1 Wednesday, 11 January 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. Good morning, Your Honours. This is
8 case number IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and
9 Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Mr. Jordash, I was informed that there was a matter you would
12 like to raise, and there was also a matter pending still from yesterday
13 which, perhaps, you could then raise after the issue.
14 MR. JORDASH: That was the matter. There is two matters I wish
15 to raise.
16 One was time estimates for the Simatovic witnesses.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. JORDASH: And the second was just to give Your Honours
19 information about our three remaining witnesses and their availability.
20 In relation to the Simatovic witnesses, we estimate for DFS-001
21 one and a half hours of examination. DFS-009, two hours. DFS-013, one
22 and a half hours. And DFS-017, two hours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that information.
24 MR. JORDASH: In relation to the -- our three outstanding
25 witnesses, DST-071 has indicated -- has indicated that he will not attend
1 without a subpoena. We'll file that subpoena application today. He said
2 he is most available in the second two weeks of January. DST-067, that's
3 Brown, has indicated that he's most available in the second two weeks of
4 February or March. And DST-061 has --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Most available is --
6 MR. JORDASH: Well, I should say for Mr. Brown he said he's not
7 available until the second two weeks of February.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We're now struggling with that for
9 availability to perform, job availability. Now, I do understand that, of
10 course, the -- that the Prosecution needs some time to prepare, but there
11 is a kind of a duty if you have committed yourself to become a witness or
12 an expert, and I've some concerns about this Court have to adapt its
13 schedule to when the witness is most available. I hope you understand.
14 I mean, Mr. Brown was not available to make an agreement or to talk with
15 the NFI people for quite some time.
16 And, I mean, this Chamber would like to proceed rather than to
17 hear where somewhere in the future someone is available or most
19 MR. JORDASH: I --
20 JUDGE ORIE: I just want to put this on the record, because as
21 matters stand now we'll have to -- we'll consider the matter and we'll
22 try to fit it all in into the Court schedule, but there comes a moment
23 where the Court says, That's the time when the witness is supposed to
25 MR. JORDASH: Yes, I appreciate that, Your Honour. All I would
1 say on Mr. Brown's behalf is that he's he -- he regularly attends Court
2 so has a number of competing court interests. But I accept and
3 understand what Your Honours are saying, and --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, if you please past that message.
5 Please proceed, Mr. -- I interrupted you, Mr. Jordash.
6 MR. JORDASH: DST-061 has indicated that -- he's indicated that
7 he's available at the end of March, which I know, again, is not going to
8 be terribly pleasing to the Court, but that's -- that's what he's
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's important that witnesses are available
11 before we deliver judgement.
12 MR. JORDASH: I would rather have these witnesses done and away.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see your point. It's not a personal
14 criticism to you, but it's a general comment on how matters are
15 developing and how matters are proceeding.
16 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for the information.
18 Then, Mr. Jordash, the Chamber was informed that although
19 Mr. Stanisic doesn't feel too well today that he, nevertheless, decided
20 that he -- that he'd rather be in court than to excuse himself.
21 Mr. Stanisic, if there is at any point in time any need to
22 suspend or to have a break, don't hesitate to ask us.
23 Yes, Mr. Groome.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I could just clarify some of the
25 discussion that we had yesterday with respect to the Simatovic expert.
1 We have not dealt directly with the Defence military expert,
2 although we did speak about the experts generally.
3 The Prosecution yesterday sent another e-mail to the
4 Simatovic Defence regarding DFS-020, the military expert. And this is
5 the third e-mail making the same request that we've been making since the
6 17th of November regarding documents and supporting materials. In
7 summary, the e-mail requests an English translation of the proposed
8 military report, which is 700 pages, so it's a very sizable document; the
9 complete compilation of the underlying source materials and the
10 translations; as well as if they are 65 ter exhibits or exhibits
11 introduced in the record of this case, that that be indicated so that we
12 can locate them. And we do note that this report contains over 1.600
13 footnotes in 700 pages. So it's a very sizable document. So that there
14 is not any undue delay, the Prosecution would appreciate a prompt
15 response to our request for these materials so that we can hopefully
16 avoid involving the Court itself in obtaining these materials and avoid
17 having to file another motion to compel this information.
18 Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
20 Mr. Petrovic, have you, and I'm really not referring to any
21 specific knowledge of the content, but 700 pages for a military report
22 seems to be rather large, which immediately raises the issue of relevance
23 of all the information contained in it, and it is 1.600 footnotes. Have
24 you considered that?
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, I'd
1 like to raise a number of issues.
2 We've been thinking about this very carefully. And if I have
3 understood this correctly, while waiting for the Chamber's -- we're
4 waiting for the Chamber's instructions with regard to this matter. The
5 last time we discussed the matter, I believe it was said that we would
6 receive instructions from the Chamber. Perhaps there's something that I
7 misunderstood, but I think that that is what was said. But even without
8 your instructions, without knowing your position, we've been thinking
9 about this carefully and we will come to a conclusion that should satisfy
10 you, Your Honours, and my colleagues from the Prosecution.
11 And the other thing that I wanted to say is that the expert
12 report was submitted for translation at the beginning of August of last
13 year. On a number of occasions we were promised that it would translated
14 by certain deadlines. The last deadline we were told about was the end
15 of last year. It wasn't translated by that time. We continue to make
16 requests for the translation to be completed, and the last time we asked
17 about when it would be completed it was said immediately after the end of
18 last year. We were told that two parts have been translated and another
19 two parts have been drafted. The translation will soon be completed.
20 And at some time in mid-January we were told we would have the
21 translation. As soon as we receive the translation, we will naturally
22 forward copies of the translation to our colleagues from the Prosecution.
23 JUDGE ORIE: As far as you're aware of, the underlying
24 documentation, is that available in English as well? Or what percentage
25 is available in English?
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a significant part is
2 available, but I couldn't provide you with any numbers without first
3 checking this. I could first check this and then with your leave I could
4 provide you with the relevant information in a few days' time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please do so.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Any other matter at this moment? If not, then could
8 witness DFS-014 be escorted into the courtroom.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Witness DFS-014. Please be seated.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to remind you that the solemn
13 declaration you gave at the beginning of your testimony in December of
14 last year is still binding, that is, that you'll speak the truth, the
15 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 Mr. Groome will now continue his cross-examination.
17 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: WITNESS DFS-014 [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Groome: [Continued]
21 MR. GROOME:
22 Q. DFS-014, where we left off yesterday, I had indicated that I
23 would like to discuss with you information that the State Security
24 Service had about you, and I think to do that safely it's probably best
25 that we go into private session.
1 MR. GROOME: So I'd ask that we do that now.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 15945-15959 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
4 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that P2673 be brought to the screen.
5 Q. While that's being done: During your direct evidence,
6 Mr. Petrovic showed you this document, P2673, and you said it was written
7 in the Ijkavian dialect of Serbo-Croatian, and not the Ekavian.
8 And for the purposes of ensuring an accurate record: "Ijkavian"
9 begins with Ij and Ekavian begins with the letter E.
10 Do you recall your evidence on this point?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. You gave evidence that the Ijkavian dialect is used in Croatia in
13 the Knin area. Do you recall that?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Where, according to your knowledge, is the Ekavian dialect used?
16 A. As far as I know, the Ekavian dialect is spoken in Serbia.
17 Q. Now, other witnesses have given evidence before this Tribunal
18 about the regional dialects. Is it your evidence that you can
19 distinguish between dialects used in written documents from the words
20 that are used, that an Ijkavian -- a person from an Ijkavian area would
21 use some words and a person from an Ekavian area would use other words?
22 Is that your evidence?
23 A. Again, I have a problem with interpretation. But when a person
24 arrives at a place where the Ekavian dialect is spoken, and if that
25 person uses it otherwise naturally, he or she would maintain his dialect.
1 Only after some time having spent a number of years in a different area
2 that person would be able and willing to switch to the other dialect.
3 Q. My question to you is, is that we all recognise it may sound
4 different, but from -- is it your evidence that actually different words
5 will be used?
6 A. People use different words. Two speakers of two different
7 dialects use their respective dialects and words but still they can
8 understand each other.
9 Q. If you were, you, yourself, were drafting a document that was
10 going to be read primarily by people who spoke Ekavian dialect, would you
11 be able to write it in such a way that it would be in their --
12 recognisable in their dialect?
13 A. If I were writing a document, I'd write it in my language, in my
14 dialect. However, if I am taking notes on dictation from someone else, I
15 would use the dialect of the person who is supposed to sign the document.
16 That was the rule of the service.
17 Q. Could I ask that you now, with the help of the usher, take a pen,
18 and can you mark the words in this document that you indicated it
19 identified to you as being written by a person of Ijkavian dialect?
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems to me that
21 there was another misinterpretation. Mr. Groome is asking for the
22 witness to mark the Ekavian words, whereas the witness received
23 interpretation to the effect that he should mark the Ijkavian words.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, could you --
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- take care that there's no confusion.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. I want you to mark -- before you make any mark on the document,
4 let's confirm that you understand the instruction. I'm asking you to
5 mark the words of the -- on this document that you recognise as being
6 used in the Ijkavian dialect, the language spoken in Croatia and Knin.
7 Okay? That it's different than spoken in Serbia.
8 Do you understand my instruction to you?
9 A. I understand now.
10 Q. So please underline each of those words that you recognised.
11 A. I understand.
12 I can't mark the right words. The pen is imprecise. I was
13 trying to underline the word "smjestaj" in the third line from the
14 bottom, but I'm unable to.
15 Q. If you do your best, and I will ask you to say each word
16 afterwards so that we are sure that we have an accurate record of your
18 A. I'm done.
19 Q. Now, you've underlined eight different words. To ensure that we
20 have an accurate record of your evidence, can I ask you to do the
21 following: Can you go through each word, mention the word as written,
22 the word that you've underlined, and then tell us what would be the
23 Ekavian equivalent, the word you would expect to see had it been written
24 from someone from Serbia. So can you do the first one?
25 A. The first word is "odjeljenje." In the Ekavian dialect, it would
1 be "odeljenje," without the first J. The second word is "slijedecem."
2 In the Ekavian dialect, the I and J would be missing. The third word:
3 "uspjesno." In the Ekavian dialect, the J would be missing; it would be
4 "uspesno." Then the next: "dijelu." In the Ekavian it would be "delu."
5 "Smjestaj" in the Ekavian would be without the J. Next we have the
6 "odjeljenje" again. The seventh word again is "smjestaj," whereas in the
7 Ekavian the J would be missing. Next: "obezbjedjenje." In the Ekavian,
8 the first J would be missing.
9 I think we have a total of eight.
10 Q. Am I correct in understanding that the primary difference is that
11 in eight words there is a J included for the he Ijkavian dialect that
12 would not be found in the equivalent word in the Ekavian dialect; is that
14 A. That's correct.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I ask that the screenshot be
16 saved as an exhibit.
17 MR. JORDASH: I'm not sure of the relevance of this. Could we
18 have an explanation, please?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Relevance of the evidence. Perhaps the witness
20 takes off his earphones.
21 Could you please take off your earphones.
22 I understand that you're testing the solidity of the conclusions
23 drawn by the witness on the basis of this written text.
24 MR. GROOME: A little bit different than that, Your Honour.
25 If -- we can't scroll down now because we'd lose the markings, but it's
1 signed by FS, and it's the Prosecution's case that it's Mr. Simatovic's
2 signature. My understanding of what Mr. Petrovic was doing when he was
3 saying that this was a different dialect than Mr. Simatovic, I imagine
4 that he's going to argue that it's not probable that it's Mr. Simatovic's
5 signature because it was written in the Ijkavian dialect. So I'm just
6 exploring this with the witness so that the Chamber has all the
7 information it needs to make the determination it will have to make.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
9 Madam Registrar, could you assign a number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document P2673, marked by the witness, will
11 receive Exhibit P3060, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Now, DFS-014, I want to move to a completely different topic.
16 It's your evidence that you don't know who Arkan reported to; is that
18 A. Yes. But what reports do you have in mind?
19 Q. I don't mean physical reports. I mean who he was subordinated
20 to, who his superior in whatever command structure he was involved in.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise for
23 intervening, but I really think that the question ought to be clear. We
24 listened to what the witness was saying yesterday and who he was
25 subordinated to during a certain period of time. We heard about what the
1 witness knew, what he didn't know. What does Mr. Groome have in mind?
2 Reported to whom, when, where?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'll withdraw the question because it's
5 going to distract us from the real inquiry I want to make at this point.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Sir, I would like you to explain one of your answers that you
9 have at T15813. Your answer was a bit unresponsive to the question, so I
10 will simply read your answer:
11 "According to the Vance-Owen Plan, the Krajina was not supposed
12 to have an army, so many soldiers changed and were renamed into the
13 special units of the police."
14 Do you recall giving that evidence?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. Now, the Chamber has heard other evidence that this involved
17 changing the colour of vehicles, changing uniforms from military --
18 colours usually identified as military to the colour blue, usually
19 identified with the police. Is that part of what you're referring to
21 A. Yes, that's correct. We're talking about the period 1992,
22 June 1992.
23 Q. Now, this was an attempt to deceive international observers by
24 changing the appearance of personnel so that they appeared as if they
25 were police personnel; correct?
1 A. Well, I don't know what the political decision was taken by
2 President Martic and the Government of the SAO Krajina. But I do know
3 that those forces from the JNA that were withdrawing at the time gave
4 rise to a new structure. There were new police units, and these police
5 units were our only defence against the Croatian forces at the time. I
6 don't know whether this was a matter of bypassing a planning or not. I
7 wasn't responsible for implementing the Vance-Owen Plan and so on and so
8 forth. I don't know what the intention was. But I do know that those
9 forces protected all of us who lived in Krajina at the time.
10 Q. And you've given some evidence about the special units of the
11 police, the PJP. Was that police unit also one of the police units that
12 incorporated military personnel into its ranks after the Vance-Owen Plan?
13 A. I am saying that there were these PJP units. They were part of
14 the Ministry of the Interior at the time, but in fact they took over from
15 the JNA. They were in fact local people from the area. They were
16 reservists or active duty members of the JNA. As the JNA was leaving,
17 the same people put on different uniforms, were transferred to the
18 Ministry of the Interior, and they were then members of the special
19 police units. And they were different from the police units of the
20 regular kind. And their responsibility was to keep the peace and
21 investigate crime. They were responsible for protecting the borders of
23 Q. The specific question that I'm seeking your answer on is: To
24 your knowledge, was the PJP in part comprised of personnel that had
25 formerly been military personnel prior to the Vance-Owen Plan?
1 A. Yes. To an extent they were part of the army of the JNA.
2 Q. Now, in December, at T15815, in reference to Arkan's arrival, you
3 said that it was celebrated because "he introduced order."
4 Do you recall giving that answer? "Yes" or "no" will do.
5 A. Yes. And I stand by that claim to this very day. And that is my
7 Q. So is it your evidence that Arkan, at least in part, fulfilled a
8 police function as well as whatever military activities he may have been
9 involved in?
10 A. Yes. His task was to organise checkpoints around Benkovac and
11 Obrovac so that the local inhabitants and the local troops wouldn't move
12 out. Because there was panic in 1993. And in my opinion and in the
13 opinion of everyone else he carried out this task together with his unit
14 very well.
15 Q. Now I would like to focus on some more information regarding
16 Captain Dragan.
17 At T15818, you said that Captain Dragan wanted to have more and
18 more camps like Alfa. Do you recall giving that evidence?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, transcript of this case?
20 MR. GROOME: Oh, I apologise, Your Honours. Yes, in this case.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But then the number seems to be wrong. It is 15818
22 you were referring to?
23 MR. GROOME: That's correct, Your Honour.
24 Q. Do you recall your evidence about Captain Dragan wanting to
25 establish more camps?
2 A. Yes, I remember that. I know that he wanted to open up more
3 camps but --
4 Q. My question to you is: How did you know that? Is that something
5 Captain Dragan told you himself, or did you learn that from other
7 A. Well, I heard about this from him. He said that he had set up a
8 camp and that it was his intention to establish other training camps.
10 even the one that he established was a camp that he soon left, and that
11 was the end of the role he was playing.
12 Q. And did he tell you where he wanted to set up these camps; simply
13 in the Krajina, or in other areas of the former Yugoslavia as well?
14 A. As far as I can remember, he was to do this in the area of
15 Krajina. And this concerned recruits who were in the entire Krajina
17 Q. Now, I'd like to return to the topic yesterday with respect to
18 co-ordination between the SVK and Captain Dragan in 1993. At page 46 of
19 yesterday's transcript, you provided the following evidence in response
20 to questions from the Stanisic Defence:
21 "Q. So is this right, you learnt that the military, the
22 army, was sending recruits to Captain Dragan; Is that correct or not?
23 "A. --"
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. I'm going to you read you the whole passage.
1 "A. That's correct. That's true.
2 "Q. How do you know that? Who told you that?
3 "A. I know that because some of the officers of the Serbian
4 army, of the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, were deployed in
5 Captain Dragan's camp. What they tried to do was to set up a brigade.
6 "Vojvoda," "duke," which [sic] would have been under the command ..."
7 Do you recall giving that evidence yesterday?
8 A. I do.
9 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that 65 ter 6343 be shown to the
11 MR. JORDASH: Sorry, may we take a break, Your Honour?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Mr. Groome, quarter past 10.00.
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, I'll --
15 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break. And we resume at quarter to 11.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, are you ready to proceed?
19 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
21 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that 65 ter 6343 be brought to the
23 Q. Sir, this is a report of the SVK Main Staff security intelligence
24 organ, dated the 24th of February, 1993, which was sent to the attention
25 of the RSK Main Staff forward command post.
1 The first sentence in this report states:
2 "We have information that some soldiers are leaving the first
3 combat lines on their own initiative, that is, without the approval of
4 their superior commands, and are going to Captain Dragan's training
5 centre in Bruska."
6 In light of this information, do you still maintain that the SVK
7 command deployed or sent their recruits to Captain Dragan for training at
8 the Alfa centre?
9 A. Yes, I stand by what I claimed. And in relation to this
10 document, I can say that the training centre for recruits took over that
11 role at a subsequent date, the role of training recruits. Initially, it
12 was a training centre. That's what Captain Dragan called it. A training
13 centre for the troops, not just recruits. So what happened, it's true.
14 What the report says, it's true. Certain combatants went to see
15 Captain Dragan because he was a character in their eyes, someone who was
16 capable of organising units and someone who was capable of leading these
17 combat operations better than officers. And he showed his capacities in
19 And since certain phenomena had been noted, well, this was a
20 month from the aggression on the Republic of the Serbian Krajina in 1993,
21 and this is why later a decision was taken according to which individual
22 soldiers from the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina could go over
23 to Captain Dragan but with the authorisation of the command that they
24 were leaving. This had to be done on the basis of an agreement.
25 Q. Sir, it appears from your answer that you agree. That at least
1 at the time of this report in February 1993 there was a problem that
2 soldiers were deserting their positions on the front line and going
3 without a proper authorisation to Captain Dragan's training centre. Do
4 you agree with that?
5 A. No, I don't agree with the statement concerning desertion.
6 Desertion means leaving or abandoning one's combat positions. This is
7 not a matter of deserting. It's the matter -- it's a matter of leaving
8 one formation and entering another one.
9 Q. Sir, your answer just said: "Desertion means leaving or
10 abandoning one's combat positions."
11 And, again, the first line says:
12 "Some soldiers are leaving the first combat lines on their own
14 Is that not, in fact, desertion even by your definition of the
16 A. Well, if you leave the command of one unit and are placed under
17 the authority of another unit, and if the other unit is also an active
18 participant in combat, well, then, it's not a matter of desertion. You
19 could say that individual combatants left the front lines responsible for
20 the protection of certain units, but they became part of other units
21 engaged in combat action. So whether they were in this unit or that
22 unit, what one can say is that they participated in combat as per
23 establishment at the time of the engagement of the unit in question.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution would tender
25 65 ter 6343.
1 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of any objections, Madam Registrar,
2 the number would be ...
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 6343 will receive number P3061,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
6 Witness DFS-014, could you assist us in the last line of the
7 first linear of this letter. We see a reference to the OB. Are you
8 familiar with that abbreviation? Do you know what it stands for? You
9 see that it says that only after the intervention of OB and command, the
10 transport with the complete crew was -- or at least the transport was
11 returned to the unit.
12 Could you tell us what OB stands for?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the intervention of the
14 security squad or the operative squad. I think it was the security squad
15 or the other one, that it seems to be a matter of the brigade security
16 squad. The 92nd Benkovac one must be what they have in mind.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you think it is
19 appropriate, perhaps I could be of assistance in relation to this
20 acronym. If not ...
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm looking at the other parties because it's
22 usually not counsel gives evidence. But if you could assist us in
23 understanding what the acronym stands for, then I take it that there's no
25 MR. GROOME: I have no objection since the witness has already
1 given his evidence about what he thinks it is.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Mr. Petrovic.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it is the
5 security organ that it stands for. OB, I believe, stands for the
6 "security organ."
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I take it that in the original language it is
8 two words, the one starting with an O, the other one with a B.
9 Let's proceed.
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. DFS-014, you've made several references to Captain Dragan
12 somewhat unexpectedly disappearing from the Alfa Training Centre. Am I
13 correct that he was there for approximately six months after he arrived
14 and then he disappeared, as you characterised it?
15 A. I can't say that I remember exactly how long he was there for. I
16 only remember his arrival and a very prominent event at the time. As I
17 have already said, Bogunovic, the brigade commander, was killed. And so
18 for a certain period of time this position was vacant. And I remember
19 that Captain Dragan wanted to become the commander of the brigade of the
20 Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and he had the support of
21 certain soldiers whom he knew. But Colonel Dilas didn't allow this to
22 happen, and he was prevented from becoming the head of that brigade, so
23 he then left Krajina. And as I have already said, the camp was part of
24 the 7th Corps under the command of the Colonel Dilas. So I don't know
25 whether it was after six month or after five months, but he did disappear
1 and left Krajina.
2 Q. Sir, are you aware that the Alfa Training Centre in Bruska was
3 not placed under the command of the Army of Republic of Serb Krajina
4 until the 25th of June, 1993? Are you aware of that fact?
5 A. No, I am not aware of that.
6 MR. GROOME: And just for the Chamber's benefit, that was a
7 reference to D71, an exhibit introduced by the Defence.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. For my next series of questions I think that it is best that we
10 go into private session to ensure that we do not compromise your
11 identity. And if I could that we do that now. And I will conclude my
12 examination after these next few questions.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
14 [Private session]
11 Page 15975 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
7 Any need for further questions?
8 Mr. Jordash.
9 MR. JORDASH: Yes, please.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You'll be now further cross-examined by Mr. Jordash.
11 MR. JORDASH: May I, before I begin, Your Honour, just to clarify
12 with the Prosecution a certain issue.
13 I have a document which I was going to use to establish a certain
14 fact about the Alfa training camp, but I don't need to use it if the
15 Prosecution confirm something which they appeared to suggest a moment
16 ago, which is that they accept that the Alfa Training Centre was under
17 the command of the Army of the RSK at least from the 25th of June, 1993.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would need some time to review all of
19 the evidence on the point. I'm not prepared off the top of my head to
20 make a binding agreement on a fact. I'd ask to take a look at the
21 document. I'm not even sure what document Mr. Jordash is referring to.
22 MR. JORDASH: Well, it's more that Mr. Groome put to the witness:
23 "Are you aware that the Alfa Training Centre was placed under the
24 command of the Army of the RSK by 25th of June, 1993?"
25 Which seemed like a positive assertion to me. But if --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, D71 says that the 107th training centre for
2 reconnaissance and sabotage activity with a postcode in peacetime at the
3 Main Staff of the SVK command was established by the order of the SVK
4 commander, which of course leaves open what was the situation before
5 that, whether there was no Alfa training camp or whether it was under a
6 different authority.
7 So I think the best thing would be, Mr. Jordash, that you present
8 the evidence you would like to present and ask questions to the witness.
9 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes.
10 Could I have then --
11 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Jordash:
12 MR. JORDASH:
13 Q. I just want you, Mr. Witness, to have a look at a document and
14 see if you can comment on it.
15 MR. JORDASH: 1D05292, please.
16 Q. If you just take a moment to read that page and then read the
17 second page so that you've got a full picture of what it says.
18 A. I read it.
19 Q. And let's have a look at the next page so you've got the full
21 A. I've read it.
22 MR. JORDASH: And can we go to the second page, please, of the
23 B/C/S and also the English. Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read this, too.
25 MR. JORDASH:
1 Q. Do you recognise the stamp that we see on the screen?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. And it's the stamp of the Army of the Serbian Republic of
4 Krajina; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 MR. JORDASH: May I tender this document, please.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I just have a moment to formulate
8 a view? I'm just trying to get some more information about the document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then let's then mark it for identification at
10 this very moment.
11 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D5292 will receive number P --
14 D618 [Realtime transcript read in error "168"], Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Jordash.
17 MR. JORDASH: Thank you. May we go into private session, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 15979-15980 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
2 MR. JORDASH: -- page 10 of the English and 8 of the B/C/S.
3 Q. And it's -- if you go to line 18, Mr. Witness, and read from the
4 words "from 12th of October, 1991," down to the words "Second
6 Sorry, it's line 11 for you down to line 16.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, shouldn't the witness have the benefit
8 of knowing what this is and who it is that's speaking?
9 MR. JORDASH: Well, to be honest, I thought it was fairer to the
10 witness, so I didn't lead him and could -- to leave it as open as
11 possible so the witness could say one way or another without
12 understanding who said it. But I'm in Your Honours' hands. If the
13 Prosecution thinks it's fairer, then I'm happy to do that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: To start with, you can put your question as you did,
15 Mr. Jordash.
16 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
17 Q. Have you read that, Mr. Witness?
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. Now, it's the Prosecution case, as I understand it, that that
20 paragraph reflects the truth; that the Serbian DB had both a unit command
21 and an intelligence team from the Second Administration who were
22 effectively co-ordinating 5.000 soldiers in battles in those locations.
23 Would you have known if that was the case? Would you have expected to
24 hear about that, whether formally or informally, from the position you
25 were in in 1991 and 1992?
1 A. Well, whether I should have known, it's something I'm not certain
2 of in 1991. But in 1991 and 1992 I took part in combat and was later at
3 the location I specified. And in such positions I probably would have
4 heard of some such statements as this one, and I may have been in a
5 position to know some details, but I didn't. I am unaware of what is
6 referred to in the document.
7 Q. The reality is, isn't it, Mr. Witness, that if there'd been a
8 unit command operated by the Serbian DB co-ordinating battles in Benkovac
9 in 1992 you surely would have known about it or heard something about it,
11 A. During the time I wasn't there, I probably would have learned
12 something about it from the stories that went around, but I never heard
13 that someone from the Serbian DB co-ordinated some activities or clashes
14 in the area of Benkovac.
15 Q. Let's just move on to one other aspect and then I'll be able to
16 finish my questioning.
17 MR. JORDASH: Could we go to page 11 of the English and 8 -- and
18 stay at 8 of the B/C/S. And I'm looking for where it -- where the text
19 discusses 26 training camps for special police units.
20 Q. And I think it's at line 25 for you down to line 30.
21 A. I've read it.
22 Q. Am I correct that Obrovac and Gracac and Benkovac are three
23 locations very close to each, other within several kilometres; is that
25 A. They are close. Perhaps not by a few kilometres but a few dozen
2 Q. It's the Prosecution case that the Serbian DB set up, organised,
3 supplied, had instructors positioned within camps, training camps in
4 Obrovac, Gracac, Benkovac, would you have expected to know about that or
5 hear something about that or see something about that?
6 A. If I were to comment on this statement starting from line 25, I
7 could say the following: As far as I know, I knew of the training centre
8 in Golubic. When they refer to Dinara, which is a mountain, it's
9 something I don't know what they have in mind exactly. It's uninhabited
10 and there had been a tank firing range before there, the so-called
11 "crvena zemlja [phoen]," but there were no facilities there or anything
12 else. There was nothing in Obrovac either as far as I know because I
13 visited it later on in 1993, 1994, and 1995. There was no training
14 centre there.
15 As for Gracac, as far as I know from conversations with the
16 police personnel in Gracac, there was nothing there. As for Benkovac, I
17 know for sure that there was no centre. When I was there I would have
18 been aware of such a centre, but it wasn't there when I was there.
19 Unless we are discussing Bruska. There was no other training centre for
20 the police.
21 Q. That's fine. Thank you very much for your very complete answer.
22 A. I can't say anything about the rest of the area. I'm not
23 familiar with Plitvice, Samarice, or let alone Banja Luka and
24 Republika Srpska. There's nothing I can say about that.
25 Q. That's fine. Thank you, Mr. Witness.
1 MR. JORDASH: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, any further questions for the witness?
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, before Mr. Petrovic --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. GROOME: -- asks his questions, I had asked for a moment to
6 do a -- consider a view on D168 [sic]. The Prosecution has no objection
7 to the admission of that document.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then D168 [sic] is admitted into evidence.
9 Mr. Petrovic.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry for standing up again, but I was referring
12 to the transcript. Apparently, we believe, the transcript incorrectly
13 recorded the exhibit, but it's the last exhibit that Mr. Jordash sought
14 to tender. I'll leave myself in the hands of the Court Officer to
15 identify the correct exhibit.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That was the shooting, the shooting exhibit.
17 MR. GROOME: It's the document that was marked for identification
18 pending --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And it was the exhibit that contained the
20 stamp. And as you asked, Mr. Jordash, "Is this the stamp of the Army of
21 the Serbian Republic of the Krajina?" But it even is more detailed
22 because the stamp itself refers to the Alfa Training Centre as apparently
23 a part of that army.
24 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Then, Madam Registrar, that was -- the last one was D168? It was
2 marked for identification. I have to check that.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It's D618, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: 618, yes. 168 seemed to me to be a very low number.
5 D618 is admitted into evidence.
6 Mr. Petrovic.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Petrovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Witness. First I would like to put
10 some questions to you about what we have heard today.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 2D270,
12 item 2. 2D270.2.
13 Q. Witness, this is a report from the command of the 7th Corps of
14 the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. It's dated the
15 2nd of March, 1993. Please have a look at the fourth paragraph.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] And for the benefit of the
17 Chamber, could you please display the translation 2D270, and it's the
18 very same document. If we could show both versions at the same time. We
19 do have the translation. It was uploaded -- a copy from the book was
20 uploaded and then we received a copy from the Republic of Croatia -- or,
21 rather, we received the original documents from the Republic of Croatia
22 at a somewhat later date.
23 Your Honours, it's the last paragraph on the page that you can
24 now see on your screens. It's a report from the 7th Corps command. And
25 it says that the intervention platoon, the Lisica Group, went to carry
1 out a combat task of reconnaissance under the command of Captain Dragan
2 in the Biljane Donje and Skabrnja.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, does this show that Captain Dragan received orders from
5 the command of the 7th Corps? And you in fact testified to that effect
6 before this Court.
7 A. You can see from this document that Captain Dragan received
8 orders from the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and this report
9 from the command of the 7th Corps that is addressed to all the units
10 involved in combat in the area of Benkovac -- well, you can see that they
11 were sent this report so they could be informed. This shows that he
12 received orders from the command of the Army of the Serbian Krajina,
13 whether it was the command in Benkovac which was a temporary command at a
14 forward command post but was in fact the command of the 7th Corps of the
15 Serbian army of Krajina, well.
16 Q. Witness, in the same paragraph it continues and says:
17 "The Alfa Training Centre from where this reconnaissance group is
18 carrying out its tasks according to plan," how do you take this? What --
19 whose plan do they have in mind?
20 A. It probably means the plan of the Alfa Training Centre. It's
21 probably the plan that they draft and is then authorised by the high
22 command so that the plan could be carried out. So it was for the high
23 command, the command of the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, to
24 provide authorisation.
25 Q. [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Petrovic.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. For the sake of the transcript: Witness, which command is the
5 one that would authorise the plans of the Alfa Training Centre?
6 A. Well, it was certainly the 7th Corps of the Army of the Republic
7 of Serbian Krajina.
8 Q. Witness, thank you.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document be tendered
10 into evidence on behalf of the Defence, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, first of all it should be clarified,
12 because there are three documents apparently, and you told us that apart
13 from the version in the book that there was now a translation available;
14 although, it seems that the English version you've shown to us is now
15 still from the book, isn't it? Because the translation refers to
16 footnotes, for example.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour. This
18 is the problem that we have encountered on a number of occasions. It's
19 identical, but the layout of the text is somewhat different. But the
20 essence, the substance of the report has been correctly translated and
21 corresponds to what we can see in the original.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and has been translated by whom?
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] CLSS, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I invite the parties to agree on the
25 accuracy of the substance and that we ignore whatever is there which does
1 not reflect the English translation of the document alone, and ignore any
2 reference to or any text which is taken from the book rather than from
3 the document itself. Yes.
4 Madam Registrar, would you then know what document to use?
5 Or ...
6 THE REGISTRAR: I would like now have a clarification if the
7 tendered document is 2D270.2 or 2D270.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The original is 2D270.2 and the
9 translation is 2D270.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ORIE: I invite you, Mr. Petrovic, to consult with
12 Madam Registrar during the next break and then we'll put the matter on
13 the record once it is clear.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just to remind the Chamber about its
15 original ruling with response -- in regards this reoccurring problem. It
16 is the Prosecution's understanding that they would be -- all these
17 documents would be MFI'd when the translations are verified.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the translation is
19 correct. We have checked it. As I have said, it's just the layout that
20 is at stake. We have footnotes, for example, that state who is who. We
21 could neglect this or we could -- we don't want to create more problems,
22 more confusion. But the translation of the text is adequate and it has
23 been professionally done. We could go into other details and examine the
24 matter, but we would be wasting resources unnecessarily if we did so, I
1 JUDGE ORIE: The original document, which is 2D270.2, is that --
2 Madam Registrar, is that sufficient?
3 THE REGISTRAR: No, may I just clarify for everyone what the
4 problem is. We have two documents, one is 2D20 -- 2D270, which has
5 English and B/C/S version, and the other one is 2D270.2, which has just
6 the correct B/C/S version.
7 From the Registry point we can assign a number only to one
8 document, one quoted document, not to two of them. Or we can assign
9 separate numbers. So if the party can compile one document with a number
10 to be assigned to it, then we can assign number.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please -- would you please do so.
12 Apparently for Madam Registrar now the major problem is not the
13 translation itself but that the translation contains also a different
14 B/C/S version. Is that ... because there are two documents, both an
15 original, and we are not going to spend further time on this in court.
16 Please consult with Madam Registrar during the break and then we'll
17 finally assign a number and decide on admission.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. Thank
19 you. We have the same situation with the following document that I will
20 show the witness.
21 Could we please show the following document: 2D273.2. And the
22 translation, the English version of the document: 2D273.
23 Q. Witness, please have a look at the document.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please scroll down in the
25 Serbian text.
1 Q. And please, witness, have a look at item number 2.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could you scroll down a little bit
3 more -- or, in fact, could we see the second page in the B/C/S version.
4 I believe that we have a different document in the B/C/S version.
5 2D273.2, the second page. In the English we have the right part.
6 And could the Chamber please have a look at the second paragraph
7 in item 2.
8 Q. Witness, please have a look at the first paragraph that you have
9 in front of you.
10 Witness, have you had a look at it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What you can see here, would you say that it corresponds to your
13 testimony according to which the Alfa Training Centre reported to the
14 corps command on the training that was being provided there?
15 A. Well, that's what this seems to show.
16 Q. [Microphone not activated]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Microphone not activated]
19 THE INTERPRETER: The beginning of counsel's question was missed.
20 Could counsel please repeat the question with the microphone on.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your question with the
22 microphone on.
23 And then also, Mr. Petrovic, to ask, "Does this document show
24 this and this and this?" is all rather vague. Could you please focus on
25 the text of these kind of documents and ask exactly what justifies the
1 kind of conclusions you are ...
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. Yes.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Witness, it says training in the Alfa camp is settling into a
6 routine even though there have been problems with materiel provisions.
7 Strict military disciplinary measures are being implemented, and all
8 those who fail to adhere to them are being dismissed from the training
10 My question is as follows: Does what is stated in the document
11 correspond with the information you have in relation to the corps command
12 and the training centre?
13 A. This portrays the situation that I have already described or such
14 as I have already described it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Does what is stated in the document correspond to
16 the information you have according to the corps command and the training
17 centre. I mean, Mr. Petrovic, could you be more precise. What does it
18 then, as you --
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the translation, the
20 interpretation, is not correct. I asked whether this corresponded with
21 the information the witness has on the relations between the centre and
22 the corps command, or does he have information of a different kind.
23 JUDGE ORIE: What it says here in this document is that the
24 training in the Alfa center is slowly settling into a routine even though
25 there have been problems with material provisions. "Strict military
1 disciplinary measures are being implemented and all those who fail to
2 adhere to them are being dismissed from the training centre."
3 What does that say at all apart from that it describes a
4 situation in a training centre?
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
6 JUDGE ORIE: If you want to seek this document to support or
7 confirm what the witness knows about a relation, then it should be clear,
8 first of all, what the witness tells us exactly about that relation; and
9 then second, to what extent the text of this document provides support.
10 And the questions are so general that I have difficulties in establishing
11 what you, apparently, seek to establish on the basis of the testimony of
12 the witness and this document. Could you please keep that in mind.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Witness, we are talking about information to subordinate units
15 provided by the 7th Corps command. And in this information, or the
16 report, information is provided according to which what certain units or
17 institutions do under the corps command, and their activities on the
18 13th of May, 1993, are also described.
19 Witness, does the document clearly show what you have testified
20 about; namely, that the Alfa Training Centre as part of the ARSK was
21 under the command of the 7th Corps of the ARSK?
22 A. Yes. And the report was provided to the units that was under
23 this command. The report won't be sent to someone else. If you don't
24 send a report to the high command -- well, they would compile a
25 collective report for the entire 7th Corps command and then they would
1 send it to the other units so that all the other units could be familiar
2 with the situation. In other units they would describe the situation
3 such as it was in the entire corps. And all the units from the corps
4 were to be informed of that situation.
5 Q. [Microphone not activated]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Microphone not activated]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document also be
10 admitted into evidence. But I believe that we have to agree on this with
11 the Registry as was the case with the previous document.
12 JUDGE ORIE: What I'll do, I'll ask Madam Registrar to reserve a
13 number for the previous document and this one so once the issue with the
14 various B/C/S and English versions has been resolved that at least we
15 have reserved numbers for them.
16 The previous one would be, Madam Registrar ...
17 THE REGISTRAR: The first document 2D270.2, or not, will receive
18 number D619, reserved. And document 2D273.2, or not, will receive number
19 D2 -- D620 reserved, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
21 Could the witness take off his earphones for a second.
22 Mr. Petrovic, I'll explain to you what my problem is.
23 Paragraph 2 of this document describes in the first part what happened
24 during fighting, units of the Serbian army had no dead or wounded
25 soldiers, and then at a certain moment it says:
1 "The training in the Alfa Training Centre is slowly settling into
2 a routine ..."
3 So then it continues with the training centre.
4 Now, the core issue is whether that means that the Alfa Training
5 Centre was -- one of the unit was subordinated; or whether, after having
6 described what our units have done, that it then described what the Alfa
7 Training Centre does or does not. That's the issue.
8 Now, what you do is you put to the witness, "Doesn't it clearly
9 show this and this and this?" Now, whatever the witness says, it needs a
10 careful analysis of the text to understand whether this is a conclusion
11 you could draw from this document. And it is of no use to go over it by
12 a quick question and a quick answer. Reading it, two interpretations are
14 Now, of course, the issue then is: What would be the reason to
15 adopt the one interpretation and what would be good reasons to adopt the
16 other interpretation? The one is "our units, including the Alfa centre
17 as a training centre for our units." The other one is "our units and,
18 apart from that, the alfa centre." Now, that's the issue which the
19 Chamber has to consider.
20 Again, to ask a witness and say, "Doesn't it show clearly that
21 one," the witness says yes or the witness says no -- what we need is good
22 reasons to adopt either the one or the other interpretation of this
23 document. Of course, the Chamber finally will have to consider the whole
24 matter in the context of the entirety of the evidence. But even for this
25 document it may be relevant to find out why the witness adopts the one
1 interpretation, whether he has any reasons apart from the text of the
2 document, because the text of the document seems to be ambiguous.
3 I just explain this to you in order to make you aware of what the
4 Chamber needs, what kind of questions should be put to witnesses, and
5 what the Chamber needs in order to evaluate the answers. And just
6 saying, "This is what the document seems to say," is, of course, not a
7 very solid basis for making any findings for this Chamber.
8 Would you please keep this in mind and we'll ask the witness to
9 put his earphones on.
10 MR. PETROVIC: If I may, Your Honour --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One second, witness.
12 Witness DFS-014, could you take them off again. I'm sorry. Yes.
14 MR. PETROVIC: Your Honour, if I may just explain my position.
15 Witness made a clear statement here that his personal experience is that
16 Alfa was under the command, under the subordination, of the 7th Corps.
17 That is his evidence before the Chamber. I just wanted to show the
18 documents which corroborates his position and ask him --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's exactly the matter. Whether this
20 document corroborates or does not corroborate his position. That's the
22 MR. PETROVIC: Okay. Your Honour, I do understand that. But I
23 just wanted to show that -- to try to extract a bit more information from
24 his knowledge when I present these documents to him. That was my
25 intention, and I will try to -- I will try to put questions which will be
1 more beneficial to the Chamber as you instructed me.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then the witness can put his earphones on again.
3 Mr. Petrovic, please proceed.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could the
5 witness be shown 2D266.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is D617 -- [microphone not activated].
7 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] 2D266 in English. And 2D266.2 is
8 the original in the Serbian language.
9 Q. Witness, have a look at the document, please. It is a 7th Corps
10 command report, dated the 12th of March, 1993.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we go down the page, please,
12 so that the witness can see the last paragraph. In the English version
13 we should go to page 2 for the benefit of the Chamber.
14 Q. This information was sent to the subordinate units. And the
15 paragraph I am interested in reads as follows:
16 "Quartermaster supplies arrived, were received and distributed
17 yesterday. The newly arrived squad and platoon commanders were
18 transferred to the Alfa Training Centre for training."
19 Witness, the Prosecutor suggested that the Alfa Training Centre
20 was part of the ARSK as of end of June 1993. Do you know whether as of
21 the moment the centre was established people, recruits, were sent there
22 who came from the ARSK ranks?
23 A. As far as I know, once the training centre Alfa was established,
24 which was also equipped in haste with the necessary accommodation
25 facilities and the rest, soldiers began arriving immediately, as we could
1 see in the -- in one of the previous documents where the security organ
2 was informing that the soldiers were leaving their units and moving to
3 Captain Dragan to the Alfa Training Centre. Since the situation was
4 tense at the time and there was daily combat and shelling not only at the
5 front lines but in the rear as well, in Benkovac and other settlements,
6 and civilians were being killed, only once the situation stabilised along
7 the front lines did recruits start attending training in the training
8 centre called Alfa. It may have been in February or March. In any case,
9 I assert that the training centre Alfa was always under the command of
10 the ARSK. At the outset it was under the command of Benkovac, when
11 people and equipment were being sent there. Later on, as the training
12 centre and the place where the Vojvoda Vuk unit were supposed to be
13 established fell under the army directly and not under the Benkovac unit.
14 It was simply put directly under the command of the 7th Corps, that's the
15 extent of my knowledge.
16 Q. Your Honour, could we reserve a number for this document?
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honours,
18 this document was MFI'd on 15th of December last year as D617, but only
19 the document 2D00266.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just trying to fully understand the document.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour --
23 JUDGE ORIE: I am also trying to understand what exactly the
24 document says. I mean, it's clear what the testimony of the witness is,
25 is that the Alfa Training Centre was on from the beginning part of the
1 Army of the Serbian Krajina, but I am just wondering and asking myself
2 what this document gives in support. You quoted "quartermasters supplies
3 arrived, were received and distributed. Yesterday the newly arrived
4 squad and platoon commanders were transferred to the Alfa Training Centre
5 for training."
6 Witness DFS-014, could you explain to us to what extent the lines
7 quoted by Mr. Petrovic support your view that the training centre was a
8 unit within the structure of the Army of the Serbian Krajina at the time
9 of this document, that is, in, I think it's March 1993. It says that
10 "... newly arrived squad and platoon commanders were transferred to the
11 Alfa Training Centre for training." What does that say about the
12 Alfa Training Centre being part of the military structure I just referred
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a military document. It
15 contains reports which had to do with the army, the 7th Corps
16 specifically. As we see, there is no mention here of any members of the
17 MUP of the Serbian Krajina; that is to say, of my station and my superior
18 command in Knin which, at the same time, had its forces deployed along a
19 part of the front lines in Pridrag [phoen], near Karin, Benkovac
20 municipality. We can see in the document that there is no reference to
21 that unit at all. Only such units are mentioned that the army is
22 responsible for. There is no mention made of any police units, of
23 civilians, and whether any civilians were killed or not. This is a
24 purely military document. If it refers to the Tactical Group 4 or to a
25 brigade or a unit, when they mention Alfa it is understood that it too is
1 a military unit. You see that there are no MUP units mentioned there
2 despite the fact that they were at the front lines at the same time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: So what you say is, "It's my understanding that
4 sending people to the Alfa Training Centre implicitly means that the
5 Alfa Training Centre is part of our military structure"? That's what
6 you're telling us, isn't it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is what I'm telling you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So it's not an explicit reference but it is for you
9 an implicit reference. That's clear to me. Please proceed,
10 Mr. Petrovic.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Witness, let us go back to this document, the paragraph above
13 this one. It reads:
14 "Due to people who were not qualified to man the TG-4 asset, one
15 fighter was killed and another injured in the unit of Captain Dragan in
16 the past 24 hours."
17 How do you interpret this?
18 A. I conclude from this that the unit of Captain Dragan was part of
19 the army. If in the same paragraph we have a mention of his, within this
20 one-sentence paragraph, this is what it means to me. They are basically
21 saying that they had people who were not qualified to man a recoilless
22 gun and as a result one of them was killed and another injured. And in
23 Captain Dragan's units, two fighters were wounded in the past 24 hours.
24 To me it means that it is one in the same military formation and is
25 portrayed as such in this report.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could I then -- a follow-up question, Mr. Petrovic.
2 Could you tell us -- this is a report to the subordinated units.
3 Now, we see that the soldier being injured due to improper handling of a
4 recoilless gun is a TG-4 soldier. Now we see that Tactical Group 4 is
5 specifically mentioned as the part of the 92nd Motorised Brigade,
6 Operations Group 1. Now, where do I have to put Captain Dragan's unit in
7 the addressees of this document, which is a report to subordinated units?
8 Where? Is it part of the 75th or is it part of the 1st Light Brigade?
9 Where is Captain Dragan's present in the addressees of this document?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, in March, I would put
11 it under the 22nd Motorised Brigade, in that category. It's the
12 Benkovac Brigade, and he actually belonged to it. He received equipment
13 from them as well as ammunition.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, that seems to be interesting, because the
15 report where it tells us about the soldier from TG-4, we see that that
16 unit is specifically mentioned, TG-4, as a sub-unit of the
17 92nd Motorised Brigade. However, where do I find as a specific
18 subordinated unit Captain Dragan's unit? Because if you say a soldier
19 from the 4th Tactical Group was injured and a soldier of Captain Dragan's
20 unit or two soldiers were wounded, then I would -- where the address to
21 the units, the subordinated units, is so specific in relation to
22 Tactical Group 4, why doesn't it say anything about Captain Dragan's
23 unit? Which, as you told us, you assumed was part of the
24 92nd Motorised Brigade. Why doesn't it say "4th Tactical Group,
25 Captain Dragan's unit"? Could you explain that? Do you have any
1 knowledge of it? If you don't know, then please tell us as well. But
2 I'm just trying to analyse the document, what I see in this document.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, upon arriving in Benkovac,
4 well, Captain Dragan went there on a voluntary basis, so as far as I know
5 he wasn't ordered to go there by the military hierarchy. He didn't
6 arrive with documents which would place him within a certain unit. He
7 arrived, he was given a facility, he started equipping it in terms of
8 logistics, for accommodation. He organised the kitchen. He would
9 receive certain equipment, beds, and so on and so forth, things that he
10 obtained from the French Battalion camp, from the Karin place, because on
11 the 23rd of January I think that camp was shelled by the Croatian army
12 and three French soldiers were killed who were fleeing, and later he took
13 equipment from there.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there for a moment. What apparently
15 you are explaining to us is that in terms of equipment Captain Dragan's
16 unit, who arrived as a volunteers unit, that he was facilitated in the
17 way you describe. Now, I'm less interested in this moment, perhaps to
18 some extent but not primarily interested, in where the beds came from and
19 whether it came from a French unit or from an English unit or from
20 whoever. I'm interested in subordination.
21 Could you continue your answer. But then specifically in
22 relation to subordination, that is, who gives orders, who reports to
23 whom, military hierarchy, could you explain why Captain Dragan's unit is
24 not mentioned in any way among the addressees, although the report tells
25 us something about his casualties or at least injuries in his unit?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am telling you that at the time
2 when the Croatian army first launched its attack there was no time nor
3 was there any desire to discuss certain administrative issues. It was
4 necessary to rapidly adapt to the situation. At such a time when you are
5 short of men and when you are fighting for each position, when
6 20 soldiers die on a daily basis, in such a situation you haven't got
7 time to see who agrees with what and how to do certain things. You
8 improvise. People arrive, you say there's ammunition here or there.
9 Then someone tells you that there's a company or platoon that's
10 available. You send them to positions. You provide ammunition. Later
11 many things are co-ordinated as necessary, but at the time the people who
12 are gathered there had to be sent to the front line. And it was
13 important for them to contribute to the defence of the Serbian people at
14 that time and in that area, and that's why I said from the outset he was
15 with the Benkovac unit. And it is there that he received combat
16 ammunition and other things. People gradually moved over to his side
17 from other units. He didn't appear with his own unit. He came there as
18 an individual. He arrived there on his own.
19 JUDGE ORIE: But with his own men? Or not? Did he come with a
20 unit or did he come just on his own?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He arrived on his own. He was
22 alone. And then on the basis of his former acquaintances he obtained
23 men. People went over to his side. The people, the soldiers -- or the
24 army had problems because men would leave units and join up with him,
25 because there was an myth according to which he was a superman.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, what you describe, and please correct me when
2 I'm wrong, what you describe is a situation where there's no clear
3 hierarchical military structure in which Captain Dragan can be placed,
4 but, rather, that people were in combat side by side having the same aim
5 on their mind rather than formally structured in a hierarchical
6 situation, at least at the beginning of the time. Is that a correct
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a formal hierarchical
9 structure based on the units that were in the field at the time of the
10 attack in the area. But when Captain Dragan arrived, he formed on his
11 own initiative a unit which immediately joined the combat. And later the
12 training centre was transformed and that's why he later became part of
13 the corps structure and belonged to the corps. You know, I was in the
14 area. When things are okay, everyone says it's due to their own
15 qualities. That was also the case with the captain. When it was
16 necessary to use him in combat, they would say that he was part of this
17 corps or brigade; but if they didn't need him, they said, "He is not one
18 of ours, you deal with him and solve the situation." So it was a sort
19 of -- the Benkovac Brigade and the 7th Corps kept sending the ball into
20 the other camp, into each other's camp, and the commander of the brigade
21 died at that time, about 20 days prior to that time, so you can see what
22 the situation was like then.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I noticed two parts of your answer, and let's just
24 verify whether that's what you said and what you intended to say. That
25 Captain Dragan arrived, he formed on his own initiative a unit which
1 immediately joined combat, and later the training centre was transformed
2 and that he later became part of the corps structure. Which means that
3 in the beginning, when he formed his unit, he was not yet part of the
4 corps structure. Is that well understood?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You haven't understood me
6 correctly. Perhaps the interpretation was incorrect. He appeared.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If you say the interpretation is wrong, we'll check
8 that. Please be aware of that, that we'll ask again to -- that your
9 original words will be listened to and that we'll verify whether the
10 translation is correct or not.
11 So therefore, I urge you to tell us, what I just read to you,
12 whether that is what you said and whether that is what you intended to
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Captain Dragan arrived on his own
15 in Benkovac. He appeared. They called me to the barracks. We then --
16 or, rather, the municipality assigned him a facility in Bruska and
17 immediately certain combatants started leaving their units and joined
18 Captain Dragan's unit. And he used these men to form a unit with which
19 he joined in the combat operations under the command of the
20 Benkovac Brigade. Then many units from the Krajina came to assist, as
21 ordered by the army commander, and he participated in the combat as did
22 the other units.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Was this formalised in any way, that they were still
24 acting under the command of the Benkovac Brigade? Is there any document,
25 is there any decision? Because it's a funny kind of military hierarchy
1 where people are leaving their units going to someone else who has no
2 formal position then join him and everyone joins in combat, and that's
3 all under the umbrella of the Benkovac Brigade who has not, as I
4 understand, has not ordered Captain Dragan to form such a unit, who has
5 never ordered soldiers to go from there own unit to Captain Dragan's
6 unit, especially because you also said - and that was the second part of
7 your answer I would like to verify - is that you said, "When it was
8 necessary to use him in combat, they would say he was part of this corps
9 or brigade; but if they didn't need him, they said that he's not one of
10 us." That means that it's a rather vague situation where the military
11 hierarchy is not, at least, firmly established, because it depends on
12 what they say today and depends on what they say tomorrow. Would you
13 agree with that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would agree with that, with what
15 you have said. That was the situation which was the result of the
16 confusion in the field. When the commander of the brigade was killed and
17 his position was vacant, I said that Captain Dragan then had the ambition
18 to become the commander of that brigade, and he launched certain attacks
19 with his -- or, rather, wanted his men, some of his men, to support that.
20 But when the corps command and Commander Dilas reacted and refused to
21 appoint him to the position of the brigade commander, the situation was
22 resolved. It was only later that he became an integral part of the
23 corps, which you can see in some of the documents that I have been shown
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, whether we can see it or not is -- needs
1 further evaluation. I apologise for having a very late break. We'll
2 take a break. And we resume at five minutes to 1.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, you may proceed.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could the
7 witness please be shown 2D157.2. The English is 2D157, or, rather, the
8 English version.
9 Q. Witness, the document before us is from the command of the
10 1st Operative Group. The barracks of Benkovac is the command place. It
11 says: "Order for further action." The date is the 4th of January, 1993.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the second page in the
13 Serbian version and in the English. Could we see the second page in the
14 other version. Thank you.
15 Q. Witness, under item 5 in this order, orders are issued for
16 further activities. It says:
17 "The Vukovi Battalion on Stosija-Glavina axis shall attack in the
18 direction of the village of Rezani and must break up the Ustasha in the
19 village of Krasici [phoen], near the church."
20 It says the Vukovi Battalion; do you know who this refers to?
21 A. This is the Vukovi from Vucjak. Veljko Milankovic's Vukovi.
22 Q. [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Where is the unit from, if you know?
1 A. It's from the place called Prnjavor in Republika Srpska.
2 Q. [Microphone please]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Please have a look at the following paragraph, where it says:
6 "The Tiger Battalion shall launch an attack on the Perica-Glava
7 village of Palja [phoen] axis, and its task shall be to break up the
8 Ustashas in the village in the Paljuv [phoen] and in co-ordination with
9 the CMKMN it shall continue with the attack in the direction of
10 Novi Grad.
11 Witness, who does this refer to, the "Tiger Battalion"?
12 A. This refers to Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan's unit, which was called
13 the "Tigers." And when it says to co-ordinate that with the company of
14 the police from Knin, CMKMN, refers to this company from Knin because at
15 the time we held this area from Pridraga and Palja in the direction of
16 Novi Grad.
17 Q. [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Witness, please have a look at the bottom of the document on the
21 left-hand side. Could you tell us who these documents were forwarded to?
22 What do these markings mean?
23 A. Well, here it says forwarded to the command of the 7th Corps, to
24 the 92nd Brigade, to the command of the Banja Brigade, to the command of
25 the Kordun Brigade, to the command of the Vukovi Battalion, in fact, B
1 means battalion, so it's the Banja Battalion, also to the command of the
2 92nd Armoured Brigade, and also to the archives. And it also says
3 command -- the commander, the Colonel Tanga. He was the deputy of --
4 Djilas's deputy. He was the chief of the 7th Corps staff and the
5 commander of Operative Group 1 which was subsequently moved from the
6 barracks to the Biljane Gornje place, and the command was there for a
7 long time. And it was also forwarded to the forward command post.
8 Q. Witness, yesterday in answer to a question by my colleague
9 Mr. Groome you could that written orders were issued to all the units
10 that were part of the Serbian army of Krajina and that participated in
11 these combat operations. Is this one such order that you had in mind
12 when you were answering my colleague Mr. Groome's questions yesterday?
13 A. I think that according to the rules the army had to act in this
14 manner, and this is an example of how it was to act.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Could
16 this document please be marked for identification at this point in time,
17 because the document has a similar status as the previous one that we
18 have already discussed today.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could a number be reserved, Madam Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The reserve number for 2D157.2 or 2D157 would be
21 D621, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I have one additional question for the witness:
23 Have you any knowledge as where the Vukovi or the Tiger Battalion
24 was placed in the military hierarchy? It was subordinated to whom or to
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The command of the Tiger Battalion
2 and the command of the Vukovi Battalion were subordinated to the military
3 command. When they arrived, they reported to the military command and
4 continued working in concerted action with the army.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but was there any -- any subordination to
6 another unit or to ...
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Their immediate superior command
8 was the 7th Corps. They were subordinated to the command of the
9 7th Corps in co-ordination with the other units in the field.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Was this a direct command structure, then? Did they
11 receive their orders directly from the corps command?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As we can see here, we have a
13 Banija Battalion and a Kordun Battalion. These comprised regular members
14 of the army from the area of Banija and Kordun. Due to the war, they
15 were transferred to the area of Dalmatia, near Benkovac, and they served
16 the same function as the Vukovi and Tigers battalions. They all came
17 there on orders. They were subordinated to the corps commander and then
18 he tasked the commander of the operative group Colonel Tanga to be in
19 charge. He acted as deputy corps commander at the time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's still not an answer to my question. My
21 question is: From whom did the command of the Vukovi Battalion and the
22 Tigrovi Battalion receive their orders? Who said, "Now you should do
23 this, now you should do that"? Was that from the corps command or was
24 that from any lower command?
25 If you know -- if you don't know, then, of course, you can't
1 answer the question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have said: When I attended
3 two meetings in the command room when commander Bogunovic was still
4 alive, they received orders from him. He was a local and his unit was
5 the biggest one, the 92nd Brigade. It was between six and a half and
6 7.000 men strong. It was the largest motorised brigade in the Knin
7 corps. They had their own armoured battalion and artillery. It was a
8 full brigade. At the time they received their orders from him. Now, how
9 it was structured in legal terms and in terms of structure is something I
10 don't know. I guess they followed military rules.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, in the document which is before us, we
12 see that reference is made, for example: "The main forces shall
13 co-ordinate actions with a battalion of the 92nd Motorised Brigade and
14 the Vukovi Battalion to take control of," et cetera. That language
15 suggests that the Vukovi Battalion is not integrated or subordinated to
16 the 92nd Motorised Brigade. And we find that not only once, but we find
17 similar language a bit further down as well.
18 At the second part of the document it says: "A Battalion of the
19 92nd Motorised Brigade shall attack," et cetera, et cetera, "and strike
20 the flank with artillery support and in co-ordination with the
21 Banija Battalion and the Vukovi Battalion," which also suggests that
22 these battalions are not subordinated to the 92nd Motorised Brigade.
23 Do you have any comment on the language used in view of what I
24 just said? Any comment on the language used in this document? Because
25 you explained to us that you heard orders being issued by the command of
1 the 92nd Motorised Brigade to these battalions when you were present
2 during those meetings, whereas the language here could be interpreted in
3 a different direction as well. Do you have any comments on the language
4 used here?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unit structures were set up before
6 that. We -- it was known that the brigade had four infantry battalions,
7 and so on and so forth. This was the regular structure as it existed
8 before the attack. Since the attack came out of the blue and the units
9 were sent there to support and assist in attempts to regain territory,
10 the structure was not changed per se, so to have the battalions strictly
11 under the command of the brigade. But it was well understood who
12 commanded. At the time, on the spot, there were officers from the
13 superior command, that is to say, from the corps command and the
14 Main Staff; they jointly analysed the situation and issued orders. We
15 have a situation here in which the deputy corps commander issued such an
17 At the time the Benkovac Brigade was the largest brigade and the
18 commanding officer was the person who knew the situation best, and it was
19 normal that he provided suggestions and then the superior commander could
20 accept his proposals and translate them into written orders.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You said the orders were given by the deputy corps
22 commander, that is, Colonel Tanga?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was there, too, as far as I
24 remember. He commanded Operative Group 1, which served as the forward
25 command post of the corps.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I've -- I was asking myself, where you refer to
2 the deputy commander, that this order seems to have been issued by the
3 commander of the 1st Operational Group, is that -- that is below the
4 corps level but above the brigade level, isn't it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm trying to understand what exactly the
7 hierarchical structures were at the time.
8 Mr. Petrovic, please proceed.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Perhaps
10 to clarify.
11 Q. The 1st Operational Group, what was it part of?
12 A. Of the 7th Knin Corps.
13 Q. [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Colonel Dragan Tanga was deputy corps commander who at the same
17 time performed the duties of commander of the 1st Operational Group?
18 A. Yes. He was deputy corps commander and in this case he figures
19 as deputy corps commander because there was combat in his area. The
20 corps commander was responsible for the entire corps area, from Obrovac
21 to Vrlika, and his deputy had a remit which was more narrow in terms of
22 territory so that he would be better prepared for action in a limited
23 area. That is why the operational group was established and that is how
24 he became commander of that operational group as his deputy.
25 Q. In the document entitled "Order for Further Action," in item 5 we
2 "The Tiger Battalion is to attack along the axis of
4 How do you understand this sentence? Who issued orders to whom?
5 A. The way I see it, the commander of the operational group,
6 Colonel Tanga, issued an order to the Tiger Battalion, to its command, to
7 attack along that axis as specified.
8 Q. Thank you, Witness.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we go into private session
10 for the next few questions.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 16015-16026 redacted. Private session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
1 The objection is denied. The words "operational group" and
2 "tactical group" have been used, and Mr. Groome is in a position to
3 verify with the witness whether his understanding, in the understanding
4 of the witness, is correct or not. If not, then we might have to turn to
5 expert evidence.
6 Could you answer the question whether Mr. Groome did understand
7 the words "tactical group" and "operational group" in a sense you would
8 agree with?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a tactical group and an
10 operative group, well these are military terms that I didn't learn about
11 in school. But as far as I have understood, or as far as I understood
12 during the war that I lived through, there were certain things that I had
13 to master. I had to adapt to the situation. But from what I learned, a
14 tactical group and operative group are groups that are composed or formed
15 for a certain area. They are a small command. We have a tactical group,
16 an operative group, for example, in the Benkovac area that was
17 subordinated to the corps command from Knin, and some representatives of
18 the corps commander would be in charge of them, so it included a smaller
19 number of units than the corps.
20 Q. Can I just put -- I think we will proceed quicker if I can just
21 put what I believe the definition is and if you can tell me whether I'm
22 correct or I'm not correct. So it seems you would agree with me that
23 it's put together for a particular area, at least; is that correct? An
24 operational group or tactical group is especially created to deal with a
25 special or a particular area; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, for a particular area.
2 Q. Now, am I correct that a tactical group or operational group is
3 made up of personnel from different units, perhaps different army units,
4 perhaps different volunteer units, perhaps different police units. Am I
5 correct in that understanding of a tactical group or operational group?
6 A. Well, one could say that you are right.
7 Q. Now, my next question to you is: At transcript 35 during your
8 re-examination, you said the following:
9 "Captain Dragan arrived on his own in Benkovac. He appeared."
10 Then later on at transcript 49 you said, quote, with respect to
11 Mr. Simatovic and Golubic:
12 "I would have [sic] certainly have heard about him establishing
13 such a place."
14 I'm going to ask that you now look at a short video clip of
15 Captain Dragan himself describing how he came to this area and then I
16 want to ask you whether you still maintain your position with respect to
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm going to ask that 2 --
19 Prosecution Exhibit 2976 be played for the witness. It is an excerpt
20 from that video from 25 minutes, 30 seconds, until 26 minutes,
21 17 seconds.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness didn't
24 testify over these three days about how Captain Dragan arrived. He's
25 testifying about what Captain Dragan did when he arrived in Benkovac, how
1 he got there, and who he tried to reach agreements with. Well, that's
2 not something that the witness knows. I don't see how we can deal with
3 anything that has to do with Captain Dragan before he arrived in
4 Benkovac. What did the witness testify about with regard to the period
5 prior to Dragan arriving in Benkovac? The witness has been testifying
6 about Captain Dragan from the point in time when he arrived in Benkovac.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the witness did testify that he came on his
8 own, which is perhaps ambiguous language.
9 Did you want to say, that he came on his own, that he came on his
10 own initiative? Or I think even that ... but I have to check that
11 carefully whether that is -- was what the evidence was, but,
12 Mr. Groome --
13 MR. GROOME: It's at transcript page 35, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: 35. Let's have a look.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied, Mr. Petrovic. The answers,
17 what happened upon arrival, do have some suggestive power as to under
18 what circumstances and triggered by what he arrived, so therefore
19 Mr. Groome is allowed to put this question.
20 MR. GROOME: And so I --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Play the video.
22 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that excerpt from P2976, 25 minutes,
23 30 seconds, to 26 minutes, 17 seconds, be played now. Sir, I'd ask you
24 to watch the monitor in front of you.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "I think that I left a deep
2 impression with them during that conversation. They asked me how and
3 what I wanted to do. I told them what I wanted to do. They asked me how
4 I was planning to do that. I told them everything about it. Then they
5 asked me if I could put it down. Of course, I put it all down, a short
6 21-day course, roughly speaking. That is when I became friends with
7 Frenki, in a way. It went much further than that official conversation.
8 Regardless of this new friendship, the service is the service, and
9 Frenki's order given at the Metropol was clear.
10 "Captain Vasiljkovic: He said 'Sit and wait, and when it's time
11 to go down there, we'll all go.'"
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Apologies, Your Honour. First of
13 all, the witness could hear the anchor as well. There was a sentence by
14 the narrator, not by Captain Dragan. That was one thing. Another thing
15 is the context. When was this uttered and what period did it refer to?
16 We can perhaps deduce it from the documentary, but the witness is unclear
17 as to what period it refers to.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, could you give the context to the
19 witness to the extent needed to answer any question you may have in
20 relation to this video?
21 MR. GROOME: This particular meeting that Captain Dragan is
22 referring to is a meeting he had with Mr. Simatovic in the Metropol hotel
23 with another operative form the State Security Service.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That's at least what is said in this context.
25 MR. GROOME: Right.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. GROOME: And I don't recall the exact date of that. I
3 believe that it's in early 1991.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic, the witness being sufficiently
5 informed about the context.
6 Then please put your question to the witness, Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. So my question to you, DFS-014, is: Do you still maintain that
9 Captain Dragan arrived in the Krajina on his own without any affiliation
10 or relationship to any organisation?
11 A. What year do you have in mind? 1991, 1993?
12 Q. When you said he arrived on his own, what period were you
13 referring to?
14 A. I said that in 1993 he appeared alone. I wasn't discussing who
15 sent him or who he brought along. He didn't have a driver. I didn't
16 mean to say that he came of his own accord. I was trying to say that he
17 appeared there by himself, alone.
18 Q. And is it correct that you do not know of whose accord he came
20 A. I don't know who gave him authority or whether he needed any
21 permission to come at all.
22 Q. And secondly, you -- at T49, transcript 49 today, you were quite
23 unequivocal when you said, with respect to Mr. Simatovic:
24 "I would have [sic] certainly have heard about him establishing
25 such a place."
1 Hearing Captain Dragan's recounting of how he came to establish
2 training centres in the Krajina, does this give you reason to reconsider
3 how certain you are that you were well informed about Mr. Simatovic's
4 role in the establishing of those training centres?
5 A. It doesn't change my position much, because Defence counsel asked
6 me if I -- whether I would have had knowledge if Frenki had managed or
7 lead anything, so it entails a period of time. It wasn't done in a
8 moment. Managing or leading takes time, especially on location in a camp
9 or similar facility. That is what I meant.
10 As for my position having seen this footage, it has not changed.
11 I am aware of Captain Dragan's movements. I know he was an adventurer.
12 And in the Krajina he attempted to command the Benkovac Brigade. And in
13 1995 he even wanted to command the whole army. In Serbia in 1999 and
14 2000 he ran for Serbian president. Who could trust such a man? I never
15 trusted him, and that is why we were never on particularly good terms.
16 He lacked my trust. I don't know what the statement is based on or where
17 it comes from.
18 Q. My final question --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. GROOME:
21 Q. My final question to you, sir, is: Prior to seeing this
22 videotape, were you aware that Captain Dragan believed that Mr. Simatovic
23 had given him an order with respect to the establishment of training
24 centres in the Krajina? Were you aware of that before today?
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, sorry, where do we
1 find that in the footage, the part just quoted by my learned friend, and
2 what year does it refer to?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the year we have discussed, I think, a minute
4 ago. We are talking about early 1991, isn't it, Mr. ...
5 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And let's just see the --
7 MR. GROOME: The portion of the --
8 JUDGE ORIE: The portion of the video played --
9 MR. GROOME: Regardless --
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- clearly -- clearly suggests that -- and I'm not
11 saying whether that's true or not, but clearly suggests that the arrival
12 of Captain Dragan was triggered by a meeting he had with Mr. Simatovic in
13 which he was, at least, to say it, encouraged.
14 MR. GROOME: Well, Your Honour, I think it says more than that,
15 with all due respect. And if I can put to the witness exactly the
16 portion --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
18 MR. GROOME: -- I'm referring to.
19 Q. Captain Dragan says:
20 "Regardless of this new friendship, the service is the service,
21 and Frenki's order given at the Metropol was clear. He said 'Sit and
22 wait, and when it's time to go down there, we'll all go.'"
23 And my question to you is: Were you aware of that prior to
25 A. No, I was not.
1 Q. Thank you, sir.
2 MR. GROOME: No further questions, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 I have one question for you. Well, I should be careful in saying
5 one question, Mr. Petrovic.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE ORIE: You told us that you communicated with your
8 superiors in Zagreb until the 5th of January, 1991, and you told us that
9 they never cautioned me or they never gave you any information about
10 Serbian MUP presence in the area. You remember giving that testimony?
11 A. I do.
12 JUDGE ORIE: If there would have been a MUP presence in the
13 Krajina area within your jurisdiction, would you consider that to be of
14 such importance that they would or even should have told you about?
15 A. If nothing else, they should at least have warned me of the
16 importance of gathering additional information. They frequently asked me
17 whether I could observe any influx of people from Serbia who hail from
18 the Krajina, because there were suspicions that there were people from
19 Serbia arriving in the Krajina to man the barricades. My personal
20 observation, and by gathering information from the police, I could tell
21 them that no such arrivals were registered or observed in terms of
22 ordinary citizens who hail from the Krajina and came back from Serbia.
23 For example, that is the kind of information the people in Zagreb always
24 wanted to know.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was not asking about individual civilians,
1 but I was talking about presence of persons linked to the MUP of Serbia.
2 Would that have been information you would have expected them to convey
3 to you?
4 A. I believe I should have been acquainted with that. Basically,
5 first and foremost, to try to be careful so that no one would try to have
6 me killed. It would have been of interest for me to know what else was
7 going on in the Krajina without my knowledge.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you also told us that when you heard from
9 colleagues that Frenki was around, or MUP - you linked, apparently,
10 Frenki to MUP - that you did not consider this worth to even verify. Why
11 is it that before the 5th of January you considered this to be relevant
12 information and why didn't you consider it relevant enough to pay further
13 attention to when you heard that in the beginning of 1991 a MUP, Frenki,
14 was present in the Krajina?
21 If there are no further questions, Witness DFS-014 --
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness DFS-014, this concludes your testimony in
24 this court. I'd like to thank you very much for coming, especially for
25 coming in a week which is not the most convenient week, but that is
1 immediately after Orthodox Christmas. We highly appreciate that you are
2 willing to come back at this point in time. I would like to thank you
3 very much for having answered the questions that were put to you by the
4 parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'd like to thank
6 Your Honours for having enabled me to present my view of the situation in
7 the period between 1990 and 1995 in order to assist to the extent
8 possible to resolve this case in a just manner.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then we adjourn for the day. And since there are no
10 witnesses further this week, we will resume at Tuesday, the
11 17th of January, 9.00 in the morning -- no, no, I'm sorry. At quarter
12 past 2.00 in the afternoon in this same courtroom, II.
13 We stand adjourned.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.13 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 17th day
17 of January, 2012, at 2.15 p.m.