In an effort to show why Gotovina called prosecution witness Alun Roberts ’a spy and agent provocateur’ in September 1995, defense counsel Luka Misetic presents a document in which the SVK intelligence service says that ‘partial control of his activities’ has been established

Alun Roberts, witness at the Gotovina, Cermak and Markac trialAlun Roberts, witness at the Gotovina, Cermak and Markac trial

In the cross-examination of Alun Roberts today, defense counsel Luka Misetic tried to clarify why his client, General Ante Gotovina called Alun Robert a ‘spy and agent provocateur’ at a meeting in September 1995 after the UN press officer complained about the anarchy in Krajina after Operation Storm. Misetic showed a report drafted by the Security Department of the SVK Main Staff on 29 May 1995 stating that a ‘partial control over the activity of Alun Roberts’ had been established. After he read the document, the witness said that he was not aware that his phone was tapped. He called the claim about his activities being under control ‘ambitious nonsense’.

In an effort to show that it was not nonsense, the defense counsel went on to show a video recording from April 1995 of Roberts holding a press conference, with the SVK insignia in the background. Asked if he was aware that his behavior was contrary to the UN Security Council resolutions calling for the establishment of the Croatian sovereignty over the occupied territories, Roberts said that he saw nothing controversial about his appearance. In all his public appearances, Roberts contends, he advocated the integration of Krajina into Croatia. He addressed the media in the SVK premises because nobody wanted to attend a press conference in the UN base. The UN mission headquarters in Zagreb was aware of it, Roberts added, and nobody objected.

The defense teams of other two accused, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac, focused their cross-examination on the killing of five civilians in the village of Grubori on 25 August 1995. Cermak’s counsel Stephen Kay tried to prove that his client, as the representative of the Croatian civilian authorities in Knin, had neither the authority nor resources to investigate the incident. Roberts however maintained that Cermak made it very clear to the UN representatives in their meetings that he could solve the problems in Krajina. Everybody in the UN believed that, Roberts noted. This is why they sent their report about the Grubori incident to Cermak’s office. ‘If we were wrong about Cermak’s role, somebody had to draw our attention to the fact ’, the witness concluded.

Since Roberts testified in his examination-in chief that the UN representatives wrote down the license plates of police cars observed in the Plavno valley on 25 August 1995, the defense of Mladen Markac, who commanded the Croatian special police at the time, asked him if he and his colleagues had actually forwarded that information to the Croatian authorities. Roberts replied that the license plates numbers were given to the UN civilian police; he had no knowledge if the UNCIVPOL ever forwarded them to the Croatian police.