1 Thursday, 14 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
8 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
12 Gotovina et al. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Mr. Repinc, I would like to remind you that you're still bound by
15 the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
16 And if Mr. Mikulicic is ready, he'll now continue his examination.
17 WITNESS: DRAGUTIN REPINC [Resumed]
18 [The witness answered through interpreter]
19 MR. MIKULICIC: I am, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 Examination by Mr. Mikulicic: [Continued]
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. Well, we'll carry on where we left off yesterday, which is the
24 events related to the liberation of Donji Lapac.
25 And for that purpose, may I have 3D00652 called up, please.
1 In paragraph 153 of your expert report, you state -- or, rather,
2 you quote this document, which relates to footnote 103, which is a report
3 from the Gospic Military District in which it is stated that at around
4 1800 hours, the units of the Gospic Military District, in collaboration
5 with special MUP units, liberated the town of Donji Lapac. And then in
6 the last sentence of that first paragraph, in addition, it says that the
7 units were deployed in a mopping-up operation of the terrain, the
8 clearing of the front, and the collection of war booty.
9 Now, faced with a situation where a new area was being liberated,
10 in the military sense, is it customary for a unit, after having liberated
11 an area, to mop up the terrain, to sanitise the area, and to collect war
12 booty? And when you considered your documents, did you see that in
13 Donji Lapac the special police went about this duty, in addition to the
15 A. As this -- in the way that this document was written, the
16 clearing of the terrain, sanitisation, collection of war booty, was
17 carried out in the Military District of Gospic, and that can but need not
18 include Donji Lapac. But, in any event, the unit which is attacking and
19 taking control of a certain area, unless it is facing frontwards, can
20 carry out these activities with the aim of ensuring that there are no
21 stragglers -- enemy straggler forces which could in any way be a threat
22 to the military in the area.
23 Now, usually the clearing of the terrain would be conducted by
24 other echelons or reserve forces and not the forces who launched the
25 attack and were facing frontward, whether they were taking control of the
1 defence line and waiting for a continuation of combat activities.
2 Now, as far as the special police is concerned, I did not see any
3 mention of a clearing Lapac as a town. What was said was that the town
4 of Lapac had been taken control of and that the forces were moving
5 further towards the border or, rather, the area around Kulin Vakuf.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] May I have a number,
7 Mr. President, for this document?
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document becomes
11 Exhibit D1924. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: D1924 is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Could I now have document 65 ter 00986 called up, please, which
15 is a document which you quote once again in your expert report in
16 footnote 109. And it is an intelligence report for the Split Military
17 District for the 7th of August, 1995. As I was saying, 65 ter --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, I'm informed, and of course I don't
19 know all the 65 ter numbers by heart, that this is a document which is
20 already admitted into evidence as a confidential document.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: I wasn't aware of it, Your Honours. Then we
22 could go to private session.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, or -- I do not know what's the reason, I do
24 not know what the document is. But perhaps out of an abundance of
25 caution, we go into private session and look at the document first.
1 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, the document you refer to in footnote 109, and -- I'd
18 like to draw your attention to the middle part of that document, where it
19 says that the units in their advance were linked up and taken control of
20 the Krupa area and were continuing with the clearing of the area around
21 Velebit, while the units of the special police of MUP had reached the
22 following positions, and then it stipulates what those positions are.
23 Now, General, sir, in this document we can also see that the
24 units of the Croatian Army, in their advance, are carrying out clearing
25 operations of the terrain. Does that follow on from what you said when
1 you were commenting on the previous document? Is this the same case, or
2 is it a different case?
3 A. Well, I think that we're going to talk about the problems of
4 clearing the terrain or search of the terrain, I would put it that way,
5 because I personally consider that the way in which the term "ciscenje"
6 or "clearing" was used does not actually correspond to the actual
7 definition of clearing or cleansing according to the normal tactical
8 explanations given. So there are many documents in which "clearing" is
9 referred to, "search" is referred to either as both terms used together
10 or one term or another term used, so we can determine what is what here.
11 And I would say that in this case, the units in the area which remained
12 behind the lines that were reached were quite simply searched. They
13 searched the area in order not to confront any enemy forces, but possibly
14 to see that groups hadn't been infiltrated, or things of that kind, and
15 to search and discover minefields, equipment that had remained behind,
16 and anything that could hinder normal movement and life -- the life of
17 the forces on the liberated area.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 May this document be assigned an number, please, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, could we ask the witness -- he
21 interprets what it most likely would have been, what the factual basis
22 for such a conclusion is, apart from what we -- the factual circumstances
23 at that moment. Could you tell us what makes you -- what factual
24 information makes you conclude as you described it in your last answer?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we look at the
1 tactical definitions of certain activities which units carry out during
2 an "hors de combat", then "clearing" is a special operation with a
3 special aim, and the aim of mop-up or clearing is to uncover the enemy;
4 not small forces, but large-scale enemy forces in front of you, and then
5 to clear the area completely of all forces which in any way can
6 jeopardise the activities of the units in their advance. But that is not
7 the kind of activity that went on here. What went on here is that the
8 area had already been liberated, which meant cleansed, already, so they
9 didn't expect to come across any enemy forces of that kind. What they
10 wanted to do here was to establish possible contact with the remaining
11 forces, and then they would decide, depending on what was going on when
12 contacts were established and what those forces were, then they would
13 decide what kind of activities they would take on, whether clearing or
14 cleansing activities, or an attack, or some other activities to surround
15 the area, or whatever. So this clearing or mop-up is an operation which,
16 from the very beginning, has its goal. That is to say, in a certain
17 area, what was wanted was to clear all the possible forces that were
18 there and to ensure that the forces who were there in the area had the
19 freedom of action without coming under threat or without jeopardy from
20 the adversary, from the enemy.
21 I'd like to mention, in particular, that this cleansing or
22 clearing is not something which was a side-effect. It wasn't any
23 side-effect or auxiliary action that happened in order to effect an
24 attack, but it was an activity from the very beginning which was an aim
25 in itself.
1 And in this particular case, when the terrain was searched, the
2 goal was not to enter into any major combat with the enemy, but the
3 search was conducted according to certain rules or, rather, methods
4 whereby all the forces, infantry and anything else, artillery, are not
5 brought in for any major fighting, whereas this is a normal activity in a
6 cleansing whereby -- or clearing whereby all the members are involved in
7 the clearing of a certain area.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I must admit that your answer is not entirely clear
9 to me.
10 On the one hand, you say the area was liberated. I think the
11 document says that it was, and, therefore, there was no organised
12 resistance anymore to be expected. Now, what, then -- minefields is
13 clear to me, but would there be individual remaining combatants, or what
14 exactly -- now you said there were certain methods, there were certain
15 goals. What exactly was that, apart from the minefields? That's clear.
16 I can imagine that you search for weapon depots. But as far as military
17 resistance is concerned, what would you expect and what were you looking
18 for, at least to the extent you know, because your answer was quite
19 abstract? But do you have any knowledge, specifically, on this action?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely what you've just said.
21 The area had been liberated, and since it was liberated territory, that
22 meant that you couldn't find any large organised forces there. There
23 wouldn't have been any there which needed to be cleansed. So cleansing
24 is an activity that happens in combat, combat operations.
25 Now, let's take, for example, that a unit has been given an
1 assignment in its attack to carry out a certain manoeuvre. Then that
2 unit can be assigned individual tasks within that general manoeuvre. It
3 can receive the task of neutralising a certain area, it can be given the
4 assignment of breaking through a certain line, or the assignment can be
5 to encircle a certain region, or it can be given an assignment to clear a
6 certain area. If it has received an assignment to clear a certain area,
7 that means an area in front of it, then in that sense it will have to
8 clear that area of all forces. However, here the activities that were
9 carried out after -- subsequent to the line having been broken through
10 and after the enemy had been pushed back, what was happening in the rear
11 was no longer a cleansing operation, but was just a search of the
12 terrain. And the search of the terrain was conducted in order to find
13 and uncover and possibly neutralise and capture, or push back, or force
14 certain smaller organised or non-organised groups to flee, and that also
15 included uncovering any remaining weapons, or equipment, or depots,
16 ammunition depots and other depots, and it also had the aim of uncovering
17 and recording and reporting any remaining individuals, stragglers who had
18 remained in the area, and then taking care of that for people to be able
19 to continue their lives normally. So the object of the search was to see
20 that in the area, after the enemy had withdrawn, to prevent any cases of
21 anyone coming across something and taking anything that they should not
22 have taken, to suffer because of that, and that nobody had taken care of
23 this and given assistance to the people there and recorded all these
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you this question because on the previous
1 document, although not highlighted, we see - and I know that it was the
2 Gospic Military District - that the report of what happened resulted in
3 the arrest of five conscripts and, I think, seventeen civilians, so I'm
4 wondering what exactly, in terms of searching for persons, what this
5 mopping up could mean. Do you know the result of this mopping-up
6 exercise, because this is an intelligence report?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, many of the reports that were
8 sent out at that time said that the units were conducting a mop-up
9 operation or a clearing of the terrain. In certain places, it says
10 "ciscenje." In others it says "pretraga," "search." Now, my point is
11 that the way in which the Military District of Gospic, in its report,
12 said that it had conducted a search of -- a clearing of the terrain, did
13 not correspond to the tactical concept and notion of "ciscenje," of
14 cleansing, clearing, or mop-up. It would be more precise if the Military
15 District of Gospic had carried out a search of the terrain, "pretres" or
16 "pretraga," with the aim of carrying out these activities; that is to
17 say, to uncover not only equipment, but also individuals in the area.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Including civilians?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as civilians are concerned,
20 it is normal that -- and this can be seen later on from the subsequent
21 reports of the special police, that during the search operation the
22 civilians that they came across in the villages were recorded, their
23 names were recorded, and they checked out to see whether they had already
24 been registered by some other services active in the area with the aim of
25 providing them with the necessary assistance to carry on their lives in
1 the area.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think in the previous report, it reported
3 that 17 civilians were arrested, and I have some difficulties in
4 reconciling your description of what kind of care was given to civilians
5 and what is reported in that -- again, it was the Gospic Military
6 District, but what was described in that report.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Mikulicic.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 If I could have an exhibit number for this document, please.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document becomes
13 Exhibit D1925. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: D1925 is admitted into evidence.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. As a follow-up on this topic that we intended to go back to, but
17 since it's been raised, can we look at 3D00581, which is a report of the
18 military police where you, General -- which you referred to in footnote
19 111 and 112, and that's in paragraph 163 of your expert report.
20 It is a report of the 71st MP Battalion which states that on the
21 7th of August, the MP Platoon was set up and began its activity in
22 Gracac. However, I'd like to focus on page 2 of the document, and in
23 particular item 6, which states:
24 "The search of the terrain was conducted in the area of Hinic at
25 the junction leading to Doljani, with a view to finding two unknown
1 persons which had, at 9.00, opened small-arms fire at members of the 4/2
2 Company of the Military Police and fled in the direction of Doljani."
3 General, sir, this search of the terrain referred to in this MP
4 report, can it in any way enlighten us in terms of the definition of the
5 search or the clearing of the terrain?
6 A. The fact that members of the military police, as well as members
7 of the special police, in view of the type of weapons and equipment they
8 had, would fall under the category of light infantry, in view of the fact
9 that this was the sort of units they were, they were not able to carry
10 out mop-up operations, because in that case it would mean or involve
11 engaging stronger enemy forces which cannot be attacked in the formation
12 which is usually employed in a search or in a mop-up operation, be it an
13 individual next to an individual along the defence line, or a unit next
14 to a unit, where an attack is launched and the units advance to a certain
15 line, where the search ends.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can this document be assigned a
17 number, Mr. President?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document becomes
21 Exhibit D1926. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: D1926 is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let us now look at paragraph 164 of your expert report, and item
25 8.5, which refers to the activities on the 8th of August, 1995.
1 In paragraph 165, you state that the joint special police forces
2 reinforced their defence at the lines reached and that one battalion of
3 the special police reinforced the area and extended the line towards
4 Kulin Vakuf by occupying the villages of Kalati [phoen] and Zagorje,
5 where preparations were made to relinquish their positions at the state
6 borders -- border to the units of the Gospic and Split military
7 districts, as ordered by the chief of the Main Staff of the Croatian
9 Can you please comment on this tactical task of taking up the
10 state border, that's to say reaching the state border, the task given to
11 the special police, and then the holding of the line reached at the state
12 border? Was this something that also fell within the purview of the
13 special police, or was it, in fact, within the purview of some other
15 A. The whole operation was directed towards reaching the state
16 border, at which point conditions were to be created for the
17 normalisation of life of the inhabitants of the liberated area. As far
18 as capturing a certain area goes, this means that certain units reached a
19 line and switched to defence in order to defend the area until the
20 arrival of the units which would take that task on from there. The
21 special police could be given this sort of task, but was not, in view of
22 the fact that this was not within the scope of work of the special
23 police, as it were, to defend a certain area for a prolonged period of
24 time. This sort of task is normally handed over to the military, and the
25 special police goes on to carry out duties inherent to them.
1 Q. Let us look at document 3D00803, which you refer to in
2 paragraph 170, in footnote 119. This is a report pertaining to the
3 execution of tasks by the 71st Military Police Battalion in the combat
4 zone and the newly-liberated areas. It follows from the document that on
5 the 8th of August, an MP platoon was set up in Donji Lapac which set
6 about performing its tasks.
7 Let us look at page 2 of the document, item 6, where it is stated
8 that the military police, which is the one that made the document,
9 carried out the searches of the terrain in Udbina and Donji Lapac. As
10 soon as the HV units arrived, certain events were recorded.
11 General, the tasks performed by the special police, as per this
12 report, is it within the definition that you gave of the search of the
13 terrain, or is it a different situation?
14 A. Since this involves the military police, I would say that this is
15 a customary task that the military police would receive in that period of
16 time; i.e., the search of the terrain.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can the document
18 be given a number?
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document becomes
22 Exhibit D1927. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Let us turn to the activities on the 9th of August which you
2 describe in Chapter 8.6, starting from paragraph 172.
3 In paragraph 173, you state that the joint special police forces
4 of MUP turned over the border in the territory of Gornji and Donji Lapac
5 to the units of the Gospic Military District, and the Joint Forces Staff
6 received an order from the chief of the Main Staff for a new task
7 indicating a new stage in the activity of joint special police forces;
8 that's to say, transition from offensive combat operations to clearing
9 and search of the terrain in the area of Petrova Gora. To this end,
10 can -- or on this issue, can you give us your comments concerning the way
11 in which the state border was handed over to others for care and the way
12 in which the special police was given a new order by the Main Staff?
13 A. The way the special police handed over the control over the state
14 border to the Gospic Military District was recorded in this report, and
15 this was in accordance with the orders of the Main Staff concerning the
16 division of responsibilities between the Split Military District and
17 Gospic Military District, in relation to the border that was established
18 on the 6th of August, 1995. The area where special police forces were
19 deployed which reached the border was within the area of responsibility
20 of the Gospic Military District.
21 As for the order which General Markac received, let me be quite
22 precise and say that General Markac received the order. However, the
23 order, itself, did not contain a clearly-defined task of the special
24 police. Rather, it stated that what was to come next was the securing of
25 the area and activities of blocking Petrova Gora. Since the chief of the
1 Main Staff had also sent the order to the commander of the special police
2 force, even though the latter did not receive a task therein, I would
3 say -- my conclusion would be that this was a sort of a preparatory order
4 or something that was to be an indication to General Markac of the fact
5 that his forces might also be involved in such an activity; that's to
6 say, in the conduct of the search, blocking, and clearing, if necessary,
7 of a certain area.
8 Q. Thank you, General, for your answer. We will go back to that
9 topic a bit later.
10 First, however, we should look together at document 3D00735,
11 which you refer to in footnote 122, which is related to paragraph 172.
12 It is a letter sent from the Special Police Staff in Seline on 10th of
13 August to the Intelligence Administration of the Main Staff of the
14 Croatian Army by Petar Ricko, the commander that you already referred to.
15 Let's look at the last paragraph, which states:
16 "On the 10th of August, forces of the special police of the MUP
17 will be engaged on tasks of searching and mopping up of the terrain in
18 the general area of Medak to find and destroy remaining IDS,
19 reconnaissance and sabotage groups. Over the past few days, small enemy
20 groups opened infantry fire on members of the ordinary police of the
21 Ministry of the Interior engaged on securing the Gospic-Gracac road."
22 General, sir, the task of the special police which
23 Major Petar Ricko announces to the Main Staff clearly indicates that
24 there were straggling enemy groups present. Is this an adequate way of
25 responding to this sort of security-related situation?
1 A. If at the time there were several reports indicating that there
2 was a threat and, indeed, fire opened on members of the uniformed police
3 and members of the armed forces, in this particular case it involved an
4 area that was liberated in the course of the 5th of August, evidently
5 there were remaining groups or individuals present in the area. And
6 since the threat was such that it made the normal activity and movement
7 of persons impossible and was life-threatening, it was necessary for the
8 area to be searched and such individuals or groups either uncovered or
9 forced to withdraw from the area.
10 Normally, the role of a search operation should be, whenever
11 possible, for such individuals to be uncovered and neutralised. I
12 repeat, however, the search operation need not necessarily involve this
13 element as well. If the adversary does not engage in combat, this
14 probably means that the force will withdraw in the face of the forces
15 involved in the search operation.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can this document
17 be assigned a number, please?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document becomes
21 Exhibit D1928.
22 JUDGE ORIE: D1928 is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Now, after the combat operations in which the special police took
25 part of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, that is,
1 I'm now going to move on to a section in your expert report, to
2 Chapter 9, "Activities of the Special Police units in the clearing and
3 searching of the terrain. In paragraph 176, you say that after
4 Operation Storm was completed, that the special police forces, as of the
5 9th of August, 1995 -- concluding with the 9th of August, 1995, withdrew
6 from the border zone of the Republic of Croatia along the Una River and
7 that the positions were taken over by the forces of the Gospic Military
8 District and regrouped their forces to prepare for subsequent missions,
9 and to allow rest time for personnel. And after that, you refer to the
10 fact that the focus was shifted from classical combat missions to
11 clear-up or mop-up operations and search operations.
12 Now, General, sir, you've already told us something about -- or,
13 rather, you defined what, in your view, a mop-up operation means and what
14 a search operation means. However, this Trial Chamber from numerous
15 documents has seen previously that these two notions, these two concepts
16 even in the same document are used parallelly, simultaneously. And in
17 your expert report, you say that it would appear that they are used as
18 synonyms. However, could you explain that to us a little bit? Are they
19 really synonyms, or should one differentiate between the two concepts as
20 you have defined them? Or, rather, how do you explain the fact that in
21 documents these terms were used in different contexts?
22 A. I think that I have already explained this, explained the basic
23 difference, the fundamental difference, and it can be illustrated best
24 perhaps taking the example of a clearing -- the mop-up operation of
25 Petrova Gora and comparing that to the search of the terrain which was
1 conducted in other parts. Now, in what sense? If we analyse the
2 documents which General Markac, as the commander of the operation -- of
3 the mop-up operation of Petrova Gora, the assignment he was given, then
4 we can see from those documents that the first area -- initially, the
5 area of Petrova Gora had not been liberated, or, rather, the forces of
6 the Croatian Army were still at the foot of or the approaches to Mount
7 Petrova Gora.
8 Now, why this is a mop-up operation is illustrated in the fact
9 that General Markac, as the commander of that particular operation, had
10 been given a series of units, guards units -- ranging from guards units
11 to brigades of the Croatian Army, with all the necessary equipment and
12 weapons and armoured weapons, it was a large-scale operation, the goal of
13 which was that all the forces should be set in motion frontally to clear
14 up the whole area so that all the forces that were found there should be
15 completely neutralised, encircled, captured, and forced to surrender or
16 to withdraw across the state border.
17 On the other hand - I've already mentioned this - activities --
18 search activities were conducted in an area that was already liberated.
19 So if I were to draw a parallel and make a comparison, I would say that
20 what happened was this: There was a situation by which after
21 Petrova Gora had been cleansed from the 12th to the 14th, let's say, of
22 August, 1995, that the special police, sometime after that date, was
23 given the assignment of going to Petrova Gora once again -- or had it
24 gone to Petrova Gora once again, it wouldn't have been a cleansing
25 operation; it would have conducted a search operation of the Petrova Gora
1 area. So that's that example.
2 Now, as regards to the problems that occur when different
3 concepts or notions are used, these problems arise first of all because
4 the Croatian Army at that time still did not have a well-defined
5 doctrine, and if it didn't have a doctrine, it couldn't have had
6 definitions for a series of other elements; first and foremost, the
7 concepts of war skills or combat skills, or certain concepts which would
8 clearly establish what is what and differentiate between what is what.
9 So there were no official definitions stating that a mop-up operation or
10 clear-up operation is one thing, and a search operation is another thing.
11 There was scope for inertia here, so people used similar things
12 that could imply similar things understood by individuals who were in
13 charge of carrying out certain activities. So for most people, clear-up
14 or mop-up or search was one and the same thing, whereas in actual fact
15 they were different things.
16 Q. Let us now look at document 3D00904. You refer to this document
17 in footnote 137 or paragraph 183, where you explain searches of the
18 terrain. Now, this action is described in a manual entitled "Command and
19 Military Tactics in the Police," or "Combat Tactics in the Police," a
20 manual issued by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia,
21 and it defines a search of the terrain as an organised, systematic search
22 of certain areas and terrains and any facilities on it in order to detect
23 the presence and position of the enemy or traces which would indicate his
24 location and establishing combat contact. Now, this definition is to be
25 found on page 3D05-0703 of the Croatian version, and this entire activity
1 is explained there.
2 Now, General, since this activity, search of the terrain, is
3 contained and defined in the manual for police, the police, and police
4 conduct, could you comment on it? Can you tell us, is it a police
5 activity and police method, and not a military one? Would that be right?
6 A. Well, whether we can make this distinction or not, can we say
7 that the military units cannot conduct a search of the terrain, that
8 would be wrong. I don't think we could say that, because if we envisage
9 a situation, certain states that do not have a special police to deal
10 with activities of this kind, in that case the military forces would
11 conduct searches of the terrain, as is the case within -- as is the case
12 for all the activities under -- after Operation Storm. It was
13 established that it wasn't only the special police forces that searched
14 the terrain, but that the military police did that too, and that other
15 units engaged in that as well, other units who were in that -- which were
16 in that area.
17 Now, what is important here -- it is important to stress the
18 following in this context : Within the remit of the work of the special
19 police, one of the most important tasks is to fight sabotage, diversion,
20 regroups, but also to resolve certain situations of hostages, involving
21 hostages. And the special police was, therefore, used to search the
22 terrain, searching for the perpetrators of crimes and criminal acts. And
23 I should like to mention that that context that the police, as an
24 organisation, especially the special police, as far as the search of the
25 terrain is concerned, this was a natural, routine activity on their part
1 for which they were well trained and had to be well trained.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] May a number be assigned to this
3 document, please, Mr. President?
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document becomes
7 Exhibit D1929. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. In paragraph 186 of your expert report, you say that the special
11 police had certain training sessions with respect to the search of the
12 terrain. May we have your comments on that?
13 A. Well, within the frameworks of the training courses that were
14 conducted at the Training Centre at Kofrcan, as part of the training plan
15 and programme, under the subject of police tactics, one of the subtopics
16 was searches, search of the terrain, and 10 hours were devoted to that
17 subject, which means that it was an important one. This training
18 involved theoretical aspects and practical training, and all the trainees
19 were given a form or format telling them in what way an order was written
20 when assignments were given to search the terrain. So they had to know
21 how this document was compiled and in what way a search was conducted as
22 a separate activity that they were assigned to do.
23 Q. Well, let's go back to a topic you've already broached, General.
24 We'll go through it very quickly, and it is the mop-up and search of
25 Petrova Gora, the terrain there.
1 In paragraph 189, you say that the chief of the Main Staff, on
2 the 10th of August, issued an order by which Lieutenant
3 General Mladen Markac was assigned a mission, a particular mission, and
4 then you go on to quote what that mission was.
5 And I'd just like to say for the Trial Chamber it is Exhibit 1103
6 that we're talking about here.
7 And then further on in paragraph 192, you go on to say that in
8 compliance with this assignment, the special MUP forces from Northern
9 Dalmatia and Lika, and those that were on leave from their core police
10 departments, were transferred to the Petrova Gora area, which is
11 geographically located outside Sector South, in which up until then the
12 special police joint forces or collective forces operated there until --
13 and remained there until the 21st of August.
14 General, the action carried out by the special police units
15 outside Sector South in the mop-up operation of Petrova Gora was an
16 action following an order from the chief of the Main Staff. Please
17 correct me if I'm wrong, but does that mean that throughout that time the
18 special police continued, although it was pulled out of Sector South,
19 remained and continued to be under the command of the Main Staff of the
20 Croatian Army?
21 A. The orders issued by General -- or the orders received by
22 General Markac, if we look at them, then it was quite obvious that the
23 special police was still in the chain of the command of the chief of the
24 Main Staff and that the chief of the Main Staff was still supervising,
25 ordering the work and functioning of the special police.
1 Q. Now, starting out from the 21st of August, and we find that in
2 paragraph 198 of your report, the search operations started in the area
3 of Lika and Northern Dalmatia and also outside Sector South. So the
4 special police, if I can put it this way, returns on the 21st of August
5 to Sector South. And here, once again, in footnote 155, you quote an
6 order from the chief of the Main Staff - for the Trial Chamber's
7 reference, it is Exhibit D559 - in which the tasks are defined for
8 members of the special police.
9 In section B in that same paragraph 198, it says that the task
10 was: Destroy remaining hostile formations in clearing terrain.
11 Now, in paragraph F of that same order, reference is made to the
12 fact that the training of war structures in units through a cycle of
13 preparation and replacements to safe-guard state borders and conduct a
14 field search.
15 Once again, we see in one and the same document, two terms are
16 used, "clearing" and "searching." Is that in keeping with what you told
17 us earlier?
18 A. Yes, this demonstrates that precisely. It just shows that if
19 today, for example, I could ask the author of the document what they
20 meant by "clearing" and what they meant by "search," I'm not sure that
21 they could give me a clear-cut answer and distinguish between the two
22 terms, as they are used and written down here and as was implemented on
23 the ground faced with the situation, because in my understanding of the
24 situation, after the 14th of August, when this order was issued in the
25 area, that is to say on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, not a
1 single operation of mop-up or clearing of the terrain was conducted as
2 defined by certain combat rules; first of all, the rules of the American
3 Army and NATO.
4 Q. Now a question staying with that topic, General. What was the
5 situation like, on the basis of your study of the documents, that
6 provoked the chief of the Main Staff to issue an order about clearing and
7 searching the terrains, starting with the 24th of August in Sector South,
8 once again? What was the motive?
9 THE INTERPRETER: 21st of August, interpreter's correction, 21st
10 of August.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, what we can see from certain
12 reports that the military district sent in to the chief of the Main Staff
13 of the operations headquarters, in the area there was still attacks going
14 on, instances of attack against certain members of the armed forces and
15 the police, and some of them resulted in fatalities. So faced with a
16 situation of this kind, the chief of the Main Staff quite obviously made
17 the conclusion that it was necessary to secure that whole area or,
18 rather, to prevent such activities on the part of the enemy and to create
19 conditions for normal life and work for everyone in the area.
20 Q. Now, let's look at document 3D00226 in that context, to which you
21 refer in footnote 158. And it is an extraordinary report sent out by the
22 Command of the Gospic Military District to the Ministry of Defence, in
23 which it says that persons had been killed -- or, rather, that one
24 reserve soldier had been killed on the 12th of August and that at around
25 230 hours two members of the 8th Home Guards Regiment were killed, and
1 that this killing came about when a small group of Chetniks probably
2 entered the village and moved around the local village road, and that the
3 soldiers who were killed were on the job securing the road. So was this
4 a report about the lack of security and safety that still existed in this
5 newly-liberated area?
6 A. Yes, and there's nothing in particular that can be added to that.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can this document
8 be assigned a number, please?
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document becomes
12 Exhibit D1930. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D1930 is admitted into evidence.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let us look at another document on this same subject; namely,
16 3D00597, which you refer to in footnote 157. This is again a report to
17 the Intelligence Administration of the Main Staff of the Croatian Army by
18 the Gospic Military District Command, which states that in the area of
19 Medak, by a straggling enemy group, members of the Ministry of the
20 Interior were fired upon from infantry weapons. And according to the
21 information available at the time, four policemen were wounded, four
22 military policemen. Again, this document relates to what you discussed,
23 and that's the security situation which was still very unstable following
24 the liberation?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can a number be given to the
2 document, Mr. President?
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before we decide on the matter, Mr. Mikulicic,
5 apparently there was a problem in the Medak area. What's the relevance
6 to here and there, pick out from areas which apparently are not in Sector
7 South? I mean, that the country was not quiet seems to be -- well, seems
8 to be -- I don't know whether there's any dispute about that.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: With all due respect, Your Honour, Medak area is
10 in Sector South, in fact, it's part of the Sector South. This is on the
11 road which leads from Gospic to Gracac, and it's, let's say, about 35 to
12 40 kilometres from Gracac to the north-west.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just then look, because earlier the
14 Petrova Gora was outside of Sector South.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then I may have mixed up matters, that you switched
17 from outside Sector South, now you're inside. Could you then precisely
18 define, then -- let me just have a look. Petrova Gora is well north of
19 Sector South?
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Petrova Gora is north from Sector South.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And the Medak area is where, exactly, so that we
22 have --
23 MR. MIKULICIC: This is village of Medak.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Village of Medak.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, and that's why this is defined like Medak --
1 let me see the translation --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Because the Medak pocket is then --
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Medak pocket is --
4 JUDGE ORIE: That may have caused my confusion, moving from
5 Petrova Gora, which is outside of Sector South, and then the Medak area,
6 whereas it was my understanding that the Medak pocket was, at least, not
7 in Sector South. But apparently now you're referring to Medak village,
8 which is to be found where, exactly?
9 MR. MIKULICIC: On the road from Gospic to Gracac, let's say
10 about 35 to 40 kilometres north-west from Gracac.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the word "Medak".
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Somewhere in the middle between Gospic and
14 JUDGE ORIE: And the word "Medak" triggered my misunderstanding
15 also in relation to the well-known Medak pocket area.
16 Under those circumstances --
17 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry for that, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The exhibit -- let me just check again the
19 exhibit which was assigned number -- let me just -- no, no number was yet
20 assigned. There was no objection by Ms. Mahindaratne.
21 Mr. Registrar, the number will be --
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 3D597 will be
23 assigned Exhibit D1931. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Let us go through quickly the standard operative
2 procedure for the search of the terrain, because it's been already
3 discussed, and this is mentioned in paragraph 207 of your expert report.
4 There, you described the procedure as taking place through seven steps.
5 Rather than going through the description which is contained in your
6 expert report, can you tell us if there is anything you'd like to add to
7 your expert report, or is there anything you'd like to clarify?
8 A. I should only like to say that the seven steps, as contained
9 here, were not something that I was able to find in the documents of the
10 special police. Rather, based on everything that was done over the
11 period of two months in the area, and the activities undertaken, I made
12 the conclusion that this sort of procedure was followed. The procedure
13 could be described in five or nine steps. The important thing is that it
14 was, in fact, adhered to -- adhered to the way it's been described. It
15 was known to everyone, and this was the way it was implemented from the
16 point when a decision was made of the fact that something needed to be
17 searched to the point when, as the final step in the search, a report was
18 sent to the chief of the Main Staff on the searches conducted during the
20 Q. The searches of the terrain conducted during the day were
21 described in a report that was sent to General Markac, and General Markac
22 then sent a report on the activities on a particular date to the
23 Main Staff. The Chamber was able to see numerous documents reflecting
24 the procedure. In view of what you state in paragraph 208 of your
25 report, can you give us your comments on the position of General Markac
1 when it came to receiving and forwarding reports on the searches of the
3 A. The search of the terrain was conducted in such a way that the
4 commander of the search operation on a day was designated, who would be
5 assigned forces of a certain strength. They would set out from a certain
6 line and search a given area frontally. There were two ways of
7 approaching this. One was such that the units would set out from a line
8 and reach a given location, as specified in the order for the searches
9 for that day. The second possibility was that the line that was supposed
10 to be reached would already be -- would already have certain forces
11 present there that were supposed to take on from there, especially if the
12 terrain was rugged. And in the event of coming across enemy forces, the
13 enemy forces could be captured or neutralised by the forces that were
14 engaged in the so-called blockade. Once the forces reached the final
15 line, group leaders of the forces involved would report to the commander
16 of the special unit of a given police administration, and these
17 commanders would, in turn, report to the commander of the operation on
18 all matters that were uncovered or come across. Where possible, the
19 reports would be drafted in Gracac. When this was not possible, it was
20 done by the commander of the operation, himself.
21 It is -- it clearly follows from all these reports that whatever
22 the commander of the operation wrote in his own hand, this is what was
23 forwarded to the Main Staff.
24 As for the position of the commander, that's to say
25 General Markac, the first level would be the group commander, above him
1 the commander of the special unit, above him the commander of the
2 operation for the day, and above him -- or, rather, the fourth level of
3 the chain of command would be General Markac, who then sent a report to
5 Q. In paragraph 208, you state that the format of the report which
6 was sent to the chief of the Main Staff with General Markac's signature
7 was the same as was the signature of the report, regardless of whether
8 General Markac was in Gracac or in the Plitvice Lakes when the focus of
9 the searches shifted there. You say every day it is demonstrated that
10 the reports were identical almost 100 per cent, and your conclusion was
11 that this meant that General Markac did not intervene in any way or seek
12 for the reports made by the commander of the operation to be modified.
13 Rather, he was fully confident that the information contained in these
14 reports was correct.
15 According to you, was it possible for General Markac, as the
16 fourth level of the hierarchy of the chain of command you described, for
17 him to engage in double-checking and verifying these day-to-day reports
18 sent to him by the commanders of actions?
19 A. Well, there was such a possibility for him to do that where there
20 was any need for it. However, since these were reports made on a daily
21 basis and which did not, in fact, contain any controversial elements, in
22 terms of events not having been fully described or in terms of the use of
23 ambiguous formulations or unequivocal formulations, and since the
24 documentation accompanying day-to-day searches was quite voluminous, and
25 since there also exist handwritten reports and reports which were sent
1 encoded to the Main Staff, they are a clear indication of the fact that
2 there were no modifications made to them. General Markac could have
3 supplemented the information contained in these reports with certain
4 information that was not directly linked to the searches carried out on
5 the day. However, the fact of the matter was that General Markac was
6 fully confident that the commanders engaged or commanding these search
7 operations were up to scratch and that what was written there was
9 In the military and the police practice, it is customary for
10 every document to bear the signature of the commander at the bottom.
11 Since the documents were sent encrypted or encoded, these documents did
12 not contain a handwritten signature, but the signature, in terms of the
13 name being printed of the commander, was there. Regardless of whether
14 General Markac was present in a given area on the day or not, the reports
15 were sent bearing his signature.
16 Q. You go on to state in your expert report the chronology of the
17 activities of the special police units between the 21st of August and the
18 9th of October, in and outside of the area of Sector South. I don't want
19 to engage in an exercise of going through all these activities on a daily
20 basis. I would merely like to indicate your conclusion, where you state
21 that it was more than 5.000 square kilometres of areas covered by these
22 search operations. And you go on to state that the overall search
23 operations undertaken by the special police force were characterised by
24 only two incidents. This was in paragraph --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the number.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. This was a search operation that was carried out by the same
3 units, but you say this should not lead to a conclusion that the system
4 was not workable and that it involved a lack of discipline on the part of
5 the members involved?
6 JUDGE ORIE: The number you referred to as a paragraph number was
7 not caught by the interpreters.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: I can see now. This is the paragraph number 259.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, sir, can you give us your comments on the conclusions
12 you draw in this paragraph of your expert report?
13 A. Since the search operation of Petrova Gora was the first one to
14 be conducted which did not -- or, rather, the mop-up operation was
15 carried out first, and there were no incidents, and then the search
16 operation began on the 21st of August and ended on the 9th of October,
17 had the policemen been told that they could freely engage in the search
18 operation as they willed, without adhering to any rules or regulations,
19 then the number of such incidents, as it were, would certainly have been
20 much higher. And had the circumstances prevailed the way I described
21 them just now, then such incidents would have been recorded on the very
22 first day. We saw that the two incidents were -- occurred on the 25th
23 and the 26th, that's to say four days into the search operation. We saw
24 that the unit involved was the same in both incidents, and we saw that
25 neither before nor after the two incidents did other incidents occur.
1 The way in which the commander prepared the forces in Gracac and
2 the way he instructed them with regard to the activity, he certainly did
3 not advise anyone to violate any rules or regulations, but rather to
4 engage in the operation in the way prescribed in the relevant manuals and
5 in keeping with the practice of the work of the special police.
6 Q. And my final question, General, sir. You went through a great
7 number of different sorts of documents in preparing your expert report.
8 Did you come across a document which related to the work of the special
9 police where you noted an unlawful order or a report which indicated that
10 there was unlawful conduct recorded on the part of the members of the
11 special police?
12 A. In the documentation that was available to me, I did not come
13 across a single such document, either an order, or a report, or any other
14 sort of document which would involve, either on the part of the
15 Main Staff or any of the structures subordinated to it, or either on the
16 part of the military districts, ordinary or military police force, where
17 the special police would be referred to as a party which played any role
18 in the commission of crime. I also did not come across a single special
19 police document which would in any way refer to or open up a possibility
20 for condoning or even encourage such conduct.
21 Q. Though I did say that that was to be my final question, I have
22 another question for you, General, sir.
23 We can see from your expert report that during Operation Storm
24 and in its aftermath, you were not present in the area. During the
25 Homeland War, before or after, did you have any professional or personal
1 contacts with General Markac, and do you know him personally?
2 A. During Operation Storm, I was a colonel, and General Markac was
3 colonel general. I was predominantly working in various staffs or within
4 the educational system, so I did not have any encounters with
5 General Markac, and I cannot say that I know him.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answers.
7 Your Honour, I have completed my examination-in-chief.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
9 Before we take a break, could I -- could we briefly have a look
10 at page 24, line 18, where you invited us to look at document 3D00226, a
11 report referred to in footnote 158, which was -- you read, more or less,
12 into the record what we find in paragraph 201 of the report. I think
13 this was given the number D1930.
14 Could we have a look at D1930 at this moment? Could we get that
15 on the screen?
16 If I search for D1930, I get something different, so therefore I
17 wondered whether there was any -- I don't know, Mr. Registrar, whether
18 you searched on the 65 ter number.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: In my searches, I had a technical problem. I got
21 something different on my screen. I now see that there is no problem
22 there, because one of the -- I had difficulties in getting the right
23 report on my screen.
24 In view of my earlier questions in relation to what was within
25 and what was outside Sector South, I wanted to verify whether this was,
1 as I meanwhile found for the village of Medak, that it's within the
2 report in the relevant paragraph, no place is mentioned there, and I
3 wanted just to verify whether we are within or outside the territorial
4 scope of Sector South. Could you assist me, Mr. Mikulicic?
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
6 You can see in the middle of that report that the place where
7 these events -- the village that these events took place is the village
8 of Skrbic, and in the brackets it's written "Mazin," so this is the area
9 within inside of Sector South.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We're now talking about Mazin being north-east
11 of Gracac in the direction of Donji Lapac; correct?
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because I didn't find any reference in the
14 report, but this clearly situates this event in Sector South.
15 Yes, thank you. I have now better read the report.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Could I have an exhibit number for the report,
17 Your Honour?
18 JUDGE ORIE: For which report now?
19 MR. MIKULICIC: The expert's report of Mr. General Repinc, which
20 is 3D00993.
21 JUDGE ORIE: The expert report.
22 Ms. Mahindaratne.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
25 Since it's the whole of the expert report - I'm looking at the
1 other parties, but apparently there are no objections - Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will be assigned
3 Exhibit D1932. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it is marked for identification at this
5 moment. We will finally decide. It's always better to know everything
6 about -- to have heard the whole of the examination, including
7 cross-examination, before we finally decide on admission. But until now,
8 there's nothing, I think, which would oppose admission into evidence, but
9 let's wait for a while.
10 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at five minutes past 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.10 a.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
14 MR. KEHOE: God bless you, Judge.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The fact that you're on your feet suggests that the
16 Gotovina Defence will cross-examine Mr. Repinc first?
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Repinc, you'll now be cross-examined by
19 Mr. Kehoe. Mr. Kehoe is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Kehoe:
23 Q. Good morning, General. I would just like to ask you a few
24 questions about some items in your report.
25 I'd like to start off with your beginning section, and starting
1 off on paragraph 29 where you talk about the directive of the chief of
2 the General Staff in 1992 which had a general -- an overall intent for
3 the liberation of the occupied areas of the Republic of Croatia. And in
4 paragraph 30, you note that the directive from the General Staff was
5 accepted and adopted at a session of the Defence and National Security
6 Council, VONS, at the beginning of 1992.
7 Now, General, you were aware of the existence and of the function
8 of VONS, were you not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, let me turn your attention to paragraph 36 of your report,
11 where you note that the final decision -- I'd just like to clear up this
12 area, by the way, General. In paragraph 36, you note that the final
13 decision to carry out Operation Storm was made by the commander-in-chief,
14 Franjo Tudjman, in Brioni on 31 July 1995.
15 General, this Trial Chamber has received testimony from
16 Ambassador Zuzul, an attendee at the VONS meeting on the 3rd of August of
17 1995, and I'm referring to D1485 at paragraph 20 where Ambassador Zuzul
18 noted that the final decision on launching the military operation for
19 liberation was brought on the VONS session on 3 August 1995. He also
20 testified to that same matter on page 18304, the line that begins with my
21 question on line 13, but it's just a reiteration of what I've just read
22 to you, but also another member -- special assistant to the president,
23 Vesna Skare Ozbolt, noted the same thing in D1471 at paragraph 8.
24 Now, General, you were aware that the final decision to move
25 ahead with Operation Storm was, in fact, not made until the VONS meeting
1 on the 3rd of August, 1995?
2 A. What I wrote here, I was looking at it from an exclusively
3 military aspect. So on Brioni, the basic concept was adopted, how
4 Operation Storm was to be carried out in such a way as to defend the east
5 and the south and attack operations in the other parts, offensive
6 operations. So it was -- the decision was made, as I understood it, to
7 go into action. However, on Brioni, the decision wasn't made as to when
8 this would happen. That decision was made on the 3rd, after the
9 negotiations in Geneva fell through. And had that not been the case,
10 then the chief of the Main Staff would not have been able, on the 3rd, to
11 issue an order for going ahead with Operation Storm. So what we're
12 dealing with here is that from the military aspects for the preparations
13 of the operation, everything was decided, the preparations were decided
14 on, but I can only assume that if the Geneva negotiations had been
15 successful, then a decision wouldn't have been made at the council
16 meeting on the 3rd, nor would the chief of staff, on the 3rd in the
17 afternoon, issue his order to launch the operation on the morning of the
19 Q. Thank you, General. I want to shift topics, if we may. And,
20 General, just bear with me. My cross-examination will be covering
21 several topics and will not be the type of testimony that you engaged in
22 with Mr. Mikulicic. So just bear with me, and I'd just like to turn to
23 another topic, and that had to do with the preparation of the defence or
24 the status of the enemy, and that is -- if I can, in paragraphs 77 and 78
25 of your report.
1 And yesterday you told us at page 26703, line 22 -- beginning on
2 line 22, you said:
3 "What one needs to say, in view of the organisation of that army
4 and those who are in command, it is that the army exclusively applied the
5 doctrine of the former Yugoslavia."
6 Now, the army that you're talking about that applied the doctrine
7 of the former Yugoslavia was the ARSK; correct?
8 A. Yes, the Army of Republika Srpska Krajina.
9 Q. Continuing on:
10 "And on that basis, they applied all the rules and instructions
11 and documents referred to the use of military units in combat, in
12 defence, or assault."
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Now, General, in your report you cite D944. And if we could
15 bring 944 up on the screen, D944.
16 Now, this is, as it says on the front cover page, a directive for
17 the use of the Serbian Army of Krajina. And if we could go to
18 paragraph 5.11. That's about 15 pages in, in the English. That's it at
19 the bottom in the English.
20 Now, General, focusing on point 9 -- 11, you note in your report
21 at paragraph 77 and 78, that what the Army of the Republic of Serb
22 Krajina set forth in this document at paragraph 5.11 was simply a
23 reiteration or an articulation of the same philosophy that was set forth
24 in the JNA manual that you talked about in D919 [sic]; is that right?
25 A. Yes, that is right, because in the manuals which defined combat
1 deployment of the units of the Yugoslav Army, it was precisely defined
2 and stated that populated areas must -- it doesn't say "can," but "must
3 be include into the defence system."
4 Q. We'll talk about a few specifics about the defence of populated
5 areas in one moment, but I'm interested in the sequence that we have
6 here. JNA doctrine set forth a certain policy on the defence of
7 populated areas that was then followed by the Republic of Serb Krajina,
8 and the commander at the time of Operation Storm was a former JNA
9 officer, General Mrksic, wasn't it?
10 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry to interrupt. Your Honour, just a
11 slight correction of the transcript.
12 In the line 39 -- in the page 39, line 22, it's mentioned "D919,"
13 instead of 1919. That's the --
14 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Counsel. If I misspoke in that regard, I
16 MR. MIKULICIC: I believe not.
17 MR. KEHOE: Oh, okay. Counsel is 100 per cent right, it is 1919.
18 JUDGE ORIE: This has been corrected. Please proceed.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. So going back to my question, General, the person that was
21 following this JNA doctrine through until August of 1995 was a former JNA
22 officer, General Mrksic; right?
23 A. Right, but he wasn't a former; he was an active officer of the
24 Yugoslav Army.
25 Q. That's fine, sir. But let's talk about what the populated areas
1 were, and let's look at that paragraph 5.11.
2 If we could flip back on the English, if we could, because we
3 have something on the bottom of the page before we flip over to the next
4 page. In B/C/S, it's fine. If we could just go back one page. Thank
6 Thank you. Now, on the bottom of that page, if you can see that,
7 General, we talk about:
8 "In the defence zones of the corps and brigades, immediately
9 begin preparations of larger populated areas and towns for long-term and
10 circular defence ..."
11 Now, what does that mean, General? What does that mean,
12 preparing these populated areas for long-term and circular defence?
13 A. That means that all approaches to the town, if I can use that
14 expression, must be secured in engineering terms, that is to say, that
15 fortification must be constructed for protection and for combat, which
16 means that the area must be secured with obstacles to prevent the enemy
17 from passing through certain axes or to channel the enemy towards certain
18 areas where they would be routed with artillery weapons or other means,
19 which means that in addition to the approaches to town, the axes to the
20 town, the town must be secured for defence too, which in the classical
21 sense means, that each and every facility and building becomes a sort of
22 mini-fortress, fortification, and that forces should be designated to
23 fight in those areas, especially when it is assumed that armoured,
24 mechanised forces will be used against the town. So that means to
25 prepare either permanent mine obstacles or to assign forces in charge of
1 neutralising and attacking enemy forces. So it means an all-out
2 comprehensive preparation of the terrain to make it impregnable and ready
3 for defence, and as we used to say, that to the very last man, the very
4 last man should have this assignment.
5 Q. Well, let's go one step further on the "very last man" theory.
6 And if we could turn the page in English, and leave it on that page in
7 B/C/S. It notes that -- at the top of the page and the bottom of the
8 page in -- at the top of the page in English and the bottom of the page
9 in B/C/S:
10 "Engage the entire able-bodied population, Civilian Protection
11 units, SVK command and units in the preparation.
12 "Focus on the preparation of towns and populated areas on the
13 front-lines and the preparation of the town of Knin, for which a command
14 and defence units shall be established separately."
15 And in your testimony yesterday, at page 2706, you noted that
16 these populated areas would, to quote line 3: "... would be the basic
17 focal point for the defence." Now, could you just elaborate on that a
18 bit, especially with regard to Knin, that based on the JNA philosophy,
19 which you as a former JNA officer are familiar with, where does Knin fall
20 into this structure, and how do you equate it as the focal point of the
22 A. Well, when it comes to Knin, it's clear to one and all that we're
23 dealing with a town which was the symbol -- a symbol, in fact. And it's
24 also clear to everyone that if you have a symbol, something that
25 represents a concept around which the population and the army can rally,
1 then when the symbol falls, all the other elements fall, too, within the
2 concept of defence. So in that sense, Knin, as the focal point, as the
3 center of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, both as a political and
4 military central point, is something that must be defended, absolutely,
5 and defended successfully, because should a town like that fall, then it
6 would have a terrible effect on the moral and psychological level. It
7 would have very negative repercussions on the entire defence system and
8 the conduct of the population and the army alike.
9 Q. Taking it one step further to Knin itself, and moving past its
10 symbolic nature, and let's discuss the fact that it was the location of
11 the headquarters of the Main Staff of the Army of Serb Krajina, and I'd
12 like to discuss with you your testimony yesterday at page 26706,
13 beginning at line 6, where you noted:
14 "Now, when speaking of command posts, I should like to mention
15 that similarly it was expressly required that the command post be located
16 next to logistics, or a logistics company be attached to a command post,
17 or logistics company with all its basic elements, that is to say, the
18 command and communication system, the support wings and so on, which, in
19 fact, led to the fact that should there be an attack launched against the
20 populated area, it would be impossible not to target and not to act
21 against these elements for the simple reason that this was the very basis
22 of every defence system, to destroy the system of command and control and
23 supervision and communications."
24 Now, by way of clarification, when you note in here that this was
25 the very basis of every defence system, what are you talking about,
1 General? What is the "this"?
2 A. Well, when we talk about control or command posts, sometimes it
3 is thought that it is a command bunker or command vehicle and that it is
4 a small facility of that nature which, once it is destroyed, the whole
5 problem is resolved. However, command post and the system of control and
6 command from that post is not only that; it is much more. It's clear to
7 everybody that the system of command and control is something that must
8 function continuously, which means that a system of that kind must be
9 defended and protected at all times, and it must have all the elements
10 which enable a commander to function normally. So a command post is not
11 only the commander and his staff and headquarters, but everything else,
12 all the support elements which enable that commander and his staff to
13 function normally or, in other words, to supervise combat. So in that
14 sense, it means all the elements which a command structure must have,
15 must necessarily have, logistics included, because it must function and
16 work normally. So it implies systems and units of communication which
17 must also be engaged for the unit or, rather, the command to be able to
18 establish a system of command and control, and reporting and monitoring,
19 and all the other subsystems that are set up and needed during combat,
20 and of course it must have its protective elements to protect and defend
21 the command in case of an attack against it, which can be a military
22 police unit or military police units or other units which can be deployed
23 separately depending on the level of the command involved and which can
24 be deployed and used and engaged for the protection of a command post.
25 So a command post is not exclusively one building and one commander
1 within that building, but it implies an entire system, which takes up
2 much more space than a mere building or just a building in which the
3 commander functions.
4 Q. General, let's just wrap this area up with this question: In the
5 mind of a reasonable commander, such as General Gotovina, getting ready
6 to launch Operation Storm, would a reasonable commander, such as
7 General Gotovina, have a firm basis of believing that in a town such as
8 Knin, which is the focal point for the defence of the Republic of Serb
9 Krajina, and that it was going to engage the entire population in that
10 defence, and that it was the center for the Army of the Republic of Serb
11 Krajina, in that its headquarters were there, would it be reasonable for
12 a commander to believe that that particular town was going to be defended
13 strongly should it be attacked?
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I object to that question.
15 This is now going into facts as to what General Gotovina would have
16 decided or not have decided, and this witness -- Mr. Kehoe has not
17 established the foundation for this witness to respond to that question.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, that what expectations
19 arise from -- systemic considerations is a question you can put to an
20 expert witness, not to a witness of fact. Now, you can ask such
21 questions about reasonable commanders. There was some comment included
22 there as well that Mr. Gotovina was a reasonable commander, which is, of
23 course, testimony given by you, Mr. Kehoe, at this moment. So,
24 therefore, if we are talking in the abstract, if we are talking about
25 what one could expect if a certain system was in place, or whether it was
1 factually in place, or whether it was on paper in place, of course, could
2 still make a difference. I think, as a matter of fact, that we are
3 talking at this moment about -- mainly about what was designed to be
4 there, and that's a question you can put to an expert witness. So,
5 therefore, the witness may answer the question and should ignore the
6 comments elements in it.
7 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, my apologies. I should not have
8 included that, and it should have been just a question "the reasonable
9 commander" without a name attached to it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. Can you answer that question, General?
13 A. Yes, I can answer that question. I think that given the
14 circumstances and in normal planning, every commander, regardless of
15 whether he was reasonable or not, would assume that a town like that
16 would defend itself with all available means.
17 Q. General, if I may just shift gears for --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
19 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The witness said "given the circumstances." He has
21 not explained what these circumstances were. As I pointed out earlier,
22 that the question was put in a rather abstract manner, and, of course, I
23 don't think you would disagree with me that circumstances could give
24 strong contraindications as well - I'm not saying that there were
25 anyway - but therefore if the witness refers to "given the
1 circumstances," I'd like to know what circumstances he had on his mind.
2 Mr. Repinc, could you tell us what exactly you refer to when you
3 said "given the circumstances"?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I meant the situation in
5 general. And when we're speaking about circumstances, it is a fact that
6 Knin was what it was at that time, for Serbian Krajina. It's also a fact
7 that - and this common knowledge from all the other decisions and talks -
8 that the operation had to be completed as quickly as possible, in the
9 shortest space of time. So once an order was given that it should last
10 as short a time as possible, then that the most important points in the
11 defence system of a given army should be destroyed as soon as possible,
12 although that might present a problem because those facilities would be
13 best defended as well. So in that sense, along those lines, that's what
14 I considered to be the circumstances; that is to say, that Knin was the
15 capital, the center of political and military power, and that the armed
16 forces of the Republic of Croatia had, in the shortest space of time, to
17 carry out the operation and reach the borders. And this could only be
18 done if the focus of attention, the focus of the rebellion, was destroyed
19 as soon as possible, and that meant Knin.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, may I just -- Mr. Repinc, the question
21 was about what you could expect as far as defence is concerned. I asked
22 you what circumstances you had considered when you gave that answer, and
23 in your explanation it comes down to an answer to quite a different
24 question, whether what was done in taking, or liberating, whatever you
25 call it, Knin was well done, and moved away from the question that was
1 put to you.
2 I just want you and also the parties to know that this is what I
3 observe at this time as a point of logic and explanation, that it is at
4 least a bit confusing that when you explain your answer, you give an
5 answer to a rather different question. And I think it's sometimes good
6 that if such confusion comes up to my mind, that I do not conceal that
7 from the parties.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, might I just ask an additional question
10 to clarify this yet further.
11 Q. And if I can go back to your answer to my question, General, you
12 noted at page 46, line 9, that:
13 "I think that given the circumstances and normal planning, every
14 commander, regardless of whether he was reasonable or not, would assume
15 that a town like that would defend itself with all available means."
16 I think that given the circumstances that was -- issue that was
17 raised by the Presiding Judge was: What are those circumstances that
18 would lead any reasonable commander to believe that this town was going
19 to be defended with all available means? That, I believe, is the inquiry
20 that the Chamber would like to pursue with you; not what happened
21 afterwards, but what, in the eyes of a reasonable commander, would be
22 those circumstances.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, I'm not saying that the witness did not
24 answer my question, but that the follow-up -- in the follow-up he
25 established a link with a totally different question. So, therefore,
1 I think the witness explained - that's at least how I understood
2 it - that the central -- the political and symbolic -- the central
3 position of Knin as, I would say, the focal point for the RSK, that that
4 were circumstances which would create the expectation that it would be
5 firmly defended. That's how I understood your answer, and then you
6 followed up with something of a different nature.
7 Did I understand your answer well?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely. I have to confirm
9 that whoever supposed that a town like Knin, which was a center of
10 political, military, and other sort of power, would not be fully prepared
11 for defence would start from a completely erroneous premise. Whenever
12 preparations are conducted, and in relation to matters that are not
13 certain, preparations have to be somewhat based on assumptions that will
14 then partly be or be not confirmed in the course of the action. Those
15 that are confirmed true are facts, and those that are confirmed wrong are
16 dismissed, and the armed operation conducted by a certain force is
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. General, shifting just slightly to your testimony concerning
21 Gracac and the axis of attack of the special police, and you noted on
22 page 26714, lines 1 through 15, the importance of Gracac as a crossroads
23 from -- leading towards Gospic to Obrovac towards Benkovac, and then also
24 the road -- crossroads leading to Knin, given the essential nature of the
25 crossroads going through Gracac, it would be reasonable for a commander
1 under these circumstances to shell those crossroads to suppress movement
2 by enemy troops, wouldn't it?
3 A. Yes, absolutely.
4 Q. One last area of inquiry, General, and I'd like to turn to
5 paragraph 96 and 97 of your report. And in 96 and 97, you discuss
6 General Cervenko's order in D279.
7 If we could bring that up briefly on the screen.
8 And this is the order that discusses the operative borders
9 between, for instance, the Split Military District and the Gospic
10 Military District, and other military districts. Now, you recall this
11 order setting out the particular areas for the line of demarcation
12 between the Gospic Military District and the Split Military District.
13 And if we could turn to the map on D280.
14 Now, General, this is the map received in evidence that plots the
15 grid coordinates that are set forth in D279, and this is the map that you
16 and I discussed when you were kind enough to chat with me for a bit the
17 other night. Do you recall this, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, let me just shift for one moment to yet another document,
20 and you do discuss this document in your report, but it doesn't
21 necessarily address this particular point, and that's D559. It is the 14
22 August 1995 order by General Cervenko. You discussed this order, in
23 fact, in item 198 of your report, but I'd like to discuss it in this
25 And if we could bring 558 on. D558, please. That's it.
1 And this is the order, if we can go to the paragraph B, and in
2 the English it's on the second page, that deals with some of the orders
3 concerning the use of home guards and local units to clear up areas. But
4 I would like to -- excuse me, I'm sorry, D559. I apologise, D559. I
6 If you go to page 2 in the English, this is the document,
7 General, where you were talking about clearing up of the terrain, but I
8 would like to talk about some other aspects of this document that have to
9 do with changing the zones of responsibility of the Split Military
10 District and the Gospic Military District.
11 And if we could turn to page 6 in the English and page 4 in the
13 Now, if we just look at this with regard to the Gospic Military
14 District, there is a level -- a zone of responsibility that's set forth.
15 And if we could turn to the next page in the English, that same page in
16 the B/C/S, we see another area of responsibility set forth for the Split
17 Military District. And we saw just briefly what the zones of
18 responsibility were in Exhibit D280, and I'd like to just -- with your
19 assistance, General, and your expertise, I'd like to just plot this
20 change in areas of responsibility after the 14th of August, 1995, and I'd
21 like to bring up 1D3052, and I want to show you a series of charts on
22 this score.
23 If I may, by way of clarification, Mr. President, I do not have
24 this in B/C/S. However, the witness does speak English and read English.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, there seems to be no major problem, then.
1 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: If you would please verify whether he has any
3 difficulties in understanding certain matters.
4 MR. KEHOE:
5 Q. General, I know you and I when we were chatting the other night
6 spoke in English. If you have any problem with anything here in the
7 English language, please let us know.
8 Now, what we have here, I have mapped off in blue what we have
9 previously in Exhibit 278 -- excuse me, 279 and D280, which was the area
10 of responsibilities after the 6th of August. And just plotting out the
11 change in those areas in D559, I have the red line. And I can show you a
12 sequence here so you may be able to orient yourself just a little bit
14 We can turn to -- I can go through all these maps, and then we
15 can just ask a few questions from here. If we can turn to the next map,
16 which is 1D -- well, we have it at the next page. Just the next page, if
17 we can. This is the same map as you can -- with the orders, but we will
18 put it in with the confrontation line as well as the international
20 If we go to the next page. We could spin that, if we could.
21 General, this is just a similar view from a different topographical map
22 or more elevated topographical map showing the line of confrontation in
23 the two areas.
24 And if we can just go to the last map. We can spin that.
25 General, what this is is just an overlay of the order in 14 August 1995
1 from the Main Staff, D559, and this is -- the red overlay is on the map
2 that you saw previously in D280, which was as of the 6th of August.
3 So, General, what we see here is an expansion of the area for the
4 Gospic Military District after the 14th of August, 1995, and obviously
5 concomitantly a cutting down of the area of responsibility in Croatia, at
6 least, for the Split Military District in 14 August 1995. Now, General,
7 at this period of time most of the troops for the Split Military
8 District -- and if we could just -- were moving towards the confrontation
9 line against the VRS when -- the other Serb forces, weren't they?
10 A. I presume so, on the basis of what I studied, that that was the
11 case, yes.
12 Q. If we can go back to the second map. Now, if we look at the
13 confrontation line here, what this depicts is a significant larger area
14 of responsibility on the confrontation line with the VRS for the Split
15 Military District and much less responsibility in the confrontation with
16 the VRS for the Gospic Military District; isn't that right?
17 A. I can't tell because the line, as it has been shown here, I can
18 only see the line of confrontation as of the 13th of August. However,
19 based on the fact that at the time the attack began, which was the 4th of
20 August, the boundaries of the military districts were applied that had
21 been established by the supreme commander back in 1993, they did not
22 change at the start of the operation. They did not change until the 6th
23 of August, when the chief of the Main Staff issued a fresh order defining
24 areas of responsibility. However, I have to say that the reason why the
25 6th of August order was cited here lay in the very fact that the area of
1 responsibility between -- or, rather, the boundary between the two
2 military districts changed on the 6th of August.
3 General Markac, who participated in the operation and was present
4 on the boundary between the two districts, was not privy to the order,
5 which clearly follows from the fact that later on, on the 8th, he
6 expressly asked the chief of the Main Staff to be told precisely what the
7 boundary was. This shows that he was not privy to the 6th of August
8 order defining the boundaries.
9 I read the entire order, but I did not quote the parts that I did
10 not believe that were relevant to my expert report. Why didn't I quote
11 the change in the boundaries? Well, because at that stage there were no
12 more combat activities and the change in boundary did not have any
13 relevance for the special forces.
14 The fact of the matter is that on the 14th, there was a change.
15 Gracac was taken back to the Gospic Military District. This was shown
16 through the fact that the 188th Home Guards Regiment was told it should
17 go back to Gracac. However, the 14th of August order which was issued to
18 military districts was not sent to General Markac, either.
19 The point in me quoting it was that I wanted to indicate that the
20 order spoke of both search operation and mop-up operations.
21 Q. I understand, General, your quote in there. I was using the
22 order to show these changes in boundaries as of the 14th. And you have
23 no dispute that there was, in fact, a change in boundaries on the 14th of
24 August; isn't that right?
25 A. No.
1 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time we'll offer into evidence
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I don't have principally any
4 objections to admission, but may I be just given some time to study this?
5 I have just received the map just to the break.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The document will be marked for identification.
7 We'll hear from you then later.
8 Mr. Registrar, the number which this document will be marked
9 is --
10 THE REGISTRAR: D1933. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Keep that status forthwith.
12 MR. KEHOE: And, Mr. President, just for the sake of having fewer
13 exhibits, I put the four maps in as one exhibit, the four pages.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then the four maps. We'll then hear the
15 position of the Prosecution on this exhibit, all four maps.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Just clarifying your last answer, General, and I think it is a
20 bit confusing. You do agree that there was a change of boundaries based
21 on General Cervenko's order of the 14th of August, 1995; isn't that
23 A. I agree.
24 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
25 Thank you, General.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
2 Mr. Kay, will it be you who will cross-examine Mr. Repinc?
3 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Repinc, you will now be cross-examined by
5 Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is counsel for Mr. Cermak.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
7 Q. Mr. Repinc, I'm just going to ask you a few questions, and it
8 concerns paragraph 222 of your report. It's page 94 in the English,
9 Your Honour, and it concerns a document, Exhibit D99.
10 And perhaps if we can have that on the screen, please.
11 Have you got the passage in your report, Mr. Repinc?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And in this passage of your report, you're dealing with a number
14 of reports or information that General Cermak distributes to various
15 parties concerning activities of the special police that were planned, or
16 what they did, and you refer to the fact that not always the addressees
17 are the same on each document. Do you recollect this passage?
18 A. Yes, I do, but I think it wasn't General Cermak who sent them,
19 but General Markac.
20 Q. I said "General Markac," actually, and I think it was translated
21 or heard wrongly. But you're quite right.
22 If we just look at Exhibit D99, then. Can you see it on your
23 screen? Have a look at this document. It's dated the 28th of August.
24 It's the report from General Markac to General Cervenko. It concerns
25 assignments on the 28th of August, and we can see on the first page the
1 activities that are described and the area they were operating around the
2 village of Unista, Podinarje, Mount Dinara, with the objective of finding
3 broken sabotage and terrorist enemy groups as well as materiel, technical
4 equipment. And in each section, section 1, the various special police
5 forces are described as to their activities. And in paragraph 2, we see
6 the Zadar-Knin special police who were operating on that day; page 2 in
7 the English. And in this document, Mr. Repinc, you can see the
8 activities of the Zadar-Knin police in this paragraph, what they did, and
9 they came across a number of persons, including what is described as
10 enemy soldiers. And we see various names in that section;
11 Nenad Todorovic, Milan Todorovic, other names which I won't cite out, but
12 the Court is familiar with this document. And on this occasion, a man
13 called Mr. Roberts, who was the press officer for UNCRO, and other UNCRO
14 officials were involved with these enemy soldiers and were there when the
15 special police discovered them, and arrangements were made for the
16 hand-over of these soldiers so that it could be monitored by UNCRO.
17 Firstly, are you familiar with the background to this particular
19 A. No. From the reports that the special police drafted, I merely
20 stated that the elements -- I merely stated the elements that were
21 specific for the search operation carried on that day. They had to do
22 with clashes with the enemy forces that were come across, about the
23 civilian persons, amounts of ammunition or types of weaponry found, about
24 the fact whether the civilians had already been registered or not,
25 whether they were handed over to someone or not, whether, among the
1 persons who were found there, there were individuals registered or merely
2 turned over to other parties. In that sense, I did not go into the
3 nature of the event on that day or into the incidents that may have
4 occurred on that date.
5 Q. There was discussion earlier today about clashes, about the
6 capturing of enemy soldiers, and one matter that was not mentioned was
7 surrendering in this form of enemy soldiers and the involvement of the
8 international community. Were you aware, during the writing of your
9 expertise, of that particular feature that happened during the
10 clearing-up operations?
11 A. Truth be told, I could not state on the basis of the reports I
12 reviewed, that there were individuals who actually surrendered.
13 "Surrender" means that an individual approaches you before you approach
14 him. In the majority of the cases, certain individuals were found in a
15 given area. Can this be regarded as an act of surrender, the very fact
16 that the individual did not put up armed resistance? Well, that's a
17 different aspect of the matter altogether. I would not consider it to be
18 similar to surrender. I would consider as surrender an individual who
19 would come out of hiding or out of his shelter and approach me, and not
20 the other way around.
21 Q. Thank you. Can we just look at another document, then,
22 Exhibit D1100, 1100. This is another report from General Markac to
23 General Cervenko on the 24th of August, again describing the activities
24 of the special police forces. Do you have it amongst your papers there,
25 Mr. Repinc? I want you to look at it. It's a report on completed tasks
1 for the 23rd of August. It sets out the activities in paragraph 1 of the
2 Krapina-Zagorje Police Administration Special Police, and in section 2 it
3 sets out the activities of the Karlovac Police Administration Special
4 Police. And we can see here that at the village of Radakovic, a number
5 of elderly civilians were found. The village of Duboki Dol is mentioned
6 as being a place where 15 camouflage uniforms were found, which according
7 to the elderly local civilians were left there by members of the enemy
8 formations who had changed into civilian clothing and then surrendered to
9 UNCRO representatives.
10 Firstly, am I right in saying this is a document that you would
11 have seen during your work on your expert report?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In this paragraph here, written by General Markac obviously on
14 information transmitted to him, it is describing here 15 camouflage
15 uniforms and members of the enemy forces who had changed into civilian
16 clothing and then surrendered to UNCRO representatives. Just looking at
17 this specific passage again, did that form any part of your expertise
18 dealing with this issue of surrender by the forces of the ARSK during the
19 clearing-up operations?
20 A. Yes, I have seen the document, and it was quoted just like all
21 the others, and this surrender too, as far as I remember. Let me just
22 take a moment.
23 Q. It is about this trend of the surrendering of enemy forces to
24 UNCRO that I want to ask you about, because it involves the
25 internationals rather than just the Croatian authorities.
1 A. Yes, that is -- well, what it says about surrender, whether they
2 surrendered and to whom -- in military terminology, you don't surrender
3 to somebody who is not a party in the conflict and who is not attacking
4 you or who has not --
5 Q. Let me just cut you there. It's not that I'm interested in
6 definitions. I'm just interested in this trend of enemy soldiers giving
7 themselves up, going to UNCRO, to internationals, and providing
8 themselves that way to the Croatian authorities; not definitions, but
9 just this feature which we have seen in just these two reports that we've
10 looked at. Do you understand?
11 A. Yes, I do understand, and quite obviously part of those forces
12 did surrender to the representatives of the international forces or,
13 rather, UNCRO.
14 Q. In relation to the activities of the special police, whereby in
15 some cases the ARSK forces went to the internationals to declare
16 themselves, were you aware that there had been a discussion and a
17 procedure agreed between the UNCRO commander and General Cermak about
18 this trend about the surrender in this way?
19 For the Court's reference, Exhibit P378. I saw Your Honour
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was mainly raising my eyebrows in view of
22 the use of the word "trend," but I didn't say anything. But since you're
23 referring to my looking, I will explain to you what was on my mind.
24 MR. KAY: It's whether two swallows make a summer or --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. KAY: I'm trying to deal with this without getting too bogged
2 down in paperwork for a fairly simple issue.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I understand that.
4 MR. KAY: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Were you aware that this was happening?
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I object to this question.
7 This witness is testifying on the basis of documents he has reviewed and
8 analysed, and Mr. Kay's question is more factual, Were you aware that
9 this was happening?
10 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness -- there are three options. First,
11 that he's not aware; second, that he is aware on the basis of the
12 documents; third, that he is aware, but not based on documents, but on
13 any other source of knowledge. And I think Mr. Kay is entitled to
14 explore whether this witness can answer any of these questions. And from
15 these three options it may be clear to you that, of course, the Chamber
16 will carefully look at what the source of knowledge of the witness in
17 this respect is, if there is any knowledge.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as that is concerned, during
21 my preparations I read a large number of -- read through a large number
22 of documents, and among others I came across this particular reference,
23 that is to say, the problem that occurred and the complaints Mr. Cermak
24 had to make against the international community with respect to this kind
25 of practice. But this was not part of my expert report or expertise, nor
1 did I deal with it, nor did I consider it to be relevant for the
2 functioning of the special police in the search operations of the
3 terrain. But, yes, I have read through that, but I did not attach any
4 great importance in compiling my report.
5 MR. KAY:
6 Q. You said "complaints Mr. Cermak had to make against the
7 international community with respect to this kind of practice." Is that
8 what you meant? If so, please identify what complaints. Is that what
9 you meant?
10 A. Well, I termed them complaints. Now, whether Mr. Cermak would
11 explain this in a different way or not, I really can't remember. But I
12 do know that there were discussions and that General Cermak considered
13 that the members of the opposing forces should surrender to the Croatian
14 authorities and not to UNCRO. So that's what I can say on the basis of
15 what I read. Now, whether they were complaints, objections, or protests,
16 or whatever, or some other form of communication, it's difficult for me
17 to say that now. I gave a free interpretation of that here.
18 Q. Have you read any of the UNCRO documents where this matter was
19 discussed between General Forand, commander of UNCRO forces, and
20 General Cermak as to the procedure that was to take place?
21 A. I really can't confirm that.
22 Q. Have you read any of the documents? That was my question, not
23 whether you could confirm, but whether you had read any of the other
24 sources of information.
25 A. My answer went along the lines of saying that I can't say whether
1 I read any documents like that or not.
2 Q. The reason that General Cermak was then being copied in from the
3 28th of August as to some of the activities on some of the days of the
4 special police, were you aware, was because of the need to inform the
5 international community, UNCRO, as to what was taking place?
6 A. If I were to say that, then I would have assumed, I would have
7 been making an assumption that that was the main reason. All I can say
8 and confirm is that the practice was that reports were exclusively sent
9 to the chief of the Main Staff, and then that practice was changed
10 whereby the reports were sent not only to him, but were also sent out to
11 the minister of the interior and to General Cermak, as the commander of
12 the Knin Military District, and also to the commanders of the military
13 districts of Split and Gospic, which means to all those people who were
14 located in Sector South, except the chief and the minister, of course,
15 who -- well, the chief had to receive reports from General Markac about
16 his activities, as he did from everybody else in the chain of command.
17 And the minister appeared from time to time. I don't know why he would
18 receive reports on some occasions and not on others. But, anyway,
19 I think that the normal, standard practice was that those who were in a
20 certain area knew what was going on in that area, either for that
21 particular day or for the following day, because General Markac also sent
22 out information about what his units would be doing the following day,
23 what areas they would search the following day.
24 Now, whether that was supposed to be sent to General Cermak or
25 not, I can't speculate about that. I don't know why General Cermak was
1 included in the list, for what reason. But, anyway, from that day
2 onwards the reports were, indeed, sent to those addressees.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you mean to say "Knin Military District"?
4 A. No. I said "Knin Garrison," "Knin Garrison."
5 MR. KAY: Thank you. I've got no further question to ask you.
6 Your Honour, on this subject there is a single document which we
7 would like to put into evidence that's relevant to this issue, which is
8 something that the Court has been aware of. It is 2D00068. It's on our
9 disclosure list. It seems a bit heavy, if I may put it that way, to put
10 a formal Bar table for a single document which might be dealt with quite
11 simply now.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That purpose may be served by an explanation at this
13 moment from you, and then we'll hear from Ms. Mahindaratne whether that
14 would cause her any problems to make up her mind as to whether or not to
15 object to the document. And if it's a short document, and where it's
16 clear on the record what the reason -- what the relevant portions of the
17 document are, then that might -- I'm also looking --
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has no difficulties in deciding on
20 admission of that document. Could we have it on the screen?
21 MR. KAY: It's on the screen. It's a short two-pager. It's an
22 UNCRO document from Colonel Tymchuk dated the 29th of August addressed to
23 the Croatian Army liaison officer in Knin, and it concerns the matters
24 that we have looked at in D99. And that is why -- the content of the
25 report in D99. And, in fact, if the second page of this document is now
1 shown, the names I mentioned on the transcript 10 minutes ago, Nenad
2 Todorovic, Milan Todorovic, linked to that document D99. It was
3 something I came across last night and thought that it might be helpful
4 as an extra document on this matter. I hope the Prosecution have no
6 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, this seems to be a document to
7 which --
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I have no objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- further establishes the practice that apparently
10 on that date, in relation to these persons, took place.
11 MR. KAY: Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be assigned Exhibit D1934.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: D1934 is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. KAY: I'm grateful to my learned friend, and that finishes my
17 matters, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
19 Ms. Mahindaratne, I think the Prosecution was granted leave to
20 start cross-examination on Monday.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's correct, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that since there are no other witnesses
23 available, Mr. Mikulicic --
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, that's correct. We have only one
25 witness left, and he will come to The Hague after the testimony of
1 Mr. Repinc.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us already an indication as to how
3 much time your cross-examination would take, Ms. Mahindaratne?
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I believe, Mr. President, about three
6 JUDGE ORIE: About three sessions. So that would do for most if
7 not all of the Monday, and we'll then see whether there's any need for
8 re-examination, which means that we can temporarily let the witness go,
9 although he -- Mr. Repinc, the Prosecution has asked to be allowed to
10 start cross-examination only on Monday. Earlier, we had an expectation
11 that most of the examination-in-chief and the cross-examination by the
12 other Defence teams would bring us well into Friday. This now turns out
13 to be not the case.
14 First of all, I do not know what you expected and to what extent
15 you were informed about cross-examination by the Prosecution to start
16 only on Monday and whether you are available on Monday.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was told that the
18 cross-examination would be starting on Monday and that it would last a
19 certain number of days during the following week, and so I have adjusted
20 my personal schedule to that. So I am available for testimony on Monday.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have a few procedural matters to deal with,
22 but they are of no concern to you. Therefore, I would already like to
23 allow you to leave the courtroom, and I would like to inform you that we
24 would like to see you back on Monday, the 18th. If you would please --
25 one second, one second. We would like to see you back Monday at 9.00 in
1 the morning. The hearing will be held in this same courtroom.
2 And I would also like to instruct you, as I did yesterday, that
3 you should not speak with anyone about your testimony, whether it is
4 testimony you've given already yesterday and today or whether that is
5 testimony still to be given next week. As you may have heard, the
6 expectation is that if we would not finish on Monday, that then almost
7 for sure we would finish your -- we would conclude your examination on
9 You're invited to follow the usher, and we would like to see you
10 back on Monday.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: There are a few procedural matters I would like to
14 deal with after the break. It will not take much time, but we'll first
15 have a break. And we'll resume -- yes, Mr. Misetic.
16 MR. MISETIC: I just wanted to advise the Chamber that if we
17 could, after the break, address a Bar table submission I believe we
18 circulated two days ago. We sent it to Chambers and to Mr. Registrar, as
19 well as all parties. The Excel spreadsheet with comments has already
20 been completed with the Prosecution. It just needs approval from the
21 Chamber, and then we would file the comments with the Chamber's leave.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's put on the record. I think we can deal with
23 that after the break.
24 Are the parties ready yet to make their further submissions in
25 relation to the issue of appropriateness of interviewers being close to
1 historical events to play a role in interviewing? I think the -- you
2 were informed that the Prosecution would have an opportunity to further
3 reply and that both parties would have 10 minutes because we might find
4 time for that after the break as well.
5 Mr. Waespi, I'm looking at you.
6 MR. WAESPI: Yes. The short answer is no. We just had an
7 exchange of e-mails with Mr. Misetic on discovery issues, and we just
8 completed that, and we would like to postpone these arguments to Monday
9 on this issue.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: We're ready, Mr. President. But if the
12 Prosecution's not, then we have no objection.
13 JUDGE ORIE: It might not be wise to force them into them at this
14 moment. And to schedule a hearing for those 20 minutes only tomorrow
15 might be a bit overdone.
16 MR. MISETIC: I agree, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: So we will not.
18 We'll look at any further procedural matters during the break.
19 Perhaps in view of the time, we should take 25 minutes.
20 So we resume at 1.00 for some procedural matters.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, before we deal with any other
24 procedural matters, there was something about Bar table submissions you'd
25 like to address. Please feel free to do so.
1 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
2 We circulated a Bar table submission, and all the parties have
3 commented. It is in the spreadsheet which we sent to Mr. Registrar and
4 the Trial Chamber, and we move to have those admitted into evidence and
5 have them be given exhibit numbers. And then we will file the comments
6 with the Registry.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I must admit that we -- I haven't seen it, and
8 I think neither have my colleagues. We'll consider the matter.
9 And perhaps this is the right moment to announce to the parties
10 that next week when we've heard the testimony of the last witness, the
11 Trial Chamber intends to schedule then a housekeeping session in which
12 we'll deal with all the remaining MFIs, et cetera, and to see whether
13 there are any loose ends which need attention before we take the next
14 steps in this case. Therefore, the parties should then prepare for being
15 available after the last witness to attend such housekeeping sessions.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President --
17 JUDGE ORIE: This is, of course, separate from the other matter,
18 which is the not-in-court session but the -- about the 54 bis issue.
19 That, of course, is a bit separate, but, of course, will also take place.
20 Yes, Ms. Mahindaratne.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I just wish to inform the Court, so that we
22 can close this matter, that the Prosecution has no objection to D1933,
23 the four maps, to be entered into evidence.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then I wanted to consult the transcript, but the
25 number does not appear clearly. Could you repeat the number,
1 Ms. Mahindaratne?
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: D1933, Mr. President. There were four maps.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Four maps, D1933, until now marked for
4 identification, are admitted into evidence.
5 Is there any other matter we can deal with in public session,
6 because I have one matter to deal with in private session.
7 If not, we move into private session.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 26811-26812 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
15 Any other matter to be raised at this moment?
16 If not, we adjourn, and we resume on Monday, the 18th of January,
17 9.00 in the morning, in this same Courtroom III.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.16 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 18th day of
20 January, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.