Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20308

 1                           Wednesday, 15 July 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness takes the stand]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to everyone.

 7             Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.   This is case number

 9     IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.

11             Mr. Sterc, I would like to remind you that you are still bound by

12     the solemn declaration that you have given at the beginning of your

13     testimony.

14             Mr. Misetic, please proceed.

15                           WITNESS:  STJEPAN STERC [Resumed]

16                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

17                           Examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]

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

19        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Sterc.

20        A.   Good morning.

21        Q.   As part of your job as assistant minister for reconstruction and

22     development, were you familiar with issues concerning the peaceful

23     transition of Eastern Slavonia to Croatian government control, between

24     1996 and 1998?

25        A.   In part.

Page 20309

 1        Q.   Well, were you aware of the refugee issues concerning the -- both

 2     of return of Croat refugees to Eastern Slavonia and the situation

 3     concerning Serb civilians and Serb refugees in Eastern Slavonia?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   And within the two-year mandate of UNTAES, were you familiar with

 6     what happened with Serbs living in Eastern Slavonia as that region was

 7     being transitioned to Croatian rule?

 8        A.   Part of that population left Eastern Slavonia and moved to

 9     Serbia.  In fact, this migration of theirs was permanent.

10        Q.   Do you know of the Serb civilian population of Eastern Slavonia

11     which was domiciled in Eastern Slavonia in 1991, do you know what

12     percentage left Eastern Slavonia between 1996 and 1998, of the domiciled

13     Serb population of Eastern Slavonia?

14        A.   That part of the population is also included, but I -- I can't

15     remember the figure right now.

16        Q.   Let me show you, Mr. Sterc, Exhibit D419.

17             MR. MISETIC:  If we could go, please, to page 6 in the English,

18     please.  I think there's only an English copy.

19        Q.   And if you look at paragraph 23, this is now -- just for the

20     record, an OSCE report dated 8 September 1998.  And it says that:

21             "UNHCR estimates that between August 1996 and July 1998, some

22     16.000 of the 67.000 Serbs who were residents of the region before the

23     war have left the country - mostly to the Federal Republic of

24     Yugoslavia?"

25             Now, that works out to a little bit more than 25 per cent of this

Page 20310

 1     domiciled Serb population left Eastern Slavonia.

 2             My question to you is, as an assistant minister responsible for

 3     issues of refugees and returns, did you have a -- an understanding as to

 4     what was causing 16.000 people to leave under a UN mandate from Eastern

 5     Slavonia?

 6             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Just if the question could be clarified.  I'm not

 7     sure they left under a UN mandate.  If --

 8             MR. MISETIC:

 9        Q.   Mr. Sterc, I -- in other words, they left while Eastern Slavonia

10     was under UN administrative control.  So if you understand the question,

11     could you tell us why 16.000 domiciled people left Croatia for the

12     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or what was your understanding of why they

13     left.

14        A.   I remember that.

15        Q.   What was your understanding of the causes of why 16.000 people

16     would leave for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia even though the

17     territory was under UN administration?

18        A.   I will answer like this.  I think that regardless of the

19     administration of UNTAES in Podunavlje region, there was political and

20     economic uncertainty there, and I think that was the main reason.  I can

21     only give you a comparison.

22             From our information, at the time of the UNTAES administration in

23     Podunavlje, about 900 non-Serbs were killed.  And at the Working Group

24     meetings, I always raised that issue.  I always asked the question:  What

25     exactly happened in Podunavlje when Croatia did not have control of it?

Page 20311

 1     The migration of people from such areas is always something to be

 2     expected.

 3        Q.   Okay.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, we easily agree on that 16.000 out of

 5     67.000 is a little bit less than 25 per cent than a little bit more,

 6     isn't it?

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Let me do the math in my head, but ...

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Four times 16 is 64, yes.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

11             Ms. Gustafson, you want to add to the math exam?  No.

12             MS. GUSTAFSON:  I'd just like to point out that I believe that

13     UNTAES mandate ended in January of 1998.  This report is dated

14     September 1998, so I'm not sure the question -- and the statistics are

15     people leaving between August 1996 and July 1998, so I'm not sure the

16     question about people leaving under the -- while the territory was under

17     UN administration is entirely accurate.  Thank you.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  We could ask the witness whether the UNTAES --

19             MR. MISETIC:  Its actually the mandate ended February 1998,

20     Mr. President, but --

21             JUDGE ORIE:  February 1998.

22             MR. MISETIC: -- if it makes a difference.

23        Q.   Does that point of the Prosecutor make any difference in your

24     answer, Mr. Sterc?

25        A.   None.  That changes nothing.  Because that's the situation that

Page 20312

 1     prevailed and the migration of people from the eastern territories to

 2     Yugoslavia was not in dispute.  This was a continuing process, regardless

 3     of the dates you mentioned.

 4        Q.   Okay.  Now --

 5        A.   Sorry, can I add something?

 6        Q.   Yes.

 7        A.   Since this was a period from August 1996, around 18.000 people in

 8     our estimate left the formerly occupied areas and were given accomodation

 9     in Podunavlje.  So very probably these figures here could be a little

10     different in actual fact, and we got confirmation of that later when we

11     started recording the population in Podunavlje.  We got information that,

12     in a certain period, 138.000 ID papers were issued in formerly UNTAES

13     areas, issued mainly by Serbs.

14        Q.   Okay.  Now, Mr. Sterc, I want to turn your attention to --

15     starting at paragraph 9.1 of your statement.

16             MR. MISETIC:  And with the assistance of the usher, if I could

17     give a hard copy of the statement to the witness, please.

18        Q.   Now, the Chamber has heard a lot about the Law on Temporary

19     Takeover, and I'm not going to go through in detail with you other than

20     what's in the statement.  However, are you familiar with the fact that

21     a -- sorry.  You talk about in paragraph 9.1 the establishment of an

22     agency so that a person had -- could sell their property to an agency of

23     the Croatian government.  And I'd like to turn your attention now to a

24     document.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Madam Registrar, this is 1D -- 65 ter 1D1561,

Page 20313

 1     please.

 2        Q.   Mr. Sterc, this is -- I'm going to show you --

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Madam Registrar, if we could go to -- there are no

 4     pages numbers at the bottom, so we'll have to use the 1D numbers on the

 5     bottom right-hand corner, and it is at page 1D7161.

 6             MS. GUSTAFSON:  If it assists, I think it might be at the 56th

 7     page of this document.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, counsel.

 9        Q.   Now --

10             MR. MISETIC:  Page 52 in the Croatian version, please.

11        Q.   Now, Mr. Sterc, do you recognise this as the decree that

12     established the agency for mediation in transactions of specified real

13     estate?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   And you see that the decree is dated 24 April 1997.  Is this the

16     decree that regulated or established the agency which was able to then

17     buy property from Serbs who wished to sell their property, rather than to

18     return to that property in the Republic of Croatia?

19        A.   It's fortunate that you looking at the same time at the previous

20     document dated 23rd April which concerns operative procedures and the

21     next one is the document establishing this agency, which means that we

22     had agreed much earlier, the Working Group, and when we agreed that in

23     principle we need to embark upon the concept of return of all to their

24     homes, we put forward the proposal to establish agencies in all the

25     countries from which refugees and displaced persons needed to come from.

Page 20314

 1     So such an agency was established in Croatia as well.

 2        Q.   Now --

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, just for the record the entire

 4     document on the screen is actually -- these are annexes to a report

 5     submitted by the Croatian government to the Croatian parliament in 1998,

 6     which concerns the programme that was passed in June of 1998 of the

 7     Croatian government on the return of refugees.  When we get to that topic

 8     in my direct examination, I will be tendering the report and the annexes,

 9     because the actual programme is already admitted into evidence.

10        Q.   If we turn, for example, in this document to page -- to the next

11     page and go to Article 3, which I think is still the same page in

12     Croatian.

13        A.   Yes.

14             MR. MISETIC:  It actually -- I'm interested in subpart 2, so if

15     we could turn the page in Croatian as well.

16        Q.   It says:

17             "APN is authorised to purchase specified real estate in its own

18     name and on the account of the Republic of CroatiaAPN is authorised to

19     assign this real estate to citizens of the Republic of Croatia."

20             Article 4 says:

21             "Specified real estate is considered as real estate which,

22     according to the Law on Temporary Takeover and administration of

23     specified property ... is placed under temporary administration of the

24     Republic of Croatia."

25             Now, this agency or colloquially referred to by the Working Group

Page 20315

 1     as the land bank is -- do you know if that's still in effect today?  Does

 2     it still exist?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Now, if we turn our attention, in your statement you make

 5     reference to an agreement of the Joint Working Group on the operational

 6     procedures of return.

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Madam Registrar, this is 65 ter 1D1555.  I'm sorry,

 8     65 ter 1D1556.

 9        Q.   I believe this is referenced at paragraph 13 of your statement.

10             Now, in your statement, you make reference to the fact that this

11     was agreement of the Joint Working Group where the general principles of

12     return had been established ... the exact words.  I'm sorry, that it was

13     a guiding document on return.  And can you explain to us what you meant

14     when you said this was a guiding document on return?

15        A.   We wanted after long talks at the Working Group to sign a

16     document and make it public to define only the basic procedures for

17     return in order to show that, in Croatia, the issue of the return of

18     refugees and displaced person, including Serbs, has really been moved

19     from the field of politics to the field of humanitarian issues.  In

20     Osijek, all representatives of the international communities were

21     present, as well as representatives of the Serbs and general satisfaction

22     was felt when the document was made public.

23             MR. MISETIC:  If we can please go to the last page of this

24     document.

25        Q.   Now, we see the signatures of the person who is signed this

Page 20316

 1     document.  This agreement, was it with members of the international

 2     community and obviously it was, but why with the UNHCR and UNTAES?

 3        A.   I don't really know how they chose the signatories within the

 4     various groups of the Working Group.  Eduardo Arboleda was chief of the

 5     commission of the UNHCR in Croatia, and somebody was standing in for

 6     Mr. Fischer on behalf of UNTAES.  But since all was agreed within the

 7     Working Group, I don't think it mattered much who would sign on behalf of

 8     the international community.

 9        Q.   Okay.  If you look through the document, the focus appears to be

10     often Eastern Slavonia.  And my question to you is, although the document

11     deals with Eastern Slavonia, how does it relate, otherwise relate to

12     returns in other formerly occupied parts of Croatia?

13        A.   It was just one of the steps we made to deal with the whole

14     situation in order to implement our design of the return of everyone to

15     their homes.  The role of the UNTAES was particularly important, because

16     they had an administration that was prepared to accept the principle

17     under discussion.

18        Q.   And --

19        A.   The UNTAES administration, on behalf of the international

20     community, was frequently a vehicle of new initiatives and even the

21     previous document that we discussed, and I had forgotten to say that,

22     related to the establishment of that agency, the first draft was brought

23     to the Working Group by a representative of the UNTAES.

24             I would like to especially emphasise the following.  When this

25     decree on the agency was made public, you should know that part of the

Page 20317

 1     public opinion thought that Croatia had just established an agency for

 2     ethnic cleansing.  Of course, all of us were indignant because the entire

 3     document from the first to last letter was completely harmonised and

 4     agreed with the international community and such agencies were also

 5     established in other countries.

 6        Q.   You anticipated my next question.  If you look at the page on the

 7     screen and if we could go back one page in the Croatian.

 8             The last four paragraphs, which I think are the same as the

 9     document that we had seen before where you said that we could see the

10     previous document as well.

11             In here it says, for example, paragraph 2:  "The Working Group

12     welcomes the suggestion to create an agency for mediation in the traffic

13     of real estate and a land bank database of property and owners under the

14     auspices of the ministry for reconstruction and development."

15             Based on what you've just said, was the establishment of the land

16     bank or the agency something that was deemed a necessary part of the

17     resolution of refugee issues?

18        A.   Yes.  Moreover, we all believed that the agency would provide

19     logistics to the operational procedures.  We had agreed in various

20     documents that every country should set aside certain funds, based on

21     estimates, to fund the agency to deal with property issues, and when such

22     property becomes state properties -- state property, it would be placed

23     at the disposal of -- of returnees and refugees.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that exhibit 65 ter 1D1556 be

25     marked and I tender it into evidence.

Page 20318

 1             MS. GUSTAFSON:  No objection.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar.

 3             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1609.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

 5             Please proceed.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.

 7        Q.   Now, in the period after Operation Storm, and in the years that

 8     followed, were you familiar at all with any positions taken by the

 9     leadership of the RSK in exile on the issue of refugee returns?

10        A.   I am.  We attended a joint conference on return in Banja Luka.

11        Q.   And what was your understanding as to what positions were being

12     taken by the leadership of the RSK in exile on the issue of refugee

13     returns?

14        A.   Their representatives were very explicit at that meeting, which

15     was attended also by the representatives of the international community,

16     and their position was that a large part of them did not wish to return

17     to Croatia, but they wanted compensation for the property they had left

18     behind.

19        Q.   Can you tell us when this conference took place in Banja Luka?

20        A.   I can't remember the exact date.  But there were all the

21     representatives, and even ministers from Croatia, from Republika Srpska,

22     and the political representatives of the Serbs from the occupied areas.

23     I don't remember the exact date, but it was widely reported on.

24        Q.   Do you remember the names of the leaders from the formerly

25     occupied areas who were present at the conference?

Page 20319

 1        A.   I personally spoke only with those who were in charge of issues

 2     related to the return of refugees and displaced persons, and one of the

 3     names I remember is Sime Djodan.  He was the one who presented that

 4     position at the conference.

 5        Q.   Were there any positions taken by Mr. Djodan or anyone else?

 6        A.   The name is Djodan.

 7        Q.   By him or anyone else about the issue of whether they -- they

 8     sought individual returns to Croatia?

 9        A.   Other people took different positions.  One of the positions

10     taken was to demand certain conditions for return to Croatia.  That is,

11     they wanted to return to Croatia on the condition that the authorities in

12     Croatia changed.  Some were in favour of individual returns, but that was

13     overshadowed by certain misgivings and fear.

14        Q.   And were there any positions taken on whether there should be

15     mass return of Serb civilians to Croatia?

16        A.   As for mass return by Serb civilians who had left occupied areas,

17     all of us took the position that mass return could not be organised in

18     that way.  Representatives of Croatia, the international community, and

19     the Serbs all agreed on that.

20             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I would like to show the witness a

21     document which I need to seek leave to add to the 65 ter list.  This is

22     document 65 ter 1D2778.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Gustafson, any objections against it having been

24     added to the 65 ter list?

25             MS. GUSTAFSON:  No, Your Honour.

Page 20320

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Leave is granted.

 2             Please proceed.

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

 4             Madam Registrar, may I have 65 ter 1D2778, please.

 5        Q.   And while we're pulling that up, Mr. Sterc, could you explain to

 6     the Chamber why you couldn't have mass returns, or why did you take the

 7     position that you couldn't have mass returns?

 8        A.   Mass return could not be organised for a variety of reasons, and

 9     not only in Croatia but also elsewhere.  The representatives of the

10     international community told us that in similar situations there was

11     never a mass return.  The return had to be well planned, organised, safe,

12     and it was necessary for certain conditions to be met, in order for the

13     return to be possible, such as reconstruction, certain finances,

14     organisation, and so on.

15        Q.   Okay.

16             MR. MISETIC:  If we could turn -- this is a report from Banja

17     Luka by the AIM organisation, and if we could turn to page 2 at the

18     bottom in the English.  And page 2, bottom paragraph, in the B/C/S.

19        Q.   Now, this is a statement purportedly by Mr. Milan Babic, and it

20     quotes him as saying as follows:

21             "I'm not in favour of individual solutions of the problem of

22     return because it would mean" --

23             MR. MISETIC:  If you could turn the page in English, please.

24        Q.   "... Croatisation of the Serb returnees which would jeopardise

25     collective rights of the refugees and blur the problem of the Serb people

Page 20321

 1     in exile.  I am in favour of collective return, collective security, and

 2     collective rights of the Serbs which implies resolution of their

 3     political status.  Because the Serbs from Krajina - Dr. Babic continues -

 4     have the political right to the territory of the Krajina.  If the

 5     committee of Borislav Mikelic approaches the problem of resolving the

 6     return of Serb refugees in this way, there will be no conflicts between

 7     us - Dr. Babic says, adding that the government of Krajina operates in

 8     exile and that a special commission was established within it to deal

 9     with the issues of the status and rights of the refugees, cooperation

10     with various organisations and institutions, so why not Mikelic too."

11             Now, were you familiar with such positions being taken by

12     Dr. Babic or anyone else in the Serb leadership or in the special

13     commission established by the government of Krajina in exile with

14     relation to the issue of return of Serb returnees -- refugees?

15        A.   I never spoke to these persons, but we could read their

16     statements in newspapers, and they were also conveyed to us by

17     representatives of the international community.

18        Q.   And where were these types of statements conveyed to you by

19     members of the international community?  Where were you when they would

20     relay these types of statements?

21        A.   I was, at the time, assistant minister for reconstruction and

22     development, if what is the position you're talking about.

23        Q.   What I meant was, what was the context in which you were having

24     conversations with the international community on that subject?

25        A.   Of course, this was in the context of our discussions which model

Page 20322

 1     of return we should apply.  Given that individual returns have proven to

 2     be rather problematic, given the situation on the ground, we all knew

 3     that a collective return was almost impossible, so the only one left was

 4     a planned return, an organised return of everybody to their respective

 5     homes within the framework of the agreed documents.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I tender 1D2778 into evidence.

 7             MS. GUSTAFSON:  No objection.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, that will become Exhibit D1610.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  D1610 is admitted into evidence.

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

12             Madam Registrar, if we could have again 65 ter 1D1561, please.

13     And we will be going to page 1D71-7166.

14             MS. GUSTAFSON:  I think it's page 61 in the English, if that

15     assists.

16             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.  Page 56 in the Croatian, please.

17        Q.   Now, this is a document dated 2 October 1997, and it is the

18     programme of the government of the Republic of Croatia on the

19     establishment of trust, accelerated return, and normalisation of living

20     conditions in the war-affected regions of the Republic of Croatia.

21             Were you familiar with this document as part of your job as

22     assistant minister?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   And there is an introduction in the third paragraph, there's a

25     whereas:  "During the war emotional and inappropriate language was used

Page 20323

 1     in the private and public arena so as to generalise guilt and strengthen

 2     feelings of hate and division."

 3             MR. MISETIC:  If we go down to the seventh paragraph.  If we

 4     could turn the page in Croatian, please?

 5        Q.   "Whereas the government of the government of the Republic of

 6     Croatia strives to promote a way of life in which forgiveness, tolerance,

 7     co-existence, and equal rights of all its citizens are a foundation for

 8     progress and development."

 9             It talks about "many citizens who took part in the armed

10     rebellion against the Republic of Croatia have sought and been granted

11     Croatian documents and that they have by this act accepted all the rights

12     and obligations which derive from Croatian citizenship, including respect

13     for and defence of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Croatia,

14     and that they have accepted the Republic of Croatia as their homeland and

15     have expressed the wish to be included in its political, economic and

16     social life, and in that way, to contribute to its prosperity."

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

18        Q.   And then there's:  "Whereas the restoration of trust between all

19     its citizenships is of vital interest for the development of the Republic

20     of Croatia as a state and as a respected member of the international

21     community of states.

22             "Whereas it is unconstitutional to distinguish between the former

23     parties in conflict on the basis of ethnicity as such, a distinction

24     results in collective guilt and ignores individual responsibility for

25     crimes, and also ignores the positive role of members of various ethnic

Page 20324

 1     groups during the hostilities."

 2             MR. MISETIC:  And then we can skip to "The government --

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

 5        Q.   It says:

 6             "The government of the Republic of Croatia thereby adopts a

 7     programme on establishment of trust, accelerated return, and

 8     normalisation of living conditions in the war affected regions of the

 9     Republic of Croatia."

10             It outlines what the goals are at the bottom of that page,

11     creation of general climate of tolerance and security; realisation of

12     equality of all citizens within -- with regard to the state

13     administration.

14             MR. MISETIC:  Turn the page.

15        Q.   The establishment of trust between all citizens, et cetera.

16             It says under organisation:

17             "The government of the Republic of Croatia shall establish a

18     national committee for monitoring the realisation of the programme.  And

19     there are fields of competence," and I won't go through them all.  But it

20     seems to be comprehensive, it identifies political, legal, administrative

21     internal affairs, economic, social, cultural, educational,

22     reconstruction, and return and the media, all areas of the programme.

23     For example, if we -- we turn to the third page ahead, under point 6,

24     media.

25              "In view of the important place of the media in a democratic

Page 20325

 1     society, the government shall recommend that:  The media will promote the

 2     equality of all citizens and the need to co-exist in tolerance as the

 3     only democratically acceptable way of life.

 4             "The media promote the rights of citizens which derive from the

 5     legal system of the Republic of Croatia.

 6             "The media promote an atmosphere of tolerance, co-existence,

 7     respect for human rights, and dialogue for the resolution of future

 8     excesses," et cetera.

 9             Can you explain, Mr. Sterc, what this programme was, why it came

10     about, and what its objectives were?

11        A.   After all the different documents, talks, negotiations, we all

12     knew that, ultimately, the whole story had to end in a comprehensive

13     programme of return.  We needed to invest a lot of effort, a lot of time

14     into developing such a programme.  Often representatives of the

15     international community did not really have confidence that these

16     documents would ever be adopted although we continually repeated that

17     this was our intention and our wish.

18             After this, we started to have joint public addresses by

19     representatives of the international community, representatives of the

20     Croatian government, and representatives of Serbs from the occupied

21     territories who left Croatia.  As president of the Working Group, this is

22     what I requested from the very beginning, because I knew that only by

23     such public addresses we could induce some confidence in both sides.

24             After the adoption of this programme, it seemed that everybody

25     was relieved.  I'm talking about the politicians now.  Although, for

Page 20326

 1     those of us who worked on this, we knew that our job was only beginning.

 2        Q.   Let me take you -- as I indicated, Mr. Sterc, to the Trial

 3     Chamber, these are all annexes to the programme of 1998, so while the

 4     document is on the screen, let me just point out a few things and then

 5     move this into evidence.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  If we could go, Madam Registrar, to numbered page

 7     1D71-7173, please.  At the very bottom.

 8        Q.   Mr. Sterc, attachment 6 to the programme that was passed in 1998

 9     in June was an attachment called programme for accomodation of the users

10     of property under temporary administration of the Republic of Croatia

11     which must be returned for possession and use to the owner.

12             MR. MISETIC:  If we turn the page, please, in English.

13        Q.   This is now written after the constitutional court of Croatia had

14     struck certain portions of that law.  And then there's a position of the

15     government interpreting the law after the decision of the constitutional

16     court.

17             Do you recall that this government interpretation was an annex to

18     the programme that was passed in June 1998?

19        A.   Yes.

20             MR. MISETIC:  And, Madam Registrar, if we could go to page

21     1D71-7154 of this document.

22             MS. GUSTAFSON:  That should be page 49.

23             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.

24             Page 49 in the Croatian, please.  Sorry, 49 in the English.

25        Q.   Mr. Sterc, while that's coming up, let me just ...

Page 20327

 1                           [Defence counsel confer]

 2             MR. MISETIC:  46 in the Croatian, please.

 3        Q.   This is the agreement of the Joint Working Group on the

 4     operational procedures of return.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  And if we could turn the page in English, please.

 6        Q.   You are, of course, listed as a member of the Working Group.

 7     Under guiding principles, in paragraph 4 and 5, it talks about the

 8     establishment of this land bank.  And then the next paragraph says:

 9             "The Croatian government, UNTAES, and UNHCR will seek

10     international funding for the implementation of the described mechanisms

11     as they are formed."

12             Do you know whether in fact the land bank received international

13     funding so that the homes of those Serbs that didn't wish to return could

14     in fact be purchased by the Croatian government?

15        A.   Yes, we asked international assistance and we asked to have a

16     reconstruction conference on Croatia.

17        Q.   Was any assistance ever received for the land bank?

18        A.   No.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I tender 65 ter 1D1561, which is the

20     report of the Croatian government on the programme for the return of

21     refugees as well as all of the annexes.  And the actual programme itself

22     was tendered earlier in this trial as Exhibit D428.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Gustafson.

24             MS. GUSTAFSON:  No objection, Your Honour.  I just -- in order to

25     avoid any future confusion, the attachment we just looked at, attachment

Page 20328

 1     3, is the same document that was just admitted as D1609.  But no

 2     objection, thank you.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  But now have then -- we can vacate the previously

 4     admitted, or is it --

 5             MR. MISETIC:  I think it's easier --

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  It would help --

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  It's easier in following the transcript.

 9             Then the report of the Croatian government and the Programme for

10     Return and all annexes together was already tendered, so we're now

11     talking about the -- yes.  Now, it was in evidence but without the

12     annexes, and now we have a full set of these documents.

13             Madam Registrar, that would be number ...

14             THE REGISTRAR:  That will be Exhibit D1611, Your Honours.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  D1611 is admitted into evidence.

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

17             Madam Registrar, can we have Exhibit D428 on the screen.

18             And just so that the record is clear, D428 is the actual

19     programme, D161 contains a report sent by the Croatian government to the

20     parliament for purposes of discussion of the programme, D428, as well as

21     all of the annexes that were ultimately part of D428.

22        Q.   Mr. Sterc, this is the Programme for Return and care of expelled

23     persons, refugees, and displaced persons passed on 26th of June, 1998.

24             MR. MISETIC:  And if we turn the page and go to paragraph 5.

25     Actually, I'm sorry, in the Croatian it should be the preamble

Page 20329

 1     paragraph 5.  There are several renumberings, so if we could scroll up in

 2     the Croatian, please, and go back one page in the Croatian.  There we go,

 3     paragraph 5.

 4        Q.   It says that:  "In regard to the above, the government has

 5     detailed the following programme in cooperation with UNHCR that has a

 6     leading role in solving regional refugees issues as well as with support

 7     of --" and in the English it was translated as "OECD."

 8             I believe if we look in the original, the acronym is OESS which

 9     is in fact the OSCE.

10        A.   Yes, OSCE.

11        Q.   So this programme, Mr. Sterc, was prepared in conjunction with

12     UNHCR and OSCE; is that correct?

13        A.   This programme originally encompassed nearly 100 pages.  I wrote

14     it personally by hand and also in cooperation with my team, and that was

15     the version that we put forward to the UNHCR and OSCE to get their

16     approval.

17        Q.   And did they approve of the plan?

18        A.   Yes.  The whole point of this item 5 is as follows.

19             Once we agreed on the principle, that everybody should return to

20     their respective home, obviously for return of Croats to

21     Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Kosovo and Macedonia we needed the assistance of

22     the UNHCR, and this is why we underlined this in the item 5 here.

23        Q.   If we go into introductory remarks at paragraph 4, it says:  "The

24     government of the Republic of Croatia has appointed a commission which

25     consists of ..." and then the first point is "assistant minister for

Page 20330

 1     development and restoration of the president of the commission."

 2             Who would that would have been?

 3        A.   Me.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  And if we could turn the page in English, please.

 5        Q.   At the end of the list of members of the commission, it says:

 6     "The commission's aim is to elaborate and monitor implementation of the

 7     programme in cooperation with UNHCR.  The commission shall meet regularly

 8     twice a month or as circumstances require."

 9             And then point 5:

10             "Commissions from the previous provision 4 shall propose to the

11     government a co-chairman to directly deal with return issues and who

12     shall, with representatives of the international community, commissions

13     from Article 11, donators and non-governmental organisations, can assist

14     this coordinating committee for the superintendence of return."

15             After this programme was passed, was in fact a commission formed

16     and did you in fact monitor implementation in conjunction with members of

17     the international community?

18        A.   We did meet.  We were in touch even more often than mentioned

19     here in this item.

20        Q.   Now, in paragraph 14 of your statement you say this is the most

21     important document of the Working Group.  And it says:  "The programme

22     was implemented until today with some minor changes."

23             Is this programme still in effect, as far as you know, in the

24     Republic of Croatia?

25        A.   I believe so.

Page 20331

 1        Q.   You were a -- you later became an assistant minister of defence

 2     in the government of Prime Minister Racan.  My question to you is, are

 3     aware of any significant change in the model or the programme of return

 4     of refugees that occurred with the transfer of power from

 5     President Tudjman's government to new Prime Minister Racan's government?

 6        A.   When I was transferred to the Ministry of Defence in the new

 7     government of the now late Mr. Racan, I did not deal with this issue

 8     anymore.  However, many of my former associates remained in those jobs,

 9     and I kept in touch with them, and they all told me that the programme

10     was still being implemented and that the process we had defined together

11     was continuing in the same intensity, with the same tempo, in the same

12     form.  There were no radical changes.  The process just continued in the

13     same form in which it had started.

14        Q.   Okay.  Mr. Sterc, I wanted to give you an opportunity to talk

15     about any personal experiences that you had in the field concerning the

16     return of Serb refugees.  Can you explain to the Court what your personal

17     experiences were concerning this issue?

18        A.   I'm very grateful to you for this question, and I would very

19     gladly, if I'm allowed, to present my personal views, because it was a

20     period, and those were issues that were probably the most difficult in

21     Croatia at the time.

22             All of us who were engaged in this work almost had no rest.  Our

23     teams worked almost 16 hours a day.  We toured localities, we dealt with

24     conflicts that occurred on the ground, and I'd like to share with you one

25     personal view concerning the -- the international community.

Page 20332

 1             I believed we were doing the same job, that we had to work

 2     jointly to resolve all the problems that occur on the ground, that the

 3     return of the Serbs is not the only and exclusive interest of our group,

 4     that we should appear together in public --

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I got the impression that you wanted to

 6     know more about what we find at the end of paragraph 8 of the statement.

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  So, therefore, that apparently is not how the

 9     witness understood the question.

10             In your statement, Mr. Sterc, you refer to that you personally

11     went to the field with the police, et cetera.  I think that that's the

12     type of experience Mr. Misetic would like to know more about.

13             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. --

14             JUDGE ORIE:  What happened, where did you go, when did you go.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was about to say that.

16             Individual returns, within a relatively short time after the

17     liberation of Croatia, caused great tensions on the ground.  Because of

18     those situations, of course, Croatia was exposed to international

19     accusations.  For instance, when one family returned to Banovina, and

20     that return had been agreed between us and the international community,

21     we could hardly expect that, at the same time, around the house of the

22     returnees, around 500 to 600 protesters would appear, people who were

23     protesting against the return of that family.  Those were local Croats

24     whose houses around had mostly been destroyed.  Of course, we had to

25     intervene with the help of the police to protect the family, and I

Page 20333

 1     personally spent 24 hours on-site.  And that's how we worked to create

 2     the conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons, breaking

 3     psychological barriers on the ground.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  I'm sorry.  You said you spent 24 hours on the

 5     ground.  Where was it?  What village?  What was the name of the family

 6     that returned?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.  I really don't know.

 8     I can't remember it was in Banovina.  I can't tell you the exact name of

 9     the village.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  [Previous translation continues] ...

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it's not a problem.  It can be

12     checked.  It was widely reported.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Now, was that the -- did you have similar

14     experiences, that you went to a place where there was unrest in relation

15     to the return of a family?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  I also went to meet with the

17     Serbs.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  No.  I'm asking about similar events.  First of all,

19     when this happened, in the Banovina area, when was it, approximately?

20     I'm not asking for a date but perhaps a month.  What year?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was mid-1996.  It was

22     summer.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  The other occasions, if there were any, where you

24     personally went to observe what problems there were with the return of a

25     person, or of a family, or of a small group of families, could you give

Page 20334

 1     us another example?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  After that incident at

 3     Banovina, which I believe was in the summer of 1996, I asked members of

 4     the international community to come and visit such places together with

 5     me so that we sent -- send out a joint message to people on both sides.

 6     Among others, to those who caused such tensions.  We went to a place

 7     called Kuruzari in Banovina towards the end of 1996, perhaps early 1997.

 8     According to international reports, one Serb family had been beaten up.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I ask you, this mid-1996 experience in

10     Banovina, do you know what finally happened to the family?  Did they stay

11     there?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly what happened,

13     but the international community, in fact a source from the international

14     community, let me know that the family had to return to Serbia

15     eventually.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  So do I have to understand it as that the protection

17     was not effective, or were there other reasons why they returned to

18     Serbia?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we had decided to give maximum

20     protection to that Serb family with all the police forces we had.

21     However, it was too great a stress for them, and they had decided already

22     to -- to go back and wait for some better time to return.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Now, your earlier answer said I don't know exactly

24     happened, but the international community informed you that they had to

25     return to Serbia.

Page 20335

 1             Now, apparently from your testimony I do understand that you did

 2     know the reasons why they had to return, that is, the stress.  Could you

 3     give us more details.  How long did they stay there, how long did they

 4     get police protection, did they -- I mean, you apparently give us an idea

 5     about the reasons why, but could you tell us more details about under

 6     what circumstances the stress, as you said, was too much for them?

 7             How many police was involved in protecting them and for how long?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I could see, because I

 9     personally spoke to the family and visited their home, they looked rather

10     scared.  Two or three policemen were on guard for 24 hours, and when the

11     protesters dispersed, the UNHCR also joined in the efforts to resolve

12     this problem, and we realised that within the whole picture of ensuring

13     returns, guarding one family for 24 hours made no sense.  We realised it

14     was necessary that the problem of returns had to be discussed publicly

15     and the solutions would then have to be translated on the ground.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Now, if I read your statement, you say:  "I

17     personally went to the field with the police and safeguarded these first

18     families returning."

19             Whereas from your testimony, I understand that you personally

20     went to the field and that you were finally not able to create a

21     situation in which the family would stay, which is not exactly the same.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We failed to create such

23     conditions.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, but your statement says you safeguarded these

25     first families returning.

Page 20336

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I asked some of these questions because

 3     the answers of the witness are of a rather abstract level; whereas, the

 4     Chamber, apart from knowing about plans, developments, reports,

 5     et cetera, is, of course, also interested in what the effect of those

 6     plans and efforts were.

 7             Please proceed.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  [Microphone not activated] Let me note that the

 9     incident you're referring to is two years before the plans or one to two

10     years before the plans.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  But the -- I see that.  At the same time, the

12     answer, as we find it in the statement, is of an abstract level.  We

13     safeguarded these first families, whereas, apparently the experience of

14     this witness was that they were not able to provide such a situation

15     which made it possible for them to stay.  That's the risk of going on an

16     abstract level rather than to stay with the facts.

17             MR. MISETIC:  I intended to do that once he started talking about

18     it, and I was actually going ask him many of the questions that you had

19     asked him, particularly about how long the police had to guard that

20     family.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, but perhaps you could ask that, because I did

22     but we have no answer yet.

23             Mr. Sterc, three policemen, how long did they stay at the house

24     of this Serb family?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were outside the house.  They

Page 20337

 1     stayed for a week, I believe.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  How long did the family stay after you had visited

 3     them until they decided to return?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose they decided the return

 5     when they were no longer able to withstand the stress of the protection

 6     and the pressure from the neighbours, and that's when we learned of it

 7     from the UNHCR.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  My question was how long.  A week, a month --

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A week.  I answered that.  A week.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  I mean -- so the police was there for one week, and

11     then they decided to return.  Is that ...

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

13             MR. MISETIC:  If I can clarify Mr. President.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, please do.

15             MR. MISETIC:

16        Q.   Just to clarify, did the family leave, Mr. Sterc, because the

17     police left.

18        A.   No, of course, not.

19        Q.   Okay.

20             MR. MISETIC:  May I move on to a different topic, Mr. President?

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's try to explore that then as well.

22             How do you know that it was not the police that -- because you

23     earlier said it made no sense to keep the police all time there.  Tell us

24     exactly what then happened.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We obviously did not understand

Page 20338

 1     each other.

 2             Police had orders to guard the family 24 hours a day, and the

 3     police was withdrawn only after the family decided to leave.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  How did you learn about the decision of the family

 5     to leave?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were informed by the UNHCR.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  And was an additional effort made to convince them

 8     that it was worthwhile to trying stay or ...

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course.  The UNHCR informed

10     us -- in fact, kept us informed, as it was them who were in constant

11     talks with the family.

12             Our job was to talk to the neighbours, to assure them and

13     convince them that returns were going to be a normal thing.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Once you received the message that the family wanted

15     to return, what action did you take?  Did you go back to the place, did

16     you give instructions that there should be talks with the neighbours

17     or ...

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly.  We estimated that the

19     most important thing was to talk to the neighbours, so that, in the

20     future, there would be no protest, when the UNHCR and the Croatian

21     government make a decision on another return.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  You said you estimated that the most important

23     thing to do was.

24             Now, what did you do was my question.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We talked to the locals.

Page 20339

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  When did you do that?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally spoke to the locals

 3     the day after the protests started, and since these were people whom

 4     we -- the Ministry for reconstruction and development could not return to

 5     their homes, it took a lot of persuasion to convince them that their

 6     homes, too, would one day be reconstructed.  It was our estimate that

 7     frequent visits, field visits by us and the UNHCR --

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Let me stop you there.  My question was what you did

 9     after you received the message that the family had decided to leave.

10     That was, from what I understand, one week after the police had guarded

11     them.

12             Now, in your answer, you're going back to the moment you went

13     there.  But that's not what I asked.  I asked what you did, once you

14     received the message -- [Overlapping speakers].

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry, I had not understood at

16     first.

17             We called in a meeting of the Working Group, and we put that

18     issue on the agenda and discussed possible solutions.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Are there minutes of the meeting of the

20     Working Group in which we could find this?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Working Group did keep minutes,

22     but I have to be perfectly honest, I personally, when I wanted to check

23     all this, I could not get a hold of them.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Who keeps the minutes?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The minutes were kept by an

Page 20340

 1     employee in my office at the ministry.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Was there any reason why you had no -- couldn't get

 3     ahold of them?  Did they tell you they couldn't find them, they do not

 4     exist anymore, or you are not entitled to have access to it?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Ministry of Reconstruction and

 6     Developments and particularly the department for -- my department, moved

 7     four times since I left.  And, obviously, the documents were all mixed up

 8     in the process.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  When did you ask access to the documents?  Most

10     recently?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was not recently.  I think the

12     beginning of the year.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Going back to the situation with this family who had

14     decided that they could not stay any longer, what did you do for the

15     family, apart from scheduling a meeting of the Working Group?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had agreed at the Working Group

17     that we should apologise on behalf of the Croatian government to that

18     family, and we did.  And we offered them accommodation, in fact, housing,

19     under some safer conditions.  In that particular case, the offer of was

20     rejected.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Is there any documentation of this offer?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.  All that was dealt with at

23     Working Group meetings.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  But the family, I take it, did not attend in Working

25     Group meetings, or did they?

Page 20341

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They did not, no.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  [Previous translation continues] ... how was this

 3     offer relayed to the family?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, we would pass it on to

 5     the UNHCR, and the UNHCR would then pass it on to the family.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Did that happen in this case as well.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Do you have any recollection as what accommodation

 9     exactly was offered to the family?  Where, what kind of accommodation.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember exactly, but I

11     think it was one of the state-owned apartments.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  And the family, were they living -- their own house

13     where they couldn't stay, was that a detached house, was it with some

14     land around it; do you remember?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  It was a family house with a

16     garden around it.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

18             Mr. Misetic, I'm aware that I took some of your time.  How much

19     time would you still need?

20             MR. MISETIC:  15 minutes.  15 minutes.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  15 minutes.

22             Then we'll first have a break.  Let me just check another

23     administrative matter.

24             One second, please, Mr. Kuzmanovic.

25                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

Page 20342

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Kuzmanovic.

 2             MR. KUZMANOVIC:  Your Honour, I was just rising in anticipation.

 3     You said, We'll first have a break, so I ...

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  You thought it really was time to have the

 5     break.

 6             We will have a break and we will resume at five minutes past

 7     11.00.

 8                           --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.

 9                           --- On resuming at 11.28 a.m.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  The Chamber apologises for the late start, but we

11     considered it to be important to further discuss among ourselves the

12     MFI'd documents, that's the 92 ter statement and the "Globus" article, in

13     order to provide Ms. Gustafson with some guidance so that she would know

14     where we stand, and the rulings of the Chamber will be given at the end

15     of the examination-in-chief, Mr. Misetic.

16             And if there -- then there would be any further need to put

17     questions to the witness, we'll consider that.  But I don't think that a

18     lot will come as a surprise.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President my only point was going to be that if

20     there is a negative ruling, then we're prepared to call the witness back

21     to give Ms. Gustafson some time at a later date, but I don't believe that

22     the Prosecution was ever precluded from introducing a document into

23     evidence [overlapping speakers] --

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, as a matter of fact --

25             MR. MISETIC:  -- late disclosure to the Defence.

Page 20343

 1                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  I think there is actually no need to wait until the

 3     end of the examination-in-chief, so ...

 4             The Chamber will admit into evidence the -- let me just find it.

 5     We'll admit into evidence the 92 ter statement with the exception of

 6     paragraph 3, paragraph 5 partially, that is, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 are

 7     excluded.  5.5 which say what the programme does mention, or, rather,

 8     does not mention.  There's no obstacle to admit that.  I don't know

 9     whether you would still seek that, Mr. Misetic, if 5.1 to 5.4 are not

10     admitted.  We leave that to you.  So 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 can be admitted, if

11     you consider that of any use when the heading of 5 and 5.1 to 5.4 are not

12     admitted into evidence.

13             7 is excluded from the decision to admit the 92 ter statement.

14             The "Globus" article is admitted into evidence, but the Chamber

15     makes the following observation.  The probative value of the "Globus"

16     article is found primarily by this Chamber in the fact that the "Globus"

17     article has apparently served as a basis for dealing with refugee and

18     migration problems.  In the non-admitted paragraph 7 of the 92 ter

19     statement, reference is made to the "Globus" article.  On the basis of

20     the viva voce testimony, the Chamber considers that what was find -- what

21     was found in paragraph 7 and what is reflecting, for a major part what is

22     found in the "Globus" article, is expert opinion.

23             So, therefore, admission of the "Globus" article, as I said

24     before is primarily because the Chamber heard testimony that factually

25     these data were used, as the witness described, and that the probative

Page 20344

 1     value is not to be found, as far as the accuracy of the data are

 2     concerned, because the figures in the article, as in the statement, are

 3     the result of scientific analysis, of which the sources are unclear and

 4     of which the methodology is not clear either.

 5             The Chamber emphasises that, of course, this probative value of

 6     an admitted piece of evidence is commented upon, as I just did on behalf

 7     of the Chamber, as matters stand now.

 8             Ms. Gustafson gives this guidance to you, as to ...

 9             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Yes, that's very helpful.  Thank you, Your

10     Honour.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, please proceed.

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

13        Q.   Mr. Sterc, do you recall approximately how many Serbs had

14     returned to what used to be called Sectors North and South in Croatia up

15     to the publication of the "Globus" article in 1998?

16        A.   If I remember well, the reports and the discussions we had, I

17     believe there were some 30.000 people.

18        Q.   Okay.  Following up on the questioning of Judge Orie before the

19     break, with respect to these 30.000 people, can you tell us, in terms of

20     their security, what measures needed to be taken as a general matter.

21     Obviously, different situations require different levels of security.

22     But as a general matter, how did the Croatian government ensure that

23     these people would be safe, up until 1998, these 30.000 people?

24        A.   After the event in Banovina that we discussed previously, the

25     tensions slowly calmed down because we visited the field on a number of

Page 20345

 1     occasions and there were a number of interventions by the Croatian

 2     government, first of all, concerning the reconstruction of the

 3     infrastructure.  And it was less and less required to protect the

 4     returnees, intensively.  So more and more the possibility of individual

 5     returns appeared and there were more and more individual returnees, and

 6     obviously our intention was to register all of the returnees and we

 7     wished to have them return to the situation that was, to the largest

 8     extent possible, the same as the situation that was there prior to the

 9     war.

10        Q.   After that first incident which we discussed prior to the break,

11     nevertheless, did there continue to be incidents involving returnees to

12     the area?

13        A.   Yes, there were.  But in those situations, we reacted in the

14     following manner.  We visited the location all together.  You probably

15     remember that there was an incident in Kostajnica, and then even the

16     American state secretary came to Kostajnica.  And on the spot there we

17     held a meeting of the Working Group because we believed that in this way

18     we would bring down some of the psychological barriers to the return that

19     did exit, and generally speaking within the Working Group we agreed that

20     any incident registered by anybody in the field would be resolved in such

21     a way that we would all visit the location and matter together and we

22     would all together talk to the people who suffered during the incident.

23        Q.   Now, these 30.000 returnees by 1998, were they people who had --

24     who were -- who were as of that date, 30.000 people who had permanent

25     residence in Croatia, who had returned from Serbia or Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Page 20346

 1     I should say from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

 2        A.   Yes.  Yes, these were people who had permanent residence in the

 3     Republic of Croatia before the war.

 4        Q.   What about after the war?  When they came back, did they stay

 5     permanently in Croatia upon return?

 6        A.   There was a lot of mobility concerning these people.  Formally

 7     they returned.  We registered them as returnees, but they often would go

 8     back to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia and from there back to

 9     Croatia, so I'd say that this was a rather mobile population at the time.

10     However, both us and UNHCR registered their official return to Croatia.

11        Q.   Now in terms of mobility, as a general matter, were they

12     moving -- what were the reasons that they were moving back and forth?

13        A.   I believe that they primarily came back in order to maintain

14     their property, in order to do some work on their houses, in their

15     gardens, and it was our assumption that some of them had jobs in Bosnia

16     or in Yugoslavia, and this is why they would return there.

17        Q.   Mr. Sterc, are you familiar with any polling that was ever been

18     done among Serb and Croat refugees and about their intentions to ever

19     return to formerly occupied areas?

20             I believe it's referenced in your statement, actually.

21        A.   Yes, of course.  This is what we insisted on.  We wanted the

22     UNHCR to make this service concerning their positions on return and their

23     wish, whether they wanted to return or not.

24        Q.   How often would -- well, let me ask you a different question.

25             Were you familiar with any -- ever familiar with any OSCE surveys

Page 20347

 1     or polls conducted amongst Serb and Croat refugees?

 2        A.   I think that they had a contract with the polling agency Pus

 3     [phoen] from Zagreb which actually carried out these polls on their

 4     behalf.

 5        Q.   And have you ever seen the results of that poll?

 6        A.   Yes, we considered that, and the results mostly confirmed our

 7     opinions and the discussions we had at the Working Group.  So there were

 8     positions in a range from the -- that they did not want to come back to

 9     Croatia, to they wanted to come back to Croatia but under certain

10     circumstances.

11             So there was a wide range of answers, and generally speaking,

12     those that were not willing to come back to Croatia wanted some

13     compensation for their property, and those who were willing to come back,

14     wanted the return to be organised and dignified with full protection by

15     Croatia.

16        Q.   Okay.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Madam Registrar, if we could have 65 ter 1D1151,

18     please.

19        Q.   Mr. Sterc, I'm going to show you a poll conducted in 2004.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Gustafson.

21             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Your Honour, I object to the use of this exhibit.

22     It's a poll conducted in 2004, polling the -- surveying the emotional and

23     motivational factors of Serbs regarding their desire to return to

24     Croatia.  First of all, it's polling those intentions, at the time the

25     survey was taken in 2003.  Secondly, it polls Serbs who left Croatia

Page 20348

 1     between 1990 and 1997.  Only 47 per cent of the respondents left in

 2     connection with Operation Storm, and there is no way to distinguish their

 3     responses from the responses of the other respondents in the survey

 4     results.  And so for these two reasons, in our submission, this report is

 5     irrelevant to motivations emotional factors regarding the desire of the

 6     Krajina Serbs to return to the Krajina after Operation Storm with respect

 7     to any reasonable time-frame after 1995.

 8             Thank you.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, I don't think that's an objection on

10     admissibility -- oh.

11                           [Trial Chamber confers]

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic.

13             MR. MISETIC:  I was going say that I don't think there is an

14     objection there actually as to putting the matter to the witness, a legal

15     objection.

16             MS. GUSTAFSON:  I objected on the basis of relevance.

17             MR. MISETIC:  And the second point I was going to get to was

18     first:  There is no basis under Rule 89(D) to exclude it.  Secondly it is

19     relevant.  The Prosecution's case is not that Croatia blocked Serbs from

20     sectors north and south from returning but as a general policy of the

21     joint criminal enterprise to prevent all Serbs and unless the Prosecution

22     is saying that -- may I finish?

23             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Well, I'd just ask Mr. Misetic to be careful what

24     he says about the Prosecution's case in front of the witness.  Thank you.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  At least it gives us as an impression of what

Page 20349

 1     Mr. Misetic thinks the Prosecution's case is.

 2             Ms. Gustafson, whenever Mr. Misetic or Mr. Kehoe or Ms. Higgins

 3     or Mr. Mikulicic is speaking about the Prosecution's case, the Chamber

 4     will always consider whether that is congruent with the content of the

 5     Prosecution's case, and the way in which the Prosecution interprets its

 6     case itself.

 7             MS. GUSTAFSON:  I fully understand that, Your Honour.  My concern

 8     was that it was in the presence of the witness.  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  The objection -- the document can be put to

10     the witness --

11             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  -- and once we've also seen it, because it's very

13     difficult to talk about relevance if you haven't seen it yet, and we'll

14     therefore consider whether it's -- finally its weight or admissibility

15     which is at stake.

16             Please proceed.

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

18        Q.   You can see, sir, this is from 2004, motivational and emotional

19     factors regarding the return of refugees.  It is correct that it not only

20     includes Serbs but also includes the motivational factor for Croats to

21     return.

22             And if we go to the foreword, which is on page 4 in the e-court

23     version.

24             If we go to the third paragraph it says:

25             "Since the process of return started in 1995, the Croatian

Page 20350

 1     government registered a total of 321.400 returnees.  Two thirds of that

 2     number relate to ethnic Croats who were resettled within Croatia during

 3     the war.  Approximately one third relates to Croatian Serbs who fled to

 4     Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or the Croatian Danube

 5     region in Eastern Slavonia."

 6             Now, 100 -- basically the numbers, if my math serves me well,

 7     100.000 plus of these returnees are Serb returnees.  And as of 2003,

 8     first, Mr. Sterc, and again you were at least a member of the Racan

 9     government at the relevant time-period.  Are you aware of any other

10     programme of return of these 100.000 Serb refugees other than the

11     programme that you say you wrote by hand in 1998 under which they would

12     have come back to Croatia?

13        A.   I was aware -- yes, I was aware that that programme was being

14     implemented.  As I said, I don't participate in its implementation after

15     the year 2000, but according to the reports that we received the report

16     was still being implemented, and these numbers regarding the year 2003,

17     if we go back to see the trends, this was a logical continuation of

18     everything that was prepared in various other documents and in the

19     programme itself.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I haven't heard an answer to your

21     question.

22             MR. MISETIC:

23        Q.   But was there -- were you aware in 2003 of any other programme of

24     return in force at that time, other than the programme that you had

25     prepared by hand in 1998?

Page 20351

 1        A.   As far as I know, there was no other programme.

 2        Q.   Okay.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  And if we move forward two pages, please, to page 6

 4     in the e-court.  Page 5 in the B/C/S.

 5        Q.   In the introduction in the third paragraph it describes the goal

 6     of this polling project:  "The goal of this particular phase of the

 7     research segment of the project ... was to establish the basic

 8     motivational and emotional factors of return of Serb refugees to Croatia

 9     and the perception of the local Croatian population regarding their

10     return."

11             MR. MISETIC:  If we go to page 11 in the e-court, which is a

12     summary.  Page 8 in the Croatian version, please.

13             And just for the record, Mr. President, I believe the report

14     indicates that it is an OSCE commissioned poll, and there's a stamp of

15     the US agency for international development on there -- on the report

16     itself.

17        Q.   Under war and war damages of the respondents, it says:

18             "36 per cent of the Serb population left their homes in 1991, and

19     47 per cent of them during and immediately after Operation Storm in 1995.

20     More than 50 per cent of them left Croatia in a massive collectively

21     organised night, and as the main reason for the same they stated the

22     inexistence of normal living conditions and fear."

23             And if we go under life today --

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, may I ask you, this apparently is a --

25     this is a summary of the --

Page 20352

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Entire report.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Are there questions -- of course, the Chamber

 3     hasn't seen it.  Are there any questions about organisation of departure

 4     or is this opinion that slips in.  That's again the problem if you

 5     haven't seen the document.

 6             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Your Honour, the questions are attached to the

 7     report, and number 8 says in what way did you leave Croatia and the

 8     options are:  1, in a massive escape together with other people from your

 9     place; 2, organised together with others but it was not an escape; 3,

10     independently with my own family; and the last one is, does not know,

11     refuses.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Which gives a -- or options, the one not

13     exclusive from the other.

14             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  I --

15             JUDGE ORIE:  But -- we'll then have a closer look at it, but, of

16     course, not having -- that's the problem with this system, where there's

17     no way that you can go through every letter of a document which is

18     understood by the Chamber and is well understood by the parties as well,

19     but leaves us now and then in some fog.

20             Ms. Gustafson.

21             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Just to clarify that I read that out from an

22     English version we located on the web because it was only a partial

23     translation of the first ten pages provided to us by the Gotovina

24     Defence, so it is a slightly different document than the one on the

25     screen.

Page 20353

 1             MR. MIKULICIC:  Well --

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  I'm just putting this, because it -- it -- it

 3     relates to a rather vital point of dispute in this case, isn't it, how

 4     organised and organised by whom the departure was.  And I haven't seen

 5     the report, I'm not a statistical expert, but, of course, everyone knows

 6     that there are lies, big lies, and statistics, and not to disqualify this

 7     report, but well, to tell that you we should be very cautious in using

 8     this type of material.

 9             Please proceed.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, that's, of course, the case.  However,

11     in issues of trends and what people would have understood to be

12     motivational factors at the time, I think it's relevant from that sense

13     whether the percentages are plus or minus ten, isn't the point of what --

14             JUDGE ORIE:  No, the problem is usually in which way the

15     questions are phrased and what options are given to the respondents to

16     tick one of the boxes, whether these are really options which are

17     overlapping options, or not.  I mean, I think there might be --

18             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  I understand that and also that --

19     [Overlapping speakers] ...

20             JUDGE ORIE:  [Overlapping speakers] ...  please proceed, but just

21     for you to --

22             MR. MISETIC:  Yeah.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, yes.  I'm not talking about selection and where

24     to find all the remaining Serb refugees who have not returned.  But,

25     again, this is -- this needs almost expert knowledge to understand.

Page 20354

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Apparently we have one on the stand, Judge, so ...

 2     I'm just kidding.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  No --

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Just kidding.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  You're just kidding, yes.

 6             MR. MISETIC:

 7        Q.   Under life today, it says:

 8             "41 per cent of Serb refugees from Croatia own a flat or a house

 9     in their current place of residence."

10             It goes on:

11             "In the future intend to build their own house or buy a flat in

12     the current place of residence," et cetera?

13             And if we turn a page under return.  Under attitudes of returns:

14             "Only approximately 14 per cent of Serb refugees from Croatia, to

15     a certain degree, expressed an intention to return to Croatia, and only 4

16     per cent of the respondents from that group expressed a somewhat firm

17     intention."

18             And then the next paragraph concerns what the perceived major

19     obstacles to return are.

20             My question to you, Mr. Sterc, is, in terms of - and we don't

21     need to discuss the specific numbers here - but in terms of what some of

22     the factors were in terms of getting people to return how big of an issue

23     was it, whether people wished to return?

24        A.   This was exceptionally important, in order for us to be able to

25     develop an operational plan of return at the Working Group, and this was

Page 20355

 1     the plan that we then submitted to the Croatian government and public.

 2        Q.   What -- in terms of you and the Working Group, what were your

 3     understandings of some reasons that people wouldn't want to return to

 4     Croatia ever?  I'm not talking about the people in the short-term who had

 5     maybe security concerns, but of the people who decided that they

 6     wouldn't -- or didn't have a long-term plan to return to Croatia, what

 7     was your understanding of what some of those motivational factors were?

 8             MS. GUSTAFSON:  I'm not sure its been established that there was

 9     such a group.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Let me re-read the question.

11             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

12             JUDGE ORIE:  One second.

13             I'm afraid I did not fully understand your objection,

14     Ms. Gustafson.

15             MS. GUSTAFSON:  My objection, Your Honour, is that it was a

16     leading question because it hadn't been established from the witness that

17     there was such a group and yet --

18             JUDGE ORIE:  A Working Group --

19             MS. GUSTAFSON:  No, no, a group of people who decided they had no

20     long-term plan to return to Croatia, and yet questions were asked about

21     the reasons why they wouldn't return.

22             MR. MISETIC:  I will be glad to lay a foundation.  I assumed that

23     it was an undisputed fact that there were at least some people who never

24     would return to Croatia, but if that's in dispute, I will lay foundation.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, please do so.

Page 20356

 1             MR. MISETIC:

 2        Q.   Mr. Sterc, were you aware of any Serbs who left Croatia that

 3     would -- expressed a desire not to ever return?

 4        A.   Yes, of course, we knew about that, and international community

 5     knew about that as well.

 6        Q.   Now, without getting into statistics, give us a general estimate

 7     of what portion of all the Serb who is had left Croatia, as a general

 8     matter, roughly speaking, you concluded might not want to return to

 9     Croatia in the long-term?

10             MS. GUSTAFSON:  First of all, this is vague as to the time, and

11     second of all, I think it's calling for an opinion by the witness.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour --

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, you ask for a conclusion, Mr. Misetic.  It

14     would be good to know what any such conclusion would be based upon.

15             MR. MISETIC:  Well.

16        Q.   Mr. Sterc we've now spent half an hour talking about some of the

17     polling that was done.  You indicated that there was polling done even

18     while you were a part of a Joint Working Group.  You indicated that this

19     was important in order to determine the scope of the refugee return

20     issue.  In your polling and in your work on that issue, did you conclude

21     that every Serb wanted to return to Croatia?

22        A.   No.

23        Q.   What were your conclusions when we're talking about the scope of

24     the return problem of all the Serbs that you determined potentially could

25     have been refugees, displaced persons, or whatever other term you wish to

Page 20357

 1     use, how many of them, roughly speaking, did you think didn't have an

 2     intention to come back to live in the Republic of Croatia?

 3             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Your Honour, I still don't understand what this

 4     -- where the foundation of this comes.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's -- of course, it's a bit of the same problem.

 6     A bit of the same problem; that is, your conclusions, apparently

 7     conclusions on the basis of all kind of scientific analyses, work done.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President --

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, there --

10             MR. MISETIC:  I'm not --

11             JUDGE ORIE:  -- may be a way of dealing it.  On what assumptions

12     the witness worked --

13             MR. MISETIC:  That's fine.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  -- when this.  You understand what I mean?

15             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  You make it a factual question.  And I am aware and

17     that is obvious, in those circumstances, that we are dealing with a

18     witness who is presented as a witness of fact, who was involved in

19     programmes in dealings with international organisations.  At the same

20     time, published articles of a rather scientific character.  So let's try

21     to keep as closely as possible to the facts, and especially in his

22     position as an assistant minister.  I may take it that he often used, as

23     the starting point for his activities and for his thinking, the results

24     of what he knew -- of what he knew to be the results of all kind of

25     research.

Page 20358

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Yeah --

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Now whether the research is right or not is another

 3     matter, but what he took as a starting point for thinking and developing

 4     programmes might be the same.  But that's rather factual.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

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

 8        Q.   Now, again, let me just use a different word.  What were your

 9     assumptions as to how many Serbs wouldn't want to come back on a

10     permanent basis to Croatia?

11        A.   I'll answer you very specifically after this discussion.

12             Those were not assumptions; those were specific discussions of

13     the Working Group about results --

14             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness slow down, please.

15             THE WITNESS:  Sorry.

16             MR. MISETIC:

17        Q.   Can you start your answer again, please, but slowly.

18        A.   [Interpretation] I'll try.

19             So these were not assumptions.  Those were specific data that we

20     discussed at the Working Group, after the UNHCR had conducted a poll in

21     Serbia, and then we got the information that two thirds of the Serbs do

22     not wish to return to Croatia.

23        Q.   Now, this figure two thirds of Serbs do not wish to return to

24     Croatia, is that -- do not wish to return in the short-term, because of

25     security issues; or are we talking about, again, your understanding and

Page 20359

 1     your assumption as a person drafting a plan on how to return refugees,

 2     what is your working assumption as to how many of those two thirds don't

 3     have a long-term desire to return to Croatia?

 4        A.   Following the same procedure that I described.  It was before the

 5     programme was adopted at the Croatian parliament.  A little over 50 per

 6     cent did not wish to return to Croatia at all, because in their answers

 7     they had set conditions for return.

 8        Q.   Okay.

 9        A.   They were unequivocal.  They did not wish to return to Croatia

10     until the authorities changed in Croatia.

11        Q.   Okay.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, let me move on to one additional

13     point.  I'm not going to tender the -- unless the Chamber wishes to have

14     it in evidence.

15        Q.   Last point, Mr. Sterc, is you've talked frequently over the last

16     two days about the fact that you had discussions and debates with members

17     of the international community.  Do you -- and you've actually spoken

18     about Mr. Guldimann, G-u-l-d-i-m-a-n-n.

19        A.   Robinson.

20        Q.   Yes.  But Mr. Guldimann was head of the OSCE in Croatia.  And do

21     you recall having debates with him about the issue of refugee returns?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Did you ever participate in any public discussions with

24     Mr. Guldimann about the issue of refugee returns?

25        A.   Yes.  The -- the talk was direct.  It was not a pre-recorded

Page 20360

 1     programme.

 2        Q.   So this was on live television?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   And in that -- in that television discussion, do you recall

 5     whether Mr. Guldimann indicated any position of the international

 6     community with respect to whether mass return was being sought at the

 7     time, mass return of Serb refugees?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Do you recall what his answer was?

10        A.   Well, in fact, no particular problem was raised at that

11     discussion because it followed the adoption of the programme and

12     harmonisation with the international community.  He only confirmed that

13     what the Croatian government was doing was supported by the international

14     community and the OSCE, and we had in fact entered a completely new stage

15     of the resolution of the problem.

16        Q.   Okay.  I'd like to show you a clip from that show, ask you to

17     watch it, and then ask you to confirm whether this is in fact the

18     programme that you are referring to and whether this is -- authentically

19     records a portion of your discussion.

20             MR. MISETIC:  It is, Madam Registrar, 65 ter 1D1560.  And ...

21             Mr. President, the booths have been provided with transcripts of

22     the clip.  The portion of the clip that we intend to show.

23                           [Video-clip played]

24             "Hloverka Novak-Srzic:  Mr. Guldimann your comment.

25              "Tim Guldimann:  I'm very happy we just heard this from

Page 20361

 1     Mr. Mr. Sterc.  It is emphasised that there is a problem we'd have to

 2     deal with jointly.  Any kinds of attempts, let's say like the ones made

 3     by the media in the past few weeks to create an atmosphere of

 4     confrontation and conflict as if there were any pressures, is not right.

 5             "It is quite certain that we, from the international community,

 6     never insisted on anything that would signify a mass return of Serb

 7     refugees.  We are all aware, and we insist, that there must be an

 8     unconditional right for those people to return as the government of

 9     Croatia has agreed to in its international agreements, and then in mutual

10     diplomatic contacts we will see what can be done to support this process,

11     to assist, and for all of us to try to contribute to a facilitation of

12     this process.  And we are in complete agreement on this, and we all agree

13     that something needs to be done."

14             MR. MISETIC:

15        Q.   Mr. Sterc, is that the discussion with Mr. Guldimann to which you

16     were referring to in your testimony?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Does that clip accurately portray a portion of the discussion?

19        A.   Yes.

20             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, we tender the clip, 65 ter 1D1560,

21     into evidence.

22             MS. GUSTAFSON:  No objection.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar.

24             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1612.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.  That is, the video

Page 20362

 1     plus the transcripts.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, that concludes my direct

 3     examination.  I don't know whether you wish me to do a summary now or at

 4     the end.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Perhaps you do a summary taking into account the

 6     ruling of the Chamber.

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President.

 8             Witness Stjepan Sterc -- let me first give the booths a chance to

 9     find the transcript.

10             It's the witness summary of Witness Stjepan Sterc.

11             Witness Stjepan Sterc is a professor at the Faculty of Science at

12     the University of Zagreb and has written extensively on demographic

13     issues in the former Yugoslavia.  On 11 October 1995, Mr. Sterc became

14     the assistant minister for reconstruction and development.  As part of

15     his portfolio, Mr. Sterc was responsible for defining the operative

16     procedures for the return of refugees to their homes.  Mr. Sterc worked

17     on the issue of return of refugees as chairman of the Joint Working Group

18     for return, which consisted of representatives of the government of the

19     Republic of Croatia and the representatives of the international

20     community in the Republic of Croatia.  As chairman of the Joint Working

21     Group, Mr. Sterc concluded numerous agreements and operative procedures

22     for the return of refugees, displaced persons and resettled persons.

23             As chairman of the Joint Working Group, the witness authored

24     agreements in 1997 and 1998 on the return of refugees, in particular the

25     witness authored a 100-page Programme for Return of displaced persons,

Page 20363

 1     refugees, and resettled persons, and the programme defined nearly all

 2     segments of return.  The programme is nearly 100 pages long and is the

 3     most comprehensive document regarding the issue of return.  This

 4     programme, with some minor changes, is the plan that is implemented to

 5     this day in the Republic of Croatia concerning the return of Serb

 6     refugees.  The witness was not only an assistant minister during the

 7     government of President Tudjman, but after the elections in 2000 he was

 8     asked by the new government of Prime Minister Ivica Racan to become the

 9     assistant minister of defence, a post which he held until the end of

10     2003.  In 2000, the witness was asked to join the OSCE mission in Kosovo

11     to perform similar tasks to the ones he had performed in Croatia.  The

12     witness declined the invitation in order to join the government of Prime

13     Minister Racan.

14             And that concludes the summary, Mr. President.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Misetic.

16             I think it would be better to have a break first, Ms. Gustafson.

17     Otherwise, you start your cross-examination and have to interrupt it

18     after a few minutes.

19             Further, Mr. Misetic, could the Chamber expect you to upload a

20     revised version of the 92 ter statement and then, of course, you can make

21     your choices as whether to keep in certain portions, for example, of

22     paragraph 5 or whether you would consider them so much related to the

23     non-admitted parts that you would take them out as well.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  I leave it in your hands.

Page 20364

 1             MR. MISETIC:  We will upload a new version by the court session

 2     on Friday morning.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

 4             Then we'll first have a break, and we resume at 20 minutes to

 5     1.00.

 6                           --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.

 7                           --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Gustafson, are you ready to cross-examine the

 9     witness?

10             Mr. Sterc, you'll now be cross-examined by Ms. Gustafson.

11     Ms. Gustafson is counsel for the Prosecution.

12             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Thank you, Your Honour.  Just before I start, two

13     brief matters.  The first is that the video that was just admitted, I

14     just wanted to put on the record, which was Exhibit D1612, that the

15     transcript of that clip says that we from the international community

16     have never insisted on anything which would signify a mass return of

17     Serbs to Croatia overnight, and the word overnight didn't make it into

18     the transcript and I just wanted to put that on the record.

19             MR. MISETIC:  I believe the procedure is for us to -- she can

20     raise it with me and then we can deal with it, but this has not been

21     raised with me before.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  This is usually best resolved by the two parties

23     together.  On the other hand -- Mr. Misetic.

24             MS. GUSTAFSON: [Overlapping speakers] ...

25             JUDGE ORIE:  -- if it is obvious, then, of course, you will be

Page 20365

 1     glad to join Ms. Gustafson in her observation.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Of course.  My point was that I haven't had a

 3     chance to see whether it's obvious or not.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Okay.

 5             MS. GUSTAFSON:  That's fine, Your Honour.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  We'll hear from you if is there any need.

 7             MS. GUSTAFSON:  The second minor point was that Mr. Carrier needs

 8     five minutes to raise a procedural matter with respect to an upcoming

 9     witness, and perhaps at the end of the session might be the best time to

10     raise that.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Before I give all these kind of promises, do I

12     understand that no other witness has been scheduled for this week, which

13     means that we have Friday available?

14             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, Mr. President.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Which doesn't mean that we have no concern about

16     time, which is at risk not to be used effectively.  But under the

17     circumstances, Mr. Carrier has his five minutes.

18             Please proceed.

19             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Thank you, Your Honour.

20                           Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:

21        Q.   Good afternoon, Mr. Sterc.

22        A.   Good afternoon to you too.

23        Q.   I'd just like to start with asking you a few questions about your

24     position before and after you were appointed assistant minister.

25             Before you were appointed assistant minister in October of 1995,

Page 20366

 1     did you ever have any personal communications with President Tudjman?

 2        A.   Unfortunately, I never met the first president of the Republic of

 3     Croatia.  I never had any contact with him, by telephone or otherwise.

 4        Q.   And is that -- does the same hold after you were appointed

 5     assistant minister.  You never had any contact with him at that point

 6     either?

 7        A.   I never met him.  I never had any contact with him either.

 8        Q.   Okay.  And what about the Minister Jure Radic.  Before you

 9     appointed assistant minister, did you know him and have any personal

10     communications with him?

11        A.   I did not know him before he became assistant minister.

12             THE INTERPRETER:  Sorry, before I became assistant minister.

13             MS. GUSTAFSON:

14        Q.   Thank you.  And after you became assistant minister, I presume

15     you had some contact with him.  Could you describe the nature and extent

16     of your contacts with Jure Radic after your appointment?

17        A.   Primarily those were contacts at the meetings of the collegium of

18     the Ministry for Reconstruction and Development.

19        Q.   And what was that?

20        A.   We discussed the work done the week before in every department.

21        Q.   So those were weekly meetings?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   And aside from you and Mr. Radic, who else attended these weekly

24     meetings.

25        A.   All other assistant ministers and the chief secretary of the

Page 20367

 1     ministry.

 2        Q.   And outside of these meetings your contacts with Mr. Radic were

 3     limited; is that right?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   The Chamber has received evidence that Mr. Radic had one-on-one

 6     meetings with President Tudjman in the period following Operation Storm.

 7     Do you know about any such meetings?

 8        A.   No.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  Now I'd like to move on to the matters that are

10     discussed in paragraph 8 of your witness statement.  In particular, your

11     evidence on the obstacles or lack thereof or of return of Serbs.

12             And you stated that:

13             "There were no obstacles considering that we have stated from the

14     start that the return of Serbs to the Republic of Croatia was a

15     humanitarian and not a political issue, that we agree with the concept of

16     return of all persons to their homes."

17             And you also refer in paragraph 10 of your statement to

18     Ambassador Galbraith's remarks, and you say:

19             "Those remarks must have referred only to the period after

20     Operation Storm, August/September, when safe return from our later point

21     of view was nearly impossible due to a number of objective

22     circumstances."

23             I'd like that ask you a few questions about --

24             MR. MISETIC:  I'm going to object to the characterisation of the

25     statement.  The statement doesn't say there were no obstacles; it says

Page 20368

 1     there were no political obstacles.  It says that --

 2             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Pardon me?

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Which was you intended to read it, I take it.

 4             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Pardon me, thank you.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

 6             MS. GUSTAFSON:

 7        Q.   In reference to your remarks about Ambassador Galbraith, did you

 8     ever meet with Ambassador Galbraith?

 9        A.   No.

10        Q.   And when you refer to his remarks, specifically what remarks of

11     his are you referring to?

12        A.   What I saw from newspaper reports and television reports, the way

13     he sat up on a tractor and saw off the Serbs, left me with my own opinion

14     as a scientist and as a person.

15        Q.   I asked you specifically what remarks, and you referred to what I

16     saw from newspaper reports and television reports.  Specifically what

17     remarks was he making?

18        A.   And what I read in the newspapers.

19        Q.   And what remarks were those that you're referring to in your

20     statement specifically.  What is it that he said in the newspaper that

21     you're talking about here?

22        A.   Well, his statements, later when we started talking to the

23     international community were conveyed to us in Working Group meetings,

24     et cetera.  He said that there were certain preconditions that the

25     Croatian government had created for Serbs not to return.  That was clear

Page 20369

 1     to us and that's what we discussed.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  And back to paragraph 8 of your statement where you

 3     said that:  "We agreed with the concept of return of all persons to their

 4     homes."

 5             By "we," are you referring to the Croatian leadership?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   But, in fact, President Tudjman and the top Croatian leadership

 8     did not agree that all Serbs should return to their homes, and they took

 9     measures aimed at preventing the Krajina Serbs from returning to their

10     homes, didn't they?

11        A.   When I came to the Ministry of Reconstruction and Development,

12     the processes began the way it was described, the return of all persons

13     to their homes.  What politicians discussed at various levels was in fact

14     no concern of mine.  At that time in the Croatian government, there was

15     no politician who could give me any orders, which is not at odds with

16     what we had agreed and what we accepted as a principle, because we knew

17     very clearly what the interests of the Republic of Croatia were.

18        Q.   Minister Radic could give you orders.  He was your boss; isn't

19     that right?

20        A.   No one gave me orders.  It was not a relationship of that kind

21     that Minister Radic could give me any orders that I had to execute.  If

22     he had tried, he would have had my resignation the next day.  That's the

23     kind of relationship we had.

24        Q.   And if he wasn't happy with your work, you could have been

25     dismissed as his assistant, right?

Page 20370

 1        A.   Of course, he could have dismissed me, yes.

 2        Q.   You referred in -- in your statement to certain objective

 3     circumstances that made the safe return in -- nearly impossible in

 4     August and September.

 5             What objective circumstances are you talking about there?

 6        A.   That was absolutely impossible.  A month or two after the war,

 7     after everything that happened in the past five years, to create any sort

 8     of precondition for the return of people was impossible.  The tensions

 9     were unbelievable, psychological, political, the devastation, the

10     infrastructure wasn't working, and anyone in any position of

11     responsibility who would try to get people to come back to those areas

12     had to reckon with the responsibility.

13        Q.   Could you be a little more precise in your answer about these

14     objective circumstances.  You talked about everything that happened in

15     the past five years, tensions, psychological, political, devastation.

16             Can you be a little more precise as to what the specific

17     circumstances in the area were that, in your view, prevented return?

18        A.   The territory was completely devastated.  The population had

19     left.  Not a single infrastructure facility was working, schools,

20     hospitals, you name it.  But when I came to the ministry in October, I

21     knew of all those reasons.  It was quite clear that any step we could

22     make in that direction without proper planning and organisation had no

23     sense.  We knew that Croatia was suffering great pressure and accusations

24     because of that, but we also knew that Croatia first had to create the

25     right conditions and to convince the international community that it was

Page 20371

 1     willing, but with proper planning, organisation, financing, and general

 2     consensus.

 3        Q.   At the beginning of your answer you said:  "The territory was

 4     completely devastated.  The population had left.  Not a single

 5     infrastructure facility was working, schools hospitals, you name it."

 6             In your view, in August and September, were these circumstances

 7     such that it was not possible to return anyone to the territory, whether

 8     Serb or Croat?

 9        A.   Not quite.  Individual returns were possible.

10        Q.   But in your view the situation was the same with respect to the

11     return of Serbs and return of Croats.  It was -- the conditions were

12     equally impossible for their return; is that right?

13        A.   In my view, as an outside observer of that time, yes.

14        Q.   Thank you.

15             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Could we please --

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Gustafson, could I seek clarification on one

17     answer.

18             Mr. Sterc, you said -- let me check that.

19             You said:  "The territory was completely devastated.  The

20     population had left.  Not a single infrastructure facility was working,

21     schools, hospitals, you name it."

22             This Chamber received evidence which suggested that it was a

23     matter of days for the hospital in Knin to be fully functional, or at

24     least to be functional.  I remember even the first baby born in that

25     hospital featuring on a television clip.

Page 20372

 1             Now you tell us that no -- the devastation, the infrastructure

 2     wasn't working.  Anyone, any position, how do I have to reconcile your

 3     answer with the other evidence this Chamber received?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation], of course, they were isolated

 5     cases of reconstruction, and it was only logical to try and make sure

 6     that hospitals started to operate, first of all, but there was no public

 7     transaction, no electricity, no water supply, and these are the

 8     conclusions that I reached on the basis of daily reports and reports in

 9     newspapers, and, as I said, this was my personal opinion as an observer

10     who, at the time, looked at these areas from a distance.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, you didn't include in your answer specifically

12     the water supplies.  You did, however, specifically mention hospitals.

13             Please proceed, Ms. Gustafson.

14             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Thank you, Your Honour.

15             Could we turn to Exhibit P466, please, and on page 25 of the

16     English and page 53 in the B/C/S.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Unless, Ms. Gustafson, I would have one follow-up

18     question.

19             Could you tell us about other hospitals that were in need of

20     reconstruction, because you -- in your answer you said, Well, there may

21     have been -- there were "isolated cases of reconstruction, and it was

22     only logical to try and make sure that hospitals started to operate."

23             Could you tell us about any specific problem in relation to

24     hospitals because your answers suggests that what I just told you about

25     Knin was rather exceptional.

Page 20373

 1             Could you give us any further details about problems in

 2     hospitals?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, Your Honour, I do

 4     not know that and therefore I cannot speak about this.  This was not

 5     within my remit at that time, nor later when I came to the Ministry for

 6     Reconstruction and Development.  So whatever I could say would be from

 7     the second or even third hand.  I cannot give you any direct answer.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Could you please in your answers, before you

 9     give them, ask yourself what kind of knowledge you have.  Because you

10     didn't say, I read in the newspapers that there was no facility

11     functioning anymore, but you said not one single was functioning, you

12     name it, hospitals.  That is a rather firm statement, and I would like

13     you to always be very precise in your answers, as to what you know, what

14     you know from personal observation, and what you heard from others.

15             THE WITNESS:  Okay.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  And where your knowledge is of a general character,

17     rather than of a specific and precise character.

18             Ms. Gustafson, please proceed.

19             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Thank you, Your Honour.

20        Q.   Now, Mr. Sterc, this is the minutes of a meeting held on the 30th

21     August 1995 that President Tudjman held with a number of ministers and

22     advisors.  And I'd like to direct your attention to the bottom of the

23     page in the B/C/S.  Minister Jarnjak speaking and he says:  "The question

24     is about the Serbs that are coming through Hungary, and they are coming

25     to knock on our border because they want to come back.

Page 20374

 1             And if we go to the next page in the B/C/S, President Tudjman

 2     says:  "Do they have our passports?

 3             "Jarnjak:  No, they do not have anything?"

 4             Sarinic says:  "They have Yugoslav passports?"

 5             Jarnjak says:  "I would like to us give them instructions that

 6     they should get entry visas in Belgrade in our office, if you agree.

 7             "President Tudjman:  I would not give anything.  You have to give

 8     instructions to the customs that they should not let people without

 9     papers to cross border."

10             And Mr. Sarinic says:  "President, let us get inspired the way it

11     is in Western Slavonia.  It was very positive for us, because no one came

12     back.  Let them report to the international humanitarian organisations

13     and then those organisations should give us ..."

14             And then the president says:  "Wait a second, if he comes from

15     another country and the customs officer does not conduct any politics."

16             Sarinic says:  "We should not let them come here.  No way.  They

17     were coming like this to Banja Luka as well ..."

18             And a few lines down, the president says again:

19             "Therefore we should not have any directions but just to let them

20     know they cannot come inside."

21             That's on the next page in the English.

22             And Mr. Granic says:  "According to the agreement in Belgrade,

23     there are only 204 of them that registered and they started to register

24     in Skopje, so they did that as well down there.  And the third thing is

25     that they started to come here without any papers."

Page 20375

 1             President Tudjman says:  "If we let 204 persons come here,

 2     tomorrow we would have 1.204, and in ten days 12.000 ..."

 3             MS. GUSTAFSON:  And if we turn in the B/C/S to the next page:

 4        Q.    "Nothing for now."

 5             Let me ask you this first, Mr. Sterc, when Sarinic said "let us

 6     get inspired the way it is in Western Slavonia because no one came back,"

 7     that's a reference to the departure of Serbs from Western Slavonia during

 8     Operation Flash, right?

 9        A.   Yes, I assume.

10             MR. MISETIC:  I was just going to say that it calls for

11     speculation.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  The witness has answered the question.  I take it,

13     then, that you take this to be a speculative answer.  That's --

14             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, and -- exegetical if that is a word, but ...

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Ms. Gustafson.

16             MS. GUSTAFSON:

17        Q.   And when President Tudjman gave instructions to Jarnjak to

18     instruct customs officials not to let Croatian Serbs who do not have

19     papers to cross the border, and then -- and expressed the concern that if

20     they began to let people in, in ten day there would be 12.000, that

21     reflects President Tudjman's desire to keep the Krajina Serbs out of

22     Croatia, doesn't it.

23        A.   Possibly.  I don't know.

24        Q.   And it was -- was the policy of the top Croatian leadership to

25     prevent any large-scale return of the Krajina Serbs to Croatia, and to

Page 20376

 1     limit individual returns, such that only a small fraction of the Krajina

 2     Serbs could ever return to Croatia.

 3             That was the policy, wasn't it?

 4        A.   I did not feel it as the leading person who was in charge of

 5     creating preconditions necessary for return in charge of contacts with

 6     international community and all the related affairs.  And also, I can say

 7     the following:  What you just told me, and this is the first time that I

 8     am hearing this, this only confirms that people who attended that meeting

 9     did not have a clue by migrations in general, and particularly about

10     migrations caused by a war.

11        Q.   Are you saying that the president of the country, the interior

12     minister, and the foreign minister of Croatia didn't have a clue about

13     migrations caused by the war and what was happening with the Krajina

14     Serbs; is that your position?

15             MR. MISETIC:  That misstate what is the witness's answer was.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  If that's a misstatement, then are you invited now

18     to precisely quote -- at the same time, Mr. Misetic, people attending

19     that meeting, that could be all people, some people but, of course, only

20     some portions have been read to the witness, so, therefore, he is aware

21     only of those persons, I take it, that they were present.

22             Your answer was that what Ms. Gustafson read to you:  That that

23     "only confirms that people attending that meeting did not have a clue

24     about migrations in general, and particularly about migrations caused by

25     a war."

Page 20377

 1             Would that include President Tudjman at that time, Mr. Jarnjak,

 2     and -- who else was it?  The minister of foreign affairs, I think.

 3             Would they be included in this observation or this remark?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say they did not have an

 5     idea.  I said very clearly that, on the basis of these discussions and

 6     the numbers mentioned therein, it can be concluded - and this is my

 7     conclusion as an expert in the field - that they did not know anything

 8     about the laws of migration, and particularly not the laws of migration

 9     at the times of war and after the war.

10             MS. GUSTAFSON:

11        Q.   Well, it's the case, is it not, that around this time, and around

12     the time you were appointed assistant minister, there were thousands of

13     Krajina Serbs trying to come back into Croatia who were being prevented

14     from doing so; isn't that right?

15        A.   I thank you for this question.

16             When I came to the Ministry of Reconstruction and Development,

17     the issue was not the wish of thousands of peoples to return, but,

18     rather, the wish was to have an organised return.  I felt all these

19     pressures at the moment I came to the ministry.  At the time we did not

20     still have the administration formed or any logistics in place, but I

21     felt the pressure from day one, and I need to say that a pressure of

22     thousands of people who wished to return to Croatia was not felt as such

23     but there was, rather, the pressure at the political, public level, and

24     at the level of the media.

25             And it was actually me who requested, given the situation at the

Page 20378

 1     time and a country that I represented was under attack, but I requested

 2     that we spoke publically about this issue.  Publically.  This was

 3     supposed to involve representatives of international community,

 4     diplomacy, or anybody else.

 5        Q.   My question was simply around this time that you were appointed

 6     assistant minister, there were thousands of Krajina Serbs trying to come

 7     back into Croatia and they've been prevented from doing so?

 8             MR. MISETIC:  I think we're getting the long answers because of

 9     the imprecision in the question.  Around this time, does that mean before

10     he became in the position or --

11             MS. GUSTAFSON:  October 1995.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Again, is that October 11th, before October 11th,

13     or after?  Because it makes a difference as to the witness's foundation

14     of knowledge.

15             MS. GUSTAFSON:  After.

16        Q.   After you were appointed assistant minister.  There were

17     thousands of Krajina Serbs trying to come back to Croatia who were being

18     prevented from doing so.

19             Could you please answer that question, yes or no?

20        A.   Yes, there were thousands of Serbs who wanted to return to their

21     homes and, obviously, this is their right.  But, indeed, formerly

22     occupied area.  But there were also Serbs who wished to come back to

23     other areas of Croatia, so we need to distinguish between these two.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  The question was a -- very much a question of fact,

25     and in your answer you are changing the question, Mr. Sterc, because the

Page 20379

 1     question was whether there were thousands of Krajina Serbs trying to come

 2     back.  Then you start your answer, yes, there were thousands of Serbs

 3     wishing to come back, and then you start making all kind of distinctions.

 4             The question simply was whether there were thousands of Serbs

 5     which tried -- trying to come back to Croatia --

 6             THE WITNESS:  Okay.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Who were being prevented from doing so.

 8             If, at the end of your testimony, you would like to give any

 9     further clarification you're invited to do so, but could you please first

10     answer this question as it was put to [Overlapping speakers] ...

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  [Previous translation continues] ... by

13     Ms. Gustafson.  Please proceed.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

15             Yes, there were thousands of Serbs who wanted to come back to

16     Croatia, but there was no pressure that this return had to be effected

17     immediately.  I can also further explain in relation to your question,

18     given that I made quite a few analyses within my capacity, we need to

19     clarify which Serbs we are talking about and to which parts of Croatia

20     they wanted to come back to, because they could come back without any

21     problems to two thirds of Croatia.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Gustafson, I noticed in my previous question

23     that by answering the question in the affirmative, then the witness

24     rephrases your question in such a way that the affirmation becomes

25     unclear.  I leave it to you whether -- the difference between wishing,

Page 20380

 1     wanting, trying, whether -- of what relevance that is.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, if I could just note that perhaps we

 3     may wish the -- how the word itself is being interpreted, it may be the

 4     cause of this --

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  If there is any interpretation problem, as always I

 6     expect those who can assist us in this respect to seek clarification in

 7     the way it's usually done.  That is, not give the alternative translation

 8     but to ask our interpreters to again interpret the same words and then

 9     try to find out.

10             Ms. Gustafson, perhaps if you rephrase the question by perhaps

11     not using the word "trying," but find an alternative for that which does

12     not in any way affect your question, then your invited to do so.

13             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Thank you.  Perhaps we could just look at 65 ter

14     4333, page 12 in the English and page 14 in the B/C/S.

15        Q.   Now, Mr. Sterc, this is a 25th October 1995 transcript of a

16     meeting, again, between President Tudjman and a number of his -- of

17     government ministers and advisors.

18             Dr. Ivica Kostovic, he was the vice-prime minister - is that

19     right?  At the time?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Thank you.  And if we could just look at where he speaks.  I

22     think it's at the bottom of the page in the B/C/S.

23              "President, before you left, yesterday, Galbraith pressurised

24     me.  Today Satuk came from Belgrade, they filed a request through the

25     American side for the reception of 3.000 Serbs that would like to return,

Page 20381

 1     plus 1.500 that are requesting their property.  I told them, of course,

 2     nothing before the elections, and that besides the regular procedure

 3     there is only that humanitarian one.

 4             "I now -- we would simply ask for your political instructions

 5     before you leave so that we could give to MUP and Ministry of Foreign

 6     Affairs" --

 7             MS. GUSTAFSON:  If we could turn the page in both.

 8        Q.   And the president says:

 9             "Regular procedure were justifiable, either as family reunion or

10     something else.  Let them return individually, but no pressures from

11     Satok or Batok or anyone else.  The return of some 3.000 out of 300.000

12     that left should not bother us at all."

13             MS. GUSTAFSON:  And if we go further down to the page to where

14     Mr. Jarnjak speaks, and to page 15 in -- page 15 B/C/S.

15             Jarnjak says:

16             "They all phone every day, Zivko Juzbasic calls every day.  I

17     have a list of 50 people, et cetera.  I told him, Brother you are nothing

18     in this countries."

19             Just pause there for a moment.  Zivko Juzbasic, he was a Serb

20     delegate to Croatian parliament - is that right? - at the time?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   And then the next page in the B/C/S, Miroslav Tudjman says:

23     "There are 10.000 people in front of our office who want to return."

24             If we turn in the English, Kostovic says:

25             "8.000 in Belgrade and two at Rebic, and this Galbraith has given

Page 20382

 1     me a list with 3.000 people."

 2             And then Miroslav Tudjman speaks and Minister Jarnjak says:

 3             "President, the latest information is this:  They are sending

 4     them to Kosovo, but 90 per cent of them then escape to Nis.  Those who

 5     went to work escaped to Nis and they are now in Nis.  Now, a part of

 6     those from Nis came to Zagreb and say that they would rather come back to

 7     Croatia and to do anything but to stay in ... that is the essence of

 8     their desire to return.  They can materialise that right through us."

 9             And the president says:

10             "Process individually."

11             And Zarko Domljan says:

12             "I think that a decision should be reached here if this should be

13     processed individually.  Every single one of them is a citizen or has a

14     right to citizenship but he has to prove it, or are we going to accept

15     those lists."

16             On the next page in the B/C/S, President Tudjman says:

17             "We will not accept any lists, but we are going to process it

18     individually."

19             And then Jadranka Koso says, in the next page in the English:

20             "If I might add something, Mr. President, because I was getting

21     in my programme a lot of such questions that the people would like to

22     return and then the people called; for example, my mother is very old,

23     she is 86 years, she is now in Nis, et cetera.  So it would be nice to

24     pick out the elderly and the ill and to process them individually."

25             And Jarnjak says:

Page 20383

 1             "Humanitarian return, that is a task for the humanitarian part."

 2             Kostovic:

 3             "There are military officers who have parents that would like to

 4     return."

 5             Susak:

 6             "Mr. President, an instruction should be issued to speed up such

 7     ... so that we have something to fall back on, while everything else

 8     follows its own way."

 9             And if we turn the page in the B/C/S Jarnjak says:

10             "I will issue a task tomorrow to see how many have already been

11     returned.  One part has been returned, and we have returned some of those

12     humanitarian problems.  Therefore, I think that there are already a

13     couple of hundred who are exactly that family reunion.  We will then

14     publish and say yes to such politics, that method of family reunion, but

15     individual cases, no mass."

16             And finally, on the next page, Mr. Kostovic says:

17             "I have lied that a couple of thousand have already arrived, so

18     this has to be done carefully because it might provoke ..."

19             And Mr. Jarnjak says:

20             "You did not lie.  You wrote the usual."

21             Now, this transcript reflects, does it not, whether you call it

22     wanting or trying, there are thousands of Krajina Serbs either wanting or

23     trying to get into Croatia, and the top leadership is taking steps to

24     prevent that.  Does it not?

25        A.   I truly know nothing about this.  I don't know that there were

Page 20384

 1     any concrete attempts.  I can only say what happened after I arrive.

 2     From everything that I heard here, nothing was ever requested from us.

 3        Q.   Well, you weren't in charge of keeping people out at the borders,

 4     were you?  I mean, what would this have to do with your job?

 5        A.   I must admit, that when I arrived, I did not see anyone keeping

 6     anyone from returning.  On the contrary.  Everything was done to help

 7     people return successfully, although the numbers involved were not large.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Gustafson, you put a transcript to the witness.

 9     He says, I don't know anything about that.  Then what more you can ask

10     him, and you did to some extent ask him whether he could comment on it.

11     You gave your interpretation of what this conversation tells us.  It

12     could that be he has any specific knowledge or information which would

13     show that your understanding of the transcript is wrong.  Apparently he

14     has not.  At least that's what I take from his answer.

15             Then what else to do with this, because then the Chamber, of

16     course, will consider without any further assistance of this witness,

17     what the conversation is about and what the gist of it is.

18             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Your Honour, perhaps could I ask a question that

19     the Chamber would --

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, if have you any questions.  But try to -- if

21     there's -- if this is a part of a road to a certain destination try to

22     reach that destination as soon as possible.

23             MS. GUSTAFSON:

24        Q.   Mr. Sterc, you earlier said in your testimony that it was -- and

25     you spoke for the Croatian leadership.  I asked that you specifically.

Page 20385

 1     That the Croatian leadership agreed with the concept of return of all

 2     persons to their homes.  But in fact you don't really know, as your

 3     comments on this transcript reflect, what the top Croatian leadership was

 4     agreeing to with respect to the return of the Krajina Serbs; isn't that

 5     right?

 6        A.   Of course I don't know that.  I can only infer that from the

 7     affairs that I handled.  In any move that we made in agreement with the

 8     international community, et cetera, nobody asked me to take that back or

 9     invited me to give me such orders, et cetera.

10        Q.   I'd like to ask you one more questions about this because you

11     made some comments and criticisms of Ambassador Galbraith's understanding

12     of the situation with respect to the return of the Krajina Serbs.  Did

13     you know that at this time, the 25th of October, Ambassador Galbraith had

14     a list of 3.000 Serbs who wanted to return that he was presenting to the

15     members of the Croatian leadership.

16             Did you know about that?

17        A.   No.  May I clarify?  Okay.

18             Can I just explain one thing?  I personally would have been happy

19     if Mr. Galbraith had brought that list to us at the ministry so that we

20     can start the procedure.

21        Q.   But you didn't have any say as to who was or wasn't allowed to

22     cross the border into Croatia, did you?  That wasn't something for the

23     Ministry of Reconstruction.  That would have been the Ministry of

24     Interior or of immigration, wouldn't it?

25        A.   Correct, exactly.  Only once they were in Croatia could we start

Page 20386

 1     agreeing with them on care and accommodation.

 2        Q.   Thank you.

 3             MS. GUSTAFSON:  Your Honour, I note the time and I wonder if this

 4     is a good time.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  This is an appropriate time.  I know that

 6     Mr. Carrier would like to --

 7             MS. GUSTAFSON:  I would just like to tender this exhibit as well.

 8     Sorry, Your Honour.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, Madam Registrar.  But first any objection

10     against -- if there is no objection, Madam Registrar, the number would

11     be?

12             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that would be Exhibit P2589.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  P2589 is admitted into evidence.

14             Mr. Sterc, we are not sitting tomorrow.  That means that we'd

15     like to see you back for the last portion, I expect, of your testimony on

16     Friday morning, 9.00 in this same courtroom.  I give you the same

17     instruction as I did yesterday, that you should not speak with anyone

18     about your testimony, whether that is testimony you have given already

19     yesterday and today, or whether that is testimony still to be given on

20     Friday.

21             Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Sterc out of the

22     courtroom.

23                           [The witness stands down]

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Before I give an opportunity to Mr. Carrier to raise

25     an issue, I would like to inform the parties, and I'm thinking month -- a

Page 20387

 1     month ahead, that on the 16th of October, there will be no hearing.  That

 2     is a Friday.  That, in the week after that, which is the 19th, 20th,

 3     21st, 22nd, and also 23rd but that's is a UN holiday, that the Chamber

 4     will not be sitting in this case.  That's our Autumn week off.  That

 5     includes the Friday, the 16th of October.

 6             Mr. Carrier.

 7             MR. CARRIER:  Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, sorry

 8     I'm coughing a lot today.

 9             Just for the record the Prosecution received an expert report

10     from Ivan Pokaz or --

11                           [Prosecution counsel confer]

12             MR. CARRIER:  I apologise, that should be redacted.  This is --

13     that part is confidential.  We -- I can just not refer to the name at the

14     moment.

15             The Prosecution received an expert report --

16             JUDGE ORIE:  One second.

17             MR. MISETIC:  I believe it's public, the expert report.

18             MR. KEHOE:  It is.  We filed it publicly.

19             MR. MISETIC:  No?  No.

20             MR. KEHOE:  No?

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's go into private session.

22             Madam Registrar, I'd like to have a redaction on from the

23     coughing of Mr. Carrier.

24                           [Private session]

25   (redacted)

Page 20388

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18                           [Open session]

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

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.

21             Please proceed, Mr. Carrier.  You asked for five minutes.  Now

22     three have been gone by.  Please proceed.

23             MR. CARRIER:  We have received -- I'll try to move it along.  We

24     received an expert report written by Ivan Pokaz from the Gotovina Defence

25     on the 9th of July, 2009.  This is a 148-page report which contains four

Page 20389

 1     chapters, each of those chapters has a related annex.  To date, the

 2     Prosecution has still not received the related annexes.  Those contain

 3     the documents that are being referred to in the report and support the

 4     underlying opinions.  I looked at the B/C/S version yesterday in e-court,

 5     and there are no annexes to that either.

 6             We informally raised this issue with the Gotovina Defence on the

 7     9th July 2009, and the Prosecution was informed that which should expect

 8     a street that would list the document than would be provided within a

 9     week which by my calculations should be tomorrow.

10             The Gotovina Defence also indicated that due to some limited

11     translation resources at their disposal that we should not expect English

12     translations of at least some of the documents contained in the annexes

13     and that we'll get those at a later time.

14             On the 10th of July 2009 the Gotovina Defence followed up and

15     asserted that they had until the 25th of August, 2009 to provide all the

16     documents that were cited by Mr. Pokaz in his report which is five days

17     before he is scheduled to testify at the moment.  And in the same -- on

18     the same date, they reserved the right to submit additional addenda up to

19     40 pages in length three weeks in advance of Mr. Pokaz's testimony.

20             And for the record, in order for Prosecution to decide by

21     August 8th, 2009, whether or not to accept, cross-examine on, or

22     challenge the report, we ask that the most complete version of the report

23     possible be filed with sufficient underlying documents.  Additionally, we

24     ask that a copy of Mr. Pokaz's CV be provided.  I raised that this

25     morning with Mr. Kehoe, and he very helpfully agreed to do that.  I'm

Page 20390

 1     just not sure when that's going to happen, in terms of at least the CV.

 2             This material is required for the Prosecution to meaningfully

 3     evaluate Mr. Pokaz's expertise, the relevance of opinions that he's

 4     offering in his report, and to be able to do that within the time-limits

 5     prescribed by the rules, and also in order to make a determination on how

 6     best to proceed with the report.

 7             And finally, Your Honours, the Prosecution notes that the

 8     report's obviously in draft translation form, and we're not sure whether

 9     or not we should be expecting a final translation, and if there is, one,

10     we'd ask that the pages be numbered because at the moment it's 148

11     non-numbered pages and it will be difficult to reference things.  Just

12     wanted to put that on the record.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Let's go not too much in detail.  I also

14     noticed that there was no CV, not in the beginning, not in the end.

15     There was nothing about Mr. Pokaz apparently.

16             MR. MISETIC:  That will be filed today, Mr. President.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

18             MR. MISETIC:  I understood it is already in my e-mail.

19             With respect to the rest of it, I think the Chamber is well aware

20     of the Gotovina Defence's insistence on equal treatment with the

21     Prosecution.  I'm dumbfounded by claims that they can't meet the 30 -day

22     deadline when we get hit with a 700-page report by Mr. Theunens without

23     nearly close to the underlying documentation, and yet somehow we were

24     able to file something within 30 days which simply said that we intend to

25     cross-examine him.

Page 20391

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Let me make one thing very clear.  The Chamber will

 2     consider every complaint or objection to --

 3             MR. MISETIC:  I --

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  -- to matters on its own merits.  I do understand

 5     from your words that you say the Prosecution did not follow the rules.

 6     Equality of arms means that we are also entitled not to follow the Rules.

 7     That is certainly not what the Chamber take as a starting point.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  It is my understanding under Article 21.  We are

 9     able to call the evidence in the same manner as the evidence that was

10     called against us.  Therefore, we are going to insist that we are

11     entitled to call the evidence in the same manner as the Prosecution did.

12     This is in my view a red herring, and as I indicated, and I believe the

13     Chamber is well aware of the irritation that we experienced in light of

14     similar issues that came up, we are doing the best we can.  Our

15     translators are not machines.  And we will provide reports on an ongoing

16     basis as well as whatever CLSS translates and delivers to us, will be

17     delivered to them.  I don't think substantively there's any reason they

18     can't say they intend to cross-examine and I think it's simply -- I don't

19     know want to be too strong here but the suggestion that there will be no

20     cross-examination of Mr. Pokaz and that is really an option here, I -- I

21     find hard to believe, but in any event, I don't see why, for example,

22     Mr. Theunens could submit an addendum three weeks before testifying and

23     if we have additional matters we should be allowed do to the same.

24     Mr. Theunens is -- 15 documents didn't come until five days before he

25     took the stand to testify.

Page 20392

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  We don't have to go through -- it's on the record

 2     now that there is concern clearly expressed by Mr. Carrier who tells us

 3     and tells you that he has difficulties in preparing for this expert

 4     witness.  The parties are invited to work out a kind of working

 5     agreement, schedule, to get on speaking terms again, and if they do not

 6     succeed to reach that, and on Friday, we will hear further from you, and

 7     this is not an invitation that everyone declares that is he fully happy

 8     on Friday, but that a workable situation has been established with all

 9     the shortcomings which are part of human behaviour and nature.

10             If it really comes to a point where it -- then, of course, the

11     Chamber will intervene and will give rulings.  Then we'd also like to

12     hear because there is another matter we're now talking about what has to

13     be -- what has to happen in August.

14             Has the Prosecution's notice on the expert report of

15     Witness Cross, have you received that already?  He is scheduled to

16     testify on the 24th of July, if I'm not wrong.

17             MR. CARRIER:  I believe we have.  And if I could just --

18             JUDGE ORIE:  If that's the case, then we're confident and we'll

19     find it.

20             MR. CARRIER:  Your Honour, there is one thing.  Given the time

21     schedule it's just that I'm going to be out of the country, so I won't be

22     able to speak with Mr. Misetic unless is directly after court.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  You find some of your learned friend, I take it, who

24     will speak with Mr. Misetic and you instruct them clearly.  Is that a

25     possibility or you give him a phone call from abroad.

Page 20393

 1             MR. CARRIER:  That sounds nice.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  I can ...

 3             We will adjourn for the day and we'll resume and Friday, the 17th

 4     of July, 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom III.

 5                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.,

 6                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 17th day of July,

 7                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.