1 Thursday, 1 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Is the Cermak Defence ready to call its next witness?
13 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. This is a procedural matter left
14 over from yesterday concerning transcripts of -- Mr. Cayley can deal
15 with, which might just clear the decks on that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cayley.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Your Honour, you will recall with the witness
18 Mr. Skegro that on re-examination he was shown two documents, one was the
19 HINA report and one was the Helsinki Committee report. And you had
20 asked, I think specifically you said so that the Appeals Chamber can see
21 that we were completely transparent about these matters, that they'd be
22 uploaded into e-court and they have. And just for the purposes of the
23 transcript, the Helsinki Committee report is now uploaded as 2D17-4497,
24 and the HINA report as 2D17-4482.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. They both were in English from what I
2 MR. CAYLEY: That's right, Your Honour, yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now usually we would not accept anything into
4 evidence unless it would be translated into the language of the accused
5 as well. Under the present circumstances I'm addressing the parties
6 whether there would be any problem in admitting them, although they would
7 only be available in one of the official languages of this Tribunal.
8 MR. KEHOE: If I'm not mistaken, Mr. President, I think the HINA
9 report was in Croatian, was it not?
10 JUDGE ORIE: I -- was it in Croatian?
11 MR. KAY: And it was read into the transcript, Your Honour, will
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's why I understood what it said. Well,
14 then I think for the Appeals Chamber not being certain about their
15 proficiency in B/C/S, perhaps, Mr. Cayley, we could finalise the matter
16 once the HINA report is --
17 MR. CAYLEY: Translated into English.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It is only six or seven lines, I think. So it's
19 very short.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, so it is just the extract. Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So then we will ask Mr. Registrar to -- would
22 we make them one exhibit or two separate exhibits?
23 MR. CAYLEY: I think two separate exhibits, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Two separate exhibits.
25 Then, Mr. Registrar, the -- the Helsinki Committee report
1 2D17-4497 would receive number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would become Exhibit D1685.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and may I take it that there are no objections
4 against admission into evidence.
5 MR. CARRIER: No, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Carrier.
7 D1685 is admitted into evidence.
8 The HINA report, Mr. Registrar, could you please assign a number
9 for it to be MFI
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, that's 65 ter 2D17-4482, and
11 that becomes Exhibit D1686.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, keeps the status of MFI for the time being.
13 May I take it that once there is a translation uploaded that
14 there will be no objections against admission into evidence?
15 MR. CARRIER: That's correct.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Carrier.
17 Then apart from this, Mr. Kay, are further procedural matters, or
18 are we ready to proceed?
19 MR. KAY: There are no more. May the witness be called.
20 Mr. Lukovic, please, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Lukovic.
24 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukovic, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
1 require that you make a solemn declaration before you give testimony.
2 The text will now be handed out to you by the Usher. May I invite to you
3 make that solemn declaration, that you will speak the truth, the whole
4 truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do I read this?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: IVICA LUKOVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated.
12 You will first be examined by Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is counsel for
13 Mr. Cermak.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
15 Examination by Mr. Kay:
16 Q. Mr. Lukovic, is it correct that you gave a statement in the year
17 2004 to the Office of the Prosecution of this Tribunal?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if the document 2D00-708 could be put on
20 the screen before the witness, please.
21 Q. And, Mr. Lukovic, you will see two screens in front of you. The
22 right-hand screen will shortly show you a document, and I'd like you to
23 have a look at that.
24 MR. KAY: The signatures, please.
25 Q. There we have the last page of the document that was a record of
1 your interview with the Office of the Prosecution. Is that your
2 signature at the end of that document?
3 A. I don't see my signature in the page that is shown on the screen.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Is the English also shown to the witness?
5 MR. KAY: If we look at the next page of the one, page 11. Maybe
6 that will help. We've gone to page 10.
7 Q. Is your signature on that page?
8 A. Yes, at the bottom.
9 Q. Thank you. And if we go to page 11, where there is, in the
10 English language, a witness acknowledgment. Is that your signature there
11 on the witness acknowledgment?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. KAY: If we can now turn to another document, 2D00-709.
15 Q. Looking at the document on the right-hand side, this is in the
16 Croatian language, and if you could look at your signature at the bottom
17 of the first page, do you recognise that as your signature on that
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KAY: And if we could just go to the last of those pages for
21 that document, page 15, please, in Croatian.
22 Q. And do you recognise there your signature with the date on the
23 left-hand side, of the 13th of August, 2009?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In this statement which you gave to the Defence, is it correct
1 that you made a number of corrections to the statement you gave to the
2 Office of the Prosecution in the year 2004?
3 A. Correct, that's what I did.
4 Q. Now, taking into account the information that you gave in your
5 statement to the Office of the Prosecution and the corrections that you
6 made to that statement in the statement to the Defence and the
7 information contained in that second statement, is the totality of those
8 statements, to the best of your knowledge and belief, true and correct?
9 A. The last statement and the changes it contains are the truth, to
10 the best of my knowledge and recollection.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 In relation to the first statement, putting to one side the
13 matters that you disagreed with in that statement to the Office of
14 the Prosecution which you later corrected, is the rest of the information
15 in that statement, to the best of your knowledge and belief, true and
17 A. Yes, I believe so.
18 Q. And taking into account, then, the information in both of those
19 two statements that you have directed as being correct, if I were to ask
20 you the same questions in court today, would you give the same answers as
21 you previously gave in those statements that are correct?
22 A. Yes, absolutely. I would give you the same answers.
23 MR. KAY: Your Honour, in those circumstances, I move that both
24 of those documents be admitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
1 MR. CARRIER: No objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, first the 2004 statement.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. 65 ter 2D00-708 becomes
4 Exhibit D1687.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
6 THE REGISTRAR: And the next document is 65 ter 2D00-709. That
7 becomes Exhibit D1688.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is also admitted into evidence.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged, Your Honour.
11 Contained within those two statements are also documents which I
12 move should become exhibits. First of all, 2D00-169, which is referred
13 to in paragraph 6 of the Defence statement of 2009. I move that that
14 goes into evidence as well, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You may be aware that the numbers always -- that is
16 the -- paragraph 6, you said.
17 MR. KAY: OBR06 --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you would refer to the content approximately
19 then I know exactly --
20 MR. KAY: It's paragraph 6 of the statement, Your Honour. It's
21 basic instructions --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. KAY: -- for the work of the UN and EU liaison officer.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That was the one which was already in -- on the
25 65 ter list.
1 MR. KAY: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections, Mr. Carrier?
3 MR. CARRIER: No, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Could you also express already on the
5 two other documents whether there is any objection against having it
6 added to the 65 ter list, that is, the radio silence letter dated the
7 4th of August; and the -- could I say the Kenyan soldiers letter also of
8 the 4th of August, 1995.
9 MR. CARRIER: No objection to either of them.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then, Mr. Kay, the leave is granted to add them
11 to the 65 ter list as was requested in your motion. And then I expect
12 that you would tender them.
13 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged, Your Honour. And the document, then,
14 2D00-710 which is referred to in the OTP statement at paragraph 20, I ask
15 that that be admitted into evidence.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No objections from Mr. Carrier or from any of the
17 other Defence teams.
18 Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I show we have two documents
20 currently tendered. The first is 65 ter 2D00-169. That becomes
21 Exhibit D1689. The second document is 65 ter number 2D00-710, and that
22 becomes Exhibit D1690.
23 MR. KAY: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Both are -- both are admitted into evidence.
25 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour. The next document is 2D00-711,
1 referred to in paragraph 21 of the OTP statement. I request that that be
2 put into evidence as well, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No objections against that.
4 Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1691.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I'll give a very brief statement now of
9 the summary of the contents of those two statements, and then I have a
10 few questions to ask Mr. Lukovic concerning some other documents to be
11 tendered and also ready in the case.
12 Mr. Lukovic was the chief of the Department for Cooperation with
13 the UN and EC of the Croatian Army for Sector South. In 1995, he went to
14 Knin on the 5th of August, and he met General Cermak there on the
15 6th of August.
16 Mr. Lukovic describes the nature of his work as a liaison officer
17 liaising between the international community and the Croatian military,
18 describing that his tasks took him sometimes from a military role to also
19 dealing with civilian issues.
20 He describes the nature of Mr. Cermak's work in Knin, in that he
21 assisted the civilian authorities to establish the conditions for normal
22 life as soon as possible and to restore the town and return it to a
23 functional state as soon as possible. Initially all the installations
24 from power stations, telephone stations, water supply, and other services
25 were disabled, he believes, by the Serbs before they left.
1 Along with solving the problems of the town in Knin, Mr. Cermak
2 also made contact with the United Nations representatives on a daily
3 basis, and he attempted to help the refugees who were located at the
4 UN camp in Knin.
5 Mr. Lukovic was also, likewise, engaged on similar work with
6 Mr. Cermak. And he describes the fact that Mr. Cermak was not in command
7 of either the military police or the civilian police, and from his
8 knowledge, when crimes were informed to Mr. Cermak by the international
9 community, he passed on the details that had been given to him to the
10 civilian police or the military police.
11 Your Honour, that ends the brief summary of the statements.
12 There are now some documents I would like the witness to look at. The
13 first matter is an exhibit, D318, please.
14 Q. Mr. Lukovic, I'd like you to look at a document on the screen.
15 We will, first of all, look at the first page. It's a document dated the
16 6th of August, 1995, and it's signed by Brigadier Plestina, whom you
17 describe in your statement as being your immediate superior in your
19 Is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. The document we're looking at are the minutes of a meeting with a
22 Colonel Pettis who was chief of the UNCRO staff.
23 MR. KAY: Could we just turn to page 2 of that document, please.
24 Q. And, Mr. Lukovic, it's correct, is it not, that you can read both
25 languages; you can read English as well as being a native Croatian
2 A. Yes, I wouldn't say that I'm fully bilingual but to quite a large
3 extent, I can read both.
4 Q. Thank you. I suspect most of us here will be looking at the
5 English document, although I may have got that wrong in this case.
6 If we look at this first page here, you can see that it's a
7 description of a meeting between Brigadier Plestina and Colonel Pettis.
8 First of all, have you seen these minutes from this meeting
10 A. Not in the form of minutes. But Brigadier Plestina briefed me
11 about the contents thereof.
12 Q. In the third paragraph of the documents -- of the document, he
13 refers to liaison officers contacting him by the UN phone in -- in Knin.
14 Is that a matter that you know about?
15 A. Yes. I was informed about it. Brigadier Plestina drew my
16 attention to it; Brigadier Plestina was my superior. He told me that it
17 was a fortunate thing that Colonel Pettis, the Chief of Staff, who told
18 him that the Croatian Army had not gotten in contact with the military
19 representatives in Knin to which Brigadier Plestina responded that I was
20 the one who had contacted him by phone in the UN headquarters in Knin,
21 and that was a fortunate thing. I believe that the office from which I
22 called was Colonel Blahna's office, and he was the Deputy Commander of UN
23 in Knin. So when I arrived at the UN headquarters in Knin --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... that's all the detail we'll
25 need on that. I just wanted you to confirm that fact from you.
1 In relation to the next paragraph, if you could just read that
2 paragraph to yourself, and -- before you answer some questions.
3 A. Yes, I've read the paragraph.
4 Q. You will see that this paragraph refers to a discussion between
5 Colonel Pettis and Brigadier Plestina concerning freedom of movement.
6 And Brigadier Plestina here refers to the fact that he refused a request
7 from Colonel Pettis concerning freedom of movement, and he gave the
8 reason about the battle has still been carrying on.
9 In relation to this matter discussed between the two men on the
10 6th of August, were you aware of the request being made to Brigadier
11 Plestina to give freedom of movement?
12 A. I was in Knin at that time, and the phone lines were down, so
13 that I did not learn of this promptly or in a short period of time, but I
14 learned of it later on. But how much later on, I really can't recall.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MR. KAY: If we can move on to another document now, which is
18 Q. This is a document dated the 7th of August, 1995.
19 MR. KAY: The Court may remember there was an extract of this
20 document dealing with Sector South, which is the one that we've had
21 uploaded in the court.
22 D319. Can I call up D319? I've got a different document here
23 for D319. That looks to me like something else entirely. There. That I
24 do recognise.
25 Can we go to page 3 of the Croatian document, leaving the English
1 document on the page, as it is an extract, as the Court will remember.
2 Q. And you see at the bottom of this page here in the Croatian
3 language that the paragraph concerns liberated territory of the former
4 Sector South.
5 MR. KAY: If we could go to the next page of the Croatian, again
6 leaving the English document as it is.
7 Q. This is another daily report from Brigadier Plestina,
8 Mr. Lukovic, and you can see in the paragraph at the top of the page that
9 it refers to:
10 "The office of our UNCRO liaison officer has been established."
11 Would that be your office?
12 A. Yes, that is my office in Knin.
13 Q. If we go through that paragraph further, if you could just read
14 it to yourself. You'll see in the first meeting with General Forand they
15 mainly talked about unfounded complaints that UNCRO filed in Knin, they
16 were primarily Canadians, regarding the restriction of movement.
17 Then it says:
18 "Our liaison officer explained to General Forand that UNCRO has
19 complete freedom of movement regarding the supply of the units on the
20 field but there is no need for their patrols, observations from their
21 observation points, and reports on breaching of Zagreb Agreement, since
22 the situation at the moment is such that the higher authorities will
23 decide on the potential new UNCRO task?"
24 Firstly, does this paragraph refer to a meeting that you had with
25 General Forand?
1 A. Yes, this was one of the first meetings I had with
2 General Forand, and we discussed this matter, and this is exactly the
3 position that I took. In other words, I explained that the situation had
4 completely changed in the field and that the various tenets of various
5 UN Resolutions that were in force before Operation Storm simply were no
6 longer valid.
7 Q. Were you aware on the occasion of the 7th of August of the
8 existence of an agreement between Mr. Akashi, on behalf of the UN, and
9 Mr. Sarinic, on behalf of the Croatian government?
10 A. I learned of that agreement. However, I cannot claim with
11 certainty when it was that I learned of it exactly, but certainly not
12 shortly after it, because the phone lines and the fax lines were down.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. KAY: If we can now turn to another document, D --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one additional question, Mr. Kay.
16 MR. KAY: Sorry, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: In this same document of the 7th we find that a
18 visit by General Janvier to Knin were -- was approved by Mr. Sarinic.
19 Now, you said, We -- the phone lines were down so we couldn't
20 learn about the agreement concluded between Mr. Sarinic and Mr. Akashi.
21 Here, in this document, I find, at least an indication that -- a
22 decision of Mr. Sarinic, that you were aware of that, which suggests
23 that, at least, there was some communication, despite the fact that the
24 phone lines were down, as you said.
25 Could you -- could you comment on what this letter does suggest?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will gladly reply.
2 The source of information that I had, information on any new
3 positions or instructions from Zagreb
4 various means. Either I would go to Sibenik to make a phone call, or
5 someone would come to Knin from Zagreb
6 similar method. I told you that I did learn of this agreement, but I
7 cannot say with certainty when exactly, on what date.
8 MR. KAY: If I can just assist, maybe this would help,
9 Your Honour.
10 Q. In relation to this remark here concerning Mr. Sarinic, is it
11 right that this is not your report; this is Mr. Plestina's report,
12 Brigadier Plestina's report?
13 A. The report that we see in front of us, I would appreciate it if
14 you could understand one thing. I was the chief officer for
15 Sector South. And on those days, when the phone lines were still down in
16 Knin, as well as the fax lines, the lines with Zagreb, the reports for
17 Sector South where we were liaison officers were sent by my deputy,
18 Colonel Dragic, from our seat in Zadar. Therefore, you see this
19 information for these other places that are mentioned there, Rasovic and
20 so on, can you see it in the report.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I may have been, to some extent imprecise, but
22 the letter shows more examples of apparently the reporting person knows
23 what happens on the grounds in Knin and apparently, if we're talking
24 about a visit to Knin, and if it is approved I would expect Knin to know
25 about that, and it was scheduled apparently for the day after the 7th.
1 So, therefore, I was just wondering about what communication was
2 there, because the mere fact that telephone lines were not functioning,
3 apparently did not disturb all sorts of communication.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Next document I'd like to us look at is 2D00-10.
7 Q. This is a document dated the 9th of August, 1995, from the chief
8 of the Croatian Army Main Staff, General Cervenko. And it's headed:
9 "In order to enable the normal security of the movement of ...
10 UNCRO forces," he orders: "1. Secure unobstructed deployment of the
11 UNCRO units according to the schedule existing before Operation Storm
12 began as well as the unobstructed supplying."
13 Firstly, is this a document that you saw at the time?
14 A. No, I did not see this document at the time, although we did
15 discuss it indirectly. In other words, I kept in touch with some
16 individuals - I can't recall exactly who - who was aware of this
18 Q. The matter that this concerns in -- in point 1, are you able to
19 assist the Court as to what this issue concerned?
20 A. Your Honour, UNCRO units in Sector South were deployed at the
21 level -- at the battalion level. A battalion consisted of three
22 subordinate units, companies, so these UN battalions did not -- did not
23 go into action together. They were dispersed throughout the territory.
24 They were in smaller groups, deployed in smaller groups in certain
25 observation posts and so forth.
1 The entire deployment of these various UN units and elements,
2 even before Operation Storm -- or, rather, from the very beginning, when
3 they arrived in this area, so we were aware through our cooperation with
4 the UN of their deployments which was a necessity in wartime, in order to
5 avoid some harm to come to those UN units.
6 So, I am rather certain, and I can even claim, that after
7 Operation Storm, because all these small groups were in the field, the
8 intention of UN commanders was to group these units in one area, at the
9 company level or the battalion level. And I believe that this is what
10 this order refers to.
11 The reason I know this is because my subordinate communication
12 officers provided reports from various areas in the former Sector South
13 where they actually assisted these commanders in gathering and collecting
14 these various elements in one place.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. KAY: I have no further questions on this document. Might
17 this document be made an exhibit, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
19 MR. CARRIER: No objection.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1692.
22 JUDGE ORIE: D1692 is admitted into evidence.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
24 MR. KAY: The next document is 2D00-386. It's a document dated
25 the 13th of August, 1995, from General Cervenko again. And it's headed:
1 "As per the new military and political situation after
2 Operation Storm and with regard to the announcement of the UNCRO command
3 on re-deployment of their units."
4 And we can see in the body of the order that, from the
5 16th of August, unobstructed departure of UNCRO forces with equipment and
6 devices was to take place. And we can see at the bottom left-hand corner
7 that this was sent to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia
8 office for the UN.
9 Q. First of all, just to establish this, is this a document that you
10 saw at the time?
11 A. I did not see this document either, personally, but I was
12 indirectly aware of it, informed of it.
13 Q. And the issue this concerns about the unobstructed departure of
14 UNCRO forces, are you able to assist the Court as to what this issue was
16 A. Your Honours, I believe that the foundation for this document is
17 similar to the earlier document that I explained.
18 This had to do with new developments with the collection of these
19 various units in one location so that then, under a new command, they
20 would be able to move from that point elsewhere more easily.
21 But, as I said, this is closely related to the previous question
22 that you mentioned -- that you asked of me.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. KAY: I've no further questions, Your Honour, I move that
25 this document be admitted into evidence as an exhibit.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier.
2 MR. CARRIER: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1693.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D1693 is admitted into evidence.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. KAY: And now the last document that I need to look at is
9 Q. It is a letter dated the 26th of August, 1995, from
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Hjertnes, sent to the Croatian Army office for the
11 UN and ECMM for Sector South, Zadar. It's headed:
12 "Restriction of Movement."
13 And states:
14 "Respected Navy Captain."
15 And then refers, in paragraph 1 -- if could you look at that
16 document, Mr. Lukovic, to a UNMO patrol from Sibenik being stopped at a
17 police check-point. And it was stated that if the UNMO patrol approached
18 this check-point again they'd be shot.
19 "This patrol was made to carry out a humanitarian mission."
20 Paragraph 3 refers to the fact that this was a denial of access
21 in direct contravention of the Zagreb Agreement of the 6th of August and
22 of General Cermak's letter dated 11th August, 1995. And it says:
23 "I will ask to you to address this letter to the right
24 authorities for a positive solution."
25 Firstly, was this letter addressed to you?
1 A. Yes, Your Honours, it was addressed to me.
2 Q. And the matter raised in this letter, do you have any comments to
3 make upon that?
4 A. I do.
5 This was on the 26th of August, and, at this time, the military
6 observers and generally military personnel had no difficulty moving along
7 the Knin-Zadar-Sibenik communication lines. However, again we see that
8 this has to do with some sort of patrol.
9 Now let me just explain to you very briefly that throughout the
10 war, A, all patrols by UNMOs had to be announced to my office and then
11 our liaison officer would join these patrols and -- and accompany them on
12 their beat. So I cannot tell you exactly what patrol this was about,
13 but, A, it probably was unannounced; and, 2, it was stopped by the
14 civilian police which is something that I cannot really comment on,
15 because as we look at the date mentioned there, this is already the time
16 when the civilian police authorities were already in place. And I don't
17 know what type of patrols the military observers would be on, regardless
18 of what they referred to it as, whether it was humanitarian patrol or
19 whatever else.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. KAY: I have no further questions on that matter. And,
22 Your Honour, that concludes my questions of -- of the witness.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. KAY: And, Your Honour, I'm rightly reminded to exhibit this
25 document, if I may, with the leave of the Court.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was waiting for that.
2 Mr. Carrier.
3 MR. CARRIER: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1694.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D1694 is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. KAY: Thank you.
8 Wait there, please, Mr. Lukovic. There will be some more
10 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the Gotovina Defence.
11 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, we have no questions. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No questions for the witness.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions for the witness, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
15 Mr. Lukovic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Carrier.
16 Mr. Carrier is counsel for the Prosecution.
17 You may proceed, Mr. Carrier.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Carrier:
19 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Lukovic, during your first meeting with General Cermak on the
21 7th of August, 1995, I take it he did not fully explain to you his
22 precise role in Knin. I think you said in your statement that he told he
23 was there to assist with normalization. Moreover, in your 2004
24 statement, that's the one you gave to the Prosecution, you said that you
25 weren't personally aware of or didn't know why such a high-ranking
1 officer had been assigned to the Knin garrison position.
2 Mr. Lukovic, my question to you is: Did you ever learn the
3 details of who had appointed General Cermak or what specifically he was
4 tasked with doing in Knin?
5 A. My level, the level of my duties and my rank, was not authorised
6 or did not have clearance to learn such information. The only
7 information that I did learn was at meetings at the Knin fortress. And
8 what I could see there throughout my stay in Knin and what -- and that's
9 what I could see of what General Cermak did and what his tasks were.
10 Q. So, Mr. Lukovic, is it fair to say, then, that do you not know
11 the precise parameters of the authority that was granted to
12 General Cermak for his role in Knin?
13 A. If you're asking whether I ever saw a document on the appointment
14 of General Cermak, my answer is no, I've never seen it.
15 Q. That's good enough.
16 Mr. Lukovic, did you follow the testimony of Mr. Franjo Feldi who
17 was called to testify last week in this case as an expert for
18 General Cermak?
19 A. I was on the island, and I did not have technical capabilities
20 that would allow me to follow that testimony. So, to answer your
21 question, no, I didn't.
22 Q. Did anyone in any way inform you about anything that Mr. Feldi
23 said during his testimony last week?
24 A. No. I know that he testified. I know that Mr. Skegro testified.
25 I saw that on TV. And I know that Mr. Rincic testified as well. But I
1 don't know any details of their testimonies.
2 Q. Mr. Lukovic, are you able to explain the circumstances of a
3 meeting that took place between you and Mr. Plestina and Mr. Feldi in the
4 Central Military Archives approximately three years ago?
5 A. Yes. I saw Mr. Feldi last -- approximately three years ago. We
6 were invited to come to the archives. Somebody wanted to write a book or
7 papers or something of the kind about the war in Croatia and about Storm.
8 We met for the first time and General Feldi was there, but I was never
9 invited, and I never went there after that initial meeting.
10 Q. Sorry, who exactly invited you to the archives?
11 A. I believe that it was General Lovric, from the Main Staff. But
12 I'm not sure. I believe that it was either him or somebody, a staff
13 member, from his staff.
14 Q. Do you remember if Mr. Pokaz was there?
15 A. Not at that initial meeting. I don't think that Mr. Pokaz was
16 there the moment when I saw Mr. Feldi. But I believe that I came across
17 him either on that day or around that time. But I repeat, he was not
18 present at that meeting.
19 Q. What about Mr. Rakic?
20 A. No. Mr. Rakic certainly did not attend that meeting, although he
21 had been invited to Zagreb
22 Mr. Rakic and I are neighbours, I know that he went to Zagreb
23 similar business. He told me that himself. However, I don't know how
24 long he stayed or how many times he went to Zagreb on that matter.
25 Q. You say that you had this initial meeting in the archives and
1 then you never went back. Did you have subsequent meetings, though, with
2 General Lovric and General Pokaz and General Feldi about writing this
3 book, that you call it?
4 A. I mentioned the book, because I learned that subsequently from a
5 third person, not from any of the persons that you just mentioned. And
6 initially when I arrived there, I agreed that I would author one part of
7 that book. Because it had been announced to me that the material would
8 be used in defence of our Generals.
9 Later on, I learned that the project would be a book, and I
10 withdrew from that project. So I don't know how things evolved after
12 I apologise, you asked me about General Lovric. I did meet with
13 General Lovric after that, only once, and on that occasion, I informed --
14 informed him that I wouldn't -- no longer wished to participate in that
16 Q. Just to clarify something: Did you actually write a part of the
17 book with Mr. Plestina?
18 A. No, no. No way can you -- anybody say that I authored a part of
19 that book. I did write a few pages of the text during the period when we
20 still thought that the material would be used in defence of our Generals
21 present here in this courtroom.
22 Later on, when I learned that the materials would probably be
23 used for a book, I went to see General Lovric, and I withdrew from the
24 project. In other words, I did not author a single sentence for that
25 book, or in that book.
1 I don't know if I have made myself clear enough, or do you
2 perhaps seek further clarification from me?
3 Q. No, I don't have any more questions on that point.
4 Mr. Lukovic, in your statements you discuss the reporting system
5 for your department and the CALOs, I'll call them CALOs. Those are
6 Croatian Army liaison officers. Is that right?
7 A. I'm not sure what period you are referring to. Are you asking me
8 in general how the system functioned during the homeland war, or are you
9 referring to the couple of days or maybe three days in Knin before
10 telephone and other communication lines were established?
11 Q. What I'm interested in is August 1995. But I'll take you through
12 some things first, and if there's things you want to clear up after, you
13 can do that.
14 MR. CARRIER: Mr. Registrar, could you please call up document
15 number 2D00-169, which is actually now Exhibit - I apologise - D1689.
16 Q. Mr. Lukovic, what's coming up on the screen is what you've
17 described as the basic instructions. And if I could direct your
18 attention to number 3 -- item number 3 on page 1 in the English, which is
19 also page 1 in B/C/S, where - and correct me if I'm wrong - where CALO
20 reporting is discussed. I'll just read it to you, and it says:
21 "The liaison officers of the Ministry of Defence department
22 office for UN and EU are obligated to report in writing and by telephone
23 to this office directly or via the head of their department, as well as
24 the authorised commander of the OZ (HRM) every day and regularly of their
1 MR. CARRIER: And if we can turn to the next page in English.
2 Q. It continues:
3 "The report needs to contain clearly marked activity of the
4 officer (of the Department), situation on the relevant area, assessment,
5 evaluation of the development of the action and proposal for procedure."
6 Now, Mr. Lukovic, reading that, is it that the basic instructions
7 require the CALOs to report to the HV Military District Command; is that
9 A. No. The reports were not sent to the
10 HV Military District Command.
11 The activities that needed to be carried out were agreed directly
12 with the commander or another person from the command. As for the daily
13 reports, they were sent to Brigadier Plestina's office, which was in
15 When it comes to the reporting on other re -- events, if
16 necessary, those reports were sent to the HV Military District Commands.
17 Q. So if I understand you correctly, is it just that the written
18 reports, not written, but they are required, pursuant to item 3 in the
19 basic instructions, to inform the Military District Command every day and
20 regularly of their activities; just that it doesn't have to be in a
21 written form?
22 A. I don't know how much you understand the role of CALOs. We were
23 a link between the commands and commanders of the Croatian Army at
24 different levels where CALOs were positioned, and the commands and
25 commanders of the UN on the other hand. Their mutual agreements, their
1 joint activities of any kind, were discussed through the office for
2 liaison of the Croatian Army.
3 Of course, if the commander of a Military District needed to meet
4 with, for example, the UN commander for Sector South, then we would send
5 such an invitation from our office, and when we received an answer from
6 the UN command, we obviously reported back to the
7 Military District Commander who requested such a meeting and vice versa.
8 What other reports do you think we should have sent? What other
9 needs do you think for reporting were there?
10 Q. Mr. Lukovic, it's -- just to be clear. What I'm trying to
11 understand is your boss's understanding of what CALOs are supposed to do.
12 Major Plestina who signed this basic instruction, and he's the one that
13 in item 3 says that they're supposed to basically report. And it says
14 that they're supposed to do that to the authorised commander of the OZ
15 everyday and regularly, other activities, and it goes on to detail what
16 the reports require.
17 So that's what I'm interested in, not the role -- not the role of
18 CALOs. I'm interested in that and whether or not that was happening
19 during August 1995, whether or not that report was happening.
20 A. The situation that concerned daily reporting to the commander of
21 the OZ or somebody from the Command Staff did happen every day until
22 August 1995. Because the UN patrols, i.e., the military observers'
23 patrols went to the areas where Croatian troops were deployed. And
24 obviously they had to be announced every time they wanted to go there,
25 and obviously the command had and needed to know about that. Most
1 probably it would be the commander himself. And after such patrols, if
2 there had been some objections on the part of the UN, the
3 Military District would receive feedback. And you can call those
4 feedbacks reports. Maybe this is what you're talking about, when the
5 Military Districts and the HV troops are concerned.
6 In paragraph number 3, Mr. Plestina does not elaborate on that,
7 because we're talking about the first day of the existence of this
8 department for UN. And his further practice showed that he insisted on
9 daily reports once a day or several times a day, if needed, to be sent to
11 As for the activities of the military observers and liaison
12 officers on the ground could not go unobserved or without the commander
13 or the command of the Military District unnotified, or if those patrols
14 took place at a lower level, then it would be lower level commands that
15 had to be informed.
16 Q. Just trying to understand something you said. You said that that
17 kind of reporting I described before was happening up until August 1995.
18 And then you describe what was, presumably, what was happening during
19 August 1995. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my question relates to
20 that, which is, are you able to explain why in your statement you said
21 that you were meeting regularly, yourself with General Gotovina, and you
22 said four or five times a week, after he was appointed to the
23 Split Military District Command Post, and yet you state that you had no
24 contact with General Gotovina after the 6th of August 1995
25 A. My contacts with General Gotovina as the HV Military
1 District Commander depended on either his request for activities or
2 information that would be provided to the UN or the
3 European Community Mission, or vice versa, if a request came from the UN
4 towards the authorised command of the Croatian Army in the territory.
5 In other words, throughout all the time from the moment
6 General Gotovina was appointed the commander of the OZ, which later
7 became a Military District, the developments and activities of the UN on
8 the ground and whatever concerned representatives of the international
9 community were so intense that most commonly, as I've already told you,
10 this happened five days a week. And I'd adhere by my words. Which means
11 that I did not contact him personally, although there were often personal
12 contacts with him, but with his deputy or a member of his staff, if the
13 other two were otherwise engaged.
14 The intensity of developments on the ground and the need for
15 communication between the representatives of the Croatian Army and the
16 representatives of the UN was such that such frequent meetings were
17 indeed necessary.
18 If you want, and I apologise, there were daily patrols,
19 UN patrols, at least in four or five different directions, and the
20 commanded needed to be informed of those patrols.
21 Q. So if I can understand this, you're saying that if you were
22 requested by the Split Military District Command to come and talk to
23 them, you would; and if the situation on the ground became so intense
24 that, given, presumably, that the Split Military District Command, who
25 was in charge of the area, you would then take it upon yourself to go to
1 the Split
2 what information you had from internationals, given the intensity of the
4 A. Your Honours, I'm afraid I didn't understand the question.
5 Some of the elements in the question are really unclear to me.
6 What do you mean when you say me going to Split personally? Could you
7 please repeat your question?
8 Q. Sure.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, a question of a less composite
10 character might assist.
11 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. I apologise, Mr. Lukovic. Number one, if you or your department,
13 or the CALOs, so anyone in your department or under your control, if the
14 Split Military District Command wanted to talk to you, they could
15 basically summon you; right?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And, alternatively, you or the CALOs or your department, if the
18 situation on the ground reached an intensity that required -- or you felt
19 that required informing the area commander, that you would then take it
20 upon yourself to go and -- and tell them what was happening?
21 A. I believe since you're asking me that that what you have in mind
22 the role of a CALO, and what does it mean when you are asking me about
23 war, when the situation is intense, how can I see something that nobody
24 else sees? Why are you asking me that? We're talking about a war
1 I don't know what it is that I could have noticed that required
2 me to go and inform the HV Military District Commander, me being a
3 liaison officer.
4 Q. Mr. Lukovic, maybe it'll help if you just read you your words and
5 can you explain it to me. Beginning around page 29, just for reference
6 purposes, saying:
7 "... although there were often personal contacts with him," --
8 meaning General Gotovina, "but with his deputy or a member of his staff,
9 if the other two were otherwise engaged.
10 "The intensity of developments on the ground and need for
11 communication between representative of the Croatian Army and the
12 representatives of the UN was such that such frequent meetings were
13 indeed necessary."
14 So that was what I was referring to when I was asking you about
15 the intensity of the situation on the ground. I was wondering if you
16 could explain that.
17 And my question was: If the situation on the ground reached a
18 level of intensity that basically required that you would have to then go
19 and tell the HV commanders what is was happening; that was the question.
20 A. Well, if your question is related to what you've just quoted, I
21 repeat, my office, my department, maintained a dual connection. One side
22 of that coin was when the HV Military District called me and asked me to
23 do things for them, for him; and the second facet of that was, for
24 example, a request would reach me from the side of the UN requesting a
25 meeting with our commander or a member of a Command Staff. In that case,
1 we would receive a written request to that effect. We would then
2 translate it, and then either me or my deputy would take that paper to
3 the command -- to the commander personally or to his secretary or to a
4 staff member there.
5 Q. Okay. Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but is what you're
6 describing in terms of your role, and the role of your department, is
7 simply to go back and forth between the HV and the UN but not to make any
8 kind of independent assessment about any information that's coming to you
9 in terms of informing anybody about what you're learning from either
11 A. When it comes to CALOs' activities, and we were CALOs - and that
12 term is coined of two words, the first one is "officer" and the second
13 one is "liaison." As an officer of the Croatian Army, whenever I came
14 across a thing on the ground, a phenomenon on ground, before or after the
15 month of August 1995 not just me but all the other officers had to react
16 and try and assist with any situation which we might have encountered on
17 the ground.
18 Q. Okay. So if you were being informed constantly about crimes
19 being committed on the ground, given what you just described as the role,
20 would you have then taken upon yourself to go and inform the
21 Military District Commander, or the command, about what was happening in
22 their area of responsibility?
23 A. In all of my reports, before Operation Storm, you -- we could not
24 testify about any crimes on the ground.
25 As for what we saw in the situation that we found ourselves in
1 after Operation Storm, there were situations when we came across such
2 things and then we informed about that. Most commonly we would inform
3 the civilian police.
4 Q. Just to go back briefly to what you were say about CALOs. And
5 you said the second letter stands for "army." Why would you be going to
6 tell the civilian police, given that you're a member of the army, your
7 role is to liaise between the army and internationals?
8 Can you explain that for us, please?
9 A. If you're referring to the period after Operation Storm, then I
10 can tell you that I personally adhered to one thing, and I still adhere
11 to that, and stand by that.
12 On the third day after Operation Storm, I heard over the public
13 media that -- I heard a piece of news that the previously occupied
14 territories of the Republic of Croatia
15 integrated back into the system the constitutional and legal system of
17 So, for me, on the fourth day after Operation Storm, or today, if
18 I compare the two situations, there is no difference. If I were to be a
19 witness to a crime, any type of criminal activity, I would only then go
20 to the civilian police to report that.
21 MR. CARRIER: Mr. President, we'll come back to this, but if I
22 could -- perhaps now is time for a break.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's the right time for a break.
24 We will have a break, and we will resume at quarter past 4.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, I would be inclined to invite to you
4 continue, but without a witness ...
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, please proceed.
8 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Lukovic, just to start where we left off and just to refresh
10 your memory a little bit.
11 You said that after Operation Storm you heard through the public
12 media -- you heard a piece of news that the former occupied territories
13 had been reintegrated into -- into the Croatian legal system. And you
14 said that that was on the fourth day after Storm or so.
15 What day is that, if you can recall, like, the actual date?
16 A. I don't know exactly what date it was, but I think it was on the
17 third day following Operation Storm, not on the fourth day.
18 Q. And is it that -- because of what you heard on the news, you then
19 started to report crimes or whatever you heard about happening, you
20 started reporting that to the civilian police because of the news item
21 that you heard?
22 A. For the most part, yes; but not solely for that reason.
23 Q. Well, perhaps we could explore that. Because -- correct me if
24 I'm wrong, but you don't take orders as a member of the army from media
25 broadcasts. So was there an order to that effect, that you were supposed
1 to stop reporting, however you were before, and start reporting to the
2 civilian police about any crime you see?
3 A. There were no orders to that effect, other than a visit that I
4 received in Knin from my superior, Brigadier Plestina, and we discussed
5 these matters as well, on that occasion.
6 Q. Is that before or after you heard the news item that, in your
7 mind, changed where you had to report crimes to?
8 Sorry, just to be clear, the visit from Mr. Plestina.
9 A. No. First, I heard the report in the news media; and then, after
10 that, Brigadier Plestina came to Knin.
11 Q. So in the interim, between the news broadcast and the visit from
12 Mr. Plestina, you were -- you stopped reporting to people in the army,
13 and you started reporting to the civilian police about crimes you were
14 becoming aware of?
15 A. I apologise to the interpreters. There may be an interpretation
16 error. But it is not about reporting on crimes. Rather, if you noticed
17 or observed anything happening in the field or were informed by someone,
18 in that case, we would brief on that. That's number one.
19 Number two, in those day, immediately following Operation Storm,
20 as far as I can recall, there were no other military commands in Knin.
21 Q. Other than who?
22 A. Other than General Cermak and two individuals with him, and me
23 and my liaison officers.
24 Q. So, that's the sum total of the people that you noticed in the
25 military in Knin after, or in terms of the command, was General Cermak,
1 two other people, and you and your liaison officers, after
2 Operation Storm finished?
3 A. That's correct. We're talking about the first couple of days. I
4 can't be absolutely precise.
5 Q. Getting back to the bit about Mr. Plestina. I didn't notice that
6 in either of your statements about the visit from your superior,
7 Plestina. Any reason why you didn't mention that and him coming down and
8 giving you this -- this order, or whatever the talk was about where to
9 report to or whether to inform people about crimes?
10 A. There were no new orders on informing and reporting crimes, not
11 in that sense. I was never given any such orders.
12 When my superior was with me, then there was no need for me to
13 report on his coming to visit me. So we discussed the situation, as it
14 was, what it was that we had to do in the future, and we were talking
15 about the need to redefine the role of the UN members after
16 Operation Storm.
17 Q. Just getting back to -- when we you were talking about once you
18 heard the news item and you said that you if you became aware of crimes
19 who would you inform. What if you saw HV members committing a crime, or
20 one of your CALO officers saw a HV member committing a crime, that's the
21 same thing, you just tell the civilian police?
22 A. Yes, we would inform the civilian police, and we would also
23 include this in our daily report that was sent to Zagreb.
24 Q. Mr. Lukovic, you said before that -- in terms of the
25 Military Command in Knin after Operation Storm, you said it was
1 General Cermak and a few other people. I'm wondering if, given your
2 position, if you can explain, or if can you make sense of why
3 General Cermak would tell Prosecution investigators that after
4 Operation Storm, General Gotovina would come and go, that he left for
6 commander of the Split Military District all the time, and that he was in
7 charge of the military in the area?
8 A. What I knew about General Gotovina's duties at the time - in
9 other words, up until the 5th of August, 1995 - and on that last day I
10 was with General Gotovina, he was, at the time, the commander of the
11 Split Military District.
12 From that moment on, a lot -- a long time passed before I saw
13 General Gotovina again, and I know, in the mean time based on the report
14 of my deputy, I know that there was a celebration of some sort in the
15 Knin fortress where General Gotovina was present and I think also
16 General Forand. I was not in Knin on that day. I was in the field
17 because I had other assignments in other areas. I only heard about,
18 this, and I heard that General Gotovina was in Knin. But I did not see
19 him on that day or in the days following that.
20 Q. Mr. Lukovic, are you aware that General Forand, at his first
21 meeting with General Gotovina, which was on the 8th of August, 1995
22 Knin, that when he met with him he complained to General Gotovina about
23 the lack of discipline of HV troops and that they were looting and
24 burning the town, and --
25 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, that is not an accurate depiction of the
1 record. I would ask to point in the record where General Forand says
2 that was the subject of discussion with General Gotovina.
3 MR. CARRIER: I will try to assist, Mr. President. I will read
4 from P333, paragraph 7, on page 3.
5 JUDGE ORIE: One second, so that I have an opportunity to find
7 Please proceed, Mr. Carrier.
8 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. I'll read it to you, Mr. Lukovic. General Forand explains that
10 the first meeting that he with General Gotovina, he says:
11 "... which was the first meeting I had with him after
12 Operation Storm. After reviewing the UNCRO situation reports for that
13 period, I now recall that this meeting actually took place on
14 8 August 1995
15 I do recall complaining to General Gotovina about the lack of discipline
16 of his troops and that they were looting and burning in the town.
17 General Gotovina referred to -- referred me to General Cermak for these
18 and any other complaints."
19 That was the end of the quote.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
21 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I just -- this is a contextual issue
22 regarding General Forand. It is put in context to some degree by the
23 Prosecutor in the fact that there was nothing in the UN sitrep talking
24 about this and that it was then a subject of discussion on
25 cross-examination, and I can go back and ferret it out concerning
1 General Forand.
2 But -- suffice it to say, that, at this particular point it would
3 be helpful if we take a look to see exactly what was put in the sitrep,
4 because there is no discussion about this.
5 And I don't expect to go back in and re-track everything that's
6 in the transcript, Judge. I know the difficulties inherent in that as
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, your objection was that this is not an
9 accurate depiction of the record. I would ask that we be directed to
10 where General Forand says that.
11 Now, the wording chosen by Mr. Carrier are literally the same as
12 the ones we find in the statement of General Forand. And now to come up
13 with issues like, It is not reflected in the sitrep, Mr. Carrier did not
14 say that. In all written reports and statements we find this; he said -
15 and that was his question - that whether the witness was aware that such
16 complaint by General Gotovina were expressed during this visit.
17 What Mr. Carrier said accurately depicts, at least, the statement
18 given by General Forand. And I would have to check whether anywhere
19 General Forand, during cross-examination, said that this was not what he
20 complained about. If you have a clear reference for me, please give it
21 then I'll check it immediately.
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, as an officer of the Court, I do not,
23 at this particular juncture -- I will take a look through that as to how
24 we discussed this particular matter, and I will refresh myself with my
25 colleagues on this bantering -- the discussion back and fourth with
1 General Forand.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Without this actual knowledge, at least, your
3 objection, which was limited to that it does not accurately depict the
4 record, it certainly depicts the statement of General Forand.
5 MR. KEHOE: In isolation, Mr. President --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, yes -- Mr. Kehoe. Let's give Mr. Carrier
7 an opportunity to proceed.
8 You may proceed, Mr. Carrier.
9 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. The part that I just read to you about what General Forand said,
11 were you aware of that?
12 A. I'm not aware of this particular instances, because I think this
13 is -- this relates to the day that I mentioned earlier, when both
14 General Gotovina and General Forand were at this celebration, this event,
15 at the Knin fortress. And I think I was -- I was not there on that day,
16 but I can conjecture that my deputy might have been there.
17 Q. Mr. Lukovic, is it fair to say - you just mentioned that you
18 weren't there that day - but is it fair to say that you don't know the
19 full extent of Mr. Cermak's contacts with internationals, meaning the
20 contact that he with them, nor are you fully aware of what General Cermak
21 did with the information that he received from the internationals with
22 whom he had contact?
23 A. Most of these contacts or almost most of these contacts, I
24 received the information on, even if I was not present on that particular
25 day. And because my area of responsibility had to do with the liaising,
1 as a liaison officer for three different areas, three Military Districts,
2 Lika, Sector South, and Split Military District all the way to Dubrovnik
3 which means that there were occasions where I had to be in those areas on
4 assignments. But I was advised and informed of most of what had happened
5 in the meantime, either by my deputy or by one of the liaison officers.
6 Q. Mr. Lukovic, were you aware that General Cermak had given his
7 phone number to some internationals and that some of those internationals
8 used it to call General Cermak on occasion in order to try to have
9 restrictions on their movement lifted?
10 A. There was a phone line in General Cermak's office which most of
11 us -- or all of us used, for the most part, including myself, and I'm
12 referring to the time when that phone line was first set up. So UN
13 representatives, either those from the command of the former Sector South
14 or the military observers or whatever their roles were, whenever they
15 called or kept in touch over the phone, they would use that phone, the
16 phone that was in the office of General Cermak.
17 Q. My question was whether or not you were aware that he gave out
18 his number and that that number was used.
19 A. I answered your question. They knew -- they had this phone
20 number because we used this phone number in our daily communications with
21 UN representatives.
22 Q. So that's a yes, you knew that General Cermak gave out his phone
23 number; and, yes, you knew that internationals called that phone number
24 to contact General Cermak in order to have restrictions lifted on their
1 A. I don't know of any instance where they called him directly
2 because the contacts and meetings with General Cermak were arranged
3 through my office, and it is quite certain that most of the time they
4 were arranged by way of this telephone line. But whether General Cermak
5 provided this phone number to them or me, I really couldn't tell you with
7 Q. And, Mr. Lukovic, you said before that you were away at times,
8 and that you're confident, I take it, that either your CALOs or your
9 deputy or somebody would be informing you about what they were doing in
10 the context that General Cermak was having. Is that fair?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Lukovic, in your 2004 statement, you told Prosecution
13 investigators that you had no knowledge about the killings in Grubori,
14 other than what you had heard on the media and that you were unaware of
15 any of your liaison officers going to Grubori or submitting a report
16 about it.
17 Now --
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Lukovic, given this statement, I take it that you
20 would have no explanation as to why one of your CALOs would be involved
21 in visiting that village during the relevant period, seeing dead bodies,
22 and reporting in writing to General Cermak on that issue, would you?
23 A. As far as I can recall, but I'm not certain of this. Because of
24 the time that has elapsed, I can't really recall whether General Cermak
25 or the civilian police.
1 Q. Mr. Lukovic, just in terms of General Cermak's contact with the
2 internationals, General Cermak has given a statement to the Prosecution
3 investigators in which he indicated that there was a liaison officer from
4 an international organisation stationed in his HQ who was given his own
5 space and had free access in the building and was with them all the time
6 in the building. And I'm wondering if you can reconcile your statement,
7 where you say, in your 2009 statement, that the UN officer assigned to
8 General Cermak's office sat in your office. He remained there a few days
9 before returning to the UN barracks.
10 Do you have any comment on that?
11 A. Yes. I believe that the person is the same. It was for a very
12 short period of time because they were trying to find a way for us to
13 communicate with UN representatives as efficiently as possible and
14 provide for the fastest possible way of communication.
15 Q. So other than it being the same person, you can't account for the
16 other discrepancies between what General Cermak told Prosecution
17 investigators and what you put in your statement?
18 A. As far as I remember, I don't see anything else. I believe that
19 we're talking about the same person here. And that functioned, for a
20 while, for a short time. And then the UN decided to withdraw that
22 Q. Mr. Lukovic, are you aware that -- sorry, I'll start again.
23 Mr. Lukovic, you state that you were not aware of any
24 communication between General Gotovina and General Cermak, and correct me
25 if I'm wrong on this point, but I'm presuming that you meant after
1 August 6th, and that you also said that you doubted if there was any such
2 communication between them. Is that right?
3 A. The first part, when you asked me whether I knew or I didn't know
4 about the -- that meeting, after such a long time I can't really
6 As for the second part of your question, where you mention
7 communication, what do you mean? I didn't quite understand that part of
8 your question.
9 Q. I'll read your words, which is on page 8 of your 2004 statement
10 to the Prosecution, at paragraph 48, part way down, where you say --
11 sorry, maybe I should put it a little bit in context for you.
12 At the beginning of paragraph you say:
13 "I did not have any contact with General Gotovina after the
14 meeting in Knin on the 6th of August."
15 And unless my friends across the way want me to add anything
16 else, I will move down to another part where you say:
17 "I am not aware of any communication between General Cermak and
18 General Gotovina and personally I doubt if there was."
19 So I was asking about your words and asking if you could -- if
20 that's correct. And adding to that, if can you explain the basis for
21 your opinion on that.
22 A. First of all, if I understood the proceedings here correctly,
23 then I believe that the corrections of my statement have been admitted
24 into evidence.
25 I remember the part that you just mentioned very well, but I also
1 remember that the translation was very ambiguous, that it was never
2 unambiguous. As I was reading the Croatian part of my statement, in that
3 part it can be understood in any way you want. And that's when you're
4 talking about that statement.
5 Now, as to whether General Cermak and General Gotovina
6 communicated, I don't know.
7 Q. So I take it then you wouldn't have been aware that
8 General Cermak told the Prosecution investigators that General Gotovina
9 was informed of everything that was written to him from the
10 internationals. Would you know anything about that?
11 A. What do you mean, actually? I simply don't know anything about
13 Q. Mr. Lukovic, can you explain who ordered all of your original
14 reports in Zadar to be burned in 1999 and why exactly that was done?
15 A. Yes, I know that. When an order came for the office to be closed
16 down -- or, rather, the Department of that office that was my former
17 department for Sector South, then an order also came from Zagreb from the
18 superior office, and I believe that the person was no longer
19 Brigadier Plestina. I believe that he was already retired. But it's
20 neither here nor there. It could have been his deputy who then became
21 the head of that department. His name was Brigadier Kukec.
22 That procedure is more or less normal in any such situation. An
23 office is being closed down, and it had been made sure that all the
24 reports from my department were in the archives of the Ministry of the
25 Defence in Zagreb
1 burned under the supervision of a commission consisting of three men.
2 All the documents were filed and the report of the procedure was
3 sent to Zagreb
4 information that all the copies of our reports had already been archived
5 in the Ministry of Defence in Zagreb
6 Q. Sorry, was it the copies that were burned, or was it the
7 originals that were burned?
8 A. All sorts of documents, originals and copies alike.
9 If you don't understand my answer, I can illustrate my answer
10 with an example.
11 Q. No, it's okay, I understand. Copies and originals were burned.
12 Now, just a moment ago you were talking about ambiguous
13 translations. And, Mr. Lukovic, I want to draw your attention to some
14 specific examples of changes and explanations that you've provided for
15 just two of the paragraphs in your original 2004 statement, and then I
16 want to ask you some questions about that.
17 Now, specifically at paragraph 27 on page 5 in the English of
18 your 2004 statement, wherein, correct me if I'm wrong, but you're
19 describing a walk and observations -- sorry. You're talking about some
20 observations that you made on 5th and 6th of August in Knin in 1995. And
21 your original statement reads:
22 "There were many Croatian soldiers in the town and there was much
23 euphoria and some of the soldiers were shooting in the air."
24 Which you have now changed to:
25 "There was a very small number of Croatian soldiers in the town."
1 And in the same paragraph, you said that you were woken up on the
2 6th of August by shooting and you saw "a Croatian soldier shooting at a
4 Which now you want to add the words to make that dog "pretty
6 And at paragraph 31 of your 2004 statement, which is on page 6 in
7 the English and 6 in the B/C/S, you originally describe walking in Knin
8 with Mr. Dondo on 6th of August, 1995, and you report seeing, among other
9 things, signs of destruction and looting by Croatian soldiers. You
10 report observing patrols by ordinary soldiers, some military individuals
11 behaving badly. However, you want this changed, or you've change this
12 to -- to -- so that it reads that the patrols were exclusively conducted
13 by the military police, and that there were no -- sorry. Quote:
14 "There were no signs of destruction in the town."
15 And that:
16 "There was a very small number of Croatian soldiers in the town
17 of Knin and they were not behaving badly."
18 Now, Mr. Lukovic, given your most recent version which indicates
19 that, basically, right after Operation Storm, you observed no signs of
20 destruction in Knin and very few HV members who were not behaving badly
21 in Knin, and I'm not sure if you're suggesting that they were also
22 cleaning the town of rabid dogs. But can I ask to you explain these
23 changes in light of a few things.
24 At paragraph 29, which is on page 6 of your 2004 statement, you
25 talk about a 6 of August meeting in the Knin fortress and you describe
1 General Gotovina was very angry at what he had seen when he arrived in
2 Knin and at the misbehaviour of some Croatian soldiers and that he had
3 accused the commanders of lack of control over their men which was
4 shameful to the Croatian Army.
5 Can you explain how you understood that at the time, the anger,
6 and what you understood General Gotovina to be angry at, given your
7 description of Knin as it is in your 2009 statement?
8 A. Yes, I will gladly explain that.
9 In light of the fact how you represented things, even a
10 perfunctory look would reveal a lot of contradictions, three or for at
12 First of all, I arrived in Knin on the 5th of August by
13 helicopter. I arrived with five or six other officers. We landed at the
14 football pitch, and, on the southern part, we made our way into Knin. I
15 am emphasizing the southern part, because, according to everything I
16 know, and in view of the number of soldiers that I saw as I was entering
17 Knin from the centre of Knin towards the northern part of Knin, I saw a
18 few groups of soldiers who were rejoicing, celebrating, and shooting in
19 the air wanting to show their joy at Knin being ours.
20 So when I'm talking about people shooting in the air, I'm talking
21 about the first day when the Croatian Army entered Knin. And I'm not
22 talking about the southern part of Knin, but, rather, about its northern
24 When you say that I saw traces of destruction in Knin, I don't
25 know whether we're -- this is due to bad interpretation, and I apologise
1 to my colleagues, the interpreters. I would like to point out at the
2 moment, and I've already written it down several times, as I was passing
3 through Knin -- to be very precise, I saw the places where three grenades
4 fell and I can repeat. One was on the wall of the so-called JNA home,
5 the house that -- that housed my office and Mr. Cermak's office. The
6 second was on a civilian house across the road. And the third shell
7 trace was on the football pitch where we landed with the helicopter.
8 On the following day, when we were woken up by the shots, those
9 shots were fired by that soldier who had shot at a dog. We went out, and
10 there were no other soldiers there. Whatever I'm describing here
11 concerns three different situations over a period of one day and a half;
12 whereas, you are putting everything together, hence you find
13 contradictions in my words.
14 As for the rest of the situation and the picture in Knin, yes, I
15 saw, on a few buildings where things were lying in front of the houses
16 after having been thrown out of the windows. I don't know who did that.
17 And as for the bad behaviour, and I'm talking about the shooting on the
18 second day after the euphoria had passed, well, this is the bad behaviour
19 that I'm referring to.
20 Q. So, it's just that you're saying that some things of these things
21 apply just to certain things that you were seeing at certain times at
22 certain parts of the town, and that's what you wrote in your statement?
23 It's not an overall view of the situation in Knin.
24 Is that fair?
25 A. When you say "overall view of the situation in Knin," if you mean
1 the entire town of Knin
2 through at least half of the town of Knin
3 Q. I was trying to actually confirm what you were explaining, in
4 terms of your observations.
5 So the observations that you made in which statement apply to
6 half of Knin? The destruction, or a lot of soldiers, or not very many
7 soldiers? Can you explain that?
8 A. I have already explained the term "destruction." There were no
9 destroyed houses; there were no destroyed streets. I described the three
10 places where shells had fallen.
11 As for the rest of the picture of Knin, I'm talking about the
12 main thoroughfare through Knin and the street parallel to it, and given
13 the size of Knin, Knin is not a big town. That's where I saw things
14 strewn around after having been thrown out of the doors or windows as I
15 was passing through that main street. I don't know who had thrown them
17 All in all, the picture was not really favourable, to be honest,
18 and I was very clear, and I understood very well General Gotovina, when
19 he used those words he did.
20 Q. And in terms of the number of soldiers, can you reconcile the
21 changes that we went through with Mr. Dondo, who, in his statement, where
22 he is -- says that he had walked around Knin with you during the evening
23 of the 5th of August, 1995
24 "The area was under the complete control of the HV."
25 And that:
1 "We did see quite a number of other members of the HV in the
3 And he assumed at the time that they were members of the
4 4th and 7th Guards Brigade.
5 Can you explain how it is that Mr. Dondo seeing -- what seems to
6 be a number of soldiers and you're seeing very few?
7 A. I believe that Mr. Dondo and I speak about the same thing. I
8 have told you that on the first day, during the first afternoon and the
9 first evening of our stay in Knin, I told you that in the east and
10 north-east part of Knin we saw a lot of groups of soldiers, small groups
11 of soldiers, who were shooting in the air. And I repeat, this was a sign
12 of euphoria as a result of the liberation of Knin, which means that Dondo
13 and I speak the same about the first afternoon and evening after we had
14 entered Knin.
15 As for the members of the 4th Brigade, I don't know anything
16 about that. I personally didn't see any. I don't remember having seen
17 any; however, I now about the member of the 7th Brigade because I asked
18 him where his commander was. We went to see him afterwards to give us
19 some food. When I said that there were very few soldiers after that, I
20 repeat: I'm talking about the following day. The day when we were woken
21 by the shots being fired by that one soldier. Where he came from, whose
22 soldier he was, I don't know. We were not close to him. He was shooting
23 at the dog, and it was further away from us. When he saw us, he stopped
25 So we're talking about two different situations: The one that
1 happened on the first day in the afternoon; and the second situation took
2 place on the following day, in the morning.
3 Q. And, Mr. Lukovic, if I could just return to your description of
4 the destruction. This chamber has received evidence that, following the
5 shelling, that there was looting happening in -- in Knin by HV members
6 and that there were signs of destruction, including to civilian
8 Is it the same situation, where you just didn't see those
9 particular things because you didn't go to those parts of the town; or
10 can you -- can you account for that evidence?
11 A. I can absolutely speak about the parts of town in which I
12 observed. And I repeat, I passed through at least half the town and I
13 also climbed the fortress to see the late General Korade who gave us food
14 up there. So I don't see a better place from which one could see the
15 panorama of Knin than the Knin fortress itself.
16 As for arson, the only fire that I saw was on a civilian building
17 across the street from the former JNA building, the same house that later
18 on housed my office. And that civilian building had been hit in -- on
19 the roof, and the roof was ablaze.
20 There were no traces or signs of arson. I didn't see any.
21 Q. That's okay, Mr. Lukovic, because I only asked you about looting,
22 not arson. But I'll move on.
23 Mr. Lukovic, are you aware that some of the internationals at
24 times considered the restrictions on their movement under the guise of
25 safety concerns with simply a pretext to prevent them from fulfilling
1 their mandate to observe what was happening on the ground.
2 A. I apologise, I have not understood your question properly, I'm
3 afraid. Could you please repeat it?
4 Q. Yes. I'm asking if you're aware that some of the internationals
5 considered the restrictions on their movement under the guise of HV or
6 Croatian authorities being concerned for their safety was simply a
7 pretext to prevent them from fulfilling their mandate to observe what was
8 happening on the ground in Sector South.
9 A. I apologise for volunteering my personal views with regard to the
10 question that you put to me.
11 If we approach matters in this way, you are questioning the
12 seriousness of my job, the work of all the officers, and the
13 Croatian Army as a whole.
14 Your Honours, with your leave, I would rather not answer this
15 question at all.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to answer the question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, whatever I did,
18 throughout the homeland war, and I'm speaking on my behalf and on behalf
19 of those under my command, also, I had opportunities --
20 JUDGE ORIE: You're not supposed to speak on anyone's behalf
21 apart from what you saw, what you know, what you heard, what have you
22 seen. You may answer questions; and if there's anything you say, I don't
23 know because I haven't seen it, then, fine, we'll hear your answer.
24 But you're not supposed to make statements on behalf of others.
25 Would you please answer the question.
1 Perhaps you repeat the question, Mr. Carrier, because it's
2 already a while ago that you -- and perhaps also try to put the questions
3 to the witness in such a way that -- not by its compound character, it
5 MR. CARRIER: Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Lukovic, all I want to know is whether or not you're aware of
7 something. I'm going to ask you what it is. But I just want to know if
8 you're aware of it. And what I want to know is: Were you aware that
9 some of the internationals considered restrictions on their movements
10 under the guise of safety concerns was simply a pretext to prevent them
11 from seeing what was happening on the ground in Sector South?
12 A. No, I wasn't aware of that. None of them ever told me that.
13 MR. CARRIER: Mr. Registrar, could you please call up document
14 65 ter 4479.
15 And a brief indulgence, Mr. President. I just have to check
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. CARRIER:
19 Q. Mr. Lukovic, I'll ask you a question in a moment.
20 MR. CARRIER: But, Mr. President, the document that's being
21 called up should be 65 ter 4479 consists of, I believe, three pages.
22 Unfortunately, the -- the pages that have been uploaded into e-court, and
23 I couldn't find a different version, I believe are photo copies of a fax,
24 and so it's quite difficult to read. I think perhaps the Croatian or the
25 B/C/S version might be slightly easier to read, but the English version
1 is actually quite difficult to read. And I have taken the liberty of
2 having it typed out and it's on Sanction just the English text. So it's
3 not a translation or anything, but it's just an aid to get some context.
4 So if that would assist -- and I apologise, Mr. President, I'm
5 not sure of the best way of doing this. But I -- if my friends have
6 access to it on Sanction or if it can be -- perhaps just show the letter
7 from Sanction first. And --
8 JUDGE ORIE: It is not entirely clear. At this moment I have got
9 on my screen 161112 -- in B/C/S. Is that the badly legible document?
10 MR. CARRIER: No, Mr. President. That's the translation of a
11 protest that was sent in English, and the English one is just difficult
12 to read so -- which is on a different page in the 65 ter document.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look. You say it's difficult to
14 read. Could we gain our own impression on how difficult it is, because
15 if you think that it could be transcribed perhaps with the assistance of
16 the translation which was made contemporaneously as I understand, let's
17 have a look at what we can see. Let's --
18 MR. CARRIER: This is the document.
19 JUDGE ORIE: This is the document.
20 I think most of it can be read and some portions may, especially
21 the third paragraph, might need further attention. But I think it is of
22 such a quality that perhaps not easily, but it can be read.
23 MR. CARRIER: Perhaps, Mr. President, it might be easier if I
24 read in --
25 JUDGE ORIE: If would you read how you under understand this,
1 then we can follow it and see whether there are major objections against
2 the -- how do you say, deciphering from the original text.
3 If you read slowly.
4 MR. CARRIER: Yes, I will do that. And I will just read the
5 body, under protest, Dear General. And then I'll just begin reading the
7 JUDGE ORIE: You still have to read all of it. I think the first
8 paragraph is ... as you know, I remain concerned about the serious and
9 potentially explosive situation --
10 I mean, that's not too difficult to read, is it?
11 MR. CARRIER: No, I think it's just -- it fades off more to one
12 side which is the issue.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, read whatever you think that we couldn't read
14 and let's then see whether -- and major portions are, although not
15 easily, but are legible.
16 MR. CARRIER: I will start:
17 "I was very disappointed to learn that you UN elements observed
18 the HV/HVO renewal of hostilities. They're using heavy weapons
19 yesterday, beginning approximately 20/20 hours. Not surprising, these
20 actions resulted in" --
21 JUDGE ORIE: I would read not surprisingly, but.
22 MR. CARRIER: "Not surprisingly, these actions resulted in a Serb
23 response in kind.
24 "I consider the HV and HVO actions to be unacceptable in this
25 instance. This latest renewal of hostilities using heavy weapons must
1 cease immediately."
2 Next paragraph:
3 "I must also ensure that you are aware that an air-raid took
4 place today" --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Air-raid or air attack, Mr. --
6 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, there is a clean copy at
7 65 ter 3960.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We have no access to the 65 ter numbers, but.
9 MR. MISETIC: Well --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, if you could follow the suggestion by
11 Mr. Misetic and to find a clean copy.
12 MR. CARRIER: Simply for context I can refer to the next part
13 which actually has been translated. So I'll skip the part, and if
14 there's any question about the context I'll --
15 JUDGE ORIE: But if there is a clean copy, why not use the clean
16 copy? Which is legible, I take it, clearly legible.
17 MR. CARRIER: Certainly. Then we'll call it up.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It was "attack," Mr. --
19 MR. CARRIER: Yes, I see that.
20 If we could have 65 ter -- it's up now, thank you.
21 Okay. So --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Now just for my information, we have now two
23 translations: The one is the translation that was apparently made
24 contemporaneously; and now we have a translation into B/C/S, which is
25 different from that one, which apparently is made on the basis of the --
1 of the original.
2 Which of the two B/C/S versions, again, who are not the same,
3 would you intend to use for your purposes? Are we focussing on the
4 original text, or are we focussing on how this text was relayed to those
5 who could read it at the time?
6 MR. CARRIER: We're just dealing with relay of information. It's
7 not the letter itself or the translation of the letter itself.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So we work on the basis of the clean original, and
9 not of the official translation as prepared, I take it, by CLSS, but --
10 use this -- this now is the wrong translation.
11 MR. CARRIER: The translation in the original one that I pulled
12 up, I believe, was actually done by Croatian authorities at the time
13 because it was sent to them and it's --
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I said. That was contemporaneous
15 translation. And then I asked you what you wanted to focus on, on the
16 correct or the accurate translation of the text in the original, or on
17 the translation as it was provided at the time to the persons who were
18 addressed by this letter.
19 MR. CARRIER: As was provided at the time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: As was provided. Then we need another translation
21 on our screen in B/C/S.
22 So we are now combining the 65 ter number, the clean copy, with
23 the -- yes, and perhaps now in order to avoid whatever misunderstanding,
24 the translation we are using at this moment, and could we just move up a
25 tiny little bit. No, move -- could we see the top of the document.
1 We are now using the translation which is ERN number 0611-1265;
2 whereas, the original we're now looking at is R016-9586. That's what we
3 have op our screen now, and I take it that that will be the basis for
4 your questions.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, and I apologise for the confusion.
7 Q. Mr. Lukovic, the document on your screen concerns a protest that
8 was sent from General Kotil to General Gotovina on the
9 18th of June, 1995. That protest depends an end to renewed hostilities
10 by the HV and HVO in the Dinara mountains where heavy weapons were used.
11 General Kotil is making a continued request for a meeting to discuss a
12 negotiated end to hostilities. And attached to the protest, you can see
13 at the bottom, just below the Croatian translation of the original, is a
14 corresponding comment on that protest, signed by you?
15 MR. CARRIER: And if we can turn the page in the 65 ter document
16 that I called up, which has the English translation of Mr. Lukovic's
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So now we return to the badly legible copy of
19 the letter of protest, 18th of June. Yes.
20 And now we move to -- is there a second page?
21 MR. CARRIER: I believe there's a translation that would have --
22 right, there it is.
23 JUDGE ORIE: There we have on the second page we find a
24 translation of a note, which was added to the translation of this letter.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. CARRIER: Thank you.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Lukovic, you can read this -- this note of yours over.
3 And while you're doing that, I just want to put it to you that reading
4 this note, it seems to indicate that you're, in effect, finding excuse to
5 pretend that you had not, in fact, received the protest or passed it on
6 to General Gotovina in some sort of attempt to delay responding to it or
7 to buy time to allow hostilities to continue or for some other reason.
8 But reading that note, am I correct in saying that that's what
9 you were doing, pretending that you didn't actually receive it?
10 A. I never pretended in carrying out my job. That's for one.
11 Secondly, I have to point out the date on this letter that you're
12 talking about. I was in a paper from the Minister of Defence released
13 for any responsibility of Operation Storm. And as for this, this is the
14 previous situation that I in no way was involved in.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I already pointed at the date of this letter. Could
16 you please answer the question.
17 The question is whether we should read your note in such a way
18 that it is a delaying tactic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I'm not mistaken, the question
20 was -- I was asked to actually comment on my remark here. However, the
21 note is not completely legible.
22 However, I have to stress again the date on this document, when
23 this document was actually drafted. It relates to the period prior to
24 Operation Storm. And the minister of defence did not allow me -- yes, I
25 do not have a waiver from keeping official secrets or state secrets from
1 the minister of defence for this part or this period, this time-period.
2 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber is not aware of any limitation or any
3 request by the Croatian government that certain portions of your
4 knowledge should not be addressed in your examination.
5 I would, therefore, invite to you answer that question, apart
6 from the fact that, if you would comment on whether this is a note which
7 could be understood as delaying and denying reception, how that would
8 easily reveal any state secret.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am ready to answer
10 this part of the question, and I believe I did provide an answer, and I
11 can clarify it.
12 This text - again, I have to say the note which I signed - is not
13 completely legible and I do not understand the entire text. And I have
14 also answered that at no time did I ever in the carrying out of my duties
15 pretend in any way. And did I my job in a honourable fashion.
16 I agree also that my conduct and my role and my -- in my job is
17 not an official secret, and I will -- I can answer this, but I can't see
18 what's written here in the note that I signed.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that a solution could be found for that.
20 MR. KAY: Your Honour, the witness is obviously looking at the
21 Croatian --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes I see that.
23 MR. KAY: -- text which is what he is referring to and why he
24 says he cannot read it. Perhaps it would be a good idea if slowly the
25 English could be read out, because I do refer, Your Honour, to the second
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was about to --
3 MR. KAY: -- which --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, in view of the second sentence of this,
5 I didn't understand the first part of your question. Because it reads,
6 and perhaps I'll read the whole of it, but you said:
7 "Were you denying that you had received this letter?"
8 Now, the second sentence reads:
9 "We have told the UN liaison team that we are keeping it in our
10 office until ..."
11 And then whatever may follow, which makes it difficult for me to
12 understand how we could interpret this note in its entirety as an effort
13 to deny receipt of this letter.
14 But this is just my textual analysis of what we see.
15 If you want to proceed with the matter beyond the answer of the
16 witness, that he always faithfully performed his duties, then I will
17 slowly read the English and then I take it that those who can read B/C/S
18 will be able to check whether the English translation accords with the
19 original text.
20 Mr. Carrier, do you want, even in view of the second sentence, to
21 pursue this matter?
22 MR. CARRIER: Well, I note the time. And perhaps if -- just the
23 Croatian version can be enlarged for him to read, perhaps at the break,
24 and then I have two questions --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, okay. Then I suggest the following. I will
1 slowly read, and you're invited to follow the B/C/S and see whether that
2 rings a bell, and as earlier with the English with some effort, it's
3 often possible to read the text. We will, at the same time, ask whether
4 it will be enlarged for you, and I will read the English.
5 "Note:" -- first sentence underlined. "We have not yet received
6 the letter officially. We have told the UN Liaison Team that we are
7 keeping it in our office until General Gotovina's decision on how to
8 proceed. We stated our reasons: there is no UNCRO/United Nations
9 Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia in the address of the sender;
10 in the text, as in many letters so far, General Kotil, writes of attack
11 operations and the HV ... and HVO, and, on top of all, in this letter,
12 which he calls a 'Protest,' he says that he does not know whose aircraft
13 attacked Vranovaca thus leaving enough room for the HV (HRZ/Croatian Air
14 Force) to be accused of it. Because of the aforesaid, I have decided to
15 act as explained."
16 And then:
17 "Head of Department, Naval Commander."
18 And then a signature, and the name:
19 "Ivica Lukovic."
20 We will have a break, and then Mr. Carrier has two questions on
21 the document after the break.
22 We resume at 6.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, please proceed.
1 MR. CARRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Lukovic, I apologise for confusing you. I -- forget
3 pretending. What I want to know is: Looking at the note attached to
4 General Kotil's protest, it basically seems as though you are looking for
5 excuses to delay responding to a protest sent to General Gotovina by the
7 Do you have any comment on that?
8 A. Your Honours, in the first sentence of my letter it says the
9 letter has still not been officially received.
10 Throughout the war, and while I discharged my duties, together
11 with my officers, we tried to do a good job, as good as possible. Not
12 only once but on several occasions it happened that UN officers came to
13 our office and they would show a letter to us. It is mentioned here
14 in -- at the very beginning that the letter was not officially received.
15 Is obvious that an officer from General Kotil's staff came to us
16 and brought the letter on him. I commented upon the letter, but the
17 letter had not officially been received. We saw that piece of paper that
18 the officer brought, but that did not mean that the letter had been
19 officially received. It had to go through the official channels from the
20 UN to us.
21 And as it says at the beginning, the letter has not yet been
22 officially received. But this is not delaying matters or ignoring
23 matters; we were simply waiting for the letter to be officially received
24 for General Gotovina to be able to respond officially, either him or
25 somebody else on his behalf.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Carrier, if you have one other question, fine,
2 but the Chamber considers it not to be very useful to spend too much time
3 on an issue like this one.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. CARRIER: Thank you. That was actually my last question on
7 Q. The other question I have, Mr. Lovric [sic], is at page 24 in
8 today's testimony starting at around line 7 you mention being involved in
9 writing some pages for General Lovric and for General Feldi. And you
11 "I did write" -- "I did write a few pages of the text during the
12 period when we still thought that the material would be used in defence
13 of our Generals present here in this courtroom. Later on, when I learned
14 that the materials would probably be used for a book, I went to see
15 General Lovric, and I withdrew from the project."
16 Just to be clear, you were willing to produce that material to
17 defend, as you call them "our Generals," but you weren't willing to do it
18 for any other purpose, like putting it in a book of an analysis about
19 Operation Storm.
20 Is that the point of what you are saying?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. CARRIER: No more questions.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay.
25 MR. KAY: Your Honour, nothing arises. I have no re-examination.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE: No further questions, Mr. President.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few questions for you, Mr. Lukovic.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 Q. When you gave your statement in 2004, you say that, as we learned
8 from your later statement, that the text was not read to you in Croatian
9 or at least not entirely. What was read and what was not read?
10 A. The text was never read out to me. Nobody read the text to me,
11 which means that the text was never read in its entirety to me from its
12 beginning to the end.
13 It was never read back to me. They allowed me to see the text,
14 and I managed to read some of it myself. However, it was Friday, it was
15 the end of their business day, they were in a haste, they stood up, and I
16 signed the statement. And it was only later when I received a copy and
17 when I was reading it I realized and I saw that the Croatian text -- and
18 I was no little surprised to see that there were several sentences
19 containing ambiguous meanings or lending themselves to all sorts of
20 different conclusions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, that's quite an allegation, where the
22 interpreter certifies that she read the text to you. She signs:
23 "I have orally translated the above statement from the English
24 language to the Croatian language in the presence of Ivica Lukovic, who
25 appeared to have heard and understood my translation of this statement."
1 Then if I understand your testimony well, that is then a lie; is
3 A. Your Honour, I adhere by my statement; and I repeat, the text was
4 never read back to me.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I asked you whether then the interpreter lied when
6 she wrote what we read.
7 A. Well, I suppose that your conclusion would be the same as mine,
8 having heard what I just said.
9 I apologise, I would like to add something to that, if I may?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
11 A. I have a copy of the text here on me, the text of my statement.
12 My and your words are now being interpreted by your official
13 interpreters. I'm going to give you just one example or one sentence to
14 illustrate what I'm saying and then maybe you can ask your official
15 interpreter to interpret that sentence, and you can ask him or her
16 whether one could actually interpret that sentence in more than one way.
17 Can it lend itself to a very ambiguous interpretation, in other words.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I'm focussing, at this moment, on one issue and that
19 is, you say the text was not read to you where the interpreter signs for
20 having read the text to you. And I asked you whether she then lies. If
21 you're referring to my conclusions, it's of no use to you because you do
22 not know what my conclusions are.
23 So I would like to ask you what your conclusions are.
24 A. No, I didn't say that your conclusion wouldn't be useful to me.
25 I just said that --
1 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
2 A. -- based on what I said to you that the text was never read back
3 to me, one can conclude, and I am saying, I'm stating, that it is a lie
4 that the text was read back to me. It wasn't.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, as far as your own acknowledgment is
6 concerned, you -- could I ask you -- can we have on the screen page 11 of
7 your 2004 statement, English version.
8 Could you tell me who did fill in the date on that witness
10 A. In the upper part of the page, can you see the date,
11 1st October 2004
12 handwriting, I would say that I put that date on the document.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And it is your signature, you said. Here you
14 acknowledge that the text was read to you, and you confirmed that with
15 your own signature.
16 Do you have any explanation for that?
17 A. My lack of attention.
18 JUDGE ORIE: On such an important matter, you did not have
19 attention, knowing that you were giving a statement, and you didn't
20 contest that you were informed that you could be called as a witness in
22 A. You are right, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I take you to your new statement.
24 For the parties, I would like to pay attention to page 48 of the
25 testimony of this witness.
1 You corrected your statement, and I read from paragraph 11 of
2 your statement you gave to the Defence. You said -- the part of this
3 paragraph that starts with:
4 "Unfortunately there were still some military individuals
5 behaving badly, the soldiers behaving badly could be a mixture from the
6 various brigades."
7 And then you said, No, this should be replaced by:
8 "There was a very small number of Croatian soldiers in the town
9 of Knin, and they were not behaving badly."
10 You see that part of your -- and some questions were already put
11 to you by Mr. Carrier.
12 When questions were asked to you on this topic, you said, talking
13 about the bad behaviour:
14 "... and I'm talking about the shooting on the second day after
15 the euphoria had passed, well, this is the bad behaviour that I'm
16 referring to."
17 So you explain what you meant by "bad behaviour." Nevertheless,
18 in your new statement, you want the word "bad behaviour" or
19 "behaving badly" to be replaced by "they were not behaving badly."
20 Wouldn't the proper correction would not have been, "The bad
21 behaviour I was referring to was the shooting." Instead of correcting
22 your statement by saying they were not behaving badly because you
23 explained to us today what you meant with this bad behaviour.
24 A. Your Honour, when we entered Knin and when Knin was liberated, I
25 mentioned having seen several groups of soldiers were shooting in the
1 air. In my book, that was also inappropriate behaviour, but
2 understandable to an extent, because it showed their euphoria for the
3 fact that Knin was liberated and they were able to enter Knin.
4 If I were to tell you that on the following day I saw even as
5 many groups of soldiers as I did the day before, I would be lying,
6 because I didn't. If I told you that I saw people looting, killing,
7 destroying, I would be lying, because I didn't. I didn't see that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... I'm -- you're
9 giving me a long answer. You replaced your statement that you saw
10 soldiers behaving badly by saying that, apart from the number, that's
11 another matter, but that they were not behaving badly. And now today in
12 court you explained to us what you meant by the bad behaviour.
13 So the change in your statement, changing bad behaviour to
14 behaviour not being bad, now you say, Well, they behaved badly, but that
15 was -- I meant the shooting, which gives a rather different impression
16 than to say that they did not behave badly, apart from whether shooting
17 is bad or not.
18 I would have expected you to change your statement to say they
19 behaved bad -- they behaved badly, and what I understood by bad behaviour
20 is shooting.
21 A. Well, I accept that as well, because it can be understood in that
23 However, after a certain time passes and learns what had happened
24 before, criteria change. But I believe that excessive shooting in the
25 air on the following day as the soldiers did, yes, I believe that in that
1 part, that didn't constitute good behaviour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Why then did you say that they did not behave badly?
3 Why didn't you, after so many years, why didn't you say they behaved
4 badly and what I saw them doing and what I considered to be bad behaviour
5 was ... and then to explain. Instead of saying, They did not behave
7 A. I agree. I could have. I agree.
8 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
11 I have no further questions.
12 Have the questions by the Bench triggered any need --
13 MR. KAY: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Lukovic, this concludes your testimony in
15 this Court. I'd like to thank you very much for coming the long way to
16 The Hague
17 parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. It was my
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, could you please escort Mr. Lukovic out
21 of the courtroom.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, this witness was scheduled for two days;
24 we've dealt with his testimony in one day. Have you no witness ready for
25 tomorrow from what I understand.
1 MR. KAY: Yes. They were trying to locate Monday's witness, and
2 unfortunately he was out of contact. And I believe he was advised that
3 it would be Monday. So it's our apologies for that matter. But we -- we
4 do our best on the estimates everyone can give. But we do appreciate
5 that sometimes things go more quickly than planned.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You will certainly not be blamed by the other
7 parties for not having provided for sufficient time for
8 cross-examination, Mr. Kay.
9 Now there is one issue ...
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 22445-22446 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 We adjourn, and we will resume on Monday, the 5th of October,
3 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom III.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.42 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 5th day
6 of October, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.