1 Wednesday, 21 March 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar, could you
6 kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am. The accused are here. Defence
10 teams are in full force. Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Nicholls,
11 Mr. Thayer.
12 Yesterday, we ended up still discussing an issue raised by
13 Mr. Haynes by way of objecting to the admission of the witness statement,
14 and we adjourned at that point, after having started discussing it. I
15 wonder if, in anticipation of the beginning of spring, you sat down and
16 came to an agreement.
17 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good
19 morning, everyone. Hope springs eternal, Your Honour. I think we have an
20 understanding, if not an agreement. Briefly, I think my learned friend
21 will agree that his assertion that there was some reference in the
22 statement to the effect that none of these 11 prisoners was treated at the
23 Zvornik Hospital was, in fact, an error, and I think the Court will
24 remember well what the actual testimony was there.
25 Nevertheless, my learned friend would argue, I believe, that there
1 are other differences, which we are all familiar with, and I'll just leave
2 it at that. I think that's -- enough has been said as to what the
3 clarifications were, and whether the Court can accept the statement as a
4 92 ter statement with those clarifications.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, Mr. Thayer.
6 Mr. Haynes. If you wish to add anything, I mean it's -- you may
7 have already said what you wanted to say.
8 MR. HAYNES: Yes. I've said all I want to say in relation to this
9 witness. I do feel we are reaching a crossroads with 92 terrace as to
10 whether the practices we are currently adopting really are saving us any
11 time at all. I have little doubt that as a viva voce witness,
12 Dr. Novakovic could have been led through in chief in half an hour, and
13 instead we are spending a whole session with him correcting and
14 clarifying, and then we're having to put in a statement of the end bit.
15 But I've said I want to all I want to say in relation to him.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So we are back to square one, to
17 an extent.
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll be coming to the exhibits to be tendered by the
20 Defence soon. In the meantime, I think we need to -- we've got two
21 documents that have been tendered, and the first is the witness statement
22 which is being contested. This second one is 65 ter number 1884, which I
23 understand has not been objected to by any of the Defence teams, but I put
24 the question again just in case we missed this yesterday. There are no
25 objections to the tendering of -- to the admission of this document, 1884.
1 Just give us a moment to discuss or confer, conclude on 02480,
2 please, and I will be coming back to you in a minute.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I keep it on when I should switch it
5 off, and I have it off when I should have it on.
6 Coming to the question of whether Witness number 156's statement
7 should be admitted or not, and addressing some of the issues that were
8 voiced yesterday, that were raised yesterday, both by Mr. Bourgon and --
9 and in particular by Mr. Haynes.
10 We'd like to make clear first and foremost one thing, and this is
11 by way of trying to remove any misconception that there might be -- I'm
12 not say that there is, but there might be. Sometimes we do get that
13 feeling about the raison d'etre of Rule 92 ter. When the judges in
14 Plenary decided to introduce Rule 92 ter in addition to the already
15 existing 92 bis, the idea was to streamline procedure by way of
16 economising on proceedings as -- as much as possible without endangering
17 the proper administration of justice, and to supplement what was
18 considered to be a shortcoming in 92 and then 92 bis, which did not cover
19 the whole gamut of testimonies that could be dispensed with in a way that
20 is now being contemplated under the rules.
21 When we introduced Rule 92 ter, the idea was not, and would never
22 be, that once the statement or the evidence of a witness is admitted
23 pursuant to that rule, then that would only be followed by a summary of
24 that statement or testimony with no space available, no -- for either
25 party to, particularly in this case we're talking on the Prosecution of
1 course because this is a Prosecution witness. The idea was never to allow
2 for a situation to obtain where the witness would be brought here, have
3 his statement confirmed as per paragraph 3 of -- subparagraph 3 of
4 paragraph (A), and then have him cross-examined.
5 The idea was that we would be economising on time by introducing
6 the statement pursuant to the rule, accompanied by a summary thereof, and
7 then of course it stands to reason that any questions that may become
8 necessary in order either to supplement or to clarify the contents of that
9 previous evidence or statement would be perfectly in place and would
10 become necessary and were to be allowed. This was the gist of our
11 previous ruling on this matter.
12 It does happen, of course, and it has happened both under 92 bis
13 and under 92 ter, that on reviewing the previous testimony or the previous
14 statement the witness wishes to correct some matter, some parts of that
15 statement; and provided that the previous statement is not replaced by an
16 in -- completely in inconsistent or substantially different, new
17 statement, then this is a procedure that is perfectly -- perfectly normal
18 and is the procedure that was envisaged in the first place when we
19 introduced Rule 92 -- Rule 92 ter.
20 So it is true that in certain instances there hasn't been much
21 saving on time. That is -- that is perfectly true. And our idea on this
22 is that one tries to use one's good judgement with a view to identifying
23 those witnesses which are worth summoning and bringing over to testify
24 under Rule 92 ter and others that would -- can be classified as simply not
25 worth resorting to that procedure to Rule 92 ter at all, and bringing
1 forward those witnesses to testify viva voce.
2 As has been the case, you have changed your mind as you went
3 along, sometimes you asked to convert witnesses from 92 bis to 92 ter,
4 sometimes you have decided to forego that and to bring the witness to
5 testify viva voce, so I'm not saying that you don't use your good
6 judgement. But maybe it should be made use even more, and perhaps better.
7 That having been said, we are not of the opinion that what
8 happened yesterday amounts to a substantive or substantial or material
9 departure from the statement that the witness had made two years, three
10 years prior to coming to give testimony here. We find what happened to be
11 within the parameters of what I stated earlier to be the raison d'etre of
12 Rule 92 ter, and therefore we are ruling for the admission of the witness
13 statement rather than against.
14 All right. So that disposes of this issue. There was another
15 issue that was raised yesterday by more than one party, more than one
16 Defence team in relation to the next witness, 158. We also invited you to
17 make use of the break and any time available after the sitting to try and
18 reach an agreement. If I could refresh your memory, the initial point
19 raised was whether an information sheet amounts to a statement, and then
20 that sort of amalgamated into a fresh argument that seemed to me to
21 supercede the previous one; namely, that now the Prosecution, the Office
22 of the Prosecutor have obtained a proper statement from the witness that
23 has been handed to the Defence teams, and we left it there. I don't think
24 we took the discussion any further.
25 So I would like to have a feedback from Mr. Nicholls on whether
1 there has been progress. We'll do this and then we will come to the
2 Defence exhibits for 156.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe there has been progress, Your Honour.
4 What happened was during the first session yesterday I went out and took a
5 very brief statement from the witness, which has been passed out to you
6 and which was given to the Defence at the first break. In that statement
7 the witness confirms that he read the report, that he made certain
8 corrections, and that other than those corrections the information report
9 accurately reflects everything he said during his interview and that he
10 stated those things, he signed that new statement, which I wish to make
11 part of the 92 ter statement for this witness.
12 It is in essence in this signed statement he incorporates and
13 validates the previous statement. And I believe that there is no longer
14 an objection to proceeding with him on a 92 ter basis, and in this case I
15 believe it will save time and will be quite brief. The corrections and
16 clarifications are already contained in the very short statement I took
17 yesterday, so it should be quite a brief direct.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. One question, Mr. Nicholls. Do I take
19 that to mean that you will be, for all intents and purposes, dropping
20 02482 from the list of possible exhibits? That's the information sheet,
21 information report.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour. It would be both the information
23 report and the short statement, which incorporates by reference but not
24 word for word, the information report.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you concede also that the information report,
1 once you confirm what you've just stated, as no longer covered by any
2 privilege --
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: -- under Rule 70?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I'll come to you soon after that, but I just
7 wanted to put my mind at rest that we probably be able to proceed with
8 Witness 158.
9 Now, going back to the previous witness, 156, does any one of the
10 Defence team wish to tender any documents? Mr. Ostojic, I know that
11 Mr. Meek is not here, but...
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President. I checked with
13 Mr. Meek, and we have no documents to tender at this time.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I take it then, there being silence in the
15 courtroom, that there are no documents to be tendered by the Defence
16 teams. So that closes that chapter.
17 Are there any further objections or renewed objections to the
18 commencement of the testimony of Witness number 158?
19 Mr. Bourgon.
20 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
21 Honours. Good morning, colleagues in the courtroom.
22 Mr. President, I did speak with my colleague yesterday concerning
23 the witness statement that was provided to us yesterday, and we -- again
24 we spoke this morning, and I informed him that I would most likely not
25 address the Court and simply let it go, with a view to trying to take what
1 the Trial Chamber has invited us to do on a number of occasions, which is
2 to take a pragmatic approach to these issues.
3 But in light of what you just said, Mr. President, concerning Rule
4 92 ter and the way -- what it is intended for, there are issues which I
5 need to bring, and it addresses this specific issue. Yesterday I
6 mentioned to my colleague, Why don't you simply -- the witness is there,
7 make a statement and have him sign, and that's it. We won't -- this has
8 been done in the past for intercept operators where you get a full
9 statement at the last minute.
10 Instead of doing that, my colleague chose to add a statement to
11 confirm the Prosecution's violation of the rule by introducing an
12 information report. Why? It's not for me to say. That's their -- but I
13 simply submit to the Trial Chamber that it would have been much easier
14 simply to do a statement with that witness, and the question would not
15 arise. I mentioned to my colleague yesterday, what we are afraid of is
16 that we say yes for pragmatic reasons the first time and then it goes from
17 the fingers to the elbow to the shoulder, and then the door is fully open.
18 Mr. President, concerning 92 ter, you mentioned a few minutes ago
19 that when the judges adopted this rule, its purpose was to streamline
20 proceedings. What we don't like, I'm speaking for this, the client that I
21 represent in this case, and maybe the others don't join, this is entirely
22 a personal argument but I know that it is shared by others.
23 What we are afraid of with Rule 92 ter is that it is not used by
24 the Prosecution for the purposes that it was intended for. In our view
25 the way the Prosecution is using Rule 92 ter, and when they make a
1 decision to move, either from viva voce to 92 ter or from 92 bis to 92
2 ter, their purpose is completely different from what it should be.
3 In our view the purpose that the Prosecution is -- the
4 Prosecution's purpose in using 92 ter is to get on the record comments
5 from their investigators, which are included sometimes in statements,
6 sometimes in information reports. It is to use the opportunity to have
7 both. They want the cake and they want to eat it, too. They want the
8 written piece of evidence and then they want the opportunity to be able to
9 cross-examine their own witness with respect to the contents of the
10 material that is "put on the record."
11 As my colleague put to you a few minutes ago, it is not using --
12 saving any time, and it is also prejudicial to the accused because they
13 actually use the statement to then in the guise of clarifying to lead the
14 witness and to cross-examine their own witness on the stand. We don't
15 save time. It is prejudicial to the accused, and it seems the Trial
16 Chamber is not seeing what the Prosecution is doing with these statements.
17 That's our argument today, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey. I think we can close the discussion
19 here. Please, let's proceed with -- with the next witness.
20 What I can say would be very short; namely, there is a pending
21 motion regarding three witnesses, three remaining witnesses out of 12 that
22 the Defence teams contest by way of maintaining that they should not be
23 produced or allow the Prosecution to produce them pursuant to 92 ter. We
24 will decide that matter.
25 We don't automatically grant every motion or every request made by
1 the Prosecution for resorting to Rule 92 ter. And as I said earlier, we
2 enjoin the Prosecution for the time being because it's the Prosecution to
3 use its -- or use the best judgement possible in identifying those --
4 those cases. I don't think we are with you, Mr. Bourgon, that we haven't
5 saved time or we haven't streamlined the proceedings. It is only in just
6 a handful, less than a handful of instances that perhaps the time saved
7 was -- was very little. But we still saved time, I must say.
8 So let's -- yes, Mr. Haynes.
9 MR. HAYNES: Mr. Sarapa used two documents in cross-examination.
10 The first, which we would ask to be tendered into evidence, is 7D169 which
11 is a page from the duty officer's notebook of the Zvornik Brigade of the
12 6th of July. The second was 3D17 which was the list of -- which was the
13 Red Cross list of prisoners. And we believe that was admitted under that
14 title, 3D17, on the 7th of November, so we don't ask that to be --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: The Registrar can check that immediately.
16 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: We have no objection obviously to the notebook. That
18 is a document we would prefer to be admitted in whole, and we will seek to
19 do at a later time in any event.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Just for the record, it's -- it reads the
22 6th of July. It was the 16th of July.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. We'll check that and if it's
24 not -- it's correct, I'm told. It's correct. Thank you. So the first of
25 these documents is admitted, the other has been admitted already.
1 No further documents? All right. No further exhibits.
2 Witness 158.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, yesterday you mentioned his age. Can
5 we anticipate or should we anticipate any problems or any special breaks?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't think so, Your Honour, but I've told the
7 witness if he begins to feel tired that he -- that there is no problem, he
8 should just let us know. But I think -- I don't -- I don't want to speak
9 for the Defence, but I don't think this whole process is going to take
10 very long.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. The Defence have indicated
12 two hours.
13 Incidentally, Ms. Condon, we haven't yet had time to discuss the
14 matter raised by you yesterday, and that's the reason why we haven't come
15 back to you as yet. But we will, at the earliest opportunity. We have
16 other matters, too, that we are dealing with, some of which are urgent.
17 MS. CONDON: I appreciate that, Mr. President. Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Dr. Gavric, good morning to you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. You are about to start
22 giving evidence. Before you do so, you are required to make a solemn
23 declaration here, equivalent to an oath, that you will be testifying the
24 truth. That is the text of the solemn declaration. Please read it out
25 aloud, and that will be your commitment with us.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: JUGOSLAV GAVRIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Dr. Gavric. Please take a seat, make
6 yourself comfortable. I am very optimistic that your testimony will begin
7 and finish today. Before I hand you over to Mr. Nicholls, I just wanted
8 to tell you one thing. If at any time you need a break or you are feeling
9 tired and you wish us to stop for a short while, then please don't
10 hesitate to tell us and we will have a break immediately.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The procedure here is Mr. Nicholls will go first,
13 and then he will be followed by some of the Defence teams on
15 Mr. Nicholls.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Examination by Mr. Nicholls:
18 Q. Good morning, Doctor.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. I'm sorry you waited for some time yesterday, and we'll try to be
21 quite quick with your testimony today.
22 First of all your full name is Jugoslav Gavric; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And can you tell us when you were born, please?
25 A. On the 6th of May, 1933.
1 Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask you just a couple questions now about
2 the interview you gave to investigators in 2003 and also the statement
3 which you signed in my office yesterday.
4 Now, first of all, in my office earlier this week did you read the
5 report of your 19th of January, 2003, ICTY interview in your own language?
6 Do you remember doing that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And yesterday, in the morning, do you remember signing a brief
9 statement in which you formalised and stated that you had reviewed the
10 report of your earlier interview and in which you wrote down some
11 corrections to that earlier interview? Do you remember that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, other than those five corrections you made, which are in the
14 statement, can you attest that the report of your ICTY interview and the
15 witness statement you signed yesterday morning, both accurately reflect
16 what you stated?
17 A. Yes, fully.
18 Q. Thank you. And can you also confirm that your answers would be
19 the same if you were asked the same questions today here in court?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. I'll now read a brief summary, and so this is not a
22 question for you.
23 In July 1995 Dr. Gavric was Director of the Zvornik Medical
24 Centre. At this time the Chief Medical Officer of the VRS was Dr. Ratko
25 Rokvic, who was based at the HQ in Han Pijesak.
1 Dr. Rokvic was a schoolmate, had been a schoolmate of Dr. Gavric,
2 and they still knew each other in 1995 and would sometimes speak on the
4 During the period from 11 to 15 July, 1995, there were no Muslims
5 hospitalised in the Zvornik Hospital, then Dr. Gavric received an order
6 from Dr. Rokvic. The order was to go to the Milici Hospital and have the
7 wounded Muslim patients there transferred to the Zvornik Hospital. And
8 Dr. Gavric cannot recall for sure whether this was a verbal or a written
10 Dr. Gavric went to the Milici Hospital with a nurse. The driver
11 of the vehicle was a person in uniform, a military uniform, and a police
12 officer was also present on this trip.
13 There were between ten and 15 wounded Muslim men at the Milici
14 Hospital. Three or four of whom were heavily or severely wounded. The
15 names of these patients were contained on a list which was given to
16 Dr. Gavric. Dr. Gavric introduced himself to the patients at Milici
17 Hospital and they -- because they seemed to be afraid.
18 All of these Muslim patients were then transferred to Zvornik
19 Hospital, and each patient carried a copy of his medical records with him.
20 Unfortunately, the vehicle ran out of fuel on the way from Milici to
21 Zvornik, which caused a delay. When he arrived at Zvornik, Dr. Gavric
22 transferred the patients into the care of Dr. Zoran Lazarevic.
23 At this time some civilians and some patients began to protest and
24 were upset about the admission of Muslim patients into the Zvornik
1 Dr. Gavric, after he transferred the patients into the care of
2 Dr. Lazarevic, never saw these patients again and he later heard that they
3 were taken away during the night to Tuzla.
4 That concludes the summary.
5 Dr. Gavric, I have just a few questions for you. First, was that
6 summary correct, of what you have stated in your previous statements?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. My first question is, if could you tell us to the best
9 of your recollection what date it was when you went to pick up the Muslim
10 patients from Milici to bring them to the Zvornik Hospital?
11 A. Right now I can't remember the exact date or, rather, day of the
12 week. And as for the date, it was mid-June. I can't remember either the
13 day or the date. I assume, however, it was during the week, not on the
14 weekend, but I'm not fully certain.
15 Q. Just to be clear, are you speaking of June or July?
16 A. July, July.
17 Q. Now, what kind of vehicle was it that you took to transport these
18 wounded Muslim patients?
19 A. The information that I received that a group of patients needed to
20 be transferred from the Milici Hospital to our hospital in Zvornik
21 indicated that they were patients who couldn't walk on their own. As a
22 result, we found a bus that had been adjusted to transport patients who
23 were lying. Thus, one could place stretchers with patients on them, with
24 the wounded on them, into that bus and transport them in that way. And in
25 addition to that, there were also seats for those who could sit.
1 Q. Thank you. And can you just tell me approximately how long the
2 journey from Milici to Zvornik lasted? If you can tell us when you left
3 Milici and when you arrived at Zvornik with the patients?
4 A. We arrived in Milici sometime around noon; 12.00 or 1.00. It took
5 us some time to take over the patients, that lasted for perhaps an hour.
6 I spoke to some people there, some of the colleagues, informed myself
7 about what was going on. I was told that all of the wounded had been
8 treated, medically treated, that they were all receiving therapy, medical
9 therapy, and that each of them carried their own medical history.
10 As far as I can remember, I only carried the list of the wounded
11 with their names and no other information. And this could have lasted for
12 about an hour, that entire procedure.
13 Q. Thank you. And when did you arrive back in Zvornik?
14 A. Yes, we set out from Milici. It was a warm, sunny day. Then
15 halfway to Zvornik we ran out of fuel. Our bus ran out of fuel. So we
16 had to stay there and wait for somebody to come with the fuel. However,
17 since during that period of time the traffic between Milici and Zvornik
18 was basically non-existent, and we couldn't expect anyone to bring fuel on
19 foot to us, we managed to get some fuel from a nearby inn. We could have
20 lost an hour there on the road, and we arrived in Zvornik towards the
21 evening. I don't remember exactly the time, but it was before the sun
23 So this trip, due to these circumstances, was -- lasted longer
24 than normal.
25 Q. And after -- after transferring the patients to the care of
1 Dr. Lazarevic, did you ever ask about what had happened to the patients or
2 where they had gone? Did you ever ask anybody that?
3 A. Yes, since I completed that task, and it was after business hours
4 at that point, I typically didn't have to do night shifts. I normally
5 spent nights in my apartment.
6 The next day, when I arrived at work, I inquired whether all of
7 the wounded were alive, because, based on what I could see among them,
8 there were several seriously ill patients. I was told that all of them
9 survived that night and that they were evacuated to Tuzla in order to be
11 Q. Thank you. I want to ask you now -- a different topic, if you can
12 answer briefly.
13 Do you recall whether there were -- during the war, were there
14 ever any Muslim children treated in the Zvornik Hospital?
15 A. I remember that at the paediatric ward we had a boy who was
16 between seven and nine years old. This boy was hospitalised at the
17 paediatric ward for a longer period of time, a couple of months, if I
18 remember correctly. During that period of time we attempted to find a way
19 to reunite the boy with his family. I think we attempted to do that
20 through the International Red Cross. But we didn't manage, as far as I
22 Q. I think this is my last question, probably. But to the best of
23 your memory, it was a long time ago, what time period was it that that
24 little boy you have just described was in the paediatric ward?
25 A. I assumed office there in June of 1993. And I think that already
1 back then I knew that there was this boy at the paediatric ward. I think
2 that that's how it was. As for how long he stayed there, I wouldn't be
3 able to tell you. I don't know until what time he remained and what
4 happened to him afterwards.
5 Q. Thank you. I don't have any questions at this time.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
7 I have on my list all the Defence teams with the exception of the
8 Borovcanin Defence team. Who is going to go first?
9 Mr. Zivanovic. You requested 20 minutes.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. Thank you.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Dr. Gavric. I'm Zoran Zivanovic,
13 and I'm defending Vujadin Popovic in these proceedings.
14 Could you clarify something for me. If I understood you well, the
15 patients who were brought from the Milici Hospital to the Zvornik Hospital
16 remained there just overnight. Did I understand that correctly?
17 A. I don't know how long exactly they remained. But on the following
18 day, when I came to work, when I came to my office, I think that that was
19 the first thing I inquired about. My assistant told me that all of them
20 were fine, that they had survived that night, and that they were evacuated
21 and were no longer there. That was on the very next morning. That's at
22 least as far as I can remember.
23 Q. Thank you. The next thing I wanted to ask you is whether you knew
24 whether their names were entered into the records of the Zvornik Hospital?
25 A. When I arrived with them, with the wounded, when they were carried
1 into the hospital, those who were on the stretchers, when they were taken
2 to the surgical ward, at the very entrance into the hospital, in the
3 corridor, I gave the list with their names to one of the colleagues who I
4 thought would take over them from me. But then I did not inquire
5 afterwards whether these patients were recorded in the logbook,
6 registration book of patients and so on. Because it wasn't really my
7 duty. At least I didn't consider it to be.
8 Q. So after the following morning, when you were told that all of
9 them were fine and they had gone to be exchanged, you never received any
10 information from your staff about the further fate of these people?
11 A. No, nobody informed me of that.
12 Q. Thank you. You said, among other things, that at the time when
13 these civilians, patients -- or, rather, when these patients were brought
14 in from Milici, some civilians and some patients started protesting due to
15 the fact that you had admitted some Muslim patients into the hospital. So
16 could you please explain what kind of a protest it was? What was it
18 A. See here, Zvornik is a small town and the hospital is in the very
19 centre of the town. Naturally, as the bus passed through the town and
20 when we stopped in front of the entrance into the hospital, the residents
21 were able to see what was happening and they approached us. I could see
22 them approaching, probably thinking that those were the wounded soldiers
23 of the army of Republika Srpska. They could see the stretchers, patients
24 who were unable to walk and so on.
25 So a group of people assembled, a group of eye-witnesses who saw
1 all that. So I had to ask for some security to come. When they learned
2 that these people were Muslims, then their protest became rather firm. We
3 had a problem. We had to ensure that these wounded were kept separately
4 from other wounded at the hospital. It was a problem, however the head of
5 that ward took care of that. I am not sure exactly where these people
6 were accommodated in the hospital itself in the surgical ward. I don't
7 know whether they had enough beds for them there or they perhaps had to be
8 moved to the gynaecology ward, because they had a lot of beds as well.
9 And if there wasn't sufficient room sometimes they used the other ward as
11 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
13 Who is going next? Mr. Ostojic.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. We have no questions for
15 this doctor.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 Mr. Bourgon.
18 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
20 Q. Good morning, Doctor. I only have a few questions for you this
21 morning. My first question relates to the -- the reason for which these
22 prisoners were taken from Milici to the Zvornik Hospital. And can you
23 confirm that the reason that they were indeed transferred was because of
24 the small capacity of the Milici Hospital, the fact that there was not
25 enough staff there, and that Zvornik was the closest place to the
1 exchange. Can you confirm this information?
2 A. Yes. Actually, it was a typical routine. Since the Milici
3 Hospital was significantly smaller, if they could not care for some
4 patients, wounded, then the Zvornik Hospital would typically take them
5 over because we were much larger, when it came to admitting the wounded
6 and the sick. It was my understanding that that was the only reason,
7 because they, in Milici, could no longer care for these people and that
8 they had no room for them.
9 Q. Thank you, Doctor. I would just like a quick question concerning
10 the moment where your vehicle ran out of fuel. My understanding is that
11 when this happened there was a drinking fountain close to that vehicle and
12 at that point the atmosphere was quite relaxed and actually the people who
13 were wounded on the bus were let out to drink water and come back on the
14 bus. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Actually, since we waited somewhat longer, there was a
16 fountain there, a source of water. It was a warm day and some of the
17 wounded came out, refreshed themselves, cooled down, had some water and
18 then went back to the bus. There were no problems there. There were no
19 discussions, nothing. We simply stood there waiting. And people had some
21 Q. Thank you, Doctor. Now, my next question relates to the -- what
22 you discussed a bit with my colleague representing another of the accused
23 in this case, concerning the fact that when you arrived some people
24 gathered because of the arrival of the wounded Muslims. Now, my question
25 is very -- very simple. For you, as a doctor, whether a patient is a
1 Muslim, a Serb or a Croat would make no difference and they would all be
2 treated the same, and indeed, this is what happened to these wounded
3 Muslim prisoners. Is that so?
4 A. Yes. Yes. Even the clothing that the wounded wore, they were
5 just hospital pyjamas. So even in that sense there was no difference
6 amongst the patients. The treatment was the same. I don't know what else
7 I can say.
8 Q. Thank you, Doctor. My next question relates to the question which
9 was posed to you concerning the Muslim boy that was held in the paediatric
10 ward for some time. Now, you were the director of the Zvornik Hospital
11 and I would like to know, to the best of your recollection, whether any
12 problems arose from the fact that a Muslim boy was cared for at the
13 Zvornik Hospital or whether any such problems were brought to your
14 attention by anyone working at the hospital?
15 A. The boy was at the paediatric ward. He was already a bit older
16 than the rest of the patients. I personally went to visit him. And the
17 atmosphere at the ward was quite proper. He even entertained the rest of
18 the patients on the ward, the other children. And I didn't notice any
19 kind of intolerance or even the doctors who were treating him, they had
20 accepted him as a kind of favourite. A boy who, due to circumstances, was
21 there. I didn't notice that he was suffering from any illness. And all
22 of us, the paediatricians and I, remember that we tried to get the
23 International Red Cross to find a way for the boy to find his family.
24 I think I had information that some relatives of the boy were in
25 Germany, and that there were attempts to do it that way. But I don't know
1 what the actual outcome was of that whole thing.
2 Q. Thank you very much, Doctor. I have no further questions. Thank
4 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
6 I have -- who wishes to go next? Mr. Josse or Mr. Krgovic for
7 General Gvero.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Gavric.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. In your answers to the Prosecutor's questions, you mentioned that
13 the order or information that you needed to go to Milici, you received
14 from the medical corps chief of the VRS, Mr. Rokvic. Do you recall that?
15 A. I don't remember the order or the piece of paper instructing me to
16 go. But now I assume that -- and I assume that when I gave the statement
17 also, that that was the usual practice regarding the military or the
18 wounded. Then I would get in touch with the -- my colleague, Mr. Rokvic,
19 and also Dr. Davidovic in Milici. I think that he also told me that this
20 was an order -- yes, an order to do that.
21 I repeat once again, I'm sorry, but I cannot remember whether it
22 was a written information or it was information given over the telephone.
23 Q. Thank you, Doctor. So the only person that you were in contact
24 with from the Main Staff regarding the evacuation and regarding any
25 medical issues that had to do with the wounded was actually Dr. Rokvic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. He was a colonel by rank; is that correct? A primarijus?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown document
5 0501888. I think that there is an English version and a B/C/S version.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the number.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] P01888.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Doctor, I'm going to show you a note signed by the director of the
13 Milici Hospital. It's going to appear on the screen in front of you
14 shortly and I would like to ask you to confirm whether that corresponds to
15 what you referred to in your answer. It states there that, according to
16 the orders of the medical corps chief of the VRS, the chief of the
17 municipality and the chief of the public Security Service of Milici, the
18 wounded are being transferred to the Zvornik Hospital?
19 A. Yes, I believe that on the basis of this I organised the
20 transport, I took over the wounded. It was important to me that this was
21 ordered by the chief of the medical service, but I don't remember the part
22 about the chief of the public security service in Milici. What was
23 relevant for me was the information itself.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we scroll down please, so that
25 we can see the signature on this document.
1 Q. And then you will see.
2 A. I'm sorry, my glasses are not the best. Yes, yes, I see that this
3 is Dr. Davidovic. He is head of the -- or the director of the hospital in
4 Milici. And this was based on the above order, so...
5 Q. Thank you, Doctor.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you. I have no
7 further questions for this witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
9 I have on the list remaining the Miletic and the Pandurevic
10 Defence teams.
11 Madam Fauveau for General Miletic.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] We won't have any questions for this
13 witness, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau.
15 And Mr. Haynes or Mr. Sarapa.
16 MR. SARAPA: Yes, just a few questions.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Dr. Gavric. Earlier you said that it
19 was the procedure that patients from the Milici Hospital, which was
20 smaller, if there was no room, they would come to the Zvornik Hospital
21 which was bigger. Can you tell us, if you remember, that day when you
22 came to collect the wounded to bring them from Milici to Zvornik, do you
23 remember if the Milici Hospital was full?
24 A. I didn't have the opportunity, and I didn't really pay attention
25 to the actual part where the patients were. I just came to the director's
1 office, that was Dr. Davidovic. I don't remember seeing him actually on
2 that occasion, but one of the colleagues gave me the list. I don't recall
3 meeting Dr. Davidovic at that time. But I know, from previous visits,
4 that the hospital didn't have many rooms and beds to accommodate surgery
5 patients. And it was logical to me, in a way, for those 15 wounded to be
6 admitted to a larger facility.
7 Q. Thank you. In your view, and because you have many years of
8 experience in the medical profession, would you agree with the claim that
9 arises from what you yourself have said, that is that their condition was
10 the reason why they were being transferred to a larger hospital?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When they came to the Zvornik Hospital you said, when they were
13 being brought out from the buses that came from Milici to Zvornik, that
14 people were interested who was in the buses and that there were certain
15 protests. You also mentioned that the surgical ward was full and that
16 they were put on the -- accommodated at the gynaecology ward which is not
17 really so great. Would you agree that the reason why they were
18 transported from the Zvornik Hospital to the Standard medical facility was
19 precisely that reason, as well as this was done for their personal safety
21 A. I think both reasons could be valid. At the infirmary, there were
22 certain capacities for a certain number of patients. There was a certain
23 number of beds. And I know that certain wounded persons were treated
24 there at the infirmary. But I didn't get information that they were
25 transferred to the infirmary. I didn't get that information. I was told
1 that they had been evacuated and, from what I can recall, I was not told
2 that they were transferred to the infirmary.
3 Q. And do you believe that their personal safety would be better
4 guaranteed at the infirmary rather than at the hospital in view of the
5 situation that was there?
6 A. Yes, because of the situation, yes. Although your remark that the
7 gynaecological ward was not -- we had more than 10 beds there that were
8 empty in the gynaecological ward at the time. And the conditions there
9 for treatment are very good. I believe that, for security reasons, this
10 was a much better move.
11 Q. This has been confirmed to a degree, but we would like to know
12 that for certain. And so could you please tell us, the people, that part
13 of the wounded who were taken from the hospital to the Zvornik Brigade
14 infirmary that was close by, did they receive, in your opinion, in your
15 knowledge, and according to the adequate treatment that was available
16 there, did they receive adequate medical care?
17 A. We tried in any case --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
19 Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: [Microphone not activated].
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: [Microphone not activated] Thank you. The witness
23 has just stated that he wasn't told that they were taken to the infirmary.
24 He was just told that they were evacuated and he doesn't know that they
25 were taken to the infirmary. So I don't think the question is proper,
1 putting to the witness now that you've told us that they were taken to the
2 infirmary, how were they treated there.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let me confer.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Problem as Mr. Nicholls sees it, and I'm waiting for
6 feedback from my colleagues is that if you look at line 2 on page 27, and
7 line 3, the witness in reply to a previous question said, "But I didn't
8 get information that they were transferred to the infirmary."
9 The objection now is, or the point raised now is that you are
10 putting to the witness, as a fact, that these wounded persons were taken
11 from the hospital to the Zvornik Brigade infirmary. And that is being
12 object --
13 MR. NICHOLLS: And also, sorry, that the specific question is, did
14 they receive adequate medical care at the -- which he -- he has said he
15 doesn't have a basis for.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So perhaps you can either drop the question or
17 rephrase it.
18 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] My intention was to ask Dr. Gavric,
19 in view of the fact that they were taken away, he doesn't know, this is
20 in -- beyond dispute. And in the previous answer he said that they could
21 receive adequate medical protection at the ambulatory facility. So
22 specifically referring to these wounded, if they were taken, and they were
23 taken there, we know that, it's a fact they were taken there, could they
24 have received proper medical treatment. I'm not asking for his
25 confirmation that they were taken there.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, the question is being rephrased.
2 It's being put to you, Dr. Gavric, if these persons were indeed
3 transferred to the infirmary, would -- would it have been likely or
4 possible for them to receive proper treatment in that infirmary? And
5 that's if you know, I mean, if you're familiar with the infirmary and the
6 kind of treatment that could be provided there.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the infirmary it was possible to
8 treat and to administer therapy for those patients who had been previously
9 surgically treated before. It was not possible to conduct surgeries or
10 any kind of more serious treatment at the infirmary, but it was possible
11 to continue therapy that was started before. The equipment was fairly
12 good and the staff should have been at the appropriate level. When I am
13 talking about -- I'm talking about doctors, specialists.
14 Again, I would like to repeat, it was not possible for them to
15 receive more complicated treatment, but to continue treatment, it was
16 possible, that was the purpose of the infirmary. It was meant for those
17 who had already been primarily treated to receive further or additional
18 treatment there at the infirmary.
19 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And my next question: Dr. Gavric, do you know if specialists and
21 nurses from your institution went to the Standard infirmary to give
22 medical assistance there to the wounded, injured, to the sick at the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know about other cases, other than these wounded that we
1 were talking about, if any other Muslim wounded persons were brought to
2 your hospital to receive medical treatment?
3 A. I really cannot be sure about that, but we were very busy at the
4 time, and all those who came received treatment, so I couldn't really say
5 what numbers we're talking about when and so on, but all wounded that
6 happened to find themselves in our region received treatment there and,
7 from what I can recall, there were no objections or any problems in that
9 Q. And was the treatment the same, regardless of their ethnicity?
10 A. Yes, yes, it was the same. I state that because I gave treatment
11 myself the whole time and I never differentiated on the basis of things
12 like that when patients were concerned.
13 Q. And was this true both of civilians and soldiers?
14 A. Yes. Perhaps the wounded had priority in relation to civilians,
15 and of course triage was made, which in those conditions of war is
16 absolutely essential. But there was no difference made as far as
17 treatment was concerned.
18 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Sarapa.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Sarapa. That brings to an end the
23 Is there re-examination, Mr. Nicholls?
24 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We have no further questions for you, Doctor, which
1 means that, as I anticipated earlier on, your testimony ends here. You're
2 free to go back home. Our staff will assist you. But before you leave
3 this courtroom, I would like to, on behalf of the Trial Chamber, thank you
4 for having come over to give testimony, and also wish you a safe journey
5 back home.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Exhibits. Mr. Nicholls.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Just P02482 and P02482B, which is the 92 ter
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections? I hear no objections. So these
12 are -- two documents are admitted.
13 Exhibits from the Defence teams. I understand that the Gvero
14 Defence team would like to tender a document.
15 MR. JOSSE: We would, Your Honour. The one that Mr. Krgovic put
16 to the witness, which I think is 6DP01888.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: That's correct. Any objections?
18 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So this document, what is -- exhibit is also
20 admitted. And I think we can close this chapter and move to the next
21 witness. Again, I just want to check that there are no protective
22 measures in place.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It's being suggested that we have the break now. I
25 think that's fit and proper. We'll have 25 minutes' break now and we'll
1 start with the new witness afterwards. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Dr. Begovic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You are about to
8 start giving evidence. Before you do so, you are required by our Rules to
9 make a solemn declaration that you will testify the truth. The text is
10 being handed to you now. Please stand up, read it out aloud, and that
11 will be your commitment with us that you will be testifying the truth.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: ZORAN BEGOVIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, sir. Please make yourself comfortable.
17 Doctor, Mr. Vanderpuye will go first for the Prosecution, and he
18 will then be followed by some of the Defence teams on cross-examination.
19 Mr. Vanderpuye.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
21 Honours. Good morning, counsel.
22 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
23 Q. Good morning, Doctor.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Your Honour, this is a 92 ter witness, so I
25 intend to follow the procedure set forth in relation to that.
1 Q. Doctor, do you recall having given a statement to the Office of
2 the Prosecutor which you signed and acknowledged on the 2nd of April,
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And was the statement that you gave at that time a truthful
7 A. The statement was truthful, but two days ago I had some
8 corrections to make because it wasn't fully consistent with what I stated
9 three years ago. At the time, when the gentleman interviewed me, since
10 the statement was in English and not in Serbian, it was read out to me and
11 I did have certain corrections then to make, and then two days ago when
12 the statement was read out to me, I could see that it wasn't written down
13 exactly as I had stated things three years ago.
14 Thus, I had some corrections to make, and two days ago, we
15 clarified that.
16 Q. All right. So --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, before you continue, perhaps you can ask him
18 for his name and surname.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Oh, okay. Excuse me.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Just for the record, except that I addressed him as
21 Dr. Begovic.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Just for the record, could you please state your first and last
25 A. Zoran Begovic.
1 Q. Thank you. I think we were just talking about some of the
2 corrections that you made with respect to the statement, but before we
3 get --
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. -- but before we get to that, let me just ask you, when you read
6 your statement recently, before testifying here today, did you read that
7 in your own language?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. Did you have it read back to you?
10 A. The lady who was an interpreter in 2003 read it out to me in
12 Q. Okay. Just recently, a couple of days ago, did you have an
13 opportunity to read the statement?
14 A. No. I read it for the first time two days ago.
15 Q. Okay. And when you read the statement two days ago, did you read
16 it in your own language?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And after having read the statement in your own language, did you
19 bring these corrections that you have just spoken about to my attention?
20 A. I did.
21 Q. All right. Now, with respect to those corrections, I'd just like
22 to clarify what they are for the record.
23 With respect to paragraph 8 where it -- and that's for the benefit
24 of the Court, where it says, or indicates that a Major Obrenovic told you
25 that the exchange of the wounded people was pursuant to an order of the
1 Main Staff and General Mladic, would it be accurate to say that
2 Major Obrenovic never actually mentioned that it was -- that the exchange
3 was pursuant to an order of the Main Staff or General Mladic?
4 A. First of all, the day before the order arrived, Mr. Obrenovic
5 addressed me at the infirmary where other members of the medical corps
6 were. He addressed me with the following words: He said, "The wounded
7 arrived. They will stay here for a couple of days until they are
8 exchanged in Bijeljina. Until that time, they should come to no harm.
9 You must take very good care of them. A surgeon will come from Zvornik
10 specifically to treat them."
11 Q. If I could stop you there. I just want to focus on this
12 statement. We'll get to the substance of what he told you a little bit
13 later, but did he mention an order or not?
14 A. No. The order did not arrive until the following day.
15 Q. Okay. With respect to paragraph 9, where it says in effect that
16 you were informed by a nurse that the wounded had been taken away at 5.00
17 a.m. Would it be more accurate to say that you weren't informed by any
18 particular nurse, but you were informed by a number of people who were
19 aware of the circumstances concerning those wounded?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And would it also be fair to say that the conclusion that they
22 were taken away at around 5.00 a.m., that's contained in that paragraph,
23 was not something that was actually told to you, but something that you
24 yourself surmised?
25 A. That's correct. The gentleman asked me, since I arrived at around
1 6.00 at the barracks, the gentleman asked me what was my opinion about
2 when that could have happened. And I said, in my opinion, it could have
3 been between 4.00 and 5.00. But that's just my opinion.
4 Q. Okay. Now, with respect to paragraph 11 in the statement, where
5 it says that you received the information from the nurse about the
6 prisoners, and that they were taken away without medical supervision. Is
7 that basically the same correction that you weren't -- you didn't receive
8 that information from any particular nurse? Would that be a more accurate
9 reflection of what you said?
10 A. It wasn't a nurse who told me that they had been taken away at
11 5.00, because it was said at 6.00 when some preparations were made, and
12 among others, there were also nurses there. That's how it was.
13 Q. And would it be fair to say that the reference in paragraph 11 to
14 the wounded being taken away without medical supervision, would it be more
15 accurate to say that, as far as you were aware, they were taken away
16 without any medical personnel, technicians or doctors, from the place
17 where you worked?
18 A. That's correct. None of the medical staff escorted them.
19 Q. And finally, with respect to paragraph 13, where the statement
20 indicates that you do not remember Colonel Pandurevic coming to the
21 medical centre in relation to the wounded people, would it be more
22 accurate to say that you do remember that, in fact, he did not come to the
23 medical centre in relation to those wounded people?
24 A. Mr. Pandurevic, at the time, and I said this three years ago, and
25 I will repeat it now. At the time, Mr. Pandurevic was not present in the
1 barracks at all. I saw Mr. Pandurevic for the first time after all of
2 these events, after they ended and when they passed through to Boljkovac.
3 So Mr. Pandurevic was not able to visit them because he wasn't present
4 there. At the time, Mr. Dragan Obrenovic substituted in for him.
5 Q. Okay. Now, other than these factual inaccuracies that we have
6 just gone through, which are a fair number, does the statement otherwise
7 accurately and -- does it accurately reflect what you said when you were
8 questioned in 2003, and does it accurately and fairly reflect what you
9 would say, were you to be examined here today?
10 A. You know what, in item number 1, where it says that I volunteered
11 to give information, that's not correct. I received notice, a policeman
12 came to the infirmary and gave me a notice to appear on the following day
13 at 3.00 to meet with the OTP investigators. So that was a correction I
14 wanted to make, and the gentleman didn't respond to it. And then there
15 were other things that didn't -- that weren't included into the statement.
16 It wasn't just those wounded, but after those wounded, there was another
17 group of four or five wounded who were treated and they went to be
18 exchanged in Bijeljina very soon thereafter.
19 However, that wasn't included in the statement, and I made that
20 correction back in Zvornik when the statement was read out it me.
21 However, it was never included in my statement.
22 Q. Okay. But as far as what's reflected in the actual statement,
23 other than what we've spoken about, is the statement accurate?
24 A. As it stands now, yes, and I stand by it.
25 Q. Okay. With the court's permission, I would tender the statement,
1 subject to the corrections as appear on the record. P02481 into evidence
2 pursuant to 92 ter.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. We'll come to that formally at a
4 later stage. Thank you.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have a very brief summary, although it seems as
6 though you have already heard it.
7 The witness was born in Sekovici in 1964 and in 1992 he began
8 working as a physician at Zvornik Hospital. Shortly after commencing work
9 at the hospital, the witness was transferred to Kozluk medical centre
10 where he remained until his mobilisation to the VRS in mid-1994.
11 On the day of his mobilisation, the witness reported to the
12 medical centre of the Zvornik Brigade at Standard in Zvornik. As chief of
13 the medical centre, the witness was responsible for the provision to
14 Zvornik Brigade soldiers of medical services and reported to the officer
15 in charge of rear services which at some point became Captain Sreten
16 Milosevic. The director of the hospital was Jugoslav Gavric.
17 In July 1995, without any prior notification to the medical
18 centre, approximately 10 to 15 wounded prisoners arrived at the Standard
19 barracks from Zvornik Hospital. The prisoners had received some apparent
20 treatment prior to their arrival and were registered with the medical
21 centre after their arrival.
22 Either the day the prisoners arrived or the following day, Major
23 Obrenovic informed a number of the medical team that they were, that is
24 the -- the wounded were to be transferred to Bijeljina. The witness read
25 a fax to this effect the next day which further called for the prisoners
1 to be given "special care" because they were to be exchanged. Throughout
2 the prisoners' stay, a different physician from Zvornik Hospital came to
3 the Zvornik Brigade medical centre to change their bandages.
4 About five days after their arrival, the witness was informed that
5 the prisoners had been removed from the Standard. An MP later confirmed
6 that they had been taken away by bus. Though the witness did not know
7 what happened to the prisoners, he made no official complaint, believing
8 that their removal had been for the purposes of which he had been
9 previously informed.
10 That concludes my 92 ter statement and I would like to put to the
11 witness a few questions if I may.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. Go ahead.
13 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
14 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I just have one question
15 that I -- at this point in time, because we have a summary that is being
16 read out, and it appears to me that there are some differences between the
17 summary and the corrections that were just brought by the witness to his
18 statement. I note in particular -- I'm trying to stop the page here, on
19 page 38 at lines 16 to 18, the summary read by my colleagues says, "In
20 July 1995, without any prior notification to the medical centre, some
21 people arrived at Standard barracks from Zvornik Hospital."
22 Now -- when the witness was reading -- was making corrections to
23 his statement, and I'm looking here, I'm looking at page 35, lines 6 and
24 subsequent lines. First of all, the day before the order arrived,
25 Mr. Obrenovic addressed me at the infirmary where other members of the
1 medical corps were. He addressed me with the following words: "The
2 wounded arrived. They will stay here for a couple of days".
3 So I understand from this that there was some kind of prior
4 warning by Major Obrenovic and the summary doesn't say that. I would just
5 like to get some clarification either from the witness or from my
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think I can clarify that.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You can do that, but on the other hand, also, the
9 witness said that -- I leave it in your hands. But I think it needs some
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think the following will perhaps satisfy my
12 colleague, is that the witness had indicated that Major Obrenovic came
13 before the order and the order was a faxed order which is what is
14 indicated in the statement itself. And the statement itself, at paragraph
15 7 says, specifically, "These people arrived without me being informed" and
16 it also says, "These people were brought to us but I never had prior
17 discussion with anyone from the hospital or the command of Zvornik Brigade
18 regarding these wounded people."
19 And so there is a distinction being drawn between when the order
20 arrived versus when the people arrived. And I think that's probably the
21 source of the confusion. I don't know if that satisfies my colleague. I
22 can certainly put it to the witness if the Court needs further
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I would prefer if you put it to the witness
25 rather than making a statement yourself.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm just pointing out what's in the record, I
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I suggest that having already told you that it needs
4 some clarification, that you put the same problem --
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: No problem.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: -- matter to the witness. Thank you.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE:
8 Q. You have heard the concerns of the Court and also my colleague,
9 Mr. Bourgon, concerning when it is that -- well, first of all, whether or
10 not you received any prior notice as to the arrival of these wounded
11 people. Could you just explain to the Court or tell the Court if that's,
12 in fact, the case?
13 A. I wasn't informed about any arrival of the wounded. They appeared
14 all of a sudden, escorted by some soldiers. They appeared in the
15 infirmary. Not all of them were brought in, some perhaps two or three.
16 Then those who escorted them said these are the prisoners, the wounded,
17 they're going to be exchanged in Bijeljina. So we took them out of that
18 room where we were working. So I didn't understand because they brought
19 them in and then they said these people are going to be exchanged in
21 Then after a couple of hours, we saw that these people had not
22 been taken to exchange but were rather put in a place that was secured by
23 military policemen. And then after that, Mr. Dragan Obrenovic came and
24 told me what I told you earlier. I wasn't informed about any arrival of
25 these people. I wasn't informed that they would come to the barracks.
1 Q. Just so that the record is, I think, clear, are you saying
2 essentially that you became aware of the presence of the wounded people
3 before you saw Major Obrenovic?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And are you also saying that you became aware of the written fax
6 order after you saw Major Obrenovic?
7 A. That's correct. That was on the following day.
8 Q. Okay. All right. Is that -- is that satisfactory for my
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon? Okay. Yes, he seems to be happy
11 for once. Let's proceed.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Okay. You have indicated that these -- these individuals were
14 brought to a specific area where you were working. First of all, let me
15 just ask you, if you can recall, about what date that was.
16 A. I wouldn't be able to remember the date. I know it was July. It
17 was summertime. As for the date, I don't know, and I don't know the day
18 of the week either.
19 Q. Okay. Fair to say you were working that day, right? You were on
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Okay. And you were in a specific area of the hospital, you've
23 indicated. Could you just tell us where that was?
24 A. That wasn't the hospital, that was the barracks that had an
25 infirmary. Well, how should I explain this? There are several
1 entrances. So the first entrances when you enter the compound of the
2 Standard factory, and then immediately to the right, some 20, 30 metres,
3 was the infirmary and the kitchen was across from the infirmary. And then
4 some 10 to 15 metres away from us were the premises of the military police
5 and that one room where they stayed. So there was that portion of the
7 At the floor above, we had a clinic with some beds. And then
8 there was a large bathroom between us and the police. I think that, to
9 the right, as you entered, there was a large bathroom and that was it.
10 Q. And you indicated that they were brought in by a number of
11 soldiers. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Now, in relation to where they were taken, after they were
14 brought to that room, did you have any discussion with anybody concerning
15 where they should be placed or where they would be placed?
16 A. When Mr. Dragan Obrenovic came, then he started talking. He said
17 that they would be accommodated there, that that was the safest place for
18 them, that they would be secured by the military police and that was the
19 only room where they could have been accommodated, but because everything
20 else was full and I guess for their personal safety, it was a good idea to
21 have police nearby. I guess that was the idea, but I don't know.
22 Q. Okay. And so from the area where you worked, they were taken to
23 another room; is that right?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... you to make any special
1 accommodation, move things or make an arrangement in order to have those
2 people placed in that room?
3 A. No, nothing was moved. There were pallets there, and then boards
4 and then mattresses were placed on top of that. Soft mattresses. So it
5 was a room of, I don't know the square footage of it. Normally, people
6 who were trouble-makers in units were taken to that room. Either they
7 were excessively drinking or abandoning their posts and normally they were
8 brought to that room and military police was there to guard them.
9 Q. Now, with respect to these particular individuals, did you discuss
10 with Major Obrenovic the circumstances as to how they would be secured or
11 where they would be secured?
12 A. Most likely he had arranged that with the military police. What
13 he told me was that they needed to be under strict care and observation in
14 terms of their treatment: bandaging, dressing the wounds, giving them
15 medication and so on. I was told to take very good care of them in the
16 medical sense. As for their personal safety, I guess it was arranged with
17 the military police.
18 We received our instructions in writing on the following day about
19 how to take care of the wounded.
20 Q. Did you discuss with Major Obrenovic who would be taking care of
21 the prisoners, whether it would be doctors from the Standard or doctors
22 from the hospital, Zvornik Hospital?
23 A. Mr. Obrenovic told me on that same day, when he came to tell me
24 that, that it had already been arranged, I guess, with the director of the
25 Zvornik medical centre, about the surgeons who would be coming every day
1 to treat the wounded. He said that they would only be treating those
2 wounded, and not other wounded who were members of the army of Republika
3 Srpska and who were only lightly wounded and who were staying at the
4 clinic, which was on the floor above. But these surgeons from the
5 hospital came exclusively to treat these wounded.
6 Q. Okay. Now, did you discuss with Major Obrenovic whether or not
7 these wounded should be registered at the Standard?
8 A. Yes. On that same day, when Mr. Obrenovic came and said what he
9 said, he also said that the surgeons from the Zvornik medical centre would
10 be coming, so I told them -- told him that I would start medical charts
11 for them, with their daily body temperature taken and so on, their
12 diagnosis would be entered into that chart and so on. And then I asked
13 Mr. Obrenovic whether I should also register them in the logbook, and he
14 said no, that wasn't necessary, just those charts would be sufficient.
15 Then I proposed to Mr. Obrenovic, and he agreed, that once these
16 people are taken to be exchanged to Bijeljina, then these medical charts
17 should accompany them, so that the doctors who received them at the other
18 end, after the exchange, would know exactly what kind of treatment they
19 had received because it would make their job easier, and Mr. Obrenovic
21 Q. Now, with respect to the creation of these charts, did you -- did
22 you do that with respect to each one of the wounded?
23 A. We started these medical charts or temperature charts for each of
24 the wounded and we kept it in a file. We typically had this for all
25 members of the Zvornik Brigade who were wounded. In the morning, when
1 doctors were doing their morning rounds, they would look at the chart and,
2 you know, decide whether the wound needed to be dressed again, what kind
3 of treatment they needed to receive on that day, and then the chart would
4 be put back into the file until the following day. And the rules were
5 such that we made rounds several times during the day, provide water,
6 cigarettes, whatever we could give them we did. And as for treating the
7 wounds, it was done by surgeons.
8 Q. Now, with respect to the charts that you created, they contained
9 typical medical information, such as the temperature of the patient, blood
10 pressure, medication, age, date of birth, and name of the patient. Is
11 that -- is that basically what information they contained?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Okay. Now, with respect to the treatment that the wounded
14 actually received, you have indicated that that was administered by
15 doctors or surgeons from the Zvornik Hospital. Is that right?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And with respect to the entries that they made on these medical
18 charts, did that involve your staff in any way? Did they have to go to
19 your staff in order to get access to those charts?
20 A. Well, yes. As soon as the surgeon would appear in the morning, a
21 nurse would take out charts, that was the rule. So she would take out
22 these charts with temperatures and all other information, hand them to the
23 surgeon, and the surgeon would call them in one by one, check their
24 wounds, dress them, prescribe further therapy and then the next patient
25 would come in.
1 I can't remember when they typically came, but I think it was
2 early, at about 8.00 in the morning.
3 Q. And did you have occasion to -- to yourself look at some of these
4 medical charts from time to time?
5 A. Well, yes. It was all on a table. And naturally we commented
6 upon them with surgeons. I personally was interested in surgery, so I
7 followed closely what surgeons did. So there were some parameters on that
8 chart, diagnosis, bandages, that was it.
9 Q. And can you tell the Court in general the type of condition these
10 wounded were in when you received them at the Standard?
11 A. As for the types of wounds, those were not life-threatening
12 wounds. Normally those were wounds created by shrapnels on lower
13 extremities. What I remember is that one of them did not have an arm
14 below his elbow, and the other one did not have a leg before the knee.
15 They were properly treated. I remember the man without the leg. I
16 remember his last name. I don't remember his first name but I remember
17 his last name because it was the same as mine, Begovic.
18 Q. And with respect to that individual, you have indicated that he
19 had a -- that he was without a leg. Was that the result of -- did it
20 appear to you that that was the result of an amputation or some kind of
21 treatment in relation to an injury?
22 A. Yes. An amputation was done, and one could see that it was
23 properly sutured. The amputation was done. I don't know whether it was
24 done in Zvornik or elsewhere, but that's how he was brought to us. He had
25 bandages on his leg, he did not have anything below his knee. And as for
1 the other wounded, mostly shrapnels, shrapnel wounds on their legs, some
2 of them had stomach injuries but none of them had life-threatening wounds.
3 Q. You have indicated also that at some point you became aware that
4 the wounded had been removed from the centre. And just to get an idea in
5 terms of time, can you approximate when this was in relation to when they
6 arrived? How many days?
7 A. You mean how many days they spent with us? Well, they were there
8 between five to seven days, as is stated there. I can't remember whether
9 it was five or seven, but it was approximately that period of time.
10 Q. Now, following their removal, can you tell us whether or not the
11 medical charts that you created went with them?
12 A. No, the medical charts stayed with the rest of the patient files
13 where the files of the soldiers of the Zvornik Brigade were kept. The
14 lists were not sent off with them, no.
15 Q. And with respect to the medical papers -- well, let me rephrase
17 Did you see that they arrived with medical papers from any -- any
18 other place, any other hospital or any other facility?
19 A. I can recall that when they were brought, first they were in
20 Milici, then in Zvornik, then they were brought to us. And from what I
21 can remember, they had discharge papers. I don't know whether it was from
22 the Zvornik Hospital; there was also a hospital in Milici. They had these
23 small discharge papers and those papers were placed together with the
24 temperature charts. So based on those discharge papers, I was copying the
25 diagnosis from them into the temperature charts. And all of that was put
1 together in a list that was supposed to go with them when they went off
2 for exchange. There was supposed to be a medical escort also to go with
3 them, but nobody informed us that they were leaving, so the documents
4 stayed in a file together with the rest of the medical files.
5 Q. And when you say a medical escort, could you just tell us what you
6 mean by that? Do you mean a doctor or a technician or...
7 A. It was our custom and rule that the wounded who were sent to the
8 Zvornik medical centre would, along with the driver, be also escorted by a
9 medical technician. No patient could go to the medical centre who had
10 been with us at the infirmary, who had been admitted to the infirmary,
11 could not go to the medical centre without a -- an ambulance and a medical
12 escort. That's how it was.
13 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you've -- you've indicated that part of
14 what wasn't included in your statement referred to some other individuals
15 that were brought to the Standard. Is that right?
16 A. I didn't understand the question. You mean after the group, were
17 others brought in? Is that what you mean?
18 Q. Yes. And that's my question. Is that what you had indicated
19 wasn't in your statement?
20 A. Yes, I did say that. The group, when they were taken away, we
21 were not told where, but from the first day it was known that they were
22 going to Bijeljina for an exchange. So I don't know whether a day or two
23 or three days later, when we were working at the clinic, the door opened
24 suddenly and a man was brought in on a stretcher. He was carried in by
25 four people, and the fifth one was lying on the stretcher. They were all
1 Muslims, they were accompanied by a policeman or a soldier, I can't
2 remember which, and he was wounded in the belly. And I lifted his shirt,
3 he was wounded in the belly, and I cleaned the wound and I said that this
4 person has to go to Zvornik urgently, a surgeon needs to look at him
5 because I couldn't see how deep the wound was. But the people who brought
6 him in said, well, the bus is waiting, they urgently have to go to
7 Bijeljina for the exchange. So they lifted him up and I mean it didn't
8 take long, the whole thing took maybe some 10 minutes or so, not more than
10 This was after that group -- so this group and the previous group
11 had nothing to do with each other. The other people were admitted, they
12 were treated and then they went for the exchange. I can't remember about
13 this other group, they just came in, I looked at the wound and they left
14 very quickly because they said the transport was waiting for them. The
15 gentleman who questioned me three years ago, I think I heard from him that
16 those people had been exchanged. I didn't know what their fate was and
17 that was the first time I heard about that. Three years ago, he asked if
18 I knew anything about them, and I said, I didn't. And then he said that
19 those people had been exchanged.
20 Q. Okay. Just so that we can clarify this a little bit on the
21 record, with respect to the first group and the second group, could you
22 tell us approximately how many individuals were involved in this first
23 group of people that were admitted and treated, et cetera? Approximately.
24 A. Between 10 and 14, perhaps 10, perhaps 14, perhaps 12. That's
25 about the size of the group approximately.
1 Q. In relation to the second group, can you tell us approximately how
2 many individuals were involved in relation to that incident?
3 A. This other group I think that they were five. Four people brought
4 in, they were carrying the stretcher, and there was the first person lying
5 on the stretcher. So five.
6 Q. Now, with respect to the second group, those individuals you
7 indicated were not admitted, weren't -- they weren't kept at the Standard
8 for any length of time, right?
9 A. They came in suddenly. The person was lying on the stretcher. We
10 don't know who he was. We could see they were Muslims. He was wounded in
11 the belly. The wound was dressed and he was given an IV. I didn't know
12 if any abdominal organs were damaged, so I told the person who was
13 escorting him that the person should be taken to the Zvornik Hospital, so
14 the surgeon can look at him. However, he said, transport is waiting for
15 them, they have to go to Bijeljina urgently, so they just picked him up
16 and that was it. It didn't take that long; 10 minutes at the most.
17 Q. Okay. So for this second group, did you create any charts or
18 records in relation to them containing their names and medical
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. We didn't make any charts or anything. It was very sudden, very
23 fast, and I dressed the wound. I put the IV in and then they just left.
24 We didn't take their first names or their last names. This is all I know.
25 Q. Okay. Now, even though you didn't take the names, were you ever
1 provided with their names by anybody in relation to either their arrival
2 or at some point after?
3 A. No.
4 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Doctor. I have no further
5 questions at this time.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 I've got several Defence teams wishing to cross-examine you,
8 Dr. Begovic, with the exception of the Borovcanin Defence team which still
9 needs to be confirmed.
10 Who wishes to go first? Mr. Zivanovic for Accused Popovic. Go
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Doctor.
15 A. Good day.
16 Q. I would like to ask you to tell me a couple of things relating to
17 the statement that you gave, this was on the 2nd of April, 2003. You said
18 that you were summoned by a policeman, that he brought the summons?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Was this summons in our language? We call it here our language
21 the B/C/S.
22 A. Yes, yes, it was on a piece of paper.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I suggest you slow down immediately, and
24 I think on previous occasions you had chosen to keep the headphones on so
25 that you could have an indication when the English interpretation was
1 over, and that helped a lot in keeping the momentum as it should be.
2 So, Witness, if possible, please, Dr. Begovic, if possible, please
3 allow a short pause between question and answer so that the interpreters
4 can carry out their job and finish translating to us. Thank you.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. These summons that are delivered by our authorities, they contain
7 a warning that you have to comply and turn up, otherwise you could be
8 fined or detained. Is that what the -- what was said in the summons too?
9 A. Yes, it was. And I was surprised when the summons was delivered.
10 It was written on the back, but also he told me too that I had to comply
11 with the summons.
12 Q. And when you did comply, did you understand that -- that you had
13 to comply, not only to come, but that you also had to provide a statement?
14 A. Well, I didn't know what would happen. I didn't know that a
15 statement would be involved. There was simply said that an investigator
16 from the Tribunal is coming, he needs to see something with you and you
17 should turn up at the appropriate time.
18 Q. Were you told that you can provide a statement, but that you do
19 not have to or did you understand that you were obliged to provide a
21 A. I wasn't told that. Simply the gentleman and the interpreter were
22 waiting for me in the room and the interview began.
23 Q. When you say this wasn't told to you, what you mean is that you
24 were not told that you had to give a statement?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. We have the date when the statement was taken, that's the 2nd of
2 April, 2003. I would like to ask you to tell me how long did the
3 interview last with the investigator?
4 A. I can't really tell you how long it took. It was for an hour and
5 a half or two for sure. I really cannot say how long it took, but that
6 was it, approximately.
7 Q. Can you tell me, after speaking with the investigator, there was a
8 written statement in English that was drafted?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Did you ask to read it in your own language?
11 A. To tell you the truth, I did not. The lady that was interpreting
12 said, I'm now going to read back to you what you stated. And then as soon
13 as she started to read, I told her to stop and then I complained because
14 it said there that I had come voluntarily, but I had actually been
15 summoned. So that's when we stopped, because I didn't come voluntarily.
16 I had received a summons, but the gentleman said that was it. But that
17 wasn't it. I had received a summons and this was not corrected. And I
18 saw that here when I read it back two days ago.
19 Also, in several places, as she was reading, I would stop the lady
20 and make suggestions, but it stayed the way it was. I mean, look, I
21 apologise, I explained to the gentleman that this other group was there
22 too, which is very important, and a wounded man was brought in. It's not
23 there anywhere.
24 After this other group, it wasn't put in the statement. The
25 gentleman asked, What about Mr. Pandurevic? In the statement it says, I
1 think that Mr. Pandurevic did not visit the wounded. Well, he didn't
2 because he wasn't there. I told him that. And this wasn't taken down.
3 Why was it not taken down that Mr. Pandurevic wasn't there, I asked him.
4 I saw Mr. Pandurevic the first time after all that happened was already
5 done. The way it looks in the statement is that Mr. Pandurevic was there,
6 but he didn't visit them. But he wasn't actually there, and I said in the
8 Q. All right. So from this answer of yours, I can conclude that you
9 had several objections or remarks regarding the statement the way it was
10 read back to you but this was not taken into account?
11 A. I said the same things two days ago, and I thought that that would
12 be corrected on the basis of my remarks. I thought that that would be
13 corrected, but I see it's the same as it was two days ago. But I signed
14 it, yes, that is true.
15 Q. I would just like you to tell me, were you given any reasons why
16 they would not take into account the corrections?
17 A. This is right at the end. When it was read to me, it was signed,
18 it was read back, and I told the lady who was translating about that and I
19 saw that she asked him. I don't speak English, but I could see that she
20 talked to him.
21 Then, also at that time, I indicated at several places, I mean
22 immediately when she started to read, immediately at the start, I didn't
23 come there voluntarily. I had come because of the summons and that was
24 not corrected.
25 Q. In other words, the interpreter conveyed to the investigator your
2 A. Yes, yes, yes. That is correct. I really didn't -- I really
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't like to be in the interpreter's shoes.
5 You are moving too fast. Please slow down. It's a matter of courtesy for
6 the interpreters who already have a very difficult job, and on whom we
7 need to rely. So please slow down.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. And just one more question on this topic. You did not receive any
10 answer from the investigator regarding your remarks?
11 A. No.
12 Q. So since then, since the 6th of April, 2003, until a few days ago
13 when you arrived here, were you in contact with the investigators of the
14 Tribunal in that period?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Thank you. I would now like to ask you about this other group of
17 detainees that arrived, about which you said that they didn't stay long at
18 the infirmary or the clinic. Can you tell us approximately how much time
19 elapsed from when the first group left until the second group arrived?
20 A. A day or two. I cannot really remember exactly, but I think it
21 was within a day or two.
22 Q. And just one more question. It has to do with putting information
23 in about the first group of patients. You said that Obrenovic told you
24 not to register these patients in your logbooks.
25 A. I asked Obrenovic if we should put them in the logbooks and he
1 said the lists are sufficient and that was it. And when I told him that
2 we would be sending the lists together with them, the charts, at the
3 exchange, so that the doctors there can see how they were treated and what
4 sort of treatment they were administered, Mr. Obrenovic disagreed and he
5 said that that was sufficient, that we shouldn't do that.
6 Q. After this group left, were you in touch with Mr. Obrenovic?
7 A. I would see very little of Mr. Obrenovic. I saw him that day when
8 the order was conveyed to us, and then I didn't see him for a long time.
9 He was absent out in the field. There were very few of us at the barracks
10 at the time. I would see him, but very infrequently.
11 Q. My question is, after the group left, did you have the opportunity
12 of seeing him at all?
13 A. I did see him, but I don't know exactly when. You mean did I see
14 him the next day?
15 Q. No, I'm just asking in general, did you see him?
16 A. Yes, I would see him, but I don't know how much time had elapsed
17 since they left when I saw him.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You started moving fast again. Please slow down.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. My last question is, did you speak with him when you saw him
21 afterwards? Did you talk at all about this?
22 A. No.
23 Q. You did not?
24 A. No, I did not.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry, the witness had already answered the
2 question and I was going to object as asked and answered.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for
4 this witness. Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
6 Who wishes to go next? Mr. Ostojic.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: For General Beara. You requested 30 minutes.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
10 Q. Good morning, Dr. Begovic. How are you?
11 A. Very well. Thank you. How are you?
12 Q. I'm fine. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: I was just waiting for the answer to be given.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Next we'll have the exchange of bouquets of flowers.
16 MR. OSTOJIC:
17 Q. During your meeting with the Prosecution and their investigators,
18 did they ever show you the Zvornik Brigade duty officer logbook?
19 A. No.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues]... also, sir, during any of the
21 meetings that you had with the Prosecution or any of their investigators,
22 did they show you any intercepts?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you just help me, if you remember, back in 1995, whether there
25 were any people where you worked who had the name of Ljubo?
1 A. There was a dentist Ljubo Dzeric. I actually replaced him. I
2 came and he was demobilised sometime in June 1994. He was the chief of
3 the medical service before I arrived. That's the Ljubo that I mean.
4 Q. Okay. And his first name is Ljubomir, correct?
5 A. Ljubomir, yes. That is correct.
6 Q. Were there any other individuals, to the best of your
7 recollection, who were in Zvornik at that time who went by the name of
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment. Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would object to the question.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: On what basis.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: On the grounds that it's not -- I don't think
13 it's properly circumscribed. Zvornik is a pretty big area and I think
14 that the question is unfairly put to the witness and I wonder if my
15 colleague can be more precise if he's referring to a given location, group
16 or entity.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he can answer that question. Let's let him
18 answer it. He's perfectly capable of answering, given what the question
19 is and how vague it is.
20 Can you repeat your question, Mr. Ostojic.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: I will. And I'll try to make not as vague.
22 Q. Sir, in July of 1995, in the Zvornik area where you were, during
23 the time that you were there, do you remember any other military people
24 with the name -- going by the first name Ljubo?
25 A. No, I don't.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: [Previous translation continues]... thank you,
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
4 Who wishes to go next? Mr. Bourgon for Nikolic. You requested 30
6 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
8 Q. Good morning, Doctor.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. A few questions for you today. The first one being, the officer
11 within the headquarters who was responsible for the infirmary, I mean the
12 officer you responded to, would I be correct in saying that that was
13 Sreten Milosevic?
14 A. Sreten Milosevic was the logistics commander and my first ranking
16 Q. And I read from your statement now, Doctor, and I see that your
17 immediate supervisor was Lieutenant Nikolic. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it was Lieutenant Nikolic, but very soon, when I came to the
19 barracks in 1994, he was replaced, I think, by Sreten Milosevic. It was
20 sometime in 1994 when I came. I don't know whether it was in early 1995
21 or late 1994, when Bosko Nikolic was replaced by Sreten Milosevic.
22 Q. Now, of course, as you -- my question was exactly that, that the
23 Lieutenant Nikolic we're talking about, that is not Drago Nikolic. That's
25 A. Not Drago Nikolic, but Bosko Nikolic.
1 Q. Now, my next question deals with the fact that these persons that
2 were detained, we're talking about those Muslims and I refer now to the
3 transcript, and that was on page 42, starting at line 21. And you say
4 that this wasn't the hospital, that was the barracks that had an
5 infirmary. And I'll just quote you from the transcript here, "Why should
6 I explain this? There are several entrances, so the first entrance is
7 when you enter the compound of the Standard factory, then immediately to
8 the right, some 20 to 30 metres was the infirmary. The kitchen was across
9 from the infirmary. And then 10 to 15 metres away from us was the
10 premises of the military police and that one room where they stayed."
11 Now, my question to you is, these Muslim prisoners, they were in
12 the care and custody at that time of the military police. Is that
14 A. Yes. It was the detention room where people, trouble-makers from
15 units were usually kept. That was that room.
16 Q. And my next question is, they, according to your testimony, stayed
17 at the barracks there from five to seven days, and during which -- during
18 which they were treated by the surgeons from the hospital, and you did
19 those temperature charts. Now -- and you also described a bit what kind
20 of -- what kind of -- in what medical conditions they were. My question
21 is simple: These persons, when they were taken away from the Standard
22 barracks, were they fit to travel?
23 A. Yes, they were. Nobody was in life-threatening condition and they
24 were fit to travel.
25 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Bourgon.
2 Who wishes to go next? I have the Miletic, the Gvero and the
3 Pandurevic teams left.
4 Madam Fauveau.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] We won't have any questions for this
6 witness, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau. And that was for General
9 Mr. Josse.
10 MR. JOSSE: The position is the same for General Gvero, Your
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Josse.
13 So that leaves you, Mr. Haynes.
14 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
16 Q. Good morning, Dr. Begovic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. You have mentioned that during the time you were working at the
19 Standard barracks your immediate commander was latterly Sreten Milosevic,
20 and initially Bosko Nikolic. Were they the only two commanders you had
21 during the time that you were at Standard?
22 A. As far as I can remember, Sreten Milosevic was replaced by
23 Major Jojic. That's how it was. He stayed there very briefly. I think
24 that was in late 1995.
25 Q. Thank you. So in the course of about 18 months, you had three
1 different commanding officers; is that right?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And was that typical of the sort of turnover of command staff in
4 the Zvornik Brigade during that period?
5 A. I don't know if it was typical. That's how it was.
6 Q. Thank you. I'm not sure whether you've actually covered this, but
7 we'll go into it anyway. The facilities at the infirmary were perfectly
8 adequate for looking after the sort of wounded people that you had there
9 for that five or seven days, weren't they?
10 A. Well, it was an infirmary consisting of two rooms. We also had
11 the portion where the wounded members of the army of Republika Srpska were
12 in beds and that was up on the floor, and it was completely full.
13 Q. And did you have permanent staff available to care for these
15 A. This was permanent staff. It's just that they worked in shifts.
16 They went home and the others came, but there was always somebody there.
17 Q. Just give us some idea. When you say there was always somebody
18 there, was there always a doctor there and always nursing staff?
19 A. There was always a doctor, always nurses, medical technicians.
20 When there was no combat, then male staff members would be there as well,
21 and when there was active combat, then there would be only female staff
22 there. There would always be a doctor, since we had three male doctors
23 and three female doctors, and there would always be nurses and there were
24 always two on each shift.
25 Q. Thank you very much. And the doctors that visited from the
1 Zvornik Hospital, did they come every morning during the time that the
2 prisoners you've talked about were there?
3 A. Every morning.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell us this: How far is it from the
5 Standard barracks at Karakaj to Bijeljina?
6 A. Well, Zvornik-Bijeljina is 56 kilometres, which means that there
7 is about 53 kilometres, thereabout, because Zvornik-Karakaj is two or
8 three kilometres, so I would say 53 kilometres.
9 Q. And how long would it take to transport people that sort of
11 A. About an hour.
12 Q. Thank you. So can we summarise the position as you understood it.
13 You were not expecting these prisoners to arrive; is that right?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. They arrived with discharge certificates from other hospitals;
16 that's correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. They were registered and records were kept by you as to their
19 treatment throughout the whole time they were there; is that correct?
20 A. Records were kept by the surgeon who came, so the surgeon would
21 take the chart and the surgeon would look at the previous treatment
22 prescribed by another surgeon, you know, add, subtract, and we would
23 simply check that if we needed to assist with anything. However, these
24 wounded were in the exclusive care of surgeons.
25 Q. Thank you. And just to repeat, they were adequately cared for by
1 you and visited every day by staff from the hospital. Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And your expectation was that they were going to be transported to
4 Batkovci which is in Bijeljina together with their records; is that
6 A. In Bijeljina, not in Batkovac. That's how it was stated
7 originally. Mr. Obrenovic said what I have already told you that they
8 were going to be exchanged in Bijeljina. I proposed to Obrenovic and he
9 agreed that when they set out to go for the exchange, their temperature
10 charts should accompany them so that the doctors on the other end, who
11 took them over would have an easier job. Mr. Obrenovic supported this and
12 that's where we left it off.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Now, just one thing whilst we're on the
14 subject of Mr. Obrenovic. You have talked about a fax that you saw and
15 the content of that fax. Were you able to see from the fax who it was
16 sent by?
17 A. I'm not sure whether the fax arrived from the Main Staff or from
18 the corps. I don't know. To this day I don't know that. I'm not sure
19 whether it arrived from the Main Staff or from the corps. And I don't
20 know whether it was signed by Mr. Mladic or somebody else. I had the fax
21 with the order, but to tell you the truth, I don't know whether it came
22 from the medical -- from the corps or from the Main Staff. But it was in
24 Q. So was it the content of that fax that gave you some idea as to
25 where it came from, if you don't know who it was from?
1 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to say, because faxes are generally
2 similar except for the signature. Roughly it was similar to what
3 Mr. Obrenovic said. Whatever Mr. Obrenovic said was written in the fax,
4 but I don't know who wrote it, I don't know if it came from the corps or
5 the Main Staff.
6 Q. So the position is this: You saw a fax which made it plain that
7 prisoners were to be exchanged and Major Obrenovic who was then in command
8 of the brigade told you that these prisoners were to be exchanged. Is
9 that right?
10 A. Correct. Mr. Obrenovic said on the day before, what you just
11 repeated. And then on the following day it arrived in writing. Again, I
12 don't know whether it came from the Main Staff or the corps. But whatever
13 Mr. Obrenovic said, it was said the day before the order which arrived by
15 Q. Did Mr. Obrenovic ever say anything to you about seeking guidance
16 from the corps or the Main Staff as to what was to be done with wounded
18 A. No. He said it to me the day before it arrived in writing. And
19 that's where it ended.
20 Q. Thank you very much. I just want to move on now, please, to the
21 second group that you referred to, the group of five. Were you at the
22 infirmary the day that that group arrived?
23 A. Yes. I was there, and another lady doctor.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were the doctors at the infirmary
1 at that point in time. The lady doctor's name is Danijela Lazic.
2 MR. HAYNES:
3 Q. Thank you, Doctor. Now, so far as that group of five were
4 concerned, were you aware whether any two of them were brothers?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Were you aware whether any of that group of five left to go to
7 hospital and have an X-ray?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Were you aware whether that group of five were given food?
10 A. We had some bread there and we gave them cigarettes. I remember
11 that I had three or four packs of cigarettes. Since I am not a smoker
12 myself, I gave this to this young patient who was 20 something. I gave
13 all three or four packs to him and then we had some bread there and we
14 gave it to them. That's all we had.
15 Q. And is it your recollection that this group was there as long as
16 three hours, or not that long?
17 A. I know that they were at our infirmary for some 10 minutes,
18 perhaps more, perhaps less. The one who was on the stretchers was the
19 only one who was wounded. He was lying on the stretcher. His wound was
20 dressed, cleaned. He was given IV fluids. Then I said that the man who
21 was wounded had to be sent to Zvornik to be seen by a surgeon. However,
22 the person escorting them said they were in a hurry, there is a
23 transportation awaiting them to take them to Bijeljina. There was no time
24 to do that, and then they went.
25 Q. Thank you very much, Doctor. I just wonder whether we could have
1 in e-court, please, 7D257. I apologise in advance, this is not a document
2 that has yet been translated.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President. While we're waiting for
4 that, could I ask the Court could we stay briefly after the break, after
5 the witness leaves. There is a matter I need to bring up just briefly; I
6 just remembered it.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Is it in relation to the motion that you
8 have just filed?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I was going to raise it up myself anyway.
11 Yes, I apologise to you, Mr. Haynes, for the interruption.
12 MR. HAYNES: Absolutely not.
13 Q. Doctor, I'm going to need your help now. This is a document which
14 is only in Serbian. I'm going direct you to a passage of it and I would
15 like you to read it out loud slowly so that the interpreters can interpret
16 it into English and French for us. Do you understand? Do you understand
17 what I'd like you to do?
18 A. No, I don't. I apologise.
19 Q. Okay. Well, what I'm going to do in a minute is I'm going to have
20 the usher bring this document up to a passage I would like you to read.
21 But I'd like you to read it out loud slowly so that the interpreters can
22 translate it into English and French for us. Do you understand that?
23 Could we bring the document --
24 A. I see right now or...
25 Q. No, I'll take you to the passage. Can it come up a little bit?
1 Can you go -- count up from the bottom, I think about 10 lines,
2 and can you see the sentence that begins, "Doveli su"?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No, it's two lines above that that's where you
4 should go. Yeah.
5 MR. HAYNES: It's actually underlined the starting line. And
6 it -- it's about three quarters of the way along. The cursor is in the
7 right place.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
9 MR. HAYNES:
10 Q. Doctor, would you mind just reading from there to the bottom of
11 the page at quite a gentle pace, please.
12 A. Very well. "They brought them to the administration building of
13 engineering that -- which was a construction company."
14 Q. I think you can read a little faster than that, Doctor.
15 A. All right.
16 "They took them into some corridor. They searched them there.
17 They took from them shoelaces, belts, and took them to the boiler room, 11
18 of them. The two brothers were separated; they were wounded. (They were
19 wounded before they were arrested), one of the brothers was called Hasan,
20 they were from Osat. Later an investigator came and policemen (they had
21 white cross-belts and belts), and they gave their personal details one by
22 one. They did not mistreat them. They brought another 11 people from
23 Srebrenica, and they gave them food. They told them that the two who were
24 wounded went to see a doctor and that they should leave some food for
25 them. They didn't take them -- they didn't bring them to the boiler
1 room. And after three hours they took out prisoners who were tied. And
2 next to a truck (a truck of the former JNA with tarpaulin) they saw the
3 two wounded brothers. They were holding X-ray pictures. They had seen
4 the doctor. They took all of them to Batkovici with two police cars
5 escorting them."
6 Q. Thank you very much for your help, Doctor. Just two or three
7 things about that. The -- the "Inzinjering," can you see that word. I
8 can't say it very well, but it's on the far left-hand side, nine lines up.
9 Go to the left, please.
10 A. Yes, yes, I can see that.
11 Q. That's an area -- that's an area at the Standard barracks at
12 Karakaj, isn't it?
13 A. No. Inzinjering is a different company. It's not the same
14 company as Standard. It's a company that is further. Once you pass
15 Karakaj, you pass the Standard barracks and then some 300 or 400 metres
16 later you come to an overpass and then I think on the left is this company
17 called Inzinjering. Inzinjering and Standard are not the same companies.
18 Q. No, but the Inzinjering was never used as a military facility, was
19 it, in 1995?
20 A. As far as I know, no. Standard was used. The shoe factory, which
21 existed before the war. It was used as the barracks. As for Inzinjering,
22 I don't think it was.
23 Q. Thank you. And the only other thing is if you just read out to
24 yourself, we're talking here about a group of people who arrived at
25 Batkovci on the 24th of July, aren't we, if you look further up the
1 paragraph? Can you see on the letter there is a date that is circled?
2 A. It says the 24th of July, 1995, at about 1400 hours.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Now, the group that are described there with
4 the two wounded brothers, one of whom is called Hasan and who went off to
5 get an X-ray at hospital, that's not the same group of five you're talking
6 about, is it?
7 A. The one who was brought to the infirmary in the second group that
8 came did not have any X-rays on him.
9 Q. And you've already told us you weren't aware of any two of them
10 being brothers or going off to hospital.
11 A. No, no.
12 Q. And they certainly weren't there for three hours or so. Is that
14 A. I told you they were there between five and 10 minutes. It all
15 happened very quickly. All I managed to do was to clean and dress the
16 wound and give him IV fluids. That's all I had the time to do, not more
17 than 10 minutes.
18 Q. Thank you very much. I just want to finish with one last thing.
19 Before you met an investigator from the Office of the Prosecutor, your
20 belief was that these 11 people who had been in your care at the infirmary
21 had all been sent to Bijeljina for exchange.
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. And in the years, in the 10 years between those events and when
24 you met an investigator from the Office of the Prosecutor, you heard
25 nothing from any source that caused you to think anything other than that,
1 did you?
2 A. Correct. I heard of them for the first time, the first group, and
3 the second group, when the gentleman interviewed me three years ago. I
4 truly didn't know anything.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Doctor.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Haynes.
7 Is there re-examination?
8 Yes, Mr. Sarapa.
9 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Correction for the transcript in two
10 places, please. Page 66, line 20. The witness mentioned the name of the
11 doctor or, rather, the last name of the lady doctor, who was present with
12 him. So could we ask the witness to repeat that last name?
13 And then on page 70, line 24, the date was wrongly recorded as the
14 14th of July and it should be the 24th of July.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I can confirm that last one because I had
16 noticed it myself, but I didn't want to interrupt the witness.
17 As regards the other one, did you mention the name of the lady
18 doctor who was with you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Danijela Lazic.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Sarapa and thank you, Dr. Begovic.
21 Is there re-examination, Mr. Vanderpuye?
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, there's not, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Dr. Begovic, your testimony ends here. We haven't
24 got any questions for you. So you're free to go. You will receive all
25 the assistance you require from the staff of our Tribunal. On behalf of
1 which I would like to thank you for having come over here to give
2 evidence, and I also, on behalf of everyone, wish you a safe journey back
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go into private session for -- I
6 mean, we'll come to the exhibits later, but let's -- in the few minutes
7 that we have, deal with this.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 9173-9174 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We will now have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's process with the exhibits first.
14 Exhibits first, Mr. Vanderpuye.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. We have only the
16 witness statement, P02481, to tender.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections? We hear none. So admitted.
18 Defence teams, I think it was only the Pandurevic Defence team
19 that made use of a document.
20 MR. HAYNES: Yes, it's untranslated. It's 7D257. It's a report
21 of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency state commission for gathering
22 facts on war crimes. Can it be marked for identification at this stage?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Haynes.
24 Any objection.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have no objection to having it marked for
1 identification, but I would like to see a translation of it and perhaps
2 reserve an objection to that extent if it is otherwise objectionable. I
3 can't tell from either the testimony or what I was able to see on the
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not the normal practice that we resort to.
6 It will be marked for identification purposes pending translation. And
7 after which it will come into the record as an exhibit. I mean, if you
8 have any objections in relation to the admission proper, speak now.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: It's just a bit difficult for me to articulate
10 because I don't know if it contains otherwise objectionable matter other
11 than what was referred to in the testimony. And I think the document
12 covers more material than what the witness was specifically directed to.
13 That's the only reason why I would ask to -- ask you to consider allowing
14 me to reserve the objection until I see the translation.
15 MR. HAYNES: I'm just going to say this: It comes from the EDS,
16 it's a Prosecution document. We served due notice that we were going to
17 use it in cross-examination. They should be able, with all the
18 interpreters and army of helpers they've got at their disposal, to voice
19 an objection now if they've got one.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: How many pages does that document contain?
21 MR. HAYNES: Page and a half.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Page and a half. And we've seen half of it.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't want to blow this up, but the usual practice
25 that we have followed here is to mark it for identification pending
1 translation and then it will become a full exhibit. On the other hand --
2 even if one were to entertain objections here, and entertain objections
3 against the admission of the document, et cetera, part of it or the -- the
4 part which was of relevance to Mr. Haynes was read out and it's in the
5 record already.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have no problem with that. My only concern was
7 with respect to extraneous material. I'm perfectly fine following the
8 process. If I discover that there's something egregious in the document
9 later, I'll bring it to the attention of the Court. At this point, I will
10 withdraw the objection and proceed.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So it's admitted on that condition, marked for
12 identification pending translation.
13 Gentlemen and ladies, can I come back to you on the two pending
14 motions, one oral, one written, seeking protective measures for the next
15 two witnesses.
16 Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I think we've all
18 basically met and discussed it and conferred with our learned friends at
19 the Prosecution. We don't really see that the rules have been followed
20 specifically, especially at the late stage, but we do not have an
21 objection to that request, if the witnesses feel there is some need and we
22 would defer to your better judgement on that, of course.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We want to know whether there is any objection from
24 any one of the other Defence teams. You seem to be speaking on behalf of
25 everyone. So we take it that there is no objection. Just one moment. I
1 need to confer again with my colleagues with whom I have discussed
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So our decision is as follows, and we are deciding
5 both motions, that relating to the next witness who is Witness 152, and
6 the other relating to Witness 155, the latter of which is the subject
7 matter of the written motion.
8 We have opted to go on an abundance of caution approach,
9 particularly basing ourselves on the fact that both parties are in
10 agreement that granting of protective measures in these two cases could be
11 appropriate, or may be appropriate. We would also, however, like to make
12 it clear that we are not saying anything beyond this. In particular, we
13 don't want this decision to serve later on as a precedent for granting
14 protective measures to others who may have similar or identical
16 So the protective measures are a pseudonym and -- pseudonym and
17 face distortion. Even for the first witness that we are going to hear for
18 the first one, the one who will be entering the courtroom?
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would apply for it. But I would leave it
20 really in your discretion.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm asking you because since this is -- has not been
22 incorporated in a written document, Mr. McCloskey referred to -- and you,
23 to protective measures, but not identifying any. I mean, we take it that
24 pseudonym is -- is usual, normal. Yes.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Pseudonym and face distortion. We just -- because
1 of the problems related to voice, and given the history, I wouldn't ask
2 for that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So both motions are granted and I
4 wish to thank the members of the various Defence teams for their
5 cooperation. Thank you.
6 While we are waiting for the witness, you may have heard in the
7 course of last week and this week that there was an anticipated strike,
8 transport strike for Friday, this Friday. We've just received a
9 confirmation that although the strike is still on it will not affect the
10 transfer of our detainees to and from the Tribunal. Therefore, the
11 scheduled trials for Friday will go ahead as planned. So if anyone was
12 planning to stay working at home or in the office on Friday, now you need
13 to forget all about it.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, sir.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You are about to
18 start giving evidence, which will take some time. Before you start, you
19 need to make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth.
20 Madam Registrar is giving you the text of it. Please read it out aloud
21 and that will be your commitment with us that you will testify the truth.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-162
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself comfortable.
2 Take a seat. I'll be only a minute.
3 Mr. Vanderpuye, who you have met already, will go first. He will
4 be referring you to statements and will also ask you a few questions. He
5 will then be followed by various of the Defence teams on
6 cross-examination. I do not anticipate your testimony to finish today,
7 possibly also not tomorrow. You might still be here afterwards, until
9 So, Mr. Vanderpuye.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
12 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. Could you just bear with me for one second.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, before you continue, because -- just before you
16 entered the courtroom, that's about an hour ago, not just before, the
17 Prosecution asked for your behalf to have in place some protective
18 measures. And that's for reasons that you explained to the Prosecution
19 and which the Prosecution explained to us in turn. We consulted with the
20 various Defence teams, and the various Defence teams also agreed with the
21 Prosecution that it would be appropriate to have two protective measures
22 in place. One is the use of a pseudonym instead of your name, and that's
23 why I didn't address you by your name when you entered the courtroom. The
24 second is we are going to hide your visual appearance. There will be a
25 facial -- what we call a facial distortion. I trust this has been
1 explained to you and that it is to your satisfaction.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am satisfied.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
4 Back to you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. I'm going to hand a document, P02484, for the record. Please take
9 a look at that and can you just confirm that you are the person named on
10 it without reading it out loud?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. I'm going to put to you some questions, but before I do, I
13 just wanted to point out a couple of things. As the President has
14 indicated, you are the beneficiary of certain protective measures. And in
15 my questions to you, I will try to be as mindful of that as I can, and I
16 will try to avoid mentioning anything that may tend to reveal your
17 identity. And I would ask that, first, you try to do the same thing.
18 Second, that when you -- before answering a question, you allow a short
19 pause so that the translators can translate what's been said into the
20 various languages. And that you wait until the end of the question before
21 you commence your answer, and ask if there is anything that's unclear
22 about the question.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Before you proceed. And just in
24 case Mr. Vanderpuye, since we are not privy to what the testimony -- what
25 the witness will -- the details of the witness's testimony, I'm leaving it
1 entirely in your discretion to inform us in good time if we need to have
2 recourse to Rule 90(E). I don't know. You should be in a much better
3 position than the Trial Chamber. But if it's the case, please come back
4 to us.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Can we go into private
6 session? I would like to go into basic background of the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session
8 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
11 Q. Sir, can you tell us where you were born?
12 A. I was born in Bratunac.
13 Q. Okay. And where were you raised?
14 A. In Bratunac.
15 Q. And did you attend school there, work there?
16 A. I completed elementary school in Bratunac and secondary school in
17 Bijeljina, and first level of college in -- in Tuzla. And I worked for my
18 whole life in Bratunac.
19 Q. Now, at some point in your career you became active in politics,
20 in local, municipal politics. Is that right?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. And could you tell us briefly what positions you held in municipal
24 A. I held several positions in municipal politics during wartime and
25 also before the war. Before the war I was in the League of Communists and
1 I had positions there. I was a member of the municipal committee in
2 Bratunac. I was a councilman in the municipal assembly. I also was the
3 vice-president of the municipal council of Bratunac. All of this was
4 before the war.
5 When war broke out I -- well, before the war, I worked at the
6 local police as well for one term of office, as deputy chief of the
7 Bratunac police. This was from 1980 to 1984. After that I was appointed
8 as director of the people's university in Bratunac, and I worked there
9 until the beginning of the war. That's what -- that was my job when the
10 work -- when the war broke out in 1991.
11 From October 1994 on, I worked as president of the Bratunac
12 municipality Executive Board. I was appointed to that work by Bratunac
13 municipal assembly and I worked there until March 1997, when I came back
14 and was the director of the Bratunac cultural centre. This is a brief
15 overview of my political and other jobs.
16 Q. Okay. In 1995, if I could just direct your attention to July of
17 that year. You held the position in Bratunac as president of the
18 Executive Board at that time; is that right?
19 A. That is right.
20 Q. Okay. And can you tell us briefly what your responsibilities were
21 in that position?
22 A. The Executive Board is a body that is like a government. I was at
23 the head of that local government. That is the sort of description of
24 what an Executive Board is. Should I also say what the duties of the
25 Executive Board were at that time?
1 At the time, the Executive Board was - if I can just collect
2 myself for a minute - logistics brigade to the Bratunac Brigade, at the
3 time that was our number one task. Then in relation to the population, to
4 provide utilities to the citizens and to the town to make sure the town
5 had water, electricity, that the schools were working, the health
6 institutions were working, that the town was properly supplied with food,
7 articles, that the shops were working. Because in Bratunac itself, there
8 were no combat actions, only around Bratunac. So that would be in brief
9 what the duties of the Executive Board were in that period.
10 Q. Thank you for that. If I could, I'd like to draw your attention
11 specifically to the 11th of July of that year, of 1995. Do you recall
12 that day?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Okay. And could you tell us basically what you recall
15 specifically about that day?
16 A. I remember that that day I went to a village of Pribicevac, which
17 is about 20 kilometres from Bratunac. The 3rd Battalion of the Bratunac
18 Brigade was accommodated in that village, and in this 3rd Battalion of the
19 Bratunac Brigade was where my son was, who was in charge of the battalion
20 logistics. I went to Pribicevac --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We are in private session, all right.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I was just going to ask if we could go to open
24 session from this point forward. I'm sorry.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But please, Witness, look at me. We are going into
1 open session now. And you need to avoid saying things which could
2 identify you. Just now, for example, you stated what position your son
3 held and where. That could go as a means of identifying you. So don't
4 mention names associated with you that could identify you or events with
5 which you are associated in a way that could identify you. All right?
6 Okay. Let's go into open session, please.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. Thank you.
10 Q. I believe you were -- you were talking about having gone to
11 Pribicevac. Could you tell the Court -- could you tell the Court why it
12 is that you went there and if it calls for -- well, if it calls for a
13 name, just avoid mentioning any names.
14 A. I went to visit the 3rd Battalion and to see what was going on
15 there. And I stopped by this logistics unit and I stayed there with the
16 people I knew.
17 Q. Now, did you go there alone or did you go with somebody? And...
18 A. There was another man with me from the brigade, a friend.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we just go into private session to identify
20 this person?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means, let's go into private session
22 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Can you tell us who the person is now that you went to Pribicevac
2 A. Assistant commander for logistics was with me. He cooperated
3 closely with the Executive Board when it came to logistics for the
4 brigade, so we went there together in order to see what the situation was
5 with the army when it came to uniforms, footwear, cigarettes, food, and so
7 Q. Now, we are still in private session, so I would ask if you could
8 just name the person for the record so the Court knows who we are talking
10 A. Dragoslav Drisic.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: We can go to open session, please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's revert to open session, please
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE:
16 Q. Can you tell us about what time of day that occurred?
17 A. It would have been in the morning, about 10 or 11.00. 10.00 in
18 the morning.
19 Q. And did you have an opportunity to discuss with this person the
20 genesis, the reason why you were going there before you actually embarked?
21 A. You mean with the person I went there with? Is that the person
22 you have in mind?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Yes, our goal was to see whether they needed anything in the 3rd
25 Battalion in terms of clothes, footwear, food, cigarettes. The kitchen
1 was up there. We wanted to see how it was operated, whether they had
2 enough of everything, whether the troops were satisfied. That was the
3 purpose of our visit there.
4 Q. Okay. Now, can you tell us, while you were there, you've
5 mentioned that you did go there to see someone. Did you see anybody else
6 while you were there that day?
7 A. In the house where the logistics was billeted, I stayed there with
8 a person who was close to me and we sat there in the house. As for the
9 friend who had arrived there with me, he went to the command post, which
10 was some 200 to 300 metres further away.
11 As I sat there in the house and talked with this close person, a
12 vehicle stopped in front of the house. General Mladic came out of it.
13 General Zivanovic was with him.
14 Q. Now, did you at any point have any contact with either General?
15 A. When the vehicle stopped in front of the house and when the
16 soldiers started saying, "Here's the General, here's his vehicle," it was
17 the Puch, everybody dispersed. And it was only the people who were in
18 that logistics unit who remained there. I came out of the house into the
19 yard. General's vehicle was some 30 metres away from the house. It
20 couldn't come any closer because there was a truck parked in front of the
21 house, a military truck, and they were loading ammunition or some military
22 equipment on to the truck. Thus the General couldn't come closer with his
23 vehicle, so he started cursing and yelling, saying, "Who parked this
24 vehicle here?" He was saying all this on the go, as he was moving about.
25 And in doing so, he came close to me. I stood there and he yelled at
1 me, "Who are you? What are you doing here?"
2 I introduced myself and he said angrily, "Get out of here." You
3 know, "Go to the command post." I felt uncomfortable because I had come
4 there in civilian clothes without weapons. Knowing the General, I was
5 worried that he would criticise me for coming there without weapons or
6 anything. So I figured that I should go into that house, grab somebody's
7 rifle, and then go to the command post, as he told me.
8 So I went in, found somebody's rifle, I don't know whose it was, I
9 took it and then I was about to leave the house with it when I again came
10 across the General at the door. He started yelling at me, saying, "Are
11 you still here?" I just kept quiet, ran outside, and then moved away.
12 As I was walking towards the command post *I came across Miroslav
13 Deronjic, president of the municipal board of the SDS and Miodrag
14 Josipovic, chief of police in Bratunac. I asked them how come you're
15 here? And they said, We're running away from the General. He's yelling
16 at everyone. I told them about the unpleasant encounter that I had just
17 had with him and then we sat down in that spot from which we could see the
18 house where the logistics support was.
19 When we saw that the General moved away with his vehicle, I went
20 back to the house. I said good-bye to this close person. My friend
21 joined me by that time and then we got into the car that we had arrived
22 there in originally and went back.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's go into private session for a
24 while, please.
25 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye, reading through page 89 through
2 lines 7 to 9, at least two persons, namely Miroslav Deronjic, if he
3 happens to be following the proceedings or to read this transcript, and
4 Miodrag Josipovic, if he is still alive and is following or may read, who
5 would immediately recognise who the witness is. I don't know if you wish
6 to redact or not.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think out of an abundance of caution we can --
8 we can move to redact. I'll try to --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, okay.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'll try to direct the witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's redact the names of those two individuals.
12 Redact not only the names, but also their position at the time. Delete
13 the next two -- all the words for the next two lines after the words, "I
14 came across," the end of line 7 on page 89.
15 Okay. Let's revert to open session, please.
16 [Open session]
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: We are in open session?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are now, yes.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE:
20 Q. You had made a number of references previously to a General,
21 just -- just now as you have been testifying. And you had indicated
22 previous to that that you had contact -- well, that General Mladic was
23 together with General Zivanovic. And with respect to the General that you
24 have been speaking about having had an interaction with, which General is
25 that, so that it's clear for the record?
1 A. You mean my unpleasant encounter?
2 Q. Yes, I mean your unpleasant encounter.
3 A. General Mladic.
4 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you encountered two individuals who
5 you described previously. Did you encounter any -- any other person that
6 you knew before you left for the day?
7 A. Where do you mean? That I met them.
8 Q. I'm asking if you met anyone else in and around the vicinity of
9 the command when you were in that area after having met the two people
10 that you've just described in your testimony.
11 A. That was at Pribicevac. That wasn't at the command post, no.
12 That was out in the field, 20 kilometres from Bratunac. This is where the
13 3rd Battalion was billeted. I didn't meet anybody else there.
14 Q. All right.
15 A. Because this is out in the field.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Could we go into private session for just a
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It will be just a moment because we are due to
20 adjourn in about a minute's time.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: This would be actually the point then to break if
22 it's all right with the Court.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we will go back to open session.
24 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I said, are you finishing this or are we
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think it would be a good time to break. Thank
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I thought. So let's go into open
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It's time and we stand adjourned until tomorrow
9 morning at 9.00. Thank you.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of
12 March, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.
* The bold and italicised text was previously confidential pursuant to a redaction order of the Chamber. The status of this redaction order has been changed from confidential to public per Chamber's decision of 15 March 2012