Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18893

 1                           Friday, 19 June 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to everyone in this courtroom and those

 6     assisting us just outside the courtroom.

 7             Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning to

 9     everyone in the courtroom.  This is case number IT-06-90-T, the

10     Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

12             We turn into private session.

13                           [Private session]

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Page 18894











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Page 18895

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6                           [Open session]

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

 9                           [The witness takes the stand]

10                           WITNESS:  MILE MRKSIC [Resumed]

11                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, can you hear me in a language you

13     understand?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, I can.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, I would like to remind you that the

16     solemn declaration that you gave at the beginning of your testimony still

17     binds you; that is, that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and

18     nothing but the truth.

19             I further inform you that the Chamber has discussed the time your

20     examination would still take.  There's a fair chance that your

21     examination will be concluded at the time when your family arrives.  At

22     the same time, much depends on yourself.  This is not an invitation not

23     to tell the whole truth, but certainly an invitation to focus on the

24     questions that were put to you.  And, again, if Mr. Misetic wants to hear

25     further details, he'll certainly ask you so.  First, answer your question

Page 18896

 1     in a short manner.

 2             Mr. Misetic, you may proceed.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 4                           Examination by Mr. Misetic:  [Continued]

 5        Q.   Good morning, General.

 6        A.   Good morning.  May I request you -- something before you proceed.

 7     I consider you my counsel.  You engaged me.

 8             I'm not satisfied the way they portraying of this -- these

 9     proceedings last night on television, and I know that you will cooperate

10     with them and give them information.  So if you gave them the information

11     which they broadcast last night, then I do not consider you an amicable

12     counsel.  What am I talking about?

13             On television -- I do apologise.  This will be, indeed, very

14     brief, and I shall try to compensate for the time lost in giving brief

15     answers later.

16             They said that I would be shelling myself constantly and,

17     secondly, that I actually introduced a state of war and was killing my

18     own people.  I think that that television was at the level of the 1990s.

19     We would have -- we should have made some headway since that period, and

20     someone should bear the consequences for this.  I don't know this was

21     portrayed in this way.  We, in Serbia, have initiated proceedings against

22     journalists.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, your testimony is public, which means

24     that there's no need to give anyone any kind of information which they

25     can find in full in the public domain.  That's one.

Page 18897

 1             Second, how journalists interpret your testimony is entirely up

 2     to them.  Whether the picture given is distorted or not, I have no

 3     reasons to believe that Mr. Misetic would be the author of any distorted

 4     publications.  And looking at him, he -- Mr. Misetic, I take it that it's

 5     right, that you're not the one who drafts the comments on the television.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  That's correct.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, that's what I expected.

 8             And apart from that, Mr. Mrksic, the freedom of press allows

 9     everyone to comment on what is in the public domain.  There's -- even if

10     it would be a distorted view, then usually investigating a prosecuting

11     journalist is not a proper answer to comments of press.  I'm not saying

12     that never a journalist should be prosecuted for matters he writes, but

13     we are all aware, after many, many years in this Tribunal, that the press

14     sometimes gives a fully accurate picture of what has happened, and

15     sometimes the picture is coloured in one way or another.

16             Mr. Misetic, you may proceed.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

18             Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D389 on the screen,

19     please, again.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm glad that it wasn't

21     Misetic.  Okay, I apologise.  I apologise for having any doubts.  It was

22     not you.  Thank you.

23             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.

24        Q.   If you look on your screen, this is the report that we finished

25     with yesterday by Mr. Knezevic.  Now, you'll recall that in this report

Page 18898

 1     from the 4th of August, he reports as to the first strike being carried

 2     out and what buildings were hit.  And yesterday you indicated that this

 3     was --

 4        A.   A strike in the sense of shelling, not a strike in the sense of

 5     industrial action, lest someone should think that that is what the

 6     interpreters are referring to.

 7        Q.   I don't think there's any dispute that there were no industrial

 8     strikes of workers.  Now, yesterday you said this was consistent with

 9     information you were receiving in your staff.

10             And if we could then turn to Exhibit D1256, please.

11             Now, did you communicate on the 4th directly with Mr. Knezevic?

12        A.   Mr. Knezevic is a member of the Main Staff.  I communicated with

13     him.  We were communicating up to about 1300 hours or 1600 hours with the

14     corps commanders.  And the corps commanders told me the same thing, that

15     it was strange to them that they were not pounding the front, but were

16     shelling elements in the depth.  And I received the same information from

17     the intelligence organ.

18        Q.   If we could turn to page 2 in the English.  This is intercepted

19     telephone conversations, General.  And if we turn to page 2 in the

20     English, which is still page 1 in the B/C/S, this is Mr. Knezevic

21     speaking at 7.00 a.m. on the 4th with an unknown person.  And if you see

22     what he's saying there at 7.00 a.m.:

23             "They pounded the area where the command was, all over the yard.

24              "Q. Did you suffer any losses?

25              "I don't know, I can't tell at the moment."

Page 18899

 1        A.   Yes, yes, you're asking me.  He was killed.

 2        Q.   "Over here, we haven't had any, but in the town, probably, yes.

 3     Obviously, the focus was on the barracks and Presidential Palace.  There

 4     were so many hits, I don't know how many missiles were fired.  It lasted

 5     about 25 to 30 minutes."

 6             Now, is that also consistent with what your understanding was of

 7     what the focus of the artillery and rocket attack was in the initial

 8     barrage?

 9        A.   Mr. Misetic, this was a special artillery strike, and I'm really

10     interested, as an expert, as a general, how come that they were so

11     precise, because we in the JNA did not have such systems as to be able to

12     hit, with the very first fire, such a tiny target in the middle of town.

13     So it had to have a GPS system; it had to have a target enemy group; it

14     had to have a Howitzer system.  Probably you did not discuss these

15     matters with your client.  This was so efficient, this was with such

16     precision on target, and it was just a single target -- strike and

17     nothing more.  All the other shelling was random shelling all over town.

18             And this was rocket shelling, and are you asking for artillery

19     log-books, and you should be looking for rocket logs.  You will not find

20     the artillery logs, because there were just a few times that they opened

21     fire from artillery.  And I believe that this was done by the Croatian

22     Defence Council.  I doubt that this was done by Croatian forces.

23             And one soldier was killed on that occasion, and all the motor

24     vehicles of the car fleet were destroyed.  Actually, their tires were

25     punctured.  And we all, as professionals, were amazed, how could they

Page 18900

 1     have implemented this, how could they have been so on target, because you

 2     know how it goes, over-shooting, under-shooting.  But they hit the

 3     centre, bull's eye, with the very first barrage of fire.  There you have

 4     it.

 5        Q.   Let's break this up into two elements.  When we're talking -- you

 6     said the first strike.  Are you talking about the first half an hour --

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   -- of preparation, the artillery preparation, the first barrage?

 9        A.   It was as part of the general barrage on the town.  One couldn't

10     notice that it was there until one came to the actual spot.

11        Q.   I'm talking about the time.  I'm talking about time now.  This

12     initial strike, which you say was very precise and you couldn't

13     understand how precise -- how it is that they could have done it so

14     precisely, is that the initial half an hour, the first half an hour?

15        A.   Not half an hour.  It lasted all day and all night.  But this was

16     the first strike, the surprise attack, the surprise strike, following

17     which there was random shelling by 107, 128-mm rocket batteries.  Most of

18     them were 107-mm.  I did not notice that strike.  I was in this house

19     where I was quartered, and I was being shelled by multiple

20     rocket-launcher rockets.  And when I came to the site, I could see that

21     the Command was under attack, and the operations officer on duty told me

22     that it had started in the morning, and it continued.  From my position

23     on the third floor, I was able to observe the entire town.  I watched, as

24     an expert, how it was being done, and I was trying to assess how many

25     batteries there were, what kind of ammunition was being used, who could

Page 18901

 1     have provided the ammunition for them to be using the VBRs, the multiple

 2     rocket-launchers, setting buildings on fire and causing panic among the

 3     people.  And I hid on my third floor -- in my third-floor apartment, I

 4     hid behind a piece of furniture in order not to be hit.

 5             I found it very strange that the commander continued - the

 6     commander of the operation - to pound artillery with such precision,

 7     artillery targets in town.  And had he continued, we would not have been

 8     able to remain at that command post.  That was strange, that's was what I

 9     found strange.  I did not really investigate it further, but at that

10     moment that's how I felt.

11        Q.   Let me ask you:  In addition to the Command, the front-line on

12     the Crvena Zemlja -- in the Crvena Zemlja area, which of your forces were

13     holding that front-line?

14        A.   These were from the Knin Corps, a company or two that could be

15     pulled out from the forward end.  There was no attack.  This is just to

16     show that there was somebody, these troops who are moving about, but they

17     had nothing -- they didn't have engineering devices, they did not have

18     minefields, they didn't have the necessary fire-power, nothing.

19        Q.   Did regular police forces of the RSK, meaning the MUP police

20     forces, hold any front-line position on the Dinara?

21        A.   They did, but they held the Unista there.  This is the part of

22     the ridge which is the frontier of the Republika Srpska Krajina.  I went

23     to see their firing positions up there.  These were observation posts,

24     and I could see just the forces coming through Livanjsko Polje and

25     through Grahovsko Polje.  They actually also had some artillery fire.

Page 18902

 1     I believe that a bus was hit; I'm not sure.  I observed it from up there,

 2     and I could see that we were in a very precarious position that there

 3     could be no serious defence to speak of.  I even took the president of

 4     the republic up there to observe the position, to see the position that

 5     we were in.  I took him there by helicopter.

 6        Q.   General, let me ask you this:  If we could please have

 7     Exhibit 65 ter 1D1055, please.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I, meanwhile, seek some clarification of one

 9     of the previous answers.

10             Mr. Mrksic, you said this was so efficient, this was with such

11     precision on target, and it was just a single target strike and nothing

12     more.  All the other shelling was random shelling all over town.  When

13     referring to the other shelling at random over town, did you refer to the

14     shelling that followed the first surprise strike, or could you explain to

15     me what exactly you meant by the other shelling, apparently opposed to

16     the shelling of your Command?  Could you tell us?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it wasn't just a

18     single strike on the Command and then they waited to start with some

19     other shelling.  It all started at one fowl swoop, but the success of the

20     fire was so precise that it was followed by fire all over town.  The

21     rocket batteries, the VBR systematically pounded the town.  So when I

22     came from my forward command post, where I was resting, to the command

23     place, I had to actually take advantage of the intermissions between the

24     fire, and there I saw people running out of their flats, half-naked

25     women.  The children were crying because they were afraid because of the

Page 18903

 1     terrible noise which the rockets were making, the VBR rockets.  The

 2     children were actually holding their ears with their hands, and the

 3     women -- the mothers were asking me, What happened?  And I heard that

 4     rockets had entered rooms of flats.  That was the impression I got.

 5             When I arrived, I saw this on the spot, and then they told me

 6     when it started, there was this one strike, and then this strike was not

 7     repeated.

 8             We had to change the tires on the vehicles.  We had to remove

 9     those vehicles and relocate the Command to the reserve command post.  And

10     there, one soldier was killed.  He was there guarding the car fleet.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

13        Q.   First, General, as part of the artillery attack, was the

14     Northern Barracks hit?

15        A.   It was just as precise a hit as were those on the Command and on

16     the rail station, and they also tried to hit the presidential building.

17     I don't know about that, because Martic immediately moved in with me, so

18     we didn't go to see later.  So these three or four targets which were

19     targeted by cannon and Howitzer shells, which were specially guided,

20     their fire was specially guided and managed and directed, and I heard

21     that such systems only existed in NATO, so that they could have such

22     first strikes effected with such precision without the necessary

23     preparation.  That is only possible with such systems.  I don't believe

24     that the gentleman had those, the commander.

25        Q.   So if I understand your testimony, you're saying that the

Page 18904

 1     Northern Barracks, your Command, and the Presidential Palace were

 2     targeted precisely.  And let me ask you, did you receive --

 3        A.   [No interpretation]

 4        Q.   Let me just ask you this:  Did you receive information about some

 5     of your soldiers being killed within the Senjak Barracks in the first

 6     strike?

 7        A.   I cannot recall.  Probably whoever found themselves there had to

 8     have been killed because of that fire.  I know only about this soldier

 9     outside the Command because I was told that, and I know that later,

10     during the day, a colonel committed suicide because he just couldn't

11     mentally bear all the -- the entire situation, the sounds, because there

12     were some officers there who had never been in battle, who had never

13     felt -- who had never had any war experiences.

14        Q.   Do you know if the Senjak Barracks was also targeted in the first

15     strike?

16        A.   I don't know.  The barracks in which UNPROFOR was, was not hit,

17     and I don't know what its name was.  I was there for only two months.  I

18     hadn't had time to visit all the barracks.

19        Q.   Let me ask you a different way.  Colonel Bjelanovic was your

20     logistics officer.  Do you know where his base was?

21        A.   Yes.  I saw him once, I visited him once.  There was some sheds,

22     as far as I remember.  He did everything he could prior to the aggression

23     to effect a dispersion through the valley where Milka Planac [phoen] was

24     supposed to have a railway or a tunnel built, so we dispersed the people

25     into those tunnels, and our equipment also.  It was only some explosives

Page 18905

 1     and equipment that remained in the depots, because I also ordered that

 2     they should not be used because there could be damage to the

 3     Republika Srpska, and I was thinking that we would be using it later for

 4     some purposes that would be of benefit.

 5        Q.   How would you get and transport the explosives and equipment that

 6     remained in the depots?  If you needed to transport it up to the Dinara

 7     and to the front-line, how would you get it from the tunnels to Dinara?

 8             MR. RUSSO:  Excuse me.  Let me just -- can we just have

 9     clarification about which depots, in particular, we're referring to?  I'm

10     asking for clarification on which depots he's referring to, if you can

11     just ask him.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's keep matters a bit --

13             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

14             JUDGE ORIE:  One second.  You said some explosives and some

15     equipment remained in the depots.  A simple question:  Where were these

16     depots?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The depots were in the

18     Zrmanja Valley.  These gentlemen would know, the commanders.  These were

19     large depots, and there were some cars -- railway cars in them.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, let me keep it quite simple.  I wasn't asking

21     you about the size of it, but where it was.  You've answered that

22     question.  You said in the Zrmanja Valley.  Were there any depots in

23     Knin?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no.  These were mobile

25     depots.  The army had taken them away with them from the warehouses.

Page 18906

 1             Mr. President, when I referred to depots, I mean large army

 2     depots, and it would be sufficient -- to activate one such depot, half of

 3     Knin would be destroyed as a result in the tremors that would follow.

 4     Because we did not proceed to destroy anything, any roads or bridges or

 5     anything; we didn't really need the explosives.  We only took with us

 6     what we needed for combat fighting on the front-line.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  I think the next question that Mr. Misetic put to

 8     you is:  From what depots was equipment transported to your positions at

 9     Dinara?  What depots?  I'm just asking that, nothing else.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we took only ammunition that

11     any combatant would take with him.  We didn't need any explosive there.

12     We didn't have any contact mines, nor any mines that were required for

13     destroying roads or bills [as interpreted], because this was -- these

14     were very high elevations.  If the soldier was on foot, he couldn't carry

15     all this with him.  And we didn't even go up there or take anything up

16     there, because this wasn't our territory.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Now, please listen carefully to Mr. Misetic's next

18     question.  He'll put a focused question to you; you give a focused

19     answer.

20             Please proceed.

21             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

22        Q.   General, well, first of all, you, in fact, did on the 4th of

23     August receive requests for additional ammunition.  And in fact you,

24     yourself, sent a request to Mr. Perisic in Belgrade to send you more

25     ammunition, explosives, et cetera; correct?  Isn't that right?

Page 18907

 1        A.   I don't remember.  It is possible that the logistics people did

 2     request something.  However, the replenishment with ammunition happened

 3     some 15 days to a month before the aggression, but the -- we only took

 4     the ammunition that was in excess of the normal contingents that were

 5     paid by the government.

 6             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not catch the last portion

 7     of the witness's answer.

 8             MR. MISETIC:

 9        Q.   Can you just repeat the last portion of what you said, General.

10        A.   As far as I can recall now, we had ammunition in Ceketovac

11     [phoen], I believe, near Dvor, in that depot, and in Knin, and also the

12     ammunition that the corps reserves had.  So we had ammunition for about a

13     few days of fighting.  Whether there was a telegram sent with such

14     requests or not, whether someone sent it, I can't really recall right

15     now.  But, you know, when it's tough, then everyone calls for ammunition

16     and requests ammunition.

17        Q.   General --

18        A.   The problem that we had was artillery ammunition.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.  Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D161,

20     please.

21        Q.   And can you tell us, while we're pulling that up, what was in

22     Golubic?

23        A.   Well, that's what it's all about.  That's the large depot for the

24     former JNA for this entire area between Split and all the way to the

25     Dalmatian Plateau.  This was the main depot in Golubici.  And there was

Page 18908

 1     also a police base in Golubici, I believe.

 2        Q.   How would you transport that ammunition in Golubic to units, by

 3     what means?

 4        A.   The ammunition was transported from those depots.  I don't know

 5     actually what you mean by "ammunition."  Do you mean the ammunition that

 6     was in depots, in the stationary depots in the hills?  That ammunition

 7     had been pulled out 15 days before the aggression started.  It wasn't

 8     even there anymore.  What was left there was what we didn't really need

 9     anymore; explosives, maybe some anti-tank mines and so on.  After all,

10     you know what you found there.  And as for ammunition, all of it had been

11     pulled out.  Going along the valley towards Srb and then Golubici, there

12     are some tunnels there, so it was possible to use transport vehicles from

13     Republika Srpska to go through there and to bring ammunition that we

14     needed.  This is the so-called dispersion.  Dispersion is effected as

15     soon as a state of war is declared.  That's normal; that's what every

16     army prepares for its defence.

17             MR. MISETIC:  If we could go to page 5 in the English on this

18     exhibit, please.

19        Q.   This is Mr. Bjelanovic's diary from the 4th of August --

20        A.   Tiskovac , yes.

21        Q.   Let me get the right page in the B/C/S.  Page 7 in the B/C/S,

22     please.

23             Now, this is his diary.  On the 4th of August, he's your chief

24     logistics officer.  He says, in the middle of the first -- he says:

25             "The attack began at 5.00.  At 5.30, I was personally at the SVK

Page 18909

 1     Main Staff Operative Centre, where together with the corps command, I

 2     monitored the situation in the units.  The system of logistical support

 3     was in function in the SVK units.  The first request from units came

 4     about 11.00 from the 7th Corps assistant commander for logistics

 5     regarding replenishment of artillery ammunition, which was personally

 6     approved by the commander on the suggestion of the chief of artillery."

 7             We go down a little bit:

 8             "At 1125 hours, I gave an order to my deputy to send vehicles of

 9     the 75th Logistics Base to the Golubici --"

10        A.   No, no, logistics, not infantry.  Logistics or rear.

11        Q.   I'm reading the English version.

12        A.   Well, the translation is wrong.

13        Q.   "Send the vehicles of the 75th Logistics Base to the Golubici

14     depot to load the 60.82 and 120-millimetre shells.

15             "At 1200 hours, artillery ammunition was issued on request of the

16     21st Corps Command."

17             MR. MISETIC:  If we turn the page, please.

18        Q.   Now, before we look at that next section, General, based on this,

19     does that refresh your recollection that the ARSK was obtaining what

20     looks like artillery --

21        A.   Thank you, thank you.  It does, it does refresh my memory.

22        Q.   So you were using vehicles to transport this artillery from

23     Golubic to someplace else; correct?

24        A.   Well, this was the replenishment of the 39 Corps, which was the

25     closest.  It was deployed on positions around Golubici, the 39th.  And as

Page 18910

 1     for the 21st, the Kordun Corps, it did not come for ammunition to

 2     Golubici, because they had their own ammunition.  They could not touch

 3     the ammunition store there without the commander's approval.

 4        Q.   Where would -- the 7th Corps assistant commander for logistics,

 5     where would he deploy his artillery ammunition?

 6        A.   Well, he would deploy the units which had expended the

 7     ammunition, those units that had actually engaged the enemy.  And most of

 8     the fighting was on the Dinara slopes.  You did not even attack us from

 9     below.  You just sort of nudged us a little.  There were some home guards

10     units down there, I believe, because at this time the commanders were on

11     the front-line, and this is where most of the ammunition was expended.

12     The greatest expenditure of ammunition was there.

13        Q.   Okay.  Well, that's my question, is:  How did you get that

14     ammunition -- those vehicles, that it says here, were moving ammunition

15     from Golubic to that front-line position of the 7th Corps, how would they

16     get from Golubic to the front-line?

17        A.   I understand what you're trying to ask me.  Golubic was not

18     targeted.  It was just the depot.  It was not your intention to shoot or

19     target Golubic.  Knin was the target.  And they went there to replenish

20     and pull stuff out.  They went along the road, and there were some

21     soldiers from Grahovo there.

22        Q.   What route -- what communication would you take from Golubic to

23     the positions on the Dinara?

24        A.   Well, you would take the route up the Dinara Mountain, towards

25     Grahovo.  There was no one left on Mount Dinara, if you mean Dinara the

Page 18911

 1     mountain.  It had already been taken beforehand, before the attack.  No

 2     one even tried to defend that part.  There was only UNPROFOR people who

 3     complained that they were fired by mortars, and I had sought permission

 4     to actually fire at them.

 5        Q.   Let's look at this page that's on the screen now.  It says:

 6             "At 1620, I," and it refers to Mr. Bjelanovic, "went to the rear

 7     command post, Senjak Barracks, and had a short meeting with senior

 8     officers and deployed them."

 9        A.   Well, you're not reading this correctly.  What it says here in

10     Croat-Serbian or Serbo-Croatian, Milanovic was there throughout this

11     time, and if you're reading from 1820, no.  Okay 1620, all right.  Let me

12     see.  That's correct.

13        Q.   Now, were you aware of your logistics officer holding a meeting

14     at 1620 in the Senjak barracks, which is the -- I think we all agree is

15     the compound across from the Tvik factory.

16        A.   Yes, the North Barracks.

17        Q.   No.

18        A.   All right, all right, you probably know this better than I do.

19        Q.   I'm surprised to hear that, General.  Are you aware of that there

20     was a military barracks --

21        A.   Well, I didn't have any time to, you know, make tours of the

22     barracks at the time.  I told you what I did.  I had to resolve some

23     major issues.

24        Q.   Well, General, then that leads me -- we can cut this

25     discussion --

Page 18912

 1        A.   [No interpretation]

 2        Q.   Let me just cut --

 3        A.   Yes, we can, certainly.

 4        Q.   -- this discussion short.  If you didn't know there was a

 5     barracks across from the Tvik factory, then are you sure that the

 6     artillery that was coming in and firing wasn't firing on military

 7     objectives, if you didn't have time to go through the town and know where

 8     they all were?

 9        A.   I was in the barracks where the corps command was, the Command of

10     the Dalmatia Corps.  It was called the North Barracks, I know, and that's

11     where I was.  There was also a barrack where there was a base of some

12     sort, and Bjelanovic was there.  Then there was another barrack where the

13     UNPROFOR members were stationed.  There was the Command.  Whether there

14     were some other barracks, whether there were some prisons or something of

15     that sort, I have no idea.  Believe me, I did not serve there, really,

16     for long.  And even the time that I spent there, I spent more outside of

17     Knin than in Knin itself.  And that he did have this meeting, I believe

18     that, yes, Bjelanovic did probably hold this meeting and issue tasks.

19        Q.   Okay.  We can move on, General.  That's fine.

20             If I can turn your attention to 65 ter 1D1055, please.

21             Do you recall General Kovacevic, after Operation Storm, on the

22     9th of August sending a report to the SVK General Staff about the events

23     in Operation Storm?

24        A.   Well, he was not the only one.  Everyone sent reports so that an

25     analysis could be drafted to see what had happened to us, why it had come

Page 18913

 1     about, how it could have happened, and so on.  So there was this whole

 2     study that was actually done in Banja Luka.

 3        Q.   Well, if you will --

 4        A.   What I would like to know is -- this was probably a document

 5     provided by the Serbian government to the Croatian government, and then

 6     the Croatian government provided it to you.  Well, I don't think it's

 7     relevant.  Oh, I see, the Prosecutor was the one.  Okay.

 8        Q.   Yes.  So if you would, to make it easier for you --

 9     Mr. President, with your permission, I'll give him a hard copy of this

10     report.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  That's fine.  At the same --

12             Mr. Russo.

13             MR. RUSSO:  I'm sorry, I wasn't actually looking, but I heard

14     that he indicates that the Prosecutor gave it to you.  I mean --

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's not spend time on matters which appear to be

16     not relevant.  Whether the witness has thoughts about where documents

17     originate from is not of major relevance, I would say, unless there's any

18     specific reason to believe that --

19             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, the question just was whether you are

21     aware of a report sent by - let me see - it was General Kovacevic,

22     sending a report on the 9th.  Mr. Misetic at this moment is not

23     interested whether any other reports were sent, whether reports were sent

24     frequently.  He just wants to know whether you have any recollection of

25     this report by General Novakovic that was sent on the 9th of August.

Page 18914

 1             Do you have any recollection of that, this specific report?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have any recollection of

 3     this particular report, but I haven't had an opportunity to read it.  I

 4     don't really know what it's all about, but I see that there is no

 5     signature.  And the way we did these reports, and this general was the

 6     chief of an administration in the General Staff, he wouldn't have

 7     provided a document like this.  Anyway, I don't recall this document.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, that's the answer to the question, and all the

 9     further comments are, at this moment, not asked from you.

10             Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

11             MR. MISETIC:  Now, if we turn to page -- go to the bottom of the

12     English, which is paragraph 5, and then we'll continue on.

13        Q.   But if you could go to numbered paragraph 5, General.  Okay.

14     General Kovacevic reports that on 4 August, at 0500 hours, the Ustasha

15     forces commenced the preparations and the offensive operations on the

16     entire front-line of the 7th Corps.  The artillery was permanently

17     actively engaged until 2030 hours."

18             If you could turn the page, please.  Yes:

19             "Already at around 1000 hours on 4 August, the forces of the

20     police battalion that were holding the positions at the Dinara Mountain

21     started retreating in an organised manner, which resulted in the retreat

22     of the remaining units of the 7th Corps.  Although the 7th Corps tried to

23     further retain the positions at the Dinara, due to the weak entrenchment

24     and suppression and the horrible pressure on the unaccustomed soldiers

25     imposed by the Ustasha artillery, the dominant positions were abandoned

Page 18915

 1     and only parts of the units occupied in a disorganized manner the

 2     unprepared positions in the depth ..."

 3             Now, does that refresh your recollection about the role that the

 4     police battalion had in holding the position on the Dinara Mountain?

 5        A.   Well, these were the forces that I mentioned earlier that I

 6     went -- used the helicopter to go up there to review these forces.  I

 7     took President Martic there because these were his forces, and I took him

 8     there to review these.  And this helps remind me that this was an order

 9     that I actually -- or this was something that I actually heard from

10     General Novakovic orally.  Yes, now you've jogged my memory and reminding

11     me of the problems.

12        Q.   Going on into paragraphs -- numbered paragraph 6 -- okay, sorry,

13     I apologise.  Can we go back up to paragraph 5, paragraph 5.  And just in

14     terms of what we were talking about yesterday, General Kovacevic reports

15     in that last sentence in paragraph 5:

16             "At the same time, the Ustasha forces exerted great pressure on

17     the units of the 15th Corps over the Velebit Mountain and captured the

18     Nac Alan, so that there was a threatening danger that in the course of 5

19     and 6 August, by emerging in Knin and Gracac, the Ustasha would cut off

20     and encircle the 7th Corps, which would have catastrophic consequences."

21        A.   Correct.

22        Q.   That's what you said yesterday about Otric --

23        A.   Yes, yes, exactly, yes.  The portion of the forces that I had

24     brought from the Special Corps to Bruvno -- what was the name?  Yes,

25     that's what this is referring to.

Page 18916

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.  Mr. President, if I could have this exhibit

 2     marked, and I tender it into evidence.

 3             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Mr. President.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 5             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1516.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Now, Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit D828,

 8     please.

 9        Q.   This is the report of Commander Uzelac, who was the commander in

10     Benkovac; correct?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Now, at the bottom of page 1 in the English, there's a paragraph

13     that says:

14             "Around 80 shells were fired on the town of Benkovac ..."

15             Do you see that?  It says:

16             "Around 80 shells were fired on the town of Benkovac until 0800

17     hours, and around 100 shells on the forward line of brigade defences.

18     Our forces did not open fire."

19             If you could turn the page in the English:

20             "We had neither injured nor killed in both town and the unit

21     until 0800 on 4 August 1995."

22             Now, is that information about the shelling of Benkovac

23     consistent with the information you were receiving on the morning of the

24     4th of August?

25        A.   Well, I received information from corps commanders, you see.  I

Page 18917

 1     did not have any contact with brigade commanders.  If they informed or

 2     reported to their corps commanders, I have no reason to doubt them.

 3             But I would like to take a look at this document, because I can

 4     only see the first page.

 5        Q.   We'll get back to it in a few minutes.

 6        A.   All right, all right, you'll let me read it later.  All right.

 7        Q.   So as of -- let me just ask you something specific on this.  On

 8     the morning of the 4th of August, by 8.00 a.m. was your information that

 9     although Benkovac had been shelled, that there were no injured or killed

10     in Benkovac?

11        A.   I did not have the specific information in front of me, but I had

12     information that all towns had been fired upon; Benkovac, Drnis, Vojnic,

13     Vrgin Most, Korenica, Glina.  I mean, the operation or the action had

14     started not along the front-line but in depth, and even Vrgin Most, which

15     had been fired at long range, and we were all caught by surprise because

16     we didn't know where they had the artillery from to actually reach that.

17        Q.   General, the sentence I read to you says, Commander

18     Uzelac reports, that 100 of the shells were fired on the forward line of

19     brigade defences.  So are you saying that on the morning of the 4th, by

20     8.00 a.m., you were not told that your forces on the front-lines had come

21     under artillery fire in the 92nd Motorised Brigade?

22        A.   I don't know why these 92nd Motorised Brigade should send a

23     report to me, the Main Staff.  That is illogical.  It had no business

24     sending me reports.  We did not liaise in that way.  Perhaps it was as is

25     written in this document, but there was no logic for that to be sent to

Page 18918

 1     me.  He had his own corps commander.  I put things in order there, so one

 2     couldn't just, you know, tug the commander by the sleeve as they pleased.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit 65 ter

 4     1D1048, please.  If we could have page 5 in the English, please, which I

 5     believe is page 18 -- 6, page 6 in the B/C/S, please.  Now, this -- if we

 6     go to the top so you can see the date.

 7             Mr. Registrar, if we could go to page 17 in this document.  That

 8     is the original in the B/C/S.  In the B/C/S, I'm sorry.

 9        Q.   Now, you see the date in the upper left-hand corner.

10        A.   The 4th of August.

11        Q.   Is that your signature and stamp there?

12        A.   I think the signature is mine.  Mine is a simple signature, so I

13     don't see what is at issue here.  What is the question, in fact?

14        Q.   Well, on the 4th of August, it purports that you're sending a

15     request to the chiefs of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, asking

16     for replenishment of ammunition, and it's itemised as to what you're

17     seeking on the 4th.  Do you recall asking the Yugoslav Army for all of

18     this additional ammunition?

19        A.   Frankly speaking, I do not recall that.  This was an

20     insignificant matter for me.  This was a technical thing, because the

21     logistics people would issue these requests, and of course they would

22     expect the itemised items to arrive.  And perhaps since the combat had

23     already started, they gave it to me to sign.  Otherwise, it would be

24     normally signed by Bjelanovic.  Why I signed it and if I signed it, I

25     really do not recall, but it is, of course, a normal thing to replenish

Page 18919

 1     equipment and ammunition.

 2        Q.   Did you have -- for example, 27 talks about rockets for an Oganj,

 3     you've got shells for an M-55, shells for T-34s, other types of

 4     artillery.  Let me just ask the question.  Did you have --

 5        A.   Twenty-seven, it is not Orkan, the rocket is Oganj, the ones they

 6     used to pound us in Knin, Oganj, fire, meaning fire.  These are

 7     128-millimetre rockets.  I did have the Orkans also.  And I have

 8     70 pieces.

 9        Q.   I don't know what you're hearing.  I said Oganj.  I said Oganj.

10     Let me just ask the question.  I don't know what you heard.

11        A.   It was maybe misinterpreted.

12        Q.   In the Knin area, where was your artillery deployed?

13        A.   Most of the artillery, the Main Staff's artillery, was deployed

14     in the area of Slunj, towards Petrova Gora, so that it was able to open

15     fire.  It was not in Knin.  In Knin, there was the corps artillery.

16        Q.   I'm sorry, I meant the 7th Knin Corps.  Where was the artillery

17     of the 7th Knin Corps deployed?

18        A.   When we saw that we were threatened and in danger, it was

19     oriented towards Zadar and Split to protect those directions.  When the

20     situation changed, we pulled out a portion of the artillery, and that

21     artillery opened fire.  When the forces were brought in and when Grahovo

22     was conquered.  So we opened fire at Grahovsko Polje, and also from the

23     positions, lower positions to Kninsko Polje.  These were Howitzers

24     mostly, there were just two pieces, very few, in fact.  And, in fact, we

25     did not manage to pull them out.  You captured them there.

Page 18920

 1        Q.   Where is Kninsko Polje, if you can explain that to the Court.

 2        A.   I believe it was somewhere under Crvena Zemlja, so that it would

 3     be within range.  We pulled out a couple of pieces there in order to be

 4     able to open fire and to support the forces that were defending the

 5     decent from Grahovo to Knin.  But all this was being addressed prior to

 6     the attack, prior to the 4th, and the fighting actually did not start on

 7     the 4th.  It started -- it had started much earlier.  In fact, I believe

 8     that there was a bus that had been blown up by a mine.

 9        Q.   But on the 4th itself -- even though the fire started before the

10     4th, on the 4th itself, were those positions in Kninsko Polje returning

11     the artillery fire?  Were they returning fire on Croatian positions?

12        A.   I think that that artillery had already been pulled up there.  As

13     the units moved, as the people moved, it was pulled up towards Otric.  It

14     was in no position to be captured down there, and if something was

15     captured, I don't know.  That was at the corps level, and I couldn't

16     interfere in their matters.

17        Q.   General, why would you need replenishment of artillery if it's

18     not being used?

19        A.   Replenishment of artillery was necessary because artillery was

20     used before, in July, when the Sabre action was effected in

21     Western Bosnia, and it started with Polje, because from that time I

22     always had to assist Republika Srpska with a company or two and with

23     ammunition.  Ammunition was expended in this way, so I had to seek

24     replenishment to be able to actually properly respond in a war situation.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I'm going to ask that this page be

Page 18921

 1     marked, and I tender it into evidence.  I note that this is part of a

 2     larger 65 ter, and so we will just upload the page that I've used for

 3     now.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Because it's a bit confusing, this document, the

 5     original being far larger than the translation.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  And I see that, for example, that this page we're

 8     talking about appears apparently twice in different formats; once in

 9     Cyrillic, with -- but approximately the same content, but without

10     handwriting, et cetera; one's in Latin script.  It's a bit confusing.

11             MR. MISETIC:  These are original documents attached to an overall

12     assessment and analysis that had been prepared, so what you're reading in

13     the Latin script is simply a part of what was an analysis done on those

14     documents.  And that's why I flipped to the original document which were

15     actually annexes to the main document.  I don't want the main document; I

16     just want the original annex and the translation of it.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  But, nevertheless, 11 pages in translation and

18     21 pages in the original always creates confusion.  But if we limit

19     ourselves to what we have on our screen now, technical ways of limiting

20     it to that can be found.

21             Mr. Registrar, that was page 17 in the -- e-court page 17 in the

22     original and - what was the page - 5, I think, in the English.

23             Mr. Russo.

24             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, I would like the opportunity just to

25     determine -- I'm not going to object to this particular page coming in.

Page 18922

 1     I just want the opportunity to put in additional pages from the exhibit.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  That's my intention as well, is to use additional

 3     pages, but just to break them up.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Just for this moment, page 17, B/C/S, page 5 in the

 5     English, where the translation to English also reflects handwritten notes

 6     on page 17.

 7             Mr. Registrar, limit it to this specific page.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1517.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  D1517 is admitted into evidence.

10             Could you take care that it's split up?

11             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President.

12        Q.   Now, was it the usual practice that the Yugoslav Army would

13     supply you with ammunition?

14        A.   We, in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, had some own production

15     for 120-millimetre mortars in Lika, in Licki Osijek, but that was

16     insignificant, so we had to rely on replenishment of purchases on the

17     world market.  Mostly the government of the Ministry of the Defence would

18     secure the funds or the resources for that was to be sent to us.  As for

19     the Yugoslav Army, they would make available the facilities of -- the

20     production facilities and help us, thus, replenish our expended

21     resources.  Otherwise, we would not have been able to survive, and that

22     is no secret, just as Herceg-Bosna would not have been able to survive

23     with the ammunition and the financial resources coming from the Republic

24     of Croatia.

25        Q.   Now, if we could turn to page 7 in the same document that's on

Page 18923

 1     the screen.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Seven in English?

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, which should then be the next document in the

 4     B/C/S.

 5        Q.   This is now a report from you at 1600 hours on the 4th to the

 6     Yugoslav Army General Staff, 2nd Administration.  Do you recall sending

 7     such a report at 1600?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Now, first, can you tell us why, in the midst of combat

10     operations, you're sending a report to the chief of the Yugoslav Army

11     General Staff?

12        A.   We did not send him the report because we expected any assistance

13     from him, but so as -- in order for him to be able to acquaint the

14     political leadership of Serbia with the situation and about what was

15     going on.  They were surprised.  They should not have been surprised.

16     They all pretended to be surprised.

17        Q.   Let's go to paragraph 2 of your report, and at 1600 you reported:

18             "Our forces were ready for the beginning of the aggression.

19     Despite the inconsiderate activities on all of the towns, the work of the

20     commands of all levels was characterized by calmness."

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   "All attacks were stopped."

23             If we go down one sentence -- two sentences :

24             "In the course of the first ten hours of combat, the defence was

25     successfully supported by our aviation and artillery."

Page 18924

 1             Now, was that an accurate statement at the time you made it, that

 2     you were defending with the use of both aviation and artillery?

 3        A.   As for aviation, I don't recall whether it shelled any targets or

 4     not or whether it was being re-based because of the danger that it would

 5     be within the range of Croatian artillery, so it had to relocate to

 6     Banja Luka.

 7             The aviation, that took place before the start of the aggression,

 8     and that was at the request of UNPROFOR and NATO.

 9             I forbade, let me tell you honestly, aviation to open fire on

10     Krk, the fuel depots, and some strategic facilities in Croatia, because I

11     thought that that would amount to pure retaliation, and I did not want to

12     do that because I was guided by International Humanitarian Law.  And what

13     they had done, I mean the aviation, they did it prior to the 4th.  I

14     would not let Orkans open fire on either Kutina or Zagreb.  I sent them

15     off to Bosnia.

16        Q.   This is one of those answers --

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, you referred to 1600 hours twice,

18     whereas the stamp at the bottom, as far as I can see, gives "1500 hours."

19             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

20             JUDGE ORIE:  I'm asking Mr. Misetic --

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see what I signed.

22             MR. MISETIC:  I'm looking at the first --

23             JUDGE ORIE:  There's a stamp, "Received 1500 hours."

24             MR. MISETIC:  I'm sorry.  I confused it with the next document,

25     which is the operative report of 1600 hours --

Page 18925

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  It's now corrected and on the record.  This document

 2     was received at 1500 hours.

 3             Please proceed.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  I apologise.  We'll get to 1600 hours with my next

 5     document, Mr. President.

 6        Q.   It's at 1500 hours, and if we go to -- but let me ask you again,

 7     and let me just -- what I was going to tell you, General, is again, just

 8     to remind you to focus your answer on my question, because you may have

 9     to stay here longer if we don't get shorter answers.  So my question

10     simply is:  You've answered the part about the aviation.  Were you

11     defending with the use of artillery?

12        A.   Yes, but only against what was endangering us, the forces that we

13     could see, that we could observe.  And I issued such assignments.

14        Q.   Let's go to the next section there:

15             "Artillery activities on towns have caused great destruction and

16     damage."

17             Where was the great destruction?  What town had great destruction

18     in it?

19        A.   This is probably an expression someone used in their report.  You

20     know how it goes.  When reports are being drawn up, you always opt for

21     the augmentative.  I was only briefed that all settlements, all inhabited

22     places in the municipality, all towns were shelled.  That was not

23     logical, rather than pounding the front, they were opening firing at

24     villages where there were no combatants.  Now, had some roofs caved in,

25     had some buildings taken hits, I don't know that.

Page 18926

 1        Q.   Well, we saw the report of General Kovacevic, and you do -- do

 2     you dispute General Kovacevic's report that the forces of the 7th Corps

 3     on the Dinara were under intense artillery fire there on the front-line?

 4        A.   I do not dispute that.  In fact, I personally observed it,

 5     watched it.

 6        Q.   Now, if we go to the next section, and here's what I'm interested

 7     in.  You report -- as the Presiding Judge has pointed out, 1500 hours is

 8     the stamp:

 9             "The enemy is conducting a forceful attack from Grahovo over

10     Dinara" --

11        A.   I don't see that.

12        Q.   Sorry, it's under the paragraph that begins:  "At 1100 hours ..."

13     So it's the paragraph in your version that says:  "By 1430 hours ..."

14             Do you see that right above the section that -- right above

15     section 3?

16        A.   Above the decision?  Yes, I see it.  Yes, the danger is there,

17     yes, yes.

18        Q.   So sometime between 1430 and 1500, you sent a report to Belgrade

19     saying that there was now a breach at Crvena Zemlja and that this breach

20     was putting in danger the defence of Knin; correct?

21        A.   Yes, correct.

22             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I'm going to break these up, just as

23     I did with the last document, so I would like to mark this -- these pages

24     as a separate exhibit and tender them into evidence.

25             JUDGE ORIE:

Page 18927

 1             MR. RUSSO:  I have no objection, Mr. President.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I see the last page?  You

 4     never show me the last page.  You always show me just the first page, and

 5     that is not the document in its entirety.  Let me see what I signed, if

 6     it is not too much trouble for the technician to show it to me.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the original be shown to the witness, the

 8     second page.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, the next page, please.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This should be also read:

11             "We feel that all necessary measures must urgently be taken to

12     stop the Croatian aggression."

13             So war was not our objective.  Our objective was a peaceful

14     resolution of the situation, because --

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, you were asked whether you could see the

16     second page to see whether this is what you signed --

17             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

18             JUDGE ORIE:  You were not invited to comment on the document.  If

19     there is any relevance, then Mr. Russo might ask questions about it to

20     you, or any of the other Defence counsel.

21             Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

22             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  Mr. President, I don't think we've got a

23     number.  And just for the record, these pages are --

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Oh, you're right, I --

25             MR. MISETIC:  The pages are page --

Page 18928

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Just for the purposes of the record, Mr. President,

 3     this is pages 18 and 19 of the B/C/S and pages 7 and 8 of the English.

 4             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, those will become Exhibit D1518.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Now, if we could turn to the next pages in this

 7     series.

 8        Q.   Now, this is a report from, again, Lieutenant-Colonel

 9     Mihajlo Knezevic, and he's sending a report to the Yugoslav Army General

10     Staff, 2nd Administration, with an operative time of 1600 hours, and the

11     stamp says:  "Received at 1645."

12             Now, what I'm interested in, in this report, is in the third

13     paragraph.  He now reports on the axis Grahovo-Crvena Zemlja-Knin:

14             "The Ustasha have succeeded in taking over the dominant peaks and

15     creating favourable conditions for the continuation of their activities

16     and breaking out to the immediate vicinity of Knin."

17             Now, can you recall if, at approximately 1600 hours, the

18     situation was now such that the Croatian Army had broken through and had

19     taken up positions that were now favourable for the advancement on Knin?

20     Is that correct?

21        A.   Yes, that is correct, and the MUP pulled out.  They got scared.

22     They avoided a frontal engagement, direct engagement.  They could have --

23     the forces could have entered Knin immediately after the pullout, had

24     they wanted to.

25        Q.   Now if we look down two paragraphs, he also reports:

Page 18929

 1             "They have succeeded around 1500 hours to take over the Mali Alan

 2     ridge on The mount Velebit and jeopardised the Celavac TV transmitter."

 3             Correct?

 4        A.   That's right.

 5        Q.   And is that correct, in terms of the timing, that it's around

 6     1500 hours where there was a breakthrough on the Velebit side towards

 7     Gospic?

 8        A.   Yes, there was -- the communications were severed and the lines

 9     were down.  I had no communication at all with the corps commander,

10     except the previous concept that I had issued to them in the preparation

11     stage.  But I believe that repeater was shelled by NATO aircraft.

12        Q.   But let me make sure you answered my question.  Is it correct, as

13     reported here, that approximately 1500 hours it was reported that the

14     Croatian Army had broken through at Mali Alan and was now threatening

15     Gracac?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   So is it correct, based on what you testified yesterday, that as

18     of 1600 hours on the 4th, based on the breakthroughs up on Crvena Zemlja

19     and from this side, from the coastal side at Mali Alan, that this

20     threatened encirclement was now possible?

21        A.   Yes, exactly, and realistically that was this major risk, major

22     danger for this entire region of Dalmatia, to be cut off and to remain

23     part of Croatia, which would have been all right except for the fact that

24     there was the danger of people getting killed at the hands of the

25     different paramilitary units and such.

Page 18930

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that pages -- page 20 and

 2     21 -- oh, I'm sorry, page 20 of the B/C/S and page -- pages 9 and 10 of

 3     the English be marked, and I tender it into evidence.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo.

 5             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Mr. President.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar, these two pages.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, those will become Exhibit D1519.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, could I have Exhibit D927 on the

10     screen, please.

11        Q.   Mr. -- I'm sorry, General, do you recall in the late afternoon,

12     sometime after 4.00, being on a phone call with Milan Babic in Belgrade,

13     you and Mr. Martic being on a phone call with Mr. Babic?

14        A.   Yes, I do recall that, while the communications were still

15     functional.

16        Q.   Can you, first, tell us, from your own memory, what was discussed

17     in that conversation?

18        A.   Let me explain.  I didn't talk to him, personally.  It was the

19     president of the republic talking to the prime minister.  We sent the

20     prime minister there to go there to see that everything is done in order

21     for war to be averted, to talk to people in the American Embassy, sign

22     all variants of the plans, the Z-4 and what have you, just so as to avert

23     war.  So when we finished the session of the Main Staff of the

24     Supreme Command, where we had ministers, the president of the Assembly,

25     the minister of the interior, and this was in the operations conference

Page 18931

 1     room of the Main Staff, we arrived at an assessment, and you can see that

 2     also on the basis of these documents, to the effect that there was the

 3     danger of forces penetrating through Crvena Zemlja into Knin whenever

 4     they so wished and that they cut off the line at Otric, cut off the whole

 5     of Dalmatia, because nobody was attacking from up there.  So a political

 6     decision needed to be made.  We were unable to make such a decision on

 7     our own.  We had to consult all the members of the Supreme Defence

 8     Council.

 9        Q.   Let's look at the screen here and see if the details here -- this

10     again is a recording of that telephone conversation, and it says -- it

11     starts off with you and Mr. Babic, General Mrksic and Milan, and it

12     says -- number 1 is Mr. Babic, number 2 is you.  Number 1 says:

13             "It's like this, I talked to --"

14             Well, if this can make refresh your recollection.  It says -- and

15     Mr. Martic -- let me just -- you haven't had a chance to read it?  Okay.

16        A.   Well, now I'm looking at it, but this is not Mile Mrksic; this is

17     not the style of Mile Mrksic.  I just do not allow that this is the way I

18     express myself.  I'm not a man who uses cunt words.  Whoever prepared

19     this for you planted this.  I'm [Realtime transcript read in error "I'm

20     not"] a guards officer.

21        Q.   General --

22             JUDGE ORIE:  You said it was -- number 1 is Mr. Babic.  Where do

23     we find that --

24             MR. MISETIC:  A certain Milan, Mr. President.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  A certain Milan.

Page 18932

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Okay.  You make it Mr. Babic, which still has to be

 3     established.  It should not be put to the witness in a way --

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Martic.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  -- the document does not appear in this way.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  It's just that there are three Milans on this

 7     conversation, Mr. President, and it's going to be difficult to keep them

 8     all straight.

 9        Q.   But let's try to follow this, General.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Domazet, is there anything of concern?

11             MR. DOMAZET:  Yes, Your Honour.

12             [Interpretation] Just an intervention.  In the transcript, on

13     page 11:  "I'm not a guards officer."  Mr. Mrksic actually said, "I am"

14     or "I was a guards officer," not "I'm not."

15             JUDGE ORIE:  If there's -- and you may not be familiar with the

16     rules that apply in this court.  If you think that the transcript or the

17     translation presents something which is not accurate, then you're not

18     supposed to give your own opinion on what would be accurate, but you can

19     question the matter, see when it's a matter of translation; to seek first

20     the witness to repeat his answer.  If it's a matter of transcription, and

21     to point at the page and the line where you think there is any

22     inaccuracy.  But it is the habit in this courtroom that we do not replace

23     what we think to be wrong by what we think to be right.  It's on the

24     record.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President.

Page 18933

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  My suggestion would be that we take a break, and I

 3     will give the witness a --

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  So that the witness can read it during the break?

 5             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, we have some homework for you.

 7     Mr. Misetic will have --

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  -- will hand you a hard copy of the transcript of

10     this recorded telephone conversation.  If you'd please be so kind to read

11     it over the break.

12             We'll then have a break and resume at 11.00.

13                           --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.

14                           --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, you may proceed.

16             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

17        Q.   General Mrksic, have you had a chance to review that transcript

18     of a telephone conversation?

19        A.   Yes, I have.

20        Q.   I'm not interested in word for word right now, that you go

21     through it and say every word is correct.  Just if you could tell the

22     Court, before you saw that, you said there was a conversation with

23     Mr. Babic and that it was related to this decision on whether to issue an

24     evacuation order.  Just by looking at that, in terms of refreshing your

25     recollection, can you tell the Court either what -- I'm sorry.  Can you

Page 18934

 1     tell the Court what specifically was discussed with Mr. Babic prior to

 2     the decision to issue the evacuation order?

 3        A.   Well, first of all, let me say that as far as I can recall, I did

 4     not have a conversation with Mr. Babic; rather, that was the task of the

 5     president of the republic, Martic.  I was never referred to as Milan in

 6     any conversation.  My name is Mile Mrksic.  And even looking at this

 7     conversation, no one would have said "Milan."  Especially there wouldn't

 8     be a conversation of this time with the prime minister because I didn't

 9     even know him.  But I do know that there was a phone conversation or, as

10     they said, a phone session, because they needed to consult him as a

11     member of the Supreme Command as to what to do next.

12        Q.   What were you told was discussed with Mr. Babic?

13        A.   The president of the republic said that he had consultations with

14     him and that they agreed, that he had proposed -- that he had put forward

15     a proposal, and this was the opinion of the staff, that people should not

16     be left to their own devices and at the mercy of whoever, that they

17     should be removed from Krajina to Srb.  There was no mention of

18     abandoning or leaving the territory of Republika Srpska.  This is what we

19     called the tactical and operational movement.  But of course there is

20     always a danger when people get in motion, because our people were armed,

21     the population was armed because that was the concept of our defence, and

22     we were aware that there might be problems with that.  Following this,

23     there was probably a decision that was probably signed by the president

24     or I don't know who.

25        Q.   Do you recall whether there was any discussion -- I'm sorry.

Page 18935

 1     Just for purposes of the transcript, if I could ask you -- there may have

 2     been something missed in the interpretation.  You said the people should

 3     not be left to their own devices.  What was the -- what was the fear or

 4     what was the motivation?

 5        A.   Well, to be honest, there was a historic -- a historical fear

 6     that was --

 7        Q.   I think you already answered it, but let me ask it this way:

 8     This decision, was it because of the danger that there was going to be an

 9     encirclement?

10        A.   That decision was made because of the danger of encirclement, and

11     we were not sure that the treatment of the civilian population would be

12     fair and that there would follow what we expected, disarming people and

13     then deciding who is guilty and who is not.  And then there was also a

14     great fear regarding Western Slavonia.

15        Q.   What was the fear regarding Western Slavonia?

16        A.   Well, people were afraid of the force that was then displayed by

17     the Croatian government.  Next, there were victims that should not have

18     been there.  As it turned out, there were casualties, and those people

19     who did not want to leave the area, who did not want to withdraw to a

20     safer area.  I believe the then forces of the Republic of Croatia were

21     not capable of controlling their own forces, and there are always

22     extremists who could -- who could wreak havoc among on people and who

23     could harm people.  And, of course, people were afraid.  And what do you

24     think?  If everybody had remained behind, do you have any idea what the

25     number of victims would have been?  This way, only the old people

Page 18936

 1     remained and those people who had no means to move out of there, because

 2     there was no one to take them out of there.

 3        Q.   Do you recall whether it was reported to you that Mr. Babic

 4     conveyed in that conversation whether you could expect assistance from

 5     Mr. Galbraith or the international community?

 6        A.   I think that he had contacts with Martic.  And what I can see

 7     here, I think that's what it refers to, that there was no assistance to

 8     be expected and that once this started, there is no -- there was no way

 9     of stopping it anymore.  It couldn't even be stopped in Geneva.

10     Mr. Cervenko wouldn't come and talk to me.  When that happened, it was

11     clear to me that this decision had been made and there was no stopping it

12     anymore.  And, of course, it was in our interests to prevent that.  And

13     I think President Milosevic was cheated out of this and everything else.

14        Q.   Okay.  This conversation is purported to be at 1630.

15             And if we could now go to Exhibit D137, please.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, is that taken from the code at the top,

17     which ends with "1630?"  I'm not -- I don't know whether we had paid any

18     attention to what this code --

19             MR. MISETIC:  That's the time, as far as I understand,

20     Mr. President.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  If that's not in dispute, then ...

22             MR. MISETIC:

23        Q.   Now, General, this is a document that's been admitted into

24     evidence as the evacuation order that was issued by Mr. Martic.  Do you

25     recall seeing this document before?

Page 18937

 1        A.   This is the first time that I see this document, but I am aware

 2     that he did issue this document.  I haven't read it before, but I know

 3     that it was drafted in keeping with decisions at the sessions of the

 4     Supreme Council.  It probably came to the staff and was probably filed

 5     there, but because I participated in the session, there was no need to

 6     show it to me.  And now I see that this is a short order consisting of

 7     three points.

 8        Q.   First, if you look at the time in the upper left-hand corner, is

 9     that time consistent with your recollection that the order was issued at

10     1645; in other words, sometime after the conversation with Mr. Babic?

11        A.   Yes, you can see at the bottom there that this was actually

12     certified, that only at 5.20 it was actually distributed.  You can see

13     that at the bottom of the page, because it takes time to type this and

14     then file it, and so on.  So this was issued as a result of that meeting.

15        Q.   Now, can you explain to us why the Main Staff had to certify it?

16        A.   Because the president of the republic is the supreme commander,

17     and he sat in sessions of the Main Staff.  He was our boss, in fact.  He

18     was a member of the Main Staff, and all the decisions that were made, he

19     presided over them.  And, of course, he used, in wartime, the

20     administration and everything.  He was not physically with the

21     Presidency.  Whether he had also brought with him somebody else from the

22     Presidency to the Main Staff, I can't recall, because the premises where

23     the Main Staff was were also the premises for the MUP and the Main Staff

24     of the army.

25        Q.   At your answer on page 44, line 21, you said "only at 5.20 was it

Page 18938

 1     actually distributed."  Can you tell us to whom it was distributed?

 2        A.   This report was only sent to the brigades to which it refers, and

 3     the municipalities to which it refers, so the Dalmatia Corps, the

 4     Benkovac, Obrovac, and Drnis Brigades, and Obrovac and Gracac.  It did

 5     not relate to Lika, Kordun or Banija; only the area that we discussed a

 6     few days ago that could be cut off and encircled.

 7        Q.   If I understand you correctly, then, this order was passed down

 8     through the military line?

 9        A.   I don't know how this was done, technically.  This is actually

10     taken by courier.  I don't know if it was taken to the municipal bodies,

11     whether from there somebody else distributed it further.  I don't know

12     what the actual technology is and how the civilian authorities handled

13     this.

14        Q.   Well, let me ask you this:  Do you know who Drago Kovacevic is?

15        A.   I think he was the president of Knin --

16        Q.   Yes.

17        A.   -- as far as I can recall.  But this was a long time ago, so I'm

18     not sure.

19        Q.   Do you recall if Mr. Kovacevic was present at the meeting where

20     the decision was taken to issue the evacuation order?

21        A.   I can't recall, but it would have been a good thing had he been

22     there.  It would be normal, because it was his corps, the people from his

23     corps.  I can't recall.  I can't remember the people and every detail,

24     especially because I didn't really spend much time there, and I didn't

25     know the people too well.

Page 18939

 1        Q.   General Mrksic, do you recall whether you walked into that

 2     meeting and said that the evacuation should go to Petrovac and

 3     Banja Luka?

 4        A.   No.  Why would I alter the decision of the Supreme Council?  I

 5     didn't have the authority to do that, and why would I do it?

 6        Q.   Let me show you a video-clip and ask you to watch it, and then

 7     I'll ask for your comment after the clip.

 8             This is, Mr. Registrar, Exhibit D326.

 9                           [Video-clip played]

10             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "Refugee columns were travelling

11     through Knin at a large scale when, at approximately 5.00 p.m. on

12     4 August 1995, representatives of the civilian and military authorities

13     met at Martic's headquarters.  And Martic, who was in uniform, there was

14     a huge ashtray in front of him, several empty packs of cigarettes, and

15     then we exchanged hellos.  And on the topic of why he had called me, he

16     said he called me because, he said, I've decided to evacuate the city,

17     and we should take steps to relocate the civilian population, I must

18     stress this, civilian population from Northern Dalmatia, meaning from the

19     municipalities of Benkovac, Obrovac, Knin, Drnis, and from the

20     municipality of Gracac in Lika."

21             "This did not come as a shock to me.  I perceived this to be some

22     sort of rational measure.  At that moment, we passed the order.  It was

23     Kosta Novakovic specifically who passed the order.  It was then that we

24     wrote in the order that this was to evacuate the civilian population,

25     meaning in the direction of Knin, Otric, or Srb or Lapac, which were the

Page 18940

 1     areas where people were to be relocated.  It was then that Mrksic reacted

 2     and said, What do you mean by Srb?  We need to go further than Srb,

 3     towards Petrovac and Banja Luka.  And then he cautioned us that if the

 4     civilians embark on leaving, that the military lines would be at risk.

 5     He said the civilians start, then the army goes after them to evacuate

 6     them, and this is going to create enormous problems.

 7             "However, sometime during the evening, when he arrived, he was

 8     upstairs, Mrksic.  He told me on the staircase that the evacuation of the

 9     population had been ordered.  I told him, General, the army will break

10     down.  What do you mean by evacuating the people, and this means of an

11     order?  He said, This is not in our hands.  It was the Supreme Defence

12     Council decision.  And then someone had requested that Martic -- or it

13     was Martic himself who had requested to be put through to

14     Slobo Milosevic, but he did not speak with him.  Rather, he spoke with

15     Brane Crncic [phoen].  So he got hold of Brane Crncic, probably because

16     he couldn't get hold of Slobo.  He assured him that probably he

17     couldn't -- so that's why he spoke to Brane, and then he was told by him,

18     No, no, he won't take any steps, the Slobo wouldn't do anything in this

19     case.  And it was then for the first-time I heard it was then that Martic

20     cursed Slobo, and so on and so forth."

21             MR. MISETIC:

22        Q.   Now, Mr. Mrksic, let me just give you an opportunity to comment

23     on Mr. Kovacevic's version of events.  Did you, in fact, state that, We

24     have to go farther than this order and we have to go to Petrovac and

25     Banja Luka?

Page 18941

 1        A.   What Mr. Kovacevic was saying there, I don't even remember that

 2     he was there, nor did I go where that full ashtray full of ashes were.

 3     We -- what Kosta said in that sense, we knew of that, and that's what was

 4     said.  But that I should have said that they should move on and go

 5     further, no, I could not possibly have said that, nor was it in keeping

 6     with the assignment that I was given by President Milosevic when I was

 7     sent to Krajina, nor would I ever order such a thing.  Whether this is

 8     some sort of game where someone is trying to impugn the General Mrksic

 9     order or something, that's different, but my order was not to that

10     effect.

11        Q.   Let me now show you three additional documents.  I will show them

12     to you one at a time.  And in order to save time, I'll give you an

13     opportunity to comment on them after we've looked at all three.  Okay?

14             First, if we could turn to Exhibit D182.

15             Now, I'll give you an opportunity to comment, but later in more

16     detail.  But if you could just answer me "yes" or "no."  Are you aware

17     that there was a meeting held at 1800 hours with the UNPROFOR or UNCRO

18     command headquarters?  Are you aware of that?  Just "yes" or "no," and

19     I'll give you an opportunity later to comment further.

20        A.   I can't recall.  It's possible, but I can't recall.  But I

21     believe if I don't recall it, I probably did not attend that meeting.  I

22     don't know.  Because the situation was critical, it was very difficult,

23     who was doing what and when and how.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, you told us that you have no

25     recollection, and you think, having no recollection, that you would not

Page 18942

 1     have been present.  That's an answer to the question.

 2             Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

 3             MR. MISETIC:

 4        Q.   Do you recall, at that meeting, where the evacuation was

 5     discussed?  In other words, the council, the Defence Council, was it

 6     discussed at that meeting, that UNCRO Command should be approached in

 7     order to assist with the evacuation?  Do you recall that?

 8        A.   Whether Kosta Novakovic was issued such an assignment, I don't

 9     know, because he was the liaison, but I can't really remember.  We sought

10     help wherever we could find it.

11        Q.   Let me show you now these three documents, and then I'll give you

12     an opportunity to comment.

13             This is -- the first is -- I believe it's UNCRO, a report sent at

14     1945.  Do not pay attention to the date, because everyone in this case

15     agrees that the date should be 4 August 1995.  Now, if you look at the

16     second paragraph here, it says:

17             "The RSK authorities have requested UN assistance in organising

18     and providing transport for such evacuation.  RSK initial calculation

19     shows that UN will need to provide for these refugees transportation,

20     around 70.000 litres of fuel and 450 trucks.  RSK proposed one main

21     route, Knin-Padjene-Otric-Srb-Martin Brod-Bosanski Petrovac-Banja Luka."

22             Now, let me turn to Exhibit D337, please.  And if we could go to

23     page 2, paragraph 4.

24             D337, General Mrksic, is a report from Yasushi Akashi to

25     Kofi Annan on the evening of the 4th of August.  And at paragraph 4, in

Page 18943

 1     the first sentence, he says:

 2             "We have been advised by the Civil Affairs Office in Sector South

 3     that the Knin leadership have requested UNHCR and UNPF assistance in

 4     evacuating approximately 32.000 civilians from Benkovac, Obrovac, Gracac,

 5     and Knin to Petrovac and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

 6             Finally, let me show you 65 ter 172, and these are the personal

 7     notes of a gentleman named Drago Vujatovic, and he took handwritten notes

 8     at the meeting with the UNCRO command.

 9             And if we go to English page 16, please.  If we go to the bottom.

10             He notes the meeting started at 1740.  Kosta Novakovic is

11     present, K. Milan, K. Drago, and then it's noted:  "Alain Forand; Mrksic,

12     Mile; Trbulin, Milan."  If we turn the page, please, in English.  Let me

13     -- I'm sorry, I don't think we have shown it to you in the original.

14     It's page 129 in the B/C/S.  Okay.

15             Right in that middle of the page are his handwritten notes, and

16     then it says, if we turn the page in English, which we have, okay, he

17     wrote in hand:

18             "EV.  Knin-Benkovac-Obrovac-Drnis-Gracac-Otric-Srb-Lapac,

19     defend ..."

20             Then something about:

21             " ... Galbraith is requesting from Tudjman."

22             Then:

23             "Martin Brod further on to Banja Luka, drive to the end."

24             And if we scroll down a bit, and also scroll down in the B/C/S,

25     he says:

Page 18944

 1             "Martin Brod-Petrovac-Banja Luka," and then:  "Fuel."  And

 2     there's a breakdown of 15.000 and then, overall, 32.000.  And 32.000,

 3     you'll recall, is the same number that Mr. Akashi reports as the number

 4     of people that were going to be moving out of these areas.

 5             Now, first, were you present at this meeting?  Does this refresh

 6     your recollection at all as to whether you were present at this meeting?

 7        A.   No, not at all.  This is the first time I hear this; this the

 8     first time I see this.  To the best of my recollection, I was not there.

 9     And I only had meetings with Akashi, and when delegations from the

10     United Nations came, as well as with the -- and I never had a meeting

11     with a local UNPROFOR commander there, as far as I can recall.  And as

12     for these things here, this is the first time that I see this.  I cannot

13     help you any there.  I can only confirm what the president signed.

14        Q.   Do you have any explanation as to why representatives of the RSK,

15     at a meeting that took place apparently less than an hour after

16     Mr. Martic issued the evacuation order, why they would go to this meeting

17     and say that they would drive on to Petrovac or Banja Luka?

18             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, I'd like to object.  That calls for

19     speculation as to what's in the minds of other individuals.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, sometimes other individuals -- perhaps you

21     could ask him whether he received any information which could shed some

22     light on why others may have said this.

23             MR. MISETIC:

24        Q.   Do you have such information?

25        A.   No.  I did not participate in it.  But now I'm placing myself in

Page 18945

 1     the role of an ordinary man in the street, of an ordinary peasant.  The

 2     more he can get, the more inventive he will be.  He will ask for more

 3     fuel, for more assistance.  This is the psychology of our folk.  It

 4     wasn't an official position.  It wasn't my official position, or that of

 5     the president, or of anybody else.

 6             It is a fact that later matters evolved so that the people had to

 7     withdraw from the area, and the area became too cramped, too constricted,

 8     for such a large number of people, and there was the pressure being

 9     exerted on them.  There was the danger that they would get killed.

10             The question to be asked is, why was this set in motion, not how

11     did it evolve.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter -- I ask that

13     65 ter 172 be marked and ask that it be admitted into evidence.

14             MR. RUSSO:  There's no objection, Mr. President.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

16             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1520.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

18             MR. MISETIC:

19        Q.   Now, General Mrksic, do you recall having a meeting with your

20     subordinates at 2000 hours on the 4th of August in the Main Staff?

21        A.   I do recall a meeting that was to address the military issues.

22        Q.   Okay.

23        A.   You have to jog my memory to tell me what the agenda was.

24        Q.   Let me show you two reports that you've seen already earlier.

25     But to jog your memory, let's see if this will help.

Page 18946

 1             Exhibit D1516, please.

 2             If we could go -- I'm sorry.  This is the report of

 3     General Kovacevic of the 9th of August that you saw earlier today.  And

 4     if we could go to page 2 in the English of this and paragraph 6.

 5             Now, General Kovacevic reports:

 6             "On 4 August, at 2000 hours, the SVK commander issued the order

 7     for the reinforcement of the defence of Knin by taking out one infantry

 8     battalion from the 75th Motorised Brigade, while the remaining units

 9     should be engaged in defence at their current positions, at the same time

10     organising decisive defence at the line ..."

11             And then it identifies the line.  It says:

12             "In the course of 4 August, the RSK government issued a public

13     statement, calling the entire population in the endangered areas to

14     evacuate, which caused a chaos within the units and their dispersion,

15     because the soldiers started leaving in order to go home and help their

16     families with the evacuation."

17             Now if we could go to Exhibit D828, please.  This is, I'm going

18     to show you, Mr. Uzelac's report of the 92nd Motorised Brigade.

19             If we could go to B/C/S page 2 and English page 3 of this report.

20     Now, I'm interested in, if we could scroll down again, at 1900 hours:

21             "At 1900 hours, we received an instruction from the authorities

22     that it is necessary to do an evacuation of the civilian population.  We

23     transfer the order to persons in charge of evacuation.

24             "At 1905, I leave for the Main Staff in Knin.  At the KM at

25     2000 hours, with the presence of the brigade commanders of the Command of

Page 18947

 1     the Main Staff and commander of the 7th Knin Corps, whom I meet for the

 2     first time, we are informed by Main Staff Commander General Mrksic of the

 3     situation in the RSK in the area of Kordun, Banija, Lika, especially the

 4     area of responsibility of the 7th Corps, that the situation is very

 5     complex, that the Vrlika Brigade is under attack, that the Ustasha in the

 6     2nd Infantry Brigade have taken Cista Mala and Cista Velika.  The

 7     authorities are not functioning, et cetera.  He orders that the area of

 8     responsibility of the corps ..."

 9             If we could turn the page in English, please:

10             " ... is reduced, that the areas of responsibility of brigades

11     are reduced, and that the general situation is borne in mind.

12             "I reacted and warned the commander that the 92nd Motorised

13     Brigade was holding its positions firmly.  There has been fighting, but

14     there have not been any successes by the Ustashas in my area.  I am ready

15     to fight back any attack.  I told him that no civilians had been

16     evacuated from Benkovac.  I suggest that all commanders be persistent in

17     defending their areas, that conditions be provided for evacuation of

18     civilians, that the super-ordinate commands ensure forces for stopping

19     Ustashas from the direction of Vrlika-Knin."

20             If we could go to the next page in the B/C/S, please:

21             "At 2300 at the KM of the 92nd Motorised Brigade in

22     Gornje Biljane, I introduce everybody to the situation in the RSK,

23     especially the 7th Corps, and ask them all for suggestions.  We were all

24     utterly shocked by what was happening.  There had been hundreds of

25     attacks on the brigade area of responsibility, and we were not scared by

Page 18948

 1     the Ustashas.

 2             "I order the units:  Defend the areas of defence; take actions

 3     toward Ustashas on certain directions in order to display activity;

 4     prevent any infiltration or spiking; make possible the pullout of

 5     civilians from the front-line."

 6             Now, General, first, does this refresh your recollection about

 7     what was discussed at the meeting at 2000?  That's "yes"?

 8        A.   Yes, yes, I do remember we discussed these matters.  Now, whether

 9     it was exactly in this way or not, I'm not sure, but we talked about it,

10     and mainly with the commanders of the 7th Dalmatia Corps.  Because if the

11     people pulled out, why should they hold such a wide front?  They should,

12     in fact, protect the area where the people would arrive.  And, of course,

13     there were comments of this kind, and some people did not quite

14     understand the situation.

15        Q.   Why did you feel it necessary to shorten the front?

16        A.   I thought that the front should be shortened because there was no

17     one up there in that area.  One could ascend that portion from Knin, and

18     whom were the troops to defend if the people had moved out and there were

19     no forces to confront there at that time?  It was a bit more difficult

20     for the commanders to comprehend because they had already prepared their

21     fortifications, their entrenchments, and everything, but there were no

22     forces attacking them there.  The attack was coming from the territory of

23     Republika Srpska.  So this is what gave rise to this entire agenda.

24             We knew in advance that there would be a problem if the people

25     left and the combatants remained, because they would go to their own

Page 18949

 1     homes and seek to protect their own families.

 2             But the political decisions were made along these lines; namely,

 3     had they actually decided that we should fight within the encirclement, I

 4     would have implemented such a task.

 5        Q.   Is it fair to say, then, based on this last answer, that what was

 6     happening was those who were holding their lines, nevertheless, you were

 7     concerned that they would be attacked from behind because of the

 8     penetration by the HV in Knin and Mali Alan?

 9        A.   Yes, that is correct, because to hold the lines, the old lines,

10     in the front of Benkovac-Velika-Drnis, would mean nothing if the front

11     was from behind.  We had to set up a new front in order to stop those

12     forces from penetrating into the region of Otric and this other area

13     where the people were located.

14             We were an armed people, and our task was not to defend territory

15     but to defend the people, to prevent the people from coming to harm.

16        Q.   Do you recall any discussion about Bulina Strana at this meeting

17     at 2000?

18        A.   This is probably the exit from Knin, Bulina Strana.  I've

19     forgotten those names.  Yes, we talked about that.  That is the key

20     feature to prevent them from going up, if that's what you mean.

21        Q.   It is what I mean.  And if we can explain to the Court what you

22     mean geographically.  Bulina Strana is what in relation to Knin?

23        A.   I don't have a map now.  This is a feature up there where the

24     road to Otric leads.  That was the position of the forward command post

25     of the Knin Corps, and I sent the president of the republic there to rest

Page 18950

 1     a bit and so.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, to speed this up, I don't think it

 3     will be in dispute that Bulina Strana is at an elevation in relation to

 4     Knin town.

 5        Q.   Correct?

 6        A.   You're asking me without my having a map in front of me.  And so

 7     much time has elapsed, I know where the salient features are;

 8     Petrova Gora, Dinara and so on.  But for these hillocks, I would have to

 9     look at a map.

10        Q.   Okay.  Well, we'll get to that --

11        A.   If I ordered some forces to be up there, that means that it was

12     significant.

13        Q.   Okay.  I think you touched on it in your answer, and let me ...

14             You said, at page 56, line 23, that:

15             "Bulina Strana was the key feature to prevent them from going up,

16     if that's what you mean."

17             Can you explain that a little bit?

18        A.   Where is this, please show me, so that I can read the text.

19        Q.   It's on the transcript.  Part of your answer today, to my

20     question a few minutes ago, was that, in terms of importance of

21     Bulina Strana, "it was a key feature to prevent them," meaning the HV,

22     "from going up."

23        A.   I'd have to look at a map, if this is above Knin, where the

24     railway track is, where the railway station is, where the road leading to

25     Otric and Lika is, and then that is it.  This is where the main defence

Page 18951

 1     should have been.  That is where we should have prevented them from

 2     striking at the people.  That is where the fighting should have been.

 3     That is what I meant, if that is what you mean.

 4        Q.   Yes.  I think maybe it will be easier --

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, from the answer of the witness, it was

 6     clear that he was uncertain about names.  That appears on 56:23.  And

 7     then he continued, we talked about that, and at the same time he says

 8     that he doesn't know the names anymore.  So, therefore, it might be not

 9     fully accurate to present, as part of his answer, that this happened at

10     Bulina Strana.

11             MR. MISETIC:  I will show him a different document,

12     Mr. President.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

14             MR. MISETIC:  But before I get to that, let me show him one other

15     document on the evacuation.  This is 65 ter 1D1057.

16        Q.   And this is the report, General Mrksic, of the commander of the

17     15th Lika Corps, yes, the Lika Corps, Stevo Sevo.  And I just want to go

18     to page 3 in the English, the portion that says:  "On 4 August 1995,

19     around 2330 hours ..."  Now -- yes.

20             It says:

21             "Around 2330 hours, the chief of the General Staff of the Serbian

22     Krajina Army personally passed the order to begin the general evacuation

23     of the population in the area of the responsibility of the corps."

24             Now, do you recall issuing -- personally passing such an order?

25        A.   No.  Chief of the General Staff?  No, I never passed any such

Page 18952

 1     order.  It was the chief of my staff who sent to Loncar, who had a son in

 2     the Lika Corps and went to see him and to see what the situation was

 3     there, perhaps he did something on his own, at his own initiative like

 4     that.  I didn't do anything of the kind.  And all this was written later

 5     in Banja Luka, when everybody was resentful at what had happened, and

 6     everybody wrote what they did in hindsight.

 7        Q.   Yes.  But, General, I guess my question to you is:  Mr. Martic's

 8     evacuation order did not cover Lika; correct?

 9        A.   It did not; it did not.  And everything else that was done, that

10     was abuse; namely, it was either my name or his name being abused or

11     misused.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,

13     and I tender it into evidence.

14             MR. RUSSO:  There's no objection, Mr. President.

15             However, I would just like to correct the record with respect to

16     the representation made about that the evacuation did not cover Lika.

17             MR. MISETIC:  He confirmed it in his answer, that it didn't.

18             MR. RUSSO:  I think the document shown to the witness, D137,

19     indicates parts of Lika.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  The question was put to the witness.  The question

21     is answered by the witness.  Whether it's consistent with other pieces of

22     evidence, we'll evaluate that when looking at the evidence in its

23     entirety.

24             Mr. Registrar.

25             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this will become Exhibit D1521.

Page 18953

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D713 on the

 3     screen, please.

 4        Q.   Now, General Mrksic, do you recall going on Radio Belgrade on the

 5     evening of the 4th of August, giving a report to Radio Belgrade about the

 6     situation in Knin?

 7        A.   It is not my custom to give statements to either radio or

 8     television.  I don't remember.  Perhaps if someone had interviewed me or

 9     just talked to me and then recorded it and broadcast it on television.

10     I, personally, do not recall having made any such statement, or I haven't

11     heard that, that I spoke on radio or television.

12             I would like to read that to see what it is that you're talking

13     about.  This is news to me.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  I think you've answered the question.

15             Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

16             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

17        Q.   First, this is one version of that, and this is reported carried

18     in the archives of BBC summary of world broadcasts.  And the source, the

19     fourth line, says:  "Serbian Radio Belgrade in Serbo-Croat, 2000 hours

20     GMT," which is 2200 hours Central European Time, "4 August 1995."  And

21     the second paragraph -- and I will show you a different version of this

22     so that you can follow it, but it says:

23             "A telephone interview with General Milan Mrksic, commander of

24     the Serb Krajina Army in Knin ..."

25             And if I can show you a different exhibit of the same interview.

Page 18954

 1             Mr. Registrar, this is D106, please.

 2             Now, this quotes you as saying first:

 3             "At present, all combat activities in the area of Knin have

 4     ceased.  Knin is enveloped by the dark; evacuation of the population is

 5     ongoing.  Enemy forces reached at four to six kilometres from the city of

 6     Knin."

 7             Then there's a question, and then you're quoted again:

 8             "We are maintaining contact; our forces withdrew to the positions

 9     for the direct defence of Knin.  The other units are still successfully

10     holding their positions."

11             And then the next answer is:

12             "HV was successful on the direction from Grahovo towards Knin.

13     They had success in Velebit, in conquering, in taking of Mali Alan.

14     Furthermore, they were successful, partially, though, in Banija."

15             If we go down a few lines:

16             "There is a danger of splitting apart parts of Krajina.

17     Presently, we are engaged in evacuation of the population from Dalmatia,

18     to prevent them from falling captive, because Knin and the communications

19     leading from Knin are in danger.  Persistent defence shall create

20     conditions for that task to be carried out.  If the VRS succeeds in

21     putting the pressure on the forces attacking in the direction of

22     Grahovo-Knin, we shall then stabilise the defence and switch on to

23     counter-attack."

24             Now, does that refresh your recollection at all about giving such

25     a statement on Radio Belgrade on the evening of the 4th?

Page 18955

 1        A.   Well, I think the communications were broken down, and it was

 2     impossible to have a conversation after the repeater was struck.  It

 3     doesn't matter that it's written down here, but I never had -- it was not

 4     my custom to give interviews to radio or television.  Maybe I had a

 5     conversation with someone, but I don't believe that it was possible to

 6     maintain communications.  But, generally speaking, this actually is

 7     consistent with the report to the Corps Command, but I can't tell you

 8     exactly whether I did or didn't; I really don't recall.  And for me, this

 9     is one of those documents that I would like to see.  And if you have some

10     more, by all means.  But this was not my custom, and I did not -- I never

11     really liked to stand out, nor did I like to pose for photographs.

12        Q.   Okay.  Let me ask you, then, the next question.  Did you speak

13     with Frenki Simatovic on the evening of the 4th of August via telephone?

14        A.   No, I did not see Frenki Simatovic either during the operations

15     in Western Bosnia, nor did I talk to him over the phone, nor did he --

16     nor was he wont to call me on the phone.

17        Q.   Did you speak to Jovica Stanisic on the evening of the 4th of

18     August?

19        A.   I did not have a conversation with Jovica Stanisic because of the

20     state of the communications, but a telegram arrived saying that we should

21     hold on for a couple of days and that the international community would

22     interfere and save Krajina.  Well, in that sense, something to that

23     effect, if that's what you're referring to.  Maybe you actually have it.

24     It was sort of reassuring or encouragement, but I did not have direct

25     contact with him, nor did I hear his voice or he mine, because Martic

Page 18956

 1     could not actually get through to President Milosevic because the lines

 2     were down.  All I know is that we got news to the effect, Hang in there,

 3     hang in there, and something will come about.  And, of course, this is

 4     natural.  I would have done the same thing had I been in Belgrade and

 5     somebody else in Knin.

 6        Q.   Okay.  Can you tell us why Jovica Stanisic would be sending you

 7     telegrams and giving you advice about holding out?

 8        A.   I don't know why.  Perhaps this was the political position that

 9     the leadership of Serbia took, maybe the president's position and all the

10     other circles, to just hold out for another couple of days and that then

11     the international players would change their attitude towards Croatia and

12     that they would discontinue or stop their advance and proceed to a

13     peaceful resolution, so that all the proposals that were being circulated

14     around, including Z-4 and so on, would come into play.  I don't know why

15     this was so, but you should ask him, not me.  But I assume that this is

16     what this is about.

17        Q.   What was the name of the person nicknamed "Medo" who was an

18     associate of Jovica Stanisic's?

19        A.   Well, we called him "Medo."  That was a nickname that we used,

20     "Medo," because he was rather stout.  So we all called him "Medo," or

21     "Teddy bear."  I don't know what the names were, because they did not

22     usually use their proper names.

23        Q.   Could you tell the Court what Medo's role was, who he was in

24     relationship to Jovica Stanisic?

25        A.   I don't know; I don't know.  He was the liaison with

Page 18957

 1     Jovica Stanisic, but what his actual function was or what he did, where

 2     he was, I never knew this, nor could I ask.  They probably had their own

 3     assignments.  I wouldn't know about that.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.  Mr. Registrar, could we have Exhibit D441 on

 5     the screen, please.

 6        Q.   Now, this is a report which I know you've never seen before

 7     because it's a Croatian government report.  But if you look at it, it's

 8     from the 1st of August, it's within the Special Police Sector.  It says:

 9             "A Red Beret platoon, Captain Dragan's troops from the centre for

10     the training of special forces in Bruska - have arrived in the Gracac

11     area.

12             "A plan has been made to evacuate the civilian population from

13     the Gracac area via Srb to Republika Srpska."

14             Now, do you recall whether members of the Red Berets were

15     operating in the area of Gracac during Operation Storm?

16        A.   I can't recall.  I know that the Captain Dragan's centre used to

17     be in Bruska.  This was practically a centre for the training of scouts.

18     He was some sort of professional in this field.  He trained scouts for

19     manning units.  And they were not called the Red Berets.  They also had

20     GPS systems.  They used all this technology.  I wouldn't know anything

21     about what is stated here, Bartele, Bartele, or Medak, or whatever, UNCRO

22     and so on.  I wouldn't know anything about this.  And I think during --

23     in my day, when I actually brought in some order, they could not do this,

24     because they had to be within the regime that I had imposed.

25             Well, I would like to say something.  I disarmed all "mindjusari"

Page 18958

 1     so they could not actually hijack the trucks and so on.  I just put in

 2     some order and, well, that's it.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if we could please have on the

 4     screen Exhibit D948, please.

 5        Q.   Now, General, I'm going to read portions of what purports to be

 6     an intercepted telephone conversation at 2158 on the 4th of August.  The

 7     first portion purportedly is between Medo and Zezelj.  First, can you

 8     tell us who Zezelj was?

 9        A.   I don't know.  This is the first time that I hear that name.

10     There used to be a general of the JNA, Zezelj.  He was the

11     Guards Command.  He hailed from Lika.

12        Q.   Okay.  Let's go down.  There's a line that says:

13             "M:  And where's Mile at?

14             "G:  He's here.

15             "M:  Put him on."

16             And then the comment here is, in the further course of

17     conversation, he is talking to General Mile Mrksic, who he addresses with

18     Mrkso.

19             Now:  "G:  Hello, Medo."

20             And then it goes on.  If we go down a little bit, it says:

21             "G:  The rest considering the battles is fine.  There was a

22     little bit something up there in Velebit.  Your guys did it well.  There

23     is one of your guys wounded up there."

24             And then M responds:

25             "I know, it's two of them.  Okay, they will be down there.  I'll

Page 18959

 1     see you in 24 hours."

 2             "G:  Well, it's finished here.  Knin is being emptied.

 3     Relocation is organised."

 4             "M:  Well, can you go to the city?"

 5             "G:  Well, we will defend Knin tomorrow, and the day after

 6     tomorrow, and any way we can."

 7             Now, first, do you recall whether the person you referred to as

 8     Medo, the person you referred to as Medo, had sent his own forces near

 9     the Velebit area on the 4th of August, 1995?

10        A.   I have no idea what the forces -- what the manpower was, nor what

11     his assignment was, nor could Medo address me in this way.  I mean, you

12     should proceed from a different position.  Had you proceeded from a

13     military stand, perhaps I could come to believe this.

14        Q.   Let's keep going --

15        A.   I mean, this doesn't make any sense.

16        Q.   Let's keep going.

17        A.   You know, that he would address me with "Mrkso" and so on, no one

18     ever addressed me that way.

19        Q.   General, on an open line, typically in combat as a military man,

20     would you use your real names and your full titles on an open telephone

21     line?

22        A.   You mean did I have a code-name?  Well, these commanders would

23     know that.  In wartime, during combat, but also in peacetime -- in

24     peacetime, we would use rank and last name, and whereas in wartime we

25     would use a code-name, Lasta, Zemlja, a mountain name, or something of

Page 18960

 1     that sort.  Everyone would know that.

 2        Q.   In other words, you agree, though, that you wouldn't use your own

 3     name, in a war situation, on an open telephone line; correct?

 4        A.   Well, they would use the code-name.  The person that I would talk

 5     to would know my voice, and there would be no need to actually introduce

 6     myself.  The commander is here --

 7        Q.   Then it says:

 8             "G:  Knin is empty, but we will defend."

 9             M says:

10             "Okay, your friends are here at my place, and they want to say

11     hello."

12             And then the comment is:

13             "A friend, X, and Mrksic participate in the further course of

14     conversation."

15        A.   X?

16        Q.   Yes.  X says:

17             "Listen, your situation is not as bad as it looks.  They didn't

18     do nothing, man."

19             It goes down:

20             "G:  Okay, we will fight tomorrow.  Just how much forces and

21     assets ..."

22             If we could turn the page in English, please:

23             " ... they spent."

24             X then says:

25             "Well, they can't do it differently.  They have to beat -- they

Page 18961

 1     have to finish the job quickly.  The problem is in Gracac, the valley."

 2             "G:  I know, man.  I sent up there.  That has gotten broken over

 3     there, and I sent some units there."

 4             X then says:

 5             "Listen, Crvena Zemlja, that's all slopes.  They can't reach

 6     you."

 7             "G:  What do you mean they can't?  They are here, they are

 8     watching Knin from up there."

 9             Then the conversation a few lines down, X says:

10             "Don't wait for him down there, but above Knin.  Don't wait for

11     him down there, Mrkso.  Mind that you keep Gracac."

12             Okay.  Now, let's speak generally first.  On the evening of the

13     4th, why was it important for you to hold on to Gracac?

14        A.   I explained that yesterday or the day before yesterday.  After

15     Gracac fell, the communication towards Srb was in jeopardy, so now there

16     was a possibility to cut off all the forces at that location.  But the

17     conversation that you are now referring to -- I'll ask you afterwards.

18        Q.   Hold on.  Had you held on to Gracac, had you been able to defend

19     Gracac and keep the HV forces from entering Gracac, was it your intention

20     to defend -- was it your intention to defend Knin?

21        A.   Well, I think Gracac, too, fell.

22        Q.   I'm saying let's take ourselves back to the evening of the 4th.

23     You're trying to keep the HV out of Gracac.  My question to you is --

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   -- had you been able to hold on to Gracac, how would you have

Page 18962

 1     defended Knin?

 2        A.   We -- it was not possible for us to defend Knin and to prevent

 3     you from coming in.  But we had the possibility of preventing you from

 4     advancing from there onwards, and that is why there was this relocation

 5     of the 7th Corps, and that is why we brought that unit to Bruvno so that

 6     these forces would not enter from the rear, from behind, into Srb.

 7             It was all very complicated.  When Grahovo fell, the entire

 8     defence operation and the concept, the very concept, became very complex.

 9        Q.   If we turn the page in English, please.  Now, there's a line here

10     where G is reported to have said:

11             "Well, F it.  The communication assets in Knin are not working.

12     They shot everything this morning.  I was left without electricity, TV,

13     radio, everything."

14             Now, I'm just asking you a general question.  Were your

15     communication assets damaged on the 4th of August?

16             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo.

18             MR. RUSSO:  I just want to raise an objection to the manner in

19     which this exhibit is being used.

20             He's been read several portions of it.  He's never been asked if

21     he agrees with this as an accurate representation of a conversation he

22     had.  It's being used in an extremely leading manner.  I think we should

23     just ask the witness, in fairness, if it represents a conversation he was

24     a part of or if he's aware of it.

25             MR. MISETIC:  I think he's stated that.

Page 18963

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  That question was asked to him.  He commented on it,

 2     rather than directly answering that question, and that gives a bit of an

 3     ambiguous picture.  And then I think what Mr. Misetic did is to ask him

 4     questions about matters that are also discussed in the conversation.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  And, Mr. President --

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  At the same time, Mr. Misetic, I'd certainly

 7     encourage you to deal with the matters also without having read greater

 8     portions of the conversation.

 9             Please proceed.

10             MR. MISETIC:  That's fine, Mr. President.  My intention, of

11     course, is that, to the extent it will be an issue, that the Chamber is

12     entitled to assess the probative value based on whether --

13             JUDGE ORIE:  The Chamber always is.  That is not an answer to any

14     way of how to proceed during examination, but it goes without saying that

15     the Chamber finally will --

16             MR. MISETIC:  What I'm saying is to the extent that, generally

17     speaking a witness says that matters discussed in here are consistent

18     otherwise with his recollection, it tends to increase the probative value

19     of the document, but that's fine.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, but you could also ask him some matters without

21     first referring to the television conversation.

22             Please proceed.

23             MR. MISETIC:  And also for the record, Mr. President, it's my

24     understanding that this document is -- its authenticity is not disputed

25     and it's being used by the Prosecution in other matters, but I will --

Page 18964

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo.

 2             MR. RUSSO:  I don't believe that's the issue, Mr. President.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  No.  At the same time, it's not totally unrelated.

 4     If you consider this to be a conversation by certain persons, and then to

 5     say, Well, the witness could -- we always took that view, but now the

 6     witness takes a different position, so therefore that's all not valid

 7     anymore, that's --

 8             MR. RUSSO:  Just to be clear, Mr. President, I don't believe

 9     there's been prior testimony about who the actual participants are.  The

10     document purports to indicate whomever wrote the transcript believes --

11             JUDGE ORIE:  I think, as a matter of fact, that the content of

12     these documents gives some clues as to who they might be, but perhaps we

13     should make that perhaps more explicit.  And if an answer would be that,

14     It's unimaginable that someone would address me like this and that, that

15     nevertheless can have happened.  So therefore perhaps to take a more

16     factual approach in follow-up questions if the witness has said anything

17     about his participation in a conversation which is transcribed.

18             Please proceed.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President.  I believe I've asked him,

20     generally speaking, on both conversations, but let me ask these

21     questions.

22        Q.   General Mrksic, other than Frenki --

23        A.   Yes, question.

24        Q.   Other than Frenki Simatovic, do you know any other person named

25     Frenki?

Page 18965

 1        A.   No, and I maintain that I cannot admit to having participated in

 2     this conversation at all.  I don't know this document.  It's totally

 3     foreign to me.

 4        Q.   Let me ask the next question.  Other than Jovica Stanisic, in

 5     1995 did you have -- did you know anyone named Jovica who was in any

 6     position of authority in Yugoslavia, Republika Srpska, or the Republika

 7     Srpska Krajina?

 8        A.   You mean someone significant, a person of significance?  No, I

 9     did not know any other significant person by that name.  I mean, if it

10     were an important person, I would have remembered.

11             But you were going to ask me about the electric power and things

12     like that.  What is it, you've given up on that?

13        Q.   No.  My colleagues do a good job sometimes of distracting me from

14     the issue.  So, please, tell us what happened to your communications on

15     4 August.

16        A.   Because of NATO strikes and their actions from the ships, and

17     because of electronic jamming, and the generals here will know of that,

18     because I had old equipment, since 1.00 or 2.00 p.m. on the 4th, I had no

19     type -- no communications assets at all, except the conceptual

20     communication, like we did in the partisan days.  The TV was cut off.

21     There was no power.  There was some new TV sender.  Everything was the

22     same, but the reporters were different.  There were new TV stations,

23     propaganda.  I was proclaimed to be dead.  My mother was bereaved, and my

24     family.

25        Q.   Let me ask you this, General:  Part of your communications, did

Page 18966

 1     they go through the PTT?

 2        A.   The post and telecommunications was down.  There was only

 3     connection with Lapac.  There was a railway track, and if you recall,

 4     there are just two wires running parallel to the tracks.  That's the only

 5     thing that was still up, because this was the most sophisticated system

 6     that was used in our area, electronic jamming, special assets, combat

 7     assets, land/air battle, and all this was meant to sow panic and fear.

 8     What else can I say?

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.  Mr. Registrar, if we can go to

10     Exhibit D1463, please.

11        Q.   Do you recall being promised that 200 men from the -- were you

12     ever promised that 200 men from the Serbian SDB would be coming to Knin

13     on the 5th?

14        A.   Mr. Misetic, even if two brigades had -- were to come there, it

15     would not be sufficient, let alone 200 men from the Serbian DB.  I mean,

16     maybe you can cheat little kids like that, you know, but that's -- that

17     has nothing to do with reality.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Whether it would have helped is another matter.

19     Whether someone missed anything, the question simply was whether you

20     recall that you were promised 200 Serbian SDB men would come to Knin,

21     whether there was any such promise.  Whether it realised is a different

22     matter.  That's simply the question.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Next question, please, Mr. Misetic.

25             MR. MISETIC:

Page 18967

 1        Q.   General Mrksic, do you recall both -- do you recall any

 2     conversation where Mr. Martic may have been on the phone with

 3     Mr. Stanisic and complained about Mr. Milosevic's behaviour?

 4        A.   Well, I couldn't comment on that.  I know that he was angry.  He

 5     was angry with President Milosevic; Martic, I mean.  But whom he was able

 6     to communicate with, I couldn't really ask him, because we didn't spend

 7     all the time together so that I could overhear his conversations.

 8     Whether someone had promised him those 200 men, I don't know.  He didn't

 9     say anything to me, but to me this is just frivolous.

10        Q.   Well, yesterday you mentioned to us the 11th Corps in

11     Eastern Slavonia and that it never attacked out of Eastern Slavonia.  And

12     in the conversation on the screen, there is a statement:

13             "M:  Nothing without an ultimatum.  Have those from the 11th

14     left?  I don't believe them -- anything.  Did he stop them?

15             "J:  They will work tomorrow."

16             M then says:

17             "Have they worked today?  To be honest, I don't believe anything.

18     I believe he stopped them, too.  He lied to me like the last time, too."

19             Do you recall Mr. -- do you recall any conversation with

20     Mr. Martic complaining that someone stopped the 11th Corps from attacking

21     out of Eastern Slavonia?

22        A.   Not out, but in Eastern Slavonia.  I have to explain the essence.

23             When I was receiving my assignment in Karadjordjevo, that is the

24     substance, I was told this corps should be given to the corps commander

25     and to Mrgud.  They will work to prepare the forces and the people for

Page 18968

 1     cohabitation, and, you take these 4 Corps and do the same thing there.

 2     That corps will not be engaged, and that is why you were free to pull in

 3     your forces.  That is a question to be put to Franjo and to Milosevic.

 4        Q.   We can't put those questions to them, General.

 5             Let me, Mr. President, say that in terms of -- if we look at

 6     this, and I'm doing this because we're at a break, Mr. President, to give

 7     everyone an opportunity.  In this conversation, if we turn the page in

 8     English - stop right there - right in the middle of the page there's a

 9     reference that says:

10             "MRK:  No one expected that they would attack the town.  I didn't

11     attack Zagreb.  Bastards.  That's why I will strike it tomorrow."

12             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

13             MR. MISETIC:  I didn't ask you anything, so don't say anything.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, you'd say that -- let me just --

15             MR. MISETIC:  I promise you, Mr. President, that I would alert

16     you to any issues before the break.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, yes, thank you for that.  I'm just -- if we

18     want to think it over, over the break, we have no access to our e-court

19     system when we're not in this courtroom, when we're locked in here, so

20     I'm just trying to find exactly what we are looking at.  Apparently this

21     is a --

22             MR. MISETIC:  This is an intercepted conversation, Mr. President,

23     which has been admitted into evidence and which the Defence asserts is a

24     conversation at 2310 involving Mr. Martic, Mr. Mrksic, and

25     Jovica Stanisic.

Page 18969

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  And this is -- let me just have a look.

 2             The exhibit number was one out of a series --

 3             MR. MISETIC:  This is D1463.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  1463.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  And I will also, after the break just -- as a

 6     general matter, I will address with him -- with this exhibit and

 7     Exhibit D930, which is Mr. Vrcelj's book.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Specific pages?

 9             MR. MISETIC:  I believe the English page is page 9; it begins at

10     page 9.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  D930, or ...

12             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  And D1463 is how long?  It seems to be a whole

14     series -- oh, it's only two pages.  If there would be a possibility for

15     me to have a print-out during the break, then I can read it, because I

16     have no access to my electronic system.  So I'm just asking the Registrar

17     to provide me with hard copies of it.

18             We'll have a break, and we'll resume at five minutes to 1.00.

19                           [The witness stands down]

20                           --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.

21                           --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.

22                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, you hoped that you would be able to

24     finish today.  Do you think you'll be able to?

25             MR. MISETIC:  I'm going to push as hard as I can to get done by

Page 18970

 1     1.45, Mr. President.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

 3                           [The witness takes the stand]

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  You may proceed, Mr. Misetic.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 6        Q.   General Mrksic, let me now show you Exhibit D930; English

 7     page 10, B/C/S page 9.  General, I'm going to show you an excerpt from a

 8     book written by Marko Vrcelj.  Do you recall who Marko Vrcelj was?

 9        A.   [Previous translation continues]... of artillery --

10        Q.   Yes.  Now, in the middle of page 9 in the B/C/S, and at the

11     bottom of page 10 in the English - further down, please - it says:

12             "In the afternoon, when the Orkan commander briefed me to have

13     completed the tasks he has received, I ordered him to get ready to fire

14     at the military targets ..."

15             If we could turn the page in English, please:

16             " ... in Zagreb and Dubo Selo, and that the fighting was to start

17     at 0700 hours the following morning."

18             And then if we go down to the third paragraph -- I'm sorry, if we

19     could turn the page in English, please.  If we could turn the page in

20     English, please.  Okay.  It says -- sorry, no.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  I think we have a lot of mistakes.  You started

22     saying it was page 10 in the English, then you read from the bottom of

23     page 9.  You asked to move to page 10, and now I think when this was

24     about to be done, that it was then assumed we had to go to the next page

25     anyhow.  So I think we should be on page 10 of the English at the top

Page 18971

 1     now.  Is that correct, Mr. Misetic?

 2             MR. MISETIC:  I'm looking at page 11 in e-court.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  I'm looking at the paging at the bottom of

 4     the -- what you started reading appears on the bottom of page 9 in the

 5     paging of the document itself.  And if we could go back one page, I think

 6     we are where we should be.

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  I'm looking for page 11 in the e-court.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Isn't it true that you started reading what we see

 9     now in the bottom:  "In the afternoon, when the Orkan command ..." and

10     then you asked to move to the next page, which is -- there we are.

11     I think we're now on the right page.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

13        Q.   It says:

14             "We headed up towards Srb at around 3.00 in the morning."

15             And then it continues on:

16             "Looking at the column of people leaving their homes to go to the

17     unknown, knowing that the Orkan commander had gotten the task to fire at

18     Zagreb, I had to reach the commander to tell him to tell the guy not to

19     fire at Zagreb.  If he was to fire any shells at Zagreb, the Ustashas

20     would lift up their own air force and would mutilate these innocent

21     people.  That is the reason why I hurried up to find the commander before

22     6.00 so that we can prevent catastrophe in waiting."

23             If we can scroll down in the B/C/S, please.

24             And now, General Mrksic, I'd like to show you a video which is

25     related to this issue of the shelling of Zagreb and the decision to shell

Page 18972

 1     Zagreb.

 2             And this is, I believe, a 12-minute video, Mr. President, and I

 3     will ask additional questions in addition to this topic based on that

 4     video.  But transcripts have been provided the booths.  We will stop it

 5     to allow the translation to catch up.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Especially if someone would follow the translation,

 7     especially when it's not written.  If there's no subtitles, for example,

 8     in French, we hardly ever find them, and that's --

 9             MR. MISETIC:  General, this is now a video of an interview with

10     Mr. Martic taken in the fall of 1995, and this is D929.  And, General, if

11     you would just listen, and when it's done, I will pose a series of

12     questions to you.

13                           [Video-clip played]

14             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "That first day, the 4th of August,

15     you, yourself, were present when Knin was bombed along with other places.

16     The Croats did not score any significant successes, other than shifts in

17     the Dinara and Mali Alan in Velebit.  Everything else somehow went

18     according to its own course, and considering that Croats were in Zagreb

19     that day, especially in shelters, expecting us to react by shelling them,

20     we concluded there was no need to bomb Zagreb during those initial

21     moments.  What is quite indicative, though, is that I received five phone

22     calls that day from Milan Babic from Milosevic's office for one sole

23     purpose, which was to suggest that I do not bomb Zagreb.  I took this

24     information on record and responded that we would assess what to do in

25     due course.  No one from the authorities in Serbia, from the regime,

Page 18973

 1     contacted me.  They simply bypassed me and all contacts were conducted

 2     with General Mrksic.  Later on, I saw the same requests not to shell

 3     Zagreb.

 4             "In the evening at 7.30, the Croatian prime-time newsreel was on.

 5     We had a generator and electricity within the HQ, and the Croats

 6     announced the cessation of air raids -- air threats in Zagreb because a

 7     general of theirs, Tolj, I believe was his name, said that all citizens

 8     should go out of their shelters in Zagreb because the Serbs supposedly

 9     did not have the necessary range.  I subsequently sent to General Mrksic

10     the order to bomb Zagreb with all possible means at our disposal and with

11     all the ammunition we had.  He replied, Okay, I understand, as they say."

12             MR. MISETIC:

13        Q.   General, we'll pause it right here, so let me ask you -- we'll

14     continue with this video, but since this is the issue:  Do you recall a

15     conversation on the evening of the 4th with Mr. Martic in which he passed

16     an order to you to bomb Zagreb?

17        A.   President Martic, seeing what was happening to Knin, kept saying,

18     Why would not we hit back, hit Zagreb?  I couldn't accept it.  I said,

19     All right, and I told the chief of artillery to pull out the Orkan as

20     soon as possible, to pull it out from firing positions and not to shell,

21     because that would amount to retaliation.  In my book, that would be

22     cowardice, that would be the act of someone at a loss for a course of

23     action and then just hit at random whatever you want.  This was changed

24     in the war plan.

25        Q.   Let me ask you, do you know why Mr. Vrcelj passed an order to

Page 18974

 1     shell Zagreb?

 2        A.   Well, Vrcelj did this as a sort of an automatic reaction.  If you

 3     have no communications, you man your firing positions.  And when I heard

 4     that that was being done, I called Vrcelj immediately and I told them to

 5     head for Dvor, to pull out towards Slasinje [phoen] and not to shell the

 6     Croatian positions.  One of the reasons was because this is prohibited

 7     under the Geneva Conventions; namely, to shell civilian facilities,

 8     because those were civilian facilities.  There were civilians there.  I

 9     was being attacked by brigades from the Dinara.  I was not being attacked

10     by Zagreb or from Zagreb.

11             MR. MISETIC:  We'll play the rest of the video now.

12                           [Video-clip played]

13             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "Unfortunately, nothing came of

14     this order of mine; rather, to make things even more interesting, they

15     replaced the commander of the Kordun Corps, Colonel Veljko Bosanac,

16     behind my back for fear that I would directly issue him an order for such

17     an attack, because they disposed of the assets up there.  They replaced

18     him and appointed a new guy so that the order couldn't possibly be

19     executed, and unfortunately not a single shell fell onto Zagreb, even

20     though we had millions of reasons to do so.  And then the worst scenario

21     took place, which was that at a given moment during my brief absence, an

22     order that had been written a couple months prior in Belgrade was issued

23     calling for action in accordance with orders to withdraw the army, which

24     I wasn't even aware of."

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is all in hindsight.  This is

Page 18975

 1     in Banja Luka.

 2                           [Video-clip played]

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "On that unfortunate day, the

 4     4th of August, what was your last order as the supreme commander?

 5             "My last order was what I told you about the shelling of Zagreb

 6     at approximately 7.30 p.m., when I saw the Croats were broadcasting.  But

 7     prior to that -- but prior to that, I had made a decision.

 8     Unfortunately, there was no one to consult with.  This was at 5.00 p.m.,

 9     to withdraw the civilian population from the cities which were under

10     constant shelling, such as Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, and the order clearly

11     stated that the non-combat population was to withdraw to the villages

12     which were not being shelled, ending with Srb and Lapac, which were in

13     the Krajina and not in Sumadija.  I passed such an order for one reason

14     only, that was because I remembered Western Slavonia and the massive

15     suffering of civilians there when I was attacked even by the Serbian

16     regime, and all those who practiced different politics than my own, that

17     this was a mistake.  I said that I wouldn't repeat the same mistake and

18     withdraw everyone, but that all those capable for military service along

19     with myself were to take a rifle in their hands and fight for Krajina.

20             Although later on numerous attempts were made to manipulate these

21     facts, this was practically the key, that I passed the order for the army

22     to withdraw, which later proved to be untrue.  Because that same evening,

23     I suggested to General Mrksic that we launch a counter-attack towards

24     Dinara, that I personally lead the men, as I knew the Dinara area well,

25     and that we could surprise the Croats, upon which he just stared at me

Page 18976

 1     blankly as if to say nothing would come of this."

 2             MR. MISETIC:

 3        Q.   General, do you remember any discussion with Mr. Mrksic on the

 4     evening of the 4th about doing -- launching a counter-attack against

 5     Croatian forces on the Dinara?

 6        A.   Well, this is an interview that he gave to Banja Luka.  You know

 7     how things work.  After the fact, one should look for someone to blame.

 8             So I don't see why you're showing this video here at all.  I

 9     don't see what purpose that serves.  There is the decision made by the

10     Supreme Defence Council, and that would be like to my -- sort of

11     bewailing my own fate.

12             THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Now, I don't know about this famous

13     order to withdraw the army; nor could I have even anticipated,

14     considering that the Croats experienced no significant successes this

15     far.  I believed that the next day would be better for us, to our

16     advantage, and it surely would have been.

17             My absence from the headquarters, which lasted some two hours,

18     was enough for General Mrksic to gather all of his corps commanders which

19     he had appointed in the meantime with new men and to tell them to act in

20     accordance with this new order which had been prepared by Milosevic some

21     months before that.  It was sufficient for me to have been absent for

22     that period of time for this to be issued.  My return to the

23     headquarters, where I had gone previously in order to set up Radio Knin,

24     for it to start functioning, as a false Radio Knin had been broadcast and

25     was deceiving our people, so when I returned I was confronted with an odd

Page 18977

 1     situation.  Everyone was whispering about something, those colonels,

 2     generals, and I couldn't hear what they were saying.  But I believed

 3     these were minor issues having to do with command tactics and said to

 4     myself that this is okay, this was nothing serious.

 5             "Later in the evening, sometime around midnight, I went to get

 6     some rest because I hadn't slept for two days.  However, I immediately

 7     received a phone call from Dr. Karadzic, Krajisnik.  The lines were still

 8     functioning, and they needed to tell me something, to give me

 9     suggestions, so I couldn't sleep.  It was then that Mile Mrksic

10     suggested, regarding the command conditions, which were truly dire, that

11     it was impossible to command from Knin, and it was time to go to Srb.

12     And I said, That is out of the question.  What Srb are you talking about?

13     That is out of the question, under no circumstances.

14             "After a certain period of time, after a half hour or so of

15     whispering with some colonels, they suggested that we exit at Padjene,

16     that there was a command post there, in the sense that a normal command

17     was possible from there, and that such tactics would then be implemented,

18     that the Croats would be deceived.  I relented then and said, If you're

19     going to Padjene, okay.  They could barely wait.  They simply collected

20     their things.  I didn't know that they had already dismantled everything

21     at the headquarters, and they got up and left."

22             MR. MISETIC:

23        Q.   Now, General Mrksic, was there a decision to initially evacuate

24     or move the command to Padjene on the evening of the 4th?

25        A.   Padjene was a command post of the 7th Corps.  It was on the way.

Page 18978

 1     It was the command post of the 7th Dalmatia Corps, and from there it was

 2     possible to direct fire both of Knin and the others that I already

 3     mentioned, so that we would stop the further advance of the Croatian

 4     forces.  And the president went to that area, and he remained there for a

 5     while to rest.  I couldn't wait for him to get up.  I had to move on in

 6     order to set up the system and make sure that it's functioning at Srb.

 7             And as for Srb, the day before the command post was moved from --

 8     had been moved from Srb already, beforehand, the previous day, and this

 9     is normal in tactical terms.

10             I have no intention of commenting what the president was saying

11     here about what happened next in Banja Luka.  I don't want to comment on

12     this.  I think it's not fair.

13             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "I remained there with my men

14     sometime -- until about 3.00 or 4.00 in the morning, and then I left for

15     Padjene, where I found the following situation.  First of all, I realised

16     this was not a command post, as they had indicated to me.  There was some

17     form of communication system, but this is not what I expected.  But I

18     said to myself, okay, I guess they'll assemble it.  They have good

19     communications officers, and things will get better.  I then asked to go

20     and rest, and they immediately provided me with some sort of bed.  My

21     men, who had accompanied me, also rested a bit, and we awoke at around

22     8.00.  There was shelling going on.  However, this didn't bother me.  It

23     was Saturday, but it was odd that there was no -- there were no sounds.

24     And then all of a sudden we jumped up and realised that there was no

25     command located there.  They simply abandoned the position without even

Page 18979

 1     having awakened me, which is truly shameful.

 2             "For some time on, we remained there around Padjene, and around

 3     10.00, I went to search for the command, and only then did I realise,

 4     which I could not have possibly anticipated or even imagined that could

 5     happen, when I came across a unit which was in Zitnic, which I

 6     encountered at the end of Padjene, in Kravlja Draga as we call it, and

 7     these men told me that they had received orders to withdraw.  What orders

 8     to withdraw?  Get back there.  The order to withdraw is invalid.  I said

 9     I found their Commander Colonel Davidovic and asked him, what is this

10     supposed to mean?  The soldiers surrounded him, defended him, he is not

11     to blame, he received an order.  He was like a convict.

12             "At the top of Otric, and I needed a few hours to break through,

13     I encountered the brigade from Dinara.  Now, you can only guess when I

14     left, and it was there that I encountered our Colonel Radic.  He was

15     pulling his hair out, and he kept saying, Don't ask me anything, don't

16     ask a thing, and so forth.  I saw this was a strange situation.  Where is

17     Mrksic, I said.  He replied, He was in Srb.  Therefore, he had escaped to

18     Srb.  I needed a few hours as well from Srpski Klanac.  I couldn't break

19     through.  I went to Srb on foot, only to find them in Srb, to find the

20     famous headquarters which didn't even have a command, they didn't even

21     have a telephone.  I saw -- everything was nearly completely lost.  I

22     said, Mile, what is this supposed to mean?  Do you have military police

23     at your disposal?  Stop these people, I will address them.  I could -- he

24     didn't even make any attempt.  He said, well, you know, We'll do it in

25     Petrovac."

Page 18980

 1             MR. MISETIC:

 2        Q.   General Mrksic, let me ask you, on the 5th of August when you

 3     were in Srb, were you already telling Mr. Martic that you would start

 4     arresting people once you get to Petrovac?

 5        A.   No, no, I did not.  All this is -- in fact, I'm not going to

 6     comment, who was supposed -- at whose door the blame was supposed to be

 7     laid?  And I'm grateful that you called me to testify.

 8        Q.   I'm not going to show you the rest of the video, because I want

 9     to finish today, so let me ask you this:  He says in the video that you

10     had told him on the 5th that you would start arresting people once you

11     get to Petrovac.  Was it your intention on the 5th to stay in Srb and to

12     continue to mount a defence against HV forces?

13        A.   You know that on the 4th, in the evening, I assigned tasks to the

14     5th Infantry Brigade, so the Knin Corps would be deployed.  And what

15     should be done to prevent them from advancing from Gracac, and that the

16     people should stay there -- a political solution.

17             That very day, a helicopter was sent from Republika Srpska to Srb

18     to get me and transfer me to Ostrelj, where Mladic told me, This is

19     urgent, your people are perishing in Banija and Kordun.  So I transferred

20     to that theatre.

21        Q.   But in terms of -- let's go back to D1511, Mr. Registrar.

22             General, this is the order that we talked about yesterday.  Now,

23     you issued an order, in fact, on the 5th of August to continue to form a

24     defence line; correct?

25        A.   Yes, yes.

Page 18981

 1        Q.   Now, if we could go to page 2 in the English, please, and this is

 2     the portion, General, that starts under the heading "Order."

 3             Now, in fact, again on the 5th you were trying to establish a new

 4     front-line against the advancing HV forces, correct, as you can see in

 5     paragraph 1?

 6        A.   That is correct.

 7        Q.   Now, were you in Srb on the 6th?

 8        A.   I was in Srb on the 6th, and then I also left Srb on that same

 9     day.  I spent a night there at the new command post.

10        Q.   Okay.

11        A.   Then I went to Ostrelj by helicopter and straight on to

12     Boskoski Novi -- Novi Grad.

13        Q.   Now, in that paragraph 1, if you look at the order, I was

14     referring earlier to you, I said -- I referred to a place called

15     Bulina Strana, and in your order it says:

16             "A part of the forces is to continue the battle in the

17     encirclement, one unit is to be sent to the area of Bulina Strana for a

18     defence of the area of Knin."

19             Does that refresh your memory at all as to what Bulina Strana is?

20        A.   This is probably a feature above Knin, above the winding road

21     that leads from Knin, the hairpin-curves road.  I cannot speculate,

22     because I do not have a map.

23        Q.   When you left Srb on the 6th, was it your intention to continue

24     to resist Croatian Army forces that were advancing towards Srb?

25        A.   The intention was for us to stay there, to hold out and offer a

Page 18982

 1     resistance pending developments, and we were expecting something to be

 2     done by the international community.  We were anticipating -- we were

 3     hoping that the international community would not allow people to be

 4     driven out of Krajina to Bosnia and to the Republika Srpska.  We were

 5     expecting changes along those lines, so that is why I was frightened by

 6     what was happening in Banija and in Kordun, and that is why I sent word

 7     that the helicopters should find and get me -- should come and get me and

 8     take me to that area.

 9        Q.   Let me ask you, General, why didn't you, on the 6th of August,

10     surrender or offer -- or seek terms of surrender to the Croatian Army?

11        A.   Why should I, when I was offering peace without war, a peaceful

12     solution?  And this did not suit you, the Croatian Army, the Croatian

13     police.  We had signed everything, the Z-4 in Geneva, and I was supposed

14     to go and meet with Cervenko.  I had all the necessary authority to sign

15     a peaceful solution with him.  Who was to go, was to go; the rest should

16     remain.

17        Q.   General, you're aware --

18        A.   I didn't need war.

19        Q.   General, you're aware that Cedo Bulat under in Sector North

20     surrendered to General Stipetic of the Croatian Army; correct?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   And as a result of his surrender -- as a result of his surrender

23     to the Croatian Army, he was allowed to leave his encirclements with his

24     equipment and everything; correct?

25        A.   No, just for the men to leave without equipment, and officers

Page 18983

 1     were allowed to just carry their pistols.  That is under the

 2     Geneva Convention.  They had to surrender everything else, all the

 3     resources.

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter cannot follow the witness and

 5     did not catch the last sentence.

 6             MR. MISETIC:

 7        Q.   General, they didn't catch your last sentence, so if you could

 8     repeat just your last sentence.  Just repeat what you said.

 9        A.   The Kordun Corps surrendered because it was cut off by air raids,

10     and the line was cut off when Glina was taken, so the retreat line was

11     cut off and the corps was forced to do fight in encirclement.  Because

12     that would entail great casualties among the civilians, the command of

13     that corps decided to surrender.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  You were invited to repeat your last sentence.

15     Apparently, you have given us more information.  Wait for the next

16     question --

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what my last sentence

18     was.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic will put his next question to you.

20             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

21        Q.   Now my question to you is:  Why -- you've now said what the

22     Kordun Corps did.  Because they were encircled and because great

23     casualties would have occurred among civilians, the commander of the

24     corps decided to surrender.

25        A.   That's right.

Page 18984

 1        Q.   My question to you is:  Why, on the entire territory -- you were

 2     the commander for the entire territory of the Krajina.  Why didn't you,

 3     when you -- at the point you realised you could no longer defend,

 4     surrender, as Cedo Bulat did, in order to avoid, as to use your terms,

 5     great casualties?

 6        A.   Because the other corps were not yet in a position of having to

 7     surrender.  A soldier can surrender when there is no-way-out position,

 8     and Cedo was in a no-way-out position.  But Mr. Tudjman had sent a man

 9     who personally knew Cedo Bulat, and he had given him guarantees, so that

10     they had established a relationship of trust, and there were guarantees

11     being given that nothing would happen to the people if the corps pulled

12     out.

13        Q.   So the only way you would have surrendered is if you were

14     completely encircled; is that how I'm to understand you?  Only if you're

15     encircled would you ever surrender?

16        A.   That is right.  That is what you wouldn't allow me to expound on

17     when I said what changes were that I had undertaken.  If a corps should

18     be encircled, then each corps takes a decision in terms of what is the

19     best for the people.  And we reckoned that all the corps would fare like

20     the Kordun Corps did, but that there would be no retaliation against the

21     people.  But you didn't just cut off; you pushed, you instilled fear in

22     the people, you frightened the people, and people had to flee.  You

23     pushed and you pushed and you pushed.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  I think you have more than answered the question

25     that was put to you.

Page 18985

 1             Mr. Misetic.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 3        Q.   General Mrksic, afterwards, after Operation Storm, you came under

 4     some criticism; correct?

 5        A.   Yes, I was to blame for everything to this day.  And I would like

 6     to say how I fared.  I'll be brief.

 7             I could not go back to Serbia.  My entry was barred.  I was

 8     threatened with arrest.  I entered two months later by getting across the

 9     Drina, and then I was put under house arrest for two months.

10        Q.   General, General, General --

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter correction:  I was put under house

12     arrest and then I had to retire.

13             MR. MISETIC:

14        Q.   I'm racing to try to finish -- we're done today.  General -- if I

15     could have 65 ter 1D1043, please.

16             And let me show you a series of documents, and that will speed it

17     up so we can finish today, Mr. President.  I won't ask you to comment on

18     each document.  I'll ask you to comment on all of them when we've shown

19     every document.

20        A.   Well, I don't know.  I've forgotten about these documents.

21        Q.   Okay.  I'm interested -- this purports to be a report or a

22     communication from you to the chief of the General Staff of the

23     Yugoslav Army on the 18th of August.  Point 6 says:  "Organise --" you're

24     conveying the decision of the Presidency, point 1.  And then point 6 is:

25             "Organise a group visit of military conscripts at refugee

Page 18986

 1     centres, with the aim of making lists and gathering volunteers.

 2             "The dead-line for implementation is 1 September 1995 until when

 3     a report is to be submitted."

 4             Number 12, it says - I think there's a mis-translation here,

 5     General, but:

 6             "At this moment, a volunteer battalion of the VRS has been a

 7     formed from Western Slavonians which, with the other volunteers,

 8     constitutes a core of units located on Mount Kozara in the settlement

 9     Benkovac.  Upon formation, training, and preparation, the volunteers

10     shall take over part of the battle-field on the RSK border, and in that

11     manner assist the defence of the VRS."

12             Mr. President, just for speed, if I could tender this now.

13             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Mr. President.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

15             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1522.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit 65 ter

18     1D1046, please.

19        Q.   This is a document purporting to be a communication from you,

20     again, to the chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army.

21        A.   Let's see what this is about.

22        Q.   It looks like you're seeking, it says:

23             "We seek that in the aim of enabling us to resolve the problems

24     within the authority of the General Staff of the Serb Krajina Army, you

25     provide the following assistance ..."

Page 18987

 1             And in point 4:

 2             "The General Staff and the SVK units' commands are located in the

 3     RS, where they are primarily working on training the units and their

 4     inclusion in the composition of the VRS."

 5             Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked, and I tender it

 6     into evidence.

 7             MR. RUSSO:  No objection.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1523.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

11             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D416,

12     please.

13        Q.   This is a directive from Mr. Martic on the 2nd of August -- 2nd

14     of September -- or 4th of September, I'm sorry, where he is issuing a

15     directive on the formation of the RSK Liberation Army, and its coalescing

16     into the combat operations in the territory of the Republika Srpska and

17     the RSK.

18             And then let me flip to 65 ter 1D1047, please.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  And you'd like to tender the previous one?

20             MR. MISETIC:  This is already in.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, it is.

22             MR. MISETIC:

23        Q.   Now, Mr. Martic issues that order on the 4th, and then there is a

24     stamp in the original here, in the upper left-hand corner.  This purports

25     to be an order by you.  The stamp is "7 September 1995," for the

Page 18988

 1     formation of the Liberation Army of the Republic of Serb Krajina, and its

 2     coalescing into combat operations in the territory of the RS and the RSK.

 3             And if we look at paragraph 2 of this order, it says:

 4             "The RSK Liberation Army is organised in liberation brigade,

 5     volunteer liberation brigades, and special units.

 6             "Special units are organised in groups and squads."

 7             Now, General Mrksic, do you recall issuing an order for the

 8     formation of the liberation Army of the RSK in September of 1995?

 9        A.   Well, I have nothing to say about this material, this document.

10     We were – we were losers, and we wanted to reorganise and go back to our

11     areas.  We didn't go from there on purpose, to escape - we were pushed

12     out, and we wanted to go back.  And we were even prepared to switch to

13     sabotage and terrorist, I mean anti-sabotage actions, reconnaissance and

14     so on.  That’s, I mean - you know how it is…  It's like a government in

15     exile, then you ask around, Can we, can we not?  And we didn't even know

16     that we were not allowed to mobilise refugees.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, the simple question was whether you had

18    any recollection in giving such an order.  The answer apparently is "yes."

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I remember.

20             MR. MISETIC:

21        Q.   General, in case there's an interpretation issue, what types of

22     units did you say?  You said:  "We were even prepared to switch to ..."?

23        A.   Reconnaissance units that would go and gather data or information

24     on the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.  That was our

25     territory.  Of course, in coordination with the forces of

Page 18989

 1     Republika Srpska, because an offensive was being prepared against

 2     Republika Srpska, against Prijedor, Banja Luka, and so on.  However, this

 3     was just a wish list, a laundry list.

 4        Q.   Let me ask you, General:  Are you familiar with whether there

 5     were camps organised for bringing back from Serbia males from the Krajina

 6     so that they would be retrained and deployed in units such as these?

 7        A.   Yes, there was one in Bijeljina and another one near Banja Luka,

 8     at - let me try to remember - the training-grounds at Manjaca.  But

 9     people did not wish to take up arms, so this fell through.  And this was

10     also not within our powers, because no one had the right to force anyone

11     to take up arms if they had already decided to give up fighting.

12        Q.   Was there a camp in Eastern Slavonia that you know of?

13        A.   I had no prerogatives in Eastern Slavonia.  I could not get

14     involved, nor would they let me enter Serbia.

15             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,

16     and I tender it into evidence.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo.

18             MR. RUSSO:  No objection.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

20             THE REGISTRAR:  That's Exhibit D1524, Your Honours.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

22             MR. MISETIC:  General Mrksic, thank you very much.  That

23     completes my examination --

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for inviting me to

25     testify.

Page 18990

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic --

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  -- we'll adjourn for the day, and we'd like to see

 4     you back on Monday at 9.00.  And I'm quite confident that we'll be able

 5     to conclude your testimony in time.  Mr. Misetic strictly kept to his

 6     time assessment, and I expect the other parties to do the same, which

 7     would not in any way endanger your personal interest next week.

 8             Could -- Mr. Mrksic, I would like again to instruct you that you

 9     should not speak with anyone about the substance.  You know the

10     difference about the weather, fine; about your health, fine.  But not

11     about your testimony.

12             Could Mr. Mrksic be escorted out of the courtroom.

13                           [The witness stands down]

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Then I'd like to deliver a very short decision, so

15     that's from the table as well, and that is a decision on the admission of

16     P2539.

17             On the 9th of June, 2009, the Prosecution tendered P2539, of

18     which it had put an excerpt to Witness Zuzul.  The excerpt is from a news

19     article according to which the witness had, on the 24th of July, 1997,

20     and in his capacity as Croatian ambassador to the US, announced Croatia's

21     resistance to orders by this Tribunal to produce documents implicating

22     President Tudjman in the Bosnian war.  The witness commented in court on

23     the excerpt.  All of this can be found between transcript pages 18374 and

24     18380.

25             The Chamber admits P2539 into evidence because it provides the

Page 18991

 1     context to the witness's comments on the article, which may be difficult

 2     to understand and to evaluate in the absence of P2539.  The Chamber is

 3     mindful that it is a hearsay statement.  The Chamber further emphasizes

 4     that the admission is no indication of the weight, if any, which the

 5     Chamber may ultimately attach to this article.

 6             And this concludes the Chamber's decision on the admission of

 7     P2539.

 8             We adjourn, and we'll resume on Monday, the 22nd of June, 9.00 in

 9     the morning, Courtroom I.

10                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,

11                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 22nd day of June,

12                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.