1 Monday, 18 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Gotovina et al. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Are you ready to start your cross-examination of General Repinc?
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I am, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Repinc, I would like to remind you that you are
15 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
16 your testimony that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
17 nothing but the truth.
18 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 WITNESS: DRAGUTIN REPINC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Mahindaratne:
23 Q. Good morning, General Repinc.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. General, at the outset I would like to make a request of you.
1 Since we are working within limited time-frame, I would be grateful if
2 you could, where possible, keep your responses as short as possible.
3 And, where possible, if you could you answer my questions with a yes or
4 no, please do so.
5 General, when were you first contacted by the -- at least for the
6 purpose of commissioning the expert report for the Defence team of
7 General Markac?
8 A. This was sometime in March 2008, I believe, on my return from the
9 mission. I was contacted by phone by Mr. Mikulicic.
10 Q. And prior to that, that is, March 2008, did any other individual
11 or entity - and when I say "entity," that could even be a reference to
12 the Croatian government. Did any such party contact you or instruct you
13 to provide assistance to the -- the Defence team of General Markac?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, I note from your credentials that your area of expertise is
16 in relation to the HV. Do you know why you were -- you were contacted by
17 the Markac Defence team?
18 A. I believe that there were two reasons for it. One being that
19 sometime in 2006 the defence minister issued a decision appointing me as
20 a member of a team of experts which were supposed to be of assistance to
21 the Defence for Mr. Markac. To tell you the truth, I have never seen the
22 decision, although I know of its existence.
23 Similarly, I was told that there was an item in that decision
24 which said that either Mr. Lovric, who was in charge of the experts, or I
25 would, if necessary, testify in The Hague as experts on the matter.
1 The second reason, I believe, is more important. Namely, in
2 early -- was it 2000, 2001, or 2002, I'm not sure, I was called by
3 Mr. Mikulicic and Mr. Kovacic who were in charge of Mario Cerkez's case
4 before this Tribunal at the time, and I produced an expert report for
5 them. It was admitted before this Tribunal, but I was not called as a
6 witness. There was no need for it. So I suppose that that was why
7 Mr. Mikulicic wanted to involve me in the Defence for Mr. Markac this
8 time, again.
9 Q. Now, General, I just asked you this question that prior to
10 March 2008 when -- before Mr. Mikulicic contacted you, if the Croatian
11 government or any other entity instructed you to provide assistance to
12 the Defence team. And your answer was: No. But you just told us now
13 that in 2006 the defence minister issued a decision appointing you as a
14 member of a team of experts which was supposed to be of assistant to the
15 Defence for Mr. Markac.
16 Now, how is it that you did not divulge that fact that you in
17 fact were on a team of experts appointed by the defence minister to
18 assist the Defence of General Markac in your biography provided with the
19 expert report? I can tell you have not -- that's not mentioned in your
21 A. It is not mentioned in the CV but in methodology on the item 17
22 it is clearly stated that I was assigned by the minister to work on the
23 matter so I did not withdraw any information.
24 Now, the reason why I said no -- my answer was negative was
25 because I never worked on the group -- on the team. The team began its
1 work only after my departure for the mission. And it was in July of
2 2007, I believe, that the team stopped working, which was, again, before
3 I returned from my mission in India
4 Q. Where in your CV do you say that you have divulged this fact,
5 General? Can you draw our attention to the paragraph in your CV?
6 A. No, it's not stated in the CV, it's stated under methodology.
7 And I believe it is under para 17.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, the witness already mentioned
9 paragraph 17.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Mr. President, I missed that.
11 Q. General, where you say paragraph 17 is "by decision of the
12 defence minister, I was assigned to the task force charged with
13 conducting the analysis of Operation Storm," I don't see in paragraph 17
14 any reference to yourself being appointed to a team, put together to
15 assist the Defence of General Markac.
16 My question again to you is: Why have you not divulged this fact
17 in your either resume or methodology or any part of your report or your
18 testimony so far in Court that you were appointed by the
19 Ministry of Defence to assist the Defence of General Markac?
20 A. The way it was formulated, indeed, does not mention the matter.
21 But had I wished to withhold any information, I would not have written
22 what is, indeed, written here.
23 Q. When did you say the work -- this team start its work? That is,
24 the team appointed by the defence minister to assist the
25 Defence of General Markac?
1 A. I really couldn't tell. What I know is that by December 2005, at
2 which point I left, I had not been called at any time by any members of
3 the task force or anyone else to work on the expert report or the
4 analysis which was completed sometime by July of 2007, at which time I
5 was still outside of the Republic of Croatia
6 Q. Now, you're currently serving as a very high-ranking officer of
7 the General Staff. General, who remunerated you for providing this
8 expert testimony to the Markac Defence team, the Defence team or the
9 Croatian government?
10 A. It wasn't anyone from the Croatian authorities. However, I was
11 told that the Croatian authorities were aware of the fact that I was to
12 appear as a witness. I also received clearance or approval from the
13 minister of defence to testify in this case.
14 Q. You didn't quite answer my question, General. My question was:
15 "Who remunerated you?"
16 And your answer is:
17 "It wasn't anyone from the Croatian authority."
18 You didn't identify as to who remunerated you.
19 A. I don't know who paid. Or, rather, to the extent that there was
20 any payment, it went through the Ministry of Justice of the
21 Republic of Croatia
22 Q. So it is, after all, the Croatian government -- you received your
23 payment through the Croatian government?
24 A. I can't claim with 100 per cent certainty that it was, but I
25 presume so.
1 Q. General, I just asked you very clearly as to whether your payment
2 came from the Croatian government or the Defence team, and the first
3 answer given to me was:
4 "It wasn't anyone from the Croatian authorities."
5 Now, you say you presume it's from the Croatian government. What
6 is your difficulty in giving a truthful, accurate answer to this
8 A. Is isn't true that I'm reluctant to answer the question. The
9 fact of the matter is that I was told by the Defence that I would receive
10 remuneration for my work. And I did, because I received a certain amount
11 for the preparation of the Defence. Whether it was paid directly by the
12 Defence or through the government, I can't tell. What I remember is
13 that, at the time, I was in the Ministry of Justice, and that's why I
14 was -- and I suppose that if -- if -- since I was within the
15 Ministry of Justice, that it was the ministry that paid for the fee.
16 Q. General, are you working within the Ministry of Justice or the
17 Ministry of Defence? My understanding is that you work for the HV
18 General Staff.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. What's correct: You're working for the Ministry of Justice or
21 Ministry of Defence?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. I'm sorry, which of it?
24 A. It is correct that I am working for the Ministry of Defence of
25 the Republic of Croatia
1 forces. However, I have to say that I am, myself, was not interested in
2 knowing the details in knowing who remunerated me for the work that I
4 Q. General, perhaps there is a -- maybe a misunderstanding or an
5 interpretation issue. I'm trying to understand your evidence. You so
6 far said that - and this is at page 6, line 13, I'm sorry, page 6,
7 line 1. You say:
8 "... I received a certain amount of the preparation of the
9 Defence. Whether it was paid direct by the Defence or through the
10 government, I can't tell. What I remember is that, at the time, I was in
11 the Ministry of Justice, and that's why ... that -- it was the ministry
12 that paid for the fee."
13 Now I'm trying to understand what -- were you working for the
14 Ministry of Justice at any stage, or what was the reference to
15 Ministry of Justice? Or did you make a mistake, it was the
16 Ministry of Defence you meant to say?
17 A. No, I have never worked for the Ministry of Justice. I have
18 always worked for the Ministry of Defence.
19 Q. So what is noted here as Ministry of Justice, actually, should be
20 noted as Ministry of Defence. It's a misinterpretation. Is that
22 A. Yes, I've never worked for the Ministry of Justice. And let me
23 repeat: At one point, when agreed to testify, I was told that I was
24 going to be remunerated for the work. In what way the payment was
25 effected and what sort of arrangements were in place and what sort of
1 cooperation exists between the Defence team and the Ministry of Justice
2 and others, in what way the expenses are recorded and who pays for them,
3 that's not something I kept track of. I simply wasn't interested in
4 these details.
5 Q. General, let's try to just clarify this issue and wrap this up.
6 From which entity did you receive your payment? And I'm not
7 talking about the origins. Did you get it from the Ministry of Justice
8 or Ministry of Defence?
9 A. It -- the payment certainly did not arrive from the
10 Ministry of Defence, so I can only presume that it came from the
11 Ministry of Justice, and that's the only thing I can say.
12 JUDGE ORIE: General Repinc, remuneration was paid how? Cash,
13 bank transfer, any other means?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was paid to my Giro account. In
15 other words, with a bank order. Payment order.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, from which bank account did it come? Did
17 it come from a government bank account?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't recall at this moment. I
19 only know that I was at the Ministry of Justice and that I left my
20 particulars and the other information that was necessary for it to be
22 JUDGE ORIE: And do I understand you well, that you assume that
23 you got the payment from the Ministry of Justice?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances, Mr. Repinc, your answer
1 that you did not receive the remuneration, that it wasn't anyone from
2 Croatian authorities, was not -- in light of what you just told us, was
3 not giving us the right information.
4 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Okay, just moving on then, General. In paragraph 18 of your
7 report, and that's under methodology, you said that you received the
8 documents of the Prosecution, including the expert report of Mr. Theunens
9 and many documents which are generally stored on CDs.
10 Now, in addition to those documents, were you also provided with
11 Defence documents?
12 A. The methodology, as it has been written here, is somewhat
13 simplified. When Mr. Mikulicic and the Defence team got in touch with
14 me, in the month of March of 2008, I had not yet given my consent to my
15 testimony, simply because I had just taken up a new duty, and I wasn't
16 sure that I was going to be able to appear as a witness. Subsequently, I
18 Since, as a member of that task force, I still had all the rights
19 conferred upon me by the minister of defence, I got in touch with the
20 team, with the task force, and obtained both the analysis from them and
21 the documents on which they based their analysis, simply to see what it
22 was all about. I wanted to establish and see whether I could make a
23 contribution through my cooperation with the Defence team.
24 At the end of summer of 2008, I was again contacted by
25 Mr. Mikulicic and the Defence team, and I told them that I would do
1 everything in my power to give my contribution. By that time, I had
2 received the pre-trial brief, the indictment, and all the other documents
3 relating to the case, as well as the expert report by Mr. Theunens.
4 Where you said that I received the CDs, I didn't receive them from the
5 Defence team, but, rather, from the task force that was charged with
6 producing the analysis of Operation Storm for the purposes of the
7 Defence of General Markac.
8 Q. And isn't it right that that task force had access to the
9 documents in the archives in Croatia
10 referring to?
11 A. As far as I know, yes.
12 Q. Now, you referred to this analysis. And do you have a copy of
13 that analysis that was prepared by this task force?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Are you able to produce it to the Trial Chamber, if necessary?
16 A. I don't know what is the procedure with that sort of documents.
17 As far as I'm concerned, I don't have any difficulty with it. But I'm
18 not positive whether this is perhaps contrary to some rules or
20 Q. Have you brought a copy of that analysis to court today?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Have you brought a copy to The Hague with you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And to your knowledge, this analysis, has it been tendered into
25 evidence in these proceedings? Have you been informed of that by the
1 Markac Defence team or any other Defence parties?
2 A. I don't know that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: For one second I address the parties.
4 From paragraph 18, it -- it appears that the witness has at least
5 consulted this material, and for the purposes of full transparency as far
6 as sources are concerned, I think it would be appropriate that the
7 parties have such material available.
8 And I saw that often references are made to 65 ter numbers, not
9 always accompanied by any exhibit numbers, which means that for the
10 Chamber to verify any of the findings or conclusions of the expert, if it
11 is not available to us, then it may become a bit of a problem.
12 Mr. Mikulicic, could you ...
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am slightly
15 confused. Alongside the expert report by General Repinc, we also
16 forwarded a separate table referring to all the documents mentioned in
17 the footnotes of the report with the ID and 65 ter numbers, as well as
18 with exhibit numbers, be it a P or a D exhibit, that have been tendered.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Are all 65 ter numbers submitted into evidence,
20 Mr. Mikulicic, because sometimes I find an exhibit number to it,
21 sometimes not.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Just to give you an example, footnote 175 gives a
24 P number. Footnote number 167 gives a 65 ter number without any
25 P reference or D reference. 179, for example, gives a D reference.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, if I my assist. My
3 understanding is that all the documents cited in the footnotes were
4 tendered into evidence.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what was my understanding as well.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: I thought it was obvious, Your Honour. I'm
7 sorry, I'm a little bit confused.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No, that's no reason to become confused, but
9 Ms. Mahindaratne raises more or less the question of access to the
10 sources used by this expert witness. And, of course, I can imagine that
11 you leave some of the documents of a rather technical nature. You said,
12 Well, it's there, Prosecution can look at it, Chamber cannot look at it.
13 But, fine; if you need anything, we might ask for it.
14 We now we are specifically talking about analysis of
15 Operation Storm, which seems to be a document which -- not of a similar
16 type of the documents we find in the footnotes, which is mainly
17 contemporaneously produced documents. But, Ms. Mahindaratne now wonders,
18 I take it, at least, whether you could have access to this analysis of
19 Operation Storm.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's correct, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: It is it without any number, so I do not know
22 whether it is an already-known document under a different name, or ...
23 Mr. Kehoe.
24 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, can I be of assistance. I
25 believe this is the document that Mr. Russo discussed during the
1 cross-examination of General Feldi. And I'm almost certain it's the same
3 JUDGE ORIE: If that's the case, it just gives a title, which
4 could -- perhaps you verify that, Ms. Mahindaratne.
5 And could you confirm that, Mr. Mikulicic?
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, in fact, we did carry out that
7 inquiry, but there's nothing to indicate whether this is -- I mean,
8 you're probably referring to the Blue Book, isn't that so, Mr. Kehoe.
9 But we are not certainly if this analysis is one and the same as that
10 discussed by Mr. Feldi. So that's what I was trying to --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Ms. Mahindaratne, have you asked the
12 Defence whether this document is available to you instead of now raising
13 the matter with the witness?
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President, I haven't asked this --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, wouldn't that be the first and the most
16 appropriate step to say, Well, I see that the witness apparently had
17 available a certain document which he may have consulted. I do not find
18 any, either 65 ter number or any exhibit numbers, so could you provide it
19 to us?
20 And then we would not have to spend time on it in court, if it's
21 the same. And if it's not the same, well, then we would have known more.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will sort this out during the break,
23 Mr. President, with the Defence. And may I -- if I just could clarify
24 with the witness with one question.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps he knows something about blue books
1 and whether -- he could tell us whether it is the same or not.
2 Mr. Mikulicic.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm still confused, Your Honour. We provided to
4 the OTP a list of all the documents cited in the expertise with a
5 reference to either D, P, 65 ter, or ID numbers.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Including this document, analysis of
7 Operation Storm?
8 MR. MIKULICIC: If you are referring to the Blue Book?
9 JUDGE ORIE: No. In paragraph 18 --
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- the witness refers to having received documents,
12 and then he says, As a member of the team - whatever that may mean in
13 this context as being hired as an expert - I also received the printed
14 version of the document, analysis of Operation Storm.
15 The first and rather simple question is: That document, what's --
16 is there any 65 ter number attached to it, any exhibit number?
17 MR. MIKULICIC: I believe I understand now, Your Honour.
18 What the witness referred in -- in his statement, he was
19 referring to the so-called Blue Book.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: And this document he didn't receive from the
22 Defence but from the ministry. From the task force group that was
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That 's what he testified. That's what he --
25 So, Ms. Mahindaratne, it apparently is the Blue Book. If you
1 would have this conversation earlier, then you would have known that.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: My apologies, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And we would not have had to spend time on it in
5 Please proceed.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: My apologies, Mr. President.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, just one clarification.
8 If it's the Blue Book as an item in question, we provided the
9 whole Blue Book to the OTP during the testimony of Mr. Feldi, and OTP was
10 in possession of that book from the testimony of Mr. Feldi.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic --
12 MR. MIKULICIC: And afterwards, the Blue Book was introduced into
13 the evidence, as I remember.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, first of all, you said, page 14, line 1 and 2:
15 " In his statement he was referring to the so-called Blue Book."
16 You give this as a piece of factual information. Now --
17 MR. MIKULICIC: It was my understanding, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because later you said:
19 "If it is the Blue Book ..."
20 You just told it -- us that it was the Blue Book.
21 But there's no problem about whether the Blue Book is accessible
22 or not. I think the problem was that a reference to analysis of
23 Operation Storm, if it is not listed with 65 ter numbers or anything
24 else, I do not know, that Ms. Mahindaratne was wondering what it was.
25 And she should have asked you. And now, after we have spent now seven or
1 eight minutes on it in court, you inform her that this is a reference to
2 the Blue Book. And no one claims that the Blue Book is unavailable,
3 unaccessible. The main problem was what document are we talking about.
4 And this seems to have been clarified.
5 Mr. Kehoe, do you want do add to the confusion?
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Actually, I hope this is a point of
7 clarification with regard to the Blue Book. It was not admitted into
8 evidence because of Rule 94 bis issues involving that book.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was talking about whether it was accessible
10 or not, and whether it was available. Still -- let's proceed. I think
11 we have resolved at least some of your questions, Ms. Mahindaratne. And
12 we're looking forward to the next ones.
13 Please proceed.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll just get a
15 confirmation from the witness, in fact, that this is the Blue Book he is
16 referring to, Mr. President.
17 Q. General Repinc, you know, you followed the conversation in court
18 so far. Now, the document referred to as analysis of Operation Storm
19 that you refer in paragraph 18, is that the document which is also
20 referred to as the Blue Book? Can you please confirm that.
21 A. I truly don't know what that book is referred to before this
23 I can only speak about the analysis put together by the working
24 group, one of whose members was General Feldi; I can confirm that much.
25 Q. And, to your knowledge, is that document at least have you
1 provided that document to the Defence or do you know if the Defence has a
2 company of that document that you refer here as analysis of
3 Operation Storm?
4 A. I don't know whether the Defence has that. I suppose that if the
5 analysis was put together for the needs of General Markac's Defence, that
6 that Defence should have that piece of information. Personally, however,
7 I never provided them with a copy of the analysis though.
8 Q. And, to your knowledge, was General Feldi involved in the
9 compilation of this analysis that you referred to in paragraph 18?
10 A. I really can't say who from the Working Group took part in that
11 work. To repeat, I was not present when it worked.
12 Judging by what is stated in the analysis, although I don't know
13 at which page, one can find there that he was a member of that
14 Working Group. I don't know what his role within the group was, or
15 whether his name was printed with his permission. In any case, I just
16 know that his name is in the document.
17 Q. General, going to what you have said here so far --
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if I could have P2633, please.
19 Q. I'm going to bring up a document on the screen.
20 Now, you just said that you were appointed by the minister of
21 defence to the Working Group to assist General Markac's Defence. We'll
22 see a document on the screen.
23 Are you familiar with this document? Have you seen it before?
24 A. To tell you the truth, I have never seen this before. I was only
25 told that I was appointed to the group, but I was not aware of the
1 existence of the document. This is the first time I see it.
2 Q. General, you can see that it's issued by the minister of defence,
3 and it appoints a working committee. This is dated 8 August 2005. Now,
4 you were in Croatia
5 HV General Staff at the time?
6 A. At that time, I was in Croatia
7 Main Staff. At that time, I was the Chief of Staff of the land forces in
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Now, if we could go to the last page.
10 Q. Now, you can see to whom this document has been delivered.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And now, if you could just stay -- remain on
12 the page, Mr. Registrar, for a moment.
13 Q. It says:
14 On the basis of Article 10, paragraph 3, consistent with the
15 conclusion of RH, Republic of Croatia
16 reference to decision number of 1st February, 2001, regarding the manner
17 of proceeding to be followed by state bodies relating to cooperation with
18 the ICTY.
19 And then at the paragraph -- the last two lines:
20 "And concerning the request of the Defence team of retired
21 General Mladen Markac dated 25th May and 19th July, 2005, I make a
22 decision ..."
23 And there in paragraph 1 a decision is put together -- a
24 Working Group is put together. It says:
25 "Comprising of active military persons in the Ministry of Defence
1 and the Main Staff of the Republic of Croatia
2 the Defence team of the retired Colonel General Markac with the analysis
3 and explanation of documentation created in the Ministry of Defence and
4 the Main Staff relating to planning and carrying out of the military
5 police Operation Oluja."
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And if we could move to the next page in the
7 English version, Mr. Registrar.
8 Q. And then you can see in paragraph 2, the Working Group is named
10 "Permanent members of the Working Group responsible for carrying
11 out the activities: first, Major-General Drago Lovric; Brigadier General
12 Repinc; and Colonel Skuliber."
13 And then paragraph --
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If we go further down on the English version.
15 Q. Paragraph number 3 says:
16 "Working Group from point 1 of this decision will start working
17 on 1st September, 2005, in the premises of the central military archives
18 as needed and requested by defence, and it will be active until the
19 completion of the proceedings against the retired Colonel General
20 Mladen Markac conducted before ICTY."
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And then in the English version, if you could
22 go to the next page as well as the Croatian version.
23 Q. The head and deputy head of the Working Group, at the request of
24 defence and pursuant to special order of the Ministry of Defence, may
25 appear before ICTY to serve in the role of expert witnesses.
1 And that's yourself and Major Lovric.
2 And then at paragraph 4 -- I'm sorry, paragraph 5, it says:
3 "Working group will have unlimited access to all documents that
4 had been created in the Ministry of Defence and the Main Staff ...
5 regarding preparation, conducting, and consequences of the military and
6 police operation, including analysis of combat operations ..."
7 And it goes on to -- and the second paragraph also reflects the
8 documents you would be -- you will have access to. And paragraph
9 number 6 says:
10 "The material expenses associated with activities pursuant to
11 this decision during the current year will be charge to the account of
12 the office of the minister of defence, while the following years the
13 expenses will be planned in the budget of the office of the chief of
14 Main Staff and military security agency."
15 Paragraph number 7:
16 "Responsible for implementation of this decision are chief of the
17 Main Staff ... director of VSA, and chief of the Central
18 Military Archives."
19 And this is issued -- sent to one -- some of the addresses, the
20 main persons, that is, yourself included, and several other addressees.
21 Now, you were working within the Croatian government, you served
22 in the Croatian government in August 2005; and until you left on your
23 mission in December 2005, you were serving in the Ministry of Defence.
24 Can you please explain as to how it is that you did not receive this
25 document in August 2005?
1 A. I can't explain that. I don't know why I did not receive it.
2 Can I only repeat that I did not. I also did not participate in the work
3 of the Working Group. Even if I had received it, there would have been
4 no reason for me to keep it secret. I see nothing that would be in
5 dispute concerning this document. I can only state, yet again, that I
6 never received it.
7 Q. General, this is a decision issued by the minister of defence,
8 and you are working within the Ministry of Defence at the time. And
9 you -- you're a senior officer of the Ministry of Defence. And how is it
10 that you're telling this Court that an order issued by the minister of
11 defence did not reach an officer of the Ministry of Defence?
12 It's a --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, with all do respect, my learned
15 colleague, but the witness has answered that question, I think, twice or
16 maybe even more.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Question was asked; question was answered.
18 Nevertheless, there are remaining a few questions in relation to
19 this: Mr. Repinc, first, you testified that, in 2006, you were appointed
20 on a committee. Whereas now, on the basis of this document, it looks as
21 if it was in 2005. Would you agree with that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I said 2006, then I misspoke.
23 It was in 2005. Because in December 2005, I went on the mission.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now you also said, when you were asked why you
25 had not included this in your CV where you said, Well, I have included it
1 in a certain way. But in that context, you said -- now the reason why I
2 said that is that I never worked on the team. The team began, I say,
3 work, after I made the departure for the mission. And it was in
4 July 2007, when you returned, that it had stopped working already.
5 Now, do we have to understand that this committee, which was
6 appointed in August 2005, did not start its work until December 2005?
7 Did they remain passive for September, October, November? Because we
8 learned from your statement that, from December 2005, you were appointed
9 commander of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
10 Is it to say that they didn't do anything?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only presume that. I was not
12 at the helm of the group. It was General Lovric. During that period, he
13 never called me to any meetings, and we never discussed the Working
14 Group, and I did not participate in its work whatsoever.
15 As for the question, how that could have happened, I don't know
16 that. I can only state, yet again, that I have never received that
17 decision. Even if I had received it, there would have been no reason for
18 me to keep it hidden from you. And can I only state again that I did not
19 participate in the work of the Working Group.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not suggesting that you are hiding something.
21 I'm just checking the accuracy of your -- of your answers.
22 When did the work of the Working Group start? When did they
23 actually start working?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that, and I never
1 JUDGE ORIE: So when you said that they started working only
2 after you had left for your mission, then, not knowing when they started,
3 this is also an assumption or -- is that correctly understood?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was my conclusion. I simply
5 believe that if I had been appointed deputy by the minister, I should
6 have been called to a meeting of the Working Group where I figured as
7 deputy. Given that I have never been called to such a meeting, it is my
8 conclusion that the Working Group never met and worked at the time.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Repinc we now had, first of all, the
10 payment issue from whom you received payment; then whether you were
11 appointed in 2005 or 2006; and now conclusions.
12 Could you please give your answers on a clear, factual basis.
13 And, Ms. Mahindaratne, could you please ask questions which allow
14 for a clear factual answer.
15 Please proceed.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
17 Q. Mr. Repinc, the Court was questioning you about the possible date
18 on which this Working Group started. According to this decision, it says
19 the working group was to start its work on 1st September, 2005.
20 Now, in the analysis you received which was the working product
21 of the Working Group, was there any indication, under methodology, as to
22 when the Working Group had started its work?
23 A. I cannot confirm that. I am not certain whether the analysis
24 mentions the date of beginning and end of work, save for the fact that it
25 is dated July 2007. I suppose that is when the document was completed.
1 I cannot say, though, when they began drafting it.
2 Q. Now, you mentioned that the Working Group was headed by
3 Major-General Drago Lovric.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, this is a confidential document,
12 from what I understand.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Mr. President. May I then ask that
14 we go into private session.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Redaction -- yes. And a redaction will be made.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That is correct, Mr. President. It is a
19 confidential document, and my apologies.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We return -- we will move into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 26838-26841 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 Please proceed.
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
17 Q. Let me just quickly call two documents up, General, for your
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 65 ter 7523.
20 Q. And you will see in a minute, General, a document on your screen
21 dated 4th January, 1999. You can see it's read:
22 "Pursuant to the provisions of the Article 48 of the
23 Law on Defence and in the aim of examining accounts [sic] all the
24 qualitative aspects of Operation Oluja, I hereby issuing the following
1 "Start compiling a study of Operation Storm which would cover the
2 following areas."
3 Paragraph 2 says:
4 "For the implementation of the tasks from item 1 of this order, a
5 team comprising the following is established: Chief of the
6 Main Staff ..."
7 Then at -- the last person on that team is
8 Brigadier Dragutin Repinc and this document is sent to -- at number 6 you
9 can see yourself, Brigadier Dragutin Repinc.
10 And let me show you the other document before I ask you the
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 65 ter 7522.
13 Q. And that's dated 25th January, 1999, after the previous order was
14 issued. It says, Operation Oluja Storm list of tasks delivered.
15 General, at the meeting of the Working Group in charge of drafting the
16 study of Operation Storm held on 15th January 1999, chief of RH OS GS
17 gave the following tasks. And then the tasks are worked out.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If we could move to the second page of the
19 English version, yeah.
20 Q. Number 4, it says:
21 "Brigadier Repinc, in cooperation with Radulj Ostovic and
22 Colonel Krovinovik, are in charge of dealing with the area of planning
23 and course of Operation Storm."
24 And it's also delivered to the addressees.
25 Now, General, these two documents reflect that you were, indeed,
1 involved in conducting an analysis of Operation -- some aspects of
2 Operation Storm, from 1999, contrary to what you have said in court so
3 far. How do you reconcile your testimony with these documents?
4 A. I really can't tell that I was working on it at the time. The
5 document states that I did.
6 Still, if you tried to locate the work product of such a
7 Working Group, you would not be able to find it, because I don't recall
8 being involved in any way in the work on the documents as stated here. I
9 would definitely know about it.
10 Q. Let me ask you: Are both these documents -- were, according to
11 what is on this documents, was sent to you? Do you recall receiving
13 A. I suppose I did receive them, but I don't remember.
14 Q. Do you recall this working committee? Let's not talk about the
15 work product. Do you recall being on this work product committee that is
16 being referred to in these two documents?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. Very well.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, may have I these two documents
20 tendered into evidence, please. And that's 65 ter 7523, and 65 ter 7522.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7523 shall be
24 assigned exhibit number P2703. 65 ter number 7522 shall be assigned
25 65 ter number [sic] P2704. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P2703 and P2704 are admitted into evidence.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. General Repinc, going to your testimony. Now, on Thursday, this
4 is with regard to the special police, this is what you said, and this is
5 at transcript reference 26691, this is with regard to the command
6 authority over special police units. You say:
7 "At a moment when a unit becomes a part of joint forces, then it
8 is only commanded by the commander of the action or operation of the
9 commander of the command of the joint forces."
10 Now if I understand your testimony well, when members of the
11 special police units were deployed in operation storm - and when I say
12 "special police unit," I also include special police units attached to
13 police administrations. And when I say Operation Storm I'm referring to
14 the time-period 4th August to 9th August - they were under the exclusive
15 command of the special police sector command. Isn't that correct?
16 A. Yes. The forces which made up the collective special police
17 forces were under the command of the commander in charge of the action or
18 operation in hand.
19 Q. And that would be General Markac?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And when those units were deployed in the clearing and search
22 operations conducted in the aftermath of Operation Storm - and I'm
23 referring to the operation clearing operation in Petrova Gora, and the
24 series of search operations conducted from 21st to 3rd October - they
25 were under the command of General Markac?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Okay. General, on this issue, you have cited a particular
3 document, and this is just merely a clarification I require.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if could I have D1918.
5 Q. And you have relied on this document to support some of your
6 conclusions, and you have referred to this document at footnote 10 as
7 well as footnote number 20 of your report. And in -- even in direct
8 examination you discussed this document.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: For the record, this is at transcript
10 26691 up to 92.
11 Q. Let me read out -- back to what you say about this document.
12 This is -- Mr. Mikulicic, questioning you:
13 "Let us look at the document 65 ter 3D00614. It is a document to
14 which you refer in footnote 20 in your expert report. And for the needs
15 of your expert opinion you refer to Article 15, which reads:
16 'The commander of the special unit is responsible for the work of
17 the special unit police, to the chief of police administration, and the
18 chief of police administration or, exceptionally, his deputy shall
19 personally issue instructions for the performance of immediate tasks
20 under the domain of the special police.'"
21 And then you respond to that question.
22 My query is this: Now, this document is dated
23 13th December, 1993
24 minister of the interior and the deputy minister, and it says:
25 "Provisional rules of the internal order of the special police
1 sector, adoption is kindly requested."
2 And then attached to that -- actually, it says:
3 "Enclosed please find for your information the text of the draft
4 provisional rules on the internal order of the special police sector."
5 Now, to your knowledge was this -- were these rules adopted? You
6 have relied on the drafts.
7 A. My assumption was that the document was adopted, because on one
8 of the pages of the document, there is the signature of deputy minister,
9 Mr. Tomljenovic, who stated that he was in agreement with whether it was
10 the entire rules or, at any rate, he endorsed it. But I did not see a
11 document where, at the level of the ministry, General Markac would
12 receive a response stating that the interim rules were, indeed, adopted
13 as standing rules.
14 Q. Who provided you with this document, General?
15 A. This was one in a series of documents which, together with the
16 analysis of the operation, I received on CDs that the Working Group
17 collected and had in their possession during the preparation of the
19 Q. Now on -- in relying on this document to support your
20 conclusions, did you query as to whether, in fact, these rules were,
21 indeed, adopted or not?
22 A. No, I did not make any inquiries.
23 Q. Now, if we could turn to the next page, here you have, on
24 13th December, General Markac says: And he encloses the draft rules.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If you could pay -- turn to the next page,
1 Mr. Registrar.
2 Q. You see the working paper is dated 30th December, 1993. Did you
3 query as to how it is that General Markac is attaching working paper and
4 he says: Enclosed find here, but the working paper is dated
5 30th December, after General Markac has written the letter or sent the
6 letter. Did you query as to the discrepancy in the dates?
7 A. No. Frankly speaking, this is the first time I observe the
8 contradictory dates.
9 Q. Now, we can also see in these draft rules that are handwritten
10 notations. Someone has scratched off words and written other words by
11 hand. For example, if you want to look at Article 13.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could move to
13 English page 6 and also the Croatian version, page 6.
14 Q. You can see in this draft rule someone has scratched off words,
15 written interpretated words by hand.
16 Then if we could move to the next page. You can see the same in
17 Article 14 also, as well as Article -- in Article 15. And a number of
18 provisions -- in a number of provisions you see someone has scratched off
19 words, interpretated words. And you have, in fact, taken on board those
20 handwritten words into your report. You replied on them. Now, do you
21 know as to who made those handwritten corrections?
22 A. No, I don't. As you say, I included the corrections in my expert
23 report, wherever I found them.
24 Q. General, didn't -- you were relying on this document to
25 substantiate your conclusions in a report you were submitting to the --
1 the Court proceedings. What made you treat this document as an authentic
2 document -- an authoritative document or an authentic document?
3 A. What made me consider the document as such was that, on one of
4 the pages, I'm not sure if it was this particular copy of document, that
5 Deputy Minister Tomljenovic expressed his agreement with the text.
6 Q. Can you show us that? Because I can't find in this particular
7 document that is provided to the Trial Chamber nor to the Prosecution,
8 perhaps if -- could you just point that out to us, this deputy minister's
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Maybe, Mr. Registrar, we can go from page to
11 page, for the benefit of the witness.
12 And if you could move from page 1 to 2, 3, it's not a lengthy
14 And the next page, just scroll up and down.
15 Q. I can tell you, General, that I could not find anything of this
16 nature except for those hand-made notations and corrections.
17 Yes, please.
18 A. My apologies. I confused this document with another. I mistook
19 it for another document which spoke of the structure and the work of the
20 special police force.
21 Q. So then could you explain to the Trial Chamber as to on what
22 basis you rely on this document as being an authoritative document which
23 you could use to support your conclusions with? Considering that it is
24 in draft form, there are handwritten notations in the document, there is
25 a discrepancy in dates.
1 A. On the basis of the fact that, as I was reading the Articles
2 governing the structure of the sector and department of the
3 special police, I found the same forces and descriptions of their tasks
4 as were to be found in the document that the ministry issued officially
5 and which had to do with the structure of the Ministry of the Interior.
6 Q. And this document that you referred to as the official document
7 issued by the ministry, have you cited that document in your report, the
8 official document?
9 A. I believe I did. It's a document dating from 1994.
10 Q. And -- okay. If have you cited, then we'll try to find it.
11 Are you able to, you know, tell us which document it is?
12 A. I'm sorry. It's a document from 1995, a decree on the internal
13 structure and method of work of the Ministry of Interior of the
14 Republic of Croatia
15 Q. And your position is that these two documents compare to each
16 other. That's what you're saying here in court?
17 A. Not in all its elements, since these are two sets of documents
18 produced at two different levels. One at the level of the ministry and
19 the other at the level of the special police sector. Still, they can be
20 compared in the parts related to the provisions governing the structure
21 and their tasks.
22 These portions coincide. Of course, in the meantime, the
23 structure of the sector itself changed, so one cannot draw a full
24 parallel with regard to all these elements.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, yes, I note the time. This is
1 a good time to take a break.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we take the break, Mr. Repinc, you
3 earlier, in relation to the 1999 Working Group on analysing
4 Operation Storm, you referred us, you said:
5 "If you look at the work product, you can see that ..."
6 What work product were you referring to exactly? Could you be
7 more specific. Because if you say, "If you look at," then we might be
8 inclined to do so. So, therefore, we might be able to do so.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer was this. If such a
10 Working Group existed, to the best of my knowledge, it never produced a
11 document which would have been a clear response to the order issued in
12 order to set up such a Working Group.
13 As far as I know, in the meantime a different Working Group was
14 set up, which worked on an analysis of Operation Storm for years. And I
15 believe that Brigadier Drago Poljak headed this particular group. I can
16 only assume that this Working Group took the task over from the other
18 When I said that I wasn't involved in it, I can tell you that I'm
19 sure that I never worked in any such group. I cannot tell you that we
20 had as many meetings and produced a document. As far as I know, it was
21 concluded at one point that somebody else would be taking over that task,
22 and as far as I know, the Working Group produced as series of analyses,
23 including the one on Operation Storm, but as well as on many other
24 operations that transpired during the homeland war.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us, then, some more details.
1 You said at -- it was concluded at one point that somebody else
2 would be taking over that task. And then you said:
3 "And, as far as I know, the Working Group produced a series of
4 analyses ..."
5 Was that then the new group that had taken over, or the group as
6 it originally was established?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. As far as I know, these were
8 two different groups.
9 What I had in mind was the group that was specially tasked with
10 that. And depending on the Military District, it drafted analyses of
11 operations of these particular Military Districts. Depending on that,
12 members were assigned to the team, in terms of drafting all of the
13 different analyses.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And that was still in 1999? Is that how I have to
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. The Working Group existed
17 for years, since it had to tackle an extremely complex task.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were you involved in that work in any way?
19 Because you give us some details as ...
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not in any way.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us who were involved then. And then,
22 more specifically, Operation Storm.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I truly don't know that. I can
24 repeat that it was a separate group which, as far as I know, worked at
25 the Croatian Military Academy
1 As for how much time they needed for each of the analyses and who
2 participated in which, that is something I don't know.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do I now understand you well that you say,
4 Well, at a certain moment it was decided that others, referring to those
5 special Working Groups, had to take over this task? Is that how I should
6 understand your answer?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what I said previously
8 exactly and whether it was interpreted correctly.
9 In any case, I suppose that at a certain point in time that
10 Working Group took over the task. I can say, yet again, that there is no
11 reason for me to hide the fact that in 1999 I was working on that
12 analysis. Actually, I would have been proud to have been able to put my
13 signature under such an analysis. Unfortunately, I was in no position to
14 do that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, was that taking over of the task of the
16 Working Group, was that put on paper anywhere? Was there a decision that
17 we now compose a different Working Group who takes over? In what way was
18 that done?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yet again, the Working Group
20 mentioned in the order, including myself, definitely did not work on that
21 job. Although I know that there was a separate order defining the
22 process of drafting the analyses. Although I cannot say that they took
23 over our work. As far as I can tell, from what I can remember, we, as
24 the Working Group, did not produce anything. Therefore, they were in no
25 position to take over anything from us, save for the duty to produce an
1 analysis. But not only in terms of Operation Storm, but all other
2 operations which took place during the homeland war.
3 JUDGE ORIE: So you would say that that -- in 1999, there was a
4 Working Group created, which did not perform any duty at that time and
5 that the task was taken over at a later stage or at least that similar
6 analyses were made by separate groups.
7 Is that a correct understanding of your answer? Of your answers,
8 I should say.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. So the new Working Groups
10 with Brigadier Poljak at the helm of the project, existed. For each
11 operation involved and tasks concerned, members of the Working Group
12 changed, because the composition of the Working Group depended on the
13 operation and the Military District involved, or perhaps the
14 Guards Brigade involved.
15 As far as I know, those documents are classified, and I never saw
16 any of those analyses.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Repinc, Ms. Mahindaratne asked you: In 1999,
18 were you involved -- were you involved in conducting and analysis of
19 Operation Storm which you had not divulged in your CV.
20 Your answer was: No, nor was I aware of the fact that the
21 analysis was being made.
22 Would you agree with me that it would have saved quite a lot of
23 time if would you have said: In 1999, a committee was performed with such
24 a task, but it never became active. And, as a matter of fact, the
25 analysis were finally made by other Working Groups on separate
2 Wouldn't that have saved us quite a bit of time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It probably would have, provided
4 that I had said anything that I personally saw as incorrect. I provided
5 my statement solely based on the fact that I cannot recall having worked
6 in any Working Group. Had such a task occupied the amount of time it
7 would have required, I would have remembered it. I simply said no,
8 because, at that point in time, and now, I cannot say with any certainty
9 that I have ever worked in any such a Working Group. It is not a matter
10 of me trying to keep things secret, since there was no reason for me to
11 do so.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Part of your answer was that you were not aware that
13 the analysis was being made. You now have explained to us in what way
14 the analysis of these several operations were made, which comes to me, a
15 bit as a surprise, after your earlier answer.
16 Do you have any comment on why you said that you were not aware
17 of an analysis; whereas, you later explained that the follow-up groups or
18 at least the new groups, that they produced analysis on separate
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I repeat, because it involved a
21 project of several years.
22 Another simple reason was that Mr. Poljak was an employee of the
23 operative -- operational administration where I worked at the time. And
24 had he been absent from the administration at the time while being busy
25 on some other tasks, I must have been able to notice that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you perhaps, after the break, keep not
2 in the back of your mind but in the front of your mind that conclusions
3 are to be strictly distinguished from facts.
4 We'll have a break, and we will resume at ten minutes past 11.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.44 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.17 a.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. General, I'd like to focus on paragraph 70 of your report, and
10 this is at page 24 of the English version. I'm not calling it up on
11 the -- the screen. This is what you say:
12 "General Markac remained at the MCP, that's the main command
13 post, because of the organisation of command and reporting communications
14 between the chief of the General Staff and the collective force of staff,
15 since those communications could not be established from the TCP, due to
16 specific terrain and other reasons."
17 In the same paragraph about six lines down, you say:
18 "All orders and other documents from the General Staff came to
19 the MCP in Seline while some of the tasks were received by wire
20 communications, so it is important that General Markac spent his entire
21 time at this MCP or at least some of the time after breaking the front
22 line and the capture of Gracac on 5th August, 1995, and the daily
23 relocation of the TCP
24 And in testimony this what is you said on Thursday. This is at
25 transcript page 26696. You said:
1 "... General Markac was at the main command post, and
2 Brigadier Sacic, as his deputy, was stationed at the forward command post
3 in Veliki Golic.
4 "It is true that on the 5th, in the afternoon, they link up in
5 Gracac. However, on the first two days, it was very difficult - and I'm
6 only saying this from the military point of view - it was very difficult,
7 with such a small number of people, to monitor everything and operate
8 normally in such a way as to command the ongoing operations and plan the
9 operations for the following day."
10 Now, what is the source you're relying on to assert that, during
11 the first two days of the operation and some time after breaking through
12 the front line and taking up Gracac, that General Markac remained in
13 Seline? Do you have any factual basis to support that assertion?
14 A. General Markac was at the basic command post for certain, as you
15 can see from the duty officers' log-book. Brigadier Sacic was at the
16 forward command post at Veliki Golic. As far as I can say from the
17 military standpoint, the reason for him being there was that, at that
18 point in time, the communication that existed between the Main Staff and
19 General Markac was via Rebus. For the simple reason, it was the only
20 encryption device that could stain such communication, given that the
21 radio relay hub was tapped by the enemy at Celavac, because, at that
22 point in time, we still had not taken Celavac itself.
23 Q. Now you referred to -- you said General Markac was at the basic
24 command post for certain, as you can see from the duty officers'
1 What log-book is this? General, have you cited that in your
2 expert report?
3 A. It is a duty log-book kept by the joint special forces during
4 Operation Storm.
5 Q. Have you used that, have you cited to that document in your
6 expert report?
7 A. I perused it but did not refer to it in my report, since I didn't
8 believe it was necessary. I believe it to be a fact that he was there.
9 This is beyond dispute.
10 Q. General, I asked because I have not seen a log-book which records
11 General Markac's movements day by day. So obviously you have seen such a
12 log-book. Do you have a copy with you right now of this log-book?
13 A. Not with me.
14 Q. Does the Defence -- are you aware if the Defence team has copy of
15 this log-book that you refer to?
16 A. I think so, although I'm not certain. You would have to ask
17 Defence that.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, may I place on record a request
19 that if the Defence team does have such a log-book, to provide it to the
20 Prosecution and the Trial Chamber.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, there's a request put on the record.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: We will just check that fact, Your Honour, and we
23 will inform the OTP during the next couple of minutes.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
1 Q. Now, General, are you aware that -- have you gone through any
2 documents which demonstrated to you that General Markac entered Gracac on
3 5th August at 10.01 a.m.
4 that to you?
5 A. No, I did not see such a document. I am not certain that would
6 have been possible at the time, given the other documents which indicate
7 that, at that time, Gracac had still not been liberated in full.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May I have, Mr. Registrar, D555, please.
10 Q. And you will see in a moment -- General, have you seen this
11 document, which is on the screen?
12 A. Yes, I have.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Can we move to page 29 in the English and
14 page 19 in the Croatian version, please.
15 Q. Did you -- while that page is coming up, did you read this
16 document, General, the document that is on the screen?
17 A. Yes, I reviewed it. But based on the other documents I perused,
18 I didn't believe this entry was correct.
19 Q. Now, I asked you -- now, you can see on this page, it is recorded
20 at entry number 205 that General Markac entered the -- entered Gracac at
21 10.01 hours.
22 Now, I asked you previously if you had seen any documents that
23 demonstrated to you that General Markac enter Gracac at 10.01, and you
24 said you had not seen such documents. Now you're telling me that you saw
25 this document but that you didn't believe this entry in view of other
2 Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber why you said that you
3 hadn't seen any documents that demonstrated to you that General Markac
4 entered Gracac at 10.01?
5 A. I can only say that I made a mistake.
6 Q. Okay. Can you then show the Trial Chamber the other
7 documentation that you say in -- which indicates that this is erroneous.
8 You say there are other documentations that shows that he could not have
9 entered at 10.01.
10 A. Based on the analysis drafted by the special police, referring to
11 the 5th of August, 1995, where it says that Gracac was liberated at
12 quarter past 11.00.
13 I also base that on the different war path documents. I saw no
14 unit made reference to Gracac being liberated at 10.00. Therefore, I
15 believed the special police in their analysis. And relying on all the
16 existing documentation, I believed that it was not possible for him to be
17 in Gracac at that time.
18 Q. Let me quote you a document that I am aware of, General, that, in
19 fact, does indicate that all the forces of the special police entered
20 Gracac at 11.10.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if could I call P2385, please.
22 P2385. And if we could move to, in the English version, page 7
23 and Croatian version page 5.
24 Q. You can see, according to this log, it says at 11.10 -- you can
25 see the last entry on the Croatian version, and in the English version I
1 think it's page 7.
2 You can see -- at 11.00 it says:
3 "Entered Gracac."
4 And at 12.00:
5 "The forward command post was relocated to Gracac."
6 Now, this indicates that the special police forces entered Gracac
7 at 11.10, but that does not -- I put it to you this does not necessarily
8 exclude the possibilities that General Markac could have, ahead of his
9 forces, entered Gracac at 10.01. Isn't that correct?
10 A. From a military standpoint, I believe it would be almost
11 impossible. I don't think a commander of such a unit, a
12 commander-in-chief, would enter the town alone, ahead of his forces.
13 I have to go back to the war path documents.
14 The unit in which General Markac was would have surely indicated
15 that he was amongst them and that he entered Gracac at that time.
16 However, you cannot find such an entry anywhere.
17 Q. Okay. Let's see, General Repinc, in fact General Markac has
18 provided an interview to the Office of the Prosecutor about his
19 whereabouts on the first two days.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if could I have P2530, please.
21 And, Mr. President, I wish to inform the Court that we have found
22 that the Croatian version of this document I have just called up has not
23 been uploaded, and we will do that. Until such time, may I be permitted
24 to read off the English version to the witness?
25 JUDGE ORIE: You mean the -- the interview?
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm looking at the other parties. I hear of
3 no objections at this moment. Therefore, please proceed, as you suggest.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Mr. Registrar, if we could have the English version, page 52 of
6 this document. That's correct. And if you could just scroll down,
8 Q. Now, General Repinc, this is what General Markac said about his
9 whereabouts. He says:
10 "The first day, I was in -- at the command post of the special
11 police forces near Starigrad Plklenca. So -- and as soon as the signal
12 was given to launch the operation" --
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And if we could go to the next page,
14 Mr. Registrar. Next page, please, and if we could scroll up, yeah.
15 Q. "... to start moving and when we took control of Mali Alan where
16 the -- the strongest -- or the fiercest fighting took place. So I
17 reached Mali Alan and then through -- or across the Velebit mountain, I
18 went down to the village of Ruka
19 was in Gracac already, and there we were visited by the minister of the
21 "That's on the second day, yes.
22 "On the second and when the Minister visited us, it was still the
23 day when offensive was going on."
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And if you could move the document to the
25 bottom, please, yeah.
1 Then he is asked a question by Mr. Brian Foster.
2 "Q. And what about the third day? Where were you on the
3 third day?"
4 "A. In Gracac. And then I followed my troops as they" --
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And if you could move to the next page,
6 please. Mr. Registrar, if we could have the next page.
7 Q. "... as they advanced. But on the third and the fourth day, I
8 returned to sleep in Gracac because that's where our staff or HQ was set
10 Now, General, do you note that your conclusion that
11 General Markac was at Seline during the first two days is inaccurate,
12 because General Markac's own statement contradicts what you are saying
13 here. Do you agree with me?
14 A. What General Markac said confirms that he -- on the first day, he
15 was at the command post at Seline, rather than at the forward command
16 post at Mali Golic. It doesn't say here at what point in time
17 General Markac left the command post and went towards Mali Alan,
18 continuing further afield towards Gracac. What I established, however,
19 was that he was at the basic command post. Whether he was there
20 physically present for 24 hours, that is something I don't know. Most
21 probably not. But he was not at the forward command post together with
22 Brigadier Sacic who was there in command.
23 Q. General, your testimony, if I could remind you again, is this.
24 And this is what you say in your -- in paragraph 70:
25 "All orders and other documents" -- this is paragraph 70:
1 "All orders and other documents from the General Staff came to
2 the MCP in Seline while some of the tasks were received by wire
3 communications, so it is important that General Markac spent his entire
4 time at the MCP or at least some of the time after breaking the front
5 line and the capture of Gracac on 5th August, 1995, and the relocation of
6 the TCP
7 And in court you said:
8 "General Markac was at the main command post and Brigadier Sacic,
9 as his deputy, was stationed at the forward command post on Veliki Golic.
10 It is true that on 5th, in the afternoon, they linked up in Gracac.
11 However, on the first two days, it was very difficult - and I'm only
12 saying this from the military point of view - it was very difficult with
13 such a small number of people to monitor everything and operate normally
14 in such a way as to command the ongoing operations and the plan -- and
15 plan the operations for the following day."
16 Now, I asked you here again today, as to -- if I understood your
17 testimony was that General Markac was at the command post the first two
18 days and after some time breaking the front line in Gracac, and you
19 said -- you confirmed that.
20 Now you're saying something else. Now, does this at least
21 demonstrate to you that your conclusion that General Markac remained at
22 Seline while his troops advanced is incorrect? Do you agree with me at
23 least on that point?
24 A. No, I don't. Because, if you read the whole paragraph, you see
25 that it also says that, after Gracac was taken, that he spent at least
1 some time there, not all of the time.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Excuse me, Your Honour, in the transcript we've
3 got the document that Ms. Mahindaratne read from as P2350 and that -- I
4 don't know if that's a correct reflection or not because P2350 in e-court
5 is a document tendered through Mr. Rajcic.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, it's P2530, and we have the right
7 document on the screen.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
10 Q. Now, do you agree with me that General Markac moved with the
11 troops from day one of the operation?
12 A. Based on what is stated here, it is obvious that General Markac,
13 at some point in time, went from the main command post to Mali Alan,
14 although I cannot say exactly at what time, since there is no record of
15 that in any other documents, save for this one.
16 Q. Okay. Just moving on, General. If I could take you to
17 paragraph 208 of your report. This relates to the reports -- reporting
18 chain in the course of clearing or search operations. And this is how --
19 what you say in paragraph 208:
20 "Available documentation and comparison of reports handwritten by
21 the operational commanders and the reports sent to the chief of
22 General Staff bearing the signature of Lieutenant General Markac."
23 And within parentheses you say:
24 "The format of the reports was always the same, including the
25 signature at the end, regardless of whether or not General Markac was in
1 Gracac or at the Plitvice Lakes
2 At the end of each day indicates that they are identical in almost
3 100 per cent of the cases, which means that General Markac neither
4 intervened nor sought amendments in any way whatsoever to the reports
5 drafted by the operational commander. Rather, he demonstrated full
6 confidence that the information contained in the report is accurate."
7 And then at paragraph 209 you say:
8 "The search of terrain was managed from the command post of the
9 MOI collective special police forces in Gracac. Most of which was
10 temporarily transferred to the Plitvice Lakes
11 6th to 13th September, 1995."
12 Now, on Thursday or perhaps Friday testimony you elaborated
13 further, this is at transcript 26771, you -- referring to this reporting
14 chain you said:
15 "Regardless of whether General Markac was present in a given area
16 on the day or not, the reports were sent bearing his signature."
17 Now, if I understand your testimony, what you're saying is
18 irrespective of General Markac -- irrespective of where General Markac
19 was at a given time, the daily reports pertaining to the search
20 operations were submitted from the headquarters in Gracac on a systematic
21 basis without General Markac's intervention.
22 Is that how I understand your testimony to be?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you conclude this from the fact that, during the period,
25 General Markac was based in Plitvice, and that was from 6th September
1 to 13th September, the reports were still submitted in the same format
2 from Gracac. That is it the basis for your conclusion?
3 A. No. We were not on the same page there.
4 It is my conclusion that the report was always -- reports were
5 always sent out with his signature, irrespective of his whereabouts, be
6 it Gracac or Plitvice. As far as I know, at a point in time when
7 General Markac was at Plitvice, the reports were being sent from
8 Plitvice, not from Gracac.
9 Q. So then how do you include that, irrespective of where
10 General Markac is, the reports would go out on a systematic basis, if, in
11 fact, when he is in Plitvice the reports are sent out from Plitvice, and
12 when he is in Gracac the reports are sent out from Gracac? What is the
13 basis for you to include that reports went out even in the absence of
14 General Markac when, in fact, they had been sent out from the location
15 where he was at a given time?
16 A. This can be clearly seen from the reports. Every report that was
17 sent to the Main Staff as the operations were conducted on a day-to-day
18 basis had the same format and had Mr. Markac's signature.
19 Q. So because the reports are in the same format and it bears
20 General Markac's signature, you conclude that they're just sent in a
21 systematic basis without General Markac getting involved in the reporting
22 process, because of the format being the same? Is that how I understand
23 your testimony to be?
24 A. No. Nowhere did I state that General Markac didn't see the
25 reports; however, I cannot confirm that over the course of these two
1 months, Mr. Markac was always in Gracac and that he wasn't in Zagreb
2 Knin, or elsewhere. I cannot confirm that either. There are several
3 handwritten reports which were sent, for instance, to Mr. Soljic. And on
4 the basis of these reports, I can, again, presume that Mr. Markac was not
5 at the staff but that it was somebody else who drafted the reports in the
6 customary way and sent them on.
7 I can tell you that this was the standard procedure that I used
8 and other used in relation to the documents sent out from my department
9 or the administration. The reports always bore my signature, although I
10 didn't always sign them because I wasn't physically present.
11 Q. Now, I'm not asking about who drafted the reports, General. You
12 have made a conclusion here that reports went out irrespective of where
13 General Markac was, without his intervention. If could you clarify one
14 question: Are you saying that General Markac did not see the report,
15 there were times when he did not see the reports, or what exactly are you
16 trying to say there?
17 A. No, at no point did I say that General Markac didn't see them. I
18 could not, because I wasn't there.
19 What I wanted to say was that by comparing the documents that I
20 had, and these were handwritten reports of action commanders and other
21 participants, in view of the fact that the report was sent encoded or
22 encrypted to the Main Staff -- or, rather, there were no differences or
23 discrepancies between the handwritten reports and the latter reports that
24 were sent to the Main Staff.
25 Q. Now, you referred to, I think, before you say -- at page 52, you
2 "I cannot confirm that either. There are several handwritten
3 reports which were sent, for instance, to Mr. Soljic. And on the basis
4 of these reports, I can, again, presume that Mr. Markac was not at the
5 staff but that it was somebody else who drafted the reports in the
6 customary way and sent them on."
7 What are these reports that gave you an indication that
8 Mr. Markac wasn't at a given -- at Gracac at the time the reports were
9 sent out? What are these reports you are referring to? Have you cited
10 them in your expert report?
11 A. What I'm saying is that some of the reports that were drafted
12 were addressed to other persons, not solely to General Markac.
13 Can I just have your question again?
14 Q. I was asking you as to what these reports were that you --
15 A. No, right.
16 Q. Are you able to the tell the Trial Chamber what those
17 reports are?
18 A. I cannot tell you precisely which dates these were. But there
19 were several handwritten reports sent both to Mr. Soljic or -- that's to
20 say, also to Mr. Soljic. I don't have them here. But if you want, I
21 don't think it would be difficult to try and obtain them.
22 The reason why I didn't cite these documents was due to the fact
23 that the final report that was ultimately drafted did not differ from
24 these earlier reports.
25 Q. Okay. General Repinc, do you agree that during the period
1 General Markac was in Plitvice, and that was 6th September to
2 13th September, all reports for that period were issued from Plitvice.
3 Is that correct?
4 A. Since the headquarters was there, I can only presume that nobody
5 else could have draft the reports, save for Mr. Markac, and send it to
6 the Main Staff.
7 Now, was there a direct communication link between the Plitvice
8 HQ and the Main Staff or whether the document was sent via Gracac, that's
9 something I cannot confirm. Even if the documents stated something else,
10 the reports could only have been written at Plitvice.
11 Q. Now, is it correct that all reports, the daily reports, were sent
12 under General Markac's hand. That's correct, isn't it?
13 A. The reports I saw, which were sent every day, bore his signature.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, can I have document 3D00742,
16 Q. And this is a document you have referred to at footnote 236 of
17 your report, expert report, General. And you will see that, in fact.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's 3D00742, 65 ter. It's a Defence 65 ter
19 number. Now, I think you have probably got the wrong. That's the -- if
20 you could just go right down the page, please. Yes, that's the one.
21 Q. Now, this is the report sent on 13th September, General, for the
22 activity of 13th September. And you can see from there that it's signed
23 by the -- by Mr. Tomislav -- certainly not sent under General Markac's
24 hand. Now, do you agree with me that this report reflects that when
25 reports were sent in General Markac's absence by somebody else, in fact,
1 that fact is reflected on the document itself?
2 A. I think you misinterpreted the document.
3 In this document, the subordinate officer, the commander of the
4 Licko-Sinjska police unit, was sending the report to General Markac and
5 not to the Main Staff. So we're talking about two different levels.
6 This is the standard procedure when it came to communication between
7 those who took part in daily searches, and, in this case, the chief of
8 the sector at Plitvice, who, in turn, compiled these reports into one
9 report, which then, bearing General Markac's signature, was sent to the
10 Main Staff.
11 Q. Did you come across a report from General Markac sent on
12 13th September? Because this is the document you have cited as the daily
13 report for 13th September.
14 A. That was everything that I was able to find for the day. I
15 wasn't able to find a document that would have gone from the special
16 police sector to the chief of the Main Staff.
17 So I repeat, the reports that were sent - and I believe that in
18 relation to one of these days, I said that there -- a report was not sent
19 to the chief of the Main Staff. So the reports that were sent to the
20 Chief of the Main Staff, all of them had General Markac's signature.
21 What I wanted to say in my expert report was that on this
22 particular day, something did happen. In other words, searches were
23 conducted in the way described in this document.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, this document is not in
25 evidence but cited in the expert report. Now, I -- I could tender it
1 into evidence, but there are so many documents cited in the expert report
2 which have not been tendered into evidence so I don't know what exactly
3 the approach the Trial Chamber would take with regard to documents cited
4 in the report which are not in evidence.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, it was our intention do submit all
6 the documents which were not entered into the evidence during the
7 testimony of expert witness in a form of bar table. So it is up to my
8 learned colleague whether she wants to enter these documents separately.
9 I have nothing against it, and I have no objections.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think it would -- it would not be a good idea
11 to have them -- I mean, rather have them in a bar table document than in
12 the usual way with the relevance and the possible comments of the
13 Prosecution on the matter, then we keep everything together and we keep
14 it manageable.
15 So, therefore, Ms. Mahindaratne, I take it that Mr. Mikulicic's
16 observation will discourage you from, at this moment, tendering this
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
21 Q. General, I would like to take you to your report, paragraph 207,
22 and that's where you report on the manner in which search operations were
23 conducted by the special police forces. And in paragraph 207 you say:
24 "Over the course of almost two months of activity, the collective
25 forces staff developed a standard procedure for the conduct of search of
1 terrain. It essentially consisted of several steps."
2 And I won't go through all of steps. But in step two - this is
3 just a clarification that I require. About the sixth line you say:
4 "Information on enemy groups and mines and explosives were
5 gathered by internal over-site personnel from the operative duty staffs
6 of the -- of the police units, police department, Ministry of Interior,
7 or the relevant Croatian army HQs."
8 Now, that's a reference to the internal control sector of the
9 special police sector, isn't it, the Inner Control Department of the
10 Special Police Sector. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Then, in step 4 to step 7, you describe - and it's also described
13 further in paragraph 262 to 266 - you describe the reporting chain on
14 search operations, and you set out the four levels. The first level
15 being the group commanders; the second level, unit commander; third
16 level, the operation commander; and the fourth level is General Markac.
17 And this is what you say about that reporting chain at transcript
18 26768. You say:
19 "The important thing is that it was, in fact, adhered to.
20 Adhered to the way it has been described. It was known to everyone, and
21 this was the way it was implemented from the point when addition was made
22 of the fact that something needed to be searched to the point when, as
23 the final step in the search, a report was sent to the chief of the
24 Main Staff on the searches conducted during the day."
25 Now, based on this -- and you further elaborate at transcript
1 pages 26769 up to 71. Now, based on the reporting chain, as describe,
2 General Markac's source of information on a particular operation for that
3 day was -- was the operation commander, who commanded the operation.
4 Isn't that right?
5 A. Yes. The operation commander collected information from unit
6 commanders, who, in turn, collected these from group commanders. It was
7 up to the operation commander to deal with the information, be it by
8 drafting the report with unit commanders right after the operation or
9 later on at Gracac, but it was up to him to draft a report, the operation
10 commander. And he would then forward the report either to General Markac
11 or to the Main Staff. I -- I can't be sure about the latter part.
12 Q. Now, have you ever -- did you ever see a single report going from
13 the operation commander directly to the Main Staff bypassing
14 General Markac? Did you come across any such situation?
15 A. No, I never came across such a report.
16 Q. Now, therefore, if General Markac wanted any clarifications
17 regarding a particular operation or wanted further information regarding
18 an operation, he would have to revert to the operation commander. Isn't
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, in paragraph 258, if I could take you to that page 258 of
22 your report, in the conclusions, you report as follows:
23 "After Operation Storm, during the period beginning on
24 13th August and concluding on 9th October, 1995, over 5.000 square
25 kilometres of territory were examined in field searches."
1 And you, you know, go on to describe it further and then say:
2 "In two separate incidents, eight persons were killed while the
3 special police sustained no casualties."
4 And then in paragraph 259 you say:
5 "The command system and operating methodology were fully
6 developed and facilitated efficient mop-up and search operations. The
7 two incidents which occurred on two consecutive days by the same unit
8 should not lead to the erroneous conclusion that the system did not
9 function and that undisciplined behaviour was tolerated."
10 Now, what -- if I could just also add, in testimony you said this
11 at transcript page 26772. You said:
12 "We saw that the two incidents occurred on the 25th and the 26th.
13 That is to say, four days into the search operation. We saw that the
14 unit involved was the same in both incidents, and we saw that neither
15 before nor after the two incidents did other incidents occur."
16 Now, as you understand those incidents to be, what do you -- how
17 do you -- at least what was the information that you received as the
18 incidents that occurred on 25th and 26th that you say should not lead to
19 any conclusion that the special police command tolerated indiscipline?
20 What are those two incidents? And we know the dates, we, in fact, know
21 it's a Grubori incident and another incident on the 26th. But what
22 really happened as you understand it to be?
23 A. First off, I should like to make a correction of my expert
24 report, because I somehow managed to tie up two incidents mentioned in
25 258 and 259 in an erroneous way.
1 What I wanted to say is that it shouldn't be concluded that the
2 two incidents on the 25th and the 26th resulted in the death of eight
3 persons. Where the death of eight persons is mentioned, this is in
4 relation to a report on the 23rd of August, 1995, where it was recorded
5 that the special police unit of the Splitsko-Dalmatinska Police
6 Administration -- or the Split-Dalmatia Police Administration destroyed a
7 terrorist group consisting of three armed individuals. So these were the
8 three persons plus the five victims of the Grubori incident. I wanted to
9 mention this for the sake of precision.
10 As for the two incidents, based on what I read in the documents
11 sent by General Markac to the Main Staff, one of the two was the
12 Grubori incident on the 25th, resulting in the death of five individuals,
13 and the incident on 26th in the village of Ramljane
14 houses were burned, a number of houses and other structures.
15 Q. Now, did you also see any documentation which indicated to you
16 that in the course of the operation on 25th, where five persons were
17 killed, that 20 houses and several farm buildings also were burnt?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And I'm referring to, for the record, P764.
19 Did you receive any documents or review any documents which
20 showed you that houses were burnt and barns were burnt on the 25th also?
21 A. I can't say that I saw any new documents. I saw the reports
22 produced on the 26th. I saw the written report by the action commander,
23 Mr. Janic. I saw a report that was written on the basis of this and sent
24 to the Main Staff. I suppose it was sent there, although the report had
25 the word to be made null and void on it. And I also saw another report
1 produced on the 26th and sent to the chief of the Main Staff where it was
2 stated that certain clashes occurred. That's to say, armed clashes with
3 the enemy forces, causing casualties and the burning of buildings.
4 Q. Now, General Repinc, you say that these two incidents should not
5 lead to the conclusion that discipline was tolerated by the special
6 police command -- special police sector command. Are you aware that no
7 member of the special police units had been disciplined for those two
8 incidents, to date?
9 A. Yes. As far as I'm aware, there are certain pending proceedings
10 in Croatia
11 they were, with the formulations they had, I did not go into analysing
12 what had, indeed, transpired there, whether there were conflicts or
13 clashes or not, because such an inquiry would require, me to engage in
14 conversations with a number of participants in these events. And I did
15 not want to base my report on interviews or any other form of cooperation
16 with the participants in these events. I wanted to base my report solely
17 on documents.
18 Q. General, you just mentioned there are certain pending proceedings
19 in Croatia
20 that just last month - and that's the latter half December 2009 -
21 Mr. Sacic, the chief of staff of the special police, and members of the
22 special police -- the Lucko Unit were arrested by the Croatian
23 authorities in relation to the crimes in Grubori. Is that what you are
24 referring to?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, is the Chamber informed about
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I don't think there has been a
5 formal intimation about this. We have called for the official
6 documentation from Croatia
7 those documents are received, we will tender them to Court.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, whether -- I don't know what these documents
9 are, if these are -- it may cause some technical problems as well.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, the documents we have called
11 for the -- the investigation documents as well as the court proceedings
12 in relation to the -- the arrest of these persons.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we will wait and see what you will
14 present to the Court, under what circumstances, and under what --
15 Mr. Mikulicic.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: While we are on this topic, Your Honour, I would
17 like to inform the Chamber that the Markac Defence also requested the
18 documents, which is -- concern the investigation of Grubori case, and we
19 were rejected officially by the county court in Zagreb with the
20 explanation that they are not obliged to provide us the documents but
21 only to the ICTY and the OTP.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think no request has been received by this Chamber
23 to -- at this moment to give support in obtaining any such documents
24 which -- let me be -- be quite transparent. This Chamber receives, on a
25 regular basis, summaries of press publications. We do not receive that
1 as a Chamber, but we just receive by e-mail a coverage of what is
2 published in the local press.
3 Therefore, if it is relevant for our case, we usually close our
4 eyes and wait what comes up in court because that's where everyone can
5 see what reaches us. At the same time, I would not hide from the parties
6 that the Judges of this Chamber have shared with each other that they saw
7 some of these press reports and that they were wondering whether, what
8 apparently is investigated, whether sooner or later, in whatever form, it
9 would be informed, but then in a more thorough way, about the results of
10 such investigations, which are apparently focussing on at least the same
11 events as is a relevant event for this case.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I think it's better that we -- when
14 I asked, Is the Chamber informed about it, of course, I did so because we
15 were not informed about it officially. That's --
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I understood, obviously, much of
17 this happened right toward the end of the session and during the break.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The Court should be aware and Chamber should be
20 aware we obviously tried to get this information on our own. And since
21 we were rejected, we will be seeking the Court' intervention in obtaining
22 this information. So we thought we would take the first step and try to
23 get this cooperatively. And since we have been rejected, we will be
24 asking for the Court's support.
25 So I don't know if the Prosecution wishes to do so the same, but.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that if the Prosecution would receive such
2 material, that it would -- it would be under the general disclosure -- I
3 cannot say yet not knowing anything about it, whether it will be
4 exculpatory or in any other way. But I take it there will be full
5 disclosure of material that seems to -- at least at first sight, may have
6 some relevance for the case before this Chamber.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's correct, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 Please proceed.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
11 Q. General, now, your testimony was that the -- the search
12 operations carried during the period 21st August to 3rd October were not
13 clearing operations but they were search operations. In that -- what the
14 forces expected to meet at this stage were just small groups, if at all,
15 of, you know, residue, enemy forces and not large, you know, enemy
16 forces. Is that -- isn't -- is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And your testimony is - and this is at transcript page 26746
19 going to 47 - that:
20 "In the case of search operations, the forces would carry light
21 weaponry, as there was no expectation to meet strong resistance."
22 Now you have reviewed these reports and you have seen that on two
23 consecutive dates where the same unit was involved, several houses and
24 structures caught fire. Now, you're an officer with a substantial amount
25 of military experience. Did you query or did you wonder as to how so
1 many houses could catch fire in the course of two days in -- on two
2 consecutive days when, in fact, the forces were carrying light weaponry?
3 A. When speaking of light weaponry, I wish we could be more precise.
4 I don't know what you mean precisely when you say that.
5 Light weaponry, to me, means that an individual can carry it in
6 his arms or on his back. It could include infantry weapons or light
7 armour weapons. If they had such weapons, I don't know what the reason
8 for that may have been. But, by the same token, I cannot say that they
9 wouldn't take them if ordered to.
10 In any case, I don't know for certain what the units searching
11 the area had. During a customary, ordinary search, such units would have
12 such weapons which could be carried around without imposing undue burden.
13 Given that they were supposed to search some difficult terrain, and given
14 that they had to cover large distances, that would be my conclusion. How
15 and why the houses were burnt down and how it came about that there was
16 such a number of them, that is something I can't say because I wasn't
17 there. And I don't know the conditions of those operations and why there
18 was burning in the first place.
19 Q. Okay. If I could take you to paragraph 218 of your report. And
20 this is at page 91 of the report. Actually, your paragraph 218 starts at
21 page 91, but the portion I want read to you is at page 92. This is about
22 the tenth line you refer to the -- the incident in Grubori. You say:
23 "45 members from Lucko anti-terrorist unit" -- I'm sorry, it's
24 the next paragraph.
25 "According to the first report, no hostilities with residual
1 enemy formations occurred during search operations."
2 And you cite General Markac's first report sent in relation to
3 this day's activity.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That is P575, for the record.
5 Q. Then you go on to say:
6 "The reports submitted to the chief of General Staff was drafted
7 on the basis of a handwritten report by the operational commander, the
8 head of the anti-terrorism department, Zdravko Janic."
9 And this is -- you cite, in support of that, at footnote 188,
10 Mr. Janic's report which is P560.
11 Now, it's correct, isn't it, that according to the reporting
12 chain that you described, the standard procedures, that the operation
13 commander's report and General Markac's report to the chief of the
14 General Staff should be consistent?
15 A. Yes, that's what it says, that the report sent to the chief of
16 the Main Staff, was drafted based on the handwritten report of Mr. Janic.
17 In other words, Mr. Janic was not the one sending the report. The report
18 that eventually reached the Main Staff by electronic communication means
19 was put together based on his handwriting report.
20 Q. Then you go on to say in that same paragraph:
21 "Based on new information, an amended report was submitted to the
22 GS HV General Staff on hostilities in the village of Grubori
23 five persons were killed."
24 And you give a description of what's in that second report. And
25 you cite General Markac's second report at footnote 189.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: For the record it's P576.
2 Q. Now you say that P576 has been drafted based on new information.
3 What is the new information that, according to the documents you reviewed
4 for information, that General Markac had which led him to cancel his
5 first report, P575, and submit the second report, P576?
6 A. I truly cannot say what prompted General Markac to change the
7 report. In any case, it was. What I must say, though, is that I was
8 unable to come up with the new changed report of the operation commander,
9 which would be written the same way as the original.
10 I didn't see a handwritten report by Mr. Janic based on which one
11 could arrive at the new report. In any case, the new report was
12 obviously made, as stated here. Since the amended report was made,
13 obviously, in the meantime, some new information reached General Markac
14 and the joint forces staff to the effect that the information provided in
15 the first report was incorrect.
16 Q. So as I understand what you're saying, General, you're -- since
17 this amended report was made, you're speculating that General Markac had
18 information that led to him creating a new -- a second report. There is
19 no factual basis for you to assert that there was new information. Is
20 that correct? You're speculating.
21 A. I can repeat this. If someone asked for a new report, it must
22 mean that there was some new information which General Markac did not
23 have at the time of the original report. But as to who, why, and how
24 made this, and based on -- based on what, that is something I cannot say,
25 because that would take me to the realm of investigative measures for
1 which I was not competent. I could not question people on what was
2 taking place at the time.
3 Q. General, you said that you couldn't find a handwritten report of
4 Mr. Janic. I can tell you that is because there is no second report
5 issued by General, by Mr. Janic which supports General Markac's second
6 report. In fact, Mr. Janic testified in these proceedings to that
8 Now that you have been made privy to that fact, would you find it
9 a matter of concern that General Markac would forward an amended report
10 on this incident when it is not supported by a report from the
11 operational commander, which breaches the -- the reporting chain that you
12 have described in your report, expert report?
13 A. I didn't listen to what Mr. Janic said. I don't know whether
14 there is such a report or not. What I said is that I was unable to find
15 it in the documents I had at my disposal. Taking all the other facts
16 into account, I don't know how it came about that the follow-up report
17 was made. Therefore, I can't say that this would be an area of concern
18 or not.
19 Q. Now --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Repinc, could I ask you one question. Earlier
21 you said there must have been new information because there was a new
22 report. Now, could you explain what is the compelling logic behind this
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My reasoning went along the lines
25 that if Mr. Janic drafted and sent his report and if General Markac
1 received it as such and sent it onto the chief of the Main Staff, then
2 there was no need to send a new report, unless, in the meantime, there
3 was some new information based on which he based the new report.
4 Again, I am unable to say what information that was and where it
5 came from, but someone had to know something different in relation to
6 what had been written in the first report, and that someone must have
7 acquainted General Markac with it. It was based on that, that the new
8 report was made, based on that information. This is my military logic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Have you considered the possibility that in the
10 second report not new factual information but, for example, just invented
11 facts were produced and apparently you are excluding that. Could you
12 tell us on the basis of what you could exclude that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I never said that it excludes
14 that possibility. As I said, General Markac sent reports, based on what
15 he received from the operation commander, meaning that all the reports he
16 sent to the Main Staff contained information he received from his
17 subordinates, some of which may have been incorrect. This brings us to
18 the issue of the commander and his relation with his subordinates. And
19 it touches upon certain areas which should be incorporated into any
20 policeman's everyday work and that policeman's relation to his superiors.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne. Well, I'm looking at the
23 clock. I don't know whether -- repeating my invitation to proceed.
24 Could you give us a time indication, Ms. Mahindaratne.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: This is a good time, Mr. President, to take
1 the break, and I will finish within the next session.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 We will have a break, and we will resume at five minutes to 1.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.12 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, you may proceed.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. General, I'll just ask two more questions on that subject that we
9 were discussing, that's the Grubori incident, and move on to a new area.
10 Now, when you reviewed the reports relating to the action on
11 25th August, you reviewed the operation commander's report.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That is P560 for the record.
13 Q. And General Markac's first report, P575, which do not contain any
14 reference whatsoever to the Lucko Unit meeting with resistance in the
15 course of the operation, or there is no reference to any incident of
16 whatever nature. Both record that there was no fire contact and no
17 material found.
18 And then you reviewed General Markac's second report, P576, which
19 contains quite an elaborate description of the Lucko Unit being involved
20 in a conflict. There are civilians killed, enemy soldiers killed, houses
21 on fire, and weapons found.
22 So did you query in your mind, was it a matter of concern that
23 there is such a huge departure from the first report to the second report
24 on the same operation? Did you wonder how this could happen?
25 A. As with all other reports and documents, each and every document
1 I had before me is something I analysed, in terms of its contents. In
2 that sense, comparing the two documents, I did notice the departure. As
3 a person, of course, I was interested in it, and I would have been happy
4 to have been able to know what, indeed, happened. However, given the
5 nature of this touchy issue which is still under investigation, I did not
6 undertake any investigation on my part, in order to ascertain what
7 happened and why.
8 Q. Okay.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, could I ask a follow-up question
11 You said the matter was still under investigation. But when you
12 published the report, what was your knowledge about any ongoing
13 investigation at that time? When you drafted your report.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had no specific knowledge, except
15 for what I could learn from the newspapers. And that is that certain
16 people, headed by Mr. Sacic, were brought into custody and that they were
17 in the investigative prison being questioned about the Grubori events.
18 Except for what I could read in the papers, I know nothing else.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you explain -- you were asked what
20 came to your mind when you studied these documents. And then you said
21 you noticed the departure; you were interested in it; and however, given
22 the nature of the touchy issue, which is still under investigation -
23 apparently, there was no knowledge of any investigation going on when you
24 drafted your report, was there?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Concerning Grubori, most people in
2 the press. And it is constantly being referred to as a case that still
3 hasn't been shed any light on, and that there are investigations ongoing.
4 In order for me to sled any light on it, I would have to have all
5 the ability and authority and instruments that this Tribunal has at its
6 disposal to be able to investigate the case in any further detail.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you are called as an expert witness to
8 analyse documents. Now, Ms. Mahindaratne asks you, What came to your
9 mind? Because it -- well, the one information says this; the other
10 information says that; the report which gives a quite different
11 explanation. And then to say, Well, it's a very sensitive issue. I'd
12 rather not -- I mean, you could at least, instead of saying, Well, there
13 must have been new information, you could have said, Well, this --
14 without knowing exactly what new information there was, I cannot explain
15 this; or there is an flaw in the information I have available to assess
16 whether or not there was any new information. I mean, that's on the
17 basis of the analysis of the documentation.
18 But now to say, Well, we all know that it's a sensitive issue. I
19 mean, you, as an expert witness, you are studying the documents and you
20 are drawing conclusions. So -- and then you say, Well, in view of the
21 investigations ongoing, where, at the time, when you drafted the report,
22 there was, at least, from what this Chamber knows, there was no
23 publications on any intensified or ongoing investigation. And then to
24 say, Well, let the Tribunal find out. You're here to assist us to find
25 out. And, therefore, we expect an analysis, a critical an analysis of
1 everything you find.
2 Would you please -- and perhaps I take you back to something that
3 happened before, today, whether or not Mr. Markac arrived at one minute
4 past 10.00 or not in Gracac, the Chamber expects from an expert to say,
5 Well, we found this information which is contradicted by that
6 information, and for these and these reason, I conclude that this
7 information is most likely incorrect, rather than just drawing just
8 general conclusions. I'm more or less asking you whether you agree with
9 me on the role of an expert witness studying these documents.
10 This was question was too long, but I give you an opportunity
11 to -- to give any comments on what I just put to you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with you. I apologise
13 for perhaps being clumsy in terms of the wording I used. I'm unused to
14 being in this seat. It is my omission, if I used inappropriate
15 terminology. But what I could see in the documents is something that did
16 not bring me to a definite conclusion as to why there was a change in the
17 report and what it was caused by and what ultimately it means for this
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Just one last question on this, General. At paragraph 259,
22 specifically referring to the Grubori incident and the incident on 26th,
23 you say:
24 "The command system and operating methodology were fully
25 developed and facilitated efficient mop-up and search operations. The
1 two incidents which occurred on two consecutive days by the same units
2 should not lead to the erroneous conclusion that the system did not
3 function and that undisciplined behaviour was tolerated."
4 Now, do you agree with me that you drew that conclusion without
5 really analysing the facts and the -- the material relating to the two
7 A. I drew that conclusion because the operation of searching and
8 mopping up lasted between the 12th of August until the
9 9th of October, 1995. That is to say, over two months.
10 During that period, with short interruptions, there were almost
11 daily tasks, including hundreds of policemen, on a daily basis. During
12 all those operations, with the exception of these two days involving the
13 same unit, there were no other incidents I came across. This is what
14 made me conclude that if such behaviour had been allowed and tolerated
15 and had there been no one to address it, it is my presumption that the
16 number of cases would have been far greater. We are speaking here of a
17 single unit out of the group of 19 units and the two days involving that
18 unit, if they did what is claimed. That is something that still needs to
19 be determined.
20 Q. General, have you received any information about the evidence led
21 in this Court about members of the special police being seen in Gracac in
22 the -- in fact, centre of Gracac looting property? In fact, there have
23 been photographs tendered into these proceedings.
24 Have you been -- have you received that information or have you
25 been privy to that information?
1 A. No. This is the first time I hear of it and that there is such
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I'm just going to object to the
4 form of that question. I know it's been after the question has been
5 asked and answered, but there is no evidence. There is accusations. I
6 don't have if photograph that have been depicted in this case show actual
7 people looting property. I think that's a pretty broad accusation to
8 make without specific facts being given to the witness.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I'm referring to the testimony
10 of Mr. Vanderostyne. I think -- Mr. Mikulicic is nodding, perhaps
11 Mr. Kuzmanovic has forgot than testimony.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Well then perhaps, Counsel, you could cite that
13 testimony, instead of making broad accusations. We don't have to spend
14 hours an hours on this, Your Honour, but ...
15 JUDGE ORIE: I see that. If you would have phrased it more
16 cautiously, Ms. Mahindaratne, that is, evidence "suggesting" or evidence
17 that could be "interpreted as," then you would have avoided that
18 Mr. Kuzmanovic would have made these observations.
19 Please proceed.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Just for the record, Mr. President, P321, the reference to
22 Mr. Vanderostyne's testimony.
23 Moving on --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Sorry.
1 Q. Moving on, General. Now, during direct examination, and also
2 examination of Mr. Kehoe, you discussed the JNA doctrine of the --
3 regarding the defence of populated areas. Now, in fact, you have
4 discussed this doctrine under section 7.2.1 of your report which
5 entitled: "The Enemy's Doctrine." And this is what you said in your
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's at transcript page 26706.
8 Q. Referring to this particular doctrine you say:
9 "I'd like to say that in the directive for defence which was
10 issued by General Mrksic it says, for example, that the town of Knin
11 be prepared for the defence of this kind. And it even goes on to
12 stipulate that for the defence of the town of Knin, a separate command be
13 set up for the defence of the town itself."
14 Now, what is the order you're referring to here, the directive of
15 General Mrksic? Is it his directive issued on 5th of August? Is that
16 what you were referring to? You know, I'm referring to --
17 A. No, no. I didn't come across a directive that would have been
18 issued on the 5th of August, 1995.
19 Q. What is the directive then you are referring to? I'm drawing
20 your attention to what you testified in direct examination. When you
21 said this particular doctrine of defence of populated areas is also
22 reflected in General Mrksic's directive.
23 So what is that directive? We are aware of a directive issued on
24 5th August. Now, are you aware of any other -- anything else?
25 A. Please bear with me. I need to find the reference.
1 Q. You've discussed, in fact, the doctrine, if you want to -- let me
2 help assist you. At paragraph -- section 7.2.1.
3 A. Yes. It's a directive for the use of the Serbian Army of Krajina
4 from February of 1995.
5 Q. Which footnote are you referring to?
6 A. It's footnote 35. And then footnotes 36 and 37 refer to the same
7 document and specifically items 4 and 5, items 4 and 5 of the document.
8 So they're both referring to the same document but different
9 parts thereof. So these are the specific references.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues]... to assist.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If we could have D944, please.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, your words were lost. Could you tell
13 us ...
14 MR. MIKULICIC: But Ms. Mahindaratne obviously was able to hear
15 it so she asked for the document that I mentioned.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, the Chamber will stay out of this
17 private conversation.
18 Please proceed.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
20 Q. Is this the document you're referring to, General Repinc? You
21 can see it on the screen.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, in your testimony, you said that this document reflects the
24 defence of populated areas. And you said that, in fact, this doctrine,
25 based on this doctrine, you conclude that the RSK located military
1 targets within populated areas.
2 Can you please direct the Trial Chamber to the section in this
3 document which supports your conclusion?
4 A. Item 4 of the decision states:
5 "I have hereby decided," et cetera, et cetera. And goes on to
6 mention the aggression with a limited objective and the aggression with a
7 radical objective.
8 At the end of page 8, operational deployment of forces is
9 referred to. There, the forces for the control of territory are
10 mentioned. Forces for the protection of buildings. Forces for clashes
11 with sabotage and diversionary groups. And then forces for occupying
12 urban-populated areas.
13 It is stated that the IKM was set up in the area of Petrova Gora
14 and command post in Knin. This is -- and further below, in item 5.11,
15 the defence of towns is referred to, where it is stated that the focal
16 point should be on the preparation of towns and populated areas; namely
17 the town of Knin
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... just slow down, we are trying
19 to follow this document. And can you just mention again the section
20 where you said there was a defence of populated areas mentioned. What --
21 what paragraph was that?
22 A. It's paragraph 5.11 at page 14. At the bottom, it is stated:
23 "The defence of towns and large populated areas."
24 Q. Are you referring to the paragraph of -- okay.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Now, if could you keep -- yes.
1 Q. So where in this paragraph, General, do you see any information
2 that supports your conclusion that the ARSK located military targets
3 within populated area? Is it the word "defence preparation of larger
4 populated areas and towns for long-term and circular defence" that gave
5 you that -- that assisted you in arriving at that conclusion?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
7 MR. KEHOE: If I may be of some assistance to the counsel and
8 Chamber, there is another paragraph, to 5.11, that goes on to the next
9 page in English.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if you could move to the next
12 Q. General, as I read it, it says:
13 "Focus on the preparation of towns and populated areas on the
14 frontlines and the preparation of the town of Knin for which a command
15 and defence unit [sic] shall be established separately."
16 Now, as I read it, it says "for the defence of Knin for which a
17 command and defence unit [sic] shall be established separately." I don't
18 read it as any military installations being located within unit. I mean,
19 is that how you understood this document to be?
20 A. Nobody can prepare the defence of a town without having military
21 targets placed in it. Well, the very army defending the town is the
23 Q. General, have you seen General Mrksic's order dated 5th August?
24 You said you haven't seen it earlier on. I'm just making sure that you
25 haven't seen it at all or you weren't talking about that document
1 earlier. Have you seen an order of General Mrksic dated 5th August?
2 A. No, I haven't seen the document.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, can I have D1511, please. And
4 in the English, if you could move to the next page, please, second page.
5 Before that, please, I'm sorry, Mr. Registrar, if you could just go to
6 the first page. My apologies.
7 Q. General, you might want to just take time to quickly review this.
8 This is an order of General Mrksic issued on 5th August. And it says:
9 "Urgent measures in order to stabilise defence, an order."
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And if we could move to page 2 of the English.
11 Q. It reads:
12 "7th corps with the 103rd Infantry Brigade is stabilising a
13 defence along Mala Dinara-Derala-Otric-Malovan frontline by persistent
14 defence with a goal to prevent the enemy taking Knin without being
15 engaged in a battle and joining of the enemy forces which are engaged in
16 directions Knin-Otric and Gracac. Otric, a part of the forces, is to
17 continue the battle in the encirclement. One unit is to be sent to the
18 area of Bulina Strana for the defence of the area of Knin and a
19 prevention of the enemy's rapid advance towards Otric. Soldiers are to
20 be separated from the refugees and returned to combat units under any
21 circumstances. Command post is in the area of Otric. Support is
22 provided by the artillery."
23 Now, General do you read, here, anything in this document which
24 indicates to you that the defence of the town of Knin included relocation
25 of military targets within the town?
1 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President. That -- we're talking
2 about two different issues here. We're talking about a preparation for
3 the defence of Knin prior to Operation Storm and events that took place
4 subsequent to the Operation Storm commencing on the 4th of August.
5 This -- pardon the -- the pedestrian analogy, but this is apples
6 and oranges.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well then, for you, I will allow you to put
8 questions to the witness in relation to this in order to sort it out.
9 And, Ms. Mahindaratne, you are encouraged not to mix up apples
10 and oranges.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Mr. President. Let me just ask --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I don't say that this is what are you doing, but at
13 least you are now aware that you are alleged of doing this by Mr. Kehoe
14 at this moment.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I take note of that, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
18 Q. Now, General, do you, in this order, see any indication that
19 there were military targets placed in Knin?
20 A. Absolutely. Having been a member of the former Yugoslav army, I
21 am aware of how these orders were written. I wrote them myself as part
22 of my training.
23 It is stated here that the 7th corps with the 1st Battalion of
24 103rd Infantry Brigade ought to do this and that. And then it goes on to
25 say, With a following task: Persistent defence -- through persistent
1 defence, prevent Knin from being taken.
2 In other words, one need to -- needs to defend the town of Knin
3 through persistent fighting. Where it is stated "without engaging in
4 combat," this does not mean that the forces will not come into contact
5 with the enemy forces. It is impossible to engage in defence without
6 fighting. It is stated here that, through persistent defence, it is to
7 be prevented -- or Knin is to be prevented from falling into the hands of
8 the enemy. You cannot prevent Knin from falling into the enemy hands
9 unless you are there and defending it. In other words, this means that
10 there had to be a presence of the RSK soldiers there.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I'm a bit confused at this moment. Apparently
12 Ms. Mahindaratne is talking about something quite different from what you
13 are talking about. Ms. Mahindaratne is exploring, apparently, where you
14 found sources which would indicate that military targets would be more or
15 less hidden in populated areas. For example, not to say that this is an
16 example, but on page 28 on the top there's something written about a
17 depot to be put in a school building; whereas, you apparently are talking
18 about something entirely different.
19 Earlier you said, If you want to defend the town, that means that
20 that defence, in itself is a military target.
21 Now, I see that point. But I think these are two entirely
22 different matters. The one is whether or not, if you want to defend the
23 town, whether that means that the town or the whole of the town, or --
24 has become a military target. I take it that if troops are in the town
25 that you could consider those troops to be a military target. If
1 equipment would be in the town, that those could be military target --
2 that's quite different from putting a depot in a school or in a apartment
3 block where civilians are living or whatever. I think that from the
4 questions and from your answers, I get the impression that you're talking
5 about different matters.
6 Ms. Mahindaratne.
7 MR. KEHOE: Well, Mr. President, if I may, and if -- I think the
8 confusion might have come from counsel's question on page 80,
9 line 10 and 11, concerning military targets in Knin. And I trust, at
10 this point in this proceeding, there is no debate that there were
11 military targets.
12 So if there was some confusion in this question and answer, it
13 could very well have emanated from that particular question, which I
14 think the witness -- well, I'm not going to speak for the witness. The
15 witness says was he has said going from line 12 through line 25.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid that he's contributing, triggered by
17 whatever, in the confusion as well. But I think we have almost a whole
18 day to reconsider whether this confusion should continue or whether we
19 should put an end to it.
20 Ms. Mahindaratne, I am aware that quite some time was taken. You
21 said you will finish in the next -- in the next session. I would
22 still -- how much more time would you still need?
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Ten or 15 minutes at the most.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ten or 15 minutes. Then we are not going to do
1 May I take it that there will be a need to re-examine the
2 witness, Mr. Mikulicic?
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, maximum ten minutes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Any questions by any of the other Defence teams?
5 MR. KEHOE: Frankly, it depends where this latter portion of the
6 inquiry goes. Even in that case, I don't anticipate too much.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has decided that we would not continue
10 at this very moment. We would finish it in -- after having given these
11 subjects all the thoughts they need.
12 You'd have another ten to 15 minutes tomorrow, Ms. Mahindaratne.
13 And then we'll -- I would expect that we would finish certainly well
14 within the first session tomorrow, which brings me also to my next
15 question, but perhaps we already excuse Mr. Repinc.
16 Mr. Repinc, we are unable to finish you today without rushing
17 through the material, and that's not what the Chamber intends to do at
18 this moment. It will not be for very long, but we would like to see you
19 back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in another courtroom, Courtroom II. And I
20 would like to instruct you again that you should not speak with anyone
21 about your testimony, whether that's testimony given last week or today
22 or still to be given tomorrow. But refrain from any conversations or any
23 communications in relation to your testimony.
24 You may follow the Usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: For the next witness, because there has been a
3 request by the Cermak Defence to do housekeeping on -- not on Friday,
4 Thursday is completely impossible for the Chamber, so I'd like to inquire
5 as to how much time we need for the next witness to look at -- if is at
6 all possible, to do the housekeeping on Wednesday.
7 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, good morning.
8 The Prosecution has less than one session cross-examination for
9 the next witness.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Examination-in-chief would take?
11 MR. MIKULICIC: I will -- I was expecting, at most two sessions,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Two sessions.
14 Other parties?
15 MR. KAY: Less than one session.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Less than one session.
17 MR. MISETIC: At this point, Your Honour, I'll just reserve half
18 an hour, but it might be less than that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Mr. Kay, it's, therefore, highly uncertain whether we will be
21 able to finalise a housekeeping session on Wednesday because we have now,
22 at least, well into -- well, one session for the Prosecution.
23 MR. KAY: Less than one.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Less than -- yes, I'm -- I have developed a
25 professional scepticism about less than. I hope I will be forgiven for
2 Less than one session. And then you as well, Mr. Mikulicic, two
3 sessions, which makes -- certainly more than three taking everything
4 together. Tomorrow, 45 minutes for the expert witness. More than three
5 sessions would bring us well into Wednesday morning. And that's the
6 reason why I say that it's uncertain.
7 And there are a few other matters. There were two times ten
8 minutes for further submissions in relation to witness interviews, which
9 is also -- we postponed that last week. There's one other decision which
10 I could postpone as reasons for protective measures. But I'm -- I'm a
11 bit -- I'm -- I'm certain -- the Chamber certainly is supporting any --
12 any wish to see that we can do without Friday, but I can't give any
13 guarantees as matters stand now at the moment.
14 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour. No, it's just that it ties up
15 staff that could be working on other projects.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I see that.
17 MR. KAY: I wanted the Court to understand that particularly
18 where we have a gap in between and I have to juggle my troops and put
19 them in various places.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Keep them well under command and control, Mr. Kay.
21 MR. KAY: I try.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I do wish to be heard
24 on the issue of the witness interviews, Your Honour. I know that there
25 were submissions made by ten minutes on each side. I wouldn't need ten
1 minutes, but I do want to be heard on that issue with respect to --
2 JUDGE ORIE: I think both parties were given -- all parties to
3 say that ten minutes --
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you were very brief in your earlier
6 written submissions, so perhaps there is good reason to --
7 Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: Yes. On this subject, I just wanted to advise you
9 that we may need 15 minutes because the -- I think the Defence filing
10 from the Gotovina Defence has been very substantial; I think more than
11 3.000 words. So that's what the Prosecution would need.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We're coming closer and closer to Friday. That's --
13 Mr. Misetic, anything?
14 MR. MISETIC: Just to correct the record, I don't believe our
15 filing exceeded the word limit. I don't believe that that's the filing
16 that exceeded the word limit. I believe there was one other filing, but
17 it's unrelated to the issue that's -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think that there was no suggestion that it was
19 above the word limit but that it was a substantial submission.
20 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's correct, Mr. President.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: At the risk of getting in trouble with my colleagues
23 for this afternoon, the Chamber has extended the time for Defence and
24 Prosecution -- the dead-line to respond to Croatia's submissions in
25 relation to the Chamber's invitation of the 18th of December, when I
1 remember -- I remember that when we discussed this extension of time we
2 had on our minds that we would like to receive them before the
3 housekeeping session which was then still foreseen to take place on
5 If we would even give it a try to do the housekeeping session on
6 Wednesday, the Chamber would encourage the parties then to make their
7 written submissions before that housekeeping session.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I -- I certainly would -- try to do
9 that. But the presentation or the submission by Croatia, in conjunction
10 with the Office of the Prosecutor, is extensive. And we plan on taking
11 that on full board so to be given a full and complete response to the
13 It would be difficult, very difficult, to do and complete prior
14 to that session. We will try our best, but it would be very difficult to
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, you will understand that the
17 Chamber is trying to clean its desk rather soon, and we'll see what is
18 possible and what is not possible. Extension of time has been granted
19 before the discussion on the housekeeping session on Friday was started.
20 So, therefore, as matters stand now, I just encouraged you to do
21 something, which is different from instructing you.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I apologise for doing this now, but
23 just to put it on the Court's radar, we did file a motion on Tuesday
24 concerning the European Union's failure to respond to the Chamber's
25 invitation. I know that typically there's two weeks to file a response,
1 but given the conclusion of the case, if we could expedite that
2 procedure, we would be grateful.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think the Chamber - I don't know whether
4 that's yet on the record or not - received some information as -- in
5 relation to the delay in receiving the request and that a response could
6 be received in relatively short time from now, which might cause us not
7 to engage in another round of -- and perhaps, first, wait from an answer.
8 From what I remember, there was an indication that it would be within the
9 next week or ten days. And it had got to do something with delays over
10 the recess period.
11 So this is already for your information. But we have not finally
12 considered this matter, but we have seen your motion.
13 Then I'll -- it took me a while, but we're now at a point to
14 adjourn for the day. And we resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the
15 19th of January, Courtroom II.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day of
18 January, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.