1 Monday, 6 December 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom, and
6 to those who are listening to us. Before the next witness is being
7 brought in, I would like to raise three procedural matters.
8 The first one is related to the sitting schedule of this week.
9 The president of this Tribunal has scheduled a plenary of all judges on
10 Wednesday this week. That means the day after tomorrow, in the morning,
11 between 9.00 and at least 12.00. We will not be able to sit on Wednesday
12 because there is no courtroom available in the afternoon. So that the
13 hearing on Wednesday must be cancelled.
14 We will liaise with the parties today or tomorrow how to proceed.
15 I think we have to take into consideration if we would be able to sit,
16 instead of Wednesday, Friday in the afternoon, but we have to figure out
17 the possibilities for that.
18 We will come back to that problem later.
19 I turn now to the second problem. The Chamber has been informed
20 that the public versions of the transcripts for 92 quater witnesses,
21 Bojinovic, Deronjic, and PW-067, have been assigned 65 ter numbers,
22 2322A, 2326A, and 2315A, and are now admitted as Exhibits P8A, P20A, and
23 P1A respectively.
24 Last Friday, I asked the Defence to provide us with a specific
25 request during our today's hearing what we should consider as additional
1 time and what amount of time for the preparation of the cross-examination
2 of Mr. Blaszczyk is required. I would like now to ask the Defence what
3 is the specific request.
4 Mr. Tolimir?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I greet everybody present in the
6 courtroom. May God's peace reign in this house, and may these
7 proceedings end in keeping with God's will, and not necessarily mine.
8 Mr. President, we don't need additional time to examine
9 Mr. Blaszczyk, we need additional time to study 3.000 written documents.
10 We need additional time to study the materials in order to see whether
11 the materials are credible. They have been obtained subsequently, after
12 the events, after the trial has already started. When you first asked
13 about that, we told you that we needed a month and a half of working
14 days. Some people have been granted three months, some have been granted
15 a month. We believe that we need a month and a half since the Prosecutor
16 said that the materials are very important due to certain information
17 contained therein. We would like to study all of that. Thank you.
18 Well, the documents are right there in front of us, and you can
19 see how voluminous the documents are.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what is your position? When will
21 you be able to commence your cross-examination? Could you give us a
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't understand
24 why we don't understand each other. I can cross-examine witness
25 Blaszczyk tomorrow, but I will not have all the information about
1 evidence tendered through him. I don't know what was written during the
2 war. I will not know what may have been falsified. I won't know
3 anything. I can't study the documents in the course of the trial. I
4 have to be given time outside of the courtroom time, which means I need a
5 month and a half when we are not sitting in order to study the documents.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is exactly what we wanted to know. This is
7 the first time that I hear that you want to have an adjournment of the
8 trial for one and a half months. Is that correct?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I need the Chamber not to be
10 sitting in order to study the materials. If I could do it while the
11 trial was ongoing I would not be asking for any additional time. Thank
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
14 Mr. McCloskey, are you in the position to respond?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Good afternoon. With the
16 lengthy holiday recess, that should, I would hope, work for at least
17 three weeks of what the general is requesting. So I would hope we could
18 bring Mr. Blaszczyk back near the end of January sometime, and that
19 should be very close to what the general is asking, if that's possible.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The Chamber will consider
21 the request of Mr. Tolimir and your response at a later stage and come
22 back to the request later.
23 If there are no other matters to raise, the witness should be
24 brought in, please.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir.
2 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome to the trial. Would you please read
4 aloud the solemn declaration on the card which is shown to you now.
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
6 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: FREDY PECCERELLI
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, for the Prosecution, will examine you
11 now. Sorry, Mr. Elderkin. It's too early in the week.
12 MR. ELDERKIN: Understood, Your Honours. Good afternoon to you
13 and to everyone else, and if I can start.
14 Examination by Mr. Elderkin:
15 Q. Witness, as you know, my name is Rupert Elderkin, and I'll be
16 asking you a few questions this afternoon on behalf of the Prosecution.
17 I'll start, please, by asking you to say your name.
18 A. My name is Fredy Peccerelli.
19 Q. And before we start with further questions, I see you brought a
20 binder of some documents with you into the courtroom. Could you just
21 tell us, so everyone in here knows, what it is that you've brought in
22 with you.
23 A. I have the report for the Lazete 1 exhumation and excavation and
24 the Lazete 2.
25 Q. Very good. And since we are both speaking the same language, I'd
1 also remind you if we could both try to leave a pause between our
2 question and answer to allow for the interpretation.
3 A. I will do so.
4 Q. Do you recall testifying here in the Popovic case in March of
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And have you had a chance recently to read your Popovic trial
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. And does the transcript of your testimony fairly and accurately
11 reflect what you would say were you to be examined here today and asked
12 the same questions?
13 A. Yes, it does; I believe it reflects my answers in the same way
14 I would answer them again.
15 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, at this point I'd ask for the
16 admission of the witness's prior testimony as well as with the previously
17 admitted exhibits, and those I think have been premarked with P numbers,
18 but for the record the 65 ter number of the prior testimony is 6482, and
19 two exhibits were admitted through this witness in Popovic; 1732, which
20 is an expert report, and 1733, which is the witness's curriculum vitae.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: These documents will be received. The Popovic
22 transcript as P934, and the other two documents as P935 and P936. Please
23 carry on.
24 MR. ELDERKIN: With Your Honour's permission, I would like to
25 read a very short summary of the witness's prior evidence.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
3 MR. ELDERKIN: Mr. Peccerelli is a forensic anthropologist. He
4 worked for the ICTY on the excavation and exhumation of mass graves from
5 1997 through to 2000. In 2000 he held the position of deputy senior
6 director of the archaeology team, under Professor Richard Wright. He was
7 responsible for finding a grave, recovering its contents, ensuring the
8 chain of custody, and placing human remains recovered from the grave in a
9 refrigerated container to be sent to the morgue in Visoko.
10 In 2000, Mr. Peccerelli headed the team working on the Lazete 1
11 mass grave. The grave contained 127 bodies, and two further bodies were
12 found in an adjacent ditch. 89 of the bodies had probable blindfolds.
13 It was clear the bodies had previously been removed from the
14 grave, since in some places the team only found body parts and the soil
15 was different from in the rest of the grave.
16 The same year, Mr. Peccerelli also supervised the excavation of
17 part of the Lazete 2 grave, which was nearby. The grave had previously
18 been excavated in 1996 by a team from Physicians for Human Rights, or
19 PHR, led by Dr. Bill Haglund. In addition to the 1996 PHR excavation, it
20 was clear that bodies had previously been removed from the grave in a
21 robbing event since, in some places, the team only found body parts and
22 there were truncated bodies at the edge of the robbing areas.
23 Mr. Peccerelli's team recovered 16 bodies from the grave, as well as body
24 parts and a large number of artefacts, mostly comprising shell casings.
25 Your Honours, I now have some further questions for the witness,
1 including a report on Lazete 2, which was referenced in his prior
2 testimony but not admitted so I'd like to cover that in a little more
4 Q. Mr. Peccerelli, could you briefly tell us a bit more about your
5 career, starting from when you began working as a forensic archaeologist
6 and anthropologist.
7 A. I began to work in 1995 in Guatemala for the Guatemalan Forensic
8 Anthropology Foundation. Basically, my duties were to locate, excavate
9 and exhume bodies from mass graves in Guatemala as well as analyse the
10 remains and try to identify them, as well as their cause of death, to
11 subsequently then render expert reports to the Guatemalan Prosecution or
12 Attorney General's office and eventually give back to the families the
13 identified bodies that were recovered.
14 Since then, I have become the executive director of the
15 foundation. We have a 96-person team that works and has four scientific
16 departments which are forensic archaeology, forensic anthropology, the
17 department of the investigation of missing persons, and also forensic
18 genetics. The foundation recently has now gone through the
19 accreditation, ISO accreditation 17025 2005 for its forensic genetic
20 laboratory, and during that time, I also participated in three different
21 occasions with ICTY; in 1997 and 1998, and also in 2000, as you referred.
22 Q. And the Court has heard a little bit about DNA identification and
23 its use in your line of work. Can you explain in basic detail whether
24 you continue with other methods of analysis and identification or has
25 this other work been replaced by DNA analysis?
1 A. Oh, no, the advances in DNA have been substantial in the last
2 couple of years, especially since the work carried out during the bombing
3 of the World Trade Centre in New York and also during the identification
4 process of the victims in the Balkans. Since then, many advancements
5 have been made, but in no way has this replaced traditional archaeology
6 or anthropology. As a matter of fact, it has become evident in the field
7 that DNA by itself does not produce identifications. A
8 multi-disciplinary approach is necessary, whereby we understand the
9 universe of the victims, understand how these victims were deposited in
10 their graves, try to identify them and establish their individual
11 biological profiles through anthropological analysis, and then compare
12 all of that information with DNA findings. Now it's important to
13 understand that DNA would only be able to identify a victim if we have
14 either the victim's own DNA in a database or their family's DNA. So it
15 serves just as much as ante-mortem information. In other words, to get
16 an identification, whether it be through traditional means or DNA, you
17 need to have something to compare the information to. In this case, it
18 would be familial DNA. In other words, we need the investigation team to
19 find the family members of the victims. And in order to do that, we need
20 to understand who the victims are.
21 Q. I'd like to turn now to your work in Bosnia and about the two
22 Lazete sites that you worked on. For reference, is it right that the
23 Lazete sites are at a location close to the village of Orahovac in your
25 A. Yes, that's correct. The Lazete sites are basically where the
1 fields are located but down the road from the Orahovac school.
2 Q. Did you know anything about the location of the village of
3 Orahovac at the time you did the work on these graves?
4 A. I was -- at the time of the excavation, I was not -- I did not
5 have the information about Orahovac per se. I later found this out after
6 testifying here last time, that supposedly that's where -- or that's
7 where some of the victims of Srebrenica were taken prior to them being
8 transferred over to the Lazete sites.
9 Q. The Trial Chamber has, in fact, had the opportunity to visit the
10 Lazete/Orahovac location and has seen the grave sites, one close by the
11 road junction and then another one where you pass underneath the railway
12 line in a clearing by some trees. Could you tell us, in those reference
13 points, which is Lazete 1 and which is Lazete 2?
14 A. Lazete 1 is the one that's by the road. It's right by the road
15 junction, and Lazete 2 would be on the other side of the railroad tracks.
16 Lazete 1 is the smaller site and it's a smaller grave. Lazete 2 is a
17 much larger grave and also the grave that was exhumed previously, in
18 1996, by the PHR team.
19 Q. For Lazete 1, when did you start work on that site?
20 A. Let's see. July 13th, 2000, to August 8th, 2000.
21 Q. Can you please describe briefly the process of the excavation and
22 exhumation at that site.
23 A. Well, during this recovery, we were very fortunate to have
24 satellite images or aerial images that would show the field prior to some
25 disturbance in the soil. In other words, we had an image of July 5th,
1 1995, and then another image later in July -- let's see if I can find it.
2 It would be on page 11 of the Lazete 1 report.
3 Q. Actually, if I may interrupt, if we could perhaps have the report
4 up on the screen, it may help orientate everyone. It's 65 ter 1732,
5 which is P935. If we can go to page 11, please. I think that's the page
6 referenced by the witness.
7 A. Next page. That's page 10.
8 Q. One further page, please. I think the B/C/S will be page 18.
9 I guess that's going to be page -- the e-court page is 18. Apologies for
10 the interruption, Mr. Peccerelli, but if you could please continue.
11 A. Sure. So as you can see in the two top images, there is a
12 picture of July 5, 1995, with no disturbance on the field. And then
13 there is an image right next to it, image figure 13b, showing the date of
14 27 July 1995 and you can see there are two disturbances, the one at the
15 top being Lazete 1 and the one in the bottom, and larger, being Lazete 2.
16 In the figure 14a you can see a close-up of the disturbance, so
17 we had a very -- we had a hypothesis of where this grave was located in
18 the field. We later decided to scrape off the top layer of soils. We
19 did this using excavation equipment, backhoes, with a very skilled
20 operator that we had worked with in the past, and as we scraped away the
21 layers about ten centimetres at a time we noticed that there was
22 definitely a grave there, the outline came through, which you can see on
23 page 12, figure 19, which is the third image in the bottom. That's the
24 entire process there. As -- there you go. So that is an image of when
25 we located the grave. And you see another feature in the soil, another
1 grey feature in the soil. That's a pre-existing trench that was -- that
2 held a water line, that water line was severed when the trench -- when
3 the grave was dug, and then later reconnected, which was very interesting
4 because for us it showed that whoever reconnected that water pipe after
5 the grave had severed it, had knowledge of the grave, since they put the
6 new water line around it, and you can see that lower in that page, in
7 figure 20. There is a map, a drawing showing exactly what happened.
8 That is correct.
9 So we found -- not only did we find the grave but we also found
10 this pre-existing water pipe and its reconnection around the grave.
11 After we had found the grave, then we began by removing its
12 contents. In other words, removing the soil that had been put in, and
13 it's a different colour, so it comes off fairly easily. I had a
14 professor of archaeology, Professor Ochsenschlager, who said that if you
15 ever want a leave a mark in this world, you should dig a hole, and this
16 is exactly what happened here. The natural soil was compacted in such a
17 way that it was fairly easy to remove the fill that was put in there on
18 top of the bodies. As we removed the soil that was on top of the bodies,
19 then the bodies became evident. And what was evident here was that there
20 was -- you can see on page 13, figure 21 -- there was several
21 concentration of bodies.
22 We named these concentration 1, concentration 2, and
23 concentration 3. And the reason for this was because there was gaps
24 between these concentrations where there were no complete bodies but only
25 body parts. This also showed us that the bodies that would have been
1 there initially were removed and that produced truncated parts, in other
2 words severed bodies on the edges, but also produced body parts that we
3 found within the -- within those grave areas and nowhere else. And you
4 can see this very clearly on page 14, figure 24.
5 This grave had a length of 15 metres and 80 centimetres and a
6 width of 5 metres and 80 centimetres as well, with an average depth of
7 about 1 metre 40. It wasn't very deep but it was a very big grave. In
8 this grave, we found 127 bodies, and then we also found two bodies that
9 were in a nearby ditch that was probably a drainage ditch for the field.
10 The entire field is called Lazete 1, and this is the Lazete 1 grave.
11 Q. Did you uncover any evidence indicating how the grave had been
12 dug or how it had been subsequently robbed?
13 A. Well, we did find tooth marks of -- machine tooth marks in the
14 walls, and also the indication that the grave, the initial grave contours
15 had been changed by a secondary exhumation. If you turn to page 15, you
16 can see the location of body parts and the two robbing areas that we
17 identified. So the two areas in orange are the areas where there were no
18 complete bodies, all the way to the bottom, but there was presence of
19 body parts.
20 And also, in the grey areas that you see there, there was
21 presence of bodies that had been severed, along the edges of the robbing
23 Q. As well as exhuming -- excavating and exhuming the contents of
24 each grave, did you carry out any work in the surrounding area of the
25 field and identify any artefacts or bodies or body parts in the
1 surrounding area?
2 A. Well, initially, before we began to excavate the area, in other
3 words to take off the top layer, we did conduct a surface search. Within
4 this surface search, we found 456 shell cases, and they were assembled in
5 a corner of the field. If you turn to page 10, you can see a picture and
6 also a map of where the location of the shell cases, as well as some --
7 some bullets.
8 Now, the -- this type of ballistic evidence was also found within
9 the grave, but these were found in situ on the surface and were probably
10 maintained there because the secondary vegetation grew around them after
11 they were initially deposited there, and also in the ground on the track.
12 Q. Perhaps we could just zoom in briefly on the chart in the centre
13 right of that page, just so we can see the scale, the distances marked on
14 there. Mr. Peccerelli, can you just describe briefly what we are seeing
15 on this chart?
16 A. Oh, yeah. What you can see there is the corner of the field and
17 the distribution of the shell cases that were found. Most of them are on
18 the side of the track. In other words, in the lower picture you could
19 see there there is flags on the track; those flags signify the finds of
20 those shell cases. From there to the left, going into the field.
21 Those groupings suggested there was firing going on there.
22 Q. Just so we are clear with the terminology, when you're referring
23 to shell casings, what kind of size of weapon would fire the sorts of
24 shell casings that you were finding?
25 A. From the look of it, these look like 762 millimetre shell
1 casings. What kind of weapon? A 762 rifle, a Kalashnikov, I think it's
2 called. I'm not a weapon expert, but it's fairly simple to measure the
3 length and also the diameter on the shell cases to be able to see. And
4 you could also see that they were spent because they had the percussion
5 in the bottom of the shell case.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask a short question in between? Sir, you
7 said those groupings suggested that there was firing going on there.
8 This is page 13, line 20. What do you mean by that? And what is the
9 foundation for -- what do you mean by "firing"? And what is the
10 foundation of your estimation?
11 THE WITNESS: Well, because we found these in situ, located
12 around the grave in only one specific location. If you look, they are
13 only grouped, I believe that to be the south part of the grave, and not
14 all around it. Yeah, that is the southern edge of Lazete 1 area. Going
15 up around the grave, you could -- I wish I would have done that, but if
16 you would put the grave where you see there is a line that says outline
17 of Lazete 1, basically the shell casings were found all the way around on
18 one side and at the bottom of the grave, not necessarily inside of it.
19 Those shell cases in that location appear to be, from my experience in
20 other graves of this sort, a place where shooting was going on and the
21 shell casings were flying out of the weapons and landing in the floor and
22 then were covered up through time. I base this on my experience, not on
23 the fact that I'm a ballistic expert, like I told you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Another question by Judge
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] As a follow-up to the Presiding
2 Judge's question, through the interpretation that I'm getting in French,
3 I heard that shots had been exchanged, but I'm not quite sure that there
4 was crossfire. I'm not quite sure that was what the witness meant.
5 I was wondering whether shots had been exchanged between two groups or
6 whether some shots had been made, just simply been made but not
8 THE WITNESS: Yeah, what I'm implying is shots had been fired,
9 not that there was an exchange. If you look, there is no opposition to
10 the pattern. It seems to be going around an area in one direction.
11 There is no opposing pattern of ballistics on the other side. So this
12 would be shooting at something, not necessarily fighting against
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 THE WITNESS: You're welcome.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin, please carry on.
17 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Witness, do you have any information about what event or events
19 took place at this location in terms of any individuals who had been
20 present at the time the shooting took place or any statements from any
22 A. I would have to say I don't have any knowledge of any survival --
23 survivors, but I was told by one of the investigators that there was a
24 survivor who said that people were being taken to this field from the
25 Orahovac school, that these people were lined up and they were shot there
1 and later pushed into the grave, but you would have to refer to the
2 investigator's statement and the witness statement; I was only told that
3 a long time ago.
4 Q. I'd like to ask you about other artefacts that you identified at
5 this location, and could I ask that we see page 23 in e-court in the
6 English. What objects did you find in this grave apart from human
8 A. Well, in these pictures, you can see that the two top pictures
9 there is people's -- persons' hands tied behind their backs, and also in
10 the bottom one you can see a ligature, wire ligature around the person's
12 Besides these ligatures, I guess, not allowing people to move,
13 you also have in page 22, which is the previous page, we did find 89
14 bodies that had pieces of material around the head, in some cases around
15 the eyes, which we named probable blindfolds. Not only did we find them
16 on those 89 bodies but we also found, I believe, another 37 or so in the
17 grave fill that probably fell off the other bodies. They fit the profile
18 exactly; in other words, they're the same colour, the same scalloped
19 edges, these were very particular pieces of cloth. If you go to page 22,
20 you can see some of those images of the cloths that I'm referring to.
21 You can see there -- well, on all of the images there is pieces of cloth
22 covering sometimes the eyes and sometimes these have fallen a little
23 lower because of decomposition and are covering either the nose or the
25 Besides this, we also found some wrist watches and other -- I
1 believe on three other bodies we found identification documents.
2 Q. And the pictures we are seeing now on the screen, are these
3 pictures taken of the probable blindfolds as they were when they were
4 uncovered by your team?
5 A. Yes, they are. These are images taken in situ as the bodies were
6 found, and the body number is there as well. Lazete 1, body 489, body
7 660, body 534, 559, 518. These were taken for several reasons. One were
8 to document, obviously, the entire process; another reason was because
9 during the transport to the morgue, these might have moved and we needed
10 to make sure we were documenting exactly where we were finding these
11 pieces of cloth systematically around these bodies' heads.
12 MR. ELDERKIN: Could we go now to page 18 of the English report.
13 It has the heading chapter XI, Body Parts, which I think may be page 28
14 in the B/C/S.
15 Q. In your report, Mr. Peccerelli, you distinguish between bodies
16 and body parts. What is the difference between those two categories?
17 A. Well, since we started work in Bosnia in 1997, we came up with
18 this distinction because not everything, not all the bodies that we were
19 recovering were complete. So we had to come up with the term "body
20 part." The body part would be several bones that were articulated and
21 they could help us identify someone. These were not just loose remains,
22 these were actual parts of bodies, but they didn't constitute an entire
23 body. In other words, they weren't given a body number and there is no
24 body sheet filled out for them. They were given a log number with a BP
25 in front of it and a picture was taken of them. But most of the body
1 parts are important in these primary graves because they are usually
2 located in the robbed areas. In other words, these body parts came about
3 after the primary inhumation, or the burial of the bodies. When some of
4 the bodies were removed, and as the forces of that removal occurred, they
5 severed some of the parts of those bodies that were taken and some of
6 them stayed behind. As you can see, they are different. One is a leg,
7 and here you have a person's skull and cervical vertebrae.
8 Q. And the skull and cervical vertebrae, is that in the image just
9 coming on the screen now from the bottom of the page?
10 A. Yes, that is. You can see basically a person's face there, and
11 their neck, and you would also notice that this person has no teeth.
12 This is interesting also because we found some dentures in the surface as
13 well. So it's sort of different pieces of the puzzle.
14 Q. I'd like to turn now to Lazete 2. When did you start to work on
15 that site?
16 A. We began to work on Lazete 2 on August 2, about six days before
17 we ended Lazete 1. This is because most of the team was exhuming the
18 bodies from within grave 1, in other words Lazete 1, but I had equipment
19 and a couple of archeologists free, and also we had conducted our work in
20 Lazete 1 a lot faster than we anticipated, so I was asked to go and look
21 at this field to see if there was any possibilities of exhuming a grave
22 there since there had been some reports that in the 1996 exhumation there
23 were some bodies left behind. So what we did is we began to do the same
24 type of procedure; we began by stripping the surface, which took several
25 days of preparation, so by the time we ended Lazete 1, the Lazete 2 site
1 and the grave had been found and was ready also for exhumation and
2 removal of its contents. So it worked out quite nicely. And also
3 because the two sites were a couple of hundred metres away, I mean, they
4 were walking distance from each other, just along the other side of the
5 train tracks. So all of our equipment was already there, the right
6 personnel wasn't busy, and we had a question, which was to look in to see
7 if all the evidence had been recovered.
8 When we began to do this, the first thing that occurred was that
9 we noticed that a surface find or surface search had not been conducted
10 in the original exhumation, so we found -- we found even more shell cases
11 in Lazete 2 than in Lazete 1. Overall, we found 671 shell cases on the
12 surface there. Also, this grave is a lot larger than Lazete 1, but we
13 found in all 830 artefacts. 671 of these were shell cases, 20 live
14 rounds, 46 bullets, and 34 strips of material, which, I should mention,
15 the strips of material that were found in Lazete 2 were also consistent
16 with the ones found in Lazete 1, linking in some way the two events.
17 Q. You've mentioned the prior excavation in 1996. Do you have any
18 information or did you have any information at that time why Lazete 2
19 wasn't fully excavated in 1996?
20 A. Well, I think, speaking to Dr. Bill Haglund, who was in charge of
21 the exhumation, there was security issues, where decisions had to be made
22 as far as how much time they could spend at the site, and apparently they
23 chose to, instead of uncovering the entire surface, they decided to
24 trench. In other words, they put two trenches in and hit two body
25 concentrations, so by doing this they found two large locations of bodies
1 and I think they named these two different graves. I don't think they
2 were concerned so much about the archaeology of the site, more about the
3 recovery of those bodies. And that's pretty much what I know.
4 What we discovered when we got in there was that in fact Lazete 2
5 was not comprised of two graves but it was one large grave. This grave
6 was 37.70 metres in length, and about 40 -- four metres in width. It's a
7 very large grave. It's more than twice the size of Lazete 1. You can
8 probably appreciate the length of the grave and the size of it if you go
9 to the cover page, or --
10 Q. In fact, if I could ask for P939 to be put on the screen. The
11 cover page has an image on it, if we could zoom in on that, please.
12 A. I think the same image is also displayed on page 13.
13 Q. I think for this purpose we can just have the English up. It's
14 just to show the picture. It would be more visible if we have it across
15 the full width of the screen.
16 Excuse me, Mr. Peccerelli, but if you would like to continue with
17 that image now on the screen.
18 A. Sure. Several things you would be able to see. All the way in
19 the background, behind the de-mining vehicle you'll see there, you'll see
20 the train tracks, also a tent which is where -- well, that's where
21 I remained most of the time I was there. I was taking notes and
22 directing the team. Also one of our excavators, a little backhoe that we
23 had there. But this is very advanced in the process. We had recovered
24 most of the fill of the grave, but you can see that the grave itself is
25 very long. Where the backhoe is working is one of the areas where the
1 original exhumation was conducted in 1996, where they found one of the
2 two concentrations of bodies. Also very interesting about this site is
3 if you look on the right of the screen, on the surface you will see a
4 water pipe running along on top of the -- there it is -- on top of the
5 grave. It's interesting because when they dug this grave, they also
6 severed that water pipe. I'm guessing by mistake they just had bad luck
7 in both fields, they hit the water pipes, and in this case as well they
8 reconnected the water pipe around -- around the grave, again showing that
9 they knew exactly where the grave was.
10 Q. Can you also tell us a bit about what we are seeing on the
11 interior of the grave, particularly the sides of the, what I would say
12 the grave wall, where we can see some marks. What do those marks
13 represent, if anything? Why are they there?
14 A. Well, if you look on the left side, close to the bottom of the
15 screen, you will see on the left side of the screen, the bottom, you will
16 see there are three tooth marks and also a scoop. Those are imprinted in
17 the original wall of the grave. The reason why that's there is because,
18 again, the original natural soil has been compacted for thousands, maybe
19 millions of years, and when you scrape into it you sort of draw a feature
20 into the wall. Once you put the top soil mixed in there, it never will
21 compact in the same way, so it's fairly easy to remove that top soil and
22 then you get the natural features. This is obviously very careful
23 excavating. We had some very proud British archeologists who had a lot
24 of experience in these ancient type of sites and who conducted this very
25 careful excavation of the walls. They also led us to see that. Now, if
1 you look --
2 Q. Just before we continue, in fact, Mr. Peccerelli, and again while
3 we have the image on screen where you mentioned the water pipe, I wanted
4 to clarify, because you said that when they dug the grave, they must have
5 had the bad luck of hitting the water pipe, or something to that effect.
6 Who do you mean by "they"? Because we've heard from you that the grave
7 must have been dug originally and then it was also excavated by the team
8 led by Bill Haglund in 1996. So who is it who hit this water pipe?
9 A. Well, the people who originally dug the grave. In this case, the
10 original perpetrators that dug this grave in the soil with the purpose of
11 depositing bodies in it. Dr. Bill Haglund's team didn't do -- they did
12 very little excavating around this area, and only dug in two areas of the
13 whole grave. I don't think they even found this water pipe. As a matter
14 of fact, if you go to page 16 of the same report, you can see there the
15 differences -- there is a layout on the drawing of the entire grave
16 whereby they -- Bill Haglund 's excavation team dug in comparison to the
17 size of the entire grave.
18 Q. You need to go one page further, please.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we perhaps go for a moment to the previous
20 image. Judge Mindua wants to put a question to that.
21 JUDGE MINDUA: Yes, this one.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's fine.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, just a point of
24 clarification. I would like to clarify something. Please correct me if
25 I'm wrong, but I see in the actual trench, I see the soil, which is quite
1 dark, almost black, and on the left-hand side of the screen I see some
2 soil which is of a more greyish colour, almost purple. I was wondering
3 why there are different colours. What is this mount of earth or soil
4 that we see on the top left-hand corner of the picture?
5 THE WITNESS: Well, first of all, I think you have to understand
6 that this picture, there is shade over the grave so it's made to appear a
7 little darker than it actually is. Directly over the grave. But what it
8 is is that when -- most of the graves that we found in Bosnia, because of
9 decomposition itself and because of the mixture of soils, tend to turn a
10 bit darker than the rest. What you have, those mounds of dirt that are
11 piled up on the upper left-hand corner, is the top soil that was removed
12 from the surface to get down to this level. That top soil is of a
13 different colour than the contents in the soil of the grave, basically
14 because it's mixed. One is natural and the other one is a mixture of
15 different natural soils with the decomposition from the bodies.
16 I don't know if that answers your question.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, it does answer my question.
18 And I see that there are three people and I was wondering what was their
19 job, who are they?
20 THE WITNESS: I think that's Jean Marie, Mirko, and I think
21 Claudia. They are Guatemalan, a Canadian Chilean, and an American, part
22 of the team. They are named in the -- in the list of people who worked
23 in this case, and they are archeologists. Their job is to locate,
24 excavate, and exhume the remains and the bodies that we find in these
25 graves and also the evidence, as well as document the entire process.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 THE WITNESS: You're welcome, sir.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
4 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. I just wonder if you could, or are you
5 in a position to say -- can we remain on this picture, please. I think
6 you have stated in your evidence that among the artefacts found were
7 bullets and bullet shells. Are you in a position to say whether these
8 bullets were fired on this site or they were -- they would have been
9 brought from some other place?
10 THE WITNESS: If I may turn to an image that will help us answer
11 the question. If you turn to page 10, we can see the grouping of shell
12 cases on the surface. What you see in the bottom left-hand corner is the
13 beginning of grave Lazete 2C, which is the big grave that we are talking
14 about. That's where, more or less, where the machine was working and the
15 tent was. The grouping, if you notice, again, it has the same type of
16 grouping as it did in Lazete 1, which is basically a one-sided, sort of
17 an L-shaped, one-sided approach to the firing. These shell cases were in
18 the ground, under secondary vegetation. Some of them buried under half a
19 centimetre of soil. I would say that these bullet casings were there
20 from -- for a long time, and they were not brought there. They were most
21 likely fired at this location. And again, you could pick one up and look
22 at the bottom and they were shot there. There was also bullets and also
23 spent bullets, and also live shells that we found, but most of the
24 majority, the large majority, 671 of them, were shell cases that had been
25 fired, and they were found in this location, in this grouping.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just one clarification: The position in which
2 they are grouped is exactly the position in which they are -- in which
3 they were fired?
4 THE WITNESS: No. The position which they are mapped is the
5 location where we found them. It depends on the weapon, and here again
6 I'm not a weapons expert, but it depends on whether the machine that is
7 doing the firing, I guess, spills the bullet to the right, to the left,
8 how far it shoots it, but it's a matter of a person standing there, or in
9 other cases if the machine, the machine-gun or the rifle, whatever was
10 used there, had a tripod, this would also have a certain pattern to how
11 far the shell cases fall from the weapon, and for example, how many
12 people were standing there at the time, this would create this type of
13 pattern. So basically what you have is, as you shoot, the shell cases go
14 flying a certain distance and fall on the ground, people step on them,
15 they get covered and years go by. This is a mapping of where we found
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: How many bodies were found in this grave?
18 THE WITNESS: We only found 16 bodies in this grave, as well as
19 26 body parts. Again, I'm not sure how many bodies were found and
20 exhumed in 1996, but I know it's more than 16. What we found were the
21 bodies that were in between the areas that were excavated in 1996 by the
22 Physicians for Human Rights team, and also the bodies that were not taken
23 during the robbing exercise that was conducted afterwards.
24 So if you go to page 16, there is a drawing there that would help
25 us to understand. This is a complex excavation because basically there
1 was four excavations carried out at the site. The initial excavation of
2 the site, again, placed sometime between June 5th, 1995, and June 27th,
3 1995. Sometime between those times which are the dates on those aerial
5 MR. ELDERKIN: Excuse me for interrupting but we are seeing on
6 the screen a reference to July 5th and July 27th.
7 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, yeah, July. July 5th, 1995, and July
8 27th, 1995. That's when the original grave was dug here. Later on, at a
9 time that we don't know but after July 27th, and if we go to, let's see,
10 Lazete 1, there is also a date for the time that the grave was expanded
11 with the aerial images. I don't know if those aerial images exist for
12 Lazete 2, it would have to be done, but for Lazete 1, the grave was
13 expanded; in other words, somebody dug at this grave again between
14 September 7th, 1995, and September 27th, 1995. So in other words, only
15 two months after its original creation, somebody came back and they
16 excavated in these two areas that you can see here, robbing area A and
17 robbing area B. They took quite a few of those bodies out, and the only
18 bodies that we recovered were the bodies that were at the very bottom,
19 against the wall, in the edges, in other words, in the perpendicular part
20 of the grave. Since the excavation, the machine, has a natural curve, it
21 misses the bodies that are in the bottom, so these bodies were basically
22 up against the wall and were missed by the robbing excavation, also in
23 area A and area B. What you can see, those larger areas, which are LO2A
24 and L02B, that's where the Physicians for Human Rights team excavated in
25 1996, so that would be the third event, those two excavations. And the
1 fourth excavation would be the one I conducted in 2000. So this site was
2 overall excavated four different times: Once between July 5th and July
3 27th, once soon after that to rob some of these bodies in areas A and B,
4 once in 1996 by the Physicians for Human Rights team, and then finally in
5 2000 by the ICTY exhumation team that I led.
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: One further question: Who sited these graves for
7 excavation? Like, who discovered them and then for you to be able to go
8 there and start the excavations?
9 THE WITNESS: Well, the investigators of the Prosecution of ICTY.
10 They are the ones that investigated. Dean Manning is the one that took
11 me to the place and gave me the aerial images, and told me that they were
12 looking for graves here and my job was to find them with those aerial
13 images and with the information they had. I also believe they had
14 information from a witness as well as, I'm guessing, other information
15 that led us to these two places. But they led us to Lazete 1 initially
16 and then Lazete 2 had been dug in 1996, so they knew of that grave, but
17 while we were there they asked us to re-excavate them.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much for the clarification.
19 THE WITNESS: You're welcome.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin, please go ahead.
21 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. If we could go briefly back to the cover page, the first page
23 image that we were looking at. Mr. Peccerelli, you mentioned the work
24 that was being carried out by the team actually inside the grave, and
25 I think you even made reference to some British archaeologists who were
1 particularly careful in their work, having worked on very ancient sites.
2 We can see some tools being used by the three members of your team
3 working here. What are they using and what kind of process are they
4 carrying out that we can see?
5 A. Well, the tools we typically use once we get down to excavating
6 those features, or excavating the bodies, are anywhere from
7 archaeological trowels, there are again some British trowels, and there
8 is a lot of history in British archaeology so they have their own very
9 developed special tools, so there are these British trowels that we love
10 to use. We also use chopsticks. Chinese chopsticks are shaped and they
11 are very helpful to dig around bones. And also small brushes. So
12 usually what you would do is you would take a trowel to get at the level
13 of the remains, then you would use one of these Chinese chopsticks to
14 clean around very specific areas, and also this is done very carefully
15 because sometimes we find bullets associated with the remains, or other
16 evidence. We have to be very careful. And then, finally, you would use
17 a brush. You see they also have pails, because the dirt that is removed
18 immediately around the bodies is also later screened to make sure we
19 don't miss any bone fragments or any bullets or any other type of
21 Q. Please can we go now to page 24, e-court page number in English,
22 so that's, I think, page 23, according to the numbers at the bottom.
23 And as with the Lazete 1 report, your report for Lazete 2
24 describes finding probable blindfolds in the grave. Can you just point
25 out on the images captioned on this page whether there are any such
1 artefacts; and when we are done with this page, if you would also look at
2 the same question on the next page.
3 A. I don't know what I just did. If you look in the top picture, at
4 the skull, you will see that there is a cloth going around it right here.
5 That is one of those pieces of cloth that we refer to as a probable
6 blindfold. Once again, you will see that these bodies are directly
7 against the soil, and again you will see the difference in colour. One
8 is because there is still a little bit of the fill, which is the grey
9 soil, and then the natural soil is the brownish soil. As well as you'll
10 see that this person has Wellington boots and clothing. I think in the
11 next page, we might be able to see --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we move from this page, Mr. Elderkin --
13 no, please don't move from that place -- page. Did you want the witness
14 to mark some parts of that?
15 THE WITNESS: Oh, I just wanted to show the skull, but when I did
16 that, the pen, the whole thing just blew up.
17 MR. ELDERKIN: Not specifically, Your Honour, simply for him to
18 talk to us about what we're seeing on screen I think is clear enough on
19 the record.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Judge Nyambe has a question
21 in relation to this photograph.
22 JUDGE NYAMBE: In relation to this photograph at page 28, line
23 16, you are saying something about probable blindfolds. Can we just
24 clarify that a little bit?
25 THE WITNESS: Lazete 2 report only has 26 pages. I'm not sure if
1 this is referring to the first report, which is the Lazete 1 report,
2 which has a page 28.
3 MR. ELDERKIN: If I'm correct, Your Honour, you were referring to
4 the transcript page 28, so page 28 of what we are talking about today,
5 not page 28 within Mr. Peccerelli's report.
6 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The question was in relation to this photo we
8 have on the screen now. Could you indicate where you see a probable
10 JUDGE NYAMBE: No, no, no, no. We question was to simply explain
11 the idea of a probable blindfold as opposed to a blindfold.
12 THE WITNESS: Okay. Because at this time some of the cloths that
13 were around the bodies' heads had been moved, we decided to say "probable
14 blindfold" instead of "blindfolds," because in order to be a blindfold,
15 it should be over the eyes. It was a matter of being exact. So we
16 believed that although they were moved and they were somewhere along the
17 head, this was due to the bodies being moved and decomposition, and also
18 because there was consistency in the pieces of cloth - most of them were
19 pink, most of them had scalloped edges - it's -- there seemed to be very
20 systematic placement of cloths around the bodies that we found, 89 of
21 them in Lazete 1 and I think eight in Lazete 2, as well as over 30 loose
22 pieces of cloth found in the fill in Lazete 1 and over 30 found in the
23 fill in Lazete 2. So there was consistency in both sites as far as the
24 colour and the shape of these pieces of cloth as well as their location
25 on the bodies of -- on the bodies.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
3 MR. ELDERKIN:
4 Q. Indeed, since we have discussed a little bit further the subject
5 of these probable blindfolds, now we have the large image on screen, I at
6 least would be grateful if, Mr. Peccerelli, you could use the electronic
7 pen just to indicate with an arrow of the location of where you consider
8 there to be a probable blindfold in this image.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: With the assistance of the Court Usher.
10 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
11 MR. ELDERKIN:
12 Q. Could you perhaps make a slightly larger mark, please, Mr.
13 Peccerelli, so it shows up. Am I right that then you've circled the area
14 indicating the probable blindfold?
15 A. That is correct. I've circled the area where you can see --
16 that's the skull. You can see a piece of cloth surrounding it and this
17 is what we believe to be -- well, we know, we recovered it, this is a
18 piece of cloth on the person's head, and we named it a probable
20 There was also done -- and this is going on a little bit --
21 because these bodies had to be transported to the morgue and we didn't
22 want to assign a set name to these cloths that might later be changed by
23 the -- by the morgue or the pathologist, so we wanted to make sure that
24 it was noted that we were seeing something systematic in colour, shape,
25 and location.
1 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, if I might ask for the admission of
2 this as an in-court exhibit marked by the witness.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This marked photograph will be received as an
5 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. This will be Exhibit
6 P1439. Thank you.
7 MR. ELDERKIN: Indeed, Your Honours, since we have now spent some
8 time with the Lazete 2 report, that was not admitted through the witness
9 in a prior testimony but I would ask that it be admitted at this stage,
10 and it's premarked as P939, 65 ter is 6483.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document will be received as an exhibit with
12 this number.
13 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you, Your Honour. And if we may see the
14 next page now in e-court.
15 Q. Again, Mr. Peccerelli, if you can briefly talk us through what we
16 see in the images on this page, please.
17 A. Well, these images show four bodies. Three of them have -- well,
18 actually four of them have pre-excavation fractures. Pre-excavation
19 fractures were fractures that were found at the time of the exhumation
20 that occurred prior to us excavating the body. Once again, this is
21 terminology used not to come into contrast with the findings of the
22 anthropology or pathology teams but this is what we believe to have been
23 caused by some type of trauma, either prior or around the time of death.
24 In three of these images, the one on the right and the two on the bottom,
25 also show the probable blindfolds again, and always associated with the
2 Q. And if we could turn now to the next page, which is titled,
3 I think, "Isolated Artefacts" and if you could give us a brief commentary
4 on what we are seeing on the images of that page, please.
5 A. These are some of the pieces of cloth that were found isolated,
6 in other words, not as directly associated to one of the bodies but that
7 were consistent enough with the probable blindfolds for us to give them a
8 specific artefact number. And we found 34 of these strips of material,
9 and if you look at these and compare them to the ones found in Lazete 1,
10 they are very consistent with those. You can see the scalloped edges in
11 both and also the pink colour.
12 Q. Lastly, if we can turn now to the last page of the report, and
13 again if you could please comment on the artefacts shown in the
14 photographs there.
15 A. We also found isolated wrist watches, and we described basically
16 what we saw. Some of these wrist watches, and this is something that we
17 found in other sites that were excavated, that these were in some cases,
18 at least, I know of the Seikos, these are automatic watches that
19 basically don't need to be wound and don't need battery, they sort of
20 wind themselves with movement. And they usually stop functioning 24 to
21 36 hours after movement has stopped. And in some of these cases, you can
22 see that there is a time and also a date, and there is consistency
23 between the dates of five of these between the 15th and the 16th. We
24 don't know what month or if the times have anything to do with it but we
25 figured that this consistency should be shown in the report.
1 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Peccerelli. I have no
2 further questions for you at this time.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Elderkin.
4 Mr. Tolimir, your cross-examination, please.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
7 Q. I would like to welcome the witness. May God's will be done in
8 these proceedings and not necessarily mine. And while we are looking at
9 the sight that the witness has on his screen, could the witness please
10 explain and tell us whether these watches have been preserved as evidence
11 that can be used in the future? Thank you.
12 A. What I can say is that we allocated evidence numbers to this
13 evidence. LZ02C artefact is A01, 08, 016, 388, 393, 555, 704 and 826.
14 This evidence was handed over to Mike Hedley, who is the scene of crime
15 officer. This evidence was later placed within the refrigerated
16 containers and transported to Visoko and handed over to the morgue team.
17 That's as far as I know. I would assume that this evidence is held
18 somewhere or that it was documented enough that it would still be useful.
19 Q. Thank you. If it were to be found where you left it, what
20 information could we establish from that in order to help us to see what
21 had happened?
22 A. Well, if you could look at these watches again, I mean, these
23 wrist watches, what they will show you are times and dates, and the only
24 thing that can be established from that was 24 to 36 hours prior to those
25 times and those dates, the people wearing these watches stopped moving,
1 or the watches themselves were removed from the people that were wearing
2 them, so it would give us a time frame pretty much. That's about all you
3 can get from these. Or, if I may add, if they have inscriptions
4 underneath or something, that might help, but I don't recall that they
6 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us, the locality where you
7 found the watch or the two watches that we have before us, what could you
8 establish about the locality based on the objects you found there? And
9 what did you record based on those objects? Thank you.
10 A. Well, the location of these objects, these two objects were
11 within the grave in Lazete 2. The objects were photographed and they
12 were mapped within the grave. That information would be in the -- in the
13 registry log, in the evidence log, the exact location within the grave,
14 but we only recovered what we found either on the surface or in the grave
15 that was associated with this site as well as with Lazete 1.
16 Q. Thank you. I apologise for repeating my question. Your answer
17 wasn't clear and I want to understand your answer as a lay person. What
18 can you establish based on a watch, given the time span between 24 and 36
19 hours? Can you establish any information about the age of the victims,
20 when they were buried, and so on and so forth? What could one decipher
21 from the watches? What kind of evidence do watches make? Why did you
22 keep the watches?
23 A. Well, the watches gave us one type of evidence, was a time frame.
24 Again, some of these watches are automatic. It gave us a time frame of
25 when either they were removed from the person who was wearing them or
1 that the person who was wearing them stopped moving. So they would put a
2 time frame for us of when that watch was put into that grave. It would
3 not tell us about the age or the sex of a victim. It would tell us about
4 when that watch was put into the grave.
5 Q. Thank you. Since we are talking about a mass grave, Lazete 2,
6 where these watches were found, can you tell us were you able to
7 establish the time when the watches stopped working? What was the time,
8 approximately, when that happened? What year? Thank you.
9 A. No, we could not establish what year. The watches don't have
10 that type of information.
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us whether the watches stopped
12 working after the person wearing them stopped moving, or did the watches
13 continue working even if the persons were no longer alive but were
14 transported in a vehicle? Thank you.
15 A. I'm not an expert on these watches. I would have to say that
16 I possess one myself and the person has to be moving constantly for the
17 watches to continue working. After the 36 hours, if there is no
18 movement, they stop. I really can't say any further than that.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would that be a convenient time for our first
20 break today? I see you are in agreement with that.
21 Sir, we must have our first break today and we will resume
22 quarter past 4.00.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir. Please continue.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Before the break, we were talking about these watches
6 that we can see on our screens. There is something else I would like to
7 know: What was the established practice, given what you told us? Would
8 these be kept throughout the procedure or would they be destroyed once
9 the forensic people had had a look as well as the anthropologists?
10 A. I will have to say that I'm not aware of where these watches
11 would be now, but it -- normally, any type of evidence would -- should be
12 kept until the proceedings are done, but I'm not sure what ICTY rules
13 state about evidence.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. Before we move on to any other issues, can we
15 please go back to the blindfolds. We talked about that before the
16 watches. You were asked questions by the Judges about the alleged
17 blindfolds. The alleged blindfolds, or probable blindfolds, and
18 blindfolds as such . What is the distinction between the two? Did you
19 find -- what I mean to ask you is this: Did you find a single blindfold
20 that was actually on a body covering the eyes, in other words precisely
21 where it was meant to be, or were all of the ones that you found simply
22 alleged or probable blindfolds?
23 A. No, we did find many that were covering the eyes. I can't give
24 you the exact number, I would have to go case-by-case to look at that
25 number, but in some of the cases they had lowered or gone higher, but in
1 quite a few of the cases, as a matter of fact, if we may, I think in the
2 Lazete 1 report, page 22, you can clearly see that there are one, two,
3 three, four, five, six, seven at least that are over the eyes, on page
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin?
6 MR. ELDERKIN: Excuse me, Your Honours, and excuse me, General
7 Tolimir. I'm not sure everyone has the hard copy of the report, so if
8 you wanted to see it on screen, it's P935 for the Lazete 1 report.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I was also just looking for
10 the P number of that document.
11 THE WITNESS: So you can clearly see on these images that the
12 first two in the left in the top row, as well as the second one, the one
13 on the right in the second row, the one in the middle on the third row,
14 and the two on the right in the bottom row, they all have their eyes
15 covered with these probable blindfolds.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Probable blindfolds or blindfolds?
17 THE WITNESS: Blindfolds if you like to -- these are directly
18 over the eyes, yes, blindfolds.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Tolimir.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peccerelli. This is on page 3, line 4, of the
22 transcript, you spoke about the probable blindfolds and blindfolds, and
23 then I wrote this down: Location 89, eight of those were found in one
24 place, 30 in another place. I didn't mean to ask you a trick question,
25 I simply wanted to know. Thank you for your answer and thank you for
1 clarifying that, sir.
2 My next question: Page 27, lines 11 through 18 of the
3 transcript, there and before that, you talked about how the exhumations
4 started on the 5th of June, 1995, in that location and continued until
5 the 27th of June, and then the Medecins Sans Frontieres [as interpreted]
6 were there and they were followed by an ICTY team in 2006. Do you
7 remember that, sir?
8 A. The dates are wrong. What I meant was that we have images,
9 aerial images, that show no disturbance on the field on July 5th of 1995
10 and then disturbance on the field of -- on the 27th of July of 1995. The
11 PHR team, which is Physicians for Human Rights, worked in 1996, and later
12 I worked at that same site in the year 2000. This is referring to Lazete
13 2 site.
14 Q. Thank you for clarifying that and stating the exact dates. The
15 Medecins Sans Frontieres [as interpreted] worked there in 1995, and you
16 only came five years later, in 2000. In that case, my question would be:
17 Did you notice any alterations to that location, Lazete 2, anything that
18 might have affected the possibility of ascertaining facts and collecting
19 evidence due to these alterations or any modifications to the site?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin?
21 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you, and again excuse me. I'm seeing
22 references twice now to Medecins Sans Frontieres, and although it's not a
23 huge misstatement, it's perhaps simply an interpretation issue, I think
24 for keeping the record clear and being able to find references later on,
25 it would help if we have the reference to Physicians for Human Rights in
1 place of those two references, which are at page 38, line 18, and page
2 39, line 2, of the LiveNote.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, I was wondering myself how it came that
4 you were referring to Medecins Sans Frontieres. Perhaps it was just a --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, thank you,
6 Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. President. For the sake of the transcript
7 I will repeat my question.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You spoke about the Physicians for Human Rights. The Physicians
10 for Human Rights worked there in 1996, and then in the same location
11 where you worked there were representatives of the people from the
12 International Tribunal in 2000. Four years later, were any changes
13 noticed at the location that significantly altered the site, thereby
14 making it impossible to ascertain any facts or indeed to obtain evidence?
15 Thank you.
16 A. When we got there, there was no visible notice of any alterations
17 to the site. And this was because when Physicians for Human Rights
18 worked in 1996, they did not do a surface recovery that allowed us to
19 recover all the surface finds, including the bullet casings and bullets
20 that were still on the surface. However, there was change to two areas
21 of the grave, which you can see on page 16 of the Lazete 2 report. The
22 two areas where Physicians for Human Rights dug were excavated beyond the
23 original limits of the grave, thereby changing the shape of the grave
24 only in those two areas, and that was mapped out and you can see it on
25 that image. The two areas that are larger are the two areas excavated by
1 Physicians for Human Rights, which are the ones labelled in the bottom
2 LZ02A and LZ02B. Those are the two areas where Physicians for Human
3 Rights excavated. The two areas called "robbing area A" and "robbing
4 area B," or in the bottom, LZ02C and LZ02C, those two areas Physicians
5 for Human Rights did not excavate. They missed it altogether. They
6 didn't touch those two areas. In other words, they did not change the
7 areas because they were not excavated at the time, and in those
8 locations, that's where we found the 16 bodies and the 26 body parts.
9 Q. Thank you. At the very beginning, Mr. Elderkin asked you a
10 question and you responded at line 8, or rather, page 8 of today's
11 transcript, line 22. You spoke about information, DNA information,
12 provided by the victims' families. My question: Can you tell us which
13 relatives were the DNA samples taken from that were used to identify the
14 victims? Thank you.
15 A. No, I cannot. I had no involvement with the DNA identification
16 operation in these cases. I was specifying my experience in Guatemala
17 and in the cases in Guatemala. In those cases you would usually take
18 samples from the parents and the children, and if you don't have parent
19 or children, then you go to siblings. But I'm not sure of how the
20 testing was done in -- to identify these victims. I'm sure the people
21 conducting the identifications at ICMP can provide that information.
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you for this explanation, sir. In Guatemala
23 can more distant relatives be used, someone who is not a sibling, a
24 father, or a child to successfully ascertain the identity of a victim?
25 For example, a relatively close relative provides a DNA sample without
1 necessarily being a brother, a father, or a child. In other words, a
2 relative twice removed, for example. Thank you.
3 A. There is nothing impeding that a far removed relative be used
4 other than the fact that the further the relationship, the blood
5 relationship or the genetic relationship is, the more difficult it would
6 be to prove the identification of the individual statistically. In other
7 words, it has to do with how different that person is from the population
8 and how close that person is from that specific relative. It's difficult
9 to generalise and each case should be looked at individually. It can be
10 done but it is more difficult than if you have parents, children, or
11 siblings, but we have used grandparents, uncles and aunts, and nieces and
12 nephews, for example.
13 Q. Thank you. As an expert, what about this: If we take a DNA
14 sample from a father, so the genetic material comes 50 per cent from the
15 father and 50 per cent from the mother. If that is the case, what about
16 the decreasing percentage in a brother or a sister or an aunt or an
17 uncle? Even less. And then even less from a more distant relative. Can
18 you explain the limits of that approach, in terms of ascertaining kinship
19 or, rather, in terms of using a DNA sample from a relative like that?
20 Thank you.
21 A. Like I mentioned to you earlier, not only do you have to
22 contemplate the relationship - and you are correct, when we look at
23 nuclear DNA, we are talking about 50 per cent coming from the mother and
24 50 per cent coming from the father - but we also have two other types of
25 DNA that we can look at, which are mitochondrial DNA, which comes from
1 the maternal line, and Y chromosome DNA, which comes from the paternal
2 line. With the combination of the different tests, and depending on the
3 differences of the individuals with the population, this can increase the
4 possibility of identification.
5 Now, again, I also did mention earlier that we don't work with
6 DNA in an isolated environment. We were also relying on ante-mortem
7 information, also on information that comes from the exhumation site, and
8 also on information that comes from the anthropological analysis. So DNA
9 on its own is not being used but it's a combination, it's another tool to
10 try to reach an identification. Obviously you are right: The further
11 you get, the less possibility of identifying someone; that is correct.
12 Q. Thank you. So the possibility decreases for a chromosome overlap
13 in the case of a distant relative and the more difficult it becomes to
14 identify a victim because of the distance of this relation. Would that
15 be a fair statement, sir? Thank you.
16 A. Yes, it would. I would have to agree with you.
17 Q. Thank you. During the examination-in-chief, you said that in
18 2000, you were, as far as I understood, the deputy manager for that
19 archaeological team, as you called it. You said you worked with
20 Professor Richard Wright's team. Is my understanding correct? Were you
21 the deputy head of that team in 2000? And did you work with Richard
22 Wright? Thank you.
23 A. I had worked under Richard Wright during the 1997 exhumations and
24 also during the 1998 exhumations. He had to go back to Australia for two
25 or three months during the 2000 field season, and he contacted me and
1 asked me if I would accept a deputy position under him so that he may
2 absent himself and that I would take over during his absence. So
3 I accepted. He -- we saw each other when I got there, he handed over the
4 team and the exhumation agenda, and then when he came back, I handed it
5 back to him. And as a result, I was responsible for the exhumation of
6 Lazete 1 and Lazete 2 in its completeness, so I did these two cases in
7 Richard Wright's absence, that is correct.
8 Q. Thank you. Thank you for this explanation. I asked that because
9 Richard Wright appeared in this trial as a witness. In Professor Richard
10 Wright's absence, you headed that team, that's what my question was
11 about, during your work at Lazete 1 and Lazete 2. Am I right, sir?
12 A. Yes, you are.
13 Q. Thank you. Given this question and given all the other
14 questions, could you please describe the following: How did that team
15 operate in terms of responsibility within the team? That's what I need
16 to know for the time being, thank you.
17 A. Well, the archaeology team was headed by me. I took the
18 decisions. Under me, I would assign a person that would coordinate the
19 exhumation during the grave, and we might call this a pit boss.
20 Basically an exhumation coordinator. And then we also had the rest of
21 the archeologists. What I did is I named a different exhumation
22 coordinator every week to give everyone the opportunity to oversee that
23 part of the procedure. We also had a surveying archaeologist, a
24 photographer, and a team of scene of crime officers as well as a
25 de-mining team, security officers, and we were accompanied by, in this
1 case, by US army personnel that provided security for us. There was also
2 a logistic team that provided logistics as far as the trucks and drivers
3 and that type of thing.
4 Q. Thank you. You told us about the structure of this team, no
5 specific persons involved. Could you tell us who you were subordinate
6 to. Who was your boss and who did you report to? Who did you submit
7 requests to, to use our own military language? I hope you understand.
8 Thank you.
9 A. I'm trying to remember his name. I think it was Strongman was
10 his last name. He was what we called India Charlie 1, so he was in
11 charge of the entire operation. And I reported to him on general issues,
12 but on technical aspects I didn't report to anyone. I was the person
13 leading the methodological approach and the scientific approach to the
14 investigation at these sites. I also coordinated with the investigating
15 -- with the investigators of the ICTY, and once in a while would also
16 talk by phone, by satellite phone, to The Hague, also to investigators.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Excuse me, Mr. Tolimir, Judge Nyambe has a
19 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. I just need a clarification, and if
20 I've got my facts wrong, please let me know.
21 I don't have a specific reference so if I caught you wrong, again
22 you should let me know. You have said that the first exhumation started
23 somewhere in June 1996 and this was done by Physicians for Human Rights.
24 Your own exhumation started in 2000; am I correct?
25 THE WITNESS: That is correct, yes.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: Right. During that period between PHR and your
2 own exhumation, how was the site secured, say from vandalism or abuse or
4 THE WITNESS: We are talking about Lazete 2, because Lazete 1,
5 which was the site that I went to, was never excavated before. When
6 I found the site, it wasn't necessarily being protected other than
7 immediately around the time that we were going to get there, that we were
8 going to work there. Lazete 2 was also a field that I'm not sure,
9 I really don't know if it was protected from 1996 to 2000. I don't have
10 that information.
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you
14 Judge Nyambe.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you, Witness. In relation to the previous question, if you
17 remember, to the extent that I could understand, you said that there was
18 this person called Strongman to whom you submitted your general reports.
19 Could you tell us what his capacity was? Within your team, in relation
20 to this International Tribunal, what was his position? Thank you.
21 A. Brian Strongman was his name. I remember now. I think Brian
22 Strongman was the leader of the team in the field in general. I'm not
23 sure of his mandate specifically but we basically communicated
24 continuously. He was in charge of, more than anything, of meeting with
25 military officials to coordinate security, as well as communicating here
1 with The Hague, and also having to do with work-related issues, and
2 contract-related issues. I was in charge of the methodological side of
3 things and the scientific side of things, but I understood that there was
4 a hierarchy and he was, to my understanding, immediately above me.
5 Q. What about Mr. Brian, who you just told us about, Strongman.
6 Could he give you any instructions, could he advise you, could he order
7 you anything to do in relation to anything to do with your work or the
8 work of your team? Thank you.
9 A. More than anything on security issues and, as far as times had to
10 do, like which site to do first or second. But as far as how to go about
11 the work itself, no, he could not advise me. Mr. Brian Strongman, if I'm
12 not mistaken, was a retired policeman from Canada.
13 Q. Thank you. What was his position in your team, in terms of
14 hierarchy? What was the name of that position? You have just told us
15 what his authorities and competences were, but what was the title of his
16 position in the team?
17 A. I will have to say maybe team leader. I really don't know.
18 I can't really remember. It wasn't an issue with us. It was -- he was
19 there more permanently than I was, so he was there for the entire season
20 and I came and took over the technical lead while Richard went back to
22 Q. Thank you. You have also told us that you maintained
23 coordination with representatives of the ICTY, primarily those who were
24 in the field as well as those who were here in The Hague, but I didn't
25 understand whether your coordination was with the OTP or somebody else.
1 Could you please be more specific?
2 A. Yes, the coordination was specifically with the investigators,
3 most of the time with Dean Manning, which was one of the investigators.
4 Sometimes he was in Bosnia, sometimes he was here. So that's who
5 I coordinated with most of the time.
6 Q. Thank you. What about others in the International Criminal
7 Tribunal? Were you in contact with any other investigators or
8 prosecutors here?
9 A. Not during the 2000 season, no. We were very isolated when we
10 were in the field, and I only led the team for two and a half months, so
11 during those two and a half months there wasn't really anything other
12 than the normal work which was basically focused on these two sites. And
13 work went quite well, and speedingly, so there wasn't really a need for
14 much communication outside of the ordinary.
15 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us, did anybody make any
16 changes or adjustments to the information you obtained from localities 1
17 and 2 in order to adapt them to locality 3? Did anybody change anything
18 in the findings of Professor Wright with regard to the exhumations that
19 he performed?
20 A. I guess I will try to answer the first part. I only worked at
21 locality 1, which would be Lazete 1 and Lazete 2, and as far as I know,
22 my report is here and I haven't seen any changes made to that. I have
23 not seen or read Professor Richard Wright's reports and I don't know if
24 anyone made any changes, I'm sorry.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could the Court please
1 produce Exhibit P939, page 7. Both in Serbian and in English. Thank
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. This is a report from Lazete 2. We already saw this image during
5 the examination-in-chief.
6 And now we can see the part that I'm interested in in your
7 report. Could we please look at page 7 in Serbian and English.
8 Actually, we already see the relevant pages.
9 We are looking at chapter V, where it says Exhumation Procedures.
10 You say here Richard Wright described a general exhumation
11 procedure as the basic instruction for the exhumation of bodies, parts of
12 the bodies, and other evidence when exhumations were done for the
13 International Criminal Tribunal. I have changed this general exhumation
14 procedure and I adapted that procedure to the particular location, and an
15 example of that general procedure was given to every archaeologist and
16 anthropologist before they started working on exhumations.
17 That would be my quote about the changes done to the exhumation
18 procedures that were done at Lazete 2. Which exhumation protocol
19 provided by Professor Wright was partly adapted in order to suit the
20 location Lazete 2, and why those changes were made? Thank you.
21 A. Well, this is a standard document that Richard -- Professor
22 Richard Wright came up with in 1997. It was adapted to every single
23 site. Sometimes only in the order of things and sometimes in who was
24 responsible for things. In this case, if I remember correctly, the
25 changes were probably made to the area where the exhumation supervisor
1 was the one that had to oversee the recovery of every one of the bodies.
2 But basically the document stayed the same throughout most of the time
3 that we worked in Bosnia. If there were changes, they were very
4 site-specific and very small. Small changes, such as changing the name
5 of the site, for example, as you can see, this would be general
6 procedures for exhumation at Lazete 2. So you had to change the name
7 every time to Lazete 2, Lazete 1, or whichever site we were working.
8 Sometimes the exhumation supervisor had duties inside the grave,
9 sometimes outside the grave, but most of the procedures were basically
10 the same, which was to make sure that we recover all the evidence and
11 document it in every way, and this was given to everyone that worked in
12 the field so we knew that everyone understood the instructions clearly.
13 For example, in number 12, each shell collected had to be
14 surveyed until a total of 10, for example, had been so recorded. That's
15 in number 12. That -- in some cases we recorded every single one, but in
16 these two cases there were so many that we only wanted to record 10 at
17 that level, otherwise it would slow us down too much, so we recorded all
18 of them in the log but we didn't necessarily take a point of all of them
19 or photograph them all. For example, we recovered them and assigned a
20 site description, location, and they were put in the log, everything was
21 put in the log. So that's an example.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you inform the person with whom you coordinated,
23 I believe that his name was Dean Manning, about the changes that you had
24 made to the protocol, and what was his position with this regard, with
25 regard to -- with regard to your changes?
1 A. No. We didn't inform him. This was an internal document that
2 was applied to the exhumation team only and its members, so I was heading
3 the team and it had to do with the people that supported the team, the
4 archeologists and the anthropologists who were working there. The
5 decision was made to do things in this manner and we did not inform, but
6 nonetheless it's put in the report because of that reason, because these
7 are the procedures, the mandate -- that mandated the methodology at the
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce page
11 9 in the same exhibit, P939. Again, we are talking about the same
12 report, about Lazete 1 mass grave. Thank you.
13 Could the Court please produce P935. This is a report about
14 Lazete 1 mass grave. Thank you. Now we have Lazete 1.
15 Could the Court please produce page 9 in Serbian and page 7 in
16 English. Thank you. This has been produced and I'm going to read.
17 Q. You say here, "Bodies --" I'm reading the second bullet point in
18 the middle. "Bodies coded in the log by the prefix B, and these include
19 complete and truncated bodies." And after that, you say, in bullet point
20 3, "Body parts. Body parts coded in the logbook by prefix BP, and these
21 include body parts and bones that were placed inside body bags and given
22 a body part number." I suppose that they were marked. In order for
23 everybody to understand what you're talking about, could you please make
24 a distinction between a whole body, a truncated body, and body parts. We
25 are particularly interested in body parts as opposed to truncated body.
1 Thank you.
2 A. A truncated body was a body that was section cut or a part of it
3 was displaced during a robbing operation. In other words, that we
4 believed that the body, when put in the grave, was whole or partly whole,
5 and this truncation occurred during a subsequent operation. A body part
6 would be the result of that truncation. In other words, for example, you
7 might have a body whose left lower leg was truncated. The left lower leg
8 would be the body part. This process usually occurred during the
9 re-excavation of the graves to remove the bodies from them. Since that
10 wasn't done very carefully, what it produced was it produced machinery
11 cutting through bodies, creating bodies that were truncated and also
12 creating body parts.
13 Q. Thank you. What is the difference between an incomplete body and
14 body parts? What would be the criterion applied in order to establish
15 that difference? Thank you.
16 A. We didn't really use incomplete bodies. Basically we used bodies
17 and body parts. Because, I mean, completeness would mean 100 per cent
18 and a lot of times we didn't have bones of the fingers, things of that
19 sort. So for us a body was one that was there in more than 50 per cent
20 of its original aspect and that would give us information as to the
21 identification, as far as individualisation of that body; sex, age,
22 stature, maybe cause of death.
23 Body parts, on the other hand, were sometimes bones that were
24 still articulated but that provided very little information, such as a
25 lower limb, for example, a lower leg, a forearm, a hand. Sometimes they
1 provided a lot of information, such as a skull and cervical vertebrae,
2 but they were not a complete body. This is important later to also
3 determine the minimum number of individuals. We can't assign body
4 numbers to everything we find, and basically the difference was if it was
5 50 per cent or more, it was a body; if it was less than that, it was a
6 body part. If it was a loose bone, then that would be put into a loose
7 bone bag and that loose bone bag would later be assigned a body part
9 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us, based on just one body part
10 or one bone, for example, could you identify a victim or not? Are there
11 such bones which can determine the identity of a person?
12 A. For example, if we have -- a femur can give us information as far
13 as the height of a person, the sex of a person, the age of a person, and
14 it can also give us genetic information, so that would be a good example
15 of one specific bone that provides a lot of information. The same might
16 be said also for a hip bone or even an maxilla on the skull. It depends
17 on the bone, it also depends on the age of the person, but that's
18 something that is determined during the analysis of the remains.
19 Q. Since you have just told us that 50 per cent of a body was
20 considered the entire body, my question is this: If 50 per cent of a
21 body was complete, or even more than 50 per cent there, did you assign
22 that body a number or a code? In other words, did a body have to be
23 complete in order to be assigned a number or a code?
24 A. A body had to be recognised as its own entity in order not to
25 duplicate numbers. So, for example, if you had a lower half of a body,
1 and an upper half of a body next to each other, you will have to make
2 sure that they didn't belong to the same body, but, yes, once we assigned
3 that this body was an individual entity in itself, we assigned a number
4 and we also filled out a body sheet. You can see the body sheets here in
5 the report, in page 19 of the Lazete 1 report.
6 Q. Thank you. Based on your explanation that you've just provided,
7 am I right in thinking that if there was just one bone, for example, that
8 could provide identification information, did you assign a number to that
9 bone as a body part or as an entire body? Thank you.
10 A. If it was just a single bone, we did neither. We put it in a
11 loose bone bag and that whole bone bag was assigned a body part number.
12 So you might have -- we didn't in these cases but in other cases you
13 might have 15 femurs, ten humerus, et cetera, in one bone bag, and that
14 whole bag was then assigned a body part number. When these remains got
15 to the morgue, then this was analysed and a minimum number of individuals
16 was determined based on a counting of thirds of the bone that appeared
17 the most.
18 Q. Thank you. When it comes to the bones that provided the
19 information for identification, were those the only ones that were taken
20 into account for identifications? As opposed to any other body parts
21 that were recovered from the same mass grave.
22 A. I'm sorry to say that I did not participate in the analysis of
23 these remains, and that's a question that would have to be posed to the
24 anthropology team or the pathology team in the morgue in Visoko. My
25 mandate here stated that I recover the bodies and document them only.
1 Q. Thank you. So are you in a position to tell us which bones can
2 be used to identify a person or not? Can you tell us that, based on the
3 experience that you gained while working on those exhumations?
4 A. Of course. Almost any bone can be used to identify someone, as
5 long as you use a multi-disciplinary approach. Again, looking at the
6 context, trying to understand who the victims were, getting the
7 osteological analysis, and then if you have the possibility of DNA, then
8 we bring all of those together. And the best example is the World Trade
9 Centre. In the World Trade Centre, they identified victims with bone
10 fragments the size of rice, for example.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have a document in front
12 of us, P935. Could I please see page 9 in Serbian and page 8 in English.
13 Thank you.
14 I'm interested in paragraph 5 in the Serbian-language version.
15 Page 12 in Serbian, thank you, yes, thank you, that's that.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Here you speak about the general procedure for ICTY exhumations
18 at Lazete 1.
19 We are interested in paragraph 5, where you say, "The scene of
20 crime officer shall assign a number to each item of evidence." Including
21 materials relevant for the identification of perpetrators. That's the
22 penultimate bullet point in your report. And finally you say, "The
23 elucidation of other matters relevant to the investigation."
24 Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. My question based on what you have written in here is this:
2 Could you please explain what kind of evidence is relevant for the
3 identification of perpetrators which you could recover from the mass
4 graves? Thank you.
5 A. Well, in the case of these two sites, I would consider the
6 ballistic evidence evidence that could be traced back to the
7 perpetrators, specifically.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us more about the ballistic
9 evidence that you use in your capacity as expert in order to identify
10 perpetrators as you explain here in this document.
11 A. No, I cannot. I'm not a ballistics expert. My job here was to
12 recover all of the evidence that could later be used by other experts or
13 the investigators. From my experience, I know that there are tool marks
14 left on bullets and also bullet casings that can be used, but I don't
15 know if that evidence was used or not. And it wasn't my place to use it,
16 only to recover it.
17 Q. Thank you. And could you please tell us whether experts such as
18 ballistic experts requested from you to find something in the locality
19 that they could use to determine the distance from which fires had been
20 shot, the type of weapons, and any other such thing that they might have
21 used in order to establish the cause of death? For example, the distance
22 from which shots had been fired.
23 A. You would establish a cause of death through an analysis of the
24 remains. I was only instructed to recover the remains and the evidence
25 around it. As far as distance, it's something that you also might be
1 able to see through the analysis of the remains, but you have to take
2 into consideration things like the types of weapons that were used, which
3 in these cases can probably be -- information can be gathered from the
4 ballistic evidence itself. In other words, from the bullets and the
5 bullet casings. Once again, I was in charge of the recovery effort of
6 the remains and the evidence, not of the analysis part that came later.
7 Q. Thank you. My question, based on what you have just told us, is
8 this: How did you secure the evidence relevant for the investigation?
9 Because this is exactly what you said, finding evidence relevant for the
11 A. Once again, this evidence was handled by the scene of crime
12 officer. In this case Mike Hedley was the person in charge. This
13 evidence was mapped, in some cases photographed, it was entered into the
14 log where it was described, it was then bagged, tagged, and then
15 transported to the morgue. At the morgue it was analysed, and I'm not
16 sure what happened after that.
17 Q. Thank you for this explanation. When a body is identified based
18 on DNA samples is there any other type of relevant evidence that is
19 gathered in order to have this identification, in order to identify the
20 perpetrator, and in order to identify any other issues that might prove
21 relevant in the course of investigation? Thank you.
22 A. I did not participate in the identification process of these
23 bodies, so I don't know what they did as far as gathering other
24 information that would single out perpetrators.
25 Q. Thank you very much. If, for example, we only had information
1 about an identification based on DNA samples, if there was no other
2 information derived from the site at which a victim was found, would that
3 affect the quality of a report such as your expert opinion, sir, the
4 report that we have before us? Thank you very much.
5 A. Let me read the question again, please. Well, no. In this case,
6 the lack of or amount of information does not affect the report in any
7 way because we are reporting on a very clear mandate; that was to look
8 for a grave, excavate its contents, recover the bodies, exhume the
9 bodies, recover all the evidence that was there, as part of a larger
10 investigation. What, in the end, is found has no bearing on the quality
11 of the report itself. We are simply reporting on what we found and,
12 again, that information is later used by other investigators to come up
13 with conclusions or lead their investigation in one way or another. And
14 I'm sure it was also put together and used with other information such as
15 witnesses or any other information they have.
16 Q. Thank you. Most of the identifications these days are done based
17 on DNA analysis. Should these reports not include other types of
18 information too, such as the elements provided in your report? Thank
20 A. I think it's a matter of structure. In our case, we were
21 instructed to report on specific procedures, as far as recovery. Then
22 I'm sure there was specific reports as far as the anthropological and
23 pathological analysis and pathology analysis of the remains, and if that
24 led to identifications or not, I don't know, but from my understanding,
25 the identifications came at a later time, so it would be very difficult
1 to include all of the information in those reports. It all depends on
2 the setting and the case. Ideally, yes, you would want to have a report
3 that is multi-disciplinary in approach, but that's not always the case
4 and it doesn't have any bearing on the quality of the identifications in
5 the end.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us the following, please: Since there
7 was quite a number of bodies that were found that were in pieces, mere
8 body parts, and given the fact that the victims' DNA is used to identify
9 the bodies, during your work at these locations, Lazete 1 and Lazete 2,
10 were any records kept that would make it possible for the morgue
11 personnel later on to clearly identify which part of the grave site a
12 certain item or body were found at so that they might be able to identify
13 the remaining parts of a body during the identification procedure? Thank
15 A. Yes. That information is put in the evidence log. All bodies
16 and body parts had pictures and locations included, as far as -- and also
17 descriptions where they were found and what they comprised of. So that
18 information is available, and was available to the morgue, and when we
19 transported all the evidence, we also transported a copy of that log, so
20 they wouldn't necessarily have to ask us, they would -- the log would
21 accompany the evidence.
22 Q. Thank you. Just another thing: What about the copies of those
23 logs or diaries? Are copies in possession of the OTP or can they only be
24 found wherever they happened to be kept by those carrying out the actual
25 identification work? Thank you.
1 A. As far as I know, the Office of the Prosecutor does have copies
2 of those logs, but you would have to ask them.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Peccerelli, for providing all these explanations.
4 Perhaps some of the questions were ridiculous to you, but I'm asking
5 these questions from the perspective of my familiarity and knowledge.
6 I thank you very much for coming. This concludes my cross-examination.
7 You have been a great help to me in understanding certain technicalities
8 that I had not previously understood. You are, after all, an expert.
9 Thank you very much, Witness.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, thank you very much,
11 this completes my cross-examination. I have no further questions for
12 this witness.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Elderkin, do you have
15 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honour, with permission, yes, very briefly,
16 and it arises out of the questioning particularly at pages 52 through 54
17 of the transcript, concerning the identification of particular bones and
18 their use in counting how many victims there might be.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Elderkin:
20 Q. Mr. Peccerelli, are you familiar with the calculation that's
21 often described as minimum number of individuals calculation?
22 A. That's correct, yes.
23 Q. Were you ever asked to calculate the minimum number of individual
24 victims in either of the Lazete graves?
25 A. No, I was not. That was a job or the mandate of the morgue and
1 the pathologists and anthropologists, specifically the anthropologists.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
4 exceeds the scope of my cross-examination. The witness Baraybar
5 addressed this and I think you too will easily remember this. Thank you
6 very much.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, if you look at page 53, lines 19
8 through 54 line 1, there was a reference to the work, and I quote:
9 "We didn't in these cases but in other cases you might have 15
10 femurs, ten humerus, et cetera, in one bone bag, and that whole bag was
11 then assigned a body part number, and these remains got to the morgue and
12 this was analysed and a minimum number of individuals was determined
13 based on a counting of thirds of the bone that appeared the most."
14 I think this is a clear reference and has to do something with
15 the questioning of Mr. Elderkin. Please carry on, Mr. Elderkin.
16 MR. ELDERKIN:
17 Q. Mr. Peccerelli, would the designation of human remains as being a
18 body or a body part or a truncated body at the exhumation site have any
19 impact on any later calculation of minimum number of individuals?
20 A. None whatsoever. Once again, each one of the parts has to be
21 counted independently of how they were labelled in the field. So it's
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 MR. ELDERKIN: And that's all I have, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Peccerelli, this concludes your examination today, and in
2 this case. Thank you very much that you were able to come to The Hague
3 again and to provide us with your knowledge. That was of great
4 assistance. Thank you very much. And now you are free to return to your
5 normal activities.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the Court Usher will assist you to leave the
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
11 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, as Mr. Vanderpuye will be taking the
12 next witness, I wondered if I may be excused now from the courtroom?
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. You may continue your work
14 in your office.
15 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, welcome to the courtroom.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Good afternoon, Your Honours, good afternoon,
18 Mr. President, everyone. I think we are prepared to proceed with the
19 next witness, who I think is here.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The next witness should be brought
21 in, please.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. You are welcome. Would you
24 please read aloud the affirmation of the declaration on the card which is
25 shown to you now.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. I solemnly declare
2 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: MITAR LAZAREVIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Prosecutor, Mr. Vanderpuye, has some
8 questions for you in the examination-in-chief. Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, and again good
10 afternoon to you.
11 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
12 Q. Good afternoon to you, Mr. Lazarevic. Before we get started,
13 I just wanted to remind you - I know you've been here before - just to
14 speak a little bit slower than you normally would in order to give the
15 interpreters an opportunity to translate everything that you say
16 accurately to all of us here in the courtroom. And if there is anything
17 that I ask you that's not clear, just let me know and I'll do my best to
18 rephrase it in a way that we can better understand one another.
19 Let me start by asking you, do you recall having testified in the
20 case of Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al. on the 26th and 27th of
21 June of 2007?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And have you had an opportunity to review the entirety of your
24 testimony before coming to court today?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And was your testimony read back to you or did you listen to an
2 audio recording of it?
3 A. I listened to an audio recording of that.
4 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, having listened to your testimony, does your
5 testimony fairly and accurately reflect what you would say were you to be
6 examined here today and if you were asked the same questions?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to move into evidence
9 the witness's previous testimony. That will be 65 ter 06625, that would
10 be the under-seal version. And the public version of that testimony is
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received, the first one under seal.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the first one will be Exhibit
14 P1440, and the second one with the 65 ter number 06626 will be Exhibit
15 P1441. Thank you.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I have a brief summary of the
17 witness's prior testimony that I'd like to read into the record.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: At the time of his June 2007 testimony in the
20 Popovic case, Mitar Lazarevic was employed as a customs official in
21 Tuzla. He completed vocational college and trained as a teacher and
22 he completed his national military service with the former JNA in 1979.
23 Mr. Lazarevic was mobilised on 20 May 1992 and assigned to the Kiseljak
24 Battalion. The battalion was later divided into two units and
25 Mr. Lazarevic remained with the unit headquartered in the village of
1 Malesici. This became the 2nd Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade.
2 Until his demobilisation in February 1996, Mr. Lazarevic was
3 involved in monitoring the 2nd Battalion's registers, personnel rosters,
4 and payroll activities. As the general services officer in the battalion
5 command, Mr. Lazarevic reported to the battalion commander, Srecko
7 Mr. Lazarevic testified that in July of 1995, around the time of
8 the Srebrenica operations, the Zvornik Brigade command placed the
9 battalion on alert. As such, the battalion had to be present on the
10 lines with 100 per cent strength. Mr. Lazarevic recalled that during
11 this period, sometime after 12 July 1995, commander Acimovic went home
12 one day to freshen up. He returned later and informed the members of the
13 battalion command that prisoners had been brought to the Rocevic school
14 earlier. Acimovic said that he learned of their presence in the school
15 from his parents and then went over to the school to investigate.
16 There he found several soldiers, not members of the 2nd
17 Battalion, guarding the prisoners. Acimovic recounted that the gym of
18 the school was full with prisoners but that he did not know how many were
20 He said that a few prisoners had been killed and that a local
21 woman had been wounded in the village of Rocevic.
22 Acimovic claimed that his demands for information from these
23 unknown soldiers were rebuffed and then he sought to contact the Zvornik
24 Brigade commander, Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, or his Chief of
25 Staff, Major Dragan Obrenovic, for information at the brigade command.
1 However, they were not available. When he called back, Acimovic spoke
2 with whom he described as a security officer from the corps, who assured
3 him that the prisoners were going to be exchanged the following day.
4 Later that night, sometime between midnight and 2.00 a.m., the
5 battalion received a coded telegram from the Zvornik Brigade command.
6 Mr. Lazarevic did not recall who in the battalion command received the
7 telegram but noted that it was recorded in the communications logbook.
8 Members of the communications unit had to be called in to decode the
9 telegram, which, as it turned out, was an order to the 2nd Battalion
10 command to provide personnel for an execution squad to kill prisoners
11 held at the Rocevic school. Commander Acimovic was alerted and decided
12 that the battalion would refuse to implement the order. He then sent a
13 telegram in reply to the brigade command to that effect.
14 Later, Acimovic received a telephone call from the brigade
15 command. Mr. Lazarevic and other members of the battalion command
16 overheard Acimovic arguing about the order. In a heated and loud
17 quarrel, he asserted that the battalion would not comply with the order.
18 Following this call, Acimovic called in the battalion infantry company
19 commanders, informed them about the situation, and instructed them that
20 if directly approached by brigade personnel, not to supply any men for
21 the planned executions.
22 Later that morning, Acimovic went to the Rocevic school. When he
23 returned, Acimovic told the members of the battalion command, including
24 Mr. Lazarevic, that he had encountered a high-ranking security officer
25 from the corps there who threatened him with a court-martial as did he
1 not want to supply the men for the execution squad.
2 Mr. Lazarevic did not travel to the school; however, rumours soon
3 surfaced that the prisoners detained there were, in fact, transported to
4 Kozluk, where they were executed. Mr. Lazarevic testified that at least
5 two soldiers previously assigned to the 2nd Battalion were directly
6 involved in the transport of these prisoners to the execution site.
7 Your Honours that concludes my summary. And I do have a few
8 follow-up questions for Mr. Lazarevic.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please go ahead.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE:
11 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I want to just start off with a few basic
12 questions. First, can you tell us about how far the command in Malesici
13 is from the elementary school in Rocevic, just approximately?
14 A. Between 15 and 20 kilometres.
15 Q. And how long would it take you to drive there on an average day?
16 Just an approximate figure.
17 A. Depends on what means of transportation you're using.
18 Q. All right. Let's just say in a car or a truck. How long would
19 it --
20 A. By car, you go to Malesici, and the hillside was a dirt track and
21 you would normally take between half an hour and 40 minutes, roughly
23 Q. And can you tell us approximately how far the battalion command
24 is from Kozluk?
25 A. Five or six kilometres, probably, up to seven or thereabouts.
1 Q. I'd like to show you a photograph. It's P94, 00094. And we'll
2 need to go to page 190. All right. Do you recognise what's depicted in
3 this photograph, Mr. Lazarevic?
4 A. This is the elementary school in Rocevici, the school that I went
5 to, meaning I was a student there.
6 Q. And when you were a student there, was it basically as it appears
7 in this photograph?
8 A. Well, it's probably been spruced up since. It wasn't like that
9 way back when, but the outline of the building is still the same, at
10 least as far as I can tell. Some annexes may have been built on the
11 opposite side of the building, but seen from the road, it looks roughly
12 like this.
13 Q. All right. And from this particular vantage point, are you able
14 to see a gym that is attached to the school or near the school?
15 A. This part of the wall, I think, is the gym, to the right of our
16 screens. I'm not positive but that's what I think it is. Towards the
17 corner of the building and then the -- right behind.
18 Q. Are you referring to the right-hand of -- very far right-hand
19 side of this photograph?
20 A. The right-hand side of my screen, you can see just under the roof
21 a piece of the building, a section of the building, and I think that's
22 the gym.
23 Q. All right.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to -- well, it's already
25 in evidence, isn't it? I'd like to move to another photograph then,
1 that's at page 191.
2 Q. Are you able to tell us what we have in the frame now, this
4 A. This is a frontal view of the school building. To the left we
5 can see the gym, across the playground.
6 Q. And is the gym the smaller structure? There are two structures,
7 I should say, on the left-hand side of the photograph. One is taller and
8 one is shorter. Can you tell us which one of these is the gym?
9 A. The bigger one is the gym.
10 Q. All right. And can you tell us what the smaller part of it is?
11 A. Probably, but I never actually went in there. I suppose that
12 it's probably the changing room or the locker room. That's where kids
13 change their clothes before they take a gym lesson, I guess.
14 Q. All right.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'm about to go to a different
16 area, and I see we have about a minute before the break, so I think this
17 might be a good time to pause.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, we should have our second break now and
19 we will resume quarter past 6.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, please continue.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, based on your prior testimony, you indicated that
25 you did not go to the Rocevic school during the period of time that the
1 prisoners were there. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And did you go there subsequently? Did you go there after the
4 prisoners had already been removed and executed?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now, you mentioned that -- and this is at page 13367 of the
7 transcript of -- you mentioned that your commander, Srecko Acimovic, told
8 you, or mentioned to the brigade command, that when he went to the
9 school, the gym was full. Do you remember that?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And he also mentioned that there were some dead people there when
12 he went there that first day. Do you remember testifying about that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you tell us, did you learn where these dead people were,
15 whereabouts in the school area they were, from Commander Acimovic?
16 A. The commander said that they were behind the school, and I really
17 wouldn't be able to tell you in what direction. I can only tell you what
18 I heard from him. I did not see any of that myself.
19 Q. I understand that. Based on the two photographs that I showed
20 you earlier, those were P94 pages 190 and 191, the two photographs of the
21 school, can you tell us, when you say that they were behind the school,
22 do you mean the side where the basketball court was, where it's the
23 cement, or the other side of the school where we can see the grass in the
24 photograph? If you want, I can put them back on the screen so you can
25 take a look.
1 A. You don't have to show it again. They were in the area where
2 grass is growing, not where the basketball court is. He said then that
3 they were behind the gym, and the grassy area is behind the gym, so it
4 makes sense.
5 Q. Did he ever tell you about how many dead he saw?
6 A. He said a couple, a few bodies. He said that there were a
7 couple, several. How many I really don't know.
8 Q. All right. And just so we are clear for the record, is it the
9 case that the dead people that he was talking about were, in fact, the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And is that how you understood?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Did you learn at any point, from your commander, about how many
15 prisoners there were in the school or in the gym altogether?
16 A. Well, he was not in a position to know that. Nobody counted
17 head. He only said that the gym was full. Nobody ever knew how many
19 Q. Did he ever tell you whether the prisoners at the school or in
20 the gym were soldiers or civilians or a mix of both? Did he tell you
21 anything like that?
22 A. I'm not sure. However, I believe that they were civilians.
23 Q. Is that based on something that you heard from somebody other
24 than your commander or other information that you have?
25 A. Based on what I heard from the commander.
1 Q. And did he tell you at any point where these prisoners had come
3 A. I really don't remember.
4 Q. You mentioned, at page 13367 of your testimony, about -- you
5 mentioned a woman that had been injured during the period of time that
6 the prisoners had been detained at the school. Do you remember
7 testifying about that?
8 A. I remember, and that was a woman from the neighbourhood.
9 I suppose that she was injured when shots were fired.
10 Q. Did you learn that also from your commander or did you hear that
11 some place else, or from someone else?
12 A. From the commander again.
13 Q. Did you learn the name of this woman who was injured?
14 A. I don't know her name. I know her husband. Her husband had been
15 mobilised and he was on the same line, but I don't know the woman's name.
16 Q. And what's the name of her husband?
17 A. Petko Tanackovic.
18 Q. And was it your understanding that she was injured by gunfire; in
19 other words, that she was shot?
20 A. Well, that was not my conclusion. In the evening when the
21 commander came, he told us when shots had been fired, that woman was
23 Q. Did he indicate to you who was responsible for this shooting
24 or --
25 A. The same men who had escorted the prisoners.
1 Q. With respect to the men that escorted the prisoners, are these
2 the same men that the commander encountered when he went to the school,
3 as he related that to you, at the brigade -- I'm sorry, at the battalion
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And were these members of the 2nd Battalion or members of another
8 A. No. According to him, he didn't know any of them. Apparently,
9 they were not from our area, they were not locals.
10 Q. Did you or the command have any information that members of the
11 battalion were at the Rocevic school on the day that the commander first
12 went there and reported to you that there were prisoners being held in
13 and around the school?
14 A. In the evening, when he returned to the battalion command, we
15 learned from him that there were prisoners in the gym of the Rocevici
17 Q. Were any members of the 2nd Battalion, to your knowledge,
18 assigned to the school or at the school at that time?
19 A. As far as I know, there weren't.
20 Q. I want to ask you a little bit about a conversation that was
21 related to you, that your commander had with someone whom he described as
22 a security officer from the corps. Do you remember testifying about
23 that? This is at page 13373 of your testimony.
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us briefly what he told you about this conversation
1 he had with the security officer? This is on the first day that he went
2 to the school.
3 A. I don't understand your question. What do you mean "the first
4 day"? Are you referring to the day when he first saw the prisoners or
5 the second day? Because on the first day, he didn't meet with any
6 officers, just the foot soldiers. That was on the evening when those
7 prisoners had been brought in. On the second day, he had an argument
8 with that officer and the other men.
9 Q. Yes. I understand. I'm referring to a phone call, I think it
10 was a telephone call, that you testified to in the Popovic case, where
11 you said that he -- he reported that he spoke to somebody that was a
12 security officer. Do you remember that?
13 A. I remember, but your question is probably not phrased well, or
14 maybe I didn't understand you. During the night, he had an argument with
15 a security officer and he said that he would not assign any of his men
16 for that purpose, for that task.
17 Q. Okay. Maybe I can make it a little bit clearer, my question.
18 And we'll talk about this conversation as well. But you mentioned that
19 the commander told you that he called the brigade command. This is on
20 the day that he learned that there were prisoners in the school. Do you
21 remember that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. And that you mentioned that he tried to speak to the
24 commander of the brigade, Pandurevic, Vinko Pandurevic. Do you remember
1 A. I understand now. Now I understand what you asked me before. He
2 did call somebody in the brigade and he told them that there were people
3 in the Rocevic school that were behaving strangely, and that security
4 officer promised him that on the following day those men would be
5 exchanged. I didn't understand your question the first time around. So
6 in that conversation, the commander was told that those prisoners would
7 be exchanged the following day.
8 Q. Did he ever mention to you whom this security person from the
9 corps was that he spoke to that promised him or told him that the
10 prisoners would be exchanged the following day?
11 A. No. He said that it was a high-ranking officer who talked about
12 the exchange. He never mentioned any names. I said it before that my
13 commander, Srecko Acimovic, is a man of very few words. I did not
14 specifically ask him, he didn't volunteer any information, so we did not
15 talk much about the whole situation.
16 Q. Were you at the time familiar with the -- well, first let me ask
17 you this, because I think I need to clarify it. This person from the
18 corps, the security officer from the corps, that he referred to, can you
19 just tell us what corps we are talking about, just so the record is
21 A. The Drina Corps.
22 Q. And is that the corps to which the Zvornik Brigade was
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were you familiar with the members of the security organ of the
1 Drina Corps back in July 1995, when your commander was referring to a
2 high-ranking security officer from the corps?
3 A. No, no.
4 Q. Were you familiar with the members of the security organ at the
5 brigade level, that is at the Zvornik Brigade, in July 1995?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. And can you tell us who you are aware of were members of the
8 security organ at the brigade level at that time?
9 A. Drago Nikolic was the security officer. Everybody knew that.
10 All those who were mobilised knew that he was the security officer.
11 Q. Are you familiar with the name Milorad Trbic?
12 A. Yes. We were in the same battalion. I forgot about him. He was
13 also up there. He held a position of some kind. He was sitting
14 alongside with him, but I don't know what his position was.
15 Q. When you say "up there" what do you mean? In the transcript it
16 reads --
17 A. In the brigade. When you say "up there" you mean the brigade, so
18 not at our level but up there, at their level.
19 Q. Okay. And was he a member of the security organ at the brigade
20 level as well?
21 A. I really don't know what he did. I know that he was in the
22 brigade, but I don't know what he did.
23 Q. All right. Now, you mentioned just a little while ago, and
24 I promised we would get back to this, a telephone call that you received
25 the night that your commander told you about the prisoners at the school.
1 What I wanted to ask you about was the telegram that you testified about
2 that the command received that night. And that's at page 13374 of your
3 testimony in the Popovic case.
4 Can you just tell us briefly how that telegram arrived, or the
5 circumstances under which it arrived at the battalion command?
6 A. It was during the night, at 12, perhaps 1, nobody actually
7 checked the time. We had an induction telephone line with the brigade,
8 and the telephone rang. All the telegrams that we received arrived from
9 the Zvornik Brigade. By the telephone there was a notebook where we
10 recorded the contents of all the telegrams we received or sent to the
11 brigade. During that night, a telegram came, it was coded. We were at
12 the command. Nobody who was there could decode it. Men from the
13 communications came and they decoded the contents of the telegram. The
14 request upon us was to assign people who would execute the prisoners, and
15 after all that, the commander mustered the courage to disobey the order
16 and sent back a telegram stating that he would never assign any of his
17 men to carry out that task.
18 Q. That night, do you have a recollection of who was present at the
19 battalion command, which members of the command were around that night?
20 A. I said already that I can't remember everybody who was there, but
21 we were mobilised a hundred per cent, that's why I think that everybody
22 was there. I can't really give you all of their names, but it would be a
23 fair description if I told you that we were all there.
24 Q. All right. What I'd like to show you is 65 ter 299. Now, I know
25 you've seen this before. It is the Attendance of Battalion Command
1 Personnel, it's entitled, the Attendance of Battalion Command Personnel
2 in Performance of Combat Tasks. It's for the month of July 1995, and it
3 refers to the 2nd Infantry Battalion. What I'd like you to do is I'd
4 like you to take a look at the names. Maybe we can blow up -- we should
5 blow up the B/C/S version of it and we can just focus in on the names.
6 That would be the best way to do it. Just blow up the name side of it so
7 that he can read it. Thank you very much. All right.
8 What we should have here are the members of the command listed;
9 is that right, Mr. Lazarevic?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. All right. And we have what appears to be 16 entries that read
12 Srecko Acimovic, Commander; Stevo Savic. Do you know what his position
13 was back in July of 1995?
14 A. He was demobilised, so the answer would be no.
15 Q. Well, what was his position when he was mobilised?
16 A. Deputy commander, and Srecko Acimovic was commander.
17 Q. And we have Sakotic, Milorad, and it says OBP. Do you know what
18 that means?
19 A. He was our security officer in the battalion, and at that moment
20 he was on duty in the field.
21 Q. And we have Vujo Lazarevic, and it says "morale." Is that right?
22 A. He was the assistant commander for moral guidance.
23 Q. And then we have, looks like Lisic, Zivan?
24 A. Pisic, Zivan Pisic, yes, yes.
25 Q. And his position was?
1 A. He was the assistant commander for logistics.
2 Q. And then we have you at number 6; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, I don't want to go through all of the names here, but these
5 would have been -- these individuals named here would have made up the
6 command in July 1995; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Beneath that, we see Communications. It should say Veza there.
9 Do you see that, Mr. Lazarevic?
10 A. Yes, I do. I see everything.
11 Q. And under Communications, we have Stevanovic, Dragan. Can you
12 tell us what his position was back in July of 1995?
13 A. They were all communications guys. I don't know what each of
14 them did, I only know that they were assigned to the communications
16 Q. Okay. And those individuals we have here numbered 1 through 8 as
17 Pisic, Miodrag; Ilic, Goran; Cvijetinovic, Milisav; Galic, Pero; Peric,
18 Milos; Ljubic, Srecko; and Milic Sveto; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. These would have been the signallers back in July 1995, yes?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you mentioned that a signalsman had to be called to the
23 brigade battalion command in order to decode the telegram that had been
24 received from the brigade command.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And is it fair to say that it would have been one of those eight
2 individuals, at least, to have come to the command for that purpose?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you have any specific recollection about seeing any one of
5 those individuals in the command the day that that telegram arrived, or
6 that night?
7 A. Somebody decoded the telegram, but I don't know who that was. I
8 know that somebody had come from the communications department, a
9 signalsman came, and I really can't remember who that was.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to tender this exhibit.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as an exhibit.
12 THE REGISTRAR: With the exhibit number P1442, Your Honours.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE:
14 Q. Now, you indicated that the commander, Acimovic, had a telegram
15 sent back to the brigade command. Was that telegram, to your knowledge,
16 recorded in the logbook at the battalion level?
17 A. I think it was. All the telegrams that were either received or
18 sent were recorded in that notebook. It was just a common notebook that
19 normally was there by the telephone itself and one generally recorded
21 Q. Would that have been recorded by a member of the command, that is
22 someone such as yourself, or would it have been recorded by a
23 communications officer?
24 A. Someone from the command would dictate a text for the brigade.
25 Someone from the command. It might have been me. I just can't remember,
1 I really don't know.
2 Q. And who would have entered this telegram in the logbook? Who
3 would have written that information down?
4 A. Someone from the command. One of us who were there. But I can't
5 say who specifically. At the time, there was no one keeping any sorts of
6 records at all. The situation was chaotic. It wasn't really a priority
7 for anyone at the time, this sort of detail.
8 Q. After the commander sent this reply telegram to the brigade
9 command, in your testimony you say that he received a phone call. Do you
10 remember that?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Do you know from whom he received this telephone call?
13 A. Someone from the brigade who was pressuring him to make some
14 people available, some men available. They got into an altercation and
15 he told the other guy that he would never make any men available to him
16 at all.
17 Q. And was there any subsequent phone call?
18 A. I don't remember that. This was late at night. It might have
19 been 2.00 or 3.00, or 4 perhaps, I don't remember. Someone called him
20 but I don't know who exactly.
21 Q. Do you know how long this phone call went on, approximately?
22 A. I can't remember that degree of detail.
23 Q. Did your commander at any point, and I don't mean necessarily
24 that particular evening, but did he at any point ever tell you whom he
25 had this conversation with the night that the telegram arrived at the
1 battalion command? Did he ever mention that to you in casual
2 conversation or any time after that period?
3 A. I really don't remember. I do not wish to commit regarding
4 something that I'm not sure about. I really don't remember.
5 Q. Now, that morning, I believe you testified that the commander
6 went to the school. Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did he go to the school by himself or did he go with anyone
10 A. By himself.
11 Q. And about what time did he go, if you can recall?
12 A. Sometime that morning. I don't know specifically what time.
13 Q. And I don't think you were asked this before, but can you tell us
14 about how long he was away from the battalion command after he left?
15 A. Not long, I think. The point of him going there was to go and
16 say that he would not be sending any men over for that purpose. That was
17 why he went there. Again, there was an altercation; he was being
18 pressured into doing something, so he went there himself to make it clear
19 to them that he would not be making any men available. How long did he
20 stay there for? Not long, I think, but I don't know how long exactly.
21 Q. Are you able to approximate? An hour, two hours, five hours,
22 anything like that?
23 A. Perhaps about two hours, three hours. Certainly not longer than
25 Q. In your prior testimony you mentioned that when he came back he
1 spoke about having met a member of the corps or, rather, a high-ranking
2 member of the Drina Corps security organ. Did he tell you who that
3 person was that he met at that time?
4 A. I don't know. I can't remember that kind of detail. He told me
5 that he would be summoned by the military court to answer for not making
6 any men available. He said, "I'll be court-martialed for this."
7 Q. Did he tell you if there were any other members of the corps or
8 other members VRS units at the school when he went there that morning?
9 A. I don't remember that. Nor did I ask him, truth to tell.
10 Q. Do you recall when it was that you first heard that the prisoners
11 at the school had been transported to be executed?
12 A. It was after all those events. Whoever lived in the area had
13 heard about those people being shot. Was it two, three, four, or seven
14 days after, again, this is not something that I can remember.
15 Q. Did you hear about this from your commander or other members of
16 your battalion or did you hear about this just casually in the
17 neighbourhood, so to speak?
18 A. I heard on a more casual basis. I think everybody knew about
19 that several days later, about the fact that that had been done.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Your Honour, I'd like to go into private session
21 for just a moment.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Page 8532 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE:
13 Q. When you heard about the prisoners that had been executed in
14 Kozluk, the ones that were detained in Rocevic, was that something that
15 was common knowledge within the battalion command?
16 A. As I said a while ago, a day or two later people heard about it,
17 what had been done, and there was no one in the entire area who didn't
18 know. We are not just talking about the command here.
19 Q. All right. Thank you.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: That concludes my examination, Mr. Lazarevic.
21 Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I would just put a question
23 to you, sir.
24 I take it that Mr. Acimovic was your commander. Is that correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just at the end of the examination by
2 Mr. Vanderpuye, you were -- you answered on page 82, line 10 to 12:
3 "He told me that he would be summoned by the military court to
4 answer for not making any men available. He said, 'I'll be court --" and
5 that is recorded incorrectly -- "-martialed for this."
6 Can you tell me what happened to Mr. Acimovic after this event?
7 Do you know anything about him and his whereabouts and what happened to
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one ever called him to account
10 for that. It had been an insane order. Why would anyone have held him
11 responsible for that? It was a madman's idea to have those people
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
14 Mr. Tolimir, Judge Nyambe has a question.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just need two clarifications. The first one is
16 in answer to this question:
17 "And just so we are clear for the record, is it the case that the
18 dead people that he was talking about were, in fact, the prisoners?"
19 And your answer is, "Yes."
20 How do you know that? How do you know they were prisoners?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard that from the commander,
22 when he came the first evening, that they had taken out several people
23 and shot them. I heard from the commander. That's why he called the
24 responsible people at the brigade, to prevent that, to stop that from
25 happening, and to --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That was in private session. If we turn back
8 into private session, and that part will be redacted.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Sorry.
10 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We have to adjourn for the
1 day, but I see Mr. Vanderpuye on his feet.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: I am, Mr. President. I just wanted to, for the
3 Court's information -- you know what? Never mind. It's something that
4 I can't reveal at this time anyway but -- I apologise.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If there is a need for that, we can deal with
6 that perhaps tomorrow.
7 We have -- we are already over time, some minutes after 7.00. We
8 have to adjourn for the day. Sir, the Court Usher will assist you. We
9 resume tomorrow morning in this courtroom. Please be advised that you
10 are not allowed to have contact about the content of your testimony with
11 either party. Thank you very much. We adjourn and resume tomorrow at
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
14 to be resumed at 9.00 a.m., on Tuesday, the 7th day
15 of December, 2010