Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18992

 1                           Monday, 22 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 and around this

 6     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             Could the witness be brought into the courtroom.

13                           [The witness entered court]

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning.  Please be seated, Mr. Mrksic.

15             Mr. Mrksic, I would like to remind you that you are still bound

16     by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your

17     testimony.

18                           WITNESS:  MILE MRKSIC [Resumed]

19                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Cayley.

21             MR. CAYLEY:  The same position as last week, Your Honour.  We

22     don't have any questions for this witness.  Thank you.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mikulicic.

24             MR. MIKULICIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, you'll now be cross-examined by

Page 18993

 1     Mr. Mikulicic, and Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac.

 2                           Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:

 3        Q.   [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Mrksic.  On behalf of the

 4     Defence for General Markac, I will put several questions to you, and I

 5     kindly ask you to answer them to the best of your recollection.  At the

 6     same time, I do ask you to give your answers slowly so that the

 7     interpreters can do their job properly, and that we do not get questions

 8     and answers confused.  Do you understand?

 9        A.   Yes, I do.  Perhaps I will be better at it today.

10        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, sometime in mid-May, 1995, or, to be precise, on the

11     18th, you took up the position of the commander of the Main Staff of the

12     Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina; is that right?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Can you please tell us, briefly, what the structure of the

15     Main Staff was, in terms of how it was organised?

16        A.   The Main Staff, just as all the structures of that level, had its

17     operational organ, which was the Chief of Staff, then the rear logistics

18     organ, security organ, organ for moral guidance, and personnel organ,

19     which were attached to the Chief of Staff.  That would be the basic

20     structure.

21        Q.   You also had your assistants in the Main Staff.  How many were

22     there, and which duties were they charged with?

23        A.   I had the Chief of Staff until the start of war.  As soon as the

24     war breaks out, I take up that position, and the position of the supreme

25     commander is taken by Mile Martic.  I had my assistant for logistics,

Page 18994

 1     assistant for moral guidance - he was Kosta Novakovic - the assistant for

 2     security, whose name I can't recall, and the -- or rather the security

 3     and intelligence assistant.

 4        Q.   In other words, you had the security assistant, you also had the

 5     security department?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   Was Colonel Rade Raseta your security officer?

 8        A.   Yes.  They rotated frequently.  I didn't know him from before.  I

 9     didn't know what his background was.  I think that he held that position

10     only briefly.

11        Q.   That was to be my next question.  Did you appoint him there or

12     did you find him there in the staff?  But you've just answered the

13     question.

14        A.   I found all of them when I came there, holding these positions,

15     save for the commanders of the Special Units Corps.  They had already

16     been holding these positions.

17        Q.   What was your relationship with the assistants of the Main Staff?

18        A.   Our relations were always official.  I didn't have any problems,

19     and my authority was of the kind that it never would happen that I would

20     come up against obedience on the part of my subordinates, and I always

21     maintained discipline.  That's what the staff was.  I always appreciated

22     whenever my associates were quite open and candid in their views in

23     one-on-one conversations.  I had very good relations with Bjelanovic,

24     with Bjelanovic, who was a very experienced officer - he was a

25     general - who had been there for quite a long time.  He knew the people

Page 18995

 1     and their mindset.

 2        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, during your testimony you said that you were

 3     confronted with a situation that you tried to struggle with, and that was

 4     the issue of the so-called Daddy's sons who engaged in

 5     black-marketeering?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   As the commander of the Main Staff of the ARSK, how did you

 8     approach the situation and combat these actions?

 9        A.   I didn't want to proceed to take any course of action before a

10     decision was taken by those who had dispatched me there and by the top

11     leadership of the RSK, as well as the structures of Western Bosnia and

12     all others involved, until such time as the border with Western Bosnia is

13     closed.  I could not create conditions for peace and peaceful integration

14     as long as black-marketeering and smuggling was going on in my area.  I

15     placed this as a demand on my subordinates, and they all obeyed me, in

16     terms of applying various measures.  As for these Daddy's boys, even if

17     non -- even if all the other structures felt that they were the

18     untouchables, I, with my Special Units Corps, did enforce law and order.

19     Thus, UNPROFOR's vehicles were no longer seized, commanders were not

20     faced with threats, and they felt this change of atmosphere, which was

21     beneficial.

22        Q.   What was the role of the Security Department in this particular

23     activity aimed at combatting marketeering; did they have a role to play

24     in this?

25        A.   The security organs did have information as to who committed

Page 18996

 1     these actions.  This was a matter for the Security Department as well as

 2     Intelligence Department.  On all the warring parties, the situation was

 3     the same.  They would always involve these officers in order to obtain

 4     information about black-marketeering that was going on on all sides.

 5     Everybody was both sellers and buyers.

 6             When I asked for the information to be collected, they told me

 7     that since I had forbidden them to be in contact with these individuals,

 8     it was difficult to obtain information.  I don't know if you understand

 9     me.  And this was not the case isolated to the RSK, it was widespread,

10     and this is how some of the individuals managed to earn their first

11     couple of million.

12        Q.   Yes, I was waiting for you to finish your -- for the

13     interpretation to finish.  Did there come to appear in your work the

14     situation that the Security Department collected accurate information

15     about the incidents of marketeering taking place in your area?

16        A.   I don't think the matters were completely truthful.  I think that

17     there were different interests at play there.

18        Q.   Very well.  Let us move on to a different topic, Mr. Mrksic.

19             In your earlier testimony, you portrayed for us the strategic

20     situation in the area under your command.  My next couple of questions

21     will focus on the area of Velebit and Gracac.  You explained to us what

22     the strategic importance of Gracac was, and if my understanding is

23     correct, and you'll correct me if I'm wrong, its importance lay in

24     particular with relation to the Gospic-Luka-Gracac road and on to Otric

25     and Srb, in order to prevent the ARSK forces from ending up in an

Page 18997

 1     encirclement.  Since you were informed in advance of the commencement of

 2     Operation Storm, what was the axis along which you expected the Croatian

 3     forces to launch their attack in that particular region?

 4        A.   The attack did transpire according to our expectations, but there

 5     was fighting around Zubovi, up around the repeater up on Velebit.  We

 6     tried to enforce our positions there.  The brigade commander received

 7     assignments to that effect.  However, what happened was that the peak of

 8     Velebit was captured, which made the whole defence along Gospic toward

 9     Gracac very vulnerable.  When the repeater was destroyed -- partly

10     destroyed and then also captured, we lost all communication with the rest

11     of RSK and with Belgrade.  According to the information I had, it was the

12     Special Police that headed there.

13        Q.   The advancement from the peak of Velebit towards the

14     Gospic-Gracac road, which sits in the valley, was it of strategic

15     importance, in terms of the conduct of defence?

16        A.   Yes, it was important for the Lika Corps because there was the

17     danger that -- or, rather, there were -- there were problems with the

18     Dalmatia Corps, the events you mentioned around Gospic.  The special

19     units, which were trained for such difficult terrain, had an ally in the

20     local population there.

21        Q.   The area was defended by the Gracac Brigade, was it not?

22        A.   It was the Gracac Brigade that defended the area up there, and

23     there was the Zub feature, which is on an elevation of 1.800 metres.

24     I think it was held by the Obrovac Brigade.  That's where the boundary

25     between the two brigade AORs was, and that's where the breakthrough

Page 18998

 1     occurred.

 2        Q.   If you'll recall today, where was it that you planned the second

 3     line of defence was to be?

 4        A.   The Lika Corps had a very shallow area, and the plan was to hold

 5     that first line of defence that had been in preparation for four years.

 6     We didn't plan for any fall-back positions.  I deployed some other

 7     brigades, and I forgot what the name of the place along that axis was, in

 8     order to close the ranks so that they wouldn't be able to break through

 9     towards Otric.  Our -- that was the gist of our concept, because this was

10     the area of 15 to 20 kilometres depth, at most.  That's the sort of an

11     area where you would be able to deploy a brigade.

12             One can only create an operational depth where you have a strip

13     of land that is larger than 20 kilometres, which we didn't have.  That's

14     why we expected frontal combat would take place and not to be attacked

15     from the back.

16        Q.   You explained to us what the significance of the Celavac repeater

17     was?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   Can you recall when it was that communications were severed once

20     the Celavac repeater was captured?

21        A.   I think it was in the afternoon at around 1.00 p.m. that I

22     received first reports from corps commanders and talked to them over the

23     radio.  Subsequently, all the lines were down and I could not -- no

24     longer be in contact with them.  All the subsequent communication we had

25     were down, in fact, as in World War II.  That's what I remember.  Whether

Page 18999

 1     it was at 1.00 or 2.00, but I do know that in early afternoon I received

 2     combat reports.

 3        Q.   When did the 9th Gracac Brigade retreat from that area of Krajina

 4     and along which axis?

 5        A.   I can't give you the details.  It should be for the corps

 6     commander to know the information.  I was aware of where the main lines

 7     of deployment of corps were.  I didn't have information for specific

 8     brigades.  I know that the first brigade to encounter problems was the

 9     Lika Brigade, defending the area opposite Ogulin.

10        Q.   Will this jog your memory if I tell you that the Gracac Brigade

11     withdrew across Gracac, via Otric, and on towards Srb?  Is this

12     consistent with how you remember these events?

13        A.   If you say so.  I don't remember this specifically.  If you have

14     this piece of information, there's no reason I should doubt it.

15        Q.   In an earlier testimony, and I'm referring to D1514 and D923, we

16     were able to see that the Main Staff was relocated from Knin to Srb

17     sometime after midnight on the 5th of August, 1995?

18        A.   Yes, but the elements that were relocated were relocated before

19     the start of the aggression.  This was part of a plan, that there had to

20     be a reserve -- alternate command post.

21        Q.   Similarly, you told us with the commencement of the

22     Operation Storm, there were very few members of the RSK government in

23     Knin, that most of them were outside of the Krajina borders?

24        A.   I can name them; perhaps not all of them.  There was the minister

25     of interior, minister of defence, who were in Knin.  There was the

Page 19000

 1     official charged with social welfare, minister of social welfare, Strbac.

 2     He was a young man.  Then there was the president of the assembly who was

 3     there, the president of the republic, along with his organs.  It was the

 4     prime minister and minister of foreign affairs who left for Belgrade.

 5     There was also the finance minister, who was in Knin.  Later on, I

 6     learned that he had taken the money from the SDK.  It was a strong team

 7     that remained there, and some of them left for Belgrade on orders in

 8     order to see what could be salvaged and how war could be averted.

 9        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, under the circumstances where the Main Staff was

10     relocated to Srb, and subsequently or at the same time, the government

11     was relocated, certain members of the government were not present in

12     Krajina.  The communications, due to the fall of the Celavac repeater,

13     were down.  Under these circumstances, how did the political and military

14     authorities operate?  And I'm referring to the 5th and 6th of August,

15     1995.

16        A.   Let me explain this to you now.

17             Before the start of the aggression, together with the president

18     and the top leadership, I made an assessment of the possibility that this

19     should happen; we would lose all communication if we have forces on the

20     Adriatic Sea that could interfere with the communications.  And I knew

21     that the repeat could be captured, so I asked for a scenario to be

22     developed as to how we could function without the communications.

23             On the 4th, I sent a helicopter, once the Supreme Defence Council

24     met.  The minister president allowed for minister of the interior,

25     Toso Paic, to go to the areas of Kordun as a representative of the

Page 19001

 1     government.  Mile Novakovic, who had just come back from negotiations, he

 2     was a general, the commander charged with political issues, and he was

 3     prepared to engage in negotiations with the Croatian government on my

 4     behalf because he would be an individual who would more appropriately be

 5     the negotiator.  He was charged with coordinating the special corps, the

 6     Banija and Kordun Corps, as well as -- so coordinating these forces with

 7     Fikret Abdic's forces.

 8        Q.   I apologise if I interrupt you.  We've steered away from the

 9     topic.

10        A.   I just told you who the members of the government were who were

11     present in the area.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  General Mrksic, could I ask you to make a break

13     between question and answer, and could I ask you the same, Mr. Mikulicic,

14     because it's impossible to follow for the interpreters at this speed.

15             Please proceed.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Could also the witness speak away from the

17     microphones, please.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, you are requested to take a bit of

19     distance to the microphone.

20             MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   What I'm primarily interested in is:  In these difficult

22     circumstances, how did the functioning of the command and the political

23     leadership function on the 5th and the 6th of August, when the

24     communications were interrupted, when regular institutions of the staff

25     and the government seat were relocated?  What were the difficulties

Page 19002

 1     there?

 2        A.   The difficulties were that there was no direct contact.  My voice

 3     was not being heard.  Flyers were being thrown around.  Nobody was being

 4     able to hear me over the media, and I had new information.  It was

 5     difficult to believe what they were being served.  It was a very

 6     difficult situation, sir, very difficult.  I said that they had been

 7     missing their mothers, they were crying.  But this doesn't refer only to

 8     me; it was a general situation.  We were thrown into the clutches of all

 9     the most modern systems of propaganda, ranging from a television that

10     appeared with a new name -- actually, with the same name as the one from

11     before, except the person behind the camera was not the one from before,

12     but a new one, but it functioned the way it functioned.  It was very

13     difficult.

14        Q.   In such a situation, there was a division between the Army of the

15     Republic of the Serbian Krajina to the southern and northern sections?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   As briefly as possible, can you explain, how did this division

18     occur and what were the consequences of such a division of the army?

19        A.   All the consequences arose from the attack on Knin from the

20     Grahovac direction, with the fall of Grahovac, all the problems came from

21     there.  But the Kordun-Banija Corps and partially the Lika Corps were

22     putting up resistance for as long as they were able to, until they came

23     to the position to fight in the environment.  Then the Banija Corps

24     sustained a lot of losses.  The Kordun Corps was not even touched, nobody

25     was attacking.  They were objecting to having to withdraw at all.  And

Page 19003

 1     that is how it occurred that we always planned, and we always were in

 2     this danger that our Krajina would be divided into two zones, north and

 3     south, from Ogulin, with the valley -- valley through the Vlasko [phoen],

 4     towards Bihac, and that's why all these combinations of ours around Pauk

 5     and all of these forces around holding this area, creating the corps, the

 6     special units, were served -- were aimed at preventing this division from

 7     occurring.

 8        Q.   But it did take place, in any case, did it not?

 9        A.   Yes, yes, it did.

10        Q.   My next question:  After the Main Staff was relocated to Srb,

11     what happened was that in the development of the situation, the army was

12     relocated from the territory of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina to

13     the direction of Republika Srpska.  What were the reasons for this

14     decision, and who made this decision to withdraw the units, the Otric,

15     Srb, Donji Lapac, Bosanski Petrovac, and so on, towards Banja Luka.  Who

16     made this decision and when?

17        A.   The decision, I don't know who made it, but the real situation

18     was the way it was.  All of the people were in this small area, and the

19     army was there.  It was a conglomerate of some 50.000, 60.000 people in a

20     very small area, and this had to be unplugged.  They were expecting this

21     to be done.  The people had nothing to eat.  They didn't take anything

22     with them.  They had no shelter.

23             On that morning, on the 6th, to go slowly, because of the

24     situation on the northern front, in Banija and Kordun, I was transferred.

25     General Mladic sent a helicopter to get me, and urgently he transferred

Page 19004

 1     me.  He told me to go there because that is where the column would be cut

 2     off, in Dvor, and there would be bloodshed among the people, and that

 3     together with his forces, I was supposed to prevent that.

 4             And those forces that were being pulled out were supposed to be

 5     engaged to security the flank to save the people.  I left that area, but

 6     the headquarters and the president remained there.  Probably it was not

 7     possible to stay in that area, technically, practically, any longer,

 8     because the pressure from the back was considerable.  And we were

 9     expecting that the forward push of the Croatian forces would occur and

10     they would find a lot of people in this area, and the roads would be very

11     narrow.

12        Q.   And when this withdrawal did take place, did the army withdraw in

13     an organised manner or was this just a spontaneous operation?

14        A.   Up to Srb, it was organised.  After Srb, everybody took their own

15     families.  Some put them on tanks.  Everybody joined their own families,

16     and there was no longer an army there, just an armed collection of people

17     who were angry and unprepared for battle in that situation.

18        Q.   And there was a lot of military equipment there; tanks, personnel

19     carriers, armoured vehicles?

20        A.   Yes.  People were using everything, even agricultural machinery,

21     for transport.  You can imagine how that was.  It was a whole mish-mash

22     of people driving all kinds of things in that area.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I believe there's some things left

25     out of the interpretation, beginning at page 13, line 15.  If the witness

Page 19005

 1     could be asked again what they were using for transport.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  The question, Mr. Mrksic, was:

 3             "And there was a lot of military equipment there; tanks,

 4     personnel carriers, armoured vehicles?"

 5             And then before you told us about the use of agricultural

 6     machinery for transport, could you tell us what you said before you

 7     referred to this agricultural machinery?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We called them "frites [phoen]" I

 9     don't know what you call that.  They're called moto-cultivators, that's

10     what they're called, small cultivation machinery.

11             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter is not exactly sure what the

12     term is in English.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Anyway, it's something that is

14     widely used for cultivation of the land in Dalmatia.  Those who did not

15     have such equipment would go to their dad, who was a tank operator, and

16     they would ride on the tanks, because the armed units, when they arrived

17     to that area, they were happy to see their kids, to see that they were

18     alive, and then they took them with them.  This was normal.

19             MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   According to what you said just now, was there an inter-mingling

21     between the soldiers and civilian population, or, rather, military

22     vehicles with civilian vehicles which were being used by the population?

23     Was it all inter-mingled?

24        A.   We didn't have an army and people; we had an armed people.  These

25     were our soldiers, peasants, producers.  They would spend six hours on

Page 19006

 1     their positions and twelve hours at home.  We didn't have a professional

 2     army so that we could separate an army who could go to this front or that

 3     front.  The people were living normally there, where they were.  These

 4     were all armed populations, and of course it was all intermingled.  There

 5     were trailer trucks, buses there.  I don't have to mention all of them.

 6     All kinds of means of transportation that could be found in one area.

 7     The whole town had to be moved.  There were private vehicles there, many

 8     of them there.  Whoever got their hands on whatever was what they used

 9     for transportation.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mikulicic, may I seek one clarification.

11             You explained to us that even civilians would be transported on

12     tanks, civilians being transported on military vehicles and military

13     means of transportation.  Was it also the other way around, that soldiers

14     would be on civilian means of transportation, like tractors, like

15     whatever was available?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everybody took their own tractor,

17     and when they saw the family, if they didn't have to operate or drive a

18     military vehicle, of course they would take over the driving of the

19     tractor from their wife or their son.  This is in the depth, when we

20     crossed over into Republika Srpska, then it was totally intermingled.  As

21     far as I'm concerned, it was no longer an army; it was a population.  As

22     soon as they crossed over to Republika Srpska, at the first check-point,

23     they laid down their arms or their weapons.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

25             Please proceed, Mr. Mikulicic.

Page 19007

 1             MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   According to a recollection, Mr. Mrksic, what was the date when

 3     the last military units left the Republic of the Serbian Krajina and

 4     crossed into Republika Srpska?

 5        A.   Well, let me tell you, we did have some units which were -- which

 6     were left behind in the area which was surrounded and which was secretly

 7     trying to get through without combat, so there were groups that were

 8     reaching the place after 15 days, 20 days, and reporting to Kosara, where

 9     the Main Staff was deployed, parts of the Main Staff.  So it was not that

10     everybody left at the same time and easily.

11        Q.   But the bulk -- and the command structure?

12        A.   Up until the 10th, I was at the bridge on the Dvor.  After the

13     10th, no one was crossing over anymore, and that is when Republika Srpska

14     demolished the bridge at Novi Grad.

15        Q.   So let's say by the 10th of August, the bulk of the units of the

16     Army of the Serbian Krajina and the command cadre left the area, but

17     there was some groups left behind which took even a week or ten days to

18     get out of that area?

19        A.   Yes.  They were pulling out clandestinely in order to not engage

20     in combat with the units.  They were trying to find some gaps and places

21     where they could break out.

22        Q.   As a commander of the Army of Serbian Krajina, were you in

23     contact with those groups who were left behind, who were still in the

24     territory of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina in the encirclement?

25        A.   I don't think that I did, personally.  My intelligence staff

Page 19008

 1     received those people, spoke with them, gathered the data; not for us,

 2     but for further processes.  But you know how that is.  Fear was quite a

 3     considerable factor, so it's incredible to know what they told about

 4     their return, how they managed to pull through, and the places that they

 5     managed to get out of.

 6        Q.   According to your recollection, how many soldiers were there in

 7     these groups that remained behind after the army withdrew from the

 8     territory of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina?

 9        A.   I cannot exactly tell you.  In some groups, there were five or

10     six.  They were breaking down into smaller groups deliberately, because a

11     large group can be discovered quickly and then fighting can occur.  They

12     are searched for.  So they kept splitting up into smaller groups.  Later,

13     even I heard there were some who had stayed behind for two years, they

14     didn't dare appear, and they were found someplace in Petrova Gora.  They

15     were just like the Japanese who didn't know that the war was over.

16        Q.   Was there any combat contact of those remaining groups with

17     members of the Croatian Army?

18        A.   They did not boast of fighting.  I didn't hear of any fighting

19     from them.  Perhaps some did, but perhaps this person who -- or perhaps

20     those who did engage in fighting were killed.  I don't know.

21        Q.   Can you say if those groups that remained behind were part of the

22     military command hierarchy of the Army of the Republic of the Serbian

23     Krajina or were they left to their own devices?

24        A.   Sir, being left to their own devices, well, they had their own

25     zone, and it depends what was the position imposed on them in that zone

Page 19009

 1     by the enemy; were they cut off, were they in the encirclement.  There

 2     were some cases -- the breakthrough from the Mount Velebit was like that.

 3     Of course, then it's normal that they would have to resolve their own

 4     problems by themselves.  They would be cut off, cut communications with

 5     the command.

 6             If this happens, then they would pick among themselves somebody

 7     who would be in charge and lead them out.  This is the usual procedure.

 8     This is the local population also.  They knew the local area well.  They

 9     knew where they could pass and where they couldn't, and so on.  We didn't

10     accept -- there was some partisan ideas in the beginning to apply some

11     patterns as used in World War II.  This is something that we did not wish

12     to use.  We didn't want to sacrifice the people.  This policy is not

13     something that was implemented in our policy, the policy of sabotage, to

14     stay, to create problems, and so on and so forth.  Anyway, you saw that

15     for yourselves later.

16        Q.   Could you please tell me what were the axes along which the

17     members of those sections of the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina

18     that were left behind were using to withdraw from the territory?

19        A.   Well, they didn't use the roads.  They were moving through the

20     woods.  They were mostly attempting to cross the Una River and to reach

21     Ostrelj, that area where the Republika Srpska was under [as interpreted]

22     control.  When they would notice their position, then the problem was

23     would they believe them, that they were soldiers that had been left

24     behind, or that they were not some infiltrators and that they would open

25     fire on them.  That was the most frequent consideration.

Page 19010

 1        Q.   This is the area of Lika and Mount Dinara that you're talking

 2     about?

 3        A.   Yes, yes, the Lika and Dinara region.  Well, you need to know

 4     that many did not manage to even come down the Mount Dinara.  They stayed

 5     up there, and then they were crossing into Drvar as they knew best how.

 6        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, can you please tell us --

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Could you please look at page 18, line 14, where I

 8     read the word "under."  It makes sense only if one reads "in control."

 9             MR. MIKULICIC:  Yes.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Is that correctly understood?

11             MR. MIKULICIC:  That's correctly understood, Your Honour.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

13             MR. MIKULICIC:  Thank you.

14        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Mrksic, you testified last week that there

15     was an initiative that came from Mr. Martic to form the Liberation Army

16     of the Krajina?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   And we saw documents about that?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   I'm referring here to D1522 and D416.  D416, this initiative, was

21     it implemented?

22        A.   Well, its fate was as it was.  It was not very realistic, and it

23     was not really -- nothing was done about it.  It just remained on paper.

24     Of course, there was a ban on mobilising the population that had once

25     been in combat and now had received the status of refugees.  You could no

Page 19011

 1     longer get them to go back to fight.  We could not reengage them, and

 2     this whole matter did not really move from theory into practice.  I was

 3     respecting the decision of the supreme commander.  We were aware that

 4     this would be something difficult to implement.  It was just a way of

 5     proving that it was our desire to return to that area, that's all.

 6        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, allow me now to move to a different topic now, which

 7     was also touched upon in your testimony, and that is the so-called

 8     Operation Sword.  Do you remember talking about it?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Well, please, in just a few sentences, what were the reasons to

11     initiate this operation?  Who and how -- who conceived the operation, and

12     how was it supposed to be conducted?

13        A.   The operation was implemented by me.  The idea was to use these

14     free forces that I had formed, that I had at Slunj, to create conditions

15     for Fikret Abdic, because he was receiving information from the

16     5th Corps, from people from that area, that they wanted to cross over to

17     him.  I was interested that as many people as possible supported

18     Fikret Abdic, because he was protecting my back.  This also happened in

19     World War II.  In these brief Ustasha offences from Kupa to Petrova Gora,

20     the people would go to him, because there were units there who were

21     helping our people.  We were helping them, also, and we were helping them

22     in 1994, when they were expelled.

23             And I believe that this would be a way to resolve the vulnerable

24     points -- the vulnerable point at my back, because I believed that

25     Banija and Kordun could not survive without Fikret Abdic, in the same way

Page 19012

 1     that happened in World War II.  This was not something that was conceived

 2     now.

 3        Q.   I apologise for interrupting you.  Let us set a time on this.

 4     When did Operation Sword commence?

 5        A.   I need to have a look at a document.  It was in the month of

 6     July.  The 30th of June, or the 28th, there was an inspection of forces,

 7     a parade, and then it took me some time to plan this, to put together

 8     forces.  It may -- I think it was on the 15th, and it may have taken us

 9     seven to eight days, because we had threats from Livanjsko Polje and

10     Grahovsko Polje.  I had already started deploying forces to the other

11     side.

12        Q.   In other words, in mid-July it was that the operation commenced

13     and went on until the fall of Grahovo?

14        A.   Well, I -- they continued the operation with their own forces.  I

15     had pulled out my forces just ahead of the fall of Grahovo.  I left

16     earlier on, but I deployed elements of the Special Units Corps in that

17     area.  However, I saw that we were on a slope and they were up on top of

18     the elevation, they could fire at us at will, and I saw that this was a

19     battle lost.

20        Q.   In this operation, your enemy, let's call it that, was the

21     5th Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was it not?

22        A.   Yes.  They would always link up with the forces of the Croatian

23     forces, as they did in this particular case.  They were the enemy to

24     Fikret Abdic's forces.  They fought him.  I didn't even see them.  I only

25     assisted him by exerting pressure, and the idea was for them to see the

Page 19013

 1     extent and the strength of the forces they were faced with.  And the idea

 2     was, of course, to allow these people to join Fikret Abdic's ranks.

 3        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, tell us, what were the sort of military equipment and

 4     how were that you planned to use in this operation?

 5        A.   There were two groups of brigades of Fikret Abdic's who were

 6     supposed to engage the forces of the 5th Corps frontally.  That would

 7     have been the thrust of the battle, whereas we would have provided

 8     artillery support.  That was no secret.  My special unit was two

 9     kilometres into the area, captured a certain elevation feature

10     overlooking the area, giving us a good vantage point, but we didn't want

11     to go into inhabited areas and we didn't want to be in touch with the

12     population there.

13             MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can I now ask the Registrar to

14     call up 65 ter document 3D00126.  I have a hard copy for the witness,

15     which may make it easier for him to follow the document through.

16        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, this is a brief or report made on the 26th of July by

17     the Security Department of the Main Staff of the Serbian Army of Krajina,

18     compiled by your assistant for security, Lieutenant-Colonel Rade Raseta.

19     By looking at page 1, we can see that Operation Sword was supposed to

20     commence on the 15th of July, in the early morning hours, as per plan.

21     Are you following me, sir?

22        A.   Yes, I am.

23        Q.   In paragraph 3 of page 1, this is what the report from your

24     assistant for security states:

25             "As part of the operation and its preparations, the SVK commander

Page 19014

 1     decided to use biological agents to poison consumer goods (flour, sugar,

 2     oil, dishwashing detergents) and to sell them by illegal trade to the

 3     5th Corps, thus causing mass illness on the part of fighters and cause

 4     them to be 'au comba [phoen]' as a result."

 5             What is your comment on this report compiled by your assistant

 6     for security, Colonel Rade Raseta?

 7        A.   Rade Raseta implemented the instructions of his superiors.  You

 8     can see that the activity here was on several channels, and they were

 9     supposed to compromise the other side.  I told my intelligence officer

10     that we need to collect information because I wanted to put a stop to

11     marketeering.  Their answer was that they wouldn't be able to collect any

12     information because there was no marketeering.  I wanted to make sure

13     that marketeering was no longer engaged in, so we had to device a ploy.

14     We had people at check-points, making sure that none of these goods would

15     go past.  So what they devised was the state secret of trying to poison

16     members of the 5th Corps, to cause them to end up with diarrhoea, so that

17     they could no longer man their positions.

18             And this was the sort of documents they bandied about in front of

19     my family.  This was done to compromise me and so that tomorrow they

20     would have a lever to blackmail me.  This was, on their part, a pure

21     trade-off, and they wanted to get hold of certain information.

22             You can see that there's a conflict of three services here, the

23     Security Service, Intelligence, and State Security.  That's what caused

24     us major problems.  I don't know what sort of problems you had.

25        Q.   This particular report explicitly states that you decided to use

Page 19015

 1     biological agents and the method of poisoning?

 2        A.   There was no sort of poisoning.  This was merely a cover.  I had

 3     never heard of anyone poisoning anyone else.  It was for the fighters,

 4     who were manning check-points, who, acting upon my orders, would not

 5     allow trucks carrying illicit goods to pass through, that they would,

 6     upon seeing this document, say -- not allow them to pass through.

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Can Mr. Mikulicic please repeat his question.

 8     It's impossible to follow at this rate.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mikulicic, you're invited to repeat your

10     question.  And I add to that that I invite you to make the necessary

11     pauses between question and answer.

12             MR. MIKULICIC:  I will do my best, Your Honour.

13        Q.   [Interpretation] My question was:  The allegations made in this

14     report, that you decided about the use of poisoning agents and that you

15     issued orders to that effect, is not true, therefore?

16        A.   Of course not.  That was a pure trade-off, and that was the

17     subject of intelligence work, which was constantly operating.  They were

18     supposed to compromise me, and I am carrying this mark from Krajina to

19     this very day.

20        Q.   This report also states that the normal dosage was used on an a

21     individual, Goran Marjanovic, who was an illegal deserter of the Ustasha

22     army, by injecting the agent into his liquid dish, unknown to the

23     international humanitarian organs.  In three days, he developed the

24     above-mentioned symptoms that lasted for six days.  He was given medical

25     aid, which probably shortened the period of his reaction.  Are you aware

Page 19016

 1     of this experiment?

 2        A.   No, this is the first time I'm hearing of it and seeing this

 3     report at all.  The problem was that security services produced reports

 4     behind their commander's backs, and this is also the problem that your

 5     army had.

 6        Q.   But this was your assistant?

 7        A.   Yes.  That's how my assistant operated.  That was the system.  I

 8     have the order which was a state secret, and I'm sure the Prosecutor has

 9     it.  They, however, engaged in different sort of activities, and one

10     should not trust whatever a security officer writes down.  If we talk

11     about this openly, about the work of security officers, let me go back to

12     Vukovar, then.

13        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, are you familiar with

14     Lieutenant-Colonel Milan Krkovic?

15        A.   I knew that he worked for the Intelligence Service.  I think I

16     saw him once or twice, if that's the intelligence officer we're talking

17     about.

18        Q.   Where?

19        A.   I think he was from Nis and that he was in the area of Topusko

20     for a while, but that was not in 1995.  I didn't see him there at the

21     time.  I saw Colonel Zimonja, though.

22        Q.   Let's make this quite clear.  We're talking about the Republic of

23     Serbian Krajina, are we not?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   You mentioned Colonel Nikola Zimonja.  I believe you're related

Page 19017

 1     to him.

 2        A.   He's my extended family on my maternal side.  I don't know which

 3     to degree.  We're not close relatives, because had we been close

 4     relatives, he would not have provided President Milosevic with the sort

 5     of information about me he did.

 6        Q.   Do you know Colonel Mihajlo Knezevic?

 7        A.   He's the chief of the Intelligence Service.  He was my

 8     subordinate, whereas Zimonja was not.

 9        Q.   Do you know an individual called Nenad Nisevic.  He was a private

10     businessman from Glina.

11        A.   No.

12        Q.   Now that we still have the document on our screens --

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

14             MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Can we turn to page 2?  The document goes on to say that trailer

16     trucks, loaded with goods intended for illicit trade with the 5th Corps

17     of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were sent on their journey, unloaded

18     their goods, and on their way back encountered certain unplesantries on

19     the border because a patrol of the Army of Serbian Krajina confronted

20     them.  Nevertheless, they reached their destination in Glina, and I'm

21     referring to the penultimate paragraph, where Nisevic, whom I asked you

22     about, together with Zimonja and Krkovic, came to see Rade Raseta at

23     Plitvice, carrying a briefcase full of foreign currency that they

24     scattered on the desk and started counting and distributing.

25             On the following page, it says that the total value of the goods

Page 19018

 1     sold, which was smuggled to the BH Army, the 5th Corps, was 2.237.000

 2     German marks and that the purchasing price was --

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't catch the amount.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about this.

 5             MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   And then page -- the following page --

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Could we first try to clarify what the purchasing

 8     price was.

 9             MR. MIKULICIC:  50.000 Deutchemark.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.  Please proceed.

11             MR. MIKULICIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

12        Q.   [Interpretation] The text goes on to say:  While separating the

13     German marks in new denominations, Nisevic counted and set aside 37.000

14     German marks and came in -- and engaged in a spat with Lieutenant-Colonel

15     Krkovic as to why he was doing that and issuing it in new denominations.

16     Nisevic replied by saying that the boss had explicitly instructed him

17     that these had to be new German mark notes.  Krkovic reacted by saying

18     the following, So what if he's a general?  Let him find a place to change

19     them.  Give him a part of it in shillings.

20             Nisevic responded that this is the way things had to be, and

21     Colonel Zimonja immediately wrote the name of General Mrksic on a folded

22     A-4 piece of paper and placed 37.000 German marks in it, and put the

23     package into his brief-case, undertaking that he would hand it over to

24     him.

25             Mr. Mrksic, did you receive any sort of money out of this

Page 19019

 1     transaction?

 2        A.   First of all, this is the first time I'm seeing the information.

 3     Let me tell you the truth, how it was and why I was under a pressure.

 4     There was one reason to exert pressure on me, the humanitarian reason;

 5     that there were people starving there and that they needed to give them

 6     supplies.  I said that -- I produced a document, a state secret, that

 7     this trip should be made in order to obtain money for the Intelligence

 8     Service so that they could collect data, rather than have a situation as

 9     in Operation Storm, where I didn't have communication with my corps.  I

10     wanted the money to be used to purchase cutting-edge communication

11     devices.  This is something that everybody did on all sides throughout

12     the war.  Had anyone given any money to me, I would not have gone to work

13     on the vegetable market in "Djeram," as I had to, once I returned from

14     this stint together with my family, why -- I would not have ended up

15     doing transactions with peasants on the market had I engaged in something

16     like this.

17        Q.   The document goes on to say that:

18             "In the meantime, while the foreign currency was being counted,

19     Lieutenant-Colonel Krkovic repeatedly raised the issue of us,

20     participants in the action, that we would have to be rewarded with 3.000

21     to 4.000 German marks and that this was something that General Mrksic

22     would approve of."

23        A.   Well, why didn't they come to me with this sort of report?  I

24     would have had them arrested, all of them.  And all the information,

25     including the information about Dimitrijevic, ended up in the archives of

Page 19020

 1     the Intelligence Service, and we never got to buying these devices, in

 2     the end, the communications devices.

 3        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, how is it that you know that the information was

 4     centre to Aca Dimitrijevic when the cover page doesn't state at all who

 5     the addressee was?

 6        A.   Well, who else?  My chief of security would send information to

 7     his superior chief.  He wouldn't send it to the chief of the Main Staff,

 8     he didn't send it to me.  This is the sort of service-specific specialist

 9     information.  It would always follow the different professional chains;

10     the intelligence to the intelligence, along their chain, and the security

11     organ to their superior security organs.  They wouldn't be reporting to

12     those others.

13        Q.   Remind us, please, Mr. Mrksic, who Aca Dimitrijevic is.

14        A.   The chief of security of the Army of Yugoslavia at that time.

15        Q.   And then it goes on here to say that out of that amount of

16     foreign currency, about 400.000 marks would go into the treasury?

17        A.   Yes, it did.  The security chief did inform me that this did go

18     into the budget, and we were going to purchase Motorolas and some

19     satellite telephones or communications, some new systems from that money.

20     But this did not actually happen, because the money was given to

21     Belgrade.  I know that during the withdrawal, the intelligence guy with

22     the money always was escorted by a policeman so that nobody would grab

23     the money from him.

24        Q.   At the end of this page, Lieutenant-Colonel Raseta, your

25     assistant for security, says this:

Page 19021

 1             "The conclusion is simple.  This convoy, as many others before,

 2     had the final goal of individuals to obtain material gain, and there is

 3     no doubt that the SVK commander, General M. Mrksic, is involved in this."

 4        A.   Well, you know the information that was going around in Belgrade,

 5     that I had brought 15 million.  I was always approached by Belgrade

 6     businessmen because they wanted to enter into business with me, that I

 7     could invest my money in these ventures.  But when I was released from

 8     house arrest, I had to work on a vegetable market.

 9             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, I'd like to object.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, Mr. Russo.

11             MR. RUSSO:  Two objections, Mr. President; number one, under

12     relevance grounds; secondly, that there has been no foundation

13     established for the document.  The witness testified he had never seen

14     the document before.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  And, Mr. Mikulicic, the relevance issue came to the

16     minds of all three Judges already a while ago, and --

17             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Let me -- as far as the second objection is

19     concerned, you have an opportunity to answer.

20             MR. MIKULICIC:  Your Honour, the witness already stated that he

21     was planning and executing the Operation Sword, Operation Match, as it

22     calls, and that he participate in this operation with his own military

23     forces.  The witness was a commander of the Main Staff of the Army of the

24     Republika Srpska Krajina, and he's witnessing here before this Court for

25     a couple of days, and I think it's very important for the Chamber to see

Page 19022

 1     what is the relevance and what is the true position of that witness in

 2     the period concerning in his testimony.  So I think this document is both

 3     relevant and also reliable.

 4                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mikulicic, you're invited to move on to your

 6     next subject.  Please proceed.

 7             MR. MIKULICIC:  I have no further questions, Your Honour.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

 9             Mr. Russo, would you prefer to start now or would you prefer to

10     have an early break?

11             MR. RUSSO:  I have no preference one way or the other,

12     Your Honour.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Then let's continue.

14             Mr. Mrksic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Russo.  Mr. Russo

15     is counsel for the Prosecution.

16             Please proceed.

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

18                           Cross-examination by Mr. Russo:

19        Q.   Good morning, General.

20        A.   Good morning.

21        Q.   General, I'd like to begin by asking you some questions to try to

22     give the Trial Chamber the clearest possible picture of what military

23     assets were inside the town of Knin when the artillery attack began on

24     the 4th of August.  So if you could please focus your answers on the

25     situation as it existed on the 4th of August, that will move us along

Page 19023

 1     much quicker.  You agree with me?

 2        A.   Mr. Russo, the assets were needed in order to relocate the

 3     Main Staff.  We needed the jeeps, the bus, the transport vehicles, and

 4     the communication equipment that was mobile.  There were no combat

 5     systems in town.

 6        Q.   Thank you, General.  Let me first begin by going back to some of

 7     the testimony you gave during direct examination.

 8             You stated several times in your direct that Knin was undefended.

 9     Do you recall saying that?

10        A.   I do, and that is correct.

11        Q.   I would like you to please explain to the Trial Chamber what

12     exactly it is you mean, that Knin was not defended.

13        A.   I mean to say that Knin did not have its defence unit, it did not

14     have a defence system, it did not have engineering facilities, shelter,

15     mine positions, positions, and so on.  It was a free town, just like

16     Belgrade, where people were walking around every evening and promenading

17     every day as if it wasn't at war.

18        Q.   To be clear, General, on the 4th of August did you have any

19     combat units stationed inside the town of Knin?

20        A.   On the 4th of August, I think that the command of the Dalmatia

21     Corps had also left Knin.  The Main Staff, or actually a part of the

22     Main Staff, was the only force left in Knin, a part of the MUP, the

23     Ministry of the Internal Affairs, and what was the security of the

24     president of the republic, and of course the staff units, a police

25     platoon that was there that I had that was securing the command.  All the

Page 19024

 1     other forces had left already by the 3rd.  There were no other units in

 2     Knin.  There was a base, base command, but these were all non-combat

 3     units.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  The commands that you just mentioned, a portion of

 5     the Main Staff, a portion of the MUP, the Ministry of Internal Affairs,

 6     and the security for the president of the republic, were these -- the

 7     individuals in these units, were they all in the command building in

 8     down-town Knin on the 4th of August?

 9        A.   Some were at the hotel which is close to the command building.

10     Some officers were billeted there, that HQ that was on duty.  Well, I

11     didn't sleep in that building that night.  I was in town.  Part of the

12     staff units were on the ground floor premises, because the operations

13     room was below ground, and the rooms that they were, other than the

14     guards and fire duty officers, were outside when that first strike

15     occurred.

16        Q.   Thank you.  I want to be --

17        A.   What I want to say is that the police was there with us, the MUP,

18     on one floor of the building.

19        Q.   Thank you, General.  I just want to be as clear as possible.  We

20     have your command building in down-town Knin.  You've also now pointed

21     out the hotel where several of the officers were billeted.  Other than

22     those two buildings --

23        A.   [No interpretation]

24        Q.   I'm sorry, I didn't catch that last comment.

25        A.   It was a men's hostel, a men's hostel or a hostel.  It was not a

Page 19025

 1     proper hotel.  It was more like a bed-and-breakfast.

 2        Q.   Other than that hostel and your command building, was the ARSK,

 3     or the MUP, or any of the other military commands using any other

 4     buildings or facilities inside the town of Knin on the 4th of August?

 5        A.   I think not, unless there is a police station that I never went

 6     inside; probably it was requisitioned in town to work with the

 7     population, traffic police and so on.  There was nothing else that was

 8     occupied.  There were no anti-aircraft or tank units.  They were all

 9     outside of Knin, where they had been up until then.

10        Q.   Thank you.  I also wanted to clear up something about the

11     location of the command for the 7th Krajina Corps, and I think you

12     touched on it.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo, perhaps I could ask one clarifying

14     question.  The term "undefended" has been used several times.  Did I

15     understand you well that there was no formal declaration of Knin as an

16     undefended town?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was told, when I

18     was actually putting pressure on them and when I began to get angry, and

19     when the danger appeared that Knin could be attached from the back, from

20     Grahovo, from Livanjsko Polje, they did not have such units.  They were

21     not preparing it.  They said it was a free town and it would not be

22     struck, and that is something that I did not really believe; the mayor of

23     the town, and the structures, and so on.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  That's not precisely an answer to my question.  My

25     question was whether there had ever been, which I have not heard until

Page 19026

 1     now, a formal declaration that Knin was an undefended town.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not ask.  I didn't find the

 3     Official Gazette.  I didn't insist that they show me where that is stated

 4     in the Official Gazette.  But the policy was conducted, and this was the

 5     explanation provided, that it was the capital town, and if we are brought

 6     into the position that we have to fight for the capital, because, well,

 7     the front was far aware.  We were only beginning to think -- I was only

 8     beginning to think -- think about what I can build up quickly.  However,

 9     the citizens of Knin were not thinking of needing to defend Knin.  Knin

10     must not be attacked.  There were no units inside, so why would it be

11     attacked, why?

12             JUDGE ORIE:  You're thinking in military terms, where I'm rather

13     referring to the legal connotation of "undefended town."

14             Is there any dispute between the parties that there was no such

15     formal declaration?  There's no dispute about it.

16             Please proceed.

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

18        Q.   General, during your direct examination, and for the benefit of

19     the Court and counsel, this appears at transcript page 18879, lines 9 to

20     11, General, you were asked by Mr. Misetic about the location of the

21     command of the 7th Krajina Corps, and you stated that the command was

22     located in the Northern Barracks:

23             "... until combat activities commenced.  When they did, just as

24     my command did, he got up, got down to the railway station, and perhaps

25     toward Strmica."

Page 19027

 1        A.   The war or the combat location.

 2        Q.   "... at the IKM there, because he was practically on the slopes

 3     of the Dinara with some elements of his army.  That's where the IKM was,

 4     and the command post was up at the abandoned railway station.  I don't

 5     know what it's called, the one above Knin."

 6             General, can you please clarify for us, whether on the 4th of

 7     August, was the commander of the 7th Krajina Corps was inside the town of

 8     Knin or was he elsewhere?

 9        A.   The commander, General Kovacevic, was at the forward command

10     post.  The former commander - what was his name? - he was at the railway

11     station, and that's where we found him that night.  Martic and I found

12     him when we were conducting the relocation of the command.  Martic

13     remained to spend the night there near the railway station, and the

14     Kovacevic was on the slopes and conducting the fighting as much as he

15     could, as -- for as long as he could.  He was slowing down the movements

16     towards Strmica and Krno [phoen], at the forward command post.  He was in

17     a very difficult position at the last slope.  He personally informed me

18     about the situation there.

19        Q.   Thank you.  And the railway station that you're referring to,

20     this is a railway station, an old one, outside of Knin; correct?

21        A.   Above the town, all the way up.  We were speaking about it

22     yesterday or the other day, about where the positions were supposed to be

23     set up for breakthroughs into the depth.  From that position, you have a

24     visual over the entire territory and to the other side of the Dinara,

25     towards Grahovo, Strmica, and so on.

Page 19028

 1             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Just in terms of context, Mr. President, I just

 4     wanted to draw the attention to page 18879, lines 3 to 7, because I'm

 5     still not sure if this is clear.

 6             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, I think the witness's answer was

 7     clear.  If there's anything that Mr. Misetic wants to clear up on

 8     redirect, he's certainly free to do that.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  If you give me just one second to read both

10     portions.

11             Mr. Russo, if I read and compare page 18879, compare it with

12     page 35, line 21 and ongoing, I can't say that matters have become much

13     clearer.  It's, as a matter of fact, rather confusing, if you read it

14     too.  I would appreciate if you would take that step by step, by short

15     questions.

16             MR. RUSSO:  Yes, Mr. President.  I just want to be clear, it's

17     not my intention to establish exactly where he was, but, more

18     importantly, where he wasn't.  So that's the point of my questioning.  So

19     I'm going to take it -- I'll take it from the beginning, and then we'll

20     see where it goes.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, fine.  If that's your intention, no problem.

22     Sometimes if you know where someone is, then you also know where he is

23     not; that is, at any other place compared to where he was.

24             Please proceed.

25             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, Mr. President.

Page 19029

 1        Q.   General, let me ask you again.  When the combat began on the 4th

 2     of August, was the command of the 7th Krajina Corps inside the town of

 3     Knin; yes or no?

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Objection to the form of the question.  He's asked

 5     now two different questions.  The first one was "Mr. Kovacevic," the

 6     second one was "the command."

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, it's such a question which can be put to the

 8     witness.  At the same time, at the same time, it's not following my

 9     invitation.

10             Mr. Mrksic, Mr. Kovacevic, early morning hours, 4th of August,

11     where was he, if you know?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacevic, on the 1st, the 2nd

13     and the 3rd, was up at the Dinara slopes the whole time.  He was at the

14     forward command post, managing the company or two companies that he had

15     managed to gather, the soldiers he had brought up from the forward

16     positions, and he was there to prevent speedy movement.  He was not at

17     the command.  The command left early, just like the IKM left early.  They

18     had gone to the railway station.  I don't know if anyone was left behind

19     in the barracks.  Perhaps some of the logistics people or something like

20     that.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  What you're telling us is that on the 1st, the 2nd

22     and the 3rd, he was up at the Dinara slopes.  My question was about the

23     morning of the 4th.  Where was he then?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was at the same place where he

25     was on the 3rd; on the slopes, in battle.

Page 19030

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Now, you were asked about General Kovacevic earlier

 2     today, and then you moved to the former commander who you said was found

 3     at the railway station.  So that was not Mr. Kovacevic who was found at

 4     the railway station; is that correctly understood?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just like the command of the

 6     Main Staff divided into the part that went to the forward command post,

 7     the corps command also divided, and a part of the corps command went up

 8     to this wartime command post during the day.  You know that --

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  So the person found at the railway station by you

10     and Mr. Martic was not Mr. Kovacevic.  Did Mr. Kovacevic leave his

11     position at the Dinara slopes?  And if so, when?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would really need to read his

13     report, the one that he submitted, as to exactly when he left, but he

14     probably left during the night because -- the following day and during

15     the course of the day before the forces entered Knin.  I mean, I really

16     cannot know that.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  If you say he probably left during the night, you

18     mean the night from the 4th to the 5th of August?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That night between the 4th and the

20     5th of August, the Main Staff also left Knin, so I expect that

21     probably --

22             JUDGE ORIE:  In your answer, you are referring to during the

23     night.  I just want to know from you which night you had in mind.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The night between the 4th and the

25     5th.

Page 19031

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Now, do you know -- apparently you're not sure that

 2     he left at that time.  Did you know where he went when he left that

 3     position?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When he left the forward command

 5     post, he was moving with the forces.  It depends on the pace of the

 6     attack by the enemy.  But up at the command post at the railway station,

 7     we found an ordered command post with beds, officers inside.  I entered,

 8     received the reports about the situation.  I issued additional

 9     instructions to stabilise the defence at the elevations above Knin, and I

10     then left President Martic.  He said, I cannot go on anymore.  Beds are

11     here.  I'm going to stay here with the commander and my security.  And he

12     spent the night there.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  You said he was moving with the forces.  Do I

14     understand you well that he did not return to Knin?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not to Knin.  From Strmica, he

16     went right away to the place where his brigades were pulled up from

17     Dalmatia, and he went up to the command post, and then later he came to

18     Srb.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  You said he went right away to the place where his

20     brigades were pulled up from Dalmatia.  Could you be more precise on

21     where that approximately was?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would be closing the road

23     leading from Dalmatia to Srb, above Knin.  So gradually it was actually

24     the -- done to secure the pullout, the withdrawal.  And that's where the

25     railway station is, more or less.

Page 19032

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Now you say that's where the railway station is.

 2     Which railway station exactly do you have in mind now?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it was an abandoned

 4     railway station that used to operate.  Before, at the time it was

 5     disused, it was above Knin, at a ridge near the asphalt road leading to

 6     Srb.  It was out of town completely.  It has its name.  I don't have a

 7     map here to be able to tell you what it is.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Is there any dispute about the parties -- about what

 9     railway station Mr. Mrksic is talking about?

10             What distance from the town of Knin, Mr. Mrksic?  What distance,

11     approximately, from the town of Knin?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you take the winding road up

13     there, it's perhaps another three or four kilometres along the road,

14     along the right side, where the railway tracks lie.  There is a road up

15     to that station.  Perhaps Misetic knows what the name is.  I don't know.

16     I was only there for a brief period of time.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, of course, I'm not inviting for you to

18     give any evidence, but if, as you may have noticed --

19             MR. MISETIC:  When I testify as an expert later, Mr. President.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  In what case, Mr. Misetic.

21             MR. MISETIC:  I'll do the Theunens rebuttal.  Just kidding.

22             You asked whether it was in dispute.  I so believe it's in

23     dispute.  I think the location of the forward command post is going to be

24     in dispute, vis-a-vis this witness.  Moreover, there's a bigger issue,

25     Mr. President, which is:  It's my understanding that the Prosecution --

Page 19033

 1     based on an e-mail that I received from Mr. Russo last night, they're

 2     going to argue that the location is someplace, which I won't mention in

 3     front of the witness, which for months, at the beginning of this trial,

 4     they took a different position that the place where this IKM was located

 5     was actually being shelled by the HV and was a non-militarised place.  So

 6     it's quite a complicated discussion.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Could you during the next break -- Mr. Russo, is

 8     there any way to provide a map so that the witness could assist us,

 9     because you want to know where Mr. Novakovic was not.  As I said before,

10     sometimes it helps if you know where he was.  Any way to provide the

11     witness with a map later so we could look at it as well?  Railways are

12     usually --

13             MR. RUSSO:  Two points, Mr. President.

14             The first, looking at the transcript, at line 22, you said

15     "Mr. Novakovic."  I believe it's Mr. Kovacevic.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, I misspoke.  I'm sorry.

17             MR. RUSSO:  Second point, Mr. President:  I don't necessarily

18     want to -- I mean, I understand that the witness perhaps doesn't recall

19     the name of the place.  However, my only purpose was to establish that it

20     was not inside the town of Knin.  I believe the witness has already

21     testified to its location.  I don't believe I actually possess a map

22     which indicates location of an older railway station.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  If that's what you want to establish, then that is

24     certainly what the witness told us.  He told us about a winding road and

25     three to four kilometres out of town.

Page 19034

 1             Now, I have -- before we have a break --

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, again, I apologise for this, but I'm

 3     going to have to object to Mr. Russo being allowed to state where it's

 4     not.  As I said yesterday, they want to eat their cake and have it too.

 5     The place where they think it is, but don't want to say, is also part of

 6     their case in-chief against us.  And they should be compelled to now

 7     state that the location is where we spent months in this trial fighting

 8     about whether that place had military positions in it or not.  And as a

 9     matter of procedure, they shouldn't be allowed to say, Well, we don't

10     want to say where it was.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo, if there is a dispute about what that

12     position is, so I think it would be -- it would assist the Chamber in

13     knowing what is on your mind, in relation to this, and also to know what

14     Mr. Misetic's position is.  Even if you would not ask the witness, at

15     least the Chamber would be better informed as to what the dispute exactly

16     is about, if only by location.  Yes?  Is there any way that you could sit

17     together with Mr. Misetic during the break and to see whether you say,

18     This is where --

19             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, first of all, I don't have any

20     problems stating our position.  I don't know how much evidential value it

21     will be for the Trial Chamber, but let me just try to clear up with the

22     witness this particular location.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, but I had one question remaining.  I have to

24     find it again.

25             Could you tell us where he then went when he left that position,

Page 19035

 1     and when that was, this, I understand, deserted railway station?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you mean General Kovacevic?

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  I should have been clear.  Yes.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He left that position -- or,

 5     rather, he wasn't there when I got to that place.  His command was there.

 6     He had not yet arrived, General Kovacevic.  But President Martic, who

 7     subsequently arrived and spent the night there with his policemen, told

 8     me that they left in the course of the night, and that in the morning,

 9     when he awoke, they were no longer there.  They wanted Martic to join

10     them, but the policemen who were his escorts said that they should leave

11     him sleep because he had not had a chance to sleep.  It was on the 5th,

12     in the evening, that Kovacevic got to Srb to report to me on the events

13     and on the actions taken by the units.  When he got down the slopes, Knin

14     was empty.  He got up to his command post and probably decided, together

15     with his units, to change positions.  He came to report that he had under

16     his control the intersection that was vulnerable, the intersection from

17     Gracac.  He also reported that there were many people, the population who

18     were there, and he didn't know what to do with them.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  I'm trying to fully understand your testimony.  You

20     said:

21             "He wasn't there when I got to that place."

22             And we're talking about General Kovacevic.  You said --

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the commander.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  You said after that:

25             "Mr. Martic arrived and spent the night there."

Page 19036

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  And he apparently told you that they left in the

 3     course of the night.  Who are "they"?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The command.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  So you said he arrived after Mr. Martic had arrived,

 6     and that General Kovacevic left again that same night; is that well

 7     understood?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your understanding is correct.  It

 9     was that morning, probably before dawn, that Martic woke and found that

10     they were not there.  And apparently Kovacevic had invited Martic to

11     join, but his escort would not allow him to wake him up.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  So Kovacevic had arrived after Martic had

13     arrived?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Kovacevic wanted Martic to join him, which did not

16     happen, and the next morning, when Martic woke up, Kovacevic had gone

17     already?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.  Kovacevic -- or,

19     rather, the president complained to me about being abandoned by my

20     soldiers.  However, they did ask him to join, but it was his policemen

21     who played a role there.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  We're not talking on why, but at this moment just to

23     establish what had happened.

24             We will have a break, and the parties are invited to report to

25     the Chamber to what extent they can assist, perhaps even not in the

Page 19037

 1     presence of the witness after the break, what railway station is

 2     apparently in dispute, and we'll resume at quarter past 11.00.

 3                           [The witness stands down]

 4                           --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.

 5                           --- On resuming at 11.18 a.m.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Have the parties reached an agreement on what they

 7     disagree on?

 8             MR. RUSSO:  I think we've at least agreed on that, Mr. President.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President.

11             It is the position of the Gotovina Defence that the witness, in

12     talking about the location of Mr. Kovacevic before Operation Storm, most

13     likely refers to Exhibit D159, about the fact that there was a Tactical

14     Group 2 command post in the area of the village of Strmica on 31 July

15     1995.  So now our position is the Tactical Group 2 command post is not

16     the same as the forward command post of the 7th Knin Corps.

17     Nevertheless, it's clear from the document that on that date,

18     General Kovacevic was present there.  However, we say that that is

19     because General Mrksic has already testified to the fact that the

20     7th Knin Corps engaged in -- or attempted to engage in an offensive

21     operation to take back territory near Grahovo in the succeeding one or

22     two days.

23             With respect to the railway station, the witness is most likely

24     referring to the railway station at Padjene Stara Straza, which the

25     Chamber has received some information about, and I will attempt -- I

Page 19038

 1     believe there's -- an exhibit was created specifying the exact location

 2     of that railway station earlier on in this trial.  It is our position

 3     that General Kovacevic went to that location after the first day of

 4     Operation Storm, after the decision to withdraw from the city, and that

 5     that, in all likelihood, was the rear command post of the 7th Knin Corps.

 6     And it's our position, based on Exhibit D1516, paragraphs 6 and 7, which

 7     is Mr. Kovacevic's own report, where he says, and I quote -- he talks

 8     about the events on the night of 4/5 August.  He says:

 9             "After the relocation of the command post of the 7th

10     Corps Command and the General Staff from Knin ..."

11             And then goes on.  I believe it's -- I shouldn't say -- it's our

12     position that that relocation from Knin was to the location Stara Straza

13     Padjene, at the railway station.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  That's about command posts and positions, and

15     then persons are still left to be considered, who was at what --

16             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, and that was going to be my final point,

17     Your Honour.

18             The position of the Gotovina Defence is the physical location of

19     Mr. Kovacevic at any particular time, while it has some probative value

20     as to the nature of a particular target, does not change, in and of

21     itself, the definition of, for example, the Northern Barracks and its use

22     and how it would be classified under the protocol.

23             Thank you.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  So we have two issues; where command posts were

25     established and who was where at what time, and what consequences this

Page 19039

 1     would have for -- yes.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, and I will deal with it, I suppose, in

 3     redirect, but I think, just to mention for the record, I don't believe

 4     there's any evidence, for example, that Mr. Kovacevic sent a letter to

 5     General Gotovina saying -- I'm being facetious here, but, Forward my mail

 6     to my new address, which is now not at the Northern Barracks, but is

 7     wherever they say he is, so --

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  I have never seen a change of address during such

 9     war situations.  But anyhow, Mr. Misetic, it's -- Mr. Russo, positions

10     are --

11             MR. RUSSO:  Well, Mr. President, I'm not -- I'm not sure exactly

12     what it is the Court is expecting.  I certainly don't think it's

13     appropriate for us to be arguing our case at this point.  But let me just

14     indicate, I'm not necessarily taking issue with some of the things that

15     Mr. Misetic said.  My only point in examination was, of course, to

16     establish who is and who is not in the Northern Barracks on the 4th of

17     August.  The value of that can certainly be argued at a later point.  I

18     did want to take it, however -- and the reason I went in to Mr. Kovacevic

19     first was because Mr. Misetic's questions, while directed at the command,

20     the witness injected into his answers specific discussion about

21     Mr. Kovacevic himself, so I was going to take it --

22             JUDGE ORIE:  I think that's at least one of the things that's

23     perfectly clear now, that if we're talking about commands, not every

24     commander is always at home.

25             MR. RUSSO:  Yes, Mr. President.

Page 19040

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  That apparently is the issue, and that's clear.

 2             May the witness be brought into the courtroom again.

 3             And it may be clear to the parties to take the witness in

 4     whatever you want to elicit from him as evidence, to take him step by

 5     step, You're talking about a night.  What night are you referring to?

 6     You're talking about a day.  Who are you referring to?  Because otherwise

 7     we easily get lost.

 8             MR. RUSSO:  Yes, Mr. President.  I have attempted to direct the

 9     witness, at the beginning of my examination, to the 4th of August, but I

10     continue to try to --

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Both parties are encouraged and invited to

12     take care that the answers are clear.

13                           [The witness takes the stand]

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, could I invite you to keep your answers

15     short.  Often, you do not only answer the question, but you also explain

16     why things happened as they happened.  If anyone is interested to know

17     why something happened, they'll certainly ask you.

18             Could I also ask you always to be very precise.  I gave you a few

19     examples.  If you're talking about morning, let me know whether it was

20     yesterday morning, this morning, or tomorrow morning you're talking

21     about, so that we always have clear facts.  And if you keep your answers

22     short.  Often, after one or two lines, you've answered the question

23     already.  Then just wait and see whether there's any follow-up question.

24             Let me be clear.  There's no need to explain to us everything

25     that happened in this period of time.  There are certain matters which

Page 19041

 1     are of great relevance for us or, of course, this Chamber has heard other

 2     evidence as well and other matters that are less relevant.  You could

 3     leave it to the parties to draw your attention specifically to those

 4     points that they consider to be very relevant, and if the Chamber wants

 5     to know further details, as you may have noticed, we'll ask you for it.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.  And I am also eager to

 7     finish as soon as possible because of the visit on Wednesday.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Everyone is aware of that, Mr. Mrksic, and we'll try

 9     to achieve that.

10             Mr. Russo.

11             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, Mr. President.

12        Q.   General, you will recall a discussion during your direct

13     examination in which you were educating Mr. Misetic about how you divide

14     the command of a corps prior to combat operations.  Do you recall that?

15        A.   I don't understand.  I was not -- not dividing the corps command,

16     but of the Main Staff.  What are you exactly referring to?

17        Q.   I'm referring to the discussion where you -- and for the benefit

18     of the Chamber and counsel, this appears at page 18858, lines 18 to 25.

19     You were explaining to Mr. Misetic that when an attack is anticipated, as

20     a general matter, and I'm not now asking you about your staff or any

21     other particular corps, but as a general matter, a command is divided

22     into three separate units:  the forward command area, the rear command

23     area, and the main logistics; correct?

24        A.   That's correct.  Now I understand what you're saying.  Yes,

25     that's how the rules regulate the matter.  A unit cannot be without a

Page 19042

 1     command.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, may I ask for a clarification of the

 3     question.  Three separate units:  The forward command, the rear command,

 4     and the main --

 5             MR. RUSSO:  Logistics.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  We find, on page 18858, the witness is referring to

 7     three structures:  the reserve command post, where the commander would

 8     be; the reserve command post, where the Chief of Staff was; and the

 9     logistics post, where the chief of logistics is.  That is what he

10     referred to on page 18858, lines 19 and following, preceded by where an

11     attack is anticipated, the command has to be divided into three

12     structures.  That's what we are talking about.

13             Mr. Russo, your question.

14             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, Mr. President.

15        Q.   Now, General, what I'd like to do is to establish for the

16     Chamber, specifically with respect to the 7th Knin Corps, the location,

17     if you know it, of each of those separate structures on the 4th of

18     August.  So let's start with the forward command.  Do you know where that

19     was located, where the 7th Knin Corps Forward Command was located ?

20        A.   The forward command post of the 7th Knin Corps was on the stretch

21     of the road leading to Grahovo, some 500 metres away from the

22     confrontation line, which shifted depending on the developments.  It was

23     beyond Golubic, in the village of Strmica, in the direction of Grahovo,

24     where the forward line of defence of the Croatian forces was located.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Now, the rear command post, was that located at this

Page 19043

 1     old railway station about which you've been speaking?

 2        A.   I can't tell you where exactly the rear command post was.  I know

 3     that the main command post was relocated to the railway station.  Was it

 4     called Zega?  I don't know.  Have you established what the name was?  It

 5     was at that railway station that the main command post was.  And as for

 6     the corps level, I don't know about their command posts.  I don't

 7     remember.

 8        Q.   So if I understand your answer correctly, you're unable to tell

 9     us, on the 4th of August, where the rear command post was initially

10     located for the 7th Knin Corps; is that right?

11        A.   It may have been in Golubic, where depots were and where supplies

12     could be obtained.  Elements could have stayed behind in the barracks on

13     account of the vehicles and the assets there.  I can't confirm this.

14     What I'm giving you are the possible locations.

15        Q.   Thank you.  And now for the third element of the structure, the

16     logistics element for the 7th Knin Corps, can you tell us, if you know,

17     where that was on the 4th of August?

18        A.   That's the one you just asked me about.  It could have been

19     either in the valley of the River Zrmanja, where warehouses and depots

20     were and supplies were obtained from, and elements of it could have

21     remained in the barracks.  At any rate, the command was divided into

22     three parts.  I'm not sure where they were.  After all, they were an

23     element of the rear structure.  Milovanovic would be the one to be better

24     placed to talk about it.

25        Q.   Okay.  General, there was -- and if it's my fault, I apologise.

Page 19044

 1     There was some confusion.  I was asking you, secondarily, about the rear

 2     command post.  You gave an answer.  And then I asked you about the

 3     logistics post, and then you told me that's what you just asked me about.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I believe there may be an

 5     interpretation issue, how it was initially interpreted, and hence the

 6     confusion between Mr. Russo and the witness.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Then I suggest, in order to avoid confusion, that

 8     you restart this whole -- because otherwise correcting questions and then

 9     trying to find the correct answer is not, perhaps, the thing that would

10     work perfectly.  So, Mr. Russo, you're invited to start this part of the

11     examination again.

12             MR. RUSSO:  Certainly.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, forget about the last few answers.

14     Mr. Russo will reintroduce the matter, because there might have been a

15     translation issue.

16             Please proceed.

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

18        Q.   General, we will take it from the top.

19             The main forward command post of the 7th Knin Corps, on the 4th

20     of August, tell us where it was.

21        A.   It was mobile, and it was located on the slopes of the Dinara,

22     from the village of Strmica toward Grahovo, the forward command post

23     that always follows the commander.  You have several officers,

24     communications devices, and security officers.  That's the IKM.  The KM

25     was at the railway station.  The rear post was in Golubic, or elements of

Page 19045

 1     it remained in the barracks.  I can't vouch for that.  It would be

 2     logical for it to have relocated to Golubic, where all the assets were

 3     and depots, et cetera.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  I think you may have included everything in that one

 5     answer, which I'm thankful for, but I just want to reiterate to be clear.

 6             We've now established where the forward command post was; on the

 7     slopes of the Dinara.  You say the KM, which is the rear command post --

 8        A.   The rest of the command, the main command post.  The KM is the

 9     main command post, the operational post, at the railway station.  The

10     rear command post was in the Zrmanja Valley.  Whether it was partly in

11     Golubic or partly in the barracks, I can't tell you, because it had to

12     draw closer to where depots were and supplies were.  I didn't go into the

13     technology of supplies and all the other details.

14        Q.   When you say the rear command post, whether it was partly in

15     Golubic or partly in the barracks, can you tell us which barracks

16     specifically you are referring to there?

17        A.   The Northern Barracks, I believe, where the corps command used to

18     be stationed before it left.

19             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, General.

20             Mr. President, I believe from my perspective, the matter is

21     clear, unless the Chamber has further questions.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  You may move on.

23             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you.

24        Q.   General, your command centre, where you were on the 4th of

25     August, was the main command building which is on the main road in

Page 19046

 1     down-town Knin; correct?

 2        A.   Correct.

 3        Q.   And you were in that command centre for most of the day on the

 4     4th of August; is that right?

 5        A.   Not -- well, I was there until nighttime.  It was after

 6     10.00 p.m. that we set out, when rocket fire subsided.  We proceeded to

 7     relocate.  I was there throughout the day, observing artillery fire.  I

 8     was interested in that, because I had done something similar back in

 9     Vukovar, and I wanted to draw comparisons.  That was when I found the

10     spare time to do that, and I wondered at it.

11        Q.   Yes.  I'd like to now move to asking you some questions about the

12     shelling which you both observed and information that was reported to

13     you.  I'd like to take another look at an RSK intelligence report which

14     Mr. Misetic showed you during your examination and ask you a few

15     follow-up questions.

16             Mr. Registrar, if we could please have Exhibit D389?

17             General, you will recall that this is an intelligence report from

18     one of your own officers, and it indicates some areas in Knin which had

19     been shelled by approximately 10.00 a.m. in the morning on the 4th of

20     August.  Now, I'd like to focus on paragraph 4, and it indicates that the

21     first strike was on the building of the SVK General Staff, and that is --

22     as you've testified, that's the building where you were; correct?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   It also indicates that fire was later directed at the military

25     barracks, and I believe you've also testified that that refers to the

Page 19047

 1     Northern Barracks; correct?

 2        A.   Yes, that's how we called it.

 3        Q.   The next target identified was the TVIK factory, and I'd like to

 4     ask you a question about that.  General, the TVIK factory, can you tell

 5     the Trial Chamber whether there was any military use being made of that

 6     factory?

 7        A.   I don't think so.  It produced nuts and bolts that were sold in

 8     the market of Serbia, Bosnia, et cetera.  It was a well-known factory of

 9     nuts and bolts.

10             We received all the military assets from installations in Serbia.

11     We could have produced 120-millimetre mortar shells in Lika, but we

12     didn't have the materials required.

13        Q.   Thank you.  And to be clear, you said you don't think so.

14     General, if the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina had, in fact,

15     made military use of it, that would have been an asset that you would

16     have known about; isn't that right?

17        A.   Well, certainly.  Just as I knew of the factory in Lika, I would

18     have known about this one as well, whether a nut or bolt was being

19     produced for the purposes of vehicles or something of the sort, but I

20     would have known if it had produced anything that would have had a

21     bearing on the defence mounted by the Army of the RSK.  I would have

22     heard about it.  General Bjelanovic, assistant for rear, would have

23     informed me about it.  It would have been discussed, despite the fact

24     that I was there for only two or two and a half months and I had spent

25     most of the time in Knin.

Page 19048

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  The answer was simply, yes, you would have known

 2     about it.

 3             Please proceed, Mr. Russo.

 4             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 5        Q.   The next target identified was the railway intersection, and I

 6     believe you've already testified that this was the main railway hub which

 7     was basically across the street and a bit further down from your command;

 8     is that right?

 9        A.   That's correct.

10        Q.   And you've already testified that the ARSK was not using that

11     main railway hub; is that correct?

12        A.   No, it was not using it.  It may have been using it in 1991 or

13     1992 for an armoured train that they had, something of the sort, but

14     during my time, it was not used and the railway was not operational.

15        Q.   Thank you.  The report goes on to indicate residential buildings

16     in the area beneath the Knin Fortress.  Now, General, the area around

17     your command building in down-town Knin is an area that's filled with

18     civilian residences, apartment buildings, cafes and such; correct?

19             MR. MISETIC:  Objection as for foundation.

20             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, is that an objection I seriously have

21     to respond to?

22             MR. MISETIC:  That's hotly disputed.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  If you'd ask the witness about everything we heard

24     that could have been there, then we'll find out what -- whether it was

25     filled or whether there were many, which is not exactly the same.

Page 19049

 1             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I just want to point out

 2     the fact I already have asked the witness about which buildings in Knin

 3     were being made use of by the military.

 4        Q.   General, were there civilian --

 5             MR. MISETIC:  But that doesn't mean that --

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's -- I think you told us that down from the Knin

 7     Fortress, that there were government buildings there.  That's looking

 8     down in the direction of the railway station.  Could you tell us whether

 9     there were civilian residences there as well?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, they were all

11     civilian buildings except for the one that President Martic built to be

12     the headquarters of the president, with a few offices, an office for the

13     reception of foreign guests, when we had talks with them, a secretary,

14     and some rooms for the security.  That was that one building.  All the

15     other buildings were civilian buildings.  People lived there.  I don't

16     know if there were any cafes there.  I didn't visit cafes.  Perhaps there

17     was some kindergartens there, too.  But, anyway, that is what one could

18     see looking out the window towards the fort.  My office was towards -- it

19     was facing the railway station, and I could see everything from UNPROFOR

20     to the Northern Barracks.  I could see the whole town from the third

21     floor, and there were civilian inhabitants there.  The civilian hospital

22     was there.  So it's not in dispute that there was firing on the town.  I

23     did mention the military facilities.  All the others were civilian ones.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

25             Please proceed, Mr. Russo.

Page 19050

 1             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 2        Q.   General, you'll see, after it indicates firing on residential

 3     buildings in the area beneath the Knin Fortress, it says "Et cetera,"

 4     afterwards, at the end of that list of areas being shelled.  Could you

 5     tell the Trial Chamber whether you're aware, during the morning of the

 6     4th of August, if there were other parts of Knin which were being shelled

 7     that are not specifically listed in this report?

 8        A.   Mr. Russo, the entire Knin was being shelled except for the

 9     UNPROFOR base.  In my estimate, I did make estimates because I knew how

10     many divisions and batteries I had, without nine or ten batteries with

11     multiple rocket-launchers, you could not cover it all.  All the sectors

12     were covered, and the firing system determined the intervals between the

13     firing.  So there was firing the whole time.  These were systems that do

14     not demolish buildings in the same manner that other systems do, but the

15     noise created a major disruption, disturbance, for the citizens who were

16     in these cellars.  As I was observing, I was afraid that they would enter

17     the office.  It's about 30 minutes --

18             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter kindly asks Mr. Mrksic to

19     repeat the last sentence.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was firing as a system.  The

21     system is used for human targets outside, resting, lying about, to cover

22     a large surface.  And if you wish to take or capture a town, or if you

23     wish to fight against those who are defending a town, then you would use

24     artillery systems with shaped charges.  There was no such destruction

25     there.  This was firing that had a psychological effect on me.  As a

Page 19051

 1     professional, I was wondering why, why is this being done, who are they

 2     hitting when they have no positions.  It was acceptable to me when they

 3     hit the command, the Presidency building and the barracks.  That was to

 4     be expected, because military targets are expected to be there, but it

 5     was so precise that I really couldn't believe that the Croatian forces

 6     had such capabilities.  These could only have been NATO capabilities.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, you earlier said that you were afraid

 8     that they would enter the office, and then you continued.  You said it's

 9     about 30 minutes -- and then the interpreters couldn't catch your words.

10     What was about 30 minutes?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, shells were not

12     falling; rockets were falling.  This is a major difference, rockets from

13     multiple rocket-launchers of 107 millimetres, NATO calibre, or 127, our

14     Russian calibre, the former SFRY or the former JNA.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  I just want you to repeat what you said when you

16     started your sentence by saying, It's about 30 minutes.  What was about

17     30 minutes?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was my estimate.  If each

19     barrel, each barrel of the multi-barrel rocket-launcher, was charged and

20     fired one rocket every 30 minutes, and there had to be 10 batteries, a

21     battery would contain four weapons, times 18 -- or 12 barrels, and then

22     you can calculate the number of barrels, and then you would have 800 to

23     1.000 rockets hitting Knin every hour.  This is why they were all

24     divided.  Each battery had its own section of several hectares, six or

25     eight hectares.  Well, I'm just looking at it as a professional.

Page 19052

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  No problem with that, but I just asked you to repeat

 2     the line starting with:  "It is about 30 minutes ...,"  and you started

 3     explaining your answer again.  What did you say, because the interpreters

 4     just didn't hear you.  You said:  "It was about 30 minutes ...," and then

 5     just --

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave my own estimate, looking at

 7     the firing.  If you had 10 batteries and you fired 30 minutes from each

 8     battery or each barrel, rather, because they fired at intervals, then you

 9     would almost have a thousand rockets hitting in one hour.  Perhaps I

10     don't believe it was that much.  Perhaps at first impact it was that

11     much, but later they were longer intervals, but the average was that you

12     would have one barrel firing at 30-minute intervals.  So in my estimate,

13     you would have between 8.000 to 10.000 rockets falling in a 16-hour daily

14     period of firing.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  That's clear to me now.

16             Mr. Russo.

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

18        Q.   General, you testified on direct examination about artillery

19     located in Kninsko Polje.  Do you recall that?

20        A.   Yes.  It was an artillery weapon called Nora of 152-millimetre

21     calibre.  It was the only one that had the range to reach Grahovo Polje.

22     I think we only had two of those in the entire Knin Corps, compared to

23     the Dalmatia Corps.

24        Q.   Thank you.  And, specifically, you were asked about whether those

25     artillery pieces were returning fire on Croatian positions on the 4th of

Page 19053

 1     August, and you stated, quote -- I'm sorry, for the benefit of counsel

 2     and the Court, this appears at transcript 18920 from lines 1 to 13.  You

 3     stated, General:

 4             "I think that that artillery had already been pulled up there.

 5     As the units moved, as the people moved, it was pulled up towards Otric."

 6             Now, what I'd like you to clarify, General, is whether those

 7     artillery pieces were in Kninsko Polje on the morning of the 4th of

 8     August.

 9        A.   The weapons, there was nobody to operate them on the 4th up

10     there, and they were probably withdrawn into the depth.  I cannot know

11     about those two weapons.  All I'm saying is that I was present when the

12     artillery guy was guiding the Howitzer fire, and that was creating large

13     problems in Grahovsko Polje.  This was two or three days before the 4th,

14     before the attack.  I was driving the supreme commander in a helicopter

15     to the positions to see where his troops were holding the ridge, and we

16     were watching how this small captain was guiding the fire at those forces

17     that were preparing to open an attack against Knin.

18        Q.   Thank you.  I just want to be clear, General.  Can you tell the

19     Court how far from the town of Knin proper those artillery pieces were

20     located?

21        A.   Those artillery pieces were practically beyond Crvena Zemlja,

22     which is some five or six kilometres -- or four kilometres distance from

23     Knin, that they would -- so that they would be able to reach

24     Grahovsko Polje.  When the aggression began, they had no targets

25     practically in Grahovsko Polje.  They had to pull out, and then the

Page 19054

 1     120-millimetre mortars took over.

 2        Q.   Thank you, General.  You've answered my question.  Now, you've

 3     testified several times that you lost your communications capability

 4     sometime during the 4th of August.  Now, the reason, General, that you

 5     lost communications from within Knin was because the repeater station at

 6     Celavac had been partly destroyed and taken over; is that right?

 7        A.   Correct.

 8        Q.   And after that repeater was taken out of operation, was it

 9     possible for you to communicate with your troops in the field?

10        A.   Our communications system relied on relay communications, which

11     we considered to be protected, but I can see that they were easily

12     recorded and transcripts were made.  Radio links could not be maintained

13     because of electronic jamming of some radio stations.  We were unable --

14     not even Motorolas could function.  There was general jamming.

15        Q.   General, can you explain to the Trial Chamber what relay

16     communications are?

17        A.   Relay communications are traditional communications system.  They

18     have antennas, they have protected facilities underground, and these are

19     nodes where communications intersect.  It's a whole relay network of the

20     former SFRY that was somewhere taken over.  I don't know how these

21     divisions occurred.  So certain forces were using them.  These nodes had

22     direct links to Petrova Gora to Zeljeva, from Petrova Gora to

23     Zrinska Gora, from Zrinska Gora would go to Poposte [phoen] to Belgrade,

24     to Sarajevo, to Zagreb, depending on where they were directed.  These

25     were so-called directed, controlled signals.  Usually, it's a telephone

Page 19055

 1     connection.  It's not a radio station, but you can actually speak on the

 2     telephone, use it just like a regular telephone.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  General, I'd like to show you an excerpt from a

 4     planning meeting between President Tudjman and his top military advisers

 5     on the 31st of July, and then ask you a few questions relating to it.

 6             If we could please have Exhibit P461, and if we could move to

 7     page 25 in the English and page 47 in the B/C/S.  And I'd like to begin

 8     with the comments of Mladen Markac.

 9             You will see, General, that Mladen Markac states:

10             "Mr. President, as soon as we take Celavac as a communications

11     centre and to all practical purposes the nerve centre of that part, their

12     communications system will be finished and there will be total chaos."

13             Then Zvonimir Cervenko intercedes:

14             "Mr. President, I would like to ask, Domazet, please explain to

15     me how these communications centres will go, in what order, in which

16     phases?"

17             Domazet replies:

18             "In the first strike, which would be the onset of the operation,

19     we head out to the command post of the 18th Brigade in Bunic which

20     creates conditions ... for their system and enables the forces - Ljubovo

21     is reached and placed under supervision.

22             "Second, Celavac is in that same strike.  We're going to Celavac

23     for the purpose of leaving him only a part of the communication between

24     Knin and through Petrova Gora, to listen in on to them.  We shall do that

25     by aircraft."

Page 19056

 1             And then someone interjects:

 2             "You mean from Plomina when you say Knin?"

 3             And if we could turn the page in B/C/S.  Cervenko continues:

 4             "From Plomina to Pljesevica, and we have it so we can listen in

 5     to operative strategic communications.  And the destruction of Celavac,

 6     we will take down all operative and tactical communications in the area

 7     of the 7th and 15th Corps.  After that, when the operation in the

 8     northern part is launched, we shall go to Petrova Gora.  We likewise

 9     leave Zrinska Gora so that we will be listening in to only one part of

10     their communications, and finally it ends with Zrinska Gora."

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo, did you intend to say that Domazet

12     continued, rather than Cervenko, because that's --

13             MR. RUSSO:  Yes.  My apologies, Mr. President.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

15             MR. RUSSO:

16        Q.   General, were you aware that the HV were planning to leave your

17     communications in some areas open in order to be able to listen in on

18     operative and strategic communications?

19        A.   No, I wasn't.  I was not left with that assessment, because we

20     thought if they strike, they will strike and destroy all communications.

21     This is new to me.  I knew that we were expecting them to strike at the

22     communications.  That was logical.  But we didn't know that they would

23     use these espionage things to listen in to some of them and destroy some

24     of them.  We were not thinking about that at the time.  Had they allowed

25     me to have those connections, well, it wouldn't have mattered to me if

Page 19057

 1     they had listened in, but I was unable to talk.

 2        Q.   I take it, then, General, that during the operation you did not

 3     become aware that your communications were being monitored; is that

 4     right?

 5        A.   That is right, I wasn't aware of that.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  General, I would now like to talk about the military

 7     assets, which were in other towns, which were attacked by artillery on

 8     the 4th of August.  And if you're able to assist us, please do so.  If

 9     you don't have the information, that's fine as well.  But I would like to

10     begin first with Benkovac.

11             Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether you had any combat troops

12     stationed inside the town of Benkovac when the shelling began on the 4th

13     of August?

14        A.   I cannot tell you that.  But when I was touring the position, I

15     saw that there was nobody in Benkovac, that there were no elements,

16     elements of the combat disposition.  All the elements were on the

17     front-line or some line of defence.  These are probably elevations,

18     inclines, not towns.  We were not including towns into the defence, as

19     far as I know.  But I didn't manage to tour the tactical level

20     completely.  I was dealing with major things; how to create a political

21     and military situation so that we could move to negotiations.

22        Q.   Thank you, General.  Are you able to tell us whether there were

23     any command posts or communication centres in Benkovac on the 4th of

24     August?

25        A.   There were barracks in Benkovac.  I don't know if it was used for

Page 19058

 1     anything or not.  I'm really unable to say right now.  The corps

 2     commander or the brigade commander would have to tell you that, the

 3     Benkovac Brigade.  I don't think that any attacks were carried out.  The

 4     essence was that all inhabited places were attacked.  Vrginmost was

 5     attacked and there was nothing there, and it was hit with all they had,

 6     and we were wondering, in Knin, where they got the equipment or the

 7     weapons from in order to be able to reach all the way to Vrginmost.

 8        Q.   Thank you, General.  If we could move now to Obrovac.  Can you

 9     tell us whether you had any combat troops stationed inside the town of

10     Obrovac when the shelling began on the 4th of August?

11        A.   All the units were at positions in Obrovac before the combat

12     began.  The command of that brigade was there before.  I don't know where

13     it was relocated.  I really don't know.  It didn't stay in town, however,

14     because Obrovac was relatively close to the forward end.  So at the town

15     itself, in the hole close to the sea, I don't think that there was

16     anybody was left there.  It was all up on high at Mount Velebit.

17        Q.   Thank you.  And, likewise, are you able to tell the Trial Chamber

18     whether there were any communication centres or command posts inside the

19     town of Obrovac on the 4th of August?

20        A.   I really couldn't say that right now.  I'm afraid I would make a

21     mistake if I said anything.  I know that man.  I went to see him a few

22     times, I wanted to see what we could do up there at Velebit, but I didn't

23     see anything that would significantly indicate to me that these were

24     important positions.  A brigade command with five, six officers, you can

25     put that anywhere.  They're easy to locate anywhere.

Page 19059

 1        Q.   Thank you, General.  And the last town I'd like to ask you about

 2     is Gracac.  Again, did you, as far as you know, have any combat troops

 3     stationed inside the town of Gracac when the shelling began on the 4th of

 4     August?

 5        A.   Gracac didn't have any forces, as far as I know.  It was in the

 6     depth, and the brigade that was up there, that was going from the --

 7     well, the Gracac Brigade was more forward, in the direction of Gospic.  I

 8     don't know.  I didn't hear of any military forces being there.  I didn't

 9     ever have the opportunity to pass by there and somebody would say, Well,

10     come let us see there is such and such a force there.  Nobody ever took

11     me there.  I really don't know.  Perhaps with the moving of the front,

12     the forces arrived there.  That is another matter altogether.

13        Q.   And, finally, were there any, as far as you know, command posts

14     or communication centres in Gracac on the 4th of August?

15        A.   I don't know.  It should all have been up at the facilities up

16     there, because Gracac is in a depression.  I really cannot answer that.

17     I don't know.

18        Q.   That's fine, General.  Thank you.  Now, I'd like to discuss with

19     you how the artillery attack was actually conducted, and you've already

20     given us some testimony about that.  In particular, you've stressed how

21     precise you perceived the attack on your command building to be, and I'd

22     like to show you another excerpt from the meeting with President Tudjman

23     and his advisers.

24             If we could move to page 15 in the English, page 28 in the B/C/S.

25     We can move a bit further down in the B/C/S, please.  Thank you.

Page 19060

 1             In this discussion, General, President Tudjman begins:

 2             "Is an attack on Knin possible without hitting the camp which

 3     UNCRO-UNPROFOR has there?"

 4             General Gotovina replies:

 5             "At this moment, we can engage in extremely precise operations

 6     at Knin, systematically, without aiming at the barracks in which UNCRO is

 7     located."

 8             In parentheses you see:

 9             "(We have all the photographs and know exactly.)"

10             If we could turn the page, please, in B/C/S.

11             Domazet interjects:

12             "In those southern barracks, and his forces are to the north.

13     Therefore, we can fire with great precision without it coming in the line

14     of fire ... a little to the south of Knin, that has been precisely ..."

15             Finally, General Gotovina says:

16             "At this moment, all of our weapons are guided, directly guided."

17             General, from what you observed of the artillery fire in Knin,

18     did it appear to you that General Gotovina was, indeed, using guided

19     weaponry on at least some of the areas shelled?

20        A.   I need to say again, for me, as a professional, this was a new

21     system, a new thing, to hit right from the start without destruction

22     100 per cent.  Everything else that they were hitting with the multiple

23     rocket-launcher was the way it usually happens, it was dispersed fire,

24     but in this other case, they were making very precise strikes.  I believe

25     that they were probably using a GPS for this kind of precise guidance.

Page 19061

 1     This is not something that the Croats could have had.  Possibly the

 2     French could have had something like that or someone else, just like it

 3     turned out to be in Sarajevo when the UNPROFOR forces were meting out

 4     punishment, where they would hit their target with the first shell.  If

 5     this was Ante Gotovina who was doing that on first strike, then I really

 6     can say hats off to him.

 7        Q.   Thank you, General.  Now, you testified earlier about the first

 8     strike in which a projectile landed in the car park of your command

 9     building, destroying several vehicles; correct?

10        A.   Yes, and a soldier was killed.

11        Q.   And other than that strike, can you tell the Trial Chamber

12     whether your command building received any other direct hits during the

13     day on the 4th of August?

14        A.   It did not receive a single hit, and I really wonder at that; if

15     they were able to strike the first one, that they could have struck all

16     the rest and entered the town and finished the business quite soon.

17        Q.   Yes, General.  In regard to the shelling of your command

18     building, you testified, and this is at transcript page 18901, lines 5 to

19     10, and you state:

20             "I found it very strange that the commander continued, the

21     commander of the operation, to pound artillery with such precision

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

23     able to remain at that command post.  That was strange.  That was what I

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

25     moment, that's how I felt."

Page 19062

 1             Now, General, what you found so strange was the fact that your

 2     command building did not continue to receive such precise attention from

 3     artillery; is that right?

 4        A.   That's right.  Rockets flew by, and some of them may have grazed

 5     the roof or something like that.  We, and I mean officers and I, were not

 6     afraid of it.  The civilians were.  But the sound of it, its whizzing,

 7     the threat of it hitting the window and killing the individuals inside,

 8     was something that made civilians very afraid.  I told you that I saw

 9     civilians, women and children, holding hands on their ears, frightened

10     out of their wits.  When I got into one of the cellars, they asked me

11     about what was it that they were hitting us with.

12        Q.   General, you did indicate, as you've just said, that you had

13     taken shelter in some cellars.  Was this in civilian residential

14     buildings or was it an official building?

15        A.   No, all these were blocks of flats, civilian residences.  As

16     rockets started flying, I had to find shelter in any nearby buildings.

17     So they would get me out of my car.  And in several such shelters,

18     cellars where I had to find refuge on my way to the command post, I

19     always had the same sort of reaction on the part of the people there, the

20     same sort of situation.

21        Q.   Thank you, General.  Now, at transcript page 18919, lines 5 to 7,

22     you testified that the rockets which were used against Knin were Oganj

23     rockets, 128-millimetre rockets.  Do you recall that?

24        A.   Yes, and 107, I also said.

25        Q.   General, did you have information or were you aware of the HV

Page 19063

 1     possessing the Oganj weapons system?

 2        A.   Initially, these systems stayed behind in our barracks, and

 3     Eastern countries, which would sell such systems, would sell the exact

 4     same systems.  Our intelligence services told us that several West-type

 5     multiple rocket-launchers of 107-millimetre calibre had been procured.  I

 6     was interested in knowing what sort of formation, what sort of a system

 7     it was, that would have as many rockets at its disposal.  Was it procured

 8     at a very cheap price?  But whatever the case, under our military

 9     doctrine, such weapons systems are never used for inhabited areas and

10     fortifications.

11        Q.   Thank you, General.  Now, in regards to the shelling in general,

12     you testified, and this appears at 18925, lines 12 to 14, I believe:

13             "I was only briefed that all settlements, all inhabited places in

14     the municipality, all towns, were shelled.  That was not logical.  Rather

15     than pounding the front, they were opening fire at villages where there

16     were no combatants."

17             JUDGE ORIE:  You started at line 21, Mr. Russo.  Please proceed.

18             MR. RUSSO:  Apologies.  Thank you, Mr. President.

19        Q.   General, do you recall saying that in your earlier testimony?

20        A.   I do, and I would repeat the same now.  I found it strange, as an

21     officer, a general, who had the experience of several battle-fields.  I

22     wasn't clear on what the objective was.  Our assessments never

23     anticipated that we would be intimidated and driven out.  We had

24     envisaged that if we had combat hand to hand, then we would be fighting,

25     but part of the plan was not that we would be shelling towns, that we

Page 19064

 1     would be shelling Zagreb, or civilians.  And we expected the same

 2     treatment from them.  We expected that they would be striking the first

 3     or second positions, the command, artillery positions, whatever is

 4     customarily targeted by an army against an army, and not that they would

 5     be targeting the bridge at Vrginmost from 30 kilometres away.  They

 6     hadn't even come out to their frontline of defence and they're already

 7     shelling the environs of a village, or they're striking Korenica while

 8     they're still -- their positions are still back at Gospic.

 9        Q.   General, can you tell the Trial Chamber, if you know, what the

10     reaction of the civilian population in these towns and villages that were

11     shelled was?

12        A.   They all wondered at what was going on, including those at Knin,

13     and they asked the commanders what it was that they were after, because

14     it wasn't expected that -- they weren't accustomed to villages being

15     shelled.  It was by sheer luck that I ordered corps commanders to

16     practice the evacuation of the civilian population in the event of combat

17     activities.

18             However, this did not last for long.  It was already by 9.00 or

19     10.00 a.m. on the 4th that I received reports on these strikes.  We

20     discussed these matters, and as well as the matters at Knin, and our

21     conclusion was that they wanted to intimidate the civilian population and

22     to shake up the first line of defence so that the fighters would abandon

23     their positions and go home and see what was going on with their

24     families.

25        Q.   Thank you, General.  Now, in fact, the citizens who were

Page 19065

 1     remaining in these towns that were being shelled began leaving those

 2     towns on their own in order to escape the shelling; isn't that right?

 3        A.   Everyone tried to find refuge in relatives' places, because these

 4     were people who hailed from villages and knew the area and would try to

 5     find a place to stay with their relatives or in wooded areas.  They

 6     wanted to evacuate children.

 7             MR. RUSSO:  If we could please have Exhibit D923.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I just have one matter to raise with

 9     the Chamber, outside the presence of the witness, before the break,

10     whenever that's convenient.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Before the break?

12             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  We started relatively late after the first break.

14     If you would deal with the document, unless it would take very much time.

15             MR. RUSSO:  I may be on this document for a bit, Your Honour.

16     I'll put myself in the Court's hands in terms of when the Court wants to

17     take a break.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, then perhaps "a bit" means more than two to

19     three minutes?

20             MR. RUSSO:  Possibly five minutes.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Then perhaps it's better to -- how much time

22     would you need, Mr. Misetic?  Two minutes.  Then please proceed, since

23     it's on our screen now, and then we'll have a bit of a later break.

24             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you.

25             If we could go to page 6 in the English, and page 4 in the B/C/S.

Page 19066

 1        Q.   General, this is a document which you were shown by Mr. Misetic,

 2     and a few questions were asked of you.  I want to focus on the part where

 3     it indicates:

 4             "In the area of Dalmatia municipalities, the citizens, on their

 5     own, individually or in smaller or larger groups, left villages and towns

 6     and moved towards Licka Kaldrma and Srb."

 7             That's a correct assessment, is it not, General, of what

 8     happened?

 9        A.   Yes, it is.

10        Q.   And if we could move to the second page -- I'm sorry, to the next

11     page in English, that's page 7, and remain on this page in B/C/S.  And

12     I'm interested where it indicates:

13             "It is more than obvious that the evacuation would have taken

14     place even if there had been no decision for it to be carried out."

15             Is that your assessment as well, General, that the people would

16     have moved out in any case in absence of the evacuation order issued by

17     the Supreme Defence Council?

18        A.   Without the decision of the president -- do you mean the decision

19     of the 4th, issued in Knin?  Well, let me tell you, frankly, what the

20     people would have done.

21             The people are smarter than us leaders.  They take decisions

22     based on the way the situation develops.  The people would definitely

23     have seized every opportunity to find shelter; to the left, right,

24     center, to forests, wherever.  However, had the aggression from our backs

25     not ensued, and had Knin not fallen, had the fighting taken place the way

Page 19067

 1     we anticipated, the situation would have been quite different.  Then all

 2     the plans we envisaged, perhaps the Republic of Serbian Krajina would

 3     have fallen all the same, but the people would not have been driven out.

 4     Those who didn't want to stay would have moved out, and those who wanted

 5     to stay would have stayed.  And most of the people would have stayed.

 6     Nobody left their cow, their piece of land and home, out of their own

 7     accord, on a whim.

 8             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, General.

 9             Mr. President, this is probably a better time for a break.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, we'll have a break, but Mr. Misetic

11     first wants to address a matter for which your presence is not required.

12     So I'll ask you to be escorted out of the courtroom, and we'd like to see

13     you back in anything between 20 and 25 minutes from now.

14             Madam Usher --

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hope you will not speak badly of

16     me, I hope.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic --

18             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

19             MR. MISETIC:  I promise, I promise.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, although now your subject matter is

21     limited, could you please address the Court.

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

23                           [The witness stands down]

24             MR. MISETIC:  I just wanted to note for the record that, in terms

25     of the Prosecution's case on the shelling, I'm confused about what the

Page 19068

 1     Prosecution's position is now with this witness.  The whole Prosecution's

 2     case in-chief, including the testimony of their expert, Mr. Konings was

 3     that the HV used indiscriminate weapons in firing, and now the case that

 4     Mr. Russo put to the witness was citing to General Gotovina's comments on

 5     the Brioni transcript that, in fact, the HV had -- could have guided

 6     systems, and in essence, sought to confirm that with the witness.  Now,

 7     if there's a change in theory, it's too late to do that now, as far as

 8     we're concerned.  And if there is no change in theory, and if, in fact,

 9     Mr. Russo's position is that the type of weapons systems used were

10     indiscriminate, that case needs to be put to this witness under

11     Rule 90(H).

12             Thank you, Mr. President.

13             MR. RUSSO:  Again, Mr. President, I'm going to object to these

14     continual insistences that the Prosecution state a position on this or

15     that.  Our position is in our indictment, in our pre-trial brief, and

16     will be finally summarised in the final trial brief.

17             Let me just state, to end this particular issue, that Mr. Misetic

18     is well aware of our position, and it is not in relation to any

19     particular piece of artillery, but that it was an indiscriminate attack

20     and also a direct attack on civilians, and that can be for many reasons;

21     using guided weaponry to intentionally fire on one area or another, or

22     using indiscriminate weaponry.

23             In addition to that, our positions have been laid out quite

24     plain.  The witness has provided evidence, based on his experience, that

25     he believes guided weaponry was used.  There is other evidence in the

Page 19069

 1     record to suggest that his assessment is correct.

 2             If, in fact, that is the case and General Gotovina had guided

 3     weaponry at his disposal, that again raises the issue of why military

 4     objectives were not more precisely targeted, were not more damaged than

 5     they were at the end, which is consistent with the Prosecution's theory

 6     that the main military objectives in the town suffered little to no

 7     damage, despite either an ability to do it or an inability -- an

 8     unwillingness to actually make them targets so they could take them over;

 9     basically, to feign that they were firing at these targets, with the

10     actual objective being to target the civilian population.

11             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, it is incorrect we've already cited

12     in at least one filing to the Chamber the precedents set in other

13     Chambers.  The Prosecution, in the Defence case, cannot alter its theory.

14     There has been no position taken by the Prosecution.  In fact, I dare say

15     the exact contrary position has been taken consistently by Mr. Russo and

16     the Prosecution, and specifically with Mr. Leslie, Mr. Konings and

17     several others, that the HV systems that were used were indiscriminate

18     weapons, per se.  And, in fact, Mr. Russo elicited testimony from

19     Mr. Konings that what the HV should have done was lay siege to Knin and

20     engage in essentially taking the city without using the weapons, if they

21     didn't have them.

22             The Prosecution is in a different position, now that we are in

23     the Defence case.  They cannot do what they were doing in their direct

24     examination, which is, We'll ask questions, but never put our case to any

25     specific witness, and we'll argue it at the end of trial.

Page 19070

 1             In cross-examination, they have an obligation, under 90(H), to

 2     put their case to the witness.  If -- if the Prosecution now concedes

 3     that there was precision targeting of certain targets in Knin, but the

 4     Prosecution cannot explain or thinks there was some hidden weapons system

 5     that wasn't discussed with Mr. Rajcic, that wasn't discussed with

 6     Mr. Konings, that wasn't discussed with General Wesley, then either they

 7     have to come forward and provide a basis for that assertion or else there

 8     should be a stipulation that the weapons systems they put to Konings and

 9     Rajcic were, in fact, used in a manner that was precise.  But now to play

10     games with this witness to say we're going to eat around the edges, but

11     never put to him, is improper under 90(H).  And they have an obligation,

12     now that they are on cross-examination, to put their case to our

13     witnesses.

14             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, our position has not changed.  We're

15     not indicating that the weapons systems which Konings testified about,

16     which Mr. Rajcic testified about, we're not taking a different position

17     to what those weapons systems were capable of.  Nor are we changing our

18     position with respect to the indiscriminate nature of multiple-barrel

19     rocket-launchers for use in civilian-populated areas.  The witness has

20     given evidence that multiple-barrel rocket-launchers were used.  He

21     believes they are inappropriate.  That is consistent with the Prosecution

22     case.

23             Rule 90(H) only requires us to put to him the evidence which is

24     in contradiction of the evidence he has given.  He's now given new

25     evidence, which was not in the record before that he believes some kind

Page 19071

 1     of guided weaponry had been used.  My point in exploring that is to

 2     establish that if that, indeed, if that is the case, should the Chamber

 3     find that, based on his testimony, that there is additional evidence to

 4     suggest that the use of that weaponry, whether it was, in fact, used or

 5     not, was used in a manner consistent with the way the Prosecution alleges

 6     the weaponry was used; in other words, used not to target civilian --

 7     military structures, but rather the civilian population.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Again, Mr. President, this is -- it's absolutely a

 9     new theory, and he used the Brioni transcript not just to say this is

10     what the witness said on examination but then put a different case to

11     using the Brioni transcript.  And, again, I don't know the citation off

12     the top of my head, but I believe in the response -- we filed a response

13     in which we cited to the precedents in other Chambers that they cannot

14     now -- this is our time to answer what they alleged in their case

15     in-chief.  To now tell us that they're going to now argue that, in fact,

16     it may be that the Croatian artillery was so precise in the first barrage

17     that now they concede that, in fact -- not just concede, but now

18     positively put to this witness that General Gotovina said at Brioni that

19     we can guide our artillery precisely, and, therefore, we're going to now

20     use that argument as part of an indiscriminate campaign, is a new theory

21     being raised in the Defence case.

22             This is, again, our opportunity to raise what they argued in

23     their case in-chief.  That argument was never advanced in their case

24     in-chief, and they shouldn't be allowed now to raise a new argument; in

25     essence, to say the opposing general perceived it to be so precise that

Page 19072

 1     he thinks NATO was targeting him, to say, Well, yes, we, the Prosecution,

 2     now concede that, and we say that's proof of an indiscriminate campaign.

 3     At some point, their case in-chief has to stop and our response to that

 4     case has to begin.

 5             And, again, Mr. President, I would just state that the theory

 6     with Mr. Konings, the theory with Mr. Rajcic, was that the weapons

 7     systems used were, themselves, per se, indiscriminate.  And that case was

 8     put to Mr. Wesley as well.

 9             Thank you.

10             MR. RUSSO:  I'm not going to continue to argue the issue, other

11     than to state that our position was not that these weapons were, per se,

12     indiscriminate.

13             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, I would ask you to listen to

14     Mr. Russo's argument in the 98 bis hearing.  That's exactly what he said;

15     in the context of this case, those weapons were indiscriminate.

16             MR. RUSSO:  That is correct, Judge, I said in the manner in which

17     they were used, not that these are as the Defence has continued to point

18     out, on some list of prohibited weaponry, such as cluster munitions or

19     nuclear weapons.  That's not the issue.  The issue is the application of

20     the weapons system in this particular town on this particular day, given

21     the civilian and military situation in the town.

22             Now, again, I will state our theory of the case has not changed.

23     This is a new piece of evidence that the witness has provided to the

24     Court, and I'm simply exploring the basis for his assessment.  Our theory

25     remains the same.  We will not be arguing a different theory in the final

Page 19073

 1     trial brief than we put forward in the indictment or in the pre-trial

 2     brief.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, just if I may respond to that.

 4             He just acknowledged that he argued it at 98 bis in the context

 5     of this case.  Of course we're talking about the context of this case.

 6     Now he's suggesting, however, that what he said at 98 bis wasn't, in

 7     fact, true because there were precise targeting that was taking place in

 8     the context of this case, and that is a new fact.  The argument in 98 bis

 9     was the HV was using indiscriminate weapons in the context of this case

10     and that that, in and of itself, constituted an unlawful attack.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Since you raised the matter, Mr. Russo is the last

12     to add one or two lines.

13             MR. RUSSO:  Just to correct what Mr. Misetic just said, I have

14     never said, nor should I have been required to state a position, but I

15     did not say that there was precise targeting that was taking place in the

16     context of this case.  I didn't say that.  The witness provided the

17     evidence, and I explored it with him.  That's all that's happened here.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  We'll consider the matter.  To start with, we have

19     20 minutes to think about it, because that's how long the break will be.

20                           --- Recess taken at 12.42 p.m.

21                           --- On resuming at 1.10 p.m.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, the Chamber has considered the matter

23     raised by you.  I've not explicitly given the Defence teams an

24     opportunity either to join or not to join, but at least there was no

25     request to further address the matter.

Page 19074

 1             Mr. Misetic, the Chamber has come to the conclusion that the

 2     answers the witness gave in relation to a number of, if I could say,

 3     high-precision hits in the early stages have not triggered the obligation

 4     we find in Rule 90(H)(i), that is, that if a witness was able to give

 5     evidence relevant for the case for the cross-examining party, that

 6     counsel shall put to that witness the nature of the case of the party for

 7     whom that counsel appears, which is in contradiction of the evidence

 8     given by the witness, it's the Chamber's conclusion that the content of

 9     the evidence has not triggered an obligation to do so.  But the matter

10     seems to be more complex, that it's whether or not answer an contradicts

11     the Prosecution's case also depends on an understanding of what the

12     Prosecution's case is.  And we have clearly heard that you are saying you

13     are shifting your case from one area to another.

14             So despite this conclusion by the Chamber, if either you or any

15     of the other Defence teams would like to further raise the issue of

16     shifting the Prosecution's case from one point to another, that you are

17     then invited to make written submissions on it, which, of course, could

18     deal with what exactly your understanding at this moment the

19     Prosecution's case is, whether it is shifting, and why, in your view, it

20     is shifting, which of course then also might shed a different light on

21     what contradicts the Prosecution's case and also what to do about it in

22     this stage of the proceedings.  You are then invited to make written

23     submissions on the matter, and then the Prosecution will have a

24     possibility to respond to that.

25             But at this moment, as far as this witness is concerned, there's

Page 19075

 1     no need to put the case -- the Prosecution's case to the witness.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President, we will go ahead and do that.

 3             I do wish to state, however, that I was not raising the issue

 4     that the witness's evidence of high-precision hits is in contradiction

 5     with the Prosecution's case.  However --

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  I refer to a portion of the evidence where he, and

 7     he said it several times, I think he mentioned GPS twice, he was talking

 8     about NATO-like, whether that is -- whether that was exclusively used and

 9     whether it's the Prosecution's case that it was not part of the weaponry

10     that was used in the -- on the 4th of August, so as to that only other

11     weaponry had been used, is a matter which, of course, could still be

12     further explored for the witness if any party deems fit to do so.

13             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President, that's precisely our position,

14     is that the issue is the Prosecution now putting a case that the HV was

15     using guided weapons.

16             And if I could, in addition, state that essentially our position,

17     Mr. President, is that this is the Defence case in-chief.  We've been

18     here 15 months in trial.  We'd like to hear the Prosecution put this

19     shelling case to somebody, and 15 months should have been sufficient time

20     to actually put that case to someone, and we shouldn't have to be filing

21     submissions to seek further clarifications from the Prosecution.

22             You will recall that when Mr. Wesley testified, the Prosecution

23     raised the same position with respect to the Defence having to put the

24     case of targets to Mr. Wesley.  The Chamber granted that request and we

25     had to come back an extra day to do it.  We would hope that at some point

Page 19076

 1     the Prosecution be required to pick a witness, and, similar to what we

 2     had to do with Mr. Wesley, that they have to do with some witness of the

 3     Defence.

 4             Thank you.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Misetic.

 6             Could the witness be brought into the courtroom.

 7                           [The witness takes the stand]

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo, please proceed.

 9             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, Mr. President.

10        Q.   General, the evacuation which was ordered by the Supreme Defence

11     Council, that evacuation was never intended, much less planned, as a

12     permanent removal of the entire civilian population into Bosnia, was it?

13        A.   That should not have been that.  The population was supposed to

14     be moved.  We were always expecting the international community to stop

15     that at any point and for us to return from Srb.

16        Q.   Now, your plan was to move the civilians to the area of Srb and

17     to hold out until international pressure forced the Croatians to stop

18     their advance; is that right?

19        A.   Yes, that's correct.

20        Q.   And if that had --

21        A.   Correct, because we didn't have the forces to stop them

22     ourselves.

23        Q.   And if that had happened, you foresaw that the people would have,

24     in fact, returned to their homes and villages; correct?

25        A.   That would have been the option because of which I had come to be

Page 19077

 1     a commander in the Krajina.  That would be the solution that

 2     President Milosevic and Tudjman agreed on.  But the change of plan came

 3     from the Tudjman side, probably due to a historical desire to carry out

 4     these aspirations.  I think this is a major mistake imposed on the

 5     Croatian people.

 6             President Milosevic told me, Mile, this is a chance.  All our

 7     negative past that we had behind us for us now to resolve positively,

 8     because you cannot resolve the position of the Croats without the

 9     cooperation of Croatia and Serbia, without Croats and Serbs.  I would not

10     have been doing my duty had I not been told that.  I would not have gone

11     there otherwise to lose a battle.  I had never been unsuccessful in any

12     of my assignments, I was always successful, and I was so struck by that

13     fate and by that lack of trust that I couldn't get used to it.

14             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter is unable to keep up with

15     Mr. Mrksic.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, the interpreters say they just can't

17     follow your speed of speech.  If you could please start again where you

18     said:  "I was always successful, and I was so struck by that fate and by

19     that lack of trust ..."  What did you then further tell us?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After that, I said that I had taken

21     that personally in a very hard way, and after that I proposed, at a

22     government meeting in Bijeljina after that, that I be placed before the

23     Military Court, because I felt that I had made a mistake and that I had

24     not carried out the assignment given to me by President Milosevic.  And I

25     felt that I, by doing what I did, but I didn't have enough time, that we

Page 19078

 1     would move to a solution by means of negotiation, not by means of

 2     warfare.  I didn't manage to do that, but they behaved towards me as if I

 3     had failed.  I couldn't go back.  They had -- they wanted -- they stopped

 4     me from crossing the border.  Then I returned.  I was placed under house

 5     arrest, and I was under house arrest for two years.

 6             MR. RUSSO:

 7        Q.   General, I do understand that you have a burden on your chest to

 8     relieve.  However, I'm hopeful to finish my examination in the next 20

 9     minutes to allow you to visit your family, so if we can just move along.

10             My next question for you is regarding this issue of encirclement.

11     Mr. Misetic asked you many questions about the danger of encirclement by

12     Croatian forces.  You testified that if your forces had been encircled --

13     and this appears at transcript 18840, lines 17 to 19.  If your forces had

14     been encircled, you foresaw the involvement of the international

15     community to help avert a massacre or a retaliation; is that right?

16        A.   That is right, correct, yes.

17        Q.   And, in that case, had you been encircled, you believed that your

18     fighters would have disarmed and returned to their homes normally and had

19     their rights guaranteed by the international community; is that right?

20        A.   I believed that, and that was the plan we had worked out, and

21     that is why I had these concepts that I had issued, that were issued to

22     the 2nd Corps --

23             THE INTERPRETER:  The 21st Corps, Interpreter's correction.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- If things were going to come to

25     that, the Kordun Corps.

Page 19079

 1             MR. RUSSO:

 2        Q.   But the Croatian forces did not seem to want to completely

 3     encircle you.  That was your assessment; correct?

 4        A.   Correct.  Let me repeat.  Had they kept the exit out of Knin, the

 5     winding road that leads to the road towards the -- towards the main road,

 6     nobody would have been able to go out only with one-third of the

 7     ammunition that they had, but the amount of ammunition they had actually

 8     would have meant that nobody could have left the town, including none of

 9     the command.  But for me, that is an objective.

10        Q.   General, you were surprised, were you not, about the fact that

11     the Croatian Army did not press their advance to capture and to enter

12     Knin as quickly as they could have; is that right?

13        A.   Correct.  That is why I was receiving criticism, Why did you

14     leave when nobody had yet entered Knin, why did the people leave?  Well,

15     the people left because they were afraid that they would find themselves

16     trapped in a circle.  Nobody could stand that firing anymore from the

17     mortars and the rocket-launchers.

18        Q.   And you testified that the HV could have walked into Knin

19     whenever they wanted because the MUP forces, which were positioned at the

20     Dinara, had abandoned their positions, so there was no one to stop the HV

21     from coming into Knin; is that right?

22        A.   Yes, that's right.  That is correct, and General Kovacevic

23     himself was not able to do that with such a small number of forces.  He

24     could have entered Knin right away.  I don't know why they waited until

25     1430 hours the following day, when they actually did enter.  They could

Page 19080

 1     have entered on the first day as well.

 2        Q.   And, General, you testified at page 18984, lines 21 to 23.  You

 3     stated:

 4             "But you didn't just cut off.  You pushed, you instilled fear in

 5     the people, you frightened the people, and people had to flee.  You

 6     pushed and you pushed and you pushed."

 7             Now, General, what you're referring to there is the fact that

 8     General Gotovina's forces had used artillery to push the people out,

 9     correct, had left them a way open; is that right?  Is that what you meant

10     by that?

11        A.   I think that that's how it was, but I don't know whose idea it

12     was.  I mean, it was a crazy idea.  The force from the front were

13     advancing as our brigades were withdrawing, so what I'm wondering about

14     here is that there was no specific order of who would be in command of

15     specific places and villages.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  The witness is kindly asked to slow down.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if such an order

18     existed.

19             MR. RUSSO:  Thank you, General.  I have no further questions for

20     you.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Russo.

22             Mr. Misetic.

23             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Do you need to re-examine the witness?

25             MR. MISETIC:  I'll need about a session, Mr. President.

Page 19081

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, which means, Mr. Mrksic, don't worry, your

 2     family visit will be on Wednesday.  We'll certainly be finished.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have time.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic.

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

 6                           Re-examination by Mr. Misetic:

 7        Q.   Following up just on this last point, General Mrksic, in terms

 8     of -- apparently I take it that Mr. Russo wants to suggest that the HV

 9     should have encircled you all and trapped you in, so let's put it to you.

10     Why didn't you just surrender?  I asked you this question before.

11        A.   Whoever surrendered without sustaining any losses?  You should

12     have inflicted losses on me in the battle-field in order for me to

13     surrender.  That's number one.  Number two, I didn't go there to wage a

14     war, but to broker peace.

15        Q.   So is it your testimony, General, that you were the commandant of

16     the SVK, yet you failed to take measures to defend your territory?

17             MR. RUSSO:  Objection, Mr. President.

18             First of all, that mischaracterises the witness's testimony.

19     Second of all, it's a leading question and he's on redirect.

20             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, I would ask for some leeway here, in

21     light of the nature of the case, and since Mr. Russo doesn't want to put

22     his case to the witness, I would like to put a case to the witness.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  If you could, nevertheless, find different phrasing

24     of question, Mr. Misetic.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

Page 19082

 1        Q.   General Mrksic, did you intend to defend the Republika Srpska

 2     Krajina from a Croatian offensive operation; yes or no?

 3        A.   Yes, but not in that way.  I wanted to do it the way it was

 4     planned.  It was a surprise.

 5        Q.   And in the way the Croatians conducted their operation was a

 6     surprise to you, coming from the JNA school; correct?

 7        A.   Yes, and not because I didn't know what they could do; rather,

 8     because they captured or got territory through Republika Srpska, which is

 9     a political matter I don't want to go into.  I was banned from defending

10     Krajina from that direction, as if we had two different peoples we were

11     dealing with.

12        Q.   Okay.  Now, let's ask this question:  If the HV could have just

13     walked into Knin, which is what Mr. Russo wants to suggest, why, at 2000

14     hours, did you order the decisive defence of Knin?

15             MR. RUSSO:  Objection, Mr. President.

16             Again, I'm objecting to the way this examination is going.  If he

17     wants to establish that there was an order given, he should ask the

18     witness or put something to the witness.  Leading him in this fashion is

19     assuming facts which the witness is not testifying to.

20             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President, that's completely false.  My

21     direct examination talked about the meeting in the HQ at 2000 hours, the

22     order for decisive defence.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  That was on the basis of the report or --

24             MR. MISETIC:  The report and as well as his testimony about he

25     wanted to defend [Overlapping speakers].

Page 19083

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  If there's any dispute about it, I'd always prefer

 2     that you take him to that portion.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  I'm at a -- I'll be ready tomorrow, Judge, but for

 4     the last 15 minutes I may not have transcript reference.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Then take your time and do it tomorrow.

 6             MR. MISETIC:

 7        Q.   General, the question is:  If the HV could just walk into Knin,

 8     why did you order the decisive defence of Knin at 2000 hours on 4 August?

 9        A.   At which facilities?  Well, you know what the decision was, that

10     Knin would be defended in the features above Knin, not because of Knin

11     but because of the people who would be withdrawing towards Srb.

12        Q.   If the HV could just walk into Knin, why did you order the

13     continued defence of Knin through the issuance of the order for decisive

14     defence?

15        A.   Well, I could not as well have ordered them to leave in order to

16     make room for the Croatian Army.  It was a moral issue, and we know which

17     forces were involved and what happened.  It's on that basis that I said

18     that they could have walked in, and not on the basis of who issued which

19     orders, which commander would order for a place to be vacated in order

20     for the Croatian Army to move in.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, if it would assist you.  It's

22     page 18946, the report by General Kovacevic is introduced where the

23     decisive defence, if that would were assist you, because --

24             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  Thank you, Mr. President.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  I see that if I gave you time until tomorrow to find

Page 19084

 1     it, you, nevertheless, pursued the same matters still without sources,

 2     and that's not what Mr. Russo had on his mind and that's also not what I

 3     had on my mind at that moment.

 4             Please proceed.  Either you wait until tomorrow or you take now

 5     this --

 6             MR. MISETIC:  I was referring to transcript references,

 7     Mr. President, but I will call up Exhibit D1516, please.

 8        Q.   Now, I'm going to raise two matters with you, General Mrksic.

 9     First is your order for decisive defence; and second is your testimony in

10     answer to Judge Orie's question about whether General Kovacevic -- well,

11     I'll get to that in a minute, but whether General Kovacevic ever returned

12     to Knin on the 4th of August.

13             And if we could turn to paragraph 6 in this document, please.

14             Now, the first question.  At paragraph 6:

15             "On 4 August --"

16             JUDGE ORIE:  I have to apologise.  I said something about a

17     report by Kovacevic, but it's the Uzelac report, isn't it, D1516?

18             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  I'm glad you're more familiar with them than

19     I am, Mr. President, but it's the same point I wish to make.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  No, but I just wanted to have it corrected for

21     the transcript, for the record.

22             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

23        Q.   Paragraph 6 there, is that order intended to allow the HV to

24     enter Knin?

25        A.   We never wanted to allow the Croatian Army to enter Knin for as

Page 19085

 1     long as we were able to hold out in our defence, and that was only

 2     natural.  The only question was whether we were able to defend from that

 3     particular axis where there was no shelter, no army, and no units that

 4     would be appropriate for the area.  We merely wanted to narrow down the

 5     front-line and to secure further advancement towards Srb.

 6        Q.   Sir, let me ask you a question --

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's try to keep it bearable for interpreters and

 8     transcribers.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  And I will alert that I will sometimes speak over

10     him in an effort to get him to stop and then I will repeat what I said,

11     for purposes of the record.

12        Q.   General, now, the issue of the command of the 7th Corps, while

13     this is on the screen, paragraph 7, now, General Kovacevic reports at

14     paragraph 7.  He says:

15             "In the course of the night 4-5 August, there was a general

16     chaos, and the disorganized evacuation of the population and the units

17     commenced; thus the task of decisive defence at the designated line could

18     not be accomplished.

19             "After the relocation of the command post of the 7th Corps

20     command and the General Staff from Knin, the communications with the

21     subordinated units were disabled.  Due to the redeployment of the units

22     and the relocation of the command post, all command communications were

23     virtually interrupted, because the main communication of the 7th Corps

24     was wire communication (telephone) implemented through the use of

25     stationary communications, which cannot keep up with the high speed of

Page 19086

 1     the operation."

 2             Now, what is General Kovacevic referring to there?  Which command

 3     was relocated from Knin and what communications systems is he talking

 4     about?

 5             MR. RUSSO:  I'm sorry.  I believe the Chamber pointed out it

 6     was -- is it Kovacevic?

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  I have to again correct myself.  D1516 was used in

 8     close proximity to D828, which is the Uzelac report, so I corrected

 9     myself, but shouldn't have done it, because my initial reference was the

10     right one.  Mr. Russo, I apologise for creating confusion which, as you

11     may know, I always try to avoid others to do.

12             Please proceed.

13             MR. MISETIC:

14        Q.   General Mrksic, can you tell us -- General Kovacevic there refers

15     to the relocation of the command post of the 7th Corps Command and the

16     General Staff from Knin, and I'm asking you first --

17        A.   That's correct.

18        Q.   -- which command post from the 7th Corps Command and the General

19     Staff from Knin is he referring to?

20        A.   He's referring to me, to the elements that remained with me, and

21     other elements went on to Srb earlier on.  We were among the last ones to

22     leave.

23        Q.   Who is the -- what is the command post of the 7th Corps Command?

24        A.   The command post?  That was the post where most of the command

25     was there.  The commander need not be there.  He could be at the forward

Page 19087

 1     command post.  What is it you're asking me about?

 2        Q.   I'm asking you for this specific reference, where he talks about

 3     the main communication was wire communication, implemented through the

 4     use of stationary communication, which command post that you know of had

 5     implemented wire communication implemented through the use of stationary

 6     communications?

 7        A.   Well, all of the command posts, including my command post, as

 8     well as the command post of the 7th Corps.  We all used wire

 9     communications; in other words, wired stationary communications.  In

10     peacetime, in the barracks.  In wartime, wires were pulled out through

11     the railway station, and we used the wire that went alongside the

12     railroad tracks.  I told you that.  As soon as I left, together with the

13     command -- or, rather, I changed command post, these lines were cut off

14     and we no longer had communication with Srb.

15             MR. MISETIC:  Now, Mr. Registrar, if I could call up

16     Exhibit D923, please.

17        Q.   And, General, we never got around to your answer to my question.

18     You asked me a question, which was, Who would -- if I can bring that up.

19     Who was -- who would surrender in that circumstance?  And I had asked you

20     before, but you recall that Mr. Bulat surrendered; yes?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   My first question with respect to that is:  Mr. Bulat

23     surrendered, and there were no hostilities after his surrender; correct?

24        A.   Correct.  Less hostilities were exhibited toward the people of

25     Kordun than those of Dalmatia.  I don't know if it was down to the

Page 19088

 1     commanders who were there or politicians.  I'm not going into that.  Not

 2     even my home was set on fire.

 3        Q.   Let's ask this question:  You say not as much -- the exact words:

 4     "Less hostilities were exhibited towards the people of Kordun."  What

 5     happened to the people of Kordun after Mr. Bulat surrendered?

 6        A.   Well, with the protection of international forces, the people

 7     left for Belgrade, for Serbia, by highway.  They moved out.  Why?  I

 8     never asked any of them.  It was a matter for politics, not for me.

 9        Q.   [Previous translation continues]... General.  You seemed

10     confident, when Mr. Russo asks you questions, to say it was pushing,

11     pushing, pushing.  Hold on.

12             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, I'm already going to object to the

13     form of this question.

14             MR. MISETIC:  Let me rephrase.

15        Q.   General, why did the people --

16        A.   Whatever I can do to help, I will.  I will tell the truth,

17     regardless of who puts the question, you or Russo.

18        Q.   What I'm asking you is --

19        A.   Don't get me wrong.  I'm not a hostile witness here.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  No one has said that.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the feeling I get.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Listen carefully to Mr. Misetic's question, and --

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your client was a scapegoat, just

24     as I was.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

Page 19089

 1        Q.   General, let's get to the facts.  Okay?  Now, you're saying you

 2     don't know why people left Kordun; correct?

 3        A.   Well, I wasn't there.  Which questions were put to him, what was

 4     asked of him, or what was offered him, I don't know.  The last thing I

 5     knew was -- about Cedo Bulat was that it was a ploy, that his associates

 6     who used to work with him from Zagreb came to see him; Tudjman's son did.

 7     However, people were afraid, and fears were stronger than promises.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Please first listen carefully to the question

 9     that Mr. Misetic is going to put to you.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Can I have page 5 of the B/C/S of this document and

11     page 8 in the English, please.

12        Q.   Now, General, at transcript page 40, beginning at line 1, you

13     were asked questions by the Presiding Judge, and he asked you:

14             "Do I understand you well, that he, meaning General Kovacevic,

15     did not return to Knin?"

16             And your answer was:

17             "No, not to Knin.  From Strmica, he went right away to the place

18     where his brigades were pulled up from Dalmatia.  He went to the command

19     post, and then later he came to Srb."

20             Now, if we look at your report, at the top of the page in

21     English, this is the paragraph that begins:

22             "Unable to do anything else, the SVK Main Staff insisted in its

23     order that the units protect the evacuation and that they do not allow

24     the enemy to target the columns of people retreating from the area.  At

25     2000 hours, the SVK commander," that's you, "chaired a meeting with the

Page 19090

 1     7th Corps command and the corps brigade's commanders.  The commander of

 2     the 1st Light Brigade (Vrlika) did not come to this meeting."

 3             Now, General Mrksic, I'm putting it to you that Mr. Kovacevic, in

 4     fact, was at this meeting of 2000 hours in the Main Staff in Knin, on the

 5     evening of the 4th; correct?

 6        A.   That's what it says here, and I'm not denying this.  But I could

 7     not remember this before reading it, and I do recall the Vrlika Brigade

 8     falling apart.  I remembered it now that I saw the text.  It's not that I

 9     didn't want to tell the story.  I merely forgot.  The meeting did take

10     place, and the taking up of positions above Knin and the protection of

11     people were discussed.  That's true.  I'm not trying to avoid this

12     meeting in any way.  That was the last meeting, followed by the

13     relocation of my command.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, it's time to adjourn for the day.

15             I'm confident that we'll be able to conclude your testimony

16     tomorrow morning, which may suit you well.  I again instruct you that you

17     should not speak with anyone, whether counsel or anyone else, about your

18     testimony, whether given already or still to be given.  We'd like to see

19     you back tomorrow morning in this same courtroom.

20             We adjourn until tomorrow, the 23rd of June, 9.00 in the morning,

21     Courtroom I.

22                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,

23                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of June,

24                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.