1 Wednesday, 30 September 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Before the Cermak will call its next witness, there's a tiny
12 little procedural matter which the Chamber would like to raise not
13 because we think there will be a lot of comments on it. Usually,
14 exhibits in a case which has not yet been concluded, although being
15 public documents, usually no copies are provided to third parties. They
16 can look at it, there's nothing -- but copies are not provided.
17 Exceptions are made now and then, if there's a specific request. There
18 was a request by the media or at least a newspaper - I'm not even
19 informed about what it exactly is - to receive a copy of the Kovacevic
20 expert report, D1676. The Chamber has consulted on the matter. We do
21 not see any reason why this document, which has been extensively dealt
22 with in court, why it should not be given to a party who is apparently
23 interested in receiving a hard copy.
24 Any comments from the parties.
25 MR. KAY: No objection, Your Honour.
1 MR. KEHOE: We have no objection either, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then the Chamber advises the Registry that the
3 Chamber would agree with providing a copy of D1676 to interested parties,
4 more specifically, media.
5 Are you ready, Mr. Kay, to call your next witness or would it be
6 you, Mr. Cayley?
7 MR. CAYLEY: No, Your Honour. It's just the issue of the
8 transcripts from yesterday.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. CAYLEY: Do you want to settle that now?
11 JUDGE ORIE: We can do that.
12 MR. CAYLEY: In essence, I have agreed with the Prosecution on
13 the pages, and this was your request that in essence the particular page
14 that the Prosecution referred to be given some context, and I have agreed
15 those pages with Mr. Hedaraly. For P2640, in the English transcript, it
16 would be pages 69 to 71, and that's the page numbers both on the
17 documents and in e-court; they're identical. And in the B/C/S that would
18 be pages 69 to 71 and the corresponding pages, the ERN numbers for that,
19 because there are no page numbers on that document, the corresponding ERN
20 numbers, the last four digits are 7544 to 7546. So that's for P2640.
21 For P2641, and there I would just point out to the Court that the
22 particular context of the comments that Mr. Skegro said at the time
23 concerned the refugee problems in Croatia. This is where he was talking
24 about people not being able to live together, that those comments were
25 provided to you in isolation, and actually if you look at the transcript,
1 what's being discussed by the president and his ministers are the
2 problems with refugees leaving Bosnia
3 and there being public disorder problems. And so the pages that I have
4 put in actually address that and the Chamber can read it.
5 But it's English pages 27 to 30 on the document, and in e-court
6 that's pages 28 to 31. And then in the B/C/S, it's pages 35, line 5
7 to 39, line 18, and the corresponding ERN numbers are last four digits
8 6493 to 6497.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And they will be -- or are already uploaded together
11 with the cover page, because we're talking about the minutes of meetings
12 held with the president.
13 MR. CAYLEY: I'll make sure, if they've not been already
14 uploaded, that they are uploaded.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because there we see who's present and we have
16 a date --
17 MR. CAYLEY: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- and we have what the document is about.
19 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I do not remember whether we had already
21 assigned numbers to them. But they have to be uploaded anyhow in the
22 limited version.
23 Mr. Hedaraly.
24 MR. HEDARALY: It's just easier, we could just replace the
25 existing numbers for the full document with the extracts.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It was a rather silly remark I made because we
2 talked about P2640 and 2641, so numbers have been assigned to them. But
3 now they will be uploaded in their limited version, cover page, and the
4 pages the parties have agreed upon, which give sufficient context for the
5 Chamber to understand the testimony and also contains those portions on
6 which the witness specifically commented.
7 Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: I have a different issue to raise so --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This matter being raised, could the parties
10 inform the Registrar and the Chamber once the new versions have been
12 Mr. Misetic.
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President, just on behalf of the
14 Gotovina Defence, over the last few days we have seen Exhibit P463, which
15 is the transcript with Mr. Radic, and there's been some discussion about
16 the 10 per cent figure and it has been assumed that that was a reference
17 to not allowing more than 10 per cent to return. And I just wanted to
18 note that we understand that's the Prosecution's interpretation of the
19 document; we have a different interpretation of what that document is.
20 We would like to at least put our position to the Chamber when -- either
21 now or whenever the Chamber feels it's convenient.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Wouldn't it be best that we are referring to
23 this document now and then, that the parties try to find, I would say, as
24 neutral as possible description of that document which then preferably is
25 to be used when the document is put to a witness. And there's always a
1 possibility that if we want the witness to look at the text itself, then,
2 of course, that can be put to him, but that we don't have quarrels about
3 the way in which you refer to the document is wrong because we understand
4 the document to be a different one, and, of course, just referring to a
5 document by number, which, of course, is also a way, but it is not very
6 informative for the one to whom this document is presented.
7 Is there any way of resolving it in this way.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, we, of course, will be happy to
9 speak to our colleagues with the Prosecution about the issue. I do wish
10 to point out that -- just that, very briefly, our interpretation is that
11 the discussion there is about moving more Croats in so that -- if you
12 have a thousand Serbs there and you move 9.000 Croats in, they become
13 10 per cent of the population and not preventing return. But I will --
14 JUDGE ORIE: If you cannot agree, then the Chamber would
15 appreciate to receive from both parties a brief description of what this
16 portion is about, and then the Chamber will see whether it can find a --
17 as neutral possible characterisation of summary, or -- well, a text which
18 refers to that portion of the document.
19 So if the parties could not agree, the Chamber would like to
20 receive their, not more than ten lines, description of what that portion
21 of the conversation is about.
22 Mr. Hedaraly.
23 MR. HEDARALY: That's fine, Mr. President.
24 Although I suspect we will not agree on the interpretation, I'm
25 sure we can try to at least find a way that we can characterise the
1 document if it will be referred to in a general way rather than the
2 specific language. But we will talk to our colleagues from the
3 Gotovina Defence.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. I'm not expecting the parties to agree
5 on the interpretation at this moment, but to agree on a formulation which
6 gives sufficient information in referring to this document and that
7 portion of the document.
8 If there's no other matter, then, Mr. Kay, the next witness the
9 Cermak Defence calls will be ...
10 MR. KAY: It's Mr. -- it's Mr. Rincic, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Rincic. Before you give
14 evidence, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require that you make a
15 solemn declaration of which the text will now be handed out to you by the
16 usher. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Rincic. Please be seated.
20 Mr. Rincic, you will first be examined by Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is
21 counsel for Mr. Cermak.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
23 WITNESS: ZDENKO RINCIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examination by Mr. Kay:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Rincic.
2 A. Mm-hm.
3 MR. KAY: If the Court could produce on the screen a document,
5 Q. Mr. Rincic, you're looking at some papers there. Can you close
6 them, please. I know that's a hard copy of your statement. Don't worry
7 about that. I don't think you have been in this courtroom before, but in
8 front of you are two screens, and on the right-hand side, you will see a
9 screen containing a document in your own language soon. If you just look
10 at that.
11 Mr. Rincic, do you recognise a statement there that you gave to
12 the Cermak Defence which has been signed by you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in relation to that statement, is it correct that there are
15 certain corrections you would like to make?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If we go to paragraph 20 of the statement. And can you see the
18 text there in your own language, and can you see paragraph 20?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Within that sentence, there is a -- within that paragraph, there
21 is a sentence containing the figures 2 to 3 per cent. It's on line 9.
22 Can you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And in the statement signed by you, it says:
25 "General Cermak and all of us who attended these meetings
1 believed that 2 to 3 per cent happened of everything that actually had
3 Did you want to make an explanation to clarify that sentence
5 A. During the first couple of days, we heard and we noticed that
6 there was shooting and there was smoke at a distance, and we could hear
7 shots coming from a distance. And we believed that certain things were
8 happening, certain incidents, related to war. We believed that this was
9 the sequelae of the previous war activities. It was only later, a few
10 days later, that we realised that things were not what they seemed
11 initially, that things were different.
12 Q. Thank you. Is there another amendment to your statement that you
13 would like to make, in relation to paragraph 22. If that can be put on
14 the screen in front of you.
15 MR. KAY: In the English, please. In the Croatian, sorry.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 MR. KAY:
18 Q. In relation to that paragraph, would you like that
19 paragraph taken out and deleted because it is inaccurate?
20 A. Yes, I would like to do that.
21 Q. Thank you. That will be noted for the record.
22 Were there any other corrections or clarifications that you need
23 to make, in relation to your statement?
24 A. Yes. In relation to --
25 Q. What is that?
1 A. In relation to the report on the repairs done to the electricity
2 grid in certain villages.
3 Q. What would you like to say about that? Is that a matter that's
4 in your statement, relating to the repairs to the electricity?
5 You're going to be looking at a document in a moment in relation
6 to electricity.
7 If could I ask you this question: Taking into account the
8 corrections that you have made to this statement, is everything that
9 you've said in that statement, as it remains, true and correct, to the
10 best of your knowledge and belief?
11 A. As far as my statement is concerned, everything is true and
12 correct and to the best of my recollection.
13 Q. Thank you. In relation to this statement, if we look at the last
15 MR. KAY: Croatian, please.
16 Q. We see that it is signed by you. And can you identify that as
17 being your signature?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. KAY: Your Honour, all the pages in between are signed as
20 well, and we've just seen one on the way. I don't propose to adduce each
21 of them, with the Court's leave.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Without any objections from the parties, leave is
24 MR. KAY: Thank you.
25 Q. Mr. Rincic, if I was to ask you today the same questions that you
1 were asked in the making of your statement, would your answers be the
2 same today as when you gave them for the statement?
3 A. Yes, they would be the same.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. KAY: Your Honour, in those circumstances, I move that this
6 document be put into evidence as an exhibit.
7 MR. WAESPI: No objections, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Waespi.
9 One question. Mr. Kay, you raised the issue whether there were
10 any other corrections or clarifications. The witness said in relation to
11 the report on the repairs done to the electricity grid in certain
12 villages, and then we moved on without knowing exactly what the witness
13 wanted to do.
14 Mr. Rincic, would you like to change anything in your statement
15 in relation to the electricity in the villages, or would you just give
16 something in addition?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not have in mind any changes
18 with regards to what was said. I am convinced that everything that was
19 said is true.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we don't have to pay further attention to
21 it at this moment and it's up to the parties to see whether what you
22 would apparently then like to add or further explain, whether they will
23 ask you about that, yes or no.
24 Mr. Registrar, the exhibit number for this document would be ...
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1680.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D1680 is admitted into evidence.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. KAY: I think all will become clear. As it's a document --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, at this moment --
5 MR. KAY: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- the witness expressed that he had further --
7 MR. KAY: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- comments or inaccuracies and before we decide to
9 admit something into evidence, the attestations should be as good as they
10 with be.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. KAY: Absolutely, Your Honour, and thank you.
13 In relation to this statement, there are two documents which are
14 referred to which are not already court exhibits. There are other
15 documents in paragraph 18 and paragraph 24 that are exhibits, but there
16 is two other documents that are referred to in the statement. At
17 paragraph 24, line 10, a pass referred to, 65 ter 529.
18 Your Honour, I ask that that document be made an exhibit, as it's
19 within the statement.
20 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1681.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. KAY: And Your Honour, the next document, which is also
1 referred to in the body of the statement at paragraph 17, in the first
2 line of paragraph 17, you will see the number SVA2-107. That is a
3 document, 2D00720. And I ask that that be made an exhibit.
4 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1682.
7 JUDGE ORIE: D1682 is admitted into evidence.
8 MR. KAY: Thank you. And, Your Honour, that deals with those
9 matters in the statement. And then could we call up this document which
10 I will ask Mr. Rincic to comment upon. It's 2D00286.
11 And Your Honour will find at paragraph 15 in the statement, the
12 area to which this refers to, which may deal with the matter raised
13 earlier by the witness.
14 Q. Mr. Rincic, can you see before you a document --
15 MR. KAY: If we just turn to the second page of it.
16 Can you go right to the bottom, please, so that the signature can
17 be identified.
18 Q. Do you -- do you see your name there on the document?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And is that your signature?
21 A. Yes, this is my signature.
22 MR. KAY: If we go back to the first page of the document.
23 Q. Do you recognise the document?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us what this document is about.
1 A. This is a report about the electricity grid in Knin and villages
2 around it.
3 Q. And we don't see a date on the document. But can you tell us, to
4 the best of your knowledge and belief, when this report was written by
6 A. That was sometime around the 12th of August, or perhaps the
7 13th of August. Or maybe even the 14th.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
9 MR. WAESPI: Of course, I can raise it in re-direct, but if you
10 go to page 2 in English, it relates to the dates of 24th to
11 27th of August, due to whether that's prospective or the witness talks
12 about incidents that happened at those times.
13 MR. KAY: Great -- I'm grateful to my learned friend.
14 Q. Would you like to look at the second page of the report,
15 Mr. Rincic?
16 We can see a date referred to as the 24th of August to
17 27th of August. Can you just read that to yourself.
18 Does that help you at all, in relation to when this report was
20 A. It does. It does help, yes. And all that happened a long time
21 ago, and obviously I've forgotten some things, and it is clear that this
22 was written sometime around the 27th or the 28th of August.
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 And the purpose of writing this report, in relation to the power
25 in the region was for what?
1 A. The purpose was to inform my superiors about the situation in
2 Knin, how things stood, and how the situation with the electricity power
3 would develop.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. KAY: Your Honour, might this document be made an exhibit,
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1683.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D1683 is admitted into evidence.
12 MR. KAY:
13 Q. There's just another document that I'd like to you look at.
14 MR. KAY: Can we have on the screen, please, Exhibit D01036. And
15 the Court may want to turn to paragraph 25.
16 Q. And if you look at the document on the screen in front of you,
17 Mr. Rincic, can you see the Croatian document there? Can you look at it,
19 If we turn to page 2 of the document --
20 MR. KAY: Can the Croatian document be engineered so that we can
21 see the signature at the bottom rather than the text, please. Ah, page 3
22 in the Croatian, I'm advised. Thank you.
23 Q. Do you see your name there, Mr. Rincic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that your signature?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Did you write this document?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you recollect when this document was written, as there isn't
5 a date on it?
6 MR. KAY: Perhaps if we can see the front page again.
7 A. I believe that this was drafted sometime between the 10th and
8 the 12th of August, or thereabouts.
9 Q. And the purpose of writing this report, can you tell us what that
11 A. The purpose, again, was to inform my superiors about the
12 situation with regards the revival of economy in the municipality of
13 Knin. I also wanted to inform Mr. Ivan Cermak about the same thing,
14 because that was his prerogative. He needed to be informed.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. KAY: Your Honour, this already an exhibit, so I -- I will
17 ask no further questions about it.
18 Your Honour, that concludes my direct examination of the witness.
19 Q. Please wait there, Mr. Rincic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
21 Mr. Kehoe.
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we have no questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No questions.
24 Mr. Mikulicic.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: No questions.
2 Mr. Rincic, since the other Defence counsel have no questions for
3 you, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Waespi. Mr. Waespi is counsel
4 for the Prosecution.
5 You may proceed, Mr. Waespi.
6 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Rincic.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. I'd like to cover a few areas with you in clarification of your
11 witness statement and some of the things you said in
13 But let me first go to the so-called deletion of paragraph 22.
14 MR. WAESPI: So if we could get the witness statement on to the
15 screen, that's D1680, page 6 in English.
16 Q. You recall, you testified that you wanted paragraph 22 to be
18 Now, the witness statement, which I'm sure we'll get on the
19 screen shortly, was only taken a few months ago, end of March, beginning
20 of April, so what happened in the meantime? Or, in other words, why do
21 you want this paragraph to be deleted from -- from the statement?
22 Did you understand my question?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Take your time. You can read it, of course, and I'm sure you
25 remember it. It's the issue about the repair of the railway, and you go
1 in quite some detail about how you went to see Mr. Ademi, the Chief of
2 Staff of the Split Military District, or the duty officer at that time,
3 and eventually got them to provide military security for the railway
4 repair, and you go on in some detail about where it was, that it was
5 surrounded by a forest, and so on, and so on.
6 So why did you want this paragraph to be deleted today?
7 A. The main reason why I believe this should be left out is that my
8 private visits to the Military District to see Mr. Ademi and other
9 officers got conflated with the other memories I have of these events.
10 These were my private acquaintances; I knew them privately.
11 Q. But -- please continue.
12 A. So I conflated this with the official duties that I performed.
13 The security provided for the repairs carried out in certain areas had to
14 be sought by phone through duty -- through the duty service of the
15 military police.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rincic.
17 But do I understand you correctly, the events, as you described
18 them in paragraph 22 - this may be 12 or 15 lines - they happened as you
19 told them. This is correct?
20 The only issue is that you don't want to conflate your private
21 involvement, because you knew Mr. Ademi from before, with your official
22 duties and you feel that's inappropriate. But the facts, as you have
23 stated them, as you told the Defence, they are true and correct.
24 Do I understand you right?
25 A. No. What I said was true, but the statement I made that was
1 written down here is a bit confused. I confused certain matters.
2 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, what's confusing --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
4 MR. MISETIC: If I could, just as technical matter, I believe
5 that the Prosecution hasn't released its documents in e-court yet. And
6 if the documents could be released, please.
7 MR. WAESPI: It will be done instantly.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You mean the documents for cross-examination? Yes.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Rincic, please tell me, which bits are confusing? You can
12 also start, and we have all time, to tell me which lines, which sentences
13 of paragraph 22 is not confusing. Or you can tell us which are
14 confusing, whatever you prefer.
15 A. For the purposes of securing works that took place outside of
16 Knin, I sought, through the duty service of the military police, whom I
17 called over the telephone, that I be given a certain number of soldiers
18 who would secure workers, making repairs out in the field of certain
19 facilities or installations. This detail which is not contained in
20 Article 22 is something that I remembered subsequently. When, six months
21 ago, I spoke about the matters contained in item 22, I did not recall
22 this important detail. I remembered only later on. And I've just told
23 you what it is. It is a -- an important issue, and that's why I believe
24 that item 22 needed to be left out. It had to do with the provision of
25 security for works that took place outside.
1 Q. Thanks, Mr. Rincic. But help me, please, so I understand. In
2 order to get these security troops to -- to guard the repair on the
3 railway --
4 MR. KAY: I think the witness said military police.
5 MR. WAESPI: I thought the witness said he called the duty
6 officer of the MP but I might have ...
7 MR. KAY: Yes, 18, line 9.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. KAY: Maybe it is something that needs clarification. I
10 don't want do interrupt my learned friend but ...
11 MR. WAESPI: Anyway, I can pick that up.
12 Q. So you called the duty service of the military police. Now
13 eventually I understand that the security was provided, and my question
14 to you is: How did you manage that? Did you manage by calling the duty
15 service of the military police, or by, as you explained in paragraph 22,
16 going to see Mr. Ademi, or the duty officer of that unit and get them to
17 release the security, or did you do both, one as a follow-up to the other
19 Do you understand what my issue is?
20 A. I understand your question.
21 That's where the essential difference lies, as I've told you a
22 moment ago. I told you that this was something I remembered later on.
23 It was through the duty military police that I was given security
24 details; whereas, the rest were my private contacts and private visits in
25 the Military District.
1 Q. But they did happen, these, as you call them, private visits to
2 the Military District. You did go to see Mr. Ademi. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And did you talk to him or to the duty officer about providing
5 security, or did that not happen?
6 MR. MISETIC: I'm going to object. That mischaracterises what
7 the witness just said.
8 MR. WAESPI: I don't think the witness --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- one second, I will re-read.
10 The question may be answered. It -- you may repeat the question,
11 Mr. Waespi.
12 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. You told us that eventually, you know, security came, and one of
14 the reasons was because you talked to the duty service of the military
15 police. You also told us that you, indeed, went to see Mr. Ademi, as
16 stated in paragraph 22.
17 So my question to you is: What did you talk about with
18 Mr. Ademi, when you went to see him. And the sub-question is: Did you
19 discuss the release of security for repairing the railway?
20 A. The issue of securing workers conducting repairs on the railway
21 track was not something I discussed, was not something I discussed with
22 Mr. Ademi because it was one line of my duty, which was of no interest to
23 him particularly.
24 Your question was what we discussed. We discussed matters that
25 were of interest to me and which had to do with the life and work of
1 military units in the field, and I was privately curious about the
3 Q. I'll follow up on that in a moment. But let me go back to
4 Mr. Ademi or the duty officer.
5 So you did not discuss with Ademi and also not with the duty
6 officer the issue of providing security to the repair of the railway?
7 A. I did not --
8 Q. So that's --
9 A. -- because I had already solved that problem before.
10 Q. Very well. I understand you better now.
11 So that's one of the sentences which is not correct in
12 paragraph 22. Am I right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, why did you tell that to the Defence when you met with them
15 end of March, beginning of April of this year?
16 A. Because the events happened a long time ago - I'm referring to
17 the events in Knin - and what I had as a recollection at the time was
18 that this is the way things happened.
19 Subsequently, I cast my mind back to these events and I realised
20 that things were different.
21 Q. Did somebody tell you that things were not as you had stated them
22 to the Defence, or was it your own volition that changed your mind?
23 A. Of course, it was of my own volition.
24 Q. Let me go back to what you did discuss with Mr. Ademi, and I
25 quote you:
1 "We discussed matters that were of interest to me and which had
2 to do with the life and work of military units in the field, and I was
3 privately curious about this situation."
4 Can you tell us what you discussed in -- in as much detail as you
6 A. What I discussed with Mr. Ademi and other officers in Military
7 District -- well, first of all, I had taken part in the homeland war
8 together with them. I fought side by side with them.
9 Q. And when you say "them," it's Mr. Ademi and whom?
10 A. Commissioned and non-commissioned officers, who were members of
11 the 4th Brigade, 7th Brigade, who were deployed in the area of -- of Knin
12 and around Knin.
13 Q. And so specifically going back to your discussion with Mr. Ademi,
14 can you tell me what you discussed with him, if you recall?
15 A. I was interested in knowing what the developments were in Knin,
16 what the situation was like in the northern part, beyond Knin. As you
17 know, in addition to Sector South, there was Sector North and other
18 areas, where war activities took place and which were liberated. These
19 were very eventful days bristling with information where one was
20 interested in knowing as many things as possible, and where I knew that I
21 would be able to get informed, I sought to get informed.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rincic, you have taken five or six lines to
23 answer the question without really -- you told us now what you're -- that
24 you had certain reasons why you would be interested but you still have
25 not told us what you discussed with Mr. Ademi.
1 What did you discuss? What questions did you pet to him, what
2 did he say?
3 MR. KAY: Well, Your Honour, the witness has referred to these
4 being a long time ago, and the question was prefaced by Mr. Waespi, if
5 you recall, and a general answer is given.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I disagree with you on the matter.
7 MR. KAY: I --
8 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness doesn't remember what was discussed
9 with Mr. Ademi, he can tell us. And just tell us that you don't
11 The witness gave the reasons why he was interested in knowing
12 what and where, et cetera, and that it was -- that these were very
13 eventful days, and which gave information one was interested in. He did
14 not -- and that was the question asked to him, he did not tell us what
15 the content of the conversation with Mr. Ademi was.
16 If you remember, would you please tell us, Mr. Rincic.
17 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I won't say anything but I do refer
18 Your Honour to page 22, line 11. I won't say anymore.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Kay.
20 Could you please focus, if you have any recollection, what the
21 content of your discussion was.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What was mostly discussed had to do
23 with the -- my acquaintances and friends who were members of certain
24 units. I was interested in knowing whether anyone had been wounded,
25 lightly or seriously, whether anyone had been killed. There were several
1 of my acquaintances and friends who had been wounded and killed. This is
2 what most of our conversations revolved around. I don't remember the
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
5 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Do you remember when the meeting or conversation between you and
7 Mr. Ademi took place, and also the location?
8 A. I don't remember when exactly. And it took place in Knin.
9 Again, I don't recall the specific venue.
10 Q. And the railway works, were they on the railway between Knin and
12 A. There too.
13 Q. Thank you. And do you remember how many security troops, people,
14 were eventually released to do the job alongside the railway?
15 A. Three to four
16 I mean.
17 Q. Were these normal soldiers, or were these military police?
18 A. Military police.
19 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I'd like to show the witness a
20 document which just was brought to my attention, and obviously I haven't
21 included it to the documents to be released but perhaps that might assist
22 the witness in -- in his memory about who these soldiers were.
23 This would be 65 ter 657, an order by the commander of OG West,
24 Mladen Fuzul.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, it seems that we have two issues, the first
1 to have it added to the 65 ter list.
2 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I take no point on this. Things arise.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No point. Yes. Yes.
4 You can put the document to the witness and ask questions in
5 relation to it.
6 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MR. WAESPI:
9 Q. Witness, please have a look at the screen, and you see an order
10 by the commander of OG West, Colonel Fuzul, and it deals with the release
11 of 30 soldiers from the 134th Home Guard Regiment for railway works, and
12 it's following the orders given by the commander of the Split Military
14 Now, is this order in any way linked, in your opinion, about the
15 railway works with which you were concerned or perhaps others of which
16 you have any knowledge?
17 A. I'm not aware of this order. This is the first time I'm seeing
18 it. This particular security detail was required for five days only;
19 whereas, I -- my request had to do with a longer period.
20 Q. So you don't recall having had 30 soldiers doing security for
21 railway works with which you were concerned with? Your answer is no?
22 A. [In English] No.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, I would
24 like to tender this document.
25 MR. KAY: No objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit P2644.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P2644 is admitted into evidence.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. And the second point I wanted to clear up from what you said in
7 in-chief was that comment, and it relates to paragraph 20 of your witness
9 MR. WAESPI: If we could go back to D1680.
10 Q. Where you originally stated to the Defence, and I quote:
11 "General Cermak and all of us who attended these meetings
12 believed that 2 to 3 per cent happened of everything that actually had
14 And I believe you said, on page 8, lines 2 to 5, today, that
15 things were different to what they initially seemed.
16 Can you please clarify what was different and how did they seem
18 A. [Interpretation] As stated in the transcript, as was written down
19 in the transcript, initially, we did not have the information reflecting
20 the state of affairs as they were.
21 Subsequently, we realised that several houses had been burned and
22 that there were instances of actions -- of unlawful actions.
23 Q. So you initially believed that the reports you received or the
24 information was exaggerated; but, later, you realised that it was not.
25 Is that a fair assessment of what your testimony is?
1 A. Initially, we had not even been receiving reports, and then, as
2 soon as we received reports, we went through them and realised that some
3 had reflected the actual events and that others were exaggerated.
4 Q. Yes. Let's turn to this issue of exaggerations and look at
5 another example, which, I believe, did you not clarify. In paragraph 23
6 of your witness statement, you address the work of the ECMM. And it's in
7 English at the end of page 6, about the fourth or fifth line. You say,
8 and I quote you:
9 "The monitors wrote reports about the crimes in the field without
10 having checked the facts but on the basis of information given to them by
12 And then you also go into an example of shelling information.
13 Now, what's your basis for saying that? How do you know that, in
14 your assessment, ECMM reported without having checked the facts?
15 A. I know, because it was dangerous to check the situation on the
16 ground. And they were afraid.
17 Q. Who specifically was afraid? Can you give me any name?
18 A. I don't remember.
19 Q. Let's go to a similar issue. This is in paragraph 20 of your
20 witness statement. And you state as follows, and it's in the middle of
21 paragraph 20, where you see -- actually, just below the 2 to 3 per cent
23 There you say:
24 "After about 15 days, Mr. Cermak started receiving letters of
25 protest from UN workers about arson and looting in the field, and during
1 the meetings he would forward that information to the chief of civilian
2 police and the military police commander."
3 How do you know which letters Mr. Cermak received?
4 A. I know because the coordination meetings aimed at reviving the
5 Knin economy that were chaired by Mr. Cermak were the meetings that I
6 myself attended. And Mr. Cermak briefed us about the letters at those
7 meetings. He told us about them, and he forwarded those letters to the
8 military police and all the other relevant bodies that had to be
9 informed. In that way, he made sure, and he did his bit for such events
10 to be prevented.
11 Q. Are you confident having seen every single letter the UN wrote to
12 General Cermak?
13 A. There is nothing you can be 100 per cent sure about. So I can't
14 be sure that I saw every single letter, but I saw the most important
16 Q. I'm just interested in your unqualified statement:
17 "After about 15 days, Mr. Cermak started receiving letters of
18 protest from UN ..."
19 A. Well, it doesn't have to be 15 days. Maybe it was ten days. I
20 was talking in principle. It was after a certain time. For the first
21 ten days or so, the figure that we were operating with was 2 to
22 3 per cent. We didn't know what was going on. At least from my point of
23 view, I didn't know what was happening. Mr. Cermak, however, did [as
24 interpreted] know.
25 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I'd like to go to P363. It's a
1 letter. And it appears on page 5, both English and B/C/S version.
2 Q. Mr. Rincic, soon you will see on the right side of your screen
3 the Croatian translation of the letter, the original one, which is in
4 English on the left side, and it's dated 11th of August, 1995. And it's
5 a letter from the UN commander to General Cermak, and it says as follows,
6 and I quote:
7 "During our meeting yesterday, both Mr. Paavo Pitcanen and I
8 brought to your attention information gathered by UN sources concerning
9 the widespread and systematic looting and destruction of property, crops
10 and livestock."
11 And I skip one sentence, continuing:
12 "Recalling your statements during yesterday's meeting concerning
13 your honest efforts to control the situation, I again protest these
14 activities and ask to redouble your efforts to prevent the organised
15 destruction and theft of property."
16 Do you recall, Mr. Rincic, being shown this letter from
17 Mr. Cermak during one of your meetings?
18 A. I can't say with 100 per cent certainty, but I may have and
19 immediately thereupon, Mr. Cermak took steps. He informed the military
20 police, and he called for an urgent action on their part, to remedy the
21 situation, to curb such activities. I can see that this letter was sent
22 on the 11th of August, and given the circumstances, three or four days,
23 sometimes seemed as ten to 12 days, and that's why I'm not very precise
24 as regards the dates, due to the heavy circumstances that surrounded us
25 at the time.
1 Q. So we have to be careful in assessing your witness statement here
2 when it comes to dates. Thank you, Mr. Rincic.
3 Let me actually stay while we're on the topic of the meetings you
4 had with Mr. Cermak, and I believed you called them coordination
6 In paragraph 19 of your witness statement --
7 MR. WAESPI: If we could revert back to that.
8 Q. You talk about the participants at these meetings. And the
9 witness statement is D1680.
10 Now, you say in the middle of paragraph 19, page 6 in the
11 English, at the top:
12 "It is important to note that people who were subordinate to
13 Cermak, for instance, Knin garrison employees, did not attend these
15 But there were people there who were subordinate to Mr. Cermak;
16 for instance, like Mr. Gojanovic, Marko Gojanovic, who was his deputy.
17 Is that correct?
18 A. Not always.
19 Q. I have to correct myself. It's -- the gentleman is called
20 Marko Gojovic and not Gojanovic.
21 But when he was present, he would be a subordinate of Mr. Cermak
22 being present at these meetings?
23 A. Yes, he was his deputy, of course.
24 Q. And do you remember whether Mr. Jonjic was present, if you know
25 who Mr. Jonjic was.
1 A. I know.
2 Q. What was his function?
3 A. I don't know exactly.
4 Q. Do you know what the relationship between Mr. Cermak and Mr.
5 Jonjic was?
6 A. I believe that Mr. Cermak was Jonjic's superior.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rincic.
8 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, it might be a good moment to have the
9 break. We will have a break.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Have a break.
11 Mr. Misetic.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, there's just one issue with the --
13 with Exhibit P2644. I would ask that it receive MFI status because I
14 think the translation needs to be checked on the document.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what I -- perhaps what I should have --
16 let me just ...
17 MR. MISETIC: The issue, Mr. President, I can draw your
18 attention --
19 JUDGE ORIE: If you'd give me one moment, Mr. --
20 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There is -- you're referring to 2644 and there
22 being a translation issue. Of course, there's still a pending
23 translation issue also on another document we mentioned earlier, that is
24 P2640, where -- where the parties agreed, I think, on what the
25 translation issue was. But a formal request for -- I do understand that
1 the Cermak was intending to or even has already requested a formal
2 correction of the translation.
3 MR. KAY: I think there may be a little bit of confusion in this
4 subject --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. KAY: -- Your Honour, as to the exhibits Your Honour has just
7 mentioned there and the -- I think that we may need to look at it and
8 just identify carefully what we're talking about.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm just referring to it, because earlier we
10 were talking about selections, and apparently there may have been a
11 translation issue there as well.
12 Mr. Misetic, 2644, the translation issue --
13 MR. MISETIC: Is in the preamble. The order is not for the
14 security of the final construction works. It's in order to secure the
15 completion of construction works, and the difference is whether the
16 troops are there providing security or they're there working as physical
17 labour working on them.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I noted that in the order, the first item, that
19 there the security was not mentioned anymore and that seemed to be, well,
20 not to say directly contradicts but at least there was some tension
21 between the -- what came before, where, clearly, security is mentioned in
22 the English text; whereas, in the instruction given -- the reason why
23 they are there, that there is the -- it's the construction works
24 themselves and not providing security to those.
25 So, therefore, it struck already my eye and it certainly is
1 worthwhile to have it verified.
2 Mr. Waespi, may I take it that you would agree with that.
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I think it's on its way to Mr. Monkhouse
5 JUDGE ORIE: That's good to know.
6 MR. KAY: Your Honour, before we rise --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Misetic, have we done with it?
8 MR. MISETIC: Yeah, I just wanted to know if it would get MFI
9 status, just so it wouldn't fall off the radar.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar, would you -- for P2644, would
11 you please change the status pending the verification of the translation
12 into MFI
13 Yes. Mr. Registrar is nodding yes, so that's now on the record.
14 MR. KAY: Your Honour, it's just a matter on the transcript and
15 the translation issue at page 28, line 8. Mr. Cermak, however, did
16 know --
17 JUDGE ORIE: One second, one second. Let me just get that on my
18 screen. 28, you said line 8. Yes.
19 MR. KAY: "Mr. Cermak, however, did know." Those Croatian
20 speakers on my team have said that the word "not" was missing, that is to
21 be found -- will be found within the audio.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let me then first perhaps verify with the witness.
23 MR. KAY: "Did not know, however," is what I've just been told is
24 the phrase.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rincic, I take you back to one of your answers:
1 "The figure that we were operating with was 2 to 3 per cent. We
2 didn't know," I take it, I have to read, "what was going on. At least
3 from my point of view, I didn't know what was happening."
4 And then you said something about Mr. Cermak. Could you repeat
5 what you said about Mr. Cermak, whether he knew or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the first couple of days,
7 Mr. Cermak, just like me, I'm sure, didn't know what was happening. He
8 was not aware of those activities and events outside of Knin and around
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. May I take it that you never learned anything
11 which might show that he knew, or did you learn that he did not know? I
12 mean, if I say that someone doesn't know something, it could be two --
13 either he told me that he doesn't know, which is -- may be surprising now
14 and then because how could you tell not to know something you apparently
15 do not know. What was it? Did you never hear anything from him or did
16 you never receive any information which would allow to conclude that he
17 would have knowledge, or did you have specific information which would
18 point at a lack of knowledge?
19 Could you tell us what you meant by Mr. Cermak that, as you said,
20 that you were sure that he didn't know what was happening?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sure that Mr. Cermak didn't
22 know, because, during the first couple of days, we maintained very
23 intense contacts, we talked a lot, we discussed things. We discussed the
24 needs of pursuing various kinds of actions and taking various kinds of
25 steps to provide for a normal life in Knin. Namely, with your leave, I
1 would like to remind you that during the first couple of days in Knin the
2 conditions were extremely difficult. It took a lot of effort, and before
3 anything was done, a lot needed to be discussed and agreed, in order to
4 tidy up all the streets and areas in and around Knin.
5 The first time ever Mr. Cermak received information, he was very
6 angry and very agitated, and that's how I know when he learned about
7 those developments for the first time, and that's how I know that it took
8 some time for -- for the information to reach him. And then he --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Can you tell us when that was, in time?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most probably it was the letter
11 that was sent to him by General Forand.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. The matter has been clarified.
13 MR. KAY: I'm grateful for Your Honour clarifying.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break and we will resume at 20 minutes
15 past 4.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.54 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.24 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I would just like to put on the
19 record that where D1682 was not objected, that there was a formal request
20 to have it added to the 65 ter list but that's included in admission that
21 leave was granted.
22 MR. KAY: I'm so sorry, Your Honour. I forgot about that and I
23 had it on my list to raise. I apologise.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No problem there.
25 Mr. Waespi, please proceed.
1 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Rincic, I'd like to talk with you a little bit about your
3 background and the various functions you had, civilian and military. And
4 I think we can get through this fairly quickly. And it's based, of
5 course, on what you told us, what Defence in 1680, your witness
7 First of all, your military position in 1991, according to
8 witness statement, and this is all in paragraph 1, you were the
9 assistant -- you were an assistant commander of the 159th Brigade in
10 Zadar. You were an assistant commander for what? What was your
12 A. I was the assistant commander for logistics.
13 Q. And from when to when was that?
14 A. I was in the 159th Brigade from the establishment of the brigade,
15 and I believe that it was in the month of December 1991 to the month of
16 August or September 1992.
17 Q. And then at one time you became the commander of the
18 307th Brigade -- logistics base in Zadar. And from when to when was
20 A. When the logistics base was established, which was sometime in
21 the month of September, or maybe the month of August, 1991, until -- I
22 apologise, 1992. Until the month of April 1993.
23 Q. And who was your superior at the time, when you were commander of
24 the 307th Logistics Base?
25 A. I was the commander of the logistics base, and it was
1 subordinated to the Military District of Split, by establishment.
2 Q. And the commander was General Gotovina?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Let me turn to your civilian position.
5 In 1993/1995, according to your witness statement, between - it's
6 paragraph 1 again - between the 22nd of July, 1993, to the 30th of April,
7 1996, you were assistant minister of economy for special purpose
8 manufacturing industry.
9 Now, who was your superior, or who were your superiors?
10 A. My immediate superior was Mr. Cermak; he was the minister of
11 economy. After that, it was Nadan Vidosevic and after that it was
12 Mr. Matesa, for a very brief period of time before he became prime
13 minister. He was followed by Mr. Stern, and then during Mr. Stern's
14 office, I was assigned to another duty. I left the ministry, which means
15 that during my office, I went through four different ministers.
16 Q. And I believe Mr. Cermak was your superior in 1993 while Mr. --
17 parts of 1993, while Mr. Vidosevic was your superior in 1995?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Let's talk about your military position in 1995, and the attack
20 on Knin or your -- as it relates to you on to Benkovac, you advanced to
22 Now, you state in your witness statement, paragraph 9, that you
23 wanted to participate in Operation Oluja, and you were the advisor for
24 logistics in the 112th Brigade in Zadar.
25 Now, when did you join them, and why?
1 A. I joined them two or three days prior to the launch of Oluja.
2 Q. And --
3 A. And your question was why, and the answer is: I wanted to
4 participate in the liberation -- liberation and re-establishment of an
5 integral Croatian state.
6 Q. Who was your brigade commander?
7 A. Colonel Fuzul.
8 Q. Wasn't he, rather, the commander of the operations group, and
9 Mr. Ivkovic was your brigade commander?
10 A. I really can't remember. However, I remember that I spoke to
11 both of them.
12 Q. But you cannot distinguish who was whom, what function Mr. Fuzul
13 had, as opposed to Mr. Ivkovic?
14 A. I can distinguish between them, but I don't recall at this time.
15 I didn't consider it important. I was not a classical soldier. I was a
16 mobilised assistant minister, and a colonel.
17 Q. And what was your exact task as an advisor?
18 A. During Operation Storm and the other combat activities during
19 which I was in the army, I was in charge of logistics and had under me
20 the entire brigade of -- providing logistics support. It belonged to the
21 OG Zadar. I had extensive experience in providing logistics support
22 during war operations, specifically during Operation Maslenica. We
23 provided logistical support to 18.000 soldiers, all of whom were either
24 deployed on the front line, on the move, or resting. They all had to be
25 provided for logistically. They had to have food, footwear, clothes,
1 ammunition and everything else that comes under the logistics department.
2 Along the axis from Zadar toward Benkovac, where a great many
3 forces were deployed, I was providing support in action and expertise, in
4 an attempt to have all the soldiers participating in the operation at the
5 time as equipped logistically as possible and as safe and secure as
7 Q. Just so I understand, because in your witness statement,
8 paragraph 9, it talks about an advisory role, and, now, a moment ago, you
9 said you were in charge of logistics.
10 A. I wasn't charged with that. You misunderstand me. I was there
11 to provide assistance to logistics officers and others who were dealing
12 with logistics. A word put in where -- where it's needed can go along
14 Q. What were the assets, logistic assets of the 112th Brigade, if
15 you recall?
16 A. There was a logistics base that I was the commander of. It was
17 alive and well and providing logistics support. It was 307th Logistics
18 Battalion of the OG Zadar; I was its commander. The commander who
19 replaced me was Zeljko Dilber.
20 Q. So --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It was a base. The
22 witness said logistics base.
23 MR. WAESPI:
24 Q. So now we not only have you in an advisory role but you're now
25 the commander of the logistics battalion of OG Zadar?
1 A. I was a commander before becoming Assistant Minister. I was the
2 commander of the logistics brigade, until the month of April 2003 and
3 Operation Storm took place in 2008 [as interpreted].
4 Q. Thanks. We covered the phase 2000 -- 1992 and 1993. I'm really
5 interested in your exact role as a logistical advisor in 1995, during the
6 advance of the 112th Brigade, which you joined voluntarily, to Benkovac.
7 Were you in command or in charge of anything at the time, or merely an
9 A. I was only an advisor.
10 Q. And my question back, and perhaps you can -- maybe you answered
11 already. But the logistical assets the 112th Brigade had, was it a
12 platoon, was it a few men, was it a company, was it a battalion; do you
13 remember that?
14 A. I don't recall exactly.
15 Q. So you don't know, after so many years, what you were advising
16 about at that time?
17 A. I can't recall the precise issues, but it must have been problems
18 that arose in the field.
19 Q. Let's turn to Knin.
20 I understand that, and in paragraph 9 of your statement, that you
21 went to Knin the day after liberation, the morning of the 6th of August,
22 but, as an assistant minister of economy not as a member of the Croatian
24 Now, why did you remove your advisor hat of the 112th Brigade and
25 go to -- to Knin, back as an assistant minister of economy?
1 A. Because we had liberated Benkovac and Knin. There was no reason
2 why I should continue as an advisor. I accomplished the desired
4 Q. And you said that in paragraph 10 of your statements:
5 "When I entered Knin with my friends ..."
6 Who were your friends you entered Knin with?
7 A. I can't remember exactly who they were. Some of my friends who
8 were good at handling weapons. They were supposed to provide protection
9 for me, and cover for me during our trip to Knin. Or, rather, I was
10 there to protect their backs and they were there to protect mine.
11 Q. Were these friends part of any military unit or part of the
12 Ministry of Economy or something else?
13 A. No, those were friends from Zadar. They were members of certain
14 military units, but I can't remember which ones.
15 Q. But they were in uniform?
16 A. I was in uniform too.
17 Q. Now let's turn to your evidence about the position of Mr. Cermak.
18 In paragraph 12 of your witness statement, the second sentence,
19 you state as follows:
20 "I know what the duties of a garrison commander were because
21 there was a garrison command in Zadar."
22 So that's the basis for you talking about the duties of a
23 garrison commander, because you were, at one time, in a garrison?
24 A. The town of Zadar
25 307th Logistics Support Brigade, is a garrison. For the two years while
1 I was commander there, the commander of the garrison was Brigadier
2 Frane Saric. I knew all of his duties and tasks which had to do with
3 care for soldiers to billeted in appropriate quarters, funeral
4 arrangements for officers, et cetera. In fact, there were no daily
5 goals. It depended on the run of the garrison and life of military
6 units. I observed the garrison commander at work for two years, and I
7 could see what he was doing and what his duties were.
8 Before that, Saric was commander of the 159th Brigade for almost
9 a year, and I was his assistant for logistics. I personally knew Saric
10 very well, and I -- I was in daily contact with him during his term as
11 garrison commander.
12 Q. So that's the basis of your knowledge about what the garrison
13 commander does, what the duties are, you're observing the gentleman you
14 mentioned, Mr. Saric, back in 1992/1993?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you don't know what the regulations actually say about the
17 duties of a garrison commander? You are not familiar with those?
18 A. I wasn't interested in that at the time. There was a war on and
19 regulations was something I was least interested in.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, the Chamber is wondering, what the exact
21 knowledge of this witness about the tasks of a garrison commander, in
22 addition to what he describes in his statement, how that would assist the
24 MR. WAESPI: Yeah, I'll move on.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
1 MR. WAESPI:
2 Q. Now in paragraph 21, Mr. Rincic, the first sentence says:
3 "Mr. Cermak was not superior to the civilian and military
5 And in relation to the military police, you continue later in
6 paragraph 21:
7 "I know that the military police was directly subordinate to
8 General Lausic and Minister of Defence, Mr. Susak."
9 Now, how do you know whether Mr. Lausic or Mr. Susak was in
10 command of the military police? Did Mr. Lausic or Mr. Susak tell you
12 A. I knew them personally, but they did not convey that to me in
13 turn. I know that the military police was subordinate to Mr. Lausic and
14 Mr. Susak because, at the time when I was commander of the logistics base
15 in Zadar, I was on friendly terms with the commander of the military
16 police in Zadar, Captain Grancaric, as well as with the commander of the
17 military police in Zadar at the time when I was the commander of the
18 brigade. I knew that the garrison commander in Zadar could issue no
19 orders to the commander of the military police in Zadar, or to the
20 commander of the civilian police in Zadar for that matter.
21 The fact is that, following its liberation, Knin had the same
22 legal standing as all the other free towns in Croatia's -- Zadar,
23 Sibenik, Split
24 the civilian police force. Therefore, the civilian police in Zadar could
25 not issue any orders to the military police in Zadar. Colonel - I can't
1 remember his name at this time - but it doesn't really matter.
2 Q. So, again, your knowledge about the relationship between
3 Mr. Cermak and the military police or the civilian police stems from what
4 you know from your time back in 1992/1993. Is that fair to say?
5 A. No, that's not correct. Based on my knowledge, back from 1992
6 and 1993, and based on my first-hand experience from Knin, during my stay
7 there with Mr. Cermak and others in Knin.
8 Q. But as you said before, you have not talked to Mr. Lausic about
9 that, about the situation, as it relates to Knin 1995?
10 A. Well, we were worlds apart. He was in his world and I was in
11 mine. We didn't have occasion to speak.
12 Q. And you don't know what General Lausic told this Trial Chamber
13 about whether he commanded the military police or not, or whether
14 Mr. Cermak commanded the military police or not. You are not aware of
16 A. No.
17 Q. In relation to the subordination between Mr. Cermak and the
18 military and civilian police, you also state in paragraph 21, and I think
19 that's the last sentence:
20 "Mr. Cermak ... could only ask them to do something."
21 But you don't know, do you, whether Mr. Cermak actually ordered
22 or asked the military police or civilian police something to do?
23 A. I know that he asked them to do things and he didn't order them,
24 because he was not able to.
25 Q. Can you give me a specific instance of fact when you saw
1 Mr. Cermak asking the military or civilian police something to do?
2 A. At the meeting, at the coordination meeting for the
3 reconstruction in Knin, on the day when Mr. Cermak received a letter from
4 General Forand, I believe, the commander of the civilian police was
5 present, and he asked him to make sure that these things did not happen
6 again. I saw that with my own eyes that he kindly asked him to make sure
7 that it stopped. He wasn't able to order him anything. He asked for
8 follow-up but it was all in the form of a request.
9 Q. Who was at that meeting?
10 A. It was a long time ago. I can't remember all of the participants
11 at the meeting. I know that there was me, and, among others, the
12 commander of the police.
13 Q. What was his name?
14 A. Roman.
15 Q. And who else was present?
16 A. I can't remember. There were four, five, or six of them.
17 Q. And what were the exact words Mr. Cermak used when he asked the
18 commander of civilian police for something; can you recall that?
19 A. Come on, guys, do something, stop the arson, stop all these ill
20 deeds, so to speak.
21 Q. So he was talking to Mr. Roman or Romanic. And to whom else?
22 A. And the representative of the military police who was there. I
23 don't recall his name.
24 Q. So you recall -- can you tell me the exact words he used?
25 A. I know for a fact that he said, Please, do everything you -- to
1 make sure that it stops, for our sake.
2 Q. And stopping what?
3 A. The burning of houses and similar things. Killing.
4 Q. Killing of what?
5 A. Probably certain civilians who they believed were soldiers. I
6 don't know for sure.
7 Q. Whom are you referring to when you say "they believed were
8 soldiers." Who are "they"?
9 A. I think that "they" were the ones who did these things. It was a
10 matter for the police to find out who they were. If I was able to tell
11 you that, then I wouldn't be telling that to you but to those who need to
12 hear that.
13 Q. And before Mr. Cermak could ask, in your words, the civilian
14 police to do something, who relayed the information about the burning of
15 houses and similar things, killing? Who said that at the meeting?
16 A. I don't remember exactly who raised the issue. As soon as Cermak
17 heard that, that's what he said.
18 Q. So you don't remember who raised the issue but you do remember
19 almost exact words, at least the word "ask," from Mr. Cermak?
20 A. Yes. I was so astonished to hear of these things happen that it
21 remained etched in my memory, the moment when I learnt of these things.
22 I was surprised.
23 Q. I think you said a moment ago that this meeting was probably
24 about the letter General Cermak received from the UNPROFOR commander,
25 which was around the 11th of August; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you entered Knin on the 6th of August?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And this meeting now takes place on the 11th of August and you
5 are astonished that somebody raises the issue of burning houses to you.
6 A. Yes. And we had a meeting on the 7th, and 8th, and 9th. Nobody
7 had ever mentioned anything of the sort beforehand, and on that day, when
8 we heard of these matters, when the letter arrived, we had Cermak's
9 reaction to that. I wasn't aware of these things before.
10 Q. Now, would your opinion about Mr. Cermak's ability to issue
11 orders to the civilian or the military police change if I would show you
12 orders from Mr. Cermak, General Cermak, to the civilian police or the
13 military police?
14 A. You can show me the book of orders where Cermak may have issued
15 orders, but I know what the state of affairs in reality was and I know
16 that he couldn't issue orders to anyone, be it the military or the
17 civilian police. I'm telling you what the actual state of affairs was
18 practically speaking. Paper, what's on paper, that's quite a different
20 Q. So you accept that, while he couldn't legally issue orders, he
21 might have issued orders but that's just on paper. Is that what you're
23 A. No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is something
24 else. Those who did issue orders and who should have been issuing orders
25 on paper and who were responsible for issuing orders to the military
1 police and the civilian police, that they are the ones who you should put
2 these questions to and not this boy over here.
3 Q. By saying "boy," you're referring to whom?
4 A. I meant the Generals.
5 Q. You're here to answer questions, and I'm questioning you about
6 statements you gave to the Defence about the authority of whom you call
8 Do you understand that?
9 A. I do understand what you're saying, but you are putting to me
10 matters that I know for a fact do not stand as you put them, and perhaps
11 you misunderstand me, perhaps I misunderstand you.
12 Q. Let me just go back to my original point. Do you deny that there
13 might be written orders by General Cermak to either the civilian police
14 or the military police? Do you accept --
15 MR. KAY: Well, sorry. With all respect for my learned friend,
16 the question, "Do you deny that there might be written orders," I don't
17 think --
18 JUDGE ORIE: The answer can be -- if we put it in a direct way.
19 Do you exclude for the possibility that written orders were
20 issued by Mr. Cermak to civilian and military police?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not excluding
22 anything. I only know this: Even if he had issued an order of that kind
23 it would not have produced any effect.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No, you -- if we would -- no, no. Yes. Now you had
25 answered my question but you apparently anticipated the next one.
1 You say it would not have any effect. Why not?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because, for example, if I had
3 issued an order for them to do something, the result would have been the
4 same. Cermak was not in a position to issue orders to the military
5 police. He was not in charge of the military police.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, if you, nevertheless, would issue an
7 order, what makes you believe that it would, under all circumstances,
8 without any effect?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because, in practice, I did ask and
10 requested assistance, and based on that, the commander of the military
11 police would approve that or not, or -- and then if he was able to help
12 me, he would issue an order for assistance to be provided to me. I
13 realised in practice that that's how things ensued.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're describing, apparently, what you
15 consider to be the proper way of seeking assistance. And you say since
16 that worked, an order could not have been effective, which is a kind of
17 logic which -- why you would issue an order if you would know that it
18 would be without effect, under all circumstances? What's the -- does it
19 make any sense to do that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It does make sense, Your Honour.
21 It was a state of war and one needed to do things fast and efficiently,
22 rather than linger on and wait.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, what you're telling us, since it was a
24 war situation, you would have to act efficiently by issuing orders which
25 would necessarily be without any effect.
1 Is that the logic of your answer, or have I misunderstood you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the logic. One who is not
3 authorised to issue orders must not issue orders. He can, but without
4 any effect.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that is dictated by the war situation,
6 which was asking for efficiency in doing things.
7 Is that ...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
12 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Let's turn to your actual position in Knin.
14 And I believe you just mentioned that you yourself asked or
15 requested the assistance of the military police; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you give me an example of -- of such an instance?
18 A. We were supposed to go to a -- the source of the water for Knin,
19 which was three or four kilometres outside of Knin, it was not working
20 properly, and people from the water supply had to go there and try and
21 repair it for water to start flowing through the pipes and reach Knin,
22 and the security needed to be provided for those men. And then I asked
23 the military police to provide that detail for us on the following day,
24 because there was such a need. And then the commander of the military
25 police assigned a few individuals who were escorting the work -- workers
1 who needed to go three or four kilometres out of Knin and be safe while
2 performing their task. That was in order to prevent somebody shooting at
3 them from the woods or from a location nearby.
4 Q. Who was the commander of the military police you asked for his
6 A. Not the commander. I always addressed the duty operations
7 officer. I don't know who the commander was.
8 Q. Do you recall the name of the duty operations officer?
9 A. No. It was somebody else every six or, maybe, eight hours. It
10 was always somebody -- somebody new.
11 Q. How often would you use the services of the military police?
12 A. There was that one instance with the water supply; another
13 involving telephone cables; then there was the railway situation. As far
14 as I can remember, it was three or four times.
15 Q. And all these three or four times you were provided with
16 assistance from the military police?
17 A. I think that the civilian police officers helped me once or
18 twice. It was either/or. It really didn't matter who they were, as long
19 as they carried arms.
20 Q. Was ever a request from your side, either to the military police
21 or civilian police, denied?
22 A. Not directly. Sometimes I had to wait for the service to be able
23 to provide me with men. Sometimes I couldn't do things immediately the
24 following day. I had to wait for a day or two and things needed then to
25 be postponed by a day or two.
1 Q. But you eventually got what you wanted.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, you said in your statement, paragraph 14, that
4 you wanted to open a Ministry of Economy branch in Knin. And I think you
5 then go on to say that you were "... officially sent to Knin as
6 coordinator for the economy."
7 Now you were given two officers and a secretary as support staff.
8 Do you remember the names and the ranks of these two officers?
9 A. I don't know. I didn't say that I was assigned officers. I got
10 people from the Ministry of Economy, officials, civilians, and a
11 secretary. They were not military officers.
12 Q. In -- yes, there might be a translation or English issue.
13 In your witness statement, in the middle of paragraph 14, it
14 talks about two officers. But these were employees of the Ministry of
16 And -- is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And they were assigned to you throughout the period you were in
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You remember the names?
22 A. Oto Jungwurth, a man; Sandra, whose family name I can't remember
23 at the moment. She was a lady whose name you can check with the
24 ministry. It shouldn't be difficult. And another gentleman whose name I
25 can't remember, but if need be, I can supply you with their names
2 Q. And you also say -- state that you had the official Ministry of
3 Economy stamp and the stationery with the letterhead. Now that very much
4 looks like a civilian position you had at that time in Knin.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But how come, then, that you signed documents on behalf of
7 General Cermak, and you signed them -- and we have seen a couple
8 introduced in examination-in-chief. You signed these reports on the
9 official Knin garrison command letterhead as a Colonel Rincic.
10 How do you explain that?
11 A. Because of the war situation that was still pretty much on, in
12 reality, to provide for the effectiveness and the speed when it comes to
13 dealing with problems. When something had to be done, using Mr. Cermak's
14 name did the trick. Mr. Cermak's name was very strong, so using his name
15 would get things done much faster than using the title the Ministry of
17 I hope you understand me when I say that his name was strong. He
18 was respected. And if I needed something to be done quickly, I would use
19 Mr. Cermak's name. If I hadn't, things would not have happened as
21 Q. And I think you said earlier, you yourself were in uniform at
22 that time?
23 A. In the office I did not wear a uniform, and I did not carry arms.
24 However, if I had to go on a field mission, I would wear a uniform for my
25 own safety. I felt much safer wearing a uniform than wearing civilian
2 Q. And I believe on occasion you did introduce yourself as
3 Mr. Cermak's assistant or deputy; is that correct?
4 A. Not officially. In my official capacity I never introduced
5 myself as Mr. Cermak's assistant. Perhaps -- no, I didn't. No.
6 Q. But, unofficially, it's possible, as you recall today, that you
7 might have introduced yourself as the assistant or deputy of Mr. Cermak?
8 A. I did not introduce myself as such. However, in some dangerous
9 situations I wanted to make that impression, because it made me feel
10 safer. When my life might have been at risk, I felt safer if I made such
11 an impression. My life was at risk, you know. As a civilian, I could
12 have been shot at.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rincic. Two final topics.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, if you have dealt with this topic.
15 Could I seek clarification of your last answer.
16 You said: "As a civilian I could have been shot at."
17 Could you explain who would shoot at you as a civilian?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it could have been anybody,
19 on any of the sides, in confusion, in fear. Maybe they could have
20 perceived me as -- as threat.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The enemy troops remained behind in
23 the woods or in some other areas, you know.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And you would expect them to first fire at
25 civilians, but wearing a military uniform, you would not be a target for
1 enemy troops?
2 Is that how I have to understand your answer?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's what I believed at the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
7 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Let's go to the issue of the Tvik factory.
9 In paragraph 25 of your witness statement, you talk about that,
10 and I think one of the reports you introduced -- or which was introduced
11 with you, talked about the factories.
12 In paragraph 25, you say -- state as follows, the last five
14 "I was very pleasantly surprised when I went to the Tvik factory
15 which was manufacturing ammunition for the RSK army and the JA and saw
16 that more than 800 machines were intact and in working order."
17 Now, when did you go to the factory?
18 A. Two or three days after my arrival in Knin, when I started
19 working on reviving the economy in Knin.
20 Q. And how do you know that the Tvik factory was manufacturing
22 A. In two ways. There were two things that confirmed my knowledge
23 about the production of ammunition.
24 First of all, we found some incomplete, unfinished ammunition of
25 different calibre, and they were never finished because the production
1 was interrupted by Operation Storm.
2 Q. Can you --
3 A. And the second thing was that we found in the administration
4 building a thank-you note from Captain Dragan, who is currently in
6 supplying his units. And we also found a thank-you note from some other
7 units; I can't remember which ones exactly. They also thanked Tvik
8 factory for supplying them with ammunition.
9 Q. Did you tell that to the gentlemen who interviewed you on behalf
10 of Mr. Cermak, when you met them end of March, early April, that you
11 found thank-you notes from Captain Dragan thanking them for supplying his
13 A. No. They didn't ask me that so I didn't tell them. But the
14 thank-you note is still there with Mr. Bozo Jusup in Zadar, who is the
15 managing director of Tankerkomerc. He wanted to keep it as a souvenir.
16 It still exists.
17 Q. Mr. Bozo Jusup, he is living in Zadar?
18 A. Jusup, yes.
19 Q. Can you get these notes, these thank-you letters?
20 A. If he still has them, I might. You know, all that happened
21 15 years ago.
22 Q. I thought you said a moment ago it still exists.
23 A. It was just my assumption that it still exists, my assumption
24 that he still has those documents.
25 Q. Now, these unfinished ammunitions, what kind of ammunition was
1 that you saw when you visited the Knin factory -- the Tvik factory?
2 A. I saw casings for automatic weapons in baskets, in -- in a very
3 large number. For machine-guns.
4 Q. And why do you say these casings were produced in Tvik, in the
5 Tvik factory? Did you see machines?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You have --
8 A. Tvik is a huge factory. It has all sorts of machinery, presses,
9 metal machines. I was the Assistant Minister for special-purpose
10 production, for the production of ammunition, grenades, machine-guns,
11 ammunition, and I know that Tvik could produce all that.
12 Q. Sorry, I didn't get that. You were the Assistant Minister for
13 special-purpose protection for grenades, machine-gun ammunition?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That's the first time I hear that.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Wouldn't it be something worth mentioning in your witness
18 statement, the official title of your role as an assistant commander?
19 I just don't see in your --
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. -- witness statement any mentioning that you were the assistant
22 minister for special purpose in relation to grenades, machine-gun,
23 ammunition. But perhaps you can guide me. Perhaps it's a translation,
24 or interpretation issue?
25 A. It must be there. Let me -- let me show you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: If I may assist, Your Honour, paragraph 1, and
3 line 12 and 13 of witness statement.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, half of it, apparently, is there.
5 Special-purpose manufacturing industry. It says special purpose which is
6 certainly an indication --
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'm looking at the --
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- which goes in that direction.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: -- looking at the Croatian version of the
10 statement of the original one.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Is there a difference?
12 MR. MIKULICIC: No, there is no difference, but there's a special
13 wording in it which, for the native speaker, is almost at the first sight
14 clear what kind of production is. So "namjenska proizvodnja" means
15 exactly -- but I think that the witness could explain.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, the issue only was apparently
17 credibility of the witness.
18 Mr. Waespi, do you want to further explore that --
19 MR. WAESPI: No, no, I'm -- I'm fine.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- or do you accept that at least --
21 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- special production is specifically mentioned in
23 the witness's statement as -- as part of his responsibility although not
24 with the details, as he just told us.
25 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
1 Q. Let me go back to the machine. So you're saying when you visited
2 the Tvik factory, you say that you saw that casket full of machine-gun
3 ammunition and you saw machinery capable of producing that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you make a report about that?
6 A. No, it wasn't necessary. I didn't think that it was necessary,
7 you know. It was a notorious fact that in the so-called Republic of
8 Srpska Krajina that they were manufacturing for their so-called army, and
9 at the moment when I found that, I did not see anything out of the
10 ordinary. It was normal.
11 Q. You went -- you were sent down there to check the state of the
12 factory. And I suggest to you it was certainly very, very useful, even
13 for the Croatian Army, having liberated this area to know that there is
14 still an existing machinery capable of producing ammunition. And you're
15 the specialised minister, as we just heard. You didn't think it was
16 important to bring that to the attention of your superiors?
17 A. No. I believed that that factory was extremely important for us
18 and that's why Minister Vidosevic appointed me as the president of the
19 steering committee of that factory, where over 300 people found
20 employment in a very short period of time. I was the coordinator of the
21 revitalisation of the factory. It didn't -- really did not matter to me
22 what the factory was producing for the Republic of Serbian Krajina
23 mattered was what the factory would go on producing for the Republic of
25 Q. Just to clarify your question [sic]. Your first words in your
1 response, you accept that you did not inform your superiors that you
2 found a functioning machine capable of producing ammunition in the Tvik
3 factory; is that correct?
4 A. Those were universal machines that were capable of producing
5 nails, bolts and casings. Those were not special machines that could
6 only produce weapons. A good handyman could produce even a violin on any
7 of these machines. I only reported back to my superiors that the
8 machinery was good, in working order, and that we could use it for
9 anything, and I left it to them to see what they wanted to do in the
10 factory. And they decided -- I did report back to my superiors what kind
11 of machinery I found on the ground and what they were capable of
13 What I said, that it didn't matter, was what had been produced in
14 the past. To be honest, I could not even say with 100 per cent certainty
15 that they had produced ammunition, because I wasn't there. I did not
16 witness that with my own two eyes.
17 Q. You just saw a functioning machine there, capable of producing
18 anything from a violin to a grenade?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. WAESPI: Perhaps that's a good moment, Mr. President, for the
23 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break and we'll resume -- could you
24 give us an indication, Mr. Waespi, as to how much time would you still
1 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I think it's only about ten minutes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And looking at the other parties, is there any
3 chance that we could conclude the testimony of this witness today?
4 MR. KAY: Certainly.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Certainly.
6 Then we'll have a break and resume at five minutes to 6.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, please proceed.
10 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. You knew, Mr. Rincic, Mr. Gotovina fairly well; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. He was your -- your commander when you were in command of the
14 logistics base?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you also have private trips to see him in 1995, around the
17 time when you had private trips to see General Ademi, or maybe
18 Colonel Ademi, at that time?
19 A. No. Because he wasn't there. At least he wasn't in Knin when I
20 was there.
21 Q. Now, did you ever --
22 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I think the Defence of
23 General Gotovina has an objection to my next question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I do not know yet what your question. Neither
25 do I know of the objection. So this is a very pleasant situation.
1 MR. KEHOE: We -- I thank my colleague for bringing this up. I
2 did question this line of inquiry. I don't know if it is appropriate.
3 Maybe we can ask the witness if he speaks English, Judge, and I can
4 possibly discuss this very briefly.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rincic, do you understand English?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, though I can't be fully
7 certain that I understand what is being said.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe is always so clear in his language that,
9 unfortunately, Mr. Rincic, I have to ask you to briefly leave the
10 courtroom, because a matter will be discussed now which you're supposed
11 not to be privy with. So if could you please follow the usher for a
12 second, and then we hope that it will be as short as possible.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, wouldn't it be best that we first hear
15 what question Mr. Waespi had on his mind so that we can understand your
17 MR. KEHOE: I agree, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
19 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 The issue I wanted to raise with the witness was 65 ter 7423.
21 That's a newspaper report about the fact that Mr. Rincic was considered a
22 suspect in relation to the fugitive status of General Gotovina in 1994,
23 and his house was raided, according to newspaper --
24 JUDGE ORIE: 1994 was --
25 MR. WAESPI: I'm sorry --
1 MR. KEHOE: 2004.
2 JUDGE ORIE: 2004, yes.
3 MR. WAESPI: -- 2004. Newspaper dates 27 September 2004. So
4 according to the newspaper article, the house of the witness was raided
5 and the investigation interrogation was ongoing and I want to ask the
6 witness whether he was ever involved in helping General Gotovina to avoid
7 justice and --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If that's the question you'd like to put, we'd
9 like to hear the objection. Mr. Kehoe.
10 MR. KEHOE: Well, the objection, Mr. President, is, with these
11 documents, the good-faith basis when the Prosecution knows that the
12 witness was brought in, questioned and released, and never charged. And
13 what the Prosecution is attempting to do is somehow bring in some
14 conspiratorial agreement between this witness and my client that goes
15 into assisting General Gotovina during this time-frame. The fact of the
16 matter is that the witness was questioned and released.
17 So I don't quite understand, Mr. President, you know, this
18 happens throughout the world people, where questioned and released, and
19 does that the subject of inquiry in a criminal case? I suspect there is
20 no court in the world that allows that, if I may.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
22 MR. KEHOE: I shouldn't say that, Mr. President. Maybe that is a
23 little -- maybe that's a little over the top.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- give us the --
25 MR. KEHOE: Certainly --
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- first the --
2 MR. KEHOE: Certainly there is no basis under these
3 circumstances, Mr. President, to go into an issue where someone is
4 brought into a station, questioned and released. It is an entirely
5 different circumstance if the person is charged and there are criminal
6 proceedings ongoing. That didn't happen here.
7 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
9 MR. WAESPI: Two points. First of all, my house has never been
10 raided. I don't know about Mr. Kehoe's house --
11 MR. KEHOE: Yet. Yet. Your house hasn't been raided yet.
12 That's right.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Don't -- don't give up the hope, Mr. Waespi. Yes.
14 MR. WAESPI: So, that is a pretty significant event, for which
15 any police has to have whatever sense is probable cause. That's number
17 Number two, it shows the -- indeed the connection between this
18 witness and the accused, whom he volunteered to call "boys," and I think
19 it is important to point that out to -- to the Trial Chamber. And he can
20 explain what it was, for how long he has been interrogated, whether there
21 was indeed probable cause, whether they found something or didn't find
22 something, and I think it is only fair that I raise this issue with this
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me first briefly comment on the use of the
25 term "boys."
1 From the transcript, I think, and also from what I heard, there
2 was a reference to "this boy." Apparently referring to Mr. Cermak.
3 That's at least how I understood it. And I noted that when you later
4 referred to that, you were talking in the plural. Whereas I understood
5 it to be exclusively in relation to Mr. Cermak.
6 Now, that, of course, may not be decisive, but at least, since
7 Mr. -- since the issue apparently you're raising concerns not Mr. Cermak
8 but only Mr. Gotovina that might -- the reference to "boy" might
9 therefore not strictly apply.
10 MR. WAESPI: On this point, Mr. President, on line -- page 46,
11 24, the witness said: "... and not this boy over here." And I asked by
12 saying "boy" you are referring to whom.
13 And he answered, at least in the English interpretation: "I
14 meant the Generals."
15 JUDGE ORIE: If that's correct, then he moved to the plural which
16 I then missed. Let me just ...
17 Could you please repeat the page and --
18 MR. WAESPI: Page 46.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Page 46, yes. One second, please.
20 MR. WAESPI: [Indiscernible] the word "boy."
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm there already in 46.
22 MR. WAESPI: Page 47, line 1.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one second.
24 Yes, you're right. Again, there I understood -- it was my
25 recollection that it was said "the General."
1 But let's not -- it's not the core issue.
2 Any further thing in response to what Mr. Kehoe said?
3 Mr. Mikulicic.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, just to be of some assistance to the
5 Chamber. As a native speaker, I heard the witness said "decki" which in
6 the context of his speech should be translated as "guys," not "boys." So
7 I think the proper translation of his word should be "guys," not "boys."
8 JUDGE ORIE: At least atone other occasion his words were
9 translated as "guys."
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Right.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps he used the same word there, but I noticed
12 word "guys" was used.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: Because it's a kind of, you know, slang speech,
14 kind of colloquial speech. When someone is using the word "decki" in
15 Croatian, literally the right translation is "boys" --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, at least --
17 MR. MIKULICIC: -- but this is meant to be guys in that context.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You propose that the translation in this
19 context would be -- that's your proposition. I'm not commenting on you
20 but you know that --
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- the final authority for translations, and I never
23 had any problem if someone would express views on sometimes improving or
24 suggesting other translations, but what it is, is finally in the hands --
25 but we have carefully listened to your observations, Mr. Mikulicic.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And we --
3 MR. MIKULICIC: It's kind of fine-tuning translation,
4 Your Honour, if I may say so.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that doesn't change the matter, that even
6 for fine-tuned translation, that the Chamber finally relies on the
7 CLSS --
8 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm aware of it.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- and interpreters who are doing such a great job
10 here. But I do understand that you, as a native-speaking person, have
11 raised some issues in relation to the use of the word "boys" in
12 translation of the word you just mentioned.
13 That's on the record. That's clear. Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
16 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, just one last comment with regard to
17 this line of inquiry. This is a witness for the Cermak Defence, and
18 given this is the Cermak Defence, what's the relevance with regard to
19 General Gotovina?
20 And clearly this is being brought to bear during the Gotovina
21 case if -- or against General Gotovina. And consequently given the state
22 of the proceedings it is simply not relevant given the fact that this was
23 a witness put up by General Cermak.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although the evidence this witness gives is
25 not excluded from being evaluated in the case against Mr. Gotovina, or is
1 it your view that it is?
2 MR. KEHOE: No. My view is that I think that if the Prosecution
3 wanted to go into something along this line on their case somehow going
4 into, you know, some type of conspiratorial agreement to -- while
5 General Gotovina was a fugitive, then that is something they have put on
6 in their case. I'm not saying that the Court or the Chamber should dice
7 and splice each individual item concerning what is put forth by the
8 respective Defences, but this is clearly, clearly being pointed at my
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's clear.
11 Mr. Kay, it is your witness who is cross-examined by Mr. Waespi
13 MR. KAY: Yes, and --
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- and is there anything you would like to add
15 because I first wanted to --
16 MR. KAY: I'm grateful, Your Honour, having now been enlightened
17 on the issue which I did not know was going to be raised.
18 This is called a so-called credibility issue and the fact is that
19 the Prosecution are relying on a newspaper report rather than source
20 material that defines the so-called credibility issue, which is the fact
21 that there was some sort of police inquiry out of which no charges arose.
22 In my submission, that puts to rest the credibility issue, as far
23 as this matter goes.
24 I must say, in my code of conduct where I come from, you're not
25 allowed to do this kind of thing. If you have such information, it in
1 fact does not go to a witness's credibility and it offends against the
2 bar council's codes of conduct. We had an example of that yesterday with
3 the particular witness where some information was found from somewhere or
4 other, I'm not actually sure where even now, and we had a big inquiry and
5 now the witness came out and said, Well, actually I won this case and
6 there was no finding against me.
7 What is happening here is people's characters are being blackened
8 before this Court than is actually in opposition to people giving
9 evidence. I can tell the Court that, that people are concerned about
10 what goes on in such a way, and it's a deterrent for the truth to come
11 out in this Court.
12 In my submission, the Court has duty to consider the interests of
13 witnesses. This is just one such a situation, where the so-called
14 credibility issue amounted to nothing. It is not a credibility issue
15 because the authorities in the police did not charge this man with
16 anything. The fact that you may be arrested, questioned or your house
17 searched is a matter of criminal procedure. That does not mean that are
18 you a man of bad character or that you are a man who has committed any
19 sort of offence. Quite the opposite, in fact, because nothing further
20 came from it, and the Prosecution know that as a fact.
21 But in trying to use other materials, what is happening here, in
22 my submission, is not good for justice and not right for witnesses, and
23 does not assist these proceedings or show them in a good light.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, could I ask you how familiar you are
25 with the follow-up of the raid and the questioning of Mr. Rincic? Have
1 you inquired into whether there was ever a prosecution? If not, do you
2 know the reasons why he was not prosecuted?
3 MR. WAESPI: We made a Google search, and found another article
4 in Slobodna Dalmacija, the next day, where Mr. Rincic kind of admits to
5 what happened, and he said that he was later released, he said in a phone
6 interview to this newspaper, and accepted that he was -- that police
7 interview with him lasted all night, and that -- and I just quote from
8 this article:
9 "They explored the possible connection to my people who helped
10 hide Ante Gotovina," and so on.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's not an answer to my question.
12 MR. WAESPI: But that's as far as I could -- I did my inquiries,
13 no more.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and you didn't ask for, I hardly dare to say,
15 for the Official Note which may have been taken at that moment in order
16 to give further information about what he may have told and ...
17 MR. WAESPI: That could be -- sometimes after witnesses leave we
18 make follow-up RFAs and this could be, depending on whether you allow me
19 to question the witness on what his answers are.
20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, with all due respect to counsel on
21 this, and I don't want to speak for Mr. Kay, but I do believe this
22 witness's name has been disclosed to the Prosecution for some time. I
23 will turn to my learned friend. I don't know exactly what the date was
24 but I do recall it being sometime in the late spring, if I'm not
1 MR. KAY: When we filed our Rule 65 ter list of witnesses, which
2 was in March -- May. May.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will not allow you to put this question
6 to the witness, Mr. Waespi. However, there's another thing that came to
7 our mind, which is the following. Yesterday -- or, yes, I think it was
8 yesterday, where the witness was able to explain that -- how this whole
9 matter ended up in court, an option would be, the Chamber is not
10 insisting on it, but I could ask the witness that, During the break it
11 was brought to our attention that once your house was raided and you were
12 questioned, is there anything you'd like to bring to our attention, in
13 relation to that?
14 And if he then starts explaining why he was not prosecuted, then
15 I would think it would even be good to know that. I would not
16 immediately expect him to say, I was questioned and, of course, what I
17 did was to assist Mr. Gotovina. That's not the question I consider
18 most -- the answer mostly likely to be expected.
19 That came to my mind. I'm, at the same time, hesitant to do such
20 a thing, but I'm seeking here the input of the parties and the ruling is
21 clear, we will not allow Mr. Waespi to ...
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I understand that Your Honour --
23 Your Honours' questions in this regard, but this issue is directed
24 towards my client and it has real -- at this point, absolutely no
25 relevance to these proceedings so -- and given the fact that nothing
1 happened and we don't have anything else, we would object and ask the
2 Chamber just to preclude the Prosecution from asking the question and
3 move on to another subject.
4 MR. WAESPI: Can I just --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Other parties.
6 Mr. Kay.
7 MR. KAY: Again, I think it's a relevance issue. Once we look at
8 this for what it's worth, Your Honour, and in my submission, the Court
9 really should be focussed on his evidence rather this kind of side issue
10 in relation to character --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. KAY: -- of the Prosecutor.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, anything you would like to add?
14 MR. MIKULICIC: No, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
16 MR. WAESPI: The relevance issue is, as pointed out by Mr. Kay,
17 the character and the credibility of the witness, and that is not a side
18 issue. That is as important the truthfulness, the transparency of where
19 these witnesses are coming from, the allegiance to the accused, to
20 anybody, is very important for Your Honours. And I understand I'm not
21 allowed to go into that, but the relevance issue is certainly not the
22 crucial point, in my submission.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Having consulted my colleagues, the Chamber cannot
25 conclude that there's no relevance at all in such a question. At the
1 same time, irrelevant -- irrelevance is not such that I would proceed
2 along the lines that came to my mind for five seconds and which I shared
3 with you, so, therefore, we'll invite the witness to come back and you
4 may move on, Mr. Waespi, with your next topic.
5 MR. WAESPI: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, the witness will come back into the
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rincic, sometimes lawyers --
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- need close to ten minutes to find out that they
12 have no further questions for you, and you had to wait all this time.
13 Mr. Waespi has concluded his cross-examination. I'll now address
14 the other parties whether there is any need to re-examine the witness.
15 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I have no re-examination.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. KEHOE: Just very briefly, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Rincic. I just would like to ask you about
21 some of the questions that you were -- specifically questions that you
22 were asked by Mr. Waespi concerning assistance to railway workers and
23 matters of that nature.
24 I would like to show you 65 ter 4451.
25 MR. KEHOE: And, Mr. President, just for the record, this is --
1 this has -- parts of this have been put in evidence already. It is a --
2 the log-book of the 72nd Military Police Battalion. All of it has not
3 been translated, I have to guide the Court in that regard. But I would
4 like the -- excuse me, yes. It's the Knin Company. I have just been
5 advised that the 72nd Military Police Battalion -- and if we could as
6 part of this, if we could put page 5 of the B/C/S and page 1 of the third
7 translation on the screen.
8 Q. I'd like to show you three entries here, Mr. Rincic, and then
9 just ask you a question. You can see the entry for the 72nd Military
10 Police Battalion, the Knin company, on 12th/13th of August, 1995, at the
11 top, entry 1. Request by the Knin garrison to escort railway employees
12 to Zitnice. If we can turn our attention to page 8 in the B/C/S --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just try to understand what you're putting.
16 We're talking about 12th/13th of August, yes. I would just like to read
17 what you put to the witness so that I --
18 MR. KEHOE: It is entry number 1.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. KEHOE: And --
21 JUDGE ORIE: If you would let me read.
22 MR. KEHOE: Yes, I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if we could turn to page 8 in the
25 B/C/S and page 4 in this third translation. And at the bottom block for
1 August the 16th, get the English. We have the bottom block, yes, towards
2 the bottom is the 16th, and I believe that is a request from Mr. Rincic
3 for military police to provide security for the Croatian post and
4 telecommunications employees.
5 Q. I believe you referred to that previously, Mr. Rincic.
6 MR. KEHOE: And we have -- if can turn to page 10 in the B/C/S
7 and page 6 in this third translation. And if we look at the bottom of
8 that page -- the first -- yes, that's it, good. Okay.
9 Q. And if we look at the entry number 2 there for the
10 18th of August, we have you, Mr. Rincic, requesting five or six policemen
11 to be sent to secure the HZ, being the Croatian railway employees.
12 Now, Mr. Rincic, when you were talking about those types of
13 requests for the military police, are these the types of matters that you
14 were referring to as we see in this log?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we will to offer
17 65 ter 4451, this third translation, which, again, is a -- in the 12
18 pages in this there are translations so the Court can see the context of
19 these entries.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: No objections.
23 MR. KAY: No objection.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you already assign a number for
3 this document to be MFI
4 The reason for that, Mr. Kehoe, being that we have carefully
5 finds what exactly is selected, what is evidence.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: There is no issue about admission as such but that's
8 rather to clearly define what we have in evidence.
9 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1684, marked
12 for identification.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 One additional question in relation to this, Mr. Rincic, we see
15 in this entry it says: "Rincic ZM."
16 Have idea what that stands for?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably the individual who
18 wrote this assumed that I was a soldier. Perhaps that was his
19 understanding of who I was.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not everyone was aware of the fact
22 that I was in charge of --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rincic, I didn't ask you about any thoughts
24 behind the person who may have written this but what the letters ZM could
25 stand for.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To me, it seems -- Zdenko is my
2 first name, so there you have a Z there, but I wouldn't be able to tell
3 you what exactly this means.
4 JUDGE ORIE: There is no M in your first name, is there?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Can you imagine any other meaning of ZM? Was that a
7 usual abbreviation for something?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, normally that's how
9 I sign my name, Rincic Zdenko. Perhaps he mistook my name for something
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did it come to your mind in the last
12 minute or last minute and a half that it could also be Zborno Mjesto?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Perhaps.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I asked you whether it came to your mind. I think
15 you can answer that question if ...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It did, but it doesn't make sense
17 that this is what it should state.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that answer.
19 Any further questions?
20 MR. KEHOE: Nothing further, Mr. President. Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Kinis has one or more questions for you.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE KINIS: Mr. Rincic, in your statement in paragraph 28 and
25 paragraph 30, you mentioned how many tasks you were carried out under
1 leadership of General Cermak.
2 My question is -- maybe it will consist by two parts. The first
3 is: I would like to know who participate in this activities? Was there
4 some labour force or was there -- was there soldiers who participate in
5 these activities just cleaning up and transport and feeding and so on and
6 so forth.
7 And the second question is: Who finances this operations,
8 really? Do you have some budget for -- for this garrison command, or how
9 it was organised at that time?
10 A. Let me be specific. I recollect that when it came to the
11 clearing up of the streets in Knin that were overflowing with rubble and
12 for the cleaning up of apartment blocks and flats, with coordination from
13 Mr. Cermak, volunteers of the Red Cross were engaged, as well as various
14 associations from Zagreb
15 cleaning. The support was provided by the civilian police, in terms of
16 lorries. Others, who were able to, also provided support. Assistance
17 was sought from units, and even from UNPROFOR itself. They provided some
18 support too. UNPROFOR was stationed in the vicinity of Knin, in
20 As for financial support, when needed, we sought assistance from
21 public utility companies from the town of Sibenik to step in, the town of
22 Sibenik being the closest, as well as from the towns of Zadar and Split
23 In other words, public utility companies of the surrounding
24 towns, of the towns nearby, were the ones that were most involved in the
25 cleaning exercise.
1 JUDGE KINIS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rincic, I have a few questions for you about the
4 You were asked whether it was the Knin-Gracac railway. And you
5 said: "Also" -- that's at least what was -- what I remember. And I'm
6 just checking that. The problem is that the word "also" does not appear
7 in the WordWheel.
8 Are you aware of any other railway repair jobs that were done
9 under security provided by the military police?
10 A. The entire railway line from Slunj to Knin, which had previously
11 been occupied, was in a bad state of repair in many places.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And --
13 A. And the task was given for the whole line to be repaired, not
14 just for the Gracac-Knin section to be repaired.
15 JUDGE ORIE: But I was specifically asking about security
16 provided not only for that portion but for other railway works, or
17 repairs as well.
18 A. Really, I can't remember at the moment.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And how do I have to understand the security?
20 Because I take it, were they working 24 hours a day, or was this a day
21 shift? And how was this security then organised, in relation to these
22 repair jobs?
23 A. It was mostly day shifts. They did not work during the night, so
24 they did not have to be secured.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And would, then, the security report in the
1 morning in Knin, or at the relevant portion of the railway line, or ...
2 A. Well, it depended on where they came from, where the repair
3 workers came from. If they came from Split, as they were entering Knin,
4 they would meet up with them and then they headed together towards the
5 point that was being repaired. If they came from the northern part, then
6 they would meet perhaps -- if they, for example, came from Karlovac, from
7 the Croatian railway branch in Karlovac, then they would meet up
8 somewhere in the north, near Udbina, which is north of Knin, for example.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Now would -- providing such security, was that more
10 or less a routine or was it exceptional?
11 A. It was exceptional; it was not a matter of routine.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And in total, how many -- how many days -- I
13 don't know perhaps the right English expression, but how many man days,
14 that is, how many -- if we're talking about three days, five men, that
15 makes 15 man days. How much was, in total, involved in the security on
16 these railway lines? Could you give an estimate, if you know.
17 A. During the period covering 15/16 and 17 days, the security was
18 needed for seven to eight days, even more than that. Even longer.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And you said three to four people.
20 A. I was not the only person in charge of the repair of the railway
21 line. The area was simply too large, and it covered over 100 kilometres.
22 There were several individuals involved in the task. Mr. Cermak also
23 looked after the railway line, and it was not that I knew everything,
24 every detail of the exercise. The managing director of the Croatian
25 railways and the executive directors of the Croatian railway branches in
1 the neighbouring towns, we were all involved in that huge task.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Was a request for security for this type of work
3 ever denied by the military police? I mean not postponed but denied.
4 A. As far as I know, it didn't happen.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 I'd like to move to another subject.
7 You talked about that meeting, where, apparently, the letter sent
8 by General Forand was discussed and where you said that Mr. Cermak
9 expressed that this should stop or requested that it should stop, and
10 when asked, What should stop, you included killing. And then you gave
11 one answer, which I would like to briefly further explore with you.
12 You said, when asked who "they" were, they who had to stop. You
13 said: "Certain civilians, they believed that" -- no. You were talking
14 about certain civilians being killed and then you said:
15 "They believed that they were soldiers," and you were referring
16 to the perpetrators of the killing.
17 You said: "They believed."
18 Then you were asked by Mr. Waespi who "they "were. And then you
20 "If I would know, I would have told those who ought to know."
21 Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Now, if you do not know who the perpetrators are,
24 how could you know that they thought that the civilians that were killed,
25 that they believed that they were soldiers?
1 A. Maybe you didn't understand me properly. That's what I believed
2 at the moment when I heard the information.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But my question is: You express your views on
4 what those who apparently committed killings, what they believed;
5 whereas, you don't know who they are.
6 A. I said that when I heard the information, I believed that those
7 persons, those individuals, had believed that they were killing soldiers.
8 It would not have made any sense for them to be killing civilians.
9 Having put all in that way, I suppose that what I believed at the time
10 was wrong, within that context, because it turned out later that things
11 were actually different.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you explain that last -- what was different?
13 A. Later on, I learned, or I understood, that people who were killed
14 were not soldiers but some other individuals. And that's why I said that
15 if I knew who had killed them, I would have turned them in immediately.
16 If I had known who they were, I would have turned them in immediately, at
17 the moment when I learned what they had done.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Rincic, your initial answer was, about the
19 killings to be stopped, that these were civilians killed by persons who
20 believed they were soldiers.
21 Your last answer, in which you say it turned out to be different,
22 you said they turned out to be civilians. That's not in way different
23 from what you earlier said, and I'm exploring what is at the basis of
24 your testimony where you say that persons unknown killed civilians but,
25 as you said, they believed them to be soldiers.
1 How could you know, or how could we know, if you don't know who
2 they are, whether they initially killed civilians, or whether they killed
3 civilians, believing that they were soldiers? How can we know; how can
4 you know?
5 A. I was convinced that there were no civilians around Knin, that
6 the only people who might have been there were some soldiers who had
7 stayed behind. During those two or three initial days, I could not even
8 believe that there were any civilians there. I believed that all
9 civilians had already left. At least that's what could be heard on the
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
12 A final brief subject. Did you move around in town the first day
13 when you were in Knin?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever see household appliances not in
16 apartment buildings but outside apartment buildings? And I'm not talking
17 refrigerators but, for example, television sets, perhaps washing
18 machines, furniture?
19 Did you ever see that on the -- on the streets?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 JUDGE ORIE: What did you think about that? What came to your
22 mind when you saw that?
23 A. Just like we said before, that people were leaving Knin, people
24 who had resided there, and that whatever they could not carry, they threw
25 out of their apartments in order to destroy those things. They didn't
1 simply want anybody who was going to move into their apartments to make
2 use of those things. That's what occurred to me.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do I have to understand that if, for example,
4 we're talking about television sets, they were all destroyed? They are
5 not perhaps still functioning?
6 A. The fact is that you could not even spend a night in Knin,
7 because in those abandoned flats, you could not see any furniture. There
8 were no appliances. Everything had either been taken away or thrown out.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me then -- do we agree that you can see
10 the difference if a television set is a thrown out of the window or when
11 it's put on the pavement. Would you agree that that can be seen, the
12 difference between?
13 A. Yes, of course. Because if you throw out something, if you throw
14 it out of the window, then you break it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. May I then take it that, in view of your
16 explanation, that television sets you may have seen on the pavement were
17 all destroyed, were not, from the outside, looking as if they were still
18 in a condition that they possibly could be used?
19 A. They were broken. They could not be used. At least that's what
20 I could see. That's my assessment.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 One very last item.
23 You told us about the Tvik factory where, as I understood you
24 well, half products, casings were found. Did you find any ammunition
25 which was already ready to be sold, so fully produced, not a half product
1 but in its end stage?
2 Did you find any of those?
3 A. No, we didn't find any such products.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you this because if you see a half
5 products in a situation as you described, then Mr. Waespi asked you, but
6 it looked rather obvious to me that if in such a factory you find these
7 half products and that is apparently where they are produced or will be
8 further produced.
9 Now, talking about production, I wondered, but please give your
10 comment, that, with a -- perhaps not fully unexpected but at least with a
11 military operation which came to some extent as a surprise, the time not
12 being known, it would surprise me if all of the fully produced ammunition
13 could have been taken out in time under those circumstances.
14 Do you have any explanation as to why you found only half
15 products and where nothing fully produced was found?
16 A. They needed any finished products, to use them against us as we
17 were advancing towards Knin. They had ample time to take everything. We
18 didn't find a single pistol, a single gun. We didn't find any weapons.
19 They had taken everything away.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were weapons produced as well in the Tvik
21 factory, according to your knowledge?
22 A. No. There was no technology in place to produce weapons. Only
23 ammunition could be made there.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm trying to understand your answer where you said
25 well, they had all time because we didn't find any weapons; whereas, you
1 say weapons were not produced there.
2 A. Well, you know, I have a lot of experience, and I saw a lot of
3 things, not only in Knin but among people who worked even civilians were
4 armed. I believe that even those civilian workers in the factory had
5 been armed and that's why I said what I did. I suppose that in the area
6 both troops and civilians carried weapons.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
8 Have the questions by the Bench triggered any need for further
10 Then, Mr. Rincic, this concludes your evidence in this court. I
11 would like to thank you very much for coming a rather long way to
12 The Hague
13 the parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ORIE: If there are no other procedural issues to be
16 raised, then we'll adjourn, and we will resume tomorrow, Thursday, the
17 1st of October, at quarter past 2.00, in Courtroom III.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.57 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st of October,
20 2009, at 2.15 p.m.