1 Tuesday, 16 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Before we continue, Ms. Mahindaratne, the Chamber has verified
13 the quotes you gave as far as Mr. Celic is concerned. They're not fully
14 accurate. Your quote went beyond what was really said.
15 Would you be very precise in putting to a witness what other
16 witnesses have said.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, may I just say that I did not
18 put what Celic said in court, or it was just -- I was referring only to
19 this witness's statement at the time when the counsel objected that I was
20 dealing with the matter which I had not explored with a previous witness.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'll tell you at a later moment this morning where
22 the problem lies.
23 Meanwhile, Mr. Kay, are you ready to continue?
24 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, your examination will now continue. I
1 would like to remind you that you are still bound by the solemn
2 declaration you gave at the beginning of your testimony.
3 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
4 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 WITNESS: JOSIP TURKALJ
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay: [Continued]
8 Q. Mr. Turkalj, good morning.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. By the 27th of August, were you aware that there had been a
11 report from UNCRO officers on the 25th of August at -- in the evening to
12 the Knin garrison that there had been a fire in Grubori at that time?
13 And by "fire," I mean arson rather than any other form of activity.
14 A. As far as I remember from certain conversations we had, I think
15 that there was the information that the UNCRO officials reported some
16 events in the area, but I didn't know exactly what kind of event was
17 involved at the time.
18 Q. Thank you. Were you aware that on the 27th of August, that the
19 UN CIVPOL had reported to the Knin police that there had been some form
20 of hostile activity in Grubori on the 25th of August, that the UN CIVPOL
21 had reported to Knin police on the 25th of August that there had been
22 something that had happened in Grubori?
23 A. My answer to the question would be that I don't know the precise
24 date when I received that information. I can't remember who I received
25 it from either.
1 I know that subsequently the information got about that the
2 UN CIVPOL had been informed of the events in the area.
3 Q. Again, were you aware on the 27th of August that the Knin police
4 had been to the Plavno valley, as a result of the report from UN CIVPOL
5 of something happening in Grubori?
6 A. I believe that there was information to that effect.
7 Q. On the 27th of August, were you aware that a Lieutenant Dondo
8 from the Knin garrison had visited Grubori on the 26th of August and made
9 a report to the Knin local police that some people had been killed in
11 A. As I've already said, there was information to the effect that
12 the civilian police had been informed by the international forces of that
13 having happened in the area, but I'm not familiar with the name of Dondo.
14 Q. To be more specific, Dondo was, at that time, working in the Knin
15 garrison, and he had been to the Knin police on the 26th of August and
16 filed a report there of what happened. Did you know that, that someone
17 from the Knin garrison had done that?
18 A. No. The only information I had was that the police was informed
19 of there having been this event in the area. The civilian police, I
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, might I seek clarification from the
23 You said, "the only information I had." Could you specify the
24 date and time when you had this information available. Was it when you
25 were still in Zagreb
1 arrival in Gracac? Was it -- could you please detail the moment.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my recollection, I
3 received the information when I was in the area of Knin.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Only -- that is, after you had visited ...
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. What I meant was that the
6 information was received probably at the time of the visit to Grubori.
7 That's why I said in the general area of Knin, at the time of the visit
8 to the Plavno valley.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
10 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. On the 27th of August, who did you think was investigating what
12 had happened in Grubori on the 25th of August?
13 A. I was not informed of the fact that an actual investigation took
14 place. If it did, then it must have taken place on the 26th, for that
15 there was none on the 27th.
16 Q. And on the 27th of August, were you aware of an official report
17 dated the day before, on the 26th, from the special police as to what had
18 happened in Grubori?
19 A. No. I did not have an opportunity to see the report.
20 Q. Yeah, I was going to ask you if you saw any of the special police
21 documents before the 27th of August.
22 A. No, I didn't. Since I wasn't in the action and I wasn't part of
23 the command of the action, I didn't have occasion to see the report.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. KAY: That's all I ask in cross-examination.
1 Your Honour, this there is a matter I need to bring to the
2 Court's attention, and it concerns Prosecution Exhibits P1151, Exhibit
3 P1152. These are the transcripts of this witness's video interview.
4 When my learned friend for the Prosecution was asking questions
5 on Friday, and I saw the transcript of the -- of the questions and a
6 passage that she read out, I went to Exhibit P1152. In my version of
7 this document, this is at page 46. There's another version of the
8 document. It's the same translation but a bigger type, I think, where
9 it's page 49.
10 I can give the Court those references. And it concerns something
11 mentioned as being reported speech by Mr. Casey - and I know Your Honours
12 has already referred to this questioning of Mr. Casey - and the issue of
13 the party line. I looked at the Croatian interpreter's interpretation of
14 that question, and I didn't see a word that I know one of the two,
15 probably, of Lijna which I know means line. And I saw a word called
16 smislu, and I noticed that in Mr. Turkalj's response, he used that word,
17 smislu, and I noticed the interpreter's translation of the word sense.
18 So I had that looked at by our translator and interpreter who works for
19 us, and it was confirmed to me that this passage of Mr. Casey's speech
20 was not accurately translated to the witness. The witness gave his
21 response and what we have in our record here, which is not a matter for
22 the witness, but it's a matter of the state of the exhibit, was that the
23 translations by the interpreter were wrong. The word smislu means sense,
24 and it does not mean line, party line.
25 I then caused, over the weekend, not to have the whole document
1 reviewed, as we didn't have the time, but just passages that I was
2 particularly interested in, and I noticed on several occasions that this
3 had occurred during this video interview --
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, may I just say that the witness
5 may be asked to take off the --
6 MR. KAY: Fine.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the witness has a certain interest himself in
8 it as well, Ms. Mahindaratne, because -- we're talking about apparent
9 errors in translation made during the interview which is a matter -- of
10 course, Mr. Kay, I do not expect to you go through every detail of the
11 same. But here we have one word which is given as an example by Mr. Kay,
12 and he says there is are more. I do not expect him, and I would agree
13 with you that it would be inappropriate to go through all the details of
14 how a question was mistranslated or whether an answer was mistranslated.
15 We will have to sort that out ourselves and not in the presence of the
16 witness. But Mr. Kay is drawing your attention to mistakes in
17 translation, at least possible mistakes in the translation during the
18 interview. If I say translation, I should say interpretation. That is a
19 matter for all of us to be aware of, if there is merit in what he says.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That is the case, Mr. President. We would
21 have to verify, and I'm not in any way challenging if Mr. Kay has already
22 checked on this, but we would have to verify what is exactly the problem
23 with the translation and to discuss this in the presence of the witness
24 may open unnecessary opportunities, Mr. President, particularly the
25 examination is not concluded.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I am aware of that. The advantage is that we
2 become aware of possible sources of confusion, and it should not, to that
3 extent, I agree, but I think I have been clear enough to Mr. Kay in this
4 respect, that if the matter will be raised during further examination,
5 then, of course, we have the Croatian text there, so that we can verify
6 on the spot whether there's any translation or interpretation issue, and
7 I would not expect anyone to abuse the situation, and if anyone tries,
8 then the first thing, of course, the Chamber will do is to put an end to
9 any abuse, because we have a possibility to verify immediately what the
10 issue is. And tomorrow perhaps Mr. Turkalj is not there anymore.
11 Mr. Kay, you have pointed at possible errors in interpretation
12 during these interviews. May I take it that you want this to be verified
13 in full detail?
14 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. This was the one that brought my
15 attention to it, and caused me to look at certain other passages, and if
16 I tell the Court what the problem seems to me to have been, and it's
17 understandable, a long question is asked, the interpreter doesn't
18 translate every word, I'm not pointing out passages where a word was
19 missed. I'm simply not interested in that, but there are very
20 significant passages of, in my view, interest to the resolution of this
21 matter and indeed would be of interest to all the parties, and I had it
22 checked over the weekend just to satisfy myself, and I have been briefed
23 on the matter.
24 In a sense, I was alerting Your Honours to this, and then
25 proposing a way of dealing with it. I was going to put these passages
1 into a schedule with what we say is the problem with the passage, serve
2 that on the Prosecution, and then they can take instructions on the
3 matter, and then we can see if there is any disagreement. I'm confident
4 in the level of advice I have been given on this. And then to alert the
5 Trial Chamber so that there can be some sort of filing rather like we've
6 done with the stipulation so that the Trial Chamber is not working on
7 what, to my mind, is patently wrong information, which I think would be
8 highly embarrassing for everyone if anyone looked at the exhibit.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne [Overlapping speakers] ...
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- acceptable to you.
12 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Kay, but I noticed
14 the same thing on several occasions with respect to some of the
15 translations in the transcript, and I would point the Court specifically
16 to --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, we try to avoid to point at certain
18 portions of the interview in order not, because otherwise, we would
19 really have to ask the witness to take his earphones off. If there
20 matters which are urgent and for which the Chamber could not wait until
21 we have gone through an exercise as suggested by Mr. Kay, then we should
22 ask the witness to take earphones off if it would influence the
23 examination still to be expected today.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... Sorry, Your Honour.
25 I didn't see he still had his headphones on. I do think that in this
1 instance, and I won't obviously talk about the specific portions of the
2 interview of the transcript, that there are significant issues with
3 respect to the translation in certain areas that are obviously very
4 important to the case. So I will leave it at that. And what I'll do is
5 similar to what Mr. Kay has suggested. I'll put together those areas
6 which I think have been either not completely translated or mistranslated
7 and submit them in a schedule. Thank you.
8 Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, if there are matters which directly
10 have an impact on the testimony of the witness given these days, and,
11 Mr. Kay, you gave one example. And it was put to the witness -- I don't
12 know whether the wording exactly then was had a great impact on his
13 answers, but if there's any matter which has a direct impact, of course,
14 the witness is still here, so I would then invite you, Mr. Kuzmanovic, or
15 you, Mr. Kay, to put questions to the witness in relation to those
16 portions, not necessarily pointing at what was mistranslated, et cetera,
17 but just to verify through question and answer what --
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Normally I would agree with that procedure, but
19 in this instance, I think the answer itself that the witness gave is fine
20 to the question. It's what has been translated is what isn't fine.
21 [Overlapping speakers] ...
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then there is no need. It has no impact, then it
23 would -- the matters could be repaired in the way Mr. Kay has suggested.
24 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. I considered the amendments or the
25 statements the witness made when he came in and looked at that and, so to
1 speak, pieced matters together in my own mind which caused this to become
2 from an academic exercise to a more practical assessment of how we deal
3 with it.
4 May I say, we're not grooming this transcript into a perfect
5 every word, because I have no interest in that, and simply, the resources
6 would not justify it. But it was the passages that I believe are of
7 significance to my case, and the exercise I propose would be confined to
8 that, rather than the whole 500 pages because it would simply be a task
9 where I would have no interest.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, it puts the Chamber on notice that
11 there may be other areas as well which calls for great caution in using
12 this statement, and the Chamber will certainly keep that not only in the
13 back of its mind but even in front of its mind.
14 MR. KAY: I'm grateful, Your Honour. And like with Mr. Theunens,
15 we'll endeavour to get on with this as soon as possible.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
17 MR. KAY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Kehoe.
19 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, you will now be cross-examined by
23 Mr. Kehoe. Mr. Kehoe is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Turkalj.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. Mr. Turkalj, I just want to clarify a couple of issues in looking
3 at both one of your statements P1150 in conjunction with your transcript.
4 And the first issue I'd like to address with you is your
5 description of the attack by the special police on the morning of the 4th
6 of August. If at any point you need additional clarification, please
7 stop me, and I will attempt to so.
8 On page -- on P1150 of your transcript and this is at page 78,
9 line 21, you noted that the plan of the attack was in five or six -- five
10 to six directions. And then moving ahead two pages to page 80 on that
11 same exhibit:
12 "And each direction that was determined had a support of one
13 artillery group that was supposed to escort them to follow them."
14 Now, in your transcript at page 13700, you were asked some
15 additional questions. And I'd just like to go through this and just
16 clarify this. You were asked some additional questions by my colleague,
17 Mr. Mikulicic, and this is on page 13700, beginning on line 23, talking
18 about -- line 22.
19 "Can you describe for us in what way the artillery of the special
20 police was used? Who called for that support and who provided clearance
21 for the use of artillery? What was the procedure like?"
22 "Answer: The procedure was very simple. Every axis of attack
23 including the main and auxiliary ones had a rocket artillery battery
24 designed for their purpose. Every commander of every axis referred to
25 their own battery that they had assigned to them as their support and
1 asked for the type of support they needed."
2 So clarifying this, Mr. Turkalj, in each particular direction
3 that the special police was going, was an artillery battery attached to
4 that direction?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. And on page 13697 of your transcript you were asked:
7 "Can you tell us what sort of artillery of their own did the
8 special police have that they could use in Operation Storm?"
9 Your answer was:
10 "As regards to their own artillery, they had mixed artillery
11 batteries comprising of 120-millimetre mortars and 128-millimetre RAK-12
12 rocket launchers."
13 Now I want to clarify one issue on that score, and that has to
14 with -- it could have just been something that was a mistake in the
15 transcript, I'm not sure, but nevertheless, in your testimony of last
16 week, and this is on page 13693, at line 6 you said:
17 "Every commander along his axis of attack had a multi-barreled
18 rocket launcher 120-millimetre of the RAK type."
19 When you said 120-millimetre multi-barrel rocket launcher, did
20 you intend to say a 128-millimetre?
21 A. If it was a multi-barrel rocket launcher, then the calibre was
23 Q. Now, Ms. Mahindaratne asked you a series of questions about -- if
24 I may.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, before you continue, I had some
1 difficulties in finding your reference on page 78, and that is 78 out of
2 138, I think you said line 21. I couldn't find that --
3 MR. KEHOE: I apologise. It should have been page 78, line 28.
4 JUDGE ORIE: 28 is an empty the line for me but ...
5 MR. KEHOE: I'm looking at the -- I'm looking at 1150, and I
6 don't know if it was -- came up differently in the e-court, but this is
7 what I have printed out. At the bottom it says page 78 of 137, which I
8 believe is 1150.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have got 138, so there is -- apparently
10 you're working from a copy which is not exactly the same as the one
11 uploaded in e-court.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: This is, in fact, the -- I found the same
13 page, and I'm going along page 78 of 137, Mr. President,
14 If I could just have a minute.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if the whole of the document is 137 instead of
16 138, then it sounds logical to look at 77 as well.
17 MR. KEHOE: It does, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And that's what I'm doing at this moment.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I was told I have been informed
20 that on e-court, it has come up as 138 because the last page is a blank
21 page, but that page had been, for some reason, counted in.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we have two kind of page numbering,
23 Ms. Mahindaratne. The one is the e-court page numbering, the electronic
24 numbering, but there is also the print at the bottom of the page, which
25 in e-court also says 77 of 138. Let me check the last page. The last
1 page is an empty page, that is true, but I do not find anything on 77
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm informed that the attention has already been
5 drawn to this -- what I now find, and it's kept away from -- from me,
6 perhaps for very good reasons, in order not to be bothered by it. I do
7 understand that the hard copy that the parties are working off is a
8 different version than the one uploaded in e-court, and that there has
9 been a invitation to upload there e-court the version, which is the
10 version used by the witness, because otherwise we get a huge puzzle at
11 any later point in time. I leave it for the time being, not being aware
12 that it was touching upon a far larger problem than just not being able
13 to find the reference, Mr. Kehoe.
14 Let's proceed for the time being. I take it that you quoted with
15 the precision I'm used to, as far as you are concerned.
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
17 May I continue, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. Mr. Turkalj, you were referred to P1154 during your examination
21 with the Prosecution.
22 Now, this document in the -- the first two -- the listing of
23 expenditures of rounds and the request by General Markac of a resupply,
24 the first is mines that's 122-millimetre, that would from the mortars.
25 Isn't that right?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, did you mean 120-millimetre as the
2 document reads? [Overlapping speakers] ...
3 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
4 Q. The mines for the 122-millimetres, those are 120-millimetre
5 rounds for the mortars that the units had, isn't it?
6 A. The document reads mines, 122-millimetres, but these are actually
7 rounds for mortars.
8 Q. They are actually rounds for mortars. That is what I was getting
9 at. And the --
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And the number 2 is missiles, 128-millimetre. Those are likewise
12 rounds for the 128-millimetre RAK multi-barrel rocket launcher that you
13 were using, right?
14 A. These are rockets for the RAK-12 type 128-millimetre piece.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, these two entries, number 1 and 20 -- and
16 number 2, they were for weapons that the individual special police units
17 had and began to use as the attack began on the 4th, weren't they?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. And you told us on page 13706 that depending on the phase of the
20 action the most -- the most artillery was spent breaking through the
21 first line of defence.
22 So would it be fair to say, based on your testimony and this, the
23 majority of these rounds were expended on the 4th, when you were trying
24 to get through the ARSK defences?
25 A. That is right.
1 Q. Now, there is nothing in this list for the expenditure of rounds
2 for a 122-millimetre Grad rocket system, is there?
3 A. No, it wasn't used.
4 Q. Now, according to P619, which is the report that was filed with
5 General Cervenko on the 26th of November, 2001, the 122 multi-barrel
6 rocket launcher was the one that was at -- provided to the special police
7 at the HV level, wasn't it?
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, can we have that document that
9 Mr. Kehoe is referring to on the screen, so that we can --
10 MR. KEHOE: Sure. P619. It is in the B/C/S, it's page 23; and
11 in the English, it's page 19. This was a document that was referred --
12 referred to by Ms. Mahindaratne during the course of direct.
13 I'm told that the particular insertion that we're talking about,
14 Mr. President, is in the English on page 19 and in the B/C/S page 23.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar informs me that he has a two-page
17 document on P619. I haven't found --
18 MR. KEHOE: I apologise, Mr. President. I think I misspoke.
19 It's P614. I apologise. I think I misspoke in the beginning.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, you will get another document soon.
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, that's the document we're
22 referring to.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, I do believe that we talked about this during
24 the course of your direct examination and certainly during the cross by
25 my colleague, Mr. Mikulicic. And you see about midway through the page,
1 certainly on the English, and I see it's towards the bottom of the page
2 in the B/C/S, that the special police was strengthened by HV rocket and
3 artillery forces with the strength of reinforced 130-millimetre cannon
4 platoon, reinforced 122-millimetre D30 Howitzer platoon and the one 122
5 Grad rocket system.
6 Do you see that, sir?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Just being clear, the 128-millimetre multi-barrel rocket
9 launchers were deployed by the special police throughout the axes of
10 attack, and the 122-millimetre rocket system was at the HV level. Is
11 that accurate?
12 A. The multiple rocket launcher of 122-millimetre calibre was
13 attached by the HV for the purposes of that operation in the area.
14 Q. Let me just cover a couple of smaller instances, and one I would
15 like to talk to you about just briefly is a document that you were shown
16 by Ms. Mahindaratne at page 13699, and that would be D1095.
17 Now, Mr. Turkalj, this is a daily combat report by the OG or the
18 operation group Zadar, dated 4 August 1995. And as you see in the middle
19 of the page that it has an insertion on paragraph 4 concerning the
20 activities of the special police.
21 Now, sir, I take it from your testimony that the orders you
22 received to attack were different from the orders that the HV had given
23 to Operation Group Zadar. Isn't that correct?
24 A. Concerning my or our orders, I issued orders to the group as for
25 the targets that were supposed to be engaged, and they were not the same,
1 yes. They were different to those of OG Zadar.
2 Q. So OG Zadar had their own attack orders, and OG Zadar had their
3 own target lists; and the special police had their attack orders, and the
4 special police had their target lists. Is that accurate?
5 A. That is correct.
6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I intended to bar table some attack
7 order for OG Zadar as well as a target list and some supporting
8 documentation, and at this point, and I discussed this with Mr. Russo,
9 one of the documents I was told by the CLSS, they wouldn't translate -- I
10 was told by Monday that they wouldn't translate one of the documents.
11 This witness -- they have to do with OG Zadar. This is witness is a
12 special policeman naturally, but I would ask the Court's intercession in
13 assisting us in getting that last document translated, and I do believe
14 Mr. Russo would concur in that request.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
16 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I believe we -- if there is a
17 translation issue, we have no problem with that. We asked to be a given
18 a copy first of what was submitted to CLSS for translation to determine.
19 I don't know if it is the whole document, what portions of it need to be
20 translated. We just wanted to get a look at it first.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand that the main purpose is to see who
22 is in control of what kind of weaponry, and who would deploy it, under
23 whose command it was used.
24 MR. KEHOE: It is a personal diary, Mr. President, without
25 referring to the individual's name at this point. It's a personal diary
1 that has a variety of information concerning the attack on the 4th and
2 therefore and also some personal information, which is of no consequence.
3 But I do believe the parties are interested in seeing that portion.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is reasonable if you -- you're seeking
5 the joinder of Mr. Russo in this exercise that you provide him with a
6 copy, and then you will then have a joint enterprise it get it
8 MR. KEHOE: I think even with my good friend Mr. Russo's
9 assistance, I still think we need to come back to you [Overlapping
10 speakers] ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's fine. If you want to bar table these
12 documents, you know the guidance of the Chamber how to deal with that.
13 Could I ask one additional question to Mr. Turkalj.
14 Mr. Turkalj, I think you said - but let me check that first -
15 that the Grad rockets were not used. Is that what you said? Let me just
16 check it. Because they were not -- no replacement projectiles were
17 ordered ... let me just find it.
18 Yes. A question was put to you, Mr. Turkalj, saying: Now there
19 is nothing in this list for the expenditure for rounds for a
20 122-millimetre Grad rocket system, is there?
21 And then you said: No, it wasn't used.
22 Did you mean it wasn't used at all, or wasn't used by you, or it
23 was under someone else's control?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that portion of the
25 transcript in front of me. But the multiple rocket launcher Grad was
1 used during Operation Storm, and there was a certain amount of ammunition
2 that were expended, and that can be seen from the list of targets and
3 ammunition spent in that area. But the issue of when it was used is a
4 different matter and also which targets were engaged with this system.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
6 Mr. Kehoe, please proceed.
7 MR. KEHOE: May I just follow up on that, Mr. President.
8 Q. And with regard to the replenishment of rounds for the 122, would
9 that -- wouldn't that have come from the HV side and not be resupplied by
10 the special police side?
11 A. I think that the additional ammunition for the 122 system was not
12 asked for, and I don't believe it arrived during Operation Storm itself.
13 Q. Let me shift gears to the testimony that you had yesterday
14 concerning the use of artillery for neutralizing and disruption.
15 And I refer you back, Mr. President, to page 13704, beginning on
16 line 11. You said:
17 "Neutralizing it - 'it' meaning the target - means to make it
18 impossible for these features to operate. Disrupting target means to
19 fire a small number of projectiles upon that location in order to
20 diminish its capacity to engage in the activities -- excuse me capacity
21 to engage in the activities that location normally engages in."
22 "Question: Judging from the tactics the artillery of the special
23 police employed in the early stages of operation Storm, would you say
24 that they engaged in -- that they engaged targets with a view to
25 neutralizing them or disrupting their activity?"
1 "Answer: Well, if we're talking about targets deep behind the
2 line, then the exception was to disrupt their activity, whereas the
3 targets that were on the front line or immediately behind the front line,
4 then the intention was to neutralize the targets."
5 Now, sir, I want to talk to you a little bit about your testimony
6 about disrupting activity and where you note that you want to diminish
7 the capacity to engage in activities that location normally engages in,
8 and you also testified previously about shooting at cross-roads,
9 cross-roads in depth; for instance, in Gracac. Talk to us a little bit
10 about why you are shooting at cross-roads in depth and how that
11 diminishes the capacity to engage in activities at that location.
12 A. I will try to be brief in my answer.
13 One of the basic tasks of artillery is to prevent the
14 introduction of new fresh forces to the front line where this is combat.
15 As for intersections in the area of Gracac, they were of great importance
16 for our axis of attack. Engaging that target as well as some other
17 targets that had to do with roads contributed, in any case, to the forces
18 that were supposed to be introduced to the -- into the combat area at the
19 front line were made impossible to do that. That was one of our goals.
20 Q. And let me just elaborate on that last answer a bit, and I know
21 you want to keep this brief. But isn't a goal that you just discussed
22 about artillery in depth and disrupting the activities of the ARSK
23 designed to keep the ARSK in place and not gathering together and not
24 moving around so they can come up to the front line?
25 A. Yes, it is as you put it.
1 Q. Likewise, sir, isn't one of the ways that artillery attempts to
2 disrupt the activities in depth is to attempt to disrupt their
3 communications by not allowing these various units to communicate or get
5 A. That is correct. It is another of the basic tasks of artillery.
6 Q. Now, you also talked about neutralisation of the enemy. And you
7 talked about neutralizing the enemy. Not only at the front line but also
8 behind the front line, just behind the front line. And that again is at
9 13704, lines 22 and 23.
10 Can you explain that just a bit where you are trying to
11 neutralize the target, the enemy, not only at the front line but behind
12 the front line, what is that front line and what is the back -- the --
13 right behind the front line and how do they relate to one another?
14 A. All the forces, including the army of the republic of the Krajina
15 had its first line of defence. The front line. In my view, it's not 10
16 to 100 metres deep. It can be up to one kilometre deep, the first line
17 of defence. Then every army would have its active duty forces, then
18 reserve duty forces, and then the logistics at the rear. The task of the
19 artillery is to neutralize all these forces along the first line of
20 defence or the front line. You also have the command posts there of the
21 units of the strength of companies, platoons, and so on.
22 Q. And these were the targets when you're talking about neutralizing
23 that you fired upon, beginning on the morning of the 4th. Is that
25 A. Correct. These were the tasks that definitely had to be
1 neutralized during the stage of the attack.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, I next would like to show you a document that I
3 don't believe you have seen before, but it has been admitted into
4 evidence and is a report from an ARSK colonel by the name of
5 Jovan Kordic, and it is D435, and it is a report by the ARSK on the
6 attack that ensued on the morning of the 4th by the special police. It's
7 a five-page document in English in any event. I don't intend to go
8 through it line by line. But if you can see, this is a report of the 9th
9 Motorised Brigade of the ARSK. The 9th of August, 1995, where in the
10 first paragraph they talk about the attack in the early morning.
11 And the second paragraph:
12 "Ustasha main forces mounted an attack with the focus on the
13 region of defence of the 1st Motorised Battalion Mali Alan on 4
14 August 1995 at 0500. They were synchronizingly aiming at the town of
15 Gracac and the road that leads from Gracac to Medak by long-range
16 artillery with the focus on the Ruka crossing.
17 That's the type of artillery attack that you're talking about
18 that is attempting to disrupt the ARSK forces. Is that correct,
19 Mr. Turkalj?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Let's go down three paragraphs in that to despite extreme
22 persistent defence and use of available forces and reserve, Ustasha
23 forces managed to suppress our forces to the line of Mila Voda
24 Pilar-Ruka-Medjuvode at 2100 hours with support of strong artillery and
25 second echelon of special MUP, Ministry of Interior, MUP forces.
1 If we can go to next the page. I'm going to ask you a couple of
2 questions together going through this so we can move this more quickly.
3 If you go to the next page, towards the bottom of page 2.
4 "Considering the emerging situation on 5 August 1995 in the
5 afternoon, when Knin and Korenica fell and there was a risk that the
6 brigade could come under attack from the flank, following the order of
7 the super ordinate command, we started an organised withdrawal of the
8 brigade from the region of Ploce, Bruvno, Mazina, and on to the direction
9 of Mazin, Dobro Sela, Petrovac in the evening hours.
10 Along with the troops, the equipment was pulled out in an
11 organised way. The greatest problem during the withdraw were the
12 soldiers who went looking for their families; some of them found them and
13 went straight to the federal republic of Yugoslav
14 their villages to look for them.
15 Loosing territory led to lowering morale, an interest for the
16 defence, so no one but combat operations commanders and brigade command
17 remained in Petrovac."
18 Next page on the English. I'm not sure where it is on the --
19 it's on the same page. If go to the next page in the English, please,
20 top of the page.
21 "From the rear part of the brigade command remained no one but
22 the technical service officer with an auto mechanic." Excuse me.
23 "From the rear part of the brigade command remained no one by but
24 the technical service officer with an auto mechanic.
25 Dropping out was caused by not getting any information, decisions
1 or commands from the superordinate command."
2 Now, you noted for us earlier about the many uses of artillery
3 and disrupting the efforts of the normal activities. Does one of the
4 overall purposes in the use of artillery, especially in depth, is to turn
5 the enemy forces, such as the ARSK into disarray, so soldiers abandon the
6 front line, people leave the area, soldiers flee. Is that one of the
7 intentions of the artillery use, especially in depth?
8 A. I have already said that one of the main tasks and purposes of
9 artillery is to disrupt and destroy communications centres so that the
10 enemy side cannot engage in communication, which makes it difficult for
11 them to maintain their flow of orders and commands. It made it easier
12 for us to break their first line of defence and to advance in depth.
13 Q. And one last couple of questions on this particular document, and
14 I will complete -- I will be fished, Mr. Turkalj, and I would like just
15 to go to the last page of this document, page 5, there's a conclusion.
16 It says [indiscernible] -- that's correct.
17 "As the main blow of the Ustasha attack was directed towards our
18 brigade or more precisely to the 1st Motorised Brigade, where 55 troops
19 went missing and 22 were wounded, the line of defence was broken, and
20 with the fall of Knin and Korenica and massive evacuation of the people
21 had started. With the approval of the super ordinate command, the
22 brigade will to start organizing an evacuation. The evacuation of
23 civilians, its own forces, and equipment was secured by the combat
25 Now, Mr. Turkalj, prior to the events of Operation Storm, you had
1 been involved in artillery attacks by the ARSK into Croatian-held
2 territory; had you not?
3 A. That's correct. I was pretty familiar with the activity of the
4 RSK artillery.
5 Q. And when the RSK fired into Republic of Croatia
6 Croatian-held territory, did -- what was the reaction of the civilian
7 population in the -- in the Croatian-held territory? Did they flee, did
8 they go into hiding? I mean, what did they do?
9 A. When the ARSK artillery fired upon targets or towns or civilian
10 targets, I know that everyone sought refuge in shelters wherever they
11 could. People did not abandon places where they lived, if that's what
12 you're asking me about. They spent most of the time in shelters, and the
13 situation -- such a situation prevailed for years.
14 Q. Now, let's just talk about the attack on Gracac, and when you got
15 to the Gracac, the Serb civilian population had evacuated, hadn't they?
16 A. Yes. There was no civilian population in Gracac.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, I mean based on your experience being on the
18 other side of -- in Croatian-held territory receiving an artillery
19 attack, were you surprised that, in fact, the entire civilian population
20 had evacuated with the ARSK?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I object to that, Mr. President, what is the
23 foundation this witness has not testified about being on the receiving
24 line of artillery, and this is just a general question.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think the previous question was about how he
1 experienced when --
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: How the civilians --
3 JUDGE ORIE: When the RSK fired into Republic of Croatia
4 territory or in Croatian-held territory, what was the reaction of the
5 civilian population? That was asked of the witness. That is what I
6 understand receiving artillery, and now the comparison apparently is made
7 between the reaction of the civilian population, as the witness
8 experienced it before, being on the receiving side, and now on arriving
9 at the side that had received the artillery from -- fired by the forces
10 this witness was part of.
11 That's how I understood the question.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, that's correct, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please -- could you please answer the question,
14 Mr. Turkalj.
15 Could you -- I think as a matter of fact, whether you were
16 surprised or not is another matter. But I take it Mr. Kehoe wanted to
17 know whether you saw similarities in the reaction of the civilian
18 population you earlier had experienced where on Croatian-held territory
19 artillery was fired at, compared to what you saw now, arriving in Gracac,
20 where your artillery had fired at.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will take the liberty to answer
22 Their Honours' question and the counsel 's question this way:
23 I was surprised at the fact that there was no civilian population
24 there. It was already said that the targets engaged in Gracac were
25 engaged with an exceptionally small number of projectiles in view of the
1 number of the targets in Gracac. To draw a comparison I was present in
2 the area of the town of Karlovac
3 rounds landed on Karlovac, and the population never abandoned it. It was
4 always there.
5 So the movements of the population can never be correlated with
6 the activities of shelling, or at least I could not when it came to the
7 shelling of the towns that came from our side.
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Turkalj.
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I have no further questions. Thank
11 you very much.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
13 Ms. Mahindaratne, could I first ask the witness to take off your
14 earphones for a second.
15 Ms. Mahindaratne, I told you that I would -- what happened
16 yesterday is that you referred to a statement of this witness, then there
17 was an objection by Mr. Kuzmanovic who objected against the line of
18 questioning, saying that you had not asked Mr. Celic and that you should
19 have done so. And then you reminded Mr. Kuzmanovic that if he would have
20 read the statement by Mr. Celic, that he would have found that you had
21 asked him, which is perfectly true.
22 And then referring to the statement of this witness about the
23 conversation he had in which he said, Well, I've done it, or whatever,
24 and then you said, You'll find the statement of Mr. Celic, and in his
25 testimony as well, that he refers to the conversation, and I'm now
1 specifically pointing you to page 13664, lines 2 and 3, where you said:
2 Where Drljo admits to burning of houses.
3 Well, that's not what Mr. Celic said. It comes close to that.
4 There is houses that were burned. It is Mr. Drljo who did not go around
5 the village of Grubori but later admitted that he went through the
6 village of Grubori, but there, Mr. Celic, does not tell us, as far as I
7 can see, that in the conversation with Mr. Markac, the -- that he admits
8 to burning of houses. Although a few lines later, it said that it was
9 often, et cetera, but there's no admission strictly spoken from
10 Mr. Drljo.
11 That's what I would like to bring to your attention before you
12 start your re-examination.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I see your point, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Ms. Mahindaratne, you want to re-examine the witness.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I understand that the Court -- what the court
19 has just stated. I would just like to state on the record that --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is it appropriate to do it --
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, it is, Your Honour. Have the witness take
22 his headphones off.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, I have to ask you again to take off
24 your headphones.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I just think we need to be a little bit more
1 circumspect when we accuse someone of making a frivolous objection.
2 That's all I wanted to say, Your Honour.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: My apologies, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that they are accepted, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, they are.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj.
7 Re-examination by Ms. Mahindaratne:
8 Q. Mr. Turkalj, when you were just questioned by Mr. Kehoe, you said
9 and this is at page 21, line 3, you said that one of the basic tasks of
10 artillery is to prevent the introduction of new forces.
11 Now, on Friday, when I asked you as to what targets you directed
12 your artillery in Gracac, you identified three targets, and this is at
13 transcript page reference 13585, line 11, you say, and I read that to
14 you: "I'm talking about the brigade command, the 9th Gracac Brigade."
15 Then you say:
16 "Next there was a cross-roads in Gracac itself, the two main
17 roads, and then there was a police station housing some of the
18 operational forces in the area?"
19 Those are the three targets you identified in Gracac that you
20 used the artillery against. Now, what was the information that in these
21 three military targets how many members of the ARSK were present at the
22 time you decided to fire on those targets?
23 A. It would be quite impossible to know the strength of the army at
24 the time. We couldn't know exactly how many of them there were on the
25 front line. Similarly we were unable to know how many of them there were
1 in Gracac. When I spoke of the targets, I spoke of the military targets.
2 Of course the brigade command is a military target. The police station
3 is a military target. The cross-roads, of course, it is close to Gracac
4 itself, and there were other targets as well around Gracac in depth. I
5 also mentioned, if I remember well, the repeater, then Prezid which is a
6 couple of kilometres away from Gracac. All of those were targets too.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. I couldn't, however, know how many soldiers were present in the
10 Q. Mr. Turkalj, your testimony here is very specific. You
11 identified three targets in Gracac, and -- okay. Let me ask you this
13 Did you have information that there were members of the enemy
14 forces present in the 9th Gracac Brigade command, at the time that you
15 decided to fire on it?
16 A. The information was that there was a brigade command there.
17 Q. My question is, did you have information that there were men in
18 the command. There was a -- there were members of the SVK present, or
19 have they left by this time?
20 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Your Honour, with all due respect. It's a
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, I fully understand what is on your mind,
23 but it is argumentative. Ms. Mahindaratne is asking a factual question,
24 whether you would have put the same question to the witness is another
1 MR. KEHOE: Apologies, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
3 You were asked whether you had any knowledge on whether this
4 command was -- command post was -- I understand it that you want to know
5 whether it was still active or whether it had been left by the -- by the
6 forces who used -- who had this command post in use.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
8 Q. Can you answer the question?
9 A. This was the brigade command and such was the information.
10 Weapon we're talking about the command of the brigade, we're not
11 referring to room -- to a room or rooms. The command consists of a
12 commander and members of the command.
13 Q. Did you have information you identified the second military
14 target as a cross-roads in Gracac. Did you have information that the
15 cross-roads were being, in fact, at the time used by enemy forces?
16 A. One of the tasks of the artillery was to prevent fresh forces
17 from arriving and deploying on the front line. This can be done by
18 firing upon the road. Even this very report by the commander,
19 Mr. Kordic, makes it plain that this was precisely done. The roads were
20 fired at, which prevented them from bringing in fresh forces.
21 Q. Now, yesterday you agreed when it was suggested to you by
22 Mr. Mikulicic that the number of shells you may have fired on Gracac was
23 approximately 15 shells. You agreed that that seemed to be an accurate
24 reflection, and this is at transcript reference 13706, line 19, to 13707,
25 line 6.
1 Now, did you find that firing 15 rounds was sufficient to prevent
2 new forces from arriving in Gracac? Is that the number of rounds that
3 you would generally consider as being sufficient to prevent new forces
4 from arriving?
5 A. I've already said that the objective was to disrupt. One could
6 not prevent them fully from bringing in new forces, but one could disrupt
8 The 15 shells you mentioned were the targets in Gracac, whereas
9 the roads we fired at were in the general area of Gracac, and one could
10 not tie the 15 shells with those, tie them in with those.
11 Q. Now, your testimony was that -- yesterday the second target that
12 you identified, the cross-roads, you said, Cross-roads in Gracac itself,
13 and this is at transcript reference number 13585, line 16. Your
14 testimony, Mr. Turkalj, was that the cross-roads that you fired at were
15 in Gracac itself. You used the word "itself." You said the two main
17 Now, are you saying in addition to that, there were other
18 cross-roads that you fired at, or were you talking about that one
19 particular cross-roads? Are you adding any further targets at this
21 A. Let me clarify this. You asked me about the targets located in
22 the town of Gracac
23 general area of Gracac. It's not in downtown Gracac. The other targets
24 I mentioned are not in Gracac. They are targets in elevated features,
25 then the road between Ruka and Gracac which has nothing to with Gracac
2 I hope you understand now.
3 Q. Okay. Let me move on. Mr. Turkalj, yesterday you were asked
4 about your artillery background by Mr. Mikulicic, and this is at T13696,
5 line 10. You said that you have specialized in artillery. Can you
6 describe to the Chamber what kind of training have you received in
7 artillery, in terms of years, what type of training, what type of courses
8 you have taken.
9 A. In the Yugoslav People's Army, I went through all the training
10 for artillery I could possibly have done. I graduated from the Military
11 Academy, and then I worked for some three more years in the JNA and in
12 the HV thereafter, always in the field of artillery. When it comes to
13 our army, that as much training as one could possibly obtain in the field
14 of artillery.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction not the HV but the
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
18 Q. Can you say in terms of specific training in artillery, how many
19 years have you spent in training?
20 A. Let me repeat. I graduated from the Military Academy
21 JNA officer holding the rank of lieutenant.
22 Q. And as a JNA officer, were you involved in -- in artillery unit,
23 or were you commanding artillery unit?
24 A. Yes. At the time I was a battery commander.
25 Q. And then in --
1 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. The witness was asked a question at line
2 22 on page 33, Can you say in terms of specific training, how many years
3 have you spent in training?
4 And then I believe he was answering on his period of time in the
5 Military Academy
6 without an answer to that question, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Apparently Ms. Mahindaratne was satisfied by
8 the answer.
9 Do I understand, Mr. Turkalj, that apart from your Military
10 Academy training, that you were trained constantly on the job, both in
11 the JNA and later when you worked in the police?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the Military Academy
13 specialised in the artillery. That is to say I graduated from the
14 military academy as a specialist in artillery.
15 After that, I spent another three years as a JNA officer. After
16 that, I moved to the Ministry of Interior; that is to say, the police.
17 As you can see from my previous statement, I worked in the police
18 specifically with regards to artillery.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And did you not take any additional courses
20 after you had left the Military Academy
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the course of regular duties in
22 the army, there are additional courses and checks of each and every
23 single officer, including myself. There is live ammunition, exercise,
24 blanks being used for exercise. That is part of the regular work in the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Moving on to another area --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, before you do so, I'm looking at
5 the clock. It's 10.30. How much time would you still need?
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I just need about two or three minutes. I
7 have only two questions more.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then I will allow you to finish.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Now, yesterday you testified that although Mr. Drljo did not
11 submit a written report that he informed you that -- that he was not
12 present, and he did not know what happened in Grubori on 25th August.
13 Let me take you, Mr. Turkalj, and you also said that you did not
14 consider his failure to submit one report as a reason to seek
15 disciplinary measures against him. This testimony at page number 13676,
16 line 20, and transcript page number 13681, line 22, going to 13628, line
18 Now, let me read back to you your testimony so far on the issue
19 of Mr. Drljo and his failure to submit a report.
20 If I could ask to you look at your 2004 statement.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Usher, may I have your assistance. That
22 is P1149. There's a binder of hard copies which were handed over to the
23 witness yesterday.
24 Q. If you could have --
25 JUDGE ORIE: It should be behind tab 1.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President. It should be behind
2 tab 1, but I don't think he has been given.
3 If I could have on the screen P1149, Mr. Registrar. And if we
4 could move to paragraph 61. Also in the Croatian version.
5 Q. Mr. Drljo [sic], if you could read paragraph 61, this is what you
7 "Franjo Drljo was not disciplined for refusing to submit a
8 report, and although Mr. Celic, Mr. Curkovic, and myself asked
9 General Markac for him to be removed from the Lucko Unit, this was not
11 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry to interrupt. Sorry to interrupt, Your
13 Honour. Ms. Mahindaratne. Could the counsel please take in mind remarks
14 on that count that were made by the witness on the beginning of direct
15 examination, please.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first read it and then pay attention to
17 further observations made by the witness.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
19 Q. You go on to say this:
20 "... and this was not done. The three of us had on more than one
21 occasion discussed with Mladen Markac the problem of trying to manage
22 Drljo who was a problem before the Grubori incident, and, in fact, before
23 Operation Storm. Both Markac and Sacic were well aware of the problem we
24 were having with Drljo."
25 And on page 63 you say:
1 "Drljo was a difficult man to command in the field. He was very
2 nationalistic but was always, in my opinion, very careful about his
3 behaviour when a superior was around. Drljo insinuated that he had some
4 political connections, but I do not know who they were."
5 Now, what you said here in Court about Mr. Drljo is quite --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could someone remind me exactly where the witness
7 made, so that I can read it. It's about paragraph 61. Mr. Mikulicic,
8 could you give me the ...
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I don't have it out of the top of my
10 head. Maybe it will be proper procedure just to ask the witness what was
11 his remind --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not ask him to repeat what he said already.
13 It might give the impression that we have not taken proper notice of it.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: I will try to find it, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
17 Q. Now, Mr. Turkalj, your testimony here is you did not consider it
18 necessary to take disciplinary measures against Mr. Drljo for that one
19 failure to submit a written report, but your testimony here yesterday was
20 that -- that was his -- your testimony, whereas your testimony according
21 to the statement given so far is that you had, in fact, not only you, two
22 others had asked Mr. Markac to remove Drljo from the Lucko Unit, which is
23 quite different to what you said yesterday.
24 Can you explain to the Chamber this discrepancy in your
25 testimony. Why are you changing your testimony?
1 A. I have not changed my statement, at least not in full. I wanted
2 to make a correction to the part which states that we asked for Mr. Drljo
3 to be expelled from the unit; that is not true. We did not speak to
4 Mr. Markac and Sacic, either I did or some of my colleagues, to the
5 effect that it would be good if Mr. Drljo be moved to another position
6 because his problem was that of discipline.
7 Also, evidence was led on Mr. Drljo being a person who did not
8 respect the authority of his superiors. He probably wasn't the only one,
9 though. He would sometimes wear a different T-shirt. If they were
10 supposed to wear green T-shirts, he would choose a different colour one.
11 Those are the issues of discipline I referred to.
12 As for me failing to have Mr. Drljo punished for not submitting a
13 report, well, he told us orally that he wasn't aware of what had happened
14 in Grubori. I could have advised Mr. Markac that he failed to submit a
15 report. However, I decided against it, because I believed it wasn't
16 necessary to initiate a disciplinary procedure.
17 On the other hand, Mr. Drljo was an exceptional fighter. He was
18 of much use to the special police. I thought that a single report or a
19 disciplinary procedure that may effect five per cent of his net salary
20 symbolic, a fine wouldn't change much as regards his relationships
21 towards discipline and relationship to his superiors. That is what I did
22 not ask for him to be sanctioned. However, I do believe he would have
23 been happier if he had been sent elsewhere.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
25 A. I did not have any information of Mr. Drljo committing anything
1 bad, any criminal offence. The only issue at hand was the one of the
3 Q. Mr. Turkalj, how is it that you did not mention that Mr. Drljo
4 verbally told you that he did not know anything that happened in Grubori,
5 either in your statement when you were interviewed in 2004 or in 2005,
6 which was video-recorded. How is it that you said it for the first time
7 here in court yesterday?
8 A. I must confess that after so many years, it is difficult to
9 remember every detail. I believe you have to understand that.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That concludes my re-examination,
11 Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Mahindaratne.
13 I think the observation was made at page 13545 that the witness
14 corrected or at least gave further information about paragraph 61 of his
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, when you received this -- this phone
18 call from Mr. Sacic when you were still in Zagreb, I would like to know a
19 few more details about that.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 Do you remember where you exactly were at that time? That's the
22 phone call you received before you went to Gracac and then to the Plavno
23 area, Grubori.
24 A. I can't tell you precisely where I was at that moment. In any
25 case, I was in the area of Zagreb
1 was when I received the phone call, in what part of the city I was.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You earlier said that it may have been at home. Is
3 that -- is that accurate?
4 A. No. It was an aside. I did say I may have been at home. I'm
5 sorry if I gave you the impression that I was there indeed. I merely
6 wanted to say that I could have been anywhere in Zagreb. I can't tell
7 you anything more precisely than that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: What exactly did Mr. Sacic tell you during this
9 telephone conversation, about the reason for which he asked you to come
10 to Gracac?
11 A. As I have said, Mr. Sacic told me that there had been an event in
12 the area of Plavno and that I was supposed to get to the area the next
13 day. He told me something had happened in the area, not what
14 specifically, though.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You didn't ask him what kind of event you were
16 invited for to travel quite a distance?
17 A. No, I did not.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, do I understand that he called you the
19 day before you actually left for Gracac?
20 A. I think that phone call took place late in the afternoon, or
21 early evening of the day before.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Were you aware at that time that Mr. Celic was also
23 invited to join?
24 A. No, I was not. When I received the phone call, I asked the unit
25 duty officer to put me through to Mr. Celic. I told him that he should
1 be in the area of Gracac the next morning as well, so that we could go to
2 Plavno together.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You said you'd travelled on your own. Did you use
4 your private car or ...
5 A. I was alone in an official vehicle.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Celic, did you use an official vehicle as
7 well, or did he use a private vehicle?
8 A. He used an official vehicle.
9 JUDGE ORIE: What was the reason, if you go to the same
10 destination, both being on duty, to use separate official vehicles?
11 A. As a matter of fact, I had things to do afterwards in the area
12 that I hail from - that is, Slunj - after the visit. We simply decided
13 to meet up in the area of Gracac. I was the one to ask for that, because
14 I didn't know where Plavno was exactly.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
16 Any -- is there any further need.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: No further questions.
18 MR. KEHOE: No, Your Honour.
19 MR. KAY: No, thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Turkalj, this finishes your examination. I'd
21 like to thank you very much for coming the long distance to The Hague
22 for having answered the questions put to you by the parties and the
23 Bench, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, while we have a break anyhow.
1 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at quarter past 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.49 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.22 a.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, before we continue, the Chamber would
5 like to give an oral decision on a pending motion, which is unrelated to
6 the next witness.
7 The Chamber will now deliver its decision on the Prosecution's
8 motion to admit 93 HV artillery documents into evidence and to add 36 of
9 these to the Prosecution's Rule 65 ter exhibit list.
10 The Chamber would also like to provide some related guidance to
11 the parties.
12 The Prosecution filed its motion on the 18th of November, 2008
13 On the 21st of November, the Gotovina Defence filed a motion to bar the
14 Prosecution from adding the 36 HV artillery documents to the Rule 65 ter
15 list. On the 24th of November, the Markac Defence joined the submission
16 of the Gotovina Defence.
17 On the following day, the Prosecution filed a request for leave
18 to reply to the Gotovina Defence's motion, which it deemed to be a
19 response to its motion.
20 On the 26th of November, the Chamber decided to grant the
21 Prosecution's request for leave to reply and informed the parties
22 accordingly, through an informal communication.
23 The Chamber found that, although formally named a motion, the
24 filing of the Gotovina Defence amounted in substance to a response to the
25 Prosecution's motion.
1 On the 28th of November, the Prosecution filed a reply.
2 On the 2nd of December, the Gotovina Defence filed a second
3 response, objecting to the admission into evidence of certain HV
4 artillery documents.
5 The Chamber accepts in this instance the filing of two response,
6 each addressing one aspect of the Prosecution's motion, and jointly
7 exceeding the word limit of 3.000 words, but instructs the parties that
8 in the future, they should file no more than one response each to any
9 motion, and not exceed the word limit without seeking authorisation and
10 showing exceptional circumstances, as set out in points 5 and 7 of the
11 practice direction on the length of briefs and motions of the 16th of
12 September, 2005.
13 On the 5th of December, the Prosecution requested leave to reply
14 to Gotovina's second response. On the same day, the Chamber decided to
15 grant the request and informed the parties accordingly, through an
16 informal communication.
17 On the 9th of December, the Prosecution filed a reply.
18 On the 10th of December, the Gotovina Defence requested leave to
19 sur-reply to this reply. On the same day, the Chamber gave each party
20 two minutes for final submissions which can be found at transcript pages
21 13536 to 13538.
22 Appendix A to the Prosecution's motion provides short
23 descriptions of the content of the tendered documents, which indicate
24 that they are of a technical nature. For instance, document number 63,
25 which, among others, was not provided in the motion, is described as a,
1 and I quote, "artillery expenditure report of the 7th Home Guard
2 Regiment." The Chamber reiterates that documents should preferably be
3 tendered for admission through witnesses who are able to comment on them.
4 This allows for proper contextualization without which the Chamber is
5 left to determine relevance and probative value primarily on the basis of
6 the documents alone.
7 These considerations are especially pertinent for documents of a
8 technical nature such as those as described in Appendix A, for which the
9 relevance and probative value is not immediately apparent. Appendix A
10 contains a brief description of the relevance of each tendered document.
11 However, in several instances, this description appears to be truncated.
12 Furthermore, the descriptions are generally insufficient to clarify for
13 the Chamber the probative value and relevance of each specific document
14 in relation to the indictment and other evidence. For instance, the
15 relevance of document 63 in Appendix A is merely described as, I quote,
16 "expenditure of artillery during 4th August 1995, including 155 MBRL
17 128-millimetre rockets."
18 Document 89, which was provided under number 32 in Appendix B to
19 the motion contains a multitude of technical details, including 13 pages
20 of firing tables for the RAK 128-millimetre multiple rocket launcher.
21 Neither its relevance nor its probative value is clear on the face of the
23 For these reasons, the Chamber denies the Prosecution's motion in
24 its entirety, without prejudice.
25 In case the Prosecution would seek to tender these documents into
1 evidence again, it should remove any documents that have already been
2 admitted into evidence and make a careful selection of the remaining ones
3 based on their importance to the case. The Chamber would then strongly
4 encourage the Prosecution to tender them through a witness who could
5 provide the Chamber with the proper contextualization. For any document
6 not on the Rule 65 ter list, the Chamber instructs the Prosecution to
7 announce this before putting the document to the witness. The Chamber
8 would then hear the parties on questions such as when that individual
9 document was obtained by the Prosecution; when and how it was disclosed
10 to the Defence; its relevance and probative value; and what burden, if
11 any, its addition would place on the Defence, before deciding whether it
12 may be added to the Rule 65 ter list and put to the witness.
13 If the Prosecution would nevertheless deem it necessary to
14 exceptionally tender from the bar table any remaining documents, the
15 Chamber would expect the Prosecution to do so in limited numbers. The
16 Prosecution should provide for each document information about its
17 content, its relevance to the indictment, its importance in light of
18 other evidence, along with references to the relevant portions of any
19 long documents. The Prosecution should also notify the Chamber and the
20 Defence of each document that is not on the Rule 65 ter list, and
21 indicate when that document came into the possession of the Prosecution,
22 and when and how it was disclosed to the Defence.
23 This concludes the Chamber's decision and guidance.
24 Mr. Russo, I was informed that you wanted to raise certain
25 matters before you call your next witness.
1 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
2 I thought we could address some of the objections to the
3 documents I had intended to tender across the bar table during or at the
4 conclusion of the witness's evidence. Some of them, in fact, I will be
5 using or may be using. I was informed last night because of some of the
6 options from the Defence. I thought we could hear those first.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me be quite frank to you I didn't give any
8 follow-up this morning to what happened yesterday evening.
9 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President, if I could just state that my
10 -- I made some objections last night in preparing for this witness's
11 testimony so my objections, indeed, were a little bit late both to
12 Mr. Russo and to the Chamber, and I apologise for that. There are three
13 documents that I do have some objections to. Basically it's the same
14 objection which is that some of the reports either in whole or in
15 substantial part discuss incidents that occur technically speaking within
16 Sector South, but the Prosecution agrees that they occurred neither in
17 the Split Military District nor in the Knin municipality. They occur in
18 the -- in the northern-most area of Sector South which would be in the
19 Gospic Military District.
20 My concern with admission of the documents.
21 For -- I would argue that they have no probative value, but even if there
22 was an argument that they have limited probative value is that -- my
23 concern is that when the Chamber is reviewing these documents at a later
24 date, it may be difficult just going by village names for the Chamber to
25 keep distinct which of these villages falls within which Military
1 District, and for that reason I raised with Mr. Russo my concern about
2 admitting those documents in evidence
3 I understand that Mr. Russo is prepared to stipulate on behalf of
4 the Prosecution that with respect to those documents that those areas
5 fall outside the Split Military District and outside the Knin
6 municipality. Nevertheless, I still wanted to raise it with the Chamber
7 because I'm still not sure of the relevance to the issues in this trial,
8 and also I don't know as a matter of housekeeping whether the Chamber
9 wanted to make a decision on how easy it will be later to keep in mind
10 that these areas are in the Split Military District. So the exhibits I
11 lodged an objection to are 65 ter 4125, 65 ter 4133, and 65 ter 4252.
12 Thank you, Mr. President
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, just for the record, we join in
15 those objections as well, with regard --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Join in those objections.
17 Mr. Russo.
18 MR. MISETIC: If I may, I'm sorry, Mr. Russo. I see on the
19 transcript it says, I want to make sure that I have the right exhibits.
20 It's 65 ter 4125 and not 65 ter 4135, as is currently reflected on the
22 Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
24 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, I don't know if you want to hear from
25 me with respect to the --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I do understand that there are three issues.
2 The first being the objection itself, that it is irrelevant and without
3 probative value. The second is how to identify what documents are,
4 although in Sector South and I would say in the -- the relevant Military
5 Districts. And then the third one whether the Chamber wants to make up
6 its own mind, of course, the Chamber wants, but often follows suggestions
7 given by the parties.
8 Now as far as the first one is, it's on the record.
9 The second one, I take it, that you you'll work that out, and
10 that we'll receive further details as this is at that location is not
11 within the Split Military District and outside the Knin municipality, so
12 that's a technical matter as well.
13 The third one, I think that the Chamber would like to have a look
14 at them and to see whether we finally are satisfied with the further
15 explanations and then admit them, or not to add met them at all. But
16 from what I understand, these documents as such, that's how I understood
17 your objection, Mr. Misetic, do not really harm at this very moment -- so
18 therefore that we can take our time because you say irrelevant, lack of
19 probative value, but it is not unfair to the Defence or something like
20 that at this moment, apart from being without probative value and being
21 without sufficient relevance.
22 MR. MISETIC: That is correct. Completely correct. I would only
23 add that our concern really would only arises that if these documents are
24 admitted into evidence and then later on it becomes -- I'm just concerned
25 that we could start to confuse issues, and if they are admitted, that it
1 should be somehow very clear these are outside the relevant Military
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say that we need only a yellow marker on
4 them, but it should be purple and all that in order to avoid that the
5 Chamber may make a mistake -- may make the mistake that these are within
6 the relevant geographical scope and technical scope of the indictment.
7 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I think if you recall
9 William Hayden's testimony, we had a similar time of redaction for
10 several exhibits or at least one exhibit in that case, similar situation,
11 sort of outside of the sector of the portion the indictment. That's
12 really what we're focussed on.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which immediately triggers an invitation to
14 the parties whether they could resolve the matter. But if you disagree,
15 Mr. Russo, and, of course, you have not expressed your views on the
16 relevance and the probative value, which might be, for you, a reason not
17 to -- not to enter into any further discussions on this matter with the
19 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Mr. President.
20 I did provide these documents to the Defence several weeks ago
21 indicating the areas which we believed were relevant. That discussion
22 ended in no agreement with respect to what could be submit to the
23 chamber, with respect to what portions of the document the Court should
24 pay attention to.
25 So I'm not sure -- I'm certainly willing to give it a try. We
1 can certainly agree with respect to the paragraphs in these particular
2 reports which deal with matters outside of the Split Military District.
3 I do believe it is distinct from the situation which Mr. Kuzmanovic
4 mentions, not outside the sector simply out the Split Military District.
5 I think there is an important distinction to be made there.
6 Also with respect to the argument that they're not relevant
7 because they're not in the Split Military District, we would certainly
8 not agree with that. It is a JCE we have alleged. The conduct of HV
9 soldiers occurring immediately outside of the Split Military District is
10 also relevant to a pattern of conduct by HV soldiers, the widespread
11 nature of the incidents, and also the likelihood of notice to the higher
12 commanders of what was happening in the area. That's our basis for
13 putting forward --
14 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore if the Chamber receives -- of course,
15 the documents are tendered into evidence, we'll then receive notice from
16 both parties which paragraphs are as far as the Defence is concerned
17 without probative value and without relevance, and for you, still
18 relevant and of probative value, but outside the Split Military District
19 area and outside Knin. Then we also know what to focus on, if deciding
20 -- when determining what should or what should not be admitted into
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, may I respond just briefly to
23 Mr. Russo' comments.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. MISETIC: Two points. One is that with respect to his
1 suppositions on the relevance, under that argument then, all matters that
2 took place in Sector North would also be admissible into evidence here.
3 And given the Chamber's prior ruling concerning Mr. Hayden and when he
4 was here, I don't believe that that -- admitting these documents for that
5 purpose would be consistent with excluding documents that -- concerning
6 events that took place in Sector North.
7 And secondly, it is our position, Your Honour, that Sector South
8 as a term is an UN term. It is not a legal or a geographic term within
9 the Croatian structures, and therefore, the fact that something occurred
10 in Sector South within an UN boundary but not within -- within any
11 Military District or civilian district relevant to this indictment, I
12 don't think has any bearing on the matters before the Chamber.
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
15 MR. RUSSO: Just very briefly, Your Honour.
16 These incidents which are discussed in these documents are --
17 occurred in areas which were under the original indictment. It was upon
18 the Chamber's invitation to limit the scope of the indictment that these
19 areas were cut out. So it is not as if they are expanded beyond original
20 indictment area and I believe physical location as we can agree on to the
21 locus of other crimes which were committed within the indictment area
22 certainly makes it more relevant as opposed to if they happened
23 50 kilometres north of that area. And to be clear, Your Honour, the
24 Court's decision 21 February 2007
25 down, the Court did note our position with respect to the relevance of
1 this kind of conduct for pattern, intent, motive evidence, and I believe
2 the Court approved of that.
3 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I have to make one additional point in
4 light of that.
5 Patterns, motive, course of conduct has some relevance if we're
6 talking one of the three defendants in this case. Pattern evidence of
7 what somebody else was doing in a different Military District, I think
8 has very low probative value and especially when compared to how much of
9 that evidence could then come in under -- through that door. I would ask
10 that the Chamber exclude this.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think submissions are sufficient for the Chamber
13 to decide the matter, unless, Mr. Kuzmanovic, you would like to add
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Nothing on the substance, more on the procedure,
16 Your Honour. And we appreciate the fact that we did receive the bar
17 table submission on November 28th, but the Chamber should be aware that
18 the bar table submission had been changed twice the last time last night,
19 either adding or taking documents away in addition to the exhibit list,
20 so we're trying to get the documents and make our objections known as
21 quickly as possible. But in this case the last admission we had on the
22 bar table was yesterday at 3.30 or so in the afternoon, so we're doing
23 our best to keep up.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not comment on this last one.
25 Mr. Russo, I think on the substance we have heard enough.
1 MR. RUSSO: I agree, Your Honour. We're prepared to call our
2 next witness, Mr. Hussein Al-Alfi, witness 92.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the witness be brought into the
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Al-Alfi.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence in this court, the Rules of
9 Procedure and Evidence require to you make a solemn declaration that you
10 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 The text is now handed out to by the usher. I would like to
12 invite you to make that solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
14 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Al-Alfi. Please be seated.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, you're not a native English-speaking
18 person. If you ever have any problems in expressing yourself or in
19 understanding my English or the English of any of the other persons here,
20 please ask me for clarification so that we don't have any confusion.
21 Mr. Al-Alfi, you will first be examined by Mr. Russo. Mr. Russo
22 is counsel for the Prosecution.
23 Mr. Russo, please proceed.
24 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 WITNESS: HUSSEIN AL-ALFI
1 Examination by Mr. Russo:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Al-Alfi.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Can you please state your full name for the record.
5 A. My name is Hussein Al-Alfi. It is H-u-s-s-e-i-n, Al-Alfi,
6 A-l - A-l-f-i.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you recall giving a statement to an investigator
8 of the Office of the Prosecutor on 5 March 1998?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Mr. Registrar, if we could have 65 ter 6493.
11 Mr. Al-Alfi, I'll ask you to please pause between my question and
12 your answer, and I will do the same. We have several translators working
13 at once.
14 Mr. Al-Alfi, if you could please have a look at the screen in
15 front of you, and I will ask Mr. Registrar to please move this to the
16 second page.
17 And, Mr. Al-Alfi, if you could take a look at that and let me
18 know if you recognise this as the transcript of the interview which you
19 gave to the OTP investigator.
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. Thank you. And did you have a chance to review this document
22 prior to coming to court today?
23 A. Yes, I did. And some of the corrections have to be made because
24 in some areas it's mentioned that I accompanied General Cermak, for
25 example, and what I said I accompanied General Forand because I work
1 together with General Forand, so there are some typo errors which have
2 been -- I can hand them to you, and they can be corrected.
3 Q. Thank you. Actually, I was hoping to review those clarifications
4 and corrections with you here on the record. If you have, in fact, made
5 note of them, perhaps you take that out, and we'll go through each one at
6 this moment.
7 A. Just bear with me a minute.
8 On page 4, at the end it says: And I have LL.B. from the
9 university of Florida
10 not for Florida
11 Q. Thank you for that.
12 A. There are a number of them; shall I go?
13 Q. Yes, you can proceed. Carry on.
14 A. On page 13, at the end of it, in my answer it says -- in the
15 script here, it says:
16 "And the civil affairs coordinator is not allowed to transmit his
17 own reports directly." It was wrong. "And the civil affairs officer is
18 not allowed to transmit his own reports directly." Because I was the
19 civil affairs coordinator.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. On page 24, in the middle of it in my answer the transcript says:
22 The range was between 100 and 10 million. No, it was 110.000, about the
23 number of population. Because it is repeated in my following answer to
24 say thousand.
25 Q. Yes, I see that.
1 A. In the page 26, at the last line, there were some who were called
2 in the transcript, who were caught, in the city, not cold, that means
3 stranded in the city; they could not leave.
4 Q. Caught?
5 A. Caught, yes, that is what I'm saying. Not cold.
6 Sorry, just bear with me, I'm just trying to ...
7 On page 38 in the middle of it, it said I used to accompany
8 General Cermak to all meetings. What I meant there, and should be
9 corrected, I used to accompany General Forand, because General Forand was
10 the Sector Commander. That's what I accompany him, not accompanying
11 General Cermak.
12 The same page -- the paragraph, same answer. It says: It was
13 Cermak alone. It was Forand alone.
14 On page 43, the answers -- maybe there was a misunderstanding
15 about quoting the answers. In both the answers on page 43, what I meant
16 that incident was close to the UN headquarters, our headquarters, not in
17 the city.
18 On page 55, at the last line, again, so that that's why in the
19 transcript it is written General Cermak, so it fit that I should it be
20 there. No, it is General Forand.
21 That's it, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Al-Alfi.
23 MR. RUSSO: Thank you.
24 Q. And, Mr. Al-Alfi, given those corrections that you made, does the
25 statement accurately reflect what you told the investigator on
1 5 March 1998
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. And if you were asked those same questions here today, would your
4 answers be the same?
5 A. To the best of my recollection, yes.
6 Q. And just to be clear, were the answers you gave, and is the
7 information in that statement true and accurate, to the best of your
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, on that basis, I would move for the
12 admission of 65 ter 6493.
13 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of any objections, Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number P1160.
15 JUDGE ORIE: P1160 is admitted into evidence.
16 You may proceed, Mr. Russo.
17 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President. If I could have the
18 assistance of the court usher, I have a clean copy of the witness's
19 statement plus some of the Exhibits. Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, you can use this to refer to some of the documents
21 I'm going to be showing you during your examination.
22 And with the Chamber's permission, I would like to read a brief
23 summary of the witness's 92 ter statement.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is Mr. Al-Alfi aware of the purpose of this
25 exercise? He may not be.
1 MR. RUSSO: I don't believe he is, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, Mr. Russo will read a summary of your
3 statement. That is it not evidence, but for the public to be able to
4 follow these proceedings. Written statements, of course, do not inform
5 the public. So therefore, what he reads is a summary of what is in your
6 statement, but the statement itself is the evidence, not the summary.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
8 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Mr. Hussein Al-Alfi was the civil affairs coordinator for the
10 former UN Sector South from June of 1995 until January of 1996, although
11 his official title changed to political and humanitarian affairs
12 coordinator after the fall of Knin. This was the highest UN civilian
13 representative position in the Knin area.
14 Mr. Al-Alfi was present in Knin during the artillery attack on
15 4 and 5 August 1995
16 shelling of the whole town. Mr. Al-Alfi stated that after the fall of
17 Knin, the area was mostly under military rule and that General Cermak was
18 the military commander in charge of Knin and its suburbs.
19 Mr. Al-Alfi met with General Cermak on several occasions to
20 advise General Cermak of the killings, lootings, burnings and other human
21 rights violations occurring in the area and that these crimes were often
22 perpetrated by or in the presence of Croatian soldiers. General Cermak
23 sometimes denied that those responsible were Croatian soldiers but also
24 made assurances that this conduct would be stopped. Mr. Al-Alfi met with
25 the mayor of Knin and described those meetings as a waste of time,
1 because the mayor would refer Mr. Al-Alfi to General Cermak or state that
2 he himself would address the issue with General Cermak.
3 Mr. Al-Alfi stated that General Cermak was the only authority in
4 the area to whom Mr. Al-Alfi could address concerns about the human
5 rights violations which were being reported.
6 That concludes my summary, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 MR. RUSSO: Please forgive me, Mr. Al-Alfi, if I pause for too
9 long. We have the French translation to catch up with.
10 A. No problem.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Al-Alfi, can you please inform the Chamber as to what
12 specifically were your duties and responsibilities as the political and
13 humanitarian affairs coordinator?
14 A. I was assigned or reassigned to Sector South, and if I may pause
15 with your permission to say how this is an administrative division of the
16 UN into sectors, Sector South, Sector West, Sector North, but in the
17 Vance -- and Sector East, four sectors we had. But in the Vance Plan
18 which created the United Nations protected areas, you will see that there
19 are three UNPAs. Three United Nations protected areas.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, the Chamber is well aware of -- I do
21 understand you are not aware of what the Chamber knows, but if you focus
22 on Mr. Russo' question, because sectors, et cetera, we hear in this case
23 for quite a while, so we are quite familiar with that.
24 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And I apologise for interrupting.
1 Please proceed.
2 THE WITNESS: I was the reassigned as the highest civilian.
3 First, I was reassigned as civil affairs coordinator, and later on, that
4 post was changed to be political and humanitarian affairs coordinator and
5 in charge of the whole sector of civilian matters of Sector South.
6 MR. RUSSO:
7 Q. And as part of your duties, were you required to sent reports to
8 your superiors?
9 A. Of course. I had staff under me who were called civil affairs
10 officers, and later on, renamed as political and humanitarian affairs
11 officers, and we had the Human Rights Action Teams who came to work for
12 that purpose after the fall of the sector. And all of them, some of them
13 are directly reporting to me, then I convey my own reports to the
14 headquarters. Sometimes I transmitted the whole report as it is.
15 Q. And can you give the Chamber an idea of what kind of information
16 you would write reports on. What was the substance matter of these
18 A. As I said, based on the reports I received from my civil affairs
19 officers mainly and sometimes by receiving a copy of the reports
20 submitted by the Human Rights Action Teams.
21 Q. Did these reports include information regarding human rights
23 A. Of course, yes.
24 Q. And, Mr. Al-Alfi, if we could -- first let me ask you, if you
25 could please tell the Chamber where you were on the morning of the
1 artillery attack on Knin.
2 A. I was in my house in Knin, not far from our headquarters. Around
3 3.30, 4.00, early in the morning, I received a call from my headquarters
4 telling me that they received information from our headquarters in
6 me up from my house. They came and picked me up from my house, and I
7 went to our headquarters in Knin.
8 Q. And if you could please just briefly describe for the Chamber
9 what you saw and heard of the artillery attack on the first day.
10 A. It was -- it was a massive artillery. Definitely according to
11 our military, it was from a distance, and we could hear the bombing all
12 over the place. In some areas, we could see the impact of those
13 bombings, and we could see even some of the houses burning but from our
14 headquarters, seeing through the windows to the city.
15 Q. And did you personally observe some of this yourself?
16 A. What do you mean by "observe"? Observing firing?
17 Q. Observe the impacts in the town.
18 A. Yes. From a distance, yes.
19 Q. And are you able to tell the Chamber whether houses, civilian
20 houses, were hit from what you could observe?
21 A. Yes. The areas which were hit were civilian --
22 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd ask for foundation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If you would first allow the witness to finish his
25 Could you complete your answer.
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
2 A. Because we know the area. We had been in the area at least -- by
3 then I was there for almost three months. And from our side of the
4 headquarters, we could see some of the areas hit, not only houses, water
5 tanks, electricity plants, and all that, we could see them that they are
6 on fire, and the hit is on that place.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, you have observed Mr. Misetic's request
8 if you would --
9 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- want to further explore the matter.
11 MR. RUSSO:
12 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, can you please tell the Chamber from what vantage
13 point were you looking into the city of Knin?
14 A. Well, I was in my office, and we had windows that you can see
15 parts of the city.
16 Q. And in some of the areas where you saw impacts landing, how did
17 you know that they were civilian houses, for example?
18 A. As I said, we were in that area for two, three months before
19 that, I was there, and where it lands is a civilian area.
20 Q. Thank you. And can you give the Chamber some idea of how long
21 the artillery attack went on for on the first day?
22 A. On the first day, it was almost continuous, and it was heavy.
23 Q. Thank you. And briefly again, if you could describe your
24 observations of the shelling which occurred on the following day.
25 A. On the following day, it was to a lesser extent from the first
1 day. Mostly much lesser than what it was on the first day. And one --
2 some of those areas even hit as far as I recall, and we saw it on fire.
3 That was a direct hit, which used to be the radio station of the -- the
4 Knin -- in Knin.
5 Q. Thank you. And can you tell the Chamber when was the first time
6 that you left the UN compound after the artillery attack?
7 A. Well, as I said in my statement, for the day -- for the first
8 day, second day, we could not go out of our compound at all, because we
9 only realized when there were two tanks outside our compound from the
10 Croatian army, outside our compound, not allowing even our military to
11 move out. And there was an agreement worked between the special
12 representative in Zagreb
13 about it later even, as a copy of it, that they would allow us freedom of
15 So if I'm not mistaken, around the 8th or the 9th, we were
17 Q. Did you accompany Mr. Akashi when he came to Knin?
18 A. Of course, yes, I'm the one who received him at the heli-port.
19 Q. Did you accompany him into the town itself?
20 A. Of course, yes.
21 Q. And can you please describe for the Chamber what you witnessed
22 inside the town of Knin
23 A. Although it was the fourth or fifth day almost of the operation,
24 there were still at that time at least -- we observed at least 10 or 11
25 houses on fire in town, and we saw destruction, either some houses
1 already burnt or some damages to other houses, and many of the houses
2 even the doors were open. And we saw some vehicles around, some
3 civilian, some military, and loaded with looted things.
4 Q. Did you personally witness items being looted from houses?
5 A. Not seeing them in action, but I saw the looted items.
6 Q. I see. And these looted items, were they in the possession of
7 the civilians or of military personnel?
8 A. Both of them. Sometimes military, or military trucks even, and
9 sometimes on civilian cars.
10 Q. Can you give the Chamber an idea of what you mean when you say
11 looted items. What exactly kind of items are we talking about?
12 A. Well, sometimes you see TV, you see radio, you see clothes,
13 whatever, personal belongings in the houses.
14 Q. And you had mentioned that there were civilians participating in
15 this. Do you know how those civilians arrived in the town of Knin
16 A. I don't know how exactly, but they had Croatian plate numbers,
17 which are plate numbers in Croatia
18 Q. And at the time that Mr. Akashi had come to the UN -- I mean, to
19 Knin, was -- were the military personnel from the UN allowed freedom of
20 movement at that time, or did it come later?
21 A. At that time, the agreement was already reached in Zagreb
22 paper, yes, it says freedom of movement, but it was not -- in actual
23 practice, it was not full freedom of movement. I mean, some areas, we
24 were not allowed to ...
25 Q. And after the Croatian forces had taken control over the area,
1 who became your official point of contact in the Croatian government?
2 A. You mean in Knin?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. General Cermak.
5 Q. Can you tell the Chamber approximately when the first time you
6 met General Cermak was, and under what circumstances?
7 A. If I'm not mistaken, the first or second day after we were
8 allowed to leave our compound. And it was accompanying General Forand,
9 because now it is a military situation. Our military meets with their
10 military, and I was accompanying General Forand as his advisor in the
11 civilian side.
12 Q. And you mentioned General Forand being present. Can you tell the
13 Chamber who, if anyone else, you recall being present at that first
15 A. General Forand always -- not always, in many times when he goes
16 for such meetings, he is accompanied by the Chief of Staff
17 Colonel Leslie, a Canadian also, our Chief of Staff. And from the other
18 side, there were some people. I don't recall them. But there were
19 always two military people attending the meetings.
20 Q. And can you tell the Chamber whether anyone from the UN side
21 present at the meeting informed General Cermak about what was happening,
22 some of the things you just mentioned occurring in Knin, the burning
23 houses and the looting?
24 A. Of course, from the first minute we saw General Cermak, we were
25 all officials including me. We were stressing that point: You have to
1 stop what's going on in the city.
2 Q. Can you inform the Chamber as to General Cermak's response to
4 A. Of course. The first reaction, either I don't know about it, or
5 I will make sure that nothing happens.
6 Q. And can you tell the Chamber what your understanding was of
7 Mr. Cermak's -- my apologies, General Cermak's authority in the area.
8 A. Well, to me, he was the highest military commander in Knin and
9 the suburbs, and if I recall correctly, this was even transmitted to our
10 headquarters officially, that he is officially appointed as the military
11 commander or military governor of Knin and the suburbs.
12 Q. Did General Cermak ever indicate to you that he was without
13 authority to stop the events that you were witnessing and reporting to
15 A. No, no.
16 Q. And can you please explain to the Chamber how exactly you
17 communicated with General Cermak. Was it through an UN interpreter, or
18 was it through an interpreter of General Cermak's?
19 A. At that time we did not have interpreters with us, so it was
20 through his own interpreter.
21 Q. And going back to what General Cermak had told you regarding what
22 was happening and what was being reported to you, did he ever indicate to
23 you that he did not have the ability to stop what was happening?
24 A. He did not at all, because if he start saying like that, then why
25 is he there, the question would be raised. But he said, I will stop and
1 sometimes he even was instructing some of his people to go and see those
3 Q. And were you present when he was issuing orders as you mentioned?
4 A. I could -- I did not understand the language, but I could see
5 that he is taking action, and immediately he is calling someone, and he
6 is mentioning the same areas that I am mention.
7 Q. Thank you. I would like to show you a report about your first
8 meeting with General Cermak.
9 MR. RUSSO: Mr. Registrar, if we could please have 65 ter 4756.
10 JUDGE ORIE: It will appear on your screen, Mr. Al-Alfi, and
11 perhaps you can also use the hard copy. Mr. Russo will tell you to find
12 it behind which tab.
13 MR. RUSSO: It should be behind the second tab in the binder
14 which was given to you, if you prefer the hard copy.
15 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I prefer. Number 2?
16 MR. RUSSO: Second tab, it's the report dated 8 August at 1640
18 Mr. Registrar, if we could move the screen in English, just up a
20 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, do you recognise your signature in the "from box" on
21 this report?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Now if we could go to the first paragraph. In the second
24 sentence, you state:
25 "We were informed by General Cermak, the military governor in the
1 area, that the Croatian army started to pull out of the main cities,
2 including Knin. This is true in Knin where more military and civilian
3 police are seen in the streets, rather than military personnel."
4 Now, Mr. Al-Alfi, can you tell the Chamber whether this
5 particular observation was one which you made personally or was this
6 reported to you by someone else?
7 A. It was reported to me by all my civil affairs officers also. And
8 it could have been observed also, because we started moving a little bit
9 in the city.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I would move to admit 65 ter 4756.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit P1161.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P1161 is admitted into evidence. In the absence of
15 any objections.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Al-Alfi, that report was dated 8th of August, 1995. I
19 would like to compare it now with a subsequent report you made ten days
20 later, on the 18th of August, and I believe this will appear in the
21 tab number 6.
22 And, Mr. Registrar, if we could have 65 ter 4101.
23 A. Did you say number 6? 12th or 18th?
24 Q. Yes, it should be -- 18th of August.
25 A. Yeah, here 18th. It should be number 7, actually.
1 Q. My apologies, number 7.
2 Now if we go to first paragraph in the fourth sentence, where you
4 "Some of the military manifestations are being moved out of Knin,
5 and some still remain in the area. More military and civilian police are
6 being brought to replace the soldiers. The local Croatian civilian
7 authorities justify this slow normalisation by a 'surprise quick victory'
8 in the military offensive."
9 Mr. Al-Alfi, can you please clarify for the Chamber whether there
10 was still a significant presence of military soldiers and not just
11 policemen or military policemen on the 18th of August of 1995.
12 A. Of course, we have to understand that it was a military operation
13 and when we say the military had been withdrawn, that does not mean every
14 single one. That means there will be some movement, and there was still
15 some movement, but they were not as intensive as they used to be in the
16 beginning. That's what I meant by this.
17 Q. And can you also clarify the statement by these Croatian
18 officials that this slow normalisation was the result of a surprise quick
20 Can you tell the Chamber, from your perspective, why or if they
21 explained to you why a surprise quick victory resulted in the slow
22 removal of soldiers?
23 A. In my personal opinion, I believe the belief which was prevailing
24 at the time maybe even for the Croatian authorities, that there would be
25 a longer resistance from the Serbs who were in the --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
2 MR. MISETIC: I don't think that Mr. Russo' question accurately
3 states what the report says. I can see reference to slow normalisation,
4 not slow removal of soldiers.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, you're invited to quote literally.
6 MR. RUSSO: Perhaps can I clarify with the witness, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As long the quote is still accurate. If you
8 rely on the quote. If not, then make that clear as well.
9 MR. RUSSO: If I could respond to the objection first. The line,
10 the local Croatian authorities justified this slow normalization as a
11 descriptor of the previous sentence which indicates that soldiers are
12 still remaining in the area and [Overlapping speakers] ...
13 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... in front of the
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, the general guidance is that if there's
16 any objection against way in witch a document is presented to a witness
17 that that should be immediately stopped, and then by putting it to
18 literally to the witness, if you need two sentences for that, then read
19 two sentences, but let's not start interpreting the document in the
20 presence of the witness.
21 MR. RUSSO: Very well, Mr. President.
22 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, in the sentence where you say: The local Croatian
23 civilian authorities justify this slow normalization by a surprise quick
24 victory in the military offensive," what did you mean when you refer to
25 "this slow normalization"?
1 A. If you see the two sentences or three sentences before this
2 statement, it is very clear we're talking about normalization for one
3 reason. We are not talking about the military. We are talking about
4 restoring water and electricity and all this, that's why I say slow
6 MR. RUSSO: Thank you. I would move to admit 65 ter 4101.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P1162.
9 JUDGE ORIE: P1162 is admitted into evidence, in the absence of
10 any objections.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, may I also, looking at the clock either
14 now or within the next two or three minutes, could you find a suitable
15 moment for the break.
16 MR. RUSSO: Now is just as good as any, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Al-Alfi, we'll have a break of
18 approximately 20 minutes. We resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, I'm usually not commenting on ...
22 And neither do I today.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Mr. Registrar, if we could please have P1161.
1 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, if I could take you back to tab 2 in your folder,
2 this is, again, the 8th August report that we had discussed a bit
4 And if we could go to paragraph 5 of that document, which I
5 believe is on the second page.
6 And you can see there, Mr. Al-Alfi, in paragraph 5, it indicates:
7 "According to General Cermak, the Croatian civilian authorities
8 are expected to arrive in Knin today?"
9 Mr. Al-Alfi, were you aware of an announcement that civilian
10 authority had been restored prior to this meeting you had with
11 General Cermak?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And in your view, from dealing with General Cermak and with
14 others, did it appear to you that civilian authority had been restored in
15 Knin when you first met with General Cermak?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And also in that paragraph the third sentence, you mention that
18 General Cermak had promised to arrange a meeting between you and these
19 civilian authorities for that same afternoon.
20 Can you tell the Chamber how long it was until you actually got a
21 meeting with the civilian authorities in Knin?
22 A. No meeting was held. He only promised it, but there was no
24 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm not sure if Mr. Russo -- at what
25 point he will be done with this line of questioning, but I would note an
1 objection to the foundation for the earlier questions about, Did it
2 appear to you. I think it is unclear as to the basis for how one would
3 arrive such conclusions.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I leave it to you, Mr. Russo, whether you want to
5 explore that or whether we leave it to cross-examination.
6 MR. RUSSO: I believe it may become clear on further questioning,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll wait and see.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. RUSSO:
11 Q. Now, Mr. Al-Alfi, did you, in fact -- at some later point, were
12 you introduced to other people who were in civilian authority in Knin?
13 A. Only one, who was appointed like the mayor of Knin or something
14 like that. I think if I'm not mistaken his name was Relic [phoen], but
15 it is mentioned in one of my reports. I don't recall the full name
16 correctly now.
17 Q. And this mayor of Knin that you mention, can you tell the Chamber
18 what kinds of things you met with him about?
19 A. Because I was dealing with the civilian side, so for me, it is
20 appropriate to deal with the civilian side, who was supposedly to be the
21 mayor. So I started -- I had one or two meetings in the beginning with
22 him, but I found that he had no answers except to receive the
23 [indiscernible], and in some occasions he even told me, It's better you
24 deal with it on these issues with General Cermak.
25 Q. Can you give the Chamber an idea of what kinds of issues he asked
1 to you address with General Cermak?
2 A. Of course. They were like cases reported to me by my civil
3 affairs officers about some people suffering intimidation or something
4 like that on the civilian side, and I would go to him, because this is a
5 civilian matter now, and he would say, I cannot do anything at this
6 point. It's better to take it with General Cermak. Because he knew also
7 that I still had the contact with General Cermak.
8 Q. And did you, in fact, go back to General Cermak with those
10 A. Of course, yes.
11 Q. And, again, can you tell the Chamber what General Cermak's
12 response was when you continued to bring him this information?
13 A. He would take them. He would take them, and he said, I will look
14 into it, or I will see what I can do. But in some cases, yes, we saw
15 some change; in other cases, the same situation continues.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, when you say suffering, intimidation,
17 or something like that, what kind of suffering did you have in mind?
18 THE WITNESS: In some areas, sir, when it used to be reported to
19 me that people are afraid even to go to their houses back, and they were
20 even living in the mountains because they were afraid, and they are
21 civilians. Because of the movement of Croatian army in those hamlets.
22 That is what I meant by suffering and intimidation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You take them together. It's not suffering
24 something separate from intimidation because you can imagine suffering
25 without intimidation. But you took them together.
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. RUSSO:
5 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, you mentioned that some of the things that you
6 brought to General Cermak's attention that you said afterwards you saw
7 some change in some cases. Can you please give the Chamber some
8 information about what it was that changed after you notified
9 General Cermak.
10 A. In fact, there are two things in this issue. Sometimes if you
11 brought to his attention that was some houses burning, by the time he
12 comes back, the burning is done, the damage is done, so there is no more
13 to be burnt, or some houses will still being looted. So everything is
14 done already. When I get the response, that means everything is already
15 done. Everything is okay. Okay, but in what status?
16 Other things, when I went to him, and I said, The people of this
17 hamlet or -- it was reported to me that they are afraid, he would give
18 instructions to some of his colleagues around to go and check into that
19 hamlet immediately. And the second day, I would send my own people
20 again, and I would find that people are saying, We are okay, no one is
21 intimidating us anymore.
22 Q. Did the civil affairs officers that you had sent to areas like
23 that, did they confirm to you that, in fact, General Cermak had indeed
24 sent people or that people had showed up at General Cermak's request?
25 A. They confirmed to me only one thing, that from the people, they
1 knew that some people appeared there. But they did not say whether
2 General Cermak or not. I guessed at that, because I talked to
3 General Cermak earlier about it.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 If we could move to paragraph 7 of this report, I just want to
6 ask one question on a slightly unrelated issue.
7 In paragraph 7, you indicate in the third sentence that someone
8 from the Croatian Red Cross had informed you that all of the draft-age
9 males of the displaced persons in the UN compound were prisoners of war.
10 Can you clarify for the Chamber whether this person from the
11 Croatian Red Cross was telling you -- can you clarify why they were
12 telling that these were prisoners of war?
13 A. Because, according to our information from our civil affairs
14 officers, we knew that they took some people, that they came into the
15 sector, outside what used to be the sector, to what used to be called
16 proper Croatia
17 confirmed that, to them, they are prisoner of war, especially those who
18 were in military uniform of the RSK.
19 Q. I'm a bit confused by your answer. Paragraph 7 indicates that,
21 "Mr. Branko Zubovic from the Croatian Red Cross in Zadar asked
22 for a list of displaced persons inside Sector South headquarters.
23 According to him this request is made on behalf of the Croatian
24 government. He claimed that those displaced persons who were males much
25 draft age are prisoners of war."
1 Can you clarify whether Mr. Brankovic [sic] is referring to
2 people who -- the displaced persons inside of the UN compound or
3 displaced persons elsewhere?
4 A. He is talking about the displaced persons inside the compound,
6 Q. And did he indicate to you whether the decision to designate them
7 as prisoners of war was his own, or was this on behalf of the Croatian
9 A. Well, he was saying according to the Croatian government, but I
10 did not go further to ask him.
11 Q. It indicates after that sentence:
12 "He further informed us that there are 300 Serb prisoners in
13 Zadar, out of whom 50 to 100 are military."
14 Did he explain to you why the other 150 to 200 people apparently
15 who were not military were being held as prisoners?
16 A. No, he did not.
17 Q. I'd like to move now to -- Mr. Registrar, please, 65 ter 4134.
18 And, Mr. Al-Alfi, this report dated 24 August appears at tab 9.
19 And if we could move to the last page.
20 Mr. Al-Alfi, this report covers some observations of a Human
21 Rights Action Team from Vrlika to Knin reporting looting and destruction.
22 And in the last page, the third sentence of the second-to-last
23 paragraph. And the sentence I'm interested in is:
24 "The continuation of houses destroyed or put in flames and
25 systematic looting shall be addressed with the relevant Croatian
2 Can you please tell the Chamber who the relevant Croatian
3 authorities were about whom -- or with whom you were going to address
5 A. General Cermak, here I meant.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I would move to admit 65 ter 4134.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes exhibit number P1163.
10 JUDGE ORIE: P1163 is admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Now, if we could please have 65 ter 4221. And, Mr. Al-Alfi, this
14 is tab number 12 in your binder. And this is a report dated 8 September.
15 And if we could move to page 3 in the English version. And this
16 is where you indicated had you a meeting with General Cermak on
17 7 September at the beginning of the second full paragraph, and in the
18 B/C/S, this appears on the second page at the fifth full paragraph. You
20 "During the meeting we raised with General Cermak the question of
21 continuing looting and burning of houses in the area. We further raised
22 specific cases of recent murders which were brought to his attention and
23 asked for the results of the investigation by the Croatian authorities.
24 General Cermak did not deny the continuation of such activities, and said
25 that strict orders have been issued to arrest those who commit such
2 Now, further down, at the last sentence in this paragraph you
4 "General Cermak agreed to give his instructions for more joint
5 patrolling between UN CIVPOL and the Croatian police, particularly in the
6 remote villages."
7 Now, Mr. Al-Alfi, from your dealings with General Cermak, can you
8 explain to the Chamber what your understanding was of General Cermak's
9 authority to give instructions to civilian police?
10 A. As I told you, after the fall of Knin, or what used to be
11 Sector South, we had in writing, our headquarters had in writing from the
12 Croatian government that General Cermak is the military governor of the
13 area. So anything we have to report to him, that means he is the highest
14 official to us. That's why we take any report of anything that he is in
15 control or supervising anything or all components of the Croatian
16 presence in that area, including the -- their civil police.
17 Q. And can you explain a little bit about how these joint patrols
18 between UN CIVPOL and Croatian civilian police originated and what
19 General Cermak's role was in that process?
20 A. If you see, this report was 8 September, but this was that he
21 agreed but -- and will give instructions. Whether this was implemented
22 immediately, no. It was -- it has taken, in fact, in some very minor
23 cases that it was joint patrolling. And others, we were -- this was not
24 implemented at all.
25 Q. Thank you. I would like to talk briefly about the Grubori
1 incident in the Plavno valley, Mr. Al-Alfi. My apologies.
2 MR. RUSSO: If I could tender 65 ter 4221.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P1164, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P1164 is admitted into evidence, in the absence of
6 any objections.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. RUSSO:
9 Q. Let me show you 65 ter 4174.
10 MR. RUSSO: Please, Mr. Registrar.
11 My apologies. If we could bring up 65 ter 6494. It's actually a
12 much more legible version of 4174. My apologies.
13 Q. And, Mr. Al-Alfi, this appears at tab 19 in your binder.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honours, just for reference, when you punch
15 6494 into e-court, you get two documents. One is the one Mr. Russo
16 mentions, and the other one appears not to be related at all to the
18 MR. RUSSO: If that's a problem, we'll correct it, Your Honour,
19 but I'm only interested in the first page.
20 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, you will see that this is a letter from
21 General Cermak to you, indicating that it is a follow-up to a discussion
22 you had with General Cermak on the 29th of August, 1995, in respect of
23 the incident which happened in Grubori.
24 Do you recall, Mr. Al-Alfi, the incident that happened in
1 A. As I said, I reported that, and I said it in my statement that
2 one of the reports I received from my civil affairs officers or political
3 and humanitarian affairs officers that this incident happened. I took it
4 to General Cermak, and General Cermak, to explain what happened. And if
5 you see even in my statements, I said that one was killed, and because
6 there was somebody killed at a later stage even after the operation which
7 was reported, and then they gave even the name of that person, so that
8 was a response, clarifying what action his army or his -- under his
9 authority was taken.
10 Q. If we look at third paragraph in this letter, General Cermak
11 blames the incident on enemy raiders and terrorists, and he states:
12 "Due to armed clashes and the use of bazookas, several barns and
13 houses caught fire resulting in death of two unidentified women and two
14 elderly men (Milos Grubor and Jovo Grubor) who succumbed to trajectory
16 And in the last sentence of this letter, General Cermak states:
17 "I personally visited the hamlet the following day and verified
18 myself that events took the course as described above."
19 Mr. Al-Alfi, did General Cermak ever explain to you how he
20 verified that this version of events is what took place?
21 A. No, no.
22 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I move for the admission of 65 ter 4174.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Are you referring to the better legible copy
25 which is 6494, which is then should --
1 MR. RUSSO: My apologies, Your Honour, I move for 6494.
2 JUDGE ORIE: 6494, and then only this one page.
3 Mr. Registrar, this one page of 6494 would be?
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P1165, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P1165 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. RUSSO:
7 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, before finishing, I'd like to show you a letter that
8 you wrote to General Cermak upon his departure from Knin.
9 MR. RUSSO: If we could please have 65 ter 3444.
10 Q. And in your binder, Mr. Al-Alfi, this appears at tab 16.
11 This is a letter dated 22 November 1995, and in the second
12 sentence of the third paragraph, Mr. Al-Alfi, you state:
13 "It was a great pleasure for me to work with you during your
14 service as commander of the Knin military post. Your professionalism and
15 sense of responsibility and concern about the solution of the problems
16 this area is faced with will long be remembered."
17 Do you recall sending this letter to General Cermak.
18 A. Probably, yes. But I don't see anything wrong in it. Because I
19 dealt with him, he was representing the local authorities. I was
20 representing the United Nations, and we have to deal with it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: It is not an accusation. It is just a question.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
23 MR. RUSSO:
24 Q. Yes, Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm certainly not accusing of you anything. I
25 just wanted to know if you could describe for the chamber how in your
1 view General Cermak demonstrated a sense of responsibility for the issues
2 that you had raised with him.
3 A. In my opinion, a sense of responsibility at least when I asked to
4 him, he would not reject. When I talk, he would listen to me. Whether
5 he takes action, that is something else. To me, that is professionalism.
6 Listen to the other side, see what you can do.
7 Q. And can you tell the Chamber, based on all of the meetings that
8 you had with General Cermak and all of the times as some that we've seen
9 that you have advised him about burning, looting, and other human rights
10 violations, can you tell the Court from your perspective whether you
11 believe that General Cermak did anything about the issues that you
12 brought to his attention?
13 A. Well, I will not put it whether he did or not. Whether things
14 have changed, I would say not many. But whether he did or not, that's
15 something he will not report to me what he did. So it's not for me to
16 judge whether he took personally any action or not. But in some case, as
17 I said, there was nothing more to do damage to, so the destruction is
18 done, and the situation has changed gradually from many houses in flames
19 to no more houses to be looted or to be in flames.
20 So all I would say, I don't know how it happened. Whether it was
21 him or somebody else, that I don't know. But, to me, I saw that the
22 situation has changed and -- at least the burning stopped.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Al-Alfi.
24 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, I have no further questions for the
25 witness. I will tender 3444.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P1166, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P1166 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. RUSSO: I do have no further questions for the witness, Your
5 Honour. However, I did want to tender the remaining exhibits which were
6 submitted to the Defence and to the Chamber. I understand that there are
7 outstanding objections to three of those documents. I can certainly send
8 the list of those which remain to be submitted to the registrar, and then
9 we can tender them en masse.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's your 12 December prosecution submission of
11 associated exhibits motion to add one witness related document. Is that
12 the one we are talking about?
13 MR. RUSSO: It is it, Your Honour. However I did submit an
14 updated spreadsheet. Mr. Kuzmanovic mentioned to Chambers yesterday that
15 included taking out one extra document and adding the statement.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I have that on my ...
17 We know that objections were raised in relation to three of these
18 documents. As far as the others are concerned?
19 MR. MISETIC: No objections, Your Honour. Just as a technical
20 matter, Your Honour, at page 48, lines 15 to 17, you indicated that the
21 Chamber would like to have a look at the three documents that are
22 objected to. I don't know if Your Honours' intent was to see them in
23 court, or if you wish to see them in Chambers.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Not necessarily in court, I would say.
25 Yes, if you could remind me of the numbers, the correct numbers,
1 then I could find them on the transcript.
2 MR. RUSSO: I do the 65 ter numbers, Your Honour. For those it
3 would be 65 ter 4125. 65 ter 4133. And 65 ter 4252.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Yes, could I receive an indication from the Defence, first what
6 the order will be of the examination, the cross-examination of
7 Mr. Al-Alfi; and second, a time indication.
8 MR. KAY: I will be first. I anticipate a day with the witness.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: I will be second, Your Honour, and I anticipate no
12 more than an hour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I will go last, Your Honour, and I anticipate no
15 more than an hour as well.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which would mean that we could not finish on
17 the 17th, so mostly likely we'll finish on the 17th -- no, 18th. I'm
19 Mr. Al-Alfi, we have questions for you up to the 18th of
21 THE WITNESS: I'm at your disposal, Your Honour, although I was
22 informed that I will be able to travel tomorrow.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes that might turn out not -- of course, the
24 parties will do their utmost best to keep you here as briefly as
25 possible. But it's, of course, a fair opportunity should be given of
2 THE WITNESS: Of course. I understand.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, let's then not lose any time.
4 You will first be cross-examined by Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is counsel
5 for Mr. Cermak.
6 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
8 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, the first question I'm going to ask you about
9 concerns your statement and interview. It's Exhibit P1160, and of that
10 document I would like you to turn to page 64. And it's your
11 tape-recorded interview, and you're being questioned by someone called
12 Kellie Ward, and you answer those questions, and you will see at the line
13 23, Kellie Ward says:
14 "We were discussing Cermak prior to turning the tape over. For
15 the purpose of this interview, could you tell me what Cermak actually had
16 control over and how far his authority stretched."
17 Your Honour, answer was: "I don't know exactly how."
18 Kellie Ward then announced: "Taped record of our conversation
19 suspended. Mr. Al-Alfi, could you tell me the time please."
20 You answer: "I'm sorry, it's 3.18."
21 She then says: "Suspended for a short time."
22 Let us move to the next page.
23 Conversation resumes at 3.35. So the suspension was in the order
24 of 15 minutes. And the interview resumes: "Thank you."
25 And she says: "Prior to the suspension, we were discussing
1 Mr. Cermak, and I asked you if you could please explain to me what you
2 believed his area of responsibility to be."
3 She didn't add the answer you had previously given on the other
4 page, I don't know exactly how, but you then give a very long answer
5 about him being a military commander or having responsibility of a
6 military commander, and we can see there what the answer was.
7 I'm interested to know what happened in that 15 minutes,
8 Mr. Al-Alfi, and what was said to you, because there is no explanation on
9 the record. The rest of your interview, when there is adjournments -
10 your daughter making a cup of tea, you answering the door, some other
11 reason, there is always an explanation. I would like you to tell us what
12 happened in that 15 minutes.
13 A. It's very clear if you notice -- I don't recall exactly what
14 happened. But if you noticed on the page 64.
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. The question on number 23, the question was: You tell me what
17 Cermak -- whether -- what Cermak actually had control over. Control
19 So it's not a question of control. It's not my judgement. But
20 when the question later on was rephrased -- why it stopped, I don't
21 recall. At this moment, I don't recall why this break was. But the
22 question was rephrased to be: What you believed his area of
23 responsibility to be.
24 That I can answer, whether he was in actual control, that I
25 cannot answer. That's why you can see why the question was also
2 Q. But what was said to you during that suspension of the taped
3 interview that could not go on the record? What was said to you, because
4 the questioner suspends the interview so that when I look at this years
5 later, I can't see what was said. Do you understand?
6 A. Well, I don't recall why it was stopped. At this moment, I don't
7 recall why it was stopped.
8 Q. Was there a discussion about what you should say?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Was there a discussion about the question?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Are you sure?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you remember?
15 A. Well, to my best recollection, there was no discussion about the
16 question, because everything was on tape.
17 Q. Well, it wasn't, was it?
18 A. No, that part -- if the tape was stopped there was no discussion
19 about anything else.
20 Q. Because then you move from, I don't know exactly how, to a
21 changed question and then an answer.
22 A. Well, to me, it -- maybe to clarify the question, she rephrased
23 it, but to me, it's almost whether I knew whether he is in control, and
24 that's something different from what I believe his responsibility is.
25 Q. I want to go through now the reports that you have been able to
1 produce that have been authored by you or sent by you, and the first
2 document that we look at will be the first one in time, Exhibit P1161.
3 MR. KAY: While we're getting that on the screen, Your Honour, we
4 haven't prepared a disclosure list of exhibits yet because originally
5 this witness was going to be viva voce, and he has turn into a 92 ter
7 JUDGE ORIE: So your expectation was that cross-examination would
8 start later?
9 MR. KAY: Yes. I will be using just today Prosecution documents
10 that we have through them, and we will be preparing a list of any other
11 documents in the light of Mr. Russo's questioning today.
12 Q. I'm going to go through these reports, and so it's going to take
13 a little time, but I think it is it important, Mr. Al-Alfi.
14 This is the first document, and we're going to look at the
15 meetings in your reports that have taken place with General Cermak to see
16 what the record is as written by you. Do you understand that?
17 A. I do. But can you identify which report you're talking about.
18 Q. We're looking at the one of 8th of August. It's at 1640 --
19 MR. RUSSO: I believe that's tab 2 in the witness's binder. I
20 will e-mail -- Your Honours, just to make this a little easier, I'll
21 e-mail to the Defence a spreadsheet that shows the tab numbers for each
23 MR. KAY: Thank you.
24 Q. Have you got the document?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Yes. It will always come up on the screen in front of you as
2 well, if you need any guidance.
3 This is your first report, and we see that in paragraph 1:
4 "We were informed by General Cermak ... military governor in the
5 area ... about the Croatian army starting to pull out of the main
7 If we look at your report of what was said by General Cermak,
8 there is no sentence here indicating burning, looting, or crimes. It
9 concerns the matters that we see in the document, but there is no mention
10 of burnings, lootings, and crimes in your meeting with General Cermak.
11 Accordingly, that was not a matter raised or discussed by you at
12 that meeting with him; isn't that right?
13 A. This was an introductory meeting, as you notice the date is 8.
14 As I said, this was the first time we were out of our compound.
15 Q. Yes, but my proposition is right, and you record what your
16 meeting was about with General Cermak, that it concerned military and
17 civilian police, civilian authorities expecting to arrive in Knin, other
18 matters, freedom of movement. But it does not raise the issue of crimes;
19 isn't that right?
20 A. At that time, as I said, it was a introductory meeting, so we
21 were knowing what are the responsibilities of each other.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 A. You're welcome.
24 Q. We will look at the next document. This is 65 ter 4755. It's a
25 bar table document, and it's a record with a time of 2055.
1 A. Mm-hm.
2 Q. And it refers, as you can see, to your meeting that morning, to
3 General Cermak, and representatives of the displaced persons in the UNCRO
4 compound. And we can see the discussion in that meeting of what was
5 being offered to the displaced persons, rights. We can see at
6 paragraph 4, a discussion concerning dead bodies being found, 90 per cent
7 of them military, and the focal point in this regard being Dr. Brkic,
8 chief of the sanitary unit, and we can see that there was a discussion
9 about soldiers who didn't commit war crimes, displaced persons.
10 Again, nothing mentioned there about looting and burning or
11 crimes in the --
12 MR. KAY: Could the screen be changed to the next paragraph,
13 please. Thank you very much. Page 2.
14 Q. We've looked at this, Mr. Al-Alfi. Nothing there in this report
15 about lootings, burnings, or killings being raised by you to
16 General Cermak at this meeting. Do you agree?
17 A. If you notice --
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. -- this is the same -- the report is on the same day as the
20 previous report. It was only less than -- or around four hours between
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. From the timing, okay? And according to the first meeting we
24 had, General Cermak said that he wanted to meet these people, to talk to
25 them --
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. -- who were in our compound. We allowed him. The occasion was
3 talking specifically to those who were displaced inside our compound.
4 It's not a general situation. It is a report on this meeting in
6 Q. I don't disagree, and thank you for the explanation.
7 MR. KAY: May this document be made an exhibit, Your Honour.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number D1208.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, no objections?
12 MR. RUSSO: I have no objections, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then the document is admitted into evidence.
14 Mr. Kay, I'm looking at the clock.
15 MR. KAY: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And since apparently you want to move to another
17 subject or at least another document --
18 MR. KAY: No. It would be continuing through these documents,
19 Your Honour, and it would be an appropriate moment.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I find on the bar table list, 65 ter
21 number -- which apparently is a 6152, which is the one only tentatively
22 given a 65 ter number. I heard of no objections against admission of
23 that document.
24 May I take that to include no objections against adding it to the
25 65 ter list.
1 MR. KAY: I would be using it, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then as far as 4125 is concerned, could we
3 receive information as what is the paragraph or is it the whole of the
4 document which would meet the objections, 4125 being the 23rd of
5 August document.
6 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President. I would have an objection to
7 paragraphs 1 through 6, and in theory -- yes, I guess paragraph 7
8 mentions the Gracac cemetery, so might be of some relevance. But
9 paragraphs one through six deal with matters that are not in the Split
10 Military District or the Knin municipality.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then the next one being 4133. What paragraphs would
13 it be? And that's the 24th of August.
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President. Paragraphs 1 through 5 are
15 outside of the Split Military District or the Knin municipality.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And six would then be within again.
17 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then the last one is 4252, and that would be --
19 that's the 20th of September.
20 MR. MISETIC: Yes. And as far as I can tell, this entire
21 document concerns matters that are outside of the Split Military District
22 and the Knin municipality.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The objection covers the whole of the document.
24 Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
25 We'll adjourn for the day, Mr. Al-Alfi. We resume tomorrow, the
1 17th of December, 9.00 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
4 December, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.