WERE CRIMES INVESTIGATED?
Jan Elleby, former chief of the UN civilian police, claims that he regularly reported the crimes in the Knin area to the Croatian authorities but neither the army nor the police did anything to investigate them. Ivan Cermak’s defense counsel noted that crimes were investigated, but the witness ’was not informed’ about the efforts
Jan Elleby, witness at the Gotovina, Cermak and Markac trial
In the statements he gave to the OTP investigators Jan Elleby, chief inspector in the Danish police, stated that the UN civilian police told the Croatian authorities about the crimes committed in Knin after Operation Storm, but neither the army nor the police did anything to investigate them. During Operation Storm, Elleby was stationed in Knin working first as the deputy chief and then as the chief of the UN civilian police.
Dozens of reports drafted by the UN civilian police about what they had seen in the field were tendered into evidence at the trial of Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac. Elleby confirmed the authenticity of the documents that speak of the burning of houses and killings in Knin and its surroundings. In his statement to the OTP investigators Elleby described the shelling of Knin, his meetings with the Croatian police, the restriction of movement for the UN staff and sealing off of the territory during clean-up operations.
In his cross-examination, the defense counsel of Ivan Cermak, former commander of the Knin Garrison, noted that Elleby was not familiar with the way the Croatian police worked and didn’t know the jurisdiction of the Knin police. Defense counsel Kay contends that the Knin police administration did not have a criminal investigation department at all; it had a ‘general’ jurisdiction. According to Kay, the police dealt with traffic violations and breaches of law and order.
Elleby confirmed that after some time it ’became clear’ that the Knin police administration was subordinate to the Zadar police administration, which had more resources and greater jurisdiction. The witness also confirmed that the investigation into the murder of Sava Babic was handed over to the Zadar police administration. According to the defense counsel, this is where all the information about the course of investigation can be found. Elleby was not informed about the investigation at all, he said.
The defense counsel showed the witness a series of documents from the Croatian Ministry of the Interior that explain in detail how the clean-up operations were conducted. He also showed the witness the minutes from the meetings where the police administrations were told about the tasks related to the disposal of dead bodies. According to the instructions distributed to all police administrations, the police and the army were involved in the effort to ‘remove the bodies’. The bodies had to be located, identified and then buried. Elleby replied that he had never seen these documents before.
The Danish police officer will continue his evidence tomorrow; he will be cross-examined by General Gotovina’s defense counsel.
- Case : Gotovina et al. - "Operation Storm"
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- 2008-05-15 FIRST CROATIAN INSIDER WITNESS IN OPERATION STORM TRIAL
- 2008-05-23 DEFENSE: CIVILIANS RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIMES
- 2008-05-28 CROATIAN SOLDIERS WERE ONLY INHABITANTS IN KISTANJE
- 2008-05-28 HOW MUCH IS ’HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS’?