1 Tuesday, 19 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 5.10 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good evening, Your Honours, this is case number
7 IT-01-42/2-I, the Prosecutor versus Vladimir Kovacevic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 I would like to have the appearances. For the Prosecution first.
10 MR. WEINER: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Phillip Weiner for the
11 Prosecution, seated to my right is David Re, seated to my left is
12 Aleksander Kontic, and to my far left is Sebastian van Hooydonk.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Weiner. And for the Defence.
14 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. For the Defence
15 representing Mr. Vladimir Kovacevic, Tanya Radosavljevic.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Radosavljevic.
17 WITNESS: NILS DUITS [Resumed]
18 Welcome to you, Dr. Duits. Before we continue our hearing, I
19 would like to remind you that you are still bound by the solemn
20 declaration you have given at the beginning of your testimony.
21 And before I will give additional opportunity to the parties to
22 put further questions to you, I would like to raise two issues in relation
23 to your curriculum vitae, which was not yet translated into English when
24 we met last week.
25 The first question is the following. You were appointed permanent
1 forensic expert, it says, in the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, but I would
2 say it would be at the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam. This raises the
3 question, how you could be appointed a permanent forensic expert in 1991
4 where your curriculum at the same time tells us that your -- at least that
5 is how I understand it here -- you finished your education as a
6 psychiatrist, I do understand a specialist, a medical doctor specialised
7 in psychiatry only in 1994.
8 Could you elaborate on that?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes. Well, it's a kind of paradox, but I major
10 already in 1998 and that was under supervision, and in fact, it's a
11 paradox. I am since 1994 psychiatrist but I am already appointed as a
12 permanent expert in 1991.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I also see in your curriculum that you worked from,
14 on from 1998 as an assistant psychiatrist in the forensic observation and
15 assistance department at the penitentiary institution at Veer, and I know
16 that it is in Amsterdam.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Was it in the context of that appointment that you
19 prepared expert reports to start with under the supervision, and when you
20 had further developed your expertise, although not yet, to say the
21 full-grown psychiatrist, that on from a certain moment that you were
22 appointed as a forensic expert on the basis of the experience you obtained
23 up till that moment?
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, that's right. But I did in the meantime also
25 psychiatric reports and evaluations for court, next to the work in the
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you do that then independently or also
3 under supervision.
4 THE WITNESS: Under supervision.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Always under supervision.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes. Till I was a psychiatrist.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand.
8 Does any of the parties have any additional questions in relation
9 to this issue raised by the curriculum of Dr. Duits?
10 Ms. Radosavljevic.
11 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Duits.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. In addition, I just wanted to ask you two questions in regards of
15 your curriculum vitae. Now the first, as I could saw from it, was that --
16 maybe I'm mistaken, but about 80 to 90 per cent of your work --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Radosavljevic, I was about to ask that question,
18 which is in my view a separate question. So -- but if you put it to
19 Dr. Duits, I don't have to do it anymore. Yes, please do it.
20 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you.
21 Q. About 80 or 90 per cent maybe of your work, including the articles
22 you wrote, the research you did, the symposia you attended and held
23 speeches on, whereas we can see from your CV in connection with child and
24 adolescent psychiatry. Isn't that true?
25 A. In a certain way, yes. My research and quality and quality of
1 reporting has a lot to do with adult reporting, but in a certain way you
2 can state that. The quality of research I did on forensic reports has to
3 do also with reports of adults.
4 Q. Could you just give us an approximate figure, as like did you --
5 did you do about 50 per cent of your research and your articles and your
6 lectures about child and adolescent or juvenile psychiatry and 50 about
7 adults? Or is it more -- because from the list of all your work that I
8 have seen, I would say that maybe three or four points didn't have
9 anything to do with child, youth, adolescents, juvenile. So I came to the
10 conclusion that at least 80 per cent of your work is connected to youth
11 and juvenile. Isn't that so?
12 A. With my research and my papers, I have, yeah, the main issue is
13 youth. You're correct.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weiner, do you have any additional questions?
17 MR. WEINER: With regard to that one issue.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon? Due to the assistance of
19 Ms. Radosavljevic, we are already covering at least two issues, the first
20 being education and already being appointed as a permanent psychiatrist
21 and the second one, second issue is the focus of Dr. Duits's work on
22 juvenile and adolescent psychiatry.
23 MR. WEINER: Fine. Let me just address that second issue.
24 Q. Dr. Duits, you indicated that the focus of your work or at least
25 your written papers has been juvenile or adolescent psychiatry. Have you
1 also dealt with adults?
2 A. Of course, yes. You can't read it from here, but I have been
3 till -- when was it when I...
4 I think 1998. I worked in prisons as a consultant psychiatrist,
5 from 1988.
6 Q. And just roughly, how many adults have you treated or examined
7 over the years?
8 A. It's difficult to say. I think, as a correctional psychiatrist,
9 you're a consultant in prison and, for example, in the - how is it
10 translated here? Just a moment. In Veer, which the president called it,
11 that is a forensic observation and -- unit where only very disturbed
12 patients come. And we still do, now, and also I am doing, shifts,
13 supervision shifts for that unit. And also, we do replacements and night
14 shifts for -- because I'm also -- I'm a child and adult psychiatrist but
15 also a psychiatrist.
16 Q. Just, when you said you really can't give a number of how many
17 adults you've dealt with?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Are we talking about over 100? Over 500?
20 A. No. Over 500. Over 1.000, I think.
21 Q. Over 1.000?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Are you still dealing with adults to this day?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I would have one additional question in this respect.
2 I see that at symposia you presented a couple of papers on quality
3 of forensic diagnostic assessments. Do I understand that subject well if
4 I would consider it is a methodological study rather than a study
5 focussing on the subject matter of the psychiatric diagnosis?
6 THE WITNESS: You are correct.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Did you understand the task given to you in this case
8 more in the sense of methodology, or more in the sense of -- or I would
9 say primarily as a methodological question or primary as a substantial
10 psychiatric question?
11 THE WITNESS: I think both. Primarily, you asked. As you -- as I
12 already said last time, that I didn't see the patient myself, and I had to
13 judge on reports, I have to use a method to have an expertise or have a
14 judgment about the quality of the report. And the methods I use is --
15 comes forward from my own expertise as a researcher on that item, which no
16 one has done in Holland. But I referred also to what the American Board
17 of Psychiatrists has as policy, and also I'm involved - and it's not in my
18 CV - in the development of further policy in -- of general guidelines for
19 forensic psychiatric reporting for the Dutch Board of Psychiatrists.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers. We stopped last
21 Thursday halfway questions to be put to you by the parties; both parties
22 had a short opportunity to put questions to you. We had this other matter
23 on your curriculum.
24 Ms. Radosavljevic, do you have any further questions for Dr.
1 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Your Honour, first I have to ask you: Do I
2 have further questions in regards of his CV? Or do I have in general
3 further questions for Dr. Duits?
4 JUDGE ORIE: In general.
5 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: In general, yes, I do.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Because I took it that you felt free to ask whatever
7 questions you felt free on the CV until now. But if there would be any
8 remaining questions, of course you could include that as well.
9 Please proceed.
10 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: Thank you.
11 Q. Now, during the last hearing that we held in front of the Chamber,
12 I think it was on page 280, you said that forensic psychiatry diagnosis is
13 something different, or as you have expressed it, "something else than
14 psychiatric clinical diagnosis." Isn't that so?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Now, if I could put this question to you: If you have a patient
17 that is already in a mental institution and that is already or has
18 already, for a period of time, longer time he has been treated, and now
19 you have to do a forensic diagnosis on such a patient, the data obtained
20 from the treating doctors are also relevant for the evaluation of this
21 patient in a forensic sense. Isn't that so?
22 A. Of course. And you have to -- but you have to ask further. You
23 have to corroborate your own diagnostic findings also, the clinical
25 Q. Of course. But the doctors are the one who spent a significant
1 more time with the patient than the forensic expert does. So if you don't
2 have time enough to evaluate every aspect -- and it will be hard, it must
3 take over 15 or maybe months to learn mental disturbed person or his way
4 of thinking, then the data that are given by the treating doctors are of
5 great value for the expertise of a forensic. Isn't that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In combination with all of the other factors, of course.
8 A. Yes. But there is something else. There is a treatment bias. To
9 treat difficult patients you have to be optimistic. And you have to
10 follow your own abatises [sic], and that is something else than respond to
11 juridical questions and to find answers about those questions.
12 Q. You do agree with me that it's also important to have the data
13 obtained from the treating doctors?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, if I then can go back to our reports, to the
16 reports with which we're dealing. There are going to be some issues that
17 my questions will refer to that would have to do with the specific
18 diagnosis of my client and some issues that we have treated up until now
19 as private, as private issues of my client.
20 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: So I would ask the Chamber if it is possible
21 to go into a private session.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As the Chamber decided before, in the interest
23 of the privacy of the accused, we will turn into a private session when it
24 is necessary to protect his privacy.
25 Mr. Registrar, could we turn into private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 326-364 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we are in open session again.
6 Upon review of the last portion of the private session, the
7 Chamber will decide what portion of the transcript will be made public.
8 As I said before, we have discussed last time a couple of
9 possibilities, how to proceed. I suggest to the parties that they make
10 written submissions in respect of that. The questions are clear, I would
11 say, at this moment.
12 Any comment on this suggestion at this moment? I'm looking to my
13 left, Mr. Weiner.
14 MR. WEINER: Would you like me to briefly address the issues at
15 this time, the four issues?
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid it's close to 7.00.
17 MR. WEINER: Written submissions would be fine.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Written submissions. You don't mind? What time
19 would you need to put them on paper. I take it that you prepared them
21 MR. WEINER: No.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Not on paper.
23 MR. WEINER: One week would be fine.
24 JUDGE ORIE: One week would be fine.
25 Ms. Radosavljevic.
1 MS. RADOSAVLJEVIC: I agree with my colleague. One week would be
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that you clearly keep in mind that
4 11 bis issues as such are not of course to be determined by this Chamber,
5 but by the referral bench.
6 If there are no further issues to be raised, we will adjourn.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.