1 Tuesday, 21 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 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.
8 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Mr. Misetic or Mr. Kehoe, is the Gotovina Defence ready to call
12 its next witness?
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I could just announce right now,
17 to give the Prosecution an opportunity. At the conclusion of the 92 ter
18 submissions, I intend to tender four documents on the basis that they're
19 mentioned in the statement, and these would be 65 ter 2336, 65 ter 3518,
20 65 ter 667, and 65 ter 3089. All of them are laws that the witness
21 mentions in the early part of his statements, and I don't intend to cover
22 them in direct examination.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ORIE: They were already on your 65 ter list, Mr. Misetic?
2 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. MISETIC: On the Prosecution's 65 ter list.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 Good morning, Mr. Matulovic. If you would look in this
7 direction, then you know who's talking. Yes.
8 Good morning. Mr. Matulovic, before you give evidence, the Rules
9 of Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration that
10 you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The
11 text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher, and I would like to invite
12 you to make that solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: ZORAN MATULOVIC
16 [The witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Matulovic.
18 Mr. Matulovic, please be seated.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You will first be examined by Mr. Misetic, and
21 Mr. Misetic is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
22 Mr. Misetic, you may proceed.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Examination by Mr. Misetic:
25 Q. Good morning.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. Would you please state your full name for the record.
3 A. Zoran Matulovic.
4 Q. Thank you. And, Mr. Matulovic, do you recall meeting with
5 representatives of the Gotovina Defence on the 31st of March, 2006
6 12th of February, 2007; and the 20th of May, 2009?
7 A. Yes, I remember that.
8 Q. And have you had an opportunity to see the witness statement that
9 you signed on the 26th of May, 2009, on the basis of the discussions in
10 those interviews?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. MISETIC: With the assistance of the usher, Madam Usher, I'd
13 like to hand you a copy of the statement in Croatian.
14 And also, Madam Registrar, if we could have on the screen,
15 please, 1D2697.
16 Q. And, Mr. Matulovic, I note that in proofing for today's session,
17 you had a correction to make in paragraph 1 of the statement. If you
18 could explain to the Court what the correction is in that paragraph.
19 A. Yes. What I corrected in paragraph 1 was the manner of
20 appointment of judges to military courts within operations zones. Upon
21 the proposal of the defence minister and in accordance with the war
22 assignment, we were appointed by the minister of defence.
23 Q. Okay. If we could clarify. On whose proposal was that?
24 A. Minister of justice.
25 Q. Other than that correction, is there anything else that needs to
1 be corrected in your statement?
2 A. Not for the time being, I don't think there is anything else to
4 Q. At the time you gave this statement to the members of the
5 Gotovina Defence, did you give your answers to the best of your knowledge
6 and in accordance with the truth?
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. If I asked you the same questions today that you were asked by
9 members of the Gotovina Defence, would you provide the same answers today
10 in court as you provided in the witness statement that's on the screen
11 right now?
12 A. I would provide exactly the same answers.
13 Q. And one more thing.
14 Madam Registrar, if you could go to the first page of the
15 exhibit, please.
16 Is that -- in the bottom right-hand corner, Mr. Matulovic, do you
17 recognise your signature on that page?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D2697 be marked,
20 and I tender it into evidence.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1613 [Realtime transcript read in error
24 "D1013"], Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
3 Now I would like to tender four exhibits that are referenced in
4 the statement. These exhibits are 65 ter 2336, 65 ter 3518, 65 ter 667,
5 and 65 ter 3089.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I have no objection, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Mahindaratne.
8 Madam Registrar, the numbers would be ...
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1614 [Realtime transcript read in error
10 "D1014"], D1615, D1616, and D1617, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D1014 through D1017 are admitted into evidence.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Just to correct the transcript.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please repeat the numbers, yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: The numbers are D1614 through D1617.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I missed that. So therefore instead of D1014
16 through D1017, instead of those numbers that are, of course, already in
17 evidence, D1614 through D1617 are admitted into evidence. I notice that
18 it appears twice in the transcript, and that is where the Registrar,
19 mentioned the numbers, whereas the last numbers I mentioned are the
20 correct ones.
21 Please proceed.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, if I may just point out, the
23 statement has -- it's recorded as D1013. I presume it should be 1613,
24 going by the correction that was made.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And reference is made to page 4, line 21,
1 where also apparently by mistake, "D1013" should be "D1613."
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Mr. President, I have explained to the witness the procedure
5 concerning reading the summary, and with your leave, I would like to read
6 out a summary.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
8 MR. MISETIC: Witness Zoran Matulovic is a trial judge in the
9 Criminal Department of the County Court in Split. From 1992 through
10 December 1996, Judge Matulovic was a judge at the Military Court in
11 Split, and throughout 1995 he was the president of the Military Court in
13 In his statement, Judge Matulovic describes some of the laws that
14 govern the work of the military courts, including the scope of their
15 jurisdiction. Oversight of the work of the military courts was conducted
16 by the Ministry of Justice, to which the military courts would send
17 reports concerning the results of their work.
18 After Operation Storm, the military courts sent reports of their
19 work to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
20 intervals of every 15 days. If the military courts were not properly
21 carrying out their tasks, the Ministry of Justice would be required to
22 take appropriate steps to correct the problem.
23 Judge Matulovic also testifies that the military courts did not
24 have jurisdiction to try war crimes cases.
25 In cases where the perpetrator of a crime is unknown, the
1 investigation of the crime is always conducted by the investigating judge
2 of the civilian District Court. The investigating judge of the
3 Military Court
4 established that the perpetrator of the criminal offence is a soldier.
5 Judge Matulovic testifies that it was not possible for a military
6 commander to influence the work of the military courts. He also states
7 that the State Attorney's Office and the Military Prosecutor's Office
8 could institute preliminary criminal procedures on the basis of any
9 available information concerning the perpetration of a criminal offence,
10 including on the basis of information obtained from the media.
11 Mr. President, that concludes the summary.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
13 MR. MISETIC:
14 Q. Judge Matulovic, I'm going to ask you now a few questions based
15 on the answers you gave in your witness statement.
16 First, if you could tell the Court, how many judges were in the
17 Military Court
18 A. According to the Decree on Establishing Military Courts within
19 operations zones, it was stated that military courts shall have a
20 president of the court, who is also a trial judge, and four judges. The
21 Military Courts in Split
22 also had three judges in Zadar, Dubrovnik
23 the courts, so a total of eight judges worked with the Military Court in
25 investigations, and then, where practicable, they were also a member of
1 the panel of judges, because all of these judges were professional
2 judges, and the panels always tried cases where the envisaged sentence
3 was above five years of imprisonment, whereas a single judge would try
4 cases where the maximum sentence was under five years of imprisonment.
5 Q. You anticipated my next question. Can you tell the Court, then,
6 in the cases where the maximum sentence was below five years, what the
7 appellate court -- where that case would be appealed to after the
8 judgement of the Military Court judge, and in cases where the maximum
9 sentence was in excess of five years, where would the appeal jurisdiction
10 lie for such cases?
11 A. If the Military Court handed down a judgement or, rather, if a
12 judgement was handed by a single judge, then appeal from that judgement
13 would be submitted to the District Court in Split.
14 Q. And in cases tried by the three-judge panel for crimes with a
15 maximum sentence in excess of five years, which court would hear the
16 appeal from such cases?
17 A. In those cases, the appeal would be filed before the Supreme
18 Court of Croatia, as the highest court.
19 Q. To your knowledge, were there any such things as military
20 appellate courts?
21 A. They never existed within the then system of military courts.
22 Initially, at the beginning of my testimony, I said that the military
23 courts were under the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Justice,
24 which is to say that these military courts were not subordinated to any
25 other body within the military system.
1 Q. Judge Matulovic, turning your attention to paragraphs 9 and 10 of
2 your statement, can you explain to the Court your answer that the
3 investigative judge of the Military Court joins the investigation at the
4 moment it has been established beyond doubt that the perpetrator of the
5 criminal offence is a soldier? Let me ask you: Can you explain to the
6 Court, if a crime is committed and there's a possibility that it was
7 committed by an HV member, explain to the Court what the procedure is to
8 get the military court involved. In other words, at what stage would the
9 military court be involved if there is merely a suspicion that an HV
10 soldier committed a crime?
11 A. The procedure on involving the military judge or the
12 Military Court
13 relation to the civilian courts, which is to say that it was regulated on
14 the decree on applying the Law on Criminal Procedure. It was the old Law
15 on Criminal Procedure, but it was reduced, as we used to say, in some
16 chapters so as to be more efficient.
17 Q. I think I didn't put my question well, so let me ask you --
18 A. [In English] No, no, I shall continue.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. [Interpretation] When a military judge was on duty, then he would
21 be informed either by a civilian or military police that a crime was
22 perpetrated. The civilian police always inform the judge whenever it
23 wasn't possible to establish with certainty the status of the
24 perpetrator, whether he was a soldier or not. If this was an urgent
25 case, and going out for an on-site investigation is considered an urgent
1 case, when the status of the perpetrator or a suspect wasn't possible to
2 establish, then a civilian judge would go out to carry out on-site
3 investigation. If they could establish that the perpetrator or a suspect
4 was a soldier, then a military judge would go out to conduct on-site
5 investigation and then would continue on together with the military
6 prosecutor. So in order to carry out an on-site investigation or in
7 order to carry out any urgent investigative measure, it was important to
8 establish, at the moment the information was received, to establish with
9 certainty that the suspect was a military serviceman.
10 Q. Is there any circumstance in which the Military Court would have
11 jurisdiction over a crime where the perpetrator is unknown?
12 A. No. This is precisely what I just spoke about. Only in cases
13 where they knew that the crime was committed by a military service
15 Q. With respect to -- continuing on this issue of jurisdiction of
16 the military courts, can you explain to the Court, if a crime was
17 committed by a member of the HV, but he was -- he left the HV for
18 whatever reason between the time of the commission of the offence and the
19 bringing of the indictment, which court would have jurisdiction, the
20 civilian or the military courts?
21 A. Now we come into the second stage of the criminal procedure,
22 which is to say that investigation had been conducted and we now come to
23 the stage when an indictment is to be issued. At the moment when an
24 indictment is issued, it was very important to know whether the person
25 who now is becoming an indictee is still a member of the HV or not.
1 If -- cases where that person was demobilised before the indictment was
2 issued by the Court, then the case would fall under the jurisdiction of
3 civilian courts. For example, let me give you an example.
4 A murder was committed. At the time the murder was committed --
5 I apologise. At the time the murder was committed, the perpetrator was
6 in the military, serving in the military, so the investigation is
7 commenced and conducted by a military investigating judge. After the
8 investigation is completed, the case is sent to the military prosecutor,
9 and then it is the military prosecutor who issues the indictment if the
10 person is still a soldier. If the perpetrator is not in the military,
11 then automatically the case would be sent to the civilian courts for
12 indictment, and then the civilian courts would continue to proceed with
13 that case.
14 Q. Following up on your last answer, if, after the conclusion of the
15 work of the military investigative judge, jurisdiction changed to the
16 civilian courts, would the civilian courts have to start all over in the
17 investigation, or would the military judge turn over the file to the
18 civilian court?
19 A. Yes, I have understood. The procedure is continued exactly where
20 it was halted within the military system, so the case would be sent to
21 the public -- civilian prosecutor, and not a single stage of the
22 proceedings would be repeated. They would just continue it where they
23 left it off in the previous system.
24 MR. MISETIC: Madam Registrar, if I could have on the screen,
25 please, 65 ter 1333.
1 Q. Judge Matulovic, this is a decree issued by President Tudjman on
2 the 30th of November, 1992. If we could scroll down to Article 1, the
3 last sentence, it says:
4 "After paragraph 1, the new paragraph 2 is added, reading:
5 'Exceptionally, if the perpetrator of the crimes in criminal cases under
6 items 1 and 4, paragraph 1, of this Article has ceased to be an active
7 serviceman before an indictment is issued, the trial will be carried out
8 before the competent Municipal or District Court.'"
9 Is this the basis upon which your answer is based?
10 A. That is precisely what I have just told you. You see, regardless
11 of the stage of proceedings where the status was changed, the case would
12 be turned over to the civilian courts, and especially at the time -- at
13 the stage of proceedings where an indictment is about to be issued.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 65 ter 1333 into evidence.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit D1618, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D1618 is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Now, in paragraph 15 of your statement, you state that the
21 Military Court
22 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia
23 the Trial Chamber, if there was a problem in the functioning of the
24 military court system, was it the Ministry of Justice that would review
25 the work and propose solutions to any problems in the functioning of the
1 military court system?
2 A. The Ministry of Justice is part of administration, and it is
3 duty-bound to provide everything that all courts need in order to carry
4 out their regular functioning, try cases, have proceedings, and so on.
5 So it was exclusively the Ministry of Justice that was responsible for
6 taking care of the work of military courts, and the military courts would
7 send reports to the cases they have completed, to the duties of justice,
8 to any cases where Statutes of Limitation had run out. So everything
9 that the judges did was under the scrutiny of the Ministry of Justice.
10 Q. I want to turn your attention to paragraph 11 of your statement.
11 This is where you were asked:
12 "Was it possible that a military commander could influence the
13 work of the Military Court? If so, in what way?"
14 And your answer was:
15 "In no way could a military commander influence the work of the
16 Military Court
17 Now, I'd like to show you a document that's been admitted into
18 evidence and that was sent to you. And if we could go to Exhibit P2251,
20 This is one example of a daily report that would be sent by the
21 Duty Service of the 72nd Military Police Battalion, and it lists events,
22 crimes, disciplinary infractions -- or breaches, I should say.
23 And if we could turn to the second-to-last page in this document,
24 please. And you can see that it was delivered to, amongst others, at
25 number 6, to the Military Court of the Split Military District and,
1 number 7, to the Military Prosecutor's Office.
2 Can you explain to the Court, what was your understanding of why
3 you were receiving copies of the daily reports of the duty service of the
4 72nd Military Police Battalion.
5 A. I wish to emphasise at the beginning, on the last page which we
6 cannot see now, but if you pay attention, you will see that the report
7 was signed by the head of shift of the military police, and this provides
8 the answer as to why they had to send it, because the military police,
9 just like the civilian police, works 24 hours a day, and the head of the
10 shift is responsible for sending the report to everyone listed here. And
11 the report contains also the report about infractions of military
12 discipline, whether these were just minor infractions or violations of
13 discipline; then also information about any crimes that may have been
14 committed during the shift, and other items. Why it was sent to the
15 Military Court of the Split Military District, we required the
16 72nd Battalion of Military Police to submit it to us, but I wish to say
17 that the reason why we requested this, reports like this one, was that
18 the judge who was on duty, the investigative judge, would, on the next
19 day, when he would transfer his duty to somebody else, would have an
20 insight into what had been going on. And essentially in this way,
21 military judges were able to control the work of military police and made
22 sure that the reports were sent duly and regularly to court. So it
23 shouldn't happen that in the area of their responsibility or
24 jurisdiction, anything should happen without the investigative judge or
25 prosecutor knowing this.
1 Q. Explain, then, if something appeared in the daily report, for
2 example, a crime, and the duty judge received a copy of the daily report
3 and noted that he hadn't been notified, prior to this, that the crime had
4 been committed, what steps would be taken by the Court or by the military
6 A. For further steps, if a crime was committed - I'm just speaking
7 generally - the military prosecutor would be in charge. In our system,
8 the military judge and the Military Court cannot do anything on their own
9 initiative because the proceedings are launched and then further
10 conducted by the military prosecutor. If there was an omission of
11 something in the report, then we would inform both the commander of the
12 72nd Battalion and also the highest officer of military police about
13 this, because the person who was the head of the shift was in charge of
14 this. I may also add that I do not remember that we had such problems at
15 the Military Court in Split
16 Q. Now, if you note, number 2 there, is -- it's also given to the
17 commander of the Split Military District, and 3 is commander of the
19 the Split Military District have a role in controlling the work of the
20 military crime police concerning the commission of criminal activity?
21 A. Well, he couldn't really have a role because the military police
22 was being administered by the military police. And as for submitting
23 reports under items 2 or 3 to the commander of the Split Military
24 District and the Split Garrison of this report, the answer is contained
25 in what I have told you earlier; namely, that the reports, if you have a
1 closer look at them, also mention all the violations of military
2 discipline, and it's normal that within the military subordination system
3 both the commander of the Split Military District and the Split Garrison
4 must know if there were any infractions of discipline in the units. They
5 must know that this happened. And I emphasise that the military
6 disciplinary proceedings and also the criminal proceedings, if they
7 followed from these reports, that anything needed to be conducted, had
8 nothing to do one with the other. These were separate proceedings.
9 Q. Let me ask you, as the president of the Military Court in Split
10 at all times relevant to the indictment period here, did General Gotovina
11 have the ability, as far as you knew, to influence the criminal --
12 military criminal justice system from the time of investigation all the
13 way through the time of pronouncement of judgement?
14 A. Considering the application of the Law on Criminal Procedure,
15 according to which both the civilian and military courts proceeded,
16 Mr. Gotovina, as a commander, had absolutely no ability, in terms of the
17 proceedings, to influence the work of the Military Court in any way
18 whatsoever, or the Military Prosecutor's Office, for that matter. And
19 let me add that in these five years I personally never heard that anyone
20 called him or that he called anyone if some matter was in the
21 jurisdiction of the court.
22 Q. You're referring to the five years that you were in the
23 Military Court
24 A. Yes. Yes, until the 6th of December, 1996.
25 Q. Let me turn your attention to a meeting that was held in the
1 Ministry of Defence in October of 1995. If we turn first to 65 ter
2 1D2784, please.
3 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry. Mr. President, I'm advised that I need
4 to seek leave to add this exhibit to the 65 ter exhibit list.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. This was an invitation that was sent to various addresses,
10 including the Military Court, all presidents of the Military Court,
11 concerning a working session that was to be held on the 19th of October,
12 1995, at 1100 hours in the Ministry of Defence. The topics to be
13 discussed were: Problems faced by military courts and Military State
14 Prosecutor's Offices in their work regarding the legal obligations of the
15 Ministry of Defence and the Croatian Army, particularly after Operations
16 Flash and Storm. The second point was suggestions and requests from
17 military courts and Military State Prosecutor's Offices. And there were
18 two other points.
19 Do you recall receiving this invitation to attend the meeting on
20 the 19th of October, 1995?
21 A. Yes, I remember. I received this invitation, and I attended this
22 meeting. As you can see, the invitation was made at the Defence
23 Ministry. The deputy minister, who was then Mr. Juras, was responsible
24 for this.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that Exhibit 65 ter 1D2784 be
1 marked, and I tender it into evidence.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1619, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D1619 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
7 Madam Registrar, if I could have 65 ter 4656, please.
8 Q. This is dated 20 October 1995
9 of Defence to all presidents of the military courts, amongst other people
10 as well.
11 If we turn the page in the English, please. And this is the
12 cover letter submitting the conclusions reached at the working session on
13 the 19th October 1995
14 which is 65 ter 1D2785, please.
15 I'm advised that I need to seek leave to add this document as
16 well, Mr. President, to the 65 ter exhibit list. This is, again, 65 ter
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted.
20 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. The report -- you say that you attended the meeting. It says
22 these are the conclusions that were reached at the meeting, and the first
23 conclusion is:
24 "It is the unanimous opinion of the participants at the working
25 session that the work of the military courts and the military
1 Prosecutor's offices has contributed in an effective manner to the
2 functioning and protection of the law-based state, the Republic of
4 And if we go to point 8 of the document, it says:
5 "It is the unanimous opinion of the participants at the working
6 session that the law-based state has functioned effectively in the
7 liberated area of the Republic of Croatia
8 Storm, and the accusations of the ill-intentioned internal and external
9 factors against the Croatian state and the Croatian Army are groundless,
10 since the competent organs of authorities have fulfilled their legal
11 obligations on time and in an efficient manner."
12 Can you explain to the Court what was meant when that conclusion
13 was reached? In other words, can you explain to the Court what the
14 participants at the meeting felt concerning the effectiveness of the
15 criminal -- military criminal justice system after Operation Storm up
16 until the time of the meeting?
17 A. As you can see, on the first page of these conclusions it's
18 mentioned there that after the meeting was held, the conclusions were
19 made by the Legal Affairs Administration, and therefore I can interpret
20 this conclusion which I mentioned in the way that I understood it, and
21 later on I saw that it really was like that. You know that the
22 responsibility of military courts included the crimes from Article 20 of
23 the Criminal Code, and these were the crimes that related to the
24 protection of facilities where this related to the Republic of Croatia
25 its territorial integrity and everything else connected with this. The
1 military courts were -- had the jurisdiction for these crimes. That was
2 the armed rebellion and also carrying out sabotage and terrorist
3 operations, and the like, everything that was intended to attack the
4 integrity of the Republic of Croatia
5 After these operations, Flash and Storm, I assert that both the
6 Military Prosecutor's Office and the military courts worked as best they
7 could. All the prisoners were brought before courts in the areas where
8 they had been arrested, and the proceedings were conducted urgently. As
9 a rule, they began by the questioning of these persons, then the
10 investigative procedure followed, and finally the indictments would be
12 I wish to emphasise, and I think that this is very important,
13 that precisely in case of such crimes, if the proceedings were conducted
14 against prisoners, as I said, not a single case that was part of the
15 jurisdiction of the Military Court in Split
16 What do I mean by this? I think that not a single prisoner was
17 maltreated in any way whatsoever. The proceedings were conducted in
18 accordance with the Law on Criminal Procedure, in accordance with the
19 Criminal Code, and that was the basis for these proceedings. There were
20 many such cases, because we had a large number of prisoners, and
21 therefore I think that this conclusion which was made at the Legal
22 Affairs Administration was well formulated, and that was that the
23 law-based state was very effective in the newly-liberated territories of
24 the Republic of Croatia
25 Q. Now, with respect to crimes that were committed after
1 Operation Storm by members of the HV, was it -- what was the conclusion
2 of the participants at the meeting concerning the effectiveness of the
3 military criminal justice system in prosecuting members of the HV who may
4 have committed a crime after Operation Storm?
5 A. Well, I think that the item 8 of the conclusions related equally
6 to the members of the HV. That means all the proceedings and
7 prosecutions that were conducted.
8 Q. Do you recall ever, in a circumstance where any of the
9 participants in the meeting, whether the Military Court, the Military
10 Prosecutor's Office, or any other participant in the meeting, suggested
11 that military commanders needed to take action to prevent crime because
12 the criminal justice system was unable to effectively deal with the
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I think that's a leading
16 MR. MISETIC: I don't think the answer is suggested in the
17 question, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please rephrase.
19 MR. MISETIC: Sure.
20 Q. Was there any discussion at this meeting on the 19th about any
21 problems in the functioning of the military criminal justice system which
22 needed to be handled or addressed by military commanders?
23 Let me rephrase it again. Let's first turn to --
24 A. I can answer. I understood your question, so if you wish me to
25 answer, I'm willing to do so.
1 Q. Go ahead.
2 A. This can be connected with something I already talked about;
3 namely, that military commanders, or anyone within the defence system,
4 could not control nor did they have the jurisdiction to influence the
5 work of military courts and Military Prosecutor's Office in specific
6 cases. If there were any problems, if there were any -- I emphasise
7 this. I'm not saying that there were any, but if there were any problems
8 with discipline within units, that was an internal matter to be dealt
9 with the commander of these units. That was at the level of the
10 Defence Ministry and these units and their commanders. So whether the
11 commanders were satisfied or dissatisfied with anything that was
12 conducted was not a matter that was discussed at this meeting, as far as
13 I can remember, because we mostly discussed crimes and criminal offences.
14 That was important, in terms of the public, both the domestic and the
15 international public, because both of these closely monitored the work of
16 these courts and prosecutor's offices through various organisations and
17 so forth.
18 Q. If we turn to paragraph 7 of the conclusions of this meeting. If
19 we can go back one page in English, please.
20 Paragraph 7 on the screen, Judge. It says -- one of the
21 conclusions was:
22 "The Ministry of Defence shall commit all establishment units,
23 the Main Staff, and the commands of the military districts to meet the
24 court requests fully and in a timely manner also regarding the submission
25 of necessary evidence for specific cases. The MUP shall also provide the
1 necessary assistance regarding the submission of evidence."
2 Can you explain to the Court what that conclusion referred to?
3 What was that about?
4 A. Well, this conclusion related to the work of military police
5 which needed to be updated to a maximum in all cases that were in any way
6 part of the jurisdiction of military courts. When you conduct a complex
7 on-site investigation, apart from the minutes that you have to take, then
8 you also take the traces, you try to find traces of blood and urine, and
9 there are many other activities that need to be carried out and that are
10 very important for the further work of the court in the investigative
11 procedure, and we wanted to have this updated as much as possible. And
12 if an analysis could be made in five days, then one shouldn't wait
13 15 days for the results, and that related primarily to this kind of
15 Q. To your knowledge, was there a problem at all up until this
16 meeting with the cooperation offered by the Main Staff or the commands of
17 military districts in cooperating in criminal cases?
18 A. As far as I can remember, the cooperation was quite good. There
19 were not any significant problems in the work of the court; perhaps only
20 during one period because the units were at the front, we had minor
21 problems that had to do with delivering subpoenas, and the subpoenas
22 needed to be delivered to military personnel, just like to police
23 personnel. So you didn't have just the first and last name and the place
24 of residence, but the unit. And what happened? The unit would be
25 somewhere in the field, and one person within the unit would be in charge
1 of receiving mail, just as it is now in the police and in the army, and
2 this person was the only one who could sign the receipt of any documents.
3 And at the time these persons, obviously, didn't have a lot of experience
4 in this sort of work, it could happen that they would write on the
5 subpoena that a certain person was at such and such a front-line, and
6 then the subpoena would be returned to the court. The court would then
7 see what the problem was, and this was one minor problem that later on we
8 managed to resolve very efficiently and quickly, and eventually we
9 eliminated it altogether. So it wasn't a major problem that could be
10 interpreted as someone's ill intentions or obstructing the proceedings,
11 but lack of experience or a lack of knowledge of the persons who were in
12 charge of this.
13 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 65 ter 4656 and 65 ter
14 1D2785 into evidence.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibits D1620 and D1621, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Both exhibits are admitted into evidence.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. You've already mentioned, Judge, that your court was processing
21 prisoners of war, and if -- I'd like to show you a document on that
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I need leave to add 65 ter 1D2786 to
24 our 65 ter exhibit list.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted.
2 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Madam Registrar, if I could have on the screen, please, 65 ter
4 1D2786, please.
5 Q. This is an order from a military judge on the 8th of August. Are
6 you -- do you know Judge Bosko Jurisic?
7 A. Yes. He was one of the judges initially.
8 Q. Now, this is an order that says -- I'm sorry, it's not an order.
9 I guess it's a request, because it goes --
10 A. It's not an order. This is a letter.
11 Q. A letter asking with respect to where prisoners should be held
12 and in what prisons; is that correct?
13 A. Well, this has to do with those who were arrested within the
14 Operation Storm. May I read this?
15 Q. Let me ask you --
16 A. There's all of those who were arrested and against whom there was
17 already issued a decision, putting them in detention, and against whom a
18 warrant was issued, that they should be taken to the District Court in
19 Zadar, regardless of the fact whether the warrant requests that they need
20 to be taken into custody, into other district courts, and so on. So this
21 is something that was written by the military judge, Bosko Jurisic, after
22 the Operation Storm. And the only reason why such orders were issued was
23 to speed up the proceedings as much as possible; that is to say, to
24 reduce any possibility for these people, who were prisoners, to find
25 themselves in some difficult situations, including transport over
1 200 kilometres and so on, so that they were to be taken to the prison
2 which was closer to the location where they were arrested, and that the
3 proceedings should follow from there. And all of this was done in order
4 to speed up the proceedings.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, may I ask that 65 ter 1D2786 be
6 marked, and I tender it into evidence.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1622, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D1622 is admitted into evidence.
11 Mr. Matulovic, may I ask you a question. When Mr. Misetic said
12 to you, This is an order, you immediately corrected him by saying, This
13 is a letter, not an order. Nevertheless, approximately ten lines later,
14 you said such orders were given for those and those purposes. Now, does
15 this letter contain an order that is an instruction which should be
16 followed by the addressee?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You probably said -- you probably
18 didn't hear when, at the beginning, I said this was not an order, because
19 an order implies that something is being ordered. This is a memo with an
20 instruction. So these are two different notions. So the judge here
21 instructs them to proceed in this manner, to the extent possible, and one
22 of the reasons why they wanted it to be done this way was because the
23 prison in Split
24 once again, this was not an order. This was an instruction in the form
25 of a letter or a memo.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think -- I did notice your answer, unless
2 there's any translation issue, because the first thing I said is that you
3 corrected Mr. Misetic when he used the word "order," and you said it is a
5 Now, what is -- were those who were addressees of this letter or
6 instructions, were they duty-bound to follow that, or could they just
7 say, Well, we try to do it in a different way?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If there were no proper conditions
9 to implement what is stated there, then they did not act in accordance
10 with this letter, but they had to inform the judge that they were unable
11 to follow these instructions so that measures could be taken so that
12 these prisoners could be taken elsewhere.
13 JUDGE ORIE: If the proper conditions were there, were the
14 addressees under an obligation to follow the instructions?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most likely the judge wrote this
16 after the consultation with competent persons first in the Zadar Prison
17 and then with competent persons in, as you can see, Zadar-Knin Police
18 Administration, which means to say that an agreement had already been
19 reached, because for every action taken, there must be a written trace in
20 the file. So this is why the judge did this, so that somebody later on
21 wouldn't say, Well, why were these people transferred here and not there,
22 and so on. So there needed to be some written trace so that these
23 proceedings could be continued on as soon as possible. As you can see,
24 there were already decisions issued on putting these people into
25 detention, and there were warrants issued. And based on the instruction
1 of this judge and with the acquiescence of the Zadar-Split Police
2 Administration, these people were taken to Zadar.
3 We had similar situations previously, where after certain
4 operations we had a large number of prisoners, so that the prisoner -- so
5 that the prisons, in addition to the regular inmates and regular duties
6 that they had, they could not take in this additional large number of
7 people. And since all of this --
8 JUDGE ORIE: You're spending a lot of time on what practically
9 could oppose and whether it was good to do it this way. My question was
10 a different one.
11 My question was: that this is a letter sent by the Split
12 Military Court
13 with their prisoners, at least --
14 MR. MISETIC: If I could maybe -- I have a document that might
15 clear this all up.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll wait and see, but I notice that the
17 answers of the witness were not very much focused on my question.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. Judge, let's take this step by step. Now, the persons who are in
21 custody, in the custody of the MUP at that moment, who actually has filed
22 the criminal charges? In other words, which court had filed the criminal
23 charges for acts against the Republic of Croatia
24 the civilian court?
25 A. Military prosecutor. These were the crimes that I described
1 earlier from Chapter 20 of the Criminal Code.
2 Q. So in this situation, persons for whom an indictment had been
3 filed by the military prosecutor for crimes against Croatia may have been
4 held by the MUP; correct? And the judge is instructing what to do with
5 people who are under his jurisdiction; correct?
6 A. They could be under the jurisdiction of the MUP, but the law
7 specifies clearly for how long, for what period of time. At that time,
8 I think the dead-line was 48 hours. We need to look at the specific
9 provision of the Law on Criminal Procedure, as to the exact period of
10 time within which, following their arrest, they had to be taken to the
11 investigating judge for further proceedings and questioning. That is to
12 say that back in those days as well as now, the MUP was not competent to
13 decide on its own how long they could keep somebody in custody. There
14 were very specific provisions regarding that.
15 As for this letter or memo, I can't see here -- or, rather, I can
16 only see that there is a decision on putting these people in detention
17 and that there was also a warrant, and most likely after this there
18 followed an investigation and, later on, an indictment.
19 Q. Let's have a look at another document on this topic. 65 ter
20 5277, Madam Registrar.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm a bit confused by the last answer. You said, As
22 for this letter, I can only see that there is a decision putting these
23 people in detention, and there was also a warrant, and most likely after
24 this, there followed an investigation and, later on, an indictment.
25 Could we have the document on our screen again. The previous
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't need the document. I have
3 understood your question, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Because the document starts that:
5 "We inform you that all of the accused against whom criminal
6 charges were filed for ..."
7 Does this mean that -- you said criminal charges were filed. Is
8 that something different from being indicted? The language, at least in
9 English, is again "accused," and often the distinction is made between
10 suspected persons and accused persons. It further reads criminal charges
11 were filed for criminal offences. Therefore, that if I want to reconcile
12 that an investigation first had to follow, I do not fully understand,
13 perhaps, why the terminology "accused" against whom criminal charges were
14 filed, how I have to understand this.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to go back now and explain
16 to you some terms from the Croatian Law on Criminal Procedure, and this
17 may clarify the issue for you.
18 In the Law on Criminal Procedure, we have a term "suspect," which
19 is a person who is suspected of having committed a crime. And then there
20 is a term "accused" and "indictee." And then after the -- at the end of
21 this provision, it is stated that an accused is any person -- is -- comes
22 under a law where that person is suspected of having committed a crime.
23 "Indictee" is a person against whom an indictment was issued, and that
24 indictment is final. "Accused" can also be a person against whom an
25 indictment was issued, but maybe that indictment is not final yet.
1 I cannot comment on this letter by my colleague, but in this case
2 I believe that these were the accused against whom an indictment was
3 issued. But as you can see in further text, that indictment is not final
4 yet because there is a decision on placing them in detention, and there
5 is also a warrant issued.
6 Detention can also be given in the pre-trial proceedings, in the
7 preliminary proceedings, but then perhaps that person is not available to
8 the courts. In this particular case -- I need to see the list, but
9 perhaps that is not vital. Among those persons, there were also the
10 prisoners, and perhaps they were placed under investigation, but they
11 were unavailable at the time.
12 JUDGE ORIE: If I understand you well, that you say that although
13 your initial answer was that only after an investigation, later on an
14 indictment would be issued, that you do not exclude for the possibility,
15 on the basis of the terminology used, this would cover also persons
16 already indicted, but perhaps the indictment not having taken yet its
17 final form, and that they might still have been at large. Thank you for
18 this clarification.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
21 I'm advised that the number I -- the next document that I called
22 up is exhibit -- should be Exhibit P909.
23 Q. Now, this is a report from the Ministry of the Interior, dated
24 21 August 1995
25 subject is: "Final report on the treatment of prisoners of war in the
1 reception centre for prisoners of war." And before I turn the page, did
2 the International Committee of the Red Cross have access to persons --
3 prisoners of war, as far as you know, including persons who were held
4 under the jurisdiction of the Military Court?
5 A. We had regular visits of the representatives of the Red Cross, I
6 mean their main committee in Geneva
7 prisoners of war under the jurisdiction of the Military Court in Split
8 and were placed in all prisons, in Sibenik, Zadar, and Dubrovnik
9 persons that they visited, among other things, also were entitled to
10 write a letter on a form supplied by them --
11 Q. Sorry, let me just ask you an additional question. Did the
12 Red Cross ever express any concerns about the treatment of prisoners held
13 under the jurisdiction of the Split Military Court?
14 A. No, never. I know that we, pursuant to their request, whenever
15 they would come to thank us for enabling them to make a visit, would show
16 these letters written to their relatives. We did not want to read these
17 letters because we thought it was a private matter of everybody who wrote
18 them, but occasionally we would look at some of the letters written by
19 these prisoners, and even they never complained in those letters about
20 any mistreatment, be it at the time of their arrest or while they were in
22 Q. If I could turn your attention to paragraph 1.5, which is page 2
23 in the English, and I believe it should be the next page in Croatian.
24 The --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, still the previous answer is a bit of a
1 puzzle for me.
2 Who would show the letters that apparently prisoners sent to
3 their relatives?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Representatives of the Red Cross,
5 who would come to make visits. They would inform the Court about what
6 they had done. They would inform the Court.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Did they have copies of the letters sent by the
8 prisoners? No. You said:
9 "If, pursuant to their request, whenever they would come to thank
10 us for enabling them to make a visit, would show these letters written to
11 their relatives," which I understand, and that's what you confirm, that
12 the Red Cross would show the letters, which you said you didn't wish to
13 read, but now and then you did. But occasionally, you said:
14 "... we would look at some of the letters written by these
15 prisoners, and even they never complained in those letters about any
16 mistreatment," which suggests that you had read them at least
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to say that even nowadays,
19 nowadays, when it comes to prisoners writing letters to their relatives
20 or anybody else, the Court is duty-bound to read those letters before
21 they assent, because it is forbidden to write in the letters something
22 about the course of proceedings, or offend the Court, or anything of that
23 nature. That was the reason why the Red Cross would give us this letter,
24 and in cases of persons who were tried for some of the grave offences
25 against the Republic of Croatia
1 whether that person made a comment about the work of courts, whether they
2 wrote in that letter something that they shouldn't have written there.
3 That was the only reason. And as I said, it is done even nowadays to
4 make sure that there is nothing in those letters that are forbidden.
5 I apologise. No copies of those letters were ever kept at the
6 court in files.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let me try now to understand your testimony.
8 Whereas you initially said that you didn't wish to read those
9 letters and that you only occasionally would look at some of them, this
10 was -- which I'm not criticising in any way. This was the ordinary
11 control of a correspondence of prisons which we find. Then I asked you
12 whether you read them, and you more or less said the Red Cross would give
13 those letters and you would look at them. Now, this all in answer to
14 whether the Red Cross ever complained about the treatment, because that
15 was the question that was put to you by Mr. Misetic, whether the
16 Red Cross had any problems. Your answer entirely focuses on what you
17 found in the letters as what the prisoners, knowing that there would be a
18 kind of, I would say, normal censorship in detention situations, that you
19 would read them. But whether the Red Cross ever complained or had any
20 comments, that question has not been asked.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that I emphasised that, in
22 the beginning, that we never had any complaint from any prisoner. I also
23 have to point out that in these letters, if they did not want to write
24 something to somebody, they could write a sort of a complaint, and I had
25 never seen it. So there were never any complaints, be it verbal ones
1 from the Red Cross or in those letters, because the Red Cross would have
2 been duty-bound to inform us of that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Your answer started by saying that there were never
4 any concerns expressed by the Red Cross, so that these were the two first
5 words, "no, never," and then you explained this by referring exclusively
6 to the letters you had seen and that were given to you by the Red Cross.
7 But I do understand that the Red Cross, itself, apart from what was found
8 in the letters, never expressed any concern. Is that correctly
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There was never any concern
11 expressed, be it by the Red Cross or in the letters.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 Please proceed.
14 Mr. Misetic, I am looking at the clock. I don't know what --
15 first of all, I do not know how much time you need. Second, I do not
16 know whether this is a suitable moment or whether that would come soon.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have maybe 15 minutes left,
18 15 minutes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is too much. Would this be a suitable
20 moment or would you like --
21 MR. MISETIC: Yes, that's fine.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Matulovic, we'll have a break, and we'll resume
23 at five minutes to 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, please proceed.
2 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Judge Matulovic, I showed you paragraph 1.5. Does that -- there
4 were some dates mentioned as to visits to the Split -- sorry, to the --
5 visits to the prisoners of war by the Red Cross from Geneva occurred four
6 times, on the 7th, 10th, 11th, and 19th of August. Does that -- is that
7 consistent with your recollection as to how frequently members of the
8 ICRC from Geneva
9 A. I couldn't really remember now how frequent these visits were,
10 but I wish to emphasise that the dates referred to, August 1995, when
11 there were frequent visits, but they used to visit them frequently even
12 before the Operation Storm. It wasn't as frequent as this, but it was
14 Q. If we go to paragraphs -- starting at paragraph 2.3, which is
15 page 3 in the English and page 3 in Croatian. Now, we see -- we start to
16 see paragraphs that refer to how many -- of the total number of prisoners
17 of war in the MUP Reception Centre, how many were brought to the
18 investigative judge at the Military Court in Split
19 paragraph 2.3, it says:
20 "Out of a total number of 183 brought to the Reception Centre,
21 81 prisoners, against whom criminal reports had been filed, were brought
22 before the investigating judge at the Military Court in Split
23 "Out of the total number of prisoners brought before the military
24 investigating judge, criminal reports were filed against 72 prisoners
25 because of reasonable grounds to suspect that they had committed a crime
1 described and sanctioned under Article 1 of the Law on Crimes of
2 Subversive and Terrorist Activities against the state sovereignty ..."
3 And then if we go through the document, there are various other
4 references to prisoners of war held by the MUP being transferred to the
5 military courts. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber why those
6 prisoners were transferred from the MUP to the Military Court?
7 Actually, let me just show you one more portion of this document,
8 page 6 in the English, which is paragraph 4.1. And they had put together
9 a table which indicated, for example, the first entry, that
10 Pupovac, Rade, was transferred to the Military Court on the 9th of
11 August, 1995. Can you explain to the Court why such individuals were
12 being transferred from the jurisdiction -- or transferred from the
13 custody of MUP and into the custody of the Military Court?
14 A. I already answered this question during my earlier testimony,
15 when I said that there were dead-lines strictly set out in the Law on
16 Criminal Procedure by which the suspects had to be further prosecuted.
17 And in order to keep to the dead-lines, in the pre-trial proceedings they
18 would be brought before the investigative judge for further procedure.
19 And as for the number which I cannot see on the screen now, that was 183
20 and 81, that's the usual practice to this day, and it's in accordance
21 with the provisions of the Law on Procedure, that if, in the pre-trial
22 proceedings, facts are not established that would serve as grounds for
23 suspicion or reasonable suspicion, then this person is not further
24 prosecuted, and probably this is why the number of persons who were
25 brought before a court was reduced to such an extent and others were
2 As for the criminal offences, I mentioned during my earlier
3 testimony, also, if you have a closer look at these articles, these are
4 specifically the crimes which fall within the jurisdiction of the
5 Military Court
6 subversive activities, and the rest.
7 Q. Let me turn your attention to a different topic, which is the
8 issue of the Serb persons in the UN camp in Knin. First, can you tell
9 the Court what role you had, if any, in the issue of the detainees in the
10 Knin camp? I shouldn't say -- the persons who were in the Knin camp in
11 August and September of 1995.
12 A. As for the persons who came, as far as I remember, to this
13 Reception Centre South, they were prisoners of war, and among them there
14 were also civilians who were refugees and who simply found shelter there.
15 We got this information, and I must say that we set up, I couldn't call
16 it a commission, but a group that included policemen, members of
17 intelligence services, military services, and also the Military Court
18 and also the County Court in Split
19 What was the reason to form this group? The reason was what we
20 talked about earlier. We saw the memo or the instructions, and the fact
21 was that among the civilians in this camp -- it's a stupid to call it a
22 camp; it was a reception centre. There were some people there that we
23 had already launched criminal proceedings against, and there was a great
24 danger that these persons, together with civilians who were not
25 prosecuted in any way whatsoever, that once they were released and they
1 were on their way out of Croatia
2 be unavailable for the Croatian judiciary, and therefore we had a list of
3 these persons. We had a list with first and last names, as you can see
4 on this table, and the only goal of the persons from the judiciary was
5 that such persons, if they were there among the civilians, should be
6 singled out, should be separated, for further prosecution before Croatian
7 courts, whether military ones or county courts, if a person was accused
8 of war crimes.
9 I have to say that the meeting was also attended by a
10 high-ranking UNPROFOR official. I think that he was French, and he
11 requested that for each such persons that we were looking for at this
12 reception centre, he wanted to see the original file that existed in
13 courts in connection with the criminal proceedings conducted against
14 these persons, and we provided this.
15 I have to emphasise that in a certain way, we also considered the
16 pressure that we might be under if any of the prosecuted persons,
17 especially for serious crimes such as war crimes, might be released from
18 the reception centre, that then later on Croatian citizens would complain
19 and say that we had let war criminals slip through and that they had run
20 away and they had committed crimes in Croatia, and that we were dealing
21 with other things. And we wouldn't even let them think something like
22 that, and let alone let it happen. That was our main goal when we
23 attended this meeting.
24 MR. MISETIC: If I could, Madam Registrar, call up 65 ter 2441,
1 Q. Judge Matulovic, this is a memo written by --
2 A. [In English] I haven't it, no page currently. Yes, okay.
3 Q. It's a written -- a memo written by Mr. Husein Al-Alfi who's
4 reporting on a meeting that you had with a Mr. Zhang, Z-h-a-n-g, on the
5 20th or 21st of September, 1995. Do you recall, first of all, having
6 such a meeting?
7 A. No.
8 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in the Croatian, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
10 MR. MISETIC:
11 Q. Well, the memo purports to record some of the conversation that
12 allegedly took place, and I wanted to just ask you a question about
13 paragraph 2. It states -- if we could turn the page in English, please,
14 as well. Now, it says, first of all, concerning the 38 persons who were
15 in the Sector South camp and who were suspected, that:
16 "The military court in Split is only handling one case of the 38,
17 that is, the case of Djuric, Zdravko."
18 Can you tell the Court why the Military Court would have been
19 handling only one of the 38 cases?
20 A. I wish to answer your previous question.
21 After Storm, I had many meetings with representatives of various
22 organisations, governmental, non-governmental, so simply I cannot
23 remember all of them. Now that I see what you are showing me on the
24 screen, this gentleman was probably there and we must have had a
25 conversation. I don't think it's an invented document. I don't see the
1 heading here. I think this was at some point in September 1995 or later.
2 It's possible that even before this date, there was some sort of exchange
3 or amnesty and that this person, Zdravko Djuric, was then prosecuted
4 again after that. I cannot remember exactly, but in any case he was
5 under the jurisdiction of the Military Court, which means that there was
6 a crime from Chapter 20 or the Article 1 of the Law on Subversive
8 Just a second, please, if you can bear with me.
9 Here, in item 3, I mention that this case would be prosecuted,
10 but not before October 1995, so it means that it was probably a case that
11 we received later or -- I don't know. I cannot really remember the
12 details at this point.
13 Q. Do you know -- well, do you know what the other 37 may have been
14 charged with?
15 A. They were certainly all accused of crimes that were under the
16 jurisdiction of the Military Court. It could have been war crimes, and
17 if there were any such accused, then the cases were transferred to the
18 County Court for further procedure. And if the cases were under our
19 jurisdiction, then they would be dealt with by the Military Court.
20 Q. Let me just ask you about the second sentence in paragraph 2. It
22 "Judge Matulovic confirmed that all the accused would be detained
23 in civilian prisons, since military prisons were only for HV soldiers."
24 Is it correct that military prisons were only for HV soldiers?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Where would --
2 A. Military prisons were used for HV soldiers if these soldiers were
3 sentenced for violations of discipline, and you could go there for two
4 months for violations of discipline. As far as I can remember, that's
5 where they served their sentences. Not a single civilian - let me call
6 them civilians - who were under the jurisdiction of military courts after
7 being arrested and brought before an investigating judge, could not be
8 sent to a civilian prison, so they were not held there - the military
9 prisons, I'm sorry.
10 Q. Let me ask you about the prisoners of war from the RSK Army; in
11 other words, military persons from the army of the so-called ARSK. Where
12 would they be held, in military or civilian prisons?
13 A. For us, for the military judiciary, there were no military
14 prisons. They were exclusively detainees in civilian prisons.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 2441 be marked,
16 and I tender it into evidence.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1623, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. MISETIC: If I could just have a moment, Mr. President.
22 Judge Matulovic, thank you for answering my questions.
23 Mr. President, I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
25 Cermak Defence, any need to cross-examine the witness?
1 MR. CAYLEY: No, Your Honour, we don't have any question. Thank
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic for the Markac Defence?
4 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I will have a couple of
5 questions that would last maybe 15 minutes or 20.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Matulovic, you'll now be cross-examined by
7 Mr. Mikulicic. Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Matulovic.
10 A. Good day to you.
11 Q. I will ask you several questions, and I kindly ask you to answer
12 them to the best of your knowledge and recollection.
13 When we talk about military courts, where were they located,
15 A. The military courts were physically located, according to the
16 decree, at the seats of the district courts which are now the county
17 courts. So the Military Court in Split
18 the District Court. The Military Court -- the detached department in
19 Zadar was also in the building of the District Court. It was the same in
20 Sibenik. They were always in the buildings of the district courts --
21 civilian courts.
22 Q. You explained to us how the judges of military courts were
23 appointed from civilian courts. What about the personnel, the recording
24 clerks and the administrative personnel in military courts; were they
25 military personnel or civilian personnel?
1 A. They were all civilian personnel because, as I said, the military
2 courts were under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, and there
3 was no way for any employees of courts, except for the judges that we
4 talked about already, I mean all the administrative staff, the
5 court-recording clerks, could be military personnel. They were our
6 personnel there, still some of them, in courts. Some worked there and
7 then left later on, but they were all employees of civilian courts.
8 Q. As for the salaries for administrative personnel, who paid the
10 A. The Justice Ministry.
11 Q. And the regulations in according to which the judges acted,
12 whether they were substantive or procedural, what regulations were these?
13 A. I said at the beginning there were two decrees. One related to
14 the organisation of the judicial authorities, and the other one was a
15 decree on the application of the Law on Criminal Procedure in the case of
16 imminent threat of war, et cetera. Let me not quote the entire title.
17 This decree also included the application of the Law on Criminal
18 Procedure, which was then applied both in military and civilian courts,
19 and this decree reduced the Law on Criminal Procedure to certain specific
20 chapters. For example, what was reduced was a chapter of objection to
21 the indictment. That's a procedural statute which existed before, and it
22 still exists. At that time, the application of this chapter of the Law
23 on Criminal Procedure was reduced, and I think this was the major
24 reduction that we had, so that we could conduct the proceedings as
25 quickly as possible.
1 We all know from experience, all of us working in the judiciary,
2 that whether an indictment will come into force or not depends on many
3 factors, and sometimes a long period might relapse [as interpreted]
4 between an indictment is issued and when it is applied.
5 And, excuse me, as for the substantive law, it was always the
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, you started your next question
8 already when the interpreters were still busy interpreting the previous
9 answer of the witness. Could you make a small pause between question and
10 answer, and answer and question.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Matulovic, we could say that there was
14 no, under quotations, "military law" according to which the military
15 courts in the Republic of Croatia
16 A. There was no military law, nor the military judiciary, which is
17 even more important. This was all civilian.
18 Q. Do you know of the martial law, the notion of martial law?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were there ever such courts in Croatia, the martial law courts?
21 A. Whether they existed, I don't know about the distant past in
23 any form of proceedings that would have any elements of martial court
24 proceedings, let alone that there could exist such institutions as
25 martial courts.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues]... accuracy of
2 the transcript in page 45, line 12. I think it's a wrong translation of
3 the [B/C/S spoken]. It reads here "martial law." I was talking about
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, Mr. Mikulicic, you can ask to be
6 verified, but to replace the given translation by another one, although,
7 as a matter of fact, from the answer it's clear that that is what you
8 asked the witness about --
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Just to be on the safe side, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any dispute about this or ...
11 MR. MIKULICIC: No.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne?
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, you introduce whether something
15 exists, when no one has ever suggested it does exist, and then we get the
16 confirmation that it doesn't exist. That's --
17 MR. MIKULICIC: Just interpreting my question, Your Honour,
18 because I was asking --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but, I mean, the whole question.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: I see.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Matulovic, you talked about the procedure
24 that was used in military courts and also civilian courts, and that it
25 had its stages. According to your experience, from the moment when you
1 learn that a crime has been committed to the moment when possibly a
2 judgement could be issued against the perpetrators, what was the period
3 of time that we are talking about here?
4 A. I did not exactly understand your question. Which period do you
5 have in mind? Do you mean how long would it last, or -- how long would
6 it last? There were the stages of the proceedings that I talked about
7 earlier. There's the pre-trial proceedings; that's what the police is in
8 charge of.
9 Q. Just a second.
10 [In English] [Previous translation continues]... refers to the
11 transcript which was already done before.
12 When the witness is talking about "predkazneni postupak," which
13 is a Croatian term, that term has been translated as a pre-trial
14 proceedings, which is, from my point of view, it's not accurate
15 translation, because "pre-trial proceedings" implies that the proceedings
16 has been held before the court, which is not true. Pre-criminal
17 proceedings is something that has been held apart from the courts, within
18 the police jurisdiction, let me put it this way.
19 You will remember, Your Honour, that we have already such kind
20 of, let me say, wrong translation earlier, and that we agreed -- my
21 learned colleague also agreed with me that this term "predkazneni
22 postupak" in Croatian should be properly translated as "pre-criminal
23 proceedings," not the "pre-trial proceedings."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whether -- I appreciate that you come to an
25 agreement on how it should be understood. Now, one of the problems of
1 translations in legal matters is that the legal concepts in the one
2 system do not always correspond with the legal concepts in the other, so
3 where you rightly seek an agreement with the Prosecution on how to
4 understand these terms and what they actually mean, that's appreciated.
5 Whether these are wrong translations or whether these are second-best,
6 where there's no first-best translation, seems to be more likely to me,
7 because "pre-criminal proceedings" could -- well, I'm not a native
8 English speaker, but that could create a bit of confusion as well, what
9 means "pre-criminal"? Is that before the crime was committed or before
10 criminal proceedings? No, I'm just pointing out to you that whether the
11 translation is right or wrong is not easy to establish. And I'm very
12 hesitant to do that, but it's always clear that we clarify what is meant
13 by a witness or by you when using a certain legal concept or legal term
14 which is used in the systems in the former Yugoslavia, and especially in
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: Maybe we could clarify that topic in a couple of
18 minutes with the witness so that it could be solved.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: I apologise if I use a rough term, "wrong
21 translation." Probably it is not a proper word for it. It's simply, as
22 you put it, the difference between two legal systems, which is sometimes
23 very hard to translate.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm confident that in view of the explanation you
25 gave, why you considered that wrong translation, that the interpreters
1 would have understood there's not to be any criticism.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes. I apologise to the interpreters.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Matulovic, for those of us who come from the
6 Croatian judiciary, we know the distinction, but given that the procedure
7 before this Court and also in the common-law system is somewhat
8 different, I would ask you to describe, in a couple of sentences, what
9 does it mean, "preliminary criminal proceedings," and who conducts it in
10 the Republic of Croatia
11 A. Prior to answering this question, I would like to mention
12 something because I have been coming across such minor problems since the
13 time when I worked in the Military Court and also when I was an
14 investigating judge; namely, I always insisted that exactly what I say be
15 translated accurately, because every word has its weight. I'm not saying
16 that it's easy to translate every term from our Law on
17 Criminal Procedure, but everything needs to be done as accurately as
18 possible. And based on what I have heard, the interpreters here are
19 doing their job well, but it is quite understandable that they have
20 difficulty with some terms.
21 Now, why did I say all of this? I've been a judge for 33 years.
22 I went to all kinds of courts, and it is quite clear to me how a wrong
23 application of legislative terminology can be quite damaging. And this
24 is what I expected here when it comes to preliminary criminal
25 proceedings. These are the proceedings conducted by the police.
1 I have to say that I think in Article 6 of the Law on Criminal
2 Procedure, it is stipulated when criminal proceedings actually begin.
3 There is a huge difference there. Criminal proceedings are instituted
4 based on the request of the authorised public prosecutor. Once a public
5 prosecutor files a request, be it an investigative request or a draft
6 indictment, this is when criminal proceedings are launched, and they are
7 ongoing all -- for a long time, until the prosecutor is acting. In the
8 investigative proceedings, the proceedings are launched once a request to
9 launch investigation is filed, and it goes on either until an indictment
10 is issued or until the prosecutor decides to drop charges.
11 I think that I have now clarified the stages and the proceedings
12 now so that it's easier for everybody now.
13 Q. Thank you for your answer.
14 I will now go back to my initial question on how long the
15 proceedings lasted. How long did they last for certain crimes? Give me
16 a rough estimate. Was it a month, or two, or a longer period of time?
17 A. Even though you said "a rough estimate," it's quite difficult to
18 give a rough estimate, and that's because we have, say, proceedings for a
19 less serious crime, where we have eight accused, and then we can have
20 proceedings for a grave crime, where we only have one accused. So the
21 duration of proceedings, criminal proceedings, depend on many factors --
22 depends on many factors. It depends on the number of accused, on all the
23 steps that need to be taken. So it is difficult to give even a rough
25 But at any rate, these proceedings were accelerated as much as
1 possible at the time, and this is why there was this provision on the
2 application of the Law on Criminal Procedure so that there would be
3 legislative grounds for speeding these proceedings.
4 Q. Thank you for this answer. Let us turn to another topic briefly.
5 Once the criminal proceedings were instituted, in your statement,
6 in paragraph 17, you said that once there was a final judgement the
7 Ministry of Justice would be informed by the courts so that they could do
8 their activities in order to establish the status of the accused. My
9 question is: Did they inform the competent military bodies about the
10 fact that criminal proceedings were launched, that there was a decision
11 to launch an investigation, or that there was a decision to issue an
12 indictment? Were they informed then, or were they only informed once
13 there was a final judgement?
14 A. That was a duty of the courts based on the law. The Ministry of
15 Justice, the Personnel Administration, had to be informed, as well as the
16 command of the relevant unit, about the fact that a Croatian soldier was
17 detained by an investigating judge, because they at all times had to be
18 informed about the whereabouts of the soldier who had been arrested.
19 Once a judgement was issued finding a Croatian soldier guilty of a crime
20 and sentencing him, once again the court was duty-bound to send one copy
21 of the judgement to the Ministry of Justice, to the
22 Personnel Administration, because they, based on the current legislation,
23 had to make a decision on what to do with that soldier following his
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I see you're on your feet.
1 MR. MISETIC: Yes. If we could check the witness's answer as to
2 the Ministry involved at line 7 and at line 13, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not the Ministry of Justice.
4 JUDGE ORIE: What ministry did you intend to refer to?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ministry of Defence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And that later, when you said that the court was
7 duty-bound to send one copy of the judgement to ... did you then also
8 want to refer --
9 THE WITNESS: [In English] Minister of defence, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In the answer, when reference was made to the
11 Ministry of Justice --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, I apologise. Just a
13 second, please.
14 [In English] "... to send one copy of the judgment to the
15 Ministry of Justice." No, Ministry of Defence in here also.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In both instances where the witness referred
17 to the Ministry of Justice, he intended to refer to the Ministry of
19 Please proceed, Mr. Mikulicic.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Matulovic, the same question now in relation to the numbers
22 of the Ministry of the Interior. What was the duty of the courts if a
23 member of the Ministry of Interior was detained or if a judgement was
24 issued against them?
25 A. The duty was identical, except that the information was sent to
1 the Ministry of the Interior.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answers,
3 Mr. Matulovic.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
5 Ms. Mahindaratne, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President, if I could have a moment.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Mr. Matulovic, you'll now be cross-examined by Ms. Mahindaratne.
9 Ms. Mahindaratne is counsel for the Prosecution.
10 You may proceed.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Mahindaratne:
12 Q. Good morning, Mr. Matulovic.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. Mr. Matulovic, you were asked as to when a military court would
15 have jurisdiction on a particular case, and your response was, and this
16 is at page 10, line 8:
17 "When it was established that the crime was committed by a
19 Now, if crimes were committed in an area which was under the
20 control of the military, would it not be the responsibility of the
21 military police to investigate that crime to ascertain if, in fact,
22 members of the HV were involved?
23 A. I have already stated that the territorial jurisdiction was
24 defined as the jurisdiction of the Military Court in Split
25 specified areas of which courts came under that. In the areas of some
1 courts, there were more activities, and in areas of some other courts,
2 there were fewer. Now, if there was army in that territory and a soldier
3 committed a crime from the jurisdiction of military courts, then
4 naturally it was the military police and the military prosecutor, and
5 later the military courts that were involved. However, I have to
6 emphasise, and I'll give you a very specific example.
7 A town that came under the jurisdiction of the Military Court in
8 Split, in that town they found a body of an old woman who had been
9 killed, and that immediately gave rise to the notion that this was a
10 crime against a civilian. Regardless of the fact that this came under
11 the territorial jurisdiction of the Military Court, the case was
12 immediately taken over by civilian police, civilian prosecutor, civilian
13 investigating judge, because you have probably already heard that the war
14 crimes did not fall under the jurisdiction of military courts.
15 Therefore, in order to establish what was the -- to determine
16 subject-matter jurisdiction, it wasn't really important to establish
17 whether the area was under military control or not, but rather it was
18 important to establish what had actually happened.
19 Q. Now, following that, and in fact you also mention this in your
20 statement --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just try to understand the testimony, your
23 Ms. Mahindaratne, your question was about, How could you assert
24 that an HV member would be the perpetrator? Yes or no.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And the witness gave a clear answer on another
2 aspect of jurisdiction; that is, how could you ascertain whether it was a
3 war crime or not, because you were referring to one rule of jurisdiction,
4 which is that, apart from war crimes, that HV members, having committed
5 or sufficiently reasons to believe that the perpetrators of a crime were
6 HV members, triggered jurisdiction. And the witness gave, I take it, a
7 perfectly right answer, but on a different question; that is, whether the
8 exclusion for war crimes would apply and how to establish that. I do not
9 mind if you want to put one question and then he'll answer to another --
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I was going to ask him to
11 clarify, because I was going to take him from there to the point I want
12 to take him.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If you'd allow me.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'll allow you to continue, but I just wanted to
16 express my concern about questions and answer being about the same
18 Please proceed.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
20 Q. Now, Mr. Matulovic, your testimony is that war crimes were not
21 within the jurisdiction of the military courts. Now, isn't it correct
22 that the underlying crime which could be the subject of a war crime
23 prosecution could be charged as an ordinary crime in the military courts?
24 For example, if it related to a case of a killing incident, the
25 perpetrator could be charged under Article 34 of the Criminal Code in the
1 military court; isn't that correct?
2 A. Now, you have put quite a confusing and imprecise question to me.
3 I will try to give you an answer.
4 A war crime is one thing. It can be committed even without
5 committing a murder. A murder is a crime against life and limb. That's
6 its definition. Now --
7 Q. Mr. Matulovic, my point is the underlying crime which could be
8 the subject of a war crime prosecution, such as with a killing or any
9 other incident, could be charged as an ordinary crime under your
10 Criminal Code in the military courts. Isn't that correct?
11 A. If it is established right away that this was a case of murder,
12 which is quite difficult in the beginning, and that's why I gave you that
13 example about an old lady being killed in the area where there was
14 combat, and that immediately gave rise to the idea that this could have
15 been a case of a war crime because it involved a civilian. Now, whether
16 it was a murder or not will be established later during the
17 investigation. And it could be argued that it wasn't a war crime but,
18 rather, an ordinary murder. And if it was an ordinary murder and if it
19 was committed by a Croatian Army -- by a Croatian soldier, then he would
20 be tried before the Military Court, as there were many cases.
21 Q. Similarly, for example, in the case of destruction of property or
22 arson, that could be tried as an ordinary crime in the military courts,
23 is that correct, if the perpetrator was a member of the HV?
24 A. I have said so already. All crimes which could be committed by
25 civilians, in cases where they were committed by soldiers, unless they
1 were war crimes, were tried before the Military Court, unless those
2 people ceased being military servicemen before the indictment was issued
3 and the proceedings were launched. We've already discussed this.
4 Q. Now --
5 JUDGE ORIE: I think there is a bit of confusion about what you
6 want to hear from the witness, and either the witness doesn't understand
7 fully or you're not precise enough. Let me try to see whether I can --
8 first of all, whether I understand what you wanted to know and, secondly,
9 to hear whether -- what the answer would be by Mr. Matulovic.
10 Mr. Matulovic, someone is killed - it is a civilian - under
11 circumstances which give quite some reasons to believe that it may well
12 have been a war crime. Now, in phrasing the charges against a person,
13 you could leave out the specific elements for murder as a war crime and
14 just indict that person for murder, irrespective of whether these
15 elements which would make it a war crime could be proven, yes or no. Was
16 it within the discretion of the military prosecutor to -- well, let's say
17 to limit the charges to an ordinary murder, which would trigger the
18 jurisdiction of the Military Court? Is that --
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's correct, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- the question you had on your mind,
21 Ms. Mahindaratne?
22 Could you please answer that question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you came precisely
24 to what I said in the beginning, that the question was quite confusing
25 and it contained several elements.
1 Military prosecutor is the person who directs the proceedings and
2 conducts them, in cooperation with the judge, both during the
3 investigation phase, during the indictment phase, and during the trial
4 phase. That is precisely the clarification of what I said; namely, that
5 the question had several elements and that I couldn't answer them
6 precisely. So everything is a matter of assessment based on the facts,
7 assessment by the military prosecutor. And he could have worked together
8 with a civilian colleague, and they could have said, Well, take a look at
9 this case and let's discuss and let's decide what we're going to do.
10 It's up to the prosecutor.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
14 Q. Now, for the -- now, your testimony is it's the military
15 prosecutor's jurisdiction or the Military Court's jurisdiction is
16 triggered at the point when the perpetrator's status is established as a
17 member of the HV. Now, my first question to you was: In an area which
18 is under military control, where there was, say, a significant amount of
19 burning of a property, is it not the responsibility of the military
20 police to investigate into the matter to establish --
21 A. No leading questions, please.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If there's any objection against leading, it will
23 come from the other party. And I do understand that you may mix up your
24 professional duties with your position as a witness. Leading questions
25 are not, under all circumstances, objected to, and it's for the Court to
1 decide to what extent it will allow leading questions.
2 Now, I took it that it was rather a hypothetical question than a
3 leading question. Ms. Mahindaratne knows this Court is not very fond of
4 hypothetical questions, but you may proceed.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Isn't it the responsibility of the military police, in fact, to
7 investigate crimes committed in an area which is under the control of the
8 military to establish if, in fact, the -- if, in fact, members of the HV
9 were involved in the crime; not to establish, in fact, the status of the
11 A. Well, one could give two answers to that question. The first is
12 that the military police in the area which is under military control, as
13 you phrase it, has to carry out some sort of police investigation as soon
14 as something happens. Military police, and I emphasise once again,
15 regardless of whether it is an area under military control or not, has to
16 act if the suspect is a serviceman, without any doubt. In such areas
17 which you call areas under military control, there could have been
18 civilians who are guilty of arson, who set up a house on fire due to some
19 revenge, that is, a blood-feud that is 50 years old. In those cases it
20 will be the civilian police acting, and not the military police, even
21 though that area is under military control, or the civilian police could
22 be acting in cooperation with the military police.
23 Q. My question was with regard to instances where the status of the
24 suspect had not been established yet, but the crime has been committed in
25 an area under military control. Isn't there a responsibility on of the
1 part of the military police to investigate if, in fact, members of the HV
2 were involved? That is the point. I'm not talking about where the
3 status of the perpetrator has already been established as military.
4 MR. MISETIC: I'm going to object to the question as confusing
5 because I think the first portion of the question is contradicted by the
6 second portion of the question. The first portion of the question says:
7 "In circumstances where the status of the suspect has not been
8 established yet ..."
9 And then she says:
10 "I'm talking about where the status of the person has already
11 been established as military."
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, that's --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, to establish this status could mean two
14 things. The first is: Who's the suspect? Is that, at face value, a
15 military or civilian? And the second is whether somebody wearing a
16 military uniform is really a military person. So it's a two-layer
18 Let's try again, Ms. Mahindaratne, to see whether I understood
19 what you wanted to ask from the witness.
20 I'm going to sin against my own rules; that is, I put a
21 hypothetical question to you. I see a significant military presence in a
22 certain area where I see not many civilians left. I've heard about arson
23 that had happened in those days. I'm a military police officer. I am at
24 a distance of 300 metres from a house, and I see some people with
25 jerry-cans, and suddenly the house is ablaze. What should I do? Should
1 I go there and see whether the guys with jerry-cans are civilians, or
2 should I say it has not been established that the ones who most likely
3 have put the house at fire are military, and therefore I remain passive?
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Is that more or less the situation you had in mind,
6 Ms. Mahindaratne?
7 Could you tell us what is this military policeman supposed to do
8 - and he's not accompanied by a civilian police officer, because then the
9 answer might more easy, but he's just on his own - should he go there and
10 try to find out, or should he say, It has not been sufficiently
11 established that this is a matter which falls within my competence to
12 deal with?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now we have come to the questions
14 that could have been perhaps better put to some of my predecessors here
15 who testified about the competence of military police. But let me try to
16 give you an answer to this question, even though I don't deal with police
18 If police observes directly an unlawful act, any policeman,
19 including military policemen, should act and establish the identity of
20 persons observed on the scene, and these are their competencies. If they
21 establish that these persons with jerry-cans are civilians, they will act
22 accordingly. If they establish that none of them are military personnel,
23 then they will also act accordingly, and they will detain those persons
24 there until civilian police arrives. And then once the civilian police
25 arrives, they may act together with them in order to carry out certain
1 on-site activities, ensure preservation of evidence, and so on.
2 Now, I would like to say something to Madam Prosecutor. I want
3 to clarify something.
4 Military courts, should they learn that six persons committed a
5 crime, and that out of those six, five were civilians and one was a
6 serviceman, because of that one serviceman, their jurisdiction would be
7 triggered and they would conduct the proceedings, which is very
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Thank you, Mr. Matulovic, for those answers.
13 Q. Now you referred to war crimes prosecutions being in the
14 jurisdiction of the civilian courts or, should I say, the district or
15 county/state courts. Are you aware of any war crimes prosecutions being
16 conducted at the district or county/state courts against members of the
17 HV for crimes committed in August and September 1995?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Now, you were shown a document by Mr. Misetic. That was P2251.
20 And, Mr. Registrar, if you could just -- Madam Registrar, if you could
21 just bring it up. And you were asked -- in fact, that document is -- two
22 other addresses are the commander of the Split Military District and the
23 Split Garrison Command. And you were asked as to what the purpose of
24 sending that documents to those addressees is. And your answer, this is
25 at page 22, line 15. You say:
1 "Both commanders must know if there are any infractions of
3 And you go on to say:
4 "I emphasise that the military disciplinary proceedings and also
5 the criminal proceedings, if they followed from these reports, that
6 anything needed to be conducted has nothing to do with the other."
7 That's your response. Now, isn't it correct that a criminal
8 offence conducted by a member of the HV is also considered as a major
9 violation of military discipline under the Code of Military Discipline?
10 A. I said that in the daily reports, both the infractions of the
11 provisions about military discipline were mentioned, specifically in this
12 document a traffic accident is mentioned because of excess speed and so
13 on. Let me emphasise again. The proceedings for violations of military
14 discipline and for criminal offences are two different kinds of
15 proceedings, which does not mean that if a serviceman, by his conduct,
16 committed a crime, must not be charged with disciplinary measures, but if
17 there is a disciplinary offence, then it cannot be treated in the same
18 way as the criminal offence because they are covered by different laws.
19 It could happen that a certain military personnel might commit an
20 offence, but, that at the same time, it is not a breach of discipline.
21 But in any case, the proceedings are separate, so they do not entail --
22 one doesn't entail the other and how these proceedings would be further
24 And here specifically in this document, you can see that because
25 of conditions on the road and because of speed, there was a traffic
1 accident. He hit a pedestrian and so on. She was crossing at a zebra
2 crossing, and it's a typical traffic accident. There was serious injury.
3 Now, whether the commander, depending on this factual description, would
4 also find here elements of breach of discipline, that's the matter of the
5 commander's assessment. He could do that, but he doesn't have to do it.
6 And the military prosecutor would then continue the proceedings, and then
7 this would be transferred to the court.
8 Q. Isn't it correct that under the Code of Military Discipline, a
9 crime committed by a member of the HV, such as a case of killing, or
10 destruction or burning of property, or theft, would be considered as a
11 major violation of military discipline?
12 A. Now we are talking about disciplinary responsibility and
13 disciplinary proceedings. I can answer this as well, and I believe that
14 this will be clear, how this was done when, in 1997, I came to the
15 Disciplinary Military Court in Split
16 difficulties with understanding, but I'll try to be as precise as I can.
17 In the list of disciplinary offences -- there are disciplinary
18 offences, not just disciplinary infractions which are less serious
19 violations of military discipline, and disciplinary offences are more
20 serious forms of violation of military discipline, it was prescribed that
21 the disciplinary offence, if an active serviceman -- if there were
22 reasonable grounds to suspect that an active serviceman committed an
23 offence for which proceedings are launched and then conducted, because
24 the institutions are duty-bound to do that, it's done ex officio, these
25 are traffic accidents and other such offences. The reasonable grounds
1 exist when the decision to launch an investigation is issued or when an
2 indictment is issued. And the person who is -- the indictment for this
3 offence does not include the description of the offence, as the
4 indictment or the decision to conduct an investigation will include it,
5 with all the elements and details of the commission of the crime, but it
6 says that such and such a person, with or without a rank, damaged the
7 honour and the reputation of the Croatian Army because an indictment was
8 issued before the County Court in Split because of the offence of drug
9 abuse. So, for example, because of the fact that an indictment was
10 issued, regardless of what the judgement might be, the person was
11 disciplinarily responsible, and the procedure then, if it was drug abuse,
12 would be continued before a regular court in accordance with the
13 indictment that was issued.
14 So I hope that I managed to draw this distinction between
15 disciplinary responsibility and criminal responsibility. You saw the
16 example which I mentioned, where the factual description from the
17 indictment does not necessarily include disciplinary proceedings that
18 would be conducted.
19 Q. I believe you didn't quite answer my question, Mr. Matulovic. My
20 question was: If an incident of murder or destruction or burning of
21 property, or theft, committed by a member of the HV would be considered
22 as a serious form of violation of military discipline. Is it a "yes" or
24 MR. MISETIC: If we could just establish a date. I think it's
25 important to establish what time-frame Ms. Mahindaratne is talking about.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Particularly those committed in August and
2 September 1995.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I already -- as for the
4 disciplinary proceedings before 1995, I cannot talk about this because I
5 wasn't working on this. There were special disciplinary courts or
6 whatever they were called. But I'm telling you, in principle, by using
7 this example, if it was serious, because you keep talking about serious
8 crimes such as arson or murder - there were less serious crimes - then in
9 any case conditions would be met to conduct disciplinary proceedings
10 because of damage done to the reputation of the military forces. And
11 I think that I couldn't give a more precise answer.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
13 Q. If I could take you - I think have you your statement there,
14 Mr. Matulovic - to page 7 of your statement, and I'm referring to
15 paragraph 2 there. That is the paragraph just above the question
16 numbered 6. You refer to investigations. You say:
17 "From the aforementioned, the following has to be pointed out.
18 The investigation is not conducted by the police. Investigation, in
19 terms of the Croatian judiciary system, is a court procedure conducted by
20 the court. For criminal offences that fall under the jurisdiction of
21 regular courts, the investigation is conducted by the investigative judge
22 of the County Court. For criminal offences that fall under the
23 jurisdiction of the military judiciary, the investigation is conducted by
24 the investigating judge of the Military Court."
25 Now, in order for an investigative judge to conduct an
1 investigation, be it the military court or the civilian court, the judge
2 should receive a report of the crime; isn't that correct?
3 A. But you left something out a little bit here, certain details
4 that would lead me to an appropriate answer.
5 Firstly, it is noted here that the investigation is not conducted
6 by the police. If you remember the answer to the questions asked by
7 Mr. Mikulicic, I emphasised that one of the stages of the criminal
8 procedure is the preliminary criminal proceedings in which police is the
9 one who carries it out. It's the preliminary criminal proceedings before
10 an investigation. If a judge is to continue conducting an investigation,
11 he does not need to receive reports in order to continue conducting an
12 investigation, regardless of whether it's a military or civilian
13 investigative judge, he has to have, and I noted that in the answer to
14 Mr. Mikulicic, he has to have the request for investigation from the
15 prosecutor's office which is in charge of this. So it could be the
16 municipal or the county/state attorney, or prosecutor's office. I
17 believe this is an answer to your question.
18 Let me repeat these are the stages of the procedure, and in the
19 Law on Criminal Procedure, which I also already mentioned, there is an
20 article which precisely provides when the criminal procedure begins. And
21 my answer was and still is that a criminal procedure does not begin after
22 a report that the judge may receive, but on a request of the prosecutor
23 who is competent exclusively on that request.
24 Q. Now, isn't it correct, in order for the prosecutor to act and
25 make that request of an investigative judge, the police or the military
1 police, as the case may be, have to submit a report informing him that a
2 crime has been committed and giving the specific location?
3 A. Not only that, but in order for the investigative judge to take
4 any further action, at the beginning the location might not be important,
5 but all the other elements are important, the elements which are
6 established in the preliminary criminal proceedings by the police and on
7 the basis of which the military prosecutor, when we had military
8 courts - now it would be a civilian prosecutor - would tell the police
9 what to do next so that he could more successfully submit an
10 investigation request to the investigative judge and launch the
11 investigative procedure. So it is exclusively the responsibility of the
12 military, or now, a civilian prosecutor.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Matulovic, isn't it correct that during the period
14 August and September 1995, there was a high number of crimes committed in
15 the area known as the former Sector South, which was an area which came
16 within your jurisdiction?
17 A. I think that a question cannot include a hypothesis that a great
18 number of criminal offences were perpetrated. What was the number of the
19 criminal offences perpetrated, no one can know until the proceedings
20 begin. And then there is the justified question: In all these areas,
21 there were also civilians, and couldn't it happen -- now I am going to
22 ask a hypothetical question, if you allow me - that someone who is
23 leaving the area, as we said, out of spite, said, If I cannot use my
24 house, no one's going to use it, and then he might set it on fire, and
25 he's not a Croatian soldier or a Croatian citizen, he's leaving and then
1 destroys something that he made so that no one else would be using it.
2 And so the number of -- the great number of criminal offences, I think
3 this is too extensive a term.
4 Q. Mr. Matulovic --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there.
6 Mr. Matulovic, Ms. Mahindaratne defined a period, asked you
7 whether there were a high number of crimes committed in the area known as
8 former Sector South, so there she gives a geographical invitation, and
9 then she added "which was an area which came within your jurisdiction."
10 She apparently was alluding to the geographical limits of the
11 jurisdiction, although this might be easily misunderstood as to refer to
12 the jurisdiction "ratione personae," it is what kind of persons came
13 within a jurisdiction. So the last portion of the question is perhaps a
14 bit problematic. Now, you very much, in your answer, focused on that
15 last portion of the question.
16 Ms. Mahindaratne, did you intend to seek further information when
17 you said "Sector South, within your jurisdiction," to include the limits
18 as far as the personal jurisdiction is concerned, or were you exclusively
19 referring to crimes committed in this geographical area, in this
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: The latter, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you took a risk by referring to using the
23 jurisdiction instead of saying "in the geographical area which was
24 covered by your court." So --
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: My apologies, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
2 MR. MISETIC: Just as a point of further clarification, and I
3 don't think it's disputed by the parties, even the geographic area is not
4 South Sector. So if we can be more precise, because there's a portion of
5 Sector South -- a significant portion of Sector South which wouldn't have
6 fallen geographically in this jurisdiction.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Mr. Matulovic, you understood the reference to jurisdiction as
9 jurisdiction over HV members, whereas Ms. Mahindaratne wanted to ask you
10 whether, then, the area in which you had jurisdiction, whether in that
11 geographical area, which included major portions of Sector South, whether
12 the number of crimes committed in August and September 1995 was high,
13 which I understand to be relatively high compared to other periods of
14 time. If you can answer the question, please do so.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I will answer that the
16 notion of a great number is very relative. Three murders can be a huge
17 number; and then six traffic accidents, a minor number, in the structure
18 of offences committed. So we cannot talk generally about a great number
19 of criminal offences. As many offences were committed, so many were
20 prosecuted. And what is the number of offences that the Prosecutor is
21 talking about, I don't know. I think it would be more interesting to ask
22 such a question to someone from the Military Prosecutor's Office rather
23 than me, because we would prosecute the cases that we would receive, the
24 accused that we had. And I'm talking hypothetically. If there were
25 ten murders committed in one area, though it wasn't the case, then it
1 would be really a great number. But if there were four thefts where
2 moto-cultivators were stolen, then it couldn't be compared with any
3 number of offences. So this is why I said at the beginning that this is
4 a hypothetical question. What's a great number of offences, and that the
5 Presiding Judge also asked me about. It's a relative notion, because in
6 certain crimes a great number cannot really be great; sometimes not. It
7 depends, and it doesn't have to be related to the quantity.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, I'm looking at the clock. I don't
9 know whether this, or whether you could find somewhere within the next
10 five minutes, a suitable moment for a break.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President. If I could take the next
12 five minutes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please do so.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Let me be more specific, Mr. Matulovic. Let me take an example,
16 for instance, if you take Kistanje, which was an area which came within
17 your area of jurisdiction, isn't it correct that in the period August and
18 September, there were a high number of destruction and burnings in the
19 municipality of Kistanje?
20 A. Again, I have to answer that you would have to have insight in
21 all the cases and all the files of the Military Court, all the cases that
22 were dealt with, also the cases at the Military Prosecutor's Office in
24 many crimes were prosecuted, whether these were really those crimes or it
25 turned out later on that they were less serious. It's difficult now to
1 answer this question on top of my head, especially about the area of
2 Kistanje. At the Split Military Court area, we were responsible for the
3 territory between Split
4 to be able to say exactly what happened in Kistanje, whether it was 10,
5 or 17, or 12 houses, whether there were thefts or burglaries in such and
6 such a number. It's very difficult. One would need to have a look at
7 the cases. You would have to ask the prosecutor to submit to you what
8 was reported and then prosecute it in this period.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry to interrupt.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
12 Sorry to interrupt again. A little transcript issue is still
13 pending. I am referring to the territorial responsibility of the Split
14 Military Court
15 explicitly. I think that the witness has mentioned some other towns.
16 Could we repeat the questions, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if we spent a lot of time on it, in view of the
18 gist of the answer, do we need to clarify this at all? The gist of the
19 answer being that we do not know because we don't have sufficient
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
22 No, no, no, I'm referring to the responsibility for the territory
23 which was under the Split Military Court, where the witness mentioned the
24 town of Split
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps it's quicker to ask the witness.
1 You mentioned the Split Military Court area as being between
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sibenik and Dubrovnik.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
7 Q. Mr. Matulovic, during 1995, after Operation Storm was completed,
8 let's say from 7th August 1995
9 that the military police, the 72nd Military Police Battalion
10 specifically, had any difficulties in coping with their work in relation
11 to investigation of crime?
12 A. The part of the responsibilities of the military police was
13 great. The scope of their responsibility was great. And as I said,
14 there was also the huge territorial responsibility of the Military Court
15 and I don't know if the military police, with so many duties, would have
16 any problems that would impede their work. And, after all, if they had
17 it at that stage, they were duty-bound to inform the Military Police
18 Administration and not us.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I think you answered my question.
20 Mr. President, I think this is a good moment to take the break.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Mahindaratne.
22 Mr. Matulovic, we'll have a break. I hope that the leading
23 question is not any more bothering you, but you were educated in a
24 non-common-law system; so was I. So apart from who objects and who
25 decides, I meanwhile learned that leading questions are prohibited in
1 examination-in-chief, but not that much in cross-examination. So we both
2 learn every day.
3 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at --
4 THE WITNESS: [In English] Excuse me, excuse me, Mr. President.
5 This is an official. I can answer on this question.
6 [Interpretation] The next time we see each other, but not here,
7 but somewhere else, I will show you a certificate which I personally
8 received from the Registrar of this Court after I completed the
9 instruction to conduct proceedings according to the Anglo-Saxon system.
10 And one of the lecturers was Mr. Kenneth Scott. I'm sure he is well
11 known to my colleague and to everyone else. Let me not mention everyone.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me say that then you are better off than me,
14 because I have no such certificate, Mr. Matulovic. And I just wanted
15 to -- I just wanted to give you some comfort for the break in relation to
16 leading questions in examination-in-chief and cross-examination.
17 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, you may proceed.
21 Could you give us any indication as to how much time you would
22 approximately need?
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: About 20 minutes more, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Matulovic, to questions from Mr. Misetic, and this is at
2 page 26, line 15. You said that the prisons in Split were all crowded,
3 and that was with prisoners of war; is that correct?
4 A. It was probably misinterpreted. I said should the prisons be
5 over-crowded, that then the prisoners would be sent elsewhere. After
6 such operations, we would normally have more prisoners than at other
7 times. And not all of them were prisoners of war because the county and
8 municipal courts had their proceedings in parallel, and their accused
9 would share the same premises in Bileca.
10 Q. You were shown a document by Mr. Misetic that was P909, which
11 related to the number of prisoners of war that had been processed in your
12 court. Let me also show you another document.
13 And, Madam Registrar, if I could have 65 ter 7349, please.
14 And this relates to a record of a meeting that the UNCRO
15 Sector South members had with you on 8 January. It refers to -- and I'll
16 just read this, refer a meeting of the 5th January -- my apologies, it
17 says, 5th January, 1996, on the above subject:
18 "Please find attached the list of 219 detainees released by Split
19 Military Court
20 there would be no more trials by his court. I understand that the trials
21 of those suspected of committing war crimes will be conducted by the
22 Split County Court."
23 Now, are you able to tell the Trial Chamber about approximately
24 how many cases were processed by the Split Military Court against
25 prisoners of war? An approximate figure.
1 A. Very many, but I can't even give you a rough number. However I
2 can confirm what is stated here, namely, that pursuant to an enactment of
3 the president of the state, now late Dr. Franjo Tudjman, there was an
4 amnesty, and they were all set free. And this sentence here, that there
5 would be nor trials of war crimes suspects, meant that there were simply
6 none anymore in the court. Following this document, we worked for
7 another seven months, and we prosecuted other accused. There were a lot
8 of them. And as for the prisoners of war, we had none of them after this
9 amnesty. And this is just a message here in this document. And it says
11 "I understand that the trials of those suspected of committing
12 war crimes will be conducted by the Split County Court. And, yes, there
13 were several such cases involving war crimes."
14 Q. Are you able to at least give some idea as to what range of cases
15 were tried against prisoners of war in the Split Military Court until the
16 point of amnesty? Is it in the thousands or hundreds?
17 A. Not in thousands. It could be in hundreds. I'm now referring to
18 the prisoners of war, and I'm emphasizing that this was exclusively the
19 crimes from Chapter 20 of the Criminal Code. Several hundreds, yes, but
20 I couldn't give you a more specific number.
21 Let me tell you how this setting free looked like. We had 160 --
22 are you interested in this or not?
23 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Matulovic, I don't have that much time, so I just
24 wanted to get to the numbers.
25 In addition to processes against prisoners of war, did the Split
1 Military Court
2 A. Well, there was nothing to try them for because the crimes
3 against the Republic of Croatia
4 about, and then you told me that you had no time. Now, in those cases,
5 if there was an amnesty, they issued a decision on suspending the
6 proceedings, which automatically abolished any further detention. So
7 regardless of what stage of the proceedings they were in, they were set
8 free with involvement of the Red Cross or not, and they could go where
9 they wanted.
10 Q. Mr. Matulovic, I don't intend to be rude, but my question was:
11 In addition to these cases, were there, up until the point of amnesty,
12 were there cases -- were there cases filed by the Military Court in Split
13 in absentia against members of the RSK? I'm not talking about those in
14 detention. I'm talking about those who were not in custody.
15 A. Are you referring exclusively to the Military Court?
16 Q. Yes, I am referring to your court.
17 A. [In English] No, no.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you for that.
19 Mr. President, I tender this document into evidence.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, it appears to state that there's a
21 list that's supposed to be attached to the document, and I can't access
22 it from e-court.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: There was no list in the document that was
24 obtained by us, Mr. President. This is the only document that's
1 MR. MISETIC: And the second question I have for counsel is if
2 this was disclosed to us pursuant to 66(B).
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, it's a --
4 MR. MISETIC: Okay. I then have no objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar --
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If I could have a minute, Mr. President.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2596, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: P2596 is admitted into evidence.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Matulovic, I'm going to quickly show you a few documents and
11 ask you a question.
12 Madam Registrar, if I could have document 65 ter 7347, please.
13 And if I could go -- if you could go to the next page, Madam Registrar.
14 Mr. President, I should point out that the English -- in the
15 English translation, the pages have been mixed up. Page 2 should be, in
16 fact, page 3.
17 So, Madam Registrar, if you could just move to page 3 on the
18 English translation only.
19 Mr. Matulovic, this is a case file, and you probably recognise,
20 as we go through this in the Split Military Court, where you have been
21 one of the members of the Bench which delivered the judgement, which was
22 an acquittal, and the case concerns looting by three accused, two of whom
23 were members of the HV.
24 And, Madam Registrar, if you could move to -- if you could stay
25 on that page.
1 There we note -- it's recorded that amongst the records attached
2 to this case file, there's a confirmation by battalion -- Sinj Military
3 Police, 5th Company, dated 7th September, confirming that two of the
4 accused, Stipe Krajina and Mladen Bandic were members of the Croatian
6 And if you could move, Madam Registrar, to page 6, both English
7 and -- I'm sorry, Croatian page 5.
8 This is -- this is an official note of an interview of one of the
9 accused, that is, Mladen Bandic. And if you could focus on paragraph 3
10 of the English translation. That's the last paragraph on the Croatian.
11 It says -- it reads:
12 "I," and that's the accused Mladen Bandic, "and the other accused
13 went to Knin at 1630 today on 6th/9/1995 ..."
14 And I won't take time reading the rest of the lines. Just six
15 lines down, it reads:
16 "I would like to emphasise that I am an expelled [Realtime
17 transcript read in error "experienced"] person and had authorisation for
18 the --" this is about removal of a tractor, "but did not take the
19 authorisation with me because it was only valid for the day when it was
20 issued, and I didn't use it on that day."
21 Mr. President, there is a transcript error. I read -- this is at
22 line 20. It reads:
23 "I would like to emphasise that I am an expelled person," and it
24 has been recorded as "experienced person."
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's hereby corrected. Please proceed.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And if you could move, Madam Registrar, to
2 English translation page 8, Croatian page 6.
3 Q. This is the second official note of interview by the second
4 accused, and it reads:
5 "At 06/09/1995
6 and they have arrived in this location. And if you move down six lines,
7 it reads:
8 "I was in the field last time when authorisations for cattle were
9 being issued, but the next day they stopped being issued. Today I went
10 to the municipality in Hrvace again to get [Realtime transcript read in
11 error "give"] authorisation, but they told me that they weren't -- that
12 there weren't any more cows at the collection centre, they had stopped
13 issuing authorisations, and I should manage on my own."
14 Now I want to show you a couple more documents.
15 Mr. President, if this document could be tendered into evidence
16 and given a mark. I just want to save time and show the witness several
17 documents and ask a couple of questions, Mr. President; hence this --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let's then wait until you've asked the questions,
19 and then we can better assess the relevance and probative value of these
20 documents --
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- because it's not entirely clear to me yet, what
23 probative interests these documents could serve.
24 Meantime, if you've already called for the next document, then
25 I'll give a correction to the transcript.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Can I have 65 ter 3919A [Realtime transcript
2 read in error "3918A"].
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then page 79, line 15, where you said again "to give
4 authorisation," it was to get authorisation.
5 Please proceed.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And this is a criminal report filed by the
7 Zadar-Knin Police Administration, and you can note, Mr. Matulovic, at the
8 top right-hand corner there is also the stamp of the Split Military
9 Prosecutor's Office.
10 Now, if we could move to, in the English, page 6; and in the
11 Croatian, about two pages down. Madam Registrar, if you could move down.
12 Okay, that's a document.
13 Q. And this is again an official note of an accused charged of theft
14 of cattle, and if you could focus on the last paragraph on the English
15 translation. There is a paragraph going -- this is the paragraph which
16 starts, Mr. Matulovic, "In order ..."
17 "In order to be provided with nine cows, he was issued a receipt
18 by the government commissioner for the Policnik area on 12 September
20 And a few lines down, the last line:
21 "They loaded nine calves there, at around 1730 hours, on the way
22 back, they were stopped in Gracac by the officials of 3rd Police Station
23 in Gracac area. Since Baricevic and Karamarko are members of the
24 Croatian Army, the military police were called and the commander of the
25 71st Battalion of Military Police, Ivica Miletic, abated their receipts
1 for cattle transportation, declaring them null and void. He told them to
2 hand over the cattle to Civilian Protection. Then they were escorted to
3 the Crime Service of the Military Police in Udbina, where they were told
4 that receipts were valid and that they could go home with the cattle."
5 And let me call for the third document. That is 65 ter 4523.
6 And you can see, Mr. Matulovic, this is an order by the
7 operational group -- commander of the Operational Group Zadar, Colonel
8 [indiscernible]. It's dated 7th August, and it reads as follows:
9 "Pursuant to the order of the commander of the Split Military
10 District, dated 6th August, 1995
11 handling of war booty, as well as efficient use of material supplies, I
12 hereby order:"
13 And if you could go to the next page, Madam Registrar, in the
14 English translation only:
15 "The 307th Logistics Base shall collect livestock and poultry on
16 the liberated territory.
17 "The collected livestock is to be put up in livestock farms or
18 shall be sold straight away at market rates, which is more beneficial for
19 the HV."
20 And if I could have the final document on this series.
21 Madam Registrar, if I could have 65 ter 2265, please.
22 This is a letter sent by the assistant minister of interior,
23 Mr. Josko Moric to all members of the military police -- all units of the
24 members of the military police. And it's also drawn to the attention of
25 the head of the Military Police Administration. And if you could turn on
1 the English document, the next page. It reads:
2 "Through monitoring the situation in the northern and southern
3 part of the liberated area, it has been observed that certain
4 representatives of the civilian government have been issuing certificates
5 allowing citizens to enter and exit and even to take out movable
6 property. The cases were also noted when those certificates were not
7 even filled out, they were blank - so everyone could fill in the data on
8 the property he is taking out."
9 Next paragraph:
10 "With regard to the above, the State Staff for Coordination of
11 the Activities Concerning Return, Establishment of Civilian Authority and
12 Normalisation of Life in the Newly-Liberated Areas ordered the chiefs of
13 counties in newly-liberated areas to stop issuing such certificates and
14 annulled previously issued certificates.
15 All police administrations in the said area were given
16 instructions regarding the treatment of persons in possession of these
17 certificates, that is to say, the certificates should be confiscated and
18 criminal offence should be determined.
19 "I herewith submit the copy of the State Staff letter so the work
20 and behaviour of the military police members can comply with it."
21 Now, Mr. Matulovic, what we saw was the case file -- the first
22 document was included in one of your case files where, in the official
23 notes of interview, it was recorded the member of the HV who was charged
24 had raised as his defence that he possessed a license to remove cattle.
25 Then we saw a similar document, a second one, and this last document
1 indicates that there were, in fact, licenses being issued to remove
2 property from the liberated areas. Now, as a military court judge of the
3 particular area, were you aware of this system by way of which licenses
4 were being issued to either remove cattle or private property from the
5 liberated area to members of the HV as well as other persons?
6 A. Before I start answering, I saw six or seven documents which
7 pertained to completely different events. In the first document, it is
8 confirmed that two persons are members of the HV, and then they go on to
9 mention several cows, and then nine cows, and then cattle, and so on.
10 And then you mentioned -- you showed me a document saying that it was
11 some sort of a certificate, and it was no certificate. It was a criminal
12 report, and in it, they said that it was crime 126, which is a serious
13 case of theft.
14 JUDGE ORIE: All the documents shown to you have in common that
15 in one way or another, reference is made to, whether we call it
16 certificates or whether we call it -- at least documents which were
17 apparently issued in order to legalise -- whether filled in already or
18 not, to legalise transportation of goods. The question put to you by
19 Ms. Mahindaratne was quite simple, whether you were aware of such
20 documents being issued at the time. Or she even said a system of this
21 kind of documents being issued. Could you answer that question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't know about that because it
23 didn't come under the jurisdiction of either civilian or military courts.
24 These documents were issued in administrative proceedings, and those are
25 quite separate proceedings. The documents were issued by administrative
1 organs. And if those documents appeared in criminal proceedings, then
2 they could argue that it was perhaps a forgery, a forgery by an employee
3 of an administrative organ, and they could perhaps argue that it was an
4 abuse of office and so on. Such a document existed in one of the cases,
5 and it did not exculpate the person from appropriating a property if it
6 was later established that it was not an abandoned property, but rather
7 belonged to somebody.
8 I would rather not go into any further legal analysis, but when
9 it comes to these documents, how they were issued, how they were filled
10 in or not filled in, whether the information filled in was accurate or
11 not, I don't know. These documents are issued by administrative organs,
12 and any questions concerning them should be addressed to the
13 administrative organs. Military courts did not deal with such documents
14 because they came nowhere near our jurisdiction. And if such documents,
15 as I have said, emerged in a particular case, then, yes, they could
16 pursue the matter further before civilian courts as to why somebody
17 abused their office, somebody working in an administrative organ, and why
18 did that person make a forgery of a document or issue the document beyond
19 the scope of their authority.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 May I tender those four documents into evidence, Mr. President.
23 MR. MISETIC: We object, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Objection based upon ...
25 MR. MISETIC: I look at page 81, lines 5 to 7. She cites from a
1 document concerning these receipts:
2 "Then they were escorted to the Crime Service of the Military
3 Police in Udbina, where they were told that the receipts were valid and
4 they could go home with the cattle."
5 We had a witness here, the chief of the crime police of the 72nd
6 Military Police Battalion, perhaps could have spoken with personal
7 knowledge of these documents. We bring him here so that they can address
8 any issues they may have directly with a witness who has personal
9 knowledge of them.
10 The Court will recall that we spent three hours of
11 cross-examination talking about the Blaskic case, and these types of
12 matters weren't put to him. And now they're putting matters to a witness
13 who says he doesn't know anything about this, didn't get copied on any of
14 the documents, the documents don't indicate that he was copied on these
15 matters. And then move them into evidence, where the Defence is now
16 prejudiced, because a witness with relevant knowledge and authority
17 doesn't have the opportunity to be confronted by the proposition that the
18 Prosecution is trying to put in the case.
19 We shouldn't have to now try to recall witnesses or call somebody
20 else to address a matter that the Prosecution simply chose not to address
21 with a competent witness, and we object under Rule 90(H).
22 JUDGE ORIE: The documents will be marked for identification.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibits P2597, 2598, P2599, and P2600, all
24 marked for identification, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
1 Ms. Mahindaratne, you'll be given an opportunity, before the
2 witness leaves, to respond, if there's any need to do so, to what
3 Mr. Misetic just said.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness apparently wants to raise an
7 Yes, Mr. Matulovic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I simply wanted to
9 emphasise that a document is being put to me here, a document from
10 Udbina, the 3rd Police Station. This was not our territory at all, so
11 the court simply was not in a position to know about such documents.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think you testified that these kind of documents,
13 you came across them, that you did not know much about who issued these,
14 whether these were forgeries or not, but that at least that they did not
15 convince your court that what seemed to be offences were suddenly no
16 offences anymore because of these documents, if I just summarised briefly
17 your testimony in this respect. And you are not aware of a system,
18 you're not aware of -- and it is true, you're right in that, apparently,
19 one of the examples dealt with a geographical area which might not have
20 been within the area of competence of the Military Court in which this
21 witness was serving.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I take note of that, Mr. President. But may I
23 just respond to Mr. Misetic's objection regarding breach of Rule 90(H)
24 or --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. An allegation of a rule -- breach of Rule --
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: 90(H).
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- 90(H) is -- we could -- we have another such one
3 pending, but we could then --
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. We'll further consider also what you, at
6 this moment, would like to argue in this respect.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, the Prosecution would be
8 obliged to place a matter before the witness under Rule 90(H), only if
9 that witness testifies a contrary position to the position taken by the
10 Prosecution. Now, the previous witness did not refer to looting or did
11 not pursue any line of testimony which would require the Prosecution to
12 place these documents before that witness. So I do not see -- there has
13 not been a breach of Rule 90(H) in not placing these documents before the
14 witness that Mr. Misetic has referred to.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I understood the objection mainly to be that it's
16 unfair to put questions to witnesses in support of your own case, where a
17 more relevant witness, who would have at least as much knowledge about
18 the matter, was not questioned about it. It was not about the specific
19 situation of Rule 90(H) under small "(iii)," I think Mr. Misetic referred
20 to in its technical detail at the end of the Rule.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, this witness is also, in fact,
22 a witness who could speak to these matters, because as we saw in the
23 first document --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think, as a matter of fact, that Mr. Misetic
25 did not challenge that. But he said you could not just select a couple
1 of witnesses to which you put this material and do not pay any attention
2 to it -- to witnesses who would have a similar or even better knowledge
3 on the matter. Whether Mr. Misetic is right or wrong is another matter,
4 but let's first try, at least, to understand what the objection is, and
5 your responses - but, Mr. Misetic, correct me if I'm wrong - were
6 responses to what apparently not the objection was about.
7 MR. MISETIC: That is correct, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, anything to add?
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. The documents are marked for
11 identification. Where the limits of the duty to put certain material to
12 every witness are -- every witness which could testify about the matter
13 will be further considered by the Chamber.
14 MR. MISETIC: If I could just make one additional point.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. MISETIC: Exhibit P2597, MFI, also contains a judgement in
17 which Mr. Matulovic was present. If there is something that the
18 Prosecutor intends to contend about that judgement, it should be put to
19 the witness while he's here. Nothing has been put to him about the
20 judgement. I just want that on the record.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do not know whether you want to -- whether
22 there is any such intention, Ms. Mahindaratne.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President, I don't.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, there is a transcript
1 correction to be made. I called for a document which was 65 ter 3919A,
2 but it has been recorded as "3918A." I just wanted to correct the record
3 for that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: It is on the record.
5 Please proceed.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Matulovic, this is my last few questions for you.
8 It is correct, isn't it, that you visited crime sites at the
9 request of the military police or the military prosecutor? I beg your
10 pardon, I made a mistake. I'm sorry. Please go ahead.
11 A. A judge goes to the scene only if he's an investigative judge, if
12 he's on duty, and if he's informed that an event containing elements of a
13 crime occurred with serious consequences. So if he's informed by the
14 military police that there was a traffic accident, where two cars
15 collided, and there was minor damage, then he wouldn't go to the scene.
16 But if it was a more serious crime, then it's the discretionary right of
17 every investigative judge, including myself when I was doing this, to
18 decide whether I would go out to the scene or not. I might go out to a
19 scene when I received notification about the commission of a crime, where
20 an investigative judge already went to the scene of a crime, if I assess
21 that with my presence I could help with shedding light on this incident,
22 give some professional advice, and help my colleague in his work. So
23 whether I go out to the scene of the crime or not, it's the discretion of
24 any judge.
25 Q. Now, are you able to say as to about how many crime sites did you
1 visit, an approximate figure, pursuant to the request of the military
2 police in relation to killings of Serb civilians committed after
3 August 5th to end of September 1995? Are you -- were you -- first of
4 all, let me ask you, were you requested by the military police to visit
5 any crime site of any killings committed by members of the HV of Serb
6 civilians during that period?
7 A. I do not know this at all. If it was a crime scene of a murder,
8 regardless of who that was, whether it was a Serb civilian or anyone
9 else, then I would be duty-bound to go there because these were serious
10 crimes, crimes of serious consequences. And if it was the territory that
11 was under the jurisdiction of the Military Court in Split
12 persons who could go on the scene, because of the urgency of the
13 procedure, and the collection of all traces, it could be the judge from
14 Zadar, or the judge from Dubrovnik
15 judge from Split
16 the scene as soon as possible, because this warranted the quality of
17 establishing --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to keep matters factual and simple.
19 Were you ever -- did you ever go to a crime site for an on-site
20 investigation in August and September 1995, as an investigative judge?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember now,
22 personally I didn't do this. Perhaps I did, but as far as I can remember
23 now, I did not. When did you say? In August and September.
24 JUDGE ORIE: 1995.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't remember.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Therefore, it's of no use to ask you that if
2 you have gone there, whether it was a murder case or not, because if you
3 don't remember whether you went anywhere, you have no recollection as
4 what kind of case you may have investigated.
5 Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Do you recall at least whether the military police requested you
8 to visit any crime sites during that period?
9 A. I said that military police could not request that. They did not
10 have the authority to request a judge to go out to a crime site. If it
11 was something more serious, they had the obligation to inform a judge,
12 and then a judge would decide whether he would go out to the crime site
13 or not, and he had the discretion to make this decision.
14 Q. Now, were you informed by the military police of any particular
15 crime which required you to visit a crime site during this period?
16 A. What kind of crime sites do you have in mind, what crimes?
17 Q. Let me be very specific. Killings of civilians, burning or
18 destruction to private property, and I believe you would not be required
19 to visit sites for theft, so those specific types of crimes.
20 A. Only about murders. Even now, investigative judges do not go to
21 crime scenes if these were fires or arsons, regardless of the amount of
22 damage that may have been caused.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Madam Registrar, may I have document
24 number 7348, please.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, I'd like to seek clarification of
1 the last answer.
2 You said "only about murders." You then referred to being
3 informed by the military police of murders on which you could have
4 considered whether or not to go to the crime site; is that how I have to
5 understand your answer?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, but precisely as I answered the
7 question of Ms. Mahindaratne. She asked me whether I went out to the
8 crime scenes, and then she listed three crimes; murder, arson and
9 aggravated theft. And I said, of these three, it was only murders where
10 one was duty-bound to go out to the crime scene and be present during the
11 on-site investigation.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It doesn't come as a surprise that this
13 confusion does exist. You told us when you were duty-bound to go there.
14 Can I conclude from that, that since you told us that you have no
15 recollection of ever going to a crime site as an investigative judge,
16 that you never received any report from the military police of murder
17 because you told us that under those circumstances you would have been
18 obliged to go there, or that at least you have no recollection of ever
19 having received a report on a murder that had been committed? Is that a
20 fair conclusion?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, mostly, yes, though I wish to
22 be more specific. All the reports after -- made after an information
23 that there was a -- a murder was committed would not be sent to a judge,
24 but to a military prosecutor or a civilian prosecutor, who then
25 determines what steps would be taken next and how this case would be
1 handled later on.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Would then the conclusion be fair that you never
3 received any request from a military prosecutor to go and investigate the
4 crime scene in relation to murder?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A military prosecutor
6 simultaneously receives information about the commission of a crime,
7 simultaneously with the investigative judge, and the two of them, after
8 having received the report, try to communicate and to agree who would do
9 what. And if the investigative judge decides to go onto the crime scene,
10 then it's the obligation of the military prosecutor to go with him there,
11 too, because the military prosecutor also is involved in the criminal
12 procedure later on.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I earlier asked you about reports received from the
14 military police, and now you tell us that a military prosecutor
15 simultaneously receives information about the commission of a crime,
16 simultaneously with the investigative judge, which at least leaves it
17 open that you did receive. Now, apart from what the system was, did you,
18 in August and September 1995, receive information by the police, either
19 directly or through the military prosecutor, about a murder being
20 committed on the basis of which you have considered whether or not you
21 were duty-bound to go to that crime scene for investigation?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once again, I emphasise if it was a
23 murder, there was no consideration. One had to go, regardless of who
24 informed the investigative judge about this.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that's not an answer to my question, that
1 even if you were duty-bound to go, then you consider whether you were
2 duty-bound, and the answer then is, Yes.
3 I would like to know, and apparently Ms. Mahindaratne as well, is
4 whether you ever received any murder reports under those circumstances,
5 not what the system was, whether you were -- you had to consider, but
6 what did you receive? Did you ever receive any murder reports --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- directly or indirectly -- you don't remember?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You don't remember it, or you did not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember at all that I
12 received any reports about any murders, and even less so whether I was in
13 doubt whether I should go out to the crime scene or not. If they were
14 murders, then one had to go. Let me repeat that once again.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Matulovic, how about arson or burning; were you ever informed
19 or requested by the military police or the military prosecutors to visit
20 a crime site of an incident of burning?
21 A. I already said that arson, as an offence, was not covered by the
22 obligation to go out to the crime scene, regardless of whether these were
23 military prosecutors or civilian prosecutors or judges. One had to go to
24 the on-site investigations only when these were serious criminal
25 offences. So if it was arson, it could be a house that was set on fire,
1 but without great damage being inflicted, it could have been hay that was
2 on fire, and the number of us was small. And in such huge territory, it
3 wasn't necessary for us to go to the on-site investigation for such
4 crimes. We let the police or military police do this and determine
5 whether the persons were still active servicemen or not, or they used to
6 be and were not anymore, so they were processed regularly.
7 Q. Now, you see, Mr. Matulovic --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, again I'd like to clearly
9 understand the answer.
10 Do I have to understand your answer to be that you may well have
11 received such information about burnings, but that for the reasons you
12 explained, you would not have -- this would not have triggered you to go
13 to the crime scene?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. However, at the same time
15 there was a reason for the military prosecutor to continue with the
16 procedure to process this and to monitor the proceedings.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't the end of the story, but at that moment
18 there was no need to go there.
19 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I have no further questions for this witness,
21 Mr. President. I called up a document, but in view of the last answer,
22 it's not necessary for me to tender that document into evidence.
23 Mr. Matulovic, thank you for answering my questions, sir.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Mahindaratne.
25 Any need for re-examination?
1 Mr. Misetic.
2 Oh, and, yes, I'm looking at the clock. Nevertheless, I'm asking
3 you the question.
4 MR. MISETIC: It depends on -- if we're coming back tomorrow with
5 the witness or not.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that depends to some extent on your answer as
7 well, isn't it? That's chicken and egg.
8 MR. MISETIC: I would have about two questions for the witness,
9 which may take five minutes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me just ...
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Two questions is fine.
13 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Misetic:
15 Q. Mr. Matulovic, you were asked some questions about disciplinary
16 measures. Let me just ask you: At the conclusion of a criminal case, if
17 there were a conviction, would the court -- would your court then refer
18 the matter to the military for a disciplinary proceeding to begin, or
19 what would happen once the conviction was entered?
20 A. Once a person was convicted, I already said that one copy of the
21 judgement would be sent to the unit and also to the Ministry of Defence.
22 The issuing of the judgement meant that a person was found guilty, but
23 this was not necessarily a condition that the question of disciplinary
24 responsibility would be raised in the unit. It could be, but not
25 necessarily, if the commander of the unit decided that the soldier was
1 found guilty and convicted of this offence. I emphasise that there were
2 disciplinary infractions and also disciplinary offences. For the
3 disciplinary offences, the military prosecutor was responsible, and he
4 decided about the disciplinary procedure. And for disciplinary
5 infractions, that was the direct superior.
6 MR. MISETIC: Thank you very much for that answer.
7 I have no further questions, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
9 I have only a few questions, and with the indulgence of the
10 interpreters and transcribers, I think we can finish in five minutes, and
11 the courtroom is empty this afternoon.
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE ORIE: In your statement, paragraph 3, you quote Article 6
14 of the decree which defines the jurisdiction of military courts only in
15 criminal cases, and I re-read the last portion; that is, to -- no,
16 I'll -- no, I'll withdraw that question.
17 I have only one question of a rather general nature. If a
18 commander receives information, and I'm talking about a higher-ranking
19 commander, that in his area of responsibility arson is committed,
20 although he does not get every detail, but let's say he receives
21 information that houses were set ablaze in several villages, but if this
22 information is rather diffuse, in view of the duty of a commander to take
23 necessary and reasonable measures to punish any serious violations of
24 international humanitarian law, what would have been, in your view, apart
25 from instructions that it should not happen again through the chain of
1 command, but what would have been the available avenues to take care that
2 he did what was necessary and reasonable to achieve that the perpetrators
3 would be punished? What should he do?
4 A. If a commander, regardless of the level of his command, might
5 assess all this, he had to be at least a lawyer. He would have to know
6 the Criminal Code and everything else that relates to criminal offences.
7 Therefore, in my view, a commander, once he received information as a
8 layman who doesn't know much about law, should inform the military police
9 that it should urgently act, establish all the facts in relation to a
10 certain act, unlawful action that was carried out in this area, that he
11 indirectly learned about. So he wasn't an eye-witness of what happened.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could a commander, and let's assume a military
13 district commander, give orders to the military police to investigate
14 such allegations of crimes committed by possibly members of his forces?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the direct chain of command, he
16 could only inform the military police about this, and the military police
17 existed for this purpose as a group of professionals who are in charge of
18 criminal processing. And even without his information, if they had some
19 information about this, they would automatically carry out some
20 activities in order to find the perpetrators and to prosecute them. This
21 is why the Military Police Administration existed, and battalions. They
22 were professionals, they were lawyers as a rule, and they had specific
23 knowledge how to act automatically in such situations.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And in case they couldn't find the time or if they
25 had set priorities which were not in accordance with the priorities the
1 commander considered the right ones, what else than just informing the
2 military police could the commander do?
3 A. Well, he couldn't do anything, because information sent to
4 military police automatically meant -- and now we can talk about the
5 orders, as I did about the orders and the instructions at the beginning
6 of my testimony, the order to do so, and take action to uncover the
7 perpetrators and the acts.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
9 If the questions by the Bench have not triggered any further need
10 to put questions to the witness, Mr. Matulovic, this concludes your
11 testimony in this court. And I'd like to thank you very much for coming
12 the long way to The Hague
13 to you by the Bench and by the parties.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, before the witness is released,
15 given his responses, we would be wondering whether that would trigger a
16 Rule 90(H) obligation on our part to put the Prosecution case to this
18 JUDGE ORIE: I never learned that questions by the -- oh, you
19 would like to --
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: The answers, Mr. President, the responses by
21 the witness to the questions by the Bench.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, that no obligation
23 arises from any questions by the Bench to put the case of the Prosecution
24 or of the Defence to the witness. At least that's -- if there's any
25 misunderstanding about that, that --
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I just sought your guidance, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, it would also suggest that the witness
3 is cross-examined by the Bench, which is, in my view, not the case,
4 Ms. Mahindaratne.
5 Since I hear no further support for your suggestion, I would
6 refrain from it and continue to thank the witness for having answered all
7 the questions, and I wish you a safe return home again, Mr. Matulovic.
8 Madam Usher, could you escort the witness out of the courtroom.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to thank the interpreters and the
12 transcribers very much for making it possible for the witness to finish
13 his testimony today.
14 We adjourn, and I received a note in which courtroom we would
15 continue tomorrow.
16 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. KEHOE: We do not have a witness tomorrow. We had this
19 witness scheduled for today and tomorrow. And our next witness, which is
20 General Cross, an expert, doesn't arrive until tomorrow afternoon for
21 Thursday and Friday.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's not for the first time that I express
23 now, on behalf of the Chamber, our concern about these matters. Not to
24 say that I do understand the difficulties in scheduling, but at the same
25 time, it has happened too often.
1 Have you discussed the matter with the Prosecution, how much time
2 they think they would need?
3 MR. KEHOE: I have not discussed it with the Prosecution on how
4 much time they need. General Cross simply -- well, he had an operation,
5 number one, without going into the personal details of that, and couldn't
6 come sooner, and then had professional obligations. And this was the
7 first available time that we could get him.
8 JUDGE ORIE: But the same happens in September. And I think you
9 received a -- you received an e-mail about that. Scheduling, without
10 even considering what the other party would do, is a useless exercise.
11 It's just a simple matter of court management. If you say, We schedule
12 two days for the witness, and if you take one hour and a half, as
13 Mr. Misetic did, one hour and -- close to two hours, then of course
14 everything depends on what the Cermak Defence, what the Markac Defence,
15 and what the Prosecution does. So, therefore, if you're talking about an
16 efficient use of our time in court, this is a minimal requirement, I
17 would say, in order to make any useful scheduling.
18 I do understand that I can't change the situation for tomorrow,
19 and I do understand that if Mr. Cross would have been -- undergo surgery
20 one day earlier, that the whole problem would not have existed.
21 MR. KEHOE: We have tried to efficiently use the Court's time,
22 and I think that we, to date, have done so, barring an event here and
23 there. But with regard to this instance, my apologies, Mr. President,
24 and to the Chamber.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's not that we feel so much -- we have court
1 available, we have interpreters available, we have court staff available,
2 and even if we take minimal time, then the next question is: How are we
3 going to use the time that remains? And it's mainly in respect of that
4 problem that the Chamber is a bit concerned about the developments. At
5 the same time, the Chamber also appreciates that the conclusion of the
6 Gotovina Defence case will most likely take place in early September, but
7 we have now asked those questions to the parties.
8 We'll resume, then, on Thursday, the 23rd of July, at quarter
9 past 2.00 in the -- quarter past 2.00 in Courtroom I.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.05 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of July,
12 2009, at 2.15 p.m.