1 Wednesday, 9 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, everybody.
7 Madam Registrar, could you kindly call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am. For the record, all the accused
11 are here. Some of them talking. Defence teams are all here except for
12 Mr. Josse, the Gvero Defence team, I suppose he's working elsewhere,
13 Mr. Krgovic?
14 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, Mr. Josse is working in the office
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that, thank you. Prosecution is
17 Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Nicholls. The witness is also present. Good
18 afternoon to you, Mr. Bircakovic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome once more. This afternoon, we will continue
21 with the remaining cross-examinations. Then maybe there will be a
22 re-examination, any possible questions from the Bench and you're free to
24 Mr. Stojanovic?
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
1 WITNESS: MILORAD BIRCAKOVIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic: [Continued]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you continue, just for the record,
5 Mr. Bircakovic, you'll recall having made the solemn declaration when you
6 first started giving evidence. That is still valid, continues to be valid
7 throughout your entire testimony.
8 Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. If you remember, we left it off with an exhibit, P00220. This is
11 the diary of the duty officer of the military police of the
12 Bratunac Brigade. Could we please look at the entries made on the 14th of
13 July 1995, which is ERN number 00663926? In B/C/S this is on page 17, on
14 e-court and page 14 of the English version.
15 Sir, I suppose you have a clearer picture now. This is a logbook
16 of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade. On the 14th of July 1995,
17 an entry was made to the effect that the military police of the Bratunac
18 Brigade was engaged in escorting Muslim refugees. Can you see that?
19 A. Yes, I can.
20 Q. I suppose that you did not have an occasion to see this document
22 A. You're right.
23 Q. After having looked at the document, would it mean anything to you
24 if I told you that members of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade
25 did indeed escort the convoy on the way to Orahovac?
1 A. I wouldn't know anything about that.
2 Q. Could we now look at Exhibit number 3D133? This is an indictment
3 issued by the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina against four
4 members of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade. Can we please
5 look at the pages 4 in both English and B/C/S version of this indictment?
6 The same page in B/C/S version, please. There is something on the
7 page that we wanted the witness to have a look at. Thank you.
8 Mr. Bircakovic, could you please look at the bullet points 6 and 7
9 of this indictment relative to two -- four members of the military police
10 of the Bratunac Brigade who are charged with providing security to the
11 transport of detained Bosniaks from Bratunac on the 14th of July 1995.
12 They served as guards, they controlled and provided security for the
13 school gym and the complex of the schoolyard. Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. After having looked at this document, would you allow for the
16 possibility that the convoy was indeed escorted by members of the military
17 police of the Bratunac Brigade?
18 A. How many of them do you think were escorting the convoy?
19 Q. In -- according to your best knowledge, after having looked at the
20 two documents, would you still consider that the convoy was escorted by
21 the civilian police rather than the military police?
22 A. It is possible that there were also military policemen but it is
23 also possible that there were civilian policemen there as well. Maybe
24 they were both there.
25 Q. You're not sure, even after having looked at the two documents?
1 A. No, I'm not sure.
2 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at what you did on the 13th of July?
3 On the 13th of July, when did you return in the afternoon hours to the
4 Standard barracks?
5 A. I don't know exactly. I don't know.
6 Q. Would I be right in saying that this was before 9.00 in the
8 A. Yes, possibly before that.
9 Q. You spent that night at home?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Bearing in mind what you've told us about the time, would you
12 allow for a possibility that one convoy with prisoners arrived in Orahovac
13 on the 13th of July, in the late evening hours? Is there such a
14 possibility in your view?
15 A. Personally, I wouldn't know. I'm not aware of any such thing. I
16 don't know. I don't have that information.
17 Q. Do you allow for a possibility that that convoy, according to the
18 information that you might receive subsequently, was escorted by the
19 military police of the Zvornik Brigade?
20 A. No, I don't know about that.
21 Q. Did you ever hear from anybody, any of the men that you mentioned
22 as having seen them on the 14th of July in Orahovac, did any of them tell
23 you that they had arrived there on the 13th of July and that they had
24 spent the entire night there?
25 A. No, nobody told me that.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at another
2 exhibit, a Prosecutor's exhibit, number P009 -- 296. This is something
3 that we've already seen. This is a travel order for the Opel Rekord
4 vehicle. P00296, for the record.
5 Can we please look at page 2, both in the English and in the
6 Croatian versions? Can we have the English version displayed at the same
7 time, please?
8 Q. We noticed that there are -- there is a discrepancy between the
9 two versions. While we are waiting for the English version, sir, can you
10 please look at the entries for 12th of July? It says Standard, Kajici,
11 Standard. Can you see that?
12 A. Yes, I can.
13 Q. Is this your handwriting?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. On the 12th of July according to this travel order, you went to
16 Kajici. Do you remember that?
17 A. No, I don't. But this is what it says in the travel order.
18 Q. Can you please tell us where is Kajici?
19 A. Well, I think -- if this is in Kravica, then it is possible that
20 Drago Nikolic may have been taken there, (expurgé)
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's go just out of an abundance of
25 caution to private session for a brief moment.
1 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Since we have completely different information as to what kind of
6 movement it was to Kajici village and that it had nothing whatsoever to do
7 with Mr. Drago Nikolic, I want to ask you this: Is it possible that you
8 drove on that day the assistant chief of staff for intelligence to Kajici
10 A. First of all, you have to explain to me where that village is
11 because that name, Kajici doesn't tell me much. Where is it exactly, so I
12 can know?
13 Q. Well, then let me ask you this, and then I won't insist any more.
14 Did you, while serving as a driver, have occasion to also drive assistant
15 chief of staff for intelligence in the Zvornik Brigade?
16 A. It is possible. You have to understand that I served as a driver
17 to anyone who needed a lift and didn't have a car. If there was no other
18 car available and I was free, that meant --
19 Q. All right. I'm not going to ask you about that date again but let
20 me take you back once again to the 14th of July. You say you have no
21 knowledge whatsoever about the arrival of the convoy on the 13th. Do you
22 allow the possibility that on 14 July, in the morning, or, rather, before
23 noon, another convoy carrying prisoners arrived at Orahovac?
24 A. I know only about that one convoy that we met and escorted to
25 Orahovac. I don't know about any others.
1 Q. On the 14th of July, you were in Orahovac from 10.00 or 11.00
2 until the evening when you headed for the forward command post?
3 A. Well, something like that. We also went to Zvornik and Karakaj.
4 I wasn't there all the time but...
5 Q. From your colleagues, members of the military police of the
6 Zvornik Brigade, did you hear at any point that on that day, on the
7 morning of the 14th of July, a group of 20 to 30 soldiers arrived at
8 Orahovac to replace the military policemen of the Zvornik Brigade who had
9 spent the night of the 13th there?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Let me ask you again: To the best of your knowledge, are you
12 telling us and is it your testimony that you know about the arrival of
13 only one convoy over those two days, the 13th and the 14th of July, in
15 A. I know about that one. I don't know about any others.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you would allow
18 me, I would like to consult my client for a moment.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave,
23 just one more question.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Bircakovic, just one more question, or rather a suggestion.
2 Is it possible, or rather, do you think I would be right in saying that on
3 that day, the 14th, your vehicle drove ahead of the trucks rather than you
4 being on the bus escorting it to Orahovac?
5 A. No. I am 1 -- 1.000 per cent, no. I was there on the bus.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
7 Your Honours. I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic. Madam Fauveau, I
9 understand no -- still no further -- no cross-examination. The Gvero
10 Defence team equally, no cross-examination? That leaves you, Mr. Haynes.
11 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Just a question about it might be correct the
14 transcript it looks a bit inconsistent --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Which line.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: 9, 3. "Your vehicle drove ahead of the trucks
17 rather than you being on the bus." And I wonder if those are both
18 supposed to be either bus or truck. Or maybe it's correct.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think it can be put straight to the witness.
20 Witness, I'm going to read what you according to the transcript, said.
21 Or, sorry, I'm going to read the question that Mr. Stojanovic read out or
22 stated or put to you. And Mr. Stojanovic, please confirm whether this
23 correct or not. Now it's getting complicated because we also have French
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I can
1 see, on the record, when I said ahead of the buses, it says ahead of the
2 trucks. My question was whether he was driving before the buses, not
3 trucks. I think I received his answer, and that's all.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but his answer was, yes, I was on the bus.
5 And what Mr. Nicholls raised is whether it should be bus or whether it
6 should be truck. Did I understand you well?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: No. I was just asking about the question, the
8 transcript, because I thought it was intended to be, I thought what
9 Mr. Stojanovic said was did you drive ahead of the bus, not truck, so I
10 think it's okay. I just wanted to check.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So let's proceed now, Mr. Haynes.
12 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
14 Q. Mr. Bircakovic, good afternoon. I have about 15 or 20 minutes
15 worth of questions for you and so that you understand, I ask those
16 questions on behalf of Vinko Pandurevic and I'll start by asking you
17 whether he was somebody you were familiar with during your time in the
18 Zvornik Brigade.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, most of the questions you've been asked up until now have
21 been about a few days in the middle of July of 1995. I want to ask you
22 about August and September of 1995, when I think you were involved in
23 combat in the region of the Krajina. Would that be correct?
24 A. Well, we went there, yes.
25 Q. And would it be right that you went there with a unit of about 200
1 men that left from the Zvornik Brigade?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And would it also be right that the march from Zvornik to the
4 Krajina took about a day?
5 A. Something like that.
6 Q. And the region of the Krajina which you went to was Drvar; is that
8 A. Well, somewhere in between, not quite Drvar, a way before Drvar.
9 Q. Well, I'll mention a couple of other towns to you or villages,
10 Grahovo or Glamoc, are they familiar?
11 A. It was, I think.
12 Q. And the unit that you went with remained in the Krajina, in those
13 regions, for about six weeks, until the middle of September, didn't it?
14 A. No, I didn't go with that unit. I went with another unit.
15 Q. Do you remember the dates when you were with the unit in the
17 A. Well, we stayed in Krajina for about seven days but not more than
18 ten. I think we were replacing one of our units in Krajina.
19 Q. Well, do you remember whether the unit you were with was under the
20 command of Vinko Pandurevic?
21 A. Well, the unit was in that chain of command, but I know I was with
22 Drago Nikolic, whom I drove there. Who was the main man, I don't know.
23 Q. Very well. You were asked some questions yesterday by Mr. Bourgon
24 about your knowledge of areas where bodies were dug up and reburied. Do
25 you remember that?
1 A. Somewhat.
2 Q. Did you discover at some stage that areas in, particularly,
3 Orahovac had been excavated and bodies had been dug up and reburied
5 A. Well, people talked and that's how I learned.
6 Q. And didn't you discover when that had taken place?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Well, I'll put it to you. Didn't you discover that it had
9 happened while you had been on combat in the region of the Krajina?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes?
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I think maybe he can ask it a different way but I
12 don't think it's fair to phrase it that way when he just said that he did
13 not discover the time. So I don't think it's now -- I'm not being
14 articulate. It's not fair to say he discovered it during this time when
15 the witness has just said that he did not learn that particular time.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: But in his previous answer, in response to the
17 question, did you discover at some stage, by Mr. Haynes, he explicitly
18 said, "People talked and that's how I learned." I don't see much
19 difference between learned and discovered, if it is in the context that it
20 has been said. I mean, to me, learned means here found out.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I understand. My point was the question was:
22 Didn't you discover when that had taken place? No. Didn't you discover
23 that it had happened while you had been on combat. Maybe I misheard the
24 question but I thought...
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, but I still think that if the question
1 is, didn't you discover that, to me it's equivalent to didn't you learn
2 about that at the same time. Anyway, I don't know if you agree with
3 Mr. Nicholls or not, Mr. Haynes, but if you think it needs or should be
5 MR. HAYNES: I'm simply trying to avoid calling up pages of his
6 interview into e-court. This is something he said to the investigator and
7 I'm putting it to him.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Proceed. Let's proceed then.
9 MR. HAYNES:
10 Q. Mr. Bircakovic, it's right, isn't it, that you found out that
11 bodies had been dug up and reburied at Orahovac during the period that you
12 had been on combat in the Krajina? Didn't you?
13 A. I heard that upon my return, but when they did the digging and how
14 it happened, I don't know.
15 Q. And I want just to see whether we can -- I can jog your memory as
16 to when you did return, and I'd like, please, if we could see in e-court
17 7D486, and it's the second page of that document. Now, Mr. Bircakovic,
18 I'm going to have to ask you to help us here because this document is only
19 in Serbian, so if you can, I want you to read it for us. I'll tell you
20 the bit you've got to read. But can we start by looking at the date? We
21 can see there it's the 17th of September and above that at the top of the
22 page, do you agree that says the 16th of September of 1995?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And I'd like you to read for us, if you can, we can make it a
25 little bigger if it would help, the second paragraph there, just under the
1 first line. Do you see? It contains the word "11.30". Would you read
2 that out for us, please?
3 A. I cannot make it out.
4 Q. Well, with your leave, Mr. President, I'll ask Mr. Sarapa to read
5 it out and see whether the witness agrees with it.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Sarapa.
7 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] "Today at 11.30, the 2nd DB returned
8 to Zvornik led by Lieutenant-Colonel Commander Vinko Pandurevic from the
9 area of responsibility of the 2nd KK." I suppose it's Krajina Corps. And
10 DB means Drina Brigade.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Sarapa. Mr. Haynes?
12 MR. HAYNES:
13 Q. Would it be right that you returned to Zvornik with your unit on
14 the 16th of September of 1995?
15 A. I don't know. There were two trips, two departures. I think the
16 one when Vinko Pandurevic went is not the same one as we accompanied the
17 convoy to that location.
18 Q. That may be right but what I'm asking you is whether the 16th of
19 September is right for the date when you came back, not when you left.
20 A. I don't know exactly when the return was, but -- and I don't know
21 how long that stint was. I know that one stint was 45 days and another
22 was less than seven, when Krajina was falling and the troops were
23 returning to Zvornik.
24 Q. Just so I'm clear about this, are you saying that there was one
25 stint which you did that was 45 days?
1 A. No. I went to that front line for about five or six, maybe seven
2 days. We didn't stay long at all.
3 Q. Thank you, then, Mr. Bircakovic, I'll leave that alone.
4 You mentioned very briefly when you were answering questions to
5 Mr. Nicholls that between being a member of a tank platoon and being a
6 military policeman, you had been in a unit known as the Drina Wolves. Is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that would have been in 1993 and 1994; is that correct?
10 A. Well, maybe, yes, in that period.
11 Q. And I think you were part of a platoon of 10 or 15 men; do you
12 agree with that?
13 A. Something like that.
14 Q. Which was part of the whole unit which comprised 150 to 200 men;
15 do you agree with that?
16 A. I don't know exactly how many men there were. It was a unit but I
17 don't know how many men it had.
18 Q. And it was a unit that had some buildings which passed as
19 barracks, didn't it?
20 A. It did not have any buildings. There were just ordinary houses in
21 which people lived, and our men were accommodated there.
22 Q. And where were those houses?
23 A. In Kiseljak. That's perhaps 13 to 15 kilometres from Zvornik
24 towards Bijeljina, and maybe 200 or 300 metres off the main road.
25 Q. And how far from Kozluk?
1 A. Well, one and a half, maybe two kilometres.
2 Q. Do you know the Vitinka bottle factory in Kozluk?
3 A. Well, yes.
4 Q. How far were those houses from that building?
5 A. Well, the same distance, a kilometre and a half, maybe two.
6 Q. Thank you very much. And as the crow flies, how far from the
7 Drina River?
8 A. Well, maybe 1.5, 2 kilometres.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, lastly, you reported to the chief of the military
10 police, Miomir Jasikovac, didn't you?
11 A. He was the commander then. I don't know what you mean. When?
12 Q. Well, in 1995, from whom did you take your orders?
13 A. Yes, company commander. He was that, yes.
14 Q. And did you ever take orders from anybody else?
15 A. I received orders -- well, what do I know? If I had to drive
16 somebody, I did. I received orders from the duty operative officer, from
17 Drago Nikolic, Trbic, Jasikovac.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, on the 14th of July of 1995, to your knowledge,
19 did Mr. Jasikovac receive any orders from the brigade commander or his
21 A. I don't know. I don't know anything about that.
22 Q. And what about the chief of security, after you'd taken him to
23 this meeting? Did it appear to you he was taking orders from the brigade
25 A. I don't know what you mean. It was not a brigade meeting.
1 Q. Well, did it appear to you that he reported any orders or reported
2 on any of his tasks to his brigade commander during the 14th of July?
3 A. Well, I don't know whether there were reports or not. I didn't
4 know anything about that.
5 Q. What about on the 15th of July, when you went to some schools with
6 Mr. Jasikovac? Did it appear to you that he was reporting to the brigade
7 commander about what he was doing on that day?
8 A. Well, I don't know. I was a driver. I didn't know what went on
9 between commanders, what messages were conveyed.
10 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Bircakovic.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Haynes. Is there re-examination,
12 Mr. Nicholls?
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Very brief.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
16 Q. Sir, I want to ask you about one question from yesterday. This is
17 at page 11132.
18 You were asked: "And driving besides the water point, you did not
19 stop. Those bodies were visible from the road, is that so?"
20 And you said, "Well, yes."
21 And I just want to make sure, because that was -- there were two
22 questions in the question to you. One, you'd already testified that you
23 saw the bodies. My question to you is before that, did the car stop? Did
24 you stop either on the way to the IKM or back when you passed the field of
25 corpses by the water point?
1 A. We did not stop. We went directly, I've already told you, it was
2 dark and in the headlights you could see, on the left-hand side, going up
3 there, that there were bodies but we never stopped, either on the way
4 there or on the way back.
5 Q. And could you tell, driving by at night, whether any of those
6 bodies might have been people still alive who needed help? Was that
7 possible to see?
8 A. Well, no. I mean, we couldn't see.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Nothing else now. Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE PROST: Witness, you testified to the fact that on the 14th
13 of July you went to the forward command post to pick up Mr. Nikolic. When
14 you were there that morning, did you see anyone else at the forward
15 command post when you picked up Mr. Nikolic?
16 A. Well, no. I didn't find anybody there. This forward command post
17 is on a hill-top, something like a prefabricated holiday home, and this is
18 where the officer -- officers would stay if they were sent to that forward
19 command post. As I went up there, as I arrived, he had already been
20 informed that I was on my way, he was waiting for me in front of the
21 house, on the road. He got into the car and we drove off.
22 JUDGE PROST: Thank you. And then when you went back to the
23 forward command post in the evening to pick up his personal effects, I
24 take it from your answer originally, your original testimony, that you
25 didn't go in to the building at that time. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE PROST: So again, you don't know if there was anyone else in
3 the forward command post at that time?
4 A. Well, no. I don't.
5 JUDGE PROST: Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Prost. One moment, I need to
7 confer with my colleagues.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bircakovic, it means that your testimony ends
10 here. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having come
11 over to give testimony, and we also wish you a safe journey back home.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's start with the documents that the
15 Prosecution wishes to tender. You have circulated a list already.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. No modifications to the list, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I take it that all the Defence teams
18 have got a copy of this list. Any objections from anyone of you? We hear
19 no objections, so these documents are being admitted as exhibits and they
20 will be given the corresponding number by our staff.
21 Any of the Defence teams wishes to tender any documents?
22 Mr. Bourgon?
23 MR. BOURGON: No documents, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Meek?
25 MR. MEEK: Likewise, Mr. President, no documents.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic?
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We will not tender also any documents, although we
3 submit one document.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I'm asking you because I was just
5 reading it actually. And I take it that there are no other Defence teams
6 that wish to tender any documents? Mr. Haynes?
7 MR. HAYNES: Yes, could 7D486, the two pages from the diary of the
8 duty operations officer be marked for identification pending translation,
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from Prosecution or from any of the
11 Defence teams?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: No, not to Mr. Haynes' exhibit.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic? I see. All right. Okay. I
14 thought you had an objection.
15 All right. So this document, or two pages, thereof will be marked
16 for identification pending translation. That concludes the testimony of
17 Mr. Bircakovic. And we can move to the next witness, who is here for
18 cross-examination. Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, I don't exactly know what Mr. Zivanovic
20 meant when he said we will not tender any documents although we submit one
22 JUDGE AGIUS: No. He had given -- handed out a list indicating
23 that it was his intention to tender parts of the witness's statement to
24 the OTP and I understand that he's changed his mind and he's withdrawn --
25 that he will not be tendering. That's how I understood him. If I
1 misunderstood you, Mr. Zivanovic, please correct me.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Brunborg.
8 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, sir.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And pleased to welcome you back on behalf of the
10 Trial Chamber. You're here for cross-examination. A long time has passed
11 since you were here last so you need to make again your solemn undertaking
12 to testify the truth.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
14 whole truth and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: HELGE BRUNBORG [Resumed]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir, please make yourself comfortable.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, I notice also the presence in the
19 courtroom of the ex parte Defence expert, Nikolic Defence expert.
20 Ms. Nikolic, could you introduce your expert or your expert herself
21 introduces herself?
22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, we will introduce
23 the lady. This is Professor Svetlana Radovanovic from the University of
24 Belgrade who is our joint witness for four Defence teams in this case,
25 Popovic, Beara, Nikolic and Pandurevic. She is an expert on demography.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And welcome, ma'am, welcome,
3 Yes, I have on my list five of the Defence teams that wish to
4 cross-examine this witness. The ones who will not be cross-examining him
5 at least for the time being are the Gvero and Pandurevic teams. I have
6 two of the others that have requested an hour and a half each. I suggest
7 that either of you will start with the cross-examination, either the Beara
8 or the Nikolic Defence teams, unless there is a different arrangement in
9 place between you or amongst you. Ms. Nikolic?
10 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honours. This
11 has been arranged and we will be the first to examine Mr. Brunborg, and I
12 believe that we will be followed by the Beara Defence team. Thank you,
13 Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Ms. Nikolic:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Brunborg, I'm Jelena Nikolic. I'm
16 Jelena Nikolic and I'll start the cross-examination today.
17 First I would like to ask you, before I start talking about your
18 CV and the papers that you have published so far, as well as the expert
19 findings and the witness testimonies, when you were given the task to work
20 on Srebrenica, how did you define Srebrenica? What was its territory?
21 What did it encompass and what did your work involve when it came to
22 Srebrenica as such?
23 A. Thank you. I was asked by the team that was investigating
24 Srebrenica to look at cases of people who had gone missing from Srebrenica
25 in relation to the events when Srebrenica fell on the 11th of July 1995.
1 And Srebrenica, as you know, can mean either the municipality or opstina,
2 or the city or town of Srebrenica. So it was actually the town that fell,
3 not the whole municipality, I believe, and the places people went then
4 disappearing or were reported as disappearing from various places from
5 Srebrenica itself, in the town itself or many other locations near the
6 town of Srebrenica.
7 Q. Do you roughly remember what towns were involved in addition to
8 Srebrenica and the municipality of Srebrenica? What other places were
10 A. Especially Potocari, of course, because many people walked from
11 Srebrenica to Potocari.
12 Q. Do you remember Han Pijesak maybe?
13 A. Yes, I remember that name.
14 Q. Vlasenica, Kladanj?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What I would like to know is this: If you remember Bajina Basta,
17 Ljubovija, Valjevo? Do you remember these names?
18 A. The last ones, I do not remember.
19 Q. Those are three places in the territory of Serbia. Maybe I can
20 jog your memory by reminding you that in your report dated 16 November
21 2005, you mentioned these three places as well. My question is this: Why
22 did you deal with territories and places which were outside the territory
23 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. Because we based our work on family members who had reported their
25 family members as missing, and the report, and the last place the person,
1 the family member, had been seen alive. And in some cases, that was in
2 Serbia and not in Bosnia. Serbia is not just a few kilometres away from
3 Srebrenica, as you know. So this information comes from the family
4 members of the victims.
5 Q. And you considered these municipalities relevant for your further
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I would like to move on to another topic. I've read your CV. I
9 know that you come from Norway, which is a well-regulated state, and where
10 there is a well-regulated register of the population. I would like to ask
11 you would you have any experience working on any censuses anywhere else in
12 the world but in Norway?
13 A. Yes. On censuses, I worked on Botswana and Zambia in Africa, also
14 I'm also familiar with the census of Albania, and Bosnia, of course.
15 Q. Tell me, please, the censuses that you've mentioned, how important
16 are they as a source of information about the population in the states
17 where the censuses are carried out?
18 A. For these countries, which lack good registers, the census is one
19 of the most important sources of information about the population,
20 especially its composition, with regard to age and sex and residence,
21 where they live, and also with regard to factors like education and
22 household composition.
23 Q. How much do you know about the last census which was held in
24 Bosnia in 1991? Did that census contain any other information, save for
25 that that you have just mentioned?
1 A. Oh, it contained information on language spoken, on ethnicity, on
2 religion, profession, very detailed information on where people lived,
3 referring to enumeration area.
4 Q. The 1991 census, did it also contain the personal identification
5 number of the citizens? And I'm only referring to Bosnia.
6 A. That is correct but not for everybody. For approximately
7 two-thirds, or a little more than two-thirds of the population.
8 Q. Was it in 1981 that the personal ID number was introduced in the
9 former Yugoslavia? Are you familiar with that information? Are you aware
10 of that?
11 A. That is correct, yes.
12 Q. Did you ever receive any explanation as to how come that one-third
13 of the population was not registered under their personal ID number when
14 the census was carried out in 1991? Was it ever explained to you?
15 A. I did not do any field-work, of course, but I believe that many
16 people did not know their number or did not have records available that
17 could -- that they could use to report their unique number, the maticni
19 Q. Just a moment. If I understand you well, we are talking about the
20 1991 census which was carried out by the state, and the citizens did not
21 volunteer to come forward with the information about themselves. Am I
23 A. Well, there were enumerators going around collecting information
24 in the census. I do not recall whether the census was compulsory or not.
25 I believe it was; there was a special census law. I believe it was
1 compulsory but I don't remember the law. But also I believe that people
2 were not penalised if they did not answer all the questions.
3 Q. I have to come back to this ID number. That is something that is
4 property of the state, of the police. It has to be reported to the census
5 commission regardless of the willingness or ability of the population to
6 provide that number to the enumerators. Do you know what I'm talking
7 about? It's not up to the citizens to provide that number. That number
8 can be obtained from the police where the citizens are registered under
9 that number.
10 A. I know that the Minister of Interior, the MUP, had a register with
11 names, and with the identification number. But to transfer that to the
12 census, I don't know how that is all physically possible, and I doubt that
13 the statisticians conducting the census would allow that because this
14 is -- a census is a statistical exercise. It is not done for
15 administrative purposes.
16 Q. I won't go into any details of that. I'll move to something else.
17 However, since we are talking about Bosnia in 1991, the census was carried
18 out by the state, the personal data with the ID number can be found at the
19 police, the population reports for the census with their ID cards
20 containing all that, and my question is still: How do you account for the
21 fact that one-third of the population does not appear in the 1991 census
22 with their ID numbers? Have you ever received any explanation about that?
23 They are supposed to report to the census with their ID cards and their ID
24 cards were supposed to contain that information.
25 A. I have not received any information about that, but there are
1 missing data on all variables so it's not surprising that the sort of
2 technical, highly technical item like ID number was not reported.
3 Although it's disappointing in a way that people did not report that more.
4 I did, by the way, an analysis of the identity numbers because there is a
5 check digit at the end of it which is a function of the previous numbers
6 and to check whether they were correct or not, and I believe I found they
7 were correct in most cases but also some were incorrect.
8 Q. Thank you. I'll go back to the task that you received in 1997,
9 when you first started to work for the Office of the Prosecutor. At that
10 time, you were faced with the way data were compiled and analysed for the
11 persons that went missing in the course of the fall of Srebrenica and
12 after the fall of Srebrenica in 1995; am I correct?
13 A. Except for the date. I think I was tasked with this in 1998, not
14 in 1997. I started to work here at the beginning -- the middle of 1997,
15 and my first job was to find out what were the available data sources,
16 what methodology should we use? And I quickly realised that the only safe
17 methodology was to base my work on data on individuals. Individual data
18 on victims, on pre-war population and on post-war population.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's something not clear in my mind. You started by
20 correcting Ms. Nikolic as regards the date, explaining that the reference
21 to 1997 was wrong because you were tasked in 1998. But then the rest of
22 your answer refers to the second half of 1997, and not to 1998. I mean,
23 there may be a mistake in the transcript but perhaps you could explain.
24 You have the transcript in front of you. I'm referring to lines 15 to 21
25 of page 27.
1 THE WITNESS: Well, I'm sorry for not being clear. My task when I
2 started to work here was to investigate and estimate the number of -- the
3 demographic impact of the armed conflicts in Bosnia.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And when was that?
5 THE WITNESS: That was in June 1997 when I started. Later this
6 was narrowed down to studying Srebrenica so a first half year or so or
7 more than that was spent on general issues. I did a lot of work on other
8 areas of Bosnia.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And in 1998, you were then tasked with
10 reference to Srebrenica?
11 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
13 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. If I understand it well, the task that was given to you involved
15 the period between 11 July 1995 and the end of 1995. Am I right?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. So you were about to complete the list of missing persons, missing
18 men, for that period and to provide as precise an identification as
20 A. Yes. That's correct. There were already some lists available on
21 missing persons, and I was asked then to look very carefully at these
22 lists, evaluate them, check their quality, combine them into one list, and
23 which would be as good as possible, eliminate all doubtful cases.
24 Q. You said that there existed possible lists of missing persons. I
25 suppose that you mean the ICRC list that had been compiled already by that
2 A. That's correct. They started in early 1990s collecting data on
3 missing persons for all of the former Yugoslavia and they published
4 several lists for Bosnia. The -- they were using version 3 and version 4.
5 I don't remember the exact dates now but the dates of those but those
6 dates are in my report. I think the last version 4 was dated 1999, July
7 1999, I think. They later produced more lists and now it's continuously
8 updated on a web site. So the report that is presented here is based on
9 the most recent version available. Moreover, if I may, then there was a
10 list of missing persons compiled by the Physicians for Human Rights, PHR.
11 Also, two versions or so. And we combined all of these lists together,
12 evaluating the quality, eliminating duplicates and overlaps in the records
13 and so on.
14 Q. That means that when you began your work, you used those two
15 sources, the ICRC list, for which family members reported missing persons,
16 and the ante mortem base?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Let me ask you this: Apart from the ICRC lists, did you use
19 original information from the questionnaire of the ICRC, where family
20 members provided more details such as profession, occupation, whether
21 somebody was a soldier or a civilian, and such things?
22 A. That information was not provided to us by ICRC. It was date of
23 birth; sex; name; family name; father's name; place and dates of
24 disappearance; perhaps place of birth or place of residence. I'm not
25 quite sure about the last items.
1 Q. Did you ask to get an insight into the questionnaires of the ICRC
2 that served as a basis for the ICRC list on their web site? Did you use
3 the raw information from those questionnaires or did you just use the data
4 from the lists?
5 A. Yes. I think I've seen the questionnaire, an empty, blank
6 questionnaire but as I told you just now, we did not get that other
7 information. ICRC is very protective about the information they are
8 releasing, to preserve the neutrality so they have access to all sides in
9 a conflict.
10 Q. But did you ask for such information, since you saw a blank
11 questionnaire, and it contains a question whether the missing person is a
12 military person or a civilian? Did you ask for that particular
13 information in regard to every single person reported as missing?
14 A. We made general requests for information, and I believe it was
15 denied, that we could only get the information that had already been
16 provided in electronic format. For example, there was also on the
17 questionnaire they asked about ethnicity, which was not provided to us.
18 Q. In addition to the sources such as the PHR and ICRC, all your
19 findings from 2000 onwards, that you shared with the public, apart from
20 being based on these two sources, I understood that you controlled these
21 two sources with references such as the census of 1991 in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You compared these two sources to the census data.
23 A. That's correct. We compared the data with the census for several
24 reasons. In some cases, to check whether two records that were almost
25 identical or quite -- or quite identical, whether they represented
1 different persons or the same person, and we also checked to see whether
2 that these were real persons, the missing, the persons who had been
3 reported as missing, that they were not made up, which were for political
4 reasons, which was sometimes an accusation, and we found a very large
5 overlap, I think 87 per cent, we found 87 per cent of those reported as
6 missing, we found in the census and the remaining 13 per cent can be
7 accounted for by lack of good enough information to perform the matching.
8 All this was done electronically. We also did visual inspection in
9 certain difficult cases.
10 Q. So practically that 1991 census was a reference source for you,
11 that provided a basis for your later findings?
12 A. That's correct. As you know, it was conducted right on the eve of
13 the conflicts, on the 31st of March, 1991.
14 Q. You mentioned a moment ago that for 30 per cent -- 13 per cent of
15 persons, the data didn't match between the census and other sources. How
16 did you present those 13 per cent in your later findings?
17 A. The reason why they did not match is in most cases because
18 probably because of spelling errors in the census, lack of full date of
19 birth and other particulars, that did not either in the list of missing
20 persons or in the census, which did not allow for matching. So in a few
21 cases we assume that we pro-rated the results with also additional 13 per
22 cent but in most cases, this was not essential that we did not find those
23 13 per cent. Because we had already the list of missing persons, and when
24 we found 87 per cent, that was a very good evidence that these are real
25 and not fictitious persons, that they lived in Bosnia in 1991.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time it's convenient for you, Ms. Nikolic, we
2 will have a break.
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, just one
4 more question before the break.
5 Q. So we can agree, sir, that those 13 per cent remained
7 A. Not entirely, because they were identified in the list of missing
8 persons, with name, dates of birth, name of father, family name, and so
9 on. But they did not have, say, the identification number, the maticni
10 broj was not recorded by the ICRC. At least we did not get it. So they
11 are not unidentified but we did not succeed in matching all those with the
12 census information. Also, they could have also been some people who moved
13 to Bosnia after the census was taken, and reported as missing, say, coming
14 from others of the republics. And also a census is not perfect, you
15 should remember.
16 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I think this is a good time for a
17 break, Your Honours. Thank you, sir.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, in spite of the redaction, we can live
19 with 25 minutes, Madam Registrar? Yes, 25 minutes break, please.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic.
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Good afternoon, again, sir. Let me come back to the last answer
25 you gave us before the break. When we discussed the 13 per cent of
1 persons who were identified or, rather, reported to the ICRC list, as far
2 as I understood from your findings so far, on one side you had the ICRC
3 and PHR lists and on the other side you had the 1991 census in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that you qualified in your findings as a strong source
5 of population data in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to establish that a
6 person from the ICRC list indeed existed, you looked for that person on
7 the list of the 1991 census, to establish that the person was then a
8 citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, almost correct. Not that the person was a citizen, just that
10 the person was enumerated in Bosnia in 1991. Citizenship is not related
11 to this.
12 Q. Right. So we can agree that on that list there were also persons
13 who were listed in the census in Bosnia-Herzegovina but were possibly
14 working abroad, correct?
15 A. On the list of missing persons, you mean? In the census?
16 Q. Yes. On the census, yes.
17 A. There are -- in demography or population statistics, there are two
18 principles for census taking, it's the de facto and the de jure principle.
19 And I think, as far as I remember, the Yugoslavian censuses was sort of a
20 mixture but mostly de jure, so that in some cases, they did in fact
21 include people who worked abroad temporarily but they were not supposed to
22 include people who were permanently abroad, and of course, to include them
23 somebody needed to report them so if a whole family went abroad for work
24 or employment or other reasons then there was nobody to report them so I
25 don't think there were that many who were enumerated, who did not live
2 Q. Can we agree that the census encompassed permanently residing
3 people on the territory of the former Yugoslavia?
4 A. More or less, except for those who were temporarily working
5 abroad, yes. Now, people are also enumerated who were just visitors but
6 they were supposed to later to be transferred to the right place where
7 they actually lived, if there was a visitor on census day they should
8 not -- they might be enumerated but they should later be transferred to
9 the proper place of residence.
10 Q. Are you familiar with the law on census from 1982 and 1991 for the
11 former Yugoslavia?
12 A. Yes. I've seen the law but I don't remember the details of it
13 now. It's almost ten years ago since I looked at it.
14 Q. Let me come back to those 13 per cent that we discussed before the
15 break because I think that is the crucial point of our discussion. When
16 you said that those were persons listed by the ICRC, would you agree with
17 me that they were recorded and listed based on information that their
18 family members provided about them?
19 A. That's correct, in 95 per cent of the cases, the victims were
20 reported by family members.
21 Q. And in order to establish that the person really existed and he or
22 she was a resident of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you used that strong source, as
23 you called it, the 1991 census in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to establish that,
24 the existence of that person?
25 A. Yes, we did sort of an overall electronic matching which resulted
1 in the 87 per cent. In some cases we needed to discuss the particulars of
2 a given person, then we did it visually and looked up the census, because
3 then we -- it was much easier to overcome spelling mistakes in the writing
4 of names and so on. To do a proper matching electronically the
5 information has to fit, be exact, of course, unless we introduce certain
6 fuzziness criteria, as we call them.
7 Q. Let us go back to the other sources you used in your work, apart
8 from the two that we discussed and the PHR. Did you also consult
9 electoral lists?
10 A. That's correct. We consulted or we compared the list of missing
11 persons with the electoral lists of 1997 and 1998.
12 Q. Did you consult later electoral lists from 2000 and 2006?
13 A. For the first report, from the year 2000 we consulted the 1997 and
14 1998 voters lists and for the current report, the 2005 report, we also
15 consulted, I believe, the 2005 voters lists. 2006, we could not consult
16 because it happened after the report was written.
17 Q. Did you attempt in your work to search for new sources?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, the record may reflect that in response
19 to the last question the witness was referring to a document, and I think
20 he was trying to confirm the answer of the previous question.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that so, Mr. Brunborg?
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, now I checked table 2 in our report of the 16
23 of November 2005 where it's clear that we consulted the voters list 1997
24 and 1998, and the year 2000. And in response to your last question, yes,
25 we did look for other sources. The other post war source that we used was
1 the list of displaced persons collected by the UNHCR and the government of
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. May I ask to you answer this question? When we line up all these
5 sources, all of them have a certain motive behind them. Censuses are made
6 by the state. The list of missing persons are based on family members'
7 reports. Electoral lists are based on voluntary reporting of persons who
8 are of age to vote. So all these sources provide relatively different
10 A. That's correct. But since, as you said, the motive or the idea
11 behind each of them varies, then in fact they support each other. These
12 are -- some of them are administrative sources, I'm very familiar with the
13 use of administrative data sources in my own country and the use of other
14 sources collected for other purposes than those we are interested in now
15 is -- can strongly support, because it eliminates, say, a bias, a certain
16 ideological bias against the data source. For example, the census was not
17 collected with the idea that they should be used to identify missing
18 persons, so there is no bias in that direction.
19 Q. Just one thing, what about the methodology behind these sources?
20 Was it identical?
21 A. Not at all. Thank you. The census was, as I said a state
22 undertaking taken by enumerators going from house to house. A statistical
23 exercise. The voters list was done to make a voters register to be used
24 for elections. And it was conducted by the OSCE, the Organisation for
25 Security and Cooperation in Europe. The ICRC missing list was collected
1 to locate missing persons, missing family members and their fates and
2 trying to reunite family members. The PHR list was collected, was an ante
3 mortem database, as you said, to help in identifying exhumed bodies. And
4 finally, the DDPP, the list of displaced persons was collected to aid
5 displaced persons.
6 Q. Thank you for this very exhaustive answer. Let me pick up on what
7 you said. All these lists, all these sources, came into being in
8 different periods; is that correct?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. The census was in 1991, the ICRC list was done in 1995, and we
11 already discussed other sources. Is it possible in statistics to compare
12 different periods looking at the same statistical data?
13 A. Yes, certainly. And here we are -- since we are based, we are
14 basing our work on individual data on individuals, we do in fact have what
15 we call longitudinal data for the same population or overlapping
16 populations. This is often done; for example, a survey could be taken of
17 the same population at many different times, say, one or two or three
18 years apart and here we have in fact a longitudinal database. We have a
19 snapshots of the population of Bosnia taken in 1991, 95, 1996, 1997 so on.
20 Voters list 98, 2000 and so on. So there are different lists, for
21 different purposes but covering the same population. But none of them is
22 covering the entire population perfectly. The census is the closest but
23 even there, that one has shortcomings. As time passes by, then more
24 people are born that were not enumerated in the census, people move in,
25 people die, and people move out.
1 Q. Could you please tell me, based on everything that you have told
2 us about all this information and sources, to what extent did they all
3 help you establish the number of people in Srebrenica in 1995, when you
4 were doing your study?
5 A. The most important part was of course the lists of missing persons
6 established by ICRC. I said version 4 was from 1999. That was wrong, I
7 checked, it was July 1998. We used version 3 for January 1997 and the
8 2005 version. And the PHR. And also for the present report, we looked --
9 we used data collected by the ICMP, the national commission for missing
10 persons, based on exhumations so that's an additional data source that was
11 not available when we started this work in 1998, 1999. And so we tried to
12 combine the different data sources in imaginative ways to check the
13 quality and the mostly we find very few inconsistencies. The data sources
14 mostly support each other.
15 Q. Are those all those sources that in your 2005 report quoted as the
16 basis for assumption that there were about 40.000 people in Srebrenica,
17 and were you able to establish their age and gender based on those
19 A. That estimate of 40.000 people in Srebrenica before it fell has
20 been reported by various organisations, but we do -- there is no list, no
21 general count. It could -- it was collected for also for receiving
22 rations. Maybe it was inflated; I don't know. But we have not used that
23 number at all but what we have used is the census again. We matched the
24 missing persons with those who were enumerated in Srebrenica especially
25 and other municipalities in 1991. So we know how many of those who lived
1 in Srebrenica in 1991 who were then -- who went missing in 1995. The very
2 same persons. Finding very high proportions of all those who whether
3 enumerated in 1991 who were reported as missing four years later.
4 Q. Mr. Brunborg, I don't know whether my conclusion would be correct,
5 if we say that from the aspect of profession and sources, did not have the
6 reliable data based on which you could establish the correct number of the
7 population in Srebrenica on the eve of the conflicts that took place in
8 1995, would I be right in coming to that conclusion?
9 A. That is correct. What we only know for certain is the number who
10 were enumerated in 1991 and as you know, there were many flows of people
11 out of Srebrenica a few years before 1995 and there were flows into
12 Srebrenica also from other municipalities and surrounding areas so we do
13 not know. But the stories are that it was a large number of people there
14 in early July 1995 and they were not allowed to escape. But that's
15 correct. But the number of people, whether it was 20.000 or 40.000 is not
16 really, as far as I can see, very significant when we discuss the number
17 of people who are missing or dead after the fall of Srebrenica, because we
18 have those lists of people.
19 Q. As far as the sources are concerned, I have one more question. In
20 your work, did you use the official statistical data which were compiled
21 in 2004, for the period between 1992 and 1995, for the deaths that were
22 established during that period, and these data contain information about
23 both entities within the federation?
24 A. This was done by my colleagues after I left. I'm not quite sure
25 whether those data were used to check whether a person on the missing list
1 was dead. I believe they were. Because on the list or the ICRC list of
2 missing persons, then there are several thousands who have been found to
3 be dead, and various sources were used for that, but the information came
4 mostly from ICRC itself but also from other sources. So I'm sorry but I'm
5 not quite sure about the details about that.
6 Q. But you personally did not consult the Dem 2 database when you
7 prepared your report?
8 A. No, but I know there were very few people in the official
9 established database that were concerned with Srebrenica missing persons,
10 because most of the -- those deaths in that report, in that official
11 database concerned people from other areas of Bosnia and also people who
12 died from natural causes, so only a small number of them relate to
13 Srebrenica. As you also know, Srebrenica is in Republika Srpska, and this
14 database was established by the federation, and at that time we did not
15 yet have access to the -- I don't know if it has been established a
16 similar database for Republika Srpska, which would then cover Srebrenica.
17 Q. I believe that we are talking at cross purposes. I'm talking
18 about the Dem 2 database that was commissioned by the Prosecutor's Office
19 in 2004 containing the official data on the deaths between 1992 and 1995,
20 both in the Republika Srpska and the federation. Judging by your answer,
21 I believe that we are talking about two different things.
22 A. Okay. I apologise for misunderstanding.
23 Q. The database that I've just mentioned was not consulted by
24 yourself, judging by your answer. You did not consult that particular
25 database, the one commissioned by the Prosecutor's Office?
1 A. My colleagues did.
2 Q. Thank you. I'll go back to your 16 November findings, 2005. On
3 page 3, when you are talking about the context, I'm going to quote, I
4 believe that you will find the same text in the English version, on page
5 3, unfortunately I can't show it to you on the e-court. This is what you
6 say in paragraph 1 under the title "Context". Two penultimate sentences.
7 "The total number of victims is not known. The exhumation that were
8 carried out by the local Bosnian commissions for search for missing
9 persons revealed over 7.000 bodies from a broadly defined territory of
11 We have had occasion to listen to the testimonies by an
12 anthropologist and a pathologist and so far we have not heard this data,
13 that 7.000 bodies have been discovered. Would you please tell me what
14 source did you use to establish that fact in your report?
15 A. That's based on public information from the ICMP which has report
16 that says that we have exhumed -- no, they have blood samples of the
17 relatives of approximately 7.800 persons, and they have exhumed as of when
18 this report was completed, in November 2005, approximately 2.600 bodies.
19 No, they had exhumed more but they had identified 2.591 bodies, because
20 there were many bodies that were awaiting identification. So -- hmm. The
21 total number of bodies that had been exhumed in November 2005, I need to
22 check the report to see what that number was.
23 Q. There is no need for you to go into that trouble. I just -- this
24 may be a misunderstanding on page 12 of your report, when you're talking
25 about the data provided by the PIP institution and ICMP, a reference is
1 made to 7.000 body-bags. Did you interpret this information incorrectly
2 or were you dealing with two different pieces of information when you
3 stated this?
4 A. Page 11?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Okay. Could you point out exactly where it is written? The
7 number of missing persons from Srebrenica is 7.789. That was the number
8 of persons that relatives had donated blood samples for. So that's one.
9 So that is, in effect --
10 Q. I believe that we are talking about one sentence before that.
11 "According to the information of PIP, approximately 7.000 body-bags
12 containing mortal remains are stored in various morgues in Tuzla." I
13 apologise. This has entered the transcript but I will repeat. I believe
14 that we are talking about one sentence before the one that you've just
15 read out. It says, "According to the PIP data approximately 7 .000
16 body-bags containing mortal remains" --
17 A. I touched the wrong channel here.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you assist him, Madam Usher, please?
19 THE WITNESS: I don't hear any translation. Which channel is it?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Number 4.
21 THE WITNESS: Okay. Sorry.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: So if you could please repeat your question or
25 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Gladly. It is possible that there has been a mistake. I'm going
2 to read to you the sentence before this one and the sentence reads:
3 "According to the PIP data, approximately at least 7.000 body-bags
4 containing mortal remains are stored in various morgues in Tuzla."
5 But when we look at the sentence on page 3, where you're talking
6 about 7.000 bodies, are we talking about two different pieces of
7 information from two different sources or is that one and the same piece
8 of information which has been treated differently on these two different
9 pages of your report?
10 A. On which number on page 3 are you referring to, please?
11 Q. The one we mentioned a while ago. After the title, "Context".
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Paragraph -- chapter 2, actually, and the sentence is in the
14 middle of the first paragraph, the one that I had read out to you when I
15 put my previous question to you.
16 A. Yes. I think that is about the same. They have uncovered --
17 "ICMP has uncovered more than 7.000 bodies out of the broadly defined
18 Srebrenica territory." And on page 11 it says 7.000 body-bags are stored
19 in the Tuzla morgues. I think that is -- should cover the same, but as
20 you know, a body-bag can contain -- the contents of a body-bag is not
21 always clearly defined and bone samples can be found in different
22 body-bags and several bone samples from the same person in one body-bag,
23 et cetera. So DNA analysis and identification and comparison with victims
24 has to be done before we can say for sure how many people were killed.
25 Q. Correct. I agree with you. This is exactly what you have
1 explained in your findings. The same organisation, ICMP, provides
2 information that 7.780 missing persons, their relatives provided blood
3 samples in order to establish their identity. Are you aware of the fact
4 whether the blood sample donors were two or three members per person or,
5 in other words, whether these blood donors had the identical number with
6 regard to the number of missing persons or victims? In other words, was
7 the number of donors the same for each and every victim?
8 A. No. Definitely not. It varied from one to three or four or even
9 more, because the more family members you have, the higher is the
10 probability that an analysis gives the right answer, the right result,
11 especially if there are no close living relatives, say a sibling or
12 parents or children, and you only have, say, data on cousins or
13 grandparents, you need, I'm not an expert on this, but then you need more
14 blood samples. So definitely you need -- the number of blood samples is
15 much, much higher than the number of victims.
16 Q. Thank you. I'll go back to the sources that we've already
17 discussed before the break, and the quality of the sources that you dealt
18 with and also the problems that you faced when compiling your report.
19 Would there be a list that would reflect the quality of data as to how
20 many people were identified in your list, without any mistakes, where
21 there was 100 per cent correct identification, with the identification of
22 the 1991 census? In other words, is there 100 per cent match between the
23 list of the missing persons and the ICRC list with the data in the 1991
25 A. I'm sorry, I did not quite understand your question. There will
1 never -- there is no 100 per cent match here because there are errors in
2 all lists, both the missing lists and the census list and I said that we
3 managed to find 87 per cent. If we had done more work, spent even more
4 time, the proportion would have been higher. It's exactly because the
5 nature of the conflict and the difficult war situation that we do not --
6 we have inexact data and we have to rely on many different sources. In a
7 peaceful truly functional, well-administered situation, the data will be
8 much better but then we would not have this kind of the need for such data
9 on the missing persons, ironically.
10 Q. The data or the most relevant data I'm sure that you will agree
11 with me is the date of birth, the date and month and year of birth of a
12 certain person. Is that the most important data about a person?
13 A. I would say that the name is the most important.
14 Q. I agree. In addition to the name it would be the date of birth,
15 wouldn't it?
16 A. Yes, but the name consists of three parts in the former
17 Yugoslavia, first name, family name and also father's name, and many
18 people have the same name, which sometimes caused confusion, but after
19 that, date of birth, definitely.
20 Q. Thank you. You have pre-empted my next question but I will go
21 back to the date of birth. How many people on the list of missing persons
22 from Srebrenica had a known date of birth?
23 A. I need to consult, if you want an exact answer, it's in the
24 report. Year of birth was missing for just a few persons, one or two or
25 three people. Month was missing for more, and the date of the month was
1 missing for a total for, I think, around 30 per cent, in that order.
2 Q. You will agree with me that the total would be about 30 per cent
3 of the incomplete birth-dates?
4 A. Of that order, between 20 and 40 per cent but I can find the exact
5 figure for you.
6 Q. Thank you. I believe that this is exactly what we can find in
7 your report.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you require further information from the witness
9 or not? Because he has offered to look further and give you a more
10 precise answer. So it's up to you.
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
12 consulted the findings and what the witness has just told us does not
13 differ very much from his written report, and for that reason I don't want
14 to spend any more time on this. I believe that we have agreed that the
15 figure would be around 30 per cent, and I'm happy with that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: If I may, I just found the figure, 28.8 per cent.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. You have mentioned names, similar names, the same
20 names. As I was perusing your report I could see that you had a lot of
21 problems with the way some people's names on the missing list and in the
22 census are spelt. What was the discrepancy there when you matched the
23 list of missing persons with the census list?
24 A. The reason was -- the main reason for the discrepancy was that in
25 the census, the names were written down by the enumerators, and later, the
1 forms were scanned and transferred automatically to files. But these
2 names were never corrected because of the war situation. So usually when
3 you do this kind of scanning, you should check. But there was never time
4 to do that according to the statistical, statistics office in Sarajevo.
5 Anyway, it was not high on their agenda and because names are not
6 important for a statistical exercise. You do not need the correct names
7 to makes statistics on the age distribution of a municipality, for
8 example. So when we looked at it, we had to correct, we checked many of
9 the names and we found that some of the names were, the scanning was
10 inaccurate, say that an "LJ" was read by the scanner as "Q", for example,
11 and Q is not a letter that is common in the -- in Bosnian names. So when
12 we discovered that, we made that change. Also, we could look at members'
13 names of a whole family, living together, and say Music was written with
14 "MV" instead of "MU", then we made that change. If the other family
15 members were written "Music", we changed the Mvsic to Music. So that was
16 the main cause of the errors. In the ICRC list of missing persons, the
17 names are written much more correctly, although there were some mistakes
18 there also.
19 Q. In other words, you had a lot of problems collating the names on
20 the list of missing persons with the census list. In order to complete
21 your task, did you apply different criteria of collating the data in order
22 to be able to identify all these persons?
23 A. Yes. Sometimes we checked just the first three letters of a
24 surname, of a person, to -- because there could be errors in letters
25 number 4 and 5 and 6. And then we did a visual inspection afterwards. So
1 we tried various methods to get around all the mistakes. This comparison
2 was not done for the first version of this report in the year 2000, but
3 later we improved the technology and we did then this match, and we also
4 made a list of correct names which -- from person familiar with name
5 traditions made for us and we compared then all the real, the names
6 reported in the census with the list of correct names. And made
7 corrections with it when necessary or used the correction. We never
8 deleted the name as reported in the census but we tried to find a more
9 correct name or writing of the names.
10 Q. You will agree with me that an ideal situation would be when,
11 between the person that you are trying to identify and the person on the
12 census list, everything matches, the name, the family name, the father's
13 name and the date. However, when this is not the case, how many and what
14 criteria did you use in order to be able to match the persons on the
15 missing list and the census?
16 A. We used a number of different criteria, say only year of birth and
17 first -- and name, because as I said, the exact date of birth was missing
18 for some persons. And we also checked the year of birth plus minus three
19 or four years, to identify possible candidates for matches. Used only the
20 two or three or four first letters. In the ICRC list of missing persons,
21 the father's name was unfortunately -- sorry, it was correct reported. In
22 one of the data sources, the father's name was not reported. But the
23 maticni broj was not reported in the ICRC list so we could not use that
24 for matching. So we used many different criteria and combinations of them
25 to find candidates for matches and checked outwards. But also, there were
1 also a number of cases where there was an exact match, where for date of
2 birth and name and place of birth and everything.
3 Q. You will then agree with me that you have used a total of 71
4 criteria in order to identify a person, at least this is the information
5 that I have.
6 A. That's correct, up to that.
7 Q. Starting with the full name, the initials and so on and so forth.
8 My question now is this: Given all the difficulties that you faced and
9 the criteria you used, was there a percentage within the total number of
10 identified persons for whom you could state that all the data matched to a
11 high degree or maybe 100 per cent and again we are starting with the name,
12 the date of birth, and then all the other data about the person?
13 A. We kept logs when we did this matching and certainly we could go
14 back to the logs and see the number -- the proportion that came out with
15 the exact 100 per cent match. That's possible. We did not include all
16 this detail in the report.
17 Q. In your report, therefore, you did not mention that there was 100
18 per cent match or 60 per cent match or 50 per cent match, and you have not
19 provided us with the means to check the reliability of the match or
20 alternatively, that the match was only relative to a certain degree?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey? I can anticipate --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Three part, relatively complicated question so if
23 we could break it down I think it would be better.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's a good suggestion, which you should
25 take up.
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I'll be happy to.
2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Brunborg, I'll try to put it in simpler terms
3 although I think you have understood me. When you did the matching, you
4 had a certain percentage with complete information about a person who is
5 on the missing list and who is also on the census. There is no problem
6 there. After that, you have a person who is on the census and on the
7 missing persons list, you have only a year of birth for them or a name
8 without the last name, or vice versa, only last name, no first name; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes. But I think you will agree with me that, say, a spelling
11 mistake with a "Q" instead of an "LJ" is of no significance here and we
12 did not feel a need to report every detail as a -- as I said. And also
13 regarding the date of birth, if it's on one of the lists, it says 1st of
14 November, 1980, and the other one says 2nd of November 1980 or just
15 November 1980, we could almost certainly conclude that this was a correct
16 match. I think the report is difficult enough to read, and perhaps not
17 that interesting, and it's complicated to read and with more detail it
18 would have been unreadable altogether.
19 Q. I can agree with you only in part. My question was not about
20 spelling mistakes, though, or not a mistake in the date of birth by a day.
21 But lack of one part of a name or a lack of year of birth, how could you
22 identify that person with somebody who is on the census?
23 A. Now, date of birth was lacking for just a handful of persons, very
24 few. But even in those cases, we used the other available person, data,
25 names and say place of birth, place of residence and so on. And if it
1 were consistent and there were no other persons with similar information,
2 then we can conclude. Remember that we did not only look at a one-to-one
3 match. We compared.
4 A. We also looked at people with similar characteristics, similar
5 names, similar date of birth and so on. One interesting example is a
6 question of twins because twins are born on the same day, have the same
7 father's name, same family name, born in the same place and often have
8 similar first names also so we have to be very careful not to confuse
9 twins as being duplicates, duplicate and wrong -- wrong records, for
10 example. And also, if we match a missing person from the ICRC list with
11 the census and there are -- one of them is a twin, we have to be careful
12 that we are matching with the right twin.
13 Q. I think that must have been an exception, if it occurred at all.
14 I'm interested in the 7.661 persons that you used about 70 criteria to
15 identify. Let me come back to your report of the 16th November 2005. I
16 will call it into e-court so you can look at it. It's 1341. I'm sorry,
17 for some reason it's not in e-court. Could you please look at your report
18 of the 16th November, table number 7, it's on English page 23.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When you were compiling this, you were guided by the 1991 census,
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you established the gender and ethnic structure of Srebrenica
24 victims in table 7, as shown here. But the ethnic affiliation of the
25 persons who were not matched is left unknown and that's what we see in
1 column 5, unknown.
2 A. That's correct, but let me add that we did not use only the census
3 1991 to establish ethnicity but also the PHR list that recorded ethnicity
4 for more than 5.000 so it's a combination but you're correct it was
5 unknown for 13.4 per cent.
6 Q. Is that the 13 per cent that we discussed at the beginning of my
7 cross-examination when you said that in relation to 13 per cent of the
8 population, you were unable to make an identification with the data you
9 had from the 1991 census, or in other words, 87 per cent were identified?
10 A. I think more or less, but there were of course also some records
11 in this -- in the census where that question was unrecorded. Must have
12 been some, but not a high proportion, I believe.
13 Q. So these 13.4 per cent remained unknown. Could you please look at
14 table 10, which is on page 28 of your report?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You broke down dead and missing men for Srebrenica by ethnicity
17 and municipality of residence?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. On what basis did you break down the 999 unknown men, for which
20 you had no data on ethnicity or data from the 1991 census who are
21 practically non-existent in 1991?
22 A. It was very simple. We just -- we assumed in this table number
23 10, that the distribution by ethnicity for the 13 per cent was the same as
24 for the 87 per cent. This is a very common method in demography, a sort
25 of pro-rating or proportionality principle. We did not, of course, assign
1 ethnicity to any individual that we did not know the ethnicity for. This
2 was only done on a group basis for statistical purposes.
3 Q. We are talking about a total of 1300 out of which 999 are men,
4 speaking of table 10. Using this method of distribution of those 999
5 persons who do not exist on the list of 1991, to what extent is this
6 affecting other tables with complete data, where you have the gender
7 distribution, ethnic composition, et cetera, of the population?
8 A. Well, the gender was known for everybody, from the -- from the --
9 in the missing lists. We did not need to consult the census to establish
10 the gender. It was only done for ethnicity and also for age distribution.
11 We assumed the same distributions as for those that were known. This is
12 the very same principle that is used when we are doing sample surveys. We
13 assume that the sample, whether it is 5.000 for a big country, is
14 representative of the whole population. And we did not see any reason why
15 there should be a bias here that the ethnic distribution should be
16 different from those without -- that we did not manage to match.
17 Q. Yes. And you emphasised below table 10 that the numbers are
18 adjusted according to the original distribution of original data. If we
19 had an adjustment in this table, does that mean you also adjusted data in
20 other tables?
21 A. Yes. In some of the tables. Table 11, I think, and all the
22 figures on page -- and table 9, I think we adjusted there also. Yes.
23 Q. I just want to take you back to your article, speaking of how many
24 people were killed in the genocide. It's in e-court P02420, English
25 version, pages 3 and 4. If you have that article with you, if not, we
1 will try to -- you write, "Fearing --"
2 A. Which page, please?
3 Q. Pages 3 and 4.
4 A. M'hm.
5 Q. "Fearing what might happen when the VRS occupies the territory" --
6 I apologise to the interpreters. "When the VRS government takes over the
7 enclave, a group of men numbering perhaps 15.000, mainly of military age,
8 started walking through wooded hills towards the territory controlled by
9 the federal BH army."
10 My question is: Based on what information and what sources did
11 you estimate this number to be 15.000?
12 A. This was provided to us by the Office of the Prosecutor based on
13 general reports and findings by various organisations. I'm not sure about
14 the source, whether -- probably military, some of the sources. But this
15 is a very rough estimate.
16 Q. And it is not based on any exact data?
17 A. Exactly. As you also read, the formulation is "numbering perhaps
18 as many as 15.000". So the inexactness of it is emphasised.
19 Q. Thank you. Are you aware that that column was armed and moved
20 through various places that later became the subject of your research,
21 that armed clashes occurred between that column and the BH army on the one
22 hand and the forces of the VRS, I'll tell you, it was Kamenica,
23 Baljkovica, Buljim?
24 A. I'm aware that that happened, yes. My understanding is that a
25 long column was a mixture of armed people and people who were not armed.
1 And there was regular clashes and there was also shelling, shelling of
2 people who were not armed. So it was a very mixed situation.
3 Q. In your studies so far, when you were attempting to establish the
4 structure, the composition, of missing persons, in all your reports so far
5 I have found that you came in every case to the conclusion that they were
6 civilians. Does that mean that using all your sources, you determined
7 that missing persons were exclusively civilians?
8 A. I do not think we wrote that anywhere, that the missing persons
9 were civilians. We had no information about that. We only reported the
10 number of missing persons, whether civilian or not, whether killed in
11 combat or not. We were not tasked to find out, to find out whether they
12 were civilians or not or died in combat or not.
13 Q. Did you note any sources or lists of the BH army at the time when
14 were you doing your studies? Did you consult any lists of fighting men
15 who went missing or were killed in that period?
16 A. When I did the first study, we had no access to such data but such
17 data has later -- have later become available, on the -- on lists of men
18 who died, soldiers who had died.
19 Q. And within that number of 7.661 dead and missing persons, did you
20 try to establish, which is important for the Court, how many of them were
21 civilians and how many were military men?
22 A. Not at all. We were not asked to do that.
23 Q. So you never ever looked at the lists made by the BH army after
24 year 2000 and which is stored in the demographic section of the Office of
25 the Prosecutor?
1 A. My colleagues looked at this list, of course. I did not
2 personally look at the list. And the data in that list were utilised to
3 estimate the total number of killed persons in the armed conflicts in
4 Bosnia, and also used to check whether there were people who were killed
5 in fighting elsewhere, who might be on the missing lists, for example, on
6 the missing list for Srebrenica, who died elsewhere. Then they should not
7 be reported as missing in connection with the fall of Srebrenica.
8 Q. And are you aware that within 7.661 persons, there were about
9 3.000 soldiers?
10 A. No, I'm sorry, I'm not aware of that.
11 Q. When you were testifying on the 1st of February this year, on page
12 6807, in response to a question from the Prosecutor, did you establish
13 that any person from that list died before 1995? Your response was that
14 you did not find a single such case. Do you remember that?
15 A. I don't remember his exact wording but we did check and there
16 might have been some examples of that but then they were deleted from the
17 list. They were not included because the date of disappearance or dates
18 of death was very important for defining who should be included in our
19 list or not.
20 Q. Do you know, since your successors and your colleagues did deal
21 with the BH army list, do you know that on the official list of the BH
22 army of dead and missing persons, there are about 100 soldiers who died,
23 got killed, before July 1995 and whose personal information coincide
24 almost to 100 per cent with persons who are on your list of 7.661 persons?
25 A. We have seen claims for that before, and we have checked, and they
1 were not correct. So we would welcome a list on those to check if there
2 were any errors in that, if that is the case.
3 Q. So you are not aware of the information that I've just quoted and
4 that we have at our disposal, that there are 100 soldiers on your list who
5 died before July 1995, with full names and surnames and other data?
6 A. Has this list been provided to the Office of the Prosecutor?
7 Q. It will be. Thank you, Your Honour, I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Nikolic.
9 Mr. Ostojic, will you go next? That was the understanding.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, we'll have a break at quarter to 6.00.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
14 Q. Dr. Brunborg, good afternoon. We met before, my name is
15 John Ostojic. I represent Beara here. I have a couple questions that I'd
16 like you to help me to understand, so I could understand your report
17 better. So bear with me if I don't get all the terms right, and I'm sure
18 you'll be helpful, as you have been in other cases.
19 Sir, if I may summarise, your report is conducted basically in a
20 three-prong analysis, correct?
21 A. You could say that. Would you like to mention those three prongs,
23 Q. Sure. The way I view it is that you have first what's called
24 informational sources that you gathered as you testified here today, and
25 then you used the methodology, which I think you either called matching or
1 linkage methodology, and then ultimately you have your conclusions,
3 A. That's correct, yes.
4 Q. Is that basically the sum and substance of your report and
6 A. You could say that. Then, of course, we look at all the results
7 and check whether they are reasonable or not.
8 Q. Right. The analysis to reach the conclusion, correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Now this report was prepared by three specific individuals,
11 yourself and two others. What part of the report did you perform and what
12 part did, for example, Dr. Tabeau and Dr. Hutland [phoen] prepare?
13 A. I don't remember. I don't remember in detail who wrote what.
14 When you cooperate in scientific analysis, the different parts are often
15 mixed, but I can say that Dr. Tabeau did most of the work on the missing,
16 exhumed missing persons, for example.
17 Q. Now, doctor, when I looked at your report I saw some words that I
18 take exception with and that is with all due respect of course to you,
19 sir, that is like the word "killing", and my understanding just recently
20 in your testimony, that you did not do any analysis to determine whether a
21 victim was -- died as a result of being killed or died as a result of
22 other causes, did you?
23 A. That's true, that's correct.
24 Q. Why would you include it in your report?
25 A. Could you find the example, an example, please?
1 Q. Okay. How about page 3? Where you talk about what your objective
2 was, to actually to arrive at a reliable estimate of the number of people
3 who were killed or missing, on the bottom of the page, the very last line?
4 A. M'hm. Well, that may unfortunately have been a -- have been
5 imprecise. Of course, when people are exhumed from mass graves, it's
6 pretty sure they were killed. Otherwise, it would be more correct in this
7 context to say that they were dead.
8 Q. How about the word "execution" when you use it in your report is
9 that also inaccurate? Because in fact you didn't conduct any studies or
10 analysis to determine whether any of those individuals or victims who were
11 exhumed met their death by execution. Why would you use that word?
12 A. Because these people found in mass graves. People found in mass
13 graves were most likely executed.
14 Q. Now, can you point where in your report or any of the versions
15 that you have including the 16th November 2005 report, where you
16 consulted, as a source, any of the anthropological studies that were
17 performed by various doctors or anthropologists working with the Office of
18 the Prosecutor to make that link or connection?
19 A. This was done -- we did not consult those reports. This was done
20 by the ICMP, and, well, there are other witnesses testify on the cause of
21 death. We are not concerned with the cause of death, just the death
23 Q. And that's what I thought. That's why I found it a little
24 uncomfortable that you as a demographer would have used those terms.
25 Because you're not giving us any opinions here, are you, sir, as to the
1 cause of deaths by any of these victims that you identify or classify as
2 missing or dead?
3 A. I agree. The problem is that as a demographer, writing for
4 academic journals and reports, what you write there is slightly different
5 from what you would present in a trial, in that you have to be much more
6 accurate in a trial about the wording than in, say, in a more general
8 Q. So let me understand, doctor, if you will. You did not rely or
9 use any of the OTP sources, such as the anthropologists', the
10 pathologists' or the archeologists' reports in reaching any of your
11 conclusions here; correct?
12 A. Only generally. We knew about it, of course, and I've read
13 reports, when the reports on how people were found blindfolded and shot
14 from behind, but we did not link that specifically for each individual.
15 Q. Now --
16 A. But the evidence is overwhelming, as I think you will agree, that
17 there were -- there were killings and executions.
18 Q. I don't agree necessarily that it was overwhelming but we won't go
19 into a debate on that, doctor. There were some undoubtedly. You have
20 done no independent research to make any classification of the war-related
21 deaths, have you?
22 A. Not here, no. If you mean war related if you mean combat, is that
23 what you mean or did do you mean in general war so that natural deaths
24 would not be included or --
25 Q. Well, I'll explain it. You'll agree with me don't that you in the
1 field of demography there is this kind of new and emerging area called
2 classification of war-related deaths, wouldn't you?
3 A. Yes. But most of it is concerned with battle-related deaths.
4 Q. But within that classification, with all due respect, you yourself
5 identify four categories, don't you, battle-related, non-battle-related,
7 A. That is one distinction, yes.
8 Q. What are the other categories? I mean you wrote the article only
9 a month ago, didn't you?
10 A. Well, civilian, non-civilian.
11 Q. Okay?
12 A. And you can also talk about direct and indirect causes.
13 Q. Fair enough. And in this emerging new area of demography, your
14 first article that you wrote about these classifications of war-related
15 deaths appeared in 2005 before this report of the 16th of November 2005;
17 A. Which article are you referring to, please?
18 Q. I'm referring to the article entitled, "Demography of conflict and
19 violence, an emerging field."
20 A. M'hm.
21 Q. Springer 2005, by yourself as one of the authors and Dr. Tabeau?
22 A. That was, I don't think well it was introduction to a special
23 issue of --
24 Q. European Journal of Population [speakers overlapping]
25 A. Yes.
1 THE INTERPRETER: May the interpreters ask you to speak a little
2 more slowly and make a pause between questions and answers, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you hear that, Mr. Ostojic?
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And the witness. We have the usual problem. When
6 two persons are speaking the same language, they tend to be very quick on
7 the draw. So please allow a pause between question and answer.
8 THE WITNESS: Perhaps you should change language.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: It would be easy for Mr. Ostojic.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: I may proceed, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 Q. Sir, when we talk about these classifications of war-related
12 deaths, the battlefield or battle-related deaths, how are they defined?
13 A. I never did that analysis myself. This is done by a research
14 centre in Uppsala in Sweden and Oslo, Norway. And these are people who
15 died in battle, in fighting.
16 Q. Both military and civilians, meaning soldiers and civilians,
18 A. That's another distinction.
19 Q. Okay. Well, I'm looking at your paper again with Dr. Tabeau and
20 Henrik Urdal, where you make the distinction that battlefield deaths, and
21 I think it's on page 7 of your article that you consider battle-related
22 deaths, including soldiers and civilians killed in combat?
23 A. M'hm.
24 Q. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The other category is non-battle deaths?
2 A. M'hm.
3 Q. How would you define that?
4 A. That could be people who died from, say, disease in -- or lack of
5 medication in a conflict situation.
6 Q. Or how about the elderly under stress?
7 A. That's possible, you could also call that an indirect cause of a
9 Q. Or how about isolated killings from a third party, a neighbour?
10 A. If it's related to the conflict, yes. If it's a regular murder,
11 then it's not. It's often difficult to distinguish these, of course.
12 Q. Now, what are the other categories? You mentioned four in your
13 article but I was only able to find two in reading your article, the
14 battle-related and the non-battle-related deaths?
15 A. The civilian and non-civilian, so two times two is four.
16 Q. Fair enough. You would agree with me that demography is really a
17 science which just produces estimates on whatever it is that you might be
18 analysing such as population migration, or any socioeconomic analysis that
19 may be involved with that, correct?
20 A. Well, we can also produce exact figures if the data sources are
22 Q. Okay. And what constitutes that a data source is good?
23 A. That the, say, if you're talking about a total population, that
24 the coverage is good, that the recording of what happened is good. There
25 are different criteria for that. I need to go into detail on a certain
1 case; I could talk about deaths in my own country, how it's recorded, but
2 no country in the world has perfect data on everything.
3 Q. So that's why when you spoke last time, you discussed margin of
4 error I was a little confused about your answer, and if you could just
5 help me understand, is margin of error the same thing as a confidence
6 level which we talk about in demography and statistics?
7 A. No, confidence level is a more precise term based on a probability
8 distribution, whereas margin of error is a more loose term.
9 Q. Okay. Can you show me where in your report you've identified any
10 either margin of error or confidence level with respect to any of the
11 sources that you utilised in your first step in reaching your conclusions?
12 A. Confidence intervals are usually estimated when you have -- you're
13 operating with a sample of the population. Then you can estimate sampling
14 errors and we did not have a representative sample of the population so
15 that was irrelevant, you could say. But when we talk about the total
16 number of missing persons, then we try to be on the conservative or low
17 side. We try not to include anybody that should not be included. So the
18 margin of error is always positive, not negative.
19 Q. But in order for me or anyone else to digest some of your report,
20 do you think it would be reasonable to say that using this source,
21 whichever source you used, it's a primary source, and that this source
22 actually has a strong or better than good amount of reliability because
23 its margin of error is small?
24 A. We could say that but we cannot estimate the confidence level of
25 margin of errors because you need probability distributions to do that.
1 Q. Why didn't do you any probability distributions on the various
2 sources that you utilised in your first step for preparing this report?
3 A. Then you would need -- is it too fast now?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Unless I hear from the interpreters, I think it's
5 safe to go ahead.
6 THE WITNESS: I'll try to break. To estimate confidence levels
7 or -- then you need either repeated samples or a subsample of a
8 population, and that is not always -- it's usually not available. Say of
9 the 1991 census how can we talk about the margin of error? Then to do
10 that you would have needed a post-enumeration survey or some other source
11 to estimate the data quality.
12 Q. Let's take your example, the census, if you will. I think as a
13 demography you'll agree with me that the census in general has some
14 well-known and inherent flaws or deficiencies in it, corrects?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Now, the census actually doesn't identify an individual if it's a
17 child, but really the way it works is that the census-taker would capture
18 the data from the head of the household or perhaps the only person who was
19 at the household when he tried to obtain that information; correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And one of the flaws of the census is that certain communities or
22 populations may overinflate the number of people that may or may not be a
23 specific community?
24 A. That may happen, but I think it's a more common problem is that it
25 is underinflated, that people are not found. People are not at home.
1 Q. What other flaws or deficiencies have you found with respect to
2 the census in general others than those that we just discussed?
3 A. A very general flaw is that the age is reported wrongly. There is
4 something called age heaping where there are more people who are 20 or 25
5 or 30 years old than those who are, say 29 or 31, but in the Bosnian
6 census that is less of a problem since they were asked about the date of
8 Q. Well, what about flaws or deficiencies in one of the others
9 sources you used, the voter registration? Did you find any flaws or
10 deficiencies there?
11 A. Oh, yeah. The most obvious flaw with the voters list is that
12 first people below age 18 were not included and people who did not
13 register to vote were not included, so it's just a sample and an
14 unrepresentative sample of the total population.
15 Q. Voter apathy, in other words?
16 A. Yeah, or people who were not there, and in fact, we found that
17 this varied with different ethnic groups, the Croats were the most --
18 least likely to register to vote in 1997, 98 and the Muslims and Serbs
19 much more likely to register to vote.
20 Q. What about the flaws or deficiencies in the 1997 and 1998 editions
21 of the ICRC?
22 A. In the editions I'm not aware of any particular flaws there. I
23 think the quality of those later editions are probably better than the
24 first data that were collected in July 1995 in Tuzla and elsewhere in a
25 very chaotic situation.
1 Q. What about the PHR list of missing persons? Did you note any
2 flaws or deficiencies in that source?
3 A. About the same as for the ICRC list, say, that the date of birth
4 was not complete for everybody but it was more complete than for the ICRC
6 Q. But if you look at each of your sources, and if you're using that
7 to reach a conclusion, can you tell me with respect to each of the sources
8 that you utilised what was the margin of error of the data that you relied
9 on in order to reach your conclusion?
10 A. I don't think we -- sorry, I will try to break. I don't think we
11 had the information available to estimate the margin of error. We talk
12 about all the weaknesses of each data source but it's not always possible
13 to say what the margin of errors is. We can say the completeness of date
14 of birth but we do not know for those who have complete birth how many
15 were still correct or incorrect.
16 Q. And let's stay with the topic of these informational sources just
17 for a few minutes, so that I could flush out a couple things. Am I
18 accurate that you used two primary sources and the remaining were
19 considered secondary sources?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Of the secondary sources, do you think any of them were reliable
22 enough to be utilised as a primary source?
23 A. A primary source, the topic here is to -- the agenda is to
24 estimate the number of missing and dead persons. And of course, the
25 census cannot before the war cannot be used to do that. Neither can the
1 voters list collected after the war.
2 Q. And that's why they're secondary sources, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, will you agree with me that the quality of the primary and/or
5 secondary sources permit us to assess, to an extent, the credibility and
6 reliability or give any value to the conclusions one may have relying on
7 such data?
8 A. That's correct. May I also add that there is a third primary
9 source and that is the lists of exhumed persons from ICMP which is
10 becoming increasingly important as more bodies are exhumed and identified.
11 Q. And you use that as a secondary source in your report, correct?
12 A. Well, as a primary source.
13 Q. I don't want to --
14 A. I would say.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Even though the interpreters haven't interjected,
16 once more, please slow down. You need to pause, allow a short interval of
17 time. I mean --
18 THE WITNESS: I will do my best.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not referring only to you.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: It's really it's actually my fault. I apologise to
21 the Court and to the doctor.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't want to pinpoint anyone in particular but
23 you need to cooperate a little bit. Thank you, go ahead, Mr. Ostojic. In
24 four minutes' time we will have a break.
25 MR. OSTOJIC:
1 Q. Doctor, what other sources were available to you and your
2 demographic team at the Office of the Prosecutor while you were conducting
3 these reports that you did not utilise? I think you mentioned a couple
4 today in your testimony but can you list for me other primary or secondary
5 sources that demographers may typically look at in order to evaluate a
6 certain theory they are trying to establish?
7 A. One was referred to previously by Ms. Nikolic, that is the
8 database of dead persons collected by the federation. The lists of dead
9 soldiers that we used only to a limited extent. There is also a database
10 called -- collected by the Muslims Against Genocide which we really did
11 not utilise very much, which would have added, say, a few hundred missing
12 persons. Then there is the large database collected by Mr. Tokaca in
13 Bosnia on the -- I don't remember the exact title of that database. It
14 includes both dead and other persons. And other victims in conflicts.
15 Q. Help me understand why your office or your department, if you
16 will, the demographic team, why you wouldn't have used the database of
17 dead persons collected by the federation?
18 A. It was used for comparison to check whether a missing person was
19 dead or not.
20 Q. I don't note that in your report anywhere. Do you have it in your
21 report, do you know?
22 A. No. I would need to check that.
23 Q. Okay. You'll have to opportunity hopefully if the Court permits
24 at the break.
25 A. Yeah.
1 Q. Do you know what the amount of the dead or the database from the
2 federation of dead persons is? Do you know the amount that they cite as
3 being dead in their database?
4 A. Was it something like 40.000, of which very few, perhaps less than
5 100, were related to the fall of Srebrenica, something --
6 Q. All right. So they had their database covered the entire state.
7 For Srebrenica, it was far less, to the database or the report that you
8 show us of being 7.000 missing or dead, correct?
9 A. That's correct, but this database covered mostly the territory of
10 the federation and not the other entity.
11 Q. Now --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Whenever it's convenient, Mr. Ostojic.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Can you tell me how it is that your team decided not to utilise
15 these other sources?
16 A. Because we were asked to establish the number of missing and dead
17 persons, and this -- the sources we used seemed to be the best but as
18 other sources have become available, say, of exhumed persons then we
19 have-- we have used them. For example, if I may mention that the ICMP
20 database, use of that resulted in 103 persons who should be added to the
21 list of missing and dead persons.
22 Q. I'd like to talk now about methodology so it might be a good time,
23 if the Court wishes?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have a 25-minute break starting from
25 now. Thank you.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.13 p.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. And I will try to speak
5 slower so that we could be able to assist everyone in hearing what the
6 good doctor has to say.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Glad to hear that, Mr. Ostojic.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 MR. OSTOJIC:
11 Q. Doctor, although before the break I wanted to discuss methodology,
12 before I do that I do have a couple more questions on the informational
13 sources that you utilised in your research and ultimately reaching your
14 conclusions. But even before that, though, when I looked at your report,
15 I saw what you felt was the objective of the report and we touched on it
16 briefly at the beginning of my cross-examination. Can we turn to that
17 third page and can you help me understand it more? It appears, doctor on
18 the very last paragraph of page 3 and follows on page 4. Am I correct
19 based on what you've told us today that, in fact, your objective was not
20 to arrive at an estimate of the number of people who were killed but only
21 as it relates to the number of people who were missing and/or considered
23 A. That's correct. So I apologise for some unfortunate wording
25 Q. And that's what I understood but I just wanted to make sure I'm
1 clear on that. Now when we discussed briefly the quality of various
2 informational sources, whether they are primary or secondary, would you,
3 as a demographer, ever look at some control features to determine their
4 credibility or reliability, such as synthetic errors, synthetic errors,
5 balancing errors, late adds or whole-person imputations?
6 A. Imputation, I would not use in this connection at all because
7 imputation is assigning values for where there are no values so we did not
8 do that at all. What do you mean the other? I was not familiar --
9 synthetic measures?
10 Q. Errors?
11 A. Errors I'm not aware what you mean -- what is meant by that.
12 Q. How about balancing errors?
13 A. Balancing? A balancing equation, you mean, for a population,
14 births, deaths, a population; is that what you mean?
15 Q. Those concepts, from my understanding, are used in demography to
16 assess the reliability of a various source that might be utilised in
17 preparing an analysis or reaching a conclusion.
18 A. Well, in that case, I think we have -- use it without using that
19 terminology, that we, of course, we evaluated all sources for, to get as
20 strong results as possible.
21 Q. And can you tell us or quantify for us, by utilising percentages,
22 the strength of each of the sources that you utilised?
23 A. If you talk about percentage, you have to say per cent of what,
24 per cent error? Talked about -- we have talked about per cent missing
25 full date of birth. That is one percentage. We could give you a list of
1 missing variables for all the data sources. That is one kind of
2 percentage error.
3 Q. Well, for purposes of completeness, if we look at the data and
4 there were missing factors or missing data, I should say, sorry, missing
5 data on various different factors such as, as you say, the months, the
6 year is given and maybe the month wasn't or the day was not, did you ever
7 look at all those different features and say that 15 per cent of this
8 factor was missing, 12 per cent of another factor was missing, such as a
9 father's name, 20 per cent of something else such as a date of birth was
10 missing, and then actually do what statisticians and scientists and
11 demographers do and come up with a net proportional percentage as to what
12 the margin of error is as to the reliability of that primary or secondary
14 A. Yes, we did look at all those variables and say how complete is
15 each variable. But again, I don't think the margin of error is a
16 well-defined concept that can be estimated in the way you are suggesting.
17 Q. Is it fair to say that in the demographic reports that you've
18 conducted as you list in your curriculum vitae, that in all of those
19 reports, other than the reports relating to a war crimes or battlefield
20 areas, war conflicts, all of them, in fact, have a margin of error?
21 A. In general, yes. No data set is perfect but we usually don't talk
22 about margin of error except for sample surveys where there is
23 well-defined methodology to estimate the sampling variance of the, say of
24 a proportion.
25 Q. Let me tell you why I ask, because in my view, if you have a poor
1 quality or less than an adequate quality of an individual source or many
2 sources and then you utilise even a poor or less than adequate
3 methodology, that would impact, would it not, sir, on the ultimate
4 conclusions one would reach?
5 A. Yes and no. Sometimes you can use statistical methodology that
6 will improve the results. You can use regression methods, even if the
7 data are poor and you can come up with stronger -- strong estimates. So
8 methodology can improve the results.
9 Q. Now, perfect kind of entry into the next topic, methodology. How
10 did you and your team determine that the match or linkage methodology was
11 the most appropriate to use in this case or this project that you were
12 involved in?
13 A. Since we were working on data on individuals, and we have several
14 different data sources that is the only methodology you can use. You have
15 data for the same events from several sources. Say you have ICRC list of
16 missing persons, PHR list of missing persons, several versions of each of
17 these, they are covering the same events with a large degree of overlap,
18 so we need to delete the overlap so we get a unified list, instead of
19 duplicates and overlaps. And also to check with the census, that is
20 the -- this is standard procedure, merging or matching variables is
21 standard in, for demographic analysis.
22 Q. Now, you mentioned the word standard but there is things known in
23 methodology as standard and non-standard methodology, is there not?
24 A. Yes, you can say that.
25 Q. What would some of those methodological theories be? You listed
1 one or the matching and I think today on page 53, on line 4, you mentioned
2 another one, proportionality principle. What are some of the other
3 standard methodological ways you would utilise in order to assess the
4 sources that you were analysing?
5 A. For a demographer, it's very natural to use graphs or tables to
6 study the age distribution, for example, age and sex distribution of a
7 population or of the events of a part of the population.
8 Q. Well, is that a methodology or is that just a way of doing it so
9 it makes a little more sense to reduce the amount of data that you have in
10 a more simpler form?
11 A. I would say that looking at age distribution is a sort of basic
12 demographic methodology. It's not very sophisticated but it's still very
14 Q. And now, just briefly tell me what your opinion is based upon a
15 reasonable degree of scientific and demographic certainty of the quality
16 of a sample methodology? Is it less precise? Would you agree with me
18 A. Usually it is less. A sample is less precise than a full, a data
19 set covering the full population but it depends of course about the
20 quality of the data source covering the full population.
21 Q. I agree. It always depends on the quality of sources, right?
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. But with respect to sample methodology, would you agree with me
24 that it's the least precise methodology that can be used?
25 A. Not in general.
1 Q. Okay. Tell me, if you will, what the flaws of a sample
2 methodology are?
3 A. That it is covering only a part of the population, but the basic
4 issue is of course whether the sample is biased or not, whether it's a
5 representative sample. If it is a representative sample, then we can
6 estimate the sampling variance and we can get, if the sample is large
7 enough, we can get fairly good estimates of the issues we are looking at.
8 Q. So those two points, bias and representativeness, which one weighs
9 more in determining whether the sample methodology would be considered
10 less precise?
11 A. Well, it's really the same thing, bias and representativeness.
12 Q. Okay. Now --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could we ask the speakers to slow down, please?
14 We cannot follow.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic and witness, please.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Are you familiar, sir, with the methodology known as the lost
18 function analysis?
19 A. Lost function? Loss -- lost or loss.
20 Q. Lost?
21 A. Not lost. But I'm familiar with the loss function analysis.
22 Maybe it refers to the same thing. I'm not sure.
23 Q. Maybe. What is it?
24 A. Loss function is can be considered a function trying to evaluate
25 the loss or the disadvantage of a certain issue, I think, say, but it's
1 not so much in demography. Say what would be the loss of not building
2 enough schools in a country.
3 Q. What about the methodological idea of total error model? Have you
4 heard of that?
5 A. No, I'm afraid not but if I may I'm not a mathematical
6 statistician so there may be many concepts that I'm not familiar with.
7 Q. Now, did you, at any point, sir, try to determine or obtain from
8 the Office of the Prosecutor data from various United Nations sources as
9 to the movement of the population from Srebrenica in July of 1995?
10 A. Yes. We talked to the -- to people in the OTP about sources on
11 that. I also tried to investigate, myself, on visits to Bosnia, whether
12 there were data, but we did not come across any reliable sources on that,
13 that could be utilised in this, that were really relevant for the issues
14 we looked at.
15 Q. What quality controls did you put in place to determine or to
16 verify that the methodology that you were utilising was reliable or
18 A. Well, almost everything that we wrote in the report is about
19 quality control. For example, checking whether the missing persons were
20 actual or fictitious and that they lived in the area where they
21 approximately the same area as they disappeared. That is one kind of
22 quality control. The other and very important quality control was to find
23 out if any of the missing persons were survivors, in fact, whether they
24 registered as displaced persons after the war or whether they registered
25 to vote, because dead and missing people cannot vote. And we did that and
1 we found very few numbers, low numbers, between 10 and 20, and showing
2 that although there might be such cases, it was not a large-scale
3 phenomenon. There was no organised campaign to register people as
4 missing, surviving people. On the other hand, a few people may have
5 registered to vote in the name of a dead or missing person.
6 Q. Earlier -- thank you. Earlier today, you had mentioned to my
7 learned colleague Mrs. Nikolic, that on page 39, I think line 19 through
8 22, when she was asking you about the number of people who were actually
9 in Srebrenica before the fall of the enclave, and you, sir, said, and I'll
10 try to quote it you said, "The number of people whether it was 20.000 or
11 40.000 is not really, as far as I can see, very significant, when we
12 discuss the number of people who are missing or dead after the fall of
13 Srebrenica, because we have that list of people."
14 I'm just giving that to you as a context. My question is you said
15 it is not, as far as you can see, not very significant. Does that mean
16 that it is significant or it's not significant at all to you?
17 A. In this context, it is not significant.
18 Q. Now, don't you agree with me that as a further quality control on
19 the data, whether it's the sources and the quality of the methodology you
20 used, that it's important as a demographer to have an understanding
21 specifically of how many people were in the Srebrenica enclave before July
22 of 1995?
23 A. Yes, in general, yes. We knew that there were large numbers. We
24 heard from UNHCR and other sources but what we really would have wanted
25 and which I tried to get was a list of people who were in the enclave, a
1 list with names and date of birth and so on. That would have been very
2 useful but we did not locate any such list and I doubt that if it exists.
3 Q. And it was my understanding from your testimony that you felt that
4 the 40.000 figure may have been somewhat inflated, correct?
5 A. Some people claimed that.
6 Q. Okay. What do you claim?
7 A. I have no knowledge about that, since there are no reliable
8 source, as far as I know, to the exact number of people, we know the
9 population of Srebrenica in 1991, as it was enumerated but since 1991
10 there were many flows in many different directions.
11 Q. The demographic team that you had to what extent did you evaluate
12 those various flows from 1991 through 1995 to be able to assess what the
13 population was?
14 A. We did not evaluate those flows. We learned about them. We read
15 about them. But since there were no good estimates we were not concerned
16 about those flows and the number of people in Srebrenica in 1995, only
17 with the number who were -- went missing in 1995, after the fall of the
18 enclave. So whether half of the population went missing or one-third or
19 one-quarter, or 100 per cent, is not really interesting here, as far as I
20 can see. It's only -- we are talking about the total number of people who
21 went missing.
22 Q. Respectfully, I disagree with you. As a further quality control,
23 did you look at the reports by the various pathologists, anthropologists
24 and archeologists to determine whether -- the extent of the exhumations
25 did they exhume how many graves, primary or secondary, do you have that
2 A. Yes, we had a look at it but particularly the ICMP data which is
3 now based more and more on DNA analysis.
4 Q. We will get to the ICMP data but I'm asking about the various
5 pathologists, et cetera, that worked in the same office you did at the
6 Office of the Prosecutor. Were you able to obtain their information to
7 determine the number of exhumations they conducted and the number of mass
8 graves they may have uncovered?
9 A. Yes. We did get that information.
10 Q. And as you sit here, do you know how many mass graves were
12 A. I don't recall now but when I wrote the first report in -- which
13 was published in the year 2000, there had been 1900 exhumations, I think,
14 bodies that had been exhumed. And 70 had been identified, something like
15 that. That was the order.
16 Q. And it's reflected in your report in 2005 as well, specifically
17 that. My question is do you know how many mass graves there were?
18 A. I do not recall, because it's changing all the time.
19 Q. Do you know how many -- from those mass graves, how many were
21 A. I do not recall but on the other hand, I don't see how that is
22 really relevant for the estimate of the total number of missing and dead
24 Q. With all due respect, doctor, I think it goes to quality control.
25 Do you know what the conclusion was of the pathologists, anthropologists
1 and archeologists as to the number of bodies that were actually exhumed
2 from the mass graves?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the interpreters, please.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, I've read many reports but we are trying to
5 quantify for each individual and they were not at that time, there were
6 not enough reports on identified individuals. But now with the ICMP, we
7 have a large number of reports. But as I said before, whether
8 anthropologists or pathologists decide that this person had been shot or
9 not, was of no significance for our work since we are not concerned about
10 the cause of death but only the death itself.
11 MR. OSTOJIC:
12 Q. And it would be in your opinion as you sit here today the
13 responsibility or the job duty of the pathologists, to render a decision
14 as to what was the cause of death, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, let me show you 2D0003. You'll have it available on your
17 screen, I think, in a moment.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: I think it's already in evidence, Your Honour, so
19 you should have it.
20 Q. Now, just looking at the top portion of this, as a scientific
21 demographer, you can obviously see and I'll walk you through it, it's a
22 report dated the 19th of July 1995, and it seems to be from a United
23 Nations organisation; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it seems to be going to the head of the United Nations at the
1 time in New York, in America, correct?
2 A. M'hm, yes.
3 Q. If this is a report prepared by the United Nations for the United
4 Nations, would you consider this, sir, based upon a reasonable degree of
5 certainty, as being a reliable primary source?
6 A. Not -- we would have to consider it more to see how reliable it
8 Q. Well, we will do that but share with me, if you will, the factors
9 that you would utilise in determining whether a source is reliable or not.
10 A. Especially where the data came from, and how the data were
11 collected and evaluated and analysed.
12 Q. Do you recall if the Office of the Prosecutor ever showed you this
13 report or outgoing cable, as it's called?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think he can see all of it. If we are
15 going to ask questions on the complete report or --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Mr. McCloskey is perfectly right,
17 Mr. Ostojic.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't have objection to that at all, Your Honour.
19 I can tender him a clean copy if you'd like, if the Court permits or
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree to that, Mr. McCloskey?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's fine.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, could you assist?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: I recognise it's in e-court I thought maybe for
25 his --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: In e-court you only get one page at a time.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: That's what I thought. I agree.
3 THE WITNESS: Excuse me, could you repeat your question?
4 MR. OSTOJIC:
5 Q. Yes. I wanted initially to know the factors that you consider
6 relevant in determining whether a source such as this would be considered
8 A. Reasonably reliable, I assume, but it doesn't -- it says, for
9 example, "6.600 DPs are accommodated by UNPROFOR at the Tuzla air base" -
10 there is no information here about how they collected that information but
11 it's probably reasonably reliable - "but the other 17.000 DPs are
12 currently unaccounted for. In 1993 UNPROFOR estimate the population of
13 Srebrenica to be 42.000." It doesn't say anything about how they arrived
14 at that estimate so we -- really, I cannot conclude anything about the
15 quality of this.
16 Q. Let me ask you this, doctor, were you ever shown this document
17 during the time that you were preparing your reports with respect to the
18 Srebrenica enclave?
19 A. I don't recall but it's not impossible that I've seen this
20 document before.
21 Q. Well, as a demographer, when you see something like this, as you
22 just stated, it would be curious to find out the basis of their conclusion
23 and to determine whether it was reliable, would it not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What efforts, if any, did you or your staff conduct to determine
1 the reliability of the data that's provided on this exhibit, 2D0003?
2 A. Well, I heard about these estimates, here, about 42.000 in
3 Srebrenica, and we did try to locate lists or -- and more evidence on
4 that. Asking both the OTP and in Bosnia and elsewhere but we did not come
5 up with anything. So since our work was based on data on individuals
6 only, this was not of great help to us, saying 42.000 population, and that
7 was in 1993. It doesn't say anything about 2005, I believe, glancing at
9 Q. Really, doctor, we are not -- I appreciate I think you mean 1995,
11 A. Yeah, 1995.
12 Q. And 1994?
13 A. It says, "1993 population of Srebrenica to be 42.000". That was
14 three years before the events we are talking about.
15 Q. Two, but with the margin of error that's close enough. Did you do
16 any research or conduct any studies to determine what the population in
17 either 1993, 1994 or 1995 in Srebrenica?
18 A. As I said before, we investigated whether there were databases or
19 lists, handwritten or electronic or anything available, but we did not
20 obtain anything because without names, we could not -- this wouldn't be of
21 any value to us.
22 Q. Did you contact the United Nations to determine if they had any of
23 that data?
24 A. Well, we were working at the United Nations. And OTP is part of
25 the United Nations. We, I think we did ask UNHCR, which is also part of
1 the United Nations, whether they knew about lists. I talked to the mayor
2 of Srebrenica, and asked whether they knew about such lists, and some
3 people said they had heard about such lists but nobody knew for sure.
4 Q. Did you ever go to the MUP to determine whether or not those lists
5 are in existence?
6 A. Yes, I did visit MUP both in Tuzla and Sarajevo.
7 Q. And what information, having visited that place, those places,
8 would you have gathered or were you anticipating on obtaining?
9 A. The MUP had a register of -- and we did get some lists from the
10 MUP. But in this difficult and chaotic situation, the MUP could not
11 possibly register all the movements of people into and out of Srebrenica.
12 Moreover, we could only meet with the MUP of the federation, not of the
13 Republika Srpska, which was covering Srebrenica.
14 Q. Can you tell me, doctor, why, on the second page of this document,
15 in the -- right above the number 5, if you know, the reference that these
16 are imprecise figures? Do you see it? "Due to the imprecise nature of
17 these figures," do you see that line?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It goes on to say, "We recommend that any public statements are
20 limited to the broad reference of several thousand missing." Do you see
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were you ever told that, that it should limit any public
24 statements to a broad reference?
25 A. No, but, sir, this is dated July 19, two weeks or one week, less
1 than one week after the events, where the full scale of the events were
2 not known. Since then, ICRC and PHR collected lists of missing persons
3 and so one year later, much more information was known, much more was
4 known about the situation. At that time, I totally agree, too little was
5 known to say anything more accurate than several thousand missing but much
6 more became known in the next half year or so.
7 Q. But in fact the figures that they cite specifically with the
8 people that made it to, as it's called, the free territory from
9 Srebrenica, they are very specific, are they not, on the first page, third
10 paragraph, I believe? They even give the specific town and the specific
11 number of people that are a--
12 A. Our main interest in those who arrive but in those who did not
14 Q. But the data that they have with respect to those that arrived, do
15 you know if your demographic team ever evaluated that data?
16 A. No we did not because these are only aggregate figures, no
17 individual data here, and they do not tell about the number of victims,
18 only about the survivors.
19 Q. Do you really believe that the numbers on paragraph number 2, sir,
20 are aggregate figures as opposed to precise figures?
21 A. Aggregate means collective, so of course they are aggregate.
22 There is no lists, maybe such lists exist, of how many, say, Tuzla town,
23 500, but how could we have used those even if we had lists? We could not
24 have used them really to collate for estimating number of missing persons
25 or for quality control.
1 Q. See, I suggest that you can use that list as quality control
2 because if there is a list of the people that were there, not knowing the
3 number of people who were in the actual enclave, you could determine
4 whether or not those people appear on your missing list. And that in fact
5 it would be although you're not a mathematician, a cross check if you will
6 of the data and information that you're supplying, which would render it
7 more reliable than less reliable, wouldn't you agree?
8 A. Yes, that's exactly what we did. With all the lists that became
9 available to us, we did a cross check to see whether there were survivors.
10 We are talking about whether there were survivors among the missing, as
11 reported, as registered in Tuzla and elsewhere. And whenever we used the
12 number of such lists to do that, exactly that.
13 Q. I may have misunderstood your previous answer, then. Did you
14 utilise the data that's reflected on this joint crisis action team and
15 specifically from the BiH local authorities, in order to prepare your
16 report dated the 16th of November 2005?
17 A. Not directly at that time, but we did later obtain the database on
18 displaced persons, which should then include those 18.333 DPs, et cetera,
19 and all the other numbers so they were collected and put together in a
20 systematic fashion later on we did check whether there were missing
21 persons on the -- in the displaced persons database.
22 Q. And I apologise, maybe I'm just not understanding you. I'll give
23 it one more try with the Court's indulgence, if permitted. What I'm
24 suggesting to you, sir, is you should have looked at the data with the
25 names of the specific survivors that were collected by the BiH authorities
1 as well as this JCAT in order to determine whether or not there was any
2 duplication from the list of actual confirmed survivors to the list that
3 you have of missing.
4 A. Oh, yes but we did not obtain such lists.
5 Q. What efforts did you take, undertake, to obtain those lists?
6 A. We talked to a number of institutions, United Nations,
7 international, and national institutions, to get lists of both victims and
9 Q. And no one to this date, sir, has given you this JCAT report or
10 the BiH authorities data reflecting the information that's prepared here
11 for the United Nations in New York, correct?
12 A. No, but again, if I also may repeat myself.
13 Q. No, meaning I'm right, or no they have provided?
14 A. They have not provided. But we did get the list, database on
15 displaced persons later.
16 Q. If you can just turn quickly to page 12 of your report, I have
17 just a couple questions to clarify and better understand your report. And
18 it's actually the third paragraph that I'm directing your attention to.
19 You speak of the corpses that go into many morgues in the area of
20 Sarajevo, Banja Luka or in Tuzla, do you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know if it's limited to just those three areas where the
23 morgues are or were there more than morgues -- more morgues than that,
25 A. I'm not that familiar with the morgues, I'm sorry.
1 Q. I have to go back on page 11 and ask you because I wasn't clear on
2 your answer when you discussed the 7.000 body-bags that were stored in the
3 Tuzla morgues. It appears on the first paragraph, fifth line, do you see
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. My question to you, sir, is: Where did you obtain that
8 A. From the ICMP. It says, according to the PIP, Podrinje
9 Identification Projects. It says 7.000 body-bags. According to the ICMP,
10 the number of missing persons from Srebrenica is 7.789.
11 Q. But let me ask you this: Did you ask any of the office of the
12 Prosecution anthropologists, pathologists, archeologists as to how many
13 body-bags there were that were stored in Tuzla?
14 A. Well, this is part of it. I did not ask because this is part --
15 this is the answer, 7.000 body-bags.
16 Q. That's what the OTP pathologists suggest as well? Is that your --
17 A. I did not talk to them about that but there is close cooperation
18 between the PIP and the OTP.
19 Q. Now, the very next paragraph you talk about the most reliable
20 source on the exhumed and identified bodies, persons, is with, no doubt,
21 the ICMP, correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Are you saying that relative to the reports as a source by the
24 archeologists, pathologists and anthropologists that have worked for the
25 office of the Prosecution? Are you making a distinction that they are not
1 as reliable as the ICMP?
2 A. Of course not.
3 Q. Okay. Why would you say that that they are the most reliable
5 A. We are talking about different dimensions. The anthropologists,
6 et cetera, they look at individual cases, try to explain the age, the
7 cause of death and so on but we want, we are interested in the large
8 databases of as many individuals as possible, and the anthropologists
9 usually do not collect such large databases whereas ICMP has done that.
10 Q. And then you use this source to determine whether or not it's
11 higher than the ICRC base, correct?
12 A. [No verbal response]
13 Q. It says it in the very next sentence actually.
14 A. Equal to or higher than -- yeah. We used this source to check
15 whether the number of known deaths is equal to or higher than the ICRC
16 base total of 2.054 deaths.
17 Q. So you used your two information sources to cross-reference with
18 one another on this point, corrects?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you say that it's found or discussed elsewhere. Where would I
21 find the results of this exercise?
22 A. We looked at -- this is in the whole report. We looked at the
23 identified exhumed bodies and compared 2.500 and something and compare
24 that with a list of missing persons and the identified persons, missing
25 persons, also in the ICRC list.
1 Q. So it's not identified elsewhere in the report, it's identified
2 throughout your report, is that maybe a different way of saying it?
3 A. Yeah, yes.
4 Q. I couldn't find the section so --
5 A. I'm sorry.
6 Q. No, no, it's okay. Now just moving quickly in the interests of
7 time if we can, the next paragraph after that which would be the fourth
8 paragraph of your report, you talk about traditional methods of
9 identification; do you see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you say five to 8 per cent of the exhumed bodies; do you see
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You're not a forensic pathologist, archeologist or anthropologist;
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. But are you, sir, a forensic demographer?
18 A. No I wouldn't say.
19 Q. What is forensic demography?
20 A. There is no such a thing but I think some people would perhaps
21 call me that.
22 Q. Okay. Well, in your article of 2007 you talk about forensic
23 demography and the role that it plays in estimating war casualties.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you remember that on page 3 or page 2 of that actual article on
1 the introduction?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You remember that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What is it? What is forensic demography and why do people call
6 you that?
7 A. Because we are concerned with exhumed bodies, for example, in a
8 crisis situation. So that's why we have forensic criminology and law and
9 medicine, so that is a natural parallel.
10 Q. I understand about the law and all the other areas you discuss but
11 in demography how would you describe it? How is it different from what
12 you've been doing, forensic demography, as opposed to what I consider just
13 scientific, statistical demography?
14 A. It's the object of the study that's of interest here. The methods
15 are exactly the same but the objects, missing and dead people, exhumations
16 especially, that is why it could be called forensic demography.
17 Q. Do you agree with me, sir, as I think you will, that forensic
18 demography will give us a more precise result if our objective was to
19 determine what the war casualties were in a given situation or a period?
20 A. Well, if forensic demography develops methods that are unique for
21 that, then it can contribute to provide better estimates.
22 Q. And am I correct, sir, that your report is not one that would be
23 considered as forensic demographic report but it is simply a statistical
24 demographic report if one were to compare the two?
25 A. It's not up to me to give names to this report.
1 Q. It's your report. I suggest to you that it is not a forensic
2 demographic report at all and it doesn't go into the details at all of the
3 war casualties and doesn't have a breakdown of any of the classifications
4 that you yourself are -- identify as being important for determining
5 conflict situations and manner and cause of death; am I correct?
6 A. Yes, you are correct but that is your definition of forensic
8 Q. That's why I asked for your definition, sir. What are those
9 methodologies that you, as a forensic demographer as people from time to
10 time call you, would utilise that would render more precise information on
11 war consequences or war casualties?
12 A. For example, the utilisation of DNA analysis to identify exhumed
14 Q. Do you think, doctor, that that would go more for identification
15 or to cause of death?
16 A. More for identification.
17 Q. What about for cause of death, whether it was involved as you
18 related it a battle, battlefield or combat or non-combat-related death?
19 What's the methodology that one would use in order to determine that?
20 A. Then you would need different data sets.
21 Q. Such as?
22 A. Say a military source of deaths in combat.
23 Q. What other methodology would you utilise?
24 A. That would be the basic -- If you have a battle and you want to
25 decide how many people died in the battle, then you need that kind of data
1 source, some estimates of who died in the battle.
2 Q. That would be a source, that military information, what other
3 sources do you think would be able to help us to determine that?
4 A. Cause of death statistics might be useful.
5 Q. Eyewitness testimony, right?
6 A. M'hm, yes.
7 Q. What about the methodology? I know you mentioned that as a source
8 and sometimes from time to time people do mix source with methodology. Is
9 the methodology system the same if you're doing forensic demography that
10 you would utilise a match or linking methodology, or as you suggested a
11 sample methodology which, I suggest, is far less precise?
12 A. Of course a source is not the same as methodology.
13 Q. I agree.
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. So what's the methodology that would be utilised? How is it
17 A. Here we use simple matching methodology to check data and matching
18 data from different sources.
19 Q. Just so I understand, even in forensic demography we would still
20 utilise the same methodology known as match or linking methodology,
22 A. As one of the methods, yes. There could be other methods also.
23 Q. Name some for me.
24 A. Well, if you're interested in cause of death then you need to
25 utilise cause of death data. There is one part of demography that is
1 concerned with cause of death. Another one is not -- only concerned with
2 the total number of deaths or life expectancy or death rates.
3 Q. Now, since we are talking, we only have a few minutes, if I can
4 just end maybe with this, Mr. President -- may I ask one more question?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, certainly.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
7 Q. Sir, you mentioned today on page 43 --
8 A. Excuse me, on which report? My report doesn't have that many
10 Q. On the testimony today on page 43 of your testimony, you state,
11 sir, on page 43 and 44 actually, commencing on lines 24 through 25: "So
12 DNA analysis and identification and comparison with victims has to be done
13 before we can say for sure how many people were killed."
14 Do you remember saying that, sir?
15 A. Something like that.
16 Q. Okay?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I want to emphasise the word "for sure". Are you saying that
19 before we can make a determination as to how many people were killed,
20 based upon a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, we would have to
21 have, in order to be determined beyond a reasonable doubt, such DNA
22 analysis and identification for comparison with victims, correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection calls for a legal conclusion; "beyond a
25 reasonable doubt".
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What's your remark, comments on that,
2 Mr. Ostojic?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: I would just like to have the doctor expand on "for
4 sure". He's obviously listed in his report other legal conclusions that
5 the Prosecutor did not object to and offered into evidence, as we've
6 discussed, and the doctor was kind enough to tell us that he'd like them
7 to be removed, such as killing. And all I want, and I was just trying to
8 assist, is what he meant by "for sure", so I could restate the question if
9 the Court permits.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: But I disagree with the objection.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's the case of rephrasing the question,
13 Mr. Ostojic.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay.
15 Q. Doctor, what did you mean when you said, "Before we can say for
16 sure how many people were killed"?
17 A. Well, I do not remember the context but what I think I meant is
18 that if you just have the missing -- a list of missing persons and if you
19 don't know they are dead there is no evidence of death, you cannot be sure
20 that they are all dead. And whether it's DNA analysis or some other kind
21 of analysis, pathologists or forensic whatever, then we need to know that
22 before we can say whether people are dead or not.
23 These lists are called lists of missing and dead persons. We have
24 now so far been able to estimate more than one-third of the missing
25 persons but two-thirds remained. And the evidence is very strong that
1 they are also dead, but as I said we cannot know for sure until we have
2 identified all of them and they have been linked to persons reported as
3 missing and who were living before the conflict.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Our time is up, Mr. Ostojic. We will reconvene
5 tomorrow at 2.15 and hopefully we'll, Dr. Brunborg, hope to finish with
6 your testimony tomorrow. Thank you.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of May,
9 2007, at 2.15 p.m.