12381 Wednesday, 6 July 2011
[The accused entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this courtroom.
Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. I was informed that the Prosecution would like to raise two matters. The first one, of course the Chamber has no idea yet, to be raised either in public session or in closed session, the second in closed session. For the first one, what will we do, Mr. Weber?
(11 lines redacted) 12382
(4 lines redacted)
JUDGE ORIE: One second. Let's move into closed session.
MR. WEBER: Okay.
(18 lines redacted) 12383
(73 pages redacted) 12456
(2 lines redacted)
THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. We'll adjourn for the day. And we'll resume tomorrow morning, Thursday, the 7th of July, 9.00, Courtroom II.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of
July, 2011 at 9.00 a.m.
ourier New"'>23 A. Number 8 was our immediate superior who at the time was acting chief of the State Security Service of the federal MUP. He was with us for a couple of days only to introduce us to the Croatian side and return 12396 to Belgrade thereafter, so that only seven of us, those listed under numbers 1 through 7, were out in the field, whereas number 9 was a member of the DB security centre in Sibenik. Number 10, Nikola -- oh, I'm sorry, the last name is not "Vuko," it's "Vuku," there's an error; he was the chief of the police station in Sibenik. Number 11 was representative of the HDZ, Croatian Democratic Union, i.e., the ruling party. He was an assistant to number 10 and was charged with party issues mainly. And that's the team.
Q. Thank you. During or before this operation did you know number 1?
A. Yes, I was his superior.
Q. And what was your relationship to him on a personal level?
Q. How did you travel to Croatia?
A. In an official vehicle. I think there were four official vehicles. Everyone had a vehicle each and an individual to accompany him as personal security.
Q. Did you receive a briefing before you went?
A. Both official and unofficial briefings, yes.
Q. Who led the briefings?
A. The instructions were given personally by the federal secretary -- federal minister, who was Petar Gracanin at the time. We went to see him twice to discuss our tasks in the field.
Q. Can you recall now, briefly, what it was you were told to expect and what it was you were told you should do? 12397
A. Well, first of all we were told that we should be courteous and fair in our dealings with both the Croatian and Serbian side, the Serbian side being in Krajina, to get an objective view of the situation, to try to talk to people in the field, and to calm down any passions or emotions to co-operate well with the military security service which was charged with providing us with all the necessary logistics and assistance in the field.
We were also to try to act as mediators in the areas where inter-ethnic conflicts were emerging. In particular, we were to take good care of our lives and avoid placing ourselves and our lives at risk unnecessarily. In these direct discussions with the federal minister and the then acting Petar Misovic, I myself was given the task to try, in addition to these activities, to get into contact with some individuals in Croatia in order to find among them persons we could talk to in order to calm the situation down and find a solution.
This would have been, let's put it that way, pro-Yugoslavs who still believed in the possibility for Yugoslavia to survive. Since I hailed from the area and my father is native of Sibenik and one of the streets bears his name, which meant that my family name was well known over there, and in view of the fact that I had relatives and quite a few acquaintances over there, I was told that that should be my focus of efforts, aimed at trying to win over individuals for dialogue and communication in order to avert conflicts and war.
Q. Were you given any named persons to make contact with upon arrival in the region? 12398
A. The persons that were supposed to be contacted were supposed to be 9, 10, and 11 on the Croatian side, and we had almost daily meetings with them. There were other persons as well, who were not named -- who are not named here, from the public security centre in Sibenik, as well as individuals from military security.
The individuals I was supposed to make contact with were known to me only. We didn't discuss this. It was left to my discretion to decide who I was ultimately to talk to.
Q. What did -- where -- let me start that again. Where did you go to upon arrival in the region? What was your first port of call?
A. We arrived in Sibenik directly and took up lodging in the hotel Solaris. The first discussions were with representatives of the Croatian government, i.e., numbers 9 through 11. There were also representatives of political structures from Zagreb, as well as the assistant to the then minister Jurica, and I can't recall his last name.
At any rate, these were first official meetings, introductions, at which point we told the Croatian side what we intended do. In other words, we conveyed to them the official statement by the Presidency of the SFRY, though they had been informed on their side of our arrival and were privy to these statements that had been published. Our visit there was covered and reported about in the media, so it was no secret. It was seen as an opportunity at the time to avoid conflicts and any situations of excess. Subsequently we had a meeting with the military security structure in Sibenik, Knin, and ultimately with Mr. Martic, also in Knin. 12399
Q. Can you recall the nature of the meeting with the military structures, military security structures, in Sibenik, Knin -- Sibenik and Knin, the contents of the meetings? Very briefly, please.
A. Yes. I attended these meetings, so I remember that. Numbers 2, 3, 4, 8, and myself attended these meetings. The discussions concerned our obligations and tasks arising from the decisions of the Presidency of the SFRY. They were acquainted with all our tasks and obligations and told us that they placed themselves fully at our disposal, that they would be as accommodating as possible in terms of logistics and support. They also referred us to their security officer in the garrison in Knin, Tolimir, and Pecanac, I believe.
The meeting was a very constructive and short one. They were supposed to show that they are forthcoming and that -- and they were supposed to give us military escort, if possible, whenever we would head to an area where tensions were high and where skirmishes or clashes had already emerged between the Croats and the Serbs.
Q. How long after your arrival in the region was it before you saw or had a meeting with Martic?
A. First we spent one or two days talking to Croatian representatives and arranging the schedule of our travels in the areas controlled by the Croatians' forces. In these areas we would be escorted by representatives of the MUP of the centre in Sibenik. When it came to the area controlled by the Serbs, they were not able to help us but we had to be escorted by the army. As I said, we had a meeting with the military service with whom we made an itinerary of our visits. 12400 Meanwhile, it was agreed that numbers 6 and 7 would relocate to Zadar in order to cover Zadar and surrounding area.
Q. Sorry, can I just cut you short a moment. Could you just answer directly how long it was before you saw Martic, please.
A. Ten to 15 days.
Q. During that 10 to 15 days, having met with the Croatian forces -- I beg your pardon, with the Croatian officials and the military intelligence -- military security officials, did you form a view from those conversations as to what the problems seemed to be? From the Croatian side, how they perceived them; from the military side, how they perceived them?
A. When we arrived in Sibenik, the Sibenik Police Station had only between 10 and 15 policemen. On the other hand, the organising of the ZNG was underway, the so-called National Guards Corps. The Croatian population had already begun to become armed in an organised fashion, and these were inhabitants of the villages which had Serbian villages as neighbouring. Skirmishes had already emerged between these village guards, as we referred to them. On the other hand, number 10 complained to me on a number of occasions that he was under great pressure from number 11, i.e., from the HDZ, which had all power in their hands, and they were -- decided which locations would be visited and which tasks would be attended to.
Number 11 who had never been a member of the HDZ and had never worked in either the public or the state security -- or, rather, who had been a member of the HDZ but had never worked in either the public or 12401 state security had more influence to wield than number 10 who had been a member of the service for a long time. So often times we were in a dilemma. We didn't know whether to discuss matters with professionals, who were numbers 9 and 10, or with number 11 who is an individual who was going to have the ultimate say anyhow. That was the problem we had with them.
Another problem was that even out in the field in the areas under their control they were not able to guarantee our safety and security 100 per cent.
Q. Sorry, the last sentence, "another problem was that even out in the field in the areas under their control," who's "their control"? Who are you referring to?
A. Under the control of the Croatian forces.
Q. Why were they not able to guarantee your safety?
A. First of all they didn't have enough men to escort us and see to it that we reached the intended areas unhindered. Second, in the areas in close proximity to the Serbian side, conflicts were a frequent occurrence. And the team from Sibenik, numbers 9 to 11, were having a hard time putting a stop to that. And as I said, they didn't have enough men to send into the field to stop these conflicts. For this reason the army had to send its units over there on a number of occasions to separate the conflicting parties in these villages. For these reasons they were unable to guarantee full safety for us because even the villages that we visited in their company we were able to see the locals being more aggressive towards them than us, in fact, because they 12402 obviously blamed them for the situation, which was very chaotic at the time.
MR. JORDASH: Could we have, please, on the screen 1D2390.
Q. Now, this isn't a very good copy but I hope you can read it. You've seen this document before. It's in the chart that you filled in. I just want to ask you some further questions. First of all, had you seen this report before coming to testify or coming to prepare to testify?
Q. Do you recall its contents? We'll go through parts of it in a moment.
Q. Is there anything within it, as you recall it, that you disagree with?
A. No. I think that these are facts as we knew them. There's nothing that I would object to here. We all knew that this was a provocation of the Croatian authorities directed at Borovo Selo and the Serbian population living there.
Q. Just to situate ourselves in time: Did this take place before or after your arrival in Croatia?
A. We went to Croatia in early May, 5 or 6 May. I can't recall the exact date of the attack on Borovo Selo. I think it happened before our departure for Croatia. In any event, it was widely reported in the media and the subject of discussions for months to come. I even think this may have been the primer, as it were, or the event which prompted us to send 12403 a team of the federal MUP over there to calm the situation down. So I think that we went to Croatia after this happened.
Q. Thank you. And if one looks at page 2 of the English and page 2 of the B/C/S, at the top of the page on the English copy the Serbian MUP report notes that statements of the Croatian MUP who had put forward one version of events were contradicted by intelligence obtained from statements from other captured specials who say that the raid on Borovo Selo was planned in advance and orders had been given to spare women and children while everyone else should be killed. Did you speak to anyone within Croatia about this order or this intelligence?
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
MR. WEBER: Objection. Foundation. I don't believe this witness has testified that he's received this intelligence. How would he have been aware to discuss such -- the intelligence from the Serbian DB?
JUDGE ORIE: Well, we'll take it that it will become clear from his answer. So I would --
MR. JORDASH: Only because he read the report, as the witness has said, before he went to Borovo Selo. And the intelligence is referred to in the report.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, whether that reached him or not, but let's ask the witness and let's find out.
Q. Did you follow that, Mr. Witness? Were you privy to -- well, we know you were privy to this report because you've told us that. Were you 12404 privy to any further intelligence concerning the planning and orders given from the Croatian MUP concerning the events in Borovo Selo?
A. Yes, we had intelligence to that effect. Often times we would exchange information, not just -- well, we wouldn't just report this to the MUP of Serbia, we would report to the Presidency of the SFRY. You'd have to know that Yugoslavia was still in existence at the time, and our obligation was to inform of all security-related intelligence, in a summary form or a detailed form, all the intelligence services across Yugoslavia.
This sort of information about the activities of the MUP of Croatia and their efforts which were provocative in nature were, if not constant, frequent. So we had voluminous information that we provided to other services in the territory of Yugoslavia about Croatia's intentions. We even informed the leadership of Croatia, that's to say, the administration in Zagreb, of the intelligence we had and asked that measures be taken to prevent such attacks and provocation activities from happening.
I do know that the military service did the same, provided information about the movement of Croatian forces and their constant provocative activities. They also protested on this score. But we didn't feel that the Croatian authorities did anything to prevent this. Rather, when some of their activities were discovered in the early stages, they were forced to discontinue them.
MR. JORDASH: Could we go to --
Q. Thank you for the answer, Mr. Witness. 12405
MR. JORDASH: Could we go to page 3 of the English and page 5 of the B/C/S.
Q. Wherein at the bottom of page 3 of the English it -- in the last sentence it says:
The Serbian --
THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please provide the reference in the B/C/S for the sake interpretation. Thank you.
MR. JORDASH: B/C/S page 5, please.
Q. The "Serbian inhabitants of many villages in Vukovar and other municipalities," going over the page to page 4 of the English and 6 of the B/C/S, "have therefore been organising themselves in growing fear and uncertainty of possible measures that the Croatian MUP might take in the present situation."
During your visits to the various locations within Croatia, was that something you observed independent from this report? Do you follow my question?
A. Yes, and I understood it. If you're asking me about the sentiments of the Serb population in that area and in all the areas inhabited by the Serbs, I can tell you that there were constant provocations. In addition to that, in the field there were constant threats, and disturbing information was coming in through the press and TV. This further increased the feeling of unease with the population. In the field where I went, in Knin, Zadar, and Sibenik, the population of the villages there began organising themselves, creating the so-called village guards. They were afraid that Croatian forces would come in and 12406 were trying to defend themselves against other provocations. The same goes for the territory of Slavonia and Baranja. I'm saying this because as the chief of the counter-intelligence sector, I frequently exchanged information with our colleagues in the area of Slavonia and Baranja. More or less, I was acquainted with the problems taking place there. They were practically the same to those in Knin, Sibenik, and Zadar. There were constant provocations of not only Serbs but later on of the JNA as well.
Q. Return -- thank you for the answer. Returning to the report and the second-to-last paragraph:
"The new situation and the objective assumptions about the future actions of Croatian MUP members, which would undoubtedly provoke still more tragic consequences, have led some representatives of the Serbs in these areas to turn to the Serbian MUP for help in the form of a greater presence of JNA units in the wider area. Following this, the Serbian MUP has had appropriate discussions with representatives of the SSNO, which has given its assurances that the JNA will be engaged within the framework of its constitutional powers to prevent the further escalation of conflicts in these areas."
Do you have any knowledge of these interactions between the Serbian MUP and the SSNO and the request by the SSNO or the, at least, discussions with the SSNO that the JNA will be engaged to prevent further escalation?
A. Yes. During that period of 1991, the main proponents trying to calm down the situation were the federal SUP and the JNA or the SSNO, the 12407 army basically. We acted as co-ordinators for the entire territory of Croatia. Our authority was to request assistance from the army in order to help us in situations where we did not have sufficient power to deal with those problems.
It is stated here that certain Serbian representatives turned to the SUP, which was logical. In many cases they turned to the Serbian MUP as well as to many party committees and to the army as well as to us. It all depended on who those people knew. They were trying to get help in resolving the situation in the field. That is why individuals and Serb representatives turned to the Serbian MUP rather than, for example, the JNA or the federal MUP.
In any case, all the information coming from the field was forwarded to us and the army in order to undertake certain activities aimed at either resolving the problem in question or easing the situation.
Apologies, in the last paragraph we can see that the local citizens stated that the JNA treated them extremely fairly, and this was done through the co-operation of our Working Group and the JNA representatives in the field.
Q. Let's return, then, to the meeting with Martic. Could you --
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, I'm looking at the clock. We are on our way now for 85 minutes. I don't know whether this would be --
MR. JORDASH: This is a good time, Your Honour, thank you.
JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll take a break. And we'll resume at ten minutes to 11.00. 12408
--- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
--- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, please proceed.
MR. JORDASH: Thank you, Your Honours.
Q. Mr. Witness, did you know of a man called Rasad Kija [phoen]?
Q. I should have said Rijar Kija [phoen].
A. Do you mean Reihl Kir?
Q. I think I do, yes.
A. No, I didn't know him.
Q. Do you know what happened to him?
A. I do.
A. Although I didn't know Mr. Reihl Kir, I had information about him which we received from our operative group from Croatia, from Slavonia. Mr. Reihl Kir was believed to be a person who was in favour of Yugoslavia and in favour of a peaceful solution so as to avoid a war and bloodshed in that area. He enjoyed great respect and authority beyond dispute with both the military and our colleagues from the federal MUP. He seemed to have been the only person that they could talk to and agree on things in order to achieve certain things to ease the situation in the field. In the true sense of the word, he was a professional.
Q. A professional what? What was his position?
Q. In which location? 12409
A. I didn't hear your question. Oh, yes, in Osijek. So the part of Slavonia gravitating towards Vukovar and Borovo Selo.
Q. In two sentences, what happened to him?
A. As far as I could read from the reports, as I [as interpreted] was en route to join a meeting with the representatives of the HDZ, and, from what I can recall, the meeting also included some Serb representatives, when I arrived at the check-point manned by the Croatian MUP - I don't think these were regular police forces, but they are reserve or people from the Territorial Defence of Croatia - he seemed to have been stopped at the check-point, although they had previously been notified to let him through. They were told he was to travel along that route. His official vehicle was stopped and after some discussion he was shot by a member of the Croatian MUP. I think on that occasion a Serb representative was seriously wounded, I believe. The perpetrator was known but disappeared soon afterwards. Apparently he was transferred abroad to Australia or some other destination far from Europe.
THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, on page 28, line 21: "as he was en route to join a meeting."
Q. Which month was that, please?
A. I can't recall. I think it was May or June. It was certainly 1991, but I cannot say which month precisely. It is a well-known event that was widely commented upon. In any case, I can't recall the exact month.
Q. Okay. Let's return to the Martic meeting. Where was the meeting 12410 held?
A. It was held in Knin, in the premises of the police station in Knin.
Q. How did you travel to Knin and where from?
A. After I went to monitor the situation around Sibenik and in some other locations where there had been incidents, we decided that it was time to talk to Martic, to hear his side of the story. We came to the meeting from Sibenik. We left from the military barracks in Sibenik. A helicopter was dispatched to collect us, which arrived from Split. It took us directly to the military garrison in Knin. Members 1 through 7 were present at the meeting. There were three escorts we had from the special unit, but they didn't join the meeting. There was also a person in charge of documents, a document clerk, who's not on the list. He basically kept the minutes and acted as secretary of the group.
Q. Before we get to the actual meeting: Did anything happen when you arrived at Knin? Was there a response from those who were present?
A. When we landed in the garrison at the helipad, we were awaited by some military jeeps. We were taken under military escort directly to the police station in Knin, which was in the centre of town.
Q. Sorry, when you arrived at the police station, did the occupants of the police station do anything?
A. I was about to explain that. When we arrived in front of the station, we found only two guards there. One was at the reception desk and another on the stairs. It was my impression, and I was told later, that they had fled. They thought we arrived there to arrest Martic and 12411 take him to Belgrade. The person at the reception desk was visibly scared, as was the policeman on the stairs.
When we entered Martic's office, he appeared the same. Since we were escorted by the military, he really believed we came to take him to Belgrade. His body-guard confirmed it to me later when we discussed it at some point. I think his name was Nesa. We used to meet frequently afterwards and he told me what Martic thought of that meeting. It was a general impression that --
Q. Sorry to interrupt. So it was your impression that all the police had run away. Who remained besides Martic?
A. A policeman at the reception desk, another on the stairs, and his body-guard was there standing behind him.
Q. Did you know a man called Nenad Maric?
A. Yes, that is his body-guard. We used to call him Nesa. But now that you mentioned his name, I seem to remember that indeed that was the name of his body-guard.
Q. Thank you. So everyone ran away but Nenad Maric and Martic and the receptionist.
What happened during the meeting?
A. The meeting was opened and chaired by the chef d'équipe. There were about 80 of us -- 8 of us. In any case, it was person number 2 on the list. After his introductory remarks, Martic realised that we weren't there in order to arrest him and take him to Belgrade. From a rather scared person, he turned into someone who was at the helm of people's defence and was the protector of the Serbian people in the 12412 territory of Krajina.
It means that the conversation spun out of control, basically. Martic gave us a political speech, explaining the history of the Serbian strife in the area saying that he was the sole protector of the Serb people. He mentioned Croatian forces' provocations, et cetera. It was a conversation which promised to end nowhere.
Q. And did it end nowhere?
A. Sorry, I didn't understand.
Q. How did the meeting end? Was anything decided or resolved?
A. Nothing was resolved. We informed him that in parts of the territory of Knin, Zadar, and Sibenik we were to conduct controls, routine controls, in the villages irrespective of the fact that they're inhabited by Croats or Serbs. It was flatly rejected. It turned out he was saying that the army was the only one that could be notified who could provide a secure passage for us because he lacked the power to do so. We told him that we were to forward all information we gathered to the federal secretary of the interior, Mr. Gracan.
THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Racanin.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We also told him that we were to inform the security services of the army of our findings. He wasn't happy to hear that, but at that point in time he lacked the power to stop us. He simply asked to be informed where we intended to go and that he was open to providing whatever information he had. But as far as I remember, we didn't rely on his assistance throughout our stay there.
MR. JORDASH: 12413
Q. This is mid-May, from what you've told us, and you mentioned that Martic lacked the power. What did you mean -- what do you mean by "lacked the power"?
A. Yes, he simply didn't have enough personnel. The territory he allegedly controlled - and I put that in quotation marks because the control was in the hands of the military - in absolute terms, in the entire territory it was the only relevant force of any significance in that area. Save for the police station, which comprised, in my view, about a dozen policemen, that's the only place where he had any power in. In the villages in the area, people organised themselves into village guards without any influence on his part. They did so because they were afraid of Croatian forces' attacks. They were mostly armed with hunting rifles and trophy side-arms. That's what we could see in the villages we visited.
Q. In the villages that you visited, did you -- besides the locals with hunting rifles and trophy side-arms, did you observe any outside influence at this point, outside, I mean, from, for example, Serbia?
A. No. The people living in the area hoped to receive assistance from the army for the most part. The army was the only true force in the area. They were happy to see our team from the federal MUP. They concluded that the federal government, i.e., the state of Yugoslavia, would not allow any break-up of Yugoslavia and that it would protect them by resolving the problems. They were completely open to both us and the army. In conversation with us, they were very forthcoming and provided all information we asked for. 12414
Q. Thank you.
(24 lines redacted) 12415
(9 pages redacted) 12424
(21 lines redacted) Please could we have on the screen 65 ter 5595.
Q. These are the so-called Mladic diaries, Mr. Witness. And I'd like you to comment on some of the entries, if you would, or if you can. And -- 12425
MR. JORDASH: Sorry, could I just have a moment. We'd like the witness, please, to look at the typed version of the diaries, which are 1D05, rather than the hand-written, since it would be easier. And, please, could we go to page 24 of the English and page 25 -- sorry, page 24 of the English and 24 of the B/C/S.
THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, we cannot locate the English version.
MR. JORDASH: The document ID is 0668.
Q. Whilst that's being found: Did you, during your ...
[Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
MR. JORDASH: Apparently the documents are not linked together, but it is there under the identification number we've provided. I get a very vigorous shaking of the head.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Madam Registrar disagrees that it's there.
MR. JORDASH: Forcefully, I think.
JUDGE ORIE: Is there any way that ...
MR. JORDASH: We can continue whilst that's --
JUDGE ORIE: If you continue, perhaps, with other matters.
MR. JORDASH: Yes.
JUDGE ORIE: Of course, I'm also looking at the clock, in view of your estimate of two and a half hours, which ...
MR. JORDASH: I'd like to apply for additional time. The two-and-a-half-hours estimate was premised on us creating a 92 ter statement, which we were unable to do.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's fine, Mr. Jordash. At the same time, those are total time allocated to the case presentation, so if you start 12426 moving and if you start using more time, that at a certain moment you meet a point where ...
MR. JORDASH: I quite understand that, Your Honour, and --
JUDGE ORIE: And therefore you have to consider already at this moment in time whether to ask for more time, because asking now for more time above the assessment you made for the witness doesn't mean that the time allotted for the case presentation of the Defence has been enlarged as well. That should be clear.
MR. JORDASH: Of course, I appreciate that. It comes off our time.
JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
Q. Before we look at this, Mr. Witness, did you meet Mr. Mladic during your mission in May to July, and if so, very briefly, please, under what circumstances?
A. I met with him a number of times. We were together frequently. We met the first time when we came into contact with Martic. That's when I saw him for the first time. I contacted him on several occasions afterwards because I constantly travelled between Sibenik and Knin. I had more contact, though, with Mr. Tolimir who was at the time the chief of security in the Knin Garrison.
Q. And Mladic's role at that point, his position, was?
A. His rank was that of a colonel. I think he was the Chief of Staff of the Knin Garrison. That was his post.
Q. Now, this is an entry which is made and relates to the date 12427 1st of July, and Mladic states:
"The army has a duty and holy --" sorry. "The army has a task and a holy duty to prevent a fratricidal war. We must be proud of the fact that not a single victim has fallen in the zone of the corps." Do you agree with that assessment? Do you agree that the army was acting in accordance with that statement or not?
A. Yes, absolutely. The army during that period did its utmost to retain the order in the state as well as to preserve its constitutional order. I can cite a few examples to confirm that. I personally saw Mladic in contact with Serb extremists. I saw how he treated them, if that is of any interest.
Q. How was that?
A. He didn't allow any paramilitary units in his midst. When we went through some Serb villages, we saw in a few places some flags, Serbian flags. Some of them had the two-headed eagle, others with some Serbian symbols prior to World War II. In such situations he would stop the vehicle immediately and ask the soldiers escorting us to take the flag down. He always stressed that the only flag that could be put up was the Yugoslav flag. It's just a small illustration, but this is what I can testify to.
Q. Now, moving on in the diary to page 52 of the English and 52 of the B/C/S. 52. And the date is Friday, the 12th of July, 1991. Now, from what you've told us, you were not present, but nonetheless I want to ask if you can comment on events described. Members of the -- reading halfway down the page: 12428 "Members of the National Guard Corps passed through Lelas and are entering the defence line in Kijevo. Numerical strength of the members of the MUP and National Guard Corps is growing. Women seen in Kijevo," and then over the page in the English and the B/C/S, "along with unidentified men. This is going outside the framework of the agreement, because three months ago there were 300 and now there are 700 inhabitants. Problem of providing passage through Kijevo --"
THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have the original.
MR. JORDASH: I'm not sure what I should answer to that. The typed copy is on the screen. Or certainly on my screen.
JUDGE ORIE: Are the interpreters able to read the page 53 on the screen in B/C/S?
B/C/S INTERPRETER: Thank you, Your Honour. We do have it now.
ENGLISH INTERPRETER: We have it on the screen, both in English and B/C/S.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's now in two languages on the screen, so I take it that we could then proceed. Please do so.
MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I do think it would be better practice to use the original notebooks for the witness, for the witness to be reading, as part of the evidence. If we can do this if Mr. Jordash goes on --
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash apparently has chosen that it would be better to have the typed-out version which may save time in deciphering the handwriting or whatever. Now, if there's any specific reason why you 12429 would consider it better to use the original handwriting, then Mr. Jordash introduced it as a practical matter. If there's any substance involved, please tell us so that we can -- so that Mr. Jordash can reconsider whether it would be better to use the hand-written original.
MR. WEBER: Your Honour, the Prosecution believes it would be better. There might be later testimony in this case regarding the notebooks. This might consist of other expert testimony. The fact that this witness has had experience with General Mladic and --
JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Is it that you want the witness to identify the handwriting of Mr. Mladic?
MR. WEBER: No, just that the witness is actually reviewing the actual writing during the course of his testimony before the --
JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I expect the B/C/S transcript to exactly reflect what is in the original, so, therefore, is there any specific reason why we should better look at the original, fine, the hand-written original? But if not, let's avoid that we start an exercise of who can decipher the handwriting of the author of the document best. Mr. Jordash, you may proceed.
MR. JORDASH: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. "Problem of providing passage through Kijevo for workers on their way to work because members of the MUP can stop a bus and capture hostages. The same bus is also taken by members of the army and inhabitants of Cetina. The intention was to blame the shooting on the Serbs." 12430 Are you able to offer any comment on those entries?
A. Yes, I am. Concerning Kijevo, Civljani, and the entire area, I know a lot because I was present there. I don't know if we have enough time for me to describe in detail everything that was taking place around Kijevo.
Q. I fear your detail because I'm running out of time, but please summarise in as short a time as possible, please.
A. Yes. The village of Kijevo was predominantly inhabited by Croatians. The Croatian MUP and the ZNG placed some 3- to 400 armed members of the MUP and of the ZNG there. Our information was that the inhabitants of Kijevo, Croatians, came into conflict with those forces because there were many criminals in their ranks. Kijevo is along the main road between Knin and Split, as well as between Split and other villages in the environs of Kijevo, and it is for that reason that the Croatian MUP forces stopped vehicles along that route, searched the vehicles, maltreated people, and took their possessions. It all culminated when they started stopping and mistreating members of the army and stopping military vehicles.
Q. Thank you.
MR. JORDASH: Let's move now to page 64 of the English and 64 of the B/C/S.
Q. And this relates to Sunday, the 14th of July, 1991. And Mladic notes:
"The only way to resolve the crisis is disarmament and limiting the police forces to what they were in 1985 (1 September) and this is the 12431 same situation as in 1989. The army, JNA, must ensure peaceful resolution of the crisis. In our zone we expect the situation to worsen, particularly in and around Benkovac. Avoid unnecessary" -- going over the page, "avoid unnecessary checks, ambushes, and infiltration of groups and individuals and I will pass on this advice to all structures." So this is the 14th of July, 1991; do you have any evidence from that period of time to suggest that the army was not acting, seeking to resolve the crisis?
A. Quite the opposite. The army was looking for ways to resolve the crisis. What you just read out points to the very fact that the army was doing everything to prevent the conflict. It tried to prevent any clashes between the Croatian forces and the Serb population. That was my feel of things, irrespective of the fact that on the 12th of July I wasn't there. However, it was the army's standing policy which lasted until the end of 1991.
Q. Now, moving forward to page 106 of the English and 106 of the B/C/S -- sorry, 105 of the English and 105 of the B/C/S, and the entry is entitled, on page 101: "Benkovac, 2nd of August, 1991."
MR. JORDASH: And for Your Honours information, it's a briefing by the commander of the 180th Motorised Brigade on the situation in the garrison.
Q. And Mladic writes: "Zelengrad-Medveda-Benkovac road should not be endangered or under anyone else's control other than of the JNA, and forces on both sides should withdraw 2 kilometres away from the command." 12432 As you've told us -- well, let me rephrase that. Can you comment on that, the truth or otherwise of that entry?
A. I think I can. I was in Benkovac with Mladic and we visited the motorised tank unit. I met lieutenant-colonel or major, I forgot his name, but he was the commander of the unit. We even visited their positions. My Working Group in our discussions with the Croatian side and the Serbian side always insisted that wherever there were contact points in the field that the opposing forces should withdraw to a distance of 2 kilometres so as to try and keep peace. It was agreed that only the army was the one who could move about the area freely. However, in most of the cases, it was never honoured.
MR. JORDASH: Next entry I want to look at is at page 116 -- sorry, 115, and it's the 4th of August, 1991. 115 in both English and B/C/S.
Q. "4th of August 1991, 0340 hours. At 530 hours, 16 buses arrived in Skradin with members of the MUP and the ZNG, six of which continued to the holes (about 800). After 1800 hours, after MB mortar fire on Gorica, MUP and ZNG forces started clearing Serbian villages in Skradin basin." And looking at page 116 where I've just read "starting clearing Serbian villages in Skradin basin," and it also notes further down the page:
"Serbian inhabitants of Skradin villages have fled towards Kistanje."
Briefly, can you comment on that? Do you know anything about that? 12433
A. Yes, I'm familiar with it. I have to explain the context. Between the 1st and the 7th of August, my group, which was the second team that arrived, and I was in charge of that team, was accommodated in the military police barracks in Sibenik. On the 4th or 5th of August, those buses passed us by. They were packed with MUP and ZNG members. Two or three buses were painted completely black, including the windows, and it read "Ustashas from Ljuboska [phoen]." I don't think I need to explain who the Ustasha were in World War II. They drove through Sibenik and headed for the Serb villages around Skradin. They began mopping up those villages. And at the same time, my group, there were five of us, were informed that we should evacuate as quickly as possible from Sibenik because they could no longer guarantee our safety.
We pulled out of Sibenik at the last moment in the direction of Knin on the 7th of August. Following the ZNG and MUP attacks while cleansing the villages, the army responded and pushed those MUP and ZNG forces out of the villages. However, most of the villages they had entered had been razed to the ground, and some of the elderly inhabitants who were unable to flee had been killed.
Q. Thank you.
MR. JORDASH: Moving on. At page 185 of the English and the B/C/S. And it's an entry from Sunday, the 25th of August, 1991.
Q. "At 0635 hours, the MUP in Kijevo fired mortars from the sector of the church on Cetina and concentration of the MUP and the ZNG around the Kijevo Police Station was observed."
And then if we go -- well, actually let's just read the second 12434 bit:
"150 for anti-aircraft machine-gun, 26 shells for automatic rifle," and something else which is unclear.
And then over the page to page 186, Mladic notes: "There is no shooting." It's halfway down the page. "There is no shooting. The helicopter can land to pick up the soldier who has appendicitis."
Briefly, are you able to comment on these entries?
A. Yes, I was present when the military operation began in the direction of Kijevo. Before the operation, there had been several cases in which the ZNG and MUP provoked the army directly. They wouldn't let a military transport through, headed for the Serb villages. They also stopped some jeep vehicles with the officers. On a few occasions, they even mistreated the officers and soldiers who went to implement their task. Shortly afterwards, they also attacked some forward tank units close to Kijevo.
I am well aware that Mladic and the then head of garrison General Vukovic, who was later killed in a traffic accident, tried to warn them a few times to cease these provocations or the army would respond. The provocations culminated when they opened anti-aircraft fire from a church tower, a Catholic church tower, in Kijevo on a plane which was flying overhead. The army reacted by firing five or six shells. The ZNG and MUP forces took to their heels and some 20 of them surrendered. When we entered Kijevo, I went with Mladic - he was in my vehicle - and next to us were two APCs as well as two military police 12435 chiefs. We entered the village, and I personally went up the church tower, where I found a lot of spent cartridges, anti-aircraft cartridges, and it was easy to conclude that the fire was fired from there on that plane.
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, I'm looking at the clock. If you could find a suitable moment soon.
MR. JORDASH: This is a suitable moment.
JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what will happen after the break.
MR. JORDASH: I'd like to have 30 more minutes after the break.
JUDGE ORIE: You have 30 more minutes. We resume at 20 minutes to 1.00.
--- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
--- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
JUDGE ORIE: Before I give you the opportunity to resume, Mr. Jordash: There was a request by the Simatovic Defence to give some reading material to the next witness. Finally having heard that you had no real possibility to inspect that material but had no opposition, no principal opposition, I have looked a bit at the material, whether it was newspapers, et cetera, or other material, and finally I decided that the Simatovic Defence could provide that to the witness for reading.
MR. WEBER: That's correct, Your Honour, and we trust that Mr. Bakrac is giving accurate exhibits to the witness to look at.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I had -- I have a vague impression of what it is -- approximately what is in that material, and on that basis I decided that it could be done. And I wanted to put it on the record, which is 12436 hereby done.
MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, thank you. 65 ter 5596, the next, in sequence, of the Mladic diaries, and page 33 of the English and 33 of the B/C/S, please.
Q. And it's an entry, just to save time, which is entitled "Velika, 29th of August, 1991."
MR. JORDASH: That's at, Your Honours, page 28 of the English and 28 of the B/C/S.
Q. And again I want to ask you, Mr. Witness, to comment on an entry if you can.
MR. JORDASH: We are looking for the typed copy. And the typed B/C/S is 1D05 -- yes, it's here. Thanks.
Q. Page 33: "Agreed. The agreement reached on the 28th of August, 1991, in Knin between the Knin Corps commander Mr. Krpina, president of the Crisis Staff for the Central and Northern Dalmatia and the presidents of Drnis and Sibenik SO signatories of the agreement, is accepted. "The first item of the agreement should be defined more precisely and operational ly in order to precisely define locations of the forces which will enable adherence to absolute and unconditional cease-fire." Going over the page.
"Until the first item has been operationalised and carried out, the entire JNA forces will be deployed along the lines reached with the purpose of preventing the contact of the conflicting parties' armed 12437 formations according to the following," and then there's, as you can see, a list of deployment.
Do you know anything about this agreement on the 29th of August, 1991, and the role of the JNA?
JUDGE ORIE: And could the Court have the text available in a language it understands.
MR. JORDASH: Yes.
THE REGISTRAR: Can we have, please, clear instructions what the numbers are because there are more than one document uploaded.
MR. JORDASH: 1D056650 [sic]. And the English -- that's the B/C/S. And the English is 0668-2799.
Q. Mr. Witness, did you follow the entry and the reference to an agreement and the role of the JNA anticipated therein?
Q. Do you know anything about that?
A. We followed and participated in part in the preparations for a meeting between representatives of the Sibenik and Drnis local authorities and the JNA, but this wasn't the first meeting with representatives of the civilian authorities in Dalmatia. There were several such meetings and attempts at arranging them. However, they were very short, and in 99 per cent of the cases the Croatian side did not adhere to the agreement reached.
Q. Do you know anything about the role of the JNA at this point in time in relation to the attempt to enforce the agreement?
A. I can confirm that every agreement reached with the Croatian 12438 authorities was adhered to by the JNA, and the JNA did everything in its power to have it observed. And we were there to witness that. But I have to tell you that whatever agreements were reached were short-lived, because very soon the Croatian side, and I would say the extremist wing of the HDZ, which did not see that their interests were preserved in observing them, would break them by various provocations. And the JNA, which was involved in these processes, could not remain entirely neutral.
MR. JORDASH: Page 37, please, of the English and the B/C/S.
Q. An entry entitled "Vujka. Saturday, 31st of August, 1991. Talks involving, it seems, SAOK Mandinic, demands of the SAOK Republic of Croatia - Mr. Juras. Seeing that the JNA made it possible for the people to return to Kijevo."
Do you know anything about that?
A. Unfortunately, the army provided security to and enabled the return of residents not only to Kijevo but to all the other villages caught in the conflict. But only a handful of residents returned to Kijevo who gathered their belongings. Kijevo was a deserted place. Quite a few houses in Kijevo, once the army passed in the direction of Vrlika, Martic's forces got in and set very many houses on fire. That's why the return of the inhabitants to Kijevo and their stay there was not really possible.
MR. JORDASH: Let's move on to page 55, please, of the English and the B/C/S.
Q. It's an entry related to 7th of September, 1991. And the only point I'm interested in on this page is the top point. Mladic states: 12439 "SAOK can never be a state or a component part of Serbia." Are you able to comment on whether -- let me rephrase that. Do you have any evidence from your interactions with Mladic that that was Mladic's view at that point in time?
A. At that point in time, yes. He was resolutely in favour of a united Yugoslavia. He was not in favour of dividing up Croatia as a republic. His positions at the time were along the lines of the Yugoslav policy of preserving the state. If this is his letter, then it does reflect his position at the time.
Q. Thank you.
MR. JORDASH: Can we go to page 168. This is an entry --
MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I'm just confused by the exact entry. Was that reflecting Mr. Mladic's comments or the comments of another individual a number of pages beforehand?
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash.
MR. JORDASH: If I just can return to that. It's very difficult to know from the entry. It begins on page 50 with an apparent meeting at 1205, Lieutenant-General Raseta. Then there's a long list of details, including that detail. But, in any event --
JUDGE ORIE: Apart from that, Mr. Jordash, I think you can interpret that entry in so many, many ways that I have -- I find it not very easy to understand the evidence which says it reflects the position of Mr. Mladic. It could never be a state, not a component part of, but should be just integrated in -- it could -- or it should be totally separated from. I mean, the text is not without ambiguity, to say the 12440 least.
MR. JORDASH: I agree. And I hope, however, that the witness's answer concerning Mladic's state of mind was without ambiguity.
JUDGE ORIE: Well, okay, we ...
MR. JORDASH: And the witness --
JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's not, but ...
MR. JORDASH: Well, I'll return to the subject because it's important to us.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please.
Q. You gave an account of Mladic's view being resolutely in favour of a united Yugoslavia at that point in time, and you rightly pointed out that if that was his letter, then it did reflect his position at the time.
Did -- where did you get that knowledge -- where did you get that knowledge from? How did you come by Mladic's view?
A. Yes, in the latter part of our stay in the territory of Knin and Dalmatia, I can say that I was with Mladic almost every day. We would tour positions and various areas and conversed a great deal in the cafes in Knin. All of his views that we discussed at the time were distinctly pro-Yugoslav. We spoke openly, probably because he knew that my father had been an officer of the JNA, a general; that gave him confidence in speaking out openly about his political views at the time. So I can state upon full responsibility that Mladic's views at the time were in favour of a united Yugoslavia. 12441
Q. Did you come to an understanding of what Martic's view was at around the same time?
A. Martic was a personality on the sidelines at the time. That's my view of it. He was a bit more than just a regular traffic policemen and found himself in a position where he was supposed to spear-head the resistance of the Serbian People against the Croatian extremism emerging in the area. So it was just a coincidence, a happenstance, that he came to be the one to represent the interest of the Serbian People. To my mind, his views bordered on ultra-nationalism, on extreme nationalism, though whenever he spoke to us he took great care to point out that he was in favour of a united Yugoslavia and for the protection of the Serbian -- of the Yugoslav People.
However, I do believe that by that time he was under considerable influence from the SDS, the Serbian Democratic Party, in Krajina. He saw that his opportunity lay there and he wanted to become politically active and head the Republic of the Serbian Krajina. In these conversations he had with us, he was very cautious and took care not to come out with any extremist views. But as we conducted counter-intelligence work in the field, we came by information which did reveal his actual conduct or contravened what he was trying to come across as.
Maybe I can just add that what he said was one thing, but in practice his deeds showed that -- the fact that he professed to defend or safe-guard Yugoslav ideas did not reflect the truth.
Q. And I'm going to try to have you shorten your answers slightly because I'm running out of time, but still providing the detail that 12442 we're looking for.
The same answer [sic] in relation to Babic: Did you come across Babic and how did his views fit into the views that you've just said Martic and Mladic held?
A. I met Babic on two occasions. Let me tell you at once that he was much more extremist in expressing his views than Martic. I think he wanted to play the trump card of Serbian nationalism and raising the awareness of Serbian identity among local residents. He was closely linked to some of the senior members of the SDS, such as Mr. Jovan Raskovic. In my view, Babic was rather more extremist in expressing his views than Martic. But I have to add that in 1991 and 1992 their positions coincided to a great extent. I don't know if I was clear enough.
Q. You were clear.
A. Should I add something?
Q. No, thanks. But I do want to ask you about an entry in Mladic's diary.
MR. JORDASH: 324, please. This is on, perhaps, the same subject. Just let's go to 323 so that we get the context.
Q. It's an entry relating to the 10th of November, 1991, after you had left the region. But I want to ask you about a view which is expressed in the diary, and it's -- you see the bottom of the page where it says "Neso, Babic, and Djujic are going away"? And then there's a general discussion. If we go over the page, it's noted there at the top of the page: 12443 "I am concerned that the five-pointed star of Babic does not later turn into a cockade."
Do you see that?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Then if we go to page 343 of the diary, of the English and B/C/S, an entry, Saturday, 16th of November, 1991, we see there at number 3: "The president of the SAOK came with the intention to have the forces of the SAOK get insignia on their sleeves for statehood purposes. At one point he even said that it's time to put on cockades." Just very briefly, in only two sentences, do you understand the significance of cockades, in as much as these entries note?
A. Yes. All of us from the former Yugoslavia know what a cockade means and what the Ustasha symbols mean. All those who are familiar with the history of Yugoslavia know what these terms mean. This entry indicates simply that attempts were being made at the time to push the Yugoslav People's Army and the idea of Yugoslavia in the background and that the only thing that can save the Serbs is the cockade, and the cockade was a symbol of the Chetnik movement. The Croats would say that all the Serbs in the Krajina area were Chetniks, just as the Serbs would say that all the Croats are Ustashas.
Q. Thank you. One more entry and then we can leave the diary.
MR. JORDASH: Page 168, please, of the English and the B/C/S.
Q. Mladic notes there, in an entry dated the 3rd of October, 1991 --
MR. JORDASH: Your Honours, page 153 in the English and B/C/S.
Q. -- "Skabrnja - Nadin - the sector of the church, they are using 12444 an excavator to fortify their positions, the TO detachment to break and establish control over the area."
Now, very, very briefly, please, Mr. Witness, do you know anything about that?
A. After our departure in late October -- or, I'm sorry, late September, the MUP of Croatia and the Croatian forces and the Skabrnja and Nadin, as far as I remember and based on some of the reports I received, the Territorial Defence mounted an attack. But the situation remained unclear. I know that to this day there is the polemics about Skabrnja, what happened, whether these were skirmishes, whether both the JNA and the TO employed excessive force. Skabrnja was captured, and the information I got was that almost the entire Skabrnja was razed to the ground. I can't give you precise information because I wasn't there. I was in Belgrade. The information that reached us was that Skabrnja was taken by the TO and JNA and that in the process war crimes may have been committed, including killings of the civilian population. That's all that I can tell you.
Q. That's fine. Thank you.
MR. JORDASH: Could we have on the screen, please, P61.
Q. Now, P61 is the transcript of a speech which Mr. Simatovic gave at a ceremony, and a ceremony which he noted marked the anniversary of the formation of the special operations unit of the State Security Service. Now, are you aware of this ceremony, ceremony at Kula in 1996 -- 1997? Sorry, I should know that.
A. Yes, yes, I'm aware of it. 12445
Q. Now, I want to ask you about two particular things that Mr. Simatovic said.
MR. JORDASH: Could we go, please, to page 10 of the English and page 8 of the B/C/S.
Q. Now, what I'm interested in is the paragraph which starts: "From 12th of October, 1991, in battles with armed Croatian police forces in the zones of Benkovac, Stari Gospic, Plitvice, Glina, Kostajnica, and others, the unit provided important support in the liberation of all areas of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Around 5.000 soldiers were engaged in these battles and their actions were co-ordinated by the unit command and an intelligence team from the 2nd Administration."
Did you see any evidence of this assertion during the time you were in Croatia?
MR. WEBER: Objection.
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
MR. WEBER: Foundation. I believe this witness has testified that he left Croatia in late September. The question, as it's posed: "Did you see any evidence of the this assertion during the time you were in Croatia?"
MR. JORDASH: Well, if it's --
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash.
MR. JORDASH: If it's the Prosecution case that the unit command and the actions of the state security unit did not begin until October of 1991, then I'll rephrase the question. And I should rephrase the 12446 question because then I need to ask the witness whether he heard of it after he left. If it's the Prosecution case, which I think it is, that in fact this began in May, then the witness is perfectly entitled to address from his own firsthand experience.
JUDGE ORIE: Could we make it -- if you would ask the witness whether he has -- whether he knows everything -- anything about this assertion either during the time that he was in Croatia or from any other source, then the matter seems to be resolved.
MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes. But I would put on the record that the Prosecution, in our submission, should say what their case is on this, given that objection.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but before we use another 25 minutes on that, I think that I've found at least a practical solution for it for the time being, and we'll then deal, perhaps in the absence of the witness, with the other matter, Mr. Jordash.
MR. JORDASH: Yes, Your Honour.
Q. Mr. Witness, do you know anything about this assertion from the time you were in Croatia or after you left Croatia from direct experience or from second-hand experience or third-hand or fourth-hand?
A. Well, this statement by Mr. Simatovic can only be interpreted by me as a kind of propaganda at the time. He may have been trying to impress Mr. Milosevic who was the prime minister.
JUDGE ORIE: Whether it's propaganda or not is ... the question was whether you have any knowledge which would either contradict or not 12447 whether you considered it propaganda. If you have any factual knowledge available, where you say "For this and this reason, this personal knowledge of mine contradicts what he says there," then it's fine. But to give further assessments on the quality is not what assists the Chamber at this moment.
Q. So --
A. Your Honour, I was in the field between May and October. To have 5.000 people in that area would have been impossible to hide or accommodate without everyone knowing. I need to say that the town of Knin before the war had a total of 5- to 6.000 inhabitants. That is why I said that his reference to 5.000 men looks like propaganda. I don't think there is a basis for that. I didn't see the 5.000, and you can rest assured that such numbers of people would have been noticed not by me alone but by other security organs as well.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You didn't see them and you would not expect them to be unseen if they would have been there.
Q. And the unit command in charge of these 5.000 soldiers, any evidence of that?
A. Must have been someone invisible. I didn't see anyone in command or who could command an invisible army. From this report I can't see who commanded those 5.000 men at that time. The army had their own armed units and its own TO. I have to repeat that I didn't see or was informed 12448 of those 5.000 people before 1 October. They could have theoretically arrived, but they would need a few months of preparations and accommodation before engaging in any action. I'm not a soldier, but I presume some training and equipping needs to take place. I was in the field daily, and I assert that there weren't those 5.000 people there.
JUDGE ORIE: You didn't see them, although you were there not in the time mention mentioned by Mr. Simatovic in that speech, and you would expect to have known anything about preparations or about their presence, would they have been there or would they have arrived on the 1st of October. That's clear.
Mr. Jordash, I'm -- you asked for another 30 minutes; we are beyond that already.
MR. JORDASH: I would ask for another five minutes, if I may.
JUDGE ORIE: Five minutes and then I'll be strict on that. Please proceed.
Q. And after you left the region, did you continue to receive information about the region and what was happening there?
A. Yes, occasionally. But it was no longer my priority. In any case, we did receive information.
Q. Did you hear of the arrival or the operations of the special unit engaging 5.000 soldiers in these locations or any location in Croatia?
Q. The next paragraph says: "In May of 1991, an air helicopter squadron was formed which 12449 transported tonnes of special shipments, equipment, troops, and machinery from the improvised airfields of Medeno Polje, Petrovac, Velika Popina, Srb, and Udbina, and carried out numerous complex tasks while war operations were on-going."
Now, just very -- keep your answers very short, please. One sentence will suffice, I think. Do you know those areas?
A. All the areas specified here were outside of my territory in Lika. Udbina is a military airfield. It was used by the military --
Q. Mr. Witness, do you know the areas? Are they in Croatia?
A. Yes, they are in Croatia, but not within my area of responsibility.
Q. Did you receive any information about those areas during your time in Croatia or subsequently?
A. As for what it says, that an air helicopter squadron was formed, that is something I don't know, but I do know that the army used these locations for their own purposes, for helicopters and aeroplanes. This particularly applies to the airfield in Udbina; it was a military airport managed and run by the army.
Q. From your information, did the federal MUP or the Serbian MUP possess helicopters at this point in time, May of 1991 or through 1991?
A. The federal MUP did have a helicopter, but it was on loan to the military. They maintained it and used it. The federal secretary and a small number of other individuals used it in exceptional circumstances. As far as I know, the Serbian DB and the Serbian MUP did not have a helicopter squadron or a single helicopter, for that matter, as far as I 12450 know. If they did have anything, it could have only been on loan from the army.
MR. JORDASH: Could we have on the screen, please, P2578. Sorry, no. 04311.
THE REGISTRAR: It's D300.
MR. JORDASH: I beg your pardon.
Q. What's coming up you've seen before. It's in the chart. I just want to ask you a couple of questions and then I'm finished. It is the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina TO writing to the Ministry of Defence in September 1991 for a list of required items of military equipment. Do you know if this equipment - you can have a read through it - was possessed by anyone other than the military at this point in time?
A. I claim in full responsibility that the items from this request by the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina is something that only the army could provide. The entire document was sent to the Ministry of Defence in Belgrade. These are strictly military pieces that could only be found in military warehouses. Only the army could provide these weapons. I see no point of contact with the State Security Service.
Q. By the time you left in October, had Mr. Stanisic figured in you or your colleagues' conversations or in the events which you observed in the Krajina?
A. No. Jovica Stanisic was not mentioned by absolutely anyone, including the military security service, since I was in frequent contact 12451 with them. Any representatives of the SAO Krajina didn't mention him either; I can tell you what people I was in touch with. What I can tell you is that throughout the period Jovica Stanisic was not mentioned.
MR. JORDASH: Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you, Mr. Witness.
JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Jordash. Mr. Bakrac, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
JUDGE ORIE: Witness DST-034, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Bakrac. Mr. Bakrac is counsel for Mr. Simatovic. Please proceed.
MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, DST-034. I will go back to Mladic's diaries. I want to look at two entries to see if we can get a comment from you.
MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 65 ter 5595. Page, in e-court, 172 in both versions. Page 172, please, in e-court. Apologies, it is not page 172 of the entries, but it is page 172 in e-court. The transcript page is 161. Yes, we have it.
Q. The 19th of August. Please look at the right-hand side, it seems to be more practical. Well, it's in English, but while we are waiting for the version in B/C/S, I can read it out for you: "3.15 p.m. - a group came from the federal SUP to inspect the truce." 12452 Does this refer to your group?
MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to the next page.
Q. I will read it out again. We have the English version, and I believe there's no problem if I read it out.
"The 20th of August, 1991. From 900 to 1800 hours, inspection of the direction towards Velika Glava village - Dobrijevici - Gorica village - Nadoveze village - Ostrovica village. ZNG and MUP [indiscernible] fired at members of the commission of the P SFRY, me and the escort as follows."
Does this tally with your recollection? In other words, were you fired at by the ZNG and Croatian MUP forces?
Q. Do you have any knowledge of whether the Croatian MUP and ZNG forces knew that your group was there on a mission from the federal SUP and that it comprised people of different ethnicities? Did they know why you were there?
A. Yes, they did. They you knew who we were and why we were there. We were visibly marked on our clothes and vehicles, and you could see from afar who we were. In addition to that, whenever we went in the field, we reported our movements not only to the army but also to the Croatian forces and to Martic's guards, if I may call them that, letting them know that we were to come to their area. We were also usually escorted by the army. Therefore there is a probability that once they saw the soldiers, they opened fire. But in any case, fire was opened on 12453 us.
Q. How did you look at this incident? Did you see it as a provocation by the Croatian forces and was that their expression of a wish not to keep peace and destroy the truce?
A. Well, when there are bullets flying overhead, I can't say if it's a provocation or someone's trying to scare me off. But in any case, there seemed to have been an intentional attempt to cause that incident which would then cause the army to react. It was a regular occurrence that through such small incidents they were constantly provoking the army to react. With us, there was also a security major, Milutinovic, and Lieutenant Pecanac, as well as Mladic.
Q. Thank you, witness. During the break I gave you a document which is 2D159. The Chamber is familiar with it. It is an excerpt from the book titled "Croatian homeland war." We will receive it in original form from the Croatian authorities. Did you have occasion to view it over the break? It's quite a lengthy document.
A. I did this one, but I didn't read the last two ones.
Q. We'll have time. And by the Chamber's leave, we'll discuss it tomorrow. We can now only comment upon one document. It refers to the 5th of April, 1991, when you were still not there. However, does it accurately reflect the conduct of the army in the area? This is an order for defence by the command of the 9th Corps whereby they order that the commands guard or keep safe the axes towards Knin, where some 3.000 members of the Croatian MUP are expected in the direction of Split, Knin, Vrlika, and Sibenik, as well as some auxiliary axes between Zadar, 12454 Obrovac, and Benkovac. Were all these directions in the direction of the Serb villages, and did the JNA, according to this order, exercise its duty to protect the Serb villages in preventing the Croatian forces to enter them?
A. Yes, precisely. The army moved its units, clearly indicating that it would not allow any violence or provocations against the population residing in the area. However, despite that, the provocations were frequent. Thanks to the army, the truce was enforce for at least some time. Had to not been for the army and its forces, I don't know what would have happened in that area. There would have been bloodshed. So in answer to your question: Yes, the army undertook all measures to prevent any further escalation of the tensions.
Q. Can we agree that the army in that period was the main, was the principal force in the area where you were?
A. I've been saying that all along. The army was the only relevant force in that area during that time. Only they could take any important action. There were no other such significant forces.
Q. I'm looking at the clock, witness, and I have just one more question for today. It has to do with something an OTP witness stated. You said you were in Knin or in that area between May and October 1991; correct?
Q. Did you go to the Knin fortress?
Q. Did you notice, there, any training camp for soldiers? 12455
A. I'll clarify. When we went to the Knin fortress, we were escorted by Lieutenant Pecanac from the army security service. We toured the entire fortress and found no camp, no army, or no uniformed personnel. There were a few tourists up there, but the soldiers didn't go up there.
Q. Did you notice any offices, staffs, or anything of the sort?
A. No. And we did tour it in detail. I just wanted to say the following: The lieutenant - what was his name? I just mentioned him - the one from the security service, we were kidding with him, asking him, All right, you can show us where the camp and the weapons are, and he took us through the entire fortress and found nothing. We found nothing.
Q. I have 30 seconds left. Let me finish this. Can you recall when it was when you went up to the fortress?
A. In August.
MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I close for the day.
JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac. We will, as usual, adjourn in open session. Therefore, Witness DST-034, I'd like to instruct you that you should not speak to anyone or communicate in any other way with any other person about your testimony, whether that is testimony you've given today or whether that's testimony still to be given in the days to follow.
I would invite you to follow the usher and would like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this same courtroom. 12456
[The witness stands down]
JUDGE ORIE: We turn into open session.
THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. We'll adjourn for the day. And we'll resume tomorrow morning, Thursday, the 7th of July, 9.00, Courtroom II.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of
July, 2011 at 9.00 a.m.