1 Monday, 24 August 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
6 courtroom. The Chamber hopes that you had a good time off.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 And, I think I would have to ask, first, after not having been in
13 court for over four weeks, whether there are any procedural issues of an
14 urgent character which needs to be addressed.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'll leave it to the Chamber when
16 you wish to address the issue of the next witness, and how you wish to
17 procedure, whether you wish to do that now or at some time later, but we
18 do need to address that, I believe, somewhat urgently.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think we should do it today.
20 Mr. Hedaraly.
21 MR. HEDARALY: There are also a few issues regarding the experts
22 that will be testifying, and once again we leave it to the Chamber, if
23 that can be done at a later stage, but that also should be dealt with
24 fairly soon.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think, as a matter of fact that the next
1 witness, that we should deal with that today, and as far as the expert
2 witnesses are concerned, I prefer to deal with that not today. The
3 Judges will further consider a few matters this afternoon so that we are
4 fully prepared for that.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: When I said today for the next witness, I'd like to
7 move into private session.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 20724-20727 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
7 Mr. Misetic, are ready to call your next witness? I do
8 understand that no application for protective measures exists and that
9 the next witness would be Mr. Bajic.
10 MR. MISETIC: That is correct, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, could you please escort the
12 witness into the courtroom.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Bajic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bajic, before you give evidence, the Rules of
17 Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration, the
18 text of which is now handed out to you by Madam Usher.
19 May I invite to you make that solemn declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Bajic. Please be seated.
23 Mr. Bajic, you will first be examined by Mr. Misetic.
24 Mr. Misetic is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
25 Mr. Misetic, please proceed.
1 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 WITNESS: MLADEN BAJIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Misetic:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bajic. Would you please state your full name
6 for the record.
7 A. Mladen Bajic.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have the screen, please,
10 65 ter 1D2692.
11 And with the assistance of Madam Usher, if I could give the
12 witness a hard copy of his statement in Croatian.
13 Q. Mr. Bajic, on the screen, we have a witness statement that you
14 gave to the Gotovina Defence on 21st of May, 2009. Do you recall giving
15 this statement to an attorney for the Gotovina Defence?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. And is this -- is the statement that's on the screen the
18 statement that you signed on the 21st of May, 2009?
19 A. Yes, and that's the statement.
20 Q. Have you had a chance to review this statement before coming to
21 court today?
22 A. I have.
23 Q. And are there any changes that you believe need to be made to the
24 statement, corrections?
25 A. No. It was compiled and accurately reflects what I stated at
1 that time.
2 Q. Okay. At the time you gave this statement, did you give it to
3 the best of your knowledge and in accordance with the truth?
4 A. Yes. I told what I remembered, and everything I said was the
6 Q. If I ask you the same questions today that you were asked at the
7 time that you gave this witness statement, would you provide the same
8 answers in court today that you did at the time that you provided those
10 A. Yes, absolutely.
11 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, pursuant to Rule 92 ter I move to
12 admit into evidence 65 ter 1D2692.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1626.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 As an administrative matter, I apologise, I failed to communicate
20 this with the Prosecution before court today, but at paragraph 7 the
21 witness discusses the basic criminal law of the Republic of Croatia
22 That's paragraph 7 of the statement which is 65 ter 629. And I would
23 just simply move to admit that into evidence on the basis of the
25 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1627.
3 JUDGE ORIE: D1627 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Your Honours, I have advised the witness of the procedure of
6 reading a summary of the evidence, and with your permission I'd like to
7 read out a summary.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
10 Witness AG-5, Mladen Bajic, has been the Chief State Prosecutor
11 of the Republic of Croatia
12 December 1996 he was the Deputy Military Prosecutor at the Military
13 Prosecutor's Office in Split
14 and after Operation Storm.
15 In his statement, Mr. Bajic explains the laws that applied to the
16 work of the military courts and the military prosecutor's offices during
17 the time-period relevant to the indictment. The Military Prosecutor's
18 Office operated within the system of the State Attorney's Office of the
19 Republic of Croatia
20 there. The military prosecutor was subordinated to the State
21 Prosecutor's Office and not the military.
22 In terms of the relationship between the civilian and military
23 police, Mr. Bajic testifies that the Ministry of Interior had general
24 jurisdiction for conducting criminal processing and in cases where, in
25 the course of the processing, it was established that the offence was
1 under the jurisdiction of the military justice system, criminal
2 processing would be taken over or conducted from the beginning by the
3 military police.
4 Mr. Bajic states that the Military Prosecutor's Office in Split
5 consisted of the military prosecutor and a total of five deputy
6 Prosecutors. Mr. Bajic testifies that after Operation Storm, there were
7 a large number of criminal charges or reports registered.
8 And that concludes the summary, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 One second, please.
11 To start after the recess always causes some problems. It comes
12 to my mind only that at 7.00 this morning, not only an issue of admission
13 into evidence of a certain document was raised, but also - and I had not
14 paid proper attention to that that - that the Prosecution had asked to
15 deal with the matter before the commencement of the testimony of the
17 Ms. Gustafson, this is all early morning issues. Usually
18 objections against whatever document to be admitted into evidence are
19 dealt with if it comes to tendering it. Nevertheless, you have
20 specifically asked to deal with the matter before the commencement of the
21 witness -- of the testimony of the witness.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, Mr. Misetic has informed us this
23 morning that he no longer intends to tender the document, so the
24 objection is withdrawn.
25 Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you. Which means that we can continue.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Mr. Bajic, in your statement you discuss the issue of the general
5 jurisdiction of the civilian police. Let me ask you, if a soldier in the
6 HV committed a crime in the period after Operation Storm but was
7 demobilised prior to being indicted, who would have jurisdiction in that
9 A. Exclusively the civilian police and the civilian judiciary.
10 MR. MISETIC: If could I have 65 ter 1D604 on the screen, please.
11 Q. Mr. Bajic, I'm going to show you a document prepared by you.
12 It's dated 23 October 1995
13 you review the document and explain to us why you are forwarding here the
14 criminal complaint to the civilian prosecutor's office, in this case.
15 A. Precisely for the reasons I mentioned a moment ago. The document
16 shows that the person reported was no longer a member of the Croatian
17 army, and therefore he fell no longer under the jurisdiction of the
18 Military Prosecutor's office, but the civilian prosecutor's office in
19 Split at the time.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 1D604 into evidence.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1628.
24 JUDGE ORIE: D1628 is admitted into evidence.
25 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Can you tell the Court in an example like this, let's look at the
2 period after Operation Storm, how frequently did it occur that a person
3 would be suspected of being HV because they were wearing a military
4 uniform and after further investigation you established that the person
5 was in fact not a member of the HV?
6 A. Such situations occurred quite frequently. In the aftermath of
7 Operation Storm, according to the information I had at the time, a large
8 number of members of the Croatian army were demobilised. Of course, all
9 of them kept their uniforms. In the course of the proceedings, acting
10 upon such criminal reports, we always verified what the status of the
11 individuals was at the time the criminal reports were being processed
12 because the military jurisdiction was solely tied to the membership of
13 the Croatian army. Precisely for that reason, while acting upon a
14 certain criminal report, we established that the person reported was no
15 longer a member of the Croatian army. We had the obligation to forward
16 the case to the regular military prosecutor's office, depending on the
17 place where the crime was committed and depending on the territorial
19 We also had information to the effect that a large number of
20 perpetrators dressed -- were dressed in uniforms or wore Croatian army
21 uniforms solely for the purposes of facilitating the arrival at the crime
22 scene and the perpetration of the crime itself. That's to say, to cover
23 up their traces during the perpetration of the crime.
24 Q. Okay. Mr. Bajic, let me just check your answer here at page 12
25 lines 22 to 23, the answer as translated into English is that while
1 acting upon a certain criminal report we established that the person
2 reported was no longer a member of the Croatian army.
3 Who did you have the obligation to forward the case to then?
4 A. To the regular state prosecutor's office, depending on the
5 subject matter and territorial jurisdiction. If the crime fell within
6 the municipal jurisdiction, then it would be forwarded to the Municipal
7 State Prosecutor's Office, or inversely, depending upon the level of the
8 territory. We know that the -- this particular prosecutor's office in
10 offices normally had.
11 Q. In your experience in the Military Prosecutor's Office, was it
12 practice for the Military Prosecutor's Office to conduct a criminal
13 proceedings and for commanders then to conduct parallel disciplinary
14 proceedings for that criminal offence?
15 A. Criminal procedures are quite distinct from disciplinary are
16 procedures. Military prosecutor's offices and military courts had
17 nothing to do with disciplinary procedures because there were separate
18 military disciplinary courts and military disciplinary prosecutor's
19 offices set up for disciplinary purposes. The decision as to whether
20 minor or major disciplinary infractions, especially in the army, would be
21 processed depended on the commander who received notice of a member of
22 the army committing a breach of discipline.
23 If the act was a crime, criminal proceedings would primarily be
24 conducted because normally criminal proceedings also contained
25 disciplinary proceedings for the particular infraction that the soldier
1 was reported for.
2 In the event that the soldiers are in fact convicted, they -- or
3 detained, they automatically would be discharged from the Croatian army.
4 Of course, this would not be the case in the event that the acts were
5 minor violations of disciplines but only in the cases of major violations
6 of discipline where criminal responsibility was also determined.
7 Q. Okay. If you could just clarify a little bit your answer at page
8 14, lines 3 to 6
9 primarily be conducted because normally criminal proceedings also
10 contained disciplinary proceedings for the particular infraction that the
11 soldier was reported for."
12 I'm not sure that that is clear, and if you could just explain
13 what you mean by that?
14 A. Can you point me to the item under which this is in the document?
15 Because I have -- oh, you mean the screen.
16 Q. Yes, you just answered my last question with that portion which
17 was that you said that: "In the event it was a crime, criminal
18 proceedings would primarily be conducted because normally criminal
19 proceedings also contained disciplinary proceedings for the particular
21 Can you explain a little bit what that -- what you meant by that?
22 A. Yes. I said that a disciplinary breach is -- a far less serious
23 act. If the soldier committed a crime and this was reported to the
24 military police by the commander, then the military police would report
25 this to us, whereupon we would examine the act to see whether it
1 satisfies elements of a crime. If so, criminal proceedings would be
2 initiated. In that event, it would become moot to conduct disciplinary
3 proceedings against a person because the persons unlawful conduct would
4 primarily be reflected in the crime.
5 This would roughly amount to the relationship between a crime and
6 a -- and a misdemeanour, roughly speaking.
7 Q. In your experience in the Military Prosecutor's Office could a
8 commander conduct his own investigation into a crime parallel to the
9 investigation being conducted by the military police and the Military
10 Prosecutor's Office?
11 A. No. He was not able to. The commanders, just as was the case
12 with all the state structures in the Republic of Croatia
13 duty-bound to file the report or inform the relevant organ - in this
14 case, it was the military police - on all the information they had at the
15 time, whereupon, the military police would launch and investigation in
16 the pre-charge proceedings, file a report to the relevant Military
17 Prosecutor's Office, which then directs the investigation depending on
18 whether the facts are established or not, the Military Prosecutor's
19 Office decides whether to file an official request for an investigation
20 before a court, whether it will file an indictment, or whether in fact it
21 will make a decision to dismiss the whole proceedings.
22 Q. Now let me ask you along these lines. A commander in the
23 Croatian army, if he has information that a crime has been committed,
24 what was the practice as to who he should inform of that criminal act?
25 A. I'm not a professional soldier and I cannot tell you what exactly
1 the procedure was within a given unit, depending on the position the
2 commander had within the hierarchy of the Croatian army. At any rate,
3 once the commander learns of a crime having been committed or of
4 suspicions that a crime was committed, the commander or the subordinates
5 depending on what his practice was, would give notice of that to the
6 military police who would then act on the information received.
7 Depending on the seriousness of the crime, the military police would
8 inform thereof the military investigating judge and the military
9 prosecutor who jointly worked on the case. If the acts committed were
10 not so grave, then the military police themselves would work on it.
11 If the act involved was a serious crime and then the military
12 police would first inform the military investigating judge who would
13 notify in his turn the military prosecutor, and they would jointly work
14 on what would then possibly become a future case.
15 Q. If a commander has knowledge that the military police already
16 knows about a particular crime, does the commander, under the Croatian
17 system applicable at the time, have an additional duty to report it again
18 to the military police, if he is already satisfied that the military
19 police knows about it?
20 A. It is difficult to answer hypothetical questions.
21 Of course, if he knows that the military police is already seised
22 of the event, it would be pointless to report to them the same thing.
23 However, the commander is duty-bound to help, together with his officers,
24 to secure evidence and facts that might be helpful for the future
1 At any rate, my answer to the question, whether he should report
2 this once more is no, he should not.
3 Q. Okay. The question arises as to whether a commander could have
4 reported a crime to the Military Prosecutor's Office directly.
5 Can you explain whether he could have done that?
6 A. Yes, he could have done that. Not just the commander, but
7 anyone, under the legislation at the time and under today's legislation,
8 all the state bodies are duty-bound to file a report to the civilian
9 police or the military police, as well as the competent prosecutor's
11 Q. If a commander knows that the military police has been informed
12 about a crime, what further obligations does he have under the Croatian
13 system applicable at that time?
14 A. There are no obligations in terms of reporting except pursuant to
15 requests of the military police or the public prosecutor or military
16 prosecution to give certain information, data, which would enable the
17 military prosecutors to determine whether a criminal offence exists and
18 as to the criminal responsibility or liability.
19 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 14 of your statement, you discuss the
20 role of the military police. First, can you tell us which section of the
21 military police you worked with most closely in the period during and
22 after Operation Storm?
23 A. Military Prosecutors, including me as Deputy Military Prosecutor,
24 at the time I exclusively dealt with and conducted the Criminal
25 Investigation Department within the military police, 72nd to 73rd
1 Battalion of military police head quartered at Split, covering the same
2 area that fell within the jurisdiction of the Military Prosecutor's
3 office in Split
4 Q. Can you describe for the Court how -- or the system of
5 cooperation between the military crime investigation police and the
6 Military Prosecutor's Office? What were they obligated to do with
7 respect to your office?
8 A. Well, yes. The cooperation and communication could be divided
9 into two parts, or groups of matters. General part pertains to the
10 establishment of a general system of effective conduct and cooperation of
11 military police and military prosecution service. This is conducted at
12 working meetings where Military Prosecutors and deputies would attend on
13 the one hand, and heads of the military police and crime investigation
14 department within the military police on the other hand to work out
15 effective and swift cooperation and exchange information about the work
16 of the military police to make it as effective as possible.
17 We have to bear in mind the fact is when the military police was
18 established in 1992, it was peopled by personnel who had not had
19 extensive experience in working in criminal cases and they had to be
20 assisted by all those who were knowledgeable of those things within the
21 system or by people who came into the service from public prosecutor's
22 offices who now the ropes, so to speak.
23 The other part of our joint work was work on specific cases, case
24 work. For instance, after military police would file criminal reports to
25 the military, or when anybody else would report something to the Military
1 Prosecutor's Office by the regular police, NGOs, citizens or whoever,
2 military prosecutor, pursuant to Article 41, I think that it was that
3 Article defining the role of the public prosecutor, was duty-bound in the
4 pre-criminal proceedings to direct the inquiries and to seek from the
5 military police and instruct them what to do, to create the conditions --
6 to make a decision on such a criminal report, which means obtain
7 information, facts, evidence, documents, whatever, which would enable the
8 military prosecutor or the deputy military prosecutor seised of the case
9 to determine whether the matter is a criminal offence or that there was
10 no sufficient grounds for suggestion suspicion or that there was no
11 criminal offence at all.
12 Such cooperation was done in several ways. First, in writing, by
13 sending memos to the military police from the Military Prosecutor Office,
14 instructing them what to do pursuant to which Article of the criminal
15 procedure act. In more complex cases we would have working meetings,
16 military policemen there. Criminal investigation officers would come to
17 the military prosecutor's offices and together with the deputy military
18 prosecutor seised of the case, would tell them and agree on what should
19 be done in the case. And thirdly, there were general meetings which were
20 concerned with general matters of how to proceed, the effectiveness of
21 work, et cetera.
22 Q. Okay. You described the scenario where what happens once a
23 criminal report comes into the Office of the Military Prosecutor. What
24 about in a situation, for example, that the Military Prosecutor's Office
25 hears something in the media, an allegation that the Croatian Army
1 engaged in a criminal act in some location. Does the Military
2 Prosecutor's Office, based on that information alone, have the authority
3 to either open an investigation or request additional information or
4 investigation by the military police?
5 A. Of course, public prosecutor's office, pursuant to the criminal
6 procedure act of the time and today, is duty-bound to whenever they learn
7 about a criminal offence, they have to make a note about that or prepare
8 a note of information from the media, if it's reliable or indicative of a
9 possible criminal offence. After that, the prosecutor has to seek from
10 the military police or the civilian police, depending on the type, to
11 make inquiries or prepare criminal investigation, if necessary, to see
12 whether a criminal offence has been committed, and, if so, who was the
13 perpetrator, and we had such cases in our practice.
14 Q. Just to clarify your answer. Does that apply to both the public
15 prosecutor's offices and the military prosecutor's offices in 1995?
16 A. Absolutely.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. Yes, public prosecutors and military prosecutors had the same
19 powers, but the difference was in the jurisdiction. If military
20 prosecutors learned that a specific criminal offence had been committed
21 on the basis of such information from the media or learned otherwise,
22 they could prepare an Official Note and seek from the military police to
23 do further inquiries, and we've had such cases, as I stated.
24 Q. Okay. The Court has seen examples of daily reports of the duty
25 service of the crime police of the 72nd Military Police Battalion, and
1 they are in evidence, and amongst other entities who were served with
2 that would be the Military Prosecutor's Office in Split.
3 Can you tell us why you would have been receiving such daily
4 reports from the duty service?
5 A. We received them for the deputy military prosecutor and the
6 [indiscernible] -- prosecutor's office in general would be cognizant of
7 what was going on on the ground and what were -- what was -- the military
8 knew about possible criminal offences. Those reports do not report only
9 on criminal offences. As you've seen, they contain information about
10 other events or incidents that were not criminal offences. Military
11 prosecutor or his deputy would read those daily reports, and there was
12 enough ground for doing so. They would seek further information or file
13 criminal reports on criminal offences where there was sufficient
14 suspicion of such offences having been committed.
15 In cases whose severity demanded that, after sometime we would
16 check whether criminal reports have been filed, whether the case file has
17 been opened, because criminal case files were not, as a rule, based on
18 such daily reports but on such additional information. Those daily
19 reports were just an announcement that certain reports may be
20 forthcoming. It was a summary of further communications or filings that
21 would materialise a couple of days down the road.
22 Q. What were the duties of the military prosecutor in
23 circumstances --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel please.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I apologise.
1 Q. What were the duties of the a military Prosecutor in
2 circumstances where the military prosecutor had information that a crime
3 had been committed but the perpetrator of the offence was unknown?
4 A. After receiving a criminal report by the military police or
5 others against perpetrators unknown, the military prosecutor or the
6 deputy working on the case would seek further inquiries from the military
7 police, if they had filed such reports about persons unknown, instructing
8 the military police to get witness statements, information, evidence,
9 that may help identify the perpetrator, file charges, and process the
10 whole case.
11 Of course, in the military prosecution system, we had fewer
12 criminal reports against perpetrators unknown, because if the
13 perpetrators were unknown, then such cases would be sent to the civilian
14 or regular public prosecutor's office because they had general
15 jurisdiction. But there were situations, however, where injured parties
16 or those filing reports, in their reports against persons unknown, would
17 mention that the perpetrator was an unknown member of the Croatian Army,
18 and then the military prosecutor would then, first of all, try to
19 identify the perpetrator, given the presumption was that the perpetrator
20 was an HV member, seek the military police to get involved, and after a
21 while, if unsuccessful, forward the case to the general prosecutor
22 system, since the perpetrator has remained unknown up to that point.
23 Q. In the KTN registers of the Split Military Prosecutor's Office,
24 there are some entries for unknown perpetrators, and you've explained one
25 of the circumstances. Would there by any other reason that there would
1 be unknown perpetrators identified in the KTN registers of the Split
2 Military Prosecutor's Office?
3 A. Apart from the reason that I explained, when in a criminal report
4 it was mentioned that a possible perpetrator -- or the unknown
5 perpetrator, I correct myself, was a member of the HV, pursuant to the
6 decrees that military courts and military prosecutors and military police
7 worked, there were certain criminal offences where the military
8 prosecutor had exclusive jurisdiction, crimes against Croatian Army, its
9 materiel and munitions, they were registered -- such criminal offences
10 were registered in the military KTN of the military not the civilian KTN
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit D868 on the
13 screen, please.
14 Q. Mr. Bajic, this is a report of items seized by the military
15 police at a check-point on the 8th of August, 1995. Can you tell us what
16 the procedure is or would have been or should have been if a military
17 policeman seizes items at a check-point from a soldier who had improperly
18 obtained possession of these items. What are the next steps?
19 A. Pursuant to those reports, and I can see that there were a number
20 of them, military police had to conduct criminal investigation and with
21 respect to each soldier that was controlled at the check-point, and they
22 had to file criminal charges for theft or grand theft to the military
23 prosecution office, confiscate such items and issue a receipt, because,
24 ultimately, the court would hand down its decision on permanent or --
1 Q. Let me ask you about a situation now where some fires have broken
2 out in an area where it's it reported that members of the Croatian Army,
3 some members, unnamed, were in the vicinity of the houses that are on
4 fire. Who has jurisdiction to begin an investigation into that incident?
5 A. You see, it is dubious on the basis of what you asked me, whether
6 there are sufficient grounds to suspect that those members of the HV
7 perpetrated that criminal offence or the perpetrators were completely
8 unknown and possibly civilians. But regardless of that, in such a
9 situation, forces of law as the law states have to undertake all the
10 possible and necessary measures to secure evidence and to conduct
11 inquiries or pre-criminal investigation. And in such a case, both the
12 civilian police and the military police, whichever is closer to the
13 scene, should do, something or if the perpetrators are unknown, then
14 bodies of general jurisdiction would have primacy, which means civilian
15 police, and if there's grounds to suspect that the perpetrators are
16 military personnel, then the military police would be duty-bound to act.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have on the screen 65 ter
18 1D602, please.
19 Q. What we see on the screen, Mr. Bajic, is the monthly reports of
20 the Military Prosecutor's Office in Split beginning in the month of
21 July 1995. For example, if we go to page 4 of the document, it's signed
22 by Ivan Simic. Can you tell the Court who that was?
23 A. Ivan Simic was the military prosecutor in Split. And previously
24 Municipal State
1 Prosecutor. But this is my signature on behalf of Ivan Simic and this is
2 not Ivan Simic's signature.
3 Q. Okay. Well, could you tell the Court then, did you prepare --
4 did your office prepare monthly reports in 1995, and, if so, why? And to
5 whom were you sending them?
6 A. Public prosecutor's offices, both municipal and county, are
7 duty-bound to send a monthly operative report with statistics of their
8 work and some major cases from their workload. They send such reports to
9 their superior prosecution offices. The military prosecution officer had
10 to do so to the prosecutor general's office of the Republic of Croatia
11 a monthly basis.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I will tender 65 ter 1D602, which
13 are the monthly reports from July to December of 1995.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you like to have them admitted
16 as one batch or -- one batch.
17 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1629.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D1629 is admitted into evidence.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Bajic, could you tell us were there circumstances after
22 Operation Storm where, in fact, persons were -- who were HV were
23 demobilised and then prosecuted through the civilian criminal justice
24 system and if so, how frequent an occurrence was it?
25 A. After Operation Storm, this happened quite frequently, because a
1 large number of HV soldiers were demobilised, and criminal reports filed
2 while they were members of the HV, or it was presumed that they were, was
3 forwarded to regular prosecution offices, to Split, Sibenik, Dubrovnik
4 et cetera, after verification that they no longer were members of the HV
5 because membership of the HV was the condition for military prosecution.
6 For military prosecutors to act on criminal reports up to the moment an
7 indictment was prepared, because beyond that point, it was irrelevant
8 which court took over.
9 Q. Okay. Would you -- would you expect that the statistics of the
10 civilian court system, for crimes prosecuted after Operation Storm, would
11 also include such categories of persons? In other words, they were HV at
12 the time of the commission but demobilised prior to the filing of the
14 A. Yes, of course, they were part of the statistics and records of
15 regular prosecutors. And in terms of what I remember of the reports that
16 we submitted, we had statistics of persons prosecuted or processed by
17 both civilian and military prosecutor offices.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have on the screen,
20 please, 65 ter 308.
21 Q. This is a report that was sent by the Republic of Croatia
22 Security Council, I believe, in January or February 1996.
23 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 12 in the B/C/S, please, and
24 page 18 in the English.
25 Q. A part of the report includes statistics of crimes prosecuted
1 after Operation Storm. And it reports on the military court in Split
2 towards --
3 MR. MISETIC: The next page in the Croatian, please.
4 Q. It states that as of the filing of this report: "Proceedings are
5 under way against 66 persons as follows. 63 persons are charged with the
6 criminal offence of aggravated larceny, and three persons charged with
7 the criminal offence of murder."
8 MR. MISETIC: If we go back two pages in English, looking at the
9 bottom of this chart. The chart indicates that all 66 perpetrators in
10 the military court in Split
11 Q. Is that consistent with your recollections of how many crimes
12 were processed after Operation Storm, for the crimes of larceny and
13 murder, by the Military Prosecutor's Office, roughly speaking?
14 A. Well, I can only believe the data in front of me. But as per my
15 assessment, this was really so. I do not doubt that we provided
16 incorrect [as interpreted] information when sought to provide information
17 and statistics.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 65 ter 308 into evidence.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
20 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1630.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Mr. Bajic, at paragraph 17 of your statement, you indicate that
24 there were a total of six persons in the Military Prosecutor's Office. I
25 should say six prosecutors in the Military Prosecutor's Office, that one
1 of them was -- was charged with covering the Zadar area and one of them
2 was charged with covering Sibenik. Can you give us an assessment -- did
3 you feel at the time and do you feel now that you had sufficient persons
4 and resources to do everything that needed to be done in that area after
5 Operation Storm?
6 A. Well, Military Prosecutor's offices were established pursuant to
7 a decree on the organisation of military judiciary dated 1992. That
8 decree determined the number of officials, prosecutors and everything
9 else. Apart from -- you said there were six people, we had a deputy
10 military prosecutor in Dubrovnik
11 military judges, of course, were -- had a very large case load in terms
12 of the number of cases, exceeding by several times the norm of -- the
13 norm of cases for -- for each official, and for that reason, we worked
14 almost 24/7, because the number of cases per military prosecutor was five
15 times higher than that of ordinary civilian prosecutors. We had the
16 military prosecutor and two deputies in Split; we had one deputy in
17 Sibenik, and in Zadar and Dubrovnik
18 Our colleagues in Split
19 occasion, travel to Dubrovnik
20 help our colleagues in criminal investigation in drafting of the
21 indictments, and to help them by taking up some of their workload so that
22 they could focus on their own cases, to help them tide over such dire
24 And in connection with the work of Military Prosecutors, may I
25 say that the enactment of that decree meant the following: The erstwhile
1 deputy county or municipal prosecutors were transferred to military
2 prosecutor offices which means that, in practice, I just pasted a label
3 Deputy Military Prosecutor, instead of Deputy Public Prosecutor and wore
4 a uniform, and everything else remained the same.
5 In -- on the 6th of December 1996, the process was the opposite.
6 I removed that label or sticker from my door and wore civilian clothes.
7 Only some public prosecutors were transferred to the military prosecution
8 services. We could use all the administrative and other resources which
9 served the civilian prosecutor offices, they worked for us, in effect.
10 Q. Let me ask you this: You talk about having -- your work burden
11 was five times that of the regular civilian prosecutor, and that you,
12 after Operation Storm, were working 24/7.
13 In addition to crimes committed by HV, how big of a burden did
14 you have placed upon your office by the processing of crimes committed by
15 persons who had participated in the so-called army of the RSK?
16 A. Yes, we had a very high number of criminal reports filed against
17 civilians and against individuals who were members of the enemy army.
18 Such reports were primarily filed by the civilian police, and the
19 cases had priority at the time, because the reports filed against members
20 of the so-call SAO Krajina had to be processed first. Primarily, if it
21 involved persons who were detained and such a practice continued until
22 the Law on General Pardon was enacted.
23 Q. I think we'll have an opportunities to look at the KTN registers
24 later, but can you tell us why there are significantly more entries, for
25 example, for armed rebellion, in the KTN registers of the Military
1 Prosecutor's Office than there are, for example, for larceny, burning, et
2 cetera, after Operation Storm?
3 A. I must admit that I don't understand your question fully. Could
4 you please repeat it.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: I think it -- it should maybe be KT register.
6 MR. MISETIC: KT, sorry. I'm confusing KT with my Internet
7 service. But I will fix that.
8 Q. The KT registers for the Split Military Prosecutor's Office, they
9 have significantly more entries for crimes such as armed rebellion or
10 terrorism than for, for example, for larceny, theft, murder, et cetera.
11 Can you explain why there are substantially more entries for crimes that
12 could be considered crimes against the state in the KT registers after
13 Operation Storm?
14 A. That can be explained quite easily.
15 In the aftermath of Operation Storm the Croatian army captured a
16 great number of members of the enemy. At the same time, they came by
17 information revealing the identities of the individuals who were members
18 of units of the enemy army. I specifically remember receiving such
19 information from the area of Vrlika which fell under the jurisdiction of
20 the Split
21 certain units of and, having verified identities through the MUP
22 archives, as they were all -- or most of them Croatian citizens, we were
23 able to file indictments against them for armed rebellion and other such
24 crimes, as crimes against the -- the integrity of the territory, et
1 Q. Okay. Mr. Bajic, let me quickly turn to a different topic.
2 MR. MISETIC: If we could have on the screen Exhibit D680.
3 Q. This is the law -- the amnesty law that was passed in
4 September of 1996.
5 Can you tell us, this amnesty law, does it cover crimes committed
6 during Operation Storm that would not be classified as a war crime?
7 A. Yes, of course, it does. Under Article 1 of that same law, the
8 definition is set out which states that the persons are -- amnestied who
9 had anything to do with the armed conflict in the Republic of Croatia
10 and the amnesty is granted for the period between the 17th of August,
12 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter didn't hear the other date.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And of course, the crimes involved
14 were the ones comitted in relation to --
15 MR. MISETIC:
16 Q. I'm sorry, the interpreter didn't hear -- it covers the period --
17 A. [In English] Okay.
18 Q. If can you start your answer again from where you said it covers
19 the period of -- from when to when?
20 A. [Interpretation] 17th of August 1990, and the 23rd of August,
21 1996, as stated in Article 1 of the law.
22 Q. And you were -- before I cut you off, you said --
23 A. Of course, we have to bear in mind the fact that the act to which
24 this law is applicable had to have something to do with aggression, armed
25 rebellion, or armed conflict. Otherwise, it does not fall under this
2 Furthermore, the amnesty does not apply to war crimes.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, this is a good opportunity for a
4 break, if the Court wishes to break now.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is.
6 We'll have a break and we will resume at five minutes to 11.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you may proceed.
10 I have French on my English channel at this moment.
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 MR. MISETIC:
14 Q. Mr. Bajic, I'm going to turn now to your role as -- your current
15 role as Chief State Prosecutor of the Republic of Croatia
16 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have on the screen 65 ter
17 1D2940, please. And this is an exhibit that is currently not on our 65
18 ter exhibit list, Mr. President. We would seek leave to add it. It is a
19 report from Mr. Bajic' office concerning the further clarification
20 killings which, as the chamber knows, we were given additional time to
21 try to investigate, and we would ask that we be granted leave to put this
22 on the 65 ter list.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections against adding to the 65 ter list.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: No, Your Honour. The only matter is that this
25 was just disclosed to us on Friday, and in order to cross-examine we may
1 need additional time but not a great deal, but over night at least. I
2 don't know how long Mr. Misetic intends to go today. It may not be a
3 problem anyway, but just to notify the Chamber of that.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But the first step is adding it to the 65 ter list
6 does not meet any objections. Therefore, leave is granted, Mr. Misetic.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Bajic, do you recognise this list that is --
9 MR. MISETIC: Actually, if we could get the --
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. MISETIC:
12 Q. Is this the list that was provided to Gotovina Defence concerning
13 the status of various killings that have been identified by the
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And I'm just going to draw your attention to one entry at the
17 moment and I'll get back to it in a few minutes.
18 MR. MISETIC: But if we could go to entry number 153.
19 Q. This is the killing of Stevo Vecerina, and you can see some of
20 the details there that were provided by your office and that the --
21 MR. MISETIC: If we could perhaps use the Croatian version just
22 so that the witness can read it across. Page 7 in the Croatian.
23 Q. If you can take a look at that time.
24 MR. MISETIC: And we'll flip it back to the English,
25 Mr. President, so that the Court can take a look at it.
1 Q. This the status of that case.
2 MR. MISETIC: And now if we could go to the English, which is
3 page 6 in English translation.
4 Q. It says your office states that today there was a request for
5 investigation, investigatory actions, you are interviewing witnesses, and
6 the investigation is ongoing.
7 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. President, I would ask that this exhibit
8 be marked and I tender it into evidence, and I will be referring to it
9 later again.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, I do understand no objections, but
11 you would like to reserve your position as far as time to prepare for
12 cross-examination is concerned.
13 Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours that will become Exhibit D1631.
15 JUDGE ORIE: D1631 is admitted into evidence.
16 Ms. Gustafson, we will hear from you whenever you feel that you
17 need more time.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Bajic, first as a general matter, in the time-period
21 immediately after Operation Storm, and by that I mean August and
22 September of 1995, can you tell us what information the Military
23 Prosecutor's Office had that would indicate that Croatian Army personnel
24 may be involved in the murder of Serb civilians during or after Operation
25 Storm in the newly liberated areas, which were under your jurisdiction?
1 A. The information we had came solely from the criminal reports
2 filed before us at the time, and which had to do only with the area
3 covered by Operation Storm. We also received information from the media
4 on crimes committed in that region.
5 However, the information we relied upon came solely from the
6 criminal reports filed at the time.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have Exhibit D802 on the
9 screen, please. And this is at -- if we can take a look at the cover
10 page, and then we'll be going to page 4 in both the Croatian and the
12 Q. Now, this is a report that was sent on the 11th of October, and
13 it is by a Colonel Kozic sent to General Lausic.
14 MR. MISETIC: If we could now go to page 4 in both versions,
15 please. If we could scroll down to paragraph number 5.
16 Q. There's a report there that this is from the special operative
17 action Varivode and it talks about -- there was a separate request from
18 the MUP to include staff of the crime investigation military police of
19 the military police administration to coordinate forensic processing of
20 the unsolved murders of one or more of the civilians who remained
21 resident in the newly liberated areas following military and police
22 Operation Oluja ...
23 And then the next paragraph says:
24 "The engagement of the crime investigation military police to
25 shed light on these serious criminal offences began on 2 October 1995,
1 when the first working meeting was held at 0830 hours, attended by the
2 administration of the RH MUP and the military police administration
3 staff. It was at that meeting that this service received its first
4 information of the murders, based on which it then acted. Namely, the
5 crime investigation military police was informed of 11 cases in which one
6 or more civilians were murdered by unknown perpetrators. Special
7 emphasis was placed on cases which justified indications that the
8 possible perpetrators or witnesses of a murder could have been members of
9 the HV."
10 MR. MISETIC: And if we turn the page, please.
11 Q. It says:
12 "In only two cases information of a low level of verification
13 concerning the participation of HV members was presented," then
14 identifies the two cases as Gorsic and the second was in Zrmanja.
15 "All other information pertaining to these or other murder cases
16 pointing to possible involvement of HV members were of a much lower level
17 of verification and did not warrant the involvement of military police
18 crime investigators."
19 Now, you were in the Military Prosecutor's Office in Split
20 this time-period and during OA Varivode. Is this information consistent
21 with what your understanding was at the time of the possible involvement
22 of HV members in murders of Serb civilians in the months of August and
23 September 1995?
24 A. The document which has been shown to me and is on the screen is
25 one that I am seeing now for the first time. As far as I can see, the
1 military prosecutor mentioned here was not involved in these cases. I
2 can also see that the entity responsible for all these cases was the
3 civilian police which only sought the assistance from the military police
4 in order to help them check the information that was of a low level of
5 verification and which had to do with the possible involvement of
6 Croatian army personnel.
7 In -- therefore, the cases were conducted by the civilian police,
8 and it was precisely the Gorsic and Varivode cases that were under the
9 jurisdiction of the civilian police in Zadar first and then in Split
10 The information on the -- this type of crime came from the media, and
11 there were no actions taken in respect of the military police as such,
12 and, besides, these allegations later on turned out to be true.
13 Q. Can you -- I'm not sure if it was picked up. Can you explain
14 again why you said no actions in this respect were taken by the military
15 police as such?
16 A. The document on the screen indicates that the structure
17 responsible for the cases was the civilian police which called upon the
18 military police to assist them in verifying information that was material
19 for them for the evidence. So the main role was played by the civilian
20 police; whereas, the military police was only charged with helping them
21 out in identifying perpetrators. This is what follows from the document
22 we have on our screens.
23 Q. Let me ask you just about your own recollection.
24 Do you recall hearing information, whether from the military
25 police or the media or any other source, that HV members were suspected
1 of murdering Serb civilians during or after Operation Storm? And I'm
2 asking you about the time-period August and September 1995.
3 A. Generally speaking, I did hear, but I'm not sure if it was the
4 Varivode-Grubori-Gosici cases, et cetera. I heard stories about murders
5 and other crimes committed within generally speaking, but I can't tell
6 you to which particular case the information was related. This is
7 something that I don't know. Although initially the media reports did
8 create an impression that the perpetrators were members of the Croatian
9 Army. I can speak of the knowledge that I had, only through the cases
10 that I was seised of.
11 Q. Okay. If in fact the military police, at least as it is
12 reflected in this document, came up with two cases as of the 11th of
13 October, 1995 which had low level of verification concerning
14 participation of HV members, if your office felt, based on media reports
15 that there were other crimes that HV members may be involved in - crimes
16 of murder, I should say - could your office have instigated its own
17 proceeding without waiting for a report from the military police?
18 A. This question is not specific, if I can put it that way.
19 If a notice of general information was received of murders having
20 been committed there, et cetera, one could not act upon such information.
21 However, since we received information from our colleagues in Zadar and
22 Sibenik, and I'm primarily referring to those prosecutors, had we
23 received information from them, then we could have sought additional
24 information from the civilian or military police pursuant to that
25 specific information we received depending, again, on who the possible
1 perpetrators were suspected of being.
2 Q. If the Military Prosecutor's Office in Split had, in fact,
3 received such information from the civilian prosecutor's office, or the
4 civilian police, or any other source, would that information be reflected
5 in the KT register of the Split Military Prosecutor's Office?
6 A. It would not have been. That information would appear in a third
7 register called KRDO which was the miscellaneous register for cases which
8 did not yet have a criminal report, which did not such a degree of
9 reliability as to indicate that a crime was committed.
10 I have to go back to Article 41 of the Law on the Public
11 Prosecutor's Offices which stated that the Public Prosecutor's Office was
12 primarily the prosecution body and the police was the detection body.
13 This is something that needs to be borne in mind when we're talking about
14 inquiries into information that crimes had been committed.
15 Q. Now turning to the specific case of Varivode, can you tell us --
16 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. President, let me preface this by saying
17 that the witness may ask to move into private session, and I've advised
18 him that he could ask if his answer would require revealing details of an
19 ongoing investigation. And so he may ask the Chamber for that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. MISETIC: My question --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that Mr. Bajic has understood your
23 guidance being a professional himself.
24 Mr. Bajic, you heard what Mr. Misetic just said, and that's --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We'll hear from you if there's any need to go into
2 private session.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Mr. Bajic, my question is: The Chamber has heard already from
6 your deputy, Mr. Galovic, about the investigation and Prosecution of the
7 Varivode case in the 1990s. The Chamber has also heard from Mr. Zganjer
8 in the Varivode case.
9 My question to you is it's now been 14 years almost since the
10 Varivode Murders. Can you explain to the court why that crime remains
11 unsolved and why it has taken so long for the State Prosecutor's Office
12 and the police and other relevant institutions to cover -- either uncover
13 the perpetrators or pursue charges against those who have already been
14 suspected of the crime. And if your answer requires private session,
15 please ask the Chamber.
16 A. Yes, can we move into private session, please, since what I'm
17 about to say is partly bound by official secret status.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, we should move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 20763-20766 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Bajic, if I could ask you more generally, if you could --
15 you've had an opportunity to look at the Prosecution's further
16 clarification of killings, and can you give us some of the factors from
17 your perspective that hindered the ability of the Croatian state
18 authorities to investigate or prosecute some of the unsolved killings
19 that have been identified by the Prosecution in its further clarification
21 A. Well, maybe I should go back to what I stated earlier.
22 To wit, after the homeland war, the situation was that crimes
23 occurred in Croatia
24 other countries. Cooperation between police and prosecution bodies in
25 the region was relatively weak and only over the past couple of years,
1 thanks to different initiatives, we today have such a level of
2 cooperation which enables us to bring some investigations further ahead
3 to -- closer to the perpetrators and criminal prosecution. I know about
5 information, exchanging of evidence and data, including the ICTY, we've
6 managed to conclude successfully some criminal prosecutions of war crimes
7 in the territory of Croatia
8 Q. Let me ask you, following up on your question about -- or your
9 answer about witnesses or suspects being in other countries.
10 Let's take the example, if the Office of the Prosecutor of the
11 ICTY was able to interview a witness in Serbia in the late 1990s or in
12 the early part of this decade, would the Office of the Prosecutor of the
13 ICTY then share that information with your office, contact you to let you
14 know that they have obtained evidence of a killing from a witness in
16 A. In principle, on the basis of international cooperation and the
17 relations that we had in place, from the OTP of the ICTY, we received two
18 cases one was it's Ademi-Norac case and the one more is the code-named
19 Atlantis. And on the basis of material received from the ICTY's
20 Prosecution office in the coded -- in the code-name Operation Atlantis,
21 we opened an investigation in the area of Poziga [phoen]. We have a
22 first instance court decision in that case, which involves dozens of
24 Others, no. Only at the end of 2005 when the memorandum of
25 understanding were signed and also in connection with the exit strategy
1 of the ICTY when we realized that the prosecution services in the region
2 had to take over the task of prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes that
3 had not been processed or detected, only then did things move ahead.
4 Q. Let's look at the example that I had highlighted earlier from
5 Exhibit D1631, which is scheduled killing -- I'm sorry, further
6 clarification, killing 153, which is Stevo Vecerina, and it's actually an
7 event that relates to numbers 150 through 154 of the Prosecution's
8 further clarification schedule.
9 Mr. Bajic, the Chamber heard testimony about this incident from
10 Ms. Marija Vecerina and that transcript testimony is at page 6704 through
12 Now, Ms. Vecerina had provided some evidence to the Office of the
13 Prosecutor in the early part of this decade; and there was another
14 witness who also provided a statement in the late part of the 1990s to
15 the OTP. Can you tell the Court when was the first time that the
16 authorities of the Republic of Croatia
17 individuals had been potentially murdered?
18 A. I personally do not know anything about this specific case of
19 Vecerina, but I have to go back to the fact that in 2001 in Knin we
20 disinterred some bodies and 300 bodies were found there on that occasion.
21 The process of identifying those bodies is still ongoing, and, as far as
22 the current results are concerned, 124 individuals have been identified,
23 and for a majority of them it has been established that they were killed
24 and the cause were fire-arms wounds to the chest, head, and abdomen.
25 Most of them concerned information that we had received about the crimes
1 occurring in the territory and concerning the cases that we mentioned
2 today, Gorsic, Varivode, et cetera.
3 I do not know anything about this particular case, but I must
4 mention that after 2001, and after those individuals were identified, and
5 when we heard explanations from experts saying that those persons were
6 murdered at point-blank range, we opened a number of cases in the area of
7 Zadar and Sibenik, and this is -- this goes a way of explaining why many
8 of those cases have been registered as opened in 2004. Most of them are
9 registered in the KRDO registers, meaning that there is no sufficient
10 evidence pointing to a criminal offence or that we have no information
11 about the perpetrators.
12 Another thing, a number of relatives of those people that we had
13 no information who had been killed there, in the mid-2000 -- started
14 filing criminal reports or filing lawsuits about the killings after
15 they'd returned to Croatia
16 going on in Croatia
17 Q. Okay. Well, let me ask you generally speaking then, if -- was it
18 the case that in fact the authorities of the Republic of Croatia
19 cases didn't have any information that -- from witnesses that someone had
20 been killed until the filing of such criminal reports or lawsuits
21 sometime in the middle part of this decade?
22 A. We have plenty of information and cases opened in such a
23 matter -- manner. There's another fact which is noteworthy, and that is
24 claims for damages filed by injured parties related to the pre-criminal
25 investigation cases, and for those claims for damages to be valid,
1 criminal prosecution against persons unknown have to be initiated, and
2 this is another source of information that murders or crime -- criminal
3 offences had been perpetrated.
4 Q. Now my question to you is: Is there a reason that you know of
5 that information, for example, witness statements given to the Office of
6 the Prosecutor about killings that may have been given to the office in
7 the late 1990s or in the early part of this decade, why didn't you
8 request that -- such information from them earlier than the middle part
9 of this decade?
10 A. For us to be able to seek information, we first had to have that
11 information. In similar cases where we had information about criminal
12 offences, we sought assistance from the OTP. For instance, in a specific
13 case of Lora, in that case we sought information, and I believe that this
14 was the first case where we petitioned the OTP to find in their archives
15 information or evidence pertaining to that case and to deliver to us such
16 information or evidence.
17 Q. Okay. Do you have an understanding of why that information, once
18 it came into the possession of the OTP, wasn't turned over until the
19 middle part of this decade, turned over to your office?
20 A. I do not know that, but I presume that that information was
21 supposed to be used in the proceedings before this Tribunal or cases
22 prosecuted by the OTP.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. And because of the fact that the Prosecutors in the region know,
25 and it is generally known that in the ICTY's archives there is ample
1 information and evidence about crimes committed, documents that can be
2 used for local criminal prosecution and investigation in Bosnia
4 obtaining of documents that the countries of the region or prosecutors of
5 the region could use in prosecuting war crimes.
6 Q. Let me ask you this: The Chamber has also received evidence, and
7 this is Exhibit P2345 and P2402, this is a report prepared by the
8 Croatian Helsinki Committee about killings that took place -- allegedly
9 took place during and after Operation Storm, can you explain to the court
10 why more killings weren't processed on the basis of the Helsinki
11 Committee report?
12 A. I cannot tell you anything specifically about why things or more
13 has not been done pursuant to the Helsinki Committee's report. I know
14 that that report, as a body of information in possession of the Helsinki
15 Committee, was forwarded to the competent police stations and
16 departments, and that they must have done what they could have done on
17 the basis of the information so provided.
18 In respect to the public prosecution service, I can tell that you
19 all the information which was corroborated by documents and evidence,
20 they were processed and, over the past couple of years, this approach has
21 been better and results have been better in terms of prosecuting such
22 crimes than they had been previously.
23 Q. Do you know if the Croatian Helsinki Committee has ever turned
24 over a witness statement or other evidence to either your office or the
25 Croatian police with respect to any killing that's identified in the
1 Helsinki Committee report?
2 A. I must admit that I do not recall receiving such reports.
3 But, at any rate, had they been received by the Prosecutor
4 General, they would have been processed, forwarded to the competent
5 police authorities for further processing, particularly if they had been
6 corroborated by certain documents or evidence contained therein.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. When I say I do not recall, I distance myself intentionally
9 because I don't know which report you specifically refer to so I don't
10 want to make a mistake.
11 Q. Let's me go back to an answer that you gave at page 13 line 1 and
12 ask if could you explain it a bit further. In that answer you said we
13 also had information that a large number of perpetrators were dressed in
14 uniforms or wore Croatian army uniforms solely for the purposes of
15 facilitating the arrival at the crime scene and the perpetration of the
16 crime itself. That's to say, to cover up their traces during the
17 perpetration of the crime?
18 Can you explain a little bit what you mean, how would they cover
19 up the crime by being in a Croatian Army uniform, and how would it
20 facilitate their arrival at the crime scene?
21 A. Well, on the basis of the document that you showed me on the
22 existence of a check-point, it is evident that after it had been observed
23 by the competent authorities, that property crime was going on in the
24 area covered by Operation Storm, certain control mechanisms were put in
25 place to prevent such occurrences. This is beyond question.
1 Of course, civilians could not gain access undetected to the
2 territory which was encompassed by the military police Operation Storm,
3 and obviously it would be easier for them to pass check-points if they
4 wore military uniforms. These are the facts that we noticed when we
5 processed certain cases, specific cases, because after -- after some of
6 them were apprehended, brought before court, or when criminal proceedings
7 were initiated against them, it was established that they had been
8 demobilised, that they had ceased to be members of the HV, but they
9 continued to wear HV uniforms.
10 Another thing, which was apparent to everybody living in Croatia
11 at the time, was that people used to wear either whole uniforms or parts
12 of uniforms, regardless of their status in the Croatian Army. They
13 simply wore them.
14 Q. You were both obviously the Deputy Military Prosecutor in Split
15 and at all times have been a prosecutor since that time, culminating in
16 your current position of the Chief State Prosecutor of the Republic of
18 criminal justice system functioned in the liberated areas after Operation
19 Storm, in your assessment?
20 A. You see, I can only speak in hindsight and starting from the
21 standards that we have today.
22 I said initially that both the military police and the military
23 justice system and the justice system in general had only been developing
24 or evolving at the time. Many investigating judges, military and
25 civilian prosecutors -- or, rather, their numbers were quite few in
1 relation to the cases emerging. I will speak for the Military
2 Prosecutor's Office, and that's why I said that we worked 24/7, all the
3 three prosecutors who were working in Split had extensive experience from
4 their previous career, and we had the support of the Civilian
5 Prosecutor's Office whose resources we used, and we still had problems
6 with insufficient personnel. For this reason, quite a few cases were not
7 processed as well as they should have been, speaking in hindsight, and
8 have not therefore created conditions for trials to be carried out
9 effectively. The mistakes committed at the time still pose problems
10 which we are confronted with in processing these same cases.
11 The military police was set up only in 1992. The way in which
12 the military police was organised had to be -- had in fact personnel that
13 was quite inexperienced, and time had to pass in order for them to gain
14 the requisite level of experience. Their skills, again, were coupled
15 with the insufficient numbers of officers seised of cases.
16 Q. Can you repeat that last sentence again, please.
17 A. What I wanted to say was that the number of forensic officers or
18 the criminal investigation officers of the 72nd and 73rd Military Police
19 Battalions which the Military Prosecutor's Office in Split
20 with was quite low, and their ability to act in certain cases was called
21 into question.
22 In other words, they were unable to respond to all the requests
23 for forensic examinations that they received from competent military
24 prosecutors; plus, these same individuals, in the early days of the war,
25 were active participants in war activities as soldiers as well.
1 Q. Is there any -- you indicated that some of the case weren't --
2 that there were mistakes and some of the cases weren't adequately
4 Can you -- in the addition to the factors that you have already
5 stated, are there any other factors that would have caused or that you
6 believe caused those cases to be inadequately processed, in addition to
7 the lack of experience of military police?
8 A. I don't know what it is you're referring to, and I can't answer
9 the question.
10 Q. Let me ask it a different way.
11 Was there any -- from your experience at the time, was there an
12 intention on the part of certain individuals in your experience to not
13 prosecute crimes committed by Croats against Serbs or Serb property?
14 A. No. I personally was not, exposed to any sort of pressure from
15 anyone. No such conversations were even broached with me, and as far as
16 I know, my fellow colleagues from the Military Prosecutor's Office in
18 We, as military prosecutors or deputies, better said,
19 communicated in our work solely with criminal investigation police
20 officers, and that was the level at which we communicated with the
21 Croatian army. Perhaps the military prosecutor himself had a higher
22 degree of communication with them. As far as we were concerned, these
23 were officers of the 72nd and 73rd Military Police Battalions.
24 Q. Based on your knowledge of the work of the Military Prosecutor's
25 Office in Split
1 Croats for crimes against Serbs, if you felt the evidence justified it?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Bajic.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic. Could I receive indications
6 as far as times for cross-examination are concerned.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, we don't have any questions for the
8 witness. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I will have only a couple of
11 questions. So it wouldn't take more than, let's say, 20 minutes.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, I expect to be quite some time,
13 probably the remainder of today and most of tomorrow.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, are you ready to cross-examine the
18 MR. MIKULICIC: I am, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bajic, Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac,
20 and he is next in line to examine you, or cross-examine you now.
21 Please proceed.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Bajic. As we speak the same
25 language, I kindly ask you to make a slight pause before answering my
1 questions so that the interpreters could accurately reflect our
3 Can you please clarify a constract [as interpreted] from the
4 Croatian criminal legislation; namely, the filing of a criminal report
5 against a perpetrator unknown. Initially, you said that, save in
6 exceptional cases, such criminal reports were filed before the civilian
7 police or civilian prosecutor's offices.
8 Whose duty was it, therefore, to investigate into and identify
9 the perpetrators of the crime contained -- or crimes contained in the
10 criminal report?
11 A. Before answering the question, I would like to recall the
12 jurisdiction of the military court and Military Prosecutor's Offices.
13 Their jurisdiction was over crimes committed against members of the
14 Croatian Army and for the crimes committed against the Croatian Army; in
15 other words, the military hardware, et cetera, that was the basic
16 division of jurisdiction.
17 If a criminal report -- or, rather, the criminal report is filed
18 by law enforcement personnel which, by definition at the time, included
19 the regular civilian police of the MUP, and the military police, each
20 within their own respective remit, which included the matters that I
21 referred to and had to do with the military police.
22 If a crime is committed against the armed forces, or in relation
23 to combat assets, in that case, regardless of the fact that a perpetrator
24 is unknown, the criminal report is always addressed to the Military
25 Prosecutor's Office. However, if a crime is related to -- or, rather, if
1 the crime is of the ordinary crimes which are not qualified and where the
2 perpetrator is unknown, the regular prosecutor's office, or, rather, the
3 civilian police have jurisdiction. To the best of my recollection, the
4 situation was such that there were indications of the fact that the
5 perpetrators of crimes were members of the HV, either because they wore
6 the HV uniform at the time, or because some of the members of the HV knew
7 that the perpetrators were members of the HV.
8 In such cases the criminal reports would be filed to the Military
9 Prosecutor's Office. However such cases were few. The Military
10 Prosecutor's Office would, together with the military police, have the
11 priority task of establishing whether the perpetrators were indeed
12 members of the Croatian Army and therefore military personnel. If they
13 established that the individuals were not HV members or if they failed to
14 come by additional information definitely pointing to the membership of
15 the HV, they would forward the case to the regular civilian prosecutor's
17 A handful of cases which involved perpetrators unknown that we
18 had came under the jurisdiction of the civilian police and the civilian
19 justice system.
20 Q. An incident occurred in a given area resulting in deaths, an X/Y
21 unit was active in that particular area. The civilian police was given
22 notice of that incident, and according to what you told us the civilian
23 police had the duty to initiate the pre-criminal proceedings with a view
24 to identifying the perpetrators.
25 Do you agree with me?
1 A. In principle, yes. If it is -- there is a high degree of
2 probability that the perpetrators were HV members. This was an issue on
3 the ground where commanders of both the civilian police and the military
4 police, or the officers who were involved in it, cooperated on. If this
5 was something that they were able to do.
6 Q. Regardless of the subject matter jurisdiction of either the
7 civilian or the military police, they were precisely the competent
8 bodies, i.e., the police who were supposed to identify the perpetrators
9 and investigate and collect evidence?
10 A. Yes. It is the law enforcement agencies who are charged with
11 crime detection and not the prosecutor's offices, either the military or
12 the civilian ones. This is what Article 41 of the Law on Public
13 Prosecutor Offices states, and the prosecutor's office would only direct
14 and advise the civilian or military police, in order to allow them to
15 gather enough evidence or facts to complete the criminal processing.
16 Q. Based on your personal knowledge and experience, was it the duty
17 of the commander of the unit to take certain steps at the same time with
18 a view to identifying perpetrators who were, at that point, unknown to
19 that same commander?
20 A. Once the commander of the unit has reported the event to the
21 military police, he can -- he cannot conduct a parallel investigation.
22 This is something I know of and this is something I told Mr. Misetic.
23 The fact of the matter is that the commanders of units were, on their
24 part, duty-bound to assist the military police in establishing all the
25 relevant facts as expeditiously as possible which it needed in order to
1 solve the case. Similarly, they were supposed to assist the military
2 prosecutor whenever he sought direct assistance from the unit, in
3 providing him with all the relevant information, which would enable him
4 to make decisions.
5 Q. Based on your experience and recollection, what was cooperation
6 like between commanders and Military Prosecutors, where Military
7 Prosecutors sought information from them? Did commanders, for the most
8 part, accommodate such requests from military prosecutors, or did they
9 perhaps exert pressure for certain courses of action not to be taken?
10 A. Initially they were very forthcoming. There was some problems
11 but we resolved them through their superior commanders, and we were able
12 to be successful in these exercises. In principle, they were forthcoming
13 and there was no pressure excerpted on military prosecutors in order not
14 to prosecute some matters. I don't know which year this was, when we
15 processed one of the commanders of the 73rd MP Battalion in fact.
16 Therefore, if he wasn't able to secure such sort of status for himself,
17 then I'm sure he wasn't able to do so for others either.
18 Q. Once you were appointed to the duty of the State Prosecutor
19 General of the Republic of Croatia
20 or county public prosecutors to the effect that they had been under
21 pressure from someone not to prosecute Varivode, Gosici, Grubori and
22 similar cases?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Thank you for your answers. I have no further questions.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: That concludes my examination, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
2 One second, please.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, will it be you who will cross-examine
5 the witness?
6 And I wonder whether it would -- or, no, you're just assisting
7 Ms. Gustafson.
8 Ms. Gustafson, would you prefer to start now and have to
9 interrupt after 10 to 15 minutes, or would you rather start after the
10 next break?
11 Then we first have a break, and we resume at 25 minutes to 1.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bajic, you will now be cross-examined by
15 Ms. Gustafson. Ms. Gustafson is counsel for the Prosecution.
16 Please proceed.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bajic.
20 MS. GUSTAFSON: If could I have 65 ter 7380 up in e-court,
22 Q. Mr. Bajic, do you recall an interview you had with members of the
23 Office of the Prosecution on the 13th of August, 2009?
24 A. Yes, I do recall that.
25 Q. And is the document you see the screen the note that was prepared
1 following that interview?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And did you have an opportunity at the time to review that note
4 and make corrections to it?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And are the contents of that note accurate, and do they reflect
7 the truth, as far as you are aware?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. And if I asked you today the same questions you were asked when
10 you gave the interview on the 13th of August, 2009, would you give the
11 same answers that are stated there in that note?
12 A. Yes, I would.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, if I could tender 65 ter 7380,
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
16 MR. MISETIC: No objection, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And since I do not hear from the other Defence
18 counsel --
19 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit P2603.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence. It is practice which
24 has slowly developed here that also during cross-examination 92 ter
25 statements are admitted.
1 Please proceed.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I have a few questions
3 before I want to turn to the next document, but I'd just like to warn the
4 Registrar that it's very large, and it's 65 ter 7370 in case that assists
5 him in having it in e-court.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Bajic, you stated that in August and September 1995, you
7 were working in the Split Military Prosecutor's Office and you were based
8 in Split
9 Sector South or to any of the other areas that were liberated during
10 Operation Storm?
11 A. If you mean by that Zadar and Sibenik, yes, my answer is in the
12 positive. Sinj as well. Yes, I did travel. But I did not visit the
13 area of Knin and the surrounding area there.
14 Q. So the closest you got to Knin, would that be the area of Sinj?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And is it right that, as the deputy -- as one of the deputy
17 military prosecutors located in Split
18 that arose out of the liberated areas. Your cases arose out of the Split
19 areas; is that right?
20 A. Primarily so, yes. To tell the truth, I would occasionally
21 attend trials in the cases of the military court when it sat in
23 Q. Do you recall ever participating in any trial dealing with a case
24 of burning or looting or killing that occurred in the liberated area in
25 the aftermath of Operation Storm?
1 A. Allow for such a possibility, but I cannot recall specifically.
2 Q. And is it right that the cases that arose out of the liberated
3 areas were generally dealt with by the deputy military prosecutors based
4 in Zadar and in Sibenik?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And what were their names?
7 A. Well, deputies in Sibenik and Zadar changed. None of them
8 performed their full term of duty; colleague Zganjer was in Sibenik, then
9 after them, Ivic; in Zadar Ardena Bijlo [phoen] and, I think,
10 Denono [phoen], were at different times deputy military prosecutors
12 Q. And would it be fair to say that your main source of information
13 on crimes being committed in the liberated areas after Operation Storm
14 was from the criminal reports that were filed with the Split Military
16 A. Yes. As I stated, criminal reports, or reports that we used to
17 receive from the military police were the sole source of communication
18 and information about what was going on in that area, apart from the
19 reports in the media, which were accessible to all, but they were less
20 specific than what we received in criminal reports.
21 Q. That actually brings me to my next question about information you
22 received from the media, which you were also asked about in direct
23 examination. And in answer to one of those questions, you referred to
24 the division between the prosecution section of the criminal justice
25 system and the police, and stated that the police were the primary body
1 responsible for crime detection. And my question is: In general, would
2 the information contained in a media article contain sufficient
3 information to form the basis of a criminal report or to launch an
5 A. You see, I can discuss this in two ways. One, is from my
6 position of a deputy military prosecutor, and information that such a
7 person would receive during their everyday activities, or while on duty,
8 and whatever information received during my duty hours, I would register
9 in appropriate registers.
10 The other matter are information received by the military
11 prosecutor and -- who would decide which deputy is going to be in charge
12 of which matter. All information received by Military Prosecutor's
13 Office, either during duty hours or in other hours, would be registered
14 in the appropriate register governed by the Law on Prosecutor Services,
15 the KT, KTR
16 interviewed by you which is reflected in this Official Note.
17 Another matter is when we talk about competence of civil police
18 and prosecution service. Civilian police has general jurisdiction
19 when -- in cases where it is not known who is the perpetrator or where
20 there is no indication -- justifiable indication that the perpetrator may
21 be a military -- member of the military organisation. And --
22 Q. I apologise for interrupting --
23 A. [In English] Okay.
24 Q. I apologise for interrupting --
25 A. Okay.
1 Q. -- Mr. Bajic. I just wanted to get back to my question, which
2 was just whether information you may have seen in the media would have
3 been sufficient, in your view as a prosecutor, to form the basis of a
4 report or to launch an investigation.
5 A. Of course, there are insufficient -- if there were such
6 information there were individual information, and my colleagues who were
7 seised of those separated them from the other information and acted upon
8 them, but they were, as such, not sufficient, generally speaking.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could I have 65 ter 7370, please.
11 Q. Mr. Bajic, the document that should be coming up on your screen
12 shortly is the KT register for 1995. And you have explained the three
13 log-books in your statement. In the note of your interview to the
14 Prosecution, you referred to the KT, KTN and KTR log-books, or registers.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, KTR is in the translation explained
16 as expansion unknown. Is there any way to --
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Certainly.
18 Q. If could you explain to His Honour, Mr. Bajic, what the KTR
19 register contains.
20 A. The KTR
21 going to be entered into where information did not have the character of
22 a criminal report, because they do not contain sufficient elements to
23 lead the prosecutor to a conclusion that it went for a criminal offence
24 or a -- perpetrator of a criminal offence. The R means "miscellaneous,"
25 which means that all other matters are going to be entered into that
1 register. In KT, we have entries on criminal offences where perpetrators
2 are known and in the KTN we entered criminal offences where the
3 perpetrators are unknown, so the R, meaning "miscellaneous," contains
4 entries on all other information which could not be classified into the
5 previous two registers.
6 Q. Thank you. And if subsequently information was obtained that
7 indicated that an entry in the KTR
8 that then be transferred to either the KT or the KTN register?
9 A. That's correct. It would be transferred into one or the other,
10 by either detecting the perpetrator or identifying the perpetrator, or
11 by -- while investigations of KTR
12 indications that would lead the prosecutor to conclude that a criminal
13 offence has been committed, but the perpetrators is unknown, so that such
14 an entry would be transferred into the KTN, the perpetrators unknown
15 register under a different number.
16 There's another detail is [as interpreted] important.
17 Prosecutors could not approach the courts on of the basis of entries in
18 the KTR
19 any other action to be done by the investigating judge, the prosecutor
20 had to transfer entries from the KTR
21 rule -- per the rules of the service. Of course, I'm not saying that
22 this was done in each and every individual case.
23 Q. Thank you. And if you look on your screen --
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could have the original brought up --
25 Q. -- do you recognise this page as a page from the KT register in
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you have explained this register and the way the entries were
4 recorded already, and that's in -- reflected in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the
5 note of your interview with the Prosecution. So I'd just like to look at
6 a few entries so that this is clear.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 38 in the B/C/S.
8 Q. And in this document only the column headings have been
9 translated into English as well as certain abbreviations.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could look at entry 796, which is, I
11 believe, the second entry on the page.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Bajic, this entry would have the number KT 796; is that
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And this would be a report from the 72nd Military Police
16 Battalion, 3rd Company, Zadar; is that right?
17 A. Correct. That's correct.
18 Q. And the criminal report number is 291/95?
19 A. Yes. Q291/95.
20 Q. And if we look at the sixth column, this is a report against a
21 suspect named Frane, Mihanovic, and the victim reflected in the 8th
22 column is unknown; is that right?
23 A. That's correct. NN, meaning person unknown.
24 Q. And in the next column, that indicates the provision of the
25 Criminal Code and the date of the commission of the crime which, in this
1 case is a case of theft and aggravated theft; is that right?
2 A. Yes, theft and aggravated theft. That's the qualification of
3 this criminal offence. It could be said Articles 125 and 126 depict
4 criminal offences of theft and aggravated theft, yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 62. And just for the
7 court and the parties' reference, the entry we just looked is also
8 reflected in Exhibit P2553 which lists the criminal reports of the Zadar
9 Military Police Company.
10 If we could look at entries 884 through to 887 on this page.
11 Q. And you've explained in your interview note with the -- interview
12 with the Prosecution that military units sometimes referred criminal
13 reports to the military prosecutor.
14 And if you look at entry 884, it says: "MO-GS, ZZP Split. VP
15 1108 Drnis."
16 Now, Military Post VP 1108 is the 142nd Home Guard Regiment.
17 Does this entry indicate a criminal report received from that unit?
18 A. That's exactly it, yes.
19 Q. And if we look at entry 886 at the bottom of the page. This is a
20 report from VP 2138, Netkovic, which is the 116th Home Guard Regiment.
21 And this, I take it, would a report from that unit; is that right?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. And the crimes being reported here are Articles 153 and 154 of
24 the basic Criminal Code. And those crimes are failure or refusal to obey
25 an order, and refusing to receive and use arms; is that right?
1 A. Yes. That would it be, as far as I can tell from the reference
2 number and the qualifications.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 100 --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, I'm just trying to identify, you said
6 VP 2138 Netkovic, and that was in relation to -- oh, that was 884, 886.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: I believe it's not on the screen anymore. It's a
8 little further up.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just trying to follow -- yes, yes, I see --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 885.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yep. One second.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could move to page 110, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Would you mind to go back to the previous one,
14 because I have some difficulties in --
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: That was page 62.
16 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
17 Yes, you read for 886, report from VP 2138 Netkovic. Let me just
18 have a look. I see VP 110 --
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: [Overlapping speakers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, that must be 885. Is that my confusion?
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: I may have misspoke.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, on page 67, line 6, you said, "And if you look
23 at entry 886 ..." and then you started reading what apparently is in 885
24 instead of 886.
25 Is that correct?
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'm sure it is, Your Honour. I apologise for the
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm just trying to follow every step of
4 question and answer.
5 Then please proceed.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. If we could go to page 110. And to
7 the bottom of the page.
8 Q. And, Mr. Bajic, if you could look at entry 1056.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. This is a criminal report from PUZK, PP, Gracac. That would be
11 the police station -- Gracac police station within the Zadar-Knin police
12 administration; is that right?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And this entry would reflect receipt by the Split Military
15 Prosecutor of a criminal report filed directly by the civilian police
16 where the information indicates the perpetrator -- or the suspect is a HV
17 member; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 120, to entry 1089,
20 which is -- right ...
21 Q. And this entry says: "OP DO Knin," and then there is a KT number
22 and a KU number. And this entry reflects a file being transferred from
23 the Municipal Prosecutor's Office in Knin to the Split Military
24 Prosecutor, where the information in the possession of the prosecutor
25 indicates the suspect is a HV member; is that accurate?
1 A. Yes. Here the Municipal Prosecution Office of Knin refer the
2 case to the Military Prosecutor's Office, from its KT register,
3 accompanied by the appropriate KT register number, against three persons.
4 Out of those three, two are mentioned as being members of the Croatian
6 Q. Thank you. So it's fair to say that every criminal report
7 received by the Split Military Prosecutor's Office against a known
8 suspect -- from whatever the source, would be recorded in this register;
9 is that right?
10 A. Absolutely, yes.
11 Q. And this procedure of municipal or county prosecutor's offices
12 transferring files to the military prosecutor, where they discover that
13 the suspects, or one of the suspects is a HV member, was that a mandatory
14 procedure? Where the civilian prosecutors required to transfer their
15 files in such circumstances?
16 A. Yes, of course. Because they did not have jurisdiction for
17 further actions, if they established that the reported person is a
18 Croatian soldier. And pursuant to all laws and regulations, the
19 jurisdiction is in the hands of the Military Prosecutor's Office and the
20 military courts.
21 Q. And you were asked in your direct examination about HV members
22 being demobilised prior to the filing of an indictment. If the -- if the
23 criminal report was filed when the individual was an HV member, then they
24 were subsequently demobilised before the indictment was issued. The
25 criminal report would still be reflected in this register; is that right?
1 A. It could be found in the register, but the register would also
2 have an entry stating that the case was deferred to one of the civilian
3 regular prosecutor's offices. It would state the date of deferral or
4 referral, and the entire entry would be crossed out with a line, meaning
5 that the case no longer lay within our jurisdiction.
6 Q. Thank you. And in relation to the filing of criminal reports by
7 military units, if a military commander or a military officer within the
8 Split Military District became aware of a member of the -- of a Split
9 Military District unit committing a crime and he reported that crime to a
10 prosecuting authority, is there any other prosecuting authority, aside
11 from the Split Military Prosecutor, that he would report that crime to?
12 A. No. If he filed a report before the Military Prosecutor's
13 Office, he met his duty under the Law on Criminal Procedure; whereupon,
14 the Military Prosecutor's Office would formulate a case and send requests
15 for inquiries and criminal processing to the police, depending on the
16 contents of the report.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could I tender this document, please.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
20 Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit P2604.
22 JUDGE ORIE: P2604 is admitted into evidence.
23 Please proceed.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 I would also like it tender the KT register for 1996. I have no
1 questions on it. If Your Honours would like me to show it to the
2 witness, I'm happy to. If I -- if I could just tender it from the bar
3 table with the 65 ter number I could also do that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: If the parties agree on the documents have you in
5 mind to be those registers, I think there would be no need to show it to
6 the witness.
7 Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: We have no objection, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Also not with the description of the document,
10 that ...
11 MR. MISETIC: I trust Ms. Gustafson will call up the right 65 ter
12 number, yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: I hope it is 65 ter 7371, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And, Mr. Registrar, that would ...
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit P2605.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could 65 ter 7372 brought up on the screen,
20 Q. Mr. Bajic, the document that should be coming up shortly is the
21 KTN register for 1995.
22 And while that's coming up, if I could just ask you the criminal
23 reports received against unknown perpetrators were received, generally
24 speaking, from the same sources as those for the KT register, and by that
25 I'm referring to principally the military police, civilian police,
1 civilian prosecutors?
2 A. Yes, yes. Although the order was somewhat different. First, the
3 military police, then the civilian police, and then the rest.
4 Q. I'm sorry, I don't quite understand that. The order was somewhat
5 different from -- from what?
6 A. Military police above all, followed by the civilian police and
7 the others. But, no matter.
8 Q. Is that the portion of the KTN register you see on the screen for
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And I have the same question with this register as with the KT
13 Is it correct that every criminal report received by the Split
14 Military Prosecutor's Office, from whatever source, against an unknown
15 perpetrator and every criminal file against an unknown perpetrator
16 transferred from a civilian prosecutor would be recorded in this
18 A. Yes. Yes, against an unknown perpetrator, yes. It was
20 Q. So together the KT and the KTN registers represent a
21 comprehensive record of the criminal reports received and transferred
22 criminal files to the Split Military Prosecutor's Office; is that right?
23 A. That's right. One most note that the KTR register also contains
24 a number of potential reports that may have subsequently been referred to
25 one of these two registers. It only depends on the time-line and the
1 dates you're looking at. But, in principle, yes. All the reports were
2 contained either in the KT or the KTN registers.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, could I seek clarification.
4 The KTN register, we have the original on our screen at this
5 moment, and I have the English translation. Under 8 in the English
6 translation we see "DO." Under 9, we see "MUP." Under 10 in the
7 original it says "DO," where in the translation it says "MUP." And under
8 11, the original says "MUP" whereas the English translation says "DOD"
9 which is a unexplained yet -- I have not looked at the other pages yet,
10 but at least it seems that 10 and 11 are not fully consistent in their
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll request a revision
13 of the translation.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and then perhaps also a further explanation for
15 DOD which seems not to appear in the original.
16 Please proceed.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 3 of this document and
18 entry 69, please.
19 Q. Mr. Bajic, you can see from the second column this is a report
20 received on the 20th of October, 1995.
21 And in the third column, the reporting authority, is that a
22 report received from the Military District Split, duty service?
23 A. Yes, that is correct. Split Military District, duty service and
25 Q. And if we look at the column for the nature of the crime and the
1 date of the crime, this is Article 155 of the Croatian Criminal Code,
2 which is series of offences against public safety, and refers to an
3 incident dated 18 October 1995
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And in the fifth column where the details of the victim are
6 normally located, this entry appears to have been partly whited out, and
7 I'm wondering if you have any information or can assist the Chamber in
8 what this entry relates to.
9 A. The person making entries into the register probably made an
10 error and therefore whited it out, which is not proper procedure. One
11 should not white it out by merely cross out an error. However, the entry
12 indicates that the case was referred to the civilian prosecutor's office,
13 i.e., the Zadar Public Prosecutor's Office, under that number. This is
14 merely an opinion I'm offering. In order to verify the actual situation,
15 I would have to look at both the case file and the register.
16 Q. And more generally, if a military commander or military officer
17 in the Split Military District received information that Split Military
18 District soldiers had committed a crime, or he personally observed them
19 committing a crime in circumstances where he was not aware of their
20 specific identity, would he be able to file a report against unknown
21 perpetrators with the Split Military Prosecutor's Office?
22 A. Yes. Not only could he have filed a report, he must have had --
23 must have done that, and a report should have contained the elements of
24 the crime and information allowing further inquiries into the -- into the
25 perpetrators and their identification.
1 Q. When you said he -- not only could he have filed a report he must
2 have had -- I would just like to clarify because "must" can have various
3 meanings in English.
4 Do you mean that not only he could have filed a report, he should
5 have had; is that right?
6 A. Yes. I'm invoking the Law on Criminal Procedure again, whereby
7 all the public and state agencies have the duty to file a report to the
8 competent body, which includes military bodies; soldiers, et cetera.
9 THE INTERPRETER: There interpreter notes: The witness also said
11 MS. GUSTAFSON:
12 Q. And when you said: "The report should have contained the
13 elements of the crime and information allowing further inquiries into the
14 perpetrators and their identification," would such information, for
15 example, include the unit that the soldiers belonged to, if the commander
16 was aware of the identity of the unit?
17 A. Yes, of course.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, if I could tender this exhibit as
19 well as the KTN register for 1996, which is 65 ter 7373.
20 MR. MISETIC: No objection.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 7372 will become
23 Exhibit P2606; the 65 ter number 7373 becomes P2607.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Both are admitted into evidence, but the Chamber
25 expects a brief report on the issue I just raised.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour, we'll get that as quickly as
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is it correctly understood that not all the
4 entries are translated, just the format.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: The format and a number of the abbreviations that
6 are contained --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But not the data contained in the various
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: [Microphone not activated]
10 JUDGE ORIE: At least that's what I did not find. For example,
11 the KTN register, it's a three-page document of which the third page is
12 empty. So it's just an explanation of the format, and you have dealt
13 with some of these entries specifically.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour. And they are -- we did it that
15 way because we simply didn't have time to translate the entire document
16 and also because the entries are largely but not exclusively names and
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which means that the Chamber, of course, is
19 limited in accessing the data contained in these reports and is focussing
20 mainly at this moment on what kind of registers were kept.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour. We can request a full
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm not insisting on it but I'm just --
24 usually if an exhibit is tendered and admitted into evidence, we usually
25 have a full translation, which makes every detail of information
1 accessible for the Chamber. I just, at this moment, establish that this
2 is not the case in full with this document -- these documents, I should
3 say. I'm just pointing at the limits in --
4 Mr. Misetic.
5 MR. MISETIC: I don't want to anticipate further
6 cross-examination, and if I'm mistaken I am sure I will be corrected, but
7 I think there is a chart that's been prepared which will list some of the
8 entries that have been lifted from here, although could I be wrong, and
9 the Prosecution and the Defence are in the process of finalising
10 agreement on which entries are relevant or not relevant.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That's good to hear. I'm just, at this moment -- we
12 decided to admit something into evidence, and therefore I try to
13 establish what this exactly means with not a full translation of this
14 document available to the Chamber.
15 You may proceed, Ms. Gustafson.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour, and I thank my colleague
17 as well.
18 Q. Mr. Bajic, the Prosecution has examined each of the entries in
19 the KT and KTN registers starting from beginning of August 1995 and going
20 until the end of March -- beginning of August 1995, I should say, and
21 concluding at the end of March 1996, and this analysis indicates that
22 during this period of time no Split Military District units, commanders,
23 or officers reported any crimes relevant to the indictment in this case,
24 which is, roughly speaking, crimes related to looting, destruction, or
25 killing in the area of Sector South in August and September 1995. And
1 I'd just like to ask you if that analysis is in any way inconsistent with
2 your recollection of the reports and cases dealt with by the Split
3 Military Prosecutor at the time?
4 MR. MISETIC: If we could just get clarification, the question
5 says "did not report," if we could just clarify. The question, I think,
6 is trying to be specific to one institution.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'm sorry, I should clarify that I'm referring to
8 filing criminal reports with the Split Military Prosecutor.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, is the question still clear to you,
10 Mr. Bajic? In the registers on the relevant matters --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me be brief. All the reports
12 received by the Military Prosecutor's Office, either in the form of KT,
13 reports against persons known, or KTN against persons unknown, were
14 registered in our registers. In other words, all the cases received by
15 our office were registered and entered into the registers.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON:
17 Q. So, in other words, you have no reason to doubt the accuracy of
18 the registers. Is that what you're saying?
19 A. No. Let me just make this point. A small number of cases were
20 entered into the KRDO register because it wasn't clear whether they could
21 indeed be qualified as crimes. I also said that a small number of them
22 could have been entered into a strictly confidential register, but the
23 number was so small that it can hardly have an impact on the general
25 Q. Let me just ask you a couple of questions about that.
1 The KRDO register, is that the same thing as the KTR register?
2 A. Absolutely not. The KTR
3 information, filings and memos sent to the Military Prosecutor's Office
4 which did not belong to the regular registers; primarily the KT
5 containing reports against known persons and KTN against unknown persons.
6 The prosecutors would also take certain steps and inquiries and would
7 seek information in relation to KTR
8 the reports did amount to crimes. Alternatively, if they found that the
9 information was irrelevant, then they would merely make a note on the
10 folder of the case to the effect that there were no further grounds for
11 acting upon that particular report.
12 Let me just state that the KTR register did not, as a rule,
13 contain any reports against individuals known or unknown. All these
14 reports were entered into the two registers you mentioned.
15 Q. And the -- so the KRDO register, where you said was used for
16 situations where it was unclear whether it could be qualified as a crime,
17 if you had received a criminal report from a military commander against
18 known or unknown members of the HV for crimes relating to burning,
19 looting, or killing, are there any circumstances where that report could
20 end up in the KRDO register?
21 A. No, they would end up in the KT register.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think we get a lot of confusion at this moment.
23 If I invite the parties to look at page 79, line 16, there, it
24 seem what previously was apparently KTN, that is unknown persons, now
25 suddenly appears as KTR
1 Can we try to find -- I do understand, Mr. Bajic, KT register
2 contains all the reports on crimes where perpetrators are known. KT -- I
3 see you're nodding yes.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's the first. KTN is the register in
6 which all reported crimes with unknown perpetrators were registered.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
8 JUDGE ORIE: KTR
9 miscellaneous. That means all type of reporting, filing, et cetera,
10 where it is unclear whether it directly relates to a crime being
12 Is that correctly understood?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the last category, and perhaps you would --
15 that is the KRDO register. Could you try to summarise in one or one line
16 and a half what that register exactly contains.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's the same KTR register which
18 was subsequently renamed into KRDO. So it's an identical register, it's
19 the same register, which carried a different designation at different
21 JUDGE ORIE: Again, then, KRDO also registers miscellaneous
22 reporting, filing, et cetera, where it's unclear whether it can be
23 directly linked to a crime being committed.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. And one last question, Mr. Bajic, is you referred to: "... a
3 small number of crimes could be entered into a strictly confidential
4 register but the number was so small that it can hardly have an impact."
5 What was the strictly confidential register for?
6 A. It was the register containing a handful or a dozen or so entries
7 based on the documents received by the Military Prosecutor's Office,
8 already bearing the designation "confidential" or "strictly
9 confidential." Under our regulations, where we received documents marked
10 this way, we have to register the case under the -- with the same status
11 until the time when the person sending the document to us asks for the
12 status to be changed, and we had, during a certain period of time,
13 documents that we received and we had to act upon, and they were
14 registered in this way.
15 However, they did not remain in that register for long. It took
16 some time for the case to be investigated into, a month or two, and then
17 it would be transferred to the KT register.
18 Q. And do you have any reason to believe that a criminal report
19 filed by a military commander or officer against an HV member for a crime
20 related to looting, burning, or killing in the aftermath of Operation
21 Storm would be filed within this strictly confidential register?
22 A. No. I can state with a great degree of certainty that the
23 register did not contain such entries. However, there was the
24 possibility for the colleagues working out in the field to make a
25 mistake, because they were not experienced enough. I was involved in
1 some cases where I came upon cases being entered into wrong registers.
2 There were no such entries made that were not supposed to be known,
3 because there were -- simply were not such entries to begin with, and
4 therefore they could not be part of the register.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honours, I'm about to move to another topic.
7 I can start now or if you'd rather adjourn for the day ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: I think it would be wiser to -- to finish for the
9 day, and --
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: Um --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd just like to if Mr. Bajic could be handed a
13 bundle of case files that I will referring to tomorrow so that can he
14 read them in order to expedite matters tomorrow.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Defence is familiar with the content of
16 the documents.
17 MR. MISETIC: I'm not sure so ...
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: They're on the cross-examination document list.
19 I'd be happy to provide the numbers to Mr. Misetic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No objections.
21 Now, Mr. Bajic, you get some homework from Ms. Gustafson. Could
22 you please look through it before tomorrow so you will be better able to
23 understand the questions Ms. Gustafson will put to you.
24 May I further urge the Prosecution, once it has made up its mind
25 as far as the next witness is concerned, to inform the Chamber, even
1 informally, and, of course, copying the Defence on its position so that
2 if there's any green light to be switched on, that it can be done as
3 quickly as possible.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: Certainly, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then we adjourn for the day, Mr. Bajic, and we'd
6 like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00. But I would like to
7 instruct you that you should not speak with anyone about your testimony,
8 whether that is testimony you've given already today, or whether it is
9 about the testimony you're expected to give tomorrow.
10 We adjourn and we resume tomorrow, Tuesday 25th of August, 9.00
11 in the morning, Courtroom III
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.
13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of
14 August, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.