1 Monday, 11 December 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 MS. NEEMA: [Microphone not activated]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning. The next witness is?
7 MS. NEEMA: The next witness is Jon Sterenberg, an archaeologist
8 with ICMP. Mr. Stamp is the one who is leading this witness. He will be
9 here. We're sorry for the inconvenience.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Let's have the witness in court, please.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you stand, please, Mr. Sterenberg.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning.
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration by
17 reading aloud the document now placed before you.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
19 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
21 Mr. Stamp.
22 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
23 WITNESS: JON STERENBERG
24 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sterenberg. Can you just start by telling us
1 your name and your occupation presently?
2 A. Yes. My name is Jon Sterenberg. I'm the current head of
3 excavation and examination at the International Commission on Missing
5 Q. By profession, what are you?
6 A. By profession I'm an archaeologist, but I've been involved with
7 the forensic recovery since 1997 in Bosnia.
8 Q. And by forensic recovery, what do you mean?
9 A. Generally, the location and excavation of human remains from mass
11 Q. Now, between the years 2001 and 2002, were exhumations of mass
12 graves conducted at Batajnica in Serbia?
13 A. That's correct, yes. Between 2001 and 2002.
14 Q. And also in that period of time, were exhumation of mass graves
15 found at a place called lake Perucac in Serbia?
16 A. That is also correct in 2001.
17 Q. And also at a place called Derventa canyon?
18 A. Also correct in 2001.
19 Q. And were those excavations observed by the ICMP? Did the ICMP
20 participate in the excavations of these mass graves?
21 A. Yes. In 2001, ICMP had a forensic monitor at the sites at
22 Derventa canyon and Petrovo Selo, and also in 2001, at a small site in
23 Batajnica BA01 and, again, in 2001, another site also at Batajnica BA02 .
24 ICMP also had a full forensic team on the ground in 2002 to finish
25 Batajnica 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
1 Q. Now, in respect to the work of the ICMP in these excavations, did
2 you prepare a report summarising the work and observations made by the
3 ICMP personnel at these various locations?
4 A. Yes. A report was produced.
5 MR. STAMP: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P2476.
6 Q. You see the cover page there of the report?
7 A. Yes. I see that, yeah.
8 Q. That's page 1 on the e-court.
9 MR. STAMP: And if we could turn to page 48 -- or perhaps not.
10 May I just indicate to the Court that page 48, 49, and 50 of
11 the -- I think 48 to 50 -- 54 comprise the curriculum vitae of the
13 Q. Now, in September this year, did you give a statement to the OTP,
14 making certain corrections to your report and explaining certain aspects
15 of your report?
16 A. I did. I made that at the ICTY office in Sarajevo, and I have
17 since made just two small minor corrections to the report that's --
18 Q. Very well. I'll get to those corrections. I want to show you
19 your statement first.
20 MR. STAMP: Can we have on the ELMO Exhibit P2557. Sorry, not on
21 the ELMO, on e-court. I'm so sorry.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that the exhibit you actually want?
23 MR. STAMP: Sorry --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If it's the statement. It's 2475.
25 MR. STAMP: 2475, I beg your pardon. Could we just scroll to the
1 last page of that.
2 Q. The document that we've just scrolled through, Mr. Sterenberg, is
3 that the statement you just referred to?
4 A. Yes, that's the statement.
5 Q. Thank you. I'd like to go back briefly to the report. Perhaps we
6 could start first with the corrections.
7 MR. STAMP: In the report, could we have a look at paragraph 3,
8 and that is P2476. Can we --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: It --
10 MR. STAMP: Can we get to page 10 in e-court. Yes, paragraph 3.
11 Q. Paragraph 3, the first sentence thereof reads: "A third site,
12 Batajnica 3 (BAO3), was excavated on the 23rd and 26th July 2002, also on
13 the firing range slightly north of BA02." Is there something you want to
14 correct there?
15 A. Just a slight correction on the dates. My notebooks indicate that
16 it was the 20th of June and the 26th of July.
17 Q. 20th of June to the 26th of July?
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. While we're on that page, can you have a look at paragraph 7. It
20 says: "In the following report, archaeological features and contexts
21 defined during field-work, and subsequently in post excavation analysis,
22 are discussed within the chronological event system defined in the first
23 instance through stratographic relationships or likely spatially
25 Can you explain briefly, if you can, what that sentence means,
1 just elaborate on that?
2 A. The role of the archaeologist on site is to try and identify
3 features that are spatially equivalent or slightly different to each
4 other. What we do is actually use the evidence that we find during
5 recovery to try and put the sites in order. It's a well established
6 archaeological technique that's used throughout the world at the present.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: There is a expression in that the paragraph: "The
8 report presents the excavated features in order of excavation and examines
9 the potential of the associated forensic artefacts." What do you mean by
10 examines the potential?
11 THE WITNESS: Well, for the sort of potential that we were looking
12 at in respect of these sites, was the various possible separate body
13 deposits that we recovered from each of the graves. So the features were
14 actually the mass graves themselves, the deposits within the human
15 remains, and the associated artefacts were related to those remains, but
16 also linked to vehicles or whatever might have brought those remains to
17 the site.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this the potential for identifying the persons
19 in the grave, or is it potential for demonstrating the circumstances in
20 which the graves were created or --
21 THE WITNESS: It's actually.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: -- is it all of these?
23 THE WITNESS: It's all of that. It's related to presumptive
24 identifications that were recovered during the actual excavation. As I
25 said, the remains themselves, they also have evidence within them that
1 might link them to a certain location. So it's all of that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It's one of these adjectives that nowadays has
3 taken on the role of a noun.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, specifically.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Could we move to page 12 at paragraph 12. Sorry. I
7 meant page 11 in e-court.
8 Q. You have here a site plan of Batajnica showing the location and
9 the basic arrangement of the mass graves. And to the bottom right-hand
10 corner there is a scale; and to the top of the -- this diagram, this
11 outline, you will see abutting on the broken line. And the broken line is
12 the site outline or something marked 300 metre target trench. Could you
13 just explain what that is, please.
14 A. Yeah. The sites that are shown on this map, they were all located
15 at the northern end of the 300 metre firing range, which is actually a
16 firing range; and at various points along the train, there are concrete
17 trenches that are used for pop-up targets for practice. The concrete
18 trench si marked in this map as the 300-mark target trench. There was
19 another one at 200 metres, but that hasn't been mapped on to these -- on
20 to this plan.
21 Q. Very well.
22 MR. STAMP: Could you just move to the next page, please.
23 Your Honour, to the extent that good photographs -- photographs in
24 which one can see features might be needed, I'm not sure that these are
25 ideal. However, we could upon request provide hard copies of colour
1 photographs, at least of those pages where there are photographs. I'm in
2 the hands of the Court on this.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, subject to what emerges in the course of
4 examination and ultimately cross-examination, it doesn't seem to me that
5 the photographs are an essential part of this report for our purposes.
6 MR. STAMP: Indeed.
7 Q. At paragraph 12, you indicate: "An initial visit was made by the
8 ICMP at the beginning of June 2002 before invasive work was undertaken."
9 Is that June 2002 or 2001?
10 A. That would be June 2002.
11 Q. I'm afraid I -- can you explain -- the Batajnica sites were --
12 A. There was -- yeah. Sorry. There was a break between the
13 Batajnica 1 and Batajnica 2 excavations. ICMP then returned in June 2002
14 to undertake the next series of excavations.
15 Q. Here we're referring to Batajnica 2?
16 A. No. Here we're referring to Batajnica 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
17 MR. STAMP: Could we move to the --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move, I have a question for you in
19 relation to paragraph 13, when you say: "Following the completion of work
20 on Batajnica 2, the site had been turned over to the SAJ who had conducted
21 ballistic experiments and live fire exercises."
22 Now, when you say the "completion of work," are you talking about
23 work of burial, or are you talking about work of examining the mass grave
24 site that you were involved?
25 THE WITNESS: This refers to the completion of the excavation and
1 recovery of remains from Batajnica 2, so following that the site was
2 backfilled, leveled, and returned back to the SAJ.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Was that at a stage after you were involved?
4 THE WITNESS: I should probably just point out that I wasn't
5 strictly involved in the excavation recovery of Batajnica 1 --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: No. No, I mean the ICMP.
7 THE WITNESS: Oh, yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it after they were involved?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes. It's after their involvement.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But what is the point you're making in this
12 THE WITNESS: It's just to try and show that at some stage between
13 excavation 1 -- of Batajnica 1 and 2, there was a slight break where the
14 range had been returned back to its -- let's call it a live fire range.
15 So, consequently, when we arrived in June 2002, there was a lot of
16 ballistic material already lying on the ground. And what we didn't want
17 to do is actually try and confuse that evidence with the material that we
18 might find inside the graves.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you see, that's -- I remain confused, because
20 the way this paragraph is written: "Following the completion of work ...
21 the site had been turned over to the SAJ." I thought you indicated me a
22 moment ago that that was following the excavation.
23 THE WITNESS: I did.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now you're suggesting what I thought it meant, that
25 it was following the burial and before the excavation.
1 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I can understand that. I think that is
2 probably just a very badly written paragraph.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but you now have to clarify it for us. Are
4 you saying that after you had done all your excavation work, its use was
5 resumed --
6 THE WITNESS: As a live fire range.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: -- as a fire range.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So what's the use of this paragraph if all these
10 casings arrive after your work's all done, what's the point of this
12 THE WITNESS: It's just to indicate that the site had been used as
13 a live fire range before ICMP returned in June 2002 to carry on the
14 excavation of BA3 up to 8, and the whole surface was just covered in
15 ballistic material.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Right. So the relevance of this is on to the other
17 sites, 3 and onwards sites, and it's irrelevant as far as Batajnica 2 is
19 THE WITNESS: Yes. I apologise. As I said, that's badly written.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
21 MR. STAMP: Could we look at the next page. And could we go ...
22 Q. At paragraph 15, the first paragraph reads:
23 "It was reported to the ICMP that 22 truckloads (i.e.
24 Approximately 220 cubic metres) of soil had been brought on to the site to
25 remodel the surface of the area, presumably following the backfilling of
1 the graves, in the particular the north-east end of the range where the
2 activity of grave construction had altered the ground water table."
3 Is there anything there that you would like to correct?
4 A. Again, the actual report that the material had been brought to the
5 site. On checking my original notebooks, I think that I might have made a
6 slight mistake with the amount of trucks that brought the material to the
8 Q. Do you know the amount of trucks or what was reported to you? Do
9 you have an accurate recollection of that?
10 A. I'm afraid I don't, actually.
11 Q. Very well. So in other words, you don't know how many truckloads
12 from the report?
13 A. Well, as I said, I think it was either 22 truckloads or 220
14 truckloads. I'm afraid that my notes are slightly ambiguous at that
16 Q. Very well. You --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Were the archaeologists who were there not able to
18 estimate whether large quantity of material had been brought on to the
20 THE WITNESS: The archaeologists did actually observe that a lot
21 of material had been brought to the site, but it was trying to gauge how
22 many truckloads had brought them in the first instance to conceal the
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. If we look at the -- well, it's just like to read the rest of the
2 paragraph and get back to His Honour's question. The paragraph continues
3 from where I left off last:
4 "The soil was also to be used to combat the problem of the area
5 where the ground had now taken on a swampy appearance. Finally, it was
6 used to create a false horizon that sloped from the original ground
7 surface, approximately the centreline (north/south) of the site and
8 extended towards the eastern berm."
9 Firstly, can you say what was the approximate depth of the soil
10 that covered the area?
11 A. The approximate depth was very thin towards the centre line, and
12 then it -- as a sort of wedge shape, it went down a metre at the eastern
13 end. And it seemed to cover the area of about 45 metres by 50 metres. So
14 it's difficult to gauge exactly how many tons of material was placed over
15 the top of the graves.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give us, again, the area that you said was
18 THE WITNESS: I think it's approximately 45 metres by -- just bear
19 with me --
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. In giving that answer, you're referring to the outline that you
22 drew in the report?
23 A. My apologies. It's 25 metres by 45 metres.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. You said 45 just now, earlier.
2 A. Yeah, sorry.
3 Q. Looking at the --
4 A. If you -- sorry. If you look at figure 2, the plan outline.
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. The scale -- the soil was deposited roughly to the north edge of
7 BA07, which is about 25 metres from the eastern berm, and approximately
8 about 45 metres length.
9 Q. Very well. At paragraph 16, and this is page -- this is the same
10 page that we were at in e-court and the preceding paragraphs, you discuss
11 the methodology employed by the ICMP at the various excavation sites and
12 also the system of making records. Was this system standardised by the
13 ICMP in terms of excavations?
14 A. Every site that ICMP goes to follow a standard process. This is
15 similar for any site, be it in BiH, Serbia, or anywhere else in former
17 Q. And in respect to those sites that you didn't personally
18 participate in, you examined and used the standardised data recorded by
19 the ICMP personnel?
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 Q. At paragraph 24, and that is page 15, you say: "It is difficult
22 to generally comment on the state of the remains at Batajnica due to
23 several preburial taphonomic features," and you continued, thereafter, to
24 discuss the condition of the bodies. Could you just tell us what the
25 feature taphonomic factors?
1 A. The taphonomic factors that relate to the human remains are
2 actually what the condition of the soil, water, and oxygen levels present
3 in the ground, their effect on the human remains when they're buried. So,
4 for instance, you can have one set of remains that the oxygen and the
5 water, et cetera, is completely skeletonised and two to three feet away
6 you might have a body that's completely intact. So the taphonomic
7 variables are completely different throughout the site.
8 MR. STAMP: If we could move on to paragraph 44 --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do that in paragraph 25, you deal with
10 the process -- what you describe as the process of autopsy. That's at the
11 top of page 15 of the report. What was the nature of these autopsies?
12 THE WITNESS: Well, the autopsies were all undertaken by the
13 pathologist for the forensic institute of Belgrade. They were all
14 undertaken at the site. ICMP's role was actually to just monitor the
15 autopsies. We had no input in the actual data that was being put into the
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Did they involve dissection of the bodies or simply
18 examination of the bodies?
19 THE WITNESS: It was partly both, actually. As I said, some of
20 the remains that were skeletonised, they just became the property of the
21 anthropologists who were also from the Belgrade institutes. The identity
22 of the bodies, the ones that were still fleshed, they had a full autopsy
23 undertaken on each one.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. STAMP: Can we move on to paragraph 44, and that is page 21 --
1 22. And this paragraph relates to the excavation at Batajnica 5.
2 Q. And you say: "12 separate deposits of human remains were
3 recovered." And below that there is a picture of the elongated grave
4 after it was fully excavated. What do you mean by "12 separate deposits
5 of human remains?"
6 A. What we're -- as archaeologists, what we're trying to do is
7 actually separate deposits of remains within each site. As we found in
8 Bosnia, we do find separate material coming from various sites being
9 deposited in one grave. One of the things that we tried to do, especially
10 with Batajnica 5, is to identify if there was -- if there were separate
11 deposits that possibly came from different areas in Kosovo.
12 So the deposits themselves were actually identified before we
13 could recover them. So very careful, cleaning, looking for identifying
14 factors that might actually link them to separate areas. At the end of
15 the excavation at Batajnica 5, we had identified 12 very unique and
16 separate deposits of remains all coming to that one location for burial.
17 Q. And at paragraph 50 on the next page in respect to Batajnica 7,
18 you say the same thing: "Five separate deposits were recovered" --
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. And would that also apply there, too?
21 A. Yes. It's a method of trying to identify separate deposits in the
22 grave for each.
23 MR. STAMP: Can I just indicate to the Court --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. At the end of paragraph 50, you say that
25 samples of the soil types were gathered and you recommended further
1 analysis. Do you know if anything came of that?
2 THE WITNESS: I'm afraid I don't know whether they were analysed
3 any further.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. STAMP: May I just indicate to the Court that the document
6 speaks for itself, but from pages 28 forward the document deals with the
7 excavations at Petrovo Selo and Derventa canyon. But there is nothing in
8 that area that I wish to -- that I think I need to ask about in chief.
9 The report is quite clear.
10 Q. I'd like to ask you briefly to describe an outline - I know you're
11 a forensic anthropologist - the system the ICMP uses in respect to
12 identification of human remains.
13 A. Well, ICMP has a -- quite a large forensic science division, which
14 incorporates three separate areas of expertise. One is excavation and
15 examination, which is basic identification of sites, recovery of human
16 remains, and the processing of those remains at facilities.
17 The second area is the coordination division, which actually looks
18 for and collects ante mortem data, but also at the same time collects
19 blood samples that are used to support the third area, which is DNA
20 identification, where the blood samples are matched against the DNA
21 profiles. All three of the divisions worked together towards identifying
22 remains from any sites in any region.
23 Q. The blood samples which are matched -- let's call them reference
24 samples, from whom are they collected?
25 A. Those samples are recovered or taken from surviving family
2 Q. That is family members of persons reported missing?
3 A. Family members of persons reported missing, correct.
4 Q. And -- well, obviously, but I say it again. You say they are
5 matched against the DNA profiles, you mean the DNA profiles of the human
6 remains that are found at various sites?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Could we --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's only in relation to one of these
10 excavations that you actually mention in the report taking DNA samples.
11 Were DNA samples taken in relation to all these recoveries; Batajnica,
12 Petrovo Selo, and the canyon.
13 THE WITNESS: That is correct. Samples were taken. I only
14 mentioned the one site, because that is the one set of autopsies that I
15 monitored myself. I gather from other ICMP monitors on the ground that
16 DNA samples were taken regularly from every set of remains.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at annex 1 of the report, annex
19 1A, and that's at page 40. And this is a document entitled ICMP fact
20 sheet which gives an overview and mandate of the work of the ICMP.
21 Q. It says in respect to mandate:
22 "ICMP endeavours to secure the cooperation of governments and
23 other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result
24 of armed conflicts, other hostilities, or violations of human rights and
25 to assist them in doing so. ICMP also supports the work of other
1 organisations in their efforts, encourages public involvement in its
2 activities, and contributes to the development of appropriate expressions
3 of commemoration and tribute to the missing."
4 And it goes on:
5 "ICMP is an international organisation that was created in 1996,
6 following the G-7 Summit to address the issues of persons missing as a
7 result of different conflicts relevant to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
8 Republic of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro from 1991 to 1995.
9 "Following the conflict in Kosovo and the crisis in the former
10 Yugoslavia, Republic of Macedonia, ICMP expanded its operations to address
11 missing person cases from these areas."
12 The work of the ICMP, the standardised work of the ICMP has been
13 ongoing since when? How long has the ICMP been involved in excavating
14 mass graves and making DNA matches between family of survivors and remains
15 found in these mass graves?
16 A. Well, ICMP has been involved in the process since 1997 in BiH.
17 It's been recovering remains, working in conjunction with the local
18 commissions and court authorities in BiH since that time. In 2002, ICMP
19 actually brought in archaeologists as a sort of additional expertise area,
20 and that is where sites have been excavated as well as can be expected
21 given an international standard. That process continues to this day.
22 ICMP also has three facilities that are based in BiH where a lot
23 of the recovered remains are actually handed over and worked on by
24 international and national anthropologists. It's at that point that the
25 DNA samples were actually taken. They're then processed by the ICMP
1 laboratories in Sarajevo, and then a physical match is actually brought
2 together at the very end of the process between the pathologist, the
3 anthropologist who actually undertook the work, and with the DNA profile
4 to try and give a hundred percent positive identification to that set of
6 Q. I'd like you to elaborate a little bit further on the physical
7 match is actually brought together at the very end of the process between
8 the pathologist, the anthropologist, and what the DNA profile was. What
9 is the role of the various parties in making this 100 percent
10 identification in particular?
11 A. Well, the pathologist -- ICMP itself does not really have
12 court-appointed pathologists who can actually give closure to all the
13 cases. So ICMP employs a chief forensic pathologist, who is half working
14 for the local court and half working for ICMP. He has legal authority to
15 close cases at the end of an identification. His role is to look for any
16 identifying factors or elements in the body that might indicate trauma,
17 i.e., gun-shot injury, signs of severe beatings, or anything like that
18 that might link them to -- link those set of remains to a location where
19 they were last seen, where that individual might have been last seen.
20 The anthropologist is actually there to give the expertise based
21 on the skeletal knowledge that they have, which is also to backup the
22 pathologist's observations and to assist him in doing a complete skeletal
23 inventory of the remains. Obviously, that's quite important for work that
24 we do in BiH, because ICMP is involved in excavating large amounts of
25 secondary material. So we need to be very careful about what we're
1 recording so that we know that one individual may not be complete, and we
2 might have to try and locate other parts of that individual in secondary
4 As I mentioned before, the DNA match gives an indication of the
5 person that was -- that the profile matches; and that together with the
6 ante mortem, if any exists, can finally look at the skeletal assemblage
7 and age that and put it all together so that it could be that one
8 individual. So if we have ante mortem data that states that a person has
9 fractured a femur or something, that will actually show in the
10 anthropology and the pathology. And it's an identifying factor when all
11 three areas were brought back together; that allows the court pathologist
12 to issue the certificate of death and that can be signed off and the
13 remains can be sent back to the family.
14 Q. Does the court pathologist -- or could I just ask. Do the
15 artefacts play a role, the artefacts that might be found on these bodies
16 or in these graves, do they play a role in analysis?
17 A. They definitely play a role in the process of -- as I said, trying
18 to identify what happened to that individual. So items such as
19 blindfolds, ligatures, they're all taken into account during the autopsy.
20 MR. STAMP: Could we --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The process you've just described involving your
22 own chief forensic pathologist, was that followed in relation to these
24 THE WITNESS: It was slightly different with the Batajnica
25 material, because the court-appointed pathologists were there from the
1 Forensic Institute of Belgrade. So they undertook all those areas that
2 ICMP would generally do in Bosnia. They undertook all of those and so
3 ICMP os role was strictly to monitor what their process was.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And what about at Petrovo Selo and Derventa canyon?
5 THE WITNESS: It was a similar process. Serbian pathologists,
6 anthropologists, with an ICMP monitor outside to make notes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: So what's the relevance of this evidence in this
8 case, Mr. Stamp, this evidence about the methodology if it didn't apply to
9 these excavations?
10 MR. STAMP: I'm sorry. The --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness has just told us that what he's
12 described as the Bosnia experience, as I gather it, the practice that's
13 followed in Bosnia, not the practice that's followed in Serbia.
14 THE WITNESS: Well, sorry --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Have I misunderstood you?
16 THE WITNESS: It's a similar process between the two countries.
17 It's just that ICMP's is slightly different because the system is -- let's
18 say it's all in place at the facility. With the remains that were dealt
19 with at Batajnica, Petrovo Selo, and Derventa canyon, all the remains were
20 actually examined at the site under a tented accommodation. So it's a
21 similar system but just in two different areas.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Who has ultimately, though, done the identification
23 insofar as that was possible in relation to the bodies recovered in these
24 three areas that you're covering?
25 THE WITNESS: Those would have been done by the forensic
1 pathologist from the Institute of Belgrade.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. And those identifications would have been done in conjunction with
5 the ICMP; with the DNA matches, also the ICMP?
6 A. That's correct, yes. They would have used the DNA results from
7 ICMP to actually backup their own data that they were finding on site.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Well, I wish to remove a confusion. In the case
9 of Batajnica, we learned that this was done because of a judicial order.
10 MR. STAMP: Yes.
11 JUDGE CHOWHAN: But I think that the witness stated that in the
12 rest of the cases, you don't recall -- you didn't need this. The
13 organisation for which you work itself initiated it. So where did they
14 get the mandate from?
15 THE WITNESS: Sorry. I might have caused a bit of confusion
16 there. Sorry.
17 JUDGE CHOWHAN: In case of this -- these sites, which you are
18 mentioning, there were the judicial orders and you coordinated with the
19 local persons to help them out. That's okay. But you said that in
20 other -- in other sites, this was not the case because it was different.
21 You did it on your own, is it?
22 THE WITNESS: No, sorry --
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: That's the confusion.
24 THE WITNESS: I think I caused a bit of confusion there.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Your report makes it clear the cases where there
1 are judicial orders. It's perfectly clear from the report.
2 THE WITNESS: All judicial orders are just fitted in.
3 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Microphone not activated]
4 THE WITNESS: Well, shall I try and --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What I'm not clear about is the extent to which
6 your organisation is actually involved in this case in identifying the
8 THE WITNESS: For the Batajnica cases?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Batajnica, Petrovo Selo, and Derventa canyon.
10 THE WITNESS: Yeah. ICMP is involved from the excavation and the
11 recovery level, but also assisting with the DNA analysis part of the
12 operation. So the DNA is then handed back to the Serbian authorities, the
13 court, and the forensic pathologists to finish off their own
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Maybe I could take you through this step by step. The ICMP, you
17 said something about assisting in the DNA. Does the ICMP itself undertook
18 and does the DNA analysis to make the matches?
19 A. It does, yes. But the --
20 Q. So once the -- so the identification job of the forensic
21 pathologist, I take it from what you have said, is in relation to
22 identifying and putting together the body parts so that it can be returned
23 to the relatives?
24 A. Yes. It's all one process, really. It's just divided, but it all
25 falls under the local jurisdiction of the court. They obviously have to
1 issue an order for exhumation or excavation or autopsy. ICMP's role in
2 the Batajnica cases was to undertake the excavation and recovery and
3 provide the DNA for the local court authorities to finish off
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And does that mean the DNA from the surviving
6 relatives of the potential victims in the graves?
7 THE WITNESS: That's correct, yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, who -- what witness is going to be here
9 to identify the ones which have been identified for us?
10 MR. STAMP: I intend to show him some of the -- the DNA results
11 and --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: This isn't in the report we have.
13 MR. STAMP: No. No, it's not. I was getting to that. Now, these
14 DNA reports, he can't testify about those DNA -- the DNA methodology
15 itself. They are the subject of discussions with the Defence, because it
16 is the Prosecution's -- I should hope that these are material that can be
17 agreed upon. Otherwise, we will call the DNA expert from the ICMP to
18 explain the DNA procedures to get the match results.
19 So this witness merely introduces these reports. I should -- we
20 had hoped that there would have been an agreement in respect to the
21 reports before now, but there have been problems in respect to finding
22 times when we could all convene to meet. But if necessary, there will be
23 a DNA expert who can explain the procedures in making the identifications
24 employed by the ICMP.
25 Q. Just to make it clear, the ICMP can match the DNA profiles from
1 the bones -- from the bone specimens taken from the exhumed body parts to
2 the DNA profiles taken from the relatives of missing persons?
3 A. That's correct, yes.
4 Q. And the forensic pathologists, whoever you're working with, will
5 be -- will take part in this identification by putting together the body
6 or the body parts to be sent to the families in the respective countries,
7 in Kosovo in this instance?
8 A. That's all correct.
9 Q. And without us going to --
10 MR. STAMP: May I just indicate to the Court that the annex 4 is
11 the grant agreement between the Coordination Centre to Kosovo and Metohija
12 and the Government of Serbia in respect to the ICMP's -- this is page 56,
13 in respect to the ICMP's jurisdiction to participate in these excavations
14 in Serbia and the resulting return of the bodies.
15 Q. Can I ask you to look quickly at --
16 MR. STAMP: And could it be brought up on the screen.
17 Q. -- Exhibit P02559. You recently had a look at this document, I
18 think, a couple days ago. And is that the -- is that a report explaining
19 the procedure? Is it the DNA procedures employed by the ICMP in making
21 A. Yes, that looks correct. Yes.
22 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at the last page of that
24 Q. And you see it's -- the document is signed by the resident DNA
25 expert at the ICMP Director of Forensic Sciences is Dr. Parsons, and also
1 by the Director-General of the ICMP?
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 MR. STAMP: Could we also have a look at P02559.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the document you've just had.
5 MR. STAMP: I think we had 2557.
6 Could we bring up 2557 then. P2557.
7 Q. This document, therefore, is the methodology report of the ICMP in
8 respect to its DNA analyses for remains found in Serbia.
9 A. That's correct, yes.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The other one that we looked at earlier looked like
11 the results of the comparison, rather than the methodology I think.
12 MR. STAMP: Indeed that is correct, Your Honour.
13 Could we have a look at page 17 of this document, or the last
14 page. It's the page after that one.
15 Q. Again, you see that the methodology report is signed by the
16 competent ICMP personnel?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And, lastly, I'd like to show you Exhibit P2558. You also had a
19 look at this document over the last couple of days. Is that also a
20 document containing DNA match analyses by the ICMP?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, I should indicate that the results that
23 is P02559 are the results in respect of those matches of mortar remains
24 found in Serbia to the blood reference samples from surviving family
25 members. The last document that's P2558 is results in respect to mortar
1 remains, matches of mortar remains found in both Serbia and in excavations
2 in Kosovo to the families of surviving family members. So it includes the
3 first but it is wider.
4 Q. Mr. Sterenberg, although you have not participated -- well, let me
5 not -- does it -- did the ICMP also participate in exhumations of graves
6 in Kosovo itself?
7 A. No, it did not.
8 Q. Did the -- well, did the -- UNMIK, the United Nations Mission in
9 Kosovo, did they send to the ICMP for examination the DNA -- well,
10 specimen samples taken from the remains of the persons exhumed in Kosovo?
11 A. Yes. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. And the ICMP performed DNA match analysis on those --
13 A. They did.
14 Q. -- samples?
15 Thank you very much.
16 MR. STAMP: I know the witness cannot testify about the DNA. As I
17 indicated if we do need to, we will -- or seek leave to bring the
18 appropriate experts. I -- just to be absolutely clear, the first set of
19 matches only relate to those bodies exhumed at Batajnica, Derventa canyon,
20 and Lake Perucac in Serbia. The second set of matches relate to DNA
21 matches not only of those bodies, but also Kosovo-wide.
22 Insofar as they relate to the case, it would be for the
23 Prosecution to extract from the exhibit the relevant material to present
24 to the Court in -- at the appropriate time.
25 Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have nothing further.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you clarify a couple of matters for me.
2 Batajnica 1 and 3 are not the subject of this report; they are just
3 referred to in passing in this report. Now, do we already have
4 information on both of these sites?
5 MR. STAMP: Batajnica 1, we tendered the report, and the report is
6 also referred to as approval in this report -- particular report of a
7 forensic anthropologist whose name is Mr. Starovic. He is referred to in
8 this report, at page 5 of his report, as the archaeological team member.
9 He prepared a report which was reviewed by Mr. Sterenberg, and that report
10 was submitted earlier when Professor Dunjic came to testify.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: What about Batajnica 3?
12 MR. STAMP: A report in respect to Batajnica 3 has not been
13 tendered because of the paucity of relevant bodies from that site.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Now, my other question is: The
15 paragraph numbers in this report are not sequential. They don't -- you
16 don't -- you can jump paragraphs. Let me -- it may be only one area of
17 the report. Yes. If you go to, for example, paragraph 51 if you can find
19 MR. STAMP: There and I see in more than one place, there are --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: If you have that, Mr. Sterenberg, you will see that
21 paragraph 51 is followed by 54, which is followed by 57, which is followed
22 by 60. Is there a reason for that?
23 THE WITNESS: Well, actually, the report I have doesn't jump, it
24 goes 50, 51, 52, 53 --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
1 THE WITNESS: The report that I have here doesn't have those
2 mistakes in it. So I'm not sure where they've come from.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you'll see on the screen the one we have. Is
4 that different from the one you've got in front of you?
5 THE WITNESS: It's the same report. It's just the numbers are
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Right.
8 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure why that is.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Just to make sure we're awake on a Monday morning,
11 Look forward to stern cross-examination on that point, Mr.
13 THE WITNESS: I will. Thanks.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Anything further, Mr. Stamp?
15 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
17 Now, Mr. O'Sullivan, we live in hope that the situation has
18 changed over the weekend.
19 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I'm afraid not, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Are there likely to be real issues for
21 cross-examination in relation to this witness, or is it possible he won't
22 be required to return?
23 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I really think it's premature to say that
24 until --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Ivetic may have something to offer.
1 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, the main point is we received quite a
2 large number of documents within the past I think it was week and a half,
3 two weeks, which still have not been completely gone through by the
4 various Defence teams. So, you know, the old adage in my jurisdiction is
5 anything is always possible.
6 But whether or not it's going to be likely or not, we really can't
7 say without going through all the material and seeing what we have there
8 and a corpus to deal with and then make that assessment. But we will
9 endeavour to make that assessment and advise Your Honours as soon as is
10 possible as soon as that material has been assimilated.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we should set some sort of time-scale here
12 for your response on this. Should we make it the 16th of January when we
13 return? No objection to that.
14 MR. IVETIC: I think we're okay with that.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So your position should be made clear on the 16th
16 of January, or before if you can file something all the better.
17 Mr. Sterenberg, the problem here relates to confidentiality which
18 prevented earlier disclosure of material; and as a result, material has
19 been given to the Defence fairly recently. They are not in a position to
20 say whether they want to ask you questions and what these might be, and
21 the Trial Chamber decided to give them time to complete that exercise.
22 So if there are issues in relation to your evidence and your
23 report, you are going to have to return. But as far as today is
24 concerned, that brings your evidence to an end. We are extremely grateful
25 to both you and the ICMP for the assistance they are giving to the
1 Tribunal; and for the moment -- well, I convey these thanks to you and
2 also convey them to the organisation, in case we don't see you again. But
3 we may of course have to see you again to complete the evidence. For the
4 moment that brings your evidence to an end and you're now free to leave
5 the courtroom. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
7 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, my apologies I should have asked that the
8 last exhibit be received under seal.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: This is the -- you mean, 2557, 8, and 9?
10 MR. STAMP: Yes.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Including the methodology report?
12 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
14 MR. STAMP: There are areas in that report that involve areas of
15 technology --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I know there are also reasons for it being
17 confidential that are not necessarily technological. We have no
18 difficulty with these being under seal at this stage.
19 MR. STAMP: I believe, though, that the results in respect to
20 Serbia, that is 2559, perhaps can be -- perhaps the ICMP may waive the
21 situation because those bodies were returned -- my understanding is those
22 bodies were returned to the family members already.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's difficult to see where the basis for
24 confidential is; but in case there is something, you should double-check
25 and notify us so the status of the material can be altered.
1 MR. STAMP: I will, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 That completes the evidence, Mr. Sterenberg. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the position now, Mr. Stamp?
7 MR. STAMP: Again, Your Honour, it's my unhappy task to indicate
8 that we do not have a witness to follow after this witness, and our
9 witness will not arrive until tomorrow afternoon -- sorry, Wednesday
10 afternoon. We have, as was indicated last week, tried to contact all the
11 witnesses who -- that we could possibly bring, but without any success in
12 getting a replacement for Lord Ashdown, who was dropped from this week,
13 and also to fill the gaps that were as a result.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's of great concern to us, Mr. Stamp,
15 because we have tried very hard to encourage the programming of an
16 adequate number of issues to take account of the possibility that anything
17 can happen to any witness at any time. Expect the unexpected in this job.
18 So the failure to have available alternatives is extremely disappointing
19 to the Trial Chamber.
20 It means, from what you've just said, in a week where we've
21 especially arranged to sit for longer hours, that the loss will be over
22 the period you've just indicated about nine and three-quarter hours of
23 valuable court time. And we've also heard an indication that Friday may
24 not be occupied, which would be another four hours to be added on to that,
25 it was a shorter day. All we will do at this stage is indicate that what
1 we do about the failure to use these hours productively will be decided in
2 due course.
3 It will not be decided at this stage, but it is possible that
4 these are hours that will be allocated to the time you've been allocated
5 to the case. We will make that decision when we feel we are fully
6 informed -- in a fully informed position to make the decision. But you
7 should bear it in mind as you continue to programme witnesses for 2007.
8 Now, I take it you also want us to alter the schedule for
9 Wednesday so that we sit in the afternoon, and that we're willing to do,
10 but you will need to tell us what time we need to start on Wednesday
11 because there seems to be doubt about a the time the witness will start
13 MR. STAMP: I think we can set the time at 2.30.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: 2.30?
15 MR. STAMP: 2.30.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall adjourn now until 2.30 on
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.20 a.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day of
20 December, 2006, at 2.30 p.m.