1 Friday, 28 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Before we continue, may I remind the Defence that the issue of
13 what pages of P482, which is a book, the Defence would wish to tender in
14 addition to what was tendered by the Prosecution still remains unresolved
15 and that a recent reminder has not triggered any response.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, after the reminder that was sent by
17 Mr. Nilsson, I sent an e-mail to the persons in OTP who were also copied
18 on Mr. Nilsson's e-mail with a proposal, and I have not heard yet from
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see whether we can resolve this matter soon.
21 Then I take it that -- yes.
22 Mr. Theunens, good morning to you as well.
23 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to remind you that the solemn
25 declaration you gave at the beginning of your testimony still binds you.
1 Mr. Misetic will now continue his cross-examination.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Theunens.
7 A. Good morning, Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I may have exhibit P878 on the
9 screen, please.
10 Q. Mr. Theunens, I'm showing you or about to show you a document
11 authored by General Lausic on the 16th of August, and was sent to all
12 military police units and to all military police administration
13 departments and sections.
14 MR. MISETIC: And if we scroll down to the bottom of this page,
16 Q. In it, Mr. Lausic notes that: "With the change in the deployment
17 of Croatian army units in the newly liberated areas of the Republic of
19 and MUP -- of the MUP of the RH, conditions have been created for a
20 change in the deployment of units of the military police of the armed
21 forces ... as well as the manner in carrying out military police tasks
22 and in keeping with that I here order ..."
23 Then he goes through and to the various military police
24 battalion, he gives assignments.
25 Point 4 says, for example, "By 1800 hours on the 18th of August,
1 abolish all check-points towards free areas of the BH Federation in the
2 zones of responsibility of the 67th, 70th, and 71st Military Police
3 Battalions. The check-points shall be taken over by staff of the
4 RH MUP."
5 MR. MISETIC: And if we can go over to the next page, please.
6 Q. Point 6, and this is -- I'd ask to you keep this point in mind
7 because it is relevant to the next document. It says: "In all zones of
8 responsibility, ensure that commanders of military police units are
9 familiar with the deployment of HV units on the line of defence and at
10 camp sites, the strength of the units, the time and direction of
11 redeployment or departure of VP units from the zone of responsibility,
12 and that they have the telephone numbers of the commander and vice versa,
13 thus ensuring knowledge of the zone of responsibility on the basis of
14 which the engagement of VP patrols shall also be planned."
15 And before I pose a question to you, let me now take you to
16 Exhibit P877.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if you could, please.
18 Q. I'm know showing you a document from two days after this
19 document. And if you recall the sequence, the one on the screen right
20 now was the 16th of August. Mr. Moric sends a letter to General Lausic,
21 I believe, on the 17th of August. Now I'm showing you the 18th of
22 August, where General Lausic issues orders where he references that
23 letter from Mr. Moric.
24 MR. MISETIC: If we scroll to the bottom.
25 Q. You can see this is also now sent also to -- it's an order sent
1 to all -- the military police battalions there: 67, 68, 69, 71, and 72.
2 He references in the introduction: "The military police administration
3 received an official document from the MUP of RH on 17 August 1995,
4 stating that in the territory of the Republic of Croatia
5 Operation Oluja, still there are daily recorded examples of houses being
6 burned, of illegal taking away of the other people's movable property, as
7 well as other -- as well as examples of other forms of illegal behaviour
8 committed by the members of the HVO and by the civilians wearing the HV
9 uniforms ..."
10 MR. MISETIC: Actually, I seem to have a different translation
12 Q. I'll read the one on the screen then?
13 A. The English text says "HV."
14 Q. Yes. I seem to have an earlier translation, so I will read the
15 one that says -- it's not relevant to the question I'm going to pose, but
16 you're right.
17 The one on the screen says: "... other unlawful actions by HV
18 soldiers and civilians wearing HV uniforms are occurring on a daily
20 The communication also says that "cooperation between the
21 military and civilian police on liberated territory thus far has not
22 yielded results, pursuant to the fundamental guidelines of state policy."
23 It goes on and he issues an order to the military police
24 battalions that I referenced. And if you look through the order, he
25 gives specific tasks including that "the commanders of the military
1 platoons companies and battalions are immediately required to get in
2 touch with commanders ever police stations."
3 Is that right?
4 A. Yes. But he also states, and I also copied that in my report in
5 English page 230, in the second part that "commanders of platoons,
6 companies, and battalions of the military police are to immediately get
7 in contact with the highest ranking HV commander in their area of
8 responsibility," and so on.
9 Q. I'm -- I wasn't finished with my question. I thought you were
10 disagreeing with what I had read up to that point?
11 A. I'm sorry. No.
12 Q. Okay. Now you're right. The next sentence says -- but you
13 didn't finish the sentence there. It says: "... get in contact with the
14 highest ranking HV commander in their area of responsibility, and
15 completely execute item 6 of the UVP order," which is item 6 of the order
16 I just showed you on the screen, which said: "Get in contact with the
17 commanders so you know ..." -- essentially it says, so you know where the
18 troops will be, so you can plan your activities accordingly. Correct?
19 It doesn't say, Go to the local area commander so can you receive
20 orders from him on what you're supposed to be doing. And if I may
21 complete this, further to the point, if you look at 3, it says -- he
22 gives specific instructions: "Minutes are to be composed indicating in
23 detail the conclusions of the meetings held with the chiefs of police
24 stations and heads of police administrations," according to item 1, "as
25 well as minutes of the meetings held with commanders of HV," according to
1 item 2 of the order.
2 Then it says: "Minutes from the meetings are to be collected to
3 the commands of the battalion, (independent companies); and once
4 compiled, they should be submitted to the military police administration
5 by 2000 hours on 19 August 1995
6 Now, isn't what this is saying that General Lausic is issuing
7 orders to the battalions that they're to coordinate with MUP police
8 stations and police administrations; they are to get in contact with the
9 local HV commanders, pursuant to the 16 August, order to get information
10 as to the -- where the troops HV troops are deployed; and then they are
11 to report back not to the local commanders, they're to report back to
12 General Lausic about the implementation of this order. Correct?
13 A. Your Honours, I have a problem in a sense that we're taking this
14 document, but it is obvious that General Lausic cannot reiterate
15 everything that is put, for example, in the rules in the 1994 rules on
16 the use of the military police, because then he would have to issue
18 I think I can better answer the question by directing you to 65
19 ter 2741, which is described on page 328 in the second part of my report,
20 where the commander of the 3rd Company of the 72nd Military Police
21 Battalion reports to Major Juric about his cooperation and coordination
22 with both the operational commander, i.e., the commander of OG Zadar,
23 Major Fuzul, as well as with the chief of the civilian police. That
24 report gives a very good picture as to how the regulations as well as the
25 following orders are being implemented already at the earlier stages of
1 Operation Storm.
2 Q. Mr. Theunens, I have to cut you off again because you're going
3 off on a 65 ter that has nothing do with the question I have posed to
4 you. That is, as you know, a report from a subordinate military police
5 commander to Major Juric, and I was going to ask you this morning.
6 You've already testified that Major Juric never reported to
7 General Gotovina. So why you keep going back to that document is beyond
8 me. Let's go back now.
9 That is the 8th of August. I'm asking about the 16th to 18th of
11 A. Yes. But --
12 Q. I --
13 A. -- Your Honours, I'm trying to explain based on the documents I
14 reviewed, and also on my -- my professional and educational background
15 how things are being implemented.
16 If we want to be 100 percent precise, Mr. Misetic, with this
17 particular order we have on the screen, and then with P878, I would like
18 to see P878 again and see to what extent it includes instructions for the
19 72nd Military Police Battalion, and whether it is, indeed, sent to the
20 72nd Military Police Battalion. Because on the image I saw on the
21 monitor, I could only see duties and tasks for the 69th, the 70th, and
22 the 71th Military Police Battalion.
23 Q. Well, whether you could see it or not, before I take you back to
24 that document, look at the class and order number referenced in number 2,
25 dated 16 August, and then I want you to compare it back to P878. Then
1 tell me if you deny that P877 was sent to the 72nd Military Police
2 Battalion with the instruction to follow number 6, item 6 in the 16
3 August, and tell me if that is the same document that he's referenced on
4 the 18th August that I showed on the 16th?
5 A. That is a different question.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, if the witness is convinced that
7 although the same numbers appear, that nevertheless there is a question
8 to be raised as to whether the one document is addressed to a unit which
9 apparently knows about document and refers to it, then he is entitled to
10 do so.
11 MR. MISETIC: Yes, absolutely, Your Honour. That's fine. I want
12 him, so we're not flipping back and forth in documents, to keep in mind
13 the number in number 2.
14 Now, Mr. Registrar, if we can go to P878, to the first page,
15 which I've already read to Mr. Theunens.
16 Q. You see, in the top, it says: "To all military police units."
17 A. Indeed. But the specific instructions on the first page only
18 apply to the addressees we can see or the units we can see: The 69th,
19 the 67th, the 71st, and I can't see if there's a number 4.
20 Q. Correct. In those specific paragraphs, for specific tasks, to
21 those units.
22 MR. MISETIC: Now, Mr. Registrar, if we can go to page 3,
23 paragraph 6.
24 Q. Now, that paragraph starts off: "In all zone of
1 A. Okay.
2 Q. And it was sent to all military police battalions; right?
3 A. Well, I agree with you about the title. It says "to all military
4 police battalion." However, when we see the list of addressees at the
5 end --
6 Q. There's no military unit in any addressee at the end, so we
7 should say that it didn't go to any military police unit?
8 A. No. There is no reference to the Split Military District. I
9 don't claim that that has an important impact as to whether paragraph 6
10 applied to the 72nd Military Police Battalion or not. I don't -- in my
11 view, based on the other documents I have reviewed, paragraph 6 does not
12 change anything to the regular military police tasks the military police
13 battalion were to execute in the zones of responsible of the military
14 districts, including the Split Military District; again, these duties, as
15 they are determined in the 1994 rules on the military police.
16 And as I mentioned, 65 ter 2741 is an example showing how these
17 tasks, the tasks you mentioned on Wednesday, the establishment of
18 check-points, how that is coordinated with the operational commander and
19 with the civilian police.
20 Q. Okay. Let's get back to the document that -- and I question that
21 I asked you.
22 In this document from the 18th of August, after Mr. Lausic
23 receives a report from Mr. Moric, it's him issuing instructions to -- I'm
24 sorry, issuing orders to the military police battalions on how they're to
25 coordinate with the MUP, how they're to report on their meetings, and
1 that they are to meet with the highest ranking local commanders to gain
2 information about where HV troops are located.
3 Isn't that what this document says?
4 A. Yes. That is what the document says and that is in line with the
5 professional -- I mean, the professional chain. As you mention yourself,
6 the how, that is what is being instructed through the professional chain.
7 Q. Well, that's not what I mentioned, but ...
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar if we could go to Exhibit D595,
10 Q. These are -- this is a report of the results of a coordination
11 meeting between the representatives of the MUP and the ministry -- sorry,
12 and the military police administration, regarding continued problems in
13 the newly liberated areas. That meeting took place on the 15th of
14 September, 1995. On the first page, you see who attended this meeting.
15 Mr. Moric was present; his assistant for crime police, Mr. Benko, was
16 present. On behalf of the military administration, it was
17 General Lausic, his assistant Mr. Biskic -- sorry.
18 On behalf of the MUPs, chiefs of police administrations were
19 present in the areas -- from the newly liberated areas; their deputies
20 and assistants commanders from the military police chief of departments
21 of the MP administration; commanders of 69th, 70th, 71st, and 72nd MP
22 Battalions; and chiefs of the military police crime investigation
24 It records who said what at this meeting.
25 MR. MISETIC: If we turn to page 5 of seven, I would like to show
1 you what General Lausic said at the meeting.
2 Q. It says: "General Lausic concluded the reports of the MP units'
3 commanders. Members of the MUP and the military police are the promoters
4 of the state policy, and the only people responsible for its
5 implementation are present at this meeting. The objective is clear:
6 Protection of people and property and creation of positive security
7 situation in the entire area of the Republic of Croatia
8 What do you think General Lausic means when he says that the only
9 people responsible for the implementation of that state policy are
10 present at this meeting?
11 A. Well, I have referred to this document in my report on page 238
12 of the second part, English page. It is what Mr. Lausic states. When I
13 compare his statement with the regulations and all the other documents
14 have I seen, and in particular orders by the chief of the Main Staff and
15 the commander of the Split Military District, as well as subordinate
16 commanders in relation to the enforcement of discipline, I cannot draw
17 any particular conclusions from it, except that, in his view, he is -- he
18 and the civilian police are, as he puts it, the promotors of the state
19 policy and only people responsible.
20 However, the military documents I have seen show that also the
21 chief of the Main Staff, as well as the subordinate commanders,
22 considered themselves responsible to prevent looting, to prevent burning,
23 and to enforce all other aspects of military discipline as is stipulated
24 in the Code of Discipline and the other Croatian military regulations.
25 Q. Mr. Theunens, what I'm interested in more is your methodology,
1 how you worked, how you drew your conclusions. I've spent the better
2 part of a day now talking to you about military police. We've walked
3 through Mr. Lausic' orders before Storm; orders during Storm to see
4 specific facilities, specific warehouses; orders after Storm to
5 coordinate with MUP to send him reports. We've talked about Mr. Juric's
6 role and that he only reported to General Lausic.
7 I'm now saying, when you reviewed those documents and came upon
8 this passage, which I don't believe you quoted this passage in your
9 report, did you?
10 A. I would have to check.
11 Q. When you saw this passage, where General Lausic says, "The only
12 people responsible for the implementation of this policy," which is to
13 protect people and property, are present at this meeting ..." --
14 A. But -- yes, there is no doubt that he states it and that it is in
15 the document --
16 Q. Right. I know there is no doubt that he states it. My question
17 to you is: When you're trying to piece this all together to see who is
18 running the military police in -- in securing the territory during and
19 after Operation Storm, what does that piece of information tell you about
20 who's in command and control of the military police in its function to
21 provide security and restore order in the liberated territories during
22 and after Operation Storm?
23 Regardless of the fact that you may think that there is other
24 evidence that contradicts this, what did this piece of information tell
1 A. Mr. Misetic, the methodology consists of reviewing not just one
2 document, which may -- or which shows a particular point of view or
3 opinion or -- but it's about reviewing several documents, putting them in
4 context, and, as I explained, drawing conclusions from those.
5 Lausic, on the 15th of September, makes this statement; however,
6 I have seen many other documents, both military documents - I mean, from
7 the Military District command and the subordinate commands - as well as
8 from the military police, which show something else.
9 Now, if I follow your logic, I should drop all these documents
10 and only consider this one. Why? Because it focuses on the role of the
11 military police.
12 I think it is very important also to understand that in military
13 environment, the military police, or SIS, or the department for political
14 affairs, they do not operate as isolated, yeah, bodies, who do not
15 communicate and who do not share information. The documents I have
16 reviewed in the preparation of this report, as well as my background,
17 show me that all these bodies cooperate on a continuous basis exchange
18 information, and on a continuous basis interact with each other.
19 That is what I have tried to show in my report; and, therefore,
20 again, there is no doubt that General Lausic on the 15th of
21 September makes this statement. However, based on the other material I
22 have reviewed, I did not consider that this statement had a significant
23 impact or had any impact on the conclusions I drew.
24 Q. Okay. Now this is where I want to get more to your methodology.
25 I want you to explain -- this isn't the only document, obviously. I
1 spent all day Wednesday, all day -- or part of the day Tuesday showing
2 you military police documents, Mr. Juric's role, the order sent by
3 General Lausic, et cetera. So this is actually a document at the end in
4 the context of the documents I showed you.
5 But I want to get to a methodological question with you, and I
6 want to compare two conclusions and explain to me how you arrive at those
8 When you see a document on direct examination that says, in the
9 Grahovo area, guard the church, you concluded, well, that must mean they
10 don't want negative public relations, so there was a policy to burn the
11 houses, but protect the church, for PR reasons.
12 On the basis of that entry, when I show you 25 documents capped
13 by this sentence by General Lausic, you say to me, There could be other
14 documents, and I don't want to draw the conclusion you're drawing.
15 Why is 25 documents on one point and a direct quote from
16 General Lausic not enough for you, but a line about protecting churches
17 is enough to spin off a conclusion that it is a state policy to burn
18 buildings but not churches?
19 A. Your Honours, I'm not sure whether this is an accurate reflection
20 of what I stated. I think it was the Presiding Judge who asked me about,
21 or who challenged me at least, about the possible conclusion I drew in
22 relation to the churches. I gave an example of one document. I couldn't
23 identify it immediately, but any way, it is in my report.
24 It is D810, which is mentioned on English page 394 in the second
25 part the report; and D810 shows a general attitude in relation to the
1 freedom of movement of the press. So I didn't testify that it was state
2 policy to burn houses or to burn churches. I remember -- and these
3 three's also quoted in my report, and, for example, in P7, in the
4 operational diary. General Tolj instructs that churches should not be
5 burned, and that brought about the whole discussion.
6 In D810, it is stated that: In general, we have been directing
7 reporters to places where Serbian barbarism was evident, torch Croatian
8 villages," and so and so on. "We have also directed them to preserve
9 Orthodox churches, Serbian civilians being given aid and food," and so
11 I want to emphasise that the conclusion I drew on that conclusion
12 on that entry in the diary of the Orthodox churches was a possible
13 conclusion. The Presiding Judge challenged me, and I accepted the
15 Here, we're talking about different documents. It is true that
16 you have consistently shown me military police documents. I have tried
17 to explain that when Juric, a military policeman, reports to
18 Major-General Lausic about the activities of the military police, that
19 these reports do not necessarily indicate who has orders -- who has
20 ordered these activities. These reports also addressed the participation
21 of military police units in combat tasks. I have only seen orders by
22 operational commanders in relation to that aspect.
23 You asked me on Wednesday whether I could find any orders by
24 General Gotovina according to the so-called operational line. Well, I
25 have reviewed my report.
1 Q. No --
2 A. [Overlapping speakers] ... if you want, I can read them out and
3 address them.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, I didn't ask you that, and I anticipate and I know
5 that you go back and then try to gather documents and interject them in
6 to answers to questions that aren't related to the question I asked you.
7 Okay. So let's's put a stop to that right now.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I think the question was how you could reach general
9 conclusions on the basis of one document; whereas, as Mr. Misetic put it
10 is to you, where he showed you 25 documents which, in his view,
11 apparently give a clear view on a certain matter why you would not accept
12 what he considers to be the logical conclusion from these 25 documents.
13 Mr. Misetic, the witness has been given an opportunity to answer
14 the question. The point is clear. Whatever.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So you have drawn our attention that, in your view,
17 25 convincing documents has not lead the witness; whereas, one document
18 which you apparently consider not a proper basis for the conclusions that
19 he has drawn, that's what you call methodology.
20 That point is clear. I don't know how long --
21 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... that's fine. I'll move
23 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, this doesn't say anything about how to
24 interpret question, answer, et cetera, but have you made clear what your
25 view on the matter is.
1 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Theunens, let's change gears.
3 Let's talk a little bit about the Code of Discipline.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could please have Exhibit
5 P1007, please, and if we could turn to Article 31, please.
6 Q. Mr. Theunens, Article 31 is on the screen.
7 MR. MISETIC: I'll wait for it in Croatian as well. Page 5 of
8 the Croatian version, in the upper left-hand corner.
9 Q. Article 31 says: "In situations where the authorised officer
10 finds that the offence against military discipline is also a criminal
11 offence, the case shall be sent via regular channels to the authorised
12 prosecutor. If he thinks that it is in the interest of the service, he
13 shall also initiate disciplinary procedures."
14 Now what does that -- what is the relevance of that paragraph?
15 A. Your Honours, the relevance of that paragraph is that the
16 authorised officer does not have to wait until there is a criminal
17 procedure being started by the authorised prosecutor and the authorised
18 officials; but that if he considers it necessary in order to maintain
19 order and discipline in his unit, he can also immediately take the
20 appropriate disciplinary measures.
21 Q. That is not exactly what it says, is it, Mr. Theunens? It kind
22 of says the opposite of what you're saying.
23 It says: "If the disciplinary infraction is also a criminal
24 offence, it shall be referred to the prosecutor."
25 Then it says: "If he think," right? That's contrary to the rest
1 of the disciplinary Code, would you agree with me, which imposes
2 basically a requirement that other disciplinary infractions be
3 sanctioned? Correct?
4 A. No, Your Honours, I don't read it that way.
5 Q. Well, why would it have to say, "if he thinks it is in the
6 interests of the service?" Why wouldn't it just say, "he shall issue a
7 disciplinary sanction and refer the matter to the prosecution"?
8 A. Because there are probably offences against military discipline
9 which also represent the criminal offence or may represent a criminal
10 offence, but which do not necessarily affect the interests of the
11 service. I'm thinking, for example, if a military person has -- I've
12 seen such a document where, I think, an officer was involved in domestic
13 violence. Without going into details, it may well be that such an
14 incident or such, yeah, a violation of discipline may represent a
15 criminal offence, but does not affect the interests of the service.
16 Q. So domestic violence doesn't affect the interests of the service,
17 but looting would affect the interest of the service?
18 A. You're speaking in very general terms, but looting will certainly
19 affect the interest of the service because, as I explained in my
20 examination, looting happens during combat operations. When we use the
21 term "looting," it means that it is a generalised activity, whereby the
22 soldiers they see what they are doing. People see each other, and they
23 keep an eye on how the commander reacts to this.
24 Again, I'm talking from my own experience, not about looting, but
25 other aspects of military discipline. If you, as a commander at the
1 lowest possible level, do not enforce discipline, then the other soldiers
2 who are not involved in violating discipline will see it as an
3 encouragements to say, Well, if he can do it, I will do it, too.
4 It is also important that, if at the lowest level, a commander
5 tries to enforce discipline, that he is supported throughout the chain of
6 command; otherwise, he will be lose his credibility. And in that
7 context, in particular to the function of military discipline, I refer
8 you to Article 7 of the Code of Discipline, which explains why it is
9 important to enforce military discipline, not only against the
10 perpetrators but also for the overall functioning of the armed forces.
11 Q. Mr. Theunens, let me read to you the trial testimony of a former
12 military prosecutor in Croatia
13 who told the Trial Chamber as follows:
14 "Q. Can you say something about the following situation ..."
15 This is the testimony of Zeljko Zganjer, beginning at page
16 11.576, line 6:
17 "Q. Can you say something about the following situation: Let's
18 say, for example, that a soldier or a military serviceman who were to be
19 processed for a crime, and if a sentence was passed for that crime, would
20 disciplinary proceedings be carried out before a military disciplinary
21 court despite the fact that that person is already being tried for a
23 "A. I believe that proceedings before military courts for a
24 crime, in a certain way enveloped any possible military disciplinary
25 responsibility of a serviceman. In concrete terms, this would mean, if
1 I'm not mistaken, if a person was found guilty and sentenced for a crime,
2 then this would have enveloped that same person's responsibility for a
3 possible disciplinary offence. In the category of crimes, a crime is the
4 highest form of a punishable act, and, therefore, it is higher in the
5 hierarchy than a disciplinary offence."
6 MR. MISETIC: If we go to page 1157, beginning at line one.
7 Q. "Q. Will that person be prosecuted for a disciplinary offence
8 and for a crime, or whether he would be only be processed for a crime?
9 "A. It would be only for a crime either for a murder or an
10 attempted murder, and that the decision of the military court, if we're
11 talking about that time, will envelope or consume the same person's
12 military disciplinary responsibility. If you will allow me, I would like
13 to say something else. If the military court were to find that person
14 guilty of a crime, of murder or attempted murder, I allow myself to
15 assume that that person would be dishonourably discharged from the armed
16 forces of the Republic of Croatia
17 Then he says, at page 11688, lines 17 to 20: "I simply cannot
18 envisage a situation where person A, an active duty serviceman, is being
19 tried before a military court for murder, and that a military
20 disciplinary proceedings are conducted before the military disciplinary
21 Tribunal for the same offence."
22 Now, I ask you, Mr. Theunens, in interpreting Article 31 of the
23 Code of Disciplinary Conduct, isn't it correct that when it comes to
24 crime, it was assumed that the offenders disciplinary responsibility
25 would be enveloped by the criminal proceedings, but that in circumstances
1 where the commander felt it was necessary to initiate disciplinary
2 proceedings as well, because there was some interest of the service
3 implicated, he could do that at his discretion? Isn't that the right way
4 to interpret Article 31.
5 A. You have just read out Article 31, and I have given you my
6 understanding of it; that is, that - and I start then with the second
7 part of what you read out - Article 31 deals with the role of the
8 authorised officer, i.e., the commander. It doesn't address what the
9 military courts are doing or what the military disciplinary courts are
10 doing. It simply states that that the military commander has the right
11 to initiate disciplinary proceedings if he thinks that this is in the
12 interest of the service.
13 Obviously, then if the matter is taken over - and now we're
14 talking about time factor - the matter is taken over by the military
15 prosecutor and justice is rendered there, there is no need anymore for a
16 disciplinary procedure. But prior to that, if the commander thinks that
17 it is important for the service, the article allows him to also initiate
18 disciplinary procedures.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
20 Now, Mr. Theunens, let me take you to Exhibit P71.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if you would, please.
22 Q. I'm going to show you page 69 of P71, Mr. Theunens, which is the
23 Split Military District operational diary. This page was not included in
24 your report because for some reason it was never translated, so I don't
25 know if you have ever seen this page or not. Have you seen the most
1 revised version of P7?
2 A. Yes, Your Honours. That also explains the numerous entries in
3 the corrigendum to change references of page numbers to entries in the
4 operational diary in my report.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. MISETIC: If we could zoom in on that a bit.
7 Q. This is now after Grahovo, and General Gotovina -- and, again,
8 this was never translated when your report was done.
9 It says, towards the middle of that first entry: "The biggest
10 problem in OG Sjever," which is OG North, "is the lack of discipline. So
11 we ordered to the commanders of the units to pay attention and strictly
12 forbid looting and burning."
13 That was something you had not seen when you wrote area report,
15 A. Probably not, but I have seen it afterwards. But it is line in
16 what I have seen in the other parts of the diary; as well, it is coherent
17 by orders issued by General Gotovina throughout and after Operation
19 Q. And what happened to the commander of Operative Group North?
20 A. I haven't seen any documents showing an operative role for
21 Brigadier Glasnovic during Operation Storm, but I believe that during
22 Maestral, or the operation afterwards, he again occupies a command
24 Q. Well, are you under the impression that General Glasnovic was the
25 commander of the OG North on the 1st of August?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Who is the commander of OG North on the 1st of August?
3 A. Brigadier Ademi is the commander according to the order Kozjak
4 95, dated 2nd of August.
5 Q. Right. But who is the commander of OG North on the 1st of
7 A. Well, based on this entry, it's Glasnovic.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could go to Exhibit D793,
10 Q. This is General Gotovina's order from the 3rd of August, and he
11 says: "In keeping with the order for attack and with the purpose of
12 having a uniform command and control of the units, I order: Staff
13 Brigadier Rahim Ademi is temporarily appointed commander of OG North. He
14 shall perform the said duty along side his establishment duty."
15 Point 2: "The outgoing commander of the OG North, Colonel Slaven
16 Zdilar, is to resume his duty of acting chief of infantry of Split
17 Military District command."
18 Now, can you tell me -- first, from a military prospective, tell
19 us, when somebody is appointed chief of the infantry in a command, that's
20 not a very high-ranking position, is it?
21 A. It is not a command position, but the document says he is to
22 resume his duty. So I understand from that, that he had that duty
23 before. Operational Groups are temporary arrangements, i.e., they do not
24 exist in peacetime. They are set up to carry out particular operations
25 during a particular time-period, which means that the command positions
1 there are also an ad hoc issue. When there is no need anymore for the
2 OG, well, then the other commander resumes, will return to his regular
3 duties. We see that also with the commanders of the OGs that are
4 established in Kozjak 95, these are all officers who, with the exception
5 of Brigadier Ademi, hold a command position within units of the Split
6 Military District.
7 Q. Yes. But there's a little bit different issue here than the one
8 you just answered, which is that Operative Group North was not, as you
9 say -- you said, "when there is no need for the operative group, then the
10 commander will return to his regular duties." Clearly, on the 3rd of
11 August, there was a need for Operative Group North; right?
12 A. Yes, that's correct. I was just giving a theoretical answer to
13 explain how OGs are established or why they are established, and also to
14 point out that the command thing. We do, indeed, see here that General
15 Gotovina replaces the commander of OG North.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, we have seen and I have already taken you
17 through Mr. Lausic' notes from the meeting of the 2nd of August, so I
18 won't go through that again.
19 First, let me ask you: When you were preparing your report or
20 preparing area addendum, were you aware that Ambassador Galbraith had a
21 meeting with President Tudjman on the 1st of August?
22 A. I'm not aware of a specific meeting on the 1st of August. I have
23 seen former President Tudjman, or the late-President Tudjman, on the BBC
24 series, "The Death of Yugoslavia," where he spoke about last minute
25 contacts with the US
1 the UNPF headquarters that, until the last moment, there were close
2 contacts between the Croatian authorities and its main allies in the
3 international community.
4 Q. Well, did you follow Ambassador Galbraith's testimony here in
5 this case?
6 A. I may have seen five minutes of it, but I was working on other
8 Q. Were you aware that Ambassador Galbraith spelled out certain
9 conditions to President Tudjman regarding the treatment of civilians and
10 the treatment of UNCRO?
11 A. This seems to correspond with what President Tudjman stated
12 through "The Death of Yugoslavia," but I'm not familiar of the specifics
13 of what Ambassador Galbraith said to Mr. Tudjman.
14 Q. As I said, you have seen now the notes from the 2nd of August in
15 Mr. Lausic' diary about the meeting with Minister Susak, Chief of Staff
16 Cervenko, and all military commanders about preventing, burning, and
17 looting; treating UNPROFOR well; et cetera.
18 We've gone through the MUP and military police coordination
19 meetings, so I won't repeat those again.
20 With respect to orders passed by General Gotovina, I think --
21 first, let me call your attention to page 113 of your report, part 2,
22 paragraph small Roman numeral ii. I just wanted to draw your attention
23 to it. This is from what is now marked in evidence as Exhibit D201.
24 A. Mm-hm.
25 Q. And this accurately reflects General Gotovina's attack order to
1 the political affairs branch to react vigorously and in good time, in
2 cases of disorganisation, undermining of the command system, relations,
3 discipline, incidents of panic, prevention of looting and burning; and,
4 also, accurately reflects that there was an order given to pass along how
5 to treat civilians and POWs in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
6 That's what D201 states. Correct?
7 A. Indeed, it's true.
8 MR. MISETIC: Let me go to Exhibit P1126, please, page3,
9 Mr. Registrar, please.
10 Q. This is the order the attachment to the SIS which also, at
11 number 9.
12 MR. MISETIC: Which is on page 3 of the English, please.
13 Q. That order says: "Prevent burning and looting of facilities in
14 the liberated territory, immediately station personnel of the MUP,
15 special MUP units, and VP in large towns to secure the town an important
17 So do we agree that, prior to Operation Storm, General Gotovina
18 passed orders to both the political affairs branch and the SIS to inform
19 units about their obligations under the Geneva Conventions and to prevent
20 burning and looting?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. Okay. If we looked at P71, you can tell me if I'm --
23 MR. MISETIC: Just one moment, please.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have P71, please.
1 Q. Now, we have already talked about the entry on the evening of the
2 4th of August, where the assistant commander for political affairs says,
3 at the meeting, essentially, burning and looting must be prevented, Knin
4 must not suffer the same fate as Grahovo. Correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Now, in your report, you classify that as a warning by the
7 political affairs officer to General Gotovina and others present. In
8 point of fact, isn't it really a warning to the other commanders? He is
9 not warning General Gotovina.
10 A. Could you just assist me and tell me on which page I have
11 mentioned that?
12 Q. Just a moment, please.
13 A. I found it, I believe. Is it English page 324?
14 Q. That's one of them. I believe there is -- just one second.
15 A. Because on English page 324, I state: "During the Split Military
16 District Command working meeting on 4th of August in the evening, the
17 assistant commander for political affairs of the Split Military District
18 informs the attendees, including Gotovina, that morale in the Split
19 Military District units is good, adding Knin must not experience the same
20 treatment as Grahovo, and that burning and destruction should be
22 Q. I call your attention to page 311, subparagraph H. There you
23 wrote: "The chief of the Split Military District political
24 department ..." --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak in the microphone.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. "The chief of the Split Military District political department
4 warns Colonel-General Ante Gotovina and other members of the Split MD
5 command that Knin should not experience the same treatment as Grahovo,
6 and that burning and destruction should be prevented."
7 A. Indeed, that is the summary section.
8 Q. He is not warning General Gotovina; right? He is acting, amongst
9 other things, pursuant to an order that General Gotovina gave him the day
10 before or two days before. Correct?
11 A. You're right. It is not a warning in military sense. It is
12 maybe an unfortunate choice of word in the summary section, but, again,
13 the summary -- for those who want to know more about the summary, they
14 will go into the report; and then on page 3124, you have the exact
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. MISETIC: Now if we could go in P71 --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, am I correct in understanding that your
19 question comprised two matters: First of all, whether it was a warning
20 or not; and, second, whether it was as a result of what --
21 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I have not heard an answer to that question yet.
23 MR. MISETIC:
24 Q. Based on the fact that General Gotovina had issued this order on
25 the 2nd to the political affairs officer, would it be your conclusion
1 that is he acting at the meeting pursuant to what his duties are pursuant
2 to the attack order?
3 A. He probably is, yeah.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, I'm looking for the English page
5 that begins at 5 August, which is page 87 in the English. And we're
6 having a more difficult time finding the Croatian, but it could be page
7 49 in the Croatian.
8 Actually, if we can now go back one or two pages, I need the
9 morning of the 5th of August.
10 It's page 84. The entry is at 9.40 a.m.
11 Q. And if you see on the right-hand side, this is now at 9.40 in the
12 morning on the 5th, when HV troops are in the process of entering Knin.
13 It is recorded that General Gotovina orally issued an order that said
14 that he ordered maximum fairness in treatment of civilians and behaviour
15 towards UN. This was passed to all OG and commanders; right?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Did you include that in your report?
18 A. I believe I did, but I'm not sure where. But in any event, the
19 diary, as such, is also included. I have included-- if it is the issue
20 of the behaviour towards UN, I have included the order by General
21 Gotovina, as well as the entries in the war diary in relation to the
22 activities of the commander of the Split
23 were between him and UNCRO, including also the order by General Gotovina
24 to have him arrested, and to instruct, again, all his subordinates to
25 apply maximum fairness towards UNCRO personnel.
1 Q. Okay. Now, let's talk a bit about Knin on the 5th of August.
2 You cited the document -- you cited the document by Colonel Zelic where
3 he reports about the "catastrophic" affairs in Knin on the 5th. Correct?
4 A. Yes. It would be helpful if I could have the page number in my
5 report. But if I put words between quotation marks, it means that I
6 quoted from the document; that is, it's not my use of words, but it's the
7 word that is used or the text that comes from the original document.
8 Q. Yes. I'm not challenging that that word comes in the original
9 document. What I'd like to go through right now is what was really
10 taking place in Knin and what exactly did this individual find in Knin
11 that he described as catastrophic.
12 I think you will agree with me that "catastrophic" is a relative
13 term; right? What might be catastrophic for you might not be
14 catastrophic for me, or we may use that word to mean various different
16 A. I would know that a senior offers with the rank of colonel who is
17 the assistant commander for political affairs in the Split Military
18 District knows why he uses the words used in his report.
19 Q. Well, let see if we can agree on things. Do we agree that there
20 weren't or that there is not reporting in the documents of HV troops
21 murdering civilians in Knin on the 5th or the 6th?
22 A. Could you point me in my report where I refer to that document or
23 could we see the document?
24 MR. WAESPI: I think it's page 325.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
1 That's not the one.
2 JUDGE ORIE: It's a quote on paragraph 3 on that page.
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Q. He says the treatment of property was catastrophic?
5 A. Indeed, I see it now. Thank you.
6 Q. So, now, when we talk about the treatment of property being
7 catastrophic --
8 MR. MISETIC: Actually, if we could go -- I don't know if
9 Mr. Waespi can help me with the P number on that document by Mr. Zelic.
10 P1133, Mr. Registrar. Thank you.
11 If we can go to the next page, please, and if we go to the middle
12 of -- I'm sorry, the middle of the page.
13 Q. He reports: "The entry itself of our members and the treatment
14 of civilians was proper and at the required level. However, the
15 behaviour of our members regarding property found was catastrophic.
16 Immediately after entry, the devastation of buildings and uncontrolled
17 collection of war booty began, but military police units had already
18 entered the town and manned the main check-points, preventing further
19 destruction and devastation of property."
20 MR. MISETIC: Now if we go to - let me see - Exhibit P1134,
22 Q. This is Mr. Tomasovic's report, I believe -- I am sorry. It's
23 Zeljko Pavic, assistant commander for SIS in OG North, who provides
24 further details on what this catastrophic treatment of property was.
25 MR. MISETIC: And if we go to page 5 in the English, please. I
1 seem to have a different page 5. Page 3, please.
2 Q. Morale and discipline. It says: "We were not informed of any
3 cases of disobedience or breaches of the discipline code during combat
4 operations. As members of the 7th and 4th Guards Brigade entered the
5 town of Knin, commanders lost control over some individuals who were
6 taking various ... items and technical equipment from groceries, other
7 shops, and flats. This was seen by foreign journalists who were
8 authorised to say in Knin ..."
9 So the reports that you saw, they don't reference, for example,
10 burning of buildings in Knin on the 5th and the 6th. When they talk
11 about devastation of property, they're talking about breaking and
12 entering, breaking glass on store fronts, et cetera, and taking items
13 from shop, groceries, and flats; right?
14 Do you agree that's what you found on the reports?
15 A. Yeah, we can compare the two reports we saw in the one by Zelic
16 and this one. I have not seen in these two documents any specific
17 information in relation to the burning of buildings.
18 Q. Right. Well, that was on the 5th and the 6th, and I call your
19 attention to some documents --
20 A. But --
21 Q. Well, you having worked in UNCRO in Zagreb during this time, you
22 were aware that Mr. Akashi went to Knin on the 7th?
23 A. Just a small correction. I worked in the UNPF headquarters, and
24 UNCRO was a subordinate headquarters.
25 Q. Sorry.
1 A. He probably did. I don't recall exactly when Mr. Akashi went to
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MISETIC: If we could, Mr. Registrar, please put on the
5 screen Exhibit D29, please.
6 Q. And I'm going to show you two documents, so I'm not going to ask
7 you a question just in interests of some time.
8 This is a memo from Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan on 7 August after his
9 trip to Knin, where he advises Mr. Annan, as follows in paragraph 2. He
10 says: "My overall impression of the town of Knin is that it suffered
11 considerable damage from artillery fire which was evident in the street,
12 where I observed many shops with broken windows, cars damaged and off the
13 road, artillery shell holes in the road, et cetera. However, the damage
14 to the town's structures, while noticeable, was less than I anticipated.
15 Large numbers of homes and buildings were left untouched by the
17 So when we're talking about how Mr. Akashi found Knin on the 7th,
18 he notes the damage. He say there is artillery damage, shells -- holes
19 in the streets, damage to shops, broken windows, cars damaged, but he
20 doesn't note any mass burnings or things of that nature that had taken
21 place in Knin.
22 MR. MISETIC: And if we can go to Exhibit D272, please.
23 Q. This is a memorandum from Peggy Hicks, who is a human rights
24 officer, reporting to a Mr. Harston, having interviewed displaced persons
25 at Sector South HQ on the 6th of August. You can look through the
1 report, I don't have a problem with that, but I'm more interested in just
2 the end.
3 She qualifies her comments first by saying: "Given the small
4 number of people who have been interviewed so far, and the fact that the
5 experiences of this group of displaced people may be quite different from
6 those encountering different Croatian forces in different areas, this
7 information is far from sufficient to reach each preliminary conclusions
8 as to the extent the human rights violations which may have occurred
9 during the Croatian offensive. These interviews do indicate, however,
10 that at least some Croatian soldiers had been given clear and effective
11 instructions to treat civilians in an appropriate manner."
12 Now, when we talk about this report about catastrophic and the
13 treatment of property, do we -- do you agree that, in your review of the
14 documents, there was no indication in the documents that you reviewed
15 that the HV improperly treated civilians upon its entry in Knin on
16 the 5th?
17 A. It is correct that I have not seen an HV document indicating that
18 there was improper treatment of civilians in Knin on the 5th. In my
19 report, there are documents included, for example, for Benkovac, which
20 indicate the situation there was different.
21 Q. Now if we can move to the next point, which is the state of Knin
22 on the 7th --
23 MR. MISETIC: And forgive me if I'm repeating myself, I'm on
24 medication so I may be a little foggy.
25 JUDGE ORIE: It hasn't struck me yet.
1 MR. MISETIC:
2 Q. Do you agree that, given Mr. Akashi's report and your review of
3 the documents, that the -- the damage to property that we're talking
4 about basically is damage that had occurred as a result of breaking and
5 entering premises and artillery damage that Mr. Akashi referenced. That
6 is not what Mr. Zelic is talking about, and that's why I'm specifically
7 asking that question.
8 A. I mean, I have nothing to add what Colonel Zelic writes in his
9 report that he qualified the treatment of property in a particular
10 manner; and then, okay, we have another document dealing with the visit
11 of Mr. Akashi. But all we can conclude from these two documents is,
12 indeed, that property has not been treated properly; whereas, according
13 to these documents and also this one from front of us, that the treatment
14 of civilians at least based on the information available on the 6th of
15 August to the UN was appropriate.
16 Q. Okay. Now, there is an video of a meeting that General Gotovina
17 held on the 6th of August in the morning, where he is reacting to some of
18 the things that we're talking about now. I believe you've seen the
19 video; correct?
20 A. Indeed, I'm not sure whether I saw it in its entirety, but I'm
21 familiar with the video and the setting and atmosphere.
22 Q. That video is not referenced in your report. Correct?
23 A. No. I was not aware of its existence when the report was filed.
24 I first saw it when -- yeah. I was following the trial proceedings, and
25 then I saw the video. I tried to find a document because I understood
1 that the video was taken during an official meeting. I would expect that
2 there would also have been a report of the meeting and maybe particular
3 instructions issued -- written traces of particular instructions issued
4 during the meeting, and I have not come across such documents --
5 Q. Well --
6 A. -- which I found unusual.
7 Q. Let me ask you about that. Zelic's report which uses the word
8 "catastrophic" is written on the evening of the 6th. General Gotovina -
9 and I'm not going to show the whole video now because we have seen it
10 many times in this case - has the meeting with the commanders including
11 Mr. Zelic on the morning of the 6th.
12 Is it possible that Mr. Zelic's reaction, including the use of
13 the word "catastrophic," is as a direct result of General Gotovina and
14 his reaction on the morning of the 6th? And if you note it on the video,
15 he specifically calls out "Mr. Zelic" in the video.
16 Do you think maybe Mr. Zelic used the word "catastrophic" and
17 reported on these things because General Gotovina himself had publicly in
18 front of his colleagues called him out on failures to take certain
20 A. I think that only Mr. Zelic can answer that question.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I even can answer that question. It's possible.
22 MR. MISETIC: At least in my next question, Judge.
23 Q. Which is: You did an addendum, as well, in your report. I
24 believe when you met with us in January, we had raised the issue of the
25 video with you. When you're reconstructing what happened in Sector South
1 and trying to interpret documents such as the Zelic document, tell us, in
2 terms of methodology, why videos in general weren't part of your report,
3 and then, more specifically, why this particular video wasn't in your
5 I should just limited it to videos, audio, whatever the
6 electronic method may be?
7 A. I believe that one of the problems with videos is that it is not
8 always easy to link the images one sees to particular event, and, more
9 specifically, to establish the correct timing of these images. For
10 example, the video of the meeting, I'm not sure whether the date is
11 mentioned during the meeting. For me, it is not sufficient that there's
12 a subtitle like "6 August," because anyone can do that.
13 Without going into too many details, in my previous job, we
14 received videos from the various embassies in Brussels of various parties
15 involved in conflict. Most of them dealt with destroyed houses and not
16 very pleasant pictures of war victims. It would happen that two
17 different sides would send us the same images but with a different date
18 and, in their view, a different party who was responsible for these
19 gruesome acts.
20 So, again, to cut it short, videos are difficult because it is
21 not always easy to identify the correct context and, in particular, the
22 correct date. That was one of my problems with the -- the video of the
23 meeting you talk about. And as I mentioned, I looked for documents and I
24 couldn't find a document in relation to that meeting, which I found
25 unusual, because there you see that the highest operational commander in
1 the area gives very clear warnings.
2 Q. Well, let me note a few things about the video. If you watched
3 it, then would you have noted them yourself.
4 General Gotovina, as well as General Cermak, both reference that
5 at 5.00, senior officials from the Croatian government - they mention the
6 prime minister, et cetera - are coming at 5.00. General Gotovina
7 mentions turning it over to the civilian government at 5.00, and he looks
8 at his watch at one point on the video and says: It 11.30. You should
9 have been doing this since 4.00 this morning."
10 Now, you're an information officer. I'm sure, in your job, you
11 have had to piece information like this together to reconstruct what day
12 we're talking about. But what date do you know the senior highest level
13 officials came to Knin for the first time at 5.00?
14 A. I have mentioned the visit by President Tudjman in my report, but
15 I'm not sure anymore whether it was on the 6th or the 7th.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Theunens, I think the issue is quite clear, that
17 you've seen a video. You say it's difficult to see whether the date is
18 correct. Mr. Misetic is now verifying whether it would have been
19 possible, on the basis of what you have seen, to express even if not a
20 final opinion on whether the date and the time was correct or not.
21 Did you make an effort to do that.
22 THE WITNESS: I didn't do that, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then your answer was evasive, the last one.
24 THE WITNESS: Okay.
25 JUDGE ORIE: It was evasive to the extent that you said, "It was
1 very difficult, videos, et cetera. It is unusual."
2 The other way of dealing with it, as an expert, is to see what
3 clues you find in such a video, which would allow you with certainty or
4 probability to see whether the time and the date of this video was
5 correct. Then to pay further attention to the fact that apparently such
6 important matters happened without leaving any paper trace, because
7 that's what you're telling us.
8 Would you please refrain from evasive answers and address the
9 matters that Mr. Misetic puts to you.
10 Mr. Misetic, I am also looking at the clock.
11 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break, and we resume at five minutes
13 to 11.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, there is an technical matter. Did you
17 intend to play the video you had on mind right away?
18 MR. MISETIC: That was my plan.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, no problem with that, but the transcriber has
20 asked whether it would be allowed to cut and paste, because there is a
21 text put on paper already. Of course, the transcript should reflect
22 literally what is said. Now the technique used by our interpreters,
23 especially if speed goes up - I think that was agreed upon - is that the
24 English transcript which has been distributed among the parties is read
25 by one of the interpreters and that the other interpreter checks whether
1 what is found on the transcript reflects what is said in the original.
2 We have developed this technique because often we can't slow down
3 speakers on video. I wish that we could, but we can't do that. So if we
4 would rely on cutting and pasting, that would require from everyone to
5 see that nothing else is interpreted, spoken, then the text, as we find
6 it on the English transcript, which is put on paper, I would allow,
7 therefore, cutting and pasting.
8 At the same time, if anything happens which results in words
9 spoken not exactly as this appear on the written transcript as it has
10 been distributed, then, of course, we would have to correct that.
11 With this proviso, you can play the video.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Obviously, we have no objection to that; and in line with the
14 last time we played a rather lengthy, we will do the pausing every minute
15 or two minutes to allow the interpreters and the court reporter, if
16 necessary, to catch up.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It would be good to stop any how now and then,
18 because even reading the text, you may easily get behind rather soon. So
19 there is nothing wrong in stopping now and then, but, I think, in this
20 way we make it -- we at least assist in our transcribers and interpreters
21 to do their job as reliable as they always do.
22 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, what I'd like to show you is now -- as I indicated
24 to you before, there was a video-clip which was put into evidence earlier
25 in this case, which was Exhibit D792. That was a clip from a meeting in
1 Knin on the 6th of August. There was a continuation of that meeting
2 which I will call the second part of the meeting which was never shown in
4 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, just so you are aware, the
5 Prosecution had a heavily-edited video of that portion of the meeting
6 which they wanted to bar table. We have in the meantime acquired the
7 unedited portion of the video, taken from a different camera.
8 We believe, if you wish I can highlight later, but there are
9 certain important elements that was given to OTP, which was given to them
10 in that fashion, that are deleted from the video that was produced to the
11 Office of the Prosecutor.
12 That's why we wish to play the entire clip, so the Trial Chamber
13 understanding exactly everything that is transpiring on the 6th of
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, it, of course, raises the
16 question why redacted versions are provided to the OTP. I don't know
17 whether it --
18 MR. MISETIC: I can address that partially, Your Honour, which is
19 that, as I said, there were at least two cameras at that meeting. The --
20 the video that the Prosecution received was edited from that one camera.
21 I won't go into details now. We have had problems with that provider as
22 well, providing unedited material. We then were able to get in contact
23 with the second camera, and got the unedited portion of the video.
24 JUDGE ORIE: So we have the raw material now, so to say so.
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
2 MR. WAESPI: The only issue of ours is to have the entire video,
3 you know, unedited as much as we can, uninterrupted, and, you know, I'm
4 sure we can work to that effect.
5 MR. MISETIC: I mean, to make it perfectly clear, I think did I
6 that, but under no circumstances was I suggesting untoward concerning the
7 Prosecution. I believe they were produced a video that had been heavily
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let look at that time.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, this video is 1D63-0055.
11 [Videotape played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
13 "Gotovina: Special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and
14 we switch there to defense. We shall see further how the situation in
15 the field shall evolve for the other HV units which advance in the
16 direction of Western Bosnia and link up and emerge to the Croatian
17 border. Until then, this is the goal which should be met; and, this way,
18 we put the security of the Zagreb-Knin-Split railroad under control,
19 where the Ministry of Transport as of Monday automatically shall begin
20 with cleaning the tracks from Split
21 Knin. The railroad shall become operable.
22 "This task of emerging here, we cannot lose time or fatigue our
23 forces who have been in combat up to now; rather, we have to complete
24 this as soon as possible. On Tuesday, finish this and transfer to
25 defense in this area. The attack forces, i.e. the 81st HV Brigade, the
1 Guards Zdrug, the 2nd Battalion of the 9th Guards Brigade, the 4th Guards
2 Brigade, the 7th Guards Brigade, handover the complete area where we
3 include all the other forces of the 2nd Echelon in defense. The
4 remaining forces are let go into the waiting area for rest, and we await
5 the next order and task by the Supreme Commander. Is this clear?
6 "Commander of the Zadar group?
7 "Unknown Male: It's clear, General.
8 "Gotovina: Commander of the Šibenik group?
9 "Unknown Male: Clear.
10 "Gotovina: Commander of the Sinj group?
11 "Unknown Male: It's clear. I shall withdraw the majority of
12 my ..."
13 "Gotovina: You withdraw exactly the 3rd Battalion of the 126th
14 Regiment (the 3rd Battalion of the 126th Home Guards Regiment) for leave,
15 because it is an offensive regiment, and the remaining forces switch to
17 "Commander of the 4th Guards brigade, clear?
18 "DK: Clear.
19 "Gotovina: Commander of the 7th Guards Brigade, the 81st Guards
20 Brigade, the Zdrug?
21 "Unknown Male: Clear.
22 "Gotovina: The 2nd Battalion of the 9th Guards Brigade, you pass
23 this on. He is working today.
24 "Unknown Male: Working.
25 "Gotovina: We are following this evening. Report on your exact
1 position by 2000 hours. This especially pertains to the Šibenik and
2 Zadar groups; That is, the Zadar group and the Sibenik group. The Sinj
3 group has completed its task for the most part. So you await only this
4 part of the shift of the 6th Regiment towards the top and the area is
5 closed off.
6 "Unknown Male: We shall complete this today.
7 "Gotovina: That is the operational task which we have. Did the
8 commander of the 7th Guards Brigade prepare a cocktail for the
10 "Unknown Male: [Indiscernible]
11 "Gotovina: No, no.
12 "IK: Everything is outside, coffee, juice.
13 "Unknown Male: Mr. General.
14 "Gotovina: Yes.
15 "Unknown Male: The 142nd Regiment had -- it completed ... linking
16 up with the HVO at [indiscernible]. There are large areas for
18 "Gotovina: Yes.
19 "Unknown Male: So that we'll have to use them for at least one
21 "Gotovina: All the military that I mentioned that is going
22 towards Knin, they have nothing to do in Knin. It is only to encircle
23 Knin. Do you understand? It comes to the peripheral entrance of the
24 town itself.
25 "IC: All roads will be closed off. No one will be permitted to
1 enter without a permit as of tomorrow.
2 "Gotovina: Yes, there won't be access; Therefore, the periphery
3 of the town in encircled by the defense forces. Entry into the town is
4 forbidden, And those defense forces are not all there 100 per cent. The
5 remaining forces are oriented towards the areas which are still -- or
6 which we still consider to be problematic. Mopping-up is to be carried
7 out. Are you clear now on what [indiscernible] this group, the Sibenik
9 "Kotlar, is everything all right?
10 "DK: Everything is all right.
11 "Gotovina: You carry on. I sent you Marko Rajcic there, in
12 fact, the Sibenik group, the Military District artillery chief, so that
13 the task in that area is completed as soon as possible. You have Beneta
14 as reinforcement; meaning, you have all the necessary conditions to
15 fulfill this in any case, the equipment, the ammunition, and everything
16 necessary, to fulfill this task as soon as possible.
17 "The remainder, the second thing that needs to be solved in a
18 planned manner is the issue of all this war booty. It must be completely
19 logged. The logistics of the Military District must have full lists,
20 logs of all the war booty, ammunition, and everything else.
21 "Exactly, in order to be able to submit this to the Main Staff
22 and the Ministry of Defense, which will subsequently know what we have at
23 this moment at our disposal in order to be able to plan the upcoming
24 tasks, and so we can begin the reassignment of materiel for those units
25 which shall remain active in order to equip themselves well and in order
1 for us to be prepared for the execution of the following tasks.
2 "Is this understood commanders?
3 "Therefore, the discipline of conducting this task depends on
4 you; meaning, you are the ones who are supposed to initiate this issue
5 with your logistics assistant and with the logistics of the military
6 district in order to solve this problem.
7 "Finally, yesterday, following the entrance of the units,
8 primarily into Knin, of the 4th and 7th Guards Brigades, which have
9 worked on this task all this time from the beginning of October by
10 breaking through the most difficult areas, an unforgiving terrain, harsh
11 climate, and all the other problems we've had, including, as you know,
12 the possibilities of our state to support us logistically. They
13 certainly accomplished their task and, indeed, solved this problem of
14 this key political and military epicenter, which certainly caused all the
15 rest that was standing like a house of cards to come crushing down.
16 "Now, all you other commanders have also accomplished your tasks.
17 It's important that all these larger places like Benkovac, Obrovac,
18 Kistanje, Djevrske, Drnis, that's all solved. So, we're continuing up,
19 further on. Yesterday, at 1330 hours, the minister of defense called,
20 and after that the Supreme Commander, who congratulated all the units who
21 took part in the offensive operation and all the commanders who led these
22 units in the offensive operation.
23 "Now that we've more or less accomplished somewhere around 70 per
24 cent of our task, we still have this target, to come out to this target,
25 which is the value of the operation, the ultimate value of the operation,
1 putting traffic into operation; that is to say, Zagreb-Knin-Split. We
2 will resolve this by Tuesday certainly. At the moment, we're writing a
3 report to the Supreme Command: Task accomplished 100 per cent at the
4 Split Military District with the forces, the Croatian forces of the
5 Croatian Defense Council.
6 "Where are the commanders of the 1st, 2nd , 3rd Guards Brigades?
7 "Unknown Male: Mr. General, they are in the field.
8 "Gotovina: I said they were to be at the meeting this morning,
9 Glasnovic. The Commanders of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd, the commander of the
10 4th command post the Group North were supposed to be here at the meeting.
11 "We are now faced with the next problem we have; that is, all
12 those structure, the others, the remaining structures, the logistics,
13 political activity, security, military police, and everybody else that
14 follows an army in an offensive, which automatically protects the army
15 during the offensive, that step ahead and step behind. Automatically,
16 these structures assume everything that remains to be solved, in order
17 for everything to be in order, militarily in total order, completely
18 solved. The guarantee for military culture and for the military
19 reputation of and army is its political activity, security service,
20 military police.
21 "You are the most responsible people here for all this mess that
22 we have here. This is why we have five hours until then, five hours to
23 get the town itself in order, and that it be equipped with everything
24 necessary to await the Croatian leadership. Do you understand?
25 "Any questions? Perkovic.
1 "Unknown Male: General, are we still supposed to relocate the
2 command post here, and I'm interested in the time, so that I could put up
3 the PZO because we have to [indiscernible] well.
4 "Gotovina: That will be done by the commander of the military --
5 military Command center, the logistics, and the chief operations officer.
6 They shall decide when they are technically prepared to transfer the
7 command and when the conditions are met to run the command from the FCP
8 in Knin. You will be informed when in due time.
9 "Go ahead, Krsticevic.
10 "DK: I would also ask, so considering I already -- you already
11 spoke of this, that urgently also I mean from here - considering my
12 command, I mean - to the 'Southern Barracks,' in order to coordinate, by
13 wire or Motorola, with a part of the Zadar Operations Group, Mr. Fuzul
14 and I, meaning with a part of those that are going from Djevrske and
15 Kistanje, so that there wouldn't be any shooting among, to avoid --
16 "Gotovina: That's very important. The communications chiefs of
17 all units should contact each other, elaborate maps, positions.
18 "Unknown Male: So that we are able to reach each other, in order
19 to be able --
20 "MF: Mr. General, already last night, I organized with the
21 Prefect, where I expect that this afternoon we shall have a connected
22 Benkovac-Zadar switchboard, and that we will be able to transfer the FCP
23 and everything to Benkovac. I expect that this will be solved during the
25 "Gotovina: Then Benkovac, Djevrske, Kistanje, Knin to be
2 "Unknown Male: They shall be coordinated, the HPT, the
3 Directorate of the Zadar Center
4 this functioning this afternoon.
5 "Gotovina: Okay.
6 "Unknown Male: This way we will surely [indiscernible] for Knin.
7 "Gotovina: But now, temporarily, until we complete the task, the
8 units need to be in contact; meaning, their commands need to be connected
9 and that connection must be established quickly in order to be able to
10 coordinate. In other words, the task is complete the enclosure, the
11 pursuit of forces, taking over the line, freeing up forces for the
12 attack, and further advancement.
13 "DK: People are ready and we have no problem fulfilling this
14 task. It needs to be completed as soon as possible because I support
15 you, and we should seize this opportunity to finally complete this.
16 Commander, I need these forces truly not to remain behind in the rear,
17 but to have them changed so that I can go forward, because I can't hold a
18 position and go forward.
19 "Gotovina: That's the Sinj group, in coordination with the Sinj
20 group. It's clear to the Sinj group what its task is and how it is
21 supposed to cover the terrain. There is no need for all these troops in
22 the rear which are getting lost, and I saw this passing through Vrlika,
23 Kijevo. These are large groupings of our forces that don't need to be in
24 this area. So now we must approach this in a planned manner; and every
25 commander, from group commander, must get a precise order and suggest
1 which unit needs to take over the line in order to free the 4th Guards
2 Brigade in its breach towards Ervenik. The remaining forces of the
3 Sibenik group will cover it in breaching to Ervenik to the point which
4 the Sinj group covers now at this point.
5 Is that clear to the commander of the Šibenik group?
6 "Unknown Male: Clear.
7 "DK: But it should already be determined commander, I mean, who
8 shall replace me in the Strmica area. I will remain this evening so that
9 the replacement should take place tomorrow during the day. Therefore, I
10 have left that battalion. It is --
11 "Gotovina: The replacement shouldn't be conducted tomorrow but
12 today, the troops of the Sinj group, and we have the Sibenik group who
13 linked up, up there. What's wrong with you commanders? You don't feel
14 like waging war anymore. You were whining there three months ago, that
15 you needed to be kept on a leash, so that you wouldn't launch something
16 yourselves. Now that you've got going, what's wrong with you now? Are
17 you tired all of a sudden?
18 "Have a meeting between the commanders of the Sinj group and the
19 Sibenik group, assigning the troops that will replace and take over
20 everything that the 7th Guards Brigade and the 4th Guards Brigade have
21 been holding up to now. In this way, we free the attack forces and the
22 Ervenik axis. Tomorrow morning, immediately, forces are to be entered
23 for the breach of the Ervenik axis. Until then, these troops will come
24 closer and be able to relieve the attack forces right away.
25 "This all has to be done dynamically, the rhythm mustn't be lost,
1 and they mustn't be allowed to now somewhere to fortify somewhere ahead
2 of us and to resist our forces so that we suffer casualties as a result.
3 "When the enemy is in disarray, falling apart, then you mustn't
4 give him time to get back up on his feet, but you automatically need to
5 push him to destruction. It's as if you had a boxer in front of you.
6 You've dealt him a clever blow, he has fallen on his knees, and you
7 didn't want to beat him anymore, but started jumping in the air with joy.
8 Then he gets up and then knocks you out.
9 "So, the commander of the Sinj group, in fact, since he's busy
10 today with me and these others, his deputy Roko Mijic will, with the
11 commander of the Sibenik group, assign troops, get in touch with the
12 chief of staff of the 7th Guards Brigade, the chief of staff of the 4th
13 Guards Brigade, elaborate a handover plan, and tomorrow morning the 4th
14 heads out towards Ervenik. Do you understand?
15 "DK: I'm heading out today. People are already heading out.
16 "Gotovina: Okay. The Sinj group?
17 "Unknown Male: I think I'll solve this by this evening.
18 "Gotovina: Of course. The Zadar group, you got the task of
19 coming out to Kastel Zegarski by tonight.
20 "MF: That has already been accomplished.
21 "Gotovina: The forces for -- in pursuit are to link up and
22 relieve the attack forces, so we can automatically orient them on the
23 next axis. The 7th Guards Brigade is resting.
24 "IK: There's just one question. Where should I pull out my men?
25 In Zivkovic's area, for further tasks?
1 “Gotovina: Do you have a barracks --
2 "IK: Towards Grahovo or here in the southern barracks? There's
3 no space down there. It is a small barracks with the larger part --
4 "Gotovina: Then towards Grahovo.
5 "IK: Let's have them go to Grahovo, there where they've been,
6 there in those houses --
7 "Gotovina: Go ahead.
8 "IK: This way we set up groups and transfer --
9 "Gotovina: You don't need to move them because, later, that's
10 your axis, because you're coming onto the border this way.
11 "IK: All right. No problem.
12 "Gotovina: Because the 4th is coming out onto the border from
13 the left side, and the Zdrug and these others will follow in the middle.
14 So, coordinate up there and hand over the line, you pull out to rest, and
15 we're waiting for the next task. Okay, Romic?
16 "All right. We'll come downstairs for cocktails. You basically
17 all go except Kotromanovic, Filipovic, Krsticevic."
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, just to verify, I take it that if
19 there's any discrepancy between the transcript as distributed and what
20 Madam Transcriber will cut and paste, I'd like to hear it now, but I do
21 not see there is any indication that there is a discrepancies.
22 So, therefore, we will work on cutting and pasting.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Theunens, you now have had a chance to look at the second
1 part of the video as well, and I'd like to talk to you a little bit about
2 the context of everything that is transpiring for General Gotovina on the
3 6th of August.
4 Given that video, General Gotovina talks about 70 per cent of the
5 task having been published by the 6th of August.
6 Is it correct to say that the Split Military District forces, as
7 well as other elements of the HV, still had to liberate the territory
8 north of Knin, the Knin-Strmica area, to get to the international border
9 of Republic of Croatia
10 A. It is correct that on the 6th, they were not yet at the border
11 between Croatia
12 Q. Now, General Gotovina there, at that point -- at that one point
13 in the video, talks about that they had solved the issue of the military
14 and political epicentre and, as a result, the rest came crumbing down
15 like a house of cards.
16 Are you familiar with the concept of -- the NATO concept of
17 centre of gravity, and can you explain that concept and this concept of
18 the military epicentre that General Gotovina is talking about, in the
19 context of Operation Storm?
20 A. Indeed. In the NATO - as a military dictionary, I'm not sure
21 whether it is AP2 or if it has another name - but at any rate, the
22 concept of centre of gravity is defined there as - I'm paraphrasing
23 because I don't remember the exact definition - factors that give the
24 opposing side his strength or his freedom of movement. This is based on
25 what Clausewitz calls "schrerpunkt."
1 There is a lot of philosophy and even academic articles about
2 whether these are just like geographic concepts or whether it's about an
3 ability or a particular type of unit. I remember, for example, one
4 article which I think was published in Parametres, which is a American
5 military magazine, where, for example, in the previous Gulf or in the
6 last Iraq
7 were a centre of gravity. In other conflicts, a geographic concept, for
8 example, a city or a location of a command centre can be a centre of
10 Q. In the context of Operation Storm, would you agree that Knin was
11 the centre of gravity for the RSK?
12 A. There is no doubt that Knin had an important psychological
13 relevance or importance, both for the local Serbs as well as for the
14 Croatian forces. But from the purely military point of view, I would,
15 for example, also consider the corps of special units which had been
16 recently established in the SVK as a centre of gravity.
17 Q. So would you say, then, that there were two centres of gravity?
18 A. There may have --
19 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ... sorry.
20 A. There may have been more. The personality of Milan Martic could
21 have been a centre of gravity if he was the charismatic leader of the
22 Serbs who would, if he made a move, then the other Serbs would also make
23 a move, like, for example, we see in other conflicts. Then he could have
24 been also defined as a centre of gravity.
25 I haven't analysed the centre of gravity of the SVK. I'm just
1 giving a theoretical answer based on my understanding of the term "centre
2 of gravity" and what could have been centres of gravity within the
3 so-called RSK and the SVK.
4 Q. Let me just follow up on your last answer.
5 What happens from a military or theoretical perspective, let's
6 say, if you have said Knin was an important psychological centre and
7 Milan Martic may have been a centre of gravity, what happens if Milan
8 Martic is in Knin? Does that multiply the importance of both Knin and
9 Mr. Martic? Is there a synergistic effect between the two that raises
10 the level of the importance?
11 A. I wouldn't say so, because it all depends of the value of Martic,
12 on the one hand, and the value of Knin, on the on the other hand.
13 Q. Okay. You saw -- I hope you noted there's a portion in this
14 video where General Gotovina yells at the commanders and says, "What's
15 the matter with you?" I am paraphrasing now. "Have you lost your desire
16 to fight? The last few months you've told me that I had to keep you on a
17 leash or that you would start something yourselves."
18 Do you recall that portion of the video?
19 A. I remembered the first part of your paraphrasing here. I'm not
20 sure whether I heard "or that would you start something yourselves." It
21 may be possible. I am not doubting it.
22 Q. You heard the reference to a leash?
23 A. Indeed, I did.
24 Q. Now, let me call your attention to pages 319 to 320 of your
25 report, part 2. This in the notice section that have you to General
2 You write: "Ante Gotovina is familiar with the reputation and
3 the behaviour of the subordinates during a meeting with President Tudjman
4 and other senior HV military officials on 31 July 1995 in Brioni.
5 Gotovina states, 'The forces heading towards Knin are 400 good
6 infantrymen from the 3rd Battalion, the 126th Regiment, who are all from
7 this area, and they know the area through and through. They have reason
8 to fight here, and, at this moment, it is difficult to keep them on a
10 Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but was it your intention in
11 putting that quote in the section of notice of alleged serious crimes in
12 the zone of responsibility of the Split Military District during and
13 after Operation Oluja, that General Gotovina's reference to keeping them
14 on a leash was somehow intended to imply that these individuals are prone
15 to crime, and I have to keep them on a leash?
16 A. The reason why I put that entry there is that a commander has to
17 be familiar with his troops, not only with the qualitative aspect, i.e.,
18 how many troop, how many tanks, but also the quantitative aspect, i.e.,
19 their combat readiness, their reputations. Some units are stronger than
20 others. And, in particular, in this context, we know there are units
21 made up of former refugees.
22 Now, for a commander, that is an important signal or important
23 indicator which may influence his decision-making process when he going
24 to give tasks to that unit. That is one of the reasons or that is the
25 reason why I put this excerpt of the Brioni meeting minutes in this part
1 of the report.
2 Q. But having heard General Gotovina speaking again, actually
3 yelling back at those commanders, about "What is the matter? Have you
4 lost your will to fight? A couple of months ago, you told me I had to
5 keep you on a leash," do you agree with me that General Gotovina's
6 reference there, when is he speaking at Brioni about having to keep them
7 on a leash, refers to their battle readiness, their will to fight, their
8 morale being high, and willingness to go into combat?
9 A. Well, high morale is a good thing, but one has to be very careful
10 as a commander if morale or what looks like morale is too high, because
11 there may well be a thin line between very high morale and desire to
12 revenge. I emphasise this is a theoretical answer based on my training
13 and education, and, if you want, I can give examples of that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps, let me try to see whether I understood your
16 Was your question about using a leash as to pull the dog in the
17 right direction; or that you use the leash in order to hold the dog back
18 who wants to move forward too quickly.
19 That, apparently, is the issue Mr. Misetic wants to put to you,
20 and he, apparently, gained the impression that where you introduced it
21 here, it was that it was difficult to keep the dog back. Whereas, he
22 puts to you whether what he saw on the video may give a different
23 explanation of the leash; that is, that would you have to pull the dog
24 forward to do what -- where the dog is apparently tired, to do what it is
25 expected to do.
1 Mr. Misetic, that's the issue you wanted to put to Mr. Theunens?
2 MR. MISETIC: That's the second issue that I was going to
3 address. My issue is -- actually, let me put in as simple terms as I
5 Q. You make reference to the leash -- leash comment at Brioni, at
6 page 319 and 320, in the context of the following sentences: "Ante
7 Gotovina is familiar with the reputation and the behaviour of his
8 subordinates." It is it in the section of notice of crime.
9 My question to you is: He is not making reference there about "I
10 have to keep them on a leash to hold them back from committing crime."
11 Right? He is saying "I have to hold them back because they're so eager
12 to get into combat and to fight the enemy that I have to hold them back
13 on a leash." Right? That reference at Brioni has nothing to do with
14 "These are criminals and I am having a hard time containing them."
15 A. Your Honours, the meeting in Brioni on 31st of July happens two
16 or three days after the events in Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoc, which we
17 have extensively discussed, and where there is extensive reference on
18 looting and burning in these two cities by units of the Split Military
19 District, and that is referred to the operational diary P71.
20 From the document I reviewed, in particular reports by the
21 assistant commanders for political affairs, as well as SIS and even
22 General Lausic alludes to that, units of the Home Defence, i.e., Home
23 Defence Regiment, are more likely or more involved to become involved in
24 incidents of looting and burning because of their makeup. Why? They
25 include refugees or internally displaced persons.
1 When General Gotovina says, "who are all from this area," he
2 indeed refers to people who have been displaced because of the conflict,
3 and, as he describes it, they know the area through and through and they
4 have a reason to fight.
5 Based on my education and training and my understanding of the
6 conflict, again, referring to the documents I have used in the report,
7 such units, one has to be extra careful with a commander because there is
8 a risk that they are more vulnerable to undesires or undisciplined
9 behaviour, for example, as has been expressed in the documents reviewed
10 in the report, looting and burning.
11 Q. First, Mr. Theunens, let me get back to what I was focussed on.
12 Let me first say I understand that you tend to fall back on "my
13 experience and training," which is then impossible for me to
14 cross-examine you on. I'm interested more in -- and you seem to do that
15 when you can't cite to a specific document.
16 So let us get back into the documents, okay? I'm not interested
17 in what you would do. I'm interested in you're saying this is what
18 General Gotovina meant in his report.
19 All I'm trying to establish can with you is now, having seen
20 another video where General Gotovina references earlier conversations
21 with his subordinates - he is talking specifically about the 126th Home
22 Guard Regiment - "What's the matter with you guys? A couple of months
23 ago you, told me that I had to keep you on a leash, and now you are
25 Does that additional piece of information now shed some light for
1 you about what he meant at Brioni, about keeping them on a leash?
2 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. WAESPI: I think one important distinction is the leash
5 obviously is the common word. But the people who are addressed in the
6 Brioni meeting, these soldiers, subordinates, including commanders. And
7 in the tape we have just seen, he only talks about the commanders.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, that may be the case or may not be the
9 case. It may be relevant, it may not be relevant. The use of the word
10 "leash" may be indicative or insignificant. It is for the witness to
11 tell us whether what he just saw has any effect on the conclusions, or at
12 least the interpretation, of the quote we find on page 320, of which he
13 explained that his interpretation was guided by both the events in, among
14 other places, recently in Grahovo, and on the specific composition of
15 these troops. It being that the units were composed of locals, which may
16 have become refugees meanwhile and would return to their place of origin.
17 That seems to be the question to me.
18 Mr. Theunens, could you answer the question.
19 THE WITNESS: Indeed, Your Honours. The video I have seen does
20 not change my conclusion. And just to be complete, I would like to refer
21 to the quotation I make of D810, on page 339 of my report, footnote 1345.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Yes. I have seen the quote and I don't know that that has to do
24 with the leash comment, but we'll move on.
25 There's a certain portion of the video where General Gotovina
1 makes reference, and he says about the SIS, the military police, and
2 political affairs, he says: "Those services protect the army during the
3 offensive. They are the guarantee for military culture."
4 Then he says to them: "Political affairs, SIS, and military
5 police, you are the most responsible here."
6 Now, can you help us understand why General Gotovina is referring
7 to those three services as the most responsible there?
8 A. Your Honours, I'm not entirely sure whether the, "you are the
9 most responsible" when General Gotovina makes that comment, refers to
10 directly to what he stated earlier about, indeed, political affairs, SIS,
11 and military police.
12 Q. Let me read back the quote directly.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, could you help us. What page is it of
14 the transcript so that we --
15 MR. MISETIC: It is page 4 of the transcript, third paragraph --
16 third paragraph from the bottom.
17 Q. Let me read it for you. I don't think you have a copy of the
18 transcript in front of you.
19 He says: "And the guarantee for military culture and for the
20 military reputation of an army is its political activity, security
21 service, military police. You are the most responsible people here for
22 all this mess that we have here. That is why we have five hours until
23 then, fire hours to get the town itself in order, and that it be equipped
24 with everything necessary to await the Croatian leadership.
25 "Do you understand?"
1 Now, help us understand why General Gotovina says that "the
2 political activity, security service, and military police are the most
3 responsible people here for all this mess that we have here."
4 A. In light of the documents I have reviewed, I consider this, if
5 this is what General Gotovina said, a rather unusual conclusion, because
6 the orders we have for the enforcement of discipline are all directed
7 from an operational commander to his subordinate commanders. They only
8 mention or identify SIS and political affairs as organs that can assist
9 in achieving or in restoring discipline or preventing looting and
11 It is obvious that SIS and political affairs, they advised the
12 commander. That's why we have an assistant commander for political
13 affairs, an assistant commander for SIS. But these people do not have
14 command authority. Command authority rests with the operational
15 commander. It is up to the operational commander to use the advice he
16 receives from his assistants for political affairs and SIS, to issue
17 orders and, most importantly, to verify the implementation of these
18 orders. The same applies in a different context to the military police.
19 But SIS cannot go and talk to each an individual soldier of the
20 military police and tell them, "Well, have you to respect discipline."
21 That's now how it is working. It goes through the operational chain of
23 Q. Well, first, while I'm looking up a document, if you could please
24 tell me, you qualify that by saying "if that is what General Gotovina --
25 if this is what General Gotovina said." Is there some reason that you
1 question the video?
2 A. No, no, I don't question the video. But I remember when General
3 Gotovina makes that comment, the camera goes to the operational
4 commanders, and I can see, for example, General Korade. Now whether that
5 is just the way how the video is being filmed, I don't know, but that is
6 at least based on my military background and my understanding of how such
7 meetings go. The comment "you are responsible for this,' to me, it was
8 clear, well, look General Gotovina has gathered his subordinate
9 commanders for a particular reason, and this is one of the messages he
10 wants to convey to his subordinate commanders.
11 MR. MISETIC: One moment, Mr. President.
12 Mr. Registrar, if we could have P918 on the screen.
13 JUDGE ORIE: When we're waiting for it, Mr. Misetic, and
14 Mr. Waespi, of course, we've seen the video or at least other portions of
15 the video before. I don't remember exactly whether any commanders of the
16 military police were present.
17 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any agreement on who exactly is present and
19 who is not?
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Budimir.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Budimir.
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Also the commanders of -- there is an
23 assistant for political affairs present from the command of the Split
24 Military District, but there is also a "coordinator" from the political
25 affairs branch from Zagreb
1 the meeting, and who is not a member of the Split Military District.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, that's agreed upon about the presence of
3 these persons.
4 MR. WAESPI: Yes. I have to verify whether there are more people
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. MISETIC: I forgot to tender the second portion of the video.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Second portion.
9 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, the version we got was from the
10 Croatian government, and I also think that what we also got is a version
11 from the Internet, which is 65 ter 3780. I still believe that the --
12 what we have seen is not the complete version.
13 So going back to my earlier point, we would like to have the
14 complete version, if we can get it, of the whole meeting. So we would
15 like to make sure that what we have in 3780 is encompassed by what my
16 friend is tendering now, and we can compare that.
17 MR. MISETIC: I thought it was, Your Honour, but I could be
18 corrected on that. I thought it did encompass what they had. I am aware
19 of any additional material on this meeting that is in exixtance. I can
20 tell you that the portions that I believe are deleted from the
21 Prosecution's videos are the portions where this portion about the SIS,
22 political affairs, and military police --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently being addressed.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes. That was deleted from the video. Deleted
25 from the video was General Gotovina saying "All war booty needs to be
1 logged and collected." It was deleted from the OTP version that was
2 provided by the Croatian government. There's one mother area, I believe,
3 "the house of cards and the epicentre" is also not present in the video.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, Mr. Misetic seems to be quite confident
5 that the portion he played was disclosed to you. Of course, if you want
6 to compare that with other versions, even versions you may have found on
7 the Internet, then that -- at this moment, would this cause you to
8 object or to make a reservation, or would you say no objections, but we
9 reserve our position, as to adding if we find more.
10 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's correct, your last point.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour this becomes Exhibit D979.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D979 is admitted into evidence.
14 Mr. Waespi, how much time you think need to compare this so that
15 we -- let's say within the last week at least.
16 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's sufficient.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President. As I said, it may very
19 well be that there is some extra portion because, as I said, they were
20 taken from two different cameras. So it is possible that somebody taped
21 something a little bit before or after what I played, but I am not aware
22 of it. I certainly would not have an objection if there was additional
23 material that needs to be introduced. That's fine.
24 Q. While we're talking about the political affairs branch and how
25 this works, this is now Exhibit P918 which you referred to, correct, in
1 your direct?
2 A. Yes, and also in my report page 336 and 337.
3 Q. Now, let's first, if we can read the second paragraph, it is not
4 indented, but I believe it should be a second paragraph.
5 It says: "However ..." -- first of all, note that it is sent to
6 assistant commanders for political affairs, meaning within the Split
7 Military District, at all the levels in the military. Correct?
8 A. Yes. The assistant commanders for political affairs in the
9 subordinate units. I believe on the last page, it also indicates that
10 the Split Military District command received it for info.
11 Q. Yes. That is become it is coming from -- essentially from the
12 assistant for political affairs of the Split Military District Command.
13 Correct? It's signed on his behalf by Mr. Tomasovic, but it's --
14 MR. MISETIC: If we scroll to the top.
15 Q. You see who the issuer is? It's the Split Military District who
16 is issuing the warning.
17 A. Yeah, the political affairs section. But if we go to the last
18 page --
19 Q. No, no. I understand that it's copied, but let's just establish,
20 first of all, the person sending the warning is, in fact, a member of the
21 Split Military District Command; right?
22 A. That's correct.
23 MR. MISETIC: If we can scroll down.
24 Q. We'll get to the next page. The second paragraph is: "However,
25 because of the irresponsibility of individual soldiers, non-commissioned
1 officers, and officers, who compromise the Croatian army and state
2 through their inappropriate conduct and acts, this success has been
3 partly brought into question," and then there is an bolded part about the
4 international community could undertake measures which have unforeseeable
6 MR. MISETIC: Now, let's go to the next portion.
7 Q. It says: "For this reason and following the policy of the
8 supreme commander, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, as well as the instructions of the
9 defence minister and the political administration of the defence ministry
10 of the Republic of Croatia
11 following: Continued torching and destruction of facilities and property
12 throughout the entire liberated territory; killing of livestock;
13 confiscation of property; inappropriate conduct toward remaining
14 civilians and prisoners of war and especially towards members and
15 soldiers of the peace forces."
16 Now, first, based on your review of the documents, would you
17 agree with me, based on this document and other similar references to,
18 for example, Mr. Lausic on the meeting in the 15th of September, who also
19 referenced state policy and that the persons present at the meeting were
20 the only ones responsible for complementing the policy of preventing this
21 crime, that document, this document, would you agree with me that
22 subordinates of President Tudjman and subordinates of Minister Susak
23 thought that it was policy, their policy, to prevent torching and
24 destruction of facilities, prevent killing of livestock, prevent
25 confiscation of property, prevent inappropriate conduct toward remaining
1 civilians, et cetera, as stated there?
2 A. My interpretation of the inclusion of Mr. Tudjman and Mr. Susak
3 of the warning was intended to reinforce or to strengthen the warning.
4 Q. I agree that that's why those are included. But based on the
5 fact that they specifically are being included and subordinates are
6 specifically being told that the policies of the president and the
7 defence minister are to prevent this type of illegal conduct, do you
8 agree with me that the subordinates of President Tudjman and Minister
9 Susak were told that policy is to stop these things from happening?
10 A. Yeah, that's what the document states. However, it was also
11 stated at earlier times, and it is just an application or implementation
12 of the Code of Discipline, that armed forces do not burn or loot or do
13 not undertake activities as those listed in under 1, 2, 3, and 4.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. I think it should be -- it's standard operating procedure.
16 Q. Now, the assistant for political affairs, second paragraph from
17 the bottom, says: "In order to implement the above, political workers
18 bear special responsibility and are required to inform the unit
19 commanders of the above and to take measures to present crimes," and then
20 in bold: "In cooperation with the information and security service, or
21 SIS, and the military police, take repressive measures and launch
22 disciplinary proceedings [sic] against those who do not abide by the
24 Now, explain to us, especially in light of General Gotovina's
25 comments on the video on the 6th, under the Croatian laws, rules, and
1 regulations, how did the political affairs, SIS, and military police take
2 repressive measures and launch disciplinary procedures in cooperation
3 with each other?
4 A. Your Honours, I believe there's a translation issue. I have
5 quoted from the English translation, and that's on page 337 in my report.
6 The English translation with ERN 0306-1654 - 0306-1654, where the texts
7 of these paragraphs is as follows: "For the implementation of this,
8 particular responsibility shall be with the commanders of the units and
9 political officials within the units ..." --
10 Q. If I can stop threw, Mr. Theunens. You obviously are unaware
11 that both the Prosecution and the Defence are both in agreement that the
12 translation in your report is wrong, and the translation on the screen is
13 right. You will note that this is a P document I have put on the screen
14 for you.
15 A. I have not been informed of that.
16 Q. Well, how does that --
17 JUDGE ORIE: You are by now informed that there seems to be
18 agreement, Mr. Waespi.
19 MR. WAESPI: We'll have to check the history of this. I'm sure
20 that --
21 JUDGE ORIE: I take that we are not going to quarrel about
22 whether there is an the agreement on an error in translation.
23 So if would you please focus on the text as you see it on your
24 screen at this moment.
25 THE WITNESS: Okay.
1 MR. MISETIC: I can advise Mr. Waespi that Mr. Margetts and I
2 both worked out that this is the accurate translation on the screen.
3 THE WITNESS: Indeed. So the paragraph in the document
4 highlights the responsibility of the members of the department for
5 political affairs to explain the importance of the matters discussed in
6 the warning to -- to the operational commander, in order to allow him or
7 to encourage him to take the appropriate measures, so that the
8 measures -- I mean, the warning is being implemented and that the
9 unlawful activities are being stopped or prevented.
10 MR. MISETIC:
11 Q. I was more -- even more interested, I should say, in the next
12 paragraph. And if you could explain to us again with your knowledge of
13 the rules, regulations, and laws of the Republic of Croatia
14 that the political affairs, in cooperation with the SIS, and the military
15 police, can take repressive measures and launch disciplinary procedures.
16 A. That paragraph is not coherent with what is stipulated in the
17 Code of Discipline. I mean, the imposition of disciplinary measures -- I
18 mean, the authority for the imposition of disciplinary measures lies with
19 the operational commander. The assistant commanders for SIS and
20 political affairs can discover crimes or violations of discipline like
21 any other member of the armed forces, but the rest of the procedure is
22 the operational commander, and then depending on the seriousness of the
23 cases, the military prosecutor and military court, or military
24 disciplinary prosecutor and military prosecutor intervene, and the
25 military police can assist with the investigation.
1 Q. Mr. Theunens, I call your attention, again, to you our discussion
2 where I pointed out, I believe, Article 15 of the regulations of the work
3 of the military police. Do you recall that?
4 It's about them being able to identify violators of military
5 discipline -- disciplinary reports against violators of military
6 discipline, bring in violators of military discipline.
7 In other words, do you agree with me that the military police
8 under its regulations had independent powers to monitor, identify, and
9 bring in violators of military discipline, and file complaints against
10 them for violations of military discipline?
11 That is it part of their powers, isn't it?
12 A. Yes. Independent but not exclusively .
13 Q. Okay. Now, if you know that, then when you read this
14 paragraph again, where you first say that it is not coherent the Code of
15 Discipline, isn't, in fact, very coherent? Political affairs has the
16 duty to constantly remind, educate, and advise members of the military of
17 their duties to comply with discipline and the law. SIS has the
18 obligation to uncover and provide information from within the units
19 themselves about violations of military discipline and to report on it.
20 The military police is the executor that can then take action against
21 those violators once that information is received, bring them in, and
22 have a disciplinary report filed against the individual.
23 Aren't all three services, in fact, compatible in what their
24 functions are in enforcing discipline?
25 A. No. I mean, they can play a role, but it -- the Code of
1 Discipline does not state, for example, that the assistant commander for
2 SIS can impose disciplinary measures. It is the operational commander.
3 It is also the operational commander from the company commander
4 level onwards who can arrest alleged perpetrators. There is no mention
5 in the Code of Discipline that such an authority or such a power lies
6 with the assistant commander for political affairs or the assistant
7 commander for SIS.
8 I think I would also like to draw your attention to 65 ter 2305,
9 which is addressed in on pages 335 and 336 of my report. And if you
10 allow me, I will read out one of the paragraphs I have quoted in my
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, I have a feeling I know where we're going. First
13 of all, I think you have covered that in your direct. So let's -- in the
14 interests of time, let's focus again, because you then, in your answer,
15 limit yourself to SIS and political affairs not being able to take
16 specific measures. That's not what I said in my question.
17 You left out the military police part. Now, the military police,
18 in fact, can take measures, file reports for violations of discipline,
20 A. That is correct. I answered you that question where I said it is
21 not exclusively the military police.
22 Q. Okay. No one said it was exclusively military police. But in
23 terms of the scheme, when General Gotovina on the 6th is telling them,
24 "You are the people most responsible," among their jobs is to bring to
25 the attention of commanders violations of discipline. For example, at
1 check-points, if there are soldiers who are caught with looted goods,
2 right, somebody from the military police has to file a disciplinary
3 report with that person's commander saying, "This person was caught at a
4 check-point with stolen goods." Right?
5 A. It is, indeed, among the jobs of the military police to inform
6 the operational commander of such activities, yes.
7 Q. And if, for example, a commander finds that 150 of his men have
8 not reported for duty, on a particular day or in a particular week, their
9 roaming liberated territories, he doesn't know where they are, whose job
10 is it to find them and bring them back? So they -- for example, if they
11 are engaging in crime, they can come back to the unit and appropriate
12 measures can be taken against them.
13 A. Indeed. I think, in that context, it is important to draw your
14 attention to Article 25 of P880, where it is stated that commanders of
15 brigades, independent battalions, equal and higher HV commanders, are
16 authorised to send such requests to the military police battalion.
17 So the start of the search activity or the initiative, I'm sorry,
18 is taken by the operational commander, and that is the whole issue we are
19 discussing here. Obviously, it is clear that the military police has a
20 task to perform, and there are some aspects they perform on their. But
21 it is -- the operation commander cannot say, well, it is not my problem,
22 it is the military police. No.
23 He has a responsibility to enforce discipline in his units, and
24 he can use the military police as a tool, and, therefore, he can give
25 instructions to the military police to assist him. That is how it
1 functions in the military.
2 Q. Of course. Now you are arguing something that General Gotovina
3 never says in the video. He says "You are the most responsible." He
4 doesn't say, "You are solely responsible."
5 A. No. I was trying to answer to your question, because you had a
6 particular question about 150 soldiers roaming. Indeed, the military
7 police can then be used in order to locate these individuals and bring
8 them to the unit. But the order or the -- I mean, it is the operational
9 commander who issues the initial task to the military police or who
10 requests them to locate and bring in these soldiers.
11 Q. In that that context. In a different context, for example, at
12 check-point, it is up to the military police itself to report that. They
13 don't need a specific request from a commander to say, "Tell me how many
14 of my men you caught at check-point looting." Right?
15 A. Yes, that is correct. They will inform the operational commander
16 if they catch or they discover members of his unit who are involved in
17 illegal activities.
18 Q. Okay. Now, Mr. Theunens, I'd like to go back to the Knin video
19 for one moment.
20 You noticed that there that General Gotovina gives an oral order
21 about the logging of war booty. Correct?
22 A. Yes. There are also written orders from General Gotovina to that
24 Q. Yes. Let me -- while we're on the topic of what is happening on
25 6th and 7th, let me also show you --
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, may I please have 1D63-0195.
2 Q. These are -- what I am about to show you, Mr. Theunens, I don't
3 believe you have seen before. We have translated an excerpt from the
4 minutes of the 259th Session of the Government of the Republic of Croatia
5 held on the 7th of August, 1995.
6 You see, at the top, what these are the minutes of. You can see
7 all -- the prime minister is present, the various deputy prime ministers,
8 the various ministers including Ministers Susak and Jarnjak.
9 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 2 in the English
10 translation, please, which is page 3 of the Croatian.
11 Q. It's Minister of Defence Susak reporting to the government. He
12 states: "The operation was completed quicker than was expected for which
13 credit must also be given to the excellent cooperation between the
14 Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior which immediately set up
15 police station within the liberated areas.
16 The Minister of Defence Susak also stated that he had signed a
17 decision for the demobilisation of 70.000 soldiers today.
18 And on page 4 of the Croatian. It says: "The minister of the
19 interior, Ivan Jarnjak, informed the government that the Croatian police
20 had assumed the task of ensuring public order and peace within the newly
21 liberated territories, adding that the members of the civilian protection
22 services were entering these territories to conduct the sanitation of the
24 "The minister of the internal affairs also thanked the minister
25 of defence for the exceptional cooperation between the two ministries
1 during this operation."
2 Now, Mr. Theunens, when were you were preparing your report, were
3 you aware that, as of, at the latest, the 7th of August, the Ministry of
4 Internal Affairs had taken over in the newly liberated territories the
5 task of ensuring public order and peace?
6 A. I'm not aware of -- I was not aware of the specific date, but I
7 am familiar with the fact that civilian police stations are being
8 established, including for the purpose of ensuring public order and --
9 and the rule of law.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I asked that this exhibit be marked
11 and I tender it into evidence.
12 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D980.
15 JUDGE ORIE: D980 is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could please have 65 ter 982,
18 Q. This is an order following the meeting on the 6th. General
19 Gotovina issues another order which says: "With reference to the
20 indicated need to register the war booty on the liberated territory, I
21 here issue the following order ..."
22 And he forms a committee: "A committee shall be formed at the
23 Split Military District level for registering and recording complete war
24 booty on the liberated territory in the Split Military District zone of
25 responsibility, and the committee shall consist of the following
2 The members of the committee are identified.
3 "The tasks of the committee are to register and record the war
4 booty in the Split Military District zone. Distribution of weapons,
5 ammunition, and explosives.
6 If we could turn to page 3, item 7. He orders that: "The
7 committee chairman shall submit a comprehensive written report by 1800
8 hours on 11 August 1995
9 Now, looking at this order and combined with what General
10 Gotovina says at the meeting on the 6th, he is taking measures actually
11 to verify what his subordinate units are registering as war booty.
13 A. That is correct. And this document is also included in my report
14 on page 376, part 2.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked
17 and I tender it into evidence.
18 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D981, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D981 is admitted into evidence.
22 Mr. Misetic, any way of perhaps hearing from this witness what
23 the TTS abbreviation stands for?
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Mr. Theunens --
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you tell us the committees tasks shall be as
2 follows, and then the second, distribution of weapons, ammunition, and
3 explosives, and TTS.
4 THE WITNESS: I would have to check, Mr. President. But if I'm
5 allowed during the break, I can ...
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you -- at any later point in time you could
7 assist us, that would be appreciated.
8 THE WITNESS: MTS stands for military technical goods, so that's
9 twice, the S, but I will check for the T, TS.
10 MR. MISETIC: Okay. Mr. President, let me just note that I have,
11 rather than take time here, I have several reports from subordinate units
12 listing their war booty which I will prepare a chart and give it to the
13 Prosecution and move from the bar table about all the reports of the
14 subordinate units on what war booty they reported.
15 MR. WAESPI: Yes. I have seen the documents. No objections.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm -- may I take it that you will prepare a
17 list for Mr. Registrar.
18 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I will.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And I think bar table documents, wasn't there a
20 procedure which we -- so that we know also what we're talking about. I
21 think I -- the Chamber give instructions that it should be clear what to
22 focus on. Sometimes they are more lengthy; documents sometimes --
23 perhaps you would just a brief description to be given to the other party
24 to see whether there's any objection against characterizing the document
25 or the specific portion which we are supposed to pay attention to so that
1 we are not just guided by numbers but also by the characterization of
2 content which assists us in deciding on admission.
3 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, we will certainly no later than Monday
4 do that, and I will put it on the record as to what exactly it is.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. MISETIC:
8 Q. Mr. Theunens -- let me find one document here.
9 MR. MISETIC: One moment, please.
10 Mr. Registrar, if I could 65 ter 2305, please.
11 Q. I believe you made reference to this report on direct examination
12 as well.
13 Now, this is another report from the political activities unit
14 for OG North. In it, it's reported that Colonel Ivan Zelic and Colonel
15 Ivan Ceko, pursuant to an order of Lieutenant-General Ante Gotovina, if
16 we could scroll down a little bit, concerning performing the assignments
17 relating to political activities and providing support to the civilian
18 structures and overseeing all other elements transferred on to Knin,
19 5 August 1995
20 The legal assistant paragraph says: "Moreover, due to inertia
21 and lack of readiness on the part of civilian bodies and structures to
22 carry out their tasks immediately in the first days and to take on
23 further organisation and management of the town, we have encountered a
24 lot of problems that were impossible to solve without the support of
25 civilian bodies, and there are attempts to put the blame for this on the
1 PD service."
2 Now, as part of your analysis of events here, is it correct that
3 part of the problems in restoring order in the newly liberated
4 territories generally and Knin specifically was the lack of preparedness
5 by the civilian structures to establish law and order quickly upon
7 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn the page, Mr. Registrar.
8 THE WITNESS: Do wish me to answer now?
9 MR. MISETIC:
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Oh, yeah. The problem in relation with the civilian authorities
12 is, based on the documents I reviewed, is a problem to -- to be
13 effective, i.e., their ability to restore order and law, and it's not so
14 much a question of preparedness or readiness. The documents I see
15 indicate, like, they try but they can't.
16 Q. Was that a general problem? Both civilian and military
17 structures, they're trying but they can't?
18 A. When I -- I mean, my answer in the previous question refers to,
19 for example, the letters Mr. Moric, assistant minister of the interior,
20 sends to General Lausic. There are several ones during the second half
21 of the month of August, where Mr. Moric complains or states that the
22 civilian police cannot act against people in uniform and cannot establish
23 whether they are really military or not.
24 Now, that the military structures are trying but can't, I mean,
25 then we have a fundamental problem with the military, because, as we have
1 seen, military discipline is one of the duties of the commander. If he
2 cannot enforce or restore discipline among his units, then he -- he
3 should inform his superiors of that, and instead of conducting combat
4 operations where actually a high level of discipline is essential to be
5 successful, and that was also pointed out by, I think, General Gotovina
6 at the video, he should inform his superior commander about the problems
7 he has and request the superior commander to postpone the launching of
8 combat operations until he, i.e., the subordinate commander, has managed
9 to restore discipline among his units.
10 Q. Well, in light of the fact that you have seen numerous orders
11 being issued, again, my question was: Do you agree that the will was
12 there. In certain cases the execution failed on both the civilian and
13 military sides in the early days of Operation Storm?
14 A. I have only systematically removed military documents and the
15 conclusion I have drawn, in relation to the enforcement of discipline
16 only addresses -- is only based on these military documents, whereby my
17 conclusion is that the rate -- I mean, the volume of orders and the rate
18 at which they are issued by the Split Military District as well as by
19 subordinate commanders, indicated there is a problem with the
20 implementation or the enforcement of these orders.
21 If you have to issue an order for specific activity or to stop
22 active several times, well, things will not get better by just re-issuing
23 the orders. You have to as a commander envisage other measures, first of
24 all, verify why you have -- why the order you have issued is not abided
25 by, and then subsequently change your approach, and maybe undertake
1 additional measures, in order to guarantee that the orders you issue are
3 Q. Rest assured, Mr. Theunens, you and I will be discussing that
4 topic and that opinion shortly. However, is the answer to the question I
5 posed "Yes"?
6 A. Well, the conclusion for the military is, indeed, that the
7 execution, based on documents I reviewed, failed.
8 Q. But the will was there?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I tried to understand what the answer of the witness
10 to your question is. You tried to simplify matters. I understand the
11 answer of the witness to be that, on the basis of the orders issued, that
12 that expresses a will and, at the same time, he draws our attention to
13 the fact that if these orders are not implemented, that he would expect
14 something in addition or something else to be done, in order to make that
15 will effective on the ground.
16 So whether it is yes or no, I think that the answer is a bit more
18 Have you understood your answer well?
19 THE WITNESS: Exactly, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Misetic.
21 MR. MISETIC: As I said, Mr. President, with regard to that
22 second opinion, you'll hear a lot in cross-examination soon on that
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I'm just trying to understand. You more
25 or less saying to the witness, Now was it yes or no? He gave an answer
1 with more shades of grey than you put to him when you ask him, Is it
2 black and white. That's what I what I wanted to clarify.
3 Mr. Misetic, you said that you would go over several matters with
4 the witness, but I take it that will you do that after the break.
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Yes, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break, and we will resume at five
7 minutes to 1.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, let's keep going.
13 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D204,
15 Q. This is, Mr. Theunens, as you know, the order of General Gotovina
16 on 10th of August. In it, he says he is basing this information from the
17 areas liberated by the HV. I'll just note that one of those pieces of
18 information would be that report from the 6th Home Guards commander,
19 Mr. Klarec, that you used on direct, I believe, the day before.
20 And following that, he issues another order which is to prevent
21 theft of property, undisciplined conduct, and to save human lives. The
22 first point is: "I prohibit arbitrary movement of the HV members in the
23 liberated areas without the knowledge of their superior commanders."
24 Now the fact that that is point 1 of the order, does that, from a
25 military point of view, indicate that that is a problem that he is trying
1 to resolve?
2 A. The fact that General Gotovina includes this instruction in his
3 order, indeed, means from the military point of view that there have been
4 problems in that area.
5 Q. Which would mean problems in the fact that the soldiers were
6 arbitrarily moving in the liberated areas without the knowledge of their
7 superior commanders. Correct?
8 A. Exactly.
9 MR. MISETIC: If we could scroll down please.
10 Q. He then orders that they: "Take all necessary measures and fully
11 engage in the implementation of the military disciplinary conduct and the
12 maintenance of order in the area of responsibility and prevent arson and
13 all other illegal acts. Take resolute measures against anybody who
14 conducts himself in an undisciplined manner."
15 MR. MISETIC: And if we can turn the page, please.
16 Q. "The order entered into force immediately, and I designate the
17 commanders of the directly subordinated units to be in charge of its
19 Now, I don't know if you want me to if through, but you will
20 agree with me that these orders were then passed down to subordinate
21 commanders. We have examples as D841, D644, D205, as examples. Those
22 are, for example, the order, D644, is the commander of the 142nd passing
23 it down. D205 is the commander of the 113th passing it down.
24 MR. MISETIC: And if we could have on the screen --
25 THE WITNESS: Can I just say something about this document here,
1 D204. I think it is also important to note that it is sent to the
2 command of OG Zadar, which actually links it to the events that happened
3 in Benkovac after it was -- or control was taken over Benkovac by units
4 of the Split Military District. We have 65 ter 2741 on page 328 of part
5 two of my report that provides additional background.
6 Q. Well, you don't know whether 65 ter 2741 was the foundation for
7 this order or not, other than the fact that Benkovac falls within
8 operative group Zadar; right?
9 A. Yes. And the fact that in Benkovac, there were problems after
10 the entry of units of the Split Military District in relation to the
11 matters highlighted in General Gotovina's order. And 65 ter 2741
12 describes these problems in great detail.
13 Q. You will agree with me that you giving a partial explanation
14 there, because that is on the 5th. Then on the 6th and 7th and 8th, it
15 talks about problems because civilians are entering Benkovac and causing
16 problems; right?
17 A. Indeed. But I think at the introduction of the question, you
18 refer to a particular document, and I thought it was useful also to draw
19 the Trial Chamber's attention to other documents dealing with the same
21 Q. Right. And let me just invite you, if you can, to try to stick
22 to the questions, because we tend to have to go off on a tangent when you
23 insist on finding things useful to insert into your answers.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, may I please have D841 on the
25 screen, please.
1 Mr. President, I'm reminded that before the break, I showed 65
2 ter 2305 and failed to ask that it be marked and tendered. I don't know
3 if the Prosecution has already tendered it. It may be on their list
5 MR. WAESPI: I have to check that, but obviously I have no
7 JUDGE ORIE: Again, Mr. Misetic that was the --
8 MR. MISETIC: 10th of --
9 JUDGE ORIE: 10th August.
10 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Reporting on the failure of the civilian
11 structures on the 5th of August to carry out assignments there.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No objections, Mr. Waespi.
13 Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D982.
15 JUDGE ORIE: D982 is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. This is now the OG Sibenik order passing down General Gotovina's
18 order. It is issued on the same day. Correct?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. Okay. So, just so that we follow how things are transpiring, on
21 the 10th of August, General Gotovina issues another order, subordinate
22 commanders pass that order down. Before the break, we saw the political
23 affairs warning from the 13th of August that was issued by the political
24 affairs assistant from the Split Military District to political affairs
25 workers, and that is within a period of about three days.
1 Now, I'd like to talk to you a little bit about what is happening
2 militarily in the zone of responsibility of the Split Military District
3 between the 11th of August and, let's say, the 19th of August.
4 Is there any combat going on that the Split Military District is
5 engaged during that week?
6 A. Your Honours, I discussed those aspects on English page 146 of
7 part 2 of the report, where I stated main tasks initially consist of
8 mopping-up the area, i.e., remove or eliminate remaining enemy presence.
9 On the 12th of August, and that is based on P482, the VRS carries
10 out a limited counter-attack in the Bosansko Grahovo area. General
11 Gotovina reacts by ordering a counter-attack by battalions belonging to
12 the 4th and 7th Guards Brigade. That, again, comes from P428, as well as
13 65 ter 1128.
14 There is an order on the 13th of August by the 7th Home Guard
15 Regiment for mopping-up operations. Based on the military system, I
16 mean, command and control, the order should have come from the superior
17 command of the 7th Home Guard Regiment, and again then from the superior
18 command of that command and that would be the command of the Split
19 Military District.
20 I don't know whether you want me to continue through the
21 report --
22 Q. Let me ask you a different question, and you've pointed out to
23 the right topic.
24 How many casualties did the HV take during that week?
25 A. I may have seen casualties figures in documents, but I have no
1 exact recollection of particular figures for that week.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could please have 65 ter 1200,
5 Q. This is the weekly report of the Split Military District to the
6 Main Staff for the week of 11 August to 18 August.
7 MR. MISETIC: If we scroll down the first page, it talks about
8 enemy offensive activities in OG Vrba.
9 Q. "Enemy was actively using its artillery, multiple rocket
10 launchers and, tanks against the defence front line, as well as in depth
11 of the territory on August 1995.
12 "OG Sajkovic, on August 13th 1995, the enemy was active in the
13 area of the Derala mountain pass using its artillery and infantry. At
14 around 0630 hours, the enemy managed to breakthrough the front defence
15 line taking the positions at Biljeg, Cigelj, Vidovica ..."
16 MR. MISETIC: Can we turn the page, please.
17 2.1: "Measures taken: On August 13, units of OG Sajkovic area
18 of responsibility were busy in recapturing lost positions and in
19 organising a counter-attack permanently securing the Derala pass."
20 Again, at the next point, on the 14th, they launched an offensive
21 to recapture lost positions.
22 15th, there's more units attack in the direction of
23 Bosansko Grahovo and Resanovci.
24 Go to the bottom, which is section 2.3: "Our losses in the
25 reporting period."
1 MR. MISETIC: And if we turn the page 3 in English.
2 Q. "On August 13, 1995
3 member of the 6th Home Guard Regiment were killed, two seriously wounded,
4 and 72 were lightly wounded or injured as a result of the enemy's combat
5 activities along the direction Drvar, Grahovo, Derala Pass
6 On 15th August, during the HV units' offensive in the direction
7 of Drvar, two members of the 126th Home Guard Regiment were killed, two
8 members of the 4th HV guards were seriously wounded; whereas, three
9 members of the 4th Guards Brigade, and two members of the 113th Infantry
10 Brigade were lightly wounded."
11 Now, from a military perspective, Mr. Theunens, taking 15
12 casualties in a three-day period is a significant event, is it not?
13 I mean 15 deaths, especially for the Split Military District?
14 A. It is, and the commander would be taking appropriate action as to
15 have an investigation mounted in order to determine the causes of this
16 high losses, and then, obviously, take measures to avoid a reputation of
17 such high losses.
18 Q. Well, these high losses, does that indicate to you that there was
19 serious counter-offensive by the Bosnian Serb forces?
20 A. Not necessarily, because it could, for example, be that these
21 soldiers were caught by surprise, that they were not alert. It could be
22 that they were, for example, on the front line in an unprotected
23 position, there's an impact of an artillery -- of artillery grenades.
24 They haven't been warned in time to go to their fortified positions, and
25 then you would have such high losses. So I think the matter is more
1 complicated than just say, well, 15 people killed, so there has to be a
2 severe attack.
3 MR. MISETIC: Let's look at P1131, Mr. Registrar, if you would,
4 please. 1131.
5 Q. This is a document you used in direct examination, and this is an
6 order signed by General Ademi on General Gotovina's behalf.
7 It says: "In accordance with the need and in order to secure
8 tactical in-depth defence, for the remaining or inserted groups of enemy
9 soldiers, I hereby order:
10 "The commander of the 72nd Military Police Battalion shall
11 urgently send an anti-terrorist platoon to the area of Strmica with a
12 task to search and mop-up the general area of Strmica for the remaining
13 or inserted enemy groups.
14 "2, The search of the terrain is to be carried out together with
15 the parts of the 6th Home Guard Regiment deployed in the area of Strmica.
16 "3, Details of the task will be given to the ATG commander upon
17 reporting to the Split Military District Command, Knin IZM in Knin.
18 "4, Deadline for the execution of this order is immediately."
19 Now, you have talked several times about documents not being
20 taken out of context. The context of this order is that the Split
21 Military District Command has taken 14 casualties killed on that day;
23 A. That is it part of the context, yes. These events seem to happen
24 on the same date.
25 Q. Now, from a military perspective, do you see given the close
1 prosecution its of Strmica to the Bosansko Grahovo area and the fact that
2 these deaths occur in the area of Bosnia
3 send to an anti-terrorist in his depth behind him to search and mop-up
4 the terrain for remaining and inserted enemy groups, given that he has
5 taken 14 deaths on that day?
6 A. Yeah, the commander will have made his what he would call
7 appreciation. Taking into the account the nature of the terrain and the
8 nature of the enemy he expects there, he is uses what he considers the
9 most appropriate force or unit or type of unit he has available, and
10 that's why, among his forces, he uses the anti-terrorist group of the
11 72nd Military Police Battalion.
12 Q. Okay. Now, when we were talking about when an operational
13 commander uses the military police, is this an example of an operational
14 commander in the military District employing the military police for a
15 combat purpose, to assist his responsibilities as an operational
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. This order to mop-up was not, would you agree, as part of a
19 mop-up order generally after Operation Storm related to leftover RSK
20 units, necessarily?
21 A. I mean, strictly speaking, the document does not allow to
22 conclude to which army, whether it is SVK or VRS, these remaining groups
23 belong. However, in context of the previous document, yes, that would
24 point towards VRS.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens.
1 Mr. Theunens, I'd like to go back to P71 now.
2 MR. MISETIC: English page 109; B/C/S page 69.
3 I again failed to tender 65 ter 1200, Mr. President.
4 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D983, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: D983 is admitted into evidence.
8 MR. MISETIC: Go to the entry on the right-hand side of the
9 screen, and on the right-hand side in the Croatian as well.
10 Q. This is an entry again you referenced in direct examination. It
11 concerns General Gotovina's reference to where it says "preparations for
12 the winter" in the middle of the page.
13 MR. MISETIC: If we go to page, let me see.
14 Q. Maybe you can help me, Mr. Theunens. I'm looking for the entry
15 "they will winter in houses that were burned."
16 A. I remember the entry, but, unfortunately, I didn't bring hard
17 copies with me. But I can check also in my report.
18 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in the English, please,
19 and one more time. I'm sorry.
20 THE WITNESS: I don't think I specifically mentioned the entry
21 about spending winter in burnt out houses in my report, unfortunately.
22 MR. WAESPI: I think it I found it on page 359 in Mr. Theunens's
23 report: "On 16th August 1995
24 with his subordinate commanders ..."
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Waespi.
1 Q. It says, "the houses that are burning down.
2 "They will stay during winter in the houses they are burning
4 Now, given the context of what had transpired in the three days
5 prior as to where the HV unit were engaged in combat, the reference there
6 as to where these houses are, in terms of the burning, is in Bosnia
8 A. I don't think -- I don't think that this entry allows to draw any
9 conclusions on that aspect, because --
10 Q. Well, let me tell you how I interpret it.
11 If he is talking about houses in the Republic of Croatia
12 units are not -- there is no front line in Croatia where they would have
13 to be barracked in houses somewhere in the territory the Republic of
15 A. Again, I don't think we can draw such a conclusion, because it
16 may well be there is a lack of barracks or suitable barracks that have
17 been already been secured, in a sense that, even if the SVK have left
18 there, the barracks they occupied, there is a need to check whether these
19 barracks are safe, and then it is a whole logistical exercise to reoccupy
21 I`m not in a position to say whether the existing barracks or
22 other buildings in the zone of the Split Military District on Croatian
23 territory were sufficient to house all the units of the Split Military
25 Q. Okay. Well, then, is it safe to say you're not aware whether he
1 is referring to burning going on in Bosnia or burning going on in
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, may I please have 1D63-0118, please.
6 Q. Let's talk a little bit about what was transpiring on the 18th of
7 August. This is a SIS report that I'm going to show you, dated 18
8 August 1995.
9 You can see at the -- in middle of the first page, it says:
10 "Pursuant to orders, the Operative Group West is comprised of the
11 following units," and it identifies them there.
12 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page, please.
13 Q. In the middle of the page, it says: "The following security
14 problem versus been observed in OG West.
15 Second bullet point paragraph there: "According to the
16 operational information gathered so far, the situation is the worst in
17 the 134th Home Guard Regiment, and it can be observed in the following:
18 The line of command within the unit is not functioning, the commander
19 lacks the necessary authority to implement orders issued by OG West,
20 members of the unit are continuously destroying and burning residential
21 buildings within the area of responsibility."
22 Skipping a paragraph: "Members of the SIS gave out warnings that
23 in the course of carrying out combat activities, the OG West was in
24 command, which resulted in the removal of," and then it is blacked out,
25 unit member, (currently carrying out the duty of assistant commander for
1 SIS in the Benkovac garrison), and a reserve member of the SIS from the
2 3rd Battalion of the 134th Home Guards by battalion commander Zeljko
4 Next bullet point: "Upon arriving in the area of responsibility
5 of OG West, we observed that the same was not secured by MP control
6 check-points, which resulted in a large number of the members of the
7 units within the AOR having personal vehicles and the previously
8 mentioned incidents with the Belgian TV news team.
9 "On the basis of our proposal dated 19 August 1995 at 0800 hours,
10 a military police check-point shall be set up on the Knin HV Gracac Srb
11 cross roads."
12 Now, on 18 August, information is given --
13 MR. MISETIC: And, Your Honours, let me just clarify, and I think
14 it is clarified in Mr. Theunens's report, but the OG names were changed
15 after Operation Storm.
16 Q. There is clearly a problem in the 134th Home Guard Regiment. The
17 commander unable to carry out orders which you mentioned as one of the
18 problems as implementation of orders.
19 So let's take it through now what happened in the 134th.
20 MR. MISETIC: If we go to P1143, please.
21 Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked, and I tender it
22 into evidence.
23 MR. WAESPI: No objections. What is the date of this document.
24 MR. MISETIC: 18 August. I believe the reference to the
25 check-point being set up on the 19th is saying that it "shall be,"
1 meaning that this is a future event.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D984.
4 JUDGE ORIE: D984 is admitted into evidence.
5 MR. MISETIC:
6 Q. You have an order that you used in direct examination,
7 Mr. Theunens, which General Ademi first orders that that check-point
8 that's referenced in the SIS report be set up?
9 A. Mm-hm.
10 Q. At point 1: "That the check-point shall be put into operation on
11 19th of August. Only motor vehicles with a regular vehicle log shoot are
12 to be allowed through, while the entry of civilian motor vehicles into
13 the zone is strictly forbidden.
14 "Allow war booty to be taken out only if there are proper lists
15 signed by the commanders of units."
16 MR. MISETIC: Now, let's go to the next document, which is again
17 back to P71, please, English page 115 -- actually, Mr. Registrar, I
18 apologise. Let me show him a different document first. My apologies.
19 Mr. Registrar, if could I please have 65 ter 860, please.
20 Q. Following this report of the commander of the 134th being unable
21 to implement orders and their problems, in addition to the military
22 police check-point, an order is issued again, signed for General
23 Gotovina: "Have a commission carry out a check. Enlist the war booty of
24 the 134th Home Guard Regiment. For the implementation of this task, I am
25 assigning a commission made up of following members."
1 The members of the commission are identified.
2 MR. MISETIC: The next page, please.
3 Q. "The basic task of the commission is to compare what was recorded
4 on the ground with what was listed as war booty by the unit.
5 "Submit a written report following completion of the task. The
6 deadline for implementation is immediately."
7 Mr. Theunens, would you agree with me that on the basis of the
8 information on the 18th, that a commission is formed then to conduct an
9 inspection of the 134th to see whether the war booty they have physically
10 matches the war booty they have identified on their lists?
11 A. Yes, that's what we can conclude from this two documents -- from
12 these documents.
13 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,
14 and I tender it into evidence.
15 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this becomes Exhibit D985.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D985 is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D650,
21 Q. This is an order issued the next day by the commander of
22 Operative Group West: "Due do to the observed break down of order and
23 discipline and for the international reputation for the Republic of
25 Then: "Establish control in all units ... take measures against
1 the torching of buildings and killing of animals ... take disciplinary
2 and criminal measures against irresponsibility individuals.
3 "The commanders of OG West units are responsible to me for the
4 implementation of this order."
5 MR. MISETIC: Now, if we could scroll to the bottom please, of
6 the Croatian, so I can see the signature, please.
7 Q. Again, it's Colonel Fuzul.
8 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to Exhibit D884, please.
9 Q. It says -- and I will show you if necessary through a document
10 that is issued subsequent to this and pursuant to this order that this
11 order is issued on or about the 18th of August as well or the 19th of
13 It says: "Based on the oral order by the Deputy Commander of the
14 Split Military District, staff Brigadier Ademi, with the purpose of
15 improving the control and reinforcing the discipline in the Split
16 Military District units, all commanders of units in the zone of
17 responsibility of Operative Group West can according to their own
18 judgement dismiss part of the soldiers from their units, principally
19 dismiss individuals or groups who are behaving in a manner that causes
20 disturbance of discipline and order?
21 A. Am I expected to --
22 Q. I will give you a question after we've rune through the
24 A. This is actually a key issue.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Make a little note what the key issue. Let's wait
1 until Mr. Misetic has finished. And if you consider it in view of the
2 question he will put to you still a key issue, include it in your answer.
3 If you consider it a key issue outside his question, then please tell us
4 at that time.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours.
6 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to Exhibit D885, please.
7 Q. There is now an order passed down to the commander of the 134th.
8 It says: "A part of the conscripts may be dismissed from the unit.
9 "Primarily dismiss the individuals and groups who, with their
10 behaviour, disturb the order and discipline within the unit and, as such,
11 significantly impair the implementation of combat tasks."
12 Now, I'm sorry I'm rushing through this, but I would like to
13 finish this line of questioning before we end for the day. I'd like to
14 show you a document that we will be referring to. This is the result of
15 the inspection conducted by the Main Staff of the Split Military District
16 completed on the 30th of October, 1995.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, it is 65 ter 1335, please.
18 If we could first turn to page 5 in the English, please, which is
19 numbered page 3 in the Croatian. So two pages back in the Croatian.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any possibility to show the English on the
22 screen as well?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it is possible that the English
24 translation hasn't been released in e-court.
25 MR. WAESPI: I do have it in e-court if I open 65 ter.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But to release it is a special activity needed
2 to give it via the distribution.
3 Perhaps we could use the time when waiting.
4 Mr. Theunens, earlier you said there was a key issue. If that
5 key issue would be that dismissing active duty men rather than to
6 investigate disciplinarily or in a criminal context, the Chamber is not
7 unfamiliar and has heard quite some evidence on that issue, whether what
8 would be the most appropriate way to react and whether it would be, as a
9 matter of fact, a heavier penalty to send people home rather than to
10 investigate them and/or cut 10 percent of their salary, for example.
11 So the Chamber is not unfamiliar with that aspect, if that is
12 what was on your mind. I'm not opening any discussion on it, just
13 filling in the time when we are still waiting for --
14 THE WITNESS: There is just an additional aspect. That is, that
15 my understanding of the --
16 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. I just wanted to let you know that at least
17 this is a matter the Chamber has some familiarity with and not to say
18 that in full detail. And then I would like to -- even to Mr. Misetic,
19 but in later answering the question or further commenting, you have at
20 least some information.
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I propose that we show
22 the English translation via Sanction for now.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let's look at it through Sanction.
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Mr. Theunens, one of the findings is, if you look at "planned
2 JUDGE ORIE: It looks as if is now on -- yeah, okay.
3 THE WITNESS: Mm-hm.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. "Planned inspections and controls have not been fully
6 established in the liberated areas yet but considerable progress has been
7 achieved in the prevention of theft, destruction of houses and similar,
8 which should continue to be considered a priority and permanent task."
9 And then if I could call your attention specifically to what
10 happened to the 134th.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 37, please, to the bottom.
12 Q. In reporting on the inspection of the 134th: "By the order of
13 the defence minister based on the proposal submitted by the operative
14 group and the order of the Split Military District, the approved
15 numerical strength of the regiment was 581 soldiers. After the
16 demobilization, the number fell to 579. The regiment's structure was
17 adapted accordingly.
18 "According to the commander's order, there were -- the regiment
19 sent 392 members on leave. The 187 members who remain in the units are
20 engaged on the clearing of warehouses and facilities, sorting the war
21 booty, carrying out the engineering inspections ..."
22 Next paragraph is: "The regiment command is not brought up to
23 establishment in accordance with the establishment plans ..."
24 Now this regiment typically has how many people?
25 A. I think the earlier entry said something like -- if we go to the
1 bottom of page 37. Stop. The numerical -- or the approved numerical
2 strength was 581, according to this document.
3 Q. But how much was it at the time of Operation Storm?
4 A. I would have to look in my report. I don't know by heart, but I
5 have a document.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from having a document, I would say that
7 you've got 72 hours to look at the documents.
8 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
9 THE WITNESS: I should be faster.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is even 72 and a half hour because we'll
11 adjourn for the day.
12 MR. MISETIC: May I at least have this exhibit marked and tender
13 it into evidence, Mr. President.
14 MR. WAESPI: It is a fairly long, but I have no objections.
15 JUDGE ORIE: If is fairly long. If a further redaction of the
16 size -- I'm not saying that it can be achieved but would you at least
17 consider it, Mr. Misetic.
18 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Without of course loosing context.
20 Mr. Theunens, I'd like to instruct you as I did all these days,
21 that you should not speak with anyone about the testimony, whether given
22 already or still to be given. We'd like to see you back Monday, in the
24 We adjourn, and we resume at Monday, the 1st of December, quarter
25 part 2.00 in the afternoon, in this same courtroom I.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 1st day
3 of December 2008 at 2.15 p.m.