1 Wednesday, 8 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 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. Hedaraly, is the Prosecution ready to call its next witness?
12 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, Your Honour. The Prosecution would like to
13 call Witness 52 in Zagreb
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let us see whether the videolink with Zagreb
15 functioning well.
16 Yes. I can see you in Zagreb
17 witness and the representative of the registry.
18 Could you inform the Chamber who else is in the room in Zagreb
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
20 Good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom. On behalf of the registry
21 from the field office in Zagreb
22 equipment is set. Over here in the courtroom -- in the field office with
23 us is technician, for now, until we start with the testimony and when we
24 start he will leave the room.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I ask you, Mrs. Urukalo, whether you can
1 hear me in a language you understand? If you look at your screen, you
2 will see who is talking to you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Shall I stand up?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Can you see me?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look at that man.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, I see a man.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I am the Judge, together with two other Judges
8 in this case. You can see me, I'm wearing the red robe, together with
9 the other Judges. Is that clear to you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is clear.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you will not hear my own voice because I do not
12 speak your language, so, therefore, what I say is translated to you so
13 you may hear the voice of someone else, but he or she translates to you
14 what I say. Is that clear to you?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not hear anybody else but this
16 lady now, you know.
17 JUDGE ORIE: This lady is translating in your language what I
18 say. Now, similarly, what you tell us is translated to us as well, so
19 even though we do not speak the same language, through the assistance of
20 the interpreters, we can understand what you're telling us, and you can
21 understand what we are saying. Is that clear to you?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, it is clear. What you
23 have just now told me is clear to me.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Now, can you see us on the screen. We see you on
25 our screens through the camera which is in that room. We can see you;
1 you can see us. Is that clear to you as well?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, so now you are -- although you are in
5 and you give your testimony in this courtroom, which is a public session.
6 Is that clear to you as well?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Clear.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Later, questions will be put to you, not by me, but
9 I'll tell who is putting the questions to you and then you're invited to
10 answer these questions. But before you do so, the Rules which are
11 applicable in this courtroom, require that you make a solemn declaration,
12 that you will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
13 Now, I do understand that you --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have said it once, and I can't
15 say it 100 times. I already said that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. Let me just -- we have to go through it
17 step by step.
18 Since you cannot read, I will -- I will give the words that we
19 expect you --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot read.
21 JUDGE ORIE: No. Therefore, I will tell you what this solemn
22 declaration, what words we expect you to speak.
23 Could you please repeat my words and I do it bit by bit. Could
24 you please repeat my words.
25 I solemnly declare ...
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch this word.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat -- could you repeat the words as I
3 speak them. I'll speak them slowly, and I invite you to repeat those
4 words. These words are: I solemnly declare ...
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Woe is me. I solemnly declare.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Next words are, that I will speak the truth.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That I will speak the truth and I
8 have told the truth. Woe is me, why should I have to go through all this
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, could you repeat also the following
11 words: The whole truth and nothing but the truth.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've said what I had to say.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And there you are.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And -- yes. What you will tell this afternoon when
16 you're responding to questions, you're also going to tell us the whole
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, on behalf of the Defence we accept
20 that as a legitimate declaration.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then -- now, if you would look to your screen, then
22 you will see Mr. Hedaraly. Mr. Hedaraly will ask you some questions.
23 Mr. Hedaraly is from the Prosecutor's office.
24 Carefully listen to him and try to answer as good as you can the
25 questions he puts to you.
1 You'll see him. He has not a red robe; he has a black robe.
3 Mr. Hedaraly, please proceed.
4 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 WITNESS: DRAGINJA URUKALO
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 [Witness testified via videolink]
8 Examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
9 Q. Good afternoon, Mrs. Urukalo.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. Just before we start, can you please state your full name for the
13 A. You have my first and last names.
14 Q. I know I do. I'm just asking to confirm that for the Court.
15 A. It's Draginja Urukalo. What else?
16 Q. Thank you. Can you please confirm that your date of birth is
17 15 December 1922
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. HEDARALY: If we can 65 ter 5495 on the screen, and that is
20 tab 1 for Mr. Registrar in Zagreb
21 Q. Now, Mrs. Urukalo, the -- the court officer in Zagreb is showing
22 you a document. Can you look at the bottom right of that document and
23 tell us if you are the one that has placed that X there?
24 A. I am.
25 Q. And did you -- and yesterday did you have a chance to review this
1 statement, and by that I mean, was it read back to you in your own
3 A. It was read to me.
4 Q. And when it was read to you, did it accurately reflect what you
5 told the members of the Office of the Prosecutor with whom you met in
7 A. It did.
8 Q. And that which was read back to you, was it the truth?
9 A. It was the truth. I said what I said, and I said what I had
11 Q. And if you were asked questions similar to the ones you were
12 asked then, the answers of which are in your statements, would you give
13 the same answers in court today?
14 A. Why wouldn't I? I said what I said, and that's the long and the
15 short of it.
16 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, at this time I would like 65 ter
17 5495 to be admitted into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
19 Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number P964.
21 JUDGE ORIE: P964 is admitted into evidence.
22 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
23 Q. Mrs. Urukalo, I have a few questions for you and this is mainly
24 to clarify some of the points that are already in your statement that you
25 reviewed yesterday.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. My first question, in your statement at paragraph 3, there's a
3 reference to people leaving the village on a Friday evening. And my
4 question for you is the following.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did anyone tell you why they were leaving?
7 A. Nobody told me anything. I didn't know, but I could only see
8 that the people were fleeing in vehicles, in tractors, leaving their
9 houses. Everything went down the drain, the grain, the things that --
10 livestock and nobody knew who was doing it, or why.
11 Q. And in the next paragraph, you discuss Croatian soldiers entering
12 your village. Now, was that on the same day, on the Friday, or was that
13 on the next day, on the Saturday?
14 A. It was not immediately on Friday. It was afterwards, when all
15 these troops flocked in.
16 Q. Do you know if that was the following day or was it several days
17 after the first day when people left?
18 A. It was later that these people came, in a day or two. When these
19 people left on Friday, immediately on Saturday, these other people
20 flooded the place, the troops.
21 Q. And when they came in, in your statement you said they were
22 shooting all around. Did they say anything to you or did you say
23 anything to them?
24 A. They were shooting. What could they say to us? They were going
25 through the village and shooting, and people were just looking where to
1 hide, and where could one hide? They were just shooting. And they
2 barged in the houses as well. Though I have to take this off, I can't
3 stand these. Can I be without these?
4 JUDGE ORIE: No.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is somehow uncomfortable.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Maybe we can adjust the volume. I don't know if
7 that's the issue.
8 Q. In your statement, in paragraph 4, you refer to some of the
9 soldiers calling you a Chetnik mother. And I understand that you want to
10 make a correction to that today?
11 A. No. They did not say Chetnik mother to me. What they said to me
12 was Chetnik whore and that's what I said and that's what they said to me.
13 No, you are just twisting things around. It was not Chetnik mother that
14 they called me.
15 Q. Thank you. I want to move to what the soldiers actually did, and
16 I know this could be difficult, so if any time you need a break or a
17 moment just feel free to ask the Judges, because I want to make sure we
18 get the sequence of events correctly.
19 Now, in your statement, you refer to some soldiers that made you
20 strip. And my question is were these the same soldiers than the ones who
21 called you a Chetnik whore?
22 A. How should I know? I wasn't in my right mind. Some people were
23 coming, others were going. How could I know? Who would know?
24 Q. How many Croatian soldiers entered the village on that day?
25 A. Who have counted them, for heaven's sake. Who could have counted
1 them. Some were coming in, others were leaving. How should I know how
2 many of them they were.
3 Q. Was it a large group, was it more than ten, was it just one or
5 A. Woe is me. Who could have counted them? I have no idea how many
6 of them there were. I was so concerned for my own safety, and it wasn't
7 easy, you know.
8 Q. Let me go to that neighbour of yours, Dusan Urukalo. Do you know
9 how old he was at that time? Was he older than you or younger than you?
10 A. He was older than me. The poor guy has died and his wife has
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Can we have 65 ter 5497 on the screen.
14 And Mr. Registrar in Zagreb
15 that are at tab 4.
16 Q. Now, Mrs. Urukalo, can you see these photographs that are in
17 front of you?
18 A. I can.
19 Q. Does that accurately represent your -- the backyard behind your
21 A. Yes. Outside the house, looking from the street, in front of the
22 door, this basketball post, and they had me strip and they had me play.
23 Only my knickers, my underwear remained on me and he, the wretched chap,
24 had to strip naked.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, can I have 65 ter 5496 into
2 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
3 Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number P965.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P965 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. HEDARALY:
7 Q. Now, Mrs. Urukalo, I now want to move to just a little bit later
8 when your grandson arrived at your village. When he arrived, were the
9 other soldiers still there?
10 A. They left through the village in the direction of our
11 cooperative, to Dzelanil [phoen], Marici, I'm not sure. But I didn't
12 even recognise him. In fact, there are three of them. They don't talk
13 with me and he didn't harm anybody. Woe is me.
14 Q. When your grandson arrived, was he by himself or with other
16 A. He was by himself. He -- he came in this military vehicle, what
17 should we call it? It's a Campagnola, I think. But he had done nobody,
18 anyone any harm. And in my neighbourhood, all the elderly people who
19 used to live there with me, they have all died since.
20 Q. And how long after the other soldiers left did your grandson
22 A. I don't know how much time passed. Not much. They could not
23 have reached the middle of the village by the time he arrived.
24 Q. And when your grandson arrived, were you still stripped at that
1 A. I was unable to get dressed, and when I saw him coming with a
2 rifle, I was scared even more and I didn't know how to get dressed. I
3 was unable to do that. He had glasses on and I could not recognise him.
4 And he told me, Just keep silent, Grandmother, and have patience. And I
5 told him not to go and see who it was because there were more -- many
6 more of them.
7 Q. Did you tell him what happened?
8 A. I was so scared that I don't know really what I told him.
9 Q. Do you remember if he asked you what had happened when he saw you
11 A. Of course he asked me. He saw me crying outside the house.
12 Q. And did you talk to your grandson recently?
13 A. No, no. I haven't spoken to him for a long time. He would
14 perhaps come to visit me were it not for his mother and father who forbid
15 him to.
16 Q. Do you know --
17 A. They do not visit me either.
18 Q. Do you know why his mother and father forbade him to visit you?
19 A. Because they took everything I had. My livestock, two cows, two
20 calves, 27 head of sheep, and I don't think they have the face to show up
21 at my home.
22 Q. Do you know whether your grandson is aware that you had mentioned
23 his name your statement?
24 A. Of course he knows. That's why they're not coming to visit me.
25 Of course I had to mention him if I was giving a statement, and there was
1 nothing new in that.
2 Q. When you say "that's why they're not coming to visit me," is that
3 something that they told you for a fact?
4 A. Perhaps that's the reason why they're not coming to visit me.
5 How should I know? The only thing I know is they're not coming, ever.
6 Q. Did they ever give you a reason as to why they were not coming to
7 visit you?
8 A. Of course not. How would I know the reason why they're not
9 coming, if they're not coming? Who would I talk to about that?
10 Q. In your statement you mention that your grandson wrote something
11 on the wall of your house when he came. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes. There's still that writing on -- which said, Do not touch
13 the grandma.
14 Q. Let me show you 65 ter 5496.
15 MR. HEDARALY: And that is at tab 3 in Zagreb.
16 Q. Can you please confirm that that is the -- that is the wall of
17 your house that you see in front of you on that picture?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And --
20 A. Yes, I can see it. Of course.
21 Q. I don't know how well we can see on the screen but I will -- I
22 can represent and if the Defence will agree that it -- what it says is --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any way to agree on this because it's not
24 well visible, but I think with some efforts --
25 MR. HEDARALY: I mean I can -- we can -- I can have --
1 MR. MISETIC: I don't have anything on my picture here.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, on the screen you can see that there are
3 letters. I mean, the witness told us what, apparently, it says.
4 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, the issue is that, because she is
5 illiterate, obviously she doesn't know exactly.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. HEDARALY: I can have a declaration from the person who took
8 the picture saying what it says. I can read it out for the record now
9 and submit that later on if that's the Defence want to -- I can try to
10 agree with them --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's it precisely. I'm
12 illiterate and I don't know.
13 MR. HEDARALY: What --
14 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that, without the help of the witness,
15 that the parties should come to agreement on what it -- what it says. At
16 least I can decipher quite -- it starts with an N, then an E, then
17 something difficult, and then I, R, A, U --
18 MR. HEDARALY: I believe it says, Do not touch, HV 142, and then
19 occupied, zauzeto, on the last line.
20 MR. MISETIC: It would -- I would like just a minute to -- to
21 deal with --
22 MR. HEDARALY: Of course.
23 MR. MISETIC: -- everything but the last word I'm not able to make
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not bother the witness at this moment with it,
1 because she couldn't help us out anyway.
2 Mr. Hedaraly.
3 MR. HEDARALY: I would just like to tender 65 ter 5496, and I
4 have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
6 Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P966, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: P966 is admitted into evidence.
9 MR. HEDARALY:
10 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Urukalo. I have no more questions for
11 you. But other people may have some questions for you. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Urukalo, can you see me again, with the red
13 robe, on the screen?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now further questions will you put to you by Defence
16 counsel. They are not the same persons as you just saw. It's not again
17 Mr. Hedaraly, although they are dressed in the same way.
18 Could I inquire with Defence, Mr. Misetic.
19 The first one of the Defence counsel who will put questions to
20 you is Mr. Misetic. If you look at your screen you will see him, and
21 he'll put questions to you.
22 Mr. Misetic.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mrs. Urukalo.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 MR. MISETIC: If we could have on the screen, please, 1D00-0410.
3 Q. Mrs. Urukalo, do you remember going to a notary public on the
4 15th of November, 1995, in which you authorised your son-in-law
5 Dane Siklic and daughter Slavka Siklic to manage and dispose of some of
6 your property?
7 A. They dragged me to Sibenik to sign everything over. Whatever I
8 had in my house. Poor me, they wanted to enjoy themselves at my expense.
9 Q. Some of the --
10 A. They did what nobody else did.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... concrete mixer and your
13 A. Yes. Yes. A harrow drill which is attached to a tractor and a
14 large mixer.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... some of your livestock --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, the first portion of your question are
17 missing when the previous translation continues. So would you take a
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I missed also the last two questions.
21 MR. MISETIC: Okay. Just for the record, the question at line 22
22 was: Did they also take your concrete mixer and your plough? The
23 question at page 15, line 1, is: Did they also take some of your
25 Q. So, Mrs. Urukalo, let me start again with the question about the
1 livestock. Did they take some of your livestock as well?
2 A. They took whatever I had. That's why they don't have the face to
3 show up and come and see me. They told me that I would have
4 100 Deutschemarks, but I never saw any money from them, hell take them.
5 Q. Some of this livestock, did it include sheep, lambs, cows,
6 calves, and pigs?
7 A. Two cows, two calves, two pigs that were as large as two wolves.
8 What I regret the most is that they took four pigs from my kum. He
9 should have gone to some other villages, not the villages -- not the
10 village where he got married into.
11 Q. I don't know if the Court would like me to translate "kum,"
12 but ...
13 JUDGE ORIE: I think that's a special relationship between --
14 MR. MISETIC: Godfather or --
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- persons. Godfather, yes.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Mrs. Urukalo, when they took you to Sibenik, do you recall
18 putting your fingerprint on a document there at the office of the notary
19 public on the 15th of November, 1995?
20 A. Poor me, I did whatever they told me to do.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the last sentence.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You said that you did what they told to you do and
23 then you added something. Could you please repeat what you then added.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. I repeated whatever
25 they said to that notary public. And even if my children were to return,
1 where would they go back to, when everything's been taken away from me?
2 When you don't have a table and chairs in your own home, then you don't
3 have anybody to keep you company, and he was received as a minister would
4 be when he came to my house.
5 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, at this point I would ask that
6 exhibit 1D00-0410 be given a number and I tender --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've gone through a lot of trouble.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D838.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D838 is admitted into evidence.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could 1D00-0414, please.
13 If we could go to page 2 in the English. First -- page 1 is
14 fine, just so the Court can see it. This is a Defence witness statement
15 taken of Mrs. Urukalo's grandson, Joska Siklic. If we could turn to the
16 next page, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Is it your intention to tender this document?
18 MR. MISETIC: No, but I believe it is fair to put it to the
19 witness, and if we have to call Mr. Siklic, then at least his testimony
20 has been put to the witness.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Mrs. Urukalo, your grandson Joska gave a statement as well about
24 what happened on the 6th of August --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- and he says that he came on the 6th of August and that he and
2 other members from the 6th Home Guard Regiment came to your hamlet and
3 that you, the villagers, this is at paragraph 7, offered them what they
4 had, mostly smoked ham, wine, and schnapps.
5 Do you recall any of this, on the 6th of August?
6 A. When he came, every day, until he was driven over.
7 Q. When you say "he was driven over," do you mean that somebody
8 drove him to your house everyday?
9 A. He would come on his own. He had a car. He still has a car.
10 Q. Now at paragraphs 8 and 9 of his statement, he says: "During the
11 time of my stay there, I didn't observe any mistreatment nor did anyone
12 mention any mistreatment.
13 "My grandmother never mentioned, particularly at that time, that
14 she had been mistreated by any HV soldier. My grandmother never told me
15 that she had been" --
16 A. Yes, now he can lie. I wouldn't have said that. They might
17 have. Nobody would have said what they said had things not happened that
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the last sentence.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Poor me, to have had to come to see
21 this day.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. He says: "My grandmother never told me that she had been forced
24 by anyone to strip off her clothes and remain in her underwear or to play
25 basketball with anyone."
1 A. I hope he was sane when he said that. What else could I tell
3 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to the next page, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] God forbid that that should happen
5 to anyone. And it's up to them to say whatever they want, but they
6 should leave me be, whatever might happen.
7 MR. MISETIC:
8 Q. At paragraph 15 --
9 A. Got themselves into it and now they're trying to get out.
10 Q. At paragraph 15, he says: "My family took care of my grandmother
11 throughout the time, and she authorised us to dispose of her property
12 which she later certified at a notary public's office on 15 November
14 Did your family take care of you from the time of Operation Storm
15 until the 15th of November, 1995?
16 A. When they forced me to.
17 Q. What did they force to you do?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were -- I -- they took out
20 everything I had in my house and didn't bring anything when they would
21 come to visit. By that token and by their standards, I could have ended
22 up dead. And I can only wish that the same might happen to them, then
23 they would see how I feel.
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Okay. My last question is: Your grandson also said: "I didn't
1 write anything on my grandmother's house, and I wouldn't know why I
2 should have."
3 Do you know who actually wrote something on the side of your
5 A. Nobody else but him. There's no need to conceal or pretend in
6 any way. Now, there you see how they're lying.
7 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They might even show up and set
9 fire to it. I guess that's how it is going to end up, according to what
10 he did to me so far.
11 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, in light of the Court's previous
12 rulings on Defence witness statements, we will not tender this exhibit,
13 and I have no further questions for the witness.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you --
15 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Misetic.
17 Could I inquire with the other Defence teams.
18 Mr. Kay.
19 MR. KAY: No questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
23 MR. HEDARALY: No need to re-examine.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Mrs. Urukalo ...
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Urukalo, the Judges may have one or two
3 questions for you as well.
4 The first is Judge Gwaunza, who has one or more questions to you.
5 Judge Gwaunza is a woman, and you'll see her on the screen.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you. You said that you were dragged to the
8 office of the notary public to sign over your property. My question is,
9 could you not have refused to go and sign over your property?
10 A. Well, poor me, I didn't want to go, but they took me over there.
11 They could have taken me wherever they wanted to. They could do with me
12 whatever they wanted. Shame on him.
13 JUDGE GWAUNZA: So could you tell us when exactly they took away
14 the property from your house?
15 A. Whenever he came, he would take away something. I couldn't keep
16 track of that, poor me.
17 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Urukalo, I have one question for you as well.
19 We saw the picture of your house with barely visible words
20 written on it, and it seemed to me that it had been covered by some kind
21 of white paint. Have you seen that?
22 A. It was covered in whitewash. We whitewashed it, so that one
23 wouldn't be able to see it anymore. Because nobody believed what the
24 writing said any way, and whenever the soldiers came, it wasn't really
25 worth anybody's while. Poor me, what have I come to live to see?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Have you done that yourself, whitewashing these
2 words, and ...
3 A. I didn't do that. I don't know who did. Perhaps little Vuk did
4 that, to cover it over, since Storm was over and done with. They could
5 have killed my son. They did so many things to me that they could have
6 done that as well. And my son, who did no harm to anyone, he was a
7 driver and worked at a department store, as did my daughter. He even
8 caught a pick-pocket in the department store. It was reported in the
9 newspaper. He caught him at night.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do your other children still see you and come to
11 visit you?
12 A. They don't visit me and how could I go over to see them? I -- I
13 don't dare go around, and now I'm completely disgraced. I have nothing.
14 I -- I was helping everybody, And my husband has been dead and buried for
15 23 years. I'm all alone.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Urukalo, I have no further questions for you,
17 and since the -- Mr. Hedaraly also has no further questions for you, this
18 concludes your testimony.
19 Mrs. Urukalo, I do understand that it may not have been easy for
20 you, at your age, to come and testify. I would like to thank you very
21 much for having come and for having answered --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You have to believe me when I tell
23 you that I am sad. I am so aggrieved to have to spend my old age in such
24 a way and there was no call for that. This did not need to happen. I
25 should not have been mistreated as wretchedly as I was.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mrs. Urukalo, I again would like to thank you for
2 coming and thank you for answering the questions that were put to you --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE ORIE: This concludes your testimony. Then we'll
5 disconnect --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- the videolink at this moment.
8 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
10 MR. HEDARALY: I believe the witness that follows is here. He is
11 present; Mr. Margetts is here as well. We can either proceed now or take
12 a short break.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we have had one hour of audience until now.
14 Perhaps it would be better to have a bit of an earlier break so that we
15 have a, more or less, natural re-start after the break.
16 We will have a break and we resume at 25 minutes to 4.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.12 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 3.45 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be brought into the courtroom.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Buhin.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to remind you that you're still bound
24 by the solemn declaration you have given at the beginning of your
1 Mr. Mikulicic, I look at the clock, and have in mind what we said
2 yesterday to you.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: I will have, Your Honour.
5 WITNESS: STJEPAN BUHIN [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic: [Continued]
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Buhin.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. I'm not sure whether I should say, accent-wise, Buhin or Buhin.
11 I wouldn't like to mispronounce your name.
12 A. Buhin is correct. But as I grew up in Vukovar, I'm used to
13 Buhin. It doesn't make any difference.
14 Q. Yesterday we finished with the issue of Grubori, and I should
15 like to ask you another couple of questions in connection with Grubori.
16 Tell us, did you know that after the report on the incident in
17 Grubori, Romanic, the chief of the police administration, and Mr. Mihic,
18 the chief of the Knin police station, attended the scene, or, rather went
19 out into the terrain in order to find the location. Did you know that?
20 A. I didn't know that they went out in the field. I only know that
21 a patrol had been sent, which did not find the hamlet.
22 Q. You told us that you went to the UN base in order to conduct some
23 talks there. Can you remember when was that exactly, on what day, in
24 respect of the report on the Grubori, and we know we saw in the log
25 yesterday that it was in the afternoon on the 25th.
1 When was it that you went to the UN base?
2 A. On the 26th, the second day, in the morning, sometime around
3 9.00, my colleague Baric and I went to that base and got in touch with UN
4 police officers.
5 Q. What was actually the reason that prompted you to go there, you
6 and your colleague Baric?
7 A. We got a report from them, that there were corpses in Grubori,
8 and we assumed that they had been to the scene and that they could take
9 us again to the place -- the scene of the event the easiest, to show us
10 where it was.
11 Q. And what was the result of this conversation? Did they confirm
12 that they had indeed been to the scene of the event? What did you talk
14 A. Yes. They confirmed that they had been to the scene of the event
15 and told us that they would gladly take us there, and so we agreed to
16 meet sometime around 1300 hours, leaving, in other words, about three
17 hours to organise the arrival of the investigating judge from Zadar and
18 the on-site inspection team, so that we could all set out from Knin to
19 Grubori together.
20 Q. However, that never actually happened.
21 A. Yes, as I said, in the mean time, sometime around 1200 hours, I
22 talked to Mr. Sacic, and Mr. Moric made that telephone call, and the idea
23 was abandoned. Although, in the meantime, we had agreed with Mr. Cetina
24 that everything would indeed be carried out.
25 Q. Thank you for these answers.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Defence counsel please speak into the
2 microphone, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Mikulicic.
4 You're again invited to speak into the microphone.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: I will try to, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I ask you one thing in relation to your
7 last answer, Mr. Buhin.
8 What idea was abandoned?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This agreement, to the effect that
10 the investigating judge and an on-site investigation team would arrive in
12 JUDGE ORIE: So the idea was abandoned that an investigation team
13 would arrive and be sent to the place . And at the same time, you said:
14 "Although, in the meantime, we had agreed with Mr. Cetina that everything
15 would indeed be carried out."
16 On the one hand, you say the idea was abandoned, but we agreed
17 that everything would be carried out.
18 How do I have to understand that answer?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, we -- I had agreed with
20 Mr. Cetina that the investigating judge and his team would come around
21 1200 hours. That they would come around 1200 hours when Mr. Moric called
22 and told us that I and Mr. Baric -- actually he told me that they were
23 not meddle in the work of the police. I stopped all actions of the
24 police and I never got in touch again with either the UN police or with
25 anybody else in connection with that particular procedure.
1 That is what I meant when I said that we abandoned the agreed
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So on from that moment, you say the idea was
4 abandoned to send an investigation team. Is that ...
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. From that moment, from the
6 moment when Mr. Moric called me on the telephone, I no longer worked on
7 anything in connection with the event in the village of Grubori
8 longer liaised with the UN police.
9 What happened afterwards, I did not follow.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So whether the idea of sending an
11 investigation team was abandoned or not is, you say, I stepped out, I had
12 got nothing to do with it anymore, so whether that idea was abandoned or
13 not, is that within your knowledge or ...
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Actually, I didn't know --
15 what I meant -- I said we abandoned the idea about a meeting with the UN
16 police and the going of the regular police, of the uniformed police to
17 the scene of the event. All the other agreements remained at the level
18 of any deals between Mr. Cetina and the police.
19 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... please proceed,
20 Mr. Mikulicic.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] When you said that the idea was abandoned, you
23 meant the idea for you to be engaged in that particular work, and after
24 talking with Mr. Moric, that idea was abandoned in view of his
25 instructions that you should steer clear of the crime police with the
1 regular police. Is that so?
2 A. Exactly so.
3 Q. Thank you for the explanation.
4 One question in that regard. Did you know that that day when the
5 incident in Grubori took place, a meeting had been called between the UN
6 with the locals in the school in Plavno, because of certain security
7 problems in the Plavno valley. Were you informed of that?
8 A. I cannot remember, but I probably wasn't because I would have
9 remembered that.
10 Q. Very well. Mr. Buhin, in your statement, you said that - and
11 that is page 5, the penultimate section in the Croatian version, P963,
12 i.e., page 6, the second paragraph in the English version.
13 You said that you learned later that the killings in Grubori had
14 not been properly processed as a criminal case.
15 Can you elaborate a bit on this. When was this "later" that you
16 learned about it?
17 A. I only learned about it when I returned to work in the Ministry
18 of the Interior, in Zagreb
19 police who were there.
20 Q. But were you aware or are you aware today that, in fact, the
21 investigation into the Grubori case is still an open case in the Sibenik
22 prosecution's office?
23 A. I do not follow those issues, and I have no knowledge whatsoever
24 about them.
25 Q. Further, in your statement, Mr. Buhin, you refer to killings in
1 the village of Gosic
2 with Mr. Romanic and other people, at the scene of the event.
3 This incident, together with the incident in Varivode, was the
4 subject of a joint investigation of the military police, the crime
5 police, and the crime police of the Ministry of the Interior. Are you
6 aware of that?
7 A. I recall that incident, but as regards the details of the
8 investigation, I don't know. I know there was an on-site investigation
9 but I do not recall all the particulars, in terms of who participated, et
11 Q. We have already seen exhibits in that regard. I should like to
12 refer you to P802, which -- from which it stems that the -- there was an
13 Operative Action Varivode organised which specifies the relevant tasks of
14 the military police and of the uniformed police.
15 In this connection I should like to ask you this. You said that
16 nobody called you to testify in connection with the Gosic killings. You
17 were not an eye-witness to those events, were you not?
18 A. No. Together with the uniformed police, I looked for the scene
19 of the event and we came to the scene of the event. We secured it in
20 keeping with the rules of service, rules of procedure of the regular
21 police, and everything else was done by workers of the crime police.
22 Q. In other words, you did not participate in the crime processing
23 of the scene?
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. Will you agreed with me, Mr. Buhin, that it is not at all
1 customary for a police force member to be called to testify in a court
2 case, if (a), he is not an eye-witness to the -- to the actual event or
3 has some knowledge which is of relevance to the procedure. Do you agree?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. So the fact that were not called to testify in an event with the
6 Varivode and Gosici killings is not something out of the ordinary, it's
7 not something strange; right?
8 A. It did not surprise me at all. I didn't see the need for that.
9 Q. Thank you. I should like to refer now to your statement in which
10 you stated that the Croatian government entrusted the police, through the
11 Ministry of the Interior, to protect people and property. Do you
12 remember having stated that? That is --
13 A. Yes, this is basic police work.
14 Q. For reference, this is page 7 in the English text. It is the
15 third paragraph.
16 You told us in your testimony that the police had problems
17 because of the shortage of people, the booby-traps in the field, in the
18 terrain, because of its unfamiliarity with the terrain, because the
19 police officers were not sufficiently experienced and trained. So that
20 the police obviously had to set some priorities for itself in that
21 terrain, am I wrong or is this consistent with your view?
22 A. Yes, definitely. In view of the numbers and technical and other
23 capacities, that is exactly what we had to do.
24 Q. Very briefly, what were these priorities in?
25 A. The priorities were to secure vital facilities which were in the
1 area, to secure facilities in which police officers were accommodated,
2 the facilities of the police station and police administration
3 themselves, to establish check-points in order to put under supervision
4 the main roads, firstly. And as regards the rest of the policemen, of
5 which there were only a few indeed, they were used for patrolling and
6 they would patrol -- they would patrol according to specifically-assigned
7 tasks and not generally, so to speak.
8 Q. When you speak about vital facilities, does that also include
9 ecclesiastical buildings, cultural historical buildings, industrial
10 facilities and such buildings?
11 A. Yes, precisely because it was precisely in Kistanje that we found
12 an undamaged monastery, and we posted on permanent guard ten policemen
13 there to see to the security of that facility. Also, there was a school
14 in Kistanje which I believe was also undamaged. There we posted guards,
15 policemen. In Kistanje, we also guarded a factory, I don't remember
16 which one, and a series of other important buildings.
17 Q. To your recollection, in doing this, did you come across depots
18 of military equipment that had been left behind after the troops of the
19 so-called army of the Serbian Krajina had left?
20 A. No, we did not come across any depot. We just came across a
21 proving ground that was used by Martic's militia. It was partly
22 devastated. There was traces of damage and of looting there, but when we
23 came there we posted policemen there who sought to protect that facility
24 as well.
25 Q. Do you remember that in the monastery which was the subject of
1 your protection a certain amount of ammunition and explosions were found?
2 A. I cannot recall that.
3 Q. In the introduction we mentioned what the basic duty was of
4 coordinators and it was basically to implement this policy, if you agree
5 with me, the policy of the Republic of Croatia
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Let us now just for a moment,
8 please, move into private session because we are going to show a
9 document -- exhibit, rather, P501, which was exhibited under seal. So
10 P501, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 10116 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Are you agree with me that through these instructions, the idea
6 you referred to was operationalized or implemented where the government
7 entrusted MUP with the task of protecting property and individuals?
8 A. Yes. These were the fundamental tasks that were regulated as
9 well by the Law on Internal Affairs.
10 Q. Did you at any point in time in the course of your duty come to
11 learn that the government of the Republic of Croatia
12 of the Interior was taking any steps or actions that were aimed at
13 concealing crimes of any sort, or did you come across anything that would
14 indicate something of the sort?
15 A. No, never.
16 Q. Mr. Buhin, did you ever officially communicate with
17 General Markac on any particular case?
18 A. No. I never communicated with him orally. We only met in the
19 ministry offices or would come across each other. I knew him by sight
20 and we never communicated.
21 Q. Thank you for your answers.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
24 Mr. Buhin, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Misetic, who is
25 counsel for Mr. Gotovina, at least if he receives the furniture he needs.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
2 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Buhin.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. I'd like to start on a topic yesterday -- that you spoke of
6 yesterday. Do you recall you were asked by Mr. Kay as to whether
7 Minister Jarnjak had ever been in Knin and your response was that, as far
8 as you knew, he was not in Knin after Operation Storm while you were
9 there. Correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Were you present when the plaque was put up in Knin on the 6th of
12 August for the police administration, Knin?
13 A. I only remember that -- not on the 6th, two or three days
14 Mr. Moric arrived and brought the plaques that we put up. I can't
15 remember, but I believe that the plaque bearing the inscription "police
16 administration" was already put up by the time I had come there, by the
17 time I arrived there.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, I would like to show the witness the
20 video at D227.
21 [Videotape played]
22 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Mr. Chief, please allow me to hand
23 over to you the signboard bearing the inscription 'Ministry of the
24 Interior, Republic of Croatia
25 administration Knin.' It is provided by the constitutional Law on
1 Ethnic Minorities of the Republic of Croatia
2 district, Kotar, and accordingly, the police administration should be
3 established in Knin.
4 "Since, according to the aforementioned law, an assembly has not
5 been legitimately elected yet and upon this assembly's proposal the chief
6 should be appointed by the government of the Republic of Croatia
7 hereby appoint you the acting chief until the elections take place here
8 and the assembly is elected, whereupon the assembly will propose to the
9 government of the Republic of Croatia
10 assigning to you the task to perform any activities provided for by the
11 constitution of the Republic of Croatia
13 police administration. In your area of responsibility, you are linked up
14 with the police administration in Zadar.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No. No. Yes. Congratulations have been
17 translated, yes.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Buhin, do you recall being present for that ceremony?
21 A. I most certainly was not. This was probably in the morning hours
22 of the 6th of August before Mr. Baric and I arrived Knin. That's why I
23 don't recall this event.
24 Q. Okay. Is it the case then that Mr. Romanic came to Knin -- was
25 already in Knin by the time you had arrived?
1 A. Correct. And he took over from Mr. Jarnjak, the plaque bearing
2 the inscription "the police administration."
3 Q. Okay. I'd also like to talk to you about this issue that you
4 discussed with Mr. Margetts about when civilians started to return to
5 Knin. And first what I'm going to do is show you a series of documents,
6 and after I have shown you a series of documents, I'm going to ask you a
7 few questions on the basis of those documents.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit P352,
10 Q. Mr. Baric [sic], this is an report, a situation report from
11 UN Sector South in Knin, on the 6th of August, at 2030. You can see that
12 on the cover page. And if we go to page 6 of this report in the English,
13 please, this would be point F.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, at this stage can I just confirm
15 that this is not part of the materials that were disclosed to us.
16 MR. MISETIC: It should have been. We'll check on that,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so and meanwhile you may continue.
19 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
20 Q. At paragraph F, the UN reported on the 6th in -- towards the
21 middle of that paragraph: "More civilians including cars with Split
22 licence plates are seen in Knin, and a sense of normalcy is returning."
23 And now -- that's on the 6th at 2030.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could now have Exhibit P806,
1 I'm advised by my case manager, Your Honour, that it has been
2 disclosed to the Prosecution. It's item 50 on the list that was
3 disclosed to the Prosecution.
4 JUDGE ORIE: While Mr. Margetts is seeking to verify, you may
6 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Buhin, this is a report of the European Community Monitoring
9 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go to page 2, please, of this
10 document, under section 4 a.
11 Q. On the 8th of August, the European Community Monitoring Mission
12 wrote: "Locals and HV continue looting on a large scale with a convoy of
13 looters was seen going empty and returning full from these towns. DPs
14 are already returning to their former homes."
15 That's on the 8th.
16 MR. MISETIC: Now, Mr. Registrar, if we could go to
17 Exhibit P933, please.
18 Q. And on that very first page, right above the section that starts
19 "military situation," there's a paragraph -- and this is a European
20 Community report from Knin dated 9 August 1995. And that paragraph says:
21 "It seems like Knin, for the first time, is becoming a big tourist
22 attraction. Extensive traffic was recorded on the main road between Knin
23 and Drnis."
24 And if we could go to the next page of this document, please.
25 Under "humanitarian matters," towards the middle of that section,
1 with respect to Drnis, it says: "We saw the same development in Drnis.
2 A lot of civilians are in the city, and it seems they are looking for
3 property that belonged to them previously."
4 Now, Mr. Buhin, you were asked questions about when civilians
5 started to return to the area, and I've now shown you three documents
6 that were admitted into evidence by the Prosecution from both UN and
7 European community sources which indicate that civilians began to return
8 in Knin and in the former Sector South within days of the end of
9 Operation Storm. Is that consistent with your recollection?
10 A. Yes. What I remember the most clearly is that most of the
11 civilians came in with the arrival of the first train from Zagreb
12 Thereafter, a regular train line was introduced and civilians started
13 flowing in Knin both from Zagreb
14 It's difficult to remember all the details, but according to
15 these reports, certain civilians who were in possession of some sort of
16 passes, went past check-points or travelled roads that were not under the
17 control of the police. This was a rather large area, and the locals were
18 aware of both main roads and side roads. Roads that were not under
19 police control were widely travelled along, and the UN police monitored
20 the situation and recorded it, and, of course, there were such cases,
21 most certainly.
22 Q. I'll get to the issue of the train in a moment, but I also wanted
23 to ask you, these reports talk about displaced persons returning to their
24 former homes. And they also talk about, in the instance of Drnis, the
25 report mentions that to the European Union Monitoring Mission, it seemed
1 that these civilians were looking for property that belonged to them
2 previously. Was that a common occurrence in the area, of displaced
3 people coming back into the region and looking for their own personal
4 property; and what problems, if any, did that cause for the police in
5 terms of prevention of looting?
6 A. It was a common occurrence, indeed. Those -- these were
7 individuals who tried to reach their properties as soon as possible, and
8 whatever they were able to salvage from there, they took along with them
9 to the refugee centres.
10 Problems were experienced by -- at the check-points because they
11 were unable to prove that what they took along was indeed their property.
12 To counter that, they tried to use some side roads, less travelled roads,
13 in order to get past, and this constituted a great problem for the
15 Q. If someone at a check-point, a displaced person or refugee, told
16 a police officer at a check-point that the goods that were in the car now
17 were, in fact, goods that had belonged to them and had been stolen from
18 them during the occupation period, how would a police officer know
19 whether that person had, in fact, stolen the goods or that they belonged
20 to that person; and what steps would a police officer typically take?
21 A. Police officers were not able to tell at all whether the goods
22 were, in fact, stolen or had previously belonged to that individual.
23 Nobody was authorised to issue citizens with a receipt against which they
24 could take such goods outside of the area. Most often, individuals were
25 recommended that they should remain close to their property in order to
1 protect it, and it was only later that they were able to establish, if,
2 indeed, some of the goods were stolen or not.
3 Q. Okay. With respect to the train, I will put it to you that I
4 think the parties in this case agree that the date of the freedom train,
5 when President Tudjman came to Knin, was the 26th of August, 1995.
6 I would like to show you now a video from the 15th of August,
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, this is 1D00-0423.
9 [Videotape played]
10 "Sasa Kopljar: Up next is Knin and our colleague Denis Latin.
11 Good evening, Denis.
12 "Denis Latin: Good evening, Sasa. Good evening to Croatia
14 "Sasa Kopljar: It is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Has
15 this holiday been celebrated in Knin that had been liberated only ten
16 days ago?
17 "Denis Latin: I must say that it was remarkable in Knin today.
18 We estimate that somewhere between two to three thousand people visited
19 Knin today. I think that the image is very telling, so let's take a look
20 at the TV feature.
21 "More than 500 refugee people from Knin have arrived on the first
22 train out of Split
23 also given a chance for others who -- for everyone else to make a true
24 fete on the streets of the town.
25 "After the Holy Mass in the torched church of Saint Ante
1 the Knin townsmen proceeded to their homes determined never to leave them
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Q. Mr. Buhin, there you saw a train that arrived from Split to Knin
5 on the 15th of August, which appeared to have many civilians on it. Do
6 you recall that, in fact, train service from Split was carrying civilians
7 into Knin well before President Tudjman's freedom train came on the 26th
8 of August?
9 A. I am in a dilemma here because according to the footage, one can
10 see that the train service had been placed into operation earlier on. I
11 believed that it had been made operational only when President Tudjman
12 travelled on the train to Knin, and it's only now that I'm able to see
13 that this was the case even before.
14 Q. Now, these people that were on the train that had come in from
16 makes as reference to 2.000 to 3.000 people that were in Knin on that
17 day. It wasn't the case, was it, that all of those people needed a
18 special pass to be able to enter Knin?
19 A. Such a multitude of people could not have been issued with
20 passes, to begin with. It is true that they got in without a pass.
21 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, I tender into evidence the video at
23 MR. MARGETTS: No objection, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D839.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D839 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, I will just take this opportunity
3 to indicate that the document was in the binder but obscured. Thank you.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, I'd like to go to Exhibit D661,
6 Q. Mr. Buhin, what we have on the screen is something called a
7 Work Order from the 6th Benkovac police station. The date is 11th to
8 12th September, 1995
9 Stefan Ljutic.
10 First, can you explain what is a Work Order for a patrol?
11 A. This is the customary form, namely, Work Order which every police
12 officer or patrol is given before they proceed to carry out their
14 Q. Okay. If we look at this Work Order, the tasks that were given
15 to this patrol, the third task from the bottom, it says: "Perform
16 verification and inspection of any suspicion persons and vehicles
17 (vehicles with HV licence plates in particular) and deliver compulsory
18 Official Notes."
19 Then it says: "Persons who are detected carrying objects and
20 items shall be handed over to the police station for criminal
22 If we could turn the page, please. This is an report section of
23 this work order, then, which appears to be the actual report of the
24 patrol as to what they had done pursuant to the work order.
25 If you read what this patrol said that they did on the 12th of
1 September, it says: "At 2030 hours on the road between Biljane Gornje
2 and Atlagica Kula, we came across Ostric, Pero," gives his date of birth,
3 "dressed in a HV uniform and driving a stolen vehicle, type Zastava 750.
4 He was taken in at this police station for further processing. In
5 cooperation with military police officials, the vehicle was seized
6 according to an appropriate confirmation."
7 According to this Work Order, the police were in fact able to
8 stop suspicious vehicles including vehicles that had HV plates on them.
10 A. The individual drafting assignments and giving assignments to
11 patrols was probably lacking in experience, because that person could not
12 have given an assignment to the civilian police to check vehicles bearing
13 licence plates of the Croatian army. That's number one.
14 Number two, at the back we can see that the police acted properly
15 because they pulled over a vehicle, which was of the type Zastava 750,
16 and it was a civilian vehicle. They were able to establish that it was
17 driven by a person in military uniform, and together with the military
18 police, further crime investigation was undertaken.
19 Q. Well, so it's safe to say that someone who was a Croatian army
20 member, in uniform, could be stopped by the police in the commission of a
21 criminal act and taken to the local MUP police station to be turned over
22 to the military police. That was the proper procedure. Correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. MISETIC: If we could go, please, to Exhibit D97.
25 Q. This is a report sent by Minister Jarnjak on the 2nd of October,
1 1995, to the state prosecutor, Mr. Hranjski.
2 MR. MISETIC: Could we go to page 2, please.
3 Q. These are statistics for the period of 22 August to
4 2 October 1995
5 statistics for various types of crime. And then if we go to the section
6 which talks about the perpetrator profile. For Zadar-Knin, it talks
7 about 192 on-site investigations, known perpetrators were identified --
8 MR. MISETIC: One, moment, Your Honour.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Is this the document where we earlier had the
11 problem that the three --
12 MR. MISETIC: That's what I'm checking, Your Honour.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MISETIC: I'm told the correct version is in e-court. It
15 just needs to be linked to the translation --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have visited --
17 MR. MISETIC: Yes, we have, Your Honour. I apologise.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- this problem before, yes.
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. In the Croatian version, sir, you can see that it identifies the
21 perpetrators in Zadar-Knin, 28 members of the HV, 194 civilians, and 1
22 abuse of uniform.
23 Now, in fact the police could identify and investigate HV --
24 perpetrators of crimes even if they happened to turn out to be HV
25 members, correct?
1 A. I cannot claim that, because if it was established that the
2 perpetrator was a member of the Croatian army, the military police would
3 be called in and they would continue processing the case.
4 Perhaps in some instances, due to professional reasons, or some
5 other issues, they would work on it together, to see what the perpetrator
6 had committed as a member of the army and what as a civilian person.
7 Q. Let's go Exhibit D809 then.
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I am asked to ask for your permission
9 to make the change in Exhibit D97 to replace the English translation
10 currently there with the corrected English translation.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is even welcomed.
12 MR. MISETIC: Yes, thank you.
13 Q. This is a criminal report filed by Mr. Kardum, dated
14 1 September 1995
15 complaint filed against a Nino Starcevic, who is identified by Mr. Kardum
16 as a soldier listed in the military register of Zadar.
17 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page.
18 Q. If you read through that, it appears that Mr. Starcevic was
19 involved in the theft of a vehicle which was seized from him and a
20 criminal report filed.
21 Now, in fact, Ministry of the Interior officials could file
22 criminal reports against persons they identified as being members of the
23 HV. Is that correct?
24 A. I cannot say that -- I cannot claim that because according to
25 what I know, all such processing was to have been done by the military
1 police. But I might be wrong there, because I'm not an expert on the
2 duties of the crime police.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MISETIC: Can we go to Exhibit D486, please.
5 Q. Now, this is a report by Cedo Romanic dated 21 September 1995
6 I'd ask to you read through that, please, and then tell me when you've
7 finished reading it.
8 A. I've read it.
9 Q. Okay. This is an incident where a policeman at a check-point
10 fired two rounds from a machine-gun into a vehicle driven by staff
11 commander Miroslav Lucin because he attempted to drive away from the
13 Mr. Romanic, in the letter, indicates that the use of force was
14 appropriate. Do you agree that a police officer could, in fact, use
15 force to detain a HV commander, if force was necessary, to prevent the
16 commission of a crime?
17 A. At that time, that was acceptable. Today, when communication
18 resources are much more favourable, I'm sure that the police would act in
19 a quite different way, that they would try follow that vehicle up to the
20 point where it would be possible to stop the vehicle and do their police
22 It was early on in the early days of the war. There were
23 still -- people were trigger-happy. The police did that with a reason in
24 order to stop him. And it was to be expected that such an aggressive
25 person who said to -- who said he was a member of the police could
1 perhaps act in an even graver manner, so that is why that particular
2 action was acceptable at that time.
3 Q. Now, the issue of forged certificates --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, could we get an answer from the witness
5 what -- on what apparently was your question. It was not what kind of
6 force you would use against a person under certain circumstances, but I
7 understood your question to be whether the witness could comment on a
8 police officer acting against a military person even in a command
10 MR. MISETIC: That's why --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Or is that --
12 MR. MISETIC: -- at line 17 I thought he answered that, but if it
13 needs more clarification, that's fine. Page 46, line 17.
14 JUDGE ORIE: No. But I understood the answer of the witness
15 mainly to be what kind of force would you use under circumstances, would
16 you follow him, et cetera. Whereas I understood your question to be:
17 Could you explain how someone who is just a member of the civilian police
18 could act against someone who was clearly a -- in a military command
20 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That apparently was the issue.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. And there is an issue that
23 arises from this document as to who, in fact, the action was directed
24 against, given that there were two people of differing status, and so it
25 would be --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes, that's --
2 MR. MISETIC: If we could --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But let's not -- let's not discuss this in the
4 presence of the witness what -- so if you put a question and if the
5 witness takes half a minute to answer that question, of course, the
6 Chamber would highly appreciate if the answer is, first of all, related
7 to your question, then also assists the Chamber in better understanding.
8 MR. MISETIC: That's fine.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. I'd -- if this document is
10 the exemplar that the witness is directing his mind to, then I'd ask for
11 a characterization of the content of this document, rather than a partial
12 characterization of it.
13 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I asked him to read the document, so I
14 don't know how much better characterization he could get than to tell him
15 to read it for himself. But if we could ask him to unplug his
16 microphone [sic], because I don't think there is an issue here as to who
17 the real perpetrator is.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, it clearly says, certainly in the
20 Croatian version and I think in the English, but let me say it again. It
21 says: Staff commander Miroslav Lucin came into oral conflict with the
22 aforementioned policemen, offending them and preventing them in
23 exercising their duty. Then he sat in the driver's seat, aiming to drive
25 And in the Croatian you will note that there wasn't a period
1 between the "their duty" and the "then he sat ..." It is all one
2 sentence speaking of commander Miroslav Lucin.
3 So I have no doubt that the sentence is referring to the
4 commander and that that use of the word "he" is not ambiguous in the
5 original, but if that is the issue ...
6 MR. MARGETTS: Our problem is that this is a problematic document
7 to use for this particular question. The car is driven by
8 Dragomir Zepina, who is a person under the -- or a civilian, and it's --
9 initially the co-driver is the military police staff commander. So it is
10 a situation where we have a joint action of forces against persons
11 representing different bodies. It is not a situation that's as clear as
12 a specific action alone by a civilian policeman against military
13 perpetrator, so we prefer --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, it is clear -- if you look at the story,
15 there is a car and what I know from cars a Moskovich 1500 might well be a
16 civilian car driven by someone of whom we do not -- we don't know.
17 Mr. Zepina is not described as either civilian or --
18 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. We have a division --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. Let me see. They're taken to two
20 different places at a later stage which --
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. As we see it, what we have
22 here is we have the military police and civilian police acting together
23 against a civilian and against a military perpetrator, and if a question
24 is put indicating the joint action against the diverse persons, then we
25 see that as appropriate.
1 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I mean -- with all due respect, he can
2 characterize it in redirect any way he wishes. What it talks about is
3 the joint action once the both of them were taken to the police station
4 in Benkovac.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I see the point Mr. Margetts is making. We
6 see a car arriving at a check-point, apparently with two persons in it,
7 one, if you read it carefully, most likely a civilian; the other one
8 certainly a military person, a commander. Then action is taken, and from
9 the action taken there is a possibility that this was a joint check-point
10 because it said the official of the 6th police station, Benkovac, and the
11 72nd Battalion of military police Benkovac operated on the side.
12 Now I take it that Mr. Margetts reads it this as on the side, the
13 check-point, which of course is a matter of interpretation as well. So
14 what Mr. Margetts is putting here, that this may have been a joint
15 check-point, where most likely one civilian and certainly one military
16 person arrive in what seems to be, at first sight, a civilian vehicle,
17 and they then take action. And Mr. Margetts's problem apparently is that
18 you introduced this to the witness as an example of how the ordinary
19 police, civilian police, could take action against a military commander.
20 Where -- have I characterized --
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President, absolutely. That is precisely
22 the point. And the second point is this, that it's not clear at what
23 time or when it is ascertained that this individual has any association
24 with the military at all. I don't see a reference to military uniform; I
25 see a driver who appears to be a civilian in a civilian vehicle. That's
1 all I see here.
2 MR. MISETIC: That's not what it says, Judge, and if I may
3 respond --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
5 MR. MISETIC: -- because there's been a lot communication. I
6 think there is misinterpretation of what was said. I don't think there's
7 any reference to a joint check-point. What we have in evidence already
8 is once the person is detained, they also could have called in the
9 military police after blowing out the --
10 JUDGE ORIE: At sight --
11 MR. MISETIC: -- called him -- I'm reading the Croatian version
12 which is --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Which line exactly are you reading?
14 MR. MISETIC: It says -- the third paragraph. It is translated
15 as operated on the site. In the original it says, at the crime scene,
16 the following persons or officials took action. So there an a difference
17 between they were operating generally on the site and here's a crime
18 scene now, there's an HV member, the car tire has been blown out, and the
19 HV military police and the civilian police arrived on the scene.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is it also an interpretation. What we
21 have now down is the following. We asked the witness to read a document
22 which at least, I mean, three, if I could say, trained lawyers are having
23 quite some dispute about --
24 MR. MISETIC: If I could make one other point --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you'd --
1 MR. MISETIC: The fact of the matter is, I first showed him --
2 JUDGE ORIE: --- if you could just let me finish for one second.
3 At least disagreements on what the document tells us exactly. Now to ask
4 the witness to read it and without knowing how he interprets what is
5 written here, it might be a -- it might cause a lot of confusion as
6 whether we're talking about the same thing. Whether he has not read
7 something, he has read the Croatian version, read something totally
8 different from what I read, from what you read, from what Mr. Margetts
9 read and that's a matter that should be avoided.
10 I think --
11 MR. MISETIC: If I may.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. MISETIC: While I understand Mr. Margetts's position,
14 obviously we think his position is wrong. And I did put it to the
15 witness prior to this document, the work order which said specifically to
16 the police in this particular police station to stop HV vehicles
17 including vehicles with HV licence plates on them. I take it then to the
18 next step. Now the fact that the witness says, Somebody wrote that order
19 who didn't know what they were doing, is something that you can give
20 weight to at some point. We're going to argue something different.
21 I understand Mr. Margetts wants to now dissect this document, but
22 I would be happy to put it to the witness, since is he a policeman, to
23 interpret whether he thinks the policemen here would -- my question is,
24 you shot out the tire of a car driven by a commander in the Croatian
25 army. That's it. Could he use force to shoot out a tire of a car driven
1 by a member of the Croatian army. If they, in redirect, want to say,
2 well, yes, they could shoot out car tires driven by commanders of
3 civilian -- in civilian cars but not military cars, fine. But --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that needs a level of analysis which I
5 think we should not require from a witness, because I don't know whether
6 the witness feels free to say, well -- to describe all circumstances in
7 which this would be acceptable or not acceptable would take us half an
8 hour. I would not mind if you --
9 MR. MISETIC: There is an issue in dispute, though, between the
10 parties, just so the Chamber's aware of it.
11 Their position is that anybody wearing a military uniform could
12 not be stopped by the police. That has been their position to date.
13 So --
14 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President --
15 MR. MISETIC: -- my question --
16 MR. MARGETTS: -- it is probably better that we characterize our
17 position --
18 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... why I'm bringing the
19 issue up. If they're going to stipulate, then, that the fact that the
20 someone was wearing a military uniform did not mean that force could not
21 be used against them --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Under no circumstances --
23 MR. MISETIC: -- yes, then I'll walk away from it. But if that
24 isn't something they're going to dispute, then I want to put it to the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now Mr. Margetts has an opportunity to tell us.
2 MR. MARGETTS: The first thing I'd say is our position in
3 relation to the use of military uniforms doesn't -- is not necessarily
4 relevant to this document because there is no reference in this document
5 to whether or not there is a military uniform being used.
6 There's no reference in this document that would suggest, apart
7 from the person subsequently being identified as a member of the
8 military, that the people knew at the time the action was taken that they
9 were a member of the military. As to our position in relation to the use
10 of military uniforms, there's substantial evidence and it is quite clear
11 from the contemporaneous documents how the fundamental police in fact
12 acted at that time, and I think this witness has given substantial
13 evidence in relation to that.
14 And that's the issue that -- that needs to be resolved, and I
15 think that that document confounds the issue and potentially leads --
16 misleads the witness and doesn't, in fact, bring to light any evidence
17 that would be relevant to that issue.
18 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, with all due respect, the fact that he
19 takes a particular view of a document doesn't mean that I can't put it to
20 a witness.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. MISETIC: He did it with his diary. He is putting other
23 people's diaries to this witness when he didn't have any concern about
24 such matters.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, the Chamber assesses that the risk of
3 confusion with this document in relation to the matter you are raising
4 with the witness is too large to continue to do that.
5 This is not to keep you off in any way from dealing with the
6 substance you want to raise but not on the basis of a document which
7 leaves so many questions as far as what it actually, in factual terms,
8 describes. So, therefore, you may proceed.
9 MR. MISETIC:
10 Q. Mr. Buhin, in order to stop someone in the commission of a crime,
11 including a member of the HV, if the military police was not with the
12 police, the regular police at the scene of the crime being committed, the
13 police was authorised to use force to stop members of the HV from
14 committing crimes. Correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Now --
17 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, may I put it to him if in this
18 document it turned out such-and-such would that --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let's stay away from the document.
20 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yesterday a few hypothetical questions were put, I
22 did not encourage to do this anymore, but if you would clearly and
23 hypothetically describe a situation then we'd like to hear the answer of
24 the witness. Then at least the confusion is gone.
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So under those circumstances, exceptionally, I would
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
4 Q. At a check-point -- at some point -- let me take a foundational
5 question first.
6 Are you aware that at some point around the 15th of September,
7 the joint check-points with the military police stopped and that it was
8 just the MUP that was controlling the check-points?
9 A. I don't know when this was done, but I do know that it was done.
10 Q. If the MUP alone was operating a check-point, and a member of the
11 HV driving a civilian vehicle refused to stop at a MUP check-point, it's
12 true, is it not, that the MUP officers were authorised to use force, if
13 necessary, to stop that person at the check-point?
14 A. It is true. The more so as the police had no way of knowing what
15 was being transported in the vehicle and what the intention was. So the
16 vehicle had to be stopped at all costs and a check made.
17 MR. MISETIC: I'd like to turn to a new topic, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, of course, it came to my
19 mind if a civilian vehicle approaches a check-point, how to know that
20 there's a military person in it. That's --
21 MR. MISETIC: Let me ask that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. MISETIC:
24 Q. If the person -- if a civilian vehicle approaches a check-point,
25 all persons driving such a vehicle had to stop at the check-point, even
1 someone wearing a military uniform. Correct?
2 A. Yes. And the people would have to produce their IDs to show --
3 for it to be seen, whether they were indeed military staff or just
4 persons in military uniform.
5 Q. Now, if that ID proves to the officer at the check-point that the
6 person is a member of the HV, and, at the same time, the officer sees
7 goods in the car that he believes are stolen, that officer was authorised
8 to detain that member of the HV on the spot, or to take him to the local
9 police station, and then to await the arrival of the military police for
10 further processing. Correct?
11 A. Yes, precisely.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Now, on the issue of --
15 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, one moment. I don't know when our
16 next break is going to be so --
17 JUDGE ORIE: I forgot to look at the clock, which is -- let me
18 just ... we started a bit late. I think we should take a break within
19 the next ten minute, approximately, somewhere within the next ten
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to choose a suitable moment.
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Buhin, now let's talk about these certificates, I think you
25 called them in your statements, that you believe may have been forged.
1 Do you recall the testimony about that issue?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. First, did you personally ever see a military vehicle carrying
4 goods which you believed to be stolen, you personally?
5 A. Personally, no.
6 Q. Did you personally ever witness the military police allowing a
7 military vehicle through with a forged certificate?
8 A. No. I was never present at any such event.
9 Q. How -- so I assume, then, that what you're referring to is
10 something that was reported to you by subordinate police officers?
11 A. Yes. I came to know that, I personally, from my conversations
12 with police officers who manned check-points. They saw a -- lorries
13 bearing HV labels going past check-points. There were stories about
14 goods that were not intended, in fact, for the purposes of the HV, but
15 they only remained what they were at the time, namely, rumours, because
16 it was very difficult to pinpoint what exactly the term "for the purposes
17 of the Croatian army" meant.
18 Q. Well, you as -- at your level and your subordinates had no
19 ability to actually verify those rumours. Correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Were you or your subordinate police officers aware that HV
22 military vehicles were being used to provide logistical support to all
23 sorts of civilian governmental -- typically civilian governmental
24 activities in the newly liberated area?
25 A. I cannot claim with certainty that we knew of that. There were
1 assumptions of that sort.
2 Q. You were there in the region. Is it fair to say that the
3 institution with the most logistical capabilities, the institution within
4 the Croatian government with the most logistical capabilities at that
5 time in that area was the Croatian army?
6 A. Nobody else was able to pull that off at the time.
7 Q. So the army would have been involved in things like clearing
8 roads. Correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. The army was involved in cleaning up the cities from the debris
11 that had been caused by military action. Correct?
12 A. Yes. That was primarily within the domain of the civilian
13 protection, but the army equipment was mostly used for that.
14 Q. You testified earlier that you believed that General Cermak was
15 a -- had as one of his roles to restore -- restore the infrastructure in
16 the area. Is that fair to say?
17 A. I understood the role of General Cermak to be an all-encompassing
18 one, to assist in every activity geared toward restoring normalcy to that
20 Q. And that would include assisting the civilian government in the
21 tasks that it couldn't fulfil at that time, due to lack of logistics.
23 A. Certainly, yes.
24 Q. And were you aware that, General Cermak, in trying to assist in
25 this -- assist the civilian authorities, had at his disposal trucks and
1 various other items to assist the civilian government in restoring life
2 back in that region?
3 A. Only members of the army had larger quantities of vehicles and
4 lorries at their disposal. The civilian authorities had far fewer of
6 Q. So what was actually being transported in those vehicles, your
7 police officers wouldn't know unless they were themselves able to check
8 what was actually being transported and for what reason. Correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. My last question -- questions to you, sir, are concerning
11 Exhibit D48, please.
12 As we pull this up on the screen, would you agree with me that if
13 military police personnel at check-points were allowing HV trucks with
14 looted goods to pass through the check-points, that that would be a
15 criminal act being committed by the HV military police at those
16 check-points. Correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Now, on -- in his letter to Mr. Lausic, on the 17th of August,
19 Mr. Moric writes about various problems that they're having with the HV.
20 And Mr. Margetts asked you about this letter and said -- asked you
21 whether some of the things in this letter were things that you had been
22 reporting up to Zagreb
23 Now, if, in fact, it was a problem that the military police at
24 check-points was essentially aiding and abetting military personnel in
25 looting goods out of the area, that would have been something that you
1 reported to Mr. Moric so he could refer it on to Mr. Lausic. Correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. I have no further questions for you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
5 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, just -- I have a very short
6 re-examination, five to ten minutes, I hope.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Your suggestion is to continue --
8 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- and then to adjourn for the day.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, the Chamber prefers to have a break
12 now. We might have some questions as well. And that sometimes triggers
13 new questions from the other parties and then we would have to stop
15 So, therefore, we will take a break - I have difficulties in
16 seeing the clock - we will have a break and we'll resume at 20 minutes to
18 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
21 [B/C/S on English channel]
22 Yes. I heard B/C/S on channel 4. I don't hear it anymore, so
23 the problem will be resolved. Please proceed.
24 MR. MARGETTS: [Microphone not activated] Thank you,
25 Mr. President.
1 Mr. Registrar, if I could please produce D233 on the screen --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, another problem.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll just repeat that.
4 Mr. Registrar, if I could please produce D233 on the screen.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Margetts:
6 Q. Mr. Buhin. Mr. Buhin, yesterday evening, Mr. Mikulicic asked you
7 about the duties of the civilian protection sanitation teams. And, in
8 particular, you addressed the issue of the removal of explosives and very
9 briefly you touched on the forensic technicians and the role of the
10 sanitation teams.
11 What I've produced before you is order of the 5th of August,
12 1995, and if you could just read that for me. It's from Zdravko Zidovec.
13 And it's -- deals with hygiene and sanitation measures. So if you just
14 read that for me and indicate to me when you've read through the
16 A. I've read it.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. Just a very brief question. Have you ever
18 seen that order before or were the matters set out in that order
19 communicated to you?
20 A. I've never seen that. I only came to know that this was the way
21 it was done.
22 Q. And so the procedure set out at items 1 to 4 are consistent with
23 your knowledge as to how the sanitation teams carried out their duty.
24 A. Correct. That's the way it should have been done. Now, whether
25 this was observed in all the cases is something I cannot confirm.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin. Now I'd like to move on to another topic
2 and that is today Mr. Misetic addressed with you the issue of the return
3 of civilians to the area. And in your answer to one of his questions you
4 stated that civilians in possession of some sort of passes would pass
5 through the check-points.
6 Now, my question to you is: At that time, in August 1995, were
7 you concerned about the possible presence of terrorists or those who
8 opposed Croatian control entering the territory?
9 MR. MISETIC: I'm not sure what that has to do with my
10 cross-examination, the presence of terrorists, and I also think it
11 mischaracterizes certainly portions of his testimony concerning these
12 passes. I think he clarified that after -- concerning whether these
13 people that I showed him had passes. I think the answer was quite the
14 opposite of what is being represented here. And I also don't know that I
15 asked him about terrorists.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied. It is about control of
17 people returning or at least moving around to the area, and you may
18 proceed, Mr. Margetts.
19 MR. MARGETTS:
20 Q. Yes. Mr. Buhin, the -- the question is: At that time, in
21 August 1995, were you concerned about the possible presence of terrorists
22 or those who opposed Croatian control entering the territory?
23 A. Of course we were concerned about that.
24 Q. And that concern, is that one of the reasons that -- that passes
25 were issued, civilians were registered and care was taken in respect of
1 those matters?
2 A. I believe so.
3 Q. And so would it be correct, then, to say that part of the role of
4 the fundamental police was to monitor and to know who was on the
6 A. Yes. Where persons were asked to produce their IDs, one had to
7 establish whether that individual had been registered during or after
8 combat activities.
9 Q. And at the check-points that -- you made efforts to do that --
10 and in the territory, generally, you made efforts to establish who was
12 A. Also at the check-points one had to monitor whoever was coming in
13 or going out, and the patrols in the field asked suspicious individuals
14 to present their IDs.
15 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Buhin. That concludes my questions.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
18 MR. MISETIC: Just short recross.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What we often do is that we now put in the
20 questions of the Judges, so that you have a kind of -- if they trigger
21 any need.
22 Mr. Buhin, Judge Gwaunza has one or more questions for you.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes, if I could take you back to your statement,
25 page 5 of the English version, and paragraph 4. I'm not sure what
1 paragraph that would be in the other version.
2 You said in that paragraph, in the middle, that: "After the
3 military had liberated Knin, some of them continued into Bosnia. On
4 their return, these soldiers started looting and burning."
5 My question is: When did they return; and are you aware of any
6 action that was taken to stop the looting and the burning?
7 A. In the early days it was almost impossible to control that, due
8 to the large numbers of individuals in HV uniforms, due to a very scarce
9 presence of the police. As a result of all that, it was almost
10 impossible to control such occurrences. It was only ten or more days
11 later that stricter control was applied.
12 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you. The first part of my question was
13 when did they return?
14 A. My apologies, can you repeat that, please?
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. I had asked -- because you said in your
16 statement that after the military had liberated Knin, some of the
17 military personnel continued into Bosnia
18 return," and I'm assuming that you are referring to -- to those military
19 personnel you said on their return, these soldiers started looting and
20 burning, and my question was when did they return?
21 A. I can't pinpoint the exact time. It was certainly 5, 10 or 15
22 days later. I can't be more precise than that.
23 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you. Then I have another question relating
24 to the last paragraph on -- on the same page. Towards the very end of
25 that paragraph. And here you are talking of police officers retiring,
1 and you said: "Some of them retired because of mistakes that they had
3 And the question I have is: Do you know what mistakes those
5 A. As far as I was able to learn, they failed to apply measures that
6 they were able to apply and should have applied at the time.
7 It involved the areas of Glina and Petrina; however, I'm not
8 quite certain of the details relating to this.
9 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Kinis has one or more questions for you.
11 JUDGE KINIS: Thank you. Mr. Buhin, first I would like to ask
12 you a general question and, namely, could you please explain difference
13 between police log-book and criminal record register book? And how it
14 was created.
15 A. The log-book of events is kept in the duty service of every
16 police station and police administration. Entries are made according to
17 the date and time of information received, the contents of the
18 information, and, under a separate column, what measures were taken and
20 The criminal record register book is quite a different document
21 kept in the offices of the crime police.
22 JUDGE KINIS: Based on this, your answer, I would like to -- to
23 clarify the following issue. How you could determine whether accident
24 which is reported to the police contains elements of crime or not, if you
25 did not commit any examination of incident place?
1 A. That could not be determined.
2 JUDGE KINIS: But then the question how -- how -- what kind of
3 procedure is that you should report that this is -- this particular
4 incident is a crime and this particular incident is not a crime?
5 A. After a report was made, or any other sort of information
6 received about a criminal offence having been committed, a patrol would
7 be deployed or a constable of the basic police force to check up on that.
8 Only after the information was checked up on by a police officer, further
9 steps were taken depending on whether it was established that this indeed
10 involved a criminal offence or whether it was merely a hoax, a false
12 JUDGE KINIS: And following this issue, I would like to ask
13 registrar to bring up your statement and page 4 in English and first
14 paragraph on the top.
15 In this paragraph, you mentioned: "I would get information about
16 crimes that were committed every day. And we would send out police to
17 the scene, if it was possible, and report the facts," et cetera.
18 But my question is, could you interpret or explain to Chamber
19 what does it mean your passage "if it was possible"?
20 A. As these were conditions immediately after combat in an
21 unfamiliar terrain, to the policemen that is, and mined terrain at that,
22 there were instances when that was difficult or practically impossible to
23 go out and attend the scene immediately after having received
24 information. Sometimes we needed to carry out additional steps to ensure
25 the presence of a de-mining team and of persons familiar with the
1 terrain, and that is the kind of thing that I meant when I said that.
2 JUDGE KINIS: Yes. But I am understand this that there is some
3 circumstances or some -- some reasons which may hinder work of police,
4 and police are not able to react immediately.
5 But would it mean -- or if I'm not correct, please correct me,
6 but if I'm understood from your question, would it mean that police not
7 interfere in such situations at all?
8 A. The police always sought to verify information. We never gave
9 up. The question was only whether it was only possible to do so
10 immediately or after having taken other measures.
11 JUDGE KINIS: But it means that you can confirm here and ensure
12 Tribunal that in all -- in all situations where reports was received that
13 some kind of criminal activities was taken, police actions followed. Is
14 it correct?
15 A. It is correct.
16 JUDGE KINIS: And then the next question. Regarding -- regarding
17 Exhibit D49, and particularly -- may we please, Registrar, bring up this
18 document on the screen.
19 This is a -- if I'm correct, this is an order issued by
20 Joska Moric in 18th of August, 1995.
21 And my question is, regarding paragraph 2, there was said that:
22 "After today, every case of torching houses, looting should be subject of
23 site investigation."
24 Did you comply this -- with this order?
25 A. I believe that we did. I see no reason why we shouldn't have
1 pursued a case.
2 JUDGE KINIS: [Previous translation continues] ... look at police
3 log-books and compare these documents with other evidence what we gather,
4 what we heard in the -- in the court hearings, we can draw a little bit
5 different conclusion, that, in fact, not all such looting incidents would
6 be subject of on-site investigation. It was also confirmed by Ivo Kardum
7 that criminal police actually did not take any activity regarding these
8 incidents because of lack of people. How could you explain this
9 situation really? What was your other coordinator functions to comply
10 come -- this order, and what steps you directly did?
11 A. I cannot remember these problems but these are the duties of the
12 crime police which were not within my competence. But in principle as
13 far as I know, the basic police reacted to every report, and attended the
14 scene and the crime police was also duly informed.
15 JUDGE KINIS: Mr. Buhin, if I have correct information, based on
16 Ivo Kardum testimony, he -- he informed Chamber that, in fact, he did not
17 receive any information about crimes, like loot -- like burning and
18 looting from your -- from Knin, and how it was possible that
19 international observers observe many such accidents but police did not
20 observe anyone?
21 A. I cannot challenge Mr. Kardum's claims. What I do know is that
22 we acted duly in response to all reports and, as far as I know, there was
23 no reason whatsoever to gloss over such incidents or not to process them.
24 I allow for the possibility that there were some instances
25 because we were unable to physically cover them all that were left out,
1 but whenever the police station received any such reports or information,
2 or whenever an individual police officer observed any such incident, that
3 had -- action had to be duly taken on it.
4 JUDGE KINIS: Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Buhin, I would like to read a small portion from
6 the statement that was shown to you and which is not in evidence; that
7 is, the Official Note which was put to you, that is the Official Note
8 compiled on the 13th of October, 2001. It relates to the Grubori
9 situation, and it describes what you reportedly have said as follows:
10 "He," and that's you, "he designated police patrols that were to
11 go to the incident scene. Shortly afterwards, he was telephoned by the
12 assistant minister Joska Moric from the MUP headquarters in Zagreb
13 told him that it was not necessary to send police patrols to the incident
14 scene because special police members would go there instead."
15 It continues: "He remembers that he remarked that police
16 officers would need to be sent to the incident scene in any case in order
17 to determine the veracity of the UN members' report."
18 A little bit further on, you are reported to have stated that
19 after you had received the instruction to follow orders and not send
20 police officers to the incident scene: "He followed the order and the
21 police patrols did not go to the scene, but whether members of the
22 special police went to the scene or not, he does not know."
23 Could you tell me whether this reflects what you stated, and, if
24 not, explain to what extent it does not.
25 A. This was just a personal interpretation on the part of someone
1 who was close by when all this was happening.
2 Mr. Moric just told me in a couple of words that I should not
3 concern myself with the duties of the crime police but that I should
4 concern myself with the job assigned to me and that I should leave that
5 to others, i.e., the crime police. I think that he probably meant the
6 crime police, that is.
7 I saw that there was no need for us to continue to pursue that
8 task, and we applied ourselves to other duties that were waiting for us
9 that day. We ceased all activities of the fundamental, the uniformed
10 police. That is, in respect of Grubori.
11 JUDGE ORIE: What I'd like you to tell us, in what respect not
12 what happened but what is not correct in what you said. One of the
13 things you mentioned is you said it's just the interpretation of someone,
14 and someone might have meant crime police instead of -- because you
15 referred to the special police being sent there; at least that is how it
16 is reported.
17 Is it -- do you say that at that time you told -- or you stated
18 that the crime police would be sent there instead of, as it's written
19 down here, that the special police would be sent there?
20 A. It is certain that now, after 13 years have passed, I cannot
21 remember every single word that I said. I remember the incident, and, on
22 the whole, what was going on.
23 I agreed the procedure with Mr. Ivica Cetina, and I was sure that
24 that procedure would be followed. It was only Mr. Moric's call that
25 actually put a stop to the activity of the fundamental police, but I did
1 believe that the crime police would continue that work and undertake
2 every necessary step.
3 JUDGE ORIE: In this statement it is written down what you would
4 have said, and that is that in this telephone conversation, Mr. Moric
5 told you that it was not necessary to send the police because special
6 police members would go there instead.
7 Is that what Mr. Moric told you and what you told the person that
8 interviewed you on the 13th of October, 2001?
9 A. That interview, too, in 2001, also took place after many years
10 had elapsed. I cannot remember the interview verbatim, and I cannot
11 remember the talk with Mr. Moric in detail. But I do not remember that
12 detail; namely, that he mentioned the special police.
13 To the best of my recollection, he said that they knew where the
14 bodies were and that that would be processed.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you tell, during your interview, that you did
16 not know whether members of the special police went to the scene or not?
17 A. You are talking about my interview with the ICTY investigators or
18 my talk with Mr. Moric?
19 JUDGE ORIE: I'm now talking about the interview of which an
20 Official Note was compiled on the 13th of October, 2001, and compiled by
21 a police official, Ivica Vesel. That was the document that was briefly
22 shown to you during your examination.
23 A. In respect of that Official Note, I have already stated that I
24 maintain that it was compiled in an unprofessional manner. Because my
25 conversation with the gentleman was a very brief one, and he didn't take
1 down anything that was being said on that occasion. Actually, I had the
2 impression that this was just a pro forma interview to satisfy some
3 formal requirements, by way of preparations for my talk with the UN
5 I claim that actually the note was compiled by this gentleman on
6 the basis of what he remembered and on the basis of what he knew about
7 the entire situation.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And he would have known, then, that did you not know
9 whether the special police went there? Is that what you are telling?
10 Because that is what the document tells us. He's talking about you:
11 "But whether members of the special police went to the scene or not, he
12 does not know," and he is referring to you.
13 Is that -- how could that person, Mr. Vesel, know whether you
14 knew or did not know whether the special police went to the scene?
15 A. These are all assumptions on the part of that gentleman. It is
16 evident from that note that I was informed -- I had been informed of that
17 report a day before. Actually, until I had seen the documents in the log
18 of events, I was convinced that that report had come on the second day in
19 the morning.
20 So just this one detail shows me that it was -- that this note
21 was written by Mr. Vesel, drawing on some other sources.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. "Other sources" would have told him what you
23 did remember or did not remember?
24 A. He had either talked to colleagues in the crime police, who are
25 more familiar with the incident, because much was already being said
1 about it; or else he had found some documents that relate to the
2 incident. I didn't say everything that he wrote down there.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, do you have any knowledge on -- on what
4 other sources? Do you know names of persons that were interviewed by
5 Mr. Vesel that would have given the information you say he had drawn from
6 other sources, rather than from you?
7 A. Mr. Vesel works for the crime police at the headquarters of the
8 Ministry of the Interior. His colleagues who work with him --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I put a very precise question to you. Could you
10 give me the names of persons that were interviewed and would have
11 provided to Mr. Vesel the information about what you knew and what you
12 did not know?
13 A. I do not know the names of those persons.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any concrete information that, in
15 relation to what he did write down here, that he interviewed other
16 persons at all?
17 A. I have no information, but it is obvious that there is a lot of
18 information about what was going on.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you said it's clear what -- for what
20 purpose this note was prepared, because I think you said it was in order
21 to prepare you for the ICTY interview. Is that correct?
22 A. No. No, actually, I'm not clear on why that note was compiled
23 and the interview was actually conducted at my request, in order for me
24 to prepare myself for the interview with the investigators. Such an
25 interview, in my opinion, was not -- such a kind of interview was not
1 actually conducted, in my view, but just a formal interview in order to
2 satisfy this request of mine.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain what the purpose is of being
4 interviewed by a Croatian MUP officer in order to prepare for your
5 ICTY --
6 Mr. Margetts.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Mr. President. I'm just looking at the dates
8 that appear on the ICTY statement and the dates that appear on this
9 statement and --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm looking at it as well.
11 Mr. Buhin, when -- let me just find the ...
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, is it possible -- I'm sorry. Is it
13 possible for to us have access to that? Since it is not an exhibit, it's
14 not in evidence, we don't have a way to see it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It is uploaded. It has a 65 ter number so --
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Okay. That would be fine --
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- under the circumstances -- of course, if you need
18 a hard copy. I asked for a printout because the Judges have no access to
19 documents that have never reached the status of MFI and I think I
20 announced already that we would -- might consider what to do with that
21 document at any later stage when it was put to the witness.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think you did, Your Honour. Just for
23 reference, if you have the 65 ter handy, it would be appreciated.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I don't have it. I just asked it to be printed off.
25 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, I can inform Mr. Registrar that it
1 is 65 ter 2786.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Buhin, you said you asked for an interview
4 to be held in order for you to prepare for your ICTY interview.
5 A. Yes, that's what I said.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You were not yet interviewed by ICTY investigators
7 prior to the interview you had with the -- Mr. Vesel?
8 A. No. The interview with Mr. Vesel was a few days prior to my
9 interview with officials of the Tribunal at The Hague.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, the -- the Official Note says that
11 although the Official Note was compiled on the 13th of October, 2001
12 that the interview was conducted on the 9th of October, 2001; whereas,
13 your witness statement gives as dates of interviews, the ones in 2001,
14 15th and 16th of September.
15 A. That confirms yet once again what I have stated; namely, that
16 that note was written subsequently when someone asked for it. And
17 Mr. Vesel could not even remember, nor did he try to recall the date on
18 which we talked.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Did you speak with him then? You said he could not
20 remember nor did he try to recall the date on which you talked.
21 How do you know?
22 A. I know because he put the wrong dates on his note. We started
23 talking and when I realized that he was unable to help me prepare myself
24 for my interview with the ICTY officials, we actually did not talk for a
25 long time.
1 The conversation was discontinued, and the -- that official
2 did -- was not taking any notes during that interview.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But how did you know that he gave the wrong
4 dates for the interview? Do you have any clear recollection on what
5 other date than this interview was held with you?
6 A. I cannot say, but I'm quite certain that it was before my
7 interview with the ICTY officials.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So if I understand your testimony well, what you're
9 telling us is that Mr. Vesel interviewed you; that he just wrote down
10 what others had told him rather than what you told him, because the
11 interview was too short for that; that it was just for formal reasons
12 that this interview was held, although you asked for it, in order to be
13 prepared for an interview which, if we would believe the dates to be
14 correct, was held already some weeks before that.
15 Is that your testimony, Mr. Buhin?
16 A. Yes. To the extent I was able to follow you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: If there was any matter unclear, please tell me.
18 Then I'll -- because it is an answer with some reservation in it.
19 Is there any point which you had difficulties in following me?
20 A. I tried to follow what you're saying, and you've said it the way
21 it was.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Would you say that I actually -- actually --
23 accurately summarized the portions of your evidence I referred to?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of other persons that were interviewed
1 for the -- by the Office of the Prosecutor, to be interviewed by Croatian
2 police authorities prior to or after the time statements were taken from
3 potential witnesses?
4 A. I know of several colleagues from the police only, as having had
5 interviews with representatives of the ICTY. Now, I am not aware of them
6 having had interviews with representatives of the Croatian police.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You were the only one you are aware of that had such
8 an interview with the Croatian police?
9 A. As far as I know, I was the first one to be invited to the
10 interview with ICTY officials. I was fearful of the interview. I didn't
11 know which course it would take, what I should say, and I asked for the
12 assistance of the Croatian authorities, of the police in that matter.
13 That's why I was probably the only one, because I was the first.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You said you didn't know what course it would take
15 and what you should say. Now, you are a trained police officer and
16 you're even recorded in the Official Note as a -- by profession a lawyer,
17 specializing in criminal law, and you -- your testimony now is that you
18 didn't know what to do during an interview. May I suggest to that you
19 the only thing one could reasonably do is to tell the truth to questions
20 that are put to you, isn't it?
21 A. Precisely. However, I was the first one and I was apprehensive
22 of how the interview would unfold, whether I would be apprehended or
23 whether my words would be put to someone else. That's why I wanted a
24 representative from the police or from other agencies of the Croatian
25 government to be present there with me.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I can imagine that you seek guidance as
2 what will happen, but what we find in the Official Note is, apparently,
3 an interview on the substance of the matters, not on the issues you just
5 A. It was for that reason that I said that the interview with the
6 colleague from the crime police was very short. Because I realized that
7 he was not able to provide me the assistance I sought, our conversation
8 didn't take long, and we parted ways.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, not interview,
11 JUDGE ORIE: And then he started writing a three-page document in
12 which he refers to what you apparently would have told him about, among
13 other matters, the Grubori incident. He just invented all of that, or
14 got it from other sources, as you said?
15 A. I believe he got that information from other sources. He didn't
16 get all that information from me.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I move subjects.
18 You said that you never personally observed stolen goods being
19 transported by HV vehicles. You also explained that it was reported to
20 you what had been seen at the check-points, and you explained to us that
21 it was very difficult to find out whether these were goods which could be
22 legitimately used by the Croatian forces or that these would be stolen
24 Now, you explained to us - I think it was yesterday - what was
25 reported to you as being on these vehicles, which were doors, windows,
1 all kind of household supplies, and you added to that whatever you can
2 load on a truck.
3 That apparently was reported to you. You said it was just
4 rumours about stolen goods being transported. Could you explain to me
5 why you considered that just to be rumours, in view of what was reported
6 to you?
7 A. Based on the records from check-points, they were many cases of
8 confiscation of various items that, according to the information we had,
9 had been stolen, and there were attempts at taking them out of the area.
10 At the same time, the situation prevailed that made us believe
11 that whatever went through check-points and was within Croatian army
12 vehicles did not necessarily to be for the needs for the Croatian army.
13 This was a belief that prevailed at that time, and as I said today, that
14 cannot be substantiated in any way. The needs of the army were quite
15 extensive and a very broad term, and there is no fundamental evidence in
16 that regard.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me re-read your answer.
18 Now, what cannot be substantiated in any way? You say that the
19 view that all those goods were not necessarily for the army, is that a
20 belief, you say, that could not be substantiated?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So the -- you say, the windows and the doors and
23 these kind of materials and whatever you could load on a truck, there was
24 no -- you would still consider it a reasonable explanation that the
25 Croatian army was having new doors and windows in its premises.
1 Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
2 A. No. This is not a proper understanding.
3 I said that whatever could be stripped down and taken away was
4 taken away, among other things, doors and windows. I didn't say that
5 they were transported on the military vehicles. I said that there were
6 attempts at transporting these items out of the area that was under our
7 control. Most often such items were found on civilian individuals who
8 wanted to use the material to repair the damage and reconstruct their own
10 JUDGE ORIE: When I asked you questions about this yesterday, it
11 was clearly in the context of military vehicles. I asked you about what
12 you could see at a distance of 20 or 30 metres where the military
13 check-point was. You then said that it was -- you couldn't know because
14 it was in -- what did you say about the cars not visible. And then when
15 I later put some questions to you still in the same context, you
16 described what was observed as being on the trucks and what was reported
17 to you, although you had not seen it yourself.
18 But you would say doors, windows, that was all on civilian
19 vehicles, and household appliances, everything you could load onto a
20 truck. That is purely limited to civilian vehicles.
21 A. Precisely so. We were able to control them and see what they
22 transported. We could -- we cannot comment on the ones we weren't able
23 to see what they carried.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'll not repeat questions I earlier asked you in
25 this respect.
1 One final matter.
2 You explained to us that the military police refused to be -- to
3 have joint check-points, and you said that was also one of the things
4 that triggered the order to set up joint check-points and to engage in
5 joint patrols. That was -- I think it was the same order of the 19th of
6 August issued by Mr. Moric.
7 Do you remember that?
8 A. Yes. That followed after the order issued and after the meeting
9 by Mr. Moric and Mr. Lausic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, these check-points that were not joint
11 check-points, you told us that sometimes they would have a check-point at
12 a distance of 20 metres. Was that before the 19th of August?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, in response to the efforts to have joint
15 check-points, it was put to you in one of the questions that the military
16 police did not have sufficient people for joint check-points. You
17 remember, not sufficient manpower to have all joint check-points.
18 Do you remember?
19 A. I remember their particular problem but it had to do the entire
20 area of the Knin-Kotar, the Knin district. We engaged in this effort on
21 all the roads in that area, in these joint patrols, though some minor
22 roads may have been covered by the civilian police only.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So finally, your check-points were joint
25 A. Yes. After the 19th of August, and after the information from
1 Messrs. Moric and Lausic.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So therefore the answer, we don't have
3 sufficient people to man joint check-points ...
4 A. Where up until the 19th of August there had existed separate
5 check-points of the civilian and military police forces, these
6 check-points merged and separate check-points ceased to exist. Where the
7 military police was unable to provide personnel to man those, the
8 civilian police stepped in.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And to that extent, they were not joint anymore.
10 Because I have to -- I try to understand if the military police has no --
11 let me put it the following way.
12 You said where the check-points were already -- although at a
13 short distance, civilian, military, there they merged, and other
14 check-points, where there was not a military check-point nearby, there it
15 was because of lack of manpower, you say, there it was just civilian
16 check-points. It was manned by the civilian police only?
17 A. Correct.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give me an impression what percentage was
19 joint check-points after this change of attitude or change of policy.
20 What was -- how -- what was the percentage of your check-points that were
21 joint check-points with the military police after the 19th of August?
22 Was it half; was it 25 percent; was it 80 per cent? I'm not asking for a
23 precise figure but just to get an impression.
24 A. I cannot give you precise figures because the area involved is a
25 large one, and I don't remember that anymore. To the extent I remember,
1 between 60 and 70 per cent of the check-points were joint check-points.
2 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
3 Mr. Misetic.
4 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
6 Q. Mr. Buhin, I'd like to take you back to the questions that
7 Mr. Margetts asked you, and with respect to keeping track of people that
8 were in the area, there may be the suggestion later that you were able to
9 monitor all of these civilians that had come back in the area. If you
10 recall, I showed you a video of 500 people coming on a train, that there
11 were allegedly 2.000 to 3.000 people in Knin on the 15th of August.
12 Was the police keeping track of all civilians that had returned
13 to the area?
14 A. That was physically impossible. Only at the time the first
15 civilians were coming in, passes were issued. As larger numbers of
16 people started flooding in, the procedure of issuing passes was
17 abandoned, simply because it was not feasible.
18 Q. So although you were concerned about terrorists, did that mean
19 that, as a result of that concern, you knew everything that was happening
20 in the area concerning civilians?
21 A. We were concerned about terrorists. We were concerned about
22 perpetrators of criminal offences. However, it was only a selective
23 control and checks of suspicious individuals, individuals suspected of
24 having committed something wrong. Checks were made but they were far
25 insufficient, given the size of the population.
1 Q. Obviously we haven't confirmed the specific date where we could
2 say there were a large number of civilians coming in. You've talked
3 about the freedom train; I've showed you other reports.
4 But whenever that date is, whenever that began to happen, is it
5 safe to say that the liberated territory essentially was a free territory
6 just as the same as, for example, the territory on the coast?
7 A. When passes were abolished, and that was before the first train
8 service from Zagreb
9 seem to have got lost.
10 Can you please repeat that.
11 Q. Let me phrase it a different way.
12 When did the liberated territory begin to get treated, in terms
13 of freedom of movement for civilians, just like any other part of
15 A. On the day the passes were abolished.
16 Q. Judge Gwaunza asked you a question about HV troops returning from
18 Were these the soldiers that you were referring to in your
19 testimony earlier this week, the demobilized soldiers?
20 A. Yes. As far as it was subsequently confirmed, among the
21 perpetrators of crimes, there were demobilized soldiers.
22 Q. Yes. But you refer to soldiers that had come back from Bosnia
23 and committed crimes. Is your testimony that these people returned from
25 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, I think that this needs to -- for
1 any useful evidence to be provided, it would be helpful if this was taken
2 in stages. I'm not entirely sure what the basis for this witness --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Until now, Mr. Margetts used such general terms that
4 it hardly could have done any major harm.
5 You may continue, and whether or not you will follow the advise
6 of Mr. Margetts is up to you.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Let me repeat my question, sir. Is it your testimony that these
9 people returned from Bosnia
10 as demobilized soldiers?
11 A. What I'm saying is based on the knowledge of my colleagues from
12 the ministry who were involved in crime investigation activities. There
13 were such cases where persons, having been demobilized, went back to
14 their localities which had been devastated. They engaged in unlawful
15 activities, such as taking items from a home and then using them as
16 material for their own houses.
17 Q. In your answer you say "having been demobilized." Again, let me
18 make sure that is clear. You're saying having been demobilized after
19 returning from Bosnia
20 A. I can't confirm that in relation to them having returned from
22 went home. Now, which front lines they had originally come from is
23 something that I cannot make any definite statement about.
24 Q. Well, in your statement when you make reference to soldiers
25 returning from Bosnia
1 coming back from Bosnia
2 A. I can't remember that. I probably remembered at that time
3 General Cermak promising that, at some of the meetings, that the army
4 would be redirected from the Knin front lines elsewhere, probably some of
5 the troops went to Bosnia
6 that I mentioned Bosnia
7 Q. So you have no specific knowledge of any troops that came back
8 from Bosnia
9 A. Correct. I can't pinpoint the location.
10 Q. With respect to this issue of doors and windows on trucks, you've
11 clarified what your testimony was yesterday. However, let me just ask
12 you, the Trial Chamber has heard a lot of evidence about smashed windows
13 that occurred during Operation Storm, other damage to buildings that took
14 place as a result of the operations.
15 How did new windows, new doors, new building materials,
16 et cetera, are you aware of whether the Croatian army also participated
17 in transporting materials that were used to reconstruct items that were
18 damaged during military operations? Are you aware that the Croatian army
19 also participated in the delivery of those types of items?
20 A. At no point in time did we discuss new doors and windows. There
21 were cases where persons, having returned to their homes that had been
22 damaged, would go to other homes, other properties, stripping them of
23 doors and windows in order for them to use them on their own homes. I
24 don't have any knowledge about materials being transported by the
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Buhin.
2 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic, I have one short follow-up
4 question on Mr. Misetic's questions. Perhaps you might need this one as
6 Mr. Buhin, you talked about demobilized soldiers returning to the
7 place where they came from. Now, once they were demobilized, once they
8 had returned to their villages, would they, upon their return, would they
9 fall within the jurisdiction of the civilian police, the normal --
10 ordinary police, or would they still be under the jurisdiction of the
11 military police?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot say with precision, but I
13 do believe that a large part who had been demobilized were returned to
14 the normal civilian walks of life and were treated as civilians.
15 It should be underlined that, at that time, the HV uniform was
16 extremely popular and that people continued wearing it even after
17 demobilization and that many such persons walked around the town of
19 vogue and the image that was popular.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We've seen some statistics on abuse of
21 uniforms and civilians and military.
22 I have no further questions.
23 Mr. Mikulicic.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: I'll try be to be very short, Your Honour.
25 Can I have on the screen, please, D527.
1 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Buhin, just a couple of questions that I'm
3 prompted to ask by your answers to the question of the His Honour, the
4 Presiding Judge.
5 We shall now see on our screens a document that we have already
6 seen and that is the decree on the internal organisation and manner of
7 work of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia
8 Can we see Article 27 of this document, the identification number
9 is 3D00-1514.
10 What we shall see right now, Mr. Buhin, is the Article which
11 regulates the structure of the special police sector within the framework
12 of the Ministry of the Interior. Article 27 states that the sector of
13 the special police shall, in fact, have eight components: An internal
14 control department; and an anti-terrorist combat detail; a special
15 anti-terrorist detail; an air force unit. The third one is Lucko air
16 force unit; five, psychological propaganda department; six, special
17 police logistics department; a department for training and utilisation of
18 police dogs and horses; and a training centre.
19 As you can see, Mr. Buhin, nowhere within the structure of the
20 special police do we see any crime unit. Do you agree?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Did you, Mr. Buhin, during your long years of service as a police
23 officer, ever see members of the --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry will Defence counsel please repeat the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, the interpreters have not -- have not
2 followed your question. Could you please repeat it.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay.
4 Q. [Interpretation] For the sake of interpretation, Mr. Buhin, and
5 I'm, of course, rushing because we are behind schedule.
6 I asked you: Did you ever see or hear that members of the
7 special police ever conducted the crime processing of any case?
8 A. No. I have never seen nor heard of anything -- never seen
9 anything like that nor heard of anything like that.
10 Q. So when Mr. Vesel, in his note, wrote that he had allegedly
11 talked with you or, rather, that you had said that a special police unit
12 would be sent to the scene of the event to investigate, that is something
13 that is actually not at all logical in view of your police work
14 experience and knowledge?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. So can you confirm that you actually never said anything of the
18 A. Well, I'm not sure.
19 Q. Have you at all, Mr. Buhin, in this brief conversation that you
20 asked -- that you requested yourself with Mr. Vesel, did you at all
21 discuss the incident in the village of Grubori
22 A. I probably did mention that we would also be talking about that
23 too, but I did not discuss it in detail with him.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
1 Mr. Margetts. I'm looking at the clock and I have not yet even
2 asked the interpreters and the others, which I should have done, whether
3 we could continue for a couple of minutes. Unless there is something
4 very urgent that can you deal with in one minute, I would ask you to
5 consider whether there's an absolute need to continue.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. President, there's not an absolute need, no.
7 I -- I could deal with it probably in a couple of minutes, though, if we
8 had a couple of minutes. Maybe not one, but two or three.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Two or three. I'm looking at the booth. If I keep
10 a close eye on the clock and limit Mr. Margetts to two and a half
11 minutes, would you -- two and a half. And I don't receive an answer.
12 Sometimes if something is not denied, I assume it is granted.
13 Two and a half minutes and I will be very strict.
14 Further Re-examination by Mr. Margetts:
15 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President and thank you
17 Q. Mr. Buhin, in the course of answering His Honour's questions,
18 His Honour Judge Orie's questions, you made a distinction between
19 civilian vehicles and military vehicles. The question was: But you
20 would say doors, windows, that was all on civilian vehicles, and
21 household appliances, everything you could load on to a truck. That is
22 purely limited to civilian vehicles.
23 Your answer was: Precisely so. We were able to control them and
24 see what they transported. We could -- we cannot comment on the ones we
25 weren't able to see what they carry.
1 When you said "the ones," were you referring to military
3 A. Yes, I was.
4 Q. And what was your understanding, who could control the movement
5 of military vehicles?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Is that triggered by my questions? And I think -- I
7 refrained from further questions because if you would careful look at the
8 transcript of the evidence given earlier on what you could see, what you
9 couldn't see, what were trucks which were open, trucks which were not
10 open, I thought that I was sufficiently informed.
11 I did not raise an issue of who, then, were the competent
12 authorities to deal with the matter. That certain has not been triggered
13 by my questions.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Buhin, this then concludes your testimony
16 in this Court. I'd like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague
17 and for answering the many, many questions that were put to you by the
18 parties and by the Bench. And I wish you a safe trip home again.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then we adjourn, and we resume tomorrow, the 9th of
21 October, quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon, Courtroom III.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.11 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
24 October, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.