1 Thursday, 28 May 2009
2 [Cermak Defence Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Before the Cermak Defence will be invited to address the Chamber
14 with its Defence opening statement, I'd like to deal with a few
15 procedural matters.
16 The first one goes back to the 27th of May transcript, page
17 17.743. There an agreement between Defence and Prosecution was
18 announced. Mr. Russo said that he would get back to Mr. Misetic in the
19 afternoon and did not anticipate a problem. The Chamber then said that
20 we expect a joint proposal by close of business today.
21 Now, the Chamber understands that, although progress is made,
22 that it's for primarily practical reasons that the joint proposal has not
23 reached the Chamber. The Chamber does not insist on having it finalized
24 today, but I do understand that as soon as Mr. Russo stops travelling a
25 bit, then that there's a chance that matters can be finalized.
1 Do we have to set time-limit for that or could we say this week?
2 Is that ...
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's suitable.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And then whether you take Saturday and Sunday as the
5 last days of the week, I leave that entirely to you, but Monday morning,
6 at its latest, the Chamber will then be informed.
7 For the next item, I'd like to go briefly into private session.
8 [Private session]
11 Page 17776 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 The Chamber has been informed that in relation to Witness AG-20
11 that it is highly unlikely that he would be able, for all kind of
12 practical reasons, to appear on the scheduled date, which is the
13 5th of June.
14 The question then is, whether you have already considered, if he
15 is -- if it is unlikely that he will appear, on what date you would like
16 him to appear, and whether you have any substitute for him on the
17 5th of June.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, Mr. Kehoe is travelling and is going
19 to be in Zagreb
20 testify after AG-20, and we are in the process of seeing whether he can
21 come a bit earlier to begin his testimony, in fact towards the end of
22 next week, but I will not know that until probably sometime tomorrow.
23 JUDGE ORIE: But it has your attention --
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- and that's what the Chamber would like to know.
1 Then finally, there was a motion for granting a safe conduct. If
2 we would wait the normal time for responses, then we might be far too
3 late to even consider to issue an effective safe conduct. Therefore I'm
4 asking the parties, first, Prosecution, whether they will respond to that
5 motion, whether they want to do it orally or in writing, and when we
6 could receive such a response.
7 MR. WAESPI: I can do it orally tomorrow.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll hear from you tomorrow.
9 Do the other Defence teams have any intention to respond to the
10 safe conduct motion?
11 I see two times body language no intention. It's now on the
13 Then I have dealt with the procedural issues that I had on my
15 If there's no other procedural matter to be discussed, I'd like
16 to invite the Cermak Defence to deliver its Defence opening statement.
17 Mr. Kay.
18 MR. KAY: Thank you very much, Your Honour. If the court
19 registrar can turn on the Sanction device, as that may be used during the
20 course of the opening statement.
21 At the Pre-Defence Conference yesterday, His Honour Judge Orie
22 stated to the parties that when presenting their Defence case it had to
23 focus sharply on the relevant issues in this trial, and the Defence for
24 Ivan Cermak, in making this opening address, will present, firstly, a
25 section concerning issues raised in the Rule 98 bis decision that are --
1 that are of obvious concern to the Court. The Court will then be
2 referred to a section of evidence that the Defence contend is highly
3 relevant and that the Prosecution had at its disposal during its case,
4 which was exculpatory directly on the issues in this trial but did not
5 put before the Judges.
6 And then the Court will hear of evidence to be called from other
7 witnesses, all present at the time, that is relevant, direct and informed
8 and factual as to decisions that were made, which were not witnesses
9 spoken to by the Prosecution in the preparation of their case, and, again
10 neither were they sought as witnesses, and we say this is highly relevant
11 material for the decision-making in relation to this case.
12 The Court is reminded that the Defence has a right to have its
13 evidence received in exactly the same way as the Prosecution evidence is
14 received, with fairness and impartiality. Evidence is not the lesser
15 because it has been produced by Defence cross-examination or because it
16 arrives from Defence witnesses.
17 The Defence in this case are concerned that the Prosecution has
18 invited the Court to adopt an artificially high and unrealistic standard
19 for criminal liability and responsibility in this case that ignores legal
20 and factual responsibility and capabilities at the time. Expert
21 witnesses of great experience from the Croatian system will be called. A
22 General Feldi and Mr. Pero Kovacevic in their respective fields. Experts
23 who will supply you with authoritative information about the military and
24 police systems and operations within their own national system which was
25 evidence that you were not supplied with during the Prosecution case by
1 experts from the national system.
2 There will also be expert international witnesses from the
3 military. General Sir Jack Deverell from the United Kingdom, of great
4 experience in the Balkans as a commander of NATO and of great experience
5 in dealing with both military function, command and control, as well as
6 real life situations where he has been on many occasions, experiencing
8 From the police, Mr. Christopher Albiston, a United Nations
9 police commissioner and assistant chief constable for crime of the police
10 service of Northern Ireland. Again, great experience in this region and
11 elsewhere throughout the world on the operating and functions of the
12 police service. He has reviewed evidence in this case and will provide
13 his opinion to the Court which quite clearly states that the allegations
14 made in the indictment are unsustainable against this accused.
15 Furthermore, also Sir Jack Deverell is of the exact same opinion.
16 That then is the outline of our approach to the opening
17 statement, and I will now turn to those conclusions or decisions made in
18 the 98 bis decision.
19 And the first concerns the issue of the personal appointment by
20 President Tudjman of Mr. Cermak as commander of the Knin garrison. This
21 is it found at 17.619 in the court record.
22 The point has to be made that this appointment was totally in
23 accordance with the law of Croatia
24 Exhibit P1187, the Croatian Law on Service, Article 159. This was a
25 document that was bar tabled and this Article makes it clear that the
1 appointment to positions of the senior military are appointments made by
2 the president.
3 You will hear evidence from General Feldi that the appointment is
4 totally in accordance with the law. The Court will be made aware of a
5 mistranslation of one of the important documents on this point, which
6 took several months to resolve, concerning how a garrison commander is
7 designated, eventually the Defence being proved right, and the Court will
8 be told that this position of a non-operational nature, given the
9 background and experience of Mr. Cermak, in relation to logistics and the
10 duties to coordinate various agencies, which he undertook at the time,
11 were exactly what were required of him in that position. The Court will
12 also hear as to how it came about that the post of garrison commander was
14 In relation to Mr. Cermak's duties, that of dealing with the
15 United Nations and international groups arose as an ancillary matter to
16 his primary appointment, which was the normalization of life. It came
17 about as a result of the circumstances that were found to exist in Knin.
18 This clearly indicates that Mr. Cermak was not intended, when his
19 position was first thought of and his role in Knin considered, to be a
20 military front man at all. But there it is. That's what happened and
21 that has led him into this trouble.
22 Also at that passage of the Court's decision the issue of the
23 normalization of life and what it meant is obviously under consideration
24 by the Court. Evidence will be heard in relation to virtually all the
25 witnesses being called on this matter, which recite exactly the same
1 background that this Court has heard on many occasions concerning the
2 roles and duties of Mr. Cermak, normalizing life in Knin at that time.
3 What is interesting is that none of those asked, none of those
4 questioned, ascribe this as a role of law and order, which has to be the
5 bedrock of criminal responsibility against him.
6 Turning now to another aspect of the decision, that of meetings
7 which took place daily at the office in Knin. The Defence will stress
8 that it is the purpose of these meetings that is important and that the
9 correct context be understood and accepted. They were clearly of a
10 coordination function. Those meetings were not for the purpose of
11 reporting crimes or other criminal events that may have taken place, and
12 the purpose, when such facts were mentioned in those meetings, were not
13 because he had a duty to investigate, prosecute, charge, or order. As
14 Witness 86 made clear and the Defence witnesses confirm, the civilian
15 police were not the subordinates of Mr. Cermak.
16 As the Prosecution witness Buhin clearly stated, he had never met
17 Mr. Cermak, so how a line of authority could have been in operation when
18 that man was a coordinator with his ministry in Zagreb is open to
19 question. The Ministry of Interior had their own line of authority by
20 which to report and take measures. This theme is repeated throughout the
21 Defence case, and we are anxious that the Court understands the workings
22 of the Croatian system at that time.
23 The fact of holding such meetings cannot create a criminal
24 responsibility; otherwise, every person in the room, from Mr. Pasic to
25 the man interested in electricity, would have the same liability. The
1 Defence will have that confirmed through the witness, Mr. Albiston who
2 quite clearly rejects that proposition as does General Sir Jack Deverell.
3 The variety of the functions of the individuals who attended those
4 meetings lends support to the contention that those meetings were to
5 assist with the development and normalization of life in and around Knin.
6 Any law and order purposes would simply not hold water in relation to the
7 functioning of any system, and that is what we, as the Defence, are
8 anxious in our case to ensure the Court has clear evidence.
9 In those meetings, witnesses will confirm that everyone there was
10 aware of the exchange and passing on of information so that people were
11 better briefed as to what had happened and what was taking place, at all
12 different levels of life at that time in Knin.
13 The witness Dzolic, who gave evidence for the Prosecution, said
14 on numerous occasions that the police were requested to do their job.
15 Again, Defence witnesses will corroborate and confirm that theme.
16 Everybody wanted those jobs to be done. The fact that Cermak says it
17 does not invest within him a responsibility or authority. There has to
18 be a foundation and basis to sustain criminal charges, and we submit our
19 case will prove that that simply does not exist.
20 A further passage from the 98 bis decision. Mr. Cermak's
21 responses to crimes and his assurances that investigations would be
22 carried out. As a proposition, the Defence are concerned about this
23 statement. The fact that Mr. Cermak and any other person may have
24 disagreed on some occasions as to who committed a crime or why a crime
25 had been committed, or even whether a crime had taken place, in
1 conversations with the international representatives, we submit, cannot,
2 of itself, create criminal liability in this case. This would mean that
3 communication offices for armed forces, governments, and other agencies
4 would be liable for passing on information, which, although one party may
5 have disagreed with what they were saying, we submit, cannot be a ground
6 for saying that they are responsible, either for the act itself or even
7 over the perpetrator of an act. It is tantamount to shooting the
9 Court will hear and receive evidence which confirmed a large part
10 of the Prosecution case that Mr. Cermak admitted crimes took place at
11 that time. He was angry about that fact. He mentioned to many people he
12 wanted it stopped, that he had no power himself, and his whole conduct
13 was of a man not in denial of such events, but, in fact, of a man who
14 wanted it stopped.
15 Defence witnesses will testify to his intentions in relation to
16 the Serb community, the civilians, how he wanted them to stay, encouraged
17 factories and places of work to open, and went to the UN camp to
18 encourage them to stay and work. This stands in great contradiction to
19 any allegation of intent that may be put at him, which asserts he didn't
20 want the Serbs to remain in this area.
21 The fact that he was passing on information about crimes shows
22 that he was not in a state of denial and intending to cover them up. The
23 fact that he may have disagreed, however, in meetings as to what
24 happened, why it happened, is a disagreement. It cannot be a
25 responsibility. It cannot be a means of liability to say that he has
1 committed a crime in relation to this indictment.
2 The giving of assurances in relation to investigations doesn't
3 mean that he had the power or authority to order such things. The fact
4 that he told people that he would have something investigated showed his
5 good intentions rather than bad intentions to those who were concerned
6 with what was taking place.
7 Turning now to what took place in Grubori. The Court, at 17.619
8 to 20, dealt in a small and brief way with how they would, at this stage
9 of the trial, view or how the evidence was capable of being viewed,
10 concerning what took place in Grubori. Again, a point has to be made
11 here which is of fundamental importance. There was no eye-witness to
12 what happened at the time in relation to the killings in Grubori and that
13 witness was not available to state what happened.
14 The Court knows that this was originally a report to the garrison
15 of arson; later, two killings were mentioned. But it was someone working
16 from the garrison itself who is a Defence witness, Lieutenant Dondo, who
17 reported that there were five killings to the police, and we ask the
18 Court to note that that important evidence, as Mr. Dondo will tell you,
19 indicated that he was working in a culture at the garrison, not of
20 concealment of crimes, but of making sure they were reported. In our
21 submission, his evidence, which the Court will be referred to in detail
22 later on this afternoon, is crucial on this matter.
23 Furthermore, it became clear that this was a matter in Grubori
24 that concerned the actions of the special police. Any person would be
25 entitled to accept that a department of a police force would correctly
1 and properly investigate and deal with an event with which they were
2 concerned. It cannot be the case that we have a culture, that because
3 the special police is mentioned in this building that anyone at that time
4 should have suspicions or should disbelieve that they would act properly.
5 The point we make here is that this was a matter within the Ministry of
6 Interior from which the special police were derived, and Mr. Cermak was
7 not in an unreasonable position in passing on any account given to him by
8 them in explanation to the international community. There's no evidence
9 in this case showing that Mr. Cermak knew that the version of events
10 provided by the special police was untrue.
11 There had only been claims made and there were no official
12 reports alternatively put before him. The UN did not investigate this
13 case at that time and provide an alternative forensic analysis. The
14 danger here is that because a man believes a version and the other party
15 has its belief of its version, that you are then held responsible for
16 your belief or passing on what you have been told and believe to be true
17 to others. Again, crucially, we raise this point. It is tantamount to
18 shooting the messenger. And, again, expert witnesses will advise the
19 Court on the systems operating in many jurisdictions relating to military
20 spokespeople and police spokespeople who are put in the position that
21 Mr. Cermak was at that time.
22 The issue of freedom of movement will also be examined in the
23 Defence case. At transcript page 17.595, the Court noted:
24 "There is evidence that Mr. Cermak was cooperating with the other
25 two accused with regard to freedom of movement."
1 You will hear evidence from the liaison officers, Mr. Dondo and
2 Mr. Lukovic, exactly how Mr. Cermak became involved in signing letters to
3 Mr. Forand, relating to the movements of the United Nations.
4 Crucially, these were not decisions being made by him. These
5 were not decisions being made by him with others. These were decisions
6 and issues that were passed through him and in respect of which he had no
7 responsibility in the decision-making process that could hold him
8 accountable. The fact that he passes information on to the
9 United Nations, in our submission, does not make him liable in relation
10 to any consequences that that may have.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, sorry to interrupt you. I try to follow
12 your reference to the transcript pages. I understood you to say
13 17.595 --
14 MR. KAY: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- although that's not what appears on the
16 transcript. But 17.595 is the --
17 MR. KAY: Decision.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But nothing about freedom of movement there,
19 because it's the first page of the 3rd of April session, which just
20 introduces what we're going to do and that we'll first give a brief
22 So I can't follow you in your reference --
23 MR. KAY: It's in the decision, Your Honour. And I have quoted
24 directly from it. I'm sorry, if there's a --
25 JUDGE ORIE: If you have -- oh, if you [overlapping speakers] --
1 MR. KAY: -- reference number, I don't have it in front of me.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I'll find it by searching for "cooperating."
3 MR. KAY: 17.019.
4 JUDGE ORIE: 17.019. Thank you for your assistance. I try to --
5 whenever you make portions of the decision I try to read it --
6 MR. KAY: I hope the Court finds that helpful. 17.619.
7 JUDGE ORIE: 17.619.
8 MR. KAY: Yeah. Thank you.
9 Again, the fact here is that Mr. Cermak, as a conduit to be used
10 for these decisions and to pass on notice from the Croatian authorities
11 to the United Nations was simply being used in that form. Court will
12 hear quite clearly from witnesses that were interviewed by the
13 Prosecution and we will call in our Defence that he did not have that
14 decision-making authority, and that, in our submission, is a crucial
15 aspect for the consideration of the evidence in this case.
16 And, lastly, on the matters within the 98 bis decision, turning
17 to the statement in the decision, Mr. Cermak's personal involvement in
18 securing the departure of hundreds of Serb civilians from the UN compound
19 in Knin on buses to Serbia, the Defence, in cross-examination of
20 Mr. Liborius, took him through a clear and long document trail on this
21 issue, which, in our submission, clearly showed him acting as a conduit,
22 in relation to decisions being made elsewhere on this matter.
23 But the issue of the Serbs inside the UN camp was not exclusively
24 a Serbian matter. There were many Croatian people inside the UN camp,
25 and you will hear evidence from Defence witnesses confirming that fact.
1 As days passed, people chose to leave the camp and go to their homes,
2 encouraged by Mr. Pasic, Mr. Cermak, Dr. Dodig, a witness you will hear
3 from, and encouraged to stay in the Knin area. As time passed, people
4 within the camp who were Serbian decided they wanted to leave Croatia and
5 go to Serbia. That was their decision.
6 In a camp that was run and in place by the United Nations,
7 Mr. Cermak was not responsible for those people going into that camp, and
8 it became a matter between the United Nations and the Croatian government
9 as to when and how those people within the camp would leave. The Court
10 will be referred to a document from General Forand in which he states,
11 You can't have your war criminals you want to investigate until we're
12 satisfied about arrangements inside the camp for those people, if they go
13 into Croatian custody, and, of course, we have the 800 or so Serbian
14 people who have remained in the camp. This became a stand-off issue
15 between the United Nations and Croatia, and largely, because, as in so
16 many things in life, of a misunderstanding of the processes that both
17 sides were talking about.
18 Mr. Cermak's role, as you will hear from a Mr. Tomislav Penic,
19 who, very soon after Operation Storm, was called in by the minister of
20 justice and sent to Knin with files relating to suspected war criminals
21 in that camp. When he went to Knin and saw Mr. Cermak, who took him to
22 the camp, his view was that Mr. Cermak was more of a host for him because
23 he and his department were dealing with this issue.
24 All the evidence the Court has received to date has been from the
25 United Nations side on this matter, and it's important that the Court do
1 not have an impression, in relation to Mr. Cermak's role, that ascribes
2 him with a level of authority he simply didn't have.
3 Let me turn now to the next part of the opening statement which
4 concern Defence witnesses who will be called who gave exculpatory
5 statements to the Prosecution concerning Mr. Cermak's authority, role,
6 and responsibility.
7 During the Prosecution case, you heard a very narrow base of
8 evidence on this matter. Most of it was impression evidence from
9 international witnesses. Witnesses from the Croatian authorities were in
10 fact very few, and of those witnesses, it has to be said, they did not
11 agree with the proposition in the indictment that Mr. Cermak was in
12 control of either the civil police or the military police or the military
13 units in this area, and they rejected - Witness 86, Witness Dzolic - that
14 they were subordinated in any way to Mr. Cermak.
15 You heard from an expert witness, Mr. Theunens, and we will make
16 no bones about it, we believe he presented a report tailored to suit the
17 indictment. His evidence was based on small numbers of documents
18 described as UNCRO orders said to prove his theory. But those documents
19 were never actually shown to the witnesses who could have accepted or
20 rejected the theory until cross-examined by the Defence in the course of
21 these proceedings.
22 So we say this has been a trial more based on theory than
23 evidence so far, and we invite the Judges to reject speculation and
24 consider the evidence of key witnesses who, if they had been called in
25 the Prosecution case, we believe would have led the Court to an entirely
1 different understanding of the nature of the case against Mr. Cermak.
2 The Defence are now forced to call those witnesses, because witnesses
3 have been cherry-picked, and we will produce them before the Court as
4 well as produce the statements that they originally gave to the
6 Three of these people were right in the heart of the events in
7 the garrison. Mr. Pasic, Mr. Dondo, and Mr. Lukovic.
8 So let's start with Mr. Petar Pasic, a Serb, a government trustee
9 for Knin, also described as the representative or the mayor, and he was
10 interviewed by the Prosecution in 2001, 2002. And it may be that we can
11 even have page 4 from that statement put on Your Honours' screens, as it
12 may assist the Court.
13 In that statement, he stated:
14 "I was aware that Colonel General Cermak was the commander of the
15 Zborno Mjesto, which wasn't a Military District. As far as I know,
16 Cermak was there to assist the civil authorities. He would direct me to
17 organise the feeding of people which took place where Cermak had his
18 office and he would push me to open the stores. Cermak had the logistics
19 base and about ten or so soldiers under him. He also insisted that there
20 be a public kitchen facility to feed the people who had no money. He
21 wanted the civil authority to function so that he would not be bothered
22 with the feeding of the people. Within a few days we were able to get
23 power and water functioning in the town.
24 "The police station was at the other end of town. I know that
25 Cermak was appointed by the president. I did not know Cermak's area of
1 responsibility. I would meet with him every day. There was an agenda
2 and those items on the agenda would include, for example, an update on
3 the power supply, how to deal with the Serbs in the UN compound, security
4 matters. Cermak would be asking what had been done on these issues.
5 People would respond. There were discussions about killings, looting and
6 destruction. Often it would be Cermak who was telling us that these
7 things were happening and asking us, asking what was being done about it.
8 "It would have been the internationals that would have reported
9 these crimes to Cermak and myself at a different meeting. I remember
10 that Gambiroza would often say there were not enough policemen in Knin.
11 My belief was that the returning Serbs or those who had remained and the
12 internationals did not trust the Croatian police to do their job
13 probably. Cermak would ask what had been done, and he was very
14 unpleasant to people and would shout at them if things had not been done.
15 As far as the killings, looting and destruction was concerned, he was not
16 happy about it."
17 Well, we submit there are a number of answers there in that
18 passage to those matters raised by the Trial Chamber in the 98 bis
19 decision which show firsthand eye-witness level what Mr. Cermak's job
20 was, what he talked about, and what his attitude was. These are not the
21 acts and conduct of a man embarked on a joint criminal enterprise. That
22 doesn't fit with this description here.
23 What's interesting about this witness as well, as the Court will
24 see when he gives evidence, he doesn't recite a blind story about the
25 crimes and retribution in the area at all. In fact, he condemns the
1 authorities for those crimes and what happened and he has his own view on
2 the matter. But what is of great significance is that he does not taint
3 Mr. Cermak with either that responsibility or even being a supporter or
4 sympathetic to such treatment of people in that region. Quite the
5 opposite, as the Court will hear.
6 Another passage at page 6, again, in contradiction to the
7 substance of this case:
8 "Cermak and I would go to the UN base to try and persuade the
9 Serbs to go back to their houses. We would guarantee them safety, but
10 others had other ideas. If they did go back to their homes, some of them
11 were beaten, which was a message to them to stay in the UN base and not
12 go home."
13 Well, if Mr. Cermak was there as a member of a joint criminal
14 enterprise, as a person showing bad intent, why would he be going to the
15 UN camp to try and encourage people to stay? That's not this case.
16 That's not what the Court was told in opening. That's not been the
17 evidence that the Prosecution have tried to lead for a year. But, of
18 course, Mr. Pasic's statement did not fit the indictment. That's why he
19 was kept away from you.
20 Let us go to Karolj Dondo, interviewed in 2005. A liaison
21 officer in the region, not subordinated to Mr. Cermak, but working from
22 the garrison, and he's been frequently mentioned in the evidence because
23 of his role of liaison; page 3 of that statement:
24 "Nobody joined us on the flight en route to Knin. Mr. Lukovic
25 briefed me on what my role was to be. There was information that there
1 was a situation at the UN camp in Knin and that Mr. Cermak was due to
2 arrive and that we were to assist him with regard to the situation in the
3 UN camp. The information was very brief, that there were refugees, and
4 we should find out what the situation was when we arrived."
5 Important to remember, Mr. Cermak wasn't responsible for anyone
6 going to that camp.
7 On page 4:
8 "Our assignment was to organise the forward command of the
9 liaison office in Knin. At the meeting with Mr. Cermak, which was very
10 brief, Mr. Lukovic simply introduced us and explained our role.
11 Mr. Cermak said that we were just the people he needed and that we should
12 stay around so we were available to him. Prior to meeting him we had
13 already moved into the Dom. I think it was the next day, on the
14 7th of August, that we went with Mr. Cermak to the UN camp for the first
15 time. After that, the visits became very frequent."
16 Page 5:
17 "The first meeting was intended to introduce Mr. Cermak at the
18 UN camp to General Forand. I think Mr. Cermak explained he was there to
19 assist the UN and he was in charge of communicating with them and
20 resolving any problems that may occur. In that sense, he was at their
21 disposal for anything they needed. His role was also the implementation
22 and normalization of civilian life in Knin."
23 This is exactly what the Defence put time and time again, during
24 the Prosecution phase of the trial, with all -- would the commander of
25 all those units in paragraph 7 of the indictment be performing a role
1 such as this? Assisting with regard to the situation in the UN camp?
2 Implementing and normalizing life in Knin, resolving problems?
3 Mr. Dondo also refers to the morning meetings, paragraph 15:
4 "At these meetings information was passed on."
5 And what he says is this:
6 "At the morning meetings many people were present. Each body
7 responsible for normalizing life would be present. There would be
8 representatives of the civilian authorities, such as Mr. Pasic. I don't
9 know his exact role. Representatives of the civilian police, military
10 police. I recall that at one meeting, civil protection issues were
11 discussed and specifically the need to clean fridges."
12 He goes on to say: "I know that protests came in from members of
13 the international community and our office had the role as an
14 intermediary to pass on the information."
15 You will hear from Mr. Dondo, and he will describe Mr. Cermak, in
16 his view, as being a very senior liaison officer, because that was his
17 view of what he was doing and of his role down in Knin.
18 "So if there was a report on a house being burnt, we would pass
19 it on. In such an example, we would pass it to General Cermak if it was
20 addressed to him. As he was more or less the only person dealing with
21 the UN, most of the reports were directed to him."
22 So holding meetings where information is passed on, in our
23 submission, was a creditable act of Mr. Cermak's, in contradiction to
24 being an act in furtherance of a joint criminal enterprise. In fact, it
25 shows a responsible attitude to what was happening at that time and how,
1 as best he could, he dealt with it.
2 Paragraph 16: "From the beginning of his time in Knin,
3 Mr. Cermak was signing his letters and memos as the commander of the Knin
4 garrison. According to the military regulations it is known the
5 responsibilities of a garrison commander are for logistics and
6 organisational affairs. So from the time that the area was liberated,
7 Knin assumed the status of a garrison and Mr. Cermak was responsible for
8 that area. My understanding is that he was not actually responsible for
9 the logistics of military units in the area as they had their own
10 logistics support. He was more concerned with the normalization of the
11 civilian infrastructure and the logistics issues that required. As to
12 why a military general was appointed for such a role, I can only give my
13 own opinion and interpretation."
14 And that was, as the Court will hear when he gives evidence, that
15 because General Forand was a general, it would have been only right that
16 a general from the Croatian side spoke to the general on the other side,
17 and it was not accepted protocol for a lieutenant or captain of marine at
18 that level to be dealing with General Forand directly. But that doesn't
19 appear to have been put in this statement.
20 "Because Knin was a military area at the time, and there were so
21 many soldiers there, I think Mr. Cermak was considered to have the
22 necessary logistical skills because of his background. As far as I know,
23 he doesn't have the actual military rank as general, but it was more an
24 administrative rank. From my knowledge, there is a difference between
25 the military and administrative rank. The same thing was true when I was
1 given the rank of captain as I was working in the rear, so while I held a
2 rank, it was really for administrative purposes. I saw on a number of
3 occasions that Mr. Cermak was frustrated, and I think this was because it
4 was difficult ..."
5 Well, again, a very clear description in non-operational terms,
6 exactly as to how he, never having dealt with Mr. Cermak before,
7 perceived him, and knew what his role was to be.
8 Paragraph 17, I'll move to:
9 "While the looting and burning was being regularly reported to
10 him, Mr. Cermak tried to solve things. He forwarded the questions to the
11 civilian police who were in charge of investigating such cases and then
12 providing feedback from the police to the UN. I know that, because on
13 one occasion, I translated the police responses on behalf of Mr. Cermak,
14 which then went to the UN. As far as having any control over the
15 civilian police is concerned, I can say that I never heard him issue an
16 order to them but he would ask them to investigate and report back to
17 him. As I saw things, he simply provided new information from the UN to
18 the police, and as the police had no liaison officer, he was providing
19 that role and passing on the information and asking that he was kept
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, sorry again to interrupt you. Page 23,
22 line 13, you think -- you quoted and you said, I think this was because
23 it was difficult, full stop.
24 Now difficult is the last word of that page but seems not to be
25 the last word of the sentence. I don't know what was difficult.
1 MR. KAY: I can help you, "to implement some things" is the full
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'm informed about what was difficult. Thank
4 you for --
5 MR. KAY: I -- that this was because it was difficult to
6 implement some things, I didn't think added anything beyond difficult.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, but --
8 MR. KAY: I'm sorry.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- not knowing what was there --
10 MR. KAY: Yeah.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- I didn't know whether it would add to anything
12 yes or no. Please proceed.
13 MR. KAY: And it's on a different page in my text here.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. KAY: Thank you.
17 Paragraph 18: "I don't recall Mr. Cermak making reference to
18 specific incidents," and he's asked this ten years later, "but there was
19 one specific occasion, when he was returning from Sibenik, when he had
20 seen buildings on fire. He commented that he didn't understand how or
21 why that was happening when the Oluja operation had been over for some
22 time. I know the media had reported that some of the burning was being
23 done by people in military uniform, but it did not mean they were part of
24 the military."
25 And he goes on to explain an example that he came across exactly
1 on that.
2 "I am aware of what Mr. Cermak was doing to relay the complaints
3 about looting and burning to the ranks of the military. He would pass
4 them all to the military police and it is possible that he sent some
5 written reports to other military structures."
6 He recounts, in paragraph 22, on page 8, the kind of story that
7 goes exactly to the heart of this case, and sometimes by judging what
8 people do, you see a -- you see their clear intentions.
9 In paragraph 2, he refers to -- 22, he refers to an incident of
10 going to a village and a Serb was carrying water in buckets and men had
11 slaughtered the sheep at his house. Mr. Dondo went to the house. He
12 found four people dressed in Croatian military uniforms without insignia.
13 Their hands were covered in the blood of lambs they had just slaughtered.
14 They were shocked at being seen. Mr. Dondo took responsibility and
15 talked to them. They refused to give him any information, and they said
16 they were familiar with the area from before and knew the man. He said
17 he was there with representatives of the UN and he noted the yard looked
18 as though it has been put ready in preparation for being looted, and
19 Mr. Dondo told them to stop, and he bluffed and said he knew who they
20 were, and they then washed themselves and left.
21 When he returned to Knin, he reported that to the civilian
22 police, and he, despite reporting it, mentioned it to General Cermak, to
23 see if he could do anything to help. Mr. Cermak arranged for the old man
24 to be transferred by ambulance to the geriatric ward of the Knin hospital
25 a day or two later.
1 Well, in complete contradiction to the allegations in this case,
2 and the Court will hear in some detail from Mr. Dondo, in relation to the
3 operation required to get that man down from the mountain where he was
4 staying and then taken to Knin hospital for treatment. Well, we say a
5 highly significant witness who throws a complexion on the issues in this
6 case that are direct, that are relevant, and are at the heart of it, and
7 go to the innocence of Mr. Cermak.
8 The third of these witnesses we'll look at in some detail will be
9 Mr. Lukovic, interviewed by the Prosecution in 2004. He was the chief of
10 the liaison officers, superior to Mr. Dondo, and he refers to the first
11 meeting, as did Mr. Dondo, and he went to introduce himself to
12 Mr. Cermak.
13 Paragraph 34: "General Cermak told me that he had arrived Knin
14 to help with the normalization of the town. I knew him from before but
15 not that well. General Cermak said that he expected good cooperation
16 from me and for me to help him with the coordination and to fully cover
17 the liaison role. General Cermak did not explain to me his role in Knin
18 at that meeting. It was later that I found out he was the garrison
19 commander of Knin."
20 But, again we get this mantra, which was our case throughout the
21 Prosecution's phase of the trial, repeated by many witnesses about this
22 role of normalization, a non-operational role and a role of a distinct
23 nature that does not ascribe to it authority over units, civilian police,
24 and military police.
25 Let's go to page 10 and paragraph 57:
1 "Both General Cermak and myself were very much involved in
2 facilitating the arrangements to get the displaced persons from the
3 UN compound who wanted to leave to be escorted to Serbia. General Cermak
4 and I met daily with the Serbs in the UN compound. We had at least
5 15 meetings with them. We tried to convince the displaced persons to
6 stay in Croatia, but it became obvious to us that there were some
7 radicals in the compound who were telling the Serbs not to stay but to
8 leave, and so eventually they all left. We were given a list of the
9 displaced persons in the compound and our police did checks to identify
10 suspects of war crimes and a small number were handed over to our
12 Well, there you have it. Dondo described Mr. Cermak as a very
13 senior liaison officer, and not expressing it in exactly those words, but
14 the sense of what Mr. Lukovic told the Prosecution in his statement in
15 2004 is clearly on those lines. And what is important here is the nature
16 of the work that he and Mr. Cermak were doing. Again, in complete
17 contradiction to the alleged joint criminal enterprise, as described by
18 the Prosecution in this case.
19 And important to note with Mr. Lukovic is that he had, throughout
20 the conflict and the war, performed this role of liaison between RSK
21 forces and Croatian forces and involving himself with the United Nations
22 forces, and so he was experienced in trying to broker deals and
23 arrangements to enable the passage of life between civilians caught up in
24 the conflict on either side and to make their lives easier. And as he
25 describes it, he was performing what, in a sense, was more of a civilian
1 role in that task, because he was mainly concerned with civilians, how to
2 get food and produce from the RSK side to Croatia; wine on one occasion,
3 something he brokered through the UN. How he was trying to make
4 arrangements to enable people to visit families and be united. And,
5 quite clearly, as he describes his role, that was something that
6 Mr. Cermak, in a hands-on way took on board and he wasn't just directing
7 or supervising, as Lukovic makes clear, he was going to the camp and
8 expressing this. Well, to have any sense for this JCE he would have been
9 stuck back in his office with his feet on table and just sending
10 Mr. Lukovic down there, if that was his intent; but that's not how it
11 was, and in our submission, goes to the truth of his role.
12 Your Honour, that is an appropriate moment for the short
14 JUDGE ORIE: It is, Mr. Kay.
15 We will have a break, and we will resume at a quarter past 4.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, please proceed.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Last in this passage here but of great relevance, I'll now turn
21 to the statement of Ivica Cetina, taken by the Prosecution in 2001, 2002.
22 And the Court will know him as being the chief of the Zadar-Knin police
23 administration, and he describes fully the high-level police officers
24 that were working in the Knin area and elsewhere in what we will call
25 Sector South. It's quite clear from his statement that the police were
1 controlling their own responsibilities, operating within their own
2 structure, completely independently of the military and completely
3 independently of General Cermak, who was in Knin normalizing life.
4 Exactly the proposition that the Defence have advanced countless times
5 over the last year.
6 The Court will remember that during the Prosecution case the
7 structure and systems were elucidated and put before the Trial Chamber as
8 coherent bodies of evidence by us, showing the operation from the
9 assistant minister of interior, Mr. Moric, down through to Zadar-Knin
10 police administration, Kotar-Knin police administration and Knin police
11 station through many orders, a snapshot as to how the whole thing
12 operated and was structured. That was not evidence coming into this case
13 through any other means other than through the means by which we
14 presented it.
15 He says:
16 "As the Croatian army was liberating areas, members of the police
17 were moving into the area and opening police stations. The ministry also
18 assisted with logistics for newly opened police stations. There were not
19 enough experienced Serb police officers in the Zadar police area."
20 Court has to remember that for the previous four years, this was
21 not an area under Croatian sovereignty, that the Croatian authorities
22 were operating in a narrow strip of land running down the Dalmatian
24 "Therefore, appointments were made from other parts of Croatia
25 I personally knew all the coordinators who were sent to the liberated
2 And he describes fully all those people in the organigrams that
3 we put before the Court, all of whom were down there on a regular basis,
4 supervising the operation of the police.
5 He says: "These coordinators were initially responsible to
6 Franjo Djurica. He was the chief coordinator. After a month, he was
7 replaced, and that coordinator, as Djurica had been, was responsible to
8 the assistant minister for police, Mr. Moric. I was very happy with the
9 coordinators when they were appointed, as the liberated area was huge."
10 And the Court may have a feeling about the size and geography of
11 this area, but the Kotar-Knin police administration area was vast, an
12 area of much wilderness, of natural geography and an area of valleys,
13 rivers, and areas backing up onto the mountains going towards Bosnia
14 As you will hear from Mr. Albiston, who's been down there, our
15 expert police witness, a very difficult area to police. He felt it was a
16 good move to have coordinators appointed and they knew how to deal with
17 delicate situations. If anyone had a problem, the coordinators or
18 commanders would communicate through him or Mr. Kardum, the chief of
19 criminal police, but coordinators had no authority over the criminal
20 police directly.
21 And he says: "I did not have any special contacts with the
22 Croatian army. The only contact I had with the military was
23 General Ivan Cermak. I met him for the first time several days after the
24 start of Operation Storm. To my mind, General Cermak was not a soldier
25 in the usual sense of the word. He was more like an administrator
1 wearing a military uniform. Although I was aware from the media that
2 General Cermak had previously been an assistant minister of -- of
3 economic affairs. It was my impression he was coordinating the work of
4 the town services, ensuring electricity, water, cleaning up the town."
5 And he recounts an occasion, again, a small incident, but
6 capable, as with Dondo and the man in the remote area who'd had his sheep
7 slaughtered and Mr. Cermak had him evacuated to a hospital, he also
8 describes a very personal incident that is one many of the Court will
10 He telephoned. "He told me he was at a village. I'm not sure of
11 the location. He was there on his own initiative, and that, as the
12 village had no power, he organised a generator, and members of
13 international organisations were present in the village when he handed
14 the generator to the villagers. The same evening, he called me again on
15 the telephone and reported an incident to me. He told me that two men in
16 a vehicle had been to the village and stolen sheep and cattle. He told
17 me I had to do something immediately to punish the offenders. I don't
18 remember if the generator was also stolen. I remember the police stopped
19 the vehicle near Sinj, and that the sheep and cattle were returned to the
20 villagers. I immediately alerted the local police commanders, and that
21 was why the criminals were stopped."
22 Well, why was Mr. Cermak notifying Mr. Cetina? That's obvious,
23 because he is outside the police line of authority and control, and, on
24 this occasion, having telephoned about the generator, was able to
25 telephone Mr. Cetina.
1 He said to the Prosecution in 2001: "General Cermak did not have
2 command authority over me because I was not part of the military. My
3 chain of command was towards the MUP central office in Zagreb and that is
4 why I approached them."
5 And he refers to the meetings that General Cermak had in Knin,
6 describing them as "hosted these meetings ... they were not very formal
7 and there was no specific agenda. We were all given the opportunity to
8 outline our problems but no specific discussions were made. Everybody
9 had to solve their own problems and nobody could issue an order to
10 anybody else. These meetings were in fact only an opportunity to
11 communicate with each other."
12 And he goes on to say: "My impression of him was he did not want
13 incidents like murders."
14 Well, there we have it, in a very concise form of the
15 relationship between General Cermak and the MUP. And in setting this
16 before the Court, this witness, one might say, would have his own
17 interests to serve by putting all responsibility for law and order on the
18 military, or for the lack of it, and if General Cermak was responsible
19 for law and order, putting it all his way, every opportunity to be
20 self-serving, and no doubt, that was why he was interviewed. But that's
21 not how it turned out in the interview and not what he said.
22 And it's quite clear, when the Court were able to listen to
23 cross-examination in the Prosecution case, the lines, the systems of the
24 Croatian government and authorities make it quite clear where lines of
25 responsibility are to be found. And it's our submission that, in this
1 case, the Prosecution have failed to understand that proposition and
2 their evidence, as one looked at the nature of the evidence called, did
3 not seek to go down the lines of these particular statements who were all
4 from men there at the time and part of it and gave their account. There
5 can be no reason for not having them called by the Prosecution, having
6 taken their statements.
7 Enough of that. Let's move on, then, further into the Defence
8 case, because Defence witnesses will again be called, dealing with
9 Mr. Cermak's appointment, role and authority. How did he come to be
10 appointed? Was he a close friend of President Tudjman, as stated in the
11 indictment? Was there a valid reason for his role? Was he commanding
12 police, military and running every aspect of civilian life, as asserted
13 in the indictment? Or is that lawyer-speak in an indictment, designed to
14 build a case rather than search for the truth, which should be the object
15 of this trial.
16 Did the Prosecution back up those assertions with evidence? Does
17 the evidence called by the Prosecution so far offer a full and informed
18 analysis of those allegations? Or is the situation going to be that, at
19 this stage in the case, the Court, for the first time, will receive the
20 full picture of Mr. Cermak's role, authority, and responsibility?
21 Let's go to the president's office, then, on the day of
22 Operation Storm, on the 4th of August, 1995.
23 On that day, you would have seen there, in the president's
24 office, at a place called Tuskanac, a secure facility in Zagreb near the
25 presidential palace, but a location which was needed after the launch by
1 Martic earlier in the year of the rockets on Zagreb, and so a facility
2 which the president went to when Operation Storm was launched out of
3 national safety and security. And there in the office, the Court would
4 have seen, if it was there on that day, the man who was chief of the
5 cabinet of the president of the Republic of Croatia
6 Gordan Radin. And he headed the office, the secretaries, typists, the
7 running of the office for the president. He worked under someone called
8 Hrvoje Sarinic, who was the chief of the office of the president. And as
9 he will tell the Court - not interviewed by the Prosecutor to pursue a
10 line of inquiry as to how or why Mr. Cermak was appointed, a very obvious
11 point, we would submit, to have a full picture in this case - and as he
13 "After the meeting in Brioni, President Tudjman returned to
15 experience of Operation Flash. And the president issued an order and we
16 started preparing the reserve location in Tuskanac. A small team was
17 formed, as the president needed his work and office to function
19 And just before the beginning of Operation Storm, on the evening
20 of the 3rd of August, the president and his team moved to Tuskanac.
21 On the 4th of August, the president received operative reports on
22 the progress of Operation Storm from Minister Susak. He often came to
23 Tuskanac, and the president thought of the next steps that had to be
25 "The president asked us to find Mr. Cermak and told us roughly
1 that he wanted Mr. Cermak as the civil commander of the town of Knin
2 asked the president what that meant, and he told me that this was
3 something like a civil commander of the town in that sense, and he wanted
4 Mr. Cermak to come to his office.
5 "We all tried to find Mr. Cermak, but we couldn't find him that
6 day. We told the president that we could not find him. He insisted we
7 find Mr. Cermak. The next day, 5th of August, we found him, and he
8 immediately came to Tuskanac. I knew that there was a big problem to
9 find a formal and legal way of appointing Mr. Cermak to the position of
10 civil commander of the town of Knin
11 government structure. We needed clarification of our task which
12 consisted of preparing the papers. So we asked the president to explain
13 it to us.
14 "As far as I understood the president's explanation, Mr. Cermak
15 was not part of the military structure, regardless of his rank. Back
16 then, we did not have a reserve structure and everybody who was in the
17 civil service had a certain rank. For instance, all members of the
18 government. I, as chief secretary, had the rank of a captain. It was
19 published in the Official Gazette. Our president was a former partisan
20 general, and he always inclined to military ranks, orders, and he paid
21 special attention to that fact that every country should have a certain
22 structure ...
23 "Since we could not find a legal basis for appointing Mr. Cermak
24 as a civil administrator, General Kaspar called the chief of the
25 president's military cabinet and told him to find an adequate position
1 and way to appoint Mr. Cermak to that position as soon as possible, and
2 to send the decision on the appointment to Tuskanac for signature. The
3 cabinet wrote the decision on Cermak's appointment as the Knin garrison
4 commander and sent it to President Tudjman."
5 He goes on to say: "Cermak did not often come to the president's
6 office. Cermak was not a close personal friend. He was not of that
7 circle who frequently visited the president's palace and played cards and
8 tennis with him. Mr. Cermak did not have authority to be in command of
9 the civil police, since he was not appointed by the Ministry of the
11 I referred the Court earlier to the exhibit which outlines
12 appointments within the police by the minister.
13 "The appointment of Cermak was not a kind of appointment that
14 would give him authority to command the civil police. The military
15 appointment of Mr. Cermak was within a regular military establishment but
16 to the duty which enabled Mr. Cermak to take care of the civil part of
18 And he refers to Mr. Cermak's experience previously as a minister
19 of economy, his business experience, and that that was part of the reason
20 why he was sent to Knin. He was a private entrepreneur who had his own
21 business. President Tudjman was a general with a big military experience
22 and he would not send Mr. Cermak, who had no military education, to
23 command military units. The president wanted Mr. Cermak to cooperate
24 with the representatives of the civil authorities, to be a mediator, to
25 connect them and help them with one goal, to accelerate the activities
1 from the beginning of functioning of the government institutions.
2 And he goes on to say: "He was a civilian in uniform."
3 There we have it then, right from the heart of the matter, where
4 this appointment was made and answering a crucial question in this case
5 which, in our submission, comes from a reliable source with no interest
6 to be served, who could have been interviewed in the last ten years to
7 find out this information.
8 In a personal way, there's another witness called
9 Mr. Ciro Blazevic. He was a close friend of the president, and still
10 remaining at Tuskanac on 4th of August, he actually paid a social visit
11 to the president that night. He did play cards and tennis with him and
12 was someone as a friend, the president liked to have around and to talk
13 to. And during conversation that night, he was told by the president
14 that there would be problems in Knin, that someone needed to be
15 appointed, to organise conditions for normal life immediately after the
16 liberation of the town. Such a person, he said to Mr. Blazevic, would
17 need to see problems, find solutions, a man who would enable people to
18 return to their homes and stimulate revival.
19 He didn't say to Mr. Blazevic that he was going to appoint
20 Cermak, but in conversation, he mentioned that Cermak was an agile
21 entrepreneur and had economic abilities and he was thinking of sending
22 him to Knin. And then the next day the media published that fact and he
23 found out through the media and put two and two together that it was
24 Mr. Cermak who had been appointed to the role that the president was
25 thinking about the previous evening.
1 Let's now remain in Tuskanac and turn to the 5th of August, the
2 day that Mr. Cermak was officially appointed and the order signed,
3 because the Court will hear evidence of what happened, and
4 Mr. Borislav Skegro, deputy prime minister at that time for the economy,
5 he controlled the economic sector of the government and was responsible
6 for finance, industry, ship building, energy, agriculture, building, and
8 He had been on holiday when Operation Storm started, but because
9 he was deputy prime minister, he made his way to Zagreb. And on the
10 5th of August, at 10.00 a.m.
11 Prime Minister Valentic, and he had heard that Knin had been liberated.
12 President Tudjman called the prime minister and they congratulated each
13 other over the telephone. And the president invited him to Tuskanac and
14 so the two of them, prime minister, deputy prime minister, left the
15 office and went to the place Tuskanac.
16 At about noon
17 ministers there; Mr. Granic, Susak, Jarnjak, Radic, and others.
18 "About ten of us. We all stood in the hall. We talked and
19 watched the news report that a few hours earlier the Croatian army had
20 entered Knin. It was a big historical event."
21 President Tudjman then said: "We have to find a person we send
22 to Knin, somebody with military experience who will revive the economy,
23 establish communication with the UN and the international community, and
24 who will connect the economy with military experience. Some people have
25 recommended Ivan Cermak to me, he posed. Ivan has got experience with
1 private business and with the army. Ivan's behaviour is not typical for
2 a general and he will establish relations with the UN and the
3 international community."
4 And can you see there how moving from the 4th, when the job was
5 first discussed, and Mr. Radin was told to look for Mr. Cermak, how it
6 had moved on the 5th to including the component of liaising with the
7 international community. As I said, an aspect of the job that was made
8 ancillary to the main appointment of normalizing life.
9 "I agreed that it was a very good choice to appoint Ivan Cermak,"
10 says Mr. Skegro. "President Tudjman sent a man who was a civilian in
11 uniform, a businessman and former minister, and because of the
12 international community. A message was being sent that we wanted the
13 Serbs to remain and we encourage revival."
14 And he goes on to give in economic terms the reason why this
15 region was so important, why they need it, because they had a massive
16 problem with 650.000 refugees put into the strip of coast along the
17 seaside in Croatia
18 territory as an official independent state for the first time.
19 "It was necessary to invest money in order to organise
20 normalization of life."
21 And he refers to the fact that the economic finances were nearly
22 collapsing at that time and he was looking for a credit of
23 $100 million US to prevent the collapse of the domestic currency. They
24 knew it was necessary to urgently activate companies; for example, the
25 Tvik company and others, that previously existed in Knin.
1 And we have heard about this and seen this in relation to many
2 orders and statements about what Cermak was doing. Not only does this
3 witness establish the conversation that day relating to the appointment
4 but provides the background that justifies it.
5 Let us turn now to the 6th of August and move from Tuskanac down
6 to Knin. That was the day the president visited Knin and many
7 politicians at the same time, including Mr. Skegro. But I will take the
8 story up from another witness, a man called Zdenko Rincic. You've heard
9 from me about the statements of Mr. Pasic, Mr. Dondo, and Mr. Lukovic,
10 and what they described. But Mr. Rincic arrived in Knin on the
11 6th of August. He was an assistant minister of economy. But he was
12 mobilised at that time as a logistics officer for the
13 112th Zadar Brigade, for purposes of Operation Storm. He had known
14 Mr. Cermak from the days when Mr. Cermak was the minister of economy in
15 1993. And he was present at lunch in Knin when the president was there,
16 as well as Mr. Cermak and, indeed, other politicians, including
17 Mr. Skegro.
18 Mr. Rincic says this: "Later, during lunch, I managed to talk
19 with Mr. Cermak and then he -- then told me that he was appointed as Knin
20 garrison commander. I knew what the duties of a garrison commander were,
21 because there was the garrison in Zadar. He is not an operative
22 commander. A garrison commander has a duty to take care in a logistics
23 sense of the building and infrastructure, accommodation, food of military
24 persons, funerals of military persons. Mr. Cermak told me he had come to
25 Knin in order to help establish normal life conditions in the
1 infrastructural and economic area so that everyone can start working as
2 soon as possible."
3 He understood Mr. Cermak's job was to be the right-hand man of
4 Mr. Pasic, whom he knew was the government's representative.
5 "Mr. Pasic was constantly coming to Mr. Cermak's office," he
6 said, "asking for help and he relied on Mr. Cermak for solving civil
7 problems. I got the idea," and he means by that, on this day, the 6th,
8 "to stay in Knin and help Mr. Cermak to restore together normal life. I
9 phoned my minister, Mr. Vidosevic, from Zadar, where I slept," because
10 there was no telecommunications in Knin. "I asked Minister Vidosevic
11 permission to open a branch of the ministry of economy in Knin, and I
12 reported the difficult situation the town was in, with no electricity,
13 water, or telephone. Railway traffic was interrupted. And I needed
14 support," and so Minister Vidosevic agreed. He was officially sent down
15 there. He was given two support staff and he opened an office 200 metres
16 away from the Knin garrison.
17 So what happened, then, with Mr. Rincic clearly coming, as he
18 did, from the ministry of economy. Well, of course, he went to the
19 person responsible for normalizing life and who would make sense of his
20 job, and that was Mr. Cermak.
21 "We all referred to Mr. Cermak and asked for help for everything
22 necessary for life and work in Knin."
23 And he describes fully the meetings, who was present at the
24 meetings, what was discussed and their purposes of coordination so that
25 the various parts working in Knin could work in a way for the benefit of
1 the community.
2 Mr. Cermak's authority was clearly understood by him.
3 "He was not superior to civil or military police. I know that
4 the police administration and police station, in whose jurisdiction the
5 work of civil police was, were established on the 6th of August. It was
6 subordinated to the minister of the interior ... I know that the military
7 police in Knin were directly subordinated to Lausic and Minister of
8 Defence Susak. Cermak couldn't command the civil or military police. He
9 didn't have that authority. He could only ask them to do something for
11 And you will see a report, where he listed the factories that
12 needed work and needed to be set up to get going, to benefit the
13 community, which he sent to Mr. Cermak. And he also signed orders on
14 behalf of Mr. Cermak, as if coming from the Zborno Mjesto, from the
15 garrison, on tasks relating to getting the infrastructure working in
17 And he says: "I often went to the UN camp with Mr. Cermak. We
18 were encouraging people who worked in these factories till the liberation
19 of Knin and who were qualified workers to leave the UN camp and return to
20 their old jobs in the factories and remain living in Knin."
21 And the Court will hear a protected witness still living in Knin
22 who was one of those people who left the camp, a Serb, who had a job in a
23 local business, and in the middle of August started working on just such
24 one of these initiatives, inspired by Mr. Rincic, with the assistance of
25 Mr. Cermak. And that is the summary of his evidence.
1 Other people attending the Knin garrison at that time. Another
2 witness, not part of Operation Oluja, who just went to Knin to help
3 because he understood a dangerous situation concerning mines, munitions
4 booby-traps that could have been left by the forces of the RSK, was
5 Mr. Emin Teskeredzic, a bomb disposal expert. You've seen documents
6 relating to him and the munitions depot in Plavno, the repeater station
7 elsewhere in the region. You've seen him in relation to the fish farm.
8 He is a professor of marine biology and it happened that he was down in
9 Knin at that time, and as part of his cooperation with the garrison, in
10 furtherance of normalization of life undertook the cleaning and restoring
11 of the fish farm because they knew it could be a source of food for the
12 population at that time and later in the year, and had been neglected.
13 He describes in fact going around Knin when he was there, because
14 a Swiss lady came to the garrison and kept on saying that Knin was
15 heavily shelled. Because of what she said: "Her behaviour made me check
16 personally how many buildings were damaged by shelling. I established
17 that in the whole Knin area there were only six houses hit by shells."
18 Something he did of his own initiative, and initiative was what
19 was called for down in Knin at this time, and initiative as to be
20 supplied by General Cermak to try and assist the local community.
21 When he arrived at the garrison on the 6th of August, he
22 understood Mr. Cermak's job from what he saw him doing, organising the
23 reconnection of infrastructure, which was not functional, and cooperating
24 with representatives of civil authorities.
25 "I also saw various delegations kept coming into his office
1 constantly, officers of UNPROFOR, and foreign and domestic delegations.
2 "I know that Mr. Cermak had meetings in his office every day. I
3 rarely attended. I remember that at the meetings discussions were held
4 on what was done in respect of issues of importance for the lack of
5 electricity, water, garbage from the city, and other jobs.
6 "I wasn't subordinated to Mr. Cermak but we worked together. I
7 helped anyone who needed help in relation to bomb disposal or checking
8 the security and safety of an area."
9 And he could see from his background in that particular branch of
10 the military, Mr. Cermak did not command the military units in that area
11 because it was not his task. He was not an operational commander, and
12 the military police had their own line of command.
13 Well, a very consistent pattern, we submit, of the nature of
14 Mr. Cermak's role and function, further emphasised through another
15 witness, Goran Dodig, head of the Office for Inter-Ethnic Relations of
16 the Croatian government. He is in one of the videos we have seen,
17 speaking outside the camp in Knin. He went to see Mr. Cermak so that he
18 could liaise with him. Prime Minister Valentic told him to go to Knin
19 and see what was going on there and "whether there was anything I could
20 do in accordance with the scope of my work."
21 "Prime Minister Valentic had told me, Mr. Cermak was in Knin and
22 we should do everything possible. I never met Mr. Cermak before this.
23 Mr. Cermak said he'd come to Knin to help the restoration of civilian
24 authorities in a way that would establish normal life in the town as
25 quickly as possible, including the quality of life. He told me he knew
1 about me and that he knew the way I was thinking and he was pleased I had
2 come because he lacked people."
3 This man, in the previous years of the conflict, had spent his
4 time attempting to negotiate between the Serbs and the Croats through
5 international agencies and others to try and sort out differences. He is
6 a doctor and psychologist.
7 He, because he had met Mr. Cermak, was aware that there were
8 problems in the camp and the conditions of life were not good for the
9 people. So he went down to the camp as Mr. Cermak told him it might be a
10 good idea for him to go. And when he went there, he met some of the
11 people who had formed a council, as a form of representation to the
12 Croatian authorities as to their needs and to create a dialogue. And so
13 he spoke to those people, and they called themselves the Refugee Council,
14 and he tried to organise sanitation and medical materials for them at the
15 camp but he appreciated he had a difficult task.
16 But on the 9th of August, he visited the UN camp with Mr. Cermak
17 and Mr. Pasic, and that's the video that the Court has seen,
18 Exhibit D147, and you will see him talking outside the camp, and in it he
19 explains this was the first time he had seen Mr. Cermak at work, and he
20 was impressed by what he was trying to do for the people in the camp.
21 And part of the idea that they had at the meeting in the camp was that
22 people should have passes. One has to remember that many of all of these
23 people would not have had forms of Croatian state identification and that
24 it was an important requirement, according to the law, and so passes were
25 thought of as a way of giving people temporary identification papers
1 until they obtained official personal identification documents. And that
2 would also have been a means for people to have access to their homes,
3 places of works, and elsewhere, and one of the reasons why those passes
4 were introduced.
5 Mr. Cermak left him with the impression of a man who came to do
6 his work in a way he could and knew. Primarily, he was not a soldier.
7 He was a man who was a good organiser, hard working. He saw problems
8 quickly and brought solutions to try and remove the problems. And,
9 again, this is entirely consistent with the evidence that the Defence
10 have called -- have brought to the Court's attention in cross-examination
11 and will continue to pursue in the Defence case.
12 So those are some of the personnel down there in Knin at this
13 time. We've taken it from the 4th of August, the appointment, the
14 meetings on the 6th of August, and one gets a very clear impression, as
15 the international military and police experts will tell you, that this is
16 not a man working in command of police and in command of military units.
17 It simply doesn't operate as a system like that, if this man is doing
18 these jobs and these tasks. It's not how these structures work.
19 Not only that. You will hear from the Croatian experts from
20 within the system who know the system. General Feldi lectures on the
21 Croatian military. He is responsible for writing the regulations that
22 you have seen this in court. Mr. Kovacevic, responsible for writing the
23 military police regulations. This Court will receive, for the first
24 time, authoritative evidence in our Defence case, which, we submit, was
25 sadly lacking in the previous year of this trial.
1 Let's turn now to those who happened upon Mr. Cermak. As I said,
2 sometimes a good way to judge what someone is thinking or doing is by how
3 they conduct themselves, how they present themselves. Well, it so
4 happens that the current president of Croatia, Mr. Mesic, visited Knin on
5 a private visit, at that time, in opposition to the president,
6 Mr. Tudjman. But he undertook a private visit to Knin to find two Serb
7 friends who he was anxious to see again and had not seen since the split
8 of this area from the Republic of Croatia
9 Well, like everyone else, he treads that well-beaten path to the
10 door of the garrison, and he goes there because everyone knows
11 Mr. Cermak. Some would say that was a good thing; others would say, it
12 has been to Mr. Cermak's misfortune to be so well-known and obliging and
13 helpful. However, President Mesic, as he now is, went to the garrison.
14 And it was soon after Oluja. He happened to know Mr. Cermak through a
15 mutual friend, who will also give evidence, Mr. Mladen Vedris. He was
16 very familiar with Mr. Cermak 's personality, political views, and the
17 kind of person he was, as he spoke to him socially and saw him on
18 ordinary occasions.
19 "I know that Mr. Cermak was never a person with extreme political
20 views. He accepted all people regardless of their nationality or
21 religious beliefs. He seemed like a businessman and a person who was
22 capable of encouraging people within his close environment. As a former
23 ministry of economy and entrepreneur, as well as a person with extensive
24 life experience, Mr. Cermak was capable of organising what was necessary
25 to restore the conditions for normal life in Knin. I could understand
1 the reasons why he was the man who was sent at that time."
2 So when he went to see Mr. Cermak, what was Mr. Cermak concerned
3 with? Was he commanding all those hordes of units in paragraph 7 of the
4 indictment, as this case has been presented? Was he controlling any form
5 of military at all from that garrison? Or was it just as it was on the
6 bottle, so to speak? It was a place where steps were taken to bring a
7 normal life to Knin.
8 Well, let's see what he saw.
9 "While I was in Knin I met Ivan Cermak. He sincerely welcomed me
10 and we had lunch in the office. During lunch we had a discussion about
11 the work he was doing in Knin. He told me about the efforts needed to
12 restore all the public services in the town and what he was doing in
13 order to restore normal life for people in Knin."
14 And he explains the problems about how this area had been cut off
15 from the sovereignty of the state and many institutions were not present.
16 No institutions were present, there was no connectivity of this area
17 within the mainstream of its mother state, and in our submission, that's
18 a picture that is very necessary to emphasise in this case as to what the
19 problem was in the area that had been newly liberated and which the
20 president here puts in a very clear way. "There were no shops, banks
21 post offices."
22 Nothing was connected to the mainstream of life.
23 "I remember our lunch was interrupted at least ten times by
24 people who addressed Mr. Cermak and asked for information about
25 electricity, water, transport of rubbish, the opening of a bakery shop,
1 and other important issues concerning public services. During all that
2 time I spent with Mr. Cermak, he neither talked about military matters
3 nor were such matters mentioned. I was under the impression that his
4 work was entirely civilian in nature."
5 He visited Knin again, next time in September, as part of an
6 official visit with the assistant commissioner of the Croatian government
7 for Knin. Nothing had changed on that second visit as to what Mr. Cermak
8 was doing and what they discussed and the problems that he raised with
9 them, and they raised with him.
10 So there, the small, spontaneous cameo picture that we submit
11 goes right to the heart and gives the answer to this case in a very clear
12 and positive way as to what Mr. Cermak was doing.
13 You've heard so far within this address some of the very positive
14 steps taken to help people who were in trouble and with problems.
15 Further evidence abounds within the Defence relating to that kind of
16 conduct by him which is the drawing together on a personal level of what
17 he did, as well as on a factual and legal level, as to what he was doing.
18 You will hear from a witness called Nadan Vidosevic, who at that
19 time was ministry of economy under Mr. Skegro, deputy prime minister who
20 was at Tuskanac on 5 August when Mr. Cermak was appointed, and this man
21 was the minister who approved that Mr. Rincic, who worked with the
22 garrison and was an assistant minister of economy, went and stayed in
23 Knin and worked with Mr. Cermak. He explains very clearly, as you would
24 expect from his role, the problem that Croatia was facing in economic
25 logistic terms with this particular region. 650.000 refugees were
1 displaced persons, accommodated along the Croatian coast-line. That was
2 15 percent of the Croatian population living outside of their homes.
3 One-third of all refugees were people from Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 Republic of Croatia
6 And he was keen to enable Mr. Rincic to work with Mr. Cermak and
7 knew exactly what they were trying to do down there in this region.
8 So this appointment and job of his is not some fanciful
9 alternative the Defence have produced to try and explain a man's conduct
10 and what he was doing at the time. It's actually based on fact evidence,
11 documents, as well as utterly reliable people of responsibility who are
12 keen to assist this Court get to the truth.
13 You will hear, again, from another witness, Mr. Vedris, a
14 spontaneous source of evidence in the same form as President Mesic. He
15 was a -- the colleague and business partner, whom -- for a period, whom
16 Mr. Cermak and Mr. Mesic knew separately. But they were linked together
17 and developed their contact and friendship of each other.
18 But he had an office in Zagreb
19 Mr. Cermak. And in August 1995, Mr. Cermak, on occasion, had to leave
20 Knin to go and attend to his private and personal affairs.
21 You will hear he just suddenly had to leave his business, which
22 still had to run. It still had to have its decisions taken. There still
23 had to be accounts prepared, and that required him to return to the
25 Again, to assist the Court as to what they talked about and what
1 was on Mr. Cermak's mind as an indicator of what he was doing, this has
2 been included for reasons of how spontaneous it is in the same way as
3 President Mesic.
4 When Mr. Cermak was coming back from Knin, he had these
5 conversations and they were linked to three points. First, it was the
6 communal issue to restore life; secondly, he had contacts with
7 international institutions; and, thirdly, he was trying to get resources
8 of certain ministries going so their sectors could start working in Knin.
9 And he knew, because he had been the mayor of Zagreb, what it took to run
10 a city. He had also been a person within the political world who had
11 been approached to become prime minister on previous occasions. So a man
12 of great experience.
13 And what they were talking about was the civil side of life,
14 because that was Mr. Cermak's job. And he was talking with him, because
15 of his experience as mayor, that it was going to be very difficult, under
16 the conditions, for Mr. Cermak to get the government and institutions
17 involved. Cermak replied he wanted help and was trying to activate the
18 government, and explaining to them what was going on in Knin, and he
19 wanted to raise the level of awareness in Zagreb about what was happening
20 in Knin.
21 "He told me he felt frustrated because of these crimes and
22 because he could not adequately replay to the UN questions about the
24 So there we are. That is part of this section of evidence that
25 we hope will inform the Court.
1 So what went wrong? Why do we have this issue in the case that
2 has not really been examined in any great detail in the course of the
3 Prosecution as to why, on numerous occasions, people have said this was
4 not a planned military series of operations or conduct or a deliberate
5 military policy to drive these people from their homes by committing
6 crimes? Why do we have this issue of the civilians being responsible?
7 Why do we have this issue as to it being a natural and spontaneous
8 revenge by those who had earlier suffered? Because that's what was said
9 on many occasions to those UN interrogators in 1995 and what is the
10 explanation given by many of the parties who were present and involved in
11 those events.
12 Well, why? And we will be providing the Court evidence through
13 the 92 bis evidence system of other trials in this building, relating to
14 crimes committed in the period from 1991 to 1995 by the Serb population
15 in this area against the Croatian population. And the Court will hear,
16 will be able to read, no doubt it will be summarised at some stage, about
17 the destruction, burning, looting, destruction of religious cultural
18 monuments, torture, shelling, and killing of civilians to drive them out
19 of the area. This problem was not, in our submission, looked at or
20 considered in any detail in the Prosecution case.
21 But that picture given by Minister Vidosevic of 650.000 people
22 down on that coast-line, all waiting to get back to their homes, who've
23 heard the stories of what had been happening since 1991, who had
24 experienced themselves what had happened, who had had relatives who
25 experienced what had happened, in our submission, provide the basis for
1 the reasonable inference that the assertions made by Mr. Cermak and
2 others at the time, that civilians bent on revenge were largely
3 responsible is not unreasonable. Virtually every single one of these
4 witnesses will be able to give you their own story of speaking to someone
5 who wanted to take it out on someone else, from senior people to ordinary
7 Mr. Skegro tells quite pointedly the account of speaking to a
8 neighbour on an island who had spent his whole time saying what he was
9 going to do to those who driven from his home and burnt down his family
10 home. And as he said, I couldn't reason with him. We don't know whether
11 he did, but that -- that was the frame of mind, and this aspect of the
12 case, we submit, is essential and needs to be explained and brought to
13 life so that the Court can see that these expressions are not
14 unreasonable views.
15 The UN or internationals may have disagreed, but to disagree
16 doesn't make you responsible in some way, because you don't hold the same
17 point of view. There were clear grounds to justify those statements made
18 by Mr. Cermak and others. Not that they were exclusively blaming
19 civilians. He said some military units may be involved, some police.
20 Others would say the same. It's not an attempt to provide a whole
21 blanket of explanation and be blind to the truth. But what we say here
22 is that the grounds for what happened have not been properly looked at
23 and will certainly be, as all three Defence cases emerge in this trial in
24 the remaining time, an explanation of what happened.
25 And in the last part of my presentation to the Court, there will
1 be a section of witnesses for whom protective measures are to be sought,
2 so I will not refer to them by name. They're from Knin, and they give
3 their account as to how they came to the camp when Operation Oluja
4 started, and people took shelter.
5 None of them state that -- that Knin was devastated or bombed out
6 of recognition. They all say that there was slight bombing and slight
7 damage near military or government installations. The most that they saw
8 amongst them were two or three places that were damaged. Teskeredzic, as
9 I told you, counted six when he went around the town. And all of them
10 will tell you how they came to get to the UN camp, and that was at a time
11 when they were taking shelter with others in basements, and the talk
12 amongst everybody was about going to Serbia, the planned evacuation.
13 That was -- that was on the mind of everybody, that there was to be a
14 planned evacuation. And, in fact, as one witness will tell you, the RSK
15 forces were telling people when to leave their shelter, and they decided
16 to remain and not leave. In fact, one of those witnesses was in the same
17 shelter as Martic.
18 Interestingly enough, the planned exodus of people to Serbia
19 when they knew that the days of the RSK were up, happened. These people
20 stayed behind. They got to the camp when they emerged on the 5th from
21 their various and distinct basements and they came across Croatian
22 forces. They all gathered, on the 5th, at various points and they were
23 told that it would be better off for their safety if they went to the
24 UN camp. And so transport was arranged. So no issue of being removed
25 from the area, taken out, but for reasons of personal safety, quite
1 understandable, the Court may think, in the circumstances of where there
2 has been a conflict and a war, that that is a reasonable place for people
3 to take shelter.
4 What are the risks if the army had left them to remain at large?
5 Well, they could get damaged in any activity if any RSK forces remained
6 there and were fighting with the Croatian forces. There was no certainty
7 of outcome, and all military operations have to be carefully planned and
8 to take into account contingencies. So all these witnesses went to that
9 camp for their safety and they did not think that that was unreasonable.
10 And when they went to the camp, they were aware of a distinct
11 contingent of people, advising others to go to Serbia, because they knew
12 the option was remaining either in Croatia or going to Serbia
13 people took the Serbian option. These decided to stay. They got their
14 passes. They went out of the camp to their homes, and they went and
15 started working, and -- in their various places, which I will not
16 describe because of the request for protective measures.
17 And, again, there you have it. This is the end product of that
18 line of normalization of life where people are being looked at to open
19 factories, get back to their warehouses, get to their hospital and start
20 treating people. This was the end product of why General Cermak had been
21 sent down to Knin and why he was coordinating and liaising with those
22 people out of the garrison.
23 We submit that this is very important evidence. Again, it -- it
24 contradicts the concept of the joint criminal enterprise, and, again, I'm
25 going to refer to one more witness who has a cameo story which
1 contradicts the JCE.
2 He has made three statements to the OTP, the Prosecution, in
3 which he described how people in his area where he lived in Plavno were
4 killed by some Croatian forces. So three statements on that matter. And
5 that witness, then, one could take it, as a Serb giving those statements,
6 would be no lover of anyone in Croatian authority.
7 But he tells, again, another of those accounts which go to show
8 what General Cermak was doing. In mid-August, Croatian police came to
9 his door and asked whether he and his wife had registered and whether
10 they had identification passes. They hadn't, so they went to Knin. And
11 they went to the garrison. And there, they introduced themselves and
12 spoke to soldiers. They were told, General Cermak's been looking for
13 you. And so this elderly gentleman, now in his 80s, went to see
14 General Cermak. That time in his late 70s. And the first thing that
15 General Cermak said, How are you, young man? Sit down. I'm looking for
16 you because I have been contacted by your family and they're anxious that
17 you and your wife -- to find out if they are well. And that was it. So
18 for an hour he spoke with General Cermak, told him about his
19 circumstances. This man had his arm broken by the RSK forces just before
20 the 4th of August, when they were getting people to leave the area, and
21 so he had to go to hospital.
22 So what did General Cermak do with this gentleman? He arranged
23 that food was delivered every week from Knin to this remote area of
24 Plavno so that he and his neighbours were provided with food and the
25 necessities of life.
1 A touching story. He will tell you as well that when he heard
2 General Cermak was being taken to The Hague, he went to the newspapers to
3 complain and said, I will go to The Hague to speak on his behalf. And,
4 fortunately he was traced and if he is well enough and fit enough, we
5 should be able to get him here. Otherwise, we invite the Court to listen
6 to him by videolink.
7 A very touching story. And as we say, undercuts entirely the
8 substance and intentions behind this Prosecution because that is the
9 truth of the matter, that's what General Cermak was doing on a daily
10 basis, not this joint criminal enterprise, as described by the
12 Thank you, Your Honours. That is the finish of my opening
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
15 I'm looking at the clock and I'm wondering, Mr. Mikulicic,
16 whether you would prefer to start today. We'll hear no witnesses
17 tomorrow. So whether you would like to -- because you had asked for the
18 number of hours we could not complete today.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm afraid not, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not -- we have the time. So I leave it your
21 hands whether you'd like to do it in one --
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I would be preferring the position
23 of my opening statement to be not restricted by time today so that I can
24 going up from tomorrow morning in a contents, I mean, not it disrupt the
1 I would prefer that situation but, of course --
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, no --
3 MR. MIKULICIC: -- it is up to Your Honour to decide.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We will not lose anything if we would allow you to
5 give your whole opening statement tomorrow.
6 I will just confer with my colleagues.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, the total of time you would need
9 was ...
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Was one session.
11 JUDGE ORIE: One session.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: That means an hour and a half.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Hour and a half. Yes. Then of course you could not
14 start, if we could continue today, any earlier than ten minutes past 6.00
15 which would leave you 50 minutes. Then it would -- I do agree with that
16 you it's more -- it's better for you and better for the Court to hear it
17 not interrupted by 12 hours. If you would need, you said one session.
18 If you would not be able to finish it in one session, at least we would
19 have only a break of --
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- 25 minutes rather than having to catch up
22 tomorrow morning on what you started today.
23 Therefore, we will allow to you start tomorrow morning.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm grateful, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: One little question, Mr. Kay, for my part.
1 I know most of the words that are spoken in this courtroom but
2 the word "cameo" is not -- I'm not entirely familiar with, and under
3 those circumstances, I tried to use some resources but to say that that
4 helps me very much, no.
5 Could you explain to us what you meant by a "cameo story," for
6 example. I think you used the word twice.
7 MR. KAY: Yes, and it was for a particular reason. Cameo role
8 you hear of as a little picture, and so in a drama or a play someone has
9 a cameo role --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. KAY: -- like the grave diggers in Hamlet.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, now I understood how you use this word. I'D
13 rather ask what I do not know, Mr. Kay.
14 One other thing came to my mind when listening to you, and I'm
15 actually also looking in the direction of the Prosecution. You spoke
16 about a lot of things where we'll hear evidence on and what your concerns
17 are in the 98 bis decision. There is, however, one area where I wondered
18 to what extent there is big dispute about, and that's what happened
19 between 1991 and 1995, where you said, The events may explain what has
21 Now, I do understand that the parties will not easily agree on
22 whether this explains what happened. But what happened from 1991 to
23 1995, of course, you could argue about whether there were 625 refugees or
24 whether there were 585.000 -- 625.000 or 585.000 refugees, and whether it
25 was a small area at the Dalmatian coast or whether it was a bit wider.
1 But I wondered to what extent the parties could agree or compromise on, I
2 would say, the main body. Not to say that not -- no evidence should be
3 presented, but for the way of presenting the evidence it might well be
4 that further discussions between the parties would make it possible to,
5 at least from a factual point of view, to know about the events which you
6 say may explain what happened. And even if the Prosecution would not
7 agree with that, whether that explains what happened, whether it caused
8 civilians to do all kind of things.
9 You could perhaps agree on what had happened during those years.
10 Or, if not in full, to find out where there is some common ground and
11 that additional details, where you disagree, that then, of course, the
12 Cermak Defence would present its evidence.
13 That is a thought that came into my mind, and I would invite,
14 Mr. Waespi, the Prosecution, to seriously think about it, and if it gives
15 any opening to explore possibilities, because, as always, matters that
16 are not really in dispute should be mentioned, should be presented, but
17 can sometimes be presented in such a way that it takes less time in court
18 without affecting in any way the information the Chamber receives.
19 We will adjourn for the day. We will resume tomorrow, the
20 29th of May, 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom I.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.55 p.m.
22 to be reconvened on Friday, the 29th day of May,
23 2009, at 9.00 a.m.