1 Wednesday, 21 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, good morning.
6 MR. MOORE: Good morning to everyone. Your Honour, may I deal
7 with an administrative matter first of all. I've spoken to my learned
8 friends in relation to timetable. There is no problems in relation to the
9 witnesses this week, as far as we're aware. We're wondering whether it is
10 possible for the Court to indicate that if there is to be a commencement
11 of the Defence case, whether it will be after the break or whether it is
12 the Court's intention prior to the break, which I believe in the second
13 week of August -- second week of July, running through to the first week
14 of August.
15 We have matters that we would wish to put in tow, and clearly the
16 timetable affects us directly. One small example that I can give the
17 Court is that Mr. Smith leaves OTP on the 7th of July. And clearly if I
18 have to get a replacement I'm going to have to make sure that that
19 replacement, once again, is familiar with the case and familiar with the
20 documentation, because it will be required for cross-examination. That is
21 one small example of the problems that we face. But I think on a more
22 general basis the Defence, and they can argue the point themselves, the
23 Defence would wish to know whether in actual fact it is the Court's
24 intention to commence before the recess, if that is appropriate. And any
25 indication by the Court today would be extremely helpful.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, that was one of the matters which we
2 specifically reserved for submissions of the parties at a convenient time
3 when an indication was given a week or so ago. I see there is quite a
4 hush come over the court over this issue. My first question is, are we
5 sure we are going to finish this witness today before we spend time on
6 matters of this nature?
7 MR. MOORE: Mr. Weiner is dealing with the witness, and we will.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I see from that Brooklyn smile, we are. Yes, okay.
9 So -- well, there's an argument whether it's Boston or Brooklyn.
10 MR. MOORE: Your Honour may have chosen the wrong B.
11 And regard to Pringle, and Pringle comes back this evening, he had
12 professional obligations, but he has a flight leaving on Friday evening.
13 I have been work out the timetable as directed by the Court. We have one
14 and a half sessions and we will restrict our examination-in-chief to that
15 timetable as indicated.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Good. Well that will work, it will be very tight
17 for everybody.
18 Now we go to the question then of the future planning. Does the
19 Prosecution have any submissions as to the time that it needs? I suppose
20 we start with the question, and I don't want to presume to ask too early,
21 whether there are to be 98 bis submissions or not, and is there any known
22 position about that? I don't want to intrude before the close of the
23 Prosecution case if you're not ready.
24 Yes, Mr. Vasic.
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
1 morning everyone. On behalf of all three Defence teams, I can inform you
2 that the Defence will submit a motion under Rule 98 bis, believing that
3 circumstances justify it.
4 JUDGE PARKER: That last comment would be taken without need for
5 specific observation, Mr. Vasic. Very well. And, as has been indicated,
6 the Wednesday of next week will be the day upon which they occur. The
7 Chamber is in the Plenary all day on Thursday. The decision on the 98 bis
8 motion can be expected no later than the Friday.
9 That being so then, Mr. Moore, are there any timetable matters
10 that directly impinge upon the Prosecution's progress.
11 MR. MOORE: No, there's nothing. The only matter that we have
12 relates to exhibits from the bar. And I cannot think of anything else.
13 The timetable, we are work being towards Wednesday, and that is the --
14 that's the obligation that we have. It's as simple as that.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
16 Mr. Vasic, you are in the number one seat, so to speak. Are there
17 submissions you would like to place, put forward about the timetable
18 before the vacation and after?
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you for giving me
20 this opportunity to state our position. As regards the Defence team of
21 Mr. Mrksic, once the Prosecution completes its case, and their case took
22 nine months rather than four, as initially planned by my learned friend.
23 I fully realise that it was objective factors that led to it taking nine
24 months rather than four.
25 Now, given some changes which occurred during the Prosecution case
1 where we were unable to foresee what evidence my learned friend would be
2 relying on, we believe that we will need quite some time to prepare
3 Defence case, and find a moment that would suit the Chamber and that would
4 fall after the 15th of August.
5 You must be aware that in mid-July, and in early August, people in
6 the entire world take their vacations and it is quite difficult to find
7 witnesses willing to come during that period of time. You also must be
8 aware that people tend to plan their vacations quite in advance, and we
9 didn't know when the Prosecution case was going to end, because the
10 time-schedule was changed several times during the Prosecution case.
11 On the other hand, what we heard here, and the selection made by
12 my learned friend in terms of evidence adduced here and not adduced,
13 taking that into account, the Defence must now make some changes in its
14 Defence case. We expected to hear some other witnesses here in the
15 courtroom; witnesses who, in the end, were not called. Thus,
16 Your Honours, in view of all of these factors and in view of the fact that
17 we will be concluding this part of the trial in early July, we believe
18 that the Defence case should begin at a suitable time after the 15th of
19 August. Thank you.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Are you in a position to indicate what length of
21 time you would anticipate for your case?
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was expecting this
23 question. I can tell you something that we wish to do and the Chamber
24 wishes to hear, I suppose, namely that we will try to ensure that our case
25 is as efficient as possible. As for the length of the Defence case, we
1 were able to see in this courtroom that it's quite difficult to give firm
2 forecasts in advance. My learned friend knows this all too well, because
3 initially we were told that the Prosecution case would end in February,
4 and as it turns out, it will end in July. However, Your Honours, I can
5 give you some descriptive information as to the length of our case. Right
6 now we plan to call about 20 witnesses, 20 some witnesses. I think that
7 some of them will testify very briefly, not longer than one session for
8 some of them in examination-in-chief. And should our learned friends show
9 understanding, as well as the Trial Chamber, then we are considering
10 resorting to depositions in some cases, with some witnesses, which would
11 again shorten the Defence case.
12 This is not our final position, I need to warn you. We don't have
13 the final picture yet because the Prosecution case is not concluded yet,
14 and we still have the 98 bis submissions, but these are just some
15 indications. We will do our best to take as little time as possible in
16 examination-in-chief, and also to use these other means in order to
17 conclude this as quickly as possible. We hope that circumstances will be
18 more beneficial for us than they were for Mr. Moore when he was giving
19 forecasts on the expected duration of the Prosecution case. We hope that
20 we will be more efficient when it comes to the length of time.
21 When I said 20 some witnesses, this is the approximate figure. We
22 are not quite sure which witnesses exactly we would be calling. My
23 learned friend, Mr. Moore, didn't call some witnesses from his list, so
24 this has some implications for the Defence. We would have to consider the
25 situation carefully. Naturally the number of 20 some witnesses includes
1 experts as well.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, you've skillfully avoided putting any
3 measure of time.
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wanted to avoid
5 putting myself in the situation where Mr. Moore was in February of this
6 year. However, if you are going to press me to give you some indication
7 of the length, I would find it very difficult to be specific about it
8 because I don't know how long each witness would take. But given the
9 number of proposed witnesses, I would say that it shouldn't take longer
10 than 40 days, perhaps 30 days. I think that whatever time duration I give
11 you now I'm afraid may be a case of miscalculation on my part. We hope to
12 do it within 30 days, but I can't say that I'm putting that figure to you
13 based on some reliable factors. Naturally, all that I have said so far
14 concerns the Defence team of Mr. Mrksic.
15 I don't know if this was helpful, Your Honours. And I don't know
16 to what extent I was able to be concrete in my answer. It is very
17 difficult for me to give you any firm estimates and I hope that you
18 understand the reasons behind it.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, thank you for the moment. We'll return
20 to you in a little while. I think we should first hear other counsel.
21 Mr. Borovic.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. As
23 regards the Defence of Mr. Radic in terms of the number of witnesses, I
24 think we would present the fewest problems and that would be our
25 contribution to the efficiency of this trial. We think that we would be
1 calling less than 10 witnesses to come and testify here, and I think this
2 will give you a pretty good idea of the time that we would take. This is
3 our contribution to facilitating the planning of this trial. The Defence
4 will certainly take much less than the Prosecution did. Thank you.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I can accept without question your last
6 proposition, Mr. Borovic. You certainly will take much shorter time than
7 the Prosecution.
8 Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will try to be clear
10 and unspecific, unfortunately unspecific. I fully support what my
11 colleague said. I need to tell you something right at the outset. And
12 the good news for us is that we are the third team to begin our Defence
13 case. However, pursuant to Rule 65(G) we have to submit our brief listing
14 the witnesses. What Mr. Vasic said clearly reflected the problems that we
15 had. The trial did not proceed in the way that we expected it to in view
16 of the changes that the Prosecutor made to the list of witnesses who were
17 called. We learned of this quite late here in The Hague.
18 Another thing is that we heard quite a lot of new facts during the
19 last 15 days alone. Let me remind you of the testimony of witness P-001.
20 I don't need to go into details, but he said something that was quite new
21 to us. First of all we need to do some serious verifications and research
22 in order to supplement our initial brief. We have been discussing this
23 for quite a long time among ourselves.
24 Thus, the dead-line that you would give to us for pre-trial
25 Defence brief in terms of the list of witnesses represents the greatest
1 problem for my team right now. We probably won't have the same problem
2 that Mr. Vasic is facing, namely tracking down witnesses during summer
3 vacation time.
4 Another thing that comes to mind is this: We were considering
5 calling some 15 witnesses to come here to testify. However, I must urge
6 you to take this number with certain reservations. I've been working over
7 the last few days on this number of witnesses, and it could go between 15
8 to 20 witnesses. As Mr. Vasic said, a number, quite a large number of
9 witnesses spoke about individual incidents and facts, so in that sense I
10 support what Mr. Vasic said when we hold the pre-Defence case conference
11 to resort to depositions. I have some very good experience in the
12 previous trial that I was involved in when it took us less than a week to
13 take depositions from some 30 witnesses. It worked very well at the time.
14 If, however, Defence decides to call some witnesses, especially witnesses
15 that the Prosecution dropped at the last moment, then those witnesses, in
16 our view, are quite important and their direct examination would take
17 quite a long time, in view of the facts that these witnesses would be
18 testifying about. We also have one expert that we plan to call, and then
19 once again another thing that we have to consider is whether our clients
20 would be testifying or not. Usually that takes quite a long time, their
21 testimony. However, I cannot declare our final position until we complete
22 our Defence brief. But all in all, I think that our case would take a
23 month to a month and a half. It could be shorter if we resort to
25 And if I may add one more matter, I think this comes on behalf of
1 all three teams. These provisional time-frames that we gave you should
2 not be punished should we fail to comply with them. Mr. Moore took longer
3 than he initially proposed, and I hope the same would apply to us, and you
4 will see our list of witnesses once we submit the pre-trial -- or rather
5 the pre-Defence briefs. Thank you.
6 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, might I have leave to reply on one our
7 two matters.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
9 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. I suppose the starting point
10 will be that I will never ever give an estimate as long as I will live,
11 whether personal or professional. This has taken 125 working days.
12 That's six months. Not nine. The Prosecution case in reality has
13 actually taken two months of evidence. The number of witnesses the
14 Defence seek to call is almost similar to the number that we have called.
15 I think we have called 52 witnesses; I'm not quite sure about that.
16 The case has not changed significantly at all. What we have done,
17 indeed I said at the very outset I would try and do it in 50 witnesses if
18 I could, is I have selected certain witnesses and those witness statements
19 have always been available to the Defence. I think we made application,
20 and received leave to call two new witnesses with the exception of --
21 exception of experts, dealing with matters that we thought would be
22 agreed, but were not. So the case has not fundamentally changed at all.
23 I am entirely sympathetic to my learned friend Mr. Vasic and the
24 difficulties it is to get a case together. But it also must be said that
25 if they were expecting or the Defence were expecting the case to conclude
1 in April, they have had more than enough time to prepare themselves for a
2 case that they thought would commence easily before the break. And
3 therefore, in our submission, if the Court deems it appropriate, we would
4 be in a position to commence before the adjournment. And those would be
5 the only -- the only submissions that we would make on that. And we'll
6 have to wait and see exactly what happens with regard to the witness list,
7 but on my counting, it's approximately 50 witnesses for the Defence.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
9 Mr. Vasic, can we become more specific with respect to the
10 position of your client? Are you yet in a position to know whether he
11 will give evidence or not?
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, right now I am unable to
13 tell you whether my client will testify or not. I can't give you a
14 definitive answer, I need to consult my client immediately after the
15 Prosecution case is completed. But most likely the answer to your
16 question would be no, although this is not the final position as it stands
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that.
19 Now, the Chamber, in all of this, as I think all counsel have
20 heard before, is getting increasingly concerned at the total length that
21 this trial is taking. It's not a matter of fault, it's a matter that a
22 trial which ought to have been relatively short and confined is just
23 edging out month by month. And the people most adversely affected by that
24 are the three accused sitting there at the back, and their families. And
25 those other accused that are sitting in the detention unit awaiting trial.
1 The longer we take, the longer it is before their trials commence. From
2 the point of view of the Chamber, we can sit here forever, that's not
3 troubling us personally. But the effect of this trial taking longer is
4 having an effect on these accused and the others that await trial.
5 So we are becoming increasingly concerned to find ways of keeping
6 this trial shorter. And that being the concern, we, in particular, had
7 been looking at the last week of this present term. That is, the last
8 week that is the second week of July, which is the last week before the
9 vacation. And it seemed to us that it could be possible for the Defence
10 case to commence in that week. And then we would be resuming not the week
11 of the 14th of August, but in the week before that, when the normal
12 business resumes. That would be two weeks, at least, of the total
14 We recognise that that puts all counsel, both Defence and
15 Prosecution, under considerable preparation strain. But we've been giving
16 early warning of that for some time. And we therefore turn directly to
17 you, Mr. Vasic, because you carry the main burden in all of this as to
18 whether it would be feasible for a commencement of your case in that last
20 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really must say this
21 presents an enormous problem to Mr. Mrksic's defence. And unfortunately
22 we do not believe that this is feasible, bearing in mind all the
23 circumstances that we mentioned a while ago when speaking about our
24 reasons, when speaking about the OTP case, how long it took and how
25 exactly it developed. I would find it very difficult to agree with my
1 learned friend Mr. Moore that there were no changes to his case as they
2 went along. We heard a lot of new circumstances from some of the
3 witnesses who came, and yet we did not hear some other witnesses who were
4 originally on the list. All this puts us in a position where we have
5 virtually no more than a week to prepare for the start of our case and to
6 submit all the relevant documents, the ones mentioned by my learned
7 friend, Mr. Lukic. The Defence pre-trial brief and our witness list.
8 The Defence is facing a very peculiar situation also in terms of
9 our witnesses. I think that much is clear. My learned friend called some
10 witnesses from his list and some he chose not to call. I believe the
11 Defence will need to consider this and see for ourselves whether we, in
12 fact, need to call any of these, to our eyes, crucial witnesses.
13 In addition to the problem that I have already mentioned,
14 Your Honours, we do indeed have a problem with witnesses. We could have
15 told them at the time that we would be starting in April or in May, but
16 now that July and August are approaching, these people will be very
17 difficult to track down. It's as simple as that. They're using their
18 only opportunity to take a long leave.
19 At any rate, I think what we said about our estimate in terms of
20 how long our case would take, based on all these rough estimates, I think
21 we can keep our case within the bounds of what can be considered
22 reasonable, and I don't think the Chamber will be facing any difficulty
23 with that, such as may have been the case with my learned friends from the
24 OTP. I think it would be very important for our Defence, after all this
25 time, 125 days and 55 OTP witnesses, to be given fair time, sufficient
1 time to go through this final stage of the preparation of our case and for
2 our case to begin at a time that would be most conducive to the time
3 effectiveness of our own case. And make no mistake about this,
4 Your Honours, the Defence will do our utmost to be as speedy and as
5 effective as possible.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, there is the three weeks of the vacation
7 in which a great deal of work can be done. You don't necessarily have to
8 have the whole of your case finally prepared when you commence. For
9 example, were it to be the decision that your client was to give evidence,
10 his evidence would come first, and that could be expected to occupy the
11 last week before the vacation. So you would not have problems with other
12 witnesses not being available. If he is not to give evidence, you would
13 need only one, perhaps, substantial witness. If those matters are taken
14 into account, do you still see real difficulties?
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has taken
16 into account the duration of the summer break, and we were going to spend
17 the best part of that summer break making our final preparations, in order
18 for it to be as effective as possible. However, I do believe that the
19 Trial Chamber and everybody else in this courtroom are aware of the need
20 to get some rest at least after the first stage of our trial, which has
21 been quite intense, including the preparations before the OTP case. We
22 have been working at full tilt, as it were, and so has the Chamber, of
24 As for the dead-line suggested by the Trial Chamber, I believe
25 that if Mr. Mrksic decides to testify himself, he could do this earlier
1 on. I don't think he will be testifying, though. And ultimately it will
2 present insurmountable problem to our Defence team to start our case
3 before the summer break, as I have already indicated.
4 JUDGE PARKER: You also mentioned a date after the 15th of August.
5 That's in the second week of the new term. Do you see it as a real
6 problem, a commencement in the first week?
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I was talking about
8 the second week of August, I was bearing in mind a fact that I think is
9 familiar to all of us here. 90 per cent of working people in the world
10 take their time off, take their holidays the second half of July and the
11 first half of August. And it's a bit difficult to find someone and
12 button-hole them and tell them not to take their holiday, if this is their
13 only chance to get some rest during the year. The 14th of August, I think
14 you said, was the first day of the second week of August, which I believe
15 would be a time when the Defence would no longer be encountering any
16 difficulties in witnesses making themselves available for our purposes.
17 Most people will have returned from their vacation by this time, and this
18 would definitely make it much easier for the Defence to -- to organise
19 travel and everything else in order to have these witnesses brought here
20 in a timely manner, which would help us to avoid any disruptions to the
21 continuity of our witnesses, and I think that is a situation that no one
22 likes to see as a trial develops. It is also a very important time-saving
23 factor. I will try to keep my witnesses coming in a manner of speaking,
24 and I hope not to be encountering the same kind of problem at any stage
25 that my learned friends from the OTP seem to have encountered at this
1 final stage of their case.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that. Could we also observe, you
3 mentioned that if your client were to give evidence, it might be that he
4 would come early. Could we indicate that, as a matter of credibility, the
5 view and position normally taken is that your client should be the first
6 witness called so that it can't be suggested that the evidence of your
7 client was shaped, having regard to the evidence given by the witnesses
8 that he called before. So while that is not as it were a binding order of
9 the Trial Chamber, do understand that if you contemplate calling your
10 client the normal expectation is that he would be the first witness
12 Is there anything any other counsel wishes to add?
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We will join
14 Mr. Vasic with our submission. Although these would be Mr. Vasic's
15 witnesses, we would find it difficult to start before the summer break.
16 There are some interrelations between some of Mr. Vasic's witnesses and
17 some of our witnesses, and I would like to be given a chance to do some
19 There's another thing. Unfortunately we know that Serbia and
20 Montenegro are no longer together. This country no longer exists. The
21 council of ministers has been disbanded. And this leaves the Official
22 Secrets Act situation unclear. There is a vacuum, as it were, in terms of
23 decision making on how this ban is lifted, the ban on military secrets;
24 what the procedure is technically speaking. We have many witnesses coming
25 who will need to go through this procedure, who will need to have the ban
1 lifted for their purposes, for the purposes of their testimony. This
2 might take some time. If that time is not allowed, I'm sure that their
3 testimony will be much the poorer.
4 As for everything else, I think we can be relatively speedy and
5 efficient in conducting our case. If my client decides to testify, that
6 will not change much, because a total of our witnesses will probably not
7 go beyond a number of 10. We are in a hurry; you're quite right when you
8 point that out, Your Honours. That is in the best interests of our
9 client. And I think roughly speaking we should wrap this up as quickly as
10 possible and have a judgement as soon as possible. That is what our team
11 is after. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Very briefly I wish to support what my
14 learned friends have said. Throughout the trial we saw the point that the
15 Chamber was making to have a speedy trial, to have the trial over as soon
16 as possible so that they can see their families again and for other trials
17 to begin. My client also has been adamant about this, that we should
18 press ahead with our schedule and not have any deferrals. However, at
19 this point in time I would say what is in the best interests of our
20 clients and their families is for their witnesses to be heard. I do not
21 believe that any of our clients would prefer a speedy trial over a chance
22 to have all their witnesses heard. The Chamber will judge for yourselves,
23 which the important witnesses are and which witnesses need to be taken off
24 the list. But I think we need to be given a fair opportunity to present
25 our evidence, to present evidence that is contrary to evidence presented
1 by the OTP. That is what my code of ethics tells me I should strive to
2 achieve. That is what I believe to be in the best interests of my client
3 and our Defence case. I just wanted to add this as for all the other
4 aspects, I join my colleagues and their submissions. The only problem
5 that we are facing now is the possibility of having to complete our
6 pre-trial brief by a dead-line that is too short to be realistic. Thank
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will give some thought to this over the
11 next break before coming to a final decision. I think it will be obvious
12 from what has been said that we had hoped to move more quickly than seems
13 to be able to be properly managed by counsel. So we will take their
14 submissions into account and see if we can revise our expectations.
15 I see Mr. Weiner is still there, Mr. Moore. At the end of the
16 last witness there was the prospect of a large number of exhibits that we
17 didn't have time to deal with yesterday.
18 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. Let me get my notes. Your Honour,
19 we filed a motion to introduce or offer all of the exhibits which are part
20 of -- or all of the references which are part of the expert Reynaud
21 Theunens's report, which is in two sections. The majority of them are
22 military documents, government documents of some kind. Some are books or
23 quotations from books, quotations from documents, quotations from open
24 sources in the press. As the Court knows that this report was disclosed
25 on September 15th in 2005, the Defence on the 30th of September moved to
1 extend its response until 30 days after the report was received in B/C/S.
2 The Chamber granted that request. They received the B/C/S report on the
3 14th of November, and on the 30th of -- I'm sorry, on the 9th of December
4 they responded. And in their response they listed the three options that
5 they had. And even though they listed the three options, they selected
6 option number 2, which was to cross-examine the witness. They did not
7 object to any part or any document at that time. In fact, over the last
8 seven months they have not objected to any part or any document within the
10 It is our view that these objections would be deemed to be waived.
11 However, if the Court is willing to look at the issue, the Prosecution
12 would state that 89(C) places the issue as to weight as opposed to
13 admissibility. A Chamber may admit any relevant evidence which it seems
14 to have probative value under Rule 89(C). As stated these documents are
15 largely military documents, government documents, newspaper articles and
16 interviews. All are relevant to the portions that they refer to within
17 the report. And in this Tribunal the practice has been in favour of
18 admissibility as stated weight is the key factor and not admissibility.
19 In the Milosevic case, in the Brdjanin case, various types of
20 documents were admitted similar to these types and we request that they be
21 admitted now. And I would just like to --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Are these the documents set out in Annex A, the
23 second part of that annex?
24 MR. WEINER: Of the motion, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Commencing with 65 ter number 5 on page 2 of
1 the annex.
2 MR. WEINER: There were three sections within that. One section
3 were the documents that we would be introducing in the court and there
4 would be arguments that would be available in the court. One section were
5 documents that were never on the 65 ter list, and the third section should
6 be all other documents that would not be mentioned in the courtroom.
7 JUDGE PARKER: The first two, I think, are very short, and they're
8 on pages 1 and 2, is that correct, of the annex?
9 MR. WEINER: I don't have the annex in front me of me, but I do
10 know the first two are very short sections. One should have four
11 documents which will be the first section; the second should have 10 or
12 11, I believe 11 documents.
13 JUDGE PARKER: 11.
14 MR. WEINER: And then the third section should have a large
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, very well. Thank you.
17 MR. WEINER: And I would just like to add one more citation,
18 because there was an issue raised in relation to the book, the book of
19 General Kadijevic. And I would like to note that that document -- I'm
20 sorry, the book of General Kadijevic is cited in the decision of
21 Prosecutor versus Dule Tadic, it's cited on two or three occasions. I
22 know in paragraph 116, and I believe paragraph 104, offhand. And with
23 regard to interviews, if the Court would refer to Prosecutor versus
24 Brdjanin, decision on the Prosecution's second request for a subpoena of
25 Jonathan Randall, 30 June, 2003, the Court in paragraph 41 states, "The
1 Appeals Chamber clarified that should the article be admitted into
2 evidence, the author's unavailability for the testimony need not prejudice
3 the accused since the Defence may still question the article's accuracy
4 and the Trial Chamber would have to take this unavailability into
5 consideration into deciding what weight to ascribe to it."
6 So with regard to the newspaper articles, they have been accepted
7 in the Brdjanin case, however it's an issue again as to weight as opposed
8 to admissibility, and with regard to the book by General Kadijevic, it has
9 been an exhibit in the Krajisnik case, as well as the -- I'm sorry, not
10 the Krajisnik, in the Blaskic case as well as the Dule Tadic case, where
11 it was referred to on two or three occasions within the judgement. We ask
12 that all of those documents be admitted. Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Lukic -- or is it -- I'm sorry, I recall
14 Mr. Lukic indicating that there could be objections.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have spoken about this, all three
16 of our Defence teams, and I can speak about three specific documents.
17 From this list that bears the ERN number 426 -- [Previous translation
18 continues] ... [In English] "of paramilitary organisation from 19 of
19 October, 1993."
20 [Interpretation] This document was taken off the 65 ter list by
21 the Prosecution in their brief. They informed us that this document was
22 taken off the list, and we never received the document as a result. It
23 may have been forwarded to us as part of an exchange but officially in the
24 pre-trial brief of the Prosecution we were informed that the document was
25 taken off the list that the Prosecution wished to use.
1 The next document, if I understand Mr. Weiner's words, is in
2 reference to 427, which is also on the list. This is the minutes of the
3 16th session of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which took
4 place on the 12th of May, 1992. This document runs into some 60 pages.
5 I've read the document, and believe me, based on what I could gather, and
6 it is quite an extensive document, has nothing whatsoever to do with our
7 case. I would like to have the OTP state clearly why this document is
8 relevant to our proceedings at all. I believe that it bears no relevance
10 My third objection is to the authenticity of a particular
11 document. This is another document from the 65 ter list; the number is
12 612. This is a document invoked by Mr. Theunens in his report, and
13 Mr. Bulatovic yesterday cross-examined him on this. This is the interview
14 given by Branislav Vakic. It's from the Telegraf newspaper, and the date
15 is the 28th of September, 1994. I've made copies of this, and I can
16 forward a copy to the Trial Chamber if you'd like that, Your Honours.
17 This is typewritten, this is an English copy, something was crossed out by
18 hand and now it reads "Vakic interview." I don't think newspaper article
19 can be tendered in this form. The OTP should first forward the original
20 to us. I don't even know who the author is of this article, who wrote it.
21 I can let the Chamber have a copy so you can have a look and see for
22 yourselves what it's like. I don't think that a document in this form
23 should be allowed into evidence. This is a transcript of a newspaper
24 article, but in English. I challenge its authenticity. And pursuant to
25 Article 89 (E) the Chamber obviously has the power to impose on the OTP
1 the obligation to prove the authenticity of this newspaper piece. These
2 would be my objections, Your Honours. Thank you.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
4 Yes, Mr. Borovic.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. As a
6 matter of principle I object to the admission of newspaper articles into
7 evidence for the reasons that have already been raised. I believe the OTP
8 know about the usual practice concerning this. The author of the piece,
9 or the editor, must confirm the authenticity. We have had, for example, a
10 situation where somebody said they knew who wrote the article, they knew
11 about the signature, they knew about the magazine, and the journalist was
12 indeed working for that particular newspaper at the time. But that was
13 insufficient to have this admitted into evidence. Or in a different
14 situation there was a press conference, the witness said he knew about the
15 substance of a certain piece, he said this substance was not truthful.
16 The article was quoted to him, but this led to nothing. We all know what
17 I'm talking about. I think things being what they are, what has been done
18 so far is simply insufficient for this to be admitted into evidence, and I
19 don't think this piece of evidence can be accepted beyond doubt. I think
20 this procedure, technically speaking, would be contrary to everything that
21 we have been doing so far and to our established practice. Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours. It seems we will
24 conclude in the opposite order from how we started. I have an objection
25 concerning four documents on the list. One is number 485. This is a
1 military expert report of Professor Radovan Radinovic given in the Kunarac
2 trial. I don't think that we can admit into evidence -- the number is
3 485. We cannot admit into evidence an expert report of a military expert
4 given in another case when the Defence in this trial was not given
5 opportunity to cross-examine. Some brief references from this report were
6 quoted in Mr. Theunens's report; however, this is not sufficient basis for
7 introducing into evidence the entire report of Mr. Radinovic given in a
8 totally different case without giving the Defence opportunity to
9 cross-examine this expert witness.
10 The second document is number 427. These are excerpts from the
11 16th session of the assembly of Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
12 Banja Luka, the 12th of May, 1992. It seems that Mr. Lukic already put in
13 his objection to this document. I believe that both in temporal and
14 geographic terms this document has nothing to do with our indictment and
15 cannot be helpful to the Trial Chamber when deliberating the evidence.
16 The next document is 468, and my objection is of similar nature.
17 It concerns some kind of an order, number 124 of the Serbian Chetnik
18 movement dated 13th of May, 1993 and published in a paper which is
19 entitled here, "The Serbian Radical Party." I think that an order issued
20 on the 13th of May, 1993 could have no relevance to our case and our
22 The next objection concerns document 528. This is an information
23 report on paramilitary formations in the territory of Republika Srpska
24 dated July 1992. Once again, both in temporal and geographic terms such a
25 report has nothing to do with the events in Croatia in 1991.
1 These are all the objections I have, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
3 Mr. Weiner.
4 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. Now that we know exactly what the
5 documents are that the Defence is objecting to, I would be happy to
6 respond tomorrow morning, in response to each of these documents.
7 JUDGE PARKER: We haven't time tomorrow morning, Mr. Weiner, and I
8 doubt we'll have time between then and Friday evening. I think every
9 moment will be taken.
10 MR. WEINER: What about after lunch, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: That could be more practical. At the end of
12 evidence today.
13 MR. WEINER: And the only other comment I would make is that the
14 Appeals Chamber has allowed in the Brdjanin and Talic case, the
15 introduction of newspapers articles and that's case IT --
16 JUDGE PARKER: In the circumstances in which they're used here?
17 Mr. Borovic makes some significant points there.
18 MR. WEINER: Yes, but in that case it's actually even stronger.
19 The reporter or the author of the article or interview refused to appear.
20 And the Court indicated that even without the appearance of the author of
21 the article the article was still admissable. Which is the same situation
22 as Mr. Theunens, the author of the original article was not here; however,
23 through Mr. Theunens's testimony it is being admitted or requested to be
25 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE PARKER: We will hear at the end of today, Mr. Weiner, on
3 those matters and then see where the position is. The Chamber has before
4 it now the motion, a joint motion on agreed facts and the addendum which
5 has been filed on the 20th of June, which deals with five of those agreed
6 facts and removes one, and it is the view of the Chamber that both the
7 joint motion and the addendum should now be received as exhibits and the
8 matters agreed to in those will be taken into account in the course of our
10 The -- I think that deals with the matters affecting the evidence
11 in this case that are alive at the moment. There is a motion that is
12 aside of Mr. Borovic concerning witness P-024, which will be the subject
13 of decision in the near future.
14 Given the hour, I think the most practical course is to have the
15 20-minute break now, resuming at 11.00, and we will then sit with the
16 witness through until 12.30. And that will be the programme.
17 --- On resuming at 10.38 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
19 JUDGE PARKER: In the matter of the future timetable, which was
20 considered during the first section this morning, the Chamber has come to
21 be persuaded by the submissions of counsel that its hopes to proceed more
22 speedily are not adequately reflecting the difficulties facing the
23 Defence. For that reason, we would propose that the Defence file its --
24 their submissions pursuant to Rule 65 ter (G) by Wednesday, the 12th of
25 July. That's the pre-Defence filings.
1 The pre-Defence conference will take place on Thursday, the 10th
2 of August at a time to be determined. And the Defence of Mr. Mrksic will
3 commence with any opening statement on Monday, the 14th of August with
4 evidence to be led immediately following.
5 We would indicate that we hope that the expectations of counsel,
6 that they would be able, by both the use of depositions and other means,
7 to minimise the length of their cases and by considering the lists of the
8 three Defence teams to avoid overlap, that we will able, nevertheless, to
9 proceed with reasonable speed to the completion of the trial, rather than
10 simply lose time by these concessions. And we would hope that, because of
11 the time now given, that we can look forward to a tightly-prepared and
12 presented Defence cases.
13 Thank you very much.
14 We should now have the witness, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the motion on agreed facts and the
16 addendum to the motion will be admitted as Exhibit 594.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir.
20 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry that you were kept waiting this morning with
22 other matters that had to be attended to. Would you please read aloud the
23 affirmation on the card.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
2 WITNESS: IVICA KOSTOVIC
3 [Witness testified through interpreter]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
5 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
6 Examination by Mr. Weiner:
7 Q. Good morning, sir. Would you state your name, please?
8 A. Ivica Kostovic.
9 Q. Sir, you are a medical doctor and a professor of medicine?
10 A. Yes. I am a physician and a professor at the school of medicine
11 of the Zagreb University.
12 Q. And you have also served as a visiting professor outside of
13 Croatia including University of Amsterdam and Harvard Medical School; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes, in 1976. And then in 1990 I was in Amsterdam, and then in
16 1976 I was at Harvard.
17 Q. Now, sir, you've provided a statement to the OTP as a result of an
18 interview in May 2006?
19 A. Yes. I gave a statement and signed it.
20 MR. WEINER: And may the witness please be shown 0600-1985? We
21 have hard copies, Your Honour, too, if the Court would like them.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 MR. WEINER:
24 Q. Sir, is that your personal information on the first page, sir? Do
25 you see it in front of you?
1 A. Not yet. Yes. Yes. This is my personal information.
2 Q. Now, could the witness be shown some of the next several pages,
3 and could you tell us whether or not those your initials on the next few
5 A. I initialed all of the pages.
6 MR. WEINER: And could he see page 10, please.
7 Q. Is that your signature, sir?
8 A. I don't see it yet. Yes. Could you please scroll up? Yes. Yes,
9 this is the page that I signed.
10 MR. WEINER: We'd like to offer that pursuant to Rule 89(F),
11 Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 595, Your Honours.
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. I'd like to move to just a few background questions and then we'll
16 move to the heart of the matter. Sir, you held some positions in the
17 Croatian government in the '90s, 1990s; isn't that correct?
18 A. I wasn't a member of the Croatian government in the 1990s, rather
19 I was a vice dean for science and later a dean of the medical school. I
20 also volunteered in the medical Crisis Staff, and I worked on the basis of
21 an agreement that existed between our medical school and the Ministry of
22 Health. Specifically, I was in charge of a department which was a
23 coordinating body between the medical school of the Zagreb university and
24 the Ministry of Health.
25 Q. No, no, I wasn't referring to 1990, sorry; I was referring to the
1 decade. During that decade you were the deputy prime minister for public
2 services and the deputy prime minister for humanitarian matters; isn't
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct. From 1993, from October of that year, I
5 served as vice prime minister for public services in charge of refugees.
6 And then in 1995 I was vice prime minister for humanitarian matters, and
7 also minister of science.
8 Q. And finally, you were also an ambassador, if we could say, without
9 portfolio, an honorary ambassador without portfolio for Croatia?
10 A. Yes, for humanitarian affairs. That was appointment I received in
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 6 and 7 of your report, you
13 indicated that you were collecting data on wounded or injured persons on
14 behalf of the Ministry of Health. For what purpose was this data, sir?
15 A. The purpose of this data and its collection was to see, to
16 establish what needs the hospitals had during this crisis period. Their
17 needs were increased due to the conflict and the attacks on towns.
18 The other purpose was to process any reports coming from the
19 hospital so that there was a pool of central statistical data based on
20 which we could establish the losses among civilians, those who were
21 hospitalised or sent to medical centres. We did that for the Ministry of
23 Q. And the information that you received, was one of the sources or
24 two of the sources the Vukovar Hospital and the Vukovar police or MUP?
25 A. Yes. Initially we received regular reports from the Vukovar
1 Hospital. Later on, depending on the difficulties they were faced with,
2 the reports would come in less seldom. Due to technical reasons the
3 hospital would then provide information to the Ministry of the Interior,
4 rather to the police station, which had technical capabilities to send on
5 those reports to us via fax so that we received information on people who
6 were admitted into hospital with their diagnosis and so on, but not
7 complete information, due to the difficulties.
8 Q. Now, sir, in paragraphs 19 to 24 you explain how the data was
9 collected after being sent from various locations. Now, the data from
10 Vukovar Hospital and the Vukovar police or also called the MUP, do copies
11 of this information that you received still exist, and if so, where?
12 A. All fax reports were copied due to the fact that the paper tended
13 to fade. It was affected by heat. And it was then maintained within the
14 medical school archives, together with information from the Ministry of
15 Health. In addition to this, there was a computer in which we stored all
16 the e-mails we received up until the 11th of November, 1991, from Vukovar.
17 Up until that time we would receive them regularly, whenever it was
18 technically possible. There was a man who used to send these e-mails
19 through the postal service and ultimately he was killed, together with his
20 wife and child.
21 Q. Did anyone from the Office of the Prosecutor make copies of some
22 of these documents from Vukovar?
23 A. Yes. All of the faxes in possession of the centre were copied or
24 scanned. In addition, we printed the computer screens or photographed the
25 computer screens.
1 Q. Okay. May the witness please be shown 0504-8837. Do you have the
2 picture in front of you, Doctor?
3 A. I just see the statement. I can see it now.
4 Q. Do you recognise this document, sir?
5 A. Yes, I do. This is the document which came from the MUP. It was
6 a fax that was then copied and stored.
7 MR. WEINER: Could you take us to the next document, please,
8 Mr. Registrar? Or the next page. And slowly move through the pages. And
9 then the next page after that, so the doctor can see a few of the pages.
10 Q. Do you recognise these documents, Doctor?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. And what are they?
13 A. These are the faxes of MUP listing the persons who were injured.
14 There is also the date of injury indicated, as well as the type of injury.
15 I can see it better now because they zoomed in. In addition to that, we
16 can see the affiliation of these persons, namely whether they were
17 civilians or members of MUP or ZNG.
18 Q. Do you know where these documents have been stored, sir?
19 A. Yes. These documents are currently stored in the basement of the
20 building of sciences. These are the premises that the university made
21 available for this purpose. There are quite a lot of these documents in
22 all fields.
23 Q. And are these documents which have been stored part of the
24 archives of the university, or part of the archives of your work,
25 assisting the ministry of health?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I would like to offer 0504-8837.
3 JUDGE PARKER: That's been translate add as well, Mr. Weiner.
4 MR. WEINER: They haven't been translated but most of them are
5 names and injuries. Names, injuries, and if -- it will say the civilian
6 or indicate a military officer, if it's a ZNG or some --
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 596, Your Honours.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is that this is part of
10 documentation of the university and specific schools. These documents
11 were used to analyse the location where the injury was inflicted, the type
12 of injury, and also used to assess the efficiency of the health system in
13 Croatia. A number of scientific papers were published based on this data.
14 Also, this documentation was used by some people to receive the benefits
15 that they were entitled to, such as disability or retirement benefits.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Thank you, Doctor. Now, Doctor, were you aware that certain
18 documents were removed from the Vukovar Hospital in November 1991?
19 A. Yes. I am aware of that. When the doctors from the Vukovar
20 Hospital arrived, those who were not imprisoned, there were 17 doctors and
21 six nurses, among them the chief nurse. Two days after the hospital was
22 occupied we asked them what kind of documents they had. They said that
23 they were unable to take a single piece of paper with them, that they had
24 no documentation on them. And that the Yugoslav army took away eight
25 types of documents with them, including medical histories, copies of the
1 reports that they sent to us, e-mails, then bandaging register, plaster
2 room register, the register of the head nurse. Then a special protocol on
4 Why were these documents important for us? They were important
5 because based on them it would have been easier for us to establish the
6 identity of persons. Some of them went missing and our task would have
7 been easier had we have these documents. We had negotiations with the
8 Yugoslav side lasting for about one year. The Yugoslav side signed the
9 memorandum of understanding; however, they failed to turn over any
10 documents to us. Moreover, they claimed that they had no documents at
11 all. We were unable to acquire these documents during the peaceful
12 integration either when this documentation was requested. To this day we
13 received none of these documents.
14 Q. Sir, I would like to show you a few documents which were sent to
15 the OTP, the Prosecutor's office, from the government of Serbia and
17 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown 0344-5949.
18 Q. Do you recognise this type of document?
19 A. I don't have it yet.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 A. Thank you. This document is a report which the Vukovar Hospital
22 sent to the Croatian Red Cross detailing the situation on the surgical
23 ward. In parallel this information was sent by the Vukovar Hospital to us
24 in Zagreb, to our centre for information. These are the names that were
25 sent to the Red Cross and those same names were sent on that same day to
1 us, or perhaps on the following day. This document was found in the
2 Croatian Red Cross. We don't have this document; however, we have the MUP
3 report containing these names.
4 MR. WEINER: I'd like to offer that set of documents, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 597, Your Honours.
7 MR. WEINER: Now, I'd like the witness to please look at a
8 specific document, 0504-8851.
9 Q. That's from the earlier set of documents which you claim are in
10 your archives. It's one page out of it. How is this document related to
11 the one you've just seen? I'm sorry.
12 A. I'm waiting for the document to come up. Could you zoom in,
13 please? A little further up, please. This is a MUP report. On the face
14 of it I can see the same names, Margetic Berislav, Oreskovic Tomislav, as
15 on the previous document, the one that was dispatched to the Red Cross and
16 which was then submitted to this Tribunal by Belgrade. The same names,
17 the same affiliations, the only difference being this document came from
18 the MUP. The Vukovar Hospital forwarded these to the Red Cross and to us
19 as well through the MUP. Obviously, however, the Red Cross documents were
20 never supposed to reach us.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, are you familiar with a man by the name of
22 Pero Rabac, Hrabac?
23 A. Pero Hrabac. Yes, I am. He is a student in the last year of
24 medical school, and he is helping us with computers.
25 Q. Now, was he involved in the collection of data in 1991, as part of
1 this Ministry of Health project?
2 A. He was far too young at the time to be involved. There were some
3 teaching assistants involved, such as Novica Radonic from the school of
4 engineering. Pero Hrabac is now helping with the database. He's helping
5 to organise this database and to process data.
6 Q. Now, the computer which was used in 1991, is that still in
8 A. It is. It had the old system. I don't understand much about
9 these things; however, it still can be used. It can't be used to print
10 documents though, that's one thing, but the computer itself is now 15
11 years old.
12 Q. Now, did Mr. Hrabac take some photographs on the screens, of
13 information on the computer?
14 A. That's true. Each of the scans were photographed. The
15 photographs are clear; they can be used. You can see the names, surnames,
16 and personal information contained on them.
17 Q. And the information, from where does it come, or where did it
19 A. The information for this particular computer came from messages
20 that were e-mailed from the Vukovar Hospital. The information in our
21 central database came either from the medical centre, in this case the
22 hospital, or by e-mail. We had a digital radio, ham operator system in
23 Vukovar for other medical centres, but they couldn't set up an aerial
24 because of the continuing attacks on Vukovar and the circumstances
25 prevailing in the town of Vukovar at the time.
1 Q. Okay, sir. I'd like you to look at 0600-1955. And just let me
2 know when it comes up on your screen, please.
3 A. I have it now. Can we zoom in, please? Thank you.
4 Q. Can you look at it --.
5 MR. WEINER: And could he be shown a few of the pages that follow?
6 Q. Do you recognise these?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What are they? Can you tell us what they are?
9 A. These are photographs of the old computer's screen. One can see
10 what basic information was received by e-mail. Name, surname, date of
11 injury, type of injury, and a working diagnosis. Among these names I
12 recognised some whose bodies were later identified at Ovcara.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, these computer screens, or these records from
14 Vukovar Hospital, which are displayed on the computer screens, do these
15 still exist in the hard base or the data drive of that computer?
16 A. Yes. I've brought along some of the originals and printouts for
17 the Chamber's benefit, just in case they should be interested. I have
18 also originals that belong to the medical school. These are photographs,
19 what we're looking at right now on our screens. But I do have the
20 original printouts dating back to 1991 with me which I can show the
21 Chamber, should the Chamber be so inclined.
22 JUDGE PARKER: You have a view, Mr. Weiner?
23 MR. WEINER: I would first like to offer these, and if the Court
24 would like to examine the originals, then --
25 JUDGE PARKER: You want them tendered as an exhibit or merely
2 MR. WEINER: Inspected, copies if the Court would like.
3 JUDGE PARKER: I asked because I thought the originals would need
4 to remain in the custody of the professor.
5 MR. WEINER: Yes.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 If we could see them, please. Thank you very much.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE PARKER: The Defence may wish to see those.
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we would like to offer the video
11 screens, the 30 pages of video screens.
12 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 598, Your Honours.
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Now, sir, you indicated in your written statement and a bit today
16 how you received data. After you inputted the data did you ever take any
17 action or perform any reviews to ensure accuracy?
18 A. First of all, each document that arrived was registered in a
19 special book. It was assigned a number. Secondly, there would always be
20 two persons entering the data and monitoring this process. Any changes
21 that occurred, occurred at a later stage if a person appeared with
22 additional medical documents to complement the data previously received.
23 For example, in October over 100 patients from the Vukovar Hospital were
24 registered and evacuated. They came to Croatia where there were further
25 medical examinations, and then these new documents from all over Croatia
1 would reach this department and we would adjust the diagnosis or do
2 whatever we normally do when we monitor a patient's condition.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, in your statement in paragraph 35 you
4 discuss what's known as the blue folder. And you indicated that after
5 reviewing that folder you recognised a number of the names. How were you
6 able to -- how were you able to recognise several of the names or a large
7 number of names?
8 A. The main reason that I was able to recognise the best part of
9 these names was that the mothers and parents of these persons had been in
10 touch with me for nearly seven years. They always wanted to know about
11 their children, where they were and whether any mortal remains had been
12 found. That is why I remembered many of these names. I remember the name
13 of Borislav Kostovic, who happens to be a distant relative's son. Doctors
14 told me that he had been wounded. He had been a member of the MUP.
15 Adjustments were made to the description of his injury and his body was
16 later identified at Ovcara.
17 Certain mothers from Vukovar also had their own associations and
18 organisations that were active, and that was another reason I remembered
19 one of these names. I remembered Sinisa Glavasevic because he was a
20 civilian. Virtually all of Croatia knew about him and knew his name. The
21 last time he was seen he was on a bus. It was assumed that he had ended
22 up at Ovcara, so his name remained with me, and I associated his name with
23 Ovcara. Needless to say, when international experts identified the
24 bodies, all of the names were confirmed to be the victims of Ovcara.
25 Q. Was a letter written by a very well-known politician, if you want
1 to say it, or actually government official, in relation to Mr. Sinisa
3 A. Immediately after the hospital was occupied, and as soon as one
4 realised that Sinisa Glavasevic was not among those who returned, it was
5 the journalists who took initiative and launched a campaign through the
6 world journalists' association. This campaign eventually reached the
7 president of the United States. Questions were asked about this
8 journalist's fate. It was clear that he had been a civilian and also in
9 his capacity as a journalist, there was no reason for him to come to
10 grief. So these were some of the efforts to find out about Glavasevic
11 fate. How would I know this? I wasn't monitoring everything, but I did
12 attend negotiations with General Raseta in Zagreb when I heard about this.
13 Q. Now, the information that's contained in this blue folder, where
14 did you receive, or from whom did you receive the information?
15 A. The blue folder contains the same information that we have.
16 Therefore, when I got hold of the blue folder we went back to our own
17 database to do some cross-referencing and find the names. The
18 double-checking consisted in the fact that we had about 100 other persons.
19 We had processed their pre-mortal remains and then these bodies were
20 identified at Ovcara.
21 Q. The information that you had in relation to the persons that were
22 wounded in -- in Vukovar, did you ever provide that information to anyone?
23 And please tell us when, if you did so, in relation to another doctor.
24 A. I understand. Because of the needs of the health system in
25 Slavonia and particularly the Vukovar Hospital, we gave Dr. Bosanac
1 whatever information we had in relation to that area in our own database.
2 In addition to Dr. Bosanac we shared this information with all the other
3 relevant institutions in Croatia. Those who needed to know, in other
4 words, as well as the health ministry.
5 MR. WEINER: May the witness be -- may the witness please be shown
6 a document marked for identification, number 345, please. The blue
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see it now. I marked or
9 highlighted the names that I recognised.
10 MR. WEINER:
11 Q. And is this the type of information that you collected at the
12 Ministry of Health in Zagreb?
13 A. Yes. We cross-referenced these. On the one hand we were using
14 the book, and on the other hand, we were searching through our database in
15 order to track this information down, and we eventually did.
16 Q. And what did you determine in cross-referencing the data?
17 A. I determined that the highlighted names existed in our computer,
18 in our database. The only names I -- I didn't actually notice were the
19 names of Glavasevic and of Borislav Kostovic. I noticed that these names
20 were missing. Some other names may have been missing too, but those were
21 the two names that I checked in the blue folder.
22 Q. The names that you recognised, were those people dead or alive?
23 A. They were dead.
24 Q. And where were their bodies or their remains found?
25 A. Their remains were found at Ovcara. I know this because all the
1 bodies have now been identified and we have access to this information
3 Q. Now, finally, this information in this blue folder, is this the
4 type of information that you provided to Dr. Bosanac?
5 A. Yes. As I said, these were data that we received and we forwarded
6 this data to Dr. Bosanac.
7 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we'd now like to offer that document.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Tapuskovic.
9 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
10 Your Honours. This document was marked for identification when
11 Dr. Vesna Bosanac appeared for the second time. I ask that the final
12 status of this document not be determined before this witness's
13 cross-examination is completed. We shall try, in our cross-examination,
14 to use information that may affect the final status of this document. I
15 do not wish to go any further into the substance of our cross-examination
16 now, but I would kindly ask that the final decision be deferred until our
17 cross-examination of this witness is complete. Thank you.
18 MR. WEINER: That's fair, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. And one final question. The information in relation to injuries
22 or wounds that you had, could you tell us if that information was ever
23 used to identify the remains at Ovcara?
24 A. That information was used but was not sufficient in itself. A
25 special form was made based on the INTERPOL model, and this form was
1 supplemented by information obtained from families. Families sometimes
2 knew about medical conditions suffered by these persons before their
3 death. In 1994 the Croatian government launched a special initiative in
4 relation to all missing persons regardless of their ethnicity, what fate
5 they suffered or where, whereby the health ministry produced another
6 protocol that was even more elaborate, containing all sorts of personal
7 information, plus the date and type of injury. On the one hand there was
8 Dr. Snow setting the pace using the INTERPOL model and other hand there
9 was a special protocol that the Croatian government drew up in relation to
10 all missing persons and in order to identify mortal remains. It appears
11 that this procedure was successful. Thanks to an amount of antemortal
12 information that we had, the success rate would sometimes as high as 90
13 per cent.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. WEINER: No further questions, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Weiner.
17 Mr. Domazet.
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
19 afternoon to all.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Domazet:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Professor. I am Vladimir Domazet, one of Defence
22 counsel, and I will be asking you questions on behalf of Mr. Mrksic's
23 Defence team.
24 I will start with the last thing that was discussed. Maybe that
25 needs clarifying, the blue folder or the blue book, as it has been
1 described. What about this blue folder, is this a document that your own
2 department produced or not? I don't think the answer was clear.
3 A. The blue folder is not our document. It does, however, contain
4 information on persons, it contains diagnoses and contains personal
5 information, type of injury, date of injury; the same sort of information
6 as one might encounter in our own database, in other words.
7 Q. Yes, thank you; that was my understanding. You received this blue
8 folder, you used it to cross-reference information in your own database,
9 and then you highlighted the relevant portions. And that's what you
10 submitted to the OTP, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes. We had the same categories as in our own computer.
12 Q. I'm waiting for the transcript. And then you highlighted the
13 relevant portions in the copy that you submitted to the OTP, the copy that
14 was tendered into evidence, right?
15 A. Yes, that's right. First I would cross-reference information to
16 see if the blue folder information was equivalent to the information
17 contained in our own computer, having completed this I would then
18 highlight the relevant portions.
19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kostovic, I will now turn to your statement from
20 May of 2006, which was admitted into evidence here. You have it in front
21 of you. It has various sections and paragraphs. Let me ask you first
22 about paragraph 4. You say there, verbatim, "At the beginning of the
23 conflict in Croatia in 1991 a Crisis Staff was established at the Ministry
24 of Health." I'd like to know what marked, in your view, the beginning of
25 the conflict in Croatia, was it a date or an event that you used as a
2 A. It wasn't I who initiated this; rather, it was the Ministry of
3 Health. There was that notorious crisis situation with the logs involving
4 the helicopters of the Yugoslav People's Army and their intervention
5 forces. Following that there were the events in Pakrac, and that was the
6 first registered conflict involving the MUP forces and the JNA forces. It
7 was obvious that Croatia needed medication. We had no reserve supplies,
8 only the JNA had them. All of the medical supplies were under the control
9 of the Yugoslav army. We realised that civilian population was at risk
10 from various epidemics, shelling, and so on. Later on it turned out that
11 we were quite right. Therefore, we had to have some kind of an
12 institution setting regulations for crisis situations. We had to ensure
13 that we had donations of medical supplies, and that there was a system for
14 coordination within the health system.
15 Naturally it was done at the Ministry of Health. Thus, the Crisis
16 Staff of the Ministry of Health was established comprising doctors,
17 volunteers, including the minister. The remaining members of this Crisis
18 Staff were directors of various medical institutions.
19 Q. Thank you for this extensive answer. You are obviously referring
20 to events that did take place, but in another part of Croatia. You made
21 no temporal reference, though, and I was interested in that for the
22 benefit of the Trial Chamber. Thus, do you remember what period of time
23 this was?
24 A. First of all, I'd like to point out that these preparations took
25 place in the entire territory of Croatia, starting with clinical
1 hospitals, to medical centres such as the one in Vukovar, or anywhere else
2 in Croatia. This was not specific only for Vukovar.
3 The other thing that I spoke about were potential conflicts and
4 actual conflicts. The conflict in Pakrac took place as early as the
5 spring of 1991. Following that we had Borovo Selo, and other places.
6 Thus, we had sufficient basis in order to undertake measures aimed at
7 protecting the entire civilian population, should there be any kind of
9 Q. Thank you. Based on your evidence, this staff was busy preparing
10 the health system, as you said yourself, in view of the conflict that was
11 expected, as well as anticipated casualties. Does it mean that you were
12 expecting that there would be a conflict? Was it your expectation, that
13 of the government, or the Crisis Staff?
14 A. One of the purposes of medical science is prevention. So if we
15 establish that we had no medical supplies, no reserves, no system able to
16 deal with a crisis, then we had to focus on this. We simply had to do
17 this. This was not a military project, no. It was a civilian one,
18 involving universities, civilian hospitals, and so on. We were
19 preparing, or rather the minister was preparing a system that would
20 function as a preventive measure, and it's always a wise thing to do, in
21 medical terms.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. In paragraph 5 of your statement you speak
23 of the structure of this Crisis Staff. You said that it wasn't part of
24 the Ministry of Health or any other government institution, even though
25 you yourself were appointed by that ministry as the chief of this medical
1 staff. You said a bit earlier ago, that it consisted of volunteer
2 physicians. Given the importance that was given to this project by the
3 Ministry of Health, why were these people volunteers? Did they have other
4 jobs and then volunteered within this Crisis Staff, namely they worked pro
5 bono? Is that what you had in mind? Can you explain it briefly?
6 A. The ministry has officials and a minister. It has no operations
7 capabilities. Rather, they did this work via medical centres. In order
8 to strengthen this section for collection of humanitarian aid and its
9 distribution, as well as in order to improve the information system,
10 professor and teaching assistants from the school of medicine got involved
11 in this project. In addition to that, as is typical for other
12 universities, ours also had a centre for human rights. University council
13 established the centre for human rights. This was a partnership where the
14 university helped the ministry. Therefore, there was no professional
15 staff doing this work. Rather, volunteers were involved. There was no
16 order mandating this; rather, these people were given a timetable whereby,
17 if they were not busy in their jobs at their departments, they were
18 supposed to do other assignments.
19 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 8 you said that immediately after this
20 system was established you started creating this network in the field and
21 a central database. Do you remember when this network in the field was
23 A. In August. We had a network for gathering information on
24 everything that medical centres needed. We would receive this information
25 from the ground, then the Ministry of Health would assess this information
1 and decide what to do about it. This network was established as early as
2 August. Naturally, depending on the events, we would send more doctors or
3 more surgeons, as needed.
4 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 12 you said that Novica Radonic gave some
5 suggestions for this system and you said that later on he started entering
6 information into your database. What did you mean when you said later on?
7 A. He wasn't the only one. We had many computer experts from the
8 very heart of our university computer centre. There were even some
9 private businessmen who donated some funds or donated the system that was
10 used. Novica Radonic was a teaching assistant, nothing more than that.
11 He entered information into database, gave instructions on how that was to
12 be done, and daily reports were provide for the public. That is to say,
13 that Croatian public and the government could see on a daily basis the
14 number of civilian casualties and how the situation unfolded. The papers
15 would publish daily statistics on civilians who perished in Osijek, in
16 Slavonia and Dalmatia and so on. So this is what I meant when I described
17 this in my statement, that he was a person who supervised the work of
18 other people entering the information into database, so as to ensure that
19 it was checked by two persons. When Novica Radonic was not on duty, then
20 somebody else would take his place.
21 Q. Thank you, thank you. In paragraph 13 you speak about the draft
22 instruction in a written form on how to report. When was this done?
23 A. It was done already in August. Instructions were given to each
24 medical centre on how to send in their requests for medication or other
25 supplies, and also how to report on the epidemiological status, how to
1 report on their basic -- on their various wards, and how to report on the
2 diagnosis. It's not just a matter of how a person is wounded. What is
3 also relevant is what -- what is the situation in the hospital. Is it
4 overcrowded? Can it admit new patients? Somebody may require a cosmetic
5 surgery, and that person would take up the space at the hospital needed by
6 somebody who had a medical emergency. So we had to prepare hospitals for
7 a possible increase in the number of patients who need to be admitted.
8 This is what we meant.
9 Q. Thank you. In the following paragraph, paragraph 14, you list
10 what information on injuries, based on these instructions, the hospitals
11 were to provide. This of course includes the Vukovar Hospital. I'm not
12 going to quote all of this. I'm interested in one set of information,
13 which is place where the injury was sustained or location. Why did you,
14 why did the medical establishment need this information on the location
15 where a person was wounded?
16 A. The hospitals received instructions on all the data that we needed
17 for statistical purposes, for processing, and so on. Naturally, not all
18 of the hospitals could comply with this. If, in a civilian sector, during
19 peacetime, there is a traffic accident, the procedure is to indicate the
20 place, the occasion where this took place. It's a matter of regular
21 procedure to indicate where a traffic accident occurred, in which
22 location. This is quite routine. It may be quite an important fact later
23 on for insurance purposes, for any court-related matters, and so on.
24 Therefore, doctors are supposed to enter all the information in medical
25 history. Where the accident took place, whether you had certain childhood
1 diseases, all sorts of information. Naturally, they couldn't say -- send
2 everything to us. They had medical history as their basic documents, and
3 then they sent some information from it to us for statistical purposes.
4 We needed to know whether a certain injury was more frequent in Slavonia
5 than, say, in Osijek or in Zagreb.
6 Q. Yes, but if you are receiving this information from Vukovar, then
7 it's obvious that this has to do with Vukovar. I was just curious as to
8 why you needed this specific identification of the location where an
9 injury was sustained. But I think that you explained this well.
10 When did you start receiving information from Vukovar, based on
11 your documentation?
12 A. We started receiving system information in August. We checked and
13 we saw that we received such information up until the 11th of November,
14 1991. Obviously we did not receive it on a regular basis due to the
15 well-known circumstances. The last e-mail was received on the 12th of
17 I have an example here from the 16th of August, 1991. I can
18 provide it to you, if you want. At that time Vukovar was not still
19 completely encircled, but regardless, we were receiving information even
20 back then. If you wish, I have an original here, and it was still
21 possible for them to send it to us by mail from the Vukovar Hospital.
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Kostovic, no need to look at that.
23 Based on your answer, we learned when this practice started and, as you
24 say, it lasted until the 12th of November of that year and from that time
25 on you received no information either from the MUP or from the Vukovar
1 Hospital, right?
2 A. If I may, I would like to make an observation. We received the
3 last e-mail on the 12th of November. However, Dr. Bosanac was in constant
4 contact with our minister, as well as with our liaison office with the
5 European monitors. She regularly reported on the number of patients at
6 the hospital and their condition. She sent appeals and she also provided
7 information by telephone.
8 Q. Thank you, I understand that. But I'm talking about this
9 information that was obtained pursuant to your own instructions and I'm
10 talking about what you received in writing. You said the 11th of November
11 was the last day, right? In your statement you list your sources and in
12 addition to the police and the hospital you mention priests,
13 non-governmental organisations and the Red Cross. Is this in reference to
14 Vukovar? If I look at your statement, it wouldn't appear so. I think in
15 Vukovar the only two sources you had were the police and the hospital,
17 A. That's true. I was listing sources that we considered to be
18 reliable sources, but there were certain places where there were no
19 medical institutions, such as Saborsko, for example, where there was a
20 large number of civilian casualties. It was a priest who called to tell
21 us which persons were killed there, but not in relation to Vukovar. In
22 Vukovar we had reports from Dr. Bosanac; Bosanac through the MUP; we had
23 e-mailed messages; then we had extensive documentation based on reports
24 from doctors and nurses. Don't forget, for example, that there was for
25 example a nurse; 24 hours after she had last seen a patient she arrived in
1 Zagreb. We would take a statement from an independent physician, an
2 entirely neutral statement as to which patients were left behind in the
3 Vukovar Hospital. That was a source, but you're quite right when you
4 suggest that this was not entered into our computer.
5 Q. Thank you. You've been shown this, you identified some of the MUP
6 reports that you received. If we look at the reports we have the names
7 there, the year of birth normally, and a person's affiliation, ZNG or MUP,
8 normally. But there is no other information that you could have used
9 there. It usually says if a person is dead or merely wounded. Not even
10 hospital treatment is indicated or any examinations that a patient was or
11 was not subjected to. You needed more information, didn't you?
12 A. Mind you, neither I nor my associates could change anything about
13 the conditions under which Dr. Bosanac worked. There was a daily average
14 of - I no longer remember - 3.000 shells, perhaps 1.000 shells, raining
15 down on Vukovar. Somebody had to take this information to the MUP and the
16 MUP had to keep the lines clear in order to be able to send this sort of
17 information. There were days when it was simply impossible to forward
18 information, and then there would be concise reports that they forwarded
19 to us that we then used.
20 We had no influence on what went on right there in Vukovar, and
21 there was no way to help information quality, because the conditions they
22 worked under at the time were terrifying. As for those who were evacuated
23 and those who survived, there were usually some medical files which we
24 used to add to such information as we already had. So, for example, if a
25 patient came from one hospital to another hospital, bringing with him his
1 own personal medical file showing any surgery or any injuries sustained,
2 this would then be used. We used medical information only. We used our
3 reliable sources and the MUP was definitely a reliable source, and we
4 always entered information obtained from the MUP into our database.
5 Q. Thank you. In item 22 of your statement you speak about how the
6 list of missing persons was first started, right?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. The time period we're looking at is after the 18th of November.
9 In item 23 you say that because of this situation you decided to make a
10 separate database concerning the Vukovar Hospital to include any data that
11 you already had and in order to update this with new information. My
12 question is, which new information is this based on statements or
13 allegations made by other people that you began these new lists?
14 A. What we demonstrated during our investigation reflects the
15 information in our database. Primarily we are looking at the missing
16 persons here. The missing persons issue. After several days it became
17 clear that between 3.000 and 5.000 persons were missing from Vukovar. It
18 later became clear that about 2.700 persons were brought to different --
19 were taken to different prisons, Sremska Mitrovica, Stajicevo, Begejci,
20 and so on and so forth. Therefore, we listed all these names of refugees
21 who were in various centres. It was -- it wasn't before the scope of the
22 entire thing became clear that we submitted this information to General
23 Raseta and the International Red Cross, after which we decided to focus on
24 Vukovar Hospital patients. We are the health ministry. We have 400
25 patients from one of our hospitals, the Vukovar Hospital specifically,
1 missing. We started adding to this information to the extent that we
3 However, it -- it wasn't as if we entered something into our
4 database just because a refugee came and said Okay, I saw my neighbour two
5 days ago. The project was about the missing persons. We used universally
6 accepted models to deal with this entire issue, such as the INTERPOL model
7 and other similar ones.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Kostovic, we may be probing further into
10 MR. DOMAZET: But it is now time for our break, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we have the lunch adjournment now, and we
12 resume at 1.45.
13 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
16 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kostovic, during your time in The Hague, you
18 talked to my learned friend from the OTP, you gave us some information
19 that had been submitted to us as interview notes. You probably have
20 those, because you have confirmed their accuracy, the 14 items. Some of
21 these issues were raised today by my learned friend. There is one thing
22 that I would like to ask you about, it's about item 12 where you say --
23 and I assume that this is a book that you wrote; "Mass murder," it's
24 called. In this book, as you suggest, you talked about crimes involving
25 not only Croat victims, but also Serbian victims. As an example you cited
1 the village of -- the town of Gospic. Can you tell us more about this,
3 A. First of all, this book was written by people working for the
4 information office of the health ministry, and volunteers on the ground
5 who gathered information that went into the writing of this book. It also
6 includes information obtained from other official institutions that are
7 part of either the judiciary system or the health system. Therefore, the
8 information in this book came from health centres and medical workers.
9 Needless to say, when this sort of documentation is compiled one needs to
10 include all sufferings by all the civilians regardless of their
11 affiliation. At this time, back in 1992, because the book to all
12 practical intents was released in January 1992, there was no way to obtain
13 information from medical centres such as the one in Knin, for example, or
14 others. We used Amnesty International information, Helsinki Watch
15 information, and other such independent sources. This was the sort of
16 information that we used for our book. We did not have the same sources,
17 and we would have been wrong not to use these sources. Civilians had
18 suffered in all these other places as well, and we wanted to address that
19 under the heading, "The trials suffered by the Serbian population."
20 Q. We're talking about Gospic back in 1991, if I'm not mistaken,
22 A. Yes, that is true.
23 Q. Do you remember your first statement in 1991, I believe, which was
24 not specifically in relation to Vukovar alone, but in relation to your
25 work in very general terms. You spoke about the fact that between 1991
1 and 1995 you were the person responsible for coordinating all major
2 exchanges of prisoners of war and detainees. Is that correct?
3 A. That is not quite correct. What is true is that I was a member of
4 the exchange commission, or this commission that was in charge of getting
5 the prisoners freed. For the first three years in my capacity as a
6 physician I attended the talks of the so-called joint commission for
7 tracing missing persons and mortal remains. Therefore, I was a member of
8 the commission for prisoner exchange.
9 Q. Thank you very much. I didn't say that you were necessarily the
10 most responsible person for this, but you were involved. I think you did
11 say that, right?
12 A. Yes, that's true.
13 Q. And you were in charge of coordinating this. You said you had
14 been involved in liberating over 7.000 persons in this way, right?
15 A. Yes, that's right. This figure includes also JNA officers who had
16 been detained and subsequently set free. People who had been in
17 detention, be it JNA detention or detention by some of the paramilitary
19 Q. If I understand you correctly, this figure includes both sides in
20 the conflict, right, and persons exchanged on both sides?
21 A. Yes, that is true.
22 Q. Do you remember about the exchange carried out by Croats? Did
23 this include releasing a number of people who been arrested for being
24 involved in the so-called Labrador operation in Croatia?
25 A. The Labrador group, as it was called at the time, is something
1 that everybody was familiar with. The fact was these people were members
2 of the JNA. This was not part of any humanitarian exchange, to be sure.
3 But the JNA was adamant that those persons should be released.
4 Q. Yes, those people were arrested during an operation in Croatia.
5 Instead of standing trial, they were exchanged in one of these exchanges
6 that were organised with the Serbian side, right?
7 A. Yes. I repeat, this should never have been an option as far as
8 humanitarian talks were concerned. Nevertheless, the JNA held the most
9 prisoners at the time, and this is what they wanted. They forced our
10 hand, and for us there was no way around this issue.
11 Q. Were you involved in those talks or in that particular exchange?
12 Were you there, perhaps?
13 A. I was there when the 300 people from Manjaca were released and
14 those talks preceded this event. I do not have the relevant minutes or
15 records or anything that I could use to check. I attended talks that
16 preceded the release of the 300 people from Manjaca.
17 Q. Do you remember a particular exchange during which Vesna Bosanac
18 was able to turn to Croatia, alongside with a group of other doctors? Was
19 this group not, in fact, exchanged for this group that I have just
20 mentioned, the Labrador group?
21 A. I don't know what other participants in those talks talked about.
22 One thing was the ICRC presence and the humanitarian aspect. A different
23 thing altogether were any deals struck by military bodies. This is not
24 something that I was involved in. When Dr. Bosanac was there, this was
25 only about Dr. Bosanac and Dr. Njavro, that's all I can say. As for any
1 other physicians serving briefly in Vukovar, those were returned as well.
2 And they were among those 17 physicians that I mentioned. But this
3 particular case only involved Njavro and Bosanac. But this was not a
4 text-book exchange, with us there alongside with the ICRC doing things by
5 the book the way they are usually done pursuant to humanitarian agreements
6 or any other agreements signed.
7 Q. So what sort of an exchange was it? What do you think?
8 A. As far as this exchange was concerned, it was a simple as this:
9 Dr. Bosanac was released. It was about her, because it was only her and
10 Njavro that had been held back, in a manner of speaking. Under the Geneva
11 Conventions, there should have been no talks to begin with, those doctors
12 were simply supposed to be released. That would have been a natural
13 course for events to take. For me, that was not open to debate at all.
14 Why were they both eventually held back by the other side? Well, that's a
15 different matter altogether. I don't wish to go into that now, because
16 that is not the subject of my evidence.
17 Q. I agree with you, and I have no further questions in that respect.
18 But were you perhaps there when Dr. Bosanac eventually returned, do you
19 know whether she, Dr. Njavro and the others who joined them on the way
20 back were sent back on a special plane from Belgrade, escorted by
21 General Vasiljevic?
22 A. This rings a bell, but I wasn't there.
23 Q. Thank you, thank you very much. Professor, I have no further
24 questions for you.
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you. I have
1 concluded my cross-examination.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
3 Ms. Tapuskovic.
4 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Tapuskovic:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kostovic. My name is Mira Tapuskovic, and I
7 will spend some time this afternoon asking you questions.
8 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I hope Mr.
9 Sljivancanin's Defence can confirm that they allowed me to use some of
10 their time too so that I now have a chance to ask more questions than I
11 originally planned.
12 Can the usher please help me with this?
13 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... any more
14 trouble with Mr. Lukic.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone;
16 the interpreters can't hear her. Thank you.
17 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Kostovic, please play no heed to the thickness of these files.
19 One of them happens to be the blue folder which is a document we have
20 already discussed. That's the one right at the bottom of the pile. Top
21 of the pile you can see the orange marks and these are documents tendered
22 by my learned friend from the OTP, documents obtained from Serbia and
23 Montenegro's foreign office. The pile with the orange tabs, if we have
24 any time left, we'll be talking about those too.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the last bit of what
1 counsel said.
2 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Let us clarify something at the outset. On page 31 --
4 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm interrupting, Your Honours,
5 because I now see that the interpreters can't hear me.
6 Q. During your testimony in chief, this is page 31 of the transcript,
7 lines 11 and 12, you stated that MUP reports in addition to other things
8 also include diagnoses. If you look at the pile of documents you have in
9 front of you, sir, I'm talking about the orange tabs now, starting with
10 the letter A. Can you please confirm whether any of these reports are
11 marked as dispatches? Are any of these dispatches marked with
12 observations concerning any diagnoses, in Latin or anything at all about
13 anyone's injuries. Types of injuries, starting with the letter A. Can
14 you please look at that. These are dispatches by the home office, and not
15 those forwarded by the hospital to the International Red Cross. Can you
16 please confirm that there is nothing about any diagnoses there?
17 A. The orange tabs seem to be about admission to the Vukovar
18 Hospital. They indicate death and injury. There is one death that is
19 mentioned here. This is exitus letalis in Latin, a reliable diagnosis.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Let us try both to be brief; I'll try to
21 keep my questions very succinct. We are in a situation where time is a
22 commodity in very short supply. What I want to know about is these
23 documents that you went through with the OTP during these days, documents
24 obtained from Serbia and Montenegro's foreign office. Can you tell us if
25 this is the entire documentation that you received as head of this service
1 throughout the clashes in Vukovar? These documents are now kept at the
2 medical faculty, if I understand you correctly.
3 A. Clearly it's impossible to say. The fact is we did not forward
4 these reports to the Red Cross because they weren't sent to us originally
5 and there was no need. The fact is, these names in these surgery reports
6 for the benefit of the Red Cross are also in our own database.
7 Q. I'm not asking you about the names now, we'll come to that a
8 little later. What I'm asking now is can you say or can you assert with
9 an absolute certainty that the documents you have in front of you now,
10 which the OTP gave us and which the OTP in turn received from the -- from
11 Serbia and Montenegro's foreign office, is the entire, the complete
12 documentation in relation to the wounded and dead during the clashes in
14 A. This is not complete. In our computer you have an entire database
15 which draws on a variety of different sources and all I can see here is
16 the MUP, the Red Cross --
17 Q. Okay, fair enough, so you say this is not the entire
18 documentation. Can you tell me this, did the OTP have access to the
19 entire documentation?
20 A. Yes, they did. And they photographed the contents of our
21 computer, all the incoming mails from back then, and we saw part of this
23 Q. All we saw were several photographs, a mere handful, but the
24 Defence teams have not had a chance to look at the entire documentation in
25 relation to the admission of patients - those wounded, sick, or dead - to
1 the Vukovar Hospital. When you were going through these documents during
2 your proofing sessions with the OTP, did you double-check the chronology
3 of this information of these dispatches or not? Were you able to
4 ascertain the fact that some dates appear to be there and some dates
5 appear not to be mentioned?
6 A. It's quite right that some dates do appear and some dates don't.
7 There was a two or three-day delay on this information. And at a later
8 stage e-mail messages became irregular. However, we tried to double-check
9 our chronology, even the names, for that matter.
10 Q. Did you warn the Prosecution though that the document, or that the
11 pile of those dispatches that you have, there are at least eight documents
12 without the cover page? For example, documents I'm just going to give you
13 the four last figures, Mr. Kostovic, this is now information for the Trial
14 Chamber and the Prosecution, the numbers begin with 0504.
15 A. Just one moment.
16 Q. Sir, you don't have to look at that. This is just information for
17 the parties. 8839, 8884, 8850, 8849. Did you draw the attention of the
18 colleagues from the Prosecution that in this group of documents there are
19 dispatches without a cover page or a first page? Did you notice that?
20 A. That there is no cover page, probably the documents from the Red
21 Cross, perhaps do not. I don't know.
22 Q. I'm talking about the MUP documents.
23 A. The MUP documents generally do. And I don't know how much I'm
24 going to make it difficult.
25 Q. You didn't notice that - is that correct? - and you didn't draw
1 anyone's attention to that?
2 A. Yes, but I said the MUP received information from the hospital,
3 and only gave that as an annex to their report. The MUP did not provide
4 us any information that would be sent from the MUP by fax. I know how
5 this could have happened.
6 Q. Could you please follow my questions and give me brief answers.
7 So the question is, you did not notice and you did not draw the attention
8 of the Prosecution to the fact that some documents do not have a cover
9 page, and you did not notice that some documents do not have page 2, such
10 as for example documents with numbers of dispatches ending with 8871,
11 8842, 8838, 8863. Did you notice that some documents are not complete, or
12 that some dispatches are incomplete?
13 A. It's normal because MUP -- actually, the hospital used the MUP fax
14 in order to send the names of those who were received or admitted to the
16 Q. Sir, please, could you stick to my question. No, I did not ask
17 you about the conditions in the hospital or at the MUP. What I asked you
18 was that when you were reviewing the documents which you were probably
19 given to review, when you were preparing for your testimony, did you see
20 that some documents did not have a cover page or a first page and that
21 some of the MUP dispatches did not have page 2? Did you notice that?
22 Your answer can be yes or no. That's it.
23 A. I did not pay attention to that.
24 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
25 A. But what is important is that I said I gave everything that I had,
1 so the question is very clear.
2 Q. You said that you gave everything that you had. Did you - you -
3 provide these documents that we're talking about or was it not provided by
4 the ministry of foreign affairs of Serbia and Montenegro, these documents
5 that are labelled with orange tags? This is Exhibit 596.
6 A. All I got was that the surgery documents were for the Red Cross,
7 that this came from Belgrade.
8 Q. Again, I'm taking you back to what we said were the MUP documents,
9 which, in that pile of documents, begin from the small letter "a." So I
10 provided you with the documents in the order that they were disclosed to
11 us by the Prosecution. The ERN numbers are in -- the numbers in the upper
12 right-hand corner of the documents, and they are consecutive. However,
13 these numbers do not coincide with the dates. The documents that you have
14 are not in chronological order, and they are not sorted properly. So I'm
15 asking you how will the Trial Chamber be able to review the documents and
16 the information in the documents which to them were provided in the B/C/S
17 without a translation? But anyway, you didn't pay attention to that.
18 So you mentioned in the examination-in-chief Exhibit 597. That is
19 the first document that you're holding in your hand.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
21 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Page 1, could you please turn back to page 1. Page 1,
23 Mr. Kostovic. Page 1. Page 1, okay. Now, if you turn to the end of that
24 document, could you please tell me how many people are on the list of the
25 Red Cross? How many persons are on that list? 32; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Very well. Then you told us that the document, the MUP document,
3 8851 -- Mr. Kostovic, you don't need your papers now, but look at the
4 papers that I gave you, please. Now, could you please find the upper
5 right-hand corner, upper right-hand corner, and that's where you have an
6 eight-digit number. Now, could you please find the document that has the
7 last four numbers 8851. This is something that my learned friend from the
8 Prosecution showed to you on the monitor.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you said that that was the same document and that from the MUP
11 list same persons were mentioned on the Red Cross list.
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Please, can you find that page which ends with number 8851 so that
14 we can see whether it is the same number of persons. 8851.
15 A. [In English] Okay.
16 Q. So what is the last person that is on that list?
17 A. Stipo Lucic.
18 Q. Lucic, Stipo. The previous document that is from the Red Cross
19 contains the last name of Radacic. Could you please tell me now, on the
20 basis of which documents and which reports, MUP reports or Red Cross
21 reports, did you compile your own database?
22 A. I quite clearly said that that document from the Red Cross we do
23 not have because it was not sent. But it is quite clear that the order of
24 the names, and even on that document Sinisa Glavasevic appears, and it
25 wasn't there when I looked at the first page. So it's the problem whether
1 it's the first page or -- but whether we exclusively used at that time the
2 reports from the MUP, we did not have. And I said very clearly, the
3 document of the 4th of November we did not have.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap.
5 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you please listen to me now. You now said that you used
7 exclusively the documents?
8 A. For that day. For that day, the 4th of November. Because we
9 don't have the surgery Red Cross document, but we have the MUP document,
10 but you can see that the order of the names is the same.
11 Q. Yes, but there is a difference in the two names?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I must interrupt. The two of you are arguing
14 backwards and forwards over each other the whole time. Each of you, would
15 you please allow the other the courtesy of finishing what they say, and if
16 that is done the people trying to listen to what you say and type a
17 transcript can then hear what you say. Then a reply or the next question.
18 Instead of getting anxious with each other --
19 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is me that owes
20 an apology because it's more my fault than the fault of the witness. So I
21 apologise both to the Trial Chamber and to the witness, because I am
22 putting my questions very quickly.
23 Q. Sir, Mr. Kostovic, you just said that you never received the
24 papers from the Red Cross. Can you please tell me that the papers that
25 you have in front of you right now, and it's one of the documents
1 introduced by my colleague. Now, for the first time when you came to the
2 Tribunal to prepare for your testimony you are seeing the Red Cross
3 documents for the first time.
4 A. May I now just say that I have seen the document of the Red Cross
5 before. The Prosecution showed it to me, and of course I can refer back
6 to it and say once again that if anything was sent to the Red Cross it was
7 not done at the same time as it was sent to the MUP. Secondly, that is
8 why the list and the number of persons does not have to be the same. And
9 actually, the list never reached the persons or the place where it was
10 supposed to be sent. But these other documents I am seeing for the first
11 time today, these are the documents without the cover page. And they are
12 actually e-mails of what we received. So it is incorrect in my opinion to
13 say that there is no -- that if there is no heading to say that this was
14 sent to the Red Cross.
15 You have now presented evidence, you have actually put the surgery
16 and the Red Cross as a heading, but after that you have pasted e-mails
17 which were actually sent to us. So now I actually know what this is all
18 about; these documents do not have any cover page. All you have is the
19 first page addressed to surgery of the 4th and the 12th of November, and
20 there is no other page behind that, after that. These were e-mails sent
21 to us and now I can show you the original e-mails, find the dates and I
22 can tell you exactly what this is about.
23 Q. Mr. Kostovic, I gave you the documents in the same order that we
24 received them from the Prosecution. I did not do anything in arranging
25 the documents. We presented them to you in the way we received them from
1 the Prosecution. So I have nothing to do with the order of the document,
2 and please believe me that the Defence is doing its best to keep to this
3 original order.
4 But now we're going to go back to something that you said before,
5 and that is that you do not recognise the documents from the Red Cross.
6 Now, the documents that you looked at today from the MUP, the dispatches
7 from MUP, is it true that they were obviously sent to several addresses?
8 A. To at least two addresses.
9 Q. Could you please tell us what these addresses were?
10 A. The information section and probably the MUP. But it's something
11 that I cannot check.
12 Q. Can you please tell us the abbreviation that appears in the upper
13 right-hand corner next to the MUP dispatch numbers, and you can perhaps
14 look at MUP dispatch number. I will give you the last four digits,
15 8837 --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- where we also have the abbreviation GSSRH. Am I correct,
18 Mr. Kostovic, when I say that that was the Main Staff of the medical
19 service of the Republic of Croatia?
20 A. That is the only thing that this abbreviation could mean.
21 Q. So you think that then I am not mistaken in this?
22 A. Correct, I think that you are right in what you say.
23 Q. Some dispatches were sent to several addresses. Are you able to
24 tell us whether those dispatches were sent from the Vukovar police
25 administration to those addresses or was it the case that it was sent to
1 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Zagreb from that address after which
2 the dispatch was then sent on to other places? Do you know anything about
4 A. I don't know about that going to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
5 Q. I didn't say that.
6 A. Yes, you did say that.
7 Q. Thank you for that correction, Mr. Kostovic, you are right. What
8 I meant to say was the Ministry of the Interior.
9 A. I repeat again that I could not know anything about that other
10 than what is stated in the fax dispatch data. I cannot know anything
12 Q. Thank you. You were told when you were going through this MUP
13 documentation that it was sent to the OTP by the current Ministry of
14 Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro; correct?
15 A. Yes, from Belgrade via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
16 Q. Correct. And you were told that there was a cover letter that
17 came with that documentation stating that it had been found at the Vukovar
19 A. All I know is that it came from Belgrade and I assume it couldn't
20 have been found anywhere else. Where else could it have been found? It
21 was taken from the Vukovar Hospital. It was literally removed from the
23 Q. Mr. Kostovic, could you now please take this group of documents
24 with the green labels. I know that the interpreters' booth is marked --
25 the documents are marked with a different colour, but we are now talking
1 about the document marked with the number 1. Could you please turn to the
2 next page and look at what was underlined, what is marked in orange in
3 your copy.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
5 MR. WEINER: Yes, sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. I don't have
6 any colour-coded documents here. Could counsel please indicate what she's
7 referring to.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Neither does the Chamber, Mr. Weiner.
9 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please -- I
10 failed to warn my learned friend from the Prosecution about the tendering
11 of this document. Actually he was informed in time, 24 hours earlier, but
12 we were actually told that they were going to tender it as well. During
13 the cross-examination. This wasn't done, so now I'm just going to show it
14 to the witness.
15 So I would like to ask the usher to get the copies of the
16 documents, and then the copies that the witness already have now need to
17 be distributed to the parties. For the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution,
18 this is page 2 of document marked with number 1. The page is 0344-5946,
19 paragraph 3.
20 Q. Mr. Kostovic, could I please ask you to read this passage?
21 A. The one that's marked?
22 Q. That's correct.
23 A. "Please find attached the list of patients found in the register
24 of the Vukovar Hospital in the first half of November, 1991, as well as
25 the list of persons buried in the mass grave near the football ground in
1 Vukovar compiled the funeral home and in the possession of the Ministry of
2 Defence of Serbia and Montenegro.
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And for the Trial Chamber, that
5 document for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro is
6 translated, the translation is the following page.
7 Q. Mr. Kostovic, could you please tell us, now that we have already
8 noted that these faxes or dispatches were faxed to some other addresses,
9 can you explain how these dispatches with the reference numbers in the
10 upper right-hand corner were sent to several places again ended up in
11 Vukovar and later came into the possession of the organs of authority of
12 Serbia and Montenegro?
13 A. I cannot answer with another question. All I can say is that I
14 don't know how this came about. It would have to be investigated.
15 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kostovic, looking at the MUP documents you saw
16 that some of those dispatches were sent to the police administration in
17 Varazdin and the police administration or police station, and I apologise
18 if I switched either one of those, either the administration or the
19 station. But anyway, my question is if you remember that?
20 A. Varazdin?
21 Q. You don't know?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. For your information --
24 A. I did not notice.
25 Q. Some of those dispatches were sent to the police administration in
1 Varazdin and the police administration in Karlovac [as interpreted]. Do
2 you know whether at that point in time in Vukovar, among the forces that
3 were fighting there in Vukovar, if there were a lot of member of the
4 police forces from Varazdin and Cakovec?
5 A. I know through the humanitarian crisis because a lot of police
6 officers disappeared in Vukovar who hailed from Varazdin and their
7 families formed an association that was intensively searching at least to
8 get the mortal remains of their loved ones. So from the humanitarian
9 aspect, I am aware of what you are saying.
10 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just an
11 intervention from the transcript, it's page 70, line 15. It should state
12 instead of Karlovac, Cakovec; it's also a town in Croatia.
13 Q. Now we're going to continue. Mr. Kostovic, according to the rules
14 in force at that time, and since you obviously were preparing for the
15 forthcoming armed conflict, what was the relationship of your centre and
16 your ministry in relation to persons that were brought to the hospital
17 regardless of whether this was the Vukovar Hospital or some other
18 hospital, and who were already dead? How did the hospital act and how was
19 such a person registered?
20 A. You mean how was it -- how was the person registered? Well, the
21 procedure was the same as in regular circumstances. It was done according
22 to regular procedure and according to the existing laws and protocols.
23 The only exception was that when the siege was on sometimes --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand what the
25 witness said.
1 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Is it possible that a person who was killed or who died were
3 brought to the hospital several days after the death in order to establish
5 A. People who worked at the hospital also had as part of their
6 duties, that of removing the mortal remains and the bodies. Why? Because
7 several days would pass when it was not possible at all to even go out of
8 the shelter for a minute. So the bodies remained outside. I have the
9 original e-mails - if you like I will show them to you - from Emil
10 Aleksandar who was trying to describe the situation of the bodies of those
11 killed in Vukovar. If you're interested, that's fine; if not, I have
13 Q. Mr. Kostovic, I am personally very interested but unfortunately we
14 don't have time, so we will have to skip that.
15 What I would like to do now is to ask you to look at the document
16 in the bunch of documents tagged with orange labels. It's page 1 of
18 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] For my learned friend from the
19 Prosecution, this is document ERN in B/C/S 0504-8881, 8 -- 8882. This is
20 the last bunch of figures.
21 Q. Have you opened that page, Mr. Kostovic?
22 A. Yes, I have.
23 Q. So in the upper right-hand corner, it states 8882. Turn to the
24 next page, please. Can you please read the sentence marked in orange?
25 A. "Today the following persons were brought to the medical centre in
1 Vukovar who were killed on the 1st of October, 1991, in Bogdanovci," and
2 then the names follow.
3 Q. You don't need to mention the names, we are trying to avoid
4 mentioning names here as much as we can.
5 Mr. Kostovic, if you go back to the previous page, this dispatch
6 is dated the 4th of October; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's what it says. The 4th of October.
8 Q. On condition that this is the page that should come right after
9 the previous page, could you please tell me then if it was customary that
10 those killed were brought to the hospital even after -- even four days
11 after the death occurred?
12 A. Well, I told you why this was. For four days they were probably
13 up able to and then the service that was entrusted with burial did that
14 with a delay when the physical conditions were favourable to do something
15 like that. So the fact that on the 18th the whole area was strewn with
16 bodies from the Kapetanja onwards makes it possible.
17 Q. So could you please tell us then whether this information was then
18 entered into your database?
19 A. If we're talking about something that came through the hospital or
20 exclusively from the hospital, then each person who was established --
21 whose death was established by the hospital, then the data is correct. If
22 this was done by the hospital.
23 Q. I would now like to ask you, in order to clarify this matter, to
24 look in the group of documents with these orange labels, to find the
25 document 632.
1 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] For my friends from the
2 Prosecution, this is our 65 ter number 632. And the page that we are
3 going to look at is ERN 0504-8865.
4 Q. Have you found that, Mr. Kostovic?
5 A. I do have a 632, and in the upper hand [as interpreted] corner is
6 8865. Is that it?
7 Q. Yes, that's right. Thank you very much for your help. I would
8 now like to ask you to read what is underlined in orange.
9 A. "During fierce artillery attacks today and infantry attacks in the
10 area of Vukovar and Borovo Naselje, the following persons were killed
11 Nikola Petrovci, Elena Saric, Zeljko Baricevic."
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. Members of the ZNG.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, sorry to interrupt. Could counsel
16 provide an ERN number. We don't have any document 632 in our system here.
17 I don't know if the Court does.
18 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I said that this
19 was a 65 ter document, and its number is 632, I even provided additional
20 information for my learned friend from the Prosecution. For us and for
21 the witness the ERN number suffices. The found the number and the witness
22 read out the portion that I asked him to read.
23 Q. Mr. Kostovic, I -- I was just told that what I'm saying is not
24 recorded properly in the transcript, and that I'm speaking at a very fast
25 pace. Therefore, I will now read out slowly and carefully the sentence
1 marked in orange in your copy. Or rather would you read it out again?
2 A. "In the course of today's --"
3 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. Unless we can get an ERN
4 number or something we can follow along with the document, it's a waste of
5 time for us. We can't object, we can't respond, we can't redirect.
6 JUDGE PARKER: 0504-8865.
7 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
8 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you for your
9 intervention. I can see now that the number is not recorded in the
10 transcript, even though I gave it twice.
11 Q. Mr. Kostovic, my apologies?
12 A. Yes, once again at your request I will read out 632. "During
13 today fierce artillery attacks as well as infantry attacks in the area of
14 Vukovar and Borovo Naselje, the following persons were killed: Baricevic
15 Zeljko, born in 1965, member of the ZNG, Nasice." That's what you wanted
16 me to read.
17 Q. Thank you. For your information this person whose name you just
18 read out is also on the indictment as a missing person. A person who went
19 missing and who was led by force from the Vukovar Hospital. If you take
20 the blue folder, and if you turn to page 5.
21 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Exhibit
22 345, page 5.
23 Q. You will see there that the stated person is listed here as a
24 wounded person from the Vukovar Hospital. Have you found that, sir.
25 A. I have.
1 Q. Can you explain to us how it came about that a very clear
2 statement in the MUP dispatch claiming that this person was killed led to
3 this situation where this person is listed in Exhibit 345 and then also in
4 the annex to our indictment. Do you have an explanation for that?
5 A. There is a very simple explanation. If somebody died and was then
6 taken to Ovcara and then identified, I don't see where the problem lies.
7 Some wounded person and some living persons met their end at Ovcara and
8 it's also possible that somebody who had died previously to that date was
9 also taken there.
10 Q. I need to verify how this was interpreted. For your information,
11 the person whose name you read out is also on the annex to the indictment,
12 and was found and identified. It was buried -- or rather that person was
13 buried at the Novo Groblje in Vukovar whereas in the indictment it was
14 stated that the person was taken out of the Vukovar hospital.
15 Mr. Kostovic, you told us that you and Vesna Bosanac compared the
16 data and this list, Exhibit 345, MFI, and that you compared it to your
17 papers. Did you establish that this person was identified, buried at the
18 Vukovar Novo Groblje, and that MUP had stated that that person was brought
19 dead to the hospital on the said date?
20 A. All persons who were subsequently identified, and this was
21 confirmed by a doctor conducting identification, a forensic expert, that
22 is to say all of such persons were entered into our database. That means
23 that 1.000 persons were identified at Vukovar, or rather 900 at the
24 cemetery called Novo Groblje, then later on all of those identified
25 persons were checked, cross-checked with the database to ensure that there
1 was no overlap. That is to say that the information that Vesna Bosanac
2 received from us, there was no overlapping there. If a person was dead
3 then that that was recorded and following the identification regardless of
4 what else may have taken place. That is to say, if an identification was
5 carried out, even subsequently, then, yes, that was entered into the
7 Q. Would it mean anything to you if I were to tell you that this
8 person was exhumed in 1998 in Novo Groblje cemetery in Vukovar and
9 identified in 2001, and that you were unable to compare the data, either
10 you or Vesna Bosanac, to cross-check it to establish at what time and in
11 what condition this person was taken to the hospital?
12 A. You wish me to comment? I have nothing to say.
13 Q. No, that's quite fine.
14 A. I can't verify whether what you are saying now is true.
15 Q. For your information, out of a large number of persons listed in
16 the indictment, 14 were found at Novo Groblje, were exhumed and
17 identified. Today we admitted into evidence the statement that you,
18 Mr. Kostovic, gave to the OTP in May of 2006. Together with that
19 statement there came a photocopy from page 11 onwards. Photocopy of lists
20 maintained by your service; correct, Mr. Kostovic?
21 A. Yes. I saw the printouts from the disc. We compared this to the
22 data in our current database.
23 Q. Thank you. Since this annex to your statement is a rather pale
24 copy, tell me, is it identical to what I'm showing to you now,
25 Mr. Kostovic? This is A-3 format. Is this the printout of your database?
1 A. The printout, what was given to Bosanac from our database, that is
2 to say the same database was provided to Dr. Bosanac and then it was
3 printed from her disc. And then in our database we cross-checked to make
4 sure that the categories and data were identical.
5 Q. Thank you. Your database is incomplete. From this document
6 attached to your statement, we can't see page numbers. Therefore, I will
7 tell the Trial Chamber, or rather there are about 3400 entries in your
8 database, correct? Can you please give an audible answer?
9 A. Yes. That is the number.
10 Q. But with your statement there were only 10 pages at the most
11 annexed to it?
12 A. Yes. Only 10, because we cross-checked only 10.
13 Q. Let us be specific. I said 10 pages without checking this
14 carefully. But once again, Mr. Kostovic, this is not your complete
16 A. What is on the hard disc and what was shown during the
17 investigation is in our possession in its entirety. However, we didn't
18 print all of it. But the entire database is on the disc, the entire one.
19 Q. Could you now turn to green documents, if I may call them that,
20 Mr. Kostovic. This is document number 2. I am looking for them now.
21 Tell me, please, you have met Dr. Matos, haven't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you had professional contact with him?
24 A. I have met him occasionally.
25 Q. Together with Dr. Matos and other individuals you worked on
1 publishing your memoirs concerning the events which took place during the
2 conflict in Croatia?
3 A. No, I didn't work on having either his memoirs or mine published.
4 Q. Is this a person called Dudas then?
5 A. No, he didn't cooperate with Matos on that issue either. Dudas
6 and I published our system of wireless communication in a scientific
7 journal. No memoirs were ever involved.
8 Q. All right. We don't need to go into further details. Let us now
9 go back, Mr. Kostovic, to your chart. Which is partially included in your
10 statement and admitted into evidence. This chart is entitled, "The
11 wounded chrono," does it mean chronologically?
12 A. Yes, this is computer-speak. It's an abbreviation they use.
13 Q. So this chart or table encompasses 3.472 [Realtime transcript read
14 in error "3.463] entry, right?
15 A. I'm not sure you're correct. Is this in relation to Vukovar? I'm
16 afraid I can't be very specific, but that should be the number, roughly
18 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, an intervention for
19 the transcript. Line 23 of page 78, 3.472 entries.
20 A. Yes, I could check the last number and tell you what it is.
21 Q. I took this from your statement. Believe me, I didn't have the
22 time or the disposition to count them all myself. We have heard
23 Mrs. Bosanac twice. She told us about the situation that prevailed in the
24 Vukovar Hospital. She told us several times, especially on page 594, line
25 5, on the 25th of October last year, that between 60 and 70 wounded a day
1 were being admitted to the hospital, 60 to 70 per cent of whom were
2 civilians. You regularly, and I think I'm talking about column H, it's a
3 vertical column in your own database. You regularly recorded what is to
4 all practical intents the status of a wounded person, right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Adult civilian, infant civilian, ZNG, reserve ZNG, that sort of
7 thing, right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did these lists include also persons who were dead at the time
10 they were brought to the hospital?
11 A. If the MUP said that they faithfully recorded what Bosanac had
12 declared as the exitus, then it must be that way, mustn't it. Whatever
13 the hospital said we took to be reliable information. We used it and
14 recorded it. Because the whole medical system was behind this
15 information. And they had all received instructions to send us reports as
16 accurate as possible. If they said exitus batalis [phoen], then that was
17 what we entered.
18 Q. So based on just what information did the MUP compile its reports?
19 A. Dr. Bosanac would send a messenger carrying information.
20 Requesting that this be sent to the relevant department. This was when
21 she was in no position to send this information herself because there was
22 just one fax machine. Emil Aleksandar was killed. He was no longer able
23 to send e-mails.
24 Q. I'll be showing you some stats now, some statistics. Because you
25 yourself stated that you in a way dealt with the broader problem of
1 protection in these situations that were very difficult from a purely
2 humanitarian aspect, the situations faced by Croatia during the war. If I
3 look at your entries from September, 1991, it starts with the number 465.
4 A. Can I have a look too, please?
5 Q. Of course.
6 A. So where would that be?
7 Q. No, I'm just asking you if you know about the condition of your
8 own database.
9 A. I am familiar with its status as it is, what's in it, but that's
10 all we want to know about. We keep this as a database, nothing less and
11 nothing more.
12 Q. This list of yours including 3.472 names is something that we
13 studied and the Defence teams have double-checked your entries. Most of
14 this has been admitted into evidence through your testimony to a smaller
15 extent, and it is not very easy to take in at a glance. I'm trying to
16 check this information with you because you are a person appearing here as
17 someone who is supposed to answer questions by the Defence teams in order
18 to furnish information to this Trial Chamber. Can you please remind us
19 that in relation to the month of September there were 716 entries in
20 relation to wounded persons, which averages about 24 persons a day. 357
21 of them civilians and 359 defenders. Can you confirm that, please?
22 A. If that is part of the documentation, if I signed that document,
23 then it must be accurate. I don't have this at my fingertips, I just said
24 it off the bat in relation to -- specifically. I could go back to the
25 document and see if I can figure it out, but if this is what you got from
1 our own database, then it must be true, I suppose.
2 Q. It was taken from your database?
3 A. Well then it should be all right.
4 Q. Simply because in addition to your list, wounded chrono, we also
5 received a chart showing the figures in relation to the wounded who were
6 received, who were admitted to the hospital at a given time. If you look
7 at this you initialed each of these, about 10 pages. So that should
8 certify the accuracy and authenticity of the information contained
9 therein. We hear that the 4th of October was one of the most difficult
10 days in Vukovar. We have been told many times that on that particular day
11 about 90 persons were admitted to the hospital. Do you know anything
12 about this particular figure, sir?
13 A. All days were difficult, that's what I'd say, depending on the
14 attacks. The number of casualties was usually consistent with that. The
15 4th of October, yes, the number of those admitted on that day appears to
16 be higher, indeed. Let me find the original fax.
17 Q. We don't have time for that now, Mr. Kostovic, but, please, can
18 you confirm this: In the month of November - that means by the 20th of
19 November 1991 - the entry in your database is 2400, and it ends with 3130,
20 which means that 730 persons were admitted over that time period, 197
21 civilians and 533 defenders. I use the term defenders to apply to
22 everyone else. We've heard Mr. Grujic here as well as Mr. Strinovic, and
23 this is the term they used. So we adopted this for -- for our own
24 purposes. If you look at these figures that I've just given you, would
25 you agree with me that in the month of November, by the 20th of November,
1 the ratio between the civilians admitted and the defenders admitted was 21
2 per cent against 73 per cent in favour of the defenders?
3 A. If your information from the chart is accurate, well, then, it can
4 only be true, can't it.
5 Q. Thank you. While going through your database there was a
6 particular phenomenon that we noticed. Can you please explain. I'm
7 talking about the following entries, by way of an example: 61 and 62
8 persons wounded on the same day, the 8th of May, 1991. Can you please
9 tell us how it is possible. These two persons were wounded in the same
10 place in Vukovar, they were brought to the hospital on the same day. The
11 first person is recorded within a matter of days, and the other person is
12 recorded three years later. How is that possible?
13 A. That's possible. It should be very simple to explain that.
14 People came later bringing their medical histories and files from the
15 hospital asking for their injuries to be recorded. Some never even came
16 there during the siege of Vukovar, some only came later. If they had the
17 proper documents appropriate record was made. If someone was injured,
18 wounded in Vukovar, this person was not treated or registered anywhere,
19 and eventually ended up in a hospital someplace like Osijek, the doctor
20 established the existence of a wound of an amputated limb or something
21 like that, this person later came to our department with the appropriate
22 documents so this would then be recorded. Again, I must say, as long as
23 the files were proper medical files and only then. No exceptions.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Can you tell me this: You did not keep any
25 records in your database about persons who were discharged from hospital.
1 I'm talking about the Vukovar Hospital.
2 A. A person was discharged. For example, a thousand persons or 2.000
3 persons, civilians were evacuated during that night. They were bused back
4 to Croatia. They were sent to 33 different towns in Croatia, these people
5 from Vukovar. Their destinies were different. For example, a person
6 reports to a medical centre somewhere and then the people in this centre
7 realise that his wound is related to what happened in Vukovar. This
8 person then gets in touch with our department. However, the crisis only
9 ceased to --
10 Q. Please, Mr. Kostovic, I didn't ask you about the situation after
11 the evacuation of Vukovar Hospital patients. We're talking about this:
12 Throughout the conflict in Vukovar, patients were being brought to the
13 Vukovar Hospital. I'm not talking about the 18th, the 19th, or the 20th
14 of November. I'm asking you a very general question. I don't know about
15 any other hospitals in the Republic of Croatia, I want to know about the
16 Vukovar Hospital. Was a request made to keep discharge records?
17 A. Yes, as long as a person was in possession of proper medical
18 documents. Any name that was medically treated anywhere in Croatia from
19 the Vukovar Hospital could be added to the database later on. Or
20 information could be modified or adjusted. Your answer is, would such a
21 thing would have been possible, a brief answer, yes, indeed, it would have
22 been possible.
23 Q. Based on your indicators were you able to represent the number of
24 cases in which a wounded person received proper medical care and was soon
25 after discharged and sent home to continue treatment, and where?
1 A. It is in bad taste to say the least to speak of medical care in
2 Vukovar over those three months.
3 Q. Yes or no, please.
4 A. No.
5 Q. No. Very well, then.
6 A. I do not believe that the conditions were in place for proper
7 medical care in Vukovar at the time. Everybody did what they could. They
8 just tried to survive and the doctors were trying to keep the losses down
9 to a minimum.
10 Q. Can you confirm that the less serious patients, once treatment had
11 been administered under such conditions as prevailed at the time, were
12 discharged, and is this something that your records reflect? Did they
13 receive outpatient treatment or were they actually hospitalised?
14 A. For as long as our communications system was still operating there
15 is this column in the database, the Chamber has it, this is something
16 provided by Mrs. Bosanac, and we have a copy, and you can see that some of
17 these received outpatient treatment. You can actually see that.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you please go to the document bearing tab OVC 97.
19 For the Chamber and for the OTP this is 97 from Ovcara. That's the
20 number. If you look at the pile of documents in front of you, the ERN
21 number is 0504-8854. For the OTP, 65 ter document 645.
22 Mr. Kostovic, do you have that?
23 A. I have it 0504-8854.
24 Q. That's right. Thank you. You agree with me that this is a
25 dispatch sent to the Varazdin police administration, right? Can you look
1 at the document, please?
2 A. Yes, I've scan-read it already.
3 Q. The date is the 1st of October, 1991, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you please read what appears to be the last paragraph, the
6 underlined portion?
7 A. "We hereby inform the Varazdin police administration that police
8 officers Marjan Jurin [phoen] and Marko Bosak [phoen] sustained slight
9 injuries. They received medical treatment and were subsequently
10 discharged from the medical centre."
11 Q. This person whose name you have just read out was later found at
12 Ovcara. We have information indicating that the person named in this
13 document was discharged from the hospital on account of slight injuries.
14 Was this because of the working conditions in the hospital at the time?
15 Was it because the injuries were not serious? But it was the case that
16 they would assess a patient and then following their own assessment,
17 perhaps release, discharge people from the hospital if the injuries were
18 not believed to be serious?
19 A. Yes, well, if you look at the files, it really does follow that
20 this particular patient was discharged. A guiding principle in the field
21 of medicine is that if you have a person who is slightly wounded you send
22 them back to duty, as long as they're a member of one of the units
24 Q. Mr. Kostovic, would you take the blue folder now, please.
25 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] For Trial Chamber, this is
1 Exhibit 345, MFI, and please turn to page 8.
2 Q. Have you got page 8?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Line 11 or 12 from the bottom up. In the column on the far left
5 side we can see the name of the person that we just mentioned. Do you see
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The third vertical column is the date, and it says that he was
9 wounded, right?
10 A. Yes, and it confirms that the database is accurate. The 1st of
11 October, the 1st of October.
12 Q. Sir, for the sake of the transcript, you confirmed to me that you
13 found the name that we uttered just a minute ago?
14 A. Yes, Bosak Marko.
15 Q. In this list person is listed as the patient of the hospital. And
16 we have nothing to indicate that he was discharged after receiving medical
17 treatment, and that the police administration in Varazdin, where he was
18 from, was informed?
19 A. I don't know whether he was from the police administration in
21 Q. However, if you look at the document that I read out to you where
22 it says OVC 97?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Go back and you will see that it says on the 1st of October it was
25 sent to the police administration in Varazdin. Did you try to compare
1 this piece of information with what Dr. Bosanac had in your database?
2 A. If we have in our database that he was wounded and that he was
3 wounded on the 1st of October, we also have his diagnosis and that it
4 wasn't recorded until the 12th of October. Based on that I can't tell you
5 whether Dr. Vesna Bosanac and her team informed us about the further
6 developments. It obviously lasted for 12 days, because it wasn't recorded
7 until the 12th of October. So there was a delay. All I'm trying to say
8 is that we recorded every piece of information we received from the
9 Vukovar Hospital and we did it accurately and instantly, as soon as we
10 received it.
11 Q. Thank you, thank you. However, at that point you had no mechanism
12 to verify the information provided to you by the Vukovar Hospital, right?
13 A. The whole system was designed in such a way --
14 Q. Were you able to verify it or not?
15 A. There was no need to do that. The information that we received,
16 what we would verify, is whether we recorded it accurately and to ensure
17 that we didn't duplicate the entries. We had no way of checking how it
18 was done in Vukovar. In principle for us all medical reports are
19 considered authentic.
20 Q. In a situation where a person was wounded for the second time and
21 came to the hospital for the second time, would that be recorded?
22 A. Based on our system, it should have been reflected in the records.
23 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm warned that
24 it's time for the break. And if this is a time that suits everyone.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Does that mean you have finished or are you
1 still ...
2 You'd better have a word to Mr. Lukic and bear in mind that there
3 is need for re-examination. So you'll have to look at your time.
4 We will resume in 20 minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.16 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 3.39 p.m.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good
9 afternoon to everyone in the courtroom. I am Momcilo Bulatovic, one of
10 the Defence counsel of Mr. Sljivancanin. I was supposed to be putting
11 questions to Mr. Kostovic, and the majority of the questions have already
12 been put by Mr. Domazet. Thus, our Defence team has decided to allow
13 Mrs. Tapuskovic to use our time so that she can continue with the
14 cross-examination of this witness as we will be having no questions for
16 JUDGE PARKER: That's very gracious of you, indeed.
17 Ms. Tapuskovic, carry on, please.
18 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Just
19 before the break you wanted to have some indication on time. And my
20 colleagues from the Defence team of Mr. Sljivancanin gave me their time.
21 I think that I shall conclude early enough to allow my learned friend from
22 the Prosecution to have enough time for redirect. That is to say, I plan
23 to finish at 4.15.
24 Q. Mr. Kostovic, during the break I checked the transcript, and I
25 would like to clarify one thing. I'd like to be more specific. I asked
1 you about outpatient treatment, and you told me that the records on
2 outpatient treatment were kept for only a brief period of time due to the
3 situation; correct?
4 A. Yes. Because later on whoever came to the hospital was recorded
5 in the same way as everybody else. Prior to that there were specific
6 records indicating that whoever had outpatient treatment was discharged as
8 Q. Thank you. Can you confirm for me this: The fact that there were
9 no longer records kept on outpatient treatment does not mean that nobody
10 else following this time received outpatient treatment and was discharged
11 immediately upon receiving this treatment?
12 A. That's your assumption. I have no evidence either to support it
13 or contradict it.
14 Q. Thank you. Just before the break I asked you about a person we
15 referred to as OVC 97 and how this person was discharged from the
16 hospital. That is to say, we will continue with our focus on outpatient
17 treatment and hospitalisation. And also another thing that you said just
18 before the break, namely that as a rule it should have been recorded
19 whether a person was re-admitted to the hospital?
20 A. Yes. Those were the instructions that that should be recorded
22 Q. Now would you please take the blue folder, Exhibit 345, MFI, would
23 you turn to page 39, and look at the first entry, on the 2nd of October,
25 A. I apologise, you said page 39?
1 Q. Yes. Which column, first from the top, the first person member
2 from the ZNG was wounded, wounded in Vukovar, and then we have the
3 diagnosis, and then it says, "Wounded again on the 1st of November, 1991."
4 Correct? Is that what it says?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I read this out to you because I know that the Trial Chamber has a
7 B/C/S version; therefore, Mr. Kostovic, this type of entry should be a
8 rule, right?
9 A. It should be recorded in this way as a rule. However, the
10 situation can unfold in different ways. A person can die or, you know,
11 something else can happen to that person, in which case an entry would be
13 Q. I wasn't referring to the cases where a patient died. What I'm
14 saying is that we have no records to show that persons who came to the
15 hospital remained there without doubt until the evacuation on the 20th,
16 and that in Exhibit 345, which is to say in the blue folder, because
17 that's the name that you are familiar with, that the only thing recorded
18 there is that the patient was re-admitted, admitted once again.
19 Mr. Kostovic, no need for you to verify this, trust me. It is as I said.
20 The Trial Chamber and the OTP can evaluate whether this is the only entry.
21 3.472 entries.
22 MR. WEINER: I object. We've now gone a full paragraph. There is
23 no question. This is just a speech.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Can you see the point?
25 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: Yeah.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Kostovic, can you tell us, do you know whether in the
4 document -- in Exhibit 345, MFI, in addition to this entry there is
5 anything else indicating that this person was re-admitted to the hospital?
6 A. I have to say that if I were to believe you, then you are correct.
7 Nothing was re-entered. I can't verify it myself now. In our database
8 I'm sure that this is not a single case of somebody re-admitted. It's
10 Q. All right. Thank you. I just asked you about this particular
11 bit, in this Exhibit 345 or, in other words, the blue folder. Now, would
12 you please turn to orange documents. I'm interested in the label,
13 Mr. Kostovic, where it says OVC 45 and 57. Would you please turn to these
15 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] For my learned friend from the
16 OTP, this is page of MUP dispatch 0504-8883.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've found it.
18 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Would you please read the underlined text, underlined in orange.
20 A. I am now reading from the list. "Jambor Tomo, born in 1966
21 policeman of the police administration of Varazdin; Kapustic Josip, born
22 in 1965, policeman of the police administration in Varazdin." And then it
23 says, the next thing that's underlined reads, "We are reporting the police
24 administration in Varazdin that policeman Jambor Tomo and Kapustic Josip
25 and some others sustained slight bodily injuries. After receiving medical
1 treatment they were discharged from the medical centre in Vukovar."
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kostovic. This means that once again we have
3 another example just as the one we discussed previously, but in this
4 instance we have two persons and in the previous example we had one
5 person. The situation is the same. It is stated in the MUP dispatches
6 that these persons were released or discharged from after receiving their
8 A. Yes, they were discharged.
9 Q. Thank you. Would you please take the blue folder once again.
10 Exhibit 345, MFI. Please turn to page 29. We'll examine that page first.
11 Have you found it?
12 A. Yes, 29. I have found it.
13 Q. Look at the second name from below. In the horizontal row you see
14 one of the wounded persons listed, Tomo Jambor. It says he was wounded on
15 the 4th of October.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And it is not entered here that he had left the hospital.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Can you confirm whether it was recorded that he was wounded again
20 or re-admitted to the hospital?
21 A. No, that's missing.
22 Q. All right. Can you turn to page 33. Same document, Mr. Kostovic.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you see the only name in the first vertical column, the day of
25 wounding is 4th of October. There is a diagnosis, correct, and then
1 nothing to show that this person was re-admitted to the hospital?
2 A. No, it's not here.
3 Q. Mr. Kostovic, do you have an explanation as to how it is possible
4 that two persons who just happened to have -- happened to be from the
5 police administration were wounded on the same day, received medical
6 treatment on the same day, then they were discharged because they only had
7 slight injuries, and later on they were identified as victims at Ovcara?
8 A. It's very easy to explain. He was wounded on the 4th of October
9 and then he continued fighting or whatever, and then somebody killed him
10 at Ovcara. Or somebody took him to Ovcara, or rather took his body to
11 Ovcara. It's quite simple.
12 Q. Thank you. I'm now going to ask you to turn to the next document
13 with orange labels. Just a minute, I need to check something. This is
14 Ovcara 19. To tell you the truth, I can't orient myself in all of these
15 papers. But this person is not in these documents, this is our 65 ter
16 729, this is also the person who went missing at Ovcara. Can you explain
17 to me --
18 A. I apologise.
19 Q. You don't have this person.
20 A. Mm-hmm.
21 Q. The person is not recorded in these MUP papers. All we know is
22 that this person is listed as missing, he was identified at Ovcara, he is
23 not to be found in document 345, which is the blue folder. We received,
24 however, another document from Vesna Bosanac speaking of how the wounded
25 from the Vukovar Hospital perished. It was admitted into evidence, or
1 rather it was marked for identification - this is Exhibit 346 - and
2 concerning this person it says there that he was treated as an outpatient
3 and discharged. This was stated by Vesna Bosanac. I will give you as an
4 illustration the fact that he was admitted into hospital on the 26th of
5 August, 1991. Would you please look at document 05 -- I have managed to
6 find it. 0504-8896. Have you found that, sir?
7 A. Yes, we've found that. 504-8896.
8 Q. Yes. That is consistent with my notes. Could you just wait a
9 minute, please.
10 A. It says the Red Cross over here, Red Cross surgery.
11 Q. Yes, indeed. Next to that person's name, does it not appear to
12 indicate that this person was an outpatient, that he received outpatient
14 A. Yes, but it's in the same in relation to all of these, as you can
15 see, the latter half of all these signatures, it says outpatient.
16 Q. All right. Dr. Bosanac --
17 A. But you didn't say the name, did you.
18 Q. The name is of no relevance. The name of this patient is of no
19 consequence to us right now. What matters is how information was
21 How is this possible? Can you explain why this document should
22 indicate that this person received outpatient treatment? I'm telling you
23 346 MFI, a document obtained from Dr. Bosanac, that this person was
24 discharged from the hospital. Can you tell me how it was possible ...
25 MR. WEINER: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I would object to this question. 346
3 has not been shown to this witness. 346 was not discussed in
4 examination-in-chief. It's available for cross-examination, but he should
5 at least have the chance to look at 346, familiarise himself with it.
6 It's not one of his documents. It comes from -- --
7 JUDGE PARKER: All right, Mr. Weiner, you've said enough.
8 The witness should have the opportunity to see MFI 346.
9 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour. My comment
10 in relation to 346 and the question will be dropped. I will ask the
11 witness this:
12 Q. Was information verified in relation to this person and was there
13 any coordination of information between you and Vesna Bosanac in order to
14 establish whether this person was a hospital patient on the 20th of
16 A. All of Vesna Bosanac's information up until that date was entered
17 using our regular methods. There was no further coordination of
18 information in relation to Vesna Bosanac, but at the level of the entire
19 system. It was only once our information was submitted that Vesna Bosanac
20 could probably have reconciled her own information to ours. This appears
21 to have been a case of outpatient treatments. Someone was admitted,
22 discharged and then readmitted without this being recorded but there is no
23 way for me to check this right now.
24 Q. Be that as it may, you seem to invoke Vesna Bosanac quite
25 frequently and you seem to invoke the way in which she submitted documents
1 to you. Was Vesna Bosanac sending you her reports from the Vukovar police
3 A. Not from the Vukovar police station, but rather through the
4 Vukovar police station. This being the only channel of communication open
5 at the time. Under the severe conditions that prevailed, this was the
6 only way she was able to send information. She used the MUP, she used
7 e-mail, she could have used pigeons, for all I know.
8 Q. She used the fax machine at the Vukovar police station. Did she
9 send documents to you using the official Vukovar Hospital stationery?
10 A. At the beginning, yes. I still have those documents. Later on
11 this was no longer possible, and the MUP would just attach her reports to
12 their own reports.
13 Q. Do we have a single MUP report that clearly indicates this, that
14 Vesna Bosanac approached them with this information?
15 A. That was the agreement we had, and she confirmed the agreement in
16 this way. If you like, I can hand you an earlier report when this was
17 done on proper hospital stationery, so you can see what it looked like
18 when the conditions were still normal. You could have a look if you like.
19 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Kostovic. We've seen that, we've seen
20 some of those reports. They were shown to us by Dr. Bosanac in person.
21 These were admitted at the time. There is no need for this right now.
22 But then you need to explain this: Some of the MUP dispatches that we
23 have seen here, some of those that you have in front of you as a matter of
24 fact, were produced based on facts provided by Vesna Bosanac, right?
25 A. Yes, that's true. She would send a messenger carrying information
1 to Emil Aleksandar at the post office and to the MUP. This was still
2 functioning at the time, the report was on its way, the postal
3 communication lines broke down, in which case the report would be about
4 two or three days late.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Fair enough. Let's move on to a different
6 subject now and leave the lists alone. Based on your evidence and based
7 on documents which have been disclosed to us which are in relation to you
8 as a witness, I realise that after the exhumation you were willing to
9 allow the post mortems to be performed in Hungary or in Austria, right?
10 A. I don't know about that. We were adamant that everything that was
11 done in Vukovar should be done in the presence of our own experts. We
12 seconded Dr. Kubat and Dr. Strinovic to this operation. Likewise, the EC
13 monitors were willing to second one of their helicopters to us. Later on
14 we struggled to have the identifications done in Croatia. Eventually a
15 team of experts identified the bodies and the same team of experts was
16 used by the Tribunal. We provided sufficient conditions for this to
17 happen in Zagreb with neutral experts present. Of course we never wanted
18 any bodies to be identified outside of Croatia. We have our own experts.
19 This is an entitlement that we enjoy under a number of different
20 international regulations, and this is our own internal matter.
21 Q. Very well. Can you please go to document number 6 and go to page
22 2 of that document. This bears a green label, Mr. Kostovic. Could you
23 look at page 1, please. Can we agree that this is a letter dated the 18th
24 of October, 1993, right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. This is about the visit [as interpreted] of Mr. Vladimir Kotliar,
3 A. Sorry, I need to have a look. Yes, Vladimir Kotliar.
4 Q. Something for the transcript, line 15, page 98, it was sent to
5 Mr. Vladimir Kotliar, right? Can you please go to page 2, I'll read the
6 sentence out to you. This is highlighted in orange. Five lines down the
8 "[In English] Mr. Kostovic has informed Mr. Fenrick today that
9 the Croatian authorities would accept the transportation of the exhumed
10 bodies from Ovcara to Hungary."
11 [Interpretation] I apologise, it's for the transcript, line 21,
12 page 98 -- it's fine now.
13 So there was agreement, right?
14 A. No, this is about transportation. Transportation to Hungary,
15 well, of course through Hungary. We weren't told that the bodies would be
16 identified there. It wasn't our call, after all. This was a request that
17 we made, but the final decision was down to the UN.
18 Q. Is it true, Mr. Kostovic, that you addressed the expert commission
19 to point out your concern that, as you said at the time, some digging had
20 been carried out, as you put it, at Ovcara?
21 A. Yes, we had no access to the area; it was still under occupation
22 at the time. The newspapers and the counter-intelligence services kept
23 pestering the families, the families of victims. It was all over the
24 Belgrade papers, all over our own papers that Ovcara had been dug over.
25 Some high-ranking officials in Belgrade kept saying to the press that all
1 that had been found were animal bones. There was a real concern until the
2 experts arrived and ordered that the site be guarded permanently. The
3 concern, however, was permanent.
4 Q. The concern still remains, doesn't it. Now there's a permanent
5 guard organised by UNPROFOR with Russian soldiers involved, right?
6 A. The moment late Dr. Snow, the expert, arrived at the scene the UN
7 soldiers there were asked to guard the site. And then there was the
8 reintegration of the Danube region. So in a way this was under
9 surveillance. We applied on numerous occasions to the UN to confirm that
10 everything was all right. There was one incident described in that book
11 called, "Mass grave." I wasn't there and there's nothing I can say about
12 it. I'm just saying that an incident was described in that book.
13 Q. Fine. This is probably going to be my last question. Please go
14 to document number 8. Document number 8, this is part of the 65 ter
15 exhibit list and the number is 288. Have you got that, sir?
16 A. Yes. Yes, number 8, I've seen that.
17 Q. I think that's the one. I'll read to you what it says. Do you
18 see the title there, 11 mass graves discovered in sector east. Do you
19 agree with me that that appears to be the title of this document?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I'll read out a sentence to you, I mean the one in passage two.
22 It's the second but last sentence.
23 "English witnesses who had direct experience have said that the
24 dead bodies of detainees had been transferred [sic] From an old brickworks
25 to location Grabovo where some 250 victims had been buried in a common
2 [Interpretation] Mr. Kostovic, did you perhaps have this
3 information? Did you have information to suggest that bodies were later
4 brought to this mass grave, bodies of people who had come to grief in one
5 way or another during the clashes in Vukovar? You were even prepared to
6 go as far as the UN Secretary General in order to launch a protest about
7 this, right?
8 A. I had nothing to indicate that bodies were brought along and
9 buried alongside the earlier victims. We had a list of people who were
10 last seen on those buses. We compiled a list with these names, we had a
11 witness who told us about what had become of those people. So --
12 Q. I asked you one thing, sir.
13 A. But we didn't have anything else. We had nothing that was
14 incontrovertible. No incontrovertible evidence. No solid evidence. We
15 only had evidence in relation to the first thing that happened.
16 Q. You were someone who in 1991, 1992, and 1993 held the post that
17 you held at the time?
18 A. Which one do you mean and then I can confirm.
19 Q. You were at the head of this department that was gathering
21 A. It was a section within my ministry. I was there as a volunteer.
22 Q. Thanks for sharing that with me. But you had no reliable, no
23 verified information, and yet you were prepared to go as far as the UN
24 secretary general with this application, yet you had no grounds for
25 suspecting that indeed there had been a digging over, to use your
1 expression, of the grave at Ovcara?
2 A. I will now tell you the truth of this matter. The main suspicion
3 arose because the JNA who had been duty-bound to furnish us information
4 and data who held this information for over a year during negotiations.
5 The word Ovcara was never even uttered. There was a real concern that the
6 perpetrators were trying to cover their tracks, and that was justified as
7 far as I'm concerned. They had been dragging this out for over a year.
8 That was the real problem, not new bodies being brought there.
9 Q. The authorities of Serbia and Montenegro denied you access,
11 A. They did not just deny access to the documents, they denied the
12 existence of the problem.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, please speak one at a time.
14 Thank you very much.
15 A. Raseta denied on their behalf. They denied this at the meeting in
16 Budapest. They denied this at the meeting in Pec. They said there were
17 no patients from the Vukovar Hospital at Ovcara. They said there was
18 nothing there. They said they had no clue about this. They said "never
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Kostovic, my question was not about the Serbia and Montenegro
23 authorities disclosing documents to you. My question was based on just
24 what do you believe that Ovcara was at one point dug over as you said?
25 Today on page 75, line 15, you stated, "[In English] [Previous translation
1 continues] ... and was then taken to Ovcara and then identified. I don't
2 see where the problem lies."
3 A. That's completely right.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kostovic, I have no further
6 A. I want to complete my sentence. Your Honours, may I complete it?
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think when it comes to this, those
9 who had control over the territory were also able to add bodies to the
10 mass grave. That's what I had in mind, not that somebody did it
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel.
13 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Tapuskovic.
15 Mr. Weiner.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Weiner:
17 Q. You made many references a moment ago. Did you ever request to
18 the JNA about those hundreds of missing persons? When did you make the
19 request, and to whom in 1991, 1992?
20 A. The first time that we submitted a request to General Raseta was
21 during negotiations in Zagreb when we handed him a list containing between
22 3.000 and 5.000 names of persons who went missing in Vukovar. Why between
23 three and 5.000? Because there was some overlap there and that
24 information was not entirely reliability. The doctors compiled a list of
25 patients who were missing, and who had definitely been at the Vukovar
1 Hospital. This was handed over to General Raseta. Later on during the
2 negotiations in Geneva on the 27th of November when the Yugoslav side was
3 represented by minister Gacic and when Vojvodic was a general representing
4 the JNA, I was there as was Mr. Prodan and another official of the
5 Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was on that occasion we signed a
6 memorandum on understanding, we signed a document on the establishment of
7 commission for tracing missing persons, and on that occasion once again we
8 asked that we be informed of the fate of the patients from Vukovar.
9 Following that, every negotiations that we had began and concluded with
10 our questions. We had enormous pressure from the families, from mothers
11 who wanted to know where their children were, whether they were alive,
12 whether they were imprisoned.
13 So we forwarded these questions on every occasion. I received
14 minutes from the International Committee of the Red Cross from the meeting
15 in Budapest where we presented testimonies, both to the ICRC and the
16 Yugoslav side, of two persons who were eye-witnesses at Ovcara and who
17 remembered most of the names of people who were in the hangar at the time.
18 These two persons were saved, somebody released them. They confirmed that
19 this event took place. And we insisted for the Yugoslav side to say what
20 had happened. We wanted them to tell us whether they were dead and
21 whether there were bodies that we could bury; however, we received vague
22 answers that there were many, many events in Vukovar and that it was
23 impossible to maintain control.
24 Q. Doctor, when was the Budapest meeting?
25 A. In 1992, in early summer.
1 Q. Now, you're familiar with the documents used in hospitals. The 60
2 or so documents which you were shown which were sent to the Prosecutor's
3 office from the government of Serbia and Montenegro, based on your
4 knowledge of the number of wounded patients, was that the number of
5 documents you would expect to be in a hospital on November 18th and
6 November 20th, 1991?
7 A. No. What the learned counsel directed me to do was to list
8 through these orange-labelled documents. It says here that there were
9 reports sent to the Red Cross and there are also lists of e-mails sent to
10 us, which we have in our computer. All other documents, that is to say
11 case histories protocols of synthesis, register of the head nurse,
12 register of the plaster room. All of these documents are missing, they're
13 gone. And they would have been very helpful in order to identify persons.
14 Now that the identification process is concluded, perhaps they would have
15 been helpful to the Court.
16 Q. Now, sir, you were asked about a CD, and you refer in your
17 statement to a CD which you reviewed. And you indicated in your report
18 that you reviewed a sample of some 10 pages. Did you select the number of
19 that sample?
20 A. We established the number of rows in this category, wounded
21 chrono, and then I received the printouts. And we verified in the
22 computer in our database each column individually. We clarified what each
23 column stood for, we clarified if there were any -- if there was any
24 vagueness, and it was only then that I signed the printouts.
25 Q. No, the question is, did you select the number of pages, how many
1 pages to review?
2 A. No, we did that together.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. Did you indicate which pages that should be
5 A. Yes. The pages from various periods of time and of various
6 abilities so that we could be sure that it was verified in such a way that
7 it was clear that this was an authentic database, and we did establish
9 Q. And you indicated in your report or your statement that the
10 information in your database was identical to that in the CD; isn't that
12 A. Yes. Completely identical. We established that following our
13 verification process.
14 Q. Now, counsel indicated that some of the e-mailing, or actually
15 some of the faxes that were sent to you did not have a cover page. Was
16 there any requirement in your records protocol that a cover page must be
17 included with faxes sent to you in Zagreb?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Tapuskovic.
19 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. It
20 wasn't the cover page. It was the first page of the document, which is to
21 say the one with the date. And information as to whom the document was
22 sent. What I asked was intended to show that some documents don't have
23 the first page or we have the first page but nothing else in that
24 document, and we are unable to tell whether the document has one, two,
25 three, or more pages.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Analysing what was given to us, I
2 can establish that there is the cover page. It was the MUP who
3 established the technical side of it, what would be there and what
4 wouldn't. It was wartime, after all. And the MUP was part of the armed
5 forces, I guess. So I guess they had some kind of rules as to what may be
6 sent to civilian sector and what may not. What is quite clear, though, is
7 that everything that was sent was sent in the original form as provided by
8 the hospital. And we were able to see that in the Red Cross documents,
9 namely that that document had the same order of data as the MUP document.
10 MR. WEINER:
11 Q. Sir, the fact that a cover page with a date on it or an address on
12 it is not included in your documents, does that have any effect on the
13 statistics or the information that was sent to you?
14 A. No. It doesn't. Especially since some reports arrived with a
15 several-day delay. What was essential was the medical source and accuracy
16 of the information that was entered.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. WEINER: No further questions.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Weiner.
20 Professor, I'm pleased to be able to tell you that that concludes
21 the questioning. The Chamber would like to thank you very much for your
22 attendance here in The Hague, and for the assistance you have been able to
23 give us. And we make clear of course that you are now free to return to
24 your home and your work.
25 Mr. Weiner, I did indicate that we would deal with the outstanding
1 issue of submissions, but in view of the time I'm afraid I must ask you to
2 put them in writing. Your face went long. I would hope briefly in
3 writing, but we really have run out of time today and the next two days we
4 anticipate to be entirely taken.
5 MR. WEINER: That's fine, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Could I indicate to all counsel that I must, I am
7 afraid, because of another commitment, cause some adjustment to tomorrow's
8 timetable. Not to shorten the time available, but to extend both the
9 lunch hour by half an hour and our finishing time by half an hour to 5.00.
10 I simply have a commitment as vice-president that I cannot avoid. It is
11 not a lunch. It is a working commitment. So, for that reason, we will
12 have an hour and three quarters for lunch tomorrow, and finish at 5.00.
13 We will adjourn now until 9.30. And thank you once again for your
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.29 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of June,
17 2006, at 9.30 a.m.