1 Day 13 Tuesday, 17th March 1998
2 (9.05 am)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. I will ask the
4 Registrar to call out the case number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13a-PT,
6 the Prosecutor versus Slavko Dokmanovic.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: May we have the appearances?
8 MR. NIEMANN: If it please your Honours, my
9 name is Niemann and I appear with Mr. Williamson,
10 Mr. Waespi and Ms. Sutherland for the Prosecution.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
12 MR. FILA: Good morning, your Honours. I am
13 Toma Fila. I represent the accused, Dokmanovic, and
14 I am assisted here today by Mr. Petrovic and Ms. Lopicic
15 who will join us later. Thank you.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Dokmanovic, can you hear
17 me? Thank you.
18 Before we start with the next two witnesses,
19 may I ask the parties whether they have come to some
20 sort of agreement on the admissions? Mr. Niemann?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we have exchanged
22 drafts, but we are still in the process of exchanging
23 drafts. No, we have not reached agreement yet, but we
24 are close to it.
25 MR. FILA: I received the draft yesterday
1 evening at 7 pm. I have responded to one part of it
2 and I will prepare the remaining part and I believe
3 that by Thursday we will reach an agreement. Thank
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Niemann, will
6 you call the next witness?
7 MR. NIEMANN: I call Clyde Snow.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Niemann, may I ask you
9 whether in light of the acceptance by the admissions by
10 Mr. Fila of a few points in your draft admissions,
11 document of 2nd March, filed on 2nd March 1998, in
12 particular, admissions as to points 7, 10, 11 and 12,
13 whether you are going to confine yourself to asking
14 questions relating to matters which are in dispute so
15 that you will not raise issues which relate to matters
16 which are not in dispute.
17 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we have not
18 reached agreement as yet. There has been an acceptance
19 in part. There has now been a counteroffer which we
20 received this morning to what we proposed yesterday.
21 What had happened is we filed a document last evening.
22 At 5 o'clock we put it in their box. It contained an
23 acceptance of those paragraphs: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
24 This morning, we have come back and the Defence have
25 raised other issues, so I am afraid negotiations are
1 still ongoing. I cannot say one way or the other what
2 the outcome will be, but the evidence here today I do
3 not believe will traverse the admissions, but they may
4 well do. Because Dr. Snow is only here today, of
5 course. He then goes.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Dr. Snow, may I ask you to
7 make the solemn declaration. Could you stand up and
8 read the solemn declaration?
9 DR. CLYDE SNOW (affirmed)
10 Examined by MR. NIEMANN.
11 Q. Dr. Snow, would you please state your full
13 A. My name is Clyde Collins Snow.
14 Q. And were you born in Forth Worth, Texas, in
16 A. Yes, Sir.
17 Q. Do you hold an Associate of Arts from New
18 Mexico Military Institute that you received in 1947?
19 A. Yes, Sir.
20 Q. A Bachelor of Science from the Eastern New
21 Mexico University in 1951?
22 A. Yes, Sir.
23 Q. A Master of Science from Texas Technical
24 University in 1955?
25 A. Yes, Sir.
1 Q. A Doctorate of Philosophy, University of
2 Arizona, 1967?
3 A. Yes, Sir.
4 Q. And a degree of science, honours, from the
5 John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1993?
6 A. Yes, Sir.
7 Q. After retiring from a career in the Federal
8 Aviation Administration of the United States of
9 America, have you had a career in forensic science
10 dealing with human skeletal identification?
11 A. Yes, Sir, I have.
12 Q. During your career, have you served as a
13 consultant in nearly 3,000 cases involving the
14 identification and determination of the cause of death
15 of skeletalised victims?
16 A. Yes, Sir.
17 Q. Do some of the cases that you have been
18 involved in include the 1979 American Airlines DC10
19 crash in Chicago which claimed the lives of 273
21 A. Yes, Sir.
22 Q. The John Wayne Gacy serial murders and the
23 still unresolved Green River murders?
24 A. Yes, Sir.
25 Q. In 1985, at the request of the Simon
1 Wiesenthal Institute, did you head a team of US
2 forensic scientists that went to Brazil in order to
3 identify the skeletal remains of the war criminal
4 Dr. Joseph Mengele?
5 A. Yes, Sir.
6 Q. In 1984, under the sponsorship of the
7 American Association for the Advancement of Science,
8 did you go to Argentina to serve as a consultant to the
9 National Commission on Disappeared Persons in an effort
10 to determine the fate of thousands of Argentinians who
11 were abducted and murdered by the military death squads
12 between 1976 and 1983?
13 A. Yes, Sir, I did.
14 Q. As a result of this investigation, did you
15 testify as an expert witness in the trial of the Junta
16 members who ruled Argentina during the period of
17 military repression?
18 A. Yes, Sir.
19 Q. Since then, have you spent nearly one-third
20 of your time on similar missions in Argentina, Brazil,
21 Bolivia, Chile, East Salvador, the Philippines,
22 Venezuela, Guatemala, Panama and the Iraqi Kurdistan?
23 A. Yes, Sir.
24 Q. In 1992, did you serve in Geneva as a US
25 delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission?
1 A. Yes, Sir.
2 Q. You also completed several UN-sponsored
3 missions to the Former Yugoslavia to collect forensic
4 evidence to be used in war crimes trials collected for
5 the Prosecution in the newly then established War
6 Crimes Tribunal?
7 A. Yes, Sir.
8 Q. In particular, did you become involved in the
9 exhumations of the mass grave at Vukovar?
10 A. Yes, Sir, I did.
11 Q. Have you held numerous university
12 appointments, six in number, from the period 1970 to
14 A. Yes, Sir.
15 Q. Have you held over 14 consultantships from
16 1967 through to 1997?
17 A. Yes, Sir.
18 Q. Are you, in terms of professional
19 organisations, a diplomate of the American Board of
20 Forensic Anthropology?
21 A. I am, Sir.
22 Q. A Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic
23 Sciences, a Fellow of the American Anthropological
24 Association, a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological
25 Society of Great Britain and Ireland, a Fellow of the
1 American Association for the Advancement of Sciences?
2 A. Yes, Sir.
3 Q. An Associate Current Anthropology, American
4 Association of Physical Anthropologists, Human Biology
5 Council and the Society for the Study of Human Biology?
6 A. Yes, Sir.
7 Q. Have you held numerous appointments and
8 effective offices from 1973 through to 1994, and have
9 you been given an extensive range of honours from 1970
10 to 1993?
11 A. Yes, Sir.
12 Q. Have you participated, organised and directed
13 numerous courses of study from the period 1982 to 1992?
14 A. I have, Sir.
15 Q. Have you extensively published and written in
16 this field of study?
17 A. Yes, Sir.
18 Q. Would you look now at the document I show you
19 and can you tell me whether or not this is a correct
20 record of your curriculum vitae? (Handed)
21 A. Yes, Sir, it is as of March 1998.
22 Q. I tender the curriculum vitae.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 93, exhibit.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Snow, during the year of
25 1992, were you requested to participate in the
1 examination of a suspected mass grave in the Vukovar
2 area of the Former Yugoslavia?
3 A. Yes, Sir, I was.
4 Q. Can you tell the court the circumstances of
5 how it was that you became involved in that matter?
6 A. Yes. Your Honours, may I refer to my notes?
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
8 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness refer to his
10 A. I have them here. Yes, Sir.
11 Q. Can you explain to the court the
12 circumstances of how it is that you became involved
13 with this particular suspected mass grave in Yugoslavia
14 at Vukovar?
15 A. I was appointed as a member to the Mazowiecki
16 Commission, a group including some forensic scientists,
17 that was formed by the United Nations and with the
18 mission of coming to the Former Yugoslavia to collect
19 at least preliminary evidence on some of the alleged
20 atrocities that had occurred at that time. My
21 particular mission was to investigate allegations of
22 atrocities involving massacres and clandestine graves
23 and problems within my area of expertise.
24 Q. When were you approached in relation to this?
25 A. That was in -- I believe in late September
1 I was first approached to be a member of that
2 commission. It was organised and staged through Geneva
3 and our delegation arrived in Zagreb on October 12th
5 Q. What had you learnt about this matter, either
6 prior to arrival or when you arrived in Zagreb?
7 A. Concerning the Ovcara case, it was a day or
8 two after we arrived in Zagreb and I , along with
9 Mr. Jack Geiger, the President of the Physicians for
10 Human Rights, who was also a member of the Delegation,
11 we met with Dr. Ivica Kostovic at the medical school.
12 He was the Dean of the Medical Faculty at the time, but
13 also headed up a commission of Croatian experts
14 involved in the identification and the repatriation of
15 war dead during the Croatian-Serbian conflict of 1991.
16 I met with him in his office and he went over several
17 cases, but the one that struck me as being the most
18 interesting was an allegation concerning the around 200
19 individuals who had gone missing from the hospital in
20 Vukovar on or around November 20th 1991.
21 Q. And when this matter took your interest, what
22 did you do about it?
23 A. Well, I asked -- I asked him for more details
24 and he said that these were individuals who mostly had
25 been patients, many of them wounded during the siege of
1 Vukovar, and also included some male hospital staff and
2 they had been last seen removed in buses from the
3 hospital on the day that -- the morning that Vukovar
4 fell, and that they had never shown up in any kind of
5 an exchange of prisoners that had taken place between
6 the Serbs and the Croats after that.
7 Going over the details, he gave me a map, a
8 topographical map, of the general area of Vukovar which
9 we examined and he also mentioned that there was a
10 witness which -- in these proceedings, who has been
11 referred to as Witness B -- that claimed that he was a
12 survivor of that group and that he was currently
13 residing, not in Zagreb, but in another city I believe
14 close to Zagreb.
15 I indicated I would like to meet this person
16 and hear his story, because the case intrigued me.
17 That was arranged. On the evening of October 15th,
18 Witness B came to my hotel room in the
19 Inter-Continental Hotel in Zagreb and he -- it was room
20 1405. He got there I think around 6 or 7 o'clock in
21 the evening and in the company in the room was
22 Dr. Geiger and Ms. Lindsay Cook from the Commission, the
23 Mazowiecki Commission, and also as translator, a
24 gentleman named Thomas Osorio. We sat down and, after
25 introductions and making ourselves comfortable, I asked
1 Witness B to tell his story, just right from the
2 beginning to the end, and I wanted him to tell that
3 more or less without interruptions and then I would go
4 back over details with him after he had told --
5 narrated his account.
6 Q. Dr. Snow, you said that you had a
7 topographical map with you at the time that you had
8 obtained during the course of your stay in Zagreb.
9 Would you look at the document now?
10 A. Yes, Sir.
11 Q. (Handed). Is this a copy of the map that you
12 had on the particular occasion?
13 A. Yes, Sir, this is a copy and it is a map,
14 1:25,000 scale, produced in 1973. It shows the area
15 of -- around the little farming village of Ovcara,
16 which is a few kilometres south and west of the city of
18 Q. Dr. Snow, you said that you had asked this
19 Witness B to recount uninterrupted his story. Are you
20 able to recall now what he told you on that particular
22 A. Yes, Sir, in general I can. He told me that
23 he was -- had been slightly wounded in the siege of
24 Vukovar. He had been a member of the Croatian Defence
25 Forces and although he was not a hospitalised patient
1 at the time, he had -- he went up to the hospital that
2 morning because he heard that the patients from the
3 hospital were going to be evacuated back to
4 Croatian-held territory. So he was up there at the
5 time the Serb forces organised this evacuation of the
6 male -- more or less the walking wounded -- the people
7 who were still ambulatory -- and told them to load
8 themselves on a series of buses that had pulled into
9 the back of the hospital.
10 So he was loaded on to one of those buses and
11 then they proceeded to a military post on the outskirts
12 of Vukovar, there are some barracks as I believe, and
13 they stayed there for several hours, and then later in
14 the afternoon, they were taken out to the village of
15 Ovcara. There they were offloaded from the buses and
16 went into a barn or a hangar-like building where, for
17 another few hours, they were threatened and brutalised
18 in some cases by their captors.
19 He said that about dark or a little after
20 dark, the captors started organising them into groups
21 of around 20 prisoners and that a truck would pull up
22 to the building and they would load a group of 15 to 20
23 men on to the truck and then in about 15 minutes later,
24 15 to 20 minutes later, the truck would return empty.
25 It was always the same truck, as he recalled, and he
1 would -- they would take another load of prisoners. So
2 he assumed from watching what was going on that the
3 round trip of the truck was taking about 15 to 20
5 As I recall, he believed that he was boarded
6 on the third or fourth truck. I should point out that
7 I am recalling this after several years and he has
8 probably given testimony. If there are minor
9 discrepancies, I would go with his version because it
10 was probably a much more vivid experience for him, but
11 I think he said it was the third or fourth truck that
12 he was loaded on. By this time, he was fairly
13 apprehensive. He felt like something bad was happening
14 out there.
15 So he got -- when he boarded, he was toward
16 the back of the truck that he was on and he said that
17 the truck left Vukovar and went down an improved road
18 that leads to another village called Grabovo,
19 I believe, a few kilometres south and west of Ovcara.
20 After about a kilometre, the truck left that road and
21 made a left turn into a -- on to a dirt road that was
22 bordered on the right, as the truck was travelling, by
23 trees and on the left, by open fields.
24 So he said that he jumped out of the rear of
25 the truck and started running and he ran towards his
1 left, across the open fields.
2 Q. Dr. Snow, just to interrupt, sorry to
3 interrupt you, but you said a moment ago that the truck
4 left Vukovar?
5 A. I am sorry. I meant Ovcara. Sorry.
6 Q. Thank you: you were at the point where you
7 said that he jumped out of the rear of the truck?
8 A. Yes, he said he jumped out of the rear of the
9 truck and started running and I asked him, did he see
10 anything or hear anything? He said, well, he was
11 running and running away from the truck, back in the
12 general direction of Vukovar and he did hear or thought
13 he heard the truck stop a few moments after he jumped
14 out of the truck and he heard some scattered gunshots
15 and he felt like -- that perhaps another prisoner had
16 also made an attempt to escape, but this time it was
17 noticed that perhaps the truck had stopped and they
18 were firing at another escapee. That was his theory.
19 It was the only way he could account for the handful of
20 shots that he heard.
21 I asked him if he had seen anything else.
22 Did he hear any cries or screams? Did he hear more
23 gunshots? Enough to execute a truckload of
24 individuals? He said no. He said that he was running
25 so hard that he did not hear anything, he did not see
1 anything. He eventually made his way back to Vukovar
2 where, I believe the next morning, he surrendered to a
3 Yugoslavian National Army group and was later
5 Q. When he told you this story, did you have the
6 map with you that has now been marked as exhibit 94?
7 A. Yes, Sir.
8 Q. And were any markings placed on the map
9 during the course of this discussion?
10 A. Yes, Sir, I made -- talking to him, he is an
11 engineering officer by the way and I think a civil
12 engineer by profession, so he is pretty familiar with
13 topographical maps and we looked at the map there, and
14 the only area where the terrain matched his description
15 is a ravine that runs across the Ovcara/Grabovo Road
16 about a kilometre from Ovcara.
17 Q. Now, just so that we can show it to the
18 court, I would ask, with the assistance of the usher,
19 whether this map could be placed on the overhead
20 projector beside you there and I will ask you some
21 questions about the map. Just looking at the map -- we
22 will have to wait until it comes up on the screen.
24 It does not seem as though it is going to
25 work, so we will have to do it the hard way. We may
1 have some action here. Yes, there we are.
2 Dr. Snow, could you just to assist us, can you
3 point to the place written as Ovcara on the map?
4 A. Yes, Sir, right here is the village.
5 Q. And Grabovo?
6 A. Down here.
7 Q. And the ravine that you were talking about?
8 A. The ravine crosses this road between Ovcara
9 and Grabovo at this point. It is the area shown in
10 green here.
11 Q. And the circle that appears to be written in
13 A. Okay. That was where I , after talking to
14 Witness B, and looking at the terrain, we agreed that
15 this had to be the area that he had seen as the truck
16 was proceeding this way, an area with timber on his
17 right and open fields on his left. At that time, I put
18 a small dot on the map because my theory and my
19 experience in this sort of thing is that this would be
20 the area where one would put a mass grave. For one
21 reason, it is not only my experience in dealing with
22 mass graves, but, having been raised out in Texas and
23 Oklahoma, I know that farmers and ranchers generally
24 consider the head of a ravine like this as sort of
1 That is where you put any junk you have on
2 the farm. As a means of controlling, helping control
3 erosion from the surrounding fields. Certainly no good
4 farmer is going to allow a mass grave to be put in a
5 very productive cornfield or grain field, so I just
6 made this little point close to the head of the ravine
7 here and then drew a larger circle around it and I said
8 I thought that maybe the grave would have been in this
9 general area, thinking that the truck probably
10 proceeded out up into this field for a while after
11 Witness B jumped from the truck and perhaps they
12 stopped there to offload the prisoners. If indeed they
13 were executing these prisoners, then it would be in
14 this general area. Have I made myself clear?
15 Q. Thank you. Did you get a sense from Witness
16 B about where along that ravine he in fact jumped from
17 the vehicle?
18 A. This distance from where the ravine crosses a
19 road up to the top of the road is about 0.9
20 kilometres. As I recall he said 2 or 300 kilometres
21 after the truck turned into the field was where he made
22 his jump, so that would put it in this area along in
23 here somewhere. Because you have to remember it was
25 Q. I think when you say "kilometres", you mean
2 A. 300 metres, yes. I am sorry.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, after you had had this
4 discussion with Witness B and the point was marked on
5 the map, what was the next thing that you did in
6 relation to this alleged mass grave at Ovcara?
7 A. I informed the members of the Commission of
8 my findings or the results of the interview and it was
9 determined -- they asked if I would make my way over
10 there and explore this area in a little more detail.
11 Q. Had you been there before this?
12 A. No, sir, I had not.
13 Q. And what happened?
14 A. Well, I flew over with some other Commission
15 members to Belgrade, arriving there, I believe, on
16 October 16th and then the next day, I went, along with
17 a driver, over to Vukovar.
18 There at Vukovar I contacted the UN
19 authorities there. Not in Vukovar, but in what was
20 serving as more or less the headquarters for the UN,
21 Erdut, at the post at Erdut. There I met a Royal or a
22 Canadian military policeman, Staff Sergeant Larry
23 Moore. He had been stationed there for several months,
24 by that time, I believe, and he was fairly familiar
25 with the area. I showed him the map and we decided to
1 go out there and explore this place.
2 So on the next morning, the 18th, Sergeant
3 Moore and I and Ms. Vlandina Nega, who was a civilian
4 Affairs Officer in Sector East there at the time, and a
5 General Peeters, then Colonel Peeters, who was the
6 Commander of the Belgian battalion in Sector East, and
7 his adjutant or at least one of his staff officers. So
8 we proceeded out to the site. When we got there, the
9 road -- there had been some rain in the area so we
10 parked our vehicles at -- along the main road and at
11 the bridge here (indicating) where the road crosses
12 this little ravine and started walking up in this
14 As we walked up the field through the mud,
15 I think Ms. Nega and I , we lagged a little further
16 behind and Sergeant More was in the lead and he got up
17 to the -- toward the top of the ravine. I told him to
18 look for anything suspicious in the form of the site
19 disturbed or if there are other features that would
20 suggest some disturbance in the area after a year. We
21 were perhaps a couple of hundred metres behind Sergeant
22 More when he started shouting and asking us to come on
23 up and we went up there and he was standing at an area
24 right at the head of the ravine there that did look --
25 give some indications of disturbance.
1 Q. Was that place consistent with the area that
2 you had marked with the circle on your map?
3 A. Very close to -- it is well within the
4 circle. It is actually very close to the little dot
5 inside the -- I think within about 20 or 30 metres.
6 Never measured it, but rather close to our point of
7 prediction, you might say.
8 Q. Did you have a camera with you at the time?
9 A. Yes, Sir, I did.
10 Q. Did you take a number of slides?
11 A. I took some slides.
12 Q. And do you have those slides with you in
13 court today?
14 A. Yes, Sir.
15 Q. And in order to explain your evidence, would
16 you like to refer to those slides?
17 A. Yes, Sir, I would.
18 Q. And if your Honours please, may we tender
19 these slides now and uplift them to have them copied so
20 that Dr. Snow can take his original slides back with
21 him? Your Honours, we will undertake to do that after
22 his evidence and provide the court with photographs of
23 the slides, if that pleases the court.
24 I tender the map that is now before you, the
25 map that you had had marked --
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 94.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Now, referring to the slides,
3 firstly, Dr. Snow, would you just briefly cast your eye
4 over this document I now show you and can you tell me
5 if it accurately depicts an index to the slides that
6 you are about to refer to in your evidence? (Handed).
7 A. Yes, Sir, it has -- it is a brief index of 28
8 slides showing the general subject of each slide.
9 Q. I tender the index, your Honour, of the
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 95.
12 MR. NIEMANN: And, Dr. Snow, during the course
13 of your testimony, when you are referring to a
14 particular slide, can you refer to the number, the
15 slide number, that is shown on the index that is now
16 exhibit 95, so that we can keep track of which
17 particular slide you are referring to in your
19 Your Honours, if it please the court, I will
20 tender the slides as one exhibit, reference to them
21 being through this index rather than individually
22 marking each slide, so, if that pleases the court, it
23 may be a more efficient and easier way to do it,
24 especially for the Registrar who would have to
25 otherwise mark each one individually.
1 Dr. Snow, having regard to the slides that you
2 took on the particular occasion and on a later
3 occasion, can you now proceed to describe what you saw
4 when you arrived at this site? You were at the point
5 in your evidence where you said that Sergeant More had
6 reached a point and was waving and indicating to you
7 that he had found something?
8 A. Yes, Sir. Are we going to show these slides,
10 Q. Yes, with the assistance of the usher,
11 perhaps they could be placed on the ELMO, and if we put
12 them on a particular spot on the ELMO that is marked,
13 we should be able to see them.
14 A. I will try to remember to refer to the slide
15 numbers, counsellor, but if I forget to do that, I am
16 sure I can count on you to remind me. This is slide
17 no. 1.
18 Q. Just waiting for it to come up. Having some
19 trouble with the ELMO today, it seems. Fine.
20 A. Now, I am not sure how it is showing up on
21 your video there, but on mine, this is a little out of
22 focus. Is there any way we can tighten up the focus?
23 Q. I think this is about as good as it is going
24 to get.
25 A. All right.
1 Q. This is slide number?
2 A. This is slide no. 1 and this shows Sergeant
3 More standing in the area that had attracted his
4 attention and what he is looking at there is an area
5 where there are a number of weeds in there that look
6 like they are only about one year's growth. They had
7 not been growing there a long time, as opposed to some
8 larger trees and saplings around the area. So he
9 waited for us and I will show slide no. 2 now. Can we
10 raise that slide just a bit? He is still standing
11 there, but we are a little different angle. You can
12 see a cleared area out here with some puddles of water
13 in it and it is obvious that that area has been subject
14 to some disturbance during the past few months or a
15 year or so.
16 Q. That is slide no. 2?
17 A. That is slide no. 2.
18 Q. And can you just perhaps explain to us why
19 this area was something that attracted your attention?
20 A. Well, because usually in mass graves, when
21 the soil is disturbed, it takes at least a few years
22 for normal vegetation to come back and cover the area,
23 so this is -- one of the hallmarks, the diagnostic
24 signs, of a mass grave is evidence of -- surface
25 evidence of disturbance from not only the earth itself,
1 but the surrounding vegetation.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. Now, as we walked into the area, Sergeant
4 More, who had some concern about mines, insisted on
5 going in first, followed by myself and Colonel Peeters
6 and the rest of our party. As we walked into the area,
7 one of the things that immediately caught my eye was
8 that on the surface here, here is a human skull
9 beginning to -- is partially exposed and I do not know
10 whether we have a fine enough pointer that I can point
11 this out on the slide or not, but it is right in the
12 centre of the slide, a little to the left there. You
13 can see the two eye sockets.
14 Q. Is this photograph taken in the condition
15 that you found it or had you removed some of the soil?
16 A. At that point, that was more or less in the
17 condition we found it. I did not do any cleaning. It
18 was more or less in that same position or same
19 condition. If I could show --
20 Q. That is slide no. 3, is it?
21 A. That is slide no. 3 and slide no. 4 is a
22 close up. Here, to get you oriented, you can see the
23 skull itself, the cranial vault, the brain portion of
24 the skull is up here in the upper centre of the slide.
25 Down towards your left, you can see a socket here, an
1 eye socket, and a nose and perhaps some of the jaw
2 bones, some teeth showing here. So the skull is facing
3 left and we are looking at its left side, more or less
4 in profile.
5 Even at that point, one of the things that
6 I was struck by was right in the centre of the slide
7 there, on the left side of the skull and just behind
8 the eye socket is a darkened defect there and that was
9 indeed a hole in the skull about, as I recall, 2
10 centimetres square and with a fracture or two radiating
11 out from its margins and going up into the substance of
12 the skull itself. Looking at it, just there in that
13 position, I could see some of the bevelling on the
14 surface, the margins of the hole, that is
15 characteristic of what we see when a bullet exits the
16 skull, so it had, to me, the characteristics of an exit
17 wound. In other words, back over behind here, we would
18 expect to find the entrance wound where the bullet
19 entered the skull and then passed out from the -- just
20 behind the eye socket over here on the left side of the
22 Q. We are looking at photograph no. 4 in exhibit
24 A. Yes, Sir.
25 Q. Now, what happened after you had seen -- made
1 this discovery? What did you do then?
2 A. Well, then I -- we walked back over the
3 immediate area of disturbed earth, about 15 metres from
4 the grave in a little ravine close to the grave itself,
5 or to this area. At that time, I was not willing to
6 definitely diagnose it as a grave, but we found another
7 skeleton and more or less on the surface of the
8 ground. The bones had been bleached white like they
9 had been exposed to the sun for a while, as bones will
10 do with sun exposure. Some of the bones had been
11 damaged by animal scavengers. The ends had been gnawed
12 off by perhaps feral wild dogs, or some sort of a
13 medium-sized animal or animals had attacked the bone
14 and there was a little bit of clothing.
15 At that point, we had seen evidence of two
16 individuals on or near the surface of that grave.
17 As we walked back, we also noticed that there
18 was some evidence of -- in the trees, on one side of
19 the grave, there were actually holes that looked like
20 bullet holes, some of them penetrating some of the
21 small saplings immediately behind the grave.
22 As we walked back through the area, I also
23 saw another sign of perhaps another individual just a
24 scapula or a shoulder blade lying on the ground, and so
25 this entire visit did not take more than 15 or 20
1 minutes. It was enough to convince me that this site
2 was worthy of further investigation and we were also
3 extremely concerned about the security of the site at
4 that point, because down in the ravine, as we had
5 walked up, there were a couple of vehicles there that
6 I recall, a tractor and a wagon, and there were some
7 men in the woods, apparently chopping wood.
8 We knew that if they observed our activities
9 out there, the word would spread very rapidly that
10 perhaps we had found this grave and so we left the
11 scene. We went back to Erdut and, as it turned out,
12 the area around Ovcara was in the jurisdiction of the
13 Russian battalion, which I believe with the Belgium
14 battalion had responsibility for that area of Sector
15 East. We arranged for Russian battalion troops to go
16 out and secure this scene.
17 Q. Just stopping you for a moment there,
18 Dr. Snow, the skeletal remains that you examined on the
19 site there on the first occasion, did you make any
20 determination, preliminary or otherwise, at the time as
21 to the sex and possible age of those?
22 A. Looking at that skull and looking at the --
23 that was on the surface there, I could pretty well tell
24 that it was a male, probably a young adult male, and
25 with evidence of a gunshot wound and roughly from the
1 little time I had looking at the skeleton that was
2 lying in the woods, I could also determine that it was
3 that of probably a young adult male, but I did not have
4 time to do a detailed examination at that point. The
5 scene security seemed a matter of priority then. So,
6 conferring back in Erdut, we explained that this was --
7 we would have to consider it a homicide site and so it
8 should be secured like any other crime scene and kept
9 under security until a proper investigation could be
11 Q. I just want to stop you again before we get
12 into that. You said that you looked at some trees
13 behind the grave site to see whether or not there would
14 be any bullet holes, and indeed you did discover some.
15 What made you look in that particular spot and what
16 caused you to look at that?
17 A. We happened to be in that particular area
18 because, as we had explored around the grave, that
19 skeleton, it was on the surface, attracted our
20 attention, so when we walked back in that area, we
21 looked at some of the trees and, sure enough, there was
22 what appeared to be bullet marks.
23 Q. Sorry, I interrupted you. You were saying
24 how you had made a determination at Erdut that this
25 should be secured. What was done about that?
1 A. The -- our first arrangement was that the
2 Russian troops or soldiers, it would take them three or
3 four hours to get organised and get out to the scene.
4 In the meantime, Sergeant More sent a couple of his
5 people over, as I recall, and they parked out there
6 until around I think it was -- the Russian -- there was
7 a little confusion there because the Russian troops had
8 trouble finding the scene and I do not believe that
9 they actually arrived out there until around 11 pm and
10 then they took over from Sergeant Moore's people and
11 there was one other difficulty. We went out again the
12 next morning to look around and the Russian troops had
13 left and they had -- there had been a
14 misunderstanding. They thought that this was only a
15 one night stand, if you will. They had left there
16 around 10 o'clock in the morning, so we had to go back
17 in again and explain that this was -- the security
18 would have to be maintained 24 hours a day from that
19 point until the investigation was completed, no matter
20 how long it took. So they were sent back out and they
21 set up a permanent station. They laid some concertina
22 wire around the grave site and it was put under full
24 Q. As far as you are aware, the Russians
25 maintained the site from then in 1992 right up until
1 the point where UNTAES took over the site; is that
3 A. Yes, Sir, that would be July of 1996, as
4 I recall, July or August, somewhere in there.
5 Q. Now, after this visit in October of 1992,
6 what did you then do?
7 A. Well, the Mazowiecki Commission, we returned
8 to Geneva and they issued their report, with part of
9 that small annex describing my findings at Ovcara.
10 Then about a month later, I went back with Mr. Eric
11 Stover, who that time was the Executive Director of
12 Physicians for Human Rights. They were working with
13 the Commission, and Dr. Becky Saunders, an archaeologist
14 that I had worked with before in Guatemala, and also
15 Dr. Morris Tidball-Binz from Argentina who at that time
16 was working with Amnesty International, and I had
17 worked with him a number of years in our
18 investigation -- a number of years before in our
19 investigations in Argentina.
20 I should point out Dr. Binz is no longer with
21 Amnesty International. He is down with the
22 Inter-American Court in Costa Rica at this point. But
23 we returned --
24 Q. This was about 17th December, was it?
25 I think you said a month later?
1 A. Roughly a month later. Actually, a little
2 later than that. I think our returned to Ovcara was on
3 December 17th and so we went back out to the site and
4 I have some more slides now, if we could continue the
5 slide presentation.
6 Q. Thank you. Perhaps the lights could be
7 dimmed. I think it makes it easier to see the slides.
8 Is this slide no. 5 in exhibit 95?
9 A. This is slide no. 5, counsel. This is an
10 aerial view of the site. Actually, this slide was
11 taken about a month or two months later when we made a
12 third visit to the site, which I will describe a little
13 later. But it shows the general area of the Vukovar
14 grave and over here on the left, toward the centre of
15 the slide is a vehicle and a small trailer house that
16 the Russian troops occupied. The weather in that area
17 being very severe, they needed some shelter.
18 You may be able to see over here toward the
19 right of the slide a large tree and then around the
20 periphery, I believe the concertina wire shows up, and
21 enclosed in that area is the area that we are
22 interested in, the open area there toward the bottom of
23 the slide, but just above the concertina wire is the
24 area that we were particularly interested in.
25 Q. Now, I think there is a date shown there on
1 the exhibit 95. It says 17/19th December. That is
2 wrong, is it? That date? See on the index?
3 A. Let us see what I did with the index. It
4 says 17th to 19th December.
5 Q. I think you said this slide was taken a bit
6 later; is that right?
7 A. This slide was taken in March.
8 Q. March of what year?
9 A. Of the same year, 1993.
10 Q. 1993?
11 A. Yes, and I showed the slide even though it is
12 not in chronological order here because it shows the
13 general topography and aerial view of the site.
14 Q. Now, continue on, if you will.
15 A. I will take this next slide, which should be
16 slide no. 6. This just shows the party that we brought
17 out for this preliminary -- we called it a
18 reconnaissance or exploration of the site -- in
19 December. Standing farthest to the left there, the
20 gentleman in the blue jacket is Dr. Morris
21 Tidball-Binz. The woman in the green jacket is
22 Dr. Becky Saunders and then I am standing there more or
23 less in profile, and right behind me is one of the
24 CIVPOL officers.
25 Q. The grave site, that is on the other side of
1 the wire?
2 A. The grave site is on the other side of the
3 wire at this point.
4 Q. This is photograph no. 6?
5 A. Yes, Sir.
6 Q. In exhibit 95. Thank you.
7 A. And this is just a shot taken from within the
8 grave area. You can see the -- looking more or less
9 north, the concertina wire and the vehicle used by the
10 Russian troops for their rotation, daily rotation, and
11 behind that is the Russian guard shack.
12 Q. That is photograph no. 7 on exhibit 95?
13 A. Yes, Sir. This is myself and over to the
14 left there -- myself over to the left there and
15 Dr. Becky Saunders in the centre of the picture, and we
16 are standing in the area of the grave, the open area of
17 disturbance, and you can see that there had been some
18 rain there and we had a large puddle of muddy water and
19 we had to make some -- a little drainage ditch to drain
20 that off so that we could work under drier conditions.
21 That took a while.
22 I should also add that, among other signs, in
23 addition to the visual disturbance that you see in this
24 site, there are also olfactory signs. There is an
25 odour of decomposition very commonly associated with
1 these places and that was certainly apparent there,
2 that something had been -- some sort of animals had
3 been buried in this grave.
4 From what we could see from the surface,
5 human skeletons -- the bodies that were buried there
6 would have to be human.
7 Q. This is photograph no. 8 in exhibit 95.
8 A. We walked through the area looking for any
9 signs of disturbance. Had anybody been out between the
10 time of -- had been there the previous October and now
11 a couple of months later, had there been any attempts
12 to disturb the grave? There were none. There were no
13 signs of disturbance, with one exception. I am looking
14 down there at this first skull that we saw, that is
15 more or less at my feet now.
16 Q. This is photograph no. 9 of exhibit 95?
17 A. Yes. It had been cleaned off and some of the
18 mud removed from around the surface of the skull and
19 perhaps the skull had been repositioned a little bit.
20 I was curious about that and I found out that a British
21 medical officer had heard about this find a couple of
22 days after we were there in October, and he took it on
23 himself to go out and make a brief examination of the
24 skull that was found. But aside from that, that was
25 the only evidence that we had that there had been any
1 attempts to tamper with the grave. In other words, the
2 Russian detachment apparently had done their work
3 pretty well.
4 Could I show the next one?
5 Q. Yes. We are looking at slide no. 10 in
6 exhibit 95.
7 A. Once we got the area drained out a little bit
8 so we could work, we started laying it out and gritting
9 it as we would any archaeological site, putting down
10 stakes and strings. Here is Dr. Tidball-Binz driving a
11 stake in there, and so that we would have the general
12 parameters of the grave grit so that it would enable us
13 to give better locational data in our subsequent
14 investigation and mapping and thing of that sort.
15 Q. Thank you. Slide no. 11 of exhibit 95?
16 A. Yes. This is the general area of the grave.
17 It is enclosed now by a string and rectangles. We
18 found our estimate was that at that time, from what we
19 could see, within this boundary, that the grave itself,
20 there were signs of soil disturbances and the grave
21 itself was around 10 metres long and about 7 metres
23 Q. Were you able to make any assessment as to
24 how it had been dug?
25 A. My impression was, and this was shared by
1 Dr. Saunders, the archaeologist, that most likely this
2 grave showed a sort of a regular rectangularity that
3 would make it consistent at least with having been
4 scooped out with a bulldozer or some kind of heavy
5 equipment. It did not show -- usually graves that are
6 say hand dug by shovels tend to be circular. Their
7 boundaries are less distinct, more irregular, so that
8 was our impression at the time, that this was done with
9 some machinery.
10 Q. Thank you. You are going on to the next
12 A. Once we had laid out that larger grid
13 enclosing the perimeter of the grave, our next stage
14 was to do -- open what we had referred to as an
15 exploratory trench.
16 Q. We are now looking at photograph no. 12 on
17 exhibit 95.
18 A. Thank you, counsel. So -- we did not have
19 the time or the manpower of course to do a full
20 exhumation, which we realised would take much more time
21 and many more people, but we did want to establish the
22 fact that this was indeed a mass grave with humans
23 inside and in addition to these two bodies or two
24 skeletons that we found on the surface.
25 So we laid out a 1 metre trench spanning the
1 breadth of the grave, the grave being around, as
2 I said, about 7 metres wide, so this cut across the
3 trench would be about the same width as the grave and
4 about a metre wide.
5 You can see the two strings outlining the
6 boundaries of this projected exploratory trench. We
7 also had some military people there from the Belgian
8 battalion and they were concerned about the possibility
9 of mines or booby-traps, so before we started doing any
10 digging, they went over the area as well as they could
11 with their mine-detectors to make sure that it was safe
12 enough to do some digging.
13 Q. Thank you. We are now looking at photograph
14 no. 13 of exhibit 95.
15 A. Yes, Sir. Once we had laid out the
16 boundaries of that trench, we began removing the top
17 layer of soil and that is fairly heavy work, but the
18 members of the Russian battalion, those boys had been
19 standing out there for a couple of months at that time
20 and they were getting pretty bored and so they very
21 enthusiastically helped us in removing the initial
22 topsoil. It was bitterly cold that day so I think they
23 kind of looked forward to a little physical activity
24 and this shows them beginning the exploration or
25 removal of the topsoil from the trench.
1 Once we got down around -- it varied from one
2 point to another in the trench, but roughly in the
3 range of around 10 to 20 centimetres down below the
4 surface -- we began to encounter human remains.
5 Q. We are now looking at photograph No. 14 of
6 exhibit 95.
7 A. We saw -- as I said before, we did not want
8 to remove these bodies at this point. We just wanted
9 to get a general impression of the number of bodies
10 that might be in this small area and that in fact they
11 were indeed human bodies.
12 So, as we worked along that trench, we began
13 to expose signs of human bodies. For example, this
14 individual you can see a sleeve. It is a right arm and
15 the hand is still somewhat flesh-covered and so he is
16 lying more or less across the trench.
17 Q. Just by looking at that, were you able to --
18 and from your experience -- make any assessment as to
19 how long that body may have been there?
20 A. At that point, my impression was that it
21 could be anywhere from a few months to perhaps a year
22 or, you know, 6 to 18 months or something in that
23 range. It was certainly the condition of the bodies
24 that we saw was consistent with the -- what we were
25 told about the incident at Ovcara, that these bodies --
1 these people had been placed in the mass grave on or
2 around November 20th, 1991.
3 Q. The next slide?
4 A. This shows further progress of the work along
5 the trench. In fact, it is almost at the end of the
6 exploratory trench or the exploration. In this stretch
7 of roughly 7 metres across, we encountered 9 bodies, 9
8 separate individuals, laying in one position or another
9 so that either their feet or their hands or sometimes
10 the whole body fell within that area that we had
11 limited by the trench.
12 Q. We are looking at photograph number 15 in
13 exhibit 95.
14 A. So that brought us up to, including the two
15 bodies that we found on the surface, we could say that
16 at least 11 people had been buried in this area and we
17 suspected many more. As I indicated before, we did not
18 remove the bodies. We just looked at what we saw as
19 each one surfaced along the stretch of the trench.
20 Then, when we were finished, we refilled the trench as
21 carefully as we could and laid plastic sheets down over
22 the exposed bodies so that they would be protected from
23 the earth that we were going to use to recover them.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, when you were out there, did
25 you draw a sketch of the scene, both showing the grave
1 site itself and then showing the trench that was dug?
2 A. Yes, Sir, we did. I will have to apologise
3 for the quality of the slide. In fact, besides that,
4 we have it upside down. This is a rough map or sketch
5 map showing the approximate boundaries of the grave.
6 Q. We are now looking at photograph number 16 of
7 exhibit 95.
8 A. The direction of the map: north would be
9 towards your left here. In other words, roughly this
10 trench is running not exactly, but more or less, north
11 and south. The trench is the horizontal band that you
12 see running across the grave area.
13 Q. Dr. Snow, I think we have a hard copy of this
14 slide and if you could put that on the ELMO and point
15 to it with your pointer and I hand it to the usher
16 here. Might that be marked and then given to Dr. Snow?
17 Because you cannot point out things on the slides
18 because they are too small on the ELMO, you may be able
19 to use this enlarged version of the same slide, which
20 might be given the next number in order.
21 THE REGISTRAR: It is 96.
22 MR. NIEMANN: If you would be so kind, I think
23 it is the next page is the one that --
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. If you can use the pointer now on the ELMO,
1 you can point to the various markings there on the
3 A. Right, here is the exploratory trench and,
4 indicated within it, these are body -- portions of body
5 that were exposed as we opened that trench. For
6 example, I believe this feature right here is the arm
7 we were looking at in the slide.
8 Q. We are now looking at exhibit 96.
9 A. Yes. The boundaries here are fracture lines
10 in the soil itself. When graves like this are made and
11 covered, as they begin to subside, you will find that
12 the earth itself fractures. You will see little cracks
13 in the earth that more or less run along the boundaries
14 of the grave and so these were the lines of those
15 fractures as we saw them on the surface.
16 Q. You are now pointing to the screen.
17 A. I am sorry. Right along here and along here,
18 this being our trench, (indicating), this being the
19 right arm that I showed in the slide.
20 Up here is the skeleton of the individual
21 whose skull I noted on that first visit and out here in
22 this area were the remains of the second individual's.
23 Out away from the grave space a little bit. To this
24 day, I am not sure how he managed -- this body got into
25 this area. It could have been that he was executed
1 later and just after the grave was made and left on the
2 side or died later or it could be that, as we have seen
3 in other cases, where people -- wounded -- actually
4 managed to get out of a grave like this and crawl off a
5 little way and then die or hopefully maybe even
6 escape. So this is the map. Any further questions
7 about the map?
8 Q. While we are at it, perhaps the other hard
9 copy, you might explain that to us while you are
10 there. If you could have the second page of exhibit
11 96, which is in fact the first page as it appears.
12 A. This is a larger view of the area. North is
13 roughly this way and west back toward the east. The
14 open area that we saw in here, these are the areas of
15 heavy vegetation and small trees, and it was this open
16 area here that excited our attention and which is shown
17 in more detail on this map. Here is the road more or
18 less parallel to this band of timber lining this ravine
19 here, and this area up here would be the head or the
20 top of the ravine. The area up here is cultivated
21 fields, so this is just an enlargement. It does show
22 where we found the first skeleton at this end of the
23 area of disturbed earth and then --
24 Q. That is marked as SSK1?
25 A. Yes, Sir, this is a little ravine that leads
1 away from the grave and fairly heavily wooded. This
2 area is where we found the remains of the second
4 Q. Marked SSK2?
5 A. Yes, Sir.
6 Q. Thank you. Continuing on with the slides
7 that you have.
8 A. I believe this will be slide --
9 Q. Number 17?
10 A. Yes, Sir, 17.
11 Q. 17 of exhibit 95.
12 A. I will apologise for the quality of this
13 slide. The lighting conditions out there that day were
14 not very good, but among other things we observed was:
15 out on the surface of the grave area itself and
16 particularly along its margins were signs of spent
17 cartridges, and this indeed shows one of those; this
18 arrow here is pointing toward it. It does not show up
19 too well on the slide, but we found a number of those
20 in the general area.
21 Q. Photograph 18?
22 A. We did not -- at that time, since this was an
23 exploratory effort -- want to collect any of the
24 evidence, but we did mark the points with these little
25 red flags here where we found spent cartridges.
1 Q. They are in the foreground, are they?
2 A. They are in the foreground here and close to
3 the boundary of the grave.
4 Q. We are looking at photograph 18 of exhibit
5 95. Dr. Snow, these cartridges, did you then or
6 subsequently make any assessment or determination as to
7 what ammunition they related to or what ammunition they
9 A. We were -- I am not a ballistics expert, but
10 they appeared to be all -- or at least the majority
11 that we found -- and this by the way is not all; we
12 were only able to flag the ones that were obviously on
13 the surface; later on, many more were found -- but that
14 they were fired from an AK47, the general calibre and
15 the type of ammunition used in that particular firearm.
16 Q. Thank you. The next photograph? Photograph
17 19 of exhibit 95?
18 A. Here are two of the UNPROFOR people from
19 BelBat, the same people that did the de-mining out
20 there with us and, as I indicated before, as you cross
21 and go to the far side of the area, down close to that
22 little ravine where we found the second skeleton, we
23 had noticed that there were a number of bullet marks in
24 trees and some of them -- for example, I believe in
25 this small sapling here, the bullet passed all the way
1 through the branch of the tree. He is putting a
2 pointer through the bullet hole and --
3 Q. That is the pointer immediately above the red
5 A. Yes, sir. And so several of those were
6 noted. Our general impression was that whoever was
7 firing the ammunition, that because the AK47 tends to
8 eject usually about 10 to 15 feet to the right of the
9 shooter, that most of those spent cartridge cases that
10 we found on the ground out there were more or less on
11 the corner of the grave that would be south and west,
12 close to the south-west corner of the grave, and that
13 that they were firing more or less diagonally. The
14 trajectory was predominantly more or less diagonal
15 across the grave surface itself, so they were standing
16 perhaps close to the north-west corner and firing
17 generally toward the south-east corner. That could be
18 made a little clearer if I could refer to the map
20 Q. Yes, if you would like to do that. Perhaps
21 you might go back to exhibit 96. It might be easier to
22 do that on exhibit 96 using the pointer. Just looking
23 at the second page of exhibit 96, the sketch shown of
24 the grave site there.
25 A. Here is generally north in this direction.
1 (Indicated). The concentration of cartridge cases were
2 over in this area, actually kind of off this particular
3 map, and the saplings that had been pierced by bullets
4 were over in this area, so it was our impression that
5 perhaps the shooters, since the cartridge cases would
6 be ejected to their right, that the shooters were down
7 in this corner and perhaps firing more or less
8 diagonally across the grave from here to up in this
10 Q. Thank you. Moving on to the next slide.
11 A. This would be slide number 20.
12 Q. Of exhibit 95.
13 A. Now, this is after we had done the --
14 completed our exploratory trench, I returned to the
15 skeleton no. 1 and examined it a little more carefully
16 than I did in that first very hasty visit a couple of
17 months before.
18 Here is the skull in the centre of your
19 screen there, and again right behind that black blob
20 that is the eye-hole, the left eye-hole, you see
21 another sort of square defect there in the left temple
22 area and some fracture lines radiating out from that.
23 Examining the skull in more detail, I felt
24 like we were dealing with a young male in his early
25 20s, not only from the skull, but the other bones of
1 the skeleton that we were able to examine. Indeed, it
2 will not show it on any of these slides, but over on
3 the right side of the skull, right up in about this
4 area is a very small circular entrance wound, so we
5 could tell that the bullet traversed from the right,
6 exiting over to the left.
7 Q. The next slide, no. 21 of exhibit 95?
8 A. Again, although we were under pretty
9 difficult field conditions, we took that skeleton that
10 was on the surface and cleaned it up and I took some
11 preliminary measurements. For example, here I am
12 measuring a femur or a thighbone, and from that we
13 could develop an estimate of this person's stature, his
14 height in life. That, with other observations made on
15 the other bones, I was able to come up with my
16 estimates of the person's age, his height. I think
17 I was able from the bones that we saw at that time, to
18 determine whether he was left or right-handed and
19 looked for other signs of trauma that might have been
20 inflicted at or about the time of his death.
21 Q. Next slide, slide no. 22 of exhibit 95?
22 A. Now, with that particular skeleton, we were
23 able to find some clothing and some items of personal
24 effects or jewellery. They do not show up too well
25 here, but the pointer, right below the card there, the
1 pointer is coming down to the more or less centre and
2 it is pointing to a small gold chain that we found that
3 had a small square -- sort of good luck medal it looks
4 to me like. It looked to me like a four-leaf clover
5 and then a rectangular medal with the inscription which
6 was translated for me as "God and Croatia".
7 Can I take the next slide which will be slide
8 number --
9 Q. 23, referred to in exhibit 95.
10 A. Here is a close-up of that and there is a
11 crucifix on your left. I said, I believe -- I said
12 that was a gold chain. It was not a gold chain. It
13 was some sort of silver metal chain.
14 In the centre there is this small square and
15 this was a gold ornament and over on your right is the
16 medallion that says in Croatian, "God and Croatia".
17 I was told at the time that this kind of a medallion
18 was very often worn by persons in the Croatian forces
19 during that period.
20 Q. The next one, photograph 24 referred to in
21 exhibit 95?
22 A. This is our skeleton no. 2 and it shows some
23 of the bones lying in association with the clothing.
24 You can see the bones are not complete. There is a
25 humerus or an upper arm bone lying diagonally across
1 the centre there, but the ends have been gnawed away by
2 animals. Down in the lower left is a rib. The bones
3 have been scattered and disturbed, but the clothing was
4 still there and -- may I show the next slide?
5 Q. Slide 25 referred to in exhibit 95.
6 A. And again, looking at the skeleton as best we
7 could under field conditions, for example, I am holding
8 up the bones of the pelvis here, the two hip bones, and
9 from their general shape and configuration, I could
10 again determine that this individual was a male, and,
11 from the configuration of the joint between those two
12 hip bones where they meet in front of the body, the
13 age. There are some age indicators there that told me
14 again that we were dealing with a young male in his
16 Q. Next slide in exhibit 95, slide number 26.
17 A. With this second skeleton, it says "Surface
18 Skeleton 2" there, we found a garment that appeared to
19 be like a jersey, a little heavier than a T-shirt, like
20 a sweatshirt, and it had this inscription on it, the
21 word "Canadian", and I no longer recall the wording of
22 the line under it. But we thought that was significant
23 because we had been told that during the siege of
24 Vukovar a shipment of clothes had been sent from Canada
25 and that it had been -- a lot of it consisted of
1 clothing that -- like T-shirts or sweatshirts and
2 things of that sort -- that would naturally have some
3 sort of a Canadian connection. We were told that many
4 of the items of clothing were passed out to the
5 hospital patients, so, as tenuous as it was, it did
6 suggest that this person had received that clothing in
7 the clothing donated by whatever Canadian relief
8 organisation it was.
9 Also, in one of the pockets of another
10 garment --
11 Q. We are looking at photo 27 of exhibit 95?
12 A. We are looking at a small religious medal
13 here -- Roman Catholic religious medal -- that was
14 found in the clothing of skeleton number 2.
15 Q. Finally, photograph number 28 referred to in
16 exhibit 95.
17 A. Number 28. After we finished our work there,
18 we left the scene as close to how we found it as
19 possible. As I indicated before, we recovered the
20 trench, and also before we left we took skeleton no. 1
21 and no. 2 and put them in separate plastic bags and we
22 buried them at the end of this trench and marked the
23 note -- noted their exact location of burial. I was
24 concerned if it was several months or several years
25 before a proper exhumation or full exhumation could be
1 launched, that these bones would become scattered or
2 picked up or disturbed, so we thought it was better to
3 go ahead and bag them up, put them back in our -- put
4 them in this trench so that they could be found later
5 and would be in a good state of preservation.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, after the break, your
7 Honour, I will ask Dr. Snow to assemble the slides in
8 the condition and order in which they are shown in
9 exhibit 95 before I tender them. Does your Honour wish
10 to take the break now?
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We stand in recess for
12 20 minutes.
13 (10.55 am)
14 (A short adjournment)
15 (11.15 am)
16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I tender the
17 slides, all as one exhibit if I may. As I indicated
18 earlier, I would seek to uplift them and have them
19 copied. Perhaps they could be given the next exhibit
20 number in order.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The slides will be exhibit
22 no. 95.
23 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. After you had been
24 at this site in December of 1992, Dr. Snow, did you then
25 subsequently return to the site for a short period in
1 March of 1993?
2 A. Yes, sir, I did.
3 Q. And who did you return with on that occasion?
4 A. This was after the investigation had become
5 moved under the auspices of -- I believe they call it
6 the Commission of Experts -- we made a further visit to
7 the site, a very brief one, in the company of Commander
8 Fenrick from the Canadian -- I am not sure what they
9 call it -- in Canada we call it the judge advocate's
10 office in the military in the US. And one of his
11 colleagues, also a military lawyer from Canada, a Major
12 or Captain Carter and Eric Stover, again, the Executive
13 Director of Physicians for Human Rights and some other
14 people who I really could not recall their names at
15 this point, but we were the principals of that
16 particular group.
17 Q. What had you in mind on that occasion when
18 you had gone back to the site in March of 1993?
19 A. We had intended to just make a brief walk
20 through from the site to familiarise Commander Fenrick
21 and Major Carter -- I believe he was a major -- with
22 the general layout of the area and it was going to
23 be -- it was planned as a very brief visit so that they
24 could become familiar with the physical aspects of the
25 site, the scene.
1 Q. Thank you. And then did you go back to the
2 site on yet another occasion?
3 A. My last visit to the site was in 1996 when
4 the principal excavation began, but in October of 1993,
5 I was -- we put together a team which -- at that time
6 we intended to do the full exhumation, but before we
7 could really deploy and begin the work, they were
8 forced to undeploy, and -- after they had been out
9 there for the first day or so -- and I had not joined
10 the party at that time.
11 Q. This was the Commission of Experts, Commander
12 Fenrick and company?
13 A. Yes, sir, and a team of a number of
14 scientists that we had recruited from PHR.
15 Q. You did not --
16 A. Physicians for Human Rights, I am sorry.
17 Q. Although you did not attend there at the time
18 yourself, you were in the vicinity or nearby, were you?
19 A. I was over at a place called Pakracka Poljan
20 which is in Croatia and I am not sure of the exact
21 distance from the Ovcara site, but it was out of Sector
23 Q. Did you hear why Commander Fenrick and his
24 team did not carry out the exhumation?
25 A. At that time our team or the work was
1 interrupted they received a threat of violence by some
2 of the local people in the Vukovar area, some of the
3 people on the City Council. I am not sure which
4 political body it was. They felt like -- the UN people
5 that were providing us with security at the time
6 thought that on the basis of whatever threat they
7 received, they would not be able to guarantee the
8 security of scientists and the integrity of the work
9 that would proceed, so we pulled up stakes and moved
10 back to the area of Pakracka Poljan. The intended work
11 at Vukovar or at Ovcara was blocked.
12 Q. At some stage, did you get involved in the
13 establishment of an ante mortem database?
14 A. Yes, that was much later in 1996, the autumn
15 -- late summer and autumn of 1996 -- when we finally
16 were able to deploy a full team of scientists and begin
17 to initiate the exhumation of the remains at Ovcara,
18 and this was under the direction of the Tribunal and
19 again, cooperating with the Physicians for Human
21 As the bones of the bodies were removed, they
22 were taken to Zagreb where we had set up a morgue for
23 their detailed examination by pathologists and
24 anthropologists and other specialists in this area and
25 the project -- the portion of the project that
1 I undertook was to set up a database that we could use
2 to help in the identification of the victims.
3 Now, actually, the roots of that database go
4 back to the very first visits during the Mazowiecki
5 Commission, where, after briefly talking to
6 Dr. Kostovic, I met some of his personnel and staff
7 involved in the project of repatriation and
8 identification of remains from the Serbo-Croatian
9 conflict and I helped them set up the skeleton of
10 the -- the skeletal plan of the database. At that
11 time, they had a little more than lists of names and
12 perhaps birth dates of people who had disappeared and
13 had not been accounted for in the Vukovar area at the
14 time, and these names had come from several sources.
15 One -- a Croatian Red Cross had a list.
16 Amnesty International had a second list. I believe the
17 International Commission, the Red Cross, had a third
18 list. Many of the names were duplicates, so we started
19 by reading those out and we finally came up with a list
20 of roughly, as I recall, around 330 people who at that
21 time in 1992 had not been accounted for.
22 Later, working again on the subsequent
23 visits, each time I would go back to -- each time
24 I returned, I spent some time with the people working
25 on this database and I helped them get started on
1 collecting the kind of information that we would need
2 to establish these identifications, stating not only
3 the name of the person, their age, but from interviews
4 with relatives, family members, from medical or dental
5 records, trying to get a physical description of these
6 people in terms of their stature, other features we
7 could determine with a fair degree of reliability from
8 the skeleton, for example, whether they are
9 right-handed or left-handed, do they have any history
10 of old injuries such as fractures or operations that
11 would show up or other medical conditions that might
12 show up on the skeleton. Anything in addition that we
13 could collect on their dental status, whether they had
14 -- another area of interest in setting up the database
15 -- with the kinds of injuries, particularly the
16 hospital patients, the kinds of injuries they had
17 suffered in the siege of Vukovar, because these we felt
18 would show up as wounds that would be apparent on the
19 body when the pathologists were doing the examination,
20 or perhaps X-rays as we examined the bodies.
21 So as complete a physical description of the
22 person that we could find. At the same time, we were
23 working on other aspects of the database. For example,
24 that number I recall as being about 330 people that we
25 started out with in 1992, that was being progressively
1 whittled down as more and more people were accounted
2 for as perhaps living -- still alive and living
3 elsewhere. During all of the confusion, their
4 relatives had lost track of them and reported them
5 missing. Also, some were found that indeed were dead,
6 but had been killed and buried elsewhere, so we could
7 cut down on the number of possible decedents.
8 So with that database, we set it up with a
9 search engine that we could, if the pathologists,
10 working over in the morgue, gave us a description of a
11 person, let us say, an unusual injury or a prosthetic
12 device, something that would be a possible feature of
13 identification, we could run through our database and
14 have a printout of the people who would fall within
15 that category, perhaps half a dozen names.
16 Then we could take the records and the ante
17 mortem records that had derived from the relatives
18 families, medical records and so forth, over to the
19 morgue and do a more detailed examination perhaps to
20 pinpoint the person this most closely resembled,
21 thereby making what we were classifying as a tentative
22 identification. In other words, we could say with a
23 fair degree of confidence -- based on experience,
24 I would say with about 95 per cent probability or
25 better -- that, based on this physical description,
1 these remains belonged to that person. Our purpose in
2 making the tentative identifications was that it would
3 facilitate the later process of making positive
4 identification through dental records or X-rays or,
5 primarily, DNA.
6 Q. Dr. Snow, the process of positive
7 identification is a very much slower process, I take
9 A. Yes, sir, it is slower and also requires a
10 considerable amount of expertise in that particular
11 area and so those -- some of those identifications have
12 been made.
13 Q. The process of tentative identification, how
14 deep -- what percentage of certainty approximately
15 would that run into?
16 A. As I said, about 95 per cent. Judging from
17 what I could see on the body compared with what the
18 relatives had described, I could say with about 95 per
19 cent probability or better -- 99 per cent probability
20 in a few cases, I would think -- I could say that this
21 was indeed body number such and such, was indeed person
22 number so and so. Before I left Zagreb on November
23 5th, I believe, 1996, they had been able to identify --
24 make 51 of these tentative identifications.
25 Q. When you say the identification process, it
1 is by comparing the details in the ante mortem database
2 with the skeletal remains and then from that process,
3 making the tentative identification?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. And you are aware, of course, that there was
6 a complete exhumation of the grave by the Office of the
8 A. Yes, and that at the end of that, the total
9 number of bodies were -- 200 bodies were recovered from
10 the grave.
11 Q. The results of the complete exhumation by the
12 Office of the Prosecutor, were they consistent with
13 your initial predictions and information that you had
14 when you first commenced the process?
15 A. Well, indeed it confirmed that this was
16 indeed a mass grave. Based on a considerable amount of
17 evidence in the way of bandaged wounds, for example,
18 hospital clothing, it did confirm that at least the
19 majority of these victims had been hospitalised at or
20 around the time of their death, and most of the --
21 there was clear-cut evidence -- and I am really
22 addressing evidence that should be addressed by the
23 pathologists -- but there was clear-cut evidence of
24 gunshot wounds to the majority of the victims, often
25 multiple gunshot wounds.
1 Of the roughly 51 or exactly 51 tentative
2 identifications I was able to make, they were all
3 indeed people who had been missing from -- listed as
4 missing from the Vukovar hospital, who had not been
5 seen alive from, I believe, November 20th, 1991.
6 Q. Your Honours, I think I have attended to
7 tendering everything that has been shown to Dr. Snow.
8 Subject to that not being the case, I have no further
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Fila?
12 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
13 Q. Your Honours, I will have only a few very
14 brief questions for this witness. My first question is
15 the following: why did not the exhumation start right
16 away after the first visit at the end of 1992?
17 A. For one reason, it takes a great deal of time
18 and planning to undertake an exhumation of this
19 magnitude. In our case, we had to recruit scientists
20 from a number of disciplines, not only anthropology,
21 but archaeology, pathology, crime scene specialists and
22 other disciplines, and these kind of personnel are not
23 the kind that are listed in the yellow pages of your
24 phone book. You have to reach out all over the world.
25 In fact, in that team that we fielded in 1993, we had
1 about 15 people and it included colleagues of mine from
2 Argentina, Guatemala, Chile and the United States, so
3 it takes time to plan these things and to implement
5 Q. Thank you. You said that while contacting
6 your colleagues, you mentioned that you contacted your
7 colleagues, your experts in Zagreb. Did you try to
8 contact or invite other specialists, some specialists
9 from Belgrade, from Yugoslavia, maybe experts from the
10 JNA and was any of them present there? Here I can
11 mention the name of Dr. Stankovic perhaps?
12 A. Yes, sir. We, in our examination, made it
13 very clear to both parties of the conflict, the Serbian
14 and Croatian parties, that this investigation would be
15 conducted by scientists independent of both of them.
16 But at the same time, we to some extent, we had to work
17 with the Croatian -- the people that were collecting
18 the ante mortem database, because they were the ones
19 that were in contact with the families and helping us
20 put that database together. But we did not permit them
21 to be involved in either the exhumation at the site or
22 the examination of the bodies in the morgue. We did
23 have observers. We told both parties that they could
24 be welcomed both to the scene, the site, and to the
25 morgue in Zagreb and they would be welcome as
1 observers. They could ask questions and we would try
2 our best to answer them, but they could not participate
3 in the investigation.
4 Now, in the morgue in Belgrade, we had a very
5 fine elderly gentleman, about my age, and I do not
6 recall his name at the moment, but he is a well known
7 and well thought of pathologist with a reputation well
8 beyond the country. He is well known in Europe and
9 elsewhere. He is Serbian and he was delegated as the
10 Serbian observer. He did -- he made regular visits to
11 the morgue each day and monitored the progress of the
12 work and we tried our best to answer any questions that
13 he had.
14 Q. May I know his name? The name of this
16 A. I am trying to recall his name, sir, but it
17 just does not come to me.
18 Q. Okay. No problem.
19 Did you request assistance from Yugoslav
20 authorities, from maybe JNA authorities, to secure the
21 site throughout that period?
22 A. Well, I did not myself. That was not my
23 function in this and you would have to ask other people
24 involved in the administrative planning of the
25 exhumation as to what degree of cooperation they asked
1 from the Yugoslavian parties.
2 Q. And my last question: I assume that you have
3 seen the complete documentation regarding these 200
4 bodies, 200 people that ended up at Ovcara. Did you
5 find that some of them were wearing plasters on healthy
6 legs or arms? That it was just a disguise, that they
7 did not have actual wounds or fractures, if you can
8 remember that?
9 A. No, most of my time during this phase of the
10 investigation, I stayed in the data centre myself
11 working with the database and I would make periodic
12 visits to the morgue. To answer that question, you
13 would have to talk to the pathologists that made the
14 examinations and they may recall cases of that sort
15 that I am not aware of. I am sorry, sir, but I just
16 cannot answer the question because I do not know the
18 MR. FILA: Thank you very much. That
19 concludes my cross-examination.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Niemann?
21 MR. NIEMANN: I have no other questions,
22 except exhibit 96 has been tendered, so if it has not,
23 I tender it. That is all now.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: I understand there is no
25 objection to the witness being released.
1 Dr. Snow, thank you so much for coming here to
2 give evidence. You may now be released.
3 WITNESS: Thank you, sir, for listening to
5 (The witness was released)
6 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, our next
7 witness is William Fenrick. I called for him a few
8 moments ago, so he should be outside now.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Commander
10 Fenrick, may I ask you to make the solemn declaration,
12 COMMANDER WILLIAM FENRICK (affirmed)
13 Examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
14 Q. Mr. Fenrick, where are you currently employed?
15 A. I am currently employed by the Office of the
16 Prosecutor in this Tribunal.
17 Q. And is this your first position with the
18 United Nations?
19 A. It is my second position with the United
20 Nations. At an earlier point in time, I was employed
21 on a part-time basis as a member of a Commission of
22 Experts looking into alleged war crimes in the Former
24 Q. And what were your particular
25 responsibilities with the Commission of Experts?
1 A. As a member of the Commission of Experts,
2 I was specifically also tasked to be the rapporteur on
3 legal issues and rapporteur for on-site investigations.
4 Q. In this capacity, did you have some role in
5 the planned exhumation of the grave site at Ovcara near
7 A. I did indeed. I was not involved in the --
8 rather, I was involved to a modest degree in the
9 original decision to conduct the excavation, but I was
10 certainly very actively involved at all points
11 subsequent to that.
12 Q. And are you aware of why this particular
13 location was selected for exhumation?
14 A. It was believed to be the site where a number
15 of Croatian victims from the Vukovar hospital had been
17 Q. And in carrying out this role, were you aware
18 of efforts which had been made prior to the Commission
19 of Experts to exhume the grave?
20 A. My understanding was that the Physicians for
21 Human Rights had made a number of earlier visits to the
22 grave. As to whether or not they had done much more
23 than a preliminary site survey, I am not sure. I do
24 not believe that they had in fact intended to conduct a
25 complete excavation by themselves.
1 Q. In relation to that issue, have you had an
2 opportunity to review correspondence which was sent by
3 the Regional Council of Slovonia, Baranja and Western
4 Srem to Larry Moore, a police official in Vukovar?
5 A. Yes, I have.
6 Q. At this time, I would like to show the
7 witness a document which I will mark as Prosecutor's
8 exhibit 97. Mr. Fenrick, do you recognise this
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Can you briefly tell us what this document
12 relates to?
13 A. It is a document which is related to the
14 alleged mass grave and a desire on the part of Dr. Snow
15 and other persons from Physicians for Human Rights to
16 conduct an investigation of the site.
17 Q. And who is this letter signed by?
18 A. This letter is signed by Larry Moore, who, to
19 my recollection, was a --
20 Q. Sorry, can you look on the second page and
21 see who it is signed by?
22 A. Yes, it is signed by Milan B Ilic, President
23 of the Regional Council.
24 Q. Are you aware of the position that the
25 Regional Council of Slovenia, Baranja and Western Srem
1 has taken in relation to this proposed exhumation?
2 A. It is my understanding that this Municipal
3 Council or this Regional Council, rather, was opposed
4 to the excavation.
5 Q. Is that reflected in this letter?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. After this initial attempt to conduct an
8 exhumation by Dr. Snow was blocked in 1992, did the
9 Commission of Experts enter into serious efforts to
10 exhume the grave?
11 A. It entered into extremely serious efforts.
12 I made repeated visits to the area itself and also to
13 other parts of the so-called Republic of Serbian
15 Q. Can you relate to the court what transpired
16 during the course of 1993 as you oversaw attempts to
17 exhume the grave?
18 A. I will -- if I may, I would like to refer to
19 a chronology of events which was made under my
20 supervision at the time when the incidents occurred.
21 Q. If that is acceptable to your Honours?
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
23 A. The first attempt that we made was to in fact
24 conduct a reconnaissance mission to the Vukovar area in
25 March of 1993. The purpose of that mission was to try
1 and determine whether or not an excavation might be
2 practicable, what kind of resources would be needed,
3 what the response of local authorities would be.
4 In March of 1993, I went to the Vukovar area
5 and specifically to the Ovcara site. I was accompanied
6 by a Dr. Snow, among others, some people from Physicians
7 for Human Rights and a small Canadian military team
8 made up of military lawyers and military police.
9 During that particular reconnaissance visit, we were
10 for a short period of time detained by local
11 authorities for taking pictures of the route between
12 Vukovar and Ovcara. We met with various local
13 authorities and particularly with a Colonel Milanovic,
14 who described himself as the Deputy Minister of Defence
15 of the so-called -- he did not use the express
16 "so-called" -- Republic of Serbian Krajina, and at
17 that time we were informed that in order to conduct the
18 excavation, we would have to get the approval of
19 authorities in Knin. We also of course determined that
20 it was necessary to have some fairly substantial
21 resources to conduct the mass grave excavation. The
22 Commission of Experts was essentially made up of a
23 number of law professors and myself and this was not
24 exactly a type of work which we had been used to in the
1 It took some time for us both to accumulate
2 the resources to conduct a proper excavation and there
3 were also repeated meetings with a number of local
4 authorities in order to endeavour to obtain approval
5 for conducting the excavation. At various points in
6 time, I visited Belgrade where I met the then Foreign
7 Minister of the RSK. He promised that he would support
8 our efforts to conduct an excavation. At the end of
9 April and in May, I went to Knin and met with, among
10 others, the President of the RSK, Mr. Bjegovic, and he
11 gave us an oral promise that we would be able to
12 conduct the excavation.
13 At a later point in time, we had an exchange
14 of correspondence between the Commission and the
15 administration of the RSK. We were given permission to
16 proceed at the beginning of September. I went to Knin
17 once again and was once again given permission to
18 proceed. Mr. Bjegovic signed letters giving us official
19 authorisation to conduct the excavation. We gradually
20 accumulated the resources that we needed in order to
21 conduct an excavation. We had those resources in
22 Zagreb as of roughly the middle of October of 1993. At
23 that point in time, I once again went to Knin. We
24 discussed several other related issues or issues
25 related to the excavation, as to how we should go
1 ahead, who should participate, whether or not there
2 should be observers, for example, and once again we got
3 written authorisation to conduct the excavation at
5 During the week commencing 17th October 1993,
6 we deployed the various people involved in the
7 excavation to Ovcara, or to the Ovcara area to be more
8 precise. As soon as we arrived in the area, however,
9 we were promptly told that in fact we did not have
10 permission to conduct the excavation. We were
11 compelled to remain at our base camp for a couple of
12 days. We did a little bit of preliminary surface site
13 survey work at the Ovcara site, but then we met once
14 again with Mr. Milanovic, the Deputy Minister of
15 Defence, and we were informed that in fact there had
16 been a decree signed which prohibited us from
17 conducting the excavation for the duration of the
19 There were some extended discussions at this
20 period of time, but it became quite apparent that it
21 was impracticable for us to conduct the excavation
22 because of a security threat. There was no question
23 that, regardless of the extent of UNPROFOR's control
24 over other sectors that were occupied in Croatia, in
25 Sector East, the Croatian Serbs were in fact by far the
1 most powerful entity there, and I think the UNPROFOR
2 people were somewhat more reserved about assisting us
3 in that particular area as opposed to the kind of
4 assistance we received in other areas.
5 As a result of the opposition of the Croatian
6 Serbs, we gradually over a period of a couple of weeks,
7 deployed the resources that we had sent to the Vukovar
8 and Ovcara area to Sector East where we conducted some
9 additional --
10 Q. Sorry, was that Sector East?
11 A. Sorry, it was Sector West I should have said,
12 the Pakracka Poljan area where we conducted another
13 mass grave excavation. We did have, after the middle
14 of October, subsequent negotiations with various
15 Croatian Serb authorities. Later in the month of
16 October, the then Chairman of the Commission, Professor
17 Bacuni, and I went to Knin where we were assured --
18 where we were told, rather, that the problem was that
19 the "government had agreed to us conducting the
20 excavation, but it had been overruled by some Supreme
21 Council of National Defence".
22 At various points in time, we had the
23 impression that there were sort of entities created for
24 the occasion, that no matter what might be approved by
25 the people in Knin, there would always be some either
1 local or "supreme entity" which would override the
2 government's decision. From our point of view, perhaps
3 the most cynical demonstration of lack of cooperation
4 came some time shortly after October when, if
5 I remember correctly, during the year -- during 1993,
6 the last time when it was practicable to conduct an
7 excavation for that year was roughly about the 10th
8 November, and the reason for that was that was roughly
9 the time of year when the snow began to fall.
10 On 16th November, I went back to the Vukovar
11 area, specially to Erdut, where I met with Mr. Hadzic,
12 who at that time was the President of the RSK, with
13 Mr. Niksic, who was the Vice-Chairman of the Regional
14 Council, and with Colonel Milanovic, who was the Deputy
15 Minister of Defence of the RSK. At this time, although
16 in our earlier meetings in the Vukovar area, the strong
17 man was clearly Colonel Milanovic, at this time, during
18 this particular 16th November meeting, President Hadzic
19 was clearly the strong figure.
20 He was very, very supportive of our work. He
21 essentially issued a statement indicating that the RSK
22 authorities agreed to cooperate and give their approval
23 for us conducting the excavation, and they did.
24 However, bear in mind that of course we had now reached
25 the snow season, so the excavation would be allowed to
1 be carried on in the following year, beginning March or
2 April. President Hadzic was extremely cooperative.
3 The only problem was, as all who were there were well
4 aware, the RSK had scheduled elections for December of
5 1993 and President Hadzic was not running for
7 So the promise was purely a paper promise
8 since President Hadzic did not run for re-election.
9 His statement that we would be allowed to proceed at
10 the beginning of the next year or at the beginning of
11 the digging season in the next year in March or April
12 was of no value whatsoever. In fact, we did not go
13 back and dig during 1994 or throughout the length of
14 the Commission of Experts' existence and it expired in
15 June of 1994.
16 Q. Mr. Fenrick, you mentioned that at this
17 meeting with Goran Hadzic that Chancellor Niksic was
18 also present. I would like to show you a document,
19 which I will mark as Prosecutor's exhibit 98. I
20 request you identify this document, please. (Handed).
21 A. Yes, I remember this document very well.
22 Q. And can you indicate to the court what is set
23 forth in this document?
24 A. Essentially, this document indicates that the
25 National Parliament of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
1 refuses to authorise the Commission of Experts to
2 conduct an excavation at the Ovcara site until a
3 political solution is found to the conflict.
4 Q. At this time, I would tender this exhibit.
5 Exhibit 98.
6 Mr. Fenrick, at the conclusion of your work
7 with the Commission of Experts, did you participate in
8 the compilation of a final report?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. And in connection with that, did you draft a
11 portion which related to the attempts to exhume the
12 mass grave at Ovcara?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. I would show the witness an exhibit I will
15 mark now as Prosecutor's exhibit 99. (Handed).
16 I would ask if you could identify this item.
17 A. Yes, this is a portion of the final report
18 which I drafted.
19 Q. And what does this portion relate to?
20 A. This portion relates to the investigation of
21 grave sites at Ovcara near Vukovar.
22 Q. And which paragraphs by numbers are included
23 in this relevant portion?
24 A. Paragraphs 265 through 276 inclusive.
25 Q. At this time, I would tender this as
1 Prosecutor's exhibit 99.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection, Mr. Fila?
3 MR. FILA: No.
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: When the mandate of the
5 Commission of Experts concluded, did you subsequently
6 enter employment with the Office of the Prosecutor of
7 the ICTY?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. When was that?
10 A. 2nd August 1994.
11 Q. In this position, did you participate in
12 discussions relative to the Tribunal undertaking the
13 exhumation of the Ovcara grave?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. And as such, did you become aware of a letter
16 which was sent by Deputy Prosecutor Graham Blewitt to
17 Juros Fundak, an official in the government in the
18 so-called Republic of Krajina?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. At this time, I would like to show a document
21 to Mr. Fenrick, which will be marked as Prosecutor's
22 exhibit 100. Can you identify this document?
24 A. Yes, I can. It is a document sent by Graham
25 Blewitt, the Deputy Prosecutor, to Mr. Juros Fundak of
1 the Serbian Krajina administration in Knin.
2 Q. What is requested in this letter?
3 A. There is a request that certain members of
4 the Prosecutor's staff be allowed to visit Knin to
5 discuss exhumation of the bodies allegedly buried at
7 Q. Are you aware of a letter which was sent by
8 Mr. Fundak in response to Mr. Blewitt's request?
9 A. Yes, I am.
10 Q. I would like to show you now a document which
11 we will mark as Prosecutor's exhibit 101. (Handed).
12 Can you identify this item?
13 A. Yes, this is a reply from Mr. Juros Fundak to
14 the Prosecutor's Office.
15 Q. What does this letter indicate in response to
16 Mr. Blewitt's request?
17 A. It adopts an extremely negative approach and
18 essentially ignores the issue and merely suggests that
19 communications with the so-called Republic of Serbia
20 Krajina should be conducted in a more official fashion.
21 Q. At this time, I would tender these last two
22 documents as exhibits 100 and 101.
23 Mr. Fenrick, are you aware if the Serbian
24 authorities in the Vukovar region ever acquiesced in
25 allowing the exhumation to go forward?
1 A. To the best of my knowledge, they did not
2 acquiesce at any point in time when they controlled the
4 Q. To your knowledge, was the grave ever
6 A. Yes, the grave was exhumed.
7 Q. Do you know how this was accomplished without
8 the cooperation of the Serbian authorities?
9 A. It was only accomplished at a subsequent
10 point in time when the effective power in the area was
11 in fact exercised by UNTAES, the UN transitional
12 administrative -- administration for Eastern Slovonia.
13 Q. At this time, I have no further questions.
14 I do not believe I have tendered exhibit 97, so if
15 I failed to do that, I will do that now. Sorry,
16 I believe it has been tendered. I have no further
17 questions, your Honour.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
19 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
20 Q. Mr. Fenrick, I just have one question. You
21 spoke of your contacts. In response to the questions
22 of the Prosecutor, you spoke about your contacts with
23 the local Serb authorities?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Who do you mean by that? Who are the local
1 Serb authorities? The authorities of the Republic of
2 Serbia Krajina self-styled or not self-styled or the
3 municipal authorities. The President of the
4 Municipality, for example?
5 A. The main person at any meeting that
6 I attended other than the one in late November of 1993
7 was always Colonel Milanovic who was an authority for
8 the so-called republic.
9 Q. Srpska Krajina?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you have any kind of contact? Do you know
12 who was the President of the Municipality of Vukovar
13 throughout this period during which you were talking to
14 these people?
15 A. No, I do not.
16 Q. Do you have any contact with someone from the
17 Municipality of Vukovar?
18 A. Not directly to my knowledge. There were
19 always --
20 Q. I am asking a direct question.
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I would
22 object. Mr. Fenrick should be allowed to answer the
23 question in full, I believe.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, can you rephrase?
25 MR. FILA: I did not understand, sorry. I am
1 sorry, I did not understand the question; that is why
2 I asked. The question was: did you talk at a lower
3 level than that of the Republic of Srpska Krajina?
4 Did you talk to the President of the Municipality or
5 someone like that at municipal level?
6 A. There were always additional people at the
7 meetings, but the -- effective head of any meeting that
8 I attended was always Colonel Molanovic. That is the
9 meetings in the Erdut or Vukovar area, except for the
10 meeting of the 16th which was headed by Mr. Hadzic.
11 MR. FILA: Thank you very much. That will be
13 Re-examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
14 Q. At the time that you were detained by the
15 police in Vukovar, did you meet a delegation which was
16 represented to you as being from the local
18 A. Yes, but to be honest, I could not identify
19 and cannot recollect the names of any of the people.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
22 MR. FILA: I do not really have a question,
23 but just a small clarification. When was this?
24 A. This was in March of 1993.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: No further questions?
1 I assume there is no objection to Commander Fenrick
2 being excused?
3 Commander Fenrick, thank you so much for
4 coming here to give evidence. You may now be excused.
5 (The witness was released)
6 JUDGE CASSESE: So we do not have any further
7 witnesses for today?
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct your
9 Honour. At this time, we were prepared to show a
10 videotape which gives an overview of the Ovcara
11 exhumation. It is an approximately 30 minute videotape
12 and, assuming that all of our admissions are agreed to
13 with the Defence, that would conclude all of our
14 evidence in relation to the exhumation. If however
15 there is no agreement, then we would be required to put
16 on additional witnesses, but assuming that that can be
17 reached, this will be our final piece of evidence in
18 that regard. I believe the video is ready to proceed
19 at this time.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: You may proceed.
21 MR. FILA: The Defence said that they are not
22 disputing any of this, so why manipulate with it?
23 (A video was played to the court).
24 MR. NIEMANN: We have no further evidence for
25 today, your Honour. The next witness will be available
1 to be called on Thursday morning, so we have no
2 evidence for tomorrow.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: What is the estimated length
4 of his examination-in-chief?
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I believe it
6 will be relatively lengthy. It is possible that it may
7 go as long as three hours and perhaps even more than
9 JUDGE CASSESE: That means we better start at
10 8.30 on Thursday. Yes, Mr. Fila?
11 MR. FILA: I assume that you are talking
12 about the witness whose name has been listed in the
13 order, for whom you have requested a closed session?
14 I am not going to mention his name, of course.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is correct, but it will
16 be an open session in this case.
17 MR. FILA: An open session? Okay.
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: Yes.
19 MR. FILA: I would like to draw the attention
20 of the court to something. I have received a statement
21 of this person, the witness, and there is nothing in
22 that statement about Dokmanovic, Vukovar or the year of
23 1991, November 1991. Therefore, it has nothing to do
24 with this case and what I have read in the statement
25 pertained to Bosnia-Herzegovina, so I would like that
1 an additional statement be taken from that witness so
2 that I would be notified of the contents of his
4 MR. WILLIAMSON: I am sorry to interrupt, but
5 perhaps the discussion of this matter, we might move
6 into closed session, because I think there are some
7 issues that pertain to other cases, which we must
8 address in a closed session. I apologise for
9 interrupting Mr. Fila, but I think in order to safeguard
10 the witness that would be the preferable course.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Are you suggesting that we
12 should do so right away?
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: That is fine, your Honour.
14 MR. FILA: If I may assist you, your
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I am sorry, but
17 it is private session rather than closed session.
18 Maybe that is easier.
19 MR. FILA: Your Honour, may I assist you? It
20 will not be necessary to lose any additional time. It
21 would simply be very valuable if a statement could be
22 taken from that gentleman. Otherwise I am opposed to
23 the calling of this witness because I have no idea on
24 what he is going to testify.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: I think, Mr. Fila, I see your
1 point, but the Prosecutor has just suggested that we
2 discuss a few issues in a closed session.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: I believe the correct title
4 for it would be a private session, under these
6 JUDGE CASSESE: It takes only one or two
7 minutes to move on to a private session.
8 (Private session)
13 Pages 1595 to 1606 redacted - in private session
19 (The hearing adjourned at 1.10 pm until 8.30 am
20 on Thursday, 19th March 1998)