1 Wednesday, 1 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good afternoon 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 Is the Gotovina Defence ready to call its next witness.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And as far as I understand, there will be no
14 application for protective measures.
15 MR. KEHOE: That is correct, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's correct.
17 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness, which will be
18 Mr. Bilic.
19 MR. KEHOE: Yes, it's Veselko Bilic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we will be moving pursuant to 92 ter
22 with this witness statement. I neglected, Mr. President, to advise the
23 witness of the witness summary. I just wanted to advise you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I will briefly explain to him what the purpose is.
25 Mr. Waespi.
1 MR. WAESPI: I think the motion was filed last night, and we have
2 no objections to this witness being 92 ter'd.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's already on the record.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Bilic. Can you hear me in a
6 language you understand?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Good afternoon.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and
9 Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that you will speak the
10 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 The text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher, and I would
12 like to invite to you make that solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Bilic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before we start, I have remembered
17 certain details in the mean time, and I just wanted to let the
18 Honourable Chamber know that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand that you want to give further
20 details. You can do so during the examination. And you will first be
21 examined by Mr. Kehoe, and he will certainly give you an opportunity to
22 give further details which you have apparently not yet raised with the
23 Gotovina Defence.
24 Please be seated. Don't worry, an opportunity will you given to
1 Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, I understand in talking to
3 Mr. Misetic in hearing the Croatian said that he has some notes that he
4 would like to use during the course of his testimony to refer to. So
5 maybe there was some lack of clarity as to what he was saying and what
6 question Your Honour answered.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to find out.
8 Did you want to address the Chamber because you wanted to give
9 further details; or did you intend to say that you had written down some
10 details which you might like to consult when examined.
11 Could you explain which of the two it is?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I merely remembered certain
13 details, since I knew I was about to start giving my testimony. The
14 information isn't that important, although it is important for me. But
15 it relates to the start of all these events in 1991. It may not be that
16 important to you, in view of my actions following Operation Storm.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I suggest to you that you'll first answer any
18 questions put to you by Mr. Kehoe. It may well be that some matters will
19 be dealt with. If not, you'll have an opportunity. But I do agree with
20 you that the focus of this case is not what happened in 1991, although
21 not irrelevant, but we'll then see.
22 You'll first now be examined by Mr. Kehoe, who is counsel for
23 Mr. Gotovina.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 WITNESS: VESELKO BILIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examination by Mr. Kehoe:
4 Q. Sir, can you state your name for the record and spell your last
5 name, sir.
6 A. My name is Veselko Bilic.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness be asked to approach the
8 microphones, please.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Would you come closer to the microphone.
10 A. My name is Veselko Bilic, aka Srecko. I was born in 1957 in the
11 village of Krkovici. I currently reside in Knin. Simunoviceva Street
12 number 3.
13 Q. Mr. Bilic, some preliminary questions, do you recall meeting
14 members of the Gotovina Defence team on the 18th of June, 2009
15 bit more than a week ago?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And do you recall signing a statement that day?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I could bring up on the screen
20 65 ter 1D2767.
21 Q. The document that's on the screen, Mr. Bilic, do you recognise
22 that as the document that you signed on the 18th of June, 2009?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did you have a chance to review that document before you came
25 in to court today?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, let me take you -- not yesterday but the day
3 before, two days ago, on 29th of June, did you have a chance to meet with
4 members of the Gotovina Defence team here in The Hague?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And did you provide certain clarifications to your statement
7 during that period of time?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. KEHOE: If we could turn to page 2 of this document and
10 focussing on paragraph 1.
11 Q. And did you tell the Gotovina Defence at the time of
12 Operation Storm that you were not formally mobilised before Storm, but,
13 rather, you went to the meeting point on your own initiative? Did you
14 tell them that?
15 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. WAESPI: I think it's an important issue, these issues about
18 mobilisation and demobilisation, and I would suggest to ask in
19 non-leading format.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, I'm just --
21 MR. WAESPI: [Overlapping speakers] ... it's a matter that can be
22 refreshed, but the first attempt should be made to elicit from the
23 witness --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, what we have is a 92 ter statement. We
25 usually move to have that tendered so that we have a basis for the
1 evidence. We have a supplemental information sheet, which arrived rather
2 late, as a matter of fact. If there's anything in that supplemental
3 information sheet then, of course, it could go the same course. But if
4 there is anything outside of these documents, then I would agree with
5 Mr. Waespi that questions should be put in a non-leading way, if there's
6 objection against leading.
7 But since you were talking about the 29th of June conversations,
8 I'm just going through it, whether I ...
9 Yes, I think, Mr. Waespi, we find it in the first paragraph of
10 the supplemental information sheet.
11 Now, if the witness would have read that and would have attested
12 to its truthfulness, then the whole issue of leading would not exist
13 anymore. Apart from that, if it has been part of a conversation which
14 was held the day before yesterday with the witness, then, of course, but
15 that might in more general terms be true, that the whole rule on leading,
16 if the parties had ample opportunities to proof witnesses and to, of
17 course -- becomes a bit, well, relative, to say the least.
18 Under those circumstances and finding in the supplemental
19 information sheet which I take it could be dealt with in such a way, do
20 you still insist on a non-leading way of putting to the witness any
21 matter which is in the supplemental information sheet?
22 MR. WAESPI: I leave it into your hands, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then you may proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
24 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. And I will be mindful of
25 counsel's concerns to try to limit that as much as possible.
1 Q. Mr. Bilic, did you tell the Gotovina Defence that you were not
2 formally mobilised prior to Operation Storm but you went to the meeting
3 point on your own initiative?
4 A. Yes, I did. I stated that. I was demobilised in 1995, some time
5 before Operation Storm. I don't know exactly the date, but I presume it
6 can be found in the records. Already in 1994 I was invalided from the
7 war because I had been wounded in 1992, in fact. I got 60 per cent
8 invalidity. I was not feeling well, and I was thinking about going into
10 Q. I think you answered the question for us.
11 If we could just move -- Mr. Bilic, if you could just move a bit
12 towards the microphone for the interpreters?
13 MR. WAESPI: I think it's an issue of his chair. I think it is
14 difficult to --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it could be that an adjustment of the chair
16 might -- if you sit more upright and perhaps the -- these chairs are a
17 bit --
18 MR. KEHOE: I think if we lock it, Mr. President, so it doesn't
19 go back.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm also struggling with these chairs,
21 Mr. Bilic, so ...
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm heavy.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's not the difference, Mr. Bilic.
24 Is that better?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so, yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Mr. Bilic, when you went to this meeting point, did you receive a
5 A. I did.
6 Q. Did you turn that weapon back in?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. What date did you turn it back in?
9 A. On the 18th of August, 1995.
10 Q. Now, in paragraph 1 of your statement you say:
11 "I was a member of the 15th Home Guards Brigade until the
12 18th of August, 1995."
13 Is that what you're corresponding to with the date that you
14 turned your weapon in?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, yesterday did you have another meeting with the
17 Gotovina Defence where you discussed some other matters in your
19 A. Yes. But I don't remember what it was that I said. I may have
20 remembered some additional details that are not that significant. I
21 can't remember.
22 Q. Mr. Bilic, what we're trying to do is we're trying to get your
23 witness statement as accurate as possible for the Chamber. And let me
24 assist you in this regard.
25 In paragraph 4 of your statement where you're talking about the
1 villages that you went through, you noted --
2 MR. KEHOE: And, Mr. President, this is approximately halfway
4 Q. You noted that you entered into the village of Lazanice
5 you tell that -- the Gotovina Defence team that you weren't sure if it
6 was Lazanice or Travice?
7 A. Yes, yes. I remember that. I couldn't remember.
8 Q. Now, with -- other than these clarifications, Mr. Bilic, is the
9 statement that's on the screen -- is that statement -- does that
10 accurately reflect what you told the Gotovina Defence team on the
11 18th of June, 2009?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And is this information that you provide in the statement, is
14 that true and accurate, to the best of your knowledge?
15 A. Yes, it is. 100 per cent. I only said that I couldn't remember
16 the date when we got into Kistanje, whether it was the 6th or the 7th,
17 but for the rest, that's true. I don't have anything else to add to the
19 Q. And --
20 A. Save for the fact that we were too lenient because our commanders
21 halted us in our advancement. We could have achieved what we achieved
23 Q. That's fine, sir, and we can -- we'll get to some of those
24 subjects in a bit. I'm just trying to cover some preliminaries with
25 regard to the statement.
1 Now, once again staying with the statement, Mr. Bilic, if I asked
2 you the same questions regarding the matters that were discussed in the
3 statement, would your answers be the same today as those that you gave in
4 that statement?
5 A. 100 per cent.
6 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, well offer into evidence
7 65 1D2767.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
9 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1547.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
13 The supplemental information sheet will be tendered, will not be
15 MR. KEHOE: It had not been translated, Mr. President, so ...
16 JUDGE ORIE: Has not been translated. So therefore the witness
17 has had no opportunity to read it.
18 MR. KEHOE: That's correct.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then this would be the moment, I think --
20 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilic, the public is following these
22 proceedings, and since your statement is admitted into evidence, the
23 public would not know what is approximately in your statement.
24 Therefore, a summary will be read by Mr. Kehoe. You don't have to
25 answer. It just summarizes what is in your statement so that the public
1 knows and is able to follow when we continue.
2 Mr. Kehoe, please proceed.
3 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Mr. Bilic testified that he and his family were refugees from
5 Krkovic which was under the occupation of the ARSK and had been living as
6 refugees in Vodice. From 12 October 1991
7 was a member of the 113th HV Sibenik Brigade. Later, in 1992, he joined
8 the 15th Home Guard Regiment until he was demobilised prior to
9 Operation Storm.
10 On the eve of Operation Storm, the witness learned that members
11 of the 15th Home Guard were gathering for Storm, so he went to the
12 assembly point with his own uniform and to join the fight.
13 When Operation Storm commenced on the morning of 4 August 1995,
14 his squad was deployed in on Velika Glava, on the site called the
15 graveyard, and made no advancements that day due to the strong resistance
16 from the direction of Gracac. They were ordered to withdraw to their
17 initial positions and started a new attack on 5 August at noon, in which
18 they made advances in the direction of Kistanje. He arrived in Kistanje
19 on 6 or 7 August. At that time, there was no visible sign of damage on
20 the houses.
21 From Kistanje, the witness moved on in the direction of Ivosevci.
22 In Ivosevci they captured the injured and injured ARSK soldier and turned
23 him over to the Medical Corps. They also captured around ten people
24 wearing civilian clothes, but who were armed, and turned them over to the
25 military police.
1 Subsequently, they moved along in that direction until they met
2 up with the members of the 4th Guards Brigade north of Knin. The
3 following day, the witness was in Knin which appeared to be undamaged
4 expect for a house at the base of the fort. The witness then returned to
5 Ivosevci until 18 August when he returned his weapon.
6 After that, the 15th Home Guard went on towards Drvar, but he
7 stayed Ivosevci with some other members of the unit until he was
8 apprehended by the police for the killing of Dara Milosevic in September.
9 The witness was tried, convicted, and sentenced to eight years of
10 imprisonment for murder which was reduced by the Supreme Court to seven
11 years and six months. The witness testified that during the entire time
12 of being a member of the HV and therefore during Operation Storm, he
13 never received an order which would require him to commit a criminal
14 offence. Further, it was his opinion that commanders and the people who
15 trained him abided by international law.
16 That is the summary, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. Now without discussing the matters that were discussed in your
21 report, sir, I want to talk to you about the period of time after
22 Operation Storm. And, Mr. Bilic, were you involved in criminal activity
23 after Operation Storm?
24 A. I was.
25 Q. And who arrested you when you got arrested?
1 A. The military police arrested me and handed me over to the
2 civilian police.
3 Q. Mr. Bilic, I'd like to show you a -- your arrest report and
5 MR. KEHOE: If I could bring this up. It's 65 ter 1D2739.
6 Q. And this is an Official Note of your arrest, Mr. Bilic, of
7 11 September 1995
8 Have you seen this before, sir?
9 A. I may have. I don't remember. Probably. Probably back in 1995.
10 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we'll offer into evidence
12 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours that becomes Exhibit D1548.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, looking at this statement, at the --
18 approximately the third paragraph from the top it talks about you
19 finding -- being in Kistanje and finding a handgun in the house of an
20 owner of Serbian ethnicity.
21 Is that accurate, sir? Did you find a gun in a Serb house in
23 A. Yes. Not only a pistol. I also found his military bag. I don't
24 know what it's official called, the officer's brief-case. And I found
25 some documents in the bag, because he was the commander of a unit,
1 probably in Krkovic or somewhere.
2 I handed it over to the command in Kistanje. I don't know where
3 it ended up. I mean, the document or the documents. I kept the bag, the
4 pistol. And as for their uniforms, there were plenty to be had, and we
5 didn't touch those.
6 Q. Well, let me just ask you some additional questions concerning
7 these weapons.
8 And as you were going through these locations in Kistanje and
9 elsewhere, how available were weapons in the area, after Operation Storm?
10 A. You could find them in every house, weapons, Zoljas, uniforms, if
11 nothing else you would have a hunting rifle. We called them "Ciganka."
12 There wasn't a single house that didn't have any weapons, and I can tell
13 you that I went through dozens of them, house by house.
14 Q. As we go further down on this note, it talks about a location
15 called Bratiskovci. Do you see that, sir? Towards the bottom of the
16 page. I think it's towards the bottom of the -- actually about -- it's
17 underlined. It's about seven lines from the bottom of the B/C/S.
18 A. Mm-hm.
19 Q. And it notes that -- that you had this weapon and then stated
20 that the last five or six days you were in Bratiskovci where houses and
21 remains of -- remains of houses and -- with the intention to steal for
22 his needs.
23 Now, is that accurate, sir, were you in Bratiskovci for five or
24 six days prior to that, looking to steal for your needs?
25 A. Yes, I was in Bratiskovci. I was there on that day. I wasn't
1 there for six days -- I was -- on the day when the police arrested me.
2 However, Slobodan Burukalo [phoen] - he was a footballer in the second
3 league in Zagreb
4 grandmother and he -- and she told me that I should take the tractor so
5 that other Ustashas would not take them because that's how they referred
6 to us Croats. We referred to them as Chetniks, I mean, to the Serbs.
7 She gave me the tractor and she gave me some bread as well. We were
8 friends; we were acquaintances from before the war because of her three
9 sons. Two remained in Croatia
10 I put into the car some ham and wine that she gave me, and, at
11 that point, the police indicated that I should pull over. They thought
12 that I had been stealing. I was together with my brother. Our military
13 police took me to Sibenik for interrogation.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. They knew at that point that Dara had been killed --
16 Q. We'll get to this just step by step if we can, Mr. Bilic, and
17 let's take first things first.
18 Now, this is it the 11th of September, 1995. After
19 Operation Storm and after the period of time of conflict, did you and
20 your other friends begin to drink alcohol frequently.
21 A. Yes, we drank non-stop. The only food there was a prosciutto and
22 then there was wine. They were thirsty and we were drunk around the
23 clock. That was the situation. There was euphoria, there was liberation
24 after five years of being refugees. We had been looted, robbed, members
25 of my family were killed. After all that, we simply felt that way.
1 Q. Okay. Let's stay with that.
2 When you went back there with your friends -- with your other
3 colleagues and you were drinking, did you go back there to try to exact
4 revenge for what happened to the Croats between 1991 and 1995?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
6 MR. WAESPI: I think a proper way would be, Why did you go back.
7 MR. KEHOE: I'll ask that question.
8 Q. When you were going into Bratiskovci, why did you go back into
9 those areas? You told us you -- you were meeting a friend there, but did
10 you have any other reasons to go back into Bratiskovci or any of these
11 other villages?
12 A. We had 1001 reasons.
13 Q. I don't if we want to hear 1001, because you might be here for a
14 while, but just give us the primary reasons for why you went back.
15 A. My village was surrounded by the Serb villages such as Lisane,
16 Krkovic, Pedancovci [phoen]. So the Croatian villages were surrounded by
17 the Chetnik or Serb villages, whatever you want to call them.
18 Everything that had been stolen from us, starting with our
19 chicken, tractors, livestock, equipment, appliances ... I was from a poor
20 family, a village family, but we had 18 sheep, two cows, two calves, an
21 Arsis [phoen] tractor. We had wine and prosciutto and were left without
22 anything. Even the stone from the walls of the house was taken away.
23 They cut down the trees, killed off everything. We lost our identity,
24 our pride, everything, but we regained it through Operation Storm.
25 Unfortunately, at the time, we were a bit euphoric, there was
1 alcohol; and in the air you could feel smoke, the smell of gun powder.
2 We were drunk and then you start recalling things. And as we were
3 passing through the territory, people would see their old tractor, or old
4 cow, old this and that. That was the context. If our intention had been
5 to kill everyone off, we would have done that right at the outset.
6 I'm sorry to have been and done there, but I can tell you that
7 from the place where I sit now I probably would not act the same way
9 Q. Mr. Bilic, when you went into these villages, did you go into
10 Serb houses and take things out of those houses? Did you loot those
12 A. We did not loot. I was most of the time from -- with the Urukala
13 [phoen] family; I know them from before. Her grandson boxed with me in
15 soccer together, we all knew each other. We used to hang out in the
16 summer. We would join soccer tournaments, swim in Vodice. Therefore, I
17 never went to the house of people I didn't know.
18 Q. Well, sir, you said that you didn't loot but you told us earlier
19 that you went in and you were told to take a tractor because you didn't
20 wanted somebody else to get it. The tractor that you took, was that your
22 A. No, it was that woman's tractor. She told me this: Son, take
23 this. Better you than some other Ustashas. Because they referred to all
24 of us as Ustashas. Then she said, They come daily visiting. And by that
25 time civilians started coming into the territory, since a few days passed
1 after Operation Storm. She said, You should take it rather than someone
2 else. That was it.
3 Q. Now, when you and your friends -- excuse me, let me rephrase
5 When you went walking through these villages, did you and your
6 friends find things you thought belonged to you?
7 A. We did.
8 Q. And what did you do?
9 A. As I was returning from the lady's home, I wasn't -- I was alone.
10 But on the way, I met two friends from the village along the road. They
11 saw a small tractor by the side of the road. They asked me to help them
12 load some stuff in my car, and then I towed the tractor with my vehicle.
13 And there was also a trailer on which we put another tractor. We took
14 all of that home -- took all of that home. It was quite an ordinary
15 thing to do at the time.
16 However, later on, there was some interrogation of certain guys
17 from the village concerning the murders in Varivode, and they gathered
18 all those who took part in those operations. They also questioned some
19 of my guys, who were weaklings, slapped once or twice by a policemen.
20 They start immediately talking about the theft of a lamb or a tractor and
21 this and that, and that's how they got to the tractor.
22 Q. Mr. Bilin, the time-frame you're talking about when you're going
23 into these houses with your friends and taking things that they think
24 belong to them, what's time-frame for this? When are you doing this?
25 A. I can't tell you exactly, but that was after the operation. The
1 real warriors moved on. I could not, because I had problems with my leg,
2 which had been operated. I still have certain problems walking because
3 my leg hurts, but I wanted to walk into this courtroom for the general to
4 see me.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilic, the question simply was time-frame, not
6 what happened to your leg although that might be important for you. It
7 was not in direct relation to the question.
8 In relation to the start of Operation Storm, was it one day after
9 that, three days after that, a week, two weeks, a month? Could you tell
10 us when this happened.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some time later. 20 days after
12 Operation Storm more or less.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And are you now talking about being questioned by
14 the police, or are you talking about what you told us about the tractor,
15 which was towed and other tractor being loaded? Which of the two are you
16 talking about, if you say it was 20 days after Operation Storm?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the village where I was, it all
18 took place within one, two, or three days, concerning me and the bad
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is that the story with the tractors found at the
21 side of the road and being questioned by the police, all within three
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] More or less. There were a few
24 days of me being drunk and those events taking place. I couldn't be in
25 the field for long because later on I started visiting doctors and I went
1 to Zagreb
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that other things happened
3 after that.
4 So, altogether, taking your answers together, it was by the end
5 of August, approximately, that it happened, what you told us.
6 Now one question that was put to you was whether you found things
7 you thought that belonged to you. And then you told us about these
8 tractors, that you saw some people you knew, that they asked you to help.
9 Now, what belonged -- or what did you think belonged to you, or was it
10 that they thought that it belonged to them?
11 Could you tell us now, what did you find that you thought
12 belonged to you, or they thought belonged to them? Was it the tractor?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember such details
14 anymore. That was a banal thing. I simply cannot recall it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now, but you were asked whether you found things you
16 thought belonged to you, and your answer was yes.
17 Now, what exactly did you find that you thought belonged to you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. I don't remember
19 what I said in my statement what belonged to me. I only know that the
20 tractor I got that I had with me did not belong to me but that lady of my
21 friend gave it to me. She said that I should take it rather than someone
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you say, since then it belonged to you.
24 That's clear.
25 Mr. Kehoe, please proceed, and let's try to stick to the facts
1 and primarily facts in relation to answers rather than other facts,
3 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
4 Q. Just -- Mr. Bilic, in addition to you, did your friends find
5 things that they thought belonged to them, like livestock or TVs or
6 appliances that they took?
7 A. They did. They told me they recognised lots of their stuff. And
8 this was not just my immediate circle of friends but my whole village;
9 its inhabitants found things in other villages. This person found his or
10 her cow; another person found his tractor. They also recognised some
11 chicken because we used to breed this particular type of chicken in our
12 village. There were many small things and people would recognise them
13 and take them home.
14 I didn't think it was anything special about it at the time.
15 Because all of it was actually ours. It had been taken from us.
16 Later on, we saw those things passing through other villages. We
17 saw many things from our village.
18 Q. Mr. Bilic, let's go forward in this and talk about the police.
19 I mean, did the police, you know, try to stop you and your friends and
20 people that you knew from taking these items?
21 A. Yes, they did. But they couldn't. They were powerless, to tell
22 you the truth. This was such a large area. We knew every foot of it.
23 We knew the paths through woods, and they only had check-points along the
24 main roads, the military and civilian police. But that's a Karst area.
25 They are woods there, and we could always find a way without anyone
1 seeing us. We would avoid the check-points, and we would simply take
2 wine or prosciutto. The police were helpless both the MPs and civilian
4 There was also UNPROFOR at some check-points, such as at Djevrska
5 and elsewhere. But we always found our way. There this was a large
6 area. Even if they had one policeman for every soldier, still, they
7 wouldn't be able to do that. There were not enough police at the time,
8 and it could not be stopped.
9 Q. Let me shift gears and subjects with you, and I'd like that to
10 you about the Dara Milosevic murder and first addressing ourselves to
11 your police statement.
12 A. [No interpretation]
13 MR. KEHOE: D1548.
14 Q. And this is the questioning of you --
15 MR. KEHOE: If we go to the second page of this. Actually, I
16 think it will probably start at the bottom of the -- top of the second
17 page in English, and it starts at the bottom of the second page in B/C/S.
18 Q. And it reads that:
19 "As for the murder in the hamlet of Pavici in the village of
20 Bribir he stated that he knows nothing about that. And that he does not
21 know where this happened."
22 Now, when you told the police that on the
23 11th of September, 1995, that wasn't true; was it?
24 A. Yes, that's what I said, and I lied. I didn't even think it was
25 so important. I think it was quite an ordinary thing for that time.
1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I don't know if we want to catch up, I
2 have just been reminded by Mr. Misetic that on page 15, line 15, the
3 transcript missed "how many of his family members were killed between
4 1991 and 1995."
5 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps it's good to have it on the record.
6 You said your family members were killed between 1991 and 1995
7 and apparently you gave a number. How many of your family members were
8 killed during those four years?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I recalled some other names
10 yesterday evening. I said eight but, unfortunately, there were more.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us how many there were.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Should I go one by one?
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, if you first give the number. I think it's for
14 an impression. That would do.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me count them. Around ten.
16 Immediate and extended family. Because we were all related in one way or
17 another. Uncles, aunts. We were all relatives in that village. Some
18 people had their heads cut off and thrown into wells. Four soldiers were
19 killed during the first attack on the village, when the army and Chetniks
20 entered it.
21 In the very attack, they killed those guys who stayed behind.
22 They killed three or four young guys, I think.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes, we were just seeking clarification of the
24 number of members of your family that were killed, and that has been
1 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 If I could bring up 65 ter 1D2770. And this is a report
4 concerning Mr. Bilic and his arrest, and, for the record, Mr. President,
5 this is from a larger document which is 65 ter 1D1244.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, if we could go to page 2 of this document in the
7 report. This is a report of you in the Dara Milosevic murder. And in
8 the second paragraph it notes that you were in -- that sometime between
9 6 September 1995
10 right, sir, that you went to Pavici?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And why did you go to Pavici, sir?
13 A. I didn't go to Pavici, but I was simply passing through. That
14 was the first time I went through Pavici.
15 Q. Okay. But --
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. So what was the purpose of you stopping and going to that
18 location? Were you going to visit somebody, were you doing something?
19 Why did you stop there?
20 A. No. I went this with the commander of another platoon, from
21 Urocevci [phoen]. They were guarding the -- what do you call it? The
22 pipelines, water -- water ways, whatever. They were guarding the church,
23 the religious monuments up there, and so on. As he was going back home,
24 I encountered him because I was going up to see them because my guys were
25 up there as well.
1 As we were going back, we stopped in Pavici, because there was
2 heavy rain that day, so we were there by accident, by chance. We noticed
3 a man whom I knew. This is it Zdravcina; he is a Chetnik, one of the
4 organisers back in 1995 he slapped my father. I recognised him. The guy
5 I was with was Jakov Vucenovic, he was a teacher by vocation. And I told
6 him, You were a calmer person than I am. Go and ask Dara.
7 I knew all of them, the late Dara's son was in the 5th Regiment.
8 Therefore my intention was not to kill her. I could have done that right
9 away. My plan was to capture the Chetnik alive, the organiser from
10 Bribirske Mostine. He was one of the participants of the so-called log
11 revolution. They stopped us at one point on the road because we went up
12 to their village to get water. That was the only village which had a
13 source of water, a lake.
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
15 MR. KEHOE: [Previous translation continues] ... let me stop you
16 there, sir.
17 I'm sorry, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we try to get -- there are a lot of
19 reference because my guys were up there. Who are "my guys"? Could you
20 please try to keep the story a bit structured.
21 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Let me focus you, Mr. Bilic. What were you doing in
23 Dara Milosevic's house?
24 A. I waited for the Chetnik known as Zdravcina. Because I saw him
25 up there. I wasn't in the house but behind the house. I waited for him
1 for three nights, not during the day. I wanted to capture him alive to
2 learn some things because my best friend and relative, Perisa Borislav,
3 is still missing after an operation in Dragisa. Ten of our soldiers were
4 captured. Two of which were --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
6 A. Croatian soldiers, yes.
7 Q. Let's go back to the question.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, could we first try to find out where this
9 Pavici is, for example, just to start with, so that we know what we're
10 talking about.
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. This village of Pavici
14 A. Close to Bribirske Mostine and my village. It's all within a
15 distance of five to six kilometres. I attended school --
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... before we go to
17 the whole of the education, could you assist us -- and perhaps parties
18 could agree on where Pavici is then so that we know what we are talking
20 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President, maybe in map number 25 in our
21 court booklet which is now P2427. It's in the municipality of Skradin
22 JUDGE ORIE: And Skradin is ...
23 MR. WAESPI: South of Kistanje.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Skradin, I see that.
25 MR. WAESPI: And the wider village of Bribirske
1 north-west in that municipality and Pavici is a smaller village. That's
2 the way we understand it.
3 MR. KEHOE: That's approximately right. If we would go to
4 Kistanje, it is it close to a village -- well, not far from Djevrska. If
5 we go to Kistanje it is down the road, I guess, it would be south-west.
6 JUDGE ORIE: South-west that's in the direction of ...
7 MR. KEHOE: Djevrska.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. KEHOE: Okay. If we go a little further from Djevrska, it's
10 further south-west of that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And could you please repeat the number of the map at
12 this moment in evidence so that I could...
13 MR. WAESPI: Yes. It's P2427. And I would have a more detailed
14 map of the area for your consideration.
15 JUDGE ORIE: If you have one and if it is --
16 MR. WAESPI: It can be put onto the ELMO. I also have a
17 65 ter number.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. WAESPI: If you look at this map, P2427, the Sibenik
20 municipality, you can see the municipality of Skradin
21 the name of Skradin underlined and the village of Bribir
22 centimetre above the word Skradin.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. WAESPI: And little village of Pavici
25 of Bribir.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. KEHOE: The village itself is not any of these maps. But
3 that's the location.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then at least we know where we are moving
5 around and also where Krkovic is, which ...
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. KEHOE: Sorry, Mr. President, do you see where Krkovic is?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Krkovic is the place where the witness --
9 he was ...
10 MR. WAESPI: I understand that's his birthplace, that's where
11 he's from.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's where he is from. Yes, I see that the
13 distance. The distance between the village where he is from is
14 relatively small, yes.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Mr. Bilic, just for clarity sake, how far is the village where
18 you are from, Krkovic, from Pavici and Dara Milosevic's house,
19 approximately? Distance.
20 A. Between Krkovic and Bribirske Mostine, there is two and a half to
21 three kilometres. That's where the main school was for all the
22 surrounding villages.
23 Now Bribirske Mostine and Pavici are perhaps a kilometre apart.
24 So in all, three to four kilometres.
25 Q. That's fine. Let's go back to the question we asked before.
1 Why were you in Dara Milosevic's house?
2 A. I already said that as I was on my way through the village, I saw
3 the individual who, back in 1991, slapped my father about. As we were
4 going passed his house, on our way to the main springs, water springs,
5 that's where we would normally get water supplies and we would transport
6 them by tractors.
7 It was in 1991 in June or July --
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
9 A. -- that they had already erected barricades and stopped my
10 father and me.
11 Q. I understand that you noted for us that this man slapped your
12 father back in 1991.
13 Now, tell us in -- in September of 1995, why were you in
14 Dara Milosevic's house? What were you doing in her house?
15 A. I wanted to capture him alive. That was the reason why I was
16 there, not for one day, but for three days or, rather, evenings. On the
17 fourth evening, I heard somebody talking in the house, and subsequently
18 the police told me that in fact it was the lady, the woman who was
19 intoxicated, talking to herself, and I was convinced that it was him with
20 her. She was baking bread, and food was plentiful in the house. You
21 see, previously, Mr. Vucenovic, whom I mentioned, and I had talked to the
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... when you got in the house,
24 what did you do with regard to the killing?
25 JUDGE ORIE: One question before that.
1 What was the relation between the person you were looking for and
2 that lady?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. I do know that
4 he was seen. She was baking bread, and she could not have been baking
5 for her sake alone. She was alone in the village.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said you do not know what the relationship
8 If I'm looking for Mr. X, why would I go to the house of lady Y?
9 What made you believe that he might be there in that house?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because we saw him previously. On
11 that particular day, that we saw him, we weren't able to capture him
12 because there was heavy rain. It was within five minutes that the
13 teacher arrived.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Where did you see him? At the house of this lady?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In front of the house. He was
16 talking to her, and I'm sure of that. 100 per cent, or million per cent.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And because it was raining you didn't go after him
18 although he was there alone with the old lady or ...
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me to explain.
20 Since I am quite hot-tempered, and especially so in his regard, I
21 asked the teacher who was an older man, Jakov Vucenovic, he was a teacher
22 in the high school, and I asked him, Please, go and see the old lady and
23 ask her where he was to be found at that point.
24 Whereas we, for our part, parked the car a bit further away from
25 the house. He went to the house and asked her, Grandma, who was it who
1 spoke to you five minutes ago?
2 You see that? All it took place in the span ever five minutes.
3 She replied in the dialect that they usually speak in, No, no, I'm
4 telling for a fact I wasn't talking to him.
5 So she wouldn't admit. And then I said, Well, who gives a shit
6 about her. Let's go away, and I'll catch him sometime.
7 So we left. We left home. However, at around 7.00 or 8.00 p.m.
8 on that same day, there was this bar in Vodice where all the soldiers
9 would gather in the evening, socialise, et cetera. Several soldiers
10 among them said that they had met Zdravcina, the person I was looking
11 for. I asked --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I leave you, now, further in the hands of Mr. Kehoe
13 who will try to get the story as factual as possible and also in such a
14 way that it becomes logically presentable.
15 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, on that score, if could ask the
16 intelligence of Your Honour and counsel if I could lead through this to a
17 degree so we can get through this as expeditiously as possible.
18 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I have no problem with that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. Now, sir, you went back to this house in Pavici with a gun to
22 find this Serb that you were looking for, didn't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you sat and waited for him for three day, didn't you?
25 A. Three nights, yes, not during the day. There was no point in
1 being there during the day, because, you see, behind the house there was
2 a forest where they hid.
3 Q. I understand. And you went there to exact revenge against this
4 man for slapping your father, didn't you?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
6 MR. WAESPI: Yes. The question that has been asked, I agreed to
7 a certain leading in terms of --
8 JUDGE ORIE: In factual terms, and perhaps not in terms of
9 motive. Is that what --
10 MR. WAESPI: This is correct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MR. KEHOE:
13 Q. Did you do that in terms of motive, sir? Is that why you want
14 back there, to exact revenge from this man for slapping your father?
15 A. Well, I didn't want to take revenge. I wanted him alive. I
16 wanted him to tell me everything and he must have known everything. He
17 was the chief organiser together with several other individuals from the
18 village who I know very, very well, and who I saw holding guard at the
19 time, when Ugljesa, the restaurant owner, was killed.
20 The second one --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. -- was alive and where as Zdravcina, I wanted to get hold of
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
25 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Obviously the witness answered his motives for
1 the -- the Chetnik he was looking for. So if the follow-up question is
2 what his motives are for killing the women, that should be asked in a --
3 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ... going into that. I'm
4 trying to take it, counsel, as sequentially as I possibly can with the
5 leading so we can get through this.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Facts, no problem as far as leading is
7 concerned. Subjective considerations not to be asked in a leading way.
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. Mr. Bilic, were you drunk when you went to this house and shot
12 Dara Milosevic?
13 A. Well, I don't remember. I was probably under the influence of
14 alcohol to some extent, although I was quite strong and could hold my
15 alcohol. I wanted to catch him alive, and he was my target. It was not
16 my intention to kill the woman.
17 Q. Now, did anybody in the HV order to you go to that house to try
18 to capture this man, or did you do this on your own?
19 A. On my own. I asked certain -- young men to come along and help
20 me, but they were cowards. I wanted to catch him, so I went on my own.
21 Unfortunately, what I didn't want either happened. The lady --
22 the woman was drunk and she was talking to herself in the house. It was
23 on that --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
25 A. -- third or fourth night, I don't remember. So I barged into the
1 house --
2 Q. I understand, sir. Now let's take this slower. When you went
3 there on the day that Dara Milosevic was shot, were you wearing a
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat what he said about the
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Can you repeat what you just said about wearing the uniform.
10 A. A black uniform.
11 Q. Now, when you went in there at night, you shot Dara Milosevic.
12 Tell the Court why you shot Dara Milosevic.
13 A. I didn't want to shoot her. This was a coincidence. It was a
14 combination of circumstances. I thought I heard her talk to someone, but
15 she was not. I only learned later that she was talking to herself. She
16 was shouting. It was only later on when I was already in detention that
17 the police told me that she was prone to drinking, roaming the village,
18 and shouting. I didn't know that.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
20 A. I barged into the house --
21 Q. You barged into the house and you shot this woman and did you --
22 A. Not that way, really.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, let's take it step by step.
24 MR. KEHOE: That's fine.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You barged into that house. What did you see? How
1 many persons did you see?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was night-time, around 3.00 or
3 4.00 a.m.
4 they were quarrelling and talking, so I barged into the house.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I was not asking you what you were convinced of. My
6 question was: What did you see. You said it was dark. Was there any
7 light in the house?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No light in the house.
10 Did you hear, at that moment, when you were in the house, anyone
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not in the house. I was
13 behind the house, holding guard, standing guard. I don't know how to put
14 it, for three evenings. And --
15 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- all one could hear throughout
17 the time was silence.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you, when you went into the house, you
19 said you couldn't see anyone because of the darkness. Was there no
20 light? Is that what was the case?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question is not quite correct.
22 I would formulate it differently.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Tell me how I would have to formulate my questions.
24 Factual. What --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was summertime, so it was
1 already dusk. It was getting lighter.
2 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At 3.00 or 4.00 a.m., you already
4 have the crack of dawn, and it was becoming lighter.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You say there was already some light. What did you
6 see when you entered that house? Did you see any human being?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I kicked the door open quite
8 swiftly and said, Ustasha, who are you talking to? But then I realized
9 that I only saw her and nobody else with her, but she was upon me, at
10 that point, shouting already.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. You went into that house and
12 you saw a human being. You, sir, saw her.
13 Did you see anyone else?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
15 JUDGE ORIE: What did you say to her? Shout or say or ...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I said something like,
17 Ustasha, who are you talking to? And she frightened -- she was
18 frightened at that point and she pushed me back because I fired at that
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... take it step by
21 step. So you said, Ustasha, who are you talking? Did she respond with
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She said, Yes, you, Ustasha devil,
24 get out of my house. Something like that. You see, they have this
25 Serbian accent which is somewhat different. I fired the weapon without
2 JUDGE ORIE: What was the time between coming into the house and
3 firing at the deceased, the person that deceased. Was it one second, was
4 it three seconds, was it ten seconds? Just try to remember.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can visualize it, although
6 I'm trying to push that memory away.
7 As I stormed into the house, I immediately shouted, Who are you
8 talking to? At that point I realized that it was only a small room that
9 I got into because I couldn't picture the layout of the house from the
10 outside. I thought it was a bit larger. No, it was a small room, and I
11 said Cetnikusa, who are you talking to? And she said, you Ustasha devil.
12 And that's when I fired a shot. I don't know if I did it deliberately or
13 inadvertently. I just fired.
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... talking about a
15 matter of seconds. Is that right?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, of course. It was a
17 matter of seconds. I didn't think about it. This thought "I'm going to
18 kill you" didn't cross my mind. Besides, her son served in the military
19 together with me, the military term.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I was just talking about whether it was a matter of
22 Mr. Kehoe, sorry for interrupting, but I would like it know what
23 the facts are.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
1 Q. Now, thereafter, sir, and let me go back to your -- this report,
2 which is 1D2770, you were stopped on the 9th of September, according to
3 this report, and the weapon that you had killed Dara Milosevic was taken
4 from you; wasn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in the last paragraph, the police authorities matched that
7 weapon to the bullet that was taken from Dara Milosevic; isn't that
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we'll offer into evidence
11 65 ter 1D2770.
12 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1549.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I could just finish one last
17 document before Your Honour takes a break, if I may, it will be quite
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One more question on the previous issue:
20 When you entered into that house, do you remember whether the
21 lady was standing, was sitting, was -- was there a table, was there a
22 chair, was there a bed in that room?
23 Could you describe the furniture of that room.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She was on her feet. It was a
25 small room. I think it only had a bed and a cupboard. I only glanced a
1 second at the room itself and then I immediately went out.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
4 MR. KEHOE: If we could bring up 1D2771.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the speaker, please.
6 MR. KEHOE: 1D -- 65 ter 1D2771. This is the -- the judgement as
7 well -- of the trial court, as well as the appellate court.
8 Q. Mr. Bilic, you were, in fact, tried and convicted of murder, were
9 you not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you were initially sentenced to eight years in prison and on
12 appeal that was reduced to seven and a half years; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we'll offer into evidence
15 65 ter 1D2771, which is taken from a larger OTP document, 65 ter 3926.
16 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1550.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
20 Mr. Kehoe, is it your intention to go into the enforcement of the
21 sentence as well or --
22 MR. KEHOE: No.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Not. Then I'd like to ask:
24 Did you serve your sentence, Witness?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did.
1 JUDGE ORIE: In full?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE ORIE: How much did you serve?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] President Tudjman pardoned me, and
5 this happened, I don't know which year it was. And then I -- my sentence
6 was reduced by two years. And then again in 1998 for the Croatian
7 national holiday my sentence was once more reduced by two years so that
8 all in all, thanks to my good conduct and my ill health, I was released
9 after serving three and a half years.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that information.
11 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, that's in paragraph 5 of the
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. KEHOE: I would have gone into it had I not been there,
15 Mr. President, but at the risk of duplicating --
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Yes, I -- no that was --
17 I overlooked that. Yes, I -- you're perfectly right, Mr. Kehoe, I should
18 have remembered that.
19 This is a duplication and now there's some exchange money for
20 you, as far as duplication is concerned.
21 Anything else before the break, Mr. Kehoe?
22 MR. KEHOE: Not before the break, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll have a break, and we will resume at
24 quarter past 4.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, please proceed.
3 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
4 I'll be referring to without putting these up on the screen at
5 this point, Mr. President, consistent with Your Honours' ruling yesterday
6 concerning Official Notes of third parties. I would be looking at
7 65 ter 1D2735, counsel, and 65 ter 1D2736.
8 Q. Mr. Bilic do you have an individual by the name of
9 Barislav Djeranic [sic]?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
11 MR. WAESPI: I think the name is Serkanic.
12 MR. KEHOE: Serkanic, excuse me. You're absolutely right,
14 Q. Berislav Serkanic. Do you know that individual?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Sir, were you aware that he gave several police statements to the
17 Ministry of the Interior police, the MUP police, where he noted that you
18 took part in a rape in Gorice, the village of Gorice
19 A. Yes, I learned that later on. He is a pathological liar.
20 Q. Well, sir, were you in fact in this woman's house that -- when
21 she was sexually assaulted?
22 A. I was, but she was not sexually assaulted.
23 Q. Was this woman a Serb?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And when was this?
1 A. I don't remember. It all took place in the course of those few
2 days. As I have just said, in the five years of being drunk and -- in
3 the five days of being drunk and mad.
4 Q. And who were you with at that time, when you were at this woman's
6 A. The trial took place not so long ago, but I forgot. There were
7 two or three guys. I didn't usually hang out with them, but it just so
8 happened that evening that I did. I was with my car.
9 Q. Were you with Ante Matic?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Nikola Bilic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Neno Bilic?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Stipe Perisa?
16 A. I think he was there. Or, no, I don't know. I can't recall.
17 The trial took place only recently. But these guys are -- were not my
18 regular crowd. They are friends of mine and acquaintances and distant
19 relatives from the village, but they were not at my level in terms of
20 soldiering, and they were not my friends.
21 Q. Mr. Bilic, were you charged and convicted for this sexual
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And were you sentenced? And, if so, what sentence did you
1 A. Yes, the sentence is one year of treatment ...
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer. It
3 was inaudible and incomprehensible.
4 MR. KEHOE:
5 Q. Mr. Bilic, could you repeat the last answer. And when I asked
6 you, Were you sentenced, and if so, what sentence did you receive. Could
7 you repeat your answer again?
8 A. I got one year of jail of being under supervision and treatment
9 in the hospital prison, the prison in Sveta Simonska Street. I don't
10 know what the name of it is.
11 Q. And what is the status of that case right now? Where is that
13 A. I haven't even received the first-instance court judgement. This
14 was completed perhaps a month or a month and a half ago.
15 Q. Now, sir, the night when you were in this woman's house with
16 these other individuals, were they wearing uniforms that night?
17 A. I don't remember. The trial was just recently. I don't
18 remember. I didn't pay much attention to such detail. Maybe they were,
19 maybe they were not. I don't remember. I really can't say. I told that
20 to the court, and maybe you have the judgement with you.
21 Q. Were they armed? Did they have weapons?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Is the judgement final?
23 MR. KEHOE: My understanding it is on appeal at this point so ...
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Shouldn't we then -- you are always so
25 cautious in reminding witnesses that if the true answers to the questions
1 might incriminate them, that they are not under a duty to answer those
2 questions unless ordered to do so.
3 This case is not over yet. It may be that truthful answers to
4 the questions put to you by Mr. Kehoe might -- may incriminate yourself.
5 If that is the case, you can refuse to answer the question. Although,
6 this Chamber could order you, nevertheless, to answer that question. Of
7 course, we do not know. But you are the first one to say, If I would
8 answer this question in accordance with the truth, I might incriminate
9 myself. That's what you have to raise, if that applies.
10 Mr. Kehoe.
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. Mr. Bilic, just a few more questions on this incident. Were you
13 wearing a uniform that night?
14 Did you understand --
15 A. I think I was.
16 Q. Did anyone from the Croatian army order you or any of the
17 individuals that were present to go to that Serb woman's house that
19 A. No.
20 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, subject to Your Honours'
21 ruling yesterday with regard to Official Notes that -- well, not this
22 individual's Official Notes. We will at this point MFI 1D2735 as well as
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber awaits your submissions by the end
25 of this week.
1 Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, those will become Exhibit D1551 and
3 Exhibit D1552, respectively, both marked for identification.
4 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, at this point, I have no further
6 Mr. Bilic, thank you very much.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
8 Any questions for this witness by the Cermak Defence?
9 MR. CAYLEY: No questions from us, thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, just one question.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Just one question.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
14 JUDGE ORIE: You will now be cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic.
15 Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
16 MR. MIKULICIC:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Bilic.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. I would kindly ask you for a clarification.
20 In paragraph 4 of your statement, which has become D1547, you say
21 that the enemy offered strong resistance from the direction of Gracac and
22 the road between Pavasovici and Gracac. Can you tell us where Gracac is,
23 the place that you are referring to?
24 A. From Skradin first you get into the village of Pavasovici
25 the Croatian army was. From Pavasovici to Gracac there was a road which
1 was no man's land. There was a line of separation there. Gracac is the
2 first Serb village stronghold that they were supposed to take over in
3 Operation Storm. Unfortunately, we didn't succeed that morning.
4 Q. So Gracac is close to Skradin?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know of another Gracac in Lika?
7 A. Yes, that's a completely different place.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, are you ready to cross-examine the
11 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I am, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilic, you will now be cross-examined by
13 Mr. Waespi. Mr. Waespi is counsel for the Prosecution.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. We do agree that this is
16 a different Gracac. The one the witness referred is also contained in
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi
19 Q. Mr. Bilic, even prior to Operation Storm you had a heavy criminal
20 record; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. WAESPI: If we could have 65 ter 3926. And this is in
23 e-court -- it's a large document, but in e-court it's pages 43 to 44, two
24 pages. And in English it's the first translation that's linked to this
25 65 ter number.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that if you later want to tender this it
2 is just these two page us that want to tender.
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's correct, Mr. President.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, I counted eight judgements, sentences,
5 convictions of you of various heavy crimes like aggravated theft,
6 damaging property, participation in a brawl, which you committed between
7 1976 and 1993; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is all correct.
9 Q. And you were sentenced on many of these occasions to fines and
10 several prison sentences, some of them over a year, and the highest one
11 two years and two months; is that correct?
12 A. I guess so. I no longer remember. I pushed that back.
13 Q. And I think you once told the public prosecutor, Mr. Zganjer,
14 that, prior to Operation Storm, you spent altogether four to five years
15 in prison?
16 A. I think so.
17 Q. And prior to Operation Storm, you had a treatment in a
18 psychiatric clinic in Sibenik; is that also correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now let's go to the moment when you went into the
21 15th Home Guard Regiment.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, do you want to tender the document?
23 MR. WAESPI: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Judge.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit P2561.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
3 MR. WAESPI:
4 Q. First of all, I believe you testified or it's part of your
5 witness statement that already in 1992 and 1993 you were part of the
6 15th Home Guard Regiment; is that correct?
7 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand the question.
8 Q. I believe in your witness statement you told the Defence that,
9 already, in 1992 or 1993 you were a part of the 15th Home Guard Regiment.
10 It's in paragraph 1 of your statement. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. Now, in 1995, and we see that from your witness statement,
13 paragraph 3, you say that, and I quote:
14 "I was informed that members of the 15th DP were gathering for
15 Storm. Given that my cousin informed me of this and I went to the Krka
16 falls where the mobilisation assembly point was located and there were
17 already two or 3.000 soldiers there. I was issued with a weapon in
18 Skradin. I was issued with an automatic rifle and I had my own uniform."
19 Now, did somebody take down your name when you joined the
20 15th Home Guard Regiment? Can you explain, how was the process of you
21 enlisting or becoming a member of that unit look like?
22 A. It was simple. In Skradin, there was the command post of the
23 15th Home Guards Regiment. There was also a warehouse where one got
24 weapons. I remember a guy by the name Sladic who was there. He was the
25 main man in the warehouse. I was issued with a weapon, the so-called
1 "Ciganka" rifle and about a dozen of us that could board a truck were
2 sent to the Krka falls. We spent the night there, and we waited for the
3 attack at dawn.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bilic, who sent you to the Krka falls; do you
5 remember the person?
6 A. No. We gathered there. There were lots and lots of people,
7 thousands upon thousands. I don't know the name of a person. I would be
8 saying silly things if I tried to tell you any names.
9 I came there as a volunteer. I had been retired by the time. On
10 the 26th of October of 1995 I received my pension. I submitted a
11 request, and I was supposed to be retired. I went to Storm voluntarily.
12 Since my cousin was a communications Sergeant, he called us in Vodice to
13 tell us to put our families in the basement because they expected there
14 would be counter-shelling by Chetniks. That's what we did. We went to
15 see our parents in the hotel, and I went then to Skradin.
16 Q. Now, in that truck on which you boarded to go to the Krka falls,
17 how many soldiers were on that truck, if you recall?
18 A. Perhaps around a dozen guys. But trucks kept going and cars were
19 there as well. There was a lot of movement.
20 Q. And these people on -- on the -- on the truck, they were all
21 soldiers like you?
22 A. Yes, they were all soldiers. And mostly volunteers. My guys
23 were volunteers. I gathered a group of volunteers. These were all
24 people I knew from before.
25 My commander asked -- not my commander but the commander of the
1 battalion asked for the bravest guys, two or three platoons, who would
2 commence an attack from two or three different sides in the morning. And
3 I chose a squad for myself. He knew me from before as a soldier, and he
4 approved. He approved that I choose about a dozen guys. I chose those I
5 deemed the best.
6 Q. Thank you. And this battalion commander is known to you as Kova
7 by nickname. Is that the person?
8 A. Yes. That's him.
9 Q. Do you remember his rank?
10 A. He commanded the battalion. But before that, he did not command
11 my battalion. I used to be with another battalion in Vodice. He was in
12 Skradin. So we went in the field as needed. I was part of the
13 interventions -- intervention platoon in Vodice. Whenever there was a
14 need to intervene, I underwent training in several different camps.
15 Q. And you're talking about 1995, that you were a part of the
16 intervention squad; is that correct?
17 A. No, before, while I was part of the regular army. In 1995, I
18 volunteered to participate in Operation Storm.
19 Q. Yes. Let's stick to 1995. I'll ask you specifically when I want
20 to hear information about the years prior to that.
21 So, it was in --
22 A. [In English] Okay.
23 Q. -- it was in 1995 that your battalion commander asked you to
24 pull together --
25 A. [In English] Okay.
1 Q. -- a squad; is that correct?
2 A. [Interpretation] No, that was not so. He asked a soldier of his,
3 an active-duty soldier he commanded - who, in terms of rank, was somewhat
4 junior to him, I believe - but Commander Kova was preoccupied gathering
5 troops in Skradin. But in the morning, at an around 3.00 before the
6 attack he said, Guys, if any of you is not brave enough, do not even get
7 up. Otherwise, I need three platoons of volunteers, three platoons of 30
8 men strong.
9 Q. Yes, I understand that. And you said this Kova knew you from
10 before the war or from -- before Operation Storm; is that correct?
11 A. No. I knew him from the war. We all knew each other. Skradin
12 is a small place. The 15th Regiment, we all know each other not by first
13 or last names but in passing. I was rather specific. I stood out
14 because I took part in different operations on the ground.
15 Q. Now, Kova, your battalion commander, did he know that you were a
17 A. Of course, he did. I was not the only one. There were thousands
18 of volunteers there. Even children and women wanted to go, but they were
19 not allowed to.
20 Q. Did -- I think I asked you this question before, but you may not
21 have answered.
22 Did somebody take down your name in that warehouse when you were
23 issued your rifle?
24 A. I told you they did, but I can't remember anyone's name. I think
25 it was this Sladic, the warehouse keeper, of the warehouse in Skradin
1 where the weapons depot was. I was issued with a "Ciganka" rifle, that's
2 how we called it.
3 Q. Now you mentioned in your statement that your unit incurred
4 losses. I think you mentioned one killed and six wounded after you had
5 passed the village of Pavasovici
6 Do you recall who gave you the order to withdraw?
7 A. I don't. But I was Zabac-3 that was my communications code. I
8 heard the message to retreat. At that point, I was to the right of
9 Pavasovici and the road. I heard a lot of firing and the Chetniks put up
10 resistance. I think they even used a Bofors anti-aircraft machine-guns.
11 A guy was killed in the middle of the road. I didn't know that at that
12 point, but I learned that later in Skradin. I was on the side next to
13 the graveyard a few hundred metres away from where the guy was killed and
14 the other six wounded.
15 Q. And with whom were you in communications with? You said had you
16 a -- a radio. Who was among the group you were talking to?
17 A. I don't know who was in charge of operations. Perhaps the chief
18 commander. I don't know. Someone did.
19 Q. Now, to whom would you talk on your radio or receive messages
21 A. My code-name was Zabac-3.
22 Q. Yes I understand. Who was Zabac-1?
23 A. I don't know. Maybe it was Pavasovici, someone on the right-hand
24 side, I don't know. We moved in from several different directions.
25 Q. Who was Pavasovici?
1 A. No, the village of Pavasovici
2 Croatian army was. Between Pavasovici and Gracac. The distance was one
4 Q. Yes. Thank you, Witness. So you did communicate with some other
5 members of your unit, whether on your level, or perhaps with your
6 company. Is that a fair assessment of with whom you were communicating
7 on the radio?
8 A. I don't know with whom. Someone who was in charge of the
9 operation, and I don't know who it was. I was just a soldier. My goal
10 was to go via Velika Glava and onwards.
11 Q. Thank you, Witness. Let's talk about --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi --
13 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Most of the locations mentioned, I haven't an idea
15 of where to find them. Velika Glava, is however ...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is it close to the Mijanovici
17 higher up and also somewhere above Skradin.
18 JUDGE ORIE: But still in that same area, I do understand.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the separation line, at
20 Velika Glava. The so-called "cemetery." Sometimes they would re-gain
21 that territory, and then we would offer a counterattack and it changed
22 hands five or six times. That was the main elevation. If they
23 controlled that, they could enter Skradin. Therefore, that was an
24 important point for us.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Close do Skradin at the confrontation line.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Let's move on to a second location that you mentioned in your
4 evidence-in-chief and this relates to paragraph 4 of your witness
6 MR. WAESPI: If we can pull up D1547, please.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, in -- in your witness statement towards the end
8 of paragraph 4 you elaborate on the location of the
9 15th Home Guard Regiment in the aftermath of Operation Storm, and it
10 relates to the village of Ivosevci
11 And let me read what you told the Defence:
12 "I stayed in Ivosevci until 18 August" --
13 MR. WAESPI: And that's on page 2 of the English version just
14 above paragraph 5. Second page in English.
15 Q. I'll start reading. I'm sure we can find it on the second page
16 in -- in English. If there's a cover page, it's the third page; I
17 apologise for that.
18 End of paragraph 4, just before paragraph 5.
19 Let me read:
20 "I stayed in Ivosevci until 18 August when I returned my weapon
21 and was demobilised?"
22 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, a second, counsel. It's the next page in
23 English for the reading part. It's at the top of the next page, the
24 carry-over paragraph.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and halfway the first paragraph in English. I
1 think we now moved the B/C/S, but we should have moved the English only.
2 If we move a little bit more to the left we can see the
3 paragraph numbering in English as well. Yes, there we are.
4 No, it's paragraph 4 from what I --
5 MR. TIEGER: Yes, that's correct. Just the end of paragraph 4.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
7 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Let me start again:
9 "I stayed in Ivosevci until 18 August when I returned my weapon
10 and was demobilised. My unit went on toward Drvar, but I stayed in
11 Ivosevci with some other members of the 15th Home Guard Regiment and
12 carried out tasks that were assigned with -- we were assigned with. I
13 had a weapon even after the demobilisation, and I remained in the area of
14 Ivosevci and continued to participate in carrying out tasks to the best
15 of my abilities. This continued until I was apprehended."
16 Now let's briefly have a look at the location of the village of
18 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, this it P2423 or map 21 in your court
20 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, this village, Ivosevci is just above Kistanje; is
21 that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I believe we can see it -- the actual town of Kistanje, not
24 the name of the municipality. It's north-east of Kistanje; that's the
25 village of Ivosevci.
1 Is that the village we're talking about, Mr. Bilic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, what are these tasks that you and other members remaining
4 behind of the 15th Home Guard Regiment had to carry out?
5 A. Let me start from the beginning, from the point when we reached
6 Kistanje, and then on to Ivosevci --
7 Q. Yes, I'm actually not interested -- I'm not interested in what
8 happened in Kistanje. I'm interested in -- when the gross of the
9 15th Home Guard Regiment moved onwards to Drvar you said you stayed
10 behind in this village and received tasks.
11 Can you tell us as brief as you can what these tasks were.
12 A. We were guarding the water tower, a large water-tower located
13 beyond Kistanje. There were two churches there as well, and we were
14 arresting the Chetniks that -- who remained behind. Some ten days later,
15 we noticed that cows were provided need in troughs, and we knew that it
16 couldn't have been women who did that.
17 Let me illustrate this. We would come across a trough which was
18 used for cows to take water from, and we knew that there was some 50 cow
19 heads in the area. Our assessment was that there must have been men
20 around that we never came across, since we only saw elderly people and
22 We, the Croatian soldiers, wanted to waylay them in the early
23 morning hours, and that's where we captured them, in fact. It's a
24 forested area. It's a very high forest, sticking two metres above our
25 heads. And this is where we captured them.
1 Some of them guarded the church in Kistanje, others guarded the
2 approach roads, et cetera. Most of the lads went on to engage in
3 subsequent fighting. I had -- my knee was giving me trouble. I had
4 water in my knee, and I had attended on several occasions in Vodice so I
5 couldn't join them, although I wanted to very much.
6 Q. I understand that. Who gave you these tasks, to guard the -- the
7 church and the other tasks you just outlined? Was there somebody
8 specific who told you what to do every morning?
9 A. I don't recall the names of the commanders of platoons that were
10 there. I came there as a volunteer. What's more, I was the one who
11 ordered that the church be guarded. I was the morale commander, so to
12 speak, when we were in Kistanje; and it was on the same night that we
13 reached Ivosevci.
14 When I was in Kistanje, and this is something that the Croatian
15 TV filmed and subsequently broadcast as part of their prime news and
16 first news reports from Knin, I -- I said that we were in Kistanje and
17 that was on the 6th or on the 7th in the afternoon, and I said that we
18 were waiting for orders.
19 This was recorded by the Croatian TV. I and a colleague of mine
20 who were the first one to reach Kistanje, not only Kistanje but all the
21 villages from Velika Glava to Kistanje who were interviewed by the TV
23 Q. Thank you, Witness. I think part of it is already contained in
24 your witness statement.
25 Let me go back to Ivosevci. You said you were kind of the morale
1 commander. Who was your commander?
2 A. I don't know. Lads who were more courageous and part of the
3 select few, had already gone on towards Bihac or -- I don't know
4 precisely where. I only know there was a threat of Bihac falling.
5 As for Ivosevci, let me tell you that I don't know the name of
6 the commander, but I know these lads by sight. We all knew each other by
7 sight, not by name.
8 Q. And the other people who were with you doing these tasks, how
9 many were there; do you remember?
10 A. There was always ten of us in a group, around ten of us. We
11 would set an ambush for the Chetniks. I mentioned the water trough and
12 the cows.
13 My squad alone captured many of them and handed them over to the
14 police in Bribirske Mostine and to UNPROFOR that was located further down
15 there. They were taking to the Sibenik or Split prison, I don't know
16 where. And then subsequently, it was on Christmas Day in 1995 that
17 Tudjman pardoned them, unfortunately.
18 Q. Did you report to anybody the success of your capturing these
20 A. Well, yes. We handed them over - I will not mince my words - as
21 cattle, but we would call someone from the police located in
22 Bribirske Mostine where had you an UNPROFOR check-point as well as a
23 military and police check-point. And I don't know where they took them,
24 to the prisons in Sibenik or Split
25 met quite a few of them in detention. And if it wasn't unfortunate, it
1 would be funny, when I killed that old woman I -- I met him --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter isn't sure who.
3 A. I don't know how he came to be there, maybe he surrendered to
5 MR. WAESPI:
6 Q. Did you mention the name of the person you met of these few who
7 were in detention? Did you just mention the name? Because the
8 interpreter couldn't catch it.
9 A. I don't understand the question now, either, I'm sorry.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You earlier said that -- you said it was almost
11 funny that you met someone after had you been arrested. Apparently a
12 person you had earlier --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Sought -- when I killed the
14 old woman. Zdravcina. It was him that I met in the Sibenik prison when
15 the police took me into custody. I saw him in the corridor.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It was about the name. It's clear now.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
18 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. To --
19 JUDGE ORIE: For my information again, just looking at the maps
20 at this moment, Bribirske Most is -- I'm just trying to orient myself. I
21 think the parties will ...
22 MR. WAESPI: That would be south of -- I understand, but I'm
23 actually not sure myself.
24 JUDGE ORIE: From Kistanje?
25 MR. WAESPI: Certainly. Bribirske, what we were talking about
1 earlier where the killing occurred, that would be south of Kistanje in
2 the Sibenik -- in the Skradin municipality.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 MR. WAESPI:
5 Q. Just two more questions on this topic, Mr. Bilic. In your squad,
6 were there only volunteers like you, or were there also regular soldiers?
7 And I'm talking about the squad that remained behind in Ivosevci.
8 A. I can't tell you. I'm not sure. I -- I can't assert whether
9 those others were mobilised or volunteers. I only know that those among
10 my lads who were most courageous and the fittest went on to -- toward
11 Drvar. I was unable to. I was not in good health.
12 Q. Now, did the commanders who went on to Drvar know that a squad
13 was left behind in Ivosevci chasing the Chetniks? Was that known to
15 A. I don't know. I don't know.
16 Q. Let me move on to the murder of Dara Milosevic. And I will not
17 go into details again. But afterwards, after you were -- you had killed
18 Dara Milosevic, you were stopped by the civilian police at a check-point
19 near the hamlet of Gorice, and the police was interested in wine you had
20 with you. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we could have another excerpt from
23 65 ter 3926. And in B/C/S this is page 69. And in English this is the
24 translation that's -- I think it's a second translation, which has the
25 ERN 0334-4653, and it's on page 5 in the English.
1 Q. Mr. Bilic, do you remember that you gave a statement in relation
2 to the murder of Dara Milosevic to the district public prosecutor
3 Zeljko Zganjer on 8th October, 1995?
4 A. If I remember?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. I don't. I don't think so.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. WAESPI: Let's go in the English to the first page, and in
9 B/C/S, a couple of pages -- I think it's page 66 in the B/C/S. That's a
10 cover page of this interview.
11 Q. And perhaps the cover page refreshes your memory.
12 Now, I see a record of interview with the accused compiled at the
13 county court in Sibenik on 8 October 1995
14 counsel with you on that day, Frane Baica, attorney-at-law, in Sibenik?
15 Do you remember now that you gave a statement as an accused?
16 A. Yes, I saw that.
17 Q. Yes. On the last page, I believe it is signed.
18 MR. WAESPI: So let's go again to page 69 in B/C/S, and in
19 English, it's on page 5. And I'll read in English, middle of the second
20 full paragraph, and in B/C/S, it's at the end of this page.
21 Q. "I was stopped by the civilian police at a check-point near the
22 hamlet of Gorice. They asked me to hand over the wine to them, but I
23 refused. Since I was wearing a military uniform and considered myself a
24 soldier, they called military police. The military police took me to
25 Sibenik. There they confiscated my pistol and began to question me
1 whether I knew anything about the murder of an old lady in Pavici. They
2 also confiscated my car. When the military police let me go, I began to
3 consider the possibility that I would be found out, but hoped that the
4 investigation would not be very thorough, since the victim was a Serbian
6 Now, turning to that last comment from you to the public
7 prosecutor. What made you expect that the judicial procedures would not
8 be so thorough, given that it was a Serb woman?
9 A. What was I thinking?
10 Q. Yes. What caused you to tell that to the public prosecutor?
11 A. I don't know. I can only repeat that all those who stayed behind
12 in Krajina voted in favour of Krajina, and they were all Chetniks to me.
13 Those aged 18 and above. There were quite a few Serb civilians who
14 stayed behind in Croatia
15 created their own state there. And I considered all of them to be
16 Chetniks because they had taken my home and my homeland. And all those
17 aged 18 and above were considered Chetniks by me.
18 Just remember Vukovar, Zadar, Sibenik, Gospic, and what they did
19 there. What am I supposed to say to that? Good evening, grandma, what
20 are you doing?
21 Is this what I'm supposed to say after all they've done to us?
22 This was not an act of revenge, it was normal under the circumstances in
23 my mind. What your view of the situation is quite a different matter.
24 At that time, I, as a Croatian soldier; a humiliated person; and
25 my family, we considered them to be enemies up to the point until we
1 liberated. And I was sorry, when Tudjman and the United States, or who
2 it was, stopped us before we reached Banja Luka and on -- Belgrade, and
3 their neck of woods.
4 Q. Thank you for your answer. And --
5 A. You're welcome.
6 Q. -- you considered yourself a soldier at that time in early
7 September; is that correct?
8 A. September? Which month is that?
9 Q. September, that's the month after August. The month in which you
10 killed Dara Milosevic.
11 A. As a -- strictly speaking, I was no longer a soldier, because I
12 had handed over my soldier [sic]. But, of course, we were under the
13 influence, intoxicated, we wanted to have something to drink. We wanted
14 to have something to eat. We weren't taking something that belonged to
15 them. We were taking back what was ours.
16 Q. You told the public prosecutor you considered yourself a soldier
17 at that time. You just repeated it --
18 A. Well, fine, I also consider myself to be a Croatian soldier.
19 Q. And as a soldier, you would have followed any order you were
20 given; is that correct?
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, there is a word missing in the
22 witness's last answer in the interpretation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We have that first to be completed. You said:
24 "Well, fine, I also consider myself ..."
25 And what did you consider yourself?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just now?
2 JUDGE ORIE: We're trying to find out what you exactly said.
3 The question that was put to you was:
4 "You told the public prosecutor" -- and Mr. Waespi was referring
5 what you told at the time to the public prosecutor in 1995, "you told
6 that public prosecutor that you considered yourself a soldier."
7 And Mr. Waespi added that's what you just told us now as well.
8 And then your answer started by saying:
9 "Well, fine, I also consider myself ..."
10 And then could you please repeat what you then said.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said what I meant.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That that was my line of thinking.
14 I didn't think there was anything bad in it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: No. But we just want you to repeat what you said.
16 "Well, fine, but I consider myself to be ..."
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm an invalid, a Croatian martyr.
18 If I were asked, I would go and fight again, if I was attacked, of
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is my assumption right that you do not understand
21 the English language?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand a single thing.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you take your earphones off for a second.
24 Mr. Misetic, apparently something is still missing.
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes. I believe what the witness said was:
1 Well, fine, I consider myself even today a Croatian soldier.
2 So he was saying "today" as we sit in the courtroom.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I can confirm that. I also
4 heard that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, any objection if I would try to ...
6 MR. WAESPI: Whatever you try to, Mr. President, of course, I
7 have no objection.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course, it would be in a rather leading
9 way. You mean to say as long as you try and do not succeed, everything's
11 Mr. Bilic, some in this courtroom thought that you said:
12 "Well, fine, but I consider myself to be a Croatian soldier still
13 to this day."
14 Is that what you said?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not in that sense or context.
16 JUDGE ORIE: But is it what you said, even if it needs a bit of
17 interpretation? Is that what you said a minute ago?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm always a Croatian soldier. I
19 am a patriot; put it the way you like it. I'm always prepared to go and
20 fight for my country if it is under attack. Even now, officially, of
21 course, I'm not a soldier. I'm a retired Croatian defender, veteran.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, I think we can proceed.
23 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If there's any further need to verify, then it can
25 be done on the basis of the audio.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Now, during Operation Storm, as a soldier, you followed any
4 orders you were given by your superiors; is that correct?
5 A. I didn't receive that many. I had that main task which was to
6 break through the line and to reach Ivosevci where we were to link up
7 with the 4th Brigade that was coming from the direction of Knin. That
8 was the priority. Whatever came subsequently was taking place on the
9 basis of my assessment. Because I was unable to join the other lads who
10 advanced further, and that's all there is to it.
11 Q. But you would have certainly accepted any order that came from
12 General Gotovina and followed him; is that correct?
13 A. Of course I would. I would have. I would have gone to Drvar or
14 even Belgrade
15 Q. Let's move to 23rd August, 1995, when you were stopped by the
16 military police driving in a Lada vehicle.
17 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, this is 1D987, a report by the
18 military crime police -- and before that, I would like to tender the
19 previous document, which was 3926B, the 65 ter number, again, only these
20 few pages. Five pages, I think.
21 JUDGE ORIE: It was the interview taken by Mr. Zganjer; is that
23 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is it clear to Mr. Registrar which pages you're
25 exactly -- I see he is nodding yes.
1 Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE: No objection Judge.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No objection.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit P2562.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. WAESPI:
8 Q. Now, let me read --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask for one second for the witness to take
10 his earphones off again.
11 Could you take your earphones off.
12 Mr. Waespi, you just referred to the 23rd of August. And as you
13 said, when you were stopped by the military police driving in a Lada
15 I noticed that two pieces of evidence apparently contradict each
16 other: whether he was stopped by the civilian police and then, because
17 of the uniform, was taken to the military police, or handed over to the
18 military police; or, as we find in his statement of today, and previously
19 referred to the Zganjer statement, which contradicts paragraph 5 of the
20 statement that he was apprehended by members of the military police and
21 was then turned over to the civilian police.
22 MR. WAESPI: I think there were several instances of the witness
23 being stopped or arrested. I believe after the murder of Dara Milosevic,
24 he was apprehended on the 9th of September.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you would say we're now talking about
1 September so we have to clearly distinguish between August and --
2 MR. WAESPI: Exactly. Now I want to go to August, to the
3 23rd of August.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I just noticed that I got the impression, but
5 I might be wrong, that what he said to Mr. Zganjer and what we find in
6 paragraph 5 that that's both his arrest in relation to the killing of
7 Dara Milosevic. But I might be wrong, but I'm --
8 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- just sharing my confusion with you.
10 MR. WAESPI: Thank you. I believe we can clear it up with this
11 exhibit, which is 1D987.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the witness has his earphones on again.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Now, Witness, I would like read [sic] you from a report by the
16 military crime police dated 14th September 1995. And it relates to you
17 being stopped.
18 Let me read from page 3 in English, and in B/C/S it's also
19 page 3. English, the second paragraph, and B/C/S, one, two, three, the
20 third paragraph.
21 "On 23rd August, 1995, at around 1700 hours at the approach to
22 Vodice, a Lada vehicle with no number plates was stopped. Riding in it
23 were members of the HV VP Sibenik."
24 Now in the B/C/S original it says:
25 "... VP 8287, Sibenik." Which is an indication to the unit.
1 I continue: "Veselko Bilic, son of Tomislav, born on
2 20 March 1957
3 number 21, and Mile Colak, son of Rajko, born on 16 February 1951 in
4 Piramatovci, they were carrying a three-seat sofa red and armchair a
5 double bed a small cabinet, a carpet, and four bed covers which they had
6 taken from a village unknown to them in the vicinity of Knin. The items
7 were handed over for safekeeping and a military disciplinary report was
8 filed against the above-mentioned [sic]."
9 Now, Mr. Bilic, is this record of your being stopped at that
10 check-point a correct one, as far as you remember?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So it appears that you were looting in a village near Knin;
13 that's correct?
14 A. We were not. We took our stuff. The other person mentioned
15 here, well, he simply recognised some of his own stuff, and those items
16 were even returned to him after a while by the police. He lived in
17 Vodice, and he had some papers invoices of some closets and beds. That's
18 what I learned later.
19 Q. And which village did you go to, to pick up these items? Village
20 in the vicinity of Knin?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. And was it --
23 A. I don't remember such details.
24 Q. So was Mr. Colak from that village?
25 A. I don't know. No, no, not from the village where we took the
1 stuff from. His house was looted. He was from Piramatovci which is next
2 to my village in the same parish. These two villages are connected.
3 Their village was looted as much as mine and he recognised some of his
4 own stuff in the villages above that area. He took that, but when we
5 were stopped by the police those items were taken away, since he could
6 not prove that they were his. However, I learned subsequently that he
7 came up with certain invoices, went to the police, and that the property
8 was returned to him.
9 Q. So you did go with Mr. Colak to a village near Knin and you
10 happened to come upon items that Mr. Colak recognised?
11 A. Yes, I was in Knin, and I met them down there. I asked them for
12 a ride, because I was on foot. I went to Knin on several occasions, just
13 to enjoy myself to go to the fort, and visit some friends who had, by
14 that time, come to Knin, Croatian soldiers who returned to their homes.
15 That's how I met him as well. Even if I had stolen anything, there is
16 nothing that I would have been ashamed of. This was all ours, not
17 theirs. Even if I had been helping them, I would have told you. But I
18 was not helping them, I was merely hitching a ride.
19 Q. Just tell me again from which village was Mr. Colak from. Where
20 did he live before Operation Storm or throughout?
21 A. He's from Piramatovci, as I just said. It is next to my village,
22 the same parish; we had the same church and graveyard. It is one
23 kilometres away from my village, but by now the two have merged. The
24 three Croatian villages in that area are merged, and they gravitate to
25 the same church. The All Saints Church in that parish.
1 Q. So explain again to me. How did these items this three-seat
2 sofa, the armchair, a double bed, small cabinet, carpet, move from
3 Piramatovci to that village next to Knin during the war? How did that
5 A. What do you mean how? Not just that, everything was taken away.
6 I told you at the beginning of the hearing that they even took the stone
7 from the houses. They took away everything. They looted all Croatian
9 Q. Very well. Let's go to the next item I want to --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, some of us would like to have an answer.
11 If you know, tell us how the owner of this three-seat sofa, how
12 he came across that sofa at a distance of some 20 or 25 or 30 kilometres
13 from the place where he used to live? Did he go through all the houses
14 to look whether his sofa was there or ...
15 Could you explain to us what seems to be quite a coincidence that
16 you suddenly recognise at what place your own sofa, and apart from that
17 also an armchair a double bed, if they were found in the same place.
18 Could you explain to us how this happened, whether you know?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I just met him on
20 the road and asked him to take me to Vodice because that's where I was
21 accommodated as a refugee in the camp there.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Did he tell you that this was his -- his own stuff,
23 or was it that you assumed that this was his own stuff?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He told me it was his stuff when we
25 were stopped by the police. He told them that he recognised his own
1 stuff, the closet -- this was a set of furniture that he recognised. He
2 asserted that quite firmly. He was convinced it was his. And I learned
3 it was later on returned to him. As for how he came across that, I don't
4 know whether he was wondering about the area or whether somebody told
5 him. That I don't know.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So what you told us is what you heard him tell the
7 police when he was stopped; is that correct.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Now the second part of the story, that he still
10 found the invoices, how do you know that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I learned that later, much later.
12 JUDGE ORIE: From whom?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was released from prison.
14 He is a distant cousin of mine. When I came to Vodice after the jail, I
15 asked him about the closets and he said, Yes, the police returned it to
17 He was an honest, hard-working man. He has a house in Vodice and
18 Piramatovci. The house in Piramatovci was completely looted, and he was
19 probably looking for his stuff. It's not just that the closet was taken
20 away; his livestock, his tractor was taken away, everything.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. He told you that he got it back from the
22 police. Did he tell you or did he ever show you the invoices or is that
23 what you assume; or, if you heard that, from whom did you hear that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd have to guess, but I don't want
25 to lie or put anyone into any trouble, either him or myself.
1 I don't remember many details. I don't even remember the names
2 of the soldiers I was with in Operation Storm, and now you're asking me
3 to provide you with details concerning some beds.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm quite serious about this.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- you don't remember from whom you heard about
7 these invoices that may have convinced the police to return these items?
8 Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Don't ask me these, what I believe,
10 are silly things. I can't even recall who I was with in the Storm, let
11 alone who stole what, who had what invoices, what beds, silly stuff like
12 that. That was no theft. We were returning our property. They had
13 nothing. They were poor.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I asked you because you testified about it.
15 Mr. Waespi will now proceed.
16 Mr. Waespi, how much time would you still need? Because it's
17 time for a break.
18 MR. WAESPI: Ten, 15 minutes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ten, 15 minutes. That's too much to do before the
21 We will first have a break, and then we resume at five minutes to
23 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, please proceed.
1 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Bilic, the last issue which was left over from the previous
3 session, in paragraph 4 of your witness statement, and I have quoted from
4 that already, you said that you:
5 "... remained in the area of Ivosevci and continued to
6 participate in carrying out tasks to the best of my abilities. This
7 continued until I was apprehended."
8 And you were apprehended on the 11th of September, 1995
9 the murder of Dara Milosevic; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Let's briefly go to the rape of that woman. In relation to the
12 murder, you told us that it was a coincidence. Was the rape of this
13 woman also a coincidence?
14 A. What does that mean, coincidence?
15 Q. I think you tried to explain the way you killed Dara Milosevic,
16 and you just said, It just happened, you know, it was a coincidence.
17 That's what I picked up, page 11.
18 A. Mm-hm.
19 Q. Was it a coincidence that this woman who was, as you knew, fairly
20 old, that she was raped?
21 A. She was not raped. Who told you that?
22 MR. WAESPI: Let's have 65 ter 7316, please.
23 Q. I believe you told us earlier that you were indeed in the house
24 of the victim - whose name, I suggest, we don't mention, and perhaps we
25 shouldn't broadcast this report, because I frankly don't whether the
1 victim is still alive or not.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the document will not be broadcasted,
3 and we'll avoid mentioning names.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. WAESPI:
6 Q. Mr. Bilic, this is the criminal report, dated 11 October, 1995,
7 that went to the district public attorney, and it names you in
8 paragraph --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
10 MR. KEHOE: If I may --
11 MR. WAESPI: 11.
12 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I don't have any objection to go
13 through this. If we're going to go through this in this fashion, then as
14 opposed to just having 65 ter - what is the two numbers, the two
15 documents that I offered at the end as MFI numbers? - and they would be
16 1 -- D1551 MFI
17 with this fashion, then I would just offer those into evidence because
18 we're -- actually we're talking about the same individual, so.
19 MR. WAESPI: I think there are two procedural -- different
20 procedural ways. I'm obviously objecting to credibility of this witness,
21 so it's for a different purpose that I'm tendering the document.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That could be part, then, of your submissions
23 whether it makes any difference for what purpose. It is for the truth of
24 the content or whether it's about challenging the credibility of the
25 witness. Whether that makes any differences would be part of your
2 MR. KEHOE: I mean, I -- if, in fact, he's challenging the
3 credibility of the witness and on that basis he is moving forward, I
4 presented that exact argument yesterday with yesterday's witness to which
5 the Prosecution objected.
6 I frankly don't --
7 JUDGE ORIE: It will be MFI
8 well ample opportunity, another 25 words. Now, you're gaining more and
9 more words to explain your position.
10 MR. KEHOE: Don't worry, Judge, we don't use them.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
12 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I just -- what I'm saying is that if
14 it's going to be tendered --
15 JUDGE ORIE: It will be MFI
16 MR. KEHOE: Oh, yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then ...
18 MR. WAESPI:
19 Q. Mr. Bilic, do you see yourself as one of the suspects in
20 paragraph 11?
21 MR. WAESPI: In the English, it's on page 3, and in Croatian it
22 is on page 2.
23 Q. Do you see your name there?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. WAESPI: Let's move to page 5 of the English, and in B/C/S,
2 it's page 3, the lower part.
3 Q. And it first talks that the same woman was raped before, a couple
4 of weeks before, by a similar group of people, including Nikola Bilic.
5 Do you know Nikola Bilic?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. Who is he?
8 A. A neighbour of mine and a cousin. We're all related in the
9 village, more or less.
10 Q. So he was raping this woman, together with others, a group rape;
11 and a few days later, on the 3rd of September, you joined the group and
12 rape this old woman again. Isn't that what happened?
13 A. No, that's not correct.
14 Q. So this --
15 A. This is your assertion. She herself told the court that she had
16 not been raped. We were robust, we were drunk, it was 2.00 or 3.00 in
17 the morning, but there was no rape.
18 Q. So you got one year for nothing.
19 A. Well, not for nothing. I was charged with an attempt to rape,
20 and for mistreatment. And if there was a rape -- if there were a rape, I
21 would have gotten 80 years of prison.
22 But I was also charged with insulting the person, the way we
23 entered the house, since it was 1.00, 2.00, 3.00 in the morning, we asked
24 for wine. Some people were asking for some oxen. In the end, I fell
25 asleep drunk on the couch. I woke up in the morning. What rape? Don't
1 even mention that. It's an ugly word.
2 Q. And on the same page in English you see that everybody involved
3 on the 3rd of September was wearing uniforms, military uniforms, and was
4 carrying weapons. Isn't that correct?
5 A. I don't know about the others. I know about myself. We were a
6 group of drunkards doing stupid things without orders of our own accord.
7 We were more or less all drunk. What else can I tell you? I'm a bit
9 We would gather in a bar, have drinks, then someone would say
10 there were some cattle and oxen there, and that was the point of going.
11 As for the old lady, no one raped her. When I entered the house, I did
12 shout, Whore, Chetnik whore, give us something to drink.
13 I told the court that, and I'm not denying that, but that I raped
14 her or that someone beat her, that is not correct. She herself confirmed
15 that in the court. She was belittled, disparaged, humiliated. That's
16 why we were sentenced.
17 Q. Let's move on to a last document --
18 MR. WAESPI: Yes. I would like to tender that, marked for
19 identification, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar this document to be marked for
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit P2563,
23 marked for identification.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
25 MR. WAESPI: Let's pull up 65 ter 7317.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, you were not the only member of the
2 15th Home Guard Regiment arrested in suspicion of having committed
3 serious crimes; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you aware that in October 1995 there was a peaceful protest?
6 MR. WAESPI: This can be broadcast, Mr. President, again.
7 Q. A peaceful protest held by members of the
8 15th Home Guard Regiment, and I quote from this document:
9 "Since several demobilized members of their unit have been the
10 subject of criminal investigation and have been arrested on reasonable
11 grounds for suspicion that they have committed the crime of murder."
12 Were I aware of this advance of solidarity from the other members
13 of the 15th Home Guard Regiment to their colleagues who were demobilised?
14 A. I don't recall that.
15 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I would like to tender this document.
16 MR. KEHOE: No objections, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit P2564.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. WAESPI:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Bilic, you told us that your sentence was reduced by, I
22 think twice, first by the president, President Tudjman, and the second on
23 the day of the Croatian national holiday. What day was that, the
24 Croatian national holiday?
25 A. The 13th of May, but it was changed in 2001, when there was a
1 change in government. I don't know what it was called. I don't know
2 what the new date is.
3 Q. And can you tell us again why, on a Croatian national holiday,
4 you were -- your sentence was reduced, a sentence you had served for
6 A. Why it was reduced? Why wouldn't it? I was ill, I behaved well,
7 and I was about to undergo an operation. I had bullet wounds and --
8 although I may appear rather healthy. I was sick, and I sent an
9 application for pardon, and President Tudjman pardoned me. The same
10 happened on another occasion, because I behaved well in the prison, and I
11 was ill. I spent more time in the military hospital in Pula, than in the
12 jail itself. I was under treatment non-stop. I have papers to show --
13 to prove that.
14 Q. Thank you, Witness.
15 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I think I omitted to tender 1D987;
16 that's the military police report of 14 September, 1995.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the one which was not shown. Is that all --
18 MR. WAESPI: No, that's a previous one.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That's the previous one. Then we're now talking
20 about the one which is still on our screen. It's about the protest.
21 Mr. Registrar, am I mistaken that -- I think we -- it was
22 tendered. It was even admitted, or am I ...
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the document -- the last document was MFI'd --
25 will be MFI
1 to the public.
2 And then, Mr. Registrar, could you please repeat the identity of
3 the document.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that was 65 ter number 1D987, and
5 that will become Exhibit P2565.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is there any objection?
7 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: It's admitted into evidence.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. No further questions.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Gwaunza has one or more questions for you.
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes, I want to ask you a question concerning the
16 case that you mentioned in which you were convicted and sentenced one
17 year and which is right now on appeal.
18 Would have you any idea why it took so long for the case to go to
20 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his answer.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer. It was not
23 heard by the interpreters.
24 A. I don't know. Maybe some of them were not within reach. How
25 should I know?
1 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: I have few questions for you.
4 You told us that when you were in Ivosevci that you were
5 guarding -- I think the water tank and the church or two churches, as you
6 said, in or near Kistanje.
7 Now, who had selected these objects to be guarded?
8 A. I was the first one to enter Kistanje, so I was the one to decide
9 that first. I assigned two lads to stand guard by the church so that it
10 not be demolished, and that's something that the first news coverage from
11 Knin covered. The TV crew filmed the area, and you could see that not a
12 single house was damaged while I was there, all the way to Kistanje.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You have referred to this television recording
14 several times. Do you still possess a copy?
15 Or have any of the parties have a copy?
16 Do you still have a copy with you which shows your interview on
17 the television?
18 A. The television would have it; I don't. I never asked to be given
19 a copy. But they must have it for sure.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
21 You said that you captured several men and that you handed them
22 over. Now, what was the distance you had to take them in order to hand
23 them over? I think it was in Bribirske Most, or am I mistaken? At what
24 distance is that?
25 A. The police would come. We didn't have to go a long way. The
1 military police would come. Initially there was a wounded individual and
2 we called the Medical Corps who were located close to us, and they came
3 within 20 minutes. As far as those captured are concerned, the military
4 police would come and take them over to, I guess, the prison facilities
5 in Zadar, or, rather, Sibenik, Split, and so on.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, when you were performing your tasks, if I
7 could say so, your self-assigned tasks, when you were in the area of --
8 the area of Ivosevci, where did you stay at night?
9 A. During the night, for a while, we spent nights in Ivosevci for
10 the first several days before my leg started giving me trouble and I had
11 to go to Vodice. When we were capturing Chetniks, we would spent nights
12 up there, or, rather, we would not be sleeping. Let me illustrate this.
13 There were some ten of us, five or six would be singing Ustasha
14 songs and then we would pretend to be leaving the village while, in
15 actual fact, four of five of us would stay behind. And that's how we
16 managed to capture the Chetniks. They would not surrender. This was ten
17 or 20 days following Operation Storm, and they kept hiding in the woods
18 in the area which had very tall trees sticking at least two metres above
19 our heads, and we knew ...
20 JUDGE ORIE: I was ask about where you stayed at night, and I do
21 understand that you still were on duty, to some extent, during the
22 evening and night hours as well.
23 You said you stayed for a couple of days in -- stayed for a
24 couple of days in -- in Ivosevci, and then you returned to Vodice.
25 Now, after you had returned to Vodice, where you had lived for a
1 while, if I understand you well, did you then return to the Kistanje area
3 A. Of course, I did.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How did you travel from Ivosevci to Vodice?
5 A. There was always some sort of military vehicle.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Was that a vehicle belonging to the unit you had
7 been a member of or was it just one that would pass?
8 A. For the most part, we would hitch a ride from the vehicles
9 passing by. You see, I had to go to the emergency ward in Vodice on
10 several occasions to have water taken out of my knee.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you use your own transportation? Did you
12 have a car?
13 A. I had, but I did not use it in the early days. It was only later
14 on when we were binge drinking and overeating and in all that madness,
15 where the story of that old woman came in and this was without anyone's
16 consent, approval, or without anyone's order, something that we did of
17 our own accord, on own initiative, several of us.
18 JUDGE ORIE: My question was about your car, nothing else.
19 That car, was it your car when you were arrested in September - I
20 think it was September - that was seized by the police?
21 A. Yes. That was not my car.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Whose car was that?
23 A. I can't even remember at this stage. We picked it up somewhere,
24 or it may have belonged to someone; I don't remember. It was not mine.
25 I had my own car, at the time it was Golf 1, and I used it at a
1 later stage, when we went binge drinking.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You said this car you might have picked it up
3 somewhere. Just to say was it for you a car which may have belonged to
4 someone else and you took it?
5 A. I don't remember. I can't tell you. I may have borrowed it. I
6 simply don't know.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm trying to understand that you don't
8 remember whether it was a car you borrowed, which I understand to be
9 borrowing from someone you know, or a car which belongs to someone you do
10 not know. Which of the two was it? If you could tell us.
11 A. Truly, I don't remember.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Do you exclude for the possibility that it was a car
13 which was stolen?
14 A. I do not. However, I suppose that they took all their valuables
15 with them, so I don't know.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You would say, there was no car left to be stolen
17 because everyone would have taken his car. Is that how I have to
18 understand your testimony?
19 A. Roughly.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Now a different matter. You've told us that the police couldn't
22 do anything about looting. At the same time, you tell us that a car was
23 stopped with quite a number of household items on it. Could you tell us
24 where that happened?
25 A. I don't remember.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You got a ride from someone who had apparently a red
2 three-seat couch, an armchair, and some other household goods loaded, and
3 you were stopped by the police. Could you tell us where that happened?
4 A. As I said before, I met the man somewhere along the road, I don't
5 know precisely where, and he gave me a lift home to Vodice.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And where was the police that stopped this car?
7 A. I don't remember that either. There were quite a few
8 check-points. I simply can't remember. There was one at
9 Bribirske Mostine, there was one at Cista Mala, there was one close to
10 Vodice, manned by both the military and civilian police.
11 This was a vast territory, and some check-points could be
12 avoided. The police could simply not cover the entire territory. It was
13 so vast that not even a higher number of policemen could cover it.
14 If I wanted to take away anything, I could have, because we were
15 familiar with every inch of the territory, with every bush. The police
16 could not stop us and prevent us from doing what we intended to do if we
17 really applied ourselves to it.
18 As far as the army is concerned, everything went fine as far as
19 Ivosevci. From then on, I'll be frank, we were doing things our own way.
20 And I'm not talking about units, I'm talking about individuals.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat what he said mentioning
23 A. This is the truth, and I'm telling you the way things were.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now you told us about --
25 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President, there is an interlineation
1 from the interpreter.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then let me just ...
3 In your -- you said "from then," and I think you were talking
4 about from --
5 MR. WAESPI: I think he mentioned as far as Ivosevci.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- Ivosevci is concerned.
7 "From then ..." you said, and you would be frank, you "... were
8 doing things our own way. And I'm not talking about units, I'm talking
9 about individuals."
10 Now, did you say anything in relation to generals there? The
11 interpreters ask us whether you said anything about generals.
12 A. Yes. I said the following, and this is what I think, and I'm
13 telling you frankly.
14 All the misdeeds, alleged misdeeds, if they were indeed done
15 there is a still a question mark, I should be the first one to be sitting
16 here in the dock as long as -- alongside everybody else who did these
18 From Ivosevci onwards, it was us individuals who committed these
19 ill-deeds. Let's call them that way. These are innocent people who you
20 captured here along with families and entire Croatia. It is criminals
21 and murders such as I am who should be sitting here, and I do stand by
22 what I'm saying.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, as far as these check-points are
24 concerned, you told us about -- for example, about tractors being
25 transported. How would you pass a check-point with a tractor?
1 A. I've already said that had there been a 1001 check-points and had
2 there been twice as many policemen as there were those of us, we would
3 still find passages to pass them by. The police manned check-points, and
4 we knew every single forest trail and path which would enable us to
5 circumvent the police and go around these check-points.
6 I'm telling you this because I myself did that on several
7 occasions, and I was carrying a lamb or a piece of ham, and I managed to
8 get around the police. Had I gone passed where the police was, they
9 would have confiscated those things off me. One could pass freely if one
10 wanted to.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, this Chamber has heard evidence - I'm not
12 referring to all of the evidence but some evidence - also indicating that
13 sometimes at check-points, goods that might have been stolen, that those
14 manning the check-points were not very sharp on seizing those objects.
15 Did it ever happen to you that you passed a check-point where you
16 were not bothered that much about what you were transporting?
17 A. That's not true. The police did their job properly and seized
18 items. Once the military caught me and took they the wine that I had and
19 ham, but I saw at Bribirske Mostine at the check-point there dozens of
20 tractors that the police had taken from people who engaged in thieving or
21 let's call it looting. They claimed that they belonged to them but they
22 couldn't prove it. So the police would seize the items from them, and
23 subsequently if they had documentation proving that they were owners of
24 tractors or anything else, the police would return them. Of course, it
25 was only few people who had any documentation to present, since they had
1 been expelled from their homes barefoot with a plastic bag in their
3 I can tell you what happened on the first day when the Chetniks
4 barged in our village, a hundred or 200 people were gathered by them,
5 herded together, and then they were shot at, their feet were shot at.
6 They had to run from Hrkovici to Raslina across ragged terrain, not along
7 paths. In Raslina by the lake, they were received by still other people
8 who transported them across the lake to Bilice where they spent -- my
9 parents and my entire village spent one month in exile.
10 JUDGE ORIE: One final question: When you were in Ivosevci, you
11 were asked about under whose command you were at that time. I think you
12 said that you didn't know who, exactly, your commander was, if I
13 understood you well.
14 Could you tell us what his rank was?
15 A. I don't know. I really don't know. I had not been fighting with
16 them before. They had their own battalion. There was one battalion in
17 Vodice, another one in Skradin, and a third was stationed, I can't
18 remember where. I can't recall it at this time.
19 At any rate, this was a large stretch. Our battalion, the
20 5th Regiment covered the area from Stankovci, all the way to Sibenik. It
21 was a large swathe. I don't know where one of the battalions was
22 stationed. I was in the intervention platoon in Vodice, which was part
23 of the regiment. We were stationed at the so-called sugar factory.
24 There was one platoon --
25 JUDGE ORIE: When was that exactly?
1 A. -- and we were engaged in interventions actions.
2 Right from the start. Perhaps a month or two after the inception
3 of the regiment that a intervention platoon led by
4 Colonel Krunoslav Lazarin [phoen] was set up. Although I had undergone
5 training earlier on at Mala Luka, we subsequently attended training in --
6 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you when this happened in relation to the
7 start of Operation Storm. You're talking about the battalion structure.
8 I was asking you about the time you spent in - and I'm -- I'm again
9 having difficulties in finding the right name.
10 When you were doing your own tasks, after you -- you stood, you
11 were guarding the water tower, you were guarding the churches, you stayed
12 in Ivosevci. Are you talking about this period in time? Because I was
13 asking about your command, your commander, at the time when you were in
15 A. I don't know. I don't know his name. I didn't see him. The
16 command was stationed in Skradin, so I didn't know who they were. I only
17 came to know the name later on when I had to reconstruct my war path.
18 His name was Selimir Vuksic or something like that. I don't know him
19 personally. He was in Skradin, and I was in the lower battlefield of
20 Vodice, some ten kilometres away.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Kinis has a question in relation to this
23 matter, apparently.
24 JUDGE KINIS: You mentioned that you -- you were received the
25 task to provide some search of abandoned houses in Kistanje and you also
1 mentioned during your testimonies that you find a lot of weapons here.
2 Did you receive, prior this operation, some -- some instructions
3 how to deal with these weapons which you will find in these abandoned
4 houses? Whether there was some rules which -- which says that you should
5 submit some reports of outcome of this operations or you just deal with
6 these weapons by yourself and keep at your disposal?
7 A. As far as the orders are concerned about the code of conduct,
8 that's something that the Croatian army received back in 1992, 1993,
9 including the brigades and regiments. We were all familiar with the code
10 of military conduct prior to the operation.
11 Now, going back to the weapons, the weapons found in Kistanje and
12 in these villages, we weren't able to carry those weapons along. You
13 could carry not more than three rifles. So we didn't real take the
14 weapons along. The lads who were following in our path were the ones who
15 collected the weapons. I couldn't carry the excess weapons since I had
16 to proceed with the action.
17 Later on, rifles could be found in every house. And at that
18 rate, rifles were handed over to the closest check-points, to the
19 commanders who were there. Since I wasn't a commander, there is nothing
20 more that I can tell you about that.
21 JUDGE KINIS: And the next question is: You mentioned that your
22 place where your unit was dispatched was Ivosevci, and from Vodice it is
23 approximately -- no, I'm roughly, will say, 76 to -- 76 or 77 kilometres.
24 Did you ask the permission to somebody to travel to Vodice? Did
25 you have task to return back the next morning for continuing your job?
1 How -- how this command and control chain was working at that time?
2 Because you were a member of army.
3 A. Yes. I reached Kistanje. We went on foot. We were walking for
4 a day or two. My foot was swollen, and I asked some lads from the
5 Medical Corps to transport me to the emergency ward, because we had
6 physicians in the basement of the Olimp [phoen] hotel in Vodice. They
7 were there at the ready.
8 So they would take me down there to have my knee emptied of water
9 and then would take me home -- then they take me back. I couldn't go
10 home. I wanted to go back despite my leg, and I was ill.
11 JUDGE KINIS: But who gave you permission for you to do so? And
12 also you mentioned that you were on your own in the shed of, for
13 instance, three nights; you were hiding at this victim's house and
14 waiting for this person who -- who you wanted to -- at that time arrest.
15 Who -- who did some control over you, over behaviour of -- of
16 soldiers at that time? You said you don't know who is your superior, you
17 don't know who is your platoon commander and so, but -- but who -- was
18 there actually some kind of control over behaviour of soldiers or
19 soldiers were freely to move during the night, whatever they want?
20 A. No. You mentioned the murder and all that, but that took place
22 At first, everything was known who did what where and when and
23 who can do what things. We knew what the orders were. Later on, as of
24 Ivosevci onwards, which was a few days after Operation Storm, the guys
25 who could, went further afield. Some stayed behind, guarding the towers,
1 churches, et cetera. I joined them. I don't know who they belonged to,
2 what platoons or what; but I could enter any squad or join any platoon
3 because everyone knew me. We all knew each other down there. This was
4 no American army. We were just plain soldiers; farmers become soldiers
5 overnight. Some things we did independently. Without orders, without
6 any order.
7 JUDGE KINIS: Thank you for that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Have the questions by the Bench raised any need for
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
12 Further Re-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
13 Q. Yes, first I would like to show you D204, which is an order of
14 General Gotovina dated 10 August 1995
15 Mr. Bilic, this is an order by General Gotovina on compliance
16 with military disciplinary measures.
17 Now, you were asked questioned by Mr. Waespi concerning your
18 activities and just Judge Kinis concerning some movement, and I turn to
19 number 1 in this order. It says:
20 "I prohibit arbitrary movement of HV members in the liberated
21 areas without the knowledge of ... superior commanders."
22 And number 2:
23 "Take all necessary measures and fully engage in the
24 implementation of the military disciplinary conduct and maintenance of
25 order in the area of responsibility and prevent arson and all other
1 illegal acts."
2 Now, the question Mr. Waespi asked you about, if you received an
3 order from General Gotovina, would you follow it, did you receive this
4 order from General Gotovina?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
6 MR. WAESPI: Yes, obviously that doesn't arise from my questions.
7 MR. KEHOE: Of course, it does. Of course, it does. You just
8 asked the question in cross-examination.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to get -- let's focus on the matter.
10 Have you seen this order ever before?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Personally, no. I was not a
12 commander. But I do know that it was stressed --
13 JUDGE ORIE: My question simply was whether the answer is "no."
14 Were you ever given an order that arbitrary movement of HV members in the
15 liberated areas without knowledge of the superior commanders was
16 prohibited? So that HV soldiers could not arbitrarily move around
17 without knowledge of their commanders.
18 Did you ever receive such an order?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course we did. In the course of
20 the first few days we couldn't even go anywhere. We were told not to
21 mingle because we were all assigned our own insignia.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let's talk about well, let's say, let's forget about
23 the first four days, five days, of Operation Storm. After that date, did
24 you ever receive any order which prohibited arbitrary movement of members
25 of the HV in the liberated areas without knowledge of their superior
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I took over some
3 responsibilities of my own initiative, as I already said. Therefore, I
4 blame myself for many things I missed --
5 JUDGE ORIE: I wasn't asking whether you blame yourself for
6 anything. My question simply was whether you received, after the first
7 four or five days of Operation Storm, whether you -- an order was given
8 to you by whomever. You may tell us who it was, if you received such an
9 order, that arbitrary movement of HV members was not -- was prohibited
10 without knowledge of their superior commanders.
11 Did you ever receive such an order at that point in time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. I simply cannot
13 recall. I may have, I may not. I don't remember.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Did you, at that time -- point in time, did you
15 receive any order - so, again, after this first four or five days - to
16 take all necessary measures to fully engage in the implementation of
17 military disciplinary conduct?
18 Did you receive such an order?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. Maybe I did,
20 maybe I did not. I don't remember such things.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
22 MR. KEHOE: Yes. A few issues. If I could turn --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. KEHOE: If I could turn to -- and I'm going to cover some
25 issues that were addressed by counsel. The first I'd like to talk about
1 is P2564, and if I could turn to the transcript at page 75, line 21, and
2 this was the last document counsel showed you concerning this rally.
3 Q. Now, you were asked in -- on line 21 by Mr. Waespi:
4 "Were you aware that in October 1995 there was a peaceful
6 If I can scroll up here. And let me read the bottom part of this
7 document that wasn't read going over to the next page and this is coming
8 from General Lausic.
9 "We are herewith forwarding to the the above said intelligence
10 report for your information and an order for you to take adequate
11 measures to prevent the potential protest rally from taking place."
12 Now, that wasn't read to you. And I believe, if we scroll down,
13 your answer, if I can, is that you don't recall any such rally.
14 A. By that time I was already in jail, if I remember correctly.
15 Q. So you were in jail at this point. That's fine, sir.
16 Let's turn our attention, I want to cover another item. And that
17 is P2565 when counsel talked to you. That is a two-page document, if we
19 So five pages --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is this the one not to be shown on the ...
21 MR. KEHOE: I do not -- no, no it's not. It has to do with the
22 stop on the 23rd of August.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. KEHOE: Page 3.
25 Q. Now, during the course of your testimony, both on
1 cross-examination and some questions asked by the Bench, you have talked
2 about check-points and this the check-point you were stopped as you
3 approached Vodice and you were driving a Lada vehicle. Now is that Lada
4 vehicle a military vehicle or a civilian vehicle?
5 A. I really don't remember.
6 Q. Well, and with regard to these seizures -- well, let's just take
7 that one step further. I mean, this was a Lada with no number plates.
8 Now, military vehicles have an HV-numbered plate on it, don't
10 MR. WAESPI: This is leading. This is leading, and the witness
11 answered already, that he doesn't remember.
12 MR. KEHOE: Well, I'm asking him a question based on his
13 knowledge of HV vehicles.
14 Q. Do HV military vehicles have a licence plate with an
15 HV designation and a number?
16 A. Yes they had their own plates. I believe they were yellow, HV
18 Q. Now this particular item, as we go to the last two lines, at this
19 particular check-point it notes that the items were -- talking about
20 these items, these items were handed over for safe-keeping and a military
21 disciplinary report was filed.
22 So these individuals at the check-point actually took these
23 items. Is that right? The law enforcement?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, let us go cover a couple of items. You noted, as we said
1 previously in paragraph 4 of your statement, which is - we don't need to
2 bring it up on the screen - D1547 that you were demobilised when you
3 turned in your weapon on 18 August. And I would like to address you to a
4 series of reports put into evidence by the Prosecution, and these are
5 P2187, a report from the military police, dated 4 October.
6 If I can, I'm just going to go through these documents very
7 quickly and then just ask you one question.
8 P2187, page 1.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: I'm not quite certain about the purposes of showing
11 a document to the witness. It is obviously in danger of being a leading
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have two concerns: The first is that we
14 hear from the witness the evidence he can give us, within the ordinary
15 course of the proceedings; and I'm also looking at the clock.
16 MR. KEHOE: Can I just cut this short.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please ask the question, and if there would be any
18 need to further show documents to the witness, we will consider how to
19 proceed and when to proceed.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. Mr. Bilic, were you aware that initially your case was being
22 jointly investigated by the military police and the MUP? And I'm talking
23 about the murder of Dara Milosevic.
24 A. No, the civilian police did that.
25 Q. Okay. And were you aware that there was a determination that you
1 were not a member of the HV when you committed the murder of
2 Dara Milosevic?
3 A. They didn't know.
4 Q. Well, sir, you were ultimately, as you noted, you went through
5 the civilian courts; didn't you? Where you received your sentence of
6 eight years.
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. KEHOE: I can argue those documents at the appropriate time,
9 Mr. President. I don't really think at this point --
10 JUDGE ORIE: I don't whether the witness can shed some additional
11 light on the prosecutorial and judicial competence. But if we have the
12 documents, that matter can be argued on the basis of those documents, it
13 seems to me at least.
14 I'm also looking at the other Defence teams. Apparently no
15 further questions.
16 Mr. Waespi.
17 MR. WAESPI: Yes, the only issue I have -- would have two
18 document I wanted to bar table, but we can do that tomorrow.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We can do that. And I take it that we don't need
20 the witness for that.
21 MR. WAESPI: I don't think so.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 Then, Mr. Bilic, this concludes your evidence in this court. I
24 would like to thank you very much for coming a long way and for having
25 answered questions that were put to you by the parties and by the Bench.
1 And I wish you a safe trip home again.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to thank
3 you for handling this all right. I wanted to greet my generals and pass
4 the greetings of all of Croatia
5 hardly wait for them to be back home.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's not usual that you greet as a witness the
7 accused, but, of course, the accused have heard that you intended to do
8 that, and that message certainly reached them.
9 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Bilic out of the
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Two - very quickly - one or two procedural matters.
13 First, has the Prosecution been supplied with the witness statement for
14 Witness AG-24 so as to enable them.
15 If not, you're invited to take care that it happens.
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. That -- I have been trying to
17 get the Rule 70 clearance for some time, and I'm giving my best efforts
18 to get the clearance, and it has not been a Rule 70 clear -- I will tell
19 you that it's not very extensive, but --
20 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that. But the only thing is that
21 the Prosecution noted that it needs to see the statement before it can
23 MR. KEHOE: And, Mr. President, I will tell that you I am in
24 unison with their request to get --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think there's no --
1 MR. KEHOE: Can I -- I have been informed of one issue on that,
2 and without going into the identity, the statement is virtually -- I
3 don't want to say it's virtually identical, but consistent with
4 the information --
5 JUDGE ORIE: I would not -- as a matter of fact, if there is
6 anything to be said, then we can do that not in the time we have stolen
7 already from interpreters, transcribers, the security officers,
8 et cetera.
9 There is one other matter, yes. We will not sit on the
10 6th of July, and the earlier you know that, I think the better it is.
11 There are other matters, but we will leave them until tomorrow.
12 We adjourn, and we resume tomorrow, Thursday, the 2nd of July, at
13 quarter past 2.00, in Courtroom I.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.07 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
16 July, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.