1 Friday, 14 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 WITNESS: DAVOR STRINOVIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff: [Continued]
11 Q. Dr. Strinovic, I would like now to go through the separate
12 sections of binder 1 of the Exhibit 410 and answer specific questions.
13 And first of all, in relation to tab 1, with your report and now also as
14 tab 1 of this exhibit, you provided a chart giving the total number of
15 5.140 examined bodies and the forensic findings, and you also refer in
16 this chart to the number of 11.834 killed that we saw in Mr. Grujic's
17 report. Why is your number so much smaller?
18 A. What I can tell you is that there is the figure of 11.834 persons
19 killed in Croatia. The figure of 5.140 refers to all those cases who were
20 processed in the mortuaries in Zagreb, Osijek, Vinkovci, Rijeka and
21 Virovitica. That is to say it is one number of cases which were
22 investigated by forensic medical technicians and pathologists and a large
23 number of cases did not reach the mortuary, so at the beginning of the war
24 when there are a lot of victims, what was done was the causes of death
25 were determined. They were mostly soldiers therefore, and the
1 circumstances of their death and investigation was carried out on the
2 field -- in the field without any autopsy examinations or any forensic
3 professionals or pathologists taking part. So I think that that is why
4 there is such a big difference. This was a war, it was a situation where
5 we had a large number of dead, and quite simply, not all the bodies were
6 taken to the mortuary or able to be taken to the mortuary, but a
7 speeded-up process was applied, witnesses' testimony and the bodies
9 Q. Now turning to tab 2. You have here the number of exhumed bodies
10 given in total with 3.373. That's slightly smaller than the number that
11 was given in Mr. Grujic's report. Can you explain why there is a
13 A. What I can tell you is that this figure of 3.373 was obtained from
14 the government office for missing persons and detainees, and that number
15 changes almost daily. So if we had a date which corresponded to the
16 figure, then we'd know. But all those -- all those figures came from the
17 same sources, and the figure would change according to the date on which
18 it was published.
19 Q. So what we have here under tab 2, that's the current situation in
20 relation to exhumations and identifications?
21 A. Yes, that's right. I think that's what it is.
22 Q. And now, in your work did you also take part in exhumations and
23 identification of victims of Serb ethnicity?
24 A. In the course of our work, we did exhume and identify persons who
25 were of Serb ethnicity from the very beginning of the war, so that already
1 in 1991, the exhumation was conducted of part of the corpses of people who
2 had fallen victim in Vukovar.
3 Q. Dr. Strinovic, I do not want to go into details of these
4 exhumations because it is outside of the Prosecution case, but in case the
5 Judges or the parties would hear from you about such exhumations, you
6 would be able to give details?
7 A. Yes, I would. That's right.
8 Q. Let's now turn to tab 3, and you have here listed those findings
9 in relation to paragraph 39 of the indictment, Vocin. What can you tell
10 us about the Vocin crime scene in relation to your findings? Can you
11 explain when you found the grave, what you did do with the bodies and so
13 A. According to available data, it was the event that took place on
14 the 13th of December, 1991 when 43 persons were killed in the vicinity of
15 Vocin, and their bodies were discovered the next day and were dealt with
16 at the morgue in Slatina near Vocin on the 17th of December, 1991.
17 As you can see from this table here, there were 43 persons in all,
18 43 bodies, 30 of whom were shot dead, met their death through firearms,
19 another from explosives and others from blunt objects and violent deaths
20 such as knife wounds, burnings and so on. With six individuals, the cause
21 of death was unknown. All I can tell you is that they were all civilians
22 killed in their own homes or in front of their own thresholds. They were
23 mostly elderly persons, men and women, and at the spot at which they were
24 killed is where their bodies were found, which means the bodies weren't
25 moved at all.
1 Q. And when did you see this -- got in contact with the bodies;
2 immediately afterwards or --
3 A. The employees of the Institute for Forensic Medicine carried out
4 the autopsies on the 17th of December, 1991. That is to say we saw the
5 bodies four days after the event, after they were killed.
6 Q. Under tab 4, you have provided two photos, and what -- the photo
7 in relation to the person Stojan Nenadovic, what does it tell us about the
8 cause of death?
9 A. May we have the photograph displayed?
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I don't think that we need to
11 have it on the ELMO, because we all have it in the binder, and I think
12 it's not necessary to put it on the ELMO.
13 Q. You can explain it, how we see it. We have it in front of us.
14 You can simply explain it. And if it is necessary to point something out,
15 I think then it's only for the ELMO.
16 A. Thank you very much, yes. So this was one particular case. The
17 person was a Serb. He was killed by being beaten with chains all over his
18 body, and it was due to those beatings that there was a haemorrhagic shock
19 that set in and ultimately death. It was an individual whose son was in
20 the Croatian army, and we assume that's the reason he was killed.
21 The other individual under number 23, this was a person who was
22 killed by a blow from an axe, and we can see a very deep wound, typical
23 for a wound being caused by a heavy sharp object like an axe. So this
24 would be shown by the way he was hit on the head.
25 Q. You didn't give the name on the photo. I can't see the name of
1 this person. Do you know the name, whether it is someone from the
2 schedule in the indictment?
3 A. Yes. This particular individual was from Vocin, but I can't say
4 any more than that.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, tab 5 is a surrogate. We always
6 put a surrogate sheet in here when the underlying documentation is in the
7 other binders. It would be mostly exhumation reports.
8 Q. Let's now turn to tab 6. It's the chart related to the village
9 Bacin and paragraph 40 of the indictment. What can you tell us about this
11 A. This was an event that took place on the 21st of October, 1991,
12 when we consider that these persons were killed and found on the 13th to
13 the 23rd of March, 1997, in Bacin. And we found 58 bodies at that time.
14 And as can be seen from the table, of those 58 individuals, 25 lost their
15 lives through being shot by firearms, one individual suffered a trauma to
16 the body, and three individuals once again were shot by firearms. One
17 person, the cause of death there must have been an explosive device. With
18 28 of the bodies, we were not able to ascertain the cause of death.
19 Let me also mention that Vocin is a gravesite which was very
20 difficult to investigate, complex, because the bodies were very much
21 impaired. We had to work on the ground, and those are the results that we
22 obtained under those circumstances.
23 Q. And you have -- at tab 7, you have given one photo. Why did you
24 select this photo?
25 A. This particular photograph was selected. It was one of the rare
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 ones where we were able to show the cause of death. So this is a
2 photograph on which we can see a large part of the cranial bone and the
3 defects that are typical for a shotgun wound. So this was death by shot
4 from a firearm to the back of the head.
5 Q. Under tab 8, you have given names of victims from the list in the
6 indictment related to this count, and you have put abbreviations behind
7 them. Can you explain what the abbreviations mean.
8 A. Yes, I can. For example, for the first individual, Jukic, "S"
9 means a firearm wound, a bullet wound. With the second one, it was an
10 explosive. The third and fourth individuals once again through bullet
11 wounds. The following one, Kulisic, was a trauma by a blunt object. The
12 last two individuals we don't list the cause of death; the cause of death
13 was not known.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just an explanation for the
15 systematic of this binder. As far as we did not have exhumation reports
16 in-house, Dr. Strinovic checked his documentation in Zagreb and made these
17 findings so that we know the cause of death for these people. We had
18 particularly asked him to give us the findings from his documentation.
19 And you will find in the course of the binder, you will find these
20 abbreviations again and again.
21 Q. Let's now turn to tab 9. That's Lipovanic, paragraph 42. What
22 can you tell us about this scene?
23 A. First of all, I can tell you that it is the Lipovacka Dreznica
24 near Rakovica which is the place, not Lipovanici. And the date is the
25 28th of October, 1991 when these individuals disappeared. The exhumation
1 took place from the mass grave on the 12th of June, 1996, in Lipovacka
2 Dreznica. The identification was conducted on the ground, in the field.
3 And according to the indictment, there are eight names or, rather, seven
4 individuals, actually, because one person's name is to be found twice,
5 Bozincevic Franjo, in the indictment. So in fact, there were seven
6 persons. Apart from that, in the indictment we see the surname of
7 Cindric, Marija Cindric, and this person's name was actually Brozincevic
8 Marija, and all these seven persons were identified. The cause of death
9 established, which is indicated in the table where we can see that one
10 individual lost their lives to being shot by a firearm, another through
11 trauma caused by a blunt object, and the four other individuals probably
12 again gunshot wounds. With one of the persons, the cause of death was
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, Dr. Strinovic just pointed out
15 that Franjo and Franje is the same person. So there's only one Franjo who
16 was in the grave and was killed. And the name for Marija, the surname for
17 Marija is a different one than given here.
18 Q. In relation to tab 11, Vukovici, what can you tell us about this?
19 A. This was an event that took place on the 7th of November, 1991,
20 when these persons disappeared. And they were exhumed on the 13th of
21 August, 1996.
22 In the Vukovici hamlet, we found two persons on the indictment who
23 were identified. They are Vukovic Nikola and Vukovic Ivan, and they were
24 killed from a firearm. They were shot. Of the others on the indictment,
25 let me say that there are data according to which these individuals were
1 all killed through burning. They were all burnt.
2 I should like to mention in this regard that there is some
3 difference in the surnames. In the indictment we have Matinovic as one
4 surname, Matinovic Joso and Matinovic Nikola. Those were the other names.
5 However, it was Matovina Josip and Matovina Nikola. Matovina was the
7 In the Vukovici hamlet we found a site where the burning had taken
8 place with at least four bodies, but we can assume that in fact the seven
9 people listed in the indictment lost their lives at that same spot. Let
10 me also add that in Vukovici, we found the bodies of two other persons,
11 and we have ascertained the cause of death. They are Loncar Ivan and
12 Loncar Milan, bothers, and they were found hanged.
13 Q. You said that you found -- you could actually identify four bodies
14 burned, but how can it be that there are still more burned? How did you
15 make the finding that it should be more than four? You give here at least
16 six burned, in your schedule. How could you determine that?
17 A. No. In the list it says that there were a total of at least six
18 bodies. Of that number, at least four were burnt, and as to two persons,
19 those two were hanged. So the remains of bones were found, and those bone
20 remains indicated that there were at least four persons, four bodies.
21 Now, whether there were more bodies, we cannot say for sure
22 because, due to the high temperatures, the bones were very much damaged
23 when they were burnt. Some of them might have been completely destroyed,
24 leaving no traces at all. So once again, let me say there was a total of
25 six individuals, two of whom were hanged, and at least four -- so we have
1 proof to show that four persons had been burnt, their remains found. As
2 to the rest, we didn't find any remains, which does not exclude the
3 possibility that they were there.
4 Q. Yes. Now we turn to tab 14. Yes, tab 14, Saborsko, paragraph 44
5 in the indictment. What were your findings there?
6 A. On the 12th of November, 1991, persons went missing in the
7 Saborsko area, and they were found and exhumed on the 13th of October,
8 1995, when we discovered 27 bodies, which can be seen from the table
9 attached. We were also able to ascertain the cause of death. With one
10 person it was a wound from a firearm, traumas in six individuals, and six
11 others other causes, burnings, and so on; we found the remains of bones.
12 With 15 bodies, the cause of death was not ascertained. We were not able
13 to establish the cause of death for 15 persons.
14 Q. And under tab 15, you have given again names that you checked in
15 your office.
16 A. Yes, that's right. So we have the names of four persons from the
17 indictment where we can see the causes of death, such as trauma, other
18 causes, gunshot wounds, and once again another cause of death. And four
19 additional names which are not in the indictment but which were found in
20 the Saborsko area. They were four persons who had been burnt to death.
21 Q. And how did you identify the burned victims?
22 A. Without the protocol and records, it's difficult for me to say how
23 we did this, but what I can tell you is the following: In cases where we
24 had extensive burns in the sense of seeing that the bodies had been
25 burned, shut up in wooden houses which were burnt to the ground, what we
1 found there were just the remnants of bones, very small bone fragments.
2 And then with the analysis conducted by an anthropologist, we ascertained
3 whether they were human bone fragments and how many bodies were found on
4 the spot. Then we obtained information from family members and witnesses
5 who told us how many people had been shut up in those houses and what
6 their names were.
7 So in this way, combining the two, we were able to solve most of
8 the cases on the basis of witness testimonies and on the basis of the
9 number of bodies we found in the houses, and we were able to disclose the
10 fate of those persons.
11 Q. You have actually, under tab 16, provided one photo, and it's the
12 victim Kata Matovina. How could you be sure that it's her? How did you
13 ascertain that?
14 A. On this photograph, we can see the types of remains that are left
15 of a human body after they have been burnt in a house, when a fire has
16 been going on for days and when all the bodily parts have been burnt, the
17 house as well and the bodily tissue, except for some small bone fragments.
18 This person was in a bed, she was immobile, and we know which part
19 of the house she was to be found in. When we conducted the exhumation and
20 investigated the burning site, in one part, in the room of Kata Matovina
21 herself, we found some small bone fragments which, according to the
22 anthropologist, corresponded to just one person, one body. Apart from
23 that, we also found small fragments of teeth and bones which confirmed
24 that it was elderly female and to all intents and purposes, judging by
25 these findings, it would indicate that it was in fact this woman Kata
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. Let's turn now to tab 17. That's Skabrnja 1, paragraph 45 of the
3 indictment. You have here complete figures of the cause of death. What
4 -- what enabled you to be so precise here in relation to each and every
6 A. In Skabrnja 1, these were persons who were killed between the 18th
7 and the 19th of November, 1991, and they were handed over through the
8 Croatian side on the 23rd of November, 1991, which means four days after
9 the event. So these were persons in a good -- in good condition, so they
10 were easily identifiable. And the protocols that we have here of the
11 post-mortems are quite clear, and the cause of death was clearly
12 ascertained, as can be seen from this table.
13 Q. And now I would like to turn to tab 19, and it is the -- the scene
14 Nadin. That's number 46 -- paragraph 46 in the indictment. What can you
15 tell us about this?
16 A. As in the case of Skabrnja 1, in the case of Nadin 2, this was an
17 event that took place on the 26th -- no. I'm sorry. On the 19th of
18 November, 1991, when the persons were killed. And on the 26th of
19 November, they were handed over to the Croatian side and a post-mortem was
20 carried out that same day. The bodies were well preserved, all seven
21 persons were identified, and the cause of deaths ascertained; these were
22 gunshot wounds.
23 Q. Now let's turn to tab 21. That's Skabrnja 2, paragraph 47 in the
24 indictment. Can you explain your findings here.
25 A. Skabrnja 2 refers to an event of the 18th of November, 1991, up
1 until February 1992. The persons were killed, and they were exhumed on
2 the 6th of June, 1996, when it was established that there were 21 persons
3 for whom we established the cause of death. For 14, gunshot wounds; 4,
4 explosions; and 3 traumas with a blunt object provoking death.
5 Q. And you have also under tab 22 created a list where you actually
6 have given the cause of death in abbreviation behind each person. Yes?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. Was -- did -- did you get any information with the -- one of these
9 persons was detained in the Knin prison?
10 A. In Skabrnja 2, I have no such information.
11 Q. Yes. Then we turn now to tab 23. That's Bruska. What can you
12 tell us about Bruska?
13 A. These are persons who were killed on the 21st of December, 1991.
14 They were exhumed on the 26th of April, 1996, when nine persons were
15 identified. And for six, the cause of death was established. Actually,
16 they first went missing and then they were found.
17 One person who was also exhumed on that day at the gravesite in
18 Bruska or, rather, Rodaljice, they were exhumed at the cemetery at
19 Rodaljice. There is also a person called Josip Marinovic who died on the
20 10th of June, 1992, as a result of mistreatment in Knin prison. This
21 information was obtained from the District Court in Zadar who ordered that
22 these bodies be exhumed.
23 Q. And you have provided actually the -- under tab 24, the
24 information from the court that you just mentioned?
25 A. Yes.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the witness provided this
2 document only during the preparation for his testimony. We have not yet a
3 translation. We would provide it later when it is done. That's tab 24.
4 Q. Let's now turn to tab 26. That's Ovcara, and paragraph 49 in the
5 indictment. Can you explain how you heard about this crime scene and what
6 your observations then were?
7 A. When talking about Ovcara, the beginning date is the 19th to the
8 20th of November, 1991, when the disappearance was reported of 255 persons
9 from the hospital in Vukovar, and all trace of them was lost at the time.
10 An investigation was started in the sense of searching for a grave where
11 the victims taken from the hospital in Vukovar may be, and the first trace
12 of a gravesite was discovered in 1992 when Dr. Clyde Snow discovered
13 remains of human bones close to the Ovcara farm, and that is why we refer
14 to it as the Ovcara case.
15 In 1993, the first exhumation was started as a trial, which was
16 soon stopped after it was begun. After that, the area was guarded right
17 up until 1996 when, in September, the exhumation of bodily remains started
18 fully, exhumation as well as the processing of bodies done by
19 international experts. The exhumation lasted for a month and a half, upon
20 which the bodies were taken to the forensic institute in Zagreb where data
21 were further processed, and the bodies were handed over to the Croatian
22 side only at the beginning of 1997.
23 From the moment of exhumation until the completion of the
24 processing of the bodies, experts from Croatia as well as local Serbs or
25 experts from Serbia were present throughout, so that these were experts
1 from both sides who were present both at the site of the exhumation and
2 later on when the processing was done in Zagreb.
3 Q. Dr. Strinovic, you mentioned a Dr. Clyde Snow, who was -- what
4 kind of a person was he? Did he belong to any organisation?
5 A. As far as I know, he was invited by the United Nations. Now,
6 exactly which organisation he belonged to, I don't know, but he was
7 invited by international organisations to take part in the search and
8 exhumation of the remains of the persons who were killed at Ovcara.
9 Q. You mentioned that in 1993 exhumations started but stopped. Why
10 did they stop? Why was it not done?
11 A. As far as I know, the Serb side insisted that the exhumation be
12 stopped. Now, the reason behind this is something I don't know.
13 Q. And when you say "the Serb side," whom do you mean? If you don't
14 know, just say you don't know.
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. And can you explain -- can you explain now tab 27, how we should
17 read this table. The case is that -- we have here the column "Case." Are
18 these the individual bodies or what does it mean, this number?
19 A. I apologise. I should like to complete my comments on the
20 previous table. I thought that this was just an introduction. I don't
21 think we've completed addressing the previous table. So may I add a few
22 brief remarks and then answer this question?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. From this table, which is to be found on page 27, we see the
25 causes of death for 188 persons who were killed with firearms, six with a
1 blunt object, which means trauma. In one case, it was probably a gunshot
2 wound, and in four cases it was not possible to ascertain the cause of
3 death. So these were the 200 bodies found in the grave near Ovcara.
4 Also, may I add very briefly that among the 200 bodies, 86 it was
5 ascertained that they were wounded persons. As for the others, it was not
6 possible to establish whether they had any wounds as they had been taken
7 from the hospital. The average age of the persons found at Ovcara was 32
8 and a half, so the range was between 16 and 72 years of age. Among them
9 there were two women. Those would be my comments.
10 As for this table that you asked me about showing first the case
11 or, rather, the number of cases, from 1 to 200, how the bodies were taken
12 out of the gravesite, put in body bags and marked with numbers 1 to 200.
13 The date is the date when the exhumation was carried out. Then the
14 anthropologist, the name of the person who carried out the exhumation and
15 later identification. The sex of the person; then the age, the range,
16 minimum-maximum, the probable age; then the height, the range of the
17 height, minimum-maximum; and the pathologist who carried out the post
18 mortem. Then came the column "Cause of death" to indicate that they were
19 killings, murders in all cases. And the last column, the probable
21 So these were persons who, after processing, provided sufficient
22 elements to be able to be identified with a high degree of probability.
23 This was 1996/1997 when for 57 persons it was possible to assume who they
24 were. That is the last column regarding identity.
25 Q. And the next, tab 28. That's a table where you can connect the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 body number with the name of the victim after identification; is that
3 A. Yes, that is correct. One can see exactly the number of cases, 1
4 to 200, the first and last names of the identified persons. And as I have
5 already said, 190 persons have been identified to this day, ten still
6 remain unidentified.
7 Q. Is the identification process still ongoing?
8 A. Yes. The process of identification, though it started in 1997,
9 continues. It started by applying classical methods, findings obtained
10 from anthropologists and forensic experts, and on the basis of their
11 findings, it was possible to identify some 100 persons. After that, over
12 the last three years, we are relying on DNA analysis for the
13 identification of the remaining cases which it is not possible to identify
14 applying classical methods.
15 Q. And you have provided under tab -- or, rather -- no. It's from
16 the Prosecution documentation on Ovcara. You have here selected, under
17 tab 29, some photos, and can you please briefly just explain what we see
18 on the photos.
19 The first photo, is that --
20 A. The first photograph shows the location where the gravesite is,
21 the Ovcara gravesite. You can see a blind -- a mild hollow which caused
22 people to suspect that there may be a grave there. Though there is
23 vegetation and trees around it, this was where trial digging was done, and
24 already on the surface, some bones were found which was a clue of the
25 existence of a mass grave.
1 Q. And the second photo?
2 A. On the second photograph, we see the stage when parts of bodies
3 are shown. So the exhumation was done so that first all the bodies were
4 taken out and then one by one. So we can see the surface layer where it
5 is possible to see dozens of bodies protruding from the ground.
6 Q. The next photos, do they refer to a particular victim? It's
7 called here number 5.
8 A. Each of these victims with a number already has a name, first and
9 last. Five photographs show only how these victims were thrown one on top
10 of another and mixed together, so how difficult it was to take out each of
11 those bodies without mixing up the remains of different persons.
12 Q. Yes. And you have here a photo with the number 112 and two more
13 photos related to this person. Who is he or was he?
14 A. This was a Croatian journalist, Sinisa Glavasevic, a person who
15 reported about the events in Vukovar from August 1991 until he was
16 captured and killed. So he was a reporter.
17 This shows the spot where he was found and the number under which
18 he was registered. Then on the second photograph you see the white bag in
19 which his body was placed, as was -- were the bodies of all other persons,
20 and taken to the Zagreb mortuary. And then you see the dentures of the
21 person, and it is easy to see, even a layman can see that certain
22 treatment was given to the teeth. And as each of us have -- has a
23 different situation regarding his teeth, so that the reporter could be
24 recognised on that basis too.
25 Q. And the next two photos relate to the body number 1. You picked
1 these photos. What can you tell us about these photos?
2 A. These photographs marked the number 1, it was the first body that
3 was exhumed at Ovcara, showing two injuries, one on the right side of the
4 head, a gunshot wound, an entry wound, and on the left-hand side, at the
5 temple, an exit gunshot wound, so it was a shot that went through the
7 Q. Yes. Let's now turn to tab 31. That's Baranja 1, paragraph 50 in
8 the indictment. What can you tell us about this gravesite and this case?
9 A. This was an event that took place on the 21st of September, 1991,
10 when the persons went missing, and they were found on the 23rd of
11 February, 1998 in a mass grave in Celija.
12 We have here 11 persons from the indictment. In the case of six,
13 we have the causes of death, as can be seen from this table. In the case
14 of 15 persons, the cause was trauma, that is blunt object, in the opinion
15 of the pathologist. There were damages on the bones that led them to
16 conclude that they were caused by a blunt object, and that is why that was
17 indicated as the cause of death.
18 Q. And under tab 32, you have given us these six persons that you
19 particularly checked in your institute. Is that what it means?
20 A. Yes. The names of six persons for whom the cause of death is
21 visible. As has already been stated, all of them were killed with blows
22 from a blunt object.
23 Q. And now turning to tab 33. That's Baranja, cases 2 and 3,
24 paragraph 51 in the indictment. What were your findings there?
25 A. This was an event of the 4th of October, 1991, when the persons
1 went missing, and they were found in several stages. In September 1999,
2 in Ilok, they were transferred from the SFRY in November and December
3 2002. A total of 17 persons of whom 13 died through gunshot wounds, one
4 due to trauma, two probably through gunshot wounds, and for two, the cause
5 of death was unknown. One of these persons, Vinko Oroz was captured in
6 Baranja, then he was in Borovo Selo and Dalj, and he was delivered on the
7 11th of November, 1998, from Novi Sad.
8 Q. And the person Marinko Somodjvorac, was he also transferred from
9 Novi Sad?
10 A. As far as I know, yes.
11 Q. In relation to this group of people, you have under tab 35
12 provided some photos. What can you tell us in relation to the photos?
13 Why did you select these photos?
14 A. Yes. In the case of Vinko Oroz, a person who was captured and
15 then found in Novi Sad, this was a person clearly killed by firearms. You
16 can see a gunshot wound with the entry wound, taken from the inside of the
17 skull. It is a typical wound and was quite certainly caused by firearms.
18 Also, Somodjvarac Marin there's also a clear gunshot wound found at the
19 back of the head and it is an entry wound, so clearly the person was
20 killed by a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
21 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Strinovic, apart from the cause of death of these
22 people, how did you know how these people were captured and delivered
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The information was obtained from
25 the government Commission for Detained and Missing Persons who found this
1 out, and I have conveyed it to you. So I don't know. I obtained the
2 information from the government commission regarding the movement of these
3 persons from the moment they went missing until they were discovered in
4 Novi Sad.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
7 Q. I would like now to turn to tab 36, Lovas minefield, paragraph 52
8 in the indictment. What were your findings there?
9 A. This was an event of the 15th of October, 1991, when the persons
10 were killed, and they were discovered in a mass grave in Lovas on --
11 between the 2nd and 9th of June, 1997. There were 21 persons from the
12 indictment. All of them were identified. And the cause of death in eight
13 cases were gunshot wounds; in one, a combination of gunshot and explosive
14 device; in one, trauma. For six cases, probably the cause of death was
15 gunshot wounds. An explosive device was the cause -- probable cause in
16 one case, and for four persons it was not possible to ascertain the cause
17 of death.
18 Q. Yes. And you have also provided here one photo, under tab 37,
19 from one of the victims. And what kind of a cause -- what cause of death
20 could you conclude from what you found in relation to this person?
21 A. Yes. It is a person from the indictment, an injury to the head, a
22 roundish, irregular defect on the skull which was probably caused by a
23 gunshot wound. So that was the cause of death, probable cause of death.
24 Q. We turn now to tab 38. That's Erdut 1, paragraph 53 in the
25 indictment. What were your findings in relation to these bodies?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. This was an event of the 9th of October, 1991, in Erdut. The
2 persons went missing on that day, and they were exhumed on the 14th of
3 October, 1998, in a mass grave at Celija. These were -- 11 persons were
4 involved. The causes of death for four persons were gunshot wounds; for
5 three, trauma; for three, probable gunshot wounds; and in one case the
6 cause of death is unknown.
7 Q. You have provided, tab 39, the cause of death for two people where
8 the Prosecution didn't have any documentation in-house. And you also
9 provided, under tab 40, two photos. Can you explain the photos?
10 A. Yes. These are persons -- that is correct. After that, two
11 photographs are shown of two persons figuring in the indictment. In both
12 cases, they are gunshot wounds. You can see a regular injury to the head
13 which indicates with certainty that these were gunshot wounds to the head.
14 Q. Now tab 41. That's Erdut case 2. Can you tell us about your
16 A. This was an event that took place on the 9th of October, 1991.
17 Three persons went missing and were later found in a mass grave in a well
18 in Borovo Selo. They were exhumed on the 20th of September, 2000. So
19 three persons were found and identified, and in the case of all three, the
20 cause of death was gunshot wounds.
21 Q. And in relation to tab 42, there is another Erdut case with one
22 person. It's case 7, paragraph 53. What can you tell us about this body?
23 A. This was an event of the 3rd of June, 1992, when the person went
24 missing and was found in a well in Dalj Planina, Dalj mountain, on the
25 26th of September, 2000, a person who was identified, and the cause of
1 death is unknown.
2 Q. Let's now turn to tab 43, Erdut Klisa, paragraph 54 of the
3 indictment. Please tell us your findings there.
4 A. It was an event that took place on the 11th or, rather, November
5 1991. Five persons who went missing and were found in the mass grave in
6 Celija and were exhumed on the 14th of October, 1998. All five
7 individuals have been identified. The causes of death can be seen from
8 the tables. Four were the result of gunshot wounds, and one cause of
9 death remained unknown.
10 Q. And you have also given us two photos in relation to -- in
11 relation to two of the victims. And what can we see from the photos?
12 A. Yes. On the photographs, we see the gunshot wounds in the head,
13 irregular wounds. And on the second photograph, we can see at least three
14 gunshot wounds to the head.
15 Q. Turning to tab 45, Vukovar, paragraph 54 and 55. What can you
16 tell us here?
17 A. This was an event that took place on the 20th of November, 1991.
18 That's the date when these persons disappeared. And they were found in
19 two localities, one in Dalj at the Catholic cemetery there on the 3rd of
20 March, 1998, which was when 11 victims were found. And in Dalj proper, or
21 the Lovas farm, 24 victims were found there on the 17th of April, 2001.
22 As we can see from the tables shown here, for the gravesite in
23 Dalj, there were -- there was one case, probably of a gunshot wound, nine
24 probably killed by explosives, and one individual whose cause of death
25 remains unknown.
1 In the Lovas farm gravesite, there were 20 gunshot wounds, one
2 probably gunshot wound, two traumas, and one cause of death remains
4 Q. And you have also provided under tab 46 the cause of death for
5 several of the victims. That is what you checked in your files in Zagreb;
6 is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. I'm now turning to tab 47, paragraph 56 in the indictment, Erdut
9 case 4. Can you explain your findings here.
10 A. The date of this event is the 10th of December, 1991, when these
11 persons went missing. They were found in the well in the district of Dalj
12 on the 28th of October, 1998. Three persons were found and identified,
13 and the causes of death as established were as follows: With two
14 individuals, it was trauma; with one person, it was probably a gunshot
16 Q. And you have also provided, under tab 48, two photos. What can we
17 see from the photos in relation to actually two persons?
18 A. Yes. These photographs refer to two persons. With the first
19 person, we can see the fragments, bone fragments, of the head, the lower
20 jaw, in fact, and the upper jaw and face. So on the basis of findings of
21 this kind, the person conducting the autopsy noted that trauma was the
22 cause of death, caused by a blunt object to the head which resulted in
23 bone fracture.
24 The second photograph shows part of the bones of the skull, which
25 was fragmented. And let me say that very often the bones of the head
1 suffer several fractures and are in pieces, the bones are fragmented, so
2 it is difficult to reconstruct them. But here we can see on that part of
3 the skull a regular defect on the lower part of the bone and a round
4 defect which indicates that a gunshot wound was the cause of death.
5 Q. Turning now to tab 49, paragraph 57 in the indictment, Erdut case
6 5. Can you explain your findings.
7 A. This was an event that took place on the 26th of December, 1991,
8 when these persons went missing. Their bodies were discovered in the
9 Daljski Atar well on the 28th of October, 1998. There were seven persons
10 on the indictment. We found six persons who were identified, and the
11 causes of death in five cases were gunshot wounds, in one case probably
12 gunshot wound.
13 Q. You have provided several photos under tab 51. Can you explain
14 the photos.
15 A. On the photographs, you can see the causes of death. On the first
16 photograph, you see the bone of the skull with the round defect, which
17 indicates a gunshot wound. The second photograph shows the body which is
18 fairly well preserved, and you can see the direction of the channel which
19 shows the metal rod moving from the neck to the roof of the skull where
20 there's a large defect, an entry wound to the head and neck from a
22 On the following picture, we can once again see this same kind of
23 gunshot wound. As I say, the body is well preserved. You can see the
24 soft tissues. And on the skull there is a large irregular defect, and the
25 rod which indicates the direction of the channel. And what you can see on
1 the skull is the exit wound to the skull.
2 On the following picture, this same case showing it when the bone
3 has been cleared up, and you can see the exact trajectory. What is at the
4 back is the exit wound. What you -- or entry one. What you see on the
5 front is the exit wound. So the person was shot in the back -- from the
7 And the last photograph shows once again a wound to the skull at
8 the nape of the neck, and it is a round defect of the gunshot-wound type.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff, if we could go back to --
10 briefly to tab 45.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: You can note paragraph 54, and you said it refers to
13 Vukovar. According to the indictment, it says Klisa, Erdut case 3. It
14 says here Catholic cemetery.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
16 JUDGE KWON: I understand that the Catholic cemetery is the place
17 where the bodies were found.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
19 JUDGE KWON: Erdut case 3 and Vukovar are the same thing. That's
20 my question.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. The grave -- the Catholic cemetery
22 Vukovar is the grave, I believe. So that's why I mentioned Vukovar.
23 JUDGE KWON: But the witness said Dalj, Catholic cemetery at Dalj.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
25 Q. Dr. Strinovic, just to confirm, we have listed here paragraph 54
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the indictment related to an incident in Klisa also concerning the
2 Erdut training centre, and you have here mentioned Catholic cemetery as
3 the grave. Which Catholic cemetery?
4 A. Are we talking about paragraph 54, Erdut Klisa? Is that what
5 we're talking about?
6 Q. At the moment we're talking about tab 45 in the binder, and your
7 tables refer to paragraph 54 in the indictment and 55 in the indictment.
8 A. Paragraph? Paragraph 45 is Skabrnja.
9 Q. No. It was tab -- tab 45 in the binder. Tab 45 in the binder,
10 not paragraph 45 in the indictment. If you look at your tables. And it
11 refers in your table to paragraph 54 in the indictment.
12 A. May I just make something clear? It seems that there is a
13 printing error linked to paragraph 54. It is paragraph 55, both for the
14 Catholic cemetery and the Dalj Lovas paragraph. It is the same table. So
15 it must be paragraph 55, the Catholic cemetery, and paragraph 55, Dalj
16 Lovas farm. In the Croatian text that I handed over to you it says
17 paragraph 55 for both.
18 Q. You have actually detected a mistake in the table done in the
19 translation. I'm sorry for this.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But if you compare the names given by Dr.
21 Strinovic on the -- in tab 46, they correspond with the Annex 55. Yes.
22 Thank you?
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you.
25 Q. I believe that we were talking now about tab 52. That is
1 paragraph 58 in the indictment, Erdut 6. What were your findings in
2 relation to this?
3 A. This event took place on the 21st of February, 1992, when four
4 persons went missing who were subsequently found in the mass grave of the
5 Daljski Atar on the 28th of October, 1998. They were four individuals.
6 For one, a gunshot wound was the cause of death; for another it was
7 gunshot plus explosive; and with one a trauma in one case, probably once
8 again caused by an explosion. So those are the four persons identified.
9 Q. And you did provide also under tab 53 several photos. Can you
10 explain the photos.
11 A. On the first photograph you can see once again part of the skull
12 bone with a regular defect; once again a gunshot wound with this first
13 individual. On the second photograph we see the bones of the head with a
14 large defect that can be seen in the area of the eyes and forehead. A
15 large portion of the bone is missing, and the person conducting the
16 autopsy considered that the injury was caused by a blunt object which
17 destroyed this part of the skull.
18 On the following photograph, Helena Albert was the person. A
19 combination of gunshot and explosive wounds. We can see the skin
20 underneath the hair and the nape of the neck where there is a large
21 irregular defect which could have been caused by either a gunshot wound or
22 injuries caused by explosives.
23 Q. Yes. And now turning to tab 54, Grabovac, paragraph 59 in the
24 indictment. And your findings, please.
25 A. This took place on the 4th of May, 1992, when five persons went
1 missing. They are contained in the indictment, and their bodies were
2 found in Beli Manastir on the 15th of April, 1998. Otherwise, they were
3 transferred from another grave and location in Tikves. The cause of
4 death, one gunshot wound, two probably caused by explosives, and with two
5 persons the cause of death was not established.
6 Q. Attached -- this should conclude the binder, and I have actually
7 only one more question, and that relates to Dubrovnik. You have not
8 provided any documentation in relation to Dubrovnik and the casualties
9 there. Can you explain that?
10 A. Through the government department, I tried to get information
11 about the victims in Dubrovnik, but I did not receive them.
12 Q. So your office was not dealing with the bodies of the Dubrovnik
13 schedule in the indictment?
14 A. That's right, yes.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, that concludes my
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Strinovic, just one question before I
20 actually go ahead with the individual cases. You mentioned in your
21 testimony a large number of locations, sites, which relate to persons who
22 lost their lives, were killed during the war, et cetera.
23 As far as I heard throughout the examination-in-chief, the only
24 place which you mentioned and which is located in the Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia or Republic of Serbia is Novi Sad; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So all the other places that you mentioned are outside the
3 territory of Serbia or, rather, outside the territory of the Federal
4 Republic of Yugoslavia. Is that right, Dr. Strinovic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, this Novi Sad that you mentioned reminds me of something that
7 Judge Kwon asked you about, whether you knew who was where when. Now, do
8 you know that in Novi Sad at the cemetery there, the bodies found in the
9 Danube were exclusively buried there, bodies flowing down the Danube and
10 floating down the Danube. Do you know how those bodies came to be in Novi
11 Sad and buried there?
12 A. As far as I know, these bodies that are exhumed in the Novi Sad
13 cemetery got to Novi Sad in the river Danube. They were found on the
14 banks of the Danube River, and after that, taken to Novi Sad where the
15 autopsies were conducted.
16 Q. Not only on the banks; they were floating along the river. And
17 when the citizens or the authorities see a body floating down the river,
18 then the police is called in, the border police, and they collect up those
19 bodies, or that body, and these persons were taken out of the waters of
20 the Danube and buried in Novi Sad. So there is no indication at all that
21 any of these victims fell victim on the territory of the Republic of
22 Serbia at all.
23 Do you have any indications that any of these casualties were
24 actually killed on the territory of the Republic of Serbia?
25 A. All I can do is repeat what I've already said. What I know about
1 this is that the bodies were found at the cemetery in Novi Sad. They were
2 exhumed there, and it is assumed that they were Croatian citizens and then
3 their bodies were transferred to Zagreb where the bodies were identified,
4 et cetera.
5 Q. All right, Mr. Strinovic. When were these bodies handed over to
7 A. As I said on several occasions, this was already in 1991 -- no.
8 1999, I'm sorry, and then 2001, 2002, and they're still coming in. Those
9 bodies are still coming in.
10 Q. Of course. So already in 1999, the authorities, the Yugoslav
11 authorities, that is, handed over to you the bodies for which they --
12 which were buried as persons unknown at the cemetery on Novi Sad because
13 they were floating down the Danube and for whom it could have been assumed
14 that they were victims from the conflicts that took place in Eastern
15 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, and so on. And that was within the
16 frameworks of cooperation that you said was ongoing from 1991. Is that
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. All right. As we've cleared up that matter and as it is the only
20 place found on the territory of Serbia, Novi Sad, and as it is not a
21 location where somebody lost their lives but only a place from which you
22 received the bodies, you therefore have no information that anybody could
23 have been killed on the territory of Serbia; right? Of the ones you
24 studied, the cases you studied and mentioned.
25 A. No. I have no information of that kind.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now I'd like to proceed and move on to your
3 You say in your statement, under point 4, that as a member of the
4 government commission, and I'm quoting you, I'm sure you'll recall this,
5 nothing malicious there. "As a member of the government commission, I was
6 coordinator for the medical team in the process of exhumation and
7 identification. That was the agreement that was made, that there should
8 be a physician, a specialist in forensic medicine present at each of these
9 exhumation cases. During the exhumations that took place in 1995, I
10 attended these on many occasions although the other physicians doing this
11 work supervised most of the exhumations."
12 Have I quoted you correctly? The paragraph starts, "As a member
13 of the government commission..."
14 A. Yes, I think you have.
15 Q. Thank you. And what emerges from this quotation, in fact, does it
16 emerge that you, Professor Strinovic, did not have any personal, if I can
17 put that way, personal, professional insight in the work of the teams for
18 the exhumations which you supervised?
19 A. Well --
20 Q. I'm talking about the criteria applied to your profession, on that
22 A. As I've already stated, the teams were selected from all over
23 Croatia, and they covered the whole of Croatia, and I was the person, just
24 the person who determined the groups to go to which localities, which
25 gravesites to conduct the exhumations, and then the processing and
1 investigation and the transport of the bodies for further investigation.
2 But they were individual teams made up of experts who actually did this
3 work. So I didn't supervise their work specifically at each site.
4 Q. That's what I understood you to say. So it was on behalf of the
5 government that you did all this work. You organised the work, you sent
6 the individual teams and individuals to the different localities, so you
7 were the man in charge of all this on behalf of the government; right?
8 I'm talking to the professional part of the work.
9 A. Yes, that is right. That is connected to the professional part,
10 the medical part, exhumation, identification, processing, that's it.
11 Q. Yes, of course. Now, tell me, does that mean, and I'm not quite
12 clear on this point, that each and every report on an exhumation would
13 have to be verified and certified by you? Does that mean that or not?
14 A. No. Every report on exhumation was submitted to the government
15 department headed by Mr. Grujic, who was present with the majority -- when
16 the majority of these exhumations took place.
17 Q. Yes. But he's not an expert in that field. But when I say
18 verified by you, I meant professional verification, in your professional
19 capacity. So it was not your duty to verify all the reports. That didn't
20 come under your duties, did it?
21 A. No, it did not.
22 Q. All right. So all these jobs that you're testifying about were
23 supervised by other physicians, actually, and as far as I understand you,
24 you would just from time to time visit the sites, visit some of the
25 locations. Would that be the standard practice that you applied? Would
1 that be what your activities entailed?
2 A. As I've already said, at the very beginning of our exhumations, I
3 was present, and I conducted some of them myself. From the medical
4 aspect, I was in charge of them. Later on, my colleagues took over this
5 role, and so my colleagues would go to perform the exhumations at the
6 different sites.
7 Q. Professor Strinovic, let's just understand each other here. I'm
8 not challenging your professional qualities at all. Quite the contrary, I
9 am saying that in view of your -- the direct work you did, and as far as I
10 understood, you would from time to time tour the localities. So I'm not
11 talking about the competent supervisor. I don't mean in the sense of your
12 professional qualities, I mean in the sense of the work you did when you
13 toured these localities. You were not there as a supervisor to control
14 the professional work of those teams. That's right, isn't it?
15 A. Yes, that's right. That is right, because usually there would be
16 one doctor with one assistant, and they were in charge of one site, one
17 locality, and covered the site from start to finish.
18 Q. Yes, I understand. So your opinion could not be - how shall I put
19 this? - accepted as some -- as competent supervisor to be accepted by one
20 and all, who would control that there and supervise it all, because you
21 didn't actually do the work yourself; right?
22 A. Yes. In most of the cases, that is right. I was not there
23 myself. My other colleagues conducted the work and were there.
24 Q. Right. That's why I said that I wasn't -- it wasn't a competent
25 supervisor whose opinion could be absolutely or relatively accepted as
1 right, not in view of your professional qualities, of course, but in view
2 of the activities you did and were linked to this. So we've cleared that
4 Now, in paragraph 10, you say that in the process of your work,
5 forensic medical professionals were used and only in other cases were
6 pathologists used. That's what you say.
7 Now, can we agree that the work of a pathologist engaged in
8 exhumations is completely unacceptable or, rather, can we say that it is
10 JUDGE MAY: What does that mean? What does that mean?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have understood that this
12 is not clear to Mrs. Retzlaff either or to you, I see. That is why I
13 wanted Professor Strinovic to explain it to you, to explain the
15 JUDGE MAY: Let him have the report, first of all, which the
16 accused is quoting from. Let him have a copy of his report.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What is the problem, Mr. May? I am
18 asking Professor Strinovic whether he can agree with me that the work of
19 pathologists at exhumations is not acceptable because they are not
20 forensic experts.
21 JUDGE MAY: There is no problem, Mr. Milosevic, but as you know
22 quite well, if you're asking a witness about his statement or his report,
23 the witness should have it in front of him. There may be things which you
24 misquote, though maybe not in this case.
25 Now, have you got a copy of that, Doctor? Right. Paragraph 10.
1 What about the -- the question is: Do pathologists have any role at all
2 in exhumations or can they play any part in that or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can explain once again the
4 procedure applied and how we in Croatia carried out the process of
5 exhumation and identification.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Professor Strinovic, let me first --
8 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish. Let him answer. Let him answer in
9 his own way and then you can ask some more questions.
10 Yes. Go on, Dr. Strinovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So the work attached to exhumation
12 and identification as a rule whenever possible was done by specialists in
13 forensic medicine because they were qualified and trained to do that.
14 Their work consists of establishing causes of death, death caused by
15 violence, identification in cases of natural disasters and so on. So
16 wherever possible, specialists in forensic medicine were used.
17 However, as there was a lot to do and there were so many cases to
18 address, when there were experienced pathologists who had earlier on in
19 their careers engaged in forensic cases, we have forensic medical experts,
20 but in some regions, as in Zadar, an experienced old pathologist who
21 specialises in pathology also is an expert for forensic medicine, so he's
22 also engaged by the courts as an expert. So in such cases, pathologists
23 were also used who assisted specialists in forensic medicine. So when
24 those were lacking and there was a lot to do, we had experienced
25 pathologists, they lent a helping hand and assisted the pathologists.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: We'll continue this after the adjournment.
2 Dr. Strinovic, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes.
3 There is one matter I want to deal with, an administrative matter,
4 and it is this, to let the Court know that we will not be sitting in the
5 week after Easter. You can pass that on, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, to the
6 others in your team. We are producing a calendar. You should have it
7 next week, but meanwhile, you should know that in advance.
8 Yes. Twenty minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Professor Strinovic, my question was very precise: Regarding a
14 pathologist and a specialist in forensic medicine are two quite different
15 specialties, are they not?
16 A. Yes, they are.
17 Q. So those two different specialists, an expert of forensic medicine
18 is qualified for exhumations and identifications, is he not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And a pathologist is not qualified for exhumations and
21 identifications, is he?
22 A. Well, let me tell you, there is no written rule or no law that
23 regulates matters in that way. But I repeat again that there are
24 situations and cases, and that was the situation in Croatia, that we did
25 have experienced people, people who during their long careers, did also
1 engage in forensic medicine, and that is why they were qualified enough to
2 be able to do that work.
3 Q. But tell me, please, in your team of physicians that carried out
4 the work which you supervised in the way we have established, how many of
5 them were not experts in forensic medicine?
6 A. Just now it's difficult for me to give you a precise figure, but
7 really, very few of them, a minimum number of them were of that profile.
8 Q. So you are claiming that pathologists are qualified to carry out
9 exhumations and identifications.
10 JUDGE MAY: The witness has given his explanation. We really
11 can't take the matter any further. If there is some point turning on it,
12 you can ask him, but it seems that we've covered it.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, let me clarify then.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Is it true that establishing the cause of death and the identity
16 of a person is within the sphere of competence of forensic medicine?
17 A. Yes. As a principle, that is correct, but I have explained why
18 some pathologists are also capable of providing the answers to such
20 Q. In paragraph 21, you say that, "I, as the coordinator of the team
21 for identification, coordinated the work. However, I neither supervised
22 the work of the identification teams, nor did I examine their reports."
23 Does that confirm that you did not assess the quality of the work
24 of the doctors who engaged in the identification? Is that right?
25 Therefore -- yes, please.
1 A. My duty was to coordinate this work, and the work itself was done
2 by qualified experts who did not need supervision.
3 Q. But you had no direct participation in the identification, did
5 A. I participated in the identification from 1991/1992, when that
6 kind of identification started, to the present day. I have been working
7 in constantly, continuously, in the team for identification.
8 Q. When I say "you," I mean your person involvement in the
9 identification. In how many identifications did you take part or, rather,
10 how many persons did you personally identify?
11 A. Again, I can't give you the exact number, but certainly the number
12 would be around 1.000 or something like that.
13 Q. Let us clear up another matter having to do with these expert
15 When you testified a moment ago, you repeatedly said that this was
16 such-and-such an event when death had occurred on such-and-such a day.
17 For instance, you say in October 1991, or January 1992, et cetera. How
18 were you able to establish when the victims that were exhumed were killed?
19 A. This is information obtained through the government office, and
20 they were obtained by processing data, but I did not directly participate
21 in the processing of those data. I received those data from the
22 government office, and they obtained them from a number of sources.
23 Q. So you built in those data obtained from the government office and
24 their sources into your report; is that right?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Therefore, can we agree that it's not up to forensic medical
2 experts to be able to indicate the date and place where a person was
3 killed? You can report on the place where somebody was exhumed but not
4 where someone was killed. Is that right or not?
5 A. Yes, that is right, but to have a complete picture, we use the
6 data of the government office linked to the date of disappearance and our
7 data obtained through exhumation and subsequent processing.
8 Q. I understand, Dr. Strinovic. But, for instance, at the beginning
9 among the photographs you showed, you said this was a Serb who was killed
10 because his son was in the army. Was it your job to establish why someone
11 was killed? How do you know that he wasn't killed because he was a Serb?
12 Within the framework of your expertise, do you include justification for
13 the killing of a Serb by explaining that he was killed because his son was
14 in the army? Is that an expert forensic medical finding that you conveyed
15 here or were you just conveying an assumption of yours?
16 A. In this particular case, I just commented on the information
17 obtained from the government office, because this was a unique case of a
18 Serb killed in Vocin at the time. And according to the information
19 obtained at the time, the most probable reason for him being killed was
20 the one I gave.
21 Q. Yes. But -- I understand, but you are testifying about things
22 that are not part of your expertise. You're just conveying an assumption
23 reached by another body.
24 A. Yes. That is not directly linked to the cause of death or to my
1 Q. That's exactly what I was saying, that you said something that has
2 nothing to do with your work.
3 Does the same apply to when you said that somebody died from the
4 consequences of mistreatment in the prison at Knin? How could you reach
5 that conclusion? Can you conclude that someone was dead because of
6 injuries he sustained? How can you say that they were consequences of
7 mistreatment in the prison at Knin?
8 A. In this case, I said that this was information we obtained from
9 the District Court in Zadar, and it was quoted from this report from the
10 court. This was not my own conclusion, nor do I have any evidence. It is
11 just what is written in the report of the District Court in Zadar. So
12 it's not my own information. I could not nor did I check it out.
13 Q. That is exactly what I wish to establish. In paragraph 22, you
14 say that the report on causes of death applies to cases processed at the
15 Institute for Forensic Medicine in Zagreb or cases that experts from the
16 institute processed in the field. So the report on the cause of death are
17 not a part of the report that you are referring to.
18 A. I don't know which report you're talking about, this report we
19 referred to today or this one linked to Zagreb with the table and the
20 exact figures as to the number of cases processed in Zagreb.
21 Q. I'm asking you about both.
22 A. In relation to Zagreb, I say that it is right. As for the rest,
23 all the findings were taken, including the findings of the pathologist in
24 Zadar who did the autopsies for Skabrinja, for instance, which was an area
25 that he covered.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Very well. That is quite sufficient. And having said that, is it
2 clear that the findings of the pathologist have not been expertly verified
3 and cannot be seriously considered with respect to causes of death and the
4 sources of injuries? Just say yes or no.
5 A. I can repeat that in this particular case when we're referring to
6 this pathologist, that they were fresh bodies. That is, shortly after
7 death they were autopsied. The cause of death was quite clear. The
8 protocols were clearly written, with clear descriptions, so it is easy to
9 see what the cause of death was.
10 As I was saying, this particular pathologist was a forensic expert
11 in the court in Zadar for many years, and he was a recognised expert in
12 that field.
13 Q. Tell me, Dr. Strinovic, as Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff asked you whether
14 you did exhumations of killed Serbs, and then she also said she wouldn't
15 go into that because it was not the case of the other side that they're
16 interested in, but you, nevertheless, answered yes, that you did.
17 So tell me, please, did you conduct autopsies of the officers and
18 soldiers of the JNA that were killed?
19 A. I can say yes, and this was in 1991. I think it was sometime in
20 October 1991 when some soldiers in the barracks in Bjelovar were killed,
21 some 20 persons, due to an explosion in the barracks, and both officers
22 and soldiers were killed, of the former JNA. And those cases were
23 processed in Zagreb, and immediately after that, they were handed over to
24 the military authorities in Zagreb.
25 Q. Very well. But tell me, can you tell us something about the
1 injuries found on their bodies and what kind of weapons were used to
2 provoke those injuries?
3 A. I have not prepared myself to report on these cases that you're
4 asking me about, but to the best of my recollection when we're talking
5 about the Bjelovar barracks, there was a large explosion which caused the
6 death of a large number of people. These were injuries caused by
7 explosive devices. That's all I can say at the moment.
8 Q. Very well, then. As a forensic doctor, did you do autopsies of
9 killed Serbs, and how many, where, and when?
10 A. May I just list some cases in which we did process killed Serbs.
11 This was in 1991. Snjegovic, 13 persons, Vukovar Novo Grobija [phoen]
12 where in large grave there are more than 900 persons. Among them were
13 about 70 Serbs that were also processed. Then there is the Paulin Dvor or
14 Zvanusa where 18 bodies were found. Pakracka Poljana, 19 bodies found.
15 The Medacki Dzep, or pocket, 11 bodies that were processed. Karlovac, I
16 think at the bridge, 13 persons who were killed and processed in Zagreb.
17 And after 1995, at the Knin cemetery 300 persons were exhumed, 300 of Serb
18 ethnicity; in Gracac, 154; in Korenica, 27. Those persons were exhumed,
19 processed. And the last group I referred to, consisting of 481 persons,
20 Knin, Gracac, and Korenica, a they were processed. The process of
21 identification is ongoing. 112 persons have been identified from Knin,
22 but the process continues. Relatives are being invited to come from
23 Croatia and Serbia to identify their family members.
24 And the Gracac gravesite has been processed completely. We are
25 now collecting additional information and albums are being prepared which
1 are being sent to where relatives of the missing persons are residing. So
2 we're preparing the identification. The same applies to Korenica.
3 So classical identification is applied as in all other cases, but
4 also DNA identification is done when the relatives are not sure or when
5 the information is unclear, then we use DNA analysis also.
6 So this process of identification of Serbs in Croatia is
7 continuing. It is slow, as applies to identification in general. We have
8 more than 500 bodies at Mirogoj, the cemetery at Zagreb, persons killed
9 ever since 1991. They have not yet been identified. We are trying to
10 establish their identity, but it is a slow process. And the same applies
11 to these cases that I'm referring to now, that is, Croatian citizens of
12 Serb ethnicity whose bodies have been exhumed at these cemeteries that I
13 have listed and for whom the process of identification is ongoing, and we
14 hope we will be able to deal with the problem successfully soon.
15 Q. Talking about the autopsies of killed Serbs, can you say anything
16 very briefly about the injuries found on their bodies and the objects with
17 which those injuries were inflicted?
18 A. Well, I could give you precise data after a detailed processing or
19 written traces of the same, but what I can say is that they were all types
20 of injuries, mostly gunshot wounds and wounds caused by explosives. As to
21 the other instruments that were used, it's difficult for me to talk about
22 them without any prepared material, written documents. So I can't be more
23 precise on that.
24 Q. What other forms of injuries and instruments used?
25 A. So after gunshot wounds and explosion wounds, which are the most
1 numerous, there were injuries of the type, for example, of stabs, stabbing
2 wounds, cuts by knives, blunt objects, and so on.
3 Q. So those were the injuries that did not result as the effects of
4 modern weaponry; right?
5 A. Yes, that would be it.
6 Q. Is that it, Dr. Strinovic?
7 A. Well, I can't really comment. They are the causes of death that I
9 Q. All right. And did you carry out the autopsy of soldier Marko
10 Utrzan who had been captured as a JNA member, was in a camp in Zagreb and
11 in mid 1991 he was killed by a killer whose identity is known and the
12 bodily remains were handed over to the family members afterwards?
13 A. I couldn't answer that question.
14 Q. All right. You can't answer that. Fine. Now, did you carry out
15 the autopsy or were present at the autopsy of the Zec family which was
16 killed at the beginning of the war in Zagreb? And, for example -- do you
17 know anything about them, let me ask you first. The Zec family killed in
18 Zagreb. Did you carry out the autopsy?
19 A. I do know about the Zec case. I do know that the father was
20 killed first, and after that, the mother and daughter were killed. This
21 happened in Zagreb and an autopsy was conducted. I think that they were
22 gunshot wounds but I can't give you any details.
23 Q. Tell me, please, were they too, the family members of the Zec
24 family, the Serbs who were killed in Zagreb, are they included in your
25 report as being victims, as is defined here, of the Chetnik aggression or
1 victims of the homeland war?
2 A. They are described in the report on autopsies conducted in Zagreb,
3 in the overall number, the total number of victims.
4 Q. As you supplied us with facts and figures there, and this is not
5 only a forensic finding but others too, that -- other information that you
6 got from other organs, do you know that the perpetrator of that crime was
7 identified, the killer of the Zec family, that he is a known perpetrator?
8 A. I know that there was a court trial in Zagreb, that some persons
9 were accused and charged with the killing. How many, I don't know. I do
10 know that court proceedings took place. Now, who was arrested and so on,
11 I don't know.
12 Q. I'm sure you know that they were set free as well, that they were
13 -- the judgement was that they were not guilty and that one of those
14 individuals received a medal as well.
15 JUDGE MAY: I think we're going a very long way from the witness's
16 evidence. Yes, let's move on.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The person was acquitted. Yes,
18 Mr. May.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You were asked by Mrs. Retzlaff about the difference in the number
21 of persons killed, the difference between 11.834 persons, which is the
22 figure in the report pertaining to the total number of persons killed
23 during the war, and it is in Colonel Grujic's report, and the 5.140 whom
24 you mention. I did not understand your answer fully on that score and the
25 difference and why that difference. I think they were soldiers, so that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you did not carry out any forensic medical analysis. Is that right? Was
2 that the reason?
3 A. As I've already said, it was a large number of cases who, at the
4 beginning of the war when the number of victims was greatest, that all
5 those persons were not taken to the morgues where morgues existed. This
6 was not possible. And as they were mostly military personnel who had died
7 on the battlefield, procedure was stepped up and those persons were not
8 taken to the morgues for autopsy. There was a speedy process of
9 identification and determining the cause of death, and those persons were
11 Q. And how many of those 5.140 killed were soldiers? Can you tell me
12 that, please?
13 A. Well, I don't have the information here, so I can't answer that
14 question, but there was a certain number. How many exactly, I can't say.
15 Q. Tell me then, please, with this figure of 11.834 persons and then
16 this other figure of 5.140 persons killed, which is included in the 11.834
17 figure, how many of those were Serbs who were killed?
18 A. I don't have the exact figures, but as far as I know, this
19 includes the Serbs from the Vukovar new cemetery.
20 As for the other cases, I can't really say. So about 70 persons
21 are linked to the Vukovar new cemetery or Novo Grobija, and I can't tell
22 you about the others.
23 Q. All right. Dr. Strinovic, I assume you know the figure about
24 7.000 Serbs killed. Does that mean that these figures of yours only
25 include those who would represent just 1 per cent of the Serbs killed,
1 that just 1 per cent of the Serbs killed are contained in your figures?
2 How do you explain that?
3 JUDGE MAY: That presupposes that the figure of 7.000 of Serbs
4 killed has been accepted. We've been over this. It includes, as far as I
5 recollect, the entire period up to 1995 and beyond.
6 But, Dr. Strinovic, I don't think you can really answer this
7 question. Do you know about how many Serbs there were killed?
8 A. I don't have the figures about the exact number of Serbs killed --
9 JUDGE MAY: Move on, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- in Croatia.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. All right, Mr. Strinovic. You mentioned that you were directly
13 involved in the autopsy of the soldiers killed and their officers, the JNA
14 ones, in the Bjelovar barracks. Do you happen to remember their number
15 and where their bodies were buried?
16 A. I can't remember the exact number at the moment. I think there
17 are about 20 of them. And as far as I recall, all the bodies, after being
18 processed, were handed over to the military authorities in Zagreb and were
19 transferred to the former military hospital. It was the former JNA that
20 was still there.
21 Q. Well, I'm asking you that because up until the present day, the
22 Croatian authorities have not given the body of soldier Savic from the
23 Orasje area over. Do you know anything about that? They haven't handed
24 the body over yet.
25 A. All I know is that they were bodies that were seriously damaged,
1 and identification was impossible, so we put "NN", "Victim Unknown," next
2 to some of the bodies. That's what I can tell you.
3 Q. All right. And in Bjelovar and other places in Croatia, many
4 Serbs were killed. For example, at Kirsch's farm, there were a large
5 number of Serbs killed. Some of those Serbs were autopsied at your
6 institute in Zagreb, such as the body of Bosko Radonjic, for example, from
7 the Babinac Bijelovar village.
8 So my question for you is this: Can you tell me whether it is
9 possible for the photographs of that particular autopsy to be sent in?
10 Because from what I can see, some parts of those -- of the photographs
11 that your institute sent to the International Red Cross Committee have
12 been cut with scissors, parts cut off. And the photographing itself was
13 done in a special way to cover up certain injuries to the body of Bosko
14 Radonjic, for example. So can we obtain from you --
15 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute. Have you any idea about what the
16 accused is talking? No.
17 No. Mr. Milosevic, this kind of detail is not for the witness,
18 even if true. These sound like your suggestions.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right. And this is a question for the witness: Can we obtain
21 the findings, photographs, and information relating, as I said, to this
22 individual who was autopsied at your Zagreb institute so that we have a
23 complete set of documents available?
24 A. For each individual for which an autopsy was carried out at the
25 institute in Zagreb, a court order can be issued for all the documents to
1 be handed over.
2 Q. All right, Doctor. In view of the fact that you yourself were the
3 coordinator of the medical part of the exhumation and identification
4 process, and as you yourself said you appointed the teams for that job,
5 what were the criteria you used for setting up the commissions of
6 physicians and others to do this job?
7 A. These were experts, that is to say, people who had practical
8 experience in forensic medicine or were highly experienced pathologists
9 and people who, in our opinion, were well able to do the job, to conduct
10 the exhumations and to conduct the autopsies later on. So that all the
11 experienced forensic medical experts available in Croatia were put at our
12 disposal and those were the people who did the job.
13 Q. And were there any work methodology -- was there any work
14 methodology that was prescribed that all the teams had to adhere to, or
15 did each physician work to the best of his own ability and did what he
16 thought best in the given -- under the given circumstances?
17 A. As the work evolved - I'm talking about the first exhumations - so
18 the experts became better trained. And quite certainly those who went on
19 location for the first time, they were told what their duties were, how
20 the work was to be done, and the essential points to be borne in mind when
21 conducting an exhumation. And that was also true when it came to data
22 processing or the autopsies themselves and everything else involved.
23 Q. Can I then conclude, Dr. Strinovic, that all their findings and
24 opinions were accepted by you, that you accepted all their findings and
1 A. As a rule, I can read out the opinions stated and the findings and
2 comment, but each person was in -- responsible for their own opinions and
3 their findings. So in each case, they were authorised court experts, well
4 able to do their job.
5 Q. As the team coordinator, did you have insight into or, rather,
6 have occasion to see reports concerning the autopsies of Serbs killed in
7 Paulin Dvor whose bodies in 1997 were transferred from that place to the
8 environs of Gospic where investigators of the other side over there found
9 them in 2001 in cabbage barrels, barrels used to store cabbage?
10 A. Yes, I have been informed about those cases. They were at the
11 institute in Zagreb which is where the autopsies were conducted. It was a
12 highly complex procedure for identification. As I say, the bodies were
13 processed by our institute's experts.
14 Q. You talk of pathologists. You said that the pathologists
15 conducted the processing of the victims of the war at the beginning, the
16 first victims, and that that's when you used pathologists. From what I
17 can see of the autopsy findings, they also worked towards the end of the
18 war, such as Anto Blazanovic, in 1998 in Berak, Drinko Balicevic, and
19 other persons. How do you explain that?
20 A. These were all individuals who had, over a long period of time,
21 worked in conducting exhumations and, some of them, identifications, so
22 that they had gained sufficient experience over all those years to be able
23 to do the jobs themselves, which is why they did the job.
24 Q. But they are not forensic medical experts; right?
25 A. Dr. Blazanovic is now just about to take his forensic medical
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 examination, and the other doctor, which attended exhumations only as a
2 rule, he worked on that for four or five years.
3 Q. Now, from your -- the aspects of you as a professional: Is it
4 possible to carry out the identification of bodily remains or to assume
5 that there were bodies there in one locality, whereas in the -- on the
6 particular site where it is assumed the bodies lay, no human remains were
7 actually found? Is that possible?
8 A. If there is any information that a gravesite existed, and if we
9 establish that there was something on that site, that is to say that the
10 soil had been moved, buried and uncovered, then there is -- we can have
11 our suspicions and doubts. But if there are absolutely no bodily remains,
12 no remains of bones or anything else, then it would be difficult to say
13 that with certainty.
14 Q. All right. Tell me then, how come within the investigation team
15 of the District Court in Karlovac, for example, you assumed with your
16 investigating team that on location number 6 at a place called Novo Selo,
17 number 82, there were the body remains of Ivan and Marjia Katic, and you
18 found not one single human bodily part or part of their clothing on that
19 particular site?
20 Let me remind you: This arbitrary observation is to be found in
21 the minutes and records of the District Court in Karlovac, County Court in
22 Karlovac. 7726. The date is the 1996, the 2nd and 5th of June, in fact,
23 1996. Reports dating to that time.
24 JUDGE MAY: Before the witness is required to answer that sort of
25 detail, can you assist as to this particular investigation?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise but I did not understand
2 the question fully. What do you wish me to explain?
3 JUDGE MAY: He is asking you about an investigation team of the
4 District Court in Karlovac, of a place called Novo Selo, and he mentions a
5 couple. Do you know anything about that? No.
6 No, Mr. Milosevic, the witness can't deal with that.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Well, you took part in the matter, in the team. You were in the
9 expert team set up by the District or County Court of Karlovac. Or
10 perhaps you did not. Maybe my information is incorrect. Did you or not?
11 A. I don't know which case you're referring to. I'd have to see the
12 papers to see what you're talking about and then perhaps I could give you
13 more information. Because I don't have the documents, I don't know who
14 was there or who did what.
15 Q. All right. Do you remember - and if so, how do you explain the
16 fact - I say that papers exist, documents exist, and I give you the number
17 of the court file in the County Court in Karlovac. The date was 1996, and
18 I quoted the exact date.
19 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. Why don't you give the witness
20 whatever paper you have, and it may be that he will be able to assist you.
21 But it's no good reeling off a lot of numbers and dates in the hope that
22 he's going to remember in some way. You've got the court file. Give it
23 to him and then he can have a look at it and may be able to assist you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am asking the witness whether he
25 knows anything about it. He says he doesn't. I asked him whether it is
1 possible to establish, without finding any remains of tissue belonging to
2 a human, that people were killed on that spot or had been buried on that
3 spot. So I asked him --
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, how can he possibly answer completely out of the
5 blue without any documentation, without any reference? He will have done
6 a great number of these cases. It's simply not fair to reel off, as I
7 say, all these statistics and then imagine that he can remember off the
8 top of his head. If you have got any document which supports what you
9 say, give it to the witness and let him look at it. Otherwise, we're just
10 wasting our time.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And do you remember, as you don't
12 remember this, I assume that the witness had the documents that he
13 personally had worked on, Mr. May, as he's testifying about some documents
14 that he did not work on at all. But I suppose that those he personally
15 was involved in that he would have. If my assumption is wrong, then
16 certainly he doesn't have to answer my question.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. How do you explain the fact that you came to the conclusion - and
19 this is in the report in the District Court in Karlovac --
20 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... it's absolutely
21 pointless. If you've got the report there, in which case, put it in front
22 of him. Otherwise, he doesn't remember and he can't help you. Now,
23 either you put a document to him or we move on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, may I ask him a question
25 about another person without you saying in advance that he doesn't know
1 that? He processed many individuals. For example, Cindric Marko, born in
2 1926, in Slunj. It says "probably gunshot wound to the head." And before
3 that, you describe that the body was disintegrating, that only some bones
4 and some tissue was found and no head. I'm quoting from your report.
5 Does that mean that your opinion is based on a statement or an assumption
6 or was there some particular need? Is it possible --
7 JUDGE MAY: No. We're not going on in this way. What are you
8 referring to? What document are you referring to?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm referring to the report of the
10 District Court in Karlovac, KRI number 227 dated 1996.
11 JUDGE MAY: Put it to the witness. Put it in front of him so he
12 can see it.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't have that document with me.
14 I assumed that the witness could remember it. But that report is in
15 Croatia, in their court in Karlovac, and I can get hold of a copy.
16 So the question is if he cannot remember this particular case, but
17 I didn't hear him say that.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Is it possible then -- please give me your expert opinion. Is it
21 possible to establish the injury to a part of the body when that port of
22 the body was not seen by the person performing the autopsy? And what
23 would be your comment about doctors acting in that way who describe an
24 injury of a part of a body that they hadn't seen, as in this case the
25 injury to the head and the head is missing?
1 A. As a rule, an expert in forensic medicine would have to see
2 something to be able to reach his conclusion. I don't know anything about
3 this specific case, so it's difficult for me to comment. But as a rule,
4 there's either something visible or there's something suspect but again
5 visible, or there's just a story which cannot lead to any conclusion
6 regarding cause of death.
7 Q. Very well. Let me not torment you by insisting on this question.
8 Let me move on.
9 Tell me, Doctor, parts of fragments of mines and explosives, do
10 they remain in the body for some time or do they penetrate the body and
11 cannot be found during autopsy?
12 So the question is: Do they stay in the body for some time or do
13 they go right through the body and cannot be found? You have a lot of
14 experience. Would you tell me on the basis of your experience.
15 A. That certainly depends on a number of factors. For instance, the
16 strength of the charge or the power of the explosive device. I can just
17 say one thing; that those fragments or pieces of a shell or a bomb is
18 something that it is very difficult to find during autopsies. But during
19 the last three or four years, the bodies are X-rayed, put through an
20 X-ray, and then in quite a large number of cases we can find fragments,
21 shrapnel, in the body. So what cannot be seen normally can be seen on the
22 X-ray. Which cannot be seen by the naked eye can be seen upon X-raying.
23 So it is difficult to give you a precise answer whether those
24 fragments of explosive devices pass through the body or stay in the body,
25 because it depends on a number of factors and there is not a single answer
1 that can be given to that question.
2 Q. As far as I have been seen as being able to see in literature on
3 this subject, mostly they stay in the body and can be found. Now you said
4 that you found them on a large number of bodies by X-raying. You found
5 these remnants of mines and explosive devices. Isn't that so? But if you
6 have a body, because of the time that has elapsed since the time of death,
7 the tissue has disintegrated and you see only bones, and it was a victim
8 of explosion, and if that body is buried in a plastic bag or a coffin, is
9 it realistic to expect shrapnels to be found in the bones of the victim or
10 in the clothing or at the bottom of the bag or the coffin? Is that a
11 logical assumption?
12 A. That again depends on a number of elements. When the body was put
13 in the bag; was it immediately after death or later? And it is to be
14 expected if certain metal fragments or shrapnels were in the body after
15 death and afterwards the body was put in the bag, then naturally those
16 metal parts, that do not disappear, should be found where they were
17 lodged, in the bag or in the bones or in the body.
18 Q. Do you know that during exhumations of bodies in Skabrnja carried
19 out, as I noted, on the 6th of June by the District Court in Zadar when a
20 record was taken, number 436/96, that not in a single case were shrapnels
21 found in the body, in the clothing, or in the plastic bag or in the
22 coffin, yet the pathologists claim that they were victims of mines and
23 explosives. Is that possible? So not in a single case were those
24 remnants found, and yet this conclusion was drawn that they were the
25 victims of explosions.
1 A. In Skabrnja, the persons who were exhumed on the 6th of June,
2 1996, the cause of death was established to be explosive, and only in a
3 few cases, that is in four cases.
4 Q. Yes, but no shrapnels were found in any single case?
5 A. Why not -- why the fragments were not found, possibly they were
6 such small fragments that they were not visible. And in Zadar they were
7 not X-rayed, so it is quite possible for people to be killed by
8 explosions, yet the fragments are not found as a result of autopsy.
9 Q. How, then, can you come to the conclusion that that was the cause
10 of death? And they were exhumed in 1996. How, then, in your professional
11 opinion, could such a conclusion be reached?
12 A. The conclusion is reached on the basis of damage to the clothing
13 and damage to the tissue and bones. And those bodies were still
14 relatively well preserved at the time of autopsy, and this can be seen
15 from the autopsy reports here in the court.
16 Q. But do you allow, Dr. Strinovic, for the possibility that these
17 are omissions made during autopsies or, alternatively, that those people
18 did not die in the way described? For example, Mirko Kardum, born 1919.
19 The conclusion is that in the chest and stomach he suffered penetrating
20 shrapnel wounds. And during the autopsy, none of that was found.
21 A. Possibly that person -- the person doing the autopsy saw damage to
22 the tissue and bones in that area and yet the shrapnel simply was not
24 Q. Very well, Doctor. On that occasion in Skabrnja, 27 persons were
25 exhumed and identified. The bodies were skeletonised, and the person who
1 did the autopsy says that the cause of death was haemorrhagic shock.
2 So my question to you is: Is this method of reaching conclusions
3 acceptable from the point of view of forensic medicine? Just tell me yes
4 or no. The bodies were in skeleton form. The person said the cause of
5 death was haemorrhagic shock. My question is: Is such a methodology
6 acceptable from the point of view of forensic medicine?
7 A. It is not acceptable. But the cause of death is either gunshot
8 wounds or explosives which probably caused the haemorrhagic shock. And
9 what is stated as the cause of death is either gunshot or explosive
10 injuries and the like.
11 Q. But here it says the cause of death is haemorrhagic shock. Isn't
12 that so?
13 A. Yes. But also the injuries which provoked the shock are
15 Q. So is this acceptable from the point of view of forensic medicine,
16 that a body that is skeletonised can be said to have -- to have the cause
17 of death established in this way?
18 A. No. I would never have written it down in this way.
19 Q. Thank you. And during the autopsy of Zeljko Rogoljic, upon
20 instructions of the District Court in Osijek - and he was a member of the
21 National Guards - a specialist in forensic medicine says the cause of
22 death was gunshot wounds in the chest and stomach. And then in the
23 autopsy report it says that by external examination it was established
24 that the face and the base of the skull were badly damaged as a result of
25 explosive and fragmentation of projectiles.
1 Tell me whether this is an acceptable conclusion and on the basis
2 of these and similar cases, would it be necessary to have direct insight
3 into the work of pathologists and specialists in forensic medicine who
4 took part in the processing of these data which you coordinated?
5 A. It is very hard for me to comment on this example. Now, why it
6 was written in this way, I don't know why this cause of death was stated.
7 Now, whether a kind of revision is required of these findings again is
8 something I can't say.
9 Q. I just gave you a few examples to the extent to which I have
10 access to information and comments which find that these are quite
11 unacceptable from the point of experts in forensic medicine. Wouldn't you
12 think that some supervision is required to establish which part of this is
13 true and which is not?
14 A. This is something that could certainly be done.
15 Q. Thank you. Talking about Lovas, this side opposite claims that
16 people were killed in Lovas by being forced to go into a minefield. We
17 heard several allegations to that effect, that people were forced into a
18 minefield and were killed there. That is how people were killed,
20 Tell me, Dr. Strinovic, is it true that according to your own
21 results, and I have this table of yours, I don't need to show it to you
22 because you're certainly familiar with it, according to your results, only
23 one person out of those in Lovas was killed as a result of the effect of
24 an explosive device. Those are your results, aren't they?
25 JUDGE MAY: Before you answer, you must have the document in front
1 of you to which I take it the accused is referring. It's tab 36 in our
2 document, in the binder.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have this table. It is
4 attached to the statement --
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. This witness should have it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- of Mr. Strinovic.
7 JUDGE MAY: You can deal with the question.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've put the question. And as far
9 as I have been able to understand, he answered it.
10 As you know, Mr. May --
11 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer. Do stop talking,
12 Mr. Milosevic, all the time. Let the witness answer.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As is visible on this table, there
14 were eight persons who were killed through gunshot wounds, one a
15 combination of gunshot and explosive, and one person probably as the
16 result of an explosion. So that was the question: Why so few explosive
18 What I heard, and I heard it from the government office, that is
19 from information obtained from that office, was that those persons were
20 forced into a minefield, that they didn't go into the minefield and were
21 killed because of that. That is the information I received from the
22 government office. That is what I was told.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Very well, Doctor. Now we have different statements. According
25 to one set, they were killed in a minefield, yet you found that only one
1 person was killed as a result of the effect of an explosive device. And
2 now the explanation is that they were killed because they didn't want to
3 go into the minefield. Very well.
4 JUDGE MAY: It's not for the witness to comment on the evidence.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] His evidence shows that only one
7 person was killed as a result of an explosive device, and that is quite
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let me go on to ask you, please, I have here a doctoral thesis by
11 a colleague of yours, Juha Rainino, a Finn, and I'll quote just one
12 sentence, and then let me ask you whether you as a professional agree with
13 him, and you answer with a yes or no and everything will be fine. Who
14 claims that in the case of mass graves, the cause of death most frequently
15 cannot be established, and in most cases these are mere manipulations. I
16 will quote him in the original.
17 [In English] [Previous translation continues]... "occasion of
18 victims from mass graves, the definition of cause of death often remains
19 speculative or is even impossible."
20 [Interpretation] So just tell me if you agree with this
21 professional opinion by this Finnish colleague of yours or do you consider
22 it not to be correct?
23 A. Well, I don't agree with him fully, and I can tell you why. Every
24 grave is separate. It depends how long the bodies were in the grave. If
25 the bodies were in the mass grave for a short space of time, then it is --
1 you have far greater probability of ascertaining the cause of death. If
2 the bodies had been in the mass grave for a longer period of time, then
3 this -- the circumstances change and it makes it more difficult, depending
4 on how well the bodies have been preserved. The bodies may be well
5 preserved, they can be saponificated, they can be skeletonised, which will
6 make the situation different.
7 So depending on the particular mass grave one is studying, there
8 was post-mortal damage in any way, where the traces were damaged too, it
9 is difficult. So it differs from one mass grave to another.
10 In certain cases, we will be able to ascertain the cause of death
11 in many cases, for many of the bodies. In another instance, in another
12 grave, this will be more limited.
13 So the essential point is that the forensic medical expert
14 concentrate his efforts on the elements that exist and the causes that are
15 clear to him and which are probable or not.
16 Q. All right, Doctor. Let's move on from this professional area and
17 field, your assessments and Professor Juha Rainino's assessments. You
18 talk about mass graves. You mention Vukovar in that context. Tell me,
19 please, after so many years that have gone by, have you managed to
20 establish the national or ethnic structure of the persons who were dug up
21 in all the different locations around Vukovar?
22 A. According to the data available at the government department for
23 persons missing from Vukovar, at the Vukovar grave the following were
24 exhumed: 990 persons. Of that number, about -- as far as I know, about
25 70 were ethnic Serbs. I don't have any other facts and figures about
2 Q. So that's all you have at your disposal, all that your office has
3 and your medical service working within that department; is that right?
4 That's all you have?
5 A. As far as Vukovar is concerned, yes, that's right. That's all we
7 Q. Whenever you mentioned in your testimony in the course of today
8 the term "shot," as far as I understand it, you were able to establish
9 that these persons had been actually killed by gunshot wounds; right?
10 A. Yes, that's right. They are gunshot wounds caused by firearms.
11 That's right.
12 Q. So when you use the term "shot," it implies shot by firearms under
13 any circumstances - in battles, on the basis of a stray bullet, even - and
14 he would be classified with this cause of death being a gunshot wound, an
15 entry/exit wound, a gunshot wound; is that right?
16 A. Well, as far as it was possible for me to do, I used the term
17 "gunshot wound" mostly, I think.
18 Q. I'm asking you because very often in the course of today's
19 testimony - you can look at the tape - you used the expression
20 "strijeljani," or shot, executed, which in the Croatian language, in the
21 Serbian language, "executed" implying the liquidation of persons by use of
22 firearms, and it has this special separate connotation. So that's not
23 what you're talking about, you're just talking about gunshot wounds; is
24 that right?
25 A. Yes, gunshot wounds.
1 Q. Tell me now, please, because I'm not quite clear on this even when
2 it comes to the number, the figure involved. Talking about Ovcara, you
3 say that about 200 persons were killed there; is that right?
4 A. The exact figure is 200. Two hundred bodies found at Ovcara.
5 Q. Exactly 200?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And is it true that of that 200, 86 of them, which would make it
8 some 40 per cent, had previous injuries or were wounded and injured
10 A. Yes. That was visible from the protocol and reports we received
11 from the international team that conducted the processing. And it was
12 established that those persons had been injured or wounded previously in
13 one way or another.
14 Q. And did you establish -- were you able to establish that they were
15 hospitalised patients, patients in hospital, or persons who had perhaps
16 received some previous wounds or injuries in some form of firing that had
17 taken place beforehand, not in hospital, not persons who were
18 hospitalised? How were you able or how was it able to make this
19 difference, to differentiate or make this kind of identification?
20 A. In the case of Ovcara, the number was 86, I think, where it was
21 established that they had been injured. And with the vast majority, there
22 were visible signs of medical treatment, either amputations or the
23 introduction of certain wires or rods during operations. So with these
24 people, we found plaster casts, we found bandages and other indicators
25 which led us to believe that they were persons who were treated medically,
1 surgically, in a hospital.
2 Q. To go back to Lovas for a moment and to see whether there has been
3 any misunderstanding. You claim that 25 individuals were shot. When you
4 say "shot," I assume you don't mean executed and liquidated but persons
5 for whom the cause of death was gunshot wound.
6 A. Yes. I say "gunshot wound." "Cause of death: Gunshot injury."
7 Q. And what about Skabrnja? You also say 40 persons shot. You mean
8 gunshot injuries; right?
9 A. Yes. The same applies to all the cases.
10 Q. All right. Fine. Let me just check and take a look at my notes.
11 I have jotted down here some of your observations. For example,
12 Bacin, and I've made a note that you refer to 58 casualties there and that
13 with 28, which is a large number, the cause of death was not established,
14 it was not possible to establish the cause of death. How was that
16 A. Well, I explained that during my testimony when I said it was a
17 gravesite where the bodies had been mixed up and greatly damaged, and
18 quite simply, we were not able to establish the cause of death.
19 Q. This was conducted in 1997; right?
20 A. Yes. On the spot right by the gravesite.
21 Q. Very well. Fine. You also spoke about the Vuckovici where two
22 individuals were found. It was either Vukovici or Vuckovici.
23 A. I think it was Vukovici, the name of the place.
24 Q. You spoke about that this morning. Now, my question is as
25 follows: You say there were two persons, cause of death firearms, gunshot
1 wounds. And you say that it is assumed that there were seven dead bodies,
2 in fact. So what do you -- what does that actually mean? What does this
3 assumption mean that there were seven if only two were found?
4 A. It is the Vukovici locality. And at that spot, two bodies were
5 found. They were identified, and they were persons that were found in
6 another place.
7 As to seven individuals, it is assumed that they were killed in
8 the house and that their remains were found on the burning site, plus the
9 two individuals who had succumbed to gunshot wounds, they were found
10 elsewhere. Everything in Vukovici.
11 Q. But you spoke about two persons who were hanged, as far as I
13 A. Yes, two brothers. So we have two persons found in one location,
14 and they died from gunshot wounds. It is assumed that there were seven
15 other persons on the ground, burnt in a house, and another locality once
16 again in Vukovici, two brothers who were found hanged.
17 Q. When were they found?
18 A. The 13th of August, 1996, was when the exhumations took place.
19 Q. How could you establish that in 1996? You say they were killed in
20 1991. So how come that the 1996 exhumation could have established that
21 these two had been hanged?
22 A. The autopsy was carried out on the spot pursuant to a court order
23 by the County Court in Zadar, and the findings of the person conducting
24 the autopsies are listed. It says that one of the brothers, Ivan Loncar,
25 was found on the 24th of October, 1991. He was found hanged, and it was
1 his son Marko who found him.
2 Q. Do you mean his son hanged him?
3 A. No. He was found by his son. And this applies to the second one
5 Q. So you're not giving us the forensic medical finding here. What
6 you're giving us is a piece of information which was received by the
7 investigating organs of Croatia, and in this case, the investigating
8 organs of the county of Zadar; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So once again, this isn't a medical forensic finding, it is a
11 police report.
12 A. The physician conducting the autopsy says that he found no traces
13 of mechanical injury but that he has this piece of information about the
15 Q. That piece of information was a police report; right?
16 A. Well, yes.
17 Q. Now, the next place you mentioned was Saborsko, where 27 bodily
18 remains were found. That is to say the remains of 27 persons. Only two
19 of these individuals lost their lives as a result of a gunshot wound.
20 Once again, you use the term "shot," executed, but we now know, according
21 to your explanations, what that means. It means they succumbed to gunshot
23 Now, with the other 15, the cause of death was not established.
24 Is that right?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And how many bodily remains were actually found? For how many
3 A. Twenty-seven.
4 Q. On what grounds were you able to establish the cause of death, the
5 circumstances of death, et cetera?
6 A. Are there any medical and court findings as to the cause of death?
7 A. We have the cause of death for the ones I mentioned. One gunshot
8 wound, five traumas, and six burnings. So we have the autopsy results.
9 Q. Of those six persons burnt, they are persons who died in a fire;
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So if these persons died in a fire, did they die in a fire when
13 during the conflict houses were set on fire or did someone place those
14 individuals on a fire to burn them to death?
15 A. Well, I don't know that. All I can say is that these individuals
16 or, rather, the bodies, the bodily remains, were found of people who had
17 been burnt.
18 JUDGE MAY: We're going to come to the adjournment, the time for,
19 but are you going to be very much longer? Do you want very much longer
20 with this witness?
21 THE ACCUSED: No. No, Mr. May. Just a short time.
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll go on.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm trying to establish, Mr. May -
24 how shall I put this? - the validity of these reports, because we cleared
25 up at the beginning that of the locations mentioned, only one of them is
1 on the territory of Yugoslavia, and that was the case of bodies found
2 floating down the Danube and were then pulled out and buried there because
3 we couldn't have left them floating down the Danube, could we? So these
4 are all things that have nothing to do with either Serbia or myself, but I
5 wish to clear up these points fully.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. From the forensic medical aspects, because you don't know how they
8 were burnt, nonetheless, you drew the conclusion from the other side, if I
9 can put it that way, that somebody who was immobile was burnt in a house,
10 a female was burnt in the house because on the spot where the body was
11 supposed to -- where the bed was supposed to have been, some charred bone
12 fragments were found.
13 So on the one hand you say you can't say whether these people were
14 intentionally burnt to death or had died in some fire, whereas on the
15 other hand, you draw the professional conclusion that it was a case of
16 this person because the bones were found on the spot where this old woman
17 was lying in bed.
18 Now, does this lead to the conclusion that this person lost her
19 life in a fire?
20 A. Well, we cannot conclude how the fire broke out, how the fire came
21 about. All we can say is that particular individual lost her life in the
22 fire and that the bodily remains were found that were the result of
24 Q. When you speak of Skabrnja, you speak of somebody called Nadin.
25 You speak of Skabrnja 1991 and Nadin, the place Nadin 1991, and you say
1 that those victims, that the authorities of Krajina turned these bodies
2 over to the Croatian authorities several days after they were killed.
3 Now, were these people who had been killed in the armed conflict between
4 the two warring sides? So there were casualties on both sides and then
5 the two warring sides exchanged both casualties and prisoners, as far as I
6 know. Was that the standard practice that you were able to testify to and
7 that's why your commission was set up and functioned in the first place?
8 It dealt with these relationships, had these ties with Krajina and
9 cooperation along those lines?
10 A. All I can do is answer your question and repeat once again that
11 the bodies that are quoted in Skabrnja 1 were handed over to Croatia on
12 the 23rd of November, that autopsies were carried out, and the causes of
13 death for those individuals were established. They were civilians ageing
14 in range of -- the eldest was born in 1911 and the youngest person was
15 born in 1986, I believe. It was a little girl.
16 Now, how they lost their lives, I really can't say. I don't know.
17 Q. As for the little girl born in 1986, I don't think that is --
18 there's any doubt that that was a civilian.
19 Now, how as a forensic medical expert yourself were you able to
20 ascertain that all the rest were civilians as well?
21 A. Well, I didn't say I had established they were civilians.
22 Q. But you're now saying they were civilians.
23 A. All I can say is when they were born, the ages of the people
24 involved, and most of them were over the age of 80.
25 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Strinovic, since 1991, in the subsequent
1 years, did you have any direct contacts and cooperation of any kind with
2 the authorities in Knin with respect to the job you were engaged in? Or
3 perhaps one of your departments or subsections, did they have any
4 cooperation and exchanges along those lines? Did they exchange dead
5 bodies and persons killed in the war conflicts of 1991 and 1992?
6 A. I personally did not have any contacts with people in Knin, but
7 exchanges did take place. I know that we exchanged dead bodies and that
8 this took place in 1991 and 1992. Exchanges of this kind took place then.
9 Q. And do you have any opinions as to that cooperation? Was it
10 conducted in a proper and professional way, with a respect for the rules
11 and regulations, humanitarian law and so on and so forth? Can you say
12 anything about that? Do you have any knowledge about that?
13 A. As far as I know, cooperation was quite correct, and there were no
14 particular criticisms of that cooperation.
15 Q. Very well. Let me just ask you, finally, because you said that
16 since 1991, you had contacts and cooperation with the commission of
17 Yugoslavia. Isn't that so? So as of 1991, up until the end of the war
18 and from the end of the war until the year 2000, do you believe that that
19 cooperation was correct and that it was prompted by the same efforts to
20 assist families on both sides to resolve their problems connected to their
21 dead and missing during the conflicts that occurred in the 1990s?
22 A. Yes. I think that the cooperation was throughout that period
24 Q. Were there any obstacles put up by the Yugoslav authorities or a
25 lack of understanding or any refusal to deal with your problems?
1 A. I wouldn't say so. There was some cases that took a little more
2 time, that were rather slow to deal with. Others were faster, but in any
3 event, there was a positive trend linked to cooperation between these two
5 Q. From 1991 onwards?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you, Doctor.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
9 Mr. May.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't know, Your Honours,
12 whether you are going to have a break now.
13 JUDGE MAY: Since this is the last witness, if we can get through
14 fairly quickly, so much the better. But if you're going to be more than
15 ten minutes, we'll have to have a break.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm almost quite sure that I
17 won't need any more than ten minutes.
18 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Strinovic, could we try together to assist
20 Their Honours with respect to certain figures linked to your testimony.
21 In your testimony today and also from what we heard from Colonel Grujic
22 the other day, there is the figure that the total number of people killed
23 in Croatia during this period is 11.834; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Whereas in tab 1, there is this graph, this table with the figure
1 of 5.140. These are persons for whom the cause of death has been
2 established. Isn't that so?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When I asked Mr. Grujic whether this figure relating to the number
5 of exhumed bodily remains is included in the total number of victims, he
6 said that it was not included, and I understood you to say that this
7 figure of 5.100 something is within the figure of 11.800. In other words,
8 that it is included in this figure of total victim -- total number of
9 victims in Croatia.
10 A. I'm not quite sure, but I think that the total number of killed,
11 that persons with a name, we have 2.795. Those are the number that have
12 been identified.
13 Q. I thought you said today that this figure of 5.000 is included in
14 the figure of 11.000. That was my understanding of what you said.
15 Because Colonel Grujic claims that the exhumed are not included in this
16 figure, that the exhumed need to be added to this figure of 11.000.
17 A. One should add to 11.800 the number of missing persons. 11.820,
18 not the total number of exhumed bodies.
19 Q. No. Very well. So we come to my next point. The total number of
20 people for whom the cause of death has been established, according to your
21 report, is 5.000 something. And the total number of exhumed bodies,
22 according to Colonel Grujic, is 3.356, and according to you, 3.373. The
23 difference is negligible, so I wouldn't dwell on that, but the difference
24 between the figure of 3.373 and 5.000 something, your figure, the
25 difference is about 1.784, if I've done my sum correctly, but I must admit
1 I don't like numbers very much. So the difference is 1.784. In other
2 words, for this number of 1.784, the cause of death has been established
3 without you having the bodily remains. Isn't that right? You didn't have
4 the bodily remains for this number, so you established the cause of death
5 without having the bodily remains of this number of people.
6 A. There may be a little confusion in view of the large number of
7 figures. So 5.140 are cases from 1991 to the present day. That is the
8 total number. 3.373 exhumed bodies is the number from 1995 to the present
9 day. So after 1995.
10 So we had all the bodies of 5.140. They have been processed, and
11 that is what gives us 5.140.
12 Q. But that doesn't emanate from Mr. Grujic's opinion. He says that
13 the total number of exhumed bodies was 3.000 something.
14 JUDGE MAY: The witness can only deal with his own evidence.
15 Otherwise, it's going to lead to great confusion. You could comment on it
16 in due course, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm certainly not trying to cause
18 confusion. On the contrary, I'm trying to clarify a few minutes. I'm
19 asking this because I would like to hear from an expert. The total number
20 of victims, according to the indictment, if I did my sum correctly last
21 night, is 789.
22 Q. If we leave out Ovcara for which we have a lot of evidence in this
23 case and in other cases and a large number of witnesses and so on, that
24 leaves about 500 or close to 600 persons for whom the cause of death needs
25 to be established.
1 I would like to know whether you made an analysis linked to this
2 problem, that in relation to this figure of some 600 people, for how many
3 of them you have no data as to the cause of death.
4 Let us take Dubrovnik. Forty-one. Today you said that for
5 Dubrovnik you have no data regarding cause of death. There was a
6 conflict, and this is something that the Court will rule on, but you don't
7 have any information as to whether anyone was killed by a gunshot wound in
9 A. Yes, that's true.
10 Q. For Bacin, you also said that there were a number of persons for
11 whom you were unable to ascertain the cause of death. So let me give you
12 one single example from Saborsko.
13 You said there a moment ago in answer to a question from
14 Mr. Milosevic, you said - and this is tab 14 - and you said that you're
15 dealing with a number of 27, 27 victims, out of which for 12 the cause of
16 death was ascertained and for 15 it was not. And according to Schedule 1
17 of the indictment, 20 persons are listed for that location. For 18, the
18 names are given, and for two, two are unidentified. So it's still unclear
19 for how many of the 20 appearing in the indictment can we say that the
20 cause of death was not established at all.
21 JUDGE MAY: Can you help with that, Dr. Strinovic? If you can't,
22 just say no. There may be other ways of dealing with the point.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can just repeat what I've already
24 said for Saborsko and the number of causes of death listed there.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I'm just asking, hoping to be useful for Their Honours.
2 Out of the 600 or so people who lost their lives, through an
3 analysis of your own or a review of your data, would you be able to
4 establish for how many out of these 600 we do not know the cause of death?
5 A. I don't have that figure just now. I just have an analysis for
6 the area of Zagreb. The cause of death is unknown for 810 cases. For
7 Vukovar, 210 cases; Osijek, 79 cases.
8 Q. So you could do it if you had the time. I think this would be of
9 great assistance to Their Honours.
10 I have one further question connected to Ovcara. You said that
11 Ovcara was discovered in 1993. You started work, then you interrupted it.
12 Is it true that from then on it was under control and nobody was able to
13 destroy any evidence?
14 A. Yes, that's true. Ovcara was guarded, I think, at the end of 1992
15 until the beginning of -- or the beginning of 1993 until it was completely
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
18 appeal to you, with your permission, as we have a high-level expert in
19 forensic medicine, he was not cross-examined about this, but I would like
20 to ask him something that we touched upon in connection with another
21 problem, and it may be useful. His speciality is forensic medicine since
22 1976 to the present, and he has frequently been involved for crimes. But
23 as he is a person who has been in -- in this field for a long time, maybe
24 he could be of assistance to Their Honours in connection with the paraffin
25 glove that I raised yesterday. I just wanted to ask him whether he was
1 aware that in Croatia and in the former Yugoslavia that when determining
2 the circumstances of a certain murder, a paraffin glove is considered to
3 be an absolutely reliable evidence.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, you can ask him.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, that is true.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would need three minutes
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 Re-examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
11 Q. First of all, during the cross-examination, the accused asked you
12 in relation to gunshot wounds, and you said that usually the circumstances
13 of a -- the circumstances of how the gunshot wound got applied to the body
14 you would not know, you could not see. In relation to Ovcara, did you --
15 did the gravesite itself or did the gunshot wounds on the bodies, did they
16 say anything about the manner of death, whether it was execution or it was
17 killing in a war situation, in a battle? Could you see anything that gave
18 an answer to the manner of death?
19 A. I can say that, as an observer, I was at Ovcara from the beginning
20 of the exhumations. I was there on several occasions. And at one spot
21 next to the grave, casings were found, hundreds of casings that were
22 collected by others present there. And it was concluded that that is
23 where the executions had taken place or, rather, where those shots were
24 fired, because they were all found in one place. And that was one of the
25 reasons to reach the conclusion that these people were executed.
1 Q. And in relation to the figures that the amici discussed with you,
2 the figure of 5.140, does that include exhumations and the examination,
3 the post-mortem of fresh bodies?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. And in relation to the various crime scenes, the documentation
6 that we discussed and was also addressed in the cross-examination, did you
7 review the reports, the exhumation and autopsy reports related to these
8 crime scenes while you were here in The Hague, and did you also review the
9 documentation in your office related to exhumation and autopsies?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No more questions.
12 JUDGE MAY: Dr. Strinovic, that concludes your evidence. Thank
13 you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE MAY: Before we adjourn, this is one matter I'm going to
18 mention while the witness is leaving. It concerns the evidence of two
19 witnesses about whom the Prosecution put forward a motion asking for part
20 of their evidence to be heard under Rule 92 bis. In relation to Witness
21 C-031, we will admit all the paragraphs which the Prosecution mention in
22 their application. However, in the case of Mr. Tupurkovski, we will only
23 admit these paragraphs: 1 to 14, 25 to 26, 29 to 33, 67, 68, 88.
24 We take the view that the remaining paragraphs either relate to
25 the actions of -- the acts and conduct of the accused or those close to
1 him or proximate to him, all their matters which have been put into issue
2 and about which we think the evidence should be given live.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I have also one -- rather, two
4 matters that Mr. Nice asked me to inform you about and hand documents
5 over, and it's -- these are outstanding matters relating to Helena Ranta.
6 We have obtained the requests for assistance which the Prosecution
7 sent in order to obtain the letter from the FRY that was discussed in
8 relation to the paraffin tests. And in fact, these are three -- three
9 requests and two separate responses of the FRY, and we have compiled it
10 and would like to provide it now.
11 JUDGE MAY: If you would do that.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. That's -- that's the one. And the
13 other -- the other document that we have available is related to --
14 JUDGE MAY: We've got to stop for the tape for a minute.
15 We'll admit these, the correspondence concerning the test. We'll
16 get a number for it, please. Give it the next -- give it a C number,
18 THE REGISTRAR: Okay, Your Honour. That will be Chambers Exhibit
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And the other issue is the Pristina
22 District Court decision regarding Zoran Stanojevic. And we have here a
23 document related to the matter, but the -- it's the entire transcript and
24 related documents from the court proceedings. However, the -- the
25 document dealing with the finding of guilty and sentence is only a
1 two-page decision without any reasoning attached to it. So the long
2 document that Mr. Milosevic was referring to, that was not -- it's not
3 available with us, but we of course have the rest of the documentation.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you could look for the remainder of the
5 document. It must be available from the court.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But it seems that we don't have it in
7 the house and --
8 JUDGE MAY: You will have to get it.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Is there any point us having that document? Do
11 you wish us to have it?
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, I think you should have it.
13 JUDGE MAY: Let's give that the next C number.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Because it looks as if this is the judgement
15 and there is no reasoning. Maybe we could have a look at the judgement
16 Mr. Milosevic is referring to, to check whether it's probably -- probably
17 from a different decision.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Chamber Exhibit number
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, have a look at the document which
21 they've given you, and if your questions related to a different case,
22 perhaps you could tell us, but no need to do it now.
23 We will adjourn and sit again 9.00 Monday morning.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.45 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Monday, the 17th day of March,
1 2003, at 9.00 a.m.