1 Monday, 2 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic
10 et al.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Today is Monday, the 2nd of March, 2009. Good afternoon to
14 Mr. Stojic, Mr. Praljak, and Mr. Pusic. And good afternoon to all the
15 Defence counsel and all the OTP representatives, as well as all the
16 people assisting us.
17 And Mr. Registrar, you have a few IC numbers for us.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That's right, Your Honour.
19 Some parties have submitted lists of documents to be tendered
20 through Witness Kvesic, Ante. The list submitted by 2D shall be given
21 Exhibit IC 00933, and the list submitted by the Prosecution shall be
22 given Exhibit IC 00934.
23 Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
25 The Trial Chamber is going to issue a short ruling regarding
1 rules as regards filing of exhibits submitted to witnesses in testimony.
2 The Trial Chamber noted that lately the parties have filed their
3 requests for admission through written filings and not through IC lists.
4 The Trial Chamber recalls that such requests have to comply with the
5 procedure as per paragraph 32 of the decision on the adoption of
6 guide-lines for Defence exhibits, of the 24th of April, 2008, and this
7 cannot be changed with the procedure for filing motions in writing. So,
8 in other words, you have to use the IC procedure in order to seek to
9 admit exhibits.
10 We are going to have a new witness. He's a protected witness.
11 Mr. Usher, make sure that the blinds are lowered so that the witness can
12 enter the courtroom, and we're going to move to closed session for a few
14 [Closed session]
11 Pages 37485-37490 redacted. Closed session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Witness, let's go back to the beginning of May 1992. What
11 happened then? Tell us.
12 A. I've already said that (redacted)
16 (redacted) But I also had to do all the jobs that my colleagues did, so I had
17 to go to the front-line, and a team came from the Main Medical Corps'
18 headquarters, Dr. Kolak, Bagaric, and Kvesic from Siroki Brijeg, and
19 Dr. Kolak told me that if I wanted to and if there was the opportunity,
20 that I could move to the Main Medical Corps centre in view of the fact
21 that at the time and in that territory there were no doctors who were
22 well versed in preventive medicine.
23 Q. Witness, when you talk about the front-line and the period that
24 we're talking about - we're now talking about April and May - just for
25 the transcript, can you tell us what was happening at that time, whether
1 the war had started, whether there were conflicts, and if so, which units
2 were involved, and which units were you part of, who were they fighting
3 against, and so on?
4 A. They were members of the Croatian Defence Council who, together
5 with the Muslim armed forces, fought a war against the aggressors;
6 specifically, the Serb Army and the Yugoslav Army.
7 Q. So we heard that you were given this offer of transferring to the
8 area of preventive medicine to the Main Medical Corps headquarters. Is
9 that what happened?
10 A. Yes. They called me soon after that, so, yes, that's right. I
11 was called to go to Tomislavgrad, where I came into contact with the
12 deputy of the head of the Main Medical Corps headquarters, Dr. Salic and
13 Dr. Kolak, since Dr. Bagaric was not at the meeting. And on that
14 occasion, we looked at what could be done, how to use -- how best to use
15 my knowledge and my experience.
16 And I'd like to repeat that we had very few doctors, as we do
17 today, in the field of preventive medicine, and so I was offered this job
18 because, as an infectologist or specialist in infectious diseases, it was
19 a close area of medicine. And in the former army where I worked,
20 preventive medicine was considered to be a very important part of the
21 work done.
22 Q. I think you said epidemiology, you said epidemiology was a very
23 important sector, so when you use these medical terms, could you say them
24 slowly so they could be properly recorded. So do you accept -- did you
25 accept this offer, and did you, in fact, become a member of the Main
1 Medical Corps headquarters?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How? Tell us in what way?
4 A. At the time, my assignments were defined, my tasks and duties
5 were defined, and among other things it was said that I would be
6 number-one man in the area of preventive medicine and that it was my
7 duty, for the area covered by the HZ-HB, to set up teams to educate the
8 population in the field of preventive medicine and the rules governing
9 that area, and I'm going to talk about preventive medicine and
10 protection, that field. And it was also my duty to send regular reports
11 so that my superiors, and I'm using military language there, so that my
12 superiors could be kept abreast of the hygiene, epidemiological
13 situation, both in settled -- in built-up areas and in the army and on
14 the battle-fields. And because we lacked cadres among the civilian
15 structures, it was up to me to integrate all these functions, so not only
16 to do work for the HVO but to cater to the civilian population as well.
17 Q. Witness, did you receive a decision of any kind telling you to
18 form this service for preventive medicine, and if so, when, and who
19 signed it?
20 A. Yes, I did, I received a decision to that effect signed by
21 Dr. Sarac, that is to say, the deputy to our head, to our chief, and that
22 was on the 9th of May, 1992, and in that -- that decision sets out all my
23 tasks and responsibilities, with a final point stating that I should
24 always prioritise and determine what the priorities were.
25 Q. So when you received this decision on the 9th of May, 1992, as
1 you said, there was the Main Medical Corps headquarters with its seat in
2 Tomislavgrad; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell me, please, after you received that decision, where did you
5 set up, where was your headquarters, where was your office?
6 A. Pursuant to permission from Dr. Sarac and Dr. Kolak, I went to
7 Siroki Brijeg, and the reason being was that I knew all my colleagues
8 there because, as a specialist, I was a well-known doctor in the region,
9 and I thought that it was easier for me to start working from there, from
10 an environment that I knew, and to set up a team there, because there was
11 nothing. We had to start from scratch, set up a team from scratch.
12 Q. When you say you had to start from scratch, as you've just told
13 us, you weren't a specialist in preventive medicine either, but if we
14 look at Herzegovina
15 in any way, either as doctors, nurses, or staff of that kind, who knew
16 what was to be done in the field of prevention or was there a
17 deficiencies of cadres there?
18 A. Yes, there was a deficit of staff, and rationalisation had to be
19 put in place. I had to rationalise with the men -- with the people
20 available. And today, for example, in peacetime, there is a deficit in
21 people trained in the preventive health area. And in the world, public
22 health is a highly respected area, but in primitive environments such as
23 my own, it is considered an area of lesser importance and that there's a
24 negative selection of physicians that are not as highly trained.
25 But let me go back to the period we're discussing. There weren't
1 enough people working in that field, and so epidemiology was perhaps the
2 closest area, and I don't think that at that time you would have found a
3 better man than myself for the job.
4 Q. Witness, you said that your task was to establish teams. Could
5 you please tell the Honourable Trial Chamber whether you did set up these
6 teams, and how and where they existed?
7 A. I've already said, I had this integrative function because there
8 weren't enough trained people, so first of all in Siroki Brijeg I had to
9 establish that, which was a test for me as to whether I'd be successful
10 in other areas. Thankfully, I had this idea that a team had to consist
11 of people whose knowledge, dedication, and efforts could prevent the
12 outbreak of infectious diseases, so I set up a team in Siroki Brijeg, and
13 the same kinds of teams were set up elsewhere.
14 I'm going to repeat that, because I think it's very important.
15 The teams had the same composition everywhere. There was a physician who
16 was head of the team. Then there was a vet who was in charge of food
17 that was animal or, rather, non-vegetarian food. Then we also had
18 another person who hopefully had worked in the sanitary inspectorate
19 before that, and then also there'd had to be a driver in the team. When
20 I set up the team in Siroki Brijeg, I sent reports straight away to
21 Tomislavgrad, to the Main Medical Corps headquarters.
22 Q. For the transcript, you said that there was a doctor, a
23 physician, who was head of the team, a vet, an agronomist and a driver;
25 A. And somebody who had worked for the sanitary inspectorate before
1 the war as well.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Allow me one follow-up
4 We understand that you set up this structure for infectious
5 diseases, but I have a question. Back in the former Yugoslavia, if
6 somebody had a serious disease, would that person be sent to Belgrade
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, infectious diseases
9 are a specific matter. These are contagious diseases. They can be
10 transferred from one person to another, but then also from an animal to a
11 person. Then infectious or contagious diseases can also cause an
12 epidemic. And you also know that there can be a pandemic too.
13 In Mostar, we had a department for infectious diseases, and that
14 is where patients were sent, patients with such diseases. (redacted)
15 (redacted)-- or,
16 rather, that at that time we sent very, very few patients to Belgrade
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's be more specific. Let us
19 imagine -- but of course there was no risk at all at the time, but let us
20 imagine there was this avian flu in 1992. Would that person have been
21 treated in Mostar or would you have sent that patient to Belgrade,
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're talking about 1992, up
24 until May probably we would have provided treatment in Mostar, and then
25 after May, I don't know exactly what date it was when the roads were cut
1 off, then we would treat them in Mostar, but we would send more difficult
2 cases to Sarajevo
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. His Honour asked you about this network, and the network that
6 you're talking about was a network for preventive medicine; right?
7 A. Yes, yes, preventive medicine. Perhaps you didn't hear me right.
8 I do apologise. Because there weren't enough people around, so then I
9 had people who were dealing with curative medicine before that, and then
10 I transferred them to work with -- work in the field of preventive
11 medicine. As the English would say, this is variegated medicine.
12 Q. What was it -- what was it that you said in English, that it was
13 a big difference?
14 A. Yes, an enormous difference.
15 Q. You established these teams in order to prevent contagious
16 diseases; right? You explained why, and how, and what the principle was,
17 and who you had on these teams. We are done with Siroki Brijeg, so could
18 you tell us briefly where it was that you established these teams further
20 A. Siroki Brijeg was just the first station that we had, an
21 experimental one at that, and then I realised that I would be successful.
22 Then there was a meeting in Capljina that was attended by
23 representatives of municipalities, that is to say, doctors, medical
24 people from Neum, Capljina, Citluk and Ljubusko. And then in every one
25 of these towns, we established respective teams - I don't have to repeat
1 it - consisting of the same profile of experts.
2 Then I went to Grude, where yet again doctors from Grude and
3 Posusje met, and what was established was a team, again of the same
4 composition in those towns.
5 After that, I went to Livno, which is a major centre, where yet
6 again a team was established with the same composition, that is to say,
7 for carrying out these functions in the field of preventive medicine.
8 Then I went to Jablanica, where yet again a team was established.
9 However, this time for Konjic, Jablanica. And since there were
10 colleagues there from Central Bosnia, Mr. Djambas, and --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Teams were set up, so I made up
13 these teams pretty well, and I covered the entire territory. Perhaps
14 I can also add that this package of measures was introduced in Posavina
15 as well. However, I was not in charge.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Witness, now that we are discussing all these teams, were
18 civilian and military personnel on these teams, and was their role to
19 contain contagious diseases, both in places where civilians lived or in
20 the civilian sector, if we can put it that way, and in the military
22 A. Yes. Yes, I've already said there were very few such people
23 around, and I've already said that contagious diseases did not make a
24 distinction between civilians and military personnel, it is simply human
25 beings that are affected. So if you prevent contagious diseases in an
1 area, then you're dealing with the entire population of that area.
2 Q. You did not answer my question. Who were members of this team?
3 A. Sorry, I tend to wander off. They were civilians, for the most
4 part, persons who worked in civilian structures. So in that way, in view
5 of the profile of these people who were trained, who had an education, we
6 managed to cover the entire territory of that municipality, both the
7 civilian and military segments. However, I've already said our function
8 was an integrative one.
9 Q. Tell me, did you establish any other team that was attached to
10 the Main Medical Corps headquarters? Did you establish that?
11 A. Yes. In order for this to work, a professional, educational,
12 instructive body had to be established that had to help those teams at
13 that given point in time. That is why I established a team attached to
14 the Main Medical Corps headquarters, not to repeat it, a physician, a vet
15 and so on. It was called a mobile team, a mobile team. As this is
16 self-explanatory, it is a mobile team and they are supposed to go where
17 their assistance is required.
18 Q. Please, all of these teams that you established in this area, I'm
19 asking you about 1992, 1993 and, say, April 1994. Throughout this time,
20 did they cover these areas for which they were in charge?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What about you and your mobile team; did you go from time to time
23 to these areas where these teams that were in charge of these areas were?
24 A. Well, yes, that was our task. We went to see how they worked, to
25 resolve problems, and also every time I went somewhere, that was a good
1 opportunity to instruct people, to train them. The domicile teams were
2 professionally stronger after every one of my visits, and there are
3 reports to support that.
4 Q. As for reports, these teams from the other areas and your team,
5 your mobile team, who was it that you actually submitted these reports to
6 about hygienic and epidemiological examinations that you carried out?
7 A. I forgot to say that all teams worked in the same composition. I
8 tried to introduce something that exists in all armies of the world, and
9 that is a single medical military doctrine, in terms of preventive
10 medicine. I would like to underline that. So all my work was focused on
11 preventive medical protection, and all teams worked on that in Grude,
12 Posusje, and this main team worked on the basis of the same principle.
13 And now, as far as your question is concerned, the reports, we
14 would send them to where we had come from. If it's the civilian sector,
15 then we'd send it to the civilian authority involved and also, of course,
16 to the Main Medical Corps headquarters.
17 Q. Did you also go on such missions to military units, and then who
18 would you report to?
19 A. Yes, yes. Well, we were established, inter alia, to practice
20 preventive medicine in the HVO. After every examination, there would
21 have to be a report. But I would like to point out that each and every
22 time, I was accompanied by the main person from the medical unit of that
23 particular unit, and he would familiarise himself with the preventive
24 medicine situation in that unit. And then if we were lucky, we would go
25 to the commander of the unit, and then the same day, usually in the
1 evening, I would write a report to that unit, and I'd send a report
2 usually to the superior unit, and also to the Main Medical Corps
3 headquarters, of course.
4 Q. Witness, as you were doing all of this work in an identical way,
5 did you work in this way on the basis of this identical model throughout
6 your tour of duty?
7 A. Your Honours, I've said that from the moment I started working
8 and up until the very end of my tour of duty, I worked in the field of
9 preventive medicine, and on the basis of this model of a single military
10 medical doctrine. I was engaged up until the end of 1995 in the HVO.
11 Q. Witness, as far as units are concerned, I would like to remind
12 you, and also for the purpose of the transcript, we are still dealing
13 with 1992. We haven't even come to June, so I'm asking about that
14 period, and then we'll deal with the other period of time.
15 You said that you had contact with the head of the medical units
16 within the larger units. You had such contacts. Did you have them in
17 the same way later?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Tell me, in terms of the units involved, who were the persons
20 that you had contacted, persons who were, in a way, in charge of the
21 medical needs of that particular unit?
22 A. Since most of these units were at brigade level, that is to say,
23 tactical groups, I had contacts with the head of the medical service of
24 that brigade, and then I would communicate with that head or chief, and
25 then I'd go down to lower-ranking units, like battalions and even
2 Q. Professionally, what was the professional background of this
3 chief medical officer of the brigade?
4 A. That was supposed to be a physician, a general practitioner; that
5 is to say, not a specialist.
6 Q. What about companies and battalions; did they have medical
7 personnel with some kind of medical qualifications?
8 A. If we start with the lowest level, that's company level, that
9 would be a nurse. In my country, there used to be a school for nursing,
10 and then it no longer existed. Most of them came from the former
11 Yugoslav People's Army. They were people who underwent such training,
12 but were not professional nurses. They knew very little. They could
13 give first aid and provide very basic medical protection.
14 Several companies comprised a battalion. At the battalion level,
15 there would be a medical technician, of course, with the proper degree of
16 training, of course, with a higher level of medical knowledge both in the
17 field of preventive medicine and also in terms of providing care, and
18 then there would be a few orderlies to help him out. If necessary, if
19 there was combat involved, then he'd send them to lower-ranking units,
21 Then several battalions comprise a brigade, and then there were
22 military districts further up, and then there would be heads of the
23 medical service for the entire military district.
24 Q. Witness, as for your own line of work that we've been discussing
25 so far, that is to say, prevention, preventing sources of infection and
1 disease, in which way did you have professional contacts with these
2 persons who were in charge of medical affairs in different units?
3 A. Well, first of all, I would establish contact with such a person.
4 I would go to the unit involved. I would talk to my colleague. I would
5 say to him what it was that he was supposed to do.
6 I would like to point out that I have written several handbooks
7 and several sets of instructions. You must realise that these were young
8 people, people who did not have sufficient knowledge, people with big
9 hearts, but at that point in time they had very little knowledge. I was
10 supposed to educate them in terms of preventive medical care, and I
11 underline that.
12 Q. Witness, were you their superior? Your service that was involved
13 with preventive medical care, was it in a superior position in relation
14 to them? What was the relationship between your service and these
15 persons in different units that were in charge of this?
16 A. I did not take part in the chain of command, because the medical
17 corps in all armies throughout the world is a professional body, engaged
18 in training as well, which makes proposals, and if you looked at the
19 many, many reports that I wrote, I always propose measures. Now, as far
20 as the professional area goes, we were professionally superior to them,
21 that's true, and it was our duty to train them.
22 Q. Witness, I'm going to ask you to tell the Trial Chamber now what
23 happened in around June and July with the Main Medical Corps HQ. Did it
24 dislocate from Tomislavgrad, did it move?
25 A. Yes. Mostar was liberated at that time, and I was given the task
1 of going to Mostar to be one of the main people to pave the way for the
2 Main Medical Corps HQ to relocate and to set up a mobile team as well, so
3 that I had in fact two mobile teams as of that date. And until the
4 arrival of a Main Medical Corps HQ, I was placed at the disposal of the
5 war hospital in Mostar.
6 Q. Can you tell me, please, where you were accommodated when you
7 reached Mostar, and when the Main Medical Corps HQ arrived, where was
8 that put up?
9 A. Mostar itself was very much devastated at the time. It was
10 destroyed. And at the beginning of the war, the Main Medical Corps HQ
11 was in the building where the Defence Department worked; that is, later
12 on, of course.
13 After that, we relocated to another public facility a kilometre
14 and a half away, which is the new hospital where, before the war, small
15 sections of it were working. But during the war, it stopped working, and
16 so we took over some offices on the ground floor, and that's where the
17 Main Medical Corps HQ was relocated to.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Excuse me, Witness. You are
19 translated and recorded here as saying the following:
20 "At the beginning of the war, the Main Medical Corps was in the
21 building where the Defence Department worked; that is, later on, of
23 This reads contradictory, and I would be grateful if you could
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was my mistake. The Main
1 Medical Corps headquarters was in Tomislavgrad. However, with the
2 liberation of Mostar from the Serb aggression, it was relocated to
3 Mostar, so that -- we're talking about June and July here. Now, at that
4 point, for a very short period of time we were in a building of the
5 former Tobacco Institute. That's a building where later on -- later on
6 the Defence Department came into being. So after spending a short time
7 there, we went to the hospital at Bijeli Brijeg which was under
8 construction and has actually just been completed quite recently.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
10 Excuse me, Ms. Nozica.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. So we're talking about June 1992. That's what you're talking
13 about, Witness; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Witness, you mentioned the hospital at Bijeli Brijeg. Now, as we
16 had a witness in court here last week, I'd like to ask you to explain to
17 the Trial Chamber -- well, we had Dr. Ante Kvesic, that was the witness,
18 and he was the head of the war hospital, so could you explain to Their
19 Honours where that particular war hospital was located or explain to us
20 whether those were two hospitals that you're referring to?
21 A. Yes, it is two hospitals, and these two hospitals are about three
22 to four kilometres apart from each other. My colleague, Dr. Kvesic, was
23 the head of the hospital, but he was in the hospital that was up at the
24 front-line, and many world magazines and journals wrote about that. This
25 other hospital was under construction, and as I say, it is three or four
1 kilometres away from the first one. They are physically separated and
2 have nothing in common. But Dr. Kvesic was the head doctor, the manager
3 of that first hospital, but they are -- we're talking about two
4 completely different hospitals.
5 Q. All right, fine. Now, after the Main Medical Corps HQ relocated
6 in 1992, and I'm asking you about --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
8 Witness, please, I'm trying to understand. You said that
9 Dr. Kvesic was in the hospital that was on the front-line. I'm a little
10 bit puzzled, therefore. When you say that it was on the front-line, does
11 this mean that this was a hospital that took charge of those people that
12 had been wounded during the war, that's why this hospital was on the
13 front-line? Was that the reason why?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mostar -- the whole of Mostar, the
15 town was the front-line, in fact, and this hospital was at a forward
16 post, it was exposed, and it functioned until very recently, the surgery
17 ward. But, anyway, that's the hospital in town, whereas this other
18 hospital is -- the new hospital that I'm talking about is along the
19 periphery, the outskirts of town, if I can put it that way. So they're
20 two completely different localities.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's take the case of a
22 wounded HVO soldier. The soldier is wounded. Which hospital is he taken
23 to, the one that's on the front-line, or is this person taken to your
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first hospital that Dr. Kvesic
1 spoke about. It was operational before the war as well, but the other
2 hospital started working in mid-July 1993, so there's just this
3 discontinuity in time. To begin with, only one hospital was working.
4 Later on, both of them functioned.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's take the case of an HVO
6 soldier. In August of 1993, he receives a bullet in his chest. Which
7 hospital is he taken to?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They would take them where there
9 was available space; mostly to the first hospital. But as there are a
10 lot of wounded persons, then they would be evacuated to the upper
11 hospital, that is to say, the other hospital as well.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A second case, let's take the
13 case of a child that coughs relentless -- unrelentlessly, that spits out
14 blood. Which hospital is this child taken to, the first hospital or the
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A child coughing will go to the
17 pediatric department which was up on the hill very close to the new
18 hospital, because pediatrics, as you know, is a branch of medicine
19 dealing with children's diseases.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. But let me just ask you, Witness: The second hospital, where you
23 say was where the Main Medical Corps HQ was located, you talked about
24 that during the Naletilic/Martinovic trial, and that's why I wanted us to
25 differentiate an distinguish between the hospitals, but I think it's very
1 important at this point for you to explain to Their Honours --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. I'd like the
3 interpreter in the French booth to do his or her job. Thank you.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I think it's important for you to explain to the Trial Chamber
6 whether the hospital, that second hospital where the Main Medical Corps
7 HQ was located, had it been completed before the war? Why wasn't it
9 A. The hospital has just been opened just a few days ago, and I can
10 say with pride that it is a specialised hospital, and my boss, Dr. Ante
11 Kvesic, whom you saw, has been proclaimed one of the main citizens of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But before that, only a small portion had been
13 constructed, but the hospital was finished just a few days ago.
14 Q. Right, we've cleared that up now.
15 Now, you said in September/October 1992 -- or tell me, whether
16 during that time there was some reorganisation that took place, and where
17 was the Main Medical Corps HQ put up, and did you remain in the same
18 locality you were in before this reorganisation took place?
19 A. Yes. Sometime in August, there was reorganisation, so we were no
20 longer referred to as the Main Medical Corps HQ, but we became the Sector
21 for Health attached to the Defence Department, and the Health Sector had
22 three parts. One was the Main Medical Corps, so it stayed within that
23 sector. The second sector was for the wounded, and the third sector was
24 for inspection and control. I was in the Main Medical Corps, and above
25 me -- well, when I say "I," that might not be the right way to put it. I
1 might be accused of boasting. But there was a team -- there was a team
2 for dentistry, for informatics, for storage, and Mr. Kvesic was our head.
3 Q. Witness, so with the establishment of the Defence document, one
4 of its sectors was the Health Sector, as you said, and it was within this
5 sector, the Health Sector, that your service was located within the Main
6 Medical Corps HQ; is that right? Have I interpreted that correctly?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Tell me now, please, you said you received your first decision,
9 signed by Mr. Sarac, as you explained to us, but later on, up to 1995, as
10 you said, did these decisions change? Did you receive any other
11 decisions from other individuals, and did your tasks and assignments
12 change and the job you did, did that change too?
13 A. Your Honours, I have already said that from the time I started
14 working in the Main Medical Corps HQ, until I finished working within the
15 HVO, I always did the same job, my duties were all the same, always in
16 the sphere of preventive medicine.
17 Now, as far as decisions are concerned, one was for Dr. Bagaric,
18 one from -- was from Mr. Perica Jukic, the minister, and one was from
19 Mr. Vlado Soljic, but only in the field of preventive medicine. Let me
20 stress that once again.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Ms. Nozica, soon the first hour of the hearing
22 of this witness is over. I must confess to you that I have not found
23 anything that links anywhere to the indictment. You will say this --
24 probably that this belongs to joint criminal enterprise, because that's
25 what you always say in the Defence, but I don't see how it does. It
1 would be interesting for the medical history of Mostar, but that is not
2 what we are exactly dealing with. Could you try to concentrate a bit and
3 put questions and solicit answers which assist the Bench in its task.
4 Thank you.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that these are
6 very significant issues, and I'm not going to say that it's important for
7 the joint criminal enterprise, but to come to the merits of the case and
8 the merits of the indictment, we have to explain the genesis of
9 everything. I know how much time I have at my disposal, so I can assure
10 you that this basic information will be very important for you to
11 understand what comes later.
12 Q. Now, when you came to Mostar in 1992, tell us briefly --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, one moment, please.
14 I agree entirely with what my colleague Judge Trechsel has just said.
15 We've just spent an hour listening to you, and I'm very expectant. I
16 don't know what the latter half of your questions will focus on. I don't
17 see in what way they are assisting us. Maybe you want to create a degree
18 of suspense, but we are waiting impatiently for these questions.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
20 become quite clear in just a moment, but let's bear in mind the
21 indictment, and the Health Sector within the indictment, and the position
22 of the service in which this witness was working, for us to be able to
23 explain what his task was. We have to put it in the general context, the
24 overall tasks responsibilities of this particular witness.
25 Q. Now, Witness, since Their Honours are impatient to hear the crux
1 of the matter, the substance of the issues, could you explain to them
2 just briefly how, when you arrived in Mostar in 1992, onwards -- or,
3 rather, what your main tasks were. What areas did you have to visit in
4 order to prevent the outbreak of diseases?
5 A. I've already said, the team's function was integral, to look at
6 the military and civilian sector, and according to the postulates of
7 epidemiology, was to visit the waterworks system. Secondly, to visit
8 everywhere where people congregated in large numbers, because if you have
9 large numbers, there's always the danger of infectious and contagious
10 diseases which could become epidemics. Third, to visit food supplies and
11 the utilities companies. Then, number 5, to go with the units. I had to
12 come into contact with all persons concerned and everybody who could help
13 me prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases.
14 Q. Now, you mentioned the waterworks system, you mentioned civilian
15 institutions and locations, you mentioned visiting the units. Could you
16 explain to Their Honours, who did you talk to when you went to visit the
17 waterworks system, for example, and who did you send a report to,
18 reporting on the conditions?
19 A. The waterworks are a central location. I went to the director,
20 to the manager, and I always demanded that a residual chlorine be at a
21 level 0.3 to 0.4, and then I would send out a report to the civilian
22 authorities and to the Health Sector.
23 Q. Witness, when it comes to water and Mostar, are there any
24 specific features to be noted in that year of 1992? What was specific
25 with water then? Did Mostar have sufficient water supplies? I'm talking
1 about 1992 and especially 1993.
2 A. In 1993 -- or, rather, 1993 was -- has been described as Mostar's
3 driest year. Now, Mostar had two waterworks systems, and the amount of
4 water -- because of the amount of shelling, many of the pipes had been
5 damaged, and the water levels ran very low, and there was the permanent
6 danger of water contamination from the sewage system, which would lead to
7 an outbreak of intestinal diseases.
8 Now, I lived in town, in the center of town. I was on the fifth
9 floor of a high-rise building, and I didn't have any water, so we had to
10 go down to the hydrant and take water there for the basics, the
12 Q. I see, thank you. Now, could you explain to the Trial Chamber,
13 what of your tours to the units? What did you do when you went to tour a
14 unit, who did you talk to, and what were your priorities?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you answer Ms. Nozica's
16 question, let me go back to the issue of water.
17 I now discover that you were living in the center of Mostar, that
18 you did not get any water, and that you had to go to the hydrant to get
19 some water. As far as you know, was there anyone in Mostar who died of
20 thirst or who died because they did not have enough water or who suffered
21 serious consequences because they could not drink any water? Was there a
22 single case?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about that,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you sure?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot say with any degree
2 of certainty. I mean, I don't know. That's what I'm saying, I don't
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: While we're at it in the same vein, Witness.
5 Can you tell us about any epidemics that broke out during the war in
6 Mostar due to unclean water?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not in Mostar, nowhere
8 at the level of Herceg-Bosna was there a single epidemic, not through
9 water, not through food, and I personally consider that to be the
10 achievement of my life, and I --
11 [In English] [Indiscernible] is a world famous medical journal.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I did not have the translation, but the last
13 words were in English, I can see. I can only say congratulations.
14 I'm still waiting for a link to the indictment, Ms. Nozica.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you don't see that
16 in the case of water, in the case of water in Mostar, then perhaps I
17 don't understand what would be significant in terms of this witness.
18 Q. Witness, we are going to go back to the question of water in
19 Mostar, as you've said that was the water situation in Mostar, in the
20 west part of Mostar in 1993. However, there is a report about that, and
21 that's a very important topic.
22 For the transcript, I would just like to say that the witness
23 revealed his identity on lines 13 and 14 on page 14, so I don't think it
24 would be a bad idea to have that section redacted.
25 Now, Witness, very briefly, very concisely, could you explain to
1 the Honourable Trial Chamber about this mobile team of yours when you
2 went to work on prevention in a particular unit? Could you explain who
3 you met up with and where you carried out examinations?
4 A. First of all, we would go to the chief medical officer of that
5 unit, say in a brigade, say in Capljina was Dr. Sutalo. First of all, we
6 would talk and see whether there were any problems. Yet again, I'm
7 saying in the field of preventive medical care. Are there any contagious
8 diseases there? Are there any individual cases of this nature, is there
9 a link between and among them, and whether there is a possibility of an
10 epidemic breaking out.
11 I would like to note that water is very important. I'll just
12 give you the example of the city of Hamburg
13 cholera. In cholera -- in Pristina, over 1.000 people got cholera. Take
14 cholera -- or, rather, typhoid, and cholera is a very important -- that's
15 a very important case. There was a lot of cholera.
16 Q. Witness, there is no need for you to lapse into English, because
17 you can just confuse the interpreters by speaking both languages at the
18 same time. Just tell us what you focused on.
19 A. First of all, water. We had to -- we had to find how much
20 residual chlorine there was. That is to say, if there was no residual
21 chlorine in water, then that water should not be imbibed. It is
22 potentially dangerous because it has microbiological agents. We carried
23 out such checks in respect of food, too, because food can also lead to
24 infections. We know that today, even in big hotel chains like Hilton,
25 say there was an outbreak of salmonella in Glasgow five years ago, and so
1 on and so forth. Also, we looked at what accommodation was for the
2 soldiers, I mean, that we have to make a distinction between barracks and
3 front-lines, but I guess we'll be dealing with that later. Also, we
4 looked at what waste disposal was like. You know full well that if that
5 is inadequate, then that is one of the possible vectors that lead to the
6 outbreak of contagious diseases.
7 Further on, I looked at what the medical supplies were, from the
8 point of view of preventive medicine. Also, I asked to see medical
9 documentation. Unfortunately, at first there wasn't any; later on, there
10 were medical documents, because adequate medical documentation could
11 reflect what the health situation was.
12 I will say for a hundred times, if necessary, that every time I
13 educated and trained my colleagues, we had people who had university
14 degrees, who had knowledge, but no experience, and I would like to say
15 that public health had totally been neglected in my country, regrettably.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Doctor, what you say about West
17 Mostar -- or based on what you said, everything was done, but our problem
18 is about East Mostar. So what did you do for East Mostar?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no one asked me.
20 As soon as I arrived in Mostar, I established contact with my
21 colleagues from the left bank. Also, I carried out this education that
22 I'm so proud of.
23 I'm digressing now, but two months ago there was an epidemic of
24 infectious hepatitis on the left bank among some refugees. I was called
25 by these people, and I prevented an epidemic; that is to say, that I had
1 this educational role to play, and I'm very proud of that.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that you were
3 in touch with your colleagues in East Mostar and that, together with
4 them, you would monitor the health or sanitary conditions regarding water
5 and food?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, Your Honour, yes (redacted)
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think we need to redact this
10 line, because knowing your colleagues name, you would be identified
11 easily. We're going to have an order. Mr. Registrar, please prepare it.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just a small question.
14 The yellow fever, I think it was, epidemic that you spoke about a
15 moment ago, when was that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it wasn't yellow
17 fever, it was virus Hepatitis A, so that was very important. It broke
18 out just now. I am an infectologist, but they called me even now, and
19 I'm very proud of that. I was on federal TV and talked about it for an
21 Yellow fever, that is a disease --
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It was a linguistic problem, because Hepatitis B
23 in Germany
24 so I mixed it up. I'm sorry, you're quite right.
25 Ms. Nozica.
1 THE WITNESS: "Wir konnen aber Deutsch sprechen, wenn Sie wollen
2 mochten. Es ist mir ganz egal."
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But we are not here for a dialogue, Doctor,
4 unfortunately. This is for everyone.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Exactly, Your Honour. Thank you.
6 Q. Witness, you said that you haven't been asked, but I do intend to
7 ask you. However, His Honour Judge Antonetti asked first.
8 When you said that you carried out this education of your
9 colleagues on the east bank, can you explain when it was that this had
10 happened? Was it before the conflict between the Bosniaks and Croats?
11 And tell me, in terms of this education, did you also go to locations
12 where the units were, the then units, say, of the Mostar Battalion?
13 Later on, these were units of the 4th Corps. Did you visit these
14 localities in an identical fashion, as you had been doing in the case of
15 the HVO?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need a redaction of line 13,
20 page 35, Mr. Registrar.
21 Please proceed.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I carried out this education.
23 The system of work for me was absolutely identical, regardless of whether
24 it had to do with the right bank or the left bank, regardless of whether
25 it had to do with civilians or the military. It was based on the single
1 military medical doctrine.
2 In response to your question, yes, yes, I went to the front-line
3 of the BH Army and the HVO. The same education went to all.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a technical question for
5 you, based on what you said just now.
6 We have heard a lot of witnesses. We've been sitting here for
7 over two years. We've heard a lot of witnesses, and I remember a woman.
8 She was going to fetch some water from the river, and she was killed by
9 sniper fire. I'd like to know this: Somebody getting water from the
10 stream, could they boil the water in order to drink it afterwards,
11 without putting any chlorine in it? Can it be drunk then?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. First of all, you said "the
13 river." It must be the Neretva. I assume that it was a conflict between
14 the two warring parties. Water can be boiled and even used for
15 disinfection later on. So, yes, I often did that myself. I often took
16 such water myself. And it is a crime to kill anyone anywhere at any
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, you said just now how you toured this unit. Tell me
20 very briefly, because time is short, after touring the headquarters of
21 the unit, did you go to the front-line too or, rather, out into the field
22 where the troops were?
23 A. Well, I was a real doctor, not a salon doctor. I did go, indeed,
24 not only in the case of the HVO, but also the BH Army, and I'm so proud
25 of that, very proud of that, and everyone knows that from all structures.
1 Q. Witness, after that, after all these tours, did you compile a
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you submitted them according to the methodology that you
5 already described?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Witness, now I'm going to put a few questions to you about
8 conditions on the front in respect of the HVO units. We are talking
9 about the period after the conflict with the BH Army. I would be
10 interested in three segments. Since you often went to the front-line, I
11 would be interested in hearing about three segments.
12 Where were the soldiers sleeping? What kind of food did they
13 have, and what kind of water did they have? Can you briefly explain to
14 the Trial Chamber what your experience is in relation to these three
15 conditions under which HVO members lived at the front-line?
16 A. First of all, you asked about sleep. As for sleep, at the
17 front-line two elements have to be distinguished. One group of soldiers
18 would be at the front-line and others would be resting. They would be
19 resting mostly in houses that were heavily damaged, often had no water,
20 and often they even used tents. I would like to say that the same goes
21 for the Muslim forces too.
22 As for food, food came from the central kitchen of that
23 particular unit. However, the basic postulate was that if food is
24 consumed, two hours after it is cooked, it should not be used. We have
25 to realise there were soldiers who were at forward posts, and they only
1 ate dry food, not cooked meals.
2 And what was your third question?
3 Q. Water.
4 A. There was very little water. I think that it was only sufficient
5 to meet the basic needs of organisms; 0.3 or 0.4 per cent was the allowed
6 percentage of chlorine.
7 Q. As far as sleep is concerned, according to your experience, you
8 toured all these units, these houses where they were, did they have beds?
9 We're talking about abandoned houses. You said that primarily they were
10 in these houses that had been abandoned. Did they have blankets, and
11 what was the situation like in the very beginning, and did it improve
12 somewhat as time went by?
13 A. There weren't any beds. They slept on spreads, and they had
14 blankets. I personally wrote and asked for these blankets to be washed
15 and disinfected. Unfortunately, that is one of the segments that no one
16 took care of. At first, they thought that my requests were impossible,
17 and they thought that I brought that from the former army. They did not
18 realise that this was prevention of skin diseases.
19 And I also need to point out that at first, due to indolence and
20 ignorance, they didn't want to dig toilets either.
21 Q. Food. What was your assessment? If it was brought from food --
22 from the brigade, was there enough food, was the quality good? What
23 would your general assessment of the food be?
24 A. In all armies of the world, there is this system of cooking large
25 quantities of food at the same time and also that cannot get infected
1 easily, so throughout the world food does not vary to a great deal. It
2 is insufficiently varied. At first, it wasn't very good, but later on it
3 got better. There wasn't enough variety. The quality was fairly good,
4 but due to epidemiological reasons, they had to make due.
5 Q. The members of the HVO, of the Croatian Defence Council, as far
6 as water is concerned, in this situation when they were at the
7 front-line, did they have enough water for hygiene?
8 A. There was very little water. There was just enough to keep them
9 alive from a biological point of view.
10 Q. Witness, now that we have painted this general picture, could you
11 please respond to the Trial Chamber and say whether you went to prisons,
12 isolation locations, or centres where prisoners of war were?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you recall when it was that you first visited a locality
15 called a prison or that was in one of the mentioned categories?
16 A. Well, look, I've already said, but you may have forgotten, every
17 large group of people, if they are at the same locality, they provide
18 fertile ground for the outbreak of infectious diseases. In winter
19 months, it is respiratory diseases; throughout the year, stomach-related
20 diseases and also nervous disorders, including even meningitis. For me,
21 a prison is a house where people are kept and are not allowed to leave.
22 From a medical point of view, that's it.
23 I went for the first time when my colleague, (redacted), asked
24 me -- or, rather, I have to tell you something else before that.
25 I came from the former army. (redacted) had very good
1 relations. However, I realised that if -- if someone who is my superior
2 said something to me, that was an order for me, although it was not an
3 order, necessarily. That was my understanding of the matter.
4 I went to the spot itself. I went there to do my work, and my
5 colleague, (redacted), said to me, It seems that at the
6 Heliodrom, there are many people who had been assembled there. Please go
7 and see what this is all about. Please take care of it all, from the
8 point of view of preventive medicine. Please don't allow anything
9 inappropriate to happen.
10 Q. You said, "Don't allow any epidemiological incident to take
11 place." Was that the end of your sentence?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You tend to sometimes swallow your words, so that wasn't
14 recorded. Can you tell me when that was?
15 A. That was in mid-May 1993.
16 Q. Witness, did you go to prisons that were called Dretelj and
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you do that in the same way -- did (redacted) tell you or
20 did you learn that those prisons had been formed?
21 A. I think my colleague (redacted), but the way in which I
22 worked was -- well, 85 per cent of the decisions I took myself. However,
23 when you're engaged in preventive medicine, you have to go on location.
24 You're not a doctor in a hospital. You have to go on location and take
25 measures to prevent diseases, so that is your vocation, to go on the
1 spot, on location.
2 Q. Before we move on to the documents that tell us about that, let's
3 clear up a few points.
4 Witness, you, as a doctor, and I'm asking you this because of the
5 questions you were asked during the Naletilic/Martinovic trial, did you
6 differentiate between prisons, detention centres, detention and so on?
7 A. I don't know the difference now and I didn't know the difference
8 then. As far as I'm concerned, it's all the same, all one thing.
9 Q. Very well. We have just a little time left before the break.
10 Can you explain to us, when you toured these places and localities, was
11 the system of work in force for the control of these premises identical
12 as you explained to us earlier on, the system you applied when you went
13 to the units, whether it was HVO units or previously the BH Army units?
14 A. I said, yes, I did -- I worked according to a uniform medical
15 doctrine for wartime.
16 Q. What were the priorities, could you repeat that, in all these
18 A. Well, the same thing would happen if I went to see refugees. I
19 didn't make any differentiation between refugees, displaced persons,
20 soldiers and the prisons. The priorities were, let me repeat, water,
21 food, accommodation, dealing with waste matter, and then whether
22 documents were being kept, whether the right documents were being sent
23 out, and, furthermore, the education and training of the population,
24 whether they be doctors or whoever.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are now addressing
1 an essential issue. You said that you would go and visit these people,
2 refugees, military, or prisoners. I'm quoting there. I want to know the
3 following: When you would go to the Heliodrom, would you go and see free
4 people, or people who were detained, or still people having another
5 status? Or you, as a doctor of medicine, you didn't ask yourself that
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as a physician, and
8 now as an assistant professor, as far as I'm concerned, I have taken the
9 Hippocratic oath, so as far as I'm concerned, there are no prefixes that
10 I apply. A man is a man, regardless of his title. All I distinguish
11 between is healthy and sick, young/old, male/female. I know of no other
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think the time has come for a
14 break. We're going to break for 20 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
18 Ms. Nozica, you have had 58 minutes so far. You have one hour
19 and two minutes. Therefore, I would like to mention to the witness that
20 he should avoid mentioning names of people, because when that happens,
21 this may identify you. When you have a question, raise your hand, and
22 then we shall move into closed session. Otherwise, I will spend my
23 afternoon signing redaction orders. I have three already, and I'm
24 waiting for the Registrar to hand me a pen.
25 Ms. Nozica.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Witness, the Judge has just told you what I wanted to tell you,
3 because the problem throughout your testimony was the fact that you
4 mention names. Now, we have the transcript of your testimony during the
5 Naletilic trial, and during that testimony you enjoyed the same
6 protective measures, and the same names were mentioned then that you
7 mention now. Now, if you want to name names, then ask us to go into
8 closed session so that we don't have to redact the transcript.
9 I know that Dr. Bagaric and all the other names were mentioned
10 many times, and you had no problem there, but if you have a problem with
11 names, then you let us know in advance and we'll move into private
13 Anyway, let's move on. My last questions were related to the
14 visits to the prisons, detention centres, and so on. We mentioned
15 Heliodrom, Dretelj, Gabela. Now, as far as that portion of your
16 testimony is concerned, tell us, please, who you went to tour these
17 places with, and we'll move on to the documents afterwards. Who took you
18 to those prisons? Who did you go there with? Who did you report to?
19 Who did you go with?
20 A. First of all, let me say that I came with my -- one of my fellow
21 workers to the unit, and if you looked at the reports, it always says
22 that one of my staff was with me.
23 Secondly, I reported to the chief of the medical corps of the
24 said unit. If I was in Capljina, specifically, then I would report to
25 the chief of the Knez Domagoj Medical Corps. If I was in the area of the
1 3rd Brigade, I would talk to their commander. And I would discuss the
2 situation in the unit first, we would analyse the situation in the unit,
3 and let me emphasise all this concerning preventive medicine and what
4 measures to take in that regard. Then, we would take a look at the
5 infirmary and the medicines to see whether there was sufficient supplies
6 of medicines, and I asked every time to see all the medical
7 documentation, and on that basis I was able to see the death rate, if
8 there had been, or I could -- was able to conclude whether any infectious
9 diseases had occurred.
10 Now, after that, I would ask the chiefs, the commanders, whether
11 there was anything they had failed to inform me of. And I would always
12 ask, when I went to prisons, what the situation there was, and they would
13 describe the situation. And once the head person had done that, then the
14 two of us would go and tour the said locality. That would be it.
15 Q. We'll go into all the details and look at your reports, but I
16 just want to ask you: Who was in charge of dealing with the medical care
17 and attention of persons in these prisons?
18 A. If you read my reports and some of the instructions that were
19 issued by the Health Sector, it was the unit that was there that was
20 superior. So if we're talking about Capljina, the medical corps of the
21 Knez Domagoj Brigade. If it was Mostar, Heliodrom. Then the chief of
22 the medical corps would be the chief of the 3rd Motorised Brigade.
23 Q. Before we look at the documents, tell me whether you used the
24 same methods and methodology, as you explained to us earlier on, whenever
25 you visited these places and compiled your reports, and tell us how you
1 structured your report.
2 A. All my reports were done in a uniform manner, based on a uniform
3 wartime medical doctrine, and the same system applied, and I worked with
4 refugees, with army members, and in the prisons as well. The structure
5 of the report was as follows: Well, I would state my views orally first
6 and then write all this down and say there was water, which was extremely
7 important from the aspects of medical prevention. Then we would look at
8 accommodation. After that, we would look to see whether there were any
9 specific diseases. I would examine persons myself. Then residues, waste
10 matter, how that was seen to, where the persons were accommodated, what
11 they had to cover themselves with, and so on. I've already mentioned
12 waste matter and so on.
13 And then on the basis of all these factors, I would compile a
14 report. And if we are dealing with a prison, for example, if that's what
15 you meant, then I would get information from the brigade physician,
16 Dr. Hadzic or the late Dr. Stranjak, but also I would talk to people
17 myself and ask people I knew personally, so that my report was always
18 compiled in a multi-disciplinary approach to the problems in hand.
19 Q. Witness, could you give me shorter answers. I asked you about
20 the structure. Did you first of all note down who was present? Just
22 A. Well, all the reports were the same, compiled in the same way.
23 They are of a scientific nature and can be verified. First of all, the
24 day I visited, who was with me from my team, which of my staff was with
25 me; for example, who was from the 3rd Brigade, a doctor from the 1st
1 Brigade, that kind of thing. Then, afterwards, we would say what we
2 found. And after that, and this is an important portion, we would
3 propose measures as to what should be done, because we didn't have any
4 type of command function, we're not part of the chain of command. All we
5 can do is propose measures, because we have a consultative professional
6 and educational/training body. After that, we would look at what would
7 happen unless those measures were implemented. That would be in the
8 conclusion. And then, finally, who these reports were addressed to. And
9 the same thing was repeated for each and every case, each and every
11 Q. Thank you. Now, Witness, would you take up the binder in front
12 of you, and we'll go through the documents, through all the documents,
13 looking at all the topics that you've been testifying about over this
14 last hour.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, Ms. Nozica.
16 (redacted), there is one sentence where I do not quite understand
17 what you want to say. It's page 46, line first. It says:
18 "After that, after having examined, we would look at what would
19 happen unless those measures were implemented."
20 That's the sentence. I don't quite understand what you are
21 saying here.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what you should know
23 is this: In preventive medicine, you forecast what a situation might be
24 and you take steps to prevent adverse things from happening. Now,
25 curative medicine, you treat persons straight away, where preventive
1 medicine you make your forecast, you try and foresee what might happen
2 and put measures in place to prevent infectious diseases from breaking
3 out, specifically in my area. I think that's the answer.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I think I understand that.
5 The question that I would like to ask is whether you also
6 verified and took note and reported on whether and how your
7 recommendations were implemented.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes. In some of the
9 reports, it says on the basis of -- compared to my previous report, the
10 situation is either better or worse, better because of such and such,
11 worse because of such and such. So what we endeavour to do was to get a
12 step-by-step advance and progress to prevent infectious diseases from
13 breaking out. If you look at Heliodrom, infectious diseases know no
14 boundaries. They will affect soldiers, their families, so they're
15 contagious, they lead to the spread of disease.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, could you take a look at the first document now, please.
20 It is P3355, which is a report on the work -- P3355 is the document
21 number, and it is the report on the work of the Defence Department for
22 January to June. Look at page 26 first, please. It relates to the
23 Defence Department.
24 I have a message telling me that Judge Trechsel, on page 46, line
25 11, mentioned the witness's name.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I apologise, yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's been corrected. The order
3 has been filed. I'll probably have a cramp by the end of the afternoon
4 if I continue this way.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'll do my best to prevent mistakes
6 from happening, but of course anything can happen.
7 Now we'd like to look at page 23 of the English.
8 Q. Have you found it, Witness?
9 A. It's 26 in the Croatian.
10 Q. That's quite right. And here we have the Health Sector, which
11 was the sector that included your own service; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Take a look at page 27 now, please. On page 27, which is page 24
14 of the English, we see that when the Health Sector, the Main Medical
15 Corps HQ was active, now, is that the headquarters that your service was
16 active in?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now take a look at page 31, and in the English it is page 29.
19 Have you found it? This is an epidemiological/toxicological report, or,
20 rather, a report of the Infectious Diseases, Epidemiological and
21 Toxicological Service.
22 Witness, we don't have much time, but, anyway, over the next two
23 pages of this report, we have a listing of all of your jobs -- all the
24 tasks that you performed during the reporting period, where the final
25 conclusion, the penultimate paragraph on page 33, which states that you
1 compiled 81 daily reports and 21 weekly reports?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I'd just like to draw your attention to something we did not
4 discuss yet. On page 32, it says that you compiled a series of
5 instructions, sets of instructions, or, rather, your service, or you
6 yourself, which applied, well, during this period of time in -- for the
7 purpose of education, and you handed it over to the brigade's medical
9 A. Yes. This is just a part of it. There was much more.
10 Q. This is a general overview of your work, Witness, so you can skip
11 the next document in the binder and find document 2D 2021. We're now
12 moving on to what did you in concrete terms, 2021. It should be the
13 third document in your binder.
14 THE WITNESS: Could you help me, please?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, you mustn't display
16 this document, because one might identify the witness.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, then I think it would
18 be a good idea to move into private session, and I'll do that for all the
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, closed session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 37532-37565 redacted.
19 [Open session]
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we are in closed session,
22 or public session, are we? Yes, we are in open session.
23 MR. SCOTT: I don't think it's -- excuse me, Your Honour.
24 I don't think it's particularly critical. I won't -- out of an
25 abundance of caution, I won't mention the name of the next witness,
1 Your Honour. But just for scheduling purposes, it would assist the
2 Prosecution, and presumably everyone else in the courtroom, if we knew
3 what the schedule would be for the next witness and whether the witness
4 will then start tomorrow or whether we'll be starting on the next witness
5 on Wednesday, and I thought the Chamber might inquire.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Ms. Nozica, what about
8 the second witness this week? Is he going to be ready to testify
9 tomorrow already or is it going to be Wednesday?
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, according to our
11 schedule, the witness will be coming in on Wednesday, and he'll be ready
12 for Wednesday because he's just arrived today, so we won't have another
13 witness tomorrow.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we should finish this
15 witness tomorrow. Very well.
16 At any rate, the Trial Chamber is going to issue a decision
17 regarding the next witness, but it will be filed tomorrow or at least as
18 soon as possible.
19 I'm now addressing the Defence counsel who wish to cross-examine
20 this witness.
21 Ms. Alaburic.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, according to our
23 internal order, I'm next for the cross-examination of this witness. I
24 don't know whether you want me to start straight away or to hear the
25 views about the other Defence teams, whether they will be
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it might be good to know
3 who wants to cross-examine, to arrange time much.
4 Are you going to speak, Mr. Kovacic?
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good
6 afternoon to everybody in the courtroom. The Defence of General Praljak
7 has no questions for this witness, thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And as for Mr. Coric?
9 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 We're not sure yet, but even if we do have questions, it will just be one
11 or two, briefly.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. For Mr. Pusic?
14 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] As things now stand,
15 Mr. President, we probably don't have any questions for this witness, but
16 we'll leave the decision to when our time comes. Thank you.
17 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence of Dr. Prlic has no
18 questions for this witness. Thank you.
19 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I wish to officially wish
20 everybody good afternoon.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Alaburic:
22 Q. And good afternoon to you, too, Witness. My name is
23 Vesna Alaburic, I'm an attorney from Zagreb, and in this trial I am
24 Defence counsel for General Milivoj Petkovic. I'd like to you explain
25 some of your answers, the answers you gave to the following questions:
1 First of all, your supervision over the Heliodrom location; the second
2 group of questions will relate to authorisation for taking decisions from
3 the Health Sector of the Defence Department; and the third group of
4 questions will relate to the establishment and organisation of the Health
5 Sector and authorisations for appointments and dismissals so that we can
6 see what the chain of command was like, the line of subordination.
7 I'd like to ask the interpreters that if I do not use the chain
8 of command, but the line of subordination, to use the same term in
9 English, "chain of subordination," could "the chain of subordination" be
10 used in the future. Thank you.
11 So, Witness, about Heliodrom, if I notice correctly, the Defence
12 of Bruno Stojic put three of your reports to you about a supervision over
13 Heliodrom, and I'm interested in comparing two of them. The first
14 document, and I'm sure you'll remember it, the first document is 2D 754,
15 which is a report dated the 20th of July, 1993, and the second report is
16 number P 5503, dated the 30th of September, 1993.
17 If I analyse these reports correctly, Witness, in the first of
18 those report mention is made of your communication with the Sanitary
19 Service of the 3rd Brigade. And at the of September, in the report, the
20 infirmary is mentioned of the Centre for Preventive Isolation, Heliodrom.
21 Do you remember these differences, or would you like to look at the
23 A. Could you repeat what you said, please?
24 Q. In the first document, dated the 20th of July, 1993
25 your communication with the Sanitary Service of the 3rd Brigade, among
1 other things, and in the second report, dated the 30th of September,
2 under item 5, the infirmary of the centre is mentioned. Yes, the
3 infirmary of the centre is mentioned, and it is the Centre for Preventive
4 Isolation for Heliodrom. And I note that in September, you in fact
5 contacted some other doctors and medical officers and not the staff of
6 the 3rd Brigade; is that right?
7 A. Your Honours, the first point is this: The infirmary was set
8 up -- and we're talking about the detainees; is that what you're
9 referring to?
10 Q. Yes, yes.
11 A. At the persistent insistence, well, by me and my superior, the
12 infirmary was set up. We -- the two of us kept insisting on that. We
13 found doctors that we engaged, and once again when we persistently
14 insisted, a stay -- an infirmary was set up. So we wanted to give a more
15 qualitative form of professional assistance.
16 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at a document, and then you can tell
17 me whether that is the decision, and could we provide the witness with
18 that -- the set of documents and the two documents, two extra documents.
19 Witness, you have two separate documents which we prepared. It
20 is P 4145. It is a request by Mr. Bagaric, dated the 12th of August,
21 1993, to the effect that a sanitary station be set up at Heliodrom. And
22 now, in the penultimate paragraph, it says to release -- "The physicians
23 of the 3rd Brigade shall be relieved of all duties at Heliodrom."
24 Do you know of this request?
25 A. I personally don't, but this is a mistake, because in all our
1 reports so far, the observation made is that the medical service of a
2 particular brigade, of a specific brigade, and if we're talking about
3 Heliodrom, that it is duty-bound to provide all the medical services, and
4 here we mean the prison. So this is a mistake. And if you look at all
5 the other reports -- well, this is a document that is unknown to me. I'm
6 not familiar with this document.
7 Q. Witness, tell us, please, do you mean to say that this request by
8 Mr. Bagaric about the establishment of a medical service at Heliodrom was
9 never implemented?
10 A. No, you misunderstood me. I was quite decisive in my first three
11 sentences. At the insistence of Dr. Bagaric and me, we managed to set up
12 the infirmary. That was the first organ. Then we set up a centre,
13 medical centre, which was in an infirmary with beds, and that was located
14 at Heliodrom. We found doctors who had been held in detention, and their
15 work was controlled by the Medical Corps of the 3rd Brigade. And if
16 anything was unclear with respect to preventive medical care and
17 attention, geared towards preventing diseases, then the Preventive
18 Medical Service was in charge, and I was at the head of that service.
19 Q. I apologise. I didn't understand you properly. Now, what it
20 says here, in this request, that the physicians of the 3rd Brigade shall
21 be relieved of all the duties in Heliodrom, was not what happened in
22 practice; right?
23 A. No, no, that was not what happened in practice.
24 Q. All right, fine. Now let's look at the next document, another
25 separate document.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm worried about the
2 physicians of the 3rd Brigade. You say it was a mistake in the document.
3 It could be a mistake, but it could also not be one. Dr. Bagaric is
4 going to come and testify. We shall ask him personally. However, if I
5 assume that this was not a mistake, that it was therefore decided to have
6 the situation supervised by other physicians, I talk about the situation
7 of the detainees in the Heliodrom, would that be logical or not for you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, you will recall
9 from the very beginning it was said that medical care and attention over
10 the detainees would be carried out by the detainee physicians and
11 controlled by the brigade, if it is the 1st or 3rd Brigade, and if need
12 be for preventive medicine, then the team that I led would be involved.
13 So we come into a collision here. Quite certainly, the doctors who were
14 detainees were -- did their work, but were supervised by physicians from
15 the 3rd Brigade, but if the need arose for preventive medicine, then it
16 would be the preventive medicine team that would be involved, and that
17 was certainly how things stood.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, at Heliodrom, there were quite a lot of different
20 facilities and buildings; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Apart from the soldiers of the 3rd Brigade at Heliodrom, there
23 were other military units too; right?
24 A. As far as I remember, there was the ABK --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ABKO, Atomic, Biological and
2 Chemical Defence; that is to say, people who were educated in exercising
3 control and supervision over biological warfare and agents,
4 biological/chemical agents.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So you don't know of any other units there?
7 A. I think there was the military police as well, but that would be
8 speculation. I'm not quite sure.
9 Q. All right, fine. Now, at Heliodrom, there was the Military
10 Investigatory Prison, Central Investigatory Prison; right?
11 A. Yes, we've already said that.
12 Q. Yes, we're just listing them again. And in some of the
13 facilities, there were people incarcerated there because there were so
14 many of them that they didn't all fit into the prison building; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you theoretically have a situation whereby the physicians
18 of the 3rd Brigade had a lot of work to do, in the sense of seeing to the
19 medical care of these units and the soldiers, and that they didn't have
20 any human resources to care for the prisoners? Would that be the
22 A. In theory, that would be the case, but in practice, it would be a
23 little different. And if you're interested, I can tell you about it.
24 Q. All right, fine. We can return to that later.
25 Now I'd like to show you a document which is linked, in a way, to
1 logistics and the kitchen, and that was another topic that you discussed.
2 The document is a separate document, and the number is 54186 -- P 4186.
3 A. Yes, I can see that. Go ahead.
4 Q. It was a request from Mr. Stanko Bozic, who was the warden of the
5 Central Prison, sent to Mr. Bruno Stojic, as head of the Defence
6 Department, on the 14th of August, 1993, and I'm going to summarise the
7 document, which says that the 3rd Brigade provided logistics by the very
8 fact that it was in the same location, but that now the 3rd Brigade could
9 no longer carry out that function, and that they had informed -- they had
10 sent a written notice on the 13th of August, 1993, and now the warden of
11 the prison addresses Bruno Stojic to ask him to help resolve the problem
12 of logistics that has cropped up.
13 Now, tell me, Witness, at the time when you engaged in
14 supervision of Heliodrom, did you have any knowledge to the effect that
15 the 3rd Brigade was simply not able, because of the large number of
16 detainees, to provide logistical support to the prison at Heliodrom?
17 A. First of all, I have never seen this document before, and I don't
18 see how I could have. However, no one ever -- well, I came across
19 Mr. Bozic several times. If you remember, I said that I toured all the
20 units and these prisons with the chief of the medical corps and with the
21 warden, if he was there. We discussed everything, and I sent reports.
22 He never said to me, personally, anything about that. Had he done so, I
23 would have done whatever was within my powers.
24 Q. Witness, I will now fully respect the fact that in civilian
25 services, the word "decision" is used for what the military terms as an
1 order, and that in the civilian authority, there is a chain of
2 subordination, and that would be the chain of command in the military.
3 So if I sometimes confuse the two terms, please forgive me. It's not
5 I would like to put a question to you in relation to the two
6 orders that were shown to you by the Defence of Mr. Bruno Stojic. And
7 you said, in relation to them, that these were not supposed to be orders,
8 because you did not have the authority to pass orders.
9 Now, my question --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do ask your question,
11 Ms. Alaburic, but I'll say straight away that I have a problem as to the
12 subtle distinction you make between the chain of command and the chain of
13 subordination. For me, it boils down to the same thing; maybe not for
14 you. So do try to show us the difference, because right now I can't see
15 any difference at all.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Antonetti, in
17 principle I fully agree with you, and I believe that this is one and the
18 same concept. However, the point is that the terms "order" and "chain of
19 command" are used as "terminus technicus" for the military, for armies,
20 and as a rule this same concept is not used for companies, civilian
21 governments, and any other civilian institution. As for civilian
22 institutions, there is usually hierarchy or subordination. In essence,
23 it's one and the same thing. I do not wish to mislead the witness in any
24 way by using the words "order" or "chain of command," and then have him
25 provide answers. I would like to speak about subordination, regardless
1 of the actual term that we are going to use.
2 Q. So, Witness, I would be interested in the essence of the matter
3 with regard to these two documents that are entitled "Order." My
4 question is: Who is authorised, in your view, to pass decisions about
5 matters regulated by these two documents that are called "Orders"?
6 A. I don't understand the question. I'll try. I don't know whether
7 we're --
8 Q. Let me tell you. The document numbers are 2D 278. That is what
9 the Bruno Stojic Defence showed you. The next document is 2D 412
10 [Realtime transcript read in error "714"]. This document that I
11 mentioned as the second document is Mr. Bagaric's order.
12 A. Could I please see that? Could you please be so kind as to make
13 it possible for me to see it?
14 Q. This other document contains the witness's name, so shall we move
15 into closed session, if necessary, or --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Private session, please,
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I correct the number of the other
19 document, the second document, 2D 412, 412. We have the first document
21 [Private session]
11 Page 37577 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, to the best of your knowledge, does this chart
24 correspond to the organisation of the Health Sector in the Defence
1 A. As far as I can remember, yes.
2 Q. On this chart, we do not see that the Main Staff of the HVO would
3 have any function in terms of organising the Health Sector in the Defence
4 Department. To the best of your knowledge, was that actually the case?
5 A. The Main Staff -- the Main Staff is the highest military
6 institution. Military districts are under -- it's all four military
7 districts, and in military districts there are units, specifically
8 brigades. The Main Staff is the superior of the military district. The
9 military district is superior to brigades, and brigades are superior to
10 battalions, for instance, and so on.
11 Q. Fine. Now, in the organisation of the Health Service, why is
12 there no Main Staff involved? Do you have an explanation for this?
13 A. Well, this is what is considered, that the military district has
14 a medical chief -- chief medical officer, so then it is the chief that
15 informs the brigades, and then within the brigades there are battalions
16 where there is a medical service, so there is the system of
17 subordination. Yes, please go ahead.
18 Q. All right. Does that mean, for example, General Petkovic, as
19 chief of the Main Staff, can he establish that, say, the level of
20 chlorine in water is not right, and then through his chain of
21 subordination, he is going to order certain measures in relation to that?
22 A. Well, it seems to be ridiculous to mention a general to be able
23 to do that, but he can. Anyway male nurse or orderly at company level
24 can do that and must do that. So not only at company level, but also at
25 squad level. Also, the chief medical officer of a brigade. And they
1 will inform the military district, and through the system of
2 subordination and singleness of command, the Main Staff would have to be
3 informed, and then they are going to seek assistance from, say,
4 specifically the Preventive Medicine Protection people, specifically.
5 I don't know whether you understand me, whether I'm clear,
6 because I spoke in military terms.
7 Q. You are clear. Tell me, these health-related issues, were they
8 part of the work of the chief of the Main Staff?
9 A. As far as the medical corps is concerned?
10 Q. Everything, everything. Everything, everything that you said;
11 war hospitals, the Medical Service, everything that was within the Health
12 Sector. Was all this work within the purview of the head of the Defence
13 Department or of the chief of the Main Staff?
14 A. The Defence Department has a Health Sector that is a professional
15 consultative organ, so they write instructions through --
16 Q. We know all of that.
17 A. Well, I don't really know what you're interested in.
18 Q. I'm waiting for the transcript.
19 Now, I would like to have you tell us specifically whether
20 health-related issues were within the purview of the chief of the
21 Main Staff or the head of the Defence Department. If you can answer,
22 please answer. If you cannot tell us, you cannot.
23 A. I think I can answer that we are there to provide a service, just
24 like we have to react in a certain way so as to prevent an epidemic, just
25 as quartermasters have to --
1 Q. Witness, I'm not asking you about the nature of the service. I'm
2 asking you whether this is within the line of work of the head of the
3 Defence Department or the chief of Main Staff. It's very simple, it's
4 either one or the other, and if you don't know, tell us that you don't
5 know. You are free to do that.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] The witness is evading an answer
7 to this question, and I have the right to insist because the answer is
8 either one or the other.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do apologise to my colleague.
10 That is not my impress, that he is evading an answer. He's simply being
11 interrupted. I believe that the witness has to be allowed to speak.
12 I think it's obvious that he is not evading an answer.
13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, all subsequent things about the nature of the service
15 and things like that, we can deal with all of that later. I'm asking you
16 very clearly now, would you define whether certain work is within the
17 line of work of the head of the Defence Department or the chief of the
18 Main Staff? It cannot be both.
19 A. Madam, both the Medical Service --
20 Q. Oh, both, fine. Let us move on.
21 MR. KHAN: We're going at far too fast a pace to make head or
22 tail of the testimony this witness has given, and I would ask my learned
23 friend, who has primary responsibility for conducting a coherent
24 cross-examination, to ensure there is at least a modicum of space between
25 the question and the answer. Otherwise, it's very difficult to
1 understand what on earth is being said.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, your question,
3 answered by saying "one and the other," and then you put the question to
4 him straight away. In the interest of all and everyone, I think it would
5 be better for the witness to clarify.
6 Witness, what did you want to say?
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm going to put
8 questions in relation to that. I -- for the time being, what the witness
9 said is sufficient, he said, "Both," and now I'm going to follow that
10 line of questioning. I just want to have brief answers, because my
11 question are such that there is no need really to go into great detail.
12 Q. Witness, now I'm going to give you an opportunity to clarify.
13 The document is P 586.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness, I have the
16 organisation chart before me, and I was wondering the following: You
17 will, I am sure, be able to help me. Now, as far as operational zones
18 are concerned, there is a medical corps. At the brigade level, there are
19 also doctors. At the level of the battalion, there seem to be doctors
20 also. However, if you reach the level of a platoon or a group, there may
21 be people who carry the stretchers, or nurses, or medical staff. What I
22 would like to know is this: You might not be able to answer my question,
23 but if you can, please answer my question. When there is a military
24 operation in the field, when this military operation is seemingly under
25 the command of the operational zone, and when we are dealing with groups
1 and companies that are about to be engaged, is it customary to have a
2 doctor on board or is there no doctor at all?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The lower the unit, the lower the
4 medical assistance. That is called "form of medical assistance." See
5 here at squad level or at company level, this probably came a lot later.
6 This is not the way it was at the very beginning, because there wasn't
7 enough trained personnel. So there are different forms and volumes of
8 medical assistance. There is a nurse at the level of squad or beforehand
9 at company level. This person can do only very elementary work. At
10 battalion level, there is either a medical technician or a doctor, a
11 physician. At the level of the brigade, there has to be a physician. So
12 where there is a GP, that is general medical assistance. When there is a
13 specialist, a surgeon or the like, this is specialised medical
14 assistance. So what would the logical conclusion be? The lower ranking
15 the unit, the people involved in this line of work have less professional
16 knowledge and are of lesser quality.
17 However, I have to mention that in hospitals, there are
18 specialists, surgeons who admit patients from the front-line, or
19 specialists in internal medicine, say if somebody has a heart attack or
20 whatever, so the conclusion would be the lower ranking the unit, the
21 lower level of medical assistance provided.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let me streamline
23 my question and you will understand why. I shall assume that there are
24 two groups, the military police and the professional units. When the
25 military police -- we've seen documents which recount a number of people
1 killed and injured. If the military police is on the front-line when
2 there is a combat operation, as far as you know, along with them is there
3 a doctor, do you think?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It depended on the occasion
5 involved. Specifically in Mostar, the military police had Dr. Sahirlic
6 [phoen] who is a renowned neurologist and an ethnic Muslim.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go ahead.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am sorry. Some brigades, because
9 people fled -- well, I remember, people told me at the staff that guards
10 from the Republic of Croatia
11 parts. When there were less physicians, then they could go to battalion
12 level too. However, at battalion level, usually there's a medical
13 technician. There is a physician in modern armies, like NATO armies. We
14 did the best we could.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about the professional
16 units? If you know what they are, fine. If you don't, then let's skip
17 the question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean specifically down there in
20 you asking me about American units or whatever?
21 So down there where we are, as for professional units, physicians
22 came who were given a rank and pay, and then there are physicians who
23 stayed on working. For instance, I was made an offer to stay on. I
24 refused. I'm a specialist. I had a Master's degree in Medical Sciences,
25 and I returned to the hospital. So professional units do have their
1 medical personnel.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, I'd now like to talk about organs at the level of the
5 whole of Herceg-Bosna, so let's forget the operation zones for a moment,
6 brigades, units, and so on. Let's look at document P 586. It refers to
7 the Defence Department and a decision passed by Mate Boban as the
8 president of the HZ-HB.
9 A. I'm -- the document is P 586, and it's the first document, but
10 I'm not familiar with the document at all.
11 Q. Well, you can see -- look through it, and it is about the sectors
12 within the Defence Department and the Main Staff as an organisational
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, but the witness's
15 answer was not recorded. I think it is now, yes. The witness said that
16 the document is not one he's at all familiar with. Yes, it has been
17 properly recorded now.
18 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, we have here the different sectors, and we're going to
20 look at the Health Sector. So look at page 2.7. It says the assistant
21 head for health is responsible for the Health Sector, and the composition
22 of which is the following three services. Is that how it was?
23 A. What period are we talking about? I don't know when this
25 Q. This was in force until the end of 1993, and it is a basic
1 decision on the establishment of the Defence Department. The 17th of
2 October, 1992?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it was enforced throughout?
5 A. Now, if this is the 17th of October, 1992, if that's the date,
6 then that was the period where, to the best of my recollections, the main
7 medical staff existed, the Main Medical Corps HQ that was located in
9 Q. Is that what is referred to under item 1, the medical staff?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Para
12 A. As far as I remember, this could relate to the period when the
13 Defence Department was formed.
14 Q. Witness, we're talking about October. The Defence Department was
15 formed much earlier on.
16 A. All right, then, yes.
17 Q. Now, in this decision, we cannot see that in the Main Staff of
18 the HVO, there was any kind of health service, or sanitary service, or
19 anything like that. Now, tell me, do you know that within the
20 Main Staff, there was no doctor, or health worker, or anybody dealing
21 with the topics that the Health Sector would deal with in the Defence
23 A. I think the answer is "yes."
24 Q. I'm not going to ask you about any of the details in this
25 decision, which is a very important one as far as these proceedings are
1 concerned, but I would like to ask you something about Chapter 14, where
2 it says that the internal organisation the department, the command and
3 control of the internal department's internal organisations, units, and
4 other relations shall be determined by the head of the department with
5 the approval of the president of the HZ-HB. Tell us now, Witness, based
6 on your experience, is that true, that the organisation department and --
7 that it was the head of the Defence Department, with Mate Boban's
8 knowledge, did this?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Look at the next, well, not document, but -- yes, the number of
11 the document is 2D 567. That's the next document I'd like us to look at,
12 2D 567. And look at point 5 --
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do apologise to my colleague. I
14 let the witness answer, but I wanted to say that if the witness was
15 unfamiliar with the organisation and establishment and that if there were
16 no questions during the examination-in-chief, then -- well, I wanted to
17 let the witness say that he didn't know anything about this. So I'd like
18 to know what this cross-examination is based on, because it was not
19 something raised in examination-in-chief, and the witness says he knows
20 nothing about it. So I think we should know what we're basing our
21 cross-examination on. I was just -- I just asked the witness about the
22 sector that he was working in.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, this would not
24 happen if the cross-examination were not limited to examination-in-chief,
25 but here everything goes all over the place, so this is what happens.
1 Ms. Alaburic.
2 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, I don't think
3 you're right, because my question - the questions I'm going to ask now -
4 relates to the right to appoint and dismiss. The right to appoint and
5 dismiss staff in the health service, in military matters, is something
6 that has to do with the topic of subordination and the reporting chain;
7 and if we want to use the military term, the chain of command. So I
8 would like to refer to the witness's answers recorded on page 21 of the
10 Now, as far as showing documents, which the witness says he's
11 unfamiliar with, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that the
12 Defence of Bruno Stojic, in the proofing sessions of this witness, used
13 document P 2477, which is a decision on the internal establishment of the
14 Defence Department, dated May 1993, and in this portion, the document
15 that I am showing to the witness, the document is identical, so this
16 document could be familiar to the witness, especially --
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'd like to say, for the witness and
18 for the Judges, that the witness has not looked at document P 2477, but
19 as the witness has said that he does not know anything about
20 establishment and organisation, then that's it, and he's said that having
21 taken the solemn declaration.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly speak one at a time.
23 Thank you. The speakers are overlapping, and it is not possible to
25 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Let me repeat.
1 The document I mentioned a moment ago, in the last chart that was
2 handed out to everybody in this courtroom, is contained there, and if it
3 is on the list and if we knew that the witness would not be using it,
4 then the question arises as to whether the other Defence teams and
5 parties in these proceedings are overburdened by a surplus of material.
6 But let us look at point 5 of this document, 2D 567.
7 Q. Witness, this document talks about authorisation and who is
8 authorised to appoint individual members of the Medical Corps. And let's
9 look at the Health Sector, the head for dealing with the wounded.
10 A. Madam, could you tell me what page you're referring to?
11 Q. Page 5.3.
12 A. You mean the Health Sector?
13 Q. Yes. And what we're interested in now is the head of the medical
14 corps of the brigade and the head of the Control and Inspection Service,
15 and they are appointed by the head of the Defence Department at a
16 proposal -- on the basis of a proposal from the health of the -- of the
17 head of the Health Department, and all the other operatives are deployed
18 by the head of the Health Section.
19 Tell us, please, Witness, to the best of your knowledge, who
20 appointed the heads of the medical corps in the brigades, doctors in the
21 battalions, medical technicians in the company, and generally the health
22 staff in the individual military units?
23 A. I really don't know. I've already said that. I said who signed
24 my decision, but I'm looking at this document for the first time, and
25 even theoretically I could not have had access to a document like this.
1 Q. All right. One more question. If the head of the medical corps
2 of a brigade didn't do his work properly, who could replace him? To whom
3 was he responsible for the professional carrying out of his duties?
4 A. In my opinion, the military commander of the brigade would be the
5 person who could dismiss him. That would be the only person.
6 Q. Why do you think so?
7 A. Because he is within the system of subordination, he is
8 subordinated to him. Now, whether his work is good or not, he could
9 learn about that through us. And, please, would you respect this? I am
10 speaking as an expert in preventive medicine. That's what I can talk
11 about and discuss. I don't know anything about anything else, and I'm
12 too old to be speaking just up in the air.
13 Q. Well, in reading this decision, why can't you say who appoints
15 A. Well, I know who appointed me.
16 Q. No. Who appoints the head of the medical corps of a brigade?
17 And we've just read out a document where it says who could replace that
18 same man, dismiss him, and so how come you don't know this, where you
19 know other things in that way?
20 A. This is written in an absolutely non-military fashion, and as a
21 former soldier myself, I know that within the system of subordination,
22 the superior is responsible.
23 Q. Tell us, with respect to your knowledge of the system of
24 subordination, somebody -- the person who has the right to appoint people
25 and dismiss them, are they subordinated to those people that they dismiss
1 and appoint?
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about Defence counsel of
4 Mr. Coric?
5 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I don't have any
6 questions, Your Honours.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I wish to draw your attention to
8 the fact that the witness's answer was in the affirmative and that his
9 answer was not recorded.
10 Q. So, Witness, could you repeat what your answer to my question
12 A. Could you repeat your question?
13 Q. You remember your last answer.
14 A. Could you repeat that, madam? I really am -- I'm under stress
15 here. I'm not sure I -- Ms. Alaburic, as a doctor, I'm a university
16 professor. After my first testimony, my blood pressure has been raised,
17 so I -- with all due respect to you, I am so stressed here, could you
18 please speak slowly, tell me what you mean so I can understand you,
19 because I can't follow everything.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And wait until the translation is written down,
21 because I have seen that you were talking, Ms. Alaburic, but the witness
22 was still on. And I gave you, Counsel, a look at one time, at page 104,
23 lines 9 to 12, you see what gibberish results from that speed. It's
24 really amazing how resistant this more of speed is. We are raising it
25 almost every day, at least every week, and I understand that it's a
1 matter of temperament, and I'm not being angry, and least of all I want
2 to really reproach, but it just has to be repeated and it will be
3 repeated throughout if it does not change. I'm sorry.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, put your question
5 again, because the witness wanted to answer, but he didn't remember the
6 question. So put your question again.
7 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I really do apologise, and
8 I'll try and be good in future.
9 Q. Witness, let your repeat your -- my question, and you had a
10 one-word answer. My question was this: To the best of your knowledge
11 about the relations of subordination, a person who has the authority to
12 appoint and dismiss somebody of duty is the person who is superior to the
13 person to whom -- the person who they appoint or dismiss?
14 A. No, the reverse. You can't have a company commander dismiss a
15 battalion commander. The commander of a battalion can replace somebody
16 lower down.
17 Q. Let's take it this way: The director of a company and the
18 director of a sector, let's take them, the managers of these two. So my
19 question is one of principle. I'm not asking you about the army. I'm
20 asking you a question of principle. A person who is authorised to
21 appoint and dismiss somebody is the same person who is superior to the
22 person whom they appoint and dismiss?
23 A. Yes. But as a former soldier, and allow me to continue, you are
24 right. However, this is written in a way that is not how the military
25 would write it. Now, I had an MA at the time. I was a
1 lieutenant-colonel. I come to the brigade commander, Stolar [phoen], who
2 just sends me back and stops me from speaking. I don't know who wrote
3 this, this is the first time that I see this document, but I consider
4 that it is absolutely incommensurate to a military document. I don't
5 think documents of this kind should be written at all and passed, because
6 the commander of a military district, for example, was the man who was a
7 tinsmith before the war, and on one occasion he put a doctor up at the
8 front-line in a trench. That is completely illogical. And you know the
9 answer that I was given? "You commie," that's what they said, that's all
10 they had to say.
11 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answers, and
12 thank you for coming to The Hague
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about Mr. Pusic's Defence
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We don't have any questions for
16 this witness, but I would like to say for the record that when it comes
17 to time, it seems that we have an exponential value. If we don't use our
18 time for cross-examination, then we give it back to the Court. I do not
19 agree to what is -- I don't condone what is happening between the Defence
20 teams. I don't wish to benefit any other team in relation to the
21 questions being raised here, so the time we don't use for ourselves, we
22 give back to the Court.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Ibrisimovic.
24 Clearly, if you hand over your time to the Bench, well, then we will know
25 how to use it, but you have to allow me to do this.
1 Now, what about Mr. Prlic's Defence counsel?
2 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I've already said that the
3 Defence of Dr. Prlic has no questions for this witness. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 It is just about 7.00. Tomorrow, the cross-examination of the
6 Prosecution will continue. Let me remind the people present that the
7 Prosecution will have two hours. The Bench may put questions tomorrow,
8 since we don't have that much time, and maybe Ms. Nozica will have some
9 redirect. In any case, the next witness will only be coming on
11 Witness, you are now a witness of the Court, as I told you at the
12 beginning of this hearing. You can relax. You said that you had been
13 stressed last time. Let me tell you that the Judges are stressed every
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I respect that, yes.
16 I do understand that, but may I be able -- may I be allowed to say, as a
17 doctor, your position is one; my position is another. But I do recognise
18 that you are under great stress, because justice is always something that
19 involves stress.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we shall meet again tomorrow
21 at 9.00. Thank you.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: "This would not happen if
23 the cross-examination were limited to examination-in-chief. Please
24 record it this way. Thank you."
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of March,
2 2009, at 9.00 a.m.