1 Wednesday, 2 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
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 Before an opportunity will be given to the Prosecution to call
13 its witness in its re-opened case, I'd first like to put something on the
15 On the 27th of May, 2010, the Trial Chamber instructed the
16 Prosecution and the Victims and Witness Section informally that both
17 Witness 177 and Witness 178 should be present on the Tribunal premises on
18 Thursday morning - that is, tomorrow morning - and are to be kept
19 separate during the day. It is in the same context, and reasons will be
20 formally put on the record later, that we'll hear the evidence of the
21 witnesses today and tomorrow, in private session, which doesn't mean that
22 that evidence will be kept confidential, but for those two days it will.
23 The reasons for that will be put in detail on the record soon. The
24 Chamber verified that the witness who will testify today, he did not ask
25 for any protective measures. So it's a -- as matters stand now, it is a
1 temporary measure.
2 Mr. Kehoe.
3 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, at this point, just simply
4 because there has been no Rule 79 or 75 basis for this, we just want to
5 preserve our objection to proceeding in private session.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear. We'll put on the record in full
7 detail in open session what the reasons.
8 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Mr. President. I just preserve my
9 objection at this point.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Same here, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Same to you.
13 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. We are slightly concerned because
14 there has been so much publicity about this matter as the Court knows and
15 the Court has referred to in earlier proceedings in Croatia and
16 elsewhere. And this will be the first public opportunity of that
17 evidence to be properly heard, and so we are concerned with the measure.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that. And as may be clear to
19 the parties it is not the intention of this Trial Chamber to keep this
20 confidential. It should be part of the public record. It's a -- as
21 matters stand now a temporary measure for which the reasons will be given
22 in detail, and it's clear that all parties reserve their positions in
23 relation to this measure.
24 MR. KAY: Much obliged, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Anything from the Prosecution side in relation to
2 Then we move into private session. And we'll most likely stay in
3 private session for the two days to come.
4 [Private session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
7 Is the Prosecution ready to call its next witness.
8 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, Mr. President. The Prosecution would like to
9 call witness 176, Mr. Jozo Bilobrk.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Good, Mr. Bilobrk.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, you're required to make a
14 solemn declaration, that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
15 nothing but the truth. The text is now handed out to you. May I invite
16 you to make that solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Bilobrk. Please be seated.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, the Chamber understands that you did
22 not seek any -- apparently you do not hear me.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, actually. I hear you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber is informed that you're not
25 seeking any protective measures; is that correct?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, nevertheless, the Chamber decided, not
3 because you're seeking protective measures, that your testimony will be
4 heard in private session. That is, that it is no secret that you're
5 testifying here, but the content of your testimony is not to be disclosed
6 to the outside world. And most likely, this is a temporary measure only,
7 which is related to the integrity of the proceedings rather than anything
8 else. Just for you to know, that, at this moment that no one will hear
9 your testimony.
10 Is that clear? If you have any questions in relation to that --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- you may ask them.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no questions, I understand
14 fully what you have just said.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then you will first be examined by Mr. Hedaraly.
16 Mr. Hedaraly is counsel for the Prosecution.
17 Mr. Hedaraly, you may proceed.
18 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: JOZO BILOBRK
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bilobrk.
23 A. Good morning, Mr. Prosecutor.
24 Q. Can you please state your full name and date of birth for the
1 A. Jozo Bilobrk. I was born on the 13th of September, 1967.
2 Q. And can you tell us what is your current occupation?
3 A. I'm a police officer.
4 Q. What was your occupation in August 1995?
5 A. I was a police officer.
6 Q. Before coming here to testify today, did you seek any advice from
7 anyone regarding your testimony?
8 A. Yes, I did. Not about the case or my testimony but about the
9 arrival in The Hague
10 Q. Who did you talk to?
11 A. I talked to a judge at the county court. But not about the case.
12 I spoke to him about the arrival at the The Hague and -- and possibly if
13 somebody wanted to talk to me before I entered the court, how I should
14 talk to them, and how I should react to such a request.
15 Q. What did this judge tell you?
16 A. He asked me if I had been interviewed by those who were supposed
17 to receive those interviews, who requested those interviews, if --
18 officially. I said yes. And then he told me that his recommendation
19 would be not to talk to anybody again before I entered court.
20 Q. Can you tell the Court why you sought this advice from this
22 A. Because I remember that during the investigation there was a lot
23 of pressure, letters were written to replace my statements, although I
24 never provided those statements. I thought that somebody might want to
25 get in touch with me again, and in order to avoid doing something wrong
1 or feeling uncomfortable, I got in touch with that judge.
2 Q. Since you arrived in The Hague, did you meet with any of the
4 A. No, I didn't. I only met with the OTP.
5 Q. And did you discuss with the OTP any of the substance of your
6 expected testimony today?
7 A. The gentleman from the Prosecution suggested that I should be
8 prepared for the trial. We started going over the interview that I had
9 already provided to them, and when I realized that they wanted to discuss
10 the statement that I'd already had, I said that I would retain the right
11 not to say anything else, if there, indeed, was that right, and if there
12 is anything else that they wanted to ask me, that they were welcome to do
13 so here today in the courtroom.
14 Q. Was that the end of your interview with the Prosecution?
15 A. Well, I requested from the Prosecution an official translation of
16 the interview that the OTP had conducted with me, because I had not had
17 that official translation. Since I don't speak the English language, and
18 I was provided only with the Defence's version of the interview
19 translated into Croatian, and I could not check whether the Defence's
20 translation tallied with what was in the original, that's why I requested
21 from the Prosecution to provide me with the official translation of my
22 statement in English.
23 Q. Just to clarify: You requested the English translation of your
24 statement to the Prosecution?
25 A. No. What I requested was a translation into Croatian. I
1 provided a statement to the OTP, and when I was interviewed by the OTP, I
2 signed the statement in English, which means that I myself could not read
3 the statement myself. There was no statement in -- in Croatian that I
4 could sign -- sign after reading it.
5 Q. I'm sorry, I misspoke. You requested a Croatian translation of
6 your statement to the Prosecution, right?
7 A. Yes, yes, Croatian. Croatian. Croatian translation, yes.
8 Q. Did you request any other of the statements that you had made?
9 A. Yes. I also requested the statement that I provided to the
10 county court in Zagreb
11 that's -- that's why I wanted to have another look at it.
12 Q. Thank you. I now want to move to August 1995 and your -- and
13 your role in and around Knin.
14 Can you tell the Court --
15 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if I can just raise a matter at this
16 stage, and I apologise to my learned friend. It's just a procedural
18 The Court will recall that a 92 ter filing was made by the
19 Defence in respect of interviews with this witness. That was served on
20 the parties and the Court, and a document was filed by the Prosecution
21 not objecting to that becoming a 92 ter exhibit.
22 It occurs to me, because that contains a great deal of background
23 and information from the witness and was taken in his own language, that,
24 in accordance with the previous procedures that we've adopted during this
25 trial, that it would be appropriate for that to be made an exhibit at
1 this stage.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
3 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, that is a statement taken by the
4 Defence, that they wish to tender into evidence. The Prosecution is
5 calling this witness viva voce. It will put the questions to the witness
6 that it feels is appropriate to get the evidence in front of the Chamber,
7 and then if the Cermak Defence wants to tender its statement under
8 Rule 92 ter as it has suggested it would do, if they then meet the
9 requirements of the rule, then as the Prosecution stated, at that time,
10 it will have no objection. But at this time it is premature. This is
11 the Prosecution's examination and it should not be limited or constrained
12 to put into evidence a statement taken by the Defence.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, to put into evidence, I do not know what
14 Mr. -- it may be very practical to deal with certain matters which are
15 not are in dispute and if they are written down in that statement.
16 Another way of dealing with that is to have it marked for
17 identification for the time being, so that reference can be made to it
18 and that it's at least part of the record. Although not yet admitted
19 into evidence.
20 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. My thorough Case Manager has ever
21 reminded me that, in fact, Your Honour introduced the statements during
22 the Prosecution case as a way of dealing with this procedurally.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. KAY: I can't remember the name of the witness now.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I remember that we once had, instead of
1 cross-examination we had a 92 ter statement which served as a
2 cross-examination. It was one occasion. That was a French witness.
3 But --
4 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, there was -- there is also a
5 distinction when the Prosecution -- it did happen in the past, but when
6 the Prosecution also tendered 92 ter statement and then, of course, it
7 would make sense if there is any contradiction in those statements to
8 have that resolved before. But --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let me -- I see that there is a bit of a differences
10 in that we find ourselves in a very special situation.
11 Mr. Hedaraly, if I could urge you to, to the extent - and you
12 certainly have looked at all the statements quite carefully, I take it -
13 that we don't waste time by not referring to a document on undisputed
14 matters or to read from it or to refer to it in any other way. But I do
15 understand that you're not the one who is seeking that document to be
16 admitted into evidence.
17 Let's try to take the practical approach, while, at the same
18 time, fully observing the different positions of the parties. If I could
19 invite you to do that, then I'll let you go.
20 I also want to inform the parties that we'd like, on the basis of
21 the estimates given, it should be possible to conclude the testimony of
22 Mr. Bilobrk today. Two hours Prosecution; one hour for one of the
23 Defence teams; one session for another Defence team. That should do.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Can you please describe briefly what your role was in and around
2 Knin in August 1995.
3 A. From the police administration of Split -- or, rather, Split and
5 assist them in the territory of the police station in Knin, with regard
6 to the humane disposal of the dead bodies that were found there.
7 Q. And what would be the general procedure for that? What would
8 be -- what would do you on a -- on a given day, generally speaking.
9 A. When we receive information that a dead body is found in an area,
10 I and my colleagues would -- will go there with members of the civilian
11 protection and pyrotechnicians. We carry out our part of the job which
12 is taking photos of the dead body, making a video-clip of the dead body,
13 the inspection of the clothes, the making record of any artifacts that
14 are found by the body, personal artifacts and personal documents, or
15 anything else that might help us identify such a dead body. Taking
16 finger-prints, if possible, and then when that part of the job is
17 finished, members of the civilian protection, or, rather, before the
18 photos and video-clips are taken, the members of the civilian protection
19 put a number on the body, and once our job was done, that dead body was
20 put in a bag and was transferred for burial at the city cemetery of Knin
21 Q. Did ever conduct an on-site investigation when you collected any
22 of these bodies?
23 A. Never.
24 Q. I want to talk about the removal of the bodies on the 27th of
25 August, which included the removal of the bodies that were found in
2 And I first want to focus on your recollection of what happened
3 as you sit here today, and then we can go through some documents, if that
4 assists your memory.
5 First of all, on the 27th of August, who provided you the
6 information regarding the bodies to be collected that day?
7 A. Before I answer that, I would like to say that yesterday you
8 asked me about what I remembered. I told you that I don't -- no longer
9 had -- have recollections. I have knowledge because Mr. Cermak's Defence
10 showed me all those documents. So I can no longer speak from
11 recollection. I can speak about the things that I know now. That have I
12 full knowledge of.
13 Q. What I want to do is I'll ask you -- I'll ask you some questions
14 and if you don't -- you answer on the basis of your knowledge, if that
15 knowledge is based on the documents you were showed, you can say so, and
16 if that knowledge is based on something else, we'll explore that.
17 Just listen to my questions and answer them as we go along, and
18 if you want to seek any clarification as to my question, you should feel
19 free to do so.
20 A. Very well.
21 Q. So let me ask you again: Who provided you the information
22 regarding the bodies to be collected that day?
23 A. We received information at the operations duty center of the Knin
24 police station.
25 Q. And at that time was any information given to you about the
1 bodies that you had to collect? For example, the circumstance in which
2 they were -- they were killed, how the bodies were found, or any of that
3 sort of information?
4 A. We received information that in the hamlet of Grubori there were
5 five or six dead bodies of the people who were killed.
6 Q. Were you given any additional information about these five or six
8 A. No. Before we arrived in the hamlet, we didn't know anything.
9 Once we saw the bodies, we -- we knew more.
10 Q. Okay. Now, at some point, did you meet with General Cermak?
11 A. Yes, I met General Cermak at Plavno. It's on the local road
12 nearby a bridge, a little bridge.
13 Q. Now, what is -- what is the basis for -- let me repeat my
15 Now your answer that you met him at Plavno, is that based on your
16 recollection, or is it based on documents that were shown to you by the
17 Cermak Defence?
18 A. It's based on the documentation. We went to the field daily and
19 we set off in front of the police station.
20 I gave my statement to the OTP, and I stated that the meeting
21 took place in front of the police station. But, on that day, I wasn't
22 able to review the documentation showing what I was doing on that day,
23 because there was another field mission. And once I had given it a
24 thought and reviewed the documents, I concluded that it was physically
25 impossible for us meet in front of the police station at Knin.
1 I know that we were waiting for someone at Plavno and that we met
2 someone there, so it is there that we met.
3 Q. Other than the fact that you were shown documents by the Cermak
4 Defence that, as you said, led to you conclude that that's where the
5 meeting took place, do you have any independent recollection of where
6 that meeting took place, yourself, from your memory, can you picture it,
7 or is it solely based on the documents you were shown?
8 A. No. Once I was shown the documents that show what you did at the
9 time, of course, after 15 years you don't remember all the details. But
10 having seen the documents, regardless of the Defence or anybody else, I
11 remembered meeting General Cermak at Plavno. And I also remember how we
13 Q. So if I understand correctly, you're saying that when you saw
14 these documents, that triggered your memory that you met him in Plavno,
15 because earlier you said that that was a logical conclusion that you've
16 derived from the documents. I'm just trying to understand which one it
17 is. Was it your memory now that you remember meeting him in Plavno, or
18 is it just a conclusion that you are deriving from the documents?
19 A. I remember us meeting at Plavno after I had reviewed the
20 documents. So this is not a conclusion; it is not a conjecture. The
21 documents refreshed my memory.
22 Q. Let me briefly go through some of these documents that you were
24 MR. HEDARALY: Let's start with 65 ter 2D00-860, please.
25 Q. And, Mr. Bilobrk, that was -- do you remember that as being one
1 of the documents that were shown to you?
2 A. I don't know if it's the very document. But this is one of the
3 documents - as far as I can tell from the handwriting, which is mine -
4 that I filled out.
5 MR. HEDARALY: If we can go to the third page of this document.
6 Q. And this is one of the documents that shows that, on the 27th of
7 August, you also collected a body in Strmica and in Plavno, in addition
8 to the ones in Grubori; is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's correct. It follows from this document.
10 Q. There's also a 65 ter 2D00-62?
11 MR. KAY: Could we make the previous document an exhibit at this
12 stage, Your Honour?
13 MR. HEDARALY: It's an attachment to the 92 ter statement, so
14 there's no objection to that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then -- but you'd like to have it in evidence now?
16 MR. KAY: If it assists the Court, because if we refer to it, we
17 then have a live exhibit number.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: I take it, since it was an attachment to the -- that
21 it's the Defence which now that tenders this document, although at a bit
22 of an unusual moment.
23 Please proceed -- Mr. Registrar the number would be.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
25 Exhibit D2042, thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D2042 is admitted into evidence. It will be a
2 public document; although, the content should remain confidential
3 until -- as long as the confidentiality of this hearing has not been
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. HEDARALY: If we can then go to 65 ter 2D862.
7 Q. Which are the various -- you will see are the various forms that
8 were filled out in that time-period.
9 Do you remember reviewing these documents as well? They were
10 also shown to you?
11 A. That's correct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, I see in the original 289, whereas in
13 the English translation I see 299. I further see that --
14 MR. HEDARALY: There was only a portion translated by the Defence
15 for the relevant day. The originals included the whole series for a
16 period of five or six days.
17 JUDGE ORIE: So this is not a translation?
18 MR. HEDARALY: It's a partial translation of the B/C/S documents.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I see in the original on the first line
20 reference to what seems -- looks very much as civilian, whereas I find in
21 the English, soldier.
22 Now I could make -- I could be --
23 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I see different numbers as well.
25 MR. HEDARALY: There are a number of these forms, one per page,
1 and the original spans, I think, 20 or 25 pages. Only a portion of these
2 pages were translated, so the first page that we see in the English does
3 not correspond to the first page in the B/C/S right now.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's fine. Just for me to know that usually
5 we see an English version and a B/C/S version of the same document.
6 Here, apparently, let's then forget about the English translation of this
7 B/C/S original.
8 MR. HEDARALY: I think --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Because it doesn't correspond.
10 MR. HEDARALY: I think if we go to page --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now -- yes, now we have -- yes, now I see the
12 numbers are corresponding. Yes.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 Q. And you see that is one of the bodies that was collected on the
15 27th of August in Strmica; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 MR. HEDARALY: And if we turn the page in both English and B/C/S.
18 Q. We will see the first of the bodies that was collected from
19 Grubori; is that right?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And if we turn the page, we'll see a second body collected in
22 Grubori. Can you confirm that that's the case?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If we turn the page again, we'll have the third victim from
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. And if we again turn the page, we'll have the fourth Grubori
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And the next page will the fifth and last victim you collected in
6 Grubori that day?
7 A. That's correct. Yes, that's -- yes, it's all right.
8 Q. And if we go to the next page, we will see the last body you
9 collected on the 27th of August in Plavno.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. So these documents were also shown to you in your interview with
12 the Defence; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And these documents also show that, on that day, you collected
15 bodies not only in Grubori but also in Strmica and in Plavno?
16 A. That's correct.
17 MR. HEDARALY: If we can have 2D00 -- we can have this one as
18 a -- if Mr. Kay wants to tender it, we won't object.
19 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged to my learned friend.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the number of this series of
21 documents would be?
22 THE REGISTRAR: This document shall be assigned Exhibit D2043
23 thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: D2043 is admitted into evidence. And as far as the
25 public character of it, the same applies, as I said before.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Now another document that was shown to you was 65 ter 2D00-859.
4 And that was a document generally discussing the -- the deployment of
5 police officers; is that right?
6 A. Could you please show me the second page, if there is one, so I
7 can see the whole document.
8 Q. Of course.
9 A. This is a document that was shown to me.
10 Q. Now, this document doesn't discuss anything about what happened
11 in Plavno that day; correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 MR. HEDARALY: If my learned friend wants to tender this
15 MR. KAY: Yes, please, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Just for my information, the witness said, "Can I
17 look at page 2 so that I have a look at the whole of the document," it's
18 a five-page document, but I just want to verify that the witness is happy
19 with having seen two pages and not the whole of the document.
20 Mr. Bilobrk, you are satisfied that this is the document you saw,
21 even if it contains more pages?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to see all of the
23 pages of this document too.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It was a bit ambiguous, Mr. Hedaraly, whether he
25 wanted to see just the second page or the whole of the document.
1 This page 3 is now on your screen.
2 Perhaps we move on to page 4.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And page 5 in the English, but there are only four
5 pages in B/C/S.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. I read it. I've seen
7 the document.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2044. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D2044 is admitted into evidence. The same applies,
11 as far as the public character is concerned.
12 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Another document you were shown was 65 ter 2D00-861.
14 And if we go to the third page of this document in the original -
15 it's the correct page in the English - now that document, again, shows
16 that on the 27th of August, in addition to the bodies in Grubori, you
17 collected a body in Strmica and in Plavno; is that right?
18 A. That's right.
19 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if this may be made an exhibit, please.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The number would be Exhibit D2045. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence. Same condition as far as
23 the public character is concerned.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. You were also shown 65 ter 2D00-863.
2 And if we move through these documents one page at a time, can
3 you confirm that this is the information regarding the body that was
4 collected in Plavno, in addition to the ones in Grubori, on the 27th of
6 A. Yes. By the identification number that we put on the corpse this
7 is 542, Stevan Vidovic. If you could turn to page 1, because I can't
8 really remember all of it. Yes, in the village of Plavno
10 MR. HEDARALY: And this one can be made an exhibit I suspect.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
12 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit D2046. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D2046 is admitted into evidence. Same applies as to
14 the public character.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
17 Q. And you were also shown 65 ter 1414, which, this time, is the
18 identification form of the victim of the body that you collected in
19 Strmica. You'll see the name and the number come up as well.
20 MR. HEDARALY: We can move through the pages slowly so the
21 witness has the time to look at them. If we can move to the next page,
22 if there is -- okay.
23 Q. Do you remember that document also being shown to you about the
24 body that you collected in Strmica?
25 A. This is a document that was shown to me, but I cannot remember by
1 the number. I would have to look at the identification form, so only
2 then I would be able to tell where the body was found. Merely by looking
3 at the body, it's hard to say.
4 Q. But you remember being shown that -- that picture?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Can I have that as an exhibit as well, on behalf
7 of the Defence.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This document shall be assigned Exhibit D2047.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D2047 is admitted into evidence. Same applies as to
12 the public character.
13 MR. HEDARALY:
14 Q. Now the last contemporaneous document that was shown to you was
15 D57, which is the log-book of the Knin police station.
16 MR. HEDARALY: And if we go to page 59 of the English and page 61
17 of the B/C/S.
18 Q. Do you remember being shown that document, Mr. Bilobrk?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. HEDARALY: I thought that was page 61 of the original. Is
21 that ...
22 If we can go one page before, please; entry number 193.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think Mr. Hedaraly was -- yes.
24 MR. HEDARALY:
25 Q. Now you were shown the --
1 JUDGE ORIE: No, that's not 193.
2 MR. HEDARALY: There we go.
3 JUDGE ORIE: There we are. Yes.
4 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
5 Q. And you were shown -- one of the entries you were shown was entry
6 193, where this is a verbal report that information had been received
7 that in Plavno village, Grubori hamlet, on 25 August, two male bodies
8 were found.
9 And then in the next column, it says that it was agreed with
10 Chief Cedo Romanic that an on-site investigation would be conducted in
11 the morning of 27 August and that civilian protection went to the scene
12 at 1100 on 27 August and removed the bodies.
13 And you were also shown entry number 198, which is two pages
14 later in the English. And here there's a report of a decomposing body in
15 Strmica village, and it states that civilian protection is informed that
16 Jukic sent his officers to remove the bodies at 1100, and that seems to
17 be also on the 27th of August.
18 So you were shown these two entries as well; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Now, can you tell us based -- and these were the contemporaneous
21 documents from the time they were shown to you. Now, can you tell us,
22 looking at this, what -- what triggered your memory that your meeting
23 with General Cermak was in Plavno?
24 A. In the log-book of events on these two pages that contain the
25 reports on bodies at Plavno and Grubori, we received reports at 1100
1 hours at the operational duty center of the Knin police station. That's
2 where we received the report. And the duty officer mentioned that.
3 He -- he states that both entries were received at 1100. Because he
4 always assigns a time to every entry. If there had been other bodies
5 elsewhere of which we had knowledge at the same time, we would have had
6 five such entries, all at the same time, all saying 1100 hours.
7 So we were sent off to Plavno. Ours first field mission was to
8 Strmica. We assigned numbers to the dead bodies in the sequence that we
9 processed them during the sanitation. The first body would be assigned a
10 smaller number, and that's how we would proceed.
11 After processing the body, I remember that, at a distance of
12 about 30 kilometres, because that's a distance -- that's a distance to
13 Strmica. So we took some time to get there and return to Plavno. These
14 documents refreshed my memory after 15 years, because that's a long time
15 for anybody to remember some things without reviewing documents.
16 Q. I understand. And I also understand that these documents show
17 that on that day you also went to Strmica to collect a body. I'm not --
18 I'm not questioning that. I'm simply ask you what refreshed your memory
19 that the meeting with General Cermak took place in Plavno, based on the
20 fact that you collected a body in Strmica and also in Grubori that day.
21 If -- if there -- if both instructions were given to you at 1100 in Knin,
22 isn't it possible that that meeting took place outside the Knin police
23 station before you went off to Strmica or to Plavno, or wherever else?
24 A. No. These documents jogged my memory. When we left for Plavno,
25 a column of vehicles was waiting on the road, and we joined the people
1 from the civil protection who took to us Plavno because we didn't know
2 the area. And we joined their column of vehicles. I'm certain that
3 that's where the meeting with General Cermak took place.
4 Q. Let's talk about this meeting with General Cermak.
5 So when you arrived there, who was General Cermak with?
6 A. General Cermak was with a group of people, and that group also
7 involved soldiers, members of special police. There was some 15 people
8 perhaps all together. There were also journalists. Some 15 to 20 people
9 all together with their -- me and my colleague joined them. Four members
10 of civil protection also joined them, and I believe that there were two
11 or three explosives experts who also joined the group, which pushed the
12 number to approximately 25 to 30 people. I didn't count heads.
13 But, in any case, the group that was there, in the village of
14 Plavno where we joined the column, General Cermak was there with the --
15 that group of people.
16 Q. And what is the first thing you remember about this encounter?
17 Did you approach this group, or did this group approach you?
18 A. We joined the group of people.
19 Q. So you joined the entire group of people?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And what did you hear from the group?
22 A. We joined the conversation. At one point, a person in the group
23 mentioned the fact that weapons were left. They had all -- already been
24 talking before our arrival. I don't know what they were discussing.
25 In any case, a couple minutes after we joined them, somebody
1 mentioned weapons and the fact that weapons were left. And when I heard
2 that some weapons had been left, I reacted. I didn't know, first of all,
3 what we were waiting for, who we were waiting for. We were told that we
4 should be there until somebody came, but I didn't know who -- I didn't
5 know what, I didn't know how many.
6 In any case, what I knew was that there was some bodies in the
7 village of Grubori and that we were supposed to deal with those. And
8 when that person, that somebody mentioned weapons that were left --
9 Q. What do you mean by [microphone not activated].
10 MR. KAY: Can I just -- I'm sorry to do this. But it is for good
11 reason that the -- I have information that the translation from 24:19
12 down to the end of that answer in the tense that is being used is -- is
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. HEDARALY: That was my question.
16 MR. KAY: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you are going to clarify that,
18 Mr. Hedaraly, apparently it struck you as well.
19 MR. KAY: And not being a specialist, but I've just been given
20 information that the sense of what has been said is not correct.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that Mr. Hedaraly --
22 MR. KAY: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- wants to seek clarification.
24 Perhaps you do it by going through the answer and see in what
25 respect it is not correct.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, your answer was translated to us -- was interpreted
4 to us as you heard that weapons were left, that you heard that weapons
5 were left. Several times you said that in the -- in the past tense. Can
6 you tell us what is it that you heard?
7 A. That weapons should be left. That the first thing that should be
8 done was to leave weapons.
9 Q. And was that said loudly or softly?
10 A. Some people were talking about that behind my back. Nobody spoke
11 directly to me. It was just what people were saying. I don't know who
12 said it to whom. I didn't pay too much attention.
13 Q. Was the entire group together at that time?
14 A. When we're talking about a group of people, such a group of
15 people could be the group that are sitting here in the courtroom. We are
16 a group of people. And the same thing was true of Plavno. Not everybody
17 was standing close together. They were scattered in smaller groups, two
18 or three people would be talking, standing there and talking to each
19 other, but, in any case, they all formed a large group of people that
20 belong together.
21 Q. Could you tell who from this group of people made that
22 suggestions [sic], that weapons should be placed?
23 MR. KAY: No, that was not the word that was used.
24 MR. HEDARALY: Well, actually, that weapons should be left.
25 MR. KAY: Please, please.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I -- as a matter of fact, I wanted to seek
2 clarification of that. I refrained from it but since it now becomes in
4 Weapons should be left suggests that there were weapons, would
5 then -- should be left is that they should remain where they were. Was
6 that it. Or was it that people had seen weapons and that they wanted to
7 put those weapons in the same position where they had found them.
8 What was the gist of the suggestion?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yesterday I received
10 the translation into Croatian of the statement that I provided to the
11 OTP. And in that statement, as I read it, I read the statement, and the
12 verb there is to place weapons.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, I thought that there was some
14 ambiguity. Whatever you read yesterday and how it was translated, we
15 might come to that at a later stage.
16 What I would like to know is what you just testified. Weapons
17 should be left, is that that they were still in the position where they
18 were found or that they had to be put again in the position where they
19 had been found? Or any other interpretation, such as putting them in a
20 place where they had not been found.
21 What was the gist of what you heard saying?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I rewind to that time, that
23 should have concerned leaving weapons in the vehicles, which meant that
24 we were not supposed to enter the village with long-barrelled rifles. We
25 as policemen all had long-barrelled rifles, but we left them in the
1 vehicles. There was still people living there. And on reflection I
2 interpreted that as leaving weapons behind in order to avoid scaring
3 those who were still living in the village. But the way I saw it and the
4 way I interpreted what I heard was leaving our weapons behind in the
5 vehicles instead of carrying them with us.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY:
8 Q. So let me understand. You heard weapons should be left, and you
9 understood that to mean that weapons should be left in the cars before
10 going to collect the bodies; is that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. And how did you react when you heard that being said?
13 A. My first -- my initial reaction was to think that we shouldn't be
14 leaving weapons behind. If there was anybody who should have left
15 weapons behind, they could have done it without me, without me knowing
16 about it. So if anybody had any intentions, I was not aware of any such
18 Q. You didn't interpret the fact that bodies should be -- that
19 weapons should be left as meaning that weapons should be left next to the
20 bodies in Grubori?
21 A. Well, according to my initial reaction, it turns out that way,
22 that somebody should have left weapons by the dead bodies in Grubori.
23 Q. Well, what was your reaction when you heard it? Was it that
24 weapons should be left in the car, or that weapons should be left next to
25 the bodies.
1 A. No, no. My reaction to that was -- actually, my first reaction,
2 the way I understood it at first was that weapons should be left or
3 placed by the bodies. Nobody actually explicitly mentioned that, but
4 when I heard the words, I remember that that was my initial reaction.
5 That's the way I reacted initially. That was my first train of thoughts
6 when I heard somebody talking about weapons.
7 Q. So when you said a few minutes ago: My first -- my initial
8 reaction was to think that we shouldn't be leaving weapons behind, if
9 there was anybody who should have left weapons behind, they could have
10 done it without me, without me know about it. That, you meant, that that
11 was leaving weapons behind, your first reaction was to understand that as
12 leaving the weapons next to the bodies; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. And you said earlier that that was part of a -- what you
15 overheard in a conversation. Was it mentioned more than once, was it a
16 discussion among people? What was the context of that suggestion being
18 A. That was being said or talked about by some persons within that
19 group of people that we joined. And that was said behind my back. I
20 only heard the words. I turned around and I said what I meant. I
21 addressed those words at that little group, and that's how it all ended.
22 Q. And who was in that group at that point? Was everyone still in
23 the group? The journalists, the special police members, General Cermak?
24 MR. KAY: He didn't say everyone was still in a group earlier.
25 MR. HEDARALY: That's why I'm asking the question. Who was in
1 the --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Who was in the group at that point, that was the
4 MR. KAY: The question was, was everyone still in the group.
5 JUDGE ORIE: The first question would have been
6 [overlapping speakers] --
7 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Hedaraly, and the second one was suggestive.
9 Yes, Mr. Bilobrk, would you answer the question, who was still in
10 that group at that time.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Cermak was there. There were
12 journalists. At that moment Mr. Cermak was talking to the journalists.
13 And I was looking at him. I saw him when I joined the group. He was
14 amidst a conversation with the journalists. I don't know what they
15 talked about and at that point I herd heard those words about leaving
16 weapons behind, and I offered my comment to those words at that point.
17 Q. From where you were standing, could Mr. Cermak have heard the
18 comment that was made?
19 A. I don't know if Mr. Cermak could hear those words or not.
20 Perhaps he could. I don't know what his state of health is, whether he
21 has a good sense of hearing. I believe that if he had heard, that he
22 would have reacted in the same way I did, if those words referred to
23 placing weapons by the dead bodies.
24 Q. And why do you think he would have reacted, if he had heard that?
25 A. I think at that time I -- I perceived Mr. Cermak as a high state
1 official. He was with the journalists, and I don't think he would have
2 allowed something like that to happen in front of the journalists, in
3 front of a group of 30 people without intervening -- intervening, without
4 offering a comment -- a comment of some sorts, without reacting.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, I may have missed it. But I'd like to
6 know exactly what your comment was. You heard something about weapons to
7 be left.
8 What did you say?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will probably not
10 be able to quote my words exactly. However, my first instinctive
11 reaction was that there would be no leaving weapons behind, if that meant
12 leaving weapons behind or placing them by the dead bodies, and if
13 somebody had intended to do that, they could have done it before my
14 arrival, without me know about it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So your response was that you opposed to the
16 suggestion of what you'd heard, and you had understood the words spoken
17 behind your back as a suggestion to put weapons next to the bodies.
18 Is that correctly understood?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if you understood me
20 properly. However, when I answered the question about leaving weapons, I
21 meant that if leaving weapons behind referred to leaving weapons behind
22 the dead bodies, possibly, because in that group nobody ever mentioned or
23 used the words "dead bodies." The only words used were about leaving
24 weapons behind.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the "ifs" and "ands," we should get rid of
1 that. What we are interested to hear is what was said behind your back
2 and what your comment was, and not if this was meant, then my spontaneous
3 reaction would have been ... what I'm interested in, in what you said.
4 Now you say you cannot literally quote that, but I do understand
5 that your comment was opposing to what you heard being suggested.
6 Is that correct?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we may have
8 misunderstood each other. When I said "if," that "if" referred to the
9 words that I uttered towards that group of people that I turned to. Not
10 my words in answering the judge's questions. When I heard a reference
11 being made to leaving weapons behind, I turned towards that group of
12 people --
13 JUDGE ORIE: And what did you then say? What was the gist of
14 what you said?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I turned around. I turned towards
16 that group of people and I said, If they meant leaving weapons by the
17 dead bodies, they could have done it before I arrived, without me knowing
18 about it. They should have done it before unbeknownst to me.
19 JUDGE ORIE: What happened is you hear someone saying, Should we
20 put weapons next to the bodies. Then you turn around, and you say, If
21 you mean to put -- well, let me -- [Overlapping speakers] start over
22 again --
23 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if -- yes. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You heard someone saying leaving weapons. You turn
25 around. You address those who were speaking and say, If you mean, or if
1 you are suggesting that we should put weapons next to the bodies, then
2 you should have done that before and without my knowledge, which
3 implicitly means that you were opposed against putting weapons at that
4 moment next to the bodies.
5 Is that well understood?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that would be the gist of it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: What did they then say, in response to what you
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was it. There was no further
11 reference made to weapons, and I did not speak to any person. I spoke to
12 the group. And after my words, there were no further references to
13 weapons or leaving weapons behind. The discussion stopped there.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And also no one said, No, that's not at all what we
15 have in mind. We were talking about leaving our weapons in the car,
16 and -- so no one responded at all to what you said.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no comments proffered.
18 I don't even know whether they paid any attention to my words.
19 When I turned around towards them, I did not hear anybody commenting in
20 any way.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
22 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. How far was General Cermak from you when that suggestion was
25 A. 4, 5, or 6 metres. I apologise, the distance would be
1 approximately as the distance from me and this column in the middle of
2 the courtroom. 4, 5, 6 metres, I'd say.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I disagree that it is approximately 5 and a half, 6
4 metres. A little bit --
5 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You have an opportunity during the break to do it
9 the usual way, big steps.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. When you turned around and -- and told the group that if what
13 they meant was to leave weapons next to the bodies, they should have done
14 it before you came, did you say that in an angry manner?
15 A. No. It was a statement more than anything else.
16 Q. Let me show you 65 ter 7648.
17 Now, in February, you were -- you gave a statement to the county
18 court in Zagreb
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you were cautioned that you had an obligation to tell the
21 truth and that giving a false statement was a criminal act; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you also sign a record of the interview?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And when you signed it, you were satisfied that it accurately
2 reflected what you had said?
3 A. Correct.
4 MR. HEDARALY: If we can go to page 5 of the English; page 3 of
5 the B/C/S.
6 Q. Towards the bottom of the page in English it says -- well, you
7 say, because it's your statement that you signed: "Furthermore, I
8 believe that General Cermak definitely could have heard when someone from
9 that group of ten-20 soldiers, who had approached me in front of the Knin
10 PU building said that weapons ought to be placed next to the ... bodies.
11 He did not react to that statement at all."
12 Now, I understand that you -- today you are saying that that
13 meeting did not take place in front of the Knin building, based on
14 documents that were shown to you which triggered your memory. But can
15 you explain the difference a few months ago when you said you
16 definitely -- that General Cermak definitely could have heard when that
17 suggestion was made and today?
18 A. No, there's no difference, actually.
19 Your questions here today are much more detailed than the
20 questions put to me down there. He could hear. He could hear the
21 remark. Whether he did or not, I don't know. You should ask Mr. Cermak
22 that. You should ask him whether he heard anything of the sort. I
23 cannot speculate about stories and about things that Mr. Cermak could or
24 couldn't hear. You could perhaps ask Mr. Cermak whether he did hear
25 those words and how far he was. If he was concentrated and if he was
1 following what was going on in that group, the conversation in the group,
2 then, yes, he could hear the words said by that group.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not speculate on who was focussed or not.
4 Let's limit ourselves to what distance was, what circumstances were, and
5 then avoid, He may have been thinking about the weather at that moment,
6 which may have -- diverted his attention. That's not for speculation.
7 At the time, you said, He definitely could have heard, which I
8 understand to be that to the extent you were aware of the circumstances
9 such as distance, level of noise, that you would definitely think that he
10 could have heard it, whether he did is a different matter, and that you
11 still stand to that.
12 Is that well understood?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood me very well.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
15 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
16 If we move two pages prior in the English and one page prior in
17 the B/C/S.
18 Q. When you're relating this -- what happened then to the judge in
20 "When I heard that, I said that I was not going to place any
21 weapons and that I do not consent to this and that if they wanted to do
22 this, they should have done it earlier so that I wouldn't know about it.
23 I can't remember now who of those people said this. However, I reacted
24 to this immediately. I did not know General Cermak earlier, and I assume
25 that he approached me with that group of soldiers ..."
1 I want to focus on the "I did not know General Cermak earlier."
2 Now, today, at page 30, line 16, when I asked you why you thought
3 he would have reacted, if he had heard that suggestion, you said:
4 "I perceived Mr. Cermak as a high state official at that time."
5 So I'm just trying to clarify, did you know Mr. Cermak, who he
6 was at that time, or you just perceived him to be a high state official
7 based on what you saw that day?
8 A. No, we had never met in person. But I recognised him because I
9 knew him from the media.
10 Q. And what did you know about him from the media?
11 A. I didn't follow the media very closely, but whenever
12 General Cermak was mentioned, there would be a picture of him or he would
13 give a statement or something like that, and that's why I knew what
14 General Cermak looked like.
15 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, I note the time, and this is a good
16 time for a break.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It's time for a break. And, Mr. Hedaraly, may I
18 take it that you will stay within the time-limits you -- of your
20 MR. HEDARALY: I will try, Your Honour. I may be a little over,
21 but I definitely will done in the next session. Hopefully in the
22 first --
23 JUDGE ORIE: The scheduling is that we try to finish the
24 testimony of Mr. Bilobrk in two hours. Two hours is two hours and is not
25 close to three hours.
1 MR. HEDARALY: I understand that, Your Honour, but as you know
2 those are estimates and sometimes it's hard to keep within those
3 estimates. I am trying to do my best. I'm simply indicating that there
4 is a possibility that I may go over the two hours, and if that is the
5 case, then I will ask the Court's indulgence. I can't give you a
6 specific time right now, I'm hoping that I will be done within 45 minutes
7 or an hour after we come back from the break, but I will try very hard to
8 finish within half an hour, within the two hours that we had estimated.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break and resume at five minutes to
10 11.00 sharp.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, you may proceed.
14 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, we still have your statement to the -- to the judge
16 in front of you on the screen?
17 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
18 You may proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
20 Q. We still have in front of us on the screen your statement to the
21 county court in Zagreb
22 in the English:
23 "General Cermak came then, surrounded by a group of people who
24 were wearing Croatian military uniforms and were armed, and there were
25 also a lot of journalists present. When that group stopped,
1 General Cermak and the group of soldiers around him approached me, and I
2 heard them talking among themselves, and that someone had said that
3 weapons ought to be placed next to the dead bodies."
4 And then we discussed the remaining of that portion.
5 Now, what you said today is a little different. Here you say
6 that General Cermak and the group of soldiers approach you and that's
7 when you heard that comment being made; and today you suggested that that
8 actually came from behind you and General Cermak was talking to
10 Can you clarify for us what exactly happened?
11 A. I only have half the text on the screen. Could I see more?
12 In this section of the statement, a word or two were left out. I
13 said to the county court that in my opinion, the weapons should have been
14 placed next to the dead bodies.
15 Could you please continue? Ask me another question, so I can
17 Q. Well, I'll ask you the same question again. That when that
18 suggestion or that comment was made in this statement to the county
19 court, you said that General Cermak came and that the -- General Cermak
20 and the group of soldiers around him approached you when you heard them
21 talking amongst themselves; whereas, today, you said that that comment
22 came from behind you when General Cermak was in front of you with
24 I'm asking you to clarify for us which one it is or what actually
1 A. This statement was given to the county court without my previous
2 review of any documentation. The interview that I gave to you about
3 meeting General Cermak in Knin is mentioned here also. Because, as I
4 said, I didn't have a chance to review the documents.
5 Q. I understand that the location of the meeting is now different
6 and that change is based on the documents you reviewed; however, this is
7 not about the location. It's about who approached who when the comment
8 was made and in what circumstances.
9 Where in the documents that you were shown does it refresh your
10 memory as to whether General Cermak and the group of soldiers approached
11 you when you heard that comment, or whether it was made behind you?
12 I -- I fail to see how, from the documents, you could derive
13 that, so if you could explain that, I would appreciate it.
14 A. General Cermak was in front of me; I've said as much already.
15 And that group of people mentioned leaving the weapons.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, that was not the question. When
17 Mr. Hedaraly put to you what you said when you were giving your statement
18 in the district court and has pointed at some inconsistencies with what
19 you told us today, you said, "But at the time I had not reviewed the
21 Now what Mr. Hedaraly is asking you is the following. Where in
22 the documents do we find anything which would make it understandable that
23 now, having reviewed the documents, you give a different version of the
24 version you gave before the district court. Is there anything in the
25 documents which says anything about distance, whether he approached you,
1 what your response was. That's what Mr. Hedaraly wants to know. What in
2 the documents explains that you gave a different version when you gave
3 your statement before the district court, compared to your more recent
4 version, or versions.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the documents shown to me, there
6 is nothing that specifically relates to my meeting General Cermak or how
7 that meeting came about. But having reviewed the documents, I remembered
8 the events, and I'm trying to explain that the meeting took place at
9 Plavno and that I approached a group of people in the manner described.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
11 MR. HEDARALY:
12 Q. So just so I understand, you're saying that -- and we've seen
13 that the documents that you were shown, that documents -- those --
14 reviewing those documents made you remember that you approach, how you
15 approach, where the voices come from, and it all became clear to you all
16 of a sudden.
17 Have I understood that correctly.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And, now, as you sit here today, you remember all of this
20 incident very clearly, as opposed to when you gave your previous
22 A. Never before have I communicated with anybody concerning these
23 events. For 15 years, that was so.
24 So this event was forgotten. But as I was reviewing the
25 documents, the memory came back to me.
1 Q. Including these details of who approached who, and where the
2 voices you heard, and all of that; correct?
3 A. Yes, you're right.
4 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, can I have 65 ter 7648, the
5 statement to the county court, signed by the witness in evidence, please.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 MR. KAY: No objection.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No objection. But not -- the exhibit.
9 Yes, this is -- will be a P exhibit then.
10 Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
12 Exhibit P2729. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: P2729 is admitted into evidence. Confidentiality as
14 explained earlier.
15 One additional question. Mr. Bilobrk, you said it was only by
16 reading these documents that my memory came back. Why did you tell all
17 kind of details at the time without having a memory on the matter?
18 You gave quite some details at the time.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I gave a general
20 account. It wasn't all that detailed. It all related to more or less
21 the same thing. In this section of the statement given to the county
22 court in Zagreb
23 other persons against whom proceedings are underway in Croatia.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But facts are facts, irrespective, you as a
25 police officer are supposed to know that. Facts are facts irrespective
1 in what case these facts are established. Why didn't you say at the
2 time, I just don't know; I don't remember?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On several occasions, I did provide
4 that answer, I don't remember.
5 But let me go back to this section of the text about leaving
6 weapons. I said to the county court that this was opinion, just like I
7 was explaining to you this story about the weapons, only these two words
8 were left out of my statement, the words "my opinion."
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you didn't -- you didn't say, This is
10 wrong. I reviewed it. I'm not going sign because you should put it's my
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this statement was not
13 given to me to read under Article 77. I only -- I heard the judge
14 dictating the court reporter, what she should put in the record.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There are other differences. You say, I
16 didn't go that much in details. You're giving details both today and at
17 the time as what you responded to any suggestion of putting weapons
19 Today you told us that your response was, If this is it what you
20 mean, you should have done it earlier. But before the district court you
21 have other details. You say:
22 "When I heard that, I said that I was not going to place any
23 weapons and that I do not consent to this and that if they wanted to do
24 this, that they should have done that earlier so that I wouldn't know
25 about it."
1 Now, I am not going to put weapons there is different from if
2 this is what you mean, you should have done it earlier, because this --
3 this suggests that part of the conversation was that you would be
4 involved in putting the weapons there. That's what is clearly the
5 suggestion of your statement and at least the language is different.
6 Now, if you say, I didn't give details. It was just my opinion.
7 I think what you responded or the gist of your response was is not
8 primarily a matter of opinion but a matter of facts, which you either do
9 remember or do not remember. And, therefore, it comes a bit as a -- your
10 explanation is -- yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible that I wrongly
12 presented the facts to the county court. I can see here, though, that
13 the court itself wrongly presented some facts. I may have said this
14 verbatim, but I cannot describe this statement in detail now. Or,
15 rather, I can't explain it, because it is unclear to me even now whether
16 I really said these words or if somebody misunderstood or misinterpreted
17 my words.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, at the end of this statement, it reads:
19 "Cautioned in terms of Article 77 of the Code of Criminal
20 Procedure, I think it is ZKP, he does not request that the record be read
21 out as he had followed the judge's dictation out loud, and he signs it."
22 Which, in some way, is committing yourself to the statement.
23 Isn't it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. This says that it was,
25 indeed, like that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
2 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Bilobrk, you were interviewed about the events on that
4 day on a number of times previously; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And I'll just, for the sake of time, run through all the
7 interviews and ask you to confirm that you were interviewed by these
9 So you were first interviewed by Mr. Franjo and some others on
10 behalf of the Defence, one of the Defence teams for the generals;
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Do you remember when that was?
14 A. I think it was last year, in August maybe.
15 Q. And did you sign a statement at that time?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Then you were also interviewed twice by Mr. Badzim from the MUP.
18 The first time in the presence of a colleague of yours, Mr. Vrticevic,
19 and a few days again later, by yourself.
20 Do you remember those interviews?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. You don't remember, or you do remember?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. It was just an interpretation error. And there were two Official
25 Notes produced after these interviews; correct?
1 A. I think so. You showed them to me and so did the Defence, before
2 interviewing me.
3 Q. And you were also interviewed then again by two other MUP
4 officers, Mr. Gerovac and Mr. Mikulic in November; do you remember that?
5 A. That's correct, yes, I do.
6 Q. And then we discussed that you were interviewed also by the
7 county court in Zagreb
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And then you were interviewed by members of the Office of the
10 Prosecutor in March of this year, and you signed a statement?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And, finally, you were interviewed by the Defence team of
13 General Cermak in April and May of this year, and you also signed a
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. So by my count, that is seven interviews where you discussed the
17 events that happened on the 27th of August, 1995.
18 Now, can you tell us in which of these interviews did you, for
19 the first time, talk about that suggestion that was made to leave
21 A. I mentioned it for the first time in the statement given to
22 Mr. Gerovac and Mr. Mikulic.
23 Q. So you did not discuss this either in your first interview with
24 Mr. Franjo or in any of the two further intensives with Mr. Badzim?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Can you explain why you had not discussed that in your prior
3 A. Because I simply answered their questions.
4 Q. So do I have to understand that Mr. Gerovac and Mikulic
5 specifically asked you about that suggestion and that's why you mentioned
6 it to them for the first time?
7 A. Could you please show me the statement that I gave to Mr. Gerovac
8 and Mr. Mikulic.
9 Q. I will show it to you. But first I just want to understand your
10 answer because your answer was why you didn't discuss it before. And you
11 said because those questions were not asked.
12 So I'm asking you, does that mean that if you mentioned it to
13 Mr. Gerovac and Mikulic that would mean that they've discussed it with
15 We'll go through it later, but I first want to clarify that. And
16 that's the reason why it appeared for the first time in any of your
18 A. They were asking me questions. And if I remember that statement
19 well, they asked me who of the high-ranking Croatian officials had
20 ordered, or something like that, to place the weapons there. But I don't
21 remember the exact words because it's been a long time since I read that
22 statement or made the statement.
23 Q. I'll show it to you. I just want to get the right sequence first
24 and we'll get to it very soon.
25 But I want to first show you the Official Note you gave to
1 Mr. Badzim, the second one, when you were by yourself. And that is 65
2 ter 7623.
3 And that's an Official Note that you had reviewed previously and
4 that was generally accurate; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. As far as I can tell, by simply casting a glance at it,
6 yes, this is it.
7 Q. Now, in the last paragraph in the English, the first
8 paragraph after your details in the Croatian, you say: "As far as the
9 clearing of corpses in the village of Grubori
10 how General Cermak came to the stairway outside the present day Knin
11 police station and requested an on-site investigation in Grubori. The
12 General was accompanied by a news reporter, but he asked them to move
13 away while he spoke to him."
14 And it goes on. But my question for you at this stage is -- of
15 course, we don't have the question that Mr. Badzim asked you, but this is
16 exactly the same -- part of the same story that happened and where that
17 comment was made. So can you tell us why you didn't include that in your
18 answer, when you were questioned about what happened on the 27th of
19 August and you discussed General Cermak and journalists and people
20 approaching you?
21 A. Mr. Badzim didn't ask such questions at all. This is the text
22 that he drafted, his Official Note. But he didn't take notes while
23 interviewing me. Probably, he drafted it based on his memory alone, this
24 Official Note about an interview with me.
25 Q. So are you saying that you told him about the comment made to
1 leave weapons and he just didn't include it, or did you not mention that?
2 Because that's what you said earlier. I'm getting a little confused.
3 A. I didn't provide that comment because he didn't ask me about
4 that. So I never made that comment.
5 Q. And you didn't think that in the context of discussing the
6 sanitation of the bodies in Grubori such a comment being made would be
7 relevant or important to know for a police investigator investigating
8 what had happened in Grubori?
9 A. You're right, but when the interview began, there had been
10 pressures after the first interview provided to Mr. Badzim, and then he
11 said, You just answer my questions. And that's what I did.
12 After the first interview, there were pressures, and we had to
13 conduct a second interview. He said that I should merely answer the
14 questions that he would put me.
15 Q. And -- and what were the pressures that you -- that you had after
16 that first interview?
17 A. After the first interview I gave to Mr. Badzim, he made a remark
18 that I had some information that could detrimentally affect the Defence
19 of the generals in The Hague
20 been his opinion, but I don't know why he stated that.
21 Anyway, my chief was called up from the directorate of the
22 police, that unless there is another interview that I gave to Mr. Badzim
23 there would be -- that Internal Affairs would investigate and that
24 proceedings would be launched against us and we would be suspended,
25 unless there is another interview with Mr. Badzim.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, can I have 65 ter 7623 admitted
2 into evidence.
3 MR. KAY: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
6 Exhibit P2730. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P2730 is admitted into evidence. Confidentiality as
8 set out before.
9 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
10 Q. And let me just show you - because you've now mentioned it - so
11 let's -- let me show you also that first statement -- that first Official
12 Note of interview with Mr. Badzim.
13 MR. HEDARALY: And that's 65 ter 7567.
14 Thank you.
15 Q. And just so I want to clear about what you said earlier. What
16 you are referring to is at the bottom of the English in page 1, the first
17 full paragraph after the identifying information where it says that --
18 "After meeting some of the members of the Defence, including
19 Mr. Franjo Djurica, Vrticevic and Bilobrk emphasised how they had given a
20 detailed statement on the clearing of terrain in the village of Grubori
21 and on other events from that period. They also would like to emphasise
22 that the Defence team asked to be notified of any subsequent requests for
23 information regarding the talk that they had."
24 Is that what you were referring to about what was the source of
25 the pressure that you -- that that statement is the one that triggered
1 the pressure for you to have a second interview?
2 A. Well, let me put it this way. As for the Defence team who first
3 interviewed me, there were no -- there was no talk about the event
4 itself. We only spoke -- spoke about our arrival to Grubori. The
5 Defence team showed me photographs of two dead bodies. One was burnt;
6 and another that had an injury to the neck. We spent some ten to 15
7 minutes together. We didn't speak so much. They were only interested in
8 hearing whether those people had been massacred or not.
9 Mr. Vrticevic was not present during that interview, although
10 Mr. Badzim mentions it here. And about the sanitation of the terrain in
11 the village of Grubori and what is said here, that we -- that I didn't
12 want to go into details, that is something he never heard from me. That
13 is his opinion. That is something he stated of his own accord.
14 I spoke very briefly with the Defence team. They didn't take
15 notes, and I signed no statement. We mostly spoke about the dead bodies
16 found there and their condition.
17 Q. Is it true that they asked you to be notified -- is it true that
18 they asked to be notified of any subsequent requests for information
19 regarding anyone talking to you?
20 A. Yes. Franjo Djurica told me that. He told me that should
21 anybody want to talk to me about that case that I should come back to
23 Q. In any of your subsequent interviews that you had, did you in
24 fact tell Mr. Franjo?
25 A. No. I did not think it would be necessary for me to inform him
1 about that.
2 Q. Okay. If I can have 65 ter 7567 admitted into evidence.
3 MR. KAY: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
6 Exhibit P2731. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P2731 is admitted into evidence. Confidentiality as
8 set out before.
9 MR. HEDARALY:
10 Q. Let me now show you, as I had -- as I'd indicated to you that I
11 would, the statement you -- the Official Note of interview recorded by
12 Mr. Gerovac and Mikulic.
13 MR. HEDARALY: And that's 65 ter 7568.
14 Q. And on the first page in the middle of the page in English, it
16 "The above was asked if it had been suggested to him and to his
17 colleague, Ivica Vrticevic, who was working with him as a crime
18 technician on the humane clearing up of the dead bodies of civilians
19 killed in the village of Grubori
20 commanding structures of the MUP ... or the Ministry of Defence, that
21 they should have conducted an on-site investigation in the village of
22 Grubori, but that before that they should have placed guns next to the
23 dead bodies of civilians who had been killed in order to make it appear
24 as if they had put up resistance to members of special police. The above
25 stated that the day when they went to Grubori in order to carry out the
1 humane clearing up process, some time in the morning General Cermak came
2 in front of the Knin police administration building, escorted by a few
3 soldiers from his security."
4 MR. HEDARALY: Turn the page in the English.
5 Q. "He remembers that when Cermak arrived, he was sitting on the
6 stairs with several colleagues whose names he does not ... remember
7 anymore, but he allows for the possibility that among them there was, on
8 that occasion, his colleague ... Vrticevic, when Cermak came to them, he
9 said that an on-site investigation had to be conducted in Grubori, but
10 that before the on-site investigation guns had to be placed next to the
11 dead bodies in order to make it appear as if the persons killed had put
12 resistance. He remembers he got angry at Cermak's suggestion and told
13 him he did want to know anything about it, nor did he want to participate
14 in it."
15 Now, Mr. Bilobrk, I understand from your testimony today that
16 what are you saying today is that that suggestion was made by someone
17 behind you. My question for you is: In November 2009, did you tell
18 Croatian investigators that that suggestion, to place guns next to the
19 bodies, had been made by General Cermak?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you have any explanation or any idea why that's how they
22 recorded this?
23 A. I don't know. Can you see in the part of the passage where
24 Messrs. Mikulic and Gerovac, who perused statements I provided to
25 Mr. Badzim, where no reference to weapons is made, they came with a story
1 prepared in advance and with questions that they prepared in advance.
2 Upon their arrival, they put a question to me regarding the high
3 structures of MUP and the Republic of Croatia
4 proposed that. In other words, before that, they already had information
5 which was conveyed to them - I don't know where from - and that's how
6 they came to me, directly with that question.
7 And as for the passage at the bottom, I never stated anything of
8 the kind before them.
9 If I may?
10 Q. please.
11 A. And if I may provide another piece of explanation with regard to
12 my last conversation with Mr. Mikulic and Mr. Gerovac. The two
13 gentlemen, Mr. Mikulic and Mr. Gerovac, were waiting for me one day when
14 I came back from the field. I didn't know who they were. In any case, a
15 colleague of mine who had called me, he called me and told me that there
16 will be gentlemen colleagues from Zagreb
17 him -- when I met up with them, they told me that they were just passing
18 by and that they wanted to have an informal conversation with me about
19 some details, about some things with regard to Grubori.
20 Q. Now when they put that question to you about the high structures
21 of the MUP and the Ministry of Defence, do you remember what you actually
22 answered, what you told them?
23 A. I asked them where that piece of information had come from.
24 Q. And what did they tell you?
25 A. They wouldn't answer. I told them, You are asking me to tell you
1 something that I don't know, that I don't have a clue about. You are
2 putting a question to me, but could you please first explain where that
3 information came from? Because I had never mentioned weapons before.
4 There was no reference to weapons, and now you're here and the first
5 thing you mention is weapons. Like a fact.
6 Q. I understand that, but you have testified today that there was,
7 in fact, a comment made by someone about weapons being placed there, or
8 being left there. You've testified to this.
9 So I'm trying to understand you wanted to know the source of the
10 information. But did you tell them what you've told us today, that there
11 was -- that someone did in a group make a suggestion to leave weapons and
12 how you reacted to it and how you responded and everything you've told us
13 today. Did you tell them this?
14 A. Yes. The explanation I provided to them was exactly the same as
15 the one I provided here. But they did not take that into account.
16 Q. How can you have given them the same information, if part of the
17 information that you gave us today was based on the documents that the
18 Defence showed you that triggered your memory about all the details that
19 that happened?
20 A. No, not in the same statement as earlier today in the court. In
21 any case, I explained to them that there was reference made to the
22 weapons. I explained to them that there was reference made to the
23 weapons. But they did not embark on any details. They did not continue
24 that conversation. They did not make any notes. They did not make any
25 record. We were standing by the window of the building of the police
1 administration. We lit cigarettes, and that's how we conversed.
2 Q. Did you mention to them that General Cermak was -- was there as
3 part of a group and ...
4 A. I did.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I'd like to have 65 ter 7568 in
6 evidence. I don't know if it makes more sense to have it MFI'd for now
7 or have it admitted right now --
8 MR. KAY: No objection, for the record.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2732. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: P2732 is admitted into evidence and remains
12 confidential until further order.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Just a moment.
16 Q. Let me, just for the record, briefly show you the statement you
17 gave to the -- to the OTP.
18 MR. HEDARALY: Which is 65 ter 7621.
19 And if we go to paragraph 7.
20 Q. There you say:
21 "A group of around 15 people in uniform, including who I now know
22 to be General Cermak, came towards me. One soldier from the group asked
23 me if we were the people doing the sanitation. I answered yes."
24 I'll just skip the next sentence for the sake of time.
25 "Before any conversation started between the group and me, I
1 heard that someone from the group proposed to someone else something
2 like: Weapons should be placed first. I don't think that [sic] comment
3 was addressed to me but, rather, to another member of the group. It was
4 clear to me that the suggestion I heard was to place guns next to the
5 bodies to make it look as if they put up resistance. I immediately
6 turned and angrily said that there would be no such placing of weapons.
7 I added that if they wanted to do this, they would have done it before
8 coming to me and without my knowledge. My comment stopped any further
9 discussion of placing weapons."
10 So I just want to -- to set out all your interviews now that
11 we've been through almost all of them. So the first three interviews
12 there was no mention made of any suggestion of leaving weapons, right?
13 A. I see that in your official translation the word used is placing
14 weapons; whereas, in my statement I used the verb leaving weapons.
15 Q. I understand that. Thank you for the clarification. So the
16 first three interviews, the one with Mr. Franjo and the two, one with
17 Mr. Badzim, there was no mention of any suggestion made; correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. That in the Official Note regarding the interview with
20 Mr. Gerovac and Mikulic, that note says that General Cermak made that
21 statement, although are you saying that that is not correct, right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And then to the -- to the judge in -- in Zagreb and to the Office
24 of the Prosecutor, we went through the one with the judge earlier, if you
25 remember. There you say that it was made by the group that approached
1 you, that suggestion. And now today, you're telling us that it came from
2 behind you.
3 Have I -- have I correctly outlined all the -- all the interviews
4 and what you had said about that suggestion?
5 A. This definitely happened behind my back. Perhaps nobody asked
6 for any detailed explanations.
7 In any case, somebody in the group behind my back mentioned
8 leaving weapons.
9 Q. Just very briefly now, because I've already run out of time.
10 I just want to very briefly go through the two other arguments
11 you had with General Cermak that day. The one about the on-site
12 investigation; and the one about the journalists being present when you
13 carried out your tasks.
14 Can you tell us where the argument about the on-site
15 investigation took place?
16 A. In Plavno, after my first encounter with General Cermak.
17 Q. Was it right after that -- what you discussed today, the comment
18 was made, your reaction, was it right after?
19 A. That was after the comments and discussions about weapons.
20 Q. And what did Mr. Cermak tell you?
21 A. Mr. Cermak asked me to carry out an inspection in Grubori, in the
22 place where those dead bodies were found. I refused. And I explained to
23 Mr. Cermak that I was not equipped to carry out any investigations or
24 inspections and that there were no legal provisions in place that would
25 make such an investigation or inspection legal, that legal conditions
1 were not met.
2 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I'm told that line 57, 19 has word a not
3 used by the witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let's verify that.
5 You said, Mr. Bilobrk: "I refused."
6 That is, to carry out an inspection in Grubori.
7 "And I explained to Mr. Cermak ..."
8 What did you explain to him because it may have been
10 A. I refused General Cermak's request to carry out an on-site
11 investigation in Grubori. He persisted. On several occasions, he
12 insisted that I would carry out an on-sight investigation, and I --
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just first of all seeking clarification of what
14 you said, not a further explanation.
15 Could it be where it was translated that you were not equipped to
16 carry out an investigation that you were not competent to carry out an
17 investigation; or did you say, We were not equipped?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not have the equipment which
19 was necessary to carry out an on-site investigation, which meant that we
20 did not have all the necessary equipment that would be required by a task
21 to carry out an on-site investigation.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I apparently, on that line, did not spot
23 what was the problem.
24 MR. KAY: Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: If could you assist me.
1 MR. KAY: The word instead of "inspection" being used at that
2 passage was "on-site investigation," Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I think that -- Mr. Hedaraly, any need to further
4 clarify this?
5 MR. HEDARALY: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You spoke not about an inspection but about an
7 on-site investigation.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The problem is that the line numbering is not always
11 the same, so I was focussing on the wrong line. Yes.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
14 Q. You just said there, Mr. Bilobrk, in clarifying this last passage
15 that you refused to follow General Cermak's request that he persisted on
16 certain occasions.
17 Can you explain to us how he persisted, or what happened?
18 A. Mr. Cermak -- I don't know how much he knew about the way an
19 on-site investigation is carried out. That's why he persisted and on
20 several occasions he repeated that we would doing the on-site
21 investigation, and I explained to him that that was not possible. We
22 were there on a special task which was humane sanitation, that we did not
23 have the equipment required for an on-site investigation, which means
24 that no legal requirements were in place for an on-site investigation,
25 including the fact that an investigating judge was not informed, the
1 prosecutor, the county prosecutor was not informed, that we did not have
2 the professional personnel that was necessary for an on-site
3 investigation. However, he did not understand or he seemed to not
4 understand what I was talking about. He kept on insisting until the
5 moment Mr. Sacic interfered and got involved in that exchange.
6 Q. Was Mr. Cermak angry at your refusal to carry out an on-site
8 A. He appeared angry. He appeared angry. I was not under the
9 authority of the Ministry of Defence, and I believe that I was not
10 duty-bound to carry out his orders. I had my own superiors, who were in
11 a position to issue orders to me. And as far as Mr. Cermak is concerned,
12 none of my superiors ever told me that I should act upon his orders as
14 Q. Did Mr. Cermak tell you anything about his authority in Knin?
15 A. He did mention that he was in Knin, that he was the main person
16 in Knin, that they were in power in Knin. But I did not pay much heed at
17 that. I didn't know what his tasks were, what his function in Knin was.
18 Q. Do you know why Mr. Cermak wanted to carry [sic] an on-site
19 investigation in Grubori?
20 A. Well, since he insisted so much on that on-site investigation, I
21 suppose that the idea behind that was to establish properly what had
22 happened, in a proper way.
23 Q. Now, you mentioned earlier that by the 27th of August, you were
24 already familiar with Mr. Cermak because you had seen him give statements
25 on -- on -- in the media. By that time, were you familiar with any
1 statements given by Mr. Cermak to the media or to the public regarding
2 what had happened in Grubori?
3 A. No. I mentioned his figure from some previous appearances in the
4 media, and those had nothing whatsoever to do with Grubori.
5 Q. Thank you. And then, finally, you also had another argument with
6 General Cermak later on in Grubori regarding the presence of journalists;
7 is that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Can you -- well, first of all, how did you get to Grubori from
10 Plavno? Who did you go with?
11 A. We took an asphalt road to a slope leading towards the hamlet our
12 vehicle could not go any further and that agencies we transferred our
13 equipment to Mr. Sacic's four-wheel drive, and we proceeded further to
14 the point which was the last accessible, and that's where we all met,
15 Mr. Cermak, myself, the journalist, we were there. And at that moment we
16 went -- we proceeded with our part of the job and Mr. Cermak told us that
17 the journalists would accompany us and that they would observe the way we
18 worked, and that was not provided for by law. And I refused that. I did
19 not allow the journalists to come with us. He kept on insisting on that.
20 He wanted the journalists to come with us. Mr. Sacic again intervened,
21 and he said that journalists could not be part of the police procedure,
22 that a journalist could not go to the site with the police, and as a
23 result, the journalists did not accompany us, did not come with us.
24 Q. Do you know why Mr. Cermak wanted the journalists to be present?
25 A. I suppose that Mr. Cermak, having invited the journalists, or
1 maybe the journalists had come themselves. I don't know how they had
2 found out about the events. That he wanted the journalists to be able to
3 inform the public of what had happened at Grubori.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, usually I say I'm looking at the
5 clock, but I saw that you were looking at the clock.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Only a few more questions, and I'll be done Your
7 Honour. Two or three more questions.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Really, in one or two minutes, yes.
9 MR. HEDARALY:
10 Q. When you went with Mr. Sacic to Grubori in his -- in his vehicle,
11 did you have any -- any discussion with Mr. Sacic?
12 A. We spoke about my brother, who was a member of the police special
13 unit. It was a short trip only, and Mr. Sacic asked me about my family
14 name and, Is Frane any relative of yours. And I said, He's my brother.
15 And he said, When you see him, give him my regards. And that was all the
16 conversation I had in the vehicle with Mr. Sacic.
17 MR. HEDARALY: Just one moment.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. HEDARALY:
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bilobrk.
21 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, that concludes my examination. And
22 I thank you for the extra half-hour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One question seeking clarification.
24 Mr. Bilobrk, earlier, Mr. Hedaraly read to you part of your
25 statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecution, the 4th of March of
1 this year. And then he left out one line. And then soon after that you
2 said, "Well, the translation is -- I see that in your official
3 translation the word used is 'placing weapons,' whereas in my statement I
4 use the verb 'leaving weapons.'"
5 That's the only comment I heard which came spontaneously. You
6 were not asked about any other comments.
7 Were there --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- other matters in the portion that was read to you
10 which you say is not consistent with what you said, what you told them
11 during the interview?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I signed the statement
13 in English. The people from the OTP said that the procedure was such
14 that a translation of the statement has yet to be -- had yet to be made.
15 And this is the first time I had the chance to review the statement in
17 JUDGE ORIE: I had a very simple question for you. My question
18 was: You commented on that word, which, in your view, was not reflecting
19 what you said; "leaving" instead of "putting."
20 My simple question is: Is in any other respect what was read to
21 you and what you apparently have had an opportunity to review yesterday,
22 is in any other respect this text reflecting something different from
23 what you said on the 4th of March or whether it reflects, apart from that
24 one correction, what you said?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this should be it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. For example, one of the elements I didn't find
2 in other statements is that you were asked whether you were the people
3 who do the sanitation. And that, for example, is -- is one of the other
4 elements read to you. And that's what you said, on the 4th of March.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So I can rely on the other matters which you have
7 not commented on, that reflects what you stated on the 4th of March of
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, talking about this text, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, I'm exclusively dealing with the portion
11 which was read to you, and, as I understand, you had an opportunity
12 yesterday to read in your own language.
13 Mr. Kay, will you be the first one to cross-examine the witness?
14 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, you will now be cross-examined by
16 Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is counsel for the Prosecution [sic].
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
18 Q. Two words that have been used that I want to clarify with you as
19 to their meaning. "Ostaviti," in Croatian, what does that mean?
20 A. In the Croatian translation, it means leave something where it
21 belongings, where it should be, or some similar context. This glass here
22 has its place in a cupboard, so you're supposed to leave it in the
23 cupboard, where it belongs.
24 Q. Thank you. Another word: "Postaviti," with a P in front. What
25 does that mean?
1 A. That word in translation should mean putting something where it
2 doesn't belong, where it cannot usually be found, where it isn't part of
3 a whole.
4 Q. Are we talking about, then, on the 27th of August, when you were
5 in Plavno, and you heard someone behind you mention something about
6 weapons, either of these words, "ostaviti" or "postaviti"?
7 A. It was "ostaviti," leave.
8 Q. Thank you. And I want to ask you questions now, following up
9 what Mr. Hedaraly was talking about, the investigating -- on-site
11 I'd like you to see a document.
12 MR. KAY: Can we have Exhibit P503, which is under seal. Can we
13 go to the Croatian original, page 56. And, for the English, it's the
14 second translation of this exhibit at page 29.
15 Q. You can see it in a moment on your screen, Mr. Bilobrk. Second
16 translation, page 29, and the original page, 56.
17 Don't look at the English one but look at the Croatian. It's not
18 up yet.
19 A. There's a handwritten text.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. I can't really read it.
22 Q. Just while we're waiting for the right page to come up, can you
23 comment whether you've ever seen this document before? Do you recognise
24 it at all? Have you ever seen it before?
25 A. I don't remember seeing this document.
1 Q. In the Croatian, the date is the 27th of August, 1995.
2 MR. KAY: The English text needs a correction, Your Honour, it
3 has the 28th of August, 1995. Thank you.
4 Q. If we could just go down to the fourth cross where you see the
5 name Begonja. If that could be looked at by you. Can we have all the
6 text, please. Thank you.
7 If you could just read that out, as you understand that
8 handwritten text to be, what it says.
9 A. I have difficulty reading this handwriting. It isn't easily
11 Q. Let put it up for you in a bigger form. Thank you. But we've
12 lost the bit -- there we are.
13 Can you see where it says: Begonja. Does that make it easier
14 for you to read that?
15 A. Well, I can make out Prosecutor Begonja, that the team will be
16 late, up to one hour late. Since there is a case of death, that he - he,
17 or somebody - is engaged in an on-site investigation. That's how I
18 interpret this section of the text.
19 Q. Thank you. And if you could confirm whether you've seen or not
20 this document before. Have you ever seen it?
21 A. I don't remember this document. I don't remember the
23 Q. No. There's no suggestion that you have seen it. I'm just
24 confirming that matter.
25 Just looking at that -- that entry there, though, were you aware
1 on the 27th of August, 1995 that a public prosecutor had been contacted
2 by the Knin duty officer to go and make an on-site investigation in
4 A. No, nobody informed us of that.
5 Q. Were you aware --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Nothing in that document said it was Grubori, an
8 investigation there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay.
10 MR. KAY: I'm putting my case.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. KAY: This has been misattributed in date in the translation,
13 and this is a -- a pertinent matter to events on the 27th of August,
14 which I'm entitled to ask this witness about.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you should not suggest implicitly what it
16 was about. You should verify with the witness whether he knows that, and
17 we should verify that on another basis as well.
18 Just looking at that, it should be clear what is in the text and
19 what is not in the text, because what is in the text we could easily seek
20 confirmation of that. What is not in the text would require a different
21 approach to establish any of such thing.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. KAY:
24 Q. Were you aware that there had been a delay in an investigating
25 judge coming to investigate that morning, on the 27th of August? Did
1 that message get communicated to you?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Thank you very much. And that's all I ask on that matter.
4 I want to now go through a statement that you gave to the
5 Defence, which is a document signed by you.
6 MR. KAY: If we could have 2D00-864, please.
7 And if the Croatian language version may be put on the screen for
8 the witness.
9 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, do you identify this as a statement that you gave to
10 the Defence and signed?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And is that your signature at the bottom of the first page?
13 Thank you.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If we could turn to the last page, please.
16 Do you confirm your signature on -- on that page, on the 12th of
17 May, 2010?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. KAY: Your Honour, the all-in-between pages are signed by the
20 witness as well, so if I may just proceed.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And there's a written submission that the
22 Prosecution does not oppose against admission into evidence.
23 MR. KAY: Yes. If I could confirm the matters within it.
24 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, when you gave that statement to the Defence, was
25 everything that was stated within there, to the best of your knowledge
1 and belief, true and correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were you given an opportunity to check that statement, to make
4 sure that it was true and correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if you were asked the same questions today, would you give
7 the same answers that were given in the making of -- of that statement,
8 in court today?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. KAY: Your Honour, might that statement be made an exhibit,
12 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar the number would be.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
15 Exhibit D2048. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D2048 is admitted into evidence. Confidentiality as
17 set out before.
18 MR. KAY: Your Honour, within that statement there are two
19 documents that remain to be made exhibits. At paragraph 30, there is a
20 document referred to as JB 1, a photograph, 2D00-855, might that
21 photograph be made an exhibit, please.
22 MR. HEDARALY: No objection. And if the second one is a second
23 photograph, there will be no objection to that either.
24 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged. That's 2D00-856. May they be given
25 exhibit numbers, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, two numbers please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, first document 2D00-855 shall be
3 assigned Exhibit D2049. Second document, 2D00-856 shall be assigned
4 Exhibit D2050. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Both admitted into evidence, confidentiality as set
6 out before.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, that's various formalities that I've done there in
10 relation to your statement. I now want to ask you some questions.
11 You have been referred to a large number of statements that you
12 made before you gave this witness statement to the Defence, and you told
13 the Court that, having seen documents, you were able to recollect better
14 what happened on the 27th of August, 1995; is that right?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. When you were first asked questions in 1999 by the other people
17 who came to see you, Mr. Badzim, Mr. Gerovac -- 2009, sorry. 2009.
18 Mr. Gerovac, Mr. Mikulic, and in 2010 the Office of the Prosecutor and
19 also in 2009, the investigating judge. You were being asked questions of
20 events that had happened 14 years previously.
21 How easy was it for you to remember accurately what had happened
22 when those bodies asked you those questions?
23 A. It's impossible to remember some things after 14 or 15 years.
24 That's a mighty long time. I mean, without documents.
25 Q. When the Defence came to see you in Split in this year and
1 produced documents originating from the 27th of August, 1995
2 assist you in your recollection?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What effect did looking at those documents have upon what you
5 could recollect?
6 A. I remembered situations that I was faced with on that day, and it
7 jogged my memory of some things that are not contained in those
9 Q. Now, the earlier statements all refer to events on the 27th of
10 August, when you came across Mr. Cermak outside Knin police station and
11 there was exchange of words between you and him. That description of
12 that place and what happened and the background to that description,
13 where did you get that from? How did that arise, that you referred to
14 being on the steps at Knin police station?
15 A. Sir, we were in front of the Knin police station daily, and we
16 set off to the field daily from that place. It's there that we received
17 information about such bodies. And I remember from those times that I
18 met Mr. Cermak there, because we always left from there to go to the
20 I was not aware about Strmica before that. I didn't remember any
21 of these field missions. Everybody mentioned -- was mentioning Grubori
22 to me, and I thought that on that day, we left to Grubori from that
24 Q. So is the statements that had been made earlier of any meeting
25 between you and Mr. Cermak outside Knin police station, is that wrong?
1 A. Now that I remember the details, yes, they are wrong.
2 Q. So what was described about what took place in the street outside
3 Knin police station - who was there, the number of people, the scene -
4 was that description, as well, wrong?
5 A. Indeed. It all happened differently.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I'm looking at the clock and I would have
7 let you continue for another couple of minutes if LiveNote had not
8 collapsed and when we tried to reconnect, that's -- even the results were
9 worse than before, so therefore I suggest that we have a break first and
10 resume at quarter to 1.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.48 p.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, before you continue, when I said before the
14 break, that you were counsel for the Prosecution, that was a slip of the
15 tongue. And Freud has got nothing to do with that.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour. No, I didn't get the job.
18 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions now about the statement taken
19 by Mr. Gerovac and Mr. Mikulic. And I want you to describe, first of
20 all, how they approached you, in order to discuss with you what had
21 happened on the 27th of August.
22 How were you approached by them?
23 A. On that day, I was in the field. I think that I wasn't to Ploce
24 and Makarska around 4.00 p.m.
25 said that some colleagues from Zagreb
1 wanted to see me. I asked which colleagues. And he replied, well, you
2 will see once you arrive. I expected a -- a colleague with whom I
4 When I arrived at the police administration, Mr. Vrticevic said
5 that they were waiting for me upstairs at the general crime department
6 and that they were interested in the Grubori incident. And so I went
7 upstairs to the Department of General Crime, and the colleague took me to
8 the office where these people were.
9 I had known one of them by sight. There was a case of murder in
10 our police administration and he also worked on it. I said hello, and we
11 spoke about that incident a little. We spoke about ten minutes about
12 that case. It was a specific case. And then he said to me that they
13 were passing by and that they wanted to talk to me about Grubori, and I
14 asked what -- how do you want us to talk? Formally or informally? And
15 he said no, just like that, to see whether you remember some things.
16 This is how we established contact.
17 Q. Was it formally or informally that they were -- that they had
18 represented to you they were going to speak to you?
19 A. Informally.
20 Q. And how long did they speak to you about Grubori?
21 A. We spoke for some ten minutes or so. We little a cigarette. We
22 opened a -- the window, and after ten minutes, we went our own separate
24 Q. Did they take any notes of that discussion at the time?
25 A. No. We were all standing. One of the colleagues was a
1 non-smoker and the other was a smoker, but I don't really remember which
2 one lit a cigarette with me. So we were standing by the window while we
3 were talking about Grubori.
4 Q. Did they say they were going to compile an Official Note of what
5 you had discussed with them?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did they record the interview in any other way, with a tape
8 recorder, for instance, or a video recorder?
9 A. I wasn't warned of that and I didn't observe any recording
10 device. They never said that they would record anything.
11 Q. When did you first see their Official Note recording what was
12 discussed between you and them?
13 A. I saw it first time when you gentlemen from the Defence came to
14 interview me, or, rather, no -- sorry. I saw it for the first time when
15 the gentlemen from the OTP came to interview me.
16 Q. And did you keep a record of that interview after the OTP had
17 shown it to you?
18 A. No. I didn't receive any copy of the interview I gave to either
19 Mr. Badzim or to Mr. Gerovac.
20 Q. And what was your reaction when you saw the Official Note, as
21 recorded by Gerovac and Mikulic?
22 A. Well, I must tell you that I was angry. This may be the most
23 convenient term to use now. Because they had written down things that I
24 had never told them.
25 Q. Had you ever said to them that General Cermak had suggested
1 placing guns next to the dead bodies at Grubori?
2 A. No. They came to me with that information. That's what they
4 Q. And how did they suggest that to you? Describe what happened in
5 the time that you spent with them. How did they suggest it?
6 A. During that conversation, or while we conversed, rather, I can't
7 remember which one of them mentioned that first. I can't repeat the
8 words verbatim.
9 In any case, what they said was this. We came by information
10 that General Cermak offered, or suggested, that you should place weapons
11 by the dead bodies.
12 Q. And what did you say to that, when that was stated by one of
14 A. I told them that Mr. Cermak never said that to me, and it would
15 have been strange if a person whom I saw for the first time among a group
16 of people to say that to me. It would have been totally strange and
17 didn't make much sense to imagine that somebody I saw for the first time
18 came up to me and said, Take weapons and place them by the dead bodies.
19 Q. I wonder whether you can help us with this. An Official Note,
20 such as this, taken by Gerovac and Mikulic, is that a document you would
21 normally ever see?
22 A. I think that this document could have reached him through some
23 other channels. Otherwise, I would not have seen him -- seen it.
24 Q. So the procedure, is it this in Croatia, that when a Official
25 Note is taken from a witness, he doesn't get to see the document because
1 it's not recorded at the time, if it's not recorded at the time; is that
3 A. Yes, absolutely right.
4 Q. If the document, then, is made up later, several days afterwards,
5 in the normal procedure in the Croatian investigating system, again,
6 would that witness not be given a copy of that document and not see what
7 was written?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Was there any truth in the document written by him where it is
10 stated that Cermak said that: "... an on-site investigation had to be
11 conducted in Grubori but before that on-site investigation, guns had to
12 be placed next to the dead bodies in order to make it appears as if the
13 persons killed had put up resistance."
14 Was there any truth that that was said by you?
15 A. The only truth is in the part that Mr. Cermak asked me to carry
16 out an on-site investigation.
17 As far as placing weapons there, before the on-site investigation
18 started, there is not an iota of truth in that, and I never stated that.
19 Q. As a policeman who investigates crimes some of the background
20 detail, such as you were sitting on stairs with several colleagues, if
21 you had been sitting on stairs with several colleagues, would the
22 identities of those colleagues be discoverable even today by going to the
23 records at Zadar-Knin police station, police administration?
24 A. One might do that. Because those men were employed there.
25 Q. In your statement that you gave to the Defence, you refer to
1 civilian protection officers also involved on the 27th of August; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Are those the sorts of colleagues, if you had been sitting on the
5 stairs waiting for a job at Knin police station, are those the sort of
6 colleagues who could have been questioned to find out if what you said
7 was true, if you said it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And how many civilian protection officers did you work with?
10 A. I believe that there were four.
11 Q. How many fire officers did you work with? Explosives officers.
12 A. There were no fire officers involved. There were only two or
13 three explosives officers. It depended on the mission. There were some
14 situations when only two were sent; and if they were not too busy, then
15 sometimes even three or four would accompany us on on-site
17 Q. So to find out if you were telling the truth, would you agree,
18 others could have been questioned to find out if this story is true?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When the investigating judge at the county court in Zagreb
21 to you in 2010, did you just give him an account that we see on this page
22 and which you looked at this morning with Mr. Hedaraly? Did you just
23 state this as an entire statement?
24 A. I explained to the judge about an event, and then the judge
25 dictated to the secretary and the secretary recorded my statement. In
1 this part of the statement, as I've already stated in answering the
2 Prosecutor's questions, two words were left out from what I said, from
3 what I opined. I said that two words were missing from the statement, as
4 it was recorded.
5 Q. I just want to ask you some questions about the taking of this
6 statement in Zagreb
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, since the e-court system is causing a lot
8 of problems, could you remind me of the exhibit number which was assigned
9 to this statement?
10 MR. KAY: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I would have looked it up under normal
13 MR. KAY: P --
14 MR. HEDARALY: 2729, the judge's --
15 MR. KAY: Yes.
16 MR. HEDARALY: The record of interview to the county court.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 MR. KAY: I'm grateful to my learned friend.
19 My LiveNote's gone down here, but I will remind myself again as
20 to what I was asking.
21 Q. And that was -- I'm going to ask you about how this statement was
22 taken in Zagreb
23 How long were you questioned for in the courtroom?
24 A. I believe that the whole interview lasted for some 15 or 20
25 minutes. But I can't be sure of that, I can't remember.
1 Q. I've just seen on the document it commenced at 12.05 and it
2 completed at 12.50. How long did it take to write the statement during
3 that 45 minutes?
4 A. That's the total time. I first provided my statement to the
5 judge, explaining what happened. Then the judge would dictate that part
6 to the secretary, and then the secretary would record what the judge was
7 dictating to her. That's how the interview proceeded.
8 Q. And, again, if I can ask you this: Did the judge in Zagreb
9 he have a copy of the Official Notes taken by the police officers?
10 A. I don't know. I was never shown any Official Notes.
11 Q. And I know you weren't shown, but it's just a procedural matter,
12 whether you know for a fact, as a policeman, whether the investigating
13 judge has information that -- that you don't have or -- but he has a file
14 with it in.
15 A. As a rule, he should have had them.
16 Q. Again, this statement is set in Knin, where you are alleged to
17 have spoken to General Cermak. Did you have any access to any sort of
18 documents to refresh your memory as to what was said or what happened at
19 that time for these proceedings?
20 A. No.
21 Q. This is recorded as you having said that you were approached by
22 General Cermak and a group of soldiers surrounding him.
23 Now, in all that took place, when you saw General Cermak on the
24 27th of August, was he ever surrounded by a group of soldiers?
25 A. General Cermak was, indeed, with a group of soldiers. We were
1 all within that group. There were journalists. All of us were there in
2 that group.
3 Q. The word I'm interested in is "surrounding him." So that he's in
4 a middle of a group, that he's surrounded by a group. Was that ever a
5 picture that happened on the 27th of August?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry, but if -- maybe it would be, if we're
8 going to quote from the document, I think it's not "surrounded," now it's
9 "around." Surrounding was before --
10 JUDGE ORIE: If there is any dispute about what was said, then a
11 literal quote is to be given to the witness.
12 MR. KAY: Yes, I'll ask him to do it -- well, it may be that I've
13 got an earlier version of a translation here, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: If you'd read it literally --
15 MR. KAY: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- what you have in your version --
17 MR. KAY: [Overlapping speakers]
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- then if Mr. Hedaraly has newer one than you.
19 MR. KAY: Yes, if Mr. Hedaraly could read it out that would
20 indeed assist me, as I think I've got an earlier version, then, of the
21 translation, if it's been updated.
22 MR. HEDARALY: It's just that there's two mentions. There's the
23 group surrounding General Cermak and then later on the group around him
24 approached me.
25 I just don't know which quote that Mr. Kay was referring to.
1 Maybe it's just to put it on the screen, it could just be much easier.
2 MR. KAY: Well, I'll just stay with my original question.
3 Q. Was he ever surrounded, in the understanding of that word, by
5 A. Not surrounded in the classical sense of that word, but he was
6 within the group, among -- among soldiers.
7 Q. So what I would like to go to now is the questions that you were
8 asked by the Office of the Prosecutor, when they interviewed you.
9 Did you ever tell them that General Cermak never mentioned
10 anything about placing guns or leaving guns or putting guns?
11 A. Yes. I said that on no occasion had General Cermak referred to
12 either leaving or placing weapons by the dead bodies. General Cermak
13 spoke to me only on one occasion and on that occasion he mentioned the
14 on-site investigation.
15 Q. Thank you. I now want to go to Plavno. And you said that you
16 arrived there from Strmica. How many vehicles travelled from Strmica to
18 A. I believe that there were three. The civilian protection in
19 their own vehicle; we in our own vehicle, myself and my colleague,
20 Vrticevic; and explosives experts travelled in their own vehicle.
21 Q. I'd like you to look at that photograph, JB/1, that you produced
22 in your statement.
23 MR. KAY: Exhibit 2049.
24 Q. And if you could just look at that photograph.
25 This is identified in your statement as being the place near a
1 creek or bridge where cars had stopped.
2 Are you able to describe to us where your vehicles parked, having
3 travelled from Strmica?
4 A. We were supposed to be even further behind these vehicles, and
5 you can't see them in this part of the photo.
6 I remember this well. This is a very short section and there
7 were quite a few vehicles double-parked on the road.
8 Q. We have facilities where you can mark on -- on the screen for us,
9 if that will assist the Court. Firstly, how many vehicles were parked
11 You've just indicated on the screen -- if you could indicate on
12 the screen where your vehicle stopped?
13 A. Our vehicle should be somewhere here, behind this part at the
14 very far end of the photo, as you can see.
15 Q. And how wide is this road?
16 A. About 3 metres wide. Actually, it is a village road and village
17 roads are normally 3 metres wide, although it is a double circulation
18 road. The traffic goes in both directions.
19 Q. And can you tell us how many vehicles were stopped at this place?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
21 MR. HEDARALY: I just want to -- if we could just get information
22 from Mr. Kay whether this is a recent photograph or a contemporaneous
23 photograph, whether -- you know, was it shown to the witness before -- I
24 mean, just to have some background on the photograph just so we know what
25 we're looking at.
1 MR. KAY: It's a recent photograph.
2 Q. Is there anything about this photograph that is different from
3 the 27th of August, 1995?
4 A. It was not as green as I can see it in this photo. In any case,
5 I recognise this little bridge in this part here.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. And there was a dry creek here, where we found a skeleton while
8 we were standing there.
9 Q. And how many cars had stopped here in this place?
10 A. I really don't know. I don't know how many. Probably a dozen or
11 so. There were journalists, there were our three vehicles, the army
12 vehicles, the special police vehicles. I'm sure that there were around
13 ten or so vehicle there.
14 Q. And whereabouts were -- were those vehicles parked?
15 A. All the vehicles pulled over on the road in this part, and that's
16 where they were all parked.
17 Q. And were people just standing around generally in this area, as
18 a -- as a random group of people?
19 A. Most of the group were here by the bridge, in this part here.
20 And that's where we met up with General Cermak as well.
21 Q. You said you saw General Cermak with journalists.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Whereabouts were those journalists and he?
24 A. If my memory serves me properly, in this part here. The vehicles
25 were parked by this side, and in this part here, there was a larger group
1 of people. General Cermak was somewhere around here, in front of us,
2 with a group of journalists.
3 Q. You described hearing someone behind you saying about leaving the
4 weapons, or putting the weapons. Whereabouts did that statement come
5 from? Are you able to mark on this photograph for us?
6 A. When we joined that group of people, and I don't know whether it
7 was in this part exactly or maybe a couple of metres further.
8 In any case, behind me while we were all talking, behind me I
9 heard a voice referring to the leaving of weapons.
10 Q. If you could just mark the general whereabouts of where that was
11 said with -- with an X for me, please.
12 A. Well, if I was here, then that voice came from somewhere around
13 here, from that part here.
14 Q. If you could just mark for me a square where you were, please.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And if you could mark for me a C, where Mr. Cermak was, please.
17 A. Here, or thereabouts.
18 Q. And were there people standing in between you and Mr. Cermak?
19 A. The vehicles were parked here. We met up here on this side of
20 the road. We could not gather around the vehicles. That was the group
21 of people, there, in this part. We were standing in -- in a line, not
22 exactly in a very neat line like troops would be in a lineup, but we were
23 standing in a sort of a -- a line. We were not in a circle. We were not
24 just randomly standing there. We were kind of lined up.
25 Q. But so we get this clear, at that time when a remark is made
1 about leaving weapons, were a number of people chatting, talking in a
2 random fashion?
3 A. Yes. People were talking or -- they were conversing. There were
4 groups of two or three talking amongst each other. People all --
5 everybody was saying something.
6 Q. And so the 30 or so people that you stated in your statement,
7 were they in this general area that you've marked out on the photograph
8 at that time?
9 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Hedaraly.
11 MR. HEDARALY: I know Mr. Kay mentioned 30 people. I think that
12 may be in the statement, but I think today the witness stated an
13 approximate number that was much less and it seems that that's what we
14 should go with if we ask questions to him not based on some earlier
16 JUDGE ORIE: At least it should be clear what we're doing,
17 whether you try to refer to the one or to the other version is -- but it
18 should be clear.
19 Mr. Kay, apart from that, you referred to the marking. To say
20 that without a further description on the record that it would be
21 immediately clear to everyone what we referred to, is, on the basis of
22 the markings, not very clear.
23 But I do understand that the marking on the far right is where
24 the witness's car was. That what is -- seems to an interrupted
25 horizontal line is a dry creek where two lines at where there are some
1 small poles is said to be a bridge. And that where the people gathered
2 or where they were seems to be on the part of the road marked which goes
3 from left under to a bit more right up.
4 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. KAY:
7 Q. Just so that it's clear, how many people were at this location
8 when you heard the remark that we've been discussing? How many people?
9 A. I heard the Prosecutor's -- the Prosecutor's remark about some 15
10 to 20 or maybe there were -- and you were saying about 30 or so. I can
11 try and clarify, if necessary.
12 Q. Forget what we've said. You just tell us what you say is the
13 number of people who were here at this location at that time when you
14 heard this remark.
15 A. Here, in this area, there were some 20 people or so.
16 Q. And by "this area," so that it's clear to us, could you mark a
17 line across this picture, when you say "this area, about 20 people."
18 Can you mark where --
19 A. Here, in this area, where there was large group of people, well,
20 they were about 20 or so.
21 Q. And --
22 JUDGE ORIE: And we have the traditional problem that marking in
23 colours means something. This red marking is done at the request of the
25 MR. KAY: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I don't think that it needs to be corrected. It is
2 now on the record. Please proceed.
3 MR. KAY: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. I was going describe it
4 as being a red mark now on the photograph. Don't worry about that.
5 Q. And then the number of people entirely in this location, is that
6 a different number?
7 A. Yes. We found a group of some 15 to 20 people there, and seven
8 or eight of us joined them. So that would make a total of about 30
9 people, once we had joined them.
10 Q. Thank you. And just so it's clear, you're being asked what
11 Mr. Cermak could have heard on your description of the events, is it
12 right that Mr. Cermak was on the other side of you to where the remark
13 was made.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You are being asked to say whether he could have heard that
16 remark. Now, based upon everything you've told us - the number of
17 people, where Mr. Cermak was, where you were, where the person who made
18 the remark, given the scene that was happening - can you say if
19 Mr. Cermak heard that remark?
20 A. I couldn't say whether he heard it or not.
21 Q. Looking -- looking back now and having looked and analysed this
22 15 years later, do you agree that it's highly unlikely, given those
23 circumstances, that he could have heard the remark to which you reacted?
24 A. Given the distance between him and me, he might have heard it.
25 But, of course, I don't know whether he was in another conversation or
1 whether he was focussed on other conversations around him, whether he was
2 paying attention. That's something I cannot comment upon.
3 Q. So let us now look at that remark that he might have heard and to
4 which you reacted.
5 If you could just repeat to the Court the words that you heard.
6 A. First, weapons should be left.
7 Q. Do you know who said that?
8 A. No. Somebody behind my back said those words. I've already
9 explained that.
10 Q. Do you know if that person was speaking to anyone in particular?
11 A. When I turned around and made my comment, I couldn't identify the
12 person who had said that. I couldn't tell. But they were talking to
13 each other, so who said those words to who, I really couldn't say.
14 Q. When you reacted, did anyone reply to you?
15 A. No, nobody.
16 Q. Did anyone respond in any physical way to what you said?
17 A. No. They continued talking as if nothing had happened. In fact,
18 I don't know what that -- what they were referring to, or they may
19 have -- they may not have heard my remark that I uttered when I turned
20 around and faced them.
21 Q. Yes. I was going to ask that you, whether you know if anyone
22 heard what you said.
23 A. No. I don't know, because nobody reacted to my words.
24 Q. Do you know -- you don't know whether, in fact, the context of
25 what you heard was connected with how you reacted; isn't that right?
1 A. That is right.
2 Q. You were asked questions earlier this morning about what you
3 understood. Would you agree with me, having looked at this evidence,
4 that you were not in a position to be sure about the context of this
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. So when you were asked what you understood it to mean, you don't
8 know what the maker of the statement or remark was talking about.
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. And is it right that no weapons were placed next to bodies when
11 you went to Grubori to perform your tasks?
12 A. That is right. And the photographs that we took and the video
13 footage we made shows that, indeed, no weapons were placed there.
14 Q. So other than that moment here, did anyone at any other time on
15 that afternoon suggest that you, in some way, fabricate the crime scene?
16 A. No. It is my duty as a forensic technician to preserve the crime
17 scene the way it was when I found it.
18 Q. And as far as you know, were any of your colleagues who you were
19 working with on that day requested to manufacture a crime scene?
20 A. No. My colleagues, to the extent I know them, would not agree to
21 that. They would -- they wouldn't do such a thing.
22 Q. And -- and this remark you heard and your reaction, did you
23 report it to anyone that day as being a matter that should be
25 A. No, I didn't consider it necessary.
1 Q. Or at any other stage in the subsequent weeks or months, did you
2 report it to anyone so that they could investigate it to discover the
4 A. No. I'm telling you, once we arrived at Grubori, I interpreted
5 this leaving of weapons differently, that word. Because we all had
6 long-barrelled weapons. We entered the village with only personal
7 weapons on us, me and my colleagues anyway.
8 The reason was that there was still some people alive there. A
9 crime had been committed, and a group of people armed with long-barrelled
10 and short-barrelled weapons was entering the village again, and I
11 interpreted this leaving of weapons the way I did. And then it
12 completely slipped my memory, and I considered it unnecessary to report
13 anything to anybody.
14 Q. Thank you. So looking back at it now - because it's your
15 reaction that people are analysing about this - would you agree that you
16 could have misinterpreted that remark at the time.
17 A. Most probably.
18 Q. There was nothing else happening on that day that -- that
19 involved falsifying the crime scene with weapons.
20 A. No, nothing else happened. We did our job the usual way as on
21 any other day.
22 Q. The sort of people in that area who were standing around there,
23 can you recollect what types of people they were, where they came from,
24 if they were official people or civilians? Can you recollect the type of
25 people who were there in that general area?
1 A. There was soldiers, there were members of the special police
2 force, then me and my colleague, Mr. Vrticevic. There were journalists.
3 And there were several protection people; they were also civilians. And
4 there were also bomb techs, but they were also with the civil protection.
5 So it was a mixed group of civilians, soldiers, police and
7 Q. Looking back at all this, then, Mr. Bilobrk, and the numbers of
8 statements that you've given, whom you've spoken to, and then, more
9 latterly, to the Defence, people when they've been speaking to you about
10 this, have any of them being trying to get you to say something that you
11 didn't want to say? Have they -- have people at all tried to put words
12 into your mouth, force you into a position to say something about this
13 for them to hold a position?
14 A. Yes, my colleagues Mr. Mikulic and Mr. Gerovac after those
15 questions they put it me, we have mentioned their statement, who --
16 who -- or, rather, which high-ranking official had --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat these last two
18 or three sentences.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please repeat the last few
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In replying to this question put to
22 me by the Defence, Mr. Gerovac and Mr. Mikulic, who had interviewed me,
23 came with this information and their first question was who -- or,
24 rather, which high-ranking official had told me to put weapons beside the
25 dead bodies. And in -- that's what they mentioned in this statement, and
1 they meant Mr. Cermak, because they mentioned his name in their question,
2 General Cermak.
3 MR. KAY:
4 Q. And when you were seen by the Defence and interviewed and shown
5 documents that form the basis of the statement that's an exhibit, did the
6 Defence try and put any words into your mouth, get you to say something
7 you didn't want to say, make suggestions to you, turn your words around
8 in any way when you made your statement?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And -- and were you given as long as you like to look at the
11 documents, your previous statements, the record of your interview with
12 the Defence in your own language, without any pressure and free to speak?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, you used the words as "long as you like,"
15 "without any pressure." I'm looking at the clock.
16 MR. KAY: Your Honour, before I do anything else, can I make the
17 photograph with the markings an exhibit.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, the marked photograph.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D2051. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. HEDARALY: We can admit it into evidence. I'm not sure how
22 helpful it is, but there are some indications so that we don't have any
24 JUDGE ORIE: I tried to do my utmost best [Overlapping
25 speakers] ...
1 MR. KAY: I found it very helpful for my part, Your Honour, if
2 Mr. Hedaraly is concerned.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's in evidence and let's --
4 MR. KAY: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, we'll have to conclude for the day. Could
6 you give us an indication as to where you are in terms of time?
7 MR. KAY: Your Honour, if I could just review notes overnight I
8 will not be very long. I've got a feeling here, but I'd like to talk to
9 those I work with just to see if I should have covered something today.
10 I tried to keep it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Either nothing or as relatively short.
12 MR. KAY: Yes, it will be relatively short.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I'd say about half an hour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: About half an hour. Which means that most likely
16 we'll conclude - I'm also looking at you, Mr. Hedaraly - during the first
17 session tomorrow morning.
18 Then before we continue, let me first instruct the witness.
19 Mr. Bilobrk, we'll adjourn for the day. We'll start again tomorrow
20 morning at 9.00. You should not speak with anyone or communicate in any
21 other way with anyone, whomever that is, about your testimony, whether
22 that is testimony given today, or testimony still to be given tomorrow.
23 So total silence in your communication with others. Is that
24 clear to you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the usher escort the witness out of the
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE ORIE: For tomorrow, the proposed schedule is the
5 following. From 9.00 to 10.45 first session; then a short break, 11.10
6 until 1.00, second session; from 2.00 to quarter to 4.00, third session.
7 From ten minutes past 4.00 until 5.30 the fourth session. And, if need
8 be, the last fifth session between 6.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m.
9 That will be our schedule for tomorrow.
10 We'll adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow, Thursday, the
11 3rd of June, 9.00 in this same Courtroom III.
12 But perhaps we should have returned to open session -- but --
13 perhaps that's better to do that, so that I apologise for the
14 inconvenience, everyone rising.
15 Mr. Registrar, could we just return into open session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
19 We adjourn for the day. We'll resume tomorrow, the 3rd of June,
20 9.00 in the morning, but will turn into private session immediately and
21 most likely for the remainder of that day.
22 We stand adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of June,
25 2010, at 9.00 a.m.