1 Thursday, 3 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Ante Gotovina, et al. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 The sudden change of courtroom yesterday afternoon has caused
13 some confusion, but we're now all in Courtroom II.
14 We move into private session to continue to hear the evidence.
15 [Private session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
18 Could the witness be brought into the courtroom.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Bilobrk.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to remind you that the solemn
23 declaration you've given yesterday at the beginning of your testimony is
24 still binding.
25 WITNESS: JOZO BILOBRK [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Kay, are you ready to continue your
4 MR. KAY: Your Honour, having reviewed the transcript yesterday,
5 I'm satisfied I put everything that I needed to put to the witness.
6 There was just one matter that concerned me: Whether Your Honour
7 was clear with the markings on the photograph. I was able to go through
8 the transcript, and it was clear to me, but that's not the test. It was
9 whether --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. KAY: -- Your Honour was able to -- and Your Honour's
12 colleagues, obviously.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I described what I saw as being marked, and I have
14 not been criticised yesterday evening by my colleagues. But if you think
15 there may be any doubt as to whether others would understand it, you're
16 free, then, to ask it to be put on the screen again and to describe in
17 such a way that no one ever could be in doubt as to what is depicted.
18 MR. KAY: Yeah. I'm happy with the answer that Your Honour's
19 given me on the matter. And looking at it, and with the visual image in
20 place, I was satisfied myself.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then we leave it --
22 MR. KAY: Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- at that.
24 Thank you, Mr. Kay.
25 Mr. Kuzmanovic, you will be the one who will cross-examine
1 Mr. Bilobrk?
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, you will now be cross-examined by
4 Mr. Kuzmanovic. Mr. Kuzmanovic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Just looking for a little podium, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
8 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bilobrk.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, you met at the end of August of 2009 with members of
11 the Markac Defence team in Split
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. At that time, did any member of the Markac team tell you not to
14 speak with any parties -- or to -- to this case or to any authorities
15 regarding the events that occurred during your time in and around Knin in
16 August of 1995?
17 A. Mr. Franjo Djurica told me that if somebody wanted to talk to me,
18 I should contact him first.
19 Q. No member of the team, however, told you not to speak with
20 anyone; correct?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Did any member of the Markac Defence team, when -- when you met
23 with the Markac Defence team in August of 2009, suggest to you anything
24 that happened in Grubori or what other persons said regarding Grubori or
25 suggested to what you to say about Grubori?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And Mr. Djurica asked you to contact the Markac team if anyone
3 contacted you about the Grubori incident; correct?
4 A. Mr. Djurica asked me to contact him if somebody wanted to talk to
5 me about that event.
6 Q. Now, when you -- I want to focus now on -- on Grubori,
7 August 27th of, 1995, when you were in Grubori performing your function
8 as one of the crime technicians there.
9 When you were in Grubori performing your duties, did Mr. Sacic
10 interfere with your work?
11 A. No, did he not interfere with my work.
12 Q. Did he or any person in Grubori on August 27th, 1995, issue you
13 any order to do anything in Grubori?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could Mr. Sacic, as a member of the special police, have ordered
16 you to conduct any kind of an investigation there?
17 A. No. Not in that way, no.
18 Q. To your knowledge, did Mr. Sacic prevent any crime police
19 investigation on that date of the Grubori incident?
20 A. No. I know nothing of that.
21 Q. In your long-time work as a crime technician in the Republic of
23 criminal investigations?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you ever hear that General Markac had anything to do with
1 preventing any kind of a criminal investigations from occurring regarding
3 A. No.
4 Q. We now know that there was no, at least in August of 1995,
5 specific on-site investigation with a investigating judge and a
6 prosecuting attorney present at the scene.
7 Can you tell us, Mr. Bilobrk, from your position as a crime
8 technician, why there was no on-site investigation in August of 1995?
9 A. I don't know why that did not occur.
10 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, who ordered you to go to Grubori on that date?
11 A. The operative duty service of the police, Knin station.
12 Q. Was there a specific person that you recall ordered you to
13 perform your duties on that day?
14 A. No. We report to the duty operations officer. We ask him if
15 there is any information about any bodies that were discovered. And if
16 the answer is yes, if there is, indeed, information, then that person,
17 the duty operations officer, dispatches us to the place where the body
18 was found.
19 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, who was your immediate superior at that time in
20 August of 1995?
21 A. Mr. Nekic, who was the chief of the crime prevention department
22 in the police administration of Zadar.
23 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, you and Mr. Vrticevic were both crime technicians on
24 the scene in Grubori in August of 1995. How many other crime technicians
25 were there that would report for duty in the Knin area that you're aware
1 of in August of 1995?
2 A. At first, during the first 15 days, there were five of us. And
3 some 10 or 15 days later, four were sent back to Split, and they were
4 replaced by my colleague Vrticevic, who arrived in Knin.
5 Q. So at least for the time-period of Grubori, was it just the two
6 of you that were the crime technicians for that entire area? In late
7 August of 1995.
8 A. You're correct, yes.
9 Q. Mr. Vrticevic -- or, Mr. Bilobrk, part of your job, when you are
10 a crime technician, is to note and examine the bodies at a scene and try
11 to make a determination as to, at least visually, how they died. Did you
12 do that in Grubori?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It's true, is it not, that at least as far as you were concerned
15 as the person on the scene, a crime technician qualified to do that job,
16 your conclusion at the time was that the persons that you saw in Grubori
17 had died of fire-arms?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. So any information that has come out later that a person had
20 their throat cut is simply false; correct?
21 A. According to my professional opinion, incorrect.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I don't have any further questions.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
25 Mr. Hedaraly -- yes. I understood that there would be no
1 questions from the Gotovina Defence, that's --
2 MR. KEHOE: That's correct, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
4 Mr. Hedaraly, any need to re-examine the witness?
5 MR. HEDARALY: Very little, Your Honour.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'm sorry, Mr. Hedaraly.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: There is something in the transcript I just
9 wanted to clear up at line 16 and 17.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And there was something at page 5 as well, if
11 you could look at in one of your questions.
12 But you said line 15 [sic]. Could you tell us what page you
13 are on.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure. Page 6, I believe, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Page 6. "So any information;" is that the one?
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes. I think it came out --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'll just re-ask the question.
19 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, any information that has come out later that a
20 person had their throat cut is incorrect. Is my statement correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then perhaps you'd like at page 5, one of the
23 first lines. We now know there is ... that seems to be a mistake.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Correct, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And that appears from the answer, I think.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You asked -- part of question was that we now know
3 that there had been no specific on-site investigation.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. That's then corrected as well.
6 Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
9 Q. Mr. Bilobrk, in your statement to the Cermak Defence, you
10 described in some detail the procedure by which the operative duty
11 service would be notified and who they would notify and so on.
12 Do you remember that?
13 A. In very general terms.
14 Q. Yes. And my question for you simply is: At -- that portion of
15 your statement is based on your knowledge as to how the
16 Split-Dalmatia Police Administration functioned; correct?
17 A. Yes, correct.
18 Q. You don't know exactly what the procedure was or what, in fact,
19 was happening in the Knin Police Station at that time?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And my final question for you is: In all your time in and around
22 Knin, sanitising these bodies, can you give us an estimate on how many
23 bodies that you have sanitised?
24 A. No, I can't. I can't give you an estimate.
25 There is a list. You can obtain the list. It would be hard for
1 me to speak off the top of my head. I can't give you an estimate.
2 Q. Would it be more than a hundred?
3 A. More than a hundred.
4 Q. Would it be more than 500?
5 A. No. While I was there, no. I don't think so, no.
6 Q. So somewhere between 100 and 500 is a rough estimate you can give
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Bilobrk.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Kinis has one or more questions for you.
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE KINIS: Mr. Bilobrk, yesterday on answering a question of
14 Mr. Hedaraly, you mentioned -- the question was:
15 "So let me understand. You heard weapons should be left, and you
16 understood that to mean that weapons should be left in the cars before
17 going to collect the bodies; is that right?"
18 And your answer is: Is that right [sic].
19 My question is: Why does this question then becomes an argument?
20 Why do you opposed to do so?
21 A. No. That was my interpretation. My interpretation of leaving
22 weapons upon the return from Grubori after the job was done in Grubori.
23 That's how I saw the situation, and the reason was the fact that we did
24 not enter the village with long-barrelled rifles.
25 JUDGE KINIS: And yesterday also was discussion about just the
1 wordings "ostaviti" and "postaviti." Ostaviti means "leave as it is."
2 And as far as I understood - please, if I'm wrong, please correct me -
3 but what directly trigger your angerness if you are -- you heard this
4 word "ostaviti," weapons?
5 A. I did not get angry. There was no reason for me to get angry.
6 JUDGE KINIS: You mentioned that your respond immediately is that
7 you will not do so, anything -- something, that if you -- if somebody
8 wanted to do that, let they do something behind you and not involve you
9 and [indiscernible].
10 It was your words yesterday.
11 A. When somebody said that weapons should be left, my profession and
12 my way of thinking and the part of the job that I do is such that on
13 arrival, we don't know -- we didn't know what we could expect in Grubori,
14 what awaited us there. So when somebody mentioned leaving weapons, I
15 automatically reacted. It was my instinct to react. Because I didn't
16 what was happening, whether there had been a war activity, a combat
17 activity, whether somebody had taken weapons during combat and removed it
18 until our arrival, upon which things would be restored to their original
19 state. I didn't know what to expect.
20 JUDGE KINIS: But as far as I understood from this wording and
21 from Slavonic language, wording "ostaviti" means left without changes,
22 something. It means that it's -- in my understanding, that it's -- if
23 you -- if you are using in your conversation such wording, it means that
24 some weapons should there and you should not take away them when you're
25 doing this on-site -- this criminal technical work.
1 But you mentioned something differently here.
2 A. If there had been weapons there. I didn't know what had
3 transpired in Grubori until the moment I arrived Grubori and I saw the
4 bodies. So if the weapons had been by the bodies. If the weapons had
5 been removed to prevent abuse before our arrival and then wanted to
6 restore the situation back to the original by placing weapons back by the
7 dead bodies, in my mind, that would have also constituted a change to the
8 crime scene.
9 JUDGE KINIS: You're absolute right. But then you -- then you
10 refused that during this conversation word "postaviti" was used; isn't
12 A. Leaving. Leaving. To leave. However, the word "to place" also
14 JUDGE KINIS: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, I would like to give some follow-up to
16 the questions put to you by Judge Kinis.
17 Now, what I'd like to know from you, what did you understand to
18 be suggested by that person that spoke? Did you understand that he
19 suggested to leave your own weapons in your cars or to, in one way or
20 another, have weapons being left or placed close or next to the bodies?
21 What was your understanding initially?
22 A. My understanding immediately was that the weapons should be left
23 with the dead bodies, and I assumed that there had been fighting there,
24 combat activity, and that someone removed the weapons until we arrived
25 and that then they should be placed back. And that is why I reacted, and
1 I said, There won't be any placing of the weapons.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, this whole story about leaving your
3 weapons in the car, which came up, I think, yesterday, for the first
4 time. I've never heard of it before. Apparently that's not what you
5 thought. But yesterday you presented it as something that you may have
6 understood and in that way.
7 Why do you come up with a totally new version of what you may
8 have understood where, within 24 hours, you take distance from that?
9 A. No, it is not a new version at all. Rather, we already discussed
10 yesterday this portion, and my subsequent understanding, upon our return
11 from Grubori, was that that word "leaving the weapons" actually meant
12 that the weapons should be left behind in the cars, because we did not
13 enter the village with long-barrelled weapons.
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. And I believe that is what I said yesterday.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So now, if I understand you well, your initial
17 understanding of what was said was about weapons to be left or placed
18 next to the bodies. And when returning, you thought, Well, they might
19 have meant something different; that is, to leave the weapons in the car.
20 Now, did you tell anyone at a later stage that, having thought
21 over the matter, that you may have misinterpreted and that it was about
22 weapons to be left in the car?
23 Did you tell anyone? Did the tell the court? Did you tell the
24 Prosecution? Did you tell the Cermak Defence? Could you tell us where
25 you presented that second-thought explanation?
1 You don't have to look at anyone else.
2 Mr. -- you don't have to look at anyone else than to me. Yes,
3 please proceed.
4 A. I believe that I've explained this, and I explained it to the
5 Prosecutor as well, and also the -- General Cermak's Defence. And I
6 believe these explanations, and I don't know if they have all been
7 presented in my statements ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I -- let me put to you that I would be
9 surprised that if you would have said this to the Cermak Defence, that
10 they would have failed to put this on paper, because there may have been
11 reasons to put that on paper, but, unless I missed something, they
12 apparently did not.
13 A. I can't remember, really. I should take a look again at the
14 statement that I gave them, to refresh my memory. Maybe it is in the
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, if it would be in the statement,
17 counsel would jump up and say that I would have overlooked something.
18 So, therefore, you don't have to worry about that.
19 Now, I yesterday asked you about your statement given to the
20 Office of the Prosecution. I read it again to you, and it was read to
21 you yesterday as well.
22 "Before any conversation started between the group and me, I
23 heard that someone from the group proposed to someone else something
24 like: Weapons should be placed first. I don't think that [sic] comment
25 was addressed to me but, rather, to another member of the group. It was
1 clear to me that the suggestion I heard was to place guns next to the
2 bodies to make it look as if they put up resistance. I immediately
3 turned and angrily said that there would be no such placing of weapons.
4 I added that if they wanted to do this, they would have done it before
5 coming to me and without my knowledge. My comment stopped any further
6 discussion of placing weapons."
7 Now, that is what you confirmed yesterday as what you said to the
8 interviewer of the Prosecution. A lot of attention has now been paid to
9 the difference between ostaviti or postaviti. You have explained in
10 answer to a question of Judge Kinis that if -- even if the weapons would
11 have been there before, that removing them and then putting them back
12 would be postaviti rather than ostaviti.
13 That's what you testified, isn't it?
14 A. No. Then we should used the word ostaviti, leave.
15 Because if the weapons had already been there, then you should
16 leave them where they were.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But if you take them away and then place them
18 back, what would that be?
19 A. Well, that's what I just explained. If something was already
20 there and then I removed it and then put it back, that would -- there we
21 would use the word ostaviti, leave.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let me check in the transcript of today.
23 May I read your answer to you.
24 "If there had been weapons there. I didn't know what had
25 transpired in Grubori until the moment I arrived Grubori and I saw the
1 bodies. So if the weapons had been by the bodies. If the weapons had
2 been removed to prevent abuse before our arrival and then wanted to
3 restore the situation back to the original by placing weapons back by the
4 dead bodies, in my mind, that would have already [sic] constituted a
5 change to the crime scene."
6 Now, I did understand that the difference between the word
7 ostaviti or ostavite and postavite would be that for ostavite, everything
8 remains unchanged, and for postavite, something is put and that creates a
9 change in the situation. Is that well understood?
10 A. No. Maybe we did not explain this quite clearly.
11 Our part of the job entails a lot of situations where the crime
12 scene is changed in various ways. In this particular case where someone
13 had taken the weapons and said it to us, had that been the case, we would
14 have noted that but then we would do our job as usual. We would
15 photograph the bodies. So there wouldn't be any leaving of the weapons
16 there. The weapons had been taken away and then placed back --
17 JUDGE ORIE: I'm -- what would you have done in a different
18 situation is -- I am focussing on the conversation you had.
19 You explained to us, if I understand well - but please correct
20 me; I am not a linguistic expert - that the difference between ostaviti
21 and postaviti is that in the one situation nothing changed, everything is
22 left as it was, without changes; whereas if you used the word postaviti,
23 that you would change the situation. And you -- in this answer, you
24 clearly explained that removing the weapons and then placing them back
25 already creates a change.
1 Or am I not understanding your answer?
2 I'm just focussing on the words used. Is that --
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that both on the basis of this answer
5 and on the basis of your description given to the Office of the
6 Prosecution about your reaction, what you immediately thought would be
7 the case, that is, that the guns were not next to the bodies when this
8 discussion took place and that there was a suggestion to put them there,
9 whether or not they had been there before - I leave that apart from this
10 moment - and that you immediately understood that the purpose of it was
11 to make it look as if they put up resistance where that apparently was a
12 false impression.
13 You agree with my analysis of your testimony and of your
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, for me, it's totally not understandable
17 how, in this context, including your explanation as the difference to
18 ostaviti and postaviti, how the word ostaviti would be better served, the
19 purpose, and -- apart from that, and just -- any statement taken
20 originally in B/C/S, the Chamber would like to have set out. And I tried
21 to do that, but I'm hesitant to do that on my own because I'm not a
22 linguistic expert. Whether in the statements taken originally in B/C/S,
23 for example, Official Notes, court statement, whether the word with a P
24 or without a P is used. Because that means that we know at least how
25 persons who wrote down those statements, how they understood the language
1 used during those interviews.
2 Now, again, whether he has -- had an opportunity to review that,
3 but I would like to see whether there's any -- what it is, with the P or
5 Mr. Bilobrk, you were, for a while, together with Mr. Sacic, in a
6 vehicle. You discussed a common acquaintance. Could you tell us, once
7 you arrived in Grubori, did Mr. Sacic stay with you, did he -- when, for
8 example, you went to the bodies, was he with you, or was he not with you?
9 A. Mr. Sacic was with us for part of the time, while we were having
10 this difference with Mr. Cermak about the journalists going to Grubori or
11 not. And then, when we returned from this hamlet, Mr. Sacic was there
12 waiting for us. And then we went back with him together to his vehicle.
13 JUDGE ORIE: He did not go into the hamlet, into the village?
14 A. No, he did not go into the hamlet with us. Whether he had done
15 it before or whether he did it later, I don't know.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Was he present when you inspected or photographed or
17 at least when you were close to the bodies?
18 A. Well, as I've already said, while we were doing our work, he
19 wasn't anywhere near us.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The evidence in respect of where Mr. Sacic was
21 exactly is, to some extent, contradictory. There's evidence saying that
22 he was not present when you looked at the bodies. Others say he entered
23 into the -- into this hamlet and was there when you did your job.
24 Could I again ask you whether Mr. Sacic was close to you when you
25 did your job, that is, to inspect the bodies, photograph them, to do what
1 you had to do with the bodies?
2 I again ask you this question: Whether you're sure that
3 Mr. Sacic was not with you.
4 A. While we were do -- inspecting the bodies, body by body, I did
5 not notice that Mr. Sacic was near us. Whether he was in the village,
6 walking about, I really don't know.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You earlier said that Mr. Sacic did not enter the
8 hamlet. Why did you positively say he did not, whereas, now you say I
9 didn't see him there? Which is not the same because you said, Whether he
10 was there or not, I don't know. Whereas in your previous answer you said
11 did he not enter the hamlet.
12 A. I may have misspoken, but I really did not see Mr. Sacic close to
13 us while we were inspecting the bodies. The only thing that I remember
14 was that we sat in the car together and that we drove to our car, to our
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You told us yesterday that you were angry when
17 you received a copy of the interview you gave to Mr. Gerovac and Mikulic.
18 What did you do? Because what you tell us is that they had written down
19 a completely false or at least a substantially false statement.
20 What action did you take once you had received that -- what you
21 said was a largely false statement?
22 A. Do you mean toward Mr. Gerovac and Mikulic? Or are you referring
23 to one of the investigators of the OTP? I apologise, I didn't understand
24 your question. What did you mean by what did I do?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, at a rather late stage, you see that a false
1 statement is put on paper; a copy is given to you; you are angry. What
2 action did you take to whomever to have that re-addressed?
3 A. I received a copy of the statement only when I met the gentleman
4 from the Prosecution, and I only had an opportunity to see it. I didn't
5 get it. And I said to the Prosecutor that that portion of the interview
6 was incorrect -- or statement was incorrect.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And what action did you take against Mr. Gerovac and
8 Mr. Mikulic? Did you complain at the chiefs, or did you say, This is a
9 shame. Taking false statements is not something I -- I accept or ...
10 Or did you just leave it as it was?
11 A. I did not have any contacts with Mr. Gerovac and Mikulic. I just
12 let things go as they did ...
13 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... didn't write a
14 letter, Please be informed that I became aware that a false statement is
15 put on paper; it doesn't reflect the truth?
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bilobrk, you're a police officer. Is it --
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any explanation as -- if a statement is
20 taken from you and is put on paper in a rather false way, that you just
21 leave it to that? And with all the possible negative consequences for
22 others, you just leave that as it is?
23 A. At that moment, I really didn't give it much thought. I didn't
24 think about that. Today I would act differently. But, at that moment, I
25 didn't think of that. And this involved colleagues. And I assume that
1 if they had done their job and if they had written something down, that
2 they should have done it in a proper way and accurately.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's fine. But those were your inner
4 thoughts which were not communicated with their chiefs, with the court.
5 You didn't say to the court, Well, I know it cannot be used in evidence,
6 but please be aware that I never said what -- you didn't go to the court
7 at any moment and ...
8 A. I didn't know, at the time, in the court, I didn't know about the
9 statement that they had written.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No. But you didn't go back to the court later and
11 say, I only now found out ...
12 Let's leave it as it is. That's -- your answer's clear.
13 MR. KAY: While Your Honour is just thinking, a matter: You
14 asked over the use of the word ostaviti. I don't know if that would help
15 for me to direct Your Honour there if Your Honour wanted to deal with
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, it is more -- for me it's not -- I
18 looked at the 9th of November statement where I thought, but that's
19 exactly the reason why I'm seeking your confirmation, that I thought that
20 "postave" is used. I looked at the statement given before the court, and
21 I think I found that postaviti was used, but it's all reconstruction.
22 I'd rather have a full list of the use of the words postaviti and
23 ostaviti. And if the parties could agree on that, I don't think that
24 that should be a matter of dispute. And if there is any dispute, we'll
25 find the linguistic experts to -- or at least those who are native
2 MR. KAY: I had found it our statement, though, when Your Honour
3 mentioned it.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I would like to have it for all the
6 MR. KAY: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And -- and ...
8 Then I have no further questions.
9 Have my questions triggered any need for further questions?
10 And same too for Judge Kinis's questions.
11 Then, Mr. Bilobrk, this concludes your testimony. I would to
12 thank you for coming to The Hague
13 that were put to you by the parties and by the Bench. I would like you
14 to remain stand by during the day. We'll hear some other evidence as
15 well. This is - I'm not saying we will - but there is a chance that we
16 may need to put further questions to you on the basis of what we'll hear
18 Therefore, I would like to ask you to remain stand by during the
19 day. VWS, the Victims and Witness Section, will take care of you. And
20 you're instructed not to speak with anyone about your testimony which
21 you've given, in view of the fact that there may be - I'm not saying
22 there will be - but there may be a follow-up. Therefore, the instruction
23 is the same: Once we have concluded the hearings today, you'll receive a
24 message whether you are free, then, to speak again with whomever you want
25 about your testimony.
1 Is that clear?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is clear.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to invite the usher to escort you out
4 of the courtroom.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, for the next witness, the Chamber has
7 no information as to whether any protective measures are sought by that
9 MR. HEDARALY: None are, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: None are. Nevertheless, we'll hear the testimony in
11 private session, as we did yesterday. And most likely we'll lift the
12 confidentiality rather soon.
13 And we'll have to wait until the witness is brought into the
15 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, if it assists, the Prosecution will
16 call Witness 178 before 177. And I think it is going to become clear why
17 during the examination. It is going to be Mr. Mikulic and then
18 Mr. Gerovac.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Mr. Usher, could you escort Mr. Mikulic into the courtroom.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Mikulic. I'm the one who is
23 speaking, although you receive my words in translation.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulic, before you give evidence, the Rules of
1 Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration.
2 The text is now handed out to you by the usher. May I invite to
3 you make that solemn declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: ZELJKO MIKULIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Mikulic.
9 Mr. Mikulic, just to be sure that you understand the present
10 situation, you have not asked for any protective measures. Nevertheless,
11 we hear your evidence in private session. Most likely your evidence will
12 be public very soon, but in order to protect the integrity of the
13 evidence and the proceedings, the Chamber has decided that, today, we'll
14 hear your evidence without the outside world knowing about it already.
15 But it's our firm expectation, since you did not ask for protective
16 measures, that it will be public in a matter of days.
17 You will now first be examined by Mr. Hedaraly. Mr. Hedaraly is
18 counsel for the Prosecution.
19 Mr. Hedaraly, please proceed.
20 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Mikulic.
23 A. Morning.
24 Q. Can you first please state your full name and your date of birth
25 for the record.
1 A. Zeljko Mikulic, born on the 31st of October, 1970.
2 Q. What is your current occupation?
3 A. I'm a police officer.
4 Q. Who is your employer?
5 A. The Ministry of Interior, the police administration of Zagreb
6 the crime prevention department.
7 Q. Starting in 2009, were you involved in the investigation of the
8 killings in Grubori that occurred in August 1995?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell us, What is your role in that investigation?
11 A. Well, in the course of September 2009 at the level of the
12 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia
13 of crime prevention police decided to set up a task force, pursuant to
14 the minister's decision, with a goal to investigate the killing of
15 Serbian civilians in Grubori which took place on the
16 25th of August, 1995.
17 Q. Now, as part of this investigation, did you interview two
18 forensic technicians in November 2009, Mr. Jozo Bilobrk and
19 Mr. Ivica Vrticevic?
20 A. Mr. Vrticevic? Not Krsticevic; Vrticevic. Mr. Jozo Bilobrk and
21 Mr. Ivica Vrticevic were interviewed.
22 Q. There may have just have been an issue with interpretation, but I
23 think the record is clear that you interviewed both Mr. Bilobrk and
24 Mr. Vrticevic in November 2009.
25 A. Yes. Myself and my colleague from the police, Antonio Gerovac,
1 interviewed the two of them together.
2 Q. Now, when you interviewed Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic, they had
3 already been interviewed by other officers of the MUP; is that right?
4 A. Yes. I believe that they were interviewed on two occasions
5 before that. Mr. Robert Badzim from the police administration of Knin
6 spoke to them. He was also a member of the task force that was set up
7 pursuant to the decision of the head of the police.
8 Q. Okay. Can you tell the Court what led you to re-interview
9 Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic?
10 And just so you know, I'm treating them together for now just to
11 be more efficient. Whenever you feel it's better to separate them, we
12 can deal with them one at a time.
13 So can you tell us what led you to re-interview these two
15 A. Well, I believe that the first interview carried out by our
16 colleague, Robert Badzim, with Ivica Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk took place
17 on the 12th of October, 2009. The interview with the two of them was
18 recorded on one Official Note which is inadmissible in the police
19 practice. Normally interviews are carried out separately, and every
20 interview has to be covered by a separate Official Note. That's -- that
21 was the first reason.
22 The second reason was the fact that - I don't know whether you
23 have that Official Note - in the introduction to that Official Note, our
24 colleague Badzim stated that our colleagues Vrticevic and Bilobrk somehow
25 stated that they did not intend to say anything, any of the details about
1 the sanitisation of the terrain in Grubori in 1995, because they had
2 already been interviewed, as they said, by the representatives of the
3 Defence teams of Croatian Generals. And it was suggested that any
4 information that they might have might harm the Defence of the Croatian
6 Mr. Badzim said it himself that they were not very forthcoming
7 during the interview. They just provided very general information about
8 their participation in the event and in the sanitisation of the terrain.
9 After that, at the level of the ministry, our colleague Badzim
10 was requested to repeat the interviews in order to establish everything
11 that was necessary to proceed with the criminal investigation. After
12 that, he compiled two separate Official Notes, but the contents thereof
13 remained the same. Nothing changed with regard to the contents of those
14 Official Notes.
15 After that, in November --
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if I can just stop you here
17 just so that we go -- we go piece by piece. I just want to show you
18 these Official Notes so you can confirm to the Court that these are the
19 ones you're talking about.
20 MR. HEDARALY: Can we have P2731 on the screen, please.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'd like counsel to point out in this P2731
22 where - anywhere in this Official Note - it is suggested that the Defence
23 teams --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr -- Mr. -- that's not what I understand. The only
25 thing Mr. Hedaraly is doing is verifying with the witness whether the
1 Official Notes he spoke about -- whether that are the Official Notes
2 which Mr. Hedaraly will show to him. That's what is done by Mr. Hedaraly
3 at this moment. And if you want to further explore the content of the
4 Official Notes, then that can be done at a later stage.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I just want to make it perfectly clear. I don't
6 want any suggestions -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
7 JUDGE ORIE: But -- but -- Mr. --
8 MR. HEDARALY: [Overlapping speakers] ...
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- Mr. Kuzmanovic, what you would not like.
10 Wait -- first of all, you intervene when Mr. Hedaraly is just asking for
11 a document to be brought on the screen where he clearly has explained
12 what his purpose is. That is, to see whether the document on the screen
13 is the Official Note the witness talked about. That's perfectly right.
14 There was no reason to intervene.
15 If at any stage Mr. Hedaraly will suggest something which you
16 think would be inappropriate, then you may rise.
17 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Understood.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And I take it that under the present circumstances
21 Mr. Hedaraly will be very cautious not to create a situation in which you
22 feel that you should rise.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I would hope so, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
25 MR. HEDARALY:
1 Q. Mr. Mikulic, on the screen now is an Official Note which is an
2 Official Note which has both Mr. Vrticevic's and Mr. Bilobrk's names as
3 the people that are interviewed. If you want to look at the second page
4 as well, we can do so.
5 Can you confirm that this is the first Official Note that you
6 were talking about where you said that they were both interviewed -- that
7 there was one Official Note created for both interviewees?
8 A. Yes, that's the one, written on two pages. But that's the
9 Official Note that was compiled by our colleague Badzim, the first
10 Official Note that he ever compiled.
11 And what I was talking about and why it was necessary to repeat
12 the interviews, you will find that in the first paragraph. Or, rather,
13 in the second paragraph. Because of the circumstances that took place --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is reading too fast. It is
15 impossible to translate.
16 MR. HEDARALY:
17 Q. Can you please slow down, if you read, for the interpreters to be
18 able to read at an appropriate pace.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'd also ask that the witness be directed to
21 answer the question that's asked and not go beyond the scope of the
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, if the witness goes beyond the scope
24 of the question and if Mr. Hedaraly thinks that useful information may
25 come up, then he either can stop the witness and say that this goes
1 beyond his question or he can let it go.
2 If this would result in receiving irrelevant information
3 resulting in a waste of time, then, of course, the Chamber will intervene
4 as well.
5 Mr. Kuzmanovic, the intervening at appropriate moments on
6 appropriate matters is fully accepted by the Chamber. Your last
7 interventions were of a kind where there can be some doubt, if not
8 serious doubt, as to the appropriateness of it or not. I would like to
9 ask you to carefully consider when you intervene again.
10 Mr. Hedaraly, you may proceed.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I want to state something for the
12 record. I'm protecting the interests of my client. And if the Court
13 feels that that's something that's unnecessary or doesn't like it, I'm
14 sorry. I'm defending the interests of my client.
15 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. -- Mr. --
16 Mr. Kuzmanovic. Mr. Kuzmanovic, no one doubts that you are defending the
17 interests of your client. That is not the same as doing what you wish to
18 do if the Court considers it inappropriate. It's finally the Court which
19 allows you, and I did it in very gentle way, I would say. I said that we
20 fully accept interventions but that the interventions, until now, were
21 not of a kind which would have been placed where the Court was convinced
22 that they were appropriately placed. We didn't do anything else. And
23 have to accept that for the time being.
24 Mr. Hedaraly can continue.
25 What I want to prevent is that by too many interventions - and I
1 let it go for the first one or two, to find out what they were - that the
2 flow of evidence is interrupted in a way which -- in which it should not
3 be interrupted.
4 Mr. Hedaraly.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Mikulic, before you were interrupted. You wanted to point
7 out something in this Official Note related to what you had stated
8 earlier today in your testimony. Can you please tell us which portion
9 you're referring us to. And if you want to read from it, please do so
11 A. I don't need to read it. We'll find it in the first two
12 paragraphs. And that was the main reason why there was a request to
13 repeat the interview, to clarify those circumstances and to establish all
14 the important facts.
15 It was inadmissible for Mr. Vrticevic and for Mr. Bilobrk to
16 remain active police officers and behave in that way. It was not up to
17 them to decide what to say, what not to say, what to cover up, what not
18 to cover up.
19 Q. You also mentioned that there were two other Official Notes taken
20 by Mr. Badzim. Let me show those to you and you can confirm that these
21 are the ones you were discussing.
22 MR. HEDARALY: First, if we can have P2730, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first one, covering the
24 interview with Mr. Bilobrk.
25 MR. HEDARALY: And then if we can have 65 ter 7570, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is not the second one.
2 This is the second Official Note that my colleague Mr. Gerovac and myself
3 created. There should be another Official Note created by my colleague
4 Mr. Badzim after the interview with Mr. Vrticevic.
5 MR. HEDARALY:
6 Q. You are absolutely correct. And just give me one moment and I we
7 will find the right number.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. HEDARALY:
10 Q. We'll get it at a later stage. There was a confused -- a
11 confusion. So we'll review that one a little later. I apologise for
13 Now, when you re-interviewed Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic, did
14 you come into possession of any new information that you thought would be
15 relevant in those interviews?
16 A. Well, our primary task was to clarify their position as to why
17 they didn't want to talk about what they knew about the incident in
18 Grubori. And in that sense, we invited them to provide the information
19 they had and to explain the roles they played in the events.
20 Q. Did you interview anyone else that gave you any information about
21 what Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic may know that they did not say in
22 their first interviews?
23 A. Before that, we interviewed -- or, rather, I and my colleague
24 Nikola Ilijas, who was also a member of that task force, we interviewed
25 Mr. Franjo Djurica.
1 Q. And what did Mr. -- well, why did you interview Mr. --
2 Mr. Franjo?
3 A. Well, that was the -- according to the plan of our crime
4 investigation. Mr. Djurica, at the time, in the course of 1995, was the
5 chief of the police sector with the Ministry of the Interior, and he was
6 in charge of coordinating the activities in the then-liberated areas --
7 area on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior, in order to establish and
8 control the work of the police. There was a need to interview him and to
9 gather any information that he might have been in possession of.
10 Q. And did he give you any information relating to Grubori that you
11 found to be relevant?
12 A. Yes. But when the official part of the interview was over,
13 Mr. Franjo Djurica, at the very beginning of the interview, said that he
14 could only provide information about Grubori that he had had at the time,
15 when this -- he discharged those duties. And that was primarily for the
16 fact that in the course of 2005, at the level of the MUP, a commission
17 was set up. He was the president of that commission. And that
18 commission was responsible, according to him, responsible for the defence
19 of the generals who were standing trial before the international
21 When he started working in that commission, after that, his
22 information about the events expanded because he had had an opportunity
23 to read a lot more documents that he wasn't even aware of in 1995.
24 And at the end of -- the interview was conducted, it was
25 completed, and Mr. Djurica told us what he knew in 1995. And when the
1 interview was over, when it was completed, Mr. Ilijas and myself asked
2 him if it was true that they had spoken to Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic
3 and whether it was true that they had told him that they had suggested
4 that should anybody want to talk to them, they shouldn't say what they
6 Mr. Djurica replied that as a professional he should not answer
7 that question but as a former -- former colleague and professional, he
8 valued our efforts and our work and that he therefore would say that he
9 did talk to them. But he never suggested that they should cover up
10 anything. His only suggestion was that should anybody wanted to talk to
11 them, that he should be made aware of that in order to know what position
12 to take.
13 Q. Did he you tell you anything about these interviews that he
14 conducted with Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic?
15 A. Yes. Mr. Djurica was asked a concrete question, and that was
16 whether he was able to reveal the information that they were in
17 possession of. And after a short pause, he -- Mr. Djurica said that what
18 he was going to tell us then we should consider as never having been told
19 to us and that he would never confirm that he had ever stated that.
20 He said that, in the course of the interview that he conducted in
21 the -- in the course of August with Mr. Vrticevic and Bilobrk, that they
22 had stated before him that there had been proposals, certain proposals,
23 on the part of some high MUP and HV officials that the crime scene in
24 Grubori should be altered in the following way: That weapons should be
25 placed by the dead bodies in order to make it appear as if there had been
1 an armed conflict, fighting.
2 Q. Did you ask him who he [Realtime transcript read in error "you"]
3 understood to have made these proposals?
4 A. We did ask him who could be most harmed by that information,
5 whether it's known who the proposals came from.
6 Mr. Djurica says that Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic told him that
7 the proposal had come from General Cermak.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, page 33, line 5, it's my recollection
9 that you said:
10 "Did you ask him who 'he' understood to have made these
12 MR. HEDARALY: That's correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. And did you -- did you record this information that Mr. Franjo
16 gave you in the Official Note of the interview that you prepared of
17 Mr. Franjo?
18 A. Mr. Djurica asked us not to record that in the Official Note. He
19 said that he would deny ever having said that, should he be asked about
20 that. When we returned to our workplaces, during our briefing, daily
21 briefing session, we reported back to the task force, and an operative
22 report was compiled about that.
23 I must admit that we took it with a grain of salt because there
24 were a lot of contradictions in the statements of Mr. Vrticevic and
25 Mr. Bilobrk. We did not assign too much value to the information that we
2 MR. HEDARALY: Can we have 65 ter 7640 on the screen.
3 Q. I will ask to you confirm that this is the Official Note of the
4 interview that you prepared with Mr. Franjo.
5 We can also look at the last page whenever you are ready.
6 A. I think so. I think this is the Official Note.
7 Q. And is that your signature at the bottom?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, could I have 65 ter 7640 admitted
10 into evidence.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
12 Mr. Registrar, the number would be ...
13 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P2733. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P2733 is admitted into evidence. And as far as
15 confidentiality is concerned, the same applies as yesterday. As long as
16 the confidentiality of this hearing has not yet been lifted, the
17 confidentiality of these documents should be observed.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Mikulic, let me now try to, again, get the -- the
21 Official Note of Mr. Vrticevic that was prepared after the joint
23 MR. HEDARALY: 65 ter 7569.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is it. I believe
25 Mr. Badzim has drafted this.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Can we go to the last page, please.
2 Q. And we can see that's Mr. Badzim --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, can I have 65 ter 7569 into evidence,
7 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
8 Mr. Registrar, the number would be ...
9 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P2734. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: P2734 is admitted into evidence. Same ruling in
11 relation to confidentiality.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mr. Mikulic, do you know why Mr. Franjo shared this information
15 with you?
16 A. Well, I think that he felt he should, since that question had
17 already been put to him, whether it was true that they had discussed and
18 whether -- and what he would say if somebody asked him to repeat that.
19 So he felt, as a former policeman, the need to describe -- to explain
20 this. But he also said that in view of the fact that he was a member of
21 the team and president of that committee, he would never officially
22 confirm that he had actually said that.
23 Q. I now want to move to the interviews that you and your colleague
24 conducted with Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, I know that the schedule is for the
1 break to be in ten minutes. I don't know if you wish me to start this
2 topic now or if you would prefer to take an earlier break so that we have
3 it all in one -- I leave it to the Chamber --
4 JUDGE ORIE: I think it would be perhaps better if we move
5 subject, to not interrupt it, after ten minutes and have a break.
6 The only concern I may have, that is, we have an early break --
7 no, the problem is that the tape for the second round would be too short
8 to cover it, so we would then have a ...
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One tape would not cover a lengthy second
11 session. Therefore, you're invited to start.
12 MR. HEDARALY: That's fine, Your Honour.
13 Q. Were both Mr. Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk interviewed the same day
14 by you and your colleague Mr. Gerovac?
15 A. Yes, on the same day. I believe it was on the 5th of November.
16 Q. Did you interview them together or separately?
17 A. Separately. With each one of them, we had separate interviews.
18 Q. Who did you interview first?
19 A. I think with interviewed first Mr. Vrticevic in his office.
20 Q. And -- and when did you interview Mr. Bilobrk, and where did you
21 interview him?
22 A. After that, at the police administration building, the
23 Split-Dalmatia Police Administration building, and we conducted the
24 interview with Mr. Bilobrk there.
25 Q. Was Mr. Vrticevic's office, where you conducted his interview, in
1 the same building?
2 A. Yes. On the premises of the Split-Dalmatia
3 Police Administration. I believe this was in the crime prevention
4 department where he works.
5 Q. Did you know -- let me first start with your interview with
6 Mr. Bilobrk.
7 Did you know Mr. Bilobrk from before, before that day, when you
8 interviewed him?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. Was your interview with Mr. Bilobrk a formal interview or an
11 informal interview?
12 A. It was a formal interview, an official interview.
13 Q. What do you mean by "a formal interview"?
14 A. An interview that was conducted as part of a criminal
15 investigation. It wasn't conducted on a sort of personal basis or
16 private basis.
17 Q. Did you inform Mr. Bilobrk that this would -- that this was a
18 formal interview?
19 A. Of course, he knew that. And his superiors had been informed
20 that we would come to interview him.
21 We had announced our arrival. This was announced by the crime
22 police department that we would come and conduct interviews with
23 Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic.
24 Q. And did you drive down from Zagreb for that purpose?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you remember how the interview started? Can you tell the
2 Court how the interview with Mr. Bilobrk started; if you remember.
3 A. Well, I can't really remember the details, but it proceeded
4 without any glitches. It was very casual. We explained the reasons for
5 our coming there and that we need to clarify these details that we had an
6 interest in. The interview proceeded quite casually and professionally.
7 Q. And what questions or what -- what question did you put -- what
8 was the first question that you put to Mr. Bilobrk; if you remember?
9 A. I cannot recall precisely, but we told him what we wanted to
10 discuss. In other words, the events in Grubori. And we wanted to ask
11 him about what he knew about the events. And I believe that the first
12 question was for him to tell us everything he knew about it, about what
13 had happened there, and to explain what his role in the events was.
14 Q. And when he answered this first series of question [sic] that you
15 asked him, did he say anything to you about what you had learned from
16 Mr. Franjo about the proposals to alter the crime scene?
17 A. He confirmed that, yes.
18 Q. Do you remember what specific question you asked him in order for
19 him to confirm that? Did you present that information to him? Did he
20 tell him what it was, who you got it from?
21 We're trying to get a picture of how this interview developed and
22 how that information came about.
23 A. No. We did not indicate to him at first that we had already
24 interviewed Mr. Djurica, or talked with Mr. Djurica. We asked him, in
25 view of what he had said in his first Official Note, to tell us about the
1 knowledge that he had that he thought might be harmful, what that
2 knowledge was. And we told him that this was a serious criminal
3 investigation and that Croatian generals were being tried for it and that
4 the only purpose of the interview of the -- was to establish the truth.
5 And then he began to tell us about it.
6 Q. And did he then right away tell you about the -- these proposals,
7 to alter the crime scene by placing weapons?
8 A. Yes. He began to -- describing that immediately, how the whole
9 thing happened.
10 Q. Did he name the person or persons who had made these proposals?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And who did he name?
13 A. He named -- he said that General Cermak had come to him and
14 suggested that a criminal investigation be conducted and that weapons be
15 placed by the bodies in order to make it appear as if there had been
16 fighting and this to be done before journalists who would witness it.
17 And he opposed that. He said that his reaction had been rather
18 indignant, vehement.
19 Q. Did you, in your questions, suggest to him that General Cermak
20 may have made such proposals?
21 A. No.
22 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, I note the time.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a break, and we resume at ten
24 minutes past 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.44 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.12 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, please proceed.
3 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Mr. Mikulic, we were discussing the interview that you and
5 Mr. Gerovac conducted with Mr. Bilobrk in November 2009. And we were
6 talking about General Cermak being mentioned.
7 And I just need to ask you this, to be sure: Are you absolutely
8 certain that it is Mr. Bilobrk who first stated that General Cermak was
9 the person who made these proposals, to place weapons next to bodies?
10 A. Yes. That's what Mr. Bilobrk said.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps to make this perfectly clear, Mr. Mikulic,
12 there are several ways in which you can introduce that matter. You can
13 say, We heard about suggestions of changing the crime scene. And if you
14 do that and if then someone's come with the story of what was suggested,
15 then you haven't given much clues.
16 You can also introduce the matter by saying, We were informed
17 that it was suggested that weapons would be put or should be left close
18 to the bodies and then that someone, in response, tells you who suggested
20 Of course, a third way of introducing the matter is to say, We
21 received information that it was suggested at that place by Mr. Cermak or
22 by Mr. Sacic -- by whomever, and if you give all the clues.
23 Now I'd like to know exactly what clues you had given to
24 Mr. Bilobrk when you interviewed him, because I do understand that you
25 had received information. Was he the first who stated that it was
1 suggested that weapons be put next to the bodies; or did you seek
2 confirmation, telling him that you'd received information that it was
3 suggested that weapons should be put next to the bodies?
4 Do you remember whether it was him or you who first mentioned
5 weapons to be put next to the bodies?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it is best to look at
7 the Official Note. I cannot really be terribly precise because some
8 seven or eight months have elapsed since. But I think that it was very
9 well described in the Official Note how this whole interview proceeded.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, we'll have a look at the Official Note
11 and see whether question and answer are clearly described. And, of
12 course, we do not know yet whether that's the complete question or not.
13 Now, same question: Was it Mr. Bilobrk that first mentioned
14 Mr. Cermak as the one who may have suggested to change the crime scene;
15 or did you mention Mr. Cermak as the one who would have suggested to do
16 so and that he confirmed? If you remember.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We did not suggest anything or
18 who this was about. We suggested, if I recall, whether there were any
19 suggestions or proposals by anyone, without mentioning any names, that
20 something be done or not be done on site at the crime scene.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Without yet telling what to be done to the
22 crime scene?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we never mentioned specifically
24 what it was. We did have certain facts, but we did not want to put
25 leading questions. We wanted him to describe what he knew about the
2 And I remember that toward the end of this interview we asked him
3 whether what he had just told us was the knowledge that he also provided
4 when he was interviewed by Mr. Franjo Djurica, and he confirmed. This
5 was the -- a question that we put at the end of this interview.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
8 Just to follow up on the Judge's question, let's have P2732 on
9 the screen, which is the Official Note of interview. 2732.
10 Is there a technical problem? I can -- we can come back to it
11 later if it would be better -- yeah? Okay.
12 Q. There's a technical problem, Mr. Mikulic. We'll look at the note
13 in just a few -- a few -- hopefully minutes.
14 Did you take any notes during that interview?
15 A. Yes. Notes are taken. This is standard. Notes are taken during
16 an interview.
17 Q. Just to be completely clear, I mean handwritten notes at the same
18 time; not the Official Note that is typed up later on.
19 A. Yes, handwritten notes too.
20 Q. And do you remember if both you and Mr. Gerovac took handwritten
21 notes during that interview?
22 A. I think that it was only Mr. Gerovac who took handwritten notes.
23 I'm pretty certain. We conducted the interview jointly. We were both
24 present. But I think - and I'm pretty sure - that he was the one who
25 took notes on both these interviews.
1 Q. And is that -- is that the standard practice that only one of the
2 interviewers would take handwritten notes?
3 A. It is standard practice that one would take notes. That the
4 person who begins with questions and begins the interview, that that same
5 person takes notes.
6 Q. And what is the procedure for compiling the Official Note of
7 interview? First of all, generally. What would be the general procedure
8 for compiling the Official Note of an interview?
9 A. Well, that would depend on the time available. We would either
10 compile it on the same day, type it into a computer, or we would use a
11 typist, an official typist, who would type it for us.
12 In this case, Mr. Gerovac and I did it ourselves. And judging by
13 the style, I believe it was Mr. Gerovac who compiled. But I was there
14 with him, and then we both signed it.
15 Q. Did you review the note before signing it?
16 A. Yes, that's the rule. You have to read the note and then if
17 there are any suggestions or any disagreements or doubts in the
18 interpretation of the interview, we would check the notes again and those
19 corrections would be made. And then in the end, when the note is
20 completed, then we would both sign it.
21 Q. And when you signed the Official Note, does that mean that you
22 are satisfied that it accurately reflects what happened in the interview?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what happens to the handwritten notes that have been made at
25 the time of the interview?
1 A. Well, as a rule, we keep them for a while with us. If we take it
2 down in a notebook, we keep it for a while. And then -- well, some
3 people would keep all those notes, others would dispose of them. But
4 there is no legal obligation to keep them or that they be attached as
5 part of the file.
6 Q. During your interview with Mr. Bilobrk, did you -- did you or
7 your colleague light up a cigarette close to the window of the room where
8 you had the interview?
9 A. Yes, I lit up a cigarette. And, I believe, Mr. Bilobrk too,
10 because he is a smoker too.
11 Q. How long did that interview last?
12 A. It is hard to say as I sit here now, but I believe that it
13 couldn't have lasted more than an hour.
14 Q. And we have --
15 A. Excuse me. I believe that with Mr. Vrticevic it was a bit
16 shorter; at most, half an hour. Where the interview of Mr. Bilobrk
17 lasted about an hour.
18 Q. We have the Official Note on the screen now, which is P2732. And
19 we see here that the interview was conducted on 5 November, as you had
20 stated, and that the note was made on the 9th of November.
21 Now, noting that the 5th of November, 2009, was a Thursday and
22 the 9 of November was a Monday, is that a usual delay between the
23 interview and the Official Note being prepared?
24 A. Well, in essence, as I said, we prepare an Official Note on the
25 same day, as a rule, or on the next day, at the latest.
1 But this one was drafted some four days later, and the reason was
2 that we were actually on an official trip. We were away from our
3 offices. We spoke with Mr. Bilobrk on Thursday, I believe. We were in
5 conduct in Zadar, also to do with Grubori. And then we returned home
6 late that evening. So the first next business day we exactly compiled
7 the Official Note.
8 We did not have occasion during those two days to draft the
9 Official Note because he was not the only person we interviewed on that
11 Q. If we look at the Official Note, and can you tell us if it
12 reflects accurately the questions that were put to Mr. Bilobrk and his
14 Mr. HEDARALY: And if we move down in the English a little bit on
15 the same page.
16 Q. And there's quite a long statement about the need for another
17 interview and that new facts have been established which -- I lost it.
18 MR. HEDARALY: It was fine before.
19 Q. "New facts have been established which suggest that during the
20 first preliminary interview conducted with him on 13 October 2009, he did
21 not provide all the facts in his possession regarding the -- that event,
22 the above was asked if it had been suggested to him and to his colleague
23 Ivica Vrticevic, who was working with him as a crime technician on the
24 humane clearing up of the dead bodies of civilians killed in the village
25 of Grubori, by somebody from the then-senior commanding structures of the
1 MUP or the Ministry of Defence that they should have conducted an on-site
2 investigation in the village of Grubori
3 have placed guns next to the ... bodies of civilians who had been killed
4 in order to make it" --
5 MR. HEDARALY: If we can go down a little bit.
6 Q. "...make it appear" --
7 MR. HEDARALY: Can we have the full page, please, on the screen.
8 That's going to be easier.
9 Q. "... make it appear as if they had put up resistance to member of
10 special police, the above stated that the day when they went to Grubori
11 in order to carry out the humane clearing up process, sometime in the
12 morning, General Cermak came in front of the Knin Police Administration
13 building escorted by a few soldiers from his security" --
14 MR. HEDARALY: Please turn the page in English and have the
15 original -- the first page back on the screen as well.
16 Q. "He remembers that when Cermak arrived, he was sitting on the
17 stairs with several colleagues whose name he does not now remember
18 anymore but he allows for the possibility that among them there was, on
19 that occasion, his colleague Ivica Vrticevic. When Cermak came to them,
20 he said that an on-site investigation had to be conducted in Grubori but
21 that before the on-site investigation, guns had to be placed next to
22 the ... bodies in order to make it appear as if the persons killed had
23 put up resistance. He remembers that he got angry at Cermak's suggestion
24 and told him that he would not do that, and if they had intentions of
25 doing something like that, that he did not want to know anything about it
1 nor did he want to participate in it. Cermak did not comment his
2 reaction; he just turned around and left."
3 Now, my question for you, Mr. Mikulic, and it goes back to what
4 the Presiding Judge asked you earlier: Do you remember if this is how
5 the question and answer proceeded, that there was -- that you did put to
6 Mr. Bilobrk that there was a suggestion by a high-level official and,
7 according to this note, that Mr. Bilobrk volunteered the name of
8 Mr. Cermak; or was it in some other way that the questioning occurred?
9 A. It was just as it is described in here.
10 In that conversation, we were not the ones who mentioned the
11 person's name. However, based on the question, we made him aware that we
12 have some facts available to us. We did not suggest the answer to him.
13 We wanted to hear it from him. Not for a single moment did we make any
14 suggestions as to the possible name that we were looking for.
15 Q. And is it the current practice or the common practice to try and
16 convey as accurately as possible what happened in the interview,
17 including the sequence of any possible questions?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I've let it go for quite some time
20 because I didn't want to interrupt the flow but we've had -- this is a
21 very leading question. And we've had, before the previous question,
22 several leading questions. And I would just ask that no leading
23 questions be allowed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course.
25 We could rephrase the question, Mr. Hedaraly. You asked the
1 witness whether it's the current practice to convey as accurately as
2 possible or not to convey as accurately as possible what happened in the
3 interview. That is -- that would satisfy --
4 Could you tell us whether it's common practice to convey as
5 accurately as possible what happened in the interview or not to convey as
6 accurately as possible what happened in the interview?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The practice and the obligation is
8 to make the personal note reflect as accurately as possible what the
9 person stated. And it is in the third person, singular.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have one question in this respect for you.
11 I asked you a couple of minutes ago -- and let me first start
12 with one of your answers.
13 You said:
14 "We suggested, if I recall, whether there were any suggestions or
15 proposals by anyone, without mentioning any names, that something be done
16 or not be done on the site at the crime scene."
17 And then I asked you:
18 "Yes. Without yet telling what to be done to the crime scene?"
19 And then you answered. You said:
20 "No, we never mentioned specifically what it was. We did have
21 certain facts, but we did not want to put leading questions."
22 Now, the way in which it's written down, as just read by
23 Mr. Hedaraly, suggests that you put to Mr. Bilobrk that it was not just
24 something to be done at the crime scene but that it was weapons to be put
25 or to be left next to the bodies. That's -- you asked us to look at the
1 language used in the Official Note. And, similarly, the language
2 suggests that without giving a name, you, nevertheless, hinted at high
4 Now, did you tell Mr. Bilobrk or did you mention first weapons to
5 be put or left next to the bodies? And did you mention first that it was
6 high officials? Or did he come up, without you having told him, the
7 detail of weapons next to the bodies; that's the first part of the
9 And, second, whether it would be - although not giving names -
10 but it would be high officials which would have suggested that?
11 Could you answer that question. It's a long question. If you
12 wanted me to summarise it, I will be glad to do so.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the interview, the questions
14 were put exactly in the way -- in the way as reflected in here. We did
15 not mention any names.
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... but you --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the question was put --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you did mention, before Mr. Bilobrk said
19 anything about it, about weapons to be placed or left next to the bodies.
20 Is that correctly understood?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If that's in the Official Note,
22 then I'm sure that the question was worded exactly like that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you were the first one who referred to
24 high officials, although not naming any of them. Is that also correctly
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I can't be sure whether it
2 was myself or my colleague Mr. Gerovac.
3 The question was put in the sense as to whether it was a high
4 official of the MUP or a high official of the Ministry of Defence who may
5 have suggested something of the kind.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
8 MR. HEDARALY:
9 Q. Did the fact that this was the third time that Mr. Bilobrk was
10 going to be interviewed by the MUP affect, in any way, your questioning
11 or the way you conducted the interview?
12 A. No. We wanted to clarify and collect all information that
13 Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic had. We just wanted to put a closure on
14 all that, to see what had actually happened.
15 Q. Did you -- did you pressure Mr. Bilobrk in any way during that
17 A. No.
18 Q. And, Mr. Mikulic, Mr. Bilobrk has testified in this court, and he
19 categorically denied telling you that General Cermak told him to place
20 weapons next to the bodies in Grubori.
21 Do you have any -- any comment or any response to this?
22 A. My response is that he is not telling the truth. He did say that
23 during the interview, and that's how it was recorded in the
24 Official Note.
25 Q. Let me just briefly tell you another thing Mr. Bilobrk said in
1 his testimony, and I ask to you comment on it.
2 It starts at page 28724, line 25.
3 And the question that was put to Mr. Bilobrk was:
4 "Had you ever said to them" -- meaning to you and Mr. Mikulic,
5 "that General Cermak had suggested placing guns next to the bodies at
7 Mr. Bilobrk responded:
8 "No. They came to me with that information. That's what they
10 Then the question:
11 "And how did they suggest that to you? Describe what happened in
12 the time you spent with them. How did they suggest it?"
13 Mr. Bilobrk answered:
14 "During that conversation, or while we conversed, rather, I can't
15 remember which one of them mentioned that first. I can't repeat the
16 words verbatim.
17 "In any case, what they said was this. We came by information
18 that General Cermak offered, or suggested, that you should place weapons
19 by the dead bodies."
20 The question was:
21 "And what did you say to that, when that was stated by one of
23 And Mr. Bilobrk answered:
24 "I told them that Mr. Cermak never said that to me, and it would
25 have been strange if a person whom I saw for the first time among a group
1 of people to say that to me. It would have been totally strange and
2 didn't make much sense to imagine that somebody I saw for the first time
3 came up to me and said, Take weapons and place them by dead bodies."
4 Now, this is what Mr. Bilobrk stated to this Chamber about what
5 happened in that interview. Can you tell us if that did happen in that
6 interview, the way he described it?
7 A. No. When we spoke to him, we asked him how come that Mr. Cermak,
8 while you were sitting in front of the police station, that it was nobody
9 else but you that he should address? And he said that somebody from the
10 police administration or from the police station told him who he was and
11 to do that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer. Could you
13 please restart your answer. And do it slowly so that not only
14 interpreters but also those who are transcribing your words can put them
15 in full accuracy in the computer system.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the interview, we asked
17 Mr. Bilobrk - and I remember that well - how come that General Cermak had
18 known that he should address him as a person who would be carrying out
19 the on-site investigation. Mr. Bilobrk answered that Mr. Cermak had been
20 advised to do so by a member of staff or the head of either the police
21 administration or the police station.
22 MR. HEDARALY:
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bilobrk [sic].
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you would -- that seems not to be the right
25 person to address at this moment.
1 MR. HEDARALY:
2 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Mikulic, my mistake.
3 Mr. Mikulic, let me ask you, what would you have to gain by
4 recording false information in an Official Note like this one?
5 A. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
6 Q. Let me now briefly conclude. We discussed the interview you had
7 with Mr. Vrticevic the same day. And I think you mentioned that it was
8 in his office on the same day. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And do you remember that interview and how Mr. Vrticevic --
11 how -- let me restate my question.
12 Do you remember how that interview proceeded and whether that
13 issue of the guns being placed next to the bodies was discussed?
14 A. The same question was put to Mr. Vrticevic. And it was worded
15 more or less in the same way.
16 Mr. Vrticevic was a bit more arrogant, if I may put it that way.
17 He was a bit more temperamental in that interview. And his position was
18 still that he shouldn't be talking to us, that he had already stated
19 whatever he knew, that he did not intend to go over the same ground
20 again. And then we let him know that he was also a police officer just
21 like us and that he should not be behaving in that way, and if he had any
22 information to share, that he should come forth in that interview.
23 Q. Let me show you the Official Note of that interview which we had
24 seen earlier inadvertently.
25 MR. HEDARALY: It's 65 ter 7570.
1 Q. I had not read the whole portion on the record. We can see at
2 the bottom in the English, when it's going to come up, that the similar
3 question to the one we just saw in Mr. Bilobrk's Official Note is
5 I'll just leave it on the screen for a few seconds so everyone
6 can read it and spare the interpreters and the transcriber me reading it.
7 MR. HEDARALY: And if we go completely at the bottom of the
8 English -- can we just have the page, if possible, so everyone can read
9 it in one dimension -- no, both the English and the B/C/S side by side.
10 Can we have the B/C/S in a manner that the witness could read it.
11 Thank you.
12 Q. And the answer of Mr. Vrticevic to the similar question that you
13 put to him at the bottom in the English is:
14 "The interviewed person at first categorically denied such a
15 possibility, but after a short time he said that he was not able to" --
16 MR. HEDARALY: And turn the page.
17 Q. "... remember exactly."
18 MR. HEDARALY: In the English only turn the page, please.
19 Q. "... but that did he allow for the possibility that at that time
20 someone might have suggested something like this [sic] however, due to
21 the lapse of time, he was currently unable to remember those details.
22 "To the specific question whether such suggestion had come from
23 Zeljko Sacic or from General Ivan Cermak, the interviewed person stated
24 that he was unable to give an accurate answer to that question and
25 he [sic] repeated that he was unable to remember that."
1 Now, Mr. Mikulic, is that you how remember the questioning of
2 Mr. Vrticevic? You first asked him about the suggestion of placing
3 weapons by a high-level official. And when he said that he could not
4 remember, then you suggested some specific names to him?
5 A. Yes. Throughout the interview, he was evasive. He tried to
6 avoid answering the question. And finally he said that there was such a
7 possibility but he did not remember after such a long time. And then
8 concrete names were given to him. The names were General Cermak or
9 Mr. Sacic. And even after that, his answer was that after such a long
10 time he could not remember exactly.
11 Q. Can I just show you the last page so that you can confirm that
12 you have signed this Official Note.
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, can I have 65 ter 7570 in evidence,
16 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
19 Exhibit P2735. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: P2735 is admitted into evidence.
21 Just for my understanding, Mr. Mikulic, the course of the
22 interview with Mr. Bilobrk was therefore different as far as just as
23 suggesting names, compared to the interview with Mr. Vrticevic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
1 Please proceed -- yes.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. Mr. Bilobrk was more
3 forthcoming, more communicative, and more accessible during the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
6 MR. HEDARALY:
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mikulic.
8 MR. HEDARALY: Those are my questions, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Kay, you will be the first one to cross-examine the witness?
11 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour, thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulic, you will now be cross-examined by
13 Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is counsel for Mr. Cermak.
14 Please proceed.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
16 Q. The first questions I want to ask you about, Mr. Mikulic, is
18 When you interviewed Mr. Djurica, you didn't include in that
19 Official Note of interview the allegation about reconstructing the crime
20 scene that he made to you; isn't that right?
21 A. Yes, it is right.
22 Q. You were investigating a serious crime on behalf of your
23 government; isn't that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Why, then, did you not put into your Official Note information
1 that you had been given that was important to the investigation?
2 A. Because Mr. Djurica insisted that that should not be recorded in
3 the original part of the note. But let me say that an Official Note was
4 compiled about that information. It was submitted. What I'm saying is
5 that it did not remain hanging in the air. An Official Note was indeed
6 compiled, and it must be part of our file.
7 Q. Yes, the Official Note that we have looked at was made, and it's
8 our Exhibit P2733, but there is nothing in that Official Note about this
9 information Franjo Djurica gave you; isn't that right?
10 A. I repeat, Mr. Djurica said that he had obtained that information
11 as a member and the head of the commission. Therefore, he would never
12 confirm that he knew anything about that. And he insisted that it should
13 not make part of the Official Note.
14 We could not let it hang in the air, and that's why a separate,
15 special Official Note was compiled. It was a written note -- actually,
16 it was not an Official Note; it was just a report that was compiled which
17 contained that particular information, and it was submitted to our
19 Q. So why could Franjo Djurica tell you what should or should not be
20 included within the Official Note that you were taking as part of the
22 A. Mr. Djurica did not dictate what could be recorded and what
23 couldn't be. After the official part of the interview was over, he
24 stated what he did. He is a policeman, and he was aware of the principle
25 that we followed in our actions. And he asked us, he requested, that
1 that part of the interview, after the official part was over, not become
2 part of the Official Note.
3 Q. Well, he was telling you what could or could not be included in
4 the note, wasn't he? And you followed his instruction, apparently.
5 A. He just requested. He asked us not to put that into the
6 Official Note. And after that, we created an official report. He only
7 requested kindly.
8 Q. That's all I ask about that.
9 But I now want to go on to your interviews with Mr. Bilobrk and
10 Mr. Vrticevic.
11 The first person you interviewed on that day was Mr. Vrticevic;
12 isn't that right?
13 A. I believe so. I believe that that was the sequence:
14 Mr. Vrticevic first and then Mr. Bilobrk.
15 Q. Now, who took notes of that interview?
16 A. I believe that it was my colleague, Mr. Antonio Gerovac, who did
18 Q. Well, why -- why do you believe it was your colleague,
19 Mr. Antonio Gerovac? It was either one or other of you, wasn't it?
20 A. Because on that day we had already had some interviews and I was
21 the one who took notes on those. I believe that we had some interviews
22 in Knin and then in Split
23 interviews and made notes. So it would not have been fair for the same
24 person to make all the notes. It was only fair for the person who had
25 not made notes previously to take the duty over during the later stage of
1 the day.
2 Q. So just to make it clear: You did not make the notes in relation
3 to Mr. Vrticevic's interview.
4 A. No, not me personally.
5 Q. And in relation to Mr. Bilobrk's interview, you did not take
6 notes of his interview.
7 A. I did not. It was my colleague, Mr. Gerovac.
8 Are you referring to the handwritten notes which were taken
9 during the interview?
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 A. When you are just putting -- when you're jotting down notes on a
12 piece of paper, is that what you're referring to?
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
14 A. Yes, it was my colleague Mr. Gerovac. I'm almost absolutely sure
15 that it was him on both occasions during both of the relevant interviews.
16 Q. You're almost absolutely sure. All I need to know is whether you
17 took any notes at the time. Did you or didn't you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Have you seen those notes at all recently? When did you last see
21 A. Handwritten notes?
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yes.
23 A. When we compiled this Official Note, that is when my colleague
24 Mr. Gerovac had them before him. So this was - let's see - seven months
1 Q. And after the interview that you've taken, is it right that you
2 don't show the notes of the interview to the person you've interviewed?
3 A. I do not understand your question.
4 Do we show the handwritten notes to the person we are
6 Q. I'll -- I'll rephrase it.
7 After you have interviewed Mr. Vrticevic and you've written the
8 Official Note, did you show him what you had written?
9 A. No.
10 Q. The same question in relation to Mr. Bilobrk: Did you show him
11 what you had written in the Official Note after you had written it?
12 A. No. Nor do we have that obligation under our laws.
13 Q. Very well. I'd like us now to look at Mr. Vrticevic's interview,
14 Official Note, which has just been given an exhibit number.
15 MR. KAY: P2734 -- 5. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It's 5.
17 MR. KAY:
18 Q. This Official Note records that you were asking him questions
19 about the death of Serb civilians in Grubori, which has led to new
20 information; isn't that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you told him he hadn't provided all the information he had
23 about what had happened; isn't that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You then asked, according to this note, whether someone from
1 senior leading structures of the Ministry of Interior or
2 Ministry of Defence had suggested to him and his colleague and
3 essentially it goes on to say about constructing a crime scene.
4 Is that how you say this interview happened?
5 A. Yes. As it is written down here, that's how the question was
6 phrased by Mr. Vrticevic.
7 Q. So why were you suggesting first --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let me -- I have difficulties in -- you say:
9 "As it is written down here, that's how the question was phrased
10 by Mr. Vrticevic."
11 May I take it that you said, How the question was phrased that
12 was put to Mr. Vrticevic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Put to Mr. Vrticevic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
15 MR. KAY:
16 Q. Yes, because he wasn't giving you this information, was he? You
17 were suggesting information to him. Isn't that right?
18 A. We weren't suggesting anything to him. We just asked him during
19 this interview to tell us about what he knew that he had already conveyed
20 to Mr. Franjo Djurica, and we asked him to tell us about it because he
21 kept repeating that he didn't want to speak about that because that could
22 be harmful to the generals' Defence.
23 Q. Well, are you saying he was interviewed by Franjo Djurica? Are
24 you saying that that was the basis of your questioning, that he was
25 interviewed by Franjo Djurica?
1 A. Well, during the first interview conducted by Mr. Badzim,
2 Mr. Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk said that they had already provided their
3 statements to the team for the Defence for -- of the general and that
4 that they had spoken with Mr. Franjo Djurica and that he had told him
5 that if anyone asked them to interview them, that he should inform him.
6 Q. Well, where is it in this Official Note that you were asking him
7 about what he had told Franjo Djurica? For a start. Where does it say
8 that here? It doesn't, does it?
9 A. No, no.
10 Q. And you told the Court earlier today that the purpose of your
11 interviews was not to suggest answers to people, didn't you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Well, here you are suggesting that something happened in Grubori,
14 that a suggestion was made to him and his colleague to create the crime
16 That's what you're suggesting to him, isn't it?
17 A. Well, look, I have already said that Mr. Vrticevic was more
18 temperamental during this interview, and I have to say he was also a bit
19 more arrogant. And when we started the interview, he was told that we
20 were going to discuss specific issues, and he told us to go ahead and ask
21 him what it is that we wanted to know. And he said that he had no
22 intention of repeating anything. And then these questions followed.
23 Q. Well, it's not a question, is it? You have put a whole
24 suggestion to him involving identities of people, senior leading person
25 from the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Defence, suggesting to him
1 and Bilobrk about planting rifles next to dead civilians.
2 That is what you've done right at the start, according to this --
3 this note. Isn't that right?
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MR. KAY:
8 Q. Why isn't it recorded in this Official Note that you originally
9 asked him questions about what he did and he declined to answer them?
10 Why isn't it in this Official Note?
11 A. I really don't know. I don't have an explanation for that. But
12 it was really not relevant for the interview itself.
13 We were specifically interested in this: There seemed to be a
14 constant tug between what they knew and what they didn't know, and we
15 were just trying to establish what knowledge they actually had. Because
16 in the previous two interviews, both Mr. Vrticevic and Bilobrk told to
17 our colleague Mr. Badzim -- or, rather, they declined. They did not wish
18 to cooperate. They declined to answer.
19 Q. So they could have given information on a wide range of matters
20 concerning their activities in relation to Grubori, what they had done on
21 the 27th of August; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You would have been interested in -- in many aspects because you
24 were investigating Grubori as a general criminal investigation; isn't
25 that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. As forensic technicians who attend the crime scene, you would
3 have also been investigating why there was no on-site investigation at
4 Grubori by a judge, wouldn't you?
5 A. Of course. When speaking about on-site investigations, that
6 would be the case. But here, it was not an on-site investigation; it was
7 really sanitisation, removal of bodies. On-site investigation is
8 something that, under our laws, has to be attended by both an
9 investigating judge and a State Prosecutor and a team, a forensic team,
10 and, on occasion, also forensic experts.
11 Q. Yes. We're very familiar with that information. And you would
12 have been aware that a on-site investigation had been requested by the
13 chief of the Knin Police Administration, Cedo Romanic, to investigate
14 what had happened in Grubori. Were you aware of that fact?
15 A. Yes, we were. We heard about it during our investigation. That
16 fact was established.
17 Q. And a judge had been requested by Mr. Romanic. And were you
18 aware whether a judge was delayed in attending the scene at Grubori for
19 an on-site investigation on the 27th of August?
20 A. No.
21 Q. These men were involved in human sanitation, but that did not
22 prevent them in being part of an on-site investigation taking place with
23 an investigating judge, did it?
24 A. As far as I know, there was no on-site investigation in Grubori,
25 according to what we were able to establish during our crime
1 investigation of that event. It was just a human sanitisation.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I was about to ask you what you really
3 asked the witness in your previous question, but I thought it wiser first
4 it wait for his answer.
5 The question is ambiguous as whether it would factually prevent
6 them, whether it would legally prevent them, and apparently the witness
7 says there was no on-site investigation.
8 MR. KAY: Yeah.
9 JUDGE ORIE: But the question was, for me -- I would have asked
10 for a clarification if I were a witness, which I'm not.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. So, in relation to what these men knew as to what happened on the
14 27th of August, there were many questions you could have asked them,
15 isn't that right, as to what they knew?
16 A. Yes. But many of those questions had already been answered and
17 clarified through prior interviews.
18 Q. In relation to Vrticevic here, when you went to interview him,
19 you did not tell him, did you, that this was an official interview. You
20 just turned up at the police station and told him this was an informal
22 A. No. No, that is not true.
23 Our arrival at the police administration, the Split-Dalmatia
24 administration, and the need to conduct interviews with Mr. Vrticevic and
25 Mr. Bilobrk, was announced by the chief of the MUP. They were -- had
1 been informed.
2 Now, whom he had contacted, I really don't know. We did not go there
3 on our own initiative. That was the rule, that if a matter involves
4 policemen from another administration, that one of the superiors would
5 have to inform their superiors of a -- the arrival of interviewers and
6 the need to conduct an interview with them.
7 So you couldn't really say that we were there unofficially. We
8 had a travel order issued to us to travel to Split. We were given an
9 official vehicle for that trip.
10 Q. Yes. But with all that official background, when you saw
11 Vrticevic, you just said it was for an informal chat, didn't you? Simply
13 A. No.
14 Q. Without any notes being taken at the time.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, again, this question is ambiguous. Was it
16 that they would have said that no notes would be taken or that no notes
17 were taken.
18 MR. KAY: Sorry. I'm -- I'm relying on my English intuition,
19 that one follows the other. And I apologise, Your Honour.
20 Q. And there were no notes taken at the time that you saw him; isn't
21 that right?
22 A. I myself did not take any notes of this interview with
23 Mr. Vrticevic.
24 Q. Neither did your colleague, did he?
25 A. Then it was -- the notes were taken by my colleague Mr. Gerovac,
1 if it wasn't me.
2 Q. What this Official Note also records of your conversation with
3 Mr. Vrticevic is that you suggested the names Zeljko Sacic or
4 General Cermak being responsible for the suggestion to plant weapons,
5 didn't you?
6 A. Yes. That was a question that was specifically put.
7 Q. And that was not what Franjo Djurica had told you, was it?
8 Either Zeljko Sacic or General Cermak. Franjo Djurica didn't tell you
9 that, did he?
10 A. Mr. Djurica did not mention Mr. Sacic, no.
11 Q. And he didn't say, according to you, that General Cermak had
12 certainly or definitely suggested the planting of weapons, did he?
13 A. Mr. Djurica said that what he had been told by Mr. Vrticevic and
14 Mr. Bilobrk in that conversation, that it had been suggested by
15 General Cermak.
16 Q. Shall we have a look at what you told the Prosecutor in a
18 MR. KAY: I don't have a 65 ter number on this, Your Honour, I'm
20 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that Mr. Hedaraly can help you out.
21 MR. KAY: Not on this page.
22 MR. HEDARALY: It is -- sorry. It is 65 ter 7669. It was on our
23 exhibit list.
24 MR. KAY: Yes, thank you. I'm much obliged.
25 If we could have that document and go to, first of all, the front
2 Q. This is a statement that has been taken by you -- from you. We
3 have an English copy. And there's a copy in your own language, which has
4 been signed by you, Mr. Mikulic. Do you recognise your signature on the
5 first page?
6 MR. KAY: If we could go to the bottom of the page, please. It's
7 signed in English as well, I think. In the Croatian version -- in the
8 English version there. And if we can go to the last page of the English
10 Q. Do you see your signature there with the date of the
11 3rd of March, 2010?
12 A. No. This is not my signature on the last page.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. KAY: Can we have the page before that, please. Sorry, my
15 mistake. Page 3. If we can just go down a bit.
16 Q. Do you see your signature on that page?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. KAY: Let us go to paragraph 4 of the statement.
20 If we go down the Croatian page, please.
21 Q. Can you read paragraph 4?
22 MR. KAY: Can we go to the foot of the page, please.
23 Paragraph 4. The other way.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is there a hard copy available somewhere? Because
25 it seems to be a -- there we are. There we are.
1 Could you please read what you find in paragraph 4 on the bottom,
2 and once you have finished this page, to tell us, so that we can move to
3 the next page.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Can we move on to the
5 next page.
6 MR. KAY: Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
8 MR. KAY:
9 Q. Right. What I'm asking you about is what you say he told you,
10 that he came:
11 "... to learn that on the day the bodies were collected, there
12 were proposals by high-level officials in the field that the scene of the
13 killings be orchestrated in such a way that weapons would be placed next
14 to the victims to make it appear they died in armed conflict. Franjo did
15 not name any of these high-level officials. I asked him who they were,
16 and he responded ... most probably, it was General Cermak."
17 Do you stand by this statement as something Franjo Djurica said
18 to you? Do you say he said that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Weren't you interested to find out who the high-level officials
21 were, in the plural?
22 A. Well, when Mr. Djurica said what he did, after that, we did not
23 have any more questions. He told us that whatever he said basically was
24 all that he was able to say at that -- at the moment and that did he not
25 intend to stay anything about what Mr. Bilobrk and Vrticevic had said to
1 me, that he was not going to go into any further details. And that's how
2 the conversation ended.
3 Q. And he wouldn't name any of these high-level officials. And you
4 asked him who they were. And he responded:
5 "...most probably, it was General Cermak."
6 So would you agree, from that, he is not saying that he knew it
7 was General Cermak on your account?
8 A. Yes. He spoke based on what was said to him by Bilobrk and
10 I apologise, you will probably remember that I said, in response
11 to the Prosecutor's questions, that Mr. Bilobrk and Vrticevic's
12 statements and finally Mr. Djurica's statements were taken with a grain
13 of salt because there's a lot of contradiction among them, and they don't
14 seem to be conclusive, either of them.
15 Q. Well, even taking that into account, why did you say to
16 Mr. Vrticevic, as we've seen on Exhibit P2735, that -- whether someone
17 from the then-senior leading structures had suggested to him?
18 A. From the higher structures of the MUP or -- we already had
19 information when all that was happening, when the sanitisation was being
20 organised, together with the departure for Grubori, that General Cermak
21 was there, that Mr. Sacic was there, and others. That had already been
22 established during the crime investigation.
23 We also knew that Mr. Sacic was with a team that went to Grubori
24 to carry out the sanitisation. We already knew that. Mr. Sacic even
25 drove a car to Grubori. He drove his own official car, and his
1 passengers were Mr. Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk. At least that's what
2 Mr. Vrticevic and Bilobrk stated. And I believe that Mr. Sacic also
3 confirmed that. I wasn't the one who spoke to Mr. Sacic, but I believe
4 that he confirmed that he drove a car to Grubori to the crime scene. And
5 that is why, while we interviewed Mr. Vrticevic, we felt we could ask him
6 very specifically whether the proposal came from Mr. Cermak or from
7 Mr. Sacic.
8 Q. But you didn't know, according to the information from
9 Franjo Djurica, where these proposals exactly were made, who by, what
10 level of high officials. You didn't know any of that information, did
12 A. No. Mr. Djurica said that the proposal most probably, according
13 to what he had been told in the interview with Mr. Vrticevic and
14 Mr. Bilobrk, that the proposal had most probably come from
15 General Cermak.
16 Q. And in your interview with -- with Vrticevic, he denied that that
17 possibility had happened; at first, categorically, you said. Isn't that
18 right, even on your account?
19 A. Could I please see the Official Note. But even without it, I
20 believe that that was the case, yes.
21 Q. I will read it out.
22 "The interviewed person at first categorically denied such a
23 possibility, but after a short time, he said he was not able to remember
24 exactly. But he did allow the possibility that at that time someone
25 might have suggested something like that."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Even though he denied this categorically, you tried to get him to
3 change his story, didn't you?
4 A. No. He said all that in one breath. Within the scope of one
5 sentence he said all that. Why he chose to change his position, I don't
6 know. That's the way he spoke. That's the way he expressed himself.
7 And that's how it was recorded in the Official Note. And that's why I
8 said that all those Official Notes are full of contradictions. And
9 that's why we took them with a grain of salt during our official
11 If you compare Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic's statements, you
12 will see that there are a lot of contradictions. It looked to us as if
13 they were trying to divert us, to point us in a wrong direction. And
14 that's why we were mistrustful of those statements. We did not consider
15 them very credible.
16 Q. Well, why did you then go on to suggest the names of Sacic or
17 Cermak? Why did you do that?
18 A. As I've already told you, during our crime investigation, we had
19 already learned who was present during the sanitisation in Grubori, who
20 were the persons who had arrived in the Knin Police Station.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. KAY: The next exhibit I want to look at is P2732, which is
23 the Official Note with Mr. Bilobrk.
24 Q. From this record, it seems that you did not ask Mr. Bilobrk any
25 general questions about what he was doing on the 27th of August; isn't
1 that right?
2 A. I believe that on the second page you will see his words by way
3 of explanation, that he had -- actually, during previous interviews, he
4 provided a lot more details about that, about what he did and how he
6 Q. What I'm interested in is the fact that, according to this
7 record, you suggested to him that there had been a plan or a suggestion
8 made to plant guns next to the bodies of dead civilians. That was
9 something that you said and suggested to him was what had happened.
10 A. No, we did not suggest anything. Our questions were very
11 concrete, very specific. At least that's how you will see it worded in
12 the Official Note.
13 Q. Well, it seems to start here that he was informed of the need to
14 repeat the preliminary interview. Do you agree it says that?
15 A. Yes. I don't have the first page on the screen. I only have the
16 second page, but my answer is yes.
17 Q. And then you said to him that there were new facts which
18 suggested he didn't provide all the facts in his possession regarding
19 that event.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that he was asked if it had been suggested to him and to his
22 colleague, Vrticevic, and it goes on to say about someone in the MUP or
23 MO [sic], that they should have conducted an on-site investigation and
24 placed guns next to the bodies.
25 So on -- on this note, it seems you are presenting the whole
1 picture to him. You weren't asking him questions at all. Isn't that
3 A. The question was worded as it was. Some people may find it
4 leading, but it was a very concrete question, a very specific question.
5 We did not have to start from scratch. We did not have to start from the
6 general aspects in order to narrow things down to the concrete. We
7 started with the concrete things immediately.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, before we end up in a lengthy debate about
9 what is a suggestion, what is -- it's clear, I think I asked questioned
10 about this as well, that this was not spontaneously told by the witness
11 but that it was put to him that this was the information apparently
12 available by the persons who interviewed them and that they're asking,
13 apparently, for confirmation. And that is certainly leading. Whether
14 it's suggesting depends on the specific way in which the question was
16 Did you, at the end, once you had put all this to the witness,
17 did you say, Is this true or not true; or did you say, Is it true?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we didn't say that at all. We
19 didn't ask him if things were true or not. Whatever he said, that was
20 the end of the whole thing.
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, but you put all this information you had to him.
22 What did you then ask him?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We never told him or made him guess
24 whether we agreed with anything or not. We just wanted him to give us
25 his own version of the events in his own words. We never even tried to
1 make him aware of our opinion. That was his own opinion. It was taken
2 into account. It was the information that he was privy to. And -- they
3 were taken -- that was taken into account.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid that we're ending up in a kind of a
5 debate which doesn't assist us greatly.
6 It appears to me that, on the basis of what you just said, that
7 it was put to him that you had information of the following nature, of
8 the following content, and that you were seeking his comment on that.
9 Is that ...
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I think, whether we call it suggestion or
12 putting it to someone, that's a matter which seems to be a -- not the
13 core of the problem. The issue apparently is: Did someone come up
14 spontaneously with information --
15 MR. KAY: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- when asked by open questions, or does someone
17 confirm, apart from what have been the previous story about interviews
18 and reluctance or non-reluctance to give any answers, but whether this
19 was, as I said, mentioned first by the interviewer or first by the
20 interviewed person.
21 MR. KAY: Yeah.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Whether we call it suggestion or not, unless you
23 consider that it's important to find a common linguistic denominator
24 for --
25 MR. KAY: No, Your Honour. I'm happy this point has been dealt
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. KAY: And --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let's then proceed.
5 MR. KAY: I'd taken it as far as it could.
6 Q. Just so it's clear, I am putting to you that Jozo Bilobrk never
7 said that General Cermak had suggested the placing of guns by the dead
8 bodies at Grubori to make it seem as though there been an armed conflict.
9 I'm making it clear to you that he never said that.
10 What's your comment to that?
11 A. I don't know why he would claim that. What I'm say is that he
12 did state that. Why he is now changing his statement - if what you are
13 saying is true, with all due respect - I don't know. I don't understand.
14 He -- he should be asked that. He is the one who should give you
15 an answer to that.
16 I state with full responsibility that what you read in the
17 Official Note faithfully reflects what he stated during the interview.
18 Q. What I'm suggesting to you is that you went there to interview
19 these two on this day, to see if you could get an account against
20 General Cermak. That's the reason why you went there.
21 A. No. No way.
22 I apologise. We were primarily interested in the crime
23 investigation about the perpetrators of the crime in Grubori. All the
24 other things were said by the way, during that interview. Those things
25 were just a byproduct of the interview. We made them aware during the
1 interview that we are dealing with serious things and that one of the
2 charges in the indictment was the crime in Grubori. We wanted them to
3 realise the seriousness of the conversation, the seriousness of the
4 situation. We invited them not to try to cover up for their own private
5 interests. We invited them to present the objective situation, to give
6 us all the facts that they had, that it was not either up to them or to
7 us to make any decisions, any final decisions, on what had happened. At
8 that point, we'd made them realise that we were interested in the
9 objective facts of what had happened.
10 Q. But you didn't ask him for the objective facts of what happened,
11 did you?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think there was something missing in the
14 interpretation from the answer. Probably due to the speed of speech not
15 intentional by anyone. But the word "vazno" was part of the answer, and
16 that was not --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Where does it fit?
18 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Line 7, page 76.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I read to you -- I read --
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That sentence, Your Honour, I'm sorry.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. "We invited ..." That sentence? The sentence
22 starting with "We invited ..."?
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: "That it was not ..."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see that.
25 Mr. Kuzmanovic thinks that perhaps not everything has been
1 translated you said.
2 I'll read to you what was translated. And if anything is
3 missing, please tell us.
4 Part of your answer was:
5 "...that it was not either up to them or to us to make any
6 decisions, any final decisions, on what had happened."
7 Does that completely reflect your answer, or is something
8 missing? That portion of your answer, of course.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat.
10 JUDGE ORIE: "That it was not either up" --
11 And now it disappears from our screen. I apologise. I'll get
12 it back.
13 I re-start:
14 "...that it was not either up to them or to us to make any
15 decisions, any final decisions, on what had happened."
16 Is anything missing in this sentence?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think so.
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. May I explain? May I
20 add something?
21 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Kuzmanovic
22 thinks that one word is missing. Now I don't know how important it is,
23 Mr. Kuzmanovic. You also know that we can check the original audio if
24 there is any problem. If it's a minor matter, I suggest that we move on.
25 If it is a more important matter, then we should further explore it.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I thought, in my understanding, if
2 I may say what I thought I heard --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If that's okay.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Unless it is a vital part of the answer then, of
6 course, you're supposed not to give any suggestions, but ...
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I believe that the portion that was not
8 translated was:
9 It was not up to us or up to them to determine what was important
10 or not important.
11 I believe that was missing from the answer and that the witness
12 did state that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You've heard the comment --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I said that it was
15 neither up to us or up to them whether something was important or not,
16 whether they were supposed to say something as opposed to something that
17 they shouldn't say. What they were required to do was to present the
18 objective truth, the truth as it was.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
20 MR. KAY:
21 Q. And did you check this story that he gave you? Did you check it?
22 Did you check whether he met General Cermak in Knin, sitting on the
23 stairs with several colleagues? Did you investigate whether those
24 colleagues existed?
25 A. No. We did not particularly dwell upon that. We didn't deal
1 with that. I -- I don't know if anybody else checked that. I personally
3 Q. Did you check whether he met General Cermak in Knin on that day,
4 whether that event actually happened in Knin?
5 A. I believe that that information arose from the other interviews
6 that had been carried out, both prior to the interview with him and after
7 the interview with him. And that it was confirmed, based on those
8 interviews, that Mr. Cermak -- or General Cermak, rather, was there on
9 the day in the same police station. And that he was also in Grubori
10 when -- after the sanitisation process was completed.
11 Q. Did you check where Bilobrk went on that day?
12 A. Doing his job in his workplace, according to what we know. He is
13 an employee of the police administration of Split
14 at that time, he was borrowed by the police administration of Zadar or,
15 rather, the police station of Knin as a crime technician.
16 Q. Did you check with the civilian protection officers who would
17 have worked with him on that day where he went?
18 A. I can't talk about those details, but checks were carried out. I
19 was not the one doing the checks --
20 THE INTERPRETER: There is a lot of background noise in the
21 courtroom. The interpreter cannot hear the witness very well.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpreter] The logic of the job imposes all those
23 things to be carried out.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please slow down because the interpreters cannot
25 follow you. And apart from that, there is some background noise as well.
1 Could you please -- you were asked whether you checked where
2 Bilobrk went on that day, and you said:
3 "Doing his job in his workplace, according to what we know.
4 "I don't [sic] talk about those details, but checks were carried
5 out. I was not one doing the checks --"
6 And could you please resume your answer on from that point.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that those checks were
8 indeed carried out, but it was somebody else who carried them out, not
9 myself personally.
10 MR. KAY:
11 Q. Is there any reason why -- why those checks were not made by you?
12 A. No, there's no special reason. It could have been either me or
13 somebody else. Anybody else.
14 Q. I asked the question because you reviewed the work of Mr. Badzim
15 and his interviews with Mr. Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk, in which the
16 planting of guns is not mentioned, so you reviewed the quality of his
18 Did you have a discretion as to whether to carry out further
19 checks on the statement of Bilobrk?
20 A. No. The analysis of all those writings was done by the heads of
21 the team, the head of the task force. I was an operative, and my task
22 was different. I was -- I was told what to do, to do this or that, that
23 I was supposed to check something or go somewhere to carry out an
24 interview, and things like that.
25 The entire team, the entire task force, numbered about seven,
1 eight, or nine people.
2 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Kay, I'm
3 looking at the clock. How much time would you --
4 MR. KAY: I don't have too much more, but it would be a good idea
5 if could I reflect over the adjournment, Your Honour, with Your Honour's
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Then could I ask the Markac Defence.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Depending on what goes on, Your Honour, probably
10 15 minutes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: 15 minutes. That's clear.
12 We'll have a -- no, before we have the break.
13 Mr. Hedaraly, is there any reason to believe that the next
14 witness will take considerably more or less time than the present
16 MR. HEDARALY: I would think slightly less.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Slightly less. Which means that there is a fair
18 chance that we would complete all the testimony scheduled today.
19 Before we take a break, I would like to inform the parties that
20 the Chamber, for any further witnesses to be heard, has, on its mind, to
21 use Thursday, the 10th, and Friday, the 11th of July [sic], for that.
22 Mr. Kay, I think you were not available on witness.
23 MR. HEDARALY: I think you meant June, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes, yes, I -- time flies,
25 isn't it? But not that quickly.
1 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I'm very grateful for that. Your Honour
2 knows there's an issue of travel documents.
3 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes, and I wondered
4 whether that -- whether there is a risk that it will not be resolved.
5 Whatever the Tribunal can do, of course, will be done.
6 MR. KAY: It's probably more than we can do, and we -- we try to
7 make our checks, and the people are contacted regularly. And as soon as
8 they get the information, they're under instructions to contact my team.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. KAY: So it's out of our hands, and --
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes, I do -- I do
12 understand that. But provided that --
13 MR. KAY: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- travel documents will be there, there's no problem
15 if we would proceed on Thursday, the 10th, or Friday -- and Friday, the
16 11th of June.
17 MR. KAY: No, absolutely not. I'm grateful for the Court's
18 accommodation on the date.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Now, we have another matter outstanding that we do not know yet
21 whether we would have to schedule and to reserve any time for the
22 Markac Defence.
23 Could we at least insist that you give it a thorough thought
24 whether or not you intend to call any further witnesses.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Most certainly, Your Honour. We will get that
1 probably by the end of today or tomorrow.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber would appreciate to hear it as soon as
4 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at --
5 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 And before we take the break, I have something else to add.
8 We'll take a break of approximately one hour. During that break,
9 you should not speak with anyone, whether known or unknown persons, about
10 your testimony. You should not even contact anyone, not communicate in
11 any way about your testimony, which will continue this afternoon.
12 We resume at five minutes past 2.00.
13 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 2.08 p.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I saw that Mr. Kuzmanovic was on his feet,
16 which seems to be an indication that you have no further questions. Is
17 that ...
18 MR. KAY: That's right, Your Honour. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 Mr. Mikulic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Kuzmanovic.
21 Mr. Kuzmanovic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Your Honour, my estimate was given prior to knowing Mr. Kay would
24 be finished, so I will be longer than 15 minutes but not longer than half
25 an hour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mikulic.
5 Mr. Mikulic, you gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor
6 on the 3rd of March, 2010
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It's 65 ter 7669.
8 Q. And I wanted to ask you some questions about that statement and
9 related events.
10 In paragraph 4 of this statement, you reference the interview had
11 you with Djurica Franjo - excuse me - and you note during this interview:
12 "I asked Franjo why he told Bilobrk and Vrticevic to advise him
13 if they spoke to anyone and how any information they gave could be
14 damaging to the generals."
15 The first thing I wanted to refer back to, Mr. Mikulic, is the
16 statement that you -- or the Official Note, two of them, which were taken
17 by Mr. Badzim. The first of which was -- is marked as P2731,
18 13th of October of 2009; the second of which is P2730, the
19 20th of October, 2009.
20 Now, in P2731 --
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could get that up on the screen, on the
22 second page of the English version.
23 Q. And I'll ask you the question, Mr. Mikulic. You'll have a chance
24 to review the document once it comes on the screen, if something's
1 The portion of this particular Official Note states:
2 "They also would like to emphasise that the Defence team asked to
3 be notified of any subsequent requests for information regarding the talk
4 that they had."
5 And the second sentence following that states:
6 "Because of the circumstances in which they gave their statements
7 to the Defence team about a month ago, Vrticevic and Bilobrk declined to
8 describe the clearing of terrain in the village of Grubori
9 it could damage the generals."
10 Now, in this Official Note, as I read this Official Note of the
11 13th of October, 2009, there is no mention that Franjo Djurica told
12 Bilobrk and Vrticevic that any information they gave could be damaging to
13 the generals, as you state in your OTP statement.
14 That's correct, is it not?
15 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I -- I know it's not on the screen
16 right now due to some technical problem, but -- I mean, Mr. Kuzmanovic
17 skipped two sentences. And the witness should at least be able to see
18 the whole portion that's being --
19 JUDGE ORIE: At least the witness should be able to see that.
20 That's --
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... I don't have a problem
22 with that. It is my cross-examination though, counsel.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It is.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
25 Q. Do you need me to re-ask my question, Mr. Mikulic, or ...
1 A. Could you, please? I wasn't able to follow since I didn't have
3 Q. No problem. The question basically surrounds what you said in
4 your OTP statement, the very first sentence, in which you state in your
5 OTP statement that you asked Franjo why he told Bilobrk and Vrticevic to
6 advise them if they spoke to anyone and how any information they gave
7 could be damaging to the generals.
8 And my question to you is, In the statement of -- or in the
9 Official Note of the 13th of October of 2009, P2731, there is no mention
10 of pressure put on Vrticevic and Bilobrk by Mr. Djurica. That's correct,
11 is it not?
12 A. When reading Mr. Badzim's Official Note, in the first paragraph,
13 I can see that it says they would specifically like to point out that the
14 Defence team told them that any statement that might be sought from them
15 subsequently and which would relate to the interview or conversation held
16 with them, that they should be informed of it accordingly, which means
17 that Mr. Vrticevic -- that Mr. -- Mr. Bilobrk was asked -- and
18 Mr. Vrticevic were asked to inform them of any contact made with them
19 with a view to taking statements from them. And this was something that
20 they confirmed later on in conversation.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I understand that. And that
22 is correct. But my question was: Nothing in this Official Note of
23 October 13th, 2009
24 pressured to decline to discuss the matter in Grubori by Mr. Djurica;
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Now, are you aware, Mr. Mikulic, that Mr. Vrticevic never met
3 with Mr. Djurica nor with the Defence team of General Markac at any time?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Are you aware that in the Official Note of the
6 20th of October, 2009 --
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: P2370 - if we could get that up on the screen,
9 Q. Also an Official Note taken by your colleague Mr. Badzim.
10 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't know why I don't have anything up on my
11 screen. I don't know if it's the same for everyone, Your Honour, but ...
12 JUDGE ORIE: I had something else on my screen, but now I have a
13 document which seems to be a supplemental information sheet.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: 2730; my dyslexia again. Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.
15 That's probably why the screen's blank.
16 2730, P2730.
17 Mr. Registrar, I don't have anything on my screen. It's black.
18 So I don't know if my screen's not working or ...
19 THE REGISTRAR: I may provide hard copy, if you wish.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Please. To the witness.
21 Q. Mr. Mikulic, we're going to get you a copy - obviously it's not
22 on your screen - so can you follow along with my question.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
24 Q. Mr. Mikulic, you will see on the first page the date of the
25 Official Note. And if you could refer to the last paragraph of this
1 document, immediately prior to Mr. Badzim's signature.
2 And, again, I'm referencing my proposition to you that
3 Mr. Vrticevic never met with the Defence team of General Markac,
4 including Mr. Djurica. I will read the last paragraph of the
5 Official Note of Mr. Bilobrk, P2730.
6 "He was asked by the general's Defence team in August this year
7 to make a statement on the clearing up of the terrain in Grubori,
8 together with Ivica Bobanac. But since Bobinac was not present in
9 Grubori, he did not make any statements. The interview focussed solely
10 on the Grubori event, and there was no discussion of any other events."
11 Mr. Mikulic, had you careful reviewed the Official Notes, you
12 would have noted that it was Mr. Bobinac who met with the Defence team
13 along with Mr. Bilobrk and not Vrticevic, and that Mr. Vrticevic happened
14 to be on vacation and was unavailable to be interviewed.
15 Did you speak with Mr. Bobinac at all?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you ask Mr. Vrticevic at any time whether he was interviewed
18 by any member of the Markac Defence team?
19 A. I think this came up as a question in the interview. I can't be
20 sure, but I think so.
21 In -- from the Official Notes of my colleague Badzim, one could
22 conclude - if we can trust what he wrote, and I don't have any reason to
23 doubt it - that this was discussed, that he was interviewed.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... my proposition that
25 Mr. Vrticevic was not interviewed or spoken to in any form by any member
1 of the Markac Defence team; it's not possible, correct, for anyone to
2 pressure him to discuss anything relating to Grubori from the
3 Markac Defence team?
4 A. That's clear.
5 Q. Now, does the fact that Mr. Vrticevic was not involved in any way
6 in a discussion with the Markac Defence team -- did you do anything to
7 determine whether or not Mr. Vrticevic did, in fact, meet with the
8 Markac Defence team? That's, perhaps, a better question.
9 A. No, I didn't try and verify this additionally. And I can't say
10 if somebody else did it. I don't know.
11 Q. Because in your statement in paragraph 2, you do note the OTP
12 statement, 65 ter 7669, about both Bilobrk and Vrticevic.
13 "They had been previously interviewed by Djurica Franjo on behalf
14 of the Defence teams for the generals."
15 From where did you get that information, specifically related to
17 A. From the Official Note - that's to say, from the first
18 interview with Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic - made by Colleague Badzim.
19 That was the first information.
20 Q. Now when you interviewed Mr. Djurica and took his Official Note,
21 dated 30th of October of 2009, which was -- in the English version, it's
22 seven pages long; and in the Croatian version, it's four pages long.
23 The last paragraph of this Official Note --
24 MR. HEDARALY: I -- I --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first. Unless there is some wrong number or
1 something of the kind, I would prefer that Mr. Kuzmanovic first phrases
2 his question and then --
3 MR. HEDARALY: I was simply going to suggest that -- I know
4 there's technical difficulties, but if things are going to be read to the
5 witness from documents that are in evidence, that he should be given an
6 opportunity to follow along as well while it's being translated. That's
8 JUDGE ORIE: I suggest that a hard copy will be provided.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I don't have a problem with that at all, Your
10 Honour. Obviously we didn't expect that this would -- the system would
11 crash. And I don't walk around with unmarked extra copies of documents.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we're talking about P2 --
13 MR. HEDARALY: P2733.
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And I would suggest --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could that be printed out so that the witness has
16 a ... I note that the e-court system in itself works so that we have
17 access to the document.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Sure, Your Honour. I would note that, since
20 this is a Prosecution witness, if the Prosecution does have extra copies
21 available that are blank ...
22 MR. HEDARALY: Unfortunately, I don't have B/C/S copies. But we
23 asked for some. So as soon as we get them, we'll notify --
24 I think we just received the --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kuzmanovic, otherwise a tiny little piece
1 of paper with the numbers would assist the Registrar in already preparing
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: No problem.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before you come to it.
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The only documents we planned on using were the
6 documents that were marked identified by the Prosecution. So any
7 documents that are there ... on that list. I know the Court doesn't get
8 that list, but I believe the Registrar does.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Have ... have hard copies been provided of all of
10 the documents now?
11 MR. HEDARALY: We are just checking to make sure they're the
12 right exhibits. As soon as we confirm that, we'll give a copy to
13 Mr. Registrar.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And if you would always clearly indicate what
15 P number we're talking so we can get it on our screens --
16 MR. KEHOE: Certainly, we will.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- and be able to follow.
18 Yes, please proceed.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Mikulic, in front of you is the Official Note of Mr. Djurica.
21 Before I start asking you some questions about it, the Court and -- here
22 in this matter has heard a great deal about Official Notes, and you
23 yourself mentioned in your direct testimony that Official Notes
24 themselves are something that are not considered to be evidence and that
25 there are things in Official Notes that obviously have been in dispute in
1 this case.
2 The last paragraph of this particular Official Note, where it's
4 "In the rest of the interview, Djurica Franjo did not have
5 anything to state concerning the above-stated circumstances and was
6 unable to provide any other information of operative interest."
7 If a court in Croatia
8 paragraph, it is, in fact, not true that Djurica Franjo was unable to
9 provide any other information of operative interest. Is that correct?
10 Because you omitted, if it's true, a significant item that
11 Mr. Djurica and you discussed; correct?
12 A. No. I apologise, I wouldn't agree with you. I have already said
13 that Mr. Djurica pointed out in the introductory part of the interview we
14 held with him that what he was going to say had to be divided into a
15 period leading up to 1995 and into a period when he joined the commission
16 for the Defence of the general. And, therefore, a distinction had to be
17 drawn between the information he came by up until 1995 and the
18 information he came by as part of his work for the commission of which he
19 did not wish to state anything.
20 The very note follows the chronology as it was back in 1995, and,
21 therefore, based on the position he expressed at the outset, we discussed
22 that period alone.
23 Q. I understand that. But my question was related to this: The
24 last part of the last sentence of the Official Note states:
25 "... and was unable to provide any other information of operative
2 That statement is false; correct?
3 A. As far as this particular part of the interview is concerned,
5 Q. And a court in Croatia
6 makes decisions on whether to prosecute or not to prosecute based on
7 information provided in Official Notes, does it not? In part.
8 A. No. Official Notes made by police officers are excluded from the
9 case file, and it cannot be adduced as evidence under the Croatian laws.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please be asked to approach the
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you come closer to the microphone, please,
13 because the interpreters have difficulties in following your speech.
14 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Now, did you provide this information that you claim Mr. Djurica
17 told you to any judicial body in Croatia
19 A. If we forwarded it?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. This Official Note was forwarded as part of the criminal report
22 which was subsequently filed. I don't know if it was forwarded as
23 supporting documentation. I can't claim that with certainty. But I
24 think that it should be part of the file.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... about the part that you told
1 Mr. Djurica that he allegedly told you after you said you wouldn't
2 include it in the Official Note. Was that discussion in any written form
3 provided to any court or official organ in Croatia related to this case?
4 A. I can't give you an answer to the question. The Official Note
5 concerning that particular information was written. And whether it was
6 forwarded, I don't know.
7 Q. Have you had, in your role investigating this case, any
8 interviews or meetings with Mr. Cetina?
9 A. No.
10 Q. At the time of the events, he was the chief of the crime police
11 in the Zadar-Knin Police Administration, was he not, in 1995?
12 A. Yes. I am aware of that from the file itself. But I've never
13 met him, and I've never interviewed him.
14 Q. Is there any particular reason why Mr. Cetina was not interviewed
15 by your office relating to the Grubori case?
16 A. Unfortunately, I can't answer the question. Mr. Cetina is still
17 employed with the ministry. I know that much, but I don't know if he was
18 interviewed as part of this criminal investigation. I suppose that he
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the ones to interview him
21 other than you or Mr. Gerovac?
22 A. I've already told you that there were more of us in the task
23 force or in the Working Group, and it could -- the interview could have
24 been conducted by some of the higher-positioned officials.
25 Q. How about Mr. Ivo Kardum who was the chief of the crime police in
1 Zadar. Was he interviewed by your office at the time of the events?
2 A. Do you mean last year?
3 Q. Yes, yes.
4 A. I'm not certain. Unfortunately, I cannot provide an answer. I
5 did not interview him personally, and I don't know whether anyone else
7 Q. How about Mr. Vrkic from the police station in Knin? Do you know
8 who that is, who was there at the time of the events, that there should
9 be a terrain clearing?
10 A. No. I don't know that last name, Vrkic.
11 Q. Are you aware that Mr. Badzim gave a statement to the
12 Office of the Prosecutor in March of this year?
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. Are you aware that in his statement he says:
15 In June of 2009, Mr. Bajic, the state attorney of Croatia,
16 ordered an investigation into command responsibility for Grubori by the
17 crime police, current crime police?
18 A. I have no information to that effect. I have no information
19 about any interviews of Mr. Badzim either. And I'm not familiar with the
20 piece of information you mentioned.
21 Q. Were you aware of the 2001 investigation into Grubori, conducted
22 by Mr. Zganjer?
23 A. Only from the existing files that were used to carry out an
24 analysis. Based on that, I was able to draw a conclusion that there was
25 a criminal investigation underway in 2001, although I did not participate
1 in it.
2 Q. Can you shed any light into why, from 2001 until the middle of
3 this case here in The Hague
4 that's being conducted now into Grubori?
5 A. Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question.
6 Q. Other than Mr. Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Djurica, from
7 whom else have you taken Official Notes? You or Mr. Gerovac. Related to
9 A. I don't know. During the criminal investigation, there was a
10 number of interviews; at least 20, 30, maybe even 40. I can't be
11 precise. And not all of them were conducted jointly with Mr. Gerovac.
12 There were several of us on the team, and it all depended on the roster.
13 I cannot be precise as to the exact number of the interviews and who
14 those interviews were conducted with. I cannot tell you the specific
15 names. But it is easy enough to ascertain if you look into the files.
16 Q. Can you shed any light on what led you or Mr. Badzim - or, for
17 that matter, Mr. Gerovac, if you know - to Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic?
18 A. I think we carried out a criminal analysis of the previous
19 activities undertaken in relation to Grubori. Precisely, it was the
20 investigation in 2001 that we considered. Based on that, we drafted a
21 work-plan which we later on followed.
22 Q. Do you know whether, in that material of 2001, Mr. Vrticevic
23 and/or Mr. Bilobrk were either interviewed or mentioned by anyone?
24 A. I cannot answer that question. I did not have the 2001 file.
25 Q. Can you tell me --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, it's not only because of the time
2 but also because of the way in which the cross-examination develops that
3 I would urge you to see -- to come to the most relevant questions and see
4 whether you could finish in a relatively short time.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, one moment, please.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I don't have any further questions.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
11 Mr. Hedaraly.
12 MR. HEDARALY: No need to re-examine, Your Honour.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: I have one brief question for you, Mr. Mikulic.
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 Could you tell me -- you conducted the interview with Mr. Bilobrk
17 and Mr. Vrticevic on a Thursday, the 5th of November. The Official Note
18 was put on paper and signed on the 9th of November, the Monday following.
19 Do you remember the persons you interviewed between that Thursday and
20 that Monday?
21 A. I can't recall the names of those people, but I think that there
22 was an interview, after Mr. Bilobrk's interview, which we had in Split
23 I think it was scheduled for 5.00 or 6.00 p.m. And on and Friday, in
24 Zadar, we had another two or three interviews, but I cannot recall with
25 whom. There were too many interviews, and I'd rather not speculate.
1 However, I'm basically positive about this number of interviews I
2 just mentioned.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll tell you the reason why I asked you and
4 see whether you can further assist in what is on my mind.
5 I was asking myself to what extent any interviews you may have
6 conducted between the 5th and the 9th of November may have contaminated
7 the Official Note which was put on paper. That is to say, that you would
8 have mixed up any information you heard during those days, which would
9 then possibly have ended up in the Official Note of the 9th of November.
10 Having explained this, do you remember what the subjects were of
11 the interviews you conducted in those days?
12 A. The topic was sanitation and hygiene measures undertaken
13 concerning Grubori. Those people, in a way, could have been in a
14 position to provide information, be it directly or indirectly, about
15 those events or first-hand or second-hand information.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember whether, during those interviews,
17 the issue of suggested putting weapons close to the bodies was part of
18 the questions that were put during those interviews?
19 If you remember. If you don't remember, tell us as well.
20 A. I do not remember. However, I don't think it was mentioned in
21 those interviews.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I have no further questions for you.
23 Have the questions of the Bench triggered any need for further
25 Mr. Mikulic, this concludes your testimony in this Court.
1 Nevertheless, we would like you to remain stand by. We hear evidence on
2 specific issues, and it may well be that since you're now in The Hague
3 that we would profit from your presence if the other evidence we hear
4 today or we -- we hear today would be in need of further clarification.
5 Therefore, I'd like to instruct you that you should not speak
6 with anyone or communicate in any other way with anyone about the
7 testimony you've given. And I would like to ask you to remain stand by.
8 You may have been informed about this procedure already by the
9 Victims and Witness Section. You are?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Any questions in relation to this?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then you will be informed by the Victims and
14 Witness Section whether, at what moment, we would not need you anymore,
15 if we don't call you -- re-call you, and that would mean that once you
16 have received that message you are free again to speak with whomever you
17 want about everything, including your testimony, but not at this moment.
18 Mr. Usher, could you please escort the witness -- I already, in
19 case we do not see you again today, I already would like to thank you
20 very much for coming to The Hague
21 questions put to you by the parties and by the Bench. And, again, if we
22 do not see each other later today, I wish you a safe return home again.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Would you -- yes.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, no protective measures for the next
4 MR. HEDARALY: No, Your Honour.
5 The Prosecution would like to call Witness 177, Antonio Gerovac.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the usher is already invited to bring
7 Mr. Gerovac into the courtroom.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could the parties provide numbers of exhibits which
10 they intend to use to the Registrar so that hard copies will be prepared.
11 And that is both for Prosecution and for the Defence.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Gerovac.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
16 make a solemn declaration.
17 The text is now handed out to you by the usher. Could you make
18 that solemn declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: ANTONIO GEROVAC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Gerovac. Please be seated.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gerovac, you'll first be examined by
1 Mr. Hedaraly. Mr. Hedaraly is counsel for the Prosecution. He is at
2 your right.
3 You may proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
4 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Gerovac.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. I understand that you also speak English. So if there's any need
9 or if you ever prefer to hear the questions in its original form, just
10 please feel free to ask.
11 Can you please first state your full name and date of birth for
12 the record.
13 A. My name is Antonio Gerovac. I was born on the
14 25th of July, 1974.
15 Q. What is your current occupation?
16 A. I'm a police official in charge of homicides with the general
17 administration of the Ministry of Interior.
18 Q. Starting in 2009, were you involved in the investigation of the
19 killings in Grubori that occurred in August 1995?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And can you tell us briefly what that work entails.
22 A. Our work meant that we were supposed to carry out an analysis of
23 the existing file, which came about as the result of an investigation by
24 some other colleagues of ours who had previously worked on the case.
25 Having done that, we drafted a detailed work-plan, which stipulated
1 specific measure be under taken, and we were supposed to follow the plan
2 in terms of carrying out interviews and all other investigative aspects
3 that figured in that plan.
4 Q. Thank you. As part of this investigation, did you interview two
5 forensic technicians in November 2009: Mr. Jozo Bilobrk, and
6 Mr. Ivica Vrticevic?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. Had Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic been interviewed previously by
9 the MUP?
10 A. Yes, they had.
11 Q. Did you review the -- the reports or the Official Notes from
12 these interviews before you interviewed Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. And can you tell the Court, please, what led you to re-interview
15 Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic.
16 A. The first interview that was carried out with the two colleagues
17 came about because they were jointly mentioned in a single Official Note,
18 which is contrary to all professional rules.
19 Secondly, myself and the colleagues working on that case, we
20 believed that this was not a quality interview in the sense that no
21 answers were received to the specific questions, and the questions were
22 not sufficiently good either. It was impermissible that they were
23 interviewed jointly in the same room and that their statements formed
24 part of a single Official Note.
25 Q. Let me just show you briefly those prior notes.
1 MR. HEDARALY: If we can have P2731, P2730, and P2734 provided to
2 the witness.
3 Q. And can you just confirm that these are the prior interview notes
4 that you reviewed before your interview with Mr. Bilobrk and
5 Mr. Vrticevic.
6 A. [In English] Thank you.
7 [Interpretation] Yes, these are the Official Notes.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, when you interviewed Mr. Bilobrk and
9 Mr. Vrticevic - and I'm now talking about them jointly; but whenever it's
10 appropriate, we can separate them - did you come to learn any evidence
11 that was not previously in the possession of your investigation team?
12 A. Yes, we did. We learned of a fact -- or, rather, we learned of
13 what Mr. Bilobrk clarified when he said that during the morning - and I
14 don't know whether it was on the 26th or the 27th of August, 1995 - in
15 any case, immediately prior to leaving to Grubori to carry out the
16 clearing of terrain operation, as they were seated in front of the police
17 administration in Knin, General Cermak appeared, escorted by a number of
18 other employees of the ministry. He suggested to Mr. Bilobrk that prior
19 to going to Grubori the scene of crime should be corrupted by portraying
20 an imagine of combat which would have taken place. He responded by
21 stating that he did not wish to work that way.
22 After that, General Cermak turn around and left with the group he
23 had come with.
24 Q. Let me just take you back in time just a little bit.
25 Before your interview with Mr. Bilobrk and with Mr. Vrticevic,
1 did you come do learn of this -- did anyone else mention this fact to you
2 that Mr. Bilobrk, you say, clarified for you?
3 A. Yes. Perhaps to make it clearer, he didn't say this to me
4 specifically but -- but to Mr. Mikulic. I don't know when exactly, but
5 before we discussed this with Vrticevic and Bilobrk, Mikulic discussed
6 the issue with Mr. Franjo Djurica, who, if I'm not mistaken, was a part
7 of the Defence team, in an informal conversation. That was after the
8 interview was carried out by Mr. Mikulic and Ilijas with Mr. Djurica.
9 Unofficially, he then stated that in conversation with
10 Mr. Bilobrk and Vrticevic, he learned of what I just shared with you.
11 The two of them spoke about the event involving Mr. Cermak when
12 interviewed by him. They also undertook to contact either him or someone
13 from the Defence team should anyone ask of them to provide any further
14 statement -- statements.
15 However, he also said that he would never repeat the same words
16 and that he would never acknowledge having said that, and that is why he
17 was not made part of the Official Note.
18 We used this only as an operational piece of information or
19 intelligence, and we did not include it into the Official Note.
20 Q. Now, you said that Mr. -- Mr. Franjo did not say that to you but
21 to your colleagues. How did you find out what Mr. Franjo had told your
23 A. Well, look, every day the Working Group held a morning meeting at
24 which tasks were issued to the individual members of the team. Later on,
25 the team would gather again during a coordination meeting, towards the
1 end of the day, where we again shared the information of that day with
2 the rest of the Working Group. This is how we received or learned of
3 this piece of information, at one of the meetings following the interview
4 with Mr. Franjo Djurica.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 I now want to move to the interviews that you and your colleague
7 Mr. Mikulic conducted with Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic.
8 First of all, were they both interviewed on the same day?
9 A. Yes, they were.
10 Q. Were they interviewed together or separately?
11 A. Separately.
12 Q. Who did you interview first?
13 A. Mr. Vrticevic.
14 Q. Do you remember where you conducted that interview?
15 A. Yes. In the premises of the police administration of
16 Split-Dalmatia, if I'm not mistaken, in the Department of Forensics, in
17 Vrticevic's office, if I'm not mistaken.
18 Q. And when and where did you interview Mr. Bilobrk?
19 A. We interviewed Mr. Bilobrk the same day following the interview
20 with Mr. Vrticevic. Also in the premises of the Split-Dalmatia
21 Police Administration in the department for general crime, in one of the
23 Q. So in a different location from where you interviewed
24 Mr. Vrticevic; in a different office in the same building. Have I
25 understood that correctly?
1 A. Yes, you have.
2 Q. Did you know Mr. Bilobrk from before?
3 A. I did. We were acquaintances or work-mates. We had met a number
4 of times before.
5 Q. Was your interview with Mr. Bilobrk formal or informal?
6 A. It was formal.
7 Q. And what do you mean by "a formal interview"?
8 A. We interviewed Mr. Bilobrk officially about the events and his
9 knowledge about what happened after the killing of civilians in the
10 village of Grubori. In other words, we interviewed him about the
11 knowledge he had concerning the events that unfolded after the killing of
12 the civilians in Grubori.
13 Q. I'm sorry, I -- I think I -- I think I asked you a bad question.
14 What do you mean by a formal interview, as opposed to an informal
15 interview, generally. What's the difference?
16 A. You see, when an official interview is conducted - and perhaps
17 this is a rather clumsy formulation - it is normally followed by an
18 Official Note. At such an interview, the individual interviewed is
19 acquainted with the reasons why he or she was invited there. The person
20 is interviewed. And at the end of the interview, an Official Note is
21 made, which is not a form of evidence but is an accurate reflection of
22 someone's words.
23 Q. Did you inform Mr. Bilobrk that the interview that you wanted to
24 conduct with him was formal?
25 A. Yes, of course. We told him what the topic of our interview
1 will be.
2 Q. And what was that topic? I know you may have said it earlier,
3 but if you don't mind repeating it.
4 What did you tell him the topic of the interview was?
5 A. We told him that the topic of our conversation was going be to
6 the killing of civilians in Grubori and the knowledge he had about this
7 incident and certain events that unfolded subsequently.
8 Q. Do you remember what was the first question or questions that you
9 put to Mr. Bilobrk in that interview?
10 A. At first, we briefly informed Mr. Bilobrk that the criminal
11 inquiries carried out so far had indicated that he and Mr. Vrticevic had
12 not told the extent of their knowledge about the events in Grubori and
13 that that was the reason why we summoned him again.
14 The question put to him was whether, at that point in time, any
15 of the highly positioned officers of MUP or the Ministry of Defence
16 suggested that they place rifles next to the dead bodies so as to suggest
17 that there had been combat taking place there.
18 So that was the first of the questions that we put to him.
19 Q. And what was Mr. Bilobrk's answer?
20 A. As I've already said, Mr. Bilobrk said that in the morning
21 General Cermak came in front of the MUP building in Knin, accompanied by
22 certain individuals in uniform - he believed that they were his security
23 detail - and that he suggested that next to the dead bodies in Grubori
24 rifles be placed so as to make it seem as if a conflict had taken place
25 there where these individuals had been killed and to suggest that
1 resistance was mounted by the civilians in Grubori.
2 Q. Did you at any point suggest Mr. Cermak as one of the individuals
3 that may have made such a suggestion?
4 A. No, never. At no point.
5 Q. Can you -- can you explain to the Chamber why you didn't first
6 ask a more general question to Mr. Bilobrk regarding, for example, what
7 had happened in Grubori, if he had any information about -- something of
8 a more general nature than that high-level officials may have made a
9 suggestion such as this one?
10 A. Well, you see, two interviews had been conducted with Mr. Bilobrk
11 by that point already. We believed that the area we focussed on was
12 something that he had not been interviewed sufficiently on. Whereas,
13 other information that he could provide we believed he had been
14 questioned on sufficiently and that there was no reason for us to go into
15 these areas. Although he did, in fact, repeat some of these issues
16 gratuitously during the interview.
17 Q. Just to make absolutely clear: Who was the first person in the
18 interview that mentioned General Cermak?
19 A. Mr. Bilobrk.
20 Q. Did you or your colleague Mr. Mikulic take any notes during that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you take any notes?
24 A. I did.
25 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Mikulic took any notes?
1 A. I'm not sure, but I believe he did.
2 Q. What did you do with these notes? Did you keep them after the
3 Official Note is prepared? Or where can they be now?
4 A. Once we drafted the Official Note, our handwritten notes stayed
5 behind in the notebook that we had. You see, we don't have an obligation
6 to keep our handwritten notes since these are only brief annotations of
7 what the individual interviewed says and we use them to subsequently
8 write Official Notes. We are not under an obligation to keep these
9 notes. And if we were, I really don't see where we would put them all.
10 In other words, I can't tell you where these notes I made can be
11 found now.
12 Q. But you are certain that you made notes during that interview?
13 A. I'm absolutely sure.
14 Q. Let me show P2732, which is the Official Note that you and your
15 colleague Mr. Mikulic prepared.
16 Can you, please, first confirm that that is the note and look at
17 whether this is your signature on the last page?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, this interview note is dated 9 November. And it states that
20 the interview was conducted on 5 November. Now, bearing in mind that the
21 5th of November was a Thursday and that the note was prepared the
22 following Monday, is that the general practice in terms of the length
23 time between an interview and the preparation of the Official Note?
24 A. You see, in this case specifically, I can tell you the following:
25 After having conducted the interview with about Markac Bilobrk,
1 we had another interview, either in Split or in Sibenik, and we weren't
2 able to write the Official Note on that same day. The following day, we
3 had another interview. Saturday and Sunday are not working days. And we
4 wrote the Official Note on Monday as we got back to Zagreb. Had it had
5 been possible, we would have written it sooner.
6 Q. Who prepared this Official Note? And by that I mean who -- who
7 typed it up?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. And when you signed it, did that mean that it accurately
10 reflected what had occurred during the interview?
11 A. Precisely so.
12 Q. Did you or your colleague Mr. Mikulic light up a cigarette close
13 to the window of the room where you had the interview?
14 A. With Mr. Bilobrk?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. I certainly didn't. I'm not a smoker. If anyone did, then it
17 must have been Mr. Mikulic. But I can't remember.
18 Q. Did you tell Mr. Bilobrk that this was an informal interview and
19 that no Official Note would be prepared?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Mr. Gerovac, Mr. Bilobrk testified in this Court, and he
22 categorically denied to this Chamber telling you and your colleague that
23 General Cermak told him to place weapons next to the bodies in Grubori.
24 Do you have any comment or any response to this?
25 A. Well, I don't. My only comment is that I accurately reflected
1 Mr. Bilobrk's words in the Official Note. And it is his right to state
2 whatever he wants before the Trial Chamber.
3 Q. Let me read you a portion of Mr. Bilobrk's testimony and ask you
4 if you have any comments.
5 MR. HEDARALY: I'm referring to transcript reference 28724,
6 starting at line 25.
7 Q. The question was put to him:
8 "Had you ever said to them" -- meaning you and Mr. Mikulic, "that
9 General Cermak had suggested placing guns next to the dead bodies at
11 His answer:
12 "No. They came to me with that information. That's what they
14 "Q. And how did they suggest that to you? Describe what
15 happened in the time that you spent with them. How did they suggest it?
16 "A. During that conversation, or while we conversed, rather, I
17 can't remember which one of them mentioned that first. I can't repeat
18 the words verbatim.
19 "In any case, what they said was this. We came by information
20 that General Cermak offered, or suggested, that you should place weapons
21 by the dead bodies.
22 "Q. And what did you say to that, when that was stated by one of
24 "I told them that Mr. Cermak never said that to me, and it would
25 have been strange if a person whom I saw for the first time among a group
1 of people to say that to me. It would have been totally strange and
2 didn't make much sense to imagine that somebody I saw for the first time
3 came up to me and said, Take weapons and place them by the dead bodies."
4 Now, Mr. Gerovac, the way Mr. Bilobrk described the interview, is
5 that the way that the interview was conducted?
6 A. No. This is completely inaccurate.
7 Let me repeat. At no point in time did we put a leading question
8 to Mr. Bilobrk, in the sense of telling him a name or leading him, either
9 toward Mr. Cermak or anybody else, in connection with the part which had
10 to do with the engineering or the placing of rifles in Grubori. At no
11 point during the interview did we put anything of the sort to him,
12 suggest things to him that would lead him to mention General Cermak.
13 Q. Can you explain to us what is the general rule -- or your general
14 practice regarding making suggestions in an interview.
15 A. Well, you see, this isn't a rule only in our police force. It is
16 a rule of the police in general that leading questions are not to be put.
17 We did not give any sort of hints to Mr. Bilobrk to let him know what is
18 the answer we would like to get. We did not say that any of the
19 high-positioned MUP officials said something like that. We didn't
20 mention a name or a person, anything that would lead him to present such
21 a description of the event.
22 Q. Would have you anything to gain by putting inaccurate information
23 in an Official Note of interview?
24 A. No gain whatsoever. And I would never include in an
25 Official Note something that the interviewed person didn't state.
1 Q. Can you now -- just changing slightly topics. Can you briefly
2 describe for us the interview you had with Mr. Vrticevic. Did you put
3 similar types of questions to him than you did to Mr. Bilobrk at the
4 beginning of his interview?
5 A. If I remember correctly, yes, I believe so.
6 Q. If we can give to you P2735.
7 And if you can confirm for us that that is, in fact, the Official
8 Note of interview of Mr. Vrticevic.
9 A. Yes, that's the Official Note.
10 Q. Did you also type that Official Note?
11 A. I can't remember at this point whether it was me or my colleague.
12 I really can't remember at this point whether it was my colleague
13 Mikulic or I.
14 Q. Do you remember if you took notes in the interview with
15 Mr. Vrticevic?
16 A. I think I did, just as I did in the case of Mr. Bilobrk.
17 Q. Now, looking at this interview note, I'm not going to read a
18 portion to you. It's in evidence and everyone here is quite familiar
19 with it.
20 First, there is a suggestion, the same question that you put to
21 Mr. Bilobrk regarding high-level officials making the suggestion to place
22 or leave weapons next to the bodies. And then he answers that he does
23 not remember but allows for that possibility. And after that, in that
24 case, you did specifically suggest certain names to him. Is that right?
25 A. Right -- that's right.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gerovac.
2 MR. HEDARALY: Those are my questions, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly.
4 Mr. Kay, will you be the first one to cross-examine Mr. Gerovac?
5 MR. KAY: I am, Your Honour. Did -- is it the time now? I've
6 forgotten what the schedule was.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The schedule was from 2.00 to a quarter to 4.00 then
8 have a 25 minutes' break and then to have another session of one hour and
9 20 minutes before we would move to the last session.
10 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gerovac, you will now be cross-examined by
12 Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is counsel for Mr. Cermak.
13 Mr. Kay, please proceed.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
15 Q. Mr. Gerovac, you said, in answer to a question from the
17 "We did not give a hint to Mr. Bilobrk to let him know the answer
18 we would like to get. We did not say that any of the high-positioned MUP
19 officials said something like that."
20 I would like you to now see Exhibit P2732, which is the
21 Official Note you wrote of Mr. Bilobrk.
22 If you could look at the text where it says: "After Jozo Bilobrk
23 was informed of the need for a repeated preliminary interview ..."
24 And it refers to the killing of civilians in Grubori.
25 "New facts have been established which suggest that during the
1 first preliminary interview he didn't provide all the facts in his
2 possession regarding that event."
3 And then the text reads:
4 "The above was asked if it had been suggested to him and to his
5 colleague, Ivica Vrticevic, who was working with him as a crime
6 technician on the humane clearing up of the dead bodies of civilians
7 killed in the village of Grubori
8 commanding structures of the MUP ... of the Ministry of Defence of the
9 Republic of Croatia
10 investigation in the village of Grubori
11 have placed guns next to the dead bodies of civilians who had been killed
12 in order to make it appear as if they had put up resistance to members of
13 special police."
14 That is what is in your Official Note as the first question that
15 was asked of him. And it does contain a suggestion as to the identity of
16 the person that you are interested in, doesn't it?
17 A. Well, in what way? You tell me.
18 Q. Well, first of all, when you were answering the questions of the
19 Prosecutor, you said it wouldn't be right to suggest and you wouldn't --
20 did not say that any high-positioned MUP officials said something like
21 that because that would be leading your witness to the answer that you
23 In that passage that I have just read out to you, you have broken
24 the rule that you said you would not break by, first of all, saying,
25 Somebody from the then-senior commanding structures of the MUP ... or the
1 Ministry of Defence, that they should have conducted an on-site
2 investigation in the village of Grubori
3 And then you lead into the passage, which is the disputed
4 passage, about placing guns next to dead civilians.
5 Don't you agree, this Official Note written by you actually
6 reflects something you said you would not do and did not do?
7 A. Well, I don't agree. Why? Had I or my colleague Mikulic put the
8 following question: Did General Cermak or any other person named by us
9 tell you to do such and such a thing, this is something that I would have
10 considered a leading question. But I had to put the question to
11 Mr. Bilobrk in some way that would make it clear to him rather than ask
12 him, Did somebody suggest that you do something on that day. This sort
13 of question would lead us nowhere.
14 I had to be more specific.
15 Q. Well, you were very specific because you identified the person,
16 saying that they should have conducted an on-site investigation in the
17 village of Grubori.
18 So you were being very specific, even on this note, weren't you?
19 A. I must admit that I don't understand your question. Can you
20 clarify, please?
21 Q. You identify the person because you say it was somebody who said
22 they should have conducted an on-site investigation but that before that
23 they should have placed guns next to the dead bodies of civilians.
24 So if anyone had said they wanted an on-site investigation, you
25 were linking that with the placing of guns by the bodies of dead
2 A. No, I don't think at all that by saying -- and I'll read the
3 relevant part. It is stated here that it was suggested from the higher
4 positions in the MUP and MORH that an on-site investigation needed to be
5 carried out.
6 I don't see in what way this question put by me and Mr. Mikulic
7 revealed the identity of these individuals. I really don't see how this
8 can be considered a leading question. But -- especially if we know that
9 only a superior could have ordered him to carry out an on-site
10 investigation, not his subordinate. It had to be someone he considered
11 to be his superior.
12 Q. Not at all. Because in the proposition you put here, first of
13 all, it is not officials; it says somebody. It is a single person.
14 Don't you agree?
15 A. No. It is actually a plural.
16 Q. It then says that they should have conducted an on-site
17 investigation in the village of Grubori
18 place guns next to the bodies of civilians, et cetera.
19 So it refers to a distinct conversation about an on-site
20 investigation, doesn't it?
21 A. In my view, no. This is something that was supposed to have been
22 done before an on-site investigation. I'm only conveying Mr. Bilobrk's
23 words or, rather, what we had learned even before, unofficially though.
24 We tried, in a way, to lead as little possible and indicate
25 anyone. Perhaps it wasn't the best way to put it. But personally, I
1 don't think either myself or Mr. Mikulic suggested any answers.
2 Q. Well, doesn't it, in the very fact, in the fourth line of the
3 English, so, near the beginning of this text in the Croatian, after it
4 refers to the village of Grubori
5 "New facts have been established which suggest ..."
6 So you were making or your colleague was making a positive
7 suggestion, which is an opposite to what you've just said. The word
8 "suggest" is there.
9 A. No. We did not put up any suggestions. We only told Mr. Bilobrk
10 that there was new information that came about during our criminal
11 inquiries, indicating that during his first interview he did not share
12 all of his knowledge with the interviewers. And I don't see how we
13 suggested anything to him by having said that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We only told him that we had
16 knowledge making us conclude that he was not fully honest.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gerovac, we read in this Official Note that you
18 have informed Mr. Bilobrk that new facts had been established. And then
19 it describes what those new facts would have been, including that
20 somebody from the then-senior commanding structures of the MUP or the
21 RH would have suggested or would have said that guns would have to be
22 placed next to the dead bodies.
23 Now, if you listened well, you may have noticed that I just read
24 from the Official Note and that I did not refer to any name, although to
25 a quality of the persons who would have suggested that.
1 Is that what you put to Mr. Bilobrk during this interview as new
2 facts that had come to your knowledge?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to be completely clear
5 After having said to Mr. Bilobrk that during our criminal
6 inquiries we had learned that during his first interview he did not share
7 the full extent of his knowledge, we then moved on to the question. We
8 did not share that information with him. We simply introduced him to the
9 situation, and we told him what I wrote down. We said that during our
10 criminal inquiry we learned that he may not have shared the full extent
11 of his knowledge. And it was followed by our question as is stated in
12 the text.
13 At no point in time did we mention either Mr. Cermak's name or
14 any other names.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But the substance of the information we read
16 here, that there had been a suggestion to put weapons next to the bodies,
17 that is what you told Mr. Bilobrk you had learned during your
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And also that it was suggested, although you did not
21 give any names, by a then-senior commanding -- somebody from the senior
22 commanding structures of the MUP of the Croatian Republic or the
23 Ministry of Defence of the Republic.
24 Is that correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I earlier said that we can have lengthy
2 debate on what makes a question leading or what makes anything
3 suggestive. I think, first of all, we should focus on the -- on the
4 facts, which I tried to do. If you have any further questions in this
5 context, please put them to the witness.
6 MR. KAY: I'm grateful to Your Honour for -- for that.
7 Q. And you did not even ask Bilobrk at the start of this interview
8 what he had omitted to say earlier; isn't that right?
9 A. Look, I can't recall each and every second or minute of that
10 conversation. What I put to him as a question and what was discussed is
11 what found its way into my Official Note. I can't recall any other
12 specific things, and I cannot say with any certainty whether I did or did
13 not ask something.
14 What is in my Official Note is based on my personal notes of what
15 I said. Now that you are asking me this, I can tell you that I cannot
16 recall now, off the cuff, whether such a question was put to him or not.
17 Q. Well, do you agree, from looking at that text, which I've just
18 read out in full once and nearly twice, that there is no evidence there
19 of you asking him, first of all, before this passage, the open question
20 of what, if anything, he had omitted to say in his earlier interviews.
21 That's right, isn't it?
22 A. Yes. This is not in the Official Note.
23 Q. And, in fact, although you say you don't suggest answers to
24 witnesses, you did the very same thing to Mr. Vrticevic, because, in his
25 questioning, as recorded in the Official Note, it was put to him whether
1 the suggestion had come from Zeljko Sacic or General Ivan Cermak.
2 That was explicitly put to him. Don't you agree?
3 A. Of course, I did. We are not prohibited from putting a specific
4 question. But had I put that question as the first question, that would
5 not have been good. After he said that he cannot recall this, and that
6 he thought that he might have, I put a specific question. There is no
7 prohibition against putting such a question. I think he also said that
8 he cannot remember that either and this closed the topic.
9 Q. So this note shows that you do, in fact, suggest names to
10 witnesses when you interview them for an Official Note, doesn't it?
11 A. This is your opinion. Yet again, I can only say that myself or
12 any other police official are entitled to put specific questions in cases
13 in which further clarification is needed. Otherwise, without that,
14 things would never be cleared up.
15 Q. So it's not right to say that you don't give hints to witnesses
16 to know -- to let them know the answer you would like. That's not right,
17 is it?
18 A. I try my utmost not to do that ever.
19 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I notice the time. That might be a
20 convenient moment.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you give us an indication as to how much
22 time would you need after the break.
23 MR. KAY: Within half an hour I will be finished, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
25 MR. KUZMANOVIC: 15 minutes to half an hour, all depending on
1 what happens before me.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a break, and we'll resume at ten
3 minutes past 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, are you ready to continue?
7 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Gerovac, what did you write your notes --
9 THE REGISTRAR: Please hold. Please hold. Please hold.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
12 MR. KAY: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Gerovac, the notes of interview of what was said between the
14 police and Mr. Bilobrk at the time of the interview, what did you write
15 those notes in or on?
16 A. I kept my notes on A-4 sheets of paper. They were put together
17 in a very thin note pad which had a blue cover.
18 Q. And where are those notes now?
19 A. [In English] I don't know. [Interpretation] I don't know. I
20 really don't. In any case, in the note pad there were some notes from
21 other cases as well, not this one alone. I don't keep all of my notes.
22 I've already said that. Because we are under no obligation to keep our
23 personal notes. The only important thing is to draft an Official Note
24 and to convey the information we had noted down in our note pad as
25 accurately as possible into the Official Note.
1 Q. Isn't it right that notes are kept of what is said between the
2 police and the witness, that the notes taken at the time are kept?
3 A. What notes exactly do you mean? You have to be more precise.
4 The notes typed out on a computer? Or the notes we kept for ourselves
5 during interviews?
6 Q. The notes written at the time in the interviews.
7 A. No, we are under no obligation to preserve those. If you mean
8 the notes I write in pen or pencil when I receive answers to my
9 questions, we are under no obligation to keep them and we are under no
10 oblige to archive them anywhere.
11 Q. So is there no record at all, other than what you typed up as the
12 Official Note, as to what was said at the time?
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
15 The interpreter did not understand.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer, Mr. Gerovac.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
18 In case I did not find the notes I kept in conversation with
19 Mr. Bilobrk, which I kept save for the Official Note that is before me,
20 based on those notes, there would be nothing else.
21 However, I have to say yet again that we had no obligation keep
22 our notes. It was only important to have them reflected as accurately as
23 possible in an Official Note, which then had to be signed by us.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, could I just intervene on one matter.
25 You said you don't know where they are. They once were in a blue
1 note pad.
2 Now, did you -- did you look for them, did you search for them,
3 did you ... did you try to find them?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did. Because before coming here,
5 I was asked whether I'd be able to locate those notes. I tried, but,
6 unfortunately, failed.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was unclear to me.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. KAY:
10 Q. When was that? When did you try to find them?
11 A. Well, I don't know exactly, but, say, a month back.
12 Q. And where did you look?
13 A. In my office. But, unfortunately, I didn't find any.
14 Q. In relation to Mr. Vrticevic's interview, are there any notes in
15 existence from the day he was questioned?
16 A. No, I couldn't find those either. I cannot recall whether I kept
17 any notes then because I was there with Mr. Mikulic and he may have kept
18 the notes of the interview with Mr. Vrticevic. But, in any case, I
19 couldn't find any notes in relation to Mr. Vrticevic's interview.
20 Q. Because Mr. Bilobrk has stated that you took no notes at the
21 time, when you met him at the police station.
22 A. Well, I don't know what to say. Mr. Bilobrk says one thing; I
23 say another. This is how it is.
24 Perhaps if I can clarify something else. The Official Notes --
25 Note, under our Law on Criminal Procedure represents no evidence, and I
1 gain nothing by adding or omitting anything. For the umpteenth time I
2 can tell you this: I drafted the Official Note based on what Mr. Bilobrk
3 told me and nothing else. Apparently Mr. Bilobrk later on down the road
4 said something else, but I'm telling you that we did keep notes -- we
5 made notes during interviews.
6 Q. When did you hear that Mr. Bilobrk had said something else down
7 the road? When was that?
8 A. I don't understand. I don't understand the question.
9 Q. You said:
10 Apparently Mr. Bilobrk said something else down the road, but I'm
11 telling you we did make notes -- we made notes during interviews.
12 What are you referring to there? I may have misunderstood you.
13 A. You misunderstood. Apparently you put to me that Mr. Bilobrk
14 said we kept no notes. In response to that, I told you that this was his
15 view of that interview, proposing facts contrary to what I'm telling you.
16 I simply say this was not the case. That is all I wanted to say.
17 Q. Wasn't this the position, Mr. Gerovac, that you, with
18 Mr. Mikulic, met Mr. Bilobrk at the police station and just said you were
19 passing by and wanted an informal chat with him.
20 A. That is not true. I'll tell you what the procedure is.
21 Given that he was a police employee, the procedure was this: One
22 of our superiors called his superior, be it the head of the crime police
23 or the crime sector, notifying them that on a particular day we were to
24 arrive at the Split-Dalmatia Police Administration in order to conduct an
25 interview with him.
1 There was no informal conversation with Mr. Bilobrk. This was
2 nothing that would have been done of our own accord. This must have been
3 announced beforehand.
4 Q. And it was suggested to him by you police officers that
5 General Cermak had made a statement concerning placing weapons by the
6 dead bodies, that that suggestion came from you and your colleague to
8 A. This is not true.
9 Q. Was it the case, because you'd suggested it to Mr. Vrticevic,
10 that General Cermak or Zeljko Sacic had said it, that, in fact, at the
11 interview or meeting with Mr. Bilobrk you just came out with that
12 straight away and said that to him.
13 A. No. You have the Official Note of the interview with
14 Mr. Bilobrk. We only asked him whether Mr. Sacic was there with
15 Mr. Cermak, because, if I'm not mistaken, he had mentioned it in his
16 previous interview. His answer was that he cannot remember that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... were you
18 referring to the interview with Mr. Vrticevic, or were you referring to
19 the interview with Mr. Bilobrk? Because the question -- no, let me
20 just -- no, I made a mistake. I ...
21 I made a mistake. I apologise. I withdraw what I said.
22 Please proceed.
23 If you want to put the question again to the witness, Mr. Kay, of
24 course, you're free to do so.
25 MR. KAY: No, I was just following to see if there was anything
1 ambiguous in question or answer, Your Honour, and I'm satisfied with it.
2 Q. Did you make any inquiries or investigate the truth of the
3 background, then, that you say Mr. Bilobrk gave you, that he was in Knin
4 on the steps of the police station with other colleagues and
5 General Cermak approached him with the suggestion to place weapons at the
6 crime scene?
7 Did you investigate where Mr. Bilobrk was on that day; where he
8 went; whether that meeting could possibly have taken place?
9 A. Well, undoubtedly Mr. Bilobrk was in Knin on that day because he
10 was at the Knin Police Administration, waiting to set out for the
11 clearing of terrain operation in Grubori.
12 Based on his statement and based on Mr. Vrticevic's statement,
13 they said, as is contained in their notes, that they were in the
14 Knin Police Administration at the time. And this did not call for
15 additional evidence.
16 As for the very encounter with Mr. Cermak, we were not able to
17 clarify this bit fully, in terms of finding other individuals who may
18 have been present during that conversation, either from among the
19 colleagues who were there or those who were accompanying Mr. Cermak. If
20 your question had to do with the latter part, we were not able to clarify
21 this bit; in other words, to gain additional information from individuals
22 who may have been present during the event described by Mr. Bilobrk.
23 MR. KAY: Your Honour, those are my questions. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
25 Mr. Kuzmanovic, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gerovac, it's Mr. Kuzmanovic who will now
3 cross-examine you. Mr. Kuzmanovic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
5 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Gerovac.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. Mr. Gerovac, you gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor
8 which was dated March 3rd of this year. Do you have that statement in
9 front of you?
10 A. No.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Oh, now it's working.
12 Q. We'll get it on the screen in a moment, as soon as I get the
14 MR. HEDARALY: If I can assist, it's 65 ter 7668.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
16 If we could please get that on the screen.
17 Q. While we're waiting for it to come up on the screen, Mr. Gerovac,
18 you can read the Croatian version, it will be coming up soon on the left.
19 Paragraph 2 and 3 I'm referring to specifically. Paragraph 2
20 notes that: "We reviewed the notes" --
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to page 2, please, of the English
22 and the Croatian version.
23 Q. "We reviewed the notes of the interviews with Jozo Bilobrk and
24 Ivica Vrticevic taken in October 2009 ..."
25 Who is "we"? There is no identification of -- other than I'm
1 assuming you are one of the "we"?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Who was the other person?
4 A. Mr. Mikulic.
5 Q. You note further in that paragraph in the fourth line:
6 "The fact that in one of them they were told not to reveal
7 anything damaging to the generals was obviously problematic."
8 Now I will refer you, Mr. Gerovac, to P2731.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could get that on the screen, please.
10 Q. P2731, Mr. Gerovac, is the 13th of October, 2009, Official Note
11 taken of Mr. Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk together by Mr. Badzim.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And if we go to page 2 of the English. And I
13 believe -- if we could scroll down on the Croatian, if we can go to the
14 next page of the Croatian, please.
15 Actually, I do think -- I'm sorry, I apologise. I think it's on
16 the first page of the Croatian version.
17 Q. The particular passage I would like to focus on starts -- this is
18 in relation to the statement that you gave to the Office of the
20 This passage in P2731 says:
21 "They also would like to emphasise that the Defence team asked to
22 be notified of any subsequent requests for information regarding the talk
23 that they had. Because of the circumstances in which they gave their
24 statements to the Defence team about a month ago, Vrticevic and Bilobrk
25 declined to describe the clearing of terrain in the village of Grubori
1 detail, as it could damage the generals."
2 Now, you would agree with me, Mr. Gerovac, there's nothing in
3 those two sentences that I read that says anything that Mr. Bilobrk or
4 Mr. Vrticevic were told not to reveal anything damaging to the generals.
5 A. Can you please repeat the question.
6 Q. In this passage that I just quoted to you, Mr. Gerovac, nowhere
7 in that passage does it state that Mr. Bilobrk or Mr. Vrticevic were told
8 by anyone - specifically Mr. Djurica or anyone else - not to reveal
9 anything damaging to generals. Correct?
10 A. That's correct. There isn't anything specifically indicating
11 that they should not say anything. But, rather, that they should contact
12 the Defence as soon as somebody asked to interview them, if I understand
13 this correctly.
14 Q. Okay. But in your ICTY statement that you gave to the OTP, you
16 "They were told not to reveal anything damaging."
17 That's not correct, is it?
18 In light of the passage from the October --
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 Q. In light of the passage that I read to you from October of 2009,
21 your statement that they were told not to reveal anything damaging to the
22 generals as it relates to the first October 2009 statement is not
24 A. You see, we could deal with it at the level of a play of words.
25 But the following passage states the following, and it's connected with
1 the other one:
2 Because of the circumstances which arose a month earlier when
3 they gave a statement to the Defence, so it relates back to what was said
4 earlier on, they do not wish to speak in detail about the events in
5 Grubori because this might be damaging to the general.
6 So, you are right; nobody banned them from speaking. It is they
7 themselves who chose not to say anything, and than's what I was able to
8 glean from this statement now for the first time.
9 Q. Are you telling me this is the first time that you saw the
10 Official Note of Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic taken by Mr. Badzim?
11 A. No. You misheard me. I said that that would -- that was my
12 interpretation and would have been my interpretation when I saw it for
13 the first time. And this is the umpteenth time that I've seen it.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... so my question to you is:
15 Do you agree with me, or do you disagree with me that --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, could you make a break now and then.
17 MR. HEDARALY: It's just that the record's not being preserved
18 because Mr. Kuzmanovic -- I know he is listening in the original
19 language, but obviously there is a -- it creates a problem for the
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, it's important that everything is
22 recorded, what someone says, isn't it? You --
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I do, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- understand the great importance of that, so please
25 secure that it happens.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I will do so, Your Honour. I was listening in
2 Croatian, and I will now listen in English. So I will wait for the
4 Q. Mr. Gerovac, it's very easy for us to cut each other off because
5 we each may know where we're going. So please let me answer my
6 question -- ask my question -- and I will do best to let you answer
7 before I continue with my next question. Because if we talk on top of
8 each other, it's difficult for the translators to keep up, as well as the
9 transcriber. All right.
10 I will go back to my original question relating to your statement
11 that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor where you state in
12 paragraph 2:
13 "They," meaning Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic, "were told not to
14 reveal anything damaging to the generals."
15 And I think you agree with me that at least in the
16 October statement, P2731, there is no indication that anyone told them
17 not to reveal anything damaging to the generals.
18 Am I correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct. Nobody told them that they were not allowed
20 to do that. That's correct.
21 Q. Were you under the impression that Mr. Vrticevic gave a statement
22 and/or met with the Defence team of General Markac in
23 August of 1995 [sic]?
24 MR. HEDARALY: I think Mr. Kuzmanovic may want to read the
25 question on the screen, and he may want to reformulate it.
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The year is incorrect. August of 2009.
2 Q. I will repeat the question.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly.
4 Q. Were you under the impression that Mr. Vrticevic gave a statement
5 and/or met with the Defence team of General Markac in August of 2009,
6 last year?
7 A. Well, you see, I can be under no impression whatsoever. I can
8 either know something or not. Based on this statement, evidently they
9 met. They did meet, and this is something that we knew for the following
10 reason: The Defence team asked for permission to meet with him. So they
11 spoke to him, but I don't know when.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... did you ask Mr. Vrticevic --
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Q. Did you ask Mr. Vrticevic whether or not he met with the Defence
15 team of General Markac in August of 2009?
16 A. I don't remember.
17 Q. Do you know that in August of 2009 Mr. Vrticevic was on vacation
18 and did not meet with the Defence team of General Markac at any time?
19 A. I don't know.
20 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Can we pull up P2730, please.
21 Q. P2730 is an October 20th statement, Official Note of Mr. Bilobrk
22 only. And this was again taken by Mr. Badzim.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And if we go to the last page of that document,
25 Q. The sentence I'm referring to --
1 [Technical difficulty]
2 JUDGE ORIE: We have a technical problem. We'll have to wait.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It's all my fault.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE ORIE: For all those who thought that I wouldn't know what
6 to do, I do know, meanwhile.
7 The Chamber will withdraw but will remain stand by and hopes that
8 within a couple of minutes the matter will be fixed.
9 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, just for your information, I don't
10 have very much to go. I have one more statement after this one review
11 and then I'll be done. So it won't be very long.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I take it that you want to have it on the
14 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I do.
15 --- Recess taken at 4.47 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.52 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I'd first like to put on the record
18 that we stopped because of technical difficulties, that the Chamber then
19 decided to have a short break and to remain stand by. And I do
20 understand, I think for the eighth or the tenth time today, that we had
21 overcome the technical difficulties. And optimistically we proceed.
22 You, the first.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Gerovac, we'll go back to P2730. Again, referencing first
25 your statement that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor where you
1 said you reviewed the notes of the interviews with Mr. Bilobrk and
2 Mr. Vrticevic taken in October 2009. We've gone over the first of those
3 notes. This is the second of those notes.
4 The second section -- or the last two sentences of this
5 Official Note taken by Mr. Badzim says -- of Mr. Bilobrk, says:
6 "He was asked by the General's Defence team in August this year
7 to make a statement on the clearing up of the terrain in Grubori,
8 together with Ivica Bobinac, but since Bobinac was not present in
9 Grubori, he did not make any statements. The interview focussed solely
10 on the Grubori event, and there was no discussion of any other events."
11 Now, Mr. Gerovac, if you had, in fact, read the notes of the
12 interviews in October 2009, you could have come to the conclusion that
13 the only person with whom the Markac Defence met in August of 2009 was
14 Mr. Bilobrk. Isn't that correct?
15 A. It's not correct. You -- you have a note where the two of them
16 say that they spoke with the Defence team.
17 Can we go back to the earliest note.
18 Q. Did you do anything to clear up that discrepancy, to find out if,
19 in fact, Mr. Vrticevic had met with the Defence team?
20 A. Well, I don't see what is unclear here. Doesn't the first note,
21 the one that include two interviewees, state that both of them said to
22 have met with members of the Defence team? You can find the note.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... that wasn't my question.
24 A. I don't understand your question then.
25 Q. Did you take to Mr. Bobinac at all?
1 A. I didn't.
2 Q. Did Mr. Mikulic?
3 A. You should have asked him that.
4 Q. I'm asking you.
5 A. And I'm telling you, I don't know.
6 Q. In this October, latter October, Official Note, which you said
7 you reviewed, again, there's nothing in this latter October
8 Official Note - 2730, P2730 - that says anything that "they were not told
9 to reveal anything damaging to the generals."
10 That's correct, is it not?
11 A. I've already said that the note reads that they were suggested --
12 that it was suggested to them that before they take part in any
13 interviews concerning Grubori, they should notify the Defence team and
14 that before they've contacted them, they should not make any statements.
15 That's what I said.
16 Now, whether I was misunderstood when I was giving my statement
17 to the OTP, I don't know. But I repeat: It was suggested that they
18 should, before taking part in interviews concerning Grubori, contact the
19 Defence team.
20 Again, they were told to notify them before giving statements on
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... thanks for that answer,
23 Mr. Gerovac, but that's not what I asked you.
24 A. Very well. Then we don't understand each other apparently.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic, I've got no idea what your question
1 was. Look at the transcript.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC:
3 Q. The question is: In P2730, which is in front of you on the
4 screen, an Official Note taken of Mr. Bilobrk, dated October 20th, 2009
5 which you said you reviewed before taking another interview of
6 Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic, there's nothing in this document that says
7 either of those gentlemen were told not to reveal anything damaging to
8 the generals. Correct?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I think that question has put now two or three or
10 four times to the witness. Let's --
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I'd like an answer though, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, first of all, what a document says or not is
13 for everyone to read. And I think we went through it quite a bit.
14 Whether that -- it says that or whether it gives other facts which would
15 allow or not allow for certain conclusions is another matter.
16 But I think the witness, until now, everything you put to him
17 what is specifically found in the text of a document, he has, until now,
18 answered all your questions that this is not what specifically the
19 document says and then he sometimes added certain portions of information
20 which he apparently considered to be relevant in that context.
21 Now, whether it's relevant or not is still to be seen. But
22 let's -- the question, Do you agree that the letter A does not appear, or
23 letter B, or letter X, or letter Y, or letter Z does not appear in this
24 text, is really something that should not be further explored at this
1 If you have any questions in relation to that matter, please put
2 them to the witness.
3 MR. KUZMANOVIC: If we could go to P2732, which is the
4 November 9th, 2009
5 Q. Again, the last paragraph of that particular Official Note that
6 you and Mr. Mikulic took says nothing about the witness not to reveal
7 anything damaging to the generals; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. As part of your investigation, Mr. Gerovac, did you talk or
10 interview Mr. Cetina? Talk to or interview Mr. Cetina?
11 A. No.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
13 A. I didn't.
14 Q. Did you or anyone that you know of talk to anybody in the crime
15 police department in the police administration of Zadar-Knin in 1995
16 related to Grubori?
17 A. No. I don't know about that. I don't know if anybody did talk
18 to them or -- and, if so, when.
19 If you're referring to the senior staff, the then-senior
20 officers, there may have been, yes, interviews; but when and who with, by
21 whom, I can't remember.
22 Q. Were you -- do you -- did you find out who, if -- who was the
23 direct person in charge of Mr. Vrticevic and Mr. Bilobrk in
24 August of 1995? And, if so, did you speak with them regarding this
25 Grubori incident?
1 A. Unless I'm mistaken, I'll try to remember. They were seconded.
2 They were operating in the then-Zadar-Knin Police Administration,
3 assisting other policemen in the clear-up operation.
4 I really can't remember who their superior was, and I'm talking
5 about the immediate superior of the two of them. Is that what you're
6 asking me about? I know who the head of the Zadar-Knin
7 Police Administration was at the time. That was Mr. Cetina. But I can't
8 recall who the immediate superior of Mr. Bilobrk and Mr. Vrticevic was.
9 Q. If -- I know you can't recall a name, but did you speak with
10 whomever that person was?
11 A. I definitely did not. Perhaps if I had been able to review any
12 documents, I may have been able to answer this. But, otherwise, I can
13 only speculate about whether anyone spoke to that person and when.
14 It is a large case file and certainly not the only one. I really
15 can't remember each and every person.
16 Q. Was the Zadar Police Administration, their criminal investigation
17 section, the section that was responsible for conducting an on-site
18 inspection in Grubori in 1995?
19 A. Yes. Given that in terms of territory, the area of Knin - and I
20 don't think I'm wrong - fell under the Zadar administration. Although,
21 at the time - I'm trying to jog my memory - the -- the Knin-Kotor
22 district had its seat in Knin, and I remember that they had
23 scene-of-crime officers come in from Zadar since there was no such a team
24 in Knin. Both the police and the investigative judge from Zadar were
25 competent to carry out an on-site investigation in Grubori.
1 Q. In relation to Mr. Badzim, you worked together with him on this
2 investigation at some point; correct? Relating to the current
3 investigation, I mean.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Were you aware that Mr. Badzim gave a statement to the
6 Office of the Prosecutor in which he stated that the state attorney,
7 Mr. Bajic, instructed the crime police specifically to investigate
8 command responsibility issues in Grubori in June-- starting in
9 June of 2009?
10 A. I'm not familiar with the contents of Mr. Badzim's statement. I
11 know he did give a statement; however, I do know that the state attorney,
12 Mr. Bajic, requested of the police chief in question to launch an
13 investigation into the Grubori case. And that request is still on our
14 file. Specifically, there were two.
15 Q. Did that deal with command responsibility investigations?
16 A. Well, look, I cannot recall the contents of the request. Command
17 responsibility was definitely not the only issue. It also had to do with
18 discovering the perpetrators. The request did not specifically mention
19 only those who may have been within the chain of command and responsible
20 for the area, but it also had to do with the discovery of perpetrators.
21 I'm definitely positive that it wasn't command responsibility
22 alone that was requested.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, one moment and I'll be -- just to
24 confer with counsel.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
4 May I take it that the Gotovina Defence, same position?
5 Mr. Hedaraly, any further questions for the witness?
6 MR. HEDARALY: No need to re-examine, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gerovac, I have - although very few - questions
10 for you.
11 Could we have on the screen P2732. First page. And it is ...
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gerovac, the first lengthy paragraph, which is
14 the fourth paragraph of the statement, a little bit down from the middle
15 of that paragraph, I see a few words in the original. And forgive me for
16 not pronouncing them properly. [B/C/S spoken]
17 Do you see those words? Is that the language which refers to
18 putting weapons?
19 A. That is correct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now, what I'd like to know is that the word
21 "postave" is used. Could I -- before you answer, let me first phrase my
22 question. Is there any chance that you have misinterpreted what
23 Mr. Bilobrk has said, and that he, rather, expressed a view which is
24 better reflected by the word "ostave" rather than "postave"?
25 A. No. It is precisely as is stated here, to place the rifles in
1 the sense that a third party should bring those rifles in and place them
2 there in order to give away an impression of a combat. So not to leave
3 them, but to place them. I don't know whether this is sufficiently
4 clear. I can try and explain in even more detail.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No. What I'd like to know is whether you remember
6 that he used that word or whether you are convinced that this reflects
7 what he said because of the context which is given in this Official Note.
8 So do you remember the word he used; or is that, in this context,
9 you consider that "postave" is what he meant?
10 A. No. I remember him explicitly saying "to place." Did he not use
11 any other words. To place the rifles. Had he said to leave them, that's
12 what would have been in the -- in the note. This is precisely what he
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We receive, of course, your words now
15 translated into English. But I take it that those who are interpreting
16 your words were interpreting that he said "postave" and not "ostave."
17 THE INTERPRETER: Precisely, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
19 One final question: It took a while before the interview taken
20 on the 5th of November was put on paper. The Official Note dates from
21 the 9th of November. Do you remember who you interviewed in between?
22 Because you said you didn't put it on paper because you had another
23 interview, I think, you even referred to possibly Sibenik. Could you --
24 do you remember who you interviewed between the 5th or still on the
25 5th and the 9th?
1 A. I think that Mr. Mikulic and I, the next day or perhaps on the
2 same day in the afternoon or in the evening, went to Zadar where we spent
3 the night. The next day we had an interview, I believe, with Mr. -- I
4 can't recall his name. He is still employed with the
5 Zadar Police Administration in their department or group tasked with war
6 crimes. I don't recall his name right now, but I do know that at the
7 time of these events in Grubori, he also worked in the area of Knin or
8 was seconded to Knin from Zadar. That is why we went to see him.
9 However, I really can't tell you his name now.
10 As for the period between the Friday in Zadar, it wasn't only
11 Mr. Mikulic and I there, but there were other two work-mates of ours in
12 charge of interviews. Well, in the evening, after all these interviews,
13 we went back home. Given that we did not work over the weekend, only on
14 our arrival to work on Monday did we sit down and draft the
15 Official Note. That's the only reason.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I was not asking about reasons; I was asking about
17 who you interviewed meanwhile.
18 Was that one interview of that person whose name you do not
19 remember, or were there more interviews conducted by you?
20 A. I don't think it was the only interview. There must have been at
21 least two, I believe, that Mr. Mikulic and I conducted. Although I'm not
22 100 percent certain. I think there were at least two. However, I can't
23 tell you who the persons in question were and whether there were any more
24 interviews than that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, even if you do not remember the name of one of
1 the interviewed persons, do you by any chance have a recollection on
2 whether the issue of putting the weapons next to the bodies was an issue
3 which was part of the interview you conducted before that Monday?
4 A. No. Those questions were not put to these persons, at least to
5 those I can remember being interviewed by me and Mr. Mikulic.
6 Based on what we had learned so far, in terms of the intelligence
7 we had, it indicated that they did not have any knowledge about that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 Any further question triggered by the questions by the Bench?
10 Mr. Kuzmanovic.
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
12 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Kuzmanovic:
13 Q. Mr. Gerovac, the persons that you may have interviewed in the
14 interim, were they Mr. Krvavica and Mr. Raspovic perhaps? Ivan Krvavica
15 and Slavko Raspovic in Sibenik -- no, in Zadar, I mean.
16 A. I think that Mr. Krvavica was not interviewed then. It is
17 possible, though, that Mr. Raspovic was. I don't recall Mr. Krvavica. I
18 don't recall him being interviewed on that day or the day before.
19 I really can't recall now.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If there are no further questions, this concludes
21 your evidence, Mr. Gerovac.
22 One question -- before we say farewell to you, I would like to
23 ask you to follow the usher just for perhaps not more than half a minute
24 or two minutes and to just wait outside the courtroom and then we'll see
25 you back in a minute from now.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The reason why I asked the witness to leave
3 the courtroom is, Is there any need to re-call either Mr. Bilobrk or
4 one -- any of the witnesses who are on stand by?
5 Let's keep it short.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Not from the Prosecution.
7 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Not for us, Your Honour.
8 MR. KAY: And not for us, Your Honour.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber also feels no need to ask further
11 questions, to put further questions to the other witnesses.
12 Could the witness be brought into the courtroom again.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gerovac, this concludes your testimony in this
15 court. I would like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague
16 for answering the questions that were put to you by the party and by the
17 Bench. And I hope that you have a safe trip home again.
18 I'm not going to instruct you that you should not speak about
19 your testimony because although it will be in a short written decision
20 that the testimony of you and some other witnesses will be -- the
21 non-public status will be lifted.
22 Therefore, this really concludes, now, your testimony. You may
23 follow the usher.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE ORIE: We move into open session.
1 [Open session]
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, could the Victims and Witness Section
7 be instructed to convey the message to all three witnesses, that is,
8 Mr. Bilobrk, Mr. Gerovac, and Mr. Mikulic, that they're not under an
9 order anymore, that they should not speak with anyone about their
10 testimony. They're free to do so if they wish.
11 As I said before, unless there would be any opposition by the
12 parties, but I would expect the opposite, as a matter of fact, the
13 confidential status should be lifted, and, as I said before, this will be
14 put down in the short written decision.
15 Then I think the Chamber invited the parties to -- to point at
16 where the word "postave" was used and where perhaps another expression is
17 used; I don't think that I have to set a deadline for that, but could we
18 expect this within the few days to come.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, Your Honour. We'll meet -- we'll send
20 something to the Cermak Defence and get their agreement. I doubt it will
21 be controversial. So I'm sure we can give it to the Chamber in a few
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that.
24 Mr. Mikulicic, I think we, earlier today, we inquired as to
25 whether you intend to call any further witnesses in response to the
1 witnesses that were called by the Prosecution.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, we are not going to call anyone
4 JUDGE ORIE: That means that, Mr. Kay, would, an estimate that
5 next Thursday and Friday would be sufficient to hear the evidence of the
6 witnesses you intend to call?
7 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour, as originally indicated, I think it's
8 a two-day section of court evidence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I have no further procedural matters on
10 my agenda.
11 Is there anything to be raised?
12 Then we adjourn, and we -- we resume on Thursday, the
13 10th of June, at 9.00 in the morning, in Courtroom II.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.28 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day
16 of June, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.