1 Tuesday, 1 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone. Madam Registrar, would
6 you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-03-69-T.
9 The Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Before I give an
11 opportunity to the Prosecution to call its next witness, I was -- I would
12 first like to address Mr. Stanisic. We have received two medical reports
13 this week, and we did understand that Mr. Stanisic your counsel would
14 like to address the Court on a matter which may relate to the medical
16 MR. KNOOPS: Your Honour, if the Court allows, Mr. Stanisic would
17 like to address the court in closed session in a few minutes. I myself
18 was involved this weekend with his medical situation, and I think it's
19 important that the Court takes notice of some recent developments.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then we turn into private session, that would
21 do, I take it.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 5509-5510 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. For the reason
25 explained when we were in private session, the Chamber allows
1 Mr. Stanisic to be absent from the proceedings. He has instructed
2 counsel that for the two days to come, proceedings may proceed in his
3 absence and the Chamber accepts that.
4 Could Mr. Stanisic be escorted out of the courtroom to a place
5 where he can wait for transportation to the DNU.
6 Mr. Jordash, you would like to address the Court.
7 MR. JORDASH: I'm wondering, Your Honour, if it might be better
8 if we and the Defence were able to see the medical report before
9 addressing you more fully. The issue I want to raise effectively is
10 whether we in the Defence --
11 JUDGE ORIE: I have a clear copy. It's available to you, a clean
12 copy. If there is -- yes. Meanwhile, I do understand that Mr. Bakrac
13 has asked also that he addresses the Court, and I'll give him an
14 opportunity to do so. Mr. Bakrac.
23 [Private session]
11 Page 5513 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
5 Mr. Jordash, is it now that you like to address the Chamber or
6 would you rather take more time and do it later today?
7 MR. JORDASH: Could I do it very briefly now and leave it with
8 Your Honours, if I can, and then if Your Honours wish, I can develop the
9 point later.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. JORDASH: The point really it is comes down to the Defence
12 trying to take instructions. We haven't been able to take instructions
13 all week because of Mr. Stanisic's illness. Next week the Prosecution
14 proposed to call two significant linkage witnesses. We haven't taken
15 instructions on those witnesses, and we haven't taken instructions on the
16 very many exhibits. JF-041 is the first witness next week, and the
17 Prosecution have indicated that they will tender 44 or 45 exhibits with
18 that witness. We haven't taken instructions on those exhibits either.
19 We see prima facie at least that we will not be able to be ready
20 to cross-examine the witnesses next week. We've had a look at the
21 medical report of today which confirms yesterday's finding that
22 Mr. Stanisic isn't fit or there are medical reasons which prevents him
23 from being able to participate in the proceedings today and also
24 yesterday, and that is -- confirms what we have found for the last week.
25 In light of that, we would -- we are certainly not applying to
1 adjourn at this moment next week, but we are very much minded and very
2 close to that position. And what we would request from the Court is that
3 we have an opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Eekhof, if Your Honours are
4 perhaps skeptical about such an application or if Your Honours feel as
5 though you would be assisted by that evidence so that we might
6 demonstrate through cross-examining Dr. Eekhof the difficulties that we
7 are facing, we faced last week, and we anticipate we will face next week
8 in trying to take instructions from Mr. Stanisic. So I raise it at this
9 point so that Your Honours can, if Your Honours wish, to timetable in a
10 convenient moment for Dr. Eekhof to be before the Court and the Defence,
11 with Your Honours' leave, have the opportunity to cross-examine him.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll consider that. If I -- if you wouldn't
13 mind, Mr. Jordash, you refer to yesterday's report and today's report as
14 approximately the same. I think there is a bit of a difference, and the
15 way in which you presented today's report is not entirely in line with
16 the text. Where the report says there are medical reasons present which
17 might prevent him from being able, as you said, that there are medical
18 reasons which prevents him from being able. That's' not exactly the
19 same, I don't want to start any debate on that at this moment.
20 MR. JORDASH: And, Your Honour, that's the premise of which we
21 wish perhaps for Dr. Eekhof to be called to clarify such a difference.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That doesn't come as a surprise, but since this is
23 the way you presented it when you were reading the report, I think it's
24 good to have a clear situation.
25 Mr. Groome.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution just asks for an
2 opportunity to see today's report before the Court hears further
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think we have various matters. We have,
5 first of all, the report of today. Second, possible changes in
6 medication, which it appears that apart from the illnesses themselves
7 that medication plays a role as well, and, of course, the third item is
8 how matters will develop and how quickly they will develop, and what it
9 takes to instruct counsel under the present circumstances, what is
10 needed, what should have been done already, what is -- what is fairly to
11 be left for the last week before a witness arrives. There are a lot of
12 questions and, of course, the Chamber will not decide before it has heard
13 your position as well.
14 Now, there are two matters. The first is whether or not
15 Dr. Eekhof should be called in order to be examined on his report. The
16 second is what to do. I suggest to all parties that we first take
17 advantage of time, time meaning that let's see how in the next 28 hours,
18 30 hours, matters develop, and then see where we stand, what should be
20 MR. GROOME: The only two things, Your Honours, that I also want
21 to add is that JF-041 is scheduled to embark on Friday for The Hague
22 that might be helpful for the Chamber to know when the plan is to leave
23 his home. The last thing, Your Honour, is Mr. Jordash's waiver of
24 Mr. Stanisic's presence here today was done in private session, and I
25 query whether that shouldn't be done in open session.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I think, as a matter of fact, that once we were in
2 open session that I addressed the matter, at least I intended to do that,
3 but let me just check in my transcript. Page 4, line 24, for the reasons
4 explained when we were in private session, the Chamber allows
5 Mr. Stanisic to be absent from the proceedings. He has instructed
6 counsel that for the two days to come, proceedings may proceed in his
7 absence, so it seems to be addressed in open session.
8 MR. GROOME: I apologise, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then if there's no other procedural matter to be
10 raised, I suggest that we now move on and hear the evidence of the next
11 witness. I also suggest to the parties that we take the usually breaks,
12 that's 25 minutes for the first break, 20 minutes for the second break,
13 because we are not bound by the special regime.
14 Madam usher, could you please escort the witness into the
16 I take it that your next witness is Mr. Strinovic.
17 MR. GROOME: That's correct, Your Honour. The witness will be
18 led by Ms. Marcus.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Marcus.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: I was informed that the transportation back to the
22 DNU will take place in very short notice, we are talking in minutes
23 rather than in half-hours.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. Good afternoon, Mr. Strinovic.
1 Mr. Strinovic, before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and
2 Evidence require that you --
3 MADAM USHER: Just a second, Your Honour. One more time, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'll start again. Good afternoon, Mr. Strinovic.
5 The Rules of Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn
6 declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
7 the truth. The text is now handed out to you by madam usher. May I
8 invite you to make that solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Strinovic. Please be seated.
12 Mr. Strinovic, you'll fist be examined by Ms. Marcus. Ms. Marcus is at
13 your right, she's counsel for the Prosecution. Please proceed,
14 Ms. Marcus.
15 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: DAVOR STRINOVIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examination by Ms. Marcus:
19 Q. Dr. Strinovic, can you hear me clearly?
20 A. Yes, thank you.
21 Q. Doctor, did you testify in the Martic case on the 12th and 13th
22 of April of 2006?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. After arriving here in The Hague and in preparation for your
25 testimony today, did you have an opportunity to review your prior
1 testimony in the Martic case?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Having reviewed your testimony, is there anything you would wish
4 to change or clarify?
5 A. No, not at the moment, thank you.
6 Q. If you were to be asked the same questions today that you were
7 asked in the Martic case, would you provide the same answers?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you today affirm the truthfulness and accuracy of that prior
11 A. Yes, I can affirm that.
12 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution tenders
13 65 ter 5572. The prior testimony of this witness given in the Martic
14 case on the 12th and 13th of April of 2006.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections. Madam Registrar?
16 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P510, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And that is from page 3653 up to and including 3697;
18 is that correct?
19 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: P510 is admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
21 MS. MARCUS:
22 Q. Dr. Strinovic, I'm now going to read out for the public a very
23 brief summary of your prior evidence. This summary is not considered to
24 be evidence in this case. Its purpose is to merely inform the public
25 through a general overview of the subject matter of your evidence.
1 Dr. Davor Strinovic is a forensic expert at the time institute
2 for forensic medicine of the faculty of medicine of Zagreb university.
3 The witness's evidence describes the role of the Croatian Ministry of
4 Health in connection with exhumations, autopsies, and identification of
5 remains in the territory of Croatia
6 the reason pathologists in Croatian were activated to undertake these
7 tasks. The witness describes his position as the chief medical examiner
8 in Croatia
9 pathological and identification processes, the geographical area under
10 his supervision and mandate in Croatia
11 office for imprisoned and missing persons in Croatia.
12 Dr. Strinovic describes methods applied at exhumation sites and
13 during the transport of human remains. The witness discusses the various
14 methodologies utilized to conduct the autopsies and the identifications.
15 Dr. Strinovic explains the role of anthropologists, the criteria they
16 used to assist in the determination of cause of death. The witness also
17 gives evidence on the role of dental experts and how they were used in
18 the identification process.
19 Dr. Strinovic explains the role of family members in the
20 identification process and describes where bodies were found and who was
21 with them at the time as ways to further help in the identification
22 process. He also describes the use of DNA evidence. Finally, the
23 witness will authenticate documentary evidence in relation to the
24 exhumation, autopsy, and identification reports in relation to the
25 victims in the indictment.
1 That ends the summary of your testimony, Doctor.
2 Doctor, on pages 3654 to 3655 of your testimony in the Martic
3 case, you explained your qualifications. I would like to ask you to
4 confirm very briefly some key aspects of your expertise. You are a
5 forensic pathologist by profession; is that correct, sir?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. And relevant to our context in the international criminal
8 Tribunal, can you explain the difference between a pathologist and
9 forensic pathologist?
10 A. Very briefly, a pathologist is a person who deals with illness,
11 whereas a forensic pathologist mostly deals with violent deaths ranging
12 from murder, suicide, traffic accidents and any other accidents, as well
13 as disasters such as earthquakes and events in wars. That is also the
14 subject matter of forensic medicine -- forensic pathology.
15 Q. Your current position is the head of the forensic institute in
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. And finally with respect to your qualifications, you worked under
19 the auspices of the Croatian government commission for detainees and
20 missing persons conducting and co-ordinating exhumations,
21 identifications, the processing of mortal remains, and establishing the
22 cause of death for victims of violent deaths in Croatia between 1991 and
23 1995; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is also correct.
25 MS. MARCUS: Could the Court Officer please call up 65 ter
1 3267.1. This is Dr. Strinovic's expert report. For the information of
2 the Court and the Defence and as previously notified, the Prosecution
3 will not be tendering annexes to that report with charts but only the
4 actual expert report itself which is four pages and, thus, we've loaded
5 that one as 3267.1.
6 Q. Dr. Strinovic, is this your expert report which you prepared in
7 relation to this case, the Martic case, and the Milosevic case?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Does this report still accurately reflect the methodology for the
10 exhumation, autopsy, identification, and determination of cause of death
11 for victims in Croatia
12 A. Yes. It hasn't changed.
13 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, the Prosecution would like to tender
14 Dr. Strinovic's expert report into evidence as a public exhibit. That is
15 65 ter 3267.1.
16 JUDGE ORIE: There's no date on the report. Is it known when the
17 report was drafted and prepared? Perhaps the witness can answer. When
18 was this report written because I saw that a few matters have been
19 changed, isn't it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's a difficult question. I
21 really can't say when exactly this was written, but this certainly is my
23 JUDGE ORIE: Approximately when? Ten years ago, five years ago,
24 two years ago?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Possibly four to five years ago.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No objections. Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P511, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P511 is admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
4 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Dr. Strinovic, I'm going to ask you about your involvement in the
6 exhumation, identification, autopsy, and cause of death determination for
7 each location relevant to our indictment. I'll ask you what your degree
8 of involvement was and your degree of familiarity with the associated
9 documentation. For the locations of Saborsko and Bacin what was the
10 nature of your involvement in the exhumation, identification, autopsy,
11 and cause of death determination?
12 A. I was present with my colleagues from the institute of forensic
13 pathology in Zagreb
14 ground at the mass grave in Bacin.
15 Q. And for Saborsko?
16 A. As far as I know, Saborsko was done by colleagues from our
17 institute. I wasn't present, but I'm familiar with the findings.
18 Q. Can you tell us the degree of familiarity you have with the
19 documentation associated with the exhumations and identifications in
20 Saborsko and Bacin?
21 A. During my presence at this Tribunal, but even before that, I had
22 the opportunity to familiarise myself with these findings, and I can say
23 that I know them well.
24 Q. For Vukovici, Skabrnja, and Brusko, what was the nature of your
25 involvement in the exhumation, identification, autopsy, and cause of
1 death determination?
2 A. At those places I wasn't present, but I know who processed the
3 mortal remains there. I saw these -- the relevant protocols for the
4 first time only when I arrived in The Hague.
5 Q. And what is your familiarity with the documentation associated
6 with the exhumation process and identification process for those
7 locations, that is Vukovici, Skabrnja, and Brusko?
8 A. As I said, the protocols were shown to me in The Hague and I
9 reviewed them. They were original documents with all the lists and
10 registers, so I believe that I'm well familiar with those cases.
11 Q. With respect to Erdut and Dalj, what was the nature of your
12 involvement in the exhumation, identification, autopsy and cause of death
14 A. A member of our exhumation team was present at Erdut and Dalj.
15 As for the protocols and the data processing, this was partly done in
17 all the protocols we are speaking about, and I reviewed them once more in
18 The Hague
19 MS. MARCUS: Could the Court Officer please call up 65 ter 5341.
20 Q. While we are waiting for that document to load, Doctor, is there
21 a standardised method in Croatia
22 identifying human remains and the cause of death, or do methodologies
23 differ throughout Croatia
24 A. I would like to provide a longer answer to that question. Some
25 things were done in accordance with the protocol of the government
1 commission for missing persons, of which I am a member. First a list of
2 missing persons must be compiled, then anti-mortem information about the
3 missing persons, that can be used for possible identification, and as for
4 the methodology of work on the ground, that is work with the mortal
5 remains, there are differences because every specialist in forensic
6 pathology, whoever has experience in that work has their own approach,
7 but it's -- they all have something in common. Everything that was done
8 was done for the purpose of identifying the dead person and for
9 establishing the cause of death. So all medical doctors who processed
10 mortal remains had these basic objectives in mind. Namely, the
11 identification and the cause of death. It is, however, possible that
12 they wrote their conclusions somewhat differently with differences in
14 Q. To follow up on your last point, is there a standardized method
15 of documentation? Can you elaborate a little bit further on the
16 methodology for documentation of the process of exhumation, autopsy,
17 determination of cause of death, and identification?
18 A. As for the process of exhumation, you probably also mean the
19 localisation of graves, that is the finding of the graves, and then
20 approaching the graves and taking out the mortal remains. There is a
21 procedure in place and actually there has been where the government
22 commission is in charge of that procedure. Certainly the medical doctor
23 is present and under his or her supervision, the bodies are taken out one
24 by one and sent off for processing.
25 This part of the procedure is unique, we can say, or rather a
1 single procedure. And as for mortal remains, if the cases are complex
2 and all cases nowadays are because the death occurred about 15 years ago.
3 The first thing to do is x-ray the remains to find out whether there are
4 any changes that are difficult to see with the bare eye such as remains
5 of projectiles or shrapnel or two other objects that may be important for
6 the identification or the establishment of the cause of death. After
7 that the entire clothing is examined and the body, then the
8 anthropologist studies the skeletons because bones are mostly all we can
9 find nowadays.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Strinovic, sorry to interrupt you. What you are
11 telling us now is already in your report and is also in the testimony of
12 the other case and so, therefore, I could almost complete your answer by
13 quoting from what you've written and what you've said before. Therefore,
14 could you please return to the questions that are put to you by
15 Ms. Marcus.
16 Ms. Marcus, to some extent we have as far as the standardised
17 method is concerned, we have received partly an answer that experienced
18 people sometimes use different style in putting down their conclusions on
19 paper, but then we moved into the whole system on how it is done. Could
20 you please put your next question to the witness.
21 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour.
22 Q. Doctor, have you been called upon previously to comment in a
23 court of law upon the authenticity of documentary evidence relating to
24 exhumations, autopsy, determination of cause of death, and identification
25 procedures prepared by pathologists in Croatia?
1 A. Yes. I have been invited to do so in The Hague four times, but
2 also before courts in Croatia
3 do with events in the war.
4 Q. Calling your attention to the document on the screen in front of
5 you --
6 MR. JORDASH: Sorry to interrupt. Before that happens, we have
7 an objection.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Against?
9 MR. JORDASH: Well, if I can draw Your Honours' attention to the
10 document on the screen for a moment, you'll see entry 3.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. JORDASH: New autopsy report, and that's what this objection
13 is about. Yesterday at 10.30 p.m.
14 that would be tendered through this witness. In that overview, we were
15 informed precisely what this witness would be tendering and it includes
16 57 documents which were not on the 65 ter list; 36 documents which were
17 disclosed on the 26th of May, 2010; and 21 which have never been
18 disclosed thus far. And so what my learned friend, what the Prosecution
19 is seeking to do now is to take us through this chart, which contains all
20 these new disclosures, none of which the Defence have had the opportunity
21 to see because we haven't even with those that were disclosed on the 26th
22 of May had the opportunity to go through them. Some of them we haven't
23 even received, as I indicated a moment ago. And so the question and
24 answer session my learned friend is about to embark upon involves a
25 question and answer session which involves information that only the
1 Prosecution is privy to. Your Honours aren't, the Defence aren't, only
2 the Prosecution and this witness, and that's our objection.
3 Now, we understand that the Prosecution will say, well, you have
4 agreed they're the victims, but that, in our submission, does not take --
5 that doesn't undermine our compliant. We still have a right to look at
6 the underlying documentation. It may be we would have wanted to reverse
7 some of our agreements, we don't know, because we haven't seen the
8 documentation. And that's our objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can fully back the
11 objection of my learned friend.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus.
14 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honours. Thank you. I can certainly
15 respond to my -- to counsel's submissions. What I was going to propose
16 is that I first authenticate through the witness what this is, because if
17 I were to do that I would be saying what it is. And perhaps the more
18 let's say the more appropriate way would be to ask him the questions and
19 at the point of seeking to tender, I would be happy to respond to any
20 objections and comment on what the underlying documentation is that has
21 been reviewed by the witness. But, first, I would propose with Your
22 Honours leave that I would ask the witness a few questions about what
23 process he undertook which resulted in the preparation of this document
24 so that everybody knows what it is we have before us and what we are
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, when you step with one foot in the pond,
2 you'll have a wet foot. This is short for that it may not be the best
3 way because if you ask him questions about this, then of course, that
4 includes all the entries, also the ones Mr. Jordash complained about.
5 I'll try to hear from you what the reason is that you have added to the
6 list and apparently included in this document also entries which were not
7 or only very recently disclosed to the Defence.
8 MS. MARCUS: Understood, Your Honours. The Prosecution in
9 preparing for presentation of both Dr. Strinovic and Ms. Bilic reviewed
10 the underlying documentation with respect to proof of death of the
11 victims in the indictment. In that process of reviewing this documentary
12 evidence, we noted that for some victims, we only had missing persons
13 reports and although Ms. Bilic's report indicates that for those
14 individuals the remains had, in fact, been identified, that we did not
15 actually have the underlying identification autopsy documentation in our
17 In the case of a few, very few other victims, we had no
18 underlying documentation related either to their death or to their
19 disappearance. We then undertook to contact Dr. Strinovic and request of
20 him that he locate, if possible, the documentation in relation to those
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there for a second. When did you do
24 MS. MARCUS: We did that I'd say approximately two weeks ago.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Two weeks ago. Please proceed.
1 MS. MARCUS: Dr. Strinovic was able to provide some of that
2 documentation. I reiterate that for the majority of those victims, they
3 were included in Ms. Bilic's report. She will testify following Dr.
4 Strinovic. But we did not have underlying documentation in relation to
5 their deaths.
6 Now, what has come back from Dr. Strinovic came in two batches.
7 One batch was, as Mr. Jordash said, one batch came and was disclosed to
8 the Defence last week. That was a batch with 36 documents. The second
9 batch just came in, was just processed by our evidence unit yesterday,
10 and that batch has been uploaded into e-court this morning. That batch
11 is 21 documents. They are all autopsies reports in relation to victims
12 in the indictment. That is additional corroborating evidence in addition
13 to the evidence by -- that will be presented by Ms. Bilic and other
14 evidence of proof of death in this case.
15 For many of these victims, we also will be tendering missing
16 persons questionnaires. Now, the process that's been undertaken by
17 myself and by Mr. Farr in authentication of this package of documents is
18 that Dr. Strinovic has reviewed all the evidence in relation to autopsy
19 reports, exhumation reports, identification reports. That includes 112
20 documents, which were on our 65 ter list, as well as the additional 57,
21 which were not on the 65 ter list.
22 It is his review which was reflected in this chart. And I
23 intended to seek his authentication through using this chart as a
24 mechanism for all those documents.
25 Ms. Bilic has reviewed, in fact, also the missing person
1 questionnaires in her line of expertise. She has prepared a similar
2 chart, and that chart for authentication will be tendered through
3 Ms. Bilic. All of the documents that were reviewed are in relation to
4 autopsy exhumation reports. They do not include new missing persons
6 So, Your Honours, what I was going to seek your leave do was to
7 deal with this chart with Dr. Strinovic, to ask him to explain his
8 authentication process, to discuss a few individual comments that he
9 placed on the chart, and to tender the chart. And then I was going to
10 seek your leave to tender the underlying documents with a proposal that
11 those new documents perhaps could be MFI'd for the time being until they
12 have been fully processed.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: It does not entirely come as a surprise to the
15 Chamber. Ms. Marcus, there are two issues, I would say, there are two
16 issues that are at two levels at which we could look at this material.
17 The first is the individual level of each autopsy report, and the second
18 is the way in which it was processed, in which way it was handled, the
19 way in which it was put on paper. It is clear that certainly for the
20 last 57 reports that the Defence has not given an appropriate time to
21 verify that material, to explore it. At the same time that is still the
22 minority of the cases that are described.
23 Now, the Chamber will ignore for the time being any entry on
24 these tables which was amongst the 57 which were provided recently, so,
25 therefore, you are also invited not to ask any questions about them
1 because the Defence wouldn't know how to cross-examine on those matters.
2 At the same time, we'll allow you to proceed on the basis of these
3 tables. Again the Chamber will have to be informed in full detail which
4 entries are the new ones.
5 Now, I saw that under number 3 it says "new autopsy report." I
6 don't know whether all the 57 are accompanied by the word new autopsy
7 report and that there are no others who bear a same characterisation.
8 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, we've noted for all the new documents
9 the word "new." We've also prepared lists in a variety of forms which
10 indicate which ones are new.
11 JUDGE ORIE: There are always two questions. First, whether all
12 the new documents, that means all -- we find 57 times new.
13 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour, I hope so.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Second. We do not find 58 times new because all
15 those that were not new are not in any way described in any respect as
16 being new. So, therefore, all the questions that you are putting to the
17 witness in relation to these documents, we'll consider them to be
18 relevant for all the entries which do not bear the new sign.
19 Now, at a later stage, once the Defence has had been opportunity
20 to further look into the matter, it may well be that the type of
21 questions that you have put in relation to the not new documents that the
22 answers for the new documents would be the same because the situation is
23 exactly the same, but it also is possible that for the new documents
24 there are relevant differences and that, therefore, those questions
25 should be put again in relation to these new reports.
1 We'll wait and see what comes in this respect. So, we will allow
2 you to proceed as you suggest, but please be aware that we'll understand
3 every single question of you as not referring to the new reports. At the
4 same time, and that's of course the problem, the witness is invited that
5 if he would think that in relation to the new reports matters would be
6 different, that is, the 57 reports which are described here as new, that
7 he already informs us and the Defence about that so that we are put on
8 notice of that. Any underlying autopsy reports which you wish to tender
9 and which are among the 57 will be marked for identification and first an
10 opportunity will be given to the Defence to further look at them and to
11 see what further action they would like to develop in relation to those
12 new documents. Is this clear?
13 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes. Could I just make one
14 observation, which is that only one of the new 57 have been translated,
15 so would we require translations, please.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, from Latin into English, you would say. Let's
17 be very -- yes, that is another reason to mark them for identification
18 and that they should -- English translations should be uploaded. At the
19 same time, let's be practical in that respect as well. I remember the
20 day when Defence counsel asked the medication to be translated from Latin
21 into English which I thought was a bit overdone because there was no real
22 issue about the name of the medication.
23 Therefore, we understand your questions as referring to the
24 non-new documents. At the same time, if there is a general question put
25 to you, then, Mr. Strinovic, you are invited to already point that your
1 answer might be different if you would include the new entries. Is it
2 clear to you? It's a bit of a schizophrenic system, but we'd like to
3 hear as much as possible and at the same time not to be bound by any
4 answer which relates to matters which we have not yet seen and were
5 unable to read. Yes. Any further questions in relation to this? If
6 not, we'll proceed. Ms. Marcus.
7 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Dr. Strinovic, in anticipation of your testimony today, were you
9 asked to review a collection of exhumation, autopsy, identification
10 records and cause of death determination records?
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. Did you, in fact, conduct that review?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. In that collection of documents did you have the opportunity to
15 review documentation prepared directly by yourself as well as
16 documentation prepared by your colleagues?
17 A. Yes, all of them together.
18 Q. Were you able to determine the authenticity of the documents you
20 A. I believe so.
21 Q. Along the lines of His Honour's comments, did you find any
22 difference among the documentation in any respect, specifically in
23 relation to your ability to authenticate any of the documents?
24 A. Well, no. All the documents are the same. Some people were
25 identified at a later stage, therefore, the documents were included into
1 the body of the documents at a later stage, but all the documents are the
3 Q. Are your comments as to authenticity and cause of death reflected
4 in the charts we see in front of us?
5 A. Yes, I believe so.
6 Q. Did you verify your comments to ensure they accurately reflect
7 your assessment based upon your expertise?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you confirm that these are the charts that you signed
10 verifying your comments as to authenticity and cause of death?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. Do you affirm the accuracy and reliability of the assessments you
13 made in these charts?
14 A. Yes, to the best of my knowledge and consciousness I drafted the
15 charts and the contents thereof.
16 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, would the Chamber like me to explore
17 any further any differences or lack thereof in the documents reviewed by
18 Dr. Strinovic?
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm not insisting on that. I would, however,
20 like to refer to the example you used when you raised your objection,
21 Mr. Jordash. Number 3 contains a new autopsy report with, as the cause
22 of death described, cause of death unknown. The witness has
23 authenticated whatever authentication exactly means in this context, but
24 at least as recognised as the type of reports that were made and has not
25 found anything for him to believe that it would not be what it suggests
1 it is. Now, therefore that this is an authentic document is ignored by
2 the Chamber although it says yes in that column. Similarly that the
3 cause of death is unknown is also ignored by the Chamber because that's
4 the result of the same exercise where you had to have had no opportunity
5 to look at it. As for the future, I can imagine that the Defence at a
6 certain moment says we have no problem with the authentication of this
7 report, and we have also no problem to question the findings or the
8 result of that, at least that the cause of death is unknown. It may be
9 that on specific matters, you may at a later stage have concerns about
11 Now, if at a later stage you have no concerns, we will understand
12 the answers of this witness, for example, as far as authenticity is
13 concerned as to be valid because otherwise we'll have to call him back
14 and say now for number 3, you you wrote down yes, do you still think it's
15 yes, if it's not challenged, that of course would be not a very efficient
16 way of dealing with the matter. So I understand that you further look at
17 it, you very specifically indicate where you want the Chamber to continue
18 to ignore what the witness has said about it and to ignore the results
19 from any new autopsy reports.
20 If at that stage you say, please go ahead with it, then we'll
21 limit ourselves exclusively to those that you are going to challenge.
22 And then, of course, at that point in time it will be a question for the
23 Prosecution and for you whether you would like to recall the witness, but
24 now in full knowledge of the underlying material and whether you want to
25 then cross-examine the witness or not or whether the Prosecution says
1 well, one out of so many having heard the objections we drop that one.
2 That's all still to be seen. But that's what I had on my mind, and it's
3 in this context that I do not insist on any further specific questions.
4 If you have any further questions at a later stage, please, not
5 the new ones.
6 MS. MARCUS: Understood, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MS. MARCUS: Could the Court Officer please turn to page 29 of
9 this chart, which corresponds to ERN X019-6546.
10 Q. While we wait for that page, Doctor, in some cases on this
11 authentication chart we can see that you stated something like "caused
12 most probably by a high velocity military weapon." Can you explain why
13 you would use the words "most probably" in such an example in the cause
14 of death determination?
15 A. When it comes to high velocity military weapon, projectiles fired
16 from such weapons cause major destruction. That major destruction may be
17 due to a high velocity military weapon, but it can also be a high
18 velocity shrapnel. The latter can cause the same destruction. Faced
19 with a case like that, we look at other things in order to see whether
20 anything indicates high velocity shrapnel like wounds distributed across
21 the body which would correspond to an explosive wound, and if we have
22 just one big defect, usually on the head, then that indicates the action
23 of just one thing, a bullet, that also causes a similar type of
24 destruction. Hence the expression "most probably" here.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You have not said what entry are we talking about?
1 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I was trying to save time, I haven't
2 gone to the try yet, I will sir, just now. I wanted to ask him
3 generally, that comment -- he repeats that comment sometimes throughout
4 the chart.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Okay. Yes.
6 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Now, Doctor, calling your attention to the top of this page,
8 there's an entry for an individual named Gaspar, Perica. Could you just
9 review your comments. I know that your English is excellent, perhaps you
10 can just briefly review your comments, and then I'm going to ask for the
11 underlying autopsy report to be called up.
12 Sir, just to interrupt you, I wanted you to review your comments
13 then I'm going to call up the original autopsy report so that everyone
14 can look at the autopsy report while you explain these comments in the
15 chart. So if you've reviewed that box, perhaps you could let me know and
16 I could ask for the underlying autopsy report to be shown on the screen.
17 A. I apologise, do you want me to comment upon the text on the
18 screen, or do you just want me to say that I've read it and that I
19 understand what you want from me and then --
20 Q. First, I would like to know if you've read it, sir?
21 A. Yes, I've read it, yes.
22 MS. MARCUS: Now, may I please ask the Court Officer to call up
23 65 ter 214, page 1 in both B/C/S and English.
24 Q. While we wait for the English version of the autopsy report to
25 appear, Doctor, can you tell us what this document is that we see here?
1 A. This document is a pathology report of a most postmortem which
2 was carried out at the Zadar general hospital. The name of the person
3 who was examined was Perica Gaspar. He was killed on the 18th of
4 November, 1991 and the postmortem was carried out at the 23rd of
5 November, 1991 at the Zadar Zagreb hospital. What follows is a detailed
6 description of all the wounds found on the body, firstly external wounds,
7 internal wounds, and finally a diagnosis.
8 MS. MARCUS: Could I please ask for the next page to be shown.
9 Q. Doctor, is this document representative of the types of documents
10 you reviewed in preparation for your testimony?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Now, can you tell us what this autopsy report tells us about
13 Gaspar Perica's cause of death?
14 A. Nine gun-shot wounds of which seven were entry-exit wounds. Two
15 were obviously lethal and those were head wounds, both with the entrances
16 at the back of the head. The destruction on the skin indicated a
17 close-range shot which means that the mouth of the barrel was either
18 leaning on the skin or only a few millimetres away from the skin at the
19 moment when shots were fired. What follows is the description of all the
20 other wounds found on the body, on the chest and on the extremities.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, could I ask just one follow-up question.
22 You said a few millimetres away from the skin. I think in the Martic
23 case you said a few centimetres would be close range. Now you are
24 talking about a few millimetres which is still ten times as centimetres
25 are ten times as much as millimetres. Is it for you to say within a
1 couple of centimetres and then the next range from -- well, let's say up
2 to 1 and a half metre. That's, I think, what you said for the medium
3 range and then for further distance, is that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when I spoke about
5 three different types of ranges, the first one was absolute, the second
6 one was relative, and the third one was distant range. We are now
7 talking about absolute range and that is when the barrel is either
8 leaning on the skin or it can be up to a few centimetres away of the
9 skin, because of the --
10 JUDGE ORIE: The only thing -- the only reason why I asked is
11 because at the time you said a couple of centimetres and now you said a
12 couple of millimetres, which is not exactly the same. Please proceed,
13 Ms. Marcus.
14 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm done with this
15 document, thank you.
16 Q. Doctor, in your chart that you prepared, in some cases you
17 comment that there was no cause of death noted in the autopsy report.
18 Can you explain why this might be the case?
19 A. Yes. The answer may not be simple, however, but let me start
20 from first things first. At the beginning of 1995, there was a lot of
21 pressure with regard to exhumations and postmortems and the analysis of
22 data. There was a lot of pressure put on the part of the families who
23 wanted to bury their next of kin. And it was a huge humanitarian issue,
24 and that's why the priority task was to confirm the identity of the
25 bodies. Wherever possible we also recorded the causes of death.
1 However, it was sometimes very difficult to establish the cause of death
2 and if we did not have a visible injury, what was entered in the records
3 was that cause of death was unknown. And that especially related to the
4 bodies which had spent a number of years in the soil which resulted in
5 the destruction of some of the tissues.
6 For example, if we have a gun-shot wound, the soft tissue injures
7 are on the chest and the neck where there is an absence of bone
8 destruction, when such soft tissue is destroyed after a number of years,
9 the cause of death will remain unknown. When we have cut wounds where
10 also soft tissues are affected and the bones are not affected, the cause
11 of death will again remain unknown because soft tissues are destroyed and
12 there is no visible wound on the bone. That is why some of the
13 pathologic records indicate no clear cause of death because the cause of
14 death could not be established as a result of the destruction of the
15 relevant tissue.
16 Q. Doctor, in some cases in this chart you note that no clothing was
17 described as there was likely no need for an identification procedure.
18 Can you explain why that might be the case?
19 A. I can only assume. We are talking about such cases in which
20 obviously somebody had already taken over the clothes. We had protocols
21 and the protocols indicate that only postmortems were carried out. There
22 were no clothes. Who was it who took the clothes? It probably was --
23 were the police or somebody else before the identification was carried
24 out and before the pathologist started a postmortem. I wasn't present.
25 I know what cases we are talking about, but I suppose that that was the
1 reason the pathologist who carried out a postmortem received naked
2 bodies. The clothes had already been taken and that is why he proceeded
3 without being able to describe the clothes on the body because there were
5 Q. And in such instances, how would an identification procedure be
7 A. In those cases, we are talking about bodies only a couple of days
8 old, recognisable and it only took a photo or two, cast a glance at the
9 body to recognise the person. We carried out classical identification by
10 a family member which was easy, swift, and it didn't take much time to
11 identify such bodies, and I believe that the bodies you are asking me
12 about were exactly of that nature.
13 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, at this stage I would seek leave to
14 tender the chart and the underlying documents into evidence. I presume
15 the chart perhaps could be marked for identification. The underlying
16 documents which were on our 65 ter list perhaps could be given exhibit
17 numbers and the new documents marked for identification, Your Honours.
18 The Prosecution would propose, if Your Honours are agreeable to this, and
19 if this is possible, that perhaps -- we've organised the list of
20 documents by location, by crime site, just in the same way as the charts
21 are organised. That would facilitate a review of the documentary
22 evidence. So what we would propose and we can discuss the mechanism for
23 this with the Registry afterwards is that for each crime site one exhibit
24 number be associated to that crime site and the underlying documents be
25 given that Exhibit number point 1, point 2, point 3, et cetera. If that
1 kind of a mechanism is possible, we are prepared to provide the lists
2 organised in that fashion, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would there be major problems from
4 a technical point of view in giving it dot 1, dot 2, dot 3 numbers?
5 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, that would be technically
6 problematic for the use.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll not choose that solution. We'll find
8 another solution. I was just at this moment focusing on the technical
9 matters, but Mr. Jordash, you wanted -- you were on your feet apparently
10 on a non-technical matter.
11 MR. JORDASH: Not in relation to the technical matter. In
12 relation to something else.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please.
14 MR. JORDASH: I'm sorry to leap up and object again but there's
15 an objection to the -- let me put it this way: This chart was disclosed
16 to the Defence at 1.00 today. As Your Honours can see from the last
17 column that my learned friend and the witness has been discussing over
18 the last few minutes, the chart contains significant new information, or
19 at least some of it may be significantly new, but we in the Defence have
20 not had the opportunity to look at the underlying report and see if, in
21 fact, it is new. We've checked one or two reports, and we can it is --
22 some of the entries are completely new, they are the witness's expert
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so we have -- we have two items now with this
25 chart. The first is that we ignore the new entries for the time being
1 until you have had an opportunity. Now, you say for the not new entries
2 that you would need time because it's not only that the underlying
3 material but also the chart has been provided so recently that you would
4 like to check whether or not what we find especially in the last column,
5 whether that corresponds with what is found in the underlying reports.
6 MR. JORDASH: Our request, Your Honour, is going to be adjourn
7 cross-examination until tomorrow so that we can look and compare the
8 allegations in the indictment the way in which the Prosecution say the
9 victims died in the indictment or the pre-trial brief and look at the
10 underlying autopsy report, compare those autopsy reports with the
11 witness's opinion and come to our own independent view on whether the
12 witness's opinion is correct or not and whether we need to cross-examine
13 him on that opinion tomorrow.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The first thing the Prosecution asked to have it
15 marked for identification. That seems to be if only in view of the
16 debate we've had on it, seems to be a good suggestion.
17 Mr. Bakrac, anything you would like to add?
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I have nothing to add, Your
19 Honours. I haven't even been able to draw the comparison that my learned
20 friend Mr. Jordash has made. So I would like to postpone the
21 cross-examine the more so since the following witness is compatible this
22 one, so we can wait and cross-examine both tomorrow.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's another suggestion. So you had
24 something to add, that is a new proposal.
25 For the postponement of cross-examination, I have to consult with
1 my colleagues.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: A decision on when the Defence would require to
4 start its cross-examination will be delayed until we have heard, first of
5 all, the whole of the examination-in-chief.
6 Ms. Marcus, first let's ask Madam Registrar to assign a number to
7 the chart.
8 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P512 marked for
9 identification, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And it keeps that status for the time being.
11 Then we have to work out another system of, I suggest that you
12 confer with Madam Registrar during the break and see whether there's any
13 subdivision possible or that it's just one number and that you change the
14 document in such a way that either by a number or by name always refer
15 to, well, let's say P520 under number so and so or Josipovic or whatever
16 name is related to that or you number the entries, the various documents
17 which are part of that exhibit number. There must be ways even without
18 giving them officially dot 1, dot 2, dot 3 numbers. There must be ways
19 of finding a solution.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Another option would be to make an index for each of
22 these and then make it part of the exhibit, which is then related to one
23 geographic locality or part of the indictment.
24 MS. MARCUS: Okay, we'll discuss it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You will find solutions for that. The case will
1 not -- for that reason will not collapse. Please proceed.
2 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 I'm now going to ask Mr. Laugel to play a clip from a video. The
4 video is 65 ter 2589. The clip has been uploaded --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Before we play the clip, I'm looking at the clock.
6 Ms. Marcus, I think it would be better to have a break first. We'll have
7 a break and we'll resume at 20 minutes past 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.54 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.28 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, I was informed that you had reached some
11 kind of a solution and that you would structure your exhibits accordingly
12 and that we'll hear from you once you are ready so that the underlying
13 reports can be tendered, or at least all of them will be marked for
14 identification to start with because if we group them together there may
15 be autopsy reports which are in need of being MFI'd.
16 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, what we've discussed is that, in fact,
17 it can't really be grouped together. What we are proposing, I think for
18 the moment is a range per location, so this range of this exhibit through
19 this Exhibit would be associated with a particular location. In that
20 case we would be able to have the ones that are on the 65 ter list
21 already admitted and the others MFI'd, and we'll discuss that with
22 Mr. Laugel and the Registry and inform the Chamber accordingly.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's fine. Although I do not understand why
24 you could not have five or ten exhibits in one document, but let's leave
25 it. If you resolve it, it doesn't make any difference for us. Please
2 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm now going to ask
3 Mr. Laugel to play a clip from a video. The video is 65 ter 2589. The
4 clip is uploaded as 65 ter 2589.2. It is from this documentary at 28
5 minutes 8 seconds to 30 minutes 49 seconds, and it relates to the
6 exhumation at Bacin.
7 Q. Doctor, I'm going to ask you to watch this clip, and when it's
8 finished, I will ask you a few questions about what we have seen.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Bodies from the mass graves near
11 Bacin have been brought here to the institute for forensic medicine and
12 crime of the medical faculty of the university of Zagreb
13 senior lecturer, sir. Could you explain to us what type of examinations
14 and expertise are performed here and what have the results so far been?
15 Dr. Strinovic: Until now we have processed 21 bodies. I have to
16 say that the bodies are in quite a bad damaged state, taking in
17 consideration the time that has passed and the manner in which they have
18 been buried at the site. We examined all the bodies. The clothes have
19 been removed and washed, photographed and will be presented to the
20 relatives during the identification. After that, the age, sex, and
21 height have been determined, the general parameters that we determined
22 for each identification. The important characteristics for individual
23 identification have been determined, like, for example, characteristic
24 teeth. In some cases, we have found teeth with dentures, with implants
25 and so on. Then, for instance, old bone fractures have been determined
1 in several cases. They will certainly help us with the identification.
2 Therefore, all the bones have been inspected in detail and all conditions
3 that could later help us in the definite identification have been
4 determined. We have also paid attention to the cause of death. In
5 practically all cases, we could determine that it was gun-shot wounds.
6 In principle, those are multiple injuries, either gun-shot wounds to the
7 head or several shots through the body, limbs and so on.
8 I want to emphasise that our approach is an interdisciplinary
9 one. That means that we have several types of expert. They are, first
10 of all, forensic experts. Seven forensic experts from the institute of
11 forensic medicine, and they head the whole procedure. We are assisted by
12 a dentist as part of the dental forensic team and an pathologist who was
13 observing changes to the bones that are very important in these cases
14 where more than five years have passed since death.
15 I think that so far our work has been very successful. That
16 means that we have prepared these cases, so to speak. With the
17 assistance of the relatives, we will be able to confirm the identity of
18 the bodies in the majority of cases."
19 MS. MARCUS:
20 Q. Dr. Strinovic, what can you tell us --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Doctor, what can you tell us about the clip that we have just
25 A. We have seen something that is usual when you deal with the
1 mortal remains of persons who died in the war. We saw at the beginning
2 the tins where the bodies were kept on site, that is, at Bacin and then
3 they were transferred to the forensic pathology institute in Zagreb
4 saw how the bodies were transported and subsequently processed. So
5 that's what we were able to see, and we have also discussed that earlier.
6 If you need more details, I can explain further.
7 Q. At the end of the clip we saw a group of yellow bags on a table.
8 Can you tell us what those were?
9 A. Yes, during the identification process, once you examined the
10 entire body, the upper and lower jaw are sawed off and that is the teeth
11 are put into these yellow, bags, and they are examined by a dentist.
12 Later on the teeth are put back into the body and the body is buried.
13 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I would like to tender this clip into
14 evidence as a public exhibit, it is 65 ter 2589.2.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections. Madam Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P513, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: P513 is admitted into evidence.
18 Ms. Marcus, I briefly consulted with my colleagues. The Chamber
19 wonders what we know more after having seen this video compared to what
20 we knew prior to that, that the jaws are in a yellow bag temporarily
21 saved. Apart from that what we see is an explanation which is the third
22 or the fourth time we received now that explanation, reading and hearing
23 what the witness tells us. That's 80 per cent of the video, and then we
24 see an autopsy room which is in itself, can't say that I've never seen
25 that before in my life, but even if I would not have seen it before in my
1 life, it doesn't add anything to what should be proven. The music of
2 course, is very impressive in the beginning, but that's not what the
3 Chamber is seeking to have hard music. Please proceed.
4 MS. MARCUS: Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further
5 questions for the witness.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then we come to the point where we have
7 to consider the cross-examination. One of the options which was
8 suggested, Ms. Marcus, is that we'll start hearing the testimony of the
9 next witness and delay cross-examination until tomorrow.
10 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I've been informed that the next
11 witness is available and could commence her testimony.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It a suggestion raised by Mr. Bakrac. We have not
13 heard the Stanisic Defence on the matter.
14 MR. JORDASH: We would agree with their suggestion. We wouldn't
15 be in a position to cross-examine the next witness until tomorrow because
16 final preparations for that hasn't -- haven't been completed, but we
17 would be very happy to hear the witness in chief or in direct
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I ask you to the extent that it is
20 possible to assess at this moment how much time you would need for
22 MR. JORDASH: I couldn't imagine that cross-examination for both
23 witnesses would take longer than one hour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Together. Mr. Bakrac?
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that we won't
1 need more than an hour, the more so since this is about exact matters
2 once Mr. Jordash raises them, there will be no need for me to repeat
3 them. So I believe that I can make due with 15 to 20 minutes for this
4 witness, depending, of course, whether there will be any additional
6 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Marcus, how much time is the next witness
7 scheduled for as far as examination-in-chief is concerned?
8 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I'm going to defer to Mr. Farr who
9 will be taking Ms. Bilic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Farr.
11 MR. FARR: Your Honours, I estimate it will be approximately an
12 hour and a half.
13 JUDGE ORIE: An hour and a half. So there's a fair chance that
14 we would then conclude the examination-in-chief of the next witness
15 today, and then have you already given it some thought as to how much
16 time you would need for the cross-examination of the next witness?
17 MR. JORDASH: The hour estimation was for both witnesses.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the same was for Mr. Bakrac. Is there any
19 third witness scheduled for this week. I don't think there is, is it?
20 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that it seems that there are no
22 objections from the Prosecution if we would proceed in hearing the
23 testimony in chief of the next witness today and hear the
24 cross-examination of both witnesses tomorrow.
25 MS. MARCUS: No objections.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Strinovic, you've heard the discussions which
2 were not primarily addressing you. The new material you have provided
3 has been provided to the Defence only in a rather late stage and they
4 need a bit more time, not only to look at that material, but also to look
5 at the charts that you have filled in in which you have given your
7 Therefore, we'll continue with hearing the testimony of another
8 witness today and we'd like to see you back tomorrow in the afternoon
9 when the Defence will cross-examine you. Before you are excused for
10 today, I would like to instruct you that you should not speak with anyone
11 about your testimony, whether that is testimony you've given already or
12 your expert report or whatever, or testimony still to be given tomorrow,
13 not to communicate or speak in any way with anyone about this evidence.
14 Is that clear to you?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'd like to see you back tomorrow at quarter
17 past 2.00 in the afternoon. Madam usher.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE ORIE: For the next witness no protective measures,
20 Mr. Farr?
21 MR. FARR: No, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then perhaps I should have asked madam usher to
23 immediately bring with her the next witness. Is there any way we could
24 or would she already bring the next witness in?
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Ms. Bilic. Before you give evidence
2 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn
3 declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
4 the truth. The text is now handed out to you by madam usher.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Ms. Bilic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You'll first be examined by Mr. Farr. Mr. Farr is
10 counsel for the Prosecution. Please proceed, Mr. Farr.
11 MR. FARR: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: VISNJA BILIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examination by Mr. Farr:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Bilic. Can you hear me clearly?
16 A. Yes, I can hear you.
17 Q. Could you please state your full name for the record.
18 A. My name is Visnja Bilic.
19 Q. Ms. Bilic, have you brought any papers with you to court today to
20 which you may wish to refer during your testimony?
21 A. Yes. I brought the documents that are mostly identical to those
22 that I've already submitted upon the request of the Prosecution.
23 Q. Did you prepare these papers and notes yourself in preparation
24 for your testimony here today?
25 A. Yes. I prepared these papers myself.
1 MR. FARR: Your Honour, with the Chambers' leave I would ask
2 Ms. Bilic be permitted to consult her report and notes as necessary
3 during her testimony here today.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections against this suggestion,
5 therefore, leave is granted. Please proceed.
6 MR. FARR:
7 Q. Ms. Bilic, can you please state your job title and the name of
8 the governmental institution you work for?
9 A. I work for the administration of detained persons and missing
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat once more.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat again what you said.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I work for the administration for
14 detained and missing persons of the Ministry of Family Veterans and
15 Intergenerational Solidarity. My work-place is chief of department for
16 interdepartmental co-operation and keeping of registers.
17 MR. FARR:
18 Q. You've just said that your position is chief of the department
19 for interdepartmental co-operation and keeping of registers. What are
20 your department's tasks and responsibilities with respect to records of
21 missing persons?
22 A. As head of department for interdepartmental co-operation and
23 keeping of registers, it is my responsibility to organise the work -- the
24 activities of the department and to assign work to my co-workers and
25 monitor their work. I'm also tasked with dealing with the most complex
1 matters from the purview of the department, the head of which I am.
2 Q. And what are the responsibilities specifically of you and your
3 department with respect to the maintenance of records of missing persons?
4 A. The department for interdepartmental co-operation and the keeping
5 of registers keeps registers from the purview of the administration for
6 detained and missing persons. More concretely, persons who were detained
7 during the homeland war in Croatia
8 persons as well as registers of exhumed unidentified mortal remains.
9 Q. And are these records maintained in hard copy, electronic form,
10 or both?
11 A. These records are maintained in electronic form, but apart from
12 that records of missing persons and registers of exhumed identified
13 persons are also kept on paper, that is, as hard copies in addition to
14 the electronic registers.
15 Q. And where are the hard-copy records physically maintained?
16 A. The hard-copy records are kept in the headquarters of the
17 administration for detained and missing persons.
18 Q. Is that the same place you work on a day-to-day basis?
19 A. Yes, that is the very place, and the files on missing persons are
20 used daily in our work.
21 Q. Your CV which is found at pages 1 to 3 of the English version of
22 your report and pages 1 to 2 of the B/C/S version indicates that you've
23 worked for the state administrations responsibility for detained and
24 missing persons since 1993. During this entire period have your tasks
25 and responsibilities included tasks and responsibilities related to
1 maintaining records of missing persons?
2 A. Except for the very beginning when I started working in 1993 and
3 when my responsibilities had to do above all with communicating with the
4 families of the -- of missing persons and people who have forcibly been
5 taken away. Starting from 1994, I can say that my work tasks have
6 continuously been linked with keeping registers and updating them, I mean
7 registers from within the purview of the administration for detained and
8 missing persons.
9 Q. Have you testified as an expert witness in any other case before
10 this Tribunal?
11 A. Yes. In 2008, in November of that year, it was the Seselj trial.
12 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to ask you several questions to clarify
13 and expand on certain matters in your report. In section 7 of your
14 report at pages 12 to 13 of the English and page 4 of the B/C/S, you
15 discuss the creation of the missing persons questionnaire used by your
16 office. You state that it was created by an interdisciplinary team of
17 professionals, and that missing persons questionnaires of the ICRC, the
18 UN centre for human rights, and INTERPOL were used as guides.
19 My question is, did you personally participate in the creation of
20 this questionnaire, and if so, in what way?
21 A. Yes, I did personally participate in the creation of the
23 Q. How did you participate in the creation of the questionnaire?
24 A. I participated in the creation of one part of the questionnaire
25 which concerns the family and educational status of the missing persons.
1 In addition to that, I was involved in the methodology when it came to
2 the adjustment of the questionnaire to the future electronic processes,
3 making sure that in the process all the relevant pieces are kept, those
4 which might be of relevance in the processes of looking for missing
6 Q. Does this questionnaire say anything about how the date of
7 disappearance of a missing person should be determined?
8 A. Both during the subsequent education of the personnel that
9 collected information about missing persons as well as in the process,
10 the data missing was stated as the day when that person was seen alive
11 for the last time. This is additionally clarified by questions in the
12 questionnaire which follow the question that follows the date of
14 Q. In section 9 of your report at pages 13 to 14 of the English and
15 at page 5 in the B/C/S, you state that after the missing persons
16 questionnaire was created, training was conducted for the staff who would
17 gather the information. Did you have any role in this training?
18 A. Yes, I did play a role. I was involved.
19 Q. And what was your role in the training?
20 A. I provided detailed instructions to the Red Cross officials who
21 were directly involved in the collection of data as to how to collect
22 data. In practical terms, that meant questions concerning personnel data
23 of the missing persons, questions concerning the circumstances, as well
24 as the questions concerning the family and educational status of the
25 missing persons.
1 Q. In the first paragraph of section 10 of your report, this is page
2 5 in the B/C/S and page 14 and 15 in English, you describe the "action"
3 carried out between 14 February and 5 March 1994 to gather data regarding
4 all of the people who had gone missing during the war in Croatia up to
5 that point. You also state that it was possible for families who were
6 not able to provide data during that period to fill out missing person
7 questionnaires later at the headquarters of the then commission for
8 detainees and missing persons. My question is, of the total amount of
9 data collected on persons who went missing before 1994, approximately
10 what percentage was collected in this period between 14 February and 5
11 March 1994, and I'm only asking for an approximation?
12 A. It is possible that as much as 90 per cent of the requests for
13 search was collected during the period between 14 February and 5th March
14 1994. I can say almost with certainty that 99 per cent for requests were
15 acted upon.
16 Q. And in the course of this action, who actually filled out these
17 forms, the families of the missing persons themselves, or the staff whose
18 training you mentioned previously?
19 A. The questionnaires were filled out by the personnel of the
20 Croatian Red Cross which had previously been trained, and the
21 questionnaires were filled based on the answers provided by the families.
22 The credibility of the information was finally confirmed by the
23 signatures of the family members put on the questionnaires.
24 Q. And other than the family member, did anyone else sign the
1 A. The questionnaires were signed by the family members. Every
2 member indicates the date when the information was collected, the place
3 where information was collected, as well as the branch office of the
4 recreation Red Cross or the collective accommodation of the refugees
5 where data were collected.
6 Q. And approximately what percentage of the total data on missing
7 persons gathered during the course of this action was gathered on the
8 basis of the standardised missing persons questionnaire that you
9 participated in the design of?
10 A. Over 99 per cent. It would probably be justified to say that
11 only in exceptional cases information was collected by way of a shortened
12 version of the questionnaire, and this was primarily in the case of those
13 families which requested postmortem remains. Not missing persons but the
14 postmortem remains thereof.
15 Q. In section 11 of your report at page 16 of the English and 6 of
16 the B/C/S, you describe three things that were done with the data after
17 they were collected. First a determination was made as to whether a
18 given disappearance occurred in connection with war time events. Second,
19 if multiple questionnaires had been filled out with respect to a single
20 person, the data was merged. And finally, the data was put into a
21 computer database. Did you take part in any of these three steps?
22 A. Yes, I took part in both of the stages. I -- in both of the
23 steps you just described. In the first step which was reading every
24 personal file in order to confirm whether the disappearance was within
25 the purview of the then state commission or rather whether the
1 disappearance, which was reported, had anything to do with war events. I
2 also participated in step two, which was the merging of all the files in
3 those cases when the requests for the search of one in the same person
4 had been filed by different people.
5 Q. And who then put the data into the database?
6 A. The database is an electronic database which was previously
7 prepared, and when it comes to the entry of data, we engaged a previously
8 trained personnel, those people who had been trained about the data entry
9 into the electronic database.
10 Q. And approximately when was the data put into the database?
11 A. The data was put into the database immediately after all the
12 checks were completed, the checks that we have just described. It
13 probably took a month or so to perform all the checks and then another
14 month for all the collected data to be put into the database. In other
15 words, I believe that before the beginning of May 1994, all the data was
16 put into the electronic database.
17 Q. And after the data was entered into the electronic database, what
18 was done with the paper files?
19 A. The paper files were coded for an easier manipulation, and they
20 were archived so as to make them available and accessible to the
21 every-day work of the personnel of the administration for missing and
22 detained persons.
23 Q. Okay. I'd now like to turn to sections 24 to 29 of your report,
24 which deal with identifications. This is pages 25 to 30 of the English
25 and pages 10 to 12 of the B/C/S.
1 You describe the process of identification of exhumed remains.
2 Can you briefly describe the role of your administration in co-ordinating
3 the identification of exhumed remains?
4 A. Let me put it this way very briefly. One could say that the
5 administration for missing and detained persons was in charge of the
6 following parts of the job which is also described by the government
7 decree. Primarily, the administration for missing and detained persons
8 collected information about all the exhumed victims with a view to their
9 identification which included anti-mortem information, postmortem
10 information, operative information about the possible identity of exhumed
11 victims and includes the DNA analysis as well. That would be the first
12 step when it comes to the collection of information about the exhumed
13 victims and their identification.
14 The second task of the administration for detained and missing
15 persons was to organise and co-ordinate the processes, to identify the
16 exhumed postmortem remains. After that what follow is the collection of
17 data about the identified victims and maintaining records about
18 identified victims, as well as the collection and merging of all of the
19 documentation covering all the identified victims. That would be, in
20 short, all the tasks of the administration of missing and detained
21 persons within the process of identification.
22 Q. Are staff from your administration present when remains are
24 A. Yes. The assistant minister who was the head of the
25 administration for missing and detained persons, Colonel Ivan Grujic, was
1 present during every identification process.
2 Q. And if remains are positively identified, how was your
3 administration officially informed of that fact?
4 A. The administration was provided with the findings. However, I
5 would like to say that one of the jobs and the competencies of the
6 administration was establish the premortem identity. Also, the
7 administration maintained records of all unidentified persons that would
8 from time to time be publicly disclosed in those places where there was
9 the largest number of victims, and in addition to that, as I've already
10 said, the administration was also provided with DNA findings confirming
11 the match between the benchmark findings such as blood of the next of kin
12 and the postmortem remains. And based on that information, the
13 administration established a list of persons for identification and the
14 system that was in place was used to inform the families about
16 The system functions in the following way: The families of the
17 civilians whose identification was pending was directly informed and then
18 they informed the Red Cross about the time and the place of
19 identification. Croatian veterans also informed, or rather, the Croatian
20 veterans were informed by the relevant offices in charge of the veterans
21 as well as the Red Cross. In other words, the families received direct
22 information about the upcoming identification and they were invited to
23 attend the process.
24 Q. And it's at those identifications that the preliminary
25 identification becomes a final identification; is that correct?
1 A. If the family confirmed the result of the identification, then,
2 yes. In any case, the family had a final say in confirming or denying to
3 confirm the identification results.
4 Q. And what does your administration do with the records of a
5 missing person whose remains have been exhumed and identified?
6 A. In that case, we entered information about the date and the time
7 of the identification of postmortem remains in the electronic base. The
8 paper file would be complemented by the records of the identified
9 patient, dental records, the DNA analysis as well as the report of the
10 institution that carried out the postmortem analysis, and that file was
11 then transferred from the archives of missing persons into the archives
12 of identified persons.
13 Q. In section 10 of your report, page 15 English and page 6 B/C/S,
14 you describe a second action carried out by your administration between
15 2002 and 2006 to gather data on persons who went missing following
16 Operation Flash and Operation Storm. Can you just briefly describe how
17 your administration initiated this action?
18 A. Well, the first action to collect information about missing
19 persons, as we already stated, was carried out in 1994. In operations
20 flash and storm which took place after the first action to collect data,
21 they were in 1995, a certain number of the citizens of the Republic of
23 of the Republic of Croatia
24 collecting information about people who went missing during operations
25 flash and storm. Bearing in mind the fact that most of the families of
1 the missing persons who went missing in operations flash and storm
2 resided in the territory of the Republic of Serbia
3 the territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the action to
4 collect data was preceded by an agreement with the official bodies of the
5 Republic of Serbia
6 search for missing persons as well as an agreement with the international
7 committee of the Red Cross which co-operated in the direct collection of
8 information about missing persons.
9 Also, what preceded the collection of data was training of the
10 Red Cross personnel as well as the training of the Red Cross of Serbia
11 and the Red Cross of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their officials also were
12 involved in the collection of data. It should be emphasised here that
13 the data collected were collected based on the same criteria and the same
14 methodology as was the case in the collection of data about the missing
15 persons in the action that was carried out in 1994.
16 Q. Thank you. So you've described two actions for us. One in 1994
17 and one from 2002 to 2006 in which your administration gathered data.
18 Now, in section 30 of your report, pages 30 to 32 of English, and pages
19 13 and 14 of the B/C/S, you summarised the data on the missing persons
20 collected during these two actions. What was the ethnicity of the
21 majority of the victims for whom you collected data in the first action,
22 that is the action conducted in 1994?
23 A. Most were Croatians. I believe that this can be seen from other
24 document that I enclosed. 87 per cent of the missing persons were
25 Croatians. In the second action to collect data between 2004 and 2006
1 which continued even thereafter, most of the people who went missing were
3 Q. In this first group that was predominantly Croat, you said that
4 there are 176 [sic] persons who were still missing of whom 542 are
5 civilians. Of those 542 missing civilians, how many are Croats?
6 A. Just a moment, could you please bear with me. Out of 1076
7 missing persons, according to the records on the date of the report,
8 which was in 2008, 542 persons were civilians, and of that number 461
9 persons were Croats.
10 Q. Thank you. In section 31 of your report, you mention two groups
11 of persons whose remains have been exhumed and identified. Section 31
12 describes the first group as having been exhumed from "mass and
13 individual graves" while the second group was exhumed from "common graves
14 following the humane 'asanacija' or terrain restoration of mortal remains
15 from the storm military police action."
16 My question is, can you briefly describe the difference between a
17 mass grave as you use the term in your report, and a common grave created
18 as a result of "asanacija?"
19 A. There is no common accepted term for -- definition of the term
20 mass grave. Croatia
21 involved in arbitration according to whom mass grave is a place where the
22 remains of three or more persons were buried illegally without any
23 markings and any show of respect towards the mortal remains. This would
24 be a mass grave.
25 As far as a common grave is concerned, which were the result of
1 the exhumation, postmortem remains buried in common graves were buried in
2 keeping with the Geneva Conventions. There is a relevant and required
3 distance between mortal remains. The place where they were buried is
4 duty marked. Those would be the main differences. There is also
5 documentation about the postmortem remains buried in common graves.
6 Q. Still in section 31 of your report, pages 33 to 34 of the English
7 and 14 and 15 of the B/C/S, you give the statistics for these two groups,
8 that is, the group exhumed from mass and individual graves versus the
9 group exhumed from common graves following the "asanacija." My question
10 is, what was the ethnicity of the majority of the people exhumed from the
11 mass and individual graves as defined in your report as opposed to the
12 people exhumed from the common graves created after Operation Storm?
13 A. In the first case those were Croats predominantly. 87 per cent
14 of the exhumed and identified victims from mass and individual graves
15 were Croats. As far as the persons exhumed from common graves is
16 concerned, in 90 per cent of the cases approximately they were of Serb
18 Q. And of this first predominantly Croat group, you indicated that
19 3.100 people had been identified and that of those 3.100 identified
20 persons, 1.881 were civilians. My question is, can you tell me of those
21 1.881 identified civilians how many were Croats?
22 A. Out of 1.881 persons, according to the information provided by
23 the families of those identified persons, 1.488 were of Croat ethnicity.
24 Q. Now I'd like to ask you a little bit about the information
25 contained in the charts of victims of various incidents charged in the
1 indictment in this case. These charts are in your report at ERN pages
2 0641-2240 to 0641-2251 of the B/C/S and pages 89 through 107 of the
4 My first question is, were these charts based on the computer
5 database or the paper records maintained by your administration or both?
6 A. The data in the electronic database are identical with the data
7 contained in the paper files. However, the tables are based on both,
8 both the electronic database and the paper files.
9 Q. I'd now like to ask you about the meaning of some of the
10 abbreviations used in these charts. There is a legend to these
11 abbreviations at ERN page 0641-2252 of the B/C/S which is pages 108 to
12 109 of the English, but I'd like to ask you a few more questions to
13 clarify exactly what they mean.
14 Starting with the first abbreviation "NES" which indicates a
15 missing person. What does it mean when the person has the designation
16 "in ES" beside their name?
17 A. I must admit that there is no EES, there's only NES which means
18 that the person is indeed missing. That the request has been filed to
19 search for that person but that that person's lot is still uncertain,
20 that it still hasn't been established what has happened to the person.
21 NES, missing.
22 Q. Thank you. And does your administration have a missing persons
23 questionnaire on record for everyone who has the abbreviation NES by
24 their name in your report?
25 A. Yes, absolutely.
1 Q. The next category is "ID" or identified person. What does that
2 abbreviation beside a persons name indicate?
3 A. That abbreviation indicates that the mortal remains of a person
4 have been positively identified and accepted by the family members.
5 Q. Does your administration have an identification report for every
6 person who has the abbreviation "ID" beside his or her name in your
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The next category is POG, or person killed, according to the
10 records of 12.078 killed during the aggression on the Republic of
12 A. It means that the person is in the records of persons killed
13 during the war in the Republic of Croatia
14 Q. Does your administration maintain official records regarding this
16 A. The administration for detained and missing persons does not have
17 within its purview maintaining records about killed persons.
18 Q. And what bodies of the Croatian government are responsible for
19 maintaining this information?
20 A. The bodies in Croatia
21 killed persons are the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare who maintain
22 records on killed civilians as well as the Ministry of the Family Affairs
23 Veterans --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please stop and repeat from
25 the second sentence on.
1 MR. FARR:
2 Q. Ms. Bilic, I believe that the interpreters lost track of your
3 answer. You had just said that the Ministry of the Family and Veterans
4 is involved in keeping records on killed -- no, you had said that the
5 Ministry of Health maintains the records of the killed civilians, and you
6 were getting ready to say what the role of some part of the Ministry of
7 Family Affairs and Veterans Affairs was. Could you tell us what the role
8 of the Ministry of Family Affairs and Veterans Affairs is in keeping the
9 records of the killed persons?
10 A. The Ministry of Health is tasked with keeping records on killed
11 civilians. Whereas the Ministry of Family Affairs, Veterans and
12 Intergenerational Solidarity, however not the administration for detained
13 and missing persons in which I work, but rather the administration who
14 takes care of Croatian war veterans altogether is tasked with maintaining
15 records on killed Croatian defence forces members.
16 Q. And where did you get the information regarding the people that
17 you list with this status POG in your report?
18 A. Above all I had access to the register of killed persons in
19 connection with war time activities in Croatia, but there was also
20 information that was used in previous testimonies by the assistant
21 minister in charge of detained and missing persons namely
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Ivan Grujic.
23 Q. The next category is ZPO, which according to the English
24 translation means search for mortal remains, request submitted by their
25 family to the administration for detainees and missing persons. What
1 does this category mean?
2 A. In keeping with the methodology of the ICRC, the administration
3 for missing and detained persons also collected information about persons
4 who were killed and who can be found in the registers of killed persons.
5 But their families do not know where their mortal remains have been
6 buried. This category differs from the category of missing persons in
7 this respect because when it comes to missing persons, their family
8 members have no information about them at all.
9 Q. Does your administration have a request for search for mortal
10 remains on file with respect to every victim in the category ZPO in your
12 A. Yes. The administration for detained and missing persons has all
13 requests for search for mortal remains. I believe at this moment there's
14 a total of 420 such requests.
15 Q. And finally, the category RSL, what does that abbreviation mean?
16 A. It means that the case is solved. It's about a person which was
17 considered missing; however, its fate has been established, not through
18 the process of identification of mortal remains though because the group
19 of identified persons is a separate group and marked differently. These
20 are persons whose fate has been resolved differently. Their mortal
21 remains may have been found in the places where they had residence or
22 possibly those are people who died natural death and their remains were
23 found subsequently, or they may have been persons whose family reported
24 them as missing but it was later on established that they were, in fact,
1 MR. FARR: Your Honour, at this time I tender this witness's
2 expert report, which has been uploaded in e-court as 65 ter number 5335.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections. Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P514, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P514 is admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
6 MR. FARR: Could we now please have 65 ter number 5337.1 on the
7 screen. This is the second proofing note for this witness dated 26 May
8 2010, which has been initialled and signed by this witness. The proofing
9 note contains the text of two e-mails send by Ms. Bilic updating and
10 correcting certain matters in her report, and if there's no objection I
11 would tender it as a Prosecution exhibit at this point.
12 MR. JORDASH: Sorry, may I just have a moment.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. JORDASH: Thank you. Thank you, no objections.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P515, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P515 is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. FARR:
20 Q. Ms. Bilic, in your e-mail of 21 May 2010, which is included in
21 the proofing note just admitted, you stated:
22 "I'm informing you that the information on the missing exhumed
23 and identified persons has slightly changed. However, these changes are
24 not so significant to change the age, generic status, and ethnic
1 Could you please briefly explain what these changes were and why
2 they did not have any significant impact on the items you mentioned?
3 A. While preparing the report, and I'm referring to information from
4 July 2008, the administration for detained and missing persons had 1.076
5 persons registered. I mean, the persons from the first cycle of
6 collecting information back in 2004. From July 2008 until now, a certain
7 number of missing persons has been resolved so that now they total 1.049.
8 These cases which have been resolved in the meantime are not so numerous
9 though as to affect the gender structure, the ethnic makeup, or the age
10 makeup, or the status makeup as shown in the PowerPoint presentation.
11 Q. And did you say how many persons cases had been resolved of those
13 A. Yes. 47 cases have been resolved to this day.
14 Q. So do I understand you correctly that essentially those 47 cases
15 out of 1.076 don't have an influence on the statistical breakdown listed
16 in your report?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. During the course of your preparation for your testimony here
19 today, did you review a significant number of missing person
20 questionnaires here in the Prosecution's offices?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Did you recognise the format of those questionnaires?
23 A. Yes, I recognised it. They are original documents of the
24 administration for detained and missing persons.
25 Q. And just so the record is clear, is this the same form that you
1 helped design and that you've worked with during your 16 years in the
2 state administrations for detainees and missing persons?
3 A. Yes, it's the format of questionnaire used by the department for
4 detained and missing persons to collect information about these persons
5 and it uses this format in its work.
6 Q. And did you make comments regarding the authenticity of these
7 missing persons questionnaires?
8 A. I established that the questionnaires are credible.
9 Q. And by credible, do you mean authentic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you also make comments regarding what those documents showed
12 about the time and place of disappearance of certain people?
13 A. Yes, I put forward information such as the date and place where
14 they went missing.
15 Q. Were your comments then put into a chart and were those charts
16 then read back to you in your own language?
17 A. Yes, the data was inserted into of the table. The contents of
18 the table were read out to me, and it corresponded to what I had stated.
19 Q. And did you then sign the charts on which these comments had been
21 A. Yes, I signed the charts.
22 MR. FARR: Could we please have 65 ter number 5333 on the screen.
23 This is the chart listing the documents reviewed by Ms. Bilic showing her
24 comments regarding the authenticity. I have copies of these charts for
25 the Chamber and Defence. I didn't have a chance to hand them out before,
1 but I have them if they are necessary.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam usher, could you collect the available
3 documentation and distribute it.
4 MR. FARR:
5 Q. Ms. Bilic, do you recognise this chart on the screen before you
6 as the chart upon which you recorded your observations regarding the
7 various documents you reviewed here in the Prosecution's offices?
8 A. I recognised it. It is the very table, the chart.
9 Q. And do you recognise your signature?
10 A. I do.
11 MR. FARR: Your Honour, at this time I tender this chart as a
12 Prosecution exhibit.
13 MR. JORDASH: Objection on the same basis as the previous chart.
14 We were given it at 1.00 today. We haven't had a chance to look at it.
15 We don't know what it contains and its significance.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Farr.
17 MR. FARR: If the position is the same as it is with respect to
18 the other chart, that the Defence have the night to review it and then
19 that the decision be made tomorrow, that's acceptable to the Prosecution.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Irrespective of what the decision would be?
21 MR. FARR: Well, we accept --
22 JUDGE ORIE: You are so generous.
23 MR. FARR: I would just mention, Your Honour, that there are no
24 new documents in this chart, just for the sake of clarity.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we had two items, as I said before, the one is
1 the new entries that apparently doesn't play a role here and the other is
2 the possibility to verify whether the data on this chart are -- do
3 correspond with the information, the underlying documentation. I suggest
4 that we take the same approach. Madam Registrar, the number for this
5 document to be marked for identification would be?
6 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P516 marked for
7 identification, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And will keep that status for the time being.
9 Mr. Farr, I'm looking at the clock. It's time for a break, I would say,
10 and then I take it in view of your earlier estimate that you easily
11 conclude the examination-in-chief by 7.00.
12 MR. FARR: That's correct, Your Honour, I was intending to tender
13 the underlying exhibits to this chart as well. I think it's a different
14 situation. The Defence has had these for a long period of time. This
15 part isn't a surprise. I don't know with whether the Chamber would
16 prefer to address that now or after the break.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It depends what else you have for after the break.
18 MR. FARR: I do still have a few matters, probably 10 or 15
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then we first have a break and we resume at five
21 minutes past 6.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 6.13 p.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises for the late time we resume.
25 Mr. Farr, you were about to tender the underlying documents, I think.
1 MR. FARR: That's correct, Your Honour. And there are 81
2 documents that Ms. Bilic has authenticated, they were all noticed to be
3 used with this witness. Her comment on authenticity was simply that they
4 were authentic, this is a form that she helped to develop, that she's
5 worked with for 16 year. I understand that, you know, the Defence may
6 wish to cross-examine her on comments that she's made about the
7 documents, but as to the admission of the documents, I think that would
8 be appropriate at this point.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you are speculating on what the Defence
10 apparently would wish or not wish to do. Any objections? Here at least
11 we are rid of the new documents because these are were all disclosed in
12 time, if I understood you well, and it's different from the previous
14 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes. The only -- I think Mr. Farr is
15 almost right. The only caveat I would add is that we don't know what the
16 witness's comments, the significance of the witness's comments in
17 relation to the exhibits. They may relate to the admissibility issue.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see that. At the same time if we would not
19 have a chart with her comments, they could have been tendered as
20 disclosed timely and relevant in this context.
21 MR. JORDASH: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, it seems to be more a matter of when
23 your cross-examination starts, than whether it affects the admissibility.
24 But we leave it open. I mean, it's well understood that if the comments
25 would cast any totally different light on the admission of the others, of
1 course, we'll revisit that matter and then -- but the 81 documents, as
2 such, there's no of this moment -- at this moment no objection to
4 MR. JORDASH: That's right, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, same position, different position?
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Petrovic. That's a good answer to my question,
8 same or different, then to say yes, Mr. Petrovic, that really helps me
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, I
11 misspoke. We have nothing to add to what Mr. Jordash has already said so
12 we have nothing to add.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the numbers for the 81 documents
14 would be, or would you prefer to prepare a chart first? These 81
15 documents are admitted into evidence, numbers to be assigned by Madam
16 Registrar and she will put them on the list.
17 Mr. Farr, you may proceed.
18 MR. FARR: Thank you, Your Honour. And I would just note that
19 there are some situations where our victim lists indicate a number of
20 possible spellings for particular names. These missing persons
21 questionnaires do provide more specific detail on that point, and I've
22 also would know that where Ms. Bilic's report lists a given individual as
23 being missing or unidentified but we do not have the corresponding
24 missing persons questionnaire or identification report, we've noted that
25 in her authentication chart, and as she has indicated, her administration
1 does have all of those underlying documents that can be requested from
2 her administration, should that become necessary.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Her comments are based upon what is available in
4 your databases, rather than what may be elsewhere.
5 MR. FARR: Her comments on her authentication chart are based on
6 physical documents that we have that were shown to her. The matters in
7 her report are based on her significantly more complete archive in
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It was not without reason that I use the word
10 "comments" because that's one of the columns, I think you earlier
11 referred to that as the column in which comments were made. Yes, that's
12 clear. Please proceed.
13 MR. FARR: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Ms. Bilic, before the break you confirmed that your
15 administration has a missing persons questionnaire for each person listed
16 as missing in your report. You also confirmed that your administration
17 has an identification report for each person listed as identified in your
18 report. I just have one follow-up on that. Does your administration
19 also have the missing person's questionnaire for people who were later
20 identified and who therefore now have the designation ID?
21 A. Yes, for some of them. I must say that some of the identified
22 persons from the missing persons category are from the missing persons
23 category but others are not. The persons who were previously registered
24 as missing and whose mortal remains were subsequently identified, are
25 persons for whom our administration has questionnaires who were filled
1 out -- that were filled out in 1994 during the -- our appeal to renew the
2 search requests.
3 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to ask you briefly about the victims
4 from Skabrnja listed in your report. All of the victims from Skabrnja
5 that we have now in our indictment are listed as killed in your report.
6 My question is, did any of these persons ever have the status of missing
8 A. No, no person on the list of victims from Skabrnja was ever on
9 the list of missing persons.
10 Q. And why is that?
11 A. The list of missing persons was established in early 1994. The
12 victims from Skabrnja on this list are persons whose mortal remains were
13 delivered to the Croatian authorities in November 1991, as far as I know,
14 after which the procedure for identifying and burying them was carried
15 out. There was no need, therefore, and no justification for these
16 persons to be on the list of missing persons.
17 Q. I would now like to ask you a couple of -- questions about a
18 couple of the exhumations you attended. Were you present at the
19 exhumation carried out at the Bacin Skela or Bacin ferry location?
20 A. Yes, I was present at the exhumation at Bacin Skela.
21 Q. And approximately how long did that exhumation last?
22 A. The exhumation was carried out in March 1997, and it went on for
23 about ten days.
24 Q. Were you present for that whole ten-day period?
25 A. Yes. I was present throughout the exhumation at Bacin.
1 MR. FARR: Your Honours, I'd now like to play two short clips
2 from 65 ter 2589, which is the video with ERN V000-5117. The first clip
3 runs from 3 minutes and 12 seconds to 5 minutes and 40 seconds. The
4 transcript has been marked as "clip 1" and I believe it has been provided
5 to the booths.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Farr, you may have noticed that on a video-clip
7 played previously today, that the Chamber wondered what it learned from
8 it. I hope it's not a similar exercise, hard music, a lot of atmosphere
9 but no real information which assists the Chamber in making the
10 determinations it will have to make.
11 MR. FARR: I don't think that will be the case. Although, I have
12 to say the music is similar.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'm also, Mr. Groome, from what I understand you are
14 more or less the senior in the team. I don't know whether it was clear
15 what I said earlier today, and we'd like to keep it as clean as possible.
16 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I have not seen the video-clip
17 before, but I have discussed it about Mr. Farr, and I do trust his
18 judgement on it. Mr. Farr being aware of the admonition of the Court,
19 says that it not similar to that earlier video-clip.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It's not only that it should not be similar, but it
21 should bring us something in addition to what the evidence has brought us
22 until that moment apart from -- I'm not saying that the Chamber is not
23 blind for emotion and for, but the Chamber is -- well, Mr. Farr, I think
24 the message has been clear enough. You have discussed it with
25 Mr. Groome. Let's for the -- you have two video-clips, isn't it?
1 MR. GROOME: If you want, we can look at -- I'll review the tapes
2 tonight and the witness is coming back tomorrow and I can personally
3 attest to why I believe it's directly relevant.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think I sent a clear message. Mr. Farr has
5 discussed the message with you, you trust that Mr. Farr has -- his
6 judgement is professional. Let's see whether that's the case and look at
7 the video.
8 MR. FARR: Well, perhaps I'll just first ask the witness this
10 Q. During the course of your preparation for testimony here today,
11 did you have the opportunity to review several video-clips with me?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Do you recall what those video-clips depicted?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. Can you describe for the Chamber what those video-clips depicted?
16 A. The video-clips depicted how the micro location of the mass grave
17 at Bacin Skela was found, and then the exhumation of the mortal remains
18 is shown as well as the interviews with the participants in the
19 exhumation process.
20 MR. FARR: Your Honour, I'll defer to the Chamber's judgement as
21 to whether that's the kind of evidence that might be helpful.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ORIE: I am addressing you, Mr. Jordash and Mr. Bakrac. Is
24 there any challenge as to whether the right place was found, the way in
25 which people were led to that place, whether the exhumation causes any
1 concerns as far as you are concerned? Is there anything in the videos
2 which you may be familiar with which touches upon an issue in dispute?
3 MR. JORDASH: No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances you want to show us
7 something where there's apparently no issue in dispute. If you would
8 disagree or if you would take a minute to discuss it with Mr. Groome,
9 please do so.
10 MR. FARR: I'll move on, Your Honour.
11 Q. Ms. Bilic, did you also attend the exhumation carried out at a
12 well in Daljski Atar?
13 A. Yes, I did attend the exhumation at the well at Daljski Atar.
14 Q. And approximately how long did that exhumation last?
15 A. Approximately a week, and it was done in October 1998.
16 Q. Based on your attendance at that exhumation, can you tell us what
17 was found?
18 A. In the mass grave at Daljski Atar, we found the mortal remains of
19 23 persons. So far the mortal remains of 20 persons have been positively
20 identified. The process of identification has shown that the persons who
21 were found in that mass grave in the well were locals from Erdut who were
22 taken away from their homes on several occasions in 1991 and in early
23 1992. Depending on the time they were taken away, or rather, the
24 position of the bodies was in direct correlation with the time they were
25 taken away. Those who were taken away first were at the bottom of the
1 well, whereas, those who are taken away last in early 1992, their bodies
2 were at the top.
3 Q. Thank you, Ms. Bilic.
4 MR. FARR: Thank you, Your Honour. I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps one question. You may have noticed that the
6 Chamber is inclined to rely on reports. Now, is there anything in the
7 two exhumations which is extraordinary, which is different from what is
8 usually found or what is not reflected in the reports we receive on
9 exhumation and identification of bodies? Is there anything special, or
10 is it -- would it give any information which we would not have by
11 carefully reading the report and.
12 THE WITNESS: No, there's nothing.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Mr. Farr, if there's any need to
14 show the videos in re-examination based on what the cross-examination may
15 reveal, then, of course, the Chamber will consider that.
16 MR. FARR: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Farr.
18 We have discussed with the parties when your cross-examination
19 would start and in order to be better prepared both Defence teams have
20 asked us to allow them to start tomorrow. The same is true, by the way,
21 for another witness who testified today. Therefore, we'd like to see you
22 back tomorrow in the afternoon and then how we are going to organise that
23 exactly is not entirely clear to me yet because we have received
24 estimates for the totality of the cross-examination, so whether you would
25 have to wait for awhile, whether you would be the first one or whether it
1 would be Mr. Strinovic, which I take it that you are aware that he was a
2 witness today as well, is still uncertain, but there's -- I hardly can
3 imagine that we would not within the first two hours of tomorrow's
4 afternoon session that we could conclude your testimony, to hear your
6 Therefore, you will be excused for the day. We'd like to see you
7 back tomorrow at quarter past 2.00. And I would like to instruct you
8 that you should not speak with anyone, that would include other witnesses
9 who may be in The Hague
10 other way about your testimony, whether that is testimony you've given
11 already today or whether that's testimony still to be given tomorrow. Is
12 that clear?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely clear.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then I invite madam usher to escort you
15 out of the courtroom and we will see you back tomorrow.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: This leaves us some time for a few procedural
18 matters. I have a few, if we cannot finish them today, we still would
19 have tomorrow.
20 The first one deals with Witness JF-038. On the 12th and the
21 13th of May of this year, the Chamber has heard the evidence of witness
22 JF-038, and in cross-examination, the Defence put questions to the
23 witness based on a previous statement taken from the witness in 2004.
24 The Simatovic Defence tendered those parts of the statement that were
25 read out before the Chamber in court for admission into evidence, and
1 this can be found at transcript pages 4970 to 4972. The Chamber
2 considers that the tendered parts have been read into the transcript and
3 that this provides sufficient context for the Chamber to understand the
4 witness's answers and assess the witness's evidence and, consequently,
5 denies admission.
6 Mr. Bakrac, I think already I delivered this decision out of an
7 abundance of caution because from those pages of the transcript it
8 appears already that there seem to be no major disagreement and that we
9 started responding to you tendering those documents but when discussing
10 whether the context was sufficient, that you seem not to disagree,
11 although finally you did not withdraw tendering those documents which
12 were never assigned exhibit numbers.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. My learned
14 friend Mr. Petrovic spoke to the witness, we have just consulted, and
15 what you are saying is acceptable. And the statement has been recorded
16 in the transcript. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Then what I would now like to do is deliver a decision on the
19 admission of evidence of Husein Ahmetovic pursuant to Rule 92 quater.
20 This is a decision on the Prosecution's motion for admission of
21 evidence of witness Husein Ahmetovic, pursuant to Rule 92 quater which
22 was filed on the 29th of March of 2010.
23 On the 24th of November, 2009, the Prosecution submitted that the
24 witness did not require protective measures at that time. Subsequently,
25 the Prosecution has referred to the witness in public filings. And the
1 Chamber understands that the Prosecution does not intend to seek
2 protective measures for this witness and therefore, refers to him by his
3 name in this decision.
4 On the 29th of March, 2010, the Prosecution filed its motion, in
5 which it sought to admit the evidence of Husein Ahmetovic pursuant to
6 Rule 92 quater of the rules, together with four associated exhibits, the
7 death certificate of the witness, and one additional document. The
8 Prosecution had first tendered the evidence of this witness pursuant to
9 Rule 92 bis of the rules, but due to the new motion, the Chamber now
10 considers moot all outstanding requests pertaining to the application to
11 admit the witness's evidence under Rule 92 bis of the rules. For the
12 sake of expediency, the Chamber will not describe the full procedural
13 history, which is set out in the Prosecution's motion.
14 In a response filed on the 12th of April of this year, the
15 Stanisic Defence requested that the motion be denied, arguing that the
16 criteria for admission pursuant to Rule 92 quater had not been met. On
17 the 16th of April, 2010, the Prosecution requested leave to reply to the
18 Stanisic response. On the 23rd of April, 2010, the Chamber granted leave
19 to reply and informed the parties accordingly through an informal
20 communication. The Prosecution filed its reply on the 28th of April
22 The Chamber recalls the law governing the admission of evidence
23 pursuant to Rule 92 quater as set out previously by this Chamber in its
24 decision of the 11th of March, 2010 concerning Witness B-179. The
25 Chamber finds that the witness Husein Ahmetovic is deceased and thus
1 unavailable pursuant to Rule 92 quater of the rules.
2 Addressing the Stanisic Defence objection, having reviewed the
3 witness statement, the Chamber notes that it deals in part with acts of
4 the Red Berets for which the accused's responsibility is allegedly
5 incurred. However, it does not deal per se with acts and conduct of the
6 accused as charged in the indictment.
7 When assessing reliability of the witness statement as one of the
8 factors for admission pursuant to Rule 92 quater of the rules, the
9 Chamber considers that the statement was signed by the witness and taken
10 with the assistance of an interpreter duly qualified and approved by the
11 Registry of the Tribunal. Although the statement has not been subject to
12 cross-examination, the statement relates to events about which the
13 Chamber has received other evidence, including the testimony of Witness
14 JF-008 and Witness JF-009.
15 The Stanisic Defence admits that the statement is ambiguous as to
16 the identification of certain persons and therefore lacks clarity. The
17 Chamber considers that the fact that the witness expresses uncertainty
18 with regard to a certain matter, does not by itself render a statement
19 unreliable. The Chamber has considered the ambiguities referred to by
20 the Stanisic Defence and concludes that the witness's statement does not
21 contain any manifest or obvious inconsistencies. In conclusion, the
22 Chamber finds that the witness statement is reliable in the meaning of
23 Rule 92 quater of the rules.
24 The Chamber is further satisfied that the general requirements of
25 admissibility pursuant to Rule 89(C) and (D) have been met.
1 With regards to the associated exhibits tendered by the
2 Prosecution, the Chamber notes that the document with 65 ter number 3609
3 has already been admitted as P93, and that the document with 65 ter
4 number 3536, has been admitted in relevant part as P94.
5 As for the remaining documents, the Chamber considers that they
6 were discussed by the witness in his statement and form an inseparable
7 and indispensable part of the witness's evidence, and can, therefore, be
8 admitted into evidence. The additional documents, although not discussed
9 by the witness in the proffered statement, may also be admitted into
10 evidence as it is relevant and of probative value and directly relates to
11 and corroborates the witness's evidence.
12 For the foregoing reasons the Chamber grants the motion and
13 admits the following into evidence: The written statement of Husein
14 Ahmetovic of the 11th of July, 2008, which has 65 ter number 5400; the
15 associated exhibits with the 65 ter numbers 118 and 4869; the death
16 certificate for the witness, which has 65 ter number 5273; and the
17 additional document tendered by the Prosecution with 65 ter number 4870.
18 All the mentioned items are admitted publicly.
19 The Registrar is hereby instructed to assign exhibit numbers to
20 the admitted documents and inform the Chamber and the parties of the
21 numbers to be assigned. And this concludes the Chamber's decision.
22 We'll hear later from Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 5400 becomes Exhibit P517. 65 ter 118
24 becomes Exhibit P518. 65 ter 4869 becomes Exhibit P519. 65 ter 5273
25 becomes Exhibit P520. And 65 ter 4870 becomes Exhibit P521, Your
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. P517 up to and
3 including P521 are admitted into evidence.
4 I'd like to move into private session.
5 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
2 The next item is about agreed facts in relation to Witness
3 B-1244. There is a pending Rule 92 quater motion for Witness B-1244
4 before the Chamber, but there has also been some discussion about whether
5 or not the parties could agree on certain facts related to the witness
6 which could eliminate the need to introduce evidence on the matter. The
7 Prosecution clarified on the 25th of May of this year that there may be
8 room for agreement in relation to very specific matters but that it did
9 not envisage that such agreement would entirely replace the motion for
10 admission into evidence.
11 On the 25th of May, the Chamber invited the parties to come to an
12 agreement, more specifically, invited the Defence to present the
13 Prosecution with a proposal by the 1st of June, and the Prosecution to
14 report on the outcome of the discussion by the 16th of June. The
15 Stanisic Defence has contacted Chamber staff yesterday requesting further
16 time to present its proposal to the Prosecution. The Chamber staff then
17 responded stating that the Chamber agreed, as was also requested by
18 Mr. Jordash, any further submissions on the matter, if there was time and
19 we suspended the initial dead-line on making proposals.
20 Now, Mr. Jordash, most likely there will be -- I think you said
21 you needed 10 to 15 minutes. There's no time for 10 to 15 minutes.
22 There would be time for seven minutes but most likely tomorrow some 10 to
23 15 minutes would remain. You still think you need the 15 minutes, 10 to
24 15 minutes?
25 MR. JORDASH: I think so. I'd like to try to persuade Your
1 Honours that we shouldn't do what would you have asked us to do and it
2 wouldn't be a fruitful exercise and I think that would take a little
4 JUDGE ORIE: If that takes more than the seven minutes remaining
5 at this moment we'll delay that until tomorrow because there's a fair
6 expectation that 10 to 15 minutes would remain tomorrow.
7 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then the next item on my agenda is about the status
9 of the Stanisic provisional release filings.
10 On the 25th of May, the Prosecution clarified that its request to
11 lift the confidential status of filings in relation to the Stanisic
12 request for provisional release covered four filings. The Stanisic
13 Defence responded that it objected only insofar as the filings revealed
14 detailed information relating to Stanisic's family.
15 On the 27th of May, 2010, the Prosecution informed the Chamber in
16 an e-mailed witness notification that of the four filings, only the
17 response of the 22nd of March, 2010 contained family information, which
18 the Stanisic Defence had asked to remain confidential.
19 Now, what I'm seeking is to have it confirmed on the record that
20 this is the position of the Prosecution and that the Defence agrees with
21 it because if such an agreement exists, then the Chamber, of course, will
22 proceed and later deliver a decision on the matter, but we'd like to be
23 certain that what was suggested that only the 22nd of March filing
24 contained family information is shared by the Stanisic Defence.
25 MR. KNOOPS: We can confirm it, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then the Chamber will deliver the
2 decision in due course.
3 Yes, the last next item is to be dealt with at the end of the
4 examination of the witnesses we heard today.
5 I have no further matters on my agenda. Is there anything the
6 parties would raise in which would take not more than three and a half
8 MR. GROOME: I think I have one matter, Your Honour, that we can
9 deal with in that time. And this relates to P164 in evidence. The
10 document was provided to the OTP by SFOR and contains some redactions.
11 On the 19th of February, 2010
12 Prosecution to make inquiries about these redactions and whether SFOR
13 could provide an unredacted copy of the document for the Chamber. On the
14 10th of May, 2010, the OTP received a reply from SFOR to our inquiry, and
15 I will now report on the matter.
16 The letter we received is from Lawrence Rossin the director of
17 the Balkans task force. Mr. Rossin initiated an inquiry about the
18 document and reported the following: One, that while there is a
19 procedure in place in NATO to track the declassification process, and
20 that such process would record information about such redactions, this
21 particular document was provided to the Office of the Prosecutor's field
22 office in Sarajevo
23 controlled redaction/declassification process was not followed, and the
24 consequence of this is that there is no record regarding the
25 declassification for this document.
1 Two, that notwithstanding this, Mr. Rossin, attempted to track
2 the declassification process related to this document, those efforts were
3 unsuccessful. So in the final analysis the Prosecution is unable to
4 provide the Chamber with either an unredacted copy of P164, a document we
5 received with redaction, nor are we able to provide information about the
6 redaction process. And the Prosecution provided the Chamber and Defence
7 teams informally with a copy of this letter last week.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Just for my understanding, if you can't track
9 exactly the declassification process, would there be an original
10 somewhere which is not redacted, which you could look and then look at
11 whether you could provide that?
12 MR. GROOME: We have no original in our system, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand.
14 MR. GROOME: Mr. Rossin says that he could not find an original.
15 JUDGE ORIE: He cannot find an unredacted original, it's nowhere
16 to be found.
17 MR. GROOME: According to Mr. Rossin he never went through the
18 procedure which would keep track of this, and despite his attempt to
19 investigate the matter, he is unable to provide any additional
20 information about the history of this document.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for your report, Mr. Groome. It
22 looks as if we are more or less stuck here. If the Defence would have
23 any further suggestions, we'll hear from them, I take it.
24 MR. JORDASH: I think it looks as though the Prosecution have
25 taken it as far as it can be taken.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, we share that
2 opinion, although at this moment we don't know exactly which document
3 this refers to. However, Mr. Groome's explanation is acceptable.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then we leave this matter as it is now and, of
5 course, it is evidence the only problem is that the Chamber was not --
6 were not very happy with unexplained redactions.
7 If there's nothing else, we'll adjourn, and we'll resume
8 tomorrow -- yes, Mr. Jordash.
9 MR. JORDASH: Sorry.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You are not going to add to my bad reputation for
11 interpreters and --
12 MR. JORDASH: Definitely not. I just would ask Your Honours to
13 consider having Dr. Eekhof available tomorrow, if that's possible, if
14 Your Honours are minded to take that course.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll consider that, and one of the things
16 we'll also consider whether it would be wise to hear him now or --
17 because we are talking about most likely about an analysis of what has
18 been found yesterday and today, and the second issue is what to do next
19 week, and how for you to prepare.
20 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: We'll consider that. Thank you very much. We'll
22 resume tomorrow, Wednesday the 2nd of June, quarter past 2.00, this same
23 Courtroom II.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 2nd day of June,
1 2010, at 2.15 p.m.