1 Tuesday, 3 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Mr. Lausic, I again would like it remind you that you're still
13 bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your
15 Mr. Kay, are you ready to proceed.
16 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour, yes.
17 WITNESS: MATE LAUSIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay: [Continued]
20 Q. Mr. Lausic, if we could look at another document concerning the
21 appointment of Mr. Orsulic and the rotation of the units in Knin.
22 MR. KAY: That's Exhibit D1134, dated the 29th of August.
23 Q. And I'm producing this to show you that as it pattern that's
24 repeated. We looked at yesterday the 17th; we're now looking at the
1 MR. KAY: And Your Honour knows that we've had these documents in
2 evidence, and I produce them during the cross-examination of
3 Mr. Theunens, the whole range of these documents. I don't propose to go
4 through every one with the witness because it would be to no good effect
5 or economical effect, but I do need to show him that it's a sequence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you make a representative selection and
7 then we could proceed.
8 MR. KAY: Thank you.
9 Q. I think you've understand what I've said then, Mr. Lausic, that
10 this is just to show you a further example.
11 There it is, Exhibit D1134. As you can see, it's from
12 Commander Budimir of the 72nd, repeating that same 5th of August order
13 that we looked at yesterday, and the order is framed in very similar form
14 to the previous document with, in paragraph 2, Lieutenant Orsulic
15 selected as the commander. But the officers beneath him are slightly
16 different. Sergeant Podrug is a company NCO, has been added; star
17 Sergeant Brnic is this time the 2nd Platoon commander, instead of the
18 previous order it was a man called Vesevic and the traffic platoon was
19 previously a man called Begovic. It is now Ante Pobric.
20 So the appointments changed that Commander Budimir was making
21 beneath Lieutenant Orsulic, but the rotation of the components of the
22 company remained the same. And if we just turn to page 2 so that can you
23 see it's from Commander Budimir and where it was sent to.
24 Again, that continued for the next period, and we've put in
25 documents up till the end of November concerning this.
1 And having shown you that, we will move from the rotation matter
2 to now the daily reports, and you wanted to see the daily report
3 yesterday for the 19th of August, and we've got that as a reference.
4 MR. KAY: It's 65 ter 6924.
5 Q. And this is the daily report from the 72nd Battalion duty
6 service. This document is similar to certain ones you've seen previously
7 during your testimony. We can see on the first page there's a crime
8 report. No need to look at the detail of that.
9 If we look at the second page in English, but it's still the
10 first page in the Croatian language, further details of that crime.
11 MR. KAY: We can now turn the Croatian language one to page 2.
12 Q. Other events are described there, about four reporters being
13 detained, giving their identities.
14 MR. KAY: Let's turn to page 3 in the English.
15 Q. We can see further details there. And then in the last page,
16 safety of military road traffic, we see the report there.
17 And the issue, just to refresh your memory, if you needed it from
18 yesterday, concerned that report that Lieutenant Orsulic had filed with
19 the military police administration, general military police department,
20 concerning the tour of various people from the Ministry of Defence, and I
21 asked you about that document. It was Exhibit D791. And you wanted to
22 look at the daily report for that day to see if there was any mention of
23 that matter in it, and it appears there is no mention of the tour by the
24 Ministry of Defence members on that day.
25 Is there any further comment that you'd like to add now?
1 A. This is the report of the duty service of the 72nd Military
2 Police Battalion and not a daily report of the MP company in Knin.
3 Q. Would we have to look in the daily book of the Knin company to
4 see if it is mentioned in there? Would that be the appropriate step to
6 A. If you find it necessary.
7 Q. Thank you. Just looking at this document, we can note who this
8 daily report is sent to at the foot of it.
9 MR. KAY: Perhaps if you can turn the Croatian language version
10 to the next page.
11 Q. And you see to whom this document is sent to.
12 MR. KAY: And I now want to turn to 65 ter 5630.
13 The document I've just referred to is part of the Prosecution bar
14 table documents, Your Honour, which is why I'm not ...
15 Q. Mr. Lausic, we've got the daily report here, as another example
16 of the 26th of September, 1995, from the duty service of the 72nd, we can
17 see here, of a crime reported in the first part.
18 I'd like us to just look at that because it concerns a Knin
19 military police company patrol, seeing and investigating a crime, and we
20 can see what it concerned without going into the detail, but it's the
21 fact of that happening and involving the Knin company.
22 We can also see a report for that day of violations of the Code
23 of Military Discipline, and that concerned something on that day when a
24 Knin military police company patrol discovered a Croatian military member
25 shooting his rifle into the air in Marsal Tito Street across from the
1 Knin forward command post building.
2 Page 2 in the English, we can see that a soldier was arrested by
3 the local military police who seized his rifle, and he was submitted for
4 criminal processing. We can see the other events that happened on that
6 And then if we turn to the end of this document, we can see to
7 whom the document is delivered to; and, in particular, I want you to look
8 at number 3, the Split
9 MR. KAY: And, again, Your Honour, without going through the 100
10 or so reports that we've had in evidence and bar table documents, we know
11 that all these reports reflect a similar ending. And of the addressees,
12 it is the Split
13 Q. And the point I want to put to you is this: That if this
14 information and breach of military discipline concerned the Knin military
15 police company who were reporting to General Cermak, or subordinated to
16 General Cermak, he would have received this information. Isn't that
18 A. My order of the 14th of August, in item 14, and that's the order
19 we looked at before, which relates to the implementation of the military
20 police tasks in the areas of responsibility of MP units.
21 Item 14, in the last paragraph, regulates in very precise terms
22 that the military police company in Knin shall be subordinated to the
23 most senior commander of the Croatian army in its area of responsibility,
24 to which it -- to which it shall submit its daily report.
25 Q. And, for reference, you are referring to Exhibit D47.
1 A. I don't know the number of the exhibit. I'm referring to the
2 order of the chief of the MP administration of the 14th of August.
3 Q. Yes, I say that for the record.
4 So a report of this nature, if the Knin company was reporting to
5 General Cermak, would have been sent to him.
6 A. The daily report of the military police company in Knin, that is,
7 and not the daily report of the 72nd Military Battalion as a whole. This
8 daily report is sent to the commander of the Split Military District
9 because the 72nd Battalion is stationed in Split.
10 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Misetic.
12 MR. MISETIC: I apologise for rising. But the translation came
13 back in line 8, page 6 as "commander of the Split Military District," and
14 I believe if we could check on what the witness may have said.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lausic, read a portion of your last answer and
16 see whether it is transcribed and translated with full accuracy.
17 You said: "The daily report of the military police company in
18 Knin, that is, and not the daily report of the 72nd Military Battalion as
19 a whole. This daily report is sent to the commander of," and then you
20 said, "Military District." Which Military District?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. President. I said
22 that this daily report of the 72nd Battalion, as can be seen, is also
23 sent to the commander of the Split
24 among the addressees. It is sent there because the 72nd Battalion was
25 stationed in Split
1 received that daily report.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So, therefore, you say it's -- under 2 and 3,
3 it is addressed, among others, to the Split Military District Commander
4 and to the Split
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You say that is because it's a report of the
7 72nd Battalion as a whole; whereas, units within that battalion may have
8 reported to others.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only added that the daily report
10 of the 72nd Battalion was sent to the commander of the Split garrison,
11 because the 72nd Battalion was headquartered in Split; whereas, it had
12 dislocated companies in Zadar, Sibenik, Sinj, Knin, and Dubrovnik
13 JUDGE ORIE: And to whom would the daily report of the military
14 police company in Knin have been addressed?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to my 14th of
16 August order, it was also sent to the commander of the Knin garrison, as
17 listed in the last paragraph of -- item 12, of my 14th of August order.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
19 MR. KAY: Can we just go to Exhibit D47.
20 Q. And this is back to your order, dated the 14th of August.
21 MR. KAY: If we go to paragraph 12, which is page 3 in the
22 English. Paragraph 12 is there in the Croatian language. Page 4, I'm
24 Q. That's what paragraph 12 says there.
25 "The newly established military police units must be urgently
1 provided with the necessary level of accommodation, logistics support,
2 and documents for operations and training. Members of the military
3 police shall work rotating shifts every 20 days," et cetera.
4 That does not say that they report to the garrison commander in
6 A. This is mentioned in item 14 of the order, in the last paragraph.
7 Q. It is not mentioned in paragraph 14 that they report to the
8 garrison commander in Knin.
9 A. Correct. To the most senior commander of the Croatian army, in
10 the area of responsibility.
11 Q. If I can just recap something here in answer to Judge Orie's
12 question. Judge Orie asked:
13 "And to whom would the daily report of the military police
14 company in Knin have been addressed?"
15 And the answer, interpreted for me, was:
16 "According to my 14th of August order, it was also sent to the
17 commander of the Knin garrison as listed in the last paragraph of item 12
18 of my 14th of August order."
19 A. Yes. I'm waiting for the question.
20 Q. Yes. I'm allowing it to be translated -- it's not only English
21 language, there are other languages.
22 That is not reference to that the reports would be sent to the
23 Knin garrison commander in paragraph 14. That's right, isn't it?
24 A. Correct, yes.
25 Q. We've been looking at documents at two levels. A level of
1 documents communicated by you down to the battalions; and then documents
2 beneath the battalion commander, down to the companies, which have not
3 been referenced to you but are operating at a level below. Isn't that
5 A. It is correct, yes.
6 Q. Am I right in saying that you did not know to whom the Knin
7 company was actually reporting to?
8 A. Could you please clarify. Are you saying that I didn't know? Or
9 that I was not aware of the fact to whom the commander of the Knin
10 battalion reported on a daily basis, of a Knin company?
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's apology.
12 MR. KAY:
13 Q. You did not know the identity to whom the Knin company commander
14 was reporting to?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. You did not received daily reports of the Knin company --
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... because they went to the 72nd
19 headquarters, and the 72nd headquarters combined the daily reports of all
20 the companies and then sent a combined report to the military police
21 administration. Is that right?
22 A. Correct. The summaries of all the most important reports, as I
23 have already explained, containing data either on the victim or the
24 perpetrators or the characteristics of the events. We're talking about
1 Q. When you were questioned by Mr. Foster and Mr. Morris and others
2 from the investigation department of the OTP in May of 2004, the
3 transcript we have says this:
4 "For instance, they covered certain areas. The military police
5 company of the 71st Battalion in Knin was subordinated to the highest
7 It's page 12 in the B/C/S, Mr. Lausic.
8 MR. KAY: Page 13 in the English. For reference purposes, it's
9 page 13.
10 Q. It's the first interview on the Friday. Have you got that now,
11 Mr. Lausic?
12 A. No, I haven't been able to locate that in my binder. Can I
13 please have it on the screen.
14 Q. Sure. Is that the binder Mr. Foster gave you on the 25th?
15 A. No. These are documents that I was given on the 17th December,
16 2008. This is actually the transcript of my interview as a suspect, and
17 also my statement provided as a prospective witness. I don't know
18 whether what you are mentioning now are excerpts from the transcript --
19 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
20 MR. KAY: [Previous translation continues] ... yeah, because this
21 is important that you see what was said at the time.
22 It's 65 ter 7036.
23 MR. TIEGER: May -- sorry. I was wondering if Mr. Kay could
24 provide, in addition to page numbers, line references because I'm having
25 some difficulty finding that particular excerpt that he quoted. And
1 didn't flow if it is my inability to find it on the page, and the line
2 reference would help.
3 MR. KAY: Well, page 13 of 58, 4965, and 65 ter -- can we go back
4 a page in the English. Can we go back a page in the Croatian. Next page
5 in the Croatian. Other way, please.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. KAY:
8 Q. In the English version, wrongly put into your statement is 71st,
9 instead of 72nd. Can you see that? You mentioned the 72nd, but it's
10 wrongly put into the English here for a reasoning with, in fact,
11 connected with Mr. Foster's question. But we can just go through this.
12 "For instance they covered certain areas. The military police
13 company of the 72nd Battalion in Knin was subordinated to the highest
14 officer, commander in its area of its [sic] responsibility, and its area
15 of responsibility, the area of the town of Knin and the surrounding
16 areas, and a platoon in Drnis and the Benkovac platoon. And they deal
17 with it the same way, and they deal with all members in uniform of the
18 Croatian army, whether they deal with them through their own activity or
19 following reports of the civilian police, citizens, et cetera."
20 Mr. Foster said: "So who was the 71st Battalion in Knin
21 subordinated to?" Which we know is an error.
22 And then the next passage is: "First of all, to the commander,"
23 the commander of the 72nd Battalion, it should be, "and the commander was
24 subordinated to the commander of the Military District."
25 In English, we have: "All right," which doesn't appear there in
1 the Croatian.
2 MR. KAY: Can we just move it up the page a bit on the English.
3 The other way, sorry, it's my mistake. Fine.
4 Q. We then have: "Horizontally to the highest ranking commander, to
5 the highest ranking commander of the Croatian army in its area of
7 MR. KAY: If we turn to the next page of the English, please.
8 Q. Which we can see on the right, that that is part of the combined
10 And then Mr. Foster says: "So in Knin that would be
11 General Cermak, would it?"
12 And then your answer in the Croatian language, perhaps you could
13 just read that out.
14 A. Excuse me, just to illustrate the dimensions of what I'm saying
15 and the problems in our functioning within the cooperation between the
16 Ministry of the Interior and ourselves. On 7 August, I was -- I received
17 a telephone call at 1845 by Mr. Moric, the assistant minister, and he
18 told me that Mr. Smiljan Reljic who was in --
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]... thank you very much.
20 We're looking at the --
21 MR. KAY: Sorry, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. KAY:
24 Q. If we go back, then, if we can just scroll up the B/C/S higher up
25 the page, please, just stop there. And if you could just read out what
1 Mr. Foster said to you in B/C/S at line 9.
2 A. "Who was the 71st Battalion in Knin subordinated to?"
3 I would like to say that this is completely wrongly defined
4 issue, or question, rather.
5 Q. Yes. If you could just read out your answer beneath that to his
6 wrong question of the 71st Battalion in Knin.
7 A. I believed that he asked me who the company of the military
8 police of the 72nd Battalion was subordinated to, the one that was
9 stationed in Knin, and my answer to that was the following as under
10 bullet points 11, 12, 13, and 14:
11 "First of all, I meant the company of the MP in Knin was
12 subordinated to its commander, and that was the commander of the 72nd
13 Battalion. And the commander of the 72nd Battalion was subordinated to
14 the commander of the Military District. And in horizontal lines, and,
15 again, I'm talking about the company of the military police in Knin, to
16 the most supreme commander of the Croatian military in their area of
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. KAY: If the English could be turned to page -- the next
20 page, please.
21 Q. If you could just read out in Croatian at line 16 what Mr. Foster
23 A. "In Knin it would be General Cermak, would it not?"
24 Q. And then your answer at line 18.
25 A. "Yes, that's true." And then a break: "And now to illustrate
1 the dimensions of what I'm talking about and the problems of how we
2 cooperate" --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... stop there. Thank you.
4 You would agree that under the rules, as we discussed yesterday,
5 your Article 9 rule of the military police concerns the highest ranking
6 commander by function?
7 A. By function.
8 Q. Yeah. Yes, that's right. Yeah.
9 That was not a part of your discussions with Mr. Foster, the
10 issue of highest ranking by function. Isn't that right?
11 A. Yes. You can see that from the transcript.
12 Q. You said earlier in your evidence this morning, you did not know,
13 and as a matter of fact, to whom the commander of the 7th Company, or the
14 Knin company, was reporting to. Isn't that right?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. And that was not, in fact, a question either that Mr. Foster
17 asked you, as to whom the 7th Company in Knin were reporting to. Isn't
18 that right?
19 A. I apologise, I wouldn't call it the 7th Company. I would call it
20 the company of the military police in Knin, and as for the rest, I agree.
21 What I'm saying is that this company did not bear a numerical part of its
22 name, either at that time or later.
23 Q. Just to make sure we're clear, then: He did not ask the question
24 of you to whom or whether you knew to whom the Knin company was reporting
25 to in Knin?
1 A. As you can see from the transcript, the answer would be no.
2 Q. He, Mr. Foster, put the name "General Cermak" to you on the issue
3 of the highest ranking commander in the area, but that was a hypothetical
4 issue concerning the command and subordination of the Knin company,
5 wasn't it?
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. Thank you. We can move from there now to another section.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, if you would allow me to ask a few
9 clarifying questions.
10 Mr. Lausic, it is clear you have clearly responded to Mr. Kay's
11 question. You did not know to whom the police, military police company
12 in Knin, was reporting.
13 Now, on the basis of your earlier instructions that reports
14 should be sent to the -- let me -- to the highest ranking commander in
15 the area, could you just list for me to whom you would expect -- under
16 your instructions, to whom you would expect the military police company
17 in Knin would report? Whether they did is another matter but ...
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I'm not mistaken, I
19 already said last week that in Knin there was a specific situation which
20 reflected in the following: In Knin there was a forward command post of
21 the Military District with the complete command, irrespective of the
22 fact, where, at any given moment, the commander of the Military District
23 was, the command of the Military District was in Knin.
24 The second specific characteristic was that the forward command
25 post of the 72nd Battalion of the military police was also in Knin. Its
1 main headquarters was in Split
2 area, its command was in Knin at that moment. And there was also the
3 company of the military police, which was newly established and stationed
4 in Knin.
5 Daily reports issued by the 72nd Battalion, or, rather, its duty
6 service as may be seen, was submitted to the command of the Military
7 District Split
8 question as to what my assumptions are. It is assumed to that a
9 battalion of the military police -- the company of the military police in
10 Knin did not send reports to the forward command post of the Military
11 District Split
12 which the members of the company acted, were dealt with in the daily
13 reports of the 72nd MP Battalion. And these reports were sent to the
14 command of the Military District. It is to be assumed that their daily
15 reports were sent to the most senior officer in their area of
16 responsibility, and that would be the commander of the garrison there,
17 whose name was known and who was appointed as the garrison commander.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there for a second because we are
19 moving from 72nd Battalion to Knin company.
20 We have seen on the documents shown to you by Mr. Kay where you
21 said, These are not reports of the Knin company, that they were sent to
22 the Split
23 commander in Split
24 Now, I'd like you to focus on the company only. The company in
25 Knin would -- if they would follow your instructions - if it is part of
1 your instructions; if not, tell us - would report to whom exactly? Who
2 would be on the list of addressees?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander of the 72nd MP
4 Battalion or, rather, its duty service. That is the first step in the
5 vertical ladder, to the commander of the Knin garrison, to the chief of
6 the police station in Knin.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You mention the commander of the Knin garrison. Is
8 that because you consider him to be the highest ranking military
9 commander in the zone of responsibility? Is that why you include him?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Whether they did or not, as you said to Mr. Kay, you
12 do not know; but that is what you expected them to do on the basis of
13 your instructions.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
15 MR. KAY: With respect, Your Honour, I think the test is actually
16 different; it's highest ranking by function.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Where I said, Because you considered him to be the
18 highest ranking military commander, I meant to -- but let me --
19 MR. KAY: I was going to ask --
20 JUDGE ORIE: I withdraw that. If you want to further explore --
21 MR. KAY: I was going to deal with this, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine. Because you used the wordings not
23 always with functional. I think a lot of your questions it was, Did I
24 function --
25 MR. KAY: If I've taken it from the order, it is without
1 function. If I'm dealing otherwise, it is by function. And on the
2 transcript they didn't use the term -- Your Honour will recollect that
3 the original translation we had in the case was wrong, and that phrase
4 "by function" was missing.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I am aware of that.
6 MR. KAY: Sorry.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And I was referring to just the text of item 14. If
8 you want to further explore the matter, please proceed.
9 MR. KAY: Sure.
10 Q. In Knin, the highest ranking military commander by function in
11 the zone of responsibility is not the garrison commander.
12 A. That's also true. But I stressed the specific situation in Knin
13 as a provisional location where the forward command post of the
14 Military District was stationed; that's to say, the command of the
15 Military District. We also have the forward command post of the
16 72nd Battalion stationed there. We also have the command of the
17 commander of the Military District, and we have commanders of certain
18 units stationed in Knin. Which units exactly, with which commanders
19 bearing which ranks, I don't know. However, the logic I'm following, the
20 reasoning, is that the commander of the company in Knin whose activities
21 are already covered in the daily report sent to the commander of the
22 Military District, as we were able to see, his own daily report relating
23 to his company would be sent to the levels that I mentioned in answer to
24 His Honour's question; namely, the commander of the 72nd Battalion -- or,
25 rather, its duty service, the commander of the garrison, the chief of the
1 police station in Knin, and probably some other levels within the company
3 Q. So to make it clear, then, that's on a theoretical level. You
4 are saying that was an assumption.
5 A. I'm not speaking of the theory. I'm telling you what my
6 reasoning, my logic is.
7 Q. Very well. Shall we just look at a document that may be of
9 MR. KAY: It is an exhibit, D996.
10 Q. This is a document dated the 16th of February, 1995. It's from
11 the garrison commander in Split
12 General Staff, General Bobetko, and it concerns the functioning of the
13 Split garrison.
14 Have you ever seen this document before, Mr. Lausic?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. It will be important for you to have an opportunity to read it.
17 We have seen this already in court. And if you read the first page --
18 tell us when you have read the first page, then we'll change over.
19 A. Can we turn to the next page, please.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. KAY: And in the English, please.
22 Next page, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
24 MR. KAY:
25 Q. This document was sent just to General Bobetko, Chief of Staff,
1 from Colonel Zoricic of the Split
2 MR. KAY: If we go back to the first page, because it's often
3 difficult to take in all information quickly.
4 Q. This was February 1995, and it was critical of the establishment
5 of the Split
6 problems, and we can see the terms of the letter there.
7 MR. KAY: If we now turn to page 2.
8 Q. One of the problems that he refers to, as we see in the second
9 paragraph, is the authority of the garrison commander, garrison control
10 officer, and garrison duty officer.
11 "I have no authority over military police, and I do not even
12 cooperate with them, since the garrison institution has been ignored by
13 the 72nd Military Police Battalion commander. Without the assistance and
14 possibility of using military police, it is impossible to reach the
15 required level of order and discipline."
16 And we see other complaints and then his proposals. And in
17 proposal 3: "The garrison commander shall be given authority and one
18 military police company in the city of Split area shall be subordinated
19 to him."
20 Firstly, did General Bobetko ever refer this problem to you?
21 A. I don't know. I don't remember this particular problem. I am
22 familiar with Colonel Zoricic, and I know that there were problems
23 between him personally and the commander of the 72nd Battalion. The way
24 the information was conveyed to me, he was known to send requests to the
25 military police for matters that went beyond the scope of their activity.
1 As for Colonel Zoricic, the order from the minister of defence
2 and the chief of the Main Staff, General Bobetko, of the 27th
3 August 1993, had in its enclosures the instructions regulating issues
4 from the purview of garrisons where, in item 4, it is referred to the
5 engagement of military police units in very precise terms. And it is
6 regulated in what way in cooperation with the military police was
7 supposed to be established.
8 The commander of the 72nd Battalion --
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... we will turn to those now
10 because we have them as an exhibit. Exhibit D34. Sorry to interrupt,
11 but I think it may assist the Court to know what the witness is referring
13 This is it Exhibit D34, organisational order regarding work,
14 order, and discipline at garrison HQs and is the reference cited by the
15 garrison commander in Split
16 MR. KAY: It's 3035 -- or 8035.
17 Q. You told us last week that you received this first on the 25th of
18 January with the documents that Mr. Foster gave you. Is that right?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And was that the first time you had seen this document?
21 A. I can't be certain about it. I may have received it for my
22 information back then, although it's not stated here, but I saw it the
23 other day for the first time in the documentation that I was given.
24 Q. Right. If we just look at this carefully because it concerns the
25 setting up of the garrisons as we see in the headnote. And the order to
1 set up a comprehensive system of command, cooperation, and coordination
2 at the level of garrison headquarters. We can see paragraph 1 there.
3 But it's paragraph 2 that I'd like you to look at carefully. And it says
5 "The garrison headquarters [sic] commands do not have an
6 operational function and the right to issue orders to Croatian army
7 units, except precisely prescribed authorities regarding work, order, and
8 discipline at the garrison headquarters outside of barracks and other
9 military facilities within the tasks provided by the rules of service of
10 the armed forces."
11 Now, do you note that there, that it says the garrison
12 headquarters commands don't have an operational function? Did you know
13 that before, that that was one of the orders concerning the garrisons?
14 A. Not in such precise terms, but I did know what the tasks of
15 garrison commanders were in accordance with the rules of service.
16 Q. The tasks were set out in the 1992 rules of service, and we will
17 go back to look at them. But this was the order, wouldn't you agree, as
18 to how the garrisons had to function?
19 A. Yes, correct.
20 Q. And the rules of service don't make that fact about the garrisons
21 not having an operational function. It is not said in those terms in the
22 rules of service; do you agree?
23 A. Lawyers should be better placed than me to make a proper
24 interpretation of the document; they drafted it. My interpretation would
25 not have legal validity.
1 Q. Very well. I'm stating a fact because we've looked at it, and
2 it's often helpful to do that so that we have a base for the next
3 question, if you understand.
4 Now, in the orders that you issued and we looked at yesterday,
5 most specifically the one on the 14th of August that refers to
6 operational commands, Exhibit D47, daily operational commands, do you see
7 that there is a problem between the orders issued by the military police
8 and this function of the garrison here as set out in the 1993 order?
9 A. Yes. It is there. However, I have to say that the rules
10 governing the organisation and work of the military police as bylaws - in
11 other words, regulations inferior to legislation which serve as
12 provisions implementing legislation, in this case, the Law on Defence -
13 is a piece of regulation of an earlier date and, therefore, takes
14 supremacy in relation to operational orders. Another thing is that the
15 rules governing the organisation and work of the military police were
16 passed in 1994 and antedates the 1993 order by date as well. In those
17 rules, in Article 9, that is, daily operational command is mentioned on
18 the part of the most senior commander by function, commander of the
19 Croatian army, and let me be quite precise --
20 Q. If you could read it -- read it out again because it's the word
21 "regular" that is it used, rather than "operational" in Article 9. If
22 you read it out, Article 9.
23 A. Article 9 of the rules governing the organisation and work of the
24 military police of the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia
25 "The rules were adopted in February 1994 as bylaws. In performing
1 regular military police tasks, the military police units shall be
2 subordinated to the commander of the Military District, commander of the
3 Croatian navy, commander of the Croatian air force..." That's just --
4 or, rather, "to the most senior commander of the Croatian army by
5 function in the area where the military police units operate or are
7 Let me just add the following. My interpretation of the rules as
8 a piece of bylaws which has supremacy over the order, also in terms of
9 dates -- or, rather, not my interpretation, but a proper interpretation
10 of the rules should be given by the lawyers. This is my position in
11 relation to that on the basis of my legal knowledge and experience.
12 MR. KAY: And, for the record, it was Exhibit P880 the witness
13 was referring to, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
15 MR. KAY:
16 Q. And just looking at paragraph 2 here, we've looked at the
17 non-operational function. But it says the garrison headquarters commands
18 don't have the right to issue orders to Croatian army units except
19 precisely prescribed authorities regarding, work, order, and discipline
20 at the garrison headquarters.
21 So, again, a -- were you not aware of that fact in 1995 and when
22 you were interviewed in 2004 about the --
23 A. I did not see the order or the 1993 instructions. I gave my
24 statement on the basis of the rules governing the organisation and work
25 of the military police and the orders which were issued pursuant to the
2 Q. Yes. When you were interviewed and your statement taken by
3 Mr. Foster, Mr. Casey, Mr. Morris, and others, you had your documents
4 that you had issued. Is that correct?
5 A. What exactly are you referring to when you say "your documents"?
6 Q. The military police administration documents that you issued at
7 this time as the chief.
8 A. Correct. The ones that I obtained from the archive when I was
9 preparing for the interview.
10 Q. You were not asked to review other documents that we have looked
11 at in the course of your cross-examination. Isn't that right?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. If we can look at number 4, because you referred to point 4, that
14 refers to the commanders of Military District and other commanders "shall
15 study the enclosed directive in a" --
16 I know you also were referring to number 4 of the instructions.
17 But ... we will look at that; don't worry. This is an important --
18 A. Fine.
19 Q. This is an important -- number 4 as well. And to be fair to you,
20 have you had the time to absorb all these -- all the detail in this
22 A. In what period do you mean?
23 Q. Well, have you had time to look at this document carefully until
24 I've started asking questions about it?
25 A. Just summarily.
1 Q. Yes, as we saw.
2 Paragraph 4 here requires those commanders to study the
3 directive, and based on specific circumstances, set out concrete tasks
4 for garrison headquarters regarding work, order, and discipline and
5 implementation of the prescribed tasks.
6 Were you aware that the garrisons were going through a process of
7 organisation and change in order for them to function properly?
8 A. My knowledge of the workings of the garrisons was quite
9 superficial, save for Colonel Zoricic as the commander of the Split
10 garrison. I don't recall any other garrison commanders at this time, I
11 must admit. I remember him by - and this is only to put it mildly - some
12 of the peculiarities of his work mode.
13 Q. Thank you. Just so that we finish this page, just looking at
14 number 5, that there was a requirement that their work be monitored and
15 assessed to ensure that the situation encountered was taking all the
16 necessary measures for work, order, and discipline at the garrison to the
17 required level.
18 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I can see the time, and we're turning no
19 the next section of this as I said we would, as the next phase of
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll already ask Mr. Lausic to leave the
22 courtroom. Mr. Lausic, we'll have a break, and then I'll further
24 MR. KAY: Sure.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, your estimate was one day. You started
2 yesterday in the second session of the hearing.
3 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I'm on the last lap, and I think I would
4 be finished within the next session, with the Court's leave.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, which makes it one and one third of a day.
6 MR. KAY: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We'll consider that during the break.
8 We will have a break, and we'll resume at five minutes to 11.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, you may proceed. Leave is granted for the
14 additional time you asked for. However, if you would not use all of it,
15 that would certainly be appreciated.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged, Your Honour, and I will bear that in
18 mind. Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Lausic, we were looking at these organisational orders
20 regarding work, order, and discipline at garrison headquarters,
21 Exhibit D34. And just to remind you, before the break, we looked at the
22 fact that this was setting up the garrisons' tasks that had to be done in
23 advance and review of the work that was being done.
24 Shall we go now to the instructions.
25 MR. KAY: Page 3 in the English. And it's instructions on
1 regulating some issues within the jurisdiction of garrison headquarters.
2 Q. We can see in 1 that duties and tasks for garrison headquarters
3 that are outside their original garrison headquarters due to temporary
4 occupation of their territory, that they are able to perform at their
5 current locations, prepare documents.
6 Can we just look at one issue here, which may be an important
7 issue for you to consider. Until the 5th of August, of course, there was
8 no garrison in Knin. Isn't that right?
9 A. I wouldn't be able to give you an answer because I don't know.
10 Q. This instruction here requires tasks to be devised to set up
11 garrisons that are outside the place where they have been designated.
12 If we go to number 4 here, which is the one you wanted to look
13 at. It's the next page, and it's called "employing military police
14 units." And it says:
15 "The ZM commander is required to arrange a procedure with the
16 closest unit of the military police of calling MP units and having them
17 intervene in the case of unrest, accidents, et cetera, when an MP unit is
18 indispensable to establish order and discipline in the area of the
19 garrison..." headquarters.
20 What I want to put to you is this, that that is a written
21 procedure as to how the garrison should operate with the military police
22 if there is trouble in the garrison area which would be a written
23 protocol of how to respond to trouble. Isn't that right?
24 A. As I'm reading number 4 here, I can say that what you have just
25 put to me may be seen as arising from the contents of number 4.
1 Q. The next matter, next sentence we should look at is:
2 "Also arrange for temporary employment of MP patrols to supervise
3 work, discipline, and conduct of military personnel in public places."
4 Just looking at that, that required the garrison commander to use
5 temporary military police patrols to supervise what would be the rules of
6 the garrison as to how people should behave in relation to their military
7 conduct. Is that right?
8 A. Yes. This may be understood from bullet point 4, and it may be
9 said that what you have just put to me is correct.
10 Q. And this is because the garrisons were a place that the military
11 based itself, and there was a required level of behaviour of how the
12 military should behave in that area to enable it to be part of the town
13 or community. Isn't that right?
14 A. Yes. Members of the Croatian army were duty-bound to comply with
15 all the rules that regulated the work in their units, discipline, the
16 discharge of certain duties, a whole host of regulations applied which
17 are contained in the collection of rules and regulations which were
18 applicable to the Croatian army at the time. I'm talking about the
19 general rules of service in the armed forces.
20 Q. If we go now to page 7 of the English, and it's paragraph 17,
21 which I think is on the next page in the Croatian language.
22 MR. KAY: Oh, no, page after that in the Croatian language,
23 please. If it can go -- if we can look at the top of the page in the
24 Croatian and go back a page in the Croatian to the bottom of the page.
25 Sorry about that. It's -- ah, there it is.
1 Q. Can you see that, Mr. Lausic, point 17?
2 A. Yes, thank you.
3 Q. Yeah. And you looked at that with Mr. Tieger. And it's headed
4 "regulating order, discipline and supervision of the conduct of military
5 police." And the garrison commander should lay down instructions on
6 order, discipline, and supervision of the conduct. And we can see it's
7 uniform schedule of working hours, time of exchange of internal service
8 organs, conducting of military personnel in public places, type of
9 supervision, restricted locations, use of public transport.
10 Again, this refers to regulations as to how people should behave
11 in the area so that good order and discipline is maintained by military
12 personnel. Isn't that right?
13 A. As I'm reading this text, I can say that what you just stated is
15 Q. Yes. And what we've been looking at in relation to the garrison
16 orders and rules and instructions are all matters that would be relevant
17 to a stable and peacetime situation. Isn't that right?
18 A. I would not be able to give a precise answer to your question
19 because in 1991 or therefrom, we were in war. And the specific
20 characteristics of the Croatian theatre of war was reflected in the fact
21 that over 1000 kilometres of the front line, in its entire length almost,
22 went along the urban settlements and settled areas or, rather, along
23 their borders, or even intersected those urban areas like in Vinkovci,
24 Gospic, Zadar, Karlovac, Sisak, and so on and so forth. And the
25 characteristics of towns in the Republic of Croatia
1 the Croatian army were deployed was the fact that they were all very
2 close to the front line, so we cannot talk about a peacetime or areas
3 that were not affected by war.
4 Q. Taking Knin in August to November 1995, the circumstances in Knin
5 at that time were not a normal set of circumstances. Would you agree?
6 A. Absolutely. After having been liberated, immediately thereafter,
7 Knin was a town to which refugees were returning. They would come to
8 visit their destroyed houses. Many of them had been mobilized into the
9 units of the Croatian army. They wore Croatian army uniforms. Many wore
10 Croatian army uniforms, although officially they did not belong to the
11 ranks of the Croatian army. One would say that this was a neuralgic
12 location from the point of view of safety of all aspects, if we're
13 talking about security of an area.
14 Q. Thank you. If we could now go to Exhibit D32, which is the
15 service regulations you referred to in 1992. And they were the ones
16 produced by Mr. Foster in the interview. Page 11 in the English, and
17 we're looking at paragraph 50 onwards, under the heading: "Garrison."
18 I believe we've got a copy there, Mr. Lausic. Is that right?
19 A. Just bear with me for a moment.
20 Q. Of course.
21 A. Correct, I do have the document in handwritten version. I took
22 this document immediately before I came to this Tribunal to provide my
23 testimony as a witness.
24 Q. Thank you. It's page 17 in the Croatian version. We've got that
1 Shall we have a look at this because it's referred to you -- in
2 your statement. We see number 50 about the garrison.
3 And then number 52:
4 "The garrison commander is responsible for placement, order,
5 discipline, and service in the garrison. All units and institutions
6 within the garrison are subordinate to the garrison commander in matters
7 of order, discipline, and service."
8 Now, the order we've been looking at from 1993 of organisation
9 and work in the garrison expresses the role of the garrison commander
10 differently, don't you agree? Exhibit D34, when we've looked at
11 paragraph 2.
12 A. Yes, I can confirm this.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. However, I would like to emphasise once again, in order to be
15 able to provide a precise answer -- answers, you will have to consult
16 legal experts. I am providing my answers based on my own knowledge and
17 familiarity with the law and on my experience. So my opinion should not
18 be taken as an opinion of a legal expert who would be able to give you a
19 proper implementation of these regulations and bylaws.
20 Q. I understand that, and the point I want to make to you is that
21 how these rules concerning the garrison were developed were such that
22 they took the form of the rules within that order that we looked at
23 earlier in 1993. And the power of the garrison commander over units and
24 institutions within the garrison concerned those rules that he had to
25 draft and prescribe, setting out how people should behave within the
1 garrison. Do you agree?
2 A. I can only agree that this was to be found in the 1993 order, as
3 one of the items of that order.
4 MR. KAY: Just taking instructions, Your Honour, from my
5 colleagues on matters that need to be covered.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. KAY:
8 Q. Thank you very much, in relation to that.
9 In your statement, you said that General Cermak, if he saw a
10 crime, would have a responsibility to report it to the Military District
11 Commander. Do you recollect that in your statement?
12 A. I don't know whether you quoted the transcript correctly, whether
13 you quoted my words from the transcript correctly.
14 Q. Yes, I have. And what I wanted to put to you is this: That
15 General Cermak could also refer that -- refer a matter, if he had seen a
16 crime, to the military police. That would be an appropriate way of him
17 referring something that had gone on, that was a crime, to refer it to
18 the military police. That would be appropriate.
19 A. The obligation to report crimes is something that every citizen
20 of Croatia
21 members of the Croatian army. Pursuant to the penal code of the Republic
22 of Croatia
23 learn and which are prosecuted, ex officio.
24 Q. And that could be carried out in the same way by any staff of
25 General Cermak also reporting the matter on, so that if there had been a
1 crime brought to his attention and then a subordinate of his or an
2 officer working with him reported it to the military police or the civil
3 police, that that would be a correct way of proceeding. Isn't that
5 A. Absolutely.
6 Q. He did not have a duty as a garrison commander to investigate a
8 A. How do you mean? You mean crime investigation?
9 Q. Yes. If a subordinate of his committed a crime, he had a duty to
10 deal with the act of his subordinate. That is right, isn't it?
11 A. Yes, it is. But he was not under any obligation to carry out a
12 proper crime investigation. He only had to -- reported his suspicion
13 that somebody was involved in the commission of a crime, and then the
14 investigation is carried out by -- either by military police, or civil
15 police if the suspect is a civilian.
16 Q. And looking, as we have, at those documents today, it is right,
17 is it not, that they do not establish that the military police company in
18 Knin was under the day-to-day command of General Cermak?
19 A. You can see it in my document of the 14th of August, my order
20 issued to the company commander to subordinate him to the highest
21 commander there. And by that order, I give the company commander
22 instruction to report to that person, to the highest commander, on a
23 daily basis.
24 Q. And one other matter I want to deal with: General Cermak phoned
25 you on one occasion whilst he was in Knin. Is that correct?
1 A. I think that I stated that there was one telephone conversation
2 in relation to securing a warehouse or something like that.
3 Q. Did General Cermak, in fact, in that conversation that he had
4 with you ask you to send more military police to the region to help
5 keeping the law and order?
6 A. I don't remember such a conversation taking place.
7 Q. Is it correct, though, that in fact further reinforcements of
8 military police were sent to Knin to supplement the troops of the
9 72nd Battalion from other battalions of the military police in other
10 parts of Croatia
11 A. Yes. We saw that yesterday, where, in addition to the members of
12 the 73rd Battalion who had been at the disposal of the 72nd Battalion as
13 reinforcements from day one, I also sent the armoured vehicles with crews
14 from the 67th, in order to reinforce the company in Knin.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter isn't sure about the
16 battalion's numerical designation.
17 MR. KAY:
18 Q. We looked at that yesterday. It was from the 66th. Isn't that
20 A. Yes, I said as much.
21 Q. Yes. Thank you.
22 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged. I've finished my questions now, Your
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
25 Mr. Mikulicic, will be it you or Mr. Kuzmanovic who
1 cross-examines Mr. Lausic?
2 Mr. Lausic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic.
3 Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Lausic.
6 A. Good morning, Mr. Mikulicic.
7 Q. At the start of my examination, I should like to refer to your
8 answer of last week when Mr. Misetic asked you about the state policy in
9 relation to the overall events related to Operation Storm.
10 Your answer can be found in the transcript at page 15596, line
11 16, where you answered in the following way: You said that the state
12 policy was reflected in the order which you received as early as at the
13 first meeting which was held on the 2nd of August in the war room. The
14 meeting with Mr. Susak in the preparatory stage of Operation Storm was
15 the occasion when the minister said that the military police had to be
16 energetic in its activities and its preventative efforts.
17 You also said that the state policy was also reflected in the
18 efforts you made, you, as the most senior representative an officer of
19 the military police, as well as the Ministry of Interior, which could be
20 seen in numerous documents.
21 Mr. Lausic --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, I am at page 15596 and don't see that
24 reference. Perhaps that was --
25 MR. MIKULICIC: [Microphone not activated] [In English] Line 16.
1 It is an answer in my -- state policy was reflected in the order which I
2 received as early -- at first meeting on the 2nd of August in the war
4 So maybe I --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Mikulicic please speak closer to the
6 microphone, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, would you please come closer to the
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes. I will try to arrange this, Your Honour.
10 Or maybe I should use another microphone. Like this, is it better?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you very much. The interpreters are
12 thanking you. But please turn-off the microphone to the right, then.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: So should I repeat what I said.
14 I was referring to the transcript on the page 15596, line 16th.
15 And where the answer of Mr. Lausic begins with, "in my view, the state
16 policy," and so on.
17 MR. TIEGER: I don't know if anyone else has this opened. I have
18 a printed version of the transcripts, and at 15596 that's not the
19 reference. I can try turning --
20 MR. MIKULICIC: It is a transcript from 30 of January. Well, I
21 will check.
22 JUDGE ORIE: The page you are referring to, 15596, is on the 2nd
23 of February. So there we have already a small problem. You have --
24 apparently, you are quoting. Now our search engines allow us to search
25 for --
1 MR. MISETIC: It's page 15512, beginning at line 16.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay. My mistake. I apologise. I'm not good
3 with the figures, Your Honour.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the right-hand microphone of
5 Mr. Mikulicic please be turned off.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You're requested to switch off at least the
7 right-hand microphone, but I don't see that -- I don't see that it is --
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Only the left one is switched on, Your Honour, on
9 my desk.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If everyone else switches off all the
11 microphones, we'll see what happens when just the left one is open.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: I just turned on my -- I turn-off my left
14 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to a lot noise when that microphone is
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Well, it goes beyond my technical experience,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Don't rely too much on mine. Could you perhaps use
19 the other microphone for a second and see whether the sound is any
20 better. So switch off the left one and use the right one.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Is it better now?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think all the -- do you call that rumble,
23 or ... that disappears. So perhaps if you could rearrange your --
24 MR. MIKULICIC: I will try to do.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay. Finish with all technical problem.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lausic, regardless of the technical
3 difficulties we have experienced in the meantime, do you recall this part
4 of your testimony?
5 A. Correct. I confirm it fully. This was in answer to the question
6 of what I understood as the state policy, which is something I referred
7 to at a meeting with my commanders, if I'm not mistaken.
8 Q. Mr. Lausic, I did not tell you this at the start. Since we both
9 speak the same language, we should be mindful of the fact that we have to
10 make a pause between question and answer so that the interpreters can do
11 their job.
12 A. There should be no problem there.
13 Q. Mr. Lausic, you were a high-ranking official in the military
14 police. You were the chief of the military police administration.
15 However, you held another important function, and that was that you were
16 the chief of security for the president of the Republic, unofficially
17 since 1991 when you were summoned, and officially as of 1992. Is that
19 A. I will have to correct you. I became chief of security for the
20 president of the Republic in January 1991 as a member of the Ministry of
21 Interior, since, at that time, the Croatian army was not yet in
22 existence. It was only on the 1st of December, 1991, that I was
23 appointed by the president of the Republic to the newly established
24 military police administration within the Ministry of Defence of the
25 Republic of Croatia pursuant to an oral decision of the president of the
1 Republic, and a written decision on appointment to that particular
2 position was given to me in February 1992, if I'm not mistaken. However
3 -- however, let me note that as the chief of the military police
4 administration, I remained, until the death of the president, a member of
5 the security staff of the office for national security, and, as such, I
6 was involved in the application of security measures for the president of
7 the Republic.
8 Q. Thank you for this precise answer, Mr. Lausic.
9 In fact, it was my intention to ask you this: In that capacity
10 you held, you were oftentimes in a position to be in the presence of the
11 highest ranking representatives of both the civilian and military
12 authorities in Croatia
13 A. You could put it that way.
14 Q. Did you ever, Mr. Lausic, on such occasions, and I mean you
15 personally, receive an order, either formally or informally, that the
16 citizens of Serb ethnicity in the Republic of Croatia should be
17 mistreated, harassed, that crime at their expense should be tolerated,
18 that arson or theft should be tolerated or even encouraged with a view to
19 causing their departure from the Republic of Croatia -- or, rather, with
20 a view to driving them out of Croatia
21 A. In my answer, I will be focussing on two individuals only, namely
22 the president of the Republic, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, and the Minister of
23 Defence, Mr. Gojko Susak. Throughout the time, including the period when
24 I was the chief of security for the president of the Republic, in the
25 course of 1991 through to the time when Minister Susak died in 1998 and
1 when President Tudjman died in 1999, I had never received from these two
2 individuals an order or anything else in any other form to the effect
3 that I would be asked to do something contrary to my notions of work
4 ethic, my world view, my professionalism, as an individual who, 20 years
5 previously, was always a man representing the law. Quite the contrary.
6 In every occasion where I spoke to Minister Susak and referred to such
7 conduct of members of the Croatian army as was -- as constituted
8 misconduct or even criminal conduct, Minister Susak's reaction to such
9 reports on my part was vehement. He asked that the police take energetic
10 action in investigations, that it cooperate closely with the Ministry of
11 the Interior. He asked that every incident of opportunist behaviour be
12 reported him, be it that on the part of the Croatian army officers or on
13 the part of the colleagues from the Ministry of the Interior, and there
14 were such cases.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: I would kindly ask Madam Registrar to pull up
16 65 ter 1838, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lausic, you've just mentioned Minister Susak
18 and his attitude towards this issue.
19 On the screen in front you, you can see an order issued by
20 Defence Minister Gojko Susak on 25th September, 1993 [Realtime transcript
21 read in error "1992"].
22 In this order under 1, Minister Susak orders the military police
23 administration to urgently take all necessary operative action to
24 discover the perpetrators in the ranks of the HV of any criminal offences
25 which may have been committed during the execution of set tasks in the
1 Gospic area in September 1993 [Realtime transcript read in error "1992"].
2 Would this order, as a matter of fact, be a reflection of the
3 minister's position, with regard to the issues that you have just spoken
5 A. Yes. This is an example in a written form. He issued a written
6 order to take all operative action necessary. However, those who knew
7 Minister Susak also knew that he was not a man of many words but that his
8 facial expression told it all. He was not a man who would cover -- try
9 to cover his actions up with written orders. His oral order accompanied
10 by his facial expressions, which left no doubt in anybody's mind as to
11 what he was thinking at that moment when he was issuing his orders, meant
12 a lot more than any written order at moments.
13 Q. Thank you for your answer, Mr. Lausic.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ... exhibit which
15 was MFI
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Well, I have no objection. I'm not just sure if
18 there is any particular extraneous reason for the MFI. Assuming there
19 wasn't, then I don't have any objections; that is, it may have been MFIed
20 in the normal course of business or they may have a particular reason I'm
21 not aware of at the moment.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I should check that as well. But at least if this
23 exhibit marked for identification, if we have to decide on admission,
24 there is no objection on your side, Mr. Mikulicic.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: On the contrary, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: On the contrary, yes.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, just for the record, page 41, line
4 12, it should be 1993, September 1993. I think there is another
5 reference to 1992 as well, earlier in the transcript.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the document was certainly 25th of
7 September, 1993, yes. That's then corrected.
8 You may proceed.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lausic, you have just said that when talking
11 about the prevention of all forms of illegal action, you held, before
12 Operation Storm and after Operation Storm, meetings with the
13 representatives of the Ministry of the Interior.
14 Would that be a correct answer?
15 A. When I assumed the duties as the chief of the military police
16 administration, as one of my fundamental duties that I imposed upon
17 myself and upon my associates was close cooperation with the Ministry of
18 Interior, and I did that for three fundamental reasons.
19 It was a fact that in 1992 and thereafter, there was some
20 antagonism between members of the Ministry of the Interior and members of
21 the Croatian army. What I'm saying is that the first ones who joined the
22 defence of the state in 1991 were members of the Ministry of Interior.
23 They were the only armed establishments in Croatia at that time.
24 And then the Ministry of the Interior issued an order in 1992,
25 and pursuant to that order, members of the civil police changed combat
1 and camouflage uniforms and put on their blue uniforms and went back to
2 their fundamental peacing activities and maintenance of law and order.
3 At the same time only members of the special police of the Ministry of
4 the Interior remained engaged in combat. This was the origin of
5 antagonism between members of the Croatian army and members of the civil
7 My first task, therefore, was to try and curb any expressions of
8 antagonism through the joint work of the military police and the civil
9 police. The aim was to influence members of the military police, and I
10 have already said that the professionalism of the members of the military
11 police was at a very low level at that time. Their equipment level was
12 at an even lower -- even lower level, so that the cooperation was
13 supposed to deal with both antagonism and lead to the process of direct
14 education of members of the military police. And also it went a long way
15 in providing assistance in specialist equipment, especially for the crime
16 prevention police. And in that joint action, we were stronger in dealing
17 with some incidents and situations that, in some cases, were even seen to
18 be very dramatic.
19 So what I can say is that cooperation with the Ministry of
20 Interior was, from day one, a must in my work, and it was my pleasure to
21 able to establish that cooperation at my levels of communication and that
22 I met with support and assistance. And I have in mind two assistant
23 ministers of the interior, one of them was the assistant for general
24 police, Mr. Moric; and the assistant for crime police, Mr. Benko, with
25 whom I had already cooperated or, rather, I started my police career with
1 the two of them.
2 Q. Thank you for your answer, Mr. Lausic.
3 When you were talking about these meetings and preparations, they
4 started even before Operation Storm was launched. I'm referring to
5 number 173 in your witness statement of 2003. You said there that on the
6 3rd of August, on the eve of the launching of Operation Storm, a meeting
7 was held at the Ministry of the Interior and the following persons
8 attended, and then you go on to list all of them. And that the main
9 subject of that meeting was cooperation in the engagement of military and
10 civil police in the events that would ensue thereafter.
11 Is that correct, Mr. Lausic?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. I would now ask you, since we have seen a number of documents
14 throughout your testimony and the testimony much of some other persons in
15 this courtroom, that there were a lot of efforts invested into ensuring
16 law and order in the newly liberated territories after Operation Storm.
17 However, there also a lot of problems with the implementation of those
18 ideas and efforts on the ground. You yourself mentioned some of those
19 problems that you were faced with in the implementation of your ideas.
20 First of all, it was a large and relatively inaccessible terrain. Would
21 that be correct?
22 A. Yes. If I'm not mistaken, over 7.000 square kilometres of the
23 newly liberated area infested with mines and other explosives, not very
24 well accessible and riddled with hundreds of other bigger and smaller
1 Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would also like to say that a
2 major problem for the newly established civil authorities in the area was
3 the fact that that area had been under occupation for four years outside
4 of the system of the regular civilian powers, and I'm referring here to
5 the Ministry of Interior. Is that correct, Mr. Lausic?
6 A. Yes, you're absolutely right.
7 Q. You've also said just a minute ago that that there was another
8 situation regarding the numbers, and I'm not talking about absolute
9 figures but also in relative terms, that there was not enough educated
10 police officers. In that case you cooperated with the Ministry of
11 Interior, especially with the crime prevention police. Is that correct?
12 A. Before we embarked on the process of educating officers and
13 non-commissioned officers of crime prevention police, and you know that
14 this happened only in the second half of 1992, when, from the Ministry of
15 the Interior, a person who joined the administration, was Mr. Ante Gugic,
16 Assistant Minister for crime police department, and he was the one who
17 embarked on a mission to educate policemen and to equip them.
18 However, before that, as soon as he assumed -- as soon as I
19 assumed the duty, I held a meeting with the chief of the police academy
20 of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Josko Arnovic [phoen], and we agreed at
21 that meeting that he would organise courses and the courses would be held
22 at the police academy for future members of the civil police and that I
23 would ask him to give me an allotment of places on those courses and I
24 would send my men, members of the military police, to such courses, and
25 they would learn about policing at that those courses.
1 Q. I agree with you, Mr. Lausic, and objectively, there was a lack
2 of policemen, and they were not well-educated, and this was a fact.
3 However, the situation got better gradually.
4 A. Yes, it did get better gradually. We had a higher number of
5 policemen who had received formal education at higher schools of
6 education and universities, and also, the level of professional policing
7 became higher.
8 In the second half of 1992, I established an educational centre
9 of the military police which exists to this very day as part of the
10 military police regiment. This institution applied different models of
11 training, in order to provide students with different police work
12 specialties and subspecialties.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
15 Madam Registrar to show us D567, please.
16 Q. [Interpretation] To follow up on what you were just saying,
17 Mr. Lausic, I will show you a document bearing your signature of the 16th
18 of September, 1995. This is an analysis of the use of the military
19 police of the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia
20 I don't think I have to ask you if you're familiar with the document
21 since you're its author.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let us quickly go through the document, in view of the positions
24 you expressed.
25 Let's look at page 2 of the document, second paragraph. Which
1 says that the anti-terrorist units of the military police were being
2 prepared through training for attacks and mop-up operations from the
3 remaining groups, individuals, and firing points.
4 Mr. Lausic, we discussed military police units at great length,
5 and I would kindly ask you to describe the tasks of military police units
6 in a few words.
7 A. I will try to put it as succinctly as possible.
8 Now what were the causes and purposes of setting up
9 anti-terrorist units within the MP units? In August of 1992, on the
10 order of the chief of the Main Staff, General Bobetko, and with the
11 approval of the minister of defence, the joint forces of the military
12 police were engaged in combat aimed at liberating the hinterland of
14 or killed in the course of these activities.
15 I made an analysis of the action that was carried out, and at the
16 level of the ministry -- of the military police administration, we
17 concluded that it was not appropriate or advisable to deploy the military
18 policemen who carried out their regular military police tasks to combat
19 activities because of the inferior level of their training and expertise
20 required for the conduct of what are purely combat activities. As a
21 follow-up, in June 1993, we carried out a selection with the consent of
22 the minister of defence of members of the military policemen and set up
23 anti-terrorist units of the military police. Their tasks consisted
24 solely of the following two: Dealing with difficult situations as
25 authorised officials of the military police, and by that time, we had
1 been faced with hostage situations within the Croatian army, and with
2 very difficult incidents involving the use of arms, explosives.
3 The second task was combat, should the military police be issued
4 with such an order. Their level was going up throughout the time, and I
5 have the pleasure of telling you that many of their members who are still
6 active can be found in the missions in Afghanistan and in other places
7 where the Croatian army is sent for missions.
8 Q. Thank you for your answer. Mr. Lausic, as a policeman of many
9 years, you must be familiar with the structure of the Ministry of the
10 Interior, and you must, therefore, be familiar with the role of the
11 special police within the Ministry of the Interior. And correct me if
12 I'm wrong: Would it be fair to say that the combat unit of the
13 anti-terrorist military police units was a match for the special units of
14 the Ministry of the Interior, in terms of the tasks given to them, the
15 level of training, and the circumstances and tasks to be carried out by
16 these units?
17 A. I can confirm that fully, and I can tell you that there was
18 always this sort of healthy competitive relationship and a certain degree
19 of envy vis-a-vis the members of the special police whom we regarded as
20 brothers in arms, though brothers who were better armed and better
21 trained than we were.
22 Q. Do you remember what sort of uniform members of the
23 anti-terrorist unit of the military police wore?
24 A. Uniforms changed, if I'm not mistaken.
25 Q. I'm specifically referring to Operation Storm.
1 A. Let me put it in general terms. The uniform consisted of green
2 overalls, green fatigues, combat fatigues, which came complete with what
3 we referred to as "the green gear," unlike other members of the police
4 who carried what we referred to as "the white gear." Members of the
5 anti-terrorist units had that particular green gear.
6 However, I do allow for the possibility - and this was something
7 that I was able to observe on the ground - that some of the members of
8 these units also wore the combat camouflage uniform. And almost as a
9 rule, they would have over their green fatigues a camouflage vest.
10 However, the clothing differed, and what I referred to is only, generally
11 speaking, what can be described as the uniform of the anti-terrorist
13 Q. In view of what you have just said, and I suppose you know what
14 sort of uniforms special police forces of the Ministry of Interior wore,
15 is it possible to say that a person who is not privy to these details
16 might mistake members of these two particular sets of units. That's to
17 say, to mistake special units for anti-terrorist units and vice versa?
18 A. All members of the special police units had black berets with two
19 insignia: One was a rounded emblem of the military police, and the other
20 emblem which was that of the anti-terrorist police, which was a stylised
21 image of a falcon within a coat of arms. The same sort of insignia was
22 sewn onto the left sleeve of the fatigues; whereas there was the standard
23 patch of the members of the military police of the Croatian army on the
24 right sleeve.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter misspoke. The description
1 refers to the anti-terrorist units.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The special police members had the
3 patch which consisted of three intersecting lightening bolts.
4 MR. MIKULICIC:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lausic, my questions arose from your
6 testimony -- or, rather, the testimony in general that we were able to
7 hear in the courtroom so far, where international UN monitors and other
8 witnesses had different views on the topic.
9 Let me, therefore, ask you the following: In your testimony so
10 far, you spoke of Major Juric as one of the officers who was supposed to
11 serve as your eyes and ears, as you put it, to be acquainted with the
12 situation on the ground. It is true, is it not, that Major Juric was a
13 member of the military police?
14 A. Yes. At the time he held the position of chief of one of the
15 departments of the military police administration.
16 Q. Did Major Juric have any sort of powers in relation to members of
17 the special police of the Ministry of the Interior?
18 A. Absolutely not.
19 Q. Let me present to you the testimony of Mr. Philip Berikoff who
20 testified on the 1st of September, 2008, in this courtroom, which at page
21 7602, line 23, where he said that, in his view still today, the special
22 police was involved in some operations around Kistanje, because on
23 numerous occasions I, personally, met up with Major Ivan Juric from the
24 military police. On numerous occasions, he wore the grey uniform of the
25 special police, which led me to assume that Major Juric also controlled a
1 number of various police units, as well as the forces of the special
2 police. In fact, him wearing that grey uniform led me to assume that
3 there must have been a presence of the special police in the area as
5 How would you comment on these assumptions by Mr. Berikoff and
6 there view of your earlier answers?
7 A. It's absolutely incorrect that Major Juric should have any sort
8 of powers over members of the special police. Even the grey colour of
9 his uniform is something that was never seen in the Croatian army. It
10 never existed.
11 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to the document we have on our
12 screens, which is the analysis of the use of the military police.
13 Let us focus on the statistics contained therein, specifically at
14 page 8 of the Croatian version. This is the ERN number 413.
15 There it is stated that the military crime police in cooperation
16 with the crime police of the Ministry of Interior carried out criminal
17 investigations in respect of 321 criminal offences. Next, the numbers of
18 murders and deaths and arsons and mining and other criminal offences are
20 It is also stated that out of the known perpetrators, 79 were
21 members of the Croatian army, whereas 274 were civilians.
22 At page 9, the document lists the measures that were taken, in
23 order to raise the general level of security. I will not be going into
24 details in that regard.
25 Is this not in fact an indicator of the efforts made by the
1 military police in this narrow area pursuant to the order of
2 Minister Susak dating back to 3rd August, 1995, which was still at the
3 preparatory stage for Operation Storm?
4 A. I will try to answer this in a single sentence that I am known to
5 say when some of my acquaintances or friends ask me about how my case, in
6 relation The Hague Tribunal, would end, and they have been asking me that
7 ever since 2004.
8 My answer consists of one sentence only. All my professional and
9 intellectual efforts -- I invested all my professional and intellectual
10 efforts in order to -- to take all that to my first subordinate levels,
11 in order to make sure that it is conveyed down to the last military
12 policeman, so that, together with the colleagues from the Ministry of
13 Interior, and this is something that could be seen from a number of
14 documents which I issued as orders, the orders could be used to change
15 the methods and tactics of action in order to reinforce certain areas
16 whilst highlighting the need for energetic action. And I don't think a
17 policeman need be told twice what energetic means, zero tolerance. And
18 another must was the cooperation with the colleagues from the Ministry of
19 Interior in order to prevent to the greatest possible extent and
20 ultimately to investigate and process all the threats to the security of
21 the citizens of the Republic of Croatia
22 Now, how efficient were we? Well, given the resources we had,
23 given the level of training and education we had achieved by that time,
24 given the problems faced -- given the problems that the mobilised
25 policemen faced who could not be demobilized because of their social
1 welfare since it was the only means of their subsistence, given the
2 civilian authority which was unable to become fully operational in the
3 newly liberated area, and given hundreds of other problems. But nobody
4 can deny one thing, and this is why, when I was answering a question by
5 His Honour the Presiding Judge, I said that my testimony, regardless of
6 the form it may have or the capacity in which I give it as a suspect, a
7 witness, or subsequently perhaps even in the capacity of an accused, that
8 my testimony would always be the same.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lausic. So can we with agree, then, can't we,
10 that you, as the head of the military police and as we go even lower
11 towards the lower echelon, you did your best to prevent any crimes and
12 illegal actions. Wouldn't that be correct?
13 A. Yes. I am a bit hurt when I heard a sarcastic remark by
14 Mr. Misetic.
15 Q. Mr. Lausic, let's leave this to the end. You will be given an
16 opportunity by the president of the Trial Chamber to say a few words.
17 But let's focus on what I'm trying to achieve here --
18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ... break now.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so. Yes, Mr. Mikulicic, we'll have a
20 break now. I noted that questions easily take two minutes or more,
21 whereas answers of five minutes are not uncommon. That is not the most
22 efficient way of cross-examining a witness and to get focussed answers on
23 matters you'd like to bring to the attention of the Chamber, could you
24 please keep that in mind, if we resume after the break.
25 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at five minutes to 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to briefly address the
4 parties on the following matter. The reasons why we're not sitting in
5 this case on Thursday and Friday do not exist anymore. Now, the Chamber
6 is fully aware that since this was announced well in advance that many
7 people might have made arrangements which make them unavailable.
8 Nevertheless, the Chamber -- we have the same problems among the Judges.
9 Nevertheless, the Chamber would like to be informed whether it is totally
10 impossible to sit on Thursday or Friday or whether there are any
11 possibilities still left, because there are courtrooms, there are -- I'm
12 -- we don't have to -- we don't need to hear your answer immediately. If
13 you would send an e-mail to Mr. Nilsson.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I could just briefly tell that
15 you Mr. Kehoe and I, in fact, do have other plans related to this case
16 for Thursday and Friday, and we will not be in The Hague at that point.
17 But it is my understanding in communication from Mr. Hedaraly
18 yesterday -- I don't know if I can say this publicly or not.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know what you were going to say, so you have
20 rely upon your own conscience.
21 MR. MISETIC: It's my understanding because of witness scheduling
22 issues, let me put it that way, we will not be sitting on Monday and
23 Tuesday of next week, and, therefore, it may be an opportunity concerning
24 tomorrow's witness to push him back to Monday and Tuesday if that makes
1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, in conjunction with that because that
2 issue tomorrow is one that we have been addressing. We have filed one
3 motion, and we are filing another motion concerning the exhibits because
4 it relates back to the appellate chamber decision that needs to be
5 reconciled before we move ahead. Because, frankly, Your Honour, I know
6 we have not addressed that because there hasn't been time, but I would
7 say well over -- approximately three quarters of those exhibits bear on
8 that decision.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm fully aware of the -- of course, the
10 Chamber is working on it as well.
11 Mr. Tieger.
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't know what your position is, but it
14 seems that the Gotovina Defence is not available, both counsel and
15 co-counsel are not there, so that makes it impossible, of course, no one
16 can be blamed for making his plans if it is it announced that we will not
17 sit. That seems to be an obstacle which is impossible or almost
18 impossible - we do not know yet - to surmount. But, the parties, if they
19 could sit together and see what could be done as far as Monday and
20 Tuesday is concerned, that, of course, will be appreciated.
21 MR. TIEGER: The parties have been in contact, Your Honour. I'm,
22 of course, not sure what can be done beyond what has been communicated to
23 the Court, but obviously we'll do our best to stay -- to do what can be
24 done under the circumstances.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that knowledge, of course, might also give
1 some flexibility and avoid that witnesses are coming and have to wait for
2 three or four days before -- perhaps a small portion of their testimony
3 is still to be given then and perhaps to postpone arrival. But I have
4 got no idea about the practical arrangements made for the witnesses to
5 come, so I leave it entirely in your hands.
6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. And to the extent it is
7 helpful, we'll try to keep the Senior Legal Officer advised and work
8 toward whatever arrangements can be made. Because of the status of the
9 case, the opportunities for adjustment are more limited and --
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is aware of that.
11 Mr. Mikulicic, are you ready to continue? The Chamber has in
12 mind -- I don't know whether you said you needed one session. You've
13 taken approximately a half. There is also request to deal with
14 scheduling issues to make oral submissions on that. I don't know how
15 much time will you need for that.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, just to be precise, I will need that
17 in that circumstances for finishing my cross, not more than ten minutes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ten minutes.
19 Mr. Tieger, could you tell us how much time would you need.
20 MR. TIEGER: I'm estimating 15 to 20, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That brings oral submissions on scheduling in
23 MR. TIEGER: I might be less, but I understand the problem.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's proceed.
25 MR. MIKULICIC:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lausic, let's dwell upon this topic that
2 we've already started discussing, and that was the issue of you having
3 encountered situations among the top echelons of the Croatian government
4 that illegal conduct would be favoured, and you provided an extensive
6 To follow up on that, did you ever notice that at the lower
7 operative levels, there were some attempts of the sort, i.e., were there
8 cases when illegal actions were not punished? Was there some of an
9 agreement to that effect among the lower level of command of the Croatian
10 armed forces?
11 A. I will try and be succinct in answering your question, but I
12 believe that I have already answered your question in my testimony so
14 I believe that at the lower command levels in the Croatian army,
15 and when I say that, I mean primarily non-commissioned officers and
16 lower-ranking officers, there was a rather tolerant attitude towards a
17 lack of discipline among the troops. However, this tolerant attitude did
18 not arise from -- and I'm convinced that did not arise from any orders,
19 but, rather, that as individuals, they hailed from the same body of
20 people over whom they were in command at that moment, and against the
21 principles of professionalism, they instilled emotions into their
22 decision-making process. They did that to empathize in a way with
23 perpetrators of illegal actions as people who could not avoid the traps
24 of their own frustrations, the traps of their own emotions as those who
25 had suffered in the war and who had been persecuted during the war.
1 Q. Thank you very much for this answer, Mr. Lausic, and now I would
2 like to move on to another very brief topic, and this is the position of
3 the special police in the events.
4 I have looked at numerous reports of the military police,
5 numerous analyses. Correct me if I'm wrong, I have never encountered any
6 information pointing to the fact that members of the special police of
7 the Ministry of the Interior were considered either responsible or caught
8 red-handed in the commission of crimes.
9 Do you have any different information than the information that I
10 gained by looking at the documentation available to me?
11 A. I don't have anything that would jog my memory about an event
12 that was dealt with by the crime police about any incidents which
13 involved members of the special police of the Ministry of the Interior.
14 Q. Thank you very much for your answers, Mr. Lausic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
16 Mr. Tieger.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Re-examination by Mr. Tieger:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Lausic. Just a few questions, if I may.
20 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Tieger.
21 Q. There was some discussion earlier today, and perhaps, if I recall
22 correctly in earlier sessions, concerning the language of Article 9 and
23 the question of most senior HV commander versus highest HV commander by
25 So I wanted to ask you if you could explain to the Court what the
1 difference is between the most senior HV commander in an area of
2 responsibility and the highest HV commander by function, if you know.
3 A. My answer will be my opinion. As for the correct interpretation,
4 you would have to talk to legal experts.
5 In all the militaries of the world, including the Croatian army,
6 the rank worn by a person, the patch representing that rank that they
7 wear on their shoulders -- or let me put it this way. A star more does
8 not necessarily mean that that person can be in command of one star less
9 or lower down the chain.
10 There are situations when an officer with a lower rank is
11 appointed to a higher position than another officer with a higher rank.
12 By virtue of that, the duty that that person discharges implies that that
13 person is the highest ranking officer in a unit or in an area of
14 responsibility. Sometimes it goes by rank, and sometimes it goes by the
15 function that a person holds. But, as I say, as for the proper
16 interpretation, you would have to consult experts. This is my
17 interpretation, and I base my explanation on the situations that I
18 encountered in practice.
19 Q. I'd like to turn now to some questions that you were asked last
20 Thursday, the 29th, and this is at about page 15391, in that area.
21 You were asked questions about the section for prevention of
22 general offences, whether or not the head of that section was
23 subordinated to the chief of crime investigation, and then whether or not
24 the chief of crime investigation was subordinated to you. And then you
25 were asked whether the same organisational structure existed within the
1 battalions themselves; that is, whether, within battalions there was a
2 chief of crime investigation and a separate crime investigation section
3 and separate sections.
4 At that time you indicated you wanted to see the establishment
5 manual of a battalion which was contained in the systemisation document,
6 in order to be precise about structure and numbers and so forth. I'm not
7 going ask you for precise details that might require the manual, but I
8 want to ask you some general questions concerning that issue.
9 First of all, you have explained at length, or discussed at
10 length, Articles 8 and 9 and explained the nature of subordination of the
11 military police battalions to the commanders of districts pursuant to
12 Article 9, and I wanted to ask you whether or not that included all
13 members of the military police within those battalions, including crime
14 investigation police.
15 A. Absolutely. A battalion in all of its segments, i.e., in all of
16 its specialities and subspecialities.
17 MR. TIEGER: If I could quickly call up 65 ter 706.
18 Q. That's a document dated the 22nd of September, 1995, from the
19 department of the crime investigation military police, signed by chief
20 major Milas and sent to the commander of the 72nd Military Police
21 Battalion, Colonel Budimir.
22 MR. MISETIC: Sorry to interrupt. Was this part of the bar table
24 MR. TIEGER: It was not.
25 MR. MISETIC: Has been disclosed to us Something you were going
1 to use?
2 MR. TIEGER: Actually, no, I don't believe it has.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm, again, not going be able to
4 re-cross given that I have had no notice that this exhibit was going to
5 be used. And in order to be able to put things back in the proper
6 context as the Court might have noted from my cross-examination, I need
7 some time to prepare documents. I would object to the fact that even in
8 e-mail, there has been no disclosure that there was an intent to use this
9 document in redirect.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
11 MR. TIEGER: Well, Your Honour, I could -- one of two choices: I
12 could withdraw the document; we could bar table it later. I thought it
13 would be helpful in this context to raise it, or --
14 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... I would prefer that
15 because then it will give me an opportunity to bar table our documents,
16 but I won't get the opportunity if he puts it to the witness to put mine
17 to the witness, and so I would prefer it be bar-tabled.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You have read the document.
19 MR. MISETIC: As a matter of fact, I have not. So I would have
20 to look through it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Wouldn't it be wise to just -- not to say that the
22 Chamber will close its eyes, but that you at least read for a second what
23 is there and whether it causes you the problems you expect they will
24 cause you.
25 MR. MISETIC: The issue is, I can read the document, but I don't
1 know what the question is going to be, and so I wanted to object before
2 we get into questions.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. I -- I do understand that.
4 Of course, the Chamber would prefer -- I mean, bar table
5 documents are not the preferred way of receiving evidence. That's the
6 reason why I'm asking you to --
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President, but I would take a look right
8 now, but I will also note it that -- obviously, I don't think I need to
9 state that it's not preferred to not disclose -- [Overlapping
10 speakers] ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... I do not know --
12 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... reason for the
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do not know when it came up. Of course, I
15 have not seen the document either.
16 Mr. Tieger, if -- of course, another way of dealing with the
17 matter is that you -- that you phrase the question you'd like to --
18 MR. TIEGER: Sure.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And then not to ask the witness at this moment to
20 answer the question so that Mr. Misetic is informed to the fullest
21 possible -- and then we will hear whether he still objects.
22 MR. TIEGER: [Overlapping speakers] ... I do understand, Your
23 Honour, and if I were Mr. Misetic, I probably would have made the same
24 objection, so I understand what the point is. So let me -- I can either
25 phrase the question now in general to the Court or put to the witness. I
1 don't care either way.
2 JUDGE ORIE: No. If you tell Mr. Misetic here, open in court,
3 what question you would like to put to the witness in relation to this
4 document, then the Chamber will -- earlier said, well, the Chamber will
5 close its eyes, now, it will certainly not close its ears at this moment.
6 MR. TIEGER: Basically whether or not this document is a example
7 or reflection of the fact that the crime investigation police were part
8 of the 72nd Battalion.
9 MR. MISETIC: I think we'll stipulate to that, so there's no
11 MR. TIEGER: Okay. Done.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's done.
13 Then please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Lausic, you also discussed earlier in your testimony at 15253
16 the fact that military police battalion commanders and company commanders
17 had to report to Military District Commanders on tasks and activities.
18 And a similar question, did those tasks and activities about the
19 battalions and in this case the 72nd Battalion include the tasks and
20 activities of the criminal investigation police within the battalion?
21 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry to object. If we could just
22 in the question -- what reports are we specifically talking about? I
23 mean, it's ...
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, is there any way you could include this
25 in your question?
1 MR. TIEGER: Let me read specifically from the excerpt to which I
2 referred earlier.
3 Q. At page 15253, the following question was asked and answered.
4 "Question: Were the Military District -- military police
5 battalion commanders and the company commanders supposed to provide the
6 Military District Commanders with information about their execution of
7 military police tasks pursuant to Article 10?
8 "Answer: Absolutely so. They had to report on all of their
9 activities; that is to say, within each reporting period, they had to
10 report on everything they had done."
11 And my question, Mr. President, and, Mr. Lausic, in particular,
12 was whether or not that answer included also the tasks and activities of
13 the criminal investigation police.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, my objection is that that excerpt
15 comes from Mr. Tieger's direct examination, so it is not something that
16 arose in cross. The second issue is if he could, again, be more precise
17 in terms of what specifically, when he says "report," what reports are we
18 talking about?
19 MR. TIEGER: [Overlapping speakers] ...
20 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... My first objection
21 would be that it's not -- if it's not something that arose out of cross
22 but out of his direct.
23 MR. TIEGER: Let me clarify that, Your Honour.
24 I indicated the nature of the issue that arose in cross. I
25 simply turned to that earlier excerpt from direct in order to focus the
1 question and hopefully to expedite it. It does not seem to have done so.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You may put the question to the witness. You
3 are invited to specify your question in relations to the reports, and I
4 noticed that on line 9 and on line 10, I find "[Overlapping
5 speakers] ..."
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. TIEGER: And my apologies for that, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Lausic, again, I have directed your attention to the question
9 of reports. Can you tell us, please, to what extent the Military
10 District Commanders were to be advised of the tasks and activities of the
11 criminal investigation police, within that area of responsibility?
12 A. When it comes to daily reporting -- or, rather, daily reports -
13 and we have seen some examples here - different groups of tasks and
14 duties carried out over the past 24 hours are mentioned.
15 Firstly, under the title: "Crime," that paragraph deals with the
16 events that had to do with the commission of various crimes, as well as
17 the investigations which had either been launched or had already been
19 So this paragraph or the first part of every report speaks about
20 the activities of crime police within the military police unit, as well
21 as of the activities of the crime police over the past 24 hours.
22 Q. And in the interests of time, Mr. Lausic, I want to move to an
23 issue that was raised on Friday, when questions were asked about what a
24 military commander was required to do in the face of information about
25 criminal activity or other forms of misconduct by his troops.
1 And I believe you explained -- and that can be found at -- in the
2 -- I don't know if it was beginning at, or that was the heart of that
3 discussion. But at or near 15533, I think you explained what would have
4 to be done and what actions -- and that such actions had to be taken
5 without awaiting the end of court proceedings for that particular
6 offence. This was an exchange during which you and Mr. Misetic
7 explicitly disagreed. He brought your attention to Article 15 of the
8 rules on organisation and work of the military police. Then you
9 explained that the disciplinary proceedings are always conducted by the
10 commander, either through a disciplinary investigation at the end of
11 which, if a minor breach of discipline -- disciplinary measures --
12 disciplinary measures imposed or where a major breach of discipline is
13 involved, then there are disciplinary charges brought.
14 You continued -- I think that's at 15536. And then at 15538 you
15 indicated that if there are reasons to suspect there were breaches of
16 discipline or rules of service, that is an obligation on to itself for
17 the commander to initiate disciplinary proceedings, as well irrespective
18 of what kind of information he received from the military police. And
19 then there's a discussion in that case about a specific case.
20 Any that, I think, was the nature of the discussion, and --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- do you remember the discussion --
22 Mr. Misetic, I see that --
23 Do you remember the discussion? Well, it was not a discussion.
24 It was question and answers on what still had a memory military commander
25 had to do. If you have that clearly in your memory, then we can perhaps
1 do without a summary.
2 MR. TIEGER: Sorry. And if I could call up P1007 quickly,
4 Q. I'm asking to be brought up on the screen, Mr. Lausic, the Code
5 of Military Discipline. I just wanted to bring your attention quickly to
6 a couple of provisions.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I could just put on the record,
8 and it may assist Mr. Tieger in terms of what I understand our discussion
9 was about. And Mr. Tieger said it was about criminal activities, and, in
10 fact, the discussion, and I think the witness will confirm, was about
11 disciplinary infractions that may have led to the criminal activities,
12 and that and that the commanders duty concerning the disciplinary
13 violations that may have --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, now Mr. Tieger was stopped in summarising.
15 Let's then -- I said we can perhaps do without summary, and the witness,
16 in an earlier answer, seemed even to be able to repeat a question almost
17 literally that was put to him one of the previous days, so, therefore, at
18 this moment, unless any other indication will appear, the Chamber
19 understands that the witness remembers that series of questions and
21 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. I just want to bring your attention quickly to three provisions
24 within the Code.
25 First Article 19, which is found at page 7 of the English, and
1 I ...
2 Article 19, Mr. Lausic, if you -- it's on the screen. I'll just
3 read the first part:
5 of their subordinates in accordance with prescribed procedure and shall
6 hand down disciplinary measures as authorised by this Code."
7 If we could turn quickly to Article 22:
8 "The commander of a brigade or corps or more senior commanders
9 shall be empowered to pronounce all disciplinary measures prescribed
10 under this Code."
11 And then quickly to Article 61, if we may.
12 And Article 61 states:
13 "On learning of a disciplinary violation by a subordinate, the
14 superior officer in the position of company commander, a corresponding
15 position or higher, must immediately take all necessary measures to
16 collect relevant evidence and inform his superior officer."
17 Mr. Lausic, my question was simply whether or not those
18 provisions were -- are consistent with the explanation you were providing
19 about the role and responsibilities of a commander who learns about acts
20 of misconduct, including crimes.
21 A. I think that my answer is fully consistent with the Articles
22 you've just presented here.
23 Q. And, finally, if we could turn quickly to 65 ter 5670.
24 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry. If I could just inquire again.
25 MR. TIEGER: Yes. [Overlapping speakers] ...
1 MR. MISETIC: Okay. Thanks.
2 MR. TIEGER:
3 Q. Mr. Lausic, 65 ter 5670 is a document dated the 8th of September,
4 1995. It's issued and signed by General Gotovina. And it is an order
5 putting in force listed measures against all perpetrators who forcefully
6 seized flats and refused to move out, indicating that the 4th Guards
7 Brigade commanding officer shall impose disciplinary measures under his
8 authority and that the 72nd Military Police Battalion commanding officer
9 shall file criminal charges through his specialist staff to the military
10 prosecutor's office in Split
11 Guards Brigade, the 72nd Military Police Battalion.
12 And, Mr. Lausic, is this consistent with your understanding of
13 the powers of a Military District Commander in the face of information
14 concerning misconduct or criminal events?
15 A. Correct.
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. I tender that document.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I believe it is already in evidence,
18 and it was extensively discussed through the witness Botteri.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then there is it no need to tender it.
20 No further questions.
21 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. That's correct. No further
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
24 The Chamber has no questions for you at this moment, but I think
25 I promised you to give you an opportunity to add anything you
1 considered --
3 MR. MISETIC: Shall I recross after he finishes or ...
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I had in mind. I hadn't forgotten.
5 Yes. I thought would make more sense once he had added anything.
6 So if there's anything you would like to add. You say, That's
7 important; we missed it. You should now then have an opportunity to do
8 so. This is not an invitation for long speeches but just to bring to our
9 attention what you consider really necessary.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 In my answers to the questions put to me by Mr. Mikulicic, I said
12 what I meant to say in my final word, in fact. Throughout my career,
13 especially throughout the career during which I was the chief of the MP
14 administration, which in fact lasted for 12 years, five years of working
15 on the development of the military police, and eight years of my efforts
16 to try and raise that particular element of the armed forces to a higher
17 level, I can only say that, at the end of that military career, during
18 which I held the same position was a time during which the military
19 police as the first armed force to take part in the IFOR operation in
21 participation, it was highly commended. These men, who are now [Realtime
22 transcript read in error "These men, who are not to be found..."] to be
23 found in Afghanistan
24 soldiers between 1991 and 1995. They had to be trained as soldiers and
25 had to advance their knowledge and specialties they had after the war. I
1 am quite proud of that, and I believe that all these documents clearly
2 show what sort of efforts I invested into that process.
3 Thank you very much. There's nothing to add.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ... The
5 transcript, page 70, line 3, the witness said that "all those men are now
6 to be found in Afghanistan
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's how I understood it. That you say that
8 they are serving in Afghanistan
9 Mr. Misetic.
10 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President. Briefly if we could return to
11 P1007, Madam Registrar.
12 Further cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
13 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go to page 5 in the B/C/S and page
14 10 in the English, please. I'm interested in Article 31 which I think is
15 at the top in the B/C/S.
16 Q. Mr. Lausic, you can start to read that. Mr. Tieger showed you a
17 few Articles of the Code of Military Discipline. I'd like to show you
18 Article 31, and ask you to read that.
19 It says:
20 "In situations where the authorised officer finds that the
21 offence against military discipline is also a criminal offence, the case
22 should [sic] be sent via regular channels to the authorised prosecutor.
23 If he thinks that it is in the interests of the service, he shall also
24 initiate disciplinary proceedings [sic]."
25 Is that consistent with your understanding of the rights and
1 duties of a commander in the event that a -- what could be characterized
2 as a disciplinary offence is also characterized as a criminal offence?
3 A. We have to distinguish between the crimes upon which the crime
4 police acts as the primary service to react to one's report of a crime in
5 order to ascertain the existence of the grounds for suspicion that a
6 crime was committed and informs the commander of that particular event.
7 Article 31 states that the duty to file a criminal report is one
8 of every officer of the Croatian army, where he makes an assessment to
9 the effect that a crime was indeed committed. He forwards the case to
10 the military prosecutor. The military prosecutor, as you most certainly
11 know, under the Croatian legislation, can forward the case that he
12 received from an officer of the Croatian army to the military police in
13 order to carry out preliminary proceedings with the aim of establishing
14 certain facts. Once they establish the facts, the case is returned to
15 the military prosecutor to make subsequent decisions.
16 So we have the criminal offences that the military crime police
17 will process, and we have crimes which are initiated by the officer of a
18 given unit of the Croatian army through his lawyer and sent to the --
19 further on to the prosecutor.
20 Q. Okay.
21 MR. MISETIC: Quickly, if we could go back to 65 ter 5670,
22 please, Madam Registrar.
23 Q. Now, you were shown this order. In the preamble,
24 General Gotovina refers to the fact that he is issuing this order based
25 on an order that he, himself, has received from General Cervenko. Do you
1 have any knowledge of what General Cervenko had ordered in his order to
2 General Gotovina?
3 A. No. I'm not familiar with this order. However, the problem of
4 forced entry into apartments was a problem that was present always in the
5 Croatian army, and we reported on that problem to the highest levels.
6 Q. And finally in terms of the work of the crime police, I think we
7 went through this at some length about OA Varivode, but the day-to-day
8 investigations being conducted by the crime police of the 72nd Military
9 Police Battalion, the status of ongoing investigations, et cetera, would
10 be reported to Mr. Budimir but would also go up the vertical line to the
11 crime police section in the military police administration. Correct?
12 A. I'm not sure that I can give you a precise answer. In other
13 words, I don't fully understand the question.
14 Do you mean to say that the military crime police sections
15 attached to battalions are, in professional terms, vertically
16 subordinated to the military crime police department of the MP
17 administration? Yes, of course. Similarly, other specialties and
18 subspecialties have that subordination.
19 Q. My question is they would -- in addition to the fact they were
20 subordinated, they would also send written reports to the vertical line
21 in the administration, pursuant to the fact that they were subordinated
22 professionally to them. Correct?
23 A. They were not professionally subordinated. You have to
24 distinguish the professional vertical line of subordination. The crime
25 -- the military crime police section of the 72nd Battalion and the chief
1 of that section is always subordinated to the commander of the
2 72nd Battalion, according to all the different aspects from his purview.
3 However, the professional vertical line, through which he seeks
4 advice, consultations, or suggestions is the chief of the department of
5 the military crime police within the MP administration. And only he, as
6 an expert, can provide him with an answer of this professional nature.
7 The commander of the 72nd Battalion is not a crime expert, and can he
8 only get that sort of expertise through that professional vertical line
9 of subordination.
10 Q. Thank you. To be very precise, though, would the crime police
11 head in the section of the 72nd send reports to the crime police chief in
12 the MP administration in Zagreb
13 A. He would probably do that through the commander of the
14 72nd Battalion to me, as the chief of the military police administration.
15 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then this concludes your testimony.
18 I have one question for you, Mr. Mikulicic. You put to the
19 witness the order dated the 25th of September, 1993. Are you going to
20 submit the -- present to this Chamber the response as well?
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you for reminding me, Your Honour. I just
22 forgot this. I would like to tender it into the evidence.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But my question was, whether you were also
24 going to present to us the response that came because there was a
25 time-limit set, seven days from the 25th of September, 1993, whether we
1 get a report with a long list of all the crimes discovered and
2 investigated, or whether it was just a response saying nothing happened.
3 Do you have the response? Could bar table it, perhaps.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes. Maybe this is also a part of the OTP bar
5 table, Your Honour, so ...
6 JUDGE ORIE: 1993.
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That was not on my mind. Thank you very
10 Mr. Lausic, the parties, a little bit less, the Chamber, has kept
11 you busy for quite some days. I would like to thank you very much for
12 coming and for having answered all the questions that were put to you by
13 the parties, and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you escort Mr. Lausic out of the
17 I suggest to the parties that oral submissions on scheduling
18 issues, which, if I looked at it well, are mainly focussing on the time
19 between 98 bis submissions and the start of the Defence case, more than
20 on the other scheduling aspects, that we'll deal with that tomorrow
22 Could I hear how much time that would take approximately.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Your Honour, just to emphasise very quickly,
25 there wasn't disagreement amongst the parties, but they just had
1 different points that they wanted to raise by the Court which were
2 individual to [indiscernible]. I suspect it will be very brief, between
3 five and ten minutes for all three of us.
4 JUDGE ORIE: For all three you. This is dangerous to schedule
5 such a matter in the early morning hours, but, well, I will be very
6 generous, 11 minutes are granted.
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, excuse me, very quickly.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. TIEGER: Very minor. We looked at 65 ter 5670 on e-court.
10 It's still indicated as a 65 ter document. We'll check it, and raise it
11 with the Court to see which it is.
12 MR. MISETIC: It is P2209, and it might be a duplicate in
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what Madam Registrar informs me as well.
15 We adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow, Wednesday,
16 the 4th of February, at 9.00 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 4th day of
19 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.