1 Thursday, 10 January 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-98-32-T, the Prosecutor versus Mitar Vasiljevic.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. Are you ready to proceed, Mr. Domazet?
10 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: ZORKA LOPICIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Domazet: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mrs. Lopicic. We shall continue
15 where we left off yesterday. If you remember, we were talking about your
16 final opinion in your expert report. And my next question would be
17 related to the following fact. In these proceedings, a large number of
18 witnesses said that Mitar Vasiljevic, consuming alcohol in large
19 quantities, was in a state when he talked a lot, frequently in a
20 disconnected manner but they also said that in that state, he was not
21 aggressive. If that is true, does that correspond to what you established
22 during your examination or is that in contradiction with what you
23 established during the examination?
24 A. In my opinion, and in the course of my interview, I had no
25 information whatsoever and no evidence of any kind of aggressiveness on
1 his part. On the contrary, he himself described himself as a person that
2 was not prone to any outbursts of an aggressive nature. In fact, he said,
3 and I refer to this in my opinion, that he liked to crack jokes, even at
4 his own expense, and also to talk about -- to brag about things that he
5 never did, in order to amuse others. As for what you said, that other
6 people did not see him as an aggressive person, is another piece of
7 information that supports this assumption. One might make a psychiatric
8 assumption as to his aggressiveness, if it is possible to talk about that
9 at all. On the basis of all the findings that have been collected so far,
10 it might be said that his aggressiveness may be auto-aggressiveness, if we
11 interpret his alcoholism as an act of destruction of himself. So I don't
12 see any evidence of any aggressiveness towards others.
13 JUDGE HUNT: I'm sorry, Mr. Domazet, I think we will need some
14 explanation of the second last sentence of that answer. "It might be said
15 that his aggressiveness," of which she says she has found no evidence,
16 "may be auto-aggressiveness." What does that mean?
17 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Lopicic, I hope you understood Judge Hunt's
19 question. So could you please explain what you meant by
20 auto-aggressiveness and aggressiveness towards others? Would you
21 elaborate on that a little?
22 A. Aggression as a dynamic factor is a component part of the
23 personality. All of us have this instinct for survival and for
24 aggression, and it is still not clearly defined as an instinct but it is
25 something that we do carry, a dynamic, psychodynamic and psychoanalytical
1 interpretation of alcoholism interpreted as an act of auto-aggression or
2 self-aggression. That is why I said this chronic alcoholism of his could
3 be an unconscious act of aggressiveness towards himself. Now, why I am
4 mentioning this as an assumption for consideration? Because we have this
5 evidence of hereditary -- of the hereditary factor, which tell us that his
6 mother and his aunt destroyed themselves, and that is what has prompted me
7 to make these comments.
8 Q. So, Mrs. Lopicic, when you refer to auto-aggression, what you mean
9 is that due to excessive consumption of alcohol and by becoming an
10 alcoholic he's destroying himself, and you see that as an act of
11 auto-aggression. Thank you for your answer.
12 My next question is something that you have already answered in
13 part, and it has to do with his aggressiveness towards third persons in
14 view of his mental disease, but as it is important, could you be a little
15 more specific?
16 A. I have no information, autoanamnestic information, which would
17 relate to aggressiveness against others, and you yourself told us about
18 what witnesses have said, describing him as a person who was prone to
19 making jokes and amusing others rather than being aggressive toward
21 Q. Yes, but my question was whether that corresponds to what you
22 yourself found regarding his condition.
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, she can only rely upon what the accused
25 has said to her. Now, if he has said something to her which contradicts
1 what he has said here in court, it's worth referring to. But I don't
2 think, if I may say so, it assists us at all to have this witness give us
3 an opinion based upon what she has established during the course of her
4 conversation with the accused if all that she has got is what the accused
5 has told her. She can interpret it, but this is just sort of trying to
6 bolster your client's evidence. The fact that he repeated it to the
7 psychiatrist doesn't seem to me to take that very far. So can we get on
8 to matters upon which the doctor can help us on.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I just
10 wanted to verify whether what the witnesses have said - and of course it
11 will be up to Your Honours to judge that evidence - whether it was in any
12 way in contradiction with what Dr. Lopicic established during her
13 interview. But I've done with that, and I will go on to my final question
14 regarding her opinion and that is the question of responsibility, mental
16 Q. It emanates from your opinion that Mitar Vasiljevic, while being
17 treated in hospital in Uzice, was completely irresponsible and that in the
18 period covered by the indictment. So could you explain what period you
19 had in mind his accountability was considerably reduced, of course on the
20 basis of the classification we have in Yugoslavia. So could you elaborate
21 on that a little?
22 A. The period of hospitalisation and the period of psychosis which
23 was evident from the clinical findings, from the case history, and the
24 anamnestic information we obtained was a period when the patient was
25 unaccountable as he had no orientation. He was disoriented. He was
1 outside reality, as we put it. As I explained yesterday, psychosis is a
2 condition when the patient is out of touch with reality.
3 The period prior to hospitalisation, the so prodromal or
4 introductory period to the psychosis I think can be viewed dynamically,
5 bearing in mind the three factors I spoke about yesterday. And this
6 dynamic relationship with those three factors must not be neglected. So
7 this is something that was of significance at the subjective level for our
8 client. He showed a -- certain signs of unusual behaviour, strange
9 behaviour. That is how he himself describes it, and I heard you mention
10 it here yesterday as well. And what I was told by Dr. Vasiljevic, that in
11 that period - and I think that was at the beginning of June - he was in a
12 condition in which, according to Dr. Vasiljevic, he spoke about demons and
13 angels. He was put in detention because he refused to carry out orders
14 required of him by his superiors. And he told me, with reference to that
15 period, that he was under enormous fear.
16 If we know that fear is a generator of psychopathology and the
17 basis of any psychosis, then it can be said that this was an introduction
18 to his psychosis, and in that condition, we consider the patient to have
19 significantly reduced accountability.
20 JUDGE HUNT: I think you'll have to try and get the doctor to be a
21 little bit more precise. If he was having fear throughout the whole time
22 that he was working near the front, was he having a psychosis from that
23 alone at that time?
24 It's fairly important in this case, from your client's point of
25 view, Mr. Domazet, that this is defined or this period is defined just a
1 little bit more precisely than simply saying, "Well, these are the things
2 which could have caused it."
3 It may be that the doctor was unable to put a period on it, but
4 simply to say that fear is one of three factors which might bring on this
5 psychosis, and if he suffered fear right back many, many weeks before he
6 went to hospital, then he was suffering from a psychosis from that date
7 doesn't strike me as being very logical. He may be psychiatrically sound,
8 I don't know, but I think you have to try and get the doctor to be a
9 little more precise.
10 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Yes. I'm sure you understand Judge Hunt, so will you please try
12 and give an answer?
13 A. When I say that fear is a generator of psychopathology, then I
14 mean that the period prior to hospitalisation was the pre-psychotic
15 period, a period in which Mr. Vasiljevic had certain symptoms and a
16 certain psychopathology which was not so manifest for the surroundings as
17 it was for him. To be more specific, he says that in that period he had
18 this urge to blink involuntarily. He was blinking all the time. This can
19 be considered as a symptom whereby he was relieving himself of fear.
20 It's a physiological mechanism, a way in which one relieves
21 oneself of fear quite unconsciously.
22 Something else that was linked to this blinking, this is an
23 automatic act, and this was linked to certain compulsive thinking, in the
24 form of exaggerated ideas. He said if he blinked and it was dark,
25 somebody would get killed or somebody would die. So he attached symbolic,
1 magical significance to this compulsive blinking. If there is light,
2 then --
3 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, you told us all of this yesterday. I want,
4 if I can get from you, a very straightforward answer to what I see myself,
5 as a non-psychiatrist, to be a very simple question. If he was suffering
6 prior to his admission, as part of his pre-psychosis period is the
7 expression you used, was he unaccountable, within the meaning of the
8 Yugoslav statute, for his actions? Before he went to hospital. That's
9 what we have to determine. We are not interested in the rest of it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my report, I have stated that
11 very clearly. In our legislation, there is a category of significantly
12 reduced accountability, and I think that we cannot put an equation mark
13 between the pre-hospitalisation and the hospitalisation period, because
14 perception, observation, was still preserved. He gave information about
15 that period which are relevant and which are in line with the information
16 we obtained earlier on.
17 JUDGE HUNT: But, doctor, does that statement by you, "We cannot
18 put an equation mark between the pre-hospitalisation and the
19 hospitalisation period," mean that he was not suffering from a reduced
20 accountability before he went to hospital? That's what I want to know.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He did suffer from reduced
22 accountability before hospitalisation, quite clearly. I cannot say that
23 it is the same kind of unaccountability as it was when he was
25 JUDGE HUNT: Well then, how far was his accountability reduced
1 before he went to hospital?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In our legislation, we have this
3 category which is defined as significantly reduced, and reduced. I don't
4 know what you expect me to say. Do you want me to express myself in
5 percentages? But according to our legislation, we have three categories
6 of accountability: reduced accountability, significantly reduced
7 accountability and unaccountability. Those are the three degrees.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Well then, when did he become significantly -- when
9 did his accountability become significantly reduced? Was it before he
10 went to hospital? I'm sorry to try to pin you down, but this is the issue
11 which you are here to discuss and what -- and the issue which we have to
12 determine, and it doesn't help, if I may say so, to keep on describing his
13 symptoms. Can you tell us when you say he became -- his accountability
14 became significantly reduced?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before he went to prison. This act
16 of imprisonment is a moment when his behaviour significantly changed.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Well, we've now got an answer. It's over to you,
18 Mr. Domazet. It's not, if I may say so, entirely a logical one, but it's
19 a matter for you. It's something upon which you bear an onus of proof.
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
21 Q. If I understand you well, Dr. Lopicic, on the basis of the
22 information you have prior to hospitalisation, you are of the opinion that
23 from the period prior to his imprisonment in Uzamnica, shortly prior, you
24 consider that period to be one of reduced accountability. As for the
25 period prior to that, you have no such evidence, if I understand you
1 correctly, and that is why your answer is that this is the period
2 immediately prior to his going to prison.
3 A. According to the information I was given, in this opinion, I said
4 that I was given information as of March, 1992. However, what we find in
5 his statement is that it was precisely that period prior to going to
6 prison, that is when the front line was changed and he had to pass through
7 territory that were very risky and he was frightened, so let me not repeat
8 myself. That is something that leads me to believe that his mental
9 condition started to deteriorate then and that that was an introduction to
10 his psychosis.
11 Q. His Honour Judge Hunt asked, if he was fearful at the front, of
12 what was being done at the front, to what extent could that alone have
13 affected the development of the disease. Did you have in mind all the
14 other factors, the biological ones, the chronic alcoholism, or only the
15 stress factor which you also, I think, attributed to the overall
17 A. To be quite precise, I must say that observing and interpreting
18 the findings of Mr. Vasiljevic, these three factors are dynamically
19 interconnected throughout his life. It is impossible to exclude the
20 significance of any one of those factors, the hereditary factor,
21 alcoholism and stress. I won't repeat what I said. Living conditions,
22 the acute situations he found himself in, the loss of a close relative,
23 the fracture, all these are stressful events biologically and
24 psychologically, and they certainly have a very important role, and the
25 interplay of those factors is such that it is impossible to determine how
1 much each of those factors contribute to the general situation.
2 Q. Finally, you still uphold your opinion that in the period prior to
3 admission to hospital - because this is a significant period for us - his
4 accountability in the legal sense, according to the current legislation in
5 Yugoslavia, was significantly reduced?
6 Finally, since in your report and especially in your oral
7 statement here, you refer to certain documents which you obtained
8 immediately prior to coming to The Hague, and which you referred to
9 yesterday, saying that you would like to give them to the court. You have
10 the originals so could you please hand them over, as we will be hearing
11 the expert opinion of another doctor called by the Prosecution, who has
12 not been able to see these documents, so I hope he will be able to review
13 them before coming to Court, as, regarding the hereditary factor, we heard
14 no prior information.
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] So could I ask the usher to take
16 over these documents? I have also distributed copies to the
17 interpreters. And I would like to ask Mrs. Lopicic to comment on these
18 documents. As her report has been admitted under D43, I think that these
19 documents, as a component part of that report, could be D43.1 onwards.
20 The first of those documents is a decision of the municipal court.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Just one moment. Have you got these, Mr. Groome?
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, yesterday when I heard about
23 Mrs. Vasiljevic's death certificate, I asked for a copy of that and
24 received a copy. It's being translated now. I have not received any of
25 the other documents.
1 JUDGE HUNT: I see. Well, then, you better reserve your position
2 about their admissibility until you've heard about them.
3 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Is that the way of dealing with it?
5 You proceed, Mr. Domazet. I think that the -- it would be safer
6 to leave their marking as an exhibit until after we've heard something of
7 them, because Mr. Groome is in a position -- he can't say he objects to
8 them or not.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Do we all have copies? Are they in English or are
11 they in B/C/S? Give us the copies.
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, all these documents
13 were shown to me for the first time here, so they are all in B/C/S, and
14 that is why I have given them to the interpreters for us to be able to
15 understand each one of them more easily. Of course it would be better to
16 have a translation in the meantime.
17 The first three documents relate to the death of Mitar
18 Vasiljevic's mother. One is a decision by the court proclaiming her dead,
19 and the other two are a report from the registry regarding -- producing a
20 death certificate and a marriage certificate as confirmation of the fact
21 that this was his mother. And the others -- the next document is a
22 discharge document with epicrisis.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Just a moment. Does the decision of the court
24 identify the cause of death? If not, I'm not sure what the relevance of
25 all this is.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Your Honour. In the
2 explanation for the decision, it says that on the basis of the statements
3 of witnesses, and I can quote: "It has been established that Vojka
4 Vasiljevic, on the 4th of July, 1963, went in an unknown direction," and
5 they consider that she committed suicide. According to their statements,
6 she was mentally disturbed so that she frequently repeated that one day
7 she would leave and that no one would know anything about her. And so
8 they believe that she most probably jumped into the Drina and died, the
9 Drina River.
10 That is from the explanation of the decision which was issued five
11 years after death. Following the normal legal procedure which was binding
12 according to the law, a notice was issued in the Official Gazette, and
13 after that, the court heard witnesses and proclaimed her dead. And the
14 decision is dated 1969.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] The other two documents were taken
17 out of the registry quite recently as a death certificate.
18 The fourth document has to do with Stojanka Blagojevic that
19 Dr. Lopicic spoke of. It is the discharge paper from the Uzice hospital
20 from 1984.
21 And all the other documents relate to Mitar Vasiljevic's niece. I
22 would rather not mention her name, because in that case we would need to
23 go into private session. And all the other documents have to do with the
24 treatment of that niece.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Well, then, is the discharge statement relating to
1 the aunt the one -- does that refer to the fact that she drank some sort
2 of poison? Vinegar, yes, very strong vinegar. Is that the one? It's
3 just that we've got to know what these documents are, and Mr. Groome has
4 no opportunity of --
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I think it would be best
6 for this discharge document to be read out by Dr. Lopicic as it is in
7 Latin and if she could translate it, the Latin terms for us.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, please, Doctor. And remember, please speak
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I will. It is the last period
11 in hospital, though we know that she was treated before, but I have no
12 other case histories or discharge documents except this last one from
13 which we see that she was admitted on the 30th of September, 1984 to the
14 general hospital in Uzice, to the psychiatric ward with the diagnosis
15 depressive psychosis, attempted suicide, intoxication with this strong
16 vinegar. And as a consequence of that, her kidneys were affected. And in
17 an attempt to restore them because there was kidney insufficiency, they
18 did laparotomy and peritoneal dialysis. This is an attempt to overcome
19 the problem with means of a dialysis machine. This was not successful and
20 the patient died on the 25th of October, 1984 at 2100 hours at the urology
21 ward where the dialysis was done at the hospital in Titovo Uzice.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Is that all, Mrs. Lopicic, from this document?
24 A. Do you wish me to translate the description as well? [In English]
25 The patient was accepted to the neuropsychiatry department as an urgent --
1 as an urgent case because of intoxication of some amount of
2 [Interpretation] [No translation]. [In English] Yes. She was removed to
3 the urology and there was done the lab analysis. Because of the general
4 renal dysfunction, peritoneal dialysis was done. And this was functioning
5 for a few days. It seems that the -- her -- her case was improving. But
6 the last few days it was a [Interpretation] deterioration, deterioration.
7 [In English] Then the esophagoscopy was done as of -- yes. And --
8 [Interpretation] [No translation]. Yes, I have some problems to translate
9 the -- this sluznica jenjaka [phoen].
10 JUDGE HUNT: Don't worry about it, Doctor. We can have the
11 original translated into English by the interpreters.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 JUDGE HUNT: But it was the Latin, Doctor, that we wanted you to
14 translate, because none of us know the Latin terminology used by doctors.
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] This is actually the only document
16 relating to Mr. Vasiljevic's aunt, and the others relate to his niece.
17 And perhaps Dr. Lopicic could explain what those documents are. But I
18 think there is a danger of identification, so I would prefer us to do that
19 in private session, with your permission, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. We'll go into private session.
21 [Private session]
13 Page 4161 - redacted – private session.
13 Page 4162 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 4163 – redacted – private session.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE HUNT: We are back in public session.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Doctor, I'd like to begin by asking you a few more questions about
7 your findings regarding whether or not Mr. Vasiljevic is an aggressive
8 person, and I guess the first question I'd like to ask you is: The fact
9 that other people may believe that a person is non-aggressive when they
10 drink, or is non-aggressive generally, that doesn't mean that that person
11 is incapable of committing a violent act, does it?
12 A. There is something that is quite significant when we talk about
13 the propensity to aggression. We also have to mention an ability to
14 control these tendencies. All of us have some aggression within us, but
15 within normal limits. When we talk about normal tendencies, that means we
16 should be able to control these tendencies, propensities for aggression.
17 I have no information indicating that Mr. Vasiljevic had -- did not have
18 an ability to control his propensity for aggression.
19 Q. And it's possible that people who are normal psychologically and
20 can control their aggression, they are in fact capable of committing
21 violent acts if they so choose to do so; correct?
22 A. If it is beyond control, and conditions that can lead to us to
23 lose control can be different, depending on the motive.
24 Q. Well, I'm just -- let's take the most basic case of somebody with
25 no history of mental disease, whose friends and family agree that they are
1 not aggressive, they are not aggressive whether they are sober and they
2 are not aggressive when they are drunk. You would agree with me that that
3 person is capable of one day deciding to kill another person and then in
4 fact kill that person? You would agree with that, wouldn't you?
5 A. Well, all of us have different capabilities within us. This is a
6 hypothetical situation that we are discussing now.
7 Q. Yes. So the fact that somebody says that somebody is not
8 aggressive isn't evidence that they are incapable of committing a violent
9 act; correct?
10 A. Well, we have to discuss absolute evidence and relative ones. If
11 you wish to put this in the sphere of relative evidence, then you are
12 right, but if we are to trust the person making the statement, then it
13 will be different. The more information there is that is -- that
14 corresponds or that goes together well in the description of one's
15 personality, then that is further evidence that that is a correct
17 Q. Thank you. That brings me to -- something else I want to ask you
18 is, you have done some work here to try to corroborate some of the things
19 that you were told, and I commend you for that, but will you agree with me
20 that primarily your findings are based upon information that was provided
21 to you and you accepting that information as true, and then rendering your
22 opinion based on that information that you were provided; is that
24 A. I mostly relied on my own findings. In this case, I relied on a
25 finding made by me during an interview I had with Mr. Vasiljevic in the
1 detention unit on the 23rd and 24th of November. I didn't know him prior
2 to that, and I had no information on him except for the medical
3 documentation I was given prior to coming here. Information I received
4 from others, if you have in mind Dr. Vasiljevic and Dr. Simic, those are
5 the only two medical professionals I had an opportunity to meet and
6 consult, and the information given to me by them was just something I used
7 to verify some presumptions and some details that I obtained based on my
8 interview with Mr. Vasiljevic.
9 Q. Let's take the example of Dr. Vasiljevic. Isn't it a fact that
10 you used information from Dr. Vasiljevic to come to a rather significant
11 conclusion about his relative, Mr. Vasiljevic here in court? It wasn't
12 simply to verify but it was -- you drew some rather significant
13 conclusions based on what Dr. Vasiljevic told you happened in the
14 beginning of June? Is that not correct?
15 A. My conclusion -- my presumption, rather, because conclusion is
16 something that is given at the end after all the information has been
17 processed, my presumption at that time, since I processed some relevant
18 information about his psychosis, every clinical specialist that follows
19 patients has to assume that there is a period during which when a patient
20 experiences some subjective disturbances can be visible only to a
21 psychiatrist or somebody who is an expert.
22 What I obtained from Dr. Vasiljevic simply confirmed the
23 assumption that I obtained through anamnesis of the patient indicating
24 that he had certain disturbances during that period.
25 So what Dr. Vasiljevic told me was not a decisive factor in
1 creating my opinion that -- my conclusion that this was a pre-psychotic
2 period. This simply confirmed my thoughts or my thinking.
3 Q. In response to, I believe, a question from the bench regarding
4 when you believed this psychotic disturbance began, you use as evidence of
5 when it began your conversation with Dr. Vasiljevic, who told you, in the
6 beginning of June of 1992, he began to talk about certain things, and it
7 was that conversation with Dr. Vasiljevic which you cited as evidence of
8 when his mental condition deteriorated; is that not correct?
9 A. I will repeat that this simply confirmed my assumption that I
10 obtained through the findings, and I will quote --
11 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, you've quoted it before.
12 Mr. Groome, I think you can accept that she really is relying upon
13 it as evidence. It may not be initial evidence, but it is evidence, so
14 you can proceed on that basis.
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. Doctor, is there any other evidence, aside from what
17 Dr. Vasiljevic told you, that you used to fix a date as to when you
18 believed Mr. Vasiljevic -- his accountability was severely [sic] reduced?
19 A. Yes. That is that period prior to his arrest or, rather, the mere
20 reason of arrest. To me, as someone who views the patient in that
21 condition and in that period of time is further proof that something was
22 wrong with him. Not only because of the fear that he said he had suffered
23 but also due to a very relevant fact that when somebody in the time of war
24 refuses to carry out an order risks being held accountable under martial
25 law. So he was not critical with respect to the risk in which he found
1 himself. He refused to carry out an order. And only a person who has
2 not -- no knowledge of the consequences that would follow could do
3 something like this, like that.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, just one moment. I'm sorry, it may have
5 been wrongly typed, but your question was that she had fixed a date as to
6 when his accountability was severely reduced. She used the word
7 "significantly," as I understand it, which is not quite the same as
9 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry. I think it's -- I probably misspoke, Your
11 JUDGE HUNT: But the terminology from the statute to which the
12 doctor referred was "significantly."
13 MR. GROOME: "Significantly," yes.
14 Q. Doctor, let me ask you a hypothetical question. If I were to come
15 to you for treatment and express some concerns about my mental condition,
16 and I said to you I felt fine, I've had no sense that I have anything
17 wrong with me mentally up until about six months ago when my mother
18 tragically died, and ever since then I've been suffering from -- and I
19 give you the symptoms I'm suffering from and my belief that I have a
20 psychological problem, would you use that information to help you
21 determine that probably the tragic event of my mother's loss was the
22 starting point of my mental difficulties?
23 A. [In English] If you want, we can discuss hypothetically, but first
24 I want to ask you -- [Interpretation] Pardon me.
25 If we were to discuss hypothetically, then my first question would
1 be -- my first question to you would be: "Why did you come?" When
2 somebody comes to a psychiatrist, that person has to have a reason behind
3 it. The mere fact that a person came to see a psychiatrist has a certain
5 If in the anamnesis we receive the information that you indicated,
6 then we have to take it into account. We have to analyse that
7 information. We cannot ignore it. We cannot say somebody is feeling well
8 now but something happened in their childhood, they'd lost a parent, or
9 ignore this. I did not say -- I did not discuss yesterday the simple fact
10 of a loss. I mentioned an example of a two-month old baby who had lost a
12 Q. What I'm getting at, and I want to see if you'll agree with me,
13 that my own perception of what it was that caused me to have difficulty is
14 an important fact, is it not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And if I were to tell you that prior to my mother's death I
17 have -- I've had no psychological problems and there's no evidence to
18 suggest otherwise, would a doctor such as yourself presume that the person
19 was in good mental health prior to the mother's death?
20 A. We would always look into that. We have to take that into an
21 account -- into account because it's a factor of risk. It doesn't mean
22 that it was a provocative factor in that particular situation, but it's a
23 certain risk that we have to keep in mind.
24 Q. Now, doctor, you spoke to Mr. Vasiljevic about two different
25 crimes that he's been charged with. Did you ask Mr. Vasiljevic during
1 your interview, "Mr. Vasiljevic, what do you think your mental state was
2 at the time those men were killed at the river?" Did you ask him that
4 A. I didn't ask him that question when we discussed that event. I
5 asked him that question much before that when we discussed alcoholism.
6 What is evident is that Mr. Vasiljevic did not realise that he was an
7 alcoholic, nor did he realise that he had mental problems. I asked him
8 whether in May or beginning of June, when he started blinking, whether --
9 and when he had certain thoughts whether at that time he was aware that
10 some -- that he was going through a certain situation. He told me that he
11 only realised that that was fear at the time, and he didn't think further
12 about it. He didn't know if it was a mental problem or something from God
13 at the time. He simply was not aware of his mental condition.
14 Q. Doctor, over a year ago, Mr. Vasiljevic was interviewed over the
15 course of two days in great detail about the events which you also
16 discussed with him, and he was asked a specific question regarding his own
17 perception of his mental health. I'm going to read his answer to you, and
18 I'm going to ask you whether or not it changes your opinion about when you
19 believe his mental capacity was significantly reduced.
20 He was asked the following question: "Okay. What I'm interesting
21 now is at the time of the incident by the river," that's the killing of
22 the five men by the river, "was your mental state -- were you having any
23 kind of mental problems or psychiatric problems at that time?"
24 Mr. Vasiljevic's answer was: "No. I had problems after that
25 incident, especially since a colleague of mine was killed there. So I
1 felt bad. I felt sorry for what had happened, and I started developing a
2 problem in the back of my head."
3 That was his answer to his own assessment of his mental condition
4 at the time that those five men were killed. Knowing that now, does that
5 change in any way your opinion regarding when his capacity became severely
6 reduced -- significantly reduced?
7 A. It doesn't change it, because I have to say that I speak on behalf
8 of the information I received. These are authentic -- this is authentic
9 information that I received based on my interview with Mr. Vasiljevic.
10 But perhaps I have an explanation for what you quoted.
11 My experience and our clinical experience says that we do not
12 receive all of the information from our patients at the same time.
13 Sometimes it happens that we see our patients that we follow regularly who
14 all of a sudden subsequently start telling us about some of their problems
15 that they had three years ago, five years ago, sometime in the past. What
16 is a big question for me as a professional is what and how it happened
17 that Mr. Vasiljevic gave me all of this information pertaining to heredity
18 factors through his mother. I don't know whether it was a moment when we
19 psychologists say he was in regression, a deep regression, and had a need
20 to give this information to me. I couldn't tell you. I just know that
21 this information was provided to me.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, you are being asked to consider that evidence
23 now. That is what he said. He may not have said it to you, but you are
24 being asked to consider that piece of information now. Does it change the
25 view that you have expressed?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
2 JUDGE HUNT: All right.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it doesn't change.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. In the case history of the accused which you had and reviewed in
6 preparation of your report, a doctor at Uzice hospital said the
7 following: "The patient shows signs of a pre-delirium state." Can you
8 describe or tell us what the doctor meant when the doctor wrote "shows
9 signs of a pre-delirium state," if you can tell us?
10 A. First of all, I have to say that this information that exists in
11 his anamnesis was given by a colleague of mine. I don't know if it was a
12 general practitioner or an orthopaedist who worked at the orthopaedic
13 ward. So this is information that didn't come from a psychiatrist.
14 What I believe to be important is that we cannot ignore alcoholism
15 as a factor in development of his psychosis and whether this was a
16 pre-delirium. I couldn't tell you.
17 Q. Doctor, could you just tell us what are the symptoms of a
18 pre-delirium state? What would be the observable symptoms?
19 A. One of the visible symptoms prior to delirium is a psychomotor
20 anxiety, lack of sleep, an abundance of somatic symptoms, and perhaps an
21 appearance of deceptive hallucinations. When we talk about delirium,
22 usually those hallucinations are optical ones. Now, whether he showed
23 these symptoms, I couldn't tell you.
24 Q. And in your professional opinion, how soon after an alcoholic
25 stops drinking do we first see the signs of a pre-delirium state?
1 A. The -- when a person stops drinking, it can produce two
2 reactions. The first reaction can be an abstinence symptom and the second
3 one could be a delirium. Now which one will emerge, we don't know.
4 Mr. Vasiljevic had a trauma, and we should not disregard it, because he
5 was suffering great pain, and delirium could have -- this could have
6 contributed to his delirium. And this can develop 24 hours, 48 hours
7 after a person stops drinking.
8 Q. How much time would transpire, in your experience, between the
9 initial onset or observation of this pre-delirium state and the actual
10 onset of delirium tremens?
11 A. This can develop within a few hours or 24 hours. What is
12 significant here, and I think that I need to stress this because I
13 received this information from Mr. Vasiljevic during our interview in
14 Detention Unit, is that he started experiencing, and I think it's very
15 important, in the toxic stage of drinking that a person develops an
16 addiction to alcohol and this person needs to consume alcohol. He told me
17 that he was able, within a few days after admission, to obtain certain
18 amounts of alcohol.
19 Of course, we are talking about small amounts of alcohol here, but
20 he was able to obtain it, which means that, while hospitalised, he was
21 still able to obtain alcohol.
22 Q. Doctor, before I leave the medical records or the case history,
23 you testified, in response to a question by Mr. Domazet, that you had no
24 information before you that Mr. Vasiljevic had ever been aggressive.
25 Isn't it a fact that in the case history itself, there are at least one if
1 not more reports by medical staff saying that Mr. Vasiljevic had engaged
2 in aggressive behaviour?
3 A. Yes. That information is contained in a medical history, the
4 last, the third medical history, given to us, but it says that he showed a
5 psychomotor agitation. However, he wasn't aware of it. He wasn't aware
6 of this condition. This wasn't under the control of his consciousness.
7 Q. I want to move to a different subject now. Yesterday, when you
8 described some of the methods that you employed to come to your
9 conclusion, you talked about trying to get documentation. Now, with
10 respect to the death certificate of Mrs. Vasiljevic, Mr. Vasiljevic's
11 mother, you stated, "I asked an attorney from Visegrad to get me the death
12 certificate." Who was the attorney that you asked to get you this death
14 A. Mr. Rade Tanaskovic. He was the one to obtain this document.
15 Q. And perhaps you're not the best person to answer this but you're
16 the person who has had the document longer than any of us. I want to ask
17 you a couple of questions regarding the document. In your experience, if
18 somebody simply disappears and there is no recorded history that they had
19 ever been treated for any mental illness, would a death certificate
20 contain the assertion that they committed suicide and that they were
21 mentally ill? And there is no evidence that any physical trace or any
22 physical evidence of a suicide was found, just the fact that a person
23 disappeared. In your experience, would a death certificate contain that
25 A. These type of death certificates have to be issued based on
1 evidence and based of witness statements. This couldn't be issued just
2 based on the fact that somebody came to the Court saying, "Well, this
3 person has been missing for five years. We believe this person has
4 committed suicide," and so on. There have to be witnesses who give
5 statements based on which this disappearance is classified. This
6 disappearance has been classified as suicide based on evidence produced
7 that she had tried to commit suicide previously in the past. We have this
8 as a data that was obtained through anamnesis, when Mr. Vasiljevic told me
9 that his grandfather had already saved his mother once from the Drina
10 River before. What we should not disregard either is that suicides are
11 usually committed at dawn. We have an information --
12 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, please, you are not answering the question.
13 The question doesn't ask you to put yourself in the place of the Court and
14 whether you would have made those findings. The question is simply that
15 in an ordinary death certificate, would you normally expect to have a
16 reference to the fact that the death was caused by suicide? Is that your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That kind of information
19 can be obtained. It could be noted in that document, that there was a
20 suicide. However, this has to be based on witness statements.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, please don't try and force this upon us. The
22 question is: Is this what you would usually find in a death certificate?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. Doctor, this document that you've given us here in Court, was it a
1 public document or did you have to get some type of Court order to lift
2 the seal or lift the privacy of this document?
3 A. I couldn't tell you. This document was procured by the attorney,
4 but I asked for this document because I know that these documents are
5 normally issued. Now, what the procedure for their issuance is, is
6 something that Mr. Tanaskovic can tell you about.
7 Q. Now, doctor, again on this death certificate, although it appears
8 that Mrs. Vasiljevic or Vojka Vasiljevic simply walked away on the 4th of
9 July, 1963 and was never seen again, the day of her death was determined
10 to be or fixed at the 16th of July, 1963. Is there any explanation given
11 to you as to how somebody knew that she committed suicide on the 16th of
12 July, if she had not been seen since the 4th of July?
13 A. I couldn't tell you that.
14 Q. Now, in Yugoslavia, if I am legally married to someone and I wish
15 to marry somebody else, would I have to prove either that I was legally
16 divorced from my wife or that my wife had died? Would I have to prove one
17 of those two facts before I could legally marry a second time?
18 A. According to the legal procedure, yes. I couldn't tell you what
19 the rules are for marriages concluded in church but as far as civil --
20 the institution of civil marriage is concerned, then yes.
21 Q. The last paragraph of your report says the following, and I'd ask
22 you to explain what exactly you mean by it: "The permanent duration of
23 psychopathology in the first place, the drinking habit since 1973,
24 surpasses the level of the reactive disorder and has permanent
25 consequences of damaged personality." Can you briefly explain exactly
1 what it is you mean by that paragraph?
2 A. I apologise but I only have a version in B/C/S so let me just take
3 a look, please. You are talking about the English version. Which page,
5 Q. I'm assuming the English is just a translation of your original
6 report in B/C/S, so please just look at the last paragraph of your
7 original report.
8 A. Yes. That's on the last page, yes. What I had in mind when I
9 said this, what I had in mind is the following, that alcoholism dating
10 back to 1973 and the psychosis could not be a transient situation or a
11 transient psychosis that had not left any -- [no interpretation].
12 JUDGE HUNT: We are getting no translation at all into English for
13 this. Not since the words "transient psychosis that had not left any" --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English booth now?
15 JUDGE HUNT: Just now, yes, just those last few words. Are you
16 able to reproduce it or would you like the witness to repeat it?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat, please?
18 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, I'm sorry, the interpreters lost you.
19 THE WITNESS: I can try it. [Interpretation] I was saying it was
20 not just the psychosis but drinking ever since 1973 led to certain organic
21 changes. These are not of a reactive type. This cannot be viewed only
22 within a certain fixed period of time during the psychosis, but they led
23 to certain changes which are certainly quite evident in Mr. Vasiljevic's
24 case, in the structure of his personality, and that is what we referred to
25 yesterday, that psychological tests would be required to ascertain those
1 changes, as well as an examination of his head by electrical procedures.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. And even if we were to conduct those tests and find damage, there
4 would be no way of us telling when that damage or physical changes in his
5 head first manifested or first occurred; correct?
6 A. No. There is something that would be significant for us. If we
7 could -- we would be able to speak about a premorbid structure. Those
8 tests would tell us the profile of the personality, and then if we had the
9 specific tests indicating damage, then we would be able to make certain
11 Q. Doctor, yesterday, you testified - I just want to clarify what
12 exactly you meant, and I'm quoting from the record: "If he is psychotic,"
13 and the record says, "I can," "he doesn't remember anything, and if he's
14 not psychotic," again, "I can," "he does remember." Am I correct in
15 believing that what you are saying is that the amount of memory he has and
16 his ability to talk about and to recollect certain events that happened is
17 an indication to you of whether or not he was psychotic?
18 A. Not just recollection. It is not the only indicator for psychotic
20 Q. I'm not saying it's the only one but is it one indicator?
21 A. It is one of many, yes, one of, yes.
22 Q. Now my next question to you is --
23 A. But there are other indicators as well.
24 Q. My next question to you is: Is this memory as an indicator, is it
25 all or nothing or would a person's nearness to a psychotic state be
1 evident by how good their recollection is? In other words, can a person
2 have -- lie somewhere between no recollection and full recollection and
3 will that also indicate to you the state of their mental health?
4 A. Even the most psychotic patient can recollect some things, so we
5 can't talk about this those categories, either/or. We can just say that
6 for certain areas or certain periods in time, can there be clear
7 recollection or gaps in memory or traces of recollection, but we can't
8 simply put it either/or.
9 MR. GROOME: Thank you, doctor.
10 JUDGE HUNT: We will resume at 11.30.
11 But Mr. Groome, it may be better, if I may suggest this to you, if
12 you asked whether it affects his severe reduction in accountability rather
13 than whether it affects his state of psychosis. They may not be exactly
14 the same. The doctor has expressed herself differently at different times
15 about that, and we are really concerned only about a reduced
17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Right. 11.30.
19 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
22 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Doctor, before the break we were talking about what conclusions
24 you were able to draw from the quality of the accused's memory regarding
25 certain events around this time, and the question I want to ask you is:
1 Based on his recollection of the events, do you have an opinion regarding
2 whether his capacity was significantly reduced when he began to talk about
3 what happened on the 14th of June?
4 A. His capacity was reduced but not on the basis of disturbed
5 recollection. His accountability was significantly reduced on the basis
6 of certain other psychological conditions that he was in at the time. I
7 cannot say that his recollections were disturbed in that period. He
8 showed far more serious memory disturbance during the period of acute
9 psychosis, that is, during his hospitalisation.
10 Memories about the 14th of June are such that it is my impression
11 that he is providing authentic information as to how the events took
12 place, and if necessary, I can tell you what he told me.
13 Q. Doctor, when you spoke about the standard in Yugoslavia, you said
14 there were three standards. I want to talk about two of them. Can you
15 differentiate for us the difference between reduced capacity and
16 significantly reduced capacity?
17 A. When talking about capacity, we are talking about the intensity of
18 fear felt by the person. That is one of the criteria affecting capacity.
19 A second criterion affecting capacity is this feeling of fear as one
20 psychological phenomenon, and another is will, somebody who has reduced
21 will, who is suggestible. If his will is disturbed, that also affects
23 Q. Doctor --
24 A. Of course, the state of consciousness also affects capacity, but
25 in this case, it is not measured because incapacity is -- is attributed to
1 the state of consciousness.
2 Q. Doctor, how did you make the determination that Mr. Vasiljevic was
3 not suffering from just a reduced capacity but of a significantly reduced
4 capacity? What is the criteria you used and what are the observable
5 symptoms that you found?
6 A. What I have already said, a feeling of fear, intensive fear that
7 he felt in this period.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, I'm sorry to interrupt your answers, but I
9 don't know whether you're listening to the question. What you are being
10 asked is this: What are the criteria for differentiating between somebody
11 who has a reduced capacity and somebody who has a significantly reduced
13 Now, that doesn't relate to any particular matter to do with the
14 accused in this case at the moment. You may be asked about that later.
15 This is simply how do you determine that he was suffering from a reduced
16 capacity or a significantly reduced capacity? What's the difference
17 between the two?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of what we consider to
19 be disturbances of affective conditions and conditions of will. Those are
20 the two criteria. But how these are measured, that depends on the
21 intensity and the quality of the symptoms.
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. Doctor, if I understand you correctly, reduced and significantly
24 reduced categories, you would expect the person to have some problem with
25 fear and will, something that you could --
1 A. [In English] With affect, with affect. But in this situation it
2 is fear.
3 Q. With affect regarding to fear --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. -- and will.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let's take fear first. Can you distinguish the difference between
8 a person who has a problem with affect and fear that would be just reduced
9 capacity and a person who would have significantly reduced capacity? What
10 is the difference?
11 A. [Interpretation] The intensity of fear. Mr. Vasiljevic said that
12 he was constantly in fear. He was fearful for a long period that he
13 refers to. In the case of significantly reduced capacity, this is
14 constant fear. In the case of reduced capacity, it is not a continuous
15 feeling of fear. In his case, he felt fear throughout and especially at
17 Q. Now let's talk about changes in affect regarding will. Can you
18 give the same thing, give us an example of how you would distinguish
19 between the two categories?
20 A. With regard to will, the patient is suggestible. He is easily
21 influenced. He is not capable of adopting a critical attitude towards a
22 real-life event, and he cannot resist a situation he finds himself in. If
23 he is also fearful, he cannot fully control himself and he may find
24 himself in a situation when he has to defend himself from this subjective
25 feeling of fear. In the situation he found himself in, he refused to
1 carry out an order and allowed himself to be imprisoned. He could have
2 even been court-martialled and executed. That could have happened to him.
3 Q. Can you give us an example of somebody in the reduced category in
4 this respect?
5 A. If he had not been in this situation to be imprisoned, then he
6 probably could have been in the category of reduced capacity.
7 Q. So you're saying but for this imprisonment, you would entertain
8 the possibility that regarding the affect and will, he would fit into the
9 first category, simply reduced capacity?
10 A. One could put it that way.
11 Q. And you are under the impression that his imprisonment could have
12 resulted in a possible court-martial or an execution; is that correct?
13 A. I am not familiar with the laws, but I assume you can check in our
14 legislation, and under conditions of war, if you do not execute an order,
15 then you are subject to certain rules which envisage very strict
16 sanctions. The punishment is much stricter.
17 Q. Now, aside from these two criteria, the affect regarding fear and
18 the affect regarding will, are there any other categories or indicators
19 that you look for in determining whether a person is -- has a reduced
20 capacity or a significantly reduced capacity?
21 A. It is a category of a critical attitude towards reality. In a
22 real-life situation, we must always know what we can expect or what might
23 be a certain requirement of us. However, in this situation, we see that
24 this critical attitude towards reality had changed. He didn't seem to
25 perceive reality. He was guided by fear in his behaviour, rather than his
1 consciousness or his awareness of his acts.
2 Q. Now, doctor, you keep going back to fear, and it seems that it was
3 a very important criteria, your belief that during this time period, he
4 was suffering from a constant sense of fear; is that correct?
5 A. Now, in this period, not now. At the time, yes, but now, no. I
6 don't think so.
7 Q. Back in 1992 --
8 A. May I explain why I don't think that applies now?
9 Q. We are not very concerned with today. Just 1992. I want to give
10 you a fact that you are obviously unaware of and ask you does it change
11 your opinion regarding whether he was in a constant state of fear. During
12 the very time period that we are talking about, Mr. Vasiljevic turned in
13 his weapon to his superiors and told them that he no longer needed it,
14 even said, I believe, "What do I need it for? I'm just in the town."
15 Does that change your opinion whether or not Mr. Vasiljevic was in a
16 constant state of fear during the time period we are talking about?
17 A. I didn't quite understand what you said. He handed over his
18 weapon to his superior why? Was there an explanation? Why did he hand in
19 his weapon?
20 Q. The explanation that Mr. Vasiljevic gave this Court, he said that
21 he told his superior, "I do not need the weapon. What do I need it for?
22 I am in the town. I'm in the town of Visegrad." Does that change your
24 A. No, it doesn't. Why should it change my opinion? This could in
25 fact confirm his uncritical attitude towards reality or that there was a
1 fear, this subjective part, that may have existed at the time, and it was
2 not objectively evident for people around him.
3 Q. Now, doctor, you've talked significantly or have spoken
4 significantly regarding the impact of hereditary on mental disease, and we
5 have also heard testimony that a niece of Mr. Vasiljevic's had a
6 schizophrenic disorder, and we've heard about -- I think you've described
7 him as having an affective disorder, and my question to you is: If a
8 particular family is predisposed to schizophrenia, does that also mean
9 that they are predisposed to affective disorders?
10 A. What we are taught and what we teach our students is that the
11 hereditary factor has more percentage-wise influence on affective orders
12 than schizophrenia. As to whether in a family that has affective
13 disorders, will lead to schizophrenia in distant relatives, we may assume
14 that these may be connected but not necessarily so. The hereditary factor
15 is far more dominant in relation to affective disorders. We don't know
16 what the other ancestors of the young woman were like, whether it is just
17 because on the maternal side there is this hereditary factor. Maybe there
18 may be the same factor on the father's side but we don't know that.
19 Q. Doctor, is there any study that you're aware of that would support
20 a conclusion that the fact that his niece was schizophrenic indicates that
21 he is predisposed towards a mental illness, affective disorder?
22 A. I cannot directly link the niece and the mental health of
23 Mr. Vasiljevic. What I am asserting here is that the direct link is
24 through the mother. So we can talk about Mr. Vasiljevic's mother, who is
25 the grandmother of this young woman. So her heredity factor comes from
1 there. So that is the way it has been inherited, on the maternal side.
2 Q. Let me ask you a question about Mr. Vasiljevic's mother.
3 Yesterday you made the statement that his mother suffered from affective
4 psychosis, and my question to you is: Based on the very limited
5 information that we have regarding Mr. Vasiljevic's mother, how are you
6 able to draw such a conclusive diagnosis regarding her mental condition?
7 A. I reached my assumption and conclusion because I obtained
8 information about the way she died, that is, suicide. Then I was told
9 about attempted suicide a year and a half prior to her disappearance and
10 suicide. The type of suicide is something that is an indicator of such a
11 possible disease. Also the fact that she had changes of mood, an affect
12 as a dominant symptom, and all this leads me to opt for affective
13 psychosis. And that it is a psychosis, I need to emphasise once again, is
14 confirmed by the moment when she disappeared. This is two months after
15 childbirth, and this can most probably be considered as a puerperal
16 psychosis, as we call it, that is, post-delivery psychosis. We locate
17 them only in time but not in the contextual genetic sense. They are
18 definitely endogenous psychoses.
19 Q. Doctor, would you agree with me that you are in some sense
20 speculating regarding what Mrs. Vasiljevic may or may not have suffered
21 from? Isn't that true?
22 A. I can't say I am speculating if I have 28 years of clinical
23 experience when I have occasion to hear about such case histories and to
24 read about them in our literature. So this is quite a typical example of
25 depression and how puerperal psychosis is diagnosed and psychosis in that
1 period of life. This is something that I studied and that I teach my
3 Q. Doctor, of the family history that we've heard regarding the
4 Vasiljevics, all of the mental illness, aside from Mr. Vasiljevic, has
5 been in the women in the family, and based on your experience and any
6 studies that you have read, is this predisposition towards mental illness,
7 is it affected by the sex of the person?
8 A. Not specifically.
9 Q. Now, doctor, a Prosecution psychiatrist also examined
10 Mr. Vasiljevic. Can I ask you, did you have an opportunity to see her
12 A. [In English] Yes.
13 Q. And did you read her report?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, I want to ask you about her conclusions and -- do you agree
16 with her conclusions, and if you do not, could you please tell us where
17 you differ in opinion?
18 A. [Interpretation] I agree in my colleague's Vera Folnegovic-Smalc's
19 conclusion which in great detail expressed her opinion as regards the
20 period of hospitalisation and possible diagnosis for that period that she
21 speculates about, and I think that our finding in that respect is very
22 similar. She also speaks about the hereditary factor, about the fact of
23 alcoholism, commenting on the possible diagnostic categories. She speaks
24 about the psychosis as a diagnosis. And what is also something that I
25 underlined as well, that this cannot be observed only from the biological
1 standpoint or only from the standpoint of alcoholism or only from the
2 stress factor but that these are interdependent conditions. And
3 regardless of the etiological factor that we will opt for, whether it is
4 alcohol or psychosis, it is quite evident that in that period he
5 manifested this kind of behaviour. And in that sense, I fully agree with
6 her finding, and I think that our opinions are very close.
7 What I do not see in her report is reference to the period prior
8 to the psychosis. There is no comment as to the evaluation of the mental
9 condition of Mr. Vasiljevic in the period prior to hospitalisation and
10 prior to the psychosis. I think that this should be included.
11 Q. In her report, she describes or compares the Yugoslavian diagnosis
12 with DSM-IV and with the definition provided by the World Health
13 Organisation. Are you in agreement with her that the diagnosis of his
14 condition back in 1992 regarding the DSM-IV, the substance-withdrawal
15 delirium, and with respect to the World Health Organisation, withdrawal
16 syndrome with delirium? Would you agree that that is most probably what
17 Mr. Vasiljevic suffered from at the time of his hospitalisation?
18 A. I interpreted the finding of Professor Folnegovic as her
19 differential diagnostic thinking, and in that sense I agree with her. But
20 she did not opt specifically for one of those diagnoses because it is
21 absolutely impossible to opt for one single diagnosis because none of
22 those diagnoses -- that the criteria for one of those diagnoses have not
23 been fulfilled, because we have symptoms which would speak for delirium
24 and others for psychosis, which only shows that this was a psychosis
25 provoked by multiple factors.
1 Q. Let me be more specific. Let's take the DSM-IV definition of
2 substance withdrawal delirium. Would you agree of the symptoms described
3 in that definition that Mr. Vasiljevic possessed those symptoms?
4 A. Only some of them.
5 Q. Which ones do you say that he did not possess?
6 A. He had them, but he had some others. He had a surplus of
8 Q. So it is based on your finding that -- or your belief that he had
9 additional symptoms that makes you diagnose him differently?
10 A. If I were to have to opt for a particular diagnosis, then I would
11 choose the diagnosis of psychosis. It is ICD-10, F1X5, which describes a
12 psychotic disorder which is linked also to alcoholism.
13 Q. Now, doctor, yesterday you, in response to a question by
14 Mr. Domazet, Mr. Domazet had asked you could the stress that triggers this
15 lapse into mental disease, could it be standing and watching some people
16 be murdered and possibly even one of -- and possibly even knowing one of
17 the people that was murdered, and you said yes; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, aside from an event like that, let me ask you -- it may seem
20 like an obvious question, but would you agree that it would also be
21 possible that the triggering event could be standing and watching
22 approximately 80 people put into a house and the house set on fire, that
23 that kind of -- witnessing that type of event would also be sufficiently
24 stressful to trigger a lapse into mental disease; is that correct?
25 A. I have to say that when I said yesterday that this was one of the
1 factors, I wish to emphasise that never for a moment am I talking about a
2 single factor but only multiple factors.
3 So we have to view those factors in a dynamic relationship. But
4 as one of the stress factors, certainly, yes, the answer to your question.
5 Q. And you've made that clear in your testimony. I believe what you
6 were talking about yesterday was - I don't know how this expression will
7 translate, but the event that -- the straw that breaks the camel's back,
8 the final event that pushes the person over the edge and we can then begin
9 to see observable psychiatric symptoms. That is the context that you were
10 talking about this yesterday. So my question to you is: Could witnessing
11 the mass murder of approximately 80 people, would you agree with me that
12 that is a sufficiently stressful event that could trigger this lapse into
13 mental disease that you've described?
14 A. I cannot tell you because I did not get any such information. I
15 spoke only about the information I obtained, and --
16 Q. Doctor --
17 A. And I was not told about any such event, so I don't know what
18 effect it would have had on Mr. Vasiljevic if it had happened.
19 Q. I'm asking you a hypothetical question, not about Mr. Vasiljevic
20 at this time. Would you agree with me that witnessing that type of crime
21 would be sufficiently stressful to act as the type of trigger that you
22 told us about yesterday?
23 A. It depends on the structure of the personality. If he is a
24 hypersensitive personality, yes, but we don't know the structure of the
25 personality in this case.
1 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I think that the question you asked was
2 an unfortunate one because it allows the doctor to go off on this sort of
3 a trail. Why don't you ask her, as a truly hypothetical question but
4 about Mr. Vasiljevic, would witnessing the fire in which 80 people died be
5 sufficient to have set him off? That's what you're really after, isn't
7 MR. GROOME: Yes.
8 Q. You've heard the Judge's question. Would you answer that,
10 A. It is a stress which can trigger such a disease, but it can only
11 contribute to the outbreak of the disease but it cannot cause it.
12 Q. Now, again I want to ask you a hypothetical question regarding
13 Mr. Vasiljevic and to ask you your opinion. That same event, could it not
14 also serve as a trigger if, for whatever reason, Mr. Vasiljevic
15 participated in that crime in some manner? Could that -- could having
16 participated in such a crime not also be a triggering event?
17 A. For a direct answer to that question, we have to have a profile of
18 the personality structure. For such a direct answer, we have to know the
19 defence mechanisms that the patient has.
20 Q. Doctor, let's confine ourselves to Mr. Vasiljevic. You've
21 testified that witnessing -- Mr. Vasiljevic's witnessing of such an event
22 could trigger him. My question to you is: Could Mr. Vasiljevic's
23 participation in the event also trigger the mental disease that you've
25 A. I cannot answer such questions directly when Mr. Vasiljevic is
1 named because in the interview I had with him, I was not given any
2 information that could tell me what the -- his reaction would be.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, this is the third time that you've gone off
4 on that particular trail. You are being asked now to consider it.
5 Whether you were told by Mr. Vasiljevic or not, you are being asked
6 whether his participation in that fire would have been sufficient to have
7 set him off.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All we could talk about is the
9 stress factor. Now, whether it would affect him or not and how, I cannot
10 tell you, as I don't have the psychological profile of his personality.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. So, doctor, you are able to tell us that merely witnessing --
13 Mr. Vasiljevic witnessing the event could be the trigger but you're not
14 able to tell us whether his participation in it could be the trigger. Is
15 that what your testimony is now?
16 A. I couldn't tell you that now. I couldn't tell you because it
17 depends -- it would depend on how he would feel had he participated and
18 that is also linked to the structure of the personality, and we also don't
19 know whether he would allow himself to participate in that.
20 Q. Doctor, your findings rely significantly on information provided
21 by Mr. Vasiljevic, information regarding blinking, magical thinking, his
22 thoughts about the importance or the relevance of crows versus doves, his
23 belief that he could subconsciously communicate with his wife, his belief
24 in some prohibition from God, the suicide of his mother. All of these
25 facts, none of your colleagues who treated him in 1992 were aware of, who
1 treated him in the psychiatric ward of Uzice hospital. They had no
2 recollection of him ever telling them those things, nor in reviewing the
3 medical records, they saw no notes regarding any of these things. Can you
4 entertain the possibility, however slight you may believe it to be, that
5 Mr. Vasiljevic could be trying to avoid responsibility for crimes he
6 committed by fabricating some of these symptoms and some of these facts?
7 Can you entertain that possibility in any way?
8 A. I must say that the level of education of Mr. Vasiljevic does not
9 give us the right to assume something like that, because what I learned
10 from the interview is something that fits into the clinical picture of
11 what we can see now and what we could see in the past, so the only
12 remaining question is why did he start talking about his symptoms this
13 late? This is something that I mentioned just recently, that
14 occasionally, some of our patients will give us their symptoms or talk
15 about their symptoms after the passage of time.
16 Q. Doctor --
17 A. I don't doubt that these symptoms exist.
18 Q. Can you --
19 A. I don't think that this was invented.
20 Q. Can you entertain the possibility that some of the facts and some
21 of the symptoms that he described for you may possibly be fabricated? Can
22 you entertain that possibility?
23 A. No.
24 MR. GROOME: Thank you. No further questions.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE HUNT: Doctor, I want to ask you a few questions only to try
2 and clear up my understanding of your evidence. I'm not challenging you
3 in any way, but I have had some difficulty in following the logic of some
4 of your evidence. You told us that one of the triggers to this particular
5 mental state was the fear which Mr. Vasiljevic had during the course of
6 the war. And you drew our attention to what he himself has said, that he
7 was fearful at one stage when he was required to deliver food in dangerous
8 areas. And that he was so fearful of that that he refused to do it and
9 that's what landed him in prison. Now, once that fear that he says he had
10 at that time, or once the cause of that fear that he said he had at the
11 time, has been removed, does this particular psychosis or reduced,
12 significantly reduced, responsibility continue? And if so, for how long?
13 A. The state of fear is a state that a person goes through
14 unconsciously. If a person could control fear, then a person could remove
15 it. So this was provoked by the front line and by the tasks that he was
16 given and could not discharge, which is why he ended up in prison. So it
17 doesn't mean that once we remove the cause, the fear would disappear
18 automatically. It still remained with him, and these symptoms that kept
19 developing are a further proof of the fact the fear remained, this
20 blinking, his thoughts, et cetera.
21 JUDGE HUNT: You see, after he came out of prison, he wasn't sent
22 back to anywhere near the front line. He was given this task of cleaning
23 up the town or supervising the citizens in cleaning up the town. And
24 whilst nobody would suggest that this particular town was free of any
25 trouble, it was nothing like a front line. How long would this psychosis
1 or this significantly reduced accountability continue after the cause of
2 his fear had been removed?
3 A. What I obtained, the information that I obtained, is that upon
4 arriving, coming into town, so once he started cleaning, he started
5 drinking even more, so this other factor that is constantly present was
6 still there, even to a greater degree. He said that he went into town
7 to -- and visited houses where he was sure he would be offered a drink.
8 And this simply contributed to deteriorating his state. It was not
9 improving it.
10 JUDGE HUNT: You also told us that had he not been sent to prison,
11 his condition would only have been one of reduced capacity rather than
12 significantly reduced capacity. So that obviously the fact that he went
13 to prison had some effect upon his mental state; is that right?
14 A. We did not understand each other well, then. What I said is that
15 had he not been sent to prison, had he not been -- had he not put himself
16 in the situation to be sent to prison, then we could describe that
17 condition as a condition of reduced accountability, but his behaviour was
18 already such that he was non-critical, and this is why he in the end went
19 to prison. So the prison is just a form but not the substance of the
20 matter. The substance is his non-critical attitude with respect to tasks
21 that were assigned to him.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Well, that's certainly saying it a lot more clearly,
23 if I may say so, than you said it before. So that once he is removed from
24 being in prison, you say that would have had no effect in reducing the
25 state of his unaccountability or increasing his accountability, I suppose
1 is the best way of putting it?
2 A. It didn't change significantly the level of his accountability
3 because he continued drinking and continued acting in a non-critical way,
4 an irresponsible way.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Do you want to ask any questions, Mr. Groome?
6 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet?
8 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Further examination by Mr. Domazet:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Lopicic, as regards this period of time that
11 we have just discussed, which is the time spent in prison that you seem to
12 view as the time when Mitar Vasiljevic's accountability was significantly
13 reduced, the questions you have just answered pertain to the period
14 immediately after that. So this is what I would like to focus on right
16 In addition to what you have just stated, could the fact that
17 precisely after leaving the prison, based on his testimony and other
18 testimony here, he attended the funeral of his cousin that same week, five
19 or six days later. Unfortunately, we don't know on what day he was
20 exactly in prison and released, in addition to what took place a day or
21 two later, which is linked to what he described as the execution of people
22 on the Drina.
23 A. Well, these are the stressful moments that I described. I would
24 simply like to highlight that this departure, release from prison, if I
25 understood Mr. Vasiljevic correctly when he described this to me, is one
1 of the reasons why he -- one of the reasons why he was released from the
2 prison was the very fact that he was told that a very close relative of
3 his had been killed, so he needed to go to the funeral. I have to say
4 that there is a special affective link between Mr. Vasiljevic and his
5 uncle, and this -- he's been speaking of this uncle from the very first
6 day as a person who took good care of children after the mother's
7 disappearance. And another fact that evidences this is that there is a
8 physical similarity between the two of them and that people would
9 frequently confuse them in Visegrad when his uncle was younger. So he was
10 especially close to this uncle of his. The uncle had an only son, so
11 Mr. Vasiljevic was certainly affected by the death of this only son of the
12 uncle to whom he was very close. This uncle was the mother's brother.
13 If we can add, this event of the 7th is this very stressful -- is
14 the fact that among those who were executed was his colleague and his son,
15 and he had a very good professional relationship with this colleague of
16 his and this certainly affected him to a great deal.
17 Q. I would like to ask you something pertaining to the 14th of
18 July -- June, which he also discussed. And bearing in mind that you spoke
19 about the quantity of memory as one of the factors, the fact that on the
20 14th of June he drank at Pionirska Street with Mujo Halilovic and that he
21 remembered this and that almost everything described by witnesses he could
22 not remember, and some of the witnesses spoke of him having told them that
23 he was in charge of refugees, that he allegedly worked for the Red Cross,
24 that he even gave some kind of a written statement, certificate claiming
25 that he did not remember this. So he does not remember any of the things
1 that took place on the 14th of June except for this event when he went to
2 get the horse.
3 A. I cannot remember. I don't know how much alcohol he drank on that
4 day. What I was told is he had one bottle of brandy that he started
5 drinking that very morning, and if I remember correctly, in my report it
6 says here that he gave Mujo the remainder of that bottle and then they
7 went to get the horse. So there are some state of acute drunkenness when
8 a person cannot remember a certain event. Now, whether he was in that
9 particular state of acute drunkenness I cannot assert because I have no
10 facts that would pertain to this. But I was given the information that I
11 have pertained to that moment when he had been injured. If he drank more,
12 then --
13 JUDGE HUNT: Both of you, please remember to pause. You're both
14 coming in on top of the interpreter.
15 So, Doctor --
16 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
17 JUDGE HUNT: -- just wait until the question is finished and then
18 pause before you begin your answer.
19 And, Mr. Domazet, you have slipped. You have been very good, but
20 that was very early.
21 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour. I apologise.
22 Q. [Interpretation] I asked you this in context of what you replied
23 when asked by Judge Hunt whether after that period, around June 1st and
24 until June 14th, whether his state improved during that time or not. Now,
25 whether these circumstances; namely, that he does not remember events
1 described by witnesses, providing that the witnesses are telling the truth
2 as well, whether this would influence the reduction of his accountability
3 or not.
4 A. Well, yes, this further confirms this claim.
5 Q. So the fact that he took the horse, after what we just described,
6 and he rode the horse according to what he himself stated, as did the
7 witnesses, without saddle, without any kind of equipment, so he rode the
8 horse without shoes through the town on asphalt roads, and according to
9 some witnesses he was going quite fast, would this contribute to this kind
10 of behaviour of his?
11 A. Well, I have to say that this is to some extent a non-critical
12 attitude acting. We know what can happen if one is riding a horse without
13 shoes, horseshoes, on the asphalt road, et cetera. There's no gripping
14 there. So obviously this is not appropriate. And this further confirms
15 what we've been saying, that he at that time had a non-critical or
16 modified attitude with respect to reality, but not to the degree where we
17 could call this psychotic.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, this pertains to this period, and if you were to
19 say -- to discuss this period of significantly reduced accountability, and
20 in May of 1992, this period that you also at some point described as a
21 period containing one of these indicators, the fear. Now, would it be
22 possible that he had this similar condition during this period or even a
23 more intense condition or you have no facts to base this on?
24 A. What I said is that during this interview, I obtained information
25 on fears that he had during that time at the end of May, but he didn't
1 mention all of these symptoms as being linked to that period. Some of
2 them he mentioned as being linked to a period later than that. So I don't
3 have sufficient information for that period, but it was end of May when he
4 started developing these problems.
5 Q. Now, when we're talking about what Mr. Groome brought up, when
6 Mr. Vasiljevic returned a weapon, based on Mr. Groome's question,
7 Mr. Vasiljevic returned this weapon and said, "I don't need this in
8 Visegrad any more." I think this transpired in a somewhat different way;
9 namely, that he returned the weapon because he did not want to go to the
10 front line. So he refused to be sent to the front line, which is a much
11 more serious set of circumstances than the situation described by
12 Mr. Groome when he allegedly said, "I don't need this any more." So I
13 think this to be the real reason behind this. And would this change
14 anything in your reply?
15 A. Well, this could only be a sign of his fear or once again a sign
16 of his non-critical attitude. I did not receive the information about him
17 returning the weapon, so I can't tell you anything further.
18 Q. Thank you. You've already replied to this, but I simply thought
19 perhaps you had some more information regarding this.
20 Thank you. I don't have any further questions. I think that all
21 of these questions arose based on the questions of Mr. Groome. So that's
22 all I had. Thank you.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Well, thank you, doctor, for coming along to give
24 evidence and for the evidence which you gave. You are now free to leave.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE HUNT: Now, Mr. Domazet, I have -- I understand that you
2 have told the Trial Chamber's legal officer that Dr. Stojkovic is not
3 coming; is that right?
4 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Yesterday --
5 JUDGE HUNT: So this is the end of your case then.
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'm finished with
7 the witnesses.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, you've got dates here for the 11th, which
9 is tomorrow, of course.
10 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. We have the two experts arriving
11 tomorrow as per our previous arrangement with the Chamber. One is flying
12 in tonight, and the other has a teaching commitment today and he was the
13 professor who was here for a day and a half before the break, but he will
14 be here first thing tomorrow morning. So what the Prosecution is
15 proposing is the two experts tomorrow and then the remainder of the
16 Prosecution rejoinder case on Monday morning. I expect that the
17 Prosecution case will be completed by Monday.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Even the psychiatrist?
19 MR. GROOME: Maybe I'm too optimistic.
20 JUDGE HUNT: I don't know what experience you have of taking
21 psychiatrists their through evidence, but it is difficult to keep them
22 within any reasonable bounds, I'm afraid.
23 MR. GROOME: We will certainly do our best to finish on Monday.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Yes.
25 MR. GROOME: There was -- the Prosecution was going to call
1 Investigator Roy to admit two documents which are now relevant in
2 rejoinder. Mr. Domazet has agreed to their admissibility so there is no
3 need to call him. I have the documents here and marked. If it's
4 convenient to the court, I'll pass them up now.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, certainly.
6 MR. GROOME: They are Prosecution documents, two packages. One
7 is 171 and one is -- sorry, 170 and the other is 171.
8 JUDGE HUNT: What are they?
9 MR. GROOME: The package of 170 is the correspondence regarding
10 medical records of Uzice hospital, correspondence between the Office of
11 the Prosecutor and the government of Republika Srpska as an intermediary
12 with the hospital. The Prosecution document package 171 is a similar
13 request to the Republika Srpska regarding the existence of any complaints
14 made against Milan Lukic or Sredoje Lukic during the time period
15 concerning in this case, and their response.
16 JUDGE HUNT: That's going in as part of your case in reply, is
18 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE HUNT: All right. Is there any objection to that,
20 Mr. Domazet?
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I have no
22 objection to this being admitted, but I truly regret that I have not seen
23 any of these exhibits previously, especially those pertaining to Uzice.
24 One of them was signed by a witness who came to testify here, in which
25 case we would have had questions for that witness, but unfortunately this
1 has -- was only brought to our attention now, so --
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, so the transcript is clear, these
3 documents were provided yesterday and I asked Mr. Domazet to review them
4 and let me know this morning whether he'd agreed to their admissibility,
5 which is what was done.
6 JUDGE HUNT: But I'm just a little concerned as to the point that
7 Mr. Domazet has raised. Which particular document is it that has been
8 signed by a witness that you would have asked some questions on?
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I saw a document here,
10 a reply from the health centre in Uzice to the municipal court in Uzice,
11 of 17th April, 2001, and it was signed by Dr. Aleksandar Moljevic.
12 Although based on previously exchanged letters, one can see that they were
13 sent to the director of the hospital, and Dr. Moljevic is not even a head
14 of the orthopaedic ward. He gave a reply which pertains to the
15 undisputable confiscation of documentation held by him, on the 1st of
16 November, 2000. However, he did not say, or this document does not say
17 whether there are any other relevant documents which could be used here
18 and which would explain why such a reply was given. I know that as a
19 Defence counsel, I encountered a serious problem concerning the lack of
20 access to the documents in the Uzice hospital after the 1st of November,
21 2000 because they believed that the originals of these documents were
22 confiscated or seized from them, and up until the beginning of this
23 trial. The situation was somewhat improved due to some write-ups in the
24 papers, confirming that Mr. Vasiljevic was in Visegrad after the 14th of
25 June, based on which a number of physicians called and expressed
1 willingness to come and testify. And I am really sorry that this couldn't
2 have been done earlier, and had we known of the existence of these
3 letters, perhaps we could have done something earlier as well. But
4 otherwise, I have no objection to these being admitted.
5 JUDGE HUNT: But Mr. Domazet, my concern is your complaint that
6 you would have asked this doctor some questions about this letter if you
7 had known that the letter was going to be tendered or that you knew that
8 it existed. My understanding is that you were there present when the
9 documents were seized from the doctor, were you not? So you knew they'd
10 been seized. You knew the doctor was being called. What is there in this
11 letter, other than a misspelling of my name, that you could have asked him
12 about, that you haven't had the opportunity to ask the doctor about in any
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Maybe there is a
15 misunderstanding. It has nothing to do with the 1st of November, 2000.
16 That is, everything is in order. What I consider is not in order is the
17 answer that all the documents were seized on that occasion, because we saw
18 that there were relevant documents in the hospital which were brought by
19 witnesses here in court much later, and that is why I would have had some
20 questions, not with regard to the actual seizure, which I attended, and
21 which was carried out in a perfectly official manner, and I have nothing
22 to say about that. It was based on an order that existed at the time.
23 But there was some talk about Dr. Moljevic refusing to sign because
24 apparently he was promised that he could take back the originals and leave
25 the photocopies, but that's a problem between Mr. Moljevic and officials
1 of the Tribunal.
2 JUDGE HUNT: I remember the doctor's evidence that he was
3 considerably embarrassed by the fact that they had been seized, and when
4 he gave that evidence, he was looking directly at me, I remember. But
5 that's a different matter.
6 I'm still concerned to know what is the problem about this
7 document going into evidence. He says all documents on Mitar Vasiljevic's
8 case were seized. I think what he is saying is simply all the documents
9 he had were seized. I don't read that letter as any assertion by him that
10 all of the documents that the hospital had relating to your client were
11 seized on that occasion, just the ones he had with him. They were the
12 only ones that were seized. Now, if that's the way we interpret the
13 letter, which I don't think is of any particular consequence one way or
14 the other, are you concerned about this letter going into evidence?
15 May I say this to you in addition? You have, as you have pointed
16 out, had access now to a lot of other letters and documents that dealt
17 with your client. Now, have you been in any way prejudiced by your lack
18 of knowledge of the existence of that letter? I notice that the doctor's
19 name is misspelled as well, but that letter of the 17th of April? That
20 doesn't go to its admissibility, I should hasten to add, but have you had
21 some problem in the conduct of your case? I myself can't see it, but if
22 you can point something out to me, I would be very interested to know what
23 it is.
24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, no, absolutely no. There is no
25 problem, absolutely not. I just said that I was sorry that I didn't know
1 of this letter, and that Dr. Moljevic didn't tell us about it either,
2 because then I would have had some questions for him in this connection,
3 but it is not all that important for us to need to hear anyone in this
4 connection, including Dr. Moljevic. If the Prosecution received this
5 belatedly, that's another matter. I thought they had it earlier on, and I
6 thought it was a pity that we didn't have access to these documents when
7 the doctors from Uzice came here. But certainly I don't think that it is
8 of great relevance, and I have no objection to them being admitted.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Well, they will be Exhibits P170 and P171.
10 Still, I have to say this, though: I still do not understand how
11 you have been prejudiced in any way by not knowing of the existence of
12 that letter until after the doctor had given evidence, because he could
13 not have given you anything more than what he has said, that all of the
14 documents he had with him were seized, as you knew because you were
16 All right. That, then, is as far as --
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, but, Your Honour, all the
18 documents that the witness brought with him were seized, all the documents
19 that he brought to Visegrad, but we know that certain witnesses brought
20 other documents that were later admitted into evidence which he didn't
21 bring at the time, and it would have been a good thing if he had said that
22 there were other documents in which Mitar Vasiljevic is mentioned, but
23 this wasn't done. I don't think that I was prejudiced as a result, as
24 those documents have been admitted, but Your Honour, I would like to take
25 advantage of this opportunity maybe now, with respect to -- to say
1 something about future documents tendered by the Prosecution.
2 I'm referring to the expert witnesses that have been planned on
3 the basis of a list that I have received, and I have nothing to say in
4 that connection. I am worried about two witnesses who have been proposed
5 for next week by the Prosecution. I received yesterday, for the second
6 witness, whose name I will not mention, I can just give you the initials,
7 because I'm not sure whether the Prosecution will require protective
8 measures for him, it is a witness who appears for the first time, and
9 judging by what I have received, which is not a statement but rather a
10 summary as to what the witness told the investigators about, I think it
11 cannot be the rebuttal case of the Prosecution.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Is it the witness with the initials BB?
13 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour, yes.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, I see. Well, you're challenging that as a
15 matter in reply or rebuttal? I just want to see what the point is that
16 you're making.
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Because according to the Rules of
18 Procedure, the Prosecution may call new witnesses in the rebuttal stage
19 but for very specific situations. I do not see that what this witness
20 told investigators about is something that could serve as reply of the
21 Prosecution to the Defence case, and I fear that the testimony of this
22 witness about quite different circumstances that we have not gone into
23 would lead to me having to try and find rebuttal evidence against it.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Well, then, what you are saying is that you challenge
25 that as appropriate evidence to be called at this stage of the case, and
1 if that's so, then I'll hear what Mr. Groome has got to say about it.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in substance, the witness will testify,
3 and I haven't spoken to the witness, but it's on the 21st or 22nd of June,
4 the witness, with about a hundred other people, were gathered in the
5 Karadzic school, and at the time Mr. Vasiljevic and Mr. Lukic walked into
6 that school. Mr. Vasiljevic set up at a table with a logbook and said
7 that, "I'm working for the Red Cross and I have to list all your names
8 which I will then forward to Geneva and then you'll be sent to a host
9 country." He's not alleging he committed any other crime other than that.
10 JUDGE HUNT: This is an issue as to whether or not he could have
11 been in hospital, is it?
12 MR. GROOME: Well, it's also, Your Honour -- in the Defence case
13 now, we've heard from several witness who have denied, even though they
14 had previous statements saying that he wore the mark of the Red Cross,
15 that he had never represented himself as a Red Cross member, and they
16 denied that in Court that he --
17 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. But, Mr. Groome, that is an issue that you set
18 out to prove in your case in chief, isn't it?
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, there was testimony in the Prosecution
20 case that at the time of the crime, Mr. Vasiljevic represented himself as
21 a member of the Red Cross.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Some -- from Red Cross. That's right.
23 MR. GROOME: The only evidence that that was not true or that he
24 had not represented himself came in on the Defence case, the several
25 witnesses who said that at no time did they ever see him wearing a
1 Red Cross emblem, even though in their previous case the information that
2 I had was that they would be testifying here that they -- he had worn the
3 emblem of the Red Cross on a number of occasions.
4 JUDGE HUNT: One witness had in his statement that it was a cross.
5 MR. GROOME: I believe it was three witnesses, Your Honour,
6 that --
7 JUDGE HUNT: One of them precisely said a red cross. The other
8 ones were at least consistent with it. And you've got all of that out in
9 evidence. But it was an issue which you sought to litigate in your case
10 in chief. So -- and this person, BB, let's call him, could have been
11 called in chief.
12 MR. GROOME: I'm not sure -- I'm not sure that's correct, Your
13 Honour, in that --
14 JUDGE HUNT: Oh, yes, he could. Oh, yes, he could. You set out
15 to prove that Mr. Vasiljevic turned up that afternoon sometime and was
16 representing himself as somebody from the Red Cross and directing them
17 into the first of the houses that they were put in.
18 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE HUNT: That was your case. You opened it that way.
20 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. If I can ask what relevance would
21 it have been that at a time later, over a week later when we're not
22 alleging any crime was committed, that he set himself up in an auditorium
23 and gathered these people together to say, "I'm with the Red Cross; let me
24 get your names." I don't see how that would have been relevant to the
25 issue of what happened on the 14th.
1 JUDGE HUNT: It was put to him in the course of the original
2 interview that he was wearing a Red Cross thing, was it not?
3 MR. GROOME: That he was wearing? No. Just he -- he, in his
4 interview, said he wore a red ribbon. That was it.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. Was he not asked about the Red Cross in that
7 MR. GROOME: He was asked if he said that he was a member of the
8 Red Cross to the people, did he tell them to go into the house. He denied
9 that he said anything to these people.
10 JUDGE HUNT: That's right. So that he would -- you would have
11 been entitled to show that he had on another occasion represented himself
12 as being from the Red Cross.
13 MR. GROOME: I guess my understanding of what I would have been
14 entitled to do, which is what the Prosecution did do, is to show that on
15 the 14th, when he said he didn't make any of those representations, is to
16 call evidence that on the 14th he did that. I don't think I would have
17 been entitled to call the one or the several or the hundred people in the
18 Karadzic school a week later who saw him taking names on behalf of the
19 Red Cross.
20 JUDGE HUNT: It would have been just as relevant then as it is
22 MR. GROOME: I would respectfully disagree with the Court.
23 JUDGE HUNT: I can't see this as a case in reply. You are seeking
24 to contradict his denial by proof that subsequently he did represent
25 himself elsewhere as the -- as being from the Red Cross.
1 MR. GROOME: I am --
2 JUDGE HUNT: And that was a denial that you had from the word go.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm seeking to contradict what I tried
4 to bring out with Defence witnesses, their statements that he had worn the
5 Red Cross symbol. All that he denied -- he made a blanket denial of
6 everything that -- that witnesses had -- what he -- when the interview was
7 taken, he was -- "Informed witnesses say that you did these -- you said
8 four things." He made a blanket denial --
9 JUDGE HUNT: That's right.
10 MR. GROOME: -- of that.
11 JUDGE HUNT: So that was an issue from the very beginning of the
12 case, that he was denying that he had ever represented himself as being
13 from the Red Cross.
14 MR. GROOME: On that day.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. Well, it doesn't matter on that day or else.
16 If you want to prove that he did represent himself as being from the
17 Red Cross on that day by proof that he had done it some weeks later now,
18 that's what you're trying to do now, you could have done it in your case
19 in chief.
20 MR. GROOME: Well, if the Court is going to rule against this as
21 being appropriate rebuttal --
22 JUDGE HUNT: Well, I'm trying to find out how it is a matter in
23 reply. We are not ruling on anything. But the challenge has been made,
24 and I frankly cannot see how it is in reply. You are seeking to bolster
25 the case that you set out to prove in chief.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I've made the Prosecution's position
2 clear or as clear as I can make it. If the Court disagrees with the
3 Prosecution's position, I would then move to reopen the Prosecution's
4 direct case to allow this witness to testify regarding a very important
5 fact in his --
6 JUDGE HUNT: Well, then you have to explain why it is that you
7 didn't call him in chief.
8 MR. GROOME: It was my misunderstanding of what was appropriate in
9 the case in chief.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Ah, Mr. Groome, innocence by counsel is an excuse
11 that is often put forward but not often accepted. You're an experienced
12 counsel. If you think that it is relevant now, then you could have
13 thought that it was relevant then. It's the same relevance to the same
14 issue, his denial that he had represented himself as being from the
15 Red Cross. And if it was relevant -- if it's relevant now, it was
16 relevant then.
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in the Pre-Trial Conference, the Court
18 urged the Prosecution to limit our witnesses to the bare minimum.
19 JUDGE HUNT: No, no. I also said very clearly at some stage,
20 either the Pre-trial or at one of the Status Conferences, that this rather
21 lax attitude that some Trial Chambers used to have about allowing parties
22 to have cases in reply, rebuttal, rejoinder, et cetera, was not going to
23 be permitted.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, however mistaken I may have been, that
25 witness was not put into the Prosecution direct case because the
1 Prosecution believed that this witness's testimony about something that
2 happened in this school at a time not associated with the crime would not
3 have been considered appropriate in the Prosecution's evidence in chief.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE HUNT: Is there anything more you want to put?
6 MR. GROOME: On this issue, no, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Do you want to say anything in reply, Mr. Domazet?
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I would like to reply that in the
9 materials I received prior to trial, there were quite a number of witness
10 statements that referred to certain events in the fire brigade centre or
11 somewhere else around the 20th of June or later, and those witnesses were
12 not called for the case in chief, nor were they examined though their
13 statements were known. So I was surprised to see this witness appearing
14 to testify about these circumstances which could provoke some other
15 evidence, because what the Defence has learnt inquiring about people who
16 did work in the Red Cross, we came across a person who physically
17 resembles the accused, who worked in the Red Cross at the time and who may
18 have been in this situation that the witness refers to. But this was
19 evidence that I didn't think we should call because it was not called by
20 the Prosecution. So that I fear that the introduction of this kind of
21 evidence would indeed trigger fresh evidence from us, because if we were
22 to talk about a Red Cross official at the time who took down the names of
23 those people in the school on the 22nd of June, and if it was claimed that
24 that was Mitar Vasiljevic, I would have to provide evidence to prove that
25 it was quite another person.
1 As for this other witness statement, and I had his statement
2 before trial, is he being called for the same circumstances or only for
3 the recording of the tape on which we have already heard a witness? And
4 my understanding is that witnesses will be called who were present when
5 the tape was recorded, which is in dispute here.
6 So if that is what this other witness is to testify about, that is
7 permissible. But if he's being called to testify about something else,
8 since this witness's statement exists and it was disclosed to me by the
9 Prosecution, then in that case, I think it would not be appropriate to
10 examine this witness about any other events either except for those that
11 have already been raised in the proceedings so far.
12 JUDGE HUNT: You're referring there to VG97, are you? The one who
13 is going to give evidence about a conversation with Mr. Savic.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. If --
15 JUDGE HUNT: That particular matter, as we've already ruled, is in
16 reply, but that doesn't mean that the Prosecution can ask him anything
17 else. They can call evidence which is properly evidence in reply. If you
18 go in and ask some questions in cross-examination, of course, that may
19 open up all sorts of issues, that the Prosecution can only call evidence
20 from that witness which is in reply, which is the making of the tape or
21 the conversation which it is alleged Mr. Savic had during the course of
22 what one of the Defence witnesses calls the cocktail party.
23 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Yes, Your Honour [Interpretation] Yes, Your
25 JUDGE HUNT: You are not limited in your cross-examination, but
1 anything you open up in cross-examination enables the Prosecution to deal
2 with it.
3 Yes, Mr. Groome.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, all of that discussion regarding what
5 you've just talked about on the record has been in private session just to
6 protect that issue regarding that witness. Perhaps just in caution --
7 JUDGE HUNT: It's not in private session at all. What are you
8 talking about?
9 MR. GROOME: About what Mr. Savic -- the tape recording,
10 Mr. Savic. So --
11 JUDGE HUNT: We only referred to them by the pseudonym VG97.
12 That's a different matter. I don't think there's any real problem about
14 But, Mr. Groome, that does raise, however, or remind me of an
15 issue that I thought first of all. The fact that you are going to call
16 BB, that something happened on the 22nd of June, that was something which
17 was clearly in issue in the case, that he was not in hospital on the 22nd
18 of June.
19 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. And the Prosecution made a
20 selection of witnesses prior to trial and chose not to choose this witness
21 because this witness was somewhat reluctant and because of where the
22 witness lived. I will not be calling the witness for that but only for
23 the matter regarding the Red Cross.
24 JUDGE HUNT: But it will inevitably get into evidence the fact
25 that Mr. Vasiljevic was not in hospital.
1 MR. GROOME: Well, I'm certain -- Your Honour, that could be cured
2 by limiting what the Court uses as evidence. The Court -- I mean, I would
3 certainly agree to the Court just using the fact that he signed the -- he
4 represented himself and took the -- took the names as being the only --
5 JUDGE HUNT: And represented himself from being from the ICRC.
6 MR. GROOME: Right. And then saying he would send the names off
7 to Geneva.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Well, we'll have to discuss that matter, and we'll
9 let you know. We will attempt to give you a decision either late this
10 afternoon or by tomorrow morning.
11 So we start off tomorrow then with the two -- Ton Broeders from
12 the forensic institute. Is that about documents or about what?
13 MR. GROOME: He is the person who analysed the voice on the tape.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Oh, right. Yes.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just before we -- on the other matter,
16 the witness is scheduled to take the plane tomorrow morning, so the
17 Prosecution would certainly appreciate if there was word this afternoon.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. Very well, then. We will let you know if we
20 So that's all we can do today. We'll adjourn now until 9.30
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just one simple matter. The Prosecution
23 originally had the two linguists, the one who spoke B/C/S that assisted in
24 the analysis. After a consultation with Mr. Domazet, there's an
25 agreement, or Mr. Domazet agrees that there is nothing he wishes to ask on
1 cross-examination, so the Prosecution will not be calling that witness.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Is the statement in evidence?
3 MR. GROOME: It makes up part of the report.
4 JUDGE HUNT: And that report is not yet in evidence.
5 MR. GROOME: No. It will come in through Dr. Broeders, and the
6 first witness tomorrow morning will be Dr. Raby. He has a plane to catch
7 in the afternoon.
8 JUDGE HUNT: What about the doctor from Gouda, Mr. Domazet? You
9 wanted to ask him some -- you wanted to get his report into evidence -
10 in fact, it's in evidence - but you had to produce him for
11 cross-examination. I forget the doctor's name but he comes from something
12 called Green Heart at Gouda, spelled G-O-U-D-A.
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have decided not to
14 call this witness. It would probably complicate things, the whole case,
15 now that we are near the end, for me to call him now. I have not had any
16 contact with that doctor, as he was called by the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE HUNT: But he wasn't called by the Prosecution. The
18 Prosecution obtained the report and disclosed it to you under Rule 68.
19 You have tendered it and it was in evidence upon the basis you would
20 produce him for cross-examination. Now, if you don't want to produce him
21 for cross-examination, then the report must be withdrawn from evidence.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm aware of that, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE HUNT: As long as you're aware of that. Which number was it
24 so that we can note that it's been withdrawn? D41. Exhibit D41 has been
1 All right. We'll resume at 9.30.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
3 12.56 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday, the 11th day
4 of January, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.