1 Wednesday, 10 April 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
6 courtroom. Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic. Thank you.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May we have the appearances, please,
10 starting with the Prosecution.
11 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours.
12 Douglas Stringer, Alex Demirdjian, Thomas Laugel, and Marija Bukovac for
13 the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Mr. Zivanovic for the Defence.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the the Defence
16 of Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. The witness may be brought in.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, while the witness is being brought
19 in I've been informed that in relation to these faxes that we had in one
20 bundle yesterday, they have been split into 14 or 15 separate entries, so
21 they're at 65 ter 87.2 to 65 ter 87.15. So they have been divided.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. So now we should give them exhibit
23 numbers? Can we do that now or do we do that later, Mr. Registrar?
24 Later. Okay. So the parties will be noticed about the exhibit numbers.
25 Thank you.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 WITNESS: VESNA BOSANAC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Dr. Bosanac. I remind you that
5 you're still under oath. Thank you.
6 Mr. Gosnell, please proceed.
7 MR. GOSNELL: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Thank
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell: [Continued]
10 Q. Good morning, Dr. Bosanac.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. We finished yesterday discussing the removal of civilians from
13 the hospital that was being directed by Major Sljivancanin. After that
14 occasion, is my understanding correct that the next time you saw
15 Mr. Sljivancanin was at around 7.00 p.m. on the 19th of November in your
16 office with Nicolas Borsinger?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And am I right in saying that on that occasion he asked for the
19 lists of the patients that you had in the hospital to be handed over to
20 him? Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And am I right that he insisted on taking all the copies that you
23 had in your possession of the lists of patients in the hospital?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You had wanted to keep a list yourself, but he refused that
1 request, didn't he?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And then sometime after this meeting ended, did a JNA officer
4 come and say that he was going to take you to Negoslavci?
5 A. Yes. He didn't tell me exactly where he was taking me. He just
6 said he got instructions to take me to a meeting.
7 Q. About what time was that?
8 A. I think around 9.00. I'm not sure.
9 Q. And then am I right that he escorted you from your office to his
10 car and drove you to Negoslavci?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And yesterday we were discussing that he at least at some point
13 was accompanied by a bearded soldier. On that occasion when he drove you
14 to Negoslavci, this JNA officer, was he accompanied by a soldier with a
15 long beard?
16 A. No. I said when I was going to Negoslavci the first time around
17 1.00 p.m. before meeting Mile Mrksic there, the bearded soldier was in
18 that car. He was not accompanying Mr. Sljivancanin.
19 Q. Thank you. So when you were driven in this car to Negoslavci on
20 the evening of the 19th, were you alone with this -- this JNA officer?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And as I understand it, you returned the next morning at around
23 6.00 a.m. from Negoslavci back to the hospital, and were you accompanied
24 on that occasion by the same JNA officer?
25 A. There was the driver, and Marin Vidic was already in the car when
1 I was brought there. I can't remember exactly, but that officer was not
2 there. There was only the driver who took us back to the hospital, not
3 Marin Vidic.
4 Q. Now, yesterday I asked you a question about the relationship
5 between the paramilitaries and the JNA when you first saw them at the
6 bridge, and you quite rightly asked me for a clarification, are you
7 talking only about the bridge or are you talking more generally. So now
8 I want to expand the question to more generally. Is it true from what
9 you observed on the 19th and 20th of November that in your view the
10 paramilitaries were under the control and protection of the JNA?
11 A. The way I saw it, yes.
12 Q. And did that include the White Eagles?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what makes you say that?
15 A. Based on the fact that on the afternoon of the 19th the
16 White Eagles, as they were called, wanted to get into the hospital, and
17 the military police did not let them.
18 Q. Was that the only reason why you came to that conclusion -- or
19 you come to that conclusion?
20 A. Also because when I was going to Negoslavci the first time, I saw
21 that bearded member of the paramilitaries. He stopped the car to get a
22 lift in whatever direction we were going. However, when he realised we
23 were from the hospital, he asked us, "Are you Ustashas?" That young man
24 who was with me, Voloder, explained that we were not Ustashas, and I saw
25 repulsion and fury on his face. That at least was my impression because
1 we were in the JNA vehicle. He stopped the car and got out. He did
2 not display his fury openly towards us because he was in the JNA vehicle.
3 He asked to get out. That's how I concluded that this man who was full
4 of hatred and anger had some sort of respect for the JNA vehicle which
5 was under the control of the JNA.
6 Q. And do you also come to the conclusion that the paramilitaries
7 were under the control and the protection of the JNA because on various
8 occasions you saw paramilitary soldiers together with JNA soldiers?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And because you saw them being transported in JNA vehicles?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And because you saw them acquiescing to instructions by JNA
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, on the morning of the 20th of November, 1991, you say that
16 there was a meeting, a staff meeting, that Major Sljivancanin instructed
17 you to convene in the hospital. Do you remember about what time that was
18 that the meeting convened?
19 A. At 7.30.
20 Q. And you've testified that on that occasion Sljivancanin said that
21 as of that day the hospital would be under the competence of the VMA, and
22 you describe that as the Military Medical Academy. Is that an organ of
23 the JNA, the Military Medical Academy?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And were there officers from the VMA already present at that
1 meeting at 7.30 on the morning of the 20th of November?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. About how many were there as far as you can recall?
4 A. Five, I think. Four or five. I can't remember exactly any more.
5 Q. And at any point did they take the floor and say anything during
6 this meeting?
7 A. No. No, they were silent.
8 Q. Did you stay to the end of the meeting or did Major Sljivancanin
9 tell you to leave at some point before the end of the meeting?
10 A. He said that the times when I managed the hospital are over, that
11 I can go back to my office, and escorted by JNA officers I returned to my
12 office. Then after, perhaps, ten minutes another soldier came and said
13 he was taking me and Marin Vidic to a meeting, and then around 8.15 we
14 left the hospital.
15 Q. And you were taken where?
16 A. To the JNA barracks in Vukovar.
17 Q. And am I right that you stayed there in the JNA barracks in
18 Vukovar until that night?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, madam, I want to now go back to the period before the fall
21 of Vukovar and to address a question to you about the period during the
22 siege of Vukovar.
23 MR. GOSNELL: And if we could please have 65 ter 04469, which is
24 Defence tab 17. And this is transcript page 423 of the document. And
25 it's in English only since it's a transcript, an ICTY transcript.
1 Q. Now, madam, I'm sorry, but we don't have a B/C/S version, so what
2 I'm going to do is very slowly and carefully read what you said during
3 your testimony in the Dokmanovic case, and I know this was a very long
4 time ago, but I want to see whether or not this is still your view. And
5 you were asked the following question:
6 "Did you see who had civilian authority --"
7 And before I continue reading, Dr. Bosanac, I should just inform
8 you that this question and answer, there appears to be a little bit of a
9 misunderstanding between you and the questioner. So please wait until
10 you -- I get to the very end of the passage before I ask you to respond
11 to my question.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I apologise for interrupting, Your Honours, but
13 why is this transcript being put to the witness? Is this for impeachment
14 purposes or does counsel wish to lead something new? Are we moving to a
15 new topic?
16 MR. GOSNELL: I'm leading because I'm allowed to lead,
17 Mr. President, and I'm using the transcript to lead the witness.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: He's allowed to lead for his questions. There
19 is no need to put a document before -- I mean, again, documents used on
20 the screen can be used for impeaching or refreshing the witness's memory.
21 I believe that the procedure should be to put the question first. Once
22 he has an answer, he can then lead furthermore, but I think that he has
23 to lay a foundation.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, that is not true. I do not -- I am
25 permitted to lead using whatever material I wish, and I've done this
1 before on other cases, and there was never any objection from the
2 Prosecution, and it was permitted by the Chambers.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Overruled. Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
5 MR. GOSNELL:
6 Q. So, madam, here is the passage, and here was your testimony:
7 "Q. Did you see who had civilian authority under control in
8 Vukovar, that is while you were there?
9 "A. The representative, the highest representative of the
10 civilian authorities was Maric, and who was responsible for Vukovar
11 municipality. What was happening behind the front lines held by the JNA
12 I do not know.
13 "Q. So you were talking about Marin Vidic who was representative
14 of the Croatian authorities?
15 "A. Yes. He was the representative of the Croatian authorities
16 in Vukovar.
17 "Q. Did you meet any representative of any Serbian authorities?
18 Was there any Serbian authority then?
19 "A. No, I did not. I am not aware that there was any."
20 Now, is it correct, Dr. Bosanac, that at the time, August,
21 September, October, and up until the fall of Vukovar on the 19th of
22 November, that you were not aware whether there was any Serbian civilian
23 authority on the other side of the JNA lines as you put it in your answer
25 A. You're asking me if I knew if there were some other authorities.
1 No, I did not.
2 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Counsel. I apologise for intervening
3 on this. Just to state the Prosecution's view is that what just happened
4 actually should happen in reverse. He said:
5 "Dr. Bosanac, at the time --" yeah, "is it correct you were not
6 aware whether there was any Serbian civilian authority."
7 It's our understanding that using prior statements of a witness
8 should be linked to either refreshing recollection or impeaching so that
9 in fact isn't what should be happening, shouldn't that last question have
10 been put first, and then if the witness says, "Yes, that's my
11 recollection," then that's the evidence. If the witness says, "Well, I
12 can't remember" or "I don't remember ever saying that," then in
13 accordance with guideline 18 of the Trial Chamber's pre-trial guidelines
14 on refreshing recollection, the prior statement could be shown to the
15 witness and then you say, "Well, Witness, does this refresh your
16 recollection on this point" or "does this refresh your recollection about
17 having had said this before," or if the witness says something that's
18 completely contrary, then of course the transcript could used for
19 impeachment, to say, "Well, in fact, what you're saying now is
20 inconsistent with what you said before," but what's just occurred is the
21 opposite. That is, the transcript is led. It's like showing a
22 photograph to the witness, or we've had situations where a document or a
23 photograph has been put on the screen before the witness has had a chance
24 to comment, and it tends to then colour the testimony that follows. And
25 it's our submission, again I apologise for intervening, that that's
1 what's happened here. The transcript is shown. It's read into the
2 record. It's not clear whether that's going to be a part of the record
3 in this case, what's being read to the witness before she responds, when
4 in fact the question should come. And then if the transcript is needed,
5 then the appropriate time for impeachment or refreshing is then to follow
6 up on the witness's response, but to put the question first rather than
7 use the question to just confirm something that's been read into the
8 record from a prior statement.
9 JUDGE HALL: If I may, I confess that I have a slightly different
10 problem with the -- in that the -- without going to what Mr. Stringer has
11 just said, the portion of the transcript was put, and I heard a question,
12 and it struck me that I trust the witness was able to understand the -- I
13 simply -- unless I'm missing something, I simply didn't get the question
14 in the context of what was put.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Now, Mr. Stringer, we hear what you're saying.
16 What do you suggest, or is this meant to be an objection or a
17 reconsideration motion or --
18 MR. STRINGER: Well, I hate to use the word "reconsideration."
19 And, Your Honour, we recognise the Chamber has already ruled on this
20 point. I guess if I could offer this as an observation of what the
21 Prosecution views as the appropriate procedure and will continue to
22 object when it's our position that transcripts are being used in a way
23 that's not consistent with the Chamber's guidelines.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
25 MR. GOSNELL:
1 Q. Is it also true that specifically on the 19th and the 20th of
2 November, 1991, that you did not see any indication of the presence of
3 civilian authorities in Vukovar? And by "civilian authorities," I mean
4 any civilian authorities that might have existed on the Serb side.
5 A. On the 19th and the 20th November, I was in contact with
6 Marin Vidic who was the government commissioner for Vukovar municipality.
7 Q. Madam --
8 A. That for me was the only civilian authority in Vukovar.
9 Q. And is it true that in terms of your contacts on the 19th and the
10 20th, you only had contact with JNA officials on the Serb side; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, madam, I'd like to ask you a few questions about your time
14 at Sremska Mitrovica, if I may. And I understand that you were
15 questioned in Sremska Mitrovica by someone who you described as Colonel
16 or Captain Branko; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Could we please have 65 ter 03028, Defence tab 46.
19 Q. Is the man pictured in this photograph Colonel or Captain Branko
20 as you knew him?
21 A. I don't think so. I'm not familiar with this photo. As a matter
22 of fact, I don't know.
23 Q. Did you ever come to know Captain or Colonel Branko by any other
25 A. No, I did not.
1 Q. Did you feel while you were being questioned by Colonel Branko
2 that you were under a certain amount of duress as to how he wished your
3 statement to be prepared or the content of your statement?
4 A. Yes. He instructed me how to draft that statement.
5 Q. And can you tell us, if possible, or if you know, from the way in
6 which he was instructing you how to prepare the statement what his agenda
7 or interest was as to how the statement should appear, the content of the
9 A. I realise that he wanted me to prepare a statement to the effect
10 of what was going on in Vukovar during the aggression against the
11 hospital and its siege. This is the way I understood the instructions.
12 In that statement, I wanted to describe and repeat everything I had
13 already included in my appeals, how many shells had fallen, what had
14 happened, but he told me not to do it in the way I wanted to do it. He
15 wanted me to include only the facts on which he questioned me, and then
16 he told me that the time would come for me to describe things in my own
17 words at the end of the statement.
18 Q. And specifically in respect of the events of the 19th and 20th of
19 November, did you sense that he was trying to have you present events in
20 a particular way?
21 A. I remember that he asked me about the number of wounded, what
22 kinds of wounds they had sustained, and that's what I put in my
23 statement. I don't know exactly what you're asking me.
24 Q. Well, let me -- let me make it clear then. Did you sense that
25 there were some individuals or groups whose actions he did not want to be
1 presented in your statement in terms of the events of the 19th and 20th
2 of November?
3 A. At that time I did not have that impression. I didn't know what
4 was going on. All I know is that he wanted me to write where the dead
5 were buried, and I had to draw a sketch of the graves where the dead were
6 buried. I suggested that we should go to Vukovar there and then and that
7 I should show him the places where we had buried our dead who were killed
8 by shells. I remember that he told me that Vukovar was not a safe area
9 and that we could not go there. I remember that.
10 Q. The reason I ask this question, Dr. Bosanac, is because I've
11 looked at your -- the statement that you've prepared while you were at
12 Sremska Mitrovica prison, and there's no mention of Major Sljivancanin
13 directing the removal of civilians from the hospital on the afternoon of
14 the 19th of November, which you've described here.
15 Now, was that because Colonel Branko wanted you to omit that
17 A. I believe that the reason is the fact that I did not finish my
18 statement. If you look at the statement, you will see the dates. That
19 was on a Sunday when I had still not completed my statement. I was
20 writing it in the prison when an officer who was superior to
21 Captain Branko arrived. He told me to collect my things because I was
22 going to be exchanged.
23 Q. So are you saying you didn't get the impression that he was
24 trying to minimise the role of the JNA in these events on the 19th of
25 November at the hospital?
1 A. I can't say. I can't say whether he was trying to minimise
2 anything. I only remember that he wanted me to write the facts, which I
3 did. I did not finish my statement. I was interrupted. I was taken to
4 the military prison in Belgrade, and two days later I was exchanged
5 during an exchange of prisoners of war.
6 Q. Dr. Bosanac, I'd like to go back now to the period before the
7 outbreak of hostilities in Vukovar and the breakdown of ethnic harmony in
8 Vukovar. Were you yourself a member of the HDZ?
9 A. Not at the time.
10 Q. And were members of your family members of the HDZ?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you know that the primary political goal of the HDZ was the
13 independence of Croatia from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or as it
14 was then known, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you yourself a supporter of independence of Croatia?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you ever become concerned about any rhetoric that was being
19 used by members of the HDZ towards Serbs?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You never felt that there was any inflammatory or provocative,
22 threatening rhetoric used in respect of the Serbian minority in Croatia?
23 A. No, but I heard very disturbing rhetoric on the part of the
24 Serbian Democratic Party led by Jovan Raskovic in Croatia. That's what I
25 heard, and I was pretty shaken by that.
1 Q. Were you ever concerned about violence, acts of violence, against
2 Serbs in Vukovar prior to the siege of Vukovar?
3 A. I don't know of any such violent acts or behaviour, but I know
4 what happened in Dalj and in Borovo Selo when Croatian policemen were
5 killed as well as Croatian journalists. I know that, and those things
6 happened before the siege.
7 Q. You never heard that Serbian restaurants were bombed in Vukovar?
8 A. No. I heard that a restaurant in Vukovar burnt down, but not
9 because it had been bombed. That I didn't hear.
10 Q. Was that a Serbian restaurant?
11 A. At that time the restaurants there were not recognised as being
12 either Serbian or Croatian. The restaurant had patrons of both Serbian
13 and Croatian ethnicities.
14 Q. Was there a kiosk of a Serbian perceived newspaper, if I can
15 describe it like that, that was either bombed or destroyed by fire as far
16 as you can recall?
17 A. No. There were no Serbian kiosks. At that time and today, all
18 the kiosks sell all sorts of newspapers, both Serbian and Croatian.
19 Q. Do you remember when Tomislav Mercep arrived in Vukovar?
20 A. Tomislav Mercep was a resident of Vukovar. I knew him before the
22 Q. Do you remember when he was appointed to an official position?
23 A. I remember that was in late June. That's when he became the
24 Secretary of National Defence.
25 Q. And was it understood that he was someone who promoted ethnic
1 harmony in Vukovar?
2 A. Tomislav Mercep was a member of the HDZ, and as I have already
3 told you, as I have put it in my statement, in 1991 local multi-party
4 elections took place in Vukovar. Six or seven parties ran in the
5 elections. I don't remember how many exactly. I know that a coalition
6 government was set up at the local level and that the president of the
7 municipality of Vukovar, which was a local parliament, was
8 Slavko Dokmanovic. He was --
9 Q. Dr. Bosanac --
10 A. -- a member of the Reformist Party.
11 Q. Dr. Bosanac, can I please bring you back to the question, and the
12 question was whether Tomislav Mercep was someone who promoted ethnic
13 harmony in Vukovar.
14 A. This is exactly what I was coming to. He was a member of the
15 party which was legally elected and which was one of the coalition
16 partners in the local authorities of Vukovar.
17 Q. Did you ever become aware that Marin Vidic wrote an open letter
18 about Tomislav Mercep to President Tudjman on the 18th of August, 1991?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And you never heard that he had written a letter in which he
21 says -- which apparently received some publicity, in which he said that
22 Tomislav Mercep was not hesitating to use violent and repressive measures
23 against the citizens of Vukovar municipality?
24 A. No, I didn't hear that. I don't see a reason for me to comment
25 upon things that somebody else wrote or published about the situation
1 that I'm here to testify about.
2 Q. What I -- what I'm trying to ask you is whether you yourself were
3 aware, observed, any of those violent and repressive measures that were
4 allegedly being carried out by Tomislav Mercep according to Marin Vidic.
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now during your testimony, you were shown the letter of 18th of
7 July, 1991, in which Minister Hebrang removes Rade Popovic as the head of
8 the Vukovar medical centre, and if I understood correctly, he was removed
9 because he was in an unauthorised manner extending or granting leave to
10 Serbs who were not coming to work. Is that a fair characterisation of
11 the reasons expressed in the letter?
12 A. Not only Serbs. That applied to everybody who failed to present
13 for work.
14 Q. That's a fair point, but isn't it true that the vast majority of
15 the individuals who were unable and who did not come to work were those
16 who were caught -- who were Serbs who were caught on the other side of
17 the barricades and were not able to enter Vukovar?
18 A. During that period of time from the 2nd of May up until the 7th
19 of -- 17th of July, one could go to Vukovar. People could come to work,
20 and everybody came to work. Many Serbs and many Croats did come, and
21 many didn't. Those who failed to present for work were dismissed, and
22 those who kept on coming to work stayed in the hospital until the very
23 end, both Croats and Serbs.
24 Q. Now, during the siege of Vukovar, you had various dealings with
25 the Defence staff of Vukovar; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And a Crisis Staff was formed at Vukovar Hospital; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Why was it considered necessary to create something called a
5 Crisis Staff at the Vukovar Hospital?
6 A. Because the hospital was under threat. It faced a crisis. There
7 were not enough medicines. We were short-staffed. It was constantly
8 shelled. It was a target. That's why we set up a Crisis Staff. Its
9 members were hospital employees, my assistants.
10 Q. Did you consider it necessary to liaise or coordinate with the
11 defence staff of Vukovar?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And why was that?
14 A. Because Vukovar was besieged. We could not evacuate the wounded.
15 We could not receive medicines or medical supplies or even food.
16 Q. And in your dealings with the defence staff during the
17 bombardment of Vukovar, the destruction of the city that was ongoing, was
18 there ever any discussion about surrendering to the Serb forces August,
19 September, October, November?
20 A. I didn't hear that. I was not in communication with the defence
21 staff within that context. When I went there, I would go to hand in our
22 request for assistance for medical supplies and medicines. As for any
23 military strategy, I never discussed those things with them. They did
24 not discuss those things were me.
25 Q. Was there any discussion amongst civilians or fighters or
1 soldiers or people who you came in contact with that considering the
2 extent of the damage and the numbers of individuals being killed it might
3 be prudent to surrender?
4 A. They did not discuss that with me. What we did discuss was the
5 help that we all hoped for. Just like we expected aid with medicines and
6 medical supplies in the hospital, they expected help in manpower and
7 weapons. On one occasion I spoke with Marin Vidic a day before the
8 evacuation of the hospital, and he told me that he wanted to get in touch
9 with Goran Hadzic.
10 Q. On the 18th of -- or I believe it was the 19th of October there
11 was a convoy organised by Medecins sans Frontieres evacuating patients
12 from the Vukovar Hospital; is that right?
13 A. That convoy should have arrived on the 11th of October, but it
14 did not reach any further than the barracks.
15 Q. Doctor --
16 A. They took all of the medicines and medical supplies from the
17 lorries, and it was only on a second attempt on the 19th of October that
18 the convoy did arrive at the hospital.
19 Q. And did you hear that there was a problem in terms of the safe
20 conduct of that passage to its final destination?
21 A. They were supposed to arrive from the direction of Marinci,
22 Bogdanovci, and Luzac. That was to be their route. And I heard that on
23 the way back they hit an antitank mine and two nurses were injured on
24 that occasion.
25 Q. Did that occur because they were forced off of the route they
1 were supposed to take?
2 A. I don't know. I really don't.
3 Q. Now, you talked in your testimony about Stipo Pole the chief of
4 police in Vukovar. Do you know when and how he left Vukovar?
5 A. According to what I know, he left Vukovar on either the 17th or
6 the 18th. I'm not sure. I saw him on the 17th. He was at the defence
7 staff together with Marin Vidic.
8 Q. Does the name Tomo Jakovljevic mean anything to you?
9 A. Tomo Jakovljevic was a paramedic in the Vukovar medical centre
10 before the war. He worked in the plaster room.
11 Q. What happened to him?
12 A. He was injured by a shell. He had a leg injury. And he was
13 hospitalised as a patient in how -- in our hospital. And his leg was
14 amputated. Like many other patients who had been treated and healed to a
15 certain extent, he was transferred to other civilian shelters or to
16 Borovo Komerc which was our reserve hospital with doctors and nurses.
17 And all those whose health had improved to a certain extent ended up
18 there. Tomo Jakovljevic was also sent there. Later I heard that he had
19 actually been killed, but I don't know under what circumstances that
21 Q. You never heard that he may have been murdered by Marko Mandic?
22 A. No. I believe that Marko Mandic was his colleague and friend.
23 While he was still hospitalised, Marko Mandic visited him frequently and
24 helped him.
25 Q. Who was Savo Damjanovic?
1 A. Savo Damjanovic was a medical technician, a paramedic, at the
2 psychiatry ward. I remember his name. When I was first appointed the
3 director of the medical centre in the month of July, I heard from
4 Dr. Popovic that some people had taken him away from the hospital for
5 interrogation. I called the police chief Stipe Pole to ask him whether
6 he knew anything about that. He told me that he didn't know anything,
7 and then I wrote an official request to the police asking them to
8 investigate who had taken him away, whether it was possible to find that
9 out, because I heard that some uniformed people had taken him away from
10 his workplace in the hospital. This is all I know. I don't know
11 anything else. I believe that the procedure is still underway, that the
12 investigation is still underway, because many nurses went to the court to
13 provide their affidavits. That's what I heard.
14 Q. Was someone named Branko Kovacevic a doctor at the medical centre
15 before the war?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D331, please. That's Defence tab
19 Q. Is that bearded man in the centre of the photograph in the white
20 suit, is that Branko Kovacevic?
21 A. I did not know him as such. I remember him as an intern who
22 worked before the war at the medical centre Vukovar, but at that time he
23 didn't have a beard. But he was young. This man here is closer to
24 middle age.
25 Q. Didn't Mr. Kovacevic -- Dr. Kovacevic continue to work at the
1 hospital until the middle of 1991?
2 A. He was an intern. I can't remember exactly where he worked, but
3 when I became director of the medical centre, he was no longer working
4 there. Perhaps he was among those who were not coming to work.
5 Q. So you can't recognise that -- that gentleman with the bothered
6 as being the man whom you knew at the Vukovar Medical Centre?
7 MR. GOSNELL: Perhaps we could zoom in a little bit, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only say again I remember
9 Branko Kovacevic the way he looked before 1991. I remember him and his
10 fiancee, Olivera, who was also a doctor. I remember them, but I can't
11 recognise him in this picture. Maybe it was taken much later. I can't
13 MR. GOSNELL:
14 Q. And did Dr. Kovacevic write poetry, as far as you can recall?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D333, Defence tab 43, please.
17 Q. Have you ever seen this as a cover of a book?
18 A. No. No.
19 MR. GOSNELL: Could we -- could we go to the next page, please.
20 One moment, please.
21 Could we have 1D334, please, which is Defence tab 44.
22 Q. Have you ever seen this as the cover of a book, Dr. Bosanac?
23 A. No.
24 MR. GOSNELL: All right. We can remove that.
25 Q. Dr. Bosanac, do you remember when you first met Mr. Hadzic?
1 A. You mean Goran Hadzic?
2 Q. [Overlapping speakers].
3 A. Because there was one Dr. Hadzic, and I thought after asking
4 about Dr. Kovacevic you were asking now about Dr. Hadzic. Goran Hadzic I
5 met --
6 Q. That's a fair point, yes. I meant to ask you when did you first
7 meet Goran Hadzic.
8 A. I met Goran Hadzic before the war as a patient's parent, because
9 I was working in the paediatric ward treating his daughter.
10 Q. And over the years, how many times would you say that you treated
11 his children?
12 A. I can't remember exactly more. I only remember they came to see
13 me for check-ups. I remember that.
14 Q. And would it accord with your recollection that he started to
15 bring his children to you sometime around the middle of the 1980s and
16 brought his children continuously to you up until May of 1991 for
18 A. Yes. In fact, I don't remember exactly that whole period, but I
19 remember they came to me for a check-up on the 2nd of May at the time of
20 those events in Borovo Selo. I was seeing patients, and his wife and
21 daughter were in my office at the outpatient clinic when I heard the
22 news, and they said they had to leave immediately because something was
23 going on in Borovo Selo. I remember that.
24 Q. Do you -- were you the only paediatrician at the Vukovar Hospital
25 in the mid 1980s and the late 1980s and the early 1990s?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And were there --
3 A. There were --
4 Q. Let me just follow up with a question. Were there other
5 paediatricians who were Serb?
6 A. There were other paediatricians, but I repeat to you as I said to
7 the Court before, it didn't matter at all which patients and which
8 doctors were Serb or not.
9 Q. And that obviously was Mr. Hadzic's opinion as well, because he
10 entrusted his children to your care; right?
11 A. I've said before that it didn't matter at all, not then, not
12 during the war, and not now. Patients were always treated as patients,
13 not as members of an ethnic group. We didn't even ask about ethnicity.
14 Q. Dr. Bosanac, I am sure you're aware that you have been the object
15 of a number of inflammatory and I'm sure wholly unfounded allegations
16 that you engaged in criminal conduct during the siege of Vukovar. Now,
17 just to be clear to you, I'm not in any way suggesting that these
18 allegations have foundation. I'm just asking you, do you know that those
19 allegations exist?
20 A. Well, I've heard about it, of course. I've heard about it, and
21 it was a problem for me, especially several years ago when I was supposed
22 to make a statement to Serbian investigators regarding those allegations
23 dating back to 1991. So of course I'm aware of it. However, they are
24 unfounded accusations by people who said that Dr. Njavro and I did not
25 treat all patients equally.
1 Q. And do you think that the -- these allegations may have anything
2 to do with the fact that you are a well-known figure on the Croat side
3 upon whom you are an available target for false accusations?
4 A. I don't know. I never analysed that. I don't know. I don't
5 know who benefitted from make false statements about that situation.
6 Q. Do you know that at the end of 1992 or early 1993 Goran Hadzic
7 appeared on a call-in programme in Belgrade on television, and one of the
8 callers made allegations against you, and that Goran Hadzic publicly
9 stated that he was sure that you had not committed these crimes? Are you
10 aware that he did that?
11 A. No.
12 MR. GOSNELL: No further questions, Mr. President.
13 Dr. Bosanac, thank you very much for your answers.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, before I begin, may I ask whether
17 there is at this stage any decision in relation to further examination on
18 the issue of the notebooks?
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Two notebooks you want to add to your 65 ter list
20 and ask Dr. Bosanac about the authenticity, whether she can --
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: There were three of them, and we wished to
22 ask --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Three of them.
24 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: And if memory serves, the Defence objects.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That's right.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, is that right?
3 MR. GOSNELL: Yes. We e-mailed our response last night around
4 6.00, I think.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you remind me the basis of your objection?
6 MR. GOSNELL: The material is voluminous, it has not yet been
7 fully translated, it has not been shown that there was due diligence in
8 trying to obtain the material earlier, the underlying documentation in
9 terms of a claimed RFA that was sent to the Serbian authorities has not
10 been provided, no indication of an RFA to the Croatian authorities, and
11 even assuming due diligence and good cause, given the extent of the
12 material there's simply no way that we can deal with it in any way even
13 if we limit the issue to authentication. We are simply not in a position
14 to do that given the timing and the volume and the lack of translation.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, at this stage the motion is about
17 adding these documents to the 65 ter list, and I understand it is a
18 voluminous amount of material. However, again, in relation to the RFAs,
19 we don't make it a habit to provide RFAs or any of our communications
20 with States. However, if it could assist the Chamber in determining the
21 issue, I do have the RFA in hard copy or can provide it on a confidential
22 basis as well as the response we received. We did ask for the medical
23 records of the hospital, the Vukovar Hospital, to the Serbian
24 authorities, and we were told that they're not available. Again, if Your
25 Honours wish to see them, we do have them. So at this stage if -- if
1 you -- if your view is that this is too onerous on the Defence, we would
2 seek to add them to the 65 ter list at this stage. However, as we've
3 said in our motion, it would be a waste of resources to ask Dr. Bosanac
4 to return to simply identify what these are, and I will not seek to ask
5 any questions, any specific questions, about the entries or about the
6 patients or any of that. I just would like her to look at them on the
7 screen and tell everybody this is what she provided us and I will limit
8 my questions to that.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: And what you would produce on the screen, would
10 that be that one page, if I'm right, that one page that you translated?
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes. We would display the cover -- the cover --
12 the first page of each notebook which has been translated.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: So your question -- your questions would be on
14 the basis of that one page for each notebook.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: The Trial Chamber will allow the admission of the
18 documents to the 65 ter exhibit list. It will allow the OTP to ask a few
19 questions about authenticity and allow the Defence to cross Dr. Bosanac
20 on this matter, and that will be as far as it goes.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: So at this stage I will strictly conduct a
24 further re-examination, and I will wait for Mr. Gosnell's
25 cross-examination before I re-examine on the questions he's put so far.
1 Is that the way I should proceed?
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes. And let me add to the ruling that your
3 questions on these documents will only be based on the translated pages.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Absolutely.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you. Much obliged.
7 Further Examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
8 Q. Good morning, Dr. Bosanac.
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. At the beginning of the proofing session on Saturday morning, is
11 it correct to say that you provided to the Office of the Prosecutor a
12 DVD? Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And could you tell the Court what was contained in this DVD and
15 how you came to obtain it?
16 A. As you know, for many years now we've in the Vukovar Hospital
17 have been trying to get back the medical records that were taken away in
18 1991 to Belgrade. We have tried through the Foreign Ministry and through
19 the Tribunal here in The Hague, but unfortunately we never managed to get
20 back one single document from the Vukovar Hospital concerning year 1991.
21 Two years ago these interstate negotiations were intensified, and
22 two years ago in October the President of Serbia came to Vukovar to meet
23 with the Croatian president, Josipovic, and I was invited to attend that
24 meeting on behalf of many associations of detainees' and missing persons'
25 families, and at that meeting I was told that part of the medical records
1 had been returned. Those records and protocols were studied by the
2 commission for detainees and missing persons for several months, and
3 after that they sent them back to our hospital, and it was then that we
4 established that those were documents from before the war, some case
5 histories that had nothing to do with the war, and the only really
6 important thing were the three notebooks kept by the head nurse of the
7 hospital, including the list of all the wounded. That was very important
8 to us then, and it's very important today, because now we have a record
9 of all wounded persons for the period from July to November 1991,
10 although these are not all the medical records. These are just lists in
11 notebooks, which is a useful document, but it's not a proper medical
12 record. Based on those documents we can now reconstruct precisely all
13 the lists of persons who were wounded and who were in the hospital at
14 that time and are still featuring on the lists of missing persons. And I
15 believe it is important that before this Tribunal dealing with the
16 Vukovar Hospital issues, all these documents should be available. I
17 copied all these lists onto a DVD and handed them -- handed it over to
18 the OTP.
19 Q. So, Doctor, do I understand it to be correct that these notebooks
20 you provided on Saturday covered a period between July and November 1991;
21 is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, these notebooks that you provided us on this DVD, from your
24 answer do I gather that these were -- well, can you tell us who wrote --
25 who took down these -- these notes in the notebook?
1 A. The head nurse of our hospital, Mrs. Vinazia [phoen] Kolesar.
2 Q. Very well. And what -- is this the only notebooks that were kept
3 at the hospital recording the patients?
4 A. No. The patients were officially registered in protocols of
5 urgent surgical admission, in surgery protocols and anaesthesiological
6 protocols. Those are proper medical records. The notebooks we are
7 talking about were useful to the head nurse and to us so that we could
8 have at any point in time correct information on all the wounded persons
9 who have been admitted.
10 Q. And when you say "all the wounded persons who have been
11 admitted," can the Trial Chamber take these notebooks as a complete
12 record of the wounded who were admitted at the hospital?
13 A. I think the Chamber can, although these were not official
14 documents. Those were documents that simply provided correct
15 information. I suppose they're accurate and everything is written there,
16 but the proper records are still in Belgrade and still have not been
17 returned to Vukovar.
18 Q. I will display the first notebook in a moment, but before I do
19 that, can you tell the Trial Chamber what type of information they will
20 find in those notebooks?
21 A. Name, last name of the wounded person, and the date of admission.
22 This is very scant information, but it's important because it goes all
23 the way up to the end. Before that we had information only up to
24 6 November.
25 Q. Very well.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: May we display on the screen 65 ter 6408,
3 Q. Doctor, do you recognise what we see on the screen?
4 A. Yes. Those are copies of this first notebook.
5 Q. Very well. And what is the date that we see at the top here?
6 4th of July 1991; is that right?
7 A. Yes. Name and last name, Vlado Budimir; date of birth; address;
8 and affiliation. We see here that he was a member of the Ministry of the
10 Q. Very well. And on this page we see for every entry or almost
11 every entry what you call the affiliation; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: In the B/C/S version I would just like to, with
14 your leave, Your Honours, go to page 91 to show the end date of this
15 notebook. I know it's not page 1, but just to show the date wherever
16 this notebook ends.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: You have translated that page?
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: No, we haven't, but just to see the date.
19 Although, I mean, we can ask the witness if she knows. Well, I mean,
20 actually, it may not be necessary, but ...
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Should I ask the Defence position, or do you --
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Sure. Sure.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell.
24 MR. GOSNELL: We don't object.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
2 Q. Doctor, this is almost the last page of this notebook. Do you
3 see the date there?
4 A. Yes. We see it's the 25th of September, 1991.
5 Q. Very well.
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we move now to 65 ter 6409, please. Very
8 Q. This is the second notebook. Do you see the date of the 26th of
9 September, 1991?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And do we see the same type of information as in the first
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. And if we scroll down in both B/C/S and English
15 versions. Yes, that's fine. And can we now display -- oh, I notice the
16 time, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, indeed, Mr. Demirdjian.
18 Dr. Bosanac, it's time for our first break. We will come back at
19 11.00. You will be escorted out of the courtroom. Thank you.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we look for a moment to the timing. You plan
22 to take -- how much time for your re-examination?
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, for re-examination I shouldn't be
24 more than five or ten minutes depending on the answers.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So then I think it would be good to have
1 the next witness available for the last session.
2 MR. STRINGER: That witness is in the waiting-room.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. Court adjourned.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Demirdjian.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours. At this time, may I
8 ask that we display on the screen 65 ter 6410, please.
9 Q. Thank you. Doctor, is this third notebook begin on the 25th of
10 October, 1991?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And does this notebook contain the same similar type of
13 information compared to the first two notebooks we've seen so far?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And, Doctor, in relation to the information we find in these
16 notebooks as you've explained to the Judges, generally we see the name,
17 date of birth, and address, affiliation. Would it be correct that the
18 affiliation is mentioned in relation to most of these patients?
19 A. Yes. As well as a diagnosis. I mean a medical diagnosis. That
20 is important.
21 Q. And just to be clear, these notebooks contain information
22 relating to patients who are brought in to the hospital, and is that for
23 any type of reason?
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, is this about authenticity?
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Just to complete as to what we find in the
1 notebook itself.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: I don't see any reaction from the Defence so
4 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I think that is my queue to object,
5 Mr. President, and we've heard one or two questions already that have
6 gone into the substance. I didn't object.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: I do agree, Mr. Gosnell. I thought we -- the
8 ruling was only about authenticity, Mr. Demirdjian.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Very well, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
12 Q. And, Doctor, in relation to these three notebooks, is it correct
13 that they only indicate the date as to when the patient was received in
14 the hospital?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, at this stage I would propose to
17 mark these three notebooks for identification pending fuller
18 translations. That is for 65 ter 6408, 6409, and 6410.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: The ruling was, Mr. Demirdjian, that we would
20 allow you to admit them to the 65 ter list and that that would be all.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: So that's as far as we will go. We have now the
23 witness's questions -- answers about authenticity, and now we'll wait
24 what you will do, bar table motion or anything else, but for the moment
25 we don't do anything more than admit them to the 65 ter list.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Very well, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks.
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That concludes my further examination.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, cross-examination on this point?
5 MR. GOSNELL: None, Mr. President. Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Redirect, Mr. Demirdjian.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honours.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Demirdjian:
9 Q. Doctor, earlier yesterday counsel for the Defence asked you
10 questions relating to the access to the hospital, the access to the
11 hospital on the 19th of November, 1991. Do you remember that?
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: For the record --
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: -- this is at page -- I'll repeat this is for
15 page 3073 of the transcript.
16 Q. Do you remember that in answering one of the questions of counsel
17 you mentioned that one of the members of the White Eagles entered the
18 hospital and he was the son of one of the doctors; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you tell the Court who this doctor was?
21 A. I could, but I can only do it in private session to exclude the
22 general public.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's okay. Let's go into private session.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
19 Q. And at page 4 of the transcript today and also yesterday, you
20 were asked questions about the relationship between the paramilitaries
21 and the JNA. Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And today counsel asked you whether the paramilitaries were under
24 the control of the JNA, and your answer was yes at that question; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Doctor, at the time in 1991, were you familiar with the military
3 rules regulating the relationship between the TO and the JNA?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were you aware of any orders issued by the JNA relating to the
6 relationship between the JNA and the TO at the time?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you, Dr. Bosanac.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: No further questions, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam Witness, during your
13 testimony you have confirmed that one of your patients was a JNA soldier.
14 Did I understand you well?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me whether
17 that JNA soldier was admitted before the fall of Vukovar, before Vukovar
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. If that was indeed the
21 case, could I then say that he hadn't been sent by his hierarchy but that
22 he had arrived on his own or because he had been captured by the Croatian
23 army and that the Croatian Army actually referred him to the hospital or
24 brought him to the hospital? Would that be the case?
25 A. Yes. Members of the Croatian defence of Vukovar brought those
1 soldiers in.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] After they were captured,
3 obviously; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Do you know whether the
6 authorities of the JNA knew that there were JNA troops hospitalised in
7 your hospital?
8 A. In my appeals and in my telephone conversations I mentioned that
9 before the fall of Vukovar. I told everybody that those soldiers were
10 indeed in the hospital and that they were being treated there.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Now my last question:
12 Do you understand why the JNA shelled and targeted the hospital? At
13 least that's what you told us, that the JNA targeted and shelled the
14 hospital. And why did they do that if their own soldiers were in the
15 hospital? Do you have an explanation for that? Do you understand why
16 that was going on?
17 A. I never understood that, nor could I understand why they
18 destroyed the entire town, why they were so angry after the fall of
19 Vukovar. I could never understand that.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Demirdjian, there is one issue I would like
22 to clarify before we release the witness. It's your -- it's the OTP's
23 answer to the issue on Monday in the transcript where we added the word
24 "no" to an answer, and you seemed to have listened to the audio and heard
25 the word "ni sam"; is that right?
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, thank you for reminding me of this
2 point. The word is "ne znam."
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is "ne znam," so not "ni sam," which is
5 Now, my reaction was, of course, not on what I heard in B/C/S but
6 what I heard from the interpreters.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Absolutely.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: And that was clearly "No." So that would be a
9 translation problem.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Are you ready to deal with it or --
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We will submit a request for verification of the
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: So we don't have to bother the witness with this
17 immediately for the moment.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: No.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
20 Madam, Dr. Bosanac, we thank you for coming to The Hague to
21 assist the Tribunal. You're now released as a witness, and we wish you a
22 safe journey home. Thank you very much.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Can we bring the next witness immediately? Yes?
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Your Honours. The next witness is ready.
2 May I be excused from the courtroom.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you.
5 MR. STRINGER: Just before we begin, Your Honour, for the record,
6 Prosecution's now represented by Matthew Gillett, analyst Sandra
7 Rodriguez, and our intern Kai Leung, who has just entered the courtroom.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, madam. Thank you for coming to The
12 Hague to assist the Tribunal. First of all, do you hear me in a language
13 you understand?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Could you please tell us your name
16 and your date of birth.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Visnja Bilic. I was
18 born on the 20th of November, 1966.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You are about to read the solemn
20 declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth. I
21 need to point out to you that that declaration you are about to make does
22 expose you to the penalty of perjury should you give false or untruthful
23 or misleading information to the Tribunal.
24 Can you now read the solemn declaration the usher will give you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You may be seated.
3 WITNESS: VISNJA BILIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Mr. Gillett, your witness.
6 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. At the
7 outset you'll have noticed that there were four additional documents that
8 the Prosecution will seek to use with this witness. These are documents
9 06406, 06407, 02498.1, and 06399. We've notified the Defence of our
10 intention to use that, and as I understand, they've indicated no
11 objection to that course of action. So we would seek to add them to the
12 65 ter list and have permission to use them with this witness.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is that correct as far as the Defence is
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour. That's correct. Thank you.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. So these four documents are
17 admitted to the 65 ter list, permitted to be added to the 65 ter list,
18 and you may use them in your examination.
19 MR. GILLETT: Thank you very much. There was one additional
20 document that's already on the 65 ter list and is already an admitted
21 exhibit. It's admitted exhibit P1080, and we'd also seek to use that and
22 we understand there's no objection.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Defence's position is the same, Mr. Zivanovic?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. Please proceed,
1 Mr. Gillett.
2 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
3 Examination by Mr. Gillett:
4 Q. Good morning, Ms. Bilic. Is my voice coming through loud and
6 A. It is indeed. Good morning.
7 Q. Could I ask you to state your profession and your current
9 A. My current position is coordinator of the process for searching
10 for missing persons and demonstration for detainees and missing persons.
11 By profession I am a professor of psychology. I have a degree in
13 Q. And could you state which -- which institution, sorry, you work
15 A. The administration for detainees and missing persons within the
16 ministry for family, war veterans, and intergenerational solidarity of
17 the Republic of Croatia.
18 Q. And since when have you been involved with this institution in
19 its various forms; that is, involved in this work, searching for missing
20 persons and in relation to detained people?
21 A. Since 1993. For 20 years now.
22 Q. And have you testified before this Tribunal as an expert
24 A. I testified in two cases: in the Vojislav Seselj case and in the
25 Stanisic-Simatovic case. I testified on two occasions.
1 MR. GILLETT: Could we get 65 ter document 03043 on the monitor,
3 Q. Ms. Bilic, do you recognise this as your curriculum vitae?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 MR. GILLETT: I'd seek for that to be admitted, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Shall Exhibit P1489, thank you.
8 MR. GILLETT:
9 Q. I'm now going to ask you some questions about your expert report
10 prepared for this case which is 65 ter document 05842, and I request if
11 there's no objection to hand a hard copy of the report to Ms. Bilic along
12 with one of the annexes that lists the victims, because there's a
13 significant amount of data in these documents, and I'll be asking a
14 number of questions about them.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
16 MR. GILLETT: Thank you very much.
17 Q. Now, in your report you note that the administration for detained
18 and missing persons, which I will call the administration from now on,
19 keeps records on persons who were detained in enemy camps during the
20 homeland war, also persons who went missing during the homeland war, and
21 remains that were exhumed and identified during the homeland war. Can I
22 ask you how frequently you deal with the records of missing persons in
23 your daily work?
24 A. In my daily work I handle files and missing persons data as well
25 as the files on exhumations, on identified and non-identified mortal
1 remains. This is part of my daily job.
2 Q. Turning to the missing persons questionnaire forms, in your
3 report at section 7 you state that the missing persons questionnaire
4 form, the standard form used by your office, was created by an
5 interdisciplinary team of professionals using the missing person forms of
6 the ICRC, the UN centre for human rights, and Interpol as guides. Can I
7 ask you did you personally participate in the creation of the
8 questionnaire that your institution uses and if so how did you
10 A. I was personally involved in drafting this questionnaire, and in
11 fact in one area which concerns the educational and family status of the
12 missing person, I suggested some questions that became part of the
13 questionnaire. Furthermore, I participated in so to speak standardising
14 the questionnaire in order to --
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Bilic, could I ask you to lower the pace of
16 your -- of what you are saying, because it's very difficult for the
17 interpreters to follow if you speak that fast. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No problem. So I participated in
19 creating a part of the questionnaire that concerns the educational and
20 family status of the missing persons. I participated in the
21 standardising of the questionnaire inasmuch as data is adapted to further
22 digital processing of that information, and I was also involved in
23 training the personnel who were involved in gathering data on missing
25 MR. GILLETT:
1 Q. We see that on the form they record the data of disappearance of
2 the missing person. Where does that information come from?
3 A. Information on the date of disappearance, just as all the other
4 information in the questionnaire, came from the families of the missing
5 persons who made applications for a search.
6 Q. And for the people that are listed as missing with these forms,
7 how do we know that they're still missing and that they haven't turned up
8 alive since the time at which these missing persons questionnaires were
10 A. The thing is that there are pretty strong recording mechanisms
11 for keeping records on missing persons both internal and external. Among
12 those mechanisms I can mention a continuous matching of the records of
13 our Ministry of the Interior with the records of the Red Cross, also
14 matching and comparison with the records of the ICRC and the
15 international commission for missing persons. The fact is that records
16 of missing persons have been made available to the relevant commissions
17 in Serbia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and finally, they are publicly
18 available to everyone, because they have also been published in the form
19 of books but also on the web pages both of the ministry of defenders and
20 the web sites of our Red Cross and the International Red Cross. So that
21 list of missing persons in the Republic of Croatia is available to
23 Q. In your report you describe two actions. First there was an
24 effort in 1994 to gather data regarding people who had gone missing
25 during the war in Croatia up to that point, and then there was a second
1 action in 2002 to 2006 which concerned primarily persons going missing
2 during Operations Flash and Storm. Now, in your report at section 30,
3 you refer to the figure of 984 missing persons tracing requests that are
4 still open. Which action does that figure 984 refer to, the 1994 or the
5 2002 action?
6 A. The figure of 984 persons refers to the persons for whom data was
7 collected in 1994. These persons in the majority of cases, over 95
8 per cent, went missing in 1991 and the beginning of 1992.
9 MR. GILLETT: Could I get 65 ter document 05845 on the monitor,
10 please. And if we could go to page 8 of that.
11 Q. Now, while this is come up, I note the slide that we're going is
12 to see states that the large majority, 850 -- sorry, if we could get the
13 next slide, please. Apologies. I believe this is the slide on page 7.
14 I'll just check this.
15 That's okay. I can simply cite the figure which is 853 out of
16 984 of the persons are listed as Croats. On what basis did you establish
17 people's ethnicity?
18 A. Information on the ethnicity of missing persons was obtained by
19 the family members who made tracing requests.
20 Q. And that's slide 5. Apologies, Your Honours. Now, if we now
21 move to slide 7. This slide 7 shows that almost half of the people that
22 are still missing disappeared from the county of Vukovar and Srem. And
23 that's at the top of slide 7. Why are there still so many unsolved cases
24 from this county?
25 A. From the very beginning in the territory of the Vukovar-Srem
1 county, the number of the missing persons was the highest. The fact is
2 that cases are dealt with evenly. So the current status of missing
3 persons reflects also the status on missing persons in 1991 according to
4 data obtained in 1994. The ratio is always such that almost one-half of
5 the total number of missing persons is accounted for by persons who went
6 missing in the area of the Vukovar-Srem county.
7 MR. GILLETT: Could we now get 65 ter document 05844 on the
8 monitor, please. And if we go to slide number 5 of this one.
9 Q. It should show that there is a total figure of 3.832 persons who
10 were exhumed and that 3.275 of those have been identified, of which 2.016
11 were civilians. On what basis do you conclude that these persons were
13 A. The fact that they were civilians is established based on two
14 sources. The first source are statements of their family members. In
15 effect, after the final identification of mortal remains, families
16 expressed their wishes concerning the burial of their identified family
17 members, and in doing so they also provide information on their status.
18 Information on status is necessary because according to the regulations
19 prevailing in the Republic of Croatia, there are different burials for
20 the members of the armed forces, Croatian defenders that is to say, and
21 for civilians. That is, therefore, one source of information.
22 Another source on the status of the identified persons is derived
23 during the identification of mortal remains. Where civilians are
24 concerned, it is the Croatian Red Cross that informs the families. Where
25 Croatian defenders are concerned, the personnel of the Croatian Red Cross
1 is joined by officials from the state administration so that before a
2 final identification in order to be able to organise the identification
3 properly and to inform the families, we checked the records for the
4 status of the person whom we are about to identify.
5 Q. And aside from the burial, are there any other differences for
6 the family if their missing person who is exhumed is given the status of
7 a soldier as opposed to civilian?
8 A. There are differences, major differences, in fact. The position
9 of families of identified defenders is determined by the law on Croatian
10 defenders from the homeland war and their family members. According to
11 that law, the families of identified Croatian defenders have certain
12 rights and enjoy certain benefits. Families of identified civilians have
13 considerably smaller rights according to the law.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, just one moment, please. I must say
15 that I didn't understand the answer to the -- to your previous question
16 which was on what basis do you conclude as an expert that these persons
17 were civilians, and then the answer seems to be that the determination is
18 made on the basis of post factum elements, how the exhumed persons are
19 treated by the authorities and what their official status is, but is that
20 an answer to your question? I thought your question was how do you
21 determine when having found a body whether it was a civilian casualty or
22 it was a defender?
23 MR. GILLETT: Perhaps I could clarify with a question to the
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: I would very much appreciate, yes.
1 MR. GILLETT:
2 Q. Ms. Bilic, as you have heard from Mr. President, in relation to
3 establishing the status of exhumed persons, I understood your answer to
4 say that this was based on information from the family and additionally
5 was cross checked against other information, for example, from the
6 Croatian Red Cross. Now, would this information from the family, for
7 instance, be obtained -- can it be obtained prior to exhuming and
8 identifying the individual?
9 A. Well, in the case that a person was recorded as missing, then we
10 would have prior information on that person's status. However, in any
11 case, after the final identification of mortal remains, the family also
12 provides information on the status of its identified family member.
13 MR. GILLETT: Does that answer the question for Your Honour?
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: As far as we can go, I think it does.
15 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. If we could now get 65 ter document
16 02735. It's slide number 4.
17 Q. Now, in this series of slides it sets out the data on 7.666
18 Croatian nationals who were detained in camps and gaols in the then
19 former Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Serb-occupied parts
20 of Croatia, and it states that 1.865 were civilians. For 3.614 of these
21 the status is listed as unknown, and this should be in slide 4. Why is
22 the status listed as unknown for such a large proportion of these
23 detained people?
24 A. First of all, speaking of these records, it is necessary to
25 stress that they were made and that most of the information contained
1 therein dates back to 1991 and 1992. At that time, the primary task and
2 our foremost priority were exchanges of prisoners, and this is partially
3 an explanation for the deficiencies in these records. However, a
4 specific answer to your question would probably be this: We are again
5 talking about status. Croatian defenders who had been detained have
6 certain rights on the basis of the fact that they had been in detention,
7 and from the date when they were exchanged, to date they regularly
8 contact our administration. We issue to them certificates confirming
9 that they had been detainees in the past, and in these contacts we have
10 been able to gather more complete information. As for civilians who had
11 been detained, they do not have nearly the same rights and benefits. In
12 fact, I don't believe they are entitled to any benefits only on the basis
13 of the fact that they had been in detention. And in most cases, these
14 persons after being liberated have never contacted our administration
15 again so that we did not complete our information about them. We could
16 even conclude that as far as persons whose status is unknown are probably
17 civilians. However, since we do not have that particular entry, we did
18 not want and we did not dare and were not able to label this entire group
19 as civilians. That's why we list them as unknown, persons of unknown
21 Q. Thank you. We'll now look at another annex to your expert report
22 which is 65 ter document 05846. This is the list that I handed to you in
23 hard copy which sets out the victims listed in the annexes to the
25 Now, on page 21 of the English of this list, this is page 16 of
1 the B/C/S version, there is a victim named Djuro Tarle, and it has the
2 comment listed "ID/NP." We also see the same terminology beside the
3 victim Zeravica, which is page 23, page 17 of the B/C/S. Could you tell
4 us what that notation means, ID/NP?
5 A. Just one small correction if I may. In the first case it's a
6 person whose name is Dujo, D-u-j-o, Tarle. This term means that person's
7 identity has been established. In both these cases referred to, the
8 identity is indisputably determined by DNA analysis. However, their
9 families at the time when this table was made had not accepted the
10 findings of identification. The situation has changed in the meantime,
11 because in December last year, the family of Dujo Tarle accepted the
12 findings of identification so that he has now finally been identified and
14 Q. Now, another notation that is listed is ZPO, which according to
15 the English translation means "search for mortal remains, request
16 submitted by the family to the administration of detained and missing
17 persons." An example is on page 2 of the English for the victim Astalos.
18 Now, under what circumstances will a request for a search for mortal
19 remains be submitted as opposed to a missing person's questionnaire?
20 A. Well, in both cases the search is initiated based on the family
21 request. As far as these specific categories are concerned, the
22 administration for detained and missing persons has adopted the
23 methodology of the International Red Cross which also makes a distinction
24 between a missing person and a search for mortal remains. These are also
25 legally different categories, because as far as the missing person is
1 concerned, it's a person on whom no information is available, whereas in
2 the case of a search for mortal remains, the family has information or
3 maybe has even witnessed the death of its family member, but they do not
4 know where the mortal remains are buried, and they do not know what
5 happened with the mortal remains. In that case, requests were collected
6 on an abbreviated form which does not contain information about the
7 circumstances in which the person went missing for understandable
8 reasons, because it is known that the person is dead.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. GILLETT: At this stage I would tender the expert report
11 which is 05842, along with the three -- four annexes that have been
12 specifically referred to by the witness, which is 05844, 05845, 02735,
13 and the final one the list of victims 05846.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Expert report shall be assigned Exhibit P1490.
16 65 ter document 5845 shall be assigned Exhibit P1491. 65 ter document
17 5844 shall be assigned Exhibit P1492. 65 ter document 2735 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit P1493. And 65 ter document 5846 shall be assigned
19 Exhibit P1494. Thank you, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
21 MR. GILLETT: And I would note that two sample missing persons
22 questionnaires referred to in the expert report are not necessary for
23 admission and those are 02324 and 02751. I'm now going to turn to the
24 table indicating proof of death documents for the witnesses listed in the
25 indictment, and we have a hard copy of this that we can distribute. It's
1 in the same format as the table used with the previous proof of death
2 expert, so with Your Honours' leave, I distribute a copy to each of you
3 and to the Defence.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
5 MR. GILLETT: While that's being distributed. I would just note
6 that we could certainly put together the information provided by this
7 witness with the information provided by the previous witness in an Excel
8 chart in due course depending on the outcome with this witness.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the booths be also provided with the
10 document, please.
11 MR. GILLETT: And just to note that this document is
12 65 ter 03034.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Did you see the request from the interpreters?
14 MR. GILLETT: Yes, and I can provide them with my copy of the
15 document. That's fine.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: One document for three booths, Mr. Gillett?
17 MR. GILLETT: I'm only going to be asking a limited number of
18 questions on this, and when they relate to specific points, we can put
19 that on the monitor if that's okay.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Let's try and see where we go.
21 MR. GILLETT: Otherwise, after the break we can provide more
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's what I was thinking, yes. Please go
25 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
1 Q. Now, Ms. Bilic, in preparation for your testimony today, were you
2 asked to review a collection of missing persons questionnaires and
3 related documents?
4 A. Yes, that's true.
5 Q. And does this table set out the documents that you were asked to
6 review as well as your comments in the column titled "Comment."
7 A. It does.
8 Q. Where were you able to authenticate documents, did you do so by
9 indicating "yes" in the Authenticity column?
10 A. Yes. We established the authenticity of every document; i.e., I
11 did that, and every time I did that I put the word "yes" next to that
13 Q. And how did you establish the authenticity of each document?
14 A. By comparing it with the original which can be found in the
15 archives of our administration.
16 MR. GILLETT: Now, Your Honours, I'm not going to go through
17 every single document in the interest of time, but I'll just highlight a
18 couple of examples.
19 Q. So first we -- firstly, if we look at page 2, the entry for
20 Haso Brajic. He's listed as missing with a missing person's
21 questionnaire. Do we have any information about his status?
22 A. In the meantime, Haso Brajic's status has changed, because we
23 managed to locate some family members, the next of kin. We took blood
24 samples from them for DNA analysis in order to identify the body through
25 the joint project with the international commission for missing persons.
1 It was established that the mortal remains which were exhumed from the
2 mass grave in Celije did -- do belong to Haso Brajic.
3 Q. Next in relation --
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, wouldn't we expect to have that in
5 the Additional Comment column?
6 MR. GILLETT: This just came to light during proofing and was
7 included in the proofing note, and the document had already been signed.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So that would be -- that would be a kind
9 of information we would find normally in the Additional Comment column?
10 MR. GILLETT: Yes.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just to understand.
12 MR. GILLETT:
13 Q. Next, looking at the entry for victim Ivan Forjan, which is on
14 page 3, do we have further information about him?
15 A. Ivan Forjan, there is additional information about him as well.
16 A DNA analysis revealed that his mortal remains were found in the mass
17 grave in Celije. However, the final identification is still pending.
18 The case is very complex which requires reassociations which means that
19 it will take some time until we are able to come up with the final
20 identification. At the moment, we have the findings of the DNA analysis
21 which shows that the mortal remains indisputably belong to Ivan Forjan.
22 Q. Now, if we go to the entry for Ivica Astalos, which is on page
23 34, we see here a missing person's questionnaire and this is -- the
24 questionnaire itself is 65 ter document 03855, which we could bring up on
25 the monitor, and you will see that it's of a shorter form than the
1 standard missing persons questionnaires. Why is that?
2 A. That was my previous answer to a previously put question. This
3 was based on the application to search for mortal remains. As I've
4 already explained, the information was collected pursuant to a shortened
5 questionnaire which doesn't contain information about the circumstances
6 of disappears -- disappearance. The focus is on ante mortem information
7 that could help us with the identification of mortal remains if those
8 were to be found.
9 Q. For the entry for Andrija Simek, which is page 82, you noted in
10 the comments column: "Newspaper article missing." Now, when you looked
11 at the original version of the missing person's questionnaire, was there
12 a newspaper article attached?
13 A. In Andrija Simek's file there was a questionnaire and to it there
14 was an attached newspaper article. I subsequently scanned it and I
15 submitted it to the Prosecution.
16 MR. GILLETT: Now, Your Honours, if we look at 65 ter document
17 0 --
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is it still about this same --
19 MR. GILLETT: This about Andrija Simek as well. I was going to
20 go to the article itself.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
22 MR. GILLETT:
23 Q. So if we look at 65 ter document 04143 at the final page. Sorry,
24 the second to last page. And for the -- is this the article that --
25 would this article be part of the dossier for this individual,
1 Andrija Simek?
2 A. Yes. This article is part of Andrija Simek's dossier.
3 Q. And we see in the English that Andrija Simek is referred to in
4 this newspaper article. Why are newspaper articles sometimes attached to
5 the dossiers for missing persons?
6 A. An integral part of a missing person dossier is a questionnaire
7 about the missing person. This is compulsory. But also other
8 documentation which might be -- might be relevant for the missing persons
9 finding; witness statements, medical documentation which might help us in
10 identifying post-mortem -- mortal remains, and all the information that
11 in one way or another may be of assistance in dealing with the cases of
12 missing persons. Video-tapes also in certain cases, newspaper articles,
13 or any media clips.
14 MR. GILLETT: If we could now look at 65 ter document 05852.
15 This is another article that you provided to us, and this also mentions
16 Andrija Simek on page 2.
17 Q. And if we look at the original, you can see --
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, may we have a tab?
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Do we have a tab number?
20 MR. GILLETT: Certainly. It should be tab 166.
21 Q. Now, if we see the original has the name Andrija Simek
22 highlighted and two other names circled in this article. Would this have
23 been part of the dossier of one of these people and is that why it was
24 sent to us, and if you know, which one would it have been related to?
25 A. This pertains to Andrija Simek, which we established through
1 proofing. This is another newspaper article that was also part of his
3 Q. If we now move to the entry for Viktorija Albert, which is page
4 85. And in relation to her, you added a comment that the Djuro Albert
5 missing persons questionnaire had accidentally been scanned twice and
6 included on the list, and you've provided what purports to be the missing
7 persons questionnaire for Viktorija Albert.
8 MR. GILLETT: Could we get 05851 on the monitor, please.
9 Q. And I'll ask you when it comes up if this is the missing persons
10 questionnaire for Viktorija Albert, and if it's the standard form missing
11 persons questionnaire.
12 A. This is a standard questionnaire form, and this was filled out
13 for Viktorija Albert, another missing person.
14 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, at this stage we would tender the
15 table and the documents mentioned therein in addition to three documents
16 that have been specifically addressed with the witness. We'd also note
17 that there are two documents that are not being tendered even though
18 they're mentioned in the table, and those are 03788 and 04074.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, yes.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know if it includes the document 1 --
21 1981. It is tab 9 of the Prosecution list. It relates to the question
22 of Darko Kusic. Because it is a statement of one of his -- I think of
23 his brother who actually gave the statement against the accused. It goes
24 directly to the guilt of the accused. It's on the page 314 and -15.
25 MR. GILLETT: Yes, Your Honours. That was one of the documents
1 that is tendered in conjunction with the report. As the witness has
2 said, there are additional documents attached to some of these missing
3 persons questionnaires. It's a relatively small number from what I've
4 seen, and occasionally these are statements. We've had similar
5 statements attached to missing persons questionnaires admitted
6 previously, through previous witnesses, and as the witness has explained,
7 this helps them establish the circumstances in which the person has
8 disappeared and the time and, therefore, complements the information in
9 the missing persons questionnaire.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We do not object to -- to the admission of
11 questionnaire, but this part of questionnaire that relates to the guilt
12 of the accused. It is at pages 3, 14, and 15. This is information
13 related to the -- 3, 14, and 15 of English version. Yeah.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated] I'm not -- I'm not
15 following. What are you referring to, page 3, 14, and 15? Is that the
16 proof of that table?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, no, no.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Something else.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No. It is document from the Prosecution list
21 under tab 9. Tab 9.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
23 MR. GILLETT: I think this is 1981, 65 ter document.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 1981, yes.
25 MR. GILLETT: And we would say the concerns go to the weight that
1 would be placed on those specific pages and references in light of the
2 witness's testimony that she's provided as to the purpose for which these
3 documents are usually attached where they are attached to the missing
4 persons questionnaires.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: The objection is overruled, and we'll admit and
6 mark the documents.
7 Mr. Registrar, now or by -- later. I think that would -- that's
8 a good idea. So then we'll take the break now.
9 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. And just to clarify before the break,
10 the exhibit list should set out which documents are included, but the
11 ones that were mentioned specifically with the witness just previously
12 are 04143, 05852, and 05851.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's already on the record, I think, isn't it.
14 But by all means, now it is.
15 Madam Bilic, we take our second break. We will come back at
16 12.45. You will be escorted out of the courtroom by the usher. Thank
17 you very much.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I'd just like to
24 apologise to Trial Chamber and to the Prosecution because we send our
25 Defence exhibit list a little bit late due to some misunderstanding and
1 technical problems.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Gillett.
5 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Ms. Bilic, I'm now going to turn to some additional documents and
7 I'll start with ones relating to the Ovcara incident. Could I ask you
8 firstly whether you were involved with the exhumation of the mass grave
9 at Ovcara?
10 A. In the exhumation of the mass grave at Ovcara, I was one of the
11 observers from the Republic of Croatia.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, I read in the transcript "in the
13 information of the mass grave." Is that what we should understand the
14 answer to be?
15 MR. GILLETT: I see it's been corrected now.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. GILLET: Thank you.
18 Could we now get 65 ter document 01977 on the monitor, please.
19 Q. And while this is coming up, I'll note that this purports to be a
20 missing persons questionnaire for a Damjan Samardzic, and could you tell
21 us whether this is a standard missing persons questionnaire? Perhaps we
22 could go to page 2.
23 A. Yes. This is a standard missing persons questionnaire.
24 Q. At proofing were you also shown missing persons questionnaires
25 for Drazen Tuskan, and that's 1987; Damir Kovacic, 1988; and
1 Martin Dosen, 1989; and Goran Zivkovic, 2015; and Ceman Saiti, which is
3 A. Those documents were shown to me during proofing. The
4 interpreter told me that they did not understand one of the names that
5 you mentioned, but I don't know which person that was.
6 Q. I see Drazen Tuskan, the next one should be Damir Kovacic, the
7 next one appears, Martin Dosen. Yes, Goran Zivkovic is there, and the
8 final one was Ceman Saiti, which is C-e-m-a-n S-a-i-t-i?
9 A. All those questionnaires were shown to me during proofing.
10 Q. And can you authenticate that they're all standard missing
11 persons questionnaires?
12 A. I can confirm that all those were standard missing persons
14 Q. And are you aware of where these people's bodies were found or
16 A. In those cases where persons were identified, those mortal
17 remains were found at the Ovcara mass grave. However, among those
18 persons there were also those who are still considered missing. For
19 example, Tuskan, Ceman Saiti, Damjan Samardzic. I believe that the three
20 of them are still considered missing.
21 MR. GILLETT: This time we'd seek to tender these missing persons
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Are these the exhibit numbers on the record now,
24 just now, the 65 ter numbers I mean.
25 MR. GILLET: The 65 ter numbers, yes.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
2 MR. GILLET: Shall I repeat them again?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, please.
4 MR. GILLETT: These are 1977, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2015, and 6406.
5 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter document 1977 shall be assigned
6 Exhibit P1495. 1987 shall be assigned Exhibit P1496. 1988 shall be
7 assigned Exhibit P1497. 1989 shall be assigned Exhibit P1498. 2015
8 shall be assigned Exhibit P1499. And finally 6406 shall be assigned
9 Exhibit P1500. Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Gillett, before you proceed, could I ask the document that is
12 actually on the screen, could I ask the B/C/S part of the screen be
13 enlarged a little bit so that we can see the bullet numbers. Okay.
14 Ms. Bilic, could you read what is after bullet point 14, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under 14 is "Religion," and it says
16 "Roman Catholic" in handwriting.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: So the word before "Roman Catholic" is
18 "religion"; is that right?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Because in the English translation it is
21 denomination. Would that be the same for you? Okay.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, religion and religious
24 denomination could be synonyms.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you. And it struck me because I
1 would expect ethnicity, but it's not. Do you have an explanation.
2 MR. GILLETT: If I could just point out. If you look at point
3 13, I believe "Narodnost" is translated as --
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Nationality.
5 MR. GILLETT: I believe "Narodnost" -- or perhaps we should
6 clarify with the witness the word "Narodnost."
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. What is under 13, Ms. Bilic, the B/C/S
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under 13 is nationality or ethnic
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Nationality or ethnic affiliation. Is that same
12 thing or are those two different things? What is your nationality?
13 You're a Croat; right?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. I'm Croat by ethnicity, but
15 I will take the liberty and go back to the previous bullet point and
16 that's citizenship under 12. People who were family members declared the
17 citizenship of the missing person under 12. Under 13 where it says
18 nationality that means ethnicity, and then 14 is religion or religious
19 affiliation or denomination.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. That makes sense. So 12 is the
21 citizenship or nationality, 13 is ethnicity, and 14 is religion. Okay.
22 Then perhaps I could continue with a question I intended to ask you at
23 the end of your examination but we can do it now.
24 How does one determine one's ethnicity, and there are two parts
25 in my question. How does one determine one's own ethnicity, and the
1 second question is how does anybody else determine -- or how does one
2 determine the ethnicity of somebody else?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the specific case when it comes
4 to the missing persons questionnaire, the information about the ethnicity
5 of a missing person is --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let me first ask you the question in general. I
7 mean in -- in Croatia, in society, how does this work?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mostly depends on origin. Your
9 ethnic affiliation in most cases is determined by your origins. There is
10 no independent way to determine ethnic affiliation or the way a person
11 declares its own ethnicity. Our family origins determine our belonging
12 to a certain ethnicity.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: So if my father is a Croat, I'm supposed to be a
14 Croat; is that right?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It depends also on what your mother
16 is by ethnicity, and it also depends on how you see yourself.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: If my parents, and it's just because I want to
18 understand. If my parents, both parents, are Croatians, and of the Roman
19 Catholic faith, and I decide to convert into the Orthodox faith, can I
20 then declare myself a Serb?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You probably can, because there are
22 no objective categories that dictate your ethnicity, and in a census
23 ethnicity is also determined based on the statement of the person
24 providing their personal details. So there is nothing in particular that
25 makes a person Croat, Serb, Hungarian, Ruthenian, or member of any other
1 ethnic group.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let me see whether I understood that correctly.
3 Yes, I did.
4 Now, last -- last question on this topic. The category that
5 existed before the war, people who declared themselves Yugoslavs doesn't
6 exist any more, and the category of Yugoslavs was somehow for people who
7 didn't want to be either Croat or Serbs or another ethnic group. Is
8 this -- is there another category that came in the place of the category
9 of Yugoslavs?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm really not sure, but generally
11 according to our data both among missing persons and among exhumed and
12 identified persons and among detainees, in all our official records the
13 category Yugoslav existed. And I really do not know whether that
14 category still exists in the last census, and if it exists, which
15 percentage of the population declared themselves as Yugoslavs.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much for that explanation,
17 Ms. Bilic.
18 JUDGE HALL: If I may ask the following question to one of your
19 answers to the Presiding Judge. When you say that there are no objective
20 categories to determine one 's ethnicity, what then is the purpose or
21 what are the consequences of either being self describing oneself or
22 being so described, and why would that category appear on national forms
23 such as this, ethnicity? What purpose did it serve?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps I will not be able to
25 provide you with a sufficiently specific answer, but information about
1 ethnicity is common place and it's treated as common place. That's why
2 it was requested in the questionnaire. As far as I know, it is not an
3 unusual question in any way, and the question is contained in similar
4 forms used in other countries that have had to deal with the issue of
5 missing persons.
6 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Please proceed, Mr. Gillett.
8 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Your Honours. If we could now turn to
9 65 ter document 02752.
10 Q. And this is a list of persons who disappeared from the
11 Vukovar Hospital. If we look at entry 75, which will be on page 4 of the
12 English and page 3 of the B/C/S version, it names a Goran Jularic, and
13 it's got a notation NN42 beside his name. Could you tell us what the
14 NN42 means?
15 A. Goran Jularic is one the persons who were identified in the mass
16 grave at Ovcara, whereas NN42 is a label of the mortal remains that have
17 been established by DNA analysis to belong to Goran Jularic.
18 Q. It states that Mr. Jularic's remains were identified in 2007.
19 What type of identification would that have been, classical or DNA?
20 A. His identity was established in a combined way by using the
21 classical forensic methods and by using DNA analysis.
22 Q. There's another entry which is number 112 for a Josip Mihalec,
23 which is labelled as NN134, and that's from 2005. How would he have been
25 A. As in the case of Goran Jularic, his mortal remains were also
1 identified by combining traditional forensic methods of identification
2 and DNA analysis.
3 Q. And the third one I'm going to ask about is entry 158, and this
4 is for Damir Simunec, and he has NN146. He was identified in 2005.
5 Would that have been the same combination?
6 A. In the case of Damir Simunec, it was also the combination of
7 traditional forensic and DNA analysis.
8 MR. GILLET: If we could now get 65 ter document 4191.1.
9 Q. You'll see this is an autopsy report that doesn't mention a
10 specific victim's name; however, it does mention this number NN42, and am
11 I right in thinking we can use this NN42 to link to the previous list to
12 establish the name of the victim that this relates to? And this should
13 be at the top of 4191.1.
14 A. We can relate this to Goran Jularic.
15 Q. And I'll wait for the document to come up to show that number.
16 The number here is OVC 42. Is that the same as the NN42 on the previous
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we also have the corresponding
20 autopsy reports for the other two individuals I mentioned previously,
21 which are 4191.2 and 4191.3. So we would tender these three as well as
22 the previous list that sets out the names at this stage.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter document 2752 shall be assigned
25 Exhibit P1501. 65 ter document 4191.1 shall be assigned Exhibit P1502.
1 65 ter document 4191.2 shall be assigned Exhibit P1503. And 65 ter
2 document 4191.3 shall be assigned Exhibit P1504. Thank you.
3 MR. GILLETT: Thank you very much. Could we now get 65 ter
4 document 02498.1. And this is one of the documents that was added to the
5 list at the start of today's session. Today's hearing.
6 Q. Now --
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, may we have a tab, please.
8 MR. GILLETT: Certainly. That's tab 177.
9 Q. Now, prior to your testimony today were you provided with a list
10 of persons who were either --
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Something wrong with that, Mr. Gillett.
12 THE REGISTRAR: It probably needs to be released.
13 MR. GILLETT: Okay. We'll just check that. According to our
14 e-court it is released. 2498.1.
15 THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, is the 65 ter 2498.1 or 4298.1.
16 MR. GILLETT: 2498.1.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
18 MR. GILLET:
19 Q. Okay. Ms. Bilic, prior to your testimony, were you provided with
20 a list of names of people that had been -- some of whom had been exhumed
21 at Ovcara and some of whom in the list were still undetermined, and did
22 you indicate the current status of those persons who were in the previous
23 list undetermined?
24 A. Yes, I've said what status has been determined in the meantime;
25 that is to say, whether persons are still on record as missing or their
1 mortal remains have been exhumed and identified.
2 Q. And where we see, for instance, in the third entry ID/VNG for
3 status, what does that mean?
4 A. It means it's an identified person whose mortal remains were
5 exhumed in Vukovar at the new cemetery. This acronym after ID indicates
6 the site where the mortal remains were found and identified.
7 Q. Then if we look at the bottom of the page for Kiral [phoen]
8 Damir, in the status column it says "ID pruzet [phoen] is Sremska
9 Mitrovica, Republika Serbia." What does that mean?
10 A. That means his mortal remains have also been identified, and they
11 were found in Sremska Mitrovica in the Republic of Serbia, and pursuant
12 to an agreement with the competent commission of the Republic of Serbia,
13 the mortal remains were delivered to the Republic of Croatia where they
14 were finally identified and delivered to the family.
15 Q. And if we could go to the next page. At the bottom there is a
16 key that sets out, first, "ID." That is obvious. We don't need to
17 define that. Then M, which I take it is "Missing," and then it says "ND"
18 and "RSL." Could you tell us what they mean?
19 A. ND means that there is no information about the person in
20 question. He or she is not on the records of the administration for
21 detainees and missing persons, nor is it a missing person, nor have
22 they -- their mortal remains been found and identified. SL means case
23 closed, that the case is not being dealt with anymore unless the process
24 of exhumation is still ongoing.
25 There are different ways of solving cases. The case is solved if
1 a person was found solve died of natural causes or a precise place of
2 burial was located and the family informed, or the person was found in
3 another location and the family was informed of their new place of
4 residence. There are many ways in which a case can be solved or closed.
5 Q. And when you say "SL," does that mean RSL, which is on the
7 A. Yes, RSL.
8 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. We would seek to admit this document.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1505. Thank
12 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
13 Q. One of the people listed on the document that we just saw is a
14 Jean Michel Nicolier. Could we get 65 ter document 2282, please.
15 During proofing were you shown a missing persons questionnaire
16 for a John Michel Nicolier, and could you tell us anything about his
17 nationality and the status, whether he is still missing?
18 A. The questionnaire for Jean Michel Nicolier was shown to me during
19 proofing. He is still on record as a missing person, a person violently
20 removed. That means one the persons who have still not been found and
21 are known to have been taken away from the Vukovar Hospital on the
22 12th [as interpreted ]of November, 1991. As for his citizenship and his
23 status, he has the status of a Croatian defender, and I believe, and in
24 fact it's a condition for receiving the status of Croatian defender that
25 he also had received Croatian citizenship.
1 Q. And is it correct that he was taken from the Vukovar Hospital on
2 the 12th of November, 1991?
3 A. He was taken away from the Vukovar Hospital on the 20th November
4 1991, as far as I know.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment, Mr. Gillett.
8 Are we back in business? Okay. Yes, Mr. Gillett. Probably the
9 computer got heated up with the temperature in this courtroom.
10 MR. GILLETT: I had noticed it's a bit of a boiler room today.
11 Q. I will repeat that. Were you correct when you said the 12th of
12 November, 1991, or that's what was recorded in the transcript in your
13 previous answer before it stopped.
14 A. To the best of my knowledge, I believe I said it was on the
15 20th November 1991, not the 12th of November. I hope that my memory is
17 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. We'd would seek admission of document
18 2282 at this stage.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: It Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1506. Thank
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 MR. GILLETT:
24 Q. Ms. Bilic, turning away from Ovcara now, could I ask you were you
25 involved in exhumations in and around Dalj?
1 A. I was involved in exhumations in Dalj.
2 MR. GILLETT: Could we get document 2876.1 on the monitor,
4 Q. And while that's coming up, could I ask you which exhumations you
5 were involved in in and around Dalj.
6 A. I was present at the exhumation of mortal remains from the mass
7 grave at the Catholic cemetery in Dalj where the mortal remains of
8 persons taken away from Borovo Komerc on the 19th of November, 1991, were
9 found. I also attended the exhumations of mortal remains from individual
10 graves in the area of Dalj, and finally, I was present at exhumations of
11 mortal remains from the mass grave in the broader area of Dalj where
12 victims from Erdut were found.
13 Q. The first exhumation you referred to at the Catholic cemetery, if
14 we scroll down to the bottom of page 1 of the B/C/S of this document,
15 does this set out the bodies that were found at that exhumation?
16 A. Just a moment. These bodies, this is not a reference, as far as
17 I can see from this table, to mortal remains from the mass grave at the
18 Catholic cemetery in Dalj that I meant. It's about victims from Borovo
19 Komerc. As far as I know, these are mortal remains of persons who met
20 their death in August 1991 in Dalj.
21 Q. I think the English version is on a different position. Perhaps
22 on the B/C/S if we scroll up slightly, and it's recorded -- and if we
23 scroll slightly to the left it says "Katolicko Groblje Lokacija."
24 And is it possible to scroll any further to the left, because I
25 believe it reads "Dalj" just above that, and this is the list I was
1 asking about.
2 A. Correct. Correct. In that case, those are mortal remains of
3 11 persons exhumed from the mass grave at the Catholic cemetery, and
4 these were persons taken away from Borovo Komerc on the
5 19th of November, 1991.
6 Q. Thank you. There was a slight issue with my monitor there. And
7 for the -- if we scroll down again, at the end of the list there's three
8 that are not named and say "Ne" for "Identitet." What does that mean?
9 A. That would mean that the mortal remains of these persons have
10 been found and have received proper designations, but the mortal remains
11 have not been identified yet. However, in one of these three cases, the
12 mortal remains have been identified in the meantime, and it's the case
13 under number 11 designated as NN198/11/DEM, and by DNA analysis it was
14 established that the mortal remains belonged to Zvonko Radic, a person
15 who was also taken away on the 19th of November 1991 from Borovo Naselje
16 precisely from Borovo Komerc.
17 Q. If we could turn now to page 2 of the B/C/S, and we have a
18 separate list of names exhumed at a well in Daljski Atar. Could I
19 confirm whether you were involved in that exhumation?
20 A. I attended that exhumation as well.
21 Q. And how were the bodies arranged when they were exhumed? I mean
22 in the location where they had been placed originally.
23 A. The identification process revealed that the victims that were
24 thrown into the well in Daljski Atar were taken away from Erdut. All
25 that happened in 1991 and in early 1992 on several occasions. The way
1 they were arranged in the well was that the mortal remains of those
2 persons who were taken away among the first were at the bottom, whereas
3 the mortal remains of those who were taken away among -- among the last
4 were towards the top, and those were taken away among the last were taken
5 away in the month of February 1992.
6 Q. If we scroll down slightly on the B/C/S, we see the name
7 Milorad Stricevic. This is at number 15, NN1387. But for him we don't
8 have information in the final column as to when he disappeared. Why do
9 we not have information for him as to when he disappeared?
10 A. No procedure was ever launched to look for Milorad Stricevic.
11 His family did not contact either the ICRC or any of the competent bodies
12 in the Republic of Serbia, which is why the information on the date and
13 place of his disappearance are missing in the last column next to his
15 MR. GILLETT: We would tender this document 2876.1, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1507. Thank
19 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. Could we now get document 6407 on the
20 monitor, please, and this is another one that was added to the 65 ter
21 list today.
22 Q. Now, on page 6 of the original of this document you'll see for
23 the point on date of death simply the date 1998 without a day or a month.
24 And this is page 2 of the English translation, which is the third linked
25 document in e-court, page 6 of the original. If we could -- that's the
1 one. And it's point number 4 on the document that we see on the right
2 side of the screen, "Datum i sat smrti." Why would there just be a year
3 of 1998 and not a day or a month for that?
4 A. After identification it is the competent scientific or medical
5 institution that records registered search based on the information
6 provided by the family. I suppose that the family stated when the mortal
7 remains were found, but this cannot be the time when that person went
8 missing, because their mortal remains were found in the well together
9 with all those who were thrown into the well in 1991 and 1992.
10 MR. GILLETT: We'd seek to tender 6407 at this stage. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1508. Thank
14 MR. GILLETT: Could we now get document 6399 on the monitor.
15 Q. And while it comes up, this document is an ICTY report that
16 describes exhumations, including one at Daljski Atar that you have
17 referred to earlier. On page 6 of the English and B/C/S, we see your
18 name listed as one of the people from CD and MP, which I take it means
19 Commission On Detained And Missing Persons.
20 On page 7 of the English, which is page 8 of the B/C/S, we see
21 that there are representatives from the OSCE and ECMM present as well.
22 Were they participating in the exhumation or just monitoring?
23 A. International organisations were invited by the administration,
24 and they could appear as observers during all the exhumations of the
25 persons who were killed during the war in Croatia. Obviously they could
1 do so if they so wished. That was also the case in Daljski Atar. And
2 they appeared as observers. They were just monitoring the process.
3 Q. And if we turn over another page and we should see bolded -- and
4 one more additional page, sorry. We see should bolded the number 1387.
5 Now, you've explained earlier that we can link these numbers to the names
6 in lists of identified persons, and through that can we connect this name
7 to Milorad Stricevic from the previous list who is listed as 1387?
8 A. Yes, we can connect this to Milorad Stricevic.
9 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we'd tender this report.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1509. Thank
13 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
14 Q. Now, turning to document 2689. This document states in its
15 heading -- and if we could get that on the monitor that would be
16 appreciated. It states in its heading that the victims were originally
17 at Velepromet and moved to the Vukovar Novo Groblje, which I understand
18 is the new cemetery, and that this is based on documentation from the
19 Serb authorities. Are you aware of these victims being at the
20 Velepromet, buried, and then moved to the Vukovar new cemetery?
21 A. It is correct. This is a list of those persons who were first
22 buried in the primary grave at Velepromet, and then in the month of
23 December 1991, their mortal remains were exhumed and transported to the
24 brickworks in Vukovar. An external examination of the mortal remains was
25 there done and accompanied by the appropriate protocol. Then the mortal
1 remains were transported to the new cemetery in Vukovar, and they were
2 reburied there under appropriate markings.
3 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we tender this document for
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1510. Thank
8 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. Could we get 65 ter document 2732 on
9 the monitor, please. And we only need the one version, so we can enlarge
10 this document because it has English and B/C/S on it.
11 Q. Could you describe what this -- this map shows.
12 A. This map shows the locations of the mass graves where we found
13 the mortal remains of those persons that went missing or were forcibly
14 taken away from Vukovar.
15 Q. And in the second last entry on the left where it says "Dalj,"
16 not the "Dalj Farma Lovas" but "Dalj," which site is that specifically in
17 Dalj where the bodies were found?
18 A. This is the Catholic cemetery in Dalj. The mortal remains of a
19 total of 11 persons were exhumed from the mass grave there.
20 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. We would tender this document.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1511. Thank
24 MR. GILLETT: Could we now get 65 ter document 2750 on the
25 monitor. And while that's coming up, if I could ask how I'm going on
1 time to the registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That is two actions asked of me. It will take
4 MR. GILLETT: Apologies. And if we could go to page 2. And we
5 only need the one version.
6 Q. Could you describe what this map shows?
7 A. This map shows those places in the Republic of Serbia and the
8 previously occupied areas of the Republic of Croatia where people were
9 detained after having been apprehended in Vukovar in 1991. On the
10 left-hand side there's a list of those places, and the map depicts those
11 places, and you can see the list of captions under the map.
12 Q. And just for the record, the depictions with the last diamonds
13 are the locations in Serbia, I believe, and the ones with the white
14 triangles are the ones within occupied parts of Croatia.
15 Now, one of the locations mentioned is Borovo Selo. Are you
16 aware of the -- what happened to people detained at Borovo Selo and where
17 they were detained?
18 A. Some of the people from Borovo Komerc, according to the
19 eyewitnesses, were taken to Borovo Selo and detained in the elementary
20 school there. Those persons, or at least some of them, are still
21 registered as missing. Some of their mortal remains were found in Ilok,
22 Sarengrad, Novi Sad. In all of those cases there are documents which
23 confirm that the mortal remains of those persons had been found at the
24 bottom of the Danube River. There is still an unidentified number of
25 persons who are still missing after having been taken to Borovo Selo from
1 Borovo Komerc after the occupation of Vukovar.
2 Q. And you mentioned that some of the remains of these people that
3 were detained Borovo Selo primary school were later found in other
4 locations. Are you aware of where these people were killed or not?
5 A. Those people were taken from Borovo Komerc in 1991. Some of them
6 were taken in the direction of Dalj and the Lovas farm. We have already
7 discussed those cases. And the others were taken to Borovo Selo. The
8 mortal remains of some of those persons were found in the previously
9 occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia, and a large number of
10 those were found in Novi Sad in the Republic of Serbia. We have
11 documents showing that those mortal remains were found in the Danube
13 Q. Are you aware for the people that were taken to the Borovo
14 primary school, some of whom you said were exhumed, where they were
15 killed, or are you not aware of where they were killed?
16 A. Well, according to the currently available records, we know that
17 14 persons who were brought to Borovo Selo were killed there. Their
18 mortal remains, I repeat, their mortal remains were found and those
19 people have been identified. We know that for a fact. However, there
20 are still persons of whom there is evidence that they were detained in
21 the elementary school in Borovo Selo, but they are still considered
22 missing. Their mortal remains have still not been located?
23 MR. GILLETT: Can we -- I seek to tender 2750 into evidence, Your
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit Number P1512. Thank
3 MR. GILLETT: And could we now get Exhibit -- this is the
4 admitted exhibit, P1080. And while that's coming up, I'll see if I have
5 an approximate update on the time that I've used.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: One hour and 35, something like that.
7 MR. GILLETT: Okay. It's less than I thought.
8 Q. Now, the document that is coming up is a missing persons
9 questionnaire for an individual called Ivan Baranjak, and at page 1.16 it
10 states that he was taken from Borovo Komerc and then disappeared or was
11 abducted from Borovo primary school - that's at page 2, section 2.3 - and
12 that there was a large group of people from Borovo Naselje present at the
13 time. Can I ask first is this a standard missing persons questionnaire?
14 A. Yes, this is a standard missing persons questionnaire.
15 Q. And was the individual, Ivan Baranjak, part of the group that you
16 have just referred to who were detained at Borovo Komerc -- sorry, Borovo
17 primary school?
18 A. According to the information you can find in the questionnaire,
19 the answer's yes.
20 MR. GILLETT: We would now seek document 5499 on the monitor,
21 please. And to explain, this is a United Nations report. It's
22 originally in English. We've had the relevant sections translated into
23 B/C/S, and depending on the witness's answers, those would be the
24 sections that we would seek to have admitted, and I'll read those into
25 the record now as we're waiting. The relevant sections are pages 1 to 8,
1 paragraphs 1 to 24; pages 27 to 28, paragraphs 155 to 163; and
2 pages 51 to 56, paragraphs 337 to 377.
3 Q. This UN report refers to various alleged mass graves in locations
4 including Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. Are you aware of the work
5 of this UN commission set up under Resolution 780?
6 A. I'm aware of the expert commission which was set up under
7 Resolution 780.
8 Q. If we could go to page 54, paragraph 359, and this is page 20 of
9 the B/C/S translation. Now, at this paragraph it refers to initial
10 attempts to exhume the mass grave, the alleged mass grave, at Ovcara.
11 Now, I understand this report is from 1994. Were you aware of these
12 early attempts to exhume the site at Ovcara, and, if so, can you explain
13 what they involved?
14 A. I know that there were attempts on the part of the UN Commission
15 for War Crimes to supervise the exhumation of the mass grave at Ovcara.
16 That was in the month of May 1993. However, I also know that the
17 implementation of the exhumation process at Ovcara was not allowed by
18 representatives of the local authorities or para-authorities in the area.
19 The mass grave was located, but the work on its exhumation was
20 discontinued because it was not allowed.
21 Q. Do you know why it was not allowed?
22 A. I really don't know why. I wouldn't be able to give you the
24 Q. And when did your involvement with the exhumation --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, could we have a little clarification
1 on what the witness means by representatives of the local authorities or
2 para-authorities in the area?
3 MR. GILLETT: Indeed.
4 Q. Ms. Bilic, are you able to respond to the President's question?
5 A. According to reports that referred to the investigation of the
6 locality of the mass grave at Ovcara, the representatives of the
7 para-authorities did not allow further investigation of the mass grave at
8 Ovcara in 1993. And I'm quoting that report. I can't give you any more
9 details because I don't know them.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: So you don't know who or what is meant by
11 "para-authorities"; is that right?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know their names. It is
13 the term that I found in the report.
14 MR. GILLETT:
15 Q. Could I ask when it says "para-authorities for that area," which
16 area they're talking about?
17 A. It is Vukovar and Srem County or the Croatian, the Nubian
18 [as interpreted] region.
19 Q. My previous question was concerning when your involvement
20 commenced with the exhumation at Ovcara. Could you -- could you tell us
22 A. I can't give you the exact date. However, it was in the course
23 of September 1996.
24 Q. If we move to paragraph 348, which is page 52 of the English and
25 page 18 of the B/C/S version, here the report refers to bodies being at
1 Sajmiste, near the railroad tracks behind Velepromet. Firstly, are you
2 aware of bodies being in that location? And I'll allow you to read the
3 paragraph before you answer that question. This was paragraph 348.
4 A. At the moment, I can't see a translation of that article. It's
5 not on the screen.
6 Q. Yes. Sorry, 348.
7 A. As far as Article 348 goes, I suppose that the information refers
8 to the mortal remains of the 19 persons that we have already discussed.
9 Those mortal remain were found in the primary grave at Velepromet where
10 they were exhumed and moved to the new cemetery in Vukovar. In addition
11 to those mortal remains, there were some individual graves at Velepromet.
12 I believe that there were two such cases, and those remains were also
13 exhumed and identified. However, our investigation at Velepromet are --
14 is still ongoing. We still collect information in order to possibly
15 reveal the remainder of the mortal remains that may have been buried at
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, it is 40 seconds before 2.00, and I
18 certainly do not want to go over 2.00. I want all of us to go into the
19 fresh air as soon as possible.
20 So, Ms. Bilic, this is the end of the hearing today. You will
21 come back tomorrow morning at 9.00. You are still under oath, and that
22 means that you cannot discuss your testimony with anybody, and you can --
23 you're not allowed to speak to any the parties. Is that understood? I
24 think you know the drill.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. The court usher will escort
2 you out of court.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 11th day
7 of April, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.