1 Monday, 13 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Is the Gotovina Defence ready to call its next witness?
11 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And that will be Mr. Barkovic.
13 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could Mr. Barkovic be --
15 MR. KEHOE: Before we just -- one issue, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. KEHOE: What we have attempted to do with the assistance of
18 the --
19 JUDGE ORIE: I have seen that what has been done is that a
20 tentative assignment of MFI
21 in close cooperation with you.
22 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine.
24 MR. KEHOE: And what we attempted to do is similar to the
25 procedure that's been used in the past as opposed to going through every
1 one of the documents is just go through the preliminaries in the 92 ter
2 statement and then offer the statement into evidence in conjunction with
3 the exhibits.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And reference is made to the paragraphs in the
5 statement where they apparently are found. They are --
6 Mr. Russo, I take it that there is no objection against this way
7 of proceeding, which means only that we have tentative MFI numbers
9 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Mr. President, there is no objection. In fact,
10 I'm not objecting to any of the documents with the exception of one.
11 There ask a page missing from one of the documents. I'm not sure if that
12 is a technical issue that can be cleared up.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps if you already mention the provisional MFI
14 number of the document so that the Gotovina Defence is in a position to
16 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Mr. President. That's D1599, marked for
18 JUDGE ORIE: And the page missing is to be found or is the short
19 document --
20 MR. RUSSO: I believe it indicates that page 5 in the original is
21 missing. I have the translation.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. RUSSO: And if is simply missing and can't be found, that's
24 fine. I won't object to the admission of the document. I just want to
25 make sure that --
1 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine.
2 MR. KEHOE: I will certainly check.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Anything else?
4 If not, Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Barkovic into
5 the courtroom.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Barkovic. Can you hear me in a
8 language you understand?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Barkovic, before you give evidence, the Rules of
11 Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration that
12 you will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
13 I would like to invite to you make that solemn declaration, of
14 which the text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I solemnly declare
16 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: MLADEN BARKOVIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated.
20 MR. KEHOE: May I proceed, Mr. President?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please.
22 Examination by Mr. Kehoe:
23 Q. Good morning, Professor. Professor, can you state your name for
24 the record and spell your last name, sir.
25 A. Mladen Barkovic, B-a-r-k-o-v-i-c.
1 Q. Professor Barkovic, do you recall meeting with the members of the
2 Gotovina Defence team on two occasions, the 30th of April, 2009, and
3 again on 18 May 2009
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And do you recall signing a statement on the 18th of May, 2009?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I could call up 65 ter 1D2693, and
8 if I could hand a copy of that document to the professor with the
9 assistance of the Usher.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, could you assist Mr. Kehoe.
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. Now, Professor, I have placed before you a document, the 65 ter
13 1D2693. Do you recognise this document as the statement that you signed
14 on the 18th of May, 2009?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. And did you have a chance to review this document before you came
17 to court here today?
18 A. Yes, of course.
19 Q. And when we were going through it together, professor, we made
20 certain corrections to this document, did we not, which I would like to
21 go through with you now, beginning on paragraph 10 of the document.
22 And that first 65 ter document that's listed, 65 ter 1D2645,
23 should, in fact, be 1D2648. Do you see that, sir?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. And in paragraph -- just taking these sequentially, in
1 paragraph 16, the second-to-last line where it notes the 133rd Home Guard
2 Brigade, I believe you told us that should be the 113th Home Guard
3 Brigade; is that right?
4 A. Yes. 113th Sibenik, yes.
5 Q. In paragraph 20, where you talk about this particular document in
6 the last line, it notes that in the -- in your statement is says 4375
7 non-commissioned officers were required. And in reviewing the document
8 it, in fact, says 4735. So those numbers were transposed; is that right?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the final correction is a correction
11 that is not in Mr. Barkovic's document, but it is, unfortunately, in the
12 English. And it's an error that is in the translation on paragraph 23 in
13 the English, the fourth line from the bottom. That -- it refers to a
14 65 ter and as it's written, it says 65 ter 1 SD 2695. It's correct in
15 Professor Barkovic's original, by the way it should read is 65 ter
16 1D2659. So the last two digits in the English version have been
18 Q. Professor, subject to the corrections in the statement, does the
19 statement accurately reflect what you said to the Gotovina Defence during
20 your meetings with them?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And is the information provided in your statement true and
23 accurate, to the best of your knowledge?
24 A. Yes, to the best of my knowledge.
25 Q. And, Professor, if I examine you today with regard to the same
1 matters that are contained in that statement, would your testimony on
2 those issues be the same?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we'd move for the
5 admission of 1D2693, which is now been marked for identification as
6 D1583, MFI
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, a few questions. The one number in
8 paragraph 23, all the other numbers start with 1D and then a four-digit
9 number. Here we have you corrected the 2695 and 259, but the structure
10 of the number is different to the extent that started 1 SD.
11 MR. KEHOE: That's incorrect. I thought I said something about
12 that. If I didn't -- it should be 65 ter 1D2659, Mr. President. You're
13 absolutely right.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And I have one or two more questions.
15 When you gave your statement, Mr. Barkovic, apparently you signed
16 it. I see a signature on the B/C/S version on the 18th of May; is that
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Did you sign it on the day -- was the statement
20 written down in your own language?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Did you -- when did you -- have you reviewed the
23 English version of your statement?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We read a draft translation of the
25 original statement before signing it, and then we made corrections to the
1 Croatian versions, whereas -- version, whereas corrections were made to
2 the English version with members of the team over the past couple of
4 JUDGE ORIE: But have you seen an earlier version of the English
5 translation on the 18th of May or at what point in time?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 18th of May, I saw the draft
7 translation, the draft English translation, but what we were doing at the
8 time was correcting the original Croatian version, which I signed. It
9 was subsequently translated, and I no longer saw that version until a few
10 days ago when I also checked the English version here. Of course, my
11 knowledge of English permits me to notice the minor semantic differences
12 between the two versions.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Mr. Kehoe, a question for you as well.
14 In paragraph 16, the issue which comes back in the supplemental
15 information sheet as well which has been provided to the Chamber. We see
16 that the translation contains what's appears to be correction.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the witness signs the original, apparently
19 makes no correction to that. And now, in the translation we find a
20 correction because the answer is not what it should be. That raises some
21 issues as to what a translation means to be. Any comments on that?
22 MR. KEHOE: My comment on that is that is why the "[sic]" is
23 there. Because what we did was we literally left in what was in the
24 original so that the reader would know that. If --
25 JUDGE ORIE: And if the original we find the reference to the
1 113. That's --
2 MR. KEHOE: 133rd.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But who is translating? You say we.
4 Apparently someone who knows what the answers should be.
5 MR. KEHOE: In reviewing the documents, Mr. President, and
6 putting together the package with the appendices, the review reflected
7 that it was the 113th. And we thought for the purposes and clarification
8 of the chamber, while we didn't, of course, alter the original document
9 that he signed, for the purposes of the translation and certainly to
10 assist the Chamber, we thought it would behoove us to inform the Chamber
11 that there was a mistake in that regard and 65 ter 1D2638, in fact,
12 refers to the 113 brigade as opposed to the 133rd. That is why we put
13 the "[sic]" in there because the "[sic]" of course means that -- is
14 literally in the originally, albeit a mistake, is still there. So it was
15 no -- it was merely an attempt to highlight for the purpose of the
16 Chamber that there was a mistake there. We intended, of course, to bring
17 it to the Court's attention in the Chamber; and, of course, Your Honours
18 in review of the actual document itself, the Chamber can see that it is
19 it reflecting [Overlapping speakers] ...
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not commenting on whether the correction is
21 accurately made. I was just wondering to what extent the translation is
22 a coproduction of someone who comments on the content and someone who
23 just translates the language. Apparently it is to some extent a
25 MR. KEHOE: It is. In -- you're absolutely right, Mr. President,
1 and in that sense, that is why we included the "[sic]" signal in there.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for those answers.
3 Any objections, Mr. Russo.
4 MR. RUSSO: No, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you assign a -- a number has
6 already been assigned to the witness statement. That's D1583 -- well,
7 has been -- Madam Registrar has made a proposal to assign this number to
8 the document. D1583 is admitted into evidence.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, and with regard to the balance of
11 the documents that are included in the -- with the -- all the 1D numbers,
12 and I -- a list has been provided to the Register. We would offer the
13 balance of those documents for which the Registrar has tentatively
14 listed -- MFI
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the puzzle in relation to D1599 has been
17 resolved or not yet?
18 MR. KEHOE: I looked at that document in the original B/C/S and
19 if we see the sequential numbers that are in the upper right-hand corner,
20 they seem to follow each other, and I certainly at the break will consult
21 with Mr. Russo on this, but my courtroom assistant, Ms. Katalinic, pulled
22 it up on the screen, and we can see that the document does, in fact, go
23 sequentially. So I will certainly show that to Mr. Russo from what we
24 found but that's the document that we have that was translated.
25 If Mr. Russo can see that --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Finally, Mr. Russo has no objections against
2 admission whether complete or incomplete, if I understand you well.
3 Therefore, D1584 up to and including D1603, as described by
4 Madam Registrar in today's list, which will be entered into e-court are
5 admitted in evidence, and the Chamber would like to hear once D1599 has
6 been verified.
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Mr. President, I did explain to
8 Professor Barkovic the summary and the necessity and as for the public --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please read the summary.
10 MR. KEHOE: Dr. Mladen Barkovic worked in the Croatian army's
11 Department for Military Education, Training, Research, and Development
12 and the War College
13 the area of organisation and development of the military educational and
14 training system of the Croatian army and was involved with the officer
15 training provided by the HV, as well as the process through which the HV
16 established various course curricula from 1991 to 1995.
17 According to Mr. Barkovic, the state of the personnel, material,
18 and organisation of the HV during 1991 was extremely weak. Therefore,
19 initially the main tasks of the Department for Military Education,
20 Training, Research, and Development and the War College
21 support in the process of structurally organising the Croatian army into
22 one unified military organisation as a whole, with an efficient command
23 and control structure being the most important component. To accomplish
24 this goal, among other things, they created an accelerated education and
25 training programme for the lower command levels, squad/platoon/company.
1 With respect to participation in the education and training
2 programmes developed, General Gotovina sent non-commissioned officers and
3 officers from the Split Military District to the courses at the Croatian
4 Military Academy
5 Military District.
6 Dr. Barkovic was also personally involved with MPRI and the
7 courses offered and developed with their assistance. Dr. Barkovic was
8 responsible within the HV for coordinating with MPRI in creating training
9 programmes for HV officers and non-commissioned officers, NCOs. The
10 first such training course with MPRI began in late 1994 and was a NCO
11 instructor course, because the HV did not even have enough qualified
12 instructors to train NCOs, let alone enough qualified NCOs.
13 Dr. Barkovic notes that the key to discipline in an army is its
14 NCO level. The NCOs were a significant problem for the HV because the HV
15 was simply unable to properly develop and train this level given the
16 extraordinary circumstances they faced from 1991 to 1995 including lack
17 of time available to train, the selection of soldiers sent for training,
18 the education level of potential NCOs, ongoing military operation, lack
19 of instructors, as well as lack of space and facilities.
20 The international laws of war constituted one of the important
21 elements in the educational and training system of the HV. Dr. Barkovic
22 coordinated with the International Committee of the Red Cross regarding
23 training provided to HV members on the Geneva Conventions, so that the
24 treatment of civilians in military operations would be in accordance with
25 international law.
1 That is the summary of the statement, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. Professor Barkovic, we're going cover some topics and not all of
5 the topics in your statement, and we just want a bit of clarity on some
6 of those issues.
7 And turning our attention to paragraph 4 of your statement,
8 Professor, and the first sentence it notes that the state of the
9 personnel, material, and normative organisation of the HV during 1991 was
10 extremely weak.
11 Now, we're going to discuss those and we'll get into the
12 personnel in a bit. But could you give us an overall synopsis of what
13 you are referring to concerning these problems being very weak -- the
14 problems existing and the HV was very weak during the 1991 period.
15 Can you tell us what you're referring to?
16 A. In view of the fact that ever since the first democratic free
17 elections in Croatia
18 had a Ministry of Defence without any armed force. All the armed forces
19 contained within the police forces were there, and four Guards Brigades
20 were set up, but there were also a type of "gendarmerie" contained within
21 the police force. It is clear then that the aggression in the summer of
22 1991 caught Croatia
23 without any forces, which in the conventional military sense could be
24 used for any sort of serious defence, let alone any sort of serious
25 combat action, also given the fact that Croatia was partly occupied; in
1 other words, it had parts of it -- parts of its territory which were
2 under occupation. Nobody with any common sense could think that it could
3 achieve this.
4 Another fact that needs to be taken into consideration is that
6 an embargo not only weapons but on military training, et cetera. In
7 other words, we were left to our own devices to what we could achieve on
8 our own. If we keep in mind the fact that there was no Main Staff, then
9 it is only natural that no serious regulations existed which would govern
10 the armed forces. The Ministry of Defence was only with modest resources
11 and it was part of the Croatian government, and had to deal with certain
12 operational issues all the way through to the summer months of 1991.
13 That would be the general picture.
14 Q. And so, Professor, moving to your actual role in the command
15 structure, what challenges did that present for you and the HV Command
16 Staff in training and educating and bringing the HV up to a professional
18 A. Yes. There were many more challenges than possibilities of
19 reacting to them adequately.
20 The first challenge was time. There was no time to mount any
21 sort of training courses. So the first courses which were organised for
22 the personnel holding the positions of non-commissioned officers and
23 commissioned officers at the levels of squads, companies, and platoons
24 were organised for a period of seven days.
25 Subsequently, the courses were prolonged to two weeks, a month,
1 and then two months as well. Over a very short period of time, one had
2 to organise something for the personnel who were active and who could be
3 spared from their duties for a month and in order for them to receive
4 training, which would raise them to a higher level of professionalism
5 than they had before.
6 Another major challenge was that of instructor personnel. The
7 dilemma we were faced with was: Can we spare the personnel who were out
8 in the field, the manning positions, and does their absence, in fact --
9 is it outweighed by the importance of them being trained in order that
10 they may, in turn, train others. That's how we decided to withdraw
11 people from the front line, in order to take them back there, so they had
12 their firsthand combat knowledge, which was then coupled with the
13 training they received.
14 As for the resources we had at our disposal, we were faced with
15 the same dilemma. Is a piece of hardware more worthwhile when employed
16 for defence purposes on the front line or when used for education
17 purposes within a school? We were far undersourced in these terms of
18 having adequate education instruments. In terms of resource, we also had
19 a lack of space where course attendees would be put up. Croatia had a
20 very high number of refugees and displaced persons, and precisely those
21 who came from Vukovar were accommodated in the premises of the Croatian
22 army, so that they occupied the premises that we were not available to
23 vacate and use for education and training purposes all the way until
24 after the end of the war.
25 Q. Professor Barkovic, I've been advised by the Croatian speakers in
1 the audience that they ask you to slow down just a bit, if I may, and I
2 think -- please?
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President. I believe the witness at
4 page -- let me see, page 14, lines 4 and 5, the witness stated where they
5 were accommodated, and I don't think it was picked up.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we --
7 Mr. Barkovic --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where who was accommodated? The
9 academy or the refugees?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Dr. Barkovic, it reads now:
12 persons ... of the Croatian army, so that they occupied the premises ..."
13 What premises?
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I believe you missed a line.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I missed a line.
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Line 4.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was reading from the one screen, and it's
18 not fully consistent with the other one.
19 Let me just check. "And precisely those who came from Vukovar
20 were accommodated ..."
21 Where were they accommodated?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the premises of the barracks
23 housing the Croatian Military Academy
24 There were several such buildings.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That now completes the record.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Also, staying with that first sentence in paragraph 4, you talk
4 about issues involving the normative organisation of the HV. What are
5 you talking about there?
6 A. When we talk about legislative regulation, we could talking about
7 many areas, of course, but when we're talking about the war and war
8 activities and the use of military force, of course, there must be
9 legislation governing the strategic and doctrinal employment of forces.
10 The next levels are tactics, equipment and procedure. As we go down to
11 different levels of use of equipment and forces, all that did not exist.
12 There was no organised military system at the time that we are
13 discussing, that is, until the end of 1991, when the first regulation
14 started to emerge. All the regulation boiled down to issuing orders to
15 the people who were in the top echelons of the Ministry of Defence and
16 the Main Staff, and in technical details, we relied on the literature
17 remaining from the former JNA, instructions on how to use technical and
18 tactical combat resources.
19 One of the first tasks of training was to teach people
20 standardised certain procedures, trained them how to work and how to
21 train other people. So we started from scratch by writing certain
22 instructions that contributed to the process of legislative regulation of
23 the use of military forces.
24 Another aspect of that is the military system, the organisational
25 structure; and as the state developed over time, the military structure
1 began to be more and more regulated.
2 Q. Well, let's talk a little bit more specifically about the
3 personnel involved in this. And moving ahead in your statement and
4 direct your attention to the beginning of paragraph 5, you note that:
5 "Due to the deficit of officers with competent military education
6 and training, all members of the HV, who previously had military
7 education and training, were shifted on a higher level in the chain of
8 command, while the middle and lower level [sic] command positions were
9 staffed with persons who were about to receive military education and
11 Now, can you just elaborate? Exactly what kind of problems are
12 you discussing with regard to the structure of the HV and the challenges
13 that it presented to you?
14 A. Under the circumstances of the aggression, of course, we had to
15 build up a large military force, but we did not have enough equipment or
16 enough weapons, so our main factor in increasing our capacities was
17 mobilising large numbers of men, to create a large number of military
19 A military unit is able to function only with a well-established
20 chain of command, and the chain of command consists of people who are
21 able to perform that sort of work. As the military units were created,
22 more and more room was created for promotion. That meant that anyone who
23 had military education and training, be it from schools for active-duty
24 personnel in the former Yugoslav People's Army, or schools for reserve
25 officers and NCOs, or perhaps military knowledge gained in third
1 countries, all such people very quickly gained higher levels of command.
2 That means that former JNA officers were immediately placed in high
3 positions, and at lower levels, command of platoons and companies was
5 So, in September or October 1991, there was a great need for
6 education and training and longer and shorter courses to enable people to
7 take up these lower command positions, command of companies and platoons.
8 Q. And, again, just for clarity sake, the lower command positions
9 were at the non-commissioned officer, NCO level?
10 A. Yes, of course. The largest shortage was precisely in NCOs; at
11 lower levels, that is. And commanders of squads were made to be people
12 who showed any amount of ambition, sometimes even against their will,
13 because the position came with increased responsibility; but, at the
14 time, morale was at such a level that such positions were easily
15 accepted. Nevertheless, frequently, we had people in NCO positions who
16 did not even have enough tactical or technical knowledge, let alone
17 ability and training to lead people in a serious military unit.
18 Q. We will get into those issues in a little bit more detail as we
19 move ahead this morning.
20 Before I would -- before we go into that issue, I would just like
21 to touch on a few topics in your statement, preliminarily; and in
22 paragraph 10, you talk about the -- the Home Guard units. And if we
23 could just refer ourselves to two documents D1588, preliminarily,
24 which --
25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, for the sake of the witness, he asked
1 if we could get the hard copy. I have tabbed those out. And if I can
2 just give these same documents to the witness, it may expedite matters,
3 if there's no objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: No objection, I take it, Mr. Russo?
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
7 Q. And, Professor, if we could about to your tab 7, which is D1588
8 in evidence. This is a document from the Split Military District
9 concerning the analysis of training and education in 1994. And if we go
10 to the second page in the English, towards the bottom, in the
11 paragraph beginning: "A semi-peacetime situation ..."
12 It notes in the last line -- I guess the next page in the B/C/S
13 as well:
14 "We know that 60 per cent of the members of our units are
15 expelled persons."
16 Now, you referred to that -- and if I could just go to, yet,
17 another document which is in tab 8, which is D1587. I'm going to just
18 refer to both of these documents, Professor Barkovic, and then just ask
19 you a question about it.
20 And this is on tab 8 of your book.
21 A. Mm-hmm.
22 Q. This is a report on the training and education conducted in the
23 15th Home Guard Regiment, dated 19 November 1994. And if we can go to
24 the first appendix of this document, which is seventh page in the
25 English. We note in the second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-to-last
1 lines in the paragraph, the unit of the 15th Home Guard Regiment consists
2 of 70 per cent of servicemen coming from occupied areas and locations
3 along the front line.
4 And this is on page 7 in the B/C/S.
5 Now, in your statement, Professor, you note, midway through
6 paragraph 10, that the level of their combat readiness and education and
7 training was significantly lower from the level of the professional
8 brigades, and this was due to a multiple of reasons.
9 Well, talk to us about that a little bit, and talk to us about
10 the difference between the professional brigades and Home Guard Brigades,
11 and why this happened and the multiple reasons you're referring to.
12 A. The reasons result from the differences in the way these units
13 were created, the circumstances prevailing in Croatia as a whole at the
14 time. The first reason is the selection of people. For Guards Brigade,
15 this selection was serious, conducted under well-tested criteria; and it
16 was followed by training for Guards Brigades, initial training, in which
17 officers and NCOs from the Guards Brigade had priority in admission to
18 the Croatian Military Academy
19 good training.
20 And homeland units are a different story entirely. They were
21 created on the territorial principle, and homeland guards were joined by
22 people who were willing to defend their country; but they were rather
23 thin in prior knowledge and training.
24 As I said, the capacity of the academy was rather limited and
25 people from homeland guards had a difficult time getting into the
1 Military Academy
2 Those are the three main reasons: Selection in admission;
3 priorities in training; and the fact that they were made up of people,
4 mobilised based on the territorial principle. Almost everyone came from
5 that particular territory. Perhaps not all, but 60 to 70 per cent.
6 We tried to overcome that in this way. The Main Staff issued
7 every year orders on annual training in units, and here we see an example
8 of the order regulating precisely such an effort in a Homeland Guard/Home
9 Guard Regiment.
10 I hope that answers your question why the Guards Brigades were
11 much, much better trained and why they could be used for much more
12 serious missions than Home Guard units.
13 Q. Well, let's stay with this training of the Home Guard units. And
14 on this particular document that's on the screen about the 15th Home
15 Guard Regiment, and if we can turn to the next page in the English
16 towards the top, and I will check that that is consonant with the B/C/S.
17 And in this annual analysis of training by the -- of the 15th Home Guard,
18 we note that the top of the page:
19 "With the commanders of battalions, companies and platoons we
20 elaborated the topic international humanitarian law ...
21 "The basic knowledge was provided in lectures, in which we used
22 brochures of the humanitarian Red Cross and international Red Cross."
23 And, Professor Barkovic, before we get into this, if we could
24 please slow down, I think the -- my colleagues are advising me that there
25 has been some difficulty keeping up with the rate of speech.
1 So if we could just try to be a little bit slower, I think that
2 that would be helpful.
3 Now this document, sir, is a review from 19 November 1994. Can
4 you tell us a little bit about your involvement and your experience at
5 the Main
6 law and what the approach of the HV was.
7 A. I remember that very soon after the establishment of the Croatian
8 Military Academy
9 we made contact of the office of the ICRC in Zagreb who helped us with
10 this, and in every course we conducted at the Croatian Military Academy
11 we organised several hours of lectures by ICRC representatives. Somebody
12 would come from the ICRC and make a introductory lecture and then in the
13 part of the course concerning command and control, there was also a
14 section about desirable conduct in this respect, and explanations were
15 given to soldiers, what is consistent with international
16 Geneva Conventions and what is not.
17 Every year, a new agreement would be signed on cooperation with
18 the ICRC and that became a well-regulated system. This was done not only
19 at the Military Academy
20 that was conducted, during lulls in combat, during rest, lectures were
21 given on international humanitarian law, so we worked in a two-pronged
22 way, on two levels. A manual on international law on warfare was also
24 Q. Well, let take these issues sequentially and first on the timing
25 issue --
1 MR. KEHOE: If I might just have one moment. Excuse me,
2 Mr. President.
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. KEHOE: I'm advised, Mr. President, by Mr. Misetic there was
5 a comment about the time at which this training was going on that has not
6 been picked up in the translation.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That would be page and line number?
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, it was at --
9 JUDGE ORIE: That's 21 -- page 21, 23, 24.
10 MR. MISETIC: It was at page 21, lines 15 and 16 --
11 JUDGE ORIE: 15 and 16.
12 MR. MISETIC: -- in there.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The -- part of your answer relating to the time
14 of -- the time at which this training was going on has not been
16 Could you please repeat that portion of your answer,
17 Mr. Barkovic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first courses, including that
19 topic we had at the Military Academy
20 started 15-day courses in February 1992. So these were the beginnings of
21 the work of the Croatian Military Academy
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. If we could just -- on the
24 timing issue, if we could turn to D1592.
25 Q. And, Professor, in your book, it's tab 13. And it is a document
1 that is signed by General Bobetko on 14 December 1992. If we could just
2 bring that up on the screen.
3 And in -- in this document, this is it an outline for training,
4 and I turn to the last page where they are talking about -- in the
5 curriculum, other matters. And you note in the reserve time there is a
6 segment for international law of war.
7 Do you see that, Professor?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Now, that particular reservation of time, do you know who that
10 time was reserved for to come in and discuss this?
11 A. Yes. After New Year 1993, training began in the command and
12 control school; that is, at a higher level than anything we had done
13 before, and there is the curriculum for this course. And this reserve
14 time was meant for a person from the office of the ICRC in Zagreb to come
15 and lecture. We did not know exactly when he would come, so we set aside
16 time for him to lecture future commanders of battalions and brigades on
17 this topic. They would have firsthand knowledge on the subject.
18 Q. Did members of the ICRC, in fact, attend and give those lectures?
19 A. Yes, yes, they did. They were always very happy to come, and
20 they were very active and even proactive in this effort. They would come
21 an offer their services themselves, and whenever we requested anything,
22 they did even more than they had been asked.
23 Q. Let me -- on this same topic, and let me turn your attention to
24 D1601 in evidence, which is a document sent to the ICRC by
25 Major-General Tolj, 25 July 1995
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just -- Mr. Kehoe, as you about the last
2 document. The number mentioned there, the numbers of hours spent on the
3 topics and the programme.
4 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Since we only saw only, I think, paragraph 11
6 or 12, what is the total number of hours for the course?
7 MR. KEHOE: I will count that up, Mr. President. I didn't count
8 up the entire hours of the course.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I saw that three hours were reserved for
10 international laws of war.
11 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'd like it know what the percentage is ...
13 [Overlapping speakers]
14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, we will add that up at the next break or as soon
15 as possible.
16 Q. On this document, D1601, we note this is a document from the
17 chief of the political administration to the ICRC for the 25th of July,
18 1995, which sets out a curriculum. But if we could turn to the next
20 In the preamble, I'm interested in the time sequence there,
21 Professor, where it notes --
22 MR. KEHOE: If we could have that on the English on the second
23 page. Yes, that's it. Thank you.
24 Q. "Pursuant to the continuation of the existing fruitful
25 cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia
1 and the International Committee of Red Cross in the field of the
2 promotion of international humanitarian law in the Croatian army during
3 1992, 1993, 1994, the signatory parties to this agreement concur to
4 continue the cooperation in the course of 1995."
5 Do you see that professor?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is that the time sequence that you're talking about with the
8 relationship between the HV and the ICRC?
9 A. Yes, yes, definitely. We started in 1992. This document is
10 dated 1995, and it demonstrates a continued cooperation between the
11 Ministry of Defence and our armed forces and the ICRC.
12 Q. Let us flip to D1602, which is tab 14. And, Professor, this is a
13 document from the ICRC, noted the basic principles of the laws of war.
14 MR. KEHOE: And, Mr. President, I don't know if we can
15 necessarily do this. But on the Croatian is it possible to just put the
16 Croatian on and spin it, because there's a date in the column that CLSS
17 hasn't translated that I think is something that the Chamber might want
18 to see.
19 The other way, please. If we can ... there it is.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Now, Professor Barkovic, this is a basic principles of war
23 document from the ICRC. And could you read out for us the date of the
24 printing on this that is listed in the document?
25 A. It says printed in June 1995. The circulation was 10.000 copies.
1 Q. Now, Professor, were documents similar to this printed and
2 distributed prior to June 1995 by the HV?
3 A. Yes. But they were done in a short time, based on various
4 sources, usually by the faculty at the Military Academy
5 distributed to attendees of the courses as part of the courses, the same
6 as was done with all the other training and education material that they
7 would receive during their course.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I don't think there is any need to
9 page through this at this point. Obviously, the Chamber can review this
10 document. Unfortunately, the translation that we have didn't have that
11 date on there and I thought it was significant to bring it to the
12 Chamber's attention.
13 JUDGE ORIE: It's now on the record.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. KEHOE: If we can just -- I'm sorry. Can I continue?
16 Q. Now, if we can just turn to the training itself and go to your
17 paragraph 7 of your statement. And you note in paragraph 7 that there
18 were -- second to last sentence in paragraph 7:
19 "At the level of some Military Districts education and training
20 centres were established?"
21 Do you see that, Professor?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you're talking about some Military Districts. Would that
24 include the setting up of these training facilities in the Split Military
25 District, which was under the command of General Gotovina?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If we can move ahead, Professor, to paragraph 19 of your
3 statement, you reference about midway through that document the centre,
4 and that's a training centre, the centre in Sepurine was focussed at the
5 education and training of soldiers, group squad commanders and
6 non-commissioned officers, squad and platoon leaders.
7 Is that the centre at Sepurine, is that the centre that was set
8 up by General Gotovina for the Split Military District?
9 A. I think it was initially set up as the centre for training of the
10 4th Guards Brigade which was stationed in Split. So, in other words,
11 yes. The answer could be in the affirmative.
12 Subsequently on the initiative of General Gotovina, the centre
13 was expanded and the services of training were provided to other Guards
14 Brigades as well. It eventually, therefore, grew into a centre for the
15 training of NCOs and was integrated into the Croatian Military Academy
16 In other words, it emerged on the basis of the needs for training of
17 NCOs, and was initially the training centre for one Guards Brigade only
18 and later on expanded to provide its services to all the others.
19 Q. Let us continue with this training and basically focus on the
20 Split Military District documentation. And I would like to discuss
21 another document with you, which is 65 ter -- excuse me, yes, 65 ter
23 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the reason why this document does not
24 have a premarked MFI
25 list. I present this to the Prosecution, and I make an ore tenus motion
1 to put it on the 65 ter list. I consulted with my colleague prior to
2 Court and I don't believe he has any objections.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
4 MR. RUSSO: That's correct, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then leave is granted to add it to your
6 65 ter list.
7 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Professor, if we could turn to this document. This is tab 22 in
9 your book. And again that's 65 ter 1D2781. This is a request from
10 General Gotovina on the 20th of April, 1995.
11 Before we go down into the content of this, Professor, I would
12 just like ask you a question about the subject itself. It says:
13 "Request for assistant in building an artillery-infantry training
14 centre for the needs of 2nd strategic echelon of the reserve units of the
15 Split Military District."
16 What units are we talking about there?
17 A. This primarily involves reserve forces. The second combat
18 echelon stands for reserve forces, be it mobilised forces or Home Guard
19 forces. They were very similar, according to the tasks they were
20 supposed to perform.
21 What this document clearly shows is that the results -- or,
22 rather, the training courses carried out here were focussed on active
23 NCOs, whereas General Gotovina thought it useful to train the reserve
24 NCOs as well, and wanted a centre to be set up in Split similar to the
25 one set up in Sepurine but this time for the training of the reserve
1 forces and the Home Guard units.
2 Q. Well, if we could talk about paragraph 1 in this document. If we
3 just scroll down a bit under the heading, "Explanation of the request,"
4 and -- even prior to that it says:
5 "Due to the substantial needs of the expert training of the
6 non-commissioned officer and officer personnel for the
7 squad-platoon-company-battery levels of command and within the units of
8 the Split
9 It puts the request in, but at point 1 it says:
10 "Given the substantial needs for training and education in the
11 Split Military District in the limited capacity of the
12 Damir Tomljanovich-Gavran training centre in Sepurine and its orientation
13 toward the training of guards units, I am forced to find some other
14 efficient solution for the purpose of raising the level of combat
16 What was the problem here with the combat -- with the training
18 A. Which facilities are you referring to? The ones in Sepurine or
19 the ones in Sibenik?
20 Q. I'm talking about the ones he is making a request for in this
22 A. What is sought here is the premises of the barracks
23 Bribirski Knezovi, Sibenik to be remodelled for the purposes of the
24 training of NCOs, what the problems involved were, who the barracks
25 initially belonged to, and what needed remodel there is something I don't
2 The request says that some of the premises should be adapted for
3 the purposes of the training of reserve NCOs.
4 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we'd like to offer into
5 evidence 65 ter 1D2781.
6 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document will become Exhibit
10 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Staying on the -- the training of NCOs that you just mentioned,
14 Professor, I would like to address your attention to paragraph 20 of your
15 statement, where you talk about the importance of NCOs. And then
16 flipping back to paragraph 18, in the first sentence in paragraph 18, you
17 note that:
18 "One of the greatest problems accompanying the development of the
19 HV from the very beginnings until 1995 was the deficiency of the
20 non-commissioned officer corps."
21 Can you explain that just a little bit based on your experience
22 in the HV and your experience in the JNA?
23 A. What needs to be said first is the fact that the duties of
24 officers and non-commissioned officers fall under two different sets of
25 tasks to be performed by the army. There is a possibility to develop
1 officers from the lowest to the highest rank along one chain, and along
2 the other, the development of non-commissioned officers from the lowest
3 to the highest ranks.
4 It is the NCOs who -- on whom the effective performance of the
5 army depends and very often we would call the NCOs as the backbone of the
6 army, and if they failed to perform, then no officer can make sure that
7 the army is ultimately made operational. We were forced to staff the
8 command positions along the chain of command, and this resulted in the
9 fact that we would very often place the best NCOs to carry out officer's
10 duties. According to the information or the practice of the personnel
11 cadre, if a NCO is placed on an officer's position for three months, upon
12 the expiry of the three months and on condition of good performance, the
13 NCO had to be promoted to an officer's position. This resulted in a
14 chronic shortage of NCOs. This was also caused by the fact that the NCOs
15 themselves saw their future not in a higher ranking NCO position but in
16 an officer's position. The function of the non-commissioned officer
17 corps should have performed within the Croatian army -- could no longer
18 be guaranteed, and this was the problem I referred to in paragraph 18 of
19 my statement.
20 Q. Well, Professor, specifically, what is the practical effect of
21 this lack of trained NCOs when we get down to the squad and platoon level
22 in the HV?
23 A. When we are discussing the directing of a lower ranking unit,
24 i.e., squads and platoons, what is important is that there is personnel
25 there who constantly take care of discipline, proper functioning of the
1 unit, of the morale of the unit, and who make sure that the unit abides
2 by values, from generally social values, through to military values, and
3 to make sure that the unit is behind them 100 per cent. And these are
4 the qualities of a good NCO, who not only gains these qualities through
5 the system of education and training, but is required to have these
6 innate qualities of being able to deal with the individuals with his
7 soldiers, to command loyalty from them, to make sure that, ultimately,
8 the members of his unit will obey his orders, do what is desirable on the
9 desirable values, and will refrain from such conduct as is considered
10 unlawful, irregular, and not desirable. In addition to this, the NCO is
11 authorised to enforce disciplinary measures and punish breach of
12 discipline on the part of his members -- of the members of his unit.
13 The shortage of NCOs on commanding positions of squads and
14 platoons, and even their high fluctuation on these positions had, as its
15 result, lack of discipline and lack of combat readiness in the army,
16 because the NCO has to be the very best soldier of his squad or platoon.
17 He needs to demonstrate his abilities. He needs to command trust from
18 his soldiers which cannot be done through orders but through one's own
19 example. This was the only way of making sure that his men do what a
20 military unit is required to do in times of war and in peacetime.
21 Q. Staying on that topic before we move to a document, Professor, at
22 the bottom of paragraph 5 -- or actually it's several lines from the
23 bottom. Midway through paragraph 5, you note -- of your statement, you
25 "As no other personnel resources were available, the
1 establishment of the system of accelerated officers and non-commissioned
2 officers, education and training was the only solution. The situation we
3 found ourselves in was the complete opposite of the normal."
4 Tell us about that. What are you talking about, this complete
5 opposite of normal?
6 A. In my answer to the first question put to me today, I said that
8 aggression and where part of its territory had been occupied. The same
9 applies to this question. When the military organisation was being
10 organised, civilians joined the army and went through various education
11 and training courses, only to be appointed to a certain post.
12 Before they are assigned to their subsequent duty, it was
13 customary for them to undergo certain training. So there was a continued
14 training of NCOs and COs.
15 Following such courses, they would be given a higher rank and a
16 different position. This is what normally takes place in an armed force.
17 However, we had men who were members of military units manning front
18 lines, and it was only from there that they were sent for training. They
19 were trained over a limited period of time - this is something we
20 referred to before - and then our -- upon completed training, they would
21 be assigned to the units they had originally come from.
22 What we wanted to do was to make sure that men who were already
23 performing military duties, upon completed training, were able to perform
24 these same duties but only better. Unfortunately, we had to adhere to
25 this system through to the end of the war. It was only in a handful of
1 cases which involved higher levels, Command Staff schools that they were
2 able to train men before appointing them to a different duty. What our
3 training and education system amounted to was training of men who were
4 already performing military duties, in order to raise their level of
6 Q. Now, Professor, prior to your -- this will be last question
7 before the break, Mr. President, with your permission.
8 Prior to your joining the HV in 1991, your experience from your
9 statement is with the JNA, and based on your JNA experience, how much
10 time and training was -- was required before a soldier reached the NCO
11 level in the JNA? How many months or years? And did you have that kind
12 of time in the HV?
13 A. The JNA educated NCOs through a regular secondary school system.
14 In other words, individuals aged 15 would join a secondary school, and
15 these schools lasted for four years. The first two years were of a
16 general courses, and then the second two-year period concentrated on a
17 given military branch. Once these individuals, aged 18, finished
18 secondary school training, they started serving the army alongside
19 military conscripts; whereas, the -- those who trained the NCOs were very
20 often of senior cadre, had -- in the Croatian army, we had NCO who were
21 senior officers, who had more firsthand combat experience but who had had
22 training for perhaps three months.
23 MR. KEHOE: I think we're missing some of the translation here,
24 if Mr. Misetic can assist before we get too far down the line.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
1 MR. MISETIC: I'm afraid that because of the speed of speech,
2 there is an lot missing. So first at page 34, line 3, if we could check
3 the age that the witness said.
4 JUDGE ORIE: At what wage did they finish military secondary
5 school training?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 19.
7 MR. MISETIC: And then the second issue is page 34, lines 5 and
8 6, something was mentioned. He used the word senior, but I'm not sure
9 that -- I think there may be something missing.
10 JUDGE ORIE: A reference, at least in the translation we
11 received, is made to senior cadre. Could you tell us whether you added
12 something in this context? Whether that is complete?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember mentioning senior
14 cadre. I said that once they completed secondary school education became
15 NCOs and started serving in units alongside conscripts who were their
16 peers. This perhaps is not relevant.
17 MR. MISETIC: I belive --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And perhaps it had to do with --
19 MR. MISETIC: He then continued on and said -- he continued on
20 and said, Whereas in the Croatian arm, and then there was a comparison.
21 And if he could perhaps clarify that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please repeat what you said there.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 Once I described the practice in the JNA, I compared it with the
25 situation we had in the Croatian army.
1 In the Croatian army, those who received NCO training, were
2 individuals who were of more advanced age and who had more experience of
3 life and combat, in some cases, which made the training easier, on the
4 one hand; but, on the other hand, the training lasted for three months
5 only. There was only one generation of NCOs who had a six-months'
6 training. However, it turned out that we did not have enough time to
7 carry out six months training and had to resort to shorter period
9 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I don't know if this is an appropriate
10 time for a break.
11 JUDGE ORIE: It is.
12 Your estimate of time is still the same that goes to two hours?
13 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Approximately the same, maybe
14 just a little more than half an hour when I come back, but I don't think
15 it should be tremendously long.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break. Mr. Barkovic, the break will
17 be 25 minutes. And we will resume at 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Professor, I would like to show you a series of three documents
23 before I begin to ask you questions in the spirit of time, just to -- so
24 you can understand exactly the frame of reference of my next questions,
25 and the first one I'd like to look at with you is P -- excuse me, D1595
1 which is in tab 2 of your book. And it's a document of the 2nd of March,
2 1994, concerning the training -- NCO training in the 4th Guards Brigade.
3 And the next document, if you can turn to your tab 6, which is
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, we haven't even had the English on our
7 MR. KEHOE: I apologise. If we can go back to D1595. My
8 apology, Mr. President.
9 Let's go back to tab 2 before we go to tab 6 and scroll down a
10 little bit in the English and get the full breadth, at least the first
11 page. We note at the bottom of that page:
12 "By conducting training every day, motivate NCOs to preserve the
13 reputation of members of the 4th Guards Brigade in any situation and
14 transfer their positive influence to other members of the brigade and the
16 Attached to that, we can just -- if we can just go up a couple of
17 pages, to page 7 in the English and 7 in the B/C/S. You note the
18 training objectives, at quarters of the way down, teach them the basics
19 of military psychology that will enable them to work with people in a
20 better way, train others, and behave appropriately in crisis situations.
21 If we can scroll up a little bit at the top of that page, you
22 talk about one of the goals being the disciplined conduct of the NCOs.
23 Turn to the next page in English, page 8 in the English, page 8
24 in the B/C/S. And the subjective goal, 18.104.22.168, talking about service
1 "The objective of the subject is to teach NCOs to carry out
2 obligations correctly and learn about disciplinary measures in the HV."
3 And then it discusses the actual topic itself.
4 And again if we go to page 13 in the English and 22 in the B/C/S.
5 Talking about factors, command -- military command and control includes,
6 among other things, discipline morale, et cetera.
7 If we can move ahead to tab 6. Tab 6 in your book, which is
8 D1590. This is an order from General Gotovina dated 7 January 1995,
9 pursuant to an order of the Main Staff regarding the training of
10 non-commissioned officers. We note in the first paragraph the order is
11 to organise, provide training to commanders of squads, platoons,
12 companies and battalions of Home Guard Regiments of the Split Military
13 District, and it gives a particular location.
14 We note in paragraph 2 the purpose of the seminar. But in
15 paragraph 3, Professor, you notice the squad levels, and we have a series
16 of numbers.
17 Are those numbers which add up to 100, are those at the NCO level
18 training for individuals at the NCO level? You have to say orally. I --
19 A. NCO level, yes.
20 Q. Now, with these two documents in mind, I'd like to turn to yet a
21 third document. That takes us yet a bit further chronologically. The
22 last document was 7 January 1995
23 which is a document drafted by General Gotovina. You mention in
24 paragraph 20 of your -- on tab 5 for you, paragraph 20 of your statement,
25 and it is dated 16 February 1995
1 MR. KEHOE: If we can bring that up on the screen, please.
2 THE WITNESS: Tab number?
3 MR. KEHOE: Tab 5, please.
4 THE WITNESS: I beg your pardon?
5 MR. KEHOE: 5.
6 THE WITNESS: Mm-hmm.
7 MR. KEHOE:
8 Q. Do you have that, Professor?
9 A. Yes, okay.
10 Q. This is a document. It notes proposal, selection, deployment and
11 control of non-commissioned officers in the HV and is sent to
12 Minister Susak, General Bobetko, and others including General Roso.
13 And if we can turn to the next page to get the date of this. And
14 starting with the first sentence, General Gotovina writes:
15 "I have repeatedly warned high-ranking HV officers of the
16 staffing problem in the HV at various meetings and briefings, including,
17 naturally, those at the Split Military District [level] ... I last did it
18 in the analysis of the order, work and discipline in the HV in 1994,
19 which was carried out, as you know, in the 113th Brigade in Sibenik on 9
20 and 10 1995."
21 Moving down in paragraph -- excuse me, just staying with that
23 "On that occasion, I directly related the order, work and
24 discipline in 1994 to the staffing issue, namely, the issue of a specific
25 group of staff that we call non-commissioned officers."
1 Just moving down one sentence:
2 "Trying to find a solution to the problem and improve the order,
3 work and discipline in the long-term, I have come to realise that it
4 should be necessary to make some radical changes in the overall attitude
5 towards the non-commissioned officers in the HV. The present attitude is
7 "If we claim, as we justly do, that non-commissioned officers
8 present [sic] the pillar of the army, then we should adopt a different
9 attitude towards this pillar in all segments of life and work."
10 Now, Professor, you're familiar with this document. And can you
11 give us some explanation: What's the problem here as late as
12 February 1995, with regard to NCOs.
13 A. [Interpretation] In the hitherto interpretation of this
14 statement, we clarified in which way we trained and educated NCOs. I'll
15 repeat briefly. That, from 1993 onwards, there has been in existence a
16 NCO school with a capacity of between 200 to 300 attendees at a time,
17 once in three months. That makes less than a thousand men per year.
18 Another school for guards NCOs was active in Sepurine, and I
19 would like to emphasise that the connection when I said that NCOs were
20 constantly promoted to officers rather than to higher NCO positions, this
21 problem was recognised very well by Gotovina - probably he was familiar
22 with it from his prior career - and he took steps to make sure that NCOs
23 see their prospects in climbing through the NCO structure, not straight
24 on to the officer level. So the system of recognising and appreciating
25 NCOs and their importance and achievements in building up the army, as
1 well as recognising their renown in the armed forces was established.
2 That is an element that supports the role of the NCO structure in many
3 other armies. I don't know what other details you might be interested.
4 Q. We can go into some of the details, and one of the details is
5 General Gotovina mentioning at paragraph (a) of this document, and I
6 believe that's page 3 in the B/C/S that -- and you mention this in your
7 statement at paragraph 20 that there -- the NCO level's at a 60 per cent
8 strength. And if we turn the page again to the time-frames, and this is
9 page 3 in the B/C/S, page 3 in the English, under the numbers there, what
10 training for non-commissioned officers means to us can best be seen in
11 the fact that more than 80 per cent of the non-commissioned officers in
12 the Split Military District are from the Homeland War, where they
13 obtained their ranks through wartime services.
14 "The training currently offered at the HVU is short and has even
15 been reduced from six to four months."
16 Now General Gotovina has got concerns about the level of NCOs and
17 also the time it is to training. Now, what was the position of the
18 Main Staff on this?
19 A. I must say that these are facts that are very rational and that
20 prevailed at the time in the Military District of Split, and they tell us
21 at least two things. First of all, there was a shortage of NCOs; also,
22 because NCOs were given ranks and promoted to officers. And the second
23 thing is that schools and the Military Academy
24 capacities and there was a need to change something about that.
25 As for the reactions of the Main Staff to this communication, I
1 don't know what it was, but I know that in 1994 a number of programmes
2 was started, together with the American company MPRI, these programmes
3 were for the democracy transition assistance, and one of the main tasks
4 of that team was to size up the situation, and they also noticed the same
5 problems that General Gotovina writes about here. We had to create a
6 special structure of training and promoting the NCOs within the NCO
7 structure, along the lines Mr. Gotovina describes here.
8 I believe, therefore, that the Ministry of Defence and the
9 Main Staff had recognised the problem even a bit earlier and reacted by
10 opening this project with the MPRI which was a long-term project and
11 could not deal with the problems immediately.
12 Q. One last issue raised by General Gotovina on the bottom of page 3
13 and page 4 in the B/C/S, under the heading of the advertising for
14 non-commissioned officers' duties, promotion to a rank and control in the
15 service and profession in general. He noted:
16 "The fact of the matter is ..."
17 Do you see that, Professor? Page 4 of the B/C/S, page 3, under
18 the subheading C.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. "The fact of the matter is that the ranks of non-commissioned
21 officers in the HVO are not popular, and, it must be also said, we have
22 done little (if anything at all) to make them more popular. Today,
23 most ... men see themselves as officers, a few of them as
24 non-commissioned officers, mostly only on a temporary basis [sic] but
25 this rank in the army is not just a rank, it is a service, a profession,
1 a military specialty that cannot be done without."
2 Now, that particular focus, I mean, how did you understand what
3 General Gotovina was trying to bring about with that comment?
4 A. I understood it the way it was written, and I believe it was
5 written very precisely and accurately.
6 It is a fact that the job of the NCO is a particular speciality.
7 They are not authorised to command units and operations. They are
8 authorised to manage a group of people they were -- that were given to
9 them by officers. But they are responsible for building a team with whom
10 they would perform these tasks. They live together with this team, they
11 train it, and the best units in these units are NCOs. And if the NCO
12 only thinks of how he would be promoted to an officer, then it's not
13 good. This is not a short-term job. It's a long-term job to build up a
14 team like that. I think what we have behind this sentence is a profound
15 knowledge of the structure of the military organisation and the way
16 military jobs should be professionally performed.
17 Q. Let us turn to the last page of this document which is page 5 in
18 the English and page 5 in the B/C/S, under the conclusion.
19 In the conclusion, and I'm referring to the last sentence:
20 "Having competent non-commissioned officers in these positions
21 means, without a doubt, having before organised work and order, better
22 discipline and far fewer unusual incidents, but also far better combat
23 readiness for these [sic] units."
24 How do these competent non-commissioned officers that
25 General Gotovina refers to play into better organised work and order and,
1 most importantly, better discipline and far fewer unusual incidents?
2 A. Yes. Definitely, a NCO is a man who lives together, breathes
3 with his soldiers. The number of people he managed is five to ten,
4 depending on whether it's an infantry unit or a different unit. That's a
5 system within which one man can effectively manage such a number of
6 people. He can be in constant conduct and communication with them. All
7 members of his units can see what he is doing, how he is doing it, and he
8 is able to set an example of how things should be done. He discusses
9 with them values and value judgements about what is good and what is bad,
10 ethical aspects. Through this work, an awareness is built on belonging
11 to the unit, on what is good and what is bad conduct; and once that has
12 been built, the members of that unit, even if the absence of the NCO, if
13 they are struck by an idea to do something which is irregular, are aware
14 that they are surrounded by people who would not approve, and that serves
15 as a deterrent. And thus, the work of the NCO contributes to building a
16 conscious discipline among members of the army, based not only on fear
17 from punishment but also on the awareness that one should carry oneself
18 in the same way as the others, whether the NCO is there to control it or
19 not. That is the role of the NCO in creating a consciously disciplined
20 conduct of the members of the unit who would then be apt for being
21 deployed and employed.
22 As for extraordinary incidents, that means anything that is
23 considered to be unacceptable and prohibited behaviours, starting from
24 shirking duties, such as guard duty and other duty, to going AWOL.
25 That's the way in which the quality of the NCO corps can be linked with
1 everything that contributes to the quality of an army, in terms of
2 readiness and ability, and discipline, of course.
3 Q. Well, Professor, given your answer, I put to you some of the
4 evidence that has been presented to this Chamber concerning possible
5 improprieties by HV members, and I would like to go through a series of
6 documents and have you respond to them.
7 The first being D204. I'd like to show you three documents and
8 then ask you a question at the end so if you could bear with us as we go
9 through those.
10 D204 is a document, an order from General Gotovina, 10
11 August 1995, approximately four days after the end of Operation Storm.
12 MR. KEHOE: D204.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Professor, this is document from --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
17 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry. My apologies.
18 Q. And "Subject: Order, on compliance with military disciplinary
19 measures based on the information from the areas liberated by the HV, the
20 analysis thereof, and in order to prevent theft of property undisciplined
21 conduct and to save ... lives I hereby order: I prohibit arbitrary
22 movements of the HV members in the liberated areas without the knowledge
23 of their superiors [sic]."
24 Turn to paragraph 2.
25 "Take all necessary measures and fully engage in the
1 implementation of the military disciplinary conduct and the maintenance
2 of order in the area of responsibility, and prevent arson and all other
3 illegal acts. Take resolute measures against anybody who conducts
4 himself in an undisciplined manner. Signed Major-General Ante Gotovina."
5 MR. KEHOE: If I could turn to P -- next document, P1140.
6 Q. This is an order from Colonel Mladen Fuzul, 19 August 1995
8 "Due to the observed breakdown of order and discipline and for
9 the international reputation of the Republic of Croatia
10 1, establish control [sic] in all units and immediately take measures
11 against torching -- against the torching of buildings and the killing of
12 animals; 2, take disciplinary and criminal measures against responsible
13 [sic] individuals?"
14 Let us turn to one last document on this subject before we begin
15 to ask questions on it, than would be P918.
16 MR. KEHOE: And if we could put that on the screen.
17 Q. This is a document that is -- comes out of the Split Military
18 District political affairs section, penned by Captain Mario Tomasovic and
19 the subject is: "Warning."
20 And we go to the second full paragraph. We're talking about
21 items after Operation Storm:
22 "However, because of the irresponsibility of individual soldiers,
23 non-commissioned officers, and officers, who compromise the Croatian army
24 and state through their inappropriate conduct and acts, this success has
25 been partly brought into question."
1 The success that we're talking about in the prior paragraph is
2 that brought about by Operation Storm.
3 Next paragraph:
4 "For this reason and following the policy of the Supreme
5 Commander Dr. Franjo Tudjman as well as the instructions of the defence
6 minister and the political administration of the defence ministry of the
7 Republic of Croatia
8 following: 1, the continued torching and destruction of facilities and
9 property throughout the entire liberated area [sic]; 2 ... killing of
10 live stock; 3, confiscation of property; 4, inappropriate conduct toward
11 remaining civilians and prisoners of war ... especially towards members
12 and soldiers of the peace forces."
13 Professor Barkovic, we have talks about this morning about any
14 number of topics, the formulation of the HV in training, the existence of
15 Home Guard Regiments, the training facilities for NCOs and lack thereof,
16 and the need for training in international humanitarian law, yet on
17 the -- after Operation Storm, there are orders and reports such as this
18 that are in the record of this Trial Chamber and this case.
19 If there is this training, Professor, and if these orders are
20 being given by General Gotovina down to its soldiers, how do these things
21 come about? How did this happen?
22 A. My answer can be based only on indirect knowledge. However, it
23 can quite clearly be explained why this situation came about.
24 Let's take the example of a -- of a Home Guard Regiment, which
25 reaches an area and liberates an area where its members hail from. They
1 come across their own properties which had been razed to the ground;
2 whereas, their neighbours, who had lived in the area until
3 Operation Storm or even continued living there thereafter, had their
4 properties intact. This required a high degree of strict control to make
5 sure that such individuals did not engage in misdeeds. Evidently, it was
6 not possible for us have that degree of control, and one of the most
7 immediate reasons is that even those who were not taught -- even those
8 who were taught the provisions of international humanitarian law and who
9 had undergone training still were unable to restrain the heightened
10 emotions on the part of their soldiers. We know that not many people
11 need to breach discipline or to be undisciplined in their conduct in
12 order for great damage to be inflicted.
13 This is why it was very easy in such a situation where the lower
14 NCOs and lower-ranking NCOs and lower-ranking officers were few. We saw
15 what the conditions for education and training were in place at the time
16 for individuals to engage in the sort of conduct, which is mentioned as
17 prohibited in this document.
18 The third problem is the chain of command. The singleness of
19 command is one of the principles, where the superior will issue orders to
20 the first subordinate officer, who, in turn, will issue orders to his
21 first subordinate officer, and so on. In other words, these orders had
22 to go through a number of levels down the chain of command, and that each
23 of these levels, there was a risk of noise, as it were, which resulted in
24 poor understanding of these orders, especially if the lower levels of
25 command, in particular the NCOs, were not sure as to how and in what way
1 these orders needed to be adhered to.
2 Q. Well, sir, specifically, based on the training that is given,
3 when soldiers are out, for instance, looting, who is the first person in
4 authority that should be there to stop that?
5 A. Based on what we were discussing today, it's the NCOs, for two
6 reasons. One, because they are constantly present with their soldiers;
7 and, second, because they need, with their own presence, to command
8 loyalty and respect and to make sure that their soldiers know what proper
9 conduct is.
10 So they were -- they are the first ones who should notice any
11 such conduct and make sure that such conduct is not engaged with. In
12 other words, it is the NCOs.
13 Q. And, sir, based on what you've written and told us today, why did
14 they not do it successfully?
15 A. There are several reasons for that. One is the number of trained
16 NCOs. Very often the NCOs who were present in the field had not gone
17 through training for the reasons we explained.
18 The second reason is that many individuals regarded the NCO
19 duties as only a springboard to higher officer levels.
20 That would be the two reasons which proved sufficient; whereas,
21 the third reason is the absence of such a NCO corps, which would, along
22 the chain of command, not only on one level but along the entire chain of
23 command, make sure that discipline is enforced.
24 Q. Just being back, sir, to your second reason and I want you to
25 play this into what we said. This is on line 20:
1 "The second reason is that many individuals regarded the NCO
2 duties as only a springboard to higher levels."
3 Can you explain that a little bit in your explanation as to why
4 they didn't stop this inappropriate conduct to the extent that it
6 A. I think that the objective need to develop a large armed force
7 over a short period of time played into such a situation. Because the
8 army ranks grew, the NCO -- the NCOs were pulled higher up, were promoted
9 to higher levels. Where one NCO went, the others followed. There were
10 attempts to develop a large NCO corps only in 1994 when the combat
11 situation calmed down somewhat, before the military operations. By that
12 point, a contract was signed with the MPRI company, and one of the tasks
13 was to develop the NCO corps which would function the way I described it
14 should have.
15 Another effort was the development of NCO schools, because the
16 NCO schools existed in the navy, as well as in the aviation --
17 Q. With regard to this NCO duties as only being a springboard to
18 higher officer levels, how and why did that affect discipline on the
20 A. What arose was the problem of sufficient time. In order to build
21 up a team which shared an awareness of belonging to a unit, time needs to
22 pass. The NCOs need to have time to pass with the members of the squad
23 or the platoon they are in command of. If that period of time is short
24 or if the NCO does not expect to remain at that position for a long time,
25 he will not be able to create that feeling of oneness with his members,
1 if he knows that he will very soon move on to higher positions.
2 So it takes a long time to build a cohesion between the NCO and
3 the unit, which will ensure that the military unit involved is successful
4 in its activities.
5 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I might have one moment.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I have no further questions of this
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Barkovic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
12 Ms. Higgins, any questions for the witness.
13 MS. HIGGINS: No, questions Your Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions as well, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, you have some questions, I take it.
17 MR. RUSSO: Indeed, Mr. President. Thank you.
18 Mr. Barkovic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Russo.
19 Mr. Russo is counsel for the Prosecution.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Russo:
21 Q. Good morning, Professor.
22 A. [In English] Good morning.
23 Q. Before we move into more specific areas, I want to be clear about
24 something at the beginning.
25 You're aware that HV soldiers, not just members of the Home Guard
1 Regiment but members of the professional brigades, committed crimes, such
2 as looting and burning in the immediate aftermath of Operation Storm; is
3 that right?
4 A. [Interpretation] Frankly I have to say that I don't know who the
5 perpetrators were not by their names, save for what I was able to read in
6 the newspaper, mentioning individuals and their units. I don't know more
7 than that.
8 Q. I'm not asking you about specific individuals. What I'm asking
9 you is if you are aware that soldiers, for example from the 4th or
10 7th Guards Brigades, or any of the Home Guard units that were involved in
11 Operation Storm, you are aware that they committed looting and burning in
12 the immediate aftermath of Operation Storm; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And can I take your testimony, your -- that is your witness
15 statement plus the testimony that you have given here today, can I take
16 that to mean that you attribute those crimes to a lack of NCOs. Am I
17 right about that?
18 A. That is one of the reasons. You know that in any community,
19 regardless of what sort of education and training it had or how it was
20 brought up by the family, there is always crime. We know that the
21 motives of such criminal offences can always be varied, and that is the
22 case in this specific circumstance we're talking about it -- we're
24 I know that what forms military discipline in an army is the
25 presence of the NCOs who are in command of some 10 to 30 men, and they
1 are the backbone and the guarantee that extraordinary incidents will not
3 Q. Thank you. Now, you were shown some documents by Mr. Kehoe
4 regarding orders that General Gotovina had given against looting and
5 burning and for the maintenance of discipline and a few other documents
6 along the same lines.
7 Are you aware that similar orders were issued to members of the
8 Croatian army, that is both professional Guards Brigades and Home Guard
9 Regiments, prior to the operations in Grahovo and Glamoc?
10 A. This fact is not known to me. However, since I'm familiar with
11 the workings of the army, it is only natural that -- and we were able to
12 see one example here from Colonel Mladen Fuzul, that the commanders
13 receiving such orders immediately forwarded them down the chain of
14 command. So I suppose that this was the case, although I hadn't heard of
15 such documents.
16 Q. And, Professor, indeed, it's not necessary for a commander to
17 specifically issue an order not to commit a crime; isn't that right?
18 That's part of the code of military discipline, isn't it?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. But when a commander, in fact, does issue that order, not to
21 engage in, for example, looting and burning, that is supposed to
22 someplace some special emphasise on it for the troops; isn't that right?
23 A. Yes. It most probably means that such incidents occurred, that
24 they were analysed, and that it was concluded that it called for an
25 additional intervention. For this reason, these steps were taken to
1 additionally emphasise matters that needed paying special attention to.
2 Following any extraordinary incident, the army conducts analysis and
3 takes measures regardless of the fact that the same matter had been
4 regulated previously. This is the case in traffic incidents, in brawls,
5 and in many other cases I have knowledge of.
6 So I'm not surprised that as soon as first indications emerged of
7 improper conduct, additional measures were taken.
8 Q. And when the additional measure of issuing a specific order is
9 taken, you'll agree with me, won't you, that it's necessary to ensure
10 enforcement of that order, and equally important that when the order is
11 disobeyed, that someone who disobeys it is disciplined for that; right?
12 A. Generally speaking, yes. However, it seems to me that the
13 incidents which occurred fell into the category of criminal offences, in
14 respect of which soldiers did not have powers to react but to pass them
15 on to those officers who engaged in criminal offences. They could only
16 impose disciplinary measures for minor breaches of discipline, which are
17 not crime. In other words, commanders could take disciplinary measures
18 and report criminal offences to those whose duty it was to investigate
19 into them.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
21 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President, if we could check page 53, the
22 sentence starting on line 11 and ending on line 14.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Starting with, "Generally speaking, yes." That
25 MR. MISETIC: "However, it seems to me ..."
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 Mr. Barkovic, I will read to you a portion of your evidence, of
3 which we're not fully certain that it's completely or accurately
4 translated. I must add to this that your speed of speech creates these
5 kinds of problems and it not the lack of competence of our interpreters
6 or transcribers.
7 Let me read to you --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, I will
9 try to slow down.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I read to you the relevant portion of your answer.
11 You said:
12 "However, it seems to me that the incidents which occurred fell
13 into the category of criminal offences in respect of which soldiers did
14 not have powers to react but to pass them on to those officers who
15 engaged in criminal offences."
16 Well, especially the last part of the answer comes a bit as a
17 surprise. Did you intend to say those officers who would deal with
18 criminal offences?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I meant -- first of all,
20 instead of soldiers it should read commanders. Commanders are the ones
21 who can issue disciplinary measures against soldiers, and their second
22 obligation is to report criminal offences to those who should investigate
23 them ex officio. This is at least my understanding of the system.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Could I ask you in relation to this, say I'm a platoon commander
1 or I see someone putting fire to a civilian house. What am I supposed to
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] React instantly and stop it,
4 because you are in the position of a commander, who can tell him what to
5 do and whatnot to do.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, but --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But the platoon commander cannot
8 prosecute or convict that person instantly. A certain procedure of
9 investigation and prosecution and punishment is required.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, you have to react
12 immediately when you see the offence happening.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you say, Stop immediately, and he doesn't do
14 that. What do you do?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the story of military
16 discipline again.
17 A soldier has to obey his superior. The superior can either
18 react by force himself or order two men nearby to seize the person and
19 stop that conduct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And then do what with the person?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The military police must be called,
22 and the person must be turned over to them, together with the report on
23 what he had done, and then the case is in the hands of the military
24 police. One should not forget that military commanding officers are busy
25 with things happening at hand, and such incidents are in well-organised
1 and well-disciplined armies still an exception, not the rule.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, let's just assume that the military
3 police is not nearby. You will have to wait for two hours before you
4 could expect them to be there.
5 What do you do with the person? Do you keep him under control by
6 force and wait until the military police arrives; or do you ... which
7 would, to some extent, obstruct further [Overlapping speakers] ...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, the person has to be
9 kept under control from then on.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
12 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Now, along the lines of the Presiding Judge's questions,
14 enforcing and maintaining discipline is the responsibility of every kind
15 of commander from the lowest level NCO, all the way up to the highest
16 general; is that right?
17 A. Yes. But we must bear in mind the possible range of control,
18 because we -- when we are talking about the commander of an operation
19 group --
20 Q. Let me -- I just want some focussed answered to my question.
21 We'll explore the matter a bit further.
22 Now, you indicated during your direct testimony that when a NCO
23 fails to perform his duties that operational -- that officers are unable
24 to put together an operational army; is that right?
25 A. Yes. That is linked to the possible range of control. A NCO
1 controls five to ten men, which is much easier than controlling 30 or 40
2 men, as an officer has to do. It is even harder for a company commander
3 who cannot keep 150 soldiers under constant control.
4 That's what I meant. I'm not saying it's not their obligation.
5 Q. Yes. Thank you.
6 Now, when a NCO doesn't do his job, when he doesn't prevent
7 soldiers from looting and burning, it becomes that NCO's immediate
8 superior, it becomes his responsibility, then, to enforce and maintain
9 discipline, not only on the -- on that NCO's subordinates but on the NCO
10 himself; isn't that right?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And if, as I'm sure we all recognise, the lieutenant or the
13 company commander is unable to stop the immediate conduct that's
14 happening, for example, looting and burning, it's not the matter, right,
15 that he simply forgets about it after it occurs, right, he has to follow
16 up and make sure that what he witnessed and what he knows went on is
17 addressed through the military discipline system; isn't that right?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And going back to what I was asking you about at the beginning of
20 the examination, the fact that orders similar to the ones that Mr. Kehoe
21 showed you about preventing looting and burning, the fact that such
22 orders were given prior to operations in Grahovo and Glamoc, you're
23 aware, aren't you, that those orders were not effective to prevent
24 looting and burning in those operations; right?
25 A. It's normal that in every order, according to operation
1 procedure, there is an item regulating treatment of civilians, prisoners
2 of war and the property in the area designated, and it is normal to
3 emphasise, that once again, in every order, although it is in the
4 appropriate regulating documentation.
5 Or perhaps I did not understand another part of your question.
6 Q. Yes, I think -- let me make it a little clearer. I'll just ask
7 it again.
8 Are you aware that the orders not to loot and burn were not
9 effective to prevent looting and burning by soldiers in Grahovo and
11 A. Well, if these things happened, it's obvious that the orders did
12 not attain their goal, or, better to say, were not executed.
13 Q. And you would agree with me, wouldn't you, that when an order
14 such as that is issued and it is not effective and it is not followed,
15 that it doesn't behove the commander to simply reissue the same order and
16 hopes it gets obeyed the second time.
17 A. No. Measures of control and inspection must be taken, personal
18 control at one's own level and two levels below, see what's happening,
19 why it's happening, learn the lessons, and get to the bottom of that and
20 then achieve appropriate conduct.
21 Q. Now, Professor, along the lines of your answer, some of the goals
22 of the code of military discipline are primarily to correct an errant
23 soldier who breaches discipline; secondarily, to set an example to other
24 soldiers that they should abide by the code of discipline; and, thirdly,
25 to ensure the proper functioning of the chain of command; isn't that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So when a soldier commits a breach of discipline such as the
4 looting or burning of civilian property and suffers no consequence from
5 that, then the aim of correcting him, first of all, is not achieved but
6 also the aim of teaching others that that soldier's conduct is not
7 appropriate also fails; isn't that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, General Gotovina was aware of the shortage of NCOs and also
10 the lack of training of the NCOs who were in place; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And he was also aware of the problems that his soldiers had with
13 discipline, before Operation Storm; isn't that right?
14 A. I'm not really aware of that, but I suppose he was.
15 Q. Well, in particular, he was aware of the fact that the soldiers
16 that he was going to use for Operation Storm were inclined to loot and
17 burn Serb property; isn't that right?
18 A. I really can't say what he thought about that. He probably had
19 reason to suspect there might be undisciplined behaviour, but his mission
20 was so serious and so great that he had to reckon with certain risks in
21 that area.
22 Q. I want to make sure I understand your answer.
23 First of all, if I put it to you that General Gotovina was aware
24 that members of the 4th and 7th Guards Brigade, as well as members of the
25 Home Guard Regiments who participated in the operations in Grahovo and
1 Glamoc, he was aware that they burned and looted Serb property in those
2 areas prior to Operation Storm, you're not denying that or disputing
3 that, are you?
4 A. No, I'm not disputing that. I'm saying he could have thought
5 along those lines.
6 Q. And you are aware, aren't you, that even in the midst the burning
7 and looting that was going on there Grahovo and Glamoc that
8 General Gotovina ordered preparations for the awards and promotions of,
9 among others, the NCOs.
10 A. I don't know. Although it is common knowledge that after every
11 military success awards are given to those who contributed to that
12 success the most, those are necessarily not the same people. Some people
13 can be rewarded, while others can be punished. I don't suppose he
14 awarded or rewarded those who had committed misdeeds.
15 MR. RUSSO: Mr. Registrar, if we could please -- I'm sorry,
16 Madam Registrar, if we could please have Exhibit P71.
17 And if we could go to page 49 in the English and page 25 in the
18 B/C/S. And in the B/C/S, we can focus on the left side of the page.
19 Q. And can you see here, Professor, where it indicates -- reported
20 by the 72nd Military Police Battalion:
21 "In Grahovo, all the soldiers except for the 1st Croatian Guards
22 Zdrug and the 3rd Battalion of the 1st HVO Guards Brigade members took
23 part in setting fire to houses."
24 MR. RUSSO: Now, if we could move to page 73 in this exhibit and
25 B/C/S page 36.
1 That's on the left side of the document in B/C/S. Focussing on
2 the enter row on the bottom, Professor, where it indicates that
3 Minister Susak has seen the area, and he indicates how disappointed he is
4 in the burning and looting and notes that it is especially noticeable in
5 the areas of the 4th and the 7th Guards Brigades.
6 Now if we could go to page 71 in the English and page 53 in the
8 If we could move a bit down in the English, and it's on the left
9 side in the B/C/S. Sorry, are we on page ... I'm sorry, I need page 53
10 in the English and 27 in the B/C/S. Is that where we are? Thank you.
11 Q. Now, you can see here the entry for General Gotovina. He says:
12 "It is important to prepare for the promotion of soldiers,
13 non-commissioned officers, and officers, as well as for giving awards."
14 Now, Professor, you've seen that the report was that all the
15 soldiers, with the exception of the ones from the 1st Croatian Guards,
16 Zdrug and the 3rd Battalion of the HVO Guards Brigade, all of them were
17 participating in burning. We have here General Gotovina preparing for
18 awards and promotions of, among others, the non-commissioned officers.
19 Do you consider this to be reasonable for General Gotovina to do
20 and do you consider that to be a reasonable measure to prevent that kind
21 of conduct from occurring in future operations?
22 A. [In English] If you pull out -- oh, excuse me.
23 [Interpretation] If we connect in the entire military situation
24 and in war operations these two facts, I don't think that's the right
25 thing to do, because a military operation is much more complex than the
1 incidents that occur during that operation, and nobody ever knows
2 everything that happens during a military operation.
3 I'm not talking about this particular one now but about military
4 operations in general. But what is logical is that when a military unit
5 has done a big military job, then --
6 MR. RUSSO: I just want to --
7 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, excuse me. I would ask that the witness
8 be able to explain his answer.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think the question was about this particular
10 situation, whereas the witness wanted to explain, apart from this
11 particular situation.
12 Would you please first answer the question, and if there's
13 anything you would like to add in relation to that, which is not directly
14 linked to the question, please feel free to do so.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my mind, connecting these two
17 facts - on one hand, there was burning, and, on the other hand, there
18 were promotions - is not specific enough. I suppose that
19 General Gotovina did not envisage promoting and rewarding those
20 individuals who were guilty of such things. That's what I suppose. If
21 that is so, then I think his reaction, as a military commander, is
22 appropriate, that successful, good individuals be promoted and awarded.
23 On the other hand, I expect that disciplinary measures would have
24 been taken against those guilty of disciplinary infractions and
25 prosecutions started against those who were guilty of criminal offences.
1 But what exactly happened, I think you can only check from the documents.
2 MR. RUSSO:
3 Q. Well, let me deal with the second part of your answer first.
4 First of all, I agree with you that one would expect disciplinary
5 measures to result from the conduct that we've just read about in the
6 operational diary. But I'll put it to you, Professor Barkovic, that
7 there was no discipline for looting and burning in -- as a result of the
8 acts in Grahovo and Glamoc.
9 Are you aware of that?
10 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President. I think, sir, that this is
11 a misrepresentation of the record concerning disciplinary measures --
12 that the rise in disciplinary measures. If Mr. Russo is going to put
13 information to him, he should put the facts to him about the rise of
14 disciplinary measures taken in the Split Military District --
15 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, [Overlapping speakers] ...
16 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, you can object, but then to say what, in
18 your view, the proper presentation would be, of course, would be to take
19 over and then we could expect Mr. Russo to tell the Court that you're
20 misrepresenting the --
21 Let's -- Mr. Russo, you are aware of the concerns expressed by
22 Mr. Kehoe.
23 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, I don't, first of all, believe it is
24 very fruitful use of the court time for me to put my exhibits to the
25 witness, and tell him what I think they mean. I can certainly give the
1 Court the exhibit numbers to which I'm referring to make those
3 JUDGE ORIE: Your question started that you agreed with him on a
4 certain matter. Apparently there is the issue. Whether you agreed with
5 something that is the testimony of the witness, yes or no.
6 Would you please --
7 Mr. Kehoe.
8 MR. KEHOE: Just one last matter, and this goes to the 90(H)
9 issue concerning discipline. I mean, these issues concerning discipline
10 and what happened in Grahovo and Glamoc were never put to Mr. Milas by
11 anybody from the Office of the Prosecutor. And this is an instructor --
12 when a person who was in the military police was here.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to address matters one by one.
14 There's no read to read it, to go through all the documents. But
15 I think the witness clearly testified that if crimes are committed, that
16 disciplinary action should be taken against them. And apparently,
17 Mr. Russo, you agree with him on that part, which is ... and then put
18 your question to him.
19 MR. RUSSO:
20 Q. Mr. Barkovic, this Trial Chamber has heard evidence and has
21 received evidence that for the months of -- for the entire quarter which
22 encompasses the operations in Grahovo and Glamoc as well as Operation
23 Storm that there were no disciplinary actions taken against members of
24 the 4th Guards Brigade, 7th Guards Brigade, or any of the other units
25 that participated in the operations in Grahovo and Glamoc. No
1 disciplinary measures were taken against them for looting or burning
3 Are you aware of that?
4 A. I was not aware of that before, and I agree with you that
5 measures should have been taken.
6 Q. And you would also agree with me, wouldn't you, that if measures
7 weren't taken after Grahovo and Glamoc to redress the looting and burning
8 that it created a further risk of the same conduct continuing in the
9 aftermath of Operation Storm; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, I'm looking at the clock. Two questions.
13 The first, when would be an appropriate moment to have a break; second,
14 how much time would you still need?
15 MR. RUSSO: Now is an appropriate time for a break,
16 Mr. President, and I believe I will need at least the next session,
17 possibly more, but I will try to finish in the next session.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 We will have a break, and we will resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
23 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Professor, we had a witness here recently who offered some
25 testimony about General Gotovina's role in the training of NCOs, and I
1 wanted to run that by you and determine whether or not it's accurate.
2 Is it true that in order to cure the deficiencies at the NCO
3 level, that the leadership of the Croatian arm looked principally to
4 General Gotovina?
5 A. I don't have any knowledge of that.
6 Q. So you wouldn't say that General Gotovina was leading the effort
7 or had the responsibility for the training of the NCO corps?
8 A. No. I saw his initiatives, starting from the training centre of
9 the 4th Guards Brigade and its evolution, into a training officer for all
10 the Guards Brigades, to the document I just saw, the initiative to round
11 off and create a NCO corps, and I -- on the basis of that, I can state
12 that he was inactive -- active in these matters, and but I cannot state
13 that this was a task that he was given from the top military echelons.
14 It only goes to show that he was privy to the relevant matters and that
15 he made an effort to create the -- the NCO corps.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, could we check the interpretation,
18 page 66, line 8, the third word.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter said he was active, not
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, please proceed.
23 MR. RUSSO:
24 Q. Now, the training academy or school that General Gotovina created
25 to train the 4th Guards Brigade, that was back in 1993; correct?
1 A. The 4th, yes.
2 Q. Now, Professor, NCOs are not -- well, they're responsible for
3 more than simply enforcing and maintaining discipline; correct?
4 A. Yes. The NCOs are responsible for several matters. The two
5 matters we discussed, to a lesser extent, is the training of soldiers in
6 technical and tactical skills. In other words, the maintenance and use
7 of weapons, and tactical activity in terms of coordination and use of
8 weapons. These are the two matters. And the third matter is the
9 building of morale, discipline, and common values shared by the entire
10 team, how to create a team out of a group.
11 Q. Thank you. And they're also responsible, aren't they, for
12 ensuring that the orders for a particular combat mission are carried out,
13 and carried out effectively, by their unit.
14 A. Even more than that. They are the best and the first soldiers to
15 personally take part in that.
16 Q. And when an operation is conducted successfully and effectively,
17 it's an indicator, isn't it, of the effectiveness of the NCOs.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you would agree with me, wouldn't you, that Operation Storm
20 was an operation which was conducted quite well.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you would also agree with me, wouldn't you, that the system
23 of command and control functioned also well during Operation Storm.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, if General Gotovina -- first of all, let me ask you this:
1 Do you believe, or do you know whether General Gotovina considered the
2 command and control system to function well during Operation Storm?
3 A. Well, I don't know. I think that he had firsthand insight into
4 the strengths and weaknesses of the system. I don't know what his
5 personal opinion of it was.
6 Q. Thank you. I'd like to show you a few documents about that.
7 MR. RUSSO: We can begin, Madam Registrar, please, with
8 65 ter 1776.
9 Q. While this is coming up, Professor, I'll just let you know that
10 that is an analysis conducted by General Gotovina, dated 16
11 September 1995.
12 MR. RUSSO: And if we could please go to page 14 in the English
13 and page 8 in the B/C/S, looking towards the top of the page in English.
14 Q. And you'll see that General Gotovina indicates here:
15 "The command and control system in Operation Oluja functioned
16 relatively well in the conditions that existed."
17 MR. RUSSO: Before I move on to the next document, Mr. President,
18 I would like to offer this into evidence.
19 MR. KEHOE: Is there a question about this document, or is this
20 bar tabled, I mean, what's the procedure? I mean, bar table, we
21 generally -- I look at it ahead of time and then we make an agreement
22 about the document.
23 MR. RUSSO: Well --
24 JUDGE ORIE: There was a question put to the witness in relation
25 to the matter which is covered by the document. But there seems to be no
1 direct link between the witness apart from that you put a question on the
2 same subject to him, so that would make more or less a bar table
4 MR. RUSSO: That's fine, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, it will be MFI'd.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, I will take a look and get
7 back --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 Madam Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will become Exhibit
12 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
14 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 If we could now have Exhibit P2559.
16 Q. And while this is coming up, Professor, I'll let you know that
17 this is also an analysis done by General Gotovina. It is dated 15th of
18 August, 1995.
19 MR. RUSSO: Madam Registrar, we will be looking for page 5 in the
20 English and page 2 in the B/C/S.
21 If we could go a bit down in the English.
22 If I could have a moment, Mr. President.
23 Q. Can you see, Professor, where it indicates at number 1.2, it
24 states that:
25 "The 4th Guards Brigade, 7th Guards Brigade and 81st Guards
1 Brigade, the HV 113th" -- I believe that's anti-armour or infantry, I'm
2 not sure.
3 A. [In English] Yes, yes, yes.
4 Q. And the 126th --
5 A. Infantry, infantry.
6 Q. 126th Home Guard Regiment deserve special attention in respect of
7 appropriate command and control.
8 Now, if we could go to the last page. That's page 8 in the
9 English and page 4 in the B/C/S, you will notice at 2.10 General Gotovina
10 again is making reference here to proposals for accommodations for
11 officer, non-commissioned officers, and lower ranks as a result of the
12 operation. He is clearly pleased with the way the operation was
13 conducted --
14 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President, I just object to the
16 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, I don't know what is objectionable
17 about that. I'm putting to the witness that General Gotovina believes
18 that the operation was satisfactory and was pleased it.
19 MR. KEHOE: That is not in the document. I mean, the document
20 says proposals for accommodations for officers, non-commissioned
21 officers, and lower ranks by segments included in the attack operation
22 will be submitted later. That's what it says.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently, Mr. Russo -- Mr. Russo, what portion
24 were you exactly?
25 MR. RUSSO: That is the portion I was referring to, Mr.
1 President. Perhaps I could follow up with a question to the witness.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Earlier I also noticed that -- that preparing
3 and proposals are not yet final decisions on giving awards and -- but
4 please proceed, put your question to the witness.
5 MR. RUSSO:
6 Q. Well, Professor, it's not typical in the Croatian army, is it, to
7 propose or consider awards and commendations for officers and
8 non-commissioned officers of whose conduct you are not satisfied; is that
10 A. Of course. Although, I must state, that I can't see either in
11 this document or in the earlier documents that it was those same persons
12 who had committed crimes, who were being considered as the recipients of
13 awards of -- or commendations.
14 There were tens of thousands of people who took part in the
15 operation, and, of course, not all of them committed crimes. There must
16 have been a number of them and they are not the same people, or at least,
17 I hope and believe that they are not the same people.
18 Q. Well, Professor, since you brought it up, you did notice when I
19 showed you the operational diary the report by the 72nd Military Police
20 Battalion that all soldiers with the exception of those who were named --
21 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me.
22 MR. RUSSO:
23 Q. -- were taking part in the burning of houses?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
25 MR. KEHOE: Objection to that, and I let it go before with -- and
1 I will address this. We're talking about a particular area and counsel
2 has yet to determine whether the soldiers that are being discussed are
3 HVO soldier are or HV soldiers in that town at that particular time. Now
4 I will address [Overlapping speakers] ...
5 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 MR. KEHOE: In re-direct, but my objection is the foundation of
7 the question that the witness ... [Microphone not activated]
8 JUDGE ORIE: The foundation for the question is the report as it
9 was shown to us, which refers to units and it apparently is the 4th and
10 the 7th Guards Brigade --
11 MR. KEHOE: Doesn't say that, Mr. President.
12 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, it says all units with the excepting
13 of two. I'd like it know, first of all, whether or not it is in dispute
14 that the 4th and 7th Guards Brigade were in Glamoc and Grahovo on that
16 MR. KEHOE: It is in dispute. It is in hot dispute, absolutely.
17 Where exactly they were when this report comes in. That's fine.
18 MR. RUSSO:
19 Q. Professor --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then please put your question to the witness.
21 MR. RUSSO:
22 Q. You do recall the portion of the operational diary that I read
23 where Minister Susak expresses his disappointment and indicates that the
24 burn is particularly noticeable in the areas of the 4th and 7th Guards
25 Brigade; correct?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. And you also --
3 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, that is exactly what we're talking about.
4 We're talking about an area where troops are moving in and out. Are we
5 saying that the 4th Guards Brigade is there when this takes place? There
6 is no establishment of that in the question, none.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on. We then have perhaps -- at least
8 it's in one of the exhibits that we have just seen. Reference is made to
9 the 4th and 7th Guards Brigade.
10 Let's try not -- we have to understand the -- the evidence in its
11 entirety, and if for every document we would go to every detail,
12 4th Guards Brigade, did that mean every member of the 4th Guards Brigade
13 or would that mean -- I mean, you reach a level where we have to -- to
14 look at the documents in its context, and even if that would now and
15 then, Mr. Kehoe, and that happens with all parties, result in a -- in a
16 summary which is only for 99 per cent correct and not for the full
17 100 per cent, then we'll look at it in its entirety.
18 Mr. Russo, you are aware of the concerns expressed by Mr. Kehoe.
19 Would you please put your next question to the witness.
20 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Professor, if General Gotovina is satisfied with the functioning
22 of the command and control system during Operation Storm, then the lack
23 of NCOs and the lack of training of the NCOs really wasn't the issue, was
24 it? I mean, the correct functioning of the command and control system
25 manifested in the appropriate combat actions and in the NCOs carrying out
1 their responsibilities in that regard; isn't that right?
2 A. I don't necessarily see that the two facts are directly linked.
3 The fact of the matter is that General Gotovina and all the other
4 officer, including the Main Staff of the armed forces were full aware of
5 the state of the armed forces. Therefore, the expectations matched the
6 actual state of affair when it come to the armed forces and not against
7 an ideal situation, where everything has been achieved. So I suppose
8 that the satisfaction is based on what could be expected of an army
9 organised as it was. It was impossible for the army to be fully manned
10 by trained officers and NCOs. It -- its performance was the way it was.
11 In other words, I could not accept an opposite conclusion. It was -- in
12 relative terms, that the judgement was made, based on the level of
13 organisation and training. Otherwise, it would have constituted a too
14 great a simplification to conclude something like that.
15 Q. Well, Professor, what I'm putting to you and regardless of the
16 standard that General Gotovina set by which to evaluate the soldiers'
17 conduct during the operations, whatever standard he set, it's still
18 appears, don't you agree, from what's been indicated here that he was
19 satisfied that that standard was met by the units which participated in
20 Operation Storm; correct?
21 A. When a mission operation achieves its military objectives, the
22 commander must be satisfied with the outcome. He cannot be dissatisfied.
23 However, at the same time, he can observe all the shortcomings,
24 which is through the various analyses conducted post-operation.
25 Q. And when you conducted an analysis post-operation and singles out
1 units for special recognition for command and control, you would agree,
2 wouldn't you, that that is a recognition of the proper functioning of the
3 NCOs in their tasks?
4 A. I don't know which units he commended, because at item 2.10 which
5 you referred me to in relation to your question, relates to proposals for
6 commendations and promotions of individuals, i.e., individual officers,
7 NCOs, and soldiers, and not units. In other words, I don't have any
8 knowledge about awards being given to units.
9 Q. I think you may have misunderstood me, Professor. I read to you
10 from -- this is Exhibit P2559, where in his 15 August analysis,
11 General Gotovina gives special recognition in respect of command and
12 control, a that's a quote. He gives special recognition in respect of
13 command and control to 4th Guards Brigade, 7th Guards Brigade, the
14 81st Guards Brigade, the 113th Infantry Regiment, and the 126th Home
15 Guard Regiment. Now you would agree with me, wouldn't you, that that
16 means that the NCOs in those units did their jobs?
17 A. I think I answered the question. It is difficult to make such a
18 simplified statement. The -- the special recognition had to do with
19 their achievement of objectives, and not anything else.
20 Q. And the achievement of objectives, Professor, is, in fact, one of
21 the obligations of the NCOs, isn't that right, to see that the objectives
22 which they are given are, in fact, achieved by their units.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Now --
25 A. One has to bear in mind that the objectives are set in such a way
1 that they are realistically achievable with the manpower one has at one's
3 Q. Now, doesn't this show, Professor, that it's not a problem of
4 lack of training or a problem of insufficient NCOs. When the NCOs have a
5 job to do that they're interested in doing, they get it done. Wasn't
6 that the case?
7 A. In one of my answers, I explained that the NCOs have three types
8 of tasks, some of which they can achieve better, and others poorer. It
9 is down to their technical and tactical levels of training, the spirit,
10 morale, and discipline of the unit. These objectives could have been
11 achieved if the level of training and tactical activity was good, even if
12 the morale or discipline was not. These are two separate issues.
13 Q. Professor, I'll put it to you that the HV soldiers, and that
14 means both professional guards and Home Guard Regiments soldiers, were
15 less interested in preventing or refraining from burning and looting than
16 they were about attacking Serbs and Serb property in general.
17 What do you say to that?
18 A. In an offensive military operation, the enemy needs to be
19 destroyed and pushed out of the area, which needs to be captured. This
20 is objective number 1, 2, and 3. Of course, one always has to make sure
21 that this is going done in keeping with the international conventions and
22 regulations, but it cannot not not be an objective of the same level as
23 that of the military objective. We have to be serious. War is not a
24 game. It is not the primary objective of a war not to destroy a house.
25 If the house conceals an enemy, it has to be destroyed.
1 Q. I'd like to show you something from the war journal of the 6th
2 Home Guard Regiment.
3 MR. RUSSO: Madam Registrar, if we could have 65 ter 5709.
4 And if we could go to page 4 in the English and the B/C/S. And
5 I'm looking here for the entry of 5 August 1995. I'm looking right at
6 the top of the English from where it begins:
7 "At 0850 one can hear echoing over the radio links Evo Zoreeva
8 Dana Evo Jure I Bobana the dawn has come, the daylight has come, Jure and
9 Boban have arrived. Obobdina has fallen."
10 Q. I'd like to show you another document before I ask you a
12 MR. RUSSO: If we could now have 65 ter 5706.
13 If we could look at section 2. Where it indicates:
14 "Our troops performed a fair number of combat actions during the
15 day; specific task of the Operation Kozjak 95 was worked off till 0850
16 hours when Jure and Boban was heard from Obobdina."
17 Q. Now, Professor Barkovic, you are familiar with the song, "Evo
18 Zore Evo Dana."
19 A. [In English] Yes, yes, I know.
20 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber -- well, let me just put it to
21 you, it's an Ustasha song; isn't that correct?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. It's a song that glorifies the exploits of the black legion.
24 A. Yes, war crime, yes.
25 Q. Now, can you explain to the Trial Chamber, I mean, given the fact
1 that --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, exactly the line what the song apparently
3 glorified, due to overlapping speakers, is not known to the Chamber.
4 MR. RUSSO: My apology, Mr. President. That was the black
5 legion. Jure and Boban were black legion commanders.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Legion.
8 Q. Now, Professor, given your knowledge of the training and
9 education of Croatian soldiers, why do you believe soldiers would think
10 it appropriate not only to play this song but to report the fact that
11 they played it in two official HV documents?
12 A. [In English] I really don't know why. Oh excuse me.
13 [Interpretation] I really don't know. Of course, I do not approve of it.
14 We have always had problems with attendees of courses with regard to the
15 state policies and the distancing from all the events during World War
16 II, the quisling and the age, et cetera.
17 However, perhaps due to family experience and family traditions,
18 these matters did persist. Why certain individuals used this as a code
19 for communication is a question that needs to be put to someone else.
20 I'm not the right person to answer this. What I can say, because I was
21 on the Main Staff and in the academy, that we have always placed things
22 in their right place, and we have always responded properly to this.
23 General Gotovina, who was also present in the academy, always
24 reacted to this and never joined such extremist positions.
25 Q. I take it, then, that General Gotovina was present when these
1 kind of sentiments were expressed?
2 A. I don't know about that.
3 Q. Well, you indicated that:
4 "General Gotovina, who was also present in the academy, always
5 reacted to this and never joined such extremist positions."
6 What was it he was reacting to?
7 A. No, no. Reacted is a wrong word. What I wanted to say was that
8 we discussed the conduct and positions of soldiers and through these
9 discussions, I was able to conclude that he disapproved of such
10 positions. This was from conversations we had in our official dealings.
11 Q. And I want it be clear about this: You discussed with
12 General Gotovina the fact that soldiers at the academy were expressing
13 extremist sentiments against Serbs.
14 A. Yes. Certain individuals did. When we discussed the matter, we
15 took proper positions in relation to this, and General Gotovina upheld
16 these positions.
17 Q. And what is it that you mean, that you took proper positions in
18 relation to this? What exactly happened to soldiers who expressed those
19 kind of sentiments?
20 A. Through a subject called homeland education, they received
21 lectures, they heard lectures on the history of the Croatian state,
22 including explanations about what the independent state of Croatia was
23 from 1941 to 1945, about the policy of the Republic of Croatia
24 was written in the preamble of the Croatian Constitution, what it was
25 based on, et cetera. All these things were mentioned in the training.
1 Q. Thank you. And you would agree could me, wouldn't you that in
2 light of the training and the expression by the faculty at the academy
3 that broadcasting, first of all, "Evo Zore Evo Dana," and then writing
4 down the fact that you have done so would call for some form of
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Thank you. I've got one last area I want to go into with you and
8 that is in reference to -- I'm sorry, before I move on, I would like to
9 tender into evidence the 6th Home Guard Regiment war journal. That's
10 65 ter 5709, and the OG Sinj daily report, which was the last exhibit, 65
11 ter 5706.
12 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter 5709 will become Exhibit
15 P2586; and 65 ter 5706 will become Exhibit P2587.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Both are admitted into evidence.
17 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President, and --
18 If the Court is interested, Mr. President, I do have a document
19 which I don't want to show to the witness, I will bar table it, which
20 contains some of the lyrics to the song. If the Court is interested, I
21 can tender that. Otherwise, I will simply move on.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think the witness testified about the kind of the
24 character of the song. We don't need the lyrics. Unless there is any
25 dispute on whether this is a proper characterisation about what the song
1 is about.
2 There seems to be no dispute about that. Then the Chamber can do
3 without the lyrics.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. I'd like to talk to you now a bit about MPRI and the training
7 that they gave to members of the Croatian army armed forces.
8 Now, you discuss a bit about the training provided by MPRI and
9 General Gotovina's support for that training; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And this was training that included not only some instruction on
12 the Laws of Armed Conflict but also about how NCOs were to enforce those
13 principles inside their units; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, you said it ... not only some
16 instructions on the Laws of Armed Conflict. What's the basis for this
17 part of your question? I do not find in paragraph 22, if you were
18 referring to paragraph 22 --
19 MR. RUSSO: I was not making reference to any particular piece of
20 evidence, Mr. President, but I don't believe it is in dispute that this
21 was at least a portion of the training.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, from some of the documents we received today
23 and I took the break to glance through them, I have, as a matter of fact,
24 no specific references to the laws of war as found by me, but I may have
25 missed something. But looking at the late 1994 curriculum it goes into
1 details as swimming and running but not laws of war.
2 So, therefore, I'm just, at this moment, well, not sharing with
3 you, but telling that you I do not find it in the statement of the
4 witness, and I have not found it, until now, in Appendices 14, 15, 16
5 and/or 17, which are referred to in paragraph 22.
6 So, therefore, if your line of questioning continues on this
7 basis, I have difficulties in understanding what exactly the basis is.
8 MR. RUSSO: Perhaps I will clarify with the witness,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
11 MR. RUSSO:
12 Q. Professor, can you tell the Trial Chamber whether or not the
13 instructions given, the courses given by MPRI contained some elements of
14 instruction on the Laws of Armed Conflict?
15 A. Within the framework of the subjects related to command and
16 control, that was always included, although it was not specially
17 emphasised here. For higher levels of education, such as the staff
18 school, the curriculum included a special topic through which it was
19 taught. Otherwise, it was taught through topics related to command and
20 control and through practical training, drills, exercises, situation
21 exercise, et cetera.
22 It's true that there is no explicit reference in the curriculum
23 of the MPRI. There is no explicit references to international
24 humanitarian law. Those were curriculums for lower officer levels and
25 they deal with desirable conduct, and that, again, is related to command
1 and control.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, it's true, isn't it, that the soldiers who were
3 sent to these MPRI courses were not exactly interested in them and, in
4 fact, felt free to simply stop attending?
5 A. No. First of all, it's not soldiers who joined these courses but
6 those who had already completed the Croatian NCO school. So the course
7 for NCOs was mentioned in the document is -- was, in fact, an advanced
8 course. It built on the knowledge gained in the NCO schools. And if you
9 look at the MPRI programme, it is geared towards making these people
10 better communicators, better instructors, towards building the
11 appropriate spirit. It was not a combat programme. No combat skills
12 were included, because, among other things, that was under embargo at the
14 Q. Yes. Professor, I'd like to finish this before -- we only have a
15 few minutes until the end. You did answer my question though, at the
16 very beginning.
17 MR. RUSSO: I'd like to show you 65 ter 7276. And just in order
18 to move through this a bit quickly, this is a document which is a
19 letter -- the cover page is a letter to Defence Minister Susak from
20 Major-General Kresimir Cosic regarding a request by a Major Werner Ilic
21 to be transferred back to the Split Military District. I take it you're
22 familiar with this?
23 A. [In English] Yes.
24 Q. That will save a little bit of time.
25 Now, this is a letter which indicates that Major Ilic wanted to
1 leave the MPRI class, return to his unit, and that that was, in fact,
2 proposed on his behalf and I believe approved for him to ultimately do
4 What I'm more interested in is Major Ilic's conduct and in
5 regards to that, in explaining to Minister Susak the circumstances
6 General Cosic attaches to his letter, a letter from General Griffiths who
7 was the head of MPRI mission in Croatia
8 So if we could move to page 4 in the English and that's page 3 in
9 the B/C/S. And if we could look at paragraph 5, it indicates:
10 "I later learned that Major Ilic had requested relief from his
11 assignment and reassignment to his former unit. I do not personally know
12 his reasons for leaving, since he never discussed the issue with me, but
13 I know that he was unhappy with the DTAP programme and unsure of the
14 programme's contributions, as he viewed the programme. Frankly, I am not
15 familiar with situations where a junior officer's inflated view of
16 himself and distorted view of his surroundings, are permitted to drive
17 the personnel assignment process."
18 MR. RUSSO: Now, if we could go back to page 1 in the English,
19 which is also page 1 in the B/C/S, and look to the third paragraph, where
20 General Cosic states:
21 "The Major Werner Ilic was included in the project MPRI with the
22 task to adjust the programme MPRI DTAP as much as possible to the needs
23 and priorities of the army which is at war. In that sense, I personally
24 spoke several times with the Major Ilic, expressing full support for his
25 work. Unfortunately, the Major Ilic gave up."
1 I'd like to move now to the top of the next page in English and
2 to the middle of the following paragraph, which is on the same page in
3 B/C/S, where General Cosic goes on to state:
4 "The reasons for his dissatisfaction of the existing condition,
5 we can consider justified but his approach to resolving the existing
6 problems, we consider unacceptable. Leaving the work [sic] place without
7 approval, or by threatening to jump out of the window, I consider
8 inappropriate behaviour of an HVO -- of an officer of HV (I am sending
9 the opinion of the General Griffiths in the attachment). Probably, our
10 expectations of the Major Ilic were too high. Therefore, I suggest that
11 he should return to his original unit."
12 And a bit further down he states:
13 "After consulting General Gotovina, Brigadier Sundov and a
14 Colonel Kresic, you will have adequate proposal prepared."
15 Now, Professor, it seems - and correct me if I'm wrong - that
16 General Griffiths' concern was, in fact, the reality that Major Ilic's
17 sense of what he wanted was able to drive the personnel process. And by
18 simply not showing up at MPRI, he was able to return to his unit, as he
19 wanted to.
20 A. So Ilic came as a young soldier from the United States into
22 was quickly promoted to the rank of major. That's usually a rank you get
23 in your 30s. He got that rank much earlier.
24 He came from an environment which was very dynamic, where he had
25 worked in open spaces, that's how he was organised mentally and
1 physically, and he had come to stay as a teacher, as an instructor, in
2 the DTAP programme. He did not come to attend, to learn. He came to
3 become an instructor.
4 In -- he was not happy with the classroom work during that
5 course, and he exploded mentally, if I can put it that way. He made two
6 outbursts, one of which was this jumping through the window, which was
7 completely unreasonable, of course; and the second time was when, without
8 asking me or General Griffiths, he wrote directly to the chief of the
9 Main Staff, as we can see, Mr. Cosic does not approve but he also
10 appreciated that the man is unwilling to be a teacher and an instructor
11 and he should not be forced to. We don't want unwilling instructors and
12 that's why he says, that in consultation with personnel officers and
13 Colonel Kresic, he will prepare a proposal what to do next.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, there will be another Chamber sitting
15 this afternoon in this courtroom. Therefore, we will not able to go
16 beyond the time any more than we have already.
17 Mr. Kehoe, may I take it there will be some questions in
19 MR. KEHOE: [Microphone not activated]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Which means, Mr. Russo, that we cannot finish today.
21 How much time would you need more?
22 MR. RUSSO: Probably less than ten minutes, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Probably less than ten minutes.
24 I would first like -- I'd first like to instruct you,
25 Mr. Barkovic, that you should not speak with anyone about your testimony,
1 whether the testimony you gave already today, or whether testimony still
2 to be given tomorrow. I'm quite confident that we'll finish tomorrow
3 within approximately not more than an hour, I would say, altogether.
4 We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this same
5 courtroom, because we adjourn for the day and we resume tomorrow, the
6 14th of July, 9.00, Courtroom III.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day of July,
9 2009, at 9.00 a.m.