1 Wednesday, 14 April 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to everyone in and
9 around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Gotovina et al. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 I'd like to put briefly a few matters on the record, and
14 Madam Usher could already seek to find the witness to be escorted into
15 the courtroom. I would like to put the following things on the record as
16 regards to the Chamber witnesses 4 through 7.
17 On the 26th of February of this year, the Chamber contacted
18 Chamber Witness 7 and Chamber Witness 6 about their appearing as
19 witnesses in these proceedings.
20 On the 3rd of March, 2010, the Chamber granted the Prosecution's
21 request to send requests for assistance to Croatia in respect of Chamber
22 Witness 7 and Chamber Witness 6.
23 On the 1st of April, 2010, the Chamber informed the parties that
24 Chamber Witness 4 and Chamber Witness 5 have been contacted. The Chamber
25 further informed the parties that the Prosecution may, should it so
1 choose, send requests for assistance with regard to Chamber Witness 4 and
2 Chamber Witness 5.
3 On the 29th of March, 2010 --
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ORIE: I apologise for a second. I will -- I apologise for
6 a second. I have to finish just a few lines, Witness, and then I'll be
7 with you. You can remain seated for a second.
16 Witness, thank you for your patience.
17 Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you make a
18 solemn declaration that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
19 nothing but the truth. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration,
20 of which the text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: STJEPAN ZINIC
24 [The witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated.
1 And I inform the parties that LiveNote had to be rebooted two
2 times already today, and most likely it will be fixed in approximately
3 10 minutes from now. If it causes you any insurmountable problems not to
4 be able to scroll up and down, then please inform the Chamber.
5 MR. HEDARALY: It is fixed on our screens, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It is fixed on your screens, yes. The Prosecution
7 has an advantageous position.
8 Witness, I again apologise for dealing with other matters rather
9 than with your testimony, but we had some technical problems.
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber was informed that you do not seek any
12 protective measures. Is that correct?
13 A. It is.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That means that you'll testify publicly and that
15 we'll call you by your own name.
16 Perhaps I first ask you to state your full name for the record.
17 A. My name is Stjepan Zinic.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Mr. Zinic, before we continue, I'd like
19 to inform you about the following.
20 This Chamber is aware that there's an ongoing investigation in
22 have given statements, but apparently the statements were taken from you
23 as a witness. The Chamber is not aware of you being a suspect. Is that
24 a correct understanding of your position in the Croatian proceedings?
25 A. I appear as a witness.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, Mr. Zinic, it appears to the Chamber,
2 on the basis of evidence we have received until now, that you most likely
3 have been involved in at least the operation on the 25th of August near
4 to the village of Grubori
5 you that if any of the questions that will be asked would -- where you
6 would expect that answering the question in accordance with the truth
7 might incriminate yourself, then you may object to answering such a
8 question. Is that clear to you?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Have you sought any legal advice on this matter?
11 A. I have not.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Would you like to seek advice on what that means,
13 your right not to incriminate yourself, or is it perfectly clear to you?
14 A. There is no need. I believe it is clear.
15 JUDGE ORIE: If at any moment you think that you should not
16 answer a question because of your right not to incriminate yourself, you
17 may address me before you answer the question, and then we'll further
18 deal with that matter.
19 In view of the fact that you are not seeking any further legal
20 advice on the matter and that matters apparently are clear to you, I'd
21 like to continue with the examination.
22 Mr. Zinic, could you please state your rank, and could you tell
23 us to what unit you belonged in August 1995?
24 A. At the time, I was a special training instructor.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And your unit was?
1 A. The Anti-Terrorist Unit of Lucko.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that unit was part of?
3 A. Do you mean generally speaking or as part of the operation which
4 took place at the time?
5 JUDGE ORIE: In general terms. Would that be a unit of the
6 special police?
7 A. Yes, it was a special police unit of the Croatian Ministry of the
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us in which operations your
10 unit was involved in late August 1995?
11 A. It took part in Operation Storm and the mopping-up operations
12 during the Obruc-Oluja operation in the area of Knin and Petrova Gora.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I take you to the 25th of August. Do
14 you remember what operation was conducted at that date?
15 A. On that date, the unit was tasked with providing security in the
16 general area of Knin so that the Freedom Train could pass through.
17 During the period of two days, we were also carrying out mopping-up
18 actions and providing security in the area of Knin as well as Plavno and
19 in the area of Ramljani.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The Plavno operation, was that on the 25th?
21 A. Yes, on the 25th. That was the first day.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what your role was in that
23 operation? What function did you perform?
24 A. I took part in that operation, and I was in charge of a group
25 which was assigned a certain axis, although I do not recall the exact
1 locations anymore. In any case, it was in the area of Plavno. We were
2 supposed to mop up terrain and provide security.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zinic, how many groups participated in this
5 A. I think there were four groups.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us, when you performed this
7 operation, what did your group encounter, what did your group experience?
8 A. Specifically, my group found nothing. Nothing happened outside
9 the regular tasks when we went through the area.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of any incidents which -- not
11 involving your group, any of the other groups?
12 A. I heard of certain events which stood out as something that would
13 not have otherwise taken place during such regular operations.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You said you heard of certain events. Could you
15 tell us, did you hear that on the 25th of August or did you hear that at
16 any later stage?
17 A. I heard it at a later stage.
18 JUDGE ORIE: When the operation took place, did you hear any
20 A. It is difficult to recall that period, since it's been a while
21 and I took part in many actions. However, I seem to recall some
22 shooting. Such shootings do take place in the course of such tasks being
24 JUDGE ORIE: And as far as your recollection goes, do you have
25 any recollection of what kind of shooting you may have heard? I'm
1 specifically interested in whether you could identify any type of
2 weaponry in this context.
3 A. It is difficult to say precisely, in terms of what types of
4 weapons. In any case, there was shooting from infantry weapons,
5 automatic weapons. There may have been some explosions, too, but I am
6 not certain of that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Now, as far as this shooting is concerned, was that
8 sporadic or was that constant or ...?
9 A. It is difficult for me to say what the intensity of it was.
10 However, since it seems to have occurred on a number of occasions and
11 from different directions, I would say that it was of that nature.
12 Anything more than that is very difficult for me to say.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please tell me if you don't remember, but any
14 recollection of any Zoljas, for example, which make quite a different
15 sound, or is that not the type of weapons you remember to have heard?
16 A. Believe me when I say that it is very difficult for me to tell
17 you if I did hear such a thing or not at the time.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I already invited you to tell me if you don't
19 remember. That's fair.
20 Now, you've heard some shooting. You did not encounter any
21 specific incident. You heard, at a later stage, about incidents
22 encountered or in which other groups may have been engaged. Could you
23 tell us, at the end of the operation, did your group meet at any point
24 with the other groups?
25 A. Well, yes. When the task was completed, in my opinion, all the
1 groups assembled near the final target or the final line we were supposed
2 to reach because we were all supposed to go on leave.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Were you supposed to go on leave that day, after the
4 operation would have been concluded?
5 A. Well, not necessarily on leave, as such, but more to rest. We
6 were supposed to go to a location to rest and await new tasks.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, do you remember the place? As you said,
8 final target, I think you mentioned it, the final target or the final
9 line you were supposed to reach, would you meet in a village, would you
10 meet in the fields? Where was that?
11 A. I think -- well, I can't recall the name of the location, but
12 there seemed to be a number of houses there. It was already dusk by the
13 time we arrived.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember what time it was?
15 A. It's difficult to say. It was before nightfall, perhaps after
16 8.00 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you don't remember the name of the
18 location, but you said there seemed to be a number of houses. Was it in
19 such -- could I call it the hamlet? Is that where you met with the other
21 A. Yes, more or less a hamlet of sorts. I do recall that we crossed
22 railroad tracks, and having reached a hamlet, we came upon an asphalt
24 JUDGE ORIE: And that's where you met with the other groups?
25 A. Yes, all of the groups assembled there.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Was that in that hamlet or near to that hamlet?
2 A. Could you please repeat your question?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Where you met, was that in that hamlet, that group
4 of houses, or was it nearby or at the edge of it? Could you ...
5 A. I seem to recall that we met up on the top of a hill. That's
6 where the groups met and then went down towards the settlement.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Was that the first settlement or hamlet or small
8 village that you entered that day or had there been others?
9 A. On that day, it was the first settlement I entered.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, during this operation, were any prisoners
12 A. As far as I know, there weren't any.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And you talked about the hamlet. Did you see any
14 houses on fire at any time, whether in that hamlet or at any other time
15 during the operation?
16 A. I didn't see any. But to the right of where I was, I saw a drill
17 or a stack of smoke which may have come from a building that was on fire.
18 JUDGE ORIE: If you didn't see what was burning, could it have
19 been more houses on fire, or more buildings on fire, I should say?
20 A. No, I didn't see it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, but you say you saw a drill or a stack of smoke
22 which may have come from a building, you said. Could it have been from
23 more than one building?
24 A. Well, you see, the visibility was rather poor. I cannot
25 determine what the distance was between me and the smoke. I couldn't see
1 a house or houses burning, but it was my assessment that it may have been
2 the result of something being set on fire.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did you see that stack of smoke close to the
4 settlement, to the hamlet, the groups of houses you earlier described?
5 A. No, no. That was much earlier, much before we went down to the
6 settlement when we met up.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So you saw this smoke. At a later stage, you met
8 with the others at the top of a hill. And then after you had met with
9 them, you saw then this hamlet or village, group of houses you described?
10 A. Well, no. It was, let's say, at the very beginning of that
11 operation or task.
12 JUDGE ORIE: What was at the very beginning; the smoke you saw?
13 A. Well, one could hear shooting, after which one could see smoke.
14 There wasn't a lot of smoke. There was some smoke, as it seemed to me.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And that was, you said, rather at the beginning of
16 the operation; is that how I have to understand it?
17 A. In my view, it happened during the first hour, let's say.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And the operation started at what time?
19 A. I think sometime in the morning. I think between 9.00 and 10.00.
20 JUDGE ORIE: During the operation, did you have any radio contact
21 with the other groups or with the leader of the operation?
22 A. Well, I had a Motorola. On a number of occasions, I attempted to
23 contact the others. However, at certain points in time it was impossible
24 to establish radio communication.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And at other moments, you were able to establish
1 radio communication?
2 A. It all depended on the lie of the land. Sometimes one could talk
3 to another, but it all depended, let's say, on whether I and my
4 collocutor were closer at that point.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But on that day, therefore, I understand you had
6 some radio communication, although at some times it was impossible. Is
7 that correctly understood?
8 A. Yes, that is so.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us about the content of that radio
10 communication? Was it with other group leaders, was it with the leader
11 of the operation?
12 A. Well, for the most part with other groups. I mean, during the
13 action, I could not establish contact.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You could not establish contact with whom; with the
15 operation leader or --
16 A. That's right, the operation leader.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now, as far as the content of your communication
18 with the other group leaders is concerned, did you ever discuss the
19 incidents or about the shooting you had heard?
20 A. Well, at one point in time I tried to establish contact and to
21 check what was going on, but I didn't manage at that moment.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Now, this Chamber has seen or has access to
23 statements in which other group leaders state that they have heard you,
24 in communication with another group leader, asking what had happened, and
25 they also stated what the answer was, which suggests that there was
2 A. Well, I've already said that at some moments, one could talk, and
3 at others, one could not talk. So perhaps I did talk to someone at some
4 point in time, but I cannot remember.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, your earlier answer was that you tried to
6 get in touch -- that you tried to establish contact and to check what was
7 going on, but you did not manage; whereas the statement I just put to you
8 is saying that you asked what happened and that you got an answer, the
9 answer being that the person you were in communication with had
10 encountered Chetniks. Does this refresh your memory in any way?
11 A. Believe me, it doesn't.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Do you exclude for the possibility that you had
13 contact and that you were informed about what had happened or what was
15 A. Well, I mean, at that moment, well, believe me, I don't remember.
16 When such tasks were being carried out, even if there were some minor
17 incidents, we didn't really attach much importance to that. We stuck to
18 our own tasks unless some intervention was called for. Believe me, I
19 didn't really think it mattered.
20 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zinic, the Chamber had access to a statement
23 which said that at a certain moment all the group leaders were in a
24 village, and that you stood on a plateau in the middle of the village,
25 and that soldiers searched the houses. Is that something you recollect?
1 A. I do not really agree to that. At one point, I did state that I
2 came to the edge of something and I saw a house or two. Now, were they
3 houses or whatever, but I thought that it was on the outskirts of the
4 village. Now, whether that village is where that happened, I really
5 cannot say.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But that was during the operation and before you
7 joined with the other groups, as you said, on the top of a hill? Is
8 that --
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to move on.
11 Could you tell us how you were briefed before the operation
12 started? Who briefed you, who gave the tasks; what was said?
13 A. Well, we came to our point of departure, or whatever we're going
14 to call it, and from there we were supposed to set out. The commander --
15 or, rather, the acting commander, Mr. Josip Celic, told us what our task
16 would be.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you get maps?
18 A. Yes, yes, we did get maps, and we were given the directions in
19 which we were supposed to move.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, there were four groups. May I take it
21 that they moved on parallel in the same direction?
22 A. Well, it's hard to say now. Because of the configuration of the
23 terrain, it was hard to move around and hard to move along parallel lines
24 even within a single group, let alone with other groups.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the starting point, do you remember where
1 you were; to the left, to the right of -- or in the middle, your group?
2 A. Well, I tried to be in the middle as much as possible, but I
3 communicated with all the people there because it was my duty to see
4 whether everything was in order.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Did you have responsibility for other groups then as
7 A. No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If you say you tried to be in the middle, and I
9 specifically asked about your group, now, if you have four groups, there
10 are two middle groups, were you to the left -- were you on the left side
11 or on the right side of the middle?
12 A. I was to the left of the middle, as it were. My group, well, in
13 relation to my unit, was to the left.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I did not fully understand your answer. You said:
15 "My group, well, in relation to my unit, was to the left."
16 Your group was --
17 A. That's right. I mean, in relation to the unit, my group was to
18 the left. I mean, in relation to the other three groups, I was to the
19 left, in relation to the direction of movement.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Most to the left, that means three groups to your
21 right; is that --
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you were briefed in the morning. You received
24 your tasks. Did you report to anyone after the operation was concluded?
25 A. Well, I think that Mr. Celic asked and that I told him that
1 nothing had happened in relation to my group and the direction that we
2 were to move in.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Were you present when other group leaders reported
4 to Mr. Celic?
5 A. No.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you got together on the top of the hill, and
7 then you moved on. At what point in time, then, did you talk to
8 Mr. Celic?
9 A. Well, I think it was when we went down, I mean, when we got into
10 this hamlet at the very end of this task, at that moment.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And where were the other group leaders at that very
13 A. Well, somewhere within that circle, because we were getting close
14 to our vehicles, we were tired, it was raining, so we weren't really
15 paying attention as to who was where.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Was Mr. Celic waiting for you at that point in that
17 hamlet or village?
18 A. Well, I'm not sure, but I think that he was there and that he was
19 waiting there.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: You just told us that you briefly spoke with
22 Mr. Celic and that you reported to him that nothing special had happened.
23 Now, did you discuss this operation with Mr. Celic, or any of the other
24 group leaders, later on on that day or on the next day?
25 A. Well, I did not discuss it. It is not customary to discuss
1 tasks. It was stated that nothing had happened, nothing important, so we
2 didn't discuss anything.
3 JUDGE ORIE: When, for the first time, did you learn that there
4 may have been incidents or problems during this operation on the 25th?
5 A. Well, I think it was when we were supposed to write our reports.
6 But that was when we had returned to the headquarters of the unit, but I
7 don't know what date that was.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Headquarters of the unit. You're referring to what
10 A. Zagreb
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you said that you were supposed to write your
12 reports. Wasn't it usually done, writing reports, at the end of the
13 operation, such a search operation.
14 A. Well, while such tasks are being carried out, if I, as group
15 leader, assess that there was nothing of interest that was supposed to be
16 written, then I would just report to the commander orally to the effect
17 that nothing had happened, and that would be it. In the field, we did
18 not write up reports straight away. It wasn't really possible, either.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I'd like to take you to the next day, the
20 26th of August. I think you earlier said that you conducted an operation
21 in the Ramljani area. Were you involved personally in that operation?
22 A. Yes, I did take part in it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Were you a group leader again or what was your role?
24 A. Well, yes, I was group leader.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you describe what you experienced, what
1 happened during that operation on the 26th?
2 A. Well, we were given the following task: to check the terrain in
3 the area of Ramljani to check whether there were any enemy groups that
4 were still left over.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It was your task, and what did you experience, what
6 did you encounter that day?
7 A. Well, I don't remember the details. I know that when we came to
8 some initial position - again I cannot say exactly where that was - we
9 were given maps, and we were supposed to check a particular area.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What did you encounter then? I mean, what
11 happened during that day?
12 A. In my group, nothing special happened. We were talking in an
13 area that was inhabited, I mean inhabited -- there would be hamlets
14 consisting of two houses, and three houses, or five houses. I did not
15 really pay any special attention to this if nothing particular happened.
16 We were just walking around, looking. And as we arrived in a hamlet, I
17 noticed that a few houses had been burned. It seems to me that there was
18 still smoke coming out of them, so it seemed that they had burned only
20 JUDGE ORIE: Any other events worth describing?
21 A. Well, no.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Any exchange of fire?
23 A. In my group, no. I mean, I can just say that perhaps twice we
24 opened fire at buildings that seemed suspicious to us, that there may
25 have been an enemy there threatening our safety and security. We called
1 that checks for our own security and safety. I mean, you have the
2 feeling that someone may be there, and then fire would be opened from
3 side-arms to check whether there was anyone inside.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So on the basis of the mere suspicion that there
5 might be someone in a house or a building, you would open fire?
6 A. Well, no. You see, when you have this suspicion, it has to do
7 with the safety of people. We'd rather open fire than have some of our
8 members shot at from a house.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was there no firing at you?
10 A. Well, if there would be no fire, then we wouldn't fire anymore
11 either. We'd move on, continue with the checks.
12 JUDGE ORIE: My question was whether there was any fire in your
14 A. No, no, there wasn't.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now, what weapons did you have?
16 A. Well, we had our personal side-arms, infantry weapons, and
17 RPG 7 anti-armour rockets.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did you use those rockets?
19 A. As far as I can remember, not in that action.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Did you notice any enemies or the presence of any
21 enemies? Did you see any or were you able to observe any enemy movement?
22 A. I personally did not, and I believe that no one from my group did
23 either, because had that been the case, I would have known.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Did you search any houses?
25 A. I think I entered a few houses, but nothing special.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Did you find anything in those houses worth
3 A. Well, I personally did not, but I know that some individuals
4 found some weapons like Zoljas, infantry weapons, boxes with mines,
5 land-mines. I did not really pay much attention to that because that is
6 what could be found in practically every house.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The events on that day, were they of a kind that you
8 would give a written report?
9 A. Well, I don't remember that I wrote a report, but when I last
10 received summons from the state prosecutor in Croatia, I was shown a
11 report that I had written.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could we please have P769 on the screen.
13 Could you please have a look at your screen. Is that the report
14 you said that was shown to you?
15 A. Well, I'm not quite sure now. I think that in the report that I
16 was shown, there were some words or sentences that had been crossed out.
17 I don't see anything crossed out over here.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I see two -- a few words, approximately in the
19 middle, one word in the original, the last line, and four lines from the
20 bottom. Small words are stricken out.
21 A. Yes, but I think that there was more over there, I mean, that
22 there were more things crossed out, but I'm not sure. Judging by the
23 handwriting, it should be mine.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you recognise your signature at the bottom,
25 or at least your name as written by yourself?
1 A. It is my name, but it's not my signature. However, I cannot say
2 anything for sure now, because the report I saw in Zagreb, I saw very
3 briefly, and I didn't hold it in my own hands.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The handwriting, is that similar to what you
5 know to be your handwriting?
6 A. Well, I could say that this is my handwriting. I could confirm
8 JUDGE ORIE: In this report, it is written that when you arrived
9 in the hamlet of Vucenovici, that you came under fire from some houses
10 and that you returned fire, which is in contradiction to the testimony
11 you gave during the last 10 minutes.
12 A. Well, I stated that we did fire as we were passing through that
13 settlement, but I cannot recall any details now. I know that in two
14 places, we opened fire. For me, that had to do with safety. Well, we
15 did some things for the sake of our personal safety.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I specifically asked you whether you were
17 fired at, and then your answer was that you were not. Here, however, the
18 story is different.
19 A. Well, I have to say that it's been a long time since then.
20 Memory fades. But if that is what is written here, it's possible that
21 that may have been the case.
22 JUDGE ORIE: The report also states that the Chetniks probably
23 fled into the forest, whereas your testimony was that you were not aware
24 of any enemy presence, at least as far as you could notice, and that you
25 would have known if otherwise.
1 A. During the war, I had many such tasks, perhaps even up to a
2 hundred. I did not attach importance to some of the things that
3 happened, and I didn't even try to remember them, because these were
4 regular tasks. As a matter of fact, I tried to forget certain things,
5 so -- I mean, well, if that is written here, that might have happened,
6 but I don't remember.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Now, do you remember at what time you concluded this
8 operation, the Ramljani -- in the Ramljani area on the 26th?
9 A. Oh, I don't remember.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember any -- having seen Mr. Sacic on that
11 same day?
12 A. On that day, no.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Did you see Mr. Markac on that day?
14 A. I think it was on that day. After having completed this task, we
15 were returning to Gracac, I think. Somewhere along the way, we were
16 encountered by General Markac.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This Chamber received evidence that at that
18 occasion Mr. Sasic was present as well. Does this refresh your
20 A. No, I don't recall him being there. I don't think he was. I do
21 know, however, that Mr. Janic accompanied Mr. Markac. I don't know
22 whether there was anyone else there.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, when, upon your return, you met -- or at
24 least you saw Mr. Markac, could you describe what then happened?
25 A. We were encountered by him along the road towards Gracac, I
1 believe. We stopped, the vehicle column stopped. Some people got out,
2 including myself. I saw that General Markac was there in conversation
3 with a number of people who stood around him in a circle.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember with whom he had a conversation,
6 A. I can't remember. I did not approach them. I couldn't really
7 see who he was addressing.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us who the other group leaders were,
9 and were they the same as the day before.
10 A. You mean on the second day, the 26th?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were the groups approximately the same, with
12 the same group leaders, as on the 25th, or were the groups composed
14 A. I think the groups differed, that there were fewer. I think
15 there were two.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you remember who the group leaders were on
17 the day before? That was the Plavno operation. Do you remember their
19 A. I was one group commander. The second person was
20 Branko Balunovic. The third group commander was Bozo Krajina, and the
21 fourth, Franjo Drljo.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And who were group leaders on the 26th, the Ramljani
24 A. I couldn't say. I think Bozo Krajina was with me. I think we
25 were in one group, but I don't know for the other group. I cannot
2 JUDGE ORIE: Was Mr. Drljo there on the 26th?
3 A. I think he was. He was -- he should have.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any specific recollection as to whether
5 Mr. Drljo was engaged in that conversation with Mr. Markac?
6 A. I think he was in the group of people addressed by Mr. Markac.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what matter was addressed by
8 Mr. Markac at that moment?
9 A. I didn't come close, but I could see that Mr. Markac was angry
10 over something. I think he mentioned some houses being burned.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Did he say anything about people being killed?
12 A. No, I didn't hear that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have 65 ter 7544 on the screen.
14 Could we move to the second -- no. Before we do so, do you
15 recognise this document? Have you seen it before?
16 A. I didn't see it.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It is a record of a witness interview held on the
18 16th of December last year with you. Do you see that?
19 A. Yes, I do, but I don't seem to recall it.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Do you recall that you were interviewed as a witness
21 on the 16th of December of last year?
22 A. Last year, in December, there was an interview, but I don't know
23 whether it was on the 16th. In any case, there was an interview
24 conducted with me on the premises of the County Court.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could we move to the next page both in English and
1 in B/C/S. I think for English, we have to go to the following page.
2 One second, please. May we have page 3 in English. This is
3 page 3. I'm sorry. Could we move it a little bit further down.
4 In this record of your interview, you find a portion which
5 relates to the events we just discussed; that is, at the lower part of
6 the last big paragraph. You see that?
7 A. Yes, I see it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And I read to you:
9 "The next day, on the road between Knin and Gracac, we were
10 intercepted by General Markac and Zdravko Janic, so we all exited the
11 vehicles and surrounded them. General Markac was furious. He was
12 shouting at Franjo Drljo specifically, saying that houses in the village
13 were set on fire and that some people were killed, and then he told us to
14 return directly to Zagreb
15 That is a different account compared to what you just told us.
16 It is that you apparently were able to follow what Mr. Markac said, that
17 he was specifically shouting at Franjo Drljo, and that he mentioned,
18 apart from houses in the village being set on fire, that also some people
19 were killed. Does this refresh your memory? It's a rather recent
21 A. I did say that General Markac was surrounded by a group of people
22 and that he was addressing someone. It seems I may have said that it was
23 Franjo Drljo. I could see he was upset, and as I have already stated, I
24 believe he mentioned certain houses which had been set on fire. I cannot
25 recall exactly. But as for him mentioning any people being killed, well,
1 I was trying to remember things, but I cannot say anything with any
2 certainty. I wasn't close enough to be able to overhear every single
4 JUDGE ORIE: And in last December, does this reflect what you
5 stated when you were interviewed as a witness?
6 A. I do not understand. Does what reflect?
7 JUDGE ORIE: What I just read to you, is that what you said in
8 December when you were interviewed, so apart from whether this is what
9 you recollect today?
10 A. If this is the way it was written down, then I probably did say
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You do not contest or you do not claim that it
13 was put on paper in an inaccurate way?
14 A. I believe it was taken down correctly.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you see any houses burning on this
16 26th of August?
17 A. I saw that some houses had burned down recently. They were still
18 smoldering. I couldn't tell, though, whether it took place a couple of
19 hours before that or earlier. In any case, I think it had happened
20 before our group entered the hamlet.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I have some difficulties in scrolling up to the
22 previous portions of your testimony.
23 Mr. Hedaraly, you have full access to the e-court, to --
24 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, I do, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'll give it another try.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Equality of arms re-established. One second,
4 Could you tell us, Mr. Zinic, how did your unit leave the area?
5 When was it that it left the area?
6 A. I think it was on the 26th. After we encountered General Markac,
7 we went back to Gracac to collect our equipment, and then we went to
9 JUDGE ORIE: That same evening, you left for Zagreb?
10 A. I think so.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So you didn't stay overnight. Was there any meeting
12 in the evening of the 26th you attended?
13 A. Not as far as I know.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did the whole of the Lucko unit leave that same
15 evening for Zagreb
16 A. I think it should have. I think we all returned, although I'm
17 not sure. Some may have stayed behind, but I'm not certain of that.
18 I think we all went back to Zagreb
19 just individuals. I can't say anything other than that. I think we all
20 went back.
21 JUDGE ORIE: How did you travel back; all together in a bus, or
22 separate in vehicles, or --
23 A. No, we went back to Zagreb
24 four and six members of the unit per vehicle. We were in our official
25 vehicles, off-road vehicles we had been assigned.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you remember how many people participated
2 in the 26th of August Ramljani area operation?
3 A. I don't know. I think around 50 or 60.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any -- if I would suggest to you that
5 Mr. Balunovic would have stayed in Gracac and not returned to Zagreb
6 does that ring a bell?
7 A. No, I don't know that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Celic?
9 A. No.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember having seen any of these two
11 returning to Zagreb
12 A. I can't tell you at all whether I saw them or not. We all went
13 in separate vehicles. I don't know who was in what vehicle. In my
14 opinion, everyone should have returned to Zagreb.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Was it planned that you would return to Zagreb
16 that same day?
17 A. I don't know.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Because in your statement, I read that:
19 "... and then he told us to return directly to Zagreb
20 Was there any reason to tell this if it was planned already?
21 A. I cannot comment on any plans. I wasn't aware of any. The only
22 thing I can see now is what I seemingly stated when I said that
23 General Markac told us we were all to go back to Zagreb. The task was
24 completed, and we were sent back.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you earlier told us that these search
2 operations were in relation to the Freedom Train. Do you remember on
3 what day the Freedom Train passed through the area?
4 A. I don't recall that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: If your operation was related to the voyage of the
6 Freedom Train, were you aware of whether it had passed through the area,
7 yes or no, because that apparently was one of the purposes of the
9 A. Personally, I had no knowledge of the time it was supposed to go
10 through or on what day. I cannot comment.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You have no idea about the time it was supposed to
12 get through. Do you know whether it had gone through already when you
13 were still in the area?
14 A. I really can't say.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the clock.
17 Mr. Zinic, we'll first have a break, because it doesn't make
18 sense to start a new subject at this very moment. We'd like to see you
19 back in 25 minutes.
20 We have a break.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zinic, we left off at the moment when the unit
24 returned to Zagreb
1 A. No, never again.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to take you to a moment you mentioned
3 earlier; that is, when you wrote a report on the events on the
4 25th of August. Do you remember where you wrote that report?
5 A. I remember that. We wrote that in Zagreb, in the headquarters of
6 the unit.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Now, were you usually present in the premises where
8 you wrote that report, if not in the field?
9 A. There are no customary or established ways of drafting reports.
10 One usually sits down in one's office or wherever is best at the moment.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Did you write your report in your own office?
12 A. I don't remember whether I was in my office or in another room.
13 I don't know where I wrote it.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us who asked you to write the report?
15 A. Yes. We were ordered orally to do so by Josip Turkalj, the unit
17 JUDGE ORIE: Did he come to -- do you have an office in the
18 headquarters? Do you have your own office there?
19 A. I did.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You had it on the 1st of September, 1995?
21 A. Yes, I had it when I was employed there. I had a room where
22 we -- how should I put it? Where we did the writing and where we kept
23 our equipment.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When you refer to the writing, you're not
25 specifically referring to this report, but in general?
1 A. Well, it was an office, we can call it that, assigned to me.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did Mr. Turkalj come to your office? What
3 happened, exactly?
4 A. No, no. We were summoned to his office, all the commanders of
5 the groups.
6 JUDGE ORIE: What did he -- you were together in his office when
7 he addressed the matter?
8 A. Yes, we were. We were all called to appear there, and he
9 addressed us.
10 JUDGE ORIE: What did he tell you, exactly?
11 A. He said that a written order came in from the sector, from Sacic,
12 stating that we, as group commanders, were to be tasked with drafting
13 reports about the two days during which we were engaged in our activities
14 in the area of Knin.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Does that mean that you had not yet written a report
16 on the events of the 26th; that is, the Ramljani operation? Had you not
17 yet written a report on that?
18 A. I had not, as far as I recall.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And the report that was just shown to you before the
20 break, was that produced also in Zagreb
21 A. In my previous statements, I couldn't even remember whether I had
22 drafted any reports about the events on the second day. It was the last
23 time I was interviewed that the report was shown to me. Before that, I
24 wasn't even aware of having written it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you have any recollection on having written
1 such a report when you were in the field or on your return to Zagreb
2 the 26th, itself?
3 A. I truly cannot remember. I cannot answer this question.
4 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it from your answer, that Mr. Turkalj
5 told you that you had to write reports on the two days, that you had not
6 yet written a report on the 26th?
7 A. I think I hadn't.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now, he told you that you had to write reports. He
9 told you. Were all the group leaders present?
10 A. Yes, I think all the group commanders were there, as well as
11 Mr. Celic, who was acting commander. He was in Mr. Turkalj's office.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you receive any information which
13 would have to be included in your report or were you just given an order
14 to write reports on the events of that day? What was it that you were
15 instructed to do?
16 A. We were told to draft a report each. I took it as such.
17 Mr. Turkalj did not specify anything in particular as to what we were
18 supposed to write about. Each of us was supposed to draft a report to
19 the best of our recollections about the events in the field.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And then you wrote that report. Did you write it by
21 hand or --
22 A. We usually drafted reports by hand, and then we would give that
23 script to a secretary to type it in the computer.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you have your own secretary or was it
25 someone else's secretary?
1 A. It was the unit commander's secretary.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Again, do you remember where you wrote this
4 A. I usually wrote reports in my office. I think this was the case
5 with this one as well. I don't think it was any other way.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Did you deliver the handwritten report yourself to
7 the secretary, or how did that go?
8 A. Usually, we gave it to her ourselves, and this was probably the
10 JUDGE ORIE: And then once it was typed out, what would happen?
11 Would you get it back or --
12 A. Yes, I would get it back. I would get back the typed version,
13 read it and then sign it.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Is that what happened with your report that you
15 drafted in Zagreb
16 A. I think so. It shouldn't have been anything different.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was that the end of the story, as far as the
18 report is concerned?
19 A. I think so, yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Once you had signed it, to whom would you give it?
21 Or would you leave it with the secretary after having signed it?
22 A. I think -- or, rather, it's not that I think. Probably it was
23 given to the secretary, the secretary gave it to the commander, and the
24 commander sent it by mail to the Sector of the Special Police, to
25 Mr. Sacic.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Did you receive any comment on the report you had
2 given for being typed out? Did anyone comment on it?
3 A. I don't understand. Did anyone comment on the report?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Did Mr. Celic say, Well, good report, or did he
5 say -- was there anyone else, Mr. Sacic, Mr. Celic, Mr. Janic, whomever
6 it may have been, that said, It's too long, or, It's too short, or is it
7 just that you delivered it as it was, without any further comment?
8 A. Well, no. Once the report is written, it is sent to the sector,
9 to Mr. Sacic. I mean, well, no further comments.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever see it back, that report, in those
11 days? Well, let's say in 1995.
12 A. No. I saw that report again only sometime in 2000 something,
13 when we were asked by the police to come in, when proceedings were
14 initiated, in 2001 or 2002.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So just for me to fully understand, you write a
16 handwritten report, you deliver it to the secretary of Mr. Turkalj?
17 A. That's right.
18 JUDGE ORIE: She types it out, gives it to you for signature.
19 Did you read it, whether she typed it out well?
20 A. I probably did. Usually, one does read it out. I did read it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You signed it?
22 A. Signed it, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You delivered it for being sent up in the hierarchy?
24 A. That's right.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You did not make -- did you make any corrections?
1 A. Well, I mean, at one point I did see another report, too, where a
2 correction had been made. I cannot say now whether -- well, I mean, I
3 cannot say now whether I said that it should be corrected. I don't
4 remember. I probably saw that something was omitted and I asked for a
5 correction to be made, because corrections were made to reports.
6 JUDGE ORIE: What was the correction?
7 A. Well, the first report, it did not include the fact that we were
8 supposed to treat civilians in accordance with International Law in
9 respect of civilian prisoners.
10 JUDGE ORIE: When did you find out that the report was
12 A. I don't even remember that. It's only when I was being
13 questioned by the gentleman from the Tribunal. Casey, was that his name,
14 Casey? Then he showed me the other one, and then I realised there were
15 two. I think Casey, it was his name. When The Hague Tribunal was
16 putting questions to me in Zagreb
17 this other report as well where the correction had been made.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So when I earlier asked you whether once you had
19 given the report for being typed out, you got it back for signature, and
20 that you delivered it, that was the end of the story, apparently it was
21 not, because a second version of the report was produced, or do you
22 say -- I mean, could you tell us, you made the correction yourself?
23 A. Yes, myself. But, you see, as far as reports were concerned,
24 there was that possibility of having things added to them. That was the
25 normal procedure for us; namely, that if a report was incomplete, an
1 addition would be made. In this case, that is what was added, the
2 correction, that is, because that had not been written out in the first
3 place, that we should behave as we should.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Did someone draw your attention to the fact that
5 apparently something was missing?
6 A. I cannot answer that. I don't remember.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So you consider it possible that someone else
8 suggested that the report should be corrected or completed?
9 A. Well, there is that possibility.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I again put this question to you, and you know that
11 you have to answer questions in accordance with the truth; that is, the
12 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Did someone draw your
13 attention to any correction or addition to be made to your report?
14 A. Well, I cannot give an answer because I do not remember that
16 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look at your report, and I'll take the
17 second version. You apparently -- no, let's take the first, the first
19 Can we have a look at P568.
20 Do you recognise your signature?
21 A. Well, I said that once already, that the signature could be mine,
22 but I cannot state that with full certainty.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could we take you to the second report, which is
25 Could you have a look at that signature?
1 A. I think it is. Well, you see, I changed the name
2 [as interpreted] in which I signed my name, so I don't exactly remember.
3 But I did sign my name this way before, so, yes, this is my signature.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, if you go to the content of the report,
5 it says, second paragraph, that you held a brief meeting with Mr. Celic
6 and then you split into three groups. Is my recollection correct that
7 you said that there were four groups?
8 A. Well, you see, we wrote the report from memory. Everybody wrote
9 it up the way they remembered it. At that moment, if I wrote it was
10 three groups, I may have made a mistake. I cannot say exactly. If it is
11 written that there were three groups, there may have been three groups,
12 but according to --
13 JUDGE ORIE: I take you to the large paragraph under the names,
14 and I read to you that while you were on the left side of Grubori
15 village, that there was certain fierce gun-fire and several explosions
16 were heard. You asked about it over the system. You were told they had
17 come up with a group of Chetniks.
18 The fierce gun-fire and several explosions is not entirely the
19 same as you told us today. Do you have an explanation for that? What
20 you told us today, is that what happened, or was there fierce gun-fire
21 and several explosions that you heard and that you were informed over the
22 system on what had happened?
23 A. Well, I'm making this statement on the basis of memory, so I
24 cannot exactly remember all details. I mean, well, since the report
25 says, and the report was written immediately after the events, perhaps
1 that is the way things actually did happen.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And it also says that some of the Chetniks were
3 fleeing to the forest and that you immediately went after them, so that
4 you did not even enter the village. Now, did you go after the Chetniks?
5 A. Well, probably, yes, if that is what is written in this report,
6 then that is probably the way things happened.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But earlier today, I think you gave testimony
8 which is not in line with what is written here.
9 A. Well, you see, in my testimony, I'm saying the things I can
10 remember. I cannot speak about details if I don't remember them. It is
11 only now, when I see these reports -- this report, the way it was
12 written, then I think that is how things happened.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of any of the reports drafted by the
14 other group leaders were corrected as well?
15 A. I don't know about that because I could not see their reports.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Let me put the following to you: This Chamber
17 received evidence -- I'm not giving perhaps the entirety of the evidence,
18 but I make a selection of it. The Chamber received evidence that the
19 first reporting on the 25th was of a kind that nothing special had
20 happened. Now, the Chamber also received evidence that this first report
21 was then corrected or replaced, whatever you call it, where combat or at
22 least exchange of fire appears, where it did not appear in a similar way
23 in the first report. The Chamber also received evidence and has access
24 to statements where you are supposed to have reported orally to Mr. Celic
25 on the 25th that nothing special had happened on that day. Now, the
1 Chamber looks at this report, which is dated the 25th of August, Gracac,
2 although it was drafted in Zagreb
3 be interpreted as an effort to introduce combat in an organised way in
4 the reports, where it had not been observed by those who were reporting.
5 Did you understand what I suggested as a possible interpretation of that
7 A. Well, I did not fully understand whether you are speaking of my
8 two reports.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I am speaking about your reports, your two reports,
10 as an element in how one could interpret the evidence that I mentioned
11 before; that is, that it was part of an effort to introduce combat where
12 those writing the reports had not experienced such combat.
13 A. I don't know. I mean, you are saying that someone else changed
14 the report without my knowledge?
15 JUDGE ORIE: No one urged you to do that, not to change the --
16 well, the first report that one could -- and I'm seeking your answer to
17 that, you could interpret the evidence as to be understood in the context
18 of a joint effort to change the events in the report from "nothing
19 special happened" to "exchange of fire, fierce gun-fire and explosions"?
20 A. Well, when presenting an oral report to Mr. Celic, in my group
21 there was nothing that was happening. That's what I said.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But in this written report, you say you
23 immediately went after them, the Chetniks, which is not in line with what
24 you said you orally reported to Mr. Celic, did you?
25 A. Well, probably I didn't attach importance to that because I was
1 just told that part of the Chetniks fled into the woods. Since I did not
2 see anyone, there were no events.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You didn't go after them, then, if you didn't see
4 anyone, did you?
5 A. Well, what was said was that they had fled into the woods, and we
6 went after them, but we didn't see anyone.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I think I earlier -- but I have to check that. It
8 is not my recollection that in your testimony earlier today, you referred
9 to any such thing as the presence of Chetniks and going after them in the
11 A. Again, I will note that my testimony is based on memory about
12 things that happened 15 years ago. I really cannot remember details.
13 Now, the report that is in front of me proves something different.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That seems to be a conclusion. Are you aware of the
15 position taken by Mr. Drljo in relation to writing reports about the
17 A. I think that he did not write a report. I know that his position
18 was that he did not wish to write, that he had nothing to write about.
19 That's what we -- that's what he stated when we were at the commander's,
20 when we were all together and when he had told us that we had to write
22 JUDGE ORIE: Did he get away with that, not to write a report,
23 where he was ordered to write one?
24 A. I have no way of knowing. It is for the commander. He's the one
25 who was supposed to resolve that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you told me that you do not remember whether
2 anyone has drawn your attention to this added element in the report. I
3 also asked you about whether specific information should be contained in
4 the report you are ordered to write in Zagreb. Can you, with certainty,
5 tell us that you were not told by anyone what elements -- what factual
6 elements should be contained in your report, or is it also a matter you
7 don't remember?
8 A. When talking to the commander, when it was said that we should
9 write reports, we probably discussed it, or perhaps I discussed it with
10 someone, since we were supposed to write reports had something happened.
11 JUDGE ORIE: "With someone." Can you be more precise? Did you
12 discuss the content -- did you discuss the events at the moment you were
13 ordered to write a report? Was there any conversation about what had
14 actually happened?
15 A. Well, I probably asked sort of whether anything had happened.
16 Now, I could have talked to Mr. Balunovic, or Bozo Krajina, or Drljo, or
17 Celic, since we worked together.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So the events on which you are supposed to report
19 were discussed. Is there anything in your report which may have been the
20 fruit of that discussion rather than of your own observation; that is,
21 that you heard that it had happened or someone said that this is what
22 happened, without you having personal knowledge of it, but including it
23 in your report?
24 A. Well, when I was out in the field in all of these actions, there
25 was shooting, and that was probably the case in this task in Grubori. It
1 is hard to distinguish between and among different actions. They were
2 all similar, more or less. And we tried -- or at least I tried to forget
3 all about them as soon as I could.
4 JUDGE ORIE: This is not an answer to my question. My question
5 is whether, in your report, possibly events -- facts are described which
6 you discussed, when invited to write a report, with others, rather than
7 on the basis of a clear recollection of the events, a clear recollection
8 of what you observed during that 25th of August.
9 A. Well, I was supposed to write a report about a group that was
10 under my command. I may have talked to some of the members of my group.
11 I really cannot remember. Perhaps it was one of them. Perhaps I asked
12 them whether they knew something, whether they could explain.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you introduced a second element. The first is
14 that you may have had a conversation with the group leaders. Did you
15 also have a conversation with all of your group members?
16 A. Oh, no, most certainly not. It must have been someone I was
17 closer to, someone I thought could help me. But, I mean, I really cannot
18 remember. I don't know.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Still I have got no answer to my question. My
20 question was whether you consider it a possibility that what others had
21 observed and what the recollection of others was may have been presented
22 in the report for a fact, although you did not personally observe it and
23 it's not based on your personal recollection of the events.
24 A. Reports were written based on my opinion, as a commander, and by
25 the opinions of those who participated in the operation. If I am
1 supposed to draft a report and I lack information, then, of course, I
2 turn to those who took part in it to get by certain information.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And it may be that information you obtained from
4 others, including those who were not members of your unit, that may have
5 ended up in the report as a fact?
6 A. I don't think so.
7 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber has seen a statement in which one of
8 the other group leaders stated that all the group leaders had received a
9 piece of paper on which they based their reports. Did you receive any
10 paper on which you based your report?
11 A. No, I don't think so.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know that you didn't or do you think that you
14 A. No, I didn't.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. On that day in Zagreb, were you aware of
16 casualties in Grubori?
17 A. You mean the day the report was written?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what I meant.
19 A. No, I wasn't aware of it that day.
20 JUDGE ORIE: When did you become aware?
21 A. Well, it's difficult to say. At a certain point after a while, I
22 don't even know when, it is then that I heard that there had been certain
23 things there, but it was in passing during an informal conversation.
24 There was nothing specific about it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And you never heard about any television coverage,
1 relatively soon after the event, in which casualties in Grubori were
2 discussed or were the subject of the reporting?
3 A. There was some, but I didn't connect that to our unit.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And no one did in your unit?
5 A. I didn't discuss it with others. I wouldn't know.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: One final question. Mr. Celic was there when
8 Mr. Turkalj called you in his office in order to receive an order to
9 write a report?
10 A. I think he was.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you, to some extent, discussed the events
12 amongst yourselves, those who were present in that office?
13 A. We probably did.
14 JUDGE ORIE: But in that discussion, do you know for certain that
15 no dead bodies found in Grubori were ever mentioned during that
17 A. I don't think it was mentioned.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Why do you think it was not mentioned?
19 A. I can't say with any certainty whether it was mentioned or
20 wasn't. But as for what you mentioned about TV broadcasts about the
21 casualties, that is something I did not discuss with my unit.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But you did discuss, then, without referring to the
23 television broadcast, events such as casualties that may have occurred in
24 that area?
25 A. I don't remember. I cannot decide on the sequence of things,
1 whether there may have been broadcasts before or after that. I really
2 don't know.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I'm focusing on what was the subject of conversation
4 in that office in Zagreb
5 instruction to write a report.
6 A. You mean on what date?
7 JUDGE ORIE: I am inquiring whether dead bodies found in Grubori
8 were part of the conversation which took place in that office when you
9 were ordered to write a report.
10 A. I allow for the possibility of having discussed such matters
12 JUDGE ORIE: So if you earlier -- when I said whether you were
13 aware of casualties when you were in that office, when you said, No, I
14 was not aware, that you correct that now and say, I may have been aware
15 because it may have been the subject of our conversation?
16 A. I can't say how long it took. After I received the order to
17 draft my report, I left. I think some stayed behind, but I don't know
18 whether they discussed such matters. I know for a fact that we didn't
19 all leave at that point. Some remained.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zinic, you said that there was a conversation.
21 You didn't say, I left the office and others might have a conversation.
22 You clearly pointed at a conversation and even did not exclude for the
23 possibility that what you heard there may have found its way into your
24 report. Now you are, more or less, telling us, There may have been a
25 conversation, but I wasn't there, which is inconsistent with your
1 previous testimony today.
2 A. I wasn't trying to say that I left immediately, while the
3 commander was issuing orders to draft our reports. Following that, there
4 was probably a very brief conversation about the events there. Given
5 that there were no events to report on along my axis, I left to write the
6 report. As for those who stayed, I don't know what they discussed.
7 Again, I must say that I'm now talking about something which took
8 place --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I am aware of that. But you earlier, in your
10 testimony, did not exclude that in that conversation, the presence of
11 dead bodies had been included in the subject of conversation? You said
12 it may have been part of the conversation?
13 A. I'm speaking from memory. I can't say anything with 100 per cent
14 certainty, especially whether this was discussed.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has no further questions for you,
17 Mr. Zinic.
18 I am -- I would like to inquire with the parties whether they
19 could give an estimate on the time they would need for cross-examination.
20 Mr. Hedaraly.
21 MR. HEDARALY: It's a little difficult, seeing the answers that
22 we may get, but I think one session, at the most, should be sufficient.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Other parties.
24 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: One or two sessions, Your Honour, depending on
1 what is covered.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay.
3 MR. KAY: I only have one question, actually.
4 JUDGE ORIE: One question.
5 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we have no questions.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Would you prefer to have the break first and then
7 have a long session - that would mean approximately one hour and
8 25 minutes, Mr. Hedaraly - where you would try to finish even within that
9 time, isn't it?
10 MR. HEDARALY: I think if I start now, it may be better to have
11 the break in the middle so I can assess what can be cut at that point.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One second, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zinic, you'll now be cross-examined by
15 Mr. Hedaraly, and Mr. Hedaraly is counsel for the Prosecution.
16 Mr. Hedaraly, you may proceed.
17 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Zinic.
20 MR. HEDARALY: If we can have 65 ter 7655 on the screen.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Before we -- Mr. Hedaraly, before we continue, I
22 referred to statements. I read the relevant portions into the
23 transcript. It was not on my mind to have them in evidence, since I was
24 focusing exclusively on those specific portions, and I'm especially
25 referring to the December 2009 statement. If the parties would take a
1 different view, I'd like to know that. But as matters stand now, reading
2 the relevant portions is sufficient, as far as the Chamber is concerned.
3 I hear of no objections to this approach.
4 Mr. Hedaraly, please proceed.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 If I could have 65 ter 7655 on the screen.
7 Q. Mr. Zinic, you were promoted to assistant commander of the
8 special police in November of 1995; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, can I have 65 ter 7655 admitted
11 into evidence?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently no objections.
13 Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
15 Exhibit P2717. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P2717 is admitted into evidence.
17 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Zinic, I want to go back to the operation on the
19 25th of August, around the village of Grubori
20 Now, before -- at the beginning of the operation, in the morning,
21 you had a briefing with Mr. Celic; correct?
22 A. I wouldn't exactly call it a briefing. Once we reached our
23 starting point, we simply received our tasks and were issued with maps.
24 Q. But you received some instructions from Mr. Celic at that point?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And Mr. Celic warned you that there may be civilians in these
2 villages who were registered by UNPROFOR, and that you if saw them, you
3 should leave them alone; is that also correct?
4 A. It probably is.
5 Q. And you also stated you were -- there were four groups on that
6 day; correct?
7 A. I stated that from memory. I'm slightly confused now, though,
8 because it seems that in my report there is a mention of three. I do
9 think that there were four in the field. I don't know why this is --
10 Q. And, in fact, you'd named them for the Trial Chamber. It was
11 Mr. Balunovic, Mr. Krajina, Mr. Drljo, and yourself, according to your
12 memory; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And according to your memory, you were at the left -- you were
15 the group the most at the left during this operation; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Let me show you a map. It's 65 ter 7592.
18 Can you take a few moments and look at this map, and tell me if
19 this is -- this accurately represents your recollection of the operation
20 on the 25th of August, in terms of the axes of movement of the Lucko
22 A. It should be.
23 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
24 Mr. President, can I have 65 ter 7592 in evidence, please?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
2 Exhibit P2718. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of any objections, P2718 is admitted
4 into evidence.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. And before I move on, I just want to clarify something. I may
7 have been confused at the beginning of your examination.
8 When you reached the top -- the Orlovac peak, that's the first
9 time that all the groups merged together on the 25th; is that correct?
10 A. I think so.
11 Q. And the village of Grubori
13 A. Yes, I think so.
14 Q. And when you were discussing with the Chamber the hamlet or
15 village that you had -- where you met at the end, that was at the end of
16 the operation, when you met with Mr. Celic at the end point; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, I want to go back, during the operation, when you heard some
19 shooting. Now, the shooting that you heard was coming from your right;
20 is that correct?
21 A. I think so.
22 Q. And you then tried to contact someone on your Motorola to find
23 out what was happening?
24 A. Usually, if there is anything going on, you try to find out.
25 Q. And the general rules are that if you hear shooting, you stop,
1 you find cover, and you see how events unfold; is that correct?
2 A. Well, in such events, for personal safety, one stops at the very
3 position you find yourself to be at that moment.
4 Q. And then did you receive a response to your message on the radio
5 saying that it will be checked, what the shooting was or what you were
7 A. I cannot say at all whether we had radio communication at that
8 point in time. I'm not certain.
9 Q. Well, you just told me that you remember contacting someone to
10 find out what was happening.
11 A. I cannot claim it was so. I was trying to do that, but I don't
12 know whether I succeeded.
13 Q. Let me show you the statement that you gave - that was taped - to
14 the Office of the Prosecutor.
15 MR. HEDARALY: If I could have 65 ter 7546, and if I could then
16 go to page 133, please.
17 Q. And if you want to have a few minutes to look at the pages before
18 or after, just ask me, but my question is very specific to one portion
19 and to see if that refreshes your memory. If you see at line 5 in
20 English, it's line 8 in the B/C/S --
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Could we have a date --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: -- a date, please, for the interview?
24 MR. HEDARALY: I want to say it's November 2004, but if you just
25 bear with me. 15th of November, 2004.
1 Q. And here, you see the question is:
2 "RC," for Mr. Casey, "Okay. You said just now that you -- you
3 went on your radio and to try and find out what the situation is; is that
5 You answered: "Yes."
6 Then the next question is:
7 "And what was the response you got the first time you called up?"
8 And then you answer:
9 "I can't even say who answered my call, but the answer -- I can't
10 say who was the person who answered it, but they said that the shooting
11 is going on and that they will check.
12 "Q. And they will check --
13 "A. It will be checked."
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, several words in that answer are
16 not translated accurately, so there's definitely a translation issue with
17 the answer from Croatian into English.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could I invite you at least, during the next break,
19 to share your information with Mr. Hedaraly, because to clarify this
20 matter in the presence of the witness, that would take quite some time.
21 And I think if you would agree on it, and perhaps you have a language
22 assistant that could help you, Mr. Hedaraly, then we might be able to do
23 that immediately -- to hear from you immediately after the break.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: We could do that, and I could give you the
25 reference. I can just give you the line number, Your Honour, without
1 saying what the words are. It's line 18.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zinic, do you speak or understand English?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very little.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you take off your earphones for a second.
5 Mr. Kuzmanovic, there's a word missing?
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yeah, two words, actually. The words -- on
7 line 18, the third and fourth word from the end are not translated.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you inform the Chamber as to what you
9 understand the portion which is not translated? And I know that you're
10 not a sworn translator, but that we have an idea on how important the
11 matter is.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I can just read the words in Croatian,
13 Your Honour, if that's okay.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: "Vjerojatno, mozda."
16 JUDGE ORIE: And I have not yet received the translation of
17 these -- not a translation, but the interpretation of what you just said.
18 Could you repeat them?
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Certainly.
20 [Interpretation] "Likely, perhaps."
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Without the context, it
22 means nothing.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then at least we know what is bothering you,
24 Mr. Kuzmanovic, without drawing any conclusions at this moment.
25 Mr. Hedaraly.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Can the witness be instructed to put back his
2 earphones? Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Zinic, the portion I read to you, does that refresh your
4 memory as to any answers you may have received on the radio on
5 25th of August, 1995?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could we ask the witness to read his answer?
7 Mr. Hedaraly, we will invite the witness, and we will see whether it can
8 be enlarged, line 18 and 19.
9 Could you please read that in your own language, Mr. Zinic, and
10 then answer the question that Mr. Hedaraly put to you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know. I can't even
12 say who picked up my call. Probably maybe someone who had heard me. The
13 answer was that there was shooting, that they will check.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's not the question that was put to you.
15 Well, reading, you read it out aloud, and I think we received some
16 information, although we were not seeking that at this very moment.
17 Mr. Hedaraly, you may proceed.
18 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
19 Q. Now, reading this, these lines, does that refresh your memory as
20 to whether, in fact, someone did answer your call on 25 of August, when
21 you asked what was going on after having heard shooting?
22 A. I wanted to say that I can't recall it. I wanted to say that
23 someone may have heard it, may have answered, but I can't say with any
24 certainty who it was.
25 Q. Okay. Let me move on.
1 Now, after having heard that shooting and trying to contact
2 someone, you moved towards the village where the shots were coming from;
4 A. Well, I think, since the communications were not working, I tried
5 to contact someone who was on my right-hand side, on the right-hand
6 flank. I must say that in such situations, that's the rule, that is what
7 you try to do.
8 Q. My question was not whether you tried to communicate with someone
9 else. My question is: You moved towards that direction. Was that to
10 try to have a physical contact with the unit -- the group on your right,
11 so you moved towards the direction where the shooting was coming from?
12 A. Well, in my view, if things could not be checked by way of
13 communications, the rule was to try to link up with the group that was
14 closer to what was going on, and that may have been the case then too.
15 Q. Did you or did you not move towards the village -- towards the
16 direction where you heard shooting?
17 A. I think I did move in that direction.
18 Q. Thank you. And that took you at the edge or at the outskirts of,
19 as you called it, the hamlet of Grubori; correct?
20 A. I cannot claim whether it was a hamlet or whether it was Grubori.
21 I think that I met up with someone who was on my right. Now, who that
22 was and whether I actually did link up, I cannot say that now with any
23 degree of certainty.
24 Q. But you did reach what appeared to be the beginning of a hamlet
25 or a village. You saw some houses there, and my understanding from your
1 testimony is you did not go in the village or the hamlet, but you were
2 right at the outskirts of it. Is that right?
3 A. I did not see the village and I did not enter it. But when I
4 turned to the right, I reached a clearing, a meadow.
5 Q. And when you reached that point, you saw some houses on fire; is
6 that correct?
7 A. I did not see houses visually from that spot. I just saw
8 something that looked like smoke, as if something was on fire or
10 Q. Let me get back to this. Let me go to page 139 of this interview
11 that is on the screen now. And there is, at line 13 in the English,
12 line 16 in the B/C/S, the question is put to you:
13 "Okay. So did you and the men under your command take up a
14 position anywhere near the village of Grubori
15 And your answer:
16 "So we reached one of the groups at the edge of the village. We
17 did not enter the village. After we reached one of our groups, we turned
18 back to the line of the search and continued with it."
19 Does that refresh your memory as to whether you came to the edge
20 of the village of Grubori
21 A. It's hard to say now. You say that I got to the village of
22 Grubori. I cannot claim that, because I did not see the buildings. Had
23 I linked up with one of the groups, well, that is probably true, that I
25 Q. That you did what? I didn't understand the last part of your
1 answer. What is it true that you probably did?
2 A. I'm saying this now on the basis of memory. I assume this is how
3 things developed. I know that I turned right, that I reached a meadow, a
4 group there, and that we linked up there.
5 Q. And when you arrived there, you also saw other members of the
6 Lucko unit leaving Grubori; correct?
7 A. Well, I saw a group coming from the direction of -- well, the
8 direction of that smoke.
9 Q. Okay. And in that group were a number of people, including
10 Mr. Drljo, Mr. Beneta, and Mr. Delimar; correct?
11 A. I think the answer is yes.
12 Q. Well, is it yes or is it not yes?
13 A. I think it's yes. Well, yes. I mean, you are leading me now to
14 say something on the basis of memory, whether it was that way or not.
15 Since there were several people there, I cannot say with full certainty
16 that they were coming exactly from that direction, specifically from the
17 direction of the village of Grubori
18 Q. Well, let me show you what you told the investigative judge in
20 MR. HEDARALY: If we can have 65 ter 7544 on the screen.
21 Q. And the Presiding Judge showed you this document a little
22 earlier. And before I ask you specific questions from it, as soon as it
23 comes up on the screen, if we can go to the last page.
24 Is that your signature at the bottom right? Well, top right in
25 the B/C/S version.
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And it also says that that record was read back to you and that
3 you listened to the judge's dictation, and you therefore signed it. Do
4 you remember doing that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you also remember being cautioned before the interview that
7 giving a false statement was a criminal offence?
8 A. Probably, yes.
9 Q. Let me go to page 3 in the English and page 2 of the B/C/S. And
10 in the English, in the paragraph that starts at the middle of the page,
11 the third sentence on the fourth line in the English, after the list of
12 names, the first four names that are mentioned, the sentence after the
13 next one says:
14 "To the next question by the same person, I answer that I saw
15 about 15 members of the Lucko Anti-Terrorist Unit leaving the village of
16 Grubori, and among them I recognised Berislav Galic, Franjo Drljo,
17 Igor Beneta, Ivica Delimar, and Marijan Husko, but I do not remember the
19 Now, did you remember saying that to the judge in December of
20 last year?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So you told him that they were leaving the village of Grubori
23 Does that refresh your memory today as to whether these members were
24 leaving the village of Grubori
25 A. Well, I cannot say with full certainty. When I gave this a bit
1 of thought later on, maybe it wasn't the village of Grubori
2 say with 100 per cent certainty that it was from Grubori that they were
4 Q. And if we go up to the previous paragraph on the same page, about
5 five or six lines from the bottom of that paragraph, you also say:
6 "I saw some houses on fire in the village of Grubori
7 Does that refresh your memory as to whether you had seen any
8 houses on fire in Grubori?
9 A. Again, I will repeat what I said. Now, whether that was the
10 village or hamlet of Grubori, I cannot claim that with 100 per cent
11 certainty. I spoke on the basis of memory, the direction that they were
12 coming from. I mean, I assume that they were coming from the village of
14 Q. When you saw your colleagues from the Lucko unit leaving or
15 coming from the direction of Grubori, what did they tell you?
16 A. Well, they didn't tell me anything. I probably asked someone
17 what had happened, and he probably answered that nothing had happened,
18 that the Chetniks were fleeing into the hills and that we were chasing
19 after them.
20 Q. Well, "nothing happened" and "Chetniks are fleeing up the hill
21 and we're chasing them" is not the same thing, is it?
22 A. Well, you see, in these events we do not attach importance to
23 this regular kind of thing that happens. We always go ahead. What had
24 already happened no longer matters. Maybe someone told me that nothing
25 had happened or that there was nothing that was important that they were
1 supposed to tell me.
2 Q. The whole purpose of these mopping-up operations were to make
3 sure that there were no Chetniks or enemy soldiers or terrorists in those
4 hamlets, so are you telling me that information about possible Chetniks
5 that are fleeing is not significant?
6 A. No, no, you misunderstood me. I am not saying that that was
7 irrelevant, that the Chetniks were fleeing and that we were after them.
8 That was our priority. They were fleeing, and we were chasing after
9 them. So what had happened before was no longer important.
10 Q. So why did you tell the investigative judge, and it's at the
11 bottom paragraph on that page, that they told you nothing happened, when,
12 in fact, they told you that there were Chetniks there and that you had to
13 chase them?
14 A. Well, I cannot say. I probably asked what happened, and they
15 said, Nothing, the Chetniks are fleeing. You see, perhaps you find that
16 strange. Communication among us in the field is that way, it's simple.
17 Q. Let me just, for the record, go to your interview with the Office
18 of the Prosecutor in 2004, 7546 -- 65 ter 7546.
19 MR. HEDARALY: And since these are not in evidence, I'll just
20 briefly, Mr. President, move through a few items just for the record.
21 And if I can go to page 139 first. And, Your Honour, we can take
22 the break right after this exercise.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We will.
24 MR. HEDARALY:
25 Q. You see, first of all, just for context, at the bottom of
1 page 139, when you said that you reached the edge of the village, then
2 there was a question:
3 "Did you remain with one of your groups for a period of time?"
4 If we can turn the page. And your answer then was:
5 "When we reached this -- this group of our men, we were -- it was
6 told that somebody had run away to the hills, so basically we returned to
7 our line of search and continued in that direction."
8 Then if we move forward to page 144, at line 16 the question is
9 put to you:
10 "Okay, you say that you heard a message saying that some people
11 had fled. Do you know who relayed that message?"
12 Then again you say that it was said that somebody had escaped
13 through the bushes, towards the mountaintop, that you tried to move back
14 the search lines.
15 And, finally, page 151, at the bottom, for the third time you
16 mention that men had ran away from that village.
17 And then I just showed you, to the judge you said that the
18 response you got from your colleagues was that nothing had happened, and
19 I understood your answer to mean that both of these things could have
20 been said.
21 And just before we take the break, I just want to confirm that
22 you, yourself, you did not see any terrorist, or any Chetnik, or anyone
23 else, for a matter of fact, except colleagues of yours from the Lucko
24 unit on that day. Correct?
25 A. Yes, I did not see them.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. Zinic.
2 Mr. President, if we could have the break.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have the break, and we'll resume at 10 minutes
4 past 6.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.49 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 6.16 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, you may proceed.
8 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Zinic, on the 25th of August, you also did not see anyone
10 from your unit with a prisoner that day; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Either during the operation, at the end of it, or at any time did
13 you see a prisoner with anyone from your unit on the 25th of August?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And you also testified, if I understood correctly, that after the
16 operation, you never really knew what happened in Grubori later that day
17 or the following days. Right?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Now, you stated to the investigative judge in Croatia that a year
20 ago or so, you heard that Igor Beneta and Ivica Delimar may have been
21 responsible for the liquidations and arsons in Grubori. Do you remember
22 saying that to the investigative judge?
23 A. Well, the question was whether I had perhaps heard that in
24 informal conversations. It was said somewhere, but it could be all sorts
25 of things. It can also be misconstrued, planted. I mean, I didn't take
1 it seriously.
2 Q. But that's just something that you heard informally recently;
4 A. Well, it wasn't recently, it was a few years ago, but it's true.
5 Q. And can you -- do you know which group Mr. Beneta and Mr. Delimar
6 were part of on the 25th of August?
7 A. I wouldn't know.
8 Q. Were they in your group?
9 A. I think they weren't.
10 Q. And after arriving to the edge of Grubori or to the location
11 where you saw your colleagues come from, what did you do?
12 A. I probably asked what was going on.
13 Q. We talked about you asking what was going on and what the
14 response was. After that, did you just carry on with your search or
15 resume to your position and carried out with your search?
16 A. Well, no. I think it was said that Chetniks were fleeing into
17 the woods, that there had been some kind of conflict, that the Chetniks
18 were fleeing into the woods, and that they should be chased.
19 Q. Did you actually chase them?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Let me go to page 157 of the interview with the Office of the
22 Prosecutor that is on the screen. And at the bottom, the question
23 starts -- I'm interested in your answer on the next page, but for the
24 full reference, at line 25:
25 "So at some point, did you come ... that it would be better to
1 resume the search in the direction that you originally started?"
2 Then there was a confusion, and then the question was rephrased:
3 "Okay. So at some point, did you feel that you'd lost the people
4 that you were chasing out there?"
5 And then if you turn the page, your answer is:
6 "I mean, we generally did our job. We did -- we were following
7 our line of search. We only paid attention in case we -- you know, to
8 spot somebody, we just followed the procedure the way you're supposed
10 Then you say:
11 "It would be wrong to say that we chased after them. That would
12 be wrong, because we did not chase after them."
13 So, Mr. Zinic, did you or did you not chase these Chetniks on
14 25th of August, 1995?
15 A. I didn't see them. I was told that they were fleeing into the
16 woods. And what it says here, "jurnuli," "rushed after them," we didn't
17 do things that way. That is not the way we operate, and that would not
18 be logical. Since I had my direction in which I was supposed to move, it
19 was only natural that I would go back to my direction of movement.
20 Now, what you said, whether we found them, we were going after
21 them. I did not see them. I didn't see them afterwards, either, or
22 before that moment, when I was told that the Chetniks were fleeing into
23 the woods.
24 Q. But you did not make any changes to go after them? You simply
25 went back to your original route and carried on with your operation as
1 you had before the shooting -- you heard the shooting; correct?
2 A. Well, you see, due to the configuration of the terrain, you seem
3 to feel that you're moving along a flat land. However, it was a very
4 unfavorable configuration; bushes, rocks, crevasses. It wasn't easy to
5 move in a particular direction. You had to overcome certain natural
6 obstacles. It wasn't easy to move fast. It was raining, it was foggy,
7 visibility was very limited. From time to time, there was fog or the
8 clouds would be low, and at some points in time, you couldn't see further
9 than, say, 20 metres.
10 Q. Can you please repeat for me the word that you said was the
11 chasing after, the rushing after? Can you repeat it in B/C/S, please,
12 when you read the portion of your statement?
13 A. You'll have to repeat that for me. In which line was that?
14 Q. I think it's at line 11 of the page that's on the screen now.
15 A. "Jurnuli," that means to go after them quickly, to rush after
16 them. That's why I said that that was wrong. We moved as the
17 configuration of the terrain allowed us to move.
18 Q. So what you're saying is that when you chased these Chetniks, you
19 didn't rush after them; you simply carried on along the usual speed and
20 were looking for them. Is that what you're saying?
21 A. Well, something like that. That would be classical search of the
22 terrain, of course, with a higher degree of caution due to the
23 possibility of having contact.
24 Q. I want to briefly touch upon your report or your reports for that
25 day. I know it has been discussed extensively, so I don't want to go
1 through the whole story. But when you were told to write this report by
2 Mr. Turkalj, what information, other than your memory, did you use to
3 prepare your report?
4 A. As I said, I probably contacted someone from my group and I asked
5 him. Probably we came to some kind of a conclusion. I asked whether he
6 knew anything, and probably -- I mean, well, I cannot say exactly now,
7 but I probably was talking to someone.
8 Q. Do you know who that person you probably were talking to in your
9 group was? We can look at the list of names in your report, if you want,
10 if that can help you.
11 A. No, I think -- no, I cannot remember now. I really cannot help
12 you at all.
13 Q. So you probably talked to someone in your group, and I think you
14 said you also probably discussed these events with the other group
15 leaders that were in Mr. Turkalj's office. Correct?
16 A. Well, we talked in relation to what had happened and because of
17 the order that had been received, and a report had to be written, which I
18 found logical.
19 Q. Did you also rely on other reports? Did someone give you another
20 report, prepared by someone else, to use as a guide?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. And did you include anything in your report that was based on
23 conversations either with the person in your group you talked to or the
24 other group leaders, but that you did not, yourself, witness that day?
25 A. Well, probably someone did tell me, in conversation, that there
1 had been a clash with the Chetniks in the village.
2 Q. So your report -- your report is not based only on your
3 recollection of the events that happened, but also on this other
4 information that you may have learned from these other people; correct?
5 A. Well, it's logical that I would ask the members of my group,
6 because I was writing a report about the work of the entire group,
7 whether there had been something that should be written up in the report.
8 Q. I'm not asking you whether it's logical or not that you would ask
9 them. I asked you that: Your report was also based on these
10 conversations with other people that you had and not only on your own
11 recollection; correct?
12 A. Well, we can say yes, yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, have you talked to anyone involved in the
14 Grubori operation about the events in Grubori since then? I mean, in
15 recent years.
16 Let me rephrase that question. I'm sorry. Other than the
17 statements and interviews you gave to various authorities, did you talk
18 to anyone from the Lucko unit about what happened in Grubori in the
19 recent years?
20 A. Well, yes, I did.
21 Q. When did you talk to -- who did you talk to?
22 A. I talked to Marko Krpan.
23 Q. Did you talk to anyone else?
24 A. No, I don't think so.
25 Q. And Mr. Krpan was in your group on the 25th of August; correct?
1 A. Yes, we were together.
2 Q. Is it possible that he is the person you contacted, after
3 Mr. Turkalj ordered you to write the report, to discuss with him?
4 A. It is possible.
5 Q. Did you talk to Mr. Drljo about the incidents -- about the
6 incident in Grubori?
7 A. No, not with him.
8 Q. Did you talk to Mr. Drljo about anything in the last, let's say,
9 10 years?
10 A. Well, we are on -- we are not on speaking terms.
11 Q. Why are you not on speaking terms?
12 A. Well, that's how he is. He refuses to talk to me or to someone.
13 It's his right, it's his attitude.
14 Q. Okay. Do you know someone called Bozidar Smotalic? And for the
15 record, that's S-m-o-t-a-l-i-c.
16 A. No.
17 Q. And do you know anyone called Zvonko Pausic, P-a-u-s-i-c?
18 A. Zvonko Pausic, yes.
19 Q. And he was the commander of the Zlatar Special Police Unit in
20 1995; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let me show you two statements that Mr. Pausic and Mr. Smotalic
23 gave, where they discuss apparently a conversation that they witnessed
24 between you and Mr. Drljo.
25 MR. HEDARALY: And if we can have 65 ter 7657, and the second one
1 is 65 ter 7658. And just for the record, they are exactly identical,
2 except for the name of the person who gave the statement.
3 Q. And I just want you to look at it and just comment briefly if
4 that is accurate -- if that is consistent with your recollection. Maybe
5 if you just read it, it's going to be easy -- simpler than me reading it
6 on the record. And maybe we can turn the page in the English just for
7 everyone to see the end.
8 Please let me know when you are finished reading.
9 Have you had a chance to read that document?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. And is that a conversation that you had with Mr. Drljo that is
12 recorded there?
13 A. There was an attempt at conversation, but I think it was before
14 this time. Drljo tried to speak with me about the reports. However, as
15 I can see, we ended that conversation by him saying that I wrote that
16 report in 1997 on Sacic's order. I tried to tell him that it was in 1995
17 and that it is incorrect that it took place in 1997. The only thing I
18 don't know is the thing about Bozidar Smotalic. I don't know who he is.
19 I don't think he was there.
20 Q. What is reported in this report, that is essentially an accurate
21 reflection of a conversation that you had with Mr. Drljo; is that what I
22 have to understand?
23 A. Yes, this is completely wrong.
24 Q. What is completely wrong?
25 A. The fact that Smotalic was there.
1 Q. Leaving aside the presence of Mr. Smotalic, what is recorded
2 there as a conversation between you and Mr. Drljo, just the contents of
3 that conversation, leaving aside who was present, is that a conversation
4 that you had with Mr. Drljo that is reported there or is it not?
5 A. No, this was not the conversation.
6 Q. What was the conversation that you remember having with Mr. Drljo
7 about the reports? Without referring to that document, from your memory,
8 what is the conversation you remember having with Mr. Drljo?
9 A. As far as I remember, he came to me to speak about the reports
10 which were written. He was trying to say that we drafted those reports
11 on Sacic's orders and that we had to put in what he told us, as well as
12 that we wrote that in 1997. I told him that that was not true. We
13 didn't write it in 1997, and we did not write it on Sacic's orders. The
14 reports were written based on Turkalj's oral order conveying Mr. Sacic's
15 written orders.
16 Q. Was Mr. Zvonko Pausic present at that conversation you had with
17 Mr. Drljo?
18 A. No.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, because I did not read it in the
20 record, it may make sense just to have these two documents in evidence.
21 I can state for the record that these were statements that were found
22 during the search of Mr. Drljo's residence. That is the information we
23 have. I don't know if they should be admitted under seal, if they are
24 admitted for that reason. I just don't think it's worth reading it on
25 the record. The witness testified about it, and maybe for the sake of
1 completeness, we can have those marked and admitted.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, generally I don't have an
4 objection, but we just really don't have a foundation as to a date or
5 really any foundation from where -- other than what Mr. Hedaraly talked
6 about, the documents having been found in a search at -- of Mr. Drljo's
7 apartment. I don't necessarily have an objection to the admission of
8 these documents, but I'd just like a little bit more of a foundation
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
11 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, let me -- there is a conversation
12 that --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could I take it that it's not really an objection,
14 so therefore that's no reason not to admit it, and therefore I consider
15 this to be a request from Mr. Kuzmanovic to provide him with all
16 information you have available, and if that's not complete, then to see
17 whether we can find more information .
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour, thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Any other observation?
20 If not, Mr. Registrar, the two documents would be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 7657 shall be
22 assigned Exhibit P2719. And 65 ter document 7658 shall be assigned
23 Exhibit P2720. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
25 Just for my information, you say they are the same as the --
1 apart from the name. Is the signature different? Is it the signature of
2 the person who took the statement or who gave the statement? And if
3 you'd just show it on the screen and then we have a look at it.
4 MR. HEDARALY: I only have the English version with me so if we
5 can have both of them side by side in the original, I think we'll be able
6 to ascertain that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Of the other one?
8 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, the two originals, if we can have them side
9 by side.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One is with a kind of a -- yes, I see that one
11 is with and the other one is without a signature, and there's some
12 handwritten text which says "illegible." Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me just check.
16 P2719 and P2720 are admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
17 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Zinic, let's move to the second date, the Ramljani operation
19 on the 26th of August. And can you just confirm that there was an
20 operation the following day in Ramljani?
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 Q. And you testified earlier today, and if you don't remember, I can
23 pull up your exact words, but you essentially testified that on your line
24 of the operation, nothing had happened and that you had not come under
25 fire; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. And I think the Presiding Judge showed you your report for the
3 day of Ramljani, where you said that you did come under fire. Can you
4 explain for the Court the discrepancy between your testimony that you did
5 not come under fire and your report stating that you did come under fire?
6 A. It is probably due to my memory. In my view, I don't think there
7 were any events on the second day. I had gone through a number of
8 operations, and things get mixed up. It's very difficult for me to say
9 whether something happened a day or two later or before that, or a month,
10 for that matter --
11 Q. And at the end of the operation, you were intercepted by
12 Mr. Markac and Mr. Janic; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I know we went into some detail earlier -- or you went into
15 some detail with the Chamber about that incident.
16 And if we can just have, once again, 65 ter 7544, which is your
17 statement to the investigative judge.
18 And the Presiding Judge read you a portion of it. I want to just
19 read you the portion that is following. It's page 3 in the English and
20 page 2 in the B/C/S. At the very bottom of the page in the English,
21 that's the portion the Presiding Judge read to you, that General Markac
22 was furious, he was shouting at Franjo Drljo specifically, saying that
23 houses in the village were set on fire and that some people were killed.
24 And then:
25 "He told us to return directly to Zagreb ..."
1 If we can turn the page in the English:
2 "... and said that people will be fired."
3 Now, to your knowledge, Mr. Zinic, was anyone from the Lucko unit
4 ever fired either for the incidents in Grubori or those in Ramljani?
5 A. Not to my knowledge.
6 Q. And you were sent back to Zagreb
7 there were other units of the special police that stayed behind and
8 carried on operations on the 27th and 28th of August?
9 A. I am not sure. Perhaps a part of the unit did stay in the field,
10 indeed. I don't know, in any case.
11 Q. I'm asking you whether you were aware that other units of the
12 special police, other than the Lucko unit, did stay behind and did carry
13 out operations in the field on the 27th and 28th of August. Did you know
15 A. I did not, but I did hear that some units did remain after that
16 date, although I'm not familiar with any details.
17 Q. And you said that after that -- after you got intercepted by
18 Mr. Markac, and you went back to Gracac to collect your equipment and
19 then left for Zagreb
20 A. You mean on that day when we went back to Gracac to pick up our
21 equipment and how much time we spent there? Probably the time we needed
22 to pack up and go towards Zagreb
23 MR. HEDARALY: Can we have P606 on the screen, please.
24 Q. I just have a few more questions for you, Mr. Zinic.
25 And you'll see a report from the Lucko unit from 1998.
1 MR. HEDARALY: If we can go to page 83 in B/C/S and page 5 in the
3 And, Your Honour, just for the Court's information, only a
4 portion of the document was translated, the one that dealt with 1995.
5 That's why the B/C/S version is much larger, but it's highly irrelevant.
6 It talks about 1991 and so on.
7 And this is the report of the --
8 JUDGE ORIE: We hear of no objections against this partial
9 translation, so therefore please proceed.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Sorry, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 Q. So this is the section on Operation Storm. And if we go to
12 page 85 in the B/C/S and the next page, page 6, in the English, there's a
13 sentence at the very top in the B/C/S, and in the English it's the third
14 paragraph, the last sentence, where it says:
15 "Mr. Drazan Curkovic, deputy commander of the Lucko ATJ, and
16 Assistant Commanders Josip Celic and Stjepan Zinic commanded the unit in
17 the field."
18 Is that accurate statement as to your role during
19 Operation Storm?
20 A. No, I was not assistant commander in Operation Storm. I was a
21 specialist training instructor at the time. I saw that the report was
22 drafted in 1998. Is that correct? The author was probably not familiar
23 with the fact that I was not assistant commander. I wasn't appointed
24 assistant commander by that time.
25 Q. And other than the title of assistant commander, is it correct
1 that you commanded these units in the field with Mr. Celic and
2 Mr. Curkovic?
3 A. Well, I did. I did have command responsibility in certain
4 operations which took place, since I had the rank of instructor, and I
5 did carry out command duties. I also wanted to say that it only happened
6 in such cases when all those senior to me were absent. Only in such
7 circumstances did I assume command.
8 Q. Okay. I just want briefly to move backwards in time now to the
9 7th of August. And if we move to one page before in the B/C/S, and it's
10 the same page in the English, it says that your unit, together with the
11 joint forces, at 1400 hours prevailed. I assume it's in the broader area
12 of Donji Lapac.
13 Now, is it correct that the special police were the first units
14 of the Croatian armed forces that entered Donji Lapac?
15 A. I think it is.
16 Q. And that was on the 7th of August, correct, 1995?
17 A. I cannot confirm the dates. It doesn't ring a bell.
18 Q. Well, looking at the report, in the English, it's the page
19 before, but you have it in your language in front of you. Do you have
20 any reason to believe that that date is inaccurate?
21 A. Concerning your question about Donji Lapac?
22 Q. Yes, that it was on the 7th of August?
23 A. Well, no, I can't say whether it is correct or not. I cannot
24 recall the date; hence, I cannot comment at all.
25 Q. Okay. And how long did you stay in Donji Lapac before moving on
1 to the border area, as I understand?
2 A. In my opinion, I think we stayed until nightfall. I believe by
3 that time of day, we had movement to other areas, although I'm not sure.
4 Q. And when you entered Donji Lapac, there were only a few houses on
5 fire; is that correct?
6 A. I don't know whether I saw a few. There may have been a house
7 here or there, but I wouldn't say a few or several.
8 Q. And after Donji Lapac, where did you go?
9 A. I'm really not sure. I don't know. I don't know where we went.
10 Q. Let me just --
11 A. Somewhere towards the border with Bosnia.
12 Q. Let me just briefly, in the little time remaining, go to your
13 interview again, 65 ter 7544, hoping it can refresh your memory. It's at
14 page 84.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Excuse me, Counsel. 7544 is a three-page
17 MR. HEDARALY: 65 ter 7544. I apologise. Oh, 65 ter 7546. I'm
18 sorry. That's the interview. The number was the statement. Thank you,
19 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
20 Go to page 84, please.
21 Q. And there's a brief summary here of your activity on the first
22 day, starting at line 17, and you can read it as I read the English:
23 "So by my calculations, then - correct me if I'm wrong - on the
24 first day you advanced down the Velebit, the second day you advanced to
25 the Gospic-Gracac road, the third day you believe was a free day, the
1 fourth day you advanced on Lapac and then went to the Bosnian border, and
2 on the fifth day you returned to Zagreb, you believe?"
3 And at that time in 2004, you said:
4 "Yes, according to how I think, yes."
5 Does that refresh your memory as to your movements on those days?
6 A. I cannot be certain as to where we were in the course of those
7 few days, but this is possible.
8 Q. And do you remember when you left on the 8th of August? Was it
9 at night or was it the following day?
10 A. I don't even know where we started from. I really can't say.
11 Q. Did you ever go back to Donji Lapac after first going there and
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I know that we've covered this with many other
16 witnesses, I know that the Chamber didn't ask any questions regarding
17 this issue, so I think -- I mean, we've gone into it some, but we're
18 beyond the scope of what the Chamber's discussed.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm just trying to recover my -- what I read
20 in the beginning of this session as to the subject matter.
21 MR. HEDARALY: It's on page --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber also informed the parties that
23 questions may touch on events. They did not, however. That was in order
24 to give you an opportunity to prepare for that in case we would. I think
25 it was clear that the other parts, that we would certainly deal with
1 those, and that the Chamber was still considering whether or not to deal,
2 in its examination, with this first portion. We decided not to do that.
3 So I think it's fair to say that your cross-examination -- of course,
4 cross-examination is always, in view of Chamber witnesses, a bit odd, but
5 would go beyond what we find in Rule 90(H), I think it is. Unless, of
6 course, you could say that this is a matter which could -- would be --
7 would support your case. At the same time, that's, of course, expected
8 to be done when the parties are presenting their evidence, where we
9 have -- at least for the time being, we have left that area.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, as you may have noticed, it was not
11 an area that was particularly -- of particular interest. That's why I
12 kept it for the end. So if the Chamber prefers, I have no problems in
13 completing my cross-examination.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Apart from that, the clock might encourage you
15 to do that as well.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, if you would have a fair expectation
18 that you could elicit something entirely new in this respect, the Chamber
19 considers it appropriate that you not go over the same ground again which
20 was dealt with in quite some detail with quite many witnesses.
21 MR. HEDARALY: I understand, Your Honour. But when we had a
22 witness here that may have been present, it seemed incumbent upon us to
23 at least address it with the witness. But I understand the Chamber's
24 guidance, and as I said, that's the only reason why we proceeded, not to
25 then be told that we can't -- that we haven't fulfilled that Rule 90(H)
1 obligation in that respect.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, will certainly not --
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure, I understand that, Your Honour. I mean,
4 the OTP took two statements of this person prior to trial, and if they
5 wanted to elicit that testimony, they could have called it in their case
6 in chief. So --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think that Mr. Hedaraly announced that he
8 had finished his cross-examination.
9 Mr. Kuzmanovic, as matters stand now, could you -- are you still
10 on the same estimate?
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Roughly, Your Honour. I think I could -- one to
12 one and a half. I don't think I need two full sessions, Your Honour. It
13 may be less, depending on what my review reveals this evening.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'll do my best to keep it to one, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, I'm not -- I'm thinking at this moment,
17 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
18 Could we move into private session for a second.
19 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
23 We will adjourn, and the trial will resume on Thursday, the
24 15th of April, quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon, Courtroom III.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of
2 April, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.