosecutor. Do you recall that at the conclusion of those
11 meetings that you gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor?
12 A. Yes, I recall that.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, if I could please have 65 ter 5491
14 brought up on the screen. That is a statement of Mr. Buhin. Mr. Buhin
15 has not had the advantage of seeing this statement in recent days. So if
16 I could, if the court usher could please provide Mr. Buhin with a copy of
17 the statement in Croatian.
18 And, Mr. President, you will note that the original statement is
19 in Croatian, and we have a translation of that statement.
20 Q. Mr. Buhin, if you could look at the document before you. And are
21 you able to confirm, looking at that document there, that that is the
22 statement that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor?
23 A. Yes. My signature is on each page.
24 Q. Mr. Buhin, it's a statement of approximately 6 pages and,
25 Mr. President, it may be a convenient time for Mr. Buhin to review that
1 statement, since he has not had the opportunity to do so prior to this
3 So Mr. Buhin, would you be able to read through that statement,
4 please, and just read it carefully and then indicated to us whether it
5 accurately reflects the statement that you made in March 2002.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, that might take some time, isn't it,
7 to read a six-page document.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we first inquire into the -- the signatures
10 and what was -- whether he read it at that time or whether it was read to
12 Mr. Buhin, when you gave this statement, have you read the -- the
13 version which is in front of you, the Croatian version of this statement?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a minor problem with
15 this. My first interview, which was in September 2001, was conducted via
16 an interpreter, and it was written down in English. Once the interview
17 was over, I did not want to sign this because I didn't know what was
18 written down and I can't speak any English.
19 The second interview followed in 2002, in March, a similar
20 procedure occurred. The interview was conducted through an interpreter
21 and the statement was written down in English, and the room we had the
22 interview in was really, really cold, so the interpreter, the woman who
23 wrote down the statement, it was -- for her it was the first time to use
24 this type of computer, so she made a lot of mistakes and this interview
25 took quite a while. Once the statement was drafted, the investigators
1 left us -- the two of us, there so that she could translate this back
2 into Croatian and this took a while, and we were both freezing. Her
3 fingers were totally stiff it was so cold. Once she finished the
4 statement she read it back to me, and I signed this version, because I
5 really was out of patience. I was also sorry for her, because it was so
6 cold, so that once she read this back to me, I just signed it, and I
7 believed it was all right, although I did not read it myself. And now I
8 can see that there is only one statement, which would mean that this is
9 one single statement from those two interviews, because I don't see two
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that appears to be the case.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, I suggest that we give the witness
14 time to read the statement, not necessarily all of us here waiting for
15 him. He might feel under pressure.
16 Mr. Buhin, could you tell us, how much time would you
17 approximately need to read the six pages? Would 20 minutes do or ...
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then upon your return, upon our return, we
20 would ask you whether this statement accurately reflects what you said at
21 the time, whether that was in September or March is not of vital
22 importance, I would say, so we'd like to know whether this reflects what
23 you said at that time, and also whether it is accurate and in accordance
24 with the truth, and we'll then also ask you whether you would give the
25 same answers if the same questions were to be put to you today.
1 I think this is not a good environment to quietly read the
2 statement. We'll adjourn -- we'll have a pause until 3.00, so that you
3 have a little bit over 25 minutes to read it, and afterwards please
4 inform me, inform us whether -- what your answer is to the question is I
5 just told you will be put to you.
6 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 3.00.
7 --- Break taken at 2.33 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 3.00 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Buhin, did you manage to review the statement?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Are there -- first question, as I said before, does
12 the statement accurately reflect what you said at the time?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe so. It has been quite a
14 while. There are some minor things that I noticed. I'm not sure if I
15 actually said these things at the time, but maybe I would phrase them a
16 little differently now.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I suggest, there are a few - do I understand
18 you well - a few matters which you'd like to raise. Then I will leave it
19 to Mr. Margetts, if you tell Mr. Margetts where they can be found, then
20 Mr. Margetts will further guide you through the document.
21 Mr. Margetts.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Buhin, if you could take us to the first paragraph where you
24 indicated something may be phrased in a slightly different manner,
25 indicate to the Court the correction that you'd like to make.
1 Which page does that arise on?
2 A. Page 3.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Registrar --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 4.
6 MR. MARGETTS:
7 Q. And, Mr. Buhin, if you could please give us the first few words
8 of that paragraph so that we can locate it.
9 A. When I spoke with Josko Moric and Djurica Franjo they told me
10 that my position would be above the police chief, in terms of rank.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, will you see, and Mr. Registrar
13 that is on page 3 of the English. And it's about the middle paragraph on
14 page 3.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. MARGETTS:
17 Q. Yes. Mr. Buhin, if you could continue. And how would you
18 rephrase any of the sentences in that paragraph?
19 A. At the time I talked to the investigators, we probably didn't pay
20 that much attention to these details. Therefore, this is -- a very
21 simple explanation of what it means to be above the police chiefs in
22 terms of rank. The role of the coordinators, and that's what we were,
23 was advisory. We were high-ranking in the sense of providing advice,
24 providing assistance as to how they would set up their administration and
25 how they would organise their work. But the final executive decision was
1 in the hands of those newly appointed chiefs, if there were differences
2 of opinions in certain matters that always had to be dealt with at the
3 level of the ministry. We didn't have the authority to take the final
4 decision. That's one thing. And then three paragraphs down, Knin was a
5 police administration in charge of the liberated territory in its
6 entirety. And then it goes on to say both Baric and I were positioned
7 higher up than Romanic, but this is not explained and that's the problem,
8 and that's what I said. A higher position, yes, because we were from the
9 ministry. But this was only in terms of instructions, in terms of
10 coordination. The newly appointed chiefs were the ones who had final
12 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. I think that matter is clear.
13 Are there any other paragraphs that would like to take us to?
14 A. Yes. Towards the bottom of page 3. When a case was reported
15 that involved persons in army uniforms, we would report that to the
16 criminal police and General Cermak would also find about that at daily
18 Q. Yes. Mr. Buhin -- Mr. President?
19 JUDGE ORIE: We've found it, yes.
20 MR. MARGETTS: Page 4.
21 MR. KAY: Page 4.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, page 4 the second paragraph in English.
23 MR. MARGETTS:
24 Q. Yes, Mr. Buhin. And the further matters you'd like to address in
25 relation to that.
1 A. This is something that will then be taken up by the military
2 police, but as it continues, you can see that the military police would
3 be informed so -- I apologise, actually, this is fine.
4 Page 5, paragraph 2 up towards the top of the page. The civilian
5 police were not allowed to check military vehicles or anyone in military
7 These were instructions from the MUP or an order from the MUP.
8 They were killings and looting committed by people in military uniforms,
9 but our hands were tied.
10 I don't know how this was interpreted at the time. This bit
11 about our hands being tied. The uniformed police, we provided
12 instructions for their work and guidance but they did their work, and
13 that was that. Therefore, I don't know how this wording came about, in
14 terms of the hands of the police being tied. The police did their work
15 and did it just fine. Maybe not exactly in the way we would have liked
16 to, but that is what the circumstances were. We were certainly trying to
17 do our best to the extent it was possible at the time and be as
18 professional as we could.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Buhin, this is not perfectly clear to me. The
20 first line, the first sentence you say you were not allowed to check
21 military vehicles or people in military uniform. That was an instruction
22 or an order from the MUP and this line you were referring to says:
23 "There were killings and looting committed by people in military uniforms
24 but our hands were tied."
25 Now, could you check or proceed against persons in military
1 uniform that were suspected of killing and looting, or could you not?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE ORIE: So your hands were tied to the extent that you could
4 not proceed against anyone in military uniform, even if you suspected
5 that person of being involved in killing and looting. Is that how we
6 have to understand this sentence?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not quite. If we had found
8 or if we had been certain in a given situation that a certain person had
9 committed a serious crime such as murder or robbery, the uniformed police
10 would then have arrested this person and handed this person over to the
11 military police.
12 However, there were simply no situations like that. This is
13 simply what the investigator asked me at that time. What if, what if you
14 had found this, what if you had found that, what would you as police have
16 If there had been any reliable or unambiguous information about
17 that, we would have arrested the person and then handed the person over
18 to the military police and other appropriate services, but there was
19 nothing like that that actually happened. The civilian police were
20 marked out. You could tell them from an afar. There weren't that many
21 of us to begin with. And there was nothing like this that actually
22 happened anywhere in the presence of the civilian police.
23 JUDGE ORIE: So in the theoretical situation, that's what you
24 described, you could have arrested someone suspected of having looted or
25 having killed, but if that was a military person, you would have to hand
1 them over to the military police?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Next paragraph, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's a small error. It's
5 probably a copying error, third paragraph from the bottom up. Sacic
6 would have known where the military police were doing their mopping-up
7 operations. This should read: Special police and not military police.
8 The military police, as far as I know, was not involved in any mopping-up
9 operations. Rather, this was the job of the special police unit.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's on the record.
11 Any other paragraph which needs further attention?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have not really noticed anything
13 else. Thank you.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. So apart from those corrections, that further information that
16 have you provided to us, does this document set out that the statement
17 that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And if you were asked the same questions today, would you provide
20 the same statement?
21 A. Probably not. My views are slightly different now as opposed to
22 what they were back then. It has been quite some time, and the reasoning
23 is now different. My interpretation of certain matters would now
24 probably be different as well.
25 Q. In terms of this statement, insofar as it refers to factual
1 matters and events, is it an accurate depiction of those factual matters
2 and events?
3 A. I think so.
4 Q. Yes. So I just wanted to be clear in respect of those facts and
5 events, if you were asked the same questions about those matters, would
6 you give the same statement today?
7 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: I'm -- not sure now to proceed here because I don't
10 know that at the end of the day the Prosecution and the Defence at this
11 point are going to agree as to what is fact in the statement and what is
12 a conclusion, what's an opinion, so I -- I -- at this point would lodge
13 an objection unless the Prosecution is going to take him through the
14 statement and say, This specific fact you agree, yes or no.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which is not a very practical way of
17 Mr. Buhin, could you explain to us on what matters you have, as
18 you said, your interpretation would now be different?
19 Could you help us?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's difficult to say it like
21 that. As far as any details are concerned that I might want to change.
22 But I'm certain that there are quite many generalisations here. What if
23 this had been the case, what if that would have been the case, then what
24 should have followed as a result but ...
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us an example -- could you give us an
1 example on where you feel apparently uncomfortable with your statement,
2 in respect of what you just told us? Could you take to us any ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's difficult to speak about
4 specific examples in a hurry.
5 I can't do this in a hurry.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I then suggest that we proceed and that in the next
7 break, you will -- that you'll read it again and that you, after that
8 break, point to us matters where you say -- or give an example of the
9 kind of matters on which you say you may have changed your opinion.
10 And then perhaps, for the time being, we proceed and a final
11 decision on admission would then be delayed, but we proceed on the basis
12 as if the statement was admitted.
13 Mr. Margetts.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President. And then of course
15 we'll -- if necessary, read the summary at the time that we seek
16 admission of the statement.
17 Mr. President, I have one matter and it is to do to the first
18 exhibit that I'd like to refer to. And if we could just go into private
19 session for a short moment.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 9927 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Mr. Margetts, you may proceed.
15 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Mr. Registrar, if I could please have 65 ter number 5266
17 presented on the screen.
18 Q. Mr. Buhin, on the right-hand side of the screen, you will see an
19 organigram -- it is appearing rather small on my screen, Mr. Registrar.
20 Possibly if we could enlarge the top of the organigram.
21 Yes, Mr. Buhin, this is an organigram which was put together by
22 the Office of the Prosecutor. And it shows the organisation of the
23 Ministry of Interior in the Knin region for the period August to
24 September 1995.
25 And if you look down to the bottom right-hand corner, you'll see
1 that your name appears there as a coordinator, and there's a broken line
2 that -- that links your office, that of the police coordinators of
3 Kotar-Knin, to the Zagreb authorities, in particular, Djurica Franjo and
4 then subsequently Marijan Tomurad.
5 Could you look at that organigram, and could you indicate to the
6 Court whether or not you consider that that accurately sets out the
7 organisation of the authorities in the Kotar-Knin region and their
8 superiors during the period August to September 1995?
9 A. Yes. This is accurate.
10 Q. Thank you -- thank you, Mr. Buhin.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President. If this organigram, 65 ter 5266,
12 could be given an exhibit number and entered into evidence.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please assign an exhibit
16 number to it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number P962.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P962 is admitted into evidence.
19 Can we go into private session for a second.
20 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Buhin, in the course of reviewing your statement, you
11 indicated the nature of the role of the coordinators and the relationship
12 that you had with the other police chiefs in the area. I'd like to deal
13 with that matter a little further.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Registrar, if could I please have 65 ter 2786
15 presented on the screen.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Buhin, you'll see on the left-hand side of the screen
17 there an Official Note, and I'd just like to ask you some preliminary
18 questions in relation to that Official Note.
19 And that is this. This note purports to be an Official Note that
20 was prepared following an interview that was conducted with you on the
21 9th of October, 2001, by Republic of Croatia Ministry of the Interior
23 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Registrar, if we could please move to page two
24 of the B/C/S and similarly to page -- to the final page of the English
25 which is page 3.
1 Q. Mr. Buhin, you'll see there there's a sign-off, or not a sign-off
2 but at least the name of the gentleman Ivica Vesel. So my first question
3 to you is this: Do you recall being interviewed by Republic of Croatia
4 Ministry of the Interior officials, in particular, Mr. Vesel, on the 9th
5 of October, 2001?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. MARGETTS: If we could move back, Mr. Registrar, to the
9 first page.
10 Q. You'll see, Mr. Buhin, that in the -- there's a sentence that
11 refers to the fact that this records information that you gave to the
12 officials, and then there is a paragraph of approximately four lines, a
13 further line, and then a second substantial paragraph which appears about
14 in the middle of the page.
15 Now, at the end of that paragraph there, there's a reference to
16 the role of the coordinators and it says that the coordinators were
17 appointed to coordinate, supervise and direct the work of police
18 employees at the Knin police station.
19 So that sentence there, is that correct, is that a correct
20 characterization of the role of the coordinators?
21 A. Yes. It should be.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. This document is not such a lengthy
23 document and it -- at this time it is probably convenient if I give you
24 an opportunity to read through it in its entirety and then just indicate
25 to me whether it accurately records matters that it refers to.
1 A. We can turn the page.
2 I've read the Official Note. I just skimmed it, actually, and
3 I'm surprised that my colleague, the police officer, wrote this lengthy
4 document before -- because before I was invited to give an interview to
5 the investigators of this court, I requested that a member of the
6 civilian authorities of the Republic of Croatia
7 interview, because I was afraid there may be some abuse of that
9 I asked, through my colleagues who worked at the ministry, for
10 assistance but no one would assist me and then I was invited for this
12 The interview lasted about three to five minutes, with a
13 colleague. He never took any notes. And I just thought this
14 conversation was a mere formality, just to meet the formal aspects. Now
15 that I see that this note was prepared, I suppose that he did it because
16 somebody asked that of him, and some of the facts that were set forth
17 here are incorrect. For instance, the incident in the village of
18 Grubori, I don't recall -- I don't think that I would have said anything
19 to this effect, as stated here. I wouldn't have said that it took two
20 days before it was reported, nor did I say that there was rainfall on
21 that day, so some of the things that he put in there must have been from
22 some other forces and not based on what I said.
23 When I returned to the MUP seat, to the headquarters of the MUP,
24 and -- so this reference to my return to the MUP and that the relations
25 cooled, I don't know what that would mean because there was no need for
1 me to go back to Knin because another inspector had come there in the
2 meantime. He was a traffic expert. And my colleague Baric remained
3 there. He was also from the regular police, so that now there were more
4 involved in regulating traffic.
5 Now, the reference to my retirement also in this Official Note is
6 not well explained. I retired because I wanted to and not because I had
7 to and not because it would have been somebody else's wish. The
8 conditions at the year when I decided to retire were favourable for me,
9 and I took advantage of this, so I decided to retire and I did this of my
10 own free will.
11 Therefore, I think that this note was just drafted based on the
12 recollections of what was said, and if you asked me, I would just discard
14 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Buhin, for that lengthy answer.
15 There's one matter I would like to refer to. We referred to the
16 reference to the coordinators, and you indicated in your answer that
17 there were certain aspects of the information relating to the incident in
18 Grubori that you don't recall communicating to the official.
19 What I would like to ask you is whether or not you recall
20 indicating to the official the matters that appear from the bottom of the
21 first page.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Registrar, if we could refer to the first page
23 of the Croatian version.
24 Q. You'll see that five lines from the bottom, Mr. Buhin, there's a
25 reference to 25 August 1995
1 was 25 August 1995
2 And then there's a reference to various events that occurred.
3 And I'd just like you to read on that part of the statement or that part
4 of that paragraph to the end of that paragraph and just tell me whether
5 those events that are recorded there are matters that -- that you're
6 aware of and that you communicated to Mr. Vesel.
7 Looking at the part that says: "Namely, he remembers an incident
8 that was indeed reported by UN members and continuing on until an
9 investigation would be conducted the following day."
10 A. This conversation was rather casual, the conversation that I had
11 with this colleague. We just mentioned the event in Grubori. I don't
12 think more than a few words were said about it. And I believe that he
13 wrote this as he felt he should, because I couldn't have said any of
14 these things to him nor do I recall these events.
15 As far as I can remember, the complaint came in the morning
16 hours. There was no need to wait for nightfall. There were no
17 impediments of any sort. I can't tell you exactly at what time we
18 received the complaint or the report. It was in the morning, sometime in
19 the morning. When I learned of this, I ordered that two teams of
20 civilian police patrols be sent to the site to determine what it was
22 About midday
23 they were unable to find this village, the village of Grubori
24 bodies for that matter. I have to stress that this police came -- had
25 come from different -- from other parts of the country. They did not
1 know the area very well, nor could they rely on the local population and
2 ask people for their way. They just had to rely on their own resources.
3 The colleague Baric and I went to the UN headquarters, the UN police
4 headquarters, discussed this or had a conversation with the police
5 officers who had been on site and asked them to take us to the site and
6 show us the bodies so that we could take the steps that were necessary.
7 We agreed to do this in the afternoon hours, around 3.00 p.m., to allow
8 us time to inform the police administration in Zadar, the crime police,
9 and in order to make sure that an investigating judge would also attend.
10 This is how these events unfolded. In the meantime,
11 Zeljko Sacic, the deputy chief of the special police, also came to our
12 headquarters. He was rather angry because he hadn't been informed of
13 this, and he said that the mop-up operation had been conducted in that
14 area. In other words, there was fighting going on.
15 I tried to explain to him what information I had and what we had
16 done up till then, but he claimed that even if there were any bodies,
17 they would have been bodies of men who died in combat and that this would
18 be handled by the civilian protection.
19 In the meantime, I received a phone call from the ministry, from
20 Josko Moric. I cannot tell you how he learned about this event. He was
21 rather angry, and he said to me that I should not get involved in
22 assignments that were not within my purview. I reiterate, I was
23 responsible for the -- the regular police work and traffic regulation,
24 whereas this work was really something that the crime police should
25 handle. When the crime police -- since the crime police had been
1 informed, I decided not to follow up on this, and I left this to the
2 crime police to resolve.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. We will deal with some other documents
4 later on relating to this matter and I will give you an opportunity to
5 explain a little bit further in relation to some of those matters.
6 Just following up now on that last issue, you said that you
7 informed the crime police and earlier up in the answer, you said that the
8 police administration in Zadar was informed.
9 Who was informed in the police administration in Zadar?
10 A. I cannot really tell you for certain, but I believe it was the
11 chief of the police administration, Ivo Cetina. A lot of time has passed
12 since, and I don't have any notes here, but all -- all bits of
13 information of this nature would go to him. We would send it to him.
14 Q. Yes. And you indicated that Mr. Moric suggested that this was a
15 matter for the criminal police and not for you.
16 When you received the information, did you immediately inform the
17 Zadar criminal police. Or -- sorry. Did you immediately inform the
18 Zadar police administration?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And when you heard about the matter, I think you indicated in
21 your answer there it was in the morning. Did you hear about it on the
22 same day that it occurred, or did you hear about it at any later time?
23 A. It was in the morning hours. I cannot be more precise. I was
24 informed then by the police station chief, I think it was Mr. Mihic. He
25 told me that he had been informed by the UN police of bodies that were
1 found in Grubori village. How old these bodies were or how long they had
2 been there, I didn't have any information as to the -- to that, and I
3 just wanted to check the complaint that we received, or, rather the
5 Q. Yes, okay. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. As I say we'll return to that
6 topic a bit later.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, in regard to this Official Note, I
8 think the witness has indicated he has some reservations in relation to
9 it. I just want to be sure that we have on record his confirmation of
10 the specific sentence that we referred to, relating to the role of
11 coordination. So I just would like to read that out to him again and
12 that would avert the need to introduce this Official Note into evidence.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: I would object to that, Your Honour, because the
14 witness didn't confirm that those statements in the Official Note are
15 exactly the testimony or the conversation that he with the police
17 JUDGE ORIE: I think that is exactly the reason why Mr. Margetts
18 does not want to tender the whole of the document into evidence. Is that
19 -- Mr. Margetts, is that what was on your mind.
20 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, my intention is to isolate the part relating
21 to the role of the coordinators and then not to seek admission of the
22 rest of the document.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed. We'll see --
24 MR. KAY: Sorry, do we really need that -- sort a sentence out of
25 the document? I'm not creating problems, but it seems a bit --
1 JUDGE ORIE: What we see is that the document in some respects
2 confirms what the witness tells us today. To that extent, the document
3 has some corroborating value. Therefore, I'm -- it's not yet clear on my
4 mind whether this is a document -- apart from whether we would accept
5 everything that is said in this document, whether not tendering would not
6 give us some thought on whether we might call this as Bench evidence but
7 of course I have to discuss this first with my colleagues.
8 MR. KAY: Yes. I just raise it in terms of practicalities
9 because we have to deal with the information and know what we're
10 precisely dealing with.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course I do not know exactly what portion
12 Mr. Margetts intends to read to the witness, and we'll see what remains
13 from the document and whatnot. Little bit in the -- still in the dark.
14 Mr. Misetic.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour, from our position I think our
16 position is that we don't have an objection to the document coming in.
17 It's not -- as long as we all understand that it is it not a witness
18 statement per se it's an Official Note, and I think there have been other
19 documents that have come in with other witnesses, with similar police
21 The second point I wanted to make is while I agree with
22 Your Honour's observation about the corroborative value of what he had
23 said earlier, I'm not sure, and I sincerely say I'm not sure, what the
24 OTP's position is on whether this is corroborative of he said or
25 contradicts, and to that extent, then I just ask that it be put to the
1 witness whatever the sentence is being used for in order to -- that we
2 are clear in the future as to what the witness's position is with regard
3 to that sentence.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, a lot of words in relation to a matter
6 you tried to resolve in a simple way, isn't it?
7 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. As it turns out I have had the
8 opportunity in -- while the submissions being made to check the
9 transcript. In fact, the sentence found its way on to the transcript, in
10 any event, at page 19, lines 10 to 16. So that averts the need for me to
11 proceed, and I don't intend to seek admission of this Official Note.
12 MR. KAY: That accords with my idea, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's proceed on this basis for the time
15 MR. MARGETTS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Buhin, I'd like to ask you some questions about the military
17 police, in particular, the role of the civilian police and the role of
18 the military police.
19 You will have seen in your statement that you've reviewed earlier
20 today that you make reference to the role of the military police and the
21 role of the civilian police.
22 I'd like to refer you back to your statement and it's --
23 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Registrar, 65 ter 5491. If we could refer to
24 page 5 of the B/C/S, and it's also page 5 of the English.
25 Q. And, Mr. Buhin, that's from the top of page 5. If you could just
1 read down to effectively the middle of the page. In the English, it
2 starts at the third paragraph on the fifth page. And it's the sentence
3 that starts: "When check-points were set up ..."
4 Now, this is just a passage I'd like you to read, Mr. Buhin, and
5 indicate whether you fully adopt that particular passage or whether any
6 of those issues that you raised earlier in relation to interpretation
7 arise in regard to -- to this first half of page 5.
8 A. Could you please just help me with how this paragraph begins.
9 What are the words? What paragraph exactly do you have in mind?
10 Q. Yes, I have the paragraph at the top of the page that starts:
11 "When check-points were set up ..."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So that paragraph. And the next two -- or the next three
14 paragraphs. And you'll note that one of these paragraphs is one of the
15 paragraphs you developed and you provided some extra information in
16 relation to, earlier today.
17 A. Our wish was to be efficient and for -- for better work, we
18 wanted the check-points of the military police and the civilian police to
19 be at the same spot. However, in the early days, when we arrived there,
20 this was impossible, and the military police check-points were always
21 some 10 to 20 metres behind the civilian police check-points so that the
22 civilian police stopped, intercepted, and searched the civilians whereas
23 the military police stopped and searched military or people in uniforms.
24 Why this was so, I wouldn't know. The military police probably
25 had their own reasons for this. But when I subsequently thought about it
1 a bit, it was probably more efficient or easier to do it this way so that
2 everyone would do their part of the job.
3 Q. Mr. Buhin, if I could refer you past the second paragraph, which
4 we already dealt with today and then past the third paragraph on page 5
5 of the version in front of you, and you could read from the
6 paragraph that starts: "While I was working in the liberated area ..."
7 and you could read down to the section that says: "But they refused ..."
8 which is the next two paragraphs, although there is no line-break between
10 A. I think I've already explained this today. In the event that a
11 vehicle with civilian plates had uniformed men in them, and in the event
12 that they were stopped by the civilian police, they would always show
13 their cards, military cards, to show that they were members of a certain
14 unit of the HV. They also had documents to show about the goods that
15 they were transporting, and of course such vehicles we would let through.
16 There were questions by the investigator about this particular
17 paragraph. The questions were very hypothetical. What would have
18 happened if this was the case? I would like to reiterate, if the
19 civilian police were to find a perpetrator in the course of committing a
20 crime, we would detain such a person and hand them over to the military
21 police. These events here, described here, only concern transport and
22 crossing of check-points, and we would always let the military police
23 handle that because it was not within our competence and we did not want
24 to have conflicts with them. Because the situation was such that in the
25 event of a major conflict, there could have been some far-reaching
2 Q. And those far-reaching consequences, are they the matters you're
3 referring to at the end of this paragraph --
4 MR. MISETIC: Object on the leading, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
6 MR. MARGETTS: If I -- yes, Mr. President, I can rephrase the
7 question if it would be helpful.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
9 MR. MARGETTS:
10 Q. Mr. Buhin, you just referred to there being far-reaching
11 consequences. Could you just explain to the Court what the practical
12 situation was and what the consequences may have been and how you sought
13 to avoid conflicts that you referred to in your previous answer.
14 A. At this time, the situation was very tense and dangerous. Events
15 that today would appear to be very simple, in those days, for those same
16 events, people would draw their weapons. Therefore, we advised our men
17 not to clash with armed -- with --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, with uniformed men --
19 A. -- to let the military police handle that, because more often
20 than not, these were members of the HV who were demobilised and who were
21 from this area who came to loot and take away items, and they would
22 transport them away. And it was to be expected that they would shoot the
23 civilian police because that's what the relationship was.
24 I will just say something here by way of an example. They would
25 frequently use the following sentence, Where were you while we were
1 fighting? So in some ways they felt that they were above the Croatian
2 police. Considering themselves -- considering the police, the civilian
3 police, to be someone who came on the scene late when the job had already
4 been done. So we told our policemen not to take any action because we
5 could expect the worst to happen. We told them to let the military
6 police to handle this. Fortunately, no such conflict occurred,
7 materialized, but it was to be expected. It could be expected.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. Now this situation that you've just
9 described to the Court, did you report that situation to your superiors,
10 Mr. Franjo and Mr. Moric?
11 A. Yes. They knew about these problems. My colleague Ivo Baric was
12 supposed to and probably did talk to General Cermak about these problems
13 at meetings that were being held on a nearly daily basis.
14 Q. So in addition to General Cermak, did the reports also go to your
15 superiors in Zagreb
16 A. Mr. Franjo certainly knew about these problems.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin.
18 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Registrar, if I could please have Exhibit
19 number D48 displayed on the screen.
20 Q. Mr. Buhin, you'll see this is a document - if we can just show
21 the author at the bottom there, Mr. Registrar - that is from Josko Moric,
22 and it is addressed to the chief of the military police, Mr. Lausic.
23 If you could just take a moment, and if could you read that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If I could refer you to the third paragraph, you'll see that
2 there's a reference there to the problems that the civilian police face
3 and the final sentence says: "The fact that the perpetrators wear HV
4 uniforms completely blocks the work of the civilian police."
5 Is that consistent with your experience in August of 1995?
6 A. Yes. That is precisely what I was talking about a minute ago.
7 The problem was all the more difficult because soon after we had entered
8 the liberated territory of Knin, a train passed through carrying
9 President Tudjman and civilians were allowed into these recently
10 liberated areas. Civilians were now arriving on a massive scale to go
11 back to their homes, houses, and everyone wanted to take something from
12 there. There was a lot of pressure at all these check-points, and we
13 were being kept very busy. It was difficult with all of this going on to
14 keep under control the problems that were being caused by persons wearing
15 military uniforms, and this is precisely what Mr. Moric wanted to warn
16 Mr. Lausic about.
17 Q. You have referred to the operation of the train, and also you've
18 referred to the train carrying President Tudjman. And can you -- do you
19 recall, is that what's been come to be known as the freedom train. Is
20 that the reference that you're making there?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And do you recall what date that was that the freedom train came
23 to Knin, or when about in August 1995?
24 A. I don't remember the exact date. According to our assessments,
25 the assessments that we, the police, made at the time, it was quite soon.
1 It was between five and eight days after the territory had been
2 penetrated. If you ask me, it was too soon because we were simply unable
3 at this time to effectively cover the area, in security terms.
4 Q. And do you recall that -- that any -- any issues arising once the
5 train was operating, in relation to freedom of movement -- in the area?
6 MR. MISETIC: I'm going object. I'm not sure what freedom of
7 movement counsel refers to, if we could get more specificity.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
9 MR. MARGETTS:
10 Q. In your answer you referred to the fact that once the train
11 passed through carrying civilians, there was -- civilians entered into
12 the liberated territory.
13 MR. MARGETTS: I think probably the easiest way for me to proceed
14 may be if I show the witness some documentation that may be of
16 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if I may make a comment. I didn't
17 rise before but I guess I will note it on the record now. A document of
18 Mr. Moric was put to the witness and then he was asked, "Do you agree
19 with this," which I think is a similar situation to where I think we had
20 an agreement about putting statements of other witnesses to a witness
21 before having asked the witness his opinion of certain matters.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes.
23 MR. MISETIC: Now in respect to this particular topic, I think
24 counsel and I are aware there are two different dates that the witness is
25 talking about and if before we show him a document we can ask him
1 specifically which date he refers to, he talks about --
2 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, we've got to, obviously, be a
3 little bit careful in terms of the submissions that we intend to make on
4 this topic and maybe if the witness could --
5 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness could -- if we go into the substance
6 I think it would be wiser to ask the witness to take his earphones off.
7 Mr. Buhin, do you understand English?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you take your earphones off for a second?
10 MR. MISETIC: I think the essence of what is happening here is
11 that the witness has mentioned the freedom train which travelled sometime
12 in late August, around the 25th, 26th, if I'm not mistaken, but he's also
13 simultaneously said that this issue arose five to eight days from when
14 the police entered.
15 So my objection is if we put a document to the witness regarding
16 that date without first asking him to specify what does he mean, is he
17 confused as to when the freedom train went through or is he consistent in
18 his belief that the civilians came in three weeks after Operation Storm.
19 That's the essence of what is at dispute here.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then perhaps, Mr. Margetts, if you would
21 follow the suggestion also heard as part of your question, the train
22 carrying civilians, which I did not catch before. I don't know whether
23 it was a --
24 MR. MISETIC: I think our position is also it was carrying
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But, Mr. Margetts, you mentioned -- let me
2 just find it.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President, I was attempting to follow the
4 witness's answer as closely as I could.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I did not hear, as a matter of fact, but I
6 could have missed that, that the train was carrying any civilians.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you guide me to the page and the line where --
9 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, I'm just finding it now myself.
10 I think the answer starts at page 32, line 5. The train passed through
11 carrying President Tudjman and civilians were allowed --
12 JUDGE ORIE: And civilians were allowed into this recently -- I
13 never understood this to be a train passed through carrying
14 President Tudjman and civilians, because then the next part of the
15 sentence would be without a subject.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I understood a train passed through carrying
18 President Tudjman and civilians were allowed into this recently liberated
19 areas. I never understood the line to mean that the civilians were on
20 the train.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. Yes, thank you very much for
22 that assistance.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If could you please keep that in mind as well.
24 Although a document is not exactly the same as taking the witness to a --
25 to the testimony of another witness, it -- nevertheless, it's always to
1 be preferred to see whether the witness, even without the assistance of
2 documents and testimony of other witnesses, could tell us anything about
3 what he observed or knows.
4 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if I --
5 MR. MARGETTS: May I actually -- I did have a submission in
6 relation to that and the use of D48. I would like to put it on the
7 record that in terms of the use of that document, I think that the record
8 will show there was a substantial development of this witness's
9 knowledge, his reporting chain, his relationship with Mr. Moric, and the
10 extent, therefore, to which those events were connected prior to the
11 presentation of that document. So I'd say that that was an instance
12 where I would hope that -- that the -- an adequate basis was presented
13 for presentation of D48.
14 MR. MISETIC: I'll respond to that by saying I think that despite
15 that foundation, there's still the need to put matters to a witness
16 before you show him what somebody else wrote in a document that. So that
17 would be our position on that.
18 The other thing is a strictly technical matter, Your Honour. I
19 think in the future, it would be wiser if instead of asking the witness
20 to take off his earphones, we ask him to unplug the headphones from the
21 set because I think there's still some audio coming through in terms of
22 the translation. I hear the sound coming from the earphones. I just
23 want to make sure that in the future we arrive at a common procedure.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We would not invite witnesses to plug out
25 matters. We'd certainly need the assistance of the usher for that.
1 Mr. Margetts, again, a lot of words. Do you think you could
2 rephrase the question in such a way or put other questions first so that
3 we could proceed after that without further interruptions.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please put up your earphones again.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Buhin, we just had a technical discussion relating to some
9 procedures in terms of the questions that I'll be presenting to you.
10 Now a question relates to the issue of the travel of Mr. Tudjman
11 to Knin on the freedom train, and I just wanted to ask you again just to
12 be -- if you could again attend to the issue as to whether you could put
13 some type of date on the date that Franjo Tudjman came in. Did he arrive
14 in early August, middle August, later August, about -- about when? Are
15 you able to assist the Court?
16 A. I'm unable to specify the date. It was at the beginning of
17 August, three to five days after the entry -- three to eight, perhaps, at
18 the very most, after we entered Knin, and I can't be more specific than
20 Q. Now, are you able to assist the Court as to when the train was
21 again operating and was entering Knin after Operation Storm?
22 A. I can't give you the date. But from our security perspective, it
23 certainly was too early. But I can't say when exactly.
24 Q. Now, in terms of your security perspective, what types of freedom
25 of movement did persons have in the area of Knin? Were you aware that --
1 did people need to hold passes, did people need to register themselves
2 with authorities? What was the situation in terms of freedom of movement
3 for people in the area of the Kotar-Knin jurisdiction?
4 A. I can't remember any details, but based on my recollection, I
5 think that in the first days everyone needed proof of the fact that they
6 were natives of the area and I think they were given some passes. I'm
7 not sure who issued those, the army, or the civilian authorities.
8 Soon after, perhaps three to five days later, it was open to all
9 those who wished to enter the area, and no passes were required. That's
10 as specific as I can get on this.
11 Q. Now, at the check-points that you were administering, were your
12 policemen checking to see whether or not people had passes to enter the
13 area and allowing those that had the passes and not allowing those that
15 A. Yes. Probably the answer is yes, but I don't remember any
17 Q. Mr. Buhin, it's obviously been some time since you were dealing
18 with these issues. Would it assist you if I was able to present some
19 documents to you, relating to that?
20 A. I don't believe so. We can give it a try, if you like, but I
21 don't remember.
22 Q. Well --
23 A. Give it a try anyway.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin, I will do that.
25 MR. MARGETTS: If, Mr. Registrar, I could please present
1 Exhibit D494 to Mr. Buhin.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Buhin, you'll see that this is a document from
3 Ivo Cipci. Do you know who he was?
4 A. I see now that he was chief of the -- or, rather, head of the
5 administration, but I don't remember.
6 Q. And, Mr. Registrar, if we could please refer to the second page
7 of the B/C/S. And you'll see there -- have you seen this pass before,
8 Mr. Buhin?
9 A. I probably have, but I don't remember.
10 MR. MARGETTS: Now, Mr. Registrar, if we could please move to
11 another document that may be of some assistance. That's Exhibit D496.
12 Q. I've got another document here, Mr. Buhin, from Mr. Cipci. And
13 you will see it's a document dated 15th of August, 1995. And in fact it
14 refers in the first paragraph there, you'll see -- in fact, just if you
15 could read the document and I'll ask you some questions.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... is this the circumstance
18 that you were referring to --
19 MR. KAY: I think a foundation needs to be laid, Your Honour,
20 before the witness gives his opinion on a document such as this.
21 MR. MISETIC: And, Your Honour, I have also circulated an e-mail
22 specifically to address the freedom train issue before the next break, so
23 before we head down a path which I think is going to lead to much more
24 confusion. Either that, or to ask the witness again to unplug his
25 headset and I will explain it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, could you unplug the headset of the
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I think our position is that the
4 confusion here arises because the witness is aware that the president was
5 in Knin within three to five days of Operation Storm, he is just mistaken
6 about how he got to Knin, whether it was by the train, which was the
7 second trip at the end of the August, or by helicopter on the 6th. So
8 before we veer off on the path of trying to convince the witness that
9 civilians couldn't come in until the freedom train which was three weeks
10 later, I think our position would be that he was simply mistaken about
11 the means that the president arrived.
12 JUDGE ORIE: The parties agree on the first arrival not being by
13 train. The second arrival being by train.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. We certainly agree to those
15 two facts in terms of attempting to assist the Court. In terms of this
16 witness's evidence, I think we may have a different view. It seemed to
17 us -- well, it seemed to me that the answer related to the return of
18 civilians, and I think it is helpful in light of that, in light of this
19 witness's central position in terms of overseeing the operations in
20 Kotar-Knin that we be as precise as we can, in terms of understanding
21 what he is referring to, when he is referring to that return of
23 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand, Mr. Misetic, that you would not
24 object against Mr. Margetts leading on arrivals by train or by any other
25 means of transportation so in order to avoid confusion.
1 MR. MISETIC: As my friend -- I think we can probably stipulate
2 on when the train came, I think it is the 26th. What I don't want to
3 have happen is that the witness has already, I think twice now, said that
4 the problem with civilians arriving was three to eight days, I think he
5 said three to five, something like that, from their arrival on the scene,
6 so that we don't try to convince the witness that because he referred to
7 the train he must be mistaken as to when the civilians started to arrive.
8 Rather, I would just put it to him rather than moving to impeach him on
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, is this a suggestion that could you
11 live with?
12 MR. MARGETTS: The -- I think it is important in terms of
13 addressing this issue with the witness a number of years subsequent to
14 the events, 13 years later, that he have as many contemporaneous
15 materials as we possibly can present to him to assist him in terms of
16 placing himself back at that time, and if ever I would submit there was
17 an opportunity for that, it's the opportunity that arises with this
18 particular series of documents that assist him in terms of the issuing of
19 passes, in terms of the impact of those passes, and in terms of the
20 relevance of those passes to the increased number of civilians.
21 I fear that if we proceed and we attempt to elicit the evidence
22 freely from the witness without assisting him here that possibly that
23 evidence will not be of great value to the Chamber.
24 So I -- I don't see -- I see that he is the perfect person being
25 centrally placed in regard to these particular events to comment on these
1 materials, and that's the reason I proceeded in this way because I
2 understood that that would provide quality evidence to the Chamber. And
3 it was for the very reason that I thought the evidence we were receiving
4 was less than the greatest quality given the number of years that I've
5 sought to proceed with the documentation rather than merely asking open
6 questions to the witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, the problem is that of course it is
9 what you put to the witness, and so I wonder if my colleague would have
10 shown him a video of Tudjman in Knin on the 6th, and then to say did you
11 mean that he helicoptered in on the 6th, or go down a path where the
12 Prosecution is only going to show him documents to suggest to him that he
13 is wrong about the date of the train and when civilians came.
14 I believe that the documents are what they are. And that
15 actually the value of calling witnesses in testimony is to first check on
16 what they know on the basis of questions posed. And rather than doing
17 what the Prosecution is proposing to do, which by another name, is called
18 leading him, using documents to lead him to a certain conclusion.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just try to understand.
20 What you want to establish, Mr. Margetts, is when the civilians
21 started to return is that -- or when they were returning?
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes. When they were returning in sufficient
23 numbers to -- to be relevant through the answer that he provided and the
24 context that he gave to that return of civilians.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's see whether we can find out whether the
1 witness has any recollection. Because he arrived Knin immediately after
2 Operation Storm.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, he arrived immediately after --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see whether he can come any further.
5 Could the earphones be plugged in again.
6 Mr. Buhin. Mr. Buhin, you told us about civilians returning to
7 the area; do you remember that?
8 Now, could you describe when did the civilians start returning to
9 the area, and could you please tell us that in relation to the moment you
10 arrived in Knin? Was it after three days, seven days, ten days? When
11 did the civilians return, or start returning?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember, civilians
13 started returning after the arrival of the freedom train. That's what it
14 was called. Those were the first arrivals.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said they started returning after the
16 arrival of the freedom train, and I think that -- now, do you remember
17 approximately how many days after you arrived that the freedom train
18 arrived in Knin? Was that after three days, seven days, ten days, two
19 weeks, four weeks? Could you ...
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps seven to ten days later. I
21 can't be certain, but it must be in that ballpark.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When you say that it was a certain number of
23 days after you arrived, are you actually referring to the arrival of
24 Mr. Tudjman when you're talking about the freedom train?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As far as I remember, he was
1 among the people on that train.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first train to arrive.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Now, are you aware that Mr. Tudjman came to Knin
5 during that month of August twice?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The first time he was
7 helicoptered into the area. I think that was on day two, following our
8 arrival. He went up as far as the flag that was flown above Knin. He
9 was there for the hoisting of the flag, and he left soon after.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the return of the civilians, you said,
11 was -- started only after the freedom train arrived?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember, yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Not any earlier?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say with certainty.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President. Due to the short break
18 that we took ...
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have -- I have some thoughts. We had a
20 relatively long break but almost immediately after the -- after the start
21 of this hearing. I would suggest, with the -- unless I hear strong
22 protests from the booth -- that we have a break at 20 minutes to 5.00,
23 have then a little bit a longer break, until 20 minutes past 5.00 and
24 then continue until 7.00, so that we have relatively long sessions but
25 also relatively long breaks. It also allows the witness to read again
1 his statement during the second break.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: And if we forget about it, the tape will stop us
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Buhin, we were discussing until we talked about the various
8 -- about the various times of arrival of Mr. Tudjman. We were discussing
9 effectively the role of the military police and the role of the civilian
10 police. And you indicated in your statement the fact that there were
11 separate check-points, and you also various other aspects of the civilian
12 police's interaction with the military police.
13 Just to assist you further and to develop this topic a little
14 further, I would like to present to you some instructions that were
15 issued in February of 1993 by Mate Lausic.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Registrar, if we could please have D510
17 presented on the screen, and it's page 4 of the Croatian and the -- and
18 it's also page 4 of the English.
19 Q. Mr. Buhin, I'd like you to refer to -- yeah, if we could move --
20 if we could move on, Mr. Registrar, to page 4 of the B/C/S, which is the
21 section 5. So, yes, that bottom part there.
22 Mr. Buhin, you will see on the left-hand side of the screen
23 section 5, and that relates to means of coercion which is the topic we've
24 been talking about in terms of the civilian police's role with military
25 personnel. And if you could read that section, section 5, and when
1 you're ready if could you indicate to Mr. Registrar who can turn the page
3 A. I'm ready to turn the page.
4 Q. And the remainder, that's correct, just the remainder of
5 section 5, Mr. Buhin.
6 A. I'm done.
7 Q. Thank you. This section refers to when the civilian police are
8 authorised to take action against military police -- sorry, against
9 military personnel. And that is only if no possibility of securing
10 timely intervention by military authorities exists.
11 Now, in the first full sentence that you see on the top of
12 page 5, so four lines down, it says that for legal implementation of the
13 means of coercion against a military person it is essential to find out
14 whether it was possible for the military police to have intervened in a
15 timely manner.
16 My question to you is: In the circumstances that you've
17 described today, where you had separate check-points and you were
18 attempting to work with the military police with various success, were
19 there circumstances where it was possible for the military police to
20 intervene but they failed to do so?
21 A. I can't remember any such situations.
22 MR. MARGETTS: And Mr. President --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I have some doubt about this
25 document. We all can see that this document is dated by February 1993.
1 Could we first establish whether this document was still applicable in
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course you can seek to clarify that. Let
4 me -- we're talking more or less about the interpretation of the document
5 rather than about the document itself. The document being a Defence
6 exhibit; is that -- or let me just have a look.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: It's a Defence document, so therefore I think that
9 perhaps some consultation with your colleagues or -- and if there is any
10 issue that arises from it, of course you are free to raise it.
11 I'm looking at the clock, Mr. Margetts.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President, we could take a break now.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break, and we'll resume a little bit
14 later than usual, that is 20 minutes past 5.
15 Mr. Buhin, could you please go through the document again and try
16 to identify where you have developed a different opinion or assessment on
17 what you said at that time, so that we can hear from you after the break.
18 We resume at 20 minutes past 5.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 4.39 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 5.22 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Buhin, could you assist us in telling us what
22 the result is of having read, again, your statement?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read the statement briefly,
24 and there are two things that I would like to touch upon.
25 On page 5, toward the top of the page, the fourth paragraph, it
1 states while I was employed in the liberated territory, I saw vehicles,
2 HVO vehicles, which in my opinion, transported looted items. When
3 stopped they would show documents, proving that this was for the needs of
4 the HV army. I believe that many of these documents were forged.
5 I think that I would not say that anymore, because the items that
6 were transported in the Croatian army vehicles, I believe, they were for
7 the needs of the Croatian army.
8 It is possible that in a small number of cases, this was abused.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you say, I no longer belief that many of
10 these documents were forged but that sometimes such documents may have
11 been abused. Yes.
12 Was that the first issue you wanted to draw our attention to, or
13 is there more?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On page 6, the second
15 paragraph ends with the following sentence, And the cooperation with the
16 army was very poor.
17 I don't know whether that is what I said at the time, probably
18 not, because we had good cooperation with the military. We had daily
19 meetings with them, and we had good cooperation with them. There were
20 problems at first with the military police, but that is something that
21 we've already discussed at length today.
22 Later on, toward the end of my term, the check-points were joint
23 check-points, or combined military police and civilian police
24 check-points, and the cooperation had much improved. This statement as
25 stated here doesn't sound very nice that was probably not what I meant to
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, your correction is on the record. Anything
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the same page, the second
5 paragraph from the bottom, the government through the ministry assigned
6 us the task of protecting property and civilians, but it was impossible
7 to do our job while the army was still there. I don't know how this
8 sentence can stand as formulated. Maybe it was taken out of context
9 because I'm sure that the army could not have different orders. Rather,
10 I think it was, as we discussed it early today, that at the beginning, at
11 least, in those in those first couple of days, uniformed men wilfully
12 looted and torched other people's property.
13 It is a fact - that's what it says in the last sentence - that
14 military persons left that area earlier -- or had they left that area
15 earlier, it would have been much easier for us, because these uniformed
16 men would not then hide behind them and commit crimes. And I would like
17 to stress one more time that I'm certain that there was no order. To the
18 contrary, and that these were civilians who actually were -- who actually
19 were prone to crime.
20 Everything else could remain as standing.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that. Just in relation to your last
22 -- is that your opinion that it must have been civilians, or did you
23 verify that all those, as you said, were involved in looting and torching
24 were civilians?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I learned subsequently, in
1 conversations with my colleagues from the crime police, in cases where
2 the perpetrators were discovered, in most of those cases, these were
3 individuals who were dressed in uniforms but were not members of any
4 unit, or they were members of the Croatian army demobilised at that time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what you learned later from your
6 colleagues. Is that understood well? So it is not your permanent
7 investigation that revealed that, but you learned that from those who did
9 Now apart from --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from these corrections that you made and the
12 corrections you made earlier today, apart from them, does the statement
13 accurately reflect what you said at the time; that is, in September 2001
14 and March 2002?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And, again, apart from the corrections you just
17 made, did you give your statement in accordance with what was the truth,
18 to the best of your recollection?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And would you give the same answers if the same
21 questions would be put to you today?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe so.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then I think the attestation under Rule 92 ter is
25 Has a number already been assigned to the 92 ter statement?
1 MR. MARGETTS: No, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Not. May I take it that you tender it, and may I
3 invite Mr. Registrar to assign a number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P963.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections. Therefore, P963 is
6 admitted into evidence.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Buhin, in the course of the corrections that you have just
10 made to your statement and in the statement itself, you refer to the fact
11 that the military police refuse to set up joint check-points.
12 I'd like to present a document to you.
13 MR. MARGETTS: And Mr. Registrar, if I could please have D49 on
14 the screen.
15 Q. And Mr. Buhin, this is another order from Mr. Moric we saw
16 earlier a correspondence from Mr. Moric of the 17th of August, and this
17 is it an order from Mr. Moric from the 18th of August.
18 My first question is: Are you familiar with this document? Do
19 you recall -- and take your time to have a look at it, but that will be
20 my first question, whether or not you're familiar with this document.
21 And obviously once you have finished reading the first page, if could you
22 indicate and we'll turn the page over.
23 A. Could I please see the second page.
24 I've read it.
25 Q. Do you recall this order being issued in -- on the 18th of
1 August, 1995
2 A. I recall that there was an order to that effect.
3 Q. And if you look at paragraph 3 there, item 3, it's an item that
4 refers to the establishment or request for mixed check-points.
5 Does that item there reflect the issue that you raised in your
6 statement, the refusal of the military police to engage in those mixed
8 MR. MISETIC: I'm going object to the question because I don't
9 think that is the testimony of the witness. It assumes facts not in
10 evidence, and I think the witness clarified that point earlier.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Well, I -- I'm looking at page 5 of the --
12 JUDGE ORIE: The issue, could you perhaps -- whether it was a
13 refusal that's -- it -- at least it is -- it's leading, Mr. Margetts, if
14 you could phrase the question in such a way that the leading element is
15 taken out.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Okay.
18 Q. Mr. Buhin, you'll see that the issue of joint check-points is
19 addressed in item 3 of the order. And --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You stated in your statement that you asked to have joint
22 check-points - and this is on page 5 of your statement - with the
23 military police but they refused.
24 Now, as at the 18th of August, was that the situation?
25 A. I believe that this order is the result of what I mentioned. We
1 pointed out that there is a need for this, and following this, we had
2 joint check-points. The military police made an agreement with the
3 civilian police and the check-points were combined or unified.
4 Q. Now, as at the 18th of August, how would you assess the extent of
5 the crime that was taking place on the territory? When I refer to crime,
6 I refer to major incidents, such as burning of houses, major looting, and
7 those type of incidents.
8 As at the 18th of August, how would you assess the level of that
10 A. I don't know if I can do that. I can't even give you an
11 approximation after all these years, an approximate assessment. I think
12 that at this time, we had far fewer problems with persons in uniforms
13 that we were already beginning to have problems with citizens who were
14 coming to this area to loot, and --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. -- take away whether it was their own property or --
17 Q. We've dealt with them in terms of identification and those
18 issues. I'm just asking you that regardless of who perpetrated the
19 crime, just the extent of the crime that you were observing in your role
20 as a coordinator, you were present in the region, if you would -- could
21 you describe to the Trial Chamber, the extent of the crime that was
22 taking place, the looting and the burning and other incidents.
23 A. I don't know that I can explain and describe what the extent of
24 those incidents were.
25 There were incidents of looting and torching, but for every house
1 that was torched, for us, it was one house too many. I don't know if you
2 know what I mean.
3 Q. Yes. I'm just trying to ask you and I don't -- and you have
4 certainly answered me, but I would like to give you one other opportunity
5 maybe to attempt to quantify that for the Trial Chamber. Was it one
6 house, was it a hundred houses, was it a thousand houses, was it
7 extensive, was it obvious? What was the extent of the crime that you
8 were observing that was taking place, in terms of the looting and
10 A. Well, my answer to that question would be there were some
11 incidents or if I were to try to be more precise, in every hamlet maybe
12 there were one, two, or at most three houses that were torched. There
13 wasn't widespread torching, but even this was too many cases for us.
14 Q. If I could just refer you again to you D49.
15 MR. MARGETTS: And Mr. Registrar, if you refer back to the first
16 page in the Croatian, please.
17 Q. Because Mr. Moric states in the third paragraph that: "The
18 torching of houses and illegal taking away of people's property has
19 assumed such proportions that it is inflicting political damage on the
20 Republic of Croatia
21 What's your reaction to that assessment of the extent of the
23 A. If we go back to what I said before, that every hamlet had one or
24 two houses torched in this wide-liberated area, that was -- that would
25 have been a rather large number, and it is certain that this was causing
1 damage to the reputation of the Republic of Croatia
2 Q. And in terms of your --
3 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry there's a part of his answer
4 at the end I don't think that the interpreter was able to hear, so if we
5 could ask him to repeat the last portion.
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. Buhin, what we have
7 on the record is now is that after you explained that one or two houses
8 were torched in every hamlet in a wide area, that would be a rather large
9 number and that it is certain that this was causing damage to the
10 reputation of the Republic of Croatia
11 Then apparently you added something. Could you tell what you
12 said after you said: "... damage to the reputation of the Republic of
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the reputation of the Croatian
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
17 Mr. Margetts.
18 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. So we've looked at these reports of -- correspondence from Moric,
20 the 17 August letter and this 18 August letter, and you've indicated that
21 they reflect some of the concerns that -- that you had as well.
22 Now, in terms of your capacity to address the crime that was
23 taking place, how did the refusal of the military police to engage in
24 joint check-points impact on your capacity to address this crime?
25 A. I think that this did not create major problems. The only thing
1 is we could not observe and monitor everything that was being taken out
2 or transported out of this area.
3 Q. So in terms of items that were transported out by the military,
4 your -- what was your capacity to observe that?
5 A. There weren't any, or there wasn't any capacity. Whatever was
6 taken out was in enclosed vehicles.
7 Q. And in terms of the -- you've described the fact that
8 check-points were set up separately. To what extent were you able to
9 observe the conduct of those check-points by the military police?
10 A. We could not observe this.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. I'd like to move on to another topic. And
12 that's relating to --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, I have some difficulties in
15 You told us earlier, isn't it, that the military police would
16 have a check-point at a distance of 10 or 20 metres of the civilian
17 police. And you have described how documents were shown, and now you say
18 you were not certain. There may have been some abuse of those documents,
19 but you wouldn't say that that was often the case.
20 Now, isn't that a description of how the military police handled
21 these matters?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Information was probably reached or
23 we probably gained insight into this after the contacts between my
24 colleague Ivo Baric and his meeting with General Cermak and
25 representatives of the military police, these meetings were held.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- so this is where we learned
3 about this. But the civilian police did not check military vehicles.
4 And all that I can add now in view of how much time that has passed I
5 cannot really confirm any details, but I believe that in those cases
6 where military persons were found in vehicles without any plates or in
7 civilian vehicles that they were being intercepted and they had to show
8 their documents to show that they were driving or transporting these
9 items for the needs of the army, and I believe that some, a small number
10 probably, of these documents were false, but at that time it was
11 difficult to check.
12 JUDGE ORIE: So you could observe what happened at the
13 check-points of the military police because you're now describing it.
14 Mr. Margetts earlier asked you to what extent you were able to
15 observe the conduct of the check-points of the military police, and your
16 answer was, We could not observe this, whereas you now give quite a
17 description of what happened at these check-points, isn't it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But we could not actually follow as
19 to what the military police did. We could not monitor that. In case
20 where these were military personnel, they were within the competence of
21 the military police and then we had no follow-up as to what happened
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But, for example, you could see whether the
24 check-point would take over the goods that were transported, or whether
25 those who were transporting those goods were let through and could
1 continue their way.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably. But we didn't have
3 anything written down or anything registered.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But the question by Mr. Margetts was not what
5 you registered but whether you could observe what happened at the
6 check-points manned by the military police.
7 You changed your mind, to some extent, from that you said that
8 these were mainly forged documents, but now you say, Well, I'm not -- I
9 can't say that anymore at this moment. I've reconsidered that.
10 Now, what in first instance did make you believe that these might
11 be forged documents; and what makes you believe that in some instances
12 abuse of the documents could have been made?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably from the practice
14 itself, and based on what was being done then and what was being
15 transported then, it is certain that there were instances where some
16 individuals using military uniforms looted and drove away those goods for
17 their own needs. That was difficult to determine because it was not
18 within our competence to investigate what was forged documents and what
19 was not. But I am sure that some of them were forged. I don't have any
20 evidence of this.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you also said based on what was being done
22 and what was being transported then.
23 Now, could you tell us what was transported then?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever could be loaded onto a
25 truck or a car.
1 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For instance, household appliances,
3 window-frames, doors, anything that was movable.
4 JUDGE ORIE: A few ... I think I'm just trying to find it. One
5 of your previous answers said that this was all loaded on covered and not
6 open trucks.
7 How could you observe what was transported?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Personally I didn't see almost
9 anything because I spent most of my time in my office. But in
10 conversations with police officers, when I went to inspect the
11 check-points, I was told by the police officers about what was being
13 What -- as far as they could see, most of these items were
14 transported in covered vehicles, but there were also some open vehicles,
15 a small number, perhaps.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Buhin, I'd just like to move on to another topic and that is
19 you refer in your statement and you have mentioned it in -- in passing
20 some of your answers today the fact that Mr. Romanic and Mr. Baric had
21 daily meetings with General Cermak. And you indicated in your statement
22 that after these meetings Romanic and Baric would discuss the results of
23 meetings with you, and you also said that they would return, we would
24 discuss what had gone on at the meeting, and plan our day accordingly.
25 In terms of the conclusions that were reached at those meetings
1 that were communicated to you, did you implement those conclusions?
2 A. We did, certainly, to the best of our ability.
3 Q. And the -- the conclusions that were implemented, did they
4 include issues of freedom of movement in the area of the Kotar-Knin --
5 freedom of movement of civilians in the Kotar-Knin ...
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And do you recall implementing any decisions relating to that,
8 that emanated from these daily meetings?
9 A. I can't mention a single one off the bat. I don't know what
10 specifically you have in mind.
11 Q. Okay. I just thought I may refer you to an example.
12 MR. MARGETTS: And, Mr. President, I'd like to refer to a
13 document that is under seal. So if we could go into private session.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 9973-9977 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 MR. MARGETTS:
14 Q. Mr. Buhin, you'll see here that there's an order here from
15 General Cermak and it's date the 15th of August, 1995. And it refers to
16 the freedom of movement of civilians. And you will see down there that
17 it is addressed to the Knin police station and the Knin military police.
18 This document here, is this the type of document you would see
19 the -- Romanic and Baric return from the daily meetings with and have you
20 seen documents of this nature before?
21 MR. KAY: Shall we see if he has seen this document, Your Honour.
22 We're dealing with a specific document --
23 JUDGE ORIE: One question by one. So first, have you --
24 Mr. Buhin, have you seen this document?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember.
1 MR. MARGETTS:
2 Q. And you don't remember in terms of this specific document,
3 dealing with the movement of civilians? You don't remember seeing this
5 In terms of these documents generally, did Mr. Romanic and
6 Mr. Baric return with documents after their meetings with Mr. -- with
7 General Cermak?
8 A. I don't remember noticing anything like that. Normally we would
9 just talk about what had been discussed at any meetings that preceded the
10 situations. It has been a long time and I find myself unable to
11 recollect details of this nature.
12 Q. Yes. But seeing this document, is this consistent with the types
13 of issues and information that they would convey to you when they met
14 with you after these meetings?
15 A. Looking at this document, I don't know who the General ordered to
16 act in keeping with this document, or was this simply forwarded to the
17 civilian police and the military police in Knin just by way of
18 information. I believe that we used our own chain of command to
19 coordinate with the Minister of the Interior following something like
20 this and then Mr. Cedo Romanic's order would have followed. I don't
21 consider this to be a direct order to the police. After all, if you look
22 at the addressees, there's nothing there, really. We don't know who the
23 order is to.
24 Q. Thank you --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, again, the witness hasn't answered
1 your question, and I prefer that he does so.
2 The question was put to you, Mr. Buhin, whether the subject
3 matter of what appears in this document, whether that is the kind of
4 issues that they would convey to you as matters being discussed at the
5 meetings you have told us about.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This must have been a topic
7 that was raised at those meetings.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that's what you learned from those that
9 participated in those meetings, that these were the kind of topics that
10 were discussed during those meetings?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably so. I don't know of any
12 other sources.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. I'd like to move on to another topic, Mr. Buhin, and that is the
16 issue of crime investigation. And we've dealt with that earlier today to
17 some extent when we talked about the Official Note that you -- that
18 recorded or purported to record a meeting you had with the Republic of
20 your witness statement. And that is that the process was, and I'm
21 confirming what is in your witness statement, that as I understand it,
22 when an incident of crime came to your attention, you reported that to
23 the Zadar police administration, and we dealt with the specific incident
24 of -- the Grubori incident, and you indicated that you reported that to
25 Ivica Cetina, to the best of your recollection.
1 Did you also report these matters directly to the chief of the
2 criminal police, in Zadar, Mr. Ive Kardum?
3 A. Not directly.
4 Q. And so how would you -- you say not directly. Did you understand
5 he received these reports from you?
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour. I'm going to object at this point
7 because there is no foundation here and I'm having a hard time following.
8 If we could first establish what report --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's --
10 MR. MISETIC: What are the reports, when did he prepare them,
11 what are we talking about, and was this when did you forward them.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I do agree that the question is assuming a kind of
13 report which has not been identified yet.
14 At the same time, if someone says there was no -- it was not
15 reported directly, that suggests that this is an indirect reporting and I
16 took it that what Mr. Margetts was referring to.
17 Perhaps we just ask the witness --
18 You said it was not directly -- the question was: "Did you
19 already report these matters directly to the chief of the criminal police
20 in Zadar, Mr. Ive Kardum."
21 You said, "Not directly."
22 Now tell us, if it was not directly, what then happened that
23 makes you say that it was not reported directly.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believed it was sufficient to
25 inform the chief of the police administration, Mr. Ivo Cetina, and I'm
1 sure he knew about what was going on. He promised that he would set up a
2 team for an on-site inspection and make sure there was an investigating
3 judge there. He also promised to dispatch them to Knin. At this point,
4 there was no further need for me to check whether he had, in fact, done
5 that or had informed the chief of the crime police.
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: -- I put on the record that I assume from the
9 answer that we're talking specifically about the Grubori incident and not
10 how the system functioned generally.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That was another problem in the question that you
12 started with the Grubori incident and then you enlarged the subject of
13 your question. Mr. -- precision here also avoids a lot of -- yes.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, the balance I'm trying to strike
15 here is, instead of going straight to specific paragraphs of the
16 witness's statement, I'm trying to strike a balance between taking
17 information that we're all familiar with in his statement and developing
18 it without needing to take the compass and technique of specific
19 reference, so --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's good that you explain what you were doing,
21 Mr. Margetts. We observe what you were doing, and we also observe what
22 then happens. This is not to encourage the Defence to object against
23 every question, but it certainly also encourages you, Mr. Margetts, to
24 phrase your questions in such a way, and I would add to that, to
25 introduce them in such a way that Mr. Misetic or the others have not even
1 a chance to object.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Mr. Registrar, if I could please have the witness's statement
5 presented. It's now P963. And if we could refer to page 3 of the B/C/S
6 and to -- it's page 4 of the English, the first paragraph. Page 3 of the
7 B/C/S, if we go down to the bottom of that page, Mr. Registrar. It's the
8 last paragraph there.
9 Q. Mr. Buhin, you'll see in that -- the start, the first part of
10 that last paragraph, you refer generally to the procedure that you
11 engaged in. And that -- the general procedure of reporting to the Zadar
12 criminal police. You state that it was usually Romanic or Mihic who
13 reported it and sometimes you or Baric would go directly to Ivica Cetina.
14 Just referring to the system that was in place in August 1995, I
15 am interested to know, in August 1995, were there criminal policemen who
16 were in Knin, were they working, for example, at the elementary school or
17 otherwise; and if you do know of any criminal policemen that were in Knin
18 in August 1995, would you be able to give the Trial Chamber their names?
19 A. No. The crime police were not in Knin. There were none in Knin,
20 in fact. They were in Zadar. As far as work in the Knin area was
21 concerned, we would always have crime policemen from Zadar come over and
22 then they would take care of the job.
23 Q. And these crime policemen from Zadar, were some of them taking
24 care of tasks that were performed in the elementary school where people
25 had gathered?
1 A. I know nothing about that.
2 Q. Do you know -- is the name Slavko Raspovic familiar to you?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And I'd now like to move on to another topic, a related topic but
5 another topic, nonetheless, and that is the matter of the Grubori
6 investigation that we've already touched on today.
7 Now, you indicated earlier when we were addressing the Official
8 Note you had informed probably Ivica Cetina of the -- of the incident
9 that had taken place, and I'd just like to refer you to your statement.
10 MR. MARGETTS: And again, Mr. Registrar, we've got it up on the
11 screen. And if we could go to page 4 of the B/C/S, and that's page 4 of
12 the English.
13 Q. And about two-thirds of the way down, you refer to the issues of
14 the conversation with Sacic and the steps that had been taken. And you
15 said that it had been agreed to have an investigating judge come from
16 Zadar with the criminal police to investigate and try the killings.
17 Are you able to identify any of the people from the prosecutor`s
18 office or otherwise who had been -- who were going to come down and
19 investigate the killings? Do you recall who they were or what their
20 names were?
21 A. I never knew their names. I don't know who they were. I don't
22 know who the prosecutors were in Zadar at the time. The job itself was
23 left to the chief of the police administration, Ivo Cetina.
24 Q. So up to that point, had you been present when any investigations
25 had been conducted by the criminal police or the prosecutors in the area,
1 or hadn't you been present and, therefore, hadn't you had the opportunity
2 to meet these people?
3 A. Do you mean the Grubori incident or some other situations?
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm just referring generally
5 to your knowledge of the personnel who were operating either engaged by
6 the prosecutors's office or engaged by the Zadar criminal police. At
7 that stage, had you had the opportunity to meet any of those persons.
8 A. I am certain that I did not meet any prosecutors or investigating
9 judges. As to members of the crime police, if indeed I met some of them,
10 the one thing I can tell you is I don't know their names.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, I need to deal with two exhibits
13 that are under seal.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session and the exhibits not to
15 be shown to the public.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 9986-9995 redacted. Private session.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of
6 October, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.