1 Monday, 8 November 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.29 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom. We
6 have a delayed start today because the courtroom was occupied this
7 morning for a longer time than anticipated. And I welcome especially
8 Ms. Hasan to the courtroom and to this trial. It's the first time that
9 you're here. Welcome and we hope you will enjoy it and we will have good
10 cooperation, especially between the parties.
11 The next witness should be brought in, if there is nothing to
12 discuss elsewhere. Thank you.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to the courtroom.
15 Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to
16 you now.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President. I solemnly declare that
18 I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
20 MS. HASAN: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
21 Good afternoon, Dr. Lawrence, and to everyone in and around the
23 WITNESS: Christopher Lawrence
24 Examination by Ms. Hasan:
25 Q. Dr. Lawrence, could you please state and spell your name for the
2 A. Christopher Hamilton Lawrence, that is L-a-w-r-e-n-c-e.
3 Q. And what is your profession?
4 A. I am a forensic pathologist.
5 Q. Do you recall testifying in the Popovic case in February of 2007?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And have you recently had the opportunity to review your
8 testimony in that case?
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. And is the transcript of your testimony true and correct, to the
11 best of your knowledge?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the transcript of your Popovic testimony, does it fairly and
14 accurately reflect the answers you would give today if you were asked
15 those very same questions?
16 A. Pretty much. I'd probably give a slightly different answer but
17 they substantially are as I would give them today.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MS. HASAN: And at this stage I would ask that the testimony of
20 this witness from the Popovic trial be admitted into evidence, and that's
21 Exhibit P920.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The exhibit will be received with this number.
23 MS. HASAN: And I would also at this stage offer into evidence
24 the exhibits that were admitted through this witness in the Popovic
25 trial, and that would be Exhibits P921 through to P932.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received with these numbers. Please
3 MS. HASAN: And Mr. President, with your leave, I would just like
4 to read a brief summary of this witness's evidence.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please do that.
6 MS. HASAN: Dr. Christopher Lawrence is a certified forensic
7 pathologist from Australia. At the time he testified in the Popovic
8 case, Dr. Lawrence was the state forensic pathologist for Tasmania,
9 responsible for conducting autopsies for the coroner. From May through
10 October of 1998, Dr. Lawrence was the chief forensic pathologist for the
11 Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY. He was the predecessor of OTP
12 chief forensic pathologist Dr. John Clark who recently testified in this
13 case. As the chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Lawrence led a team who
14 conducted autopsies on the human remains exhumed from the mass graves
15 associated with the fall of Srebrenica enclave and other OTP cases.
16 The human remains that he and his team examined were recovered
17 from the dam site near Petkovci and from seven secondary graves found
18 along Cancari Road, Hodzici Road, near Zeleni Jadar and in Liplje. The
19 autopsies were performed at a morgue in Visoko, in Bosnia.
20 The human remains exhumed from these mass graves were delivered
21 in body bags to the morgue for Dr. Lawrence and his team to examine.
22 Some of the body bags contained complete bodies, and other body bags
23 contained body parts. After photographing the contents of the body bags,
24 the pathologists examined the human remains for bullets, fractures and
25 boney abnormalities using a fluoroscope, which is a device that produces
1 an x-ray image. After searching the bodies for personal items and
2 removing the clothing which was handed over to the crime scene officers
3 for further examination, Dr. Lawrence and his team examined the bodies
4 and bones and photographed any evidence of injury.
5 Any damaged bones were handed over to the anthropologists for
6 reconstruction. Upon receiving these reconstructed bones, the
7 pathologists examined them for injury, and in the case of an apparent
8 gun-shot injury, attempted to trace the track of the bullet.
9 In most instances, the pathologist examined the clothing to
10 determine whether the damage to the clothing corroborated the injuries
12 Dr. Lawrence prepared a report for each grave site containing his
13 findings and his opinion as to the cause of death of the victims. The
14 cause of death for the majority of the victims whose bodies were complete
15 were gun-shot wounds.
16 Some of the victims sustained shot-gun wounds and wounds caused
17 by shrapnel. Most of the shrapnel wounds were sustained by victims who
18 had been recovered from the Zeleni Jadar secondary grave site.
19 In conducting the autopsies, Dr. Lawrence and his team retrieved
20 ligatures and blindfolds from the human remains. The majority of the
21 ligatures were tied around the wrists and arms of the victims. In some
22 cases, the arms were clearly secured behind the body.
23 Some of the blindfolds that were recovered were found loose
24 inside the body bags, others were still positioned around the heads and
25 covering the eyes of the victims.
1 That concludes my summary, and if I may, I'll proceed with my
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please go ahead.
4 MS. HASAN:
5 Q. Dr. Lawrence, before I start with my questions, I notice that you
6 have some documents with you. Could you please tell us what those are?
7 A. These are my copies of the reports that I prepared from the --
8 for the separate grave sites and a summary of those reports.
9 Q. Okay. And you're entitled to refer to your notes, but just for
10 the benefit of everyone in the courtroom, if you can tell us if you're
11 referring to them and what it is that you're referring to.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Dr. Lawrence, when did you obtain your certification as a
14 forensic pathologist?
15 A. I qualified as a forensic pathologist in 1989.
16 Q. And could you please tell us what your current occupation is?
17 A. I am the state forensic pathologist for Tasmania.
18 Q. And since when have you held that post?
19 A. Since February 2002.
20 Q. And could you just briefly describe your responsibilities as a
21 state forensic pathologist for Tasmania?
22 A. My responsibilities are to perform medical examinations on
23 sudden, unexpected, unnatural, and violent deaths for the coroner and to
24 describe the circumstances of the death.
25 Q. If we go now back to 1998, what were your principal duties as
1 chief pathologist for the OTP from May through October of 1998?
2 A. My chief responsibilities as chief pathologist were to examine
3 the remains that had been exhumed, to establish the cause of death, and
4 to establish details regarding the circumstances of the death.
5 Q. And can you tell us what the state of the human remains were that
6 you were tasked with examining?
7 A. The remains were quite extensively decomposed. The bodies had
8 been dead for three years. They varied to some degree in how decomposed.
9 In some of the bodies, there were still quite a large amount of soft
10 tissue remaining. In others, the bodies were completely skeletalised.
11 In addition, the bodies -- some of the bodies were fairly complete, that
12 is, they had a head, chest, abdomen, limbs, and some were quite
13 disrupted, where the relationship between the body parts had been
15 Q. If you could just clarify what you mean by disrupted?
16 A. When a body decomposes, the tissues, the ligaments and the
17 material that hold the limbs and arms and head together break down and
18 the body parts can become dis-attached. Consequently, in some of the
19 grave sites and particularly sites such as the dam site and Liplje, the
20 bodies were quite badly disarticulated, that is, the joints had been
22 Q. And did you examine all of these various forms of human remains
23 that you received?
24 A. Yes, we examined all of the largely whole bodies and all of the
25 large body parts. In the first half of the year, in the dam site, in
1 Cancari Road 12 and 3, every single body bag was examined by a
2 pathologist. In the case of Hodzici Road 3, 4 and 5, Liplje and
3 Zeleni Jadar, some of the very small body parts were examined by
4 anthropologists and only examined by the pathologists if there was
5 significant damage or if there were significant body parts. The reason
6 for this change was to deal with the large volume of material that we
7 were dealing with.
8 Q. And in regards to the body parts that you received, did you
9 attempt to match any much the parts before conducting your autopsies?
10 A. When considering the body parts, I had information from
11 Professor Wright as to the location of where the body parts were
12 recovered, and we attempted, as best we could, to try and associate the
13 body parts, but the reality was that it was actually quite difficult to
14 associate them. So consequently, we ended up with a lot of body parts
15 which were quite difficult to reassociate. The only real practical way
16 that could have been done was with DNA.
17 Q. And was DNA analysis or technology available to you at that time?
18 A. Some DNA material was taken in cases where there were documents
19 which indicated a provisional identification. But there was fairly
20 limited DNA taken. At that stage there was not a lab in the country
21 which was capable of performing that procedure.
22 Q. As regards those body parts that you were not able to reconcile
23 or match, did you attempt to render an opinion as to the cause of death
24 of the individual from whom that body part came from?
25 A. We examined the body parts to see if they had gun-shot injuries
1 that would be capable of causing the death of the individual from which
2 that body part came. Now, of course, the problem was we had far more
3 body parts than we had bodies, and so therefore, to some degree, trying
4 to give a cause of death on a body part was somewhat illogical. I have
5 attempted in my reports to give causes of death on the largely intact
6 bodies because that's more meaningful. However, we did examine the body
7 parts because we wanted to establish whether or not gun-shot wounds were
9 Q. Were there instances where you were able to tell from examining a
10 body part that you were able to determine the cause of death?
11 A. Yes. There were some cases, for example, an isolated head, where
12 there was a gun-shot wound going through the head, would clearly be a
13 cause of death in that particular case.
14 Q. Dr. Lawrence, what killed most of the victims that you examined?
15 A. If we look at the -- sorry, I'm just referring to my notes here,
16 the 254 essentially intact bodies, of them, 203 showed a cause of death
17 of gun-shot wounds. One of them showed gun-shot and shrapnel wounds.
18 And in 50 of those cases, the cause of death was undetermined.
19 Q. How were you able to identify a gun-shot wound or what criteria
20 did you use?
21 A. We used a number of criteria. The first was the finding of a
22 bullet embedded in the tissue or bone on X-ray. The second was
23 examining -- was finding bullet tracks, that is, the path of the bullet
24 passing through soft tissue. This is in the case of bullets -- where the
25 bullet has probably exited the body. And the third group in which we
1 concluded there was a gun-shot wound were cases where there were
2 fragments of metal from the bullet and fracturing of the bones in that
3 area. Those were the criteria we used to identify gun-shot wounds.
4 Q. And in reviewing your reports I noticed that you refer to
5 probable and possible gun-shot wounds. Can you tell us what you
6 classified as a probable or possible gun-shot wound?
7 A. The cases that we listed as gun-shot wounds were ones where we
8 were very confident that the information we had indicated a gun-shot
9 wound. In some cases, we were able to find small fragments of metal,
10 which looked like a gun-shot wound but may not have been. And in those
11 cases we called them possible gun-shot wounds. In other cases, we found
12 a defect, for example, in the skull, which would correspond to the damage
13 one would expect to find from a gun-shot wound but could not find a
14 projectile, and in those cases we would call that a probable gun-shot
16 Q. And why, in your view, did you think it significant to report
17 those findings?
18 A. I think we were trying to give the Court as much information as
19 we could. These are -- these were difficult bodies to examine. They
20 were quite badly decomposed and because they had been buried, dug up and
21 reburied, they were quite significantly separated. I wanted to convey
22 particularly in those cases like the dam site or Liplje, where the bodies
23 were quite badly separated, that even despite the fact that we had very
24 few whole bodies, there were significant numbers of gun-shot wounds in
25 those bodies.
1 Q. I'm just going to move now to a slightly different topic and ask
2 you whether any of the human bones that you received, were any of them
3 damaged or fractured?
4 A. Yes. A large number of the bones were damaged and fractured.
5 Some of them by the gun-shot wounds, and some of them by damage which had
6 occurred after death, either during the first burial, the -- the
7 exhumation, the second burial or the re-exhumation again.
8 Q. And how was it that you were able to identify injuries in those
9 fractured or damaged bones?
10 A. Well, there are a number of injuries that we were looking for.
11 The first kind of injury we were looking for were injuries that occurred
12 at the time of death. And in those cases we were looking for things like
13 gun-shot wounds and we were looking for the presence or absence of
14 haemorrhage. Now again because the bodies were so badly decomposed, it
15 was quite difficult to identify haemorrhage. However, in a small number
16 of cases we were able to demonstrate that there was haemorrhage present
17 and that these injuries had occurred at the time of death. There is a
18 diagram -- there is a picture of one of these that might be a good
19 illustration of this.
20 Q. Okay. Can you tell us where that picture is?
21 A. This would be in the report for Cancari Road 12.
22 MS. HASAN: That would be Exhibit P924.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we have that on the screen, please?
24 MS. HASAN:
25 Q. Can you just give us the page number?
1 A. Sorry, the page number is -- sorry, it is after page 16.
2 Q. And if you wouldn't mind, there is a -- I don't think it's in
3 your copy. Do you have a stamp number on there? No.
4 A. No, I don't, I'm afraid.
5 Q. Was that page 18, Dr. Lawrence?
6 A. It was -- it's the photograph following page 16.
7 MS. HASAN: It's page 41 on e-court.
8 Q. And in this photograph, Dr. Lawrence -- sorry, it's not up on the
9 screen yet.
10 Okay. I think we have it on the screen now.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What is it that we see here?
13 A. What you can see is the top of the head, the skull has been
14 opened, you can see under the skull the brain. Surrounding the brain
15 there is a large amount of haemorrhage and the arrow demonstrates a
16 bullet. Now, again, trying to ascertain whether an injury has occurred
17 at the time of death relies on the presence of haemorrhage. Most of
18 these bodies were too decomposed to see haemorrhage, but in some of the
19 better preserved bodies, and this is an example of it, you could actually
20 see haemorrhage. This is clearly an injury that has occurred at the time
21 of death, and is almost -- is undoubtedly the cause of death.
22 Q. Okay. Now, the skull that we see here looks like it's a fairly
23 intact skull, apart from the portion of it that has been removed.
24 A. Removed, yes.
25 Q. And in those cases where you received completely fractured bones,
1 how did you go about identifying injuries in those?
2 A. In the bones that were badly broken, the anthropologists would
3 reconstruct the skull using superglue to demonstrate the defects.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MS. HASAN: And may we have Exhibit P924, e-court page 18,
6 displayed on the screen. And that would be page 18 on the B/C/S version
7 as well. Perhaps we can rotate that 90 degrees to the right, if that's
9 Q. This is a photograph that is in your report relating to
10 Cancari Road site 12?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us what's depicted in this photograph?
13 A. This shows the back of the skull. You can see that there are
14 lots of fractures in it, and there is white material which is the glue
15 that we used to reconstruct the skull. What you can see there
16 demonstrated by the pointer and the arrow is a gun-shot wound of entrance
17 and a gun-shot wound of exit on the other side of the skull. This would
18 not have been obvious in the skull as we had received it, but after
19 reconstruction the holes became obvious.
20 Q. And who was responsible for reconstructing?
21 A. The reconstructions were carried out by the anthropologists.
22 Q. Okay. So in a case like this, were you able to determine the
23 cause of death?
24 A. Yes. I would be confident that the cause of death would be a
25 gun-shot wound, a wound like this would be rapidly fatal.
1 Q. Now you mentioned earlier that you were not able to determine the
2 cause of death in some instances. Can you explain to us why that wasn't
4 A. In some of the bodies, we could not identify sufficient injury to
5 account for death. I suspect that the reason that we were unable to do
6 so is because we were missing gun-shot wounds that were present. In
7 wounds that passed, say, for example, through the abdomen and did not
8 strike bone, in a skeletalised remain it's impossible to tell whether or
9 not the person had been shot.
10 We did carry out examinations of the clothing and from looking at
11 the clothing we could identify a lot more bullet holes in the clothing
12 than we could identify in the bodies. However, I would never use the
13 clothing to determine a cause of death because one cannot be certain
14 where it was in relation to the body when the damage was caused. So
15 in -- I guess in summary, I think it is highly likely that most of the
16 cases where we couldn't determine a cause of death, it is most likely
17 that they died from gun-shot wounds that we just couldn't detect.
18 Q. And -- okay. We have been discussing a lot now about cause of
19 death. I'm just going to move to another concept. Are you familiar with
20 the phrase "manner of death"?
21 A. Yes, I am.
22 Q. And could you please define that for us, your understanding of
24 A. In forensic pathology work, one normally talks about the cause of
25 death as being the disease, process or injury which actually produced
1 death. And then we talk about a concept of the manner of death. Now,
2 this is a partly legal concept but we are talking about whether the death
3 was natural, accidental, suicidal, homicidal. It's really the
4 circumstances -- it relates to the circumstances surrounding the death.
5 Q. And is there a relationship between cause of death and manner of
6 death, and if there is one, can you tell us -- can you explain that
8 A. The answer -- one -- in almost inevitably considers the manner of
9 death in considering the cause of death. But in the coronial system in
10 which Dr. Clark and myself work. It would normally be the role of the
11 pathologist to establish the cause of death and it would normally be the
12 role of the coroner, who is a magistrate, to establish the manner of
13 death. The pathologist might be expected to advise the coroner on the
14 manner of death, as when you're considering the circumstances of the
15 death, you do have to consider the manner, but it is not, strictly
16 speaking, the role of the pathologist to establish that. Now, I -- in
17 other jurisdictions, and I spent two years working in the United States,
18 the forensic pathologists in the United States, in the medical examiner
19 systems usually have to establish both the cause and the manner of death.
20 So, for example, in a case of a gun-shot wound, one would normally give a
21 cause of death as being gun-shot wounds and the manner as being homicide.
22 Q. And based on your experience, is it possible to determine the
23 manner of death when the cause of death is unknown?
24 A. In some cases, yes, but often no. If I can give an example, one
25 might have a, as I had in the United States, case where a person had been
1 buried in a clandestine grave and was quite badly decomposed. It was not
2 clear exactly what had caused death. But I concluded because of the
3 nature of the way the body had been concealed that the manner of death
4 was homicide. So it is possible to have an undetermined cause of death
5 and a determined manner of death but it's not particularly common.
6 Q. Aside from cause of death, is there anything else that you found
7 in your examinations that would assist in determining the manner of
9 A. I think there was a fair amount of circumstantial material in
10 these examinations. This relates to the presence of ligatures or wrist
11 bindings, the presence of blindfolds, material such as, in some
12 particular cases, and I'm thinking in particular in Cancari Road 12 we
13 had three cases where there appeared to be deliberate targeting of the
14 joints of the body in what appeared to be an attempt to cause pain, where
15 there were deliberate shooting of the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists,
16 the knees, in a pattern which did not -- which looked deliberate.
17 Q. And if -- you've just mentioned ligatures and blindfolds --
18 MS. HASAN: I'd just like to turn to Exhibit P928 and page 16 of
19 that exhibit in the English version, and it's also page 16 in the B/C/S
21 If it's also possible to just rotate that one to the right,
22 90 degrees to the right. Thank you.
23 Q. Dr. Lawrence, can you just tell us what we see here depicted in
24 this photograph?
25 A. Yes. This is a body. It is the -- the person is lying face
1 down, at the bottom you can see, above the writing, you can see the belt.
2 What you can see there are the arms, which are behind the back. You can
3 see the watch band which shows the left wrist. And just above that,
4 there is a cord ligature which is tying the wrists together. This is an
5 example of one of the bodies where the hands had been tied behind the
7 MS. HASAN: And if we could turn to Exhibit P927, and that's
8 another photograph. It's at page 18 in the English version, and page 20
9 of the B/C/S version. Thank you.
10 Q. Dr. Lawrence, can you also tell us in this photograph what we are
11 seeing here?
12 A. Yes. What you can see here is the top of the skull. It has been
13 reconstructed. What you can see there is the blindfold which is running
14 around the head, the eyes are at the front, and in the blindfold you can
15 see a defect. In the underlying skull, there is a gun-shot wound. This
16 is an indication that the blindfold was in this particular site when the
17 gun-shot was inflicted, indicating that it is, in fact, a blindfold.
18 Q. Okay. Now, you told us that these blindfolds and ligatures are
19 some of the items that tell you about the circumstances of the deaths.
20 Aside from what you've taken, what you've surmised from these items, did
21 you obtain any other information about the circumstances surrounding the
22 deaths of the victims from any other sources?
23 A. I'm not specifically sure to what you're referring.
24 Q. Okay. My question comes from having read your reports. You make
25 reference therein to having received some information from OTP
2 A. Yes. Yes. I was given the alleged circumstances of what had
4 Q. And to what extent did you take that information that you
5 received into account during the course of your work?
6 A. Whenever I'm doing my work, I try and get as much information
7 about the circumstances before I start my examination. And then I carry
8 out my examination. Now, obviously, information that you are provided
9 may be wrong, and it is my normal practice to try and test whether or not
10 the story I have been told is correct or incorrect by looking at the
11 physical evidence. That is, one takes the information that you're
12 provided with, which may or may not be correct, and you test it against
13 what you've seen.
14 The aim being to try and prove or disprove whether the story is
16 Q. Thank you, Dr. Lawrence. Those would be all my questions for
18 MS. HASAN: And Mr. President, that concludes my direct
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Ms. Hasan.
21 Mr. Tolimir, your cross-examination, please. Before you commence
22 your cross-examination, Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
23 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes. I just wanted some clarification on one
24 point that you've made in your evidence. At page 13, line 4 to 7, you
25 are quoted as saying:
1 "I guess in summary, I think it is highly likely that most of the
2 cases where we couldn't determine the cause of death, it is most likely
3 that they died from gun-shot wounds that we just couldn't detect."
4 THE WITNESS: Yes.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: Is that a conclusion? You make a conclusion in --
6 you're saying in this that you made the conclusion that the cause of
7 death was nevertheless gun-shot wounds?
8 THE WITNESS: No. In my practice in Australia, I would draw a
9 distinction between something that I was certain about and something that
10 I thought was highly probable.
11 In this particular instance, I have given you the causes of death
12 in those cases which I am certain about, and the others are either
13 possible or probable but I'm not certain about them. I have therefore
14 given you both pieces of information. I am just explaining that I think
15 it's likely that those other ones are gun-shot wounds, but I don't think
16 I can prove it to the standard of proof that I would normally be required
17 in a court of law.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
21 Defence would like to wish peace in this house to all those present and
22 to Mr. Lawrence, and would like to have this Court proceedings completed
23 not as I wish but as God wishes.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
25 Q. [Interpretation} Mr. Lawrence, I'm going to be putting questions
1 to you about certain things in your report that were perhaps not quite
2 clear. So I hope you will bear with me.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at P923 in the e-court
4 now, please? This is an expert report about the remain -- the autopsy of
5 human remains from the Brana locality. I'm interested in page 2,
6 paragraph 4, of this report. The date of the report is June 1998. Thank
7 you. Page 2, paragraph 4. Thank you.
8 We don't see it yet. Can we rotate it? Thank you.
9 Page 2, please, paragraph 4. While we are waiting for the page
10 to be shown -- thank you. Page 2, please.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And while we are waiting for this, you will probably be able to
13 answer because you have your copy of the report in front of you as well.
14 Based on anthropological assessment -- this is what it states in
15 paragraph 4, based on the anthropological assessment, it can be concluded
16 that one person was between 13 and 18 years of age; three were between
17 the age of 18 and 25; and 42 were older than 25.
18 My question is: Did you personally --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should clarify if we have the right page in
20 B/C/S on the screen. I'm not sure about that.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have it and it's on
22 the first page. In the English, it's the correct page. In the B/C/S --
23 in the Serbian, it's not correct. That's why I read it in Serbian.
24 Thank you. It's on the first page in English, paragraph 4.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page is it in B/C/S, Mr. Gajic?
1 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that in the
2 Serbian, on the right-hand side, it seems that we have the wrong report.
3 Since now we are talking about the report on the exhumations and
4 autopsies of human remains from the dam site. And on the right side, in
5 the Serbian, the report we are looking at is the one from the Hodzici
6 locality. I think that's what the mistake is.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you, while the technical service processes this -- well,
9 all right, now it's okay. Thank you very much. I apologise to you, sir.
10 You can answer: Were you, yourself, the one who made these estimates or
11 assessments of the age, and what were the techniques that you used to
12 establish the time of -- the age of the persons at the time of death as
13 they are reported here in your findings? Thank you.
14 A. No. These were not my personal findings. They are information
15 that was provided by Mr. Baraybar, and the estimates were based on the
16 estimation of age using the epiphyses of the bones, the symphysis pubis,
17 and the fourth ribs. I included them in my report purely to provide
18 background information regarding the age of some of the victims.
19 Q. Thank you. We had the opportunity recently to have Mr. Baraybar
20 here and he explained in detail what you just mentioned, the technique
21 used to establish the age of the victims.
22 I would like to ask you now to look at paragraph 7 now in the
23 English, and also paragraph 7 in the Serbian version. And where you say
24 that there were no complete bodies at the Brana -- the dam locality. And
25 now we go to paragraph 7, where it says:
1 "There were parts of 46 individuals in the grave. Because of the
2 separation of the body parts, these were collected in 91 body bags. This
3 is in the report by Professor Wright. None of the bodies were complete.
4 And it obviously cannot be guaranteed that the body bags are from
5 separate individuals. Because the individual bodies could not be
6 reconstructed, I have given a cause of death for the body parts in each
7 body bag rather than each individual. It is possible that a divided
8 individual, for example, separate head and torso, might be given more
9 than one cause of death."
10 In view of what is written here, and earlier we've seen that the
11 number of persons was established and the cause of death, but when we are
12 talking about the cause of death, the cause of death was determined for
13 body parts and not for individuals, can you please explain what the
14 number of --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Tolimir is asked to repeat the rest of his
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, at the moment we are not receiving
18 interpretation. The last sentence was not heard by the interpreters.
19 The transcript stopped with the sentence:
20 "... the cause of death was determined for body parts and not for
21 individuals. Can you please explain what the number of --" and there it
22 stops. Can you repeat your question, please?
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. How did you come -- I repeat, how did you then come to the data
25 about the total number of individuals and the cause of death? Thank you.
1 A. I think the dam site represents one of the more difficult sites
2 that we dealt with. The bones were extremely badly damaged. They were
3 very badly disarticulated and the bodies were very decomposed. I think
4 I've indicated in this information that in this particular site, even
5 though we had approximately 46 individuals, we could only really give a
6 cause of death in four of them as gun-shot wounds, and that 81 of the
7 body bags had an undetermined cause of death. This is largely because
8 the bodies were so badly broken up.
9 Q. Thank you for clarifying that.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now show paragraph 5 on
11 page 2. Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. In this paragraph, the following is stated:
14 "Ligatures of rope were found on the -- in the grave site."
15 My question is: What is the reason that the items were not
16 investigated in the morgue but that they were returned to The Hague? And
17 can you please tell us whether these items were returned and was there an
18 expert report written on them? And I read from paragraph 6:
19 "There was twine ligatures found in the grave similar to others
20 found at LPO 2 and CRO 3 sites and a possible blindfold. These were sent
21 to The Hague and were not examined at the morgue."
22 Thank you.
23 A. Sorry, can I just back up?
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The last part was a quotation from number 6 --
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry, you mean paragraph number 6, not paragraph
1 number 5.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That was, I think, a misrepresentation at the
4 THE WITNESS: Right. Yes, a number of the ligatures found in the
5 grave not definitely associated with the bodies were sent back to
6 The Hague and not sent to the mortuary. I examined these later on, when
7 I returned to The Hague, to ascertain whether or not they were similar to
8 the ligatures that we examined in Liplje and also some in CR 3,
9 Cancari Road 3. It was my opinion, looking at them, that they were
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. Are you able to say on what basis you came to that
13 conclusion? Thank you.
14 A. The appearances of the twine used, the appearances of the knots
16 Q. You did not precisely answer why the items were sent to The Hague
17 before being processed in the morgue. Should not the expert examination
18 have been carried out on the items in the morgue first before they were
19 sent to The Hague?
20 A. That would have been my preference. This was a decision made by
21 the people at the scene, to send them to The Hague not to the mortuary,
22 but that's why I carried out the later examination at The Hague.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you help us and tell us who made this
24 decision? Was it your decision to send them to The Hague?
25 THE WITNESS: No, it was not my decision. I'm not sure who made
1 that decision.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Judge Mindua has a question.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. Precisely, Witness.
4 When you say that the bodies are brought to The Hague, what does
5 this actually mean? Does this mean that these are brought to the OTP or
6 to the mortuary?
7 THE WITNESS: Sorry, we are not talking here about bodies but
8 about the ligatures that were found in the grave. The ligatures were
9 transported back to The Hague. It would have been my preference for
10 those ligatures to have been transported to the mortuary but that did not
11 occur. At the time the examination -- the -- at the time the exhumation
12 was occurring at the dam, I was still at The Hague.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I misread
14 the transcript.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you to
17 Judge Mindua.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Can you please tell us, was this is a decision made by experts,
20 by pathologists, anthropologists, for the ligatures to be taken to
21 The Hague, because you said that you felt it would have been better to
22 have examined them there? Or was that somebody else who made that
23 decision? I assume that you are unable to tell the Judges exactly who
24 that was.
25 A. As I say, at this stage, I was still at The Hague and not in
1 Bosnia. I am not sure who made that decision, but I did indicate at that
2 stage to those managing the exhumation site that I would prefer to see
3 that sort of material.
4 Q. Thank you. Are you able to tell us who was heading the
5 exhumation work? Thank you.
6 A. The exhumation team was headed by Professor Richard Wright at the
7 time. However, I'm not sure whether the decision was made by him or by
8 the investigators in the case.
9 Q. Thank you. Did Richard Wright have experts who could have
10 carried out this task at the morgue down there in the graves, where the
11 other examinations were carried out? Thank you.
12 A. Professor Wright worked at the exhumation site. He did not work
13 at the mortuary. From memory, I believe that he did have some scene of
14 crimes officers at the site who could have carried out some examination
15 of these ligatures. But since I was not there at the time, I can't tell
16 you much more about it.
17 Q. Thank you. I apologise to the interpreters. Are you able to
18 tell us if at any point you saw the expert findings that the expert
19 people in The Hague were supposed to look at regarding those ligatures
20 that had been sent by the people who were working under the leadership of
21 Mr. Wright?
22 A. What expert findings?
23 Q. Thank you. Were they examined -- why were they sent to
24 The Hague? What was the purpose of that? Are you able to tell us?
25 Thank you.
1 A. I don't know why they were sent to The Hague. I did examine them
2 later at The Hague, but I would have preferred to examine them in the
4 Q. Thank you. Professor, are you able to tell us who other than
5 Professor Wright was authorised to send material directly to The Hague?
6 A. I was not in charge of the exhumation site. You'd have to ask
7 somebody else.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lawrence. I understand you. I was just asking
9 about the position that could have made the decision in this case, but
10 I understand your answer when you say that you would have preferred to
11 have examined them on the scene.
12 And can we now see -- each one of your reports describes the
13 autopsy procedure. This is on page 5 in the Serbian, and page 4 in the
14 English. So each of your reports describes the autopsy procedure or the
16 Were there differences in the autopsy procedures that were
17 applied during the examination of body parts from different grave sites,
18 or were the same procedures applied in all of the cases? Thank you.
19 A. As a general rule, the procedures were the same. However, in the
20 dam site, in Cancari 12, Cancari 3, all of the body bags were examined by
21 a pathologist. After these case -- after these sites, when we started
22 dealing with Hodzici Road, Liplje and Zeleni Jadar, we were dealing with
23 many more body bags, we had much larger teams working, and we were
24 starting to have concerns that we may not be able to finish the procedure
25 in time. As a consequence of this, a decision was made at the suggestion
1 of Mr. Baraybar, that some of the smaller body parts be examined
2 primarily by an anthropologist rather than the pathologist. It was
3 generally felt that the whole bodies gave us the most useful information,
4 and that the pathologists should spend their time dealing with the whole
5 bodies and the large body parts, while the small body parts could
6 initially be examined by the anthropologist.
7 Where the anthropologist felt that there was a significant injury
8 or where, for example, that part was a head, the remains would be -- then
9 also be examined by a pathologist to ascertain whether there -- what
10 injuries were present. But essentially so it meant that the
11 Hodzici Road, Liplje and Zeleni Jadar cases, some of the smaller body
12 bags were not actually examined by a pathologist unless the
13 anthropologist found a significant injury.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you now look at item 11. And in my copy it
16 "The clothing was listed, labelled with a metal tag with the case
17 number, and placed in a container prior to washing."
18 My question is: Mr. Lawrence, are you able to tell us if the
19 clothing, before it was washed, was examined in any way? For example,
20 were there -- was it examined for traces of gunpowder or similar tests?
21 Thank you.
22 A. Yes. The body was examined -- sorry, the body was X-rayed fully
23 clothed and then examined fully clothed, before the clothes were taken
24 off for washing. Unfortunately, because of the large amount of
25 decompositional fluid and dirt, it was almost impossible to identify
1 gun-shot residue. I think there was only one case in the 883 bodies
2 where we -- where I saw anything that even remotely resembled gunpowder
3 residue, but even there, we were far from certain as to whether it was
5 Q. Could you please tell us why the clothing wasn't subjected to any
6 other examination? Thank you.
7 A. It was -- at the time we were doing this examination, it was felt
8 that the clothing might provide one of the few means of identification of
9 a large number of cases. Under the circumstances, it was felt to be more
10 useful to clean the clothes in order to allow the families to identify
11 the clothing than it was to find gunpowder residue.
12 Q. Thank you. And did this affect the quality of your work, in view
13 of the required procedures? Thank you.
14 A. That -- that is hard to answer that question. I do not believe
15 so. I think it is unlikely that analysis of the clothing for gunpowder
16 residue would have changed our conclusions regarding this. However,
17 I accept that in a normal case of a well-preserved body, without
18 decomposition, that that examination would occur.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lawrence. Could you please now look at
20 paragraph 12?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And can I have the next page in the
22 Serbian, in the e-court?
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Paragraph 12 states:
25 "After or once the body was undressed, it was washed and
1 rephotographed. Where necessary, soft tissue was removed from the body
2 or bones and a careful examination for injuries was made."
3 My question is: Why was it necessary to remove soft tissue from
4 the body or bones? Thank you.
5 A. In a body that is intact, where the skin is complete, one can
6 normally tell where the gun-shot wound is without problem. Most of these
7 bodies did not have complete skin coverage because of the decomposition.
8 It was therefore necessary to dissect the tissue to see whether there
9 was, in fact, a bullet track in the soft tissue because the loss of the
10 skin made it difficult to identify the gun-shot wounds on the skin.
11 Q. Thank you. Did I understand you correctly? You established
12 whether there were any wounds or injuries only on the basis of the bone?
13 And that is also what you used to establish the cause of death? Did
14 I understand you correctly?
15 A. No. The wounds were established on the basis of examination of
16 the skin, the soft tissue, the bone and the X-ray examination of the
18 Q. Thank you. Could an x-ray, then, help to establish the
19 trajectory of the bullet through the skin, the soft tissue, the flesh?
20 Why was it necessary to do this? I didn't understand it well. Thank
22 A. Again, in a body that was fully -- was in a normal state, it
23 would be my practice to first of all X-ray to establish the passage of
24 the bullet; secondly, examine the skin to examine the entrance and exit
25 wounds; and then to carry out an internal examination to establish that
1 the entrance and exit wounds were connected in the way that they appeared
2 to be. It is my normal practice to carry out both an external and an
3 internal examination in all gun-shot wounds. It is also necessary to
4 carry out an internal examination to recover the projectile as well.
5 Q. Thank you, Dr. Lawrence, for this additional explanation.
6 I wanted things cleared up completely.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see page 12 in Serbian
8 and page 9 in English.
9 We need to see the passage with the subheading "peri-mortem
10 injuries". That's injuries that occurred around the time of death.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In your report, you divide these wounds into indisputably gun
13 fire; second, probable gun-shot wounds; and, three, certainly not or
14 possible gun-shot wounds.
15 Based on what did you divide wounds into these three categories?
16 A. Sorry, I'm just trying to find where you're referring to in the
17 English. Oh, sorry, yes.
18 Q. Sorry, I didn't turn on the microphone. You see above the table,
19 the numbers 1, 2 and 3? These lines contain the information I just read.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And my question was: On what basis did you determine this
22 gradation, whether a wound was definitely gun-shot, probable gun-shot or
23 possible gun-shot?
24 A. Again, in this particular site, we were dealing with quite
25 severely fragmented bones. There were some wounds where I was convinced
1 by the shape of the wound, the presence of the bevelling under the wound,
2 and the adjacent damage, that it was certainly a gun-shot wound.
3 There were other cases where I either had small fragments of
4 metal on X-ray adjacent to roughly circular fractures. These
5 I concluded -- I was uncomfortable to call them definite gun-shot wounds
6 but given the presence of the metal fragments and the nature, I thought
7 they were probably gun-shot wounds.
8 And then there were some where I wasn't certain. I thought it's
9 possible they might be. There were fractures that looked possibly
10 consistent with there may have been some metal fragments nearby but
11 I would be by no means certain that they are gun-shot wounds. And those
12 I would call possible gun-shot wounds.
13 Q. Thank you. Tell me, did you understand firearms to mean anything
14 that could fire or just rifle rounds? Did you include mortar shells and
15 other type of weapons?
16 A. Generally in these reports, I talked about gun-shot wounds,
17 shot-gun wounds, and shrapnel. In the instance that I was talking about
18 gun-shot wounds, I would not include ordnance such as mortars and
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think we must have our first break
21 now. And we will resume quarter past 4.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lawrence, before we left off, you used two
2 terms, one was "gun-shot" and the other "shot-gun." Could you please
3 explain the difference?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes. I usually restrict the term "gun-shot" to
5 rifled weapons, that is, weapons that make the bullet spin as it's fired.
6 These would be revolvers, handguns, rifles and so forth. And shot-guns,
7 where the barrels are unrifled and they fire small pellets of lead.
8 Those are the two terms that I use in regard to the kinds of gun-shot
9 wounds we are talking about. And that's what I meant by the distinction
10 between the two.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this clarification.
12 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Could I now ask e-court to display P942? Sorry, 924.
15 It's a report on the examination of mortal remains from --
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear where.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's the locality Cancarski Put
18 number 12, carried out in August 1998, page 10 in Serbian and in English.
19 We need the passage titled, "Report."
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, the title of this report is
21 related to Cancari Road, site 12.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We can't see the
23 version in English on the screen, so it's difficult for the witness to
24 follow. Both are in Serbian. Could you show the witness the English
25 version, please? There it is. Paragraph 2 under subheading "Reports."
1 I will now be quoting from paragraph 2.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. "Each autopsy is entirely the responsibility of the pathologist
4 performing the autopsy. There was discussion between pathologists and
5 the anthropologists on each case. I was present in the autopsy room for
6 most of the autopsies and was available at all times for discussion. The
7 opinions expressed in the report are entirely those of the pathologist in
8 charge of the case. This accounts for any apparent variations in
9 expression of findings or opinion.
10 "The anthropology team made formal reports of stature, sex and
11 age. The data upon which these opinions were based is contained in the
12 original notes of the appropriate anthropologist."
13 Now, when you mention "autopsy report," does that term comprise
14 the findings of the pathologist and the anthropologist both and are they
15 integrated into one report?
16 A. The autopsy report is the work of the pathologist. The
17 anthropologists prepared a separate report. However, the anthropologists
18 did give advice to the pathologists about their view on the injuries, and
19 that would have been integrated into the autopsy report prepared by the
21 Q. Thank you. Was the pathologist able to submit his findings if it
22 contradicted a finding by the anthropologist? And what was done in case
23 the pathologist and the anthropologist disagreed?
24 A. The pathologist had the final decision regarding the assessment
25 of the injuries. In the event that there was a disagreement between the
1 anthropologist and the pathologist, they would normally consult me, and
2 we would reach a consensus about what was said. If an agreement could
3 not be reached, the opinion expressed was that of the pathologist who did
4 the case.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lawrence.
6 Since you said that the pathologist's findings were final and
7 authoritative, can you tell me what could then have been the cause of
8 such disagreement? Do you have an example? And was there one single
9 uniform model for making reports? Or was it possible that injuries were
10 described differently from report to report?
11 A. That's a multiple-part question. The pathologists varied in
12 their experience of dealing with boney injuries. And most of the
13 pathologists would listen to the anthropologists' opinions in these
14 cases. I can recall some discussions between myself and Mr. Baraybar in
15 relation to some of the injuries that would be classified as possible or
16 probable gun-shot wounds. For example, where you might have a defect
17 that didn't have all of the normal characteristics of a gun-shot wound
18 but might have some fragments of metal. Those are the sorts of things
19 that might occur. There were also occasional questions about whether
20 there was a blunt force injury, a fracturing, which was -- and whether it
21 was, in fact, a blunt force or whether it was -- occurred as a
22 consequence of a gun-shot wound.
23 There was no uniform -- the models -- the report that was
24 hand-filled out was a sort of a pro forma document that people filled in
25 the gaps. The pathologists for the most part worked for about two weeks,
1 and when they first came to work, I would sit down with them and go
2 through how we interpreted the wounds, what we would call a possible,
3 probable gun-shot wound, those sorts of things. So there was some
4 uniformity. However, there was considerable latitude for description,
5 and I encouraged the pathologists to write what they thought they saw.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lawrence.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now call up in e-court
8 page 22 in Serbian and in English. The part under the subheading,
10 We see it in English. It's the second paragraph from below. And
11 the same in Serbian.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You say halfway down the paragraph:
14 "The fragments looked unlike bullet core fragments and resembled
15 fragments of shrapnel from shells or mortar rounds recovered from around
16 Sarajevo. Field bandages," et cetera.
17 You mention mortar and artillery shells found around Sarajevo.
18 Why is this mentioned here? Is that a mistake in the report or is it a
19 reference to some prior experience of yours or maybe the pathologist who
20 did this?
21 A. No. Most of the pathologists who were dealing with these cases
22 would not have seen a large number of shrapnel-related injuries. Quite a
23 number of the gun-shot -- the bullets in the gun-shot wounds were
24 fragmented, and I considered it important to try and distinguish between
25 fragments of bullet and fragments of ordnance, shrapnel. Because of the
1 lack of experience in the pathologists, I obtained some examples of
2 shrapnel from around Sarajevo to give them an example of what it might
3 look like. What we routinely did was test the material with a magnet to
4 establish whether it was a ferrous material or not and also compare it to
5 these fragments obtained from Sarajevo for purposes of comparison. We
6 did not have a ballistics expert from the police present at the time, and
7 so I used the material from Sarajevo really as a reference sample.
8 Q. Thank you. In the first part you said pathologists or at least
9 some pathologists did not have sufficient experience. Could you explain
10 in greater detail what you meant by that? Because perhaps I missed
11 something or perhaps I did not understand.
12 A. Yes. The pathologists came from England, Scotland, Ireland,
13 France, Germany. Most of them had not seen substantial numbers of people
14 who had been injured with shrapnel because of their practice. They would
15 be familiar with gun-shot wounds but they would not routinely see many
16 shrapnel injuries. The only exceptions would probably have been the
17 pathologists from Northern Ireland who would be familiar with bombs.
18 Q. Thank you. This leads us again to the problem of the distance of
19 fire. If it's shrapnel, then it's easy to conclude that the weapon was
20 relatively far away; but if a rifle round was fired from 500 metres away,
21 or 50 metres away, or a thousand metres away, would the pathologists have
22 enough experience and skill to determine the distance from which a
23 firearm round was fired?
24 A. I think I have indicated in my report that assessment of range of
25 fire was pretty much a lost cause in these particular cases. I really do
1 not believe, given the state of the bodies, that we could realistically
2 tell very much about the range of fire at all.
3 Q. Thank you. Could you share with us your opinion on this: Would
4 the range of fire in these cases that you have worked on be then
5 considered undetermined? And that concerns 183 [as interpreted] cases,
6 as you said. Because it is important to us whether and how many people
7 were killed in combat and others were shot without participating in
8 combat. How could we determine the difference between the two groups?
9 A. Those are, again, a number of questions. If I can take them in
10 order, about all a pathologist can tell about range of fire is, firstly,
11 if the muzzle of the gun is in contact with the body; secondly, if the
12 weapon is -- the muzzle of the gun is between a centimetre and a metre.
13 Once it gets beyond that, the pathologist can't tell you anything about
14 the range of fire.
15 So I think it is correct, I would give the range of fire in all
16 of these cases as undetermined.
17 Now, in regard to -- I'm sorry, I'm -- sorry, I'm just trying to
18 answer the rest of your questions.
19 In regard to how could we tell the difference between people who
20 were killed in combat and others who were shot without participating in
21 combat, I have a number of propositions. The first is that if these
22 people were people killed in combat, why was such -- why was such trouble
23 taken to conceal these bodies and why were they transported so far from
24 the sites where they were initially killed? If they were combatants, how
25 do you explain the presence of the blindfolds and ligatures? If they
1 were combatants, how do you account for young children and very old men?
2 If they were combatants, how do you account for people who have got hip
3 replacements, spines so badly damaged that they would be incapable of
4 easy movement, people who have had operations to remove their larynx so
5 that they have what is called a tracheostomy in their throat? In my
6 opinion, these people are unlikely to be combatants.
7 The other thing I think in general terms in modern combat is that
8 one expects most of the fatalities to be due to shrapnel wounds and not
9 to gun-shot wounds, and so the percentage of gun-shot wounds in these
10 deaths is unusually high for modern combat. In addition, in
11 Cancari Road 12, I saw a number of people who were clearly injured and
12 who had bandages on, including one man who had shrapnel injuries in the
13 liver and in the right-hand, who had bandages on those injuries, who then
14 had a ligature on the wrist and had been subsequently shot. So I think
15 it is likely that this is an injured person who had been medically
16 treated and had then been killed. Again, I don't believe that these
17 people were combatants.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, may I interrupt you? In your last
19 question, you said, "Would the range of fire in these cases that you have
20 worked on be then considered undetermined? And that concerns 183 cases,
21 as you said." This is page 36, lines 1 through 3. I've tried to figure
22 out where you found this number of 183 cases. What is your reference for
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you,
25 Mr. President. Mr. Lawrence said that he looked at 883 bodies that
1 underwent this entire procedure, and he said that in the previous
2 question, that in none of the cases the range -- was the range
3 determined, and based on that I asked my question, 883 cases. But
4 I asked for Mr. Lawrence's expert opinion, how best to proceed when
5 bodies were collected during clearing operations. So all the bodies were
6 collected, those who were killed in combat and those who were fired at
7 from close range, and placed in the same grave. Now --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, sorry for interrupting you again.
9 You were recorded to have said 183 cases, not 883. And I wanted to
10 clarify if you were really using the term "183." But I think that was a
11 mistake. You were referring to 883. Is that correct?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's correct, Mr. President.
13 I put that in my question that Mr. Lawrence has answered.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And my next question -- it should be the number 883. 883. And
16 my next question would be: If these points made by Mr. Lawrence are
17 theories, were these theories included in the description from the
18 localities that he worked on and can they help us determine how many
19 bodies in the common graves were killed in combat, from a distance of
20 300/400 metres, or as opposed to those who were killed at close range,
21 such as 2 metres, because he said that smaller differences could not be
22 really established, such as 1 centimetre, for instance, to 1 metre?
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan? I saw you on your feet.
24 MS. HASAN: I was just going to seek clarification of a point but
25 I think we've resolved that now.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Lawrence.
2 THE WITNESS: I think I've indicated that the pathologists were
3 not really in a position to assess range of fire in most of these cases,
4 not in any meaningful way.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. If these are the points that you've stated, I would
7 like to put some other questions, the ones regarding the idea of the
8 distance of the body from locality. For example, in the case of
9 asanacija, bodies could be brought from an area nearby or from a farther
10 removed area and placed in the same grave; is that correct?
11 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by "asanacija."
12 Q. What I mean by that is after combat, and the completion of
13 operations, bodies are collected from the front and buried in a common
14 grave in order to prevent an outbreak of diseases and so on and so forth.
15 That's what I mean by the word "asanacija."
16 A. Right. Is that a question?
17 Q. My question is: Is it possible, then, to bury in the same grave
18 somebody who was killed above the grave, in the immediate vicinity of the
19 grave, or from the front, some 1.000 or 1500 metres away? That's the
20 question. Is it possible that such bodies could be buried together? And
21 this is a question which corresponds to your first theory.
22 A. Hypothetically, yes, of course they could include people from
23 them. I think the issue is the movement of the bodies from the primary
24 site to the secondary site often seemed to be quite significant
25 distances. For example, in the bodies that were -- the bodies that came
1 from the Kravica warehouse were then taken to Glogova and then taken to
2 Zeleni Jadar. These -- it seems to me surprising that these bodies would
3 be moved these sorts of distances if they were just combat fatalities.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lawrence. Many things are illogical to me as
5 well. This is why I'm asking you, in order to get an explanation. I'm
6 not asking because I'm looking for some kind of illogical matters in your
7 statement. I'm just asking about all the things that are not clear to
9 The second thing you mentioned was that -- how to explain the
10 presence of ligatures. So I'm asking you now: Is it possible that
11 somebody with a ligature could be brought to this primary or secondary
12 grave and that they were killed with a ligature at a different location,
13 if bodies are being collected from the battle front?
14 A. I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure I understand that question. Can
15 you repeat it, please?
16 Q. Thank you. You said, as your second proposition, how to explain
17 the presence of blindfolds, for example. I'm asking you now, is it
18 possible that somebody is killed or shot at a location that is different
19 from the location of the primary and the secondary grave, at a distance
20 of some 5.000 -- 500 or 1.000 metres away, and then later that they are
21 brought to the grave where also bodies are brought from other locations?
22 Thank you.
23 A. Yes, it is possible.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, I understand that you were talking about --
25 well, everything is possible. Is it possible, then, to have young
1 people, old people, and the sick and the wounded brought to the same
2 grave and so on and so forth, if the collection of casualties from the
3 battle front is underway? Thank you.
4 A. Yes. What I meant here was that I thought it was unlikely that
5 these young people and old people and sick people were -- and the wounded
6 people were combatants. Hence, the question comes up: How did they get
7 killed? It would not -- if they weren't combatants, they presumably
8 weren't killed during combat.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lawrence. I'm asking you, as an expert, because
10 we have a problem here. People were placed in the grave throughout the
11 whole battle front including those for which witnesses say were killed in
12 fighting between the two sides, from a greater distance, and then they
13 were buried together in various graves. So this is why I'm asking you
14 how we can tell between those who were killed at close range and who
15 were -- who were -- was killed from a greater distance. Thank you. I'm
16 asking you for your expert opinion.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
18 MS. HASAN: If the question includes this fact, which it does,
19 this proposed fact, then the witness should have the benefit of the
20 reference for that fact to really be in a position to answer that sort of
21 a question.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you --
23 MS. HASAN: In particular the reference to graves from the -- in
24 the battle front.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you provide us with a reference, Mr. Tolimir?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I put a
2 hypothetical question to the witness, and asked the witness, as an
3 expert, to tell us, because we do have some cases. I'm going to be
4 specific now. People who were killed in combat in the Zvornik area
5 during the breakthrough of the Muslim column were collected and buried
6 together with other casualties. Thank you. I didn't ask this for the
7 purpose of just asking, but I asked in order to get expert indications,
8 so that we can have an explanation by an expert. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
10 MS. HASAN: Just to be clear on the record that there is no
11 evidence of those assertions, and if it's simply that this is all just
12 hypothetical, then I think that should be clear.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you were referring to the Zvornik
14 area. If you say that people were killed in combat in this area during
15 the breakthrough of the Muslim column, then it's not a hypothetical
16 question. Now, I'm a little bit confused. You should make it clear if
17 you're putting a hypothetical question, or if you are referring to a
18 specific grave or a number of graves, then you should give a reference.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I stated a fact that
20 was stated here during testimony and footage about the breakthrough of
21 the column from Zvornik towards -- actually near Nezuk, and people said,
22 and you could see in the video footage, that there were about
23 2.000 killed and they were all buried in the same grave. And we have a
24 problem here because all those who were found on the battlefield are now
25 being counted as killed or executed and not those who died in fighting.
1 So now I'm asking Mr. Lawrence for clarification about this. I am asking
2 about testimony given by a particular witness. Ms. Hasan perhaps didn't
3 hear the name but now I'm referring to it and I'm also stating it for the
4 benefit of the Trial Chamber.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I didn't hear the name either. If
6 you can give a name, everybody would be happy.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said about Ms. Hasan actually,
8 that she didn't mention her name when she was introducing herself, and
9 I think we are talking about the ways that casualties were created. I am
10 now seeking the clarification by this witness about possible ways in
11 which this could have happened. This was something that was mentioned in
12 the testimony of Mr. Janc. During his testimony I put certain questions
13 to him because he put all the victims that were found into the same
14 category. All the victims that were found in the same grave he would put
15 in the same category.
16 Thank you, Mr. President. It's not necessary even to have an
17 answer to this question, if the Prosecution doesn't want to. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is not the right reaction.
19 Mr. Lawrence, you have listened to this dispute. Perhaps you can
20 help us with an answer that takes into account that this is a
21 hypothetical statement.
22 THE WITNESS: If I can return to the start of the question, as
23 I understand it, the issue that was being raised was it was important to
24 tell the range of fire to try and distinguish between combatants and
25 non-combatants. What I've indicated to you is I cannot tell you what the
1 range of fire is. So in that context, I do not have information which
2 would enable you to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants on
3 the basis of range of fire.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it possible that combatants who were killed in
5 combat and those who were murdered end up in the same mass grave?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, it's possible. One wonders if that were the
7 case, why one would conceal them if they were combatants, though.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness. To follow up on the
10 Presiding Judge's question, I have two questions. My first question:
11 Can you, as a pathologist, determine whether people who are buried in the
12 same mass grave come from two different sides [Realtime transcript read
13 in error "sites"]? People who have been buried during combat or because
14 they have been executed, do you think that people from the opposing side
15 could be in the same mass grave? You mentioned the clothing, you
16 mentioned the ligatures, and things like that. Are you able to determine
17 that? That's my first question.
18 THE WITNESS: First, let me make it clear that I did my work in
19 the mortuary. I did attend some of the exhumation scenes. I went to
20 Cancari 12, Cancari 3 and -- sorry, Liplje and Zeleni Jadar, but only on
21 one day and not while -- I did not attend most of the time.
22 Some of the issues in relation to whether the source of the
23 bodies could have been from multiple sites should possibly be put to
24 people who did their work at the scene, since they are probably in a
25 better position than I am to comment on it, but it is possible that a
1 grave could contain both combatants and people who had been executed.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It wasn't two different
3 sites but two different sides.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I believe you haven't quite
5 understood what I was saying because you mention sides. When I talk
6 about opponents, when I talk about the other side, I mean opponents in a
7 war, different armed groups.
8 THE WITNESS: Ah, sorry, I understand. The only comment I could
9 make about working out whether somebody was Serbian, Bosnian Serbian or a
10 Muslim would be the property that we found with the bodies. And all of
11 the items which suggested a religious context suggested that all of the
12 bodies that we could identify were Muslim. I guess it's possible there
13 could have been other people. I also believe that subsequently most of
14 these bodies have been identified as being Muslim people from Srebrenica
15 but I'm not directly knowledgeable about that. It was work that was done
16 after I worked for the ICTY.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness. My second
18 question now. In your answer, you have already addressed my second
19 question. It's on the transcript, page 36, line 2 to 4. You mention
20 193 cases. Out of these 183 cases, were you able to determine that these
21 people belonged to the same armed group or whether some people came from
22 the opposite side or the enemy?
23 THE WITNESS: Ah, sorry, you mean 883 cases?
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely, Dr. Lawrence.
25 THE WITNESS: Yes. Look, I -- if you look at the end of each of
1 the reports, I have indicated some additional identifying features. In
2 only a very small number of cases in the graves did we find any material
3 that might suggest that somebody was of Muslim faith. There was
4 relatively little information. But the information that we did find
5 indicated that the bodies that we saw were probably Muslim.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Fine. I thank you for your
7 answer, Dr. Lawrence.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, I just want a clarification and following up
10 on Judge Mindua's question. At page 45, lines 6 to 8, you are
11 reported -- recorded as saying:
12 "And all of the items which suggested a religious context suggest
13 that all of the bodies that we would could identify were Muslims."
14 What sort of items would suggest that one is Muslim or not
16 THE WITNESS: If I can just refer to my notes here, we have -- if
17 I can refer you to the report on Hodzici Road number 3, at page 20.
18 MS. HASAN: That's Exhibit P926.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: As an example, page 20 there, I think.
21 MS. HASAN: Perhaps it will assist if you can just give us the
22 page number of your report and we will find the e-court number.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, the page number is 20 in the report.
24 MS. HASAN: That would be e-court page 24.
25 THE WITNESS: If you can look at Exhibit -- one of the exhibits,
1 B11, we have verses from the Koran, which is just here. That sort of --
2 that was the material I was referring to that -- the only thing that we
3 saw that would indicate the religion of the victim.
4 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Lawrence, I didn't want to cause any kind of debate with my
9 last question. I don't dispute that all the victims were Muslims. All
10 I wanted to do was to talk about how distance is established because in
11 the part where you discuss shrapnel, where I said in the other part, 5924
12 [as interpreted], page 22 --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please see that in e-court?
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you again referring to --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P924.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. This is the document we have on the
17 screen at the moment. Sorry, that's a mistake. No, no. P924.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P924, page 22.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. We can see the last paragraph, 22, where it says:
21 "The distance from range of fire can sometimes be established by
22 the presence or absence of muzzle abrasion, soot or abrasions caused by
23 unburned gunpowder, gun powder stippling on the body or clothing. Due to
24 the skeletonisation of the remains and the burial of the clothes, no
25 assessment of range of fire was possible."
1 All I was asking this is because it was not possible to establish
2 the distance of fire, and we have cases that were described before. So
3 all I wanted to ask you is to clarify for us, in cases where there is the
4 presence of gunpowder, and you said you only had one such case, so I'm
5 asking you about cases where there are no traces that you talk about in
6 this text, how do you establish the distance of fire? Thank you.
7 A. I have repeated this -- my answer several times. You can't.
8 Q. Thank you. I apologise because of these polemics that was not my
9 intention. My intention was to learn as much as possible from your
10 testimony in order to be able to follow the issues and problems that
11 occur during the trial, and I'm very grateful to you for providing
12 answers about things that were unclear to me. I would like to thank you
13 on behalf of the Defence. I would like to thank you for coming today.
14 As far as I'm concerned, my part of the cross-examination is finished.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would
16 like to thank everybody, would like to thank everybody for their patience
17 and would like to thank the interpreters and everyone else. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you again for your kind words, Mr. Tolimir.
19 Ms. Hasan, have re-examination?
20 MS. HASAN: I have no questions on re-examination.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lawrence, you will be pleased to hear that
22 this concludes your testimony. The Chamber would like to thank you for
23 your attendance here and now you are free to return to your normal
24 activities. Thank you again that you could make it to come to The Hague.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon.
4 Perhaps I can take some advantage perhaps so we can save some time.
5 I see that on page 47, line 4, General Tolimir said that, and I quote,
6 "I don't dispute that all the victims were Muslims." So can I offer
7 General Tolimir an agreed fact based on this statement that he does not
8 dispute that all the people in the mass graves that we have provided
9 evidence for are Muslims?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was speaking here
12 with this witness about those cases that he analysed and where he said on
13 two occasions that this was 883 cases, and Mr. Mindua and myself put
14 questions to him about this. I did not speak about anything else in the
15 testimony today and I don't know why this question is being put when it
16 did not include other things. I stressed twice and you also asked me
17 whether I was thinking of 183 and I said that I meant 883. Mr. Mindua
18 also asked and the witness also told him about 883 cases in question.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: That, of course, did not answer my question, but
22 as he's representing himself, I believe that the Prosecution and the
23 Court has a right to take him for his word when he says something like
24 that, that he does not dispute that all the victims were Muslims, unless
25 he wishes to withdraw it. He is now an officer of the Court and if he
1 wishes to withdraw that statement, fair enough, as something he was just
2 using in cross-examination. But I think we should be able to know
3 whether or not he stands by that statement. And he knows that there were
4 very few Serbs killed during this time-frame, and we have their hospital
5 records in Zvornik, that they would not have, of course, put a Serb in a
6 horrible mass grave like this. He knows that and that's why he made the
7 statement. It's a fair statement.
8 My question is: Will he stand by the statement and have the
9 courage of his convictions or does he want to withdraw it? I think he
10 needs to answer that question as an officer of the Court.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Everything is clear on the record. I just kindly ask Mr. McCloskey not
14 minimise the Serbian victims in and around Srebrenica. I spoke about
15 that several times during the trial. I would not now like to raise
16 another dispute between me and Mr. McCloskey. But let us stick to the
17 record and what we said for the record. I did not speak about the global
18 issues that Mr. McCloskey is raising. If we are going down that path,
19 then I can say I withdraw every statement that does not refer to Serbian
20 victims in and around Srebrenica.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I think we probably are gone about as
23 far as we can go on that issue. I -- we'll take that answer on its face
24 and our next scheduled witness is the continuation of Mr. Egbers and, of
25 course, we have that Dutch interpreter issue. They are ready to go
1 tomorrow morning but they are not here tonight, and I think this was a
2 little earlier so I apologise but we don't have anyone ready to go right
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, what about the other two witnesses
5 of this week, Mr. Blaszczyk and Ms. Gallagher?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I know Mr. Thayer is currently with Mr. Blaszczyk
7 going over the details of that testimony, trying to make sure we don't
8 repeat some of what Ms. Gallagher testified to and to try to stick with
9 the material that he is an expert with along the road, because it's that
10 video that Ms. Gallagher showed you along the road that he is the expert
11 at to show where exactly things are along the road. So I know that
12 Mr. Thayer was working with him on that at the last break, and
13 Ms. Gallagher is working on the -- her testimony to be ready for the
14 Muslim identification book. I have not received an update with her on
15 that but it would be a great surprise for her to come in right now. I
16 had not prepared them to be ready to do that. Sometimes I do when
17 I anticipate a break like this. I did not in this case, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, the situation is quite
19 unsatisfactory. If we would adjourn now for the day, we would lose one
20 and a half hours of court time, or at least a little bit more than one
21 hour. And I think it was indicated by the Prosecution to have one hour
22 examination-in-chief, I think, 40 minutes were used, and the same
23 occurred with the Defence. That may happen. But I, on behalf of the
24 Chamber, would like to express my gratitude if both parties should take
25 into account the possibility of an earlier end of an examination of a
1 witness and there should always be one reserve witness available.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Those generally match my instructions to my team,
3 but we have taken into account the -- I'm not sure the General -- the
4 amount of time the General has underestimated is very little. He gave us
5 three hours here. So we took that at its word and figured, if anything,
6 it may go over. I'm happy he didn't take that long for a pathologist
7 after we had already seen a pathologist, but that's what we were basing
8 that on. That's why I didn't have anyone prepared.
9 To some degree we have to do -- we have to take them at their
10 word but I don't fault General Tolimir in the slightest for being under
11 time. But we will do our best, and I -- this is, of course, a very --
12 something I'm very familiar with and I know how important it is for the
13 Court and I will work on the team on that point.
14 We are -- just along this unfortunate topic. Mr. Thayer has been
15 planning, as he must, for these subpoenaed witnesses because you must
16 have dates on these subpoenas in order to give them -- have some value,
17 and we are not -- as you know, this isn't a system where people jump. We
18 are working on both those subpoenas. One is a little unclear whether the
19 person is going to cooperate at all, but it's getting closer the more
20 contact we have with the person related to the Skorpion situation. And
21 the other person, it just now appears he's finally been served and it's
22 an issue with visas and passports. And right now it's going to be very
23 close, if at all, to get them in as planned. And that gives us a lot of
24 trouble, and I will keep you informed up to the hour on that, because
25 that becomes significant time problems for us.
1 I am going to be myself hitting the road tomorrow to see
2 witnesses personally, that live in Europe to try to convince them to come
3 here. I have had several survivor witnesses that -- and frankly,
4 DutchBat witnesses that have said, "I've been there three, four times,"
5 even some longer than that because of all the Srebrenica trials, "I can't
6 do it anymore." This is something I'm hearing now for the first time in
7 12 years of doing this. And so I'm getting on the road to try to fill
8 those gaps, but I hope I can come back with success for you. But we have
9 not yet in this Office of the Prosecutor had to subpoena survivors of
10 mass executions. I hope never to have to do that and -- but I've got
11 significant witnesses now, Dutch witnesses, that are suffering from
12 post-traumatic stress syndrome, victim witnesses that are worse.
13 We are trying very hard but this is something I've not confronted
14 with yet and it's something Mr. Thayer and I are working hard on. But we
15 will keep you updated by the hour on this because, again, this is a very
16 worsened thing for me, as I, as you know, do not want any wasted time or
17 any down time in this courtroom.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I didn't want to criticise you.
19 But we have heard your submission about your estimation of the length of
20 the whole trial, I think two weeks ago, and we have to take into account
21 to use the court time as best as possible. And therefore, I think the
22 Chamber is aware of the problems you are facing, that I can understand
23 everything you have just told us. And if, for instance, a victim, a
24 survivor, is not willing to appear in court here, we should take into
25 account the possibility of a videolink testimony and so on, but you're
1 familiar with all these possibilities.
2 But you still have the so-called gap-filling witnesses and this
3 is a typical situation for calling a gap-filling witness. I see today
4 you are not prepared to call one of them who are scheduled for this week.
5 This is unfortunate but if it is not possible to call this witness or one
6 of these two witnesses now, we can't do anything, but we would be very
7 happy if you could try to avoid such a situation as we had today.
8 The Chamber is always full of appreciation if the parties finish
9 earlier their examination-in-chief or cross-examination, as it occurred
10 today. This is always very helpful for the speed of the trial, but on
11 the other hand, we should try to have always, in fact, a gap-filling
12 witness, like it should be today.
13 Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I absolutely understand, Mr. President. We
15 will do our best.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Is there anything else to raise
17 today? If there is nothing, we have to adjourn for the day and resume
18 tomorrow in the morning at 9.00 in this courtroom.
19 We adjourn.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.28 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day of
22 November, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.