1 Friday, 12 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Is the witness -- one second, please.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 13559-13562 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, while the witness is being
10 brought in, if I could just address the Court on a housekeeping matter.
11 Yesterday the transcripts were given one exhibit number which was P1150,
12 but I have been advised that that could cause some problems because there
13 are three sections of the transcript, and unlike the previous instances,
14 the transcripts, these particular transcripts don't bear register
15 assigned page numbers, so we have to go through the particular ERN number
16 and the page number, and each section has its page numbering starting
17 from afresh, which mean --
18 JUDGE ORIE: You say that every page reference would be a
19 multiple choice question, is it one, two, or three.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Exactly, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar is this ...
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honours, we can assign individual exhibit
23 numbers to each document.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And then we describe them as the transcript, first
25 part; transcript, second part; and transcript, third part. So that it is
1 clear from the description that it consists of three parts.
2 Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Transcript, first part, 65 ter number 06161 will
4 remain exhibit number P1150. The second transcript, 65 ter 06162,
5 becomes exhibit number P1151. And the third transcript, 65 ter 06163,
6 becomes exhibit number P1152.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. It follows from our
8 decision yesterday that P1150, P1151, P1152 are admitted into evidence.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Turkalj. Good morning. Please be
12 Mr. Turkalj, I would like to remind you that you are still bound
13 by the solemn declaration you have given yesterday at the beginning of
14 your testimony.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne will now continue her examination.
17 Please proceed.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: JOSIP TURKALJ
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Ms. Mahindaratne: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Turkalj.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Now yesterday the last question I asked you was if you had rules
25 of engagement in -- engaging in artillery operations, and your answer was
1 that you didn't have rules of engagement but that you had -- that you
2 used tactics of artillery based on which you acted upon during the
4 Now, did those tactics --
5 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Your Honour, I don't believe that is what
6 the witness said.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If there is any dispute what the witness said,
8 please literally quote him, Ms. Mahindaratne.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
10 Q. The answer:
11 "There were no rules of engagement for artillery per se. What we
12 had in place was the tactics of artillery, based on which we acted upon
13 in the course of the operation."
14 This is at page 13556, line 22.
15 Mr. Kehoe.
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes. My statement is that that in -- it envisions
17 many different issues when it talks about artillery.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, Ms. Mahindaratne has now put to the
19 witness what he literally said, and that was the purpose of this
20 exercise, not to start exploring the differences between the original and
21 the later quote.
22 Ms. Mahindaratne.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Now my question to you is, Mr. Turkalj, did those tactics include
25 specifications which required you to maintain a minimum -- a prescribed
1 minimum distance from civilian settlements in engaging targets or in the
2 process of selection of targets?
3 A. I can answer the question in the following way: There existed
4 specific information about the location of the military targets, and to
5 us, they were targets, as such.
6 Q. Were you instructed by Mr. Markac, Mr. Sacic -- I'm sorry, the
7 inner control branch or any authorities that engaging targets, whatever
8 the targets that you had been provided with as those that you should
9 consider in firing at or ordering attacks on, that you should take into
10 consideration the distance between that target and civilian settlements
11 or civilian structures?
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I'm going to object to line of this
13 questioning for this reason: It presupposed that Mr. Markac or Mr. Sacic
14 or the inner control have that specific authority to direct them to do
15 that. So if she can establish that foundation, then the question is
16 relevant. If not, then there's not foundation for that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: My questions was whether he ever received
19 instructions, so as to whether this comes into the purview of Mr. Markac,
20 Mr. Sacic, or the inner control branch is not my question. My question
21 is a whether he has received. And it's a yes or no answer.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's at least a question about facts. It's
23 not for the first time that an issue arises whether orders, instructions
24 were given, received, although there may be some doubt as to the
25 authority to issue such orders, so therefore, it is appropriate to put
1 questions of fact whether anything was received, whether any orders were
2 given, any instructions given.
3 The question about authority which, of course, is not -- is
4 partly a question of fact can be the following question: Not necessarily
5 such a clear, factual question should be preceded by first exploring the
6 authority to do what the witness is asked whether that has been done.
7 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Can you please answer my question, Mr. Turkalj, or do you wish me
10 it repeat it?
11 A. I can answer your question.
12 When we received information about the location of military
13 targets and all the other related information that we thought was
14 interesting in an offensive action, in an attack action, when we spoke to
15 Mr. Sacic and two or three days earlier with Mr. Markac, we were told
16 that when selecting targets we should pay attention to artillery fire, in
17 order to make sure that the civilians, if any in the area, do not come in
18 harm's way.
19 Q. Now, when did Mr. Markac tell you -- tell that to you?
20 A. This was probably a day before the start of Operation Storm. In
21 a conversation we had.
22 Q. Now you said when we received information about the location of
23 military targets and all the other related information. What were the
24 other related information which was provided to you when you were
25 provided with the -- with locations of military targets? What is the
1 other relevant information?
2 A. When I refer to information, I mean the information we had
3 concerning the 9th Motorised Brigade which was positioned ahead of us.
4 Q. So that is what -- was there any other information such as how
5 far the particular target was to a civilian settlement, how many
6 civilians were present in the settlement, such information, was that
7 given to you?
8 A. I believe that I answered this question yesterday. Based on the
9 topographic map of the area, I was able to gauge the distances between
10 the civilian features and military targets.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, were you aware of the range of error for the
12 artillery that you were using?
13 A. For firing upon military targets, we used the most precise type
14 of artillery pieces we had at the time. The range of error is from 12.5
15 to 25 metres.
16 Q. And for which weapon is that? What type of weapon are you giving
17 that probable range of error?
18 A. I'm referring to 130-millimetre cannons and about calculating the
19 elements for artillery fire.
20 Q. And for 120-millimetre mortars, what was your probable range of
22 A. When calculating the elements involved, I believe the range is
23 roughly the same. Range of error, that is.
24 Q. And you also use, in the course of the operation, MBRL,
25 multi-barrel rocket launchers systems, isn't it?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Now your testimony is that you used -- you said for firing upon
3 military targets, we used the most precise type of pieces we had at the
4 time. What were the most precise pieces that you considered to be
5 appropriate for you to be using in the course of the operation?
6 A. [French on English channel]... 130-millimetre cannons for the
7 targets that are deep -- the rear that are deep behind the lines.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... get a
9 translation for the answer, for most of the answer.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Would you repeat the question, Ms. Mahindaratne,
11 there are -- it doesn't appear on the -- on the transcript in full
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
14 Q. Mr. Turkalj, we lost part of your answer. Let me repeat my
15 question to you, if you could answer.
16 Now, you -- what type of artillery pieces that you -- did you
17 consider to be capable of firing with position? You said precise pieces.
18 What exactly were you referring to?
19 A. I said that the most precise artillery piece we had --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour, by way of clarification on these
22 issues I looked at the statement that he gave, which is P1049, and I
23 have, of course, have read P1150, 1151, and 1152, which are the three
24 statements, and if counsel could point to me where this discussion ensues
25 concerning the various uses of artillery, I would be illuminated.
1 Because I read this, and while there is a brief discussion about
2 artillery, there is certainly no discussion on there score.
3 I just want to be looking in the right direction.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It my be a --
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, this -- this amount of detail
6 has not been explored in the course of the interview, and as such, it is
7 not in the statements nor in the interview transcripts. However, we have
8 -- the Prosecution has not had the benefit of proofing this witness, or
9 we have not had any communication with this witness. And I believe this
10 witness has the knowledge and facts that the Trial Chamber would be
11 interested in assessing the other evidence. I do not know on what basis
12 I could be barred from proceeding with this line of questioning just
13 because it has not been dealt with previously. If it is an issue of
14 disclosure --
15 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, you may proceed this line of
18 questioning. It is a follow-up, and a -- of one of the answers of the
19 witness where he made precise -- he gave precise information, the 12.5 to
20 25 millimetres asked for further exploring.
21 You may proceed.
22 MR. KEHOE: If I could just on that score, Judge.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Kehoe, Ms. Mahindaratne may proceed.
24 MR. KEHOE: Well, I would like to discuss this at the break,
25 Judge, because there is an issue of disclosure that I'd like to put on
1 the record.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The disclosure issue, that is something different.
3 I do not know --
4 MR. KEHOE: There is a disclosure issue.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It was [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 MR. KEHOE: Judge, when I referenced Your Honours to the several
7 hundred page statement that Mr. Turkalj gave, P1150 through 1152 as well
8 as prior it statement where the Office of the Prosecutor had numerous
9 Russ sessions to discuss this with the witness, there is no discussion
10 about margin of errors on T-130s or margins of errors on mortars.
11 JUDGE ORIE: It is triggered about by the answer of the witness,
12 Mr. Kehoe. If the witness would have said the precision is 10
13 centimetres to 20 centimetres, everyone would have would accepted that
14 and if -- so therefore, that's the reason, as I explained, the disclosure
15 issue, the line of questioning is accepted by the Chamber as a logical
16 sequence of one of the answers given, where Ms. Mahindaratne did not ask
17 -- asked about precision of weapons which is, in this context, quite
19 So therefore Ms. Mahindaratne is allowed to continue. I
20 consulted my colleagues on this decision, which is a Chamber decision.
21 MR. KEHOE: Well, I note my objection to the record, Your Honour.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Now, could you answer my question. Let me repeat it again.
24 What weapons did you consider to be -- when you used the term,
25 you said: I used precise -- or the most precise equipment. What were
1 the weapons that you were referring to there?
2 A. I said that we used the most precise artillery pieces we had at
3 our disposal at the time.
4 Q. And what were they?
5 A. We used 120 mortars, multi-barrel rockets and cannons. And
6 cannons are among the most precise weapons. Also Howitzers.
7 Q. So you said you used multi-barrel rockets. Did you consider
8 multi-barrel rockets to be a weapon capable of firing with precision?
9 A. No, that weaponry can fire with precision, but multiple barrel
10 launchers are used to cover a surface and not a target which is a point.
11 Q. Can you clarify that answer further. When you say a multi-barrel
12 -- let me just read it back exactly.
13 You said part of your answer has not been recorded. You said, It
14 is used to cover a surface and not a target.
15 Can you clarify that, bear with us, Mr. Turkalj. We are not very
16 knowledgeable about artillery. So could you specifically, you know, tell
17 us what you mean by that. Surface in what sense?
18 A. In the military sense the multi-barrel rocket launcher is used to
19 cover a target which is an area like a room. I don't mean a room in
20 terms of a building. A room, in this strict sense, would mean an area of
21 100 by 100 metres, roughly.
22 Q. So what type of military targets would you used multi-barrel
23 rocket launchers systems against, what type of target, what could you
25 And going back to your testimony yesterday, you said when I asked
1 you what type of targets were -- you provided you said, you provided with
2 certain --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
4 MR. KEHOE: Judge, this is an area that there has been absolutely
5 no disclosure. We're now asking for an expert opinion on a particular
6 area, and the OTP, A, has certainly has not put him in the expert
7 category; and, B, there is no disclosure in this line in any of these
8 statements. None. This is a new line of questioning that
9 Ms. Mahindaratne has decided on this morning with this witness.
10 Now the accused is entitled to disclosure.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President. In fact, this line of
12 questioning is ensuing from the responses given by this witness. In
13 fact, the witness yesterday testified as to what type of targets he was
14 provided with, and this morning, he himself, offered that testimony about
15 position weapons.
16 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, this is not --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Not all at the same time.
18 MR. KEHOE: Apologies.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If I could say, Mr. President, I'm not seeking
20 an expert opinion. The witness was in charge of artillery, and I'm
21 asking him -- this is factual matters. This is it not an expert opinion.
22 MR. KEHOE: Look at the last question that Ms. Mahindaratne
23 asked, if that is a factual matter.
24 So what type -- this is on line 6 of page 15:
25 "What type of military targets would you use multi-barrel rocket
1 launchers systems? What type of target? What could you articulate?"
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you would change that question in relation
3 to the targets that were given to you, what type of weapon you used, then
4 it suddenly is not expert anymore, then it's just a question about facts.
5 MR. KEHOE: That is true.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And Ms. Mahindaratne.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... we could start analysing
9 the way in which you formulate exactly the question where it is a
10 question of fact and where it becomes a question of opinion. Let's not
11 spend time on that. You have heard that by reformulating the question
12 slightly it becomes well, let's say, for 95 per cent a factual question.
13 You're invited to focus on facts.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will do so, Mr. President.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If I might add, as Your Honours knows, we have
16 the statement and we have the three transcripts. And I don't know if
17 Your Honours have read that or not. 99 per cent of what Mr. Turkalj says
18 in those statements and transcripts has nothing to do with artillery. So
19 it is, in all honesty, a disclosure issue.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, he told in the statement what artillery was
21 used, so therefore some follow-up questions in that respect.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I do agree with Your Honour, and there is no
23 question that that did occur and that witness did talk in some small
24 instances about that in his statement. But the focus of this examination
25 isn't necessarily on what has been discussed in the transcripts or in the
1 statement. It is on something almost entirely different.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You can argue how different and how close it
4 Ms. Mahindaratne, there is it some merit in what Mr. Kuzmanovic
5 says. There is certainly also merit in what Mr. Kehoe says about the
6 formulation of the question and when he becomes an expert. But since you
7 rely mainly on the, I would say, on the experience of the witness, you
8 can ask him about his experience, and then it's not expert evidence, but
9 it's experience.
10 Just to give you an example. You didn't ask him any further
11 questions on the 120-millimetre mortars. Now you can ask someone what
12 exactly is the error range, et cetera he is you can also ask a witness,
13 Did you fire mortars at -- with the different charges, did you ever
14 notice a difference in position when you used a one charge or a
15 six-charge. Then you ask for facts and matters the witness may have
16 observed personally and which may have relevance for the issue here.
17 Mr. Kehoe.
18 MR. KEHOE: And, Your Honour, the difficulty without going to
19 specific facts is that the margin of error not only with cannons and
20 Howitzers and --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe. Mr. Kehoe, we are not going to discuss
22 here the substance of what apparently is the disputed content of the
24 MR. KEHOE: The only issue, Judge, is when the facts are --
25 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. If you want to do that, we first to ask the
1 witness whether he --
2 MR. KEHOE: If we can ask the witness to leave.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, do you understand or speak English?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you take off your earphones for a second,
7 Yes, Mr. Kehoe.
8 MR. KEHOE: On this issue, Your Honour, and the reason I was
9 getting back to the facts and why the facts are important is because
10 issues concerning margin of error et cetera and all this weaponry depends
11 on distance, depends on weather conditions. A --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I have fully agree with you.
13 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
14 JUDGE ORIE: On that matter it is not without reason that I said
15 you can ask a witness whether he has fired mortars with one charge or six
16 charges which, of course, also the angle makes quite a difference, and I
17 think that with a be important for Ms. Mahindaratne to know. She said
18 we're not expert ourselves in artillery. That putting a question about
19 an error of -- margin of error doesn't make very much sense if you do not
20 have other information available, such as weather conditions, atmosphere
21 conditions, charges used, angle of firing, there are a lot of -- at the
22 same time, Mr. Kehoe, that also explains why if a witness says, Well, I
23 used this weaponry, and they have 12.5 to 25 meters of margin of error,
24 and would that be true for the -- that is true for the cannons. Would it
25 be true for the mortars as well? Yes, approximately the same. These, of
1 course, are answers which justify further exploring on what exactly was
2 taken into consideration when firing this type of weaponry.
3 MR. KEHOE: And I will say that -- that the facts are important,
4 but the overall facts on non-disclosure virtually precludes from
5 cross-examining on this because we had no notice that this was an area
6 that going to be the subject of the Prosecution's direct.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Mahindaratne might not have been prepared
8 for an answer of 12.5 to 25 metres as well.
9 MR. KEHOE: She asked the question what the margin of error was.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but she may be surprised by the answer. That's
11 why I gave that answer earlier. If you say -- if you put a general
12 question to a witness and you receive an answer, which might come to some
13 spent as a surprise, then even if you had not in mind to explore in
14 detail such matters, that this might cause you to do so because of the
15 unexpected answer.
16 Let's -- Ms. Mahindaratne, you are aware that there is -- there
17 are objections against putting this witness in a situation where he more
18 or less serves as an expert witness on all kind of details, on margins of
19 errors, technical details of weaponry. At the same time, I left you some
20 margin to put some questions. If you would keep that in mind, that these
21 objections, as I said before, are not totally without merit, although not
22 sufficient at this moment to bar you from putting some questions in
23 relation to this, but certainly not -- this is not a green light for
24 exploring in every detail this area, which certainly does not prominently
25 appear in the statement of the witness.
1 If you would please keep that in mind, then we can proceed.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will, Mr. President. Thank you for those
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, would you ...
5 And may I urge the parties to see whether we can have a flow of
6 evidence, which is not interrupted on a minute-by-minute basis.
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour, I appreciate that. And to and to
8 the extent I did that, personally, Your Honour, I apologise to the
9 Chamber and to my co-counsel.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Turkalj, now you said -- and I'm just going back to what you
13 just said with regard to 120-millimetre and 130-millimetre cannons, you
14 said the probable range of error that you considered was 12.5 to 25
15 metres. Based on what did you arrive at that figure?
16 A. I arrived at that figure the following way: It includes all the
17 elements that need to be put into the calculation when firing, stating
18 that the margin of error could be as little as 12.5 metres. I know all
19 that because I completed the Military Academy
20 I can add to that, that if one has a computer at one's disposal,
21 if you do it electronically, then the calculation gets even more precise.
22 Q. Did you use -- in directing the artillery operations, did you use
23 any charts or any written instructions that set out the margins of error,
24 the -- the other elements that need to be factored in calculating the
25 probable range of error with regard to particular types of weapons. Did
1 you use such material?
2 A. I did not fully understand the question.
3 Q. Now, within the special police artillery section, were there any
4 specific instructions given with regard to are, let's say, example, that
5 the probable range of error related to go 120-millimetre mortars would be
6 such-and-such when -- when you factor in the particular charge you use,
7 the particular elements of weather, so on and so forth, were there
8 written instructions or certain charts that you used?
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sorry.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, the question started as a factual
11 question. When reformulating when the witness said he didn't understand
12 the question. It might that be the question changed a bit of character.
13 If would you not mind, Mr. Kuzmanovic, and if that would deal with the
14 objection you may have, I could try to reformulate the question.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: My objection actually was in part that, Your
16 Honour. But the main objection I have is the question assumes that the
17 special police itself has an artillery section, and I think that needs to
18 be established.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps -- when you were -- Mr. Turkalj, when you
20 were in charge of the use of artillery, do you know whether any tables
21 were used to calculate what margin of error would apply in the specific
22 circumstances of the use of that weapon; that is, calibre, angle of
23 firing, charge, et cetera? Were you using tables? Were they available?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Specifically when determining the
25 elements for firing of artillery weapons, there were tables. Each piece
1 had its own respective table, and that is what we used to determine the
3 JUDGE ORIE: And how specific were these tables? What elements
4 appeared on this table resulting in a certain margin of error? How
5 detailed were they?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The tables were precise, drafted by
7 experts. We were not the authors of those tables. We merely used them.
8 The tables do not originate from the special police. Those tables are
9 used by armed forces all over the world. They have nothing to do with
10 us, and the elements depend on the coordinates of the target, direction,
11 distance, and all the other elements one needs to have in order to engage
12 a target.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
15 Q. You said, Mr. Turkalj, that these tables were used by armed
16 forces all over the world. Now, the tables that you used, what were the
17 origins of those tables? I mean, you could not have been using a
18 universal table. What -- can you tell us from which military force or
19 which armed forces had -- or from which authority had issued those
21 A. From the point of view of artillery, such tables depend on the
22 piece you use. There were such tables in existence in the eastern part
23 of the world and the western part of the world.
24 The difference may have been between 60 and 64.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, do you know generated these tables?
1 Was it -- the ones you used, were they JNA table, were those American
2 tables, were those manufacturer tables; do you know?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were JNA tables, provided
4 they corresponded with the pieces we had.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Turkalj.
8 Now going back to your testimony yesterday, you said that you
9 were provided with designated targets which included targets on the front
10 lines, and then you also said that you were provided with certain targets
11 in the depths behind the lines, which you describe as, and I will read
12 them to you: Command points, railroad junctions, warehouses of equipment
13 pieces, communication centre. And you said that would be it more or
15 Now when I just asked you about the 128-millimetre multi-barrel
16 rocket launcher systems and as to what type of targets you use such a
17 weapon, you said for surface areas, not specific targets.
18 Now did you, in the course of the operation, use multi-barrel
19 rocket launchers systems against a type of weapons that you described
20 yesterday? That is, the targets in the depth which were command points,
21 railroad junctions, warehouses of equipment, or communication centres?
22 A. Multi-barrel rocket launchers were used exclusively to engage the
23 enemy defence at the front lines and the rear, meaning up to one or two
24 kilometres where the enemy forces are, just behind the front line.
25 Q. So if I could understand your answer, is it correct that you're
1 saying that the multiple rocket launchers were used only against forces,
2 that is personnel, by you?
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sorry to interrupt. The previous answer wasn't
4 complete. In terms of what the witness said. I don't know if there was
5 a gap in the translation or what happened, but the answer is not
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, on the record, I, at this moment as
8 your last answer: Multi-barrel rocket launchers were used exclusively --
9 I think you said for front line positions and positions in the rear,
10 positions in the rear, meaning up to one or two kilometres where the
11 enemy forces, just behind the front line, were.
12 Is that -- because we are missing part on the transcript. Is
13 that what you said?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
17 Q. If could you clarify, did you mean that they were used only
18 against forces, as in personnel?
19 A. That is right.
20 Q. Now, you said that -- previously you said that three days before
21 the operation, Mr. Markac had informed you or had -- at a meeting had
22 been told, you had been instructed to take care of -- take care that
23 civilians would not be in harm's way in using artillery.
24 Now, what type of steps did you take to ensure that, to minimise
25 collateral damage?
1 A. We took all the steps necessary. We designated the targets at
2 the front line and in the rear of the front lines along the axis of
3 attack of the special police. We also designated the targets within our
4 area that were important for the fulfilment of our goal. We were precise
5 in terms of what the goals were in the entire area. We prepared the axes
6 of attack, and we had a battery covering each of those within their
7 respective areas.
8 The artillery we had had a longer range, and it was exclusively
9 under my control. Therefore, no one could have acted without my consent.
10 Q. So were there any designated targets involved in the course of
11 the operation which were close to civilian settlements?
12 A. I'm afraid you will have to repeat your question. There were
13 fortified targets.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. Because the front line was being put in place for three years
16 before the attack itself.
17 Q. My question is --
18 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, one clarification, Mr. President. I
19 apologise for the interruption. If counsel could designate in her
20 question or describe what she means "close to civilian settlements," what
21 that means in artillery respect.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
24 Q. Mr. Turkalj, now, you referred to targets, designated targets, in
25 the depths, and you described -- I referred to those four types of
2 Were there such targets located either within civilian
3 settlements or, say, within proximity of 50 to 300 metres to civilian
4 settlements or civilian structures?
5 A. I would seek further clarification. Are you talking about any
6 targets in settlements or the targets along the axes of attack of the
7 special police?
8 Q. I'm referring to the targets in depth, not on the confrontation
9 lines. You referred to four types of targets which were designated in
10 the depth. Were there such targets located in villages or towns or near
11 villages or towns?
12 Let me be more specific. Which fell within the probable range of
13 error as you saw it?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Probable range of error is not a good -- you earlier
15 said within 50 to 300 metres [Overlapping speakers] ...
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: [Overlapping speakers] ... I'll stick to
17 that, Mr. President.
18 Q. Could you answer that question, Mr. Turkalj. Did you understand
19 my question?
20 A. If I understood your question correctly, the direction of attack
21 of the special police was a bit wider in range than the territory we have
22 been discussing so for at Mount Velebit
23 Along the axis of target there were many targets, not only the
24 four or five that we referred to yesterday. Those targets as well as
25 others were in proximity of certain settlements, some of which were
1 settlements as well.
2 Q. So what kind of steps did you take to ensure that collateral
3 damage was minimised? Now you said that you had instructions to ensure
4 that civilians would not be in harm's way. So my question to you is what
5 kind of steps did you take to ensure that?
6 A. As far as my work goes, and the work of artillery, we had two or
7 three targets inside settlements. We worked very precisely on those
8 occasions with a very small number of projectiles, seeking only to
9 neutralize that particular target.
10 Q. And what were those three targets, and where were they?
11 A. I'm talking about the brigade command, the 9th Gracac Brigade,
12 that is.
13 Q. And where was that located?
14 A. It was inside Gracac itself.
15 Q. And what were the other two?
16 A. Next, there was a cross-roads in Gracac itself, the two main
17 roads, then there was a police station housing some of the operational
18 forces in the area.
19 Q. When you say in the area, which area?
20 A. The area along the axis of attack. Those were active forces.
21 Q. Can you tell me -- when you say "axis of attack," what specific
23 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, let me try to understand what
24 we're doing.
25 You're exploring the three targets, which were close to
1 settlements or even within civilian settlements. Does it make any
2 difference whether in the police station there were people from a large
3 area or a small area? We're talking about the police station housing
4 persons as a target. Does it matter whether they came from far, whether
5 they had red hair. Whether -- isn't the focus on targeting this -- this
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
10 Q. Can you tell me first, Mr. Turkalj, what weapons did you use on
11 those three targets? What particular weapon did you use?
12 A. We used only the 130-millimetre cannon.
13 Q. And you said that you used -- let me be precise.
14 You said you used only a small number of projectiles. For
15 example, how many rounds did you have to fire approximately to
16 neutralize, let's say, the police station housing forces?
17 A. I can't give you a precise answer to that question. It would
18 probably take an expert who would be prepared to answer that.
19 In my view, it would take three or four rounds to neutralize the
20 station or to put it out of operation.
21 Q. And are there reports of expenditure of ammunition or that
22 particular, you know, with regard to that day's operations. Is there any
23 report that would give, ammunition expenditure that you have tendered,
24 submitted to inner control branch or any special police authorities?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could Ms. Mahindaratne please speak into her
1 microphone. Thank you.
2 A. There were reports on the expenditure of ammunition for the
3 operation for the whole of Operation Storm.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, we are reaching the limits. I
5 earlier said that some follow-up questions that arise in the statement
6 are allowed. But if we go to specific targets, et cetera, at least you
7 should have given notice where you were not in a position to -- to proof
8 the witness, that you would explore further, although without any
9 proofing, certain matters, such as specific targets used. Because there
10 is no basis for that in the statement.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: [Microphone not activated]
12 JUDGE ORIE: And you really have reached the limits, which I
13 although not in a very concrete way, set to you earlier.
14 Please proceed.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will move on, Mr. President.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, I'd like you to look at your statement, and
17 that is the section under tab 2. For the record it is V000-5303, page
18 117 to 119. For the record, it is P1150.
19 This is what you say in your testimony, and I read it to you.
20 This is towards the bottom of page 117.
21 Asked the question:
22 "I would assume that through intelligence, perhaps from the
23 military, you would be aware of whether the enemy had, perhaps, military
25 Then the next page you say, The intellegence, military
1 intelligence, was gathering information. They were using the aircraft --
2 and you're referring to self-manned drones. And you say, All the
3 information that regarded that data, we got from the inner control
4 department, and so you within the artillery, would have had the
5 coordinates of where those locations were.
6 Page 119 you said, Personally had, was given one or two
7 photographs of those locations.
8 And did you target those as a matter of course before the
9 operation or when the operation commenced, or did you just wait until you
10 were called up to, shall we say, use artillery on these locations?
11 Your answer is, When the attack started, only one location was
12 targeted, and all the rest, the artillery was used based on request of
13 the commanders. There were not many locations targeted, and I can only
14 name that the repeater Celavac was one of the targets, and there was one
15 enemy position that was also targeted.
16 You're talking about the predetermined targets.
17 And now my question to you is: Now where was that enemy
18 artillery position located which you fired at, which you referred to in
19 your testimony?
20 A. There were artillery enemy positions. At the very beginning of
21 the operation, we were targeting an enemy Howitzer battery.
22 Q. My question was, where was that located?
23 A. That position was close to Sveti Rok. It is a settlement.
24 Q. Now you say that only that position and the Celovac repeater was
25 targeted at the commencement in terms of predetermined targets,
1 thereafter, it was on the basis of fire support which has been called for
2 from the ground.
3 Now why weren't the other targets fired at at the commencement?
4 Was there no necessity to fire those targets?
5 A. Perhaps you didn't quite fully understand the text here, or
6 perhaps the investigator didn't quite understand it.
7 When the commencement of the attack was signalled and when an
8 order was issued, we fired upon these targets: The Howitzer battery, the
9 communication centre. These were the targets that had to be neutralized
10 so that we would not have difficulties in our attack.
11 As the units advanced from their starting positions, they came
12 into combat contact with the enemies and asked for support each along
13 their own respective axes. I don't know what time of day it was, but it
14 could have happened some ten minutes or half an hour after the start of
15 the attack.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... my question was: Now with
17 regard to predetermined targets, you said at the commencement that only
18 those two were targeted. Were there any other targets which were
19 designated or identified as being required to be engaged at the
20 commencement of the operation, or was it only those two? And I'm not
21 talking about --
22 A. No. Many targets were designated, not only two. My conclusion
23 was that these two targets had to be fired upon right after the signal
24 for the commencement of the attack was given. Other targets were fired
25 at once the attack was under way.
1 Q. Now, yesterday when I asked you as to whether there were lists of
2 targets, your response was not very clear. You said there were
3 designated targets. I'm going to ask you that question again.
4 These predetermined targets, were there written lists that were
5 provided to you?
6 A. I think it's all one and the same thing. The targets were
8 JUDGE ORIE: The question is were they put on paper one after
9 another. That makes a list and whether they were determined, you can
10 determine a target without putting them on a list, and that's apparently
11 the question. Did you receive lists?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The targets were determined on the
13 topographic map based on which the activities took place.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
15 Q. My question -- you're still not answering my question,
16 Mr. Turkalj.
17 MR. KEHOE: [Microphone not activated]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Ms. Mahindaratne, I specifically asked whether
19 they were on the list, and now the witness says they were indicated on a
20 map, which I understand, but we could verify that, that there was no
21 list, but that you found them on this map.
22 Is that correctly understood?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correctly understood. The
24 targets were plotted into the map. I put them down. The -- designated,
25 the several targets and the basic information.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now you said you did put them on the map. Did you
2 get them dictated by someone and then you put them on the map, or did you
3 receive several sheets on which they were indicated? How did that
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as I said yesterday,
6 there was information from our service about the targets on the ground
7 and the enemy forces that were positioned along the axis of attack of the
8 special police.
9 According to the information we had from our members who were on
10 the front line, that line had been determined well ahead. We selected
11 the targets that we thought were needed. And when it came to the
12 artillery fire that was supposed to be active deep behind the lines, I
13 designated the targets based on information I received from my department
14 which contained the targets that were instrumental for the successful
15 outcome of our operation.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That still -- let me try it verify whether I
17 understood your answer.
18 Is it that you got information by bits and pieces and that you
19 put them on the map and that during the operation itself you received
20 information -- information which made you decide what targets you had
21 already on the map to be engaged; or possibly also targets not yet on the
23 I'm trying to understand what you're telling us.
24 A. What I've just said is that we decided which targets we would
25 engage, based on the information we had which told us where exactly the
1 targets were. This was the front line and shorter and longer distances
2 behind the front line. Your question had to do probably with the targets
3 on the ground that emerged at a later stage as new ones, and if we
4 detected such, then they would be engaged as well.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So where you said, You decided which targets you
6 would engaged, based on the information we had, which told us where
7 exactly the targets were, you are talking about targets of which you had
8 received information already prior to the operation, which you plotted on
9 a map? Is that how I should understand?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
13 Q. Now before the operation started, did you discuss -- once you had
14 already plotted those targets, did you discuss or report back to
15 Mr. Markac or Mr. Sacic as to -- with regard to those targets, did you
16 inform them what targets you were going to engage in the course of the
17 operation and show them either the map or whatever information you had?
18 A. I will not be able to give you as precise an answer as I would
19 wish to. But Mr. Markac believed that I would do the artillery part of
20 the job very well, and he certainly did not have cause to check --
21 Q. That's not my question. I did not ask about what Mr. Markac
22 thought about you.
23 My question was, did you discuss those targets?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, it was an introduction to the
25 answer, the answer being, as far as I understood it, that Mr. Markac left
1 it to you, and that there was no later check on the way in which you
2 performed that task.
3 Is that what your answer was?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I said.
5 Mr. Markac trusted that in view of my qualifications and the
6 experience in the artillery field that I would do the job very well. He
7 had no reason to doubt that.
8 On the other hand, he knew, I will repeat, that we do the job
9 well, and there was no need for him to check later on which targets
10 exactly we engaged along our axis of attack.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
12 Q. Thank you for that answer, Mr. Turkalj.
13 Now, you did refer yesterday to the HV artillery support that was
14 added to the special police for the operation. Now, in the course of the
15 operation, who called for fire support from the HV unit that was added to
16 the special police?
17 A. I think that the previous answers spoke of that particular unit.
18 That's why I'm not quite clear on your question.
19 Q. No, my question is this: There was HV -- that there was HV
20 artillery support that was added to special police for the operation, and
21 that is your testimony.
22 Now, in the course of the operation, who called for their fire
23 support? I'm not asking as to who really brought them in, but who called
24 for the fire support? Was it you or -- who would contact the HV unit
25 that was providing artillery support and ask them to fire to the
1 particular designated target?
2 A. Nobody asked of them to engage a particular target. Rather, I
3 issued orders to these artillery pieces as to which targets they would
5 The support could be asked by the commanders who led their forces
6 along their respective axis of attack, if they came into contact with the
7 enemy forces.
8 Q. So the support asked by the commanders, did it have to go through
9 you, or could the commanders who were leading the attacks contact the
10 artillery batteries or groups or the HV unit directly and call for fire
11 support, or did they have to inform you, and then you would then divert
12 that particular request to the particular artillery unit? How did it
14 A. Commanders along their axis of attack had their own support.
15 There was a battery that followed that axis of attack. I'm talking about
16 the main and auxiliary axes of attack of the special police. Where it
17 was necessary to fire from 130-millimetres cannons from that particular
18 firing position, then they would seek that sort of support solely from
20 Q. Now, the HV unit you described, if you required the HV unit to
21 get involved or provide you with fire support, was it you who had contact
22 them, or could the commanders who were leading the axis of attack contact
23 them directly? That is my main question, Mr. Turkalj.
24 A. I've answered that. If it was necessary to fire, for instance,
25 from 130-millimetre cannons, then they could have asked me to have them
1 open fire.
2 Q. If there was a requirement to engage the rocket artillery fire,
3 I'm referring to the multi-rocket launchers system, could the commanders
4 who were leading the axis of attacks ask for that directly, or did that
5 request have to go via you?
6 A. Every commander along his axis of attack had a multi-barrel
7 rocket launcher, 120-millimetre, of the RAK type. With that sort of
8 multi-barrel rocket launcher, he could receive that sort of support
9 without my clearance.
10 Q. Now, if you needed to have the rocket launcher that was within
11 the HV unit that was providing support for the special police operation,
12 if you required engagement of that equipment who would call for that
13 support from the HV unit.
14 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Your Honour. I think we're mixing units
15 here. As to whether or not the HV unit that was working with them had
16 the multi-barrel rocket launchers or just a T-130.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: In fact, his testimony is clear that the HV
18 artillery support did have a rocket. Let me refer to the particular
19 transcript reference.
20 Actually, I get back to you, since it is specifically mention in
21 the transcript, but I don't want to waste time. In the meanwhile, I will
22 ask another question, and I will get back to it.
23 Q. Now let me just take you through your testimony, Mr. Turkalj.
24 If I could ask you to go to your transcript V000-5303, the
25 section under tab 2, page 89.
1 Have you found that page?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, could you assist us --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I haven't found it.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Since I have an opportunity only to open one Adobe,
5 could you always say first, second, or third, so that -- or refer to
6 1150, 151, or 52 so that I can find my way through the --
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: It's section 1, Mr President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Page 89.
10 Q. That is, Mr. Turkalj, the section under tab 2, page 89. And let
11 me read what I'm -- I want to take you to.
12 You were asked this question: Okay. Bearing in mind artillery
13 is quite an important task, did you have any, shall we say, forward
14 spotters or something travelling with the special police as they advance
15 so that they could give accurate positions for area targeting?
16 Are you on the page, Mr. Turkalj?
17 And then your answer is -- goes to page 90: No, the
18 reconnaissance there were units that were advancing. Commanders of the
19 units were the ones who were assessing the situation and, if necessary,
20 requesting support.
21 You say there were coded maps. I don't know if you're aware of
23 And let me just keep -- when there, on page 90 you say: "Based
24 on those coded maps in each square [indiscernible], it was easy to
25 determine precise --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
3 Q. It was easy to determine precise elevation points and to give
4 precise instructions where the artillery should be acting, if necessary.
5 So your testimony is there were no forward observers. So in the
6 absence of forward observers, who corrected the fire for you?
7 A. Let me answer this way: Along the axis of attack of the special
8 police, it is true that the commanders of the units sought -- sought
9 support from their battery, and they had all had a coded map based on
10 which, they were able to pinpoint the exact location of a target.
11 Specifically when they came into cat contact with the enemy and
12 when they engaged in combat, based on the coded map, they would not
13 exactly where they were and where the target was, and then they would ask
14 for the support from their battery which would fire at the target. Of
15 course they were able to adjust their fire, if it was closer, further
16 away, to the left, or to the right.
17 Let me just add, the artillery batteries were not able to have
18 their own observers or spotters because the terrain would not allow for
19 that, but the commanders of units or rather, the commanders of specific
20 axes were also observers.
21 Q. Why didn't the terrain allow for forward observers?
22 A. I suppose you didn't see the area. It's a mountain.
23 Q. So if you're talking about the topographic preventing forward
24 observers, how would the battery crew be informed, that, in fact, their
25 round has either contacted with the designated target or that there has
1 been a firing error which requires correction, if there was no mechanism
2 to report back to the firing crew?
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't think he said -- Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let's wait.
5 What Ms. Mahindaratne is asking you is how you received the
6 information to fire a little bit more to the left or to the right or a
7 little bit further or a little bit closer. How did you receive and from
8 whom did you receive that information?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was exactly the same system as
10 the one you used by the artillery scouts or spotters, that you mentioned.
11 The commander who sought support was the one who would give
12 feedback to the battery as to where to direct their fire. He was, in
13 fact, the observers and that system -- and since the communication system
14 functioned perfectly, there were no problems there.
15 I can explain this to you. Had this involved a military scout,
16 or rather a forward observer, the same exact system would apply.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
18 Q. Are you saying, Mr. Turkalj, that the commander acted as a
19 forward spotter. Is that what you're saying?
20 A. The commander who was present along the axis of attack and who
21 was in command over on that axis and his associates and colleagues who
22 were in the -- there, were able to guide the fire and correct the fire,
23 since they were in contact with the battery. They all had these coded
24 maps, based on which they directed the artillery fire.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, I'm looking at the clock.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President. I notice I have already
2 gone over the time. This is a good time for a break.
3 JUDGE ORIE: This is a good time for a break.
4 Then we will have a break, Mr. Turkalj.
5 We will resume at five minutes past 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Turkalj, now, you mentioned three targets which were in
11 Gracac, and your testimony was that you used only 130-millimetre cannons
12 to neutralize them.
13 Did you ever call for the multiple rocket artillery fire on
15 A. No. Multiple rocket fire was not used in relation to Gracac.
16 Q. Now, when you called for fire on Gracac, did you ask for that
17 fire support from the HV unit that was providing artillery support to the
18 special police operation?
19 A. Let me be more specific. I ordered the fire position to engage
21 Q. Did you order the HV unit that was providing artillery support to
22 the special police operation to engage targets in Gracac. That's my
23 question. I'm referring to that -- that HV unit that was added to the
24 special police operation.
25 A. I don't know if we understand each other. When we're talking
1 about 130-millimetre cannons, that's the platoon that belonged to the
2 Croatian army.
3 Q. Okay. That's -- that was my question.
4 Now, Mr. Registrar, may I have --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could I seek some clarifications.
6 You were asked whether you ever called for the multiple rocket
7 artillery spire on Gracac. Your answer was: "No. Multiple rocket fire
8 was not used in relation to Gracac."
9 Now calling for the use of certain weaponry is not exactly the
10 same as it being used.
11 Did you intend to say, I never asked, or perhaps even ordered,
12 multiple rocket artillery fire on Gracac; or did you say, Well, I may
13 have asked for it, but it finally was not used?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The multi-barrel rocket launcher
15 was not used in the activities on Gracac. The fire from that rocket
16 launcher was neither asked for, nor was it used.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
18 Now, the second question, it was not entirely clear. Do I
19 understand that the use of the 130-millimetre cannon, that you gave the
20 order to fire this weapon, which was in the weaponry of the HV unit that
21 was added to this special police operation?
22 Is that well understood?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's well understood. The two
24 cannons that were active along the axis of attack of the special police,
25 they fired upon my order and upon my request.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
2 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Mr. Registrar, if could I have D1095.
5 Q. Mr. Turkalj, you see a document, and I appreciate you may not be
6 familiar with this document. This is a daily combat report issued by the
7 commander of the Zadar Operational Group dated 4th August. And can you
8 take a look at the document if you're not familiar with it.
9 I'd particularly like to draw your attention to paragraph 4 of
10 this document, where it reads:
11 "The MUP Ministry of Interior special units were supported by
12 130-millimetre guns and 122-millimetres Howitzers in the first sector
13 engaging Gracac and the area behind the lines. The support was weakened
14 by the belated arrival of the SVLR, self propelled multi-barrel rocket
15 launchers and ammunition," and then there is some further details.
16 And then, "the entire day the artillery was engaging the front
17 line and the area deep behind the enemy lines."
18 Now, there is a reference here to the SVLR rocket arriving
19 belatedly, and the support being weakened because of that. Did you at
20 any time call the -- the HV unit which was providing you with artillery
21 support to use the multiple rocket launcher on any targets?
22 A. As far as this report is concerned, I didn't have an opportunity
23 to see it, though this is my view of it.
24 This is the information where the operations group Zadar or
25 someone on behalf of that group is submitting a report that they were
1 seven days late in arriving at their firing position. In other words,
2 they were not present at the start.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to you is, did you ask the
4 HV unit that was supporting artillery operations of the special police to
5 provide multiple rocket fire on any targets in the special police axis of
7 A. Yes, we did ask for it.
8 Q. What were those targets that you asked for that fire against?
9 A. To engage personnel.
10 Q. Where?
11 A. In the area at the foot of the Velebit, along the axis of the
12 axis of attack of the special police, then in the area of Mount Velebit
13 at the Prezid Pass. Those were the targets we worked on during the
15 There was several targets. Not just one.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, may have I document 1403,
18 Q. I'd like to show you an another document, and you probably will
19 be familiar with this document, Mr. Turkalj. This is the -- what is
20 known as the war path, and this an extract of the war path, of the,
21 pardon my pronunciation, Bjelovarsko-Bilogorska special police unit.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if you could take to the
23 English document page 6 and on the Croatian version page 5. And if we
24 could focus on paragraph 3 of the -- page 6 on the English and the last
25 paragraph on page 5 in the Croatian version.
1 Q. Now, in the English version around line 6 and the Croatian
2 version the last paragraph about line -- last paragraph, I think about
3 line 6, is that ...
4 Mr. Registrar, I think we have the wrong ... are we on page 5 of
5 the Croatian version?
6 If we could go down --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, it seems to be chronological, so
8 therefore one page back takes us back from the 6th of August, perhaps to
9 the 4th.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes. I'm just trying to find the point, Mr.
11 President. I'm referring to that section in paragraph 3 of the English
12 version which says: "On 6th August in accordance with the order of
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see at 0500 hours on the 4th of August. Is
15 that what are you --
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No. Mr. Registrar, if you could about to the
17 next page on the English version -- sorry, the Croatian version. Page 6
18 on the English version. On the Croatian version, if you could move to
19 the next page. I'm sorry about this.
20 JUDGE ORIE: There we have the entry for the 6th of August.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Do you note that paragraph that reads -- and on the English we
23 are on the wrong page, Mr. Registrar. It's -- it should be page 6 on
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, what I see on my screen seems to be the right
1 page, if I'm not mistaken.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, I see it is apparently ...
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Should be the previous page, page 6.
5 Yes, this is the correct page.
6 Q. Do you see that paragraph, Mr. Turkalj, which says: "On 6
7 August in according with the order of Mr. Josip Turkalj, the RTS was
8 deployed in the region of Gracac, and around 2130 hours, part of the RTS
9 of the Sisak-Moslavina police administration" --
10 JUDGE ORIE: What you are reading now, does it that appear on
11 your screen, and where does it appear on your screen?
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Paragraph 3, Mr. President, line 6.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, does it appear on the document on your
14 screen, if you have the e-court?
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm looking at the e-court Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But there are no line numbers or page numbers,
17 are there?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm just trying to guide the parties where it
20 JUDGE ORIE: Tell me -- I have on my screen a document, to the
21 left, English; to the right, Croatian. Could you tell us where in the
22 English I find what you just read?
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Paragraph 3 --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph -- third paragraph. I now see it, yes.
25 In the middle of that paragraph.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Exactly.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Exactly. About five lines down.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I have found it, yes. And this does now also appear
5 for the witness or the witness has a hard copy -- no, has no hard copy.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Now we are on the correct page, Mr. Registrar.
7 Q. Mr. Turkalj, if you see the last paragraph, three lines from the
8 bottom, it reads as follows: "On 6 August in accordance with the order
9 of [Overlapping speakers] ... the RTS was deployed in the region of
10 Gracac. And around 2130 hours, part of the RTS of Sisak Moslavina police
11 administration's special police unit joined a part of Zadar police
12 administration's special police unit."
13 Now you just said that rocket artillery was not used on Gracac,
14 and you did not ask for it nor was it used. Can you first tell us what
15 is RTS?
16 A. I said that the rocket artillery was not used to engage Gracac.
17 In this report, it says RTS, which is the rocket artillery group, and it
18 is clear in the report that it was on my order that the RTS was deployed
19 in the area of Gracac, meaning that they arrived at a position in -- in
20 proximity of Gracac. On the 6th of August, the units had already passed
21 Gracac. These people were following those units and, at that point in
22 time, reached Gracac. They may have even spent the night there. They
23 were billeted there.
24 Q. So your testimony is they were never ordered to fire on Gracac?
25 A. No. They were billeted, accommodated there.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Turkalj.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I wish to tender this into
4 MR. KEHOE: Have I no objection, Judge, if the witness can just
5 take his headphone off, I have just one comment.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you take off your headphones for a second.
7 MR. KEHOE: The Prosecution has lead evidence -- I'm sorry -- in
8 this report that Gracac had fallen by this point. I'm not clear on the
9 line of questioning that the Prosecutor is engaged in, because at the
10 time he is referring to that, the evidence that the Prosecution has put
11 in already is that the special police had already taken Gracac, so I'm a
12 little confused as to the relevance of this line of questioning.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I was merely seeking an explanation,
14 Mr. President. We were wondering what it was, and the deployment of the
15 RTS in Gracac, we were not quite clear what it was, and I thought this
16 would be the witness to seek that explanation from.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And you wanted to exclude the possibility that there
18 was any multiple rocket fired after Gracac had been taken?
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
20 MR. KEHOE: I guess that is excludeing the possibility that the
21 special police were firing on themselves given the evidence that the
22 Prosecution is leading. But if that's the case, then we'll just move on.
23 [Overlapping speakers] ...
24 JUDGE ORIE: We've heard the evidence. I take it that you move
25 on to your next subject, Ms. Mahindaratne.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the witness -- could you put on your
3 earphones again.
4 Thank you.
5 Please proceed.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May I call for document 1638, please. I'm
7 sorry. It's 65 ter 1638. I'm sorry. I had not tendered the previous
8 document into evidence, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That is why Mr. Kehoe has made an observation, but
10 we have not heard from Mr. Kehoe if there is any objection.
11 MR. KEHOE: No, Your Honour, I apologise.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number P1153.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P1153 is admitted into evidence.
15 Please proceed.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, can I have document 1638,
18 Q. Mr. Turkalj, this is a request from Mr. Markac requesting for
19 logistic support from the HV Main Staff. And this is requesting for
20 replenishment. Now are you able to say if, in fact, the quantity of
21 ammunition which was being requested corresponds to the expenditure,
22 daily expenditure, of the ammunition?
23 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, just some clarity on that. Is he talking
24 about the artillery level of the T-130s or the artillery that was
25 deployed back down to the individual commanders in support of advancing
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I think it is a straightforward question,
3 Mr. President, as to whether request for replenishment corresponds to
4 expenditure. And I was particularly going to draw his attention to the
5 120-millimetre mortars and the 128-millimetre rocket fire -- rocket
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's hear the answer of the witness.
8 Could you answer the question, Mr. Turkalj.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards the replenishment with
10 ammunition, we see items 1 and 2 that refer to artillery, these being the
11 120-millimetre mines and -- or and 128-millimetre missiles.
12 Add regards the expenditure of ammunition, this could refer to
13 the first day of operation. It was the logistics department that kept
14 track of expenditure, and they were aware of their supply in the
15 warehouses and what would be the amount required for the purpose of the
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
18 Q. So being the person in charge of artillery, would you be able to
19 say as to whether -- do you agree that, in fact -- or an amount close to
20 400 pieces of 128-millimetre rockets were used on the first day of
21 operation by the special police artillery operations?
22 A. I would like to be able to precisely answer, but I can't know how
23 much ammunition was spent the first day.
24 As for the 400 pieces of 128-millimetre missiles, that could be
25 possible for the first day.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, may I tender this document into
4 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
5 Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number P1154.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P1154 is admitted into evidence.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
9 Q. Mr. Turkalj, I'd like to you look at your transcript, 5304.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And for the benefit of -- it's section 2,
11 P1051, Mr. President.
12 Q. And if you could look at page 14, you refer to Zeljko Sacic, the
13 chief of special police, issuing you orders in relation to the artillery
14 commitments for the advancement Donji Lapac, and you go on to say, Sacic
15 was issuing orders, specifically all of us received our orders from him.
16 And if you go on to page 15:
17 "We also were given new maps because I personally did not have
18 any map that would present anything further than Gracac, so we were given
19 new maps there for that other area."
20 Now, talk being maps, first question I want to ask you, you
21 referred to previously also coded maps and your operations being
22 conducted on the basis of maps. Were those maps preserved after the
24 A. I can't tell you whether there are still topographic maps in
25 existence that were used during the operation.
1 Q. Generally what did you do after the operation with regard to
2 those maps? Were they handed over to a department in the special police,
3 such as the inner control branch?
4 A. I want to go back to the part of the report, whereby it says that
5 new maps were made upon entering Gracac and the headquarters was set up,
6 the employees of the internal control department were then, at that
7 point, working on a new map, a new topographic map, that could be used in
8 the continuation of the operation. These were working maps, to be used
9 by commanders to be able to navigate along the axis of attack and
11 As for artillery, it was useful for us to designate the targets
12 which had already been plotted in and to designate any potential new
13 ones. The system, the artillery functioned, remained the same as the one
14 that was in place during the first couple of days of the operation.
15 Q. My question to you was: What did you do after the operation?
16 Were those maps handed over to -- in the inner control branch or some
17 other department, or were they discarded?
18 A. The topographic map distributed to the commanders for further
19 advancement in that direction were -- was not a document as such. The
20 only document that could be -- would be preserved was the plan of attack
21 with specific tasks. I'm not sure whether those maps were then sent to
22 the headquarters. I believe the employees kept them on them, and it was
23 of no use subsequently.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, may I just in order to avoid that
25 other people find puzzles in our transcripts.
1 Page 50, line 19, I take it that you wanted to refer to P1151
2 rather than P1051.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President. My apologies for that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
6 Q. Can I ask you to move to page -- we are still on the same
7 transcript. Mr. Turkalj, that is section 2. We were reading off page
8 15. If you could move to page 21.
9 Mr. Turkalj, I'm asking you to move to your transcript which is
10 on your desk. Page 21.
11 I'm sorry, I think you're looking at -- it's a wrong one. Tab 2.
12 Tab 3, sorry, the second section. Just below tab 3, yeah.
13 This is regarding your -- the advance into Donji Lapac. This is
14 what you say:
15 "And again had you been supplied with the locations of potential
16 enemy positions or facilities?"
17 And if you could go to page 22. You say:
18 "No, there was no particular intelligence. There was only the
19 information that Lapac was a place which had rather strong forces."
20 Now you entered Donji Lapac on the 7th of August, did you not,
21 Mr. Turkalj, the special police forces?
22 A. I believe it to be the 7th.
23 Q. So when you, in fact, entered -- or when the special police
24 forces entered Donji Lapac, were there any enemy forces still present in
25 Donji Lapac?
1 A. As far as I know, there was no fighting in Donji Lapac.
2 Q. And when you say there were no fighting in Donji Lapac, did you
3 order artillery attacks on Donji Lapac before the forces entered?
4 A. We did not open fire on Donji Lapac. Our artillery targeted the
5 mountainous terrain in front of Donji Lapac. However, we did not target
6 Donji Lapac itself.
7 Q. I'd like you to go to page 32 on the same transcript,
8 Mr. Turkalj. And there you say, the question is asked:
9 "Am I right in saying that you as the commander of the artillery
10 did not authorise shelling or use of artillery on Donji Lapac?"
11 You say:
12 "When Donji Lapac is regarded, we were acting targets that were
13 in the front of our units. When the units practical entered Lapac, then
14 Drazan Curkovic called with a request that the staff Markac, Sacic, or
15 someone should contact the military and inform them about it, as military
16 was acting with the artillery on Donji Lapac. It was within their
17 authority and military authority."
18 Your testimony was, and you elaborate this further, that when
19 you, the special police forces entered Donji Lapac, HV forces were still
20 shelling the town, and you had to, in fact, ask for a request to cease
21 that fire.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
23 MR. KEHOE: Just by way of clarity, if the Prosecution can ask
24 which Military District this firing into Donji Lapac was coming from, was
25 it the Gospic Military District or the Split Military District?
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: It is it Gospic, Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE: Thank you.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm not going to ask about the districts. I'm
4 going to ask him about a completely different issue.
5 MR. KEHOE: In the spirit of clarity, Mr. President, I thought I
6 would raise that issue, that it is not the Split Military District firing
7 into the Donji Lapac.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, we know that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You want to make a distinction which is apparently
10 not relevant for Ms. Mahindaratne's question. If it would turn out to be
11 relevant for the witness to make that distinction, he certainly will do
13 Ms. Mahindaratne, perhaps you repeat your question.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
15 Q. My question is, Mr. Turkalj, now, you said the special police
16 forces did not fire on Donji Lapac, or you did not order because there
17 was no fighting there. So what was the HV artillery acting on in
18 Donji Lapac when the special police forces entered there. What were they
19 firing against?
20 JUDGE ORIE: That is another question. Ms. Mahindaratne, I would
21 not mind if you put another question. But let's try to first seek an
22 answer to the previous question.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'll --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is it -- Mr. Turkalj, when your special police
25 forces entered Donji Lapac, were HV forces still shelling the town, and
1 is it true that you had to ask for -- that you requested to cease that
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is completely correct. The
4 special police forces had entered Lapac, and at the outskirts of Lapac,
5 it was the HV artillery that began opening fire from the direction of
6 Udbina. Clearly, that artillery had links with the Military District of
7 Gospic, given the fact that, at that point in time, they had no
8 information on the pace of advancement of the special police, because
9 Donji Lapac, I suppose, was along their axis or direction of attack. And
10 as for the targets they were trying to engage, I can't tell you about
12 It is also true that Mr. Curkovic used radio communication to
13 find out from me whether it was us who was opening fire, and then they
14 used communications to advise the Military District of Gospic that the
15 police forces had already entered Lapac and that they should cease fire.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
17 Q. I'd like to you look at your statement of 2004, Mr. Turkalj.
18 That is it under tab 1 on your binder.
19 Mr. Turkalj, the binder that is on your table.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph, Ms. Mahindaratne.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Paragraph 37, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
24 Q. In paragraph 37, starting with third line you say this:
25 "We did not target Donji Lapac with our artillery, but the
1 military did. They were supposed to have reached Donji Lapac from Udbina
2 before us, but they did not arrive. In fact, the army was still shelling
3 the town, and we had to communicate with the army to tell team that they
4 were in the town and to stop shelling it."
5 Now, when you entered into the Donji Lapac town, you already said
6 there was no fighting, there were no forces. Did you observe as to where
7 the shells had impacted and where they were -- what they were shelling at
8 in the town?
9 A. The statement is general when it comes to the shelling of the
10 town. I don't know which targets they engaged. I didn't observe that,
11 because I was not in Donji Lapac at that time.
12 Q. Okay. Moving on to another area.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, can I have document 65 ter
14 number 6172, please.
15 Q. And while that document is coming up, Mr. Turkalj, could you look
16 at -- on this same statement, paragraph 69. And this is what you say, if
17 I could read it to you, you say that:
18 "Disciplinary matters were dealt with the special police, by the
19 inner control department of the special police. Every unit had at least
20 one member who worked for the inner control department, and sometimes
21 even the commander of that unit did not know who that person was.
22 The inner control dealt with all levels of discipline within the
23 special police. All such matters would be reported to Mladen Markac, and
24 he would decide how a member of the special police who committed a
25 disciplinary offence would be dealt with. Crimes committed by a member
1 of the special police would be handed to the criminal police by
2 Mr. Markac, to be investigated.
3 I am not aware of any criminal investigations that were
4 undertaken by the criminal police into the special police, although I am
5 sure that there were some criminal investigations into the members of the
6 special police but not contacted with war activities."
7 Now, if I could ask you to look at the document on your screen,
8 Mr. Turkalj.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry, Ms. Mahindaratne, for interrupting,
10 but I would like you to have in mind the corrections that the witness
11 made yesterday as regards to the inner control unit.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, he did. He didn't make any changes. He
13 provided for the clarifications, which is on the record, so I did not
14 read anything incorrectly, Mr. Mikulicic.
15 Q. Mr. Turkalj, I'd like you to look at the document on the screen.
16 This is a proposal by -- issued by Mr. Mladen Markac regarding
17 disciplinary measures to be taken against a member of the Lucko Unit, and
18 it refers to the regulations he is acting under.
19 Now, are you familiar with this matter? Because it -- at the
20 end, it, in fact, refers to a report made by you.
21 A. This is correct. The only thing I can add is that within the
22 Ministry of Interior, there was such a disciplinary procedure that for
23 minor breaches of discipline every commander of a unit was duty-bound to
24 pass a decision for a disciplinary procedure and for a major breach of
25 discipline, it was prescribed that the proposal for initiating a
1 procedure, Mr. Markac would issue. In other words, the commander of the
2 special police.
3 Every commander within the sector of the special police was
4 duty-bound to provide information and documents based on which a proposal
5 for the initiation of a disciplinary procedure may be drafted. In this
6 particular instance, we can see that there is an Official Note of the
7 head within the intervention unit of Lucko, and on the basis of this Mr.
8 Markac, as assistant minister, produced a proposal for the initiation of
9 a disciplinary procedure.
10 Q. In such instances where they were major disciplinary measures
11 involved, was it always the case that you would submit the information to
12 Mr. Markac in writing, you or the particular unit commander?
13 A. Within the sector of the special police, there was the practice
14 in place whereby the chief or the commander would write everything and
15 sent the proposal, and Mr. Markac would sign it. That was the practice.
16 However, Mr. Markac could not submit a proposal for the
17 initiation of a disciplinary procedure if he did not have from the unit
18 the information and the task to -- or, rather, not the task, the request
19 to initiate such a disciplinary procedure.
20 Q. Thank you for that.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I wish to tender this document
22 into evidence.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes exhibit number P1155.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P1155 is admitted into evidence.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
3 Q. And, Mr. Turkalj, if I could ask you to look at your transcripts
4 again. And that is the section under tab 2.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Madam Usher, if you could assist.
6 Q. If you could look at page 52, this is section 1, for the record,
7 P1150. Page 52.
8 You're referring to disciplinary measures here, Mr. Turkalj, and
9 you use specific examples. You say:
10 "For example, there was one occasion the information sent by the
11 inner control that a certain commander in [indiscernible], pardon my
12 pronunciation, was cooperating with a certain firm or company involved in
13 some criminal actions. And, for example, just if I were in a car given
14 for my use, if I exaggerated the use of the car for not professional
15 task, and sort of -- also the information could have been given to the
16 General so that he could then make his own assessment based on such
18 Whom do you -- first of all, whom do you refer to there as
20 A. In the interview, this was one of the general examples
21 illustrating how the system functioned. It was only natural for me that
22 if Mr. Markac had information to the effect -- a piece of information to
23 the effect that I was using an official vehicle for private purposes,
24 that was something that he would inquire about, and I don't see that
25 there's anything stated here outside of what I have just referred to.
1 Q. That was -- I wasn't criticising you for that. Mr. Turkalj, my
2 question was -- just simply the first one was whom you referred to as
3 General Markac.
4 And the second question is do you know whether there was regular
5 interaction between inner control branch and Mr. Markac?
6 A. The internal control department was the component part of the
7 sector of the special police. What sort of internal communication there
8 was is something I cannot give you an answer to. The internal control
9 department was part and parcel of the special police sector.
10 Q. Now, in your interview you informed the investigators that you
11 believe Mr. Markac driver was in the inner control branch. Were you
12 referring to Mr. Anto Soljic?
13 A. I don't know if I referred to Mr. Soljic, but Mr. Solic was the
14 chief of the internal control department.
15 Q. Now, in the paragraph that I read to you earlier from your
16 statement, you referred to criminal matters committed by special police,
17 and you said -- the part that I read was crimes committed by a member of
18 the special police would be handed to the criminal police by Mr. Markac.
19 I read it to you earlier on.
20 Now, in the case of crimes committed by members of the special
21 police, would a unit commander of a unit of a special police inform
22 Mr. Markac of that particular members' deeds by way of a written report
23 as in the case of disciplinary measures that we referred to earlier on?
24 A. I think that these are matters that are quite separate, one from
25 the other. If we are talking about a criminal offence perpetrated by any
1 member of the special police, the same sort of legislation applied to
2 that individual as to every other citizens of the Republic of Croatia
3 As far as the workings of it were concerned, every member --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
5 A. -- if he learned that --
6 Q. Mr. Turkalj, let me -- so I am very clear. Let me take you back
7 to your statement to the part that I'm referring to.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Madam Usher, if could you assist.
9 Q. If you could look at paragraph 69 of your statement of 2004, and
10 the English version, I'm reading five lines from the bottom of that
12 You say:
13 "Crimes committed by a member of the special police would be
14 handed to the criminal police by Mr. Markac to be investigated."
15 Now how would -- if you as the commander of the Lucko Unit got
16 information that a member of your unit had committed a crime -- now, your
17 testimony is that it would be Mr. Markac who would hand him over to the
18 crime police for investigation. How would you as the unit commander
19 report that fact to Mr. Markac? How would you convey such information to
20 Mr. Markac? Was it through a written report, as in the case of major
21 disciplinary measures?
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm going to object to the form of the question.
23 There are words thrown into the question that don't exist like major
24 disciplinary measures. There was only disciplinary measures, then there
25 is a difference between what a major disciplinary measure is and what a
1 criminal act is. And I think those things need to be defined. Those are
2 very important terms.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I referred exactly to the testimony. The
4 witness referred to minor disciplinary measures and major, and he said in
5 the case of major disciplinary measures, it was Mr. Markac who dealt with
6 the proposals.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If you are using the language that the witness used
8 in his statements this is a reason to deny the objection.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, the statement says in paragraph 69
11 "... would decide how a member of the special police who committed a
12 disciplinary offence would be dealt with," not a major disciplinary
13 offence, not a minor disciplinary offence. It is very specific in the
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President, I'm referring to his
16 testimony previously. Let me read that part for you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If could you give us, in order to avoid
18 further confusion, the date --
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Just today's evidence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Today's evidence, page?
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Give me minute, Mr. President.
22 Page 57, line 19.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: The testimony of the witness:
25 "This is correct. The only thing I can add is that within the
1 Ministry of Interior, there was such a disciplinary procedure that for
2 minor breaches of discipline, every commander of a unit was duty-bound to
3 pass a decision for a disciplinary procedure. And for a major breach of
4 discipline, it was described that the proposal for initiating a
5 procedure, Mr. Markac would issue."
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're both a bit right. Minor and major
7 appears. Although you're talking about measures major measures, which is
8 not what the witness said.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Proceed, yes, Mr. President, maybe I used the
10 correct term.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. Perhaps repeat the question
12 [Overlapping speakers] ...
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
14 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. Turkalj, now in the case of a
15 crime, how would you report that to Mr. Markac so that Mr. Markac could
16 inform the crime police or hand over the perpetrator to crime police?
17 Was that done by way of a written report as you -- you described earlier
18 where we saw a document where you had tendered written reports, or would
19 you do it verbally? What was the procedure set up for you to inform him
20 of crimes committed by members of the special police?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: If I may interrupt, Your Honour, just for a
23 I would like Ms. Mahindaratne to clarify whether he is dealing
24 with a known perpetrator or unknown perpetrator of the alleged crime.
25 That is the [indiscernible].
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I think I was -- have I been referring to the
2 question so clearly, I was referring to if a unit commander receives
3 information --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, you may ask that question. I
5 mean, again, if such a distinction becomes relevant, then the witness
6 will have to face it when answering that question, and then it will
7 emerge anyhow.
8 May I again urge the parties to not unnecessarily disrupt the
9 flow of evidence.
10 Please proceed.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Turkalj, let me repeat that question to you again.
13 If you, as the commander of the Lucko Unit, receives informs that
14 a member of the -- of your unit, Lucko Unit, had committed a crime, how
15 would you inform that fact to the commander of the special police,
16 Mr. Markac, so that he could take action to hand over that perpetrator to
17 the crime police? Would you do that in writing, or would do you that
18 verbally? I'm asking you to tell the Trial Chamber what the procedure
20 A. Your question is, in my view, a hypothetical one and that is how
21 I'm going to answer it.
22 It is definitely not the same if we know the perpetrator of a
23 crime or not. It really matters. And I answered before -- or, rather,
24 this part of your question in what way would I react as a commander, this
25 is again down to the way in which the Ministry of the Interior works, and
1 its rules have set out in detail in what way the police shall work or
2 behave, where a report has been received of a criminal offence that was
4 Q. Mr. Turkalj, if a member of a special police unit, let's say you
5 knew that one of your unit members had commented a crime, whether you
6 know the identity of the perpetrator, you know the crime, and you have to
7 have him investigated through crime police. Now, your testimony is that
8 it would be Mr. Markac who would hand over that perpetrator to crime
10 My question is simple. How would you bring that information that
11 one of your members, whom you know the identity of, had committed a crime
12 to Mr. Markac's knowledge? I think the question is very simple.
13 A. The question is simple, but I believe my answer was too. If I
14 knew of an individual having committed a crime as an authorised person,
15 as a person working within the system, I would be duty-bound to report
16 that to my superior, of course, and to the crime police, in order to --
17 for an investigation to be launched. If I know that the crime was
18 committed. This is the duty of every member of the ministry.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I think the question was focussing, how you would
20 report. Would you write a report and send it, would you give a phone
21 call to your superior, would you -- that's, I think, what
22 Ms. Mahindaratne is interested in knowing.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, where a report was
24 received of the -- of a crime having been committed, information has to
25 be -- that information has to be reported to someone in -- verbally and,
1 if necessary, in writing too.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
3 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, I'm moving on to the event in Grubori. Your
4 testimony --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, we still have no clear answer.
6 In your statement you say:
7 "All such matters would be reported to Mladen Markac, and he
8 would decide how a member of the special police who committed a
9 disciplinary offence would be dealt with.
10 Crimes committed by a member of the special police would be
11 handed to the criminal police by Mr. Markac to be investigated."
12 Now you say it should be reported to someone verbally or, if
13 necessary, in writing too. What Ms. Mahindaratne would like to know, and
14 I would like also like to know, in case of a crime, how would you report
15 to Mr. Markac so that he could decide how to deal with the matter and how
16 the known perpetrator would be handed over to the criminal police.
17 Could you tell us in what cases would an oral report do or was,
18 in cases of crimes, a written report to Mr. Markac always the appropriate
19 way of reporting?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot quite answer that. I
21 don't know if it's been specifically said whether the report should be
22 passed on verbally or in writing, the information of a criminal offence.
23 Such information can be conveyed verbally and in writing. I would
24 definitely convey that information in writing if I had learnt that some
25 members of the special police committed something like that, and I would
1 submit that to my superior. I believe that's what I said.
2 I also said, however, that it would be the duty of every member
3 of the Ministry of the Interior to inform the competent police branch
4 where a criminal offence needs to be investigated.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Turkalj, I'm -- I would like to take you to your testimony
8 about the event in Grubori.
9 Now, your testimony so far that some days after the incident
10 Mr. Zeljko Sacic, the chief of the sector, ordered you to visit Gracac,
11 and you did so, and then from there you went to Grubori with Mr. Celic
12 and Balunovic. At which time Mr. Sacic, Janic, and Mr. Cermak, and a
13 journalist by the name of Nada Zuriak [phoen] were present among others
14 in Grubori. For the record, this evidence is in V000-5304, that's
15 section 2, page 113 to 121.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Now, Mr. Registrar, can I have ...
17 Q. And thereafter your testimony was that after the visit to
18 Grubori, you went to Mr. Cermak's office in Knin in a convoy?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one second.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour, but I was
21 advised by my colleagues who are listening to the Croatian translation
22 that name of Mr. Markac was mentioned as one of the persons who visited
23 Grubori, although this is not in the transcript, as I can see, but just
24 for the record that there was Croatian translation of the question.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I think that was a mistake. I didn't mention
2 Mr. Markac's name.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it was a mistake or something went missing
4 or was changed.
5 Yes, that is an incomplete part of the transcript at this moment,
6 but special attention will be paid to it and it's clear,
7 Ms. Mahindaratne, that you did not refer or at least did not intend to
8 refer to Mr. Markac in this context.
9 Please proceed.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Mr. Registrar, may I have document 3527, please.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, were you interviewed by the Ministry of
13 Interior in 2004 about what you knew of Grubori, the incident in Grubori?
14 A. A colleague from the Ministry of the Interior interviewed me
15 about the events in the area of Grubori.
16 Q. And at the time that you were interviewed, did you take down
17 notes of what you were saying?
18 A. I was not taking any notes, and I don't think the colleague was
20 Q. So that I don't waste time, Mr. Turkalj, with the permission of
21 Court Mr. President if I could have the -- this particular document
22 handed over to the witness during the break so that he could exam it
23 without going through it in court.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: That was also my intention to propose.
1 JUDGE ORIE: That's good.
2 Mr. Turkalj, this Official Note, the original one, will be given
3 to you. Would you please be so kind to read it during the next break and
4 upon return to give any comments you may have on this Official Note of
5 the interview that was held with you.
6 I see you're nodding yes. I take that for a positive answer.
7 Ms. Mahindaratne.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Turkalj, I'd like to you look at your transcripts. That is,
10 V000-05305. That is section 3 of the transcript, for the record P1152.
11 Madam Usher, if I could have your assistance. It's the last section
12 under tab 4.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Also in order to avoid puzzles for those who are
14 reading transcripts later, I see on page 67, line 18, it reads document
15 3527. I was informed that it should be 2537. I don't know where the
16 mistake comes from, but if you would agree, then it's now on the record,
17 Ms. Mahindaratne.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
21 Q. If you could go to page 20, and this is where you refer to -- on
22 your return from Grubori to Knin to Mr. Cermak 's office, you talk about
23 a conversation between Mr. Cermak -- Cermak and Sacic.
24 This is what you say:
25 "We were quite a number of people there, and talking there, but
1 after some time I went out, and I was standing in a corridor with one
2 special police member from Rijeka
3 I don't recall how long it lasted."
4 You're referring to the discussion between Mr. Sacic and Cermak.
5 "From all of it, I still have one sentence in my head, when
6 Cermak addressed Sacic and said words to the effect, Well, what have you
7 done there?"
8 That is what that you say:
9 "It was something like a question, like an expression of anger.
10 It's hard to comment now on what it really meant?"
11 Now, were you aware as to why Mr. Cermak seemed displeased or
12 angry at the time?
13 A. In my statement, I clearly said that other issues were discussed
14 as well, while we were having coffee. As for this part of the statement
15 of the transcript, it states that I did not hear exactly what the
16 discussion was about and what was the manner of discussion. It was not
17 an official meeting.
18 In any case, I tried to tell as best I could as to what happened
19 there. I believe Mr. Cermak asked what had taken place there because
20 neither he nor anyone else knew at that point in time what did take
22 Q. Can I ask you to go on to page -- on the same section, page 42.
23 If you could turn down to page 42, Mr. Turkalj.
24 And you further elaborate on that conversation. This is what you
1 "But it is certain that Mr. Sacic said that one should say that
2 there came to some combat activities and that some civilians got killed."
3 Then a few lines down, you say:
4 "It is certain that he said there: That it came to a conflict,
5 and that within the conflict, those civilians were killed, conflict with
6 some terrorists and than it should be said that way."
7 If you go on to the next page, page 43. This is actually
8 something that you said, but it is in the English, you know, translation
9 it is recorded as if R.C., Robert Casey is saying, but this really the
10 translation of the witness's statement. You say:
11 "Sacic did not say that to me. I assume he said that to Cermak.
12 So it wasn't -- I wasn't able to make any decisions about it."
13 You were asked this question: "Is this a conversation you
14 overheard though?
15 "Yes, I heard that conversation and also later on in conversation
16 with Celic --"
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's note that we cannot see what
18 the witness said on the transcript; we see only the English version.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I think we can go to the top of the page.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cayley, if --
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Oh, yes, I think the interprets can see it
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's now on line 1, we see what was said by
25 the witness in his own language.
1 Mr. Cayley.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Could the witness take his headphones off, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, could you take your headphones off for
4 a second.
5 Mr. Cayley.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, I'm requesting that the counsel for the
7 Prosecution put this extremely carefully to the witness.
8 If you look at the transcript for this particular part of the
9 interview, it is not as clear as Ms. Mahindaratne is actually putting it
10 to the witness, and I can give you page references.
11 If you go to page 42 of the transcript, you will see that what
12 the witness actually says is, "Sacic said it is certain that one should
13 say that there came to some combat activities and that some civilians got
15 Subsequently on page 45 in this interview, the witness says he
16 assumes, he assumes that Sacic told Cermak. Not that he knows, not that
17 he heard.
18 And then you will find that the investigator then goes on and
19 basically puts it to the witness on page 49 when Sacic was saying to
20 Cermak was he suggesting that this was going to be the line, the party
21 line, they got killed because they were terrorist there.
22 We could spend a very long time on this, Your Honour, and I don't
23 wasn't to waste the time or interrupt the flow of evidence, but I think
24 if it is it read carefully, and if it's put honesty, frankly, the witness
25 does not say that he overheard this conversation between Mr. Sacic and
1 Mr. Cermak. He assumes it, and then the investigator take that
2 assumption and puts it is to him as a fact. This is it your
3 interpretation of the transcript in its entirety.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, I'm careful about interpretations. I'm
5 reading what I see and how the questions were put, and I think it is not
6 fair, frankly, to put it to this witness that he overheard this
7 conversation because that is not what he said. And there are certainly
8 leaps in logic that occur in this interview which do not really represent
9 or go about in a way that actually seeks the truth. That is it the point
10 I'm making here.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you would wait for a second so that you can
12 respond both to Mr. Cayley's observations and --
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Kuzmanovic's.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And I'd like to further add, Your Honour, along
16 those same lines as Mr. Cayley has stated, if you look at page 57 of the
17 transcript, you can see where this is going. Because the investigator is
18 essentially saying here and testifying basically advising Mr. Turkalj to
19 be very very careful with your answers here because, as I said before, it
20 is my intention, meaning the investigator, to get the Croatian courts to
21 deal with certain members of Lucko Unit. And I'll make it clear now that
22 I believe, and this is the investigator speaking, that Mr. Sacic in his
23 position of rank has used that position to perhaps exert pressures on
24 certain members of the Lucko Unit and -- let me go on to page 57. To
25 support his, and I believe it's his proposal, to cover up the crimes by
1 saying there were terrorists there.
2 So this is the context in which these questions are being asked,
3 not to elicit information as an investigator from this witness, but to
4 basically pressure him, put words in his mouth, and put his case to the
5 witness, and I think that's improper.
6 JUDGE ORIE: This is partially argumentative.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I understand that, Your Honour, but I think the
8 context in which you need to understand --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we have admitted this document into evidence,
10 which allows us to clearly follow in every detail what the witness said,
11 in response to what questions, how his statement developed, and please be
12 assured that the Chamber has read, and the Chamber usually does not leave
13 Grubori to the very end, if there's any time left. But sometimes we even
14 start with certain portions to focus on -- at least I'm now speaking for
16 At the same time, Ms. Mahindaratne, you wanted to respond. Let
17 me first give an opportunity for you to respond because you said it might
18 save time, and I'm very much interested in --
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President, all this could have been
20 simply avoided if the counsel just waited to hear my question. I was
21 going to read back the transcript to the witness, and I was going to ask
22 him to clearly state to Court what he heard in the course of that
23 discussion. I wasn't going do anything unfair, in fairness to the
24 witness and in fairness to everybody, that was going to be my question,
25 and I think all this could have been prevented if --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you would say you would not add the kind
2 of things the investigator added when he did put the questions to the
3 witness at that time, which I would not have taught him if I ever would
4 have given a course of examination of potential witnesses.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You are aware of what may follow if you would
7 unfairly put matters to the witness, that's clear now by the submissions
8 made by the other parties, and you will have that in your mind when you
9 put questions to the witness.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Absolutely, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, at the same time, perhaps before we
12 continue, perhaps it would be better to have a break because it might
13 take some time, I take it, the issue you want to raise.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break, and we will resume at ten
16 minutes to 1.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Turkalj, I'm going to read back to you because there was some
22 interruptions, this is what you say. First let me read back to you what
23 you said in your interview.
24 "But it is certain that Mr. Sacic said that one should say that
25 there came to some combat activities and that some civilians got killed.
1 It is certain that he said there, and it came to a conflict, and that
2 within the conflict those civilians were killed, conflict with some
3 terrorists and that it should be said that way?"
4 "Sacic did not say that to me. I assume he said that to Cermak,
5 so it wasn't -- I wasn't able to make any decisions about it."
6 "Yes, I heard that you -- is that a conversation you overheard,
8 "Yes, I heard that conversation, and also later on in
9 conversation with Celic, Celic, Celic told me that Sacic told him that
10 when writing report, it should be put that way."
11 "When you spoke to Mr. Celic in Grubori did he at that time
12 indicate to that you he had been told that he had got to put this in his
14 "No, I think afterwards. I don't know if we were talking about
15 it then."
16 And if you could go on to next page, page 44.
17 "I think it was later on. Maybe it was only within the last year
18 in those conversations that he mentioned that."
19 Mr. Turkalj, I'm referring to page 44. And if you could move to
20 page 45, you were asked a question again:
21 "I appreciate that so what I want to do is go back. I just want
22 to confirm what, what you heard Mr. Sacic say to Cermak about it being as
23 a result of -- or suggesting it was a result of a conflict with
24 terrorists. Can you just tell me exactly to the best of your
25 recollection what was said?"
1 "I have to say that I really cannot be certain how precisely it
2 was said. More or less it was said that the special police without
3 mentioning any unit, just in general, special police came across some
4 terrorists there, and in their fighting some civilians got killed."
5 Page 46:
6 "Was he suggesting this was the story to be used or this was what
7 his information was?"
8 You were asked the question: "Who?"
9 "When Sacic was saying this to Cermak, was he suggesting that
10 this was going to be the line, the party line, they got killed because
11 there were terrorists there?"
12 "Yes, in that sense."
13 "So I just wanted to make sure I got this right. Sacic was
14 basically saying that this is the story we are going to use whether it
15 was true or not."
16 "Yes, that's what it would turn out to be."
17 "Well, you say that's what it turned out to be. Is that what you
18 understood it to mean at that time?"
19 Page 47:
20 "It is how I understood that, but I cannot repeat the exact
22 "No, but ... but that was the ... the line that Mr. Sacic was
23 going to do down, that however they were killed, it was as a result of
24 terrorists being there."
1 "Whethers that with an a true story or not?"
2 "Yeah, well, regardless of that."
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. ...
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Sorry, Mr. President.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, my question -- so that there is no room
6 whatsoever for confusion, can you tell --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
10 Q. So that, Mr. Turkalj, now what I like you to do so there is no
11 room whatsoever for confusion, can you tell the Chamber, and I appreciate
12 you cannot remember or you cannot be asked to use the exact words that
13 Mr. Sacic used, but can you tell the Chamber what Mr. Sacic told
14 Mr. Cermak after they returned from Grubori at that meeting you're
15 referring to here, what was the conversation and what was substance of
16 Mr. Sacic told Mr. Cermak? Use your own language, if -- you don't have
17 to use the exact words.
18 A. I will try to explain in my own words.
19 When we were in the area of Knin, Mr. Sacic, as can be seen from
20 the transcript as well, said that based on all the information he said,
21 and based on the things that could be seen, that there was fighting, that
22 there was a clash in that area, and I said something to that effect.
23 Rather, that there was a clash there, fighting in the area. I cannot
24 recall his exact words at this point in time.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... say that?
1 A. Mr. Sacic was the chief of sector. He was our boss. In that
2 room --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and we are running out of
4 time, so please concentrate on what I'm asking you. To whom did
5 Mr. Sacic say that there was a clash?
6 A. Mr. Sacic, if he said that, he did so to Mr. Cermak, who was in
7 the room, as well as to the others who were there. He did not whisper
8 that into Mr. Cermak's ear. He said that out loud.
9 Q. Now you had just returned from Grubori, and you had -- at which
10 point you saw Mr. Cermak, Mr. Sacic, Mr. Janic, and you said you walked
11 around Grubori. Based on what you saw in Grubori, did you note any
12 evidence of a clash? I'm not referring to houses burning or people being
13 killed, but was there any -- did you notice any evidence of combat
14 activity in Grubori?
15 A. When I arrived in the area of Grubori, what I could see could be
16 described as a clash that had taken place. It would be difficult to
17 assess that in any other way.
18 I believe anyone who was in that area at that time could have
19 supposed that there had been a clash.
20 Q. What -- what is it that you saw that made you -- made you saw --
21 might indicate a clash? What was it that you saw there? Because your
22 evidence so far is you saw the burning houses, you saw two bodies. What
23 else did you see?
24 A. I'm telling you that when one entered the area, one could suppose
25 that there had been combat. The houses were not burned as after a --
1 after arson, one could see there were bullet holes and that weapons were
2 used, that there was some real fighting.
3 It is difficult to explain the whole thing now, but based on our
4 experience throughout the war, it looked like there was fighting.
5 Q. Where were bullet holes?
6 A. On the walls. One could see the holes on the walls of two or
7 three houses. However, I don't think I would be able to recall any more
8 details than that.
9 Q. Now, when -- at the meeting when Mr. Sacic told Mr. Cermak what
10 you say he told, did Mr. Cermak respond to that? Did he say anything?
11 A. I don't remember.
12 Q. I'd like you to look at your statement of 2004, Mr. Turkalj, and
13 Madam Usher, if I could have your assistance. And if could you look at
14 paragraph 50.
15 At paragraph 50 you say:
16 "I not recall any particular decisions being made, although it
17 was said that the bodies needed to be buried. It was either
18 General Cermak or Zeljko Sacic who said that the bodies should be buried.
19 The question of an investigation was not discussed while I was there."
20 Now, at what stage did the discussion about the disposals of
21 bodies take place; after Mr. Sacic told Mr. Cermak about the -- the clash
22 or before?
23 A. As far as I recall, I made certain corrections to item 50 of the
24 statement, whereby I said that it was not a formal meeting, and that
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
2 A. Things were discussed --
3 Q. I'm not talking about a meeting. I didn't even refer to the word
4 "meeting." My question was at what stage did the discussion about the
5 disposal of the bodies take place, after Mr. Sacic talked to Mr. Cermak
6 about a clash or before, in the course of the same conversation?
7 A. That conversation could have ensued only following the fact that
8 there been a conflict there and that there were dead people, and that
9 sanitation and hygiene measures were required. It could have only taken
10 place after that.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, your testimony was you were ordered by
12 Mr. Markac to call for reports from Mr. Celic and the special
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if could I have document P566,
16 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue that, Mr. Turkalj, you say it
17 could not have been but after the clash was discussed or was subject of
18 the conversation. That's not logic. It could have been before or after,
19 isn't it, you can talk about dead bodies without discussing a clash. So,
20 therefore, I do not see the logic in what you apparently present as the
21 only logic answer.
22 I mean, if you've seen dead bodies, whether they have to be
23 buried or not, you could have discussed that before you have discussed
24 any clash or after you have discussed any clash.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, if you would ask the witness to
1 remove his headphones, I think I know in the translation where -- it got
2 lost in translation.
3 JUDGE ORIE: If there's a translation problem, then could you
4 take off your earphones for a second.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I think it was, "You could not
6 collect the bodies after a clash had occurred, not the fact that there
7 was a discussion about a clash." I think that's where the --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's then clear, and then we'd like to have
9 an answer to the question, because that -- if that is the result of -- of
10 an incorrect translation, then we should put the question again to the
11 witness and seek his answer.
12 Mr. Turkalj, there may have been a translation issue. Therefore,
13 I would like to put the question again to you. The issue of the bodies
14 to be buried, was that subject of the conversation before or after the
15 clash that would have taken place in Grubori was discussed?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated that the conversation took
17 place in a room in Knin, and I believe the Prosecutor put the question
18 that way. It concerned the conversation that took place in that room in
20 I also said that I could not recall the conversation in detail.
21 It was a general conversation. The gist of this question was whether
22 these bodies had to be buried and hygiene measures taken. Whether that
23 was said only after the fact that Mr. Sacic said there had been clash
24 there, to me, it seems possible, and that's what I wanted to say, that
25 after the conversation there had been a clash, it was said as part of
1 that discussion that sanitation and hygiene measures were required.
2 I don't know whether I'm making myself clear.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You say it was possible that it was said after that,
4 but you're not concern. Is that ...
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not certain. I'm not certain
6 about the discussion in that room.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, you issued this order to Mr. Celic and the four
10 instructors on the orders of Mr. Markac, isn't it? That's your
12 My question to you is: When did Mr. Markac order you to call for
13 this report? On the 1st September itself or before?
14 A. This order -- actually, this is my order. It was drafted
15 pursuant to Mr. Markac's orders.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... please focus on my question.
17 My question was, when did Mr. Markac order you to call for
18 reports which led to you issuing this order? Was it on 1st
19 September that Mr. Markac told you to call for this report or before?
20 A. I received a written order from Mr. Markac to ask for reports
21 from the instructors. I think it was either on the 31st of August or the
22 1st of September.
23 Q. While we're on this document, I just want to get you to -- do you
24 know that the incident in Grubori is referred to as 26th August, but we
25 know it was on 25th of August. It's a mistake, isn't it, Mr. Turkalj?
1 A. Yes, it took place on the 25th of August.
2 Q. Now, your testimony was that based on this, you were provided
3 with reports by Mr. Celic and three special instructors, and Mr. Drljo
4 did not -- refused to submit a report, and you, in fact, submitted
5 Mr. Celic and -- the other three reports to Mr. Markac with your order
6 dated 20th September.
7 I'm not going to call those documents, Mr. Celic [sic], those are
8 the documents you handed over to the Office of the Prosecutor in 2004.
9 Now my question to you is: Your testimony was that when you
10 visited Grubori, you asked Mr. Celic as to what had happened, and he had
11 told you that he didn't know what happened because he had taken an
12 elderly civilian to safety.
13 So when you received the report from Mr. Celic, which is already
14 now in evidence, where there is reference to combat activity, did you
15 confront him as to the difference or the fact that he is now tendering a
16 written report which was different to what he told you in Grubori?
17 A. I can answer this question by telling you that I did not see any
18 sort of reports. The reports that the members wrote on the ground, they
19 sent to those who were in charge of the action. They were not duty-bound
20 to send them to me. There was the headquarters and the command who
21 received such details.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... call the documents so that
23 we don't waste any further time.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, could you please call P564,
1 Q. Now based on this order of yours, Mr. Celic submitted a type
2 written report to you, which you handed over to the Office of the
3 Prosecutor, which we will see on the screen in a moment.
4 Your testimony, Mr. Celic [sic] according to what you told the
5 members of the Prosecutor is that when you visited Grubori --
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry. Ms. Mahindaratne keeps
7 referring to Mr. Turkalj as Mr. Celic in the transcript, and it's just
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Sorry. My mistake.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
12 Q. Mr. Turkalj, now your testimony is when you went to Grubori with
13 Mr. Celic and Mr. Balunovic, Mr. Celic told you when you asked him to
14 what happened that he did not know what happened because he had taken an
15 elderly civilian to safety. Now that is your testimony, correct? That
16 is what you have told us.
17 Now, when you received this report from him, did you ever
18 confront him with the fact that in this report he gives details of the
19 events in Grubori, as opposed to previously, when you questioned him, he
20 told you that he did not know what happened?
21 A. I will give you my answer again.
22 We can see that the report we have on the screen was sent to the
23 action headquarters and not to me. I only forwarded it further, and the
24 members who took part in the action sent it -- the report to the HQ, and
25 in this way, I met my obligation toward Mr. Markac to furnish the reports
1 by members.
2 Q. Are you saying, Mr. Turkalj, that being the commander of the
3 Lucko Unit, when there is a serious matter involved, which is the
4 incident in Grubori, and your subordinate commanders submit reports to
5 you to be forwarded to Mr. Markac, you did not even read them? Is that
6 what you're saying?
7 A. I read the reports, though I was not required to, I did read
8 them, and I did what my task as the Lucko commander, I said that a report
9 should be furnished considering the Storm encirclement action, and I
10 forwarded them to Mr. Markac.
11 Q. So beyond -- beyond just forwarding the reports, Mr. Turkalj, as
12 commander of the Lucko Unit, you were not interested in finding out for
13 yourself what the truth was, is it; is that your testimony?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please ...
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are the statements from
16 members, and I don't see that this should be in any other way. I cannot
17 change their reports.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
19 Q. That is correct, Mr. Turkalj, but your testimony was very clear.
20 You said that when you questioned Mr. Celic and then you returned from
21 Grubori and you questioned Mr. Balunovic and the other instructors and
22 many other members of the Lucko Unit, they all told you that they did not
23 know what happened, yet later on, you see these same people submitting
24 written reports which contain information completely different to what
25 they told you.
1 So as a commander of the Lucko Unit, are you saying you did not
2 so much as confront them about this contradiction?
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, there are quite a few assumed facts
4 in that question.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do agree. But the question simply is, based
6 on the information you apparently received the day before from Mr. Celic,
7 after you had read his report, and as you said, you forwarded it, did it
8 never come to your mind that there was an inconsistency that you should
9 discuss with Mr. Celic in order to prevent that the reporting might be
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will repeat my answer.
12 The reports were sent to the action headquarters, which had to,
13 in turn, report on all the events including this action and including the
14 events in the area of Grubori.
15 I as the unit commander did not have the competence to command
16 the action. I wasn't down there and was not able to know what happened
17 there. The reports I received, I find relevant. As I said, I could not
18 change them in any way, and I forwarded them to Mr. Markac.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, may I ask you one additional question
21 You received the report. You knew what Mr. Celic had told you
22 before. You read the report. You forward the report. Were you aware
23 that at that moment the version that was told to you was not the same as
24 the one that was put in the written report?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Celic told me that in the
1 conversation with Sacic, he was told to write another report. I stated
2 as much. Mr. Celic also said that he did not have reason to doubt what
3 had happened there, since he himself was not present in Grubori. That
4 was the information I received, and the only other thing I could do was
5 to forward the incoming reports.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That is not an answer to my question.
7 My question was whether you were aware of the difference or
8 inconsistency between what Mr. Celic had told you and what you found in
9 the report.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Celic had told me that he was
11 not present in Grubori, when we're talking about that particular event.
12 And he told me that Mr. Sacic explained to him that another report had to
13 be drawn. In this way, I did not check these reports at a later stage.
14 I believe my answer is very clear. I did not double-check this report
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
18 Q. Now Mr. Celic told that you Mr. Sacic had told him to write
19 another report, and your testimony is that Mr. Celic told -- that
20 Mr. Sacic had told him what to write. This testimony is it for the
21 record at V000-5305, page 43, page 59, and page 76.
22 Now, did you ever ask Mr. Sacic from where he obtained the
23 information, which he -- based on which he dictated -- or sorry, told
24 Mr. Sacic to write this version of the report?
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think you referred to Mr. Celic to write a new
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Mr. President.
3 Q. Did you ever ask Mr. Sacic on from where he obtained the
4 information regarding the incident, based on which he told Mr. Celic to
5 write the second report?
6 A. No, I didn't talk to Mr. Sacic.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, may I have document P625,
9 Q. Mr. Turkalj, was there a register maintained of all weapons
10 issued to the individual members of the Lucko Unit?
11 A. Members of the Lucko Unit signed up for their weapons according
12 to the register of issued weaponry.
13 Q. Now, are you aware that during the investigation initiated into
14 the events of Grubori in 2001 that a list of weapons issued to members of
15 the Lucko Unit in August 1995 was compiled and submitted?
16 A. I don't really remember the list. I do know, however, that all
17 the members were issued with weapons and that records were made thereof.
18 Q. If, Mr. Registrar, if we could go to page 8 of both the English
19 translation and the Croatian version.
20 Mr. Turkalj, your name is at number 42. Are the details of the
21 weapons recorded against your name correct, as those that you were in
22 possession of in August 1995?
23 A. I believe so. I believe that this sort of weaponry was issued to
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, can I call up document P578,
2 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, your testimony was that you were not aware of
3 any of the weapons of the Lucko Unit being examined for forensic analysis
4 in relation to the events in Grubori.
5 For the record this evidence is at V000-5305, that is section 3,
6 page 136.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, 65 ter numbers and ERN numbers are
8 not searchable for anyone who looks at this transcript later, what will
9 remain, exhibit numbers or MFI
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Your Honour, let me give an exhibit
12 P1152, page 136. That is section 3.
13 Q. Mr. Turkalj, do you recall this order that was issued to you by
14 Mr. Markac?
15 JUDGE ORIE: We are not yet in the 5.000s, Ms. Mahindaratne,
16 could you please give the right P number.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: P1152, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, P1152. I'm sorry, I read something in the
19 5.000s, but I may have made a mistake.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I would like to -- my learned
21 colleague to pose a foundation for the -- that document because it's
22 obviously that the document has been issued on -- on the late 1999, and
23 it's obviously out of scope of the indictment. So what will be the
24 foundation for showing up this document to the witness?
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, this is an exhibit in evidence,
1 and it relates to disposal of weapons of --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, for two reasons. First of all, it is it in
3 evidence, Mr. Mikulicic. Apparently, either you have not objected to it,
4 or such an objection was denied.
5 And second, one couldn't say that any document outside the
6 time-frame of the indictment is for that reason irrelevant. We have seen
7 a lot of documents from after 2.000, especially in relation to these
8 events which I never noticed that they were considered to be irrelevant.
9 So, therefore, Ms. Mahindaratne, you may proceed.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm have to say,
11 Mr. President, I am having trouble to move on fast because you have both
12 counsel from the same Defence party objecting, I recall, in fact, once
13 Chamber did indicate that was not appropriate.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think you're right, and could we seek that
15 counsel -- and especially on the last objection. If there's a good
16 reason to assume that one counsel would know far better on certain
17 matters that an objection would be justified, that I would not, under all
18 circumstances, disallow if it is practical, and to force one counsel,
19 first, to consult other, but then, of course, it should be on matters
20 which really make sense. And, Mr. Mikulicic, I regret to say that, that
21 I had to tell that you if a document is in evidence, that relevance,
22 mainly based or exclusively based on time-frame is not an objection which
23 should not be taken very seriously.
24 Please proceed.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
1 Q. Mr. Turkalj, do you recognise this order? This was issued to you
2 by Mr. Markac directing to you send a number of weapons belonging to the
3 Lucko Unit for repair and to be written off.
4 If you wish to see the next page, I can ask that the next page be
5 shown to you.
6 A. There's no need for that.
7 Q. And this, in fact, has a list of weapons attached to. I'm not
8 going to waste time we don't have the time to go through a comparison of
9 the list of weapons attached to this document, and the previous list that
10 we looked at which indicates weapons which were in the possession of
11 members of the Lucko Unit in August 1995. But I can tell you there are a
12 number of weapons in both lists which are the same.
13 Now, when you were sent this order, did it ever confer to you or
14 were you concerned, particularity in the context that what happened in
15 Grubori was a still an open matter and there was serious allegations
16 against members of the Lucko Unit, that weapons should have been
17 reserved, weapons used by members of the Lucko Unit in August 1995,
18 should have been preserved instead of being sent for repairs or to be
19 written off and dealt with?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, that is a pretty leading question.
22 We're getting here into almost a paragraph worth of question without
23 really giving the witness a chance to give an explanation.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Mr. Turkalj, when you received this order, did it ever come to
1 your mind that it may have served the interest of finding the ultimate
2 truth on the Grubori incident to preserve these weapons for
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me first observe that the 1999
5 order we see here was an usual order, based on the technical examination
6 of weapons plan under which the weapons were regularly sent for checks
7 and repairs. I'm talking about the orderly condition of weapons.
8 Weapons would be sent to the workshop or to -- or were actually checked
9 for their condition within their unit, and the unit -- the commission
10 would be consisting of men from the logistics unit and the technical
11 repairs unit. The weapons found to be malfunctioning would either be
12 sent for repairs or would be written off, or if in good order, they would
13 be sent back to the unit.
14 Back in 1999, when this order arrived, I did not really think
15 about the weapons having been used at any point during the war or who may
16 have been wielding a particular rifle during the war, and I'm not
17 referring specifically to this event but to the war activities in
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
20 JUDGE ORIE: The transcript, I first wanted the witness to finish
21 his answer.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Transcript reads page 91, line 12, "unusual order."
24 I understood it was an usual.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Precisely, Your Honour.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
2 Q. Who initiated this move? Did you request Mr. Markac to have the
3 weapons subject to a technical inspection at this stage, or was that
4 initiated by Mr. Markac?
5 A. As far as I know, this was regular procedure and the logistics
6 department within the special police force dealt with this as well as the
7 technical repairs department of the Ministry of the Interior.
8 Let me just add that weapons inspection was standard procedure,
9 regular procedure.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, may have document 2809, please.
11 Q. Mr. Turkalj, I want to show you just another document quickly.
12 And if we could go to next page, Mr. Registrar, on the English
13 version. No, I'm sorry, on the same page.
14 Now, this is a follow-up order where -- after the technical
15 inspection and the commission has issued the decision on the weapons to
16 be written off, Mr. Markac has sent this order to you, and at paragraph
17 -- the last paragraph reads:
18 "In this context the commander of the police administration's
19 special police ATJ
20 regarding deletion of weapons from the record through a decision on
21 write-off weapons and file this decision in the units archives."
22 Now, why was it required to delete -- no, first question, how do
23 you delete the records of weapons from -- or how do you delete the
24 weapons from record? What is the process involved in deletion? Do you
25 discard the issue cards, or how is it done?
1 A. In relation to this decision on the write off of weapons, this
2 isn't an order really, it is said that an order should be issued to the
3 logistics officer, the person who is in charge of maintaining the records
4 of weapons and of the weapons stored because the procedure was, and is
5 today, that where weapons are written off, they have to be deleted from
6 the records of the weapons in possession of a given unit because they are
7 no longer in the possession of that unit, where a piece of weaponry is
8 written off, it has to be deleted from the records. And this was not
9 just true for weapons but for the materiel and technical equipment in
10 general, and this was the way in which records and statistics were kept
11 within the Ministry of the Interior.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I wish to tender this document
13 into evidence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P1156, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P1156 is admitted into evidence, in the absence of
17 any objections.
18 Mr. Turkalj, I have one additional question in relation to this.
19 These are quite detailed instructions and orders on what you
20 explained to us was a routine matter. Were such orders about -- to the
21 level what weapons for inspection or weapons malfunctioning, apparently
22 Mr. Markac being aware of the malfunctioning of the weapons, was that
23 always dealt with at this level? Would for every weapon that should be
24 inspected or being destroyed, were there always orders signed by
25 Mr. Markac?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As part of its regular procedure
2 the sector of the special police conducted the supervision of units and
3 of the materiel and technical equipment used by its members, in terms of
4 they're being in good order and condition. The condition that I referred
5 to, and I said who it was composed of, if the commission found that the
6 weapons were malfunctioning, they would be written off, or otherwise sent
7 back to the unit. Orders to that effect always came from the sector of
8 the special police.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My question was whether it was always at the
10 level of Mr. Markac, and whether he always signed such orders, or whether
11 the matter was dealt with at a lower level.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was mostly at the level of
13 Mr. Markac. That was the usual procedure. The supervision itself came
14 from the sector of the special police, and upon their orders, and when
15 I'm saying the sector of the special police, the chief of that sector was
16 Mr. Markac. That was the usual procedure.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I therefore take it that instructions
18 for inspection or sending back weapons, once repaired, to the units,
19 et cetera, that if you say, Mostly at the level of Mr. Markac, that --
20 well, let's say, in 80 per cent of the weapons which were dealt with in
21 this system, that you would receive orders, or decisions signed by
22 Mr. Markac himself?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Decisions of this sort were signed
24 by Mr. Markac. When I mentioned -- well, as far as the level of the
25 sector of the special police, Mr. Sacic, assistant to the sector, could
1 also deliver such decisions. I can't claim whether it was always
2 Mr. Markac or whether it was Mr. Sacic as well. I said that
3 predominantly such decisions came from Mr. Markac.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. No, I'm looking at the clock. I
5 should withdraw my invitation, Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: [Microphone not activated]
7 JUDGE ORIE: You're not yet at your full four hours.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, I was hoping not.
9 JUDGE ORIE: But you're close to it. Would you please consider
10 that over the weekend, that you're close to it.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, we'd like to see you back on Monday, at
13 9.00 in this same courtroom. And I again instruct you that you should
14 not speak with anyone about the testimony you have given or you are still
15 about to give.
16 In the absence of any procedural matters, we adjourn for the day,
17 and we'll resume on Monday, the 15th of December, 9.00 in the morning, in
18 this same courtroom, I.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
20 to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of
21 December, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.