1 Monday, 2 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning,
8 Your Honours. Good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina
10 et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 The Chamber has not decided on the pending application for
13 protective measures and the Chamber would like to give an opportunity to
14 further -- to put further questions to the witness in relation to that
15 before we decide. And, of course, depending on the questions the parties
16 have, the Chamber might want to put some questions to him as well.
17 Therefore, at this moment, we should start in closed session.
18 [Closed session]
11 Pages 16918-16937 redacted. Closed session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Mr. Hedaraly.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could we wait for a second
16 until all background ground noise ceases. Thank you.
17 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
19 Q. Mr. Sinobad, would you please state your full name for the
21 A. My name is Dusan Sinobad.
22 MR. HEDARALY: Could I have 65 ter 7173 on the screen, please.
23 Q. Mr. Sinobad, do you recall being interviewed by representatives
24 of the Office of the Prosecutor on 21 February and 7 March 2007 and
25 providing a written statement to them?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Is that the statement that we see on the screen right now, and is
3 that your signature at the bottom?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you have a chance to review the statement before today?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you have informed us that you wanted to make two small
8 corrections. One is in the translation of paragraph 3, where it says,
9 "Autoprevoz Obrovac," whereas the translation says, "Autoprevoz Otocac."
10 The right one is "Autoprevoz Obrovac." Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the second correction that you wish to make at paragraph 22,
13 on page 4, and you like to remove the word "old" when describing the
14 barracks near the town of Benkovac
15 should just say "facility." Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now with these two corrections does your statement accurately
18 reflect what you said to the Office of the Prosecutor in 2007?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Are the contents of the statement you signed in March 2007,
21 subject to those two corrections, true to the best of your knowledge and
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Finally, if you were asked the same questions today that you were
25 asked in 2007, would you give the same answers?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, at this time I would like to admit
3 into evidence 65 ter 7173, pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
4 JUDGE ORIE: No objections, as we have learned from the Defences
5 at earlier stages.
6 Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P2362. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
9 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, at this time I would like to read
10 out a short summary of the evidence of the witness contained in his
11 statement that was just admitted into evidence for the public.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Dusan Sinobad was born in the village of Kolarina
14 in the Benkovac municipality and lived in the Benkovac municipality all
15 of his life until Operation Storm. He witnessed the shelling of the
16 municipality on the 4th of August. On that day, he observed shelling in
17 a residential area of the town of Benkovac
18 village of Kolarina, located on the outskirts of the town, but the
19 shelling of his village was so intense he could not go there and had to
20 return. He learned from other residents of villages who came to Benkovac
21 that other villages around Benkovac were also being shelled. As a
22 director of the bus company, he was told to prepare his buses so that
23 civilians could be taken to a safer place.
24 This concludes my summary, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 If we can give a hard copy of the statement to the witness.
3 Q. Mr. Sinobad, that statement is just for your reference, if I
4 refer to it or if other counsel refer to it, feel free to look at it so
5 that your evidence is as accurate as possible. That statement is now in
6 evidence. I want to discuss a few of the matters that are contained in
7 your statement in a little more detail.
8 And the first issue I want to explore with you is the shelling as
9 you mention in your statement and as I had summarized and my first series
10 of questions is designed to help the Trial Chamber distinguish between
11 what you actually saw and what you heard from other people.
12 My first question is directed at paragraph 15 in your statement.
13 And there you say:
14 "I went to my office at about 6.00 a.m., which was my normal
15 time. On the journey, there, I could see that the shells were falling
16 around the residential areas of the town and not the town centre itself."
17 Now, first of all, when -- can you tell the Court what you mean
18 by the town centre? How large of an area are you referring to?
19 A. As regards the town itself, if we take into account its size and
20 width, it's about one kilometre. When I say the centre of town, I
21 partially have in mind that the town as a whole. That's to say, between
22 the barracks and the residential quarters of Barice.
23 MR. HEDARALY: If we can have 65 ter 5186 on the screen; and if
24 we could have the assistance of the court usher to help the witness mark
25 this map.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please assist the witness.
2 MR. HEDARALY:
3 Q. Mr. Sinobad, can you please mark for us where this residential
4 area is where you saw shells falling on the 4th of August?
5 A. This is the residential area called Barice.
6 Q. Could you please an A next to it.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. And do you know how many shells that you saw land there? How
9 many impacts?
10 A. Three to four shells, I believe.
11 Q. Was there any damage done to that residential area?
12 A. Yes. The shells landed in front of the apartment buildings which
13 formed part of the area. They landed right in front of them, damaging
14 the building itself. The facade was damaged as well as the window-panes.
15 Q. Now, in your statement you say you observed this when you were
16 going to the office. Did you observe the actual impacts then or did you
17 observe the result of the impact?
18 A. When I was leaving the apartment building, towards the south, I
19 could see the area, and I could still see smoke, and I noticed pieces of
20 shrapnel on the facade. There was still some smoke at the site of
22 Q. I think you had tried to mark -- when you talk about residential
23 buildings, I think your pen just went -- don't write anything, but that's
24 on the -- what is right above letter A right now. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes. Where I drew the line across, that's where the buildings
1 are, just above the letter A. That's where the complex of buildings is.
2 The rest is a meadow. There are no buildings there.
3 Q. Okay. And when you say in your statement that there were no
4 shells in the town centre itself but in this residential area, does that
5 mean that this area -- you don't consider this to be the town centre,
6 this Barice?
7 A. No. These are residential blocks that had been built several
8 years previously. It was the edge of town, beyond which there were no
9 more buildings, at least that were part of the town itself.
10 Q. Could you please now circle and put a letter B next to what you
11 consider -- what you consider to be the centre of the town of Benkovac
12 which you have mentioned in your statement?
13 A. Should I draw a circle or just write a letter to mark the centre?
14 Q. Just mark a circle around whatever you consider to be the centre
15 of the town of Benkovac
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And if could you also put a B, maybe above it.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. HEDARALY: If we can have the marked map admitted into
21 evidence, please.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections, Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, marked map shall be given
24 Exhibit P2363. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Sinobad, you also say in your statement that Benkovac had
3 been shelled before the 4th of August.
4 Can you tell the Court the difference between the shelling that
5 had occurred in the past and the shelling on the 4th of August, 1995
6 A. As for the shelling of town itself, in the period between 1992
7 and 1995, there would be shelling of the town two to three times a month,
8 and then only one or two -- on one or two occasions during the day.
9 Q. And how long would that shelling last, in the period between
10 1992 and 1995, before Operation Storm?
11 A. That particular shelling would last some 10 to 15 minutes, until
12 the missiles were fired, and then there would be a stop in the shelling.
13 Q. Thank you. I now want to refer to the shelling of your home
14 village that you saw the shelling of Kolarina, and that is referenced for
15 you and for everyone else in paragraphs 18 and 19 of your statement.
16 Can you, first of all, confirm that the village of Kolarina
17 approximately 6 to 7 kilometres south-east of the town of Benkovac
18 A. Yes, 7 kilometres, exactly.
19 Q. Thank you. And did you see that shelling yourself; or was it
20 something that you were told by others?
21 A. On that day, on the 4th, I was an eye-witness.
22 Q. And can you please describe for the Court what you saw.
23 A. Since shells could be heard throughout that morning in the areas
24 that were normally shelled, at around 11.00 a.m., I tried to work my way
25 to the village, since my father, brother, and sister-in-law, as well as
1 my wife's family were living there at the time.
2 Therefore, at around 11.00 a.m., I got into my car and headed for
3 the village. On the way to the village, on a slope called Vignjina
4 [phoen], I met Major Milos Ostojic who was coming from the direction of
5 my village. I knew him because is he my wife's relative. He pulled over
6 next to my car and said that I should not try and proceed any further
7 because the village had been shelled for the entire morning. I went on,
8 nevertheless, some 7 to 800 metres, just on the entrance to the village,
9 that's Pajo Mizrak's house, next to his house that I stopped. I parked
10 my car behind a wall, by way of some protection for the car. I hurried,
11 running into his house, and, at that precise moment, from the point when
12 I got out of the car and until the point I got into the house, I saw
13 shells falling. I waited there for a while, about half an hour, until
14 there was a lull. I then got into my car and returned to Benkovac.
15 Q. Thank you for that answer.
16 To your knowledge, there were any military positions in the
17 village of Kolarina, any Serb military positions?
18 A. No, never. Throughout the war, there had been no military
19 positions in the village.
20 Q. And how far from the village of Kolarina
21 military positions of the army of the RSK?
22 A. Some 3 and a half kilometres up the -- up the hill called
23 Strazbenica, to the south-east of the village.
24 Q. Thank you. You also say in your statement, and this time I'm
25 referring to paragraph 23, that you were told by others that their
1 villages were also being shelled and these people were coming into
3 Did you talk to these people yourself?
4 A. Yes, on my return from the village, I saw that columns of people
5 had the -- by that time started arriving into Benkovac. They were using
6 trucks and whatever vehicles they had. Of course, we were interested in
7 knowing what was going on. These individuals told us that the nearby
8 villages were being shelled and that they simply had to flee.
9 Q. And were these people that you knew from before?
10 A. Of course. It was a small community. We all knew each other.
11 Q. And did they tell you whether they were coming to Benkovac as
12 their final destination or whether they were planning to go elsewhere?
13 A. Some of the people stayed in Benkovac, and others passed through
14 Benkovac and went on further inland.
15 Q. So did everyone from these surrounding villages come to Benkovac?
16 A. Yes, yes. For the most part, people arriving in Benkovac were
17 from the villages to the west or to the west -- to the south-west of
18 Benkovac; in other words, the villages in the direction of Biograd and
19 further on in the direction of Zadar.
20 Q. Just before we move in to another short topic, at paragraph 22 of
21 your statement, you mentioned a military facility. And except for that
22 barracks, was there any other military facility in the town of Benkovac
23 or around?
24 A. No. In Benkovac proper, there were none. It was a kilometre or
25 over a kilometre that the Slobodan Macura barracks was located in the
1 direction of Zadar. It had been there since World War II.
2 Q. And were there any units of the army of the RSK stationed in
3 those barracks on the 4th of August, 1995?
4 A. No.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I have another short topic to
6 address, so perhaps it is a good time for a break.
7 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would that topic take you?
8 MR. HEDARALY: Probably ten minutes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And then would you conclude your
11 MR. HEDARALY: Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If can you do it in ten minutes perhaps we'd
13 rather continue for another ten minutes and then have the half an hour
15 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Can we have D931 on the screen, please.
17 Q. And, Mr. Sinobad, there will be a document that will appear on
18 your screen and it is discussed in your statement. It's a document that
19 you prepared in 1993 and you called it an evacuation plan. I'm going to
20 wait for it appear on the screen and when it appears, I would like you to
21 tell the Court why you had prepared such a document.
22 MR. HEDARALY: It's D931.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That matter is extensively dealt with in the
24 statement, but if would you please focus on what is new rather than to go
25 through it in its entirety.
1 MR. HEDARALY:
2 Q. Mr. Sinobad, let me instead ask you, as the Presiding Judge has
3 indicated, you have described in your statement what the purpose of this
4 plan was. Do you remember that from your statement?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were you told when you prepared this document or -- where the --
7 where the buses were to be taken in the case of an emergency?
8 A. No. The staff required me to dispose of the buses in such a way
9 that they would be able to cover the entire town in a case of emergency.
10 They did not specify what sort of emergency that would be, or where they
11 were supposed to be evacuated.
12 MR. HEDARALY: And if we can have D253 on the screen, please.
13 Q. Mr. Sinobad, I'm going to show you a document I showed you
14 yesterday. It's the evacuation plan prepared in the municipality of
15 Benkovac. And I will ask you when it comes up on the screen, whether you
16 had seen this document before yesterday.
17 A. No.
18 Q. So in your statement when you referred to evacuation plan, you're
19 referring to D931, that document that you had prepared. Is that correct?
20 A. Which I signed, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sinobad, when did the people from Benkovac, who
22 had their own modes of transportation, start leaving the town?
23 A. Most of the people arriving from villages and passing through
24 Benkovac was at 4.00 p.m.
25 already formed.
1 MR. MISETIC: If I could just make a correction on the
2 transcript, 32, page 32, line -- oh, it's already done. Sorry. Thank
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. You talked about the people arriving from villages and passing
7 through. I want to focus on the people who lived in Benkovac, those that
8 their had own modes of transportation. If they did, when did they start
9 leaving the town?
10 A. After 4.00 or 5.00 p.m.
11 the staff, in the municipal building, where I was required to make sure
12 that all the buses were up and ready, filled up with fuel, in order to
13 transport people away. That's when I approached my associates, my
14 subordinates, told them to do as much, and word got around about it, I
15 suppose, and that's when the whole process of evacuation stepped up --
16 got stepped up.
17 Q. I just want to clarify the timing.
18 In your statement you mention that meeting took place at about
19 4.00 p.m.
20 remember precisely, or give us a range when that meeting took place?
21 A. At around 4.00 p.m.
22 to the municipal building.
23 Q. At paragraph 21 of your statement you say that you were called in
24 the mayor's office and -- actually let me read it to you to make sure it
25 is accurate.
1 "At about 4.00 p.m. I was called to the municipal office by one
2 of the war staff which included the mayor, Stevo Vuksa and his advisors,
3 the president of the municipality, and other prominent officials of the
4 municipality. At that meeting I was ordered to prepare my buses with
5 fuel for the transfer of the civilians to safer areas. There was no
6 explanation as to whether any order had been received for any evacuation.
7 I was further told that if there was not enough fuel for the buses at our
8 station, that I could get fuel from the military barracks."
9 Let me just go to paragraph 26 and then I will ask you my last
10 questions. There you say:
11 "The first bus left at about 7.00 p.m. We had been told at the
12 earlier meeting to head for the interior of the Krajina and that the
13 ultimate destination was to be Bosanski Petrovac, as this was the only
14 direction that we could take to avoid the Croatian forces. The
15 instructions that I received at the 4.00 p.m. meeting was that the
16 population should return on those buses when the situation had settled
18 Now, first of all, is that accurate, what I read out to you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And, Mr. Sinobad, were you told anything by the mayor or the
21 others present at this meeting as to why such a decision had been taken?
22 A. No, I wasn't told anything. I wasn't a member of the
23 Crisis Staff.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sinobad.
25 MR. HEDARALY: That concludes my examination, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly.
2 Mr. Sinobad, we'll first have a break, and we'll resume at ten
3 minutes past 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.41 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.27 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises for the late start but
7 sometimes we have to balance the urgency of the matters that are put on
8 our table out of court with the urgency of proceeding in court. I hope
9 that there is some understanding for that.
10 Mr. Sinobad, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Misetic, and
11 Mr. Misetic is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
12 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
13 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Mr. Registrar, may I please have on the screen Exhibit P2363,
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
17 Q. Mr. Sinobad, do you still have your statement in front of you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Let me take you back in your statement to paragraph 15.
20 You were asked some questions by the Prosecutor about this
21 paragraph and that's the basis upon which you drew these circles. And
22 the section marked A, you told us is the residential area mentioned in
23 paragraph 15 where you saw shells falling; and at page 25 of today's
24 transcript, at line 21 through 23, you were asked how many shells you saw
25 land there, and your answer was three to four shells in A on the map.
1 Do you recall that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. B, the circle, is what you have now described as the town centre.
4 And at paragraph 15 of your statement you say you went to your office at
5 6.00 a.m.
6 "On the journey there, I could see that the shells were falling
7 around the residential areas of the town and not in the town centre
9 Do you see that in your statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Your two circles here basically cover the town of Benkovac
12 you agree with me?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So your testimony, if I understand it correctly, is that you saw
15 four shells -- by 6.00 a.m.
16 shells land in circle B. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So on the town of Benkovac
19 6.00 a.m.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Sinobad --
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if have you any questions on this
24 I'm going to move.
25 Q. Mr. Sinobad, I'd like to take you to paragraph -- paragraphs 18
1 and 19, which discuss Kolarina, your home village. You were asked at
2 page 28 of today's transcript -- sorry, page 29 of today's transcript,
3 whether there were any military facilities in Kolarina and you responded
4 at line 6: "Never."
5 Do you remember that?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could please have 65 ter 1288
8 on the screen, please.
9 Q. I'm going to show you a series of documents before I ask you a
10 question, Mr. Sinobad.
11 The first document that I am calling up is a United Nations
12 document, and it's called, "Order of battle of the ARSK," and it
13 identifies various units and the unit commanders and command locations.
14 And if we scroll to the bottom of the first page in English, the third
15 line from the bottom in English --
16 MR. MISETIC: Let me see where that is in the -- if we scroll
17 down a little bit in the B/C/S, please. If we can go to the next page in
18 B/C/S, please. In B/C/S.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The original, by the way, seems to be in French
20 rather than in English.
21 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry. The one rare occasion where I mistook
22 French for English, Mr. President, but ...
23 If we can go to the next page, please, in the B/C/S. There we
24 go, at the top.
25 Q. Now, there the United Nations identifies an HQ, a headquarters,
1 in Kolarina with precise coordinates, with a Sergeant Vasil there.
2 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn the page in the French,
3 please, and 3BN which is right there. If we could -- let me see ...
4 there at the bottom in the B/C/S it says, "3 bojna." It says the
5 locations Cista Mala and Kolarina with the coordinates, then it
6 identifies a command structure with a Sergeant Vasil at Kolarina, with HQ
7 Kolarina. Did you know a Sergeant Vasil in your home village there,
8 Mr. Sinobad?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Was there a headquarters of the ARSK in your home village of
12 A. I was not a conscript during the war. I know Vasil as a resident
13 of Kolarina. I don't know which post he was assigned to. I really
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked and
16 I tender it into evidence.
17 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This becomes Exhibit D1441.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 I'd like, however, to have a look at the next page in the B/C/S
22 because I think what you just read is not for the witness ... no, I
23 see -- yes, a little bit further up.
24 Because in French it now reads: "Kolarina a Strazbenica," which
25 is not entirely clear to me what is the translation of what, because you
1 read "and."
2 MR. MISETIC: To, I'm sorry it should have been to.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So that should be understand Kolarina [B/C/S
4 spoken] should be understood as from Kolarina to Strazbenica.
5 MR. MISETIC: Correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And then --
7 MR. MISETIC: And then command in Kolarina.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Command in --
9 MR. MISETIC: The original is in the French --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Therefore, I'm looking at both of them and
11 Strazbenica is where? Do we know that or ...
12 MR. MISETIC: Yes. That's -- the witness made reference to it
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It was a hill which was 3 kilometres
15 south-west which is ...
16 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated]
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 MR. MISETIC: I'd say it's a kilometre and a half, Mr. President,
19 but we could check that on a map.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, if you please pay attention so that we
21 know exactly how to understand this evidence.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Mr. Registrar, could I have Exhibit D831, please.
25 If we can go to page 5 in the English.
1 Q. This is, Mr. Sinobad, an intelligence analysis and internal
2 document of the 7th Knin Corps of the ARSK from February 1995.
3 MR. MISETIC: If we can go to the bottom in the English, please.
4 Okay. Just make sure on the B/C/S -- yes.
5 If we can go to the next page in the B/C/S, please.
6 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. HEDARALY: Just want to clarify for the transcript,
9 Mr. Misetic had said it is a intelligence analysis and internal document
10 of the 7th Knin Corps. I think the cover page state that it's an
11 intelligence report from the Croatian Government and movements that were
12 spotted. I just want to clarify that.
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes, that's correct. It's intelligence assessment
14 of the 7th Knin Corps.
15 Mr. President, I'm interested in that paragraph at the bottom in
16 English. I don't know why we can't find it in the ... page 6, I'm told,
17 in the B/C/S, please. Yes. Okay.
18 Q. Now, if you look at the area of responsibility of the
19 3rd Infantry Brigade Benkovac, it gives you the precise locations where
20 their line is.
21 MR. MISETIC: And if we turn the page in English, please.
22 Q. The line goes Ljubcen, Miranje Donje, Ceranje Donje, Pristeg,
23 Kolarina, Strazbenica, Provic, Morpolaca.
24 Now the question that the Presiding Judge had before I turned to
25 this document is: What does it mean from Kolarina to Strazbenica? And
1 what that meant was, there was a commander in charge of a specific
2 section of the line and that line was at Kolarina to Strazbenica.
4 A. No. That's not what I had that mind -- or, rather, that was not
5 my answer. My answer was that from our positions, the positions of the
6 army of Republika Srpska was at Strazbenica, and between Strazbenica and
7 Kolarina there is an unpaved road. Next to it are only bushes and low
8 trees and no settlements. That was the gist of my answer and there were
9 no lines along that route.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... me. I'll just show you one
11 other portion of this document and then we'll move on to the next one.
12 If we go down three paragraphs to the portion that says: 3rd Battalion
13 is deployed. The 3rd Battalion is deployed along the line Kolarina,
14 Strazbenica, Gromile, Vuksic, et cetera.
15 Do you know where -- having spent your whole life in Benkovac, do
16 you know where the 3rd Battalion of the army of the Republika Srpska
17 Krajina was deployed in 1995?
18 A. No. I was a civilian in charge of transport. I had no insight
19 into what the positions of our army were. That was not under my
20 competence, and I was not of that profession. It was a military matter,
21 not a civilian one.
22 Q. How many trips did you take to your home village of Kolarina
23 1995? How frequently would you go?
24 A. For the most part, every other weekend and I would spend a few
25 hours there.
1 Q. Are you saying that you went every other weekend to the village
2 of Kolarina and never saw military personnel in your village in 1995?
3 A. That is not what I had in mind. There were people there. The
4 citizens of the village who were in uniform. They were there when they
5 were not at the lines. At that time, basically everyone wore a uniform.
6 In any case, I did not see them with any weapons there.
7 Q. Okay. Well, on that point, let's turn to --
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, D156.
9 Q. I'm going to show you a report that General Gotovina sent to
10 the -- to his Main Staff on the 20th of July, 1995.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we can go down to the entry at number 1. I just
12 wanted to show you, Mr. President, that translation of ZIS, at number
13 one, by the translation service has been -- is a -- is as a 76-millimetre
15 And if we could go to the next page, please, in English and go to
16 line 12 in the B/C/S at the bottom.
17 Q. On or around 20th of July, 1995, did you notice the position of a
18 76-millimetre gun in the village of Kolarina
19 A. No.
20 Q. Okay.
21 MR. MISETIC: If we could go, Mr. Registrar, to 1D69-0056,
23 Q. What I'm showing you now, Mr. Sinobad, is an intelligence
24 document of the 134th Home Guards Brigade dated 31 July 1995.
25 MR. MISETIC: If we can scroll down.
1 Q. This is the report compiled at 1800 hours on that day of what was
2 observed. The first entry says: "At 9.40 a.m., two trucks arrive from
3 Benkovac to Kolarina. At 1045 hours, a dredge was digging between
4 Kolarina and Perusic. At 1155, two more trucks arrived at the location
5 where the dredge was digging, between Kolarina and Perusic."
6 MR. MISETIC: If we can scroll to the bottom in English.
7 Q. "At 1455 hours, two soldiers scouting on the trench on Mijevac,
8 behind Kolarina, on the position with coordinates," and it gives the
9 coordinates, "near the large trench, a yellow trench digger is conducting
10 engineering work of the same. 30 metres to the right of the trench there
11 is a TAM
12 Then: "Two 110s arrive from Benkovac to Kolarina."
13 Sir, on or around the 31st of July, 1995, did you notice any
14 trenches being dug in or around the village of Kolarina
15 A. No, I did not.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked and
17 I tender it into evidence.
18 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This becomes Exhibit D1442. Thank you.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar --
22 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. MISETIC: Sorry, Mr. President.
24 Mr. Registrar, may I have 65 ter 4522, please.
25 Q. I'm now showing you the order for attack of the 134th Home Guard
1 Regiment in Operation Storm.
2 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 2 in the English. If we can
3 go to page 2 in the Croatian version as well. And scrolling all the way
4 down to the bottom in the English. And at the top in the Croatian.
5 Q. Now, it says the 3rd Infantry Brigade, the 3rd pb is located
6 along the following line and it starts in the village of Kolarina
7 Beneath that we have where their artillery pieces are positioned. If you
8 look at the third entry, a MB 120-millimetre platoon in the village of
10 MR. MISETIC: Now, if we turn the page in English, please. And
11 if we go to the third paragraph at the top in the Croatian.
12 Q. And it says: "The enemy is also reinforced with the armoured
13 weaponry of the 92nd Motorised Battalion as follows." The third entry is
14 that there are two T-34 tanks in the village of Kolarina
15 Now, sir, when you travelled to Kolarina in the days prior to
16 Operation Storm or on the 4th of August itself, the first day of
17 Operation Storm, did you notice a 120-millimetre platoon in the village?
18 A. No. Particularly because on that day I failed to reach the
19 village. As I said, I reached the initial villages -- the initial houses
20 in the village and then turned back. I could not enter the village
21 itself due to shelling.
22 Q. How about in the days or the weekends prior to Operation Storm?
23 Did you notice that artillery position in the village of Kolarina
24 A. I did not notice anything of that sort. I wasn't interested in
25 it. I didn't notice any armoured vehicles along the way to my house or
1 any equipment. I truly was not interested in it, and I failed to notice.
2 Q. Okay. How about these two T-34 tanks? Did you ever notice two
3 tanks in the village of Kolarina
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you ever know of any tanks in the village of Kolarina
6 A. I never saw any tanks in the village.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked and
8 I tender it into evidence.
9 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This becomes Exhibit D1443. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: D1443 is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. MISETIC: If we could -- while this exhibit is still on the
14 screen, if we could go to page 6 in the English. At the top. Page 4 in
15 the Croatian, please. Okay. It's the first paragraph at the top in both
16 English and in Croatian.
17 Q. It says that:
18 "The 134th Home Guard Regiment of the Croatian army shall be
19 involved in offensive activities. Their immediate task shall be to act
20 along the main direction of the attack carried out by the regiment,
21 keeping under fire the Benkovac-Bribirske Mostine road and Kolarina
23 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Misetic, would you be so kind as to get
24 your microphone closer to you. Thank you.
25 MR. MISETIC:
1 Q. Now in your statement and in your testimony again today, you
2 mentioned meeting Major Milos
3 travelling to Kolarina. How did you -- where did you meet with
4 Mr. Ostojic?
5 A. At Vigina [phoen], on the outskirts of Kolarina. There's a
6 stretch of about 800 metres when the road starts going downwards towards
7 the village, and that's where I encountered Major Ostojic.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, could we please have 1D69-0082,
10 Q. This is an internal document of the Republic of Croatia
11 intelligence information from the 4th of July, 1995. And I'm interested
12 in the paragraph that begins at the bottom of page 1 in English, and it
13 is at page 2 in the middle of the page in Croatian.
14 Now, concerning Mr. Ostojic, the intelligence of the Croatian
15 authorities was that the commander of the mixed anti-armour artillery
16 regiment is Major Milos Ostojic. Within its composition it has artillery
17 pieces for support whose battalion --
18 MR. MISETIC: If we can turn the page, please.
19 Q. Commander is Lieutenant Ljubo Sekuljica. "The warehouse of the
20 7th Mixed Anti-Armour Regiment is located in the Slobodan Macura barracks
21 in Benkovac."
22 Paragraph beneath that says: "Artillery weapons of the 7th Mixed
23 Anti-Armour Brigade are two rocket systems type Oganj, four multiple
24 rocket launchers type Plamen, and T-12 guns which are supposedly deployed
25 on the Kukalj range above Benkovac. The MRL type Orkan which was firing
1 its loads from the Bijeljina village is under direct command of the corps
2 command in Knin. Other heavy weaponry of the 7th Mixed Anti-Armour
3 Artillery Regiment is deployed along the battlefield.
4 I believe this morning you said that Mr. Ostojic is a relative of
5 yours. Is that correct?
6 A. No. Mr. Ostojic is my wife's cousin, a distant cousin.
7 Ostojic's mother and my wife's grandfather were brother and sister, as
8 far as I can recall. In any case, I met him only twice in my life.
9 Q. You met him twice in your life. What was the reason that one of
10 the two times that you met him in your life was on the 4th of August?
11 A. He was coming back from the direction of the Kolarina and when he
12 stopped I realized it was Milos Ostojic. We had a conversation, and he
13 advised me not to proceed because the village was under fire.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked and
15 I tender it into evidence.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No objections from Mr. Hedaraly.
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: This becomes Exhibit D1444.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D1444 is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. MISETIC:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Sinobad, I have shown you a document here which
22 indicates that someone you knew was the commander of an anti-armour
23 artillery unit. You have seen some of the weaponry that it is alleged
24 that he had under his command and in some of the questioning this morning
25 you were able to indicate where artillery was not located.
1 If I were to put a map of the Benkovac area on the screen right
2 now for you, would be able to draw in where you believe artillery of the
3 ARSK was located on the morning of the 4th of August?
4 A. The 4th of August?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Yes, it seemed to me I heard the 14th, that's why I wanted to
7 correct that.
8 I don't think I would be able to draw that on a map. I wasn't
9 privy to those things, I didn't know where they were and wasn't
10 interested in either. I worked in the company and I had no information
11 on any positions, nor were they duty-bound to inform me.
12 Q. Did you have any military training in your life?
13 A. I served my military term.
14 Q. And were you involved at all in any artillery training when you
15 served your military term?
16 A. No. I was with the mechanized infantry and I served in Slovenia
17 Q. Do you know anything about artillery?
18 A. Of course. From my lifetime experience, I know that there are
19 such things as mortars, multiple-rocket launchers, Howitzers, tanks,
20 guns, but I know as much as the next person.
21 Q. Would you able to do a crater analysis, for example, of an impact
22 of an artillery shell?
23 A. There are certain differences. When less powerful pieces are
24 used the craters are smaller, such as mortar craters. Howitzer craters
25 are bigger, of course, depending on the charge and angle. That's why
1 craters differ.
2 Q. Did you ever hear or note fire coming from the ARSK side onto the
3 Croatian side at any time from, let's say, 1992 to Operation Storm?
4 A. I do not remember that. One could hear explosions. As for who
5 fired shells and in what direction, I don't know. I know that such
6 shells came from the Croatian side when they landed in the town. But as
7 for the sounds of firing, I really can't say where they came from and who
8 the shells were fired by.
9 Q. Well, your statement at paragraph 10, you write -- or you state
10 that: "From 1993 to 1995, Croatian forces were shelling various Serbian
11 towns including Benkovac and Krajina forces would retaliate but no direct
12 contact was made in terms of an attack from either side."
13 So is it your position that although you know that Krajina forces
14 would retaliate, you don't know where they were retaliating from?
15 A. I don't know where from. I did not leave Benkovac much and I
16 wasn't in the area where the forces had been deployed. Therefore, I
17 can't tell you anything with any degree of certainty.
18 Q. Okay. Let's turn --
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could, on this point to
20 1D69-0054, please.
21 Q. This is an order from the 7th Corps command of the army of the
22 RSK, dated 2 July 1993
23 which was in the Benkovac area. And the order states:
24 "Lately our forces have on numerous occasions engaged in fire on
25 civilian targets of the enemy, especially on the towns of Zadar, Sibenik,
1 Biograd, and UN observers are located in those towns, which are
2 immediately sending reports on our activities to their commands. Firing
3 on the towns and civilian objectives is having a damaging effect to our
4 reputation with the UN forces."
5 And then he says: "With the purpose of preventing such
6 occurrences and these particular ones, I hereby order, 1, arbitrary
7 firing on civilian objects and towns it to be prevented and every
8 offender held disciplinary and criminally liable. Opening fire on
9 civilian objectives and towns shall be approved by me personally."
10 Now, I note that in your statement you said that --
11 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
12 MR. MISETIC:
13 Q. Your statement mentions that it was the RSK retaliating. Were
14 you in fact aware that the ARSK was firing on -- sorry, arbitrarily
15 firing on civilian objectives and towns in 1993 on the Croatian side?
16 A. No, I was not familiar with that.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked and
18 I tender it into evidence.
19 MR. HEDARALY: I don't have objections. I think that there's a
20 mischaracterization. The order is to prevent arbitrary firing. The
21 statement on what happened doesn't say "arbitrary" anywhere, but I don't
22 have objections to that document.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No objections for admission. Therefore,
24 Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D1445. Thank
2 JUDGE ORIE: D1445 is admitted into evidence.
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Q. Now, Mr. Sinobad, your statement, again at paragraph 10, mentions
5 shelling of Benkovac between 1993 and 1995.
6 My question is: Why didn't you move to Republika Srpska or
8 A. This is a somewhat provocative question.
9 Of course, the shelling in the mentioned period was sporadic, at
10 different times and at longer intervals. That there was shelling in that
11 period is true. We took to shelters while the shelling lasted, whereupon
12 we would resume our normal life. At some point the bus at a bus station
13 was hit and two high school students were killed; I don't know their
14 names. One of the student's body parts were retrieved only a couple of
15 days later; whereas the other student who was seeking shelter in the bus
16 station building was hit -- was hit by the shrapnel in process.
17 Therefore, I witnessed that particular shelling incident at the bus
19 On another occasion -- well, let me tell me that my family had
20 been present in Dalmatia
21 enough for me to leave the -- my century-old native place and go abroad
22 in search of better fortunes.
23 Q. Okay. And that's why I'm asking you the question and why I
24 started off my cross-examination by confirming with you that it's your
25 position that from 5.00 a.m.
1 town of Benkovac. And in prior occasions, you say in your answer just
2 now, that it was sporadic at different times and at longer intervals.
3 My question again to you is: In that shelling prior to
4 Operation Storm, why didn't -- can you tell us why you didn't decide to
5 move your family out of the so-called RSK?
6 A. I did not move my family out because there was no reason to. We
7 had been living there for centuries. Let me tell you right away that I
8 left my native area, Benkovac, only on Saturday, at 4.00.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the date.
10 MR. MISETIC:
11 Q. That would be Saturday, the 5th of August. Correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Why did you move your family out on the 4th and 5th of August,
15 A. I wouldn't say that I moved out. The entire population, due to
16 the fire from the Croatian forces, and the possible coming in of
17 mechanized forces, left whatever property they had and fled.
18 Q. Is it fair to say that the reason that you and your family left
19 was because you feared that the Croatian army would take control of
21 A. But, of course, we left in an attempt to save our own lives.
22 Q. Yes. But the question again is: What you were afraid of --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
24 MR. MISETIC: I haven't asked --
25 MR. HEDARALY: I mean, if Mr. Misetic wants to finish his
1 question, but we've had this before in mono-causal questions and that has
2 been raised by the Chamber before and I think we have this situation
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's listen to the question, Mr. Misetic,
5 you'll put to the witness --
6 MR. MISETIC: Yes. And, Mr. President, as you can tell I have
7 asked for one cause, and let me ask it again.
8 Q. Mr. Sinobad, in light of the fact that you had lived through
9 shelling of Benkovac in years prior, you didn't leave with your family on
10 the 4th and 5th of August because of shelling. Correct?
11 A. Not because of shelling. Because of the danger of the Croatian
12 forces coming in. There had been shelling in the previous years as well,
13 but there was no danger of a direct contact with the forces, of facing
14 the Croatian forces.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sinobad.
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. MISETIC:
18 Q. Now, I'm going to turn your attention, Mr. Sinobad, to
19 paragraph 5 of your statement -- paragraphs 4 and 5, actually, which is
20 the planning and preparation for evacuations, and you were asked some
21 questions about that by Mr. Hedaraly.
22 Before I get to this new area let me ask you one follow-up
23 question. Is it your understanding that the other people from Benkovac
24 who left on the evening of the 4th also left not because they feared
25 artillery but because they feared the entry of Croatian forces into
2 A. It is difficult to speak for others. Everybody have their own
3 views and reasons for leaving, though I do believe that basically that
4 was the reason.
5 Q. That was the reason -- just so that the record is clear, when you
6 say that was the reason, you mean the threat of the entry of Croatian
7 forces into Benkovac. Correct?
8 A. Yes. I've already said that.
9 Q. Okay. Now, paragraphs 4 and 5 of your statement. You were shown
10 one exhibit which you said was your plan for evacuation. And that was, I
11 believe, D931?
12 MR. MISETIC: Is that correct, counsel? Mr. Hedaraly? Okay.
13 Q. But let me ask you in number 5, in paragraph number 5, you say
15 "In case of danger caused by military operations, the drivers
16 would receive their instructions regarding where to drive the civilian
17 population from a member of the military."
18 How would that work? Can you explain to us who in the military
19 would tell you where to go and how the information would be relayed from
20 the military to the actual drivers of the buses?
21 A. The plan that I was required to prepare - the request got -- came
22 from the staff - contained the requirement for me to earmark the drivers
23 and the locations where they were supposed to set out with the buses. Of
24 course, I wasn't supposed to receive the information directly from them.
25 It was supposed to go through the War Staff, and I would receive a war
1 plan and would be required to execute it. In the particular instance I
2 was referring to, the plan that I was supposed to draw up was meant to be
3 implied in case of any sort of danger.
4 Q. Okay. Now let's clarify something which I think came up in the
5 questioning by the Prosecution.
6 You weren't involved in the planning by the Civil Defence of
7 evacuations of the civilian population. You were involved in planning
8 the use of buses as part of that Civil Defence preparation. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So decisions like when an evacuation would be ordered, where it
11 would be ordered to, et cetera, that was not something that you dealt
13 A. No.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, could we have Exhibit D933, please.
15 Q. I'm going to show you a document and see what, if anything, you
16 know about it.
17 MR. MISETIC: No, I think -- that's not the right one. D933.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 6 -- sorry, e-court page 5,
20 in the English.
21 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry. If counsel plans to ask whether he has
22 seen this document while the first page is still on before we move to
23 the --
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes. I was just about to do that.
25 Q. You see the title of the document is: The assessment of threats
1 and possibilities for protection and rescue of the republican civil
2 protection staff of the RSK.
3 Do you recall ever seeing this document?
4 A. No, I have never seen it.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page -- I guess at e-court
7 page 5, page 3 of the B/C/S. It's one page before this. There we go.
8 I'm sorry, the next page in English, please. Section 1.2.
9 Q. I'm just going to ask you to see if you know anything about any
10 of these issues.
11 But there's a paragraph there that says:
12 "Due to the shape and position of the RSK which is characterized
13 by great length, relatively small depth, vulnerability to being cut in
14 half," et cetera.
15 And the end of that paragraph says: "However, in the strategy of
16 any operation, it is more likely to expect penetration of certain axes
17 and the cutting off of parts of the territory rather than an offensive on
18 the whole territory. In view of this, the following possibly axes of
19 enemy attack stand out."
20 It says: "At the northern Dalmatia operational level, possible
21 tactical axis are the following." The first one mentioned is the
22 Zadar-Knin axis Zadar-Benkovac-Knin.
23 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in English, please.
24 Q. "With the likely goal of cutting off Benkovac and Obrovac from
25 Knin by a simultaneous attack from the slopes of Velebit and Skradin, via
1 Bribirski Mostine with link up in the Bruska sector."
2 MR. MISETIC: And if we turn the page in the English, page 4 in
3 the B/C/S, at the bottom of the English page.
4 Q. "This basis is used to assess the vulnerability of individual
5 parts of Republika Srpska," I think it should be Republika Srpska
6 Krajina, "which is roughly divided into three degrees."
7 "The zone of the first degree of vulnerability includes the
9 MR. MISETIC: And if we turn the page in the English, please.
10 Q. It says the second point is: "Frontier villages and towns
11 located within ten kilometres from the present line of demarcation,
12 villages and towns in the general area of the above mentioned tactical
14 And then the next sentence is: "Among the above, the towns of
15 Drnis, Benkovac, Obrovac, Teslingrad, Plaski, Slunj, Petrinja, and Pakrac
16 are especially vulnerable."
17 Now you had, at least in some small part, something to do with
18 plans for evacuation and my question to you is: Were you aware that the
19 RSK authorities had found Benkovac to be in the first degree of
20 vulnerability and that it was especially vulnerable? Was that something
21 that was your understanding prior to Operation Storm?
22 A. No, I was not aware of this.
23 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this question. Part of your job with the
24 buses, though, and you were shown a document from 1993 by Mr. Hedaraly
25 which was D931.
1 MR. MISETIC: Can we get that on the screen, Mr. Registrar,
3 Q. Let me ask you a background question. By the 4th of August, was
4 it your understanding that you had done everything necessary to prepare
5 the buses in the event that an evacuation order was issued by the
6 Civil Defence?
7 A. Naturally, our buses were at the ready, on standby throughout the
8 time, meaning in proper working order and filled up with fuel. They were
9 being used on a daily basis for transportation and no additional measures
10 needed to be issued for the preparation of these vehicles, other than
11 they be filled up with fuel.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. MISETIC: If we can go to the second page of this document,
15 Q. Here we've seen preparations, a list of drivers, their telephone
17 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page.
18 Q. That sentence right at the end. You write: "There are
19 100 litres of petrol in vehicles which is enough to cross 2 to 300
21 On the 3rd of August, 1995, did you believe you had enough fuel
22 to execute an evacuation, as you understood the evacuation plans to be,
23 on the 3rd of August?
24 A. I wasn't giving it any thought. This was the usual quantity that
25 had to be at the disposal of the buses in order for them to run. Given
1 the difficulties that we had in the procurement of fuel that we received
2 through Knin, I did not give any additional request for fuel. I did not
3 believe that there was any need for that. The situation according to all
4 the indicators was normal.
5 Q. Why, in 1993, were you taking into consideration the amount of
6 fuel that you had?
7 A. This was the minimum quantity of fuel required for the vehicles
8 to traverse some 200 to 300 kilometres. Had the staff issued any sort of
9 order for evacuation of the population back in 1993, on account of armed
10 activity or any sort of natural disaster, this was deemed to be the
11 amount of fuel required for the population to be evacuated from the
12 Benkovac area.
13 Q. And that's the question I want to get to. How do you -- if you
14 don't know where -- what the plans are, and you don't know where the
15 final destination is, how do you calculate how much fuel you need?
16 A. In my letter, I wrote that the vehicles were filled up with
17 100 litres of fuel. Since I was aware of the technical characteristics
18 of all the vehicles owned by the company, their expenditure of fuel was
19 between 28 to close to 40 litres per --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed how many kilometres.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the amount of fuel
22 required for them to cross as much territory, unless there was some other
23 dire need for them to travel further.
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Can you tell us again how many kilometres did you mention in your
2 A. I said that 100 litres of fuel, depending on the type of vehicle,
3 sufficed for it to cover 200 to 300 kilometres.
4 Q. Now, before the break let me ask you just a few additional
5 questions on the issue of fuel.
6 In paragraph 21, you talk about this meeting on the afternoon of
7 the 4th where the evacuation was ordered and you say that:
8 "I was further told that if there was not enough fuel for the
9 buses at our station, that I could get fuel from the military barracks."
10 Now, first question is: The reason that you thought there might
11 not be enough fuel for the buses was that you were told at this meeting
12 that you were going to Petrovac. Correct?
13 A. Autotransport Company had its own in-house petrol station which
14 was not meant for public use. Since our reservoirs were always on the
15 minimum since it was difficult to obtain fuel from Djeletovci, Knin or
16 whatever the location was used by the oil firm, when I was called into
17 the staff, I was told that the final destination for the buses was
18 supposed to be Bosanski Petrovac and that the buses, once they reached
19 their destinations, ought to be able to return in order to evacuate all
20 the population present in the area. We were told that the civilian
21 population, women and children, ought to be taken to safety until the
22 situation ends or passes. Now I don't know about all the other
23 background information; that was up to the staff.
24 Q. What military barracks contained fuel?
25 A. The Slobodan Macura barracks in Benkovac.
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, this might be a good time for a
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But before we take a break, Mr. Misetic, could
4 you help me out with the D1441, that's the French document, as far as the
5 date is concerned.
6 MR. MISETIC: That's how we got it from the Office of the
7 Prosecutor, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand that you didn't change it.
9 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: But you used it, so you certainly will have formed
11 an opinion about the date.
12 I can tell you what my problem may be that. That is, I see on
13 the fourth page out of nine, I see [French spoken] HV, 28/04/95, which
14 could be reference to 28 April 1995
15 whereas the first page also says, [French spoken] but then it is ARSK.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I can tell you [Overlapping
17 speakers] ...
18 MR. HEDARALY: [Overlapping speakers] ...
19 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether it's from the same date. We
20 also see that apparently it was faxed once in August -- 27th of August,
21 1996, and we have an other indication for the date at -- I see something,
22 but --
23 MR. MISETIC: I can tell you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. MISETIC: I can tell you that it is extremely likely that it
1 is 1995. And before Operation Storm, probably before May of 1995,
2 because General Celeketic is identified as the commander in chief and he
3 was replaced in May of 1995 after Operation Flash. However, this is an
4 attachment to the witness interview or statement of Mr. Morneau who
5 testified in this case and I believe - Mr. Hedaraly can correct me if I'm
6 wrong - I believe he is the author or otherwise authenticated the
7 document and I don't believe he was in Croatia prior to 1995, which would
8 give us a rough time-frame. And the reason I tendered it is that the
9 witness's testimony was that never was there a command in -- or a
10 military presence in the village of Kolarina
11 1995, it goes to the issue of how long it may have been there.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I also see in the first page, 15/07/95, which
13 could be a clue to July, mid-July 1995; whereas, somewhere else appears
14 1994, but then apparently in relation to a name. So I'm a bit lost here.
15 Is it one document if it describes the two rather different dates, one
16 April, one July. Is it the same document? Is it two documents? I would
17 like to -- you would certainly assist me if you could give me further
18 details as --
19 MR. HEDARALY: I don't think I can, Your Honour. The statement
20 of the witness who testified, Morneau, simply said that they were
21 prepared by his battalion, and he attached a number of documents, that
22 was one of them. He did not in the statement give any more information
23 about that document. It was one of many attachments to his 1996 witness
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, this is at least an open invitation to further
2 assist me if anything would come to your mind in this respect.
3 We will have a break but I would like to know what -- how much
4 time you'd still need, Mr. Misetic.
5 MR. MISETIC: I anticipate taking the rest of the day,
6 Mr. President, and --
7 JUDGE ORIE: And the other parties. Mr. Cayley?
8 MR. CAYLEY: We don't have any questions for this witness,
9 Your Honour. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I will probably have only a couple
12 of questions. That means not more than 15 minutes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will try to start again at 1.00 sharp.
14 If could you see whether the few questions of Mr. Mikulicic and what
15 remains of the day would be sufficient, that would be appreciated.
16 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, I don't know whether you have already
18 formed an impression about the time you might need for --
19 MR. HEDARALY: It wouldn't be much up to now.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
21 We will resume at 1.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.39 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, the parties are hereby informed
25 that even if we would conclude with the testimony of this witness today,
1 we would sit anyhow tomorrow in order to deal with a lot the procedural
2 questions. Further, the Chamber needs some eight minutes itself before
3 we finish to deliver a statement. We -- this courtroom is occupied this
4 afternoon so we can't take -- steal time from others. Taking all this
5 into account, I'm less pressing or urging the parties to see whether they
6 can finish today because it might that we end up in such a hurry which is
7 detrimental to the performance of our duties.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Mr. Registrar, if I could please have Exhibit 1D69-0104, please.
11 Q. I'm going to show you a few exhibits, Mr. Sinobad. I'm quite
12 sure you've never this document --
13 MR. MISETIC: But it's a foundation for the next PowerPoint
14 presentation, Mr. President.
15 Q. So this is a list of targets for TS -- what was then called TS-3,
16 operative group Zadar. The list is called Jagoda and the date on the
17 bottom of the page - if we could scroll down - is 30 July, 1995.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked and
19 I tender it into evidence.
20 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I haven't looked at it. I don't even
21 see it on the list that was provided to us. It may be there, but may I
22 have a translation, if I could at least review it before stating our
24 MR. MISETIC: It is item 23 on the list that was disclosed to the
1 JUDGE ORIE: A lot of stacionars on it, isn't it, Mr. Misetic?
2 MR. MISETIC: There are, Mr. President. Good health care in the
3 area -- that was a joke, for the record. Item 13 in the Ring-Tail
5 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you. I will take a look at it, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's -- is there a translation already or is
7 there no translation --
8 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated]
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- because I see on the screen.
10 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated].
11 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, yes, now I see it. Yes. Well, you put it first
12 to the witness and then later, I take it, you will tender it and as long
13 as Mr. Hedaraly has not had a look at it we'll --
14 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated]
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- hear from him and if need be mark it for
17 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D69-0145 on the screen, please.
19 Q. And I will explain this to you, Mr. Sinobad, as well as to the
20 Trial Chamber. What have you here in red, and this is from an earlier
21 exhibit, the Court will recall, the roller coaster video that we tendered
22 earlier of the frontline positions. This is an excerpt from that.
23 So that line in red is the position of the ARSK on the 4th of
24 August; and the line in blue is the position of the Croatian army on the
25 4th of August, and we have an overview of the wider area of Benkovac with
1 various villages in it.
2 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please.
3 Q. Now, this is --
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, according to the census map, the red
5 is the majority Serb-populated villages, according to the 1991 census;
6 and the blue is the majority Croat villages, according to the 1991
8 If we could go to the next page, please. Perhaps we could also
9 have the English so that we can see the legend on the bottom.
10 The targets on the list that I've now given to Mr. -- to the
11 Prosecution and is briefly MFI
12 to them, we've plotted the numbers according to coordinates on a wider
13 map. The red and green are both targets on the list with the green
14 we've -- especially identified using a colour because those are the
15 stacionars, so that the Chamber can see where a stacionar was located.
16 Again, the numbers next to the red dot corresponds to the line entry on
17 the target list.
18 If we could turn the page, please.
19 This is just an aerial view of Benkovac.
20 If we could turn the page again, please.
21 These are now from the Jagoda target list in the Benkovac area
22 and their precise locations according to coordinates.
23 If we could turn the page, please.
24 We have in yellow highlighted the main roads which is taken from
25 P2327, and made them visually so that they -- the contrast is better.
1 If we could turn the page, please. And again now we've again put
2 the Jagoda targets over this area over the main roads and the precise
3 locations according to the coordinates.
4 If we could turn the page, please.
5 And then the next page, please.
6 Q. Now, sir, this is related to you. So if you could confirm for
7 us, number 1 on this map, you see the number 1 and the line that it goes
8 to? That number 1 is the bus station where you worked. Correct?
9 A. Probably, yes.
10 Q. Number 2, is that the area of where your flat was located?
11 A. No. No, the right of number 1, on the other side of the road to
13 Q. Can you -- if you were to give you a pen could you mark where
14 you've lived?
15 A. Provided that this indeed is the bus station, it is in this part,
16 in these buildings, where I lived.
17 Q. Well, do you remember -- look at number 4, which is the police
18 station. Do you recall that as being the location of the police station
19 in Benkovac?
20 A. I don't think that's the location. Since, on this map, one would
21 conclude that there are no more buildings behind the police station,
22 which is not true.
23 Q. Well, can you draw where you believe the police station to be.
24 MR. HEDARALY: Before we put more markings, maybe identify with a
25 2 the circle where he believes his flat was before we get many circles
1 without any --
2 MR. MISETIC: How about an A.
3 Q. Can you put an A next to the first circle?
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. And now if you can draw a circle around the area where you
6 believe the police station was located?
7 A. I cannot mark the police station. I don't know what the scale
8 is. This is far too small. I have nothing to go on, to be able to mark
9 the police station.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could we perhaps zoom in, which --
11 MR. HEDARALY: We will lose the marking if we zoom in, I think.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, are you right, Mr. Hedaraly. If we now zoom in
13 we would -- but, of course, we could revisit it and then see --
14 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE ORIE: So if we first --
16 MR. MISETIC: I could -- Mr. President --
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- store this one, because there's a possibility of
18 storing it first and then look at the original zoom-in and then see
19 whether we return to the stored one.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, first, I think -- let me ask him a
21 few more and see if he can mark a few more locations.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and then -- yes.
23 MR. MISETIC:
24 Q. Do you -- on this map, can you find where the municipal building
25 was located?
1 A. I truly cannot. I cannot tell you where the building was and
2 what it looked like. It is in the centre of town, between Biogradska
3 Street and onwards. But I really cannot mark it on the map, and the same
4 goes for the police station as well.
5 MR. MISETIC: Then, Mr. President, if we could have this exhibit
6 marked and I tender it. And we will zoom in again.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Is it -- the whole presentation, I assume, is what
8 is being tendered not just that page --
9 MR. MISETIC: [Microphone not activated]
10 MR. HEDARALY: -- with that marking.
11 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I take it that since the witness told us
13 what locations were wrong or not recognised by him that we should at
14 least know what he looked at.
15 MR. HEDARALY: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, we have now both his markings and the
17 agenda which, as far as the testimony is concerned, are not or at least
18 not to the knowledge of the witness accurate. That's all included in --
19 Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This becomes Exhibit D1446.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D1446 is admitted into evidence.
22 Could I ask you one additional question. What you marked as A,
23 is that the same residential area you earlier marked as where you saw the
24 shells falling --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Barice.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that. And then, Mr. Misetic, I
2 see a yellow line with 50, is that a grid reference line?
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Yes, those are the ...
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. MISETIC:
6 Q. Perhaps it would be easier if I gave you a blank map, which is, I
7 believe, one back. Okay.
8 MR. MISETIC: Can we blow this one up?
9 Q. Does that help you, Mr. Sinobad?
10 A. I don't think I can do any better on this. I would still have to
11 be speculating. I really can't tell where the municipal building is. It
12 is probably close to the figure 49, but I only presume that.
13 Q. Let me see if can I help you out what we believe some of the
14 positions to be and maybe that will help to orient on this.
15 MR. MISETIC: And can we go forward? Just keep moving through
16 the exhibit and we'll get to the one that identifies all the buildings in
17 the city and see if he can orient himself. Can we go to the next -- two
18 slides forward, please.
19 Okay. If we zoom out.
20 Q. Okay. Number 1 would be the bus station; 3, is where the
21 municipal building is; 4 is the police station; number 5, that's --
22 should be a big visual anchor for you is the Macura barracks. So if you
23 know where the Macura barracks are now on this overview, does that help
24 you orient yourself on this map as to where, for example, the police
25 station would be vis-a-vis the Macura barracks?
1 A. If the police station is marked with 4, then I don't think that
2 is the right location because it is too far from the street going through
4 Q. Do you think it is closer to the middle of this picture?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. At number 13, do you remember a -- a Catholic nuns' convent being
7 at that location?
8 A. There was no convent at the time. It was Our Lady's church there
9 at the time, in the centre. And behind that there was a building with
10 nuns and priests. And there was only a road between them and the police
12 Q. Okay. If you look at 7, 8 and 9, do you recognise those at
13 number 7 to be the Kepal factory, 8 to be the cold storage factory and
14 9 to be the winery?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And number --
17 A. Yes. Along that route, along the road from the barracks through
18 Benkovac and that's where you come across Kepal. The cold storage
19 facility and the winery. I do think those could be the locations, yes.
20 Q. At number 10 do you recognise that there was a hotel at that
22 A. Yes. The hotel was not far from the bus station, some 50 metres
23 away, up the hill. Of course, all this provided that 1 is indeed the bus
24 station, then the number 10 would be the hotel.
25 MR. MISETIC: Could we go to the next slide, please. Again,
1 these are some of the targets from the Jagoda list.
2 If we could go to the next slide, please.
3 The Chamber will note that we put the circles that Mr. Rajcic
4 drew in Benkovac and overlayed them on this map to see the correspondence
5 with what was on the target list as of the 30th of July, 1995.
6 If we can go to the next slide, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you mean the circles on the map or ...
8 MR. MISETIC: Circles on the map that we just saw are taken from
9 a map and -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. I mean, Mr. Rajcic put them on the map.
11 MR. MISETIC: Correct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We're all aware that these are no circles but ovals
13 which of course is [Overlapping speakers] ...
14 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's not exactly the same. It could that be
16 something falls within the scope of -- of a circle where if you make it
17 an oval that more would be included or less if the oval is smaller in
19 MR. MISETIC: I agree with Your Honour. I was saying it was my
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
22 MR. MISETIC: This is again -- and we will note that,
23 Mr. President, just so you are aware of it, our plotting of 695, which is
24 identified on the Jagoda list as the police station, is about 100 metres
25 short of the police station which is the pink box directly above 695
1 there, just so in the interests of full disclosure. The target was
2 identified as of 30 July as the coordinates for the police station. We
3 believe it is about 100 metres short. But between 30 July and
4 4 August we don't have any records as to whether the target list was
5 updated, just so you are aware of it.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Sorry. I'm getting a little confused. Is this
7 now testimony from Mr. Misetic as to where the police station was or what
8 is the -- I'm just --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I think what Mr. Misetic did is the police station
10 as we find them on one of the other maps is marked on this map and what
11 Mr. Misetic says is that what is marked on this map as a police station,
12 where the witness said it -- as a matter of fact, might be closer to the
13 main road, that would then move a bit south. Coming closer to 695.
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes, correct.
15 JUDGE ORIE: But at least that what was on the Rajcic map
16 indicated with number 695 and apparently describing the references for a
17 police station, Mr. Misetic says what we marked on this map as being the
18 police station, not fully confirmed -- certainly not fully confirmed by
19 this witness, is short of where Mr. Misetic thinks the police station
20 would have been as he marked it on this map.
21 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. President, the 695
22 is not the Rajcic map. It is it the Jagoda -- the identity of the list
23 that have I given to Mr. Hedaraly.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. HEDARALY: So just to make sure everyone understands and I'm
1 sorry for --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I -- I made a mistake. Only the ovals are
3 taken from the Rajcic map.
4 MR. HEDARALY: So the oval number 2 is from the map that
5 Mr. Rajcic marked, 695 is from the list of targets that was just shown,
6 and the little building there was what the Defence thought the police
7 station was initially? That was identified with a number 4 on the
8 previous -- on the previous page of the presentation?
9 MR. MISETIC: Correct.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
11 MR. MISETIC: Let me ask the witness now.
12 Q. Mr. Sinobad, you see where 695 is located on this map?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you believe that the police
15 station was closer to 695 than that pink box above?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You see under the number 695 there is another pink box. Could
18 that have been the location of the police station?
19 A. Down towards 49?
20 Q. No, no. You see 695?
21 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, 49 is -- yes, please.
22 MR. MISETIC: There may be a miscommunication between me and the
24 Q. 695 is written over a pink box.
25 MR. MISETIC: Maybe we could blow it up a little bit?
1 Q. Do you see there, there is a pink box. Is that a possible
2 location of where the police station was?
3 A. I can't guarantee that. It may be, but I can't say anything for
5 JUDGE ORIE: It becomes confusing.
6 Could we get the cursor and go to approximately where the 1 is.
8 Mr. Sinobad, I'd like to -- in your mind, follow the road.
9 Could we --
10 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
11 JUDGE ORIE: You see the cursor on the map, at the bottom of one
12 so where the road is? Yes, there.
13 Now, we move from there in the direction of town, slowly. Stop
14 here. Here you have a junction. You see to the right it go to where the
15 factory and the [Overlapping speakers] ...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the road circumventing
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now we take the left arm of the juncture and are
19 moving in the direction of the town. Could we please follow that.
20 You see, we are now entering town. At least we're -- please move
21 on. Stop there, please.
22 There we are at another junction. Do you recognise that point?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Now we take the left leg of this junction
25 slowly and we are now what appears to be a street.
1 Could we stop there. If you follow me, in that street, was the
2 police station to the right or was it on the left-hand side of the road?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the left-hand side.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You said earlier that it was where the women's
5 church was indicated at an earlier version of this on the left-hand side,
6 and was it behind that church? You said you just had to cross one road?
7 Was it behind that women's church, or was it at this street which we just
8 entered a second ago?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the main thoroughfare
10 through Benkovac. The convent, the Church of Our Lady
11 this street, some 20 metres; and in the same direction moving further on
12 toward the north, some 150 to 200 metres away from the main thoroughfare,
13 there was the police station. From the part of the structure belonging
14 to the convent, one only had to cross the street and you'd already find
15 yourself outside the police station.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Where I used from my memory where I should
17 have said Our Lady's church there was in no way I wanted to use any
18 expression which would be inappropriate. It was on the back of my mind
19 there was a reference to a female person and I take it that Our Lady's
20 church may well be a reference to Saint Mary, and of course when I said
21 women's church it was in no way any intention to inappropriately express
22 myself --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The church is one thing. And quite
24 another is the building connected to the church, where nuns and the
25 priest were accommodated.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At least we have now located perhaps with some
2 more precision. It often helps, Mr. Misetic, if you take him along the
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President. This is now in evidence.
6 While we're on the subject of the police station.
7 Q. Was the police station shelled on the 4th of August, to your
9 A. To my knowledge it wasn't.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 1D69-0025.
11 Q. I will show you a witness statement that was given to the Office
12 of the Prosecution. I have put it to the witness so that the Prosecution
13 knows I am aware of the procedure.
14 Do you know an individual named Djuro Vukasinovic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who what is he?
17 A. He worked on the police force. I don't know if he was with the
18 crime police section. I'm not sure. To my knowledge, he was a civilian
19 working for the police. He may have been a forensics officer or
20 something like that.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could go to paragraph 12,
22 which is page 3 of this in English. Yes, both English and ... okay.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, Mr. Registrar informs me that it looks
25 as if both original and translation are in B/C/S which must be a mistake
2 MR. MISETIC: Can I just read out the one portion before we stop?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How much time were you --
4 MR. MISETIC: Two minutes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Two minutes.
6 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And then that would conclude your --
8 MR. MISETIC: No, no.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No. Then perhaps we work on the basis of the then
10 uploaded translation and deal with it tomorrow or would it be --
11 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- really disruptive of -- yes, please read.
13 MR. MISETIC: Well, he said -- Mr. Vukasinovic, this is
14 paragraph 12, if I could put this up. Yes, paragraph 12.
15 Q. Do you see that on your screen?
16 JUDGE ORIE: If -- Mr. Misetic, if have you an English
17 translation at hand --
18 MR. MISETIC: I do.
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- then, of course, if you would read the English
20 translation, we'd know that that's the official translation of this
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
23 Q. It says:
24 "When I" -- this is now on the 4th of August. "When I was still
25 meeting with the local representatives at around 4.30 p.m., the shelling
1 started again. A shell fell within two metres of the police station
2 building, hitting the ticket office of the stadium that was next door to
3 the police station."
4 Now were you aware that around 4.30, a shell had landed at the
5 ticket office of the stadium which was next door to the police station?
6 A. No, I was not aware of that.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, in light of the time, I can pick up
8 on this tomorrow.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Mr. Sinobad, we were not able to finish today; it will not take
11 very long tomorrow. We have to deal with a few procedural matters, but,
12 Mr. Registrar, we are -- resume tomorrow 9.00 in the morning in this same
14 So we'd like to see you back then. But I first want to instruct
15 you that you should not speak with anyone about your testimony you gave
16 today or the testimony still to be given tomorrow.
17 Is that clear?
18 Then, Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness out of the
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to make the following statement on
22 behalf of the Chamber.
23 It is the Chamber's statement concerning the Prosecution's
24 submission of the Rule 92 ter statements for Witnesses 59, 60, 61, 62,
25 and 63, who would give evidence about the recording of the soldier
1 Brioni meeting of the 31st of July, 1995, as well as the transcription
2 thereof, and the chain of custody of these records. These witnesses are
3 on the Prosecution's witness list but until very recently the Prosecution
4 had not decided whether these witnesses needed to be called or not.
5 It is clear from the Prosecution's pre-trial brief that the
6 Brioni meeting is of significance to the Prosecution's case. Both the
7 Gotovina Defence and the Markac Defence have specifically challenged the
8 authenticity of the records of this meeting in their pre-trial briefs but
9 have not elaborated on those challenges. Apparently in response, the
10 Prosecution presented an expert report of Peter French addressing, in the
11 Chamber's provisional view, the most likely reasons for the Defence
12 challenges to authenticity.
13 After discussions between the parties, the Defence accepted the
14 expert report and concluded that they did not need to cross-examine the
15 expert. The Defence has, however, not stipulated to the authenticity of
16 the records of the Brioni meeting. Whereas in most cases the production
17 of an audio recording and a transcript thereof, as well as an expert
18 report on technical aspects of the records would meet the burden of proof
19 in relation to a conversation and its content, the Defence here
20 apparently wants to reserve its position with regard to authenticity.
21 One of the recently heard witnesses, Marko Rajcic, challenged the
22 accuracy of the transcript. However, it remains to be determined whether
23 the inconsistencies between the transcript and the witness's testimony
24 are due to faulty memory of the witness, inaccurate transcript of the
25 Brioni meeting, or any other factor.
1 This said, the Chamber considers that particular circumstances
2 may exist which could invalidate the convincing potential of the evidence
3 presented by the Prosecution to date concerning the authenticity of the
4 records of the Brioni meeting. The Chamber is uncertain whether such
5 particular circumstances will be invoked by the Defence in support of any
6 challenges it may make to authenticity or whether the Defence position is
7 simply that the evidence presented is insufficient to reach a finding of
8 satisfactory proof of authenticity.
9 It appears as if the Prosecution's calling of further evidence on
10 authenticity is triggered by the recent testimony of Marko Rajcic and the
11 lack of insight into the nature of any challenges to authenticity that
12 the Defence may later proffer. What the Prosecution apparently seeks to
13 do is to remedy a challenge of unknown character by proposing evidence of
14 Witnesses 59, 60, 61, 62, and 63.
15 Under these circumstances, the Chamber considers that for the
16 Prosecution to now attempt to provide a remedy for every possible later
17 attack on the authenticity of the relevant material is an inefficient way
18 of proceeding. The nature of any possible further challenges to
19 authenticity is, at this moment, open to speculation. Accordingly, the
20 Chamber is of the view that it would be a waste of resources for the
21 Prosecution to attempt to anticipate such challenges by calling the five
22 witnesses. This is particularly so if disclosure by the Defence of the
23 nature of the challenges should call for a more focussed or a different
24 approach. To present additional evidence on, for example, the chain of
25 custody of the records when the Defence may have authenticity concerns
1 totally foreign to that issue, goes directly against interests of
2 judicial economy.
3 In the absence of any indication that hearing the five witnesses
4 will assist the Chamber in making its determination on matters in
5 dispute, the Chamber invites the Prosecution to consider the withdrawal
6 of their Rule 92 ter motions in relation to Witnesses 59, 60, 61, 62, and
7 63, despite the fact that the Prosecution has not as yet exhausted its
8 allocated number of hours for the presentation of its case, as well as
9 the fact that these witnesses are on the Prosecution's witness list.
10 The situation described also has other procedural consequences.
11 First, the Chamber will consider whether and in what way it may invite
12 the Gotovina and Markac Defence to further clarify their positions in
13 relation to the authenticity of the records of the Brioni meeting.
14 Secondly, the Chamber informs the parties that the Chamber's
15 current approach with regard to this issue will likely lead it to take a
16 very liberal approach if the Prosecution, once knowing more about the
17 nature of the authenticity concerns of the Defence, would seek to remedy
18 those concerns at a later stage of the proceedings through these
19 particular witnesses.
20 Moreover, although the Chamber does not wish, at this moment, to
21 further explore the question of the authenticity of the records of the
22 Brioni meeting, the Chamber reminds the parties of the powers it has,
23 pursuant to Rules 85(A) and 98, and the obligations of the Defence under
24 Rule 65 ter.
25 And this concludes the Chamber's statement on this matter.
1 We adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the
2 3rd of March, 9.00, Courtroom I.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of March,
5 2009, at 9.00 a.m.