1 Monday, 19 April 2010 2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Today, again, the Chamber will sit under Rule 15 bis. I
13 announced on Friday that the absence of Judge Gwaunza would be of a short
14 duration. She expects to be recovered by tomorrow. We'll continue as we
15 did last Friday. The remaining Judges consider it in the interests of
16 justice to continue to hear the case.
17 If there are no procedural matters -- one second, please.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE ORIE: We need approximately one minute for the Registrar
20 to verify a certain matter.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE ORIE: May the witness be brought into the courtroom.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Balunovic.
25 Before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
1 require that you make a solemn declaration that you will speak the truth,
2 the whole truth, and nothing butt truth. The text is now handed out to
3 you by Madam Usher, and I would like to invite to you make that solemn
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: BRANKO BALUNOVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Balunovic.
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, the Chamber was informed that you do
12 not seek any protective measures; and, therefore, you will testify in
13 open court.
14 Mr. Balunovic, could you, first of all, state your name and place
15 and date of birth for the record.
16 A. My name is Branko Balunovic. I was born in 1970, in the Republic
17 of Croatia
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, could you state your rank and could
19 you tell us to what unit you belonged in August 1995.
20 A. In August of 1995, I was in the anti-terrorist unit of Lucko as
21 instructor for specialist training.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us your unit? What operation or
23 operations it was involved in the second half of August 1995?
24 A. In the second half of August 1995, following Operation Storm, my
25 unit participated in clean-up operations in the area around Grubori and
2 JUDGE ORIE: And do you remember what day the operation in
3 Grubori took place?
4 A. I think it was on the 25th of August, 1995; at the time when the
5 so-called freedom train was expected to travel along the line.
6 Our task was to clear up a patch of the terrain surrounding the
7 railway line.
8 JUDGE ORIE: What was your role during this operation on the
9 25th of August?
10 A. On the 25th of August, I was one of the leaders in the area that
11 was to be cleared up by my unit. There were four of us holding that
12 particular role, and I was one of the four leaders.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Were you equal among the other group leaders, or did
14 you have any additional task?
15 A. In terms of hierarchy, the four of us were equal. I didn't have
16 any additional task.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now, could you briefly tell us what your group
18 encountered and experienced during this operation on the 25th of August.
19 A. We proceeded from the starting line as designated, in terms of
20 the area that was to be mopped up. My group was second on the left-hand
21 side, next to Stjepan Zinic's group who was to my left. To my right was
22 that of Mr. Drljo, and to the far right was the group of Mr. Krajina.
23 These are the names of the leaders who were there together with me.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Now, once you proceeded from the starting line, what
25 then happened?
1 A. Soon after heading from the starting line, in a hamlet of several
2 homes, as far as I remember, my group came across two persons, so it
3 seems to me.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And what did you do with those two persons?
5 A. The two were elderly civilians. Mr. Jurendic came upon them. He
6 is one of my colleagues. He radioed this information to Mr. Celic, who
7 was in charge of the unit's operation for the day.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Was Mr. Jurendic -- what was his first name; can you
9 tell us?
10 A. Ante.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was he in your group?
12 A. Yes, I think he was in my group, because he happened to be in the
13 area that was searched by my group.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the Chamber received reports about these
15 events, and we'll come to that at a later stage. But in the -- in two of
16 the reports of group leaders, Mr. Ante Jurendic is mentioned as belonging
17 to that group. Are you aware of Mr. Jurendic functioning in not just
18 your group but also in another group.
19 A. I'm not aware of that.
20 However, since people were not specifically assigned to specific
21 leaders before we set out on the task, it is possible that during the
22 search operation some individuals crossed from the territory covered by
23 one leader to that of another, and, as a result, the names of these
24 individuals may appear in more than one of the reports produced by
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, once the two civilians were radioed, or at
2 least the information about them was radioed to Mr. Celic, what then was
3 done, in relation to those two elderly civilians?
4 A. Mr. Jurendic inquired of Mr. Celic of the radio as to what was to
5 be done with these persons, with these civilians. I can't quote his
6 precise words but he said that they should remain there and that somebody
7 would be coming to collect them.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Did you then move on, or did you wait until they
9 were collected?
10 A. I think I moved on.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you then describe what you further
12 encountered and experienced when you had moved on?
13 A. We moved ahead from that hamlet. I only recall that the terrain
14 was quite difficult to negotiate at points and we could not maintain the
15 formation that is normally designated for such mop-up operations but,
16 rather, had to change the -- from the skirmish line into a column, a
17 single file.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did you -- do you remember any incidents, further
19 during the day?
20 A. When we reached the village of Grubori
21 to be searched by Mr. Drljo, somebody passed on the information over the
22 radio that there was some problems there.
23 At that point, my group stopped there.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Up till that moment, as you said, when you reached
25 the village of Grubori
1 A. I can't say that I heard or saw anything that would be out of the
2 ordinary, for that period of time. I can tell you that gun-shots and
3 explosions could be heard from time to time. Given the lie of the land,
4 it was very difficult for me to say where the sound was coming from. I
5 have to tell you that at that time, and it was a time of war, people
6 would open fire even in situations where they would be approaching an
7 area that seemed suspicious. In order to provoke a reaction from such a
8 location, they would fire several bullets in the direction, in that
9 particular direction.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, once you had heard gun-shots and explosions and
11 when you received information on the radio, what -- how did you respond,
12 how did you react to that information?
13 A. Let me first clarify one point: The gun-shots and explosions, I
14 didn't mean to say that they happened at a time when we had radio
15 communication. I only wanted to say that during the search operation one
16 could hear gun-fire and explosions which I could not pin-point the
17 direction of. When my unit was searching the terrain, there were several
18 other units both to our left and to our right, who did their searches in
19 their respective areas.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I should more precisely ask you whether once
21 you had moved on, once you had contacted Mr. Celic about the two
22 civilians, was there any radio contact after that, in relation to
23 gun-fire you may have heard?
24 A. As far as I remember, there were no further radio contacts.
25 I have to emphasise the fact that radio communications were quite
1 poor at that time in this particular area. The repeaters normally used
2 by the radio communications were dysfunctional, and we oftentimes lost
3 contact with other groups, both visually and in radio communication.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, we could have a look at it in further
5 deal if you wish, but in an interview which you've given in 2004 to the
6 Office of the Prosecution, you stated then that when you heard what you
7 thought was rifle fire and when listening to the radio that you heard
8 some communication between other group leaders.
9 Do you remember?
10 A. No, Your Honour, I don't remember. I don't know.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we could have that on our screen. And let
12 me just check. That is 65 ter 7548. First part, pages 132 and 133.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, we have some technical problems. Let
15 see whether I can ... it might take me a short moment to get the exact
17 I'll move on for this very moment, Mr. Balunovic, and we might
18 come back to that at a later stage.
19 Could you please continue? You said you don't remember any
20 further radio communication. What then happened? So you heard some
21 gun-fire; you heard some explosions. What next happened?
22 A. At the moment when we heard on the radio that they had problems
23 in that village, I was somewhere around that village, and one might even
24 say that I kept under my control the area left to the village, which
25 means that I provided security for that area left to the village, and I
1 stopped in that place.
2 JUDGE ORIE: When you say, "in that place," do you mean next to
3 the village, to the left of it; or did you mean to say in the village?
4 A. I meant by the village.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, that gun-fire, those explosions you heard, were
6 they -- how often did you hear that? Was it frequent; was it sporadic;
7 was it constant?
8 A. It was sporadic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: What weapons did your unit and your group have at
10 its disposal during that day?
11 A. We had short-barrelled weapons, pistol, and long-barrelled
12 weapon, rifles. We probably had hand-grenades, but I'm not sure, and I
13 also believe that there were people who had Zoljas or hand-held
15 JUDGE ORIE: If you say people had Zoljas, to whom are you
16 referring? Members of your group; member of the other groups? Any
17 specific persons.
18 A. I really can't give you any names. And I meant in general terms
19 that it was possible that either in my group or in some other groups, men
20 might have had the type of weapons that I've just mentioned.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you just told us that you heard fire.
22 You said it was sporadic.
23 Did you at any time notice that you were fired at?
24 A. No, I didn't notice that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, apart from what you heard, did you see anything
1 which is worth mentioning?
2 A. No. I don't remember that I saw anything at that moment.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You say, "at that moment." Was there, at any later
4 stage, something you saw which may be relevant?
5 A. No, Your Honour, as far as I can remember.
6 JUDGE ORIE: At what distance were you approximately from the
7 Grubori village or hamlet?
8 A. I can't tell you precisely. But I believe that the distance was
9 something between 50 and 100 metres.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Did you see any smoke or any fire?
11 A. No, I didn't see any such thing.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Also not at a later stage?
13 A. No. I don't remember having seen anything, even at a later
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now, are you aware of any prisoners taken during
16 that operation?
17 A. No, I'm not aware of any such thing.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And when did your group meet or merge with members
19 of the other groups?
20 A. I believe that that was in the area beyond that village. But I
21 can't say that I saw all the groups that were involved.
22 Above the village, there is a plateau, and I remember that I was
23 waiting there until some of my men came and that, from there, we moved
24 forward. I don't remember having seen anybody from any of the other
1 JUDGE ORIE: When did you -- when was the whole unit reunited, if
2 they were?
3 A. I believe that that happened at the line of -- where our
4 operations ended and that was by a railway track.
5 I would also like to mention that not all of us arrived at the
6 same time. I believe that I was the first to arrive there and that we
7 waited for the others to gather.
8 JUDGE ORIE: When you were at the railway line, how did you then
9 move on?
10 A. We got into our vehicles there. I am not sure whether the
11 vehicles were already there or whether we had to wait for them. In any
12 case, that was the end of that operation. That's where we got into our
13 vehicles and were taken from there by the vehicles.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you have to walk along the railway
15 line in order to get you to your vehicles? Did you see any railway
16 stations or ... did you move north; did you move south?
17 A. I only remember that there was a little stream separating us from
18 the railway track. There were no bridges, so we will to cross that
19 stream, in order to climb to the railway track.
20 I believe there was a railway station there, but I'm not sure of
21 that. I'm -- I think that there was. And if I remember well, the
22 vehicles were standing there, in that spot.
23 JUDGE ORIE: How did the vehicles get there? Had the drivers
24 stayed with the vehicles or ...
25 A. As far as I remember, the vehicles deposited us at the beginning
1 of our operation, at the line where our operation started. They took
2 some other way to get to the line where operations -- operation ended. I
3 don't know when the vehicles left from that first line and when they
4 arrived at the last line. I can't remember, or perhaps I didn't even
6 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the start of the operation, where you got off
7 the vehicles, who had told you where the operation would start? How did
8 you know where to start?
9 A. I don't remember how that transpired. I believe that that was
10 immediately as we got out of the vehicles. If I remember properly, we
11 were transported along a very narrow asphalt road, and I believe that the
12 launch line was right there.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And how many were you in a vehicle?
14 A. I don't know exactly, but I can assume that, since the vehicles
15 had seven or eight seats, I believe that the vehicles were full, that
16 there were seven or eight people in the vehicles.
17 It is also possible that some of the vehicles were not full to
18 the capacity, but I'm not sure.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, were you the only group leader in your
21 A. I don't remember. I don't know.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember, did you have maps where to go; or
23 did the driver know; or had someone told you where to go?
24 A. I remember that we had maps, but I don't remember at what point
25 we had received them. I believe that it was at the launch line, but I'm
1 not sure.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Who had briefed you on the operation of that
4 A. Mr. Celic.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And where did he brief you, if you remember?
6 A. I don't remember. I can only assume that that was either at the
7 launch line or perhaps in Gracac. I'm not sure.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, at the end of the operation, did you
10 report to anyone about what had -- what you had accounted during that
12 A. Actually, I reported back to Mr. Celic. I informed him that
13 there had been no incidents on my axis, save for the incident when we
14 found those two civilians. But he already knew that. He had already
15 been briefed on and that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And that is what you learned from -- oh, you mean
17 the two civilians earlier?
18 A. Yes. I mean the two civilians that Mr. Jurendic found.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you report anything on the gun-fire you
20 had heard?
21 A. No, I didn't think so. I didn't -- didn't tell him anything
22 about that.
23 But as I've told you, it was not a thing to report about. It was
24 not unusual. You could hear shots and gun-fire all over the place.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, where did you go after the operation was
2 A. I remember that I fell asleep in the car as soon as we started
3 driving, and when I woke up, we were in Gracac. So I would say that
4 after the end of the operation, we returned to Gracac. That was our
5 base -- temporary base in the field.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you remember who were with you in your
8 A. I remember - and I'm sure that Mr. Celic was in the car - he was
9 the driver actually. I'm not sure about the others. I can't remember
10 who else was in the vehicle.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And when you said you orally reported to Mr. Celic,
12 was that in the car; or was that before you boarded vehicle?
13 A. I believe it was before we got into the vehicle.
14 JUDGE ORIE: But after you arrived at where the vehicles were; is
15 that ...
16 A. After the end of the operation, I believe that I reported to
17 Mr. Celic as soon as I saw him. I told him what had transpired on my
18 axis, and after that verbal report, we boarded the vehicle.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Did you notice that whether any of the group leaders
20 similarly reported, as I understand, orally, to Mr. Celic?
21 A. I can't be sure of that. I assume so.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And why do you assume so?
23 A. Well, because that was a custom and a normal thing after every
24 operation. The first thing we did after every operation was to brief the
25 operation leader orally.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Had any members of your group used their fire-arms
2 during that day?
3 A. I remember that in the field, after the village, as I've already
4 told you, there was an elevation, a plateau. Mr. Garic fired a shot in
5 the direction of a wooden log cabin in that elevation.
6 As I've already told you, it was not unusual for men to open fire
7 or fire a -- a -- a round or two when they thought that they were looking
8 at something suspicious. They simply wanted to provoke an answer from
9 that side, if there was, indeed, something suspicious going on there.
10 Mr. Garic fired - I don't know how many rounds he fired - and I
11 told him that that was enough, that he should no longer open fire, and
12 after that, he did not open fire.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Garic fired at -- in a direction of a wooden log
14 cabin. Did he hit that cabin; or did he shoot above it?
15 A. I'm not sure. I really can't tell you whether he fired those
16 shots into the cabin, or above it, or by it.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Did it trigger any fire in return?
18 A. No, there was no return fire.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Apart, perhaps, from being hit by a bullet, did the
20 cabin suffer any further damage, as a result?
21 A. As far as I can remember, there was none.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So it didn't catch fire or was, in any other way,
23 affected visibly?
24 A. As far as I can remember, no such thing happened.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Later that day, you said you fell asleep in the car.
1 You arrived at Gracac. Did you, at any later point in time during that
2 day, speak with Mr. Celic about the operation?
3 A. I'm not sure. But I would say that we did not discuss the
4 operation any further.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Also not with members of other groups?
6 A. Correct. I don't think that I discussed the matter with anyone.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember at what time, approximately, the
8 operation finished, at what time, approximately, you arrived at your
10 A. No, I really can't remember. Either the launch time or the time
11 when we arrived at the last line. I only remember that it was raining at
12 the end of the operation. There was a thunder-storm going on. It had
13 been raining also during our mop-up operation.
14 But I'm really not sure about any of the times. I can't talk
15 about the times of day, when things happened.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, during the following day, the 26th, did you,
17 during that following day, at any time, discuss the Grubori operation
18 with Mr. Celic?
19 A. I don't know. As far as I can remember, I don't think so. I
20 don't think we did.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now, as far as the reporting by Mr. Celic is
22 concerned, do you have any knowledge on -- as to how Mr. Celic compiled
23 his report, a report on the events of the 25th?
24 A. No. I have no knowledge about the way he compiled his report.
25 That was above my hierarchical level, and I was really not interested in
1 that at all.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, we have some technical problems.
5 Normally we'd show you on the screen exactly the -- what we'd like to
6 show to you, but I now have to find it and then read it to you.
7 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Balunovic, I would like to take you to the
10 next day; that is, the 26th. And I think you earlier told us that there
11 were operations in Grubori and in the Ramljane area.
12 Was it on the 26th that you were involved in an operation in the
13 Ramljane area?
14 A. Yes, I was involved in an operation in the Ramljane area, and, as
15 on the previous day, I had the role of a group leader.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was the unit divided in four groups, as it was
17 the day before?
18 A. My memory of these events is quite vague compared to Grubori. I
19 think the unit was divided into several groups, but I'm not sure how
21 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember to work closely together with any of
22 the other group leaders on that 26th of August?
23 A. No, I don't remember.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Did you depart from Zagreb -- from Gracac that
25 morning of the 26th?
1 A. Again, Your Honour, I'm not sure. What I remember of the events
2 of that day is that, soon after leaving the starting line, there was
3 fire. Somebody opened fire, and we noticed two uniformed individuals
4 ahead of us.
5 I think somebody said that they were shooting at us and people
6 fired back at them. I think that both of them fled.
7 The next thing I remember, as having happened on the day, is that
8 we were heading along a road for which we had information that it had
9 been mined. I was at the head of the column, and Mr. Neven Juricic
10 [phoen], who was a trained explosives specialist was there with me, we
11 headed the column, as we trod carefully along the road.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Were you shot at? That means, your group.
13 A. I can't claim that with any certainty. But I do recall
14 individuals shouting that we were being shot at, though I don't remember
15 seeing that, actually.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Did you or members of your group return any fire?
17 A. I think that, at that point, the whole unit was together. That
18 we had not dispersed at that time yet. And I recall seeing, for myself,
19 these uniformed individuals ahead of us. What I don't remember is who
20 opened fire.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You mean whether they opened fire, or whether you or
22 members of your group opened fire; is that what you mean to say?
23 A. Yes, I'm not sure.
24 JUDGE ORIE: What, apart from this fire, did you hear or did you
1 A. I don't remember anything else from that section of the terrain,
2 from that particular action. My memory of that operation is quite faded.
3 I do recall what happened next, when General Markac came to see us.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could I stop you there for a moment.
5 Did you see any smoke or fire?
6 A. Yes, I do remember that, from the operation's staff, somebody
7 called me over the radio and asked me what sort of smoke could be seen
8 there where I was. I said that I didn't see any smoke and that I didn't
9 believe that it happened along my axis.
10 I don't remember seeing any smoke even later on, though I suppose
11 there was smoke, since Mr. Markac came to see us.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Why do you suppose that there was smoke when he came
13 to see you?
14 A. Well, I suppose so, because this is an issue that was already
15 discussed in this case, when I had an interview with the ICTY
16 investigators. And also because I believe that Mr. Markac came to see us
17 precisely with the intention of finding out where the smoke came from.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any explanation, then, as to how he was
19 aware of the smoke and you didn't see it?
20 A. No, I have no knowledge of it. I'm saying that I don't remember
21 that smoke, not now.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Do you exclude for the possibility that you have
23 seen such smoke but that you don't remember?
24 A. Is possible that I saw it and that I don't remember it anymore.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Earlier you told the Chamber that someone called you
1 over the radio and asked what sort of smoke could be seen, that you said
2 that you didn't see any smoke.
3 A. Yes. That was at the point when I was still in the village,
4 because I do remember that there were houses about. I remember him
5 asking me what sort of smoke this was, and I remember answering that I
6 didn't know, because it probably wasn't along my axis.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember the name of that village?
8 A. No, I don't.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You told us that you met Mr. Markac. Could you tell
10 us when and where that encounter took place.
11 A. I remember that it happened when the operation in Ramljane was
12 over. What I don't remember is the location where it took place.
13 JUDGE ORIE: When you say, "When the operation in Ramljane was
14 over," how do I have -- were you all together at the target point; or
15 were you on your way back; or -- how do I have to understand your answer?
16 A. Again, I am not sure -- or let me first tell you that I believed
17 the operation was over when we reached the finish line, as it were, and
18 when the unit gathered.
19 I'm not sure if Mr. Markac was already there waiting for us, or
20 told us to wait where we were for him to arrive, or whether he came upon
21 us in a vehicle. I'm not sure.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Now, when you saw Mr. Markac, what then happened?
23 A. As far as I remember, Mr. Markac had a map with him. He wanted
24 to establish what had happened in that section of the terrain and where
25 each of the respective leaders were, which part of the terrain they
2 JUDGE ORIE: Did you give the information he was asking for?
3 A. I recall Mr. Celic being there; of course, because he was in
4 command of the unit on the day.
5 If I remember correctly, Mr. Markac asked him about who had
6 passed along that axis through the village. I think that Mr. Celic
7 mentioned me and Mr. Drljo.
8 However, the conversation was interrupted by Mr. Drljo's
9 intervention which was not soldierly, or honourable in any way. If I
10 remember correctly, he started swearing and the oaths were intended for
11 Mr. Markac. He said that he had set alight everything, whatever he could
12 or whatever he wanted. I'm trying to give you the general outline of
13 what the conversation or what the course of these events was.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You said that Mr. Markac asked about who had passed
15 along that axis through the village. Was there any specific issue he
16 raised in this context?
17 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Earlier you said something about smoke and where
19 Mr. Markac was apparently aware of. Was that, at this moment in time,
20 that he referred to that?
21 A. I don't know if Mr. Markac was aware of the smoke, but I believe
22 that that was the reason why he came to see us, i.e., to establish where
23 the smoke had come from and how this had happened.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And why do you believe that that was the reason why
25 he came to see you?
1 A. I don't know which other reason he could have had. I'm not sure.
2 JUDGE ORIE: How did you become aware of smoke which could be
3 seen or had been seen.
4 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
5 JUDGE ORIE: My question is the following: If you say, The smoke
6 was the reason why Mr. Markac came to see you, this could be explained by
7 either that you had seen that smoke - you said you did not - or that
8 Mr. Markac had seen that smoke, or that it was reported to Mr. Markac
9 that there had been smoke.
10 So I'm just trying to explore why you linked the presence of
11 Mr. Markac with smoke.
12 A. I heard, later on, that this apparently had happened at the time
13 of the passage of the freedom train. The freedom train was carrying
14 representatives of the Croatian elite, and, allegedly, some of the
15 passengers of the train intervened and informed Mr. Markac of this.
16 This is hearsay, I'm telling you, that I came to learn later on.
17 I don't know if the events happened this way, really.
18 JUDGE ORIE: What triggered Mr. Drljo's comments that he had set
19 everything on fire? I mean, if you're talking about an operation and
20 someone starts talking about having set something on fire, what triggered
21 that; do you remember?
22 A. I can't tell you this with certainty. I presume, and my
23 presumption is based on my knowledge of Mr. Drljo and his participation
24 in the homeland war, I suppose that the very fact that Mr. Markac came to
25 see us provoked him, triggered this reaction. From Mr. Markac's
1 demeanour, one could infer that something went array. His approach in
2 addressing the unit was such that it seemed that he -- he was already
3 blaming someone, and I suppose that this conduct on the part of
4 Mr. Markac provoked Mr. Drljo and triggered his reaction. Though I have
5 to tell you that this is how I see it. I'm not sure that that is,
6 indeed, the case.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, I'm looking at a statement you have
10 given in Croatia
11 circumstances, we would show it to you, but I'll then slowly read what
12 you are reported to have said.
13 And let me just see to who you gave that statement. That was a
14 statement you -- it was a witness interview where an investigating judge,
15 Mr. Ivancic, was present. Do you remember having given such a statement
16 on the 16th of December?
17 A. Yes. I remember giving a statement before Judge Ivancic.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now I will slowly read the relevant portion.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interprets would kindly request the
20 President to indicate the precise passage he is reading from. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm reading from the third page of the 16th of
22 December interview, which we cannot show, unfortunately, on the screen.
23 A line starting -- perhaps we could put it on the ELMO, that's -- but we
24 have no B/C/S ...
25 I see that we have at least a Croatian version on our screen at
1 this moment. That seems to be the document.
2 If I -- now the problem is, that in B/C/S, it is the -- let me
3 try to find it.
4 Could we move on a bit? I think we -- could we move back one
5 page in B/C/S. Could we enlarge it a bit.
6 I will try to find where it is in the original. Yes, it is
7 about -- at a certain moment we have the number 20 metres, and then a
8 couple of lines further down, where the name of Mr. Markac appears.
9 Can you see it on your screen? And I will slowly then read:
10 "I am not sure" -- no.
11 I see "nisam siguran," which sounds familiar to me now:
12 "I'm not sure whether we drove before that or we were about to
13 climb into vehicles when General Markac arrived and asked who set the
14 houses on fire. I do not remember whether he mentioned a name of a
15 village, but it seems to me that he referred to that village we passed
16 through on the second day of the operation."
17 You then continue:
18 "As far as I remember, Franjo Drljo then angrily answered
19 General Markac that he had set those houses on fire."
20 Now, this statement suggests that Mr. Markac specifically
21 referred to houses that had been set on fire. I earlier asked you what
22 triggered Mr. Drljo's response, and you said:
23 "I heard later on that this apparently had happened at the time
24 when -- of the passage of the freedom train."
25 And you say, "This is hearsay." In your statement, we find
1 clearly that you say Mr. Markac asked about who set houses on fire.
2 Now, which of the two is the truth: Did Mr. Markac specifically
3 mention houses being on fire; or is it only that you heard and that you
4 supposed or assumed later on that this is what had triggered his presence
5 and that was part of his questions?
6 A. Actually, I don't know, and I'm not really clear on what the
7 dilemma is. I stand by what I said on the 16th of December.
8 I said a moment ago that Mr. Markac's demeanour was such that it
9 clearly indicated to us that one of us had done -- or some of had done
10 something that was clearly not permitted and that was how he approached
11 the entire unit. I can't be sure or quote the exact words of anyone
12 there. But Mr. Markac's demeanour and what was said was roughly along
13 the lines of what I stated on the 16th of December. As far as I
14 remember, Mr. Markac --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there.
16 On the 16th of December, you clearly stated - at least that is
17 how it is reported - that Mr. Markac asked about the fire, about the
18 houses being set on fire.
19 [Microphone not activated] ... is that the truth?
20 A. I believe so, yes. I believe that that was the case. But I'm
21 not sure how Mr. Markac had been informed about houses having been set on
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, whether you know that or not, that's not
24 the question, how he knew. But I asked you - and I repeat my question -
25 you said that Mr. Markac asked about what had passed along that axis
1 through the village.
2 And I asked you:
3 "Was there any specific issue he raised in this context."
4 And you said:
5 "I don't know. I don't remember."
6 From your statement of last December, one, it is difficult to
7 understand it in any other way than to say that he raised the issue of
8 houses being set on fire.
9 That's what you apparently said and -- is that what you say is,
10 first of all, what you said in December; and whether that's the truth?
11 A. Yes, I believe that it happened just the way I described it, on
12 the 16th of December.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could I encourage you to directly answer the
14 questions, because it took me quite a while to explore with you what
15 seems to be a relatively simple answer.
16 Now, so we had Mr. Markac raising the issue of houses being set
17 on fire, Mr. Drljo responding to that.
18 Was Mr. Markac calm; was he upset; was he -- what was his -- what
19 could you see? Because you earlier referred to the -- to his behaviour?
20 A. If I remember it properly, Mr. Markac was upset, and he was also
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What then, after this anger being expressed,
23 Mr. Drljo telling that he had set everything on fire, that he set the
24 houses on fire, what then happened? Were any decisions taken? How did
25 Mr. Markac then respond to that situation?
1 A. The only thing that can I remember is that after the event, we
2 were sent to Zagreb
3 pick up the rest of our equipment. That's where our temporary base was.
4 After that, we were sent to Zagreb
5 after, I'm not sure.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you leave for Zagreb that same day or the
7 day after?
8 A. I'm not sure. That I believe that was on the same day. But I'm
9 not sure.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, when you saw Mr. Markac, who was there
11 present with him, if anyone? I think you already mentioned Mr. Celic.
12 Anyone else?
13 A. If my memory serves me well, I believe Mr. Janic was there. And
14 perhaps Mr. Sacic, but I'm not sure.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The return to Zagreb, was that already
16 scheduled in advance; or was it decided on that moment?
17 A. I'm not sure about the arrangements that were made at a higher
18 hierarchical level. That was not part of my job.
19 However, after the passage of the freedom train, there was no
20 longer any reason for us -- for or presence there. I suppose that there
21 hadn't been any other operations planned.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Had the freedom train already passed through that
23 area when you saw Mr. Markac?
24 A. I don't know. I have no direct knowledge of that. But I -- as I
25 have just told you, rumours had it that while the freedom train was
1 passing through, somebody noticed that smoke and informed Mr. Markac.
2 So I would be inclined to believe that the freedom train had
3 already passed when we were sent to Gracac.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember what time it was that you returned
5 to Gracac?
6 A. No, I don't remember.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Not even approximately? Like midday or late in the
8 evening or ...
9 A. I really can't remember. I wouldn't want to misinform you, and I
10 really can't remember.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, it's time to take a break. We have a
12 break of close to half an hour, and we'll resume at five minutes past
14 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.17 a.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, we have to try to overcome our
17 technical problems. I hope it goes better.
18 But it causes me to take you back for a while to the first day of
19 the operations, 25th.
20 Could we have 65 ter 7548, page 132, 133 on our screen.
21 At the bottom of this page, Mr. Balunovic, you are talking about
22 the communications. And we now move to the next page.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, most likely we'll see it on our
25 screen soon.
1 I'll start slowly to read to you, even if we can't see it yet.
2 It is about the events on the 25th of August, and after having been asked
3 about the weather conditions, the following question is put to you:
4 "Okay. And, having heard this shooting, did you go on your
5 radio, or did you receive a radio message?"
6 And then your answer was:
7 "As it was an open channel, I heard Mr. Zinic contacting either
8 Mr. Krajina or Mr. Drljo, one of them, asking what is going on. And as
9 far as I can recall, the response was that they had encountered Chetniks
10 or something like that."
11 Do you remember having stated this in 2004? And I literally read
12 to you what was recorded.
13 A. Well, I can say that I do not recall the instance when I stated
14 that. It was six years ago, and my recollection of the events was much
15 better then than it is now, so I would be inclined to believe that my
16 statement given six years ago is accuracy.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, excuse me.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I just wanted to know the reference --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What we have -- great problems here.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I have a hard copy with me if Your Honour --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you have a hard copy, I can --
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: On the bottom it --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, on the bottom it always says which page out of
25 how many.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Correct, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And, there, I think it is page 132, 133 of 162 of --
3 MR. HEDARALY: If I may assist, Your Honour, it is page 137 in
4 e-court right now of 65 ter 7548, and what Your Honour has read was from
5 line 17 on.
6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, there may be some area of confusion
7 with what Mr. Kuzmanovic has because what was initially disclosed is a
8 different pagination then what is in e-court, so ...
9 JUDGE ORIE: The problem is that two parts of the 2004 statements
10 are put together, which mean that the e-court pagination does not, is the
11 not same --
12 MR. HEDARALY: I think, Your Honour, as a matter of fact, that is
13 one problem and also there was a revision to the translation and there
14 may have been different versions. The version in e-court now, the final
15 translation, has 167 pages at the bottom. The portion that Your Honour
16 has just read is in page 137 of the version in e-court on the screen
17 right now.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We have it on our screen now, that's clear.
19 Mr. Balunovic, you can read it there what your answer was, can
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And you say this -- since it was closer to the
23 events, this may well be the accurate description of what happened.
24 Now, there is one other detail from that statement which I'd like
25 to discuss with you.
1 In that statement, you said something about searching houses as a
2 standard procedure. Was it standard procedure that, if you would see any
3 houses that you would just briefly go into them, in order to find out who
4 is in there?
5 A. Well, we certainly had to search the houses in the area that we
6 were supposed to search. It would have been impossible to search
7 everything else without making sure that there's no danger coming from
8 the houses, that the houses were safe in the search area.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do I have to understand it, that if, on your axis,
10 you would see a hamlet or a village that you would, at least, look into
11 the houses in order to see who were present there?
12 A. Correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 Now, I would like to take you back to the 26th of August; that
15 is, the Ramljane operation. Did you report on that on what happened on
16 that day?
17 A. Yes, I believe so. That report was presented to me in the
18 proceedings conducted in Croatia
19 hadn't been even sure whether I had ever written a report about the
21 JUDGE ORIE: Was it usual that you would present a written report
22 on your operations?
23 A. I worked in the special police for a number of years. I can say
24 that I joined the moment it was established and continued working after
25 the war for ten years.
1 I can say that the procedure changed, so I cannot be sure that,
2 during the war, we were duty-bound to submit written report about every
3 operation or whether we did it only upon the superior's orders.
4 It is possible that, at that particular time, a verbal report was
5 all that was necessary, but I'm not sure.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, do you remember who ordered you, if such
7 an order was given, to write a report on the 26th of August?
8 A. No, Your Honour, I can't remember.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember when and where you wrote that
11 A. I really don't have any recollection, either of the time or the
12 place where that report was written.
13 As I just told you, it was only a month ago that I learned and
14 was absolutely sure that the report had been written and that it exists.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we look at that report; P770.
16 Is that your handwriting, Mr. Balunovic?
17 A. Yes, this is my handwriting.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I'd like to pay some attention to some
19 details of your report.
20 You write that the report -- that -- that the -- that the terrain
21 search operation took place between 0930 and 1400 hours.
22 Does this, in any way, refresh your recollection?
23 A. I remember that operation, but I can't remember the time when it
24 took place.
25 As I already told you, I really have a very vague recollection of
1 that operation. But I do remember that I took part in it, and I do
2 remember what my role in it was.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, this report also states that you came
4 under fire and that you returned fire with infantry weapons and anti-tank
5 weapons, which resulted in several buildings and haystacks catching fire.
6 That is not consistent with your testimony of today. Do you have
7 an explanation for that? Because, today, you said that you didn't see
8 any smoke and nothing at all. Here, however, you do report that, as a
9 result of returning fire, several buildings and haystacks caught fire.
10 Do you have any explanation for this inconsistency?
11 A. As I have told you, I have a very vague recollection of the
12 details of that operation. I said that there were fires; I don't know
13 how they happened. It is possible that I wrote my report based on
14 assumptions, as to how the houses caught fire.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now you say:
16 "I said that there were fires; I don't know how they happened."
17 Is that what you said today?
18 A. I apologise, when I said "fire," I meant rifle fire. I didn't
19 mean burning, houses burning, or anything else burning. "Fire" is a word
20 that we use both for something burning as well as opening fire from
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you also write a report on the events of
23 the 25th?
24 A. Yes, I did write a report.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember when and where you wrote that
2 A. Again, I'm quite confused about the -- where that report was
3 compiled. I believe that I wrote it in the base, in Zagreb.
4 JUDGE ORIE: In Zagreb
6 I take you back to the 26th. There was this conversation between
7 Mr. Markac and Mr. Drljo, as I understand, an unpleasant conversation.
8 What did you do next? You returned to where?
9 A. I'm not sure, but I believe that we returned to Gracac.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, did you stay in Gracac? Did you ...
11 A. I'm not sure whether we set out for Zagreb on the following day
12 or on the same day. In other words, I'm not sure as to how much time we
13 actually spent in Gracac after the operation.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Did you, at any time, return to the Grubori area,
15 after you had concluded your operation in the Ramljane area?
16 A. Again, I don't know how many days later. I believe that that was
17 maybe a day or two days after the operation in Ramljane. I returned to
18 the area of Grubori, together with Mr. Celic, upon Mr. Sacic's order.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you then go from Gracac to Grubori;
20 or did you return from Zagreb
21 A. Mr. Celic and I were sent back to Grubori from Zagreb. Or,
22 rather, not to Grubori but to the area down there.
23 I remember that I was also in Knin, but I don't remember whether
24 we went to Grubori first and then to Knin, or the other way around. I'm
25 not sure.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber has received evidence that you
2 were in Grubori on the 27th of August, together with, among other people,
3 Mr. Sacic.
4 Now, did you go back to Grubori once, or did you go there several
6 A. I'm not sure. I believe that I was there only once.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Is it -- would you exclude for the possibility that
8 you stayed overnight in Gracac on the 26th of August and then went to
9 Grubori in the course of the 27th of August?
10 A. I remember that we returned to Grubori and that we had spent the
11 previous night in Zagreb
12 night in Zagreb
13 rather, I'm sure that we arrived in Grubori from Zagreb and not from
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, Do you remember at what time
16 approximately you arrived Grubori on the day you were there?
17 A. I don't remember the time.
18 JUDGE ORIE: What did you see when you returned to Grubori?
19 A. The scene that I saw in Grubori still haunts me and still affects
20 me whenever I have to talk about it.
21 We entered the village, and the first thing I noticed was a lot
22 of carcasses of animals, pigs or perhaps cows. I'm not sure about the
23 cows, but I remember the pigs.
24 At the entrance to the village, we were met by a civilian, by a
25 gentleman. I suppose that he was one of the locals. And when Mr. Sacic
1 saw the dead pigs lying about, he asked the gentleman, What was that?
2 And the gentleman answered something to the effect, Well, the pigs are
3 the least of the damage. The biggest damage are the dead people. And
4 then he started taking us from one a place to the next where the bodies
5 of dead people lie.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You saw the bodies of the dead people?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Was Mr. Celic with you when you saw the dead people?
9 A. I think he was.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Was Mr. Sacic with you when you -- when you saw the
11 dead bodies?
12 A. Yes, I'm certain that he was.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Were you told before going there why you would go to
15 A. I don't remember if I was told specifically why we were going
16 there. I think that we were generally told that there were some problems
17 down there and that that was the reason why we had to return.
18 JUDGE ORIE: What kind of problems?
19 A. I don't recall the words that were used.
20 JUDGE ORIE: But what was the gist of it?
21 A. In fact, I didn't know what it could possibly involve. I think
22 that the situation as it existed out in the field was different from how
23 Mr. Celic reported on it, and that was the reason why we had to head down
25 JUDGE ORIE: Were you told what the difference was?
1 A. I don't recall it being told to me that way.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, apart from Mr. Celic and Mr. Sacic, who else
3 were present when you came to Grubori?
4 A. I remember seeing Mr. Cermak; that's to say, in Grubori. But I
5 don't recall at which point this was. In fact, I remember that we were
6 at Mr. Cermak's in Knin, but I'm not sure if we went to Grubori first and
7 then to Knin. I think that we were, in fact, first attending the meeting
8 in Knin and then headed for Grubori, where we were joined by Mr. Cermak.
9 Though, again, I'm not sure of it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Did you return to Knin after you had been in
12 A. I don't know, Your Honour. I remember that I was in Knin,
13 attending a meeting of sorts with quite a few persons in attendance, but
14 I don't recall any other details.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You told us that Mr. Celic was there; Mr. Sacic were
16 there; that, either at that moment or at any other point in time, you saw
17 Mr. Cermak. Was Mr. Turkalj in Grubori?
18 A. I'm not sure. I don't remember.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Was Mr. Markac in Grubori?
20 A. I think that Mr. Markac was not.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now, when you saw these dead bodies, what then
22 happened? Was this discussed or -- what was said about it?
23 A. I remember that this person took us to the various spots where
24 dead people lay in Grubori. I myself didn't go everywhere. I recall
25 that Mr. Sacic, although I do have a confusion in my head on this score,
1 I remember that there was an old man, his dead body, that is, in a house.
2 He a wound on his neck. There was a woman there, mourning and lamenting
3 his death. I recall her telling us, Look how they cut his throat and
4 pointing to his neck with his finger. And I recall Mr. Sacic saying that
5 this wasn't a knife wound, rather, the exit wound of a bullet which had
6 entered the neck from the back, from the nape. I recall that there was
7 somebody taking a photograph, although I can't tell you whether this was
8 part of general crime scene examination or not. I also don't remember
9 where we headed next, after visiting Grubori.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, how many dead bodies did you see?
11 MR. KAY: Just one matter of translation while we're here. It's
12 been pointed out to me by a language speaker that at 37, 6, a different
13 phrase was used from the word "general" and it might be a phrase that's
14 familiar to Your Honour from these proceedings.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we then perhaps -- for me, it's 37,
16 line 5.
17 MR. KAY: A term of science rather than art.
18 JUDGE ORIE: "I can't tell you," you are translated to have said,
19 "whether this was part of ..."
20 Part of what exactly?
21 Could you answer the question, Mr. Balunovic? I'm just asking to
22 you repeat your answer in that respect because there may be a translation
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I think if you would read from the
25 beginning of the sentence until you read, that might give the witness a
1 better context of what ...
2 JUDGE ORIE: Starting at "I recall"?
3 Yes. Mr. Balunovic, I read from what appears on our transcript:
4 "I recall that there was somebody taking a photograph, although I
5 can't tell you whether this was ..."
6 And then what did you then say? I think I started saying:
7 "... by part of ..."
8 Part of what?
9 A. Yes, I said that I wasn't sure whether the taking of photographs
10 was part of an on-site investigation or crime scene examination in order
11 to establish facts, or whether this was -- this had some other purpose,
12 the taking of photographs.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What other purpose could that have been?
14 A. Well, I don't know. For the media perhaps. I'm not sure.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you see any investigating judge? Was there
16 anyone with you, who you thought or knew was an investigating judge?
17 A. I don't remember. I think that there were members of the
18 uniformed police with us.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were there any members of the crime police?
20 To say not special police but crime -- the policemen which would normally
21 investigate a crime scene.
22 A. I can't tell you this with any degree of certainty. At the time,
23 the police was not distinguishable by their uniform. You couldn't tell
24 by their uniform whether it was a crime investigation police or any other
25 branch of police.
1 So I couldn't tell you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Did you notice anything in the behaviour, in the
3 active of the policemen present that they were involved in a crime scene
5 A. As far as I remember, only the taking of photographs could
6 indicate this sort of activity.
7 I don't remember observing any other sort of activities. I can't
8 remember now.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you spontaneously came up with the
10 possibility that it would have been for the media. What made you -- what
11 made you think that it could have been for the media?
12 A. Well, Your Honour, you asked me what other purpose the taking of
13 photographs would have, and that's the only thing that occurred to me at
14 the moment. That's why I said that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Was there any media present?
16 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Any cameras, video cameras, of a profession kind?
18 A. No, I don't remember.
19 Let me note that I was quite shocked by everything I saw there,
20 and perhaps my ability to observe matters was a bit impaired by what I
21 experienced there.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before Mr. Kay sought to have a translation
23 issue resolved, I asked you how many dead bodies you had seen.
24 Could you tell us how many you saw?
25 A. I said already that I saw the old man. I saw another dead body
1 in a house that was burned. The body was burned too. I recall a limb
2 missing on the body, but I don't remember if it was an arm or a leg.
3 There was another body lying in a house, but I didn't want to
4 enter any more houses.
5 I also saw two more bodies, lying in a meadow. I watched them
6 from a distance. So I saw the total of four bodies.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And during this whole visit, was Mr. Sacic
8 always there next to you; or was he -- or did he leave; or did he ...
9 A. I think that I was with Mr. Sacic up until the point when we saw
10 the dead body of an old man in a house. As I said, I didn't want to
11 enter any other houses; whereas, Mr. Sacic proceeded to do so.
12 JUDGE ORIE: So when you saw the bodies in the meadow from a
13 distance, was Mr. Sacic with you at the time, looking from a distance, or
14 did he come closer to the dead bodies?
15 A. I don't know, Your Honour. I don't remember.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, after you had been to Grubori, or before, as
17 you were not certain about that, you said you had been in Knin. Where
18 were you in Knin, and with whom?
19 A. Yes, I said that I wasn't sure what followed after we came from
21 Mr. Sacic, we proceeded. Now, whether we proceeded first to Knin and
22 then to Grubori, or vice versa, I'm not sure.
23 JUDGE ORIE: My question was where you had been; or were you just
24 driving through; or did you stop? Did you have -- did you meet anyone,
25 did you ...
1 A. If you mean Grubori, we walked through Grubori.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I meant Knin.
3 A. As far as I remember, we reached Knin in vehicles, of course.
4 The next thing I remember was this meeting, of sorts, in Knin.
5 JUDGE ORIE: What meeting was that?
6 A. I don't really know what the specific -- specific purpose of the
7 meeting was. I remember Mr. Sacic and Mr. Cermak attending the meeting.
8 I remember persons wearing uniforms of the general duty police, ordinary
9 police, I suppose, that they were there as participants in the meeting.
10 As for the meeting itself, I remember next to nothing. I think
11 that there was discussion of the need to carry out a crime scene
12 investigation and the sanitisation of the terrain.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us some more details about that
14 discussion. Who said what? What was the sequence to be followed? Crime
15 scene investigation first and then sanitisation? Or could you tell us
16 the gist of that conversation.
17 A. Unfortunately, I cannot give you the details. What I would like
18 to point out is that I didn't feel that I belonged at the meeting,
19 because these were high-ranking individuals, and I wasn't, in fact,
20 interested in such meetings. I was even annoyed by them. I thought that
21 I was out of place there, and that I would feel much better being
23 I recall a loud discussion, Mr. Sacic shouting, but I'm not sure
24 what the substance of this conversation or discussion was.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now -- Mr. Hedaraly.
1 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry, Mr. President, this is very unusual for
2 me, but I have actually noticed a translation issue as well. At page 41,
3 line 9, and the reason I notice it is because it was the same word that
4 had happened before, it was page 41, line 9. And it is a term that is
5 now very familiar to me in the B/C/S original as well. So if we could
6 seek the same clarification again. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: When you earlier told us, Mr. Balunovic, that you
8 think that there was a discussion of the need to carry out, did you refer
9 to an on-site crime investigation and the sanitisation of the terrain?
10 Is that what you referred to?
11 A. Yes, yes, on-site or crime scene investigation and sanitisation,
12 or what is meant by it is the burial of the dead.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, Mr. Sacic shouting. Was it about the
14 same subject on what had to be done; or was it, rather, about what had
15 happened; or could you try to see what you remember?
16 A. Your Honour, allow me to say that I could answer most of the
17 questions by saying that I am not sure, and it -- it applies to this
18 question as well.
19 I am not sure. I don't know.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, this Chamber has heard evidence that, in the
21 context of the Grubori events, that there have been at least two type of
22 discussions. The one was about what to do: On-site crime scene
23 investigation; or not, just sanitisation.
24 Another subject on which the Chamber received evidence, as a
25 matter that was discussed, was how to explain the events. Was it the
1 result of combat or armed resistance and how this may have been caused.
2 As far as the discussion with Mr. Sacic -- or Mr. Sacic shouting
3 is concerned, does any of these two possible subjects - and again, the
4 Chamber received evidence on discussion about these matters in this
5 context - does that refresh your memory in any way?
6 A. No, Your Honour. Again, I wouldn't want to venture into unknown
7 territory. I, perhaps, wasn't even present at the meeting throughout the
8 time. Maybe I went out of the room, since, given the hierarchy of the
9 participants at the meeting, I didn't feel that I was where I should be,
10 that my place was there.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you -- had you reported already at that time
12 on the events or ...
13 A. If you mean my report, I don't think I wrote it yet.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, before we come to your report being
15 written, did you ever discuss with Mr. Celic how he reported about the
17 A. I don't remember if I discussed this with him or not. I know
18 that later on his report did not reflect the situation in the field and
19 that he wrote another report subsequently.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And did you -- did he tell you on the basis of what
21 he wrote that second report?
22 A. Yes. He told me that he wrote the second report based on
23 instructions from Mr. Sacic.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Did he tell you when he wrote that report?
25 A. I don't know. I don't remember him telling me that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember were you present when that report,
2 based on Mr. Sacic's, his instructions, was produced?
3 A. I recall a situation where Mr. Celic and I were in Gracac. I
4 don't remember when this happened, in relation to the other -- other
5 events we are discussing here. I do remember that I stayed behind in
6 either the kitchen or the corridor of the building where the special
7 police HQ was housed and that Mr. Celic went to a meeting with Mr. Sacic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You said this in answer to my question when that
9 report was produced. What made you believe that that meeting was the
10 meeting where Mr. Celic produced his report?
11 A. I'm saying this on the basis of what Mr. Celic told me at a later
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, what you saw, Mr. Sacic and Mr. Celic
14 going to a meeting. Do you remember whether other persons went there as
16 A. If I remember correctly, I was received by Mr. Pucek [phoen] I
17 believe, who offered me food; or was it Mr. Cvetko [phoen], I'm not sure.
18 Now I don't know who else may have participated in the meeting,
19 if anyone.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You said you were in the corridor or in the kitchen.
21 Where were these, Mr. Pucek or, perhaps, Mr. Cvetko. Where were they?
22 A. Mr. Pucek, that was his name. I'm not sure if I saw one of them
23 or both of them. I only know that one of them offered food, and I
24 remained either in the corridor or in the kitchen eating; whereas,
25 Mr. Celic went to a meeting with Mr. Sacic.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You saw them together entering a room or did you --
2 what did you see exactly?
3 A. I don't remember. I can't say that I saw them entering that room
4 together. But I believe that I have been told to wait there because he
5 was supposed to meet with Mr. Sacic, or attend a meeting with Mr. Sacic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Balunovic, did you ever see that report
7 that was, at that occasion, produced by Mr. Celic. Did you ever see it
8 at -- in this period of time, so not whether you saw it at a later stage,
9 but whether you saw it in late August or September 1995.
10 A. I'm not sure. I don't know.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let me then turn to your report, in relation to the
12 events on the 25th of August.
13 You said you think that you wrote that report in Zagreb. Could
14 you tell us about the circumstances: Who asked you to write the report;
15 when was it; where did you write it.
16 A. I remember that we had a meeting in our base in Zagreb. And I
17 believe that the meeting took place in Mr. Turkalj's office. He was the
18 unit commander. And we were told that written reports had to be compiled
19 about the events in Grubori. I believe that a written order had arrived
20 to that effect from the command of the special police.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Who had called for that meeting?
22 A. I'm not sure. I believe that it was Mr. Turkalj.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Recently, you gave a statement to the Croatian
24 police. I think you said that Mr. Celic had called the meeting.
25 But could we have a look at 65 ter 7540, page 3, both in B/C/S
1 and English.
2 Do you remember giving a statement on the 1st of October, 2009
3 Mr. Balunovic? Approximately a half a year ago.
4 A. Your Honours, I don't remember either the occasion or -- or when
5 that happened.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It says that Josip Celic called a co-ordination
7 meeting and invited the commanders of all the combat groups.
8 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 I just wanted to place on the record the Court is aware of our
11 position on the issue of Official Notes. So I just wanted to ...
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes that's -- yes, that's ...
13 You see that, you are reported to have said that the meeting was
14 called by Mr. Celic.
15 A. It is possible. I don't know who called it.
16 Maybe we should clarify one thing. Calling a meeting does not
17 mean to be in charge and have the main say at such a meeting. I can't
18 remember. I don't know.
19 It is possible that Mr. Celic informed us to show up for the
20 meeting, and that may have been the case, especially if I said so in my
22 JUDGE ORIE: What then happened during that meeting? Who
23 addressed you; who said what had to be done, if anything?
24 A. If I remember things well, I believe that Mr. Celic told us that
25 Mr. Sacic had provided him with some information that should form the
1 base of a report to be compiled about the events in Grubori.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were you aware of that information? Did you
3 know what ...
4 A. I don't remember whether I was aware of all that information
5 beforehand. Since I was in Gracac together with Mr. Celic, he may have
6 told me something about all that even before the meeting, but I cannot be
7 sure of that. I can't confirm that with 100 per cent certainty.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Did you meet with him the day before the meeting?
9 Or before the meeting? Did you discuss the events in Grubori?
10 A. I don't remember whether we discussed that. We worked together.
11 He was my superior. We must have seen each other. We must have spoken.
12 But I really can't tell you, and I can't be sure whether a topic of our
13 conversation was also Grubori.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, can we have a look at your -- first of all, did
15 you write it down by hand, or how -- and where did you write the report?
16 A. Well, usually we wrote our reports in handwriting -- handwriting,
17 and then somebody would copy them on a computer. It would be either the
18 secretary or a desk officer in the unit.
19 I believe that I compiled my report in the meeting room, not in
20 the room where that particular meeting was held, but another room that
21 was used for the service or by the service.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So did you do that immediately after the meeting?
23 A. I can't tell you whether it was immediately thereafter, but I
24 believe that we had been given a dead-line. I'm not sure whether that
25 was immediately after the meeting.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look at P572.
2 Could we go to the second page in the original.
3 Mr. Balunovic, do you recognise your signature under it?
4 A. Your Honour, this is not my signature.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Balunovic, when you had written this
6 report, was it given to you to -- when it was typed out, was it then
7 given to you for reviewing it?
8 A. I don't think so. If I had reviewed it, I suppose that it would
9 now bear my signature.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When you got it typed out, and irrespective of
11 the signature at this moment, did you make any comments and did you say,
12 It's right, or it's wrong, or it should be different?
13 A. I have already told you, I believe that I never saw this report
14 typed out.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You've never seen a typed-out report on the events
16 of the 25th August?
17 A. Your Honours, I know that there are two reports. Two reports
18 were written on my behalf depicting that event. One of them does bear my
19 signature and the other one doesn't. And -- and the two reports differ
20 in one part.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, my question to you is whether you looked
22 at the typed-out report and whether you -- forget about what you see on
23 the screen, forget about your signature at this moment. I want to know
24 how it had happened. It has happened, I should say.
25 A. I don't know. I'm confused. I don't know want to say. What I
1 see before me is a typed-out report and --
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, I asked you not to look at what you see.
3 Can we get it off our screens.
4 What I want to know is: You made a handwritten report. What
5 then happened?
6 A. I don't know what happened, but it was common practice to --
7 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. -- refer our report to somebody who would type it out, on a
10 JUDGE ORIE: Did you do so?
11 A. I believe so. It would have been following the customary
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My question is whether you remember to whom
14 you gave it.
15 A. I don't remember. It could have been one of the two people in
16 our unit.
17 I apologise, I misspoke. Three persons were able to type the
18 report out, but I could have also given that report to my superiors who
19 would have then made sure that it was typed out.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So did you then see the typed-out report?
21 A. The one that I signed, I believe that I did. But I don't recall
22 that particular moment, when I saw it and when I signed it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, when you received the typed-out report,
24 did you comment on it? Did you make any corrections? Or did you change
25 it in any way? Or was it exactly as you expected it to be?
1 A. I don't think that there were any changes. I believe that
2 Mr. Celic requested for an addition to be made to the report, that I
3 should state that before we launched the operation that we had been
4 warned about the treatment of the civilians, and that he also made sure
5 that we knew that we were supposed to abide by the international
6 humanitarian laws.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You said he requested for an addition. So,
8 therefore, an addition to the report you had submitted initially?
9 A. Yes, possibly. Yes. I -- it was possibly the case, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, when I asked you whether any corrections were
11 made, apparently this was added to the report. Was this added once you
12 had seen the typed-out report?
13 A. Your Honour, I don't know at what point in time was that thing
14 added. I don't remember.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And how was it added? Did you add it to your
16 handwritten report or -- and did you phrase the lines yourself or ...
17 A. I'm not sure. But I believe that I did it myself, that I was the
18 one who composed those sentences.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, as far as the phrasing of the report is
20 concerned, where did you get the information which you -- which you did
21 write down in your report?
22 A. If my memory serves me well, the information was conveyed to us
23 by Mr. Celic at that meeting, in Mr. Turkalj's office.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How was it conveyed to you? In writing or ...
25 A. I don't remember how it was conveyed. I believe that while I was
1 writing my report, I did have something on a piece of paper. I would
2 assume that those were the guide-lines that I drafted myself, while
3 Mr. Celic was telling us about the information that our reports should
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, in your -- in the Official Note of your
6 interview which was taken on the -- was held on the 1st of October, you
7 said that you received a piece of paper and that you based your report on
9 A. That also could have been the case. I'm not sure.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, do you remember whether the other group
11 leaders, how they received their information?
12 A. I believe that all of us group leaders attended that meeting and
13 that they heard the same information I did, and that they were conveyed
14 the same information I was conveyed. But I don't know -- I don't know
15 how that information was conveyed.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look at the -- 65 ter 7540, page 3
17 in both versions.
18 Could we move a bit down in the English.
19 You are reported there to have said that:
20 "At the meeting, Celic told the participants exactly what to
21 write in their reports," and that you're almost certain that "each
22 participant received the instructions on a piece of paper on which they
23 based their reports."
24 And then it continues that you stated that you acted according to
25 Celic's order, that is --
1 And could we move to the next page in English.
2 And that you didn't ask any questions. That is what you are
3 reported to have said during your interview on the 1st of October.
4 Does this refresh your memory in any way?
5 A. No, Your Honour. As I have already told you, I'm not sure how
6 the information was conveyed. In other words, I don't know whether the
7 information was already written on paper and distributed, or whether I
8 made my own notes during Mr. Celic's presentation.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, as far as the report is concerned -- and
10 let's move to P573. And could we move to the second page in B/C/S.
11 Is that your signature, Mr. Balunovic?
12 A. This is my signature, yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Now, in this report, events are described in a way
14 which are quite different what from you testified that you observed on
15 the 25th. Did you have any hesitation to write it down, in accordance
16 with the information that was given to you?
17 A. I didn't hesitate. This report consists partly of what I saw in
18 the field and partly of the information that we received from Mr. Celic.
19 At that point in time, I didn't know what had actually happened
20 in Grubori, and it was not unusual to base our reports not only on our
21 direction knowledge but also on the information obtained from different
23 JUDGE ORIE: In your report, you described that
24 Mr. Stevan Granovic [phoen] was arrested. I earlier asked you whether
25 any -- whether it was your -- whether you were aware of any arrest made
1 that day. You said no, you were not.
2 Now someone else tells you that someone was taken prisoner, and
3 you just write it down for the truth of it without knowing whether it was
5 A. Well, as for somebody having been arrested and what their name
6 was, we heard that from Mr. Celic, and he supposedly had heard that from
7 Mr. Sacic. As I already told you, I did not have the control over the
8 entire mop-up area so I really don't know what happened. And, actually,
9 I could not refuse to put in my report what my superiors -- superior told
10 me had happened.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Why couldn't you refuse?
12 A. Well, there was no reason for me to doubt his words. I did not
13 have a -- any reason to not to believe that something had happened.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Celic being present during the operation in
16 A. Well, Mr. Celic remained at the starting position, at the launch
17 line, and I believe that he took over those men that were found by
18 Mr. Jurendic. The next time I saw Mr. Celic was at the final line. In
19 other words, he was not with us during the mop-up operation.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, we will have a break, and we will
21 resume at 1.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.44 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, a few more questions about your
25 report and the person taken prisoner.
1 All the groups of the units ended up in the same place, and you
2 told us that you had not seen any prisoner being taken. What this
3 Chamber does not fully understand is that you apparently take it for
4 granted that someone was taken prisoner, if you never saw any prisoner at
5 the point where you gathered at the end of the operation.
6 A. Well, as I said, not all of us reached the end line at the same
7 time, nor do I remember a meeting taking place. I think that each of the
8 group leaders submitted their own report to Mr. Celic. So it could have
9 happened that I didn't notice it, that I didn't observe it, and that
10 someone was taken prisoner.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, during this meeting where you were invited to
12 write the report, or instructed to write a report, was Mr. Drljo present
13 as well?
14 A. Yes. Mr. Drljo was present, but he left the meeting, if I
15 remember correctly, and said that he would not be writing a report.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Did he say why he did not want to write a report?
17 A. I don't remember him explaining anything.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Are you sure about this; or do you say, Well, I just
19 don't remember.
20 A. I'm not sure. I don't remember him explaining anything.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look at 65 ter 7540, page 6 in the
22 English; 4 in B/C/S.
23 Could we -- one second. I just have it on my left screen and
24 not ...
25 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, I'll withdraw the question in
2 relation to this interview.
3 I would like to take you back to the -- to your signature. You
4 are sure that the one document without the additional line does not bear
5 your signature; is that correctly understood?
6 A. Yes, I don't think that's my signature.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Balunovic, I have looked at the other report.
8 And perhaps we could show, first, the signature under P572.
9 Second page. Second page, the original.
10 Now, you say this is certainly not your signature.
11 A. Yes. I am pretty sure it's not mine. I don't think I ever
12 signed my name this way.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have a look --
14 A. Besides, whenever I sign with my first and last name, I would
15 always first write my first name and then my last name.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And -- now, are you aware of -- has this ever
17 been investigated by --
18 Mr. Hedaraly.
19 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Maybe we can ask the
20 witness if he knows the -- what the letters next to his name typed out
21 are. My understanding is that they may have some significance in this
23 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether I fully understand you, Mr. --
24 but that may be my -- "v.r.," what does "v.r." stand for?
25 A. That could mean, I believe, personally, in one's own hand. In
1 other words, once my name was typed up, this means that I personally sign
2 in my own hand what was written above. That's what the abbreviation
3 stands for.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And that doesn't appear on the other one, does it?
5 Could we have look at the other -- 573, I think it is. Yes.
6 Yes, now, do you usually sign just with -- without a first name?
7 Or what's the -- what are you usually doing when signing a document?
8 A. Initially, I would sign both with my first and last name, and as
9 of late, I only sign my last name.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And in 1995?
11 A. I don't remember. But I believe that, by that time, I had
12 already been signing only with my last name, unless I was required to do
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Could we have a look at P770.
16 That's your handwriting and your signature, Mr. Balunovic?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know whether this has ever been further
19 investigated on -- whether the version with or the version without the
20 extra line, whether the signatures were false? Under the one or under
21 the other.
22 A. I don't know about that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask, has it ever been investigated by
25 MR. HEDARALY: I don't think so, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You don't think so.
2 Then let's move on, Mr. Balunovic. Only a few more questions.
3 Apart from what you knew at the time, did you receive any further
4 information about the Grubori incident in the years that followed?
5 A. Well, in fact, this wasn't much talked about among people. And I
6 think it was in 2003 that I learned a bit more about it.
7 JUDGE ORIE: What did you learn about it, and how?
8 A. A very good friend of mine came to see me in my office at the
9 base. At the time, I was assistant commander of the unit. I think it
10 was at the time when the ICTY investigators started interviewing us in
12 He came to my office and told me that he was in that group in
13 Grubori, that he had seen quite a lot, and that he would not allow
14 Mr. Celic or I to suffer something that we were not responsible for, and
15 that, when the time came, he would testify about the things that he saw.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Who was that good friend of yours?
17 A. That was Mr. Igor Radocaj.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, did you ever receive an information from a
19 person named Marijan Sosa.
20 A. That's right. Marijan Sosa also told me something about these
21 events. Also after 2002 or 2003, I'm not sure. He also told me that
22 Mr. Drljo had threatened him. Apparently, at one point, he called him to
23 get into a car with him, that he had just recently bought in order to
24 show him how good the car was.
25 Marijan allegedly refused at first but then he managed to
1 persuade him to get into the car. Marijan then told me that Drljo drove
2 him to the Stupnik forest, which is close our base, the base of the
3 anti-terrorist unit of Lucko. I can't quote his exact words, but he told
4 me that he had threatened him along these line, that if he said anything
5 about the Grubori case that he would bury him in the woods so that nobody
6 would find him, something to that effect.
7 Marijan said that he had been trying to get out of the car, as
8 the other one was telling him this, but that the doors were locked by an
9 automatic lock. Marijan tried to get out, but then, in the end, he --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter isn't sure which of the two
11 drew out a pistol and threatened him with, I don't remember which words.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Marijan also told me that on one
13 other occasion, as I was getting out of Lucko base compound in my car, I
14 saw Marijan and Drljo speaking at the gate. Marijan later on told me
15 that on that occasion, Drljo told me, and I apologise for the term I'm
16 going to use, that that asshole also needed to be settled or done with.
17 In other words, he was referring to me.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now did Mr. Sosa tell you about what knowledge
19 he had of the events or what he heard about the events?
20 A. Unfortunately, I didn't make a -- either a mental or a written
21 note of it, of the things that he said. He did say quite a few things,
22 and I can't either quote him or tell you with certainty which were the
23 words that he used. Still, his story boiled down to the following: He
24 saw that Drljo and Igor Beneta had killed somebody in Grubori.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You say he saw. Did he see that with his own eyes
1 or ...
2 A. Marijan Sosa told me that he had seen it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: He was in one of the four groups?
4 A. That's right.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, what you just told us is in line with
6 what you said on the 16th of December of last year, when you were
8 Now, in a later interview - 25th of February of this year - you
9 denied to have had any contact with Mr. Sosa. Could you explain what
10 made you change your mind between last December and February?
11 If you'd like to have a look at it, we'll have a look at 65 ter
12 7650. Page 4 in English; page 3 in B/C/S.
13 Do you remember that you gave different accounts of your
14 communication with --
15 Three in B/C/S; 4 in English.
16 A. Your Honour, I don't know how to explain this situation to you,
17 other than by saying that I have been experiencing psychological
18 problems, and that the situation is aggravating my condition. That
19 second time when I was giving my statement, I simply couldn't remember
20 what it was that I said in my first statement. And, in fact, I don't
21 agree that I -- that I said that I hadn't had any contacts with
22 Marijan Sosa and that he hadn't told me anything. I don't know how this
23 found its way into the document. In other words, I stand by what I told
24 you a moment ago. The only dilemma and uncertainty I have in this regard
25 has to do with what they told me about who it was that Drljo had killed
1 and who it was that Igor Beneta had killed.
2 As I said, unfortunately, I didn't feel the need, at the time, to
3 make a note or try and memorise these conversations.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you stand by your testimony given today,
5 that Sosa, as an eye-witness, told you what he had seen.
6 A. That's right, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I have no further questions for you at this moment.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, we have 15 minutes left.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, Your Honour, you wish me to start?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think it's -- perhaps I inform the parties
12 that, of course, all the travelling arrangements that were scheduled for
13 today didn't work out and, therefore, it is very unlikely that we would
14 have our next witness here by tomorrow even the day after tomorrow. It
15 is highly uncertain when aviation will start again.
16 The Chamber has in mind to deal with some procedural matters if
17 we would have any time left today, but let's first hear the testimony of
18 the witness in cross-examination.
19 Mr. Balunovic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Hedaraly.
20 Mr. Hedaraly is counsel for the Prosecution, and you will find him to
21 your right.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Balunovic.
24 A. [In English] Good afternoon.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Can we first have 65 ter 7660 on the screen,
2 Q. And it will come up on your screen in a few seconds. And that
3 will be the decision of the Ministry of Interior to appoint you as an
4 inspector of the Lucko Anti-Terrorist Unit as of the 1st of May, 1995
5 And when you see that on the screen, can you please confirm that
6 that, in fact, was your position in 1995.
7 Just take a few seconds. We still have some technical
8 difficulties, but I think they are almost resolved.
9 A. [Interpretation] I would only like to say the following: The
10 interpretation said inspector and I wasn't an inspector. I was an
12 Q. Well, on the English translation of the document, it says the
13 position of specialised training instructor, and the title is inspector,
14 first-class or inspector; perhaps that's the confusion. Is that
15 accurate, what you see on the screen?
16 A. Yes. In fact, instructor of specialised training was an
17 occupation post, which required the rank of an inspector. So such
18 decisions always designated the post that was to be occupied as well as
19 the police title required.
20 Q. Let me just show you a second document which is related.
21 MR. HEDARALY: And that's 65 ter 7661.
22 Q. This is the next decision concerning you and the Ministry of
23 Interior. That one is dated 1 January 1996. And there it says that you
24 are still a specialised training instructor, so that specific position
25 the title is of independent sergeant. Do you see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And if you go to the bottom of that page, the last paragraph in
3 the English starts:
4 "Given that the civil servant named does not meet the conditions
5 necessary for the appointment into the title prescribed for the civil
6 servant position under item 1," and we can turn the page in English, "of
7 this decision but that it is estimated that he will successfully
8 discharge the duties of the said civil servants position ..."
9 And then it goes on. Have I understood correctly that as of
10 1 January 1996
11 qualified but for which you were expected to become qualified?
12 Have I understood this document correctly?
13 A. I believe so, yes.
14 Q. So would it be fair to say that you were promoted as of
15 1 January 1996
16 the qualifications of the new position at a later stage?
17 A. Well, I can't tell now, because I don't see that the decision
18 mentions any sort of qualifications.
19 It is noteworthy that the Law on Internal Affairs was amended and
20 the whole structure of the police changed over time, so perhaps this was
21 due to certain administrative reasons that called for the issuing of a
22 new decision that would be in accordance with the regulations in force at
23 the time.
24 Q. To the best of your recollection, were you promoted as of
25 1st January 1996
2 A. No. The post remained the same, that of the specialised training
3 instructor. In other words, both the 1995 and 1996 decisions regulated
4 the same posts and the same type of duties.
5 Q. Thank you for that answer.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, can I have 65 ter 7660 and 65 ter
7 7661 admitted into evidence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7660 shall be
11 assigned Exhibit P2724. 65 ter document 7661 shall be assigned
12 Exhibit P2725. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: P2724 and P2725 are admitted into evidence.
14 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, I will be moving into another
15 topic, and I can start, but I will not be finished in ten minutes; but I
16 leave it up to the Chamber's discretion, if you wish me to start now and
17 complete tomorrow, or take an early break or deal with other matters and
18 start -- continue tomorrow.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Before we give up time, could you give us an
20 estimate on how much -- perhaps we --
21 Yes, do you understand, Mr. Balunovic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Partly.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's not a secret anyhow.
24 Could you give us an estimate, Mr. Hedaraly.
25 MR. HEDARALY: I will need one -- one to two sessions. Hopefully
1 closer to one than to two.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, as of now, one session at the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay.
6 MR. KAY: At the moment, no questions.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
8 MR. KEHOE: No questions, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then I think it's better that we adjourn for the
11 Mr. Balunovic, we'll continue tomorrow. We'll finish for today.
12 I would like to instruct you that you should not speak with anyone about
13 your testimony, whether it is testimony you have given already today or
14 whether that is still testimony still to be given tomorrow. So not to
15 speak or, in any other way, communicate with anyone about your testimony.
16 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, after the witness is excused,
18 I just wanted to talk about a logistical thing, as long as we have a few
19 minutes left.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we have.
21 We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00,
22 Mr. Balunovic. You are excused. You may follow the usher. But only for
23 the day.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Move into private session, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, move into private session.
9 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
16 We'll adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow, the 20th
17 of April, 9.00 in the morning, this same courtroom, III.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of April,
20 2010, at 9.00 a.m.