Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18176

 1                           Tuesday, 13 March 2012

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.

 5             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Good morning to everyone.

 6     [Microphone not activated]

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreters cannot hear the Judge.

 8     Microphone, please.

 9             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Good morning -- rather, good

10     afternoon.

11             Madam Registrar, could you please call the case.

12             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this is case IT-03-69-T, the

13     Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.

14             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Thank you very much.  We will

15     have a witness today who will testify by video conference; is that right?

16             Mr. Bakrac, is that right?

17             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  That's correct.

18             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Let's see now if the videolink is

19     working.  Very good.  Thank you.  Perfect.

20             Can you hear us?

21             THE WITNESS: [Via videolink] [Interpretation] Yes, I can.

22             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very good.

23             Witness, can you hear us in a language that you understand?

24             THE WITNESS: [Via videolink] [Interpretation] I can.

25             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Can you please swear under oath

Page 18177

 1     that you will tell the truth, Mr. Witness.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Via videolink] [Interpretation] Pardon?  Should I

 3     read this out?

 4             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, please.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Via videolink] [Interpretation] Can I please have

 6     the text in Serbian?  There is a term here, "pricegnoti [phoen]" which I

 7     don't understand.

 8             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  I am sorry, I do not know which

 9     text you were given.

10             Mr. Registrar, could you please confirm that the witness has a

11     text he can understand.

12             THE WITNESS: [Via videolink] [Interpretation] No, I thought I was

13     supposed to take an oath, but I heard a term which I didn't understand

14     what it meant.

15             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Would you be able to swear under

16     oath with the text that you have in front of you?  With that text, there.

17             THE WITNESS: [Via videolink] [Interpretation] Thank you.

18             I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

19     and nothing but the truth.

20                           WITNESS:  GORAN OPACIC

21                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

22                           [Witness testified via videolink]

23             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Thank you very much.

24             Mr. Bakrac -- oh, I see the Prosecutor on his feet.

25             Yes, Mr. Groome.

Page 18178

 1             MR. GROOME:  I apologise for interrupting, but I just wonder

 2     whether the formalities of 15 bis perhaps should be put on the record.

 3             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, you're absolutely right.

 4     Given some exceptional circumstances, since Judge Orie cannot be present

 5     today, we will be sitting under Article 15 bis.

 6             Thank you very much, Mr. Groome.

 7             Mr. Bakrac, it's your witness.

 8             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 9             Before I commence, may I just note that during proofing this

10     witness told us that he is suffering from a very high eye pressure.  Due

11     to this, if he exerts himself too much he suffers from severe headaches.

12     I told him that should something like that arise that he can approach you

13     and ask for a break, and I hope that by doing so I did not exceed my

14     authority.

15             Secondly, I will be doing my best.  This is something that we

16     were doing during proofing as well, not to ask the witness to read

17     portions of text.  This is very difficult for him, especially if the text

18     is in small print.  So I will ask him to read only a limited portion of

19     text so as to avoid this, if you will allow me to.

20             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Thank you very much, Mr. Bakrac,

21     and thank you for reminding us that the witness has some eye problems.

22             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

23             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  If the witness has to read a text

24     or a document which you would like to show to the Court, it could maybe

25     be done this way.  Maybe you could read the relevant passages into the


Page 18179

 1     microphone and slowly so that the interpretation can be done because the

 2     interpreters, of course, will not have the text.  Is that okay with you?

 3             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.

 4     You're right.  And I will do my best to go through the exercise slowly so

 5     as not to create any problems for the interpreters.

 6                           Examination by Mr. Bakrac:

 7        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Opacic, good afternoon to you.

 8        A.   Good afternoon.

 9        Q.   In order to conduct this direct examination as efficiently as

10     possible, Mr. Opacic, kindly wait for my question to be put to you and do

11     not start answering right away; rather, make a small break after I have

12     finished putting my question to you.  Perhaps the Registrar who is with

13     you there can help us.  He can signal you when it is that you can start

14     giving your answer.

15        A.   I understand.

16        Q.   Mr. Opacic, please, for the sake of the record, state your full

17     name.

18        A.   My name is Goran Opacic.  Should I give you my date of birth?

19        Q.   Mr. Opacic, I will be putting the questions to you.  Kindly tell

20     us the date and place of birth -- your date and place of birth.

21        A.   The 11th of March, 1964, in Benkovac.

22        Q.   Mr. Opacic, can you tell us - slowly, please - what sort of

23     schooling have you had?

24        A.   I completed my primary education in the municipality of Benkovac.

25     Later on I attended the secondary school of internal affairs in Zagreb.

Page 18180

 1     These were four years of secondary schooling, and that is the education

 2     that I have.

 3        Q.   When was it that you graduated from the secondary school of

 4     internal affairs in Zagreb?

 5        A.   In 1983.

 6        Q.   Did you get a job somewhere, and if so, where?

 7        A.   Well, all the student of the secondary school of internal affairs

 8     would get a job somewhere with the organs of internal affairs, and I was

 9     posted to the police station in Sinj.

10        Q.   Until what year did you continue working for the station in Sinj

11     and what were your specific duties?

12        A.   I worked there from 1983 through to early 1988, and I was a

13     patrol officer.

14        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.  In 1988 where were you transferred?

15        A.   I transferred to the internal affairs organ in Zadar.

16        Q.   Can you tell us what your specific duties in Zadar were and until

17     when you stayed there?

18        A.   My duties in Zadar were also those of a ordinary policeman going

19     on patrol.  However, there was also a special unit composed of policemen

20     who were younger than 28 and formed some sort of a special unit.  I had

21     attended training for sniper shooting, so I was basically also assigned

22     to that specific unit during my time both in Sinj and Zadar.

23        Q.   In addition to the policing, were you training any sort of

24     sports?

25        A.   Well, in high school I practiced karate and I was one of the best

Page 18181

 1     athletes in my secondary school.  As I came to Sinj I started training

 2     kick-boxing, the contact sports, and then I proceeded on to train classic

 3     boxing.

 4        Q.   Did you go to any official competitions?  Sports competitions?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   And did you compete for the colours of your station in Sinj?

 7        A.   Well, there were police sports games for the region of Dalmatia,

 8     and I regularly participated as an athlete, 800 metres racing and so on.

 9     I could not participate with my basic sport of kick-boxing because they

10     wouldn't have it.

11        Q.   Until what time did you continue working for the Zadar police

12     station?

13        A.   I worked there until mid-November 1990.

14        Q.   What happened?  Why did you no longer work for the Zadar police

15     station after mid-November 1990?

16        A.   When the Croatian Democratic Union came to power, I did not wish

17     to sign an oath of loyalty to them, and I didn't want to wear the symbol

18     of the chequer-board besides, they also admitted people who were

19     civilians, who also used to have a criminal record.  They were

20     individuals who we at some point had arrested for brawling, for violent

21     behaviour, for theft and that sort of crime.  I refused to work along

22     side such individuals.

23        Q.   Mr. Opacic, while you were a patrolling police officer in Sinj

24     and Zadar, did you receive any sort of citations or awards?

25        A.   I received an award for the best policeman of the town of Sinj

Page 18182

 1     while I was working for the station in Sinj.  I received some sort of a

 2     vase and a commendation in writing.

 3        Q.   Do you know which year was that?

 4        A.   1985 or 1986.  I can't remember.

 5        Q.   Mr. Opacic, during your time in Sinj and Zadar, were you accused

 6     of any sort of misdemeanor or exceeding your authority or crime?

 7        A.   Well, I was not held responsible for any crimes or misdemeanors.

 8     Rather, in Zadar, in 1990, I was suspended along with 15 other policemen

 9     of Serb ethnicity, and we were suspended for the fact that we complained

10     about these individuals with a criminal past having been admitted onto

11     the force, which is something I've just explained to you a moment ago.

12        Q.   If I understand you correctly, in November of 1990 you were

13     suspended.  Do you know when it was that you were officially dismissed?

14     When it was that your status as policeman for the Zadar station were

15     terminated?

16        A.   Well, I was kept in the records of the police all the way through

17     to February of 1991, although I left the station in November of 1990 and

18     never returned.

19        Q.   When you left the police force in Zadar, where did you go next?

20     What did you do?

21        A.   At first I went to Biljane Gornje which is my native village in

22     the municipality of Benkovac.  There was a disco there, and I worked in

23     that disco as a bouncer for about a month.  Next, I went to the

24     municipality building in Benkovac where I reported to the president of

25     the municipality, Zekovac [phoen], and I and my brother, Zoran, Cedo

Page 18183

 1     Zecevic, and another person, we, all of us, worked there as security

 2     guards.  Some of us came from Sinj, some from Benkovac, some from Zadar,

 3     all of them having left their respective police forces the same way I

 4     did.

 5        Q.   Did there come a time when road blocks were erected in your area,

 6     and if so, who erected them, and did you have any part in that?

 7        A.   Road blocks had been erected back in 1990 at a time when the

 8     president of the SAO Krajina was Milan Babic.  It may have been the month

 9     of August.  Locals participated in that and I took part in that as well,

10     together with the villages.  I was with them.

11        Q.   Mr. Opacic, you say that your brother, you, and two more former

12     policemen worked as security guards for Zecevic.  Do you know if at some

13     point in 1991 an individual by the name of Captain Dragan came to visit

14     Zecevic?

15        A.   I think it was the month of February or March that he came.  I

16     wasn't there at the time.  I think he was accompanied by Dejan Lucic

17     [phoen], a journalist.  The next time there were Lucic, Prika, and Pavic

18     who came to see Zecevic again, and then they talked about Captain Dragan.

19        Q.   Did Zecevic tell you where why Captain Dragan came and what they

20     talked about, and do you know if Zecevic took him anywhere?

21        A.   I think that Zecevic took him to see Milan Martic.  And it was as

22     if he was somebody who had been to different fronts, in Africa.  He was

23     introduced as some sort of commando, a person who had been to fronts as a

24     member of the Foreign Legion, a legionnaire.  He was a mercenary, simply

25     speaking.

Page 18184

 1        Q.   And do you know what they talked about, Captain Dragan, Martic,

 2     and Zecevic?

 3        A.   I don't know.

 4        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.  Do you know a person by the name of

 5     Dragan Karna?

 6        A.   Dragan Karna is a colleague of mine.  We worked together in Sinj

 7     for five years at the police station.

 8        Q.   And in early 1991, do you know where Dragan Karna was?  What was

 9     his post at the time?

10        A.   When he came from Sinj, Dragan Karna came to Knin, and a special

11     unit was formed, the same that we had before in the SUPs which was

12     located in Golubic.  It's a youth village where youth work drives had

13     been organised before, and then the huts remained.  It was abandoned and

14     this is where the police were accommodated.

15        Q.   You say that a special police force was formed.  Can you be a bit

16     more specific as to when this special police with Dragan Karna was

17     formed?

18        A.   I think that this was -- it was after the action in Plitvice by

19     the Croatian MUP, but this was there before as well, but it wasn't

20     organised as well as it was after that action.  It was done more

21     thoroughly, to have this unit formed of people who were trained, who had

22     gone through training.  Mostly the unit consisted of the same policemen

23     who came from Zagreb, Split, Sinj, Zadar, Rijeka, Biograd na Moru, and

24     other places.

25        Q.   Mr. Opacic, did you join this unit at some point?

Page 18185

 1        A.   I joined the units, if I recall correctly, in late April 1991.

 2        Q.   Mr. Opacic, when you say late April 1991, that time that you

 3     joined, was it already then that Captain Golubic came to --

 4     Captain Dragan came to Golubic.  Was that correct?

 5        A.   No, Captain Dragan came to Golubic in May, I think.  In the

 6     second half of May.

 7             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask now

 8     for this video-clip.  We also have the transcript, so, if you permit me,

 9     I don't want to play this video-clip that we already looked at.  I am

10     only going to read slowly to the witness a part of the statement by

11     Dragan Karna from this video so that we can see if this corresponds to

12     the witness's experiences.

13             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Sure, absolutely, but please

14     first explain to the witness what is it about, first.

15             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  This is

16     Exhibit D117.

17        Q.   Sir, Mr. Opacic, I am now -- Mr. Karna gave a statement about the

18     Golubic unit on television.  I am going to read a part of it and I am

19     going to ask you to say whether what is being read to you is actually

20     something that you recall.  We're looking at page 2 in the Serbian and in

21     the English.  I am slowly going to be begin to read.  It's in the middle

22     of the interview where Dragan Karna says:

23             "I will start with 31st of March, 1991.  Members of this

24     detachment took part in the combat in Plitvice.  On the 2nd of May, 1991,

25     an attack on the Kijevo police station was launched.  On May 3rd, 1991,

Page 18186

 1     members of the detachment disarmed the citizens of Croat ethnicity in

 2     Vrhpolje and Potkolje."

 3        A.   Potkonje.

 4        Q.   "These citizens under the guise of the HDZ party carried out

 5     arming and prepared to close up the police stations, which they were

 6     prevented from doing by the members of this detachment.  On this

 7     occasion, 38 automatic rifles, Kalashnikov; 68 bombs; and 38 impact rifle

 8     grenades were confiscated.  On May 6th, 1991, the members of this unit

 9     formed the police station in Bratuskovac, which is in the hinterland of

10     Skradinac [phoen].  On the 15th of May, 1991, after the educational

11     centre of Golubic was formed under the leadership of Captain Dragan, the

12     complete unit underwent training.  In the course of the training, during

13     the training itself, combat activities were carried out:

14             "Thus the members of the unit were also carrying out combat

15     activities and destroying the Ustasha educational centre in Ljubovo

16     (indiscernible) Korenica."

17             This was an excerpt from the interview by Dragan Karna.

18     According to your recollection, is this correct what Dragan Karna said?

19        A.   I participated in the action to disarm these civilians who were

20     armed with Kalashnikovs in Vrhpolje and Potkonje.  And it's true that a

21     police station was formed in Bratiskovci [as interpreted], this is the

22     hinterland of Skradiste [as interpreted].  It's true that Captain Dragan

23     arrived on the 15th of May to Golubic.  And it is also correct that an

24     attack was carried out at the Ljubova police station near Korenica.  I

25     don't know what else is stated there.  I don't know anything about that.

Page 18187

 1        Q.   Mr. Opacic, what changed in Golubic in this special police unit,

 2     if anything did, once Captain Dragan arrived on the 15th of May, 1991?

 3        A.   Well, we thought Captain Dragan was some sort of an expert.  But

 4     actually, as far as infantry training is concerned, he went through that

 5     training in the same way that we all did, and that's what he knew.  We

 6     were trained to jump out of Land Rovers at the speed of 30 kilometres an

 7     hour.  Some people fell and hurt themselves.  Some people complained to

 8     Martic that the training was inappropriate so that Captain Dragan then

 9     had a conflict with Martic immediately because of the training, the way

10     it was.  I had gone through physical endurance training in Golubic with

11     the members who were in that unit.  We were there for 20 days.

12        Q.   Mr. Opacic, when you say "inappropriate" - I am looking at the

13     transcript - when you say that what do you mean by that?  Was there

14     anything there that was against the laws and customs of war, something

15     that was inappropriate for civilians, or was it inappropriate in some

16     other way?

17        A.   It was inappropriate as far as the people who were being trained

18     is concerned.  We were not used to jumping out of vehicles; for example,

19     a driver would be driving a Land Rover and you would be forced to jump

20     out while it was going at the speed of 30 to 40 kilometres an hour.

21     People were not used to that and they got hurt.  This is what I meant.

22        Q.   And those of you who went through police regular training and

23     training in the JNA, did you learn anything new while undergoing this

24     training with Captain Dragan?  Something that was not taught during

25     regular police or army training.

Page 18188

 1        A.   I mentioned before that I was a member of a special unit in Sinj

 2     and in Zadar, so we did have all of this training before.  Everything --

 3     I was a sniper by training in these special units.  That was my

 4     specialty.  I went to a training course for a month which was organised

 5     by instructors of the special police forces in Zagreb.  The first course

 6     of training was in Cakovec, it's a town in northern Croatia.  The second

 7     training course was in Potkonje, in the area of Lika.  And this special

 8     unit of ours was well-equipped.  We had double uniforms.  We were paid

 9     more than regular members.  We had Hecklers with silencers, machine-guns,

10     sniper rifles.  We had chemical tear-gas bombs and other devices.

11        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Opacic, all of these things that you just told us

12     has to do with the training that you had before war broke out -- this was

13     in Zagreb in the Croatian police; is that correct?

14        A.   Yes, that's right.

15        Q.   Mr. Opacic, can you please tell me, when Captain Dragan came, did

16     anything change in the position of Mr. Dragan Karna?

17        A.   Well, he remained in the post of commander of that unit, even

18     though I had a conflict with Karna because of an attitude towards members

19     of these other police units, from Obrovac, Benkovac.  I had a problem

20     with his attitude towards those people, but we worked it out.

21        Q.   You say that you spent 20 days in training.  Did I understand you

22     correctly, to be counting these 20 days from the point in time when

23     Captain Dragan came?

24        A.   Yes, 20 days because Captain Dragan saw that we knew all of these

25     things and so there was no need for us to stay there for a long time in

Page 18189

 1     training, to waste time with us.

 2        Q.   And do you know how long Captain Dragan was conducting this

 3     training in Golubic?

 4        A.   I think it was until his conflict with Mile Martic.  Perhaps this

 5     was until July or August.  I think it was in July.  I cannot remember

 6     exactly, but I know that there was a conflict between Martic and him and

 7     that Martic expelled him from Knin.

 8        Q.   Are you able to tell me who sent you to Golubic?  How did you get

 9     to this unit of Dragan Karna and stay for this training by

10     Captain Dragan?

11        A.   This was an order by the minister of interior of SAO Krajina.

12     Martic issued an order to all the police stations, such as Benkovac,

13     Obrovac, Gracac of the SAO Krajina, to send all of these members who had

14     completed the training, who were younger, who had been working in those

15     police branches to be sent to Knin for the special unit to be formed --

16     actually, for special units in Golubic which had already been trained and

17     had undergone training.

18        Q.   And what you're saying now, is that a decision of Mr. Martic

19     before Captain Dragan came or not?

20        A.   This was his decision that pre-dated the arrival of

21     Captain Dragan.  I came to Golubic based on that decision.

22        Q.   And do you know when Captain Dragan came and conducted the

23     training?  How long did the people who were going under -- undergoing

24     training keep arriving to Golubic?

25        A.   Well, there weren't really -- the conditions there weren't all

Page 18190

 1     that great.  These huts -- the conditions were not great.  Everything was

 2     outdated and dilapidated.  And people really couldn't stay there that

 3     long.

 4        Q.   Are you able to tell me, did anybody else come with

 5     Captain Dragan to give the training?

 6        A.   We called him Marko Irac, he came with him.  We didn't know his

 7     last name.  His name was Marko Irac.  He was together with

 8     Captain Dragan.  They went to France together, in Africa.  That's what

 9     the stories were.  He was blonde with freckles, short hair.  That's what

10     I recall.

11        Q.   Just for the transcript, when you say "Marko Irac," is he a

12     citizen of Serbia or the former Yugoslavia, or did he come from some

13     other place?

14        A.   Well, he was a foreigner.  He was Irish.  They told me that he

15     was from Ireland.

16        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.  Can you please tell me, after you

17     completed the training that lasted for 20 days, did you learn anything in

18     this training which you and your colleagues did not know until then?

19        A.   My colleagues and I knew all of these things already.  All the

20     things that were part of the training we already knew.  There was no need

21     for us to go through the training at all.  There was no point in it.

22        Q.   Tell us when it was that you completed your training,

23     approximately, and where you went next?

24        A.   It was somewhere on the 5th or 6th of June.  We went back to the

25     Benkovac police station and resumed our policing duties.

Page 18191

 1        Q.   When you say your policing duties, do you mean the patrolling

 2     duties that you had performed before?

 3        A.   That's correct.  However, since we were also a special unit - and

 4     that was the practice that was continued on from our time in Croatia -

 5     whenever we were off duty we had to report our whereabouts to the duty

 6     officer so that if an incident emerged or if there was a brawl, if there

 7     was an incursion by terrorist groups, we would be able to get activated

 8     immediately.

 9        Q.   Before we leave Golubic to discuss other issues, tell us, during

10     your time in Golubic did you receive a salary, and if so, from whom?

11        A.   We received our pay from the Knin SUP.

12        Q.   Do you know who was responsible for ensuring that this, let's

13     call it camp, at Golubic was properly run in terms of having meals, the

14     necessary equipment, materiel, and assets, if you know?

15        A.   Well, it was the ministry -- or, I mean the

16     Ministry of the Interior in Knin and of the government of SAO Krajina.

17     There were also individuals who raised funds.  They were like private

18     donations that they would give to the Ministry of the Interior and they

19     would use some of these funds to pay out salaries.

20        Q.   Do you know who Dragan Karna talked to, to organise the

21     activities at Golubic?

22        A.   I think it must have been Milan Martic because nothing could be

23     done without his knowledge.

24        Q.   Did you observe any changes in terms of organisation as

25     Captain Dragan arrived or not?

Page 18192

 1        A.   Well, as far as I was concerned, nothing changed.

 2        Q.   Aside from training activities and instructors activities, did

 3     Captain Dragan get engaged in anything else?

 4        A.   Well, yes.  There was this one action that he didn't take part

 5     in, really.  No.  He devised the whole action and then we carried it out.

 6        Q.   So, save for the training and the action at Ljubovo you say he

 7     planned, did you notice that Captain Dragan was engaged in any other

 8     activities as far as Golubic was concerned, the Ministry of the Interior,

 9     the Territorial Defence and anything else?

10        A.   Captain Dragan went about promoting himself extensively over the

11     media.  He talked a great deal.  I think he was an eccentric.  He had a

12     high profile among the media.  I didn't listen to what he had to say,

13     really.  He was extensively covered by the newspapers.  He was engaged in

14     self-promotion, really.

15        Q.   A day after -- or, rather, following his activities in the

16     training courses, this action, and his media appearances, did you observe

17     him doing anything else?

18        A.   No.  Aside from the training course intended for the police force

19     and the reserve force at Golubic, nothing else.

20        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.  You said that in early June of 1991, you

21     resumed your earlier regular policing duties in Benkovac.  Who was your

22     superior during your time in the public security station in Benkovac?

23        A.   It was Chief Bosko --

24             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't hear the name, properly.

25             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

Page 18193

 1        Q.   Can you tell us how long --

 2             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Bakrac, I am stopping you

 3     here for just a second.  The interpreters did not hear the name of the

 4     witness's superior while he was in the public security of Benkovac.

 5     Could you please ask him to repeat.

 6             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I will

 7     repeat it, and the witness himself heard it.

 8        Q.   Can you please slowly repeat the first and last name of your

 9     superior in the Benkovac police station.

10        A.   Bosko Drazic was the chief of the Benkovac police station.

11        Q.   Mr. Opacic, did you leave the police force in Benkovac at some

12     point?  And if so, when?

13        A.   I left the Benkovac police force in late July because I clashed

14     with Mile Martic.  My colleagues who stayed behind in Croatia - in other

15     words, stayed on the side of the Croatian police - signed an oath of

16     loyalty, agreed to using the chequer-board symbol, and once these

17     individuals were also chased out of police stations, they crossed over

18     and came to join us in the Krajina.  They were given jobs, although I

19     opposed to working with individuals who, had they not been chased away by

20     the Croats, would always have stayed there - in other words, they joined

21     us because they were forced to - whereas Mile Martic rewarded them by

22     giving them the same sort of jobs they had in the Croatian police

23     stations.

24        Q.   Mr. Opacic, when you say that you left the police force, did this

25     mean that you simply left or you asked that your employment be

Page 18194

 1     terminated?  How did this come about?

 2        A.   I simply walked out of the police station.  I didn't want to be a

 3     part of them any more.  I didn't write any letters, any applications.  I

 4     didn't feel that I needed to.  I simply walked out of the police station

 5     and joined the Territorial Defence.

 6        Q.   If my understanding is correct, Mr. Opacic, all of this happened

 7     in late July of 1991; is that right?

 8        A.   That's right.  That's right.

 9        Q.   Mr. Opacic --

10             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Or rather, Your Honours, can we now

11     look at P1212.  The page is 9 in English.

12        Q.   Mr. Opacic, this is a lengthy document.  I will summarise it for

13     you, and you'll tell us if you had occasion to look at the document

14     during proofing.  You'll also tell me now, for Their Honours and for the

15     record, what your comments on this document are.  The title of this

16     document which has 11 pages is, "The Public Security Station in

17     Benkovac."  The disposition of posts in view of a new restructuring of

18     the public security station in Benkovac.

19             So we start with the various specialist service sectors,

20     villages, and the individuals listed.  The document doesn't have either a

21     signature or a stamp, but it reads at the end that it was produced in

22     Benkovac on the 18th of October, 1991.

23             On page 9, under the Roman numeral III, it reads:

24             "Special unit numbering 14 members."

25             Under 1, we can read:

Page 18195

 1             "Goran Opacic."

 2             Do you recall me showing this document to you during proofing and

 3     reading it out for you?

 4        A.   Yes, I do remember.

 5        Q.   Sir, tell me, mention is made here of some sort of a new

 6     organisation or structure of the 18th of October, 1991, and a special

 7     unit mentioned where, under 1, you're listed.  In October of 1991, were

 8     you a member of the special police of the Benkovac police station?

 9        A.   Well, you see, this does not reflect the truth at all and it can

10     easily be checked in the archives of the secretariat of defence, because

11     on the 2nd of October I took part in the action of disarming the Croatian

12     population in Nadin.  Already by that time I was a scout working for the

13     Territorial Defence.  So that was already the case in October.

14             What was the date of the document again?  The 18th or --

15        Q.   The 18th of October, 1991.

16        A.   This is not true at all.  This may have been the case at the

17     beginning of that year and then somebody simply copied the data onto this

18     document.  I left the police force in late July and transferred to the

19     Territorial Defence.  It was impossible for me to be both on the police

20     and in the Territorial Defence.

21        Q.   Mr. Opacic, I will ask my learned friend Mr. Groome.  I don't

22     think the document is under seal.  Mr. Opacic, I will read this out for

23     you, and these are names, and you will tell me if you were a member of a

24     special unit with these people and if you know them:

25             "Nikola Tintor, Sasa Matic, Jovo Uzelac, Milan Veselinovic,

Page 18196

 1     Ilija Vitas, Gojko Calic, Bozo Koncarevic, Dusko Tintor, Milos Rnjak,

 2     Bozo Miljkovic, Dusan Kresovic, Cedo Zecevic, and Zdravko Trkulja."

 3             Were you together with these individuals ever a special unit of

 4     the SJB Benkovac?

 5        A.   All these individuals you mentioned were with me working for the

 6     police station in Benkovac until I left the police force together with

 7     Dusan Kresovic.  Again, that was in late July.  Secondly, these

 8     individuals were with me in Golubic, too, during the time of

 9     Captain Dragan -- or, rather, before his time and during his time there.

10        Q.   I do understand where you say that you were with them in Golubic

11     before Captain Dragan was there, but then you also said that

12     Dusan Kresovic and you left this unit.  What my question was, was if this

13     was ever a special unit of any sort?

14        A.   Well, this was no special unit.  They were people -- for

15     instance, Zecevic was assistant commander of the police station.  We were

16     never a special unit to speak of in the sense of going on intervention

17     missions or something like that.  And I was never in any of the actions

18     together with these people save for Dusan Kresovic.

19        Q.   You say that it was only Dusan Kresovic who was with you.  Now as

20     for the individual under 14, Zdravko Trkulja.  What was his duty in the

21     police station?

22        A.   I think he was the crime scene officer.

23        Q.   Mr. Opacic, let us look at a different document now.  It was

24     disclosed to us by the OTP.

25             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] It's 2D1214.  Your Honours, the

Page 18197

 1     document is currently being translated.  What we need, however, is only

 2     the last page.  There is a list of authorised officials there who worked

 3     in the Benkovac public security station.

 4        Q.   Mr. Opacic, this is what the text reads.  The first three names

 5     are interesting.  Yours is first:

 6             "Goran Opacic started on the 20th of February, 1991.  On the

 7     31st of October, 1991, transferred to the army."

 8             Let's stop here and let's ask you if this is true because you

 9     denied what the previous document said.  Perhaps you can explain this.

10        A.   Well, of course, the first date of the 20th is correct.  That's

11     when I was in the police.  But the second date is not true in so far that

12     I did not transfer to the army but to the Territorial Defence.  It had

13     never crossed my mind to join the army.  In fact, the army would imply

14     the JNA, and I was never in the JNA.  I didn't want to.  I didn't want to

15     join that army.  Instead, I was a member of the Territorial Defence as a

16     scout under the immediate command of Zoran Laci.  This is something that

17     you can check, if you can find their archives or their files.  There was

18     six or seven of us, scouts, and we were on their payroll.

19        Q.   You said under the direct of command of Zoran.  Can you repeat

20     the name?

21        A.   Zoran Laci.  He was the commander of the Territorial Defence for

22     the municipality of Benkovac.

23        Q.   Tell me, sir, the date of the 31st of October, 1991, is it

24     correct?  And if not, can you tell us why not and why would this document

25     contain this date?

Page 18198

 1        A.   I don't know why the document reads this.  My brother,

 2     Zoran Opacic, joined the army.  I definitely did not.  This is not true

 3     at all.

 4        Q.   Zoran Opacic is under 2 here.  It reads for him that he started

 5     on the 2nd of March, 1991, and was there until the

 6     30th of September, 1991, when he joined the army.

 7        A.   That is true.

 8        Q.   And then from the 21st --

 9             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Bakrac, I don't think we have

10     the right document on the screen.  My Serbian is not really great lately,

11     but, nevertheless, I am under the impression that what we see here does

12     not correspond to what you are saying.

13             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise because I

14     said -- because the document has a lot of pages.  It's still being

15     translated, and I am looking at the last page which contains the list of

16     names and dates, so I would just like to look at the last page of this

17     document.  I apologise, Your Honour, for not noticing that on the screen.

18             The title is, "List of authorised officers who worked at the

19     Public Security Station in Benkovac."  There is no date.

20        Q.   Mr. Opacic, this is what I am interested in.  Can you please just

21     focus on my question.  For Kresovic, Dusan, you say that he transferred

22     to the TO together with you.  On this list he's under number 3.  It

23     starts that he began on the 27th of February, 1991, and that he was at

24     the Benkovac public security station until the 30th of November, 1991; is

25     that correct?

Page 18199

 1        A.   No, that is not correct, because Dusan Kresovic left the police

 2     force at the same time as I did.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you Mr. Opacic.  If I understood you correctly,

 4     when in late July you transferred from the public security station in

 5     Benkovac, you went to the Territorial Defence; is that right?  And which

 6     units did you -- which unit did you transfer to in the TO?

 7        A.   I went to the reconnaissance squad at the TO staff, and it was

 8     under the personal command of Zoran Laci.

 9        Q.   Are you able to tell us how many men were there in this squad?

10        A.   Six to seven people, that was the core, and then there would be

11     some other members joining from time to time who would leave.

12        Q.   Are you able to tell us, at the time when you moved to the TO,

13     what force was the TO part of?

14        A.   Well, it was part of the army.  I suppose the Territorial Defence

15     was part of the army.  I didn't want to join the army, but I did want to

16     go to the TO because it was all people who were from our area; people

17     that you could trust, that means.

18        Q.   Mr. Opacic, Zoran Lakic, the commander of the Benkovac TO, who

19     did he get his orders from, if you know?

20        A.   Well, he worked in agreement with the commander of the

21     180th Brigade in Benkovac.  Cecovic, I assume --

22             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not catch did last sentence

23     by the witness.

24             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   And as part of the activities of the JNA, as a member of the TO,

Page 18200

 1     did you go into any action after you joined the TO?

 2             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Bakrac, I just have to

 3     interrupt you for one tiny second.  The interpreters did not understand

 4     the end of the last answer of the witness.

 5             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   Mr. Opacic, would you please be kind enough to repeat in your

 7     answer to my question if you knew from whom witness Zoran Lakic was

 8     receiving orders from?

 9        A.   He had to co-operate narrowly with the commander of the

10     180th Brigade, Cecovic, Trivko Cecovic.

11        Q.   If I may help, I'm just going to repeat to check that I heard you

12     correctly.  Tripko Cecovic; is that correct?

13        A.   Yes, correct.

14             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps we will listen

15     to it later because we don't want to lose time on that.

16        Q.   Mr. Opacic, in early October 1991, as a member of the TO, did you

17     go into action with any unit of the Yugoslav People's Army?

18        A.   There was a decision made about working in co-ordination with the

19     JNA, meaning the 180th Brigade.  There was the Benkovac road, a highway

20     leading to the airport.  And there was a village there where there was

21     constant fire on vehicles going down that road.  Korlat, Biljane Gornje,

22     Biljane Donje, Crljuge were -- and Zemunik Gornji were all hit by mortar

23     fire.  And then there was a decision made for an action in which I

24     participated to disarm these people who were firing at Serb settlements

25     and on the highway who were firing at military or civilian vehicles.

Page 18201

 1        Q.   And how did this action end?  What happened?

 2        A.   A platoon of the intervention unit, under the command of

 3     Slavko Draca, undertook that.  We received two tanks and cruise from the

 4     180th Brigade, but mostly it was our men from the reserve forces who were

 5     there.  In this operation -- during this operation, one tank tripped a

 6     mine and the other tank, with me, Slavko Draca, and the rest of us who

 7     were on the other side of Glavica, we carried out our assignment

 8     successfully and we entered the Brzoja Varos village in the tank.  A

 9     member of the forces, Boro Strbac, who belonged to the reconnaissance

10     unit, was killed in combat with these Croats.

11             What happened was that we managed to get there but the other ones

12     couldn't get through because their tank hit a mine and there were people

13     who were injured.  At that point in time we were surrounded and exposed

14     to fire by the enemy.  We put up a defence and we asked Zoran Laci to

15     call the military police company to help us.  They were located in the

16     Benkovac barracks and they were under the command of Major Ristic and

17     Captain Milivoj Ostojic.

18             So what happened next was that instead of coming to help us

19     straight away, they took this military police company to the firing range

20     in Glisici [phoen] and we waited for five hours for them to come and help

21     us to get ourselves -- extricate ourselves from this situation.  It took

22     them a long time to come.

23        Q.   And how did you understand this, that you had to wait for help

24     for so long from members of the 180th Brigade?

25        A.   I understood that as a betrayal, that they wanted as many of us

Page 18202

 1     to get killed as possible so that we would not present ourselves anymore

 2     as any kind of military formation because they wanted us to break apart

 3     because we would not accept to be under their command.

 4        Q.   Are you able to tell us how this event in Nadin reflected on the

 5     your relations with the Yugoslav People's Army?

 6        A.   Well the relations were bad anyway, but this was a culmination.

 7     I understood this to be a betrayal and that in a sly way they he worked

 8     for us to come to harm.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not understand what the

10     witness said.

11             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.  It's time for a break.  I am looking at

13     the clock.

14             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, very good idea.  But just

15     before the break, I would like to ask you to ask the witness to repeat.

16     The interpreters did not understand what he just said, the very last

17     answer.  Maybe you could put the question to him again.

18             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  Thank you.

19        Q.   Mr. Opacic, just for the transcript so that your words would be

20     recorded properly in the transcript, I asked you how this event in Nadin

21     reflected on your relations with the Yugoslav People's Army?

22        A.   It was very bad.  It was an act of betrayal, as if they wanted to

23     liquidate me in a perfidious way, without directly participating but by

24     allowing us to be exposed to fire.  And for them to go to target practice

25     while we are out there losing our lives, you understand, and they went to

Page 18203

 1     target practice and didn't want to come, and that was only 6 kilometres

 2     away from the Benkovac barracks.  Did you understand me now?

 3        Q.   Yes, yes, I did.  It's clear now.  Thank you, Mr. Opacic.

 4             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that this

 5     would be a good time for a break.

 6             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well.  And then after the

 7     break, Mr. Bakrac, please let us know what you intend to do with the

 8     documents that you showed to the Tribunal.  I don't know if you want to

 9     have them admitted?

10             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I am not mistaken,

11     perhaps I did not refer to all three documents.  No, I'm sorry.  The

12     first two documents have already been admitted, D117 and P1212, but 2D,

13     the last document, I am going to just tender pending the translation.

14             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  And the last one?  So if I

15     understand you correctly, you would like to have this document admitted

16     and you would like it to get an MFI number; is that correct?

17             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  We did not manage

18     to obtain a complete translation but we hope to do that as soon as

19     possible.

20             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well.

21             Yes, Mr. Groome.

22             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, can I ask that we reserve any objection

23     we might have until we are able to read the document once the translation

24     comes in.  So if it's being marked for identification then it's -- that

25     it's not simply about the translation.

Page 18204

 1             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very good.  It will be MFI'd for

 2     the two-above mentioned reasons.

 3             Madam Registrar.

 4             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 2D1214 will receive number D765,

 5     Your Honours.

 6             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  MFI, very good.  So we will

 7     resume at five minutes past 4.00.

 8                           --- Recess taken at 3.35 p.m.

 9                           --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.

10             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  I would like to mention that the

11     witness got the authorisation not to stand up.  He doesn't have to rise

12     because there are many different cables around him, so he doesn't have to

13     rise.

14             Mr. Bakrac, you may continue.

15             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

16        Q.   Mr. Opacic, before the break we talked about the misunderstanding

17     you had with the army, if I can put it that mildly.  This is my question:

18     Did the JNA commence certain operations in early October to lift the

19     blockade of its barracks, and if so, do you know where?

20        A.   In Zadar and Sibenik.  I am sure about Zadar, though.  There were

21     three or four barracks there.

22        Q.   In the course of the operation to lift the blockade of the

23     barracks, were there attempts made to capture Skabrnja?

24        A.   Well, was it in November that an attack was mounted on Skabrnja

25     in order to neutralise the Croatian army that was stationed in Skabrnja.

Page 18205

 1        Q.   Can you briefly describe for us the strategic importance of

 2     gaining control over Skabrnja?  How many troops were there in Skabrnja,

 3     approximately, and what were their activities?

 4        A.   Well, I can't tell you exactly how many there were there.  There

 5     were Skabrnja and Nadin, and there were two elevation points there which

 6     provided good vantage points.  They kept on placing in danger, from these

 7     two vantage points, the road leading to the Zemunik airport, as well as

 8     the road leading from Benkovac, Biljane Gornje, Smijocici [phoen].  They

 9     fired from 120-millimetre mortars, for the most part.  The main road

10     passed along these two villages and they opened fire on the road from

11     Nadinska Glavica elevation from infantry weapons.  There were quite a lot

12     of casualties.  Civilians would also get killed from mortar shells that

13     they fired.

14        Q.   In November of 1991, did there come a time when you received

15     information of an attack being prepared on Skabrnja, and if so, who did

16     you learn it from?

17        A.   Well, you see, when the day of the attack came, I didn't know

18     that we were about to attack that location.  It was on the eve, the

19     evening before, that I received an order from my commander, Zoran Laci,

20     that I should take a reconnaissance squad, complete with some five or six

21     extra men, so there was the total of 12 of us, and that with a tank we

22     should take Razina Glava [as interpreted] feature before the attack

23     itself, which was supposed to take place from the Zemunik Gornji and then

24     proceed toward the east, and that this was supposed to be carried out by

25     the JNA forces.

Page 18206

 1        Q.   Can you tell us -- do you know which forces were supposed to take

 2     part on the attack on Skabrnja?

 3        A.   It was a company of the military police, I believe.  There was

 4     also the army there with APCs, that much I know.  As for the rest, there

 5     were Territorial Defence members and some policemen.  There were there as

 6     infantry men.

 7        Q.   Do you know Aco Draca?

 8        A.   Yes, I do.  He was the head of the state security in Benkovac.

 9        Q.   A day before the attack on Skabrnja, did you happen to see

10     Aco Draca in Benkovac?

11        A.   After hearing there Zoran Laci that an attack was to take place

12     on Skabrnja the following morning, I met up with Draca because the TO

13     staff had an office upstairs where there was an office of the state

14     security of Benkovac as well.  The police had their premises there as

15     well as the court in Belgrade [as interpreted].  I spoke who Aco Braca

16     about this, and following the negative experience from Nadin I was afraid

17     that the army might set us a trap again with a view to having us killed

18     during the action.  It was with great reluctance that I set off on that

19     mission.

20        Q.   Mr. Opacic, let us clarify or correct the transcript.  You said

21     that the premises of the police were right next to the premises of the

22     court in?

23        A.   Benkovac.

24        Q.   You don't have to go on explaining because what was entered in

25     the transcript was "the court in Belgrade."

Page 18207

 1        A.   No, no.  Benkovac.

 2        Q.   Thank you, sir.  You were just telling us what you were

 3     discussing with Draca.  When were supposed to set off on this assignment

 4     you received from Draca?

 5        A.   I was supposed to be on the location at 5.00, and my operation

 6     was scheduled to commence at 6.00.  The same applied to the others.  It

 7     was synchronised.

 8        Q.   Did you join this assignment that you received from Zoran Lakic

 9     after all?

10        A.   Well, you see, we got to Biljane Donje, this was our starting

11     point, and from there we went in the direction of Skabrnja and

12     Razina Glava feature.  Tanks were there, they were supposed to provide

13     support to us.  We were supposed to capture Razovljeva Glava because it

14     was a dominant feature.  And once this was taken, we would be in control

15     of the area.  I agreed with the tank crew that the 12 of us would go

16     ahead and should there be any land-mines in the area, we had an explosive

17     specialist.  We came across several mines, but they -- we managed to

18     clear the area of them.  We were some 800 metres away from

19     Razovljeva Glava at that point.  We got into a brushwood and fanned out,

20     and at that point the tanks made a U-turn and went away.  I was surprised

21     by this development.  I went back to one of the tank crew and he told me

22     that their orders were to go back to the starting point and stay there.

23             I immediately told the man that this was a betrayal.  We said

24     that we would no longer be part of this.  We got into a car.  We went to

25     Biljane Donje, I abandoned my position and went to Benkovac.  This was

Page 18208

 1     roughly 7.00 in the morning by that point.  I spent the day in Benkovac.

 2     I think I even encountered Aco Draca and I told him what had happened up

 3     to that point.

 4        Q.   Let's make this completely clear.  If I understand you correctly,

 5     you set off from the starting point to?

 6        A.   Razovljeva Glava.

 7        Q.   Please wait for me to put the question to you.  You set off from

 8     the starting point, and 100 metres into your journey the tanks turned

 9     around and at that point you aborted your mission; is that right?

10        A.   Yes.  I was indignant.  I decided to abort the action.  I didn't

11     want what happened in Nadin to happen to me the second time around.  I

12     felt that we were being left in the lurch.  I simply did not trust them.

13        Q.   If you recall, can you tell us who was with you at the time?  Can

14     you give us a few names of those who were your group?

15        A.   Razic [as interpreted], Visic, Medak, Djokic, Rujak.  We even had

16     a journalist from Tanjug with us who took photographs of us.

17        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.  Did you go back to Skabrnja or Nadin that

18     same day or the day after?  Did you go back to the area where there was

19     fighting or did you never go back again?

20        A.   You see, there was fighting going on in Skabrnja for one day

21     only.  The next day I went to the village of Rujakova Kosa [phoen] in the

22     vicinity there and there was nobody there.  It was deserted.

23        Q.   When you say you went there, you went to Nadinska Glavica feature

24     and there was no fighting going on any more?

25        A.   There were no combat activities going on on the following day.

Page 18209

 1     Besides, the army didn't even participate in the action on the second

 2     day.  You see, there was fighting going on in Skabrnja on the first day;

 3     whereas, on the second day, both the population and the army left, and

 4     there was nobody there.

 5        Q.   Mr. Opacic --

 6             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we look at P1208

 7     now.

 8        Q.   Mr. Opacic, while we're waiting for Their Honours and our learned

 9     friends to see the document, I will tell you that it is one of the

10     documents we reviewed during your proofing.  It's a document of the

11     180th Motorised Brigade.  It was the security officer

12     Major Bratislav Ristic who wrote a note on the 27th of November, 1991.

13             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we have the last page, which is

14     page 5 in English and page 3 in B/C/S.

15        Q.   While we're waiting for Their Honours to review this, I will read

16     out the explanation.  It is a report on the killings of the civilians in

17     Skabrnja.  It is stated that on the 25th of December 1991 this security

18     organ apparently got in touch with a collaborator who had some

19     information about the killings of civilians in Skabrnja.  And he goes on

20     to say that he got the following information from this collaborator.

21             "Goran Opacic came here today (a member of the special unit of

22     the SJB Benkovac).  In front of all of us in the office, he talked of how

23     there were killings of civilians mostly women and old men in Skabrnja.

24     Volunteer Chetnik, known as Jaro Jare (originally from the village of

25     Prebilovac in Herzegovina) and his friend from the same unit, a man

Page 18210

 1     called Ljubisa, were practically prominent in these killings."

 2             Let me stop here and ask you is this:  On the 25th of December,

 3     1991, were you a member of the special unit of the Benkovac SJB at all?

 4        A.   No, I was a member of the Territorial Defence.

 5        Q.   Did you discuss with anyone in the office or elsewhere the issue

 6     of there having been civilians killed, women and elderly?

 7        A.   That's a pure fabrication.  How would I be discussing something

 8     that I did not witness or participate in?  It was common knowledge in

 9     Benkovac that I did not participate in this at all.

10        Q.   And do you know this Major Branislav Ristic?

11        A.   I do.

12        Q.   And were you on good terms with him?

13        A.   No, we did not get on very well.

14        Q.   Why?

15        A.   Because he -- I told you about the first attack in Nadin when he

16     sent the military police company to target practice instead of sending

17     them to help us.  He sent them to the village of Listic [phoen] to target

18     practice, and that military police company was directly under his control

19     and under control of Major Ostojic.  And so we considered them to be

20     traitors and war profiteers and cowards because of that.

21        Q.   Mr. Opacic, before we finish with this document, it states here

22     as well that a certain Zoric -- Zoric, who was somewhere in the JTO, went

23     around the town showing a bag full of human ears, and he entered the

24     Seven [phoen] cafe bar and provocatively called the waitress to show her

25     a dirty glass and when she came, he showed her a glass in which there was

Page 18211

 1     a human ear.  This event with Zoric in the cafe, is that something that

 2     you know about?

 3        A.   No, there is no way.  This is pure fabrication.  There is no way

 4     anything like that could have happened.  These are just pure lies.

 5        Q.   Sir, Mr. Opacic, did Major Ristic ever come to see you, ask you

 6     or members of the unit who were there with you, did he ever try to talk

 7     to you about any of these things?

 8        A.   No, never.

 9             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we look at the

10     next document, please.  This document was from the

11     27th of November, 1991.  And the next document is P1209.  And we are

12     going to look at the first page.

13        Q.   And while we are waiting, just this.  Mr. Opacic, when you --

14             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Bakrac, while we wait for the

15     document to be called up, I can see it now, how much longer will you be

16     needing?  You have told us that you need approximately an hour and a half

17     for the examination-in-chief of the witness.  I believe that the hour and

18     a half are up.

19             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if nothing else, I have

20     made a bad time estimate here.  I do apologise.  I discussed this with my

21     colleagues from the Prosecution.  Of course, you are the ones who decide

22     on the time, but my learned friend Mr. Groome has said that he would back

23     me up in my request for a little bit of additional time because as I have

24     already said of my tendency to make bad estimates.  But I believe that I

25     could finish within the next 20 minutes to half an hour, if you allow me.

Page 18212

 1             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, Mr. Jordash.

 2             MR. JORDASH:  Perhaps I can save Mr. Groome and back Mr. Bakrac

 3     up myself.  I will only need around 10 to 15 minutes, so if that assists.

 4             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, Mr. Groome.

 5             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, the Prosecution estimates that it will

 6     use three hours.  I expressed some concern with Mr. Bakrac because there

 7     were over 50 documents noticed to the prosecution that he would deal

 8     with.  And it seemed to me that after the first session we had hardly

 9     made our way through it.  But he is correct, I would not object to

10     whatever the Chamber thinks is fair.  I believe it's the only witness

11     this week.  I believe it's a rather important witness so whatever the

12     Chamber thinks is fair.

13                           [Trial Chamber confers]

14             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Go ahead, Mr. Bakrac.  The

15     Chamber is allowing you to continue for 20 more minutes.  You got your 20

16     more minutes.

17             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Thank you, Your Honour.

18     And I apologise once again for my bad estimate.

19        Q.   Sir, Mr. Opacic, Ostojic, Milivoj, he's the superior of the

20     security organ, and we are looking at the official note of the

21     8th of March, 1992, so this is almost three months or more after this

22     event.  I am going to draw the Chamber's attention to the end of the

23     first page.  We will start at the bottom of the page.  So where we have

24     now Milivoj Ostojic of the security organ on the topic of Skabrnja, and

25     he says the following --

Page 18213

 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the interpreters please have the English

 2     text on the screen.

 3             MR. BAKRAC: [No interpretation]

 4             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  There seems to be no

 5     interpretation in any language whatsoever.

 6             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Exhibit P1209.

 7     I think that you have it.

 8             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, very good.  I think we have

 9     it.  Indeed, yes, we have it here.

10             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Mr. Opacic, in this official note by Ostojic, what it says now is

12     that Gnjidic was the one who was showing -- actually, earlier we saw

13     Ristic saying that Zoric was showing this ear to the waitress and put it

14     in the glass, and, now three months later, we see that Ostojic is writing

15     that it is actually Gnjidic in a cafe showed an ear to a waitress,

16     keeping it in a glass while telling her that the glass was dirty.  Do you

17     know about this event, that Gnjidic was showing any ear in a cafe

18     anywhere?

19        A.   I don't know this Gnjidic at all.  I never seen him or heard of

20     him.  This Gnjidic was never in the unit with me.  I don't know.  Perhaps

21     it's Zoric.  It's Gnjidic.  Perhaps they know who it is but I don't.  But

22     I think that this has nothing to do with anything.

23        Q.   Mr. Opacic, I need to finish in the next 20 minutes or so, so I

24     would just kindly ask you to focus on answering my questions.  Thank you

25     for your answer.  We are now going to go back to the second paragraph

Page 18214

 1     which says that:

 2             "Volunteers from Serbia were killing in the village of Skabrnja

 3     while Opacic's group, according to unverified information, carried out

 4     the murder of the Odzakovic family members, Odzakovic the boxer, in the

 5     village of Nadin, and killed three prisoners in the villages of Skabrnja

 6     and the village of Smiljcic."

 7             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] In the English, it's the end of the

 8     first and beginning of the second page, Your Honour.

 9        Q.   Can you please tell us whether this is true.

10        A.   This is a pure lie.  For as long as I was in the war until the

11     time I was wounded, it never happened that we struck a civilian, never

12     mind that we killed anyone.  I never saw this village of Odzakovic.  I

13     know about the village but I've never been there.  I've never been to

14     Skabrnja, so I don't know about the civilians there.

15        Q.   Mr. Opacic, this Major Milivoj Ostojic, did he ever discuss this

16     incident with you, did he ever take a statement from you, or did he try

17     to check with you or any of your associates any of these allegations

18     here?

19        A.   No, never.

20        Q.   And is this that same Ostojic for whom you said because of the

21     events in Nadin that he and Ristic were war profiteers and traitors?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Did the military security service ever submit any charges against

24     you for the allegations that I've read to you?

25        A.   No.  Neither the military nor the state security service ever

Page 18215

 1     submitted any criminal reports about this, anything like that.  Nobody

 2     ever called me about that.  I never saw anything like that.  This is

 3     only, you understand, with them.  There was state security service.  They

 4     also had information.  They knew who it was and what was going on.  I

 5     mean, this was something that went on parallel.

 6        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.  Can you please tells whether volunteers

 7     from Serbia were ever under your command, any volunteer from Serbia?

 8        A.   No, never.

 9        Q.   Mr. Opacic, how long did you spend in this TO formation, until

10     when?

11        A.   Until the UNPROFOR came, and then we were disbanded.  We were on

12     stand by for a while and then everybody went home.  Once the UNPROFOR

13     came, there were no more combat actions.  There was no more need for

14     anybody to be engaged.  I was a free civilian again.

15        Q.   Can you please tell us when this was?

16        A.   Well, I don't know, but I think it was about a month after the

17     UNPROFOR arrived.

18        Q.   And what year is that?

19        A.   This is 1992, I think, if I am not mistaken.

20        Q.   And at what point in time in 1992 were you engaged in any

21     actions, and, if you were, which action was this and who deployed you

22     there?

23        A.   I was there in the action to break through the corridor.  The

24     police from Benkovac was engaged in trying to break through the corridor,

25     but I was a free civilian at the time and guys were supposed to

Page 18216

 1     assemble -- people were out in the field for 15 days and they needed to

 2     be replaced, so the commander in Benkovac said to me that we needed to

 3     find some other guys, get together, and to go and relieve the guys who

 4     were deployed in the action to breakthrough the corridor.

 5             We went there and we were placed under the command of

 6     Milan Martic, and we completed our action successfully.  And after that

 7     we returned home.

 8        Q.   When you returned home, did you join any unit, any formation, and

 9     if so, when?

10        A.   No, I didn't join any formation.  When I returned from the action

11     in the corridor, I was in the office of Momcilo Bogunovic when the

12     weapons and the equipment was being returned, the vehicles and so on.

13     And then General Boro Djukic called, and he said, I don't want to see

14     Opacic and his men in any formation.  That is what he said, "in any

15     formation."

16        Q.   All right.  Let me just stop you here so that I could put a

17     couple more important questions to you so that we use the time that we

18     have.  Momcilo Bogunovic, what was he at the time, and who was

19     Boro Djukic at the time?

20        A.   Boro Djukic I think was in Knin.  He was the main security

21     person, a commander of the police over there, perhaps the army there.

22     The officers who were there in the JNA, they moved then -- they

23     transferred to the Krajina police force then.  I think that he was a

24     commander.  I don't know exactly what he was.  But since he was the main

25     security person at the time in the Knin Corps area -- Boro Djukic, that's

Page 18217

 1     what he was, he was the number one security person in that area, as far

 2     as I know.

 3        Q.   What about Mr. Momcilo Bogunovic, what about him?

 4        A.   Mr. Momcilo Bogunovic followed Cecovic.  He was the commander of

 5     the Benkovac barracks.  When the Krajina police went there after the

 6     UNPROFOR came, the army went to Serbia and the officers who were from our

 7     area, who were securing that area, they stayed in the barracks.

 8        Q.   When the Army of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina was

 9     established after, as you said, UNPROFOR arrived, the army -- the JNA

10     left, and the military transferred into the police for a time.  And then

11     after a certain period of time, did -- was the Army of the Serbian

12     Krajina, was it established?

13        A.   In late 1991, November or something, I cannot remember, the chief

14     of the police, Slobodan Vojko, who was in Benkovac, and Momcilo Bogunovic

15     stopped me on the street in Benkovac, and they told me, Goran, you are

16     enjoying a good reputation among the people as a fighter from the front,

17     and you have to join either the army or the police.  You cannot just

18     stand on the sidelines.  And since I was in the police, the former JNA

19     officers had left, so then I decided to join the police.  The

20     92nd Brigade, the military police in Benkovac, whenever it was

21     established.

22        Q.   Can you please tell us when this was?

23        A.   This was in late 1992, early 1993.  I think it was December 1992.

24     I'm sorry.  I don't know exactly the dates.  It could have been November

25     or December in any event.

Page 18218

 1        Q.   Sir, thank you very much.  Can you please just tell us this:  At

 2     one point were you wounded, and if you were, just briefly tell us when

 3     and how did this happen?

 4        A.   There was an aggression by the Croatian formations.  This was on

 5     the 22nd of January.  Although we were under the protection of the

 6     United Nations they attacked us, and it seems that on the 22nd early in

 7     the morning we were attacked.  The UNPROFOR did not let us pull our

 8     weapons out.  And then at 6.00 in the morning --

 9        Q.   Mr. Opacic, please.  We don't need all the information about the

10     action itself.  We are short of time.  You are -- when you say that you

11     are talking about the 22nd of January --

12        A.   It was the 22nd of January at 5.00 a.m.

13        Q.   And if I understood you correctly your eyes were injured and you

14     had to go for treatment?

15        A.   Yes, I was shot in both eyes and I was blind for three months

16     almost.

17        Q.   Now I would like to hear two things from you:  When was it that

18     you saw Mr. Franko Simatovic for the first time?

19        A.   As far as I can remember, I saw Franko Simatovic perhaps once or

20     twice.  Once in front of the police station in Knin.  He sported Ray-Ban

21     glasses and he drove a red car with Belgrade registration plates.  As far

22     as I can remember, I asked people who he was and they told me that he was

23     a security person from Belgrade, from Serbia.

24        Q.   When you say that it was in Knin, when was that?  What year?  Can

25     you tell us what month?

Page 18219

 1        A.   It was in 1991 and I believe that it was either in June or some

 2     time around there.

 3        Q.   Did he wear a uniform or was he in civilian clothes?

 4        A.   He was in -- wearing civilian clothes.

 5        Q.   And his car, was that a passenger car or was that a police jeep?

 6        A.   It was a red passenger car.  I don't know of what make, but it

 7     was a normal passenger car.

 8        Q.   After that, did you ever see Mr. Simatovic again?

 9        A.   No.

10        Q.   And did you see Mr. Simatovic in 1997 during a ceremony of some

11     sort?

12        A.   Yes.  I saw him at the celebration of the special operation at

13     Ilidza.

14        Q.   Mr. Opacic, could you please tell us whether you were ever a

15     member of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia or its state security?

16        A.   I was never a member of the state security of Serbia.  I helped

17     Zoran Rajic when he was setting up JSOs.  Our lads who were there were to

18     become members, and I helped Zoran Rajic with the training.  He asked me

19     to draw up the plan of the training of those new members.

20        Q.   Sir, let us just correct something.  If I understood you

21     properly, in 1991 you saw Franko Simatovic in Knin, as you have described

22     for us; and then in 1997, where did you see him?

23        A.   At Kula.

24        Q.   How did you find yourself there?  Did you participate in that

25     ceremony at Kula?

Page 18220

 1        A.   Zoran Rajic invited me, and my brother, Milos Opacic, was a

 2     member of the special operations unit, and Rajic is my family friend.  He

 3     invited me the attend the celebration of that unit, and the lads that

 4     attended also hailed from my region.  I knew them from before.  They were

 5     linked to the unit.  They were members of that unit, and I --

 6        Q.   Did you go to that celebration in civilian clothes?

 7        A.   I arrived at that celebration wearing civilian clothes and that's

 8     how I returned, but there was a little surprise in store for me there.

 9     When we arrived there, I saw my old comrades, Svetozar Nakarada, Subotic,

10     Zika Jovanovic, Olujic, Dula Orlovic, who was the head of security in

11     Krajina.  And there was a surprise in store for us.  They told me

12     personally that we had to put uniforms on because President Milosevic was

13     supposed to arrive.  We want to display you as war veterans.  And from

14     Zika Jovanovic bestowed -- bestowed on me the rank of colonel.  And then

15     I returned the uniform and the rank.  So I was a colonel for about two or

16     three hours, until the moment the ceremony ended.

17        Q.   And before that ceremony, did you ever see Rajo Bozovic or

18     Milorad Ulemek or Vaso Mijovic?

19        A.   Vaso Mijovic and Radojica Bozovic, I saw them for the first time.

20     I knew Ziko Milovic [phoen], and I knew of Milorad Ulemek.  He was

21     Arkan's Men, and I didn't know him.  I only heard of him and read about

22     him.  And he came to our region in 1993 when an attack was mounted on

23     Ravni Kotari and the Maslenica bridge.

24        Q.   Mr. Opacic, I am bringing my examination to an end.  My time is

25     running out.  Kindly tell me again, did you ever, from 1990 up to the

Page 18221

 1     ceremony which took place in 1997 or even perhaps until today, were you

 2     ever an employee, an active duty employee or reserve duty employee, of

 3     the MUP of Serbia or the state security of Serbia?

 4        A.   What year?  From 1990 until?

 5        Q.   Until today.

 6        A.   I don't know what you imply by that.  I was preparing those lads

 7     for service.  I drafted a plan for their deployment.  And if you want to

 8     consider that as me being a member of that unit, then that is something

 9     else, but I was never a member of the state security.  Never.

10        Q.   When you say that you were helping Zoran Rajic in drafting a plan

11     and programme, what year was that?

12        A.   That was in 1996 and 1997 when our lads who had arrived from

13     Krajina and who were considered candidates to join that unit for special

14     operations.

15        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.

16             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honours, I

17     would like to look at one document, 2D1213, and then I would end with

18     that.

19        Q.   Mr. Opacic, when you were wounded on the 22nd of January, 1993,

20     you were supposed to go abroad for a surgery; is that correct?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   Did you receive any aid or assistance for that surgery?  And if

23     that was the case, who did that come from?

24        A.   I was operated twice in Belgium, in Antwerpen, by

25     Relja Zivojinovic, and both of the operations were paid for by the

Page 18222

 1     government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.

 2        Q.   Did you provide us with a government decision dated 30 May 1993

 3     where it says that the -- Djordje Bjegovic, the prime minister of the

 4     RSK, approved an amount of 10.000 German marks for your eye surgery?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this moment I would

 7     like to tender 2D1213.

 8             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]

 9             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, if we could have until after the next

10     break to discuss perhaps with Mr. Bakrac just some information about this

11     document.  It's -- we are unfamiliar with it, and then I'll state our

12     position.

13             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  This will been be admitted

14     provisionally and marked for identification.

15             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 2D213 will received number D716,

16     Your Honours.

17             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Marked for identification.

18             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Thank you

19     for giving me a -- some additional time.  And once again I apologise for

20     my bad estimate, and these were all the questions I had for the witness.

21        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Opacic.

22             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Thank you Mr. Bakrac.

23             Mr. Jordash.

24             Mr. Opacic, now you will be examined by Mr. Jordash, he who

25     represents Mr. Stanisic in this case.


Page 18223

 1             MR. JORDASH:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 2                           Cross-examination by Mr. Jordash:

 3        Q.   Good afternoon.

 4        A.   Good afternoon.

 5        Q.   I don't have many questions for you, maybe ten minutes or so.

 6     And I want to, in the ten minutes or so, just ask you about some evidence

 7     which was heard at the ICTY.  First of all, I don't know if you're aware

 8     but Zoran Lakic gave evidence in the Martic case.  Were you aware of

 9     that?

10        A.   No.

11        Q.   Let me ask you about something he said and see if you have

12     comments about it.  This is evidence given on the --

13             MR. JORDASH:  There seems to be some problem.

14             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Actually, we can hear some music

15     being played and there is also a telephone that rings?

16             MR. JORDASH:  Probably preferable to me.

17             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Now it's a bit calmer.  We can go

18     on.

19             MR. JORDASH:

20        Q.   Can you hear me, Mr. Witness?

21        A.   Yes, I can.  Yes.

22        Q.   Okay.  I am going to just ask you if you can comment on some

23     testimony that Lakic gave in the Martic case, on the

24     27th of October, 2006, at page 10224.  And he was discussing the

25     operation this Skabrnja, and I want to ask you if you agree or not with

Page 18224

 1     some of his comments.  Are you with me?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Page 10224, Lakic said that the operation was launched against

 4     Skabrnja "with the sole aim of convincing the Croatian forces with

 5     peaceful means to allow the pullout of the technical -- of the military

 6     technical equipment smoothly and that was the sole reason behind the

 7     action."

 8             Was that your understanding of the object of the operation?

 9        A.   I don't know.  I believe that what Lakic said was correct, but

10     there were also attacks mounted by the Croatian forces from the same

11     place, and that was the main reason why things had to be done.  I am sure

12     that they did not allow for the weapons to be pulled out.  They opened

13     fire on those villages and actually threatened the roads leading to those

14     villages.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Some more testimony that he gave.  Page 10247.  He's

16     asked the question at line 11:

17             "Do you accept the possibility that members of the SAO Krajina

18     police were present in the village before you arrived?"

19             He answered:

20             "I do not accept that for the simple reason that I know they were

21     not active.  Well, I know I wasn't along the axis of attack.  That's

22     true.  However, the unit -- or, rather, I should say, police force,

23     police patrols carried out those duties that were envisaged under the

24     plan involving the peace agreement.  They weren't there when I was there,

25     nor were they there before on that axis."

Page 18225

 1             Do you agree with Mr. Lakic that the SAO Krajina police were not

 2     part of the Skabrnja operation?

 3        A.   The SAO Krajina police?  I never met them.  There were military

 4     police and the members of the police there, from Benkovac.

 5        Q.   The question is more direct than that, Mr. Opacic.

 6        A.   In that sector, I --

 7        Q.   Go ahead, finish your comment about the sector.

 8        A.   I don't know what units participated in all of that.  I know that

 9     there were members of the military police -- or perhaps not the military

10     police or some military.  Lieutenant Stanojevic actually got killed there

11     in Skabrnja.

12             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Groome.

13             MR. GROOME:  Thank you, Your Honour.  If I might inquire.  It

14     seems that Mr. Jordash is reading from a transcript of another trial that

15     hasn't been tendered in this case.  So my query is:  Is it his intention

16     to impeach this witness with some evidence from another trial, or is he

17     laying foundation to ultimately tender this testimony?  It's unclear to

18     me exactly the exercise we are undergoing at the moment.

19             MR. JORDASH:  Well, it's certainly not laying the foundation to

20     introduce the evidence.  It's really just to ask the witness about the

21     evidence given by Lakic and see what he has to say about it, which is, as

22     I understand it, consistent with what we have been doing during this

23     trial, including what Ms. Marcus did last week when putting to a witness

24     what other individuals had said at trials at the ICTY or what other

25     witnesses had said to the Prosecution in interviews held by the

Page 18226

 1     Prosecution, which in many ways is a much less satisfactory mode of

 2     examination in my submission.

 3             MR. GROOME:  It's not so much the procedure that I am objecting

 4     to, it's the purpose of it.  Is it -- it seems to me that there are two

 5     traditional reasons for doing so:  One is to refresh a witness's

 6     recollection, and I don't believe we have exhausted the witness's

 7     recollection at this stage; or, typically to impeach a witness, to

 8     suggest that perhaps their evidence is in error in some regard.  I am

 9     just simply not sure what exactly is being done now by introducing or

10     reading the transcript of a case that's not in evidence in this trial.

11             MR. JORDASH:  Well, I am asking the witness about -- as I have

12     just said, I am asking the witness about the evidence and asking him what

13     his view is and whether he agrees with it or not.  If he doesn't agree

14     with it and I --

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me?

16             MR. JORDASH:  No.

17             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  No, Witness.

18             MR. JORDASH:  If he doesn't agree with it and it's part of our

19     case, then I will then take the next step and impeach him.  And, that's

20     going to be a bit clearer in a moment because the witness gives a very

21     clear indication that this witness wasn't present at Skabrnja but gives a

22     different reason than what the witness has given.

23             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, I accept Mr. Jordash's representation

24     and withdraw my objection.  Sorry.

25             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well, Mr. Jordash.  You may

Page 18227

 1     continue.

 2             MR. JORDASH:  Thank you, Your Honours.

 3        Q.   Mr. Opacic, could you answer the question I put to you, which

 4     was:  Do you accept that the SAO Krajina police were not part of the

 5     operation in Skabrnja?

 6        A.   I can't say yes or no.  I wasn't there.  I was not fully aware of

 7     the situation.

 8        Q.   Okay.  Fair enough.  Let me ask you about another comment

 9     Mr. Lakic made.  Lakic says at page 10258 on the 27th of October, 2006,

10     line 9:

11             "To the best of my knowledge, a group, this Opacic's group, as

12     it's called, certainly didn't take part in Skabrnja.  I know at that at

13     the time" --

14             Let me start that again:

15             "... I know that at the time he was in Benkovac or, rather,

16     outside the territory.  And I say that with full responsibility because I

17     happened to meet him myself, personally, when I was returning in the

18     evening.  And I know he didn't take part at all.  Not only did he not

19     take part, he could not have taken part."

20             And then he goes on to say, on the same page:

21             "Opacic was a professional policeman in the Croatian police, and

22     as such -- well, that was his profession.  He didn't have a group in any

23     formal legal sense.  He didn't have a unit.  He didn't have a group.  He

24     didn't have a formation of that kind."

25             And then further down the page:

Page 18228

 1             "He didn't take part in any operations that are being ascribed to

 2     him like the one in Skabrnja.  I know that for certain because later on

 3     the police organs and the entire investigation and the results of it had

 4     to be sent to the commanders of the JNA.  We had to report back to them."

 5             Did you have anything to do with this investigation, or were you

 6     aware of the results of the investigation sent to the commanders of the

 7     JNA?

 8        A.   I had nothing whatsoever to do with that.  I did go to see him --

 9     actually, I was under his direct command.  I stand by my statement that I

10     already provided.  I was supposed to take the elevation in Skabrnja but

11     that means that I adhere by the same answer I provided in the previous

12     statement.  I was never in Skabrnja.  I never participated in the

13     operation there.  I was supposed to participate but I did not and that

14     was for the reason that I have already explained today.

15        Q.   He then goes on to say, Mr. Opacic, at page 10263, when asked

16     about -- well, let me put the question that was asked to him:

17             "Did you hear anything about Goran Opacic bragging about killing

18     civilians in Skabrnja?  Did you ever hear anything about that?"

19             And he answers:

20             "I know Goran Opacic personally.  This sort of bragging on his

21     part is nothing new.  He tried to oversell himself as a hero, but in

22     actual fact he fled.  He took to the hills whenever a situation was

23     dangerous.  In the opinion of the JNA soldiers, he was an average

24     soldier, but one who was prone to telling stories.  But I wish to say

25     that he wasn't a member of the SUP Benkovac.  He was a lone fighter."

Page 18229

 1             Mr. Opacic, is there any truth in that?  Is that the reason you

 2     didn't take part in Skabrnja, because you fled?

 3        A.   It's a lie.  It's a lie.  I didn't flee.  I didn't want to

 4     participate in that operation.  And when it came to the civilians, that

 5     had nothing whatsoever to do with that.  That's a lie, a fabrication.  He

 6     lies that I was not there.  I received salary from the

 7     Territorial Defence staff in Benkovac.  I was issued weapons from them,

 8     as well.

 9        Q.   Okay.  Thank you.  No further questions.

10             MR. JORDASH:  Thank you, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Thank you, Mr. Jordash.

12             Mr. Groome, may I ask you -- I believe that it's a good moment to

13     take a break, but before that, I would like to ask you how much time will

14     you need to examine the witness?

15             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, we had originally given notice of three

16     hours.  I think it may be less than that, but I think I will be able to

17     give a more accurate -- after I have had an opportunity to go through my

18     notes, but in any case it will not be more than three hours.

19             And may I suggest that during the break perhaps we check with the

20     witness about his medical condition.  It is clear that I will finish

21     tomorrow morning, so if there is some medical problem that the witness --

22     that Mr. Bakrac referred to, perhaps that should be explored during the

23     break.

24             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  First of all, we are going to

25     contact our Registrar in Belgrade and ask them whether it is possible


Page 18230

 1     to -- for the witness to travel tomorrow afternoon.  I think it should be

 2     possible.

 3             We shall take a break now, and we will start at quarter to 6.00.

 4                           --- Recess taken at 5.12 p.m.

 5                           --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.

 6             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Opacic, you will now be

 7     cross-examined by Mr. Groome, who's the Prosecutor.

 8             Mr. Groome.

 9             MR. GROOME:  Thank you, Your Honour.

10             Your Honour, before I start, in the last session I had asked to

11     have an opportunity over the break to consider our position with respect

12     to D7 -- sorry, D766, marked for identification.  I have done that and

13     the Prosecution has no objection to the admission of this document.

14             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well.  D766 will be

15     admitted.

16                           Cross-examination by Mr. Groome:

17        Q.   Mr. Opacic, I want to be sure that we have a very clear

18     understanding of your professional biography, and perhaps most

19     significant for the Prosecution is if and when you worked for the state

20     security department of the Serbian MUP.  Do you, yourself, consider that

21     you worked for the State Security Service?

22        A.   Well, if you think that my helping Rajic prepare the lads who

23     were over at our place to become members of the special operations unit,

24     if that you consider to be co-operation with the state security.

25        Q.   It's not important what I think.  What I am simply asking you is:

Page 18231

 1     While you were doing that, did you, yourself, consider that you were a

 2     member of the State Security Service?  It seems by the way that you

 3     answered my question that you did not believe you were a member.

 4        A.   No.  No, I wasn't.

 5        Q.   Now can I ask you to please give us some more detail about this

 6     assistance that you provided to your friend, Zoran Rajic.  Can you tell

 7     us with as much precision as possible when it was?

 8        A.   Well, you see, Zoran Rajic helped me out when in 1995 my brother

 9     and I, who lived in Loznica after having fled, we were called by him to a

10     place called Ilok in eastern Slavonia.  He invited us to go and settle

11     there because there were vacant houses there.  We were also told that a

12     unit of some sorts was going to be set up to defend eastern Slavonia.

13     After having spent a month or two at Loznica, we moved to Ilok.

14     Zoran Rajic, who was the commander of that unit, kept me listed as a

15     member of that unit, although I was unable to do anything since I was

16     disabled by that point.  Still, I was listed to be a member of that unit

17     in eastern Slavonia.  There were roughly a hundred families who relocated

18     to Ilok at that time.  They were all individuals who had fled the

19     Krajina.

20        Q.   Was this first -- the time that you moved to Loznica, was the

21     conflict still ongoing in 1995 or was this after the conflict had ended?

22        A.   You mean from Ilok or at the point when the republic of the

23     Serbian Krajina fell?  What do you mean?  I am not clear in your

24     question.  What's the time-period you are referring to?

25        Q.   Perhaps more simply, are you able to tell us the month in 1995

Page 18232

 1     that you made this move?

 2        A.   You mean the move to Ilok?  Well, when the Krajina fell; in other

 3     words, on the 5th, or perhaps it may have been the 10th or the 11th.  I

 4     don't know how long the journey took.  At any rate, it was the month of

 5     August when the Krajina fell.  We settled in a place called Brnjac, my

 6     brother Milos and I, together with my wife and child and my parents.

 7        Q.   Now you've said that Zoran Rajic helped you out by placing you on

 8     a list of a unit.  Can I --

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   -- ask you, who did you believe Zoran Rajic was working for at

11     that time?

12        A.   I thought that he worked for the Krajina security.  I knew him at

13     the time as a member of the Krajina security.  I got to know him back in

14     1990 or 1991.

15        Q.   And do you know that because you told you that's who he worked

16     for, or do you have that from another source?

17        A.   I know him personally from the time of the road blocks.  So our

18     acquaintance lasted through to the war, and it was only in 1996 that he

19     told me that he worked for the security of Serbia.

20        Q.   And when he told you that he worked for the security of Serbia,

21     did he tell you when he fist began to work for the security of Serbia?

22        A.   Well, in 1996.

23        Q.   Now, what was the purpose of putting you on a list of members of

24     a unit that you say you, in fact, were not a member of?

25        A.   Well, you see, after I fled the Krajina, I had no means of

Page 18233

 1     livelihood, either I, my wife, I had a child with her and she was

 2     pregnant, or my parents.  So I was in a hopeless situation.  Since we had

 3     been friends from 1990, he listed me as a member of that unit so that I

 4     would be able to receive funds on that basis and have something to

 5     sustain my family on.  Secondly, he also took me along to the Tara river.

 6     He could have taken along anyone if he wished to, to train that

 7     particular unit.  But he took me.  Besides, this unit - and I will never

 8     forget this - they all gave up or forfeited their salaries and raised

 9     thousands of German marks in order for me to settle my housing problems,

10     even though they, too, were refugees, didn't have a place to stay and had

11     to feed their families, but I was in a precarious position.

12        Q.   Sir, would I be incorrect in characterising this as a fraud.  As

13     you representing and receiving payment for service to a unit that you, in

14     fact, did not render service to?

15        A.   I was on the payroll, although I was not a member of the unit

16     formally -- or, rather, formally I was but not in actual fact.  I was

17     wasn't present there.  Zoran Rajic would bring along my salary, but I

18     wasn't an actual member of the unit.

19        Q.   I want to be sure that we are speaking about the same person when

20     you refer to Zoran Rajic, so can I ask that you be shown 65 ter 6428.

21             MR. GROOME:  And to the Registrar down below in Belgrade, it is

22     tab 40 in the binder that we provided.

23        Q.   And sir, I am going to ask you to take a look at this photograph

24     and then tell us two things:  First, can you tell us whether it's clear

25     enough for you to be able to reliable identify the two people in the

Page 18234

 1     picture.  And then, if you can, tell us if you recognise them.

 2        A.   This is Captain Dragan.  And I believe this is Zoran Rajic.

 3             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour --

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see it clearly, but I do

 5     believe that that is him.  Yes.  Captain Dragan and Zoran Rajic.

 6             MR. GROOME:

 7        Q.   Are you able to see with any clarity the uniforms that they are

 8     wearing?  And if so, can you tell us whether you recognise them and where

 9     are they from?

10        A.   No, I can't see them clearly.  Sorry?

11        Q.   Thank you.

12        A.   I didn't understand.

13        Q.   If you cannot see them clearly, I wouldn't want to ask you any

14     further questions about them.

15             MR. GROOME:  So, Your Honour, at this time the Prosecution

16     tenders 65 ter 6428, the photograph the witness was just shown.

17             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Jordash.

18             MR. JORDASH:  I am not sure the purpose, really.  There is no

19     dispute that we are talking about the same Zoran Rajic.

20             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Was that why you wanted to show

21     him that photo, to make sure that it's the same Zoran Rajic?

22             MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour.  I am advised that it's not that

23     uncommon a name.

24             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, Mr. Bakrac.

25             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I would like to add this:  Could my

Page 18235

 1     learned friend, Mr. Groome, tell us the date when the photograph was

 2     taken?  We don't have that information.

 3             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  I am not sure that it's really

 4     relevant to know when the photo was taken.  If the only reason for which

 5     this picture is tendered is to make sure that it's the same Zoran Rajic

 6     as the one that we see on the photo with Captain Dragan, the objection,

 7     in fact, is slightly irrelevant.

 8             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Then I withdraw my request if that

 9     is the only reason.  I apologise, my comment has to do with the uniforms,

10     but the witness did say that he was unable to comment on them anyway.

11             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Jordash, let's not dwell too

12     long on this problem.  It doesn't seem to be such -- very serious

13     problem, is it?

14             MR. JORDASH:  No, but I can see -- just to back up Mr. Bakrac, I

15     can see the Prosecution waiving this photograph in the future and saying,

16     Look at how great friends they were, and look how this connects Rajic,

17     Dragan and the accused.  I can see that --

18             MR. GROOME:  If I give Mr. Jordash my assurance that I will never

19     claim that they are great friends, will he withdraw his objection?

20             MR. JORDASH:  No, I won't.

21                           [Trial Chamber confers]

22             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well.  The objection is

23     overruled.  The photo will be admitted into evidence.

24             Madam Registrar, under what Exhibit.

25             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 6428 will receive number P3098,

Page 18236

 1     Your Honours.

 2             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well.  So P -- I am not sure

 3     that the number is the right number, the number in the transcript.

 4             THE REGISTRAR:  Number P3098.

 5             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well.  P3098 is admitted

 6     into evidence.

 7             MR. GROOME:

 8        Q.   Mr. Opacic, I am going to ask you that you look at one other

 9     photo.  It is 65 ter 1180.3, and is a photograph from a still of P2160, a

10     video that is in evidence.  I believe it has just been sent down and

11     printed.

12             MR. GROOME:  So the Registrar will find it in the document that

13     he received over the break.

14             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] With all due respect, Mr. Groome,

15     this 65 ter is 1180.3, as indicated, as far as I understand.

16             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Registrar in Belgrade, your

17     intervention has not been recorded, but it is the right photo, indeed, is

18     it?

19             MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour.  If I could ask the that the

20     witness be given an opportunity hold it and examine it.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not clear on who is here.

22             MR. GROOME:

23        Q.   If you're unable to, with any degree of reliability, identify the

24     people, then I'd ask you not to do so.  But if you think you can, then

25     please do.

Page 18237

 1        A.   I cannot recognise anyone.

 2        Q.   Can I ask:  Is that because you are unable to see the picture

 3     clearly enough because of your eyesight; or you can see it clearly.  You

 4     simply do not recognise any of these people?

 5        A.   I can't see or recognise anyone because it's all very hazy.  I

 6     can't see a clear image of anyone.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Then let's leave it there.  I will investigate whether we

 8     can send down a clearer picture.

 9             Now, if we could return to the work that you did for Mr. Rajic, I

10     believe you said in 1996/1997, and that was the plan for deployment,

11     could I ask you to tell us with as much precision as possible when you

12     began that assistance or when you first gave that assistance?

13        A.   You mean the fitness training and all that?  Well, I was involved

14     in that back at Golubici under the command of Dragan Karne.

15              I had prepared physical fitness course for our

16     members --

17             THE INTERPRETER:  And the interpreter didn't hear the last bit

18     the witness said.

19             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --

20             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  We have a few problems.  First of

21     all, the interpreter did not quite understand what the witness just said.

22             And Mr. Bakrac, you wanted to say something?

23             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  In line 11, it

24     was misinterpreted what the witness said.  The witness mentioned a

25     different name, that he was involved in a fitness training programme in

Page 18238

 1     Golubic under the command of ...

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  Can the witness please repeat?  We didn't hear

 3     what he said, the first name.

 4             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Opacic, could you please

 5     repeat very slowly and clearly the name of the person, please.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under the command of Dragan Karna,

 7     that was when I arrived in Golubic and I was working with the lads who

 8     were there.  That was back in 1991 in late April.  And then I continued

 9     all the way to the point when I left Golubic.

10             MR. GROOME:

11        Q.   Sir, I'm in fact--

12             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Thank you.

13             MR. GROOME:

14        Q.   Sir, I'm in fact drawing your attention to another period of

15     time.  You mentioned in your testimony earlier today that you assisted

16     Zoran Rajic by drafting a plan for deployment of the JSO in either 1996

17     or 1997.  Do you recall giving that evidence earlier today?

18        A.   That's not how I put it.  I said that I helped him out with the

19     plan for the physical fitness programme of the candidates for the JSO,

20     and that was in 1996 and 1997.

21        Q.   So do I understand you correctly that the only assistance that

22     you gave Mr. Rajic was helping him develop a plan for improving the

23     physical fitness of the candidates for the JSO?

24        A.   Correct.

25        Q.   How long did it take you to develop that plan?

Page 18239

 1        A.   Well, it didn't take long for me to do that.  When it comes to

 2     physical fitness programmes, I was an expert and I didn't require more

 3     than a few days for that.

 4        Q.   And where did you --

 5        A.   I had to think of some machines that would be used with weights,

 6     et cetera.

 7        Q.   And where did you do this work?

 8        A.   I did that on mount Tara near Bajina Basta in the hotel called

 9     Tara.

10        Q.   And during the course of this work, did you ever visit the Kula

11     centre, the Rade Kostic centre, to look at the facilities that were

12     there?

13        A.   No.  That was the work I did at Tara only, whereas I visited Kula

14     only on the occasion of that particular celebration.  And Rajic was there

15     as well.  And I had never been at Kula either before or after, although

16     my brother worked there.

17        Q.   Were you paid for this work?

18        A.   I did say that I received some sort of remuneration for it, and I

19     did say that the other men forfeited some of their pay in order that I

20     may be able to acquire for myself, my wife and my child, and in 1997 my

21     other daughter was born.  They raised basically to 20.000 German marks

22     and that required them to forfeit their -- one of their monthly pays to

23     raise that amount of money.

24        Q.   So, sir, is it your evidence that you were -- you received 20.000

25     Deutschmarks as compensation for having spent a couple of days developing

Page 18240

 1     a physical training course?  Is that your evidence?

 2        A.   No, no.  That is not my evidence.  I did receive my regular pay,

 3     whereas this was just a humanitarian action on their part.  Because I had

 4     been wounded and my sight was ruined, they raised this money for me for

 5     humanitarian purposes.  I didn't get 20 German marks in exchange for my

 6     work on preparing this fitness plan.  That would have been ludicrous.

 7        Q.   Can we simply focus on the payment for the fitness plan.  Do you

 8     remember how you were paid?  And if you remember, how much you were paid?

 9        A.   Well it was in dinars, but I can tell you that it was the

10     equivalent of 800 German marks.

11        Q.   And did you receive that from Mr. Rajic or from someone else?

12        A.   I received the money from Mr. Rajic himself.

13        Q.   Now if we can return to the first time you saw Mr. Simatovic.

14     Can I ask you again, with as much precision as possible, to tell us the

15     month and year that you recall seeing him?

16        A.   I did tell you this once already.  I saw Mr. Simatovic outside of

17     the police station, if I remember correctly.  I am not sure where I saw

18     him the second time, but I am sure that the first time I saw him was

19     outside the police station in Knin.  He drove a red car, a passenger car,

20     with Belgrade license plates.  I asked the people around who this was and

21     they told me that he was a security guy from Serbia.

22        Q.   And the -- are you able to tell us how much time approximately

23     elapsed between the first time you saw him in the Knin area and the

24     second time?

25        A.   I suppose that it was some three days later that I saw him.

Page 18241

 1     Perhaps he was in his car or passing through Knin.  I can't be sure about

 2     it.

 3        Q.   Did you speak to him on either occasion?

 4        A.   I had never spoken to him.  Not until I came to attend the

 5     celebration when that -- there was a review of that unit in 1997.

 6        Q.   Now, Mr. Bakrac has referred to a video, P61, of that

 7     celebration.  Can you tell us -- we know what's on the video, can you

 8     tell us, did you have any interaction with Mr. Simatovic that we -- was

 9     not filmed?  Did you have any conversation with him?  Did you discuss any

10     topics with him on the day that you were in the Kula centre?

11        A.   When the celebration ended, there was a memorial museum there

12     where various artefacts were exhibited and that was where we exchanged a

13     few words.

14        Q.   And what did you talk about, if you recall?

15        A.   Well, not much.  He asked about my health.  He had heard that I

16     was wounded so he wanted to know how I was fairing and where I was

17     living.

18        Q.   And approximately how long did you speak with him at this time?

19        A.   A minute or two, perhaps.  There was commotion.  He had many

20     other obligations.  There was the President Milosevic there with the

21     entire delegation.  He didn't have time to talk to me.  We -- it's not

22     like we had been socialising from before.

23        Q.   So do I understand your evidence correctly that the entire

24     interaction that you have had over the course of your life with

25     Mr. Simatovic is the one minute where you exchanged some conversation in

Page 18242

 1     Kula in 1997?  Do I understand your evidence correctly?

 2        A.   That's correct.

 3        Q.   Now, can I ask you questions in a similar vein with respect to

 4     Mr. Stanisic.  Have you ever had over the course of your life any

 5     personal direct interaction with Mr. Stanisic?

 6        A.   Only at the point when he handed over some sort of a gift to me

 7     at this celebration.  It was a knife for the sacrifice that I gave during

 8     the war.  That was the once.  And then I saw him on TV -- actually, I

 9     heard about it when UNPROFOR was in Bosnia and that whole affair, and

10     that was when he appeared in public.  Other than that, you couldn't see

11     him easily.

12        Q.   So is it your evidence that the only direct interaction you have

13     ever had with Mr. Stanisic is when he gave you a gift of a knife in Kula

14     in 1997?

15        A.   Correct.

16        Q.   You still maintain that you are not a member of the state

17     security special units; correct?

18        A.   No.

19        Q.   Were other people who were not members of the State

20     Security Service also given gifts during the ceremony in Kula in 1997?

21        A.   I can't remember who the recipients were.

22        Q.   I want to ask you a few questions and clarify some of your

23     answers that you gave to Mr. Bakrac during your direct evidence.  I want

24     to return to the point where you were speaking about your special unit.

25     And it's at transcript page 13 today.  You said the following:

Page 18243

 1             "And this special unit of ours was well-equipped.  We had double

 2     uniforms.  We were paid more than regular members.  We had Hecklers with

 3     silencers, machine-guns, sniper rifles.  We had chemical tear-gas bombs

 4     and other devices."

 5             My question to you is:  First, how did the equipment you have

 6     compare to the equipment in the possession of other Territorial Defence

 7     units and the newly formed police stations or police personnel?

 8        A.   You must have misunderstood me.  I spoke about the time when I

 9     was a member of the police during the existence of the state of the

10     Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.  I was a member of the

11     special units of the MUP of Croatia in Zadar and Sinj and that is what I

12     referred to.  You must have misunderstood me.

13        Q.   Obviously I have.  Thank you for correcting me.

14             Now another -- other evidence you gave earlier today relates to a

15     decision of Mr. Martic, and the question was:

16             "And what you're saying now, is that a decision of Mr. Martic

17     before Captain Dragan came or not?"

18             And your answer was:

19             "This was his decision that pre-dated the arrival of

20     Captain Dragan.  I came to Golubic based on that decision."

21             My question to you is:  What do you know about that decision?

22     Can you tell us what you understood that decision to contain?

23        A.   Well, you see, in 1991 when Plitvice was attacked, we wanted to

24     form a serious unit composed of police members, and that's when Martic

25     sent a dispatch to the Benkovac SUP, Obrovac [Realtime transcript read in

Page 18244

 1     error "Obudovac"], Gracac, Knin, Lapac SUPs, and invited all those who

 2     had left their previous police stations in Croatia to join.  And they all

 3     came to the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, or to be more precise the

 4     SAO Krajina.  This means that we gathered there pursuant to his order in

 5     order to establish that unit which would be able to intervene at any

 6     given moment.

 7             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, Mr. Bakrac.

 8             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for

 9     interrupting.  Just to avoid confusion.  In the transcript after

10     "Benkovac" I am reading "Obudovac," which is not what the witness said.

11     Could he be invited to repeat what he said after the Benkovac SUP?

12     That's on line 20.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The police station that belonged to

14     the municipal organs of the interior in Benkovac, not in Obudovac.  I did

15     not say Obudovac.

16             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Opacic, you mentioned a few

17     places.  You talked about the SUP of Benkovac and then you also mentioned

18     Obudovac and Gracac and Knin.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Obrovac.  Obrovac.

20             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.  This is

21     exactly what we wanted to know.

22             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreters kindly ask the witness to come

23     closer to the microphone.  Thank you.

24             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Witness, the interpreters are

25     requesting that you speak closer to the microphone, please.

Page 18245

 1             MR. GROOME:

 2        Q.   Sir, Obudovac is not a place that has been mentioned frequently

 3     in this trial.  Can I ask you to spell it so we can be sure that we have

 4     the correct spelling on the record.

 5        A.   Obrovac.  O-b-r-o-v-a-c.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Now today at transcript page 17, you spoke about

 7     Captain Dragan and you expressed your opinion that you thought he was

 8     eccentric, that he was promoting himself extensively over the media, and

 9     that you didn't listen to what he had to say really.

10             My question to you is:  To the extent you heard statements made

11     by Captain Dragan, did you consider the statements to be truthful and

12     accurate about whatever the matter was that Captain Dragan was

13     discussing?

14        A.   Captain Dragan used to exaggerate everything.  He bragged a lot.

15     He used to brag about himself to make himself more -- as popular as

16     possible with journalists, with the media, with television journalists.

17        Q.   Can you give us a concrete example, if you recall, of an example

18     where he exaggerated something that you knew not to be accurate?

19        A.   He talked about Knindza, about their capabilities.  That's what

20     he made up, Knindza, portraying them as invincible warriors and stupid

21     things like that.  He was the one who Knindza.  Some wolves, some bears,

22     I don't know.

23        Q.   So is it your evidence that he was describing units that did not

24     exist, or he was attributing to some units that did exist qualities that

25     they did not possess?

Page 18246

 1        A.   That's correct.

 2        Q.   Is it -- I expressed two possibilities.  Are you saying that both

 3     are correct, that he both invented units that did not exist and

 4     attributed false characteristics to ones that did?

 5        A.   There were -- there were units, they existed, but he attributed

 6     to them those qualities that they did not possess.

 7        Q.   Now today at transcript pages 29 to 30, you were talking about

 8     Skabrnja and Nadin, and you described two elevation points that provided

 9     good vantage points.  Have I correctly understood your evidence to be

10     that these vantage points were controlled by Croat force and the object

11     was to take those vantage points from the Croat forces?

12        A.   Those were Naviskovo Glavica [as interpreted] and Razanovo Glava

13     [as interpreted].  They were both held by the Croat forces.

14        Q.   Am I correct in my understanding that both of these locations are

15     outside the town centre -- centres of both Skabrnja and Nadin?

16        A.   Razanovo Glava, as far as I can remember, is between

17     Donje Biljane village and Skabrnja, to the north of Skabrnja in the

18     direction of Donje Biljane; maybe 2- or 300 metres from Skabrnja and over

19     perhaps 400 metres from Skabrnja, and about 800 metres from the other

20     village.  And the Nadinska Glavica is west of Nadin -- actually, Nadin is

21     on its western slopes and Rujakova Kosa is on its other side, on its

22     northern side.  Again, the latter village is on the slopes of this

23     Nadinska Glavica hill.

24             MR. GROOME:  Could I ask the Registrar down in Belgrade to look

25     at tab 1 of the binder provided by the Prosecution.  This is a copy of

Page 18247

 1     P41.

 2        Q.   And sir, this is a map.  Again I would ask you to look at it.

 3     And if you think after looking at it that you can reliably mark the

 4     location of Razovljeva Glava and Nadinska Glavica, then tell me and then

 5     I will instruct you further on how I'd ask you to mark the map.

 6             MR. GROOME:  And perhaps it might assist those of us here if we

 7     can display P41 in court so that we can see what the witness is looking

 8     at.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very difficult for me to see

10     those elevations.  I can't find them.

11             MR. GROOME:  With the permission of the Court, could I ask that

12     the witness be allowed to hold onto the map overnight to see if perhaps

13     he is able -- with some time able to study it.  It's an unmarked map of

14     P41 of the Skabrnja area.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I have got it.  I think

16     that this is Razovljeva Glava.  This is Razovljeva Glava, but I don't

17     know where Nadinska Glavica is.  I believe that I have found

18     Razovljeva Glava, but I am still looking for Nadinska Glavica and I am

19     still unable to find it.

20             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Groome, is this in dispute,

21     the fact that those villages are on the map?  I can see it if I look at

22     the map.  And if I blow it up on my screen I can see them.

23             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, I apologise.  I did not explore this

24     with my colleagues on the Defence, but if they agree that the two

25     elevations that were held by Croat forces were outside the town centres

Page 18248

 1     of both Skabrnja and Nadin, then there is no need to proceed any further.

 2             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Maybe it's going a little too

 3     far, don't you think, to conclude it that way because you are asking him

 4     to pin-point on a map places that are there?

 5             MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour, but I think that perhaps we can

 6     rely just on the markings of the map.  From looking at the map it's not

 7     clear exactly how large those areas are, but perhaps we will deal with

 8     that in another way.

 9             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  You know, even if he says where

10     these places are, it doesn't necessarily mean that those were the places

11     where the Croat forces were.

12             MR. GROOME:  That's true, Your Honour.  I was simply trying to

13     clarify his evidence about where they were.  His evidence earlier today

14     was that they were on --

15             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, I understand.  But as you

16     can see it's a little difficult.

17             MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour.  I withdraw those questions.  And

18     there is no need for the witness to work with the map any longer.

19        Q.   Sir, if I can now go to something that you gave in your -- some

20     evidence that you gave in your direct testimony in response to a question

21     that you were asked by Mr. Bakrac.  It's at transcript page 18.

22     Mr. Bakrac said:

23             "Mr. Opacic, when you say that you left the police force, did

24     this mean that you simply left or you asked that your employment be

25     terminated?  How did this come about?"

Page 18249

 1             You said:

 2             "I simply walked out of the police station.  I didn't want to be

 3     part of them anymore.  I didn't write any letters, any applications."

 4             My question to you is:  Did you consider that you had abandoned

 5     your post?

 6        A.   I knew that as soon as I left I would never return.  There was

 7     nobody to write to in order to get permission.  I left the police of my

 8     own will, to put it that way, very simply.

 9        Q.   Now a little later or shortly after you gave that evidence, you

10     were discussing your relationship to the command of the JNA, and you said

11     the following at transcript page 26.

12             Question:

13             "And how did you understand this, that you had to wait for help

14     for so long from members of the 180th Brigade?"

15             Answer:

16             "I understood that as betrayal, that they wanted as many of us to

17     get killed as possible so that we would not present ourselves anymore as

18     a kind of military formation because they wanted us to break apart

19     because we would not accept to be under their command."

20             Now I want to focus in on the last portion of your answer.  When

21     did you express to members of the 180th Brigade that you and your men

22     would not accept to be under their command?

23        A.   You certainly meant 180th, not 108th.  That's the first thing I

24     would like to mention.  I did not have any contacts with them.

25        Q.   So how would they have known that you would not accept to be

Page 18250

 1     under their command?

 2        A.   They knew it because I did not -- you see, I did not sport a

 3     five-pointed star on my forehead.  I sported the insignia of a cross with

 4     four Ss and then the Serbian "sajkaca," hat, the Nemanjic's hat.  And

 5     they didn't like that.  It was contrary to what they believed in.  And I

 6     am sure that you will be able to find photos depicting me wearing those

 7     insignia.

 8        Q.   So is it true that you, in fact, did not accept to be under the

 9     command of the 180th Brigade of the JNA?

10        A.   I never wanted to be under their command.

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please be instructed to

12     remove his hand from his mouth.  Thank you.

13             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Witness, could you please try not

14     to put your hand in front of your mouth.  Thank you.

15             MR. GROOME:

16        Q.   So, sir, let me ask you then the next question:  If you didn't

17     want to be under the command of the police, and you did not accept the

18     command of the army, who did you -- did you consider yourself to be under

19     the command of anyone?

20        A.   I was under the command of Zoran Laci in the Territorial Defence.

21        Q.   So it's your evidence that you are --

22        A.   I reported to him.

23        Q.   In the Territorial Defence, in a time of conflict, comes under

24     the command of the army, does it not?

25        A.   Officially, the Territorial Defence was under the command of the

Page 18251

 1     military.  But the military was composed of the officers who belong to

 2     the Albanians, as well as the Croats, Bosniak Muslims, and the Serbs.

 3     That was the composition of the command cadre.  Whereas the

 4     Territorial Defence units were composed of the local officers from

 5     Benkovac and the region, which means that the officers were locals.  I

 6     did not want to be commanded by some Albanian or some Croat or some

 7     Muslim.  I did not want them to lead me into an operation against the

 8     Croatian Armed Forces or some such force.  I didn't want to accept that.

 9        Q.   Now if I can turn our attention to your time in Golubic.  During

10     the time you were in Golubic, did your brothers Milos and Zoran also

11     participate in the training at that time?

12        A.   My brother Milos was in the military in 1991, which means that he

13     was discharged in 1992.  He was a member of the Guards Brigade in

14     Belgrade.  My brother Zoran was an artillery man.

15        Q.   And were either of your --

16             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Witness, once again you're

17     covering your mouth with your hand, and so it's a bit difficult to hear

18     you.

19             MR. GROOME:

20        Q.   Was either of your brothers present in the Knin area at any time

21     that you're aware of?

22        A.   My brother Zoran was with me.  I apologise.

23             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, Mr. Bakrac.

24             MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Apologies, Your Honours.  I wanted

25     to react before the witness answered.  On line 3, it says that his

Page 18252

 1     brother Zoran was an artillery man but the witness's words were not

 2     properly recorded.  Not everything that he said was recorded.  Could

 3     perhaps Mr. Groome repeat his question and clarify with the witness where

 4     his brother Zoran was?

 5             MR. GROOME:

 6        Q.   Mr. Opacic, could I ask you to again tell us where your brother

 7     Zoran Opacic was stationed and with what unit, if he was part of a unit?

 8        A.   He was with me.

 9        Q.   Was he, Zoran Opacic, with you in Golubic during the time you

10     were there?

11        A.   Yes.  He was with me in Golubic.

12        Q.   Now, with respect to yourself, do some of the people that know

13     you also refer to you as Klempo, K-l-e-m-p-o?

14        A.   That is correct.

15        Q.   And with respect to your brother Milos, is he also known as

16     Ciroki, C-i-r-o-k-i, Ciroki?

17        A.   Yes, while he was at the Alpha centre.

18        Q.   How long did the training at Golubic last?

19        A.   I was in Golubic for 20 days for the training when Captain Dragan

20     came, if that's what you were interested in.

21        Q.   Yes, it was.  I am going to ask you whether you recognise any

22     names and whether you recognise them as people that were also present at

23     Golubic.  Do you recognise the name of Dragan Oluic, O-l-u-i-c?

24        A.   Dragan Oluic, the last name is familiar.  Not the first name,

25     though.  Perhaps he's from Obrovac.

Page 18253

 1        Q.   Can I ask you whether you recognise the name Davor Subotic, also

 2     known as Riki?

 3        A.   Davor Subotic, Riki.  I think that he was in Golubic for the

 4     training, as far as I can remember.

 5        Q.   And was he one of the people being trained or was he one of the

 6     people conducting the training?

 7        A.   When I was there, I don't think that he was there.  He was not an

 8     instructor.  He wasn't a policeman at all.

 9        Q.   How do you know him then?

10        A.   We met in the different fronts.  He's from Obrovac.  It's the

11     neighbouring town next to ours.

12        Q.   And what unit did he belong to?

13        A.   I think that he was in the Obrovac one because he was from

14     Obrovac.

15        Q.   How about a person by the name of Milenko Popovic, also known as

16     Luj, L-u-j?

17        A.   I don't know him.  I don't know him.

18        Q.   When you did you first meet Zivojin Ivanovic, also known as

19     Zika Crnogorac?

20        A.   The first volunteer who came to Golubic, that was him, and this

21     was in May.

22        Q.   I want to show you a video now.  Before I do, let me ask you:  Do

23     you recall attending a celebration marking the two-year anniversary of

24     the log revolution on 17 August, 1992, in Bukovic?

25        A.   Yes, and I gave a speech then in Bukovic.

Page 18254

 1        Q.   And Bukovic is a village located in the Benkovac municipality; is

 2     that correct?

 3        A.   Correct.  This was an anniversary celebration of the SDS in

 4     Bukovic.

 5        Q.   And were Zdravko Zecevic and Arkan also present at that

 6     gathering?

 7        A.   Zdravko Zecevic was there as the president of the municipality

 8     and he was in the Benkovac SDS and he gave a speech.  And then Arkan

 9     came.  He also spoke.  And General Boro Djukic also, and he also

10     addressed the meeting.

11        Q.   You just said that you gave a speech.  I am going to play --

12             MR. GROOME:  I am going to ask that we play 65 ter 6431, and I am

13     going to ask that the Registrar down there confirm that he can see the

14     video.

15        Q.   I'm going to ask that it be played, and then I will ask you some

16     questions afterwards.

17                           [Video-clip played]

18             THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] I welcome you here, on this spot

19     from which we ventured into our first actions, where we gathered when we

20     left Zadar with the rifles we had stolen from the Ustashas down there.

21     Where were the generals then?  Where were the JNA officers?  Why did they

22     not defend their people then?  Instead, they were looking into who would

23     go where, whether the majority would be here or there, whether the old

24     Yugoslavia would remain or would we go to Serbia.  However, when they saw

25     that the people were going towards Serbia, as this is the Serbian people,

Page 18255

 1     always has been and always will be ... and no Ustasha will ever defeat

 2     us.

 3             "And now that we have to make our own army, brown-nosers and fat

 4     cats are sucking up to us ...

 5             "As well as lazy bums and other incompetent persons who will lead

 6     these people into disaster.  But we will not let that happen!  Isn't that

 7     right, we will not allow it?

 8             "Believe me when I say that we are the force that will defend

 9     this people.  Believe us!  There is no special status.  We can have the

10     special status only over our dead bodies, only over our dead bodies.

11             "We went to Zadar to get furniture out for the generals and

12     flower pots, and we got slapped by the Ustasha.  They humiliated us.  But

13     we could have conquered Zadar, Biograd.  We would have had the Serbian

14     sea and our own port now.  And they are making fool of us again.

15             "And do not throw your weapons away, because as long as the

16     Ustasha, the Muslims and others, are our neighbours, let us not trust

17     them ever.  They will come at night and cut our throats.

18             "We should never trust them, as long as we have neighbours like

19     this.  We could have given them a special status and not the other way

20     around.  But you see where we are at.  They are giving us a special

21     status.  We also have to feel ashamed because our own Ustashas betrayed

22     us.  But there are still some.  They are sucking up to UNPROFOR where we

23     hid some cannon or a tank.  We must kill such people on the spot!

24             "And every rifle that has been oiled and is now kept under the

25     pillow of every man.  He is able to be at the position in ten minutes.

Page 18256

 1     But as long as this one from the warehouse, from this UNPROFOR, from

 2     these Ustasha ... as people say - trust no one but yourself!  Long live

 3     the Serbian people."

 4             MR. GROOME:

 5        Q.   Sir, is that you that we've seen giving that --

 6             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Mr. Groome, can you please --

 7     maybe you can ask the witness to see if he saw the video?  I am not sure

 8     that he was able really to see the video.

 9             MR. GROOME:

10        Q.   Sir, were you able to see that video?

11        A.   I did hear it, yes.  And I recognised myself.  It's me.

12        Q.   And did it accurately record the speech that you gave on this

13     occasion in Bukovic?

14        A.   From beginning to end.  From beginning to end.

15        Q.   I want you to ask us or assist us in understanding some of what

16     you said.  At the beginning of your speech, you state:

17             "I welcome you here, on this spot from which we ventured into our

18     first actions, where we gathered when we left Zadar with the rifles we

19     had stolen from the Ustasha down there."

20             What are the first actions that you are referring to?

21        A.   The barricades, the log revolution that happened.  At the

22     barricades --

23        Q.   When you --

24        A.   -- there are no actions, actually.

25        Q.   When you use the phrase "we gathered," who else did you gather

Page 18257

 1     with?  Who is the group that you are describing?

 2        A.   The people were there who were manning the barricades.  I was at

 3     the barricades already in 1919, Biljani Gornji and the other village.

 4     The barricades were there manned by the inhabitants of the villages where

 5     the barricades were located.

 6        Q.   When you refer to rifles that you had stolen, where were the

 7     rifles taken from?

 8        A.   These were rifles that we took from the police station in Zadar.

 9        Q.   You continue by stating:

10             "Where were the generals then?  Where were the JNA officers?  Why

11     did they not defend their people then?  Instead they were looking into

12     who would go where.  Whether the majority would be here or there.

13     Whether the old Yugoslavia would remain or would go with Serbia.

14     However, when they saw that the people were going towards Serbia, as this

15     is the Serbian people, always has been, always will be ... no Ustasha

16     will ever defeat us."

17             When you say "people were going towards Serbia," what are you

18     referring to?

19        A.   When the conflict had begun between us and Croatia, the -- when

20     the HDZ came to power, when the barricades first started, the conflict

21     actually started already in World War II during the Ustasha regime, and

22     they were intending to do that also in 1991 when we erected the

23     barricades.  The Croatian army was creating a kind of buffer zone -- or

24     the JNA was creating a kind of buffer zone, but they knew that they were

25     arming themselves in Croatia, so we took up our own defence.  We were

Page 18258

 1     trying to save our lives from the Ustasha knives.

 2        Q.   Towards the end of the speech, you state:

 3             "We must kill such people on the spot."

 4             Who are you suggesting must be killed on the spot?

 5        A.   When the UNPROFOR came, then our army - which was the army of the

 6     Krajina at the time - had some weapons concealed, self-propelled weapons

 7     and things like that.  And some of them would go there and they would say

 8     where such a cannon was hidden or a rifle, and then the UNPROFOR would

 9     come and they would confiscate these weapons ...

10             THE INTERPRETER:  And the interpreter did not hear the rest of

11     what the witness said.

12             MR. GROOME:

13        Q.   Sir, we can hear your answer up until the point where you say

14     that "UNPROFOR would confiscate these weapons."  Can you please repeat

15     again the remainder of your answer?

16        A.   Those people who betrayed the places where the weapons were, who

17     gave them away.  And they were the inhabitants there.  Also, I don't know

18     for what reason they disclosed the places where the weapons were being

19     hidden, and they were telling UNPROFOR that.  And I said that those

20     people should have been killed.  And to this very day, I stand by that,

21     that every single one of those people should have been killed for

22     weakening the -- the combat strength of the Serbian people in the

23     Krajina.

24             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, I see that it's 7.00.

25             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Yes, indeed.  I was just going to


Page 18259

 1     mention it as well.

 2             It seems that the video that we just saw is not in the system.

 3     The Registrar tells me that it's not uploaded.  If you wish to have it

 4     tendered, you will have to first upload it in e-court, and we can see

 5     about it tomorrow.

 6             MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour.  I will check into that.

 7             JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation]  Very well.  The hearing stands

 8     adjourned up until tomorrow morning, Wednesday, March 14, at 9.00 in this

 9     same courtroom.

10             And, Witness, I must instruct you not to discuss with anybody

11     your testimony.  Up until tomorrow morning, of course.  You may not speak

12     about it with anyone.  And I wish you a good evening.

13                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,

14                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 14th

15                           day of March, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.