1 Wednesday, 24 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Before we will continue with the examination of the present
12 witness, the Chamber received an application for a subpoena and is a bit
13 concerned about whether this would work at all for the 30th of June or
14 the 1st of July.
15 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, basically the situation is as far as I
16 understand it is the witness initially indicated that you he would not
17 require a subpoena to appear and, I believe, on Monday, while I was in
18 court, the witness was contacted again about making arrangements and then
19 indicated that he would not appear voluntarily.
20 So as a result, we filed the application for a subpoena
21 yesterday. In terms of the logistics involved, I am reasonably -- first
22 of all, no visa is required because the person is a citizen of Croatia
23 Secondly, that I believe a passport can be issued rather quickly, so I'm
24 not sure -- I think the matter is -- depends upon how fast the Registry
25 can issue the subpoena upon the Croatian authorities.
1 So that I think is the crucial factor involved once the subpoena
2 is served on the Croatian authority, I believe probably about three days
3 to serve the witness and make appropriate arrangements.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The minimum is ten days. Usually it is
5 impossible to do any quicker.
6 Now, I do notice here that apparently there's no travel documents
7 yet. Of course, you can apply for it, but, of course, you could have
8 applied for it ten days or a month ago as well, at least the time you
9 asked the witness to appear.
10 So, therefore, whether it's realistic because I do understand
11 that there were some health problems as well, which usually takes up more
12 time. And is it true, but I just went through it very quickly, do we
13 have date of birth, address? Do we have all the personnel data?
14 MR. MISETIC: I'd have to check Mr. President. I don't have it
15 in front of me right now.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, for us to issue a subpoena we would need
17 such data.
18 MR. MISETIC: That is not going to be a problem. If it is not in
19 the subpoena you will have it by the first break, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And have you considered alternatives? 92 bis,
21 92 ter -- no, of course, 92 doesn't work, videolink.
22 MR. MISETIC: We would be willing to do a videolink as with the
23 witness. However, that's something, as I indicated to you a moment ago,
24 this is all arisen rather quickly, so I will consult with the Prosecution
25 and see first if they have any objection to a videolink and then if not,
1 it is certainly something that we would consider in an effort to make
2 sure that things proceed as scheduled.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Mr. Russo, if we are supposed to issue a subpoena very quickly,
5 then, of course, we would need to know from the Prosecution very quickly
6 whether there's any objection.
7 MR. RUSSO: Objection regarding videolink, Mr. President or
8 objection to the subpoena in general.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Since we're dealing with all of it, of course, the
10 application at this moment is for a subpoena.
11 MR. RUSSO: There's no objection to the subpoena motion,
12 Mr. President. However, for the videolink, if I could have a few moments
13 this morning to consult.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Misetic can do everything after the first
15 break, so I take it that Prosecution would not -- in a competitive mood.
16 I want to be serious. I mean, what the Chamber is trying to do at this
17 moment is to see whether no time will be lost and whether we can resolve
18 practical problems, and this is, of course, not to say that the
19 Prosecution has one hour to respond to motions. Mr. Russo, at the same
20 time, I do understand from your answer that you are responding in a
21 similar mood; that is, to see whether we can resolve matters.
22 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, one of the other options would be to
24 take a bit more time in scheduling for this witness and see whether you
25 can replace this witness but a less problematic witness at least as far
1 as coming to The Hague
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Because this is a risk that if we proceed we might
4 be able to do it if everything goes right. If, however, we would not
5 have the witness here on the 30th of June or the 1st of July and if we
6 would lose another day, that is not something --
7 MR. MISETIC: We will do -- certainly that is also an option we
8 will consider, if there is a problem either with the videolink
9 potentially, or the subpoena. What I can tell the Chamber is there is a
10 specifically order we wish to call these witnesses, following this series
11 of witnesses, the Chamber will hear from the prosecuting authority in
12 these cases, and we believe that it has more value to the Chamber to be
13 able to first hear the underlying crime base and then to be able to hear
14 the testimony of the authorities that were involved in prosecuting the
15 case and for that reason I think we would prefer not to go out of
16 sequence [Overlapping speakers] ...
17 JUDGE ORIE: If that would result in losing court days, then the
18 Chamber might order you to give priority to not losing time.
19 MR. MISETIC: Yes, understood.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We'll consider that also during the first break.
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then, you're ready to continue the examination of
23 Mr. Milas.
24 Could Mr. Milas be escorted into the courtroom.
25 Meanwhile I express the appreciation of the Chamber for the
1 parties having been able to resolve the matter which still kept them
2 apart yesterday. That's appreciated.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Milas.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: We had a late start; we had to deal with a
7 procedural matter first. Our apologies for that.
8 Mr. Milas, I would like to remind you that you are still bound by
9 the solemn declaration that you have given at the beginning of your
10 testimony yesterday, and Mr. Misetic will now continue his examination.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 WITNESS: BORIS MILAS [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
16 Q. Mr. Milas, good morning.
17 A. Good morning, Mr. Misetic.
18 Q. First, picking where we left off yesterday regarding the meeting
19 on the 3rd of August, where Mr. Juric and Mr. Glavan were present. Can
20 you tell the Chamber what your understanding was of what your chain of
21 command above you would be --
22 A. I'm not receiving any interpretation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you still do not receive interpretation?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I am.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. We were speaking yesterday of the meeting on 3rd of August where
4 Mr. Juric and Mr. Glavan were present. My question is: If could you
5 tell the Chamber what your understanding was after that meeting of what
6 your chain of command was, starting with you and going above you. Who
7 was in your chain of command?
8 A. In a way, as far as the professional aspect of the crime police,
9 military police is concerned, the chief, Ante Glavan, as an employee and
10 member of the military police administration was in a certain sense my
11 superior. He coordinated the work with the police administration in
12 Zadar and Sibenik, but most of this, it must be said, was within the
13 context of the civilian crime police and the work in reception centres.
14 The next in the chain of command, the superior to Glavan, was, as far as
15 I understood it, Major Ivan Juric who also received -- who received his
16 orders from General Lausic. As of the 2nd of August, he was also the
17 superior to the commander of the 72nd abdomen 73rd Battalions but only in
18 that respect when -- only where members of the 72nd Battalion
19 participated in the work of the 73rd so not of the entire 73rd.
20 After the meeting, once Mr. Juric presented the order that he had
21 received from General Lausic, and Ante Glavan also talked about what the
22 work of the members of the crime police would be, in keeping -- pursuant
23 to the order of General Lausic, with respect to the work that had to do
24 done in the reception centre and also in the -- and also in the ambit of
25 work of members of the crime police and their police officers.
1 Q. Okay. Would that ambit of work include crimes committed by HV
3 A. Yes, it did include that aspect of work, because, for instance,
4 already on the 5th of August, in the morning, Major Juric held a meeting
5 and he called Senior Lieutenant Glavan, Mr. Cicvaric, and me to these
6 meetings, and he instructed us to visit the companies in Zadar and
7 Sibenik and inspect the crime aspect of their work.
8 Q. First of all, could you tell us how often -- first of all, could
9 you tell us who you would sent your reports to during and after
10 Operation Storm. First, let's focus on during Operation Storm. Who did
11 you send written reports to?
12 A. Primarily sometimes it would be in oral form and sometimes the
13 reports would be written, and they would be daily reports, which would be
14 sent to the operative duty service of the 72nd Battalion and the regular
15 daily reports, if there were any activities, would be forward to the
16 chief of the department of the crime -- military police crime
17 investigation department within the military police administration.
18 The other channel of information would be if there was any crime
19 investigation conducted, and if that crime investigation resulted in a
20 criminal report, the work done by the KVP would also be within the
21 authority of the competent military court.
22 If the military court issued an order to the crime -- to the
23 military police crime CIB
24 military court, so this would be -- these would be the lines of
25 communication and lines of reporting on the work of the military police
1 crime investigation department. And at times, if the crime involved was
2 a major violation of discipline or if they were crimes concerned, then
3 General Lausic might request to receive direct information on how the
4 investigation into those incidents was proceeding. Those cases were not
5 very common, but they did happen.
6 Q. You mentioned regular reports in your answer. Where would
7 extraordinary reports be sent?
8 A. They were sent the same way. The chief of the department of the
9 military police crime investigation department at the request of
10 General Lausic, the chief of the administration would send to him, but a
11 criminal report would not be submitted every time. Rather, there would
12 be interim reports on incidents that involved crimes, violent crimes, or
13 major violations of discipline, military discipline, and if there was
14 suspicion that a crime had been committed, they would also ask us to
15 perform additional investigations but reports on that we would send
16 exclusively to the chief of the department of the military police crime
17 investigation department within the military police administration and
18 if, so required, also to the chief of the military police administration.
19 Q. I think we're missing something in your answer on the transcript.
20 So let me ask you a broader question and hopefully you will restate it,
21 what you said.
22 Can you tell us what the role of the military prosecutor was that
23 you were discussing in your prior answer?
24 A. The role of the military prosecutor in Split, who also had his
25 deputies in Zadar, Sibenik, and Dubrovnik
1 undertake proceedings for all those offences that, based on the laws in
2 effect, he was authorised to investigate. In other words, once the
3 military police crime investigation department submitted a criminal
4 report, the military prosecutor would then take actions within the --
5 that are within the ambit of his responsibilities. The military
6 prosecutor would sometimes receive criminal reports either from a
7 military or a civilian person in which case he would ask the military
8 police crime investigation department to take additional steps and
9 conduct additional investigative procedures, which was called a request
10 to collect additional information, where he would set out what those
11 actions and steps in investigation were to be taken.
12 Q. Let me ask you, did you send reports to the command of the Split
13 Military District?
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. Your report, did you send your reports to the command of the
16 Split Military District.
17 A. No. These reports, reports of this type that I have just
18 mentioned in answering your question, were not sent to the command of the
19 Military District, nor to the commander of the Military District, nor to
20 the brigade commanders within the Military District.
21 Q. Okay. From the beginning of Operation Storm, who were you
22 receiving your orders from, or instructions?
23 A. I was receiving them exclusively along my professional chain of
24 command, which means from the chief of the department of the military
25 police crime investigation department within the military police
1 administration, and these were not orders, because they were actually
2 issued along a professional chain of command, so they were more
3 instructions to conduct certain actions. Or, it -- there would be
4 requests to report on certain aspects of the work of the military police
5 crime investigation department.
6 Q. Okay. Mr. Milas, one of the issues in this case concerns the
7 burning of property, and in your supplemental statement, at
8 paragraph 4 --
9 MR. MISETIC: And this is Exhibit D1533. I'm sorry, paragraph 3
10 and paragraph 4.
11 Q. You discuss the issue of burning. Can you tell us, first of all,
12 as a general matter by about the 16th of August, what was your impression
13 about the scope of the problem of burning of property? What is -- for
14 example in paragraph 3 of your statement you say:
15 "The total number of burnt homes does not lead me to the
16 conclusion that this represented a widespread occurrence."
17 What was your basis to state that you did not conclude that this
18 was a widespread occurrence?
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I object to that question
20 because clearly that statement is given in the context of a document
21 which is shown to the witness in paragraph 3.
22 MR. MISETIC: I would be happy to show him the document.
23 Mr. Registrar, 65 ter 3371, please.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look at it.
25 MR. MISETIC:
1 Q. Now this is a document that you were shown during your witness
2 interview. It's a memorandum from Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan dated 16
3 August 1995.
4 MR. MISETIC: And if we could please --
5 Q. Discussing the events in Croatia as of that date.
6 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please.
7 Q. Now, at paragraph 7 of Mr. Akashi's report, he writes to
8 Mr. Annan that:
9 "The arson campaign conducted by the Croatian, which has been
10 under way in Sector South since 8 August, has accounted for an estimated
11 200 houses. Almost the entire towns of Kistanje, Djevrska and Otric have
12 been torched. Many hectares of farmland have also been burned. UNCRO
13 reported seeing dozens of slaughtered farm animals throughout the
15 Now, as the chief of the crime prevention service, does that
16 number, 200 houses as of 16th of August, correspond with what your
17 knowledge was as of that time-period about the number of houses that had
18 been burned since 8 August?
19 A. The area of Sector South is a very large area. If I'm correct,
20 the Croatian Army, in Operation Storm, if we take into account both
21 Sector North and Sector South, liberated some 10.700 or 11.000 square
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think the question by Mr. Misetic was clear,
24 whether the number of 200 burnt houses corresponds with your personal
1 Could you tell us whether that does or does not correspond?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the areas where I operated, that
3 would be approximately the right number. And in view of how large that
4 area was, I did not find this to be a widespread phenomenon, and, yes, it
5 did happen in Kistanje, Djevrska, and Otric, and some areas. Well, as
6 far as I could see and those are areas where I did travel and based on
7 what I could observe.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now this report goes until 16th of August because
9 that's the date. Did you see any houses being burned after that date?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After 16 August, I did not travel
11 so much in the newly liberated territories. I sent sometime also in
13 well, and not just Knin.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did that change considerably on 16th of August?
15 When did you start focussing your work to be performed in, as you said,
17 I mean, you said after the 16th, is it a coincidence that you
18 apparently changed your touring habits on that same day, or did you
19 already start on the 12th or the 13th, or the 10th to ...
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went to other areas, toured other
21 areas earlier as well, before 16th and after 16th. But I think already
22 in early September I spent a greater portion of my time in the area of
23 responsibility of the 72nd Battalion in Split and Dubrovnik
24 were sometimes when I would tour, Split
25 because that was the only way one could work in those days.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And now during all your touring, and I'm asking you
2 about Sector South, 200 houses was the estimate of what you saw of houses
3 being burned during this whole period, including, early September?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is more or less how I wanted
5 to put it as well. I went through Kistanje on the 10th and 12th of
6 August, with Mr. Glavan, Cicvaric, and Maduna. We were in the centre of
7 town, and my impression was not that there were so many houses that were
8 torched; some were, but not to a great extent. You could see some combat
9 damage on the houses; hence, that was the impression I gained in the area
10 that I moved around.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us an impression as to how many you
12 would say, not that many, but that's an assessment which -- how many
13 houses in Kistanje you saw which had clear signs of burning or being
14 torched recently? Five, 10, 20, 50?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the centre of town where I was,
16 there must have been four, five, or six houses for which it was clear to
17 me what happened.
18 There's a statue in that area, and they were all around that part
19 of town. It was clear that that was not combat damage, and I believed
20 them to have been torched. I also knew that due to shelling, houses can
21 catch fire, but it didn't seem to me to be the case. In that part of
22 the -- of Kistanje, there were five or six houses. That's what I could
24 JUDGE ORIE: And other parts of Kistanje?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was there, we went the other
1 way. We didn't take the central road. And in that area, I didn't see
2 anything in particular, perhaps one or two torched houses. That's what I
3 can recall, given the time that has elapsed.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So 10th to 12th of August, altogether from what you
5 observed, well, let's say five to six in the centre, one or two outside,
6 which makes a total under 10. Is that what you observed as far as
7 Kistanje is concerned?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would be it. In terms of what
9 I saw. Perhaps two or three days later I was in Otric, and there I saw
10 two or three houses that were torched. Then in the area of Drnis, and
11 this is all tied to the exact periods when I travelled through those
12 areas and the extent of what I could see, of course. The previous
13 portion of my testimony had to do with Kistanje itself between the 10th
14 and the 12th only.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Misetic, sorry, I'm trying to find the
16 factual basis for observations because paragraph 3, of course, is
17 commenting on a report and --
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I am done with this exhibit so I
20 would ask that it be marked, and I tender it into evidence.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1534.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
25 MR. MISETIC:
1 Q. Paragraph 6 of your supplemental statement, Mr. Milas, talks
2 about -- you were asked why such a small number of criminal charges in
3 general were filed as well as almost no charges for the crime of arson.
4 And part of your answer said that one of the main tasks of the crime
5 investigation military police, during and immediately after
6 Operation Storm, was the crime processing of the enemy prisoners of war,
7 and then you give some statistics.
8 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit 65 ter
9 625 on the screen, pleases.
10 Q. Now, first, while that is being pulled up, Mr. Milas, can you
11 explain why it is that your work in August and - sorry - during and
12 immediately after Operation Storm was focussed on the processing of enemy
14 A. General Lausic's order, I can't recall the date now, although I
15 believe it to be the 3rd of August, stated that the workers of the crime
16 military police had to take part in scene-of-crime processing and crime
17 processing of the captured members of the Army of Republika Srpska. One
18 of the focal tasks was that one, primarily because in order to screen for
19 those persons for whom there was reasonable doubt of having committed a
20 crime directed against the Republic of Croatia
21 were supposed to be handed over for further processing by the competent
23 After being arrested, their movement was restricted. It was the
24 obligation of the police, under such circumstances, that they should
25 undertake all measures first and foremost to establish whether there are
1 any grounds for reasonable doubt of crimes committed. If there are, that
2 person needs to be handed over to the competent judge with the criminal
3 report. If there are no grounds for that, that person needs to be
4 released immediately.
5 I believe there were a total of 550 members of enemy formations
6 who were interviewed by employees of the military crime police. Out of
7 that number, there were less than 200 or 180 who were handed over to the
8 competent military judge because there were grounds to believe that they
9 had committed a crime against the Republic of Croatia
10 these crimes involved armed rebellion and participating in the activities
11 of the enemy armed forces. That was one of the primary tasks of the
12 crime military police employees. We did this together or in cooperation
13 with workers of the civilian police and the security service. One of the
14 reasons for that was certainly because those captured members of enemy
15 formations could provide information on the remaining and hidden weapons
16 stocks of the Army of Republika Srpska, as well as any possible terrorist
17 groups that might carry out terrorist acts, as well as the knowledge they
18 had about potential minefields in the liberated territories. We know
19 that many Croatian Army members were wounded or killed because of such
21 These would be the basic reasons due to which we were busy with
22 that on a daily basis and to a large extent.
23 Q. If we could turn to page 7 of the English in this document,
24 please. Could you tell us how many of your people, I believe yesterday
25 you testified that you had 45 to 50 people, I think that's in your
1 statement, at your disposal in the 72nd Crime Prevention Service. How
2 many of those people were employed in the processing of enemy POWs?
3 A. If in Knin we had seven employees, out of the seven, four were
4 operative, authorised to conduct interviews. Then, at least two of them
5 would conduct such interviews in the area of Knin. From Split
6 must have been two or three that were sent. From Sibenik, there was
7 Mr. Simic, who I'm quite certain sent one or two employees. The same
8 goes for Zadar.
9 So out of the total number of people, there were at least two
10 employees per area who had to work on that throughout the day in order to
11 gather such information the way I explained. That would be the bear
13 Q. And if you look at the document on your screen, did these
14 interviews take place in these reception centres? For example, the
15 reception centre of Zadar?
16 A. Yes. In Zadar, in Sibenik, As well as in Knin. Because pursuant
17 to the order of the MP administration chief and the agreement reached
18 prior to Operation Storm at the level of the minister of the interior and
19 defence, those tasked with organizing and working in the reception
20 centres for civilians were exclusively civilian policemen.
21 Q. Okay. Now, if you look at the page on the screen at
22 paragraph 5.1, do those statistics -- are they consistent with your
23 recollections as to roughly how many people were processed in the
24 reception centre, Zadar?
25 A. This would be correct. On a daily basis, Major Glavan collected
1 information. As of the 4th of August, and throughout his stay in the
2 area of the 72nd Battalion, he forwarded that information to the chief of
3 the military crime police at the MP administration in Zadar,
4 Captain Eljuga. It was done in a way that Mr. Glavan would gather all
5 information from all establishment units within the area. Therefore,
6 that was certainly the information that was sent on. I apologise. As
7 far as I can see, this is report of the chief of the military crime
8 police at the MP administration. Based on that information he received
9 from the field, he drafted the report.
10 Q. Let me just turn the page, turn one page, please. You mentioned
11 these interviews were taking place at the reception centres at Zadar,
12 Sibenik, and Knin, were they also taking place at the reception centre in
13 Sinj, to your recollection?
14 A. Yes. I failed to mention that. There was a reception centre in
15 Sinj in the IPK facility.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 65 be marked and I
17 tender it into evidence.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As exhibit D1535, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Now, let me show you another document. This is Mr. Lausic's
24 report to Minister Susak dated 3 December 1995. It is 65 ter 1D938.
25 MR. MISETIC: If we could just take a look at the first page,
2 Q. You can see there the date and the fact that this is now sent to
3 the minister of Defence.
4 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn the page in English, please.
5 He's actually reporting on the results of the policing of the
6 liberated areas of the Republic of Croatia
7 And you see that he is talking now here in the middle of the
8 page, the reporting period for him is 1 August until 30 October.
9 MR. MISETIC: Yes, if we could turn the page in the Croatian,
11 Q. The reporting period is 1 August until 30 October and he provides
12 a report of all of the activities in the liberated areas: 1.576
13 paramilitaries were received, criminally processed, and transferred to
14 the holding centres of the RH MUP.
15 In paragraph 3, he reports on repressive measures taken against
16 members of the Croatian Army by the military police.
17 MR. MISETIC: Turn the page, please.
18 Q. He reports on the number of disciplinary measures filed by the
19 military police against HV members, the types of equipment and livestock
20 that was seized. Paragraph 4 is the section on the military crime
21 police. And he reports that the military crime police filed a total of
22 201 criminal reports against 228 perpetrates for 222 crimes. Seventeen
23 of the perpetrators were civilians and the rest were HV members. And
24 then he breaks down the categories of crimes: 103 cases of aggravated
25 theft, 23 cases of theft. The paragraph below is where Mr. Lausic
1 discusses the investigations of burnings. I wanted to draw your
2 attention to this paragraph.
3 Mr. Lausic reports to Minister Susak that:
4 "The investigation is being done in cooperation with the crime
5 police of the RH MUP. We are carrying out criminal processing of 15
6 cases of torched residential buildings and five cases of planting
7 explosives, for which there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the
8 perpetrator was a HV member. The rest of the 1100 reported cases of
9 torching and planting explosives are being processed by the RH MUP, and
10 so far, 1069 reports have been filed for the crime of torching, and 844
11 reports for thefts against civilian perpetrators."
12 Now at that paragraph can you explain to us where the RH MUP
13 would be investigating 1100 reported cases of torching and planting
14 explosives while the crime police of the military police in cooperation
15 with the crime police of the military police, in cooperation with the
16 crime police of the RH MUP is only carrying out criminal processing of 15
17 cases of torching. Why is the MUP carrying out 1100 investigations and
18 you, or I should say, the crime police of the military police only
19 involved in 15 cases?
20 A. Employees of the civilian police, when they intervene and carry
21 out any scene-of-crime investigation or process a crime, they have to
22 receive a report from either a civilian or their police patrols. That
23 report should contain information to the effect that there was suspicion
24 that a civilian committed the crime involved. Once it is reported to the
25 competent police administration or police station, it is acted upon.
1 That is the first initial piece of information required for the civilian
2 police to visit a scene.
3 The operational office of the military police or the military
4 police battalion in that area can intervene upon being informed by either
5 the patrol on duty, or by the civilian police, to the effect that there
6 are reasons to believe that a member of the armed forces carried out an
7 act of torching a residential building or a house. This makes me
8 conclude that it was mostly the civilian police who received reports that
9 the houses and facilities involved were set on fire by people for whom it
10 was not established beyond any doubt that they belonged to the Croatian
12 Q. Well, that's the point I want to discuss with you, Mr. Milas.
13 Why is it important to establish beyond any doubt that a perpetrator -- a
14 suspect belonged to the Croatian Army? Why is that issue important in
15 relationship to who is conducting the investigation of burning?
16 A. It is important for the reasons of competence, material
17 competence of the courts. The military police acts only in cases which
18 fall under the competence of the military courts. If a crime was
19 committed by a member of the HV, the competence of the military court is
20 not in dispute, and, therefore, the military police has to act as well.
21 If that is not established, then the military court is not
22 competent in material or geographical terms to act. This is regulated by
23 the rules of work of the military police - I think Article 54 - where the
24 Crime Prevention Service is referred to.
25 Q. Well --
1 A. Therefore, this depends on the jurisdiction of the courts.
2 Q. If it has not been established beyond any doubt that the suspect
3 belonged to the Croatian Army, who has jurisdiction to conduct the
4 investigation in that situation?
5 A. An investigation in such a situation is carried out by the
6 civilian police. They can ask additional checks to be made by the
7 military police, to truly distinguish whether the suspect is a member of
8 the HV or not. In case that person is not a member of the HV, the
9 members of the police station and their senior instance, police
10 administration that is in charge in terms of territory, do so.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in this document, please.
12 Q. Now, the issue of murders -- I'm sorry. It should be the
13 previous page in the Croatian, I apologise. At the bottom.
14 In the context of murders, General Lausic reports 41 crimes have
15 been registered, 25 of which have been resolved, including multiple
16 murders in Varivode, nine individuals and Gorsic, I believe that should
17 be Gosic, seven individuals, and Zrmanja three individuals. Only two of
18 the discovered perpetrators are members of the Croatian Army.
19 Now as of the 3rd of December, when Mr. Lausic filed this report,
20 did you, as chief of the Crime Prevention Service, have any information
21 that members of the Croatian Army had committed murder in the liberated
22 territory, other than the two referenced by Mr. Lausic in this report?
23 A. I did not have such information. When the operational action
24 Varivode was carried out, there was a certain number of people for whom
25 it was established that they were civilians and linked with certain
1 crimes of murder. I think that these two people mentioned by
2 General Lausic were military personnel who were processed for those
3 crimes, and it was determined that they had committed the murders in the
4 general area of Kistanje or Varivode. Beyond any doubt, this has to do
5 with establishing responsibility for the crimes referred to and that it
6 was found out that they -- the persons involved were civilians, since
7 they were processed by the civilian police.
8 As for the two cases, I think it was the operational action of
9 Varivode that resulted in the information to the effect that they were
10 military personnel. This was done by the military police. Some weapons
11 were seized and sent for ballistic expertise, and it was subsequently
12 determined that one of the weapons was, indeed, used in the crime in
14 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please.
15 Q. General Lausic then gives his conclusion on the work of the
16 military police. And the last portion of the last sentence is:
17 "We have achieved great results considering the objective
19 As of 3rd December 1995, did you have any reason to believe that
20 Mr. Lausic or the military police administration was dissatisfied with
21 your work?
22 A. I did not have that feeling and no one would say so in a briefing
23 or a meeting, irrespective of whether it would be General Lausic who was
24 head of administration or Brigadier Biskic or his deputy, and especially
25 not by the chief of the crime military police within the administration.
1 That would have been mentioned in the reports prior to that in terms of
2 asking for addendums to the reports submitted, if the situation was not
3 as described here.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D938 be marked,
5 and I tender it into evidence.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1536.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
10 MR. MISETIC:
11 Q. Who could issue -- who could promote you, Mr. Milas? Who had the
12 authority to give you a promotion?
13 A. Proposals for awards, for promotions to higher ranks, so we could
14 call all of these as award -- awarding or commending would have to go to
15 the chief of the military -- military police administration.
16 The chief of the military police would send a proposal to the
17 chief --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter kindly requests that the
19 witness repeat his answer slowly.
20 JUDGE ORIE: In more general terms, I would like to invite you to
21 slow down a bit your speed of speech so that the interpreters are able to
22 follow you, Mr. Milas. And could you please repeat the -- your last
23 answer, which was an answer to the question: Who could promote you? And
24 we see on the screen that you started referring to proposals for awards,
25 for promotions to higher ranks, awarding or commending. You said it
1 would have to go up to the chief of the military police administration
2 and he would then send the proposal where?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief would actually seek the
4 opinion of the chief of the military police administration. So, in other
5 words, the chief of the military police administration would seek the
6 opinion of my chief of the crime police section in Zagreb, and once he
7 obtained that opinion and on -- on my work and my actions, he would then
8 take further steps and request, for instance, that I be promoted to a
9 higher rank or to be commended or awarded or to receive a decoration and
10 so on.
11 So it would go to the military police administration.
12 Now why would this have to go from the chief of the department of
13 the military police crime department? Because he was the one who was the
14 superior to all the staff members of the military police crime
15 investigation department within companies and units.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Mr. Milas, I'd like to turn your attention to 65 ter 1D2745.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, this is an excerpt from Mr. Lausic's
19 diary that Mr. Lausic had deleted from his diary, and which we would now
20 like to put to this witness.
21 If we could go to page 2 in the Croatian, please. Okay.
22 Q. Now, the date here is, I believe, the 16th of August, 1995
23 Mr. Lausic has notes which appear to reflect as of the 16th of August,
24 promotions for various members of the military police. And if you look
25 at entry number 7.
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm now noticing that, I think, the
2 translation needs to be updated because it is number 8 in the original
3 notes or -- maybe it is 7. I guess it is 7.
4 Q. Major Budimir -- it says Major Budimir to the rank of colonel.
5 Now, is it -- was it your understanding that, in fact,
6 General Lausic authorised promotions of military police personnel after
7 Operation Storm?
8 A. Well, in any case, he did have the authority, and I can also see
9 under item 7 that he proposed that Major Budimir, or, rather, he
10 requested that Major Budimir be promoted to the rank of colonel because,
11 up until then, he had been a major, and that Major Primorac, who was the
12 deputy to Major Budimir, be proposed for decoration, Nikola Subic Zrinski
13 for that medal.
14 Q. If you look at 11, it's Major Juric to the rank of colonel; and
15 if you look at number 12, department of crime, Captain Eljuga to the rank
16 of major; and Senior-Lieutenant Ante Glavan to the rank of captain.
17 This is the same Mr. Glavan who was working with you during and
18 after Operation Storm that had been sent down to the 72nd military
19 police; is that correct?
20 A. Correct it is the same person.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,
22 and I tender it into evidence and marked.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objections. Just for the record, I wish to
24 mention that Witness Lausic did not delete this page, as such; in fact,
25 he handed over the diary, relinquished it to Court, but it was not
1 provided with the original entries that was provided to the OTP. There
2 was no deletion, as such.
3 MR. MISETIC: Going have to -- I'm not sure what Ms. Mahindaratne
4 is referring to. We never -- it was by order of court that the original
5 was produced, as far as I know.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's what I said, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: It would seem if it was deleted, it not be here.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Exactly, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if something is deleted, it doesn't exist
10 anymore, it still does exist, and that's what you wanted to draw out
11 attention to.
12 MR. MISETIC: Well however we wish to classify it, Mr. President,
13 it was redacted and we intend to address the matter later.
14 JUDGE ORIE: A portion that did not appear --
15 MR. MISETIC: Was redacted.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It was redacted. And that's -- Ms. Mahindaratne
17 that would satisfy?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President. It was not included in
19 the portion that was provided to the OTP.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If there are any further qualifications to be added
21 to that, the parties may make written submissions on how to call this
22 portion which did not appear previously.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. MISETIC: If I could have that admitted into evidence,
25 Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1537.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Now, we've asked who could promote you. If someone was
6 dissatisfied with your work and felt that you or the crime police in the
7 72nd Military Police Battalion needed to be replaced or otherwise
8 changed, who, from your knowledge, had the authority to make the
9 necessary changes?
10 A. Changes of final -- with a final effect could have been done by
11 the chief of the military police. He could propose it to the chief of
12 the military police administration, and the proposal for such a thing
13 could be submitted to the administration also by the commander of the
14 72nd Battalion of the military police directly to the chief of the
15 military police administration.
16 So this would apply to sanctions and punishments for any type of
17 conduct that is not in keeping with the legal norms and the orders issued
18 and which fell within the ambit of the military police.
19 Q. Could General Gotovina have replaced you or otherwise made
20 changes in the Crime Prevention Service of the 72nd Military Police
22 A. General Gotovina, in view of the duties that he performed, could
23 not do that, because these things were actually resolved exclusively
24 along the professional chain of command, the military police chain of
1 Q. Okay. In terms of reviewing your work --
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D1286 on the
3 screen, please.
4 Q. Just look at the cover page. This is the minutes of a meeting in
6 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn the page, please, to note the
7 persons present.
8 Q. As you can see in point one, General Lausic is present; in point
9 2, Brigadier Biskic; number 4, Major Juric; number 5, Mr. Eljuga, acting
10 chief of the criminal military police.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please.
12 Q. At number 15, Colonel Budimir is present.
13 Now, if we could now go to English page 15; Croatian page 11,
14 please. If we could scroll to the very bottom.
15 This is the report of Colonel Budimir. At the bottom he says:
16 "It is being noted that there were instances of setting fires to
17 houses in the area of" --
18 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please.
19 Q. "... responsibility of the 72nd Military Police Battalion.
20 However, after the initial four to five days, all such occurrences were
22 MR. MISETIC: If we scroll down to Major Juric's review of the
23 72nd Military Police Battalion at the bottom. And if we could turn the
24 page in Croatian, please.
25 Q. "There are no objections to the report itself."
1 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page in English, please.
2 Q. Major Juric reviewed the work and said in the second sentence of
3 the second paragraph:
4 "It is his opinion that all services OVP, PVP, and the criminal
5 military police carried out their taskings successfully and very
6 professionally and that all of them deserved to be commended."
7 Then Mr. Eljuga, who would have been the acting chief of the
8 crime police administration in Zagreb
9 the criminal MP and said there are no objections. All tasks were
10 completed on time and with high degree of quality.
11 Now, is that after Operation Storm, other than Mr. Eljuga,
12 Major Juric, Major Budimir, and the chief and deputy chief of the
13 military police administrations, did anybody else have responsibility for
14 reviewing your work?
15 A. No, no one else had the -- even the possibility to assess my
17 Q. Thank you. Briefly, OA Varivode. Could you tell us very briefly
18 what was OA Varivode?
19 A. This is an operative action called Varivode, which, on
20 6 October 1995
21 military police administration, and it was filed together and in
22 cooperation with the staff or police officers of the civilian police.
23 This had to do with the following: A few days earlier, the
24 assistant minister for the interior, responsible for criminal
25 investigations, Mr. Benko, requested, in a phone conversation, that
1 Mr. Lausic provide him information as to why the military police was not
2 participating in investigating the multiple murders in the town called
4 Following this, General Lausic asked the 72nd Battalion to
5 provide a report, on the basis of which it was determined that the
6 72nd Battalion did not have any information as to the commission of these
7 crimes. And following further coordination, he issued the subject matter
8 order on the creation of a team which would conduct an investigation or
9 the operative action Varivode, at the head of which was Colonel Kozic,
10 the then chief of the general crime department of the military police --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The general miliary police, interpreter's
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Juric, the chief of the
14 traffic police; Captain Spomenko Eljuga, the chief of the criminal
15 military police; and I think there was another officer from the military
16 police administration who was involved with the activities of the AT
18 The operative action Varivode, the purpose of this action was to
19 determine, through a joint effort by the civilian police and the military
20 police, and through their joint effort to raise the activity of these two
21 departments of the police to a higher level, in terms of patrols and
22 higher alertness, in order to determine all the circumstances and find
23 out who the possible perpetrators of those crimes in Varivode were; but
24 also to resolve some other crimes, murder, that were committed in this
25 same area.
1 This action, I believe, the order was issued on the 6th, and I'm
2 not sure whether this action lasted four or five days, up until the 10th
3 or 11th. Chief Kozic was duty-bound as the head of the team to report
4 daily reports to the chief of the military police administration, and I
5 think that Spomenko Eljuga was responsible for the criminal aspect and
6 the operational and forensic steps that were taken. He had to contact
7 the chief of the administration.
8 Q. Could -- could General Lausic, if he deemed it necessary, have
9 ordered something like Operative Action Varivode earlier than October?
10 A. In the event that he information of this type available, I
11 believe that he would have done so; or, in other words, he had the powers
12 to do that when the activities of the military police were concerned.
13 In any event, when there was a reason for doing so,
14 General Lausic, as the chief, had the authority to act upon it and
15 certainly, at the level of the Ministry of Defence, he would also inform
16 the minister of defence of the situation and what was going on, and that
17 there was a need to take further measures.
18 Q. Did General Gotovina have the powers to issue something like
19 Operation Action Varivode to the military police or to order something
20 like Operation Action Varivode?
21 A. No. This has to do with the military police and civilian police
22 effort. So this was done exclusively by way of the professional chain of
23 command, because General Lausic could coordinate, with the assistant
24 minister of the interior in Zagreb
25 instance; and I think that this was noted in the preamble of this order,
1 as far as I can recall, when I was informed on this by Captain Eljuga,
2 because I also participated together with him in parts of this activity.
3 Q. Okay. Mr. Milas, I'd like to show you one document, and this is
4 65 ter -- sorry. First let's have P407 on the screen, please.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I intend, simply, to ask the witness
6 some very general questions about the document, but, simply, on the basis
7 of the fact that he is a member of the Croatian armed forces and may
8 provide some context, however minimal to the Chamber; but I do wish to
9 tender a document in response to the Chamber's Rule 98 bis ruling and the
10 citation of P407 by the Chamber.
11 Q. And, Mr. Milas, this is an exhibit, it is letter from
12 General Gotovina to General Cervenko.
13 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn the page, please.
14 Q. Now this is an -- the second-to-last paragraph, General Gotovina
15 writes to General Cervenko:
16 "I do not believe that I have behaved inappropriately for an
17 officer of the Croatian Army and mainly, that my conduct and the conduct
18 of members of the Split Military District do not conflict with the
19 positions of the leadership of the Republic of Croatia
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have 65 ter 1D592,
22 Mr. President, this is the letter of General Cervenko to which
23 General Gotovina was responding.
24 Q. Mr. Milas, I know you have not seen this document before you came
25 to The Hague
1 what was typically prepared in the Split Military District for the
2 Croatian Army from the Main Staff?
3 A. The document that you've shown me before bears all the elements
4 of an official document sent from the Military District of Split. If you
5 look at the upper left-hand corner, you can see which unit, which
6 establishment unit this came from. You see that it was classified, that
7 this was a reference number and date. On the right-hand side, we can
8 also see the indication as to the level of confidentiality. And as far
9 as I could see from the document, I don't have it before me right now but
10 I did a few minutes ago --
11 Q. This document, I'm asking you about this document on the screen.
12 A. This is it an official document from the Main Staff of the
13 Croatian Army, which also bears a number, class, date, level of
14 confidentiality and the addressee.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I would point out, simply, for the
17 record, at paragraph 4, that General Cervenko is complaining in the
18 letter, and the discussion is about treatment of UNCRO personnel at
19 patrol during checks. And then General Cervenko says that:
20 "Such conduct is inappropriate for members of the Croatian Army,
21 especially because they inflict enormous damage on the reputation of the
22 HV as a whole and are in direct opposition to state policy."
23 So, Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit be marked, and I tender
24 it into evidence.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objections.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I have seen several times that a lot of fuss
3 was made about letters being signed or not being signed. This apparently
4 is an unsigned letter.
5 MR. MISETIC: I believe it is because it is sent via Rebus, which
6 is an encrypted message and, therefore, it's not the actual original
7 signed document.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So, therefore, the witness -- the only thing
9 the witness told us about is that this looks like a document which will
10 now fit into the --
11 MR. MISETIC: I was using the OTP's Jan Elleby's approach, which
12 was, It looks like an UNCIVPOL document so it comes in.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just asking myself exactly what we are admitting
14 into evidence and lack of any objection.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, we did not objection simply
16 because this could have been bar tabled, so, as I said this witness was
17 certainly not the conduit to get this document in through --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1538.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have one last set of questions. I
22 can finish, hopefully, in the next three minutes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If you can do so.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes. May we have Exhibit P918 on the screen,
1 Q. Mr. Milas, I need very short answers from you so that we can
2 finish in the next three minutes, please.
3 Now, if you turn the page in the original, please, I know you've
4 seen this document before.
5 MR. MISETIC: Can we turn the page, please. There we go.
6 Q. Now, you know who Mario Tomasovic was during Operation Storm?
7 A. Yes. He was the assistant commander of the Split Military
8 District for PD.
9 Q. Now based on your knowledge of the Croatian military and the
10 functioning of the Military Districts, the assistant commander for
11 political affairs, does he write in his own name or is he writing as part
12 of the command of the Split Military District?
13 A. Exclusively on behalf of the command of the Military District in
14 Split, because, as a member of the Split Military District, he cannot
15 take individual positions. He cannot speak for himself.
16 Q. Is -- based on your knowledge of the Croatian military system, is
17 this warning a warning from the Military District or to the Military
18 District? And I mean the Military District command.
19 A. The subordinates, pursuant to the Law on the Service in the Armed
20 Forces cannot warn their superiors in this manner. This is a warning
21 that is sent to subordinate units, in order to ensure that the political
22 activities are undertaken in the future. So this is not a warning, if
23 that is what you referring to, to the commander of the Military District.
24 It is only -- it only has the heading "warning," in order to show how
25 important the contents of this document is. So this is actually
1 sent from the Military District to the lower level units, because all of
2 these system units have their own political affairs assistants, all the
3 level to the company level.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Milas.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 Perhaps before the break, I would like to seek a few more details
8 in relation to answers you earlier gave to my questions.
9 I asked you whether the number of 200 torched houses, whether
10 that corresponded with your own observations. You said that you did not
11 travel that much after the 16th of August anymore. You told us what you
12 had seen when you went to Kistanje, between the 10th and the 12th of
14 Did you ever go through Kistanje after the 10th or 12th?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did, later on. But the number of
16 200 mentioned is not what was my impression with regard to that area.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me first -- I asked you whether you went back to
18 Kistanje at a later date, and you said, Yes.
19 Was the situation in Kistanje then changed compared to what you
20 had seen on the 10th to the 12th, where you said that, altogether less
21 than ten houses, five, six in the centre; and one or two elsewhere in
22 Kistanje, were burned. Was the situation different when you went back to
23 Kistanje at a later stage?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not in the sense that I could see
25 any greater number of houses involved than I did the last time I was
1 there. I usually went through the central part en route to Sibenik and
2 my impression was not that there were more burned houses in the -- in the
3 subsequent period around the 15th or the 20th. I must say though that I
4 did not go through that area frequently.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No. Now, I interrupted you when you said something
6 about the 200 or the number not being your impression. I interrupted you
8 Could you please tell me what you had on your mind when I
9 interrupted you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say that the document
11 that was shown to me, which spoke of the 200 houses in the area of
12 Sector South, there's something that I wanted to common upon. This was
13 not a clear indication to me that this occurred en masse, given the size
14 of the area. Primarily because of the reasons I just mentioned, the
15 reason being that I would -- I would have otherwise seen a greater number
16 of buildings that were set on fire. That, I believe, is the problem. We
17 have Sector South and the figure of 200 houses.
18 This was a combat area and, to me, this does not give me an
19 impression. Well, I may be wrong, every house is important; but this, to
20 me, did not mean to me that this occurred en masse.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now, there are two different matters. The first is
22 the number and the area. First question was 200 houses reported in this
23 document as having been burned, 16th of August. I think whatever your
24 qualification is, whether that is widespread or not widespread, I think I
25 asked you about whether it did correspond with your own observation. And
1 I think your answer was that it did, or did I misunderstand you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not to such an extent or to such
3 number, in which I would truly be able to observe the 200 burned houses
4 moving through that area. I only wanted to comment on the figure of 200,
5 having seen it in the document. I personally did not notice that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You would say you have not seen 200 houses
7 being burned, even not after the 16th of August you did not observe 200
8 houses, altogether, whole Sector South, with clear signs of recently
9 being torched or burned?
10 If you just tell me what you did observe and what you did not
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I could see, and I must say I
13 did not move through the entire Sector South but rather in limited areas,
14 was that there were a lot less burned houses. The 200 houses mentioned
15 is something that is cited in the document pertaining to the entire
16 sector and, to me, if asked to interpret, I would say that this was not a
17 widespread phenomenon in the area. I did see some houses --
18 JUDGE ORIE: You have said this now five times, so that message
19 was clearly received. I'm talking about facts you observed. Your
20 evidence is that you, yourself, did not observe a number of 200 houses,
21 but you observed less, and apart from that, you commented on the report.
22 One last question: Another report that was shown to you was
23 about approximately a thousand cases of torching that were reported. You
24 remember that the document shown the report, I think it was from
25 December, where an overview is given.
1 This number of approximately a thousand, I think it was 1100 or
2 something like that. Did that surprise you not having seen many burned
3 houses and considering that it was not a widespread occurrence?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The figure is definitely as stated,
5 but this data came from the civilian police which had access to any area
6 or hamlet. They went there if they had any information or reports. The
7 routes I used follow the main routes to Sibenik or via Sinj to Split
8 from Knin by Drnis to Split
9 police administrations of Zadar, Sibenik, and Split in the area. I only
10 used the main roads, but I have no reason to doubt the figure.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If we're talking about a thousand, would you call
12 that widespread for the area?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is a sizeable figure.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's not an answer to my question, however. But I
15 asked you whether you would call that widespread since you -- you're
16 nodding yes from what I understand.
17 We'll have a break. I apologise for having the break so late.
18 We'll resume at a quarter past 11.00.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 10.52 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.28 a.m.
22 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has developed some thoughts on the
23 pending application for a subpoena for Witness AG-015.
24 My first observation would be that the order in which the Defence
25 preferably would present its witnesses should not prevail over any
1 potential loss of time in court. The Chamber is very concerned about
2 what it sees to happen at this moment; that is, to contact the witness 3
3 years ago and then to re-contact him, apparently, on the 18th of
4 June or -- that's what we find in the application. I could have another
5 look at. To my mind, it's the 18th of June as the date for -- I have
6 just let me just refer to ...
7 MR. MISETIC: That's a typo, Mr. President. It should be 11th of
8 June 2009.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, I'd says 2006. So see we carefully read
10 whatever your submissions are. Well, still then it's rather late. If
11 you expect the witness to appear two and a half weeks after that, if you
12 have not taken a statement, then we have health problems, et cetera.
13 That's scheduling at too short notice. The risk of not getting where you
14 want to go is considerable here.
15 So, therefore, the Defence is encouraged to start preparations at
16 an earlier stage and not two and a half weeks before the witness is
17 expected to appear, not knowing whether he has any travel documents, any
18 doctor's visit, any surgeries still to undergo. And, therefore, as I
19 said before, this late start of the preparations also may result in
20 having to give up the order in which the Defence preferably would present
21 the evidence.
22 Second observation, is that the Chamber strongly suggests to the
23 Defence to take more time. The risk of a failure to have the witness
24 appear in court on 30th of June or 1st of July is considerable. Also in
25 view of apparent medical problems, which, as we know, usually need to be
1 verified before the Chamber is willing to order someone to board a plane
2 not knowing what the health problems may be. So, therefore, it is
3 strongly suggested that you take more time, more time which would also
4 allow you to further consider testimony through videolink. I am aware,
5 at least I was informed, that the Prosecution would oppose testimony
6 through videolink. If you take more time, you could perhaps further
7 explore the medical problems, because, Ms. Mahindaratne, we've seen in
8 this letter of the 22nd of June, that there is a claim of health problems
9 which perhaps makes it a bit -- or, Mr. Russo. Which makes it a bit
10 early to say that under all circumstances, that you would oppose a
11 videolink testimony. At the same time, I am aware that no full
12 application has been made in which the inability to travel to The Hague
13 or unwillingness for good reasons has been put forward.
14 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, I just -- perhaps there is a
15 misunderstanding. We were simply objecting at this point that nothing
16 has been provided. If anything is provided with regard to health
17 concerns, we'll certainly revisit the issue.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Mr. Misetic, therefore, if you are considering to present this
20 evidence possibly through videolink then, of course, the next question
21 would be whether that could still be 30th of June/1st of July. We know
22 that at least any travel documents problems or getting the witness before
23 the camera takes less time than to get him in The Hague. At the same
24 time, it needs to be organised to have a videolink, which takes its time
25 as well. So, therefore, if you would still consider a videolink, 30th of
1 June, or 1st of July, then you have to make a full application today with
2 all of the details so that the Prosecution is in a position to respond;
3 but even there, also, you could consider to take more time to say, Let's
4 do the videolink. Let's keep that possibility open, let's further
5 inquire into any of the health problems, and then further discuss with
6 the Prosecution whether we ask for a subpoena, 10th of July, 12th of
7 July or a videolink at that same later date.
8 MR. MISETIC: That's fine, Mr. President. What we will do is see
9 if we can gather more specific information about the health condition
10 today. If this is an legitimate basis, we will apply probably after
11 hours tonight, and courtesy copy everyone on the motion. I don't think
12 it's feasible that we can file something before 4.00 p.m., given that we
13 would have to actually go and visit the witness and obtain whatever
14 documentation he may have.
15 Otherwise, yes, we will endeavour to reschedule him and see if we
16 can locate another witness to fill that time-period.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because, finally, the Chamber understands that
18 to a certain extent that the parties can not avoid that a gap will exist,
19 a gap will be there. Witnesses can fall ill; witnesses can have other
20 problems. There may be other procedural issues. One witness takes a bit
21 more time, which disenables an another witness to appear. That is all
22 understood but up to certain limits. And here seeing that the witness
23 was approached apparently for the first time on 11th of June, we are
24 slowly heading for that limit. Because at a certain moment the Chamber
25 will have to not only consider how much time was used but also how much
1 time was not used. And again we would not easily come to such
2 conclusions but --
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I may, I don't know that this was
4 the time, but I can tell you that it is our intention to finish our case
5 the first or second week of September, one way or the other. So in terms
6 how you're anticipating and scheduling and things of that nature, the
7 only reason at this point that we are going into September is because
8 several of our witnesses are unable to come and testify before the summer
9 recess. But at this point, I can advise the Chamber that regardless of
10 any time gaps that may occur between now and the summer recess, it will
11 remain our intention to rest our case first week of September on the
12 outside, the second week of September, just so that you are aware.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that information, Mr. Misetic.
14 I think we have sufficiently now considered that matter.
15 Mr. Russo.
16 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Mr. President. I just wanted to raise one
17 further issue with respect to the witnesses who will be coming next week.
18 We still haven't been informed as to who will be coming when, the order
19 of the criminals hat not been provided to us. It is necessary for us in
20 order to prepare to determine who is going to handle these --
21 MR. KEHOE: I did, in fact, inform Mr. Hedaraly of the actual
22 witnesses, so that has been given to him.
23 JUDGE ORIE: When was that done?
24 MR. KEHOE: I have to go back and look at my e-mails. I think
25 the earlier part of the week.
1 MR. RUSSO: Not the identification of the witnesses, the order in
2 which they will be called.
3 MR. KEHOE: That was two questions. You said the identification
4 and the order, and I am telling you that I did identify the people who
5 were going to come. I will send that e-mail. I'll go find you what I
6 sent to Mr. Hedaraly, because Mr. Hedaraly had been inquiring about this
7 as well.
8 MR. RUSSO: Again, I'm not saying that the identification wasn't
9 made. We were told --
10 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... let's stop.
11 If Mr. Kehoe reads the transcript, at least there's a small gap
12 in it, but he will be aware that you asked for the order; and, as far as
13 I can see on the transcript, nothing else, and then the answer was with
14 the identification and only upon further request, Mr. Kehoe addressed the
16 May the witness be brought into the courtroom again.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, before that, if could I just
18 take one minute. Less than a minute, Mr. President.
19 During the break I made some inquiries, and it transpires that
20 the OTP has sent a RFA to Croatia
21 correspondence from the HV Main Staff, you know, outward and inward, and
22 so this -- the document D1538 that was tendered by the Defence, the last
23 document, should have been one of the documents which should have been
24 sent to us in response to that RFA. So we would like to inquire from the
25 Defence what the provenance of this document is and when the Defence
1 received it.
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I believe it was attached to another
3 document that I sought, and it would have been received in the ordinary
4 course of obtaining documents from the Croatian archives.
5 So I recall seeing it. It took us a long time to find it because
6 the Chamber referenced the other response letter. We searched for it and
7 it wasn't easy to search for it, and, ultimately, it was part of a
8 12-page document as an attachment.
9 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that you are in a position to further,
10 during next break, to give further details because you're talking about
11 attached to another document. Of course, the Chamber has no idea, I do
12 not know whether Ms. Mahindaratne understands all of it.
13 MR. MISETIC: I can't on the next break. I cannot. I will have
14 to go back to my office, which will have to be after court today and then
15 pull the original document.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But then later today.
17 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne you will get further details soon.
19 I do not know is that one of the requests for assistance which is
20 still pending to some extent under the 54 bis --
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President, it's a different one.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's a different one. Yes, just for us, our
23 information. Then, now, no one will stop me anymore to have the witness
24 reappear in the courtroom.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would like it remind everybody
1 of the need to have a pause between questions and answers, please.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Milas, procedural problems take their time, and
4 I again apologise that you had to wait for such a long time.
5 THE WITNESS: Okay.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But we'll now continue.
7 The situation, as far as the other Defence teams are concerned,
8 still no questions, Mr. Kay; still no questions, Mr. Mikulicic.
9 MR. KAY: No questions, Your Honour.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Which means, Ms. Mahindaratne, that it's your turn
12 now. You will now be cross-examined by Ms. Mahindaratne.
13 Ms. Mahindaratne is counsel for the Prosecution.
14 Please proceed.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Cross-examination by Ms. Mahindaratne:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Milas.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. I note that yesterday when Mr. Misetic asked you what your
20 current occupation is you mentioned that you're a member of the armed
21 forces, which is what you have -- what is noted on the cover page of your
23 Can you be a bit more specific? What is your current designation
24 and what branch of the armed forces are you working for?
25 A. I work for the Croatian navy in Split. Its command is in the
1 Sveti Nikola barracks in Lora, the port. I work in the navy training
2 centre in one of its aspects or departments.
3 Q. And you didn't mention your designation. What exactly is your
4 work designation?
5 A. Per establishment, my post is titled intelligence affairs
7 Q. Mr. Milas, you left the military police in December 1996; isn't
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. And you joined the department of the Ministry of Defence, known
11 as the security and information service, which is better known as SIS;
12 isn't that correct?
13 A. It is. I think that towards the end of November, I received an
14 order deploying me to the post of an employee of the Security and
15 Information Office of the Republic of Croatia
16 to be in Split
17 Q. And within the SIS, you were attached to -- or you worked within
18 a department known as the SIS Split Administration; isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes, the SIS Split Department. It is one of the departments
20 comprising the SIS administration within the Ministry of Interior.
21 Q. And that, too --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction Ministry of Defence.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
24 Q. And that department, too, like your current place of work, is
25 located within the Lora navy base in Split
1 A. When I worked for that department, yes, that is correct.
2 Q. Now, you were within the -- within that -- within the SIS from
3 1996 through -- April 2003; isn't that correct?
4 A. From December 1996 until the 1st of April, 2003. The SIS changed
5 its title as of 2002, I believe, it was no longer the SIS. It was called
6 the Military Security Agency.
7 Q. Now, your position within the SIS was Deputy Chief of the sector
8 for operative analysis; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, within a certain period of time.
10 Q. What was the period?
11 A. As of September 1999 until April 2003.
12 Q. Now, you were at one particular stage within the SIS reporting to
13 Mr. Mario Tomasovic, weren't you?
14 A. Yes. Mr. Tomasovic was the chief of that department for a
15 certain time.
16 Q. And can you tell us what the time-period was when you reported to
17 Mr. Tomasovic?
18 A. I was directly answerable to Mr. Tomasovic between September 1999
19 and late 2000. I stress, directly. Before that, I carried out other
20 tasks, and I had a different superior within the same department. I was
21 not tasked with analysis all that time.
22 Q. Now, during the period 1996 to year 2000 - I'm sorry, 1999 - what
23 branch of the SIS were you working for within the Split -- SIS Split
25 A. The SIS Split Department, among other departments, had
1 operational affairs department. Of when I started working for the SIS in
2 Split, that is to say, as of December 1996 until September 1999, I worked
3 in the operational affairs Department of the SIS Split Department.
4 Q. Now, isn't that correct that that section you worked for during
5 that period carried out counter-intelligence work?
6 A. The SIS works on security and counter-intelligence matters. In
7 terms of security and counter-intelligence, this is the tasks we
8 performed in keeping with the orders of our chain of command and the
9 existing rules.
10 Q. Mr. Milas, you know, in your statement, you provide quite a
11 number of personal details about where you studied, your previous jobs
12 before you joined the military police department, the type of training
13 you received. Was there any particular reason that you omitted the fact
14 that you served in the SIS for a significant part of your career, from
15 your statement, from your testimony? What was the reason for that
17 A. There's no particular reason. I worked for the SIS as of late
18 1996 onwards. I think that the period of interest for this case would be
19 period preceding that, when I worked for the military police. I didn't
20 find it necessary to mention this in particular, and such topics were not
21 raised in the course of the interview.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Milas, isn't that correct that you were, in fact, an
23 operative who participated in the project known as OA Haag; and, in fact,
24 I could tell you the Trial chamber is familiar with that operation?
25 A. I was not an operative working for or as part of the Operative
1 Action Haag or The Hague
2 action. I don't know what its aim was. I don't know who its
3 participants were. I don't know who was supposed to be reported to about
4 that action. I'm specifying all the elements which are a must in
5 documents concerning the filing of an operative action. Once it is
6 initiated in the initial or basic document one has to find all these
8 I was never included in anything called Operative Action Haag in
9 that regard.
10 Q. Were you not involved in concealing documents which were required
11 by the ICTY in relation to the case against General Blaskic?
12 A. I would absolutely take no part in such a thing if I knew that
13 this Tribunal would seek such documents.
14 Q. Isn't that correct, Mr. Milas, that you, in fact, personally
15 participated in receiving documents from the archives in Bosnia, which
16 you were aware of were required by this Tribunal?
17 A. No, that is not correct. I never received a single document for
18 which I knew was a document sought by The Hague Tribunal, not a single
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could all extra microphones
21 be switched off while the witness is answering, thank you, because of the
22 background noise.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
24 Q. Mr. Milas, isn't it correct that not only were you -- I'm putting
25 aside the previus question. Weren't you involved in preparing, securing,
1 interviewing, and preparing witnesses for the Blaskic -- the Defence of
2 Blaskic -- General Blaskic in this Tribunal. The preparations took
3 place, in fact, at your department?
4 A. I never spoke to any of the witnesses who were supposed to be
5 heard by the Tribunal about any details of possible testimony. I did not
6 participate in any way, in anything that would have to do with such
7 witnesses foreseen to testify before this Honourable Court.
8 Q. Are you saying that did you not participant in any way in
9 securing witnesses for the Blaskic Defence. Is that your position?
10 A. No. You asked me whether I participated in the preparations of
11 witnesses, I did not, concerning the case against General Blaskic. This
12 is something completely different.
13 Q. Were you involved in securing witnesses for the Defence of any
14 Croatian indictees in this Tribunal?
15 A. Within a certain period of time, starting with 1997 onwards, we
16 were tasked with providing a room which would be adequately prepared, in
17 which the attorney, Ante Nobilo, with his associates, would proof
18 potential witnesses for the case instituted against General Blaskic in
19 The Hague
20 characteristics of the room, and we were supposed to be at the service of
21 the team of attorneys. We would have to wait for them at the airport,
22 take them to their hotel, and then from the hotel to the facility where
23 proofing was done.
24 As for the witnesses who were being proofed, we had to provide
25 refreshments and food. As for any choice of witness, documentation, or
1 any type of participation in the course of such proofings, that is
2 something that I was not engaged in. This only included providing
3 security -- technical preconditions for the work of attorney Ante Nobilo
4 and his associates, such as Ms. Slakovic and Mr. Naomovski. This was
5 done so that on the premises of the department, they could proof their
6 witnesses according to the pace determined by them. We did not
7 participate directly in the course of the proofing, and we had nothing to
8 do with the choice of witnesses at the level I worked at.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Milas, may I take you back to one of your
10 previous answers.
11 When you were asked about preparing, securing, interviewing, and
12 preparing witnesses for the Blaskic case, you said:
13 "I never spoke to any of the witnesses who were supposed to be
14 heard by the Tribunal about any details of possible testimony."
15 Then you continued your answer by saying:
16 "I did not participate in any way, in anything that would have to
17 do with such witnesses foreseen to testify before this Honourable Court."
18 In your last answer you explained to us that you provided a room
19 in your premises, technical facilities which were used by counsel to
20 proof those witnesses.
21 Would you consider this that would you did not participate in any
22 way, in anything, that would have to do with such witnesses foreseen to
23 testify? I would say, I'm inclined to think, that you did participate in
24 the way you described and that that had to do with Blaskic witnesses.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honours. But not
1 in terms of the subject of their testimony. As I said, I did
2 participant, I was present --
3 JUDGE ORIE: You first denied that. You said you had nothing to
4 do with it. I had nothing to do in any way with -- and now you say --
5 okay. I just want it remind you that if you would have said in your
6 first answer, I had nothing to do with the subject of their testimony but
7 just we facilitated the proofing, then it would be have been easier for
8 all of us, and we could have moved on more quickly.
9 Can I ask you one additional question. You said technical
10 facilities, would that include recording, tape-recording of the proofing
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In one instances, as far as I can
13 recall, the counsel, Ante Nobilo, requested to be provided with equipment
14 so that he could record those proofing sessions. The employee who worked
15 in Split
16 can't recall what it was so that Counsel Nobilo could use it for his
18 Your Honour, when I said did participate, as I said, in this
19 portion, but I understood the question of the Prosecutor to relate to the
20 subject matter of the -- of the witness testimonies and what they would
21 say before The Hague Tribunal. In that sense, did I not. But certainly,
22 when the technical facility -- where the technical facilities are
23 concerned, yes, I did participate in that aspect.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was the -- were there any recording facilities
25 available in that room apart from the ones Mr. Nobilo had asked for?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. As far as I know, no. I don't
2 know anything about that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Have you ever had access to the subject matter which
4 was discussed during the proofing sessions, either since it was reported
5 to you or whether -- or by having access to any recording of such
6 proofing sessions?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The topic of discussion of the
8 counsel with the Defence in that room was something that I never knew
9 anything about, nor did I ever discuss this with the witnesses; if I were
10 to meet them, maybe and have a cup of coffee in one of the cafeterias
11 that we had on the premises there. Simply put, I did not know what it
12 was that they discussed because there were three of us who were at the
13 disposal of the counsel, Defence counsel, to assist them with anything
14 that they may need, take or pick up a witness, or drive a witness
15 someplace, take them to the hotel, and so on. But in no way did this
16 have to do with our -- any type of direct knowledge as to what the
17 subject matter of their conversations and discussions was.
18 All I knew was that these were possible witnesses in the
19 proceedings against General Blaskic, and Counsel Nobilo was the Defence
20 counsel for General Blaskic together with his team.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Mr. Registrar, may I have document 7291 , please. That's a 65
24 ter number.
25 Q. While the document comes up, Mr. Milas, isn't it correct that you
1 were, in fact, investigated by Croatian authorities, the authorities who
2 investigated into OA Haag regarding your personal involvement in OA Haag
3 and other connected operations which were in place to assist the Defence
4 in the cases relating to Croatian indictees at the ICTY?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. And in -- in front of you, on the screen, Mr. Milas, can you see
7 this document. Did you know of the existence of this document? This is
8 a report submitted by two assistant ministers of the Ministry of
9 Interior. And you can see whom the report is addressed to. There's a
10 deputy prime minister, Dr. Granic, minister of the internal affairs; you
11 can read all the addressees there, director of information service, head
12 of office of cooperation with ICTY and others.
13 Now, did you know that this report existed?
14 A. No. This is the first time that I see this document.
15 Q. And this is dated 22nd August 2000
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if you could just move to
17 page 4, both English and Croatian version.
18 Q. Paragraph 1 it starts by saying:
19 "This document is an attempt to systematically gather at one
20 place all information and facts, as well as measures and operations
21 undertaken by two police services of the MUP." And, you know, there are
22 several lines there. I will take you right to the point that I want to
23 draw your attention to. That is line 9, which says:
24 "Following the crime activities and influence of the state organs
25 serving in the intelligence community of the Republic of Croatia
1 other individuals from the Republic of Croatia
2 hiding the facts and evidence in relation to Ahmici and in relation to
3 the case against General Blaskic argued before the ICTY, issuing
4 counterfeit IDs to crime perpetrators, measures taken by the MUP aimed to
5 locating them, et cetera."
6 This is a report on the investigations by the Croatian
7 authorities and if we could go, Mr. Registrar, to English version, page
8 22, and Croatian version, page 21.
9 There's a section titled:
10 "Involvement of the intelligence services of the Republic of
12 in Ahmici?"
13 If we could just focus on the English version next page. That is
14 English version page 23, but we can remain on the same page, as far as
15 Croatian version goes.
16 I want to draw your attention to the paragraph. It's the top
17 paragraph on the English version. It reads, sir, I'm starting half way:
18 "SIS RH initiated the investigation committed by the Muslims and
19 Serbs against the Croats in BiH. With the purpose to support those
20 crimes with evidence, the documentation and persons prepared for possible
21 important testimonies in the process in The Hague were sent to RH from
22 BiH. For certain persons who came to RH (Lora, i.e., SIS in Split
23 personal identification documents were going obtained and similar.
24 However, it is obvious as the analysis of the crime in Ahmici was done at
25 the same time so that those documents were also transferred from BiH to
1 RH and were stored in the premises of SIS in Split. Those involved in
2 the realization of those activities were," and I might mispronounce his
3 name, "Udiljak," U-d-i-l-j-a-k, "Ivanovic, Krpan, B. Milas, Mato Zeko,
4 and others."
5 Now the reference there to Ivanovic is to Marin Ivanovic. Isn't
6 that correct, Mr. Milas, the Defence investigator to interviewed you?
7 A. [No interpretation]
8 Q. And the person referred to as B. Milas, isn't it?
9 A. What do you mean the investigator who spoke with me? Whom are
10 you referring to.
11 Q. Mr. Marin Ivanovic who interviewed you for this case?
12 A. Ivan Marinovic?
13 Q. Ivan Marinovic, I beg your pardon. Marin Ivanovic.
14 A. Could you tell me, please, in what context what I did I have this
15 conversation with him about? I don't understand. What did he talk to me
17 Q. Mr. Milas, my only question was: The person referred to as
18 Ivanovic in this paragraph is Marin Ivanovic, the Defence investigator to
19 interviewed you; is that correct? Who interviewed you in relation to
20 this case?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And this document is lengthy, but let me take you to the excerpts
23 which is relevant to you. And if you could move on to English page 4 and
24 page 22 of the Croatian version.
25 The first paragraph -- I will start with that sentence:
1 "The objective of the action was to follow the initiated
2 trial" -- I'm sorry, page 24 of the English version. I think you are on
3 that one, and page 22 of the Croatian version, the first paragraph right
4 at the top.
5 "The objective of the action was to follow the initiated trial of
6 General Blaskic. Within OA process, operation action named Haag Put and
7 Istina were organised. The operation actions Put and Istina were under
8 the authority of the Ministry of Defence RH, i.e., SIS whereas the
9 Operative Action Haag was supposed to be under the authority of other
10 state ministries. Firstly, means MUP and Ministry of Justice, but this
11 was not implemented so that the action was still operatively covered by
12 SIS? "
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, you're reading.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Mr. President.
15 Q. And on that same --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Hold on.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Can I proceed, Mr. President?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: On the same page, we have a section entitled
20 manipulation with the documentation of the HVO. I think on the Croatian
21 version it's the next page. That's correct.
22 Q. And if you could move to, on the English page, if you could just
23 move to the next page, Mr. Registrar. And on the Croatian version, if
24 you could move to page 23. The portion I want to read on the Croatian
25 version is at page 23, I believe, the next page. I'm sorry, it's already
1 on here.
2 Do you note that paragraph that starts with: "The activities
3 related." It's the last paragraph on the Croatian version. Move on to
4 the next page on the Croatian version.
5 It says:
6 "The activities related to the usage of HVO documentation was
7 intensified within the collection of evidence for the trial in The Hague
8 and Defence of Blaskic but also evidence on defence of the Croats in BiH,
9 i.e., crimes committed by the Muslims and Serbs in BiH against the
10 Croats. For that reason, but also for the fear that HVO documentation
11 would end up in possession of SFOR," and there is an footnote there that
12 says, "the media announced that SFOR in BiH is looking for the
13 documentation. The decision was made to withdraw security-important
14 documentation from BiH. That part of the job was done by SIS in Split
15 that on several occasions four vans of material was brought and stored in
16 the premises of SIS in Split
17 rooms, 73, 74, 75 and 76) under the order of Markica Rebic and
18 Ante Gugic. The operative covering and storing of the documents was done
19 by the members of SIS Split
20 Palac Predrag, Klapiric Boris, Boris Boban)."
21 Now, Mr. Milas, this official report compiled on the
22 investigation into OA Haag, according to which you had been involved, you
23 were one of the operatives, was involved in concealing documents relating
24 to General Blaskic's case. You just denied it when I asked you that
1 Do you want to reconsider your answer?
2 A. Madam Prosecutor, on the 5th of June 2000 at the summons of the
3 SIS administration, I reported to Zagreb together with Mario Tomasovic
4 and Bosko Ramljak; when we arrived in Zagreb we were told that we would
5 each be assigned, individually, to a room so that I was sent to a room.
6 And in that room there was an employee of the Ministry of Interior and an
7 official of the SIS who were supposed to interview me. They told me and
8 asked me, one, whether I knew what OA Haag was, what OA Put was, what OA
9 Istina was, and I think they also mentioned another OA, Sigma or
10 something like that. I'm not quite sure. I replied that I did not know
11 what these operative actions were and who or why was conducting them.
12 Then they asked me to right down a report and everything I know
13 about the events in Ahmici, the possible perpetrators of those crimes,
14 potential witnesses who could testify to those crime, and also questions
15 relating to documents from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had been brought
16 from Bosnia
17 wrote a statement about these matters and signed it. I noted, in the
18 statement, that I was, indeed, pursuant to an instruction from the chief
19 of my department in Split
20 earlier; namely, providing technical facilities for the Defence counsel
21 and to assist him with proofing the witnesses, and I also wrote about how
22 and in what part -- what my participation was in escorting this train car
23 to the Lora base, this transport of documents, and I also told them how
24 and where I met the person that they asked me about. The name of that
25 person was Ante Sliskovic. So this was a written statement I penned
1 myself. I believe it was three pages, and it was my statement about the
2 circumstances that they were inquiring about.
3 As for the documents, I told them that I did escort this
4 transport of documents to the Lora naval base, that we then unloaded this
5 truck with the documents. All of the documents were in sealed large box
6 so that at no time did I have any insight as to what type of documents
7 they involved, unless there was a note on the box itself, stating, for
8 instance, the 2nd HVO Brigade, transport documents or the 2nd HVO Brigade
9 finances. So that was the extent of my role, and I explained that to the
11 Q. But when I asked you, Mr. Milas, as to whether you had --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
13 MR. MISETIC: At the appropriate time. Mr. President, I need to
14 be heard on ... I said at the appropriate time, I need to be heard on the
15 propriety of the Prosecution's use of this document.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we do that before the next break. Would that
17 be an appropriate moment?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I may proceed, Mr. President?
19 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed at this moment. If you would --
20 let's see, let's have a break at -- in ten minutes from now.
21 How much time would you need, Mr. Misetic? Five minutes?
22 MR. MISETIC: These things tend to spiral, so I will say I will
23 try to keep it to three minutes, but I suspect the Prosecution will wish
24 to respond.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed for another five minutes.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 If we could move to page 27, both English and Croatian version,
3 Mr. Registrar.
4 Q. Now I questioned you about preparation of witnesses, Mr. Milas,
5 and this report also contains a report on that. There is heading titled
6 preparation of witnesses for the testimony in The Hague on Ahmici. And
7 if we could go to paragraph 2, which starts with in: "In September.
8 It reads:
9 "In accepted 1997 SIS Administration ordered that SIS Split
10 secure technical conditions for the preparation of witnesses for the
11 attorney team of Ante Nobilo" --
12 A. Your Honour, I can't see that portion of the document.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then --
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
15 Q. Let me read that portion --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, at the same time, Ms. Mahindaratne, you said it
17 was on page 27 of the --
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: English version.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And Croatian, I think you said.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's correct Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let's -- I'll check whether.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I think Croatian version starts at the bottom
23 and goes on the -- the Croatian version still on page 24, is it?
24 Croatian version should be on page 27.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, it's 25 going to -- 25 perhaps,
2 Mr. Registrar. I may have made a mistake.
3 If I could have a moment.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The problem always is, Ms. Mahindaratne, whether you
5 are talking about e-court pages or whether you're talking about the pages
6 appearing in the document itself.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: We are on the correct page, Mr. President.
8 It's just that the Croatian version starting from the bottom continues to
9 the next page.
10 JUDGE ORIE: It's page 25 in e-court, page 24 of the page at the
11 bottom, and I think we have it now on our screen.
12 Could you read the last two lines of this page and then we'll
13 move to e-court page 26, hard copy page 25.
14 You have seen it?
15 Could we move to the next page.
16 Please proceed.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. I was at the point:
19 "Preparations for witnesses for the attorney team of and
20 Ante Nobilo and which would be used during the defence of Tihomir Blaskic
21 in The Hague
22 initiated by the attorney team A. Nobilo in October 1997 and later,
23 besides the attorney team of Nobilo, the preparation of the witnesses for
24 The Hague
25 (for Dario Kordic) Goran Mikulicic Jadranka Slakovic-Glumac Misetic and
1 person who lawyers Rasel Hayman and Turner Smith."
2 JUDGE ORIE: You read -- I see that the name Mr. Mikulicic is
3 appearing wrongly in the English translation. Please proceed.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. "The final preparation of the witnesses in SIS Split
6 to available information, was conducted in January 2000, according to the
7 available information from October 1997 to January 2000, there were in
8 total 13 preparations, including around 330 witnesses and the total
9 preparation lasted around 80 days."
10 And on the same page in the English version if you go a few lines
11 down the last line starts from:
12 "From SIS department Split, Mario Tomasovic" --
13 And in English version next page.
14 "...and Boris Milas were closely cooperating with Zeko and
15 Udiljak in regard to organisation of the affairs."
16 So, in fact, Mr. Milas, when you said that you had no involvement
17 whatsoever in concealing documentation or in preparing witnesses, you
18 were not stating the truth, were you, this is an official documentation,
19 official report into the investigation which identifies you as having
20 been fully involved in the operation, preparing witnesses and concealing
22 MR. MISETIC: Judge, I don't believe the report says fully
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, if you would have phrased the
25 question by describing a level of involvement, which apparently you
1 consider to be in contradiction with what the witness said, that would
2 have avoided the objection.
3 Could you please rephrase your question.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will do that, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Milas, you were involved to some level in the preparation of
6 witnesses and concealing documents relating to the case against
7 General Blaskic, were you not, contrary to what you stated previously?
8 A. When you say "in preparing witnesses," then, yes, in the sense of
9 ensuring technical facilities. And when you speak of "concealing
10 documentation," then I can say that I participated in transport of
11 documents to the Lora Barracks without knowing what documents this
12 involved, in terms of their content, or without knowing that they were
13 being concealed for the purposes of trial, no, I did not participate in
14 that portion.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, we'll soon have a break. I would
16 like to give an opportunity to Mr. Misetic to address the Court in the
17 absence of the witness.
18 Would this be a suitable moment?
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President, I also wish to inform
20 Court that I intend to tendered this document, but perhaps Court will
21 want to hear Mr. Misetic first.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Milas, we'll have a break. Can't tell you
23 how long that will take because procedural issues sometimes take their
25 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Milas out of the
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, we will object to the admission of
5 this document into evidence.
6 The Chamber should be aware of the inconsistent position being
7 taken by Prosecution now. The Blaskic case -- in the Blaskic case, the
8 Prosecution sought a revision of the appeals judgement which was -- and
9 in that motion for reconsideration of the appeals judgement, was decided
10 by the Appeals Chamber on the 23rd of November 2006. The document is
11 titled decision on Prosecutor's request for review or reconsideration.
12 The basis to review the Appeals Chamber judgement is that the Republic of
14 they are now tendering before this Chamber. The allegation was that the
15 Appeals Chamber in its initial judgement received a redacted version of
16 this report, and I call the Chamber's attention specifically to
17 paragraphs 54 going forward.
18 The Prosecution took the position before the Appeals Chamber that
19 had this document been revealed to the Appeals Chamber, in its original
20 form, then the Appeals Chamber would have realized that the source of
21 much of this information is Ante Nobilo, himself. Ms. Mahindaratne now
22 puts it as, This is an official Croatian report and an official
23 investigation, et cetera. When, in fact, if you review what the
24 Prosecution told the Appeals Chamber about the reliability and
25 credibility of this document in light of the fact that Ante Nobilo is the
1 source of this information, then I will quote, for example in paragraph
2 57 -- and by the way, the Prosecution deemed the initial 20- page version
3 of this report that was a basis of the appeals judgement as a forgery on
4 the basis that Ante Nobilo, as the source of the document, was concealed
5 from the Tribunal.
6 At page 57, the Prosecution took the position that because of the
7 new fact that Mr. Nobilo is, in fact, the source of this report "this
8 report -- this MUP report is not persuasive or reliable because and
9 Nobilo was a source for some of the information in the report."
10 It goes on. At paragraph 60, the second paragraph, the
11 Prosecution told the Appeals Chamber that because Mr. Nobilo's assertions
12 were not corroborated by the underlying evidence for the allegations made
13 in the report, with respect, unless the underlying evidence is brought
14 forward, and this is now in italics in the Appeals Chamber's decision,
15 "this report of is little evidentiary value."
16 Now for the Prosecution to take the position that the entire
17 Blaskic appeals judgement needed to be reversed or at least the portions
18 that referenced the initial 20-page MUP report on the basis this is, to a
19 great extent, Ante Nobilo's vies after Mr. Blaskic was convicted, I might
20 add, by the Trial Chamber, that Mr. Nobilo, as the source of this
21 document, was concealed from both Prosecution and Appeals Chamber and
22 that the Appeals Chamber known that Ante Nobilo is the source of this
23 document, that it would have little evidentiary value and that it is not
24 persuasive or reliable. Your Honours, it is our position that on that
25 basis the Prosecution cannot now tender this as a reliable document into
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, may I say that what Mr. Misetic
4 said does not affect the admissibility of this document. In fact, I
5 confronted the witness who is -- who has been privy to these matters who
6 would knew as to what has gone on, the contents. And as to his responses
7 would indicate to the Trial Chamber as to whether there is any
8 reliability in what is reported in this document or not. Further, may I
9 add, Mr. President, that I have a couple of more documents to be tendered
10 into relation to this matter which would demonstrate to the Trial Chamber
11 that there are different sources supporting the contents in this report.
12 MR. MISETIC: If that is the case, then, when did the
13 Prosecution --
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Misetic.
16 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if in fact now Ms. Mahindaratne is
17 saying that, first of all, the document stands on its own; but second of
18 all, I'm perplexed as to how, on the one hand when Mr. Blaskic is an
19 issue, it is unreliable document that's not corroborated by other
20 evidence. And in this case, it is a reliable document that is
21 corroborated by other evidence.
22 The Prosecution is not allowed to take inconsistent position like
23 this in different case. And I would again submit, Your Honours, that the
24 Prosecution should take a position. If this is a reliable document then
25 they should take that position vis-a-vis Blaskic and say that, in fact,
1 it was reliable; or it's not.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President I don't think the Prosecution
4 has to argue about the positions taken in Blaskic. It is not relevant to
5 the proceedings before this Chamber. The -- and --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could I please invite everyone to refrain from
7 laughing or any other inappropriate behaviour. I expect no party to
8 laugh in relation to the other parties' argument.
9 Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Further, portions of this document was put to
11 the witness and he responded, confirming to an extent what was reported
12 there. And as I said, the document is before the Trial Chamber. There
13 will be other documentation which will be tendered in the course of the
14 next few minutes which will, you know, based on which the Trial Chamber
15 can decide on the reliability of the -- this is an official document that
16 has been sent to us pursuant to RFAs, as far as the OTP is concerned, you
17 know, that is a good basis to -- for admissibility.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
19 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, there is a standard. The OTP has to
20 speak with one voice. That's a principle. They can not take the
21 position again in one case that it is unreliable document and in another
22 case that it is a reliability document. That is the first point.
23 The second point is - with all due respect to my colleague - what
24 she thinks is going to corroborate what is in this report is yet to be
25 seen, is the first point -- or the second appointment.
1 The third point is: I'm not sure what exactly it is that she
2 thinks was impeached. The witness did not state that he participated in
3 any other manner in terms of -- in preparing witnesses other than what he
4 testified. So if it's a case of Mr. Nobilo versus the witness, then that
5 should be put directly as what it is. If it's something else, then that
6 should be the case. But what I object to is taking a report which the
7 Prosecution itself says is nothing more than Mr. Nobilo speaking. And
8 then classifying it and putting it to the witness as, This is the
9 official Croatian government report or result of an investigation.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it's an official report or not, official
11 reports sometimes do contain information which is not fully or only very
12 partially correct which, of course, is not in itself a reason not to seek
13 to verify what is and what may not be correct.
14 Ms. Mahindaratne, perhaps that would be an emphasis on the report
15 being official. I have seen in my life perfect official reports and
16 official reports which had not yet one per cent truth in it. So,
17 therefore, to emphasise that it's an official report might not add much.
18 Whether or not the Chamber will admit this document finally in
19 evidence is a matter we'll consider at a later stage, once it has been
20 tendered. The Chamber, in consultation with my colleagues, came already
21 to the conclusion that it should be MFI'd to start with, then later see
22 what other evidence comes, whether it has any impact on our decision on
23 relevance or probative value.
24 We'll now first have a break.
25 Mr. Misetic, your primary objection was that it this document
1 should not be admitted into evidence. We, as I said, we will first MFI
2 it. We've heard some of your concerns; we've heard some of the answers
3 of Ms. Mahindaratne.
4 We'll have a break and resume at five minutes past 1.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.08 p.m.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, you may proceed.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President. I could not tender
10 the previous document into evidence, Mr. President. If it could be
11 marked for identification. That is 65 ter 7291.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You announced already that you would tender
13 it. You're tendering it and we have heard already of the objections and
14 as the Chamber indicated before, it will be MFI'd. Mr. Registrar, that
15 would be ...
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit P2547, marked
17 for identification.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 Please proceed.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Milas, we noted the date of that previous document, which was
22 August 2000. A few months prior to that, you were interviewed by the
23 Croatian authorities, to be specific in June 2000; isn't that correct?
24 Mr. Milas, you are not responding. Are you receiving the
25 translation or ...
1 A. I only received the beginning of what you said, not everything.
2 Q. My question was: Were you not interviewed in June 2000 by
3 Croatian authorities on the issue of your involvement in concealing
4 documents and assisting the Defence in the Blaskic case.
5 A. As I have just said, on 5th of June 2000, I was in Zagreb. I was
6 summoned to the Ministry of Defence before a SIS investigator, as well as
7 an investigator of the minister of the interior. I gave a statement --
8 Q. Mr. Milas, I don't mean to be rude. I just wanted a confirmation
9 from you. Thank you.
10 Mr. Registrar --
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, let me just state that it was asked
12 an answered page 59, line 2.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you for that, Mr. Misetic.
14 Mr. Registrar, can I have 7292, please, that's a 65 ter number.
15 Q. And while that document is coming up, Mr. Milas, weren't you also
16 interviewed again in 2005 by Croatian authorities?
17 A. In 2005, if, indeed, it was 2005, I think it was on the premises
18 of the police -- police administration of Split and Dalmatia
19 a summons which was served on me by the military police to report to the
20 police administration at a given time, and it also said that it had to do
21 with the -- with a crime, and it was my interpretation that it had to do
22 with a war crime. No further explanation was given.
23 I was called for an interview at the Split-Dalmatia police
24 administration. I, indeed, was interviewed.
25 Q. Mr. Milas, I would be grateful if you could confine your
1 responses to my question because you're running out of time.
2 On the screen you see an official record of interview, and than
3 is the record of interview by yourself taken by the investigator,
4 Mr. Juranic [phoen], isn't that correct, in June 2000?
5 A. This is an Official Note drafted based on the interview with me
6 and based on my written statement. I believe it was done in the offices
7 of the MUP. I can't see who signed it, but I presume it was the MUP
8 employee who interviewed me on the 5th of June, 2005 in the Ministry of
9 Defence building. He drafted his Official Note the way he interpreted
10 our interview and my written statement I gave on the 5th of June, 2000.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if could you move to an English
12 version, page 4 and the Croatian version, page 3. And on the English
13 version if you could just focus on paragraph 3 and Croatian version also
14 the same paragraph, paragraph 3.
15 Q. This is what is recorded by the investigator based on the
16 interview and your statement, Mr. Milas, and I will just read this
18 "He remembers that at the end of April or beginning of May 1998,
19 someone from SIS Administration - he is not certain, but thinks that was
20 the chief, or then already deputy minister for intelligence/security
21 affair, Mr. Ante Gugic - called his chief, Mr. Mario Tomasovic, at which
22 time his department received an assignment to receive documentation from
23 the Republic of Herceg-Bosna
24 department in Split
25 crossing. None of them, even the chief, knew what kind of documentation
1 this was.
2 And then further next paragraph, line 6:
3 "Upon arriving in Split
4 which comprised of cardboard boxes and black nylon bags full of
5 documentation and placed this on the second floor in room number 73.
6 Only Chief Tomasovic had the keys to that room. He again reminded that
7 he did not know the contents of the documentation they offloaded from the
9 And then the last paragraph on the English version:
10 "About one month after the first-above shipment of documentation,
11 25th June, 1998
12 Chief Tomasovic just like the first time, and ordered him to again
13 receive documentation from the Republic of Herceg-Bosna, which would be
14 driven to RH in three Furgone trucks across the Vinjani Donji border
16 And the next paragraph, starting from line five:
17 "Upon arriving in Split
18 trucks which consisted of cardboard boxes, nylon bags, and a couple of
19 wooden crates full of documentation and placed all of the above in rooms
20 numbered 74, 75, and 76, which they locked and stored the keys in the
21 chief's safe. The documentation sat in the rooms for nearly two years
22 and nobody entered the rooms during that time nor did they receive an
23 order from SIS Administration regarding the above documentation."
24 Now, in fact, Mr. Milas, based on your own information given to
25 the investigator, you have ...
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
3 Q. You have received and participated in storing -- two consignments
4 of documentation. Now, this is your own information which is quite
5 consistent with what I read to you from the previous report. Isn't that
7 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, again, I'm not sure what is -- what
8 exactly is being put to the witness.
9 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
10 MR. MISETIC: What the witness has already testified about so ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Ms. Mahindaratne, please put your next
12 question to the witness. It's clear from what was read that it was at
13 two occasions.
14 Please proceed.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Let me just read one more paragraph to you.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If we could move to the next page,
18 Mr. Registrar. If you could focus on paragraph 2 of the next page,
19 actually, paragraph 1, the sixth line.
20 Q. This is your information, Mr. Milas:
21 "In his upon the contents of the documentation that
22 Mr. Anto Damjanovic separated with the help of his associates could help
23 Mr. Ante Nobilo in the appeal process for the conviction of
24 General Tihomir Blaskic."
25 This is regarding what you have stated:
1 "In this response to the specially posed question of what he
2 thinks is the reason the above documentation was taken from BiH and
3 stored with them in the department, Milas stated that he thinks that
4 documentation was pulled out of ABiH at the time when SFOR raided the
5 military and state institutions of Herceg-Bosna and confiscated concern
7 Now, in your interview, in that interview, you informed the
8 investigator that you were aware that the documentation could help the
9 Defence in the case of General Blaskic, which is what was recorded in
10 this report and that you were aware that they were being brought to
12 today when I asked you the question, Mr. Milas, you said you did not know
13 what those documentation were?
14 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, may I get a page reference as to what
15 she is saying she is impeaching him on. Can we get a transcript
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I surprised by this because I
18 think we all remember that when the witness --
19 JUDGE ORIE: What surprises us, it seems that today there are
20 more surprises in both directions than usually.
21 Could you find the -- it corresponds with my memory as well.
22 Let's just verify.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I have got that reference, Mr. President.
24 It's page 60, line 3, and let me read that out.
25 "As for the documents I told them that that I did escort this
1 transport of documents to the Lora naval base, that we then under loaded
2 truck with the documents. All of the documents were in sealed large --
3 so that no time did I have any insight as to what type of documents they
4 involved, unless there was a note on the box itself, stating, for
5 instance, the 2nd HVO Brigade transport documents or the 2nd HVO Brigade
6 finance. That was the extent of my role. I explained that to the
8 And further up, there was a reference before that.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Page 49, Mr. President. Line 24.
11 MR. MISETIC: Now that is exactly my point. The question at page
12 24 is concealing documents from the ICTY. The question posed is
13 documents that will help General Blaskic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, from the answer you gave earlier and
15 which was read to you by Ms. Mahindaratne, that was page 60, line 3, one
16 could gain the impression that, where you explained they were in sealed
17 large boxes, or box, and that at no time did you have any insight as to
18 what type of documents they involved, you could gain the impression that
19 you wanted to say that you had no idea about what these documents could
20 serve for. Whereas, in the Official Note, it gives the impression that
21 you formed an opinion as to whether these documents could play a role in
22 the proceedings which suggests that, at least there's some understanding,
23 if not of the content, at least of the role these documents could play.
24 Now, could you explain to us which of the two impressions is the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the first one,
3 The first sentence of the page that have I on the screen, where
4 it says:
5 "In his opinion, the contents of the documentation that
6 Mr. Anto Damjanovic separated with the help of his associates, could
7 help, Mr. Ante Nobilo in the appeal proceedings for the conviction of
8 General Tihomir Blaskic."
9 I never said that. Simply put, I was not familiar with the
10 contents of the documentation.
11 When Anto Damjanovic was there alongside another SIS employee,
12 and when we helped them to take out one, two, or three boxes, which they
13 took to Zagreb
14 documentation they separated, since they did so independently on the
15 second floor. They were in one of the buildings containing the
16 documentation. They were there alone. No one was present from the SIS
17 Split when they were separating the documentation. All that was pursuant
18 to the authorisation given to them by the then intelligence and security
19 assistant to the minister of defence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We're going into details which are not of direct
21 relevance for the question. What you say is what is said here as to
22 whether you have any idea as to what the separated documents could be
23 helpful for, that Mr. Juranic did not write down your words accurately.
24 This is not what you said.
25 There was a -- yes, that's ...
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There was a second portion of the question
3 which was whether you had awareness or that you understood that the
4 reason for the transfer of these documents was that there existed a fear
5 that they would be searched and seized by SFOR.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is what I said then.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 And if you could go back to page 2 of the English version,
11 Mr. Registrar, and in the Croatian version that would also be the same
12 page, I believe, page 2.
13 Q. And there the fourth paragraph onwards, you described your
14 involvement in preparation of witnesses for the case of General Blaskic
15 at the ICTY. And due to lack of time, I'll just go to the last
17 You go on to say:
18 "The preparation of the first group of witnesses was begun by the
19 legal team of Mr. Nobilo in October 1997, and later, besides the legal
20 team of Mr. Nobilo, counsellor Mr. Naomovski, who led the defence of
21 Mr. Dario Kordic also conducted the preparation of witnesses for
22 The Hague
23 Mr. Nobilo and Mr. Naomovski, counsels, Mr. Goran Mikulicic and
24 Mrs. Jadranka Slakovic-Glumac, counsellor Mr. Misetic, and American
25 attorneys, Mr. Russel Hayman and Mr. Turner Smith participated in the
1 preparation of witnesses. The last preparation of a witness by
2 Mr. Naomovski was conducted in their department in the month of
3 January 2000. By his assessment" -- and that's your assessment.
4 Mr. Milas was recorded here, "From October 1997 to January 2000, a total
5 of 13 preparations were conducted which encompassed about 330 witnesses
6 and the total preparations lasted about 80 days."
7 Now, this is information read to you from the previous report.
8 When I asked you about your involvement in preparation of witnesses, you
9 mentioned names of two counsels, Mr. Naomovski and another person, but
10 you never mentioned Mr. Misetic's name or Mr. Mikulicic's name; whereas
11 based on this information, you have worked with them on the Blaskic case.
12 Now what was the reason why you omitted to mention Mr. Misetic to --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
14 MR. MISETIC: I can confirm that I did not worked on the Blaskic
16 JUDGE ORIE: No, that does not appear from this document, as
17 such, is it, Ms. Mahindaratne?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, may I rephrase the question?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
21 Q. Mr. Milas, have you worked with Mr. Misetic before?
22 A. [No interpretation]
23 Q. At the time that you were providing --
24 MR. MISETIC: I don't know, did the transport record his answer.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Your answer was? Could you please repeat your answer whether you
2 worked with Mr. Misetic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could the question please repeated
4 to me. I am afraid I did not understand it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you worked before with
6 Mr. Misetic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never worked with neither of
8 these attorneys in the sense that we discussed something that would have
9 to do with their work as attorneys, with not a single one of them.
10 Usually it was Mr. Nobilo who was there, and I have already said that. I
11 did not work with any of the attorneys or witnesses in direct terms. I
12 did not participate in it.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
16 Q. Now, have you had any form of association with Mr. Misetic or
17 Mr. Mikulicic going back to the time before you were interviewed for this
19 MR. MISETIC: Objection. Clarify what any form of association.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's --
21 Mr. Milas, what is described in the paragraph that was just read
22 to you, does that reflect what you said?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it does.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Now, could we go through the persons mentioned
25 there, one by one. We have already -- you've already explained about
1 Mr. Nobilo, Mr. Naomovski. It reads that he led the Defence of
2 Dario Kordic; is that correct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot assert that I said that
4 Mr. Naomovski was Dario Kordic's counsel. We usually received a
5 notification from the SIS administration stating that this and that
6 attorney at that time would proof this and that witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so Mr. Naomovski did his proofing sessions on
8 the premises of the SIS; is that correctly understood?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then I move on to the other persons that are
12 Mr. Mikulicic and Mrs. Jandranka Slakovic-Glumac. Did they proof
13 witnesses on the premises of the SIS?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For any of the attorneys mentioned,
15 it was stated in the request of the administration that they would
16 undertake proofing sessions. As for whether all of them were present, I
17 don't know. I can confirm that it was true for Ms.
18 Jadranka Slakovic-Glumac around as for Mr. ...
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you, are you aware in what capacity,
20 that means counsel, in what case they prepared their witnesses at your
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it had to do with the
23 proceedings against the Vitez group. The persons who, in October 1997,
24 voluntarily surrendered to The Hague Tribunal. I think this is what it
25 had to do with.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then next one, Mr. Misetic, he goes without a first
2 name, but that is Mr. Misetic who examined you. But let's just verify,
3 so there is no confusion about that.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I met Mr. Misetic in 2007. As for
5 whether he was, indeed, was in the SIS department in Split, I don't know.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You say -- you say that this reflects what you said
7 at the time. There could be another Mr. Misetic. I'm not aware of that.
8 Could you confirm or would you deny that the Mr. Misetic mentioned in
9 your statement is Mr. Misetic who is counsel for Mr. Gotovina's Defence?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have said, I can neither
11 confirm nor deny that. We received notification from the SIS
12 administration that Mr. Misetic would arrive. Whether this is the
13 Mr. Misetic, I don't know.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's an answer to my question. You can confirm
15 nor deny. That's clear. You can do either.
16 As far as Mr. Mikulicic is concerned, Mr. Mikulicic as you may be
17 aware is counsel for Mr. Markac. Can you confirm or deny that - and here
18 we have a first name - that is the same Mr. Mikulicic or can't you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In physical terms, I did see
20 Mr. Mikulicic later on when the -- these proceedings began. I knew
21 Mr. Nobilo and Ms. Slakovic, they were the person who visited the most
22 frequently, and they would stay there for eight or nine days at a time.
23 During their breaks, we would have a cup of coffee together --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Just keep focussed on the question. Do you
25 physically recognize the Mr. Mikulicic you have seen at that time, if you
1 saw him, with the Mr. Mikulicic who is in court today?
2 Yes, it's ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember. I didn't see
4 all the attorneys.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then -- no, I didn't ask you about all the
6 attorneys, I asked you about Mr. Mikulicic. But you say you don't
8 Now, as far as Mr. Russell Hayman and Mr. Turner Smith are
9 concerned, have you any recollection as to in what capacity they were
10 there? I mean, counsel for whom, if they were counsel?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that they were members of
12 Mr. Nobilo's team. They worked on those sessions together with him. As
13 for whether they are attorneys or counsel, I don't know. But when
14 Mr. Nobilo was there, they were there own several occasions. I don't
15 know them personally. I know of them in terms of the notifications we
17 JUDGE ORIE: You just got names of persons who would appear. You
18 have seen some of them. That was all. And you took care of the
19 technical facilitates.
20 Is the number I just seek clarification of that, 330 witnesses in
21 80 day; is that correct? Approximately.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That reflects accurately what I can
23 remember. There were shifts or periods when such sessions would occur,
24 covering a total of 80 days.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now you said earlier that you provided a room, and
1 from what I understood from your testimony, it was at the request of
2 Mr. Nobilo that you provided the room.
3 330 witnesses in 80 days means four witnesses a day. Was there
4 one room available or did you provide more than one room?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the SIS administration, we
6 were tasked with securing a room for Mr. Nobilo's needs. It wasn't
7 someone from Mr. Nobilo's team who addressed us directly. We provided a
8 room, like a half of this courtroom, and there was only one such room
9 where witnesses would be taken in. There was only one room, not several
10 rooms in the department simultaneously.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Were there more witnesses in one room when being
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say. While the witnesses
14 were waiting, Mr. Nobilo would call in one or two witnesses by their
15 names. Therefore, I cannot deny or confirm. He had his own list against
16 which he checked who of the witnesses were present, and then he would
17 say, Person X/Y, let us -- let's go.
18 Whether he, at any point in time, had two witnesses enter the
19 room at the same time, I don't know.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Was there ever one of your staff members in the room
21 when the witnesses were proofed?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When Mr. Nobilo asked that we
23 provide means for him to record the interviews for possible subsequent
24 reproduction, there was an employee of the department who, on one or two
25 occasions, set up the equipment, the microphone, and explained to him how
1 it worked. He even assisted him in the process of recording the
3 JUDGE ORIE: During the interviews, never any staff member was in
4 those rooms following the conversations?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not any staff members, save for the
6 technician, who used -- who operated the recording device. It is a hi-fi
7 set that he was familiar with and he would then give the tape of the
8 interviews to the attorney, Mr. Nobilo. We did not keep that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did he stay in the room during the interview?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether he was present
11 and how long and whether Mr. Nobilo could operate the equipment with his
12 assistant or he was needed at any point.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed -- well, I'm saying please proceed,
14 but, Ms. Mahindaratne, there's not much time anymore to proceed.
15 Mr. Milas, I again instruct you that you should not speak with
16 anyone, not in any way, whether direct or indirect or communicate or
17 exchange notes or whatever with anyone, not to communicate, speak, write,
18 e-mail, whatever it is, with anyone about your testimony either already
19 given or still to be given tomorrow, because we'd like to see you back
21 We adjourn until tomorrow --
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I could not tender the document into
23 evidence --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well we will do that tomorrow then.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, very well, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We resume tomorrow, Thursday, the 25th of June, 9.00
2 in the morning, Courtroom I.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of June,
5 2009, at 9.00 a.m.