1Tuesday, 1st June, 1999
2 (Closed session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
13 redacted page 9715 – closed session
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13 (Open session)
14 (The witness entered court)
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Would you
16 please make the solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
22 Counsel Par?
23 MR. PAR: Open session, please.
24 WITNESS: BLAZ KESIC
25 Examined by Mr. Par:
1Q. Good morning, Mr. Kesic.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. To start with, will you tell the Court your
4 name, and tell us a little about yourself: Where and
5 when you were born, your occupation, your
6 qualifications, where you are employed, that you are a
7 forensic expert, and so on.
8 A. My name is Blaz Kesic. I was born on the
9 12th of November, 1948, in Vranci, Kresevo
10 municipality. I completed secondary school for
11 surveyors in 1963 to '67 and acquired the title of
12 surveyor. I have been working as a land surveyor since
13 1967 in Kiseljak municipality -- and until the 1st of
14 December, 1972, actually, when I moved to Vitez
15 municipality -- and I have been working in that
16 municipality since. I am now head of the cadaster
18 Q. Tell us, since when you have been a forensic
20 A. Since I passed the appropriate examination
21 and had three years of service, and practical
22 experience; that is, ever since 1970.
23 Q. Will you remind us since when you have been
24 working for the needs of Vitez municipality?
25 A. Since the 1st of December, 1972.
1Q. Will you tell us how familiar you are with
2 the terrain in and around the village of Ahmici?
3 A. The region of Ahmici, Pirici, and other
4 villages is a region very familiar to me because on a
5 number of occasions I would be called to map out plots
6 there and to register the route of roads and water
7 systems that were being built in those areas.
8 Q. At the request of the Defence of Vlatko
9 Kupreskic, you have provided your expert opinion.
10 Would you please tell us, what was the task assigned to
11 the expert? Could you please perhaps read it out,
12 because it's a brief one.
13 A. "Request of the Defence." I'm going to read
14 that request that I received from the Defence of Vlatko
15 Kupreskic. "For the needs of trial proceedings
16 IT-95-16-T which is being conducted before the
17 International Tribunal in The Hague, please provide an
18 expert opinion regarding the following:
19 Expert witness task 1: It is necessary to
20 establish, based on the aerial map we enclose,
21 Prosecutor's Exhibit Number 101, the exact position on
22 the terrain in Ahmici of point F, which marks the spot
23 where Fata Pezer's body was, according to the testimony
24 of a witness heard.
25 2: It is necessary to perform the
1appropriate measurements and prepare maps indicating
2 position F, as well as a topographical map with a cross
3 section of altitudes relative to Vlatko Kupreskic's
5 3: It should be explained in the opinion in
6 what way position F was established, and answer the
7 question whether there is optical visibility between
8 position F and Vlatko Kupreskic's house, and if not,
9 why? Is it due to the condition of the terrain, woods,
10 or man-made objects? Borislav Krajina, attorney at
11 law." (as read)
12 Q. So, in simple terms, we asked you, on the
13 basis of an aerial photograph, to compare a certain
14 point with the position of Vlatko Kupreskic's house on
15 the ground and the relationships between the two
17 MR. PAR: Could we place on the ELMO
18 Prosecutor's Exhibit 101? It is an aerial photograph.
19 In the meantime, I should like to say that this aerial
20 photograph was the one on which Witness F marked a
21 point as indicating the position where he found Fata
22 Pezer's house (sic). We call that point that he made
23 with a marker "point F" so that we know which point we
24 are talking about, and we will now able to see that on
25 the ELMO.
1MR. BLAXILL: Excuse me, Your Honours, I
2 think there's an error in the transcript. In the
3 translation, it says "... position where he found Fata
4 Pezer's house." I think that should read, in English,
5 "Fata Pezer's body."
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.
7 MR. PAR: Thank you.
8 Do we have Exhibit 101 on the ELMO? Could it
9 be moved to the right a little, please. Further to
10 right. That's fine now.
11 Q. Will you wait for my question, please. On
12 this map, do we see an indication with a marker with a
13 an -- no, X is in white, but before that, do you see
14 another point marked with a marker?
15 A. Yes, there's a little circle there.
16 Q. That is the circle that we have called
17 point F, so that we know what we're talking about. So
18 you have before you Prosecutor's Exhibit 101, and this
19 point will be called point F.
20 Mr. Kesic, in accordance with the task
21 assigned to you as an expert, were you able to
22 establish on the ground where this point F is situated?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you briefly explain to us the procedure
25 by which you were able to find this point on the map on
2 A. I can. On the basis of this aerial
3 photograph, I established the position of point F.
4 Based on the air map, Prosecutor's Exhibit 101, I
5 established in Ahmici point F, using cadaster maps,
6 land registry matches, number 5 of the land registry of
7 the municipality of Ahmici, scale 1 to 2.500, as well
8 as the original photo chart number 20 of the
9 municipality of Ahmici.
10 Q. Now, let's start again; let's make this very
11 clear. You used this aerial photograph and you used
12 your land registry maps, and on that map, on the basis
13 of this aerial photograph, you established the position
14 of point F. Do you have that land registry map, and if
15 so, will you place it on the ELMO, please?
16 MR. PAR: With the help of the usher, I
17 should like to provide copies for members of the Trial
18 Chamber, the Prosecution, and my colleagues on the
20 Q. In the meantime, will you explain to us where
21 on this map is point F, and also will you show us, with
22 the help of the pointer, on the ELMO.
23 A. When on the original plan -- when I compared
24 the original map with exhibit 101 and transpose the
25 position of point F, it is here. Then, in accordance
1with my assignment, I marked a position in front of
2 Vlatko Kupreskic's house as point F -- V, V. I'm
3 sorry, that's point V.
4 Q. Now we know how we indicated those points on
5 the land registry maps. Now, how did you find those
6 points on the ground?
7 A. I took the measurements from the original
8 land registry maps; that is, the distances from the
9 asphalt road leading to the village of Ahmici, or
10 rather the village road, which goes from Upper Ahmici
11 to the cemetery in the north/south direction, and again
12 I measured from that road towards the west, and then I
13 checked the distance from the edge of the private plots
14 of the Pezers on both sides. So I used at least four
15 different measurements to position point F, which I
16 marked with a wooden pole.
17 Q. So you used the distances from the land
18 registry maps. Tell us, how accurate are such
20 A. If I used the scale of 1 to 2.500, it is
21 considered that accuracy is 0.2 millimetres. We know
22 that 0.1 millimetre equals 25 centimetres, so accuracy
23 is plus/minus 25 centimetres. The transposition of
24 those measurements to the ground, in view of the
25 terrain itself, allows an error that is five to six
1times greater, which means 2 to 2.5 metres. So the
2 accuracy is plus/minus 2 to 2.5 metres, because the
3 terrain is inclined, it is overgrown and wooded; but in
4 very flat terrain, the accuracy is much greater, and
5 maximum error may be half a metre.
6 MR. PAR: The exhibit D47/3. Thank you.
7 Q. Could you tell us, please, what is the
8 difference in altitude between points F and V, in
9 metres, please?
10 A. When I marked point F on the original plan, I
11 read out the elevation point, which is 422,0. This is
12 absolute altitude using state maps. Similarly, point V
13 in front of Vlatko Kupreskic's house is at elevation
14 point 431. So the difference in altitude between these
15 two points is 8,5 metres.
16 Q. Bearing in mind this difference in altitude,
17 did you carry out a longitudinal cross-section of the
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Will you please look at that longitudinal
21 cross-section? I have copies for Their Honours and the
23 Meanwhile, will you tell us, on the basis of
24 these measures, that is, the difference in altitude and
25 this profile that you drew, you say that there is no
1visibility between these two points?
2 A. Correct.
3 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D48/3.
4 MR. PAR:
5 Q. Now, let us explain this, sir.
6 This cross-section profile, a longitudinal
7 one, we can see Vlatko Kupreskic's house, D, and our
8 point F. Can you tell us, what are these blue lines on
9 this longitudinal cross-section?
10 A. Blue lines here in this longitudinal profile
11 indicate the view in front of Vlatko Kupreskic's house
12 in the direction of point F.
13 Q. So these blue lines indicate the possibility
14 of optical visibility if you look in the direction --
15 A. I drew the blue line from the house from the
16 height of a normal man, so about a metre and a half.
17 So this is 141. Then I drew it from this point, with
18 the reference point being 432,5, and I tried to measure
19 it. But unfortunately there was a hill, there was an
20 elevation in front of me. You can see it, there is
21 this hill, so that I can look over this hill, or not --
22 that my view is blocked by this hill. That is, my
23 view, as I stand at this upper point at the house to
24 point F, I cannot see because, simply, there is a hill
25 which blocks the view.
1I even took the top of Vlatko Kupreskic's
2 house, which is at 438,5, and I also tried to see
3 however this imagined line of vision. Again, I cannot
4 reach point F because of this hill.
5 Q. I believe this is quite clear to us. So the
6 blue lines show us the visibility, the red lines show
7 where there isn't, and we realise there is this hill
8 which blocks the line of vision?
9 A. I also tried to measure at the point 142,5
10 direction from point F, and I realised that this again
11 comes against this hill, both the ground floor and the
12 top of the house. In other words, from point F you
13 cannot see again either the -- there is an no optical
14 visibility between point F and point V, which is the
15 house of Vlatko Kupreskic, again basically because of
16 the hill.
17 MR. PAR: All right, thank you.
18 Now, can we again show a videotape of only
19 about two minutes, showing this place on the ground and
20 the manner in which you marked the particular spot?
21 Mr. Usher, will you please take care of this?
22 As this is being prepared, let us go into
23 private session, please, just for a minute or so,
24 because a name of a protected person is mentioned on
25 the tape. So could we go into private session,
2 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape will be D48/3.
3 (Private session)
12 redacted page 9730 – private session
3 (Open session)
4 A. My task, as a land surveyor, was to take the
5 team that was making the recording to the scene, that
6 is, Vlatko Kupreskic's house, to the other house and to
7 the point F, and to show them the direction from
8 point V to point F, and we have already said that there
9 was no optical visibility between them.
10 I did it in my office on the original map.
11 From point F, I drew a line to the north and formally
12 established line between point F. Then I read out the
13 angle from north to the line between V to F and
14 established that it was 40 degrees to the left.
15 Then I went to the spot, stood at point F,
16 then turned my measuring devices northward by 40
17 degrees. Then I told them, "Well, this is the
18 direction towards Vlatko Kupreskic's house, so you can
19 record it now," and they did record the view.
20 The reason why we did this outside the place
21 from -- we wanted to establish the position of point F,
22 and we had a stake, a pole, of four metres, and we
23 needed such a tall pole because otherwise we wouldn't
24 be able to take our measurements. The size of 50 times
25 50, that is the plate that was up there, was showing us
1the difference. It is four metres above the ground,
2 and if you look carefully in the direction of Vlatko
3 Kupreskic's house, which we could not do in this
4 recording, and if need be we can go back to stop and to
5 show it, where it is on the left, and to the right is
6 this plate, so even a layman can see the difference in
7 altitude between the house and point F or, rather, the
8 elevation between the two.
9 Q. I do not think that this is really
10 contestable. It is quite obvious that there is no
11 direct visibility.
12 My question was that you participated in
13 this, that you took those measurements, and you said
14 yes, and that this white plate was positioned precisely
15 at the spot which you indicated and in the direction
16 which is not visible from that particular spot, and you
17 told the cameraman and others in which direction to
18 take the recording. Then we realised that it could not
19 be seen, that is, either the house could not be seen
20 from point F, nor from the house one could see
21 point F.
22 Now, let us now look at another tape, which
23 is D45/3, on which our witness Stipan Vidovic is
24 showing that particular spot. I hope we shall have
25 more luck with this recording.
1JUDGE CASSESE: Could the court deputy
2 please -- sorry to interrupt you. Could the court
3 deputy please give us the number of the transcript?
4 THE REGISTRAR: It will be marked D49A/3.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
6 (Videotape played)
7 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) I am Stipan
8 Vidovic, and this is Smajo Pezer's house.
9 When I heard there was a corpse in the woods,
10 I crossed this meadow, entered the wood, and saw the
12 As I went deeper into the woods, I saw the
13 corpse. I came closer to try to see who that was, and
14 I immediately recognised Fata Pezer.
15 MR. KRAJINA: Stipan, please, from this
16 place where you found Fata Pezer's body, will you
17 please tell me whether you can see Vlatko Kupreskic's
18 house from this place?
19 THE WITNESS: You cannot see Vlatko's
20 house from here because of this tall hill here, and
21 there's this wood, so you can't see it.
22 MR. KRAJINA: So there is a hill there?
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, there is a hill,
24 there is a stream and the woods. You can't see it at
2 Q. Mr. Kesic, can you tell us whether the spot
3 indicated by this witness is identical with or is
4 different from the place we called point F?
5 A. This spot indicated by Stipan Vidovic is
6 different from point F indicated by me.
7 Q. Will you please tell us what is the
8 difference, what is the difference between the place
9 which you marked as point F and the spot indicated by
10 Mr. Vidovic?
11 A. When identifying point F, I covered the
12 ground in great detail.
13 Q. Now, will you please tell us what is the
15 A. The difference between them in a horizontal
16 line is 30 metres, in the east-west direction they are,
17 so that there's about 30 metres difference between them
18 in the east-west direction.
19 Q. The point shown by Mr. Vidovic, is it closer
20 by 30 metres to the house or further, to the Pezers'
22 A. It is nearer to Pezer's house by 30 metres,
23 but we're not talking about the altitude difference.
24 Q. So point F is farther away from Pezer's house
25 by 30 metres on the same horizontal line. How did you
2 A. Let me repeat once again, I had to take very
3 detailed measurements from the public road, or rather
4 from the village road and the private plot of Sakib
5 Pezer's, from this house, in this direction, so that I
6 covered that ground several times, looking at the photo
8 You could see trees cut and stumps. This is
9 the private wood of Smajo Pezer -- which was felled
10 either during or after the war, I don't know -- whereas
11 point F is in the public woods, on public land. This
12 is poorer quality, and you do not see that kind of tree
13 stumps; that is, there are no oak tree stumps, and
14 there is only hornbeam and beech.
15 So, as the witness said, about 15 metres from
16 the end of the meadow into the private woods, and then
17 another 15 metres of this private woods, and then
18 begins the publicly owned wood to my point F. The
19 difference between point S, shown by Stipan Vidovic,
20 and point F is 30 metres.
21 Q. Right. So are you trying to tell us that
22 knowing the land and by seeing this tape, you could
23 establish which was the spot on the ground which was
24 shown by witness Vidovic? Now I will ask you about the
25 third case. You saw the tape on which the witness
1showed how he was wounded in the neck, how he was
2 wounded, and so on and so forth. I cannot mention his
3 name because he is protected, but you know which tape I
4 am referring to; the Court also knows which tape I am
5 referring to, so as not to show it for the umpteenth
6 time, since we all know what tape we are talking
8 I want now to ask you, do you remember the
9 place which was indicated by the witness as a spot
10 where he was wounded and where other people from the
11 group were wounded? Do you remember the place, or do
12 you not?
13 A. Yes, I do remember. I still remember it.
14 Q. All right. If you do remember this spot,
15 could you tell us, how far is that spot which that
16 witness showed, how far is it from the spot which you
17 marked as point F?
18 A. Let me call that spot indicated by the
19 witness as point X, and it is not on my point F. It is
20 nearer the state road, or rather the village road,
21 some -- not more than 6 metres away from my spot across
22 the Pezer house.
23 Q. No, just wait a moment; one thing at a time.
24 Do we -- let us call that witness CF; that is what he
25 is officially called here. So the place shown by
1Witness CF is about how far from point F?
2 A. Five or six metres away from point F, but in
3 relation to point S, that is, relation to the village
4 road from the village of Ahmici towards the highway.
5 Q. Did you include these points on your map? If
6 you did, will you please put it on the ELMO, and then I
7 will have two or three more questions to ask you.
8 Now, will you please use your marker to draw
9 by point F the place indicated by Stipan Vidovic -- let
10 us put an S to it -- and the place indicated by
11 Witness CF. So these are three points, these three
12 spots indicated.
13 A. Yes. Point CF is very near, because we were
14 using the scale of 2.500, so five to ten metres means
15 one to two millimetres, not more than that, on the
16 map. So within this green circle, where it says "F,"
17 the point CF is right within this green circle.
18 Q. Right. So let me ask you, in the end, all
19 these three points are on one and the same horizontal
21 A. Yes, all these three are more or less the
22 same altitude above the sea; that is, 422 to 423. Not
23 more than that.
24 Q. Are they all on one and the same path?
25 A. Yes. Stipan Vidovic, when he showed this, he
1walked down the meadow and reached the woods, and they
2 also, when I measured, went from the house, yes, this
3 is a path which goes from the village of Ahmici down
4 there, and we all followed this path.
5 Q. Right. Can you see Vlatko Kupreskic's house
6 from any of these points?
7 A. No, there is no optical visibility from any
8 of these points. When we draw the longitudinal profile
9 from this point to Vlatko Kupreskic's house, there is
10 no visibility, nor from point S, nor from the CF
11 point. You cannot see Vlatko Kupreskic's house from
12 any of these points.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. I do not have any
14 more questions.
15 MR. PAR: I should like to tender into
16 evidence D47, 48, 49/3, and that the finding and the
17 expert opinion also be admitted into evidence. We
18 already submitted the expert opinion.
19 Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further
21 MR. BLAXILL: No objection, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection; thank you.
23 They are admitted into evidence.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D50/3.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. This, as well,
1will be admitted into evidence.
2 Mr. Blaxill, Mr. Terrier?
3 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
5 Q. Mr. Kesic, good morning to you, sir.
6 A. Good morning.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, I assumed there was no
8 cross-examination by Defence counsel. I apologise.
9 Counsel Radovic?
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:
11 Q. Good morning.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. I understand that you work as a land surveyor
14 in the land registry department in Vitez municipality;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. As a surveyor, are you also engaged over
18 disputes between private owners over land?
19 A. Yes. The courts in Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 proceed in such a way that the disputing parties first
21 go to the land registry, and then the surveyor, in the
22 presence of both parties, tries to make a deal outside
23 court, so that minor disputes are resolved on the spot,
24 and we have no written records of such negotiations.
25 We feel that the dispute has been settled over the
1borderline between individual properties, private
3 Q. So on the basis of the maps, they tried to
4 re-establish boundaries between lands owned by private
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Will you tell us what the situation is like
8 in the village of Ahmici?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you ever also negotiate boundaries in the
11 village of Ahmici?
12 A. Yes. As in any other village, during spring,
13 farm work, problems would frequently arise. Sometimes
14 they were minor, sometimes more important. In some
15 cases there were court proceedings, but in most cases
16 we tried to achieve a settlement.
17 Q. Are you familiar with the name Sakib Ahmic?
18 Not the one living on the road, but the one further
20 A. Yes, he's a driver in Impregnacija.
21 Q. Did you ever regulate the boundaries of his
23 A. Yes, unfortunately, several times in my 20
24 years of service. Mr. Sakib Ahmic is a very
25 hardworking man; he tills his land, tends his orchards,
1but he doesn't respect other people's boundaries.
2 Actually, he never built a hard fence around his
3 property, a wire fence, concrete fence, or any other
4 way that means hard fence, or oak poles with wire, or
5 with wooden planks. So his whole property is marked
6 with a live hedge, natural thorn hedges, blackberry
7 thorns and hornbeam hedge, so that he usually cuts
8 those hedges in such a way as to gain up to 30
9 centimetres of his neighbour's land.
10 That is one thing that he does. Another
11 thing that he does is when he plows his fields, and as
12 his property is on a slope, all those above him
13 suffer. Why? Because he causes land to be eroded.
14 And he had disputes with his neighbours at least four
15 or five times, with Krdzalic Mehmed.
16 Q. What is he by ethnic origin?
17 A. A Muslim. Hrustanovic Mehmed, who is also a
18 Muslim; that is to north of his property. To the west
19 of his property is the Kupreskic property, and to the
20 south is again the Kupreskic property, whereas to the
21 east is a public road. So the property department
22 which is in charge of regulating relations between
23 private and state-owned property frequently had to
25 Q. So as far as I understand it, he had disputes
1over land boundaries with all his neighbours,
2 regardless of those neighbours' ethnic origin?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell us, please, did you have any disputes or
5 problems with him since these young men have been in
7 A. Yes, about a month ago, Luca Kupreskic came
8 to the office and said, "What am I going to do? Sakib
9 is clearing away the land. He wants to rebuild his
10 house. He's cutting the fruit and planting, but as
11 usual, he's clearing his hedges so that next to Zoran's
12 house, he has dug in a pole right inside his property."
13 So if the hedge is 50 or 60 metres wide, instead of
14 putting the pole in the middle of that hedge, he digs
15 it in to the left side of the hedge, which means closer
16 to his neighbour. Mrs. Luca noticed this and
17 said, "The children are away; I don't want to
18 intervene; let it stand. But when the time comes, we
19 will start some kind of court proceedings and regulate
20 our boundaries for good." So in spite of all that has
21 happened, the disputes continue.
22 Q. Now tell us, who is Luca?
23 A. Luca Kupreskic is Zoran's mother.
24 Q. Now, will you please get up and look at this
25 aerial photograph? You have to use the other
2 Look at the photograph first; I don't think
3 you've seen it before. Show the Vitez/Busovaca road,
5 A. (Indicating)
6 Q. Now show us the road that branches off
7 towards Ahmici.
8 A. This is the asphalt road, the old school
10 Q. Very well. And going along that road from
11 the main road towards Ahmici, to your right in that
12 same direction -- listen to my question, please.
13 Moving along that road, from the intersection upwards,
14 to the right of that road, whose houses are there?
15 A. These are all Muslim houses.
16 Q. So if I understand you correctly, to the
17 right of that road are exclusively Muslim houses?
18 A. Yes, and a few on the left-hand side. A
19 maximum of five houses. This is the Vidovic property,
20 the Kupreskic property.
21 Q. That's the left-hand side; I'm talking about
22 the right-hand side of the road.
23 A. To the right of the road, this entire
24 settlement consists of Muslim households.
25 Q. Thank you. Please be seated.
1I have noticed that there was some confusion
2 over land registry books, because we are obviously in a
3 different legal systems, the Prosecution and us, so
4 perhaps I could ask you a few questions about that.
5 MR. RADOVIC: Could the witness be shown
6 Prosecution Exhibit P358, I think. Copy of the
7 certificate of possession.
8 Q. Do you see it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Will you please explain to the Court how
11 these things are regulated in Vitez municipality, when
12 it says "Cadastral District, Travnik"?
13 A. The cadaster district is a broader area which
14 encompasses several municipalities. This district is
15 formed on the basis of the geography of the terrain,
16 which means that people living in a certain geographic
17 area have their meadows and fields plotted out in the
18 same way. So the cadaster districts are determined by
19 geographic and political considerations.
20 Q. But how did Vitez come under Travnik? When
21 was that cadaster district formed, the cadaster
23 A. Ever since the establishment of districts, in
24 the socialist system, there was the Travnik, Bugojno,
25 and Zenica districts and the municipalities that came
1under them, under the district court of Travnik, which
2 had the land registry books for Travnik, Novi Travnik,
3 Vitez. So we were part of that district.
4 Q. Will you tell us the purpose of the cadaster,
5 and what does it show?
6 A. The purpose is to keep records of areas,
7 crops, quality of land, and the owners of property, so
8 as to able to collect taxes.
9 Q. So the priority role is to have a record of
10 taxpayers who own a mobile property?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So tell us the difference between the
13 cadaster and the land registry books.
14 A. The difference is that the land registry
15 books keep records of the owners, which was identical
16 to those who were in possession. But when
17 Austro-Hungary formed the cadaster in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, life changes, inheritance, sales,
19 resulted in changes, so that the buyers and sellers did
20 not register in the land books all these transactions,
21 mainly to avoid paying taxes, because a third of the
22 value had to be paid as taxes.
23 Q. Tell us, these cadaster numbers of plots, in
24 Vitez, do they coincide, the numbers in the cadaster
25 and the numbers in court?
1A. Vitez, like all Bosnian cadasters, have been
2 subjected to changes of numbering twice. The reason
3 was that the Austro-Hungarian land books were formed in
4 1888, and the land registry and the cadaster, the
5 numbers in those two documents were identical. This
6 continued until 1945, and then during the Second World
7 War, many cadaster plans were burnt, and destroyed in
8 some cases; also the land registry books. Sometimes
9 the whole book, sometimes only certain segments.
10 With time, it was necessary to have a record
11 of the possession, so a list was made simply of the
12 owners of various plots. This kind of register is
13 called the cadaster of possession. This was in force
14 until the '70s, when large-scale construction of roads,
15 factories, et cetera, led to a situation when a new
16 registration could be made, new aerial photographs were
17 taken, and this is a copy. That is when the maps were
18 made in the scale 1 to 2.500, so we had complete plans
19 on the basis of which we could continue with
20 construction and have a proper record of land
22 So the same plot would acquire a third number
23 for Ahmici municipality. According to the municipal
24 cadaster, it was 5/56, forest, stream; according to the
25 Austro-Hungarian books, it was 132/1. So the numbers
2 Q. If I understood you well -- let us not go
3 into the details. I just wanted to make it clear to
4 the Court and the Prosecutor how these records were
6 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
7 have no further questions.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
9 Counsel Pavkovic?
10 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I do not have
11 any questions. I had just intended to announce my
12 learned friend, Mr. Ranko Radovic.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
14 Mr. Blaxill?
15 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
17 Q. Mr. Kesic, good morning to you, sir. My name
18 is Michael Blaxill. I'm one of the prosecuting counsel
19 assigned to this case.
20 May I ask you, you clearly have some
21 experience in dealing with court cases involving land
22 disputes. Have you been called upon to testify in
23 criminal proceedings on many occasions before?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me how many?
1A. At the Travnik court, maybe 10 to 15 times,
2 and it had to do with felling of woods, to prove
3 whether a tree in private ownership had been felled or
4 in social ownership, that kind of case.
5 Q. Oh, I see. Thank you very much. Sir, when
6 you first addressed the issue of finding the point
7 marked "F" on the ground, I believe it was the aerial
8 photograph that you were supplied; is that correct?
9 We've seen it this morning. Is that right, sir?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. Is it correct that on there, the civilian
12 witness in question has drawn a fairly large circle, I
13 think a smallish cross somewhere in that circle, and
14 written the words "Dead body" in English? Does that
15 appear on there?
16 Well, I should correct that question
17 slightly. That annotation of the words has actually
18 been added as an identifying feature later, but would
19 the original photograph that you received, sir, have
20 that circle on it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Would you say that on the ground, that would
23 represent a fair area of territory, a few metres, would
24 it not, within that circle?
25 A. This circle that I was given, its radius is
1about five metres. Transposed to the ground, it would
2 be about four to five metres across.
3 Q. Thank you. And at that time, you were not
4 made aware of the other points that we've seen revealed
5 through other witnesses in the videotapes today? You
6 did not know that when you commenced your work?
7 A. No. My first task was based on Prosecutor's
8 Exhibit 101. Then I went on the ground, and then the
9 camera came to film it. Later on, I was shown S and X,
10 the two witnesses.
11 Q. So in point of fact, sir, do you recall also
12 what scale the photograph was which you then compared
13 with the land registry map?
14 A. The photograph was 1 to 2.500, roughly, and I
15 can prove that by comparing the original map with --
16 and covering it with the transparency, and comparing it
17 with 101, and using my own original photo sketch during
18 an aerial photography in 1970, which is again the scale
19 of 1 to 2.500.
20 Q. And of course, therefore, the terrain and the
21 contours that you're working to date back to 1970
22 information; that is correct? I've heard you
24 A. No -- yes, partly. But also I personally
25 went there. There was no asphalt road in 1970; now
1there is. There were no fences; now we have them.
2 Vlatko's house was not there; now we have it. These
3 are the buildings that were built subsequently.
4 Q. And turning, if I may, now, sir, to your
5 cross-sectional diagram that takes us from point F to
6 the house of Vlatko Kupreskic, would I be correct in
7 assuming that you have taken different points from the
8 contours of the map, and they have been joined,
9 effectively, with straight lines to create the diagram?
10 Is that correct?
11 A. Could you please repeat the question?
12 Q. Yes, sir. Working across the cross-section
13 diagram you have prepared, would it be true to say that
14 you have taken particular points of height reference
15 from the map, and they have been joined by you with,
16 effectively, straight lines on this diagram? Is that
17 right, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. So indeed, the actual terrain, as
20 we've seen from the videos, would look somewhat
21 different, with other little dips and bumps between the
22 high points; would that be correct?
23 A. Yes. My cross-sectional profile was done in
24 the scale -- M equals 1 to 100 to 200, which means the
25 altitude was in scale 1 and the length, 200, for better
1visibility. Each point on the longitudinal profile,
2 zero at Vlatko's house, then 6 metres, then 12 metres,
3 then the elevation of the ground. Then point V, and
4 then, in the lowest level, we have the land contour,
5 and it says from O to 12 metres is the yard. From 12
6 to 18 is the asphalt road, as can be seen on the
7 profile. Then there is pastures, which has a mild
8 dip. Then it climbs mildly at the 28th metre. Then
9 there's a meadow that goes up to 45 metres in height,
10 then again a mildly upward-sloping meadow, then
11 pastureland that covers a hill. Then we go to point
12 84, with a low-growing trees. Then it goes downhill,
13 and at a level of 14 metres, there is elevation
14 point 430. Then we have elevation point 427,5; then a
15 mild slope, going towards point F, at a length of
16 120 metres.
17 So this is the terrain as if it were cut
18 across and we would see it from the side. A
19 cross-section, in other words.
20 Q. Thank you. Now taking that view, you have
21 point V. Where, physically, did you take that point on
22 the house of Vlatko Kupreskic, because it appears to be
23 a spot to one side of the property on the
24 cross-section. Could you indicate where, on the house,
25 you took that measurement from?
1A. We have to go back to the other map, to place
2 it on the ELMO, indicating points F, S and X.
3 This is the old house of Vlatko Kupreskic,
4 his father's, and this is the newly-built house.
5 Point V is between the old and new house of Vlatko
6 Kupreskic in the yard where there is a table and
7 chairs, so it is between these two houses, where I was
8 taken by the Prosecutor (sic), to show the angle from
9 which the film was taken -- I'm sorry, not the
10 Prosecutors, the Defence counsel, I'm sorry -- to show
11 me the angle for filming this point.
12 Q. Thank you. Could you indicate or do you
13 recall, sir, the difference between -- the distance,
14 I'm sorry, between those two houses?
15 A. The distance between the two houses is
16 roughly 15 metres.
17 Q. So would it be fair to say the point you
18 picked was probably therefore seven and a half metres
19 to one side, if you were halfway between the two?
20 A. It was about five metres from the new house,
21 because there's a plateau there, it is flat, there's a
22 table and chairs, there's a water tap, and then there's
23 a mild slope going downwards, downhill towards the old
24 house. So this is the most dominant position between
25 the old and new house, the yard of Vlatko Kupreskic's
2 Q. Would you agree, sir, looking at your
3 diagram, the house has something like a ten-metre
4 width? According to this plan, would that be about
5 right, sir?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Would it be correct that it is probably
8 another eight metres from the wall of the house to the
9 far side of the asphalt road beside the house? Would
10 that be correct from your diagram? I think it takes us
11 up to about an 18-metre point there, doesn't it; is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes, but this diagram shows the direction
14 between point V and point F.
15 If we go back to the map, let me show it to
16 you, you will see the old house and the new house and
17 the direction, and we will see the road going on.
18 So from the cross-section, the house is moved
19 away upwards, and our vision is going downwards. But
20 for practical reasons, I had to draw the house as if it
21 was actually in the line of vision. But actually the
22 house is left to the side. We are looking in front of
23 the house.
24 Q. So would that place the house a little more
25 towards the hill that we see over on the right side of
1your diagram? Would that, in reality, make the house a
2 little nearer there?
3 A. No. The relationship between point V and F
4 and the position of the house, according to this line,
5 fully shows point V, the house, and point F. The only
6 reason, and I'm going back to the map again to show it
7 to you, the house is mildly turned 15 degrees away from
8 the line, it is at an angle of 15 degrees, I have to
9 show it in this way in the cross-section. But this map
10 shows the actual position of the buildings and the line
11 linking point F and point V.
12 Q. So if I can recap, sir, basically speaking,
13 what we have here is point F, that is based on the
14 marking of a photograph by one witness to have appeared
15 in this Tribunal, I believe that is so, and a
16 cross-section that in fact forces you, by its nature,
17 if you like, to distort the reality of the layout. You
18 have to do that in order to perform this function; is
19 that right, sir?
20 A. No, I did not distort anything. What I did
21 was draw in the house. I brought it closer to the line
22 in order to show the altitudes.
23 The most important thing here is altitudes
24 and the ratios of distances between individual points,
25 so that I come back to this -- we had to come back to
1this map to look at the directions.
2 Q. Yes, sir. I wasn't suggesting that you would
3 wilfully distort the reality. What I'm saying is with
4 the limitations placed upon you, you had to make the
5 house at a different angle from its real position. But
6 I appreciate and understand what you mean, sir.
7 Now, from this --
8 A. Thank you.
9 Q. If one were to say there were people standing
10 on that asphalt road adjacent to the Kupreskic house,
11 and if we had some people on the slope facing that
12 house, the obvious thing would appear that there is a
13 clear line of sight between such groups of people.
14 Would you agree with me, sir?
15 A. Yes, up to the top of the hill, in front of
16 Vlatko Kupreskic's house, all that is in front of
17 Vlatko Kupreskic's house, both from the ground floor
18 and the top of the house, but as of point V. When you
19 go to the horizon when you reach point V, then you
20 can't see it. But down to 84, which you see on the
21 longitudinal profile, and 432 height reference, you can
22 see Vlatko Kupreskic's house and the road in front of
23 the house.
24 Q. Finally, I'm just going to put to you a brief
1I suggest, sir, if we have heard evidence
2 perhaps in this courtroom that people were moving along
3 the lower part of the slope facing Vlatko Kupreskic's
4 house, and if those people say they saw soldiers in
5 front of the house, i.e., on their side, between them
6 and Kupreskic's house, a line of sight would be clear
7 between the group of soldiers by the house and the
8 people at the foot of the slope. We're quite clear on
9 that, aren't we, sir, if that's the case?
10 A. If they were moving in the direction from
11 Vlatko Kupreskic's house towards point F through the
12 meadow, and I'm coming back to the situation on the
13 ground, 442,5 is here. If they crossed the asphalt
14 road, then this meadow, they are within the field of
15 vision. But as soon as they've crossed 432,5 point and
16 start downhill, then they are outside the field of
18 Q. Of course, they would be in vision as well if
19 they were walking horizontally along. As if we were
20 walking into the diagram, that way, they would still be
21 visible at the bottom of this ridge, would that be
22 correct, heading that way or this way?
23 A. The borderline, the horizon, goes -- follows
24 the contours of the hill. If this storage or, rather,
25 Vlatko Kupreskic's house, old or new -- this is
1point F. This is the old and the new house of Vlatko
2 Kupreskic. This here is point F, and as a land
3 surveyor who has been reading these aerial photographs
4 all the time, I think I can read this map even without
5 the tridimensional goggles, and I can see that this is
6 the hill. So this is the slope and the meadow, and
7 point F is here. That is on this side of the field of
8 vision from Vlatko Kupreskic's house, and I walked from
9 here to the meadow, to the pasture land, to the woods,
10 down to the field of vision and to the foot of the
11 hill. All that is on this side is visible, and below
12 that you cannot see anything.
13 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you very much. Your
14 Honours, I'm mindful of the time. Did you want to take
15 a break at this juncture or did you want to run until
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Let's take a break at quarter
18 to 11.00, because we will have to stop at 1.00, to my
19 regret. Yes.
20 MR. BLAXILL: Right, Your Honour.
21 Q. So, thank you for establishing that, sir.
22 Has anybody suggested to you previously that
23 that might be a version of events relating to the
24 persons whose names I won't mention but the ladies who
25 got injured and killed? Has that version of events
1ever been told to you before as a theory?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Can you then indicate, sir, just confirm,
4 that if we're looking at the side of the asphalt road
5 facing the slope in the direction of point F, to the
6 base of that slope we have something in the region of
7 40 or so metres, is that about right, from the edge of
8 the road across to the bottom of the slope?
9 A. Yes, because the reference point is 18 --
10 yes, there would be 40 metres, the whole of 40 metres
11 of meadow, grazing land and meadow, from the foot of
12 the hill to up the slope where pasture land begins.
13 That is about 40 metres, yes.
14 Q. Just a couple of very brief further matters,
16 On the sound track of the videotape we saw
17 today, the one which shows your marker post and the
18 reference points on it, you refer to a certain person
19 being wounded and a body being found at that given
20 spot. Would you agree, sir, that that is clearly only
21 on one piece of information that you had at the outset
22 in your brief?
23 A. As I watched the tape, I learned the same
24 thing as you can hear on the tape. That is, that it is
25 the point F that we are talking about.
1MR. BLAXILL: I'm obliged to you for answering
2 my questions, sir. Thank you.
3 Mr. President, Your Honours, I conclude.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
5 Counsel Par?
6 MR. PAR: I have no more questions. Thank
7 you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: So therefore we have no
10 Mr. Kesic, thank you for coming to The Hague
11 to give evidence in court. You may now be released.
12 (The witness withdrew)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: We will now take a break, and
14 when we resume in 30 minutes, we will have, I hope, the
15 next witness.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.13 a.m.
18 (The witness entered court)
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, the next witness is
20 Mr. Catipovic?
21 MR. PAR: Mr. Skavic.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Will you
23 please make the solemn declaration?
24 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
2 JUDGE CASSESE: You may be seated. Counsel
4 MR. PAR: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 WITNESS: JOSIP SKAVIC
6 Examined by Mr. Par:
7 Q. Good morning, Mr. Skavic.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. Will you please give us first your name, your
10 date and place of birth, the education that you had,
11 your occupation, the jobs you were employed in
12 formerly, where do you work now, and for how long have
13 you been a forensic expert witness?
14 A. My name is Josip Skavic. I was born in 1943
15 in Pakrac, the Republic of Croatia.
16 After the secondary school, I enrolled in the
17 Faculty of Medicine. I graduated from it in 1967, and
18 sometime in 1970 I began to work at the Forensic
19 Medicine Institute at the Faculty of Medicine. I
20 completed my specialisation in forensic medicine, and
21 then I continued a specialisation in pathology. And
22 after the completion of that specialisation course, I
23 continued to work at the Forensic Medicine Institute,
24 and that is where I am to this day.
25 At present, I am associate professor at the
1Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb, and I have been a
2 forensic expert witness for the past 20 years or so.
3 Q. Thank you. The Defence counsel of Vlatko
4 Kupreskic has asked you for your expert opinion. Will
5 you please tell us, what was it that you were asked to
7 A. The subject of my expert analysis were the
8 injuries of two persons, that is, (redacted) and
9 (redacted). We were asked about the injuries they
10 sustained, to do a joint expert analysis with a
11 ballistic expert, that is, a so-called
12 interdisciplinary expert analysis, and this was done
13 with Damir Catipovic, an engineer.
14 Another task was to establish the mechanism,
15 that is, the means with which the wounds were
16 inflicted, and if the injuries were due to firearms.
17 Then we also had to establish what kind of weapon was
18 responsible for it.
19 Q. Thank you. Will you please now tell us, what
20 documents did you have at your disposal? I will give
21 them to you one by one, and I shall ask you to comment
22 on them or, rather, explain what each of these
23 documents represents.
24 Before that, will you please tell us if you
25 personally examined any of the two injured persons?
1A. Two days ago, I examined (redacted), one of
2 the injured persons, or rather I examined the scars
3 which are still visible after the wounds were healed.
4 MR. PAR: Mr. Usher, will you please show
5 this document to Professor Skavic?
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is D51/3.
7 MR. PAR:
8 Q. Right. Mr. Skavic, will you please tell us,
9 what kind of document is this?
10 A. What you have here is the discharge list of
11 the medical centre in Travnik where (redacted), the
12 injured person, was at the traumatology and surgical
14 Q. Could you tell us, when was that?
15 A. She was admitted to hospital on the 16th of
16 March, '93, to the 15th of -- to the 3rd of May, 1993.
17 MR. PAR: Could we have the second document,
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D52/3.
20 MR. PAR:
21 Q. Professor, this is a discharge list of the
22 17th Mountain Brigade army of Bosnia-Herzegovina which
23 shows that patient (redacted) was treated in the
24 hospital between the 16th of March, 1993, until the
25 10th of May, 1993.
1Thank you. We have another list.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D53/3.
3 A. This is a finding of a specialist relative to
4 the examination of (redacted) on the 18th of March,
6 MR. PAR:
7 Q. Thank you. Now let us talk about the injury
8 sustained by this person. What was the degree of
9 injuries and the type of injuries that you found in
11 A. After examining in view of the treatment of
12 patient (redacted), we found the injuries as those
13 made by firearms in the upper leg and lower leg right,
14 an open fracture of the right scapula, and there were
15 alien metal bodies found. So this was evidently an
16 open complicated fracture of the right lower leg. We
17 normally call it a severe injury. In the upper leg,
18 the injury was not described. We do not have the
19 findings on the injuries to the tissues or to the
20 muscles or to the bone. We conclude that this was a
21 light bodily injury.
22 Q. Thank you. And about (redacted), what kind
23 of injuries did you find there?
24 A. After examining the injured person, (redacted)
25 (redacted), the injury was described as that of the right
1side of the neck and the right side of the back. The
2 neck injury looks like a groove; that is, the injury to
3 soft tissues, 16 times 2 centimetres. To the right, in
4 the shoulder blade -- that is, the scapula -- it was a
5 wound 5 times 3 centimetres large.
6 I would like to relate it to the examination
7 that I mentioned a while ago. On the basis of this
8 medical documentation, on the basis of which I examined
9 him and then wrote my opinion, I expressed a suspicion
10 that these could have been two projectiles; that is,
11 two wounds independent one of another. This derives
12 from the topographical relationship of the two wounds.
13 If we look at the neck injury and the scapular injury,
14 it would seem that the latter projectile should have
15 caused major injury.
16 I thought this these were two independent
17 ones, but when I examined it, we see that in the
18 medical documentation, the injury on the right side of
19 the back was wrongly localised. It was described as
20 the one in the region of the scapula, but it is above
21 the shoulder blade, rather. Since the wound was
22 inflicted there, we concluded that it was one single
23 injury; that is, an injury which began at the right
24 side of the neck as a tangential scratch, and after
25 that the projectile entered the soft tissues of the
1right shoulder and then ended in an exit wound
2 described as the size 5 times 3 centimetres above the
3 right shoulder blade.
4 If we look at this injury, it seems that this
5 direction, if we look at the body in the upright
6 position, then the bullet passed from above, then to
7 the back and down.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us, what means
9 could have caused that injury?
10 A. On the basis of features of this injury and
11 the still-visible scars, it is not impossible to
12 forensically establish the means whereby this wound was
13 inflicted. It could be due either to small firearms or
14 the shrapnel fragment of some fragmentation bullet, or
15 something like that. I still cannot establish with
16 certainty what kind of means was used, but that groove
17 which was caused in the injury would seem to indicate a
18 wound caused rather by a shrapnel than by a projectile
19 from a firearm, because in the latter case, the groove
20 would have been much narrower. I'm referring to the
21 tangential injury, which would then correspond to the
22 calibre of the particular weapon.
23 Q. When you were trying to come to some
24 conclusions as to the weapons, did you consult a
25 ballistics expert?
1A. I must point out that what I have just said
2 was based only on the examination of the injuries; that
3 is, I base my opinion, my finding, on the description
4 of the injury.
5 Q. Will you now tell us, in your expert opinion,
6 from what direction could the injury have been
8 A. I can refer only to the relationship between
9 the source of the shrapnel, of the fragment, and the
10 injury already said that the direction, the
11 direction -- if we see the body of the injured person
12 upright, then it came from upward, then went backward
13 and downward. So whether he was standing, sitting,
14 lying down, turned to the left or to the right, these
15 ratios have to be identical. So once again I can say,
16 if it was firearms that were used, then we're taking
17 the barrel. If it was a fragment, then it came from in
18 front of him downward.
19 Q. Does that mean that you exclude the
20 possibility that these injuries could have been due
21 from a shot fired from the back and to the left?
22 A. If I look at these relationships, the only
23 possibility, if it was a firearm, that the barrel was
24 in front and upward. No other relationship could have
25 resulted in such an injury.
1Q. Do you think it is possible that such an
2 injury was due to a fragment of a fragmentation bullet
3 which hit, for instance, the trunk of a tree above the
4 injured and in front of him?
5 A. Yes, I believe that there is such a
7 Q. And in the case of (redacted), what is the
8 situation as regards the direction from which the
9 injury was inflicted?
10 A. The injured (redacted) sustained injuries
11 in her right leg; that is, both the upper and lower
12 leg. The medical documentation does not give us any
13 detailed description of the injury, so that we cannot
14 say where was the entry wound or as to the channel, and
15 possibly the exit wound, if it was a bullet which went
17 Now, this localisation of two injuries of a
18 rather small part of the body -- that is, the right leg
19 -- seems to suggest that the injury was due, if it was
20 a small firearm, so either a bullet or the shrapnel, it
21 should mean that the epicentre of the explosion was on
22 the right-hand side, and I cannot say whether it was
23 strictly right laterally, right front, right anterior,
24 or right posterior. I can only say that it came from
25 the right-hand side.
1Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. PAR: Your Honours, I have no further
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Pavkovic?
5 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I can announce
6 that the expert witness will be examined by
7 Mrs. Jadranka Slokovic-Glumac and by Mr. Ranko Radovic.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
9 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
12 Mr. President.
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
14 Q. Good afternoon, professor.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I should like the usher
16 to show the witness Prosecution Exhibit P84 through to
18 Q. Professor, these are photographs taken in a
19 certain area in a house, and I should like to ask you
20 to look at those photographs and to tell us whether you
21 see on these photographs the bodily remains of human
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Can we put them on the
24 ELMO, please, at least one of the photographs?
25 A. I should like to select some of these
1photographs, this one as the first one, because I think
2 it is important to see that this was a burning in a
3 dwelling, and obviously the floor -- the ceiling caved
4 in. Then I can assert with certainty, and I think this
5 is obvious even to a layman, that we see a part of a
6 human skeleton or the remains of a dead body.
7 There are several photographs showing rather
8 masses of parts which could be a dead human body.
9 Q. Can we say with certainty that each of those
10 black masses shown on these photographs represent a
11 human body?
12 A. No. That is why I said that such a picture
13 can be seen in the case of the burning of biological
14 material. It can be any biological material, which
15 means a human body, but it can also be an animal.
16 So I have to stress that in such situations,
17 these are highly-delicate issues to provide an expert
18 opinion on. We have to establish whether it is human
19 tissue, which is then further examined by
21 In addition to this obvious human skeleton
22 that I have just drawn attention to and which is shown
23 on several of these photographs, for example, here and
24 then the same thing here on this photograph, it can be
25 said with certainty that these are human remains, and
1on the basis of this, that is all that I could say. I
2 couldn't say anything more than that, underlining the
3 delicacy of the problem and which it is difficult to
4 provide an expert opinion on.
5 Q. But by examining these photographs, could you
6 say how many persons may have been involved?
7 A. Underlining what I have already said, how
8 difficult it is to provide an expert opinion, I think
9 that no expert could, on the basis of these photographs
10 and the first impression one has seeing them, could go
11 that far.
12 I think that it is very difficult to take
13 samples because of the caving in of the ceiling, and
14 only after lengthy studies, which would include
15 anthropological and forensic and other studies, could
16 any conclusions be made.
17 Q. Yes. But in view of the fact that you are a
18 highly-experienced forensic expert, the fact if you had
19 been on the spot at the time the photographs were
20 taken, could you have been able to say with certainty
21 at the time, by visual examination, what it was?
22 A. No, I would never be so bold as to do that.
23 Q. So regardless of your experience, even then
24 it would be guesswork, in your opinion?
25 A. Yes, absolutely.
1Q. So the only way to establish the number of
2 victims involved would be a proper forensic study,
3 combined with anthropological and other studies? I
4 don't know what else you would need.
5 A. Certainly we would require teamwork, which
6 would certainly include an anthropologist, a forensic
7 expert, a laboratory to determine the [indiscernible]
8 necessary and so on.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Professor.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Radovic?
11 MR. RADOVIC: I have only one question for
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:
14 Q. Could you tell us who has the right to
15 interpret medical documentation?
16 A. Only a doctor, or if it is a kind of a trial
17 involved, then a forensic medical expert, a doctor who
18 establishes a diagnosis.
19 Q. Can medical documentation and the condition
20 of a patient at any point in time be interpreted by a
21 person who is not a doctor?
22 A. I can only speak about the customary
23 interpretations that we have in the Republic of
24 Croatia. It is excluded for any other kind of expert
25 to interpret medical documentation.
1Q. Can a social worker interpret medical
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Radovic.
5 Counsel Blaxill.
6 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
8 Q. Professor, good morning to you, sir. My name
9 is Michael Blaxill. I'm one of the prosecuting counsel
10 assigned in this case. I just have a couple of
11 questions, sir, and partly to clear up something that I
12 think I may have misunderstood from you.
13 The gentleman referred to, Mr. (redacted),
14 he suffered the neck and shoulder injury. I'm not
15 quite certain if your eventual conclusion was that this
16 was caused by one projectile or was two separate
17 wounds. Could you just clarify that for me, sir?
18 A. Underlining the examination I carried out two
19 days ago, I said that the conclusion that can be
20 inferred from the written opinion and documentation, in
21 view of the exit wound on the right-hand side of the
22 back, has to be changed, in the sense that they were
23 not two separate wounds but only one.
24 Q. So therefore I think I understand correctly.
25 He was hit by one projectile, with an entry wound and
1an exit wound, and that's what you saw?
2 A. From the beginning, I pointed out that on the
3 basis of the characteristics of the wound, I cannot say
4 whether it was a small-arms bullet or a fragment, and I
5 say that both is possible. In view of the channel
6 formed by the projectile, I consider it more likely to
7 be a fragment or a shrapnel.
8 Q. However, I believe you agree, sir, that the
9 wounds are at least consistent with the possibility
10 that this was a bullet from a hand-held firearm of some
11 description. That is one potential option?
12 A. As one of the two possibilities, yes.
13 Q. As well, Professor, regarding the lady's leg
14 injuries, again would you say they are also consistent
15 with injuries that may have been caused by a projectile
16 from a hand-held firearm or firearms?
17 A. It could have been, among others, caused by
18 the projectile of a hand-held firearm.
19 Q. Of course, Professor, you have not had the
20 opportunity to examine the lady. You're going purely
21 by the documentation that we have seen here today; is
22 that correct, sir?
23 A. Yes, that is correct, only on the basis of
24 medical documentation.
25 MR. BLAXILL: I thank you for that,
1Professor. Much obliged to you.
2 Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.
4 Counsel Par?
5 MR. PAR: I have no additional questions, but
6 I would like to tender into evidence D51/3, 52/3 and
7 53/3 at Defence exhibits.
8 MR. BLAXILL: No objection, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. They are admitted
10 into evidence.
11 The Court has no questions for the witness.
12 Professor Skavic, thank you so much for
13 coming here to give evidence in court. You may now be
15 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
16 (The witness withdrew)
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par, do you know
18 whether there's any other expert witness available?
19 MR. PAR: Yes. Mr. Catipovic is waiting
20 outside the courtroom.
21 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, in connection
22 with this particular witness, a report has been
23 submitted already, giving an expert commentary on the
24 performance of a certain firearm, namely an MGV-176
25 machine gun. That report has been accepted in its
1entirety by the Prosecution. So if that assists the
2 Court and saves time, I would just remind everybody
3 that we've accepted that particular report in its
4 entire contents.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill. I'm
6 sure that Counsel Par will take this into account.
7 MR. PAR: Mr. Blaxill mentioned an expert
8 opinion which comes under Mr. Radovic's defence, so our
9 expert witness is testifying to something else.
10 MR. BLAXILL: [Inaudible] the same expert,
11 but that report was indeed arranged by Mr. Radovic. My
12 apologies, Your Honour.
13 (The witness entered court)
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Catipovic.
15 Would you please make the solemn declaration?
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
21 Counsel Par.
22 MR. PAR: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 WITNESS: DAMIR CATIPOVIC
24 Examined by Mr. Par:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Catipovic. Are we ready
1to start? Can you hear me well?
2 A. Yes, everything is fine. Thank you.
3 Q. Will you please tell the Court your name, a
4 few words about yourself, your professional career,
5 where you were born, your education, where you're
6 working, what your present job is, and what experience
7 you have in ballistic expert opinions, and how long you
8 have been an expert in the field?
9 A. I was born in 1945 in Sinj, in the Republic
10 of Croatia. Since 1954, I have been living in Zagreb,
11 where I completed my education, starting from
12 elementary school, on to grammar school, and the
13 Department of Chemistry. I'm a graduate chemical
15 Since 1973, I have been working in the
16 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia as
17 a ballistic expert and for mechanical trajectories,
18 where I'm still employed, and I'm head of the
19 department for such expert opinions.
20 I have been working for 26 years in the same
21 field, out of which I have been a forensic expert for
22 some 20 years. And in view of my age, obviously I have
23 some experience.
24 Q. I beg your pardon. When I asked you about
25 your experience in the ballistic area, I was thinking
1of the war in Croatia and whether you had any
2 experience from that war.
3 A. Unfortunately, as compared to many experts
4 world-wide, you know what happened in our part of the
5 world, this may be a good thing for our profession, so
6 that from the beginning of the events that started in
7 1990 until 1995, I covered a great deal of ground and
8 saw many instances and many cases in the course of my
9 regular duties in the Ministry of the Interior.
10 Q. Thank you. The Defence of Vlatko Kupreskic
11 has submitted to you a certain number of documents,
12 maps, videotapes, and asked you to provide your expert
13 opinion. Could you tell this Court what your
14 assignment was as ballistic expert?
15 A. It is true that I was provided documents on
16 the basis of which Dr. Skavic, who has testified just
17 before me, and I were asked to provide combined medical
18 and ballistic expert opinion, and virtually the same
19 questions were addressed to the medical expert and
20 myself, as a ballistic expert. I can repeat them now.
21 Those questions were -- I don't know whether
22 Dr. Skavic repeated them here.
23 Q. Let me help you so that we shouldn't repeat
24 them or read them here. So I will help you.
25 Your assignment was to jointly provide expert
1opinions and to analyse the injuries and the causes of
2 those injuries?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you establish the mechanism and the means
5 by which the injured were injured?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In your opinion, can you tell us how those
8 injuries occurred?
9 A. On the basis of documents available to me,
10 there is no doubt that the injuries were caused by a
11 bullet or fragments of a bullet fired from a firearm.
12 Q. In your opinion, what was the means used to
13 provoke the injury?
14 A. The means used is a question that it is
15 difficult to answer without material traces, because
16 our opinions are based exclusively on the testimony of
17 witnesses and the effect on the surrounding objects, in
18 this case on the branches of trees and the wounds on
19 the bodies of the injured.
20 On that basis, it is my opinion that it was a
21 firearm of a stronger calibre with fragmentation
23 Q. When you say a heavier firearm, what calibre
24 are you referring to?
25 A. The most frequent infantry weapon is the
1automatic/semi-automatic rifle or light machine gun.
2 7,32 -- 7,62 to 39 millimetres are excluded.
3 Everything else could be possible, depending on the
4 distance, including the M-84 machine gun which one of
5 the witnesses refers to. But I am of the opinion that
6 it was something even stronger than that.
7 Q. So let us clear up this point. Calibres
8 corresponding to a normal rifle, an automatic rifle,
9 are excluded? You feel that they were --
10 A. It was a weapon from an M-84 machine gun,
11 this would be the lowest limit, anything from that and
12 including that upwards.
13 Q. Allow me to ask you a few questions that will
14 help us to understand how you reached that conclusion.
15 Let me show you the documents that we
16 supplied you with, and will you please confirm whether
17 you took those documents into consideration and what
18 you concluded from each of them?
19 We gave you the expert opinion of the land
20 surveyor expert. What were you able to see from his
21 finding, and why was it useful to you?
22 A. From the expert opinion of the surveyor,
23 where he gave a cross-section of the area on the basis
24 of an aerial photograph, that is, Prosecutor Exhibit
25 101, he identified position F, that is, the position
1where the body was found. Also on the basis of that
2 aerial photograph, he was able to identify the location
3 of Vlatko Kupreskic's house in relation to point F.
4 On the basis of points established in this
5 way, he made a longitudinal cross-section with the
6 configuration and the distances between V and F, and
7 his final conclusion is, when we look at that diagram,
8 that there is no optical vision between point V and
9 point F.
10 Q. So the conclusion that there is no optical
11 vision, does that mean for you, as a ballistic expert,
12 that using an ordinary infantry weapon, it is
13 impossible to hit anyone?
14 A. Yes, that is quite certain.
15 Q. We gave you a videotape of the locality --
16 that is, the video that we saw in court today -- and we
17 see a white board on a pole in the woods. What were
18 you able to conclude from that videotape?
19 A. I viewed that tape in detail, and I drew from
20 it what I consider to be relevant facts which might be
21 of significance. The videotape shows the place where
22 the body was found, according to the experts there, and
23 the relationship between that spot and Vlatko
24 Kupreskic's house and the Busovaca/Vitez road.
25 Having viewed the videotape, one can conclude
1that the position was established where the Prosecution
2 witness saw the dead body of Fata Pezer (redacted)
6 A. Anyway, where the victims were found. And he
7 marked those places with a board, 50 by 50 centimetres,
8 on a 4-metre-high pole. On the basis of the viewing of
9 that tape, because my analysis was based exclusively on
10 that video, I looked in the direction north/north-west,
11 towards Vlatko Kupreskic's house, and the house is not
12 visible. There is no optical visibility.
13 On the recording itself one can see that on
14 the left there is a steep slope. It is impossible to
15 say how steep it is from the recording, but it is a
16 slope. Behind it is a broad-leaved wood and brush
17 wood. Of course, the filming was not done at the time
18 of the event, so it is difficult to talk about the
19 vegetation; but in any event, it was between four and
20 five metres high, which is also confirmed by the
21 testimony of the second witness, who, at one point in
22 time, says that the wood was the height of a stodzina
23 (sic), and the stodzina is the pole used in the middle
24 of a haystack. So that would be four to five metres
25 high, and that was the comparison he made to describe
1the height of the trees in the woods.
2 Q. So, from this videotape, you were able to see
3 the directions from which that position can be seen,
4 the possible position of the wounding, and also you
5 were able to see the configuration of the land, the
6 woods, of course, as they are now. Is there anything
7 else which you used from that tape?
8 A. On the basis of that tape, one comes to the
9 conclusion that from the position where the victims
10 were marked to have been, there is no optical
11 visibility towards Vlatko Kupreskic's house, and vice
12 versa; there is no visibility between Vlatko
13 Kupreskic's house and those spots. As the shots were
14 taken from various sides, various positions, the view
15 from Donji Ahmici, the Vitez side of the main road,
16 towards the north, one can easily see the board. It is
17 also visible from the direction of the school in Donji
18 Ahmici. That is the road opposite to the position
19 marked, but to the south, southwards, and to the
20 south-west from those places, that point can be seen,
21 the point where the victim is marked to have been.
22 Q. Let us also add, where there is optical
23 visibility, that is where the infantry weapons may be
25 A. Any kind of weapons.
1Q. All right. Right. You also saw a video
2 recording where the witness shows where he was wounded
3 and how he was wounded; you know the tape. The witness
4 describes the event, tells us how he did perceive that
5 particular moment when he was fired at, and what he
6 noted at the time. Could you tell us whether that tape
7 was of any use to you, and what conclusions did you
8 draw from that?
9 A. Well, that videotape, on our finding and our
10 written analysis, it was really of major importance,
11 because this witness gave us his version of the
12 dynamics which the events followed, how he moved, how
13 that large group moved from the Pezers' or whoever's
14 house, and the direction in which they were moving.
15 And from that tape, I took out -- and I'm quoting, as a
16 matter of fact, the words that he said during the
17 recording. He said that there were about 15 of them
18 who set off across the meadow, across the clearing,
19 towards the wood, and at first they had high hornbeam,
20 and then they had thicker brush wood, something like
21 that. When they were coming to the middle of the wood,
22 then there were shots fired at them from the back.
23 So we saw on the film Vlatko Kupreskic's
24 house, which is beyond the hill, where we have a proper
25 woods in the middle, and at that moment, Vlatko
1Kupreskic's house is to the left and behind, and there
2 is no optical visibility between these two places.
3 Now, when the group is in the middle of this
4 proper woods, they dispersed. They didn't go in a
5 single file; they spread out over a line of some five
6 or six metres between them. At that moment the witness
7 was wounded in the neck and in the area of his shoulder
8 blade, and the woman, Fata, fell dead, and he says to
9 the left of him. He said she never let out a sound.
10 The girl, (redacted), who was to the right of him,
11 was wounded in the right leg, and he said her whole
12 right leg was torn apart. If that is to the left of
13 him was a dead woman, he was in the middle, and the
14 wounded girl was to his right-hand side, and it all
15 happened over an area of some five or six metres long.
16 Q. Now, what does this distribution mean to you?
17 A. Well, this is very important in view of the
18 injuries they sustained, and I'll come to that, but let
19 me finish with this, what I saw on the tape.
20 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Do go on.
21 A. Now, as for the weapon that was fired from,
22 this witness believes it was an 84; that is, the
23 machine gun. That is, in brackets, he says 84, but he
24 doesn't say it is a machine gun, but this is a machine
25 gun. 7,62 times 54R, I believe that, but he says it
1was not an automatic weapon, it was a more powerful
2 weapon, because it must have been fragmentation
3 ammunition, and he knows it because leaves were
4 burning, and the leaves were cut off the branches as if
5 by a saw, and that he saw branches falling -- he is
6 showing with his thumb or something, and he says the
7 branches could have been four or five centimetres
8 thick, and yet they were cut off as if sawn off. That
9 is what I saw on that film.
10 Q. Right. Let us go back to the medical
11 documentation that was admitted, both for -- equally
12 for (redacted). What could you
13 conclude from this documentation?
14 A. Since we were together with medical forensic
15 experts, we have a complete finding; that is, we had a
16 forensic expert, and I also went through that and noted
17 that the witness sustained injury on the right side of
18 his neck. It was interpreted then by Dr. Skavic. He
19 said that it went through, it was a tangential wound on
20 the neck passing through a groove, through a channel --
21 I don't know how long it is -- and then the exit wound
22 is above the right shoulder blade. We looked at the
23 direction of the channel, which very markedly goes from
24 above downwards. It goes -- it is a descending
25 channel, and from the front to the back. I believe you
1asked the doctor about that.
2 As for (redacted), one can see that she
3 sustained severe injuries both in her upper and lower
4 leg, except that it was again the right leg in her
6 Q. So on the basis of all that you analysed, you
7 came to some conclusions, you came to some findings,
8 which you told us about. Let us repeat them once
9 again. You believe that the instrument in question was
10 a heavy-calibre weapon. What could you tell us about
11 the projectile? Was it a bullet, or a fragmentation
12 bullet, a shrapnel, or what?
13 A. If the data available to me are true, and if
14 the witness spoke the truth, and if the finding of the
15 length there was authentic and veracious, if all that
16 is true, then it must have been a fragmentation bullet,
17 or rather a projectile, which hit the tree crowns. I
18 think that was why the tree crowns were shattered,
19 because if you have the optical visibility, when we say
20 that we can see that marker post and the plate, which
21 marked the position of the injured, from the road or
22 the Busovaca/Vitez, Gornji Ahmici, and the school, and
23 so on and so forth, even in that case, the injured
24 persons wouldn't have been visible in the middle of the
25 woods, but fire might have been opened at the woods
1from any direction; that is, from any place from which
2 one could see the treetops.
3 That is why I said that it was a
4 fragmentation bullet. There are several factors
5 indicating that. First, the nature of the injuries
6 sustained. We have no information about the woman who
7 died. We do not know from which direction she was hit,
8 but one can say with certainty, with regard to the
9 witness hit in the right neck -- and I'm talking about
10 the direction either the projectile or the shrapnel,
11 and to my mind, it is just a fragment -- I think these
12 are fragments which flew all over the treetops.
13 We see that it came -- that the direction was
14 downward. The photograph, perhaps, is not completely
15 authentic, but I did see the photograph, and after the
16 surgical intervention -- and of course I do understand
17 while the first aid was extended, at the time, nobody
18 paid much attention to the aesthetics. But
19 nevertheless, the channel, which is 6 centimetres long,
20 is too irregular in shape to be due to poor surgery, so
21 that it must have been due to a body of irregular
23 On the other hand, we have very severe
24 injuries of the right upper leg and lower leg, and this
25 could not have been done by a small-calibre bullet, so
1that one needs to exclude when a bullet hits the tree
2 crown. It would be another matter if it were a direct
3 hit, but it could have been caused by -- so that I
4 think that the tree crowns must have been hit by a
5 projectile of a sizeable calibre. I would say the lower
6 threshold would be 7.62 times 54R, which is the machine
7 gun MK-84. This is relatively a light bullet, and it
8 couldn't cause such consequences. All the more so, it
9 could not have caused it in April; the leaves only had
10 just emerged from the tree, and so that of course, if
11 they were incendiary bullets, they could have caused
12 that injury. But as I said, the leaves were just
13 beginning to bud, so that is why I believe that it was
14 12,7, 14,5, up to anti-aircraft gun of 20-millimetre
15 calibre, because these bullets are much heavier, much
16 more destructive. They carry also explosives, and when
17 they hit an obstacle they simply burst; that is, the
18 sleeve bursts, and then the fragments may cause the
19 described injuries.
20 Q. Tell us, please, in your practice -- there
21 was this war, and you are well familiar with the
22 situation, the types of weapons and injuries -- was it
23 common, is that why this fragmentation ammunition was
24 used, so that the targets in the woods or wherever are
25 aimed at in that manner? I mean, that is, the target
1is not directly aimed at, but that the fire is opened
2 on treetops or something like that, so that to have
3 fragments ricocheting, or what?
4 A. When I am referring to anti-aircraft machine
5 gun or anti-aircraft gun, well, the name itself says
6 that it is meant to bring aircraft down, but of course
7 it was also used in ground combat. I can tell you that
8 in the early days of the war, in '91, '92, when the
9 first line was being put, and there was -- woods was
10 there, and our combatants believed that they would be
11 protected better if they dug their trenches in the
12 woods. But when fire was opened on treetops, then very
13 many of them died, killed by those fragments of these
14 fragmentation bullets. Then they moved their defence
15 lines, their trenches, in front of the woods, and then
16 they were spared that kind of losses.
17 Q. All right. Is there anything else in your
18 findings that you believe of importance, and that you
19 should tell us, that I missed to ask you?
20 A. No, I don't really think so.
21 Q. Thank you very much, then. I do not have any
22 further questions.
23 MR. PAR: I should merely like to tender into
24 evidence the analysis submitted by Professor Catipovic
25 and Professor Skavic. Thank you very much. I have no
1further questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
3 Counsel Pavkovic?
4 MR. PAVKOVIC: I have only one question, Your
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:
7 Q. Witness, from what -- first let me tell you
8 that I'm lawyer Petar Pavkovic. From what you told us
9 today, one could conclude that you have a very rich
10 experience behind you; I believe I am right in saying
11 that. So over all these years that you were involved
12 in ballistics and in firearms and so on and so forth,
13 you have had ample chance of seeing various firearms,
14 hand-held firearms, and various other weapons. You
15 will agree with me that if we take one criterion, and
16 when it comes to hand-held firearms, we can define it
17 as weapons from which one can open fire -- that fire at
18 individuals, and also from which one can open bursts of
19 fire. So that would be one criterion: One bullet at a
20 time or bursts of fire.
21 Secondly, I assume you had ample opportunity
22 of familiarising yourself with a firearm called M-48.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So my question is, can this rifle be used --
25 can one fire bursts of fire from that particular
2 A. No. No, you can only fire individual
3 bullets. Every time, you have to pull the trigger, and
4 by hand, you have to eject the empty cartridge from the
5 barrel and then fire the next bullet. That is all.
6 Q. Thank you very much.
7 MR. PAVKOVIC: I have no more questions.
8 Thank you very much, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Blaxill?
11 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
13 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Michael
14 Blaxill; I am one of the prosecuting counsel assigned
15 to this case. I do have just a few questions I would
16 like to put to you as a result of what you have said.
17 Just a little while ago, we heard from
18 Professor Skavic that he felt that any analysis of
19 medical documentation can only be carried out by
20 properly qualified medical people. As a result, sir,
21 is it correct to say that your comments on the injuries
22 sustained by the two people are as a result of your
23 collaboration in this task with Professor Skavic?
24 A. We cooperated very closely, and we co-signed
25 our findings.
1Q. In the final conclusion earlier this morning,
2 Professor Skavic stated that he couldn't make a firm
3 choice between bullet fragments or bullets from
4 hand-held weapons as being the cause of the injury;
5 either were possibilities. Would you agree with that,
7 A. Yes, yes, I do agree. I also say that
8 without material evidence, one cannot affirm, really,
9 anything. But if you have all the other circumstances
10 and the material available to us, this sounds highly
11 plausible to me.
12 Q. Perhaps you've hit the nail on the head for
13 me, sir. The factual bases that you had to work with,
14 if I understand correctly, were the medical documents
15 that we've seen in court today, the videotape made by
16 (redacted), and the cross-section drawing of the
17 land by the surveyor, Mr. Kesic. Am I correct in that,
19 A. Only that, exclusively that.
20 Q. And that is exclusively your information?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Regarding, for instance, one example, the
23 fixing of the point called "F": Do you know what
24 materials were provided to the surveyor, Mr. Kesic, to
25 reach his conclusions?
1A. Well, this aerial photograph is mentioned
2 there. The aerial photograph, and all the rest, he
3 described in his finding, in writing, which was shown
4 to me, and which was of use to us to see how he
6 Q. I would just like to put one other point to
7 you, sir, and that is this: We have a point F, which
8 is on one side of a hill, and if you remember the
9 cross-section drawing of Mr. Kesic, we have the hill,
10 then we have some lower ground, and then a house.
11 Would you agree with me, from your recollection of that
12 drawing, that there would be a clear line of sight from
13 the house to the side of the hill that faced that
15 A. Yes, I agree.
16 Q. So if I were to say to you, theoretically,
17 that people could have been on the side of that hill,
18 they were shot at by a group of people near the house,
19 and in fact the wounded or dead were dragged over the
20 top to safety, now, if I give you that scenario, sir,
21 would you now agree that hand-held firearms could have
22 been used, bearing in mind direct line of sight in that
23 circumstance and the -- let's say a distance of maybe
24 under 100 metres? Would that now be possible, in your
1A. It would be possible, since there is a clear
2 line of sight, to fire from the area of the house of
3 the accused in the direction of the hill slope all the
4 way up to the top of the hill, but -- yes, there is
5 such a possibility; however, now the question arises as
6 to the infliction of injuries; that is, the
7 distribution of people who were there; that is, with
8 which side of their bodies they were turned to. If
9 both were hit to the right, on the right side, then
10 they must have been turned with their right body to the
11 house of Vlatko Kupreskic's, and that is not the
12 direction in which they were running away from these
14 And secondly we hear this witness who was
15 wounded in the neck. There we have the explicit
16 direction, which is downward, very explicit, downward
17 direction, and from the front to the back, so that he
18 must have been -- he must have faced the house,
19 actually, and very much bent, and looking in the
20 direction of the barrel of the weapon from which the
21 shot was fired, and that does not sound very logical.
22 Q. Well, sir, may I suggest to you this: We
23 heard from Mr. Kesic this morning that he agreed that
24 his cross-section drawing was essentially done by
25 taking different height points from a map and then
1drawing straight lines between them to give a
2 representation of relative elevations. If I remember
3 correctly -- and no doubt I'll be corrected by others
4 if I'm wrong -- he also said that, clearly, that the
5 terrain between two such points can obviously undulate;
6 it is not a straight line. Have you, sir, yourself,
7 inspected the terrain between the house of Vlatko
8 Kupreskic and the hill opposite?
9 A. I did not go out into the field. I have
10 never been in Ahmici, and I used only what has already
11 been mentioned and shown to me.
12 Q. And indeed, therefore, the relative positions
13 or movements of individuals you have not heard from
14 their own statements or testimony, because I
15 understand --
16 A. Nothing, no. Nor do I know anything more
17 about it now.
18 Q. Just one last question, if I may, sir, and
19 that's this:
20 Hand-held guns like machine guns, automatic
21 rifles and the like, what sort of calibre ammunition do
22 they tend to be? Can you give me an indication?
23 A. Listen, there are all sorts of calibres, but
24 the most common is 7,62 and 39. These are the
25 so-called automatic rifles which can be found the world
1over, if I may say so, and so the majority of automatic
2 rifles would have the same calibre. It's accepted that
3 7,62 is mostly the Russian calibre, but you have the
4 30,08, and there are also bigger ones I just
5 mentioned. But that is -- yes, there are much smaller,
6 of course, but their bullets are faster, five, six
7 centimetres (sic) or 5,45 millimetres and so forth,
8 working on the same principle.
9 Q. Does a weapon like the AK-47, which is a
10 fairly commonly-made weapon, is that a 7,62 calibre?
11 A. Yes, it is 7,62 times 39.
12 Q. I believe when you were discussing a few
13 moments ago the kind of calibre of projectile that you
14 thought was involved on the information you had
15 received, I think you said the bottom threshold for
16 that was indeed 7,63. Would you agree with that, sir?
17 Did I hear you and understand you properly?
18 A. 7,62 times 54. It is slightly heavier than
19 the one used by AK-47s but is the same calibre, 7,62.
20 But the difference is in the weight of the bullets,
21 because AK-47 bullets weigh eight grams with the sleeve
22 and the nucleus, and the other one is 9,63 grams, and
23 it is still very little, in view of the effect it has.
24 But it still makes it possible as the lower threshold.
25 Q. Are there any weapons which can taken, in
1fact, a variety of power of the same calibre bullet?
2 In other words, a 7,62, can you fit two or three
3 different powers of velocity of bullet in the same
4 rifle, maybe at different times?
5 A. Well, it depends on the manufacturer and the
6 ammunition itself, but it is somewhere within the same
7 range. So in case of AK-47, it is about 740 metres per
8 second. The velocity of others is about 800 metres or
9 so. But in view of -- but their initial velocity is
10 about the same.
11 There are some faster, 900 or 1.000, but
12 those are mostly smaller calibres. They also have a
13 highly-destructive power but in case of human targets.
14 MR. BLAXILL: Very well, sir. Thank you very
15 much indeed.
16 Your Honours, that concludes my questions.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.
19 Counsel Par?
20 MR. PAR: No, I do not have any additional
21 questions, Your Honours. I'm only not sure whether
22 D54/3 was admitted. That was the finding of the expert
24 I have no other questions. Thank you very
1JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, D54/3 was admitted into
2 evidence, yes.
3 Now, we still have half an hour. I wonder
4 whether you have the fourth expert witness available.
5 MR. PAR: With your leave, Mr. President, I
6 will explain how we planned the production of further
8 Tonight a factual witness is coming, and he
9 will give his testimony tomorrow. We have no other
10 witnesses for tomorrow. On Thursday at 9.00, Professor
11 Wagenaar should come. He cannot change his schedule.
12 So tomorrow we have only one witness, and on
13 Thursday, in the morning at 9.00, another expert
14 witness. Thank you.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I should
16 apologise to Mr. Catipovic, because I forgot that I
17 should ask my colleagues if they have any questions.
18 We don't have any questions for you,
19 Mr. Catipovic. Thank you so much for coming to The
20 Hague to testify in court. Thank you. You may now be
22 THE WITNESS: I'm released, I can go now?
23 Right. Thank you, with pleasure.
24 (The witness withdrew)
25 (Trial Chamber confers)
1JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par, I would like to
2 ask you a question on behalf of the Court.
3 Since you have one witness tomorrow and the
4 last witness on Thursday, we are wondering whether you
5 think that we can get through each in a matter of two
6 hours, say by 11.00, so that Judge May may sit in
7 another case, just to take advantage of the fact that
8 we would be finishing pretty soon, pretty quickly.
9 MR. PAR: I believe that examination-in-chief
10 of the witness will not take more than 20 minutes or
11 so. And as for the expert witness, I do not think that
12 examination-in-chief will take more than 20 minutes or
13 so. Of course, I do not know about the
14 cross-examination, but I do not think that either of
15 them should take more than one hour.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So therefore we
17 may decide that we will be sitting tomorrow and on
18 Thursday from 9.00 to 11.00, of course I mean subject
19 to any further possibility of prolonged --
20 MR. PAR: Yes, definitely, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
22 So we will adjourn now until tomorrow at
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 12.31 p.m., to be reconvened on
1Wednesday, the 2nd day of June,
2 1999, at 9.00 a.m.