After the testimony of a protected witness testifying as Witness 1, the trial of generals Gotovina, Cermak and Markac was opened to the public just as the hearing today drew to a close. The prosecutor then read the summary of the statement given by Richard Linton, former UN Television cameraman. In August 1995, Linton filmed the bodies of elderly Serbs killed in the village of Grubori, Krajina

Richard Lyntton, witness in the Gotovina caseRichard Lyntton, witness in the Gotovina case

The trial of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac proceeded in closed session today; it moved into open session for the final fifteen minutes. The protected witness testifying as Witness 1 gave his evidence in closed session. The next prosecution witness was Richard Linton, former UN TV producer and cameraman. The prosecutor however had just enough time to read summary of Linton's statement given to the OTP investigators in October 2001 and tender it into evidence.

As stated in the summary, Linton came to Knin from the UN headquarters in Zagreb in order to visit the Plavno Valley together with Edward Flynn, chief of the UN Human Rights Action Team, and film the scheduled meeting between the remaining Serb population and the local police chief. The meeting was canceled because the police chief failed to show up, but Linton managed to record some footage before heading back to Knin. Together with other UN members, Linton went to the village of Grubori because they saw smoke rising from that direction.

In the village, Linton saw houses on fire. The remaining Serbs told him that the Croatian special police had threatened to kill them. Linton went back to Knin, and decided to set up an interview with General Ivan Cermak for the UN TV. He was told that Cermak was 'the military governor of that area'. Since the interview was scheduled for 26 August 1995 around noon, the witness had time to visit the village of Grubori early in the morning and gather additional information. He saw and recorded the bodies of two elderly Serb men. As he described in his statement, one man was shot in the head and the other had had his throat slit.

He confronted General Cermak with these facts during their interview, but Cermak denied that anybody was killed at point blank range in the Plavno Valley area. According to Cermak, 'anti-terrorist operations' were conducted there. In the course of the trial so far, the defense counsel have tired to prove that the elderly Serbs were killed in the cross fire in the clashes between the Croatian special units and remnants of Serb soldiers. One of the old men had a neck wound inflicted by a stray bullet, the defense says, and not by knife, as the prosecution alleged.

Richard Linton will be examined by the prosecutor and the defense teams of the three accused tomorrow.