1 DAY 4 Monday, 2nd February 1998
2 (9.15 am)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. May I ask the
4 Registrar to call the case number, please?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13a.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
7 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, my name
8 is Niemann and I appear with my colleagues,
9 Mr. Williamson, Ms. Sutherland, Mr. Waespi and Mr. Vos.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: The Defence?
11 MR. FILA: Good morning, your Honours. I am
12 Toma Fila. I appear with Ms. Lopicic and Mr. Petkovic
13 representing the defendant, Mr. Dokmanovic.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I ask
15 Mr. Dokmanovic if he can hear me. Thank you.
16 All right. Before we call the first witness,
17 I would like to suggest that we should deal with a few
18 legal housekeeping matters.
19 First of all, the court is grateful to the
20 Prosecutor for submitting two documents. One is the
21 list of witnesses, and the other one are the two
22 documents concerning the agreement about the evacuation
23 of Ilok.
24 Now, as for the first document, we have seen
25 that the Prosecutor kindly set out also the estimated
1 length of examination of each witness. I wonder whether
2 those rough estimates of the length of the examination
3 of each witness includes the cross-examination? I would
4 say so, judging from your calculation of the time.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, these are, yes,
6 as you have indicated, very rough estimates, but we
7 believed that this would encompass both the
8 examination-in-chief and the cross-examination.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
10 Now, the court is wondering whether we could
11 try to reduce the length of examination for some
12 witnesses who might appear to be less important, and we
13 would like to make a few suggestions concerning
14 particularly, I think, seven witnesses.
15 We were wondering whether, for witness
16 number 1 -- I am thinking, of course, by the way, of
17 the list which is at the back of the documents
18 submitted by the Prosecutor, the confidential document
19 submitted on 29th January, and I will indicate the
20 various witnesses only by their number, so as to avoid
21 any confusion or any disclosure of names of protected
23 Now, our suggestions would be as follows:
24 now, could we reduce for witness 1 the possible length
25 of examination from two and a half hours to two hours?
1 Do you think this is feasible? Shall I first of all
2 maybe go through the various witnesses and then you
3 tell me whether it is acceptable.
4 Witness number 2, can we go down from two
5 hours to one and a half hours; number 3, reduce from
6 two hours to one hour; number 4, instead of an hour and
7 a half, one hour; number 6, instead of two hours, one
8 hour; number 9, one hour instead of two; number 10, one
9 hour instead of two.
10 Of course, I appreciate that it is rather
11 difficult for the Prosecutor to make any promise, but
12 this we are indicating as a sort of goal which we
13 should try to achieve in the interest of a fair and
14 expeditious trial, so I wonder whether we could make an
15 effort so as to reduce the length of
16 examination-in-chief and cross-examination of these
17 seven witnesses, so that because in this case we could
18 gain about five and a half hours this week, and we
19 would be able to maybe call three more witnesses.
20 The Prosecutor, yes?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Does your Honour wish me to
22 respond now to that?
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Well, it is very difficult to
25 reduce these periods of time. I mean, this is a good
1 faith estimate of time. The first witness is important
2 because that witness covers a broad spectrum of events
3 which is introductory and substantive leading through
4 to setting the scene and then leading to the
5 substantive events.
6 Witness 10 probably will not even come so you
7 have saved two hours there anyway and you have probably
8 saved a great deal more because we will probably lose
9 quite a few more witnesses as time goes.
10 I will ask my colleague Mr. Williamson to
11 speak to other witnesses, but it seems to us, your
12 Honours, that the witnesses will only testify to that
13 which is relevant, and if there is something which is
14 not relevant, then we will do our best to avoid that,
15 but we are anxious not to have the witnesses go for an
16 extensive period of time. We have done something
17 unusual here. We have attempted to calculate
18 cross-examination time, which is in a sense
19 presumptuous on our part, but we tried to give the
20 court an overall estimate of the period of time we
21 would take. We have, of course, no control over
22 cross-examination. I will ask Mr. Williamson to speak to
23 the other issues.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, as you
25 indicated early on, this is a very rough estimate. It
1 is our belief that some of the witnesses that appear on
2 the list may actually be less than the time indicated,
3 some may be more. But as Mr. Niemann has said, we have
4 made a good faith effort to condense it as much as
5 possible. I think that we are presenting a very
6 efficient, concise case in this matter, and even if we
7 stick to the schedule that we are, this case will move
8 along much faster than any of the other cases that have
9 been heard before the court thus far.
10 In relation to the other specific witnesses
11 you mentioned, number 2, number 3 and number 4 all
12 relate to events at the hospital. Again, they are
13 setting the stage for what occurs later on, and we feel
14 that their testimony is important in establishing some
15 of the other elements that we are required to prove in
16 terms of the classification of victims, the armed
17 conflict, the nature of the conflict, and in fact,
18 address some of the issues which have been denied by
19 the Defence in terms of their points denied in the
21 We feel that it is our obligation to prove
22 every point that they have denied, and they have
23 provided a very thorough listing of basically
24 everything that they have denied in the indictment, and
25 it is our obligation to prove this. Since we bear the
1 burden we feel like we have to do it in the best way we
3 We will make every effort to keep these
4 witnesses as short as possible and to the point, but
5 I think you will find that as we move along that many
6 of them will be shorter than the times that we have
7 anticipated, but some of them may be longer. On that
8 issue, witness number 9, which we had previously
9 indicated for two hours, we believe may actually be
10 longer than that because this was based on what we have
11 in terms of witness statements for each of these
12 persons. As witnesses arrive here and we have an
13 opportunity to sit down and talk with the witnesses,
14 some of them are able to see for the first time video
15 material that we have or documents that we have. We
16 find that they have other information which we were not
17 anticipating them having to testify about.
18 In the case of witness 9, there will be some
19 video footage that we had no intention of offering, but
20 after he has seen this we believe that it is relevant,
21 that it helps to clarify his testimony, and that it
22 will help the court to have a clear picture of what is
23 going on.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
25 MR. WILLIAMSON: I am sorry, just a moment,
1 your Honour. (Pause).
2 MR. NIEMANN: One possibility, your Honours,
3 that occurred to me while we were discussing this
4 matter is if we were to tender the statements as
5 evidence in the proceedings that may assist in reducing
6 the time, so if the Defence has no objection to them
7 being tendered as evidence in the proceedings, some
8 introductory material can be eliminated.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: This would apply to how many
11 MR. NIEMANN: We could tender all the
12 statements as we go through and we could possibly
13 reduce it that way, but it, of course, is entirely
14 a matter for the Defence.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes? Defence?
16 MR. FILA: Your Honour, may I first say that,
17 referring to the evidence mentioned by the Prosecutor,
18 a part refers to the operations of the JNA, about the
19 hospital and other things. These matters are not
20 directly linked to Dokmanovic, so I do not even know if
21 there will be any cross-examination. If any, it will be
22 reduced to one or two questions. What we are interested
23 in are witnesses 12 and 13, and for them I will need
24 a little more time.
25 Secondly, the Defence is not denying the fact
1 that there was an armed conflict. What we are denying
2 is that it was an international armed conflict. The
3 Defence is not denying that the hospital was destroyed.
4 The Defence has no intention of defending the JNA, but
5 Slavko Dokmanovic. That is why I shall be as brief as
6 possible and concise as possible and focus exclusively
7 on Slavko Dokmanovic, who was not an officer or
8 a reserve officer, who was in fact not a member of the
9 army at all.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, but may I ask you
11 about your position concerning the suggestion made
12 a few minutes ago by the Prosecution, to the effect
13 that the witness statements could be tendered as
14 evidence? Of course, if you do not object. What is your
15 position on this matter? The Prosecution witness
16 statements would be provided to the court and be
17 regarded as evidence.
18 MR. FILA: I would prefer to hear those
19 witnesses, only they could be more concise. Because in
20 the statements there is nothing about Dokmanovic. They
21 were taken before Dokmanovic was indicted and therefore
22 we have to know whether they have any knowledge about
23 him, whether that knowledge is positive or negative,
24 because we will see that all those statements refer to
25 JNA officers, if I am not mistaken, and at the time
1 Dokmanovic was not an indictee. It is before 1996.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: But if I understood the
3 Prosecutor correctly, he meant to say that in this
4 case, of course, the production of the witness
5 statements as evidence would not mean that the
6 witnesses are not heard by the court, simply that we
7 could focus our questions on some specific questions,
8 so of course, it goes without saying that we will have
9 to call all these witnesses.
10 MR. FILA: I apologise, your Honour.
11 I apologise. I misunderstood. In that case I have no
12 objection. I agree.
13 MR. NIEMANN: I should like to say, your
14 Honour, just in light of that, that our position is the
15 same, in the sense that we do not want it in any way
16 interpreted that because we are advancing the
17 proposition that these statements could become
18 evidence, that somehow or other that will mean, then,
19 that the Defence or indeed the Prosecution will
20 automatically be in a position of tendering statements
21 without calling the witnesses as evidence, because
22 I should foreshadow that we would object to statements
23 being tendered in this way.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you.
25 Now, one last point relating to the list of
1 witnesses produced by the Prosecution is as follows;
2 I think -- the court has not received statements made
3 by four witnesses, so Witness K and three other
4 witnesses. I wonder whether the -- I assume the
5 Prosecution has already disclosed those statements to
6 the Defence, but I wonder whether the court as well
7 could receive a copy of those four statements.
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I believe the
9 statement of Witness K should have been tendered both
10 to the court and to the Defence. I believe the Defence
11 has this. We can double-check. In relation to the other
12 witnesses, could you indicate which witnesses those
13 were? I am sorry.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: This is Vladimir Veber,
15 Katica Zara and Dragan Zera. These are the witnesses
16 to be called in February.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes, your Honour. In
18 relation to those three witnesses, we have not taken
19 statements from those persons, and we do not anticipate
20 taking statements. These are relatives of persons who
21 were killed at Ovcara. Their testimony will be
22 relatively brief but we can certainly prepare a summary
23 of the main theme of their testimony and provide that
24 both to the Defence and the court in advance of them
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Then I have
2 a list of six witnesses to be called in February/March.
3 Again, their statements have not been provided to the
4 court. Shall I read out the names?
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I believe
6 I know which witnesses you are indicating. This would
7 appear on the...
8 The first witness which indicates,
9 "February /March". Is that correct?
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: And then the four witnesses
12 which are all marked with, "February /March", as the
13 potential date of testimony.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, I think so, but to
15 expedite matters I suggest to give both the Defence and
16 the Prosecution a copy of my list as a tentative guide
17 of the various witnesses for whom we do not have any
18 statements, so -- otherwise we waste a lot of time.
19 May I move on to a second problem, and here
20 I turn to the Defence, and I wonder whether the Defence
21 would object to the two documents produced by the
22 Prosecution and concerning the evacuation of Ilok,
23 being formally exhibited, thus becoming part of our
24 record. The so-called agreement and the ultimatum.
25 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I have not received
1 the statement of Witness K; just like you have not
2 received it, I have not either. That is number one.
3 Number two, as regards these two documents,
4 and another twenty or so documents that I received from
5 the Prosecutor this morning, that they should be
6 considered exhibits, I fully agree with them, including
7 those given to me by the Prosecutor this morning. They
8 can be considered as evidence. I also agree that we are
9 given a rough outline of what the witnesses would say.
10 It is not necessary to have the statement in extenso.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Therefore, may
12 I suggest that we now formally regard the -- as
13 exhibits and we have to give a number -- the agreement
14 to be found in the document filed by the Prosecution on
15 29th January, this is the agreement concerning the
16 evacuation of Ilok. This would be what number?
17 THE REGISTRAR: We will mark it as
18 Prosecution exhibit number 5.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Prosecution
20 exhibit number 5. Then the so-called, "ultimatum", of
21 28th September 1991 to be found in the same document.
22 This would become Prosecution's exhibit number 6.
23 May I now turn to the Prosecution and ask
24 whether the Prosecution agrees to the meteorological
25 report produced by the Defence?
1 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. So this can be again
3 regarded as an exhibit.
4 THE REGISTRAR: We will mark that as Defence
5 exhibit number 1.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Number 1. All right. Defence
7 exhibit number 1. A few minor problems which, however,
8 must be disposed of quickly before we move to our first
9 witness. Now, again, I will turn to the -- to both
10 parties, actually, because the question I would like to
11 ask is about the 45 so-called, "minor Defence
13 You will remember that mention was made in
14 our previous hearings of these so-called 45 minor
15 Defence witnesses and at some stage I ask the two
16 parties whether they could reach some sort of agreement
17 on their statements, because I remember the Defence
18 counsel had asked that all of them be heard through
19 deposition, they are not prepared to come to court, so
20 he insisted that deposition should be made for these
21 statements and so at that stage I suggested to try to
22 see whether they could reach some sort of an agreement.
23 I wonder whether such agreement has been
25 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we have had
1 discussions with the Defence, but basically, the
2 position is not any different to what it was on the
3 previous occasion when we were in court and that is
4 that I do not think it is a case of deposition, it is
5 a case of the Prosecution interviewing the witnesses
6 and seeing whether there is any aspect of the evidence
7 that we can agree to so that it may not be necessary to
8 call the witness at all.
9 The exercise of taking depositions is as
10 difficult and costly as bringing the witnesses here to
11 court, so we had agreed that we would endeavour to go
12 to Belgrade and interview the 45 witnesses and see
13 whether or not there is any points on which we can
14 agree and if we can agree then we have no objection to
15 some form of admission being formally tendered in the
16 proceedings. If we cannot agree, then the issue then
17 falls back to the witnesses being called before the
18 proceedings in the ordinary way.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
20 MR. NIEMANN: It is our intention to endeavour
21 to do this before the close of the Prosecution case or
22 at least at the end of the Prosecution case.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
24 Now, as a last point, let me just give you
25 the tentative schedule for the next three months, the
1 schedule of our hearings, because there have been,
2 I think, some slight variations.
3 Now you know, of course, that we are going to
4 sit here until Wednesday of next week, so eight working
5 days, but then we will resume our hearings in March and
6 there will be hearings from 16th-20th March, so five
7 working days. In April from 20th-29th of April, so
8 eight working days, and then in May, from 18th-29th of
9 May, ten working days.
10 We will try to see whether we can get the
11 courtroom for a few more days so that we can have, say,
12 maybe one week, one more week either in April or May
13 but this is rather difficult because of the present
14 constraints, logistical constraints.
15 All right. Now, we could probably now call
16 the first witness.
17 Before doing so, let me try to sum up one
18 point which was argued this morning about the witness
19 statements being tendered as evidence. I assume that
20 the Prosecution meant to say that as the witness comes
21 here then he may decide to tender the witness statement
22 as evidence so that the examination and the
23 cross-examination may focus on some specific points,
24 and the court will not have to go into matters which
25 are covered by the witness statement, so as -- so
1 therefore, the production of the witness statement as
2 evidence will take place when -- if and when the
3 witness comes here. Is it correct? This would be my
5 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. The course
6 that I would propose would be to show the witness the
7 statement and ask whether that is the signature which
8 appears. Of course it is not in the language of the
9 accused so the witness cannot say that yes, that is her
10 statement because it will be inspect the English
11 language, or his statement, but we would be seeking to
12 tender the totality of the document as evidence so it
13 would not be as though we are merely tendering part of
14 it in relation to what the witness might say in the
15 witness-box or otherwise. We would say that the whole
16 of the statement becomes an exhibit and is evidence
17 without restriction. On that basis, we would try and
18 reduce the amount of time spent with the witness on
19 what I might call, "introductory matters". If they are
20 covered in the statement we can move directly into the
21 pith and substance of the statement rather than dealing
22 with the important, relevant, admissible preliminary
23 matters, but avoid going through -- spending the time
24 in court going through those issues.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You referred only
1 to those witnesses whom you intend to call.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So not all the
4 statements which have been produced to the court.
5 MR. NIEMANN: No. Those ones will be called.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: And I see that the Defence
7 council does not object to this procedure.
8 MR. FILA: No, on the contrary. I just wish
9 to be of assistance to Mr. Niemann. All those statements
10 have already been translated into Serbo-Croatian so the
11 witnesses can identify the translation as being the
12 original, and that would solve the problem.
13 Secondly, I have brought what you asked me to
14 bring, so I should like to present it to you for your
15 consideration. (Handed).
16 These are documents related to the army, and
17 I have also submitted the 74 Yugoslav constitution
18 translated into English. I have given a copy to
19 Mr. Niemann.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
21 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we do not have
22 a copy of those documents.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, there should be copies
24 also. Do you have a copy for the Prosecution?
25 MR. FILA: I apologise. I do not have a copy.
1 I just wanted you to have a look whether that is what
2 you were expecting from me and if that is so, then
3 I can make a copy. That is why I produced only one
4 copy. I apologise, but I just wanted to check whether
5 that is right.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: We can look during the
7 coffee break and then we will let you know. Thank you.
8 We could now call the first witness.
9 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, just before I do
10 that, there was a matter which did arise out of the
11 previous occasion which, if I may clarify; your Honour
12 has asked for a memorandum on two issues; the
13 international armed conflict and on the issue of
14 cumulative and alternative charging. That, of course,
15 is not an issue in the proceedings as yet. It may well
16 become so, but it is not. So if we were in the process
17 of preparing a memorandum on this, I assume your
18 Honours are not going to rule on it because it is not
19 an issue, and it would be, in a sense, an extension of
20 my opening address. That would be the way I assume we
21 are to deal with it, because your Honours have not been
22 asked to rule on it by either party yet.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: I did not understand what --
24 so are you asking for an extension of the time limit?
25 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour. Your Honour
1 asked for a memorandum on international armed conflict
2 and one on cumulative charging. The parties are joined.
3 There is no issue between the parties as such, so
4 I would just clarify the basis upon which it is being
5 made available. I assume it is being made available on
6 the basis that it is an extension of my opening
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
9 MR. NIEMANN: If that is the case, that is
10 fine. We anticipate being in a position to provide that
11 to your Honour as before at the end of this week, early
12 next week.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. It will assist
14 the court in assessing this matter's legal issues.
15 Thank you.
16 Right. So you may call the first witness.
17 MR. NIEMANN: I call Vesna Bosanac.
18 (Witness entered court)
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you please make the
20 formal declaration?
21 VESNA BOSANAC (sworn)
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Please be seated.
23 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
24 MR. NIEMANN: Are you a qualified medical
1 A. I am.
2 Q. And were you director of the Vukovar General
3 Hospital and do you still have that position?
4 A. I was.
5 Q. And in particular, were you a director of
6 that hospital in 1991?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In particular, the latter part of 1991?
9 A. Yes, I was director from 24th July until
10 20th November 1991.
11 Q. Dr. Bosanac, was the Vukovar hospital bombed
12 during the course of the conflict in August, September,
13 October and November of 1991?
14 A. Yes. Several times, and on a daily basis.
15 Q. And could you describe very briefly to the
16 court the nature of the attack upon the hospital? What
17 sort of weapons were used against the hospital?
18 A. First, the shelling of the hospital occurred
19 in August 1991 when, on 15th August a shell hit the
20 management building. Also, shells fell on the main
21 hospital building. The fire came from the other side of
22 the Danube and the roof was targeted, so that the
23 surgery wards had to be moved to lower floors and
24 anti-atomic shelter provided.
25 On 24th August was the first time when the
1 hospital was shelled from the air with aeroplanes, and
2 as of 14th September it was shelled daily until
3 17th November a total of some between 60 and 200
4 projectiles of various kinds, shells and bombs were
5 dropped on the hospital using various types of weapons.
6 Q. I mean, who was firing upon the hospital?
7 A. The fire came from positions held by the
8 Yugoslav People's Army from the other bank of the
9 Danube, from the Vojvodina side, also from the
10 direction of Negoslavci and Borovo Selo. Vukovar was
11 completely surrounded for three months, and there were
12 cannon and tanks around the centre of the town
13 belonging to the Yugoslav People's Army, JNA planes
14 were also almost daily flying over the hospital and
15 shelling the hospital and other buildings in the
17 Q. Do you know why Vukovar was being attacked by
18 the JNA?
19 A. In the 1991 war many towns were attacked.
20 I do not know with certainty, but I assume that Vukovar
21 was being attacked in order to gain control of it
22 which, in fact, happened between 18th and 20th November
24 Q. Previous to this attack had Vukovar
25 experienced hostilities and difficulties amongst the
1 population of that city?
2 A. I worked in Vukovar for 17 years as a doctor.
3 Vukovar is a small town in the south east of Croatia on
4 the right bank of the Danube. Before the war it had
5 a population of 45,000, and the entire region was
6 inhabited by representatives of various ethnic groups.
7 The 1991 elections, it emerged that there were 23
8 ethnicities populating the area. The Croats constituted
9 43 per cent, the Serbs 38 per cent. There were quite
10 a large percentage of Yugoslavs, about 12 per cent.
11 These were children of mixed marriages who declared
12 their nationality as being Yugoslav, and there were
13 representatives of other ethnic groups, Ruthenes,
14 Hungarians, Ukrainians, Albanians in smaller
15 percentages, therefore a large number of ethnic groups
16 were represented.
17 Q. You said a moment ago that the hospital which
18 you were a director of was attacked. Was there any
19 military installation or other reason that you know of
20 why the hospital itself would have been attacked?
21 A. No, there were never any military
22 installations in the hospital. I think the hospital was
23 attacked more than other parts of the city, though
24 I can conclude from the fierce attacks, in spite of all
25 the protests I made to protect the hospital, that it
1 was attacked because in the hospital, which was
2 operational, everyone, both the police and the army and
3 the people had support. There were doctors, there were
4 nurses, and they could be sure that they would be
5 helped should they be injured.
6 Q. Did the hospital have any markings or other
7 indicia on the hospital itself to indicate that it was
8 in fact a hospital?
9 A. Yes. On the old hospital building where the
10 department for infectious lung diseases was situated,
11 there was a large red cross and as we could not climb
12 on to the roof of the new building, then on the lawn
13 between the old and new building we spread out a large
14 sheet, a white sheet with the red cross which was
15 20 metres in diameter so it was clearly visible. But in
16 spite of these signs, shells were falling in the garden
17 and airforce shells as well.
18 Q. You mentioned 24th August 1991. Was that an
19 occasion when four JNA soldiers were brought into the
20 hospital for treatment?
21 A. Yes. There was a checkpoint of the Yugoslav
22 People's Army between Borovo Naselje and Borovo Selo
23 because troops were passing through town and personnel
24 carriers, regularly, and they came across mines. Four
25 soldiers were brought in, two of whom were lightly
1 injured, one was seriously injured and the other had
2 very heavy burns all over his body from the explosion.
3 They were admitted to the hospital that morning. They
4 were given all necessary medical treatment in line with
5 the principles of medicine and ethics.
6 Q. And did the local captain of the JNA, Captain
7 Ristic come to you or ring you and be requested that
8 they be turned over to the JNA?
9 A. He called me up by telephone and asked that
10 the soldiers be brought to the barracks which was in
11 the southern part of the city. I opposed this, and said
12 it was not advisable. It was not in their interest.
13 They were still receiving infusion, that they could be
14 given proper treatment in the hospital and that it was
15 not suitable for them to be transported or to be
16 treated in the barracks.
17 Q. Now, notwithstanding the medical advice that
18 you gave Captain Ristic, did they insist upon him,
19 these soldiers being taken out of your hospital and did
20 that, in fact, occur?
21 A. Yes, he insisted, but I said that I could not
22 do it because there was absolutely no medical or
23 ethical justification. However, about half an hour
24 later the chief of police called me up and asked that
25 we prepare the soldiers for evacuation indicating that
1 representatives of the Yugoslav army would come to pick
2 them up.
3 Q. And did ultimately those representatives come
4 to pick them up? Those representatives of the Yugoslav
6 A. Yes, shortly after that an armoured personnel
7 carrier entered the hospital compound. I went out
8 because I could not communicate with them because they
9 were inside the carrier, so I knocked on the outside
10 and the lid opened, an officer came out, and I asked
11 why they had come into the hospital, and they said they
12 had come to secure the evacuation of those soldiers.
13 A van belonging to the Yugoslav army also came with
14 a driver. They parked at the entrance to the hospital,
15 and the soldiers who were lightly wounded entered the
16 van whereas those who were more seriously wounded were
17 put in an ambulance. I asked the driver where he was
18 taking them. He said he did not know. He was just
19 following orders. One of the more lightly wounded
20 soldiers was from Vukovar and he did not want to go. He
21 wanted to stay, but the driver had received orders to
22 take them away and they did.
23 One of our nurses called Janiza Janko. She
24 went with the ambulance and when she came back she said
25 she saw many people in the barracks, helicopters, TV
1 reporters, they were all waiting to evacuate the
2 soldiers from Vukovar to Belgrade.
3 Q. Now, once the -- well, firstly, do you know
4 of any reason why it would have been necessary to come
5 to the hospital with an armoured personnel carrier? Was
6 there any military threat to the JNA when they came to
7 your hospital, that you know of?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And after these men had been removed, did the
10 shelling of your hospital continue or did it abate?
11 A. It continued. The shelling continued.
12 Actually, the first air-raid on the hospital took place
13 after that, and the shelling continued every day and it
14 was heavier and heavier.
15 Q. Do you think -- do you know of any reason why
16 the -- I will withdraw that.
17 Did you complain to anyone about the fact
18 that your hospital was being shelled or bombed?
19 A. I complained every day and several times
20 every day to many people.
21 Q. Who did you complain to? Can you tell us?
22 A. First, I complained in Zagreb to the Ministry
23 of Health, then to the general headquarters of the
24 Croatian army, and by telephone I got in touch with the
25 general staff in Belgrade via Sarejevo. I also asked to
1 talk on the telephone to the then Prime Minister, Anto
2 Markovic, but I did not manage to speak to him. I spoke
3 to then military deputies of the Yugoslav army on the
4 telephone and they did not believe what I was saying.
5 They kept saying that it was impossible that the
6 hospital was being bombed. Then when I realised that it
7 was no use complaining to anyone and that no one could
8 help me, then through the media in Slovenia I got the
9 telephones and telefaxes of the International Red Cross
10 in Geneva, of UNICEF and all other important
11 politicians in Europe of the day, Mr. Carrington,
12 Genscher, Van den Broek, and I wrote every day. I wrote
13 protests and appeals and asked for assistance and
14 I sent it to the Croatian office attached to the
15 European Mission in the hotel in Zagreb and I asked
16 them to send this further to all these other addresses.
17 Q. And when you say, "the Europe Mission", you
18 are speaking of the European Community Monitoring
19 Mission. Is that right?
20 A. Yes. At that time in the hotel, and in Zagreb
21 there was a Monitoring Mission of the European
22 Community. It was led by Georges Marie Chenu. He was
23 head of this monitoring mission, and during the month
24 of November, as far as I know, negotiations began on
25 establishing a cease-fire in our territory.
1 Q. Now, just dealing with those protests you
2 made, did you, apart from making telephone contact, did
3 you also make contact by way of fax?
4 A. Almost every day, or perhaps even twice a day
5 I would describe the current situation in the hospital
6 and in town and I sent telefaxes to the European
7 Mission and asked them to translate this into English
8 and to give these appeals of mine to all members of the
9 European Mission. The telefax in the hospital was out
10 of order because the office building was hit, so every
11 day I either went to the defence headquarters of the
12 town or to the police where the telefax was in
13 operation and that is where I sent these telefaxes
15 MR. NIEMANN: Would you look at these bundle
16 of documents that I am now going to give you, please,
17 and would you just look through them? (Handed).
18 Perhaps a copy might be given to Mr. Fila.
19 I think he has already had a copy, but he might need
20 another one, and a copy for your Honours.
21 Doctor, dealing with these documents as
22 a bundle rather than as individual documents, can you
23 just quickly look through the ones that I have now
24 shown you, just to identify that they are the documents
25 that you recognise? Very quickly. I think you have seen
1 them before.
2 A. These are copies of the telefaxes that
3 I wrote and sent to the Croatian office at the European
4 Community Monitoring Mission from October 20th until
5 15th or 16th November during that most difficult month
6 when the hospital was bombed every day with an average
7 of 100 projectiles.
8 Q. And does your signature and writing appear on
9 a number of these documents, especially where your name
10 is typed, beneath or above that?
11 A. Yes. These are communications that I wrote
12 myself or my secretary wrote them and I would only sign
13 them. And the documents that were translated into
14 English were translated in the Croatian office by the
15 European Mission. Also I sent certain messages by
16 telephone and I asked them to write them down and to
17 send them under my name. Not all the documents I sent
18 are here, but quite a few are.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. I tender those. Might they
20 be given the next number in order?
21 JUDGE CASSESE: It is exhibit number...
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 7.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Number 7.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Doctor, did you have to do
25 anything with your patients in order to protect them
1 from this constant shelling that was happening to your
3 A. We tried to protect our patients by putting
4 the most difficult patients in the anti-aircraft
5 shelter that was underground, four rooms underground.
6 We had an intensive care unit for the most heavily
7 wounded there, and after the operations, the surgeries
8 that were carried out, they were taken to the
9 anti-nuclear shelter because not a single shell could
10 fall in there. So we had a room there and we also had
11 a delivery room for mothers and their babies that were
12 in incubators. We also had a large room for
13 post-intensive treatment of the wounded, and also
14 a smaller room where the children of the medical staff
15 would spend the night and also nurses from time to time
16 when they were getting some rest.
17 We tried to use all the cellars to a maximum
18 but they were not exactly safe, so sometimes a shell
19 would fall into the cellar of the old building and even
20 the patients were hit by shells. We had very many
21 wounded people. That was the problem. Every day between
22 16 and 92 wounded people were taken in.
23 Q. On one occasion --
24 A. During September we could evacuate the
25 wounded so they could leave Vukovar, but starting from
1 1st October we could not evacuate anyone any more so
2 there were more and more wounded. After treating them
3 we would send them to civilian shelters. However, just
4 before the occupation of Vukovar at the end of November
5 the number of wounded people came to the figure of 450
6 and it is certain that there was not even enough room
7 for 200.
8 Q. On one occasion around 4th October 1991, did
9 two bombs hit the hospital, one exploding and the other
10 one travelling down through the hospital building
12 A. These were two aircraft bombs that hit the
13 hospital. I remember the explosion in surgery on the
14 second floor of the hospital, and the entire hospital,
15 the hallway, everything, was full of dust and gas and
16 everyone panicked. The wounded, the patients, the
17 staff. We thought that the hospital would go on fire
18 because that had already happened several times, but
19 then someone said that a bomb fell directly into the
20 shelter. I went there and at the entrance to the
21 shelter since a big bomb had fallen, I saw that it had
22 fallen directly onto the bed where a patient was lying,
23 by his feet. So this was an elderly man called Pero
24 Vukasin. I heard that he is still alive, that he lives
25 in Vukovar nowadays. So that bomb did not explode but
1 it penetrated the roof and all the floors. It came up
2 to the very entrance to the shelter. The patient was
3 lucky to have survived. He was lucky that it fell by
4 his feet and everybody else was lucky because had that
5 bomb exploded it is certain that the shelter would have
6 exploded and that everybody would have been killed.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Doctor, I would like you to now
8 look at some photographs, if you would, for me, please.
9 These copies have been made available to your Honours,
10 to the court, and perhaps I can indicate it to the
11 Registrar. It is the one entitled, "Vukovar hospital".
12 Perhaps that could be shown to the witness. You should
13 have that, I understand. (Handed). Thank you.
14 Now, Dr. Bosanac -- perhaps you might assist
15 Dr. Bosanac by setting it up on the overhead projector
17 Doctor, what I would like to do is put those
18 particular photographs on the projector that is beside
19 you there and just dealing with them one by one, if you
20 may go through and just comment on the various things
21 that you may see. Point to them with your finger if you
22 would, or with a pointer, so that we can see what you
23 are talking about.
24 Now, the photograph that you see there, the
25 first photograph in the booklet, what is depicted there
1 and perhaps you might point as you talk.
2 A. This main building is the new hospital
3 building. This photograph was made now after the war,
4 after the hospital was renewed.
5 Q. So it has been rebuilt since 1991. That is
6 what you are saying, is it?
7 A. Yes. In 1992 it was renewed. The local
8 authorities at that time had rebuilt the hospital,
9 although not fully, but the roof of the central
10 building has been rebuilt. This is the emergency ward,
11 rehabilitation, and here --
12 Q. I would like just -- just perhaps stopping
13 you for a moment to know what the record indicates, you
14 are pointing to the long building with the iron roof in
15 the immediate foreground of the building directly in
16 front of the hospital, the main hospital.
17 Thank you, if you could go on.
18 A. Yes. On this lawn was where the white flag
19 with the red cross was. The white sheet, so that one
20 could see that this was a hospital. On the left-hand
21 side --
22 Q. Just stopping you again, Doctor, I will need
23 to indicate these places for the record.
24 This is the green lawn section to the left
25 end of the silver-roofed building, or iron-roofed
1 building first described in front of the hospital.
2 Thank you Doctor, if you could continue,
4 A. On the left-hand side, perhaps you can see
5 this destroyed building. It is still destroyed,
6 I think.
7 Q. That is in the medium foreground of the
8 photograph to the left-hand side of the photograph
9 looking at the photograph. Yes, what is that building,
11 A. That was the building of the infectious
12 diseases and test diseases ward and that is where there
13 was a big red cross.
14 Q. Thank you. Now could you turn to the next
15 photograph, please, Doctor?
16 A. Now, on this photograph one can also see the
17 central building of the hospital. On the right-hand
18 side is the entrance where the emergency reception room
19 for the wounded was during the war. On the second floor
20 was surgery, and that is where the hospital was first
21 shot at on 15th August from the positions held in
22 Vojvodina and then we moved surgery from the second
23 floor to the first floor, where the gynaecology ward was
24 before that, and soon afterwards, because of the
25 constant shelling, we moved it to the cellar and to the
1 shelter. You can see here these sacks for protection --
2 Q. I am sorry, this is in the immediate
3 foreground to the right-hand side of the building,
4 showing the building. Thank you.
5 A. This is actually where the reception room for
6 the surgery is, where operations were carried out, and
7 then the wounded were taken through the cellar to the
8 shelter and the shelter is precisely here, underneath
9 this green lawn. That is a real anti-nuclear shelter
10 with four big rooms and with bathroom and storage rooms
11 for water, food, and medicine.
12 Q. And the photograph -- the place on the
13 photograph pointed to is on the left-hand side of the
14 photograph, about two thirds of the way up the
15 photograph, behind a very large tree that is shown
16 there. Thank you Doctor, and moving now, I think, to
17 the next photograph...
18 A. Here we can also see the main building of the
19 hospital. During those three months while the hospital
20 was a constant target for shelling, all the medical
21 services took place here in the basement, and this was
22 the first floor where internal medicine was, and it is
23 only the medical staff who slept there while the
24 wounded were in the cellar and in the hallway, the
25 central part of the building so there was less of
1 chance for them to get injured again.
2 On the right-hand side up here, that is where
3 a fire broke out. A shell fell and it was precisely on
4 this window that the fire started but we managed to
5 extinguish it.
6 Q. Stopping there for a moment, this is the top
7 right-hand side of the building as you see the
8 building, looking at it. Thank you.
9 Now, if we can go on to the next photograph?
10 Is that looking at it again with the entranceway to the
11 hospital where the wounded were brought in which is
12 shown on the left-hand side?
13 A. This is the other side now. The wounded were
14 brought in this way, and then an empty vehicle would
15 drive out this way.
16 Q. Thank you. I think if we can move on to the
17 next photograph --
18 A. This is the opposite side of the hospital.
19 The wounded were brought in here. They would be left
20 here in front of the surgery and then the empty vehicle
21 would leave on the other side. Also, you can see here
22 the heating room. The door to the heating room. It is
23 precisely at that place that the head of our heating
24 station, Ivan Ragus was killed. He was getting into the
25 room where he worked and that is precisely where
1 a shell hit him.
2 Q. Thank you. And the next photograph? I think
3 we have seen a similar one to that before. Is that
5 A. Yes. That is the second one where the
6 hospital is shown from the side of the entrance.
7 Q. And the next photograph?
8 A. This is the entrance to the hallway which is
9 between the old and the new buildings, and this is
10 exactly where the entrance to the anti-nuclear shelter
11 is. It is behind this wall. The medical staff and the
12 wounded and patients from the old building and the new
13 building had access to it. Here, along the hallway
14 there were also beds with patients with the wounded,
15 and this is where they were also treated. On one
16 occasion a shell, an armoured shell had hit the ground,
17 and then hit this wall. So, it was impossible to pass
18 this way and one patient was -- who was not really
19 wounded, he was a tetraplegic from before the war and
20 he was brought to the hospital because his family could
21 not take care of him and we thought that he was killed.
22 However, we managed to dig him out and to re-animate
23 him. He survived all of that, and he is still
24 recovering in Varazdinske Toplice near to the hospital.
25 Q. Now, Doctor, when you are actually talking,
1 if you could just speak as much as you can into the
2 microphone. I would be grateful.
3 A. This photograph also shows the same corridor
4 between the new and the old building, and the entrance
5 into the nuclear shelter. That corridor now is empty
6 but in 1991 it was packed full with the wounded.
7 Q. The next photograph?
8 A. This photograph shows the entrance to the
9 surgery. This is the anteroom; however, during the
10 aggression of 1991, this room was also used as
11 a surgery.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. This is the door to my office. That was my
14 office during the war.
15 Q. And the final photograph, if you could turn
16 it up, please? Oh no, I am sorry, the next photograph.
17 A. This photograph shows one of the hallways in
18 the hospital that was also used as rooms for patients
19 because we put the beds so that they should be
20 protected by walls without windows because shrapnel
21 would often come through the windows, even whole
23 Q. The next photograph?
24 A. Here you see the entrance to the admission,
25 surgery admissions. This was the entrance. The wounded
1 were brought by car and then the cars would continue in
2 that direction. This is how we had boarded-over the
3 windows and covered them with sandbags. The windows of
4 the surgery where the operations were carried out.
5 Q. And the next photograph, please.
6 A. Here you see an entrance to the hospital
7 building from the Gunduliceva Street.
8 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. I tender those
9 photographs, your Honours. It is next exhibit, in
10 order, P8, I think it will be 8, I think.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Exhibit number 8?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Prosecution exhibit
13 number 8.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Bosanac, you said that
15 negotiations continued at various levels in order to
16 achieve some sort of cease-fire and in particular to
17 achieve a cessation of the attack upon the hospital.
18 When did those negotiations start in earnest, do you
20 A. I recall, because I learned of those
21 negotiations from my conversations by telephone with
22 the Health Minister, Professor Doctor Andrija Hebrang,
23 and these negotiations began in earnest at the
24 beginning of October when, as a result of those
25 negotiations, a convoy was organised for the evacuation
1 of the wounded by the Medicine Sans Frontiers, the
2 Doctors Without Borders organisation. This convey was
3 to have reached Vukovar on 11th October to bring
4 medicines and other medical equipment, and to take the
5 first 100 wounded from the hospital and then to keep
6 coming back again until all the wounded were evacuated.
7 The convoy left Zagreb on 11th October but it was held
8 up by the Yugoslav army in the barracks and it did not
9 reach the hospital. The next convoy was organised on
10 18th October and it did reach the hospital. However it
11 did not bring any medicines at all, not a single pill,
12 but it managed to evacuate 105 wounded in spite of
13 difficulties which resulted in the trip from Vukovar to
14 just behind Vinkovse took 13 hours and an elderly
15 patient who was burned by a shell died during the
17 The negotiations were continued with
18 intensity, and I received the first report that the
19 hospital would be evacuated on 12th November. An
20 agreement had been reached in Zagreb according to which
21 the hospital would be neutralised and the evacuation
22 would begin on November 18th at 8 am, organised by the
23 International Red Cross, under the supervision of the
24 European Monitors.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Doctor, I will just ask you to
1 look at this document that I now show you and a copy is
2 to be given to the Defence and to their Honours. Again,
3 it is a document that I have made available to Mr. Fila.
4 Your Honours, I apologise for the difficulty
5 in reading the top section of it, but it is the only
6 copy that we have and the only copy that survived, as
7 far as I know, as far as this office is concerned.
8 Dr. Bosanac, the document you are now looking
9 at, do you recognise that document? Have you seen it
11 A. Yes, I have. I have seen it. Actually,
12 I talked on the telephone several times with Minister
13 Hebrang to consult with him regarding the evacuation of
14 the hospital and its neutralisation and I saw this
15 document for the first time when I reached Zagreb after
16 being exchanged.
17 Q. And do you understand this to be the
18 agreement that was entered into between the parties in
19 relation to the evacuation of the Vukovar hospital?
20 A. Yes. It is an agreement signed on behalf of
21 Croatia by the Health Minister, Professor Andrija
22 Hebrang on behalf of the Yugoslav People's Army by
23 Andrija Raseta, and as the chairman of the European
24 Mission, Georges Marie Chenu.
25 Q. And do you recognise any of the signatures
1 that appear at the foot of that document?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And can you tell us which signature you
4 recognise and where that signature appears on the
5 document? Perhaps you might like to put it on the
6 overhead projector and point to it. That might be
7 easier for you.
8 A. This is -- I recognise this signature. It is
9 the signature of our Minister, Dr. Hebrang.
10 Q. It is not coming up on the screen, Doctor.
11 I would ask that it be moved up further and if you
12 could point to it?
13 A. This is the signature of our Minister,
14 Dr. Hebrang. In the middle is the signature of Mr. Chenu,
15 and to the right is the signature of General Raseta.
16 Q. And I take it that you are familiar with the
17 signature of the Minister for Health of Croatia. Is
18 that right?
19 A. Yes. I know this for sure, but as for the
20 other two, I heard that those were signatures of
21 Andrija Raseta. I have not seen his signature. I know
22 that he participated in the negotiations. I spoke to
23 him several times on the telephone in the period
24 between 16th and 18th November, and I know this to be
25 Mr. Chenu's signature because after liberation I spoke
1 to him several times, as after being a member of the
2 Monitors, he had a mandate as the Ambassador of France
3 in Zagreb.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Tender that, your Honour.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Exhibit number?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 9.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Now, Dr. Bosanac, this agreement
8 that was entered into in writing that you have just
9 identified as exhibit 9; what happened in relation to
11 A. According to that agreement of 18th November
12 1991 at 8 o'clock in the morning, representatives of
13 the European monitoring mission and two teams of the
14 International Red Cross were due to arrive, one of them
15 by car from Belgrade via Ilok, and the other one across
16 the Danube from Vojvodina. That was the information
17 I received. However, on 18th in the morning nothing
18 happened. Nobody appeared. There were only minor
19 attacks on the town. There were hardly any shells.
20 I went to get water with some colleagues but I saw
21 shells being fired from Vojvodina but far beyond the
22 city, behind the front lines that were held at the time
23 by the Yugoslav army. We were waiting and nothing
25 I call Minister Hebrang up, who said that
1 representatives of the International Red Cross had left
2 Belgrade, that they were on their way. About 12 o'clock
3 representatives of the European Monitors called up by
4 telephone and said that they were on their way to
5 Vukovar, that they were in the village of Negoslavci,
6 and that they still could not come because they were
7 not allowed to come by the Yugoslav People's Army.
8 In the afternoon I called Zagreb up again,
9 that is Minister Hebrang and he told me that the Red
10 Cross had informed him that the teams were in Vukovar,
11 but that they were occupied with the surrender of
12 civilians and the Croatian army, and that they would
13 not come to the hospital before the next day, that is
14 19th, a Tuesday, at 8 o'clock, and we waited. We had
15 prepared the wounded for evacuation. We made a list
16 where people were going. Those who were on extensions,
17 there were many heavily wounded, they were in plaster
18 casts, and we had to prepare them for evacuation so we
19 engaged in last-minute preparation to begin the
20 evacuation the next day at last.
21 The situation by then was very difficult.
22 There was no medicine or food or water. Gangrene
23 appeared in some cases and civilians started coming to
24 the hospital from the surrounding shelters asking when
25 they would be evacuated, how they could leave the town,
1 along which routes, so that those were the worst days
2 we had.
3 Q. And were the civilians armed when they came
4 to the town?
5 A. No. To the hospital?
6 Q. Yes, I am sorry.
7 A. No, no, they were not armed.
8 Q. And were there any people, any soldiers armed
9 at the hospital during this period, that you knew of?
10 A. In that period the command of the defence
11 appointed a group to control the security of the
12 hospital. They had checkpoints outside the hospital,
13 there were six per group. But in the hospital itself
14 there were no weapons, and all the wounded when they
15 were brought in to the hospital at the entrance that
16 I showed you on the photograph, they were totally
17 undressed. Their equipment was removed. A police
18 inspector called Blanko Lugenda had this duty on behalf
19 of the police to register the names of the wounded, to
20 take their weapons and to take them back to the police.
21 Q. And did you yourself introduce a policy to
22 prevent weapons being brought into the hospital?
23 A. Yes. That was strictly prohibited, and when
24 soldiers came to visit their friends, they also had to
25 leave their weapons at the entrance. There was
1 a policeman watching over those weapons, and when they
2 completed the visit they would take their weapons and
3 go away.
4 Q. Now, Dr. Bosanac, you have spoken of the fact
5 that the agreed date for the evacuation was to be
6 18th November in the morning and you have said already
7 that when that day came and that time came and passed,
8 nothing had happened. Can you tell us now what happened
9 after the -- the next thing to occur in relation to the
10 proposed evacuation?
11 A. The next day in the morning, again no one
12 came at 8 o'clock, then again I called up the Minister,
13 and he said that Red Cross teams and European Monitors
14 were on the ground, that they expected the evacuation
15 to begin. The Minister himself had gone to Slavonia to
16 meet the convoy. I contacted several people including
17 Minister Granic. I called up General Raseta in Zagreb
18 several times that day to ask him for information. He
19 told me that I should contact Mr. Mrksic who would know
20 exactly how the evacuation would be organised. I could
21 not understand why he did not know where he was, but
22 Raseta told me not to worry. They would find me.
23 The last time I spoke to Raseta, that was
24 Tuesday morning, he told me that according to the
25 information he had, the army had reached the bridge and
1 that the International Red Cross was there too, so
2 I headed towards that bridge, accompanied by Marin
3 Vidic, who was responsible for the evacuation of
4 civilians and an employee of mine who spoke English.
5 She could be used as an interpreter, so we reached the
6 bridge, and we saw in the street called Priljavo
7 between Vukovar and Borovo, many trucks with different
8 troops that was collecting the civilians and loading
9 them into these trucks.
10 We reached the closest personnel carrier
11 carrying soldiers who did not look like soldiers at all
12 because they were wearing different uniforms, they were
13 totally untidy, unshaven, and that was the first time
14 that I really felt scared because this was the first
15 time for me to see such soldiers. I asked for their
16 commander. They were shouting things like, "are you
17 Ustashas", and then one of them appeared as their
18 commander and I asked him for the International Red
19 Cross. He said he had no idea that his territory was as
20 far as the bridge and that he was not going across the
21 bridge, so we went back to the hospital and waited.
22 I do not know exactly what time it was,
23 12 o'clock, 12.30, a military vehicle arrived
24 carrying soldiers to the hospital and I asked them as
25 well whether they knew where the International Red
1 Cross was and one of the officers said that he did,
2 that he had seen some vehicles with international
3 plates in Negoslovske, so I asked him to take me to
4 Negoslovske. I asked him where Mrksic was. Then he said
5 he was in Negoslovske too, so I asked him to take me to
6 Negoslovske, so I asked him to contact me and see how
7 we could organise the evacuation. He agreed.
8 I also asked him if he could ensure that the
9 troops accompanying him should protect the hospital.
10 People were afraid. There were a lot of civilians in
11 there. There were no international representatives
12 there, and indeed, he ordered the military policeman to
13 guard the entrances to the hospital so I went to
14 Negoslovske for the first time under his escort. I was
15 taken to a civilian house. I later learned that it was
16 probably one of the lawyers' houses, Armicic. An
17 officer was upstairs and he introduced himself as Mile
18 Mrksic. I said I was Vesna Bosanac from the Vukovar
19 hospital and that and I had come for the purpose of
21 Q. You have mentioned Mile Mrksic a couple of
22 times. What position did he have, as far as you were
23 aware, at the time?
24 A. At the time I had heard from General Raseta
25 that he was in charge of the operations in Vukovar and
1 that he would contact me in connection with the
2 evacuation. I spoke to him on the telephone once from
3 the hospital, and he also introduced himself as being
4 from Vukovar. I had not known him from before.
5 Actually, I had only heard of him, but I did not know
6 him personally.
7 Q. Did you understand or know what rank he was?
8 A. I did not know because I am not familiar with
9 ranks anyway, very well. I do not know what rank he
10 had, but later I heard, I think, that he was a colonel.
11 Q. And did you understand him to be connected
12 with or associated with the JNA?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now you --
15 A. He was commander for that area. Raseta told
16 me that he was the most responsible for operations in
17 Vukovar, and that he would be the one to assist us on
18 the part of the Yugoslav People's Army regarding
19 respect of the agreement on the evacuation of the
21 Q. Now, you spoke -- you went to this place,
22 this house that you said was the former house of
23 a lawyer of the town. What happened then when you were
24 there? Did you meet with Colonel Mrksic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what did he say to you?
2 A. He said that he was preparing the evacuation
3 now, and that they still had not decided what route to
4 take, whether via Sid or Adasevci. I protested because
5 it was clearly stated in the agreement that the
6 evacuation would go Lugert, Dogdanovcy, Marince, Luzte,
7 where ambulances and buses were waiting to take over
8 all the wounded, the personnel, all the people who were
9 to be evacuated and I said that we must observe the
10 provisions of the agreement signed in Zagreb.
11 However, he said that that would be very
12 difficult, that it was easy for Raseta to sign the
13 agreement in Zagreb when he was not on the spot, but
14 I insisted on the agreement because we had had problems
15 before with the convoy that had followed the routes,
16 and this was the fastest way to evacuate the wounded
17 and the personnel from Vukovar.
18 Eventually he agreed to follow the route as
19 indicated in the agreement, but he said that certain
20 positions needed to be regulated. He mentioned Zidizne.
21 There were some military facilities there, near the
22 village of Serice. This had to be de-mined first and
23 then the next morning on the 20th the convoy would
24 follow the route to Nustar. This is the conversation we
25 had on Tuesday 19th in Negoslovske.
1 Q. Now, I take it, Doctor, that you did not have
2 a copy of the agreement with you at the time. You were
3 relying on what you had been told was in the agreement.
4 Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, what happened then?
7 A. So we agreed that the next day at 8 o'clock
8 the evacuation would begin. I asked whether I could
9 meet with representatives of the Red Cross or the
10 European Monitors, who had called me up on Monday from
11 Negoslovske. He told me that they were busy with the
12 registration of civilians at Velepromet. That was the
13 first time I heard Velepromet mentioned. Then after
14 that they would come to the hospital. I protested. They
15 should come as soon as possible because there was no
16 water or food or anything in the hospital so I went
17 back again accompanied by the same officer, and also
18 this person who went with me for interpretation
19 purposes. I returned to the hospital about 3 o'clock on
20 the same day, and I saw that some assistance had been
21 brought with some water and some canned food. I saw
22 military policemen guarding the entrance, but I also
23 saw some of our employees who had joined the reserve
24 force as volunteers, passing through the hospital,
25 saying hello to some people.
1 The personnel and the wounded were very
2 frightened because these reservists of the Yugoslav
3 army started freely entering the hospital and there
4 were no representatives of the Monitors or the
5 International Red Cross.
6 Q. Now, Doctor, you mentioned Negoslovske. That
7 was under the control of the JNA at that stage, was it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And also Velepromet was under the control of
10 the JNA?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the area around the hospital had just
13 very recently surrendered. Is that correct?
14 A. The area around the hospital, actually, was
15 under the control of the Croatian police and the
16 defence of the city, but throughout that week we had
17 noticed that the number of troops was declining. They
18 were going to the front, so that in effect the centre
19 of the town was left without any military defences, so
20 that the centre of the town was virtually under the
21 control of the JNA without any major conflicts
22 occurring and when the JNA entered the city centre, the
23 area around the hospital where I was, this happened on
24 the Tuesday 19th in the morning, whereas in the
25 southern sections of the town, the fairgrounds,
1 mitnitsa, the JNA entered that part on Monday 18th, and
2 that is why representatives of the International Red
3 Cross and the European Monitors were there. They were
4 held up there, and that is why they did not reach the
5 centre where the hospital was.
6 Q. And your understanding of the situation was
7 that the International Committee of the Red Cross and
8 the European Community Monitoring Mission people could
9 not get through because of the JNA. It was not a case
10 of them being busy with other matters. You understood
11 the situation as that they could not get through. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. That is what they told me. I personally
14 thought that they did not come because their mandate
15 did not go that far. If they wanted to come they could
16 have come into town to the centre, and to the hospital
17 and I was certain then, and I am certain now that
18 instead of three teams of Monitors and two teams of Red
19 Cross people, if two or three hundred such teams had
20 come directly to the centre of the town, had they come
21 there and stayed there, that they would have prevented
22 the Yugoslav army and the paramilitary units from
23 committing the crimes they did after the war operations
24 ceased in Vukovar.
25 However, regrettably, there were very few of
1 them. They were taken around and manipulated by Major
2 Sljivancanin and others from the army. We saw on
3 cassette Cyrus Vance who was at the hospital on 20th.
4 Slivancinin brought him in and showed him the hospital
5 after the lightly wounded and the staff and everything
6 else was already taken away and when I was already in
8 Q. Yes. We have moved on a bit, doctor. We will
9 just go back slightly, if we can. You spoke in your
10 evidence of coming back to the hospital after your
11 meeting with Colonel Mrksic and you saw there that
12 there were reservists and other JNA military around the
13 hospital and people were very frightened at seeing
14 this. What was the next thing to occur?
15 A. After that, for the first time around 4 or
16 5 pm that afternoon I saw Major Sljivancanin. He
17 entered the hospital yard with a group of soldiers.
18 I was sitting in the hospital with Vesna Zgonjanin who
19 was the representative of the Red Cross and she took
20 care of civilians in Vukovar. She said that there was
21 panic upstairs when they started taking away civilians
22 who had been brought to the hospital in the past two
23 days and that they started separating the men from the
25 I went there then because they were taken out
1 of the hospital through the other door on the opposite
2 side of where I had worked and I really saw men being
3 taken away in trucks through the door facing
4 Gondovicovar Street and that is when I first saw this
5 Major Sljivancanin. I saw that he was in command and
6 I walked up to him and I asked him where they were
7 taking these people because first it was agreed upon
8 that the hospital would be evacuated on Wednesday and
9 after that, buses would be sent for civilians.
10 However, afterwards he said that they had to
11 make records of the men, of the civilians, that they
12 had to make lists of them and then they would be
13 returned. This was Tuesday afternoon when they started
14 taking civilians out of the hospital.
15 Q. Now, you have been talking of civilians and
16 men. You are talking about people who were actually in
17 the hospital. Is that correct?
18 A. I told you, these are people who started
19 coming in as early as Monday, because the evacuation of
20 the hospital was expected on Monday and then of
21 civilians because the shooting had abated. There was no
22 more shelling of the city so they were coming in from
23 their own private shelters, cellars, et cetera, they
24 were all coming to the hospital to find out when they
25 would be evacuated and how so during those two days,
1 Monday and Tuesday, within the hospital compound I am
2 not too sure how many people there were, but almost
3 1,000, I think. They were there with suitcases, with
4 shopping bags, they were sitting by their wives and
5 their children waiting to be evacuated.
6 Q. And with respect to Major Sljivancanin, did
7 you ascertain with what organisation he was connected?
8 A. He was also an officer of the Yugoslav army.
9 I do not know exactly what you are referring to. I saw
10 that he had a camouflaged uniform and that he had a cap
11 like the one soldiers wear.
12 Q. And what was the next thing to happen after
14 A. They were taking those civilians away, so the
15 hospital was getting rather empty, because although
16 civilians were upstairs on the first floor and the
17 basement, about 7 pm it was already dark, a truck came
18 of the International Red Cross. Major Sljivancanin had
19 brought in a gentleman, tall, blond. Later on I found
20 out his name was Nikolas, a doctor, and a lady
21 interpreter. They came to the hospital. They brought
22 some medical equipment and medicines in the truck.
23 I was already disappointed by that time, because they
24 did not come all day and I said that we did not need
25 medicines at that point, that we needed evacuation.
1 Then this Nikolas said that this was the earliest he
2 could come, that he brought these medicines and he
3 asked whether we were prepared to evacuate. He went
4 through the entire hospital, and I said that we were
5 prepared two days earlier.
6 We made all the necessary lists, and every
7 wounded person got a little white plastic bag in which
8 the history of his illness was, all his documents, so
9 we were only awaiting evacuation at that point. I was
10 then disappointed in the International Red Cross
11 because this Mr. Nikolas asked me, because we had
12 prepared all of that and Major Sljivancanin brought him
13 in, and whether he could come there the next day at
14 all, whether he should be present during the
16 I had understood Minister Hebrang that the
17 International Red Cross would neutralise the hospital
18 and under their control the evacuation would take
19 place. I said that it was not only necessary, but that
20 it had to be so according to the agreement that was
21 signed in Zagreb. He said that he would come in the
22 morning on Wednesday.
23 Q. Now, what happened then?
24 A. Then they left again. I think they went to
25 spend the night in Belgrade. Again, an officer came to
1 pick me up. I do not know his rank, again, I am not
2 very good with ranks. He had an olive green uniform,
3 not a camouflage uniform, a young-ish man. He came to
4 my office and said that he had received orders to take
5 me to Negoslovske. I got ready. I thought that Mrksic
6 was calling me to come there again because evacuation
7 was being prepared, and as I sat in a car with him and
8 went with him to Negoslovske, I went to the same
9 building and the same room but it was not Mrksic who
10 was there any more but it was Sljivancanin so I saw him
11 once again over there. Also a short man in uniform.
12 I saw him later in the prison in Mitrovica and
13 everybody addressed him as, "captain", but I do not
14 know his name. I was surprised because I was
15 expecting Mrksic and I was asked where Mrksic was and
16 I was told that and he was at a different assignment
17 and they asked me why I was asking and they said that
18 I had already discussed it with him and then
19 Sljivancanin started asking me questions about this,
20 where the Croatian army was, where Jastreb was, where
21 the policemen were.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Bosanac, would you mind
23 slowing down, please, because it is becoming very
24 difficult to interpret what you are saying because you
25 are speaking too fast.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Niemann, do you think
2 that this is the appropriate time for a recess?
3 MR. NIEMANN: By all means, your Honours.
4 (A short break)
5 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Bosanac, before the morning
6 tea adjournment you were telling their Honours that you
7 were taken to a meeting with JNA officers and you had
8 thought that you would be meeting up with Colonel
9 Mrksic but in fact when you arrived there you were
10 surprised to find that Colonel Mrksic was not there and
11 indeed you were confronted by Major Sljivancanin. Now,
12 picking up from that point what happened when you met
13 with Major Sljivancanin on this occasion when you were
14 taken there?
15 A. Major Sljivancanin asked me whether I knew
16 who Jastreb was and where he was and where the Croat
17 soldiers were. I said that I did not know, that I was
18 in charge of the hospital, and that I am in charge of
19 preparing the evacuation of the wounded and of the
20 staff. I saw Jastreb and the Croat soldiers for the
21 last time a few days before that when I was preparing
22 a telefax. He was angry and arrogant. He asked who
23 killed his young boys, then, if there was no army
24 there, his young boys who had come to Vukovar, and
25 that -- and I said I was not a soldier and that I did
1 not bring anyone to come and kill people into Vukovar
2 and to destroy Vukovar and I only was in charge of the
3 hospital. That is what I told him.
4 Then I was asked who I was in contact with in
5 Zagreb. A captain threatened me, said that he had all
6 my conversations recorded, and that they could do
7 whatever necessary to indict me. I said that I am not
8 worried about that, that I talked to a lot of people in
9 Zagreb, primarily to the Minister of Health. They were
10 bringing pressure to bear upon me so that I would say
11 where the Croat soldiers were. I simply did not know
12 who had left and when and how. I simply know that the
13 wounded Croat soldiers who were in hospital, I knew
14 them, and that was not a secret. We had kept these
15 records. We treated all the wounded according to all
16 the principles of medicine and ethics and I did not
17 feel guilty at all. I was questioned there for about an
18 hour, and then they told me that I would have to spend
19 that night there in Negoslavci but I requested to be
20 taken back to the hospital but they did not want to.
21 A soldier escorted me from that house to the
22 school in Negoslavci where I saw that was where
23 a hospital was because I saw bedding all over the
24 classrooms. They took me to a room where there were
25 four beds. Those were sleeping quarters. We went
1 through a big room and we -- and heard -- and a small
2 room so I sat there throughout the night and at 6 am
3 the same soldier came to pick me up. He put me into
4 a military Jeep. Marin Vidic was already sitting in
5 this Jeep and then he brought me back to the hospital
6 again to this office of mine which we call the crisis
7 staff of the hospital, and a soldier came immediately
8 who was armed. He had a rifle, and he sat there next to
9 me all the time. He did not allow me to answer any --
10 answer the telephone, any calls. He always answered the
11 telephone and he did not let me make any telephone
12 calls either. We sat that way until 7 and then
13 Sljivancanin ordered me to convene a meeting of all the
14 doctors and medical staff in the biggest room and that
15 is when I sent the head nurse to organise this meeting.
16 They all came to the plaster room as it was
17 called before the war and it was surgery during the war
18 and you saw it on the picture, and Major Sljivancanin
19 was there and about five or six other people in
20 uniform, olive green, and he said that they were
21 doctors of the military medical academy and that as of
22 then the hospital was under military administration,
23 that I had no jurisdiction whatsoever any more and that
24 the military academy would take over supervision over
25 the hospital and then he told me that I could leave and
1 then this soldier escorted me back to my office and
2 then I heard afterwards from the other people, from my
3 medical staff, that he suggested that all of those who
4 wanted to stay on and work in the hospital could stay
5 on, and if not, that they would be allowed to evacuate.
6 Q. Now, was this the 20th November, this all
7 occurred, 1991?
8 A. Yes. That was Wednesday, November 20th.
9 Q. Now, after Major Sljivancanin had addressed
10 all the staff in this way, what then occurred? What was
11 the next thing that happened? You were taken back to
12 your office and then what happened?
13 A. Yes. And I spent some more time there, and
14 then a young man, an officer, came, I do not know, and
15 Marin Vidic was sitting next to me in this office and
16 he said that he had orders to take us to negotiate,
17 talk, to the international crisis staff with the Red
18 Cross in order to carry out the evacuation. Then Vidic
19 and I were escorted by the soldier, we were taken out
20 of the hospital and I saw that a lot of the medical
21 staff was already out there. They were all awaiting
22 evacuation, and one of our office workers asked me,
23 "where are you going, doctor?" I said, "I am going to
24 reach agreement on the evacuation and I will be right
1 Then we were taken to the barracks at the
2 fairgrounds into a room and we were told to wait there.
3 They ordered a military policeman to stay with us and
4 that no one should come in or go out and that we should
5 wait there and that they would come and pick us up in
6 about half an hour. We remained sitting there, however,
7 no one came to pick us up throughout the afternoon,
8 only some time around 6 in the evening this younger
9 officer came and said that the orders had changed, that
10 the evacuation was already carried out and that we had
11 to stay on there further. We were taken to a big room
12 that was actually the sleeping quarters. It was quite
13 empty, the room. I sat on one bed, Marin Vidic sat on
14 another bed. Again there was a military policeman in
15 there who guarded us. Then around 10 o'clock in the
16 evening they came to pick me up only, so Marin
17 remained, and I was taken away.
18 First they took me to the basement to a room
19 where there were a few JNA soldiers. There was a camera
20 there too, also a woman in uniform. They questioned me,
21 who I was, what I was, whether I wanted to give
22 a statement for their military records. I said that
23 I was willing to do so, and I gave a brief statement as
24 to the things that had happened during the war, and
25 then they took me to the exit, and a black police
1 vehicle was there. They opened the back door. I walked
2 in, in the vehicle was Doctor Njavro in white uniform
3 and a technician who was sent from Zagreb to help us.
4 His name was Ante Aric. They were already sitting in
5 this vehicle. Then I got into the vehicle. Then they
6 locked this police vehicle, and we drove off, and then
7 I heard from Doctor Nejarvo that he had spent the
8 entire day in the hospital and that in the evening they
9 put him into that vehicle, and then they were driving
10 us along.
11 I saw through the small window in front that
12 they were driving us along the highway towards
13 Belgrade. We came to the entrance of some barracks.
14 I was knocking there because I wanted to go to the
15 toilet and to ask where they were taking us. However,
16 they would not open the door at all.
17 Then I saw that they brought us to Mitrovica.
18 At first they stopped at the police station and there
19 they asked -- and then they brought us to the prison in
20 Sremska Mitrovica. That was on 21st, Thursday, in the
21 morning, around 3 am.
22 Q. Now, during all this period, had you seen
23 what had happened to the patients at the hospital,
24 where they were taken? Did you observe any of that, or
25 as a result of you being put into custody did you not
2 A. No, I did not see anything. I only heard from
3 Dr. Nejarvo because he stayed in the hospital that
4 everybody was taken away. The staff, the wounded, only
5 50 of the most heavily wounded people stayed on with
6 a nurse and technician.
7 Q. Now, where is Mitrovica?
8 A. Mitrovica is about 40 kilometres away from
9 Vukovar. It is in the territory of Yugoslavia on the
10 road towards Belgrade.
11 Q. And how far from Belgrade is it?
12 A. Vukovar is about 150 kilometres away from
13 Belgrade and Mitrovica about 110, I think.
14 Q. How long were you kept in Mitrovica?
15 A. They kept me in Mitrovica until 11th
16 December, and they questioned me there. I wrote
17 a statement, a Colonel Branko, I never found out what
18 his last name was, interrogated me. I wrote a statement
19 there on 112 pages about the entire situation in
20 Vukovar before the war, during the war, whom I had met,
21 whom I knew, 112 pages of a statement. That is what
22 I wrote. I did not even finish the statement when they
23 called me to be exchanged. They called on the 11th
24 December and they said I would be exchanged, but they
25 did not release me immediately. I stayed in a military
1 prison in Belgrade for two more days because they
2 wanted to decide whether I would be indicted or not.
3 I had an interrogation there. I was
4 questioned, because they even gave me a defence
5 attorney, but they decided not to bring charges against
6 me and they allowed me to be exchanged. I was exchanged
7 on 13th December 1991.
8 Q. And what were you to be charged with? Did you
9 ever know that or find that out?
10 A. Charges were never brought against me, but
11 during this conversation they told me that I would be
12 indicted because of these telefaxes and protests,
13 because I invariably wrote that the Yugoslav People's
14 Army was the aggressor, that it was killing people and
15 destroying the town, et cetera.
16 Q. Dr. Bosanac, did you lose any of your
17 relatives during the conflict in Vukovar?
18 A. Yes. My father-in-law, my husband's father
19 was also imprisoned on 20th November. He was taken out
20 of the hospital together with the wounded and the
21 staff, and he was considered missing until May this
22 year when his body was identified at the Ovcara graves.
23 And the nephew of my husband, Tomislav, he was in
24 hospital too and he was also missing and also
25 a nurse was heavily wounded. Her kidney and her
1 backbone. She had sustained bad injuries. He stayed with
2 her and he asked whether he could be evacuated with
3 her, and whether he could stay with her and I asked
4 Major Sljivancanin if relatives could stay with these
5 most heavily wounded people and he said that it was all
7 However, that morning I heard from my
8 mother-in-law that a soldier came into the hospital and
9 he said that all of those people who could walk should
10 get out, and then my father-in-law got out, and
11 Tomica got out and all the people who went out were put
12 on these buses which were ultimately taken to Ovcara.
13 So, Tomica, who was the nephew of my husband, was also
14 identified at the grave site in Ovcara.
15 Q. Dr. Bosanac, I would like you, please, to look
16 very shortly at a very brief video that is now going to
17 be shown to you on the screen in front of you, and it
18 will only run for a couple of seconds, so it will not
19 be for long, but I would ask you to point out things on
20 the screen that you may recognise, once this video has
21 been played.
22 Can we -- it is in front of you, Doctor,
23 immediately in front of you. You will just have to
24 explain it because if you point to it with a pen on the
25 screen it will not come up, but if you could just
1 explain it to us as you see it, and if we need to go
2 back we can do it because it will not run for long, but
3 might it now be played? The video of the Vukovar
5 (Video played)
6 A. You can see on the ceiling where the air bomb
7 went through.
8 Q. That hole that we just saw, rather than go
9 back to it, that is where the air bomb went through and
10 landed on the person's bed. Is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay, if we just play on for a little moment
14 A. Yes. These are patients who were lying all
15 over the hallway and in all the halls.
16 Q. Doctor, do you recognise this as a video that
17 was taken contemporaneous with the attack on Vukovar?
18 A. Yes. Yes. This is Dr. Nejarvo who is operating
19 on the wounded. On 20th November 180 heavily-wounded
20 people were prepared for evacuation at the hospital and
21 200 people who were lightly wounded patients, we
22 included also family members, so it made up a total of
23 450. These are nurses that are taking new-born babies
24 out but this is in the shelter. This is one of the
25 rooms that was one of the intensive care units.
1 Q. Yes, I think that is sufficient, thank you.
2 Dr. Bosanac, I now ask you, if you would, to
3 look at the document that I now show you. While that is
4 being made available to be presented to you, Doctor, do
5 you recall giving an interview to an investigator from
6 the International Tribunal on 19th-20th June 1995 and
7 from 21st-23rd July 1995?
8 A. I recall that.
9 Q. And Doctor, was that an interview that was
10 conducted with the assistance and aid of an
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Doctor, were you asked questions and did you
14 provide answers and was the statement, so far as you
15 were aware, taken down in the English language?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Doctor, following the taking of this
18 statement, was the contents of the document read over
19 to you by an interpreter and did she tell you what the
20 contents of the documents were?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you then, upon hearing what she told
23 you, inform her that what she had informed you of was
24 correct so far as you knew?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Doctor, were you then requested to affix your
2 signature to the foot of each page of this document?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And just looking through the document at
5 every page of that document do you see your signature
6 appearing there?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. NIEMANN: I ask that this document be
9 tendered, but I ask that it be maintained under seal
10 because it contains information and which may relate --
11 may be connected to other witnesses.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection from the
14 MR. FILA: No. Thank you, no objections.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Marked as Prosecution
16 exhibit number 10.
17 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
19 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
20 MR. FILA: Your Honour.
21 In your statement, Madam Doctor, you
22 mentioned the name of Van Ragus as having been killed
23 in the boiler room, I think you said. Do you know
24 whether his father's name is Antonio?
25 A. I do not know his father's name.
1 Q. But his name is Van Ragus, but was he born
2 in 1955, roughly?
3 A. It could be. I am not quite sure of the year
4 of his birth.
5 Q. Well, of course, one could not expect you to
6 be sure.
7 I should like to draw the attention of the
8 court to an interesting point. On the list of persons
9 for which the Prosecutor says that they are missing and
10 that were killed in Ovcara, this name appears, Ivan
11 Ragus, so it would be, perhaps, advisable for the
12 Prosecution to investigate this because he could not
13 get killed twice.
14 A. Ivan Ragus is a frequent name.
15 Q. Please do not take this personally. I do not
16 doubt it. We are all doing our work.
17 There were many people that were missing on
18 all sides. The terrible thing about it is that they are
20 When did you become director of the hospital?
21 A. On 24th July 1991.
22 Q. Why did the previous director leave, or was
23 he dismissed?
24 A. Doctor Rade Popovic resigned.
25 Q. Was he a Serb?
1 A. No, he was a Montenegrin.
2 Q. Did he leave or did he stay?
3 A. No, he stayed.
4 Q. Why did he resign?
5 A. It is difficult to say. You should ask him.
6 Q. Were other Serbs replaced, for example, in
7 the ophthalmology department?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Well, who was director of the ophthalmology
11 A. Dr. Milam Legenociv.
12 Q. What is he?
13 A. He is a Serb.
14 Q. Was he replaced in the course of 1991?
15 A. Yes, he was.
16 Q. When Dr. Striber became head of the
17 department, who was still specialising.
18 A. May I answer this question?
19 Q. Yes, of course.
20 A. She was appointed in May.
21 Q. No, not in May.
22 A. That is what she said. Let me answer your
24 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, might I just
25 suggest that it would really assist a great deal from
1 this side of the room, at least, if the question could
2 be asked, could be translated and then we could hear it
3 because otherwise it does not make any sense in this
4 part of the room.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Mr. Fila, please, can
6 you slow down in your questions and wait for the
7 translation. Thank you.
8 MR. FILA: My question was -- I must not say
9 the name. Let me withdraw the question.
10 A. He was not dismissed.
11 Q. But I must not mention the name of the
13 A. Yes, but Dr. Mladenovic left his position of
14 his own free will and he was dismissed because he did
15 not report to work for five days, and as there was no
16 one else, Dr. Striber, who was working in that
17 department, was appointed acting head of department.
18 Q. The problem is -- I promise not to mention
19 the name so I beg you not to mention it either -- there
20 is a minor difference. It is not very important, but
21 still, you stated that on 15th August, in your
22 statement, that the administrative building was hit on
23 15th August. Afterwards you said on 7th August. When
24 was it hit?
25 A. I think it was on 15th as far as I can
1 recall. It was a holiday. It was a religious holiday,
2 and on 7th August was the day when the shelling of the
3 hospital started, but the administrative building was
4 hit on 15th.
5 Q. Was there a JNA barracks in Vukovar?
6 A. There was.
7 Q. Even before these events?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was it surrounded? Was its water supply cut
10 off, the movement of soldiers prevented?
11 A. I am not aware of that.
12 Q. When you went to Negoslavci on two occasions,
13 you mentioned in your statement that you noticed large
14 quantities of troops on both sides of the road. Is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us, especially as you said that
18 it was possible to see the separation line from the
19 roof of the hospital, who held that area on the road
20 from Negoslavci to Vukovar? About 10 kilometres, if
21 I am not mistaken.
22 A. When we set off on 19th at noon in the
23 direction of Negoslavci, I was being driven in a car of
24 the JNA, and throughout -- in the town I saw troops of
25 the JNA. I saw soldiers on the way out towards
1 Negoslavci, military vehicles of the JNA, and troops of
2 the JNA, and I also saw many civilians, paramilitary
3 forces, as they were known. One such man entered
4 a vehicle, the vehicle. He was full of hatred, he had
5 a knife in his belt, and especially in Negoslavci I saw
6 many military transporters and trucks belonging to the
8 Q. Did you see who had civilian authority under
9 control in Vukovar, that is while you were there?
10 A. The representative, the highest
11 representative of the civilian authorities was Maric,
12 and who was responsible for Vukovar municipality. What
13 was happening behind the front-lines held by the JNA
14 I do not know.
15 Q. So you are talking about Marin Vidic who was
16 representative of the Croatian authorities?
17 A. Yes. He was the representative of the
18 Croatian authorities in Vukovar.
19 Q. Did you meet any representative of any
20 Serbian authorities? Was there any Serbian authority
22 A. No. I did not. I am not aware that there was
24 Q. In the period we are talking about, who
25 actually executed authority? Was there military
1 authority, military control by the JNA or were there
2 civilian authorities?
3 A. During the aggression on Vukovar, during
4 those three months of blockade, there was a crisis
5 defence staff in the basement of the municipality, and
6 the president was Marin Vidic, and there were others
7 who were responsible for supply, for civil defence, for
8 the fire brigade and so on. I was invited to several
9 such meetings on behalf of the hospital.
10 Q. And on the other side was the army and were
11 there any civilian authorities?
12 A. I do not know.
13 Q. But you must know. Did you see any civilians
15 A. No. I had contact with the military
16 authorities on Tuesday and Wednesday and then I did not
17 see any civilians. They were all in uniform.
18 Q. That is precisely my question. The 18th/19th,
19 the 20th.
20 A. No, on the 18th the army had not entered the
21 part where I was.
22 Q. Very well, then the 19th and the 20th.
23 Can I adduce from this that during these two
24 or three days and generally when you were sending those
25 faxes, you did not negotiate with any representative of
1 any kind of Serb authorities, but only with the JNA
2 regarding the shelling, the evacuation, et cetera. Do
3 you understand me?
4 A. Never in Vukovar did we make a distinction
5 between the Serbian and the Croatian authorities. In
6 the crisis staff headed by Marin Vidic there were Serbs
7 and among those who were killed at least a third were
8 Serbs, but most of them stayed after the JNA entered,
9 so I do not accept this Serbian civilian authorities.
10 Q. That was precisely my question. Did any Serbs
11 leave Vukovar before the beginning?
12 A. Yes. I know that from the hospital staff.
13 Quite a number of Serbs left the hospital, and they did
14 not come to work. They were dismissed, and there were
15 also Croats who did not come to work and were
16 dismissed, so I know that until the end of the war, 320
17 hospital staff remained. There were both Croats and
18 Serbs and members of other ethnic groups. It was not
19 just the Serbs that had left, but the Croats left as
20 well and they were all dismissed. Those who stayed did
21 their work following the principles of medicine and
23 Q. My question is related to the town of Vukovar
24 itself, not just the hospital.
25 A. Yes. Many inhabitants left. Out of the 45,000
1 before the war, only 15,000 were left during the war,
2 both Croats and Serbs and Ruthenes left some state
3 behind because they did not want to leave their homes
4 and town.
5 Q. When Major Sljivancanin appeared, when you
6 saw him, did he tell you -- you spoke about this
7 conversation -- did he tell you who had liberated the
8 town and who was taking over responsibility and control
9 for the hospital? My precise question was, was it the
10 JNA or someone else?
11 A. In his statement on 20th at 7 o'clock,
12 Sljivancanin clearly said that the Yugoslavia army had
13 liberated the town and that the military medical
14 academy was taking over control of the hospital.
15 Q. Does that mean responsibility for the
16 hospital as well?
17 A. I assume, yes.
18 Q. Where was the police station in relation to
19 the hospital? How many metres away as the crow flies?
20 Is it 50?
21 A. Yes, it is in the next block. First there was
22 the court and then the police station.
23 Q. Was there any firing from the police station?
24 A. No. I know for sure because I went there
25 often to send faxes.
1 Q. Very well. There will be other witnesses.
2 I am trying to be as brief as possible, your
4 During the questioning last time, I wanted to
5 know who was in charge of the hospital on the 20th. Was
6 it Major Sljivancanin or somebody else?
7 A. Major Sljivancanin.
8 Q. Did he tell you what Mrksic's responsibility
9 was? Did he tell you what his responsibility was?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did Sljivancanin tell you that he was
12 responsible for the evacuation of the hospital?
13 A. No.
14 Q. When you were interviewed you said that he
15 said that.
16 A. That is how I understood it, but your
17 question now was whether he said that. What he said was
18 that I had no further jurisdiction. I was given
19 a military escort and removed.
20 Q. So you understood that he was responsible.
21 That is all that I wanted to hear.
22 Throughout those negotiations, or let me ask
23 you, do you know Dokmanovic?
24 A. I know him by sight.
25 Q. Do you see him here?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did he appear anywhere? Did you see him at
3 all during that period?
4 A. No.
5 Q. When I am saying, "anywhere", I am implying
6 Negoslavci, Vukovar or anywhere else in those critical
8 A. No.
9 Q. You said something that aroused my curiosity,
10 that the civilians were removed from the hospital on
11 the 19th as well. Who took them away and what happened
12 to them?
13 A. In the afternoon, Tuesday, 19th, civilians
14 were taken out of the hospital, and taken to
15 Velepromet. I saw them being taken out and that was the
16 first time I saw Major Sljivancanin. I asked him where
17 they were being taken. He said, "for registration".
18 I asked why they were being separated, the men from
19 women and children. He said they were taken for
20 registration. I learned later that they were all taken
21 to Velepromet.
22 Q. Are there any people who were missing among
23 them, do you know?
24 A. Yes, there are.
25 Q. Were any persons among them who ended up in
2 A. It is difficult to tell. Out of the 200
3 bodies that were exhumed in Ovcara, so far 108 have
4 been identified and all 108 were taken on 20th in the
5 morning. We do not know whether any of those who have
6 not been identified were taken a day earlier, but there
7 are many -- several people who are missing and who were
8 taken the previous day.
9 Q. I apologise. I do not know -- I know that
10 this is not pleasant for you, but I am trying to be as
11 concise as possible.
12 You mentioned that at the bridge an officer
13 said to you, told you where the line of separation was,
14 to the bridge, as far as the bridge, the Novisadkor?
15 What was the purpose of this?
16 A. I asked him where I could find the
17 International Red Cross because I had been told they
18 had got as far as the bridge and that afterwards they
19 would come to the hospital. But he said to me, "I am
20 not going any further than the bridge. It is my duty to
21 go as far as the bridge, and others from Belgrade will
22 go there".
23 Q. So was your impression that the army had
24 control of both sides?
25 A. Though I did see some very disorderly
1 soldiers, but who were certainly not regular troops,
2 but they were not civilians, either.
3 Q. No, they were wearing reservist uniforms of
4 various kinds. Were there any cases among your
5 patients -- no, let me correct myself.
6 Among the people who came to the hospital in
7 those critical days, were there people who were fit and
8 who had plaster put on their legs?
9 A. I have been asked that question several times
10 but I really have no information about that. As far as
11 I know sick people were given plaster to immobilise.
12 I am not aware of anyone who was healthy and who had
13 a cast put on him.
14 Q. You said that you tried to contact the Prime
15 Minister, Ante Markovic. He is a Croat, is he not?
16 A. I think so, yes. I do not know exactly.
17 Q. Was anyone president of the presidency of the
18 SFRY at that time, when Ante Markovic was the Prime
20 A. I think that at the time of the aggression in
21 Vukovar the president was not meeting any longer.
22 Q. But the last president of the presidency was
23 who? Stipe Mesic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And he was also a Croat?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. FILA: That would be all, your Honours.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 I have two questions. Dr. Bosanac, may I ask
5 you two questions? 1) who prepared the list of the
6 various civilians or wounded people in the hospital who
7 were to be evacuated?
8 A. A list of the wounded and the sick who were
9 to be evacuated was written by Ms. Verica Graf who was
10 the hospital administrator, and this list was prepared
11 by the nurses and doctors of the various departments.
12 That was a list of the patients who were lying in the
14 However, quite a number of external patients
15 were waiting for evacuation. People who came to be
16 treated, to be -- for their bandages to be changed, and
17 they only had on them their medical documents, their
18 medical papers. The list of civilians who came to the
19 hospital for evacuation was made by Ms. Dzelkas
20 Gonjonin and Zvonko Bilic who were representatives of
21 the International Red Cross. They made the list of
22 civilians and handed them to Marin Vidic who was in
23 charge of the evacuation of the civilians from the
25 JUDGE CASSESE: But afterwards, the
1 authorities in command of the hospital, did they
2 prepare further lists of the basis of the lists of
3 evacuees prepared by the hospital staff? Did they
4 divide up the various people into different groups?
5 A. As far as I know, they did not.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. My second
7 question relates to the -- what you a few minutes ago
8 defined, "disorderly soldiers". I understand that you
9 came across on various occasions people who were armed,
10 and wore uniforms but were not members of the JNA;
11 I wonder whether you could tell us what sort of people
12 they were, whether they belonged to a particular
13 paramilitary group, and whether they were under the
14 control and the command of the JNA.
15 A. I saw several such different groups. For
16 example, on Tuesday in the afternoon, on 19th, a group
17 of such people came into the hospital together with the
18 son of one of our doctors, Dr. Ivankovic, and I heard of
19 them that they called themselves, "the White Eagles".
20 I also came across many people when I was taken to
21 Negoslavci who were in civilian clothes with long hair
22 and long beards. I heard that they were called,
23 "Chetniks". I cannot say what groups they were, know
24 who those people were, but in view of the overall
25 situation, I can assert with responsibility that they
1 were under the control and protection of the Yugoslav
2 People's Army.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. No other
4 questions? I wonder whether there is any objection to
5 the witness being released. (Pause).
6 No objection. Any re-examination? No. Thank
7 you. All right. Thank you, Dr. Bosanac. Thank you so
8 much for coming. You may be released now.
9 (The witness withdrew)
10 MR. NIEMANN: My colleague Mr. Williamson will
11 take the next witnesses, your Honours. Just before the
12 witness comes, I am wondering if I might be excused at
13 quarter to one. There is a matter I need to attend to.
14 Mr. Williamson will be continuing on.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honours, in relation to
18 the next witness, this individual has requested
19 protective measures, and she was one of the persons
20 that testified in the Rule 61 hearing, so I believe
21 that the orders that issued at that time are still in
23 Further on this issue, Mr. Fila and I have had
24 discussions this morning along with our co-counsel and
25 we have agreed to follow the same approach which has
1 been used in Blaskic and agreed upon in Aleksovski if
2 it is acceptable to your Honours, that we will discuss
3 protective measures between ourselves and if we can
4 reach agreement we will notify the court. We have no
5 intention at this time to present any anonymous
6 witnesses, in other words, any witnesses who the
7 Defence would be unaware of their identity, although
8 there may be some witnesses who would be using
9 pseudonyms so as to protect their identity from the
10 public. In relation to this witness this morning,
11 Dr. Striber, she is only requesting image and voice
12 alteration, so she will be testifying with her real
13 name being used. But before she enters the courtroom
14 I would just request that the blinds be drawn so as to
15 conceal her physical appearance and that the blinds
16 behind the witness stand remain drawn.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. The request is granted.
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I do not know
19 if this is something that has just developed. All of
20 these witnesses, I believe, have been tested already
21 with the voice alteration, so this was done when they
22 came last -- when they arrived in The Hague.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: I understand for technical
24 reasons we would need to have a recess of 15 minutes.
25 15 minutes are required to set up all the equipment
1 necessary for the voice alteration and so on:
2 Well, we will stand in recess for ten
4 (12.20 pm)
5 (A short break)
6 (12.30 pm)
7 (The witness entered court)
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could you
9 please make the solemn declaration?
10 NEDA STRIBER (sworn)
11 JUDGE CASSESE: You may proceed.
12 Examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
13 Q. Would you state your name for the record?
14 A. My name is Neda Striber.
15 Q. And what is your occupation?
16 A. I am a doctor.
17 Q. And how long have you been a doctor?
18 A. Since 1985.
19 Q. And do you have a certain field of
21 A. Yes. I have specialised in ophthalmology.
22 Q. In 1991 were you working at Vukovar hospital?
23 A. Yes, I was working in the eye department,
24 ophthalmology department.
25 Q. And what were your duties at Vukovar hospital
1 in 1991?
2 A. In 1991 I had started my specialist training
3 as a beginner specialising at the eye department of the
4 Vukovar hospital.
5 Q. And in the beginning of 1991 were things
6 relatively peaceful in Vukovar?
7 A. Yes, they were.
8 Q. And what was the situation at the hospital in
9 the beginning of the year?
10 A. At the beginning of the year the hospital
11 functioned absolutely normally.
12 Q. Did the atmosphere in Vukovar change at all
13 in the spring of 1991?
14 A. I would rather say that that happened in May,
15 that the atmosphere changed.
16 Q. And was there a particular incident which
17 occurred in May that caused the situation to
19 A. There was an incident that occurred on
20 2nd May when a conflict occurred and policemen were
21 killed in Borovo Selo.
22 Q. And was there a reaction in the town as
23 a result of this incident in Borovo Selo?
24 A. I think that there was a certain degree of
25 tension and a certain unpleasant atmosphere in town.
1 Q. And did this tension also reach the hospital
2 and the people that were working there?
3 A. It is hard to tell to what degree this
4 tension did reach the hospital, but perhaps the overall
5 situation in town did have some effect on the people.
6 Q. And was there any effect on the operations at
7 the hospital?
8 A. No. The hospital had to function regardless
9 of anything happening outside.
10 Q. Did there come a point in time when some of
11 the people that were on the hospital staff left?
12 A. After that period some people did not come to
13 work. I would put it that way. They did not come, so
14 that the number of staff declined in that period.
15 Q. During the course of the summer did the
16 tensions in Vukovar increase any more?
17 A. Yes. They increased in August when the actual
18 attack on Vukovar occurred.
19 Q. And do you recall when that was in August?
20 A. If I remember well, it was the 25th August
21 when Vukovar was shelled for the first time.
22 Q. And in the early days of the battle, more
23 people began leaving the city, did they not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were these people forced to go?
1 A. I think that each individual decided himself
2 whether he should go or leave, or stay. I think --
3 I had no impression that anyone was pressuring people.
4 I think it was the people themselves who decide whether
5 they wanted to go or to stay.
6 Q. And this was true of both Croats and Serbs,
7 was it not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. But you chose to stay, correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Why was that?
12 A. Under such conditions when such situations
13 occur -- I am, after all, a doctor, who, according to
14 my oath, and my own moral principles, needs to stay at
15 work and extend full protection to the people who need
17 On the other hand, that is also my town,
18 a town I grew up in, where I lived, and it was quite
19 normal for me to stay there.
20 Q. What about your family. Did they stay there?
21 A. My mother and father stayed throughout in
22 their house. At the end of August, the beginning of
23 September, I took the children out of the town, whereas
24 I returned and stayed.
25 Q. Did you ever have the feeling that the town
1 had been taken over by Ustashe?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you ever hear this view being expressed
4 by the people you worked with?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And there were Serbs as well as Croats among
7 the patients and staff, were there not?
8 A. Yes. Only we never made any distinction
9 amongst ourselves. It was a mixed community, and until
10 that time no one asked anyone else who he was in terms
11 of ethnicity.
12 Q. Was there any difference in the treatment
13 that was received by Serbian patients as opposed to
14 Croatian patients?
15 A. Never.
16 Q. And who was attacking the city of Vukovar, to
17 your knowledge?
18 A. The JNA.
19 Q. And did you or others you worked with have
20 the view that the JNA was coming to liberate you?
21 A. We did not have that feeling.
22 Q. Did you believe that you needed to be
23 liberated from anyone?
24 A. We did not feel that need, nor did we call
25 anyone to liberate us.
1 Q. What were conditions like at the hospital as
2 the battle progressed?
3 A. The conditions were changing day after day at
4 the very beginning. While the in-flow of patients was
5 smaller, that is to say 10-20 wounded on average, with
6 the remaining staff there was a possibility of taking
7 proper care of them, but the conditions in the hospital
8 were changing day after day as the fighting progressed.
9 The hospital building itself was hit, too, so patients'
10 lives were jeopardised as well as those of the staff so
11 the higher floors of the hospital were evacuated. They
12 moved downstairs so at the end of August and the
13 beginning of September all the activities of the
14 hospital took place in the cellar.
15 Q. Did you have electricity?
16 A. Not all the time. At the end, it was -- of
17 the fighting -- it was impossible. Generators were used
18 to provide electricity for the most important parts of
19 the hospital, that is to say improvised operation
21 Q. What about running water?
22 A. Day after day this became increasingly
23 difficult too, the more shelling there was of the
24 hospital and of the town itself. There was no drinking
25 water because the lines were cut off completely so the
1 supply of the hospital was made extremely difficult.
2 Tracks systems were coming in and later --
3 Q. I am sorry, there seems to be some
4 distortion. (Pause)
5 All right, I am sorry Doctor, if you could
7 A. Further supplies were possible only through
8 an enormous effort of the people who were bringing in
9 water from the Danube and from the wells in the
11 Q. Now, you said that the hospital was being
12 shelled and that this was affecting the ability to
13 operate. How often was the hospital shelled?
14 A. All day.
15 Q. The shelling was continuous throughout the
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And was the hospital shelled at night as
20 A. Very often at night, too.
21 Q. Now, you indicated that there was an increase
22 in the number of patients who were being admitted
23 during the battle. Was there difficulty coping with
24 these added numbers of patients?
25 A. There were difficulties, because of the lack
1 of staff, and also because of the impossibility to
2 accommodate this increasing number of patients.
3 Q. And how many hours a day were you working?
4 A. There were no working hours. 24 hours a day.
5 Round the clock.
6 Q. And where were you living?
7 A. Together with all the staff and the patients
8 I lived in the basement of the hospital. That was the
9 old part of the hospital. All the staff of the eye
10 department and of the ORL department was accommodated
11 in 12 square metres. Nine of us lived there. That is
12 where our sleeping quarters were and that is where our
13 doctors' offices were.
14 Q. And this was throughout the battle?
15 A. Throughout the battle.
16 Q. I would like to show you now a document that
17 we would mark as Prosecutor's Exhibit 11, and a copy of
18 this has already been provided to the Defence, your
19 Honours. (Handed).
20 If this can be displayed on the ELMO, I think
21 it would be helpful.
22 Dr. Striber, can you identify this document,
24 A. This document is a drawing of the basement of
25 the hospital and also a corridor linking the old and
1 the new part of the hospital and this is also part of
2 the shelter.
3 Q. And do you see indicated on this floor plan
4 the area where you were living and where your offices
5 were located?
6 A. No. It is not marked here. It is here, behind
7 this line, in this area. (Indicates).
8 Q. And can you indicate to the court what all of
9 these small black squares designate, that appears on
10 the floor plan?
11 A. These small black squares show the hospital
12 beds, how they were placed in that part of the
14 Q. And in the latter stages of the battle, this
15 was the only part of the hospital that was being used.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you have any idea as to the number of
19 persons who died at the hospital during the course of
20 the battle?
21 A. I know that all the time precise records were
22 kept on the number of patients who died. Towards the
23 end of the battle I cannot say exactly what the number
24 was, but about 600 patients died while the battle
25 lasted in the hospital.
1 Q. And this would be a significant increase over
2 the number of deaths that would occur at the hospital
3 in normal times, I assume.
4 A. A lot more.
5 Q. What was done with the bodies of those who
7 A. While it was possible to bury the dead within
8 the hospital this happened at the local cemeteries. But
9 as this became impossible due to the extent of the
10 shelling towards the end of the battle, the dead bodies
11 were taken to a building which was across the street
12 from the hospital and the local people called it,
13 "stara kapitanja".
14 Q. By the middle of November, as the battle was
15 coming to a close, did you see an increase of
16 townspeople gathering at the hospital?
17 A. During the last few days, towards the very
18 end of the battle people, civilians, spontaneously came
19 to the hospital. This was a large number of people.
20 Q. And do you know what the reason was for them
21 gathering at the hospital?
22 A. Certain parts of town were almost completely
23 destroyed, and I think that people felt a need to feel
24 safe and protected and the hospital was the only oasis
25 where they could seek shelter.
1 Q. Who were they seeking shelter from?
2 A. Certainly from the shelling.
3 Q. When did the fighting come to an end?
4 A. An abrupt silence broke out on November 18th.
5 Q. And on 18th and 19th November did the
6 hospital receive any additional patients?
7 A. No. No further patients were brought in.
8 Q. When did you first become aware of JNA
9 soldiers arriving at the hospital?
10 A. This was on 19th, late in the afternoon, as
11 I was seeing my patients I saw a group of soldiers
12 walking around the hospital, looking at the basement
13 and they were surprised that under such conditions we
14 could work at all.
15 Q. Did anyone offer any resistance to the JNA
16 when they arrived at the hospital?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Into the evening of 19th November and through
19 that night, what was going on inside the hospital?
20 A. I could say that the situation was one of
21 chaos in the hospital. We were expecting to be
22 evacuated, but no one could say anything for sure, when
23 it would start, and to what extent, and how, and in
24 which way. We were getting ready to evacuate, but there
25 was a chaos in all of this.
1 Q. And when were you on the night between
2 19th and 20th?
3 A. The old part of the hospital in my room.
4 Q. Now, early the following morning on
5 20th November, did you encounter (redacted)
6 a nurse at the hospital?
7 A. Yes. A bit before 7 am (redacted), our head
8 nurse, came to my room with a list and she was escorted
9 by a person in uniform, and she asked that one of the
10 patients leave the room. The person in uniform
11 addressed me as "colleague", I remember that, and
12 therefore I concluded that he must be a doctor. He
13 asked me what kind of wounds these were, whether these
14 were heavy wounds or light wounds, and afterwards we
15 were told that the entire staff of the hospital should
16 meet at 7 o'clock in the plaster room of the hospital.
17 Q. If I could ask you to refer once again to
18 this floor plan on the ELMO, I believe it needs just
19 a moment for it to warm up. (Pause). Can you point out
20 to the court where the plaster room was located and
21 which number designates it?
22 A. Number 17.
23 Q. So this is the room in the far right corner
24 on the floor plan; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And did you attend this meeting in the
2 plaster room?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. And who was conducting the meeting?
5 A. The meeting was conducted by Major
6 Sljivancanin, who had introduced himself to us.
7 Q. And what did Major Sljivancanin say to all of
9 A. Major Sljivancanin had a meeting with the
10 staff of the hospital, and he explained the situation
11 to us, the liberation of Vukovar. He explained to us
12 that the medical staff need not worry because he knew
13 that we as medical staff were duty-bound, regardless of
14 the side that we were on, to carry out our tasks, but
15 he said that they were taking over the hospital then,
16 that Dr. Bosonac was no longer the head doctor and that
17 their doctors would take over.
18 Q. And during the course of this meeting did you
19 notice anything happening outside the room?
20 A. I was at the door of this room, and at one
21 point I turned around and I left the room. It is in
22 this area. This is where the door was. I walked out.
23 (Indicates). I went 10 or 20 metres out of that room
24 and I saw a group of patients who were brought in from
25 this direction, and they were escorted by soldiers, and
1 I recognised some of my patients within this group.
2 They were going out this way. This is the exit out of
3 the hospital. That is where ambulances were when they
4 would bring in emergency patients to the surgical ward.
5 Q. I would like at this time for the witness to
6 be shown an exhibit which has previously been marked as
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit 8, which is the photograph album
8 of Vukovar hospital.
9 I am sorry Dr. Striber, just for the purposes
10 of clarification, where you indicated the exit, can you
11 state for the record the number which appears there?
12 A. Number 12.
13 Q. Okay. I now would like to refer you to
14 Prosecutor's Exhibit 8, and if you can turn to the
15 fourth page from the back, and then again if this could
16 be displayed on the ELMO and you can indicate to the
17 court what is depicted in this photograph.
18 A. This photograph depicts the plaster room,
19 rather the improvised surgery, operations room. This is
20 the place where we had our meeting with Major
21 Sljivancanin. This is the hallway that I went out to,
22 and this is the direction from which the patients were
23 brought in, and here, as much as you can see in this
24 photograph, is the exit where the patients were taken
25 out. (Indicates).
1 Q. So, the room that is indicated with the door
2 open in this photograph is the room you have previously
3 identified on the floor plan as number 17, the plaster
4 room. Is that correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. If you would just turn the page to the next
7 page of the photograph album, and can you indicate what
8 is depicted in this photograph?
9 A. This photograph depicts the exit for
10 emergency cases. This is the place where the ambulance
11 stops, the vehicle, and this is how they reach the
12 surgery this way.
13 Q. And is this the door where you indicated that
14 the patients were being taken out of on the morning of
15 20th November?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If you could turn the page one more
18 photograph here, and indicate what this photograph
20 A. This is precisely depicted from the outside.
21 That is the entrance into that part of the hospital.
22 Q. And this is the ambulance entrance which you
23 have previously talked about. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder, you know,
1 I understand the interpreters need us to have a break
2 now so I wonder whether we could have a recess now
3 until 2.30. Is it fine with you or would you like to
4 ask a few more questions?
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is fine, your Honour.
6 I only have about perhaps fifteen more minutes of
7 questions for Dr. Striber so we can conclude that as
8 soon as the break is over.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, all right: we will
10 reconvene at 2.30 sharp.
11 (1.05 pm)
12 (Luncheon adjournment)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we proceed, we would
3 like to say that at lunch-time we decided to deal with
4 an issue which has been raised this morning and which
5 requires a ruling, so we would like to make the
6 following ruling from the bench:
7 Pursuant to Rule 89(C) of the Rules of
8 Evidence of the International Tribunal whereby:
9 "A Chamber may admit any relevant evidence
10 which it deems to have probative value."
11 we rule as follows:
12 1) written statements may be tendered in
13 evidence after the witness has been heard by the Trial
14 Chamber provided there is no objection by the other
16 2) any statement so tendered may be used by
17 the Trial Chamber as evidence only with regard to those
18 issues which (a) have not been raised in oral
19 testimony; and (b) have not been disputed by the other
21 This is our ruling and I would like to take
22 this opportunity to draw the attention of the Defence
23 to this ruling, and to be careful whenever witness
24 statements are tendered in evidence by the Prosecution
25 to see whether there are any points in that particular
1 statement which are disputed by the Defence.
2 Having said so, I think we may now proceed.
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, just very
5 briefly, before we get back to the doctor's testimony,
6 we have a request for the court and we are seeking
7 leave of the Chamber to have an investigator designated
8 as an individual who would be allowed to hear testimony
9 pursuant to Rule 90(E) which allows a lead investigator
10 who may testify later during the proceedings to monitor
11 what is going on in the courtroom and we have one
12 investigator that we would like to designate for this
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you need the ruling right
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: No, your Honour, it is
17 something we would like to do as soon as possible, but
18 certainly whatever is convenient for the court.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Maybe later on.
20 MR. WILLIAMSON: Doctor, I believe when we
21 left off you had indicated to the court that some of
22 your patients -- that you saw patients being taken from
23 the hospital as this meeting with Major Sljivancanin
24 was concluding. Is that correct?
25 A. Not after the end of the meeting, but during
1 the meeting with Major Sljivancanin people were taken
3 Q. And was the manner in which these patients
4 were being taken from the hospital what you would
5 consider to be a normal way in which patients would be
6 moved about?
7 A. I could not call it a normal way of taking
8 patients out, because in the event of the evacuation of
9 patients then the doctor or other medical staff would
10 have to be informed about it and they would know that
11 the evacuation was taking place.
12 Q. Did this seem to be happening at a normal
13 pace or was it different in that regard as well?
14 A. No. It appeared to have been done in haste.
15 Q. And what was your perception as to what was
17 A. Could you please explain your question
18 a little?
19 Q. Based on what you were observing and the
20 manner in which these patients were being taken from
21 the hospital, were you able to draw any conclusions as
22 to what was being done?
23 A. In view of the fact that the entire hospital
24 staff at that moment was meeting in the room with Major
25 Sljivancanin, as I have already said, the patients were
1 being taken, accompanied by the army, not escorted by
2 the medical staff as we had been told, and as it would
3 be normal to carry out the evacuation of a hospital so
4 that one had the impression, or rather not an
5 impression, I can claim that they were hurried on to
6 get out at that moment.
7 Q. After the meeting with Major Sljivancanin
8 concluded, were you called to another meeting?
9 A. Yes. After that meeting we were called -- we
10 doctors were asked to go to a meeting with
11 Dr. Ivankovic. This was a very brief meeting at which we
12 were offered the possibility to choose as doctors
13 either to stay or to go to Zagreb or Belgrade.
14 Q. After the meeting with Dr. Ivankovic ended did
15 you have an opportunity to go and try and check on your
17 A. Yes, after that meeting I went to the section
18 of the hospital where I stayed throughout the war.
19 I passed through the hospital corridors but my patients
20 were no longer in their beds.
21 Q. How many patients had been under your care?
22 A. 24.
23 Q. And how many of these patients were men and
24 how many were women, if you recall?
25 A. There were only 3 women.
1 Q. And when you returned to check on these
2 patients how many of them were still there?
3 A. I noticed only two of my women patients
4 remaining in their beds.
5 Q. So all of the males, 21 of the males and one
6 female had been taken away. Is that correct?
7 A. I did not find them at that moment. As for
8 those that I saw being led away, I can say, but as for
9 the others they were not there.
10 Q. At some point in time had you made a list of
11 your patients?
12 A. Actually, the evening before the evacuation
13 was announced I made a list of the patients. They were
14 patients of the eye and ear, nose and throat department
15 and they, according to the agreement, were to have been
16 transported together with me.
17 Q. At this point in time I would like to show
18 a document to the witness, please, and I will mark this
19 as Prosecutor's Exhibit 12. (Handed)
20 A. Yes, that is the list.
21 Q. And this is the list that you made of your
22 patients; that is correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: In particular I would like to
25 call your attention to a couple of the witnesses --
1 JUDGE MAY: Well, let us have copies.
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I can provide
3 the copies to you. They are in the Croatian language.
5 If the court pleases, I can have the witness
6 go through very quickly and just indicate the names of
7 the witnesses and state very briefly what is indicated
8 as to the wounds or reason for hospitalisation.
9 Could you do that please, Doctor?
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Well, I do not think we need
11 to go through all the names. Maybe just a few names.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well, your Honour.
13 I just want to call your attention to a couple of
14 persons, then, Doctor. There is an indication by
15 witness, Josip Bradaric as to the nature of his wounds.
16 Can you describe for the court what it states about
17 Mr Bradaric and what, in fact, his injuries were.
18 A. It is stated that he has injuries of the
19 timpanus membrane in the skull, erosion of the eye and
20 injury of the right hand or arm.
21 Q. And is it not the case that some of these
22 injuries were real and some were added to the list?
23 A. That is the case.
24 Q. And what were the other wounds that he had
25 not received but actions that were taken in the
2 A. Bilateral damage of the ear membrane that
3 existed, and the injury of the left arm existed. The
4 eye injury was added. It was a slight injury.
5 Q. Was there a reason why you had tried to make
6 his wounds appear to be more serious than in fact they
7 actually were?
8 A. I shall try, as far as I am able, to explain
9 this for you.
10 Three months of war, three months you are in
11 hospital, you watch daily more and more people dying
12 around you. You experience the death of your closest
13 relatives, of women and children, so much misery, and
14 unhappiness in one place. It is even difficult to
15 describe in words. This is happening everywhere around
16 you. You are a doctor, but at the same time, you are
17 a human being who is finding it very hard to endure.
18 The battles are coming to an end, an end to everything
19 is in sight. A silence sets in which one could describe
20 as an ominous silence. One does not know what to expect
21 next, at that moment you are no longer just a doctor,
22 you are a person. Somebody is looking up to for help.
23 They are my colleagues, my friends. People with whom
24 I had grown up and lived. Now, aside from the fact that
25 I am a doctor, a man has to help another human being so
1 a great responsibility is being placed on your
2 shoulders. Somebody is in fact entrusting to you the
3 life of somebody he holds dear. Somebody is begging you
4 to save that life, and you are just a human being who
5 wants to help another human being. I am trying to
6 explain the situation we found ourselves in. I did not
7 ask about the reasons. They were not important for me
8 at that moment in time. I just said, "yes, I will try
9 and help". Please understand me as one human being
10 trying to assist another, nothing more. Trying to
12 Q. And so, the fact that some injuries were
13 added or were falsified was done in an effort to save
14 the lives of these persons. Is that correct?
15 A. With that aim in mind alone.
16 Q. And who was it felt that it was necessary to
17 save them from?
18 A. From those... I do not know whether I will be
19 able to explain well, but from those who were shelling
20 you throughout those three months and who had provoked
21 so many deaths.
22 Q. And this one individual that we have
23 discussed, Josip Bradaric, he was, in fact, taken away
24 on that morning, was he not?
25 A. Yes. He was taken away.
1 Q. And are you aware if he has ever been seen
2 alive since that time?
3 A. No, he still has not been found.
4 Q. Of the patients of yours that were taken
5 away, are you aware of the fact that any of them might
6 have been located since that time, and identified?
7 A. Many of them have been identified;
8 unfortunately in the mass grave at Ovcara.
9 Q. After the patients were taken away early in
10 the morning of the 20th, what did you do for the
11 remainder of the morning?
12 A. The rest of the morning I went to the area
13 where I had stayed, collected my things and went
14 outside into the hospital compound. For a time all of
15 us that wanted to go to Croatia stood in front of the
16 emergency ward, that is within the hospital compound.
17 After a little time, I cannot tell you exactly whether
18 it was an hour or two later, but in any event, this is
19 a period when time stands still. We went outside. In
20 front of the former court building buses were waiting
21 for us. We entered them and we were taken out of town.
22 Q. And as you were driving out of Vukovar were
23 you able to observe what had happened to the city over
24 the past three months?
25 A. The city was dreadful. It no longer resembled
1 our town. Some buildings were unrecognisable because
2 they were terribly, terribly damaged.
3 Q. Were you able to observe bodies of persons
4 who had been killed?
5 A. As we travelled through the city in the
6 centre one could see some dead bodies on the side of
7 the road.
8 Q. And where were you taken on the buses?
9 A. We passed through the centre of town by bus
10 along Radica Street and then we turned towards the
11 Stepjen Supen School, I think that is Senoina Street in
12 the direction of the medical centre and the barracks.
13 After that we were supposed to go to Bogdanovci and
14 Nustar, so our original evacuation route was to have
15 been to Vinkovci. At one point in time the buses
16 stopped. After that we were told that the Croatian
17 government does not wish to receive us and we were
18 directed towards Nostra.
19 Q. To your knowledge, what happened to the
20 Croatian population that was living in Vukovar up until
22 A. Most of the men ended up in camps. A small
23 percentage managed to get away and go wherever they
25 Q. And the women and children, were they free to
1 stay there?
2 A. I cannot say because I could not be precise
3 in my statement.
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Has the Defence
6 counsel -- however, before we start may I remind you of
7 the warning -- please, do not be too fast in your
8 asking your questions. Could you give some time to the
9 witness for the -- so that we can get the translation?
10 Thank you.
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, just one more
12 matter just very quickly if I may. I failed to tender
13 Exhibits 11 and 12 and so at this time I would like to
14 tender those to the court. Prosecutor's Exhibit 11
15 being the floor plan of the hospital, and Exhibit 12
16 being the list that the witness prepared.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any objection?
18 MR. FILA: No.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: No. Thank you.
20 Examined by MR. FILA
21 MR. FILA: You told us that you were offered
22 the possibility of staying. Did a single Croatian
23 doctor stay in the hospital?
24 A. I think they did. I cannot claim with
25 certainty, but I think they did.
1 Q. May I ask you why you did not stay?
2 A. My greatest desire was to see my children
3 whom I had not seen for three months. That was my only
5 Q. So there was no other reason for you to
6 leave, except your wish to see your children and,
7 I assume, your husband?
8 A. At that moment, yes. Afterwards I had time to
9 think it over.
10 Q. Could you please tell me in your statement
11 you said that individual Serbs had abandoned their
12 positions. Why?
13 A. What do you mean by, "positions"?
14 Q. The chief, the head of the eye department was
15 a Serb, but he left. Many other Serbs did the same.
16 I am quoting from your statement.
17 A. My view is that everyone decided as they
18 wanted so you would have to ask them.
19 Q. But I am asking you. Before the incident in
20 Borovo Selo in May 1991, did anything happen or was it
21 just like that, the Serbs decided to kill 12 policemen
22 because they had nothing better to do?
23 A. You know, I never went into politics, I am
24 just the doctor so it is rather difficult for me to
25 answer that question.
1 Q. Have you heard of Tomislav Metcep?
2 A. I have.
3 Q. Did you know him, perhaps?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Before May 2nd 1991 were the ZNGs formed,
6 were exercises and drills done with weapons?
7 A. I do not know.
8 Q. How do you know about Borovo Selo, then?
9 Do you know now why the head of the
10 ophthalmology department, who was a Serb, left Vukovar,
11 because he worked with him?
12 A. I think he can give you the answer.
13 Q. Well, did you ask him?
14 A. I did not have time to ask him.
15 Q. He left so quickly?
16 A. He did not say good-bye when he left.
17 Q. Is it normal for you, for somebody to leave
18 such a post without saying good-bye?
19 A. No, it would not be normal.
20 Q. Do you think perhaps that he felt in
22 A. I think that he had no one to fear.
23 Q. I am asking you, do you think that he felt in
25 A. I cannot tell you what he felt.
1 Q. Do you perhaps know how many Serbs left
2 before you yourself left to see your children?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did any leave?
5 A. Probably, yes, but I do not know how many.
6 Q. You do not know why either, I assume.
7 A. No.
8 Q. Those people that you said were healthy and
9 you falsified their report saying that they were ill,
10 were they people carrying weapons, fighting people, or
11 were they women and children?
12 A. I do not know whether any of them carried
13 a gun, but when they came to see me not one of them had
14 a weapon.
15 Q. You know who are able-bodied people, as
16 a doctor. They are not elderly, they are not women,
17 they are not children.
18 A. In that case you would have to explain to me
19 what you mean by, "men of fighting age".
20 Q. Let me tell you. Men between 18 and 60?
21 A. Why should they all be fighting people?
22 Q. Because they are subject to mobilisation.
23 I am sure you studied medicine in wartime conditions.
24 On that list of people to whom you extended
25 humanitarian assistance by adding certain ailments,
1 because that is what it says in your statement, I am
3 A. Did you not read it well.
4 Q. Just a moment:
5 "Josip Bradaric - a policeman. He was not
6 injured but we cut him and then we sewed him up again
7 so as to be able to register him."
8 But where did you cut him, then?
9 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I would object.
10 I think that he is only quoting this out of context and
11 the statement continues and said that in fact
12 Mr Bradaric had been injured. So I think that the
13 witness is being put in an unfair position and being
14 asked to comment on a partial statement.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Objection sustained. Could
16 you please move on to other questions?
17 MR. FILA: This is a citation. I am quoting
18 from the statement.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether the witness
20 has got a copy of -- in Serbo-Croatian -- of the
21 witness statement, or the statement she made.
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: She does not, your Honour,
23 I am happy to provide one for her at this time which
24 might be helpful.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, then she could be so
1 kind as to read out the relevant passage concerning
2 this particular patient. (Handed). The whole passage.
3 A. Just a moment, please, for me to find the
4 place. (Pause).
5 Yes? Excuse me, should I read the whole
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please.
8 A. "Josip Bradaric - policeman. Was not injured
9 but we cut him and sewed him up so that he could be
10 included among the wounded. He was hospitalised in
11 September 1991 with perforations of the ear. He was
12 called out and taken away and he is registered as
14 JUDGE CASSESE: This is what you stated when
15 you gave your statement? That is the passage you read
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: You may proceed.
19 MR. FILA: Is it customary for doctors to
20 make incisions, to cut patients and then sew them up
21 again? Was that your custom or was this an exception?
22 A. I have tried to explain the situation and to
23 convey the specific characteristics of the situation as
24 it was at that moment.
25 Q. My question is, did you have other cases like
1 that of making incisions on patients?
2 Among those who you put in casts, were there
3 many of those? Let me read it out, again, from your
5 A. I did not put on any casts.
6 Q. "For many, we put bandages and plaster casts
7 so that they would appear to be injured."
8 My question is, were there cases when an old
9 man, or woman or child was given a plaster cast?
10 A. I cannot say with certainty.
11 Q. Was there any old man, woman or child that
12 was cut or were there not fighters, putting -- who had
13 a guilty conscience?
14 A. I am sorry, I think that is going outside the
15 context of these questions.
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I would object
17 to the reference -- there is no way that this witness
18 knows whether patients had a guilty conscience.
19 I object to that characterisation.
20 MR. FILA: But the doctor may know whether
21 a woman or a child was being protected or a fighter.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask the Defence
23 counsel to confine himself to relevant questions?
24 MR. FILA: In one part of your statement you
1 "At that point it was inevitable that the
2 rest of the city would fall. The soldiers surrendered
3 their arms and changed into civilian clothes. Many of
4 them put on bandages or plasters so that it would seem
5 as if they had been wounded."
6 That means that you knew that these people
7 were soldiers who changed their uniforms into civilian
8 clothes, and plaster bandages were put on them so that
9 it would seem as if they were wounded. Is that the kind
10 of medication you provided?
11 A. I heard about that.
12 Q. No, you said that you knew about it. Not that
13 you heard it, you knew about it. That is what you
14 said. Are these the people you cut, made incisions on?
15 A. I do not know who was a fighter and who was
17 Q. This was your statement, madam. Page 3,
18 paragraph 4 from above. Please read it to the Chamber
19 because at that moment -- that is how the sentence
21 A. I just wish to add that I do not know who it
22 is and that I heard about it.
23 Q. Would you kindly read what you stated, then
24 to, the Chamber?
25 A. Yes, I will:
1 "Because the fall of the remainder of the
2 city was inevitable, the soldiers threw away their
3 arms and changed their uniforms into civilian clothes.
4 Many of them put on either plaster or bandages so that
5 they would look as if they were wounded".
6 Q. Thank you. That is what I wished to ask about
7 and now we are going to move on to something else.
8 A. Please do.
9 Q. Your Honour, there is a list of patients that
10 the witness provided on this same statement of yours,
11 let me just help you, 5, from the back. That is your
12 list, starting with Crnobrnja. Have you found it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Number 3. It says, "Bozidar Segec".
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. "Member of the ZNG, registered as missing."
17 A. Segec.
18 Q. Sorry. They do not have the letter, "Sch",
19 here. I wish to draw the attention of the Chamber to
20 the fact that this Bozidar Segec is not in the
21 indictment provided by the prosecution.
22 "Goran Kovacevic, member of the ZNG". Are
23 you following me?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. His right eye was injured. First he was
1 registered as missing but I hear that he was exchanged
2 and now he lives -- and this person is on the list of
3 people who were killed. That is how the Prosecutor
4 lists this person. Do you have any knowledge as to
5 whether this person is alive or not?
6 A. I have no knowledge of that.
7 Q. So you know what you stated here?
8 A. I heard and it is assumed.
9 Q. No, this was just a question. Never mind.
10 Vedran Galic. Do you have any knowledge of him? Number
12 A. Yes, I found the name.
13 Q. Do you know anything about this person?
14 Please read what you said.
15 A. Specifically now, at this point in time, I do
16 not know. This was an assumption because it does not
17 say here decidedly that I know. I say, "I believe",
18 that he left Vukovar with the transport and that he now
19 lives nearby.
20 Q. I do not want to put words into your mouth,
21 doctor. I am simply reading what you said.
22 A. Yes?
23 Q. 22.
24 A. Yes?
25 Q. Janja Pothorski. You have said that she is
1 a civilian. What did you say?
2 A. Civilian, died during the transport on the
3 road to Zagreb.
4 Q. Was that so?
5 A. That is the information I had received.
6 MR. FILA: I wish to draw the attention of the
7 Chamber to the fact that she is listed as killed in
8 Ovcara. Just like the previous four persons. Thank you.
9 No further questions.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any
12 Re-examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes, your Honour, just
14 a few.
15 Doctor, Mr Fila asked you about the head of
16 the ophthalmology department leaving and you indicated
17 that he had left. Did other Serb doctors remain at the
19 A. Yes, yes they did.
20 Q. And they continued with their duties as
22 A. Yes, they stayed until the end.
23 Q. And are you aware of anything bad happening
24 to those doctors that stayed?
25 A. No. They work in that same hospital until the
1 present day.
2 Q. Mr Fila asked you about the differences
3 between the way that men and women were treated and the
4 way that fighters were treated. At the time that the
5 JNA came into the hospital, were any of your patients
7 A. No one.
8 Q. Were they engaged in combat with the JNA?
9 A. At that point in time nobody was fighting.
10 Q. Were they armed?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Were the JNA soldiers armed?
13 A. They were.
14 Q. So this is a situation of armed soldiers
15 taking unarmed wounded persons out of the hospital,
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Mr Fila asked you on cross-examination if it
19 was customary for doctors who cut patients who are not
20 injured. Is it customary for soldiers to take patients
21 away out of the hospital and execute them?
22 A. With your permission, I can perhaps --
23 MR. FILA: Objection, your Honour, what is
24 this all about?
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Objection sustained.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: Nothing further, your
2 Honour. Your Honour, I would, at this time, though,
3 like to tender the statement of Dr. Striber and just
4 a couple of questions in relation to that.
5 Doctor, you have already been questioned in
6 relation to the statement that you gave on the
7 14th June of 1995. Do you recall giving that statement?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. And at this time I would ask that the witness
10 be shown a copy of the statement in English and if you
11 can, see if you recognise your signature on this
12 document. I would mark this as Prosecutor's Exhibit 13.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That is, in fact, your signature?
16 A. That is my signature.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time, your Honour,
18 then, I would tender this as Prosecutor's Exhibit 13.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection? I am turning
20 to Mr Fila.
21 MR. FILA: No objection to that, your Honour.
22 However, I do object to the way in which this was put.
23 This should have been done before I cross-examined. In
24 this way, your Honour, the Defence is already unequal
25 because the Prosecutor is entitled to redirect
1 questioning but if it continues this way I am going to
2 give up on my questioning because after my questioning
3 there is a flood of questions, additional questions put
4 by the Prosecutor. It is unfair, and with the
5 permission of this court, I hope the Prosecutor will
6 not mind, it has nothing to do with this, certainly it
7 has nothing to do with this, it is related to the
8 floor plan. The floor plan of the hospital. It has
9 nothing to do with this. I mean, it is not a polemic or
10 anything, it is nothing out of the ordinary.
11 Point 26. What is that? If the Prosecutor
12 agrees, if not, I will withdraw my question. Please,
13 could you just tell me, what is the room numbered 26?
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, are you asking this
15 question to our witness?
16 MR. FILA: With the permission of the court.
17 There is no contest over this, but it simply has not
18 been explained. What is that room? It is related to the
19 JNA, so that... with your permission, of course, if you
20 allow it.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: If the Prosecution does not
22 object, I would like to ask this question, this
23 question to be asked of the witness.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection your Honour.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I ask the
1 witness to answer this question?
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: I do not believe she has the
3 document in front of her, your Honour. (Handed).
4 A. 26, yes, sir. Put your question and I will
5 answer to the best of my knowledge.
6 MR. FILA: The question is simple. Could you
7 please explain what that room is there? There are no
8 beds there. It says "reservists", so it is not quite
9 clear to me, why are there no beds there, and what
10 period is this related to, because reservists are
11 mentioned, so it is a new point for me. Believe me, it
12 is quite new to me.
13 A. Well, first of all I did not make the
14 floor plan, so I cannot say why the beds have not been
15 marked here, and why it says, "reservists". I am sorry,
16 but I do not know why you are asking me this question,
17 but as far as I can follow you, I will try to explain.
18 I do not know why it says so.
19 MR. FILA: Your Honour, that is precisely why
20 I put the question, because they are not quite clear to
21 me. Room 26. As you can see, it is a room without beds.
22 It is a patient's room for reservists of JNA,
23 I imagine, I do not know. JNA reservists. I do not
24 know. Who are these JNA reservists? It is quite unclear
25 what 26 is. So if we can clarify it, let us clarify it.
1 If not, I think that it is the Prosecutor who should
2 clarify it.
3 A. As far as I know, at that time we had members
4 of the JNA as patients too. If that relates to that,
5 I imagine that is the case.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask the witness simply
7 to clarify, what was in room 26? Can you tell what was
8 there? For what purpose was this room used, if you may
10 A. As far as I remember beds have not been
11 marked here in room 26, but we did have a few patients
12 who were members of the JNA, and who were staying in
13 the rooms. I cannot state with full responsibility. It
14 says here that this was a room for JNA reservists, but
15 I do not know whether that is a controversial issue
16 here, this notion, "reservists", but this is where the
17 wounded of the JNA army were.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: All right, thank you. Now,
19 to go back to the objections by Mr Fila, I, with all
20 due respect, would like to clarify that in a way you
21 mixed up two different issues. One issue was whether or
22 not the Prosecutor was entitled to re-examine the
23 witness and ask further questions; this is a basic
24 right of the Prosecution, and each party, any party
25 laid down in our Rules of Procedure.
1 A different issue which you also raised was
2 about the time when a witness statement may be tendered
3 in evidence, and you are suggesting that -- and you
4 would like the -- this statement to be tendered before
5 examination and cross-examination, if I understood you
6 correctly, not after the examination. That is what you
8 MR. FILA: I am not denying the Prosecutor
9 his right to put additional questions after my
10 cross-examination, but if during the redirect, he asks
11 for the statement to be tendered as evidence, then
12 I can ask no further questions based on that statement
13 because I am not entitled to that. In that way, I am
14 put in an unequal position. That is what I wish to say.
15 I am not denying the gentleman the right to redirect,
16 and he is entitled to that, because I cannot be denied
17 the right to ask questions related to the statement
18 because the statement is tendered as evidence only
20 JUDGE CASSESE: So therefore, as I say, you
21 have the right either to object to the very fact of
22 tendering the witness statement in evidence, or if you
23 accept that it -- that this statement be tendered in
24 evidence, you may wish to -- it to be that this
25 tendering should take place before the examination and
1 cross-examination. If this is your position, we will
2 rule on this matter later on.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if I may just
4 very briefly just explain, I think that Mr Fila had
5 already asked questions in relation to the statement,
6 so the fact that it was tendered after that in no way
7 affected his ability to ask questions in relation to
8 the statement, and secondly, in this situation it was
9 just an oversight on my part to not tender it during
10 the examination-in-chief. There was no intention to do
11 it at a later time.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. I think --
13 I wonder whether there is any objection to the
14 release -- to our witness being released. Mr Fila?
15 MR. FILA: Your Honour, because the
16 Prosecutor has said that he had omitted to do that,
17 I withdraw everything I said. If he tenders this on
18 time, in the future, I mean this statement as evidence
19 so in that way I am satisfied with the answer. Thank
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much.
22 As I say, is there any objection to the
23 witness being released?
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection, your Honour.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr Fila?
1 MR. FILA: No objection.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Thank you so much
3 for coming to testify and you may be released.
4 (The witness withdrew)
5 JUDGE CASSESE: While the witness is being
6 released, I will try to -- not to waste our time by
7 raising two issues.
8 First of all, a question to Mr Fila.
9 Mr Fila, you were so kind as to give us this
10 morning a document, actually a set of documents in
11 Serbo-Croatian, including the law on national defence
12 of 23rd April 1982, the law on military service,
13 2nd December 1985, and the amended law on military
14 service issued on April 26th 1991 taken from the
15 official gazette of the SFRY. Well, we are, of course,
16 grateful to you for giving us these documents. However,
17 we were wondering whether you could point to the court
18 and to the Prosecution the relevant provisions of these
19 laws because we need to have them translated into
20 English and it would be a waste of time and money to
21 translate the whole of these three laws which are
22 really lengthy.
23 My second question relates to the law which
24 we also need, and which I was hoping you would provide
25 us, namely the law on the powers and functions of the
1 various bodies of municipalities in the -- in Croatia
2 at that time. Remember, we asked you to be so kind also
3 as to provide that law. In particular, the provisions
4 of that law relating to the powers of the presidents of
5 municipality, of the assemblies of municipalities.
6 I wonder whether you could, in future, give us this
8 And again -- and then before we move on to
9 our next witness, may I come back to an issue raised at
10 the outset by the Prosecutor when the Prosecutor asked
11 the court to allow an investigator, a Prosecution
12 investigator to monitor the hearings, if I understood him
14 I wonder, before we -- during our recess we
15 discussed this matter. I wonder whether we could get
16 any objection, or the position of the Defence counsel
17 on this issue. I would, of course, before deciding we
18 would need to know what you think about this motion,
19 whether you have any objection about the investigator.
20 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I do not understand
21 why this is needed. If I get an explanation why this is
22 needed, I am certainly going to agree to it but
23 I simply wonder why, so could you explain?
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, there is
25 a provision in the Rules under Rule 90, I believe it is
1 paragraph (E) which allows for this. The reason is that
2 investigators are involved in this case from the
3 outset. They have participated in witness interviews,
4 they do have knowledge of certain facets of the case
5 that may not always be available to all of the
6 investigators -- I am sorry, of all of the attorneys --
7 so it is helpful at times to have an investigator
8 present who, if a question arises, is able to provide
9 information to us which we believe assists us in
10 presenting the case.
11 Under Rule 90(E) it states:
12 "Notwithstanding subrule (D), upon order of
13 the Chamber, an investigator in charge of a party's
14 investigation shall not be precluded from being called
15 as a witness on the ground that he or she has been
16 present in the courtroom during the proceedings."
17 So the same would apply to Mr Fila, if he has
18 an investigator that he would wish to be present we
19 would certainly have no objection to it.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr Fila?
21 MR. FILA: I had simply asked for an
22 explanation to understand what was going on but I said
23 in advance that I would agree to it, so fine.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. No objection. We will
25 rule --
1 MR. FILA: Your Honour, may I just explain
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
4 MR. FILA: With the evidence that I provided
5 you perceived all the legislation related to the
6 military in Yugoslavia in the SFRY. That is why there
7 are two laws on conscription, that it would not seem as
8 if I were leaving something behind. All of it has been
9 put there together, however, in addition to all of
10 that, you have the bylaw regulating the municipality of
11 Vukovar where it says exactly what the powers of the
12 municipal assembly are.
13 This has been provided in our submissions on
14 15th December, and you have the entire organisation of
15 the municipality there, and of course there is no
16 problem involved whatsoever. Of course I can mark the
17 relevant articles if you give me back the documents.
18 I am going to provide this for you by tomorrow. It is
19 no problem whatsoever.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you very much indeed.
21 MR. FILA: Thank you, sir.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. I suggest that we
23 now move on to our next witness.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes, your Honour, Mr Waespi
25 will be taking this next witness.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: We have just decided that we
2 will grant your request that an investigator be present
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: Thank you.
5 (The witness entered court)
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. May I ask
7 the witness to make the solemn declaration?
8 WITNESS M (so declared)
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
11 Examined by MR. WAESPI
12 Q. Good afternoon, your Honours. This witness
13 has, during the weekend, expressed her wish to have
14 protective measures as to her appearance and she does
15 not want that her face is shown out of this courtroom,
16 but her voice is her voice. It will not be distorted,
17 so I would kindly ask you and the Defence not to
18 address her by her name. As you all know from your
19 statements, the ones we have provided, you and the
20 Defence, her name appears on that, it is not redacted,
21 so I really would like to ask you not to mention the
22 name when you may have questions to her.
23 Good afternoon. Do you feel comfortable?
24 A. Yes, thank you.
25 Q. What is your profession?
1 A. I am now retired, but my profession is
2 a certified nurse.
3 Q. Thank you. Would you please outline briefly
4 for the court your educational background, very
5 briefly, and your work experience?
6 A. I graduated from the nurses' college, and
7 I worked as head nurse of the department.
8 Q. Head nurse of which hospital?
9 A. In the hospital in Vukovar.
10 Q. And for how long have you been working in
11 that position?
12 A. For 30 years.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you please describe to us in
14 all briefness again the situation and more, the working
15 conditions in the Vukovar hospital in August up to
16 early November 1991?
17 A. From the end of August work in the hospital
18 evolved under absolutely abnormal conditions. One might
19 call them improvised conditions. We could not provide
20 proper facilities. We had to use the same premises for
21 surgery and for accommodation in the case of an attack
22 against the town. At the end of August these attacks
23 became more frequent and we moved into those improvised
24 premises in the basement and in the nuclear shelter.
25 We also ensured reserve quantities of water,
1 food and medicines, and we worked there until the end
2 of November.
3 Q. You just mentioned these attacks, that they
4 became more frequent. Was the hospital directly
5 targeted? Do you remember any specific incidents?
6 A. The hospital was targeted daily. What all of
7 us remember most is the shelling of the hospital which
8 occurred at the beginning of October when an enormous
9 250 kilogram bomb fell on to the hospital. It fell
10 through all the floors. Fortunately it did not explode.
11 There were several other bombs and this destroyed
12 a building that had already been damaged, so there was
13 less and less space for accommodation.
14 These attacks went on until the JNA entered
15 the hospital.
16 Q. Thank you. Were there any defence positions
17 out of the hospital -- around the hospital of which you
18 are or were aware of?
19 A. There was no defence in the vicinity of the
20 hospital because that was too far for anyone to be able
21 to hit that far or defend the hospital in that way. It
22 was not possible to do anything in defence of the
23 hospital. If the people were to be around the hospital,
24 they should have had guns or machine guns and that was
25 not possible.
1 Q. Where were you living at that time? In the
3 A. Most of the staff was in the hospital. Very
4 few staff members could go to their homes or apartments
5 because they were either destroyed or under daily
6 attacks. It was simplest to organise work at the
7 hospital if we all stayed there, so that we avoided
8 leaving the hospital because the question was, if they
9 left, whether they could return which would mean that
10 we would be missing in personnel.
11 Q. What were your working hours, if I can sort
12 of ask this sort of very sober question.
13 A. The working hours for all of us were as
14 required. Sometimes 24 hours, 48 hours, our rests were
15 short. It depended on the intensity of the attacks and
16 the number of incoming wounded people.
17 Q. Thank you. How many patients in these days in
18 August, September 1991 were in the hospital?
19 A. At first, there were fewer wounded, that is
20 in August and the beginning of September. There were
21 many wounded coming in, but we could at that time
22 evacuate them to Vinkovci, so that they were daily
23 driven off to Vinkovci. After the end of September this
24 evacuation was no longer possible because Vukovar was
25 surrounded and we had an average of 30 wounded a day
1 until the end of November, newly admitted wounded, but
2 the number at the end was 450 wounded when Vukovar
4 Q. What nationality were these patients?
5 A. The patients were all the inhabitants of
6 Vukovar who had stayed there. All the ethnic groups
7 were represented. All the ethnic groups living there;
8 Croats, Ruthenians, Serbs, everyone.
9 Q. Were there also soldiers among the patients
10 and from each army?
11 A. There were defenders who were wounded on
12 their positions who were defending the town from the
13 aggressors, and there were also several wounded from
14 the aggressor's armies.
15 Q. Did you treat these -- I assume by,
16 "aggressor's army", you mean the JNA army; did you
17 treat the JNA soldiers any different from any of the
18 other patients?
19 A. A patient is always just a patient, and in
20 order to avoid the possibility of any such insinuations
21 one might say that they were even given better
23 Q. You said just a moment ago that there were no
24 defence lines close to the hospital. Was the hospital
25 itself defended?
1 A. In the same way as the whole town. The people
2 who were defending the town thought they were defending
3 the hospital as well. There was no special defence for
4 the hospital.
5 Q. Were there any soldiers inside the hospital
6 who would be armed with weapons like machine guns?
7 A. No. There were no soldiers, nor were there
8 any such weapons. The hospital was guarded by the
9 security to avoid anyone undesirable entering, any acts
10 of sabotage. These were people in police uniforms but
11 without arms.
12 Q. Was the hospital marked in any way, that it
13 was a hospital?
14 A. Yes, it was. On the roof of the hospital
15 there was a big red cross sign, and also in the yard
16 there was a big sheet with the red cross, and these
17 marks could be easily visible from all directions,
18 I think.
19 Q. I am now going to ask you about the final
20 days of -- at the end of the siege of Vukovar.
21 Is it correct to say that the influx of
22 people into the hospital was for you the signal that
23 Vukovar was about to fall?
24 A. It was not normal for as many as 1,000
25 civilians to come to the hospital in one day, so
1 obviously something was happening in their shelters, so
2 we assumed that the army was very close, and that is
3 why the civilians came to the hospital which, even
4 though damaged, was in better condition than other
5 parts of the city.
6 Q. Are you aware that in those days, middle of
7 November 1991, uniformed men came into the hospital?
8 A. Not in uniform. Only the wounded came. To
9 enter the hospital they had to have permission. No one
10 came in uniform.
11 Q. Are you aware of a situation when the son of
12 one of the doctors who was working inside the hospital
13 entered the hospital?
14 A. Dr. Ivankovic's son entered the hospital when
15 we knew that Vukovar had fallen. This was the 18th or
16 17th, probably 18th November.
17 Q. How did he look like, Mr Ivankovic's son?
18 A. When I saw him he was wearing a camouflage
19 uniform, and he was sitting in a room talking to his
21 Q. Now, on November 18th was there an evacuation
22 planned for the next day, and were there lists made
23 which included the names of all these people who were
24 supposed to be evacuated?
25 A. The evacuation was planned for the 19th, and
1 on the 18th the lists were made of the wounded. The
2 lists of the staff who were divided according to the
3 place they wanted to go to, whereas the patients were
4 classified according to their injuries, so that the
5 number of ambulances and other vehicles could be
7 Q. Can you tell us who drew up these lists?
8 A. The lists were mostly made by the doctors who
9 had to evaluate the condition of the patients and to
10 envisage evacuation for them. If a patient could not
11 sit, for instance, then he had to be transported in
12 a lying condition and that was the criteria on the
13 basis of which these lists were made.
14 Q. Was also an administrative aide called Verica
15 Graf involved in drawing up these lists?
16 A. She was involved to the extent that she
17 received the ready list made by the doctors. Her duty
18 was to retype it on the typewriter and to hand it to
19 Dr. Bosanac.
20 Q. What happened now on 18th November? Did this
21 planned evacuation take place?
22 A. On 18th November the evacuation was not
23 planned for the 18th, but for the 19th. On the 18th we
24 were just preparing the evacuation; on the 19th it did
25 not take place, and in the morning we were told that it
1 would be delayed by one day.
2 Q. Now, on 20th November 1991, around 7 o'clock
3 in the morning, were you called by Dr. Kust?
4 A. In the morning of the 20th about 7 o'clock,
5 Dr. Kust, the anaesthetist, came to fetch me and said
6 that I was wanted in the surgery department by
7 Dr. Ivankovic so I went there and he was waiting for me
8 together with a doctor who was wearing a JNA uniform.
9 Q. Did you later find out what the name of this
10 doctor from the JNA was?
11 A. I learned much, much later that his name was
12 Marko Ivezic.
13 Q. Were there also soldiers in that room as
15 A. Yes, there were. Dr. Ivezic had in his hand
16 a list and he said that the doctor, "wants to examine
17 the patients on this list". Behind me were two armed
18 soldiers, and therefore, the doctor, me, and two
19 soldiers went to look at the patients that he wanted to
21 The first on the list was Josip Bradaric. He
22 was the husband of one of our nurses. We went to see
23 him and the doctor insisted that we unwrap the wound
24 for him to see it. We did that, and he saw that he had
25 a wound on his arm.
1 Then we visited the other patients in haste.
2 We were in a hurry, because the doctor did not insist
3 on examining each and every patient, but he did insist
4 that we do it as quickly as possible. After those
5 examinations we went back to the same spot in the ward.
6 Q. How long did this examination of these
7 patients last, approximately?
8 A. In my assessment, about fifteen to twenty
10 Q. Thank you. What happened next? Were you then
11 called to another meeting?
12 A. When we came back to the surgery admission
13 ward a message was conveyed to us. I do not know whose
14 message it was, whether it was of this doctor,
15 Dr. Ivankovic or somebody else, that all the medical
16 staff must meet in the plaster room. We informed the
17 staff as quickly as we could, but as the hospital is
18 quite large we were meant to congregate there at
19 8 o'clock. The message that was conveyed at the same
20 time was that all mobile patients should go out into
21 the yard of the hospital.
22 Q. Who chaired that meeting you were just
23 referring to?
24 A. The meeting was chaired by Sljivancanin. He
25 told us, he brought us there to tell us that the
1 medical staff would be evacuated according to plan and
2 that we will do this as we agreed. I do not know who
3 had reached this agreement, the JNA or whoever, but
4 that we would be able to leave that way. That is to say
5 they would ensure buses for us and that we would be
6 moving towards the place that was already written down.
7 Q. Can you describe the way Major Sljivancanin
8 was looking when you saw him that day?
9 A. Sljivancanin is a very tall person, so we
10 sort of looked up to him because he was taller than all
11 of us, and he made a political speech to us, I should
12 say. He said that the JNA had many casualties in their
13 aggressor's attack against Vukovar. He said that the
14 war had only started but that he would do his best so
15 that we could leave safely. That he was doing his
16 gladly, but he promised that and that is the way that
17 it would be. And after him Dr. Marko Ivesic spoke to us
18 and he told us that Dr. Bosanac was no longer our
19 director and that he would take over the command over
20 the hospital now.
21 Q. Was Sljivancanin wearing a uniform?
22 A. Sljivancanin was wearing a camouflage
23 uniform, and the doctor was wearing a JNA uniform.
24 Q. You mentioned a minute ago that during the
25 time all the hospital staff and the doctors were
1 gathered to attend this meeting, patients and other
2 people were taken out is that correct?
3 A. That is correct. We could not even follow who
4 was leaving and who was ordering these people to leave,
5 so all those who could walk were leaving, irrespective
6 of whether they were children or women or whoever. Only
7 the medical staff could stay in the plaster room.
8 Everybody else had to go out into the yard and it is
9 only later that we received information that out there
10 the men were separated from the women.
11 For example, if the wife have worked in the
12 hospital and her husband was there with him, he would
13 have to go to the other side where the men were taken.
14 That is to say, all the civilians went out, all the
15 administrative aides, all the other staff, all the
16 wounded who could walk, but we who were in the plaster
17 room could not follow all of this. We could not see
18 where they went, and in what direction, what part of
19 town they were taken.
20 Q. Do you know Marija Bucko?
21 A. Marija Bucko is a nurse who also worked with
22 us at the hospital all the time and her husband was
23 among us with us like all our husbands, or most of our
24 husbands. She believed, because she was one of the last
25 to enter the plaster room, she noticed that they were
1 being taken some place where it was not planned to take
2 them, and when Sljivancanin told us that we would have
3 to be prepared for evacuation she asked where our
4 husbands were and he said that we should make a list of
5 our husbands.
6 Q. Was this list --
7 A. When we -- I mean, another nurse,
8 Marica Mokos this list. She asked us all about our
9 husband's names and this list was given to
10 Sljivancanin, and we did not know where this list was
11 being taken, nor could we think of where our husbands
12 would be taken. After the meeting we took our things
13 and we waited outside in the yard for further
15 Q. Can you tell me how many names were on that
17 A. On that list there could have been up to 40
18 names, between 30 and 40 names.
19 Q. Was the name of your husband also on the
21 A. Yes. Yes it was.
22 Q. And did you yourself put his name onto that
24 A. I told the person who was making the list
25 what his name and surname were. She asked me what my
1 husband's name was.
2 Q. You said a minute ago that after this meeting
3 you went all out of this plaster room into the yard
4 where you were waiting.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How long were you waiting there?
7 A. Probably until 11 o'clock, approximately. We
8 were told that we should wait for the buses because
9 there were not enough buses, that we should wait there,
10 but still we did not know where all these people had
11 been taken to, and what would happen to us afterwards.
12 In the meantime, ambulances entered the hospital of the
13 JNA army. They went to get the wounded who remained
14 lying in their beds.
15 Q. Was there, at a certain point in time, one of
16 the husbands coming back with a bleeding nose?
17 A. At one point in time, perhaps around
18 11 o'clock, from the opposite direction, from the
19 street where we did not expect the buses to come, we
20 were waiting for the buses to come from the other
21 street, the other side. One of the husbands came and
22 his nose was bleeding and he said that our husbands
23 were on a bus in the street opposite to the one where
24 we were waiting, and that is when we went to get them
25 to see where they were coming from and what had
1 happened to them. In the street there was a guarded
3 Q. Did you see your husband on that bus?
4 A. I did. I saw my husband among all these other
5 people. I went to the door of the bus and I told the
6 soldier that my husband was on the bus and that
7 I should like to see him and that he should get out and
8 he said that I should go away and that that would not
9 be allowed, and I went back to the same place.
10 I continued to wait. Some of the husbands had left.
11 Others remained. I went back a few times, so they
12 released him after all. He was perhaps one of the last
13 to leave. A few people remained, and to the best of my
14 knowledge, all of them got out with the exception of
16 Q. Did you approach somebody to ask after the
17 first refusals of these two guards in the bus? Did you
18 approach somebody else who could help you to release
19 your husband?
20 (4.00 pm)
21 A. I asked Sljivancanin too and he said, "if he
22 is on the bus they will let him go". However, I did not
23 succeed the second time either, and I asked our doctors
24 who were Serbs who stayed on that they helped me, but
25 they said they could not help me but nevertheless he
1 managed to get out somehow.
2 Q. You said a sentence ago that more or less all
3 the husbands were able to be taken off that bus except
4 for two persons. Can you give us the names of those two
6 A. Those two persons were our assistant cooks
7 whose wives also worked, Zeljko Jozo and Adaga Jozo. We
8 have not heard of them since then.
9 Q. Did you then board another bus which took
11 A. Our husbands who could hardly walk, I should
12 say, we did not know what had happened to them, they
13 were terrified. They did not say anything. They joined
14 us, and according to instructions, we went to wait for
15 the buses that were supposed to come and collect us. We
16 were waiting for them perhaps some time between 1 and
17 2, about 1.30 the buses arrived.
18 Q. How many buses did arrive?
19 A. Four or five buses arrived. One bus was
20 prepared to take the people who wanted to go to Serbia.
21 There was plenty of room there because only a few
22 people boarded that bus because all the rest wanted to
23 go to Croatia. I forgot to mention that Sljivancanin
24 in his speech said that we could ask to go to Croatia
25 but Croatia was not willing to take us. That was
1 a gesture that surprised us because we were sure that
2 our people were waiting for us there.
3 Q. Which direction, which route, did the bus
5 A. A little below the hospital, near the court
6 building. The buses were parked, and when we got on
7 them, the buses passed through the very heart of the
8 city through Radica Street, Senowa Street, in the
9 direction of Negoslavci. We stopped for the first time
10 near the Velepromet building. I do not know why we
11 stopped there.
12 MR. WAESPI: Perhaps your Honours, I see it is
13 4 o'clock, I have some more questions. It would be
14 a convenient time for having a break.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes. All right.
16 We stand in recess for twenty minutes.
17 (4.05 pm)
18 (A Short break)
19 (4.20 pm)
20 MR. WAESPI: Your Honours, just for the point
21 of clarification, we should pass this written note, the
22 name to the witness because, as you are aware, she only
23 recently asked us for this type of protection, so we
24 need to assign her a pseudonym, so I would like to ask
25 the usher to give this piece of paper with her name on
1 it to her, and ask her whether that is her name.
2 (Handed). And not to say the name.
3 A. Yes, that is it.
4 Q. And show it to the Defence, please, and then
5 to the judges. I would like to tender it afterwards as
6 exhibit number P14 under seal. Thank you, your Honours.
7 Further on, this witness will be referred to
8 as letter M. Thank you.
9 Just before the break you said that the bus
10 stopped at Velepromet. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that is correct. The bus stopped at
12 Velepromet, but not one of us asked to leave the bus.
13 Why we were stopping there, I do not know.
14 Q. How long did you stay at Velepromet?
15 A. Not long. Maybe fifteen or twenty minutes,
16 then we went in the direction of Negoslavci, but in the
17 meantime we turned in the direction of the Modateks
18 factory. We thought we were going towards Bogdanovci
19 because that was the direction and that was how we
20 thought our evacuation would take place, but shortly
21 afterwards we turned back again in the direction of
23 Q. So you were again on the road from Vukovar to
24 Negoslavci. Is that what you are saying?
25 A. Yes. We were going in the direction of
1 Negoslavci. We were stopped very often. Various
2 vehicles belonging to the JNA passed by us. The reason
3 for the stops we did not know, but when we saw that
4 convoy of ambulances pass by us, we realised that that
5 was what we were waiting for, for the ambulances to go
6 in front, and then the column proceeded towards
8 Q. So, besides these ambulances there was not
9 much traffic. Is that what you are saying?
10 A. In our direction, no. We were alone, but
11 there were vehicles coming in the other direction, JNA
12 vehicles. When it got dark we noticed that the vehicle
13 in front of us was a military vehicle with its lights
14 on. Also, at the end of the column there was another
16 Q. When you finally arrived in Negoslavci, was
17 it already dark? Was that the moment when you realised
18 that there were lights on the front car?
19 A. We realised only when dark fell, and this
20 must have been about 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
21 Q. How was the general condition of that road
22 between Vukovar and Negoslavci? Was it easy to roll on
23 with your bus?
24 A. There were no problems whatsoever, except for
25 these stops which were never explained to us. We would
1 ride for a couple of kilometres and then stop and then
2 go on and that is how we got to Orolik.
3 Q. You just said that you got to Orolik, so
4 you -- after Negoslavci you continued on the road to
5 Orolik. Was this kind of road any different to the one
6 between Vukovar and Negloslavci?
7 A. No, there was no difference. Only when we
8 reached Orolik we thought again we would be going
9 towards Vinkovci but we did not. We went towards Sid.
10 The whole column of buses turned off towards Sid....
11 Q. What was your final destination that day?
12 A. We did not know what our final destination
13 was, but after some time we found ourselves in Sremska
14 Mitrovica. We did not know why we were taken there and
15 in the centre of Sremska Mitrovica the buses stopped. We
16 could get off, and that was when I saw for the first
17 time that we had been joined by European Monitors who
18 said, who told us not to leave the buses. We asked
19 where the other people were, those who left the
20 hospital much before us. We thought that we would meet
21 them there. However, there were only our buses there,
22 and they warned us that we should list the people who
23 we thought had been taken somewhere else.
24 Q. Thank you. I would like now to leave these
25 events in November 1991. You gave an interview to one
1 of -- or several of the investigators of this office on
2 19th and 20th June 1995. Is that correct?
3 A. Could you please repeat the question?
4 Q. Sure. You talked to one or two persons from
5 the International Criminal Tribunal, this court, in
6 June 1995. Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes, I did talk to them.
8 Q. And you signed a document at the end which
9 reflected the testimony, or the interview you gave. Is
10 that also correct?
11 A. I did.
12 Q. I would now like the usher to hand over the
13 English version of the statement to the witness, and
14 have her asked whether those signatures here at the
15 bottom of each page is her signature. It would be
16 Prosecution exhibit number 14, marked for
17 identification, probably A if we later have the
18 Croatian version as well.
19 Do you remember having -- is that your
20 signature on all these pages?
21 A. It is.
22 MR. WAESPI: Thank you. I would like, your
23 Honours, to tender that statement now into evidence.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any objection
25 from the Defence? No, so it will be A, I understand,
1 because the B will be the Croatian version.
2 THE REGISTRAR: No, the original version
3 which is the English version would be Exhibit 15, and
4 the translation into Serbo-Croatian would be 15A.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
6 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, your Honours. No
7 further questions.
8 Thank you. Mr Fila?
9 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
10 Q. Your Honours, witness, you were in the
11 hospital. Do you know, because Dr. Bosanac has already
12 testified that already, on the 19th some people were
13 taken from the hospital?
14 A. Yes. Two of our medical technicians, Marko
15 Mandic, Juderic Slatko and another worker, Marko Valaho
16 were taken on the 19th in the evening.
17 Q. Was any person among them who was later
19 A. Marko Mandic.
20 Q. Yes --
21 A. And nothing is known about them.
22 Q. Is there any information that one of them
23 ended up in Ovcara?
24 A. I could not tell you.
25 Q. In connection with Bradaric, you said that
1 the doctor undid the bandage, was it on his hand?
2 A. I cannot remember whether it was his right or
3 left arm. The doctor asked the bandage to be removed.
4 We removed the bandage, and of course, the doctor saw
5 a wound, an injury.
6 Q. Did you make that injury? Was it made in the
8 A. How can an injury be caused in the hospital?
9 Q. The witness before you said that this injury
10 was made in the hospital, that the doctors had cut him.
11 A. I cannot claim that. I do not know. I was the
12 person who undid the bandage. In fact, it was not even
14 Q. But you cannot claim that it was not done?
15 A. I cannot claim either.
16 Q. Because you have asked me how come this could
17 happen, and I am explaining to you how.
18 You were present when the army entered, the
20 A. In certain segments, yes, partly.
21 Q. Did anyone come, people from Vukovar, local
22 people, with them? You mentioned Ivankovic and others.
23 It is stated in the statement,?
24 A. The day before on the 19th in the afternoon;
25 Bogdan Kuzmic came to the hospital who was looking for
1 one of our nurses. Then there was Sascha Maksemovic,
2 Dudzko Cucovic. I saw him in the yard.
3 Q. Does that mean that they could have shown the
4 JNA where things were in Vukovar? How else could they
5 have known where the hospital was?
6 A. These were people working in the hospital.
7 Cucovic was working in the hospital. Bogdan Kuzmic too
8 was working in the hospital so they knew exactly where
9 the hospital was.
10 Q. Did they know what Vukovar looked like?
11 A. Probably they did.
12 Q. Of course, when they are from Vukovar. So
13 there was no need from somebody from the outside to
14 come and show them the hospital?
15 A. I do not know. I cannot tell you that.
16 Q. Did you see anyone else showing them things?
17 Did you see yourself?
18 A. No. I did not see any persons from outside
20 Q. I have some very brief questions regarding
21 the 20th. Can you tell us roughly what time you reached
22 the Velepromet?
23 A. If we left about 1.30 in the direction of
24 Velepromet, then I do not think the drive could have
25 lasted more than -- of course very approximately it
1 could have been 1.30 or 2, so we were not later than
2 2.30 there.
3 Q. Thank you. So it was still daylight?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When did dusk, begin?
6 A. It was already dusk, when we were not going
7 towards Negoslavci, but while we were stopping...
8 I cannot tell you exactly how much time we spent in
9 front of Velepromet, then we took a different road,
10 then, as far as I remember, it was dusk.
11 Q. When you reached Negoslavci, you got there
13 A. Yes. You have to pass Negoslavci to get to
15 Q. Was it dark when you get to Negoslavci?
16 A. I think it was still dusk.
17 Q. It was still dusk. And in Orolik?
18 A. In Orolik it was already dark.
19 Q. During your journey did you see the army?
20 Were there any barricades, tanks, or anything?
21 A. No. There were no barricades across the road,
22 but our buses would stop. Do not ask me what vehicles
23 they were. Some kind of weaponry. They were going in
24 the opposite direction from us. They were going towards
25 Negoslavci and Vukovar and we were going in the
1 opposite direction. This was probably one of the
2 reasons why we stopped from time to time.
3 Q. All the other vehicles following you would
4 also have to stop?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So can we conclude from this that in the
7 course of your drive from Velepromet to Negoslavci and
8 Orolik you saw the army from time to time?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do not be concerned. That is all I want to
12 Thank you. I have another problem -- just one
13 more question, and then perhaps we can deal with the
15 If I were to show you a video of those buses,
16 could you tell whether it was on the 20th?
17 A. I do not know whether I could tell by seeing
18 the tape, but I know for sure that it was the 20th.
19 Q. Yes, when you were there I believe you but
20 could you tell if you were to be shown a tape? Have you
21 seen any videotapes?
22 A. No.
23 MR. FILA: Thank you. Thank you. I have no
24 further questions, your Honour.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Re-examination?
1 MR. WAESPI: No, but just to clarify that also
2 this statement is under seal, the one we just handed as
3 exhibit Prosecution number 15.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
5 I have just one minor question. I wonder
6 whether -- you mentioned -- I am turning to the
7 witness. You mentioned Josip Bradaric and you saw him.
8 Was he a relative of one of the members of the hospital
10 A. He was the husband of one of our nurses.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I wonder whether
12 there is any objection to the witness being released.
13 No objection? No objection? Thank you so much for
14 coming here. You may be released.
15 (The witness withdrew)
16 JUDGE CASSESE: I am turning to the Defence
17 counsel and asking whether -- you said that you would
18 raise an issue, a general question, Mr Fila. A problem,
19 or whatever, a few minutes ago.
20 MR. FILA: Yes.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Would you like now, since we
22 have some time?
23 MR. FILA: Your Honour, it is a general
24 question. The video that was referred to at the closed
25 session shows this, so I am asking how can we deduce
1 from that -- you know which video I am referring to, in
2 connection with the alibi. Could she identify whether
3 those were the buses that she was in? I am asking how
4 we could do that, and whether we could do that so as to
5 be sure that that was taken then, so I would suggest
6 that the Prosecutor do this in private session, if he
7 wishes to. I think that would be useful.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
9 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, there is a very
10 simple process of the televisions outside being turned
11 off for very short segments for this. It can happen
12 very easily and it is technically not complicated to
13 do, so if Mr Fila ever feels that he would like to show
14 the video he should simply ask for it to be in private
15 session and I think it takes minutes for them to flick
16 switches up in the control booth and he can do that
17 quite safely.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Mr Fila? Would you
20 MR. FILA: I agree, but the Prosecutor has
21 the video. I have nothing to show and that is the
23 MR. NIEMANN: We will certainly make it
24 available. I should say, yes, Mr Williamson has
25 indicated and suggested to me, if Mr Fila would feel
1 that he would like to put this video to this witness
2 that has just been here, we certainly have no objection
3 to getting the tape for him, making it available and
4 for this witness to be recalled so that he may do that,
5 if he feels that he would like to do that.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Mr Fila?
7 MR. FILA: Yes, very well.
8 Your Honour, it is just the end of the video.
9 You have two or three minutes. If you recall, it is the
10 departure of the buses that is shown. The last two or
11 three minutes. That is all, if you are agreeable.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Now it is
13 a question of timing. I wonder whether -- how long it
14 would take you to provide the technicians with the
15 videotape and then show it in private session or
16 otherwise we could put it off until tomorrow and
17 meanwhile hear another witness, start with another
18 witness. But then you would have to ask the witness who
19 came before not to leave.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. I do not know what
21 arrangements have been made for the witness to leave.
22 I have a feeling that the witness might be planning on
23 returning tomorrow morning early. I think there was
24 some plans for them to fly back, the three women to fly
25 back. What I might suggest to your Honours is that if
1 we start with our witness now, and then just before the
2 break, say at about quarter past, in the meantime we
3 could have people organise it so that the witness could
4 be brought back and for fifteen minutes that could be
6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Thank you. Yes.
7 If it is agreeable to you, yes. Good. To Mr Fila?
8 MR. FILA: I agree. I would even agree if one
9 of the members of the Prosecution team show the video
10 to the witness and then tell us what the witness said.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. That is very kind
12 of you but it cannot be done. So we will proceed with
13 the witness number 4.
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, this next
15 witness has requested full protective measures which
16 would include a pseudonym, image alteration and voice
17 alteration so I understand that we would have to take
18 a break anyway in order to implement the voice
19 alteration. In the time that we do that, we could have
20 the video down here and just show it to this witness,
21 so I would perhaps suggest that we just put this next
22 witness off until in the morning and we can conclude
23 with the last witness and show them the video, if that
24 is acceptable to the court.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: We have now to have a recess
1 of about 10 minutes?
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: As soon as we can get the
3 tape down here. It may even be five minutes, your
4 Honour. It will be very brief.
5 (4.40 pm)
6 (A short break)
7 (5.00 pm)
8 (In closed session)
9 (Witness M entered court)
13 pages 514-517 redacted - closed session
22 (5.25 pm)
23 (Hearing adjourned until 9.15 tomorrow morning)