1 Monday, 14 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Gotovina, et al. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Is the Markac Defence ready to call its next witness?
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And that will be no protective measures,
14 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vurnek.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness
19 into the courtroom.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: From what I remember, there were no objections
22 against the 92 ter statement.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I can say that's correct.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MS. DE LANDRI: [Microphone not activated]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. De Landri, your microphone was not
2 activated, so earphones on, switch on the microphone and --
3 MS. DE LANDRI: Sorry, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 Good morning, Mr. Vurnek. Before you give evidence, the Rules of
6 Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration of
7 which the text will now be handed out to you by Madam Usher. I would
8 like to invite you to make that solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: DRAGUTIN VURNEK
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Vurnek.
14 Mr. Vurnek, you'll first be examined by Mr. Kuzmanovic.
15 Mr. Kuzmanovic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
17 Examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm just going to move
19 over here.
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vurnek.
21 A. [In English] Good morning.
22 Q. Could you please state your name for the record, your full name.
23 A. [Interpretation] Dragutin Vurnek.
24 Q. What is your current occupation?
25 A. Policeman.
1 Q. And what is your current function as a policeman?
2 A. At the moment, I'm chief of the Koprivnica-Krizevci police
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Mr. Registrar, could we please have 65 ter
5 3D00890 on the screen.
6 Q. While that's coming up on the screen, Mr. Vurnek, do you recall
7 giving a statement to the members of the Markac Defence in May of this
9 A. I do.
10 Q. And if we could go to the last page of the Croatian version,
11 please, of both versions, actually.
12 On the last page of the Croatian version, is your signature
13 there, Mr. Vurnek?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you recall being interviewed in May 2009 - excuse me - by
16 members of the Markac Defence?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. The statement was signed and on the first date of the -- or on
19 the first page of the statement, it's dated 18th of May of 2009.
20 Does that recall -- do you recall that?
21 A. I remember the conversation we had in May.
22 Q. Have you had a chance before coming to testify to review the
23 statement that is on the screen?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Does that statement accurately reflect what you told members of
1 the Markac Defence?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. At the time that you gave this statement, did you give it to the
4 best of your knowledge and in accordance with the truth?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If I asked you the same questions today in court that you were
7 asked prior to signing the witness statement that's on the screen, would
8 you provide the same answers today in court as you did to the questions
9 that were posed to you during the course of the interview that led to the
11 A. Yes, that's right, the same answers.
12 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I would ask that this statement be
13 tendered into evidence.
14 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D1895.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D1895 is admitted into evidence.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, may I read
21 a summary of the witnesses testimony.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please do.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
24 During Operation Storm, Mr. Vurnek held a position of assistant
25 commander of the special police unit of the Sisak-Moslavina police
1 administration. Mr. Vurnek arrived with his unit on Mount Velebit
2 days before Operation Storm commenced. On the 3rd of August, all
3 commanders attended a meeting in Stari Grad where they received their
4 orders. The commanders were also instructed to adhere to international
5 law of war, and the proper treatment of civilians and property was
6 stressed. The information acquired during this meeting was passed on to
7 Mr. Vurnek and his unit. Mr. Vurnek stated that according to
8 instructions any civilians found were to be handed over to special police
9 staff who then organised their transfer to regular or civilian police.
10 On August 4th, Mr. Vurnek's unit was to break through the front
11 line in the Crni Vrh area and reach the Ruka-Papuca road. There they
12 came in contact with the enemy and heavy combat.
13 On August 5th the unit entered Gracac at about 1400 hours.
14 On August 6th they rested and prepared for further combat
16 While in Gracac his unit was not involved in combat activities,
17 as the enemy had already withdrawn. He did not witness any damage in
18 Gracac town, nor did he observe any members of the special police
19 destroying or stealing property.
20 On August 7, together with other special police units, he was
21 relocated to Bruvno. After the liberation of Mazin, his unit moved
22 forward to Dobroselo. On the way to Dobroselo, they observed a mixed
23 convoy of military and civilian vehicles driving in the direction of Srb,
24 Martin Brod, but they did not engage in any combat activities. His unit
25 continued to advance towards Gornji Lapac which was unpopulated and
1 undamaged. Later that day his unit received an order to advance toward
2 Kulen Vakuf and reached Kulen Vakuf without enemy contact.
3 His unit then handed their positions to the Croatian army on the
4 8th or 9th of August, and they subsequently returned to their base in
5 Kutina. His unit did not require after the Gracac operation the use of
6 any artillery support.
7 That's the statement, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
10 Q. Mr. Vurnek, can you please tell the Trial Chamber about your
11 educational background.
12 A. I graduated from the faculty of physical education, and from the
13 police academy, I became a graduate criminologist. And then I had a
14 masters in security. I also specialized in criminology, so I had that
15 degree as well.
16 That's the extent of my educational background.
17 Q. Mr. Vurnek, can you tell the Chamber, please, how long have you
18 been involved with the police, and then after that, when you became a
19 member of the special police.
20 A. I have been working for the police since 1991. As soon as I
21 completed the specialist training, I became a member of the special
22 police branch. I went through all the different levels on the special
23 police from the police -- policemen training on the job, through to the
24 regular police work onto the head of the police administration.
25 Q. In what year did you become a member of the special police, and
2 A. In 1991, I became a member of the special police branch of the
3 Kutina police.
4 Q. How long were you a member of the special police?
5 A. I remained a special policeman until 2004, when I was transferred
6 to the post of the chief of the police administration.
7 Q. And that's what -- where you currently are, as chief of police
8 administration in Koprivnica?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. As part of your training as a special policeman, did you receive
11 instructions regarding the rules and laws of warfare?
12 A. Right at the first course I attended, the first training I
13 attended, we received instructions on how we were supposed to proceed in
14 accordance with the legal provisions and Geneva Conventions. In addition
15 that, prior to being dispatched on missions, we were given verbal
16 instructions about the respect for international humanitarian law and the
17 related Croatian legislation.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I would ask Madam Usher with the court's
19 permission to give Mr. Vurnek a binder of materials, so it might be
20 easier for him to follow, Your Honour, if that is permissible.
21 JUDGE ORIE: It is.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Vurnek, you're going to get a binder of materials some of
24 which we might be referring to, including your witness statement, which
25 is D1895.
1 If we could look at your witness statement, please, and pull up
2 page 2 of D1895.
3 In paragraph 2 it's noted that:
4 "Several days before Operation Storm most of the unit and I
5 arrived on orders on Mount Velebit
6 for the operation."
7 Mr. Vurnek, just so you know, I will be alternating between your
8 statement and exhibits, so if we could please go to P1241, the second
9 page, please.
10 Mr. Vurnek, P1241 is the war path history of the special police
11 unit of Sisak and Moslavina. Had you had a chance to look at this
12 document before coming to testify?
13 A. I had, yes. I had seen this part.
14 Q. Are you familiar with this document?
15 A. Since I've seen it only recently, I am familiar with it. I have
16 to say that the first part relates to the Sisak group, because the
17 special police unit of the Sisak-Moslavina area was divided into two
19 Q. Now, do you recall that at least as far as paragraph 1 is
20 concerned that the -- by order dated July 30, 1995, the special police
21 from Sisak, including your Kutina unit, was ordered to move out to
22 Stari Grad?
23 A. Yes, I do recall that.
24 Q. And in the fourth paragraph it's noted:
25 "Together with the Kutina group at the second auxiliary axis, the
1 unit had the task to carry out a rapid and surprising advance along the
2 axis: Veliki Golic, Liscana Draga, Siolovici, Pilar, all the way to the
3 eastern hills above the Gospic-Gracac road."
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could we please turn to 65 ter 01356.
6 Before we get into this document, Mr. Vurnek, I'd like to ask
7 you, and I'm again referring to paragraph 2 of your statement, were you
8 present in Stari Grad for the commander meeting?
9 A. At the commanders' meeting held in Stari Grad, there was my
10 immediate commander, and I stayed back with my unit.
11 Q. And where was that located? Where was your unit located?
12 A. It's the general area of Velike Vrsine.
13 Q. Is that in the Velebit mountains?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now in paragraph 2 it's noted that when your commander returned
16 from this meeting, he talked about what your tasks and obligations were.
17 Can you describe that meeting that you had when your commander
18 came back from Stari Grad.
19 A. I can.
20 On his return from the meeting in Stari Grad, the commander
21 gathered the whole unit and acquainted the unit leaders and all police
22 officers with the impending tasks. Once he let us know what our tasks
23 would be and the security measures taken, he told us that we had the
24 obligation to abide by the provisions of the international laws of war
25 and the legislation, the Croatian legislation in force at the time.
1 Q. Mr. Vurnek, if we can look at the document on the screen now,
2 which is 65 ter 01356, this is a portion of the Kutina unit's war path
3 report; correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. You're familiar with this document as well, are you not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The first part of the document states that you received an order
8 on the 4th of August to begin the liberation action Oluja, and it's
9 described upon which axes - there were three - that your unit was to
10 engage. Correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Now, you had 136 total members in your unit?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Now, if we can go -- and I'm referring to paragraph 4 of your
15 statement, and then I'm also -- we don't need to put the statement on the
16 screen. But paragraph 4 of your statement and in conjunction with 65 ter
17 01356 which is on the screen, the first day of Operation Storm,
18 August 4th, you had your primary task was on the first axis
19 Velike Vrsine, Crni Vhr, of your unit. Correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And I'm going to read part of 65 ter 01356 and then I'm going to
22 ask you specifically about some information relating to that. The
23 document reads:
24 "The first group, 35 staff members strong, under the command of
25 specialised training instructions Trpimir Bakaric and Zlatko Felja
1 deploys the position under Crni Vhr and guides and corrects our battery's
2 artillery fire from there.
3 And before I continue, the first thing I'd like to ask you,
4 Mr. Vurnek, is it stated "deploys the position under Crni Vrh."
5 Can you give the Trial Chamber an idea of what kind of terrain
6 we're talking about here.
7 A. Crni Vrh is the dominant feature on Mount Velebit
8 area and from which the enemy force was able to control the entire area
9 and prevent the Croatian police from gaining access to the area under
10 their control.
11 Q. What kind of altitude are we talking about here, in this area?
12 A. I'm not positive about it, I think that it's something in excess
13 of a thousand metres; though I repeat, I'm not sure.
14 However, the point is that there were very well fortified
15 military features up there, complete with weapons which enabled them to
16 control all the approach areas.
17 Q. The second part of that sentence reads:
18 "... guides and corrects our battery's artillery fire from
20 Can you please describe what that means from your perspective.
21 What is guiding and correcting the battery's artillery fire?
22 A. The special police units attached to police administration, there
23 were -- administrations, there were operative reconnaissance groups which
24 were tasked with pin-pointing the exact position of the enemy force.
25 As a rule, they moved ahead of the rest of the forces,
1 pin-pointed the enemy positions, and guided precision artillery fire
2 against the enemy.
3 Q. Now, the targets that they were guiding the artillery to, what
4 kind of targets were those?
5 A. They were fortified bunkers, but specifically the ones we're
6 referring to at Crni Vrh.
7 Q. From where were the artillery fire coming? That means your
8 forces artillery fire.
9 A. They were mortar batteries. I'm not sure about the position
10 where they were embedded. But for the most part they were short-range
12 Q. Now I'll continue with 65 ter 0356, mentions your name,
13 Mr. Vurnek, as assistant commander was also in the group despite he
14 suffered a leg injury, due to which his leg was partially immobilized.
15 After several salvos, we started ascending towards the enemy's entrenched
16 and fortified positions. Approximately 100 metres before the enemy's
17 positions, we came across a strong minefield, which we started de-mining.
18 At that very moment, a strong rifle fire was opened at our staff, so we
19 moved [sic] down the slope towards the forest, where we find even more
20 pressure-activates anti-personnel mines, so-called 'kuruzi,' on our way.
21 We remove them all, still ascending towards the top."
22 Now describe for us, Mr. Vurnek, if you can, how had you to deal
23 with these minefields, if you could just describe to the Chamber, please.
24 A. Could you repeat the first part of the question. There may have
25 been a confusion in terms of interpretation.
1 Q. Certainly. After I read that particular section and specifically
2 referring to de-mining the minefields, can you describe what that process
3 was under fire?
4 A. Crni Vrh that we referred to was a fortified facility surrounded
5 by several minefields. One of the tasks of the reconnaissance operative
6 group which went ahead was to de-mine a passage through the minefields.
7 Later on in the report, we stated the exact positions of the minefields,
8 and that information was passed on to the Ministry of the Interior.
9 Q. Now, with respect to the information you got at Stari Grad on
10 enemy positions, what unit of the special police provided you with that
12 A. The information on the enemy forces were given to us at the
13 meeting with the unit commander, once he had returned from Stari Grad.
14 It is then that he forwarded that information to us.
15 Q. Do you know what from -- from part of the special police this
16 intelligence information was gathered?
17 A. In the special police sector within the Ministry of Interior,
18 there was an internal control department tasked with collecting data
19 about the enemy and its positions.
20 Q. We've heard a great deal of testimony about the internal control
21 unit and seen documents as well. I'm not going to get into that
22 specifically with you, Mr. Vurnek. But as a chief of police of
23 Koprivnica and as a member of the special police until 2004, can you tell
24 the Chamber whether or not, in your experience, the internal control unit
25 was ever involved in the imposition or investigation of discipline within
1 the special police?
2 A. As far as I know, no.
3 In the Ministry of Interior, attached to the minister's cabinet,
4 there was the internal control department which had to do with any
5 disciplinary proceedings and measures to be taken against police members.
6 I think the internal control department within the special police was
7 exclusively tasked with information gathering.
8 Q. Now going back to the document on the screen, Mr. Vurnek, if we
9 could go to the next page in Croatian, please. And the next page in
11 Continuing with this document, Mr. Vurnek, and there's further
12 discussion about people being wounded as a result of -- of mines.
13 Eventually your unit occupied Crni Vrh and captured some
14 weaponry. As well, later in the paragraph, and I'll read, it says in the
15 middle of the very long paragraph:
16 "We come across the communication towards the village of Egeljac
17 get over it and ten metres further, we proceed going parallel with it
18 towards the village, through high grass and vegetation. Just nearby the
19 houses, from a distance of 10 or 15 metres, a strong submachine fire was
20 opened at our group ..."
21 Now, when you describe this communication -- or when it's
22 described the communications towards the village of Egeljac
23 the report mean by that? Is that a communication line? Is that a road?
24 A. As it road between Gracac and Obrovac, via Mount Velebit
25 Partially it's a tarmac road, and partially it's a dirt road. It
1 traverses Mali Alan.
2 Q. Further, one of your members of your unit, Mr. Bakaric is killed
3 in action, and as you're waiting for other groups to link up, your unit
4 ended up capturing two T-55 tanks and an armoured personnel carrier.
5 Could you describe what happened involving that capture and what lead to
6 that capture.
7 A. First, I have so say the following the village of Egeljac
8 actually comprises of two houses, it's a very small place. The advance
9 party of the tank group as well as the forces which had withdrawn from
10 Crni Vhr had set up an ambush in the immediate vicinity of those two
11 houses. Upon our arrival, in their vicinity, they opened heavy fire on
12 the entire column. On that occasion the group commander, Trpimir Bakaric
13 was killed. We returned fire. After the wounded staff member was being
14 administered help because he was still alive at the time, some reserve
15 forces came in, as well as parts of the Vukovar-Srijem unit. We
16 continued our movement together against the group which had set up the
17 ambush. We broke them up and seized the two tanks. So it wasn't only
18 the Kutina group that did that but also some of our Vinkovac [phoen]
19 colleagues helped in the capturing of the two tanks.
20 Q. And during this entire time you participated while you were
21 wounded in action.
22 A. I had a fractured leg, I was not wounded. I had a plaster cast
23 on. It was not a result of a wound.
24 Q. Mr. Vurnek, you end up in this report -- the unit ends up at the
25 Gracac-Gospic communication. Can you describe what that is, please.
1 A. That road spans across the territory between Gracac and Gospic.
2 Q. The last sentence of this paragraph states:
3 "Here we place a BBP around 2100 hours, in the way that the
4 SJP Vinkovci part towards Gospic and we towards Gracac."
5 Could you please tell the Trial Chamber what a BPP is.
6 A. Blockade command -- sorry, blockade combat point of the police.
7 Q. Could you describe what that is to the Chamber, your
8 understanding of what a BBP is. What does it entail?
9 A. The tasks of those manning a BPP is simply to protect and keep
10 the line that had been reached. A barrier check-point is something that
11 no one should go beyond, save for a unit which is supposed to advance
12 further or is returning, as opposed to a checkpoint of the police which
13 is set up exclusively by jointly the civilian and military police in
14 order to exercise control of those going through that point.
15 In other words, one is not supposed to go through a combat
16 barrier point.
17 Q. We've seen in other reports this described as a BPP. Is the BBP
18 and the BPP
19 A. I don't know what the background of this sentence is.
20 Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question. I would have to see the
21 entire text to see what it refers to.
22 Q. Could you please tell the Chamber whether the special police held
23 any types of check-points jointly with any other forces. Meaning
24 military police or civil police.
25 A. Not in Operation Storm.
1 Q. Mr. Vurnek, we've heard testimony from various internationals
2 that people described as special police at check-points were wearing grey
3 or silver or blue uniforms.
4 Can you tell the Chamber during the course of Operation Storm and
5 afterwards, what types of uniforms the special police would be wearing?
6 A. To repeat, the special police did not man check-points. It had
7 no tasks there.
8 During Operation Storm, the special police wore exclusively the
9 green special police uniform with all the insignia that is usually found
10 on those uniforms.
11 Q. Could you tell us, during and after Operation Storm was there
12 ever an occasion that you can recall that a special police unit would
13 wear camouflage uniforms?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, the end of the first day of Operation Storm, your unit was
16 where? If you could tell the Chamber, please.
17 A. At the end of the first day, part of the unit had deployed along
18 the road between Gracac and Gospic setting up two combat barrier points.
19 Another part, including myself, remained where the captured tanks
20 were on orders of the special police sector commander.
21 Q. So essentially at the end of the first day, the forces spend the
22 evening essentially outside?
23 A. Out in the open. We slept in the forest or in the meadows
24 nearby, in difficult conditions.
25 Q. Through this point, Mr. Vurnek, had your unit encountered any
2 A. No.
3 Q. Could you describe for the Chamber the nature of this area. Was
4 it heavily populated, lightly populated, unpopulated?
5 A. During the first day of the operation, we covered mainly forested
6 area next to Mount Velebit
7 the way.
8 In any case, there were no densely populated locations.
9 Q. The second day in paragraph 5 of your statement --
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, can I please tender 65 ter 1356.
11 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1896. Thank
15 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Vurnek, in paragraph 5 of your statement you talk about the
18 second day of the operation and you continued towards Gracac, entering at
19 about 1400 hours, and at least on the way to Gracac there were no combat
21 Could you please describe for the Chamber what you saw as you got
22 into Gracac from your positions the evening before? What your
23 observations were.
24 A. We entered Gracac around 2.00 p.m. Once we were there, I was
25 able to see one house that had been set alight. I don't know when that
1 started, but by that time, it had burnt -- well, most of it was burnt.
2 Q. Were your units the first units to enter Gracac?
3 A. No. Gracac had already been liberated, and there was no one
4 there. No enemy forces and no civilians that could I see.
5 Q. Upon entering Gracac, was there anything that was discovered in
6 terms of weapons or storage facilities that you can recall?
7 A. In the immediate vicinity of the burning house, there was a
8 factory, I believe, I don't know what it produced. But they had
9 relatively large hangars.
10 We were trying to find some fire extinguishers, and it was for
11 that reason that we entered the factory. Inside, we found a large amount
12 of weapons, pieces of weapons, and a full ammunition depot. We didn't
13 check the crates themselves, but I know that they must have contained
14 explosives and ammunition.
15 Q. As you entered Gracac town itself, can you describe what you saw,
16 in terms of damage.
17 A. The burning house was the only damage I could see. Along the
18 road, I noticed a number of craters, in particular close to an
19 intersection. But one could not ascertain whether these were new or
20 older crates [as interpreted].
21 Q. During your time -- the rest of that day, which was the second
22 day of Operation Storm, that night of August 5th and the entire next day
23 of August 6th was spend in Gracac; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, the unit was resting.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Page 19, line 7, it
1 should be craters.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you for that.
3 Q. During your entire time in Gracac, did you observe at any time
4 any members of the special police either burning buildings or looting
6 A. No.
7 Q. Where were you housed in -- in Gracac?
8 A. In the town centre, in the court-house, I believe, or -- it was
9 either that or some kind of public facility. That was on one day. On
10 the other day, we were in the school. It was also a public facilitate.
11 Q. Now, when you arrived Gracac, was -- did you have a chance to
12 basically change into different kinds of footgear and gear that was
13 different from what you had when you were up in the mountains?
14 A. Yes. We had very good logistics. Shortly after we had liberated
15 the roads we have referred to, our forces brought in fresh clothes,
16 footwear, we were able to rest, shower, and change, in order to pursue
17 our activities.
18 Q. Now, on the 7th of August, in paragraph 7, which is the fourth
19 day of Operation Storm, you were ordered to Bruvno.
20 Can you explain what the reasoning was behind being ordered to
22 A. My unit was organised as a reserve force in the course of Mazin
23 being liberated. Immediately next to Bruvno, on a nearby meadow, we
24 waited for the units which were liberating Mazin to complete their
1 After it was liberated, we continued our advance in front of the
3 Q. Were you advised or did you expect any kind of counter-attack
4 from Donji Lapac area?
5 A. There was an expectation of a strong counter-attack from
6 Donji Lapac. However, it never materialised.
7 Q. Now, on your way from Gracac to Bruvno to Mazin, can you describe
8 to the Trial Chamber how you got there? Was it walking, was it in
9 trucks? Can you describe how you got there.
10 A. From Gracac to the position just above Mazin towards Dobroselo,
11 we went in vehicles.
12 Q. What kind of vehicles were these?
13 A. The vehicles we had in the unit. That is to say, military trucks
14 and a civilian van, as well as several passenger vehicles with police
16 Q. Now, as you were proceeding to Bruvno and Mazin, can you describe
17 to the Trial Chamber whether any members of the special police were
18 involved in any burning of buildings or looting of properties?
19 A. Nothing was on fire. There was no burning of any buildings.
20 There was a meadow just before entering Mazin. I see -- I saw a haystack
21 that was on fire, but there was no burning of houses or looting. Special
22 forces were not involved in that.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go back to D18 -- we'll stay where
24 we are right now.
25 If we could please pull up 65 ter 00110.
1 It takes a while because it's a map. Should be on the last page
2 in the Croatian version.
3 Q. Mr. Vurnek, you can see here 65 ter 00110. On the top right, the
4 thick line is the border between Croatia
5 arrow at the right points toward Kulen Vakuf, which is in Bosnia
6 arrow beneath that arrow which is on the top right is -- just to the left
7 of arrow is Boricevac, if you can see that. Right now it's basically in
8 the middle of the page on the screen.
9 At -- near the bottom of that arrow where Boricevac is, it says
10 Lapac, but that is Gornji Lapac. And if you make a 45-degree angle, the
11 arrow on the left there, that's Donji Lapac.
12 Do you see those points, Mr. Vurnek?
13 A. I can see Donji Lapac.
14 Q. And the road from --
15 A. And Gornji Lapac as well.
16 Q. Thank you. The arrow, not the far left arrow but the arrow which
17 is essentially --
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could scroll down on that a little bit,
19 please. There we go, we can stop right there.
20 Q. The arrow -- there are two arrows in the left bottom part of the
21 screen. The arrow on the right is on Mazin. Do you see that,
22 Mr. Vurnek?
23 A. I can, yes.
24 Q. Now your unit was one of the units that went on this area from
25 Mazin to Gornji Lapac; correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And between Mazin and Gornji Lapac, and unfortunately we can't
3 see that on the map, is a place called -- oh, yes, we can. We can see
4 Dobroselo which is along the road from Donji Lapac going from left to
5 right at a 45-degree angle. Dobroselo, there's a little circle there
6 near Dobroselo.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could scroll up a little bit.
8 Q. It's right in the middle of where the screen is.
9 Do you see that, Mr. Vurnek?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you describe to the Trial Chamber from Mazin to Gornji Lapac
12 what your observations were.
13 A. What is missing here is the movement of my unit along a road. As
14 we descended down the winding road between Mazin and Dobroselo, on the
15 right-hand side of the road, we were able to see a mixed column of
16 civilians and enemy soldiers.
17 Q. With the assistance of the usher, Mr. Vurnek, you'll be able to
18 draw on a map - doesn't have to be an exact science here - but
19 essentially draw on the screen the direction of your unit toward
20 Dobroselo. If could you do that, please.
21 Before doing that, Your Honour, I would like to tender the map as
22 it is as an exhibit, and then I will tender the drawing as a separate
24 JUDGE ORIE: So the map marked by whom, when?
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: This particular map was part of D1896, part of
1 the war path report, Your Honour. And I just want to make it a separate
2 exhibit, since we have referred to it specifically.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that there are no objections.
4 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the map marked, although not by the
6 witness, would be?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D1897. Thank
9 JUDGE ORIE: D1897 is admitted into evidence.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Vurnek, if you could on the screen draw generally how
13 your unit proceeded toward Dobroselo from Mazin.
14 A. I have to emphasise the fact that I will be doing from memory and
15 I'm not sure that that's really the case.
16 So we went along the road and onwards towards Dobroselo.
17 As we descended from this position, along the road we saw a
18 departing column.
19 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be a technical problem because the
20 marking now appears from what I see on the text in e-court which ...
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
22 Q. Mr. Vurnek, no one is going to grade you on your drawing, so
23 don't worry, we'll see if we can get these technical things settled, and
24 then you can ...
25 JUDGE ORIE: Everyone is working hard to get it right.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Okay. Need a hard copy. All right. Put it on
2 the ELMO, and then we'll scan it later. That's fine. You can use mine,
3 if that is all right, Your Honour, we can use --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we can do that. It's unfortunate that,
5 technically, it's -- I do not understand why -- what always works well.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's why I became a lawyer, Judge.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I still do not know whether that was the right
8 choice for you or for me, Mr. Kuzmanovic. A disadvantage being that it
9 is far more difficult to make any corrections to --
10 But let have a look.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes.
12 Q. Okay, Mr. Vurnek.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Madam Usher, for helping.
14 Q. As we said, Mr. Vurnek, you don't need to be exact, but please
15 draw, if you can, the best way on this particular map your unit took from
16 Mazin to Dobroselo.
17 You are going to have draw directly on the document itself on the
18 apparatus there. For some reason the screen isn't working properly.
19 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be a problem with the ELMO as well.
20 I see on whatever button I push -- yes. Now, apparently ...
21 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: There we go. If we could turn it 90 degrees to
23 the right. There we go. Thank you. Okay. Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Vurnek, you've marked in red on this particular document as
25 best approximation as you can along that winding road from Mazin
1 overlooking Dobroselo.
2 Now, the column of refugees that they saw, in which direction
3 were they travelling? Were they travelling essentially from left to
4 right? If you look at the map, it would be from north-west to
6 A. As we're looking at the map, they were to our right.
7 Q. And that road goes where?
8 A. I think it goes to Srb.
9 Q. Now, after you reached Dobroselo, can you describe for the
10 Trial Chamber where you went -- strike that.
11 After coming close to Dobroselo, did you have the opportunity to
12 observe two communications operatives in a jeep?
13 A. Before we descended toward Dobroselo, and since I was among the
14 ones who were at the head of the column, I didn't see how many
15 individuals were in the all-terrain vehicle, but I did see the vehicle
16 pass us and continue toward Dobroselo.
17 Q. Did you see whether that vehicle -- where the vehicle went after
18 reaching Dobroselo?
19 A. Our communications officers were in the vehicle. I don't know
20 why they had to overtake our column, but as they reached Dobroselo, they
21 turned right in the direction of the column that was just about to leave
23 Q. Could you describe to the Chamber what you saw in that column,
24 what kind of vehicles, what kind of people were in that column?
25 A. It was a mixed column of various military vehicles and civilians
1 who, for the most part, drove tractors and cars.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I neglected to move the map into
3 evidence that Mr. Vurnek drew. I would like do move that, please, tender
4 that document.
5 MS. DE LANDRI: No objection, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The map marked by the witness, Mr. Registrar, would
7 be ...
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated] Your Honours, that
9 becomes Exhibit D1898.
10 MR. WAESPI: Although, Mr. President, usually it's the Defence
11 who uses blue, so for once I think it is the opposite colour.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's right, Your Honour, we -- since we didn't
13 have that colour on the screen available to us on the screen, I think
14 Madam Usher just gave him what was available on the desk. So no blame to
15 go around.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps better to find the right colour first.
17 But what was marked red was marked at the request of the
18 Markac Defence.
19 Just for my understanding, is it the understanding of the parties
20 that the winding road down, is that the one initially marked M3 and then
21 further on 4M3? Is that ...
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour. That's the road.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's the road.
24 Now could the witness -- apart from that, there is no problem in
25 admitting it into evidence.
1 The witness said he saw the column to his right.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: We can be more specific, Your Honour, if you
3 would like.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we -- is that a road which is called 8A7?
5 Is that a road or ...
6 Could we ask the witness.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Certainly, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Vurnek, you heard His Honour's question.
9 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, that's the road.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And they were moving in a south-easterly
11 direction, then, from what I understand.
12 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar -- Well, no, I think the map received
14 a number already.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think we marked it, but Mr. Registrar's mike
16 wasn't working at the time, so I don't know if it was heard.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see what we have on the record at this moment.
18 One second.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I believe it was D1898, Your Honour, on line 15,
20 page 26.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, D1898 is admitted into evidence.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Vurnek, using the map that's on the screen which is D1897,
25 your units then when to Gornji Lapac, which is essentially the arrow --
1 right near the arrow which is in the middle, upper middle left of the
2 map; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Did your unit ever enter Donji Lapac?
5 A. No, the unit I was in command of was not in Donji Lapac.
6 Q. Now when you were in Donji Lapac can you please tell the
7 Trial Chamber what your observations were.
8 I'm sorry, my mistake.
9 A. Wasn't in Donji Lapac.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 When you entered Gornji Lapac, can you please tell the Chamber
12 what your observations were.
13 A. We only marginally entered Donji Lapac [as interpreted] because
14 as we arrived from the direction of Dobroselo we turned for Kulen Vakuf.
15 At the junction from where the road leads to Donji Lapac, I saw a
16 destroyed truck belonging to the enemy and a great amount of ammunition
17 and explosives strewn around the truck.
18 Q. Now, as you progressed from Gornji Lapac to Kulen Vakuf, where
19 did you end up spending the night?
20 A. We reached Stari Grad at Kulen Vakuf on that same day. We set up
21 combat barrier points and spent the night in the forest there, in the
22 vicinity of these barrier points.
23 Q. In and around Kulen Vakuf, was there any enemy fire that you
25 A. We didn't go into town itself. As we were on our way to
1 Kulen Vakuf, the old town, we didn't come across any armies or civilians,
2 save for one horse-drawn cart that had been run over by a tank because
3 you could see the marks of Caterpillar tracks.
4 Q. From the time that you entered Gracac through the time that you
5 left to return to your home unit, had you called in any artillery fire or
6 use artillery, your particular unit?
7 A. No. We didn't come across any resistance. There was no
8 fighting, and, therefore, there was no call for any support.
9 Q. In your statement in paragraph 8 you describe that on the 8th or
10 9th of August you handed your positions and returned to base in Kutina.
11 To whom did you hand your positions? Do you remember which unit?
12 A. I don't remember which unit that was. But I think it was a
13 Home Guard Regiment or something like that. I'm not certain.
14 Q. Were you under any enemy tank fire at any point in time between
15 Gornji Lapac and Kulen Vakuf?
16 A. As we were erecting combat barrier points around the perimeter of
17 Kulen Vakuf, we came under heavy tank and mortar enemy fire.
18 Q. And that was before you spent the evening in and the area of --
19 around the area of Kulen Vakuf?
20 A. Right after we took up positions. And throughout the following
21 day there was artillery fire. So the attack did not cease.
22 Q. Now, your unit then went back to Kutina after, on the 8th or 9th
23 of August. Can you please describe what route your unit took to return
24 to Kutina?
25 A. We went back via Plitvice.
1 Q. Would you have returned through Gracac, or would have you
2 returned through Udbina?
3 A. Through Udbina.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Vurnek, your unit, at some point after Operation Storm,
5 was involved in mop-up operations; correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Can you describe where you were involved in mop-up operations,
8 first of all; and then after you tell us that, please tell us what you
9 did in mop-up operations.
10 A. I, myself, was engaged in mop-up operations of the area. Our
11 primary task was to uncover the remaining groups of enemy soldiers, to
12 find explosives depots, and to pin-point minefields in the area. Those
13 were our basic tasks.
14 Q. Were you engaged in mop-up operations in and around the area of
16 A. I was.
17 Q. Did those mop-up operations occur sometime toward the end of
18 August of 1995?
19 A. I believe so.
20 Q. Was your unit involved in the mop-up operation of either
21 Petrova Gora or Plitvice?
22 A. Petrova Gora, yes; and I don't remember about Plitvice, though I
23 presume so.
24 Q. Mr. Vurnek, can you -- the final question I wanted to ask you was
25 about General Markac.
1 Could you please -- before I ask you that question, the area of
2 Petrova Gora was in sector -- what was called Sector North, correct, at
3 one time?
4 A. I think so.
5 Q. And the Plitvice operation which you said that you weren't
6 necessarily sure if you personally participated in, was that also on the
7 edge of the northernmost zone of the Split-Gospic Military District -- or
8 the Gospic Military District, I'm sorry.
9 A. I am certain that I did not participate in the Plitvice operation
10 since I was occupied elsewhere. But I assume that my unit engaged in the
11 searches of the Plitvice areas. I believe that it is right on the edge
12 of the Gospic area, though I'm not positive about it.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vurnek.
14 The last question or set of questions I wanted to ask you before
15 we take a break involves General Markac, your experience with him. And
16 I'd like you, please, to be -- to describe to the Chamber what kind of
17 person General Markac was and is, in terms of character and
18 professionalism and your dealings with him.
19 A. General Markac, assistant minister during the war, well, my
20 personal opinion, is that he is a top-notch strategist, operative, and
21 very good at tactics. He is good with people. He is a top professional.
22 I can tell that you before I got to know General Markac and
23 before he retired, I had never, within the system of the Ministry of
24 Interior, met a better professional than him. Counsel, I am truly proud
25 and happy to have been able to be special policeman under General Markac.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vurnek.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
4 In view of the time, first of all, have the other Defence teams
5 any questions for the witness?
6 MR. MISETIC: No, Your Honour.
7 MR. CAYLEY: No, Your Honour, we won't have any questions for
8 this witness.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Ms. De Landri, I think it would be better to
10 first have a break and that you cross-examine the witness after the
12 Mr. Kuzmanovic, the Chamber was informed that there are no other
13 witness available for today; is that correct?
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's true, Your Honour. Unfortunately, given
15 what happened last week, we had to do some juggling and the next witness
16 who is supposed to testimony MM-025 is arriving today and that witness
17 will be ready to testify tomorrow.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Ms. De Landri, could you give the Chamber any impression as to
20 how much time you would need in cross-examination.
21 MS. DE LANDRI: Yes, Mr. President, I expect to be one session.
22 JUDGE ORIE: One full session.
23 Then we will take a break, and we'll resume at ten minutes to
25 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri, are you ready to cross-examine the
4 MS. DE LANDRI: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vurnek, you will now be cross-examined by
6 Ms. De Landri. Ms. De Landri is counsel for the Prosecution.
7 Please proceed.
8 Cross-examination by Ms. De Landri
9 Q. Mr. Vurnek, I would like to ask you some questions about the
10 statement that you gave, and in particular, can you tell the Chamber who
11 was present when you gave your statement.
12 A. Counsel, Tomislav Kuzmanovic and Vlado Rendulic.
13 Q. Was anyone else present?
14 A. At the time the statement was being taken, no.
15 Q. Okay. I'd like to, if Mr. Registrar could pull up the D1895,
16 excuse me, on the screen.
17 And if the witness, if would you direct your attention to the
18 cover sheet of the Croatian version.
19 In addition to your name and the other two names you've just
20 mentioned, I believe there's a fourth name there. Do you see that, sir?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Do you know who that individual is? Can you read that
23 name and tell us who that individual is?
24 A. Djurica Franjo. He came to the administration with the gentlemen
25 but was not present when I was giving the statement.
1 Q. And do you know who that individual is?
2 A. I saw him twice. I have a feeling that I would occasionally see
3 him earlier on, but I hadn't met him officially.
4 Q. Do you recall when the first time you met him was?
5 A. The first time I met him was several months before the statement
6 was taken.
7 Q. And could you give the Chamber an approximate date of when you
8 met him.
9 A. Unfortunately, I cannot recall.
10 Q. Okay. And can you tell the Chamber the circumstances when you
11 met him?
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honours, can I --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Can I seek the relevance of these questions
15 relating to Mr. Djurica. I mean, what is the relevance?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Djurica is -- Franjo is reported to be
17 present, and the witness says he was not present. And the role of
18 Djurica Franjo during the events might have some relevance for his
19 presence or non-presence.
20 Therefore, Ms. De Landri, you may proceed.
21 MS. DE LANDRI: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. I believe there's a question pending.
23 A. Could you please repeat your question.
24 Q. Yes. Can you tell us the circumstances under which you met the
1 A. When I was asked for the first time to appear as a Defence
2 witness on behalf of Mr. Markac, he visited me and explained what such a
3 testimony should look like.
4 Q. Mm-hm. And what did he tell you at that time?
5 A. To be honest, I can't recall. I seem to recall the presence of
6 another female and Mr. Soljic was there as well. I mostly discussed
7 matters with Mr. Soljic, since I had not known Mr. Djurica Franjo from
9 Q. What did you understand his position to be? Mr. Franjo's
10 position, that is.
11 A. I don't know. I don't know what his role is. I suppose he's a
12 member of the team for the Defence of General Markac.
13 Q. Did you ask him at that time what his position was?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And did there come a time when you saw him again?
16 A. I saw him later, when I was giving the statement. But I don't
17 remember him being present at the moment when I was giving the statement.
18 Q. I guess I'm -- I'm not quite clear on what your answer to the
19 question is.
20 You -- you said you saw him later, but you didn't remember. So
21 do you not recall him being present when the statement was given?
22 A. I'm not 100 percent certain. He was there in the period when I
23 was giving the statement, but I don't remember him -- him being there at
24 the moment of giving my statement as such. I simply recall
25 Mr. Kuzmanovic and another counsel.
1 Q. And who asked you questions during the time you gave your
3 A. Mr. Kuzmanovic.
4 Q. Mm-hm. And did anyone else ask you questions during the time you
5 gave your statement?
6 A. I don't remember.
7 Q. Okay. So it's possible that someone else did ask you questions.
8 A. Not in the formal process of giving the statement. It is
9 possible that other people put questions to me in an informal setting.
10 Q. Okay. When you -- when you say that other people may have put
11 questions to you in an informal setting, would you tell the Trial Chamber
12 about those kinds of settings.
13 A. Well, we discussed my recollection of taking part in
14 Operation Storm. But it was an informal discussion and simply the things
15 that I could remember.
16 Q. Now, when you say "we," you're talking about yourself and who?
17 A. Well, I don't know. Countless times I discussed that. Regarding
18 this specific discussion, the persons stated on the statement were there,
19 and I think one or two other work-mates of mine from the police
20 administration were present during the informal discussions.
21 Q. So that would include Mr. Franjo; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. And how many times did you discuss your participation in
24 Operation Storm with Mr. Franjo?
25 A. Personally, I never discussed it with him. He was present, as I
1 say, but I don't remember him putting any questions to me, and I don't
2 remember discussing that with him.
3 All communication basically took place between me and the
4 counsel, as well as Mr. Soljic during the first meeting.
5 Q. Okay. Can you tell the Chamber if you've seen Mr. Franjo since
6 you gave your statement in this case?
7 A. I don't think I did.
8 Q. Okay. Are you sure that you have not seen him?
9 A. I don't remember having seen him anywhere. I don't know.
10 Q. Okay. I'd like to direct your attention to --
11 A. Apologies, apologies. I did see him once, in Zagreb
12 giving the statement.
13 Q. And can you describe the circumstances of when and where you saw
15 A. We were in a restaurant having lunch in Petrinjska Street
16 don't remember the name of the restaurant anymore.
17 Q. And did you talk?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Mm-hm. And that was the only time you've seen him since giving
20 the statement; is that correct?
21 A. I think so.
22 Q. Have you spoken with him on the phone since giving the statement?
23 A. No, never.
24 Q. Have you exchanged any correspondence with him since then?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Okay. I'd like to direct your attention to the substance of your
2 statement. And --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri, if you would allow, I would like to
4 put a few further questions in relation to the matter you have
5 apparently --
6 MS. DE LANDRI: Certainly, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You said that you were in a restaurant having lunch
8 in Petrinjska Street, did have you lunch with Mr. Djurica Franjo, or did
9 you have lunch with others and that you -- was he was seated at another
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he was seated at the same
12 table, but there were around 20 people there.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And at what occasion was this lunch organised?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, Your Honour,
15 I don't know what it was in relation to. In any case I was invited to
16 that lunch, and I went.
17 JUDGE ORIE: By whom were you invited?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By Counsel Kuzmanovic.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Were there any other former colleagues of yours
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were several of my colleagues
22 present during the lunch.
23 JUDGE ORIE: When did that lunch take place?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think about two months ago,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Were there any other persons present of whom you
2 learned or perhaps already knew at the time that they would testify
3 before this Tribunal called by the Markac Defence?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Later on, I learned that
5 Mr. Pavlovic was to be, or had already been a witness in these
6 proceedings. He was one of the people in attendance.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Any other persons of who you know that they are
8 witnesses in this case?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know of anyone
10 else being a witness in these proceedings who attended that lunch.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Because you do not remember who were there, or
12 because you do not know that -- whether or not they are witnesses in this
13 -- called by the Markac Defence?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think both. I don't know who all
15 of the witnesses are. It is quite customary down there to go and have
16 lunch daily almost, to associate, socialise ...
17 JUDGE ORIE: How often did you attend lunch apart from this
18 occasion with the Markac Defence team or members of the Markac Defence
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once in Zagreb; and twice in
21 Koprivnica, when they came to see me in the police administration.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You told us about the informal meetings, or whatever
23 you want to call them, before the statement was taken. Was that on the
24 same day the statement was taken, or was that the day before, or the days
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. If you mean the occasion on
2 which the statement was taken, an informal meeting or perhaps not even a
3 meeting, but having lunch together is something that took place after the
4 statement was taken.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you earlier said -- I'm now not talking
6 specifically about lunch meetings, but you earlier said -- I have
7 difficulties in manipulating my ...
8 You said that you were -- spoke about the events in meetings
9 prior to the official statement being taken. You said when Mr. Djurica
10 Franjo was present as well.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour. The
12 first time, when Mr. Soljic and Mr. Djurica Franjo visited me, there was
13 another female person, and they came to ask me whether I wished to appear
14 as witness before this Tribunal. I consented to that, under certain
16 JUDGE ORIE: Those conditions being?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first condition was that I tell
18 the truth the way I saw it. That is to say, that I shouldn't be prompted
19 or anything should be suggested to me to influence my memory.
20 The other condition was to have a full audio and video recording
21 and that I be provided with a copy of that recording of my testimony.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're talking about the recording of your
23 testimony, not of the interviews held.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were my conditions. And
25 Mr. Soljic answered to that, that concerning my first condition, no one
1 was ever to suggest anything to me.
2 As for the second part, he told me that I was to receive a
3 written copy; in other words, that they couldn't meet my second
5 JUDGE ORIE: You were asking to have your interview being
6 recorded. That correctly understood?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And that was denied.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't reject that, but they
10 said that they would draft a statement and that I would receive a copy in
11 written form. I agreed to that, and I was happy with that solution.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now that was the first time that they came to
13 see you to ask whether you wanted to testify. How long did that meeting
14 take and when took this meeting place?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see that as a -- as a
16 formal meeting. It was a simple discussion during which I was asked
17 whether I wished to testify.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I just asked when it took place and how long it
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That conversation took place a few
21 months before the formal giving of the statement. It lasted for -- well,
22 anywhere between quarter of an hour and half an hour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And the lady who was present was whom?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, Your Honour, I don't
25 know her name and what her role was.
1 I suppose, although I don't know, that she's also a member of the
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the next time that you met with members
4 of the team before, as you said, the formal interview took place, when
5 was that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the day when I gave my
7 statement, I think.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And could you tell us in more detail who were
9 present during that meeting before the statement was taken.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Counsel Kuzmanovic came, as well as
11 Mr. Rendulic and Mr. Franjo came to the police administration.
12 As for the giving of the statement itself, I don't think he was
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think you earlier said that former colleagues of
15 yours were present as well.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I gave the statement, yes.
17 They were not former colleagues; they are my current colleagues.
18 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: I have problems with my LiveNote, and I have to rely
21 on it at this very moment.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 JUDGE ORIE: I still have problems with my e-court, which
24 disables me to literally quote, but let's try to make the best out of it.
25 You were interviewed in the -- on the premises of the police
1 administration; is that correctly understood?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How much time did the gathering take where you
4 informally discussed matters?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think about half an hour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was there an explanation as to why Mr. Djurica
7 Franjo then left when the statement was taken?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know him. I don't even
9 notice him around. I did not exchange more than a couple of sentences in
10 my life with him. He was simply around there, but I paid no heed. It
11 wasn't important to me whether he was there or somewhere else.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Kuzmanovic was present; Mr. Rendulic was
13 present; you were present. And then who that other person was when you
14 were about to give an interview didn't -- you didn't care about that?
15 You're not interested.
16 Is that how I have to understand your answer?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Kuzmanovic is Mr. Markac's
18 counsel, and, as such, I believe, the most important person in that
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was not my question, as a matter of fact,
21 who was the most important, but whether you did care or not.
22 I apologise for not being that much concentrated, but my system
23 is now working again.
24 Yes, you said you discussed your recollection. Could you give us
25 a bit more details about discussing your recollection.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you have in mind the informal
2 part of the meeting? I am unclear about the question.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I have the informal part of the meeting in mind.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, I did not
5 understand the question.
6 The informal part was over lunch where we discussed not the
7 matters I mentioned in the statement or anything in particular concerning
8 that, but we discussed matters in general: Operation Storm and the
9 current activities of the police administration and life in general.
10 However, as I said, it was over lunch.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Was that a lunch where your colleagues were present?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You earlier said that it was after your
14 interview. And now you -- your answer suggests that it was before the
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The informal socialising took
17 place after the interview and once the statement was taken.
18 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
19 Yes, I earlier asked you:
20 "And could you tell us in more detail who were present during
21 that meeting before the statement was taken?"
22 And then you said:
23 "Counsel Kuzmanovic came as well as Mr. Rendulic and Mr. Franjo
24 came to the police administration."
25 You didn't say that you did not meet them before the statement
1 was taken; you just answered my question by telling who were present.
2 Could you -- do you remember at what time you met on that day?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. It could have
4 been 10.00, 11.00.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, during the last lunch you described that
6 was the occasion where you saw Mr. Djurica Franjo again, you were 20.
7 Could you, to the best of your recollection, tell us who were there?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the exact number of
9 persons present there. I remember my colleague Vrsaljko being there.
10 Attorney Rendulic, Kuzmanovic, I, Djurica, Pavlovic. Two more persons
11 with Vrsaljko whom I didn't know. These are the individuals I can think
13 Excuse me, Soljic was there too.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Was Mr. Pejkovic there?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He may have been among the
16 individuals unknown to me.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You don't know Mr. Pejkovic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, no, I don't know who
19 he is. Perhaps if I saw his photograph, I might recognise him.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vitez, by any chance?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. De Landri.
23 MS. DE LANDRI: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Mr. Vurnek, in your statement you said that the day before
25 Operation Storm your commander spoke to you and members of your unit
1 about respecting the international law of war.
2 Do you recall that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And did you, at all times, abide by those laws and obligations?
5 A. Absolutely.
6 Q. Mm-hm. And did you observe members of your unit abiding by those
7 obligations and rules?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And what about other members of special police?
10 A. The ones I know of, they all did.
11 Q. What about the ones that you personally observed?
12 A. They all absolutely adhered to the international law of war. All
13 those I was able to observe.
14 MS. DE LANDRI: Mr. Registrar, could I have P2373, please.
15 Q. And, Mr. Vurnek, I'd ask you to look at the first page of this
16 document and ask you if you've ever seen this document before.
17 A. I think I did. I have seen it, yes.
18 Q. Okay. And just direct your attention to the second page in --
19 second page in the English and it's also the second page in the B/C/S.
20 I'm just going to ask you a few questions about this document.
21 In particular, the document refers to, and I quote:
22 "The situation with discipline in 1995 is slowly deteriorating
23 ... it is slowly getting worse towards the end of the year. This
24 worsening is the result of an unsettled situation at the unit command.
25 "One of the problems that influences discipline in the unit are
1 members who have been in the unit for a long time (a part of the members
2 from 1991, both active and reserve). A part of those members, including
3 several VSG/special groups leaders, very rarely or never take part in
4 training, and spend most of their working hours in the bar at the base."
5 When did you join the unit, Mr. Vurnek?
6 A. I joined the special police branch in 1991.
7 Q. And did you observe any of the problems discussed in this report?
8 A. If you will allow me to, I have to provide a longer explanation
9 to answer the question.
10 Q. Go ahead.
11 A. The special unit of the Sisak-Moslavina police administration
12 consisted of two elements: One belonged to Sisak and the other to Kutina.
13 This particular report relates to the situation in the special unit of
14 the Sisak-Moslavina police administration, its Sisak element. In other
15 words, that's not the unit I was a member of, and we didn't have such
16 details as are mentioned here. The only thing we shared in common was
17 the commander. The units were both deployed to different locations. I
18 was assistant commander for the Kutina group, and this has to do with the
19 Sisak group.
20 Q. When you say you shared the commander, would that have been the
21 commander who issued the orders after the briefing that's referred to in
22 your statement?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. I'd just like to ask answer other question about this document,
25 and it's on the second page of the English. I believe it's on the third
1 page of the B/C/S.
2 In the middle of the third page of the English, there's a
3 reference to:
4 "General problems of the active section are mainly related to
5 housing and the status of the special MUP units after the end of war
6 activities. Housing problems are particular because many members looked
7 for accommodation in the houses in the liberated area during the
8 military-police Operation Storm, and they have problems with clearance
9 for them. People feel insecure regarding a positive solution of that
10 problem because there are cases that the owners of those houses returned
11 from Serbia
12 from the housing lists" --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri.
14 MS. DE LANDRI:
15 Q. "... in the unit."
16 Did you observe any such problems?
17 A. Let me repeat, the Kutina group did not have such problems. But
18 if you will allow me to, I can give you assumption of what this may be
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. De Landri, if you are reading you go too
21 quick, and the interpreters can not follow you.
22 Could you please, so in order to make absolutely sure that we
23 have -- could you please repeat the last part of your quotation and then
24 see whether we have anything -- everything complete.
25 MS. DE LANDRI: Certainly, Your Honour.
1 Q. Let me place my question in the context again.
2 And I understand that you have said that this document did not
3 relate to your specific unit, but I want to -- the information that I'm
4 trying to -- that I'm trying to -- to probe is, did you have any -- did
5 you observe these problems that are referred to here? And I will quote
6 the document again.
7 The document says:
8 "General problems of the active section are mainly related to
9 housing and the status of special MUP units after the end of war
10 activities. Housing problems are particular because many members looked
11 for accommodation in the houses in the liberated area during the
12 military-police Operation Storm, and they have problems with clearance
13 for them. People feel insecure regarding a positive solution of that
14 problem because there are cases that the owners of those houses return
15 from Serbia
16 And my question to you, sir, is: I understand that this document
17 does not specifically relate to your unit but you shared the same
18 commander with this unit. Is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Okay. And did you interact with men from this unit?
21 A. Occasionally. With leaders, for the most part.
22 Q. And I assume that you would -- that the leaders would have been
23 -- the leaders of that unit would have been aware of the units discussed
24 in this document; is that correct?
25 A. I assume that they were aware of them and that they were dealing
1 with them.
2 Q. And did they ever discuss these problems with you?
3 A. No.
4 Q. I'd like to ask you some questions about your statement again in
5 this case.
6 Did you have an opportunity to review your statement?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. And were you given the opportunity to make changes to the
10 A. Well, I don't know. I don't know if there is such a possibility.
11 Q. Well, you were present when the statement was made; correct?
12 A. Yes. And I stand by my statement.
13 Q. Okay. So you were -- you were able to assure that the contents
14 of it were completely accurate; is that right?
15 A. I think that the contents of it are -- are accurate, yes.
16 Q. Okay. And did counsel show it to you after it was drafted?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And were you given the opportunity to make changes to it?
19 A. As I said, there was no need for it. There were certain details
20 that I could think of subsequently. After all, it's been a long time.
21 But whatever the case, I stand by the statement.
22 Q. Okay. So just to be clear: You were given the opportunity to
23 make changes to your statement and to make sure that it was complete and
24 accurate at the time you gave the statement; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. Now, this morning, Mr. Kuzmanovic asked you some questions
2 about August 5th and Gracac. Do you recall those questions?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. Okay. And your testimony - and I'm not going to quote it - but
5 included reference to seeing one structure burning and that you and, I
6 believe, some other members of the special police went into a factory to
7 look for fire extinguishers, and you found some ammunition or some other
8 weapons. Is that correct?
9 Am I, in substance, summarizing your testimony correctly?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you take a look at your statement now. Can we have that on
12 the screen. I believe it's --
13 MS. DE LANDRI: Just one moment.
14 That's D1895.
15 Q. And, in particular, I would like to direct your attention to
16 paragraph 5 of the statement.
17 Have you had an opportunity to look at that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is there a reference in the statement to the events that you
20 testified about this morning?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. About finding the ammunition in the building?
23 A. I didn't think it particularly necessary to mention that in the
24 statement, since we found ammunition and explosives almost everywhere we
1 Q. Okay. Now you do say here in paragraph 5 also that:
2 "I did not see a single member of the special police destroying
3 or stealing anyone's property."
4 And is that an accurate statement?
5 A. It is accurate.
6 Q. Okay. Well, Mr. Vurnek, the Trial Chamber in this case has heard
7 evidence from a number of witnesses that there were members of the
8 special police burning houses and looting in Gracac around the time that
9 you were present there. And how do you respond to their observations?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'd like some citation to the record identifying
12 special police members burning and looting in Gracac.
13 MS. DE LANDRI: Certainly, Your Honour.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Specific references.
15 MS. DE LANDRI: Certainly. P516; it's paragraph 41.
16 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. P516, 41, yes.
17 MS. DE LANDRI: And there's also P322. And P321. And there are
18 several transcript pages also; page 5424, line 21.
19 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Yes.
20 It's that one with transcript page reference, yes.
21 [Defence counsel confer]
22 JUDGE ORIE: 516, 41, does not reflect what you put to the
23 witness, Ms. De Landri. At least I have difficulties in --
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Your Honour, I will check my notes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so. Meanwhile, I'll check the other
2 MS. DE LANDRI: Paragraph 41, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 But I will turn to 321, which --
5 321, and we'll have a look P321.
6 MS. DE LANDRI: Right, P321.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Well --
8 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. If you would just first allow
9 me to -- to have a look at it.
10 MS. DE LANDRI: And, Your Honour, there is P322 as well.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Can we have a reference because many of these
13 are about 30 to 40 paragraphs long, please.
14 MS. DE LANDRI: Well, 322 is just a newspaper article. It is
15 only about three pages long, but right on the front page the first page.
16 And the second page, the middle of the second page in the English
17 translation. I think it was originally in Dutch. And I can give you
18 some paragraphs in 321.
19 Paragraph 31 identifies the special police in Gracac on
20 August 5th.
21 And the same witness is in -- is the author of P322.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You described it - and that seems to be the problem
23 - in a rather qualificative term, so rather than in factual terms,
24 whereas there is quite a bit of dispute on what can be seen on some of
25 the sources. For example, 324 is the result of what the witness said,
1 and 321, and there has been quite a bit of dispute here and there about
2 certain matters. So if you want to put something to the witness, then I
3 would invite you to make it as factual as possible.
4 MS. DE LANDRI: Your Honour, perhaps I could call up a photograph
5 to show the witness.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But perhaps first, then --
7 Mr. Vurnek, when preparing or giving your statement or when
8 preparing for today's testimony, were any photographs shown to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday I saw several
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you remember what you could see on these
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I appreciate your asking these
14 questions, and I have no problem with them. I think we need to establish
15 the date when the photographs were taken and compare them to when the
16 witness was there. And I think that is important.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I just want to know at this moment whether any
18 photographs were shown to the witness. And that is a matter that could
19 have followed up my questions. If have you no problems in my question,
20 Mr. Kuzmanovic, and if you want to draw the attention to a certain
21 matter, rather do it at a later stage, rather than to interfere --
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I didn't mean to interfere, Your Honour, I
24 JUDGE ORIE: But you did.
25 Could you tell us what photographs you saw. What was depicted in
1 those photographs?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw two photographs depicting a
3 vehicle, a car.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was it a passenger car, was it a truck?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a passenger vehicle.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember the colour?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was a black-and-white
8 photograph. I can't tell you what colour it was.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Was the vehicle driving, was it parked, was it -- or
10 several photographs, did you -- could you briefly describe what you saw.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw two photographs of a vehicle
12 and a policeman in it.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, at the time when you were there, had you
14 seen this vehicle or vehicles which looked, in some respects, similar to
15 this one?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was the first time I saw the
17 photograph, and I didn't see it in the field.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did anyone explain to you why -- what you saw, what
19 was the meaning of what you saw in these photographs?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Did you form any opinion about it yourself on what
22 -- what must it have been, if you didn't form any opinion about it?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would need more
24 information to make a conclusion of that sort. Otherwise, I can only
25 suppose what it concerns.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And what do you suppose it concerns?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that the vehicle had been
3 either abandoned or without fuel and that it needed to be removed, taken
4 off the road, so as to free it for traffic. I must underscore that this
5 is only my personal opinion.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And no one suggested that this was the meaning
7 of that photograph to you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. And I wouldn't have allowed
9 anyone to suggest anything to me.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that -- did you also see that same car
11 driving away at -- or driving in at ... was the whole series shown to
12 you? Perhaps, Ms. De Landri, you ask for -- I figure that you were
13 heading for P324?
14 MS. DE LANDRI: Well, actually, I was going ask for P322.
15 JUDGE ORIE: 3 -- yes. Yes, then I let you go first.
16 MS. DE LANDRI: Thank you. 322, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then perhaps we come back later at 324.
18 MS. DE LANDRI:
19 Q. Right. I'd like to direct your attention to this document,
20 Mr. Vurnek, and specific parts of it, particularly the date, which is
21 August 9, 1995
22 -- originally appeared in a Belgian newspaper. It has been translated
23 for us into English and B/C/S. And, in particular, if you could look at
24 the second full paragraph and just take a moment to look at that.
25 Have you had an opportunity to read that?
1 A. I have. Pardon me, Prosecutor. Do you want me to answer your
2 previous question?
3 Q. Well, let's start with the basics first.
4 We can agree that the article is dated August 9th; correct? Is
5 that right? You need to say yes or no for the court reporter.
6 A. It says here that it's of the 9th.
7 Q. And the person who wrote it refers to the previous day; is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. So the events that he's writing about have occurred on or
11 before August 8th; is that right?
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It say the day before, so on or before, I think
15 it is pretty self-evident that the author is referring to August 8th.
16 And if we could establish some foundation that Mr. Vurnek was present
17 there on August 8th.
18 MS. DE LANDRI: No, I appreciate counsel's observations, and I am
19 aware of the witness's testimony about when he was there.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whether it is the day before to what that
21 refers exactly is a matter perhaps to be explored. But I take it that
22 this witness could not help us very much in that sense.
23 Please proceed, Ms. De Landri.
24 MS. DE LANDRI: Yes.
25 Q. My next question is: in the third full paragraph -- first, were
1 you familiar with Gracac before operation Storm?
2 A. I had never been to Gracac before the operation.
3 Q. Do you know if it was a residential area?
4 A. I suppose it was. I suppose it was the administrative centre of
5 that region.
6 Q. Okay. I want to direct your attention to the third paragraph in
7 this article. And, in particular, the first sentence of the third
9 "Not a single house remains intact along the 50-kilometre stretch
10 between Gospic and Gracac."
11 My question, based on what's contained in this article and the
12 date of the article and the time-frame, if no houses remained in the area
13 as of August 8th or 9th, how long do you think it might have taken for
14 those houses to be destroyed?
15 A. I don't know that. I don't think I can comment this article,
16 given that, as of the 7th onwards we were in the direction of
17 Kulen Vakuf. I can't comment on this.
18 Q. Well, I'm only asking you to use the article as a time-frame, and
19 I'm asking you to also use your presence in the area and your
20 recollection and your personal observations to go back and answer my
22 If the area was a residential area and people lived there and
23 most of the houses were destroyed, how long would it take to accomplish
24 that, do you think?
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think we need some foundation here as to may
1 have conducted this campaign of destruction of houses and when -- there's
2 no foundation as to when it occurred, how it was done --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- I think at this moment, Ms. De Landri is
4 establishing the situation as it was found during those days and is
5 trying to explore how quickly that situation could have changed or could
6 not have changed.
7 That is, apparently, what Ms. De Landri is seeking to do, and she
8 is entitled to do that. And then who caused what and at what time is, of
9 course, is a matter which is, to some extent, dealt with in the article.
10 Please proceed, Ms. De Landri.
11 MS. DE LANDRI: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. So to go back to my question. What I'm trying to ascertain is --
13 in your view, and even as of 1995, you had a substantial amount of
14 experience, is that correct, in the special police?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Okay. How long do you think it could have taken to destroy those
18 A. I must confess that I do not understand the question fully.
19 I can tell you that there were several houses along the roads.
20 As for the amount of time one would need to do that, I don't know. It's
21 not a residential area, if you are talking about this road between Gracac
22 and Gospic. It entails a couple of -- a few houses, and I didn't see
23 that all of them were burnt. All of the houses were still there.
24 Q. Let me return to your statement for a moment.
25 MS. DE LANDRI: And that's D1895, in the event that the witness
1 needs to refer to it.
2 Q. You, in describing where you spent the night in Gracac, you said
3 that -- in paragraph 5 of your statement you said you spent the night in
4 abandoned houses in Gracac. Is that right?
5 A. That is right.
6 Q. Okay. Do you know whom those houses belonged to?
7 A. One of the buildings was the court-house, and the other was a
8 school. These were public buildings.
9 Q. So -- just so there's no confusion. So they were not residential
11 A. There were not.
12 MS. DE LANDRI: Can we have D1571, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
14 MS. DE LANDRI:
15 Q. Do you have that document in front of you?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Have you seen this document before?
18 A. I have not.
19 Q. You testified this morning that your unit was involved in mopping
20 up operations; is that correct?
21 A. In the operation of terrain search in the area of Petrinja.
22 Q. Just a few questions about this document. If could you take a
23 look paragraphs 3, 4, and 5.
24 Were you given instructions on -- as -- as part of the orders
25 that you received from your commander at the beginning of
1 Operation Storm, were you given these types of instructions that are
2 reflected in this document?
3 A. This order does not primarily fall within the scope of activities
4 of the special police. If we came across bodies, we were supposed to
5 advise the police headquarters. We were not the ones carrying out these
7 MS. DE LANDRI: Could I get D603, please.
8 Q. I'm going direct your attention to the entry that's at 2325
9 hours, where it states:
10 "In the Gracac area" - and this is August 6th - "20 bodies were
11 cleared away."
12 And ask you specifically, is that something that you were
13 involved in?
14 A. No. In Gracac, I didn't see any soldiers or civilians, or killed
15 members of their army, or killed civilians.
16 Q. Okay. Can you tell me if, what's reflected here in this
17 document, these 20 bodies being cleared away, was in accordance with what
18 we just saw in the prior document? Was there removal in accordance with
19 what was reflected in the prior document?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I just don't see -- first of all,
22 it's speculative; and, second of all, I don't see the relevance to this
23 particular witness for that set of questions. If we could have the --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri, what's the basis -- what's the
25 foundation for the knowledge of this witness? Or are you asking him to
1 -- to compare documents?
2 MS. DE LANDRI: Well, Judge, if he could take his headphones off,
3 just for a second, and I'll briefly explain --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let first check whether the witness --
5 Do you understand English, Mr. Vurnek?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Poorly.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps we could ask the witness already to
8 have an early break, and that we take the break a little bit longer.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could just have the 6th of August section
10 of this to be shown on the screen. I don't think it's on the screen.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No, we're not going discuss, or not even to suggest
12 what should be shown on the screen or not in the presence of the witness
13 who says that he at least understands some English.
14 Could you already follow Madam Usher so that we have an
15 opportunity to discuss a procedural matter.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri, the Chamber, of course, we'd very
18 much like the taking of evidence, the hearing of evidence not to become
19 chaotic. Let me just focus on one of your earlier questions, which was
20 burning houses along the road, witness -- the witness statement P321.
21 We've seen the photographs in P323.
22 Now, if you put everything in context, then it is clear, looking
23 at how the witness had difficulties in getting, obtaining information,
24 et cetera, that at least it seems not to be challenged or disputed in any
25 way that what that witness observed was on the 8th of August. It
1 published on the 9th, but he says it was -- I think it was Tuesday, the
2 8th of August, after he had --
3 Now, if we see in P323 a house in full flames at that moment what
4 then -- I have difficulties in understanding any other way, that it has
5 been, well, set on fire. Let's take a very large period of time within
6 the 24 hours prior to that, and on my own experience, I would even say
7 the likelihood that it was less than 12 hours seems to be quite big.
8 Now, that means that it is limited to the 7th. So, therefore, I
9 have some difficulties in understanding how this is something the witness
10 should have noted. Of course, we do not know from the photographs who
11 set it -- who set those houses ablaze. It is at least unlikely that this
12 happened on the 5th or 6th or early on the 7th. I think the witness said
13 that he had -- he left Karlovac on the 8th, because, on the 7th, he was
14 still trying to get permission.
15 So I have some difficulties in reconciling the several aspects
16 and the suggestions which clearly are in your question.
17 And, apparently, Mr. Kuzmanovic has some problems with that as
19 Now, to ask a witness what he has seen, fine. And then, of
20 course, then the next steps are how to interpret these observations and
21 how to explain them.
22 Could you help me in -- in reconciling your suggestions with what
23 we have seen in that evidence?
24 Your suggestion clearly being, haven't you seen people burning
25 and looting? How is that possible if you look at what the testimony is?
1 The testimony as far as these photographs are concerned, this "Standaard"
2 article, the testimony of the witness is clearly 8th and publication on
3 the 9th. And -- so, therefore, how could the witness, on an earlier
4 date, see all that?
5 MS. DE LANDRI: Well, Your Honour, it may not have been a
6 reporter; it may have been another witness, a military observer. And I
7 will find the quotation. But he was informed, and he was the military
8 observer in Gracac. He --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I looked at 516.
10 MS. DE LANDRI: Right.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And 516 doesn't give a clear answer. If you look at
12 paragraph 41, which I, of course, verified once have you given it. But I
13 have not checked yet 5424, page 24.
14 MS. DE LANDRI: The quotation that I had in mind, Your Honour,
15 was where the witness in 516, I believe it was, but I will double-check,
16 where he said that one of his colleagues was informed by a member of the
17 special police that his colleague was told by a member of the special
18 police that they should clear out of the area because -- or they should
19 leave the area because the special police were going to "clear it out."
20 And --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you put to the witness that the testimony
22 says that it was burning and looting. And clearing out and burning and
23 looting is not the same. I'm not saying that clearing out may not at
24 occasions results in. But to say if someone says we're clearing the
25 terrain which is -- or we have several -- we have several formulations
1 for that. Of course, that's not a guarantee that nothing wrong happens.
2 But to say that a clearing is another way of saying burning and looting,
3 that seems, to me, a bit -- that needs at least some explanation, isn't
5 MS. DE LANDRI: Well, Your Honour, it was my intention to give
6 the witness an opportunity to explain. I think he was given an
7 opportunity to explain, and, you know, that he -- he can be given a
8 further opportunity to explain.
9 JUDGE ORIE: To explain what exactly?
10 MS. DE LANDRI: You know, what he saw in the location.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which seems, as you suggest, to -- is
12 contradicted by later reports. At least -- well, let's not go through
13 all of this in too much detail. But I -- I can't hide that there is a
14 risk of mixing up times, places, observations, by inaccurate description
15 of what is in that evidence. That's the reason why I earlier invited you
16 strongly to look at the factual side rather than to the qualifications of
17 what the witnesses would have seen, and all that in the proper
19 I think it's time for a break. Could you give us any estimate on
20 how much time would you further need.
21 MS. DE LANDRI: Probably about 15 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, at this point, I have about
24 15 minutes of re-direct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 We will have a break, and we'll resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri, please proceed.
6 MS. DE LANDRI: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Vurnek, in your statement, you recounted that when you
8 reached Gracac there was no combat; is that correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And that was on August 5th; correct?
11 A. That was on the 5th of August at around 1400 hours.
12 Q. Okay. And you stayed there through August 6th; is that right?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Mm-hm. So was there no combat during the entire time you were
16 A. No, there was no combat. The unit was resting in the area.
17 Q. Mm-hm. And you testified earlier this morning that you observed
18 one building burning; is that right?
19 A. As we were entering Gracac, yes.
20 Q. Okay. And I'm wondering if you noticed any corpses, dead bodies
21 in Gracac or in the Gracac area on August 5th or 6th.
22 A. No.
23 Q. So my question now is, the document that I showed you earlier. I
24 believe it was D603, that referred to the clearing away of 20 dead bodies
25 in the area of Gracac, if you have any idea, based on the observations
1 that you made at the time you were there, on the 5th or 6th of August,
2 where those bodies could have come from?
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour. If --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
5 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I just wanted to see if we could -- if we're
7 referring to that exhibit, I believe it's on the screen, if we could get
8 the reference to the 6th of August on the screen both in the English and
9 in the Croatian.
10 And I'm sorry, if we could just establish the date, in terms of
11 the foundation of the document and from whom to whom. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Just by looking at it, I take it that ...
13 Ms. De Landri, just getting ...
14 Could you again tell us where we find it exactly in this
15 seven-page document.
16 MS. DE LANDRI: Yes, Your Honour. In the English, it's on the
17 third page, just -- the second paragraph from the bottom.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Second paragraph from the bottom.
19 MS. DE LANDRI: And in the -- let's see. In the B/C/S it's in
20 the numbered page 06124034. And it's the first full paragraph.
21 Yes, please proceed, after having carefully considered the
22 time-frame. Yes.
23 Q. My question to the witness is: Based on the observations that
24 you made in the location when you were there on the 5th and 6th of
25 August, can you explain how there could be 20 dead bodies in the area.
1 A. Mrs. Prosecutor, can I just observe that the document refers to
2 the area of Petrinja and not Gracac.
3 Q. Okay. Well, I'm referring to the sentence that says:
4 "In the Gracac area, 20 bodies were cleared away."
5 JUDGE ORIE: It's the previous paragraph, Witness.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything about that.
7 MS. DE LANDRI:
8 Q. One further question about this document.
9 Do you know why there would be no provisions stated in the
10 document for investigation of the cause of death of these individuals?
11 A. I don't know. That's within the purview of the crime police.
12 Q. Okay. Is that a subject that the special police would have any
13 kind of communication with, since you were in the area?
14 A. I don't understand the question.
15 Q. Mm-hm. Well, you were -- you, as a member of the special police,
16 and your unit were in the area in -- in a military capacity; is that
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Yeah. And you had entered the area before the civilian police;
20 is that correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And would it be a normal procedure for you to interact with the
23 civilian police on these types of issues?
24 A. If there were any fatal casualties of among the enemy soldiers,
25 the special police staff was notified of it, who, at a later date, would
1 engage in further dealings in relation to these individuals with the
2 uniformed police and the crime police.
3 Q. But would it be -- do you know if is a normal procedure to
4 investigate the cause of death?
5 A. Yes. But that's not within the purview of the special police.
6 MS. DE LANDRI: Mr. Registrar, could we have P617, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: While waiting for that document to come up, could I
8 ask one question to you, Mr. Vurnek.
9 If you clear away the bodies, would that not have a negative
10 impact on what you could still establish at a later stage? Bodies being
11 removed from where they had been found.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the removal of bodies
13 is not within the competence of the special police, as I said, and I
14 can't answer your question.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm not happy to interfere, but there's obviously
18 another problem with the translation. In that document, the Croat word
19 "asanirano" as translated like "clearing away." We all know that the
20 process of sanitation is a process, and we heard a lot of evidence upon
21 it. And I think the proper translation of the Croat word "asanacija"
22 that we heard many times before in this procedure has been properly
23 translated, and not translated like "clearing away" the bodies, because
24 it could lead to a wrong conclusion.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, of course, still the matter remains what
1 had then happened.
2 But let's not stay too long with this.
3 Please proceed.
4 MS. DE LANDRI: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Okay. Mr. Vurnek, do you have that document in front of you?
6 A. I do. But I am not able to read it.
7 Q. Have you seen it before?
8 A. I don't remember seeing it.
9 Q. Okay. When you say you're not able to read it, is that because
10 you can't read the handwriting in the Croatian version?
11 A. It has more to do with -- well, the handwriting is pretty
12 illegible, yes.
13 Q. Okay. I have a couple of questions about it, and if for any
14 reason you're not able to read the handwriting, I will read it to you and
15 the interpreters will just translate from the English.
16 And the document is dated August 26th, 1995. And it's from the
17 Sisak-Moslavina special police unit, and the subject of the document is:
18 Report on the inspection of terrain, villages, and hamlets.
19 Were you able to read that in the original?
20 A. All right.
21 Q. Okay. Just -- I want to read the second sentence, and that is:
22 "The task carried out by six groups of ten active and reserve
23 servicemen each from the Kutina SJP, and six groups of 15 each from the
24 Sisak SJP."
25 MS. DE LANDRI: I'm not going to proceed to read the entire
1 document, but if the witness will take a moment to read it, I just want
2 to direct witness's and the Court's attention to it. It recounts the
3 survey of a certain area and the certain civilians, I believe, who were
4 encountered in the area, male and female, and it notes their birth dates.
5 People, who I think, we can agree, Mr. Vurnek, in 1995 even were clearly
6 elderly. Their dates of birth were 1912, 1919, 1913.
7 Have you been able to see that in the original?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And towards the end of the document, it says that:
10 "No enemy soldiers were observed during activity, and there were
11 no traces of enemy presence lately."
12 Do you see that?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. Okay. Now, I note after the list of the civilians who were found
15 and their dates of birth and where they were found, there's no reference
16 to any treatment of them.
17 Do you see that -- or see the absence of any reference for what
18 was done with them?
19 A. It's hard to tell in this specific case. I know that when we
20 engaged in searching the general area we came across several civilians,
21 and we handed them over to the uniformed police, in order that they may
22 regulate their status.
23 Q. But that was -- and I believe this is in your statement also,
24 that that was the routine procedure, correct, to turn them over to the
25 civilian, the regular police?
1 A. That was the standard procedure.
2 Q. Okay. Do you know why, looking at this document, these people
3 were not turned over to the civilian or the regular police?
4 A. It's difficult for me to speak about this specific case. It is
5 possible that the uniformed police had already had them in their records,
6 as being present in the area searched.
7 Q. Mm-hm. But you don't have any way of knowing that; is that
9 A. No, it's an assumption.
10 MS. DE LANDRI: Could the witness be shown P587, please.
11 Q. Okay. Mr. Vurnek, do you have that document in front of you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Have you seen that document before?
14 A. I suppose I have, but I don't remember.
15 Q. Okay. Can you tell the Chamber what your observations were
16 generally regarding discipline in the special police during
17 Operation Storm and the period immediately following?
18 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry to interrupt. Could we first establish the
19 foundation because this document is obviously written two and a half
20 months out of scope of the indictment.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, you earlier said that it's usual that
22 counsel who takes the witness, as one says, is involved in intervening.
23 Now, if there is a translation issue, I do not make that much of a
24 problem out of that. But this is it apparently something that I would
25 have expected Mr. Kuzmanovic to do, not to say that it's dramatic,
1 but ... Please proceed.
2 Yes, now I still have to deal with the ...
3 But, Ms. De Landri, I do not know what questions you will be put,
4 and I do not know what period exactly is covered by the portion you'd
5 like to pay attention to. Would you please keep that in mind.
6 MS. DE LANDRI: Certainly, Your Honour.
7 I'm not sure my question was answered, my last question was
8 answered. I think I -- I don't think it was.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you please repeat the question.
11 MS. DE LANDRI:
12 Q. Certainly.
13 My question was if could you tell the Chamber what your
14 observations were generally regarding discipline in the special police
15 during and in the period immediately following Operation Storm.
16 A. I have to say that, in the Kutina group I was a member of, we
17 didn't have any problems with discipline among men, save for some minor
19 Q. Okay. Directing your attention now to the exhibit that's on the
20 screen; that's P587. And, in particular, and I recognise that that is
21 dated November 15th of 1995.
22 But I would like to direct your attention in particular to
23 paragraph 2 of the document, that's numbered paragraph 2. And that
24 paragraph states:
25 "Unit commanders and department heads with the special police
1 sector shall forthwith take measures to ensure civilised, professional,
2 and lawful execution of official assignments of the special police
3 members, thus eliminating arrogance and haughtiness in dealings with the
5 And my question about this document is -- and it is signed by
6 Assistant Minister Markac, the record should reflect.
7 Do you know why Mr. Markac would have issued this order if it had
8 not been necessary?
9 A. I don't know the specific reason behind the order. What I know
10 is that, still today, as chief of the police administration, I issue an
11 order of this short at the monthly meeting, and it is produced in writing
12 as well. And it is not only related to the special police but to all the
13 police branches I am in charge of.
14 Q. Just so I'm clear on your answer. You issue an order --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri, your question was so much at an
16 abstract level. If not necessary, what would have been the reasons to
17 issue something which was unnecessary? There's -- it's of an abstraction
18 where I would not, unless the witness has any specific knowledge where
19 this order was issued, we'd like to hear; if not, let's move on.
20 Do you have any specific knowledge about this order, Mr. Vurnek?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. But I can tell you that at our
22 regular meetings we constantly alerted our men to the need to abide by
23 the rules of discipline. At least that applied to the unit I was a
24 member of.
25 JUDGE ORIE: There was an answer to my question.
1 Could you please move on, Ms. De Landri.
2 MS. DE LANDRI: Certainly, Your Honour.
3 Q. I would like to direct your attention to, I believe it is,
4 paragraph 8 of your statement. And you will recall that you had -- or,
5 I'm sorry, it's paragraph 9. In paragraph 9 you stated:
6 "During the entire operation my unit neither requested nor
7 required any artillery support."
8 You recall that?
9 And you were asked in your direct examination about a document.
10 It's -- and I think we will need this document on the screen.
11 MS. DE LANDRI: It's D1896.
12 Q. And if I could direct your attention to the portion in the
13 document where your name appears, Mr. Vurnek. That's both in the English
14 and in the B/C/S. There's a reference to artillery fire. And my
15 question is, I'm just trying to clarify, your statement says that you did
16 not have any -- you never called on, you had no need for artillery fire,
17 and it's unclear to me based on what is written in this document, D1896,
18 where it says - you'll have to forgive my pronunciation - the first group
19 35 staff members strong, and then it mentioned several individuals,
20 deploys the position under Crni Vrh and guides and corrects our battery's
21 artillery fire from there.
22 So is that -- did you in fact call for the artillery? I'm just
23 not clear as to how that is -- how that can be harmonised with what's in
24 paragraph 9 of your statement. Can you explain that.
25 A. This happened before the start of the operation. Artillery fire
1 support was sought, in order to neutralize the enemy forces at Crni Vrh.
2 Throughout the operation and what we were just talking about happened
3 before there was combat engagement. But throughout the operation and the
4 advancement of the Kutina special police group, there had been no need
5 for artillery support. I think that the formulation in item 9 was
6 perhaps clumsily made.
7 Q. Sir, if you had an opportunity to revise it, how would you revise
8 it today?
9 A. I would stick to the formulation and add an explanation, to the
10 effect that throughout the operation once Crni Vrh was captured,
11 artillery support was not called.
12 Q. Just a few final questions.
13 Mr. Vurnek, you had said in your testimony this morning that you
14 had a very high regard for Mr. Markac's professionalism. Do you recall
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Mm-hm. And I can't recall the -- or I will just summarize the
18 words that you used without quoting you directly, and you can correct me
19 if I'm wrong.
20 You admired his professionalism. And you enjoyed working with
21 him. I don't think that is the precise word that you used. But it was
22 words of -- with that meaning. Can we agree on that?
23 A. That's absolutely true.
24 Q. And in your experience, did you always observe him to be a person
25 who upheld and respected the law?
1 A. Everything that I know about him is absolutely positive. He was
2 always respectful of the law.
3 Q. Mm-hm. And would you have also -- or would you also expect him
4 to abide by the rules and the orders of this Court?
5 A. I cannot comment on that.
6 Q. Well, were you aware that Mr. Markac was provisionally released
7 by this Court?
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: What does this have to do with anything that
10 happened during and after Operation Storm. I object to the relevance of
12 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. De Landri, the Chamber considers not to be
13 assisted by these questions and the answers to them.
14 Please proceed.
15 MS. DE LANDRI: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
17 Before, Mr. Kuzmanovic, I -- I had the photographs still on my
18 mind. Perhaps it's the easiest way to deal with them right away.
19 Could we have P324 on the screen. And I think it's the third
20 page we would need. It's at least the third paragraph.
21 Witness, is this one of the photographs you were shown when
22 preparing either for your interview or for --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is one of the photographs I
24 saw; it's just that I saw it in black and white.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Could we see the next photograph.
2 Did you see this one as well?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw this one as well.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 And there is another, a third one, either -- and that would be
6 page 2 or the following page, Mr. Registrar.
7 Yes. Is this -- did you see this photograph as well?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Now, the other photographs you saw, could we perhaps go to the
11 next one, the ...
12 No, I was not -- I wanted to focus exclusively on the red -- on
13 the red cars.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell me, what made you believe that
16 this car was an obstacle and had to be removed from the road?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I truly don't know
18 what this photograph depicts. However, even today, all vehicles found
19 along the roads abandoned there or elsewhere need to be brought in by the
20 police to the police administrations. After that, an announcement is
21 made that such and such vehicle was found, and the rightful owner is
23 Under the law in Croatia
24 vehicle, make the announcement, and, if there ever was an owner to show
25 up to claim it, the vehicle is returned. The same regulation was in
1 place in 1995, I believe, as is nowadays.
2 By your leave, Your Honour, I wanted to add that today we had
3 other technical means to move such vehicles at our disposal. In other
4 words, we now have tow-away trucks, which we didn't have during the war.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, in all seriousness, are you telling us that, at
6 that time, the concern was to bring cars which were not an obstacle to
7 the traffic to the ordinary police in order to try to find their owners?
8 Is that your testimony?
9 Earlier you had -- you supposed that it had another meaning, it
10 was that the car was without fuel and that it was an obstacle to the
11 track and that is what came to your mind but, although you couldn't -- of
12 course, you couldn't say. But is this now what -- is this now your
13 explanation rather than the previous one, your supposition?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to repeat, I don't
15 know anything about this specific case. I do suppose, however, that that
16 could have been one of the reasons. I don't know why this vehicle was
17 moved. I truly don't.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, is it common under those circumstances to
19 put the name of a unit on the car, in order to transfer it to the
20 ordinary police so that they can find the owner? I see the word "Delta"
21 on it. You certainly see that as well.
22 Is that in the context of what you just described so to take care
23 that the car would be returned to their owner would be the normal thing
24 to do?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I truly don't know why
1 this was written on the vehicle. I don't know. I simply shared my
2 presumption of what could have been the case involving this vehicle.
3 Finally, up to this day, we never learned who the rightful owner
4 was of this vehicle and what were the circumstances under which it was
5 found at the location.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You investigated it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: How do you know that the rightful owner was never
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was trying to speak about
11 that time, at that moment. I don't know whether the owner was found.
12 And I don't know why that vehicle was there.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And at that time, you apparently knew that, at the
14 time, that the owner was not known. Is that ... because you made a
15 distinction between "later" and "at that time."
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know. However, I know
17 of a case when I was transferred to Koprivnica where there was a vehicle
18 within the police administration compound. Once the owner showed up a
19 few months later, the vehicle was returned.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we look at the next photograph of this
21 same series.
22 What made you believe that this vehicle was without fuel? Or
23 what made you suppose that this vehicle was without fuel?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was trying to say
25 that these were merely presumptions. I don't know. One could come up
1 with at least a dozen different explanations as to why that vehicle was
3 JUDGE ORIE: The reason why I'm asking you this question is
4 because your assumptions, which, well, are not directly and immediately
5 supported by the pictures themselves, are fully in line with what other
6 witnesses have told us, and do you have any explanation for that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I cannot comment on
8 what other witnesses said.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Unless it has been brought to your attention, or
10 unless it has been discussed with other witnesses. Would you agree with
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand your question.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you say you can't comment on what other
14 witnesses said. Now, first of all, perhaps very factual question: Have
15 you followed the proceedings in this case and ... there's nothing to add
16 to the end.
17 Have you followed the proceedings in this case by Internet or by
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have not been following. The
20 only thing was that I read a few articles in the daily press.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the testimony on this vehicle is not --
22 was totally unknown to you?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This vehicle says nothing to
24 me. I can only presume what happened with that vehicle.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that wasn't my question. My question whether
1 you were -- whether you had, through whatever way, become acquainted with
2 what other witnesses said about this car.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
4 JUDGE ORIE: No. Thank you for those answers.
5 Mr. Kuzmanovic, I am looking at the clock. We might not be able
6 to finish. I don't know how many questions you have, but -- and I also
7 have a few procedural matters.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I won't finish in five minutes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon?
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I won't finish in five minutes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No. Then perhaps it would be better to -- and you
12 would need 15 minutes you said.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then perhaps we should take this first thing
15 in the morning. Would that create any further problems as far as
16 scheduling of this week is concerned?
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It will not, Your Honour. We have the next
18 witness -- we don't know if the next witness has arrived yet or not, but
19 we are assuming that the witness has, and the witness will be ready to go
21 JUDGE ORIE: And then what else do we have for this week?
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Wednesday we have a hearing, and the --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You will be able to finish that witness
24 tomorrow because --
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Then that's clear, because I just
2 wanted to say -- one second, please.
3 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one second, please.
5 Mr. Vurnek, we have to deal with some procedural matters. We'd
6 like to see you back, it will be very brief tomorrow, but we,
7 unfortunately, can't finish your testimony today.
8 I would like to instruct you that you should not speak with
9 anyone about your testimony, whether that is testimony already given or
10 testimony still to be given tomorrow.
11 Is that clear?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Would you then please follow Madam Usher, who will
14 escort you out of the courtroom.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, a few procedural matters.
18 For the first one, I would like to go into private session.
19 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I still have to put formally on the record the
22 agreement the parties reached in relation to the timing of calling
23 Witness MM-028. The parties agreed that that witness would be called
24 after the recess and the Chamber has, although not entirely without
25 reluctance, has followed the agreement of the parties, and therefore, we
1 will hear the witness of Witness MM-028 after the recess.
2 Then, finally, since it is a matter of some urgency, the Chamber
3 is seized with a motion for a subpoena for Mr. Brammertz to appear and
4 bring certain materials with him at this Wednesday's hearing. And that
5 would also amount to an expansion of the scope of that hearing.
6 The Gotovina Defence has also asked the Trial Chamber to consider
7 ensuring the appearance of Mr. Bajic at the same hearing.
8 The Chamber denies the motion with reasons to follow, which also
9 means that the scope of the hearing tomorrow [sic] will be limited to its
10 original purpose.
11 The parties would -- yes, Mr. Misetic.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, just as a procedural matter and so
13 the Court has this in mind, I note that the hearing on Wednesday, our
14 agenda is quite full. As I understand it today we have no witness
15 planned for Thursday. So if that's the case, just so that the Court is
16 aware, I don't know if we need Thursday to address what is on the agenda
17 right now for Wednesday, that might be a possibility.
18 But I just wanted to alert the Chamber to that fact.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber still hopes that on Wednesday we can
20 deal with the matters which were originally scheduled for that hearing.
21 And, of course, the Chamber is working hard apart from that on a decision
22 in which the reasons are given for the freeze, to say it. The Chamber
23 does not know exactly at what moment it will have finalized the exact
24 phrasing, the exact language of that decision. That may take some time.
25 It has to be done with full accuracy and precision.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I just wanted to make the Chamber
2 aware of the witness after the hearing, his name is Dr. Herman. We are
3 expecting that he will be here Thursday, and be able to presented on
4 Friday. He is a physician, so he had something urgent that he had to
5 attend to. So he will be arriving Thursday and he will be testifying
7 JUDGE ORIE: We are talking about Thursday, the --
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: This week, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And that's the witness after tomorrow's witness.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Correct, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I can't remember his number right now off the
13 top of my head, but ... MM-009. Dr. Ivan Herman.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That means hearing on Friday, not on Thursday.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour. I wanted to make
16 the Chamber aware of this.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, thank you for informing us. Because
18 earlier there were some concern as loosing two days at that moment in
19 relation to Witness - what was it - MM-028, I think it was. But one of
20 these days --
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, we were able to have the -- I think it was
22 MM-025 recalled, and the witness, like I said, is arriving today. We
23 thought that witness would be testify last week, so we did some juggling
24 so that we wouldn't loose two court days.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's on the record. Thank you. If there is
1 no other matter, we will --
2 Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, just for the record, we
4 received a revised translation of D530, and we are happy with the new
5 translation, so it could be uploaded into the e -- court instead of the
6 old one.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That is the translation which was revised in -- I
8 think on two times the same word used -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Right. [Overlapping speakers] ...
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- and we have received a memo from CLSS on this
12 MR. MIKULICIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You are invited to upload it.
14 And, Mr. Registrar, that the translation which is now in e-court
15 be replaced by the new one.
16 I take it that the Prosecution will check carefully whether that
17 is the only changes, but I have no reason to believe that we find
18 anything different other from what is mentioned in the CLSS memo.
19 We adjourn for the day, and we resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the 15th
20 of December, 9.00, Courtroom III
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.
22 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of
23 December, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.