1 Wednesday, 14 July 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [Accused entered court]
4 [Witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, and good morning, Mr. Stojanovic.
7 May we thank you for coming back. There was one matter that was
8 overlooked while you were here.
9 Mr. Re.
10 If I could remind you that the affirmation you took at the
11 beginning of your evidence still applies.
12 MR. RE: Again, I thank Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: SLAVOLJUB STOJANOVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Further cross-examined by Mr. Re:
16 Q. Mr. Stojanovic, good morning, and I apologise to you for having
17 brought you back. It was my oversight forgetting to ask you several
18 specific questions about the specific area yesterday, and I thank you for
19 coming back.
20 In your evidence on -- two days ago, Mr. Petrovic asked you about
21 discipline within the 472nd Brigade. And you said "in my company, I
22 believe the discipline was at the required level. That is to say, in
23 accordance with the tasks we received from our superiors." I'm just
24 saying this to remind you of your evidence.
25 Next question was: "What about fire discipline within your
1 company?" Your answer was: Well, let me tell you, we are professionals,
2 and we respect the orders of our superior officers. So there could not be
3 any opening of fire without dire necessity."
4 First of all, do you remember giving those -- do you remember
5 those questions and answers to Mr. Petrovic on Monday afternoon?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Your answer said it was in your company you believe the discipline
8 was at the required level. Were you referring to your own specific
9 company within the 472nd, and were you confining it to that?
10 A. I was referring to my company specifically, that is the unit which
11 I was commander, the 3rd Motorised Company of the 3rd Motorised Brigade.
12 According to the regulations then in force in the then JNA, now the Army
13 of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, I, as commander of a unit,
14 have the right to provide conclusions concerning order, work, and
15 discipline only as concerns my unit, the unit that I am in charge of. I
16 am not entitled to pass my opinion on any other units.
17 Q. Although you're not entitled to pass, in your words, your opinion
18 on other units, you were aware that in the period of October, November,
19 and December 1991 there were discipline problems within the 472nd, weren't
21 A. Sir, can you please only ask me questions about the 3rd Motorised
22 Battalion because that was my unit and about my company. I'm not aware of
23 what was going on in the rest of the brigade. You'll have to go and ask
24 someone who was a member of the brigade back then.
25 Q. Your evidence is that you were operating in the Bosanka area.
1 Now, there was an incident involving soldiers of the 472nd on about the
2 30th of October 1991. There was a firing of a machine-gun from the
3 Golobov Kamen firing position on that day, unauthorised. Were you aware
4 of that?
5 A. No. The time period that you are talking about, at that time the
6 3rd Company of the 3rd Motorised Battalion, unit of which I was commander,
7 was not there at the time. At that time we had been pulled out to the
8 village of Talez where, as company commander, I organised for my units to
9 rest. And I had been sent home on sick leave because I had pneumonia.
10 Therefore, I can't really provide a specific answer to your question.
11 Q. Captain Zec issued an order in relation to the looting of houses
12 in Osojnik and Ivanica on that day for members of the 472nd. Were you
13 aware that there had been incidents of looting in Osojnik and Ivanica, end
14 of October 1991?
15 A. First of all, the interpretation is Captain Zec. It wasn't
16 Captain Zec. It was Warship Captain Zec. There is a major difference
17 there in terms of military chain of command and ranks. As to your
18 question, the answer is I don't know.
19 MR. RE: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P108. And also P107.
20 Q. I just want you to have a look at the two documents, please,
21 Mr. Stojanovic. That's firstly an order of Admiral Jokic of the 31st of
22 October, and secondly the order of Warship Captain Zec of the same date.
23 A. Well, this is the first document that I've seen that was signed by
24 chief of staff of the 9th VPS, Warship Captain Zec. This is a period of
25 time when my unit was not in those positions, but rather was resting.
1 Q. Having -- just go back to the first one, from your knowledge of
2 the operation of the JNA and military hierarchy, the incidents as
3 complained of would have to be fairly serious for someone of Zec's
4 seniority to issue such an order, wouldn't they?
5 A. No. That is not correct. In the JNA, an order to improve order
6 and discipline is issued from all levels of command from an independent
7 unit command up to the very highest level of all. Therefore, this sort of
8 order to improve order and discipline is a perfectly usual thing. It
9 could be issued by an independent unit commander, a platoon commander, a
10 company commander, or, as in the case of Mr. Zec, the chief of staff of
11 the sector command. That makes no difference.
12 Q. This particular order refers to some very specific incidences of
13 indiscipline by members of a named brigade. This shows, doesn't it, a
14 level of concern, or grave concern by the command of the 9th VPS about
15 indiscipline within the 472nd?
16 A. No, sir. I'm not sure which unnamed brigade you are talking
17 about. I can't speak about any unnamed units because there was no such
18 unit in the JNA. Each man at his own level of command regulates and
19 carries out orders given by their superiors that have to do with order and
20 discipline. What you've shown me, this document, I can't see anything
21 that could provide clues to me to answer your question, whether this was
22 really like this or not. You'll have to ask someone who was actually in
23 the area at the time.
24 Q. I was asking you, sir, about the attitude of the writer. It
25 shows, doesn't it, that the person on the --
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Why, Mr. Petrovic?
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection because the witness can't
4 speak about the attitude of the writer, of the author of this document
5 that he is being presented with. The writer's attitude is something that
6 witness can in no way be familiar with.
7 JUDGE PARKER: That effectively forecloses that question, Mr. Re.
8 It isn't a criticism of you.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. The way this is written is expressed in such a way as to convey
11 concern from the command of the 9th VPS about indiscipline, isn't it? I'm
12 just talking about the way it's expressed.
13 A. Well, sir, you'll have to ask the commander of the 9th Military
14 Naval Sector, or possibly his deputy, Zec, if there was any concern felt
15 by them concerning order and discipline. You can't be asking me whether
16 he had any concerns about this. He was the commander. It was up to him
17 to call those shots. My level of command was my company. I really can't
18 go into the substance of these documents you're showing me. These
19 documents never reached me. In terms of the chain of command they were
20 never supposed to reach me. I was never supposed to see these.
21 Q. You're a very experienced officer. Had you received this letter,
22 you would have been very concerned to be notified about these sorts of
23 incidents of indiscipline within the ranks, wouldn't you?
24 A. As I said yesterday and the day before yesterday, in my unit, the
25 3rd Company of the 3rd Motorised Battalion, I made sure there was complete
1 order, that the work was being done, and there was discipline. I can't
2 talk about anything else because I can't speculate. I can't base my
3 answers on assumptions. These are some theoretical matters that are
4 studied at military schools. My experience back then was that of a
5 company commander. I do happen to have a higher rank now, but that has
6 got nothing to do with the case at hand.
7 Q. Looking at the incidents described there, they are serious
8 incidents of indiscipline, if correct, aren't they?
9 A. Well, that was down to the officers to think about those things or
10 in whoever's unit that was happening. This was not the case in my unit,
11 therefore there was no reason for me to be concerned about that.
12 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you about this. I'm asking you to look at
13 what is described there. That is the unnecessary opening of machine-gun
14 fire and the looting of houses. If true, as a military officer, these are
15 very serious breaches of discipline and criminal offences, aren't they?
16 Don't worry about what happened in your command. I'm not asking you. I'm
17 asking you about what is described there. Those are very serious
18 breaches, aren't they?
19 A. Sir, first of all I do not know at all that this was indeed the
20 case. If I don't know that, and if none of this ever happened in my unit,
21 then I would be hard put to think about what someone else may or may not
22 have done. That's their problem. They're in charge of their own units.
23 And if this happened in someone else's unit, they would have to bear the
24 responsibility for that. It has got nothing to do with me. How should I
25 be saying -- what should I be telling you now about what discipline should
1 be across army units? I think it's asking too much of me.
2 Q. On that issue of indiscipline, your answer two days ago, you said
3 there could not be any opening of fire without dire necessity. The
4 opening of -- unauthorised opening of machine-gun --
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, it's a proper question. Be seated,
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The exhibit is being misquoted.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Be seated, please. I was very disturbed with your
10 interjection earlier which gave the witness a very clear witness. That's
11 why I'm very impatient with you at the moment.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Re, you will be drawing to a close shortly.
14 MR. RE: Very, very shortly. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Stojanovic, the unauthorised opening of machine-gun fire
16 without dire necessity would be a breach of discipline, wouldn't it?
17 A. I'm not sure who it was that opened fire from machine-gun. Which
18 machine-gun is it you're referring to? Why didn't you refer to a rifle or
19 whatever, machine-gun? Which machine-gun are we talking about and who was
20 it who was opening fire from that machine-gun? I'm afraid I don't
21 understand your question at all.
22 Q. Just on that issue of firepower, just to clarify something, did
23 your unit have 82-millimetre mortars in the Bosanka area on the 6th of
25 A. My unit, the unit of which I was commander, did not have
1 82-millimetre mortars.
2 Q. Were you aware whether the units at Strincijera had
3 82-millimetre --
4 MR. RE: This is my last question.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, please may I address
7 JUDGE PARKER: Cautiously, Mr. Petrovic.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] It goes without saying, Your
9 Honour. I understood, although I was not present at the time, when the
10 ruling was made to recall this witness that this ruling referred to one
11 single question, a particular question, the question of discipline. And
12 now my learned colleague is reopening the cross-examination without your
13 permission, without your explicit authorisation. I think that is the way
14 he's headed right now. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: If he went much further, your comment would be
16 justified, Mr. Petrovic. He's right on the edge now, as I think he knows.
17 Carry on, Mr. Re.
18 MR. RE: Thank you. It is indeed my last question.
19 Q. Were you aware whether the units at Strincijera had 82-millimetre
21 A. I don't remember, sir.
22 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Any further re-examination?
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. No. No
1 JUDGE PARKER: I thank you once again for your assistance. You're
2 now free to go. And I believe we will not have to trouble you again.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE PARKER: If the next witness could be brought in.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. May I remind you of the affirmation
8 you took at the beginning of your evidence which still applies.
9 Mr. Petrovic.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: BUDIMIR PESIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Petrovic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Yesterday, in answer to one
15 of my questions, you described that you left the Bosanka village area and
16 that you left for Srdj pursuant to orders you had received from your
17 superior command. Sir, can you tell us if at one point in time you, in
18 fact, arrived at the Srdj feature?
19 A. Yes, I arrived at the very top of the Srdj feature where the
20 repeater is, at the highest point of the hill.
21 Q. Along the way, did you come under fire at any point?
22 A. I came under fire, as I said before, when we set out, and then
23 after we had gone more than half the way, and then having reached the Srdj
24 feature itself, my men and I came under fire from the facilities and
25 buildings that are on the hilltop.
1 Q. Which side did you approach the Srdj feature from?
2 A. From the side of the town and along a bend in the road. There's a
3 slope going down towards the town itself.
4 Q. At what time did you reach the feature?
5 A. To the best of my recollection, just before 8.00. That's when we
6 reached the feature.
7 Q. You referred to a tank yesterday. As you were advancing from the
8 village of Bosanka up towards Srdj, was this tank used to open fire?
9 A. Yes, the tank opened fire at the Srdj feature on several
10 occasions. I think it must have fired at least three or four shells
11 before we actually reached the feature.
12 Q. Would you be so kind, sir, as to tell us when this tank was
13 attached to your unit, if you know?
14 A. To the best of my recollection, the company was reinforced with
15 this tank in early December that same year, which is to say a few days
16 before the attack on Srdj.
17 Q. Just very briefly, sir, can you please describe what happened once
18 you reached the repeater?
19 A. After reaching the Srdj feature itself, several hundred metres
20 further up, I used my radio communications to stop the firing preparation
21 and to ask the mortars to stop firing at the feature so I could continue
22 the attack. Then not having carried out any special preparations, we
23 actually entered the facility up there. Having reached the feature, there
24 was the infantry combat, hand-to-hand combat with the Croatian forces at
25 the feature. This was close-range fighting using automatic rifles and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 hand grenades. After about half an hour of fighting, I was wounded at the
2 very top of Srdj, a stone's throw from the repeater itself. I was hit by
3 shrapnel from a hand grenade to the head.
4 Q. Thank you. We'll get to that in due course.
5 Did you call on the crew up at the Srdj feature to surrender,
6 having reached the positions around the antenna?
7 A. My group had a megaphone, and having reached the Srdj feature and
8 having taken control of the Srdj feature, I used the megaphone repeatedly
9 to call on the forces that were defending Srdj because we had taken
10 control of the area that were deep inside the tunnels within the feature
11 itself. And I called on them to surrender. I had this megaphone. I
12 called on the forces to surrender, and that was the reason I brought the
13 megaphone along.
14 Q. You mentioned yesterday that among other equipment you had AGF
15 grenades. Just take it slowly that my question and your answer can be
16 properly recorded.
17 You had these AGF grenades. Did you use them?
18 A. After calling them to surrender and receiving no answer from the
19 Croatian fighters in the tunnels below Srdj, I used two AGF grenades
20 throwing them into the opening leading to the depth -- into the depth of
21 that facility.
22 Q. Did the use of this equipment have any effect?
23 A. In my opinion, no, because the system of tunnels below this
24 building is such that draft helped release the smoke immediately, as I
25 could see myself as soon as I threw the grenades.
1 Q. You said that at one point you were wounded. Describe it, please,
2 what exactly happened.
3 A. After I emerged near the building in the vicinity of the repeater
4 and after capturing the repeater on top of Srdj, there was something in
5 the form of a cube erected on stop of Srdj, 5 metres high with stairs
6 leading to it. There was an entrance there leading into the ground,
7 leading underground, according to our information which was not
8 necessarily correct, there were three storeys underground. I called them
9 to surrender. I said if they surrender, we would not hurt them. However,
10 they started throwing hand grenades out of that opening. There were six
11 or seven of my men on that plateau up there from the moment the grenades
12 were thrown in we had about two seconds' time to move away to avoid
14 At one point, I turned sideways so as to move a part of my men
15 forward because we were grouped together in that area. And if I remember
16 correctly, the seventh grenade that had been thrown out of that tunnel
17 fell about half a metre to a metre away from my left shoulder. I had no
18 time to remove the grenade. I only had time to turn sideways. The
19 grenade exploded, and a part of it hit my head. It actually hit my
20 helmet, pierced it, and I was hit in the nape of my neck on the left side
21 of my head. Two shrapnel remained in my bulletproof jacket, and other
22 shrapnel remained in a discarded fridge that was nearby.
23 Q. What time was it approximately?
24 A. Around 8.30 in the morning.
25 Q. Who took over command after you were wounded near the repeater?
1 A. After being wounded, I established contact with my battalion
2 commander, told him that I was wounded, that I needed replacement. And my
3 group was taken over by a second -- by a junior sergeant, Tuka Miralem.
4 Q. Do you know if some senior officer took over command over the Srdj
5 group later?
6 A. I know that company commander, Captain Stojanovic, came to this
7 group on Srdj and commanded the forces until they were pulled out.
8 Q. Were you pulled out of that area?
9 A. I tried to attempt to descend on my own, helped by two of my
10 soldiers. There was a Pinzgauer on the way to pick me up. I got into it.
11 It happened -- it was happening all between Bosanka and Srdj. And then I
12 handed over command to Tuka Miralem, junior sergeant, and then I withdrew
13 to the area of Bosanka where I received medical assistance. My wound was
14 cauterised, and then I was transferred to a medical facility in Trebinje.
15 Q. How long did you stay at the hospital, or how long did you receive
17 A. I stayed about three or four days in the hospital at Trebinje, and
18 after that, my treatment continued at home. And I returned to my unit in
19 end December approximately.
20 Q. Mr. Pesic, concerning these events and the attack on Mount Srdj,
21 did anybody in your platoon, your company, or your battalion receive any
22 commendation to your knowledge?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did anybody in your platoon, company, or battalion receive
25 promotion or decoration for this action?
1 A. No, not in my platoon certainly, and I have no knowledge about the
3 Q. Maybe the commander of your company was promoted or decorated for
4 the events of the 6th of December?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you see a delegation of generals, generals visiting the area
7 of Zarkovica, Bosanka, Strincijera, the positions of the 3rd Battalion
8 after the 6th of December?
9 A. After the 6th of December, I already said I spent around 20 days
10 receiving treatment at hospital and at home. And after that, I didn't see
11 any visit of any generals or anybody else in the Zarkovica or any other of
12 those positions.
13 Q. My last question, Mr. Pesic: Did you at any point receive an
14 official grade or assessment or evaluation for your work in the unit of
15 the 3rd Company of the 3rd Battalion for the period you spent in that
17 A. I was evaluated for the period of 1991, 1992, that is, from the
18 moment when I transferred to another unit until I left it. My evaluation
19 was written sometime in May 1992. And my evaluation said "exceptional
21 Q. To what period does this evaluation relate?
22 A. July 1991 to May 1992.
23 Q. Who gave you that official evaluation that said "exceptional
25 A. Battalion commander Vladimir Kovacevic. However, this evaluation,
1 exceptional performance, has to be confirmed by a superior officer, and
2 therefore this endorsement was given by Captain of Frigate, Kovacevic --
3 sorry, Zec.
4 Q. When you get this evaluation, exceptional performance, who has to
5 confirm it?
6 A. At the bottom, you have a line that says "I agree with the
7 evaluation, Captain of Warship Zec," because it was he who was in command
8 of that naval sector at the time when I was evaluated after Jokic.
9 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
10 further questions in chief.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
12 Yes, Mr. Weiner.
13 MR. WEINER: Good morning.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
15 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Philip Weiner, and I'm going to ask
16 you some questions on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor. Won't be
17 that long. Now, sir, you testified you took part in military action on
18 December 6th, 1991. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you told us how you were injured and hospitalised. Did anyone
21 interview you as to the events of December 6th while you were at the
23 A. In the afternoon of the 6th when I was already at the hospital, I
24 was visited by some of my soldiers who took part together with me in this
25 action, people who were part of my assault group, and I learned from them
1 what happened later at that facility after I was wounded and taken to the
3 Q. Did anyone from the 2nd Operational Group ever interview you
4 concerning your activities and what you observed on the 6th of December
5 1991? Anyone in the 2nd Operational Group command?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Were you ever contacted and asked to report to the 2nd Operational
8 Group command to be interviewed concerning the events of December 6th?
9 A. No. Not me.
10 Q. Were you ever ordered to file a report as to your observations and
11 activities on December 6th with the 2nd Operational Group command?
12 A. I was never told to do anything of the kind, and I never wrote a
14 Q. Okay. Did you ever hear of anyone being investigated by the JNA
15 as a result of their actions on the 6th of December 1991?
16 A. No. When I returned, I heard that one commanding officer had
17 written some sort of statement, but I never heard that any sort of
18 proceedings had been instituted or that anybody was held responsible, at
19 least out of the commanders in the battalion. Nothing like that was
20 initiated by the superior command.
21 Q. And were you aware of any -- that the Old Town of Dubrovnik was
22 shelled on that date, on December 6th?
23 A. No. I was on the axis of attack towards Srdj. The town was
24 behind me. So that during the action, I was unable to observe what was
25 going on in my rear, especially since I was wounded and pulled out for
2 Q. And then finally, did you ever hear of anyone being investigated,
3 prosecuted in a military or civilian court, or punished for the shelling
4 of the Old Town on December 6th, 1991?
5 A. I have no such information or knowledge.
6 Q. Okay. Let's move on.
7 You testified that you took part in the combat operations in
8 November of 1991. Isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you aware that in November of 1991, that the Old Town of
11 Dubrovnik was shelled by the JNA?
12 A. On the positions in the area of Zarkovica, I arrived on the 9th in
13 the evening. I knew that for several days previously, combat operations
14 had been going on to take Zarkovica and Bosanka, but I didn't know that
15 anybody -- what was going on exactly because I arrived several days later.
16 Q. So you were also unaware that boats and vessels in the Old Town
17 harbour had been shelled by the JNA as well as the walls or ramparts of
18 the Old Town? You weren't aware of that, sir?
19 A. I saw on television, Croatian radio and television, footage of
20 some vessels in the marina burning, but I did not see it with my own eyes.
21 I know only what I saw on television or things that I heard.
22 Q. All right. And had you ever heard of any investigation by the 2nd
23 Operational Group in relation to that shelling in November of the Old
24 Town? Were you aware of any investigation, or did you hear of any
25 investigation after that shelling?
1 A. All that I learned while I was in the area of Dubrovnik has to do
2 with the command of the 9th Naval Sector. And at that time, in view of my
3 rank and position, I was not aware of the existence of any other
4 operations groups, so I was unable to hear of any investigation targeting
5 commanding officers or anyone in that area.
6 Q. So you hadn't -- you weren't aware of any investigation.
7 Obviously, would you agree that you weren't aware of anyone being punished
8 or prosecuted in a military or civilian court as a result of a November
9 shelling either? You weren't aware of any officer being punished or
11 A. No, I'm not.
12 Q. Now, you testified yesterday that you left Bosanka and proceeded
13 towards Srdj, as you did this morning, too. Isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you went with a tank and 12 to 14 soldiers.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you said you were fired upon early as you left Bosanka,
18 halfway, and then when you're on top of Srdj you were fired upon by
19 Croatian mortars. Isn't that correct?
20 A. The fire from Croatian mortars was opened when I was two-thirds of
21 the way towards Srdj. When I came close, the fire stopped. And when I
22 arrived there, fire was reopened from both infantry weapons and mortars so
23 that there was no fire from mortars at the time when I was taking over
24 that facility.
25 Q. Now, you said you saw mortars firing from the area of Babin Kuk.
1 You said the tennis courts. Isn't that correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And did you see those mortars firing from the area when you were
4 two-thirds away, or did you see it when you were on top of Srdj? When did
5 you see those mortars firing?
6 A. Well, approximately halfway towards Srdj. The observer who was to
7 the left on the edge, topographically speaking reported that.
8 Q. So the observer reported it. Did you see with your own eyes the
9 firing from that area?
10 A. After that, I could see it with my own eyes, after the fire was
11 opened and after I received report from the observer. I saw through my
12 binoculars in the area of the woods two pieces from which fire had been
13 opened. I could see the smoke and I could see the fire at the opening of
14 the barrel.
15 Q. And because of the distance between Srdj and Babin Kuk, you had to
16 use binoculars; you couldn't see from that distance with the naked eye.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Because you know it was several kilometres away, Babin Kuk, from
20 A. In my estimate, about 2 kilometres as the crow flies.
21 Q. And to see something, see more tars from 2 kilometres away, you
22 have to use binoculars to see a mortar?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Because you can't see with the naked eye, obviously, from that
1 A. At that distance, fire can be seen that is coming out of a barrel.
2 But it can be seen better, more precisely, through binoculars. However,
3 fire can be seen even with the naked eye. Since it's about 6.30 only, it
4 hasn't even dawned properly, so the flash coming from the muzzle can be
5 seen even with the naked eye.
6 Q. From that distance of approximately 2 kilometres, to see the
7 mortar itself, the apparatus, you have to use binoculars. Isn't that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you said that you thought it was 82-millimetre mortars. Is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And it was only through using -- well, you know first there are
14 different sizes of mortars? You know that, sir? There's 82, there's
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not understand the
18 MR. WEINER:
19 Q. I'm sorry, sir. They could not understand your answer. Could you
20 please repeat it again.
21 A. Yes. I said that there were different calibres of mortars.
22 Q. And at that distance, it's difficult to determine the calibre,
23 isn't it?
24 A. For me, as a professional soldier, the range, distance is
25 sufficient for. For me, it is sufficient to see the crater that is the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 result of the explosion, and then I can tell what the calibre was. I'm
2 sure that they were 81 or 82 millimetres depending on the weapon used.
3 There were both.
4 Q. But from looking from that distance, you really can't determine
5 the size of the mortar; you had to look at the actual crater that was
6 created by the shell exploding in order to determine the calibre because
7 you're that far away. Is that correct? Even with binoculars, you're
8 still that far away?
9 A. As I looked through the binoculars and on the basis of the crater
10 that I saw, and I would like to note that between 20 and 30 shells were
11 fired at us in that period of time, I established that these were 81 or
12 82-millimetre mortars. So I can explain. 60-millimetre mortars --
13 Q. All I'm saying is: From that distance, you couldn't even with
14 binoculars alone make that determination; you had to look at the crater
15 size because of that distance of 2 kilometres away. Isn't that correct?
16 A. Yes. That is what finally convinced me that those were the
17 weapons concerned.
18 Q. Okay. Now, just one last area of questioning: You indicated that
19 while you were coming under fire yesterday you indicated that you asked
20 for support, you asked for -- and they said that Babin Kuk was out of
21 range of the 120-millimetre mortars on Uskoplje. Is that correct? Isn't
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And were you aware, sir, that the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade
25 had 120-millimetre mortars?
1 A. You mean my battalion?
2 Q. No, the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade under Miroslav Jovanovic,
3 commander. Were you aware that they had 120-millimetre mortars in the
4 area of Mokosica?
5 A. No, that is outside my area. So I was not aware of that.
6 Q. So you weren't aware that the 120-millimetre mortars on Mokosica
7 or the 3rd Battalion of the 5th did, in fact, fire upon Babin Kuk?
8 A. While I took part in the fighting in Srdj, before my wounding, the
9 area of Babin Kuk was not fired at. And what unit was on the other side
10 where Mokosica is is something I don't know or I didn't know because I was
11 a platoon commander. I did not know about that because it was too far
12 away from the positions taken by my unit.
13 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown Exhibit D65, please.
14 Q. Sir, could you look at page 2. Do you see on page 2 that long
15 paragraph in the B/C/S, in the Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian? Do you see
16 halfway down on the right side the first command "commandant 3/5 pmtbr"?
17 Do you see that, where it says ... Do you see that where it says
18 "considering that our forces at Srdj were in the clearing, the commander
19 of the 3rd/472nd pmtbr directly requested support of the 3/5th, the
20 3rd" - basically - "Battalion of the 5th at 7.30 hours?" Do you see that,
21 sir? And it says "from 7.45 to 8.30 hours and later from 9.10 to 11.15
22 hours the commander of the 3rd of the 5th pmtbr fired on the mortar
23 positions on the ZNG in the regions of Lazaret, Hotel Neptune, Nuncijata,
24 Sustjepan, Hotel Petka, Babin Kuk, Libertas, that is all targets outside
25 the Old Town"? Do you see that?
1 A. I see that.
2 Q. So 120-millimetre mortars did in fact fire upon that area in Babin
3 Kuk? Although you weren't aware of it, they did in fact fire upon the
4 Croatian borders in Babin Kuk, isn't that correct?
5 A. At the moment I asked for support I could not get support. At the
6 time mentioned here, the 120-millimetre mortars from Mokosica were firing
7 at Babin Kuk, I was either at Srdj itself in close-range infantry
8 fighting, so I did not have time to observe what was going on behind me.
9 As for the second opening of fire, I was already en route to hospital in
10 Trebinje by then. So at the moment when I asked for fire support, when I
11 was first shot at by mortars from that area, I was told that they were not
12 within the range of our weapons in Uskoplje. And later on, I couldn't
13 observe anything.
14 Q. All I'm saying is: JNA mortars did, in fact, fire upon that area
15 according to that document, which is an official JNA document. Isn't that
17 A. Possibly. I didn't see that.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. WEINER: No further questions.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Any re-examination, Mr. Petrovic?
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just a
22 moment, please.
23 Re-examined by Mr. Petrovic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, Mr. Pesic, did anybody from the
25 VPS ask you for a statement or ask you about what happened on the 6th of
1 December 1991?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You said that upon arriving in the unit you were at Zarkovica --
4 or rather, that you came and that you were in the area of Zarkovica. And
5 my learned friend asked you about what can be seen at a 2.000-metre
6 distance. That was more or less the wording that my learned friend used.
7 So, from Zarkovica, which is 2.000 metres away from the Old Town, what can
8 be seen there?
9 MR. WEINER: Objection.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
11 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, there was no discussion of Zarkovica.
12 This man went from Bosanka to Srdj, and from Srdj and Bosanka, looked upon
13 Babin Kuk. There was no discussion of Zarkovica in my questioning.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I believe that is correct, Mr. Petrovic.
15 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the month of
16 November, that's what he said. The essence of my question, Your Honour,
17 pertains to what can be seen at a 2.000-metre distance. That is what my
18 learned friend asked, and with your permission, that is what I want to ask
19 the witness. What can be seen at a 2.000-metre distance? So the point is
20 the distance, not the actual position, regardless of whether it's
21 Zarkovica or whatever. So, of course, if you give me permission to ask
22 that, I will. If you do not, I will not.
23 JUDGE PARKER: If you go about asking that in relation to what was
24 seen at Babin Kuk that day, that would be fine.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I shall try, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Pesic, at a distance of 2.000 metres, can you distinguish a
2 human figure?
3 A. Yes, a human figure can be seen.
4 Q. Can you see a human figure at a 2.000-metre distance without
5 binoculars, without an artillery compass, without any other tools?
6 A. A human figure can be seen, particularly because the town that was
7 being observed is at a much lower altitude than the facility where we
8 were. So it is much easier to see the -- a human figure and dark and
9 light colours and things like that.
10 Q. At a 2.000-metre distance, can one discern with the naked eye
11 whether one sees a man, a grown man, or a child?
12 A. In that situation, that specific situation, when our positions
13 were higher up in relation to the Old Town and everything that was being
14 observed, a person with good eyesight could tell whether it was an adult,
15 a grown man, or a child that could be seen.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have no
17 further proposals. And with regard to this subject, we are going to put
18 forth other matters when the time comes. Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
20 Mr. Pesic, we must thank you, indeed, for the assistance you've
21 given for the Tribunal and for coming here to give evidence. You'll be
22 pleased to know you're now free to go. Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you agree, could we
25 please have the first morning break now because the next witness has just
1 arrived, so perhaps this would be a good moment to take the first morning
2 break, by your leave.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We'll resume at 5 to.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Would you please read the
8 affirmation from the card that is given to you now.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
12 Mr. Rodic.
13 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: MIODRAG SOC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examined by Mr. Rodic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, could you please introduce yourself by your
18 full name and surname.
19 A. I'm Dr. Miodrag Soc. I was born on the 1st of September 1959 in
20 Podgorica, Montenegro, where I still live.
21 Q. Doctor, could you please tell us what you do today and where you
23 A. I work in Podgorica at the clinical centre of Montenegro which is
24 the leading system -- which is a leading institution in the health system
25 of Montenegro. I am an expert in forensic medicine, and I also teach.
1 I'm a professor at the faculty of medicine, the only one in Montenegro.
2 Q. I would like to ask you kindly to pause before giving your answer
3 because all of this needs to be interpreted.
4 Tell me, please, what has been your education?
5 A. Of course, I completed elementary school and high school in
6 Podgorica. Then I graduated from the school of medicine in Zagreb at the
7 University of Zagreb. On the 7th of February 1987 I graduated. Then I
8 completed my graduate studies also at the University in Zagreb. I got my
9 masters degree in December 1992 in Belgrade because war had broken out in
10 the meantime. In 1998, on the 16th of July, I became a doctor of
11 sciences, also in Belgrade. On the 4th of September, I passed my
12 specialist examination, and since then I have been a specialist in
13 forensic medicine.
14 Q. Tell me, please, Doctor, are you a member of any associations? Do
15 you hold a position in any such association?
16 A. I'm a member of the Association of Forensic Medicine of
17 Montenegro. I am a member of the Presidency of the Association for
18 Forensic Medicine of Serbia Montenegro. I'm a member of the Association
19 of Court Experts of Serbia Montenegro for forensic medicine. And also,
20 and I am a member of the Association for Forensic Medicine of southeast
21 Europe, or rather the Balkans, and this is being established now under the
22 leadership of Professor Aleksai Duma who is a professor in Skopje,
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak
25 slower. Thank you.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Tell us, please, Doctor, did you write any papers and books, and
3 did you publish them?
4 A. Of course. That is compulsory, if a doctor is to develop
5 professionally. Until now, I have published over 40 papers, about 30 of
6 them were written by me only. And I also wrote many articles. In 2000, I
7 wrote a book in the field of forensic medicine and traffic and
8 transportation which is the most frequent cause of death in my country, or
9 rather, in my republic. Traffic accidents, that is.
10 Q. Tell me, Doctor, have you given an expert opinion regarding the
11 medical documentation of General Strugar, and for this particular case,
12 and were these documents submitted to you by the Defence counsel?
13 A. Yes, I studied these medical documents which consists of records
14 of dead bodies that were examined on the 19th of December 1991. This
15 consists of the medical documents of Valjalo Mato and Vlasica Ivo. Those
16 are the two persons whose medical documents these are.
17 Q. Doctor, when you mentioned the date of the external examination,
18 the date here is the 19th of December.
19 A. No, that's not the date. I see that it's a mistake. And perhaps
20 I should wait for the interpretation. No, it's not the 19th of December.
21 It is the 7th of December 1991.
22 Q. Doctor, did you study the record of external examinations of dead
23 bodies dated the 7th of December 1991 that is registered as an exhibit in
24 this trial, and it's number is P70?
25 A. Yes. I looked at these documents in detail. I studied them in
2 Q. From the point of view of the rules that you apply in your field,
3 this record of external examinations of dead bodies, was it put together
4 in compliance with those same rules?
5 A. My opinion is that the rules were not complied with, the rules of
6 forensic medicine, namely, which is a science.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the usher please show this expert
8 witness Prosecution Exhibit P70.
9 Q. Doctor, can you please tell me: If you look at the external
10 examination of a dead body, do you include a description of wounds in that
11 sort of report?
12 A. When you carry out an external examination, all changes must be
13 described, and so must wounds. All changes.
14 Q. Is that what was done in this record on the external examination
15 of dead bodies dated the 7th of December, which is Exhibit P70? Is that
16 how it was done in compliance with the rules applied by those who practice
17 forensic medicine?
18 A. I think not because a good -- the less parameters have been used
19 for description than you normally should use when carrying out an external
20 examination. In the literature that I've studied, it says that when you
21 describe a dead body during an external examination, there must be at
22 least 19 parameters. Women have 20 because there is a description of
23 breast. So there are at least 19 or 20 parameters, plus the injuries that
24 are also described in addition to those. Here, we only find five or six
25 parameters being used.
1 Q. Doctor, can you please tell us what an autopsy is, the technical
3 A. According to the medical definition, an autopsy or a postmortem -
4 these are synonyms - that is, the opening of the abdominal cavity and the
5 analysis of internal organs, and this is used to establish the cause and
6 the mechanism that brought about death.
7 Q. Doctor, can you please tell us how many different kinds of autopsy
8 are there?
9 A. The fundamental breakdown is pathological, anatomical, and
10 forensic autopsy. Those kinds.
11 Q. Can you please tell us in essence what is the difference between
12 forensic medical autopsy on the one hand and the pathological and
13 anatomical autopsy on the other?
14 A. There are substantial differences. The main difference is that
15 with the pathological and anatomical autopsy which is sometimes referred
16 to as clinical autopsy, you don't take into account the external
17 examination of a body. And the answer is always provided only as to the
18 cause of death. When you have a forensic medical autopsy, it is important
19 to study and describe in detail all the external changes on a body which
20 you find during an external examination. And you provide answers as to
21 the mechanism of death. Therefore, it is a sort of synergy, the forensic
22 medical autopsy, and thus is a more complex form of autopsy.
23 Q. When you studied the record of the external examination of dead
24 bodies marked as P70, with each individual body that was examined, at the
25 end of the description, the cause of death was given, too. These causes
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of death, as given, are they medically correct?
2 A. Well, of course I did read that, and I saw that at the end of the
3 description. After the bodies were examined, the cause of death was
4 given. These causes of death as given were for the main part misspelled
5 or wrongly given because it was obvious that an explosive wound had caused
6 death. Sometimes an explosive wound with haemorrhage, and medically it is
7 clear that an explosive wound or injury cannot cause death. It can only
8 be the mechanism by which death comes about. But it cannot be the cause
9 of death. So in purely medical terms, I think this is false.
10 Q. If I understand you correctly, Doctor, an explosive wound as a
11 cause of death according to the rules of your science cannot be given as
12 such in a record of the external examination of dead bodies?
13 A. Of course an explosion, or rather, fragments of an explosive
14 device cannot be agents of death. There can be hemorrhaging. There can
15 be a shock. But certainly, those two cannot be confused. Mechanism of
16 death is one thing, and cause of death is another. So this is an error.
17 You can't give such a diagnose, death caused by an explosive injury or
19 Q. When you look at P70, the exhibit, if you look at all of the 19
20 cases where bodies were examined, can you see anywhere whether the person
21 who performed the autopsy, in fact, reconstructed the injuries such as
22 they occurred? Did they perhaps -- did they alter the injuries in terms
23 of how wide or how deep the injuries were?
24 A. When I studied the medical files, I did not notice that any of the
25 wounds were reconstructed, that the wounds were cut up or widened, any
1 wounds or injuries. Not in any of the cases.
2 Q. That would mean, Doctor, wouldn't it, that this record of external
3 examination contains no such descriptions, does it?
4 A. Not that I found any.
5 Q. Let's assume that the pathologist who performed the autopsy, the
6 autopsy -- who reconstructed the wounds, by cutting, expanding, or
7 deepening them in compliance with the rules of your field when performing
8 an autopsy, what would that mean?
9 A. First of all, you don't do it. If do you it, this would amount to
10 a desecration of the body. Primary findings are never to be altered.
11 They must be established, described in detail, and then an opinion is
13 Q. Doctor, let us assume that the pathologist violated the rules
14 usually applied during an autopsy. If he had reconstructed the wounds by
15 cutting, widening, or deepening the existing wounds on a body, would he
16 not have to describe these actions in his written finding?
17 A. Yes, you must state that. You must state any additional action
18 that was taken. Sometimes, but only sometimes, you take alcohol or rather
19 blood from the veins in the leg, but this must be reflected in the record,
20 from the deep veins. Everything that is done must be entered into the
22 Q. Doctor, if, for example, an investigating judge issues an order to
23 the pathologist to carry out an external examination of dead bodies, in
24 that case, does one open and cut up any parts of the body?
25 A. By no means.
1 Q. In your field, the pathologist in P70, in Exhibit P70, did he
2 comply with the rules of forensic medicine or not?
3 A. I think I mentioned in my expert opinion that I had found certain
4 errors. Some of the errors have to do with the fact that too few
5 parameters were established by external examination. I'm not sure if this
6 can be interpreted as an error or not. But certain remarks that were made
7 during the examination in terms of establishing the amount of blood within
8 the abdominal cavity, I think the estimates were a bit too liberal or too
9 descriptive. There seems to have been a lot of blood. Within the rules
10 of service, you must open the abdominal cavity, you must measure exactly
11 the amount of blood that is in there, the colour of blood, and its
12 consistency. You don't even call it blood. You say "contents." Because
13 at the time an autopsy is performed, the pathologist does not know what
14 substance he is looking at. It can be mixed with gunpowder or something
15 like that, for example. So I think this is another example of errors that
16 were made.
17 Q. Doctor, can you please look at P70 and look at number 5. It is a
18 dead body of an unidentified male person.
19 A. Very well. I have it.
20 Q. In this description, did the pathologist establish that there was
21 an extraneous body at the back of the upper arm?
22 A. The examining doctor described that there was some shrapnel, small
23 shrapnel there. However, the description of this foreign body is not
24 satisfactory. If you find a foreign body there during an examination, or
25 autopsy of the body, it must be extracted, that is taken out. Must be
1 described fully and measured. And these parameters must then, of course,
2 be recorded, which we don't find in this case. All we have is "a small
3 piece of shrapnel."
4 Q. Doctor, if you look at the same document, P70, number 15, if you
5 look at this description, that is the external examination under 15 of the
6 body of Pavo Urban, do we find there a description of any widening of the
7 wound or reconstruction of the wound based on what we find in the record?
8 A. No, there is no such description. What it states is that around
9 the stomach, an explosive wound was found of an irregular shape, about 5
10 centimetres in diameter. The edges of the wound are described, and there
11 is a liberal description of blood in the abdominal cavity. And I've
12 already pointed out that it can't be done like this. So this description
13 that you've referred to is not there.
14 Q. Tell me, Doctor, from this record, item 15, can we see if any
15 foreign body had been found and located?
16 A. No, there is no description of any foreign body.
17 Q. If the pathologist in question had found a foreign body such as a
18 shrapnel, would he have been required to describe it in the record,
19 including the location where it was found and its description, what
20 exactly it was and what it looked like?
21 A. I have already said that when identifying a foreign body during
22 postmortem, this foreign body is extracted and has to be described. It is
23 described very basically, including the colour, the form, the size, if
24 there is no exact measuring instrument, at least the diameter is given in
25 millimetres. And later, if the postmortem hall is not well-equipped
1 enough, it has to be measured exactly, such as descriptions that we do
2 with projectiles of up to three decimal points.
3 Q. Tell me, Doctor, when you look at this record on external
4 examination of bodies, Exhibit P70, item 11, this is the external
5 examination of the body of Tonci Skocko. The description mentioned a
6 13-millimetre wound and goes on to describe lacerated, pulmonary tissue.
7 Is that possible?
8 A. Absolutely not. The thoracic cavity has to be opened up, and only
9 then can one describe all the changes within the thoracic cavity,
10 including the change of the kind described here, such as compression and
11 laceration of the pulmonary tissue. This is not appropriate, not even
12 with a larger, much larger wound can you do with only such a basic
14 Q. In item 11 of Exhibit P70, can we see at all from this description
15 whether the thoracic cavity was opened up?
16 A. From what I see, the thoracic cavity had not been opened up at
18 Q. In the event that the thoracic cavity had been opened up, would
19 that have to be indicated in the record?
20 A. Certainly. All the elements and the contents of the thoracic
21 cavity which are many, and it would take me a long time to tell you all
22 the things we can find in the thoracic cavity.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] With the usher's assistance, I would
24 like to show the witness Exhibit P74.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' note: Interpreters also need
1 these documents.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
3 Q. Doctor, Prosecution Exhibit P74 constitutes an excerpt from the
4 book of death certificates, or rather, register of deaths in the area of
5 Skocko Tonci.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Doctor, please look at the first rubric indicating the day, month,
8 and hour of death which has to be recorded according to the form. We see
9 the 6th of December 1991, 0910 hours. Is this correct?
10 A. Yes. In Dubrovnik.
11 Q. My question is: Was it possible to determine based on such work
12 of the pathologist that we saw in the previous exhibit, P70, was it
13 possible to determine such an exact time of death for the indicated
15 A. Absolutely not. Not even with many more medical parameters is it
16 possible to determine the minute of death unless the person died while
17 being connected to some sort of life-supporting equipment or ECG. It is
18 very difficult to speak of the minute of death. It is even difficult to
19 determine the hour, let alone the minute. And in this case, it was
20 absolutely impossible to determine the exact time of death based on the
21 postmortem that had been presented to me for Tonci Skocko.
22 Q. Doctor, let me ask you, with reference to the entire record of
23 external examination of bodies, marked as P70, and I'm now interested in
24 the examination of all the bodies, all the 19 of them, and the
25 descriptions entered for them as noted in the record, was it possible to
1 determine the exact time of death?
2 A. On the basis of what was medically established, no. The
3 examination was completely inadequate; descriptions were completely
4 inadequate. And the pathologist based on what was written and the
5 parameters included was absolutely unable to determine the time of death.
6 Even, if I may add, that is what a postmortem is for. An external
7 examination is very important, but it is the postmortem that establishes
8 the content of urine, the contents of the stomach, type of contents, and
9 all these elements are very important for the pathologist to determine the
10 time of death. Based on the description that we saw, I shall repeat in
11 very modest terms, very mild terms, it was impossible to determine the
12 time of death.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone. Microphone, please.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. Doctor, you certainly noticed in the record of external
16 examination of dead bodies marked as P70 under item 5 and under item 9 two
17 dead bodies, two male dead bodies were described, unidentified bodies.
18 Would you tell me from the viewpoint of your profession and in view of
19 your regulations, and bearing in mind the descriptions given under 5 and
20 9, is it possible to determine the identity of these persons subsequently?
21 A. In my judgement, it is not possible. A sample of these bodies
22 would have to be left aside, and that would have been recorded. But first
23 of all, all the established changes had to be described, all the
24 characteristics of the corpses, plus a number of identifying elements in
25 order to leave room for subsequent work to identify the body or to have
1 the bodies identified by relatives or other interested parties. Or maybe
2 a part of the body should have been preserved in order to make a DNA
3 analysis later. But how can you make a DNA analysis if a postmortem does
4 not provide basic information to narrow down the possibilities? In this
5 case, I believe the possibility of identifying the bodies subsequently has
6 been ruled out due to subsequent changes, the disintegration of certain
7 tissues, and the decay, the general decay.
8 Q. Doctor, if you look at the record of external examination of dead
9 bodies marked as Exhibit P70, it says that the pathologist had begun his
10 work at 0915 hours. And at the end of the record, it is indicated that
11 the work was completed at 1300 hours. My question is: Would three hours
12 and 45 minutes be sufficient time to precisely identify and describe
13 changes on 19 bodies even if it had only been an external examination
14 requiring the description of external findings only?
15 A. If the work is done properly in medical terms, then the
16 pathologist accompanied by an assistant and having a Dictaphone or a
17 secretary able to type simultaneously, which is another possibility, it
18 would be possible to conduct a postmortem within 20 minutes if there are
19 no wounds. That is an absolute minimum. I don't know anybody who would
20 be able to complete a postmortem on a body without any wounds in a shorter
22 From what I see from these records, most of the bodies were
23 dressed. The clothes had to be removed, described. The contents of the
24 clothes described. Deformities, if any, on the clothes would also have to
25 be described. The body would then have to be washed and establish all the
1 changes in detail. This cannot be done if you do your work properly using
2 only 40 minutes per body.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
4 Prosecution Exhibits P72 and P71.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have received this.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Doctor, is it visible from this whether there was any clothing on
8 the bodies?
9 A. Yes, both bodies were dressed. The clothing was partly removed,
10 partly torn, possibly because urgent assistance needed to be administered
11 at some point. But there are remaining clothes on the bodies.
12 Q. During an external examination of a dead body, in this specific
13 case, these 19 bodies, is it necessary to also remove clothing from the
15 A. Certainly. Absolutely. And it has to be described in detail as
16 well as the changes on the clothing and anything found in or on the
17 clothing, at least in the medical school that I follow, in order to be
18 able to record it. Among other things, because changes on the clothing
19 may indicate the type of object used to inflict death, so the clothing has
20 to be removed, and all the details have to be described. If it is
21 technically possible, colour photographs have to be taken as well if so
23 Q. Doctor, within the 20-minute minimum that you indicated as
24 required for an external examination of a body without any wounds involved
25 under ideal circumstances, would those 20 minutes also cover this
1 procedure; namely, the removal of clothing from the body?
2 A. No, no. 20 minutes is the time that I thought would be required
3 by an experienced pathologist accompanied by an assistant to describe the
4 minimum 20 parameters that I mentioned because the content and size of
5 cavities have to be described, measured. All this has to be done. And if
6 there are any deformities on the clothing on top of that, at least 40
7 minutes would be required. And even that is only my estimate of the time
8 I would require after having performed 1.500 postmortems in cases of
9 violent death, as I submitted to the Court.
10 Q. Of course, Doctor, your curriculum vitae is much more voluminous
11 than the version I presented to the Court. And we sort of skipped through
12 that part in my introductory examination.
13 A. If I may conclude about this required time, if you do the work
14 properly, it is absolutely impossible to examine 19 bodies in three hours,
15 45 minutes, if the pathologist is working according to the professional
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to be shown
19 the following documents: P56, P57, and P59.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have just received this.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Doctor, please look at Prosecution Exhibit P57. This is a release
23 form from the medical centre in Dubrovnik dated the 12th of December 1991.
24 The name is Mato Valjalo.
25 A. All right.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Please take a look at this and tell us whether the diagnosis that
2 is presented here in the Latin language corresponds to the description of
3 injuries established during the examination which was described in the
4 upper part above the diagnosis in this medical document. Are there
5 several pieces of shrapnel in the body? That is what I'm specifically
6 interested in.
7 A. As for this description, first of all, in the mother tongue, it
8 was established that the patient had received explosive wounds in the
9 region of the neck and in the region of the right thigh. In the diagnosis
10 in the Latin language, it says that he received explosive wounds in the
11 area of the neck, in the area of the thigh, but what is mentioned is that
12 he was also wounded in the right shoulder blade area, and there is no
13 reference to that in what it says in the mother tongue previously.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that they do not have a single
15 document. Could we please have something placed on the ELMO. Thank you.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So the diagnosis is not in keeping with the description of
18 injuries established beforehand?
19 A. Yes. The difference is that in Latin, it says that injuries were
20 sustained in the right shoulder blade area, which was not noted in the
21 previous description. I can show you that if need be. This is what it
22 says here, "explosive wounds in the area of the neck and in the area of
23 the right thigh." Later on, in the diagnosis in Latin, there is
24 additional information, reg scapular dex, that's what it says. So that
25 includes the right shoulder blade area.
1 Q. Tell me, please, Doctor, in these findings, is there any mention
2 of shrapnel in the body?
3 A. I do not see shrapnel mentioned here at all. I just see a
4 description of explosive wound. I do not see any mention of shrapnel.
5 Q. All right. Please look at P56 now. This is a letter of discharge
6 in the name of Mato Valjalo. The document was issued by the clinical
7 centre of Rijeka. The date is the 9th of January 1992. Do you have the
8 document in front of you?
9 A. Yes, I've already placed it on the ELMO.
10 Q. According to this document, in the hospital in Rijeka, a metal
11 foreign object, 3 by 1 centimetre, was taken out Mato Valjalo's body. Is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes. According to the medical documents that I studied, Mato
14 Valjalo, after having been wounded in -- or rather, after having stayed at
15 the Dubrovnik medical centre from the 6th until the 12th of December 1991
16 was transferred to the surgery ward of the clinical hospital centre in
17 Rijeka, and he was treated there in the following interval: From the 16th
18 of December until -- that is to say, the 16th of December 1991 until the
19 9th of January 1992. On the ninth day after he was admitted at the
20 surgery ward in Rijeka, he was operated on. And surgery was performed
21 then in order to remove this foreign metal body from the area of his neck.
22 It was described as shrapnel, the dimensions being 3 by 1 centimetres.
23 After having stayed further on at that institute, he was discharged from
24 that hospital and sent for rehabilitation in Opatija. That is what is
25 mentioned in this document.
1 Q. In this document, it says that Mato Valjalo's neck was x-rayed,
2 and that a foreign metal object was seen there, the dimensions being 3 by
3 1 centimetres. Is that right?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. According to these findings, in the x-ray of Mato Valjalo, was
6 only this one piece of shrapnel seen, or rather, was it established that
7 there was only this one metal foreign body of these dimensions?
8 A. Only one piece of shrapnel was described. That particular one, 3
9 by 1 centimetres. There is no mention of any other shrapnel or are any
10 other dimensions given. Only that one.
11 Q. Tell me, Doctor, was this confirmed in the diagnosis in Latin
12 which is mentioned at the very beginning of this document? There is a
13 diagnosis in the Latin language.
14 A. Yes. Only one piece of shrapnel is mentioned in the Latin
15 language as well. It is in the singular.
16 Just a moment, please. Could I just say something else. All
17 right, that's what I think -- corpus -- I mean -- now I'm trying to think
18 back and remember the Latin I learned during my university studies, the
19 second declension and things like that. But what is noticeable from this
20 document is there is reference to one single piece of shrapnel only.
21 As far as I know, if it's in the plural, it should say corpori
22 alienii, with a double "i". In the second word, it does say "alieni," but
23 if it is in the plural, there needs to be a double "i" at the end, so this
24 is wrong anyway.
25 Q. Doctor, please look further on in the same document, P56, or
1 rather the next document within this exhibit is a letter of discharge from
2 the specialised hospital for rehabilitation, Thalassotherapia in Opatija,
3 dated the 26th of February 1992, again, in the name of Mato Valjalo. Do
4 you have this document before you?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Doctor, please, in this document from the hospital in Opatija,
7 does it say that several foreign objects were removed from Mato Valjalo's
8 body in Rijeka?
9 A. After having stayed at the hospital at Rijeka and after this one
10 foreign body, 3 by 1 centimetres, was removed from his body, according to
11 this medical documentation, Mato Valjalo went for rehabilitation in
12 Opatija. Further on, it says that at the KBC in Rijeka, several foreign
13 metal objects were removed from his body.
14 Q. Tell me, please, Doctor, these findings from Opatija, do they
15 collide with the findings from Rijeka that you looked at beforehand?
16 A. Of course they collide. In my opinion they collide, because any
17 surgeon would be duty-bound to say what kind of operation he carried out.
18 So he would have to refer to other foreign bodies that he had extracted.
19 So I believe that the surgeon would have noted the removal of other
20 foreign objects as well.
21 There is no reference to that whatsoever in this Rijeka
23 Q. Doctor, please look at P56 again, but the third document, namely
24 the letter of discharge in the name of Mato Valjalo issued by the hospital
25 in Zagreb where Mato Valjalo stayed from the 13th until the 25th of March
1 1994. Do you have this document?
2 A. Sir, yes, I do.
3 Q. Could you please pay attention to the following: Is there any
4 difference in the description of the wounds established in this letter of
5 discharge in relation to the first medical findings from Dubrovnik dated
6 the 12th of December 1991? That is the first letter of discharge from
7 December 1991. Could you please compare the two.
8 A. The next medical document in the name of Mato Valjalo is the
9 medical document from the general hospital in Zagreb from the department
10 of internal medicine where Mato Valjalo was treated between the 13th and
11 25th of March 1994. In that institution, he was examined in detail, and
12 it says towards the end, there are actually diagnoses in the Latin
13 language. And one of them says that the situation after -- says that the
14 situation after the explosive wound in the neck area, or rather, the
15 status after that, because according to these medical documents this wound
16 was sustained in 1991. So it was only an explosive wound in the neck
17 area. And it differs from the first medical document that refers to
18 wounds in the right thigh area and the right shoulder blade area. This
19 medical document is similar to the Rijeka medical document. The one from
20 Zagreb and the one from Rijeka refer to a wound in the neck area only,
21 just one wound.
22 Q. Doctor, could you please look at Prosecution Exhibit P59 now.
23 A. Okay, I have it.
24 Q. Exhibit P59. Doctor, Exhibit P59 is not in front of you as far as
25 I can see. That is supposed to be a document from the medical centre in
1 Dubrovnik in the name of Mato Valjalo dated the 13th of March 1995.
2 A. This is one of the documents that remain behind.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there has been some
4 confusion. This medical document probably underwent a permutation during
5 its numbering.
6 Can we proceed now.
7 Q. Doctor, can you tell us now what kind of document this is within
9 A. This is a piece of paper. This is only part of the history of
10 illness. And also, there is part of the personal file that comes from the
11 medical centre in Dubrovnik. This document shows that Mato Valjalo, it
12 says, was wounded on the 6th of December 1991 in the neck area, in the
13 chest area, and in the leg area with remaining shrapnel in the right leg,
14 in the lungs, and in the neck. That is what this document states.
15 Q. My first question in relation to P59 dated the 13th of March 1995
16 stating that Mato Valjalo still has foreign objects in his body; the organ
17 indicated is the lungs. Now, my question is, have we seen a single
18 document so far to do with Mato Valjalo that contained any reference
19 whatsoever to lungs or any foreign object in the lungs of Mato Valjalo?
20 A. No. It was the first time at the end of this document that I
21 found there were any foreign bodies in the lung tissue. Otherwise, the
22 patient was very carefully examined, that's what I can say, after looking
23 at his medical files in the department of internal medicine in Zagreb.
24 And his thoracic cavity was -- his chest was x-rayed. I think that is a
25 sufficiently reliable method to ascertain if there are any foreign objects
1 in the lung tissue. So I can't really understand how these foreign
2 objects in the lung tissue have turned up.
3 Q. Doctor, an examination of the chest and an x-ray of the chest were
4 carried out one year earlier in Zagreb. That was in 1994. Mato Valjalo
5 was thoroughly examined. Do you think that pieces of shrapnel in the
6 lungs would have been discovered during that examination?
7 A. Yes, of course. An x-ray is usually accurate enough to indicate
8 any pieces of shrapnel in the lungs. But there's no reference to this in
9 the medical files of the department for internal medicine in Zagreb.
10 Q. In P59, there is a sentence which reads: "Still contains foreign
11 objects, shrapnel," and then after the lungs, it talks about the neck,
12 "shrapnel in the neck." Is this something new in relation to shrapnel in
13 the neck that was mentioned in P56, in the letter of discharge from the
14 clinical medical centre in Rijeka dated the 9th of January 1992 which says
15 that one foreign metal object was found in the neck after an x-ray, the
16 dimensions being 3 by 1 centimetres, and that this was surgically removed?
17 A. Yes, there's an important difference there, in the Rijeka
18 institution, Rijeka surgery, according to the medical files, one piece of
19 shrapnel was removed. That is by no means small, the dimensions being 3
20 by 1 centimetres in the right-hand side of the neck, which is a very
21 delicate spot, of course. But there is no other reference to pieces of
22 shrapnel being there, whereas now we have reference to further pieces of
23 shrapnel in the neck but there's no trace of this in the Rijeka medical
25 Q. Doctor, I just want to run this past you again. That document,
1 P56, in relation to the letter of discharge from the Zagreb general
2 hospital in the name of Mato Valjalo dated 1994, was a thorough
3 examination of Mato Valjalo carried out, especially in relation to his
4 chest and lungs?
5 A. No, that's a different one.
6 Yes. This is the most comprehensive medical file that I have seen
7 here so far, the one from Zagreb, the most detailed one. There is
8 reference there to an examination of the chest. That's item 4 in this
9 document. And there was nothing to lead me to believe that while the
10 patient was in hospital in Zagreb, any pieces of shrapnel were found or
11 discovered in the lung tissue.
12 Q. Finally, Doctor, about patient Mato Valjalo, let me ask you the
13 following: Are there, in fact, two identical findings to be found
14 anywhere in terms of how they describe any shrapnel in his body or the
15 injuries sustained by Mato Valjalo? If you look at all these different
16 medical files from Rijeka, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Opatija?
17 A. None of the diagnoses given in Latin are consistent. The
18 description of shrapnel in Mato Valjalo's body is not consistent either.
19 The Zagreb files and the Rijeka files are two files that are quite
20 similar, but there are, in fact, no identical files.
21 Q. Doctor, you said that an x-ray is a method which is accurate
22 enough to ascertain the presence in the body of a foreign body, a foreign
23 metal body such as a piece of shrapnel.
24 A. Yes, of course.
25 Q. Thank you. Doctor, based on the medical files that you have
1 looked at in relation to Ivo Vlasica, can one ascertain which wound Ivo
2 Vlasica -- which of Ivo Vlasica's legs were actually wounded?
3 A. It wasn't possible for me to ascertain which of his legs actually
4 sustained the wounds. And that is what I wrote in my expert opinion.
5 Reference here is to a wound to the left leg. These are the files of the
6 general hospital in Dubrovnik.
7 Q. I'm sorry for interrupting you, Doctor.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown P84,
9 Exhibit P84. It's an OTP exhibit.
10 Q. I will now show you the findings, and then we can pick up from
12 A. I have some of those with me, and that is what I based my opinion
13 on. But if you say so ...
14 I have it.
15 Q. Doctor, which document do you have in front of you now?
16 A. I'm sorry. What I have in front of me now, what I'm looking at is
17 a document from the general hospital from Dubrovnik, the surgery ward,
18 dated the 18th of February 1994. And the name is Ivo Vlasica.
19 Q. If you read this document, if you look at the description that it
20 contains in relation to the examination of Ivo Vlasica, do you think that
21 the wounds are sufficiently described in this finding from Dubrovnik?
22 A. No, they are not sufficiently described. And I must say I'm
23 speaking about my experience with doctors from the former Yugoslavia,
24 people I'm often in touch with, and it's still the same. Doctors often
25 find it very difficult to describe all the parameters of the wound, and
1 according to the rules at least six of those must be given, its exact
2 location, the size, or rather the diameter, the edges and sides with entry
3 and exit wounds, and the channel that the wound has created. You must
4 also describe the surrounding area, normally.
5 In this document, the only description we find is a reference to a
6 tangential entry and exit wound to the left upper leg, therefore this is
7 the kind of body we are looking at, and the location is given, that is
8 between the upper third and middle third. And there is also reference to
9 profuse bleeding. We can't say this is an adequate description. It is,
10 in fact, inadequate, because the size of the wound is not given. The only
11 thing that is actually given here is the location of the wound.
12 Q. Doctor, if you look at these findings and the description of the
13 wound contained therein, can you notice a difference in terms of the
14 mechanism by which the wound was caused? Could you say, based on this
15 description, whether the wound was caused by shrapnel or by a missile that
16 was fired from a hand-held weapon?
17 A. Based on the description that was provided by the pathologist,
18 it's impossible to ascertain which kind of wound we are looking at. No
19 way. You have to enumerate and describe the parameters that I've referred
20 to in order to be able later to define what the tool was that had caused
21 the injury.
22 Q. In this specific finding, do we find any description at all about
23 how this tangential entry and exit wound to the left upper leg came about?
24 A. No such thing, no. The only description we find is tangential
25 entry and exit wound, its location, profuse bleeding, but we can't tell
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 which wound it is that is bleeding profusely, whether it's the entry wound
2 or the exit wound. So all we have here is that one of the wounds is
3 bleeding. Therefore, it's insufficient.
4 Q. Doctor, in your professional career, have you ever dealt with
5 wounds caused by shrapnel or wounds caused by a missile fired from a
6 hand-held weapon, specifically wounds caused by a bullet?
7 A. I wish to point out that where I live, unfortunately, I've had
8 plenty of opportunities to work with that sort of wound, both caused by
9 shrapnel and by a missile, which does not exactly make me a happy man. So
10 the answer so your question is: Yes, I've had many occasions to deal with
11 those types of wound.
12 Q. Is there any difference and what is the difference between a wound
13 that is caused by shrapnel and a wound that is caused by a missile from a
14 hand-held weapon?
15 A. In the case of shrapnel, the wounds are usually big and gaping,
16 usually there's one dominant wound with profuse bleeding. Inside the
17 wound and at the bottom of the wound, you have torn and bleeding soft
18 tissue at the extremities and around the edges of the wound usually you
19 have pieces of broken bone. So this would be a rough description.
20 In the case of missiles, the sort used by hand-held weapons such
21 as pistols or revolvers, you usually have tangential entry and exit wounds
22 with varying diameters. Mostly, in our area, when the wounds stem from a
23 pistol or revolver, the diameter would be around 8 millimetres with less
24 bleeding. This would be a brief description more or less. I could give
25 you plenty more detail.
1 Q. In this finding, do we have a description of the wound whether it
2 was caused by a hand-held missile or by shrapnel? Do we find a
3 description such as you have just said should be there?
4 A. There is no such description. There should be a description, or
5 it should be photographed by the pathologists, and this should be attached
6 to the medical files. There should be some sort of a rough description,
7 at least. The diameter, the size, the edges. If there's no time to do
8 that, you usually take colour photographs, and these then form part of the
9 medical files, none of which we find here.
10 Q. In the description in this document, P84, the entry indicates a
11 tangential entry and exit wound to the left upper leg. The diagnosis in
12 Latin reads: "Vulnus explossivum femoris sin." What I want to know is:
13 When we have an entry and exit wound, in the Latin language, is there a
14 specific diagnosis to describe that sort of wound?
15 A. The main diagnosis, a true medical diagnosis would be vulnus
16 sclopetarium femoris in this case, since you must locate the wound. The
17 part of the subspecies of the vulnus sclopetarium would be an explosive
18 wound. Some doctors who have not been sufficiently trained use the
19 expression vulnus trans sclopetarium, and this prefix "trans" should
20 denote an exit and entry wound, but that's erroneous. Therefore, if you
21 find the description vulnus sclopetarium, that's okay. Of course, later
22 on, you must add a clarification. This is an exit and entry wound, so you
23 describe in other words. But all right.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to show the witness
25 annexes A, B, C, and D that have been admitted into evidence by decision
1 of the Trial Chamber of the 26th of May 2004. These exhibits have not
2 been numbered, Your Honours, at least the numbers are not mentioned in the
3 decision of the Trial Chamber of the 26th of May. And let me remind
4 everybody, these documents refer to Ivo Vlasica presented by the
5 Prosecution at the end of their case. And apart from oral arguments, we
6 have presented our written submissions thereon after which the Trial
7 Chamber decided that these documents be admitted.
8 JUDGE PARKER: They will now have an exhibit number, Mr. Rodic.
9 MR. RE: Your Honour, they actually do, P86.1, P86.2, and P86.3.
10 I think the Registrar marked them.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Re.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. P86.1, .2, and .3
13 are documents that were introduced during examination-in-chief by the
14 Prosecution, and they were marked for identification, whereas these are
15 different documents presented by the Prosecution subsequently after the
16 end of their case in May. One is the hospital protocol for Ivo Vlasica,
17 case history, plus another two medical documents which, as you remember,
18 we argued in oral and in writing. And by decision of the Trial Chamber of
19 the 26th of May 2004, these two documents were admitted into evidence.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, they were the subject of our decision. And
21 the decision required that a number be allocated to them.
22 MR. RE: I stand corrected. If those are the documents, I
24 JUDGE PARKER: I am told that together they are Exhibit P211,
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is in English. Everything is
3 in English, at least this part. There is a statement by
4 Dr. Jaksa Segedin.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] We do not need the statement by Dr.
7 Q. Do you have a protocol from a hospital in front of you? It
8 contains a group of documents in B/C/S. Please look at this one. It is
9 an excerpt from a medical protocol. And under number 972, Ivo Vlasica is
10 mentioned. Is that correct.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us about this diagnosis in Latin. What does it mean?
13 A. Of course I can. Literally translated, it means gunshot wound to
14 the thigh, explosive.
15 Q. Is it an entry and exit wound or just the gunshot wound?
16 A. Of course, we cannot see from this document what it is. It says
17 only that it is a wound inflicted by a firearm. There are actually three
18 types, entry wounds, entry and exit wounds, and grazing wounds which also
19 fall within the category of sclopetaria wounds.
20 Q. All right. That is under A. Look at the next document under B,
21 which should be the case history of Ivo Vlasica. Did you find that? The
22 date is 6th of December 1991 as date of admission; date of discharge is
23 the 21st of December 1991. What do these X1, E1, mean?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: Could we have this on the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the diagnosis
2 means. I don't know about these abbreviations and acronyms.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. What is the Latin diagnosis?
5 A. The same as in the previous case. Gunshot wound. I can only
6 surmise. I see a dot above the I. It is an explosive gunshot wound to
7 the left thigh. That's what's written in this document.
8 Q. Please look at the next page. Case history as given by the
9 patient and finding. Can you see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You see in handwriting "wounded on the 6th of December 1991 by
12 shrapnel before the shop where he works, Dubrovkinja, the name of the
13 shop. Immediately transferred to the medical centre." If I see -- if I
14 read this well, it says "never undergone surgery before."
15 A. I cannot translate the second word, but I agree with you that it
16 should mean no previous surgical history. Those are the third, fourth,
17 and fifth words. I don't know what the second word could be. Maybe
19 Q. Look below in the typed part of the text. It says "Vlasica, it
20 was established on the basis of clinical findings that this was a
21 tangential projectile wound of the left upper leg, more laterally on the
22 border of the upper and middle third, with profuse bleeding from the
23 wound." Would that correspond to this first document, P84, from the 18th
24 of February 1994 since therapy and drainage are mentioned? That was the
25 first document, if you remember, relating to Ivo Vlasica.
1 A. Thank you. I'll have a look at it now.
2 This is the same description as in the previous document.
3 Q. Thank you. And if you see that this is a case history, the case
4 history for Ivo Vlasica, this document P211, whereas P84 is a copy issued
5 to Ivo Vlasica on the 18th of February 1994, would such a copy or
6 transcript be issued on the basis of a case history?
7 A. Based on the case history, a certain document can be issued by way
8 of certificate. You don't have to give the patient the entire case
9 history upon request. You can issue for any sort of purpose, such as for
10 purposes of the court, a part of the documentation available.
11 Q. I want to know something about the question of whether it was the
12 left or right leg. In the case history for Ivo Vlasica, P211, and in the
13 transcript of findings on his injury, P84, do these two coincide as to the
14 injury being to the left leg?
15 A. Yes, they are. Both say that Ivo Vlasica was wounded in the left
17 Q. Please look at P211, Doctor, item C, which is the report of the
18 specialist dated 6th December 1991.
19 Yes, that document.
20 A. I see it.
21 Q. Can you read for us what it says.
22 A. I'm sorry that I'm speaking too fast.
23 Q. We have to take care for the benefit of the interpreters.
24 A. This specialist, surgeon Stjepan Bogdanovic, wrote that Ivo
25 Vlasica was wounded in the right leg, femoris dex, that is that it was an
1 explosive wound to the right thigh.
2 Q. Is that the same as the finding of the 6th of December 1991?
3 A. Yes, this finding dates to the 6th December, Dr. Stjepan
4 Bogdanovic, senior surgeon.
5 Q. If you compare it to the case history and the transcript or the
6 copy from P211, the case history and the excerpt marked P84 dated 18th
7 February 1994, would you say that these two speak of two different
8 extremities, two different legs?
9 A. Dr. Bogdanovic speaks of the right leg, that is, the surgeon,
10 whereas the case history and the first document, which is a copy or an
11 excerpt, speaks of the left leg.
12 Q. Thank you, Doctor. Now, in the same document, P211, marked as D,
13 look at annex D or item D.
14 A. Very well. If you mean the x-ray report.
15 Q. Yes. X-ray report and opinion dated 6th December 1991.
16 A. Yes. In the name of Ivo Vlasica, performed by J. Dragicevic or
17 something like that. It's different to see the initial.
18 Q. Tell me, Doctor, what is said in the handwritten part below the
19 words "x-ray report and opinion"? What was done?
20 A. This was again written in hand. I'll try to read it. "The image
21 of the right upper leg" -- well, I cannot read this. "Neither foreign
22 bodies" -- it's hard to read. If I can be free to guess, this says it
23 doesn't show either fractures or foreign bodies. The image of the right
24 upper leg does not show any fractures or foreign bodies.
25 Q. The same has been translated into English. "Either fractures or
1 foreign bodies." What does this mean now?
2 A. This means that the x-ray did not confirm anything. Either the
3 gunshot wound or any other injury to the right leg. That's what it means.
4 Q. So this x-ray report does not confirm the previous reports we have
6 A. Only the right leg is described in this x-ray report. But it says
7 that there is nothing in the right leg.
8 Q. One more question for you, Doctor -- in fact, I withdraw this
9 question. I'll rephrase it.
10 In your experience and in your practice and according to the rules
11 of your profession, how does a doctor examine a patient? By which
13 A. I think I understand your question. The description of injuries
14 is always performed looking at the front of the patient with arms hanging
15 freely alongside the body, if the patient is able to assume that position
16 which is called physiological position. This is how changes are
17 identified looking at a patient in that position. That's the law.
18 Q. If I'm facing you, Doctor, and I am wearing a bandage or an injury
19 to my right arm, what will you write in your report? Which of my arms is
21 A. Your right arm, of course. But you wouldn't have to stand like
22 this. You would have to let your arms hang freely alongside your body.
23 Of course, the position of your right arm does not change.
24 Q. Doctor, have you ever heard or seen in your practice of a doctor
25 facing the patient while examining him or her with a patient having an
1 injury to their right arm, and the doctor writing of an injury to the left
2 arm or leg simply because from the doctor's side it looks as left?
3 A. Something would have to be very wrong with that doctor. I've
4 never heard of anything of the kind. It is simply impossible.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
6 Your Honour. I have completed my examination.
7 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous interpretation continues] ... We will
8 adjourn now for a short lunch break, resuming at 1.30.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.49 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.41 p.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Re, is it?
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Doctor. Do -- is it Dr. Soc? Can I just make --
14 to sure I've got your name pronounced correctly, is it Soc?
15 A. Yes, Soc.
16 Q. Thank you. You told Mr. Rodic about your experience over the
17 years and having performed thousands of autopsies. When did you perform
18 your first autopsy?
19 A. My first autopsy was while I was doing my specialist course. I
20 don't know whether it was exactly on the first day, but I started my
21 specialist course in May 1990 in Belgrade. And, of course, in the
22 presence of my mentors, I did my first autopsy during the first month of
23 my work, so it must be in June. So the first autopsy I did was on a body
24 of a person who had hanged himself. It was a suicide. And I did it with
25 a mentor who was a Belgrade professor, Professor Obradovic, and that was
1 probably in the month of June.
2 Q. Thank you. All I want to do is to ask you -- a very, very simple
3 question was when. I was only after the date. I know you want to tell us
4 more, but please. Otherwise, we'll be here for a lot longer. Thank you.
5 I think you said that you were working in Podgorica from 1992 on.
6 Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Were you working in Belgrade between 1990 and 1992?
9 A. Yes. I was doing my specialist course. I was doing my residency,
10 so that went on for two years.
11 Q. Was that at a university in Belgrade?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were you doing autopsies in the course of your studying for your
14 specialisation over those two years in Belgrade?
15 A. Yes, exclusively.
16 Q. Were you working at a teaching hospital?
17 A. The exact name is the Institute for Forensic Medicine of the
18 School of Medicine of the University of Belgrade. That is the exact name
19 of that institution.
20 Q. Was it -- is it the best facility for learning the art of forensic
21 pathology and autopsies in Belgrade?
22 A. May I give my own free opinion? I believe the answer would be
23 yes. And even beyond that, yes.
24 Q. Are you telling us it is a well-equipped, modern, functioning
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, that is my opinion about that institution.
2 Q. And it was -- it was also well equipped, modern, and functioning
3 when you were working there in 1990 to 1992, was it?
4 A. Well, that is my opinion, because I haven't got much experience.
5 After Podgorica, I went there to school. I was admitted. And the only
6 thing I could do was to make comparisons within the former Yugoslavia, and
7 that is the oldest school of its kind. It is now celebrating its 81st
8 anniversary, this school.
9 Q. The institution at which you work in Podgorica, is that the
10 premier medical facility in Montenegro?
11 A. The clinical centre where I work now is supposed to be the best
12 institution of its kind in my republic. That is its reputation. It is
13 the only clinical centre, as a matter of fact.
14 Q. Would you also describe it as well equipped, modern, and
15 functioning, and has been since you have been there since 1992?
16 A. I could give a critical opinion of my own institution where I work
17 now rather than the institute in Belgrade in terms of equipment and the
18 working conditions because I believe that it is not the best possible
19 equipment by any means. I can just tell you that I don't have a mobile
20 x-ray machine, that I cannot do DNA analysis. But that institution in
21 1999 was physically reconstructed -- actually, we worked in an institution
22 that covered 600 square metres in physical terms. And that is where the
23 department of pathology now is, and for histology and anatomy. And now we
24 have about 2.000 square metres all together. However, that is not nearly
25 enough at the level of western Europe. It's not really at that level.
1 Q. Did you ever visit Dubrovnik hospital in November or December of
3 A. The last time I was in Croatia in general was on the 14th of
4 February 1991 when I passed my oral masters examination at the school of
5 medicine at the University of Zagreb in the presence of my professors
6 there, again, at the institute of forensic medicine. I haven't been in
7 Zagreb since.
8 Q. So you are unaware of the circumstances prevailing at Dubrovnik
9 hospital in November and December 1991. Is that so?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. When you have performed -- withdraw that. In the course of
12 performing autopsies, have you ever done so without the benefit of
13 electricity or running water?
14 A. Yes. I had a problem with my minister, too, because there was a
15 shortage of water in 1999. While I was doing three autopsies in Bar, when
16 I refused to perform further autopsies after the first autopsy because I
17 believe that water is a minimum requirement. As for electricity, if there
18 is daylight, an autopsy can be completed because bones can be opened
19 manually, the skull, the rib cage, et cetera. But I think that in all
20 forensic medicine manuals, it says that water is a minimum requirement.
21 But yes, I did work even without water. I just remembered now - I'm
22 sorry - I also worked at the border of the Pljevlja municipality in the
23 north of Montenegro when there were conflicts with the Muslims, and I did
24 autopsies in the field without either water or electricity.
25 Q. But you're saying that running water is a minimum requirement to
1 do a proper, full autopsy according to forensic medical texts?
2 A. That's right. That's what I believe, that there has to be water,
3 at least in bottles or in other containers. I think that an autopsy
4 should not even be started if there is no water. It doesn't have to be
5 running water; it can be water from a bottle, too.
6 Q. What is the largest number of autopsies that you have performed in
7 a day?
8 A. Well, so far in my life, I have carried out a maximum of five
9 entire autopsies within 24 hours; and within 48 hours, I carried out
10 external examinations of 18 bodies of persons who were victims of traffic
11 accidents. And I conducted this with three assistants.
12 Q. And the one in which you carried out the examination of 18 bodies,
13 was that after a traumatic event, like a bus smash? What I'm asking you,
14 what was the reason for there being 18 bodies there at the same time?
15 A. I'm sorry. They weren't entire autopsies. These were 18 external
16 examinations like the ones conducted here. I had to carry out these 18
17 external examinations because those were the orders received from the
18 investigating judge who was in charge.
19 Q. I'm asking you about the event. What precipitated it? Was it a
20 bus crash or something like that? Were 18 bodies brought in because there
21 had been a road accident?
22 A. That's right. There was a road accident near Titograd in the
23 canyon of Platr [phoen]. A bus fell into the canyon of the Moraca River.
24 Q. Of course in ideal circumstances, the best that you could probably
25 perform in a day would be between two and three; that's autopsies, isn't
2 A. I think that for an individual, for one doctor, that is a lot.
3 That is a major psychological effort. I think that that is very much for
4 one day. Analysing the data I have so far, if a pathologist does one
5 autopsy per day, even that is a great burden.
6 Q. The number of autopsies or examinations a pathologist may perform
7 in a day depends on a lot of circumstances such as the facilities
8 available, the staff available, and the number of bodies, doesn't it?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And in an emergency situation such as the bus crash or a bomb
11 blast or a fire or in war, it would be fair to say that the standards of
12 autopsy or examination may diminish according to the circumstances?
13 A. No. Standards cannot be changed. The rules have to be the same
14 regardless of danger to the pathologist's life, and everything has to be
15 done in proper order; otherwise, it's all wrong. Of course, many
16 examinations or autopsies within a short span of time is a major effort,
17 an enormous effort on the part of the pathologist. But the professional
18 standards may not be infringed upon.
19 Q. What I'm asking you is I'm asking you to accept that -- withdraw
21 When you spoke about the rules of forensic medicine and they must
22 be complied with, which you did when Mr. Rodic questioned you, I take it
23 you were referring to the methodology employed rather than the law which
24 was in force in the Republic of Croatia as on the 7th of December 1991?
25 A. Well, I don't know what the law was in 1991 on that day in
1 Croatia, in 1991. I see that this was done on the basis of the order
2 issued by the investigating judge, as we do. But I pointed out that the
3 examinations were not done properly, regardless of on whose orders they
4 were done. I still abide by what I said, that these corpses were not
5 examined properly and professionally.
6 Q. Could I again ask you if possible to please confine your answer.
7 I was asking you about the methodology or the law, which is one or the
8 other. A moment ago you said "standards cannot be changed. The rules
9 have to be the same regardless of the danger." Now, even accepting that
10 standards, that is, the standard itself cannot be changed, the practical
11 circumstances change from hospital to hospital and situation to situation,
12 don't they?
13 A. I cannot give a yes or no answer. Different hospitals have
14 different working conditions. But the actual medical work has to be done
15 strictly in compliance with the rules of the science of medicine. But, of
16 course, working conditions vary from one medical institution to another.
17 Q. Conditions, of course, are different in war and peacetime, and the
18 possibilities of complying with standards are different in war and peace,
19 aren't they? What I'm saying is what is possible in peace, in ideal
20 circumstances, may not be possible in a hospital in a war zone?
21 A. Certainly when circumstances change, the mental setup of a
22 pathologist also changes. But he must do his work according to the rules.
23 You told me not to go into any details, but what I would like to point out
24 is that I myself worked under NATO bombs.
25 Q. Were you aware of how many pathologists, forensic pathologists
1 there were at Dubrovnik hospital in December 1991?
2 A. I believe in the Dubrovnik area, there is not a single specialised
3 pathologist. Back in 1991, not a single person, not a single expert who
4 had actually taken and completed any specialised courses in forensic
5 medicine. I believe there was only one expert in clinical pathology.
6 Q. Were you aware that Dr. Ciganovic who was the forensic pathologist
7 in Dubrovnik was also the chief pathologist at the hospital; that is, he
8 was doing two jobs?
9 A. There is no doubt in my mind that he perhaps may be a clinical
10 pathologist, but I do not believe that he completed any courses in
11 forensic pathology. That is, at least, my opinion.
12 Q. Your opinion is based upon your reading of the examination or
13 autopsy report. Is that all it's based on?
14 A. There's another bit of information, too. I know a colleague who
15 works back in Montenegro, and I know that prior to 1991, prior to the war,
16 he would often go and work in the Dubrovnik area from Montenegro, that is.
17 Q. What I'm asking you to accept is that in a situation in a war in
18 which 19 bodies are brought in on the same day with a description of them
19 all having been killed the day before, and there's only one person who can
20 deal with it, one couldn't possibly expect the same standards that you
21 would apply in peacetime to be applied to the work that is done, would
23 A. Excuse me, I understand the stress levels that were involved in my
24 colleagues' work under those conditions that you have referred to. The
25 one thing I cannot accept is that someone conducts such deficient
1 examinations of the bodies, such incomplete examinations, although I do
2 accept that the circumstances must have been very difficult. It must have
3 been very difficult to work under those conditions.
4 Q. If I tell you there was no water, according to the evidence, no
5 electricity, the doctor believed he was in a lull in the shelling, and
6 there may be more bodies coming in, would you accept that in those
7 circumstances the standards for performing the autopsies or examinations
8 have to be lessened according to these particular emergency circumstances?
9 A. I can't accept that, I'm afraid. It would be the same if you were
10 asking me if on account of war conditions, a surgeon should perform an
11 operation in a way that is contrary to the rules of the medical science.
12 The only way he's allowed to proceed is according to the rules.
13 Q. Well, rules, you told us a little bit earlier, or according to
14 your own examination of the bodies in the bus crash, were external
15 examinations. It's clear from Dr. Ciganovic's report that he did a number
16 of external examinations just as you would have done, didn't he?
17 A. I carried out external examinations because I had been ordered by
18 the investigating judge to do so. But I also insisted that an autopsy be
19 performed on the driver. This request was not complied with, though. All
20 the findings, and this should be easy enough to verify, were done
21 according to my instructions in all the specific cases, with all the
22 descriptions that I provided. These files are kept in Podgorica, and this
23 should be easy to check. I included all the 20 parameters. I described
24 the wounds. I identified the bodies, which is difficult work in view of
25 the presence of the parents of those deceased. But I stood up to defend
1 the principles that I spoke about before this Honourable Tribunal today.
2 Q. Autopsy or examination is only one way of determining a cause of
3 death, isn't it? There are other ways, in combination, of determining a
4 cause of death?
5 A. Yes, of course, that is one way. There are clinical methods, too,
6 to establish a diagnosis prior to an autopsy.
7 Q. In your experience under war and under NATO bombing and of
8 experiences in the former Yugoslavia tells you that people can be killed
9 from shelling, doesn't it?
10 A. Certainly.
11 Q. A shell exploding 40 to 50 metres away from a person, exploding
12 with fragments of shrapnel flying about, fragments could enter a person
13 and kill them, or cause an injury leading to their death?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. A shell exploding closer -- I withdraw that. And the -- you may
16 expect to see an explosive wound from flying shrapnel. I say "may."
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't get the answer.
18 A. It may be the case, yes.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. And a shell exploding closer to a person could cause blast
21 injuries and kill them instantly, couldn't it?
22 A. That may be an another circumstance involved that's beyond doubt.
23 Lives can be lost when a person is hit by shrapnel from as far away as 40
24 metres from where the person is actually standing.
25 Q. Your experience of wartime has told you or taught you that when
1 there is a sustained shelling of an urban environment, you may expect to
2 see casualties bearing the same sorts of injuries, either dead or alive,
3 on the same day, from the shelling, hasn't it?
4 A. That's quite possible, yes.
5 Q. You are aware that Dubrovnik, the Old Town and the Dubrovnik area,
6 was under shelling on the 6th of December 1991, aren't you?
7 A. All I know about this I know from the public media. As a citizen
8 of my country, I know about what was going on.
9 Q. Well, if you -- you will accept for the purposes of these
10 questions that there were shells landing in the Old Town and the
11 surrounding area over a period of hours on the 6th of December 1991,
12 weren't you?
13 A. Well, I'm a doctor. If that is a fact, I accept it. I vehemently
14 opposed any war in my own country.
15 Q. If you look at Dr. Ciganovic's report of his examinations, you'll
16 see that all of the injuries there are consistent with injury from
17 shelling, aren't they? Shell fire or gunfire or war, aren't they?
18 A. Well, this colleague of mine who did that wrote down that those
19 were explosive wounds, but he did not describe the wounds. He proceeded
20 immediately to describe them as explosive wounds, and the rule of our
21 science is that the wounds must first be described so that any further
22 experts who may be examining the files may see what the wounds are about,
23 whereas here they are immediately identified as blast injuries.
24 Q. Just taking the identification and the description of shelling
25 over hours before, the description of blast injuries or explosive
1 injuries, that combined with the fact that there are 19 people being
2 brought in on the same day can lead you to conclude that it's consistent
3 with these people having been the victims of shelling?
4 A. I'm a doctor. I'm telling you about what the medical files say.
5 I never said those people weren't dead, nor did I state that there had
6 been no explosions as a result of which they were killed. Never crossed
7 my mind to say anything like that.
8 Q. In the circumstances described in examination, the same -- more or
9 less the same cause of death is diagnosed. There has been shelling the
10 day before, and there's a number of -- 19 people brought in in a fairly
11 small area on the same day. That makes it likely that those people all
12 share the same cause of death, doesn't it?
13 A. Quite probably, yes.
14 Q. Are you familiar with or do you know exactly what Dr. Ciganovic
15 did in relation to his examination of Pavo Urban? That's body number 15.
16 Or is your only information what is contained in that report?
17 A. My information is based on the medical files.
18 Q. And your curriculum vitae says that you speak English. Have you
19 been provided with a copy of the transcript of his evidence as to what he
20 said in this Tribunal about how he performed the autopsies or the
22 A. No, I haven't seen any transcripts. I do speak English. Well, of
23 course, I always require assistance because I don't get to speak English
24 very often, and it's not particularly fluent. But I can't say I've seen
25 that particular portion of the transcript, or what Dr. Ciganovic stated,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 at least not that I remember.
2 Q. He described circumstances in which he performed what he called a
3 partial autopsy, which he did in the prevailing circumstances. Are you
4 aware that that's what he did?
5 A. What I'm going by is what I have in the medical files. I know
6 about nothing else that was or was not done. The only thing I based my
7 opinion on, if you allow, is on these medical files that were forwarded to
9 Q. So you -- withdraw that.
10 Dr. Ciganovic told the Trial Chamber that this is -- this is what
11 he did, this is how he performed it. In the circumstances at Dubrovnik
12 hospital without water, electricity -- running water, electricity, and
13 during what he said was a lull in the shelling with 19 bodies there, where
14 necessary he performed a partial autopsy which was, quote -- he would do
15 an external examination, examine the clothes, the skin, and any other
16 external marks of injury, and proceed to examine the depth of the injury
17 in order to determine the channel and the depth of the wound, the
18 direction of the channel, the intensity of the damage sustained by the
19 internal organs, and also, to reach, if I could, the object that caused
20 the injury, which more often than not was lodged inside the victim's body.
21 This entailed partially opening parts of the body, specific parts of the
22 body where the injury occurred so that I could get inside by using my
23 instruments and have a look. Unquote.
24 That's at page 2741. You've just told us you were aware that that
25 was what he did to help him establish the cause of death. What I'm
1 suggesting is that in the circumstances prevailing, the shelling, the lack
2 of water, electricity, the number of bodies, he being the only person,
3 would you go so far as to say that was probably the best that he could do
4 in those circumstances?
5 A. Well, what you're putting to me now is much different from what I
6 found in the medical files. There's more description. I'm not sure if
7 anyone had looked at the clothes, but I've seen no description of the
8 clothing. If someone had actually succeeded in removing the clothes and
9 going through them, this is something I have never come across in these
10 files. I cannot doubt that this was done, but it's simply not in the
11 files that I have seen. That's all I'm saying. There are several
12 activities here that were described.
13 Q. I appreciate it's not in the files. That's the evidence
14 Dr. Ciganovic gave in this Trial Chamber. What I'm asking you about is
15 your opinion. Would you accept that in all of those circumstances, the 19
16 bodies, the only person available, the lack of facilities, that this was
17 the best he could do in those extreme circumstances? And he only did so
18 when he felt that he needed to do so?
19 A. It's very difficult to challenge that, the sequence of actions
20 under those circumstances, the external examination under duress in
21 circumstances that were difficult. And that's how the work was done. I
22 can't challenge that. But I don't see anything recorded in the files.
23 It's difficult to speak about things that I don't see in the files. I do
24 accept that that was the only thing he could do, and especially
25 considering that he had been ordered to carry out external examinations
1 and not autopsies.
2 Q. You said you haven't read Dr. Ciganovic's evidence. Are we to
3 take it you also haven't read the evidence in relation to the death of
4 Tonci Skocko and the witness who described what happened to him before he
5 was brought to the hospital?
6 A. Your Honours, the only thing I've looked at are the medical files.
7 I have nothing else except for the medical files.
8 Q. The evidence before the Tribunal is of this 18-year-old young man
9 walking out into the street during the shelling on the morning at about
10 9.00 or so, the 6th of December, and a shell exploding close by in a
11 narrow -- one of those narrow streets in Dubrovnik, and him walking back
12 into the shop and collapsing with blood on his chest and being taken
13 unconscious to hospital and being dead on arrival, and the autopsy being
14 performed -- the partial autopsy being performed the next day. In these
15 circumstances, you've got two pieces of evidence as to the cause of death.
16 One is the eyewitness evidence of the shell, him being struck, being taken
17 unconscious to hospital; and the second one is a partial autopsy revealing
18 an explosive injury.
19 You understand that scenario?
20 A. Yes, I understand. I'm only waiting for your question.
21 Q. In those circumstances, that is, the partial autopsy and the
22 results in the medical files, and the eyewitness description of what
23 happened to the boy the day before, you as a doctor could safely conclude,
24 couldn't you, that shelling was the cause of this person's death?
25 A. Your Honours, if I can be literal, shelling cannot be the cause of
1 death. Shelling could have caused the injury by shrapnel whereas causes
2 of death are embolus, sepsis, bleeding out, et cetera. Shelling can be a
3 mechanism of injury which in its turn leads to the cause of death, as I
4 said many times here in passing.
5 Q. I stand completely corrected by the way you have described it. I
6 meant it in a more general, lay sort of term, that shelling in those
7 circumstances was the thing that caused the injury which led to the blood
8 loss which killed this young man.
9 A. I cannot argue with that, and I don't want to.
10 Q. Similarly with Mr. Pavo Urban, again, have you read any of the
11 transcript in relation to the circumstances of his body being found
12 outside the Sponza palace under the clock tower in Dubrovnik, Old Town, on
13 the 6th of December?
14 A. No, nothing apart from the medical documentation.
15 Q. If I gave you a scenario before this Trial Chamber of Mr. Urban
16 being seen wandering through the streets filming in the middle of shelling
17 on the morning of the 6th of December while shells are landing in the Old
18 Town, and then later that day being found struck down under the clock
19 tower and brought to hospital, a man aged 26, with a wound, according to
20 the forensic pathologist, being consistent with an explosive injury, would
21 you accept there that that is also consistent with shelling causing
22 shrapnel to fly into him being the cause of death? I'm sorry, I withdraw
23 that. There's one other piece of information, and that is that Dr.
24 Ciganovic in his evidence here which you haven't read said that at page
25 2747 "inside the abdomen I found a fragment and an explosive device that
1 had caused the damage, and haemorrhage was the cause of death."
2 If you take those three pieces of information, the photographer
3 film being, the shelling, his body being found in the area where the
4 shells had been landing, him being taken to the morgue, injury described,
5 and the doctor saying in evidence that he found an explosive fragment
6 which caused a haemorrhage. From that could you safely conclude that
7 shelling was the thing that caused the shrapnel which caused the ultimate
8 cause of death which was a haemorrhage?
9 A. I believe that all these questions were about Pavo Urban. If you
10 are asking me about Pavo Urban in the medical documentation prepared by
11 the doctor, the cause of death is not indicated at all. As far as Pavo
12 Urban is concerned, as far as I can see from the medical documentation,
13 the cause of death is not stated. As for the rest, whether there was
14 shelling or not, I cannot argue with that one way or another.
15 Q. All right. I appreciate it's not in the report, but if you take
16 the extra piece of information from the doctor in evidence here, that he
17 found inside Mr. Urban's body after doing a partial autopsy, that is
18 opening it, a fragment, an explosive device, if you take that piece of
19 information, combined with that, combined with the description of him
20 walking around during the shelling and him being found dead there, you
21 could safely conclude from that that the shelling had caused the shrapnel
22 which had killed him by the haemorrhaging, couldn't you?
23 A. Please don't take exception. I cannot deny any of this. But it's
24 not stated in the medical records. Maybe it was all the way you said it.
25 My colleague did not describe it, however. As far as Pavo Urban is
1 concerned, my colleague wrote that in the area of the naval. He found a
2 wound about 5 centimetres in diameter, and injury to internal organs
3 established or identified without postmortem. I cannot accept that, of
4 course. The regulation is that the abdominal cavity has to be opened and
5 injuries found inside described. I'm only a forensic pathologist, and I
6 don't take anybody at their word. Forensic pathologists receive one set
7 of information from the police, another from the postmortem, another set
8 from the relatives, and that's what we operate with. I cannot take
9 anybody at their word.
10 Q. Mr. Rodic also asked you about bodies number 5 and number 7 which
11 are in Dr. Ciganovic's report. And you've already referred to it in your
12 own report which was filed here before. And you had some specific
13 criticisms about some of the descriptions there.
14 A. It must be about the unidentified bodies. If you mean the persons
15 who remained unidentified, yes. If I understood you correctly -- yes, I
16 had a critical comment because --
17 Q. I don't want you to repeat. I'm just reminding you of where we
18 were, of what your evidence was.
19 Doctor, moving along, the last page of the report says that the
20 pathologist Drago Kaleb has given information which is going to be
21 checked, doesn't it? Authorised persons of the Dubrovnik police
22 department will get all other necessary information, and so on. I don't
23 want to read out the whole thing. But what it's indicating is that
24 there's guess about who these two people are and that further inquiries
25 have to be undertaken. That's what it's saying, isn't it?
1 A. Yes, I remember now. And I didn't note it down. Yes. It's
2 written there.
3 Q. Because you, of course, are unaware of the circumstances of these
4 people being brought in, aren't you?
5 A. If it's not written in the medical record, then I cannot be aware
6 of it.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] If my learned friend would be so kind
8 when talking about the record of examination, of external examination of
9 Kaleb's, could he give the witness Exhibit P70 so that he has it in front
10 of him before answering.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have anything in front of
12 me. I'm speaking from memory.
13 MR. RE: I apologise. I saw the doctor referring to something. I
14 presumed he had the exhibit there. Could he please be shown Exhibit P70.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have returned all of the
16 documentation that had been given me. I had my own notes only.
17 Yes, this is it. Yes, I've found that part, "authorised
18 officers." I remember that part. Yes, yes, I'm following you.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. Now, you don't know about the storage facilities in Dubrovnik
21 morgue or hospital for bodies in December 1991, do you?
22 A. No, I don't know.
23 Q. You don't know whether DNA tests were done on these two bodies, do
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. You haven't seen photographs of them either, have you?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You don't know whether it would be possible to identify them from
4 the photos, do you?
5 A. No. If photographs were made, then today identification can be
7 Q. Well, you've seen photographs of Mr. Skocko and Mr. Urban. It
8 would be safe to assume that photos were taken of the other bodies,
9 wouldn't it?
10 A. It can be assumed, yes.
11 Q. And you would accept that in circumstances where there has been --
12 where a number of people have been brought in dead, there are going to be
13 relatives out there who are missing people? And they will probably come
14 looking to see whether the unidentified bodies are those of their beloved?
15 A. They come, of course. They never fail to come. That's one way of
16 identifying bodies.
17 Q. You accept if you look at this that the report is merely saying
18 that the police should conduct further inquiries to properly ascertain the
19 identity of the two persons whose names we think were Djuro Kolar and Ante
20 Jablan. That's as far as it goes, isn't it?
21 A. Yes, that is police identification. That's not forensic
22 identification. Forensic medical identification in this case is not
23 sufficient, whereas police identification is another matter all together.
24 It has nothing to do with Dr. Ciganovic. There are things that he should
25 have done in order to keep some data for further identification of the
1 bodies, for later identification, and he didn't do them.
2 Q. Doctor, on what basis can you possibly say that Dr. Ciganovic
3 didn't keep items -- data for further identification of bodies if you have
4 never been to Dubrovnik hospital, have no idea about the circumstances
5 there, recordkeeping, storage of bodies, or what happened afterwards? How
6 can you criticise Dr. Ciganovic if you didn't know what he did?
7 A. If you remember, I didn't say that he hadn't done something. I
8 said identification would be possible if he had kept certain parts or
9 information in storage, like samples for DNA analysis. I didn't say that
10 he didn't keep them. It didn't cross my mind to criticise him on that
11 score. And I appreciate it very much if he has done his job properly.
12 That's very good.
13 Q. On the basis of what you just said, are you withdrawing what you
14 said a moment ago? You said, "there are things he should have done in
15 order to keep some data for further identification of the bodies for later
16 identification, and he didn't do them." It's on the screen in front of
17 you. Are you going to withdraw that piece of evidence now, that he didn't
18 do the things he should have done?
19 A. When saying that, I meant the way he described things when --
20 during the external examination. I didn't mean to say that he hadn't kept
21 samples or biological traces of body parts for later analysis. I meant
22 say that he did not perform external examination in the way prescribed by
23 forensic medicine. And I stand by what I said.
24 Q. You told the Trial Chamber you were unaware of the conditions at
25 Dubrovnik hospital in December 1991. Were you likewise unaware of
1 conditions at Rijeka and Opatija in December, January, and February 1991?
2 A. I'm completely unaware of that. The last time I spoke to my kums,
3 kum relatives was in 1991. Kums who live in that part. I don't know what
4 happened after that.
5 Q. I said a moment ago January and February 1991. I meant January
6 and February 1992. I take it your answer referred to those months as
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown Exhibit P211.
10 Q. Going from what you just said, you were unaware of the standard of
11 recordkeeping at Dubrovnik hospital in December 1991?
12 A. Of course I'm unaware of the recordkeeping as practiced in
13 Dubrovnik in December 1991.
14 Q. You're also, I assume, unaware of the conditions in the hospital,
15 not the pathology department, forensic pathology, but the hospital; that
16 is, whether surgery was being performed, whether they had anaesthetics,
17 whether they had proper supplies, whether they were fully equipped with
18 staff, and you're unaware of the number of patients who were there and
19 whether they were overcome with too many, aren't you, all of those things?
20 A. I don't know about that. I can only surmise if the war was going
21 on that conditions had deteriorated there as elsewhere, indeed. But those
22 are only assumptions.
23 Q. And of course, you're unaware of the quality of the teaching or
24 the quality of the recording of things in Latin at Dubrovnik hospital
25 which, of course, depends on who does the recording, doesn't it?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Your Honour, I can only provide an expert opinion on medical
2 documentation. I know the rules of writing medical documentation. It has
3 to be absolutely legible, and according to the rules of forensic medicine.
4 Who did it there and under what conditions, I really don't know.
5 Q. Mistakes aren't unheard of in the recording of medical condition,
6 are they?
7 A. Well, a mistake is possible, that someone writes "right leg"
8 instead of "left leg". That happens even in peacetime. It is not that
9 much of a rarity. There is this kind of confusion between the two legs.
10 But it is, nevertheless, a mistake.
11 Q. If you look at P211, the first page, now, that's a document with
12 which you're familiar, that type of document? It's a register, isn't it?
13 A. That's right, yes. Registers, that's the word. Hospital
14 registers, ward registers, that's the name we would refer to.
15 Q. It's a big, big book in which someone writes in a very, very brief
16 description of why the patient is there?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. The person who writes it in isn't necessarily a doctor, it could
19 be a clerk or it could be a nurse, couldn't it?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. If you go to number C which is the specialist's note, that clearly
22 refers to --
23 A. Very well.
24 Q. -- that clearly refers to the right leg, doesn't it?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. That has been written by a person presumably had something to do
2 with the operation, hasn't it?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. And it's more likely to be accurate than the -- I'm sorry, if
5 there's going to be inaccuracy, the inaccuracy is more likely to be in the
6 register where someone else has written the details in than in the
7 doctor's own report. You would agree with that, wouldn't you?
8 A. That's right. I believe the mistake was made by the surgeon
9 rather than the administration clerk -- rather, that the administration
10 clerk made a mistake rather than the surgeon.
11 Q. You could be satisfied on what you have read that it was the
12 patient's right leg which was wounded, not his left leg?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. And I assume, too, that you haven't read Mr. Vlasica's testimony
15 before this Tribunal in which he described receiving a wound to his upper
16 right leg? You're unfamiliar with that?
17 A. No, I haven't seen that. I don't know what this is about.
18 Q. All right. If I tell you that Mr. Vlasica described being in the
19 street in Dubrovnik during the shelling, a shell detonating behind him,
20 and him receiving an immediate wounding of his right leg which was
21 severely bleeding and being taken to the hospital where he stayed for, I
22 think, 11 days. When you put that piece of information together with the
23 other things, all the other information there, you could safely conclude
24 that he was wounded by shrapnel from a shell, couldn't you?
25 A. I can take your word for it or his word for it. But I, as a
1 forensic expert, cannot make that kind of conclusion because I do not have
2 that kind of information. I can only trust you, believe you, but as an
3 expert before this Honourable Court, I cannot draw that kind of conclusion
5 Q. You're also -- just on the subject of the conditions and the
6 quality of medical reporting, you're also unaware, I take it, that
7 Mr. Vlasica was operated on by a doctor and two nurses without
8 anaesthetics because he was told they were unavailable, and he was
9 actually held down by two nurses with gauze between his teeth so as not to
10 bite his tongue. You weren't aware of that either, were you?
11 A. [No verbal response]
12 Q. Now, having heard that, does that put some of the things in
13 perspective about the quality of care and recordkeeping at the Dubrovnik
14 hospital in December 1991 during the shelling?
15 A. What you've said to me just now means that the conditions of work
16 have been very difficult.
17 Q. The left pulmonary top, that's in the lung area, isn't it?
18 A. That's right. It's the very top of the lungs underneath the
19 collarbone area.
20 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit P56. I've
21 finished with P211.
22 Q. I just want you to turn to the release form from Zagreb general --
23 Zagreb general hospital. Now, your evidence earlier today to the Tribunal
24 was that you hadn't seen any documents in which shrapnel or a body, an
25 alien body was described -- was described as being present in the lung
1 area. I just want you to turn to the third or the fourth underlined
2 heading, laboratory and other findings. Now, it says there "x-ray of
3 heart and lungs without peculiarities. Alien body in the projection of
4 the left pulmonary top. ECG without peculiarities." When you gave your
5 evidence earlier that there was no -- nothing suggesting shrapnel in the
6 lungs or the lung area, were you overlooking that particular finding from
7 Zagreb general hospital?
8 A. I am trying to follow you here as I read the translation into my
9 mother tongue. And I am reading laboratory and other findings. And
10 that's really what it says. Alien body in the projection of the left
11 pulmonary top. This is an oversight on my part, but chest is a separate
12 paragraph above, and there's no mention of it in that paragraph. The way
13 I was taught in Zagreb precisely, that should have been in the paragraph
14 that had to do with the chest. So I'm really sorry. It is indeed what is
15 written here. "In the projection of the left pulmonary top," yes, there
16 is a foreign body. I didn't notice that, I'm sorry. But I would have
17 expected that to be written in the paragraph entitled "chest."
18 Q. And again, I take it you haven't read Mr. Valjalo's testimony
19 before the Tribunal in which he describes his various hospitalisation and
20 visits to medical centres, and you're unaware of his evidence as to when
21 particle -- or, when fragments of shrapnel were found in his body?
22 A. I am not aware of his evidence.
23 Q. So you're unaware that Mr. Valjalo at page 2006 said "in Zagreb,
24 they found another piece of shrapnel lodged in my lungs which I knew
25 nothing about."
1 A. I don't know. All of that is possible.
2 Q. What I just read to you from what he said is completely consistent
3 with what is in the release form in the part I just referred to you about
4 shrapnel -- an alien body in the projection of the left pulmonary top,
5 isn't it?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Of course, you're also unaware of the previous page, page 2005, he
8 described being x-rayed in Dubrovnik, and "I was on the table while they
9 were x-raying me. They didn't operate. They did take out, extract
10 certain fragments from my leg. Others remained lodged there. And they
11 said they couldn't extract the one -- the other one because they were
12 afraid of damaging me." And he was sent for further treatment in Rijeka.
13 Were you aware of that?
14 A. Well, I didn't know that he had said that. But I see that after
15 six days, he was sent from Dubrovnik to Rijeka. That can be seen from the
16 medical records. But I'm not aware of his statement, his evidence.
17 Q. If you accept everyone in the Court has heard that evidence being
18 given and it's on the record here, that's what he said. If you accept
19 that and the other piece of information about them finding the fragment in
20 Zagreb, putting all of those pieces of -- putting those pieces of
21 information together with the records provides the missing link and the
22 consistency that you were looking for in his medical records, doesn't it?
23 A. In all medical documents, reference is made to shrapnel. But only
24 in the letter of discharge of the hospital in Rijeka there is mention of
25 one removal of that foreign body from the neck area, whereas the rest
1 refer to several foreign bodies.
2 Q. If you put all those pieces of information together, him going to
3 Dubrovnik with several pieces of shrapnel in him, some being taken out in
4 Dubrovnik, another being removed in Rijeka, and then later on they --
5 discovering one in Zagreb, if you put all that together, that shows a
6 consistency in relation to the shrapnel being in his body, doesn't it?
7 All I'm saying is it basically overcomes your concerns if you put the two
8 missing pieces of information in.
9 A. Certainly. In Zagreb, one was established in the lung, and Rijeka
10 says neck area. So at least we have those two, according to this medical
12 Q. And having looked at Mr. Valjalo's records and heard that
13 information, if I tell you his evidence was that he was walking in the
14 Stradun, a shell exploded close to him, and he fell to the ground wounded
15 with injuries to his neck and his legs, that is consistent with what
16 you've seen in the medical files, isn't it? A shell exploding about 40 to
17 50 metres away from him?
18 A. Well, possibly, even from a 40-metre distance, part of shrapnel
19 can end up in the head area or the neck area. I don't know where in the
20 pulmonary top. I don't know where it went through. But Zagreb found it.
21 All of that is possible. Only one is referred to unequivocally, though,
22 and in Zagreb there is one that is referred to in the pulmonary top, and
23 then there is the description of the chest, everything is normal,
24 neurologically no peculiarities, and then this is found. So I have to
25 take that. I have to accept that, that one was found in the lung tissue.
1 That would mean two.
2 MR. RE: Your Honour, I think I'm finished. I'm just checking
3 with my colleague on one small detail, if you would just bear with me for
4 one moment. Thank you.
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MR. RE: That concludes my cross-examination.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Re.
8 Mr. Rodic, do you think you'll be long?
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. Your Honour, approximately
10 20 minutes to half an hour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: In that case, we'll have a break now, Mr. Rodic.
12 And that will allow you to collect your thoughts.
13 We'll resume at 20 past.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.00 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 3.24 p.m.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Re-examined by Mr. Rodic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Soc, in answer to one of the questions posed
20 by my learned friend and colleague at one point you said that the working
21 rules must be standard rules regardless of everything else. You referred
22 to external circumstances such water and electricity and so on and so
23 forth. First of all, tell me what does that mean that the rule must be
24 the standard rule for everyone regardless of everything else?
25 A. Excuse me. When I said that, what I had in mind was if you are
1 about to start work on dead bodies, you must complete that job for as long
2 as you are breathing and your health is not at risk, while you are still
3 conscious. You can't skip things. You can't carry out an external
4 examination by not including all 19 parameters in as long as that is
5 possible, if your approach to your work is serious. I'm not sure if I'm
6 making myself clear. You can't only use six parameters and not the
7 remaining 12 or 13.
8 Q. Do you have in front of you P70, the record of external
9 examination of dead bodies?
10 A. I've nothing in front of me right now. I only have my own notes
11 that I have been dragging around.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can we then have the usher's
13 assistance, please, in providing these documents. I'm now talking about
15 Q. Do you have photographs there, too, P71 and P72 jointly? If not,
16 can please the document be brought to you while I'm asking you the
18 A. No, I don't see any photographs here.
19 Q. Dr. Soc, you saw the time that was recorded, between 9.15 and 3.00
20 p.m., so we calculate that this amounted to 3 hours and 45 minutes, didn't
21 we, the entire time the work took?
22 A. Yes, that's true.
23 Q. Also having inspected the photographs that you have been given
24 now, you can see it, if you look at parts of the record, P70, you have
25 seen that the bodies brought to the Dubrovnik hospital had clothing on,
1 don't you?
2 A. Yes, I did see that.
3 Q. You also provided parameters in terms of the time frame, in terms
4 much how long it takes in ideal conditions to carry out an external
5 examination of a body, and you said it would take about 20 minutes, if I
6 understand you correctly. Didn't you?
7 A. You won't find this quoted anywhere in literature, the amount of
8 time it takes. I based this estimate on my experience, and I think I've
9 got quite some experience. And that would be the minimum it takes.
10 Q. Can you now please look at P70, the record. And just below the
11 time when the examination started, it says "there are 19 dead bodies on
12 the autopsy tables, persons who according to information that has been
13 obtained were killed in the Dubrovnik town area and in the area of
14 Sustjepan." It goes on to state in the next paragraph: "The crime
15 technician is photographing the dead bodies. Having established the
16 identities of each of the persons killed, the pathologist performs
17 external examinations and establishes the cause of death." Is that
19 A. Yes, that's what it says.
20 Q. In the course of these 3 hours and 45 minutes, Dr. Soc, quite
21 obviously the pathologists also identified the bodies because that's what
22 the document states. Isn't that so?
23 A. What I see here is that, first of all, their identities were
24 established, the bodies were identified, and then they proceeded to hand
25 over the bodies to the pathologist for further processing.
1 Q. If you look at the individual items contained in this record in
2 relation to each of the bodies, for example, under 11 in relation to Pavo
3 Urban, the record reflects his birth, his place of residence, the place
4 where he was allegedly killed, and the identity was established with the
5 assistance of the following witnesses Pavo Djivanovic, his personal data,
6 Vlaho Monkovic. Under 11, they identified the dead body as their friend
7 Tonci Skocko. Is that right?
8 A. Yes, indeed.
9 Q. In addition to the actions that a pathologist is supposed to
10 perform when carrying out an external examination of a dead body, this
11 work that was done between 9.15 and 3.00 p.m. also involved work done by
12 crime technicians as well as work on identifying the dead bodies by
13 persons who were present. Isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's what it says. It says "commencement at 9.15" and then
15 they say they are beginning to identify the bodies, and then the
16 inspection of the bodies, examination, and then the whole thing is
17 supposed to finish at 3.00 p.m. That's at least what it says.
18 Q. Doctor, we are not making any assumptions here as speculating.
19 This is the face of the document that you have in front of you. This work
20 on identifying the bodies, would it also be included in this time frame
21 which is defined as between 9.15 in the morning and 3.00 in the afternoon?
22 A. Yes, correct. That is also within that time frame because that's
23 what the document states.
24 Q. My learned friend put to you the conditions that were in place in
25 Dubrovnik at the time when these external examinations were performed. It
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was not my intention to interrupt him, and I didn't. He told you that
2 there was no running water, no electricity. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's what I was told.
4 Q. Let me ask you, sir: Over a period of three months in Dubrovnik,
5 October, November, and December 1991 specifically, if there is no running
6 water, can people survive at all with no water for three months in a row?
7 A. Well, if I'm supposed to answer this question, I can only answer
8 as an expert. In terms of how long a human being can go and maintain its
9 normal bodily functions without water, as far as I remember, I think it
10 should be about three days; without food for about seven days. And a
11 normal human body can survive for about three days without water.
12 Q. If I'm not mistaken, you also said that under difficult working
13 conditions, when an autopsy is performed -- rather, I apologise. I
14 withdraw this question.
15 Autopsies, that's a more complex procedure for a pathologist than
16 a mere external examination, more complex in its nature?
17 A. Well, of course. When you perform an external examination, there
18 is no contact with blood. An autopsy is a lot more complex, and you need
19 to be much more skilled and trained. External examinations can be
20 performed by doctors who are not specialists in forensic medicine. An
21 autopsy, well, hardly.
22 Q. When faced with difficult working conditions, and my learned
23 friend has spoken about these, at one point in time you said that bottled
24 water could be used or would be sufficient. Can you please explain
25 briefly why water is needed, what amounts of water are we looking at, and
1 for what type of activity.
2 A. Well, nothing can be done. Well, what I had in mind when I said
3 that in order to establish what the wounds are, first you need to wash the
4 body the way it was brought in to the hall, the way you found the body
5 when starting the autopsy. Then the performing pathologist is duty-bound
6 to use with the help of his assistant, wash the body. If no poisoning is
7 suspected, the body should be washed in order to spot all the changes,
8 even the most minor changes on the body. The body must be washed in order
9 to establish and discover these changes. There is another reason: When
10 you rinse the internal organs when you look at the body, the contents of
11 the internal organs, what's inside them, without water you just can't do
13 Q. You used the term "bottled water" in order to carry out external
14 examination of a dead body. How much water would you need for that,
15 roughly speaking?
16 A. Well, believe me, I'm merely making an assumption here. I used a
17 bucketful of water, perhaps a total of about 10 litres, for an entire
18 autopsy. How much do you need? Well, as much as it takes to wash a body,
19 the average height of which is 180 centimetres. I'm talking about the
20 absolute minimum. We are looking at things here that under any normal
21 circumstances would not be allowed at all, would be impermissible.
22 Q. In answer to a question by my learned friend you said that the
23 colleague of yours used to drive over from Montenegro to Dubrovnik prior
24 to 1991. So what I want to know is what his profession was and what the
25 reason was for him going to Dubrovnik.
1 A. It's Dr. Mihajlo Kulis. You know that I studied -- did my
2 university studies in Zagreb, and I did my postgraduate studies in Zagreb
3 as well. I had that information, and I know that Dr. Mihajlo Kulis
4 regularly went to work on postmortems in Dubrovnik for the district court
5 there because I had colleagues in Croatia, in Zagreb, in Split at the
6 medical school. And he was one of my closest colleagues who had already
7 studied -- who had also studied in Zagreb, but his main training is in
8 forensic pathology.
9 Q. What I wanted to ask you about is the reason why he went there.
10 A. I can only assume. Podgorica is closer to Dubrovnik than Zagreb.
11 There was no one closer to perform the work that needed to be performed.
12 Q. Does that mean that there was no specialist in forensic pathology
13 in Dubrovnik?
14 A. No, not as far as I know.
15 Q. Tell me, then, about blast injuries. Can they be inflicted even
16 without shrapnel? Can they be induced by the explosion itself?
17 A. Well, there are certain injuries that can be sustained through the
18 blast syndrome, the explosion itself can cause certain injuries that would
19 qualify as blast injuries without the body being hit by shrapnel.
20 Q. Doctor, could you tell us, how does one establish whether a bodily
21 injury occurred while the person was still alive or posthumously?
22 A. You cannot do that without performing a full postmortem. You can
23 only have arbitrary assumptions. If you don't perform a postmortem and
24 prove living reactions such as the flowing of blood in subcutaneous
25 tissue, swallowing of blood, et cetera, you cannot -- you cannot claim
1 that the person was still alive. You can only assume.
2 Q. From the record marked P70, from the description of wounds and
3 injuries given in that record, can one assert with certainty whether these
4 injuries occurred before or after death?
5 MR. RE: I object.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Re.
7 MR. RE: I do object. There have been a number of questions that
8 have been outside the scope of cross-examination. And in my submission,
9 this one is. There was something my learned friend asked about in
10 examination-in-chief and was answered. And I didn't go into it in
11 cross-examination. It's merely repetition.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think asking about when certain injuries occurred
13 is outside of re-examination, Mr. Rodic.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, I'll
15 explain. The purpose of my questioning is to elucidate entries into the
16 record. I want the doctor as an expert in forensic pathology to comment
17 on them because my colleague presented him with photographs during
18 proofing. A shell fell here, somebody says that somebody was injured
19 here. It was wartime. The person could already have been dead before the
20 shell landed. And the body could have sustained injuries other than from
21 the shell. I'm just asking whether from this description of injuries, it
22 is possible to give an opinion based on such description as to whether the
23 injuries were sustained before or after death. It is a matter for
24 expertise of this witness.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It may be that, Mr. Rodic, but the question is
1 whether it's properly now raised in re-examination. As it's Wednesday
2 afternoon, if you ask the question quickly and get an answer quickly,
3 we'll allow it.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I hope the doctor can give us a brief
5 and quick answer because he is very experienced. May I?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on external examination, one
7 cannot speak of the cause or mechanism of death. One cannot determine the
8 cause of death. And that means that we cannot say whether it was before
9 or after death that injury was sustained. I brought a book here that says
10 "it is quite certain that based on an external examination or even partial
11 postmortem, the cause of death cannot be determined definitively."
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note the witness speaks too fast
13 for us to follow such important subjects.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. During my examination-in-chief, I presented you with a number of
16 documents, for instance, item 5 that mentions a small piece of shrapnel in
17 the upper arm. In both cases, is there any mention of foreign body, be it
18 shrapnel, projectile, bullet, et cetera, in this P70 record?
19 A. I haven't found it. I haven't found any.
20 Q. My learned colleague asked you while describing the testimony of
21 Dr. Ciganovic from the medical centre, the author of that record who had
22 testified previously before the Trial Chamber, when he explained in part
23 how he performed the postmortems or how he performed partial postmortems.
24 Under this term "partial postmortem," as used in this P70 record, can we
25 see that even this partial postmortem was done?
1 A. I only found in this text that a lot of blood was found in the
2 abdominal cavity and in the chest, but there is no such term as "partial
3 postmortem." Only an uneducated person can use it. It is absolutely
4 inappropriate. Certain partial procedures are performed, even I perform
5 them depending on the circumstances. But this is highly irregular and
6 contrary to the rules of the profession. No conclusions can be drawn from
7 it. Anybody who would draw such conclusions would be wrong and out of
8 line professionally.
9 Q. First of all, I would like to know, even if we assume that such
10 partial postmortem was done, you mentioned --
11 A. I'm sorry to interrupt you.
12 Q. Please, let me finish. In one part of this record, you said you
13 found blood in the abdominal cavity. My question related to this is the
14 following: In the record P70, can one see that Dr. Ciganovic had
15 performed or rather had written that he had performed a single incision on
16 the bodies he had examined? Is there any record of that?
17 A. I haven't found any such entry anywhere.
18 Q. Under number 11 of the record, P70, referring to Tonci Skocko --
19 A. I've found it.
20 Q. Does it say anywhere here that the wound was reconstructed, which
21 implies incision, expanding, or deepening of the wound?
22 A. It is not written there. The only thing that's written is that a
23 13-millimetre wound was found. There is a description of its location as
24 well as the channel. And only based on external examination.
25 Q. Look at number 15, Pavo Urban. Do we see any trace here of the
1 pathologist's work in the form of incisions made on the cadaver?
2 A. No, there are none.
3 Q. Under number 15 relating to Pavo Urban, is there any information
4 that the pathologist had found a shrapnel or bullet lodged in the body?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Doctor, would a professional pathologist be amiss in failing to
7 enter in the record that he had found such a thing, a shrapnel or bullet?
8 MR. RE: I object, Your Honour. This is merely repetition of the
9 examination-in-chief. The doctor -- the good doctor has criticised at
10 length in his filed report, Dr. Ciganovic's report, did so again in
11 examination-in-chief. This is merely repetition. And the last few
12 questions have in my submission really been more in the nature of a
13 submission. The record does speak for itself, and my learned friend is
14 entitled to submit at the end of the day what the report says or doesn't
16 JUDGE PARKER: I have got to say, Mr. Rodic, that I see nothing
17 new in any of this. It's really just trying to pull all that the doctor
18 gave in evidence earlier together in a summary, isn't it?
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. The subject of
20 expertise of this witness was only the medical documentation given to him.
21 No records of testimony before this Trial Chamber, no transcripts were
22 included. This witness spent most of the examination-in-chief presenting
23 quotations from the -- sorry, my learned friend spent most of the
24 cross-examination putting to the witness parts of the transcripts of the
25 witnesses. And Mr. Ciganovic said at one point that 13 years later he
1 remembered that during external examination of the body of late Pavo
2 Urban, he had found shrapnel in his body. My learned friend just
3 mentioned it in cross-examination.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, I agree with all of that. But what you
5 are doing with the witness now in a series of questions and answers is
6 merely putting to him again the evidence that he gave originally. That
7 evidence stands. So this is entirely unnecessary repetition.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I'll move on.
9 Q. Dr. Soc, tell me briefly, according to the rules of your
10 profession governing records, or rather entries into the record of
11 descriptions and findings made during postmortem, would absence or lack of
12 water be a hinderance? Would it prevent you from making entries into the
14 A. In order to write something down, I need water.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' correction. Answer: I would
16 write down that there was no water available.
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Dr. Soc, do you know whether in Dubrovnik on the 7th of December
19 there was any shelling or fighting?
20 A. I don't know. At that time, I was undergoing specialisation in
21 Belgrade. All I know is what I heard from the media.
22 Q. Dr. Soc, in the course of reviewing the medical documentation for
23 Ivo Vlasica, that is, by studying his medical file including this last
24 piece of evidence presented to you, P211, that is the medical protocol and
25 the case history, were you able to draw the conclusion that according to
1 the medical documentation, Ivo Vlasica had been wounded in the right or
2 left leg?
3 A. No, I could only assume. I would have to trust either my
4 colleague the surgeon or chalk it down to an error in order to decide
5 which leg it was. I would have to trust my colleague, the surgeon. And I
6 decided to trust the surgeon. But I could not draw the conclusion whether
7 it was the right or the left.
8 Q. I'm asking you, as a specialist in forensic pathology and a
9 forensic examiner, based on this medical documentation, can you tell
10 precisely which of his legs was wounded?
11 A. I still abide by my opinion formed earlier that I don't know which
12 leg it was.
13 Q. Again, regarding Ivo Vlasica, when you have the complete medical
14 documentation in front of you, are you able to say whether Ivo Vlasica was
15 injured by shrapnel or projectile or something else yet? Could you form a
16 definitive opinion on that?
17 A. I included in my report, among other things, that it was a
18 sclopetaria wound. I don't know what caused this gunshot wound based on
19 the medical documentation.
20 Q. When looking at Exhibit P211, namely, this protocol and the case
21 history, the finding of the specialist as well as the x-ray report and
22 opinion, is there any reference to any surgery done on Ivo Vlasica?
23 A. I haven't found any.
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Dr. Soc.
25 Your Honour, I have concluded the redirect.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Rodic.
2 Doctor, may the Tribunal thank you for your assistance and for the
3 time you've taken to give evidence here. You'll be pleased to know that
4 you're now free to return to your home and work. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was an honour for me to take part
6 in the proceedings of The Hague Tribunal. Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. Would you please read aloud
10 the affirmation that is given to you now.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
14 Mr. Rodic.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: LUDVIK RENKO
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examined by Mr. Rodic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. I would like to ask you to introduce yourself to the Honourable
22 Trial Chamber with your full name and surname.
23 A. I'm Ludvik Renko, born on the 5th of May 1933 in Lokve near Nova
24 Gorica, at that time in fascist Italy.
25 Q. Mr. Renko, could you please tell us what your current profession
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Retired.
3 Q. Can you please tell me when you retired?
4 A. On the 1st of January 1986.
5 Q. Were you retired with a particular rank?
6 A. The rank of lieutenant colonel in the JNA.
7 Q. So you were an active-duty officer?
8 A. I was an active-duty officer.
9 Q. Mr. Renko, could you please tell us what your ethnicity is?
10 A. I'm an ethnic Slovene.
11 Q. And what citizenship do you have?
12 A. Currently of Slovenia. Before that, of the SFRY.
13 Q. Can you please tell us where you live.
14 A. I live in Ljubljana. That's where my registered domicile is. But
15 I live in Lokve near Nova Gorica. I come to Ljubljana every now and then
16 when necessary.
17 Q. Tell me, please, what post did you hold when you retired?
18 A. I was retired from the position of a member of the operations
19 department of the 9th Army as an officer for property and legal affairs.
20 Q. Mr. Renko, I will have to ask you something. For the transcript,
21 all this is being interpreted. Could you please pause briefly after I put
22 my question so that everything could be reflected in the transcript.
23 A. All right.
24 Q. Tell me, please, which military schools did you complete?
25 A. This is the way it was: With Mr. Strugar, I completed the
1 three-year military academy. After that, I finished a one-year school, an
2 additional school, and the political school of the JNA which also lasted
3 one year.
4 Q. Tell me, please, where did you attend the military academy?
5 A. The military academy, this is the way it was: At that time, the
6 then-General Staff of the JNA proclaimed that civilians may be enrolled in
7 military schools. And then I applied. Because until then, there weren't
8 any active-duty officers in the JNA who had been civilians before that.
9 There were only wartime officers in the officers corps until then. So I
10 applied and I was accepted. And in 1949, in the month of September, I
11 came at that Kragujevac.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Renko, tell me, please, during your active-duty
13 military service, in which garrisons did you serve?
14 A. Upon completing my education as a lieutenant, first I served in
15 Koprivnica, in the border regiment near Hungary. Then I was in Lendava,
16 in the border units, in the Gornji Petrovci in the border units. Then --
17 Gornji Petrovci, let me think, then Baranjsko Petrovo Selo in Banat, in
18 the border units. Or Rather, this was in Beli Manastir.
19 I was transferred from there to Skofja Loka, to the mountain
20 brigade. And that was the first time I saw Mr. Strugar again after our
21 school years. Then, in 1968, when the Warsaw Pact powers entered
22 Czechoslovakia, then I was transferred to Maribor urgently. And then from
23 Maribor, four years later, I was transferred to Ljubljana.
24 Q. Thank you. What rank did you hold after you completed military
1 A. Second lieutenant.
2 Q. Tell me, please, what post did you hold in Skofja Loka?
3 A. In Skofja Loka I was company commander there, and for a while I
4 was deputy commander of the garrison itself.
5 Q. Tell me, do you know Mr. Strugar well?
6 A. I know him extremely well.
7 Q. Can you tell me when you met him.
8 A. We met, it was the end of September 1949 in Kragujevac. As I said
9 earlier on, we had applied and were admitted to the school. We were
10 students from all parts of the former Yugoslavia, from all the republics
11 of the former Yugoslavia. At that time, there were nine of us Slovenes,
12 and we were in different platoons and companies. So in every platoon,
13 there was approximately one Slovene respectively.
14 Q. I'm sorry for interrupting. Were you together in that platoon?
15 A. That's what I wanted to tell you right now. I'm taking things in
16 the right order. So, once we were there, there were about 30 of us in
17 this platoon, and there were three squads. In the first squad, I was
18 together with Mr. Strugar immediately. We were assigned to the same
19 squad, the same platoon, from day one until the end of our schooling.
20 That was the 3rd of August 1952.
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Renko, we have very little time available, so
22 could you please tell us briefly under which conditions your schooling
23 took place, yours and Mr. Strugar's.
24 A. It is well known that then -- the then Yugoslavia was in a very
25 difficult economic and political situation. So that had an effect on us
1 military cadets; that is to say, we did not have what cadets have nowadays
2 at different military academies. We were modest. We had modest food and
3 a firm discipline. It was some kind of a mix between the former Yugoslav
4 and Russian discipline until this system of discipline was not built later
5 on in the JNA. That's what I mean.
6 It was very strenuous because our average age ranged between 16
7 and 17. That was 70 per cent of us. And there were a few who were even
8 younger than that. At that time, for us, this was physically a tremendous
10 Q. All right. You said that the discipline in that school was
12 A. Strict, yes. And I think that this discipline led to our
13 formation as human beings, the firmness of our characters. We -- instead
14 of going to school during the war, we had to flee. I also had to flee
15 from my home because the Germans in 1943 burned down my home and my
16 village and my school. So there were many cadets who did not have one
17 parent or both parents.
18 Q. What was the constitution of General Strugar at the time?
19 A. He was a head above all of us at the time, he was taller than all
20 of us at that time. And that's why he headed the squad at that time. But
21 Strugar was the first leader of that squad. He was a head above all of
22 us, he was taller than all of us. So he was our first squad leader.
23 Q. Did he help you any in that period?
24 A. Yes. Since I did not know Serbo-Croat at the time when I arrived,
25 I went to high school for four years and I learned some at that time. But
1 that was very little. And he helped me with pronunciation first and
2 foremost, although I did not get rid of that pronunciation until the
3 present day really. So he always corrected me. And then this friendly
4 relationship that we had and generally everybody in the squad, not only he
5 and I, we practically had no problems. Further on, he helped me. I
6 remember on this march between Kraljevo and Kragujevac. He was a head
7 taller than I was, and he was strong, and he helped me, and he even
8 carried my rifle. There were so many other things he did. You cannot
9 remember all the things.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Renko, how would you describe General Strugar's
12 A. First and foremost, how should I put this? General Strugar is a
13 firm personality by his very nature. Also, he is a humane person. He
14 likes to help people in a friendly way. He empathises with people,
15 listens to people's troubles. And I think that he made a lot of friends
16 everywhere precisely because of that. Further on, I can claim with 100
17 per cent certainty that he was not a nationalist or chauvinist. He
18 respected members of all different ethnic groups. He didn't really pay
19 attention to that kind of thing, I'm a Serb, I'm Montenegrin or whatever.
20 He has none of that in him. Just like I don't. Just like I don't.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. He does not have that in him.
23 Q. Tell me, please, how do you know him? Was he quarrelsome? Was he
24 an angry person?
25 A. I never saw the man angry, ever. Perhaps this may seem a bit
1 abstract. But instead of getting angry, he would smile or laugh. That is
2 characteristic of him. I remember once, I remember very well when we were
3 joking about, and somebody insulted him a bit, but he was not offended.
4 He even laughed. And I even said to him, I said, how can you take it,
5 that kind of insult? I mean, it was a boy thing, but anyway...
6 Q. Tell me, please, you said that among the cadets there were members
7 of all different ethnic groups.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What was Strugar's ethnicity?
10 A. He's an ethnic Montenegrin.
11 Q. What was his option, what had he opted for?
12 A. What do you mean "option"? He had a general Yugoslav orientation.
13 He was an all-Yugoslav person. We socialised, and he would never manifest
14 any such thing, Montenegrins, whatever. Of course, sometimes I would see
15 a Slovene within the compound and exchange a few words, and he would do
16 the same thing with Montenegrins. Let me tell you, this generation of
17 mine, my year, my class, we were not corrupt. How can I put this? We
18 were not poisoned with nationalism, chauvinism, and racism. You see what
19 I mean? This is a class that has stuck together until the present day.
20 We still meet up. Two years ago we had a meeting, a reunion, in Belgrade.
21 We have our own newsletter which comes out twice a year. We are scattered
22 about all the newly established states, but still we maintain these ties.
23 This class of mine, I'm talking about my class, was the soundest or
24 healthiest of all with regard to that particular matter, if I can put it
25 that way.
1 Q. Mr. Renko, can you tell us something about the moral standards,
2 the values of Mr. Strugar.
3 A. As I said, he is a man with very high moral values such as every
4 human being should have, if you understand what I'm saying. As an officer
5 and as a soldier, I trust he has shown by his example as an officer to be
6 a just man. He required a lot of discipline and he required order.
7 That's clear enough. But he had that moral backbone, and he had a
8 strength of character to listen to each of his subordinates and that's why
9 people held him in high esteem. He would look at his subordinates and he
10 would say, If I have no respect for my subordinates, then my unit is weak.
11 Q. Do you know about General Strugar's family background? What sort
12 of family does he come from?
13 A. He is from a worker's family from Pec. Most of us came from rural
14 and working backgrounds at the time.
15 Q. What about the Strugar family, did they take part in the national
16 struggle in World War II?
17 A. I don't know all of their names by heart. But I know that his
18 uncles had taken part in the struggle against fascism. That was one thing
19 that was typical of my generation, of my class. We all had relatives who
20 had fought against the fascists. It was a generation of people who all
21 had relatives who had fought in World War II against the fascists, the war
22 of national liberation.
23 Q. In your opinion, and based on your experience with Mr. Strugar,
24 did he have a big talent for being in the army, for becoming an officer?
25 Was he talented?
1 A. He was a natural soldier, I tell you. It was easy to see from day
2 one at the academy. He was a joyful person, just as I was, and he enjoyed
3 this career, this profession. You must enjoy your career. It's the key
4 to success. And that is why he has come this far. He didn't come this
5 far because someone happened to like him. He had to work hard for it. In
6 addition to all other qualities that Mr. Strugar had, the way his units
7 behaved during his service was particularly characteristic. And then it
8 goes without saying, you need to have the right qualifications, the level
9 of training, educational background. If you have the former without the
10 latter, there's no way you can ever attain the rank of lieutenant general.
11 Q. Did you and Mr. Strugar work in the same unit for a while?
12 A. Yes, that was back in 1964. I think that was the first time we
13 saw each other later. I think in 1964 was the first time we were
14 reunited. He worked as garrison commander in Bolovac [phoen], and I was
15 in Skofja Loka at the time. We first saw each other at a military
16 exercise, a session. Due to the distance separating our two garrisons, we
17 were not in touch every month or every week, but there would be meetings
18 in Tomijn [phoen], and we would meet up there. There was this once when
19 we took part in a military exercise together. At Bovec, I had arrived
20 from my unit own at Skofja Loka, and we did that military exercise
21 together for a stretch of eight days, those manoeuvres that we had.
22 Q. How did Strugar's units rate?
23 A. He had the best battalion in the mountain brigade.
24 Q. Did he deserve to become general? Did he deserve the rank that he
25 held in as far as you can say?
1 A. Yes, 100 per cent without a question. He's a modest man. He is
2 not overly ambitious, not in the wrong way. He earned whatever he
3 obtained. It wasn't because someone happened to like him. And it wasn't
4 to the detriment of one of his subordinates. He worked hard for it, and
5 he earned everything he got.
6 Q. Do you know if he pursued any specialised courses?
7 A. Yes, he completed all the possible military schools that were
8 available in the former Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Can you name a typical example of how General Strugar cared.
10 A. Yes, I still remember after so many years the military exercise
11 that I referred to. We were together then. And there was a soldier in
12 one of his units who had been imprisoned for ten years. He was some sort
13 of a criminal, a murderer. By the time he met Strugar, he was 28 years
14 old. I believed he hailed from Kragujevac. His name was Dimic or Djimic
15 or something like that. And he was assigned to my unit. He had to cross
16 the mountain, and this soldier talked to me. He was a bit of a strange
17 person. He hated people. I'm not sure how that could ever be, but he
18 simply hated other people. And he wanted Strugar or another officer to
19 give him a horse because the horse was his best friend back there at
20 Bovec. And that's what he told me after he had been assigned to my unit.
21 And I know because I talked to him at the time. He said "I tried talking
22 to him the nice way as his commander in order to try to show this man the
23 way, get him to stop hating other people or other soldiers who were
24 there." He was surrounded by other people after all.
25 And this was an example which showed his concern, his care for
1 individual soldiers, not to mention officers. The garrison as far as I
2 know was far away from a big town. It was isolated. People needed to
3 help each other. People needed helping out. And Strugar was always the
4 first, the officer that was really held in high esteem and that everyone
5 relied upon when they needed help. And allow me to finish, please. There
6 was once a celebration, a festivity, years later, and I asked him about
7 that particular soldier, and Strugar told me "well, he remained the same,
8 he never changed" meaning that he had not managed to accomplish anything
9 with that particular soldier.
10 Q. Mr. Renko, are you still friends with Mr. Strugar?
11 A. Well, if you like, I have a photograph on me which I can show you
12 to prove that dated the 4th of October 2002, Belgrade, a celebration we
13 had. I must give him the photograph today because I have still not had an
14 opportunity to give him these photographs.
15 Q. Do you still hold General Strugar in the highest possible esteem
16 as an officer and a person?
17 A. I have no second thoughts at all about this. He couldn't have
18 done anything wrong. He's just not that kind of person. He's not a
19 person who could possibly hurt anyone.
20 Q. Sir, you've known him for a very long time. Have you ever heard
21 people say anything bad about General Strugar?
22 A. No, never. The only thing, maybe now I read something in the
23 public media down there, whatever happened, the evil thing that happened
24 down there. But I know of nothing else.
25 Q. Mr. Renko, let me ask you this: Do you know that General Strugar
1 was the first general of the JNA to voluntarily surrender to the ICTY, of
2 his own free will, that is?
3 A. That's one thing I was about to say. The question I would like to
4 ask is.
5 MR. WEINER: Objection. Objection.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
7 MR. WEINER: That's leading. Let the witness answer the
9 JUDGE PARKER: It is leading, but it is a character witness.
10 Carry on, Mr. Rodic, could I make the point, though, that we are
11 told that the witness needs to leave The Hague tonight.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll just take another
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for leaving The Hague, the
16 administration has failed to make the appropriate arrangements because I
17 had to pay for my own air ticket from Ljubljana, and until these things
18 are cleared up, I'll be staying for at least another day. Therefore, the
19 time issue is not really an issue at all. There's no plane that I need to
20 take tonight. If I'm doing something for Mr. Strugar, I'm prepared to go
21 a very long way I tell you.
22 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Renko.
24 A. There was another thing I needed to say.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Renko, would you just listen to Mr. Rodic and
1 answer his questions, please. It will be a lot better for General Strugar
2 and everybody else if you do that. Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's fine, Your Honour. I fully
4 accept that.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Renko, did you hear yourself that General Strugar surrendered
7 of his own free will to the Tribunal?
8 A. Yes. And I have a cutting from one of the newspapers at the time.
9 Q. Do you know what the reason was?
10 A. Well, he was a conscientious man, and he felt not guilty. Any one
11 who felt guilt at the time would have tried to escape. It's just human
12 nature. If you're hiding, if you're telling lies, that means you feel
13 guilty. You do anything to escape the tension and escape being brought to
14 justice. That is why I think that what he did was an honest and
15 honourable thing to do.
16 Q. Is there something that I didn't ask you, something that's brief
17 and that you would like to add?
18 A. There is something that I would like to say, but you interrupted
19 me. First of all, I came of my own free will to testify before this Court
20 because General Strugar is my friend, my colleague. We have known each
21 other for 55 years. I felt I had a moral responsibility towards him and
22 his family. And that's why I'm here today.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Renko.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] This concludes my
1 examination-in-chief, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic. Mr. Weiner, is there any --
3 MR. WEINER: L be very brief.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
5 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Philip Weiner. I'm going to ask
6 you some questions on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor. I'm going
7 to be brief. It won't be very long. About a -- two minutes ago you said,
8 "that evil thing that happened down there," when you were testifying. When
9 you referred to the evil thing, you were referring to the shelling of the
10 Old Town of Dubrovnik, weren't you, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, you weren't with General Strugar on December
13 6th, 1991 while he was the commander of the 2nd Operational Group?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You're not a witness --
16 A. No.
17 Q. You're not a witness to what he said or did there at that time?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And nor are you a witness --
20 A. No.
21 Q. -- to what he said after December 6th in the next two months as
22 commander of the 2nd Operational Group in relation to the Old Town of
23 Dubrovnik? You're not a witness to what he said or did, what actions he
25 A. No.
1 Q. And further, you're not a witness to any actions he took in
2 October or November of 1991 in relation to the Old Town of Dubrovnik or in
3 relation to the 2nd operation command?
4 A. No.
5 MR. WEINER: Thank you very much. No further questions.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any re-examination, Mr. Rodic?
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] No, not really, Your Honour. Thank
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Renko, I'm happy to tell you that your evidence
11 here is concluded. May we thank you for your assistance. I'm sure that
12 your friend and colleague, the accused, would thank you deeply as well.
13 And I wish you luck with the administration tomorrow. You are free to
14 return to your home when you wish.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn --
17 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] My apologies. But this may be a good
20 opportunity. I'm not sure if I have your permission. Do you think we
21 could have your permission for General Strugar to greet and shake hands
22 with Mr. Renko?
23 JUDGE PARKER: When the Chamber has left the Court, if they came
24 close together over there for a few moments, I'm sure the security people
25 will be able to cope with it. Thank you.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.37 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of July,
4 2004, at 9.30 a.m.