1 Thursday, 15 April 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Gotovina, et al. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Mr. Kuzmanovic, time estimate, if at all possible, I'm
13 emphasising this. And since knowing that Mr. Kay only has one question,
14 I would like to see whether it would be able to finish in the first
15 session this witness and then not need to have an extra break before we
16 start with the second witness today.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Understood, Your Honour. I will do my best.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Mr. Zinic, I would like to remind you that you're still bound by
20 the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
21 That is, that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
22 the truth.
23 You will now be cross-examined by Mr. Kuzmanovic, who is counsel
24 for Mr. Markac.
25 Please proceed.
1 WITNESS: STJEPAN ZINIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Zinic.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. Mr. Zinic, there was quite a bit of discussion and testimony
8 yesterday about the operations of the special police in Plavno and in
9 Ramljane on August 25th and 26th of 1995. Now, I'm going to ask you --
10 the first set of questions that I'm going ask you in cross-examination
11 deals specifically with General Markac.
12 After the Plavno and Ramljane operations, did General Markac ever
13 attempt to coerce, pressure, or order you to write or report falsely
14 about special police activities or conduct on those two days?
15 A. Never after that.
16 Q. Did you ever hear that General Markac ever attempted to coerce,
17 pressure, or order any other member of the special police to write or
18 report falsely about special police activities on those two days?
19 A. I never heard of it.
20 Q. Now, your answer to the first question was: "Never after that."
21 A. I meant to say after the operations, that's how I understood your
22 question. I thought you asked me whether after those events there were
23 any pressures, and my answer was, No, after that, never.
24 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to clear the record on that, Mr. Zinic.
25 After the 25th or 26th of August of 1995, did you ever, with
1 General Markac, speak about Grubori or Plavno or Ramljane?
2 A. I never discussed those things with General Markac.
3 Q. All right. On pages 37 to 45 of yesterday's transcript, and I
4 say that for references purposes, there was a line of questioning by the
5 Presiding Judge, which described essentially two different reports of
6 what happened in the Plavno operation. To summarize, one report was that
7 nothing happened; and the second, that combat or at least exchange of
8 fire appears in -- in the report.
9 The Presiding Judge, on page 38 of the transcript stated, and I
10 will quote a portion of the transcript:
11 "And the evidence could be interpreted as an effort to introduce
12 combat in an organised way in the reports where it had not been observed
13 by those who were reporting."
14 My question to you --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, you are on your feet, but I don't know
16 for what reason.
17 MR. HEDARALY: I'm just -- I don't know if we can have the actual
18 pages of the transcript, not the draft transcript, because I can't follow
19 on page 37 to 45. I guess I can at -- if Mr. Kuzmanovic has the
20 references, so we can follow along, I would appreciate it.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure, the exact quote appears on page 38, and
22 that's the only copy of the transcript I have, is the draft transcript.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see whether I can help you.
24 Thirty-eight, you said.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, line 1. Where I quoted
1 Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you -- yes, 38 would be ...
3 The previous day, Mr. -- and that on 28052, so 38 should be
4 somewhere around 28096. No, no.
5 MR. HEDARALY: I did find it. It is 28090, line 16, I believe.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Zinic, I didn't get to ask my question, but do you remember
10 the preface to my question, which I'm about to ask, or do you need me to
11 repeat it?
12 A. Please do.
13 Q. I will do that.
14 As I stated earlier, on pages 37 to 45 of yesterday's transcript,
15 there was a line of questioning by the Presiding Judge which described
16 essentially two different reports of what happened in the Plavno
17 operation. To summarise, one report was that nothing happened; and the
18 second report, that combat, or least exchange of fire appears in the
20 And the Presiding Judge, on page, now, 28090, line 16, stated:
21 "And the evidence could be interpreted as an effort to introduce
22 combat in an organised way in the reports, where it had not been observed
23 by those who were reporting."
24 Now, my question to you, Mr. Zinic, is: Did you ever hear that
25 General Markac was part of any alleged effort to "introduce combat in an
1 organised way" in the reporting on the Plavno operation?
2 A. I did not. I cannot confirm that.
3 Q. Was anyone, to your knowledge, involved in an effort "to
4 introduce combat in an organised way" to the Plavno operation?
5 A. Well, one couldn't say so, because when we were writing reports
6 about those events, and specifically my report, referred only to my axis,
7 and I specified that there were no events to report.
8 I am somewhat confused though now. I did notice there was a
9 report stating that there was combat with Chetniks. Now it seems that
10 you're telling me that no report mentions that. But as far as I recall,
11 the last time I saw both reports, when I said it happened in the office
12 of an investigator of this Tribunal in Zagreb, that there was one part of
13 it which was changed. There it is stated that we were cautioned by the
14 commander to treat civilian prisoners according to the
16 mentioned that there had been no combat whatsoever.
17 Q. I'll be a little bit more clear.
18 In your verbal report, Mr. Zinic, to Mr. Celic on the day of the
19 action you said nothing happened; correct? In your area of operation.
20 A. Correct. Each group commander was duty-bound to report to the
21 commander about the events along their respective axes, and it was so.
22 There were no events to report along my axis, and it wasn't up to me to
23 suggest that there was any combat along the other axes. I wasn't in a
24 position to assess that. I couldn't tell if such a thing happened, say,
25 along one of the axes assigned to my unit or somewhere further afield.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could please call up P568.
2 Q. Mr. Zinic, the second sentence of the paragraph that begins:
3 "While I was on the left side ..."
4 Do you see that paragraph?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. The second sentence says:
7 "I asked about it over the system. I was told they had come upon
8 a group of Chetniks."
9 Can you tell me who "they" is in that sentence? Who told you
10 that "they had come upon a group of Chetniks"?
11 A. It was probably one of the groups that was there in the field.
12 Q. And when you spoke to Mr. Celic at the end of the day of the
13 25th, when you had reached the end-point, you did not feel it was
14 significant enough for you to report to him verbally that you heard
15 fierce gun-fire and several explosions?
16 A. I probably believed he would be told by the group which came in
17 contact with the Chetniks.
18 Q. In the second-last paragraph, you note:
19 "We immediately went after them (the Chetniks) so that we did not
20 even enter the village."
21 When you say "we," who went after the Chetniks?
22 A. When I say "we," I meant the group I commanded.
23 Q. And how did you know that the people you were chasing were
25 A. Since we were in contact with the group to my right, they
1 probably told me they had seen them, and I took it as such. I understood
2 that there were Chetniks there fleeing toward the forest, and we went
3 after them. I suppose this was how it happened.
4 Q. Did you ever see them?
5 A. No, not me.
6 Q. Did anyone in your group ever see them?
7 A. I can't say that.
8 Q. With respect to the Plavno operation, your commander for purposes
9 of that operation was Mr. Celic?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Who was your commander for purposes of the Ramljane operation?
12 A. It was probably Mr. Celic who was my immediate superior.
13 Q. Yesterday - and again I'll reference the draft transcript, and I
14 apologise for that, but that's what I have in front of me - on page 39,
15 you were asked by the Presiding Judge:
16 "Are you aware of the position taken by Mr. Drljo in relation to
17 writing reports about the 25th?"
18 And your answer was:
19 "I think that did he not write a report. I know that his
20 position was that he did not wish to write, that he nothing write about.
21 That's what we -- that's what he stated when we were at the commander's,
22 when we were all together, and when he had told us that we had to write
24 Then the question is asked:
25 "Did he get away with that, not write report, where he was
1 ordered to write one?"
2 And you answered:
3 "I have no way of knowing. It is for the commander. He's the
4 one who is supposed to resolve that."
5 Is Mr. Turkalj or Mr. Celic the commander you're referring to
7 A. I had Mr. Turkalj in mind. He was in command of the unit.
8 Q. And if there was to be any discipline meted out to Mr. Drljo for
9 failure to write that report, would Mr. Turkalj be the one to institute
10 that discipline?
11 A. He was supposed to initiate that procedure. He was the person
12 who was supposed to institute disciplinary measures against Mr. Drljo.
13 Q. Were you aware that Mr. Drljo did write a report on the Ramljane
15 And for reference's that P768.
16 A. I wasn't aware of whether he drafted a report or not.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Can we please put P768 up on the screen.
18 Q. Mr. Zinic, on the left is the -- is the handwriting -- or
19 handwritten report which appears to be signed by Mr. Drljo. Do you
20 recognise Mr. Drljo's handwriting by chance?
21 A. I cannot recognise his signature -- or handwriting.
22 Q. Let's assume for a moment that this handwritten report for
23 purposes of this question was written by Mr. Drljo about the Ramljane
24 operation. Can you explain or do you know why Mr. Drljo wrote a report
25 on Ramljane on the activities of 26th of August but did not do so for
2 A. I couldn't have known about it. I think I even mentioned that I
3 couldn't recall my own report I drafted for the 26th. So, as for any
4 reports and who wrote them and how, that is something I don't know.
5 Q. Mr. Zinic, there is no discussion in this report of Mr. Drljo of
6 people being killed in the Ramljane operation, is there?
7 A. That is correct. There is no mention of anything like that.
8 Q. You, yourself, wrote a report on the Ramljane operation; correct?
9 We discussed that yesterday.
10 A. Yes. And I have seen that report.
11 Q. And so did Mr. Balunovic and Mr. Krajina; correct?
12 A. Whether they wrote reports about Ramljane on the 26th, that is
13 something I don't know. But I do think they drafted reports about Plavno
14 and Grubori. That is to say, about the 25th.
15 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Zinic, that Mr. Janic requested reports from
16 the four of you regarding smoke that was observed in and around Ramljane
17 and wanted to find out what the reason there was for the smoke?
18 A. Mr. Janic never requested of me to write such a report and submit
19 it to him.
20 Q. Then under -- then who asked to you write this report? Whose
21 order was it for you to write this report on the 26th, for Ramljane?
22 A. I have to repeat. I don't remember writing that report or who
23 had ordered me to do so. It was probably one of the commanders, but I
24 can't say if it was Mr. Celic or Mr. Turkalj.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, if you'd look at page 9, line 7, you
1 asked the witness whether he recalled that someone requested reports from
2 the four. Now, the name there is off a kind that could, and I'm
3 emphasising "could," create confusion. If the answer is an answer to
4 your -- if the answer is an answer to your question, then it's clear; if
5 not, however, then we should clarify.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, thank you. I think in my question
7 I asked Mr. Zinic if he recalled that Mr. Janic, J-a-n-i-c, has requested
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. Then the -- the answer was responsive to
10 your question. That's clear. Thank you.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Zinic, under the special police's disciplinary scheme, who
14 would be the commander responsible for meting out discipline, if you, for
15 example, wrote a false report?
16 A. In my view, according to the rules of service, it was supposed to
17 be done by my immediate superior, Mr. Turkalj.
18 Q. Were you aware that on the 26th of August, Mr. Celic also wrote a
19 report on what happened in Ramljane?
20 A. I wasn't aware of it, and I didn't see such a report. But it
21 seems logical that he did write a report, in view of the fact that we
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could pull up P767, please.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, could I first seek clarification of
25 the previous question.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Certainly.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You said, Mr. Zinic, that it was logical that
3 Mr. Celic would have written a report on the 26th of August because you
4 had written a report. It's my recollection that, from your testimony
5 yesterday that it may well have been that you wrote reports on the 26th
6 of August at a later date when you were in Zagreb.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Believe me when I say that I cannot
8 confirm when the report was written.
9 I think it was in Zagreb
10 all likelihood -- and it wasn't written along the -- our way back. It
11 must have been written in Zagreb
12 course of the following few days. I don't know.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Which eliminates, more or less, the logic you
14 referred to. Perhaps what is logic and what is not logic is not
15 primarily for a witness to tell the Court.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Zinic, we don't want you to guess at an answer or speculate.
19 We just are asking you to provide your best recollection, and if it's
20 something that you can't recall or can't remember, that is perfectly
21 acceptable if that's the truth. So what you might think is logical, as
22 the Presiding Judge said, won't necessarily follow if it is something
23 that you're speculating on.
24 Back to P767. This is a handwritten document.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we can go to page 2 of the Croatian version,
2 Q. At the bottom of this document appears to be Mr. Celic's
3 signature. Do you recognise his handwriting?
4 A. You cautioned me not to provide any answers unless I'm certain,
5 but I believe I could readily say that this indeed is his handwriting.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to the first page of the B/C/S,
8 Q. In the second paragraph, it talks about the first group led by
9 instructors Franjo Drljo and Branko Balunovic, and it discusses the axes
10 that those two gentlemen and their groups covered. The second group led
11 by instructors Bozo Krajina and Stjepan Zinic also discusses the area
13 Now, does this refresh your recollection at all, Mr. Zinic, as to
14 why you were asked to write a report about the Ramljane activity on
15 August 26th, 1995
16 A. Reports were usually drafted after the completion of tasks, and
17 it was probably that way in this particular instance. I believe it was
18 on Mr. Celic's orders that we wrote those reports. I cannot recall any
19 details, but reports were probably to be drafted to report on any events
20 which may have taken place. Otherwise, there would be no sense in
21 writing them.
22 Q. Mr. Zinic, you will note that on top of the document there is a
23 notation, Gracac, 26 August 1995
24 this report was written in Gracac?
25 A. I don't know that.
1 Q. Mr. Zinic, while we're on Ramljane, I'd like to move on to a
2 little further discussion of that operation.
3 You gave two interviews to the Office of the Prosecutor: One in
4 2004; and one in 2005. They have been noted as 65 ter documents 7546 and
5 7547, just for record purposes. You also gave multiple statements and
6 interviews to the Croatian police and to the judicial authorities in
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Now, yesterday, you testified on pages 16 to 28 of the transcript
11 - and again, I apologise for the notation of the draft transcript -
12 generally about the Ramljane operation. And your report, P769 --
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could bring that report up, please.
14 Q. While we're waiting for that report to come up, you also
15 discussed via the Presiding Judge's questions your statement that you
16 gave to the investigating judge in December of 2009, which is 65 ter
18 Now, before I get to my question, Mr. Zinic. If you look, this
19 is your handwritten report of the 26th of August, 1995, that being P769.
20 Again, it's noted up there, at least on the hand -- in this handwritten
21 version: Gracac.
22 Is that any significance to you, that the word "Gracac" appears
23 up there?
24 A. Well, I cannot confirm that it was written in Gracac. In my
25 view, even if it was written in Zagreb
1 order to show that it was in the area of Gracac, for the sake of the
3 Q. Now, Mr. Zinic, in your interview with the OTP of November 15,
4 2004, on page 44, was a part of your interview where you discussed, at
5 least you were -- the issue of General Markac and your discussion during
6 your testimony of what you apparently heard between General Markac and
7 Mr. Drljo.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could please call up 65 ter 7546, page 44.
9 If you could scroll down, please.
10 This is not the document. It's the 15 November 2004 OTP
11 interview. And it's page 45 of 58.
12 MR. HEDARALY: And that interview is divided in two tapes, so it
13 is not 65 ter 5746, the second one that you had referred to earlier, I
14 think, 7547. But can double-check that if you want.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Let's try that one.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I have a list that these are two separate documents
17 but under the same number, both 7546; whereas, 7547 is the 21st of
18 October, 2005 statement.
19 I have ERN numbers for the second portion to start with
20 V000-5269; whereas the first one is apparently 5268.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour. I'm looking at
23 MR. HEDARALY: It's page 216 in e-court, the second interview is
24 after the first one, the same document. So the pages start again. So it
25 is page 216 of the one on the screen right now.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
2 I think the Registrar is having some difficulty finding it, and
3 we had some initial difficulty finding it as well.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Can you provide the 65 ter number, please.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: 65 ter 7547. 7546? Okay, 7546. Page 216 of
6 e-court. Which, on the bottom, you'll note is page 44 of 58. That was
7 where the confusion lie -- lay.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's apparently, the page you're looking for.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Microphone not activated] Thank you,
10 Your Honour, it is.
11 If we could please go up a little bit. Okay.
12 Q. Okay, on line 9 of this interview the investigator's asking you
13 to you move on to the following day, of the 26th of August, 1995
14 another search was conducted by the Lucko Unit. And on the road between
15 Knin and Drnis.
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And if we could go to the next page.
17 I'm sorry, please scroll down so that we can see the rest of the
18 page, please.
19 Q. And, Mr. Zinic, please go ahead and follow along.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to the next page, please.
21 No, that's not the correct page. Because my page 46 says nothing
22 about Gospic.
23 Page 217 in e-court. Next page, please. There we go.
24 Q. On line 6, the investigator states:
25 "Do you remember when you left that area ... on ... the 26th of
1 August, 1995, that your ... convoy was stopped by Mr. Markac, amongst
3 And you answer:
4 "I think that I remember something like that, but I'm not sure
5 ... it happened on that day or on that assignment. I mean, I remember
6 something like that happening but ...
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we can scroll down, please.
8 Q. And then the investigator goes on further:
9 "Okay. I'm led to believe that Mr. Markac spoke to people and
10 asked what had gone on, what had caused this village to be badly burnt."
11 I'll stop there for a minute. Mr. Zinic, do you recall that this
12 village was badly burnt? Or was there just smoke from buildings that had
13 appeared to have been previously burnt?
14 A. Well, as far as I can remember, at that moment, houses were not
15 on fire. The only thing that could be seen, as I wrote in my report, was
16 that a few of the houses in the area of the hamlet had been burned
17 earlier on.
18 Q. Before your arrival in that area, of the special police?
19 A. Well, in the area where my group was passing. But in my view it
20 happened before that.
21 Q. Okay. Let's go back to the document on the screen.
22 The investigator further states:
23 "And that he had a face-to-face argument with certainly one
24 member of the Lucko Unit."
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to the next page, please.
1 Again, we are on Gospic, which has nothing to do with this
2 document on the screen.
3 Thank you. That's the correct page.
4 Q. And then your answer is:
5 "What I can recollect is that something that like that did
6 happen, that Mr. Markac did stop ... stop us and that there was some sort
7 of argument, but I cannot recall when and to regarding which assignment."
8 And then the investigator asks or states to you:
9 "My understanding is that Mr. Markac, in fact, had a very, very
10 big argument with Mr. Drljo."
11 And your answer is:
12 "It is possible because I did hear talk later on that there was
13 such an argument, but I do not know related to which ... it happened."
14 Now, Mr. Zinic, in this interview that you gave to the OTP,
15 roughly five and a half years ago, there is nothing that mentions
16 anything about you being a witness to any argument between General Markac
17 and Mr. Drljo. There is nothing about you overhearing what was allegedly
18 said by General Markac and nothing about some people killed.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
20 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, the -- Mr. Kuzmanovic has shown this
21 witness two or three pages and asking him to confirm that there is
22 nothing in the interview, saying something. I don't think the witness
23 can answer that question unless he has reviewed the entire interview
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I can represent to the Chamber that there's --
1 other than this discussion, there is nothing in this interview relating
2 to Mr. Drljo and Mr. Markac.
3 MR. HEDARALY: Then there is no point in asking the question to
4 this witness.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Certainly is when it's --
6 Your Honour, I'm going continue with my question, if I may.
7 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Let me just think for a moment.
8 Well, there was a statement. There was not even a question,
9 Mr. Kuzmanovic, if I read the --
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And what is and what is not -- so I suppose that you
12 put a question to the witness.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I will, Your Honour.
14 Q. Can you explain, Mr. Zinic, the difference in your recall in
15 court yesterday and in your interview of December 2009 that, for the
16 first time after more than 14 years, you not only told the investigative
17 judge in Croatia
18 "furious, he was shouting at Franjo Drljo specifically, saying that
19 houses in the village were set on fire, that some people were killed."
20 Because in your interview you say: "I did hear talk later on
21 that there was such an argument."
22 A. Well, I have to say that I was not present, and I was not nearby,
23 and I could not hear the entire conversation. I have to say that, as for
24 General Markac, when he encountered us on this road, some people
25 surrounded him. That is to say, we all got out of our vehicles and stood
1 around him. I cannot say exactly who was there and how many people were
2 there. I remember that Drljo was among them. I saw General Markac, and
3 I saw that he was angry. Later on, when we talked amongst ourselves
4 informally, it was stated that something had happened and that
5 General Markac was angry on account of some houses that had burned.
6 Since -- well, I cannot remember all these details that I recalled a few
7 months ago in Zagreb
8 said at that point in time something that had not been said then.
9 Because when you talk on the basis of memory, then some things may just
10 come out that did not actually happen.
11 Q. Mr. Zinic, in your statement to the investigative judge in
12 December of 2009, and that's the 16th of December of 2009 - and I think
13 the Court can take judicial notice that that was the date that Mr. Drljo
14 was arrested in Croatia
16 in 2004, when you were asked about this alleged confrontation, all you
17 had to say was that you had heard that it had happened.
18 My question to you again is: How do you reconcile those two --
19 that discrepancy?
20 A. Well, again, what is being discussed is a period of time that was
21 15 years ago. There may be differences in statements. Probably at
22 first, when I made my statement, I said what I said.
23 As for this second statement, I said -- well, probably, I thought
24 that some people had been killed, but what we say is usually -- I mean,
25 if the Chetniks got killed in fighting, that means that they got killed,
1 that they were persons who got killed. I perhaps meant something like
2 that, when I made that statement.
3 Q. Mr. Zinic, is it fair to state that what you told the Presiding
4 Judge in Croatia
5 anything that was based on fact, related to people being killed?
6 A. Well, I can say that I probably said what it was that I had heard
7 in some informal discussions. It's not that I saw what was going on
8 there. I mean, these are things that I saw later in the media, on TV.
9 So I probably accepted that then.
10 Q. Were you aware that General Markac was upset because there was
11 smoke potentially visible to the freedom train that was passing by that
13 A. Well, it's possible that it could have been because of that. I
14 cannot say.
15 Q. Is it fair to state that as you sit here, Mr. Zinic, you do not
16 know what the subject matter of the discussion was between Mr. Markac and
17 anyone he was speaking to outside, between Ramljane and Gracac?
18 A. I'm sorry, could you please repeat your question again.
19 Q. Certainly. Is it fair to state that as you sit here today,
20 Mr. Zinic, that you do not know specifically what the subject matter of
21 the discussion was between Mr. Markac and any person or persons he was
22 speaking to outside, on the 26th of August, between Ramljane and Gracac.
23 A. Well, I have to say that I wasn't that close in order to be able
24 to hear the details of what was being said. As a matter of fact, when I
25 realised that there was some kind of problem, if we're going to call it
1 that, I moved away. I didn't think that I should be there, and I didn't
2 hear the entire conversation, especially not the second part of it, or,
3 rather, the last part of it. A part of I probably heard in informal
4 talks about other members of the unit.
5 Q. With all due respect, Mr. Zinic, then what was the point on
6 December 16th of 2009 of you specifically stating that General Markac was
7 shouting at Franjo Drljo specifically, saying that houses in the village
8 were set on fire and that some people were killed?
9 What's the point of saying that in front of the investigative
10 judge, if the testimony that you just gave in the last answer is true?
11 A. Well, probably when I said that, I spoke about the things that I
12 heard from the other members of the unit. And I said that. Perhaps it
13 was not in the best way, but that's the way it came out at that moment.
14 Q. Were you confused about the issues or activities that happened in
15 the Plavno operation and the Ramljane operation?
16 A. I don't quite understand this. Could you please repeat it?
17 Q. Were you confused about what happened in the Plavno operation and
18 mixing it, perhaps, with what happened in Ramljane?
19 A. Well, believe me, I personally participated in quite a few
20 similar assignments or tasks, and sometimes the images seem to overlap.
21 Specifically what happened on the 25th and on the 26th, I could not even
22 remember whether on 26th we were out in the field, and I don't know.
23 Later on, when you showed me that report that was written, I couldn't
24 even remember the report.
25 So, as for details, some details that come back in my memory, I
1 cannot link them to specific tasks, assignments, and dates.
2 Q. Is it true that, between the 26th of August and today, you've
3 heard all kinds of different stories and discussions amongst people that
4 maybe also tainted your memory with respect to what happened back then?
5 A. Well, sometimes there were these informal discussions about life,
6 about war, about all of this; and sometimes there are some things that
7 you cannot actually remember and somebody else is telling you that that's
8 the way it was. Maybe that was the case, but it's hard to confirm.
9 Q. Mr. Zinic, if you look at the interview with the OTP which is up
10 on your screen, you discuss in that interview on line 20 that you did
11 hear talk later on that there was such an argument; correct?
12 A. Well, it's hard to confirm that, whether this was discussed and
13 when. Perhaps that was the case, but I cannot confirm it.
14 Q. Did you give a verbal report after Ramljane operation to
15 Mr. Celic, or any superior?
16 A. I don't remember that.
17 Q. I'd like to move to a different subject, Mr. Zinic. And it's
18 referencing transcript pages 17 and 18 from yesterday.
19 There was a discussion of -- you stated something to the effect
20 of: "Twice we opened fire at buildings that seemed suspicious to us."
21 And I want to talk about that statement for a moment. Could you
22 please explain to the Trial Chamber what you mean by this statement?
23 Because it struck me as being odd that one would open fire on a building
24 that seemed suspicious.
25 Can you please explain that statement for us.
1 A. When -- I mean, such tasks and similar tasks were being carried
2 out for the sake of one's own safety and the safety of the members of the
3 unit if we would assess, I don't know, that from a particular area, say,
4 from a building or wherever, that there might be the possibility of
5 someone going there, say, a Chetnik, we would open fire from side-arms,
6 and, if necessary, even from anti-armour equipment.
7 When carrying out such tasks, we thought for the sake of our
8 personal safety, that there was less damage involved if, say, a building
9 was set on fire, or if something was torn down than if one of our members
10 was wounded or killed.
11 Q. Now, you -- the special police underwent training every year, did
12 it not, and had a specific training session and seminars on mop-up
13 operations, on combat activities, in 1995 twice, actually; is that
14 correct? Once in January to April in Zagreb and once in April to July,
15 on Mali
16 A. Well, there were some courses, seminars, training, but I cannot
17 say exactly at what time and at which positions.
18 I would just like to note that training took place every day, so
19 it's hard to separate anything now. All of this training had to do with
20 training people for what would happen in combat operations.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Just for the Chamber's reference and for the
22 parties' reference, the documents and training I'm referring are D532,
23 D1826, and the Repinc report D932 on pages 69 and 70.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Since, apparently, you are taking a breath,
25 Mr. Kuzmanovic, you asked to us take judicial notice of the day of the
1 arrest of Mr. Zinic.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I believe it was Mr. Drljo, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Drljo. I'm afraid we cannot do that. Because
4 under Rule 94, only facts of common knowledge, I don't know whether you
5 consider this a fact of common knowledge, but I take it there is no
6 dispute about it, and, therefore, as an agreed fact, we could take notice
7 of that.
8 MR. HEDARALY: If we can just have a little time to just
9 double-check that, but then -- if it is the date, that there would be
10 no --
11 JUDGE ORIE: The relevance is low, but since you specifically
12 asked to us take judicial notice of it, then --
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Understood, Your Honour. And I will discuss
14 with Mr. Hedaraly at the break.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Zinic, with respect to the freedom train --
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: One moment, Your Honour. I'm going to find my
18 Q. Were you aware, Mr. Zinic, that, on the 26th of August, 1995
19 General Markac sent a report to the Main Staff of the HV about the
20 activities that occurred on the 26th of August, 1995?
21 A. I did not know of that, and there was no way I could have known
22 about it.
23 Q. Were you aware that the special police unit Osijek-Baranja, had
24 found a huge volume of ammunition in a bunker in the area immediately
25 adjacent to yours on that same day?
1 A. No. I wasn't aware of that.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, just for reference, that report is
4 Q. Were you aware, Mr. Zinic, that the freedom train had a
5 Main Staff -- main security staff located in the rear car of the train
6 that was in contact with the security for the train operation?
7 A. I have no way of knowing that. As a matter of fact, I didn't
8 even know that the freedom train would be passing there or what time. I
9 was not aware of these details.
10 Q. Let's go back, Mr. Zinic, to P568 and P569.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, just for reference, what time is
12 the break? Is it quarter to?
13 JUDGE ORIE: It is usually quarter to, yes.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And if you say you could finish at ten to, then we
16 would easily allow you to go on for another five minutes.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I will, Your Honour, thank you.
18 Mr. Hedaraly.
19 MR. HEDARALY: If I could just seek some clarification. I'm
20 looking at P579, Mr. Markac's report, and the portion dealing with the
21 Osijek-Baranja unit, and I can't find a reference on the huge amount of
22 ammunition. If it can just be pointed out to me, I would appreciate it.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure. It's on -- actually, it's the ... it's
24 under Brotsko Posavska, I'm sorry, which is on the second page of the
25 document. There's also reference to that in P618.
1 MR. HEDARALY: So that's the -- the huge amount is the five
2 rifles, the machine-gun, the three hunting rifles, the Zolja, that
3 portion there? At page 10 in the English.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And the bunker that was found in -- on the
5 section 4.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And P -- and P618. Okay. If we could go to
8 P568. We have that in front of us now. And 569.
9 Q. These are the reports of the 25th of August, 1995. And if we can
10 scroll down on the Croatian version. If we could see your signature,
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And if we could go to P569, please.
13 Q. At the bottom of that document -- at the bottom of that document,
14 569, is also your signature; correct?
15 Is that correct, Mr. Zinic?
16 A. It's hard, after 15 years, when you see your signature, to
17 confirm with 100 percent certainty that that was it. I could confirm
18 that it is my signature, but with a small dose of reservation.
19 Q. Mr. Zinic, the only difference in these two reports is that, on
20 -- P569, the third paragraph was added to essentially what was P568; is
21 that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you add that paragraph?
24 A. Yes, I added that.
25 Q. Why did you add that paragraph? Did someone ask to you add that?
1 Did you do that on your own?
2 A. Well, I think I did it on my own. Because I saw that that part
3 was not there that should have been there.
4 Q. Why did you think that that third paragraph needed to be added?
5 A. I probably thought it necessary at that time. I can't tell you
6 anymore what the reason for that may have been.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to 65 ter 7545, please.
8 Q. Before we get to that document, Mr. Zinic, what you wrote in
9 P569 - and, for that matter, P568 - do you believe what you wrote was
11 A. I'm sorry, I'm confused. Do you mean the report we have just
13 Q. Yes, yes, the two documents, the only difference being that you
14 added the paragraph. Is that report true?
15 A. Yes, probably, if it was written at the time. Since it was
16 written at that time, it should be.
17 Q. Page -- 65 ter 7545 is your January 12th, 2010, record on
18 questioning of the witness, which was under oath. You knew you were
19 under oath at that time. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. On page 3 of that document, you were asked a question from the
22 counsel of the first accused in that process in Croatia. And you say:
23 "I state that I wrote the report some five days after the action.
24 I did not change this report, and it is authentic. I indicated in my
25 report that I heard shots and some detonations, and that I tried to learn
1 through Motorola from other group leaders what it was all about, but I
2 could not get through. That same day, after the action was completed, I
3 saw Commander Celic down by the railroad where we also met, but I did not
4 report to him on it that day."
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we go to the next page.
6 One more page in the English.
7 One more page on the English, I'm sorry.
8 Q. In the last sentence on the first paragraph at the top, you
10 "I wrote the mentioned report by the order of Josip Turkalj, the
11 unit commander, based on the written order of Sacic."
12 Now, Mr. Zinic, we talked about the events that occurred in P568
13 and P569, and you stated to me that you thought the report was true, and
14 in 65 ter 7545, you stated you wrote the report "some five days after the
15 action, I did not change this report, and it is authentic."
16 Now, you did add a paragraph to this report; correct?
17 A. Now comparing the two reports, I see that there is that small
18 part which was changed.
19 I don't remember when I did that, and I probably didn't believe
20 it was all that important. To me, the reports were the same, save for
21 the small change. I attached no importance to it.
22 Q. Now, we talked about this earlier, but you, at the end of the
23 25th, said to Celic that nothing happened. Who intervened, Mr. Zinic, to
24 cause you to change your position from "nothing happened," which is what
25 you told Mr. Celic on the 25th, until some five days after the action you
1 wrote P569?
2 A. I have to repeat that I was answerable or responsible for my
3 group and my axis. At that moment, I probably told Mr. Celic that
4 nothing of importance took place along our axis in the group. Nothing
5 that would have been of any interest to report on.
6 As for the report itself, I drafted from memory -- I drafted it
7 from memory be probably after having discussed things with some members
8 of the group. I probably noted down what I thought was interesting; that
9 we had heard shots. It was probably something that I thought was
10 important, and I, accordingly, noted it.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Could we please pull up D739.
12 Q. Mr. Zinic, if we look at -- this is a letter dated August 23rd,
14 If you look at page 2 of this document, third paragraph from the
15 bottom, this letter discusses Operative Action Knin 95 which is the
16 freedom train on August 26th, and it is noted that the ATJ MUP, which is
17 your unit, would take over security of the most delicate part of the
19 Were you aware that your unit was to take over security of the
20 most delicate part of the railroad?
21 A. As far as I remember, I wasn't aware of it.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to D563, please.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I was informed that it is a
25 confidential document, so therefore not to be shown to the public, I take
2 And I don't know what questions you will ask --
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: You mean D563, Your Honour?
4 JUDGE ORIE: The one you just called for, yes.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Okay. We don't have to show it to the public.
6 I have one question for it. I'd like the witness to see it, Your Honour.
7 Thank you for the admonition.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, as a matter of fact, it is the representative
9 of the Registry who should be thanked for it.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I only have one question. Should I
11 go in private session for this question, in light of the document or
12 should I --
13 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, should go in private session for my
16 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know what the question would be, and I don't
17 have a clear recollection at this moment as to why this document is
18 confidential, whether it is authorship or anything else.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I can ask the question, I think it's --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, with the required caution.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. The last page D563,
22 please. This document is dated the 25th of August, 1995, and third
23 paragraph from the end specifically discusses -- in the English version,
24 it's one page earlier. And it's -- in the English version, it's the very
25 last paragraph. It says:
1 "All MORH and MUP units in their areas of responsibility will be
2 subordinated to the Security Staff for the duration of the Knin 95
3 Operative Action."
4 Were you aware that - at least on this particular date for the
5 freedom train operation - that the security staff which was located in
6 the last car of the train was heading up this operation?
7 A. I wasn't aware of it. Such details were not shared with us.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't need that document anymore, Your Honour.
9 For the Court's reference, the location of the security staff and the
10 headquarters for the operation is located on page 3 of D563.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
13 Q. Mr. Zinic, did any person in the special police, whether it be
14 General Markac or any other special police member, to your knowledge, try
15 to influence you in any way in your reporting of the events on
16 August 25th or 26th?
17 A. No one tried to influence me.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't have any further questions, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Five minutes early.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're praised for it, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
22 If you have one second ... I'm just checking one thing to see
23 whether I have any further question in relation to that.
24 I have still difficulties in finding the "huge amount of
25 ammunition," Mr. Kuzmanovic. Could you help me out, because we're -- I
1 think we're in 579, if I'm ...
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, it's P618.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P618.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, at page.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have to look at that. Because we started
6 with P79, and then we apparently moved to P618 -- [Overlapping speakers]
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yeah, that was my fault, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'll further verify that.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Page 3 of P618.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Kay, in view of your announcement of how much time you would
12 need, I suggest that we do it before we have a break.
13 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zinic, you will now be cross-examined by
15 Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is counsel for Mr. Cermak.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
17 Q. Mr. Zinic, it's just one matter I'm interested in.
18 You've been asked to recollect events on the 25th of August, when
19 you were in this operation in the Plavno area that included what took
20 place in Grubori village, and I want to ask you about the weather
21 conditions on that day.
22 We have seen from your statements that you gave in your
23 interviews that the weather in the afternoon on the 25th of August, you
24 described as being heavy rain. Is that correct?
25 A. I think it is, although I cannot say the whole day was that --
1 like that. There was rain and fog, which would clear at certain points
2 in time, and then sometimes it rained heavily, and then there would be a
3 drizzle. So it kept changing throughout the day.
4 Q. That was my one question.
5 MR. KAY: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
7 No questions from the Gotovina Defence?
8 Any need for further questions? Let me just first ask my
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 MR. HEDARALY: I was simply going to say, no, Your Honour, there
12 was no need for the Prosecution to ask any further questions.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I give you time to think about that. And I'm
14 just, because I -- since you're the cross-examining party, I thought it
15 would be good for you to know whether the Chamber had any questions which
16 might trigger any need for further questions. But ... I'm also giving
17 you a "no." We have no further questions.
18 Mr. Zinic, this concludes your testimony. I would like to thank
19 you for coming a long way to The Hague and for answered the questions
20 that were put to you by the parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a
21 safe return home again.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break, and we will resume at a
24 quarter past 4.00. And I can already inform the parties and the public
25 that the first thing we will do is to go into closed session.
1 We resume at quarter past 4.00.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into closed session.
6 [Closed session]
11 Pages 28169-28216 redacted. Closed session.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Friday, the 16th day of April,
9 2010, at 9.00 a.m.