1 Tuesday, 27 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 [Technical difficulty]
7 JUDGE ORIE: There appears to be a problem with the LiveNote, so
8 we'll wait until it has been fixed.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
10 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T,
11 The Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
12 JUDGE ORIE: There still is a small problem with LiveNote. I
13 asked the Registrar to call the case.
14 Could you please repeat, Mr. Registrar, when you called the case.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon Your Honours. Good afternoon to
16 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
17 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 Before we continue, Mr. Lausic, I have to pay two seconds'
20 attention to another matter.
21 First of all, I would like it put on the record a decision which
22 was communicated to the parties in an informal way, the decision being
23 that the Chamber decided to grant the Prosecution's request for leave to
24 reply to response on behalf of Ivan Cermak to the Prosecution submission
25 of 92 ter statement and to associated exhibits in relation to
1 Witness 140, which was filed on the 26th of January, 2009.
2 The Chamber expects the reply to be filed by Wednesday, the 28th
3 of January.
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then another brief matter.
6 A list was distributed among the parties, in relation to the
7 assignment of exhibit numbers to documents that were tendered as an
8 attachment to the 92 ter statement in relation to Mr. Lausic. That list,
9 the attachments were in total 37, but yesterday 65 ter numbers 2978,
10 2741, and 2889 were already admitted into evidence, are therefore removed
11 from the list. On the list now, we find the remaining 34 documents, to
12 which exhibit numbers were assigned from P2160 up to and including P2193.
13 Yesterday the decision was already given that they were all
14 admitted into evidence, but the remaining 34 documents are now to be
15 found under these exhibit numbers.
16 Then, Mr. Tieger, are you ready to continue your
18 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
20 Mr. Lausic, I would like to remind you that you are still bound
21 by the solemn declaration that you made at the beginning of your
22 testimony yesterday. That is that you tell the truth, the whole truth,
23 and nothing but the truth.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
1 WITNESS: MATE LAUSIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examination by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Lausic.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. As we adjourned yesterday, you had devoted your attention to
7 Articles 8 and 9 of the rules governing the organisation and work of the
8 military police. That's P880.
9 MR. TIEGER: And if could I ask for that exhibit to be called up
10 once more.
11 Q. And again, Mr. Lausic, you should see the rules displayed on the
12 screen in front of you.
13 Now, you indicated, in fact, the very last thing you said
14 yesterday was that the subsequent articles of the rules list the relevant
15 tasks and powers of the military police.
16 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn to Article 10 of the rules.
17 Q. It's found on the bottom of page 5 of the English, and page 2 of
18 the Croatian -- excuse me, sorry. Bottom of page 3 of the Croatian.
19 Now, Article 10 is the first article appearing in chapter 3 which
20 is entitled scope of activities and tasks of the military police.
21 And, Mr. Lausic, if can you indicate to the Court whether that
22 article or other articles were the ones you were referring to when you
23 indicated that -- is that subsequent articles listed the relevant tasks
24 and powers of the military police.
25 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry -- and the Croatian is page 5, if I ... I
1 apologise for that. Maybe why the witness is having some difficulty.
2 A. Correct.
3 Article 10 of chapter 3 entitled, "Scope of Activity and Task of
4 the Military Police," encompasses everything that the military police
5 does and which falls under the tasks of the military police units.
6 Article 9 reads that while performing their regular military
7 police tasks, military police units of shall be subordinate to the
8 commander of the Military District, the commander of the Croatian navy,
9 of the Croatian air force, et cetera, within the remit of the military
10 police -- or, rather, when the remit of their powers, it is stated that
11 they are entitled to issue orders to the military police to carry out all
12 the tasks listed in Article 10.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lausic.
14 MR. TIEGER: Can we turn next to D35, please.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I noticed that I've got on my
17 LiveNote two transcripts of the 26th of January, but both not of our
18 session yesterday, but from another Trial Chamber.
19 If that would be the case for anyone else, then, of course -- so
20 I'm the only one who has no access to yesterday's transcript at this
21 moment. That -- then there's no need to have it fixed apart from it to
22 be fixed on my computer.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. I think we were about to
25 turn next to Exhibit D35.
1 Q. Mr. Lausic, Exhibit D35 is an order dated the 6th of July, 1994,
2 issued by Minister of Defence Susak.
3 Let me ask you first if you were familiar with this order at the
4 time or about the time it was issued?
5 A. Not only the order, but the genesis of the order. That's to say
6 the underlying reasons for its issuance.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Can all the extra microphones be switched off,
9 MR. TIEGER:
10 Q. And why was that order issued?
11 A. In the area of the town of Dubrovnik
12 72nd Military Police Battalion was active, which in accordance with
13 Article 9, according to the daily operational command, was subordinated
14 to the commander of the southern front. As part of the company, there
15 were military police platoons. The Croatian -- the reserve brigades of
16 the Croatian army, which were part of the forces deployed in the southern
18 There came about a situation where the commander of the southern
19 front ordered, prompted by the activities of one of the members of these
20 military police platoons, I will not say of which reserve brigade they
21 were a member, the commander asked that the commander who was arrested
22 for breach of discipline, be released from the detention premises and not
23 to report to the superior command which was, in this case, the
24 72nd Military Police Battalion.
25 When the commander of that platoon and the commander of the
1 company of the 72nd Military Police Battalion, refused to act upon the
2 oral order of the commander of the southern front, he issued an order
3 where he abolished or disbanded the platoon and turned into a regular
4 infantry platoon.
5 Another infantry platoon of that brigade was in turn transformed
6 into a military police platoon. The members of the -- of what was
7 formally the military police platoon were ordered to hand over all the
8 weapons they had, the communications devices, et cetera, which was in
9 violations of the rules governing the military police and it was also --
10 it also constituted the overstepping of the powers granted under
11 Article 9 to the military personnel over the military police.
12 There were attempts to resolve this in contact with the commander
13 of the 72nd Battalion and the commander of the southern front. Since it
14 was impossible to resolve it at that level, the commander of the 72nd
15 Battalion reported on this to the administration of the military police.
16 I personally spoke to the commander of the southern front to repeal that
17 order. The individual concerned refused to do that. And I informed the
18 ministry thereof.
19 The minister, in turn, issued a new order, in the preamble of
20 which it was highlight that the order was issued on the basis of the
21 minister's powers granted under the law, and the Law on Defence, in order
22 to remove any matters that may remain vague in the line of command over
23 the military police, acting upon the information received from the
24 command of the 72nd Military Police Battalion and about the conduct of
25 the platoons that were members of that 72nd Battalion, in the southern
2 The order was quite specific in its terms, and in Article 10, or
3 item 10, of that particular order, the ministry vacated all the orders
4 that came down along the line of command to the military police units and
5 which were issued contrary to the provisions of the legislation in this
6 particular order.
7 That's the genesis of the order, which I might -- I have to say
8 was quite unusual. However, this was the only means of resolving the
10 I have say that the commander of the southern front fully adhered
11 to the order. It was fully implemented, and the military policemen
12 involved were again posted to the positions and in -- and charged with
13 the duties that they had been carrying out previously.
14 Q. Mr. Lausic, at the beginning of your answer, you indicated that
15 the military police battalion was active in a certain area which in
16 accordance with Article 9, according to the daily operational command was
17 subordinated to the commander of the southern front.
18 When you say "according to the daily operational command," is
19 that the same thing or different from that what is stated in Article 9
20 while performing their regular military police tasks, military police
21 units are subordinate to the commander of the Military District, and so
23 A. I have to explain this because in your question you said that it
24 had to do with the commander of the battalion. This was the situation.
25 The 72nd Military Police Battalion at the time, and we're
1 referring to 1994, had, as its area of operation, the area stretching
2 from the island of Pag
3 area of the Split Military District and that of the southern front.
4 The southern front was the area stretching from Ploce to
6 Q. If I may interrupt for a second. And the question seems as if it
7 was confusing.
8 It wasn't interested so much in the geographic area of
9 responsibility as I was in the terminology. And as I indicated, at the
10 beginning of your question, you used the term:
11 "According to the daily operational command was subordinated to
12 the commander of the southern front?"
13 And I just wanted to know if that term "daily operational command
14 was contemplated the same subordination or anything different from the
15 language of Article 9 which states: "While performing their regular
16 military police tasks, military police units are subordinate to the
17 commander of the Military District and the other officials listed."
18 A. For the sake of precision, in my answer, I wanted to highlight
19 that the 5th Company of the 72nd Battalion had as its area of
20 responsibility the southern front, which was not the area falling under
21 the Split Military District. Whereas other companies of the 72nd
22 Battalion were covering the area that was the AOR of the Split Military
24 Now to answer your question. The daily operational command had
25 to do with the carrying out of the -- all daily tasks of the military
1 police referred to in Article 10.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you.
3 And I want to move on to another question, but I wanted to ask
4 you if the circumstances that gave rise to the 1994 order about
5 Minister of Defence Susak, that is, the existence of platoons attached to
6 brigades whether that situation continued to exist in 1995 at the time of
7 Operation Storm. At that point, were military police platoons still
8 attached to brigades?
9 A. To answer your question with precision, and for the benefit of
10 Their Honours, I would have to go back to the history of the inception of
11 the military police force, in order for my answer to your questions to be
12 properly understood.
13 If you will allow me, I can briefly depict --
14 Q. Sure. And if it is necessary to make your answer understood, by
15 all means, but I would certainly encourage you to make the background
16 explanation as brief as possible.
17 A. Thank you.
18 The specificity of both the Croatian army and the military police
19 lay in the fact that it was the units that first came in existence and
20 only then were the rules developed.
21 The Croatian army was first constituted from members of the
22 civilian police volunteers and then members of the National Guards Corps.
23 It was only at that point that the Croatian army was formed also through
24 the mobilisation of the reserve brigades. Each of these reserve brigades
25 under its establishment had a military police battalion --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. Platoon.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And until such time as the military
3 police was formed, and I have to tell you that I joined the forces in
4 December 1991 by which time some hundred brigades of the Croatian army
5 had been mobilised, these platoons were active in the area of the
6 responsibility of that brigade, without any vertical subordination to any
7 higher level military police structures. When I assumed my duties and
8 gained insight into the military police structure, I found that there
9 wasn't a single written rule governing the existence, work, or tasks of
10 the military police force. The next step was to issue a provisional
11 instructions governing the work of the military police which were in
12 force until the 1994 rules were developed.
13 The next stage was the stage of build up. These platoons, the
14 military police platoons that were members of the reserve brigades
15 remained part of these brigades under the establishment; but a vertical
16 hierarchy was introduced, whereby they were subordinated to the MP
17 companies and these, in turn, to MP battalions and then we also developed
18 the territorial structure of the military police. We had operational
19 zones, and I will use that term later on. These were transformed in
20 Military Districts. And each of ease operational zones or areas had one
21 MP battalion, and this battalion covered its area of responsibility
22 through its respective companies and platoons and thus carried out their
23 duties. This was the model which was in force until the disbandment of
24 the reserve brigades.
25 So my answer to your question is the platoons of the military
1 police were members of the military police brigades under the
2 establishment until such time as these brigades were disbanded.
3 Vertically speaking, they were subordinate, in terms of -- they
4 had their level of subordination, in terms of the professional line and
5 everything else that this entails. They were subordinate to their -- to
6 the companies.
7 For this reason, the case that I illustrated earlier on could be
8 resolved in such a way that the incident was reported on to the
9 structures higher up in the system; and, of course, I tried to explain
10 this in a few words, but I believe you can find this more extensively in
11 both the interview and my witness statement.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. And, Mr. Lausic, thank you for that. I'm going also mention for
14 guidance for future questions the Court now has your statement. It will
15 be able -- that is part of your evidence. It's not necessary for the
16 most part to repeat that unless you can certainly make reference to it in
17 order to explain an answer, but we move faster if you bear in mind that
18 the Court does have that information.
19 And the -- I still may have misunderstood, but I don't I heard
20 whether or not the situation that you just described, that is, with
21 platoons attached to brigades, you said it was -- that was the model in
22 force until the disbandment of the reserve brigades by 1995; and by the
23 time of Operation Storm had those reserve brigades as you just described
24 been disbanded, or did the situation that gave rise to the 1994 order,
25 that is platoons within brigades, continue?
1 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour. If I could just -- this is light of
2 what witness just answered, we're using terms like attached and
3 disbanded. Attached may mean something specific and --
4 JUDGE ORIE: We can further explore that.
5 At this moment I think the simple question is whether during --
6 at the time of Operation Storm, whether the reserve brigades has been
7 disbanded already or not because that was part of the answer for which
8 Mr. Tieger sought clarification.
9 MR. MISETIC: Just as long it is understood what the witness's
10 prior answer was with respect to what it means at that time to attach to
11 a brigade. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's clearly on the record.
13 But, Mr. Lausic, could you give an answer to the question put to
14 you by Mr. Tieger, that whether in -- let's say August 1995, the reserve
15 brigades during Operation Storm had been disbanded already or were still
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The reserve brigades were
18 demobilised at a certain pace and then mobilised again, some in their
19 entirety and some only in several elements.
20 In August, when the preparations were under way for
21 Operation Storm, I don't have the precise data here, but definitely the
22 figure of more than 100.000 members of the Croatian army mobilised does
23 indicates that a number of them were military policemen. I don't know
24 when, but according to the new establishment of the reserve brigades,
25 they no longer had military police platoons as part of their structure;
1 though I don't have the precise figures here as to when the structure of
2 the reserve brigades changed and when they no longer had as their part
3 the military police platoons according to the so-called establishment
4 book. These military police platoons were establishment-wise in the
5 early days of the homeland war, in existence as soon as the reserve
6 brigades were mobilised, and the establishment books of the reserve
7 brigades had MP platoons as their part.
8 Later on, as the structure of the reserve brigades changed, the
9 establishment books no longer this MP platoons as part of their
10 structure, so I can't tell you when this happened.
11 MR. TIEGER:
12 Q. Let me turn back to Exhibit D35. Item 10 of D35. That is
13 Minister of Defence Susak's order states that:
14 "All orders regulating the system of command of military police
15 units or manning of military police units in a manner contrary to the
16 rules of the organisation work of the military police of the Main Staff
17 of the -- of the Republic of Croatia
18 be in effect."
19 I'd like to show you one -- one order and ask about that.
20 MR. TIEGER: Could we turn to D34, please.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. TIEGER: And before we leave D -- sorry. I guess we just
23 did. It's all right. Yeah, if we could just quickly -- I recited the
24 terms of item 10 of D35 with the witness, but I'm not sure he had a
25 chance to see it.
1 Q. Mr. Lausic, that's the item that I was referring to. I think
2 it's on the screen now that: "All orders regulating the system of
3 command of military police units in a manner contrary," et cetera.
4 MR MISETIC: I apologise. The witness seems to have a book of
5 documents in front of him. If I could just inquire as to what he has in
6 front of him.
7 MR. TIEGER: Sure. If I can answer that, Your Honour, then the
8 witness can confirm or clarify.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
10 MR. TIEGER: The Prosecution did provide the witness with
11 documents that it -- it might be using the during of the examination. I
12 imagine that is what he has in front of him now. So not -- I don't think
13 all of them are there, but at least some of those documents are now. The
14 witness may have other documents with him that I don't know about.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any documents in front of you not
16 provided to you by the Prosecution?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I only have the
18 documentation transcripts and witness statement, as well as the enclosed
19 documentation I received from the Prosecutor before me.
20 MR. MISETIC: That's fine Mr. President. I just want to be clear
21 that usually -- I have no problem with it. But I was just inquiring
22 because usually the procedure is that the Registrar gives it --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, usually it is that it is mentioned that hard
24 copies were made available, but I have no view on the witness's table
25 so -- hidden by two screens.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
2 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. And thank you,
3 Mr. Registrar. If we could turn to D34 now.
4 Q. D34 is on your screen at the moment, Mr. Lausic. It's entitled,
5 "The Organisational Order Regarding Work, Order, and Discipline In
6 Garrisons," was issued by Minister Susak, and General Bobetko, at that
7 time, the chief of the Main Staff, And it's dated 27 August 1993; and,
8 therefore, predates the order by Minister Susak we looked at a moment
10 If I could ask you -- I believe this is one of the documents
11 provided before so you may have had a chance to look at that time, but
12 it's an order that provides, among other things, as can you see at
13 item 2, that:
14 "The garrison commands do not have an operational function and
15 the right to issue orders to Croatian army units, except precisely
16 described authorities regarding work, order, and discipline in the
17 garrison, outside of barracks and other military facilities, within the
18 tasks provided by the rules of service of the armed forces."
19 And it goes on to describe in item 3 that the garrison commands
20 are required to establish cooperation and coordination, et cetera.
21 First of all, Mr. Lausic, did you have a chance to --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: Sorry. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Sometimes we have to wait for the translations to catch up.
25 First of all, Mr. Lausic, did you have an opportunity to review
1 this order in 1993 -- sorry. Did you have a chance to review this 1993
2 order before coming to court?
3 A. This order - that is to say this document - is what I received on
4 the 25th of January in the afternoon here at Scheveningen by Mr. Foster,
5 alongside other documents I was handed over. Before that moment, I had
6 never seen that document.
7 Q. And my question is have you read it over or do I need to give you
8 an opportunity to look at it in further detail right now?
9 A. Yes, to the extent of the time I had on my hands.
10 Q. Okay. And my question, Mr. Lausic, is simply this: Is this
11 order consistent or inconsistent with the rules of the organisation and
12 work of the military police and the order by Minister Susak in 1994.
13 A. If I may, I would like to say that Minister Susak's order dated
14 the 6th of July, 1994 was the result of a specific event, which I
15 described. It was issued in order to prevent such and similar incidents
16 in the future.
17 Q. Mr. Lausic, excuse me, for a second and I just wanted in fairness
18 to my colleagues I brought your attention to two particular items in D34;
19 that is the 1993 order, but I should have also brought your attention to
20 item 4 as well; and that is that the commanders of the Military
21 Districts, the Croatian navy, the Croatian air force, and anti-aircraft
22 defence shall study the enclosed directive in an organised fashion by
23 15 September 1993
24 tasks for each garrison regarding work order and discipline and the
25 implementation of the prescribed tasks.
1 In item 5 it continues that: "The commanders of the Military
2 Districts and so on are required to monitor, work, order, and discipline
3 in the garrisons through regular and interim inspections and checks and
4 at least quarterly do an analysis of the situation of work, order, and
5 discipline in the garrisons and based on the situation encountered take
6 all necessary measures to bring work, order, and discipline in the
7 garrison to the required level."
8 Item 6 indicates the supervision of that implementation.
9 There is an enclosure to that instruction, to that order as well,
10 entitled, "Instructions on Regulating some Issues within the Jurisdiction
11 of Garrisons."
12 And if I could bring your attention to two of those. In the
13 instructions at page 4 of the English, it's item number 4 in the --
14 MR. TIEGER: And that would be at -- ERN page 0156-0259 of the
16 Q. That item is entitled, "Employing Military Police Units," and
17 states that:
18 "The Military District --" excuse me, "The garrison commander is
19 required to arrange a procedure with the closest unit of the military
20 police of calling military police units and having them intervene in the
21 case of unrest, accident, et cetera, when a MP unit is indispensable to
22 establish order and discipline in the area of the garrison. Also,
23 arrange for the temporary employment of military police patrols to
24 supervise work, discipline, and conduct of military police in public
1 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn next to item 17, found at
2 page 7 of the English, and at the bottom of page 0156-0260 in the
4 Q. And that's an item entitled, "Regulating Order, Discipline, and
5 Supervision of the conduct of the military personnel," and begins:
6 "The garrison commander shall lay down instructions on order,
7 discipline, and supervision of the conduct of military personnel at the
8 garrison that will cover," and then it has a list.
9 Now having brought --
10 MR. KAY: I think the list should be included as well in the
11 question, if the witness is seeing this document for the -- maybe the
12 second time since the 25th of January.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we give an opportunity to the witness to
14 read the list.
15 Mr. Lausic, would you please read that list as we find it in
16 paragraph 17.
17 You've read it.
18 THE WITNESS: [In English] Yeah.
19 Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. So having brought further details of D34, the 27 August 1993
22 order, to your attention, let's me ask, Mr. Lausic, if there -- if that
23 order is consistent or inconsistent with the -- or contrary or not
24 contrary to the rules of the organisation and work of the military police
25 and to Minister Susak's 1994 order.
1 A. [Interpretation] First of all, I have to note the following: At
2 the time this order was issued and signed by the minister of defence and
3 chief of the General Staff, the rule on the work an organisation of the
4 military police which we saw previously was not in force. It was put in
5 force in February 1994. That is to say, four months later, or actually
6 six months after this order. What was in use, however, was the document
7 on the temporary rules on the organisation and work of the police that
8 was put into force in January 1992 and was valid until the moment this --
9 these rules were put into place in February 1994; hence, they were termed
10 temporary or interim instructions, although the period involved was that
11 of two years. I mention that as both suspect and witness. It is also in
12 the interview and my statement. Hence, there is no need for me to
13 explain further.
14 It was the first document defining the structure, powers, tasks
15 and scope of authority of the military police, and now to go back to your
16 question, in item 4 of the instructions on regulating some and certain
17 issues that fall under the jurisdiction of garrisons attached to
18 Minister Susak's and General Bobetko's order; in that item 4, where
19 mention is made on the engagement of the units of the military police,
20 the authority of command over the military police was given to the
21 commander of the garrison involved. That person can be appointed
22 personally or can be acting in such capacity according to the rules
23 defined in the previous document.
24 In Article 6 of the temporary instructions, we see what was later
25 on regulated by the instructions which were brought into force later in
1 Article 9. Unfortunately, much as many other others, this order was not
2 implemented in full.
3 Q. Okay. And --
4 A. Excuse me, as regards item 17, regulating order discipline and
5 supervision of the conduct of military personnel, I'm not familiar with
6 any garrison commander issuing a document to that effect. In order for
7 you and the others present in the courtroom to understand these
8 documents, I wanted to say that many of the rules of the Croatian army
9 were actually copied from the JNA rules. Only certain terms were
10 changed. Many of such orders and rules held no ground. It was
11 realistically impossible to implement them, for example.
12 Q. The authority and obligations of the garrison commander with
13 respect to the military police as outlined in the 1993 order and the
14 attachments, was that the same or different than was provided under the
15 1994 rules?
16 A. I don't see anything in item 4 that would be in dispute, as
17 concerns the way a garrison commander organises and cooperates the --
18 with the units of the military police. I would have to go back to the
19 rules on the work and operation of the military police dating from
20 January 1992 that was in place until February 1994, in order to be able
21 to answer your question precisely, whether Article 4 of these
22 instructions, or this attachment includes all of the competences in the
23 document you referred to. I believe that was Article 6. However, I do
24 believe that it was the same, and I don't find anything odd about Article
1 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any confusion at this moment in relation to
2 your question?
3 Mr. Lausic, it seems that if you are comparing the 1993 order
4 with the existing rules on the work an operation of the military police
5 from January 1992, whereas, from what I understood, Mr. Tieger asked you
6 but, please, correct me when I misunderstood you, Mr. Tieger, that
7 Mr. Tieger wanted to know what you find in the 1993 order, whether that
8 is in any way contrary to the rules that existed in 1994, being the rules
9 of the organisation and work of the military police; that the question
10 was, was there any reason -- that's again how I understood your question
11 Mr. Tieger.
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it would fall within the scope of item 10 of
14 Minister Susak's order in 1994 that they should be -- that the order
15 should cease to have effect because it was contrary with the rules of the
16 organisation and work of the military police which were adopted in 1994.
17 Is that what you wanted to know, Mr. Tieger?
18 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. You're correct.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so a comparison with 1992 is not asked but
20 whether these -- this 1993 order turned out to be in contradiction or
21 contrary to the rules that were adopted in 1994. That's the first
22 question. And the result perhaps being that under item 10, that,
23 therefore, the order would cease to be in effect.
24 You understand the question?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Presiding Judge, now
1 I understand the question.
2 The stipulations of Article 4 of the attachment and the order of
3 Minister Susak and General Bobetko dating from August 1993 are not
4 contrary to Article 9 of the rules of the work of the military police,
5 dating back to February 1994.
6 As regards the second part of your question, Minister Susak's
7 order dated the 6th of July, 1994, does not have to do with the
8 invalidation of this order. In item 10 of Mr. Susak's document, we see
9 that all orders regulating the system of command or staffing of units
10 that would be contrary to the rules of the organisation are deemed
11 invalid. We also have to view this in the light of the fact why this
12 command was issued. The minister, by virtue of his order, wanted to
13 encompass any other possible similar commands that would go against the
14 rules themselves.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Lausic.
17 I'd like to turn now to August of 1995 and D267 specifically.
18 Mr. Lausic, I believe you'll recognise D267. This is an order issued on
19 the 2nd of August, 1995, by you to -- to various military police
20 battalions and also delivered, as we see, after your signature to many
21 persons, including Minister Susak, General Cervenko, the commanders of
22 various Military Districts, and so on.
23 The subject of the order is preparations of military police units
24 to perform military police tasks in areas of responsibility of the
25 Croatian army, Military Districts during the upcoming operations. And
1 then the order follows.
2 If could I bring your attention first the first two items in the
3 order, items 3 and 4.
4 Item 3 appears to be directed to the setting up of forward
5 command posts of military police battalion with all necessary officers
6 and equipment, and it provides in the last sentence:
7 "Within the daily operational chain of command, commanders of
8 military police battalions shall be subordinated to commanders of the
9 Croatian army Military Districts."
10 Item 4 addresses itself to the setting up of forward command
11 posts of military police companies in the -- that are in the areas of
12 responsibility of operative groups. And similarly indicates:
13 "Within the daily operational chain of command, company
14 commanders shall be subordinated to commanders of the Croatian army
15 Operational Groups?"
16 Now, again, Mr. Lausic, the reference to the subordination to the
17 commanders, is that a reference to Article 9 or any other Article within
18 the rules.
19 A. There's no direct reference to the rules. An order is being
20 issued. It is very precise. It is the so-called preparatory command or
21 order to all MP units to carry out their tasks in the areas of
22 responsibility of various Croatian army units of in the forthcoming
23 operations. It has to do with my previous order on raising of the state
24 of readiness of all MP units.
25 It is true that in item 3 of this order I order that MP battalion
1 commanders should establish forward command posts at forward command
2 posts of the Military Districts, which is only logical.
3 If we are referring to the 72nd Battalion, the forward command
4 post of the Split Military District was in Sajkovici, and by virtue of
5 this order, I ordered that the commander of the 72nd Battalion establish
6 his forward command post at the same location rather than staying in
8 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Misetic, excuse me --
9 MR. MISETIC: I'd like him to finish that answer, Mr. Tieger.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I think Mr. Tieger is entitled to bring the witness
11 back to the question he has put --
12 MR. MISETIC: Well --
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- to him, and if there is it any further matter.
14 Mr. Lausic.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: If at the very end of your testimony you think you
17 have had -- not had an opportunity to explain a matter you find
18 important, of course, you'll have an opportunity to add anything.
19 I take it that Mr. Tieger wants to take you back to the question
20 because his question was primarily focussing on whether the -- what we
21 find in this order, whether this is it -- whether this order in this
22 respect is given in the legal context of Article 9 of the rules, or
23 whether there was any other legal context or legal basis for issuing this
24 order, and we are focussing on paragraphs 3 and 4.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
1 understand now.
2 Absolutely all of the items of this order are in keeping with the
3 rules on -- on the structure and work of the military police, and item 8
4 of that document delegating scope of authority of the head of the
5 military police; and Article 9, which deals with regular military police
6 tasks and handing over command over those units to respective Military
7 District Commanders.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now perhaps, is there in any particular portion of 3
9 and 4, is there some, what you say they -- are directly related to
10 Article 8 or Article 9; are they all under Article 8; are they all under
11 Article 9. If you'd like it make a distinction between the different
12 portions of paragraph 3 and 4, please do so.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I issued this order pursuant to my
14 authority, based on Article 8 of the rules on the structure and work of
15 the military police.
16 In Articles 3 and 4, I used the authority stipulated in Article 9
17 handing over command to the various commanders of military districts and
18 operational groups. There is nothing in dispute here. This order is
19 based on the rules of the structure and work of the military police
20 containing all of the competencies I held as head of the military police
21 based on Article 8. And I delegated the rights mentioned therein to the
22 specified commanders in order for them to be able to command over the
23 units which had been resubordinated to them.
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. Mr. Lausic, I guess my question would be this, Article 9 seems to
1 indicate that while performing regular military police tasks, those units
2 of are subordinate to the commander of the Military District by virtue of
3 the rules. Why was it --
4 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry, it's a very technical thing, but it is
5 not quite accurate to say they're subordinate to. And this is something
6 that will come up in cross, and it is actually in the witness's
7 statement, and I don't want to give testimony in front of the witness;
8 but if it could just be read exactly as it appears in Article 9.
9 MR. TIEGER: Well, I'm -- unless there's a translation
10 discrepancy I will read it again. But I thought it was read accurately
11 at that time.
12 Article 9 states:
13 "While performing their regular military police task, military
14 police units are subordinate to the commander of the Military District,
15 the commander of the Croatian navy, the commander of the Croatian air
16 force, or to the highest Croatian army commander by function in the
17 military police units' area of operations."
18 Q. So my question is this, Mr. Lausic: If you hadn't issued the
19 order stating that within the daily operational chain of command
20 commanders of the military police battalions shall be subordinated to
21 commanders of the Croatian army Military Districts, would Article 9,
22 nevertheless, have made those units subordinate to the commanders of the
23 Military Districts.
24 In other words, were you doing anything more in this order than
25 was provided for in Article 9?
1 A. No. Well, the order only uses a different term by saying within
2 the daily operational chain of command rather than saying while
3 performing their regular military police tasks.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 If I could turn your attention next to item 10 of the order.
6 That's found on page 4 of the English, and I imagine won't be difficult
7 to find in the Croatian.
8 MR. TIEGER: It starts at the bottom of page 2. Okay.
9 Q. Item 10, Mr. Lausic, is the appointment of Major Cvitanovic,
10 Major Juric and Colonel Kozic. And specifically with respect to
11 Major Juric found at the second paragraph :
12 "I appoint Major Ivan Juric and a group of officers from the
13 regular military police section and the military police administration
14 crime section to assist in commanding and organising the activities of
15 the 72nd Military Police Battalion and 73rd Split Military Police
16 Battalion that shall perform tasks in its own area of responsibility and
17 provide necessary assistance to the 72nd Military Police Battalion. The
18 commanders of the 72nd Military Police Battalion and 73rd Military
19 Police Battalion shall be subordinated to Major Ivan Juric."
20 Now your statement addresses the appointment of Major Juric at
21 paragraphs 162 through 164 and that, indeed, you specifically discussed
22 this order in paragraphs 162 through 167; but I simply wanted to ask you
23 whether the appointment of Major Juric was an interference with or
24 limitation of the authority of the Military District Commanders under
25 Article 9?
1 MR. MISETIC: I'm going to object as to vagueness. I don't know
2 what that specific means.
3 MR. TIEGER: Well, was there anything inconsistent then -- I
4 don't mind -- I would wait for a ruling, Your Honour, but I don't mind --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you rephrase the question, if that would
6 meet the concern, that sometimes takes less time and avoids a risk that
7 someone else might consider the question to be vague as well.
8 Therefore, if you could meet without a ruling, I would prefer
9 that. Otherwise I give the ruling.
10 MR. TIEGER:
11 Q. Is there anything inconsistent with your appointment of
12 Major Juric for the purposes specified in your order with the powers
13 conferred on the Military District Commanders under Article 9? In other
14 words, were you intruding on their powers; were you exceeding your own
16 A. I have to first give an introduction and an explanation as to why
17 I decided to set up forward command posts of the military police.
18 As early as during Operation Flash, I noticed that there was a
19 discrepancy between the orders issued, according to the methodology and
20 tactics of the conduct of the military police, and the situation on the
21 ground. I gleaned that from my stay on the ground.
22 Since a great number of soldiers was to be engaged for the
23 purposes of Operation Storm, I decided to have my own ears and eyes on
24 the ground, so to speak, in order to have my own officers at forward
25 command posts, officers from the MP administration. And I did as much as
1 was mentioned in the order. I set up three forward command posts and
2 manned them with officers from the MP administration. Their quality as
3 officers can be gleaned from their professional career, which continues
4 to this day.
5 There is nothing inconsistent or contrary in the powers. I
6 conferred upon these officers, stationed at IKMs of the military police
7 administration, or in the powers conferred upon Major Juric as the person
8 number one of the forward command post of the MP administration.
9 In this way, I conferred some of my powers granted to me under
10 Article 8 to him as one of the officers from the MP administration. The
11 tasks he was given, the reporting system, or all of that is contained in
12 my 2nd of August order, which can also be found in the documentation
13 belonging to this case.
14 Q. Let me ask but that reporting system which I believe is indicated
15 at item 12, found beginning at the bottom of page 4 of the English and
16 page 3 of the Croatian. All right.
17 It's broken down into three paragraphs, the first one indicates
19 "Within the daily operational chain of command, commanders of
20 military police battalions, commanders of the 69th, the 70th, and 74th
21 Military Police Companies shall be subordinated to commanders of the
22 Croatian army Military Districts, commanders of the navy and air force;
23 and they shall report to them in writing and at briefings on a daily
25 And the second paragraph goes on to indicate that every day at
1 2000 hours and it lists various commanders of battalions and companies
2 who shall report to the military police administration until 2000 hours
3 every day, starting from 4 August 1995
4 So was that setting up a parallel or two-part reporting system?
5 MR. MISETIC: I'm going object, Your Honour, as to leading.
6 There is a non-leading way to put that, and that is leading.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. Mr. Lausic, can you just explain the purpose of the two
10 paragraphs and the two -- and the kinds of reporting that you set in
11 place under item 12.
12 A. Item 12 of the order sets forth in more -- with more precision
13 the command and reporting systems, in order to remove any vagueness that
14 may have arisen out of the setting up of the forward command posts of the
15 MP administration.
16 As paragraph 1 of item 12 states, commanders of the military
17 police battalion, commanders of the 69th, the 70th, and 74th Companies of
18 the military police, and these were companies with the Bjelovac and
19 Karlovac Military Districts and the Croatian air force, shall be
20 subordinated within the daily operational chain of command to the
21 commanders of the Military Districts, the commander of the HRM and HRZ
22 and shall report to them every day in writing and at briefings.
23 Then the commanders of the 66th which was in Zagreb, then the
24 seat of the military police and the 74th Company of the military police
25 shall report to the chief of the MP administration directly everyday by
1 2000 hours with the situation as of 1900 hours. And then the commanders
2 of the 67th and the 69th Company, Major Cvitanovic was from the Sisak
3 Military District of the MP administration; then the commanders of the
4 70th Company, that was one from Karlovac; and the 71st MP Battalion,
5 which was the Gospic Military District, Colonel Damir Kozic; and he was
6 the leader of the IKM of the MP in Ogulin; and the commanders of the 72nd
7 Battalion and the 73rd Battalion of the military police, the 73rd being
8 with the navy, the Major Ivan Juric; and he was the person number one at
9 the IKM of the MP administration in Sajkovici; whereas Damir Kozic, and
10 Major Juric, and Major Cvitanovic --
11 Q. If could you direct your attention to the basic structures rather
12 than the details which are contained within the order itself and just
13 describe the basic reporting system that you were setting up through this
14 order rather than the specific persons to whom it was directed or the --
15 the specific companies or battalions involved.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lausic, as I understand what Mr. Tieger would
17 like to know is the following: Whether, in this document, we find that
18 reporting was ordered, both in the HV hierarchy, these Military
19 Districts, and also in the hierarchy of the military police
20 administration, so the two going at the same time.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's absolutely correct.
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. And is that any different than the reporting system that was in
24 place under normal circumstances, prior to Storm and after Storm?
25 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I have to object to the complete lack
1 of precision in how questions are being posed. That question is so broad
2 and has so means different elements to it. Reporting system in what
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's, that's --
5 MR. MISETIC: We have to be talking specific -- let me just
6 [Overlapping speakers] ...
7 JUDGE ORIE: Precision is lacking Mr. Misetic; then there is
8 ample opportunity to make it more precise and if that would invalidate
9 the answer; and, of course, that should be clear on the record, if you,
10 Mr. Lausic, at any moment consider a question to be so imprecise that you
11 couldn't answer it, ask for the type of precision you would need to be
12 able to answer that question.
13 MR. MISETIC: If I can just make my objection for the record
14 then, Judge.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. MISETIC: The order say what it says. It does not say
17 reporting. If we're going to use the proper terminology, I would
18 request, it says daily operational chain versus something else. There
19 are more documents here, and I'm trying to make sure that there is no
20 ambiguity that's being created in how the questions are being phrased. I
21 understand if we are going to go through all this in cross-examination,
22 Your Honour, that's fine. But my objection is still just to note for the
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 What Mr. Tieger, as far as I understand, but forgive me,
2 Mr. Tieger for now and then trying to repeat your questions so as to
3 verify there is no misunderstanding of the question; what Mr. Tieger
4 apparently would like to know is whether this system, in which reports
5 were ordered to be sent within the HV Military District hierarchy and the
6 military police hierarchy, whether this simultaneous reports to be sent
7 in these two hierarchical lines, whether that existed also before
8 Operation Storm -- may I take it, Mr. Tieger, you wanted to refer prior
9 to the 2nd of August?
10 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Prior to 2nd of August and after Operation Storm.
12 And if you have any difficulty in understanding when Operation Storm was
13 over, tell us whether it continued to exist and up till what moment.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 All the battalions of the military police, as well as the
16 independent companies of the military police, were supposed to send a
17 regular daily report to the duty service of the MP administration by 2400
18 hours for everyday; and it was on the basis of that report that the duty
19 service department compiled a morning bulletin about all the events in
20 all the AORs of the Croatian army; and that was provided to the highest
21 levels of the state, not only the Ministry of Defence but also
22 specifically the -- office of the president.
23 This order, in addition to the regular reporting system, daily
24 reporting system which remains in force, and that's to say the duty
25 services of the battalions and companies which continued to submit
1 regular daily reports, this order puts into place a commanding and
2 reporting system on a daily basis at briefings with commanders of the
3 Military Districts, as well as other functions mentioned herein. Whereas
4 the reporting to -- toward the MP administration by the battalions --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there for a moment because
6 everything you said until now was well understood from your previous
7 answers and from the content of this order.
8 What Mr. Tieger wants to know is were you ordered, this
9 additional, as you called it, commanding and reporting system for the --
10 for the commanders of the Military Districts; you ordered that that would
11 be put in place additionally 2nd of August, until when did that
12 additional command and reporting system exist? Did it continue to exist
13 after Operation Storm, and tell us when, in your view, Operation Storm
14 has ended; or was it at any moment in time, was it discontinued?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't be precise, but there is
16 my -- my order exists in the documentation about the dissolving of the
17 forward command posts and the reintroduction of the regular reporting
19 However, this system contained in item 12 was in force until such
20 time as the forward command posts were, whether it was on the 16th of
21 August or thereabouts, dissolved; and the regular reporting system was
22 the only system that remained in place as it had been in existence
23 previously, in fact.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is that an answer to your question, I take it.
25 MR. TIEGER: Well, I -- yes and no.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If have you any further questions, of course, I
2 leave it to you.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. And under that regular reporting system, Mr. Lausic, do you know
5 whether Military District Commanders received briefings and reports from
6 the commanders of military police battalions; and, if so, with what
8 A. One of the first tasks that the MP administration carried out
9 immediately upon the inception, and I will have to go back to the years
10 when the MP administration came into existence, was that we set up a
11 reporting system toward the military police administration from the
12 military police units.
13 The first organisational form thereof that was set up in the
14 administration was the operational duty section. This was, I believe, in
15 February 1992, unless I'm mistaken, which was active around the clock and
16 received reports. The system became perfected as the military police
17 itself developed and improved in quality. It had daily reports according
18 to all the various segments.
19 JUDGE ORIE: You are going in a lot of details in the answers
20 where the question is apparently not aiming at receiving these details.
21 May I invite you to first give an answer to the question, without
22 the details, and if there's any need for the details, or if at the very
23 end of your testimony you say, This detail should be known to the Court,
24 an opportunity will be given to you.
25 But what Mr. Tieger, and I do the same exercise again, apparently
1 wants to know is that in the ordinary situation where report is in the
2 hierarchy of the military police administration; and where we did not
3 have the additional order as we find it in the 2nd of August order to
4 command and report system, as you said within the Military Districts, in
5 this ordinary system, would there be any information that went up the
6 line, would that, and if so, at what interval would that be reported to
7 in the military structure?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was just about to say that.
9 Every report that was sent toward or to the duty service of the MP
10 administration was, at the same time, sent to the commander who was --
11 who had jurisdiction territorially speaking whether it was the commander
12 of the -- of a Military District, the commander of the navy, or the
13 commander of the unit that was active in the AOR.
14 So while the report was sent to the duty service of the MP
15 administration, it would also be sent to the commander of a given unit or
16 an organisational unit of the Croatian army. It would also be sent to a
17 third body, the competent state administration -- state competent police
18 administration because I would be sending a bulletin that we produced to
19 the Ministry of Interior, and they, in turn, would be sending their
20 reports to us.
21 The commander of the Military District would be sending a report
22 to the chief of the police administration. We were in charge of a given
23 area as civilian and military police structures respectively and had to
24 exchange information.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And just to make sure that I understood your
1 answer well, what you now described existed also prior to the 2nd of
2 August and also after the forward command posts were not in existence
3 anymore. You gave as an indication 16th of August.
4 Is that how I have to understand your answer in terms of time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The system was in place throughout
6 the Operation Storm, including the period starting from the 2nd of August
7 when the order was issued, up until the dissolution of the forward
8 command posts. This was the constant system of reporting that was not
9 discontinued at any time, and it was for the purposes of this operation.
10 Another such system was introduced for Operation Maslenica, Flash
11 as it was for Storm; and all these respective orders introduced an
12 extraordinary reporting system since the situation requiring it was an
13 extraordinary one.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So, therefore, I did not -- you may not have
15 understood the question accurately and therefore, perhaps, I may have
16 misunderstood your question.
17 Mr. Tieger, perhaps a matter to be clarified after the break
18 because we will first have a break.
19 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, there is one thing I would like to put
20 on the record with the witness not being present.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lausic, we will have a break, and we will resume
22 in 25 minutes from now. Mr. Misetic would like to address the Court, and
23 I invite you already to follow the usher and leave the courtroom.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
1 MR. MISETIC: Let me state to the extent that I misunderstood the
2 witness's testimony then I apologise in advance.
3 However there has been much evidence and many reports to the
4 military police both submitted into evidence here and disclosed to us by
5 the Office of the Prosecutor. I don't know of any documents that would
6 substantiate what this witness has just testified about in terms of the
8 Putting it as politically correct as I can, the reason I was
9 objecting to the broad questions is that the witness should not be
10 invited to state matters that the parties know or should have reason to
11 know has no evidentiary support, and to that extent those documents are
12 in evidence. If there is something to be put to him on paper about such
13 reports of operational matters going both to Mr. Lausic and either to
14 Mr. Gotovina or Mr. Cermak, then it should be put to him.
15 But to do this in a manner that floats broad questions that
16 allows this witness to make all sorts of assertions that are contrary to
17 what the parties already have in the case, I believe, is improper, and I
18 will state it that way; and if I miss stood what Mr. Lausic has said then
19 I apologise both tho him and to counsel. But that is my understanding of
20 the testimony we have just heard.
21 Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, the question directed itself to a
24 particular document and ordered by the witness in asking to explicate
25 that document. What was meant and intended by this particular order and
1 then ask him to explain the extent to which, if any, the order that he
2 was describing differed from the system that had preceded it or followed
4 Now the question of the extent to which that may or may not have
5 been implemented, the extent to which documents exist which confirm how
6 well it was pursued seems to be an entirely separate matter.
7 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I think it is it entirely on the
8 document from which we are to gather what the state of the evidence is in
9 the case. The reason that I was asking for precision is that the order
10 says in the daily operational matters which as the Chamber will know has
11 been significantly disputed not least of which the testimony of
12 Mr. Theunens that is going to be gone into in more detail with Mr. Lausic
13 in cross-examination.
14 However, it's why I insisted to say that commanders of zones are
15 being briefed on daily operational matters. There's also a document in
16 evidence about what reporting Mr. Lausic wanted to get from Mr. Juric,
17 and the proper way to put this to him would have been to show him that
18 document and then say either, Did you order that this information also go
19 to the zone commanders, and if not why not?
20 But to allow witness to make all sorts of claims when we all know
21 the state of the evidence in the case, again I will be discrete an say is
22 an improper way to put matters to a witness and can lead to a situation
23 where false information is being put before the Chamber.
24 And that is my objection.
25 Thank you, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I do see that the state of the evidence is not an
2 easy concept to use under the present circumstances, and I take it that
3 if Mr. Tieger sees the state of the evidence in its totality would
4 invalidate most of the answers, then he would be prudent enough, I would
5 say, not to take such risks; whereas, of course, there are other elements
6 in the evidence which Mr. Tieger apparently wants to further explore,
7 which is his good right to do.
8 MR. MISETIC: I agree with you, Mr. President, and that's why I
9 laid a preparatory apology in advance. However there is also just the
10 factual matter in terms of the discovery between the parties. If I'm
11 wrong and there are, in fact, reports, written reports for the witness
12 said on a daily basis going -- the same reports as I understand it going
13 both to the military police administration and the --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, Mr. Misetic.
15 MR. MISETIC: I was just asking to be disclosed.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm warned that if we do not take a break now that
17 we have --
18 MR. MISETIC: A revolt.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we would.
20 MR. MISETIC: A justified revolt. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's the better expression.
22 We'll have a break, and we resume at 4.30. And with the
23 apologies to everyone who was suffering from my lack of decisiveness on
24 taking the break.
25 --- Recess taken at 4.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.33 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to briefly come back to
3 something I said on page 14718, in relation to B/C/S translations of
4 documents that were tendered by the Defence in English.
5 I expressed some concern, not for the B/C/S version not to be
6 available to the accused because I take it that that right is waived, if
7 the Defence introduces such a document in English only, but about the
8 public character of the trial. And I said that we'll consider whether
9 we'll ask for a translation to be provided.
10 Now, having further considered the matter, the Chamber is
11 satisfied that usually the content of a document becomes sufficiently
12 clear during the examination of a witness; and that, therefore, for the
13 purpose of the public character of the trial, that it's not necessary to
14 insist on a translation. And if it might still remain not very clear
15 because if it's a very short answer then, of course, the parties are
16 invited to consider to add one or two lines just to explain what we are
17 doing because the Chamber is focussing very much on the public character
18 of the trial; but sometimes the remedy would be disproportionate to the
19 problem; and, therefore, as a rule, the Chamber will not insist on
20 translations, and the Chamber is also aware of the problems in having
21 them prepared, efforts involved. That's one.
22 The second issue I would like to briefly raise is that the
23 parties are urged - at this moment Defence, perhaps in the near future
24 Prosecution - to limit the objections to what is necessary and to not
25 unnecessarily disrupt the flow of evidence, if the matter can be dealt
1 with in cross-examination as well.
2 This being on the record, Mr. Usher, could you please escort the
3 witness into the courtroom.
4 Mr. Tieger, once the witness has taken the stand again, you may
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lausic, Mr. Tieger will now continue his
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Lausic, before we move on, I want to make as short as
12 possible that we all understand the evidence you were providing just
13 before the break. So I'm going to ask some short and hopefully simple
14 questions that can be answered very briefly to make sure that we're as
15 clear as we can be.
16 You looked at the -- at your August 2nd order and specifically
17 item 12, and you described the reporting system that you ordered at that
18 time. So that reporting system provided for reports both to you at the
19 military police administration, and to the Military District Commanders;
20 is that correct?
21 A. It is.
22 Q. Before the order was issued, and after the order was no longer
23 operative, because Storm was over, did reports go from the military
24 police both to you, at the military police administration, and to the
25 Military District Commanders?
1 A. That is correct. I would also like to add that the same
2 situation applied during the course of this period -- this order's
4 Q. When -- in your order, when you say in item 12 that:
5 "The commanders of military police battalion, commanders of the
6 69th Military Police Company, the 70th, the 74th Company shall be
7 subordinated to the commanders of the Military Districts, and they shall
8 report to them in writing and at briefings on a daily basis," what sort
9 of information were you -- what sort of information were the commanders
10 of military police battalions and the commanders of the companies
11 supposed to provide to the Military District Commanders?
12 A. All reports on executed tasks, pursuant to orders that may have
13 been issued by those Military District Commanders as well as on other
14 tasks implemented by the MP units in the course of their regular
15 activities within a given area.
16 Q. Were the Military District -- military police battalion
17 commanders and the company commanders supposed to provide the Military
18 District Commanders with information about their execution of military
19 police tasks, pursuant to Article 10?
20 A. Absolutely so. They had to report on all of their activities.
21 That is to say, within each reporting period. They had to report on
22 everything they had done.
23 Q. What information did you get back during the course of -- let me
24 ask it this way.
25 From the time you issued this order, that is D267 --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps it's better to understand if you
2 say the 2nd of August order.
3 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Of course.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Because that is what the witness understands.
5 So from the time you issued the 2nd of August order.
6 Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: Yeah.
8 Q. What information did you receive, Mr. Lausic, about the extent to
9 which the reporting that you had ordered was being fulfilled?
10 A. Without being able to refer to specific reports that are in the
11 documents -- among the documents in my binder, I cannot tell you anything
12 precisely. I would have to refer to those first.
13 In any case, as regards the reporting, they were supposed to
14 report on all of the activities their respective units within a given
15 territory as well as on certain other specific issues such as
16 insufficient staffing, lack of equipment, problems they may have
17 encountered into the implementation of tasks, as well as some other
18 specific situations, which may have changed from one report to the next.
19 Q. Did you receive any complaints from any Military District
20 Commanders that the military police were not reporting to them on a daily
21 basis about what they were doing?
22 A. I did not receive such information or reports. Well, those would
23 not be reports, per se, because the Military District Commanders would
24 turn to their superiors and I would only have to be notified. I'm trying
25 to use specific terms and terminology. They were duty-bound to report to
1 their superiors.
2 To put it briefly, I did not receive such information from
3 Military District Commanders or other operational structures of the armed
4 forces on the problem of reporting by MP unit commanders.
5 MR. TIEGER: Can we turn next to -- sorry.
6 Q. Sorry, Mr. Lausic, I also wanted to turn my attention to one part
7 of the transcript, and that was at 34:15 of today's transcript, in the
8 course of an answer that -- transcript says -- you said according to the
10 "The commander of the Military District would be sending a report
11 to the chief of the police administration. We were in charge of a given
12 area as civilian and military police structures respectively and had to
13 exchange information."
14 Was that correct, that it's the commander of the Military
15 District who would be sending a report to the chief of the police
17 A. I did not understand the question, and I don't seem to recall
18 that part of the transcript. I'm not certain about the answer I gave.
19 Q. Let me just -- setting aside the question of the transcript, let
20 me ask that you question about reporting responsibilities.
21 First of all, was -- were reports about what the military police
22 was doing shared with the chiefs of police administrations; and, if so,
23 whose responsibility was it to provide that information to the chiefs of
24 police administrations?
25 A. You mean the civilian police?
1 Q. Well, I'm trying to clarify -- let me ask -- ask it one more time
2 in a slightly different way.
3 Was the commander of the Military District, insofar as you were
4 aware, required to send a report to either you, as the chief of the
5 military police administration, or to the chief of the civilian police
7 A. The Military District Commander was in no case duty-bound to send
8 such reports to me as the head of administration or to the chiefs of
9 administration of the civilian police.
10 Perhaps I was misunderstood. I was referring to the commanders
11 of battalions who sent their daily reports as part of the regular
12 reporting system to the competent chief of the civilian police
13 administration. It was the same as received by the police administration
14 at headquarters. The exchange of information between the military police
15 and the civilian police went on at the highest level; that is to say, at
16 the level of ministries. We established the same system within the
17 respective areas, the responsibility of military police battalions,
18 companies, and their counterparts in the civilian police.
19 However, I did not intend to include Military District
20 Commanders. I was referring to the commanders of the MP battalions.
21 Q. Thank you. I'd like to turn next to something that was discussed
22 briefly yesterday, and something that is addressed in your statement at
23 paragraphs 146 through 151 of your statement. There's a discussion of
24 the meeting on August 2nd which took place at 10.00 in the
25 Republic of Croatia Defence Ministry war room, and I believe you
1 clarified one aspect of that with the Court yesterday.
2 That's D409, is the entry, the diary entry from your diary, which
3 reflects notes from that meeting, which state:
4 "Military police must be more energetic in its actions and must
5 prevent all offences. Military District Commanders must be the ones to
6 pass on to the other commanders the prohibition of any kind of
7 uncontrolled conduct (torching, looting, et cetera) --" this is
8 quoting -- these are notes taken in reference to Minister Susak.
9 And then the comment you clarified with the Court yesterday, we
10 must prevent from taking the heros of the homeland war to court.
11 Now I would like to turn your attention quickly to D45.
12 MR. TIEGER: If we could call that up.
13 Q. That's a record of a working meeting held in the grand conference
14 room of the Ministry of Defence on the 3rd of August, 1995. And at page
15 5 of the English and page 2 of the Croatian, the record of the meeting
16 reflects remarks by you in your introductory address. And it indicates
17 that you spoke about the meeting of the ministers which had been held the
18 previous day which included the meeting -- included the highest officials
19 an officers of the Croatian army, and it noted that it had, among others,
20 rendered the military police and the MUP responsible for complete
21 efficiency in carrying out tasks:
22 "During combat activities of the Croatian army, he" -- that's
23 you, according to this note, "he also pointed out that the commanders of
24 the HV units were warned that they would personally be responsible for
25 the discipline of their subordinates otherwise not even a much larger
1 number of the military police force would be able to secure discipline."
2 I wanted to ask you, Mr. Lausic, if this is an accurate
3 reflection of what you said to the group on August 3rd.
4 A. It is correct.
5 Q. And did it accurately convey what was said at the previous day's
6 meeting of the ministers and highest officials and officers of the
7 Croatian army?
8 A. That is correct. In my notes from the meeting in the war room of
9 the Defence Ministry dated the 2nd of August, which, in turn, was copied
10 from my personal diary, what we have are the exact words of
11 Minister Susak.
12 If I may, I just want to find that note of mine for the sake of
13 precision when quoting his words.
14 Q. If you're having any difficulty finding that, Mr. Lausic, we can
15 call it up on the screen.
16 A. I would kindly ask that you do that.
17 Q. Okay.
18 MR. TIEGER: Can we call up D409, please.
19 A. This is it. Could we please enlarge it so that I could read?
20 That is sufficient.
21 MR. TIEGER:
22 Q. And it should be the -- the entry on page 3 of the English, and I
23 believe the same in the Croatian, but we'll need to check.
24 A. I found my notes. Perhaps I can refer to the written material I
25 have before me.
1 Q. Well, it looks like that was roughly simultaneous. It's also up
2 on the screen, Mr. Lausic, if you -- so either way.
3 A. Under Minister Gojko Susak, meaning that I took down his words,
4 as he was addressing us, we find the following:
5 "In the Republic of Croatia 52.000 men were mobilised (total:
7 It says that:
8 "A meeting was held with the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 the Croatian Defence Council and the movement is in the direction of
10 Donji Vakuf and Kulen Vakuf. The HVO is moving toward Banja Luka
11 commending on 3 August 1995
12 "Military police must be more energetic in its actions and must
13 prevent all offences. Military District Commanders must be the ones to
14 pass on to the other commanders the prohibition of any kind of
15 uncontrolled conduct (torching, looting, et cetera). We must prevent
16 having to take the heros of the homeland war to court. Workers of the
17 ideological and political department must carry out their tasks of
18 appropriately briefing HV members.
19 "The west has given a partial blessing but nothing must happen to
21 Those were the main points from Minister Susak's intervention.
22 Q. And --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Lausic, the next day at the working meeting, you said as I
2 understand it from the record of that meeting and from your answer a few
3 moments ago, that the commanders of the HV units were warned that they
4 would personally be responsible for the discipline of their subordinates.
5 Is that something that Minister Susak or someone else said, or is
6 that something that you understood Minister Susak or someone else to have
7 said, based on the comments reflected in your notes?
8 A. At that meeting with my colleagues from the Ministry of Interior,
9 when the basic concept of cooperation was agreed for the forthcoming
10 operation, what I did was brief them in shortest possible terms on the
11 meeting of the previous day. I did focus on several items, including
12 this one; and that is to say, that the commanders of HV units were told
13 that they would be personally responsible for the conduct of their
14 subordinates, because without that, even with a far greater number of
15 military policemen, discipline could not be ensured.
16 Q. All right.
17 MR. TIEGER: Let me turn next to D506, if we may.
18 Q. D506 is a document dated the 9th of August, 1995, which was sent
19 by you, Mr. Lausic, to Minister Susak; General Cervenko; director of HIS,
20 Dr. Tudjman; Brigadier Rebic, chief of political administration; Tolj;
21 and chief of SIS, Gugic regarding the use of military police during
22 Operation Storm.
23 And if I could -- this is a document that I believe you referred
24 to at paragraph 201 of your statement, and I wanted to direct your
25 attention to the second page in English and also the second page in
1 Croatian, where you state:
2 "There are grave problems because of the large number of HV
3 members in the settlements, and their commanders do not excerpt influence
4 over them so that there are attempts at random plunder and burning of
6 "We propose that appropriate measures be taken along the line of
7 command so that the line of command would prevent plunder, the burning of
8 buildings and similar acts that harm the reputation of the HV."
9 Can you explain to the Court, Mr. Lausic, what you meant when you
10 reported to Minister Susak, General Cervenko, and the others that:
11 "There are grave problems, and the commanders do not excerpt
12 influence over the HV members in the settlements."
13 A. First of all, one needs to say that these reports were being sent
14 to the addressees mentioned as of day one of Operation Storm, although
15 this was not expressly requested from me. However, when one reports to
16 one's superiors, one also transfers the responsibility to them. By doing
17 so, I wanted to point out the portion of tasks of the military police
18 albeit it limited in terms of staff and equipment as well as the problems
19 we were encountering making our tasks more difficult.
20 I also wanted to point out that there is a need to see measures
21 be put in place along the lines of command which would prevent the
22 commission of crimes and unsoldierly behaviour.
23 In each of my reports and the last paragraph; and this includes
24 this particular report; and that would be item 6, I put in suggestions
25 and requests. I mentioned that I suggested and requested that the line
1 of command be used to ensure supervision over HV members in the liberated
2 territory. By this, I --
3 Q. Sorry, please continue. By that ...
4 A. I wanted to notify the highest military officials, that is to
5 say, the chief of General Staff. I wanted to point out the importance of
6 doing that in order that measures be undertaken that fall within his
7 remit in order to increase the level, the rules of service are being
8 implemented in the field as well as to include all of the aspects that
9 pertain to the life and work of the armed forces.
10 If I may continue. You can also find that in my witness
11 statement. It was at that time that I believed, as I do know, that the
12 military police, even had we had far more men in the field, and even with
13 much more equipment and education of our staff, could not have been
14 efficient if the line of command was dysfunctional. And we had daily
15 examples of that, of conduct that went against the rules of service as
16 well as other regulations pertains to life and work of the armed forces.
17 Many such examples are mentioned in our activities, reports, and we have
18 numbers that refer to actions being taken by the military police.
19 Q. When you use the term "line of command," is that the line of
20 command of the HV, of the Croatian army?
21 A. Absolutely. The line or chain of command starting from the squad
22 leader, platoon leader, company commander, all the way up to the Military
23 District Commander.
24 The more dysfunctional the chain of command is, the lesser the
25 possibility that the military police will be able to resolve the problem,
1 regardless of the level of its equipment, training; particularly keeping
2 in mind the fact that across the 7.000 square kilometres of the newly
3 liberated territory, I had some 1200 military policemen and all of them
4 were engaged on the 12th/12th basis which means they were on duty for 12
5 hours, and then 12 hours, they had rest which were basically taken up by
6 them going to work or going off duty and taking time to eat.
7 When I analyse the numbers of the military policemen that I had
8 to cover the newly liberated area, the equipment they had, the level of
9 training that they had undertaken, all of that is found in the
10 documentation that I handed over to the OTP in May 2004. And I believe
11 that these analyses that I produced can be found in the case file.
12 Q. When you say in your report of August 9th that you propose -- it
13 says, "We propose that appropriate measures be taken along the line of
14 command," did you have particular measures in mind that should be taken
15 by the line of command to bring the HV members in line.
16 A. Every HV commander at all levels of command had at their disposal
17 all the legal instruments that were valid at the time in Croatia,
18 governing the armed forces in Croatia
19 in the collection of legal regulations governing all aspects of life of
20 the Croatian army from the use of combat vehicles to the organisation of
21 the internal service, signing up for equipment, handing equipment over,
22 to all the other details I don't wish to go into now. But all these
23 details had to be taken into consideration by a commander, and this was
24 not compiled with.
25 Q. Now, in paragraph 201 of your statement, I believe it indicates
1 that this report was based upon "reports that we would receive from the
3 And -- but in paragraph 239, it -- your statement indicates that
4 when you spoke with Major Juric on August 8th, he didn't mention anything
5 about problems, and his reports, at least the ones that you had with you
6 at the time that you were making the statement, were not particularly
8 So I wanted to ask you what information you received in the
9 reports that you referred to in paragraph 201; that is, the reports from
10 the ground, that prompted the report of August 9th?
11 A. I have to note that the reports I sent these bodies quite high
12 up, the Ministry of Defence, the Main Staff, and other relevant bodies of
13 the Republic of Croatia
14 Major Juric, who was the head of the forward command post of the MP with
15 the Split Military District HQ; but also on the reports from the other
16 two commanders of the MP forward command post, Cvitanovic and Kozic, as
17 well as other commanders of the military police, including the reports
18 that I received orally or in writing from members of the civilian police.
19 Q. Let me turn your attention, if I may, to another document issued
20 around that time.
21 MR. TIEGER: That's P203.
22 Q. Mr. Lausic, P203 is an information report from Colonel Gugic to
23 Minister Susak and to Dr. Tudjman.
24 And if I can direct your attention to the third paragraph which
25 refers to events in various places, including, Kistanje. It states:
1 "Incidents of mass burning of houses, plundering of property,
2 alcohol consumption occur, and the units lack organisation. The reason
3 for such a situation is the insufficient engagement of the command
4 personnel of the units."
5 Now, first, Mr. Lausic, I wanted to ask you if you were aware of
6 this report at or shortly after the time it was sent?
7 A. I was not aware of it. I saw this document for the first time on
8 the 25th, in the afternoon hours, when I received it as part of the
9 documentation brought to me by Mr. Foster.
10 Q. Were you otherwise informed about the events referred to in the
12 A. I don't remember.
13 Q. Did Minister Susak or Colonel Gugic ever tell you that there were
14 incidents of mass burning of houses and plundering of property at or
15 about that time?
16 A. No, save for this one encounter that I was an eye-witness of
17 quite by chance on the staircase of the Ministry of Defence where there
18 was General Cervenko, chief of the Main Staff, and Minister Susak. I
19 happened to be there by chance. Minister Susak warned General Cervenko
20 in an angry voice, Introduce some order into that army of yours. What's
21 that army doing?
22 I don't remember when exactly this happened. I know it was
23 during -- at the time of Operation Storm.
24 I think that this, too, can be found in my statement.
25 Q. Yes, it's --
1 A. Perhaps in a different rhetoric feature of speech, but it's
3 Q. I believe that's at paragraph 213.
4 Did you ask Minister Susak what information he had that prompted
5 this comment and whether or not you were in possession of the information
6 about the location of the events that had triggered his anger and the
7 units involved?
8 A. At that moment in time, I thought that Minister Susak reacted in
9 this way toward General Cervenko primarily in view of the reports that I
10 was sending him. But it would have been improper of me to ask the
11 minister of defence to explain his outburst.
12 Q. Let me return for a moment to D506. That's the report of
13 August 9th, Mr. Lausic.
14 You indicated earlier that you made certain recommendations and
15 requests and directed the Court's attention to those. Those are found at
16 point 6 of your report, at the end of the document, which would be page 4
17 of the Croatian and also page 4 of the English.
18 And as you noted that -- those recommendations and requests
19 include not only providing supervision of members of HV units through the
20 chain of command, but also the first listed recommendation or request
21 which states:
22 "In order to carry out military police assignments in the
23 liberated areas of the Republic of Croatia
24 (sweeps) of the liberated areas of the Republic of Croatia
25 remnants, please withdraw all military police units from combat
1 activities and engage them on carrying out military police assignments."
2 Now, was that recommendation, Mr. Lausic, related to the
3 information you had that there were grave problems because of burning of
4 buildings and random plunder and commanders were not exerting influence
5 over HV members?
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry I apologise. I don't follow
7 the -- it's a leading question, and I don't follow the connection.
8 MR. TIEGER: In the first part of the report, Your Honour,
9 Mr. Lausic, noted these problems. And then he makes a recommendation to
10 withdraw the military police units from combat activities and engage them
11 in carrying out military police assignments, and I wanted to know if that
12 recommendation was related to that part of the report.
13 MR. MISETIC: No, that's not how I read --
14 JUDGE ORIE: If it is a matter of reading, let's do it literally
15 so as to avoid.
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
18 MR. TIEGER: Okay. I will try again, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Lausic, again I want to bring your attention to that --
20 JUDGE ORIE: I think that the first portion had been read.
21 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
22 JUDGE ORIE: We find that in order to carry out, et cetera.
23 MR. TIEGER: Correct.
24 Q. And then earlier in your report you had stated:
25 "There are grave problems because of the large number of HV
1 members in the settlements and their commanders do not excerpt influence
2 offer them so that there are attempts at random plunder and burning of
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, again I apologise but I think
5 Mr. Tieger is misreading the paragraph, and if just ask the witness first
6 what he meant by that. And if the connection is what Mr. Tieger
7 suggests --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well.
9 MR. MISETIC: If we could at least ask witness to take headphones
10 off, and I will explain.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, although he understands English, from what I
13 MR. MISETIC: I'll try to be cryptic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Be as cryptic as you ca, Mr. Misetic.
15 Could you take your earphones -- yes.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I think what it suggests is the
17 first portion, the first part of the sentence about I think it is saying
18 to withdraw them so that the sweeps can take place, not withdraw them,
19 which are currently engaged in sweeps.
20 So to the extent that Mr. Tieger is saying did you withdraw in
21 order to do something else other than what the paragraph explicitly says
22 the purpose of withdrawing them is for --
23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I understand Mr. Misetic's point. I
24 don't agree, but I have no problem asking completely non-leading
25 questions. I don't think that was unfairly leading. I think it was
1 appropriately linked but to eliminate any possible problem, I will ask
2 the question in a different way.
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you ...
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. Mr. Lausic, turning your attention to the first recommendation in
7 item 6, what did you have in mind of making that recommendation? What
8 was the purpose of asking to have the military police units withdrawn
9 from combat activities and engage in carrying out military police
11 A. Undoubtedly, in order to reinforce the military police forces
12 charged with carrying out these military policing tasks.
13 Combat tasks were priorities of a lower level, so to speak, of
14 the military police. The military police was engaged in combat, and this
15 was outlined in detail in the document compiled on the 15th of August and
16 addressed to General Cervenko.
17 Q. And the recommendation says that you -- that it was in order to
18 carry out military police assignments in the liberated areas of the
19 Republic of Croatia
20 understand that there was an interest in having the military police
21 engage in searches or sweeps. Let me also ask you if the recommendation
22 to withdraw the military police units from combat activities was also
23 related in any way to the information you had that there were grave
24 problems because of the attempts at random plunder and burning of
1 A. Correct. This request, which was sent to the chief of the
2 Main Staff, was based on the information received from the field about
3 the increasing lack of discipline, the increasing numbers of incidents of
4 plundering, and stealing property, et cetera, et cetera.
5 But also on the basis of the fact that the military police could
6 now move on from the two-shift method of work to the three-shift method
7 of work, which meant that they would not work on the basis of the
8 12/12 hours but 12/24 hours.
9 So, firstly, to reinforce the forces to carry out the tasks that
10 were impending but also to enable them to have longer periods of rest by
11 introducing the three-shift method of work.
12 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn next to D837, please.
13 Q. Mr. Lausic, D837 is an order by you on 9th of August. Subject is
14 disengagement of the military police units from combat activities, and
15 the first item in the order is:
16 "All military police units engaged in combat activities are to be
17 disengaged from the areas of combat activities at 0700 hours on 10
18 August 1995."
19 It's submitted to Minister Susak, to General Cervenko, to
20 Brigadier Rebic, and to the commanders of all the Croatian army Military
22 If could you clarify for the Court, on the 9th of August we have
23 your report to Minister Susak and others recommending that the military
24 police be withdrawn from combat. On the same date, we have this order
25 ordering that military police units be disengaged, sent to the minister
1 of defence, and the commanders of the Military Districts, and also to the
2 battalions as we see listed on the first page of the order.
3 Can you explain to the Court exactly how that worked, that there
4 was a recommendation and an order in the same day?
5 A. The reports we commented upon earlier on, including the
6 9 August report, were sent normally at 7.00 in the morning. In relation
7 to this recommendation that military police units be disengaged from
8 combat and engaged in military policing activities, I very soon received
9 consent from the minister of defence and the chief of the Main Staff and
10 issued an order to commence the disengagement of military police units
11 from combat.
12 For these reasons, the -- both the report and the order carry the
13 same date.
14 Q. And if we could look quickly at 1208, P1208. And that's an order
15 dated the 10th of August, the next day, from General Gotovina, on the
16 basis of your order from the previous day, ordering that all the units of
17 military police and anti-terrorist platoons engaged in the combat
18 activities are to be withdrawn immediately from the zone of combat
19 operations and returned to the original military police units.
20 And that: "Military police and anti-terrorist units will be
21 engaged according to a special plan in the search and sweep operation in
22 the field."
23 Were you aware -- first of all, were you aware of that order at
24 the time, Mr. Lausic?
25 A. No. I saw it for the first time on the 25th of January, in the
1 hotel, when I saw the other documentation brought to me.
2 Q. Did you understand that an order of that type would be issued?
3 A. I don't see anything disputable about it. The commander of the
4 Military District agreed to carry out as much as ordered, and, in fact,
5 confirms my order by issuing the order to disengage from combat MP units;
6 and this order is directed down his chain of command.
7 Q. Okay. And does your order of August 9th represent any
8 interference with General Gotovina's authority over the military police,
9 pursuant to Article 9?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And did General Gotovina continue to have authority over -- were
12 the military police units, did they remain subordinate to him, pursuant
13 to Article 9, at least those military units within the Split Military
15 MR. MISETIC: I am loathe to get on my feet, Mr. President. The
16 confusion that is being here by the questions now, I'm afraid, is heading
17 us into a train wreck. The terminology -- if we can refer to what was
18 withdrawn in paragraph 1 and ask him --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Mr. Tieger, I think you would meet some of the concerns of
21 Mr. Misetic by sticking closer to the text and to identify exactly what
22 you are referring to. And I have one -- let me just see ...
23 Yes, apparently the literally text is of great concern to
24 Mr. Misetic.
25 MR. MISETIC: No, I apologise, Mr. President. What I meant was
1 we're talking about this order, and this order refers to specific
2 military police units being withdrawn and -- the witness, I believe, will
3 be able to explain it further. But then the question got broadened out
4 to say, Does he still have command over the military police under
5 Article 9 which is a more general question than what we're talking about
6 with this document.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you be specific, but perhaps after the break.
8 And I have one question for you, Mr. Tieger. You referred to "your order
9 of August the 9th," which is a report with requests and suggestions, or
10 am I mistaken?
11 MR. TIEGER: We looked at two items, two documents from
12 August 9th. The first was the report with the recommendations, which was
13 sent to Minister Susak, and so on.
14 The second was the -- is D837 an order by Mr. Lausic of the same
15 date. And I hope that clarifies.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that clarification.
17 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 6.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Just so I don't leave it, there was a suggestion that I
23 reconfigure the question about the last matter that was raised. I looked
24 at the transcript. In the interests of time and efficiency, I think I'm
25 inclined to move on. I just wanted to indicate -- didn't want to leave
1 things hanging. If the Court thought something needed to be clarified,
2 but I though -- I looked at the record and I --
3 JUDGE ORIE: I leave it your hands.
4 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
5 Can we turn next please to P877.
6 Q. Mr. Lausic, P877 is an order issued by you on the 18th of August,
7 1995. The subject was "Full implementation of military police tasks in
8 liberated territory, efficient cooperation with the MUP, and an order."
9 And it begins:
10 "The military police administration received an official letter
11 from the MUP of the Republic of Croatia
12 that in the territory of the Republic of Croatia
13 during the Operation Storm, there are still daily instances of houses
14 being burned, of looting of moveable property, as well as other forms of
15 illegal behaviour committed by the HV members and civilians wearing the
16 HV uniforms."
17 It goes on to note that cooperation between the military police
18 and the civilian police, according to the official letter, has not
19 yielded results thus far, in accordance with the basic premises of the
20 state policy and that this cooperation should, therefore, be removed. It
21 indicates that the Ministry of Internal Affairs had received several
22 complaints from foreign ambassadors, drawing attention to the behaviour
23 of the HV members and stressing the need to eliminate such instances.
24 And then you go on to issue an order that commanders of military police
25 platoon, companies, and battalions, are ... to contact immediately the
1 chiefs of police stations and heads of police administrations in this
2 area and have a meeting, in order to analyse the security situation and
3 so forth.
4 Number 2: Commanders of military police platoons, companies and
5 battalions are to contact immediately the highest-ranking HV commander in
6 their areas of responsibility and completely implement item 6 of the
7 military police administration order giving a number, dating 16th of
8 August, 1995
9 And this order is sent, of course, to the military police
10 battalion as indicated on the front page, and also delivered to the
11 Main Staff, the assistant minister for security, to the assistant
12 minister for the MUP, and to the commanders of the Military Districts.
13 Now, the order refers to an official letter from the Ministry of
14 Interior the day before your order, referring to the daily instances of
15 burning of houses, looting of movable property committed by HV members
16 and civilians.
17 Had you been aware of the continuing problem of burning and
18 looting by HV members before the time you were advised of that -- of
19 those events in an official letter from Mr. Moric?
20 A. I think the answer to your question is contained in the daily
21 reports sent to the highest levels of the Ministry of Interior and
22 Main Staff. Therein, I stress the problem of unlawful and undisciplined
23 behaviour of HV members. I also put forward certain suggestions and
25 Specifically, in terms of this order, it is true that the day
1 before, on the 17th of August, I personally received a letter from the
2 MUP assistant minister, Mr. Josko Moric, in which he stressed the problem
3 of arson, unlawful taking away of property, and the other things you
5 But virtue of this order of mine, which I based on my previous
6 orders, and we have them stipulated therein, referring to the
7 14th of August, the 5th of August, the 16th of August, I asked for the
8 establishment of a better, more effective and daily cooperation with the
9 civilian police at all levels from the lowest level; that is, platoons,
10 to the highest level; that is to say, the battalions.
11 And I asked for daily joint meetings and that notes be kept and
12 then forwarded to the military police administration, so that we, at the
13 highest level, could meet with those in charge of the civilian police, in
14 order to assess the crisis points and intervene along our respective
15 lines of work. Our colleagues from the MUP were supposed to address
16 those issues within their ministry, and, we, in turn, in ours.
17 In this order, mention is made that there is a need to establish
18 contact immediately with the chiefs of the police stations and police
19 administrations and that at meetings held with them, the security
20 situation should be analysed and that specific and efficient models of
21 cooperation should be set up when acting independently and jointly.
22 In item 2, I state that the commanders of platoons, companies,
23 and battalions, are immediately to contact the -- most senior HV
24 commander in their areas of responsibility and to implement item 6 of the
25 order of the 16th of August.
1 I also state that in that order, in item 6, I had ordered the
2 commanders of HV military police units to get acquainted with the
3 deployment of HV units along the front lines as well as the deployment of
4 HV units in camps, the staffing numbers of the units and access of
5 activity or when leaving the area of responsibility. They were also
6 supposed to get the numbers of those in charge of various HV units and to
7 exchange numbers with them. I wanted them to get fully acquainted with
8 their respective AORs, based on which they were to determine the
9 deployment of their MP patrols.
10 I toured the field in person, especially in Banja, Kordun, and
11 Lika; and my deputy toured the area towards Dalmatia, whereby we realised
12 that the commanders of certain HV units, of reserve brigades, and some
13 other smaller units were changing their camp locations, setting up
14 temporary camps at certain locations without notifying the military
15 police units concerned; and those military police units were not able to
16 get by that information at a higher level. They simply had no overview
17 of their respective territories.
18 That's why I ordered that they should study their areas of
19 responsibility, in terms of HV troops to establish contact with those
20 units, exchange phone numbers, in order to set up efficient contact so
21 that they could adequately dispatch their patrols and staff, so that we
22 wouldn't have a situation in which a -- a MP patrol would be in an area
23 where there are no HV troops at all, and, on the other hand, to avoid
24 having situations in which there were HV troops in certain areas without
25 a single military policemen present.
1 And just to sum up in two sentences: I wanted to say that it was
2 at that time we decided to change your tactics and method which, until
3 that point was based on check-points, where jointly with the civilian
4 police, we controlled entry and exit to the newly liberated territory.
5 That method proved inefficient, because both the civilian
6 population entering the area as well as HV members, and others, who wore
7 HV uniforms whether being HV troops or not, used other traffic routes.
8 Of course, there were casualties along such routes because many of them
9 were mined. We also took note of that and kept records, and we concluded
10 that the model, based on check-points, was lacking; that we were supposed
11 to enter the area, act preventively, and possibly catch the perpetrators
12 in action. In simple words, that would mean being present trying to
13 prevent things from happening rather than waiting at check-points,
14 particularly because people knew where check-points were and used
15 alternative routes to take away the booty. Most of those were
16 inhabitants, were native to the liberated region. They knew it very well
17 and that was a thing that hindered our work.
18 Q. Mr. Lausic, I want to turn --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. ...
20 MR. TIEGER: Sorry.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to seek some clarification of one of your
23 Mr. Tieger asked you whether you had been aware of this
24 continuing problem even before you were advised of that in the official
25 letter from Mr. Moric.
1 Then you said: "I think the answer to your question is contained
2 in the daily reports sent to the highest levels of the Ministry of
3 Interior and Main
4 undisciplined behaviour of HV members."
5 May I take it from this answer that when you are referring to
6 unlawful and undisciplined behaviour, that you had looting and burning on
7 your mind? Not exclusively perhaps, but including looting and burning of
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is absolutely correct.
10 I just wanted to make a small correction, and I apologise for it,
11 but not to the highest level of the Ministry of Interior but to the
12 highest level of the Ministry of Defence and the Main Staff.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then as a co-product of the question, there a
14 correction on the transcript.
15 Mr. Tieger, I thought you were quoting literally from that
16 letter, isn't it? But if that's the case, you're using a document which
17 is not the same as what appears on my screen.
18 I just mention one matter. You, I think, twice, once when
19 reading, but later also you referred to an official letter whereas the
20 document on my screen talks about the communication.
21 Could we perhaps check that, because if it is not the same
22 document, there may be other.
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, you are correct. I notice the same
24 thing. I think Mr. Tieger may be using a draft, or the draft is in
25 e-court, one or the other.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we have to verify that so that we have the --
2 there appear to be two translations one from which you read, Mr. Tieger,
3 and one which was on our screen. And I'm not insisting on having it
4 resolved immediately.
5 But could you please verify that and resolve that matter? Just
6 if I read from the screen, I read that:
7 "The military police administration received a communication from
8 the Republic of Croatia MUP on the 17th of August, 1995, stating that in
9 the area of the Republic of Croatia
10 Storm, houses are being torched."
11 And there, in your reading, you already went to the daily
12 occurrence more or less of those events, which in my version only comes
13 at the end of this sentence.
14 I didn't notice any major discrepancies although a communication
15 and an official letter, well, could be the same. But could we please
17 MR. TIEGER: Absolutely, Your Honour, and thank you. No question
18 those are two different translations, and I'll -- sounds like I'm not
19 using the one that is in e-court.
20 JUDGE ORIE: No. That ...
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. Mr. Lausic, I want to turn to a document issued at approximately
24 the same time. That's D49. And that's a document from Mr. Moric at the
25 Ministry of Interior to various police administrations on the 18th of
1 August, 1995
2 Now, Mr. Moric refers, in the first paragraph, to reports
3 concerning torching of houses and illegal taking away of movable property
4 in the areas liberated in Operation Storm. He says:
5 "Most of these acts are perpetrated by individuals wearing
6 Croatian army uniforms. The facts indicate that these individuals are,
7 formally and actually, members of the Croatian army, but there are also
8 individuals who are not members of the Croatian army, but are wrongfully
9 wearing Croatian army uniforms."
10 And then he notes:
11 "The torching of houses and illegal taking away of people's
12 movable property has assumed such proportions that it is inflicting
13 political damage on the Republic of Croatia
14 And so he issues the following order: The first point of the
15 order is that police administration chiefs must immediately convene a
16 meeting with the commanders of military police battalions to inform them
17 of the problem and of the decision to put a stop to it.
18 The second point is that:
19 "The meeting must be informed of the decision that cases of
20 torching of houses and illegal taking away of people's movable property
21 that have hitherto occurred will not be operatively investigated, but a
22 stop must be put to cases of this type as of today."
23 The third point of his order is the request to commanders
24 military police battalion for mixed barrier check-points and mixed
25 patrols of civilian and military police to be set up in all populated
1 areas where there are members of the HV.
2 And the fourth point concerns an agreement that Mr. Moric,
3 Assistant Minister Moric says that:
4 "It is should be agreed that as of today, an on-site
5 investigation and forensic and operative criminal processing will be
6 conducted after every case of torching of houses and illegal taking away
7 of people's movable property."
8 Now, first, Mr. Lausic, I wanted to know if you were aware of
9 this order or about the time or about the time it was issued by
10 Assistant Minister Moric?
11 A. Right after I received the aforementioned letter, I received from
12 Mr. Josko Moric on the 18th of August, I got in touch with him over the
13 phone. We agreed that I should regulate matters by virtue of my order to
14 the military police units, in order to improve cooperation with the
15 civilian police, and that Mr. Moric, as assistant minister, would issue a
16 separate instruction in the form we see before us and send it to the
17 heads of police administrations and police stations.
18 I don't have this document in my documentation, and I did not
19 come across it in the MP archives, although I was included on the list.
20 However, I cannot confirm that I was familiar with this document before
21 that point in time.
22 Q. And do I understand correctly that after you received the letter
23 from Assistant Minister Moric that was dated 17th of August, that
24 prompted your order, you spoke with him about the problems raised in that
25 17 August letter; is that not correct?
1 A. When I received his letter on the 17th of August, I called him by
2 phone immediately. I told him I had received his letter, and I suggested
3 that we act in our respective areas - that is to say, I was to address
4 the MP units and he -- the civilian police units -- in order to ensure
5 that, on a daily basis, they have efficient exchange of information and
6 joint tactics and methods, as well as the way of reporting.
7 The result of that telephone conversation was my order of the
8 18th of August, and on his part, he issued the document which I was
9 unable to locate in the military police archives, and I don't have it in
10 my documents.
11 Q. His order says that when the police administration chiefs meet
12 with the commanders of military police battalions to inform them of the
13 problem and of the decision to put a stop to it, the meeting, which I
14 understand to be the meeting between the police administration chiefs and
15 the military police battalion commanders must be informed of the decision
16 that cases of torching of houses and illegal taking away of people's
17 movable property that have hitherto occurred, or already occurred, will
18 not be operatively investigated.
19 Who made that decision; if you know?
20 A. I read that for the first time in Mr. Moric's letter. I was not
21 familiar with that previously. It is he who issued this document to his
22 subordinate chiefs of police administrations and not -- it was not sent
23 to the military police. Perhaps we can go back to the front page to see
25 Q. No, I don't think there is any indication in the document that it
1 was sent to the military police.
2 Did you and Mr. Moric discuss during your conversation before you
3 issued your order of August 18th that -- the possibility of deciding or
4 of a decision to refrain from investigating cases of burning and looting
5 that are already occurred, or that had occurred up to that point?
6 A. No. The telephone conversation was a short one, and to interpret
7 it liberally in the following way: Josko, I received your memo and my
8 situation is that you take your vertical chain of command. I should take
9 mine and inform our chiefs of administration to meet up and see the best
10 ways of preventing such incidents. And the methods that they would use
11 and how to best put to use the resources human and otherwise to deal with
12 the matter.
13 Q. Did you receive information from any of your military police
14 battalion commanders that police administration chiefs or other minister
15 of interior officials were not collaborating in or not getting involved
16 in the investigation of cases of looting and burning that had taken place
17 up to August 18th?
18 A. I did not have such information.
19 Q. Do you know the extent to which the Ministry of Interior was
20 collaborating with or cooperating with any military police efforts to
21 investigate cases of looting and burning that had taken place up to
22 August 18th?
23 A. Cooperation aimed at preventing incidents and employing
24 repressive measures differed from area to area, unit to unit. At any
25 rate, both from the military police side and the civilian police side,
1 the efforts focussed on preventing the unlawful conduct, and arresting
2 the perpetrators and punishing them. I didn't have information from
3 either my commanders or from other levels for that matter, that an order
4 was issued from some quarter that -- that certain cases should not be
6 Q. Item 3 of the Moric order provides that the commanders of
7 military police battalions are to be requested that mixed barrier
8 check-points and mixed patrols of civilian and military police be set up
9 in all populated areas where there are members of the Croatian army; and
10 that the task of those check-points and patrols will be to prevent the
11 aforementioned problems.
12 Now, that -- that would seem to indicate that, up to that point,
13 mixed barrier check-points and mixed patrols of civilian and military
14 police had not been set up in all populated areas where there were
15 members of the Croatian army.
16 Do you not the extent to which such mixed barrier check-points
17 and mixed patrols had been established and pursued by the 18th of August?
18 A. I can't give you any precise data. It could most probably be
19 found in the MUP archives or the MP -- or, rather, the MP archives or the
20 MP documentation you have. I can't be more precise than that.
21 Q. I want to turn your attention, then, to another document that
22 reflects events approximately one month later.
23 Let's turn to your diary, Mr. Lausic, that's 65 ter 1880, at
24 pages 68 through 71 of the English, and 62 through 64 of the Croatian.
25 MR. TIEGER: And to keep the record as clear as possible, I'm
1 helpfully advised that is now P2166, rather than 65 ter 1880.
2 Q. And specifically, Mr. Lausic, I'm looking at an entry from your
3 diary of 15 September, 1995. And it reflects a meeting at 1100 hours, a
4 coordination meeting of the MUP and the military police attended by among
5 others, Mr. Moric, Mr. Benko, Brigadier Biskic, Colonel Kozic,
6 Major Juric, Captain Eljuga, and various commanders.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, just for the record, 65 ter 1880 is now
8 P2166. The list has been distributed. The documents were admitted into
10 MR. TIEGER: I -- I'm sorry, Your Honour. I thought I mentioned
11 that specifically.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, yes. No, I apologise. I really apologise,
13 Mr. Tieger. I'm doing things that I sometimes blame other people for
14 doing. I apologise.
15 MR. TIEGER: I am confident the record is clear.
16 Q. Mr. Lausic, I wanted to bring your attention to certain portions
17 of your diary entry from September 15th and ask you some questions about
19 First of all, we see the comments of Mr. Matic, the second --
20 apparently the second speaker, who indicates that the -- in the third
21 comment list there that the military police is present only at two
22 check-points out of a total of 11.
23 Do you recall whether that was an accurate reflection, generally,
24 of the extent to which the establishment of joint check-points was
25 successful or unsuccessful, after the -- after your conversation with
1 Mr. Moric on August 18th, and after the respective orders issued by you
2 and Mr. Moric on that date?
3 A. Firstly, my notes that we can see here are certainly authentic.
4 Now, as to what sort of situation prevailed in different areas,
5 this cannot be portrayed merely on the basis of what Mr. Matic, chief of
6 the Sibenik police administration, had to say. Other chiefs of police
7 administrations conclude here that the situation was satisfactory.
8 At any rate, the presence of the military policemen in certain
9 areas was the crucial problem. That's to say, how to best put to use the
10 number of policemen that we had, whether to keep them on the check-points
11 or send them out on to patrols in order to be widely present in the area
12 and catch perpetrators red-handed, et cetera.
13 This is something that we can talk about in general terms.
14 However without having specific numbers and specific steps taken, one
15 should not make any conclusions merely on the basis of what Mr. Matic,
16 chief of the Sibenik police administration, had to say; namely that out
17 of the 11 check-points, only two were also manned by the military police.
18 In the context of his statement, I will take the liberty of
19 quoting the remainder of what he says and that's something that I noted:
20 "The general public law and order is satisfactory, 150
21 perpetrators were caught. 19 of which were members of the HV. Out of 11
22 only -- only 2 check-points are also covered by the military police. The
23 check-points are being bypassed as they are many side roads. These side
24 roads are mined. Meaning that those who try to avoid the check-points by
25 taking the side roads enter into minefields and get killed. Cooperation
1 with the military police is excellent, but the problem is the lack of
2 personnel on the side of the military police. The many motor vehicles in
3 circulation without licence plates constitute a problem."
4 So this is the entirety of what he to say. The isolated
5 statement where he said that the military police was present at two
6 check-points out of a total of 11 does not portray the full picture of
7 the situation as reflected in what he had to say.
8 Q. That's why I precisely why I asked you about it.
9 Can I turn to Mr. Cetina, the chief of the Zadar-Knin police
10 administration. Mr. Cetina said:
11 "Significant problems in the field with looting and burning of
12 houses and property in the newly liberated areas."
13 Was that diary entry an accurate reflection of what Mr. Cetina
15 A. Likewise I should like to present all of the entries I made as
16 having been said by the chief of the Zadar-Knin police administration,
17 Mr. Cetina.
18 First bullet points: Significant problems in the field with
19 looting and burning of houses and property in the newly liberated areas,
20 burning of haystacks, and killing of livestock.
21 Criminal investigation is underway to individual the perpetrators
22 of these crimes. The problem lies in the fact that the offenders bypass
23 the check-points and circulate along the side roads. There has been
24 cooperation with the military police but not to such an extent that the
25 responsibility reached down to the lowest levels.
1 Shortage of military police personnel is also a problem. There
2 were many problems with certificates issued by civilian authorities.
3 Mayors of municipalities authorising the appropriation of assets and
4 various property.
5 Q. Mr. Lausic, prior to this meeting of September 15th, 1995, had
6 you been aware of the significant problems in the field with looting and
7 burning of houses and property in the Zadar-Knin police administration
9 A. In the documentation, you will find an entry from my diary dated
10 the 13th of September, that's to say two days before the Plitvice
11 meeting, where, at 10.00 in the Ministry of Interior, a coordinating
12 meeting at the highest level was held between the civilian and military
13 police forces. Assistant Minister Moric, chiefs of the police sector,
14 traffic police, then Assistant Minister Benko for the crime police were
15 there on behalf of the MUP; whereas I was there, my deputy was there, and
16 the chiefs of the general duty traffic and crime MP were there on behalf
17 of the MOD.
18 At that meeting, on the 13th, the colleagues from the MUP
19 advanced their comments an observations which I made note of in my diary
20 according to which the military policemen at the check-points were quite
21 flexible and did not, to the full extent, apply powers; that patrols were
22 not observed moving along roads; that there was shortage of policemen;
23 that generally speaking everyone was in full cooperation; but that the
24 military police commanders justified themselves by the lack of personnel;
25 that there were no problems with professional units but that there were
1 many problems with Home Guard units; that there were many vehicles
2 without licence plates cruising around, et cetera, et cetera.
3 Then you have Mr. Moric speaking next.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
5 A. And at the end of the meeting, it was agreed, or, rather, the
6 conclusions from the meeting of the 13th of September were that on the
7 15th of September a coordinating meeting should be held at Plitvice where
8 I was supposed to call all the MP battalion commanders that Mr. Moric
9 would be calling all the chiefs of police administrations to be present
10 there; in order for all of them to present the problems and the
11 suggestions for the cooperation and the sort of cooperation to be set up
12 based on the human and materiel resources we had; in order to coordinate
13 the use of the human and materiel resources present in the area to
14 coordinate our activities and to carry out joint activities.
15 Q. Since you have referred us to that September 13th meeting, and
16 that can be found at --
17 MR. TIEGER: Is it still the case for the Registrar that ERN
18 numbers are best for locating the document? Okay. Then the September
19 15th -- September 13th meeting, excuse me.
20 Let me try this one more way. I'm sorry. I was on the 15th
21 meeting which we had in front of us before.
22 Q. Let me turn, if I may, Mr. Lausic, to your comments at that
23 meeting, the coordination meeting which you've referred to.
24 MR. TIEGER: And that's found at page 70 of the English.
25 Q. Mr. Lausic you stated there that: "Looting, killing and burning
1 of houses continue, and the perpetrators come from all structures."
2 Now when you say the perpetrators came -- come from all
3 structures, can you explain to the Court what you meant by that?
4 A. The problems both we and the civilian police were faced with was
5 that the liberated area was being entered into by the civilians who had
6 been driven out of the area through the Serb occupation and had in the
7 meantime been accommodated at various locations.
8 As soon as the area was liberated, they moved into the region to
9 see the condition their property was in and what the situation was like
10 in general.
11 Members of the Home Guard Regiments also went into the area
12 although the combat activities had ceased, and their presence there was
13 no longer required. However, let me remind you, that members of the
14 Home Guard Regiments were mostly made up of the local population that had
15 been mobilised into those ranks.
16 In addition to that, there were masses of people from other areas
17 wearing HV uniforms, although not members of the HV. They included --
18 or, rather, all the individuals I mentioned now covered, I guess, all of
19 these various structures though there were many other situations
20 involving other types of people, and it would take a lot of time for me
21 to explain them all or describe them all here.
22 Another problem was that, as early as the 7th of August, the
23 highest-ranking officials of the Republic of Croatia
24 area to be an area where the civilian authorities became fully
25 operational, which made it impossible to seal off the entire area and
1 enforce strict control over the movement into and out of the area.
2 Another problem was that the demobilisation process of the
3 reserve forces of the HV which had been mobilised prior to
4 Operation Storm, was very slow until the 12th of August, when several
5 tens of thousands of troops were supposed to be demobilised in the Split
6 area. By the 12th of August, only 5.000 were demobilised.
7 There was a social aspect to that. The demobilised members of
8 the Home Guard Regiments did not have a civilian life to go back to.
9 They didn't have jobs to go back to, didn't have homes to go back to, and
10 their life, under the garb of the HV uniform, in the garb of the HV
11 uniform was the key solution to all their problems in their life.
12 This was something that made the work of the civilian and
13 military police equally difficult because you had individuals present in
14 the area, wearing the HV uniform, some of whom were not HV members.
15 There were many other problems in that area as well. One had to
16 make sure that one knew that the membership of the HV could not be
17 attested to by ones wearing a uniform but rather by ones producing the HV
18 identification papers.
19 There were many aggravating circumstances that made the work of
20 the military police difficult.
21 Q. Your penultimate entry in your diary, referring to your comments
22 on that date, states: "Bring the line of command into the problem.
23 Commanders at all levels must be aware of the problem and must resolve
24 issues following the line of command."
25 Was that one of the circumstances that made the work of the
1 military police difficult?
2 A. Absolutely, that's correct. My insisting on having the line or
3 chain of command organised in such a way to facilitate the work of the
4 military police. My insistence on having the military policemen adhere
5 to all the relevant rules, all of that was supposed to prevent any such
6 occurrences. The constant -- this is the constant thread that permeates
7 all my orders and documents I issued.
8 One has to comprehend the priorities of these commanders who
9 were, at the same time, displaced persons and individuals who to a great
10 extent did not have the power or the clout to keep their men under their
11 command. And, in many cases, they lost the power over their men because
12 their men were, in turn, displaced persons whose homes had been burned.
13 It was very difficult for them to contain their excessive behaviour.
14 My note that I -- that one needs to keep under control the chain
15 of command, that commanders at all levels must be aware of the problem
16 and must resolve issues following the chain of command, this is something
17 that you will see in all documents that I produced relating to
18 Operation Storm.
19 I will take the liberty of using an another rhetorical figure of
20 speech. And I said, Woe betide the commander whose men must be
21 disciplined by the military police; and woe betide the father whose child
22 must be disciplined by the police.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour, I see your eyes on the clock and
25 this is an appropriate time to adjourn.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
2 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if I could just, for housekeeping
3 purposes if we could figure out how we're going to schedule things
4 because we have another witness next week, and I'm not sure, depending on
5 the timing, whether we are going to be able to get to him.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we do that in the absence of the witness.
7 Mr. Lausic, I'd like to instruct you as I did yesterday that you
8 should not speak with anyone about the testimony whether already given or
9 still to be given, and we'd like to see you back tomorrow in the
10 afternoon in this same courtroom, at quarter past 2.00.
11 Could you follow the usher.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: My predictive abilities are not overly precise. I
15 certainly would attempt to use no more than the first session tomorrow,
16 but I find that matters move sometimes often slower, sometimes faster
17 than I might have predicted.
18 So I would ask the Court's indulgence. I think can you see I
19 have moved over certain areas fairly quickly with efficiency and
20 expediency in mind; and I will continue to do so, but that continues to
21 be a bit of a problem.
22 Mr. Misetic.
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, right now, I would estimate about
24 nine sessions given, I think, we have about 250 documents from OTP that
25 are either coming as bar table or through the witness, if I'm not
1 mistaken. And I'm hopeful that that nine includes the fact that I hope
2 to speed him up and shorten some of his answers.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Other Defence teams.
5 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I believe I will be after Mr. Misetic. It
6 depends very much what he covers, and we will be logging those areas as
7 he covers them to take passages out of our planned cross-examination. I
8 anticipate he will cover certain areas thoroughly. And, therefore, it
9 looks to me like could I deal with my cross-examination in a day.
10 I don't want to be held to that if Mr. Misetic doesn't cover
11 those areas as I'm sure the Court would understand, as this is a highly
12 important witness for all parties in the case and the Court and important
13 that matters are covered thoroughly.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Of course, Your Honour, it very much depends on
16 the work of my predecessors, but I don't estimate to have more than one
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That depends -- of course, sometimes the
19 answers of the witness are detailed, and I'm not always convinced that it
20 is the level of detail sought by the one who puts the question to the
21 witness. I would like everyone to keep this in mind and to intervene
22 where an answer goes in the direction which is -- I would not say a
23 different direction, but at least not exactly what the party is aiming
25 That might save quite some time. That's --
1 Then before we adjourn, I was inaccurate this morning when I
2 spoke about the admission into evidence of three documents of the list
3 yesterday. What actually happened is that 65 ter 2978 was taken from the
4 list because it was already included in 65 ter 1880, which has now become
6 The other two 65 ter numbers I referred to earlier today were not
7 admitted yesterday but were admitted into evidence as P1216 and P1211.
8 We adjourn, and we will resume tomorrow, the 28th of January,
9 quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon, in this same courtroom, I.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day of
12 January, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.