1 Monday, 2 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
8 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
10 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
11 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Mr. Lausic, I would like to remind you - it may sound familiar in
14 your ears now - I'd like it remind you that you are still bound by the
15 solemn declaration that you gave at the beginning of your testimony.
16 Mr. Misetic will now continue his cross-examination.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: MATE LAUSIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning again, Mr. Lausic.
23 A. Good morning, Mr. Misetic.
24 Q. Mr. Lausic, I'd like to show you another document.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, this is 1D66-0260, please.
1 Q. I don't think you've seen this document in quite a long time so I
2 will give you an opportunity to read through it, and then I'd just like
3 it ask you a few questions about it. It's from the 3rd of April, 1995,
4 and it's correspondence between you and the commander of the southern
5 front of the Juzno Bojiste. Can you read it?
6 A. I will try. The distance doesn't agree with me, but, still ...
7 MR. MISETIC: If we can turn the page then.
8 Okay. If we could now have the English back on the screen.
9 Q. General Lausic, what appears to be -- have happened here is that
10 the -- in April of 1995, the commander of the southern front claimed
11 authority under Article 9 to deploy military police units to guard a
12 military facility, and you corresponded with him and instructed him that
13 in fact he did not have that authority.
14 Can you explain to us what exactly your role is there, in
15 ensuring the property use of the military police.
16 A. Mr. Misetic, I'm not sure your interpretation of my words to the
17 commander of Southern Front is correct. You said that I told him that he
18 could not use the military police under Article 9, if I'm not mistaken.
19 Q. In this particular case, for this particular facility.
20 A. Correct. This is a facility which should have been secured in
21 accordance with the rules governing features that are to be secured by
22 guards, rather than deploying the military police, which is not
23 cost-effective in this case. They are too expensive for this sort of
25 Q. But why is it you that gets to oversee how a military commander
1 is deploying the military police? What gave you the authority to make
2 that review?
3 A. While touring the 6th company of the 72nd battalion in Dubrovnik,
4 I came to the conclusion that despite the great number of tasks they were
5 charged with and the few numbers of men that the company had, the
6 commander of the Southern Front used the few human resources he had in an
7 inappropriate manner. In this letter, I cautioned him that he was
8 invoking Article 9 on the daily operational command employed by the
9 military police for such duties as are not foreseen under the rules
10 governing the military police.
11 Q. Okay. Is it safe to say, then, under Article 8, you have the
12 ability to overrule the deployment of the military police that a
13 commander may invoke under Article 9 of the rules?
14 A. The military police administration and the vertical system of
15 subordination of MP units, vis-a-vis the MP administration, as I've
16 already noted in my statements and testimony, primarily had the task of
17 preventing the misuse or abuse of the military police. Fortunately, in
18 this particular instance it only came down to an inadequate or
19 inappropriate use of the military police and non-cost-effective.
20 Whereas, in the previous years there were cases of a more drastic nature.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lausic.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 1D66-0260 into evidence.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Not in your list, Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. MISETIC: This is a Defence document.
25 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1288.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Lausic, I'd like to go back to the rules for a few minutes.
7 And if you could take look at Articles 10 and 11 of Exhibit P880, please.
8 Now, Article 10, subpart 9 -- wait for it in the English.
9 Subpart 9 says:
10 "Participation in carrying out combat tasks on the front line,
11 pursuant to orders by the minister of defence of the Republic of
12 Croatia," that that is one of the jobs and tasks of the military police.
13 Do you agree that a military commander under Article 9 cannot deploy the
14 military police in combat tasks unless he has -- unless there is an order
15 to that effect allowing him to do so by the minister of defence?
16 A. In other words, pursuant to the orders of the minister of
17 defence, the minister himself, not the ministry.
18 Q. Correct. You agree; correct?
19 A. That's what the rules say. It's not for me to agree or disagree
20 with. It was signed by the minister of defence.
21 Q. Okay. And if we go to Article 11, it says:
22 "The primary purpose of the anti-terrorist units of the military
23 police is to carry out tasks, as contained in Article 9, items 8 and 9 of
24 the Rules, and to carry out other tasks from the scope of activities of
25 the military police, as required."
1 Now, my first question is, do you agree that Article 11 here has
2 a typo and that it should say "to carry out the tasks theas contained in
3 Article 10, items 8 and 9."
4 A. Correct. Correct. I don't know what sort of copy we have
5 enclosed here. It's the original.
6 Well, I think that when the rules were published in a booklet,
7 the typo was corrected. But absolutely, yes, that's true. Article 10,
8 that's what the Article 11 should read, and not Article 9.
9 Q. And do you agree with me that deployment of the anti-terrorist
10 units for combat task would have required the -- an order from the
11 minister of defence under Article 10, subpart 9?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Looking at Article 10, subpart 2, as one of the jobs and tasks of
14 the military police, it talks about prevention and uncovering of crimes,
15 identification and arrest of perpetrators of crimes that fall within the
16 jurisdiction of military judiciary bodies, et cetera, et cetera.
17 Now, I'd like to draw your attention to Rule 54 of the rules,
18 which is page 23 in the B/C/S, and 23 in the English as well.
19 Now, Article 54 says:
20 "If there is any suspicion that a crime was committed that falls
21 within the jurisdiction of a military court, authorised military police
22 officials must take the necessary steps to find the perpetrators of the
23 crime, to prevent the perpetrator or co-perpetrator from hiding or
24 absconding, and to locate and preserve traces of the crime and objects
25 that can serve as evidence, and gather any information that might be
1 useful for a successful criminal investigation."
2 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page. Go to Article 55. It says:
3 "The duties from Article 54 of these rules shall be performed by
4 the authorised official of the military police unit with territorial
5 jurisdiction, ex officio, by request of the state prosecutor in charge or
6 by request of a court."
7 MR. MISETIC: And, finally, if we can go to page 27, to
8 Article 66 through 72.
9 Q. It says:
10 "On the basis of the information gathered, when there are grounds
11 for suspicion that a crime was committed, an authorised official of the
12 military police shall draft a criminal report providing a description of
13 the crime and listing the evidence obtained during the process of
14 information gathering."
15 Now, under Article 55, as I understand it, a member of the crime
16 police of the 72nd Military Police Battalion, for example, did not need
17 an order from you, in order to conduct an investigation. Correct? By
18 nature of his job, once he receives information that there is a
19 suspicion, he is duty-bound to investigation that allegation. Correct?
20 A. Do you specifically refer to the following levels, and I will
21 start from the lowest level, the investigator officer of the criminal
22 investigation section of the 72nd Battalion. Are you referring to the
23 chief of the section of the criminal investigation military police of the
24 72nd Battalion, or are you referring to the commander of the 72nd
25 Battalion which had, as its part, the section and the officers I referred
1 to earlier?
2 Q. Let me ask you, under Article 55 it says that the duties under
3 Article 54 shall be performed by the authorised official of the military
4 police unit with territorial jurisdiction ex officio.
5 Are any of the military police members that you have just
6 identified persons who would not be considered authorised officials of
7 the military police?
8 A. All those who held the status of an authorised official are
9 mentioned in the system of the 72nd Military Police Battalion as such, as
10 was indeed the case with all the other ones of all the other units.
11 Certain members of the military police units did not have the
12 status of authorised officials.
13 Since what is referred to here is an authorised official, by that
14 token, it refers to the authorised officials of the military police
15 because only they, under these rules, had the right to exercise these
16 particular military police powers.
17 Q. I'm speaking now of the authorised military police officials.
18 Under Article 55, they were to act pursuant to a request of a state
19 prosecutor in charge or by request of a court, or ex officio. And what
20 I'm asking you is, if that authorised military police official received
21 information, as indicated in Article 66 or under Article 54, that there
22 was a suspicion that a crime was committed, he was obligated to take the
23 necessary steps to find the perpetrator of the crime. Correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. That authorised military police official did not need a separate
1 order from you, for example, to tell him to go and take the necessary
2 steps to find the perpetrator. Correct?
3 A. It is understood that way, yes. Of course, not -- at least not
4 at my level.
5 Q. Okay. Similarly -- well, even at your level if you had
6 information that a crime had been committed which falls within the
7 jurisdiction of the military court, you could pass that information on to
8 the relevant authorised military police official in the area, and they
9 were duty-bound to take the necessary steps to find the perpetrator.
11 A. Can you clarify the question. I'm not quite clear. Based on
12 your question, if I had information about a criminal offence having been
13 committed, I would convey that information to the police unit which has
14 territorial jurisdiction for further processing.
15 Q. Either to them or to your chief of the crime military police.
16 A. The first level of my contact would be the chief of the crime
17 investigation department at the police -- at the military police
19 Q. And once you passed the information to them, they were duty-bound
20 by the rules and the law to take the necessary steps to find the
21 perpetrator. Correct?
22 A. To take certain operational steps and actions to shed light on
23 the incident.
24 Q. Similarly, a military commander in the field, if he learns of a
25 crime, or has information that a crime was committed, a suspicion, he has
1 to alert the authorised military police official to take the -- so that
2 they can take the necessary steps to find the perpetrator. Correct?
3 A. Correct. He is duty-bound like any citizen of the Republic of
4 Croatia to report a suspected crime under the Criminal Code of the
5 Republic of Croatia. Any citizen has the duty to do that. In this case,
6 this is a commander. But it's the duty and obligation of every citizen.
7 Q. There is no need for a commander to issue an order to the
8 authorised military police official to conduct an investigation, because
9 the authorised military police official is already under a legal
10 obligation to take the necessary steps to find the perpetrator of the
11 crime. Correct?
12 A. Yes well, it also depends on the form in which this information
13 is conveyed because in the army information, especially if conveyed by
14 their commander, is in the form of an order. He can't write a request or
15 a letter. He issues an order. In the preamble of the order, he sets out
16 the circumstances of the incident, according to his information, issues
17 an order, and, based on his knowledge, action is taken to elucidate the
18 crime. It would be unusual for a commander to write a letter or a
20 Q. Well, Mr. Lausic, if it was in the form of an order or a letter
21 or a request, as a legal matter, it makes no refreshes to the authorise
22 the military official in what form he receives the information because is
23 he an under a legal duty to take all necessary steps to find the
24 perpetrator of the crime, whether he received an order to do that,
25 whether he received a letter, whether he received it in any other form.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Lausic, I'd like to take you to Exhibit P972, please.
4 MR. MISETIC: And we will use the -- the Prosecution has uploaded
5 three separate English translations, Mr. President, four separate English
6 translations. The first I'd like to use is the first English
8 Q. Now, Mr. Lausic, this is the handbook on the work and procedures
9 of the Republic of Croatia armed forces military crime police. And it's
10 in Zagreb from 1996. But I'm sure you're familiar with this handbook.
12 A. You seem -- it's my signature.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... actually signed by the
14 minister of defence.
15 A. It must have been accompanied by a letter of mine, about if it's
16 signed by the minister of defence, then there's no doubt. But I always
17 submitted to him for signing.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 9 in the English, page ...
20 there we go.
21 Q. At the bottom, in number 10 it says:
22 "While performing their duties and tasks, the military crime
23 police shall cooperate with the military prosecutor's office, military
24 court, county courts, the security and information service of the
25 Republic of Croatia Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior,
1 and other elements within the security system of the Republic of Croatia.
2 "The military crime police shall inform these bodies of all
3 issues that are of interest to them or are of importance for public order
4 and security, and they shall do this at their own initiative or at the
5 request of the bodies referred to in paragraph 1 of this item."
6 MR. MISETIC: And if we could now go to the fourth English
7 translation, paragraph 112. It's page 36 in the Croatian.
8 Q. It says:
9 "It is the duty of the military crime police to file criminal
10 reports submitted for crimes that are prosecuted ex officio. The
11 criminal report shall immediately be forwarded to the competent military
13 "Any information in written or oral form pointing to a crime or
14 possible crime to the perpetrator of a crime and to evidence and items
15 relating to the crime and perpetrator shall be considered to be a
16 criminal report."
17 Now, paragraph 112, was this the policy and procedure that was in
18 effect in August of 1995?
19 A. I could not give you a precise answer. This was passed in 1996,
20 when the work of the military crime police, which was a very young
21 specialty, was being promoted and improved, also based on the experience
22 gained in 1995 during the liberation of the Republic of Croatia.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. At any rate, this document is a format taken over from the
25 civilian crime police, the same modality of work. But to your question,
1 whether this format was fully applied in 1995, I could not answer.
2 Q. Okay. Mr. Lausic, let me show you a different exhibit. This is
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, this is page 51 in the English and
5 page 43 in the B/C/S.
6 Q. Mr. Lausic, this is the Law on Defence from 1993 which was in
7 effect in 1995.
8 MR. MISETIC: And I'm interested in Article 145.
9 Q. Now, the first two paragraphs there:
10 "For the safety of citizens and property and to protect the
11 interest of defence, during military exercises, the Defence Minister or
12 the commander authorised by him may restrict freedom of movement in the
13 area in which the exercise is being conducted and in cooperation with the
14 authorised state administrative body, he may define measures and
15 procedures to secure that area.
16 "In wartime, the military commander and officer in the position
17 of regiment commander or a commander at the same or a higher level may
18 temporarily restrict freedom of movement in the area, zone, and territory
19 where preparations for combat operations are being made."
20 Now, under this provision and under your understanding pursuant
21 to your powers under Article 8 and a commanders powers under Article 9, a
22 military commander could use the military police to set up a check-point
23 to block and restrict freedom of movement only in an area where combat
24 operations are being prepared. Is that correct? I'm talking about the
25 military commander and not the minister of defence.
1 A. This Article does not specify with what forces or what units this
2 is restriction of movement would be enforced in a certain area. It only
3 says that he has the right to issue such an order.
4 Q. Precisely because these questions are not answered in the Article
5 is why I'm asking you based on your experience in the military police,
6 whether a commander, pursuant to Article 145, could deploy the military
7 police to restrict freedom of movement in an area where preparations for
8 combat operations are being made.
9 A. In keeping with Article 9, he could issue such orders to the
10 battalion commander, and that is the prerogative of commanders of
11 Military Districts including the Split Military District.
12 Q. That's where I'm going next, Mr. Lausic.
13 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit P1143,
15 Q. This is an order issued by then Brigadier Ademi on the 18th of
16 August to Major Budimir, and he orders him, in point 1, to set up a
17 check-point at the Knin Gracac Otric cross-roads.
18 And in point three he says:
19 "Only motor vehicles with a regular PRL are to be allowed through
20 the check-point into the zone of operative group west while the entry of
21 civilian motor vehicles into the zone" --
22 A. Work paper.
23 Q. "... while the entry of civilian motor vehicles into the zone is
24 strictly forbidden."
25 Now, do you agree with me that under Article 145, Brigadier Ademi
1 could order such a check-point but could not limit the access of
2 civilians to the area unless this zone was in fact an area where combat
3 operations were being prepared?
4 A. I must admit, I don't understand your question again. This is a
5 classical order where the right to command the military police is
6 exercised under Article 9, and the micro location is identified for the
7 check-point and tasks for that check-point are identified.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
9 A. I have no note --
10 Q. If you don't understand my question, let me rephrase it. Because
11 then if you give an answer to a question you don't understand, we drift
13 My question is, that, yes, this order can be issued to the
14 military police. But my question to you is that, under the Law on
15 Defence, a commander can only issue such an order to restrict movement
16 within an area that is in fact a zone where preparations for combat
17 operations are being made.
18 A. But this order was written on the 18th of August. And on the 7th
19 of August, the civilian authorities power was already pro claimed in that
21 Q. I assumed, maybe incorrectly, that you're familiar with the fact
22 that in this time-period the HV was conducting operations in Bosnia. And
23 I might refresh your recollection with the incident of around 15 HV
24 soldiers being killed in Derala around this time-period. Does that
25 refresh your recollection? Do you remember an incident after Operation
1 Storm where 15 HV soldiers were killed in a Bosnian Serb action in the
2 area known as Derala, where 15 men from the Katala area were killed? You
3 don't remember this?
4 A. I can't remember.
5 Q. I'll move on, Mr. Lausic.
6 Let's talk a little bit about the anti-terrorist platoon. And I
7 think we already looked at Article 11 which talked about -- Article 11 of
8 the rules.
9 MR. MISETIC: But, Mr. Registrar, I'd like it pull up 65 ter 359,
11 Q. This is an order that you issued to all military police units
12 concerning the deployment of the military police anti-terrorist units.
13 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn the page in English, please.
14 Q. It says:
15 "Military police anti-terrorist units shall not be used in
16 performing regular military police tasks except in special circumstances
17 and upon approval by the chief of the military police administration."
18 Now, my first question is: This order was no withdrawn by the
19 time of Operation Storm, was it? It was still in effect.
20 A. I could not tell you precisely. I know --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. I generally remember there order.
23 Q. If you don't need -- I know you probably do know, but I'm trying
24 to finish soon. So I don't need the background; I just wanted to know if
25 this order, to your knowledge, was still in effect in August, and your
1 answer is ... I'm not sure I understood what your answer was. Was it in
2 effect in August of 1995?
3 A. I could not answer your question because it's an order from
4 March 1995.
5 Q. The phraseology says:
6 "Shall not be used in performing regular military policing tasks,
7 and except in special circumstances and upon approval by the chief of the
8 military police administration?"
9 Am I correct in my interpretation that pursuant to that
10 provision, a military commander could not use the anti-terrorist platoons
11 under Article 9 without your permission?
12 A. He could ask permission from the battalion commander in his
13 Military District to use an anti-terrorist platoon or company.
14 Q. I'm sorry, can you repeat. I'm not sure we got the full answer.
15 You said he could go to the battalion commander, and then the battalion
16 commander would do what, Mr. Lausic?
17 A. He would ask for approval that this anti-terrorist unit be used
18 for duties specified in the order of the commander of the
19 Military District, which, if I'm not mistaken, was done in the case of
20 the 72nd Battalion.
21 Q. Who specifically would he ask for approval?
22 A. Who? You mean ...
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... of the battalion would seek
24 approval from whom for the use of the anti-terrorist unit?
25 A. From the military police administration.
1 MR. MISETIC: If we could look at paragraph 2.4 of this order.
2 Q. Actually the introduction at paragraph 2 says:
3 "Military police anti-units shall be primarily involved in a
4 training process as well as for the following tasks."
5 And then 2.4 says:
6 "For execution of combat activities of the HV in searching and
7 mopping up the terrain behind the HV units, further to the orders issued
8 by the military police administration."
9 2.5 says:
10 "For offensive combat activities within the military police
11 units' area of responsibility or as a joint military police formation,
12 further to order issued by the Republic of Croatia Defence Minister."
13 Pursuant to this order, the anti-terrorist units could only be
14 engaged in searching and mopping up the terrain pursuant to orders issued
15 by the military police administration. Correct?
16 A. I have interpretation -- or, rather, translations into Croatian
17 only up to point 2.4.
18 MR. MISETIC: Yes. If we could turn the page, Mr. Registrar, in
19 the Croatian.
20 A. Correct.
21 MR. MISETIC: Now, Mr. President, I'd like to tender this
22 document 65 ter 359 into evidence, please.
23 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1289.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D1289 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. Mr. Lausic, let me show you two documents in a row, and then I'll
4 ask for your comment on them.
5 MR. MISETIC: The first is 65 ter 3148, Mr. Registrar.
6 Q. And this is a request of the 4th of January, 1995, by
7 General Gotovina to you. And I'd ask you to read it, and when you've
8 finished reading it, let me know and I will show you the second document.
9 A. Could you scroll down, please. I can't see the date.
10 MR. MISETIC: And if we could put the English version on the
11 screen, Mr. Registrar, for the benefit of the Chamber.
12 And now, Mr. Registrar, if we could have 1D66-0256, please.
13 Q. And what I'm showing you now, Mr. Lausic, is your response to
14 General Gotovina's request from the 5th of January, 1995. And I'd ask
15 you to read this, and let me know when you've finished reading it.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. My question to you is, if you can explain to the Court
18 what's happening there. What is General Gotovina asking for you, and why
19 did you deny the request?
20 A. I couldn't give you a precise answer. This is a joint company
21 active in Bosnia-Herzegovina. General Gotovina seeks approval for the
22 use of that particular MP company. In my response, I refer him to the
23 chief of the MP administration of the Ministry of Defence of the --
24 Defence of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna which has that
25 particular joint company at its disposal.
1 In the last paragraph I emphasise the fact that should there be
2 any need for the deployment of military police forces, and I was
3 referring to additional forces, that we would jointly agree upon this
4 with the MP administration of the Ministry of Defence of the Croatian
5 republic of Herceg-Bosna.
6 Q. Okay. Why can't General Gotovina just issue his own order and
7 use the joint military police company pursuant to his own order and
8 without your consent?
9 A. As you can see here, it has nothing to do with my consent. This
10 joint company was under the jurisdiction of the chief of the MP
11 administration of the Ministry of Defence of the Croatian Republic of
12 Herceg-Bosna which existed as such at the time. Its purpose was to carry
13 out special tasks; namely, securing special convoys in -- as part of
14 Operation Pauk which was under way at the time. This was a special
15 purpose company for special tasks. I did not reject his request. I
16 merely referred him to the MP administration of Herceg-Bosna which had
17 that particular company under its competence. And that should he have
18 any need for additional forces, we would be dealing with that and
19 resolving that problem. The area involved is that of a neighbouring
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 65 ter 3148 and 1D66-0256
22 into evidence.
23 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 03148 becomes Exhibit D1290.
1 And document 1D66-0256 becomes Exhibit D1291.
2 JUDGE ORIE: D1290 and D1291 are admitted into evidence.
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Lausic, let me turn you back to your diary which is
6 Exhibit P2166 at page 2, please. This is the entry for the 29th of
8 MR. MISETIC: If we could scroll to the bottom. If we could turn
9 the page, please, in English. There we go. At the bottom, in the
10 Croatian, and page 1 of the B/C/S. The date is the 29th of April at the
11 bottom, I believe. There we go.
12 MR. TIEGER: The English still seems to be for April 30th.
13 MR. MISETIC: If we could go back to page 2 in the English,
14 please. There we go.
15 Q. Now it says the request by Major-General Ante Gotovina has been
16 approved. And then there's all sorts of entries. Number 6 says:
17 "Place the anti-terrorist military police of the 72nd Military
18 Police Battalion under the Split Military District Command."
19 Is this an example, Mr. Lausic, of General Gotovina having to
20 seek permission from you, in order to be able to use the anti-terrorist
21 unit of the 72nd Military Police?
22 A. As these amount to short notes taken at the meeting held on the
23 29th of April, 1995, in the afternoon hours in the offices of the chief
24 of the Main Staff, in the run-up to Operation Flash, I don't know, and I
25 can't give you a precise answer in relation to chapter 2. In other
1 words, who it was who said what was reflected in these notes about the
2 request from General Gotovina and about requests being granted. I don't
3 know if it was the chief of the Main Staff.
4 At any rate I do believe that the issues were resolved in the way
5 prescribed by the rules on the use of the military police forces and
6 anti-terrorist forces. If it was the minister of defence who was the one
7 giving his consent for their deployment.
8 Q. Well, it can't be the chief of the Main Staff to approve that
9 request because under the rules that can only be done by the minister of
10 defence. Correct?
11 A. Yes. I don't know if General Gotovina's request was conveyed to
12 the minister of defence from my level or from the chief of the
13 Main Staff's level. I'm merely setting out the fact that the request for
14 the use of this particular anti-terrorist platoon was granted.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could now go to page 38 of
16 this document in the English and page 33 in the B/C/S.
17 Q. And is this your entry, Mr. Lausic, I believe, for the 9th of
19 MR. MISETIC: Actually, it might be the 8th of August.
20 Q. It's the 8th of August, Mr. Lausic.
21 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in the Croatian, please.
22 We were on the right page in the English there, so ... there we go.
23 Q. Now, you have a handwritten -- or a note in your notebook, and it
25 "Draft command on placing in reserve the anti-terrorist platoon
1 of the 71st military police and the anti-terrorist platoon of the 72nd
2 Military Police. Have them take a three- to five-day leave followed by
3 possible deployment."
4 Can you tell us, was that an order that you received from the
5 minister of defence to withdraw the anti-terrorist units?
6 A. I would have to go back to the date when military police units
7 were taken out of combat.
8 Q. I was going to show that you document next, Mr. Lausic.
9 MR. MISETIC: That would be Exhibit D837. If we could have that
10 on the, please.
11 Q. It was the 9th, which is the next day, which is when your order
12 is then issued.
13 So if this is on the 8th, you are making a note that you have
14 draft an order?
15 A. Correct, yes.
16 Q. So would that entry mean that you were told by the minister of
17 defence to withdraw the anti-terrorist platoons?
18 A. Yes. To withdraw all military police units from combat. And it
19 was primarily the anti-terrorist platoons that were in combat.
20 Q. Okay. Now we have your order which was then written the next day
21 and issued on the screen. It goes to all the military police units. The
22 subject is "disengagement of the military police units from combat
24 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in English.
25 Q. Point 1 is:
1 "All military police units engaged in combat activities are to be
2 disengaged from the areas of combat activities at 0700 hours on the 10th
3 of August."
4 Now, I'm correct, am I not, that that doesn't just refer to the
5 anti-terrorist platoons; that refers to Article 10 of the rules which
6 requires the consent of the minister of defence for any military police
7 unit to be engaged in combat activity. Correct?
8 A. Correct, yes.
9 Q. Now, point 2, and this, I believe, is a mistranslation in the
10 English, refers to the "anti-tank platoons," and I think it should be
11 anti-terrorist platoons, "and other members of the military police
12 participating in combat activities are to be given respite during 10th
13 and 11th August. And as of 12 August, at 0700, in the area of
14 responsibility of the military police, the same are to be engaged in
15 search (mopping up) of the liberated territory ..."
16 So you then, in fact, did issue the order to remove the
17 anti-terrorist platoons and put them on respite. Correct?
18 A. That's what follows from the order, yes.
19 MR. MISETIC: Now if we could go to Exhibit P1208, please.
20 Q. This is an order that Mr. Tieger showed you in direct examination
21 from the 10th. And it's not issued to the military police. You can see
22 in the upper right-hand corner, Brigadier Glasnovic is not a member of
23 the military police. You're aware of that. Correct?
24 A. I can only say that it was not sent to military police units or
25 the MP administration. I don't know what Brigadier Glasnovic was.
1 Q. But General Gotovina now refers to the order that was issued by
2 you, which we just had on the screen, and it says:
3 "In order to use the military police and the anti-terrorist units
4 in the liberated areas of the Republic of Croatia in the way that is
5 appropriate to the purpose I hereby order ..."
6 Now, what General Gotovina is doing there is telling his
7 commander in the field that he has received an order which basically
8 withdrew the consent of the minister of defence to use military police
9 for combat purposes and to use the anti-terrorist unit for combat
10 purposes and, therefore, the forces of the Split Military District had to
11 ensure that those forces were not engaged in any combat activity.
13 A. The commander of the Split Military District, as did all the
14 other Military District Commanders, received this particular order of
15 mine for their information. I did not order anything to them but to MP
16 units. That's what it says here, to receive for their information.
17 That's what it means.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... isn't this another example
19 when we talk about coordination between the military police
20 administration and the military line, I absolutely agree with that you
21 could you not issue an order to General Gotovina. But, nevertheless,
22 because he could only use the military police for combat purposes with
23 the consent of the minister of defence, if the minister of defence
24 withdrew his consent, he had no alternative but to remove those units
25 from combat activity. Correct?
1 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you what sort of alternatives he had.
2 There were other alternatives, but he did what he was duty-bound to do as
3 a commander. There were situations when it was not done this way, and
4 I'm not referring to General Gotovina; I'm referring to some other
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lausic.
7 MR. MISETIC: If we could go now to 65 ter 568, Mr. Registrar.
8 Q. And this is now on the 11th of August and is a report from you to
9 the minister of defence as well as to -- to General Cervenko and others
10 identified in the header.
11 And in the first paragraph, you advise that:
12 "The members of the anti-terrorist formations of the military
13 police and the parts of the general military police who participated in
14 combat activities in the Operation Oluja during 10 August 1995 have been
15 withdrawn and directed for a 24-hour leave to subsequently be engaged on
16 mopping up."
17 Mr. Lausic, do you recall this document and, in fact, were you
18 here reporting to the minister of defence and the Chief of Staff that the
19 order to withdraw military police from combat had in fact been
21 A. There is no need to comment upon that at all. You can read the
22 first paragraph to see what I'm reporting to them. And since it is an
23 original document, there is no need for me to comment on whether it is it
24 authenticate or not.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 65 ter 568 into evidence,
2 MR. TIEGER: It's a bar table document, Your Honour, so I
3 understand there is no objection in that case.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's on the record.
5 MR. MISETIC:
6 Q. Mr. Lausic, let me just ask you about OA Varivode one more time.
7 Do you have any knowledge or information that a commander of the 4th
8 Company Sibenik, Commander Mrkota attempted to cover up or obstruct the
9 investigation against a certain individual named Goran Vunic. Do you
10 have any information about that?
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. At any time were you made aware of any suspicion that someone in
13 the military police engaged in OA Varivode was engaging in any activity
14 that might be construed as obstructing the investigation?
15 A. No. I don't have any information about it.
16 Q. Mr. Lausic, I would like to show you a video now which is a press
17 conference held by Mr. Jarnjak and Mr. Benko in late October after
18 OA Varivode had been under way for sometime. I'd just ask to you listen
19 to it and see if you agree that this was the information about the
20 statistics of crime that was in the possession of the Croatian security
21 apparatus as of 18 October 1995.
22 MR. MISETIC: This is 1D66-0254, for the record.
23 [Videotape played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
25 "Ivan Jarnjak: Crimes which were committed in those areas were
1 documented and are undergoing crime processing or have been processed up
2 to now. Mr. Benko will comment on this later, and this was conducted in
3 cooperation with the military police in the field. The most common form
4 of documented crimes were arson and aggravated theft, and then there were
5 the gravest crimes which are murders. What created the greatest concern
6 amongst the public was the news of the murders in the villages of
7 Varivode and Gosici, which have been solved. The perpetrators have been
8 apprehended, and Mr. Benko will comment on this issue later today.
9 "Marijan Benko: In two cases in two cases of robbery where we --
10 or, rather, 41 murders were reported, 25 were solved. The murders in the
11 villages of Varivode and Gosici were of particular interest where seven
12 civilians were killed in Gosici and 9 in Varivode. After conducting
13 crime processing in cooperation with the military police, we identified
14 the perpetrators of these crimes, apprehended them, and transferred them
15 to the investigating centre of the county court of Zadar. In the newly
16 liberated areas, 844 cases of aggravated theft have been processed, 619
17 of which have been solved, and 751 persons have had reports filed against
19 "Ivan Jarnjak: We have taken all the steps to protect these
20 people, both the people and their property. And there is no reason to
21 remove them from their homes and transfer them to some kind of collection
22 centres or such-like. We shall create and we have already created the
23 preconditions for them to peacefully and safely live in their homes."
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Mr. Lausic, do you recall that press conference?
1 A. No. No, I don't have it present.
2 Q. There's a reference there that by the 18th of October in
3 cooperation with the military police persons had been apprehended in
4 connection with the murders at Varivode and Gosici. Can you confirm that
5 that was the case, that that was done in cooperation with the military
7 A. Unless I'm mistaken, on Thursday or Friday we saw a report sent
8 to me from the commander of Action Varivode. I don't know the date was,
9 but it was your document. Colonel Kozic.
10 Q. And was the -- were the statistics that were referred to there,
11 was that consistent with your understanding of the statistics of solved
12 and unsolved crime in the liberated territories as of the 18th of
14 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you anything about the figures.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I will tender the video, 1D66-025.
16 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1292.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D1292 is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have one more document to show.
21 Unfortunately, we acquired it over the weekend. So we do now have it in
23 Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D66-0309, please.
24 Q. This is from the 15th of August, 1995. It is the conclusions
25 reached at the regular weekly meeting of the military police
1 administration, department chiefs, and heads of sections from the 14th of
2 August, 1995.
3 MR. MISETIC: If I could flip to the second-to-last page in
4 English, please. Numbered page 7 in the Croatian, please, which I think
5 is third from the end.
6 Q. Now, this is on the 14th of August, and Mr. Juric had obviously
7 returned back from the field on the 14th because the notes indicate that
8 he was present at the weekly meeting in Zagreb.
9 If you'd read through what Mr. Juric said, you will see that he
10 doesn't mention any particular problems with soldiers committing crime in
11 the area. He does say -- the notes say he also pointed out the problem
12 of cooperation with members of the RH MUP to which General Lausic
13 responded that all problems and disagreements with the members of the
14 MUP, MORH, Ministry Of Defence officials, and others are to be presented
15 in a summary report and the deadline for the deliver of the same for all
16 responsible officers in the MP administration is 20 August 1995.
17 "General Lausic complemented in general the work of the forward
18 command posts and their formation showed to be justified."
19 Do you remember this meeting on the 14th? And do you remember
20 Mr. Juric being present at the meeting?
21 A. Mr. Misetic, I had the meeting of my collegium every Monday, and
22 minutes were taken at each and every one of them, and I can't remember
23 the details of one such minute.
24 But if this is what you found in the archives of the military
25 police administration, which I believe you did, complete with the
1 signatures on the last page, then I have no reason to doubt the
2 authenticity of the statements contained therein.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 1D66-0309.
4 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1293, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
8 MR. MISETIC:
9 Q. Finally, Mr. Lausic, I just wanted to ask you about your diary
10 that you kept. Can you tell us generally why that wasn't something that
11 you turned over to the state archive?
12 A. I will give you the same answer I gave to the ICTY investigators
13 in May 2004. This is not a diary of mine. It is a work notebook where I
14 jotted down my daily private and official contacts, the private chores I
15 had to attend to, as well as my notes which I transcribed onto official
16 documents which had to do with my role in the work -- in the run-up to
17 Operation Flash and Storm as well as in relation to the 1993 Medak-pocket
18 operation. For that reason it is my own document and not a document for
19 the archive.
20 Q. Thank you very much for answering all my questions. You have
21 been very patient.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have no further questions for the
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
25 One question about translation of something you just read to the
1 witness. It reads:
2 "General Lausic complemented in general the work of" -- should
3 that be "complimented" instead of "complemented"? I can't see the
4 original, but I have some difficulties in understanding c-o-m-p-l-e, or
5 should it be "I"?
6 MR. MISETIC: My second grade spelling teacher is not going to be
7 angry with me, Judge, but I'm not --
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... I am not a
9 native-speaking person, but I have difficulties in understanding
10 complemented here instead of complimented.
11 MR. TIEGER: Without commenting on the evidence, I think in that
12 context it would be with an "I," meaning praised or -- rather than
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then --
16 MR. MISETIC: We'll correct that, Mr. President, and upload a
17 different version into e-court then.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
19 MR. MISETIC: If there's no objection, I think there's one of the
20 earlier documents I showed which said -- translated AT unit as anti-tank
21 unit, and I think it should be anti-terrorist.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As a matter of fact, if it would have been AT,
23 because it was in an abbreviation, where elsewhere in that document we
24 find written in its entirety the anti-terrorist unit. So where AT is
25 written, I would completely -- I take it there is no objection against
2 MR. TIEGER: Correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll wait for that.
4 Mr. Lausic, we'll have a break, and we will resume at 11.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, you are next in line.
8 Mr. Lausic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay
9 is counsel for Mr. Cermak.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
11 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged, Your Honour.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
13 Q. First matter I want to look at with you, Mr. Lausic, concerns the
14 issue of regular tasks, special tasks, the various phrases that have been
15 used in orders. And if we can start by looking at a document, 2D08-0007.
16 This is a document dated the 1st of May, 1995. It's issued by
17 you to the military police battalions and delivered elsewhere, and you
18 can see that the subject is the involvement of the military police in the
19 zones of responsibility.
20 First of all, do you recollect issuing this order?
21 A. Yes. It's connected to the commencement of the Flash operation.
22 Q. Yes.
23 MR. KAY: Can we go to page 2 of the English and look at
24 paragraph 5, or point 5.
25 Q. And we see there - next page in the Croatian language - I'll read
1 out 5. It says:
2 "Carry out regular military police tasks in accordance with
3 Article 9 of the mentioned order along with adjusting rotational system
4 of work to the tasks of the MP units."
5 Would I be right in saying that that is a classic expression of
6 the command under Article 9 being expressed?
7 A. Article 9 of the rules on the system and method of work of the
8 military police, this was implied. You did not specify Article 9 of what
10 Q. We see the use of the word "regular," which appears in Article 9,
11 and there you use the precise legal provision from the rules of the
12 military police, as I said, in a classic textbook form of expression.
13 Would you agree?
14 A. Yes. Yes, correct.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. KAY: We've no need to look further at that document. And
17 may that documenting be made an exhibit, please, Your Honour.
18 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour. Just wanted to note that
19 at the outset, Mr. Kay mentioned that it was issued to the battalions. I
20 think it indicates battalions and companies. I didn't want to interrupt
21 the flow of his questioning for that minor correction.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I take it there is it no need to further comment on
24 Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1294.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D1294 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. KAY: Thank you.
3 Q. Can we return to a document that we looked at last week,
4 Exhibit D267, and this is the order you issued on the 2nd of August,
5 Mr. Lausic, again, to the battalions of the military police. It's the
6 preparation order ending in reference 466.
7 We're just waiting for the English to turn up. And there's the
8 document we're very familiar with.
9 MR. KAY: If we can turn to page 2 and look at paragraph 3 on
10 page 2, and look at paragraph 4.
11 Q. And it's the second part of paragraph 3 where it says:
12 "Within the daily operational chain of command, commanders of
13 military police battalions shall be subordinated to commanders of the
14 Military Districts."
15 And if we look at 4, the second sentence:
16 "Within the daily operational chain of command, company
17 commanders shall be subordinated to commanders of the operation groups of
18 the Croatian army."
19 Now, the phrase "daily operational chain of command" is not
20 within Article 8, nor within Article 9. It is another expression
21 entirely, and it is to do with the command system. Is that right?
22 A. The word "daily" -- regular. Sorry, regular tasks, implies the
23 execution of all tasks from the purview of the military police; whereas,
24 the word "daily operational command" implies that the commander of the
25 Military District and all these levels mentioned in these Articles may,
1 on a daily basis, issue orders to execute tasks from the purview of the
2 military police. Daily operational, we know what the word "operational,"
3 "operation" means. That means performing a task, a mission, a duty.
4 There is no contradiction between these two terms. Because the word
5 "regular" is understood to mean the purview of the military police and
6 "daily operational" refers to the daily issuing of assignments and tasks
7 to perform operational duties. There is no contradiction. It's a
8 terminological difference.
9 Q. Just if we could look at that a little bit closer because we come
10 to this to analyse these documents. The daily operational chain of
11 command does not necessarily mean, then, regular.
12 A. It refers primarily to regular tasks, but they may be also
13 extraordinary tasks, such as providing extraordinary security that had
14 not been planned for a given time or participation in the execution of an
15 action that had not been planned. But what is important is that it falls
16 within the purview of the military police. That is the standard.
17 Q. Although it's right that, under Article 9, the only command and
18 control is in relation to regular tasks, regular military police tasks.
19 MR. TIEGER: I think the witness is waiting for a specific
20 question, Your Honour. I know Mr. Kay intended it that way, but I think
21 from the witness's expression it wasn't understood to call for a
23 JUDGE ORIE: In the transcript the question mark is also missing.
24 MR. KAY:
25 Q. I apologise. And took it the question mark would be understood.
1 There was a question mark at the end. And that is right, isn't it? I
2 will add.
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. KAY: If we can look now at point 12 of the same order. So
6 next page in the Croatian and page 4 of the English. Thank you very
8 Q. And we have actually part of 10 we can look at. The
9 second-to-last sentence of 10, where it says:
10 "Within the operative chain of command, Colonel Damir Kozic shall
11 be subordinated to the commander of the Main Staff in the forward command
12 post in Ogulin."
13 And it goes on further.
14 And then in 12, we can see commanding and reporting system within
15 the daily operational chain of command, commanders of military police
16 battalions, other commanders "shall be subordinated to," and if we turn
17 over the page in English, just to complete the document, page 5, and the
18 last section of paragraph 12 in this document, Mr. Lausic, gives the
19 reporting system under this order.
20 Again, the phrase there "daily operational chain of command," did
21 you mean by that all tasks of the military police?
22 A. Right. Everything that belongs within the competences of the
23 military police.
24 Q. So that would be regular and special tasks or extraordinary tasks
25 as well. Is that right?
1 A. Right. If extraordinary tasks fell within the purview of the
2 military police.
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 MR. KAY: If we could look at the next document now, still on
5 this subject, which is Exhibit D1282.
6 Q. It's another document dated the 2nd of August, 1995, issued by
7 you on that day. It's the one that ends in 470, and it concerns the
8 military police treatment of foreigners and media representatives.
9 We've looked at it previously, but I want to just see about this
10 matter in the subject, where it says:
11 "Military police members, while performing everyday military
12 police tasks concerning security, patrol, check-points, who are in
13 contact with foreigners."
14 There we see another phrase "everyday," and what I'd like you to
15 explain is what you mean by that in the context of the regulations.
16 A. Execution of military police tasks that are performed
17 continuously every day, or based on specific orders given as part of
18 exercising rights envisaged by the Articles on daily operational command.
19 Q. So would this include regular as well as special tasks?
20 A. Yes, absolutely. But those that are performed every day,
22 Q. Yes. If a special task is done a day -- on an everyday basis,
23 that would be included. Is that what you mean?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. KAY: If we now go to -- I can move on now to the 5th of
2 August. Exhibit P881, please.
3 Q. This is the 5th of August. It's the 485 document, Mr. Lausic.
4 Again, a document we're familiar with. It is the -- upon successful
5 completion of the Operation Oluja, and it's to the companies and
6 battalions of the military police to their commanders, and it concerns
7 the establishment of the military police units.
8 We see at 1.5, something we're familiar with. The military
9 police company in Knin being established as well as a company in Benkovac
10 and in Drnis.
11 MR. KAY: If we go to page 2 of the English and look at
12 paragraph 7 of the document, it states:
13 "For the execution of daily operations, the commanders of the
14 newly established military police units shall be subordinated to the most
15 senior ... commander in their respective zone of responsibility."
16 For completeness, this is the order we know that was issued by
17 you. And shall we just look at paragraph 7 then.
18 First of all, looking at the subordination, the phrase is used
19 there of "to the most senior Croatian army commander in their respective
20 zone of responsibility."
21 But we know from Article 9 that, actually, it says "to the
22 highest Croatian army commander by function" in the military police units
23 area of operation. Are you able to explain why the full text of
24 Article 9 was not used within this paragraph 7?
25 A. I couldn't answer this question, but the issue is purely
2 Q. When we see at the beginning of paragraph 7 "execution of daily
3 operations, the commanders of the newly established military police
4 units," what do we mean by "daily operations" there? What do you mean?
5 A. Daily execution of tasks that fall within the purview of the
6 military police in a certain area of responsibility.
7 MR. KAY: I'm told by someone who knows the language better than
8 me that the original would read according to the text that we've
9 previously been looking at, Your Honour, using that phrase "daily
10 operational command" rather than "daily operations."
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm just as handicapped as you are in this
12 respect, and I take it my fellow Judges as well.
13 So if there's any -- any need to have it either -- if the
14 translation is wrong then, of course, we should seek that. If the
15 original language is not very precise then, of course, it's a matter of
16 interpretation. And if the parties could agree on it, fine. If not,
17 then the Chamber will have to -- if need be, have to determine the
19 MR. KAY: Yes. If we can just clear that up now, as I know
20 Mr. Tieger has an expert to his right, in the sense of a language
22 [Prosecution counsel confer]
23 MR. TIEGER: First of all, Your Honour, I'm not -- normally --
24 well, for certain matters I'll resolve it that way. If the question is
25 whether or not the language in Croatian in the -- in that specific item
1 is the same as a previous document where the translation was "daily
2 operational command," I guess we're in a position to gauge that. I
3 think, as I understand it, the language in the Croatian is the same. But
4 I -- now the question is, which of the two interpretations in English is
5 the more proper?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I suggest the following: There are too much
7 ifs and ands to resolve the matter immediately. The next break would
8 perhaps be a better opportunity, or this afternoon.
9 MR. KAY: I do regret that, Your Honour, but we have to -- I want
10 to make a clear question to the witness. [Overlapping speakers] ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... I don't want -- if you
12 read it in -- if it is read to him --
13 MR. KAY: I'll get the witness to read it out.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. KAY: The easier way because we're not being able to resolve
17 Q. Could you read out paragraph 7, please, Mr. Lausic, so that we
18 can hear it over our headphones.
19 A. Item 7:
20 "The commanders of the newly established military police units
21 shall, in the daily operational command, be subordinated to the most
22 senior commander of the Croatian army in their area of responsibility."
23 MR. KAY: We got there. Thank you very much.
24 Q. Again, so that would be regular as well as special tasks. Is
25 that right?
1 A. Correct. But I have to stress once more that if the
2 extraordinary tasks, and I don't want to refer to them as special tasks,
3 if they fall within the purview of the military police, the terms
4 "special" and "extraordinary" differ in the Croatian language.
5 Q. Thank you for that answer.
6 The problem by leaving out "most senior commander by function,"
7 you said that was just terminological. But what is the commander of the
8 battalion supposed to understand in relation to the command and control
9 of him?
10 A. The battalion commander can never have such a dilemma because his
11 commander is the commander of the Military District within whose area of
12 responsibility he is present by virtue of the establishment.
13 Q. So it comes down to who he reports to. Is that right?
14 A. As a commander of the military police battalion, yes, that goes
15 without saying.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. KAY: Let us now look at another document, 65 ter 5814.
18 Q. This is a document not from you, but it's from a Commander Jenjic
19 of the 72nd Military Police Battalion of the 5th Company, and he sends a
20 document, a report to Major Juric on the 8th of August.
21 First of all, is this a document that you have ever seen before?
22 A. I don't remember that I did.
23 Q. Thank you. This type of document which would be a report from a
24 commander of the 5th to Major Juric, would that kind of document come up
25 to you at the military police administration?
1 A. I wouldn't be able to answer this specifically.
2 As far as this document is concerned, it is addressed to
3 Major Juric, who was the commander of the forward command post of the
4 military police administration with the Split Military District at the
5 time. Pursuant to my order on the establishment of the forward command
6 posts, Major Juric was duty-bound to send reports to me every day by
7 2000 hours on the situation in his area of responsibility. Now, whether
8 this is a document whereby he attempted to gather information or
9 something else, I can't tell.
10 Q. Thank you. If we just look at paragraph 1. Because there it
11 refers to members of the military police at Vrlika, forward command post
12 were carrying out military police assignments -- regular military police
13 assignments, sorry, by attending permanent barrier check-points, and
14 doing car patrols.
15 And those types of tasks, do they fall within the scope of
16 regular as set out in Article 9 of the military police rules?
17 A. Yes. All the tasks falling within the purview of the military
18 police which are carried out regularly; or, second term, daily; or, third
19 term, daily operational. In other words, tasks that are continuously
20 carried out at a certain pace, in a certain area, following a certain
21 method of activity.
22 Q. Is there anywhere within the military police rules or orders the
23 definition of the word "regular," where a rule says, Regular means this,
24 that, or the other?
25 A. I wouldn't be able to answer this question. However, in -- give
1 me a moment to look at this.
2 Yes, in the rules on the organisation and work of the military
3 police, there is mention of the tasks performed by the military police.
4 Perhaps I should clarify what extraordinary tasks means.
5 On a given day, a certain military police unit, pursuant to the
6 orders from their superior officer, has to carry out certain tasks by
7 manning barrier check-points or some other assignments. At a certain
8 moment on that particular day, there occurs an incident which, by its
9 significance, calls for these forces of the military police to withdraw
10 from performing the tasks that had been given to them, or were given to
11 them in the daily work order, to abort their work at a particular
12 check-point and to embark on that extraordinary task that was given to
13 them as an order.
14 Now, whether this amounts to an extraordinary expert of
15 transportation or something else, it doesn't really matter. What matters
16 is that both regular and extraordinary tasks should fall within the
17 purview of the military police.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. KAY: If we can now turn to another document.
20 May that document, first of all, be admitted as an exhibit, Your
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit D1295, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. KAY: Exhibit D47, please.
3 Q. A document you have seen before, Mr. Lausic. It's dated the 14th
4 of August, 1995. It's the one ending in 530. And it's your document
5 issued to the battalions of the military police, and it concerns the
6 implementation of the military and police tasks in the zones of
7 responsibility of the military police units.
8 MR. KAY: If we turn to page 3 of the English, and I'm looking
9 for paragraph 11.
10 Q. And it's the last sentence in paragraph 11, if can you see that.
11 I'll read it out.
12 "In the daily operative command, the security commander of the
13 73rd Military Police Battalion is subordinated to the company commander
14 of the military police in Knin and the commander of the 300th logistics
16 And what I would like is, if you could explain the set-up that
17 you had set down in this order in relation to the 73rd, the company
18 commander of the military police, and the commander of the 300th
19 logistics base.
20 A. I will do my best to give my comments, and you'll allow for the
21 fact that a long time has elapsed since, to give my comments in relation
22 to this particular item of the order.
23 As we could see in the earlier orders, the 73rd Battalion, which
24 was the battalion attached to the Croatian navy, was supposed to provide
25 support to the 72nd Military Police Battalion. In this specific case,
1 the military police took over the security of warehouses including the
2 Golubic warehouse in Knin, and, pursuant to this order, the task would be
3 carried out by the forces of the 73rd Military Police Battalion.
4 Members of the 73rd Battalion, in the daily operational command
5 -- or, rather, their commander is subordinated to the commander of the
6 newly established military police company of the 72nd Military Police
7 Battalion in Knin and to the commander of the 300th central logistics
8 base of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia because it was
9 securing their facility, the facility of the warehouse with his own men,
10 the men of the military police units. The order is quite understandable
11 and logical, the order resubordinating the commander of the security
12 detail of the warehouse down the military police chain and down the chain
13 of the commanders of the military -- of the Croatian army whose facility
14 is being secured.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 Just looking, then, at the Knin company of the military police
17 that was newly established, is it right that that company did not have
18 its own number as part of the Split Military District? We have seen
19 companies called the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. But it was just
20 called originally the joint company and then the independent company
21 without having a designated number. Is that right?
22 A. I'm not sure that the term "independent company" was used. I
23 don't think it was. The term used was the newly established company of
24 the Military Police Knin or the Knin Military Police Company, but I can't
25 be sure without consulting the documents. I don't think that
1 "independent" was ever used because the company was established by the
2 commander of the 72nd Battalion through his order, and that company was
3 part of his unit.
4 Q. It's right it did not have a number like the other companies. Is
5 that correct?
6 A. In order for it to be given a numerical designation, a process
7 should come first whereby the 72nd Battalion's establishment book should
8 be amended. This takes some time and is carried out on other levels of
9 the Ministry of Defence.
10 Q. At the time that we're dealing with, that had not happened. Is
11 that right?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Is it also correct that it drew for its body of soldiers from the
14 various other companies of the 72nd?
15 A. Correct. The commander of the 72nd Battalion drew upon the men
16 that he had at his disposal in order to set up the company in Knin.
17 Q. And were you aware that those men were not even paid as if from
18 the Knin company, but they were still paid according to their units where
19 they came from?
20 A. I don't have information to that effect.
21 Q. And were you aware that the units sent to the Knin company were
22 allocated on a rotational basis? So for a period of two weeks, Commander
23 Budimir would send some men from the 2nd, the 3rd, the 6th, and appoint
24 them to be part of the Knin company for two weeks, as well as appointing
25 the commander of the Knin company, again, on a period basis. Did you
1 know that the system worked like that?
2 A. Correct. That was fully within the competence of the commander
3 of the 72nd Battalion, as was the case with all the other military police
4 battalions from whose ranks the newly established military police units
5 were set up.
6 Q. Now, turning to the next page, paragraph 14 of the document --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, before we do so, in paragraph 11, one line
8 before the one you paid attention to, I think Mr. Misetic would again
9 find the anti-tank where it's apparently is AT, anti-terrorist. You
10 would agree that that is how we should read it?
11 Yes, I leave it to you. It seems not to be --
12 MR. KAY: None of that is in dispute, and I had noticed that
13 earlier in the day as well.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
15 MR. KAY: Thank you.
16 Q. So looking at number 14 now, and this is it when the order is
18 "Normalize the command and control structure. Cover the entire
19 zone of responsibility in daily reports through the duty service." And
20 then sending separate reports.
21 And then last sentence:
22 "In the daily operational command, subordinate the commanders of
23 the newly established platoons and companies of the Knin Military Police
24 to the most senior Croatian army commander in the zone of responsibility
25 and send the daily report to them."
1 And I'm just going to ask you some questions now about that last
3 We've looked at daily operational command. "The newly
4 established platoons and companies of the Knin Military Police," that
5 means the component parts of it, is that right? Traffic, regular
6 military police, the duty service. Is that correct?
7 A. My apologies, but I'm not sure I understood you correctly.
8 Q. I'm looking at this sentence that begins, "In daily operational
9 command ..." Have you got that? The last sentence in paragraph 14.
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And we can see it says: "Subordinate the commanders of the newly
12 established platoons ..."
13 If we just stop there. What sort of platoons did you mean?
14 A. It was precisely for that reason that I sought your
16 What is implied here are the newly established platoons, and
17 unless I'm mistaken, those were in Benkovac, Drnis, and now -- yes,
18 correct. What is understood there is the military police platoon in
19 Benkovac which had a reinforced squad in Obrovac, then the military
20 police platoon in Drnis, then another one in the area of responsibility
21 of the 71st Battalion in Gracac. Then a MP platoon in the Plitvice
22 Lakes, then in the area of responsibility of the 730th Company, a MP
23 company in Slunj. Within the 67th Battalion, a MP platoon in Glina,
24 another one in Kostajnica, et cetera.
25 What is implied here all these newly established platoons and the
1 company, company in singular. The company, because it was the only newly
2 established unit at the strength of a company in the newly liberated
3 area. They were supposed to be subordinated to the most senior Croatian
4 army commander in their areas of responsibility. In other words, the
5 commanders of these platoons in Drnis, they were supposed to be
6 subordinated to most senior commander in Drnis. The commander of the
7 platoon in Benkovac was supposed to be subordinated to the most senior
8 commander in Benkovac, et cetera; whereas, the commander of the military
9 police company in Knin was supposed to be subordinated to the most senior
10 commander in his area of responsibility.
11 Q. I'm just allowing the translation to catch up as we have several
12 languages here.
13 I'm grateful for that. So looking at paragraph 14, we have in
14 the English as plural, and I was going to ask you about that. It is it,
15 in fact, in the singular. Is that right?
16 MR. TIEGER: That's going confusing question without
17 specifying --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- what we should identify is whether there is
19 an translation mistake, whether, if the original is in the plural,
20 whether that is a mistake in drafting. We have to clearly make a
22 First of all, in the original text is it in the plural? It is
23 translated to us in the plural. How is it in your language? Company or
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In singular, one company.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is that how it -- and what word is that in the
2 original? Could you pronounce it in your own language.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In daily operational command,
4 commanders of the newly established platoons and the company of VP Knin
5 are to be subordinated to the most senior ...
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm just seeking, to the extent possible, from
7 our interpreters, because it on the screen, whether it appears there as
9 THE INTERPRETER: It does, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then we have a translation mistake and
11 nothing else. Could that be corrected.
12 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. This is -- this is it a document
13 that's already been put into evidence, and we will obviously get the
14 record of the correct document into the court system. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. KAY:
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lausic.
18 Again, looking at the most senior Croatian commander, in the zone
19 of responsibility, that is in fact not in accordance with Article 9,
20 which says "by function." Isn't that right?
21 A. Right. Article 9 uses the term "the most senior by position;"
22 whereas, here, it says "the most senior command."
23 Q. Thank you.
24 And in relation to that matter, the daily report of the Knin
25 company should be sent to that person, is that correct, according to the
1 system in paragraph 14?
2 A. Correct, with the proviso that there was one peculiarity in Knin,
3 and that was the following: In Knin a forward command post of the
4 Military District of Split was located with the entire command. Knin was
5 also the location of the forward command post of the 72nd Battalion of
6 the military police together with its commander -- together with the
7 commander of the 72nd Battalion. And militarily, it is quite
8 understandable that the commander of one of the companies of the 72nd MP
9 Battalion, which is located in Knin and whose area of responsibility that
10 is, should not have communication with the command of the Military
11 District. That is to say, the forward command post of the Military
12 District because the command of the Military District receives reports
13 from the 72nd Battalion of the military police, which cover all the
14 activities performed by this company active in Knin.
15 Q. Just looking again at what was required in paragraph 14, the
16 commander would be -- I'll read it out again.
17 "In daily operational command subordinate the commanders of the
18 newly established platoons and companies" -- "and company of the Knin
19 military police."
20 So just looking at that, in the terms of this order, your
21 commander of the 72nd in Knin, Budimir, was required to do a positive act
22 of subordinating the commander of the newly established company of the
23 Knin military police to the most senior Croatian military commander by
24 function in the zone of responsibility. Isn't that right? That required
25 him to do a positive act to ensure subordination took place?
1 A. Correct. Based on this order that I issued, all battalion
2 commanders, from whose battalions the newly established platoons and the
3 company in Knin were formed, had to specify how this item 14 was to be
5 Q. Next matter, just looking at zone of responsibility. Was an
6 order ever issued defining the zone of responsibility for the Knin
8 A. Not from the level of the military police administration. I
9 don't know if the commander of the 72nd Battalion provided for that in
10 his own order, but there was a binding instruction of the minister of
11 defence -- we read a few days -- the minister of defence and chief of
12 Main Staff at that time, General Bobetko, which specified exactly what is
13 meant by the territory, the area of a certain Military District.
14 Q. Now, have you ever seen an order from Commander Budimir of the
15 72nd Military Police Battalion subordinating the Knin company to
16 General Cermak, as required to put into effect your order at
17 paragraph 14?
18 A. I cannot say either yes or no. It's possible that I have seen
19 it. It's possible that I have not. I can't recall. If that order can
20 be shown to me from which we could see that it was sent to the military
21 police administration, and if the original that reached the military
22 police administration could be provided, then we could see whether I
23 signed it as received and whether it was forwarded to one of my officers
24 who were in charge.
25 Q. Well, no. There is not a single document in the military police
1 administration or from the 72nd Military Police Battalion from
2 Commander Budimir making that subordination of the Knin company under
3 General Cermak.
4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER: Okay. I mean, first of all, again, it's not
7 precisely a question, although it can certainly be turned into a
8 question. Secondly, it has a factual basis which may be a bit unclear to
9 me, in any event how that determination was precisely made. I presume it
10 means that none has been located during the course particular efforts.
11 But I don't know what precisely those efforts are, exactly when they took
12 place. But I think the question could be made somewhat clear in a number
13 of ways.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, the witness said if
15 you can show it to me and what you said, Mr. Kay. And I agree with
16 Mr. Tieger to say that there does not exist a single document any -- what
17 you could tell the witness that your Defence was not able to retrieve or
18 has not received from any other source such a document so that you cannot
19 show it to him.
20 That's, I take it, what you wanted to put to the witness.
21 MR. KAY: Yeah. Well, it's not only me; it's the Prosecution.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is what I meant by other sources, which
23 finally, of course, leaves open that -- but let's not make too much fuss
24 about it.
25 Mr. Kay cannot show it to you because is he not aware of the
1 existence of such a document.
2 MR. KAY: We will --
3 JUDGE ORIE: And who did how much -- it's best to find it is a
4 matter we don't have to discuss at this moment. It's just not available
5 in this moment.
6 MR. KAY:
7 Q. We will be looking at a number of other documents from the Knin
8 company, and we will be able to comment on those, Mr. Lausic.
9 There we are. That finishes that document then. I'd now like to
10 turn to the Knin company.
11 I have a photograph we can look at, 2D08-0047, and it's a
12 photograph of the entrance to the Senjak barracks in Knin.
13 First of all, have you been to the Senjak barracks where the
14 forward command post of the 72nd Military Police Battalion was
15 established in Knin?
16 A. I visited these barracks only in the late 1990s, 1998, if I'm not
17 mistaken, or perhaps 1999. When the 72nd Battalion of the military
18 police was moved to Split from [Realtime transcript read in error "from
19 Split to Knin"]... Knin in its entirety, I was not here when the forward
20 command post of the 72nd Battalion was located in these barracks.
21 Q. The translation I got was from Split to Knin in its entirety. Is
22 that what you meant to say?
23 A. Sorry, I didn't understand.
24 Q. The translation and what we have on our transcript is, "when the
25 72nd Battalion of the military police was - there's a word missing -
1 brought from Split to Knin in its entirety.
2 Is that the right way around?
3 A. That's right. In the years --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... sorry. My mistake, and
5 maybe I got confused, and I apologise. I can see now that that was
7 Photograph here, which shows the entrance to the barracks, as you
8 said, they were brought from Split to Knin to the barracks here. And was
9 that a process that was set up in the days after the successful
10 completion of Operation Storm?
11 MR. TIEGER: I'm really sorry to interrupt, but now I'm -- I
12 really am confused. I think the record is too. As I understood it, the
13 original translation said "the 72nd was from Split to Knin." Mr. Kay
14 started to correct that by saying "brought from Split to Knin," and
15 accepted, as I understood it, that the original translation was correct.
16 And now the "brought from Split to Knin" formulation is reintroduced when
17 I thought it was accepted as being incorrect.
18 MR. KAY: No --
19 JUDGE ORIE: The "brought" was the missing word, and Split to
20 Knin was the direction in which it apparently moved at a certain point in
21 time. That's how I understood it.
22 So, therefore, the think the correction was not about the
23 "brought" but about what direction it went. But perhaps if you put your
24 question in such a way that can be no confusion anymore, Mr. Kay.
25 MR. KAY: And I apologise. I noticed the word missing the
1 transcript here, and I was thrown off my stride. Perhaps I'm better off
2 not reading the transcript at this distance.
3 Q. Is it correct after the successful completion of Operation Storm
4 that the 72nd brought their forward command post here to Knin?
5 A. The forward command post of the 72nd Battalion was followed by
6 the forward command post of the Military District of Split. When the
7 forward command post of the 72nd Battalion was moved to Knin, I couldn't
8 tell you, but it certainly followed the new location of the forward
9 command post of the Military District.
10 Q. Thank you. And we will look at some more documents.
11 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may this photograph be made an exhibit,
13 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes exhibit number D1296.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D1296 is admitted into evidence.
17 MR. KAY: Thank you. And the first document I would like to look
18 at is 2D08-0025.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile I ask you, Mr. Kay, what exactly we would
20 have to look at on the photograph? Or is it just --
21 MR. KAY: It was a point of reference, that this was there, and
22 there it is. And it may become more significant as a photograph further
23 down the --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll wait for it.
25 MR. KAY: [Previous translation continues]... process. Yes.
1 If we could just go to the top of the English document, just so
2 that we can see this.
3 Q. This is a document dated the 25th of July, 1995, and it's sent by
4 Commander Budimir to you as a special report from Rujani. And Rujani was
5 where the 72nd had their forward command post before it moved to Knin.
6 Is that right?
7 A. I could not answer this question precisely at this moment.
8 At any rate, these activities were linked to the preparation for
9 Operation Storm, but there is no mention here of the forward command post
10 of the 72nd Battalion of the military police. The reference is instead
11 to the forward command post of the joint company, which was an ad hoc
12 unit within the 72nd Battalion made up of members of all organisational
13 parts of the 72nd Battalion, and we can see that from the report itself.
14 We can see all the elements that make up this joint company. So it's not
15 about the forward command post of the 72nd Battalion, but the forward
16 command post of that joint company of the 72nd Battalion.
17 The forward command post of the 72nd Battalion was established
18 only by my order that had been shown here earlier of the 3rd August, I
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. KAY: And just for information purposes, we've got a document
22 headed here "independent company," and I'm advised that the witness
23 correctly translated it as "joint company" on this document.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't think that the witness translated
25 anything, but what he said, what he read apparently was translated to us,
1 again, as the joint company.
2 MR. KAY: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And you consider this to be the right translation.
4 MR. KAY: Yes. We will upload a fresh translation on this
5 document, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then I take it that you will have that
7 verified. Because if this is it rightly translated of what witness said,
8 and, of course, there's one step in between this, whether he rightly read
9 what is in the document.
10 MR. KAY: Yes. We will --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MR. KAY: [Previous translation continues]... deal with it.
13 Nothing hangs on it at this stage, Your Honour.
14 May this document be made an exhibit, please.
15 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1297, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D1297 is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. KAY:
20 Q. The company being formed here, was that the preparation for the
21 Knin company that was eventually formed?
22 A. I could not say. I could not answer this question.
23 This joint company was formed to meet some needs that had arisen
24 at that time in that area and to perform military police missions in that
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, apparently you're turning a page. If that
3 would mean a new subject, then I'd like to have a break first.
4 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break, and we will resume at ten
6 minutes to 1.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, please proceed.
10 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Lausic, if we could just look at another document. It's
12 2D07-0005. It's from Commander Captain Dzolic of the joint company,
13 operations group Sector North, dated 4th of August, 1995, to Major Juric,
14 and it's a daily report for that day, and it's from Rujani, 4th of
16 First of all, is this a document you've ever seen before?
17 A. I haven't.
18 Q. The daily report for the 3rd to 4th of August sets out
19 check-points that were established, and we have no need to look at the
20 second page.
21 It's just this. Where it's from, Rujani, was that the forward
22 command post near Sajkovici of the 72nd Military Police Battalion?
23 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you. I'm not familiar with these
24 micro locations.
25 Q. Thank you. We can see what's said there. It's headed: "Joint
2 Again, was this from the establishment we looked at earlier in
3 the previous orders, which eventually became the Knin company,
4 post-liberation of Knin; do you know?
5 A. I wouldn't be able to answer your question. What we have here
6 are certainly the activities before the start of Operation Storm and the
7 activities preceding the liberation of the town of Knin.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may this become an exhibit, please.
10 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1298.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D1298 is admitted into evidence.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. KAY: Thank you.
16 If we go to the next document, 2D08-0033.
17 Q. It's dated the 5th of August, 1995, from Commander Dzolic again.
18 And comes from him at the 2nd Military Police Company of the
19 72nd Battalion and is a report on arrests.
20 I just wondered if you were able to help with. This we see
21 Commander Dzolic from the 2nd there, sending this report. But we have
22 also seen him sending a report to Captain Juric, the previous exhibit, in
23 relation to the joint company. Are you able to help us as to why that
24 would be the case?
25 A. No, I wouldn't be able to explain this. Unless I'm mistaken,
1 Mr. Dzolic was a witness before this Tribunal, and he probably gave his
2 explanation of this report.
3 Q. Yes, thank you, Mr. Lausic.
4 MR. KAY: May this document be made an exhibit, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
6 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1299, Your Honours.
9 MR. KAY: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D1299 is admitted into evidence.
11 MR. KAY: Right.
12 Q. Various orders and reports were made from the 5th of
13 August concerning the Knin company, and if we can just look at only a few
14 of those, of which there are several.
15 MR. KAY: But if we could look at Exhibit P882.
16 Q. Which was a document issued by you on the 6th of August, 1995, to
17 the Ministry of Defence and Chief of Staff. It ends 487. And it's your
18 report on the use of military police units.
19 And we can see in paragraph 1: "On the 4th and 5th of August,
20 1995, we undertook the following actions." And then you inform them
21 about the establishment of the Knin company and the number of men and the
22 fact that Captain Dzolic was performing the tasks in the town.
23 Just looking at the detail there, would it be the case how the
24 system worked that that information would have come up the chain to you
25 from Major Juric, who was the superior officer of the 72nd at that time?
1 Would he have briefed you about what was happening with the size of the
2 company in Knin and its establishment?
3 A. According to my 2nd of August order, under item 12, it is stated
4 that the commanders of the 72nd and 73rd Military Police Battalions would
5 be reporting to Major Ivan Juric, the commander of the forward command
6 post of the military police administration in the Split Military
7 District, and he, in turn, would report to the MP administration every
8 day by 2000 hours, starting from the 4th of August.
9 Therefore, as far as the Split Military District is concerned,
10 the reports reaching that quarter come from Major Ivan Juric.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 Next document, moving on in time a bit, is Exhibit P884, dated
13 the 11th of August, 1995. It's not a document sent to you because it was
14 a document concerning a meeting to be held in Knin at the military police
15 building of the battalion command and the 72nd Military Police commanders
16 of companies and platoons for a briefing. And we can see it was issued
17 as an information by Commander Budimir and was an internal document.
18 I'd just like to ask you system here. Presumably this was not a
19 meeting that you or Mr. Biskic went to?
20 A. No. This is a document whereby the commander of the
21 72nd Battalion called a meeting of the command of the 72nd Battalion.
22 The subordinate commanders of companies and platoons of the 72nd Military
23 Police Battalion -- or, rather, summoning to a meeting the commanders of
24 these various structures.
25 Earlier on I said that the 72nd Battalion, had, as its area of
1 responsibility, the area stretching from Pag to Dubrovnik.
2 Q. Just one matter, and this is brought to my attention. Did you
3 know that Brigadier Biskic did in fact attend this meeting in Knin on
4 that day, and he was in Knin at that time?
5 A. It is possible, but I can't give you an answer at this time. As
6 I said earlier on, in the course of Operation Storm and in the aftermath
7 of the first several days of Operation Storm, I primarily toured the area
8 of Kordun, Banja, and Lika, whereas my deputy covered the area of
9 responsibility of the 72nd -- or, rather, of the 71st and 72nd Military
10 Police Battalions. I can't, at this time, tell you exactly at which
11 times he toured which parts of that territory. If he was present at this
12 meeting, and if -- if notes were taken of the meeting, that document will
13 show if my deputy, Brigadier Biskic, was present at the meeting.
14 Q. Thank you. Turning now to another document concerning the Knin
15 company now. This is 2D07-0021. And it's dated the 14th of August,
17 It's an order issued by you from the military police
18 administration to the 66th and 72nd Military Police Battalions,
19 concerning armoured vehicles to be used by the 72nd and to be transferred
20 to them by the 66th.
21 Just looking at the document there, Mr. Lausic, do you recognise
22 this order?
23 A. Yes. And I know the reasons underlying it.
24 Q. Thank you. That anticipates my next question, if you could
25 assist the Court.
1 A. The only combat armoured vehicles in the military police force
2 were placed at the disposal of the 66th Military Police Battalion in
3 Zagreb by virtue of the establishment.
4 In the first days of Operation Storm, they were engaged in the
5 areas of Banovina and Kordun. In order to increase the efficiency of the
6 72nd Military Police Battalion, and since the methods and tactics of
7 action changed, as I said, the change concerned meant that they were
8 supposed to start from the check-points out into the liberated areas for
9 patrol beats. For this reason, this order was issued for the Knin MP
10 company to be reinforced with two combat armoured vehicles from the
11 66th Battalion with crews in accordance with all the other items listed
12 in the order. The aim was for the men of the company of the
13 72nd Battalion in Knin to become more efficient, more mobile, and more
14 protected through the use of armoured vehicles.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. KAY: May this document become an Exhibit D, please,
17 Your Honour.
18 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1300, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D1300 is admitted into evidence.
22 MR. KAY:
23 Q. Also of this date is the next document, and it follows on from
24 what you've just been telling us.
25 Can we see 2D07-0019. It's a document dated 14th of August,
1 1995. It's from the service for political activities of the 72nd VP,
2 signed by the assistant commander, First Lieutenant Soldic, and it's a
3 special report based on a warning that was issued and in which he says:
4 "We are responsible for the newly liberated Croatian territory as a
5 military police unit."
6 First of all, is this a document that you have seen before?
7 A. I haven't had the occasion to see the document. I don't know if
8 you are familiar with the vertical subordination of officers for
9 political activity in the HV units, as well as that of security officers
10 in the HV.
11 Q. Yes, we've had evidence about that, that matter. Thank you very
13 I'm looking at this document because he describes the military
14 police tasks that, during Operation Storm and after it, he was carrying
15 out. And you can see point 1, prevention of arson, et cetera; point 2,
16 preventing killing of livestock; point 3, preventing war booty being
17 wrongly extracted as well as theft of property; and preventing
18 mistreatment of people.
19 And as he ends:
20 "On the top of the mentioned tasks which we carry out as
21 priorities, we execute all other tasks in the newly liberated area of the
22 Republic of Croatia that are part of the scope of work of the military
24 First of all, are you able to help us with that last sentence
25 that he wrote about concerning the tasks and the scope of the work of the
1 military police?
2 A. As we can see, he listed these four items as priorities. He also
3 noted that all the other tasks from within the purview of the military
4 police should be carried out, the ones which are listed in the rules on
5 the organisation and work of the military police in Article 10, unless
6 I'm mistaken.
7 I don't know who the report was addressed to, but I suppose it
8 was addressed to the assistant commander for political affairs, assistant
9 commander to the Military District Commander.
10 Q. Thank you. That's all I ask about this document.
11 MR. KAY: May this be made an exhibit, Your Honour.
12 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1301, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. KAY: Thank you.
17 Q. We're now going to move to a different subject which concerns the
18 appointment of the commander of the Knin military police.
19 MR. KAY: So if we look at document Exhibit D789.
20 Q. It's dated the 17th of August, 1995. It's a order by
21 Commander Budimir. And if you just look at that document, Mr. Lausic,
22 and tell me -- if we can quickly go to page 2, we see that you're not
23 part of the people that it's delivered to, but if we can just show you
24 that page and then move back to page 1 so you've seen all of it.
25 MR. KAY: Thank you. If we go back to page 1 now.
1 Q. First of all, is this a document that you've seen before?
2 A. No.
3 Q. It is an order by Budimir in relation to the appointment of, as
4 we see in paragraph 2, Lieutenant Orsulic as the joint company commander,
5 various others as officers as well, and then the rotation in paragraph 3
6 of various officers from the 1st Company. Paragraph 4, the crime
7 investigation department, duty service leader, logistic platoon commander
8 select a rotation of officers. Paragraph 5, special attention should be
9 paid that the best officers are selected because of specific tasks.
10 Detailed military and psychological preparations. They shall be provided
11 with necessary material, technical and quartermaster equipment. Where
12 they are to assemble in Split, their transportation, and there's nothing
13 material on the second page, other than the fact that the commanders
14 mentioned in the order are responsible for its implementation.
15 If we just look at the power that the order was made under,
16 pursuant to the order of the chief of military police. And the power is
17 given as being under the particular document 512-19-01-485, which is our
18 document -- it's the 5th of August order, being exhibit --
19 MR. KAY: We will tell everyone the magic number. Exhibit 881,
20 P881. Thank you.
21 Q. And is regarding the needs arising in the newly liberated areas
22 of the Republic of Croatia.
23 Now, first of all, he cited that order of the 15th of
24 August rather than the order of the 14th of August that we looked at an
25 hour and a half ago. Is there any comment that you have on that, the
1 fact that he didn't take the 14th of August order? Should he have taken
2 that order as being the order by which he operated?
3 A. I wouldn't be able to answer your question specifically, although
4 nothing changed in relation to the issue -- to the order issued by the
5 commander of the 72nd Battalion. In addition to this 5 August order, I
6 can only refer to the 14th of August order where, in item 12, it is
7 specified that the newly formed MP units which certainly included the
8 Knin MP Company, members of these units should be rotated every 20 days
9 in such a way that 50 percent of the a given unit is rotated, in order to
10 ensure continuity in the execution of military police tasks. I don't
11 find anything disputable there, save for the fact that in the preamble
12 the commander referred to my order of the 5th of August, but he did not
13 also refer to the 14th of August order. We always have to be mindful of
14 the fact that these were officers who did not graduate from
15 Military Academies and committed former errors in drafting these orders.
16 But this did not fundamentally detract anything from this particular
17 order, the fact that it failed to refer to my 14th of August order.
18 Q. The order of 5th of August, 1995, ending 485, our Exhibit P881,
19 was an order of a different nature, though. Would you like to remind
20 yourself -- I see you've got your file there, and it might be prudent if
21 you looked at it in the 5th of August to see it.
22 That order was with a view to making preparations upon the
23 successful completion of Operation Oluja. And in the terms of the order,
24 there was a less detailed subordination under Article 7:
25 "For the execution of daily operational command, the commanders
1 of the newly established VP units shall be subordinated to the most
2 senior HV commander in their respective zone of responsibility."
3 Moving to the other exhibit, D47, of the 14th of August, ending
4 in 530. And we've looked there at paragraph 14 of the nature of the
5 order that says normalize the command and control structure. And we
6 looked at the issue of subordination earlier this morning.
7 Turning back then to Exhibit D789. As a matter of form, should
8 Commander Budimir have been exercising his authority under the later
9 order of the 14th of August or this one of the 5th of August?
10 A. I can only repeat the answer I've given already; namely, that
11 what we see in the preamble of this order, in addition to the reference
12 to my order of the 5th of August, there is no reference to the order of
13 the 14th of August, does not change anything substantially, because in
14 the order of the commander of the 72nd Battalion, there is it only
15 mention of the rotation of forces of the newly established company in
16 Knin, together with all the details we read in this order.
17 Q. It contains the detail of the rotation, but also in paragraph 2,
18 it is also the appointment of First Lieutenant Orsulic, as the joint
19 company commander. Isn't that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right. It's also rotation of commanders. If I'm not
21 mistaken, the first commander was the commander of the 1st Battalion,
22 Captain Bojnic, and he is now replaced by Captain Orsulic, and the rest
23 of the unit is also replaced.
24 Q. Can I just follow what you've said there as it is not clear to
25 me. We can see in 2 that Orsulic is appointed, but you said the first
1 commander was the commander of the 1st Battalion, Captain Bojnic, who is
2 now replaced by Captain Orsulic. Did you mean Captain Dzolic whose
3 orders we looked at earlier this morning?
4 A. I know that the first commander of the joint company of the
5 military police of the 72nd Battalion - that is to say, the newly
6 established MP company - was Captain Bosko Dzolic.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. KAY: I think we may have had an interpretation wrong there
9 of the name, Your Honour, which is why I asked the question about Bojnic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: This being clarified, please proceed.
11 MR. KAY: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, this document as an appointment of Lieutenant Orsulic and
13 the rest of the officers, if we turn to page 2, was delivered to the
14 commander, and the commander is Lieutenant Orsulic. Isn't that right?
15 A. I could not give you a precise answer.
16 Q. The other companies of the battalions of the 72nd that we see set
17 out, but it is not sent to the Knin garrison, Knin ZM. Isn't that right?
18 A. I can only confirm what I see in the document; namely, to whom it
19 was addressed, to whom this order was delivered. I can neither confirm
20 nor deny what you're asking.
21 Q. And when I asked you earlier today about any document showing the
22 positive act of subordination by Commander Budimir under General Cermak,
23 would you agree that if that had happened, General Cermak would have been
24 copied in on this information by Commander Budimir so that it was known
25 to whom Lieutenant Orsulic reported and to whom he was subordinated?
1 A. Mr. Kay, as I replied earlier to Mr. Misetic that I am reluctant
2 to answer hypothetical questions, I would say the same here. I can't say
3 what have happened if it had been. We have an order to rotate the MP
4 company in Knin from the Force Commander, we see to whom it was sent, and
5 I can only give my opinion based on those circumstances.
6 Q. Wouldn't information like this be essential to be passed from one
7 area, namely, the commander of the military police, to the garrison
8 commander if he was subordinating Lieutenant Orsulic, commander of the
9 Knin company, to another officer?
10 A. The answer to your question I could give only if I had specific
11 knowledge that the commander of the 72nd Battalion had not informed the
12 commander of the Military District in any form.
13 THE INTERPRETER: That is, the commander of the garrison.
14 Interpreter's correction.
15 A. At this moment, I don't know whether the garrison commander was
16 aware of this. That is, the new chain of command for the military police
17 in Knin or whether he was informed only when the new commander reported
18 to him to receive orders.
19 MR. KAY:
20 Q. Thank you.
21 If we could turn now to another document, Exhibit D791. This is
22 a document from the 21st of August, 1995, from Commander Orsulic. He
23 sent it to the general military police section of the military police
24 administration. It concerns a security report, how, between 1030 and
25 1900 on the 19th of August, a working group from the Ministry of Defence
1 were secured during a tour of military facilities, and on the 20th of
2 August, similar information.
3 Would it not have been the case if -- first of all, have you ever
4 seen this document before?
5 A. No. However, there's nothing disputable about this document.
6 Nothing controversial.
7 Q. No. What I'd like to ask you is this: If General Cermak was in
8 command of the military police, wouldn't this report have been sent to
9 him to inform him of a regular task that the Knin company had carried out
10 on these days?
11 A. This is precisely, Mr. Kay, one of the extraordinary tasks that
12 follow within the purview of the military police. As far as I can see
13 from the document itself, the military police administration, its
14 department of general military police, the section for security and
15 anti-explosive security - that is, the bomb squad - sent this order about
16 securing a working group from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of
17 Croatia that was touring and inspecting military installations in the
18 area. The extraordinary task consisted in providing military police
19 security for that working group, stationary and moving, and this is a
20 report that this task had been accomplished.
21 There's one illogical aspect, namely, why this was sent to this
22 section directly from the company commander, rather than sent to the
23 administration from the 72nd Battalion commander, but such irregularities
24 did happen on the part of commanders in those years. But I repeat, this
25 was a task clearly within the purview of the military police. It was
1 carried out, and its completion was notified to the level that had issued
2 the order. Whether this task was covered in the daily report for
3 19 August, the report of the MP company Knin, I do not know.
4 Q. We will look at the daily reports tomorrow as I notice the hour,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I appreciate it. Many of those who are
7 assisting counsel are assisting me as well in the task of drawing the
8 attention to the clock or to the speed of speech.
9 Mr. Lausic, same instructions as I gave you before; that is, not
10 to speak with anyone about your testimony, whether already given or still
11 to be given, and we'd like to see you back tomorrow, 9.00, in this same
13 We adjourn and resume on Tuesday, 3rd of February, 9.00,
14 Courtroom I.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
17 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.