1 Thursday, 21 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 WITNESS: STEVO PLEJO [Resumed]
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, Mr. Plejo.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a reminder, you are still bound by the
10 declaration you made at the beginning of your testimony, to tell the
11 truth, the whole truth and nothing else but the truth, okay? Remember
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm perfectly aware of that.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. Your last
15 three questions.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good
18 Examination by Mr. Milovancevic: [Continued]
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Plejo.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. Can you tell us whether the police was able to enter the district
22 prison in Knin, according to the existing procedure?
23 A. The police could not enter. Only when they had apprehended a
24 person, were bringing the person in, they would come to the entrance, to
25 the gate, actually. There was a room there to which they would bring
1 arrested persons, but they could not go into the prison proper.
2 Q. Could the police take out prisoners, inmates, detainees from the
4 A. No, they could not take the prisoners out.
5 Q. Thank you. My last question refers to three persons: Captain
6 Dragan, Mr. Vasiljkovic; Mr. Mladic; Mr. Martic. Did they come to the
7 prison? Did they have access to the prisoners?
8 A. None of the three persons referred to ever came to the district
9 prison in Knin.
10 Q. My very last question. Some witnesses here have told us that they
11 had heard from the prison guards, the prison staff, that some of those
12 persons had, indeed, come to the prison.
13 A. Your Honours, I'm here under oath, and I assert responsibly that
14 no one of these three persons ever came to the prison, to the district
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that ends my
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Sorry, my examination-in-chief.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's mistake. I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 Is it you, Mr. Whiting?
24 MR. WHITING: It is, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Whiting:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Plejo. My name is Alex Whiting and I am one of
3 the Prosecutors in the case.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. I want to start with a few questions about your position as
6 warden. You testified that you were the warden in the prison in Knin from
7 August of 1991 until approximately October of 1992, with one brief
8 interruption when Nikola Kukavica was the warden. Correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. You testified that as warden you had contact with the Minister of
11 Justice, Mr. Matkovic, and that you would propose things to him and he
12 would accept those things; correct?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. By the way, Mr. Matkovic knew that you were the warden of the
15 prison from the beginning in August of 1991; right? He knew that.
16 A. No, he didn't. Your Honours, I had not been warden before that.
17 The district prison in Knin was set up at that time and I was its warden
18 from the moment --
19 Q. From August of 1991. You were appointed in August of 1991;
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And you were appointed by Mr. Matkovic?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. And Jovica Novakovic was not the warden, was he?
25 A. No, he was not the warden.
1 Q. He was never the warden, was he?
2 A. No, never.
3 Q. Now, let's go back to your position as warden. You testified that
4 the chief of the guards, which was first Jovica Novakovic and then it was
5 Ilija Tauz, had to report to you; correct?
6 A. That is correct. He was my subordinate. I could not replace him,
7 because the minister was the one who had appointed him and the minister
8 was the one who could replace him, at my proposal of course.
9 Q. My question was only about reporting, so just please focus on my
10 question and just answer my question.
11 You testified that it was your duty to institute disciplinary
12 proceedings in the event rules were broken; correct? You could initiate
13 disciplinary proceedings.
14 A. That is right, Your Honours.
15 Q. You don't have to refer to me as "Your Honours."
16 Now, you also explained that the disciplinary proceedings would be
17 handled by a disciplinary commission, but that you, as the warden, had the
18 final say. Correct?
19 A. That is exactly so.
20 Q. So that means that if there was abuse in the prison in 1991 and
21 1992, on a daily basis, if there were inadequate conditions for prisoners
22 at that prison in Knin, if the police of the SAO Krajina was permitted to
23 come into the prison to beat and abuse prisoners, then you could be held
24 responsible for that as warden of the prison, couldn't you? If those
25 things occurred and you did nothing about it, then you could be held
1 responsible; right?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, in that case, I would be responsible. But the
3 police never was allowed to come into the prison and beat --
4 Q. You have answered my question.
5 A. -- and it did not.
6 Q. You answered my question. In fact, you could be criminally
7 prosecuted if those things happened under your watch and you did nothing
8 about it; isn't that right?
9 A. I don't know whether I could have been criminally prosecuted, but
10 I could have certainly been replaced from the position of warden, had such
11 things indeed happened, had people from the outside come into the prison.
12 But they did not.
13 Q. Sir, you're not aware that you -- if those things happened under
14 your watch, you knew about them, you did nothing to prevent them or punish
15 them, you could be criminally prosecuted as a war criminal. You're not
16 aware of that? You know that, don't you, sir?
17 A. Sir, I'm not shirking from that. I did everything that I was
18 supposed to do.
19 Q. If you could answer my question, please. You know that if those
20 things happened under your watch, you knew about them and you just --
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, sir.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The witness has replied once.
24 My colleague, the Prosecutor, can of course ask the same question a
25 million times, but that is badgering the witness. It is not the
1 Prosecutor's task here to intimidate witnesses. So what kind -- how many
2 times is he going to ask the witness whether he was a war criminal in
3 order to obtain the answer that he wants?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Whether he was a war criminal? Sorry, I don't
5 understand that last statement, Mr. Milovancevic. "How many times is he
6 going to ask the witness whether he was a war criminal in order to obtain
7 the answer that he wants?" The witness said he didn't know that he could
8 be criminally charged, and I think that last sentence, the last point,
9 that last statement is properly asked. Others perhaps may not be, I don't
11 But let's hear what you have to say.
12 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I was just pressing the witness, I
13 think hardly badgering him, just pressing him on that last answer, that he
14 claimed that he didn't know whether he could be criminally prosecuted. So
15 I was just putting the question to him one more time, to press him a
16 little bit on that. I don't think I was badgering him. And I certainly
17 wasn't asking him if he was a war criminal. Just ...
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I fully understood that. Okay. That last question
19 on whether he was -- he knew that he could be criminally charged as a war
20 criminal can be put.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour -- I apologise,
22 Your Honours. I have to reply to the answer given by my learned
23 colleague, the Prosecutor. This question would be logical if the witness
24 had said that "I know that I would be responsible had that happened, but
25 it did not happen." But this is something that the Prosecutor is failing
1 to take into consideration. He continues to pursue his thesis along the
2 lines, what -- would you be a war criminal had that really happened? That
3 is what I mean.
4 Perhaps the witness has said something more than the Prosecutor
5 asked him, but he definitely did say, "No, this did not happen while I was
6 warden." And this is l'art pour l'art on the part of the Prosecutor.
7 What would have happened had something else been the case.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. I rule that you may
9 ask that question, Mr. Whiting, that last question on whether ...
10 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Sir, if you could answer my question, please. You know that if
12 those things happened - abuse in the prison, inadequate conditions,
13 beatings by SAO Krajina police - if those things happened in the prison in
14 Knin under your watch and you knew about it and you did nothing to prevent
15 it, you know, don't you, sir, that you could be criminally prosecuted for
16 that as a war criminal; correct?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you answer, sir, just so that that question
18 is not asked again, listen to the question and answer directly to the
19 question and nothing more.
20 MR. WHITING:
21 Q. Could you answer the question, please, or do you want me to repeat
23 A. No, you don't have to repeat the question. I have understood it.
24 Mr. Prosecutor, it is possible for anyone to become a war criminal in war.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm going to stop you there, because your counsel
1 wants to make sure that things are not repeated. Now, answer the question
2 and answer just the question, nothing less, nothing more. We don't want
3 to know whether you understand that it is possible for anyone to become a
4 war criminal. Answer the question directly, once and for all, and let's
5 move on to the next point. The answer is either, "Yes, I do know," or
6 "No, I don't know," or "No." It's as simple as that.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know.
8 MR. WHITING:
9 Q. Thank you. Let's move back in time to the beginning of your
10 testimony when you talked about working at Tvik factory in Knin. You
11 testified that one day the Croatian -- the Croat employees did not show up
12 to work. In the summary of your evidence that was provided to us by the
13 Defence, it says that this event occurred in 1991, that the Croat
14 employees did not show up to work. Is that right? Did it occur in 1991?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Now, you would agree with me that the population in the Knin
17 municipality was approximately 92 per cent Serb and 8 per cent Croat;
19 A. Yes, approximately.
20 Q. Are you aware that in July of 1990, Milan Martic and others
21 initiated a petition within the police in Knin which was against the new
22 patch that was being proposed on the uniform. Are you aware of that,
23 sir? Did you hear about that?
24 A. I don't know whether it was exactly like that. At that time I was
25 working at Tvik, and I had no contact with the police. I had nothing to
1 do with the police whatsoever. I was doing -- I was working at this
3 Q. Sir, my question was whether you heard about it. Did you hear
4 about it?
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. Did you know that in August of 1990, Milan Martic said on
7 television that the people's police in Knin would not listen to the
8 Croatian government? This is Exhibit 4 and 5, Your Honours. Did you hear
9 that on television? Did you see that on television?
10 A. I absolutely do not recall that.
11 Q. You were living in Knin at the time, were you not?
12 A. Yes, 5 or 6 kilometres away from Knin; 5 to 6 or perhaps 10
13 kilometres, in the vicinity of Knin more precisely.
14 Q. What village were you living in, sir?
15 A. Kosovo.
16 Q. And you weren't following the events with the barricades and the
17 pronouncements coming out of the police and what was happening in the
18 media, in August of 1990?
19 A. You mentioned to the -- you mentioned the barricades. I followed
20 the goings on with the barricades, because they were put up also in my
21 village by the villagers, and that had nothing to do with this first
23 Q. But you didn't follow in the media the pronouncements that were
24 coming -- that were being made by some of the leaders in Knin, like Milan
25 Martic, Milan Babic? You weren't following those things?
1 A. No, I wasn't, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. The barricades, were you involved with them yourself; that is, did
3 you participate in setting them up or manning them?
4 A. We all participated. We all participated together, we, the
6 Q. Putting aside whether they were set up spontaneously or not, you
7 know, don't you, that within days the barricades were organised and
8 managed by the Council for National Resistance? You know that; right?
9 A. I don't know that it was managed by anyone. This was a
10 spontaneous exercise by the villagers, and virtually the villagers of
11 every village put up barricades. I don't believe that they were managed
12 in an organised fashion by anyone.
13 Q. So you're telling us that after they were put up, that in August
14 and September, in October, in November, December of 1990, they continued
15 to be unorganised and unmanaged? Is that your testimony?
16 A. Well, I suppose so. There was a barricade also in the place where
17 I lived, and I just told you that I lived some 7 or 8 kilometres away from
18 Knin, but believe me, barricades were also put up 2 kilometres outside of
19 Knin, so that I, myself, couldn't pass through.
20 We were afraid. We only watched HTV, which is to say Croatian
21 television at that time, and we were afraid that there were threats. So
22 that people erected these barricades in their own villages in fear, for
23 their own safety, that of their neighbours and of their kin.
24 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question. You're maintaining that, to your
25 knowledge, there was nobody organising or commanding the barricades during
1 all of 1990, after August? That's your testimony?
2 A. Sir, the municipality of Knin is a large one. Now, whether
3 someone did participate or not is something that I don't know. I don't
4 know of any names. But I'm talking about my village, where I know the
5 barricades were put up spontaneously by the people.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question to you is: Is that your testimony?
7 Just listen to the questions. We don't want to be repeating questions.
8 Listen to the question and answer the question. Was that your testimony?
9 Is that your testimony?
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Well, now you have told us that you don't really know; is that
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second, Mr. Whiting. You have been asked a
15 question: Is that your testimony? I would like an answer to that. If
16 you want to know what is your testimony, he can repeat the question. But
17 the question was: Is that your testimony?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I understood the
19 question properly, the Prosecutor asked me who managed those barricades.
20 I believe that I have answered that question.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question was: "You are maintaining that, to
22 your knowledge, there was nobody organising or commanding the barricades
23 during all of 1990, after August. That is your testimony?" That's the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have replied that I don't know.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your reply is that you don't know that it's your
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what I said is that,
4 in my village, no one organised the barricades. As regards places 50
5 kilometres away from my home, how should I know whether someone organised
6 them or not?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You were being asked about your village, sir. I
8 said listen to the questions and listen to them very attentively. The
9 question to you, and I repeat: "Are you maintaining, sir, that, to your
10 knowledge, there was nobody organising or commanding the barricades during
11 all of 1990, after August? Is that your testimony?"
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. You testified about the clash in Plitvice, that "a couple of my
16 friends or neighbours from the place, from my place, were also at Plitvice
17 and they were on the Krajina police force."
18 That's at page 27 of yesterday's transcript. So the clash at
19 Plitvice was between members of the Krajina police force, including some
20 officers from Knin and the Croatian MUP. Correct?
21 A. I was not at Plitvice myself. I only know a man who was, a friend
22 of mine was there. I cannot tell you in what capacity he was there. I
23 know that after having finished his military service he was on the reserve
24 police force. I, myself, was not at Plitvice and don't know anything
25 about the clashes, except what I heard about them.
1 Q. Well, sir, yesterday what you said was that "a couple of my
2 friends," not "friend," but "a couple of my friends or neighbours from my
3 place were at Plitvice and they were on the Krajina police force."
4 So you know that members of the Krajina police force from your
5 area were at Plitvice; right? That's what you said yesterday.
6 A. I just referred to one person. Later, I came to know some people
7 and we became friends, and from talking to them I heard that they had been
8 at Plitvice. That is perhaps why yesterday I said several of my friends.
9 But these were a couple of friends whom I only got to know later. And
10 before the clash at Plitvice, I only knew one of them.
11 Q. Okay. What's the name of the one that you knew before the clash?
12 What's his name?
13 A. Dragan Vujakovic.
14 Q. And the names of the others that you learned later were at
15 Plitvice, what are their names?
16 A. I cannot recall exactly right now. I just remember the first
17 names. There was a Milan and a Jovan, I believe.
18 Q. You really can't remember their last names?
19 A. I really cannot. You see, sir, it was a brief period and people
20 made friends quickly. We would often have a coffee together without even
21 knowing each other's names. If we were to meet even now, we would have a
22 drink together. But we really didn't know each other's surnames.
23 Q. Okay. You testified that after Plitvice, you were invited or you
24 were summonsed by Milan Martic to join the reserve force of the SAO
25 Krajina police, and that you accepted.
1 Now, when that occurred, you had no experience in police and no
2 training as a policeman; is that correct?
3 A. No, I had no previous experience.
4 Q. And no training; right? You had not been trained in any way to be
5 a policeman; right?
6 A. No, I had no training for a policeman. But I served the army
7 before, and after doing military service, people would become members of
8 the police or of the reserve force.
9 Q. If you could just listen to the question and answer the question.
10 You were given -- after you accepted, you were given equipment, weapons, a
11 uniform and a police vehicle; right?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. What kinds of weapons were you given?
14 A. It was a pistol of Zastava make. I believe that the calibre was
15 7.62, and that is the pistol that all of the police were issued with.
16 Q. And what other weapons?
17 A. An automatic rifle, as issued to each policeman.
18 Q. Who gave you these things, these weapons?
19 A. Well, when I reported to the police station, I was registered as a
20 reservist and then the procedure followed on --
21 Q. I'm going to interrupt you. Give me the name of the person who
22 gave you these weapons.
23 A. I cannot give you the name. It was probably the employee who was
24 in charge of those affairs at the SUP. I don't know.
25 Q. Okay. After approximately 20 days, you were told to report to
1 Golubic; right?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Who told you to report to Golubic? The name, please.
4 A. Same thing again. I was called up from the SUP. It was probably
5 the duty officer who was on duty at the SUP at the moment, conveying me a
6 message. And I don't know the name of the person. I knew very few people
7 at the SUP at the time.
8 Q. You described the training that you received at Golubic as
9 "classical police training." This is at page 33 of yesterday's
10 transcript. How do you know what classical police training is?
11 A. How would I not know? You see that sort of thing all the time on
12 television. I was also an active soldier during my military service.
13 Q. Well --
14 A. It was rather dissimilar to the training -- to the drills that you
15 had in the army.
16 Q. Oh, okay. So what you've described as classical police training
17 is, in fact, similar to training that you received in the army. Is that
18 what you're telling us?
19 A. No. I said exactly the opposite. It's not similar to what you
20 get in the army. The army provides training involving a different kind of
21 weaponry. I said exactly the opposite.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Line 12, page 15
23 has a record completely the opposite to what the witness said. It says:
24 "It was rather similar," and the witness said it was rather dissimilar.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, that's what the witness has just been
1 explaining, Mr. Milovancevic.
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. In fact --
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] But it's on the record, that
5 mistake. The witness said completely the opposite, and this is not the
6 first time that wrong things are recorded.
7 I would appreciate it if the interpreters could take greater
8 care. The interpreters cannot be a party to the proceedings.
9 THE INTERPRETER: This was a genuine mistake and a very rare one.
10 The words in our language are very similar, sound very similar. It was
11 obviously not intentional, and this comment was absolutely uncalled for.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Interpreter.
13 Mr. Milovancevic, I'm saying to you, the witness heard that, he
14 was in the process of correcting it with counsel, and I don't think -- I
15 want to endorse what the interpreter is saying: Your comment is uncalled
16 for so far as it relates to them, because it is -- it may not be the first
17 mistake they are making but it is not a regular mistake. It is a very
18 rare mistake. And I think they're working here under great pressure, like
19 all of us, and I think we must give them the due respect and the due
20 credit for what they do.
21 Mr. -- Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I understand that, Your Honour,
23 and I appreciate that. Excuse me just a minute.
24 Let us clear this up. The question of the Prosecutor was very
25 brief --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic --
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] -- and the answer is, "how do
3 you know that it was" -- Your Honour, it's a very important matter. The
4 witness provided a very brief, precise answer that cannot be, in any way,
5 interpreted or misinterpreted to sound quite the opposite. I proceed from
6 the same language that the interpreters hear, so it's unfathomable how
7 something like this could be put on the record. It's a complete inversion
8 of what the witness said.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, is it your suggestion that the
10 interpreter deliberately misquotes the witness? Just put it clearly and
11 unambiguously. Is that what you're suggesting? Because I don't know the
12 language that you speak. I am not able to judge whether that mistake
13 could or could not have been made. If you say, the question was so simple
14 and the answer was so simple and straightforward that it could not be
15 mistakenly misinterpreted, are you suggesting that, therefore, the
16 interpreters did that deliberately? Now, if that is your suggestion, file
17 a complaint, Mr. Milovancevic, and let's deal with the interpreter. Is
18 that your suggestion, sir, that the interpreter is deliberately
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was only trying
21 to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber to the problem.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm asking you a direct question, Mr.
23 Milovancevic. Are you suggesting that the interpreter is deliberately
24 misinterpreting? Yes or no?
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. This was impossible
3 to interpret the way it was interpreted. If the man says military
4 training was different from police training and they say it was the same,
5 I don't know how that could happen. Otherwise, let them take greater
6 care, what they're doing.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I ask you a question now: What
8 are you going to do about it? You have made an allegation that the
9 interpreter deliberately misinterprets you. What do you want to do about
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Nothing, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: You cannot do nothing about it. You are going to
13 have to do something about it. That's a very serious allegation you are
14 making, sir. We are going to have to do something about it.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is our
16 choice. By publicly drawing the attention -- your attention to the
17 problem, I did what I wanted. I wanted to produce an effect, and that
18 effect has been produced. I don't want to continue publicly accusing
19 anyone of anything. I just want everybody -- everybody who knows -- who
20 is doing this work knows that this is being recorded and that we are
21 following the text.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm afraid, Mr. Milovancevic, I do not agree with
23 you. You have made a very serious allegation against the Prosecutor, and
24 I think if the Prosecutor is found to have done so intentionally -- I beg
25 your pardon. What am I saying? If the interpreter is found to have done
1 something intentionally, she has to be dealt with according to the
2 regulations of this institution, and you will have to come and
3 substantiate your case before the people. I will have to ask for the name
4 of the interpreter. May I please get the name of the interpreter?
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: No, Judge, I beg you to allow me to speak.
6 Mr. Milovancevic, I would like to think that the words came out of
7 your mouth before you could stop them, and with hindsight, you regret the
8 statement which was made in the heat of the moment. And to challenge the
9 integrity of a professional, technical professional person is very, very
10 serious. And we know how hard the interpreters work to keep up with the
11 pace to fulfil their duties with integrity. Please do withdraw the
12 statement and let us move on.
13 The effect that you intended, I don't know whether it will
14 actually be what is the reality. But in the circumstances, I believe the
15 statement was unfortunate, and the honourable thing to do is to withdraw
16 it. I give you the opportunity now. Please.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I accept fully what you say,
18 Honourable Judge Nosworthy, and I withdraw my statement.
19 I just want to explain that the reason for this reaction of mine
20 may have been something that happened on Friday that Mr. Martic drew my
21 attention to, and I withdraw my statement in any case.
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. I'm sorry to have
23 intervened, Mr. Presiding Judge.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. You have done that with Judge
1 Interpreter, can I have your name, please.
2 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, you know, I just wonder if that should
3 be done in private session. I mean the identity of interpreters is
4 usually protected at the Tribunal. So if it is going to be disclosed, I
5 think maybe --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I will ask, then, that the interpreter give me
7 their name later.
8 Mr. Milovancevic, I do not accept your withdrawal for the simple
9 reason that it is suggested by somebody else, that it hasn't come from
10 you. I am going to believe that is what you genuinely feel. I will
11 demand that you deal with this matter as you have claimed. You have said
12 -- you have challenged the integrity of an interpreter here, and you were
13 asked very clear, before you could give me an explicit answer, I asked
14 you, "Is that what you are suggesting," that it was intentionally done.
15 And I want you to substantiate that. Okay?
16 So, notwithstanding what Judge Nosworthy has said, you are going
17 to have to deal with this matter, all right? I have seen the interpreter
18 who is speaking. Even if I don't have her name, I will be able to do so.
19 I will file a report with the President, and you will have to deal -- take
20 it from there. I don't know who deals with these things, okay?
21 Now -- yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when I accepted
23 the suggestion of Her Honour Judge Nosworthy, I did it as a professional,
24 with full responsibility and completely consciously. The fact that I had
25 thought that can be proved very simply by what I said earlier, that I
1 don't want to pursue the issue any further, that I produced the effect
2 desired by publicly pointing to the problem.
3 I gave that answer at your insistence. Now, your insistence, Your
4 Honour Judge Moloto, brings me into an embarrassing position, Judge
5 Nosworthy and the entire Trial Chamber, because I'm accepting this as a
6 suggestion from an equal member of the Trial Chamber and I accepted it as
7 a suggestion of the Court.
8 In my eyes, it is a matter of indifference whether it was said by
9 the Presiding Judge or Judge Hoepfel or Judge Nosworthy. I was addressed
10 by the Court, and in communicating with the Court, I said, "This is my
12 As for this problem, I will gladly provide an explanation why I
13 reacted in this way, but I don't think it would be advisable to go into
14 this procedure.
15 On Friday, I stopped Mr. Martic from saying things that he
16 overheard from the interpreters. Now, I apologise to the interpreter
17 concerned now by withdrawing my statement. I don't think the matter
18 should be raised further, and I am now appealing to the Trial Chamber not
19 to insist any further.
20 I had my reasons for pointing to this problem, and I did it in a
21 way that I wanted to be very serious. I didn't intend any contempt of
22 court and I didn't want to level unjustified accusations against anybody
23 or question anybody's integrity.
24 Many people are taking turns working here. I know they have a
25 very hard job, and I respect it, but also respect my job, and my job as
1 Defence counsel is to monitor how words are being interpreted. If
2 something is interpreted to mean exactly the opposite of what was said,
3 then it is very serious.
4 I would please appreciate it if we couldn't -- if we wouldn't
5 pursue this matter any further.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, you are embellishing your own
7 statements. You are now claiming that you have apologized to the
8 interpreter by withdrawing the statement. Withdrawing the statement is
9 one thing; apologising to the interpreter is completely another matter.
10 You have not done so, sir, let me tell you that; number 1.
11 Number 2, when you answered Judge Nosworthy, and now in this last
12 statement you are still trying to justify why you did it because of what
13 happened on Friday. What happened on Friday, I asked you, what is Mr.
14 Martic saying? You said you would rather not say. You said you didn't
15 want to go into it. I asked you a second time and you said you didn't
16 want to go into it. If you would have raised it, we would have dealt with
17 it. But I do not want to believe that what you heard on Friday, which I
18 don't know anything about, has anything to do with the interpretation.
19 If this interpreter is -- unless you are going to say that this is
20 the same interpreter who said -- who did what you say you heard on Friday,
21 I do not know that, and I do not want to go into that and I do not intend
22 linking these two things.
23 But you're using what happened on Friday as justification to mean
24 that you are not remorseful about what you have done, and that is endorsed
25 by the very fact that you have not expressly apologized to the witness --
1 to the interpreter, rather.
2 This record is standing here. There is no way I can delete it. I
3 must deal with this matter to its finality. The only way to do so, sir,
4 is that you face up to this interpreter in a proper forum and deal with
5 this matter. And for purposes of these proceedings, I don't want that
6 later you come and say here, "I'm appealing because some interpreters were
7 misinterpreting my witnesses." If this interpreter, as you say, is
8 deliberately misinterpreting, then she must be taken off from this case.
9 I want the interpreter who is going to do the job and do it properly so
10 that there are no irregularities at the end of the trial.
11 So it is not just a question of you making allegations and then
12 quickly withdrawing them and saying that we must just sweep things under
13 the carpet. I cannot do that. This is a public forum, and, yes, I
14 understand that you are doing your job, and everybody else is here is
15 doing his job and everybody else here is working under great pressure.
16 Now, I will follow this matter up. I will make a report to the
17 President, and I will ask that the matter be investigated so that this
18 interpreter be removed from my trial, if she is found to deliberately
19 misinterpret witnesses.
20 Now, I don't think we need to go into dialogue about this. If you
21 have anything to say, say it very briefly. Let's carry on with the case.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will be very
23 brief. You say that what happened on Friday is being used by me to
24 justify what happened today. But you don't know what happened on Friday,
25 and I do. And that's the only reason why I linked it up with today's
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are telling us that -- you are saying to Judge
3 Nosworthy why you reacted the way you did today is because of what
4 happened on Friday. For me, you are not truly remorseful about what you
5 have done today. You are justifying it.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I will have
7 this resolved publicly. I will apologise to the interpreter concerned
8 today. I will say it publicly. I don't think it is necessary to burden
9 you any further or the President of the Tribunal or anybody else. My
10 withdrawal of that statement a moment ago was perfectly sincere. I am
11 doing it now, Your Honour. I apologise to the lady interpreter for the
12 sentence that I uttered. I withdraw my words and I apologise.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE HOEPFEL: To make you understand, Mr. Milovancevic, how
15 serious this is, you also stated this was not the first time, and you are,
16 by that, jeopardising the reputation of the Tribunal. I find it a very
17 serious issue, also.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are talking
19 about interpreters and a specific error. When I mentioned previous cases,
20 those were mistakes concerning dates, digits, numbers, that are easily
21 explained. And I did not intend to question the integrity of the
22 Tribunal, nor did I have that intention in making my comment today.
23 This is a technical issue. We cannot work without
24 interpretation. Since there was a specific sentence concerned, I had to
25 react, and I think if I created a problem before the Trial Chamber, I
1 regret it. That was not my intention. It was not my intention to object
2 against the Trial Chamber or the Prosecutor or the Tribunal as a whole. I
3 was just dealing with a specific problem, a specific misinterpretation,
4 and I apologized, Judge Hoepfel.
5 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you for saying that, but I wouldn't agree
6 that you've just dealt with this specific problem. You made that
7 generalisation, and that is a very dangerous allegation. You said this
8 was the opposite, the exact opposite of what originally was said, and this
9 was not the first time. That weighs very heavily. So, I think we are in
10 a real problem.
11 And you said something about an intention you had to cause a
12 certain effect, and having been successful in causing this effect. What
13 did you mean by that? You didn't make that clear, either.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in my entire
15 address concerning this misinterpretation, I was very specific. I meant
16 the job of the person who is doing the interpreting, and when I said I
17 produced an effect, I wanted to say that by pointing publicly to the
18 problem of interpretation, I warned the specific interpreter to be more
19 careful as to how she interprets. And I thought that by pointing to the
20 problem, I have dealt with it, I resolved it. I didn't want to deprive
21 anyone of their livelihood because of the mistake they made, and I don't
22 think it is necessary to take any further steps.
23 I just wanted to say, when something like this happens, it is
24 serious. That was all I meant. Nothing else.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Well, one thing would be to substantiate, really,
1 exactly what you meant by saying that was not the first time, because when
2 I asked you, you now said it was not the same, what happened before. You
3 mentioned something about figures which came over just by mistake or
4 something. And so you can explain what this sentence can mean, because it
5 is really a very strong public statement, "This is not the first time."
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's not the first
7 time in the course of this trial that we had corrections to make in the
8 record, that something was misinterpreted - a date or a number or a
9 specific piece of information.
10 I was just explaining why I reacted the way I did. It's human to
11 err and errors happen. But this was a drastic mistake, in my eyes. It's
12 not like I hit a mountain with my head and I'm reacting for the first time
13 saying it's a problem. Of course there are problems in the normal course
14 of things and they are being dealt with.
15 In this case, tensions are raised because of the insistence that I
16 explain. And I was trying to explain, but my explanation had nothing to
17 do with the whole institution, just the work of a specific person in a
18 specific sentence. I apologised to that person and I withdrew my words.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: To get you clear on that, Mr. Milovancevic, do you
20 not insinuate that mistakes of translations occurred before in this case
21 without having been addressed by you? So is this not your insinuation?
22 Make that very clear, please. If something happened, we made it clear we
23 corrected it or whatever, because of course mistakes can happen. But it's
24 very important to correct them immediately.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we always reacted
1 to errors in numbers --
2 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] -- dates. I said it clearly,
4 and to avoid any confusion and to avoid all of the blame landing on me,
5 there was a comment made by the interpreters, a comment, not an
6 interpretation, at my expense and concerning the work of the Trial Chamber
7 that could have raised a doubt in my mind in the objectivity of the
8 interpreters as such.
9 I don't want to raise this issue and I didn't intend to, but by
10 insisting on this error, I wanted to point out to the people who are doing
11 their job, that we read this. Nothing more and nothing less, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Judge? Please.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you like to proceed with your
15 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour. I would just note that the error
16 was fully cleared up on the record before Mr. Milovancevic even started to
17 speak, and that's quite clear on the record. The witness clarified it.
18 It was quite clear on the record.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And I did say that to him.
20 MR. WHITING: That's right. I would also like to note that I -- I
21 mean, I have to say that I am quite shocked by what's happened here. I
22 can only imagine that the interpreter, probably all of the interpreters
23 but certainly the interpreter at issue, is shocked and probably quite
24 distressed by what's occurred here. I don't know if the Court wants to
25 see if the interpreter can continue, if we should take a break, but you
1 know I'm sure this is quite upsetting. So I just raise that.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you for raising that, because in fact it's
3 been at the back of my mind that we haven't heard her. We haven't heard
4 whether she accepts the apology or not. And I would like to hear from
5 her, but maybe -- I'm not quite sure whether to ask her whether she needs
6 a break or not, or we should just take a break nonetheless.
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is perfectly all right, Your
8 Honour. We don't like to be the centre of attention anyway, such is the
9 nature of our job. Let us continue.
10 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: She is speaking like the consummate professional
11 that I know and understand her to be.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, that is true. And underlying that consummate
13 professional, there is a human being, with human feelings, which are
14 affected by things that are said and done to her, and it is our
15 responsibility to be sensitive to that. She is not just -- she is not and
16 automatic -- she is a human being with feelings.
17 Now I would suggest we take a break and come back maybe after 15
18 minutes. We will take a long one. We will come back at the normal time.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.00 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Chamber has decided to request, as we hereby
22 do, the head of the interpreters to get a transcript of the interpretation
23 that was alleged to have been misinterpreted, listen to the recordings,
24 the original, and give the Chamber a report on her findings. Once the
25 Chamber is in receipt of that report, the Chamber will decide how to take
1 the matter further. For now, it will end at that point and we will carry
2 on with the case.
3 Mr. Whiting.
4 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Plejo, before the interruption, you had testified that the
6 training at Golubic was different from the training that you had received
7 when you did your military training. Now, in fact, isn't it true that the
8 training at Golubic in 1991 included military training, didn't it?
9 A. No, that is not true.
10 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that special units were trained at Golubic and
11 that the intention - and this is, in fact, what occurred - was that the
12 special units would go to places like Knin and Benkovac and Obrovac and
13 would engage in military operations after their training? They were
14 trained to do that.
15 A. I said yesterday what it was that we learned there. What may have
16 been somebody's intention is something that I cannot assess.
17 Q. Well, didn't you learn, wasn't it obvious, at Golubic that there
18 were special units being trained for military operations?
19 A. Well, you know, when I was being trained, I had a feeling that I
20 would be assigned to some VIP security position to secure a municipality
21 president or something similar. I could not conclude on the basis of that
22 that I would be assigned to a war unit, to a war operations unit.
23 Q. Well, let's take a look at Exhibit 622 in evidence.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we take a look at this exhibit, I must
25 express my concern at answers which do not address the question.
1 MR. WHITING: Well, Your Honour, I understood the answer on the
2 last -- with respect to the last question - I don't know if that's the
3 question Your Honour is referring to - that the witness answered that he
4 could not -- it was not obvious to him that there were special units being
5 trained there for military purposes. That's how I understood the last
6 sentence of his answer.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but you see the problem is that what he's not
8 able to conclude, namely that he's not able to conclude that he would be
9 assigned to a war, is based not on what is being done at Golubic but on
10 his feeling about what would happen when he went there when you get the
12 MR. WHITING: You're absolutely correct, Your Honour. I will
13 pursue it.
14 Q. Sir, let's not just talk about what happened to you and your
15 feeling. You were trained at Golubic for some 20 days and then you
16 participated yourself in training. Wasn't it obvious to you that there
17 was military training going on there?
18 A. It was not obvious to me.
19 Q. Well, let's look at this exhibit. This, as you can see, is -- I'm
20 just checking to make sure that the English is up. Yes.
21 As you can see, these are minutes from a meeting on the 14th of
22 June 1991. Now, that was around the time when you were at Golubic; right?
23 A. Possibly, yes.
24 Q. What do you mean "possibly"? You were there, weren't you? Not at
25 the meeting. You were at Golubic.
1 A. Yes, I was probably in Golubic at that time. I cannot recall the
2 exact date. I have said that I cannot remember exact dates. That is why
3 I ask of you not to ask me to recall whether it was exactly on that date.
4 I may have already been at the old hospital at that time. We talked about
5 that yesterday. I cannot know the -- remember the exact date. I may have
6 left with a group of 15 or 20 people for the old hospital, as we said
8 Q. Well --
9 A. But then again I may have been at Golubic. I'm not sure.
10 Q. Well, let's look at the memo. You see in the first paragraph that
11 two of the participants are individuals that you've spoken about in your
12 testimony, Dragan Karina and Captain Dragan. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes. Yes, I do see that.
14 Q. Do you see that the goals of the meeting are "agreement on further
15 work in Golubic; units for covering of outskirts are to be determined; the
16 training of units." Do you see that? One, two, three?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And then the next section is: "Agreement on further work in
19 Golubic," and there is what appears to be a list of different units and
20 numbers or different groups. Korenica, Plitvice, Knin group, the Medak,
21 Plaski. Do you see that, sir?
22 A. [No interpretation].
23 Q. Now, I would like to see the next page on the B/C/S, please, and
24 it's at the bottom of the page in English. Do you see where it says with
25 respect to the Medak group, it says:
1 "People are to be trained in setting mines, destroying roads,
2 setting a deep ambush, trapping into the ambush and defending the ambush.
3 The Glina and Vojnic folks are to be trained in the mining of vehicles,
4 buildings and objects, sniper shooting."
5 If we could turn to the next page in the English.
6 "Plaski: The construction of defensive positions, the blocking of
7 a town, operating with rifle grenade, ambush."
8 Is that what you meant when you described "classical police
9 training"? Are those the things you were talking about?
10 A. No. Possibly at that meeting - and I don't know anything about
11 the meeting itself, nor do I know the people who attended the meeting - it
12 is possible that they may have adopted such a decision for defence in some
13 outskirts. But we didn't have such training. I know nothing about
14 explosives or setting of mines. Never did I have an explosive device in
15 my hands so never did I know how to operate those.
16 Q. Well, putting aside how you may have trained or what you held in
17 your hands, that was the training that was going on at Golubic, wasn't it,
18 what is described here in the memo?
19 A. I didn't see that I had that kind of training, the setting of
20 mines, the building of defence positions. I explained to you yesterday
21 what kind of training we received at Golubic.
22 Q. Well, let's look at Exhibit 620, please. And before we do, is
23 there some reason that you don't want to disclose the military aspect of
24 the training at Golubic?
25 A. There is nothing. I actually did not understand your question,
1 why wouldn't I answer, why wouldn't I say what was going on there. I
2 don't quite understand your question.
3 Q. Well, that's why I put the question to you, because I wanted to
4 know why.
5 Let's look at Exhibit 620, please. This is -- and if we could
6 look at the last page of the exhibit. This is a report, and you see it is
7 the name there at the end and it is signed, you know that is the name of
8 Captain Dragan; right?
9 A. This signature? I don't know whether it is his signature or not,
10 if you are talking about the signature here.
11 Q. I'm talking about the name. Daniel Snedden is one of the names
12 used by Captain Dragan; right? You know that.
13 A. I don't know that. This is the first time I hear of that name.
14 Q. Well, let's look at the first page, then, and I will put to you
15 that this is a report about the training at Golubic in 1991.
16 After number 1, in the first paragraph, it says:
17 "The first group spent 21 days on training."
18 That sounds like your group, doesn't it? Approximately 20 days of
19 training; right?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. "During the training, the programme was stopped only for 36 hours
22 because of an operation in Bratiskovci."
23 Do you remember that?
24 A. There may have been an interruption. I cannot recall it now.
25 Q. Do you remember the operation in Bratiskovci?
1 A. No. I remember one operation, the action at Udbina, which I
2 referred to yesterday, and that was, I believe, the only time that I left
3 the camp. Or I just don't remember. I really don't.
4 Q. Well, a little further down, in the beginning of the next
5 paragraph, it says:
6 "It was impossible to train the formation --" the sentence, the
7 translation is a little awkward here, but, "to reach," that's what it is,
8 "to reach the level on which it could act as a unit."
9 And then in the next paragraph, it says:
10 "I am of the opinion that in such a complicated political
11 situation in the country, the only chance to create a unity in our armed
12 forces is to depoliticise the armed units."
13 The training at Golubic, I will put to you, sir, was about
14 training armed units, wasn't it?
15 A. I replied with a "no," though it is what you think is your
17 Q. And seeing this report, your answer is still "no"?
18 A. I don't know who compiled this report. I'm not that much
19 interested. But I do know that ten people from each municipality cannot
20 really constitute some armed force; that is one thing.
21 And, secondly, I saw those people afterwards, and they were mainly
22 engaged as drivers or as people -- as security guards. So that was the
23 actual output of the training. So I didn't believe that they could
24 constitute an armed force.
25 Q. Well, Mr. Plejo, you're not aware that in the fall of 1991, when
1 you were working at the Knin district prison, that special units of the
2 SAO Krajina police were engaged in military operations? You don't know
3 that? That they would participate with the JNA in military operations?
4 A. As I worked in the court, how should I know? How could I have
5 known who participated in which operation? I never received any reports
6 as to who was participating in what.
7 Q. So when you just answered a moment ago about all of these people
8 being trained at Golubic being drivers, you really don't know what they
9 did, do you, in the fall of 1991? That's your answer now, isn't it?
10 A. I said that in the later period I saw several of those people who
11 had been with me. I saw one of them driving this minister; the other --
12 another one was securing another minister. And on that basis, I can
13 conclude that that was what the unit was being trained for.
14 As for military operations, it is quite possible that some of them
15 later joined some military units, even on a voluntary basis. That is
16 quite possible. How should I know? Seeing that later I worked in the
17 district prison, how should I know where all of these people were? I knew
18 where my brother and my father were and not where the rest of the people
19 were --.
20 Q. Sir, sir --
21 A. -- and, of course, I knew where I was.
22 Q. Sir, sir --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt please. Can you please speak
24 slowly, sir. The interpreter is desperately trying to keep pace with you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. WHITING:
2 Q. When you just said: "... it is quite possible that some of them
3 later joined some military units, even on a voluntary basis," that's just
4 pure speculation on your part. You have no idea what happened to these
5 units and whether these men joined voluntarily or were ordered to
6 participate in military operations, do you? Isn't that right?
7 A. I don't know what happened with those people afterwards and where
8 they were.
9 Q. So let's look -- let's look at the next page of this document,
10 please, both in the B/C/S and in English. And it states -- in the B/C/S,
11 it's in the upper third of the document, so maybe if we could blow it up
12 for the witness so he could read it. In the English, it's also in the
13 upper third of page 2. It says:
14 "Our main goal should be that people who finish the training would
15 go home and establish many polygons in areas where it is possible, as well
16 as the warehouses, from where the new formations would grow."
17 Didn't you know that that was the goal at Golubic, that the units,
18 these special units, would be trained, they would go back -- they would go
19 back to the village from where they came and create a new formation which
20 would grow there? You knew that, didn't you, sir?
21 A. I didn't know that. How should I have known? It was up there at
22 the fortress. How should I have known what they were planning up there,
23 at the fortress?
24 Q. Well, this was with regard to training at Golubic and you were at
25 Golubic. But your testimony is that you don't know about any of these
2 A. Well, you see, if I was in Golubic, I was supposed to go back to
3 my native village and create a new unit there. But I didn't do that. I
4 started working for the Ministry of Justice. It may have been somebody's
5 intention for that to happen, but I cannot comment on people's intentions.
6 Q. I'm asking about what was happening at Golubic. Those are what my
7 questions are about.
8 Now, you know also at Golubic Frenki Simatovic, maybe known to you
9 only as Frenki, was there, wasn't he, at Golubic? You recognise that
10 name, don't you, sir?
11 A. Frenki Simatovic is a name that I know from Belgrade. After the
12 bombing campaign, when his name was referred to, when he was arrested and
13 sent to The Hague, that is how I heard of him.
14 Q. You didn't hear his name or see him at Golubic?
15 A. No.
16 Q. What about Mark? Was there a trainer by the name of Mark at
18 A. There may have been. I really don't remember the names. I was
19 there for a very short time, for 20 days, and for a part of that period at
20 Udbina with my team. That is a very short time. And then it was 15 years
21 ago. And, as I said, I don't remember names.
22 Q. Well, when you were being asked questions on direct examination,
23 you didn't have any trouble remembering anything, did you?
24 A. I have trouble remembering first and last names. At that time I
25 wasn't married, I was single, so that I remember more the names of girls.
1 Yesterday I also said that I could not remember dates and names,
2 and especially not the names of these people where I spent only 10 or 15
3 or 20 days with them. You must appreciate the fact that if one spent just
4 15 days with some people 15 years ago, that is quite possible.
5 Q. Well, sir --
6 A. Yesterday we talked about people with whom I had spent about four
7 years in the prison; that's why I remembered their names.
8 Q. Sir, this must have been a big change in your life. You had been
9 working at Tvik from 1985, you had been working there for six years, and
10 all of a sudden, in April of 1991, you become a reserve policeman. You
11 get a gun; you get a police car; you go to Golubic; you become a trainer
12 at Golubic. Those must have been memorable, significant events in your
13 life; no?
14 A. I remember the events. I don't remember the exact dates when they
15 took place and I don't remember the names of the people involved. That is
16 what is difficult for me to recall.
17 Q. How about another trainer by the name of Fico or Fica; do you
18 remember that?
19 A. No.
20 Q. You testified that Milan Martic had authority over the camp at
21 Golubic. He also came to the camp, didn't he? He would actually
22 physically come to the camp; isn't that right?
23 A. I didn't say that Mr. Milan Martic was in charge. When I came to
24 Golubic, my commanding officer, Dragan Karina received me.
25 Q. Well, what you said --
1 A. And during those 20-odd days that I spent there, I never once saw
2 Mr. Milan Martic. Whether he came or didn't, I don't know.
3 Q. Well, yesterday - and it is at page 42 of the transcript - His
4 Honour Judge Moloto asked you if Milan Martic had authority over Golubic,
5 and you said, "I suppose so." Are you changing that testimony now?
6 A. No, I'm not. But you asked me whether he used to come there. How
7 should I know? I had only just arrived in Golubic. I was introduced to
8 my commanding officer. He showed me my tasks. Why should I know who is
9 the --
10 Q. Sir, sir, let me interrupt you. The reason I referred you to your
11 testimony of yesterday is that you said a moment ago, "I didn't say that
12 Mr. Milan Martic was in charge." In fact, your testimony is that he had
13 authority over the camp, he was in charge of the camp; right?
14 A. I said maybe. That may mean yes or no. I knew my commanding
15 officer. I had only just arrived and I knew my commanding officer. How
16 should I have known who was his superior?
17 Q. Sir, sir --
18 A. I --
19 Q. -- you testified that you were trained at Golubic and that you
20 became a trainer, and that the training was classical police training.
21 Now, you knew that Milan Martic was the secretary of the Secretariat of
22 the Interior at the time. Is there any reason you doubt his authority
23 over the camp training the police?
24 A. That is exactly why I said maybe. But I don't know that. I had
25 just arrived there. And how should I have known after a day or two who
1 was in charge? I knew my commanding officer.
2 Q. Sir, doesn't classical police training include chains of command
3 and how orders are given and who has the authority, things like that?
4 Aren't those things that would be included in that kind of training?
5 A. I just told you who my commanding officer was. Possibly the head
6 of the SUP or the secretary of the SUP or the minister was his superior.
7 I don't know how the vertical chain of command functioned.
8 Q. So the --
9 A. Police ranks were familiar to me.
10 Q. So, you're telling us that you actually trained police officers at
11 Golubic without knowing what the chain of command was within the police of
12 the Krajina? That's your testimony? You did not even know what the chain
13 of command was?
14 A. Well, perhaps I did not know the entire echelons. I knew the
15 commanding officer, the chief. I could not know at that moment who was
16 the commanding officer or my commanding officer. I did not know the
17 entire chain of command.
18 Q. You testified that some men came from Benkovac to be trained; in
19 fact, I think you trained these men from Benkovac. Goran Opacic was one
20 of these men from Benkovac, wasn't he?
21 A. No. Namely, I didn't say that it was I who trained them. I
22 trained people from, I believe, Korenica and a couple of lads from Udbina,
23 where we were in the field. I never stated that we trained people from
24 Benkovac. Ten or 15 guys came from Benkovac, from Obrovac and other
25 municipalities; that is what I said yesterday. I didn't say that I was
1 their commanding officer.
2 Q. I misunderstood that part of the testimony, then. But if you
3 could answer my question: The men who came from Benkovac included Goran
4 Opacic, didn't they? He was one of the men from Benkovac?
5 A. Possibly. I don't know that person personally. I heard that he's
6 an athlete, a karate athlete, but I don't know him personally.
7 Q. You say you don't know him personally. But did you learn -- did
8 you hear that he was at Golubic at the time?
9 A. Possibly. He may have been, but I don't remember.
10 Q. You testified that you went to Udbina to do training. If you're
11 doing classical police training, as you've claimed, as you described, why
12 did you have to go to Udbina?
13 A. You know, when you get an order, you execute it. You don't ask
15 Q. Well --
16 A. Earlier in the army and in the police, that was the way it was.
17 But I'll tell you now, I assumed it was because the young men who were
18 there were from that area and they said they wanted to go home. And it
19 was not a problem for me to be in there place. And they had
20 accommodation, so it was not a problem for me, and I ...
21 Q. Now you're telling us that because the people being trained wanted
22 to go home, you said, "All right, fine, we'll go do it in Udbina." That
23 was the reason? Or was it because you received an order to go do it in
24 Udbina? I'm a little confused.
25 A. Those young men, whose commanding officer I was, they were
1 natives, some of them from Udbina, some from Korenica. They expressed
2 their wish to get training up there, and the commanding officer approved
3 that. Why not spend a couple of days in Udbina so they can see their
4 families? I don't see what it is that you don't understand here.
5 Q. By the way, when you described yesterday some of the training that
6 you did, you included "descending a rope on a rock face." Is that, in
7 your mind, classical police training, descending a rope on a rock face?
8 A. Why not? I think it is.
9 Q. And you think so, why? Is that something you saw on TV?
10 A. I'm saying why wouldn't it be? I didn't have to see it. If it
11 was somebody's assessment that it's a part of the training, why wouldn't
12 it be? I don't see the point of your question. I don't see the
13 difference. And I did see it on television, among other things.
14 Q. Sir, sir, the question is whether that's police training or
15 military training, and you maintain that is police training.
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, in 1984 I was in the army. In the army, the
17 training was different, different from Golubic training --
18 Q. Well, you told us that, sir.
19 A. -- and I thought it was --
20 Q. Sir, you've told us that.
21 A. -- police training.
22 Q. I was asking specifically about descending a rope on a rock face,
23 and your answer is that that is police training, not military training?
24 A. As a soldier, I didn't climb down a rope on a rock face, so it
25 could be police training.
1 Q. Let's go back to Udbina. You testified that you were thrown out
2 by the JNA from Udbina, and that Milan Martic and Milan Babic tried to
3 negotiate but you were still thrown out. That was because you were not
4 engaged in classical police training, as you called it, there but you were
5 in fact engaged in military and combat training, isn't it? And that's why
6 you were thrown out by the JNA.
7 A. That is simply not possible. Twenty men in the face of an army
8 that had helicopters, tanks, armoured vehicles, we did not represent any
9 danger at all.
10 Q. Sir, I wasn't suggesting that you represented a danger to the
11 JNA. What I was suggesting is that the JNA didn't want you there
12 conducting combat and military training, and that's why you were thrown
13 out; correct?
14 A. I've explained what kind of training we had. Why they drove us
15 out, I cannot answer that. You should ask them.
16 Q. Can you give -- you were there. Can you give us any possible
17 reason why the JNA would throw you out if you were simply engaged in
18 classical police training and there simply so that the trainees could go
19 home and visit their families? Why would the JNA do that?
20 A. I don't know why. I wondered, too. We did not represent any
21 danger. Our unit was small and disciplined, and we did not represent any
22 danger. I cannot think of any reason. I did not attend those
23 negotiations and talks with army officers. We just received an order to
24 withdraw to Knin.
25 Q. You testified, going back to Golubic, that you heard that one of
1 your colleagues in Golubic slapped some Croat prisoners and that Captain
2 Dragan summoned Mr. Martic and asked him, "How long are we going to
3 tolerate things of this kind," and that Mr. Martic then expelled the
4 commander. Do you remember that testimony?
5 A. I remember that testimony.
6 Q. Now, sir, let me stop you --
7 A. I think we also corrected it a bit later.
8 Q. Well, there was some question about what was meant by what Captain
9 Dragan said. But you didn't tell the end of the story, did you?
10 A. Which end?
11 Q. Well, in fact, the commander who was expelled was allowed to stay
12 at Golubic, wasn't he? He was not -- the order was not enforced. He was
13 allowed to stay, wasn't he?
14 A. I explained that on that day I was probably at home or maybe in
15 Knin somewhere, and later --
16 Q. Sir, sir --
17 A. -- my friends told me --
18 Q. You know from your friends that he was allowed to stay, don't you?
19 A. My friends told me that Mr. Martic was there and expelled him. I
20 don't know what became of him later, and I don't know his name.
21 Q. I'm going to read -- I'm going to read to you from the summary of
22 your evidence that was provided to us by the Defence, by the Defence
23 counsel, and this is what they said you would testify about. And it
25 "On one occasion, a few Croatian prisoners were brought to
1 Golubic. One of the instructors physically attacked them. Captain Dragan
2 informed Milan Martic about the incident and Martic ordered that the
3 instructor be expelled from the camp. However, the trainees stood against
4 the order, so he stayed, but he was strictly forbidden to approach the
6 That's what happened; right?
7 A. Maybe we didn't yesterday -- I don't know his name. I mean, we
8 did not deal with the whole issue. I was told that they sort of rebelled,
9 "Why are you expelling the man? If he's going, we're going, too." And
10 they sort of set a condition, and I think they maybe told me that he
11 stayed. What became of that man later, I don't know. He may have stayed
12 in Golubic, but probably under some conditions. But I don't know. I
13 wasn't there.
14 Q. Sir, sir --
15 A. It's possible. Now, when I said -- now, I said I didn't know the
16 man and I don't know what became of him later.
17 Q. Sir, just a moment ago I asked you this question: "You know from
18 your friends that he was allowed to stay, don't you?" And your answer
19 was: "My friends told me that Mr. Martic was there and expelled him. I
20 don't know what became of him later and I don't know his name."
21 Now, that was a lie, wasn't it? In fact, you've now told us that
22 you learned that the other trainees rebelled and that he was allowed to
24 A. Do you want me to say it again?
25 Q. I want you to answer my question, sir. When you told us -- before
1 I read to you what was in the summary of your testimony, you lied to this
2 Court, didn't you?
3 A. I did not lie, Mr. Prosecutor. I would have liked to have been
4 there that day. Maybe I would have known the details better. But I'm
5 telling you what I heard from others. They told me that they protested
6 and that he stayed. But I don't know what became of him later and I'm
7 telling you, I don't know who that man is. So it's possible that even he
8 left after that.
9 Q. But, sir --
10 A. But they told me that they managed to --
11 Q. But, sir, you didn't tell us that yesterday, and when I asked you
12 specifically if he was allowed to stay, you said, "I don't know what
13 happened --" "I don't know what became of him."
14 And that testimony simply was not true, was it? Because you do
15 know that he was allowed to stay.
16 A. Maybe we didn't go through the whole issue. I don't see the
17 point. My colleagues told me that somebody slapped those people - I don't
18 want to repeat the whole thing - and that Mr. Martic came and expelled
19 him. But they asked --
20 Q. Sir, I don't want you to repeat it either. This whole story you
21 know from your colleagues. You didn't see any of it, did you? Isn't that
23 A. Well, I said that on that day I was probably at home, somewhere in
24 Knin, so I didn't --
25 Q. Sir, you heard that this person had been expelled by Milan Martic
1 and equally you heard that ultimately he was allowed to stay. You heard
2 both those things; right?
3 A. I heard. And it was not my intention to lie to the Court. I have
4 no reason to lie to the Court. Why would I lie? I have no reason to.
5 Q. You have no reason to lie to the Court, sir?
6 A. I have no reason to. Why would I?
7 Q. And now you can't tell us the name of the commander that was
8 involved in this, who slapped the Croat prisoners and who was expelled and
9 then not expelled? You can't tell us his name?
10 A. I don't know his name.
11 Q. Or is it that you don't want to tell us?
12 A. No, I don't know his name. And it didn't interest me that much.
13 It wasn't a commander. Maybe he was a commanding officer from some group,
14 from some town, from -- what do I know? I really don't know his name.
15 Q. Sir, are you just sort of making this up as you go along, your
16 testimony? Because a moment ago it was a commander and now you're saying
17 it wasn't a commander. Which is it?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you said "commander." Commander and commanding
19 officer is not the same. I said commanding officer yesterday and today,
20 and you used the word "commander," which is a totally different concept.
21 Q. Let's talk about the prison. You testified yesterday that some 15
22 or 20 men were sent from Golubic to transfer some Croat prisoners to the
23 old hospital, and then you described the hospital this way, and I'm going
24 to quote what you said. You said:
25 "There were window panes shattered, doors broken. There was no
1 hot water. I don't even know if there was cold water."
2 That's at page 45 of yesterday's transcript.
3 That was the condition that you found at the old hospital, wasn't
5 A. I said the old hospital consisted of two parts.
6 Q. No, sir --
7 A. -- one when you entered the main gate --
8 Q. -- this was before you said that. You described the old hospital,
9 and you said that the person in charge of your group complained that he
10 had to provide security and try to fix up the old hospital at the same
11 time. Do you remember that testimony?
12 A. I do. I remember that.
13 Q. Now, and then later you claimed - this is on page 53 - you later
14 claimed that in fact there were one or two rooms that were habitable that
15 the prisoners could stay in while you fixed up the hospital. Do you
16 remember that testimony?
17 A. Well, not all the rooms were in the same condition. Some were
18 more damaged; some less. And in every room some repairs needed to be
19 done. In some, more; in some, less.
20 Q. So, sir, you're telling us that even though you described -- you
21 said there was no hot water. "I don't even know if there was cold water.
22 But, in fact, there were one or two rooms where the windows were fine and
23 there were doors and there was hot water." Is that what you're telling
25 A. I'm not saying that. You didn't understand me properly.
1 Q. Well, explain, then, please. Or let me put it to you this way:
2 Isn't it, in fact, the case that these were the conditions of the hospital
3 and the prisoners lived in those conditions until they were fixed up?
4 Isn't that really what happened?
5 A. When the prisoners were brought, I know they were put up in the
6 right wing, half of which was occupied by labour medical people, some
7 doctors and nurses. Right next to them were those abandoned rooms that
8 had not been used for a couple of years.
9 However, there were works that needed to be done in all of those
10 rooms. In some, more; in some, less. In one, one window pane was
11 shattered; in another one, five window panes were shattered. The water
12 was available in that part. In the left wing, there was no water. I
13 think I was clear.
14 Q. Well, then, can you explain to me, if there was a part of the
15 hospital, the rooms that were perfectly habitable, what was the urgency?
16 Why was the commander of your group anxious about trying to provide
17 security and fix up the hospital at the same time? If you had rooms that
18 were fine, what was the urgency?
19 A. There were things that needed to be done. It was not urgent, but
20 they needed to be done.
21 Q. Well, when --
22 A. Simply that man worked very hard for three or four days. He
23 wasn't coping and he came to ask for assistance. What's unusual about
25 Q. Well, he came to ask for assistance and wasn't coping because the
1 matter was urgent, wasn't it? Because the prisoners were being held in
2 areas that were not, in fact, habitable, were they? That's why he needed
4 A. Well, certainly the conditions were not like here. But, listen,
5 we didn't have any better. We had what we had. But it was our wish to
6 improve the conditions to the best possible level, to the maximum
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Can I interrupt? Can I get an answer to
9 your question that the Prosecutor asked you and to which I have not
10 received an answer to?
11 You were asked that: These were the conditions of the hospital
12 and the prisoners lived in those conditions until they were fixed up. And
13 the conditions are the conditions that you were referred to, that you
14 testified about yesterday - no window panes, no hot water, and doubting
15 whether there was even cold water, and no doors. Do you remember that?
16 Is it correct that these detainees lived in those conditions until they
17 were fixed up -- before they were fixed up?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said yesterday
19 precisely that we elected --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt you? Can I interrupt you? I'm not
21 asking you about what you said yesterday. I'm asking you now: Is it
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm saying that we chose the part
24 where water was available. In the left wing, there was no water; in the
25 right wing, there was water. No hot water, but --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt you? Is it correct? That's my
2 question. Answer my question. Don't formulate a question for yourself
3 and answer it. Is it correct?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then, in that case, would you please
5 repeat the question. I didn't quite understand.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it correct that the detainees lived in those
7 conditions until they were fixed up?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not correct.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Now, what's so difficult in answering
10 such a simple question? You're telling me about what happened yesterday,
11 what you said yesterday. Why do you take so long?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not taking a long pause
13 after your question, but it's difficult to answer because the situation
14 was complex. One needs to go back to that time.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Again, you're not answering my question. I'm not
16 asking you about pausing after my question. I said: What makes it so
17 difficult to answer such a simple question? Don't you understand my
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's difficult to
20 answer a question with a "yes" or "no". And if you --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: What makes it so difficult? If the question asks
22 -- demands a "yes" or "no," what is so difficult?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's because I wish to provide an
24 explanation for you to understand why it was so.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't need an explanation. If I need it, I will
1 ask for it.
2 THE WITNESS: Okay.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm asking you to answer a question. Answer the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Now, in that last exchange, you did say, however, that where the
9 prisoners were held there was no hot water; correct? In the right wing.
10 A. No. The first three, four or five days, six on the outside, there
11 was no hot water.
12 Q. By the way, by August of 1991, there were -- there was more than
13 50 prisoners being held at the prison in Knin; right?
14 A. I don't know how many there were at which stage. Things changed
15 from one day to the next, so I don't know.
16 Q. Well, sir --
17 A. If we are talking about the period --
18 Q. August of 1991, you were appointed the warden of this prison.
19 There were approximately 50 prisoners in August of 1991; right?
20 A. It's possible.
21 MR. WHITING: Is there a ...
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Yes, there is an answer that was given at page
23 52, line 5. "No, the first three or four or five days, six on the
24 outside, there was no hot water." I'm not quite understanding what "on
25 the outside" means in that context. I just wondered whether that could be
1 clarified. I'm not familiar with that term in that way. That's why.
2 Thank you.
3 MR. WHITING: I had understood it that way, too, as "at most six
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Very well. I was educated there. Thank you
6 very much, both of you.
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Sir, once again, you have answered with "It's possible." Don't
9 you know that there were -- when you were appointed warden of this prison,
10 the most important position you ever held in your life, that there were 50
11 prisoners there, or approximately 50 prisoners at the prison?
12 A. How would I know the exact number? I would have to look at a
13 report as to how many there were. Possible.
14 Q. Sir, I said -- sir, if you listen carefully to my question, I said
15 "approximately 50"; 48, 52, approximately 50.
16 A. Well, I said that.
17 Q. No. You said -- when I asked you that question earlier, you said,
18 "It's possible." Is your answer now that, yes, there were approximately
19 50 prisoners?
20 A. It's possible there were around 20; it's possible there were
21 around 50. Now I don't know how many there were in 1991 and how many
22 there were in 1993 and then in 1995.
23 Q. So when you say, "It's possible," really what you're saying is you
24 have no idea?
25 A. I don't know how many there were at that moment.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Sir, what was the capacity at that moment of the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we skipped over that part. As
4 the number of inmates increased, the right wing increased --
5 JUDGE HOEPFEL: No, no, no. What do you mean "we skipped"? Who
6 is "we"? And what do you mean by "we skipped"?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour it wasn't mentioned
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I asked you something. You don't have to comment
10 on that question. Just answer that question, please. When you became the
11 warden of this prison, what was the capacity of the prison? How many
12 prisoners could the prison hold?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it could hold even more than
14 the number mentioned by this gentleman here. There were around 15 rooms.
15 JUDGE HOEPFEL: What was the capacity of that prison? How many
16 prisoners could be held in the prison, according to the capacity at that
17 time? Give me the number.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe around 100.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: So there was no official number? You cannot give
20 us a number? You said, "Maybe around --"
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot off the cuff, no.
22 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And you said there were 15 rooms? How many people
23 per room?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Depending on the size of the room -
25 they differed in size - there were rooms only slightly smaller than this
1 so they could hold many more people. And, according to the rules of
2 procedure, the rule was that 8 cubic metres had to be allotted at least to
3 one inmate. Maybe 12. I cannot remember off the top of my head. I've
5 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Please go on.
6 MR. WHITING: Okay, Your Honour.
7 Q. Did I just understand you, sir --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You'll probably pick it up.
9 MR. WHITING: I think so.
10 Q. Did I understand you correctly to say that there were rooms in the
11 hospital that were the size of the room you're sitting in right now? Is
12 that what you just testified to?
13 A. Not like this, but smaller. But very large. There were some
14 smaller and some large. That used to be a hospital. A room would have 30
15 square metres; some 15; some 40. That's the sizes they were.
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think maybe this is a convenient
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is. We'll take a break and come back at half
19 past 12.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting.
23 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Plejo, yesterday you testified that you made sure that there
25 was no unauthorized access to the prison by placing guards at the gates.
1 This was at page 48 of yesterday's transcript. Do you remember that
3 A. Yes, possibly.
4 Q. I'm sorry. I don't know what you mean by "possibly," because last
5 time you said "possibly," it turned out you had no idea. Do you want me
6 to read the testimony to you from yesterday?
7 A. You don't have to read it for me. But the posting of outside
8 security guards, outside the prison was mandatory, and it served to
9 prevent unauthorized access to the prison and prevent anyone from leaving
10 the prison.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Read the testimony.
12 MR. WHITING: Yes, I will.
13 Q. It's at page 48. The question was:
14 "Q. How exactly did you make sure that there would be no
15 unauthorized access?
16 A. We placed guards on the gates and it was possible to ensure
18 Do you remember that testimony, sir?
19 A. Yes, that's correct. That's exactly the way it was. But I would
20 have said the same if you had asked me whether anyone could escape. But I
21 just complemented my answer. That is true, what you said.
22 Q. Well, if you could just focus on what my question is, because I
23 didn't ask anything about escape, and just answer that question, things
24 will go much more quickly here.
25 In fact, sir, at least at the beginning, the guards were unable to
1 prevent people from the outside from entering the prison and sometimes
2 insulting the prisoners and even attacking the prisoners, isn't that true,
4 A. No, that is not true.
5 Q. Well, sir, let me read again from the summary of the evidence that
6 was provided to us by the Defence. This is a summary of what your
7 evidence would be.
8 "The witness was sent to Knin to organise a prison in the building
9 of the old hospital. Due to the fact the building was not constructed to
10 be a prison, at the beginning the guards were unable to prevent people
11 from the outside from entering the prison and sometimes insulting and
12 attacking the prisoners."
13 Now that I've read that, do you remember that that, in fact,
14 happened at the beginning?
15 A. Mr. Prosecutor, that may have happened at the beginning, but
16 you're asking me about a time when the district prison was set up, and you
17 are reverting me to an earlier period. When the prison was formed, a
18 metal gate was installed.
19 Q. Let's take this one step at a time. Is what I -- what I read, in
20 fact, what happened? That:
21 "The witness was sent to Knin to organise a prison in the building
22 of the old hospital. Due to the fact that the building was not
23 constructed to be a prison, at the beginning the guards were unable to
24 prevent people from the outside from entering the prison and sometimes
25 insulting and attacking the prisoners."
1 That happened; right?
2 A. The guards were, as we said yesterday, from the Territorial
3 Defence. They had their commanding officer. And they prevented anyone
4 from going in. They could not always prevent people from going in. But
5 when the district prison was formed, when the professionals started
6 working there, that could no longer happen. There was no such possibility
7 any more.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I make an appeal to you, sir, to please answer
9 the questions that are put to you. Don't formulate your own questions and
10 answer them. Please answer the question that is put to you. The question
11 is: Those things that are mentioned, did they happen in the beginning?
12 Your answer should rather be "yes" or "no."
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to say that
14 from the time I became warden of the prison, such things did not happen.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, you are not being asked about the time you
16 became a warden. You are being asked about the beginning. That is a
17 summary of a statement allegedly that was made on your behalf. That's
18 what you told your lawyers you are going to tell us when you get here.
19 Did you say to your lawyers that, in the beginning it was not
20 possible to prevent people from coming in, attacking the prisoners,
21 insulting them at times? Did you say that to your lawyers?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I may have said that.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, no, no. Did you or did you not say so? You
24 should know if you did say so.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what I said. I don't
1 know whether I put it that way.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you didn't say it, where did your lawyers get it
3 from? Why did the lawyers come to tell the Prosecution this is what you
4 are going to say if that's not what you told them?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that I was clear. If you
6 want me to repeat, I can do that. Whilst the Territorial Defence was
7 there, there were such cases.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're not answering my question. My question is:
9 Where do your lawyers get it from? Listen to the question. Where do your
10 lawyers get this information from?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They got it possibly -- how should I
12 know where they got it from? I don't know where they got it from.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, they say this is a summary of what you told
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, what I told them is exactly
16 what I'm telling you now.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: What you're telling me is not exactly what is said
18 in that summary. Did you tell your lawyers that, in the beginning it was
19 not always possible to prevent people coming in, insulting the prisoners
20 and at times attacking them?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Now, again, I ask you: Why does it
23 take you so long just to give that answer?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is difficult to reply to a
25 question with just a "yes" or "no." I just wanted to explain how things
1 really were.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you have done it. You have just said, "Da."
3 It's very simple. What's difficult about that?
4 You may proceed.
5 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sir, can you tell us why -- before I read to you from the summary,
7 I put to you the very same question, I said -- and it's at page 56 of the
8 transcript. I said:
9 "In fact, sir, at least at the beginning, the guards were unable
10 to prevent people from the outside from entering the prison and sometimes
11 insulting the prisoners and even attacking the prisoners; isn't that
13 And your answer was:
14 "No, that is not true."
15 However, now you have just told us that, yes, that is true.
16 JUDGE HOEPFEL: No. This was a different question. Excuse me,
17 Mr. Whiting. No. It was the question what witness has told his lawyers,
18 and your question was referring directly to the -- to what happened on the
19 ground at that time.
20 MR. WHITING: Well, I can try to clear that up.
21 Q. You have now told us that you told the lawyers that, at the
22 beginning -- that in the beginning it was not always possible to prevent
23 people coming in, insulting the prisoners and at times attacking them.
24 You said yes, you told the lawyers that. And you told the lawyers that
25 because that was true; right?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I said that, but when I said that, I was referring
2 to the Territorial Defence period.
3 Q. Sir, sir, sir, please. What you told the lawyers was true; yes or
5 A. It was true.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. It was true.
8 Q. Now let me ask my question: Then why earlier, when I asked you --
9 this is at page 56, I asked you:
10 "In fact, sir, at least at the beginning, the guards were unable
11 to prevent people from the outside from entering the prison and sometimes
12 insulting the prisoners and even attacking the prisoners; isn't that
14 Using word for word what's from -- the summary of your statement.
15 And you said:
16 "No, that is not true."
17 Why did you give that answer, sir, when you are now telling us
18 that it is true?
19 A. You have to tell me what -- what guards, and then I will tell you
20 yes or no.
21 Q. But, sir, that wasn't your answer to my question. When I put the
22 question, you didn't ask me what guards. You simply said: "No, that is
23 not true." Why is that, sir?
24 A. That is because I now had in mind the professionals who were taken
25 on. When they started working, this did not happen. It was not possible
1 for that to happen. I may have spoken in the other context, the 10 or 15
2 days before that time when the Territorial Defence were the guards, who
3 did not know the job and they were inexperienced and simply could not
4 prevent such things from happening. I believe that I am clear now.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were the professional guards there in the
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ten to 15 days prior to the
8 establishment of the district prison in Knin, the rooms in which the
9 detainees were secured by members of the Territorial Defence. And I said
10 so yesterday as well.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I will ask you again. Were the professional guards
12 there in the beginning?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they were not.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: What makes you then think of the professional
15 guards? We're talking about the beginning, and the word "beginning" we
16 take from you, from your summary. What makes you think of professional
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I have to know what period I'm
19 referring to. I explained that for 10 to 15 days, it was the Territorial
20 Defence, and then they were replaced by professional guards. So the two
21 periods differ in that sense. That is what I tried to explain.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: You know that in the beginning professional guards
23 were not there, and you know that the question put to you relates to the
24 beginning. Now, why do you think of professional guards in the beginning,
25 when you know they were not there?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I believe that I was clear. I
2 fail to actually comprehend what it is that you're asking me now.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I repeat my question: You know that professional
4 guards were not there in the beginning. You know that the question put to
5 you relates to the beginning. Why do you think it would have been the
6 professional guards who were there?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor did not tell me that
8 this question referred to the beginning. He did not specify what exact
9 period he was referring to. He just referred to the entry -- entries into
10 the prison, access to the prison.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, do you want us to show you, play you the
12 transcript -- show you the transcript where the question was put?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
14 MR. WHITING: It's at page 56.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, you look at page 56, line 18. That's when the
16 question was first put to you by the Prosecutor.
17 "In fact, sir" - I'm reading now what the question said - "at the
18 beginning" - underline the word "beginning" - "the guards were unable to
19 prevent people from the outside from entering the prison and sometimes
20 insulting the prisoners and even attacking the prisoners; isn't that
21 true?" Your answer was: "No, that is not true."
22 And that word, "beginning," the Prosecutor tells the Chamber that
23 he gets from the summary of your statement, and you have agreed with the
24 question I put to you that that statement you told to your lawyers.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when we say "the
1 beginning," to me the beginning meant when the decision was taken for me
2 to become prison warden and when the district prison in Knin was
3 established. Did you mean that as the beginning, or the beginning ten
4 days before that when the Territorial Defence was there?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: We don't know what you meant by "beginning." We
6 just -- it's just been -- taking your word for it. You say in the
7 beginning that's what happened, and the question is, did it happen in the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So the exact beginning needs to be
10 defined for me. I cannot otherwise reply to the question.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: You should define it, because that's your word.
12 But, in any case, we're not here for definitions. I was asking you a
13 question -- let me just find out what my question was. Yes. My question
14 to you is: Why do you think it's professional guards when you know
15 professional guards were not there in the beginning? That's the question
16 I am putting to you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot reply in any other way but
18 to say that there were some instances that the Prosecutor mentioned during
19 the period of the Territorial Defence. After them, there were no more
20 such cases. And I believe that I am quite clear. I cannot give you a
21 more precise answer than that.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The phrase "Territorial Defence" has been used by
23 you for the first time in relation to this whole question of the
24 beginning. You just tell me -- you show us where the Prosecutor used the
25 words "Territorial Defence," since he asked you that question at page 56,
1 line 18.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor didn't mention that.
3 I was precise. I don't know what other answer to give you. I referred to
4 the period when this happened --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why do you say the Prosecution never mentioned
6 Territorial Defence, then?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say that the Prosecutor
8 mentioned "Territorial Defence." I mentioned "Territorial Defence." And
9 I referred also to the professional guards. And during the period of the
10 Territorial Defence, there were such instances.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: You said: "I cannot reply in any other way but to
12 say that there were some instances that the Prosecutor mentioned during
13 the period of the Territorial Defence."
14 Now, how you come to know that he mentioned incidents during the
15 period of the Territorial Defence, how do you know that if he hasn't
16 mentioned Territorial Defence or the period of Territorial Defence?
17 Because he mentioned "beginning," "in the beginning."
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just added -- I just explained
19 what happened in which particular period. I said yes, in the affirmative,
20 and I just added to that answer, that that happened while the Territorial
21 Defence was there.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I get it on the record that you are not going
23 to answer my question now? The question, why you think of professional
24 guards, about the beginning. Or shall I take it that what you said
25 earlier is your answer?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The beginning of the functioning of
2 the district prison was then, when people were employed. That is what is
3 the beginning for me. That is why I said to the Prosecutor that there had
4 been no instances of such conduct, because that is what I meant by "the
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
7 You may proceed, Mr. Whiting.
8 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, let's follow on from the period when the Territorial Defence
10 was there. You were there, too, with the Territorial Defence, weren't
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And what would have been so difficult about securing the entrances
14 of the prison to prevent people from coming in to insult and attack the
15 prisoners? Why couldn't that be done?
16 A. Well, you know, I explained yesterday, the Territorial Defence
17 consisted of elderly people of about 50 years of age, who, until
18 yesterday, had been storekeepers or doctors, and now that person should
19 prevent a younger person from coming into the rooms? That was a difficult
20 task. That is why it was difficult.
21 Q. You better be careful about how you describe elderly people. But
22 putting that aside, sir, these members of the Territorial Defence had
23 weapons, didn't they? They had guns; right?
24 A. Yes, they did have weapons, but they did not dare use them. They
25 were amateurs and they really didn't have it in them to shoot at anyone
1 under such conditions.
2 Q. Sir, you're telling me that these men - I'll call them young men -
3 from the Territorial Defence with weapons were unable to prevent people
4 from coming in and attacking the prisoners? That's really your testimony?
5 A. First of all, I didn't say that they were old, but they were a bit
6 advanced of age. Actually, what I said is that they were older than these
7 other people who were younger, who were 20 or 30. So I apologise for any
8 insult that may have been construed. But they were not able to prevent --
9 in many instances they were not able to prevent anyone from entering. In
10 some cases they were able to do so.
11 Q. You testified yesterday that you stayed behind, of the 15 or 20
12 men from Golubic, you stayed behind. The others returned to Golubic
14 "The new commanding officer from the Territorial Defence was not
15 very experienced and he didn't feel capable of handling it himself, so I
16 was asked to stay on and help out."
17 That's at page 48. Now, with all due respect, sir, you didn't
18 have any experience either, did you, at that time? You had no experience.
19 A. I didn't have experience, but I had been there for some ten days
20 and I knew a bit more than he did. And perhaps I was a bit more
21 courageous, too.
22 Q. Is that it, that you were more courageous?
23 A. Maybe. Maybe slightly more than this commanding officer, who was
25 Q. But can you give us his name, sir? What was his name, this
1 commanding officer?
2 A. I'm not quite sure. His last name is Novkovic or Novakovic. It
3 starts with a "N." I remember that before the war he worked in the same
4 factory as I, but I don't remember his name exactly.
5 Q. Is there another reason, sir, that you were left behind at the
6 prison. Of that group from Golubic, is there another reason that you were
7 chosen to stay behind?
8 A. No other reason. Just for me to stay on and help him out a bit so
9 that he would gain -- acquire some self-assurance.
10 Q. You then testified that you consulted with the Minister of
11 Justice, whose Risto Matkovic, and you told him that you did not have the
12 proper training or the qualifications for the job of warden, and that you
13 didn't even want the job. All of those things were true; right? You
14 didn't have the training, the qualifications for the job, and you didn't
15 want it; right?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And yet he appointed you warden of the prison; is that right?
18 A. I explained yesterday, he asked me to stay on until the
19 professionals arrived and assumed those positions. And he said that we
20 would very quickly find another arrangement --
21 Q. Sir --
22 A. -- to fill my position of warden.
23 Q. Sir, the professionals arrived in August of 1991, didn't they?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And among them, there were lots of candidates for warden, lots of
1 people who could have been the warden; right?
2 A. Not among those people. There were no candidates that could be
3 wardens among them.
4 Q. Really? Well, let's look at Exhibit 906, then, please. And if we
5 could look at page 1 of the B/C/S and page 10 of the English.
6 This is a document -- do you remember seeing this document
7 yesterday? You looked at this document.
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Okay. So number 3 is --
10 MR. WHITING: Does the Court have the English on the ...
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: We're getting that. Number?
12 MR. WHITING: You have the English?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
14 MR. WHITING: Okay. Because I don't have it on mine for some
15 reason, but that's my fault.
16 Q. Number 3 is Jovica Novakovic. And, according to this, he started
17 on the 17th of August, 1991, and he had previously worked at the Zagreb
18 district prison. So he had experience that you didn't have; right?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Sir, let's look at page 2 of the B/C/S and page 11 of the English,
21 and specifically at number 8. Ilija Gambiroza started working at the Knin
22 district prison also on the 17th of August, 1991; previously worked in
23 Sibenik district prison. Correct?
24 A. Yes, he worked as a guard in Sibenik.
25 Q. Let's look at the next page of the English. We stay on the same
1 page of the B/C/S. And it's number 9. Zoran, I think it should be
2 "Dzukic" but -- oh, no, Dukic.
3 A. Dukic.
4 Q. Dukic. He started working on the 17th of August, 1991. He
5 completed the course for warden training in Zagreb and worked at the Zadar
6 district prison before coming to the Knin district prison; right? Isn't
7 that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Now, sir, I'm not going to go through the entire list, but -- I
10 will if you want to, but if you take my word for it, there are 21 names on
11 this list of men who started in August or in the fall, who had -- who had
12 taken courses in this field, who had worked in this field, worked in
13 prisons before; 15 of those 21 started in August of 1991.
14 So all of those men would have been better qualified to be the
15 warden than you; right?
16 A. Well, I wouldn't say so. I don't think they had better
17 qualifications. They had experience in prisons, but they had worked as
18 guards. This first one was --
19 Q. Sir, sir --
20 A. -- named head of the guards or chief of the guards.
21 Q. Sir, you didn't have anything; you didn't have experience, you had
22 never worked in a prison, you had not taken any courses, you had not
23 worked as a policeman. You had your training at Golubic and that's all.
24 Why were you better qualified than these 21 other men on this list?
25 A. I was not more qualified, but I was not less qualified either. I
1 told you yesterday, a warden does not have to belong to that line of work.
2 Q. But, sir, you told us yesterday that you told Mr. Matkovic that
3 you were not qualified, you were not trained, and you did not want the
4 job. So why didn't he give it to one of these 21 other men who were --
5 who had more qualifications than you? Can you tell us that?
6 A. I don't know why he didn't give the job to somebody else. You
7 should ask him that question. But what I'm telling you is that none of
8 the other men either were qualified, and we just left that issue for
9 later. We thought we'd find a solution later.
10 Q. Well --
11 A. -- and we did, in fact.
12 Q. -- according to you, a solution wasn't found for some 15, 16
13 months, until October of 1992.
14 A. That's not correct.
15 Q. Well, sir, you testified -- as I understood your testimony
16 yesterday, in maybe March or April, Mr. Nikola Kukavica was appointed the
17 warden but he held it for a short time only, and that you then held the
18 position until October of 1992 when Mr. Nikola Ljubojevic was appointed.
19 So, in fact, you held the position until October 1992; right?
20 A. Well, I said that, but as I thought about it last night, it was
21 not actually in October. This Nikola Kukavica, he used to be warden of
22 the prison in Lepoglava, and that's true, from Croatia. And he was the
23 final solution. He had all that was necessary to be warden of a prison.
24 However, after a while, after, I don't know, several months or two
25 months, he left. I think he went to Serbia to join his daughter. It
1 doesn't matter. And then, by that time, I already had some experience,
2 and the minister asked me to be in that position again until we find a
3 different solution.
4 I'm sorry. Maybe at the end of the day, maybe the minister
5 believed that the prison was operating fine, and I really think its
6 functioning was excellent and that may have been the reason why he
7 appointed me. There was no other reason.
8 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you were put in charge of the prison,
9 instead of those 21 other men who had experience in prisons, precisely
10 because of your association with Milan Martic, whom you said yesterday you
11 knew very well - that's at page 27 - and because you had gone through the
12 training at Golubic? Isn't that why you were put in charge of that
14 A. No, that certainly isn't the reason.
15 Q. Well, how do you know that is certainly not the reason? When I
16 asked you before what the reason was, you said you didn't know and that I
17 would have to ask Mr. Matkovic. How do you know that is certainly not the
19 A. Because I told you yesterday that Mr. Matkovic had invited me for
20 a talk and I told him straight out that I'm not going to be warden, I had
21 no ambitions to be warden, and he was not actually forcing me. He was
22 just asking me to stay on until he found the proper person to fill that
23 position, somebody who had already worked in a prison. He just asked me
24 to stay on.
25 Q. And he wanted you to stay on because you were Milan Martic's man;
1 isn't that right, sir?
2 A. No, he did not insist. And when I suggested to him that we find a
3 warden -- if he had found another warden the next day, he would have
4 appointed him the next day. However, it took a while until he found
5 Nikola Kukavica.
6 Q. And, sir, it was because you were in charge of the prison, you
7 were the warden of the prison, that is why the SAO Krajina police could
8 come into that prison and beat and abuse prisoners there. Isn't that so?
9 Precisely because you were in charge.
10 A. Sir, I'm telling you again, nobody could enter the district prison
11 in Knin. What is that supposed to mean? I was there. There were lots of
12 people. I didn't know people from the police. Some people were employed
13 who had been dismissed from elsewhere in Croatia, professional policemen.
14 Who did I know there? Why? It doesn't make sense, I mean, what you're
15 saying, that people were coming in to go into the prison just because I
16 was there. It's beginning to be a little insulting.
17 Q. Sir, let's look at -- if we could look at page 12 -- at the same
18 document, page 12 of the document in English, and it's the next page in
20 And if we could zoom in on the top of the page where your name is,
21 and you talked about this yesterday, and it says here -- one thing that we
22 didn't talk about yesterday is, it says here that you have a total of
23 eight years of service. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And this document, just to be clear, this document -- the date of
1 this document is the 19th of May, 1993. So, in fact, you had at that time
2 -- the 19th of May, 1993, you had, at most, two years of service; isn't
3 that true? Not eight years.
4 A. Your Honours, years of service for the purpose of calculating a
5 salary are calculated, under our law, to include years spent in other
6 companies and enterprises. And I had already worked before in the bolts
7 and screws factory, and that is included. So if you go to serve on
8 another court, your years of service from here will also count.
9 Q. So when it says "eight years of service," that means -- that means
10 basically your working life, the number of years you've been working?
11 A. Yes. I found a job for the first time in 1985, and that makes
12 eight years, if the document is from 1993.
13 Q. Now, you testified that you were not -- I'm moving on to another
14 topic. You testified that you were not happy with Jovica Novakovic
15 because he did nothing to prevent or report maltreatment of prisoners by
16 two guards. Who were the two guards involved in that incident?
17 A. I cannot tell you that from memory. That happened in 1991. We
18 had all those documents in the archive, but right now, off the top of my
19 head, I cannot tell you the names of the guards. I know that disciplinary
20 proceedings were instituted against them, as in other cases that came
21 later, but I don't remember that. It was all duly put on record, but
22 those records remained behind, just as our houses, that they burnt down.
23 Q. Sir, I would suggest that that last part of your answer was not,
24 in any way, responsive to my question.
25 Now, you told Mr. Matkovic about this, right, that you wanted to
1 replace Mr. Novakovic for this reason, because of what you had discovered;
2 right? You reported that to Mr. Matkovic.
3 A. I was required to inform the minister. It was my duty.
4 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question. My question wasn't what you were
5 required to do or what your duty was to do. My question was what you, in
6 fact, did. Did you do it? Did you report it?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. And you found Mr. Tauz and you proposed Mr. Tauz to replace Mr.
9 Novakovic. And you told that to Mr. Matkovic; right?
10 A. No. I said to Mr. Matkovic earlier that I had heard of a man who
11 had worked in Zadar before, who was highly professional, who enjoyed
12 authority among his men, because there were some men who had worked with
13 him in Zadar where he was a sergeant. I only heard of that man. I didn't
14 know him. He lived in Zadar and I lived in Knin. And as soon as this
15 happened, I suggested to Mr. Matkovic to employ him as chief.
16 Q. And Mr. Matkovic knew that the reason you wanted to employ Mr.
17 Tauz as chief is because you needed to get rid of Mr. Novakovic for the
18 reasons that you had explained; that he was not enforcing the rules in the
19 prison; right? Mr. Matkovic knew all of that.
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Now, when Mr. Tauz came, he insisted, did he not, that there be
22 adequate documentation detailing the basis on which the prisoners were
23 sent to the prison; right? That's something he insisted on.
24 A. No. I remember something different. Maybe something similar
25 happened, but that's not -- that was not the issue. If you want me to, I
1 can continue.
2 Q. Well, if your answer is you don't remember him insisting on that,
3 then I will move on.
4 A. Well, whether he was able to or not, I don't know. I don't know
5 what his conditions were that he said -- laid down before the minister. I
6 don't know.
7 Q. Sir --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. When you say he insisted, are you meaning
9 that -- do you mean that these were the conditions precedent to him taking
10 on the job? Or having taken the job, he insisted on these things being
11 put in place?
12 MR. WHITING: The former, Your Honour, that he insisted -- that
13 this was a condition -- before accepting the job he insisted -- or as can
14 condition of accepting the job, adequate documentation detailing the
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 MR. WHITING:
18 Q. In fact, sir, there were civilians who were being taken and held
19 in that prison as war prisoners; isn't that true?
20 A. Sir, I was not interested in who was civilian or not. All I was
21 interested in was a decision of the competent court that somebody be
22 imprisoned. Whether they were civilians or not, I wasn't interested in
23 knowing. We admitted people only on the basis of court decisions.
24 Q. Well, I want to focus on -- you described yesterday how there were
25 different categories of prisoners and one category was war prisoners. And
1 you are aware that in the fall of 1991 there were civilians among those
2 war prisoners; right?
3 A. I'm not aware of that. I didn't want to know.
4 Q. You didn't want to know.
5 A. If the competent court or a competent institution issues a
6 decision to have somebody imprisoned, all I wanted was to have a decision
7 on what grounds we were to admit him into the prison. I was not
8 interested in anything else.
9 Q. Could we look at Exhibit 909, please.
10 MR. WHITING: I don't think that's it, 9 -- I'm sorry, I
11 misspoke. I meant to say "919". I'm sorry. I said "909" and I meant to
12 say "919".
13 Q. Sir, this is a list of prisoners, and I want to draw your
14 attention to number 204, Mijo Bacic. Do you see his date of birth is the
15 28th of January, 1920, which means that he was 71 years old on the date he
16 was arrested. Do you remember him, a 71-year-old man? You were the
17 warden of the prison. Do you remember him?
18 A. All right. I'm not doubting your words. I don't remember the
19 man, but I mean I don't have to remember one person in particular.
20 Q. So you don't remember this 71-year-old man?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, my English exhibit just disappeared and then
22 a specious one appeared.
23 MR. WHITING: Yes, if we could have the English on the English
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MR. WHITING: Oh, now it's ...
2 Q. Sir, maybe you don't remember this man by his name, but do you
3 remember men of that age, 70 years old, being held, being taken prisoner,
4 being brought to your prison as prisoners in October and November of
5 1991? Do you remember that?
6 A. I don't remember that specifically, but I'm not saying that he was
7 not brought to the prison. It's possible. If he's on the list, then it's
8 sure that he was there.
9 Q. Well, isn't that -- isn't that something that would kind of stand
10 out, some 70-year-old man being brought in and held as war prisoners?
11 Isn't that something you might have noticed?
12 A. I've already told you, he could have been one 120 years old. If
13 the municipal or district court issued a decision to imprison him, it
14 meant nothing to me that he was 70 years. You may have people imprisoned
15 in The Hague who are 70 or 80.
16 Q. Sir, so what you're telling us is that as long as somebody of
17 authority was doing something, you would turn a blind eye to it and you
18 would not make your own judgement about it? Is that what you're telling
19 us? As long as they had the proper documentation or the proper authority
20 to do something, it's not your business to get involved; right?
21 A. Well, let's take, for example, the district court issued a
22 decision, a verdict --
23 Q. Sir, sir --
24 A. -- to imprison that man, what was I supposed to do, come to the
25 district court and protest?
1 Q. Sir, we're going to get to that. But you're not answering my
2 question, you're giving me an example. My question was: As long as
3 somebody had the proper documentation or the proper authority to do
4 something, you decided it wasn't your business to get involved and you
5 would not get involved. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let's just look at -- there are a number of examples in this
8 document, but I do want to look at one more, which is at page 6 of the
9 English and page 3 of the B/C/S. It's number 236 on the list.
10 Do you see there number 236, Bozo Plazanic, born in 1905; 86 years
11 old, if my math is right. Do you remember him?
12 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I don't remember clearly the face of the man, but
13 I know, in that period, there were some elderly people and I know they
14 were released. And you can see that in the last column, where you see
15 "released" --
16 Q. That's correct. They were released six days later. They were
17 arrested on the 13th of November, 1991, and they were held for six days
18 and then they were released. Do you remember that man? Do you remember
19 that group of -- that man and the other elderly men that were held there?
20 A. It's possible that he was there. I don't doubt that he was
21 there. But he was eventually released and he wouldn't have been released
22 if we did not have the appropriate decision, because we did everything
23 according to decisions, as I told you.
24 Why he was put in prison in the first place, I don't know. Maybe
25 the security situation was bad in the territory where he lived. Maybe he
1 assisted somebody in something. One should have to look at the decision
2 why he was imprisoned. But we see here that he was released.
3 Q. Well, did you think that this 86-year-old man was a proper war
4 prisoner, was a combatant? Did you think that at the time? Bearing in
5 mind what you told us about the Territorial Defence men who were 50 years
6 old and their capabilities.
7 A. Sir, what was in my mind or wasn't in my mind did not matter to
8 anybody. What mattered was the decision of the appropriate institution.
9 Q. Sir, it matters to me, which is why I have put the question to
10 you. So if you could answer the question: Did you think that this
11 86-year-old man was a combatant?
12 A. I did not think about that and I cannot answer you now. I don't
13 know what to answer to your question, whether I thought about it. I
14 didn't. I had a thousand other things I had to do. I couldn't think of
15 whether he should be there or not.
16 Q. Sir, you were the warden of the prison.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. We'll move on. You testified that -- when you were talking about
19 discipline, you testified that the disciplinary options that were
20 available to you were reprimand, fine, suspension and dismissal, and that
21 as the warden you had the last word. Do you remember that testimony?
22 A. I remember, and that's what I said.
23 Q. So you decided, then, that even though Jovica or is it -- sorry.
24 I'm not sure. Is it Jovica or Jovan? Novakovic, Mr. Novakovic, even
25 though he had failed to report this abuse of prisoners and had done
1 nothing about it, it was your decision that he could stay on in the
2 prison, continue to be employed in the prison, and that he could even have
3 a supervisory role. That was your decision; right?
4 A. Sir, I said yesterday that the warden and the chief were appointed
5 by the minister, and the minister can also recall whoever he appoints. So
6 the warden could complain to the minister that the chief was not working
7 well, but he couldn't replace him. He could only complain to the
8 minister, and that's what I did.
9 Q. But, sir --
10 A. I could institute disciplinary proceedings against all other staff
11 members except the chief.
12 Q. But yesterday you told us that he was suspended, so there were
13 disciplinary proceedings against him. So my question is: Why wasn't he
14 dismissed? Why was he allowed to continue working in the prison? Why
15 wasn't he dismissed, sir?
16 A. He was suspended, but he was suspended by the minister. Why he
17 reinstated him, I can only assume. I can only assume that it was because
18 he was the only one with that rank, and we didn't want to remain without
19 the one person with that rank.
20 Q. Well, let's talk about --
21 A. Had we had five or six sergeants --
22 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I ask, what rank do you mean?
23 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sergeant.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Please go on.
1 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Let's talk about the rank, because yesterday you testified that he
3 could not be demoted in terms of his rank, and that rank was something
4 that was acquired in schooling, in school. Do you remember that
6 A. Yes, that was exactly the way it was.
7 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at Exhibit 906 again, please, and we need
8 to look at page 10 of the English and page 1 of the B/C/S. Could we have
9 page -- thank you.
10 I want to look, in particular, at number 3, Jovica Novakovic, a
11 man we have just been talking about. Let's look at what his schooling
12 was. He finished primary school in Vrhovine and secondary wood-processing
13 school, and then he went to a two-year college of wood processing in
14 Zagreb. His vocation is listed as a wood industry engineer. And he
15 finished three years of faculty of communications.
16 So can you explain to me, how is it that he obtained the rank of
17 sergeant from his schooling?
18 A. This was in Zagreb, as you can see. I don't know how he was
19 conferred that rank in Zagreb. He has a higher education degree and he
20 probably passed some specialistic exams for the title of supervisor. I
21 really don't know what else he may have completed. He just brought his
22 documents showing that he was this.
23 Q. Well, in fact -- and I'm going to -- if I can find my pile. If I
24 could just have a moment.
25 I need to look at two different documents at once, and so I am
1 going to pass out what's Exhibit 905 - keep this exhibit on the screen,
2 and pass out, by hard copy, with the assistance of the usher, 905.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters have a copy, please?
4 MR. WHITING: If the interpreters could be provided with copies.
5 There is no text, it is just names, actually, so it shouldn't be a
7 THE INTERPRETER: All right, then.
8 MR. WHITING: I'm fine.
9 Q. Now, this is a document that we were looking at -- I'm sorry, I
10 think you have an English version, but it is just the names and I don't
11 know if Defence counsel has a B/C/S version available to provide to the
12 witness. It's Exhibit 905. I think I failed to print a B/C/S version of
13 it. But it's just the names, really, that we're interested in.
14 This is a document we were looking at yesterday when you started
15 to talk about rank, because you said you were trying -- you were
16 explaining why Mr. Novakovic was still listed as a guard supervisor, and
17 you said, "Well, that's his rank --" I'm sorry.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, colleague. I
19 don't have this document, but this is -- right now, but this is the
20 document that we saw yesterday. Sorry for the interruption.
21 MR. WHITING: Yes, thank you. And I again apologise for not
22 having it, but we will try to make do. If the witness needs to see the
23 B/C/S version, we can put it on the screen.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks, Mr. Whiting.
25 MR. WHITING:
1 Q. Now, in fact, this doesn't refer to ranks, does it? It refers to
2 positions in the gaol. Guard supervisor is not a rank, it's a position.
3 A. Guard supervisor is a rank.
4 Q. I thought you told us that the rank was sergeant, that his rank
5 was sergeant. You just told us that a few moments ago.
6 A. Yes, sergeant. No, sorry, supervisor.
7 JUDGE HOEPFEL: No. Sorry, this was what you replied to me.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Supervisor is the rank. Perhaps I
9 confused it.
10 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I asked you that question, do you remember? What
11 was his rank? You answered "Sergeant." Try not to confuse us, please.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Sir, I --
14 A. I apologise, Your Honours. There are no sergeants. In prison the
15 term is supervisors of the guards. I may have made a mistake. I
17 Q. Sir, are you just -- sir, are you just making this up as you go
18 along? When you're shown a document, just responding like that?
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And why are you smiling in this way? Did I say
20 anything? Do you wish to say something with your smiling?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Please try to be serious.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. Your Honours, I
24 may have provoked some laughter because it was a slip of the tongue. I
25 was wrong when I said "sergeant."
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I was referring to your expression of your face,
2 not any others.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have this expression, a smiling
4 expression, when I am angry with myself, and I am angry with myself for
5 having made this mistake. It was my own mistake.
6 MR. WHITING:
7 Q. Sir, in fact, if you look at Exhibit 905, which is the list that
8 you have in front of you, according to Exhibit 906 that we have on the
9 screen, nearly all the men who are listed as guards have more schooling in
10 the area of prisons and many have more experience in the area of prisons
11 than Mr. Novakovic, and yet they are guards and he is a guard supervisor.
12 Can you explain that?
13 A. I can explain that, Mr. Prosecutor. Under the then valid law,
14 supervisor of the guards could be only a person with a higher educational
15 degree, which is to say at least two years of schooling after secondary
16 school. Persons with such a degree could take the exam for a guard's
17 supervisor. If you look at these other cases, they all only had completed
18 secondary schools.
19 Q. Well, here's the problem with that answer. Let's look at the
20 other men who are listed as guard supervisors. For example, Ilija Tauz,
21 and you can see his name on the screen there as number 2, and let's look
22 at his education. Finished primary school in Kistanje and secondary
23 school of administration in Zadar. No schooling after secondary school.
24 So what you just told us, that "only a person with a higher
25 educational degree, which is to say at least two years of schooling after
1 secondary school, could be a supervisor of the guards," that doesn't seem
2 to be true, does it?
3 A. Let me explain. Under serial numbers 1 and 2, Orlovic and Tauz,
4 these are people who had worked in Croatia, in prisons. So the practice
5 was, if one was just a few years away from retirement and was a good
6 professional, the possibility was allowed for persons with just secondary
7 education to be promoted by the minister to the rank of supervisor. That
8 possibility existed, and it was the practice in many areas of the former
9 Yugoslavia. But a younger person could not obtain that rank without
10 having the proper educational qualifications.
11 The two people that you referred to were already retired, and they
12 were retired in that rank. And as we needed such personnel, we didn't
13 make any problems.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, what is the age of retirement? What was the
15 age of retirement?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, they had privileged
17 years of pensionable service, so that theirs was an early retirement. And
18 this referred to the police and to prison staff, prison guards. They went
19 into retirement much earlier than people working in a factory, say. They
20 had privileged pensionable years of service, three or four months per
21 year, depending on the actual institution. So they would be retired
22 around the age of 45 or 50.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: And by the two people that you are referring, who
24 got their retirement on this list?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The two people under serial numbers
1 1 and 2 in the first group, Ilija Tauz and Jovo Orlovic.
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. Well, number 1 is not -- I'm sorry to interrupt you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm still marvelling at that. According to my
5 list, number 1 is not Jovo Orlovic. Ilija Tauz, yes, is number 2. But
6 number 1 is Nikola Ljubojevic.
7 MR. WHITING: I think he is referring to 905, the hard copy list.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon. I beg your pardon. Thank you.
9 MR. WHITING: Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
11 MR. WHITING: On 906, just for the benefit of the Court, Jovo
12 Orlovic is number 5.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you say -- when were they retired? What year
14 were they retired?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were retired, I'm not sure, I
16 believe in 1990. It was early retirement. Actually, some were retired
17 and some were expelled. Those who fulfilled the pension requirements were
18 pensioned off. I don't know. This happened in Croatian cities, in Zadar
19 and elsewhere. But they had these ranks, the ranks that are indicated --
20 the tiles that are indicated here.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You realise that in 1990, Orlovic was just 41, not
22 even 45 yet, and Tauz was even younger than that; he would have been 39.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but the Croats drove them out,
24 chucked them out. If circumstances had remained normal, they wouldn't
25 have been retired.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: So they did not retire because of this preferential
2 treatment of accumulating service time in the police force. They were
3 retired because they were chucked out. Which is which now? You have just
4 told us that the pension scheme in the police is different from in the
5 factories. You could accumulate days and months, three months in a year.
6 Now you are saying, "No, no, no, they were chucked out." Which is correct
7 between these two?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, according to what they told
9 me, they still needed to work for several years until retirement. But
10 being Serbs, they simply had to leave their positions in Croatian
11 prisons. Some were sent into early retirement; some others were simply
12 chucked out. A number of prison guards, for instance, were simply chucked
13 out from working in prisons in Croatian towns; in Zagreb, in Sibenik, in
14 Zadar and in other places.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will you please answer my question? Thank you for
16 that long speech. Answer my question, now.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I say, they were pensioners, but we
18 took them on because we were short of such personnel, to help us out. I'm
19 referring to these two persons. They were already pensioners, but we
20 asked them to come and work for us to help us out, because we did not have
21 professionals with their kind of knowledge. And they accepted to come and
22 work for us.
23 Is that what you asked me, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Once again, I ask you to please answer my question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please be so kind as to
1 repeat it? I thought that this was the question.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will you please be so kind as to listen when I ask
3 the question? My question to you is: You've told us that there were
4 preferential retirement schemes within the police force which is different
5 from the factory; hence people could retire early. Now you've also told
6 us that they retired early because they were chucked out from the Croatian
7 police force. I'm saying: Which of those two is true? That's my
8 question. Why do you give us two versions? And I'm saying, which one of
9 these two versions is true?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first version, that was the
11 rule, that was the law. That was the procedure under the law. The second
12 version refers to just these two men.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could you please answer my question.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have just answered.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have not. Which of these two versions is true?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both versions are true. Those who
17 were 39 or 40 --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have something better?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is what I am telling you all
20 the while. They still needed three or four or five years of service to be
21 retired. Had they -- they would have been 45 after such years had
22 expired. Had they been working in a factory, they would have had to work
23 for another eight or ten years or so, until sixty.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: We have gone past the time. Is that a convenient
1 MR. WHITING: It is, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will take a break, an adjournment. The case
3 will proceed tomorrow at quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon.
4 Court adjourned.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Friday, the 22nd day of
7 September, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.