1 Wednesday, 14 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Ante Gotovina et al.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Judge Kinis and myself informed the parties that Judge Gwaunza,
14 for personal reasons, is unable to attend. We have considered whether or
15 not to continue the proceedings, and we concluded that it's in the
16 interests of justice to continue the proceedings in the absence of
17 Judge Gwaunza under Rule 15 bis.
18 Then I have one other matter which I'd like to raise.
19 On the 9th of October, the Chamber has indicated in court that it
20 was considering the complex legal issue of relying on sections of a
21 92 ter statement from which a witness had distanced himself, in whole or
22 in part, also in light of the case law developed at this Tribunal on
23 previous inconsistent statements. On that day, the Chamber had initial
24 oral submissions from the Gotovina Defence and the Prosecution in this
25 matter and invited the parties to make any submissions they wished.
1 On the 12th of October, the Gotovina Defence indicated in court
2 that it was prepared to address the matter further, and the Chamber
3 stated it would like to hear from the other parties when they were ready.
4 The Chamber now invites the parties to file written submissions,
5 if they wish to do so, by the 28th of October, 2009, on the practical
6 implications of the developed case law on previous inconsistent
7 statements on the admission of sections of 92 ter statements that were
8 not attested or not fully attested to in court. That's the invitation of
9 the Chamber.
10 And then we'll wait for the witness to enter the courtroom.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 WITNESS: IVO CIPCI [Resumed]
13 [The witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Cipci.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to remind you that you are still bound
17 by the solemn declaration you gave yesterday at the beginning of your
19 Are you ready, Mr. Kay, to continue?
20 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 And I'm just looking at matters in paragraph 17 of the witness's
22 statement, Your Honour.
23 Examination by Mr. Kay: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Cipci, in your statement, you said that you found out
25 Mr. Cermak was sent to Knin to take care of everything with regard to the
1 normalisation of life of the civilians that remained in that area, and
2 you said that:
3 "This is what I was told by the MUP."
4 I'd like to ask you some questions about that, more specifically
5 as to any discussions you may have had or how this information came to
6 you. Do you understand?
7 A. Yes, I understand.
8 Q. Can you recollect when you first heard about Mr. Cermak's
9 position of being sent to Knin for the normalisation of life? Can you
10 recollect when you first heard that?
11 A. Well, I can recollect that very well. It was on the 6th. On the
12 5th, I entered Knin, and the president was supposed to come on the 6th.
13 Franjo Tudjman was supposed to come. On the 6th, in the morning, I was
14 in Knin because it was to be assumed that they would continue to Kijevo.
15 On the 6th, my minister, Ivan Jarnjak came, and the assistant minister,
16 Josko Moric, also came. I heard that they had arrived. I believe that I
17 even saw Mr. Cermak when he arrived, and then I immediately asked my
18 minister, Mr. Jarnjak, what Mr. Cermak's function was.
19 Given the fact that I already had a hundred policemen stationed
20 in Knin, I was curious to know who I could contact from the army in case
21 my employees, who were deployed in Knin, needed something. And they were
22 under the command of the Knin Administration, whose name I believe was
23 Mr. -- well, I don't know. Romanic, Romanic. And that was when
24 Mr. Jarnjak -- when the minister first told me that the arrival of
25 Mr. Cermak in Knin was exclusively to take care of the normalisation of
1 life in the territory of Knin
2 the status of the garrison commander. From my previous contacts with the
3 garrison commander of Split
4 authorities were. Mr. Cermak, irrespective of his rank of a general that
5 he acquired much earlier, he could not have any higher authorities than
6 the garrison commander of Split
7 comprised several combat units; the command of the Croatian Navy; and two
8 battalions of the military police, the 72nd and the 73rd Battalions.
9 Should I tell you something else?
10 Q. Just wait there, please, because I've had a note that the
11 transcriber and interpreter are struggling, and they have to keep up with
12 you, Mr. Cipci, to relay this information to us and others. And I could
13 tell that they were speaking very, very quickly. So I tend to speak
14 fairly slowly in court, and that's because it's being translated. Can
15 you remember to do that?
16 A. [In English] Okay. Thank you. [Interpretation] I will speak
17 very slowly for the benefit of both the interpreters and the transcriber.
18 I really want them to do their job well.
19 Q. Thank you very much. You gave us a lot of information there, and
20 I'll go back to look at some parts of it with you.
21 You told us that you had a hundred policemen in Knin, and you
22 were curious to know who you could contact from the army because your
23 employees were deployed there under Mr. Romanic. And you were told by
24 Mr. Jarnjak about Mr. Cermak's task to exclusively take care of the
25 normalisation of life in Knin, and he was the garrison commander.
1 Now, if we just look at parts of that, first of all. Were your
2 employees, the hundred or so policemen from your police administration,
3 to have any contact or to be subordinated to Mr. Cermak in any way?
4 A. No, they were not supposed to have any contact with him. They
5 were directly subordinated to Mr. Romanic. Romanic was subordinated to
6 Cetina, and Cetina was subordinated to Jarnjak. That was the hierarchy
7 of the police.
8 Q. Again, taking that day of the 6th of August, was there any
9 suggestion in the information you received that Mr. Romanic was to be
10 subordinated under the command of General Cermak?
11 A. No information to that effect at all. Mr. Romanic, on the 6th,
12 was appointed as a temporary chief of the Police Administration of Knin.
13 On the following day, I believe it was the 7th, I officially inaugurated
14 him, together with the assistant minister for the SZUP, and I believe
15 that together with us was the chief of the Police Administration of
16 Sibenik, Mr. Matic. I believe that official documents for Mr. Romanic
17 arrived at the time, and we officially installed him in his new office.
18 That was Mr. Smiljan Reljic, the assistant minister for SZUP. "SZUP" is
19 the abbreviation standing for the Office for the Protection of the
20 Constitutional Order.
21 Am I still too fast?
22 Q. I hesitate to say it, but you are. But you're doing better.
23 A. [In English] Okay. Break, I better take a break.
24 Q. Again, now, looking into that information that you gave us
25 concerning Mr. Romanic, you said that you appointed him or inaugurated
1 him into his position. Had you previously had a relationship with
2 Mr. Romanic, in the sense that he had worked for you?
3 A. [Interpretation] No. I met Mr. Romanic on that day when
4 Mr. Smiljan Reljic, Mr. Matic, and I arrived in Knin. We found him on
5 the staircase of the Police Administration. He was sitting there because
6 he has his office there as the chief of the Police Administration.
7 Previously, Knin never had its own administration. There was just a
8 police station there prior to that. On that day, I met Mr. Romanic for
9 the first time ever.
10 Q. Thank you. It was the inauguration, what you meant by that, that
11 I wanted an explanation for, that you said on the next day, the 7th.
12 Could you explain to the Court what you meant by that?
13 A. What I meant was that I had received a telephone call by
14 Minister Jarnjak. He told me to go to Sibenik to find Chief Matic, then
15 to go to Drnis to the birthplace of Mr. Smiljan Reljic - he was there at
16 the time - and then the three of us were supposed to go to Knin. That's
17 where we would be met by Mr. Romanic, and that we would then officially
18 introduce him to his new office. That was the formal inauguration of
19 Mr. Romanic. I suppose that Mr. Smiljan Reljic also brought the official
20 documents on the appointment of Mr. Romanic on him, but I'm not sure
21 about that.
22 Q. Thank you. I'm still going back to that very first long answer
23 you gave me, and I want to go back to something you mentioned
24 concerning -- you knew about the garrison because you were based in
2 A. The headquarters of the Police Administration, its building, were
3 in Split
4 Q. Thank you. And were you aware of there being a garrison, then,
5 in Split
6 A. Not only was I aware, not only was I aware, I was personal
7 friends with Mr. Zoricic, who was the garrison commander of Split
8 we're still friends. I believe he had the rank of either major or
9 brigadier. I'm not sure. I knew that. We would occasionally meet,
10 socialise as friends on private matters always.
11 Q. Now, in relation to his position as Split Garrison commander, did
12 he have any command or authority over the civilian police?
13 A. Before I answer your question, I would just like to say two
14 sentences about that.
15 When I assumed my duties as the chief of the
16 Police Administration, I studied the legal documents relative to my job,
17 so I studied laws and bylaws relative to the work of the
18 Ministry of the Interior. Since it was war and I had the
19 4th Guards Brigade in Split
20 headquarters of the Croatian Navy. There was also the 72nd Battalion of
21 the Military Police and the 73rd Battalion of the Military Police,
22 obviously I studied the laws that were relative to the system and work of
23 the Croatian Army.
24 I was interested in finding about the relationship between the
25 Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence. And it is just
1 because I studied all that, I arrived at a conclusion very easily,
2 because it is explicitly stated in the laws, that a garrison commander
3 has no authority whatsoever over the combat units deployed in his area.
4 And it is for that reason that throughout the four years of war, never,
5 ever had a single official meeting with the Split Garrison commander,
6 Mr. Zoricic. However, I very often communicated with him privately,
7 unlike -- in that case, I had frequent contacts with the commander of the
8 4th Brigade, General Krsticevic, Admiral Letica, the commander of the
9 Croatian Navy. I also had contacts with the commanders of the
10 Home Guards Brigade. I had contacts with the commander of --
11 JUDGE ORIE: If I could give you some guidance.
12 Once the text on the screen stops moving, that means that the
13 transcriber has up to that moment finished the transcript, and she [sic]
14 does that on the basis of the translation of your words, the
15 interpretation of your words. So if you'd have a look on your screen now
16 and then.
17 THE WITNESS: On the left side?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the moving screen, to say so.
19 I take it, Madam Usher, that the witness can look at the English
20 text as well.
21 And if you would develop a speed of speech, something between
22 Mr. Kay and myself, that would be ideal.
23 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Yes, I think we may have missed some information concerning your
25 contacts with the commanders of the Home Guards Brigade, and "I had
1 contacts with the commander of ..."
2 Can you recollect the other contacts you wanted to refer to after you
3 mentioned the commanders of the Home Guards Brigade?
4 A. I will gladly do that. I had contacts with all the commanders of
5 military units, including Admiral Sveto Letica, and that was for a simple
6 reason. My function and position was in the County of Split
9 municipalities. It was my task to look after order and safety.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. And for that very reason, for that very reason, I had contacts
12 with the commanders in order to establish normal relations with them that
13 would enable me to avoid, in a peaceful way, all possible incidents that
14 might have arised [as interpreted] as a result of a huge number of
15 soldiers deployed in my area.
16 In addition to the troops, through my police administration, I
17 had frequent passages of HVO soldiers from Bosnia. I also had the
18 command of international forces that was headquartered there together
19 with a big logistical centre, and for that very reason I also had
20 frequent contacts with the commander of the international forces, whose
21 command was some 10 kilometres away from Split. And a large logistic
22 base was in the north or cargo harbour of the city of Split.
23 Q. Thank you for that detail. There's one matter I want to ask you
24 about, which was your contact with the 72nd and 73rd military police
25 battalions, and I'm still going back to your first answer you gave me.
1 And what was your reason for having contact with them, as the
2 chief of the Police Administration?
3 A. Well, although I was the chief of the Police Administration, I
4 had to define all the relations between the military police that was
5 stationed in Split
6 coordination in the performance of our tasks. And the reason was this:
7 At that time, our judiciary system -- our overall judiciary system was
8 divided into two parts, the military, and -- on the one hand, and the
9 civilian on the other. We had the military police, the
10 Military Prosecutor's Office, and military courts; and, on the other
11 hand, we had the civilian police, the Civilian Prosecutor's Office, and
12 civilian courts. Since they were not --
13 Q. If I can just stop you there. The Court has heard a lot of
14 evidence about that and is familiar with the structure, and I thank you
15 for giving the information, but we already know that and the Judges have
16 already had a great deal of evidence about that, with Your Honour's
17 leave -- if Your Honour agrees with that course.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may take that course.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you.
20 Q. I want to move now to another area, and that concerns
21 paragraph 23 of your statement and an issue concerning passes and
22 Mr. Cermak.
23 If we could look at D -- Exhibit D497, please.
24 A. [In English] I cannot see on the monitor.
25 Q. It will come eventually.
1 A. Okay.
2 Q. And this is a document dated the 16th of August.
3 We're still waiting for the English to come onto the screen.
4 MR. KAY: Thank you.
5 Q. And it's from the Ministry of Interior, Split-Dalmatia
6 Police Administration, and it's signed by you, dated the
7 16th of August, 1995, and it's sent to Operation Povratak staff in Zagreb
8 and had an attachment with it.
9 Do you recognise this document that we have here as being a
10 document written by you?
11 A. [Interpretation] The document on the screen bears my signature.
12 I sent this letter to the ministry and the HQ of Operation Povratak,
13 although I do not see what the document attached to this letter was.
14 Q. We'll now look at that. If we could turn to the next page,
15 please. And we can see the document headed the 16th of August, 1995
16 its subject is the report on the presence of members of the
17 EC Monitoring Mission in the area of Vrlika. And looking at the text, if
18 you can look at what was written, it concerns a telegram, informing the
19 identity of people in the Croatia
20 found out through an interview of them. The names of the people and
21 where they're from is set out, as well as a vehicle and what their
22 business was, that they'd been stopped at a check-point when they were
23 entering Vrlika.
24 MR. KAY: Page 3 in the Croatian, please.
25 Q. And they visited the commander of the Kenyan Battalion stationed
1 in Civljane, who informed them about mass graves in villages of Cetina
2 and Jezevic, and it concerned whether they had a permit in the area. And
3 they were told to go back in the direction of Knin to obtain it. And it
4 says there what they wanted to do, and refers that they were informed by
5 another team in their group, in their hierarchy, that they had a
6 certificate issued by General Cermak allowing free movement of the entire
7 ECMM in the Croatian area, and they were told that at an interview. And
8 that was signed by you in this report.
9 Do you recollect the information in this report and the
10 particular incident?
11 A. Well, I recall many things, but a number of years have passed in
12 the meantime, and I'm not a young boy anymore, either. I simply recall
13 these details because I had announced to Mr. Cermak prior to this that in
14 case I find anyone in my area of responsibility requiring my pass, with
15 his pass on that person, that that person would be removed from my area
16 of responsibility.
17 And following that announcement, I did this: There were other
18 persons similar to these from the international community who arrived
19 after Operation Storm, always had with them an approval of the
20 Ministry of Defence. I think it was Markica Rebic or General Tolj who
21 issued such documents and who were in contact with representatives of the
22 international community. Such approvals went through the
23 Ministry of the Interior and down to me, if they were to go through my
24 area, or if they were to spend some time in my area. In such cases, I
25 would provide them with the required passes.
1 If the Presiding Judge would allow me, I would like to add
3 Before Operation Storm, at the level of the Ministry of the
4 Interior, we had held several meetings at which it was clearly defined in
5 which way check-points would be set up and who was to issue passes to
6 whom, in terms of movement. It was said then that for all civilian
7 personnel, they fell exclusively under the authority of the chief of the
8 Police Administration in whose territory the aforementioned check-point
9 was. We were not interested in military personnel because we had no
10 right to stop them. We couldn't stop either the military personnel or
11 vehicles. It was irrelevant for me who was issuing permits for military
13 Q. So what was the problem with a certificate given by
14 General Cermak to allow the ECMM to go anywhere they liked in Croatia
15 What was the problem for you as to why you rejected it?
16 A. They were problematic because these were civilians, irrespective
17 of the fact that they were foreigners. They were not military personnel.
18 Q. If we just go back to the second page, and we see handwritten on
19 the right-hand side a series of names: Moric, Reljic, Benko, Zidovec.
20 A. Moric was assistant minister for the basic duty police. Reljic
21 was another assistant minister for the SZUP, Benko was in charge of the
22 crime police, and Zidovec was the head of the Legal Affairs Department.
23 All these were officials of the ministry.
24 Q. Are you able to assist as to why they would be copied in on this
25 particular report and the information that you have within it, why it
1 would be going to those people?
2 A. It's difficult for me to say. It seems to me that all these
3 people or, rather, the different sectors within the ministry were
4 regularly involved in the events after Operation Storm. Reljic, as the
5 assistant minister for the protection of the constitutional order, as
6 well as Benko, who was assistant minister for the crime police, because
7 many things had to be done in the area of Knin in order to deal with
8 criminal and legal matters, prosecutions, and so on and so forth.
9 Q. And to your knowledge, did any of those four people go to the
10 Knin area as a part of their duties at various times?
11 A. Mr. Reljic was, on the 5th or the 6th, already in the area of the
12 Krajina, because he hails from Drnis. It was logical for him to go and
13 visit his home and his area. He was there for that reason, and also for
14 official business, probably. Mr. Moric, I suppose, was in Knin on the
15 6th when Mr. -- when President Tudjman was there, and I suppose he came
16 after that as well, although we did not meet. I don't know for
17 Mr. Benko, whether he was there or not. I do know, however, that he sent
18 some of his men to Sibenik and Zadar because they were tasked with
19 processing many legal and criminal matters there.
20 I also gave my chief of sector of the crime police at the
21 disposal of Mr. Benko - he was one of the best experts in Croatia - so
22 that he could help his colleagues in Zadar, Sibenik, and Split
23 since he was in charge of legal and administrative matters, went down
24 there occasionally, although we didn't meet. Katica Osrecki, who was
25 assistant minister for finance, also went there. And in the course of
1 the first few days after Operation Storm, we went to see Mr. Cermak
3 Q. Thank you. We don't have a record of the name on the transcript
4 of the assistant minister for finance. Perhaps if you could repeat the
5 name you gave of the person you went to see Mr. Cermak with.
6 A. Ms. Katica Osrecki.
7 Q. And can you remember what the purpose of meeting Mr. Cermak was
8 with her?
9 A. It was a private meeting, because Ms. Katica Osrecki knew
10 Mr. Cermak from before. When she arrived in the area, she asked me to
11 accompany her, since she was not familiar with Knin. It was in the first
12 few days after Operation Storm. I took her there. It was a solely
13 private meeting of Ms. Osrecki and Mr. Cipci with Mr. Cermak.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to, then, the refusal of entry of
15 those members of the ECMM, who had permission from Mr. Cermak, were you
16 aware of the agreement that had been signed on the 6th of August between
17 Mr. Akashi, on behalf of the United Nations, and Mr. Sarinic, on behalf
18 of the Croatian government, which gave freedom of movement to various
19 parts of the UNCRO forces that were in Croatia for various purposes?
20 Were you and your police administration aware of that agreement?
21 A. As far as I can recall, I think I was familiar with the
22 agreement. But could you assist me, perhaps, and tell me when the
23 agreement was signed, the agreement between Sarinic and --
24 Q. It was signed on the 6th of August, in Zagreb.
25 A. [In English] Okay, okay.
1 Q. And if you would like to see a copy of it, it is Exhibit --
2 A. [Interpretation] That won't be necessary.
3 Very well. However, as far as I can recall, 15 years later,
4 I think in practice it did function in a way that all those members of
5 different monitoring and other international forces turned to the
6 Ministry of Defence, which was the only body authorised to allow access
7 to certain areas during wartime conditions. I think it went through such
8 people as Rebic and Tolj. They would issue their approvals, and then
9 that would go down the chain, allowing those people to visit.
10 I remember that on the 6th already, and in the next few days, I
11 used to see International Monitors in their white vehicles moving about
12 the Krajina. One of them would usually drive and another one sitting on
13 the hood, taping what was going on. I saw that myself on a number of
15 Q. What I wanted to ask was: Did you appreciate, in rejecting the
16 ECMM monitors who had said that Mr. Cermak had given them permission to
17 go where they like, that they were people who were entitled to go where
18 they like, under the Akashi-Sarinic Agreement of the 6th of August?
19 A. It is not in dispute that they could move, but still all of them
20 had to have a paper, a document which would confirm their identity and
21 contain their notification of intent to enter such delicate areas. They
22 had to notify those competent, and then, in turn, they could visit the
23 area. We could not deny issuing them passes. That is the gist of the
24 agreement between the Croatian government and Mr. Sarinic and them. We
25 had obligations on our part, whereas their obligation was to notify us on
1 time and to request a permission to enter that area. This is how I
2 interpreted it.
3 Q. Thank you. I just want to look at another document which is
4 another form of pass.
5 MR. KAY: Exhibit D494, please.
6 Q. And you will see on the screen a letter dated the
7 15th of August, 1995, from you, as chief of the Split-Dalmatia
8 Police Administration, to Operation Povratak staff in Zagreb. And the
9 letter submits a copy of a pass for entering the Knin Garrison, issued by
10 the Knin Garrison Command, and seeking a reply and confirming in writing
11 the validity of the passes for civilian persons in question.
12 First of all, do you recollect this letter as having been written
13 by you?
14 A. I do. I wrote this letter. And I also recall that Mr. Cermak,
15 during a private visit which took place immediately after
16 Operation Storm, showed me a printed pass which he produced in order to
17 allow persons freedom of movement in the liberated area. I told
18 Mr. Cermak immediately that such passes issued to civilians would be
19 considered invalid in my area of responsibility. Pursuant to that, I
20 sent a letter to the HQ of Operation Povratak to which a copy of such
21 pass issued by Mr. Cermak was attached. I received their reply, in which
22 it said that Mr. Cermak's passes are only valid for military personnel
23 and not for civilians.
24 Q. If we could just look at this document, first of all, and we see
25 handwriting on it which is translated as being:
1 "By checking through the Knin Police Administration,
2 Colonel-General Cermak will issue an order on the annulment of and free
3 movement of civilians.
4 "It must come in writing from the Ministry of Defence."
5 First of all, do you know who wrote that on your letter?
6 A. On the monitor, I cannot see the signature, but I do recognise
7 the handwriting.
8 MR. KAY: Can we lift it up to -- sorry, the other way, so we can
9 see --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's illegible, it's too dark.
11 I suppose, given that I had sent it to the HQ, and Mr. Moric was
12 in charge of the HQ of Operation Povratak, this could have been written
13 by him, or perhaps this note was written by an associate of Mr. Moric who
14 at that time happened to be in the headquarters. I'm not certain.
15 MR. KAY:
16 Q. Can you see what letters of the signature are represented there?
17 Are you able to interpret them for us as to what those particular letters
19 A. It seems to me that this could be "J.M.," his initials, at least
20 from what I can see on the screen.
21 Q. Thank you. You also said in your answer that you could recognise
22 the handwriting. Are you able to give us any more information on that?
23 A. No, no. I was trying to say that I cannot recognise the
24 handwriting, but the initials appear to me to be "J.M.," which could, in
25 turn, be Josko Moric.
1 Q. Are you able to help us at all about the checks made through the
2 Knin Police Administration? Do you know anything about that in relation
3 to this matter concerning checking the validity of the pass?
4 A. As for the note, itself, which says: "By checking through the
5 Knin PU, Colonel General Cermak ..." and so on, I cannot confirm that
6 because I don't know who General Cermak spoke to or Josko Moric spoke to,
7 but it can be supposed that Josko Moric called the chief of the
8 Police Administration in Knin, who in turn spoke to Mr. Cermak, but that
9 I really don't know.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. KAY: If we can now look at Exhibit D495.
12 Q. Is this a copy of the pass that you referred to?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. And this -- this has some handwriting on it?
15 A. Yes. It says it only applies to military personnel and civilians
16 working in the Croatian Army. This is in accordance to what I had told
17 Mr. Cermak. Civilians can only move through my check-points with my
18 approval, as well as military personnel and civilians enjoying the status
19 of Croatian Army members could move with his passes in such areas we --
20 in which he believed they were supposed to go to.
21 Q. And do you know who wrote the information on this pass that we
22 have here? First of all, the first bit about "according to the MUP staff
23 announcement, it is valid only for military personnel and civilians
24 working in the Croatian Army." Do you know who wrote that?
25 A. Well, I'm afraid that you're asking me too much at this point. I
1 don't know.
2 Q. It's not from your office, then?
3 A. No. This obviously came from General Cermak's office. In the
4 first sentence, it says: "According to the MUP staff announcement,"
5 which is the HQ of Operation Povratak, headed by Mr. Josko Moric to whom
6 I had sent my query on the validity of Cermak's passes, and he says:
7 "According to the MUP staff announcement, it is valid only for
8 military personnel and civilians working for the Croatian Army."
9 Therefore, it is clear that Mr. Cermak's office received an
10 official notification of Povratak HQ on their right -- or, rather, the
11 absence of their right to issue passes to civilians.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you recollect yesterday we looked at one document,
13 Exhibit D496, which was also dated the 15th of August, 1995, and it was a
14 document sent by you concerning the passengers on the Split-Knin traffic
15 line? Do you recollect us looking at that yesterday?
16 A. Yes, I remember that. We discussed that yesterday. We discussed
17 my inquiry as to whether it was possible to exert further control over
18 the journey of all those who were interested in getting on that train,
19 and the passes, and the abolishment of the passes. I remember that there
20 was a document on the monitor yesterday that I looked at.
21 Q. So in relation to the Cermak passes we've looked at and your
22 document dated the 15th of August, are you able to tell us, then, what
23 the policy was of the Ministry of Interior, Operation Povratak Group, in
24 relation to the need for passes to go into the liberated territories?
25 A. Well, you see, in agreement before Operation Storm, it was said
1 that police check-points should be established and that we should reach
2 an agreement with the military police to have mixed patrols on the
3 check-points in order to exert control over civilians and military
4 personnel. As far as civilians went, the passes should have been issued
5 in a very restrictive manner, which means that in the liberated area we
6 could have the return of people enjoying the status of refugees. They
7 were supposed to have passes; furthermore, all civilians that had a job
8 to do in respect of the normalisation of the situation in Knin. And I
9 issued passes to all such personnel, and I'm talking about the employees
10 of electrical companies, posts, television, radio, banks, and similar
12 Other persons who had a private business, who wanted to go for
13 curiosity or emotional reasons, could not be issued passes to go to the
14 liberated area. Even my employees, who did not have an official job to
15 do in the liberated area, could not go through my check-points, either in
16 civilian clothes or in uniform, without my pass.
17 I know that an employee of mine from Makarska who set out to go
18 up there was placed under disciplinary procedures because he had crossed
19 the check-point and entered the territory of Knin
20 other words, I had a very restrictive criteria when it came to the
21 issuing of passes to go to Knin.
22 Q. Just so that we can look at something to reflect that --
23 MR. KAY: Can we have 2D00760, please.
24 While we're waiting for it to come up, Your Honour, may I have
25 leave to add this document to the 65 ter exhibit list of the Defence?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri.
2 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted.
4 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged.
5 Q. You were referring to the passes you issued. Do you recognise
6 this as being one such pass for the team from the electrical company who
7 were --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- surveying repairs?
10 A. Hold on, hold on. Let's take it step by step.
11 This pass was assigned, as far as I can see, by my deputy,
12 because it says here "assistant" or "deputy chief," and this is not my
13 signature. This is either Petar Pasic's signature or -- I believe that
14 he signed this. However, judging by the content, I would say that this
15 reflects the form of the passes that were issued to persons who had a job
16 to do in Knin. This was issued to the employees of the Split Bank, the
17 officials of the television, post, radio.
18 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no need to ask you more about that,
19 save to ask that it be made an exhibit, with Your Honour's leave.
20 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours. Your Honours, that will be
23 Exhibit D1724.
24 JUDGE ORIE: D1724 is admitted into evidence.
25 MR. KAY:
1 Q. I'm now moving to another subject, Mr. Cipci. From your
2 statement, it seems that you regularly visited the Knin region during
3 this period, after Operation Storm; is that right?
4 A. Well, I went there very often, especially during the first few
5 days. On the 5th, in the morning, I entered Knin. I was in Knin on the
6 6th, very early in the morning.
7 Q. And I'm asking you now about after that period. Later on, did
8 your visits to Knin continue, to the Knin region? I'm not just talking
9 about the town. I'm talking about Knin and the area around it.
10 A. Well, after that I did go to the liberated area, not as often as
11 during the initial period during the first few days. And the reason for
12 that was very simple. In the area of Knin, in addition to the employees
13 who were in Knin already on the 5th, over the course of time I added to
14 them a large number of my employees in the Police Administration. There
15 were employees from my administration working on documents, issuing
16 passes, in an office that was called Administrative Office. They issued
17 documents to people who applied for them, and they also arranged the
19 I also provided a lot of commanders of police stations, such as
20 the one in Drnis, Srb, Lapac, I don't know how many of them. Several of
21 such police stations were covered by my men. And since they were only
22 kids and they were scared and they did not have enough logistical
23 support, I visited them for two reasons: Firstly, to show them that I,
24 as an elderly man, was able to come to the area, that they, as young
25 lads, should not be afraid; and, secondly, I would also take my big Range
1 Rover and take as much logistical things as I could. Those were the
2 reasons why I quite frequently moved around Krajina, through the
3 liberated area. I visited my employees, irrespective of the fact that
4 they were under the authority of Mr. Romanic. But I was the one who had
5 sent them there, and I considered myself responsible enough to take care
6 of them.
7 Q. And did you cooperate and coordinate with other senior police
8 officers who were in the area at the time?
9 A. Mr. Romanic was the one. I met him. And after that, we did not
10 see each other that often. I did not feel the need to talk to him that
11 much. He was subordinated to Mr. Cetina, the chief of
12 Zadar Administration, not me. And in factual terms, we were just
13 colleagues, nothing else. And when I arrived in Knin, I would visit my
14 employees, my men, who were working in the secondary school. And I would
15 also pay a visit to the administrative and legal office that was staffed
16 with my employees who were working there on arranging documents and
17 issuing personal documents to applicants. And then I would go -- I would
18 proceed to one of the stations where I also had my men deployed. I would
19 go and visit them. I would go to see them. And that's that.
20 Q. Did you have contacts with coordinators who were appointed by the
21 Ministry of Interior, Operation Povratak, in Zagreb, who were appointed
22 to assist the Police Administrations and -- in the region?
23 A. I know that the headquarters or, rather, the ministry did send a
24 certain number of employees to assist down there. I knew those people,
25 but I did not feel any need to contact them. They were either sent to
1 assist the Police Administration of Knin, or they came from the crime
2 police, and they were sent to Zadar and Sibenik because there were
3 criminal proceedings instituted against people who committed certain
4 things after Operation Storm in those areas.
5 Q. So in relation to what you were doing, then, in the Knin region
6 at that time as your police work and the contacts that you had, what
7 would you say about the allegation that Mr. Cermak was in command of the
8 civilian police?
9 A. First of all, you have to understand that the area of the
10 Knin Administration was not within my jurisdiction. All my visits to
11 Knin and the liberated area can be considered semi-private, irrespective
12 of the fact that I arrived in police uniform.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could all the microphones that are not in use
14 please be switched off. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] However, as far as I know, I can
16 say with certainty that Mr. Cermak, in respect of the civilian police,
17 did not have any authority whatsoever because the commander of the
18 Split Garrison also did not have any jurisdiction over the military
19 police, let alone the civilian police.
20 Mr. Cermak discharged the duties of the garrison commander in
21 keeping with the law that was in effect at that time. He could not have
22 any higher authorities whatsoever than Mr. Zoricic, who was the garrison
23 commander in Split
24 authorities were not determined by their ranks, but by the law, and the
25 authorities that were prescribed by the law were exactly the authorities
1 that Mr. Cermak had. And those authorities did not entail any right to
2 command over the civilian police, just to the contrary.
3 As far as I can remember, from the law that I perused at that
4 time, the garrison commander was duty-bound to establish quality
5 cooperation with the civilian authorities and the civilian police. And
6 that applied to Mr. Cermak as well. He was duty-bound to establish
7 quality cooperation with Mr. Romanic, not myself. He could only
8 establish a good, friendly relationship with me on the two occasions that
9 we met.
10 But as far as his authorities go, in comparison with the
11 authorities of Mr. Zoricic, I can say that he could not have any
12 authorities with respect to the civilian police, either in factual terms
13 or under the law.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you ever have any indication or any information
15 given to you that he was attempting to influence the police in any way?
16 A. No. I never heard any such thing. However, it would be very
17 normal and very clear to me that faced with the circumstances that
18 Mr. Cermak and Mr. Romanic encountered, as well as the government's
19 commissioner, Mr. Petar Pasic, and the circumstances were riddled with a
20 delicate situation. I'm sure that they had to have permanent, daily
21 cooperation, and that as a result of that joint cooperation, they were
22 able to deal with some basic problems.
23 On the 5th, when my hundred men arrived in Knin, that same
24 evening I had to send them a tank of drinking water and a generator to
25 give them light because there was no water or electricity in Knin, and
1 that's the situation that Mr. Cermak, Mr. Romanic, and Mr. Petar Pasic
2 found when they arrived in Knin. And I understand and I appreciate that
3 they had to have daily contacts and that they had to rely on each other
4 for the job to be done properly and for the situation in Knin to be
5 normalised as soon as possible.
6 Q. If Mr. Cermak had issued a written order to the police in Knin,
7 would the police have been obliged to follow such a written order?
8 A. Let me put it this way, and I'm speaking from my police
9 experience: If Mr. Cermak had issued any official order, they would not
10 have been binding upon the police. I could issue an official order to my
11 minister of foreign affairs because -- and that would amount to nothing
12 because he was not my subordinate. And Romanic was not subordinated to
13 Mr. Cermak, by the same token. However, if Mr. Romanic found a crime was
14 committed in the area where he was working, it was his duty to inform the
15 Police Administration what had happened, and that applied to every
16 citizen who learned about a crime. They were supposed to report it to
17 the police, and then the police would have taken whatever was necessary
18 to deal with that.
19 In other words, if Mr. Cermak had issued an order of any kind to
20 carry out a preliminary proceedings because of a crime, that was nothing
21 by notification. The police has to react to any report by private
22 persons, even if it is anonymous. The police will still carry out
23 certain procedures to investigate. If such a report is signed by a
24 person, if it contains an address and a telephone number, the police has
25 to make all the checks. Otherwise, there could be disciplinary
1 proceedings instituted against the person who failed to do that.
2 So when we're talking about orders to the police that Mr. Cermak
3 might have sent to Mr. Romanic, if he did, then those were notifications.
4 If Mr. Cermak sent any order to the police - I don't know why he should
5 have done that - I assume that that order was drafted on his behalf in
6 his office and then he only signed it, because I can only assume that
7 Mr. Cermak, when he took over the duties as the garrison commander, he
8 should have taken the law and he should have read the provisions of the
9 law in terms of his rights and obligations.
10 Q. Thank you. Just in your answer there, we've noted on the
11 transcript that it says:
12 "However, if Mr. Romanic found a crime was committed in the area
13 where he was working, it was his duty to inform the Police Administration
14 what had happened ..."
15 Did you mean Mr. Cermak rather than Mr. Romanic, because
16 Mr. Romanic was the Police Administration?
17 A. Well, every person in a certain position in state office has more
18 responsibility than an ordinary person, so if a garrison commander learns
19 about something that happened, he's duty-bound to inform everybody who
20 has the official capacity to carry out certain proceedings to establish
21 the facts. Therefore, that would be a moral obligation of every citizen.
22 But if you're a civil servant, then it is not just moral obligation, it
23 is your responsibility as a civil servant.
24 And then, yes, I said "Mr. Cermak."
25 Q. Thank you. And just finishing with this matter, would Mr. Cermak
1 have had any disciplinary powers over the police?
2 A. I've said it already. He did not have any powers. And if I said
3 that he did not have any powers, that also comprises disciplinary powers.
4 MR. KAY: Thank you. Thank you very much. I have no further
5 questions. Wait. Others may.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could I please say
7 just one sentence?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it depends on what is in that sentence. But
9 please say the sentence, and then we'll see what the relevance of it is.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was just going to say this: Most
11 of the questions put to me, and my answers to the questions, could be
12 obtained if you consulted the laws of the Republic of Croatia
13 passed at the time. You will find it there, everything about the
14 responsibilities and duties of every single official. And that's the
15 long and the short of my sentence.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This Chamber has heard quite some evidence in
17 relation to legislation which was adopted. This Chamber has also heard
18 that sometimes practice was not for the full 100 per cent in line with
19 what the laws told us, and therefore we appreciate that you answer the
20 questions, and we'll certainly not ignore existing legislation.
21 I think it's most practical if we first have the break and then
22 give an opportunity to the other Defences and the Prosecution to
23 cross-examine the witness.
24 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Kehoe, and I'm looking at
3 you and also at the Prosecution, the next witness in line, I think, is on
4 standby. Does that witness need to remain on standby? Is there any
5 chance that we'll have substantial time, that means more than 15 minutes,
6 for that witness today?
7 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I -- sorry.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I see three persons standing.
9 MR. KAY: I had consulted the parties earlier, and I've also had
10 the advantage of looking at disclosed exhibit lists for
11 cross-examination, and in my view the witness should be sent home and
12 come back after the break, and given a proper time-period then, as he's a
13 substantial witness.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Kehoe, would you agree with that
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And what would that mean for tomorrow?
18 MR. KAY: I think this witness will be going into tomorrow.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The whole of --
20 MR. KAY: Not the whole time, but a substantial amount, and we do
21 have some MFIs to clear up, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. KAY: To my mind, it didn't make sense starting a substantial
24 witness, then having what would be a three- or four-week break, maybe,
25 before we'd reach him.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At least -- we will not be sitting for at
2 least 10 or 11 days on from Thursday, yes.
3 MR. KAY: Yes, and we have fixed witnesses for that week and the
4 week after. Experts have been booked to attend. So my idea was to put
5 him right at the very end and fit him in as virtually the last witness.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 I'm looking at the other parties, whether there's any
8 disagreement in the assessment that we would not be able to -- apart from
9 starting today, that it would not even be wise, perhaps, to start
11 MS. DE LANDRI: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Still, to send a witness home is something one would
13 not easily do. Have you considered, Mr. Kay, any other options?
14 Although I don't think that we could sit tomorrow in the afternoon, and
15 that would not be sufficient either, would it?
16 MR. KAY: Your Honour, he is a substantial witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It has been given thorough thought, and then the
18 witness is excused for the time being. He doesn't -- well, you leave
19 that -- I leave that in your hands with the Witnesses and Victims
20 Section, and we are now aware of the consequences as far as scheduling is
22 Then, Mr. Kehoe, are you ready to cross-examine Mr. Cipci?
23 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Cipci.
2 MR. KEHOE: With the Court's permission, if we could put
3 Mr. Cipci's statement, D1723, on the screen, and direct our attention to
4 paragraph 4.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Cipci, I would like to direct your attention to
6 paragraph 4 and ask you several preliminary questions prior to -- or that
7 go to the planning prior to Operation Storm on the 4th of August.
8 Now, you received direction from Minister Jarnjak that you were
9 to prepare yourself to move into the liberated areas as quickly as
10 possible in order to get that area under control, weren't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And as part of that, you note, in paragraph 5, that you, in fact,
13 garnished more than the number of police officers that you actually --
14 excuse me, in paragraph 6, you had three times as many police officers as
15 necessary to do that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Cipci, was there ever any indication, in your discussions
18 with Minister Jarnjak or with Assistant Minister Moric, that the MUP was
19 to allow criminal activity to take place? I ask you that question, sir,
20 because I just need your answer for the record.
21 A. No, there was never any mention of that. It is precisely the
22 police who are there to prevent the commission of crimes, to act as
23 prevention, or to sanction the crimes committed.
24 Q. And, Mr. Cipci, with that goal in mind, did you understand that
25 Minister Jarnjak's and Assistant Minister Moric's instructions to you
1 were to -- and to other administration chiefs, that the instructions were
2 to you to move quickly to secure the area and to prevent the commission
3 of crime?
4 A. With Minister Jarnjak, and I don't think Moric ever attended
5 those meetings with police chiefs, with Minister Jarnjak, on two or three
6 occasions, we discussed extensively our obligations once Operation Storm
7 commences. The legal provisions task the police with securing law and
8 order, as well as protecting the lives and property of people in that
9 area. In keeping with the Law on the Interior, we were duty-bound, upon
10 liberation, to enter the area with the necessary number of police in
11 order to meet our legal obligations.
12 Regarding my area of responsibility, I acted slightly differently
13 because I had had certain bad experience in the course of World War II
14 when there were four armies, two opposing sides, and two liberating
15 forces entered my city. All four armed forces, be it occupational or
16 liberation forces, behaved the same way. They killed and looted. That
17 is why, having had that experience, I presumed that a similar or the same
18 thing could happen this time as well, once the Croatian Army liberates
19 its territory.
20 It was clear to me that there was a very high degree of hatred,
21 amounting to pathological hatred, I would dare say, and I presumed that
22 spontaneous revenge or instances of revenge could occur against
23 everything --
24 Q. Mr. Cipci, let me cut you a little short.
25 A. Please go ahead.
1 Q. And based on your instructions and your experience, you moved
2 very quickly into your sector, and specifically Vrlika, and on the
3 5th of August you established the police station, as you say in
4 paragraph 5 of your statement?
5 A. Not that I moved in very quickly, but I even ordered my police
6 sector chief, Mr. Urija, to have the police units, which were at the
7 ready, as well as a number of people sufficient to man a police station,
8 together with a sign that would be put onto the building. I ordered him
9 to move into Vrlika together with the Croatian Army. I undertook the
10 effort of accompanying my force to enter Vrlika together with the army,
11 because I wanted to be in my area of responsibility in Vrlika
12 simultaneously with the Croatian Army so that I could take over full
13 control over the area I was responsible for immediately.
14 We set up a police station. We covered the area, set up
15 check-points. And in agreement with the commanders of those units which
16 were there from the Croatian Army, after a very short ceremony, left my
18 Q. Let me cut you short so I can just -- so I can move in the
19 interests of time. And let me show you a document on that score, which
20 is 65 ter 1D2991.
21 MR. KEHOE: If we could bring it up on the screen.
22 Q. Now, sir, this is your report of 5 August 1995, reporting the
23 establishment of the police -- excuse me, the police substation in Vrlika
24 by 1600 hours on the 5th, and also notifying other branch substations,
25 and that the "previously occupied territory of this police administration
1 is under control." Is that an accurate assessment of what you did at
2 that particular juncture, sir?
3 A. Could you please repeat your question? What is correct?
4 Q. Well, do you recall this -- this particular report and that you
5 sent something similar to this at the time?
6 A. Well, all reports which came out of my police administration were
7 not written by me, not all of them. As you can see, there is no
8 signature of mine on this document. My sector chiefs drafted such
9 documents as well. For the most part, Mr. Jure Radalj, who was the
10 police sector chief, he was in charge of all uniformed police. He was
11 the one to enter Vrlika first, together with the army, and it was
12 probably he who wrote the report.
13 Q. Well, sir, you've no reason to question the accuracy of this
14 information, do you, sir?
15 A. No, I have no reason to do that. I was familiar with this
16 report. No written document could go through my police administration
17 without me seeing it, and it could not leave the Police Administration
18 without me seeing it. It was simply my style of management, because I
19 had to manage one of the largest police administrations in the country.
20 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time we'll offer into evidence
21 Exhibit 65 ter 1D2991.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri.
23 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1725.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from the decision of admission, of course, I
2 asked myself what we did the last four minutes. The witness was quite
3 clear that he established the police station. Now this document seems to
4 support that. Is this in dispute in any way?
5 MS. DE LANDRI: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Why -- I'm sorry. Why is it not just the Bar table
7 saying, I would like to Bar table the document which supports the
8 establishment of this police station, as stated by the witness? That
9 takes approximately 20 seconds.
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President --
11 JUDGE ORIE: And then we have -- it's a matter which is not in
13 MR. KEHOE: It's the issue going to the control of the territory,
14 and that's -- that's the reason why I want to go into the particular
15 document, itself. And if Your Honour bears with me, and -- I will get
16 through this as quick as possible, and I will attempt to short-circuit
17 the answers to the extent that they get off line. But that's the area
18 that I'm getting into here, and I want to move this through as quickly as
19 the Chamber does.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Cipci, with regard to the area that you -- when you set
21 up --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, perhaps I should admit this document into
24 MR. KEHOE: My apologies, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar, I don't see in the transcript
1 at this moment the exhibit number. Could you please repeat it?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that became Exhibit D1725.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Cipci, when you established your police stations and
7 your substations, at that time did the civilian authorities and the
8 Police Administration take this area under control for the -- the
9 occupied territory? And when I'm talking about the occupied territory,
10 once you went in there and established these stations, did the
11 Police Administration take those previously occupied areas under
12 control -- under its control?
13 A. If you have in mind only my area of responsibility, that is
14 correct. In order to normalise the situation in Vrlika as soon as
15 possible, I had the chief of Vrlika, the civil representatives, with me.
16 He accompanied me there, trying to establish civilian authorities, at the
17 same time as I was setting up the police instances there.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, let's move on.
19 Later on that day, after establishing control in Vrlika, we read
20 from your statement that you moved into Knin. And I'm addressing you to
21 paragraphs 6 and 7. And you first moved to Kijevo, as you say in
22 paragraph 7, then on to Knin. Now, did you do that, Mr. Cipci, because
23 you understood that even though Knin was outside of your area of control,
24 that Mr. Cetina's MUP personnel hadn't made it to Knin yet?
25 A. I will reply to this. When we entered Vrlika, given that we had
1 to wait there for a while because there was combat, upon our arrival in
2 Vrlika, the commanders of the HV who were there told me that Kijevo had
3 been liberated sometime previously. I telephoned Mr. Cetina and I told
4 him Kijevo had been liberated. In accordance with the former agreement,
5 Did you send your police force to Kijevo? Mr. Cetina responded by
6 saying, Cipci, I am sorry, but Kijevo is not within my area of
7 responsibility. I did not respond to that, but instead I phoned
8 Minister Jarnjak immediately. I repeated my conversation with Cetina to
9 him, and I asked him for his permission for me to enter Kijevo with my
10 force, since I was interested in seeing the police take over control over
11 the liberated territories as quickly as possible. The minister agreed,
12 and I issued an order to my police sector chief and went on towards Knin
13 immediately, presuming that Knin would be in the same situation as
14 Kijevo. This was later confirmed.
15 Q. So you then went back on to Knin, as we see in paragraph 7, and
16 you noticed there was no military police, nor civilian police, and did
17 you then take steps to bring the military police -- excuse me, the
18 civilian police, the MUP, into Knin to secure that area as well?
19 A. When I arrived in Knin, in front of the command, the Serb
20 command, I encountered a number of Croatian soldiers and officers. In
21 conversation with those officers, I was asked by them to bring in any
22 type of police, be it civilian or military police, as soon as possible.
23 They saw me wear the uniform of chief of police. I agreed with that, but
24 at that point in time --
25 Q. Let me stop you there. So when you went into Knin on the
1 afternoon of the 5th of August, HV --
2 A. In the morning.
3 Q. Excuse me. In the morning of the 5th of August, HV officers
4 asked you to bring police into the town; is that right?
5 A. These were lower-ranking officers. I knew, personally, the
6 brigade commanders who had entered Knin, especially Mr. Krsticevic, but
7 these were some lower-ranking officers whom I meant in front of the
8 former Serb Army command. He told -- they told me, Mr. Cipci, if
9 possible, please make sure that a police force arrives. That is not in
11 Q. So, sir, then you did, in fact, consult with Minister Jarnjak and
12 bring a police force into Knin - didn't you? - as reflected --
13 A. I could not establish a telephone connection or radio connection
14 with Zagreb
15 is only then that I consulted with the minister. I sought approval to
16 enter Knin with my officers. He approved that, and I issued an order to
17 my police sector chief, Jure Radalj, to have a hundred policemen who had
18 been readied before, since I had extra numbers of them, given the size of
19 my police administration, to have them sent to Knin immediately. They
20 arrived there. There was no electricity. There was no water. That's
21 why late in the afternoon I sent a fire truck full of water and a
22 generator, as well as a radio station, to them.
23 Q. Let me cut you short.
24 MS. DE LANDRI: Excuse me.
25 Mr. President, may the witness be allowed to finish his answer?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I would not oppose the intervention by
2 Mr. Kehoe here, because he asked about a consultation with Mr. Jarnjak,
3 and we were now already at whether there was electricity, water, what
4 kind of methods or what -- that there was a fire truck that provided that
5 and a generator. So the witness is really moving away from what was
7 And under those circumstances, and you certainly have listened to
8 this as well, please try to focus on what is asked. And if Mr. Kehoe
9 wants to know what kind of trucks brought water in, then he'll ask you.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Cipci, either prior to this conversation with
13 Minister Jarnjak or thereafter, did anybody in the Ministry of the
14 Interior, Mr. Jarnjak or Minister Moric, or anyone else, or the HV, try
15 to prevent you from bringing these police officers or sending these
16 police officers into Knin to secure the area?
17 A. I was asked to bring them in. Therefore, I could not have been
18 asked and prevented to do that at the same time.
19 Q. Thank you, sir. Let me show you a quick document on this score.
20 And it's 65 ter 1D2990. And it is a 5 August 1995 report concerning the
21 establishment of Croatian authority in the area of Vrlika-Knin.
22 MR. KEHOE: And, Mr. President, with regard to this document, I
23 don't suspect there's any objection to the document. However, I do want
24 to ask a question from -- several questions from the document.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so. If the document doesn't speak
1 for itself, of course, we should ask the witness.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
3 Q. If we could take a look at this document, sir, it establishes,
4 the -- as I noted, Croatian authority in Vrlika-Knin, and it's dated
5 5 August 1995
6 which is your administration. And it notes the 10th Police Station.
7 Before I get into this document, Mr. President, if there is no
8 objection, I would just offer it into evidence and begin to discuss it as
9 an admitted exhibit.
10 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1726.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D1726 is admitted into evidence.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Mr. Cipci, two questions with regard to this document, beginning
17 in the first paragraph. And there's a report back from -- it says:
18 "We are reporting in the afternoon hours of 5 August 1995,
19 officers of the Split-Dalmatia Police Administration entered the
20 settlements of Vrlika, Kijevo, Civljane, and Knin and established
21 civilian authority in the same."
22 Mr. Cipci, this comment "established civilian authority," what
23 does that mean, sir?
24 A. It means, to me, what I already know, and that is that I brought
25 the municipal head of Vrlika to Vrlika, itself. By virtue of his
1 arrival, civil authority was established, and he was tasked with
2 reconstructing it. As for the other locations, Vrlika, Kijevo, Civljane,
3 some of these are small villages and hamlets around Vrlika, itself, and
4 there were no civilian authorities there, per se, in the sense of any
5 heads. In the former Yugoslavia
6 As for Knin, civilian authority was established in a way that the
7 Croatian government appointed its commissioner for Knin, who arrived
8 there. As for whether he was there on the 5th or the 6th, I don't know
9 that for sure, but I met him on the 6th in Knin. This was
10 Mr. Petar Pasic.
11 Regarding the part referring to police officers, it is not in
12 dispute that we set up a substation in Vrlika, which is a substation of
13 the 10th Police Station. That is why this letter to the HQ was sent by
14 the commander, Marko Bilobrk, who was in charge of the
15 10th Police Station. He wrote this report on his behalf and sent it to
16 the Povratak headquarters, which was headed by Josko Moric.
17 It is also not in dispute that we entered with our employees into
18 Knin and Kijevo. They --
19 Q. Let me cut you short and move to the next question.
20 When we're talking about establishing civilian authority, does
21 that mean that the Croatian constitutional order was restored?
22 A. In any case, when Vrlika is in question, this was the initial
23 stage of establishing that order. A person who accompanied me to Vrlika
24 on the 5th could not embody the entire concept of civilian authority, but
25 he had been tasked that, in cooperation with the county prefect of Split
1 and Dalmatia
2 of Vrlika to establish civilian authority.
3 In addition to the municipal head, other services needed to be
4 established, since one person, of course, cannot embody the entire
5 civilian authority structure.
6 Q. Now, staying with this document and the last paragraph, it notes
8 "Sanitation of the terrain is also underway and the same is being
9 carried out by members of the Civilian Protection, principally in the
10 area of the town of Knin
11 Now, I note in --
12 MR. KEHOE: If I can move to another document. That is D606. If
13 we can put that on the screen.
14 Q. This will come up in a moment, Mr. Cipci. It is a document that
15 bears your name from 9 August 1995
16 clearance in the area of Vrlika. And you note that:
17 "As regards clearance in the Vrlika municipality until today,
18 8 August 1995
19 (60 conscripts) has accomplished the most important tasks, including:
20 Burial of bodies ..."
21 And then it has to do with other items, livestock and animals.
22 MR. KEHOE: And if we can turn to the next page in the English.
23 Q. It notes that it is six human bodies as well as other animals
24 were, in fact, buried.
25 So from these documents, Mr. Cipci, it is true, is it not, that
1 the sanitation of the area was the responsibility of the MUP and the
2 civilian authorities, wasn't it?
3 A. Well, it was like this: Before Operation Storm began, during the
4 meetings we had held with the minister, all these obligations, collecting
5 livestock, taking care of livestock, sanitation and hygiene measures, all
6 those was agreed to fall under the competence of the police. In addition
7 to the police force, I had under me the entire Civilian Protection with
8 their staff and equipment. I also had a strong firefighting force which
9 also participated.
10 A few days following Storm, there occurred certain
11 misunderstandings about livestock, because subsequently, Minister Susak
12 authorised military units to collect livestock as well. This was a cause
13 of disagreement between the police and members of the army, in terms of
14 collecting the livestock, which may be irrelevant at this point. But, in
15 any case, we did implement this. Since I was familiar, through my
16 conversations with Mr. Petar Pasic, that he lacked either staff or
17 equipment to do anything of that sort, therefore I sent in my
18 Civil Protection men and firefighters to be of assistance regarding the
19 tasks which were necessary to do in order to normalise life and the
20 situation in this area, which was not under my competence. It was far
21 simpler for me to do that in Vrlika. I cleared up things there in a mere
22 two days, even the traffic signs along the road between Vrlika and Sinj.
23 Hence, life in Vrlika became quite normal very quickly.
24 Q. Let me shift gears with you, and I want to turn to paragraph 10
25 of your statement.
1 MR. KEHOE: D1720 -- 1723, paragraph 10, if we can flip back to
2 that, Mr. Registrar.
3 Q. Now, in paragraph 10 we are beginning to talk about reception
4 centres, and you note that on the morning of the 5th of August, when you
5 got to Knin, you set up reception centres, one for old people and
6 children at the elementary school, and you also put one in for younger
7 people near Sinj.
8 Now, the allegation here in this case by the Prosecution,
9 Mr. Cipci, is that these reception centres were merely a vehicle set up
10 to remove the Serb population from the Krajina. What's your response to
11 that, sir, given the fact that you were the ones that set these reception
12 centres up in Knin on the morning of the 5th?
13 A. No, it's not exactly like you are saying. I told them to open
14 the reception centre in the elementary school hall. That morning, I saw
15 a large number of people, women and children, on the street. They told
16 me that they were Croats, which did not have to be the case. Maybe they
17 were afraid, maybe they were Serbs and afraid to admit, but it doesn't
18 really matter. I told them that all those who wanted to find shelter on
19 that first day should be provided accommodation in the sports hall.
20 At that moment, there was no water and electricity in Knin. We
21 had the generator and we had enough water, and this was just to assist
22 the population then, more than anything else. It was not gathering
23 people for any other reason, because after a few days these people could
24 leave of their own will.
25 Let me give you an example. On the 6th or on the 7th, I got a
1 telephone call from Celestin Srdelic, who is a good friend of mine.
2 Later on, he became the ambassador of Croatia in Ljubljana, in its
3 capital in Slovenia
4 because according to his information, they had remained in Knin. I told
5 him, Cele, if they remained in Knin, then they're probably sheltered by
6 my people in the police station or in the school. I went to the school
7 or, rather, to the reception centre. I looked at the list. I found
8 their names on it. I told them that -- Cele greeted them and that he
9 would visit them within the next couple of days, and indeed he did. And
10 when things normalised a little, they went of their own accord wherever
11 they wanted to go.
12 A large number of the Serbian population that remained in Knin
13 found some shelter in the barracks of the international forces, which is
14 at the entrance to Knin. And as far as I can remember, I suppose that
15 this reception centre here accommodated a mixed population.
16 I know that either on the 7th or on the 8th, the bishop of
17 Sibenik came, Monseigneur Badurina, the late Monsignor Badurina came to
18 visit. I was with him, and I believe that Mr. Pasic was with him at the
19 time. In other words, those people were not accommodated in a camp. It
20 was a reception centre set up in order to help those people within the
21 next following days in a Knin which faced some rather difficult moments
22 after it was liberated.
23 Q. Well, Mr. Cipci, let me show you a document from 25 August that
24 you authored concerning persons found in the newly-liberated area, sent
25 to the attention of Mr. Franjo Djurica.
1 MR. KEHOE: And this is 65 ter 1D2992. If we can bring that up
2 on the screen, Mr. Registrar.
3 Q. Mr. Cipci, take a look at this. It is a document that does not
4 have your signature, but has your name at the bottom of it, authored by
5 your office, with a stamp down on the lower left-hand side. Do you
6 recognise this document, sir? And if you don't, do you have any reason
7 to believe that it's not an authentic document emanating from your
9 A. I don't think that there is any doubts about the authenticity of
10 the document. After the liberation of the area, all those who had -- and
11 many did, have relatives in either Split
12 temporarily move in with them. Not far from Sinj, we established and
13 opened a reception centre for the same reasons and with the same motive
14 that made us open the centre in Knin. We were just waiting for
15 everything to be normalised for -- the supply with water and electricity
16 could be organised. It was just a temporary provision until things got
17 back to normal.
18 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, at this time we will offer into
19 evidence 65 ter 1D2992.
20 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1727.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D1727 is admitted into evidence.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Mr. Cipci, looking at this document, it notes that 70 of the 75
1 Croats were put on buses and taken to relatives in Split and Sinj, and 5,
2 if you go to the last paragraph, 5 persons of Croatian nationality were
3 settled in a reception centre for civilians where the 35 elderly people
4 of Serb nationality, residing in Vrlika, Otisic, Koljani areas during the
5 occupation were also settled. What was going on here, sir? Why were
6 some of these Croats put on a bus and sent to the coast, some put in the
7 reception centre, and all the Serbs located at the reception centre?
8 A. The Croats who had relatives are the ones who probably left to
9 live with them. Some of the Croats did not have relatives in the
10 territory of Split
11 reception centre, to be provided with food, water, and everything else.
12 I suppose that the Serbs from Vrlika did not have any relatives, and
13 that's why they went there. I don't see any other reason.
14 Q. Well, why not leave -- just leave them in their homes, Mr. Cipci?
15 A. Most probably because the conditions for life there were not such
16 to be conducive to peaceful living. They were all under a certain
17 stress, and that's how I explain it.
18 I see an initial here. I believe that this is Jure Radalj's
19 initials. He was the chief of the police sector. It says here the
20 Police Sector in the heading, and it says also for the attention of
21 Mr. Franjo Djurica, who was also with the Police Sector of the Ministry.
22 That's why I believe that Jure Radalj is the author of this particular
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cipci. If I may change subjects again, and pardon
25 me if these aren't directly related, they're just topics that you brought
1 up in your statement.
2 And I would like to shift to paragraph 12 where you talk about
3 your personnel being detailed to the Kotor-Knin Police Administration and
4 put under the command of Mr. Romanic. And you note in paragraph 12 that
5 they were in five separate police stations.
6 And if I can just briefly go back to your testimony this morning
7 in response to my learned friend Mr. Kay's questions concerning your
8 supplying those individuals. And you note that -- on page 23, line 11
9 through 13, that these were young lads, and you were trying to show them
10 that they should not be afraid. So these young lads, these young
11 policemen, I mean, where were they from?
12 A. All those who were sent to assist over there were people from my
13 police administration, which means that they came from the police
14 stations that were covered by my police administration. We're talking
15 about 12 or 13 basic police units, the border police, the traffic police.
16 Those were my police stations. And the chiefs of the police sectors from
17 these units selected people to go first to Vrlika, to the police station
18 there, and also people who went to assist; first, the batch of 100 and
19 gradually numbers that the minister required me to send.
20 My chief of --
21 Q. Let me cut you short. Would it be accurate to say that the
22 police officers that you sent to these five stations in the Kotor-Knin
23 area under Chief Romanic, those individual officers that you sent were
24 not from those towns that they were sent to, they were from another
25 location; is that accurate?
1 A. They may have been sent from Makarska, Vrgorac, Split. I don't
2 know where they hailed from, where the chief found those people. In any
3 case, those were people who resided and worked in the territory of the
4 administration of Split
5 Split under my command. I had approximately 3500 policemen under me.
6 And he selected those that were sent. I had an agreement with
7 Chief Radalj that people who would be in command of the police stations,
8 in the places they were sent to assist, should be Serbs for an easier
9 communication with people who remained there, and that's why he -- yes,
10 go ahead.
11 Q. Would it be accurate to say, sir, that when you were bringing
12 these officers supplies, there were officers that were sent to this area,
13 young men that were sent to this area, that were unfamiliar with the area
14 around these police stations; is that accurate?
15 A. Of course they didn't know the areas. They hailed from different
16 areas. They may have been from Makarska, Split, or Vrgorac, for example.
17 All the logistical matters for the entire police in the territory of the
18 Knin administration should have been provided by Mr. Romanic.
19 However, since I had been in charge of the first batch of the
20 police officers and all the others, and I ordered them to be in permanent
21 contact with my chief of the police sector because I wanted to be updated
22 on the developments, and they let us know that they don't have any
23 quality provisions for life. And for that reason, every time I paid them
24 a visit, I loaded my Range Rover with all sorts of things and goods that
25 people needed for everyday living, starting with toiletries, food,
1 drinks, any --
2 Q. Okay, sir. Let me cut you off there and move to another topic.
3 And I'd like to talk to you, in paragraph 25 of your statement,
4 D1723, concerning the re-establishment of the Split-Knin train line that
5 my friend Mr. Kay talked to you about yesterday.
6 MR. KEHOE: If we can go back to D1723, paragraph 25.
7 Q. Now, in your statement, if you could take a look at paragraph 25,
8 Mr. Cipci, you're talking about the problems that came from the
9 re-establishment of the Split-Knin train line and what happened for
10 civilians when they came back to the area on 15 August 1995. And you
11 were informed -- it says in -- I'm not sure exactly what the line is in
12 the B/C/S, but on line 30 in the English, that:
13 "My police officers told me that the citizens went all over the
14 town and were taking everything they could get."
15 So you were informed by your police officers that the civilians
16 were in town, looting; isn't that right?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. And your strategy was to put your police officers on the train
19 and prevent them from taking the looted goods onto the train and to leave
20 them back in Knin; is that right?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Now, why didn't you have your officers arresting those people
23 while they were doing the looting in the town?
24 A. Although they were formally my police officers, I could not issue
25 any orders to them. The patrols were set up by Mr. Romanic. Whether my
1 police officers were members of those patrols, I don't know, but in any
2 case, they knew very well what was happening in the territory of Knin
3 They informed my chief of the police sector, and then the police sector
4 chief informed me. And then in agreement with my chief, I told them to
5 do what they did, regardless of the fact that that was formally not
6 something that I could order them to do because that order could have
7 only come from Mr. Romanic.
8 I assumed that Knin, although not a big town, Mr. Romanic did not
9 have enough police officers to form patrols to prevent and arrest
10 everybody. He had my hundred police officers initially and nobody else.
11 That was all. Later on, Mr. Romanic got assistance from Rijeka, Pula
12 and some other places, depending on how the ministry decided to replenish
13 the police station in Knin.
14 Q. Well, at this time on the 15th of August, did your people, who
15 were in communication with your headquarters, give you any idea of how
16 many civilians were in town, looting?
17 A. A whole composition left Split
18 that could get on the train did so because the ride was free, and whoever
19 had the inclination to do so, went up there. It would be wrong for me to
20 speculate on the numbers, but I assume that a lot of people got on that
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, the previous answer just leaves me with
23 one additional question which I'd like to clarify with the witness.
24 Witness, you said that they knew very well what was happening in
25 the territory of Knin
1 and then the police sector chief informed you. And then you said:
2 "... and then in agreement with my chief, I told them to do what
3 they did, regardless of the fact that that was formally not something"
4 you could order them to do, and then you explained why.
5 What did you tell them to do, what they - as you said - then did?
6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I don't want to cut you short, but
7 it's in paragraph 25. But the witness can answer the Chamber's question.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, no, whether that is the answer or not, I'd
9 like to know, as a matter of fact, from -- I've read that, but --
10 MR. KEHOE: I'm just giving the Chamber a frame of reference as
11 to --
12 JUDGE ORIE: That may raise some other questions.
13 But you said you told them what to do, and that's what they did.
14 Could you tell us what that was?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I ordered them to form a line on
16 both sides of the train, to stand there, and when people coming to the
17 railway station saw them, they would not dare put the things on the
18 train. And it is true, when they -- and when people left, the railway
19 station was full of things, furniture and stuff. They left everything
20 behind. And I suppose that, on the order of Mr. Romanic later on, all
21 those things were removed from the train station.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So your policemen were there, and that's what we
23 find in 25. As a matter of fact, your answer of what you told them to
24 do, in 25, is that you told them, Let them do whatever they were doing.
25 And then you didn't, therefore, as I understand, take any action to
1 prevent or keep them off from looting before they arrived with their
2 looted goods at the railway station. Is that how I have to understand
3 this answer?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is as follows:
5 Mr. Romanic must have known what was going on. I'm sure that he was
6 informed, and he was duty-bound to possibly send patrols.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't my question.
8 My question is: What did you tell them to do? Not what
9 Mr. Romanic should have done, but --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told them -- my police officers
11 told me what was going on in the entire area of Knin. They didn't ask me
12 what to do, how to react. I told them to do exactly what they did. I
13 could not give them an order to form patrols and to start patrolling the
14 town. That was beyond my jurisdiction. I told them to do what they
15 eventually did; to position themselves at the railway station and prevent
16 from -- the looting civilians from taking the stuff away from Knin.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What was your authority to put them on the
18 station at -- because you said you couldn't order them to do anything
19 against the looting. In your statement, it says, I told them let them do
20 whatever they were doing --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They could obey me, but, on the
22 other hand, they didn't have to. However, given the authority that I
23 enjoyed in the Police Administration of Split and Dalmatia, and given the
24 fact that they had been my staff, they listened to me. But they did not
25 listen to what I told them as an order, but as advice.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, why didn't you advise them to ask people they
2 saw looting to stop looting? Why would you wait until everyone would be
3 at the railway station?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This means that at a certain moment
5 I had to over-step my authorities and to embark on issuing orders that
6 concerned the territory that I wasn't really responsible for.
7 JUDGE ORIE: But what I still do not understand is you say, Well,
8 they would listen to me. Of course, I wouldn't give them orders because
9 I had no authority to do so, but if I would advise them to do something,
10 then they would do it. Now, apparently you advised them to go to the
11 railway station, and you did not advise them to see what they could do
12 about stopping the looting?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, given the number of them
14 who were present at that moment, objectively, they could not have done
15 much. The number of people who had arrived on the train was huge, and at
16 that moment the only solution for me was to say what I did and for them
17 to do what they did. If anything else was to be done, then that was
18 within the jurisdiction of the chief of the Police Administration of
19 Knin; nobody else.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you tell them to let them do what
21 they were doing, the persons looting, don't stop them?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't say to them either/or.
23 I just told them what to do next and how to do it, and they did.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you for that.
25 One thing which is not entirely clear when you started explaining
1 to us what happened with those goods, hundreds of people looting, leaving
2 all the looted goods on the railway station, what happened to these
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, I don't know. However, I
5 assume that subsequently Chief Romanic ordered for the stuff to be
6 collected and housed somewhere. I'm sure that those things did not
7 remain sitting unattended at the railway station. As for the rest, the
8 rest of the things that they had looted and tried to transport across my
9 check-points where I was in charge, those people were criminally
10 processed, and all the looted goods had been accommodated in Split
11 JUDGE ORIE: I was asking about -- you did not advise your police
12 officers, who saw all these people leaving the looted goods on the
13 platforms on the railway station or at the railway station, you didn't
14 advise them to get them together and to -- and you just left it to see
15 what Mr. Romanic would take for an action. Did you communicate with
16 Mr. Romanic what would be a wise thing to do at that moment?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not talk to Mr. Romanic. I
18 simply -- I considered him competent enough to be able to do in his area
19 what was possible. It would have been out of order for me to suggest
20 anything to a colleague. This may have been misunderstood, and that's
21 why I didn't talk to Romanic. I suppose that he was wise and competent
22 enough and that he would do whatever was necessary. Maybe he did; I
23 don't know. Maybe you should ask Mr. Romanic whether he did something
24 with the police forces at his disposal at the time.
25 I sincerely doubt that he could do much or that he could
1 establish enough quality patrols, with the number of men that he had at
2 his disposal at the time, to prevent looting in the area. I'm sure --
3 or, rather, I assume that he did undertake some steps. I did -- I cannot
4 believe that he let things go in that way, because if Romanic's police
5 stopped maybe 50 people of all those who had arrived on the train, of the
6 hundreds that had arrived on the train, the rest still escaped control.
7 It would be unimaginable to expect that they could control every street,
8 every house.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cipci, I wasn't asking you about what would have
10 been reasonable or not for Mr. Romanic to do. My question was focusing
11 on a different matter.
12 You considered it within your possibilities to advise your police
13 officers to go to the railway station, with the effect which is described
14 in your statement, that everyone left his looted goods on -- in or around
15 the railway station, but you thought it would be over-stepping your
16 authority to give a phone call to Mr. Romanic saying, Well, a lot of
17 looted goods are on the platforms. Could you please take care of that.
18 You would consider that to be inappropriate to do in the circumstances.
19 Is that correctly understood, and also that you, for that reason, didn't
20 do it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I simply said that it seemed
22 inappropriate of me to warn Mr. Romanic that he was duty-bound to send
23 out patrols to prevent looting. I didn't mean to say that it would be
24 inappropriate --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I asked you whether you communicated with
1 Mr. Romanic that looted goods were left on the railway station, and I
2 understood part of your answer to be that it would be beyond your
3 authority to inform Mr. Romanic on the presence of those goods, which
4 might, well, create a problem because they were left behind, they
5 belonged to other people. That's what I understood to be your answer,
6 why you did not communicate the results of the activities of your men on
7 the railway station to Mr. Romanic. Is that misunderstood or?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You partially misunderstood me.
9 It was not outside of my competence to warn him as to what had
10 happened, but I was quite positive, as I am now, that the policemen under
11 his authority, who were my policemen after what happened, that they
12 informed Mr. Romanic of the whole situation. It seemed in excess for me
13 to separately warn him of that, because there were a number of my
14 policemen there. They definitely notified their commander, Romanic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you advise them to inform Mr. Romanic? Did you
16 say, One of you go to Mr. Romanic, tell him what we found here?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know that
18 because, for the most part, my sector chief, police sector chief,
19 communicated with him. According to my order, they had to be in
20 permanent contact with him. This police chief was Mr. Jure Radalj. I
21 personally did not say anything to them because I did not have standing
22 communication with them. I communicated with my sector chief, and he, in
23 turn, communicated with his subordinates. There is a very strict
24 hierarchy, in terms of subordination, in the police, and I had no need to
25 contact directly with the various police officers.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Did you write a report on this action taken or
2 advised by you to Mr. Radalj?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that a report was drafted
4 by my police sector chief. It's a minor activity in relation to the
5 entire police administration. And the chief was not supposed to deal
6 with such small issues. I would not be able to recall in this much
7 detail unless there was a report drafted by the sector chief in the form
8 of an Official Note.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You did not inform your chief about what had
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not draft any reports
12 about that, and I suppose it was done by Jure Radalj, my sector chief.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, who was not informed, at least not by you.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Cipci, I'd like to follow up on an a answer that you gave to
17 the President, and that would be --
18 MR. KEHOE: The Chamber and counsel at page 55, line 3.
19 Q. -- where you note, talking about these items:
20 "I'm sure that those things did not remain sitting unattended at
21 the ray way station. As for the rest, the rest of the things that they
22 had looted and tried to transport, of course, crossed my check-points
23 where I was in charge. Those people were criminally processed, and all
24 the looted goods had been accommodated in Split
25 And with that in mind, sir, if I could turn to D989, which is a
1 report by you dated 24 August 1995
2 MR. KEHOE: If we could bring that up on the screen, D989.
3 Q. As you can see, Mr. Cipci, this is a report 24 August 1995 to
4 Mr. Moric.
5 MR. KEHOE: If we can go to the second page, paragraph 3, second
6 page in English and second page -- excuse me. If we just look at the
7 second page in Croatian, and then we can flip back so that Mr. Cipci can
8 see how it is designated at the end, if we may, in the B/C/S.
9 Q. As you can see, Mr. Cipci, it's got your name with a stamp on it.
10 MR. KEHOE: And if we can, Mr. Registrar, if we can remain on the
11 page for English and flip back to the first page in the Croatian and go
12 to paragraph 3.
13 Q. In this paragraph, you note:
14 "Until 23 August 1995
15 movable property by others than the owners were reported, the
16 perpetrators of which were in three cases HV members, who were handed
17 over to be further dealt with by the military police, in six cases the
18 goods were confiscated and a criminal report was submitted against the
19 perpetrators (in one case the perpetrators were brought before an
20 investigative judge). In the other two cases, a criminal investigation
21 is underway."
22 Now, you noted for us in the quoted transcript that I just
23 referred back to you that the looted goods had been accommodated in
25 and bring it to a warehouse in Split
1 A. Well, listen. All goods seized at my check-points were included
2 in the regular procedure alongside those who had appropriated them. We
3 had to take those goods somewhere, and that's why we agreed with the
4 harbour-master in Split
5 us to store those goods, because I couldn't give this away as presents or
6 sell it. It had to be preserved as evidence should there be a criminal
7 proceedings, and only upon the conclusion of such cases, one could deal
8 with such goods. That is to say, the police could not use the goods of
9 its own accord. It was tasked with storing and preserving those goods as
10 evidence until any relevant cases may be concluded.
11 Q. And, Mr. Cipci, to your knowledge, what ultimately happened with
12 those goods that were sent down to this warehouse in Split? Were they
13 destroyed, were they given back, were they sold? I mean, what happened
14 to this stuff?
15 A. What was the fate of the goods is something I don't know. When I
16 left in 1997, those goods were still kept by the police. I believe all
17 the proceedings moved forward very slowly following the initial criminal
18 reports. It should be checked with the public prosecutor, the state
19 attorney as he's called now, about the number of cases instituted against
20 civilians, and with the military prosecutor about the cases against
21 military personnel, and how many of those cases were concluded. All I
22 know is those goods were still in storage in 1997 when I retired. As for
23 what happened with them later, I don't know. It's probably gone to waste
24 by now.
25 Q. Mr. Cipci, let me stay with this document and use it as a
1 transition point to yet another topic and concerning --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, could I seek first -- you said they were
3 still in that warehouse. Was there a list made of what was stored in
4 that warehouse? Was a register made?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I respond?
6 When the goods were seized at police check-points, the police
7 made lists of seized goods, and these were official lists used as a basis
8 for criminal reports to the prosecutors. The lists were attached, and a
9 note was made. The goods were stored and assigned designations referring
10 to the persons who committed those offences, and relevant numbers. In
11 case any proceedings were to be instituted, this ensured that we could
12 access those goods relatively quickly in relation to each and every
13 perpetrator. Each item has its own number used to locate it and
14 reference it to -- reference it to the person against whom a criminal
15 report was submitted or proceedings instituted against.
16 JUDGE ORIE: In that warehouse, a list -- a complete list was
17 kept of what came in and what went out?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That warehouse was under police
19 supervision as well as the supervision of the northern port storage
20 management. The goods could not leave the warehouse without police --
21 without a police approval, and they did not.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's nice to know, but it was not what I asked
23 you. I asked you whether there was a list, and who would then give
24 approval with or without such a list is another matter. Was there a
25 complete list of everything stored in that warehouse?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a complete list of all
2 the goods that were seized, and only on the request of a court, items
3 would be shipped, if the court wanted to see it as evidence. I don't
4 know, though, how many proceedings were instituted based on our criminal
6 JUDGE ORIE: Again, I asked whether there was a complete list.
7 The answer, apparently, is, Yes, there was.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I'm going to move to another topic,
11 so --
12 Q. If I could just move to another document, but stay with this
13 document, Mr. Cipci, and staying on paragraph 3. And you note in this
14 paragraph that three perpetrators of which -- excuse me, the perpetrators
15 of which were, in three cases, HV members which were handed over to be
16 dealt with by the military police. So I take it from this report,
17 Mr. Cipci, and your prior testimony, that the seizures -- these seizures
18 were made at check-points and that the HV soldier, upon being detained,
19 was handed over to the military police. Is that right?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. So your people at the -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
22 A. Excuse me. At the very check-point, that is where they were
23 handed over. We did not take them to Split. If there were no military
24 policemen on the site, we would call some of them in, and at that
25 check-point the perpetrators would be handed over to them.
1 Q. So, Mr. Cipci, if I can understand your procedure well, your
2 police officers, at the check-point, would stop and detain HV soldiers
3 that they suspected of looting, and if there was no military policemen
4 present, you would call for a military policeman to come to the
5 check-point to take custody of the HV soldier that you suspected of
6 looting. Is that accurate?
7 A. That is correct.
8 MR. KEHOE: Now, if I might have one moment, Mr. President.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I thought I was going to go into this
11 topic much further, but given the answer that I just received, I am not
12 going to do it.
13 Before the break, Mr. President, if -- I must say it has nothing
14 to do with this witness, and he can certainly hear it. There was a
15 procedural issue, and I take us back to when Mr. Margetts was still here.
16 So harken back to Mr. Margetts. When we had some discrepancies
17 concerning some documents and translations, I'm sure it's vivid in your
18 mind, Mr. President; I completely forgot about it. In any event, we had
19 these documents, we had Bar tabled them, Mr. Margetts had no
20 disagreement, but we did re-up the transcripts. I will consult with
21 the -- Mr. Waespi at the break concerning these documents, but the fact
22 of the matter is that there were a series of documents in there that
23 slipped through the cracks that have to do with this. But it has -- I'm
24 not going to go into them with this witness, and I will talk to
25 Mr. Waespi about it at the appropriate time.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And then we will hear from you.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Any --
4 MR. KEHOE: Nothing further, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Nothing further. Then I would suggest that we first
6 take the break, but I would like to deal with a matter briefly in private
7 session, a matter totally unrelated to your testimony.
8 Therefore, I would invite Madam Usher to escort you out of the
9 courtroom, and I invite the Registrar to move into private session.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 23134-23140 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break until 1.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.39 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
18 I had one last document that related to the past questioning.
19 It's a report by Mr. Cipci. I've talked to Ms. De Landri, and she's got
20 no objection to the admission, and it's 65 ter 1D2993, a report of
21 Mr. Cipci, 2 October 1995
22 JUDGE ORIE: You want to Bar table that?
23 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. And just keeping in the sequence
24 with this witness, I think it would be easier for this Chamber just to --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Mr. Registrar, that will be Exhibit number --
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1728, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it will be marked for identification. If,
4 Mr. Registrar, you could take care that we can get it on our computers,
5 then we'll have a look at it, because no blind admission into evidence.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, sir.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then, next in line.
8 Mr. Mikulicic, Mr. Kuzmanovic, any questions for Mr. Cipci?
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, just a few.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Mr. Cipci, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Mr. Mikulicic.
12 Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Cipci. We'll be
17 communicating in the same language, which will compound the interpreters'
18 lives even further. That's why I'm going to ask you to be as low as
19 possible in answering my questions, and also to try and make a little
20 pause after my question, which will give the interpreters time to
21 interpret my question. I will do the same, although I suffer from the
22 same diseases as you, Mr. Cipci; namely, I speak very fast.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: I would kindly ask the Registrar to put P497 on
24 the screen for us.
25 Q. Mr. Cipci, you're going to see a document that has already been
1 admitted in evidence. This is Josko Moric's order about the
2 establishment of the Povratak headquarters. In your testimony so far and
3 in the documents that we've seen, there is a very common reference to the
4 Povratak operation. Given your experience and the job that you had,
5 could you please be so kind and tell us and the Trial Chamber about the
6 Povratak operation. What was its purpose? What actions were taken
7 within the framework of Povratak?
8 A. Operation Povratak headquarters was established within the
9 Ministry of the Interior, and it was headed by the assistant minister of
10 the interior, Josko Moric. It had just one goal, and that was for the
11 Croatian police, the civilian police, immediately upon the completion --
12 or, rather, upon the liberation of certain areas, comes to that area in
13 order to ensure everything that police, under the Law on the Ministry of
14 the Interior, is duty-bound to do. That's why police officers were
15 supposed to participate in that operation. Those were uniformed police
16 that were supposed to keep public law and order. They were supposed to
17 ensure lawful integrity of individuals in the area.
18 Also, the crime police sector also had to participate in that
19 operation. When they learned about the perpetration of crimes, they were
20 supposed to file criminal reports to the public prosecutor and process
21 the criminals.
22 There was also the Service for the Protection of the
23 Constitutional Order. That was an intelligence service that was supposed
24 to carry out an entire analysis of the developments during the occupation
25 in order to bring to justice all those who participated in the armed
1 rebellion and also in order to control, from the point of view of the
2 Intelligence Service, what the situation was like after the liberation.
3 There were also analysts who were supposed to record that all in
4 computers so that the Ministry of the Interior could have complete
6 There were also two services involved, the Civilian Protection
7 and the Fire Brigade, that were part of the police administrations. They
8 were supposed to provide logistics that fell within the purview of their
9 services. And all that was necessary for the normalisation of life in
10 the area.
11 And then we also have the logistics for the police
12 administrations. That was supposed to provide support to all the other
14 And also there were supposed to be typists who were supposed to
15 type minutes, records, reports, and so on and so forth, everything that
16 was necessary.
17 Q. There's no doubt, Mr. Cipci, that it was a complex operation, a
18 complex endeavour, a complex action, which obviously involved a large
19 number of civil servants and public services. They were all necessary in
20 order to achieve results?
21 A. Of course. The main burden should have been borne by the
22 Government of the Republic of Croatia
23 logistical support, funding, and personnel in order to implement the
24 functioning of the civilian authorities. Due to the lack of people who
25 would have been elected in elections, we sent commissioners who were
1 discharging duties until the next elections. For example, in Sibenik we
2 had Petar Pasic, who was the commissioner of the government. He was
3 supposed to be in charge of the civilian authorities, and he had to make
4 sure that the civilian authorities functioned. Without the help of the
5 government, he would not have been able to do much, if anything at all.
6 Q. The title of this broad operation was "Return" -- "Povratak." As
7 a participant in the events, how did you understand the title of the
8 Action Povratak or "Return"?
9 A. Its very title suggestions that conditions had to be put in place
10 for all those who had fled from the area on the eve of Storm, and there
11 were lots of those who did. I'm talking about Serb citizens. Conditions
12 had to be put in place for their return. Also, conditions had to be put
13 in place for the return of the Croatian inhabitants of the area who had
14 fled or had been expelled during the occupation which lasted for three or
15 four years.
16 You have to know that a large number of Croats were forced to
17 leave the area, to move out from the area, because they were expelled.
18 Their residential buildings and offices and workshops were destroyed. So
19 conditions had to be put in place for the return of both groups. That's
20 why the civilian authorities and the police powers had to function.
21 That's why the headquarters were formed with the Ministry of
22 the Interior. That was supposed to ensure all the conditions for the
23 normal work of the civilian police.
24 And then if that functioned as well as it had to, the police
25 would provide for the normalisation of life in the area so that all the
1 former residents of the area, those who had been either chased out or
2 fled, or those who fled on the eve of Storm, could be returned. How
3 things developed, we all know, thank God.
4 Q. The document, Mr. Moric's order that was sent to the
5 Police Administration, is dated the 3rd of August. You can see that. We
6 will all be able to see that if the Registrar scrolls the document down.
7 The document is dated the 3rd of August, 1995, which means that it was
8 sent before the beginning of Operation Storm.
9 Mr. Cipci, I'm going to ask you this: How come that this
10 document actually orders all police administrations, including yours, the
11 Police Administration of Split
12 it requested from all the police administrations to establish special
13 headquarters which would be independent from the organisation of work
14 within the Police Administration or with a view to provide for the
15 Operation Povratak?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please come closer to the microphone.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, as much as needed.
21 This was done because the system of work in the police
22 administrations during the war was such that we often had major actions
23 that surpassed the regular policing duties that would have taken place
24 under normal circumstances. In order to carry out such major actions, we
25 always set up special headquarters, dedicated headquarters. That was one
1 of the biggest, if not the biggest, action for all the police
2 administrations, because it required a lot of people. And the idea was
3 for the job to be done as well as possible. That's why the police
4 administrations were ordered to establish their sub-headquarters that
5 would have the same task, and that was all supervised by the main
6 headquarters with the Ministry of the Interior, headed by
7 Mr. Josko Moric.
8 Therefore, the entire structure of the police was just as I'm
9 telling you. It was identical, as you look at the hierarchy, and what
10 existed at the top was reflected at the bottom. Identical headquarters
11 were established at the lower levels, containing officials of the
12 Police Administration, and, at the top, those were officials of the
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you very much for your answers, Mr. Cipci.
16 You were appointed in 1993 as the chief of the
17 Police Administration of Split
18 A. Yes, you are.
19 Q. Before that, for 33 years, if I'm not mistaken, if I did my math
20 well, you were a judge at various levels in various courts. You were an
21 investigating judge, a magistrate, an appeals judge; am I right?
22 A. Yes, you are.
23 Q. This means that you were trained to apply and protect law and the
24 legal order of your state?
25 A. That is part of my upbringing that I received at home, and then I
1 was trained to abide by the laws, after so many years of working in
2 courts. That's the only way you can live, that's the only way you can
3 act and behave. And in factual terms, that was one of the reasons why I
4 accepted Minister Jarnjak's offer to join the police from my court duty,
5 because I assumed that in the turbulent times and in the war times, I
6 could do most for the city of Split
7 if I assumed the duties as the chief of the Police Administration. And I
8 believe that I did not make a mistake in doing that.
9 Q. Mr. Cipci, while you were serving as a judge and later on as the
10 chief of the Police Administration, did anybody put any pressure, did
11 anybody try to influence you, did anybody suggest to you that you should
12 turn a blind eye to certain illegal actions, unlawful doings, that you
13 shouldn't process certain perpetrators of certain crimes, or not to apply
14 policing methods that fell within your purview? Has anybody asked you to
15 do that?
16 A. To be honest, this did happen, but just once. That was while I
17 was still a very young judge, working in a very small court, and the
18 prosecutor insisted on me passing on a judgement --
19 JUDGE ORIE: One second. I'd be interested in pressure put upon
20 the witness during his activity as a police officer or whether this ever
21 happened in the past in his career. I thought your question was focusing
22 on the -- not on the latter, but on the --
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Indeed, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So if it only happened when you were young,
25 then there's no relevant incident that took place which we should hear
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Cipci, the gist of my question was about the duties that you
5 discharged, the duties as the chief of the Police Administration, which
6 involved events after Operation Storm. Were there any pressures there?
7 A. No, there were never any pressures put on me, because at the very
8 outset, at the very beginning, I informed the minister and all the
9 assistant ministers to whom I wasn't subordinated - I was subordinated
10 only to the minister - that it was out of the question for me to carry
11 out of any of their orders if I deemed that that order was against the
12 law. And the minister knew it only to -- well, I was by far the oldest
13 civil servant within the Ministry of the Interior, I was well respected,
14 and nobody ever dared suggest to me to do something that in my view would
15 have been illegal or not strictly within the law.
16 Q. In the environment where you worked, where you had all your
17 contacts, did you hear from somebody else that there was a plan according
18 to which there should have been a planned action to expel the Serbian
19 population from the newly-liberated area and to prevent their return to
20 that territory?
21 A. I heard you about that in the media. That's the first time I
22 became aware of that, but that -- I believe that that happened only when
23 the proceedings were opened before this Tribunal. Before that, I never
24 heard any such thing, nothing to that effect.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you very much for your answers, Mr. Cipci.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
2 Ms. De Landri, are you ready to start your cross-examination?
3 MS. DE LANDRI: Yes, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cipci, you'll now be cross-examined by
5 Ms. De Landri. Ms. De Landri is counsel for the Prosecution.
6 Cross-examination by Ms. De Landri:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Cipci. My name is Adria De Landri. I'm
8 counsel for the Prosecution. I have a few questions to ask you relating
9 to Defence counsel's questions.
10 You practiced law for many years; is that right? Is that
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what areas you practiced in?
14 A. Well, as a junior judge, I worked in the Municipal Court of Omis.
15 Omis is a town some 30 kilometres away from Split, and that's where I was
16 in contact with all the judicial duties. I was in charge of civil law,
17 criminal law, litigation, property law, everything that fell within the
18 purview of the Municipal Court, the Municipal Court in Omis. There was
19 me and the president of the Court, but he was exclusively involved in the
20 civil matters, and I had to do everything else.
21 And then I joined the Municipal Court of Split after a year.
22 Then I was assigned to the litigation part. And then in the
23 Municipal Court, Split, I was involved in civilian matters.
24 After a year and a half, I moved to the County Court, which used
25 to be District Court. Then I served as a first-instance court judge.
1 But very often at the same time I would be involved in criminal cases,
2 especially during the summer months, when most of the judges would be on
3 vacation. I never went on vacation during the summer. I split -- I live
4 very close to the sea. I didn't have to go to have summer vacation. So
5 the president of the Court and I would be in charge of cases involving
6 grievous bodily harm, murders, killings, and that's when I was in charge
7 of such cases.
8 And then for a year and a half when there was a back-log in
9 white-collar crime, for a year and a half I worked as an investigative
10 judge, and finally I ended up as the president of an Appeals Chamber for
11 matters of -- for civil matters. And that's where I worked for the next
12 ten years.
13 Q. Can you describe the process by which you became a judge?
14 Let me clarify my question. Were you appointed or were you
16 A. The chiefs of police administrations were appointed by the
17 minister. I must say, though, that the minister negotiated with me for
18 about seven months, trying to persuade me to leave the court and start
19 working as the police chief. As I said a moment ago, that it was my
20 assessment --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Listen to the question. Is the process by which you
22 became a judge, "were you appointed or were you elected as a judge?" I
23 take it --
24 MS. DE LANDRI: Your Honour --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. De Landri, I earlier denied an objection
1 against Mr. Kehoe intervening. If the witness is not responding to your
2 question, you can take him back to the issue you did put to him.
3 Could you tell us whether you were elected or appointed as a
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a judge? I thought I was being
6 asked as the chief of police.
7 As for me being appointed a judge, I was elected by the
8 Town Assembly and confirmed by the Croatian Parliament. Judges were not
9 appointed in our country at the time. I was elected. I was elected by
10 the Parliament of the then Republic of Croatia
11 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, since the judiciary was within
12 the republican purview.
13 MS. DE LANDRI:
14 Q. And was that true for your entire judicial career, that you were
16 A. Throughout the period. As of the moment when I was elected as
17 the judge of the Municipal Court, I was elected by the
18 Municipal Assembly, later on the County Assembly
19 Parliament. Later on, when I joined the County Court, I was directly
20 elected by the Parliament following a proposal of the current justice
21 minister of Croatia
22 Q. I just want to briefly direct your attention again to your legal
23 career. Based on the description that you gave the Trial Chamber, would
24 it be fair to say that you never practiced law in the area of what could
25 reasonably be termed "military law"?
1 A. Because of the circumstances, I also acted as a judge of the
2 Military District of Split
3 officers, because I had also completed a reserve officers school. I held
4 a rather high reserve rank by virtue of which I was also appointed the
5 judge of the Split Disciplinary Military Court in charge of reserve COs
6 and NCOs in cases of breaches of discipline. That was my point of
7 contact with military law, in addition to what I had been required to
8 learn while I went through the reserve officers school.
9 Q. Let me try and take you back to your career as a practicing
10 attorney. Did you ever practice in the area of military law before you
11 became a judge?
12 A. I never was a practicing attorney. I was only a judge, and I
13 didn't deal with military law, specifically.
14 Q. You testified earlier this morning, and I believe this is at
15 page 7 of today's transcript, and it's lines 7 through 25, you said:
16 "Obviously, I studied the laws that were relative to the system
17 in the work of the Croatian Army. I was interested in finding about the
18 relationship between the Ministry of the Interior and the
19 Ministry of Defence. And it was because I studied all that, I arrived at
20 a conclusion very easily, because it is explicitly stated in the laws
21 that a garrison commander has no authority whatsoever over the combat
22 units deployed in his area."
23 Can you cite a regulation or a statute that you base that
24 statement on?
25 A. You're asking me about a detail. I cannot answer that 15 years
1 later. But I had the entire body of law at my disposal. We had all the
2 existing regulation and laws of the former Yugoslavia in our judicial
3 library, as well as in the Police Administration. I had an easy access
4 to all laws and bylaws which had to do with the Croatian Army, the
5 Croatian police --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Before you start describing exactly what was in the
7 library, the question simply was whether you can cite a regulation or a
8 statute, and you told us that at the time you may have focused on it, but
9 at this moment you're not able to do so.
10 And that, I think, answers the question, Ms. De Landri. Or would
11 you like to further know exactly how you got books from the library?
12 Then please proceed.
13 MS. DE LANDRI: But I would like to seek clarification on -- the
14 witness did --
15 Q. You did testify, Mr. Cipci, with some certainty, even though it
16 was a few hours earlier this morning, about the authority that -- you
17 gave a rather definite statement about the authority that you believe
18 Mr. Cermak had over -- military authority that he had, and I'm just
19 wondering -- now your statement -- the testimony that you've just given
20 right now seems to be somewhat at variance with the very definitive
21 statement you gave this morning. Can you describe why or explain why
22 there is that variation?
23 MR. KAY: Perhaps explain what the variation is, as I'm unable to
24 understand it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. De Landri, what the witness said earlier
1 today is that after having studied the law, he arrived at the conclusion,
2 and even very easily, because it is explicitly stated in the laws, that a
3 garrison commander had no authority whatsoever, so that's the conclusion
4 he arrived at when he had studied all that, whereas the witness now tells
5 us that he can't cite, after 15 years, any specific. There is not a real
6 variation in not remembering now what was at the basis of the conclusion
7 at the time.
8 I think what you'd like to establish, at least it seems to be the
9 point you want to make, is that the witness at this moment cannot give a
10 clear quote from the law on something he stated this morning, and that is
11 now -- that is at least clear, that point is clear. If you want to
12 further explore the matter, of course, please to so, but the evidence
13 on --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Presiding Judge, if I may, I'd like
15 to provide a very brief explanation.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I leave that in the hands of Ms. De Landri,
17 whether she'll invite you to do so, because, Ms. De Landri, the legal
18 texts dealing with the authority, not only of garrison commanders but of
19 all kind of other officials, of course, have been discussed before this
20 Chamber in quite some length, and I think the Chamber earlier has
21 expressed that the knowledge of this legal basis for whatever authority
22 is not irrelevant, but we don't have to go through all of that in detail.
23 Therefore, if there's any specific issue that you'd like to raise
24 with this witness, please do so. If it's just that you'd like us to know
25 that at this moment there's no clear recollection on the legal texts on
1 which he may have formed his conclusions at the time, right or wrong,
2 that's --
3 MS. DE LANDRI: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. There's
4 plenty of other material to turn to, so we can --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed as you deem fit, Ms. De Landri.
6 MS. DE LANDRI:
7 Q. Mr. Cipci, I'm going to ask you some questions now about the
8 written statement you've given.
9 MS. DE LANDRI: So maybe we can have the witness refer to
10 Exhibit D1723?
11 Q. And if I could direct your attention to paragraph 4. You refer
12 to a meeting that was held in paragraph 4. Do you see that? Take your
14 A. I can see it now.
15 Q. Okay. Can you recall when that meeting was?
16 A. I don't know the exact date, and it would be presumptuous of me
17 to claim that I know the exact date so many years later. But, in any
18 case, it didn't happen much before Operation Storm.
19 Q. Can you make an approximation?
20 A. Ten or fifteen days before that.
21 Q. Can you recall where the meeting was?
22 A. As far as I recall, the meeting was held in the Ministry of the
23 Interior in Zagreb
24 Q. Just so the record is clear, did you attend that meeting?
25 A. Of course I did. All chiefs were called to that meeting who had
1 to do some work during and after Operation Storm; that is to say, the
2 chiefs of those police administrations surrounding the occupied territory
3 which was to be liberated: Split
4 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber who else attended that meeting?
5 A. The minister, certainly, and I think his assistants were there.
6 Mr. Moric, I believe, was there, as well as Mr. Smiljan Reljic. He was
7 the assistant for the SZUP, and Moric was his assistant for the basic
8 duty police force.
9 Q. When you say "the minister," you're referring to
10 Minister Jarnjak; is that right?
11 A. Yes, Minister Ivan Jarnjak.
12 Q. So tell us, in as much detail as you can recall, what was
13 discussed at that meeting.
14 A. At the meeting, we received instructions and orders of the
15 minister specifying what we were duty-bound to do. Each police station
16 and administration had to provide crews and officers for the police
17 stations within their areas of responsibility and, in addition to that,
18 provide a certain number of policemen which were supposed to assist the
19 respective police stations in order to normalise the situation throughout
20 the area. The minimum specified was 100 policemen, in addition to those
21 who were supposed to staff the police stations in the area that was to be
23 Q. And, specifically, what instructions did you receive about what
24 your role was to be at this time?
25 A. My role or that of the police? My personal or of the police?
1 Q. Your individual, professional role in this capacity.
2 A. My professional role, as the chief of a police administration,
3 was to issue orders to my subordinates to do their part of the work and
4 that they be ready for the beginning of Operation Storm. Save for
5 myself, no one else knew the date and hour of the commencement of
6 Operation Storm in my administration. I was the only one who was
7 notified, and it is then that I issued the necessary orders. However,
8 they had to undergo all the necessary preparations before that time.
9 Q. And who -- specifically, who did you receive your instructions
11 A. Who did I receive instructions from? As I said, I received
12 instructions and orders from Minister Jarnjak, and then I, in turn,
13 issued orders to the chief, Jure Radalj, who was chief of the sector of
14 the police force, who had to provide staff for the substation in Vrlika
15 and those who were supposed to assist them.
16 MS. DE LANDRI: Mr. President, this might be a good time for a
17 break in the testimony.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Could I inquire as to how much time -- I know that you just
20 started, but nevertheless just to have a -- and this is not in any way
21 to -- an attempt to intimidate you, not at all, but could you give us an
22 impression as to how much time you'd need?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If you could activate your microphone.
25 MS. DE LANDRI: Oh, sorry. Between two and three sessions.
1 Between two and three sessions.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, it's too early to ask the other
3 parties. On from tomorrow - and, of course, the Judges may have some
4 questions as well - we're not sitting for quite a period of time, so if
5 you could think it over, whether there's a possibility to fit it into two
6 or even a bit less, then in view of the substance, it might well be that
7 we conclude the testimony of the witness tomorrow, which would be highly
9 If there's no other matter, then we'll adjourn.
10 And, Mr. Cipci, I'd like to instruct you again that you should
11 not speak with anyone about your testimony, whether given already,
12 yesterday, or today, or still to be given.
13 And we'd like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this
14 same courtroom, because we adjourn, and we'll resume on Thursday, the
15 15th of October, at 9.00, Courtroom I.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of
19 October, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.