1 Tuesday, 9 July 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Although there are a few procedural issues, the Chamber would
11 prefer to start with the examination of the witness. Is the Prosecution
12 ready to call Mr. Parsons?
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: We are, Mr. President. Good morning to you and
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
17 Mr. Groome, you're on your feet.
18 MR. GROOME: Could I ask when the Chamber would like to deal with
19 those issues so I can be sure to be here in court.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let's try to do it at the end of the second
22 MR. GROOME: Thank you.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Parsons, I presume.
25 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The Rules require that you make a solemn declaration
2 at the beginning of your testimony. May I invite you to make that solemn
4 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
5 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: THOMAS PARSONS
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Parsons. Please be seated.
8 Mr. Parsons, you'll first be examined by Mr. Vanderpuye. You
9 find him to your right and Mr. Vanderpuye is counsel for the Prosecution.
10 You may proceed, Mr. Vanderpuye.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Good
12 morning to you again, Your Honours. Good morning everyone.
13 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 Q. Good morning to you, Dr. Parsons. If I could just ask you to
15 please state your name for the record so we have it.
16 A. Dr. Thomas John Parsons.
17 Q. And I know you've been here before, but I'd just remind you to
18 try to keep your voice up, maybe allow a small pause between the question
19 and answer. And of course, if there's anything that I ask you that's
20 unclear, please let me know and I'll try to rephrase it in a way that we
21 can better understand one another.
22 I'd like to start with a bit of your background, if I could. So
23 I'd like to ask you, first, if you could just briefly tell us what is
24 your educational background.
25 A. I have a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of
1 Chicago. A PhD in biochemistry from the University of Washington in the
2 United States and extensive post-doctoral experience in molecular
3 evolution and DNA population genetics at the Smithsonian Institution.
4 Q. Could you tell us a little bit about your professional experience
5 up until you started working for the ICMP?
6 A. My relevant professional experience specifically in forensic DNA
7 began in 1994 when I joined the US Armed Forces DNA Identification
8 Laboratory that was pioneering new techniques to identify the mortal
9 remains of missing service personnel from Vietnam. In 2006, I joined the
10 International Commission on Missing Persons as the director of forensic
12 Q. I'd like to show you a 65 ter 25894.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are kindly asked to slow down and
14 to pause between questions and answers for the sake of interpretation.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
17 Q. Do you recognise what we have in e-court?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What is it?
20 A. That is a copy of my curriculum vitae.
21 Q. Do you recall providing this curriculum vitae, this copy of your
22 curriculum vitae, to the Office of the Prosecutor at some point in 2011?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And does it detail your previous professional employment,
25 appointments, engagements, publications through approximately 2011 to
1 your recollection?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to admit this document.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 25894 receives number P1715,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P1715 is admitted into evidence.
8 Mr. Stojanovic indicated that there are no objections.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. With respect to your curriculum vitae through 2011, from then
11 until now, has there been any substantive changes to the historical
12 information that's in this document up until the 2011? In other words,
13 have you done anything that would cause you to change what's in this copy
14 of your curriculum vitae?
15 A. No. Everything that is on that copy remains relevant and
17 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you've done some post-doctoral
18 work. Was that specific to DNA analysis?
19 A. Yes, it was, both from the standpoint of statistical analysis of
20 population genetics and the recovery of DNA from highly degraded
21 biological material.
22 Q. And prior to your testimony in this case, have you testified as
23 an expert or been so qualified before either this Tribunal or any other
24 court with respect to DNA analysis or DNA evidence?
25 A. Yes. I have been previously providing testimony to the ICTY
2 Q. Do you recall what cases you testified in?
3 A. Popovic, Tolimir, Karadzic.
4 Q. Okay. You mentioned that you were currently the director of
5 forensic sciences with the ICMP. How long have you been there?
6 A. Since March of 2006.
7 Q. And has that been interrupted at any point?
8 A. No. I have been continuously employed.
9 Q. Just before I get into the details of what your work is there,
10 your duties and responsibilities, I'd like to ask you a couple of
11 questions about the ICMP itself and I'd like to start with first asking
12 you about what the ICMP's mission is. If you could briefly acquaint the
13 Court with that.
14 A. The ICMP was established in 2006 with the mandate to assist
15 governments with dealing with issues of missing persons. It is an
16 independent, non-governmentally aligned body that seeks the co-operation
17 of governments in helping them to resolve all the aspects that are
18 associated with missing persons cases and societal impact.
19 Q. Does the ICMP engage in any kind of civil society initiatives or
20 provide assistance to governments or other forensic institutions, for
21 example, with respect to DNA identifications?
22 A. There are three primary activities that the ICMP engages in, if
23 one would class it very generally. The first would be to assist
24 political and institutional processes for the state to accept
25 responsibility for the issues of the missing, including their
1 identification. The second would be to work with families who are badly
2 affected by the issue of missing persons, very often supporting family
3 organisations and encouraging them to have a voice in national affairs.
4 And then lastly, there is extensive provision of forensic science
5 expertise to assist with the identification of the missing as well as the
6 recovery of the missing.
7 Q. If you could, could you outline the basic structure of the
8 organisation for us?
9 A. In our activities in the Western Balkans, we have a primary
10 political unit that is headed by the ICMP director-general. We have a
11 justice and civil society initiatives unit that deals primarily with
12 family issues and societal issues. And we have a Forensic Science
13 Division, of which -- that I supervise that consists itself of three
14 different areas. The first is archaeology and anthropology with regard
15 to the recovery and examination of human remains. The second is an
16 Identification Co-ordination Division which accepts samples for DNA
17 testing and distributes them to the third division, which is the DNA
18 laboratory system where DNA profiles are obtained from both family
19 members of the missing and human remains that have been recovered.
20 Q. In terms of the DNA analysis activities of the ICMP, can you tell
21 us where and what locations or areas the ICMP has been engaged?
22 A. In the former Yugoslavia we've been engaged throughout the entire
23 country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, having numerous facilities over the
24 years and assisted at hundreds and hundreds of recovery reconnaissance
25 and exhumation activities.
1 Q. Can you tell us about -- okay. Sorry. Let me start again.
2 Where is the ICMP currently engaged?
3 A. We are currently headquartered in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina. We do work now globally, both with missing from armed
5 conflict as well as disaster victim identification on an ad hoc basis.
6 So we maintain offices in Erbil and Baghdad in Iraq as well now as in
7 Tripoli in Libya.
8 Q. And is the organisation involved in performing DNA analysis with
9 respect to conflicts ongoing in those areas or other things, disasters
10 and so on?
11 A. Indeed. We conduct DNA analysis from cases in Iraq and Libya in
12 addition to a comprehensive programme of training in archaeology,
13 anthropology, and the design and execution of an in-country DNA
14 identification capability. With regard to disaster victim
15 identification, we have been involved in quite a number of incidents
16 worldwide. A large ferry disaster in the Philippines. The 2004
17 South-East Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina in the United States, and a
18 number of plane crashes and other incidents.
19 Q. In conducting these activities, to whom is the organisation
21 A. We conduct our work through agreement with partner agencies, and
22 with regard to accountability, the ICMP's upper echelon of management and
23 direction is the International Commission on Missing Persons. The
24 commissioners are notable diplomats and other societal luminaries who
25 overall direct and supervise the conduct of the ICMP.
1 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the role and the function of
2 the Steering Committee on Forensic Sciences Programs at the ICMP?
3 A. The forensic work that is conducted by the ICMP is quite
4 sophisticated and indeed quite complex and has caused us in many
5 instances to work at the forefront of capabilities and applications in
6 this field. Commensurate with that, we have sought to continually
7 interact with other experts in the world to make sure that we are
8 accessing the best techniques as well as make sure that our methods are
9 well communicated to the global scientific community, understood, and
10 then also vetted as appropriate and rigorous. One of the many tools that
11 we employ in that regard is a standing Steering Committee on Forensic
12 Science Programs that represents some dozen or so experts in many of the
13 subdisciplines where the ICMP is engaged, and they meet annually with the
14 ICMP as well as on an ad hoc basis as consultant experts.
15 Q. And can you tell us a little bit about the advisory committee of
16 government representatives?
17 A. I'm sorry, Mr. Vanderpuye, I'm not familiar with that.
18 Q. Okay.
19 Does the ICMP operate independently, that is, not accountable to,
20 for example, law enforcement, police, those kinds of justice -- or those
21 kinds of justice stakeholders?
22 A. Yes. ICMP is an independent institution not connected with law
23 enforcement or prosecution.
24 Q. Has the ICMP assisted in the work of the Tribunal, particularly
25 the Office of the Prosecutor, with respect to the analysis of DNA
2 A. Yes. In the past we have provided information relating to our
3 independent programme upon request from the OTP.
4 Q. And has the ICMP provided DNA material or reports, information,
5 to other organisations or entities besides the ICTY or the OTP?
6 A. Yes, we have co-operated with the Bosnian State Court and we have
7 co-operative agreements also with other governments, the Cyprus missing
8 persons committee. We do all the DNA testing with Cyprus missing persons
9 presently. We have worked in the past very extensively with the UN
10 Mission in Kosovo which has now been transferred to the EULEX mission
11 there, and all these agencies we share the results of our DNA testing and
13 Q. You had mentioned a little bit earlier that one of the areas that
14 you were responsible for had to do with anthropological and pathological
15 analysis relative to exhumations and so on. Is this part of the
16 Examinations and Excavations Division?
17 A. Yes, it would be. I have to clarify that there has been an
18 internal name change at the ICMP. What we used to call the Examinations
19 and Excavations Division we now refer to as the Archaeology and
20 Anthropology Division, but the functional role remains the same.
21 Q. You also mentioned the Identification and Co-ordination Division
22 as well as the laboratory system. How many laboratories does the ICMP
23 operate currently?
24 A. We operate two different laboratories that are involved in the
25 DNA testing process. Both of these laboratories are involved in the
1 testing of each and every sample of human remains that is submitted to
2 the ICMP. The first laboratory is in Banja Luka, in the
3 Republika Srpska, where part of the testing process occurs and the DNA
4 testing is completed in our other DNA laboratory in Sarajevo.
5 Q. I'd like to show you 65 ter 18814.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay, if we can go to the next page, please.
7 Q. First, do you recognise what we have on the screen?
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: We don't have the B/C/S, though. We'll just
9 wait one second while we load up the B/C/S. It should be in e-court.
10 No, we don't have it. Maybe we can just read into the record
11 while we're finding it what this document is.
12 Q. Do you recognise this document, Dr. Parsons?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. We can see here that it's entitled: "Summary report, Cancari
15 Road 04, BiH." Then it says: "ICMP Site Code: T-ZVO.CR04."
16 Can you just explain to the Chamber, very briefly, what is a
17 summary report?
18 A. The ICMP archaeological field team often is deployed in
19 co-operation and support of local authorities in the excavation of mass
20 graves in Bosnia and, in many instances, provides full technical
21 capabilities for state-of-the-art forensic archaeological recovery of
22 remains. This would be a summary report on the activities of the ICMP
23 archaeological field team associated with the excavation of a grave
24 related to Srebrenica on the Cancari Road known colloquially as Cancari
25 Road 04 grave.
1 Q. Is this something that would normally come to you in the
2 course -- in the normal course of events in your position as the director
3 of forensic science programme?
4 A. Yes, I review and approve the summary reports.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: What I'd like to do is to go to page -- okay.
6 It will be page 2 in B/C/S, that will match what we have on the screen
7 now. Then what I'd like to do is go to page number 3 in both languages.
8 Q. And here we can see some information regarding the ICMP's
9 presence at this particular excavation site, at point B in this document.
10 The text of it is actually on page 4 in the B/C/S, but before we go there
11 if we look at point A we can see that it concerns Cancari Road 04, and
12 then it refers to an alleged site origin about midway through and it
13 refers here to Kozluk.
14 Can you see that, Dr. Parsons? It's about five or six lines from
15 the bottom of part A.
16 A. Yes, I do see it.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: What I'd like to do next is to go to page number
18 12 in the English. It should be page 11 in the B/C/S.
19 Q. Do you recognise what we ...
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Page 19 in the B/C/S, please. Okay.
22 Q. Do you recognise first your name in this document?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that's your signature that appears there as well?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would that indicate that you had read and approved this report?
2 A. That is correct.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to tender this document.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 18814 receives number P1716,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P1716 is admitted into evidence.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. I'd like to show you, Dr. Parsons, another document 18815,
10 65 ter number. Do you recognise this document?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. And this also indicates a summary report relative to
13 Cancari Road 08 this time; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Do we have the B/C/S of this one? It's coming.
16 THE REGISTRAR: It's not yet released, but it's coming.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: This is a very similar document, so I guess
19 while it's -- while we're waiting on it, let me move ahead. If we can go
20 to page number 2 in this document, we'll see much of the similar
21 information concerning the ICMP's presence at this particular excavation
22 site as well.
23 Q. And here you can see the alleged site origin is Branjevo Military
24 Farm. Do you see that, Dr. Parsons?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: And what I'd like to do here is to go to page 10
2 of this document, which would be for the record page 17, I believe, of
3 the B/C/S.
4 Q. You recognise your signature there and your name, sir?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I will be tendering this document
7 as well.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document 18815 receives number P1717,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of any objections, P1717 is admitted
12 into evidence.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE:
14 Q. What I'd like to show you in this document is page 16, please, in
15 the English and it will be page 23 in the B/C/S. And here we can see a
16 list of associated artefacts. Can you tell us basically what that is.
17 A. These are artefacts that were recovered during the stratographic
18 excavation of this grave and are considered to be associated with the
19 formation of the grave and, in most instances, personal effects of the
20 victims or other objects associated with their captivity and/or death.
21 Q. In the bottom third of this document we can see a heading
22 "Ligatures," and it indicates white cloth ligature, string ligature, and
23 so on. Do you see that, Doctor?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I'd like to show you page number 18 in the English, and it should
1 be page 26 in the B/C/S although there's not a photograph, just an
2 indication of what's there. And here we can see a number of items that
3 appear to be -- well, they're denoted as cloth restraints. Is it normal
4 to have these kinds of photographs of the artefacts that were recovered
5 as exemplary in a summary report?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Let me show you 65 ter 19218, another summary --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, could I ask what the arrows stand
9 for? One time we see with a blue cloth the restraints, we see an arrow
10 pointing out of apparently the objects, whereas in the one on the bottom
11 we see an arrow pointing in.
12 THE WITNESS: Sir, I'm not absolutely positive in this instance.
13 I believe that those arrows would indicate the direction of north.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 I'd like to show the witness, please, 65 ter 19218. Okay. Here
18 we have another summary report. If we can go to page 2 in both
20 Q. Here we see the same information concerning the ICMP's presence
21 at the excavation site as well as an indication here of the alleged site
22 origin as Branjevo Military Farm. You'll see also here an estimate
23 number of bodies here indicated as 203.
24 What I'd like to show you is page 10 in the English, it should be
25 page 14 in the B/C/S, again showing your sign-off. Can you confirm that
1 that's your name and signature that appears on this page, sir?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: And if we can go to page 14 in the English now,
4 and we'll go to page 18 in the B/C/S. We can see again a list of
5 associated evidence. And that extends to another page as well. If we
6 can go to page 15 in the English and the following page in the B/C/S, we
7 should catch up and we'll see an entry there for -- no, I'm sorry. We'll
8 have to go to page 21 in the English -- I mean in the B/C/S.
9 Q. And you'll see here the entries for ligatures and blindfolds that
10 were recovered from this grave. Is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to tender this document
13 as well.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 19218 receives number P1718,
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: P1718 is admitted.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE:
19 Q. Doctor, you've mentioned that the two lab facilities and the
20 Identification Co-ordination Division Support the Forensic Science
21 Program as well as -- but let me ask you, does the ICMP also maintain
22 mortuary facilities?
23 A. That situation has changed a bit over time, but fundamentally the
24 answer to the question is yes. ICMP has either managed it directly or
25 seconded anthropological experts to assist at mortuary facilities in
1 numerous places in Bosnia.
2 Q. Are you familiar with the Podrinje Identification Project?
3 A. Yes, that was a large mortuary facility essentially dedicated to
4 the issue of Srebrenica that the ICMP established in co-operation with
5 the court-appointed pathologist who worked in a dual role, both in direct
6 co-operation and as an employee of the ICMP as well as serving an
7 official function as a court-appointed pathologist.
8 Q. Is the Podrinje Identification Project, or the mortuary facility,
9 still managed by or operated by the ICMP?
10 A. No. Full responsibility for the conduct of that mortuary has now
11 been turned over to state authorities.
12 Q. Does the ICMP or has the ICMP operated blood collection centres
13 for the purposes of obtaining samples in order to conduct DNA analysis
14 against bones that are recovered from various excavation sites?
15 A. Yes, that is a primary role of the Identification Co-ordination
16 Division, and through a number of very extensive activities, blood
17 samples obtained as small droplets of blood on a particular type of
18 preservative card have been sought and obtained from thousands of family
19 members who are reporting missing persons to the ICMP.
20 Q. Just so that we're clear for the record, can you tell us when the
21 laboratory system at the ICMP became operational?
22 A. Near the end of 2001.
23 Q. And what type of DNA testing is carried out by these facilities
24 in the simplest of terms?
25 A. Our primary method that extends to virtually all the cases that
1 are of interest to this Court is the same that is referred to as DNA
2 finger-printing and is widely used in criminal casework worldwide,
3 including criminal offender databases. And this is a form of nuclear DNA
4 testing, probably the simplest way to refer to it is STR testing, short
5 tandem repeat testing.
6 Q. How long has the ICMP employed this particular type of DNA
8 A. Since the outset in 2001.
9 Q. With respect to the types of materials that the ICMP receives or
10 analyses, is this type of testing consistent with the industry standard
11 in DNA analysis?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. To your knowledge, are there better or more effective means of
14 DNA testing or analysis that are available with respect to typing or
15 matching skeletal remains or degraded skeletal remains, such as, for
16 example, mitochondrial DNA analysis or PCR analysis?
17 A. Well, I will attempt to avoid a great deal of technical
18 explanation. There are a number of different methods where variable DNA
19 information can be obtained from degraded remains. One of them that has
20 been widely used on highly degraded samples is mitochondrial DNA analysis
21 or mtDNA analysis which is, in fact, more sensitive type of testing,
22 meaning you have an increased chance of obtaining a DNA profile from
23 mitochondrial DNA. That is simply because it's a multi-copy element,
24 every cell has many copies; and therefore, it's less likely that all of
25 the copies will have degraded. However, mitochondrial DNA is by no means
1 a definitive identifier. You can and will match multiple individuals in
2 the population, and so it has not proven an effective means of
3 identification in the very large number of missing persons in the former
5 The STR testing that we use widely is, on the other hand,
6 extremely discriminating, capable of -- to any reasonable level of doubt
7 identifying an individual with certainty as a single individual, and
8 moreover making that certain match through comparisons to family
9 relatives of the missing person.
10 I would like to add one further clarification with regard to your
11 question. You mentioned PCR testing. Both STR analysis and the
12 mitochondrial DNA analysis involve the process of PCR, which stands for
13 the polymerase chain reaction. It is a bedrock technique of amplifying
14 selected target regions of DNA from very, very small amounts of DNA that
15 was originally recovered.
16 Q. I'd like to show you 65 ter 5921. Do you recognise what's on the
17 screen in front of you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What is it?
20 A. It is a summary report provided to the Office of the Prosecutor
21 that gives a rough -- well, shall I say, concise overview of the various
22 methods that are employed in the DNA testing process at the ICMP
23 throughout the period of 2001 to 2008, when a number of different
24 standard operating procedures were applied as modifications,
25 improvements, and new discoveries in terms of technical capability were
1 brought on line in the ICMP.
2 Q. I don't want to -- I'm not going to go into your report in any
3 depth, but does it describe, generally speaking, the manner in which DNA
4 analyses were conducted by the ICMP throughout the period that's
5 indicated here, 2001 to 2008?
6 A. Yes. A DNA scientist could review that quickly and have a good
7 understanding of the basic methodology used in our laboratory.
8 Q. And you mentioned a few minutes ago -- or you referred to the
9 standard operating procedures. If you could, please tell the
10 Trial Chamber what the role of these standard operating procedures are
11 with respect to the DNA testing that's carried out by ICMP. Are these
12 guide-lines? Are these rules? Are these regulations? Just so that they
13 have an idea of what you're talking about in your report.
14 A. Well, I think a useful, everyday analogy would be that this is a
15 cookbook for how one performs DNA analysis. So it's a highly specified
16 set of instructions that the trained analysts follow. The concept of a
17 standard operating procedure is anchored in ICMP's comprehensive quality
18 management system, where our techniques are very carefully validated
19 through control experiments and documented; and then the staff members
20 engaged in those testing procedures are formally trained and checked off
21 in those techniques and have periodic annual competency tests where their
22 work is scrutinised and evaluated. And then they are deemed competent to
23 continue with that activity. All of these steps relate to ICMP's
24 internationally recognised accreditation to the ISO 17025 guide-line
25 rules for laboratory science, and this is an accreditation that is
1 awarded to us through the German national accreditation agency that has
2 the acronym DAkkS.
3 Q. When was the ICMP awarded this particular accreditation, to your
5 A. The two different components were -- of the DNA identification
6 process were awarded their accreditation at different times. The DNA
7 laboratory system was accredited in late 2007 and, if I'm remembering
8 correctly, shortly afterwards, in 2008, the Identification Co-ordination
9 Division achieved its accreditation.
10 Q. Is the accrediting agency -- rather, does the accrediting agency
11 play a role in determining the standard operating procedures that are
12 implemented or adopted by the ICMP?
13 A. Actually, no. They do not specify the methods that we have to
14 use. They do specify the documentation that regulates the conduct of our
15 testing and they do inspect our experimental validation reports that
16 demonstrate the validity of our techniques.
17 Q. And prior to the accreditation that you received in 2007 -- or
18 rather, following the accreditation, has there been any substantial
19 change between how the ICMP conducted DNA analysis before accreditation
20 and after its accreditation in 2007? Were new procedures adopted? Were
21 new protocols followed? That sort of thing. If you can just tell us
23 A. Well, generally, the field of forensic DNA analysis continues to
24 develop, and given the expertise of our staff and the novel and
25 high-throughput challenges we face, very often the ICMP is working at the
1 forefront of developing and optimising techniques. Simply put, we're
2 essentially the best in the world at this because of our extreme
3 experience working with this material. So with that said, there's a
4 continual evolution of the protocols that we use, updates to software,
5 new models of instrumentation, various implementation of quality-control
6 mechanisms that decrease the already low chance for some type of human
7 error. So yes, there have been changes continually, and that includes
8 since our accreditation and since the methodology report that you showed
10 I would like to emphasise, though, that there was no fundamental
11 shift in methodology pre- and post-accreditation. We performed basically
12 the same type of DNA testing to essentially the same standards before and
13 after accreditation.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to tender the exhibit
16 that I have up on the screen in front of us, the methodology report.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 5921 receives number P1719,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: P1719 is admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just have one question, Mr. Vanderpuye.
22 Dr. Parsons, at page 19, lines 20, you told us that the German
23 national accreditation agency's acronym is DAkkS. Is this something
24 different from DACH?
25 THE WITNESS: Yes and no. I believe that it is the same body,
1 the same accreditation body that has undergone a minor change in the way
2 they refer to themselves.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see. Thank you so much.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 If I could just very quickly before we go to the break show
6 Dr. Parsons 65 ter 29077.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This document is not in e-court, Your Honours.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: I understand it's on its way.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I read from your list that it's supposed to be a
10 report entitled: "Significant Changes to ICMP Protocols for DNA
11 Testing," authored by the witness, dated the 14th of February, 2011.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. That's correct.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the footnote 2 of your list suggests that
14 this is not on your 65 ter exhibit list yet.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I believe it was. I requested to
16 add it in the 94 bis motion and that was granted just the other day.
17 Actually I have the transcript here from 13 July -- I'm sorry, from
18 5 July of this year, transcript page 13972. But I think the exhibit list
19 was sent out before the decision was made, and that's why it doesn't
20 appear on the exhibit list. I apologise for that.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE:
23 Q. Do you recognise this document, Dr. Parsons?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What is it?
1 A. Essentially an addendum to the previously provided methodology
2 report that indicated the most substantial or significant changes that
3 had been put in place in the ICMP since that previous report, again
4 following the type of gradual evolution and improvement in testing
6 Q. And what was your conclusion with respect to this - we can go to
7 page 2 - if you can recall? I just wanted to show you the particular
8 standard operating procedures you had indicated here in your report as
9 being worthy of note in terms of the significance of the change they
10 introduced to the protocols for DNA testing.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: And if we can go back very quickly to paragraph
12 number 6 on the previous page. Okay.
13 Q. At paragraph 6 you indicate here what these particular protocols
14 were. Were there any significant changes in terms of the reliability of
15 the DNA testing protocols as a result of these changes? In other words,
16 are the changes that are indicated here through these three SOPs such
17 that they cast doubt on the previously existing practices or protocols
18 employed by the ICMP?
19 A. No, they would not cast doubt on the previous reliability. The
20 first two of the three protocols are involved with the ability to recover
21 DNA from highly degraded remains, so this would expand the range of
22 samples from which we were able to obtain a DNA profile, but it would
23 not -- it would not reflect on the reliability of samples that we had
24 previously gotten a profile from. Some of those bone samples, using our
25 previous methodology, may not have given a profile. So we now have a
1 better means to get the DNA.
2 Also with relation to cost and time saving, the second of these
3 SOPs is an automated platform that is cheaper and faster.
4 Q. Thank you, Dr. Parsons.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I think it's time for our normal
7 JUDGE ORIE: It is time for the break. We'll take a break of
8 20 minutes, and could the usher escort the witness out of the courtroom.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at five minutes to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
14 Mr. Vanderpuye, you're on track as far as time is concerned?
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Pretty close, but I think I am, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 Then ...
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vanderpuye, you may proceed.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning again.
21 Mr. President, the document that I have on the screen now I would
22 like to tender, but we don't have a B/C/S translation uploaded. So I
23 think I would ask for it to be MFI'd pending the completion of the
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number under which this
1 document will be marked for identification is ...?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 29077 receives number P1720,
3 Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P1720 is marked for identification.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Doctor, I wanted to ask you just a few questions about the
7 process by which matches are made and match process is undertaken, and I
8 know that you've described a lot of this in your report. But just in
9 very simple terms, what is matched against what?
10 A. Well, as previously described, we obtain STR DNA profiles from
11 human remains recovered primarily from mass graves but from many other
12 contexts as well, and we also obtain STR DNA profiles from family members
13 of the missing. So family members come forward, report a missing person,
14 and then we obtain reference samples from those individuals, transform
15 that into DNA profiles and upload that into a very large database. Then
16 every time we get a DNA profile from a skeletal sample, for example, we
17 run that profile against the entire DNA database representing all the
18 family members, and using genetic similarity indices are able to pick out
19 the families that match and then in the end perform a formal calculation
20 that arrives at a statistic indicating the certainty of association. And
21 the ICMP will issue a DNA match report when that certainty reaches a
22 minimum threshold value of 99.95 per cent. However, I would like to
23 emphasise that a vast majority of our DNA matches have a great deal
24 higher certainty than that. Sometimes 99 point and then following that
25 would be 12 nines or eighteen 9s. So very, very, very certain matches.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vanderpuye, could I ask the following to you,
2 Mr. Parsons.
3 STR, do I understand it well that you take various points on the
4 DNA material and then the more you take, the higher the probability, if
5 there's a full match, like with finger-prints there you need a minimum, I
6 think, of 12 points of comparison which would have to match and of course
7 no point of a non-match. Is that how I have to understand the STR
8 because you can't do the whole of the DNA but you just take how many? Is
9 that 13 or --
10 THE WITNESS: In our current system it's 15 --
11 JUDGE ORIE: 15.
12 THE WITNESS: -- and plus a different locus that tells you what
13 sex the individual was. So your explanation was very much on target. I
14 would just want to add that each of these 15 separate loci is independent
15 of the other ones and each of those loci can vary in the populations. So
16 you have two copies of your DNA, one from your mother and one from your
17 father, and there's one location on that DNA that we would test. And you
18 can have any of a number of variants on either of the maternal or
19 paternal copy. So you may have a random match at one locus with somebody
20 else in the population of, say, 1 in 100. But at the second locus that's
21 also 1 in 100, so now you can see that it goes up very quickly.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you say unrelated, for example, if I would
23 compare that, I do know that it's not about the visible features, but the
24 one would be the colour of the eyes and the other thing would be
25 something totally different. That is that the unrelated -- let's just
1 assume that those are unrelated --
2 THE WITNESS: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Could I show you 65 ter 25704. It should not be broadcast.
7 Q. I'll refrain from mentioning any names in this document, but do
8 you recognise what it is, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And what is it?
11 A. This would be a DNA match report issued by the ICMP.
12 Q. There's just a couple of things I'd like to go over with you. We
13 can see some numbers here. First we see the identity and the degree of
14 familiar -- familial relationship with the person to be identified. It's
15 a wife, a son, mother indicated. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes. The indication of wife, son, and mother are three people
17 who gave blood samples and who we have typed and now compared to this
18 missing individual.
19 Q. Okay. And it indicates here that the DNA results obtained from
20 the bone sample are 3.84e12 times more likely if the bone sample
21 originated from an individual related to the blood references in a manner
22 as described on this report than to another unrelated individual in the
23 general population. Is this -- first of all, could you tell us what that
24 number is, 3.84e12? What does it stand for?
25 A. Well, very first of all that's simply a scientific notation that
1 is shorthand for that number should be 384 followed by 12 zeros -- or
2 excuse me, 10 zeros. And that actually represents a -- the primary
3 statistical outcome of the DNA test and that number is the likelihood
4 ratio. It's not listed here on the report, but I'll just put it out
5 there because it's actually, I think, a fairly easy concept to grasp.
6 What this means is that we can now be 3.84 times 10 to the 12th times
7 more certain that it is this individual than we were prior to doing the
8 DNA test. So in Bayesian statistics, the likelihood ratio is the factor
9 by which you "update" your uncertainty. You had a certain amount of
10 uncertainty to begin with, and now we're 3.84 trillion times more sure
11 than we were before about that particular hypothesis.
12 Q. There's an indicate -- I'm sorry, let me just pause for a second.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And I abuse that in posing one additional question.
14 The wife is not biologically related to the missing person, whereas his
15 mother and his son are. Is that to allow you to make a comparison with
16 the other family members and especially the son or is that --
17 THE WITNESS: Especially the son --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: -- that's right. The son would be made up half of
20 the missing person and half of the mother, so having her information adds
21 greatly to the certainty of the match.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And this is purely the biological element of
23 all of this, I mean the fact that the missing person, at least whether
24 there's suspicion that this might be the DNA of a missing person, of
25 course there's other factors such as where he lived, that he disappeared,
1 et cetera, are adding to the probability but then in a non-biological
2 way. Is that --
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, in a non-biological and also generally
4 non-numerical way.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Also, we can see another statistic at the very bottom of this
9 document -- well, in this same paragraph in the middle of the page,
10 rather, and it says -- and it refers to the probability of relatedness,
11 as you indicated previously, 99.99999 per cent when using prior odds of
12 1 in 7.000. Can you explain just very briefly to the Chamber what these
13 prior odds mean?
14 A. Yes. The prior odds relate to what I said before about the
15 concept of updating uncertainty. So not considering any evidence apart
16 from the DNA evidence and where this bone sample came from regionally, we
17 have a prior probability, that is, before you do the DNA test, of 1 in
18 7.000. Let me explain what that means. Let's say I go to a
19 Srebrenica-related grave in this region and pick up a bone and you ask
20 me: What are the chances that it's one of these 7.000 people reported
21 missing, a specific one of these 7.000 people reported missing from
22 Srebrenica? And I would say: 1 in 7.000. I have no additional
23 information. So that's my prior probability. That's what the chances
24 are that this is going to be any single named individual.
25 I then do the DNA test and we update that uncertainty by the
1 likelihood ratio, which is that 3.84 times 10 to the 12th and now we are
2 so much more sure, we started at 1 chance in 7.000 and now we're at
3 greater than 99.99999 per cent sure.
4 Q. Thank you for your explanation.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I would tender this document
6 under seal, yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 25704 receives number P1721, under seal,
9 Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence under seal.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 I'd like to show the witness 65 ter 27147.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the counsel and
14 witness make a pause between questions and answers. Thank you.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: We don't have -- I believe we don't have an
16 English translation of this document.
17 Q. But what I wanted to show you is what's on the next -- pardon me,
18 page 3 of this document.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: And it should not be broadcast, by the way, I'm
20 sorry. All right.
21 Q. As with the previous document, I'm going to refrain from
22 mentioning any names in this document. Do you recognise what this is,
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what is it?
1 A. This is also an ICMP DNA match report that has a different format
2 than the one you showed earlier, and this one is of the format that we
3 use presently.
4 Q. And in the left corner of this document, what can we see there,
5 the box that's very badly photocopied in black?
6 A. Yes, that's a, as you mentioned, very poor reproduction of a
7 documentary photo indicating what skeletal sample was tested. In other
8 words, that's photo documentation chain of custody.
9 Q. In this document we can see here a different number for the prior
10 odds. This relates to a different event. For the Chamber's benefit
11 that's indictment Schedule B 1.2.
12 But do the differences in the prior odds substantially affect the
13 surety level that's indicated in the match report?
14 A. For purposes of clarity, let me again repeat that we use
15 different prior probabilities based on the number of individuals missing
16 from a particular region or event that we know this sample -- that we
17 judge this sample to be relating to. So here we have 1 in 4.500 from a
18 different region of Bosnia, versus 1 in 7.000. The answer is: Does it
19 affect the outcome of the calculations? It does by exactly the ratio of
20 7.000 to 4.500, in other words, less than a factor of 2, which is not
21 very significant compared to ten orders of magnitude or 12 orders of
22 magnitude, that is to say, 12 zeros after the number to begin with. So
23 minor changes in the prior probability do almost nothing to affect the
24 surety of these DNA match reports.
25 Q. In this particular document, in the paragraph that's just above
1 the stamp, it indicates that there is an inconsistency on loci, it says
2 Penta E between the alleged son and father. And it says: "Appears to
3 represent a mutational event." Can you just acquaint us very briefly
4 with what that means in terms of either the surety of the identification
5 or the reliability of the identification?
6 A. Well, first of all, this thing that is referred to as a
7 mutational event is a rare occurrence but it's very well-known to happen
8 in this type of testing, and the ICMP in the very high volume of work we
9 do encounters it with some regularity. And we take one step backward
10 with respect to biology. If you remember, I said that these STR loci are
11 highly variable. That's why they're good for distinguishing one
12 individual from the next. The way that variability becomes established
13 in the population is, in fact, through mutation. One person has one
14 thing and then one of his offspring has something different. That's a
15 genetic mutation. And because these STR loci mutate quickly, sometimes
16 you see them in actual casework.
17 So we have an instance here where going from the father to the
18 son we would have to invoke a mutation. We would have to assume or
19 conclude that a mutation has occurred in order for that to actually be
20 the father of that son. We here have a large number of family
21 references, so it's quite clear that he, in fact, is, but that there was
22 a mutation. We know the frequency with which these mutations occur so we
23 actually are able to put that in the calculation and adjust our overall
24 level of certainty that takes into account all the matching with all the
25 family members and, additionally, the fact that there was a fairly rare
1 event that had to happen that actually makes it less certainty than it
2 would have been without the mutation. But taken in total, it's still as
3 certain as is listed on this report.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you one question, you are referring to
5 the compared materials as from the son or -- now that may not be the
6 biological son of the person who is registered as the father. How do you
7 deal with that? What's your conclusion then, that it's not that person
8 or that -- I mean, you can draw various conclusions.
9 THE WITNESS: Yeah, we're comparing basically two different
10 hypotheses. It is or it is not -- there is or there is not the stated
11 biological relationship. This number that is being reported here is the
12 conclusion that it is, in fact, the biological relationship and that that
13 is the father, even though there had to have been a mutation. We're able
14 to take into account the fact that these mutations occur rarely, so we're
15 surprised to see it and therefore our certainty diminishes. But taken in
16 total with all the evidence, we still are able to conclude with this
17 level of certainty that that is the missing person in question and that
18 that is his father.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the categories at the top of this table
20 is ICMP 1, ICMP 2, ICMP 3, et cetera. Are these the loci which you have
21 used? Because you said you'd used 15, whereas I find 16 there?
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, those indicate the different loci.
23 They're not given their scientific designations here for reasons of
24 genetic privacy.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but nevertheless I find 16 where you earlier
1 told me that you thought there were 15.
2 THE WITNESS: There are --
3 JUDGE ORIE: I see 16 on this.
4 THE WITNESS: There are 16 listed there. There are 15 STR loci
5 and one that indicates sex, that's the one that has XY.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That's the one which you referred to earlier in
7 addition to the 15. Thank you --
8 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- for that clarification. I should have listened
11 Mr. Vanderpuye.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 The document contains a number of these reports. I would tender
14 them at this time rather than go through each one independently.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 27147 receives number P1722, under seal,
17 Your Honours.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think it should actually be MFI'd since we
21 don't have a translation for it, so I apologise for not raising that
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, one second, please.
24 P1722 is marked for identification, under seal.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 I would like to show the witness 65 ter 28871, also not to be
2 broadcast, please. Thank you.
3 Q. Doctor, do you recognise what you see on the screen in front of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. At the very bottom of the screen on the left in the B/C/S
7 language we can see what appears to be copyright of ICMP or a copyright
8 indication 2011. Can you tell us what this document is?
9 A. This is a print-out from a function that the ICMP has on its web
10 site that permits privileged users to access information about cases that
11 have been submitted to the ICMP. In this case, the privileged user would
12 be the pathologist who, under authority of the court, has submitted the
13 sample to the ICMP. So given a password, the pathologist can log on to
14 the ICMP's web site and find out information about the status of testing
15 and matching of the sample that he submitted to the ICMP. So we see two
16 versions, and the one on the right is simply a transcribed translation of
17 the Bosnian version that was the original.
18 Q. Two things I wanted to ask you. One is the -- looks like a
19 drawing or a schematic on the left of the copy in the B/C/S. First, what
20 is that? And the second question I have is: We can also see an ID
21 number, an ICMP ID number. What significance is that, if you could tell
22 us very briefly?
23 A. Well, I believe the figure on the left is, in fact, again a poor
24 copy of a photograph showing the skeletal elements that were submitted.
25 With regard to the ID number, that is a number that the ICMP assigns to
1 an individual missing person at the time that he or she is reported to
2 the ICMP. So when a family comes in for the first time to report a
3 missing person, that missing person is given a sequential ICMP ID number,
4 and now we have identified the individual to -- the missing person to
5 whom we had earlier ascribed that ID number.
6 Q. Does the indication here, DNA profile obtained, have any bearing
7 on whether or not the sample that's indicated, where we can see sample
8 code 668-03 (DMT), does that have any bearing on whether or not there has
9 been a DNA match to the individual that's named in the report?
10 A. It does have a bearing because had a DNA profile not been
11 obtained, it would be impossible to match it. However, it is also
12 possible to obtain a DNA profile from a bone sample but not to find a
13 match to the family reference database.
14 Q. In this particular case, as we have a named individual, that
15 would indicate that there exists a match report for the DNA profile with
16 respect to the blood donors or the people indicated in the database?
17 A. Yes, unquestionably. The DNA match report is the primary and
18 official output of ICMP's testing process. This web screen that you see
19 there is simply a communication method between the submitter and the ICMP
20 as a status update as opposed to the forensically validated formal
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I would like to tender this
24 document and I have three others just like it. If you'd like me to show
25 it to the witness, I can.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if there's no significant difference between
2 the three -- of course, the Defence has an opportunity to compare and ask
3 further questions. But before we ask Madam Registrar to assign a number
4 I would have one question.
5 You said that it's a bad copy of a photograph we'd see on the
6 left lower corner. I see there various pieces of what seems to be bones.
7 How can you be sure that all these bones are belonging to one and only
8 one person? That's one. And second, how do you take the samples? Do
9 you take them from all the pieces or do you just choose one and for other
10 reasons conclude that they belong together?
11 THE WITNESS: I note from the page here that this sample was
12 submitted from a pathologist by the name of Dr. Vedo Tuco, and he would
13 have been the individual responsible for forwarding that sample to the
14 ICMP. The ICMP would take only one of those bone samples that they deem
15 the most suitable or -- that is to say, the most likely to give a DNA
16 result and that is what would have been reported. We would not consider
17 these as separate evidentiary submissions when submitted from a
18 pathologist in this manner. So we in this case would not second-guess
19 what he has done here but simply assume that this is all from a single
20 individual and report only on one bone.
21 If an ICMP anthropologist or someone from the Podrinje
22 Identification Project were submitting that, I would expect to see only
23 one bone. This is an unusual submission.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and you would have received samples from all of
25 these bones we find on this picture our --
1 THE WITNESS: No, the -- I think -- I believe that this
2 photograph represents what was submitted by that pathologist, and the
3 ICMP would simply choose the one of those that is the most likely to give
4 a result.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You would choose at what stage, when taking a sample
6 or any sample sent to you, received by you?
7 THE WITNESS: Well, the fact that there are multiple bones shown
8 in this picture again I would say is anomalous with regard to samples
9 that are received by the ICMP. I believe that what would have happened
10 is when we obtained the envelope that contained this sample, those bones
11 would be apparent to the ICMP DNA laboratory personnel, and that person
12 then would look at those, determine the one that is most likely to give a
13 result, and then remove a sample from that for DNA testing.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Finally, therefore, the conclusion is that one of
15 these bones matches with --
16 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- the alleged family member which gave his sample?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, it always is with respect to the sample that
19 was tested.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Vanderpuye -- no, no, we first --
22 Madam Registrar, could you assign a number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28871 receives number P1723,
24 Your Honours, under seal.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P1723 is admitted under seal.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I also have document 28873, 74,
2 and 75.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Assuming that there are no objections to those three
4 either, Madam Registrar, number for 28873 would be ...?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Number P1724, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted under seal.
7 For 28874?
8 THE REGISTRAR: P1725, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted under seal.
10 For 28875?
11 THE REGISTRAR: P1726, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted under seal.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. If I could please
15 show, and I think we'll have to do this through Sanction and shouldn't be
16 broadcast, 65 ter 29076.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: While that's coming up --
19 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that the e-court system is down
20 which causes some problems.
21 I read that the transaction for log database portal 2005 is full.
22 To find out why space in the log cannot be reused, see the log reuse wait
23 desk column in the sys database.
24 Mr. Vanderpuye, just look there and ...
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Shall we break? I do have -- I mean, I do have
1 two spreadsheets very quickly to go through with the witness --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, from what I read, it may be that it's also the
3 connection between e-court and the system you're using to present
4 something. But let's just first find out because it's rather early for a
5 break. We're 20 minutes away from where we were supposed to have a
7 Do you have any questions for which you do not need e-court.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Actually, no, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: I don't.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We became dependent on the system.
12 Madam Registrar, is there any information on when the system
13 would be operational again?
14 THE REGISTRAR: It's back now, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's back. Then we can cautiously try again to use
16 the system. Touch the keys with care. My system is working again.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. I'm hoping to show 65 ter 29076. It will
18 have to come from Sanction. Hopefully -- okay.
19 Q. Dr. Parsons, do you recognise what we have in e-court here?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I assume it should not be broadcast?
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, it should not be broadcast. Thank you very
22 much, Your Honour.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE:
25 Q. Can you tell us what it is?
1 A. This is a spreadsheet that the ICMP provided to the OTP and the
2 Trial Chamber depicting all the DNA match reports that the ICMP has
3 developed that we consider related to the 1995 fall of Srebrenica up
4 until January 31st, 2013.
5 Q. I wanted to ask you just a few questions about how it's
6 formatted. What I'd like to do is just go through a couple of the
7 categories on the top here. We can see first obviously names, date of
8 birth, then we see protocol ID. Can you tell us what that is?
9 A. The protocol number is a number that the ICMP assigns when a DNA
10 match between a bone sample and a family is found, and it simply refers
11 to the report itself. So it's a sequential designator of a DNA match
12 report associated with a particular individual. If we look at the format
13 we see 9 -- on the very top one in row 2, under protocol ID we see the
14 number 9662/07 and that would be the 9.662nd DNA match report in the year
16 Q. Next to that we see a case ID, and can you tell us -- let's stick
17 with row number 2. Can you tell us what that denotes?
18 A. That is the sample identifier. So a bone sample has been
19 submitted to the ICMP through any number of means and that is the name
20 that we have that designates what that sample is. The ICMP normally does
21 not have control of the naming convention, although we do have
22 recommended guide-lines to follow, and this one appears to have followed
23 those recommendations where this comes from the Kamenica or Cancari Road
24 grave 10, and then other components of this are related to either the
25 site or the skeletal element that has been sampled. LF here should
1 designate a left femur. But in terms of what the ICMP does with the
2 sample, we don't care what its name is except to use that to keep track
3 of it.
4 Q. Are there mechanisms in place to address expectation or outcome
5 expectations with respect to samples that are received from the mortuary
6 for testing?
7 A. Yes, that goes to one of the primary strengths of DNA evidence
8 and DNA testing is the potential for objectivity in the outcome. So the
9 analysts are not making subjective experience-based decisions for the
10 most part. And what the ICMP does to maximise that objectivity is to, in
11 fact, strip that case ID number from the sample all together before it is
12 submitted to the DNA laboratory. And this is a function of the
13 Identification Co-ordination Division. Instead of that case ID number,
14 we assign it a unique but randomly generated bar code and that is how the
15 sample transitions its way through the DNA laboratory process. At the
16 end of that DNA process, a profile is generated, but as far as the DNA
17 staff know, it is only associated with some random number and no
18 information about what grave it came from, what event it came from, what
19 region it came from, and certainly what family it may be associated with.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you, is that for purposes of potential
21 bias, that if you have that information that you might be inclined to
22 link it to the most likely family member that would be available and that
23 therefore you make it more or less anonymous only with a -- that random
25 THE WITNESS: It addresses bias really at two levels. One is
1 that -- at the level of investigator inspection, where if the analyst
2 knows a pre-existing hypothesis, sometimes his mental processes will
3 superimpose on that to result in bias. So yes, it's designed to
4 eliminate that. But then secondly, there's also the social concept of
5 political bias that we encounter in the former Yugoslavia and this is
6 designed to be able to also say: We have no idea what "side" this sample
7 comes from, what ethnic origin this sample comes from, et cetera.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and therefore no one would be inclined either
9 to positively identify a Serb, a Croat, or a Muslim, and you avoid that
10 by this?
11 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Can you tell us very quickly what is the ID ICMP? That's
15 indicated here in column E?
16 A. We saw that before on a DNA match report. The ICMP ID number is
17 the number that's assigned to the missing person rather than to the bone
18 sample. And so you will have an ICMP ID number whether or not you've
19 been identified as a missing person, and this simply indicates that this
20 is, in that row, the 8.558th person to register their family member
21 missing in our system.
22 Q. Next we have the site name and here it's indicated Kamenica.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could scroll over to the right of the
24 spreadsheet a little bit further we can probably accommodate a few more
1 Q. We see the site co-ordinates and then it says "jurisdiction," in
2 this case BiH Federal Commission. Can you just explain very quickly what
3 that is?
4 A. That's the agency under whose authority the grave was excavated.
5 Q. We can see here the date of submission. Is that the date that
6 the report is submitted or the date that the sample is submitted for
8 A. The report.
9 Q. And meaning the match report?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the date of disappearance, we can see here in this row,
12 11.7.1995. Can you explain what this nominal value is?
13 A. When we obtain a report -- when families come to the ICMP to
14 report a missing person, we very carefully document a number of lines of
15 information about that missing person. First of all, clearly document
16 his name, clearly document his relationship to the person reporting him
17 missing, clearly document his relationship to other individuals, other
18 family members who would prevent -- provide a DNA sample. And we also
19 obtain information about the place and date of disappearance of the
20 individual, where last seen.
21 You made reference to the word -- you used the word "nominal,"
22 and normally that is not a nominal category, but in the case of the
23 July 1995 fall of Srebrenica we adopted a convention of designating the
24 date for events related to that general scenario as the 11th of July,
25 1995. And the reason we did that is that there are thousands of family
1 members that we have dealt with to get samples, well over 10.000. I
2 think it's about -- I think it's over 12.000 family members from whom
3 we've received DNA samples. And each one of those donors is interviewed
4 separately. And we have the chaos of a refugee population in and around
5 Srebrenica, the rapidly unfolding chaotic events, and so you'll ask one
6 family member, "When was he last seen?" And they might say, "I last saw
7 him on the 9th of July when we were separated." Meanwhile, another
8 family member may have accompanied the man into the forest to try and go
9 over land and say, "I last saw him on the 11th of July." So because
10 there were so many minorly conflicting lines of evidence here and because
11 the amount of work was so large in registering all these people, the ICMP
12 identification staff adopted the convention of: We'll put the date of
13 the 11th of July as associated with this particular event.
14 Q. Let me just ask very quickly because I want to filter this
15 spreadsheet so that I can take you -- draw your attention to another
16 area. But here we have an indication of forest -- place of
17 disappearance, forest, Potocari. And then we have a column indicating a
18 main case of association. Can you tell the Chamber with respect to place
19 of disappearance what that denotes and why and also with respect to what
20 a main case is versus a reassociation so that the Chamber is clear on
22 A. With regard to place of disappearance, again different family
23 members were very likely to provide slightly different information about
24 where the person was last seen, and those in the end mapped on to two
25 primary groups of individuals. One reflects the group of men and boys
1 who attempted to flee Srebrenica in the days just ahead of July 11th in a
2 large column that tried to break out over land and those were designated
3 as forest, the person tried to make his way through the forest. And then
4 the other designation is Potocari, and that would reflect individuals who
5 did not join the column of men but who instead stayed behind in
6 Srebrenica and wound up at the DutchBat base in Potocari and then were
7 subsequently separated from the women and eventually executed.
8 Q. And the main case versus a reassociation. Can you tell us just
9 very briefly what that is?
10 A. Yes. Well, one hallmark characteristic of the forensic
11 investigation of Srebrenica graves that has not yet been referred to is
12 the issue of secondary graves. So we have the circumstance where
13 thousands of individuals were buried in the first instance in
14 July of 1995 in very large primary mass graves, so basically their entire
15 body was deposited in huge mass graves. Subsequent to that, after the
16 passage of a number of months, those graves were exhumed by heavy
17 equipment by the perpetrators and put into trucks and taken about the
18 country-side in Eastern Bosnia and deposited then in a large series of
19 secondary mass graves. We have in fact 39 large secondary mass graves
20 that are associated with five extremely large primary mass graves and
21 execution events.
22 A consequence of this heavy equipment exhumation of the bodies
23 months after they were initially buried caused those bodies to
24 disintegrate, fall apart, and become jumbled together, so that we're
25 dealing in many instances not with bodies but with disarticulated body
1 parts and that is where we get the main case versus a reassociation case.
2 So, for example, the anthropologist will look at a case which may be only
3 the lower half of a body, take a sample from the femur and send it to the
4 ICMP. This is coming from a particular grave-site. The ICMP develops a
5 DNA profile, matches it against the database, and identifies the
6 individual to whom that sample refers. It will have been the first time
7 we have seen this individual and that will be called a main case. It was
8 the first instance of a DNA match to that individual. Months later or
9 years later or what have you, a secondary mass grave may be -- an
10 additional secondary mass grave may be excavated and they'll find the
11 upper portion of that same individual, we'll get a DNA match there, and
12 we'll issue it as the same protocol number but as a reassociation case
13 rather than a main case.
14 Q. What I'd like to do is to filter this list for the Cerska
15 grave-site and I'd like to ask you just a couple of questions about that.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'll need to go to row 2819. I won't read the
17 name into the record, but I will draw the Chamber's attention to the fact
18 that it has received -- that is, the Chamber has received evidence
19 concerning the identity of this particular individual in 65 ter 29011 -
20 it was actually admitted into evidence but I don't have the P number -
21 paragraph 13, in relation to RM254's evidence.
22 But at this particular individual, if we go -- we can see date of
23 birth -- it looks like e-court has given up on us.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Were you asking to look at the other number or do we
25 go back to the -- that might cause the problem. I think we were still
1 busy with this one?
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
3 Q. We can see the date of birth here indicated. We see a protocol
4 ID number. And if we go to the right of the screen in this particular
5 row all the way, we'll see that this is a main case, all of the indicia
6 that you've mentioned before. Now if we could go to row 2845 we'll see
7 another individual.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Again, for the Chamber's benefit, referenced in
9 paragraph 13 of 65 ter 29011, the subject of RM254's evidence.
10 Q. And here we don't see a date of birth but we see two names, both
11 with the same last name, father's name, and then we see one or another
12 person. Could you explain what that is or why that's there?
13 A. Yes. First of all, I'd like to emphasise the word "or" in
14 that -- in those two names. So we have a DNA profile from a single
15 individual and in this case we can't distinguish which of two brothers
16 this individual is, and that is a characteristic of DNA testing when you
17 have, for example, only the parents as reference samples. You can know
18 for sure that this individual is the son of these two parents, but you
19 can't determine which of two missing siblings this might be. The
20 person's name is simply not written on DNA. So we can define exactly
21 what the relationship is, we can know that these two individuals are
22 brothers to each other, we can know that they're both sons of the same
23 parents, but we can't distinguish one from another by DNA. We know we
24 have at least -- we know we have one or the other of them. We issue the
25 DNA match report in the name of both.
1 Q. Thanks for that explanation. Just for the record, so we don't
2 lose this at a later point, the ICMP ID for the first individual at row
3 2819 is 5690. And for the siblings, it would appear at line 2845, the
4 ICMP ID number is 13047 or 17852.
5 I'd like to show you one last one, and that's at row 12165, it
6 should be at the bottom of this. Yes, we have it.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: And just while I'm at it, the record should
8 reflect that the ICMP ID for this particular individual is 2968. And if
9 we go all the way to the right we can see that it reflects also a main
10 case. For the Chamber's reference, that is also referred to in
11 65 ter 29011, which was admitted, paragraph 13, relative to RM254's
13 Q. If we can unfilter this list for a moment, I'd just like to ask
14 you, Dr. Parsons, how many match reports were issued in relation to the
15 Srebrenica events in total if you have that statistic available.
16 A. Including both main and reassociation cases, this list has
17 16.057 entries, meaning reports.
18 Q. And how many main cases does this list comprise?
19 A. I don't happen to recall. I reviewed that information just
20 recently. You can find out through sorting --
21 Q. Okay --
22 A. -- on the main versus reassociation.
23 Q. Do you remember approximately how much it was?
24 A. I believe that -- the number that's coming to my mind is 6.708 on
25 this list.
1 Q. On this list. We can see that there's a tab here for the Zepa
2 event. Can I assume that that number or your recollection of the number
3 doesn't include the match reports issued in relation to the Zepa events?
4 A. That's correct. Those different tabs are exclusive lists of each
6 Q. I'd like to ask you just a couple of quick questions in relation
7 to the last two tabs indicated on this spreadsheet, one concerning cases
8 inconclusively associated and then cases associated to the Srebrenica
9 events, I take it. Can you tell us first about the cases that are
10 excluded as associated. Generally on what basis were they excluded?
11 A. Yes. Well, the first very large list we saw, of course, are
12 those cases considered to be related to the fall of Srebrenica, and we
13 have, over the years, provided the OTP in different trials with that same
14 list as it grew over time. And all the entries on this excluded as
15 associated with Srebrenica list were previously listed on the first page
16 as associated, but through additional collection of information and
17 review of this list we determined that they should not be on there and we
18 have removed them. And that reflects I believe it is nine different
19 individuals that were previously on the list that should not have been
20 there and have now been taken off.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: And if we can scroll over to the right very
23 Q. The explanation for that exclusion is provided here under the
24 comments -- under the "comments" column. Is that right?
25 A. That's correct. And the detail of explanation varies between one
1 entry and the other, and there's always a little bit more background to
2 these. So I don't recall these cases specifically, but the very top one
3 is illustrative of the type of things that could cause this occurrence,
4 where two brothers are reported missing from the conflict in Bosnia. One
5 of them is reported missing from Srebrenica, the other one from a
6 previous era, say 1992. And remember I described earlier conditions
7 under which DNA cannot distinguish between one sibling and the other. So
8 this would be an instance where we simply had a DNA match to one or the
9 other of these siblings and then later on found out through the
10 identification process that another individual had been matched as the
11 brother associated with Srebrenica so we took the other brother off the
12 list after that finding became apparent to us.
13 Q. And with respect to the cases --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vanderpuye --
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It's not only more than an hour ago that we started
17 our second session, but you're also getting more and more beyond your
18 time estimate.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, I'm trying to wrap it up as -- only because
20 there is a part of this document that I think isn't explained to the
21 Chamber which isn't necessarily self-explanatory. But I'm happy to
22 forego -- I'm happy to skip over that. I'll ask one other question in
23 relation to a different spreadsheet, and then we can move into
24 cross-examination if the Chamber prefers --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: -- but I think it should be relatively fast.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- after you've finished, we'll certainly move into
3 cross-examination, you can be assured of that. No, I'm just -- I told
4 Mr. Groome that we would most likely deal with procedural matters at the
5 end of the second session.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And in view of your time estimate, I thought we
8 would have time for that. Now looking at the clock, I think that we
9 should take a break now and that at the beginning of the next session
10 that -- for the witness it will mean a little bit of a longer pause, that
11 we would hear Mr. Groome or immediately after you've -- no, perhaps
12 otherwise the witness would have to sit and wait. How much time would
13 you still need?
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would just like to get an explanation as to
15 the inconclusive --
16 JUDGE ORIE: No, I'm not asking what you're going to do. I'm
17 asking how much it will take.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think it should not take more than ten
20 JUDGE ORIE: Not more than ten minutes. Then let's do the
21 following -- Mr. Groome, you're on your feet. I suggest we take the
22 break now. Immediately after the break we'll deal with some procedural
23 issues, and then you have another ten minutes to finish your
24 examination-in-chief and then we'll start the cross-examination.
25 Mr. Groome.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, unfortunately I have a commitment at
2 noon. I can be prepared to be back and to make the procedural
3 submissions at the end of the day.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's acceptable for us. So we'd hear from
5 you at the end of the day.
6 We take a break -- your announced shorter break, Mr. Parsons,
7 disappears. We'd like to see you back immediately after the break. You
8 may follow the usher.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 23 minutes past 12.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.27 p.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
14 If Mr. Mladic arrives, he can silently take his seat.
15 Meanwhile, Mr. Vanderpuye, you referred to RM254's statement of
16 the 18th of August, 1996, which you said was admitted into evidence, but
17 you referred to 65 ter number 29011. Now, what was admitted was
18 65 ter 29080 which was -- is a similar document but not the same. So
19 therefore your reference is now understood as a reference to 29080
20 admitted as P1690.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct. Thank you very much,
22 Mr. President.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is one other matter, if I may.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: The document 65 ter number --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I -- Mr. Lukic, it's -- or Mr. Stojanovic,
3 it's a common feature, it happens quite often, that Mr. Mladic seeks to
4 visit the toilet at the very end of the break and that's the reason why
5 we want to continue. If there's anything you would like to discuss with
6 him once he's back, you have an opportunity to do so if at low volume.
7 Meanwhile, we'll proceed.
8 Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 I just wanted to advise the Chamber that 65 ter numbers 28871,
11 28873, 74, and 75, all admitted here as P1723 through P1726, were the
12 subject of Prosecution's motion to amend its 65 ter list dated 26th April
13 2013 and an addendum of 2nd May 2013. So I just want to advise the
14 Chamber so that nobody wastes time [overlapping speakers] --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, there was no objection against admission that
16 was indicated by Mr. Stojanovic, and therefore this is understood as
17 there be no objection against adding them to the 65 ter list. So
18 retroactively that permission is granted. Please proceed.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll need back up in
20 e-court -- oh, in Sanction, the spreadsheet we were just looking at.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vanderpuye, you have until 12.40.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
23 Q. I was about to ask you, Dr. Parsons, about the explanation
24 concerning the inconclusively associated cases, if we could just go to
25 that tab. And here we can see that there are a number of cases and we
1 can go over to the right-hand side so we can look at some of these
2 explanations, but can you explain, maybe in general terms since it is
3 pretty well explicated here, what the reason for this category is.
4 A. Yes. Very briefly, either the evidence is contradictory or mixed
5 regarding whether it should be considered as related to the fall of
6 Srebrenica or not. Here we -- one instance would be different
7 information from different members of the family because we did have
8 that -- that disagreement, we weren't comfortable putting it in the first
9 very large list. Here we have -- I'll make an example, also from row 8,
10 where it says: "Person killed before the fall of Srebrenica remains
11 known to be buried at the hospital location in Srebrenica," so I -- we
12 would leave it to any observer to conclude whether that is associated or
13 not. That's why it's not in the original list.
14 Q. And the information -- sorry, let me just take a pause for a
16 The information that you received in relation to determining
17 whether or not a case was inconclusively associated or excluded as
18 associated from the large list of match reports concerning Srebrenica, is
19 that information derived from external sources?
20 A. The primary source of that information comes from the families
21 themselves that report the person missing, but we do take into
22 consideration really kind of all that we know about it. So in some of
23 the excluded cases, they were excluded primarily because they came from
24 grave-sites that would be inconsistent with being missing from
1 Q. I'd like to show you another spreadsheet, that's --
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, I'd like to tender this document first.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 29076 receives number P1727,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P1727 is admitted into evidence under seal.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
9 I'd like to show the witness 65 ter 29078.
10 Q. Can you see that in the screen in front of you, Dr. Parsons?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It's entitled: "Srebrenica unmatched DNA profiles to June 7th
13 2013," and then it refers to reassociation profiles list. Can you just
14 tell us as succinctly and briefly as possible what this list shows?
15 A. Well, we previously were looking at a very large list of
16 individuals that had been identified through DNA matching from profiles
17 from the graves. Here is a list in -- shown in two columns of DNA
18 profiles that were obtained from graves considered to be related to
19 Srebrenica, both by ICMP and the ICTY, but they have not been matched to
20 family members, presumably and almost certainly because we do not have
21 family reference samples for them to match. So these are unidentified
22 DNA profiles that clearly indicate the presence of a new and unique
23 individual. We just don't know who it was, but he came from one of the
24 Srebrenica-associated graves. And then we have in the left-most column,
25 the designations in blue, those are the unique individuals. And then to
1 the right, associated with that are additional body parts that match the
2 first person. So we see in rows 3 and 4, just for example, both the blue
3 and the red profile come from the same individual. So that unknown
4 individual is then found in two parts. Then we go down to the next set
5 of three rows, 5 through 7, and we have three different parts of the same
6 individual, again unmatched as to family member but representing a unique
7 individual associated with Srebrenica. And there are 124 unmatched
8 individuals represented in that list.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you very much for that explanation.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, I'd like to tender this exhibit as well.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 29078 receives number P1728,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P1728 is admitted into evidence. There are no names
15 on it, no need to have it under seal, Mr. --
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct, Mr. President, no need to have
17 it under seal.
18 JUDGE ORIE: This will be a public document.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE:
21 Q. Now, with respect to this list of unmatched DNA profiles and the
22 larger list of matched DNA profiles, is it fair to say that each profile
23 of a main case refers to an individual?
24 A. Yes, it is. So we would have -- in terms of the total number of
25 individuals from the first list, I think we said 67 -- 6.708, I can also
1 report the current value because that list is as of January. As of early
2 June there were 6.767 individuals identified by name in addition to the
3 124 unidentified here, for a total of 7.001 individuals, distinct
4 individuals, known by DNA to have been recovered from these graves.
5 Q. Right. Thank you very much for that explanation in the update.
6 Just one last question, and that is: In your opinion, is the DNA
7 identification matching process that's been undertaken by the ICMP and
8 currently undertaken by the ICMP reliable to a high degree of scientific
10 A. Absolutely.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I have no further questions of
13 the witness at this time. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
15 Mr. Stojanovic, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Professor, good afternoon --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Parsons, you'll be cross-examined by
19 Mr. Stojanovic. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
20 THE WITNESS: Understood. Thank you.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I will try, Professor, to go very briefly over certain topics
23 that remain after the examination-in-chief.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And I would like to call up in
25 e-court P1723. This is a document under seal, Your Honours.
1 Q. What I wanted to ask, Professor, you said in response from the
2 Chamber that from the photograph that we see the mortal remains were
3 provided to you by the pathologist and you take samples for DNA profiling
4 from the appropriate parts. It is said here that this was done by
5 Dr. Vedo Tuco. Is he an employee of the ICMP?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Is he an employee of the Podrinje Identification Centre?
8 A. No.
9 Q. How is he involved in this entire process as a provider of this
10 kind of information for your analysis?
11 A. He is one of the state court-appointed pathologists that is
12 authorised to perform autopsies, issue death certificates, and in that
13 responsibility submits samples also to the ICMP. He works in Tuzla at
14 a -- at the commemorative centre there.
15 Q. You do not oversee his work? I suppose you have no way to
16 supervise him?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Also, you in the ICMP are not concerned with the issue whether
19 the mortal remains that were photographed were really the mortal remains
20 of one body. It is Dr. Vedo Tuco who does that, isn't it?
21 A. In this particular case, I would answer in the affirmative. But
22 in general, we are concerned with that issue and our anthropologists are
23 involved in a great number of these cases and, in fact, may have assisted
24 Dr. Tuco on many occasions to make that -- to make that determination.
25 Q. Thank you. And another question that follows from the
1 examination-in-chief. In the status of the Podrinje Identification
2 Centre, who is the founder of that centre?
3 A. ICMP established that centre.
4 Q. Does the centre in Tuzla have a laboratory that is also used for
5 DNA matching?
6 A. No. All the DNA work is done by the ICMP, not at PIP, Podrinje
7 Identification Project.
8 Q. You mentioned a man who worked for the ICMP and is now working at
9 the Podrinje Identification Project. What kind of profile of specialist
10 is he?
11 A. He is also a court-appointed forensic pathologist who has managed
12 the Podrinje Identification Project throughout the entirety of its
13 existence and he's a highly experienced forensic pathologist who conducts
14 autopsies and has extreme familiarity with osteology and physical
15 anthropology as well. His name is Dr. Rifat Kesetovic.
16 Q. Apart from Dr. Rifat Kesetovic we have seen in these reports
17 another name, namely Dr. Zdenko Cihlarz. Am I right, and if so, what is
18 his status in the entire process?
19 A. That is correct and he is also a court-appointed pathologist.
20 Q. Could you assist me on this, Professor. When you spoke about the
21 organisation that verifies the work of laboratories like yours, I have
22 before me data obtained from an organisation whose acronym is GEDNAP, a
23 German organisation. Is that the same one that we talked about when you
24 used the acronym DAkkS?
25 A. No, that's a completely different organisation. The GEDNAP group
1 is involved in providing proficiency tests where they send samples to
2 different laboratories, and these samples have known and expected
3 results. And it's part of the quality control exercises of a laboratory
4 to conduct testing on those and see if they get the same result as
5 GEDNAP. So GEDNAP is not actually an accreditation body of any kind.
6 They simply provide these known samples and report on the results. I
7 will say, though, that ICMP also participates in GEDNAP proficiency
9 Q. Is GEDNAP a body who can also issue ICMP with a certificate for
10 the work of laboratories?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I heard the witness say a minute
13 "So GEDNAP is not actually an accreditation body of any kind ..."
14 Which seems to answer your question. Unless I misunderstood you.
15 THE WITNESS: You understood correctly.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then I did not
18 understand this quite well.
19 Q. You obtained accreditation in 2007, as you said. Now, before
20 2007, were you involved in DNA matching?
21 A. Yes, since 2001.
22 Q. From 2001 until 2007, ICMP did not have accreditation for the
23 work of its laboratories; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell us, how many DNA matches were done by your
1 organisation between 2001 and 2007 before receiving accreditation?
2 A. No, but the answer would be quite many -- because I simply do not
3 recall that exact number.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Are we talking in the hundreds? Are we talking in
5 the thousands? Could you give us a rough estimate?
6 THE WITNESS: Definitely talking in the thousands. As you -- you
7 saw that list for Srebrenica alone was 16.000 match reports. So, yeah,
8 very many reports were issued prior to 2007.
9 JUDGE ORIE: So we're even talking close to the tens of
11 THE WITNESS: I think so, yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Would you kindly tell us how many verified accredited
15 laboratories does ICMP now have in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Well, our DNA laboratory system and our Identification
17 Co-ordination Division are both accredited. The DNA laboratory system is
18 involved in two facilities, one in Banja Luka and one in Sarajevo, and
19 the Identification Co-ordination Division is in Tuzla.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put one additional question to you,
21 Dr. Parsons. When was this accreditation system established?
22 THE WITNESS: Sir, I'm not quite sure, but I would beg leave of
23 the Court to comment on that general topic insofar as the issue of
24 forensic laboratory accreditation in the field of forensic DNA testing
25 has been quite evolutionary. At the time that the ICMP began in 2001,
1 very, very few labs worldwide were accredited to the ISO standard. As
2 the field progressed, there was more and more laboratories thinking about
3 doing that. I was a member of the European Network of Forensic Science
4 Institutes in 2006 and 2007, while the ICMP was making the determination
5 if we should go after accreditation. And the European Network of
6 Forensic Science Institutes did a trans-Europe survey of criminalistic
7 forensic DNA laboratories to determine how many were accredited, and at
8 that time it was less than 30 per cent of all practicing forensic
10 However, to put the evolution in context, at that time fully
11 50 per cent of the ones that were not accredited were also in preparation
12 for applying for accreditation, which can take years. And it was at that
13 time that the ICMP decided that we ought to also, now that this was --
14 this accreditation movement was becoming more de rigueur for quality
15 management systems, we decided to go for it ourselves. So there is no
16 great change in the quality of ICMP's work pre-and post-accreditation,
17 nor were we in any way exceptional with working without accreditation at
18 that time.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that answer.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] In the context of the same
21 question, could we please look at 1D1110.
22 Q. And we need to look at paragraph 1 on page 3, Professor. And
23 before that, just glance at the cover page because it's about GEDNAP.
24 Thank you. Now let us move to page 3, paragraph 1. I
25 highlighted the passage that I want to ask you about. It says here that
1 the system to which you will belong, and I quote:
2 "... must comply with the generally accepted state-of-the-art
3 which means that the system must not only be proven to be reproducible
4 within the developing laboratory but must also be reproducible in other
5 equally qualified laboratories."
6 I ask you now: Would you accept that a scientifically valid
7 principle is reproducibility in other equally qualified laboratories?
8 A. Can you clarify for me, please, what this document is?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to ask you an additional question,
10 Mr. Stojanovic. You're talking about the system. Now, on the previous
11 page I read that it is about basic principles of the blind trial system,
12 that is apparently the system adopted by GEDNAP to -- Mr. Mladic, low
14 So the witness asked to know what the document is, and my
15 question is: When you refer to the system, page 3, to be clear on what
16 system that refers to. And if I could read the title of the document, it
17 is the: "GEDNAP German DNA Profiling Group Blind Trial System," and it
18 exists of 16 pages which, as far as the index on the first page is
19 concerned, seems to describe the system GEDNAP is using for its
21 Anything to add, Mr. Stojanovic?
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
23 And if I may, maybe that should have been the first step, we could look
24 at page 2, introductory remarks, that perhaps provide the answer.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then, as a matter of fact, I would suggest that you
1 look first at page 1 where there is an index of what follows. And then
2 perhaps slowly move it so that the witness can gain an impression of what
3 the document is about.
4 If you're ready to move below 3.1, please indicate so that you
5 can see the following.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, I'm ready.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could we move. Yes.
8 Mr. Stojanovic, please proceed.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Professor, I think I'm going to ask you again. From the passage
11 that I've read out to you, would you accept that the reproducibility of
12 results from one laboratory to another as the scientifically valid
14 A. As a very general answer to your question, I would say that
15 demonstration of reproducibility is one element of an overarching quality
16 management system that should be taken very seriously and implemented to
17 the extent possible. In fact, the existence of the GEDNAP blind trial is
18 to permit participating laboratories with an opportunity to test
19 results -- to test samples that have already been tested in qualified
20 laboratories. Therefore, by participating in the GEDNAP trial, they are
21 offering a means by which to comply with this element of a quality
22 management system and that's the very rationale for the reason that we
23 participate in the GEDNAP programme.
24 Q. Thank you. Is there any other laboratory that checked the
25 results you obtained by matching the samples that you've discussed today?
1 A. In the Hurricane Katrina disaster in the United States with
2 the -- for the state of Louisiana, we provided DNA testing on all the
3 victim samples that were done in that incident response. The
4 United States authorities decided to have two laboratories independently
5 test all of those samples, and so we were involved in a very large
6 real-life disaster and degraded DNA testing project where there was full
7 duplication of results. We got exactly the same results as the other
8 internationally recognised laboratory that was involved in this process,
9 with the exception of one result, where very energetic investigation
10 proved that the ICMP result was the correct one and that the other
11 laboratory had made an error.
12 Q. Professor, do you have such reports of the verification by other
13 laboratories in terms of their results that you have obtained? Are they
14 available for the scientific community to view as well as for our team in
15 this case?
16 A. The Hurricane Katrina undertaking I just referred to was in no
17 means a quality-control exercise, so, no, we would not have such a
18 document. However, the GEDNAP blind trials that we participate in do
19 have a letter acknowledging the results of the trial, so those would be
21 Q. Thank you. When you mentioned the laboratories in Sarajevo and
22 Banja Luka, up to what level on -- of work in the overall process is the
23 Banja Luka laboratory involved forwarding their results to be continued
24 in terms of the work to be performed by the laboratory in Sarajevo?
25 A. That has changed over time. In the early years, the Banja Luka
1 laboratory was involved in full DNA testing independently. In the
2 last -- since just about 2006, however, in the interests of uniform
3 mechanisms, uniform quality-control procedures, and cost and time
4 efficiency, we changed so that there was a single operating procedure for
5 all samples, and the work conducted by the Banja Luka laboratory now is
6 constrained to the bone sample cleaning, the bone sample decontamination,
7 and the bone sample grinding prior to chemical extraction, and that is a
8 very specialised set of physical and chemical manipulations that makes a
9 lot of sense to have in a dedicated facility. So they do the steps I
10 just referred to on every bone sample as a specialised facility and then
11 send them on for further processing on to Sarajevo.
12 Q. In the overall process at any point in time, are the services of
13 the Banja Luka laboratory relied on?
14 A. I just indicated what the Banja Luka laboratory does for each and
15 every sample.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could I see whether there may be some confusion
17 there. You explained the change in the system since 2006. It may be
18 that Mr. Stojanovic would also like to know whether you would rely on
19 other activities done by the Banja Luka laboratory before 2006.
20 THE WITNESS: That -- if that's the case, that does clarify.
21 Thank you. And the answer is: Yes, there are profiles in our DNA
22 matching database that were derived wholly in the Banja Luka laboratory
23 prior to that switch in procedure.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. I will repeat my question, as I believe there was a
1 problem in terminology.
2 My question was: In the overall process at any point in time,
3 are the services of the Tuzla laboratory relied on?
4 A. Okay. With regard to Tuzla, that has also been an evolutionary
5 process. The Identification Co-ordination Division is housed in Tuzla
6 now and is not involved in the DNA testing procedure. They are an
7 accessioning and matching specialised function. However, in the early
8 years of the ICMP, the Tuzla centre had a DNA laboratory that was
9 involved in conducting bone profile DNA testing. So -- and, excuse me, I
10 apologise, a correction is they were involved in testing the blood
11 samples that came from the family references.
12 Q. That is why I wanted to ask you the following. Before 2006 and
13 after 2006, did they conduct analysis of blood samples in their
14 laboratory that are to be relied on for the purposes of matching to
15 obtain identification?
16 A. "They" meaning the Tuzla laboratory? The answer is yes, but when
17 I say "relied upon," I don't mean blindly relied upon. For every DNA
18 match that is issued, there is a full technical review of the data. So
19 we don't blindly use the profile that comes from the Tuzla laboratory; we
20 independently analyse the genetic electropherograms to make sure that
21 they comport with current-day, quality-control standards. And if there
22 is any question about anything, whether it comes from the Tuzla
23 laboratory or anywhere else, those samples will be promptly retested in
24 the Sarajevo DNA laboratory. I would like to emphasise that testing from
25 blood samples is comparatively very routine compared to the much more
1 difficult work that we do on bone samples. So it's a trivial undertaking
2 to repeat that test if necessary.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you to explain the word "genetic
5 THE WITNESS: I'm just collecting my thoughts to try to give a
6 useful but not too technical answer. The DNA profiles are obtained by
7 selectively recovering or amplifying - you can use the two words
8 interchangeably - small fragments of DNA that differ in size. These STR
9 loci are variable insofar as they have variable lengths. And in order to
10 determine that length, the fragments of DNA that have been recovered are
11 put on a laser machine and separated by size, and that process is known
12 as electrophoresis. The DNA molecules migrate through a matrix that
13 separates them by size, the laser causes them to be detected. And so
14 when I referred to the genetic electropherograms, what I mean is the
15 output of the instrument that allows you to detect peaks that correspond
16 to fragments of particular lengths and then you can easily translate that
17 into the genetic profile in question.
18 I hope there was some clarity to that answer.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps I may not have understood the full
20 hundred per cent, but at least it gave me an impression.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic. You may have understood the full
22 hundred per cent.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Only partially,
24 Your Honour. There is a lot to be learned on my part.
25 Q. Professor, was the Tuzla laboratory certified and accredited at
1 any point in time to conduct that work?
2 A. No, that was prior to any decision to seek accreditation.
3 Q. Would I be correct if I said the Tuzla laboratory to date has no
4 necessary certification, at least not in the sense of what you have for
5 Banja Luka and Sarajevo?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could I -- before the witness answers the question,
7 could you, Mr. Stojanovic, explain what you mean by "necessary
8 certification," because I understood from the answers of the witness that
9 the certification system is on the basis -- is on a voluntary basis,
10 although developing strongly among the -- in the field of where these
11 laboratories are working.
12 What do you mean by "necessary" --
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you're completely
14 correct. I do not see it as obligatory. However, having in mind what
15 the professor said, which is that scientific verification also included
16 the use of the necessary standards needed to obtain verification, in that
17 regard I wanted to ask whether the Tuzla lab has such certificate.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please answer the question, Witness.
19 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I realise it's a little bit difficult to
20 follow the entire process, but let's -- I think we can simplify greatly
21 by the following explanation: There is presently, and has not been for
22 many years, a DNA laboratory in Tuzla that is affiliated with the ICMP.
23 I referred earlier to some blood DNA profiling that was done by the Tuzla
24 laboratory, but I think it was in 2004 - I apologise, I could be
25 misremembering - that that laboratory was not sustained anymore at all.
1 The ICMP does have a facility in Tuzla. It is not a DNA laboratory. It
2 is where the Identification Co-ordination Division is housed, and that is
3 the sample collection, sample accessioning, and DNA matching facility.
4 There is no DNA laboratory. It's all computers. But that ICD,
5 Identification Co-ordination Division, facility in Tuzla is fully
6 accredited by our ISO 17025 process, the same as the laboratory system.
7 So from the beginning of the DNA extraction to the match report
8 at the end, involving processes both within the laboratories and in the
9 Identification Co-ordination Division, that process is fully accredited
10 since 2000 -- early 2008.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one additional question. Are the
12 samples preserved?
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
14 JUDGE ORIE: All the samples, both from the -- taken from the
15 remains found in the graves and of the family members?
16 THE WITNESS: The family members, certainly. The samples from
17 the grave it is a bit variable. Sometimes we will consume the entire
19 So the way it normally works - I don't think you got a good view
20 of it - is that a body-bag will come in from the field where it has been
21 exhumed from a grave. ICMP anthropologists and archaeologists will do a
22 very good job of making sure to the best as they are able to do in the
23 field of removing a part that is only part of a single individual. It
24 may not be a complete body because it is not even there, but the idea is
25 not to mix it together with other body parts. There are limitations on
1 how accurately you can do that in the field. If it's done inexpertly,
2 you can make a huge mess of a bad problem. But what happens is
3 anthropologists in the mortuary facility will open the bag, take the
4 remains out, wash them, very carefully scrutinise them, and determine
5 whether there's a single individual represented or multiple individuals
7 Then in order to answer whatever questions they have in mind
8 about co-mingling and fragmentation and as well as get an identification,
9 they'll cut a small sample of bone, and that is what was sent to the DNA
10 lab typically. We almost never see what was shown in that photograph
11 with multiple bone samples. Then depending on the size of that sample
12 and what was available for the anthropologist to take, we may or may not
13 use all of that. Normally we would have enough left over for a reserve
14 and we would save that but sometimes we use the whole thing.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us an indication approximately in how
16 many cases what percentage you would have used all the material and
17 therefore the material not remaining available for a new test?
18 THE WITNESS: My intention in putting this estimate forward is to
19 be as helpful as possible, while I really have to say it's going to be
20 very rough, but I would say we probably retain material in 75 per cent of
21 the time at least.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you for your assistance. I will conclude with this topic.
25 Professor, you mentioned a European Network of Forensic Science
1 Institutes. I wanted to ask you this: Does the ICMP maintain any kind
2 of professional relationship with this European network?
3 A. Yes, we do, actually in a rather unique manner. Formally
4 constituted that European network involves police laboratories, but
5 because we're kind of a unique organisation with regard to our mandate
6 but also because of our prominence in the field, I was invited to be a
7 regular contributing guest member. So ICMP has kind of a special status
8 with ENFSI, that's the acronym, E-N-F-S-I. And we regularly attend the
9 meetings, we're regularly asked to provide updates, and in fact we
10 perform training programmes under the auspices of ENFSI. We have a
11 number of instances where we have put on multi-day training programmes
12 for forensic sciences scientists around Europe to come in and learn the
13 specialised and difficult techniques that we do.
14 We also assisted the Montenegrin police in developing techniques
15 for bone DNA extraction through co-ordination with ENFSI.
16 Q. Are you, the ICMP, a member of the ENFSI network?
17 JUDGE ORIE: The witness has told that he participated as a guest
18 member. Mr. Stojanovic, it's always good to listen to the answers and
19 not only to the question. Please proceed.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understood the
21 Professor say that he participated in the work, but what I wanted to know
22 whether the ICMP is a member of the professional organisation, as the
24 THE WITNESS: No, we are not one of the police laboratories that
25 is capable of being a member of ENFSI.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The witness earlier referred to the special status,
2 Mr. Stojanovic, which I would not use as an expression for ordinary
3 membership. Please proceed.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, perhaps
5 it is a good time to tender the document we relied on, which is 1D1110.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vanderpuye, no objection?
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: No objection, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document receives number D326, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: D326 is admitted into evidence.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ORIE: I checked with my colleagues, Mr. Stojanovic, but
13 where you said you relied upon it, you were relying on a totally
14 different exercise. You asked the witness questions about it, where
15 it's -- as far as we are aware of, a proficiency developing system is
16 something quite different from the testing of DNA material in the field.
17 But since the parties apparently agree on relevance, the Chamber has
18 admitted it into evidence. Please proceed.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Is this
20 a good time for the break as I am about to change topics, or should I
22 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think it's a good time for a break. Could you
23 give us an indication as to how much time you would still need after the
24 break and perhaps even tomorrow?
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I estimate - and I cut it, given
1 the fact that this is a live testimony - I believe I'll need another
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, which means that we cannot finish today.
4 We already -- this already to inform you, Mr. Parsons, that we
5 would very much appreciate your presence tomorrow but not for a very long
7 We take a break and we'll resume at a quarter to 2.00, after the
8 witness has left the courtroom.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We take the break.
11 --- Recess taken at 1.21 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
14 Mr. Vanderpuye, Mr. Groome is there so I'd like to reserve the
15 last 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how much time Mr. Groome would need.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I just wanted to alert the
17 Chamber that we have the B/C/S translation of P1720, MFI'd. The ERN, the
18 document ID number is 06796805-B/C/ST. And we would ask that the court
19 officer link the translation so that we can admit it at this time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, leave is granted to link the translation to
21 P1720, and P1720 is admitted into evidence.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I suggest that we -- again,
24 Mr. Groome would -- how much time would you need? I have a few matters
25 as well.
1 MR. GROOME: I think ten minutes would take care of my
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ten minutes. Then we have to stop not any later
4 than 2.00 today to deal with those matters. And since we cannot conclude
5 the testimony of the witness anyhow today, that doesn't make that much of
6 a difference.
7 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Professor, I should like to move on to issues related to DNA
10 methodology and its reach, its scope. Would you agree that DNA
11 methodology could be useful for the reassociation of fragmented mortal
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can the DNA method help us establish the time of death of the
15 person whose DNA profile is being analysed?
16 A. Generally, no.
17 Q. Would the DNA method that you use be able to help us establish
18 the way and the cause of death?
19 A. Not directly.
20 Q. Would it be possible for a person who is properly identified in
21 your laboratory using the DNA method to have died in another period, not
22 July 1995?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I think that the evidence of the
25 witness is pretty clear about what his tests have resulted in. Now to
1 put a long list of questions to the witness, such as whether the DNA
2 tests could identify whether it was when the person died might not be
3 very useful because the Chamber will limit itself to what the DNA testing
4 in the opinion of this witness has told us. So therefore, could you
5 please keep this in mind when putting further questions to the witness.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Professor, does ICMP have in its possession autopsy reports for
8 the bodies whose DNA samples you analysed?
9 A. We may have some copies, but officially, no, we don't retain
10 those. The ones from PIP would be held there; and that's no longer an
11 ICMP facility, but we have very strong interactions with that facility
12 all along.
13 Q. Would you tell us where physically we could access autopsy
14 reports for these bodies?
15 A. I apologise, I don't have that information to provide to you.
16 Autopsies themselves are the purview of the forensic pathologists, not
17 the ICMP scientists.
18 Q. Would it be correct to conclude that it was precisely on the
19 basis of the conclusions of the forensic pathologists and the autopsy
20 reports that the cause of death could be established with greater
21 certainty for the bodies that you identified?
22 A. Well, I have to delve into the details just a little bit on that.
23 Many of the skeletal -- many of the remains that are dealt with from
24 Srebrenica and other areas of Bosnia are essentially fully skeletonised,
25 which does bring their examination and analysis into the realm of the
1 field of forensic anthropology as opposed to pathology per se. By that I
2 mean most of the true forensic expertise applied to the examination and
3 analysis comes from the work of ICMP anthropologists, and those skeletal
4 reports are part of a forensic management database that the ICMP
5 maintains. And in many instances, trauma is recorded by ICMP
6 anthropologists if those are the cases that they have been involved in
7 examining. So when I say many instances, I mean thousands where they
8 would, for example, note a bullet-hole on the back of the skull or
9 shattered bones consistent with a blast or a high-velocity projectile.
10 Those anthropology reports then are often used in conjunction
11 with or condensed in the autopsy reports that are maintained by the
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I don't know whether there's any
14 translation issue, yes or no, but your question was whether the
15 conclusions of the forensic pathologists and the autopsy reports, that on
16 the basis of those that the cause of death could be established with
17 greater certainty for the bodies that you identified. I never understood
18 that Mr. Parsons was involved in establishing the cause of death, but
19 rather with the identification primarily of the identity of the bodily
20 remains. So therefore, the greater certainty compared to what, greater
21 certainty than what?
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I asked that
23 because I understood the professor as saying that within the ICMP there
24 were also forensic pathologists and anthropologists, who also took part
25 in analysing the cause of death. If my understanding is incorrect, then
1 the question was superfluous.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Which still doesn't answer my question: Greater
3 than on the basis of what? On the basis, you mean, of witness
4 testimonies or is that what you compare it to?
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That is right, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Although I did not understand that this was the
7 subject of the specific testimony of Mr. Parsons today but rather of
8 other departments of the organisation -- well, you have clarified your
9 question. Is -- do you like -- would you like to add anything,
10 Mr. Parsons, to your previous answer on a question which was not entirely
11 clear to me.
12 THE WITNESS: I don't think so. Thank you. I'd be happy to
13 follow-up to additional questioning if I could be of more assistance.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, please proceed.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. I'll put the question in this way, Professor. Does the ICMP
17 conduct any investigation into the time and place of death of the persons
18 for whom you do DNA matching and profiling?
19 A. I would have to say yes, starting from the very basic premise
20 that we don't work in a vacuum. We've already seen examples of
21 excavation reports that profile in great detail the contents and
22 characteristics of both primary and secondary graves. Moreover, many of
23 our scientists previously worked on ICTY teams and were very well
24 apprised of the evidentiary context in which our work occurs, to include
25 aerial evidence that showed these various sites not existing as graves
1 prior to a particular time and then being created as graves after a very
2 narrow window of time.
3 So we know where we're working. We're able to see the
4 characteristics of the sites. We're able to see the conditions of the
5 bodies coming out of them. Our anthropologists document physical trauma,
6 skeletal damage consistent with cause of death, and assist the
7 court-appointed pathologist at reaching these conclusions. All these --
8 all this background is the context in which the DNA identifications where
9 we put exact names to the victims of these incidents. So yes, we have a
10 great deal of investigation. We gather evidence, we document it, and it
11 becomes part of the historical record.
12 Q. Could you please help me understand this. Do the results
13 obtained by the ICMP in themselves provide any information about the
14 cause and manner of death?
15 A. I would say that when an ICMP physical anthropologist is
16 examining a set of skeletal remains that has a bullet-hole in the back of
17 the head, that they are actually providing information about the cause
18 and manner of death.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I'm sorry to interrupt, but we need
20 to deal with a few procedural matters.
21 Mr. Parsons, if we would not have done that, it would not have
22 saved you because we would not have finished anyhow. We would like to
23 see you back tomorrow morning at 9.30 in this same courtroom. And I
24 would like to instruct you that you should not speak or communicate in
25 whatever way with whomever about your testimony, whether the testimony
1 you gave today or the testimony still to be given tomorrow.
2 THE WITNESS: Very good. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, before I give you the ten minutes you
6 asked for, I have the following matter to deal with first.
7 The Prosecution's 28th motion to admit evidence pursuant to
8 Rule 92 bis was discussed recently and we had not received any response
9 by the 6th of June. On the 8th of July, the OTP stated that it will not
10 object to a request for an extension to respond, and the Defence was
11 granted until the 9th of July, which is today, to ask for an extension.
12 We have not heard from the Defence yesterday.
13 MR. LUKIC: We did not have time this morning, Your Honour, but I
14 can respond to the 28th and the 29th.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. LUKIC: Do you want me to do it now?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if it can be briefly done.
18 MR. LUKIC: I believe it can.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
21 We have reviewed our records and located those filings, which we
22 unfortunately have not yet reviewed with the aim of preparing a response.
23 With everything else going on, they could not be processed particularly
24 with the manner in which they were served upon us, in multiple e-mails,
25 out of order, with no name of the motion in the subject, that needed to
1 be downloaded and manually sorted. Hence, we require additional time,
2 particularly in light of the currently pending and filed urgent
3 Prosecution motions pertaining to several of the Prosecution experts that
4 are coming up in the next week -- few weeks that have been filed and
5 which we have been attending to. Including in this is the one that
6 Your Honours have advanced the dead-line for the -- for to be the
7 10th of July, 2013. We know that there are another four such Rule 92 bis
8 motions for which extensions have been or will be filed and for which we
9 are already working on the responses. Two of those already have a
10 court-ordered new due date. That means that that is a lot already on our
11 plates. We thus ask for 30 [Realtime transcript read in error "three"]
12 days for the 29th -- 28th motion from today's date and 45 days from
13 today's date for the 29th motion's response.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any specific --
15 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- any specific explanation for the three days for
17 the one and 45 days for the other?
18 MR. LUKIC: We need something in between to work on the second
19 one when we finish the first one. Because the first one is, I think,
20 more than 400 pages. And the -- and it's really -- or maybe the second
21 one. I'm not sure now.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. You're asking for three days' extension of
23 time --
24 MR. LUKIC: 30 days.
25 JUDGE ORIE: 30 days?
1 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I understood three days. Then we misunderstood you.
3 That's 30 days for the one. We'll consider it.
4 Any response by the Prosecution at this moment?
5 MR. GROOME: Other than to note our continued position with
6 respect to these applications. We don't oppose any time that the Chamber
7 believes is reasonable. With respect to what sounds like a problem with
8 the motion itself, if Mr. Lukic speaks with me after court today, I will
9 see that he has the full and correct version of the application.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll consider it and we'll let you know.
11 Then, Mr. Groome, we have ten minutes left so that you can make
12 your -- any submissions on matters, I take it the matters we -- the
13 Chamber raised yesterday.
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
15 Yesterday the Chamber posed several questions to the Prosecution
16 and I will answer them now.
17 First the Chamber asked whether it would be possible to file all
18 92 bis, 92 quater, and bar table motions by the 30th of August. The
19 answer is that we are endeavouring to do this and reasonably expect that
20 we will with the exception of one motion.
21 There are, however, two categories of bar table motions that we
22 will not be able to. The first we await the Chamber's decisions on a
23 number of 92 bis and 92 quater applications that have already been filed.
24 There will be additional 92 bis and quater filings in the coming weeks.
25 In many of these applications, the Prosecution tenders associated
1 exhibits. If the Chamber rejects the 92 bis or quater application in its
2 entirety or in part by excluding some of the associated exhibits, the
3 Prosecution may consider it necessary to tender these documents in bar
4 table motions.
5 The second category of possible bar table motions after the 30th
6 relates to those witnesses who are scheduled to testify after that date.
7 It is our intention to tender documents through some of these witnesses.
8 Of course, if they are rejected, we may consider it necessary to tender
9 them in a bar table motion.
10 The next query the Chamber made of the Prosecution yesterday
11 related to the volume of applications that are still to come as well as
12 some additional information about them.
13 With respect to 92 bis applications, the Prosecution will be
14 filing with the next -- within the next several weeks and in any case
15 prior to August 30th, nine 92 bis motions, one for the Sarajevo
16 component, two for the municipality component, and six for the Srebrenica
17 component. The Chamber will have seen numerous assignments by the
18 Registrar of Legal Officers to officiate the attestation of 92 bis
19 witness statements. That process is underway and is expected to be
20 completed sometime in September.
21 We have in the past notified the Chamber of our intention to not
22 adduce the evidence of 29 witnesses in reliance on this Chamber taking
23 judicial notice of previously adjudicated facts. We did this most
24 recently on the 19th of June. As noted in that filing, we are
25 considering whether prudence requires us to make 92 bis applications with
1 respect to several of these witnesses. Although we have not come to a
2 final view, I think it is likely that we will file such applications for
3 several of them.
4 With respect to 92 quater, the Prosecution still has to file
5 motions for ten witnesses who are unavailable, two for Sarajevo, two for
6 the municipalities, and six for the Srebrenica component.
7 With respect to bar tables, the Prosecution anticipates filing
8 two additional bar table motions this week. One motion with respect to
9 ten audio tapes or excerpts from ten audio tapes recovered from
10 Mr. Mladic's home. The second, a bar table of some documents related to
11 the municipality of Foca.
12 With respect to other potential bar tables, we are working on
13 seven additional bar table motions. The first one tendering a modest
14 number of videos. The second, a municipality bar table motion that will
15 consist of several hundred documents. Third, a military document bar
16 table motion which will several hundred documents. We have already filed
17 a bar table motion with respect to UN reports and Resolutions. We will
18 be supplementing that with another UN report bar table once we have
19 received the necessary translations. CLSS indicates that they will have
20 these translations completed after the break. The Prosecution will also
21 be filing a bar table motion specifically for documents from the
22 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. The Prosecution is planning to file this bar
23 table motion prior to the break.
24 The sixth bar table motion will contain several categories of
25 documents related to the Sarajevo component. We anticipate that that
1 will not be ready for filing until September. The Prosecution also
2 anticipates filing a bar table motion for the Srebrenica component of a
3 modest number of documents.
4 In addition to all of the motions referred to already, there are
5 an additional two. The Prosecution will be moving to add a witness to
6 its witness list with respect to our proof on the Sarajevo component of
7 the case. The 92 bis motion for that witness is being prepared in tandem
8 and will be filed immediately after the Chamber decides on our
9 application. The Prosecution will also be making a motion to add several
10 documents we recently received relevant to the proof of death component
11 of our case.
12 The final question put to the Prosecution related to our filing
13 in relation to the expert Reynaud Theunens. The Chamber informed the
14 Prosecution that it would set a dead-line for the 26th of July for that
15 filing. Yesterday morning I received a near final draft of our response.
16 It is a filing that I consider of some importance and we will work to
17 finalise our submission before the end of tomorrow.
18 With respect to the reports of other experts, I assure the
19 Chamber that the Prosecution is working diligently to finalise them as
20 quickly as possible and to file them with the Court.
21 And, Your Honour, I can answer any specific questions the Chamber
22 may have about my submission.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, not only in view of the time but also in
24 view of the magnitude of information provided to us, I think we first
25 need more time to digest all the information you've given us before we
1 are able to put any additional questions.
2 Now may I take it that, Mr. Lukic, that you may need more time as
3 well to -- if you want to respond or make any submissions on what the
4 Prosecution just said? I would not expect you to do that within the next
5 one and a half minutes.
6 MR. LUKIC: I'm grateful for that, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 We'll adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow, Wednesday,
9 the 10th of July, at 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, III.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.14 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 10th day of
12 July, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.