1 Wednesday, 17 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Good morning to you as well, Mr. Al-Alfi.
12 WITNESS: HUSSEIN AL-ALFI [Resumed]
13 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I have to deal with a minor procedural issue, if you
15 would apologise us.
16 The Chamber is informed, Mr. Kuzmanovic, that Mr. Markac, for
17 reasons known to the Chamber by now, will waive his right to be present
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour, and hopefully it
20 won't take the full time; but if necessary, he will try to be here before
21 the end of the day.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the Chamber, of course, is considering
23 the Court schedule of this week, and sees that there's a risk that the
24 next witness might be endangered to the extent that we might not finish
25 and therefor is exploring, at this moment, the possibility to sit on
1 Thursday afternoon. And if need be, that for that purpose, the Chamber
2 would like to be more fully informed about the times needed for the next
3 witness, next witness scheduled for two hours in chief. Mr. Hedaraly.
4 MR. HEDARALY: That is correct, Your Honour. Although my
5 understanding is that the examination will last probably closer to an
6 hour and a half than two hours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, of course the Chamber has no indication
8 yet as to how much time the next witness would take and it depends on
9 that information what further to explore. So the Chamber would like to
10 receive further information and at this moment is working on Thursday
11 afternoon and, again, if need be, Friday afternoon as well. Especially
12 Friday afternoon, I can imagine that that causes problems.
13 If there are any problems as far as Defence teams are concerned,
14 of course the Chamber would like to know as well.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, as far as we're concerned with the
16 following witness, we don't anticipate -- we've given a time estimate
17 already of no more than roughly an hour for us.
18 MR. KAY: With the next witness, Your Honour, I did warn the
19 Prosecution last week, and I said we did not want to be under pressure
20 with witnesses being called last minute and we're unable properly to deal
21 with our cases.
22 What happens here is a large number of documents come in,
23 sometimes four our five times a day, revised schedules, revised lists,
24 and somehow we have to try and track this and see whether a witness is
25 going to be used in a particular way or not, what documents are actually
1 being used. This witness went from viva voce to 92 ter, and it causes
2 great difficulty in trying to administer properly and assemble our
3 materials in what is essentially a documents case to a large extent.
4 To be frank, for the next witness I haven't really had a chance
5 to read -- I know he has made a third statement in November of this year,
6 and I have been briefed about that, but I haven't had a chance to read it
7 and catch up myself with the developments with this witness from his
8 first two statements and I have been told things have suddenly changed.
9 And being put under pressure in those circumstances to make decisions on
10 how properly to deal with it, in our submission, is unfair to us because
11 we've come a long way in a very short period of having had preparations
12 for trial on this case, and some of these witnesses I am reading for the
13 first time in the week before they're called or a few days before they're
14 called and having to make preparations accordingly.
15 So, in my submission, having warned the Prosecution about this
16 last week that there would be a difficulty with that witness, I
17 appreciate then that he was a viva voce witness, but I did warn them that
18 there would be a number of issues that had to be covered. I'm concerned
19 if we are unable to properly prepare and develop our defences with the
20 witnesses whose evidence is changing by the month. This --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber is not following closely these
22 developments. If it reaches a point where you say, We can't do it, then
23 of course you have to address the Chamber on the matter, as you did now,
24 but in rather general terms.
25 So as soon as have you made the progress needed to give us an
1 indication, then we'd like to hear from you. I mean, just the
2 information that you warned the Prosecution and that it is problematic,
3 of course, is -- it's good for to us know. At the same time doesn't give
4 a lot of assistance in scheduling for the rest of the week.
5 MR. KAY: To be frank, I still haven't caught up with the third
6 statement that's been a recent development and I'm told changes what he
7 said previously, and I'll have to turn my attention to that this
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Then we'd like to hear from you as soon
10 as possible.
11 MR. KAY: I will advise you.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, it's the same here with respect to
13 the next witness. The statement came in yesterday late and I haven't
14 even had a chance to look at yet, so I'm in the same position.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then it would not come as a surprise, Mr. Kehoe, if
16 you find yourself in similar difficulties.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour, and I might add just one other
18 matter. Yesterday was the first time we got the exhibit list for the
19 next witness. There had been no notification with regard to those
20 exhibits, so I don't want to echo what my learned friends have said but I
21 just wanted to add that further point.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The information of a rather general nature and
23 not yet finalized, the Chamber will continue to explore possibilities to
24 find more time this week as you will understand. That being said, I
25 think we can continue -- yes, Mr. Hedaraly.
1 MR. HEDARALY: There's just one thing on the record that I want
2 to correct. The statement was not given yesterday for the first time.
3 It was disclosed in November when it was taken. As Mr. Kehoe said,
4 yesterday it was the exhibit list that was sent. I just want to make the
5 record clear on that. The statement was disclosed --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. HEDARALY: -- as soon as we received it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. That is on the record now as well.
9 Mr. Al-Alfi, this might not be very -- of great interest to you.
10 What I'd like to hear you from and I'm also addressing the parties. I
11 was informed that upon my instruction where I had failed to instruct you
12 not to speak with anyone about your testimony, whether already given or
13 still to be given, that this instruction was given to you orally
14 immediately after yesterday's session. Is that correct?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. Your colleague gave it to me.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that. Then I would like to
17 remind you that you are still bound by the solemn declaration you gave at
18 the beginning of the testimony that you will speak the truth, whole truth
19 and nothing but the truth.
20 Mr. Kay, are you ready to continue your examination --
22 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour, yes.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, the next document I wanted to look was in tab 4 of
25 your bundle and it is dated the 10th of August, 1995. And it again is a
1 record of a meeting with General Cermak.
2 MR. KAY: This is 65 ter 6152, Your Honour.
3 Q. If you would be looking at that in tab 4, Mr. Al-Alfi, while it
4 is coming up on the screen because I'm going to ask you a general
5 question which follows on from those questions I asked you yesterday.
6 A. Hold on for a minute, please.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Did you say on the 8th of August?
9 Q. 10th of August.
10 A. 10th of August. Yes --
11 Q. Tab 4.
12 A. -- I've got it. I got it.
13 Q. And we can see in paragraph 2 there had been a meeting with
14 Mr. Pitkanen and General Cermak. On page 2, a list of the matters dealt
15 with is set out.
16 You can take it from me, Mr. Al-Alfi, that in fact, again, at
17 this meeting there was no discussions of the crimes, looting, burning, or
18 killings. It was specific issues concerning the UNCRO camp, displaced
19 persons and interviewing detainees there and people in Croatian custody.
20 So no discussion there of lootings, burnings and crimes, between
21 you and General Cermak. You can check if you want, but I can tell you
22 that's the fact.
23 A. This report is reflecting a meeting which is a follow-up of the
24 SRSG's meeting in Knin --
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. -- and the agreement with the Croatian government. So it was
2 specific for a follow-up of other issues, not necessarily reflecting the
3 overall situation in the sector.
4 Q. I totally agree. Thank you.
5 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may this document be made an exhibit.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's on your list, Mr. Hedaraly. I am aware
7 of that. It's the one document which was not yet on the 65 ter list, but
8 there were no objections adding it. But I think we adopted, more or
9 less, the practice that if it has not yet been assigned a P number,
10 because the list is not there yet and is not yet processed by the
11 registrar, that you strike it from the list and that we now decide on
12 admission as a D exhibit.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Whatever is convenient for the Chamber,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that's the -- more or less the
16 practice we adopted.
17 Madam Registrar --
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours --
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- 6152 would be?
20 THE REGISTRAR: -- that would be Exhibit D1209.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D1209 is admitted into evidence.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. The next document at tab 5 is the 11th of August. Again, without
25 going into the detail because it would take a lot of time, Mr. Al-Alfi,
1 and you're able to flick through. Again, this is a meeting, again, about
2 specific issues of restriction of movement, interviewing of people in the
4 At page 3 of the document, there is references there to -- as we
5 can see on lines 3 and 4, to burning of houses, crops, killing of
6 animals, destruction and looting, as being something that was happening,
7 but it is --
8 MR. KAY: Sorry, I haven't called up the 65 ter. I'm sorry,
9 Your Honour, I have been sidelined. 65 ter 5058 [sic]. My apologies.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So it appears on your list as unstricken as well, if
12 Mr. Kay tenders it, Mr. Hedaraly.
13 MR. KAY:
14 Q. Again this document has reference to a meeting with
15 General Cermak. But the point is that at the meeting with
16 General Cermak, that issue was not being discussed with him by you. Your
17 meeting with him was about specific issues concerning the displaced
18 persons within the camp, Mr. Al-Alfi, and your report and discussing with
19 Mr. Cermak about people being in custody in the area. It's not
20 discussing with him lootings, burnings and crimes.
21 A. Certainly when we go after the agreement, there is a follow-up of
22 specific topics. And at that time, the main concern of the Croatian
23 authorities was those people inside our camp. So when you go to any
24 meeting, that definitely will not repeat everything. You will be going
25 for a specific purpose, and for that reason, it was only specifically
1 about the details on how the investigation or interviewing of those
2 people inside the camp will be. But as you rightly mentioned, I was, at
3 the same time, reflecting what was the situation. That's the same page
4 you have referred to.
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Thank you.
7 Q. My concern is General Cermak and what was said to him, and that's
8 what I'm examining with you because that's the importance, as he is on
9 trial, to have a look at what was said to him by you and when.
10 If we could admit that document into evidence, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1210.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D1210 is admitted into evidence.
14 MR. KAY:
15 Q. And just so as to keep an order within this bundle at this stage,
16 if we could go to the document that is tab 6 in your file, Mr. Al-Alfi.
17 It is 65 ter 4757, and it's dated the 12th of August, 1995. And it
18 concerns various meetings that were held on that day with various people
19 in the area.
20 At this time, the first thing we're going to look at concerns a
21 meeting with Mr. Pasic, described as the newly appointed mayor of Knin.
22 And you were searching for a name yesterday; do you recollect? And that
23 is the name Pasic?
24 A. So long as it is in my report, that's the name.
25 Q. Yes. And perhaps that refreshes your memory now.
1 A. That's it.
2 Q. Yes. A couple of points here. He's described as the mayor of
3 Knin. Did you in fact know that that was not his job and his title?
4 A. That's how he introduced himself to us.
5 Q. He was something known as the government's commissioner for Knin.
6 Was that a phrase that you heard?
7 A. Through his own interpreter, I heard the word "mayor."
8 Q. He had been appointed as the government's commissioner in 1993,
9 under the laws of the Republic of Croatia
10 A. That might be true, but the way he -- I heard it from his own
11 interpreter was mayor.
12 Q. Did you appreciate that there was no such position within
13 Croatian society as the mayor of a town?
14 A. I did not know that.
15 Q. Have them in other societies as we know, and it's a phrase in
16 common use, as you would agree?
17 A. I worked in other sectors, and the word "mayor" was used.
18 Q. In relation to how he was described as the newly appointed mayor
19 of Knin, I'm interested in this translation issue and how information was
20 being passed to you because you said he had an interpreter. Didn't you
21 use interpreters as well? Didn't you bring interpreters to meetings?
22 A. I said yesterday that we did not have interpreters.
23 Q. You didn't bring anyone from the camp to interpret at meetings
24 for you?
25 A. We did not have any local interpreter at all.
1 Q. So do you know who was being used then as an interpreter for
2 Mr. Pasic, what this person was?
3 A. I did not know him. I came to the meeting, and I saw this man,
4 and he was the interpreter.
5 Q. Right. The command of the language, were you able to appreciate
6 that, whether he had a good or poor command of the English language?
7 A. How would I be able to judge it when I don't know the language
9 Q. I must correct something. I'm told mayors did exist in Croatia
10 and that would be the case at that time. But he was the government's
11 commissioner, not a mayor?
12 A. Well, that's your information, but my information -- he was
13 introduced to me through the interpreter as mayor.
14 Q. Right. This was the first time that you'd met him?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Did you know what his jobs and responsibilities were, aside from
17 his title? So let's forget the title, what his actual jobs and
18 responsibilities were?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you know about the resources available to him, whether he had
21 staff or an office?
22 A. I knew that he an office in Knin, but other than that, I don't
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, would you allow me to just go back one of
25 the previous questions for one second.
1 Mr. Al-Alfi, you said how could you judge upon the command of the
2 English knowledge by this interpreter. You will certainly, with your
3 background, have the experience that you would easily, or less easily,
4 communicate with other persons in the English language. I mean, we see
5 here in court, we hear in court that you have no great difficulties in
6 expressing yourself in the English language, so I would, although not
7 being a native English-speaking person, I would allow myself to give a
8 judgement - don't worry, a positive judgement - about your command of the
9 English language.
10 You'll certainly be able to tell us whether had you any
11 difficulties in communicating with this interpreter in the English
13 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour. I was referring to the
14 Serbo-Croat language here. I didn't have any command, but through the
15 interpreter I heard him saying mayor. I understood him, but I had no
16 problem in English.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So your communication with him in English,
18 whether he was translating or not what was said in --
19 THE WITNESS: That's exactly --
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- in the language of Mr. Cermak, but you had no
21 difficulties in communicating in the English language.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, that's true. I did not have any difficulty in
23 understanding him in English.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: But what was the title that was told to him or what
1 was told to him, I did not have any command in the Serbo-Croat language.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm not just focussing on that title; I'm
3 focussing on the conversation in its entirety. So you had no
4 difficulties in communicating in English. And do you remember whether he
5 was a native Croatian person, either by -- or let's say, was he from the
6 former Yugoslavia
7 THE WITNESS: Yes. Yes, sir.
8 JUDGE ORIE: He was. Thank you.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
10 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. I'm just going back to Mr. Pasic. Had you appreciated the task
12 that he had to face in coming into an area where the state had had no
13 government at all, since the creation of that state in 1991?
14 A. That's only a judgement. I'm not to pass a judgement here. But
15 I understand that he was there for the first time, that's correct. I
16 mean, after the fall of Knin.
17 Q. Just going back on to the interpreters again, wasn't there a
18 system that when there was a meeting arranged between the United Nations
19 and any representatives of the Croatian government or institutions, that
20 the UN would send an interpreter for those meetings?
21 A. Sir, you know that this area has -- what witnessed what it
22 witnessed. So even if we had interpreters they would have been locals.
23 They would have ran away. So there was no one. We were there without
24 any local interpreter.
25 Q. We've heard evidence in this court, you see, and it's right I
1 point this out to you, that there were interpreters used who were in fact
2 in the camp and they worked on a daily basis for the UNCIVPOL or
3 General Forand or anyone who was having meetings with the Croatian
5 A. Well, if there were any, then they did not work for my office.
6 Q. Could it have been the case that someone was sent along to the
7 meeting from the UN and that you didn't appreciate that they were from
8 the UN?
9 A. What do you mean by that?
10 Q. Well, put it this way. It's more likely that the UN would have
11 sent interpreters along, rather than the Croatian institutions sending
12 interpreters along for meetings at that time.
13 A. If I had an interpreter, I would have taken him or her with me,
14 definitely, because that would be an UN interpreter.
15 Q. There it is. There it is.
16 But looking at Mr. Pasic, did you appreciate that whatever his
17 job title was that he was coming into a place where he didn't have a
18 large number of running offices and institutions working on his behalf,
19 because for the first time the Croatian state was coming into this part
20 of its territory where it had never had its control and authority and its
21 institutions before. This was -- this was a first in this region. Did
22 you appreciate that?
23 A. I would say that was true.
24 Q. Because you discuss whether he was effective, and you believed he
25 was ineffective, but did you sufficiently appreciate problems that he
1 would have been facing in providing civil institutions to enable things
2 to run at that time in Knin?
3 A. He did not discuss these problems with me.
4 Q. That wasn't the question, whether he discussed. I'm looking at
5 your mind, if you forgive me, and whether you appreciated, whether you
6 appreciated, whether -- because have you made a judgement about him, that
7 he was ineffective, so I'm asking whether you appreciated -- whether he
8 discussed it or not is another matter. Whether you appreciated.
9 A. How would I appreciate it if he did not discuss it with me?
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, sometimes I can see persons having
12 problems, where they do not express these problems to me but from other
13 circumstances I feel or I see that they have these problems.
14 Now, the question apparently Mr. Kay is putting to you is whether
15 in any way, whether he told you or not you appreciated the difficulties
16 he was facing.
17 THE WITNESS: Sir, the word appreciate that means I fully
18 understand him. That's my --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then did --
20 THE WITNESS: -- that's why.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- did you form an opinion on the basis of what you
22 saw and heard, whether or not directly from Mr. Cermak, what kind of
23 problems he was facing in performing his tasks.
24 THE WITNESS: Of course I understood that it was only a few days,
25 and I realized that not everything will be in place.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Sorry, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I think you mentioned Mr. Cermak but the
4 question was related to Mr. Pasic.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Pasic. I apologise, yes. With this
6 correction, the same -- you gained the same impression as far as
7 Mr. Pasic is concerned.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and I apologise for the slip of the tongue.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
11 MR. KAY: Not at all, Your Honour.
12 Q. Again, at this meeting with Mr. Pasic, did you discuss in any
13 sort of detail with him as to what the Croatian authorities were trying
14 to achieve at this time in relation to the civilian institutions in the
16 A. No, sir.
17 Q. Okay. Were you aware that on the 6th of August of 1995 that the
18 minister of interior had been to Knin and opened for the first time the
19 police station in Knin?
20 A. Did you say the 6th of August?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. At that time, we were in the camp, sir. We were not allowed to
24 Q. Again, it was, did you know. Not where you were, but did you
25 know, because maybe you are somewhere else but you receive information.
1 You put other people's information in your reports, after all. It's did
2 you know that, that on the 6th of August, for the first time, the police
3 station opened in Knin?
4 A. I did not know.
5 Q. And that in the following two weeks further police stations
6 opened up in the region of Knin, places like Benkovac, Donji Lapac, other
7 places. Did you appreciate -- were you aware of that at that time?
8 A. If anyone would be aware it would be the UNCIVPOL, not me.
9 Q. Were you aware that the civilian police were bringing in
10 policemen to man those police stations as they opened up in the area?
11 A. As I said, if anyone would be aware, it would be the UNCIVPOL.
12 Not me. I'm carrying the civilian, humanitarian and political side.
13 Q. Thank you. Again, at this meeting -- in this report, you
14 referred to a meeting with General Cermak - that's on page 3 of the
15 document, paragraph 3 - I just want to put this. Again, you're not
16 discussing looting, burnings and crimes with him. You're discussing
17 other matters concerning you at that time, normalization of civilian life
18 and, again, the displaced persons in the UN camp. Isn't that right?
19 A. If you notice that in this meeting I accompanied the Sector
20 Commander, and the Sector Commander was having specific issues to discuss
21 with General Cermak, and I said throughout my testimony that in many of
22 the instances, I accompanied the Sector Commander to meet General Cermak.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. That's why I did not raise any other issues here.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. It was specific for a specific purpose.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if this document could be made an exhibit,
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1211.
7 JUDGE ORIE: D1211 is admitted into evidence. It appears on your
8 list, Mr. Hedaraly, therefore, I did not ask for any objections.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. KAY: Thank you.
11 The next document that I wish to produce -- excuse me,
12 Your Honour. Exhibit D56, please.
13 Q. This is a meeting on the 18th of August, Mr. Al-Alfi, and a
14 report --
15 A. Can you tell me which folder it is.
16 Q. This isn't actually in your folder. It's a court exhibit
18 A. I see.
19 Q. In that folder you have some of your documents. Many more have
20 gone into evidence beforehand. But if you look at the screen in front of
21 you, you will see there our Exhibit D56, and it is a document of the
22 18th of August. Again, there a reference to a meeting with Mr. Pasic,
23 and he is described there, and there's discussion of that meeting, and we
24 can see at b, the mayor explaining the shortcomings in tackling civilian
25 problems due to unpreparedness.
1 If we go to, as if we have no need to look further at that - the
2 Court have already - to page 3 is the reference to a meeting with
3 General Cermak --
4 A. I don't see it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It will come on your screen, Mr. Al-Alfi. It takes
6 a while to get page 3.
7 MR. KAY:
8 Q. In paragraph 2 we can see the reference to the meeting there, the
9 initial discussion about the displaced persons. And then in the second
11 "During the meeting, I also brought to the attention of
12 General Cermak our concern about the continuing reports of houses and
13 farms set on fire in the villages and looting, and asked him about the
14 measures taken from his side to stop such acts. General Cermak shared
15 this concern with us and expressed his unhappiness about its
16 continuation. He promised tough action against those who commit such
17 acts. He also explained that some of these acts must be carried out by
18 civilians who return to the area and seek revenge, taking advantage of
19 the lifting of the restrictions on their movement in the area."
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, you read "must be carried out" where the
21 text reads "may be carried out."
22 MR. KAY: Yes. I'm sorry. Yeah. May be -- explained that some
23 of these acts may be carried out. My apologies.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
25 MR. KAY:
1 Q. This is the first instance at your meetings of you raising the
2 issues of crimes with him, on this date?
3 A. On this date? Yes, I raised it with him.
4 Q. 18th of August, yes.
5 A. But not the first. But I raised it with him.
6 Q. Yes. This is the first time you -- you said to General Cermak
7 and raised with him about crimes. You may have spoken to other people,
8 and crimes were happening, but this is the first time you discussed it
9 with him. Isn't that right?
10 A. Sir, if you refer to the same paragraph, at the beginning of it
11 you can see because of the occasion --
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. -- I was also accompanied by the Human Rights Action Team. So
14 that is the occasion to raise these things.
15 Q. Absolutely. We're on agreement on this, as to what it is, but
16 the question of you bringing it to his attention is an issue in the case,
17 all right? And this is when you did, and we can see here what you
18 reported him as saying, that he shared his concern, he was unhappy, and
19 he promised tough action against those who commit such acts.
20 A. What is in there, I stand by it.
21 Q. Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, may I nevertheless seek clarification.
23 Earlier, and I don't know whether I fully understood you, Mr. Kay
24 asked you whether this was the first time you raised this issue with
25 Mr. Cermak on this date, which means that you had not raised it at an
1 earlier date with him. Is that your testimony?
2 THE WITNESS: Sir, I said in my response to Mr. Kay that this was
3 not the first time, but this was the first time that was specifically for
4 this purpose, sir.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I felt some ambiguity so therefore I sought
6 this clarification.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I take it that you will then further
9 explore the earlier occasion.
10 MR. KAY:
11 Q. We have been through all your reports and this is the first time
12 of your reports that you mention bringing to General Cermak's attention
13 the issue of crimes. In your other meetings, you brought up the
14 displaced persons, the issue over interviewing people in the camps,
15 freedom of movement, other issues with which you were concerned, as part
16 of your humanitarian brief.
17 The first report by you of bringing -- of saying to him about
18 crimes is here on the 18th of August.
19 A. If it was by me, as I said earlier, the meetings with
20 General Cermak -- because it is now military dealing with military, it
21 was General Forand dealing with General Cermak. If I had the occasion at
22 this time, because it was the Human Rights Action Team, maybe I did not
23 in details discuss it with General Cermak in previous meetings because
24 that was not the occasion for that purpose. But this is not the first
25 time I raise it with General Cermak. It was even earlier.
1 Q. General Forand's reports are in evidence, but I'm talking about
2 you. You were questioned by Mr. Russo yesterday, and he made a summary
3 of your evidence to the Court and a statement about your evidence, and
4 what I'm saying is, this was the first time that you, as an individual,
5 raised it with General Cermak about crimes being committed.
6 A. It's not the first time, sir.
7 Q. Why --
8 A. Maybe the first time I reported it, reflected it clearly here,
9 but it's not the first time I raised it.
10 Q. Why is it not in any earlier report, if you did so?
11 A. Because the other reports are talking about specific issues, as I
12 pointed out.
13 Q. We have other reports from you. They're all in evidence. And
14 they deal with a wide variety of matters, general matters, specific
15 matters, such as displaced persons, interviewing detainees at the camp.
16 This, concerning crimes, is a specific matter as well, isn't it?
17 A. It is true. But don't forget that by then the Human Rights
18 Action Teams arrived in sector, and by then, already now we started to
19 have specific issues to discuss on this action. Or in this area.
20 Q. And that is why, on this occasion, this was the first time you
21 discussed it.
22 A. Maybe more details, yes.
23 Q. Let me take it further this way. General Cermak was not denying
24 those crimes were taking place, was he?
25 A. No, he was not.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, we have now dealt with the meeting which is
2 reported in this document, and Mr. Al-Alfi told us that he had raised the
3 matter earlier. If you ask him from this report we see that he
4 apparently is not denying that such crimes may have happened, but your
5 question did not focus on this report or any of the earlier meetings
6 where the matter, although not reported, was raised.
7 And I would seek clarification from Mr. Al-Alfi whether at any
8 earlier occasion when you raised the issue of crimes although we do not
9 find it in the reports, whether he, at those earlier occasions, ever
10 denied crimes to be committed.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, and if I recall correctly you will see
12 even in one of my earlier reports whenever I went and talked to him about
13 looting and all that, including my asking him whether about my own house
14 was safe and he gave me the advice that you better go and take your
15 things from your house. That means he was aware of what was going on in
16 the area. I discussed it.
17 JUDGE ORIE: So at no instance he denied that this may have
19 THE WITNESS: No, at all.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
21 MR. KAY: Thank you.
22 Q. Did you believe he was in a position to deal with your reports
23 about what you were saying? Did you believe he had the power and
24 authority to deal with it by commands or orders?
25 A. I would not pass a judgement, but so long we were informed
1 formally that he is the first man in the sector, then I would believe so.
2 Q. You said that there had been an official notification to the UN
3 of his position. You said that yesterday.
4 A. That's true. To Zagreb
5 Q. Now what document was that notification?
6 A. I don't know about it, but my headquarters informed me that he is
7 appointed officially by the government of Croatia.
8 Q. Your headquarters informed you?
9 A. That's true, sir.
10 Q. And he was appointed officially by the government of Croatia
11 as what?
12 A. I don't know the exact title, but he was the military governor or
13 something like that.
14 Q. Did you know if Croatia
16 A. I don't know. I'm not supposed to ask all these details. All I
17 know, who is the person with whom I would deal in the sector.
18 Q. Yeah. Did you know he was appointed by the president as the
19 Zborno Mjesto of Knin?
20 A. I am not aware of this terminology, sir.
21 Q. The commander of the Knin garrison?
22 A. Might be true, but that's the first time I hear it. But I knew
23 that he was the first man.
24 Q. Did you know exactly what his authority was?
25 A. I did not know exactly, but so long we were informed officially
1 that, Anything, you deal with him, that means he had the overall
2 authority or the top authority in this area.
3 Q. Does it? If you've got anything, you deal with him. Does that
4 mean you've got total authority in the area?
5 A. Can you explain exactly what's your question.
6 Q. Well, if I say to you, Deal here with Mr. Mak, does that mean he
7 has the total authority in the Defence case for Mr. Cermak?
8 A. If the government of Croatia
9 representing the government, the top official, then I have to take it as
10 it is.
11 Q. But the government of the Croatia
12 A. Not me. I mean tells our headquarters and headquarters informs
13 us. That's what I mean by me.
14 Q. You don't actually know what the government of Croatia told your
15 headquarters. You don't know what the government of Croatia told your
17 A. That was conveyed to me by my headquarters, sir.
18 Q. But you know what they were told?
19 A. What exactly, I don't know.
20 Q. So it would be safe to say it was an assumption you came to.
21 A. No, it's not an assumption. It is an information I received.
22 Q. Okay. Did you know that General Cermak had just nine people
23 working for him in the Knin garrison?
24 A. I'm not -- I was not allowed to question how many people he had
25 to work for him at all. Exactly he did not ask me how many people are
1 working for me.
2 Q. No. But did you know; that was the question.
3 A. I did not know how many.
4 Q. Did you know that he couldn't command units within the
5 Croatian army?
6 A. That's not my judgement.
7 Q. But did you know? If that is a fact, did you know that?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Kay, your question was what he could, and
9 that is partially a matter of fact and partially a matter of judgement.
10 To that extent, I think Mr. Al-Alfi responded to part of your question.
11 MR. KAY: Thank you.
12 Q. Did you know he couldn't order troops to clean up the town for
14 A. I did not know that.
15 Q. Did you know that although he gave orders for stolen UNCRO
16 vehicles to be returned, he couldn't order the troops, the units in the
17 Croatian army, to go and look for them?
18 A. He did not tell me that.
19 Q. Did you, as you had more dealings with Mr. Cermak, begin to get
20 doubts about the extent of his authority?
21 A. I had no doubt about his authority. Question was how far he can
22 implement it. And then later on when he disappeared from the sector
23 without any announcement, I started to question that.
24 Q. Did you know that he had just been appointed to his post on the
25 5th of August, and until that appointment, he had been in civilian life?
1 A. The first encounter I knew General Cermak was in the sector. I
2 did not know before that what he was.
3 Q. Thank you. In your meetings with General Cermak, you next
4 brought to his attention crimes that were taking place on the 24th of
5 August, 1995
6 MR. KAY: It's at Exhibit D151. And page 2, in paragraph 5 is
7 the reference to this matter.
8 Q. The other parts of the meeting dealing with the other issues that
9 we've already referred to. And, again, we can see the note made here of
10 him accepting the fact of the crimes being committed, burning houses and
11 looting. And he informed you that he had already issued strict orders to
12 civilian and military personnel to stop such acts.
13 Did you appreciate, or were you aware, that he had to refer those
14 matters to others and ask them to issue orders to stop crimes or to
15 enforce the law?
16 A. If you read my report correctly, this confirms that he had the
17 authority, because he issued -- he said that he issued these orders to
19 Q. And that's what we're going to just look at.
20 A. Mm-hm.
21 Q. You're basing it upon what he said to you --
22 A. That's true.
23 Q. Rather than what he could actually do.
24 A. That's what he said.
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. That's true.
2 Q. Without knowing whether, despite what he said, he could only
3 refer these matters to others to get them to enforce such orders.
4 A. I take it as he said it, but if there are other internal
5 procedures within his authority, that's not my business to ask him about
6 the details.
7 Q. Thank you. I'm just going to go through a number of matters
8 concerning General Cermak at this time.
9 You told us already you were unaware of the resources available
10 to him, as to what he had at his disposal, his office, the staff working
11 for him. Isn't that right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. Yeah. You had no knowledge of how the Croatian military
14 structure was organised. Would that be right?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. How the command and control of those parts of the military
17 structure worked.
18 A. That's for our military, not for me as civilian side.
19 Q. In your recorded interview, you assumed he had the power to give
20 orders to units. Isn't that right?
21 A. That's true. Because being the first man, the governor of the
22 area, or whatever name, title it has, otherwise, what would be -- is it a
23 nominal head? That was -- that was my assumption, based on.
24 Q. You never appreciated, did you, that he was sent down to Knin
25 with one of his tasks being to help the UN, as a specific job, to be a
1 point of contact and help with whatever problems you had?
2 A. He was sent to Knin with a different capacity. But because of
3 being in Knin, then it was agreed with the UN that he -- we should -- he
4 should be our contact.
5 Q. So do you know whether or not before he got to Knin, whether he
6 had been sent there specifically to deal with the UN as one of his jobs?
7 A. I was not informed about that.
8 Q. No. That he was a point of contact for the UN and was sent there
9 to help you.
10 A. Can you rephrase your question, please?
11 Q. Sure. Were you aware that he was sent there as a point of
12 contact to help you?
13 A. No. I dealt with him as the governor of the area.
14 MR. KAY: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
16 MR. HEDARALY: The question had been asked and answered
18 MR. KAY: Sorry if it has but ... excuse me.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's -- it wasn't the first time that the
20 same or similar question was put to the witness more than once. Mr. Kay,
21 also in view of the time, if you have heard the answer once or twice or
22 three times, then there's no need to put it again to the witness.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. KAY: Yes, probably lost more time now.
25 Q. You --
1 JUDGE ORIE: That's a comment. Mr. Hedaraly raises an issue and
2 there is some merit in it, and then you should refrain from such comment.
3 MR. KAY: I'm sorry --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. KAY: -- and I extend my apologies to him, Your Honour.
6 Q. Were you aware that the other task he was sent down to Knin to
7 perform was the normalization of life in that town, to get the town
9 A. I'm not aware, but that's what I expected.
10 Q. That he was sent there not with military tasks to perform. Were
11 you aware of that?
12 A. I'm not aware of that. But how would he, under military rule,
13 control an area if he is not -- has -- if he had no military task?
14 Q. And was there military rule? Was there a law that it was
15 military rule?
16 A. I'm not aware of it, but that's what I expect under those
17 circumstances at that time.
18 Q. Were you aware that he was sent to Knin at that time to help try
19 and get businesses working, shops open, and services running?
20 A. That may be the case, but I'm aware of one thing: That he was
21 amongst the first immediately in Knin. So it's a military situation, how
22 would I expect to talk about businesses unless this military situation
23 first is stabilized. So you can see that it was with the military
24 offensive. What was the details of his task, I'm not aware of it.
25 Q. Were you aware that the Ministry of Interior of the Croatian
1 state was issuing orders for the running of the police, what they were to
2 do, how they were to be manned, and the whole structure of the civil and
3 police government?
4 A. If that was the case, we were not informed. I mean, we in Knin
5 were not informed.
6 Q. Did you appreciate that General Cermak was just being put before
7 you as a front man, to be the man you went to?
8 A. He did not tell me that, no.
9 Q. Did you appreciate the fact that most, if not all, of
10 General Cermak's tasks were nothing to do with the military at all?
11 A. I don't think that's a correct statement, sir.
12 Q. So you disagree?
13 A. Yes, I disagree.
14 Q. Yeah. In your interview with the investigators of the
15 Prosecution, you stated about what you would expect he would have at his
16 disposal - staff, headquarters, military personnel - do you remember that
17 when you stated that?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
19 MR. HEDARALY: To the extent we're going to refer to his
20 interview, can we get a specific reference to it so that both us and the
21 witness can refer to it.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay.
23 MR. KAY: I'm summarizing it, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If you could approximately give the pages, where to
25 find it.
1 MR. KAY: Yes, if we go to page 84 of Exhibit P1160.
2 THE WITNESS: Is that my testimony?
3 MR. KAY:
4 Q. Well, it is --
5 A. What I gave to --
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Yeah. Okay.
8 Q. It becomes your testimony.
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. And it's the passage where you give your view about the Croatian
11 army, disciplined army, chain of command has to be followed. And I'm
12 sure he was informed of every small bit that happened in his area of
14 There's that passage there. Here we are, at page 85. Certainly
15 he should have reports and briefings from his commanders. And without
16 having to read the full 110 pages, there's another passage which I can't
17 put my finger on.
18 But we know that we can see the picture, that he would have
19 briefings from commanders, that was in your mind --
20 A. Can I -- can I --
21 Q. Yes?
22 A. If you would see here the word "commanders" is with small C. I
23 meant subordinates, exactly.
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. What you are trying to tell me that he had his own commanders
1 higher than him. But here commanders, that means the commanders in the
3 Q. That's what I mean as well, actually.
4 JUDGE ORIE: It's --
5 MR. KAY: That is what I --
6 JUDGE ORIE: It's good that it is clarified, but I did not
7 understand the question of Mr. Kay to refer to any higher up commander
8 but just those in command in the area which would report to
9 Mr. Al-Alfi -- to -- not you, Mr. Al-Alfi, to --
10 THE WITNESS: General Cermak.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Cermak, yes.
12 MR. KAY:
13 Q. Yes. Don't think what I -- I totally agree with you. That's the
14 impression. I'm not saying anything else other?
15 A. Thank you.
16 Q. -- than what you've said here. And -- because that's what I'm
17 dealing with.
18 A. Thank you, sir.
19 Q. The subordinates, the commanders underneath him. And in one of
20 your reports you refer to meeting Major Gojevic, who you described as the
21 deputy military governor. Did it occur to you that the deputy military
22 governor, that gap in rank from major to three- or four-star
23 Colonel General, that there was a hierarchy missing of command? Did it
24 occur to that you that was unusual?
25 A. This was the area -- the period where General Cermak was mostly
1 out of the area and trying to negotiate about the number of those to be
2 handed over who were in our camp to the Croatian authorities.
3 This man -- and if you noticed in some of my reports, I even
4 questioned and I even called him, like, a liaison officer, to receive and
5 to say I will come back to you. I agree with you that the gap was big
6 from, say, a two-star general to a major.
7 Q. Yes. And you expected because of what you believed -- and I'm
8 not doubting your belief. Understand that, Mr. Al-Alfi. I'm not saying
9 you're coming here, giving us something that's not your belief, and I've
10 made it clear in my questions that it is your belief and that you hold
11 that. What you expected was that he would be in command of the military
12 units in the area. That is right?
13 A. That's what I expected.
14 Q. That he would be able to issue orders to those units and that
15 they would have a responsibility to follow them?
16 A. When I took issues with him, he did not say, I have no command
17 over these military. He said, Yes, I will deal with it, and sometimes he
18 even was talking to his subordinates in their local language, like giving
19 immediate instructions what to do.
20 Q. Yes. Without you knowing exactly what their --
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. -- jobs were?
23 A. No, I did not know.
24 Q. Even -- exactly?
25 A. That's true.
1 Q. And you would have expected him to be able to be briefed by the
2 local -- by the Military District on what was happening?
3 A. That's what I expected -- that's the normal procedure.
4 Q. Yes. You would have expected that he would know where the troops
5 were in the region?
6 A. That's true.
7 Q. Where they were barracked?
8 A. That's exactly -- if you are in charge, you have to know
10 Q. Yes. Where -- how to communicate with them?
11 A. I did not know how he would communicate with them.
12 Q. But you would expect it if he was the commander, that he would
13 know if his order was issued this way, that it goes through the chain to
14 end up with this unit in Benkovac or wherever. That's what you were
16 A. I expected that, yes, that's true.
17 Q. That the activities of those units and soldiers would be reported
18 through a chain to him. You expected that?
19 A. Of course.
20 Q. That what the units were to do next, that he would be planning
22 A. Of course. He was on the TV every day, telling all the people of
24 Q. Yes. You would expect as well that those orders and commands
25 from his subordinates that he had to be kept informed of, that were
1 important matters, would be sent to him?
2 A. Not only important. Everything he should be informed of. That's
3 what I expect.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. That's the logical sequence of things.
6 Q. And that's what you believed was happening?
7 A. What I believed should happen.
8 Q. Yeah. What you believed should happen. You believed could be
9 happening or was happening; I don't know. Did you believe if it was
10 happening like that?
11 A. Because he is a commander, that's -- have you to take it for
12 certain that this is the normal procedure.
13 Q. Yes, exactly. I have no further questions. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
15 Mr. Misetic.
16 MR. MISETIC: I can start now or we can take an early break.
17 However you wish to proceed.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We could take an early break. Could I perhaps pay a
19 little bit of attention -- it might be convenient for Mr. Al-Alfi to
20 listen to it as well.
21 Mr. Kay, you took considerably less time than you -- Mr. Kay.
22 MR. KAY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I'm just taking some
24 JUDGE ORIE: You took considerably less time than you indicated
25 before. Now Mr. Al-Alfi has expressed some concerns to the Victims and
1 Witness Unit about when he could leave. Our earlier assessment was that
2 it might take us into earlier Thursday morning, but in view of the time
3 you took, could I hear from the other Defence teams whether they want to
4 adapt their estimates or whether it is still what it was, which would
5 lead us to believe that we could finish this morning.
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, there are a couple of smaller issues
7 that have arisen, very small, and we're going to get a video during the
8 break to show the witness in light of one of his answers. But I
9 definitely anticipate that he -- at least with respect to the Gotovina
10 Defence, he should finish today.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Agreed, Your Honour, today.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, in view of --
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Al-Alfi. You don't have to thank me,
16 Mr. Al-Alfi, because it was on the mind of the Chamber that the parties
17 would have a full opportunity to examine and to cross-examine you, but if
18 it turns out that that will be finished today, that would meet some of
19 your concerns, if I was well-informed.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then perhaps we take an early break now, and we
22 resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, you will now be cross-examined by
1 Mr. Misetic. Mr. Misetic is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
2 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Al-Alfi.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'd like to take you to the statement that you gave
7 in 1998. And if I could draw your attention to page 23, line 28. And
8 there in your statement you -- you're talking about the days preceding
9 Operation Storm and you say --
10 A. Sorry, did you say page 23?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. On line 28.
13 Q. The sentence actually starts on line 27.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. But you're talking about -- and this in the context of events
16 that are taking place prior to Operation Storm, and you say prior to that
17 you -- "Our estimates are around 100.000 troops to mass," meaning you --
18 you can't find it?
19 A. Excuse me, I cannot find it. Which page are we talking about?
20 Q. I have it as page 23 of the 1998 statement that you gave. And if
21 you start -- let's look at line 26. There's a sentence there that
22 begins: "Our estimates ..."
23 A. Uh-huh.
24 Q. Yes. Okay. It says: "Our estimates was around 100.000 troops
25 to mass and saying either we are allowed to put our troops, because that
1 was their interpretation of the UN Security Council resolution, that the
2 territorial integrity and sovereignty of Croatia which is they knew that
3 it was impossible for the Serbs to accept it. Because it's like behind
5 Now, I understood the sentence that what you were saying was that
6 it was impossible for the Serbs to accept the sovereignty and territorial
7 integrity of Croatia
8 A. No, sir.
9 Q. Okay?
10 A. The interpretation is to accept that they put the troops, because
11 see the sentence itself where it put the troops behind us.
12 Q. So that it was impossible for them to accept --
13 A. Putting the troops.
14 Q. I see. Okay. Very good. If we could turn to page 26, and this
15 is your description of the morning of the 4th. And you say, beginning at
16 line 29: "No. Everything was asleep, dead and normal. The only cars
17 may be moving in that time was the UN cars. It was a declared curfew.
18 So it's not undeclared. It is a declared curfew. For the local
19 residents, they cannot be until 6.00."
20 Can you explain a little bit more about what was happening there
21 in terms of the curfew?
22 A. At that time the area was still under the RSK.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. And they -- in preparation maybe of what is going on because the
25 atmosphere was preparation for war, they declared officially on the radio
1 that it is curfew for the locals from that time. Since that time. But
2 they cannot impose that curfew on the UN. That's why I said the only
3 cars moving that night were the UN cars.
4 Q. So as a result of that curfew, there were no civilians on the
5 streets? Was that what you saw on the 4th?
6 A. Yeah. That was before the operation itself.
7 Q. Yes, I understand.
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. Okay. How did you come to know that there was curfew in place?
10 A. I told you, it was announced on the local radio.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. The RSK radio, I mean.
13 Q. Do you know how long the curfew regime had been in place?
14 A. As -- well, I'm not sure, but it was few days before the 5th.
15 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to whether the Croatian army would
16 have known that at 5.00 a.m.
17 result of the curfew regime?
18 A. I -- I do believe that they must have been monitoring the radio
19 of the RSK.
20 Q. Okay.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, if you would allow me. You said it was
22 broadcast on the radio. Could you hear that directly or was it
23 translated to you by anyone?
24 THE WITNESS: It was translated to us, sir, because this is
25 before the operation itself. So we had interpreters --
1 JUDGE ORIE: You still had interpreters --
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- at that time.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Now, let me ask you a little bit about the next -- sorry, on page
9 29 of your statement, and I will be jumping around a little bit so we
10 won't go in --
11 A. No problem.
12 Q. -- in sequential order.
13 A. No problem.
14 Q. Thank you. You discuss at page 29, going on to page 30, that you
15 were invited to a meeting in the afternoon -- I believe it's of the 4th,
16 where it was discussed --
17 A. It was of the 5th. The first day of the operation.
18 Q. Well, if you take it from me that all parties in this case agree
19 that the first day of the operation was the 4th of August.
20 A. That's -- I meant the first day.
21 Q. Yes, okay.
22 A. Whatever it is.
23 Q. Okay. So on the 4th of August, you went with General Forand to
24 this meeting with the ARSK in the afternoon of the 4th?
25 A. That's true.
1 Q. And you were present when conversations were held with
2 representatives of the RSK about an evacuation that was to take place?
3 A. That's true.
4 Q. Okay. If we turn to page 31. And you discuss -- I'm sorry. I'm
5 sorry, if we could go to page 30. I apologise.
6 In your statement you discuss what was discussed at that meeting.
7 And if you look at line 18 --
8 A. Mm-hm.
9 Q. -- you say: "They were shaking and they started demanding that
10 they want -- if I'm not mistaken, 70.000 litres of oil for cars and they
11 wanted 500 trucks to transport the civilians, because they were fighting
12 as usual, and they would continue fighting. But the civilians are
13 getting injured," and so you want to move them.
14 Now, if we go to page 31. And at line 26, I believe you write,
15 after the meeting. You say: "We told our headquarters this is their
16 demand. We can't, we can't provide vehicles, but if it means that
17 civilians are to be saved, the headquarters gave us the approval."
18 Who is the headquarters?
19 A. Our headquarters in Zagreb
20 Q. In Zagreb
21 A. In Zagreb
22 approval from our headquarters in Zagreb.
23 Q. Okay. Is Mr. Akashi in your headquarters in Zagreb?
24 A. He was the head of the whole mission.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have, please,
2 Exhibit D337.
3 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm going to show you a report that Mr. Akashi sent
4 to Mr. Annan on the evening -- in the evening of the 4th, and there are
5 time stamps here. For example, if you look in the -- off in the
6 right-hand corner you can see a time stamp of when this document was
7 received, I believe in Geneva
8 And if we turn to the next page at paragraph 4 -- well, first
9 before we turn the page, I'm sorry.
10 You see the report and it is an update on the current situation
11 in Croatia
12 may be, in fact, the copy that was sent to Mr. Stoltenberg, which is why
13 the Geneva
14 A. Mm-hm.
15 Q. Were you reporting from Knin -- you just said that you talked to
16 your headquarters. Were you sending written reports from Knin to
17 Mr. Akashi in Zagreb
19 A. I was not reporting but if you notice from the report itself it
20 says UNMOs, military observers --
21 Q. Well, forget the --
22 A. -- and they have their own chain of command.
23 Q. Let's put aside the report for a second. Do you recall, on the
24 4th, whether you sent any written reports from Knin to Zagreb?
25 A. Of course, yes. I mean, it was daily, sometimes more than one
1 report a day.
2 Q. After your meeting with the RSK officials in the evening of late
3 afternoon/early evening of the 4th, did you send a written report to
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If we could turn the page, please, in this document.
7 Now, if you look at paragraph 4, Mr. Akashi writes to Mr. Annan
8 and says: "We have been advised by the civil affairs office in
9 Sector South that the Knin leadership have requested UNHCR and UNPF
10 assistance in evacuating approximately 32.000 civilians from Benkovac,
11 Obrovac, Gracac, and Knin, to Petrovac, and Banja Luka in Bosnia
13 Now the reference to the civil affairs office in Sector South,
14 that would be you. Correct?
15 A. That's true.
16 Q. Okay. That would -- now what I just read, that was information
17 that you had sent to Mr. Akashi on the -- in the evening of the 4th of
18 August. Correct?
19 A. But if you notice from the report, not necessarily all of it,
20 because from the report it mentions a number of areas and Knin. That
21 means it can be also from Sector North which was not under my control.
22 Q. Okay. But all of those towns are in Sector South?
23 A. That's what I'm saying, no, because we had two sectors. If they
24 are in Sector South, then it can be from the military, because here we
25 are talking about military and we have inform. But if that is there, I
1 don't recall exactly the specific areas, but I was reporting to my
3 Q. Just if we could -- I would just want to make sure that the
4 transcript is accurate, page 42, line 8.
5 A. Which? 42, line 8.
6 Q. In front of you on the screen? No, no, on the screen. The
7 actual transcript --
8 A. Mm-hmm.
9 Q. -- of what you just said, at line 8.
10 Let me ask you again, just so the record is clear. After your
11 meeting with the RSK officials in the evening of -- or late afternoon,
12 early evening of the 4th, did you send a written report to Zagreb
13 what was discussed at that meeting?
14 A. That's true.
15 Q. Okay. Going back to the document on the screen, in fact, at the
16 meeting -- if you look on the screen what's reported here. What I am
17 asking you is did you report that the Knin leadership asked for UNHCR and
18 UNPF assistance in evacuating approximately 32.000 civilians from
19 Benkovac, Obrovac, Gracac, and Knin, to Petrovac and Banja Luka in Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina
21 A. I don't recall it exactly. But if he referred to us, definitely
22 there was something of that sort. Because his reports also will depend
23 so long he mentioned UNHCR, that means UNHCR because we had a
24 representative of UNHCR. He has all reports, he receives all reports
25 from all areas and then he puts his own reports.
1 Q. Well, what I'm particularly interested in is the last eight words
2 in that sentence, that first sentence. Sorry, nine words. To Petrovac
3 and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Now, at the meeting that you had with the RSK officials, they
5 told you that the evacuation was going to Petrovac and Banja Luka;
7 A. That's true.
8 Q. Was there any doubt in your mind when you left that meeting with
9 the RSK officials on the evening of the 4th that their intention was to
10 evacuate these civilians to Petrovac and Banja Luka?
11 A. Well, I had to take their word, what they said. That's why the
12 arrangements were according to what they told us.
13 Q. And you recall them specifically telling that you the arrangement
14 was to be that they are sending the civilians to Petrovac and Banja Luka
15 A. That's true.
16 Q. Do you remember the name of the person who told you this?
17 A. I don't remember it exactly.
18 Q. Do you remember a person named Kosta Novakovic?
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. But at that meeting there were a number of their officials, I
22 have to say.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. MISETIC: Now, Mr. Registrar, if I could call up
25 Exhibit D712, please.
1 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm going to show you --
2 A. Which one are --
3 Q. You don't have a copy of the document. I'm going to show you a
4 report of a conversation on the 4th of August between Mr. Roberts, who
5 you will recall was the press and information officer for Sector South,
6 and a reporter that took place at 1415 on the 4th of August. And if you
7 look at the fourth paragraph -- Obradovic is the name of the journalist.
8 It says: "Asked by Obradovic on the situation in the town regarding the
9 civilians, Roberts said that there was no panic among the civilians" --
10 A. Can you -- which one you are referring to?
11 Q. If you look on your screen on the left-hand side?
12 A. Yes?
13 Q. Four paragraphs down?
14 A. Yes, I've got it.
15 Q. Okay. Obradovic is the name of the journalist. So it says:
16 "Asked by Obradovic on the situation in the town regarding the civilians,
17 Roberts said that there was no panic among the civilians; however, in his
18 opinion, the people were extremely shocked and surprised by the shelling
19 this morning, apartments have been destroyed and many windows and shop
20 windows broken."
21 Now, you were in Knin on the 4th. Do you agree that by the
22 afternoon of the 4th, that there was no panic -- by the early afternoon
23 of the 4th, that there was no panic in the town?
24 A. That's not true.
25 Q. What is your position?
1 A. Well, there were no civilians to panic. I mean there were not
2 many. And I was in the -- in my headquarters. I did not see them.
3 Q. So you don't know whether there was panic?
4 A. No. No, I don't know.
5 Q. Okay. All right. Well, let me then show you ... okay. I'll
6 move on.
7 Let's talk about the shelling. First, are you -- do you have any
8 military experience?
9 A. No, sir.
10 Q. Okay. Had you ever been in a situation before where you found
11 yourself to be under artillery fire?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. And where was that?
14 A. Sector West, Drvar.
15 Q. And when?
16 A. Operation Flash.
17 Q. Now in terms of the assessments of the shelling that were
18 taking -- that took place on the morning of the 4th, were you in fact
19 relying on assessments made by UN military personnel?
20 A. Of course, yes.
21 Q. Okay. Any specific individuals amongst the UN military personnel
22 upon whose assessments were relying?
23 A. Of course, my talk is direct with General Forand.
24 Q. Did you have occasion to speak to Colonel Leslie?
25 A. Oh, yes, General Leslie was the Chief of Staff.
1 Q. Did you speak to General Leslie on the 4th of August about the
3 A. We were in the headquarters. We talk about it all the time, and
4 we discuss -- we were together.
5 Q. Okay. Then let me take you back to page --
6 A. Because by then we were already moved even from our houses inside
7 the headquarters.
8 Q. Let me take you back to page 27. Page 27 of the -- your
9 statement in 1998, I'm talking about. At line 24, you begin and you say:
10 "It was just shelling the whole town. I think if I'm not mistaken,
11 according to the military, our military, they assessed that in the first
12 few hours, I mean, two, three hours, it was shelling at the range of
13 maybe more than 10.000 per hour."
14 Do you recall who amongst your military told you that it was
15 shelling at the rate of 10.000 per hour?
16 A. I don't recall exactly, but as I told you, my talk is always with
17 General Forand or Leslie, Colonel Leslie.
18 Q. Well, 10.000 per hour and you say two -- in the first two or
19 three hours, it was assessed to be shelling at the range of 10.000 per
20 hour. So if we're talk two or three hours, obviously we're talking about
21 20 to 30.000 shells falling on Knin in the first three hours of the
22 operation. Did you subsequently, after you were able to exit the
23 compound, make an assessment as to whether Knin appeared to have been hit
24 with 20 to 30.000 shells or more, given that you are just talking about
25 the first two or three hours there.
1 A. When we talk about hearing the shelling, don't forget we hear the
2 shelling inside Knin and we can hear even in the outskirts of Knin.
3 That's what I refer to as the number.
4 When we went out, well, we -- as far as we were allowed to be,
5 and from our military that they saw some damage.
6 Q. First of all, you're talking about the outskirts of Knin. What
7 do you define as the outskirts of the Knin?
8 A. I mean outskirts of the city of Knin.
9 Q. Right, but can you describe what you mean by out -- are you
10 talking about other villages or are you talking about Dinara mountains?
11 A. We don't know where, but we can say all the area. I mean, it can
12 be other villages outside. It can be the Dinara mountain. It can be
13 anywhere because we don't know where they land.
14 Q. Okay. Do you believe that because General Forand, General Leslie
15 and yourself were subjected to the artillery fire, that you were not
16 capable of providing an objective assessment of -- of the shelling of
18 A. Well, that's not true. Because it's not personal.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 1D00-0741, please.
21 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm going to first ask you whether you've ever
22 seen -- on the screen, if you could look, please. This is an article
23 from the New York Times from March 21, 1999, and I'm going to ask you
24 first based on content of the report whether you had any knowledge that
25 this report had been published. And it says -- the title was "War crimes
1 panel finds Croat troops cleansed the Serbs." And if I could -- you tell
2 me if I'm wrong, and I didn't look at it very carefully, but when you
3 gave the statement in 1998, where were you working at the time?
4 A. At that time I was working for the UN in Morocco, MINURSO.
5 Q. Did you spend any time in New York during that time-period?
6 A. No.
7 Q. I'm sorry. I just saw the 212 area code, so I thought maybe you
8 may have been working in New York
9 A. I started working in New York as such in 2004.
10 Q. Okay. If you look at it, this is a report about what the
11 Tribunal had concluded up to that point about Operation Storm.
12 And if we go to page 3.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
14 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry to object so early. Usually I would go
15 on with the questioning, but since the witness has not seen the article
16 and now the question seems to -- if I can complete my objection, if you
17 don't mind. Now he's asking about an internal --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is -- is it an objection that can be raised in
19 the presence of the witness or not, because --
20 MR. HEDARALY: I think so.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
22 MR. MISETIC: He hasn't said what Mr. Hedaraly says he said he
23 did not say he hadn't seen the article. I haven't shown it to him yet,
24 so I don't know how he could say he doesn't know or hadn't seen it.
25 That's why we're taking it through this process.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Well, then he should be first asked whether he's
2 seen it before showing him a section of it and asking him if he's
3 familiar with it. There -- I mean, there's a broader issue of the
4 admissibility of this document, and I think we've had a conversation, the
5 Prosecution with Mr. Misetic, about it. We can raise that issue now
6 because this document is completely unrelated with this witness's
7 evidence. And there have been other issues with newspaper articles in
8 this case, so perhaps we can deal with that before the witness -- before
9 the --
10 JUDGE ORIE: We usually decided these matters once we had seen
11 these documents, but I take it that -- let's give Mr. Misetic an
12 opportunity to introduce the matter. And we'll more than ever listen
13 with care to how he phrases his question and how he takes the witness
14 through this document, which apparently tells us what this Tribunal's
15 opinion is. That's -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
16 MR. MISETIC: Well, it -- that's not the only thing, Your Honour,
17 and I would add that -- two points. One, that not only did the
18 Prosecution not have a chance to interview this witness, we didn't have
19 an opportunity to interview this witness, so I don't know what he knows
20 or doesn't know about the subjects.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, let's -- if you proceed with the required
22 caution, Mr. Misetic.
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm showing you the portions of the article because
25 just by looking at a title of an article you, of course, may not know
1 immediately what the substance of the article is. But given your
2 involvement in this case, you may have heard something about what's
3 contained in this article. That's why I'm putting them to you.
4 This article talks about the conclusions reached by the
5 Prosecutor's office in 1998 or 1999. And if you look at page -- we're on
6 page 3, the first full sentence there says: "The most contentious
7 recommendations of the investigators related to the shelling of Knin" --
8 A. Can you --
9 Q. It's the first one-line sentence at the top of your page there,
10 on the screen. Do you see it? There's the carry-over -- there it is
11 right there.
12 A. Yeah, yeah.
13 Q. Okay. So it says: "The most contentious recommendation of the
14 investigators related to the shelling of Knin." The next
15 paragraph discusses testimony that had already been given by
16 General Forand and General Leslie to the Tribunal, and you can read that.
17 And then if we scroll down a little bit, there's a paragraph that begins:
18 "But the report ..."
19 "But the report goes on to quote an American lawyer at the
20 Tribunal, Clint Williamson, as seeking to discredit the Canadian
21 officer's testimony. They were 'not capable of detached analysis,' he
22 said, according to the investigation report.
23 "Mr. Williamson, who described that the shelling of Knin as 'a
24 minor incident,' said that the Pentagon had told him that Knin was a
25 legitimate military target."
1 And if we scroll down, it talks about the indictment review in
2 this case. In the paragraph it says: "Then the review panel broke for
3 lunch." And if you go to the middle of that paragraph, it says: "The
4 review concluded by voting not to include the shelling of Knin in any
5 indictment. A conclusion that stunned and angered many at the Tribunal."
6 Now, my first question to you is: Do you recall hearing
7 something about this report when it came out in 1999?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. Have you had any contact with General Leslie or
10 General Forand since Knin?
11 A. Not at all. Just when I meet some people who know them, I just
12 say, Say hello to them.
13 Q. Based on the fact that they told you on the 4th of August that
14 the shelling was occurring at the rate of 10.000 [Realtime transcript
15 read in error "1.000"] per hour, do you think potentially that they
16 really weren't capable of detached analysis?
17 A. That can be your assessment, but I don't know. They told me. I
18 told you what they told me.
19 Q. Were you aware at any time that after you gave your testimony to
20 the Tribunal in 1998, and after Generals Forand and Leslie had given
21 their statements as well, were you aware at any time that the Prosecution
22 had decided initially not to include the shelling of Knin in the
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- Mr. Hedaraly.
25 MR. HEDARALY: I think we're back again at the same thing. I
1 mean he's already said he didn't know about the article, this portion. I
2 mean, this witness obviously has not seen it, does not know about any of
3 the issues described in this article. It has nothing to do with him.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let me --
5 MR. MISETIC: He can just answer yes or no.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that the witness can answer the
7 question, but that was not the matter raised by Mr. Hedaraly.
8 MR. MISETIC: If I may? Just because he --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I -- I ask an opportunity to read the question
11 Please tell me what you wanted to tell me, not to already put the
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes. I'm sorry, Your Honour. I apologise.
14 The issue then, of course, he is talking specifically about the
15 article, did he hear about it from anyone else that he may have had
16 contact with. In other words, that was related to this that may have
17 talked about what the Tribunal had decided or not to do -- to do or not
18 do, even if he wasn't aware that --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. MISETIC: -- the original source of that was this article.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me take it over at this moment.
22 Mr. Al-Alfi --
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any knowledge of decision-making on the
25 scope of indictments within the Office of the Prosecution of this
2 THE WITNESS: No, sir.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then I don't have to ask you what the basis for such
4 knowledge would be, not in any respect, not in relation to this case, not
5 in relation to any other case.
6 THE WITNESS: No, sir, at all.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm also told at page
10 52, line 3, I may have misspoken, and it should say that the shelling was
11 occurring at the rate of 10.000 per hour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think we're talking about 10.000 not about a
13 thousand per hour and I also notice that in --
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Al-Alfi, just so you know --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think it's my --
16 MR. MISETIC: -- that wasn't related to you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- my question about -- my question on the
18 transcript, we do not see that I was referring to decision-making on
19 scope of indictments. That is it now then on the record as well.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour. I will tender the article and
22 then we should MFI
23 JUDGE ORIE: A fight over it. Mr. Hedaraly.
24 MR. HEDARALY: Yeah. We're going object, Your Honour, on two
25 separate grounds. First of all is the relevance to this case. It is
1 apparently a report from someone on an internal investigation, internal
2 meeting within the Office of the Prosecutor. And secondly, we have had
3 this issue during Mr. Roberts' testimony about newspaper articles that
4 were not admitted into evidence. And in his objection then, Mr. Misetic
5 said at transcript reference 6843, line 8: "Your Honour, if I may, this
6 now opens the door to everybody going to LexisNexis, finding all the
7 newspaper articles they want and tendering them into evidence as evidence
8 and then telling the other side, Go call the journalists to cross-examine
10 I mean, at some point there has to be a line drawn.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And what was the position of the Prosecution at that
13 MR. HEDARALY: The position of the Prosecution at that time was
14 that such documents, if they were probative and relevant, could come in.
15 Mr. Waespi made several arguments in that respect, but the Chamber
16 ultimately decided with the Defence, that this article should not be
17 admitted. So we're just seeking some consistency, especially considering
18 that this is -- has no relevance especially not with this witness, who
19 obviously has never seen it and cannot therefore comment on it. At least
20 Mr. Roberts had talk to the journalist, Mr. Fisk, whose article was at
21 issue then.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if may I respond?
23 JUDGE ORIE: You may respond.
24 MR. MISETIC: I will go back and find all of the press articles
25 that the OTP since that ruling has tendered into evidence, and on that
1 basis, is -- since the practice has been that they have been tendering
2 newspaper articles, I don't see any reason now for the OTP to take an
3 inconsistent position with what they have been doing since July. And we
4 will go ahead and pull those articles for you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Isn't -- yes, please.
6 MR. MISETIC: The second issue, Mr. President, is the issue is
7 quite relevant in the sense that, as I indicated in our opening arguments
8 and we will repeat them in final arguments but I will give you a
9 relevance. That is this: All of the material -- or I shouldn't say all,
10 most of the material that has now been presented to you regarding the
11 shelling of Knin was in the possession of the Office of the Prosecutor by
12 the time the initial indictment review concluded not to include it in an
14 As I said to you in opening statements, the second -- sorry, the
15 amended indictment against General Gotovina, confirmed in February of
16 2004, does not contained the words "shelling" or "artillery" anywhere in
17 the entire document. The first time that they came up with a shelling
18 theory was in the joinder indictment in February of 2006. I believe it's
19 entirely proper for the Defence to be able to argue in final argument
20 that the Office of the Prosecutor itself had this information for ten
21 years, in many cases, including the testimonies of General Leslie,
22 General Forand, Mr. Dryer, Mr. Dawes, and the witness who is sitting in
23 the chair, here, at the time they concluded not to include the shelling
24 of Knin in the indictment. Whether ultimately you want to accept that
25 indictment or not, whether the Prosecution agrees with that argument or
1 not, is really irrelevant. It's probative and we're entitled to argue
2 it. And at the end of the day, Your Honour, if the Prosecution -- or if
3 the Chamber concludes that it shouldn't --
4 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
5 MR. MISETIC: -- come in through this witness, then it is merely
6 a question of whether we're going bar table the exhibit or whether it
7 comes in through this witness. But I also think that these are
8 positions -- this is not simply about the underlying facts and hearsay.
9 These are positions or indications of the positions of a party opponent,
10 much like some of the police reports that have been tendered by the
11 Prosecution, that are hearsay taken in the Croatian police or other
12 hearsay arguments that go towards matters related to the accused in this
14 So I think it is admissible, Your Honour.
15 MR. HEDARALY: May I briefly respond, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You raised the objection. You were able to explain
17 it. Very briefly.
18 MR. HEDARALY: Well, it's just about the allegation that all the
19 material the Prosecution presented was available to them ten years ago.
20 That is just not true. We have received information between 1998 and
21 2006, so I think that's not a relevant portion, and to take one slice of
22 that and then -- and then argue from there that, therefore, there is
23 nothing to support it and they had a solution then, does not make it
25 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if I may?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, yes, also half a minute.
2 MR. MISETIC: Half a minute. Either the Serb civilians left Knin
3 because of shelling or they didn't. To claim now that they discovered
4 ten years later that that was what caused them to leave --
5 MR. HEDARALY: That's not what I said.
6 MR. MISETIC: Excuse me. That is the issue in the case, though.
7 I would also add -- I believe I corrected myself earlier and I said not
8 all but most of the information. And if you look back at the witness
9 transcripts and when they gave statements, I believe I will be found to
10 be correct.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I haven't heard anything and I do not
13 know to what extent it is relevant, whether there is any Rule 70 issue,
14 here because I see the article is about an internal report which is not
15 under a disclosure obligation. And I do not know how it ended up in the
16 hands of this journalist, whether there's any issue there, if that would
17 be the case, and again I see this article for the first time in my life.
18 I am at page 3 without even having read pages 1 and 2.
19 But it immediately came to my mind and that this is -- and that's
20 not exactly what we saw in earlier press publications that it is dealing
21 with, apparently, an internal work product document within the OTP, which
22 might complicate matters.
23 Mr. Misetic, and I heard you say in a one-liner what the issue
24 was. Sometimes it takes a few more lines to know exactly what the issues
25 are but --
1 MR. MISETIC: Well, Your Honour, if I may again? This is why I
2 suggest we MFI
3 issues. However, I would point out that part of what you will hear in
4 response is that Rule 70 has not been respected with respect to other
5 documents. And I believe I have called that to the attention of the
6 Chamber before when the Prosecution has been tendering documents and they
7 have said, We got this document in the mail anonymously, and therefore we
8 can use it, despite the fact that, say, a document says state secret on
9 it --
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, I'm talking about 70(A), internal work
12 MR. MISETIC: Whether it is it Rule 54 or whether it's 70(A), the
13 issue is once something in that case gets leaked to the Office of the
14 Prosecutor, or once something gets published in a major media for ten
15 years and there's no objection, there's no action taken by a party to the
16 case to preserve any Rule 70 claim, to now say that the entire world can
17 know it exists and the Trial Chamber can't --
18 JUDGE ORIE: That also is a complex issue. You know that the
19 best way to draw attention to matters that should not have appeared in
20 publication is to protest against it. That would certainly draw the
21 attention -- well, you're nodding yes.
22 MR. MISETIC: If you look at the article, Judge, if we scroll
23 down, I can actually show you that the Chief Prosecutor --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we'll first read it. And, Mr. Hedaraly, any
25 further matter on this?
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I do believe I need to make this one
2 point if we're talking about Rule 70. The Chief Prosecutor is actually
3 quoted, commenting on the meeting in this article. So to the extent
4 there is protest or to the extent that once leaked the Prosecution
5 acquiesced and participated in the actual commenting on the article, I
6 think is something that the Trial Chamber should consider.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, any need to add anything to what
9 Mr. Misetic said.
10 MR. HEDARALY: No, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the document to be MFI'd under what
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D1212, marked
14 for identification.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that keeps that status for the time being.
16 Mr. Misetic.
17 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Staying on the topic of shelling, Mr. Al-Alfi, if I could,
19 Mr. Registrar, have Exhibit D29 on the screen.
20 You testified yesterday that you were present and met Mr. Akashi
21 when he came to Knin on the 7th of August. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Now, I'm going to show you a document. This is
24 Mr. Akashi's memo to Mr. Annan on his trip to Knin on the 7th. And if we
25 go to paragraph 2, he writes to Mr. Annan and says: "My overall
1 impression of the town of Knin is that it suffered considerable damage
2 from artillery fire, which was evident in the streets, where I observed
3 many shops with broken windows, cars damaged and off the road, artillery
4 shell holes in the road, et cetera. However, the damage to the town's
5 structures, while noticeable, was less than I anticipated."
6 And I'll let you read through the rest of the report. But, first
7 of all, do you agree with that assessment by Mr. Akashi as to what you
8 found on your trip to Knin when you actually toured Knin?
9 A. That is a true reflection if you take into consideration that
10 Mr. Akashi toured only a very small part of the area.
11 Q. Well --
12 A. He did not go all over the area.
13 Q. Well, neither did you, then, correct? I mean, you were with
14 Mr. --
15 A. Later on we reported something when we were allowed to go. But
16 at that visit, for your information, even the first time we had the
17 heliport in our headquarters, the first time that we were not allowed
18 even his helicopter to land in our headquarters but it should land
19 somewhere else. So it was only from the heliport, taking him to meeting
20 with officials and those streets what he saw, and then he came to our
21 headquarters to talk and then he left.
22 Q. But is it fair to say that on the 7th, you were with Mr. Akashi
23 the entire time?
24 A. Of course.
25 Q. Yes. So you --
1 A. Of course.
2 Q. On the 7th, you didn't see more than Mr. Akashi saw?
3 A. On that road? Where we parked, yes.
4 Q. Well, my question is you were always in the same group?
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. So it was you, it was Mr. Akashi, do you recall if Mr. Flynn was
7 also present with you?
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. Okay. So it's you, it's Mr. Akashi, it's Mr. Flynn, taking the
10 same tour of Knin together?
11 A. It's not true to say the tour of Knin.
12 Q. Sorry. The same trip through Knin together?
13 A. The same road to meeting the officials in Knin.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. I would put it this way.
16 Q. Now --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, could we seek further clarification
18 about -- especially about the helicopter.
19 You said no permission was given to -- that the helicopter land
20 in the headquarters, I take it then, the compound. Now this Chamber has
21 received some evidence that there was a helicopter -- there was a place
22 for helicopters to land at a sports field not that far away from the
23 headquarters, close to the railway track, and approximately where you
24 take the road to the -- where the road turns to the north, being parallel
25 to the rail track at the railway station.
1 Is that where this helicopter landed?
2 THE WITNESS: That's true, sir. But we used to have helicopter
3 pad inside the headquarters so -- and usually our helicopters land there,
4 but this was the first time that the Croatian authorities insisted that
5 he lands in where you say it.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that sports field.
7 THE WITNESS: Exactly, sir.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now -- I mean, if we're talking about not a trip
9 through Knin, Mr. Akashi went, accompanied by you, from there to where?
10 Where was the meeting?
11 THE WITNESS: To the headquarters of the --
12 JUDGE ORIE: To the headquarters.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Shortest route?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, shortest route.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That is first going west, then turning to the south
17 and then arrive at the compound.
18 THE WITNESS: That's true.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now from there, where else did he go?
20 THE WITNESS: He went to meet the officials also in Knin, which
21 is on the main street.
22 JUDGE ORIE: On the main street.
23 THE WITNESS: Where General Cermak was also stationed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Main street being --
25 THE WITNESS: I don't recall it. It used to be even used before
1 that for the RSK.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the parties could agree on where that is,
3 especially whether that is in the quarters where -- west of the railway
4 station before you have crossed and entered into the remainder part.
5 MR. MISETIC: It is.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So could I say the area closest to Knin castle --
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- down at the bottom.
9 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: So not entering into the -- not crossing the railway
11 and not going to other areas.
12 MR. MISETIC: Yes. If I could follow up on that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
14 MR. MISETIC:
15 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, do you recall Mr. Akashi and/or Mr. Flynn also going
16 to the hospital on the 7th to assess whether the hospital had been
18 A. I don't recall it at this moment, but it's possible.
19 Q. Okay. So if it is possible, then Mr. Akashi and/or Mr. Flynn --
20 A. I don't hear you.
21 Q. I said --
22 A. Can you talk?
23 Q. Yes, testing 1, 2, 3?
24 A. Yeah, I can hear you.
25 Q. Okay. You don't recall whether there was also a trip to the
1 hospital to assess the hospital itself. Correct?
2 A. I don't recall it at this moment. Maybe that is it true. But I
3 don't recall it. The exact programme, I don't recall it.
4 Q. Do you also recall several military attaches from several
5 embassies in Zagreb, coming to Knin on the same day and also touring Knin
6 and including going to the hospital?
7 A. Well, if that was an arrangement, it would be have been with the
8 government of Croatia
9 Q. Okay. Do you also recall the fact that international media had
10 been allowed into Knin on the 7th of August, while Mr. Akashi was there?
11 A. I did not see them, but if they were there, then they were --
12 this is something between them and the government of Croatia.
13 Q. Okay. Let me show you one of those reports. It's a BBC report
14 from the 7th of August. It is it Exhibit D63.
15 A. This is not in English.
16 Q. It's coming right now.
17 [Videotape played]
18 "Reporter: But what is clear is that the Croatians are in
20 "Nicolas Witchell: Oh, very much so, yes. Their flags are
21 flying everywhere in this town which only 48 hours ago the Krajina Serbs
22 regarded as their capital now total under the control of the Croatians.
23 The UN say that so far as they can tell, the Croatians have been behaving
24 with discipline and in a correct fashion."
25 MR. MISETIC:
1 Q. Now, before I ask you a question let me also read to you what
2 Mr. Flynn said and told this Trial Chamber. This is it at page 1306 at
3 line --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, we usually do not refer to testimony of
5 other witnesses until the question has been put to the witness and
6 then --
7 MR. MISETIC: I think he has addressed in his direct examination
8 but I will -- if you -- he has addressed the issue I want to address in
9 direct examination.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course. I do not know what exactly the
11 issue is but if you would follow that --
12 MR. HEDARALY: I believe the procedure is if he has addressed it,
13 just to refer to where in his direct examination then we know and we can
14 compare the two.
15 MR. MISETIC: I've actually --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do not know yet what the question is, so I
17 have just --
18 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] I'd then prefer to do outside
19 the presence of the witness, but I have a reason for doing my
20 cross-examination this way, Mr. President.
21 MR. HEDARALY: That was the procedure given by the Chamber --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. HEDARALY: -- that if he -- the witness has mentioned it,
24 either in the statement or in direct examination, he should be pointed to
25 where that is and then be impeached and confronted with the new testimony
1 of someone else, just to be fair to the witness.
2 MR. MISETIC: I don't believe that's the -- I don't believe
3 that's --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Whatever it is, Mr. Misetic, you don't have to read
5 it to the witness, but if you give us the reference. I mean, the witness
6 is not able to manipulate the screens whereas we are.
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes. It's page 13809.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let me -- first the date, please.
9 MR. MISETIC: Yesterday. This is just --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just check it. One second, please.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, page 13.000 --
13 MR. MISETIC: 809, beginning at line 21.
14 JUDGE ORIE: 809.
15 MR. MISETIC: And going on to the next page through line 3. And
16 actually you can start earlier, Mr. President, to put it in context,
17 which is starting at line 17, on page 13809.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You have found it, Mr. Hedaraly.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. MISETIC: Now what Mr. Flynn said with respect to that trip
22 on the 7th was -- the question was: "Mr. Flynn, you were also there on
23 the 7th of August. Do you recall UN personnel saying something to the
24 effect that Croatian forces were behaving professionally and in a correct
1 His answer was: "I think there was a sense at that time in Knin
2 that they were doing so. I should point out that we got information from
3 some of those 700 displaced persons which filled in the picture, so to
4 speak. But on that first day, the situation seemed relatively stable and
5 under control."
6 Now, do you agree that on that day that Mr. Akashi was in Knin,
7 that the assessment was that the Croatian forces were behaving
8 professionally and in a correct manner?
9 A. Well, it depends on how you see professionally. I call
10 General Cermak also a professional. But what he meant by professionally,
11 that's for him to elaborate on.
12 Q. Well, did you deem the situation on the 7th of August to be
13 stable and under control, in Knin?
14 A. Under control, in the sense that there is no two parties
15 fighting, yes. But under control, that everything is back to normal, I
16 don't think so.
17 Q. Well, the reason I'm asking you these questions, Mr. Al-Alfi, is
18 that yesterday you testified at page 13.809, beginning at line 23, that:
19 "On that day, we observed at least ten or 11 houses on fire in town."
20 A. That's true.
21 Q. Okay. Can you explain why that fact wasn't in Mr. Akashi's
22 report, wouldn't have been noted in a BBC report, wasn't mentioned by
23 Mr. Flynn? Do you have any explanation why they might have not seen what
24 you saw on that day?
25 A. They saw what I saw, and Mr. Akashi himself, as I reported, took
1 it with the officials immediately. And if you notice from the earlier
2 questioning that even when we talk after the 20th, there were some houses
3 still being burned.
4 Q. Yes, but I'm talking about 7th August.
5 A. No, I'm just telling you.
6 Q. Okay.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have 1D00-0745, please.
8 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, this is a report by Mr. Akashi from the 10th of
9 August to Mr. Annan, and it reports on his meeting with the ICFY
10 co-chairman, which, as you know, were Mr. Stoltenberg and Mr. Bildt, and
11 had this meeting in Zagreb on the 9th.
12 MR. MISETIC: And if I could have page 3, please.
13 Q. The paragraph that begins: "The co-chairmen were keen for
14 detailed information on the humanitarian situation in the sectors ..."
15 And then if we scroll -- go down a little bit to the middle to
16 the sentence that begins: "They wished to know -- to also know."
17 Do you see that?
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. "They wished to also know what we would do with the information
20 we were currently receiving on human rights abuses and asked whether such
21 information would be conveyed to The Hague."
22 Now, as someone who worked in civil affairs, do you know or have
23 any information or -- I should say, can you recollect, when was the first
24 time that you recall hearing that this institution, the ICTY, may be
25 interested in investigating Operation Storm?
1 A. That is not for me to decide, because that was the SRSG. That
2 was his opinion and what he wants to follow-up.
3 Q. Actually, this --
4 A. Yeah, in his later --
5 Q. It's actually one of the co-chairmen or both co-chairmen --
6 A. Yes, it was in Akashi's report. That's what I'm saying. In
7 Akashi's message. I did not say this is the first time I see it, but
8 that's for Akashi
9 Q. I'm asking you about you personally. Did you ever, while you
10 were in Sector South, after Operation Storm, hear that the ICTY may be
11 investigating this case?
12 A. No. I think that was -- at that time it was too early even to
13 talk about it. Because we were only observing and reporting at that
15 Q. Okay. Well, if we go to the next paragraph, please.
16 On more generals topics, the second sentence says: "Granic," and
17 that refers to the Croatian Foreign Minister. "Granic had also
18 indicated ..." It's the third line in the paragraph that begins: "On
19 more general topics."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It says: "Granic had also indicated that the Croatian military
22 plan had been designed to facilitate their departure, a form of ethnic
23 cleansing by other means, in Mr. Bildt 's opinion. With regard to the
24 swift routing of the ARSK, it was felt that this had been a result of the
25 Croatians taking the ARSK by surprise with new military tactics. The HV
1 targeting of command and control elements, the taking of high ground and
2 the intensive use of heavy artillery on towns had been unanticipated. In
3 effect, the Croatians had used the past few years to prepare for a
4 professional military assault, while the ARSK had continued to focus on
5 past tactics. However, despite reports to the contrary, it was the
6 ICFY's understanding that the ARSK had mounted a fierce defence of Knin
7 and had had no intention of abandoning the town ..."
8 Now, I'm going to refer to this document again after I show you
9 the next document. But before I do that, was it also your understanding
10 that the intention of the ARSK was to mount a fierce defence of Knin?
11 Did you know?
12 A. Talking? Yes. Even they reaffirmed it the night [Realtime
13 transcript read in error "9th"] -- if you see from my previous statement,
14 when we met them the night they asked the demands. They were saying,
15 Yes, we want the families, but we will be here, we will be resisting,
16 yes, talking, but what abilities they have, I'm not aware.
17 Q. Okay. Now, I'm interested in this because this is a meeting on
18 the 9th of August and it talks about the targeting -- that the HV
19 targeted command and control elements, took high ground and intensively
20 used heavy artillery on towns.
21 MR. MISETIC: And first, Mr. President, I tender this exhibit
22 before I move on to the next one.
23 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number D1213, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D1213 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. Now --
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D1210,
6 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, this is tab 5 in your binder. Just for the sake of
7 the transcript -- Mr. Al-Alfi, you don't have to worry about this. For
8 the sake of the transcript at page 69, line 10, if the Chamber doesn't
9 mind, I don't think he said even they reaffirmed it on the 9th. I
10 believe he said on the night.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I understood as well.
12 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm interested in the second paragraph on this page.
14 And there the third sentence says and I quote -- let's start with the
15 second sentence.
16 This is your report and it says the: "Croatian offensive mainly
17 centred on Knin with several thousand" --
18 A. Second paragraph?
19 Q. Second paragraph, second sentence.
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. "The Croatian offensive mainly centred on Knin with several
22 thousands of impacts, although now it appears that certain targets were
23 subject to greater shelling, such as the fuel supply depot and Knin radio
24 station. Some of the shelling could be described as indiscriminate and
25 resulted in casualties and damage amongst civilians and their property."
1 I'm interested in the way you phrased that sentence because
2 it's -- you wrote "although it now appears," and this is a report of the
3 11th of August, which suggests to me that after the 4th, the appearance
4 somehow -- you obtained more information than when you were there on the
5 4th. Am I right?
6 A. Certainly, yes. Every day we get more information and we were
7 out and we started seeing also things.
8 Q. Okay. What -- do you recall, can you tell us exactly what
9 additional information you obtained that then allowed you to say that it
10 now appears that certain targets were subject to greater shelling?
11 A. Because by seeing some of the damage, that why I mentioned some
12 of them.
13 Q. So you're just referring to your own personal --
14 A. Not personal. Not personal. I have my own civil affairs
15 officers who are touring the area. We started being allowed to move in
16 the city, so they come and report to me what they saw, and the military
17 also were moving. So they could -- I mean, not as freedom completely,
18 but they could observe it and report it.
19 Q. Now, some of your civil affairs officers, do you recall the names
20 of the people -- of these civil affairs officers who reported this
21 information back to you?
22 A. All of them report to me. All -- all the civil affairs --
23 because I was the -- literally the head civil affairs coordinator, that
24 means heading all this unit.
25 Q. I mean which of them gave you the information --
1 A. I don't recall specific, but all of them they come and report to
2 me, and it is not a secret. The UN knows who were the people working for
3 me at that time.
4 Q. Okay. This statement that the shelling resulted in casualties
5 and damage amongst civilians and their property. Civilian bodies,
6 including children and women were seen in the streets of Knin.
7 You didn't observe children, the bodies of children in the
8 streets of Knin, did you?
9 A. Personally?
10 Q. Correct.
11 A. No. But as I said in my statement also, the day, the day we were
12 called to the RSK it was the first day. When we stepped out of the APC,
13 I saw with my own eyes some civilians, dead bodies on the street.
14 Q. Okay. And what were they dressed in?
15 A. Civilian clothes.
16 Q. Like -- can you describe the clothes?
17 A. Shirt and normal shirts and -- but not the military -- I would
18 consider that a civilian.
19 Q. How many?
20 A. I did not count them because we had to jump out of the APC to go
21 to the meeting. It was -- they -- the whole area was still under
22 shelling, but if I recollect correctly, just next to us where we stop the
24 Q. Where did you stop the APC
25 A. On the main street, where it used to be the RSK headquarters.
1 Q. So these were bodies of people located next to the RSK
3 A. No, no, in the street, just before. Not at the headquarters
4 itself. The headquarters had no compound. It was on the main street.
5 You jump from the car to the door and you go in. So it was the main
6 street used, and we stopped our APC
7 see. We have only small things, small windows.
8 Q. And how many -- how many metres was it from the ARSK
10 A. I would say around 40, 50 metres.
11 Q. And is there a reason that this observation doesn't appear in any
12 of your reporting or General Forand's reporting?
13 A. I said it in my statement.
14 Q. I mean on the 4th, or the 5th, or the 6th.
15 A. It was not meant to say -- I mean, we were not talking -- at that
16 time we were talking how to meet the overall situation, not counting
17 bodies at that time.
18 Q. If you had seen these bodies and you were travelling with
19 General Forand, would General Forand have also seen these bodies?
20 A. That's what I expect, yes.
21 Q. Did you discuss it with General Forand?
22 A. He already saw them. To discuss what? How they were killed? We
23 knew that the area was under shelling.
24 Q. Did you raise the issue with the ARSK authorities as to why they
25 were leaving bodies in the street?
1 A. I told you, the area -- still the area was under shelling. We
2 were called only for a certain purpose, with their demand that they want
3 fuel and all that. It was no time to discuss anything else.
4 Q. Did anybody say, We should call an ambulance or transport these
5 people to a hospital?
6 A. An ambulance? Nobody was moving.
7 Q. That doesn't mean they're dead, does it?
8 A. They were dead bodies, sir.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. They are not moving. They were lying down in the street. They
11 were dead bodies. I could see some of them in bad shape.
12 Q. Now let me ask you -- let me draw your attention to page 42 of
13 your statement.
14 A. 42.
15 Q. Okay. If we start at page 24 [sic] and this is where you talk
16 about these bodies. And you say: "You saw them on the main street, they
17 were -- at least if I'm not mistaken, they open the door and we were
18 about to go to the meeting. I was looking and there were quite a number
19 of dead bodies in the main street. I mean, if I'm not mistaken at least
20 between 10 and 15.
21 And then you were asked: "Did you take a close look at those
23 "Answer: No.
24 "Could you say how those people were killed?
25 "Answer: Because as I told you, we just left the APC, and for
1 security purposes, we have to rush into the building because we cannot --
2 it was not fun at this time."
3 If you go to the next page: "What else did you see between
4 moving from the APC
5 "Answer: As I told you, the APC was immediately in front of
6 the -- I saw a number of houses on the main street burned by shelling,"
7 and then it goes on.
8 So what you said here was, first, you agree that you didn't take
9 a close look at the bodies. Correct?
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. Second, you don't know how those people were killed?
12 A. I don't know. But I took it that because of the shelling. But I
13 did not know, exactly.
14 Q. Third, when you saw what you believed to be bodies, it was as you
15 were exiting the APC
16 A. Mm-hm.
17 Q. Correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And whatever you saw would have been at least at a distance of
20 50 metres because, as you told me, these bodies -- alleged bodies were
21 50 metres from the ARSK headquarters?
22 A. May I correct you?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Yes, we saw, as you might say, 40 or 50 metres. Besides I told
25 you the APCs have small windows.
1 Q. That's not what you said here.
2 A. I'm just telling you.
3 Q. Yeah.
4 A. While passing we saw also through that small window, but when
5 they opened the door, we saw the dead bodies exactly from a distance.
6 Q. You agree with me that's not what you said in 1998?
7 A. I said what I said in 1998, correct.
8 Q. All right. If I could take you to -- just a few more questions.
9 Yesterday at page 13.822, lines 16 to 18, Mr. Russo was asking
10 you some questions about a report concerning someone from the Croatian
11 Red Cross, and you said -- and it concerned the issue of prisoners of
12 war, and I believe you say that they believe that this man from the
13 Croatian Red Cross in Zadar confirmed to -- that to them they are
14 prisoner of war especially those who were in military uniform of the RSK.
15 Were there persons inside the UN camp in military uniform? I
16 mean, outside the UN personnel. Were there Serbs in the UN camp,
17 beginning on the evening of the 4th of August, that were in military
19 A. When people came to the camp --
20 Q. Yes?
21 A. -- they were mostly civilians. Yes, there were some with
22 military uniform. But the condition of the UN to allow them in was two
23 conditions. One, all weapons, if they have any, and they should be
24 searched and the weapon should be handed to the UN. This was the first
1 Second condition, that they would be provided with civilian
2 clothes and they should not stay inside the camp with their military
4 Q. How many of those types of individuals were there?
5 A. I don't recall exactly, but they were a very small number.
6 Q. Okay. If I could take you to tab 11 in your folder or binder.
7 MR. MISETIC: Which is 65 ter 4179, Mr. Registrar.
8 Q. This is a report from the 1st of September that you wrote.
9 A. Mm-hm.
10 Q. And if we go to the last page, which is page 6 in the English.
11 You write: "Furthermore, our office in Zadar reported that
12 Croatians are being moved quickly to resettle in the villages and towns.
13 The building of destroyed houses and properties and the clearing of mines
14 have started. Croatian officials hope that most of the displaced persons
15 will be resettled back in their communities within the next two months.
16 Hotels and resort areas are also rehabilitating and refurbishing their
17 properties that had become refugee centres. All this is in preparation
18 for the next tourist season. Obviously, the hopes and expectations for
19 renewed economic activities in this area are quite high."
20 Can you -- do you have any knowledge or information that you can
21 share with us about why the Croatians wanted to move these people out of
22 the hotels and tourist resorts and move them into the newly liberated
24 A. First of all let me tell you -- I mean, when we talk here, we're
25 not talking about Knin itself only. We're talking about the whole
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Okay? Because the hotels and resorts were not in Knin itself.
4 Q. I know.
5 A. Yeah, yeah, I just want you to be aware of it. So some of those
6 areas were hosting refugees, all right, and they want them, as I said,
7 because they started, even on the media, talking about refurbishing the
8 tourism in that area.
9 Q. But were you aware that the Croatian government had a desire to
10 move people and house them in the liberated areas and get them out of
11 refugee centres?
12 A. Well, we saw some already in action.
13 Q. Okay. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm just going to show you one video which is
14 a follow-up on some answers that you gave to Mr. Kay this morning, and it
15 relates to the issue of translators or interpreters.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 1D00-0749. It is a
18 Q. It is not in e-court yet because it just came up as result of
19 your testimony this morning, Mr. Al-Alfi.
20 MR. HEDARALY: I just don't know about the 4179. It's on the
21 Prosecution's list, but I don't know if Mr. Misetic wants to move it in
22 as a Defence exhibit or ...
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then you strike it from your list.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes, that's fine. We tender it, Mr. President.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 4179 becomes Exhibit D1214.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D1214 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, we've disclosed the audio and the
3 video to the Prosecution, but we have no need for the audio. So we won't
4 be playing the audio or tendering it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: If you do not play the audio, there's no need to
6 have it translated. We just look at the pictures.
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, this is a visit to Knin by Mr. Akashi on the 5th of
9 June, 1995, and he is holding talks with Mr. Martic, and I believe you
10 were in the delegation --
11 A. Excuse me, when did you say?
12 Q. 5th of June?
13 A. No, sir. This is it wrong.
14 Q. It could be later in June --
15 A. It could be later because I arrived in Knin on the 9th or 10th of
17 Q. Okay, well, then I will check the date, but it's definitely 1995.
18 A. It can be June, yes. I think the date definitely has to be after
19 the 9th because I arrived 9th or 10th June in Knin.
20 Q. It is possible.
21 MR. MISETIC: And Your Honour, it's because the issue only came
22 up this morning, so we've tried to put this together.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, looking at the first picture
24 it says the 5th of June. So unless --
25 MR. MISETIC: If it's wrong, we'll change it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Who put it there?
2 MR. MISETIC: We put it that on the top --
3 JUDGE ORIE: You put it there.
4 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have to apologise. I was reminded before by
6 the registrar that, Mr. Misetic, that we are making the same mistakes, as
7 many others do, that is --
8 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE -- you immediately make the mistake again, that is to
10 speak at the same time.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you for lumping yourself in with me,
13 Mr. President.
14 If we could go head and play this video.
15 Q. If the date is wrong we will of course make the change, but I
16 believe you are present for this meeting.
17 MR. MISETIC: Go ahead.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. Is that you behind Mr. Akashi?
21 A. That is my picture.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Yeah, the one on the left.
24 Q. Yes. So we will check the date. But I just want to show you the
25 pictures and ask you to identify certain individuals, if you can. So ...
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. Do you recall the person sitting at the far end of the table? Do
4 you recall him at all?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you recall the name of Sabo Strbac?
7 A. No. The only one I recall, but not by name, the one with the
8 suit. He used to call himself the president of -- yeah, that one I know.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Al-Alfi.
10 The gentleman sitting at the far end of this table, and I could
11 be wrong, but it looks like directly across from you. Is that you at the
12 end of the table?
13 A. No.
14 Q. I could be wrong. But you recall --
15 A. Because I cannot sit on this side. I'm on the other side.
16 Q. No, no, no. I meant, you see the person looking towards the
17 camera at the end of this table?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then there's someone sitting across from him?
20 A. I don't see the picture clearly.
21 Q. Well, do you know that individual?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. MISETIC: We can skip to the one-minute mark. Right there.
1 Q. The person behind Mr. Martic on the left-hand side, do you
2 remember him?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Mr. Alun Roberts?
5 A. Maybe. But I don't recall his face. It has been 13 years.
6 Q. This individual on the right, in the delegation where you are, is
7 named Predrag Sare. Do you recall that name?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay.
10 MR. MISETIC: We'll skip forward then. Stop.
11 Q. Is that you in the back corner, back right --
12 A. It's -- it's not clear. To me, it's here not clear. But it can
13 be, but I cannot say definitely yes, me. But I was with the delegation
14 on that day.
15 Q. Okay. Were you ever told that there was an issue in the
16 UN Sector South about an interpreter being employed in the sector despite
17 the fact that it was known that he had, at least in the past, worked for
18 Serbian intelligence?
19 A. No. I was not told.
20 Q. Do you know if this interpreter in fact, even after
21 Operation Storm, was present in the compound and continued to provide
22 interpretation for persons in the -- officials in the UN compound?
23 A. No, I don't know.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. Not -- he did not work for me, at least definitely.
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, we will tender the video into
3 MR. HEDARALY: Frankly, Your Honour, I fail to see what the
4 relevance of it is. I mean, we'll review the audio --
5 JUDGE ORIE: At least we know who Mr. Al-Alfi does not know --
6 MR. HEDARALY: I'm not sure that assists the Chamber.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- while I don't know how -- well, I think, as such
8 it has been shown to Mr. Al-Alfi and he has given some answers, and I
9 think it would be appropriate to have it in evidence, if only for later
10 comparison if any other witness comes and --
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I may just say -- obviously, as I
12 said, we hadn't prepared this --
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, you --
14 MR. MISETIC: -- for today, but it came up, and in case it is an
15 issue later, it should be in evidence in my opinion.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Not because it gives us a lot of information,
17 but you would say it could be MFI
18 MR. HEDARALY: Well, exactly. Especially because the witness's
19 testimony is that there were interpreters before but not after. And this
20 is a June video, it doesn't really do anything with the witness, but, I
21 mean, we can MFI
22 MR. MISETIC: It is, I think, undisputed amongst the parties that
23 Mr. Sare continued to be an interpreter after Operation Storm, so I'm not
24 sure what the basis is for that objection.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not spend too much time on it.
1 Mr. Registrar, the number of this exhibit would be ...
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is becomes Exhibit D1215.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 MR. MISETIC: I have one additional question, Mr. Al-Alfi.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But after I have --
6 MR. MISETIC: Oh, sorry.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- given the decision of the Chamber that Exhibit
8 D1215 is admitted into evidence.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi you never sought a meeting with General Gotovina?
11 A. Excuse me?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: I think he has to press the --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, we have to ...
15 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, you never sought a meeting with General Gotovina
18 after Operation Storm. Correct?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Why not?
21 A. He is a military. As I told you, we have to understand the
22 structure. If anyone to seek a meeting with, it was General Forand, but
23 I saw him once, or twice, by coincidence. I was with General Cermak and
24 he was there, but for a few minutes. I had nothing to discuss with him.
25 I am discussing with the man in front of me who I'm told that he is
1 charge of Knin.
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
3 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, thank you for answering my questions.
4 A. Thank you very much, sir.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, are you ready to cross-examine
6 Mr. Al-Alfi.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I am. I'm looking at the clock.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll first have a break, and could you give
9 us your final estimate on time.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I would say 45 minutes, Your Honour, at the
11 most. I have three -- I have basically three to four themes to cover.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Five minutes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Five minutes.
15 We will then have break and resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, you will now be cross-examined by
19 Mr. Kuzmanovic. Mr. Kuzmanovic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
20 Please proceed.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Al-Alfi.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. I'd like to take you back to what you talked about in your
25 cross-examination with Mr. Misetic. On page 75, lines 10 to 21, you were
1 asked some questions about what you saw while you were in the APC going
2 toward the ARSK headquarters building.
3 And --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Al-Alfi, you'll not find it because
5 Mr. Kuzmanovic is referring.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm referring --
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- to the transcript of today.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes.
9 Q. If I'm referring to your transcript, Mr. Al-Alfi, I will let you
11 A. Thank you.
12 Q. You were asked a question about what you saw, and you said you
13 could see out of a window in the APC
14 recall that?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Now you can refer to your statement, Mr. Al-Alfi. I'll take to
17 you page 30 of your statement, your written statement, which is, I
18 believe, P1160.
19 And the investigator was asking you some questions related to
20 that same issue in your statement back in March of 1995. On line 7, you
21 were asked: "When you were being transported in the APC, could you see
22 anything outside."
23 And your answer was: "No, because the APC did not," and then it
24 says, "/unclear/ windows."
25 And this statement, this is what you gave in 1998. Correct?
1 A. Yes, that's the statement I gave in 1998.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Al-Alfi, I'd like to ask you some questions related to
3 your role --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I'm wondering whether there is
5 confusion here. I'm just looking at the context, because it is my
6 recollection that -- no, let me not -- Mr. Hedaraly, you were on your
7 feet. I will refrain from any comment.
8 MR. HEDARALY: I just think that the unclear reference in the
9 interview, I think, that is the tape did not properly capture what the
10 witness said. So I think just for the sake of clarity he should be asked
11 if he remembers what he said then because he said did not something the
12 windows. We don't know what it is, and since Mr. Kuzmanovic wants to
13 refer to it, I think perhaps we can ask the witness if he remembers what
14 he meant in that sentence.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
16 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, it's -- you can correct me if I'm wrong, but at
17 least of 1998, your answer on line 9 to the question of whether you could
18 see anything outside the APC
19 assuming the word there is "have windows." Correct?
20 A. Well, APCs have windows, so I would not assume that they don't
21 have windows. They have very small windows you can see through. But if
22 you ask about seeing -- that an open area seeing, the APC was moving.
23 That's what I meant. It was moving. But I saw quickly that through that
24 window until it stopped, I saw some dead bodies.
25 Q. What other word could you fit in there other than "did not" --
1 other than the word "have" for sentence to make any sense? If you can
2 tell me?
3 A. Sir, if you look the overall statement, okay, although I studied
4 in London
5 it's different, that it can be disconnected --
6 Q. Sure.
7 A. But -- but.
8 Q. I understand that, Mr. Al-Alfi. I'm not being critical of you at
9 all, in any way --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, we can ask the witness what he said
11 at the time, whether if he remembers, what to fit in logically is not
12 something a witness -- if he doesn't remember what he said, I could give
13 you five answers to that question, all very logical. I don't think you
14 want to hear --
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Microphone not activated] Your Honour, I'll
16 challenge you -- I'll challenge you to give me five answers.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. At a later stage, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Okay, I'll move on, Your Honour. Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'd like to ask you some questions generally related
20 to your job in Sector South -- or in Knin, I should say.
21 Can you describe for me what you did before Operation Storm in
22 your role. Who did you meet with, what kind of reporting did you
23 undertake, generally, before Operation Storm?
24 A. I was reassigned to Sector South, as we used to call it, not only
25 Knin. Knin was our headquarters to be in charge. And as civil affairs
1 coordinator, which I told you later on the name of the post was changed
2 to be political and humanitarian affairs coordinator. If I'm not
3 mistaken, I arrived in there on 9th or 10th June. It was only one day
4 later after an incident happened to one of our UN military at that time,
5 a Kenyan. He was killed. And my job to be -- was to be, according to
6 our structure, we had the military side and the civilian side. The
7 military side is led by the Sector Commander, as we call it. Usually he
8 is a General. And equal to him was the civil affairs coordinator to deal
9 with the civilian matters.
10 It was mostly civil affairs, and the word "civil affairs" is, I
11 can understand it, it is mostly used in the American system and that's
12 why it appeared first in the Vance Plan. In other words, humanitarian,
13 providing assistance to civilians, caring about civilians, and reporting
14 also these cases to our headquarters.
15 Q. Did you have the same methodology, Mr. Al-Alfi, in terms of daily
16 reporting that you had after Operation Storm, meaning that would you have
17 a daily report that you'd send to Zagreb?
18 A. It depends on the situation. Sometimes, yes. It used to be
19 daily reporting. Sometimes -- but a must was weekly reporting. A must.
20 That's -- even if you report daily, you have at the end of the week to
21 summarize what you were the developments during the week and your
22 assessment, because it is daily, like, meetings which happen or incidents
23 what happened throughout that week. But at the end of the week, we had
24 to submit what we used to call weekly report.
25 Q. Now, in the course of a week, would you have regular meetings
1 with the ARSK milicija or civilian police?
2 A. Police will be met by UNCIVPOL, not by me. But with the
3 authorities at that time, in there, don't forget, yes, I used to have but
4 not necessarily weekly, whenever we had problems to discuss, and they had
5 their own problems. Everybody is aware of them. There was also a
6 breakdown of the system itself between Sector East and Sector South, the
8 Q. Now, when you -- you mentioned an UNCIVPOL would be in charge of
9 dealing with the local police. Were you someone who would oversee
10 UNCIVPOL or would UNCIVPOL report to you things and then you would report
11 them to Zagreb
12 A. No, sir. They would copy to me. Not report to me, and if there
13 are cases of civilians I would also ask them to go and do that job or
14 check that area.
15 Q. So if someone came to you before Operation Storm occurred and
16 said, There are civilians in a certain village or a certain hamlet that
17 need assistance, either humanitarian or otherwise, you would then direct
18 that request to UNCIVPOL or a humanitarian organisation to fulfil that
20 A. First I would ask my civil affairs officer who is -- you know, we
21 had a division, we had civil affairs officers who are in charge of
22 certain areas, a division of labour. I would ask him to go, if
23 necessary, to go with the UNCIVPOL, and if it is the information I feel
24 that it is serious, I may ask even the military to accompany them, just
25 to make sure that they are safe.
1 Q. Let's look for an example. If there was a crime that had
2 occurred before Operation Storm to, let's say, at that point someone who
3 was in the Croatian minority in June of 1995, would that crime be
4 reported to the local police?
5 A. Of course, yes.
6 Q. And would that be the similar methodology you would have taken
7 after Operation Storm, that if you saw that a crime or crimes had
8 occurred or potential crimes that those things should be reported to the
9 civil police?
10 A. Of course, yes, and not necessarily a crime. To give you a good
11 example, at one point our headquarters received a request from the
12 Croatian government that there were two old ladies, I mentioned it in my
13 statement, two old ladies over 80, and they needed treatment in Croatia
14 proper, and I had to go and talk to authorities there and arrange until
15 they accepted even that a UN helicopter will come to the pad to carry
16 them all the way to Zagreb
17 Q. Is it fair to state that if there was a crime that you became
18 aware of or that someone made you aware of, that it would not be the
19 regular course or procedure for that issue not to be reported to the
20 police but to be reported to someone else?
21 A. I could not understand --
22 Q. It was a confusing question. I will rephrase it.
23 It's fair to state, is it not, that the regular procedure that
24 should have been followed by anyone in UN civilian affairs that you had
25 any control over or any UNCIVPOL matter -- person, for that matter, that
1 if there was a crime that occurred that you were made aware of, that it
2 must be reported to whatever local police are there at the particular
3 time. Is that a fair statement?
4 A. Of course. If we received such information we will inform them,
5 and we will report it to our headquarters.
6 Q. Okay. Were you aware -- you may have been asked and if you were,
7 I'm sorry. Were you aware of the specific structure of how the local
8 police was organised after Operation Storm in Sector South?
9 A. No, sir.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. Maybe our UNCIVPOL knew about it but not me personally.
12 Q. So if a report came to you about a crime that might have occurred
13 who would you then report that to? If you --
14 A. You mean after or --
15 Q. After Operation Storm.
16 A. If a report came to me?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. I would -- at that time we only had one power. Okay? If we
19 observed something or something reported to us, to convey it to the
20 headquarters and to take it with the new authorities in Knin, which is
21 General Cermak and -- or UNCIVPOL will take with the civil police.
22 Q. So there would be instances, then, in which potentially crimes
23 that occurred were not reported to the police. Is that fair?
24 A. It can be. I don't know.
25 Q. Did you yourself, Mr. Al-Alfi, take any -- strike that.
1 You yourself, Mr. Al-Alfi, did not take any measures to confirm
2 the accuracy of the reports you submitted other than perhaps in meetings
3 that yourself had attended. Is that a fair statement?
4 A. I could not understand your question.
5 Q. Did you take any measures to confirm the accuracy of the
6 reporting that was brought to you for you to submit to Zagreb?
7 A. Which other measures you are talking about?
8 Q. Did you go try to confirm some of the reports that were given to
9 you or were you simply someone who got a report, put it in your report,
10 and passed it up to Zagreb?
11 A. It depends on the incident, but we had no means of confirming or
12 not confirming.
13 Q. So you were basically a pass-through person who would be getting
14 information and passing that information on to Zagreb for the most part?
15 A. That -- correct because I depend, as I said, on my civil affairs
16 officers who go, sometimes they see and sometimes reported to them. And
17 then come to me, I sit with them, I check it, and if I find that it is
18 worth being forwarded I do it.
19 Q. So in other words, the reports that you wrote -- the accuracy of
20 the reports you wrote depended upon the accuracy of the information that
21 you received. Correct?
22 A. I trust my civil affairs officers. And I trust the UNCIVPOL.
23 Q. If you could go to page 105 of your transcript -- of your
24 statement, I should say, P1160.
25 Before I talk to you about this passage, and let me know when you
1 found it, Mr. Al-Alfi.
2 A. 105?
3 Q. Yes, page 105.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. In this particular passage, starting at line 12, the question
6 before your answer was that: "Did you personally observe any person
7 being intimidated?" And part of your answer was: "As a civil affairs
8 coordinator, I rarely observed anything. You can even say zero. As the
9 civil affairs coordinator, I'm in the headquarters. I am the -- the
10 centre where all this information comes to me and then I reflect what is
11 important, what is not important."
12 It's fair to state, is it not, Mr. Al-Alfi, that the information
13 that you got was not based on personal observation. It was based on
14 information you received?
15 A. If you are talking about the overall situation, yes. But there
16 were some instances, the ones I mentioned earlier, when I was on the APC,
17 yes, I observed it myself. But if you talk about this, yes, the civil
18 affairs coordinator is to deal with the civilian or whatever authorities,
19 political, let's call it, authorities. But it's my civil affairs
20 officers who would report to me, and this confirms what I said earlier to
21 you, that I would sit with the civil affairs officer and check. That's
22 why if I see it not important, hearsay or something like that, I would
23 not forward it because I see that the information is not complete.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Al-Alfi, you were in Knin until when?
25 A. Until it closed, the whole mission closed.
1 Q. So that was when, in 1996?
2 A. I don't recall correctly, but, yes, 1996. And I still remember
3 even I am the one who handed over our headquarters to the Croatian
5 Q. And you would agree with me, Mr. Al-Alfi, that while you were in
6 Knin and in the surrounding areas of Sector South, you never personally
7 observed arson. Correct?
8 A. Arson?
9 Q. Yes, arson.
10 A. I observed it. I saw the houses on fire, yes, but I did not see
11 people doing it. Who were doing it, I did not.
12 Q. Let's go to your -- page 105 of your interview, Mr. Al-Alfi, line
14 A. Line?
15 Q. 31.
16 A. 31.
17 Q. And the question is: "Whilst you were in Knin and the
18 surrounding areas of Sector South, did you personally observe arson,
19 somebody lighting a fire to a home?" And you had answered no.
20 A. That's what I said now. I confirmed it. I said seeing somebody
21 burning a house, I did not see it, but I saw the house on fire.
22 Q. You also said that you did not personally observe people looting
23 but you observed goods in vehicles. Correct?
24 A. That's correct. There were some military and some civilian
25 vehicles. I said it yesterday, and today I repeat it.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Could we please call up 65 ter 4179.
2 MR. HEDARALY: I believe that's D1214.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, you're correct. Thank you.
4 MR. HEDARALY: I think it is in tab 11 of the binder for the
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
8 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, in the first paragraph of this document, under the
9 section that's called "Message," the date of it is September 1st of 1995.
10 The last sentence of that first paragraph, when you're talking about
11 burning of houses and looting, you say: "In some cases, Croatian army
12 personnel and special police forces were seen very close to the sites of
13 such incidents but taking no action to stop such activities."
14 I wanted to ask you specifically about special police forces that
15 are mentioned in this report. Have you ever spoken with anyone in the
16 special police forces?
17 A. Not me personally. This is -- as I told you, the system, my
18 officers report and maybe they did speak to them or not, I'm not aware.
19 Q. You yourself have never spoken to anybody?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Have you ever seen, yourself, the special police forces?
22 A. Oh, yes, while they are -- but I did not talk to them. They have
23 a special dress. It's a special uniform.
24 Q. What did they look like?
25 A. I cannot describe it correctly, but it was different from what
1 used to be the police.
2 Q. What colour?
3 A. I'm not sure. It can be blue, it can be dark grey, something
4 like that. But I knew that.
5 Q. Did you know where -- where did you see them?
6 A. Of course, in the streets.
7 Q. In Knin?
8 A. In Knin.
9 Q. Can you give me any dates or places or times that you refer to
10 special police forces being close to sites of such incidents?
11 A. I don't have specific dates, sir.
12 Q. Or specific --
13 A. I don't recall at this time specific dates.
14 Q. And there are no specific dates, places or times in any of these
15 reports, that you're aware of, correct, with regard to the special
17 A. There might be in the reports of my colleagues who reported to
18 me, but, now, we are talking only about my own reports which are the
19 culmination of all those reports, but there might be specific details
21 Q. In any event, in this report there are no details?
22 A. No, in this report there are not.
23 Q. How often did you get outside of Knin while you were in
24 Sector South?
25 A. What do you mean outside of Knin?
1 Q. Outside of the Knin municipality. Did you travel to places like
2 Obrovac, Gracac or Donji Lapac, during your time?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How often?
5 A. Well, almost -- every week I have to make a tour. If I am in
6 charge of a sector, I have to know what is at least the situation inside
7 the sector.
8 Q. Did you ever have a chance to go to Gracac?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who did you meet with in Gracac?
11 A. I did not meet anyone but I mean going to the areas.
12 Q. Were you aware that the Croatian government had named as a
13 special commissioner for Gracac a man by the name of Ivan Prpic?
14 A. I did not hear about that.
15 Q. You had said that you met with Mr. Pasic, who was the Croatian
16 government special representative of the commissioner for Knin; correct?
17 A. He was in Knin. That's why I met him in Knin.
18 Q. Okay. But you had no such meeting with any other specific
19 government commissioner in any other area --
20 A. Maybe my civil affairs officers did, but personally I did not.
21 Q. With respect to your reporting, Mr. Al-Alfi, at least from the
22 reports that you have -- that had been compiled for you. There are no
23 reports relating to, for example, Gracac or Donji Lapac? Are you aware
24 of that?
25 A. Well, the focus was on the Knin area in particular and what was
1 going on. There might -- and don't forget, our movement was not as easy,
2 although under the title freedom of movement -- I mentioned it in a
3 number of reports that freedom of movement does not mean as it is
5 Q. Sure. I guess I'm not talking specifically just about the first
6 few weeks of August of 1995. I am talking about your entire time-frame
7 that you were in Sector South.
8 A. You mean before or after?
9 Q. After Operation Storm.
10 A. Well, you know, after that period my -- personally my main focus
11 was how to deal. That's why you will see even so much of the reporting
12 that immediately followed was how to deal with those who were -- who took
13 refuge in our headquarters and how to sort out this problem.
14 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, I'd like to you go to -- --
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Mr. Registrar, please call up 65 ter 4126.
16 You know what? I'll skip that document. Let's go to
17 65 ter 4163, please. I'm sorry.
18 THE WITNESS: Which number?
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to the second page please.
20 THE WITNESS: Which number is it in my folder?
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
22 Q. I don't know if it's in your folder, Mr. Al-Alfi. This was a
23 document --
24 JUDGE ORIE: I do not see it on the exhibit list presented by the
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
2 Q. It should show up on your screen, Mr. Al-Alfi.
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. On the right is the B/C/S version, and I'll just represent to you
5 that the cover page notes that this document came from you, in terms of
6 being forwarded.
7 The second page of this document, which is dated August 28th of
8 1995, deals with a Human Rights Action Team report which described the
9 surrender of 10 of 14 RSK soldiers still hiding in the area 12 kilometres
10 from Knin.
11 You were familiar with this incident. Correct?
12 A. If you see this report, and I said throughout in my testimony,
13 the Human Rights Action Teams had their direct responsibility -- as you
14 will even notice in my testimony, I said the Human Rights Action Team had
15 direct responsibility to what was established at the headquarters in
16 Zagreb. There they established something called Human Rights Action
17 Cell, if I'm not mistaken, and I still remember even the name of the
18 person who was in charge of that cell. Her name is Peggy Hicks, in
20 So their reporting was direct, that's why you will notice in such
21 a report I cannot change except forward because when they report --
22 because I'm in the sector also they report -- they copy me. They have to
23 copy me. So if you notice, without talking about the contents, they are
24 the ones to be asked about the contents, not me. I had to forward it
25 because I forward it to our part of the headquarters which is the civil
1 affairs or the political and humanitarian affairs.
2 Q. Okay. Just so I'm clear, Mr. Al-Alfi, you forwarded this report
3 but the substance of the report itself, you had nothing to do with, and
4 you were simply relying on the report of a Human Rights Action Team to
5 give you the information to forward?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Irrespective of that, if you could take a look at paragraph 2 of
8 the document. Irrespective of that forwarding that you did, were you
9 aware that, on the 28th of August, the RSK soldiers surrendered to a
10 platoon of Croatian special police soldiers?
11 A. I knew about it exactly as I read it.
12 Q. So other than reading it and hearing about it in the report, you
13 had no other independent knowledge regarding this?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Were you aware of similar surrenders and RSK soldiers, pockets of
16 them in various places throughout Sector South shortly after
17 Operation Storm?
18 A. I don't recall correctly. I mean, exactly, but if it -- anything
19 it will be reported either by the Human Rights Action Teams and I would
20 forward it, if it ...
21 Q. So you have no independent knowledge?
22 A. No.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I'd like to tender this document,
25 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1216.
3 JUDGE ORIE: D1216 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
5 Q. Mr. Al-Alfi, we had some discussion earlier on in your
6 cross-examination about daily reporting, and I'd like to know from you --
7 we've had a chance, obviously, to look through most, if not all, of your
8 reports and those that you forwarded and those that you had put together
9 from reports that were given to you. On August 25th, 26th, 27th, and
10 28th, those are four days for which there are no daily reports, and I was
11 just wondering if you could explain to us what the reason might be that
12 there weren't daily reports for those four consecutive days.
13 A. I cannot recall every single report I sent. There might be.
14 Because even I heard here that not all the reports -- some of the other
15 reports were quoted and they said, It is not in your folder. So, I don't
16 know. I cannot recall exactly whether I reported or not, on those days.
17 Q. Was it your practice and procedure and habit to report each day
18 following Operation Storm?
19 A. No, it's not a practice, I mean, but because of the situation,
21 Q. And as far as you know, and just so I'm perfectly clear, for
22 those four days there may be reports, there may not be reports. You
23 simply don't know?
24 A. I don't recall now.
25 Q. Did you, Mr. Al-Alfi, ever have any personal contact with any
1 member of the Croatian special police from the Ministry of Interior?
2 A. I could not get your question, sir.
3 Q. Sure.
4 A. Can you repeat it?
5 Q. I certainly can. Mr. Al-Alfi, did you yourself, personally, ever
6 have any contact with any member of the Croatian special police of the
7 Ministry of Interior of Croatia?
8 A. You mean in Knin or outside of Knin?
9 Q. Anywhere.
10 A. No.
11 Q. It's fair to say that you've never met or spoke with
12 General Markac. Correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. My statement is correct?
15 A. That's true. That's what I meant by yes.
16 Q. I'd like you to refer to your transcript again -- or your
17 statement again, I'm sorry, P1160. I'll get you a page reference in just
18 a second. Page 108, and we're looking at line 20.
19 A. Which one?
20 Q. Page 108.
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. Line 20.
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. And the interviewer is thanking you for your time and asks you a
25 question about your voluntary participation, and I just have a question
1 about your part of your answer. You say: "Oh, yes, and as I told you,
2 my understanding of it is how to contribute to your success because it is
3 also a part of my responsibility. And after you have clarified exactly
4 what was the purpose."
5 Could you explain to me what you meant by being part -- having
6 responsibility to be part of "your success"? What does that mean?
7 A. Sir, to me, this phrase what I meant is by helping to you do your
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. Okay?
11 Q. Fair enough.
12 A. And it's part of my responsibility because my responsibility,
13 when I was in -- as in my capacity as coordinator of the sector.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And if we could go to page 92.
16 THE WITNESS: 92.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
18 Q. You gave a fairly long answer, Mr. Al-Alfi, and I won't get into
19 most of the answer, but for some context, I'll just generally summarize
20 what the discussion was. The discussion was dealing with civilian and
21 political authorities in Croatia and in Zagreb, and you were speaking
22 about Mr. Cermak here. And on line 25, you state: "So he knew that the
23 situation turned to be not military. It's more of a civilian and it
24 causes them embarrassment internationally, so maybe with me he had been
25 very careful and tried to show that he is forthcoming." And that next
1 line, the question is: "What do you mean that it's more embarrassing
2 civilian-wise? Could you explain this for me, the purpose, the
4 And you answer: "Because the whole international focus and
5 international attention was more on the civilian now. Part of what
6 happened with," and it's unclear, "with burning, with looting, rather
7 than -- they're not military operations at all. They are not talking
8 about cease-fire. So it's no more a military operation."
9 And I'd just want you, if you could, to clarify your answer to
10 that, and you can tell me if I'm wrong or not. Was it your position in
11 answering this question that the issue with burning and looting was
12 primarily a civilian issue and not a military issue?
13 A. As far as I understand it, and I stand to be corrected, I meant
14 here the military operations are no more going on. Now, we see burning
15 of houses. We see -- we -- we see our reports some people found killed
16 and we talk about looting. So these are civilian matters. I mean, to
17 me, the situation is no more the military operation. That means the
18 shelling all these things or fighting, has stopped.
19 Q. And so as far as you're concerned, the issue with burning and
20 looting is something that's a civilian issue, at this point in time?
21 A. Civilian in the sense that it is targeting civilians. That's
22 what I meant by civilian issue.
23 Q. And that the people who are conducting this, whether they're
24 military or civilian, it's a civilian issue to deal with?
25 A. Well, that's my basic understanding. But it's not for me to
1 judge. It's for legal matters to be -- to decide whether they are
2 civilian or not.
3 Q. All right, Mr. Al-Alfi. Thank you very much. I don't have any
5 A. Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
9 Q. If you can go back to tab 11 in your binder, that is at D1214,
10 and you were asked some questions this morning, just now by
11 Mr. Kuzmanovic and earlier by Mr. Misetic, and I just want to make sure
12 that I understood your answers correctly. If you can go to the last page
13 of that document, the last paragraph to which Mr. Mr. Misetic had
14 referred to.
15 A. Mm-hm.
16 Q. About the refugees being resettled. Let me just find the exact
17 question you were asked. It's at page 78 of the draft transcript: "But
18 you were aware that the Croatian government had a desire to move people
19 and house them in the liberated areas and get them out of refugee
21 You answered: "Well, we saw some already in action."
22 And if we look at the report, the first sentence: "Furthermore,
23 our office in Zadar reported that Croatians are being moved quickly to
24 resettle in their village and towns."
25 Can you tell the Chamber who was being resettled in terms of
1 refugees, were they Croat refugees or Serb refugees?
2 A. What I meant here?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. In 1990/1991 when the war started, there were some Croats in
5 these areas. They were -- they left the area. They turned to be
6 refugees in what used to be called Croatia proper, not in the
7 United Nations protected areas. These refugees who lived all those years
8 outside the sector were brought back. That's what I meant.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Al-Alfi. If I can have P363 on the screen. You
10 don't have that in your package. It's going to come on the screen. And
11 I want to ask you -- while the document is being loaded I can ask you.
12 Can you tell the Court who Mr. Pitkanen was?
13 A. According to our chain of command, he was like -- you can say my
14 direct boss in Zagreb.
15 Q. If we can go to page 5 of that document, please.
16 This a letter --
17 A. Which one -- which one are you talking about?
18 Q. Of course. The one on the screen.
19 A. On the screen.
20 Q. The one on the screen, the letter in front of you now on the
21 screen --
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. -- by General Forand. The first sentence -- it's dated
24 11 August 1995
25 yesterday, both Mr. Paavo Pitkanen and I brought to your attention," that
1 is to Mr. Cermak," information gathered by UN sources concerning the
2 widespread and systematic looting and destruction of property, crops and
3 live stock." Let me just pause a second for the translation.
4 And my question for you is: Were you present at that meeting
5 with General Forand and Mr. Pitkanen, on the 10th of August, the day
6 before this letter was sent?
7 A. I don't recall correctly but most probably, yes. Because he's --
8 according to the chain of command, he is my boss, Pitkanen. So unless I
9 had something else, I would have been there, with them, and you notice
10 one thing which is very important from this letter. Most of the letters
11 we are dealing military to military, so most of the letters, if any,
12 would go from our headquarters, would go from General Forand to
13 General Cermak not from me. Thank you.
14 Q. So this would be an instance, on the 10th of August, when you met
15 General Cermak and notified him about the looting and burning but that
16 was not reflected in one of your reports that was shown to you earlier
18 MR. KAY: The witness said probably.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
20 MR. HEDARALY:
21 Q. With that proviso, that would be accurate?
22 A. That is so.
23 MR. HEDARALY: I have no more questions, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly.
25 Mr. Al-Alfi, you remember the questions about the 10.000 shots
1 fired in an hour. Could you -- do you remember and could you give us an
2 indication about the frequency of hearing impacts? Let me try to give
3 you guidance.
4 Was it more like boing boing boing boing boing, or was it more
5 like boing, boing. Could you give us an impression of what you heard
6 rather than asking you to judge upon the competence of other persons. Do
7 you remember?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. It's more of the first expression you
9 gave, and even the boing boing boing -- from different directions. It's
10 not only one boing. It is all over the place, to the extent that even
11 our headquarters, which used to be just in the corner, was shaking.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now you say it is was even more. Would that
13 be baba baba baba, like that?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, exactly.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm just -- for the parties I'm just trying to
16 understand, knowing, reducing what 10.000 an hour means in a second. I
17 try to -- rather than to seek a judgement, to seek your memory on this
18 matter. Thank you for that answer.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, I think for the purpose of the
20 record, I don't know if this is some evidence that Your Honours wanted to
21 preserve but as to the frequency --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As far as the -- first of all, if you would
23 listen to the audio, you will know what it is. That's one. I think I
24 started with a frequency of two in a second, at least every bang less
25 than -- far less than a second; whereas my second example was
1 approximately one bang in every, I would say, three to four seconds, but
2 if anyone disagrees, then listen to the audio. The reason why I did it
3 because the average on 10.000 an hour would be two to three in a second.
4 Thank you for your answer.
5 Have the questions in re-direct or the questions from the Bench
6 triggered any need to put further questions to Mr. Al-Alfi?
7 That not being the case, Mr. Al-Alfi, I'm glad that we were able
8 to conclude your testimony today. I would like to thank you very much
9 for coming to The Hague and for having answered the questions that were
10 put to you by the parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe trip
11 home again.
12 Yes, Mr. Al-Alfi?
13 THE WITNESS: Sir, may I have a personal request? It is up to
14 the Court to grant me or not.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether I'm even in a position or
16 whether the Court is in a position to grant it, but tell us what your
17 request would be, then.
18 THE WITNESS: Because General Cermak is a man I dealt with, can I
19 shake hands with him?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that is not usually not done, Mr. Al-Alfi,
21 but --
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir. I understand.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It is -- no, but the mere fact that you asked for it
24 certainly is understood by Mr. Cermak. So to that extent, it's --
25 whether you would call that a virtual handshake or something like that, I
1 do not know. But it's on the record. He has heard what you said.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, could you please escort Mr. Al-Alfi out
4 of the courtroom.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, sir.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: As far as tomorrow and the day after tomorrow is
8 concerned, the Chamber knows that the courtroom will be available
9 tomorrow in the afternoon and the Chamber would like to receive, as
10 quickly as possible, any further objections against the course which
11 would take us to tomorrow morning, tomorrow in the afternoon and Friday
13 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I have been able to read the third
14 statement now and assess notes made by my team on the matter.
15 Ms. Higgins will actually deal with the cross-examination, but we do not
16 anticipate it will be a long time. It would be under 45 minutes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The other parties, could they give an
18 estimate? Mr. Kuzmanovic.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Roughly the same, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour, I would say two, two and a half
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then one hour for you, two and a half hours --
24 that would mean that we'd need --
25 MR. HEDARALY: Hour and a half, sorry.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Hour and a half, yes. That would mean that we would
2 need two sessions. Experience tells us that it is, although not today,
3 that it's usually getting worse than better. Of course the Chamber will
4 have to decide whether or not to cancel the extra session Thursday
5 afternoon. Of course, another way of proceeding would be to see whether
6 we can finish in that extra session and then not to sit on Friday, which
7 might accommodate some of you. Of course, the Chamber will also have to
8 speak with the registry about it, also very practical matters like costs
9 of cancelling, costs of adding sessions. We'll let you know as soon as
10 possible, but I'd like to hear whether Thursday afternoon, apart from
11 preparations, causes any problems.
12 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I do believe I'll be starting first and
13 I will be ready to go.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then at least we'll not make any further
15 efforts to see whether we can have additional time on Friday. It might
16 even that be that we can do without Friday.
17 We adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow, the 18th of
18 December, at 9.00 in the morning in this same courtroom.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
21 December, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.