1 Monday, 26 November 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number, IT-98-32-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Mitar Vasiljevic.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
10 MR. GROOME: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: RADOMIR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Groome: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 MR. GROOME: Could I ask the usher to move the ELMO back a little
17 bit. Thanks.
18 Q. Doctor, I'd like to begin this morning by talking a little bit
19 about your relationship to Mr. Vasiljevic. You've described your familial
20 relationship. What I'm interested in, can you give us some idea of the
21 contact you've had with Mr. Vasiljevic over the years? Let me begin by
22 asking you, would you attend family functions of Mr. Vasiljevic's, Mitar
23 Vasiljevic's family?
24 A. Well, I have already said that we are related but that it is a
25 distant relative, and I actually don't know what degree of kinship. How
1 far back, I don't know.
2 We lived in relations that could be called normal, that is to
3 say, people who belong to the same family. We didn't socialise, but we
4 lived close by. Now, as to family functions, I did not attend -- I don't
5 remember having been to any family function at Mr. Vasiljevic's. Perhaps
6 I would stop by once in awhile, but not family functions. I don't think
8 Q. And if you were having a wedding or a baptism or other function in
9 your branch of the Vasiljevic family, would you invite Mitar Vasiljevic?
10 A. No. I don't remember having invited him. I don't know. I don't
11 think that he was ever invited to family functions in my family. I don't
13 Q. We've heard a fair bit at this trial regarding the Serbian custom
14 of the kum relationship, and I would ask you: Can you tell us the names
15 of the families that you are involved in a kum relationship with?
16 A. Well, kum relationships and the institution of kum is something
17 which functions in the Orthodox faith as a kum to the family.
18 Q. Doctor, we've heard quite a bit about the kum relationship. What
19 I'm most interested in is what families are you in a kum relationship
21 A. That's what I was going to tell you. All the Vasiljevics are kums
22 with the Lukic family, but the level of kinship, if I can put it that way,
23 if I can define it that way, is not the same between each of the
24 Vasiljevic families with the Lukic family, depending on the development of
25 the families, how they multiply on the Lukic side. The same thing
1 happened on the Vasiljevic side. So one of the Lukics takes over one of
2 the Vasiljevics, and they need not have the same kums.
3 So that if you're looking at the complete families, then the
4 overall clans or families of the Vasiljevic were kums to the Lukic family,
5 but those relationships of kinship do not have the importance, in general
6 terms, that the direct kumship relationships that two individual families
8 Q. Do you have --
9 A. I don't know if I'm being clear enough.
10 Q. Let me ask this follow-up question: Do you have a relationship of
11 direct kumship with any of the Lukics?
12 A. I have, with the family -- with the Lukic family, the Djordje
13 Lukic family. That man or rather, my kum, christened -- took part in my
14 christening, and that is the family we have direct kum relationships
15 with. He is my kum. I can't put it better than that.
16 Q. Can you explain what relationship Djordje Lukic is between Sredoje
17 Lukic is? What is the relationship between those two people?
18 A. Djordje Lukezic the father of Sredoje Lukic.
19 Q. And what would be the relationship between Djordje Lukic and Milan
21 A. I know that there is some degree of kinship there, but I don't
22 know what exactly.
23 Q. Doctor, I'm going that you once again look at D26. That's
24 the brown ledger of the period between April and July of 1992, and I'm
25 going to ask that you open it up to the 14th of June. I believe the
1 ordinal number was 5353.
2 Do you have the page open to the 14th of June?
3 A. I haven't found it yet, I'm afraid. The 14th of June, 5353. I've
4 found it.
5 Q. I'm going to ask you just to cast your eye over all of the
6 patients of the 14th of June, and can you tell us, are any of the names of
7 those patients recognisable as, or identifiable, as Muslim names?
8 A. There is number 5342, and the name is Bufic Mirsada, and it
9 refers to the 14th of June, 1992. The surname belongs to the Serb group
10 of surnames, whereas Mirsada is a Muslim name.
11 Q. Other than that person, are there any other clearly identifiable
12 names of Muslims on the 14th?
13 A. Either I haven't seen all the names properly, but I don't think
14 there is another name like that for the 14th of June.
15 Q. I'd ask you now just to flip to the first day of that ledger and
16 I'd ask you to do the same thing. Can you look over the names on the
17 first day of that ledger sometime in April and tell us if there are
18 clearly identifiable Muslims being treated on that day?
19 A. Yes. On page 1, there are some, quite a few Muslim names, in
20 fact. I can say with certainty that they are Muslim names.
21 Q. Can you explain to us or what accounts for the difference between
22 the Muslims that were treated in April and the lack of Muslims being
23 treated on the 14th? Is there an explanation for that?
24 A. As far as I know, the Muslims had, for the most part, largely left
25 Visegrad approximately in this period, up to the 14th of June or a little
1 later, a little after that date.
2 Q. You mean left or were forced to leave?
3 A. Well, believe me when I say that nobody in the health centre told
4 me anything about this. The Muslims that came to the health centre didn't
5 say whether they had been forced to leave or whether they had just left of
6 their own accord. They were looking for safety, and they were trying to
7 get away from all the problems that had occurred at that time. So I can't
8 really say with any certainty.
9 Q. You told us last week, though, that throughout, before the
10 problems in 1992 and throughout 1992 and after 1992, everybody that needed
11 help was given assistance at the health centre regardless of their
12 ethnicity; is that correct?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Doctor, before I get to my final few questions to you, I want to
15 ask you: You were given a guarantee of safe conduct, that you would not
16 be arrested while you came up here to testify, and my question to you is:
17 Why did you feel that was necessary to have such a guarantee before you
18 would come and testify before the Tribunal?
19 A. Well, what I can say is as far as safe conduct guarantees are
20 concerned, I didn't think about that topic at all, whether I needed it or
21 did not need it, did not need any guarantees, because I don't think there
22 is anything, any reason for which I should be imprisoned or punished in
23 any way. And as far as -- but as far as guarantees are concerned, also, I
24 talked to my attorney, the attorney who asked me to testify before this
25 Tribunal, and he did mention the possibility of having a guarantee, and so
1 I agreed with him and said that if he considered that it was a good thing
2 to have a guarantee, then he could request a guarantee if he thought it
3 was necessary. Or if he didn't think so, he needn't ask for it. So I
4 left it up to him.
5 So to be quite frank, I don't know why he made that decision, and
6 I didn't discuss that topic with him at any later time either.
7 Q. So it's your testimony that you would have come to testify
8 irregardless of this guarantee?
9 A. Yes, absolutely.
10 Q. Doctor, before -- in order for me to ask my last few questions, I
11 need to tell you a story, a true story in which you played a part, and I'm
12 going to ask that you take a look at the following picture. I would ask
13 that it be noted as Prosecution document number P11.
14 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that be placed in front of the witness, not
15 on the ELMO.
16 Q. Doctor, this story begins the date before St. Vitus' Day, the 17th
17 of June, 1992, when the young woman in that picture, a Muslim, walked into
18 the police station in Visegrad. She was burnt over her entire body, her
19 eyes were swollen shut, her hair was burnt off, and her fingers had melted
20 together. She stood before the two Serbs in that police station and
21 begged them to shoot her, to put her out of her misery. As one of them
22 raised his weapon to obliged her, the other, a young man about 17 or 18,
23 also with a gun, showing wisdom and compassion uncommon in those days,
24 said no. And he took her to a house with four elderly Serb women, and he
25 told her, "You'll be safe here and I'll return with a doctor."
1 The next morning, on St. Vitus Day, he returned with a doctor.
2 That doctor was you, Dr. Vasiljevic, wasn't it?
3 A. As far as this woman is concerned, I cannot recognise her, judging
4 by the face, but it is a fact that I did see a young woman, a young female
5 at Bikavac, not in front of the station but in front of the military
6 command, the military headquarters, and this was sometime at the end of
7 June. I know it was quite hot at the time. And they called me from the
8 command of the brigade, and they claimed that they had a woman there who
9 had received burns, and I remember very well going with a nurse - I think
10 the nurse's name was Nurse Slavica, Slavica Papic - and that I did go to
11 the spot and found a woman who had been burnt. Her face was all swollen,
12 and it was impossible to identify her on the basis of this photograph,
13 when it seems that her face has been treated when this photograph was
15 And what I can remember, and I can't say with certainty that it's
16 the same person, but I did see a burnt female person, and I know that we
17 gave her an injection and analgesics and ointments for her burns, salves,
18 and I said I didn't know what I could do. I didn't dare take her to
19 the health centre because I couldn't guarantee her safety there. I
20 couldn't send her off to Foca because the roads were - how shall I tell
21 you - in the war situation. They were in the war zone where there was
22 shooting so they were completely impassable. I didn't dare send her to
23 Uzice because the members and later on these people were defined as some
24 sort of paramilitary formations, but as I say, they were along the roads,
25 controlling the roads to Uzice and all the checkpoints. They controlled
1 every single person and would remain at the checkpoints for a long time.
2 So I didn't have anywhere to send her.
3 We did what we could for her, and I suggested that if there was a
4 way - and I remember this very well - that she should try to go through
5 Medjedja was 10 kilometres upstream from Medjedja, and that was very near.
6 So I suggested she should try to go there and continue her treatment
7 there. But none of this happened in front of the police station, and the
8 policeman didn't bring me. It happened in front -- at Bikavac, and I came
9 at the control from someone from the military command there. So it was at
10 the Bikavac military command, military headquarters.
11 Q. Doctor, she says you told her four things. I wanted to ask you
12 about each of those four things and ask if you admit or deny that you told
13 her these things. The first thing that you told her is that she had very
14 serious burns and she needed to be hospitalised, and without immediate
15 medical treatment she would die. Doctor, did you tell her that?
16 A. I don't remember having said that.
17 Q. The next thing she says, and I believe you've alluded to it
18 already in your testimony, she said that you told her that she did not
19 have permission to leave Visegrad to go to either Uzice hospital or
20 Foca. She was not permitted to leave to get medical treatment. Did you
21 tell her that?
22 A. No. Absolutely not. I know that I didn't mention any permits of
23 any kind, nor were permits important to me at that particular moment.
24 Q. Well, then --
25 A. What was important was that I could help her as far as I was able
1 to at that -- in those circumstances, what I had with me. So what I
2 did -- what I -- I did what I could do under the circumstances.
3 The interpretation that I had brought her to the health centre and
4 had I taken her to the health centre and had she been killed there, how
5 would that have been interpreted? Would that have been interpreted as my
6 participation in that? That is what prevented me from taking her to the
7 health centre. And we had no possibility of giving her any substantial
8 treatment in the health centre either. That is why I suggested that she
9 try, if she at all could, to go to Medjedja, which I thought was
10 relatively close by, two hours walking from Visegrad.
11 Q. Doctor, she -- with regard to the Visegrad health centre, she says
12 that you told her that you had no room for her in the Visegrad health
13 centre. Did you tell her that?
14 A. I think I told her that I didn't dare take her to the health
15 centre. I couldn't take the risk of taking her there because I couldn't
16 guarantee her safety there. So I'm thinking about it now. I said that I
17 did not dare take her.
18 Q. Doctor, let's recall for a minute something you said in response
19 to a question Mr. Domazet asked you. The health centre, before 1992,
20 during 1992, and after 1992, admitted absolutely everybody who had the
21 need for treatment. That statement's not true, is it, Doctor?
22 A. I said that the health centre took in everybody who came to the
23 health centre, and they would have accepted this woman, too, had she
24 appeared. That would not have been in question. But let me repeat once
25 again. I did not dare take the woman off towards the health centre
1 because there were some strange groups of people whom had I never been
2 able to define who they were and what they were, but they turned up. They
3 turned up fairly frequently in the health centre and would probably take
4 down the people present, the names of the people in the health centre. So
5 that there was no way for me to be able to guarantee somebody's safety,
6 and that is why I decided to take this other course, the one that I have
7 explained to you. I said I did what I could for her under the
8 circumstances. I gave her medicines for her. I gave her pain-killers,
9 analgesics and a salve for her burns, and I went with her to a house in
10 which there was a few other people at Bikavac. They were elderly persons.
11 I think they were ill. I remember that I examined them as well and gave
12 them some medicaments, too. I don't remember what actual medicines I
13 gave. But the only reason this woman didn't go to the health centre was
14 the absolute insecurity and lack of safety that she would be in, in the
15 health centre.
16 Q. So, Doctor, I ask my question again. Was it not true that Muslims
17 who desperately needed medical treatment were denied medical treatment at
18 the Visegrad health centre, for whatever reason you care to give us today?
19 The fact remains that they were denied essential medical treatment;
21 A. Medical treatment was not denied. It was not denied.
22 Q. Well, Doctor, this person says the last thing you said to her
23 before you left was that, "I cannot come back to treat you again." You
24 gave her a shot, you gave her some pills, and you told her, "I cannot come
25 back to treat you again." Is that not true? Did you not tell her that
1 you did -- that not only could she not go to the Visegrad health centre
2 but that you would not go to her to give her any further treatment. Is
3 that not true, Doctor?
4 A. I don't remember saying anything of that kind to this person or
5 any other person.
6 Q. Well, doctor, did you ever return to give her any other pain
7 medication or any other type of treatment for her injuries?
8 A. The fact is that I did not go to Bikavac any more, and I had no
9 occasion to see this woman again. Just for several months or one year or
10 perhaps a little longer, I read her statement describing this event, and
11 that is why I recall the event, actually.
12 Q. Doctor, you left her that day thinking that she would die; is that
14 A. No. No. I have told you that with the person in question, I went
15 to a house where there were several Muslims. They were ill, too. I
16 examined them and gave them medicines. Who these people were, I no longer
17 remember. There were four or five people in that house, and I do know
18 that I gave them medicines which I considered they needed at that
19 particular time and that they stayed in the house together with that
21 Q. In fact, doctor, they --
22 A. And I expected that -- I suppose that the woman had managed to go
23 where I had suggested, because until the newspaper article appeared, I had
24 never heard of that woman again.
25 Q. In fact, doctor, the people that she was with were not Muslims at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 all but Serbs that had shown some compassion to her, and she remained
2 there for 11 days in Visegrad.
3 Let me ask you this, doctor: Of all the injuries a human can
4 suffer, would you agree with me that perhaps the most painful injury is
5 that suffered by the types of burns that this person suffered?
6 A. Yes. Burns are something which cause great pain, I agree.
7 Q. Doctor, can I assume that because you're a doctor, you've
8 taken the Hippocratic oath just like doctors all around the world have
9 taken? Have you taken such an oath?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that oath includes an obligation on your part to ease the
12 suffering of the sick and to tend to the sick; isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. And it was an oath just like the oath you took just before you
15 testified here in this court, it was a promise to do something, to fulfil
16 a duty; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Doctor, can you help us to understand how you, a professional in
19 the community of Visegrad, somebody who Muslims and Serbs alike looked up
20 to, can you help us understand how you, a professional medical doctor,
21 could have walked away from that woman, knowing the suffering she was in,
22 knowing that you would not take her into the health centre, knowing she
23 would not be able to go to a hospital outside Visegrad, and knowing you
24 would not come back to treat her? Can you make us understand how somebody
25 who is held in such regard could have acted in such a way towards this
2 A. I've already told you the reasons. I was not able to take the
3 woman to the health centre because there was no way I could guarantee her
4 safety, absolutely no way. And had I not done what I could -- or, rather,
5 it's not true that I didn't do everything that was possible, everything I
6 could have done. Everything that was at my disposal, I gave her. And I
7 tell you that I left her a large amount of analgesics, and I told her how
8 to use them, and I also suggested to her that she should try to reach
9 Medjedja or, rather, Gorazde, and evidently she did that in view of the
10 fact that I later learnt that she had survived the war and that she is
11 still somewhere in Bosnia to this day. But it's not true that I refused
12 to help her. I cannot accept this. As a doctor, I could never refuse to
13 treat anyone anywhere.
14 Q. So your prescription to her was to, on her own two feet, walk over
15 the hills surrounding Visegrad, through the front lines, and through
16 minefields to find a doctor who would be willing to treat her. That was
17 your prescription for this patient; correct?
18 A. That was the only thing that was possible at that point.
19 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
21 Re-examined by Mr. Domazet:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, I will continue where Mr. Groome
23 left off and ask you about this. You told us you were called to this
24 woman from someone at the Bikavac headquarters. Can you tell me what they
25 told you about this patient and how they described this woman?
1 A. I remember that call very well considering the situation I lived
2 through following from that call, which touched me deeply as a human being
3 and as a doctor, because I was in a no-win situation. I was not able to
4 do what I thought I should do and what I thought any doctor and any human
5 being should do. That is why it sticks in my memory, everything about
6 the call that came from the headquarters at Bikavac. I responded, and
7 they told me that there was a woman in the headquarters who had been
8 burnt. The expression "to be burnt," implies a smaller burn, something
9 that is bearable. They didn't tell me what sort of woman this was. I had
10 no idea who she was, and it didn't matter to me.
11 Q. Dr. Vasiljevic, does your reply mean that you did not expect the
12 severity of the burns you found?
13 A. No, absolutely not. According to the way people speak, especially
14 lay people, when they describe burns as extreme as this, they speak in an
15 excited voice. They demand that the doctor should come as quickly as
16 possible. So you can evaluate the severity of the situation by the tone
17 of the voice used and the words used when you're called on, but whoever
18 called me from the headquarters spoke in a way that did not lead me to
19 conclude this was a severe injury.
20 Q. Do you remember, Dr. Vasiljevic, what condition you found the
21 woman in after this phone call?
22 A. Well, we found this lady. I don't know to what extent the Bikavac
23 motel in which the headquarters was is familiar to the people here, but in
24 front of the entrance -- in front of one of the entrances to the motel,
25 there was a kind of parking lot or a playing field, whatever it was. It
1 was a large area covered in concrete, and at the end of it there was a
2 ramp. And I remember very well that there were two guards at the ramp,
3 and we approached them in our car and asked them, "Where is this woman who
4 has been burnt, the woman who needs help?" And they said, "Well, here she
5 is. You've just passed her by." And then I turned round, and about a
6 metre or two behind me, to my right, this woman was standing, and I cannot
7 recognise her in the photograph here. I cannot say with certainty that
8 this is the same woman, because her face was all swollen and she looked
9 different. So it's practically impossible to recognise her today from a
11 Q. One of Mr. Groome's questions was whether you told that woman that
12 there was no room in the health centre. You have denied it. But my
13 question is: Are there beds in the health centre, places where patients
14 can be hospitalised? Was the health centre an institution in which people
15 could be hospitalised?
16 A. Well, in general, health centres belong to the primary level of
17 health care and do not provide for hospitalisation. Before the war,
18 however, we did have a certain number of beds there. I don't know why
19 people were hospitalised there except that perhaps it was because of the
20 power plant that was being constructed. And during the war, we still had
21 a certain number of beds which were there for people who were not very
22 seriously injured. However, I cannot remember whether those beds were
23 still there at the point of time we are talking about now.
24 So what I can tell you is that in the health centre, officially,
25 there were no beds for hospitalisation. No patients were taken in who
1 needed to be hospitalised. Patients were only taken in for outpatient
2 treatment, and those who were seriously ill were transported towards
3 Uzice. Because of the large number of wounded people, we did set up
4 several beds in a room where people who had only been grazed by bullets
5 could be kept, and we tried to treat them there.
6 Q. You described this kind of medical treatment you gave her. My
7 question is: Was there anything else that could have been done even if
8 you had taken her to the health centre?
9 A. Well, maybe something more could have been done, but not much
10 more, because the health centre did not have large quantities of medicines
11 or bandages. However, the treatment might have been a little more
12 efficient if we had been in the health centre. But I have told you the
13 reasons why I dared not even consider taking her to the health centre.
14 Q. Dr. Vasiljevic, you told us why you thought this would have been
15 dangerous. You told us there were many paramilitaries everywhere, on the
16 roads. Was that the main reason why you did not dare take her with you,
17 or did you consider that the help you had given her was all that you could
19 A. The presence of the paramilitaries and the bands rampaging
20 around town and in the health centre, where they came often, sometimes
21 as many as two or three times a day, this was the only reason why this
22 woman was not taken to the health centre. And any other statement about
23 this is absolutely incorrect.
24 Q. My last question about this is: Do you still feel that you have
25 given her all the assistance you were able to provide at that point in
2 A. I do feel that I did everything I could have done. There was
3 nothing else that could have helped her and that I could have done. Had I
4 taken her to the health centre, today I might be held responsible for her
5 possible death.
6 Q. Dr. Vasiljevic, one of Mr. Groome's questions was actually a
7 statement to the effect that Muslims were not treated at that health
8 centre in that period. You denied it, and you explained why there were
9 few of them. My question is, because you can tell from persons' names
10 what ethnicity they were, would Muniba Medjuseljac be a Muslim or a Serb?
11 A. Well, according to her first and last name, she is a Muslim.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Could you tell us what date you found that name?
13 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Just now, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, would you please look at Exhibit
15 D26. Look at the number first, because it's easier to find than the date
16 because of the way the records were kept. Would you look at 5558,
17 please. So three fives and an eight.
18 A. I have found the date.
19 Q. Is --
20 A. Muniba Medjuseljac, born in 1952 in Visegrad. She came to be
21 examined with her health card, and the number is inscribed here. I can't
22 tell exactly what number refers to what. One is the number under which
23 she was registered at the health insurance. The other refers to the
24 company she worked in and so on. And judging by the diagnosis, this was a
25 sort of cancer. The code is 169. We've abandoned these codes, so I no
1 longer remember exactly what the diagnosis was. And she was given a
2 medicine called Valorun [phoen], which is a pill of morphine origin.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Do we really need this sort of detail? The point
4 was -- well, the point that was sought to be made was there were no
5 Muslims there. If you can point out some Muslim names, do that, but we
6 really don't want to know how they were treated.
7 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. So, Doctor, you need not go into detail. Would you please just
9 look at the date and tell us the date when this person was seen?
10 A. The 22nd of June, 1992.
11 Q. Could you please now go to number 5622. Did the same person come
12 for a check-up again, and would you tell us the date?
13 A. Number 5622, yes. It's the same name, Muniba Medjuseljac.
14 Q. Would you please tell us the date, please?
15 A. The date was the 24th of June, 1992.
16 Q. And one more. Would you please look at 5709?
17 A. Number 5709, it's the same name, Muniba Medjuseljac.
18 Q. Would you please tell us the date of this last entry?
19 A. This was on the 29th of June. 1992, of course.
20 Q. Thank you. Would you please go back to the 14th of June, 5353.
21 And this refers to Mr. Groome's question, the date when Mitar Knezevic was
23 A. Number 5353, that's Mitar Vasiljevic.
24 Q. Yes. But under this date, Mr. Groome asked you on Friday to look
25 at number 5332. This is the first number where the date is the 14th of
1 June. Would you go back two pages, please.
2 If you remember, his question was whether this number referred to
3 a name that had been changed, the last name. The name is Sredoje, and it
4 hasn't been altered; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Just a moment, please. Mr. Groome asked you to look at the last
7 name carefully and to say whether before it was altered it might have been
8 a different last name, and after studying it carefully, you said it was
9 possible that the last name under this was Lukic. Do you remember saying
10 that on Friday?
11 A. Yes. Yes, I remember.
12 Q. So the last name that was Lukic has been altered. On the basis of
13 the information you have, please tell us the date of birth of this patient
14 which has been entered in the proper column.
15 A. 1927.
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. It's evidently an elderly man.
18 Q. Would you look at the number of the person's health file and the
19 number that's supposed to be the index number, the one that begin with
21 A. 050 --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the entire
24 A. This is the number of the person's personal identity card and it
25 refers to the date of birth. The first digits refer to the date of birth,
1 which was the 5th of February, 1927.
2 JUDGE HUNT: The interpreters didn't get the number. If it's
3 important -- that's the index number. If it's important, you better get
4 it recorded.
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, please read the entire personal identification
7 number slowly and then explain what follows from this number. When you
8 read the number, wait for the interpreters to catch up, please. Go
10 A. 0502927133658.
11 Q. There is a mistake again in the transcript. Let me see. Yes.
12 It's all right now. Yes, it's all right now. Yes, it's all right. Go
14 A. From this number, one can tell the date of birth. I can't explain
15 the rest of the code with certainty. I think it refers to gender, and the
16 last digit would refer to the municipality or something like that, but
17 I'm not sure.
18 All I know is that the first seven digits refer to the date of
19 birth in anyone's personal identification number on the territory of the
20 former Yugoslavia.
21 Q. Dr. Vasiljevic, according to the first seven digits of this
22 number, what was the date of birth of this patient?
23 A. The date of birth was the 5th of February, 1927. Of course, it's
25 Q. Dr. Vasiljevic, could this have been Sredoje Lukic, whom you
1 probably knew, in view of his age?
2 A. No. Except for the name, one couldn't say that the rest of this
3 information refers to Sredoje Lukic, the man we've just mentioned.
4 Q. Dr. Vasiljevic, in your view, does this mean that the alteration
5 of the last name was simply a correction of a mistake made by the person
6 who entered the name in the first place? What is your opinion?
7 A. Well, I have no other explanation. Here it is an improper way of
8 correcting a mistake. It's not the way mistakes were supposed to have
9 been corrected.
10 Q. Now that we are talking about this date, Mr. Groome said that on
11 the 14th of June, and that was one of his questions on Friday, 25 patients
12 were examined. I have counted 24, but I think the difference is not
13 important because there is no dispute about the fact that Mitar Vasiljevic
14 was one of the last and that there were only two names entered in after
15 him; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Would you please look at the number or, rather, the page in front
18 of the one we have just been discussing, 5353, and look at number 5349.
19 Would you read us the name of the patient and what was done with this
21 A. Number 5349 refers to Dragan Filipovic from Visegrad, a member of
22 the Territorial Defence. And he had an injury to his left shoulder from a
23 firearm and a superficial injury to the abdomen or, rather, the stomach,
24 on the left-hand side, and this patient was referred to Titovo Uzice.
25 Q. Would you please count the order in which he was received that
1 day, counting from the first patient seen on that day? Can you tell us
2 how far down the line he was?
3 A. Well, he was the eighteenth patient seen on that day. Only if I
4 can just -- about the order.
5 Q. No, no. That was all I wanted to ask. Up until Mitar
6 Vasiljevic's examination, only three patients were examined on the basis
7 of this book, judging by the book. Am I right in saying that?
8 A. Yes. Three patients were examined, and they were three members of
9 the Territorial Defence. And I should like to stress that this -- this
10 protocol refers to the Territorial Defence patients.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, you recall that there is a mistake, or
12 not a mistake but a misleading reference there to the date, because I
13 think two pages earlier, the same date is shown. So somebody at some
14 stage - what stage we don't know - has written that particular date again.
15 It was certainly not the fourth person treated on that day. That was
16 raised in cross-examination when the doctor came out with the same
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Your Honour. On page --
19 on the page in which Mitar Vasiljevic's name was entered, in the corner
20 there is the second -- the 14th of June written twice. But what the
21 witness was talking about referred to the date that appears in the first
22 place, that is to say, after 5332, after number 5332. And that is the
23 first examination of the day, and that was the situation with Sredoje, the
24 case in point with Sredoje, the man that was born in 1927 that we
25 discussed a moment ago.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 So the witness counted from that patient onwards and reached
2 Dragan Filipovic, who was number 18. And when you add three patients up
3 to Mitar Vasiljevic, then Mitar Vasiljevic was the 22nd. And I think we
4 can agree there that that is so and that there was no error there.
5 Q. Dr. Vasiljevic, one of Mr. Groome's questions on Friday was the
6 following: In view of the late examination of Mitar Vasiljevic, when
7 could this have been? Could it have been perhaps much later on the same
8 -- same day? That was the question.
9 Now, I should like you to tell me the following: You do not, of
10 course, know when the patient under number 18 was entered, Dragan
11 Filipovic, when he arrived in Uzice. However, my question is a
12 hypothetical one perhaps, but I have evidence about it. If Dragan
13 Filipovic had arrived by ambulance on the 14th of June in Uzice hospital
14 at 1540 hours, when, according to you, would you say was the latest that
15 he was able to leave the health centre in Visegrad and to go to Uzice in
16 view of the distance, the roads, and the circumstances of the ambulance
17 travelling to Uzice? So if he arrived at 1540, if Dragan Filipovic who
18 was examined under number 18 on that day arrived at Uzice hospital in the
19 afternoon at 1540, when would he have had to leave?
20 A. In view of the distance and taking into consideration the vehicles
21 that we had at our disposal, there was a cross -- a checkpoint on the
22 Serbian side and one on our side, and in view of the fact that they -- the
23 ambulance would have been stopped at both those checkpoints, most probably
24 he would have needed an hour and 15 or 20 minutes to reach Uzice. That
25 was how long the journey usually took. And when the weather conditions
1 were bad, then the time required to be longer.
2 So if he arrived, you said, at 15 -- what did you say? You said
3 1540 hours or 1545.
4 Q. I said 1540.
5 A. Yes. 1540. That would mean he might have left Visegrad an hour
6 and 20 minutes later. No, I mean earlier. He would have had to leave
7 Visegrad 1 hour and 20 minutes before that time.
8 Q. So, Mr. Vasiljevic, under the best conditions with respect to the
9 border crossings and all the rest, you say that the journey would have
10 taken an hour and twenty minutes. So ideally, the patient could have left
11 sometime after 2.00 p.m. for Uzice. Does that mean that his examination
12 was conducted before that time, that is to say, probably between 1.00 and
13 2.00 p.m., 1.00 and 2.00 in the afternoon?
14 A. Well, that's the only conclusion one can draw.
15 Q. Thank you, Dr. Vasiljevic. In answer to a question from
16 Mr. Groome, when he asked you whether it was exact that in the protocol
17 that you have before you that no entry was made of the time of the
18 examination of patients, Mr. Groome on Friday indicated several cases,
19 pointed out several cases where the time had in fact been recorded, and
20 you confirmed that and said that that wasn't common procedure but that
21 this could have happened.
22 I looked through the entire protocol book and came across only six
23 cases like that, and I think that they are the ones that you have just
24 looked at. But I'm going to ask you to look at the first day, the 24th,
25 where there were four cases in point, four cases like that, and could you
1 tell us whether it was one and the same person who made those entries, and
2 you would also tell me if the entries are made in the Cyrillic or the
3 Latin script. The number is 2846 onwards.
4 A. We have here from 284 -- 2846, 2849, we have the times of
5 admission, which is not customary, as I said. And I don't know what made
6 somebody record those times only for those four patients. Otherwise, the
7 information about the patient is entered in Cyrillic up until the medical
8 data, which is customarily written in the Latin script.
9 Q. Would you please take a look at the section before this number,
10 before 2846, whether it is the same handwriting and the same Cyrillic
12 A. No. The handwriting is not the same. I'm not a handwriting
13 expert, but of course -- of course, but quite evidently it is two
14 different handwritings and two different scripts.
15 Q. Is that the case with 2849, that is, 2850 onwards?
16 A. Well, following on, we now have a different handwriting and it is
17 the Latin script and not as in the previous few cases, the four cases, in
18 fact, it was the Cyrillic script.
19 Q. In those four cases, in addition to the time entries, does it also
20 state the date? So the date and time.
21 A. Yes. Next to each one of those it gives the time and date, the
22 24th, 1645, 1845, and 1900 hours.
23 Q. Would you please leaf through the book as quickly as possible to
24 see if there is more Cyrillic script and where the time is entered. Could
25 you go up to the number 4063, which is five days later. Would you leaf
1 through those pages to see if there are any other entries in the Cyrillic
3 A. Giving it a quick look, I can note that there are no other
4 handwritings in the Cyrillic script up until the number you mentioned, and
5 then up until the number -- that is, up until the number 4063, the 25th of
6 April, 1992, and 1925, the time of admission was recorded. Before that,
7 4062, it states the date of admission, the 25th of April, 1992, without
8 the time. And that was entered in the Cyrillic script once again.
9 Q. The number 4063, you state, is an entry written in the Cyrillic
11 A. Yes. 4062 and 4063 is the Cyrillic script.
12 Q. And no other entries are written on that page in the same
13 handwriting and script; is that right?
14 A. That's right, not one.
15 Q. One more check, Mr. Vasiljevic, 4130. Would you look at number
16 4130 and tell us whether that is the same case, that is to say, a Cyrillic
17 recording of names and surnames and that that is the only entry with a
18 date next to it.
19 A. Yes. 4130, there is the date and time, and the rest of the
20 information is written in the Cyrillic script.
21 Q. Thank you as far as that is concerned. I'm not going to ask you
22 to leaf through the book any more, but from that time, until the 20th of
23 June, there no further handwriting or Cyrillic script. It was only on the
24 20th of June that this occurred again, but I don't think we need to go
25 into that now.
1 Would you take a look at number 4388 now, please.
2 A. I've found the number.
3 Q. Would you read out the date, who the patient was and what was
5 A. Lepenica Selim was the patient, born in 1947, from Gorazde, and he
6 came by in passing, being transported from Gorazde to Titovo Uzice.
7 Probably, they needed something along the way, so they stopped by at the
8 health centre Visegrad. But he was -- the patient was being transported
9 from Gorazde to Titovo Uzice.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vasiljevic, 5630 is the next number I'd like to
11 have you look at, and 5461.
12 A. 5460 and 5461.
13 Q. You don't have to read everything. You have already commented on
14 it. But were these people sent to Uzice, and were they sent there in
15 separate ambulances or the same ambulance, if you can see that from
16 looking at those numbers -- at that number?
17 A. Well, from the protocol, you can see that they were sent in the
18 same ambulance to Titovo Uzice. They were dispatched in the same vehicle.
19 Q. Thank you. Would you look at 5473, a little further on, and read
20 out who that was and whether you can identify what the intervention on
21 that person was, what it was about, and the date, please.
22 A. The number 5473, the entry is (redacted), from
23 Visegrad. She came, it seems, without her health booklet, as there are no
24 -- there is no information from her health booklet that had been entered.
25 She seems to have come without.
1 Q. Can you see the date and whether -- and can you see what was done
2 in her case?
3 A. The date is the 1st of June -- no, I'm sorry, the 18th of June,
4 1992. The 18th of June, 1992, is the date. And it says, "Applied
5 Novogetal [phoen] injections, penicillin, Garamycin and Ultracortine
6 [phoen], and she was bandaged, that particular person.
7 Q. Thank you. A little further on, please look at number 5483 now.
8 A. Number 5483, the entry is Slavko Trifkovic.
9 Q. Would you read out the date and tell us whether he was referred to
10 anywhere, looking at the protocol book, whether you can see that?
11 A. The date is the 18th of June, 1992, and he was sent to Titovo
13 Q. Now five numbers later, 5488. Would you check that out, please,
14 and tell us what you see?
15 A. 5488, the entry is Mitar Music, 724 Novo Gito [phoen].
16 Q. No, perhaps I have made a mistake. See if you have Rajak Novo.
17 A. Yes, 5484 is Rajak Novo.
18 Q. I apologise, I got the number wrong. Would you have a look at
20 A. He was dispatched to Uzice as well, referred to Uzice.
21 Q. Is it the same date, the 18th of June like the other case, 5483?
22 A. 5483, Rajak Novo and Trifkovic Slavko. They, on the 18th of June,
23 1992, were referred to Uzice.
24 Q. Would you now please take a look at 5597?
25 A. 5597, you say?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Loncarevic Goran is the entry. He is from Visegrad, and sent to
3 the surgical unit in Uzice as well.
4 Q. Do you recognise the name and surname or, rather, the person?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know whether the injury was received at the front line or
7 in Visegrad perhaps? Can you tell that?
8 A. As it is a colleague of mine, Loncarevic, and we worked together,
9 I know that he sustained his injury on the premises of the health centre,
10 when he was getting out of bed. Whether the pistol fell to the floor, I
11 don't know exactly, but I know that the pistol went off and it was a
12 self-inflicted injury.
13 Q. Thank you. Would you take a look at one more number for me,
14 please. 5170.
15 A. Number 5170, is that what you said?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. The entry is Milan Lukic, the patient, born in 1967, TO. The
18 diagnosis was written using the 491 code. He received glucose, Pedoxin,
19 Lincosine [phoen] and Garamycin, and something else I can't decipher. He
20 was not referred anywhere.
21 Q. Do you happen to remember what the code diagnosis 491 referred to
22 at the time? What was that a code for?
23 A. I can't remember.
24 Q. Could you give us the date of the entry for that patient?
25 A. The date was the 7th of June, 1992.
1 Q. And one more question for you, Mr. Vasiljevic. Do you happen to
2 remember at that time who were the drivers who drove the ambulances of the
3 health centre, especially for the people who were transferred to Uzice?
4 A. Well, there was Zivorad Savic, one of the drivers, and another one
5 was Vlade -- well, I can't remember what his surname was. I do know his
6 surname, but I just can't remember. If I do, I'll tell you. The third
7 was Ljubo Zecevic, and the fourth, I assume, was Svetin Sikiric, but I'm
8 not sure whether he was a driver during this particular period of time.
9 He was later on and he's still in the health centre, but whether he was a
10 driver at that time, I can't say for sure.
11 Q. Was there a driver called Marijan at all?
12 A. Yes. There was Marijan Markovic, a driver who later on was
13 killed. I didn't remember him. But yes, Marijan Markovic was a driver
14 who was in the health centre when the war broke out; that is to say, he
15 had worked before the war, during the war, and a little later, until he
16 was killed. He was a driver. And this man Sikiric had probably replaced
17 Marijan as a driver for the health centre.
18 Q. You said that one was a driver, and you couldn't remember Vlado's
19 surname. Was it perhaps Vladimir Jovicic?
20 A. Yes, that's right. Vladimir Jovicic, that's what he was thinking
21 of, and he is from the village of Vardiste.
22 Q. And mention was made on Friday, Dr. Vasiljevic, about a letter in
23 which you explained that you signed it. You were shown an English copy,
24 and I didn't have the B/C/S version myself. I do have one now, so I'd
25 like to show it to you, and would you confirm whether that is the letter
1 that you were talking about on Friday and which you signed. And I have it
2 in sufficient copies, so I should like it tender it into evidence in
3 addition to D11, so perhaps D11/1 B/C/S text.
4 JUDGE HUNT: D11 is not yet in evidence. But you want to tender
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] It's not but I would like to, yes
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE HUNT: I'm a little wary of when you say that is your last
9 question, but we've been through two of them this morning. Is this your
10 last question?
11 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Yes, it's just the last question.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Is there any objection to the tender of
13 that, Mr. Groome?
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, we haven't heard if the doctor
15 recognises it. I would wait for his answer before --
16 JUDGE HUNT: I thought he had answered.
17 A. Yes, I do recognise it. I recognise this document. Let me say it
19 MR. GROOME: On that basis, I have no objection to the tendering
20 of the document.
21 JUDGE HUNT: The B/C/S will be D11, and the English will be
23 Well, doctor, thank you very much for coming along to give
24 evidence and the give which you have given. You are now free to leave.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, for inviting me to
1 come and state what I know about the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, doctor.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, it may be that I've received it and
5 can't find it, but have we got a list of witnesses for this week yet?
6 MR. DOMAZET: You have a list of witnesses.
7 JUDGE HUNT: That is all right. It has been received but I just
8 can't find it, but I'm going to get a copy. Very well. We'll adjourn now
9 and we resume at 11.30.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.04 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE HUNT: Now, madam, would you stand up, please, and make the
14 solemn declaration on the document the usher is showing you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, madam.
18 WITNESS: MILENA TOMASEVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
21 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you.
22 Examined by Mr. Domazet:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Tomasevic, good day.
24 A. Good day.
25 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, on behalf of the Defence, I will put some
1 questions to you. In view of the fact that we speak the same language,
2 for the sake of interpretation, would you please make a pause of a few
3 seconds after the end of my question before giving your reply, and I will
4 endeavour to do the same so that both question and answer can be properly
6 Mrs. Tomasevic, would you please introduce yourself to us. Tell
7 us your full name and your date and place of birth.
8 A. Milena Tomasevic, born on the 12th of December, 1955, in the area
9 of Uzice.
10 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, would you tell us what your profession is.
11 A. I am the chief nurse in the psychiatric ward or, rather, in the
12 higher medical school.
13 Q. Am I to understand that the school you mentioned is your highest
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, you are now the head nurse in the psychiatric ward
17 of the general hospital in Uzice; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. For how long have you been working in the general hospital in
21 A. Since 1979.
22 Q. Since when have you been working in the psychiatric ward of that
24 A. Since then.
25 Q. Very well. As I understand from your reply, that from 1979 until
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 today, you have been in the same ward, I will ask you to explain to us,
2 especially with reference to the year 1992, how records on patients were
3 kept in your ward.
4 A. The protocol was led by the chief technician or his deputy.
5 Q. When you say the chief technician or his deputy, you are speaking
6 in the male gender. Is that the same as the head nurse?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Please wait for the end of my question. When you say the chief
9 technician, are you referring to a man doing the same job that is usually
10 done by a woman as the head nurse? Am I correct?
11 A. Yes, you are.
12 Q. So in your ward, a protocol or ledger of patients was kept?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you please explain to us the manner in which this protocol
15 was kept and the data it contained?
16 A. The details for the ledger were taken from the diagnosis, the case
17 history, which contained the following details: When the patient was
18 received, where he came from, what his occupation was. This was all taken
19 down when a new patient was admitted. His personal identification
21 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, when a patient is admitted to the general hospital
22 and is admitted for the first time at your ward, is that the date you
23 enter as the date of his admission to hospital?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And, Mrs. Tomasevic, when such a patient arrives to you from
1 another ward, do you enter the date of his admission to the general
2 hospital in your ledger, the date when he was admitted not to your ward
3 but the ward where he was before he came to your ward?
4 A. Yes. We enter that date and we make a note as to when the patient
5 was transferred to our ward, in the form of a note or a remark.
6 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, when the opposite happens and the patient is
7 transferred from your ward to another ward of the same hospital, is that
8 entered in the ledger?
9 A. It is entered in the report, and it should be entered in the case
11 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, do you have a ledger of patients for the year
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. When you were coming here to testify in The Hague, did you take
15 the original protocol book with you?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Is it this book which is now in my possession and which I will
18 show to you just now, and ask you to tell us whether this is the protocol
19 in question and from what date to what date the patients were entered into
20 this protocol.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Would the usher please take this
23 A. Yes. This is the protocol of patients which I have brought with
24 me, which I took with me when I came here to testify.
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Would you please look at the first and last page and tell us what
2 period this book refers to.
3 A. The 4th of November, 1991. The 16th of June, 1994.
4 Q. This book, therefore, covers all the patients at the psychiatric
5 ward in Uzice between these two dates in 1991 and 1994. Am I right?
6 A. Yes, you are.
7 Q. Madam, when you set out to The Hague in order to testify, you knew
8 you were going to testify in the Mitar Vasiljevic case; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Does the name of Mitar Vasiljevic figure in your protocol of 1992,
11 and if so, could you please find the relevant entry?
12 A. Yes, it does figure in the ledger, under number 386, which
13 contains details, Vasiljevic Mitar, 1954, Sandzacka 104, Visegrad, reserve
14 soldier. Note, transferred from the orthopaedic ward on the 7th of July,
15 1992. And underneath -- should I read everything?
16 Q. Please read everything, but go in order, from the first column on,
17 and say whether something is written in it or not. So could you read us
18 the column headings and tell us what has been filled in.
19 A. Well, the ordinal number is 386. The date of admission, it says
20 here, that's the date of admission, the 14th of June, 1992. Last name and
21 first name, Vasiljevic Mitar. Year of birth, 1954. Street and number,
22 that is, address, Sandzacka 104, Visegrad. And where it says "Form of
23 medical insurance," well, he was a reserve soldier in Visegrad. Then it
24 says diagnosis, 298.9, 823.2. Where it says "therapy," this is where the
25 number of the case history's entered. It says 10014. And then note, to
1 who he was referred and when. It says transferred from the orthopaedic
2 ward on the 7th of July, 1992.
3 Q. And right after this date, the 7th of July, 1992, is there another
4 date in the same column?
5 A. Yes, there is. This is the date of his release, the 28th of
6 July, 1992.
7 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, when you read the ordinal number in which -- under
8 which he was entered, 386, the next thing you read was the 14th of June,
9 1992, as the date of admission. Is this the date of admission in your
10 ward or to the general hospital?
11 A. It refers to his admission to the general hospital in Uzice.
12 Q. Looking at this book, would you be able to recognise the
13 handwriting and say who entered these details on this page, including the
14 name and last name?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. Is this your handwriting in this column 386, which you read, and
17 also in the column before and after it on this page?
18 A. It's my handwriting, except for the diagnosis and the date of
19 discharge. That's not my handwriting either because it was done when the
20 patient was sent home, and this was done by the chief technician. The
21 rest was entered by me because I was his deputy at the time. So I took
22 down the case history and his deputy.
23 Q. Looking at this page and the dates of the other entries, can you
24 tell us when you entered these details in this book, on what date?
25 A. This was entered only the 8th of July, because the 7th is a state
1 holiday. So I wasn't at work on that day.
2 Q. Under the following number, 387, what is the date entered as the
3 date of admission?
4 A. The 8th of July.
5 Q. Would this mean that this patient was admitted on that date?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In the previous case or, rather, the case before Mitar Vasiljevic,
8 that is 385, what is the date of admission?
9 A. The 7th of July.
10 Q. Between the two dates of admission, we have the date of admission
11 of Mitar Vasiljevic, but the date entered next to his name is the 14th of
12 June, which was the date he was admitted to the general hospital; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, is it possible to get a photocopy of
16 this document? I'm finding it very difficult to follow the examination of
17 the witness. I also point out that Mrs. Tomasevic was here from last
18 Thursday but this is now the first that I'm being told of a ledger. I
19 would appreciate the opportunity to view some of these documents before
20 the witness takes the stand.
21 JUDGE HUNT: We have been through this before, Mr. Domazet. Where
22 are the copies?
23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will hand out
24 photocopies of the page in the ledger referred to. Unfortunately, I don't
25 know how useful they will be because the entries are in the Cyrillic
1 alphabet, in Cyrillic handwriting, as the witness will confirm, all the
2 details except for the numerals. I'm willing to hand them over. I'm
3 ready to do so. And this is the page, so would the usher please take
4 them. It may make it easier to follow, but I'm not sure that you will be
5 able to follow without a translation. Would you please --
6 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, that may be so, but if it had been given
7 to the Prosecution after the witness arrived with the book last week, they
8 could have taken some steps to have the Cyrillic translated. And you
9 really must remember that it is impossible for these cases to proceed
10 based as they are so often on documents unless both the parties have got
11 copies of them.
12 Now, if you have any more of these books to produce, please give
13 copies of them now to the Prosecution so that if they are in Cyrillic,
14 they can get them translated. Even if they're just in ordinary B/C/S
15 Latin words, they still must be given the opportunity of getting on with
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It was only
19 during the break on Friday that I was able to meet the witness. The
20 witness went to see a doctor, so I had very little time to talk to her,
21 because there was a possibility that she would testify on Friday. She was
22 ready to testify on Friday, and then it was referred until today.
23 JUDGE HUNT: That may be so again, but nevertheless, have you got
24 any other books that you're going to tender?
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Not concerning the psychiatric ward.
1 JUDGE HUNT: Any ward. Any ward.
2 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour. [Interpretation] Yes. But there
3 is a book brought by the nurse from the orthopaedic ward containing some
4 details of the operation and their notes. This is also handwritten, and
5 during the lunch break, I will prepare copies and give them to the
6 Prosecution, although this witness will testify only in a few days' time,
7 so that they can try to have it translated, because in the
8 examination-in-chief, we will deal with this book. And that is the only
9 other piece of evidence as far as I am aware.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. We will be very grateful to you if you
11 can do that.
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, please look at the same date but number 383.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What is the name of this patient, and was this patient also
16 admitted to another ward before coming to your ward, as you read the
17 details in this book?
18 A. He was admitted on the 27th of June, 1992. His name was Sreten
19 Pavic, born in 1924 in Gorjani Uzice. He was a farmer. His number 10800,
20 on the 3rd of July, 1992. He was transferred from the urological ward.
21 Q. And looking at this page of your book, is this the only patient,
22 along with Mr. Vasiljevic, who, according to this information, arrived
23 from another ward and was admitted but not admitted to the hospital as
24 such? If you would look at all the details on this page.
25 A. Well, the two of them were admitted from other wards. This one
1 was transferred from another ward and so was Mitar, on this page.
2 Q. So according to this protocol of patients and apart from the
3 diagnosis and the discharge, you made the entries yourself. Mitar
4 Vasiljevic was transferred to your ward on the 7th of July, 1992 from the
5 orthopaedic ward, and he stayed until the 28th of August, 1992. Is that
6 what you're saying?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. At that time, you were, as you said, the chief technician's
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This ward of yours, can you describe what type of ward it was,
12 whether patients were free to move about, whether they could receive
14 A. The ward was of the closed type. Visits to patients were
15 permitted at certain times, on Thursdays from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m., and on
16 Sundays from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m., but visits were conducted in the rooms.
17 Our patients were not allowed to leave the ward, and the visits were
18 monitored. This means that it was the duty of the nurses to see what
19 visitors had brought with them. They were not allowed to bring anything
20 made of glass, any sharp objects, pills, or anything else that could cause
21 the patients to injure themselves or to injure the staff.
22 Q. When you say "monitored," and explain it like this, apart from
23 checking what was brought in by visitors, was there any sort of physical
24 checking? Was there anyone who was present during the conversation, at
25 least at a distance, and viewing the interaction between the patients and
2 A. We had to tour the patients and their visitors all the time. We
3 couldn't be at the patient's side every moment, because we have 50
4 patients and there are two nurses on a shift. But they were still
5 monitored. There were tours of the rooms. I'm not saying that the nurse
6 was with the patient all the time.
7 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, was this peculiar to your ward because it was the
8 psychiatric ward or was it the general practice in all the wards in Uzice?
9 A. No. It was a special measure that applied only to the psychiatric
11 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, could the patients in your ward, of course, if
12 they were physically able, leave the ward without your knowledge or the
13 doctor's knowledge?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Were they able to leave with your permission or the permission of
16 the doctor?
17 A. That was very rare with a visitor, but that was when a patient was
18 ready to leave, when he was already better and was being prepared to go
19 home, but not normally.
20 Q. When you say "with visitors," are you saying that in such cases
21 the patient could go outside the ward with one of his visitors? Is that
22 how your answer is to be understood?
23 A. I'm talking about individual patients. I can't remember exactly
24 who these were. I can't give you names. But the doctor could give his
25 approval when he thought a patient was ready to go home. And before going
1 home, the patient would have a few weekends. He would be allowed to go
2 home from the ward on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and come back on Monday.
3 It was only those patients, if they had visitors on other days, who were
4 allowed to leave the ward with their relatives. But a doctor's approval
5 was necessary. This was part of their therapy, as far as I know.
6 Q. Does that mean that it depended on the diagnosis and the state of
7 each individual patient?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, tell me this, please: If you had patients who were not able
10 to move around except on crutches, for example, were the patients allowed
11 to have the crutches with them?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Would you explain to us why and what would happen?
14 A. Well, because the other patients could take the crutches and use
15 them to injure their fellow patients or members of the staff, and that is
16 why the crutches were taken away. The patient could only use the crutches
17 when the physiotherapist comes to visit him to do the exercises. So while
18 a physiotherapist was with him, then he could. Or in the evening if the
19 nurse received instructions to give the patient a walk, then the patient
20 would walk with the nurse and with the crutches. But once that exercise
21 was over, the crutches would be kept in a room that was not accessible to
22 the patients.
23 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, if a patient were to require crutches in order to
24 be able to walk around alone or to try to go out, what would you do?
25 A. This would not be permitted. We would not allow the patient to
1 use the crutches.
2 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, in your ward was there a courtyard of any kind
3 which would be isolated and closed off, where you could go without
4 actually leaving the ward?
5 A. Yes, we did have a courtyard. It was fenced. That is to say, we
6 had a five metres' high partition and nobody could leave. But in order to
7 go out into the courtyard, the patients would be supervised. They
8 wouldn't be allowed out into this courtyard unsupervised, alone.
9 Q. Were the patients allowed at certain times to walk around the
10 courtyard when they wanted to?
11 A. They were allowed at certain times to walk around the courtyard.
12 Q. Were they supervised by you and your colleagues at such times?
13 A. Yes. They were always supervised, always under somebody's
15 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, taking Mitar Vasiljevic as a case in point, and we
16 are attending his trial here and now, you read out his name and said you
17 personally entered the name into the protocol book. I want to ask you
18 now: Do you remember him personally as being one of the patients on your
20 A. I remember him. I do recollect that he fell off a horse, and
21 that's something that happens rarely. Usually, different patients come to
22 us, a different type of patient. And of course, his leg was in a plaster
23 cast. I think it was the left leg that was in a plaster cast.
24 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, do you happen to recall some other details apart
25 from the fact that you say that his left leg was in a plaster cast when he
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was transferred to your ward? Do you remember how big the cast was? Do
2 you remember any other specific features?
3 A. Well, I can't remember exactly, but I think the plaster cast was
4 above the knee. Mitar was disturbed for a time. He was fixed, what we
5 call fixed. Now, what time that was, I don't know, because we don't have
6 the shift records, but I do remember him on the basis of those details.
7 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, when you say that you remember that he was tied,
8 does that refer to your ward or the ward he had been in previously?
9 A. No. I'm referring to the psychiatric ward.
10 Q. Madam, you say that you remember that for a time he was tied. Did
11 I understand you to say that, that he was tied up?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you explain how this measure is applied? How do you fix the
15 A. Well, when the patient is disturbed and when there is the
16 possibility of him injuring himself or others or the staff, that is when
17 we apply this particular measure.
18 Q. If I understand you correctly, you can't remember how long this
19 measure and procedure was applied; is that right, how long it was in place
21 A. That's right. I don't remember.
22 Q. You mentioned some record-keeping that you no longer have. Could
23 you explain to us what kind of record-keeping it was, what records? You
24 mentioned a notebook of some kind.
25 A. They are reports according to the shifts, shift reports. And by
1 law, we have to keep those reports for a period of two years, after which
2 they are sent to the archives and those papers are destroyed after that
4 Q. Can you explain to us what type of report this is, who writes the
5 report and how the report is recorded?
6 A. It is in a book, and it says first, second, third shift. It is a
7 book kept over 24 hours, and the nurses jot down their impressions and
8 what they have to note, what happened during their shift. Of course, we
9 enter the admission of patients, the discharge of patients, patients being
10 transferred from one ward to another, things like that. All those things
11 are recorded in this shift duty notebook.
12 Q. Are any characteristic events, if anything characteristic happened
13 while somebody was on duty, would they record those events in that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So it wasn't only the admission of a patient that was entered, but
17 if anything happened, if anything occurred that the nurse thought was of
18 importance and by recording it, she would inform the person taking over
19 the next shift?
20 A. Yes. This would be important for the next shift and, of course,
21 for the patient under whose charge -- for the doctor under whose charge
22 the patient was.
23 Q. How many shifts were there in a 24-hour period?
24 A. Three. Three shifts.
25 Q. Does that mean that these are three shifts, each shift being eight
2 A. The first shift is from 6.00 to 13.00 hours. The second is from
3 13.00 hours to 2000 hours, and the third shift is from 2000 hours to 0600
5 Q. Were those your working hours in 1992 as well?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you keep records of that kind today as well?
8 A. Yes, we keep records like that today, too, with the addition that
9 we have an extra supervision notebook in which we enter patients that are
10 to be particularly supervised, particular attention to be paid to these
11 patients. We did not have this extra supervision notebook at that time.
12 We just had an intensive care notebook. Now this is a novelty that we
13 have introduced which makes our work easier. It facilitates the doctor's
14 work, too.
15 Let me qualify. In what we call extra supervision, we include
16 patients, critical patients, patients who are most critical for that
17 period of time. So in the course of hospitalisation, this -- their state
18 might be aggravated, and then the doctor says that extra supervision is
19 required for those patients, and then we would have the names of the
20 patients and their conduct, what they eat, how they behave, everything
21 that we notice regarding those patients requiring extra supervision must
22 be entered and recorded in that special notebook.
23 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, when you spoke a moment ago about the fact that
24 you mentioned -- that you remembered certain patients personally, you said
25 that you remembered that that particular patient had been injured by
1 falling off a horse. Can you remember whom -- who you learnt this from?
2 A. Well, I learnt this, first of all, from my colleagues from the
3 orthopaedic ward. We usually ask our colleagues why the patient has a
4 plaster cast and why he has been transferred to our ward. Later on,
5 talking to the patient himself, and this was just before he was
6 discharged, I learnt the same thing. I talked to him, and he told me.
7 It is usually the doctors who interview the patients, and we can't
8 always accept what tell us. It need not be correct. But judging by what
9 he told me, and I'm only a nurse, but I think that his state improved. He
10 wasn't fully treated, in full health afterwards, but his condition had
11 improved, and he told me that himself.
12 Q. Yes. And that was towards the end of his treatment in hospital?
13 A. Yes, that was towards the end of the hospital treatment.
14 Q. Do you happen to remember something else, anything else that would
15 be characteristic of him, any detail? Perhaps you happen to recall
16 something else which might be of importance to us concerning that patient?
17 A. Well, it was a long time ago. Many patients have come and gone,
18 so I can't -- I don't think I can remember anything more specific at this
19 point in time.
20 Q. Thank you. Yes, I understand that fully. Can you explain, given
21 the times, what the procedure for admission into hospital was, generally
22 speaking, when a patient is brought to the hospital by an ambulance or
23 some other way as an urgent case? What would the admission procedure be,
24 where was the patient admitted, where was he recorded and so on?
25 A. All the admissions are recorded in the admission book and the
1 staff has the protocol for the entire hospital, protocol book for the
2 entire hospital, and you can see where each patient is -- which wards the
3 patients are in. I know that people come in very often. One of the
4 people they know have been admitted into hospital, and they don't know
5 which ward to find them in. And then my colleague will look at the
6 protocol book, go through the names and the numbers, and would find the
7 patient's name and be able to tell which ward the patient was in. And I
8 think at that time, in the afternoon and at night, the case history and
9 recording of the patient is done at the admissions department in the
10 emergency service, and this would be entered into the protocol book of
11 that admissions emergency service.
12 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, you said that reading through the data, and look
13 at 386 again, please, number 386, in the one but last column, that 1014 is
14 the number of the case history for the patient Mitar Vasiljevic; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. That particular number, is it the number which relates to the
18 whole of the general hospital regardless of the ward, and is that the only
19 number that a patient can have?
20 A. Yes. That is the only number that this patient can have. Each
21 patient, when admitted to hospital, gets his own personal number, and you
22 can see from the later columns that the numbers are different. The
23 numbers differ. And until he is released, discharged to go home and a
24 discharge letter written, he has this one particular number, the number of
25 his case history. It goes with him all the time.
1 Q. So is that number assigned to the patient once he entered the
2 hospital, as soon as he entered the hospital?
3 A. Yes. That is the number assigned upon admission into hospital.
4 Q. Does that mean that in this particular case, the case of Mitar
5 Vasiljevic, the next person who is admitted and recorded would be 10015?
6 A. Yes. The next patient admitted into hospital after him would get
7 the next number, 10015, and the one after that would be 10016, and so on.
8 Q. If I understand you correctly, that would apply regardless of the
9 ward the patient is assigned to. So in the case of Mitar Vasiljevic, he
10 was sent to the orthopaedic ward; is that right?
11 A. Yes, regardless of what ward he's sent to, regardless. A patient
12 cannot be admitted to two wards. He can't have two case histories. He
13 can be admitted to one ward with one case history, and then he can be
14 transferred from one ward to another, from the psychiatric ward to another
15 ward, but he carries all his documents with him. He has one case history,
16 the one he received upon admission into hospital, when he entered
18 Q. Yes. But just to make things quite clear, he was admitted to the
19 orthopaedic ward and got the number that was free, the next free number,
20 which was 10014. Now, if the next patient, for example, was admitted to
21 the urological ward, would he be 10015? Would that number be assigned,
22 the next number in order? Is that what I understand you to say?
23 A. Yes, the very next number.
24 Q. Can you say, Mrs. Tomasevic, that the case history follows the
25 patient and that that is the same number when he is transferred from one
1 ward to another? Does that mean that all the documents which were in the
2 previous ward follows the patient; his dossier and case history moves with
3 him to the next ward where he is transferred?
4 A. Yes, that's right. All the documentation moves with the patient.
5 Q. In this particular case, would that mean that when Mitar
6 Vasiljevic was transferred to your ward, that his whole file, his dossier,
7 his case history which was number 10014 was transferred to your ward? Is
8 that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If in a file dossier of that kind there was any X-rays from the
11 previous ward, would those X-rays, by regular procedure, be attached to
12 the file, to the whole file?
13 A. Yes. As a rule, they would be.
14 Q. When the patient leaves your ward and the case history is closed,
15 completed, where are the documents stored, the case history plus all the
16 other documents within the file, that patient's file? Where would they be
18 A. The case history goes to the archives where it remains.
19 Q. When you say "archives," Mrs. Tomasevic, there is an archive for
20 the entire hospital or does each ward have its own archive?
21 A. It is an archive for all the wards.
22 Q. I'm not sure I understood you. Are you saying that the archive
23 for all the wards is in one place, that there is one archive for the
24 hospital, or are there several?
25 A. Well, the kind of -- there are several archives, but you have the
1 hospital archive but at different locations. It's not distributed for the
2 department, the wards, but perhaps -- there are a lot of case histories.
3 So I'm not sure if they're all stored in one place, one room, because
4 there might be too many of them. That I don't know, but it's one archive.
5 Q. Yes. What you're saying is you don't know how many rooms the
6 archive comprises, but if I understand you correctly, as an organisational
7 unit, there is just one archive for the general hospital at Uzice. Is
8 that what you're saying? Have I understood you correctly?
9 A. Yes, you have understood me correctly.
10 Q. When you spoke about your ward, which is a ward with beds, I think
11 you mentioned this, but could you tell me how many rooms and how many beds
12 did your ward consist of at that time?
13 A. Fifty beds. And the surface area, well, it's not a large surface
14 area. I cannot tell you the surface area, but I do know that we had 50
15 beds, not many staff, two technicians per shift, in fact, two nurses or
16 two technicians per shift.
17 Q. I wasn't thinking about surface area. I was thinking of rooms.
18 How many rooms and how many beds to a room and so on.
19 A. I see, rooms. Well, let me see. One, two -- seven rooms. One
20 room had 16 beds, one had 14 beds, and the rest I can't be sure. We had
21 two rooms with four beds, six beds, depending on the room. It was an old
22 ward, but roughly that was it.
23 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, from these records or from any other records,
24 would you able to see which doctor was in charge of which patient? And in
25 this case, Mitar Vasiljevic, who was he assigned to?
1 A. From these records, as they were kept at the time, this can't be
2 seen. But later on -- you wouldn't see that from these entries. But
3 later on, in addition, we would enter the doctor's name. So in later
4 reports, one could see which doctor attended which patient. But from the
5 protocol later on, you would be able to see the name of the doctor who
6 treated the patient, but not at this particular period.
7 Q. When you say "later on," I don't understand when you mean. Do you
8 mean that in later periods this was recorded and not at that period of
9 time or -- I'm not sure I understood what you meant.
10 A. When our head -- the head of the service and the main nurse or
11 principal technician was changed, I and the head nurse and the head of the
12 department agreed that in addition to these columns that existed, we
13 should add a column with the name of the doctor supervising the patient,
14 for many reasons, of course. First, that we would know if -- when a
15 family member came, which doctor they could contact or which doctor we
16 could contact for a particular case history, and for many other reasons,
17 of course. So this was introduced.
18 Q. But if I understood you correctly, in this period, and I'm
19 referring to July 1992, records of this kind were not kept in this book.
20 A. No. No, they weren't.
21 Q. So you cannot answer my question as to which doctor, according to
22 this book, was in charge?
23 A. No, no. I can't tell you that from just looking at this book.
24 Q. Would you tell me if, apart from the hospital treatment you
25 provided, you also catered for outpatients.
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. Was the outpatient clinic physically separate from the ward you
3 were talking about where the inpatients were? I'm referring to the
4 location of the clinic.
5 A. It was in a separate location, and a separate protocol was kept.
6 It was again a protocol of patients, but other details were entered. And
7 this was separate. It was not in the same building. It had nothing to do
8 with the ward. There were other nurses or, rather, one nurse working
10 Q. When the patients who had formerly been treated in your ward came
11 for check-ups, were the check-ups carried out in your ward or in the
12 outpatients clinic you have just described?
13 A. Check-ups were conducted in the outpatients clinic.
14 Q. The doctors in the outpatients clinic, were they the same doctors
15 working in the ward or were they completely different doctors in the
16 outpatients ward and the inpatients ward?
17 A. It was the doctors from the ward who worked in the outpatients
18 clinic. They had days when they worked in the outpatients clinic so that
19 on each day there was a doctor assigned to the outpatients clinic, and on
20 that day he would conduct his rounds of the ward and then go to the
21 outpatients clinic to work there.
22 Q. Do you personally know whether on his discharge from hospital
23 Mitar Vasiljevic regularly came for check-ups in the outpatients clinic of
24 your hospital?
25 A. No, I personally am not aware of this.
1 Q. Why? Was it the reason you have just described?
2 A. Well, yes. It's not that I don't have access, but I'm not there.
3 I don't go there. I wasn't working there. And you know, we have
4 thousands of patients passing through the outpatients clinic per year. So
5 had I been working there, I would not be able to remember. I think there
6 are at least 6.000 patients a year who pass through that outpatients
7 clinic. So it's very difficult. It can only be seen from a book like
8 this one. Of course, in the outpatients clinic, it was other details that
9 were entered, the first and last name, of course, but sick leave days and
10 the diagnosis and the number of the medical booklet, the number of the
11 insurance and the type of insurance. So other details then were entered
12 in this book.
13 Q. So the outpatients clinic of your ward has quite separate records
14 for its patients; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you tell me, please, if you remember if your ward admitted
17 such patients, was the war theatre or battlefield used as a place from
18 which they arrived?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What did this term, as far as you know, mean, the term "war
21 front," when it was entered?
22 A. It referred to the area where military operations were being
23 conducted or, rather, the area affected by war.
24 Q. Thank you. Just to go back for a moment to the procedure you
25 described. When you said that the doctors working in the ward had certain
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 days on which they were assigned to the outpatients clinic, did this also
2 refer to the nurses or were the nurses assigned only to the ward or to the
3 outpatients clinic?
4 A. It was always one nurse working in the outpatients clinic and
5 possibly another one standing in for her when she was on annual leave. But
6 the sisters -- the nurses in the outpatients clinic did not change except
7 if she went on sick leave or annual leave, in which case there would be
8 another one.
9 Q. Yes. I understand. So in principle, there was one group of
10 nurses assigned to the ward and another group of nurses assigned to the
11 outpatients clinic.
12 A. Yes, yes, correct. One for the ward and one for the outpatients
14 Q. And finally, to go back to the book you are holding in front of
15 you, before you, this is the book only of those who were actually in bed,
16 who were hospitalised?
17 A. Yes. These are only patients in the psychiatric ward. There was
18 another book for the outpatients clinic, which has nothing to do with this
19 one. So the outpatients clinic and the ward and the records kept for the
20 former and the latter had nothing in common except for superficial
21 similarities. But they were kept differently.
22 Q. Thank you. And to conclude, let me ask you, Mrs. Tomasevic, you
23 know that today you are a witness under oath. Do you still say that the
24 details entered in this original book relating to Mitar Vasiljevic and the
25 others on this page, that you, yourself, made the entries you have
1 explained to us today, and that this was done in 1992, as you said?
2 A. Yes. I am under oath, and before God and before this Court, I say
3 that what I said today is how things were.
4 Q. Thank you. And just one more question. When a patient is leaving
5 the hospital, is it sometimes the spouse of the patient who asks for a
6 patient to be released before the doctors feel that he or she is ready,
7 and what is done in such situations?
8 A. Well, it does happen. We do not have the right to keep someone in
9 the ward by force unless we have a court order. In any other case, close
10 relatives can come, people who live with the patient, and they can ask for
11 their child or husband or wife to be released, and it would be against the
12 law not to do it, because if there is no court order and treatment has not
13 been ordered by a court, then the relatives do have the right to take the
14 patient home. Of course, they have to sign, because if they are taking
15 the patient home at their request and the doctor feels the patient has not
16 been cured, it is the relatives who are taking the responsibility and the
17 risk on themselves.
18 Q. Yes, yes. I understand. So in that case, the close family member
19 has to sign personally that he or she is taking the patient home at his or
20 her own request.
21 A. Well, this is done by the doctor in charge, the doctor in charge
22 of the patient.
23 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Tomasevic.
24 MR. DOMAZET: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE HUNT: What do you want done with the book?
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, I know that this is the original book you have
3 brought with you. I think it would be important for the original to stay
4 here for a while, while these proceedings are in progress. Would it be
5 possible for you to leave this book with us?
6 A. It is possible, but who guarantees that I will get it back
7 because --
8 Q. I understand.
9 A. Well, you know.
10 Q. Well, it should stay here for a time. So could you explain that
11 to your hospital? You can get a receipt for the book. Because I would
12 like IT to be kept here for the time being as an exhibit in this case.
13 A. Very well. I just hope that in a certain time I will get it back.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I wish to tender
16 this book.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, you were able, in relation to the other
18 books, to provide copies, were you not, for the hospital to use in case
19 they needed them in the meantime? I don't know whether you did it for all
20 three books. It seemed to have got into evidence, but certainly one
21 of them did.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you know that the --
23 one of the protocols we have managed to photocopy. It took two evenings
24 to do it, two days. On Saturday, I tried to copy this book. It's very
25 difficult, because the format is larger than usual. If necessary, perhaps
1 a photocopy could be made later on for their use, but I think the original
2 should stay here in any case, and I don't think that this will cause major
3 problems for the hospital.
4 JUDGE HUNT: It's a matter for you, Mr. Domazet. I should think
5 that whilst it might take a week or so, someone in the registry could be
6 put to the task. We seem to have so many people down there. Somebody
7 would be able to do it for us. But I agree with you, if the book is going
8 to be tendered, it should be the original.
9 What is your attitude, Mr. Groome?
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have not had an opportunity to examine
11 this book.
12 JUDGE HUNT: I'm asking whether you object to its admissibility.
13 You don't have to examine it for that reason. Is there any reason why it
14 should not be admitted in evidence?
15 MR. GROOME: Having not seen the book, Your Honour, I have no
16 objection I can make to the Court.
17 JUDGE HUNT: What is the next number? 29, is it Mr. Domazet?
18 That's my next number, but have you already assigned it to any other
20 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. It will be --
22 MR. DOMAZET: It can be 29.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Exhibit 29. Now, 26 is one where we have a copy of
24 it. Twenty-seven, we have a copy of part of it, as I recall, and 28 we
25 have no copies of. I'll give a direction that photostat copies be made of
1 those books with respect to the relevant hospital or medical centres so
2 that the originals can stay here until the matter is disposed off.
3 Yes, Mr. Groome. Are you cross-examining?
4 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Groome:
6 Q. Good morning, Mrs. Tomasevic. My name is Dermot Groome, and I
7 will be asking you questions on behalf of the Prosecution in this case.
8 Can I ask you a few questions about the medical or the records
9 that you ever here? You've told us that all of the writing in this book
10 is in Cyrillic, and my question to you is: Are all medical records -- is
11 there a rule about keeping medical records in Cyrillic? Is that a
12 hospital rule?
13 A. There are no rules. You can write either in Latin or Cyrillic
14 script. There is no rule as to what script we should use.
15 Q. So it just happens that all of the writing in this particular book
16 is in Cyrillic?
17 A. Mostly, yes. It depends on us, the staff, how we write. I myself
18 write in the Cyrillic script. But when I write capital letters, I write
19 in the Latin script. So I don't like to use -- when it's longhand, then I
20 write Cyrillic, in the Cyrillic script. When it's capital letters for the
21 Latin alphabet -- I use capital letters for the Latin script. I can show
22 you if you like.
23 Q. No, no. I believe you. My next question for you is: Where do
24 you record information regarding what medications are given to patients on
25 the psychiatric ward?
1 A. That is written on a therapy list, and the nurses keep the therapy
3 Q. Now, let me see. I think you've mentioned three different records
4 pertaining to the patients on the psychiatric ward. This protocol and the
5 document you referred to as the shift report, and this third document that
6 you're telling us about now, the therapy list. Are those all -- those
7 three different records, do they all pertain to patients on the
8 psychiatric ward?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Aside from those three, are there any other records that you
11 maintain on your ward?
12 A. Well, I told you, we have the extra supervision notebook, the book
13 of therapy as regards time per hour, muscular therapy usually, so all
14 those documents. But that was in 1992. So looking back to 1992, all that
15 remains is this.
16 Now, we have made an innovation in psychiatry, and that is the
17 extra supervision notebook, listing the patients that need special
18 attention, special supervision. But for us, it is important to note that
19 they are in a serious psychological state and that we have to exert extra
20 supervision. I'm not saying that we don't supervise and pay attention to
21 other patients, but these are under special, extra supervision. They are
22 not allowed out into the courtroom [as interpreted], that is one
23 specification. Visits to these patients are limited. The doctor
24 determines who can visit the patient. And it is also happens that
25 patients don't want to receive visits. They might quarrel with their
1 visitors. There are different incidents that can crop up with respect to
2 visitors. So it is difficult to work with psychiatric patients generally.
3 I don't know how far you can understand this, how you can understand me,
4 but our patients are, unfortunately, difficult patients, and we have no
5 way in which to prevent them from escaping. We have to have iron bars as
6 well on our wards to prevent patients from jumping out of the window, for
7 example, because our building is a two-storey building. So this is an
8 extra feature.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Just one moment, Mr. Groome. I don't blame you for
10 stopping that. This is not an answer to your question. But there was a
11 reference there to being let out into the courtyard. It's now been
12 corrected, I see. It's courtyard, yes. The translation said "courtroom"
13 but it's been corrected.
14 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE HUNT: It's okay. But anyway, you can take her back to your
16 question, are there any other records.
17 MR. GROOME:
18 Q. Let me ask you about the therapy list that you're talking about.
19 Is there a different one for every patient or is there a different one for
20 all the patients on the ward at a particular time?
21 A. Well, it's like this: When we have therapy lists, we have -- they
22 are uniform for all those patients. We have a shortage of medicines
23 sometimes. We have a shortage of resources, so sometimes we write it down
24 on the temperature list. There's a temperature list that includes blood
25 pressure and so on. We have to put them in a file this big, and this
1 prevents the patient from knowing what they're being given, because
2 patients are not allowed to know what therapy they're being given. If
3 it's written up on their bed, then they come to us and say, "Why am I
4 taking this particular therapy? I don't want to take that therapy." So
5 it's because of the patients.
6 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, would I be correct in thinking that there is a
7 list of medicines that Mr. Vasiljevic received as part of his case history
8 file? Is there -- there should be a file listing the medications that he
9 received during his time on the psychiatric ward?
10 A. In the documentation, that list ought to exist, yes. When we
11 complete the case history, the case history file should including the
12 therapy list. Now, what format it was, I can't tell you. It was a long
13 time ago. What format the list was. I can tell you what formats are used
14 now, the formats, but very often we don't have the necessary formats and
15 printed forms, so we have to improvise. And yes, our patients are not
16 allowed to see what therapy they are getting, what particular medicaments,
17 unless the doctor decides to tell them, but they cannot read this for
19 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, I am going to hand you a blank piece of paper.
20 I'm going to ask that it be noted as Prosecution document 159. I'm going
21 to ask you if you would -- I'm not sure if there is a pen up there. If
22 you would just take a pen and would you just copy out Mr. Vasiljevic's
23 entry. Just copy it out for us. Yes, write on the desk and not on the
25 JUDGE HUNT: This is the list, is it?
1 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour, just the entry she made regarding
2 Mr. Vasiljevic on the day he was admitted.
3 JUDGE HUNT: That's not the document we've already got?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you want everything from start to
5 finish, from beginning to end?
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. Just for Mr. Vasiljevic. You talked about several entries,
8 several notes that you made regarding Mr. Vasiljevic, his name, his date
9 of birth. Just that single line, if you would.
10 JUDGE HUNT: And just to get it clear there, this is from the case
11 history file, is it?
12 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. It's from D29 and its ordinal
13 number 386.
14 Q. Miss, I would ask you not to write on the book itself, Miss
15 Tomasevic. I would ask if the witness could be directed just to write on
16 the desk.
17 JUDGE HUNT: I am still not clear. Are you asking her to copy out
18 what is written in this document that is Exhibit 29?
19 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE HUNT: All right.
21 THE WITNESS: Just my handwriting or everything?
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. Just your handwriting. The note that you wrote back when you
24 admitted Mr. Vasiljevic. If you could just copy that entry out for us.
25 I'm sorry, Miss. Did you write this for us or is it the Cyrillic
2 A. Cyrillic. Cyrillic, yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. GROOME: I would tender that as Prosecution Exhibit 159.
5 Q. Now --
6 JUDGE HUNT: Show the document to Mr. Domazet. Any objection,
7 Mr. Domazet?
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do not have an
9 objection, but if I understand that this is for some purpose of
10 comparison, I know that in this kind of situation, it is necessary for her
11 to write it ten times. That is as far as I know for that kind of
12 expertise. So she ought to write it ten times, at least if Mr. Groome is
13 to use it for comparison purposes. I don't think that this is sufficient
14 data and that this might give rise to problems. So to avoid those, I
15 suggest that, but I have nothing against having this admitted.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't always repeat it in
17 exactly the same way, but you can compare the two and you can see that it
18 is my handwriting. Of course, I can never write it identically unless I
19 were to place a piece of indigo carbon underneath but it is certainly my
20 writing. Now, sometimes I can write nice -- more beautifully. If I'm
21 writing slower, I'll form the letters better but --
22 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I would not agree with Mr. Domazet that
23 it has to be ten times unless there is some special law in the former
24 Yugoslavia which says so, but it is usual to have more than one if this is
25 for the purpose of handwriting comparison.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, then I could ask as we take the break if
2 the witness could remain for five minutes and perhaps write the same --
3 JUDGE HUNT: I would have thought three times would have been
4 sufficient, but I'm in your hands. I've never seen it done more --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can write it as many times as you
7 JUDGE HUNT: Madam, please, just let us work this one out. We'll
8 work it out with you in a moment.
9 In 40 something years' experience I've never seen it done more
10 these times, but how many times do you suggest that she should do it?
11 MR. GROOME: From what I know of these tests, I thought the one
12 was sufficient. Three times would be a very happy compromise for the
14 JUDGE HUNT: Well, madam, we'd like you to write it out another
15 two times, if you would, on the same document.
16 JUDGE HUNT: I would just ask that the witness not write on the
17 ledger book as that could also affect --
18 JUDGE HUNT: I agree with you entirely. Somebody will have to
19 stay with the witness while she does it, but I don't think we need to.
20 We'll adjourn now until 2.30.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mrs. Tomasevic.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. I'd like to ask you a few more questions about how the hospital
7 keeps records, and the first question I'd like to ask you is the hospital
8 archive, where is that located precisely?
9 A. In the hospital building.
10 Q. Have you ever, yourself, actually been into the archive?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And where in the hospital is it located? Is it a basement storage
13 area? Is it a separate building?
14 A. In the basement. Well, they're in several locations.
15 Q. Can you describe, is it -- are the archives spread out among the
16 years or is it departments? How do they decide which of these several
17 locations documents are going to be archived?
18 A. Well, it's like this: I can't actually tell you, because that's
19 not something that I would know, although I do know that the archive has a
20 protocol book of its own. It is the hospital archive, and I think that it
21 has numbers or the alphabet, goes by the alphabet, "T," "M," on the basis
22 of the surnames of the patients, that it is ordered in that way, in
23 alphabetical order.
24 Q. Well, maybe you can explain in this case, you've brought one of
25 the books from the archive. Can you explain to us the procedure that you
1 have to follow in order to get possession of that book?
2 A. This particular protocol book is one that I keep under lock and
3 key. It is under the lock and key of the head nurse. It's not the
4 protocol that I took from the archive. The case history goes to the
5 archive, but the protocol book stays in the ward so that we are able to
6 get information. People might come to ask about patients, whether they
7 were treated or not, how they were treated, and then I refer back to the
8 protocol book. They tell us the year in which the patient --
9 approximately the year the patient was in the hospital. They're not
10 always sure whether it was 1992 or 1993. And in that protocol, we can
11 look for that person, to see whether the patient was hospitalised or not,
12 and then that is taken to the archive. And at a court request -- upon a
13 court order, the court can request the protocol and information from it. I
14 don't actually know what the procedure is after that.
15 Q. And I believe you told us in your direct testimony that this book,
16 particular protocol book that you brought with you, was in use up until
17 June of 1994; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, can you explain to us, on a daily basis, where is the book
20 kept so that the head nurse can make entries into the book? Is it kept on
21 her desk or his desk?
22 A. You mean during those years. Well, until the protocol book is
23 filled up, it is in the outpatients department and accessible to the
24 nurses to see whether the patient is there for other things, that they can
25 write him in, a patient in, if we're not there, things like that.
1 Q. So the book that you brought to us in court, after it was finished
2 was placed in the outpatient department? Did I hear you correctly?
3 A. No. When the protocol book is filled out, I keep it under lock
4 and key. When it's complete, then it's locked up.
5 Q. My question to you is: When you're using it. So the period of
6 1991, I believe this book began, and it was completed in June of 1994.
7 During all those three years, where was the book kept on a daily basis?
8 Was is on the desk of the head nurse?
9 A. No. It was in the working premises, the working room, that is to
10 say, the staff employed in the psychiatric ward, the nurses, would have
11 access to it. It was in the office.
12 Q. And can you tell us, who can make notes in this book? I believe
13 you're telling us now that nurses can make notes in this book; is that
15 A. Well, mostly this is done by the head nurse. If it is done by
16 some of the other staff during a shift so that we don't forget to write
17 someone in, then it is the head nurse or head technician, depending on
18 who's on duty, must check through it, because each patient must be
19 inscribed. And if there is a case history, the case history is taken on
20 the rounds, the doctor's rounds. But some of the doctors might go off
21 duty, so we carry the case history around while we make our tour, our
22 visit of the patient. We can read what there is in the case history, and
23 if there is a deterioration in the patient's state, the therapy might have
24 to be corrected. So even the people -- the physician whose patient it
25 is -- even if it is not the patient in -- the doctor in charge of the
1 patient who is present, we can pass the information on to the person who
2 is on duty.
3 Q. So nurses can make entries into it and doctors can make entries
4 into this book; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Are there any other staff on the psychiatric ward, either
7 orderlies or assistants, who make entries into the book if they need to?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Now, you mentioned something about the psychiatric ward being very
10 different than the other wards in that it was a closed ward. Can I take
11 that -- from that that the patients in the other wards, the open wards,
12 that it is possible for them to leave and return if they so wish to do?
13 A. As to how things functioned in other wards, I can't actually say,
14 but in principle, no patient can leave a ward.
15 Q. Well, can you tell us what is the procedure for somebody on your
16 ward if they want to leave? Let's say a family member comes and they went
17 to go for a walk with that family member. What procedure is followed
18 before that person can be allowed to leave?
19 A. He must have permission from the doctor for him to go outside the
20 compound of the ward. I said that he -- they can go into the courtyard
21 but it is controlled, supervised, so that is closed, too. But it happens
22 that patients spend two or three weekends at home. They are trial
23 weekends, so to speak, to see how the patient is going to accept home
24 treatment, whether they can find their way in the home environment. And
25 after spending two or three weekends at home or how much as the doctor
1 allows the patient, then he gives the permission ultimately but he has to
2 tell us. And he says to us, "Yes, you can let that patient go out and
3 have a walk with his relatives for such and such a time but he must come
4 back." So you know the exact time when he can leave, by which time he has
5 to be back and how much time he can spend.
6 Q. And can you tell us where in the record is it recorded that a
7 person has left on one of these weekend visits that you're describing for
9 A. There is the weekend book, a book for weekends, and it says "Left
10 then," and "Is allowed out from then to then," and so on. Or if we allow
11 somebody to leave for an afternoon, that is also recorded in the shift
12 book. But if patients go off on a weekend, they must have a permit from
13 the doctor which says -- states the name and surname of the patient, his
14 personal identification number, the time he is allowed to leave for and
15 the therapy he must take. So if he goes out for a day during the weekend
16 and has had his morning therapy in the hospital, he has to have his
17 therapy -- afternoon therapy at home as we specify, which medicines are to
18 be taken and so on. But they must always be accompanied. A patient
19 always has a person to accompany him. They never go alone, always with a
20 close member of his family, that is to say, a member of the household. He
21 cannot accompanied by a distant relation. A distant relative cannot take
22 a patient out of a hospital or take them home for the weekend or anything
23 of that kind.
24 Q. I thought before the break we had identified three records. It
25 appears now there is a fourth record. I'm sorry, I want to ask you again:
1 Are the four records that pertain to a patient in the psychiatric ward the
2 protocol, the shift book, the therapy list and the weekend book; are those
3 the fourth book?
4 A. There's the weekend book, too, and the intensive care book.
5 Q. But the intensive care book I believe you told us did not come
6 into play until after 1992; correct?
7 A. No. The intensive care book did exist in 1992 but the intensive
8 care book is something else. Those are people with organic disturbances,
9 deliriums which are life threatening, where we have to monitor three times
10 a day their blood pressure, temperature, the uresis [phoen], and the
11 general state of the patient is such that it requires intensive care. So
12 if there are any changes for the worse, we must consult the consultants.
13 He is not only suffering from psychological disorders, he also has an
14 organic disorder as well. So that is the intensive care book or notebook,
16 Q. Now, of these five books, did you bring any of these other books
17 other than the protocol? Did you bring any of these other books with you
18 with respect to Mr. Vasiljevic in June and July of 1992?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And would I be correct in thinking from your description or
21 concluding from your description of the shift book that the shift book
22 would actually have more information about the daily activities and more
23 information about the daily life of Mr. Vasiljevic in the psychiatric ward
24 during this time period?
25 A. It's like this: At the beginning when his state was poor, he was
1 mentioned in the shift notebooks, and it would be interesting if I had
2 that, but we don't have it because by law we store those books for a
3 period of two years. After that, we're not obliged by law to keep them,
4 because we would have too much paperwork. And there was also the transfer
5 of service, and from one building to another.
6 So probably it is possible that it was handed over to this other
7 service and that that is why those documents do not exist. So we can't
8 keep records of all 50 patients, just the ones that are disturbed or fixed
9 or threaten to commit suicide or something specific, some specific state
10 which we consider merits being recorded for the doctors to be able to read
11 this when they come in, in the morning. They read these reports in the
12 morning or when they're on duty. So they have to read the reports for the
13 previous day when they come on duty, and they must talk to the patient on
14 the basis of what they have read, and then they are able to see on the
15 basis of that conversation whether this is our own impression that is not
16 perhaps vital. They -- we are nurses and they are doctors, so we can't
17 always know what is important. Sometimes things that we as nurses
18 consider important, doctors do not see to be relevant, that these symptoms
19 are normal for that patient suffering from that kind of illness. So it is
20 the doctor that differentiates and distinguishes.
21 Q. Let me ask you now. You describe Mr. Vasiljevic as having been a
22 fixed patient, which I believe means he was tied up. It doesn't seem as
23 if there's any record of that in the protocol book.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. There is no record of that no the protocol book; corrects?
1 A. No. That is in written in the records and we don't have the
2 reports. Those kinds of things are written in the report.
3 Q. So when you testified earlier about remembering that, that was
4 your own independent memory. It wasn't something that you refreshed your
5 memory before to coming to court here with some other documents? Is that
6 what your testimony is?
7 A. No. I have nowhere to read it in any document. I didn't read it
8 anywhere. I told you what I said was that he was fixed for a time, tied
9 up for a time. I can't tell you how long for, but I said that I remember
10 because he -- I learnt that he had fallen from a horse. That's something
11 that I remembered and then I remembered him being tied.
12 So -- and I learnt this talking to my colleagues.
13 Q. Well, let me --
14 A. So that's what stuck in my mind.
15 Q. Let me ask you this about being tied: Is your memory that he came
16 to the ward tied or was the decision made to tie him up after he was
17 observed on the ward for a period of time?
18 A. When I came to The Hague, started out for The Hague, I had to talk
19 to my colleague who worked on -- who was in the shift then, and she
20 remembers. I found Mitar tied the next day, but she remembers admitting
21 him and that he was tied during admission, when admitted.
22 Q. Now, you told us that a person is tied if they are a threat to
23 themselves or to others, and my question to you is: In this particular
24 case of Mr. Vasiljevic, do you know or do you recall whether he was tied
25 because he was a threat to himself or was he a threat to other patients
1 and staff?
2 A. Well, I can't remember that. He was disturbed, unsettled, and he
3 could have broken the plaster cast he had. Now, whether he could injure
4 anybody else, I don't know but it was a measure of -- a safety measure
5 because he was agitated. So if he was agitated, he could have removed the
6 work of what -- of the doctors previously who had placed the plaster cast
7 on his leg. He might have tried to take it off.
8 Now, the question -- I don't know whether he was a danger to
9 anybody else.
10 Q. Now, I want to ask you some specific questions about your
11 observations of Mr. Vasiljevic, but before that, I just have a few
12 questions more on the records.
13 Now, when you filled out the protocol book, am I correct in
14 thinking that the date of the 14th of June, that was a date that you
15 copied over from the case history report? Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So you, yourself, have no personal knowledge of when Mr.
18 Vasiljevic actually entered Uzice hospital, you simply transferred the
19 information that you found on one hospital document to your ledger or your
20 protocol ledger; correct?
21 A. Yes. Yes. That's right. What was entered into the protocol was
22 transferred from the case history. So I don't know when he was admitted.
23 Q. Now, another question about the shift report. I believe you told
24 us in response to a question by Mr. Domazet that the admission of a
25 patient is also noted on the shift report. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, I wonder if you'd give us the benefit of your over 20 years
3 of experience on the psychiatric ward. I'm going to ask you: Have you
4 been involved in the treatment of alcoholics on that ward before?
5 A. Alcoholics are treated in the stage of an alcoholic psychosis or
6 delirium. So they stay for a very short period of time, usually seven
7 days. Sometimes we would place three psychiatric patients into one bed.
8 Those were the circumstances. We were completely overbooked at that time.
9 So yes, I did work with delirious patients. That is correct. But
10 their stay in our institution would only be for them to recover,
11 organically speaking, until they would quieten down, and then they would
12 go home. Then they would go to the alcoholics institute for further
13 treatment. We are an institution for acute disorders. So once we had
14 dealt with that stage, we would discharge the patient.
15 Q. Now, you say that an alcoholic would be treated for a short period
16 of time and you gave us the number of seven days. Am I correct in saying
17 that would be the period of time that the person would be in withdrawal,
18 their body would experience the effects of not having alcohol every day?
19 Is that correct?
20 A. I am not an expert, but with abstinence, abstinence brings about
21 delirium tremens. Now the cause is of etherism, and I can tell you that
22 from my own experience, but you cannot take that for court purposes
23 because I'm not an expert in that area, but there are symptomatic, what we
24 call symptomatic alcoholism. So people suffering from -- alcoholism is a
25 mask for other disorders and disturbances, and when I flew in a plane for
1 the first time I had a drink, for example, to relax, to cover my fear of
2 flying, and so individual patients do the same thing. By drinking, they
3 are in fact masking some other fear. But a doctor can tell you that. I
4 can only tell you as far as my professional training allows me as a nurse,
5 but that is not a valid professional opinion in the sense of a doctor
6 giving it. So I don't -- I can't talk about something that is not in my
7 domain of expertise.
8 Q. What I'm trying to get at is that in your experience, this
9 seven-day period you've mentioned, that would be the period of time that
10 somebody who is abstaining from alcohol, that is the period of time it
11 takes their body to adjust to no longer having alcohol; correct?
12 A. He recovers in the course of these seven days, seven to ten days.
13 He recovers because he doesn't drink. He is given liquid. He is under
14 certain therapy. Now, whether he has been treated completely, no, because
15 alcoholism is a long process.
16 Q. Correct. Now, --
17 A. Whether he hasn't been cured.
18 Q. Can you assist me in this question then? After a person who is an
19 alcoholic, let's assume a severe alcoholic, after they cease to drink,
20 what period of time -- how long does it take for the -- this delirium to
21 set in? What is the person between the time the person stops taking
22 alcohol and then begins to show the effects of not taking alcohol? Is it
23 a day, two days, three days?
24 A. I can't give you an answer to that question. It is not under my
25 domain of expertise. I'm not trained sufficiently, qualified to give you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 an answer to that.
2 Q. Now, during this time period in your work on the ward, on the
3 psychiatric ward, would it be fair to say that a number of the patients
4 were there because they were overwhelmed by some of the horrible things
5 that they had witnessed in this conflict, that that was the root cause of
6 their psychiatric problem?
7 A. Yes. Yes. A large number of patients were there for -- the
8 number of patients increased. And I looked at -- did some statistical
9 data and report for my graduate thesis and I saw that the numbers had
10 increased. And it wasn't easy for us, the staff there either. And it was
11 a period when we had a shortage of medicines and so when a patient would
12 come, you wouldn't have the necessary sedatives. It was a very --
13 extremely difficult period for us, the hospital staff, and for the
14 patients as well.
15 Q. Now, would it also be fair to say that out of that group of
16 increased patients, that at least some of them, the precipitating event
17 was guilt over their participation in some of the horrible things that
18 they had witnessed? It was a sense of guilt that troubled them so.
19 Would you agree with that?
20 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that.
21 Q. So for all these patients that you've been involved in their
22 treatment, not one ever expressed a sentiment of feeling guilty for some
23 of the things that happened?
24 A. No. Those are questions which we cannot ask our patients, and we
25 cannot -- because you know how it is. We can provoke a patient by asking
1 -- I can't come by that information. I can't ask that. They must be
2 highly controlled conversations. You must have controlled conversations
3 with psychiatric patients. We can't talk to them much. We can only ask
4 them general things. But we cannot enter into the domain of the cause of
5 their diseases. We are not allowed do that. We can aggravate the
6 patient's state. They can see somebody else in us. They can see somebody
7 who is threatening them, jeopardising them in some way. For example, once
8 I asked a female patient for a book. I thought she was in remission.
9 That was my assessment of her, that she was getting better. But the next
10 day she complained to the doctor and said that I was controlling her, that
11 I had something against her and was exerting control over her just asking
12 her for a book. She was a teacher and I needed the book and I just
13 happened to ask her for the book, and I thought she was feeling much
14 better. She was in remission, and that's why I asked her for the book.
15 So we're not allowed to engage in conversations and details of
16 that kind with the patients. Nurses are not allowed to do that.
17 Q. Are you familiar with the drug Trodon, T-R-O-D-O-N?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And is that sedative that is used psychiatric patients to calm
20 them down?
21 A. Trodon is a medicine against pain, as far as I know, a
22 pain-killer. In the case of very strong pain, Trodon is administered.
23 Q. Is it ever administered as a sedative to patients?
24 A. I'm not aware of that. I can't tell you that.
25 Q. Now, on the entry that you made for Mr. Vasiljevic, under the
1 column that I believe is for diagnosis, you wrote "298.9." My question to
2 you is, what does 298.9 refer to?
3 A. I didn't write that down. That is not my handwriting. And it
4 means that the discharge diagnosis of the patient when he left to go home.
5 You can compare it. You will see it is not my handwriting.
6 Q. So if you could help me to understand. On the protocol book, what
7 columns did you not write? I was under the impression that you had
8 written those numbers.
9 A. No. Where the diagnosis is, I didn't fill in. All the other
10 columns I did, but the diagnosis, that's not mine. The main technician
11 came home from leave. He looked at the case history, and he made that
12 entry. That is not my handwriting. And that can very easily be compared.
13 If you have any documents from us, you will see whether that is in order
14 or not. But I am sure it must correspond. If you have the case history
15 or anything, the first page of the case history must correspond to those
16 numbers, the registration number and all these other numbers, and the code
17 numbers, they have to correspond. You told me there were two codes there,
18 didn't you, two numbers? And I saw two, but that is not my handwriting.
19 I didn't write that out.
20 Q. Do you recognise the handwriting of the person who made that
21 assessment and note in the record?
22 A. I am not sure, but I think it was the main technician who came
23 home from leave and that he made that entry.
24 Q. And do you know that person's name?
25 A. His name is Nikola. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And his family name?
2 A. Jaksic.
3 Q. The other entry is 823.2, and there is a question mark after it.
4 Based on your experience, what would that question mark mean for you?
5 A. Probably somebody was surprised by the diagnosis, because
6 according to our system of codes, it doesn't fit because it's not a
7 psychiatric code. It's an orthopaedic code.
8 I am not aware that there was any such diagnostic code in
9 psychiatry, even according to the old system. But if a patient has
10 several diagnoses, then all five have to be entered. He may not just be a
11 psychiatric patient. He may also be an internal medical case, a
12 neurological case, but he was treated at the psychiatric ward but under
13 the occasional control of other doctors. And when he goes home, in
14 addition to his psychiatric diagnosis, all the other illnesses that he
15 suffers from are also diagnosed.
16 Q. Now, even though you yourself did not make these notes, can you
17 help us by telling us what does 298.9 stand for? What is that a diagnosis
19 A. I am not qualified for that, I'm afraid.
20 Q. Well, surely 20 years working with these protocols, surely, you
21 must know when you see that what type of patient we are dealing with;
23 A. I cannot tell you that. I'm not allowed to interfere with
24 diagnosis. I must not say what the diagnosis is because I'm not qualified
25 for that. I would need far more schooling to be qualified to be able to
1 tell you what diagnosis that is.
2 Very generally speaking, I think it is psychosis, but psychosis is
3 a very wide term. Now you're going to ask me what kind of psychosis and
4 things like that. These are things I am unable to answer. They studied
5 for ten years to become psychiatrists.
6 Q. Let me ask you this, Mrs. Tomasevic, a patient who is on the ward
7 because they are an alcoholic, would this code be used or is there a
8 separate, special code for somebody who is on the ward for being
10 A. What do you mean? Which number?
11 Q. The 298.9. Would that code be used in the case of somebody who is
12 an alcoholic and is on the ward for treatment or is there a different
13 number that refers to an alcoholic -- a person who is going through --
14 delirium because of alcoholism?
15 A. I don't know. I don't know. There are various classifications of
16 delirium and alcoholism and psychosis, so I'm really not able to answer
18 Q. I'm not asking you for a diagnosis, but simply in your experience,
19 your 20 years of experience, what code would ordinarily be used for
20 somebody who is an alcoholic on your ward? Is it this one or is it a
21 different number?
22 A. The code, you see, these are old codes, let me point out. That
23 was in 1992. So I can't tell you exactly what those codes meant then.
24 Can't you understand me? I'm not sure whether it's delirium tremens
25 according to the new classification. And what it was then, I don't know.
1 My superiors would tell me, "How were you able to say that when you are
2 not qualified?" I may be held responsible.
3 Q. Looking over the one page that I've been given, it looks like
4 approximately a third to a half of the diagnosis boxes are left blank.
5 What would that indicate, that a diagnosis block has been left blank?
6 A. I can't answer that question either. I wasn't doing that work
7 then. I entered the patient -- I recorded the patients when they were
8 admitted. Now what happened after that, I'm unable to say. Maybe the
9 documents went to the archives without the number being entered. But in
10 any event, what is registered there is what it is.
11 In my opinion, that is exactly how it was. That was not my job at
12 the time. My job ended once I entered the name of the patient. Then my
13 colleague came from his leave in 1992, already in October. I went to
14 Belgrade to attend a higher nursing school, so I don't know what happened.
15 When the offices were moved, I wasn't there. Why these entries were not
16 filled in, I can't tell you.
17 Q. Well, let's -- let me ask you based on your responsibilities now
18 as the head nurse of the psychiatric ward. Would you be surprised at
19 seeing blank entries for diagnosis now and would you attempt to speak with
20 the doctor or somebody to have that corrected? Would you see that as an
21 irregularity now as head nurse?
22 A. When a patient is being discharged, that is, when the patient is
23 admitted, we don't write down the diagnosis because it is what we call a
24 working diagnosis. The final diagnosis is the one with which the patient
25 is sent home, and it is written on the case history. It says "Final
1 diagnosis." There's a column there, and it has to be entered. That final
2 diagnosis has to be in that column. It can't be the initial diagnosis,
3 because a patient is under observation. What happens sometimes is that a
4 patient is sent to the hospital under one diagnosis, and after observation
5 and discussions with the doctors and examinations, he's given a different
7 Q. Let me ask you about one other number on the protocol, and that's
8 the one -- 10014 number, and you told us that was the patient
9 identification number; correct?
10 A. Yes, the patient identification number, as we call it.
11 Q. Let me ask you the following question to see if I understand how
12 this number works: If I am admitted to the hospital in Uzice and I remain
13 there for a month, I will be assigned a number. If I leave the hospital
14 and after two days of being at home I need to be readmitted to the
15 hospital, do I get a new number or do I still use my old patient
16 identification number?
17 A. No, you get a new number.
18 Q. Now, you told us that -- I'm sorry. Withdraw that.
19 Do you recall whether of your observations of Mr. Vasiljevic
20 whether in your opinion, based on your experience, he was going through
21 the symptoms of somebody withdrawing from alcohol?
22 A. No. I don't remember that.
23 Q. Now, you told us that the 7th of July was a holiday. You were
24 off, and when you came in to work on the 8th of July, Mr. Vasiljevic was
25 already on the ward; correct?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. And would you agree with me that a routine transfer on such a
3 holiday -- I'm sorry, that routine transfers would ordinarily occur on
4 working days, that there must have been something special or some type of
5 emergency that required Mr. Vasiljevic to be transferred to the
6 psychiatric ward on the 7th, on a holiday? Is that correct?
7 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
8 Q. I apologise. The fact that he was transferred on the 7th, a
9 holiday, would that indicate to you that there was some type of emergency
10 or some type of precipitating event that required his transfer on the 7th
11 rather than simply wait until the 8th, on an ordinary business day, for a
13 A. Yes. That must have been an emergency as soon as he was
14 transferred during a holiday.
15 Q. And do you recall what that was?
16 A. What do you mean, do I remember? I'm afraid I don't understand
17 what you're asking me.
18 Q. Do you recall what the emergency was that required Mr. Vasiljevic
19 to be transferred on the 7th rather than waiting until the 8th?
20 A. I wasn't working on the 7th, but my colleague who admitted him
21 said that he was agitated, that he was shouting, cursing. The very fact
22 that he had to be tied up means that he was disturbing other patients in
23 the orthopaedics ward. He could have hurt himself, you see. It's on the
24 third or fourth floor - I don't recall any longer - and they're afraid of
25 psychiatric patients, you see.
1 Q. I'm going to show you the case history for Mr. Vasiljevic, and
2 it's Exhibit P138. I'm going to draw your attention to the note made on
3 the 7th of July. The English translation of this is Prosecution Exhibit
4 number 62, and I have some extra copies if the Court would prefer, if it's
5 more convenient for me to hand up these copies. Is it?
6 Can you find the note for the 7th of July by Dr. Stojkovic?
7 A. No. What it says for the 7th of July, Dr. Stojkovic?
8 Q. Already several pages there. Perhaps it may be on one of the
9 other pages that you're not looking at at the moment.
10 A. Yes, yes. I see.
11 Q. Now, isn't it a fact that the precipitating event, the emergency
12 that required his transfer to the psychiatric ward was that he physically
13 attacked a Muslim patient? Correct?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters please have a copy?
15 A. It depends on his medical condition, because you see, the
16 signature here is of the psychiatrist, to be moved to the ward, Dr.
17 Bogdanovic, that is his signature. I know him. He died. He believed
18 that because of his mental condition, this had occurred. If it had been
19 anything else, he wouldn't have been transferred to our ward.
20 As far as I can see here, the discharge document, he hasn't had it
21 certified. There are two more pieces of paper in the case history. There
22 should be two more pieces of paper. One is the bill and report on
23 hospitalisation, and those two additional pieces of paper have to be
24 identical. And until all that is done, he is still a patient of the
1 He was a hospital patient because his discharge paper was not
2 certified, and until that is done, he continues to be the patient of the
3 hospital. The fact that he was given the discharge document doesn't mean
4 that he left the hospital.
5 JUDGE HUNT: I don't think that's an answer to the question, but
6 why do you let it go for so long? You asked whether or not a particular
7 event caused his transfer to the psychiatric ward. Now, nothing that the
8 witness has said has answered that question that I can see.
9 MR. GROOME: That's correct, Your Honour. I just -- I do try
10 and --
11 JUDGE HUNT: We really do have to move on and stop these long,
12 unresponsive answers. If you want the question answered, ask it again.
13 And madam, please just answer the question. If you are then asked for an
14 explanation, you may give the explanation, but please just answer the
16 MR. GROOME:
17 Q. Did you answer -- please answer my question yes or no and I'll ask
18 for additional information if I need it. Looking at the note on the 7th
19 of July, is it not a fact that the precipitating emergency was that Mr.
20 Vasiljevic had physically attacked a Muslim patient? Isn't that correct?
21 Yes or no, please.
22 A. I don't know that.
23 Q. Can you see the portion of the medical record, the case history on
24 the note from the 7th of July? Are you looking at that portion of the
25 medical history?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you see a note there saying that Mr. Vasiljevic attacked a
3 Muslim patient?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you also see a note there that Mr. Vasiljevic was lingering in
6 the main hall of the hospital?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would a physical attack by one patient on another patient, would
9 that be the type of event that would require somebody's immediate transfer
10 to the psychiatric ward on a holiday such as the 7th? Is that the kind of
11 thing that would require that?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. Now, you said when you looked at these documents that there are
14 two documents missing from the case history. Can you please tell us what
15 is the first document that is missing from the case history? Please just
16 give us the name of the document.
17 A. Reports on hospitalisation. That cannot be here. They are given
18 when a patient is discharged. Then it is certified, then the bill for
19 treatment, and then the patient goes home, and he no longer has this ID
21 Q. So the two documents are the hospital history and the bill for
22 payment; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The hospital history, does that include a chronology of the
25 patient's hospitalisation in Uzice?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No. It's a bill for treatment.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Re-examination, Mr. Domazet?
5 Re-examined by Mr. Domazet:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Tomasevic, when Mr. Groome asked you about
7 the way in which entries are made in this protocol and the script that you
8 used, that is the Cyrillic script, can you tell the Court - that may not
9 be quite clear to everyone here - which are the scripts in use in Serbia
10 and were in use in 1992?
11 A. The Cyrillic script. Some people also used the Latin script. It
12 was not compulsory, either. It depended on the person. I prefer to write
13 in Cyrillic. We were not obliged to write in either. It was up to us.
14 Q. So both the Cyrillic and the Latin script were quite acceptable?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When Mr. Groome asked you whether you knew that Mr. Vasiljevic was
17 tied upon admission, you said that you weren't working that day because it
18 was a holiday but that your colleague who was present told you that he had
19 been tied up.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In view of what you have just read, this information about the
22 behaviour of the patient on the 7th of July, would that justify, on the
23 basis of your own experience, the tying up of such a patient when he's
24 brought to your department?
25 A. Yes, it would justify it.
1 Q. Do you remember the name of that colleague who was working at the
3 A. Yes. Shall I tell you?
4 Q. Yes, please do.
5 A. Stana Simic.
6 Q. When you were giving us information about your own career, you
7 told us that you have been working ever since 1979 continuously, but in
8 answer to a question from Mr. Groome, you referred to a period when you
9 attended this higher school in Belgrade.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you perhaps tell us when it was that you were absent from
12 the hospital?
13 A. That was in October. I wasn't absent throughout the year. I may
14 have been absent for a month and then I'd come back to the ward, because
15 I was going through advanced training parallel with work.
16 Q. When you said October, what year were you referring to?
17 A. 1992.
18 Q. In answer to another question from Mr. Groome, you explained that
19 you entered the other information except diagnosis. I think that's what
20 you said also in answer to my question, but you did say that there was
21 something else that you didn't fill in with respect to Mitar Vasiljevic
22 that you didn't mention just now. So my question is: Did you leave that
23 out or did I misunderstand you? I think that you said, in answer to my
24 question, that you didn't fill in the date of discharge.
25 A. That's right. I did not fill in the date the patient was
2 Q. So what you told me the first time was correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Please madam, just pause before you answer. Remember
5 you are both speaking the same language and the interpreters can't keep up
6 unless you pause after the question before you begin your answer.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, in answer to a question by Mr. Groome about
10 abstinence, whether you may have noticed the effects of abstinence in Mr.
11 Vasiljevic, you said, "I don't remember that." I want to make it clear.
12 Do you mean that you don't remember the details of his disease and
13 treatment or do you not remember just this particular detail?
14 A. This particular detail. And it's a question that -- it's not up
15 to me to answer such questions. I'm not the right person to answer such
17 Q. It seems to me, Mrs. Tomasevic, that you didn't recollect many
18 details and that's why I asked you this. Do you remember any other detail
19 that might be of relevance?
20 A. I don't remember.
21 Q. Just one more question for you, Mrs. Tomasevic. Do you personally
22 remember that the period prior to 1992, do you remember Mitar Vasiljevic
23 ever being a patient in your hospital ward?
24 A. No, I cannot remember that.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE TAYA: Madam Tomasevic, you testified to the question by Mr.
4 Domazet that one of the reasons you knew Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic fell off a
5 horse was that Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic had a plaster cast on his leg; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE TAYA: You mean that Mitar Vasiljevic had had a plaster cast
9 already when he was transferred to the psychiatric ward from the
10 orthopaedic ward?
11 A. I remember him having a plaster cast on his leg, yes.
12 JUDGE TAYA: When he was transferred to the psychiatric ward?
13 I'll repeat my question.
14 You remember that Mitar Vasiljevic had already a plaster cast when
15 he was transferred to the psychiatric ward from the orthopaedic ward?
16 A. When I saw him, he did have a plaster cast on his leg, yes. And
17 in the course of treatment, in the course of treatment, I remember seeing
18 it, in the course of his lying in hospital, in my ward. I remember seeing
20 JUDGE TAYA: But you saw Mitar Vasiljevic with the plaster cast
21 from the beginning when he was transferred to the psychiatric ward?
22 A. I remember that he had a plaster cast on his leg while he was
23 lying in the psychiatric ward.
24 JUDGE TAYA: From the beginning?
25 A. I can't remember that, but I do know that he had a plaster cast on
1 his leg.
2 JUDGE TAYA: Okay.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Do either counsel want to ask any questions --
4 JUDGE TAYA: I have another question. Another question is:
5 Please look at Exhibit 138 once more. The first page of Exhibit 138 shows
6 a format of case history of the orthopaedic hospital, which is of Mitar
7 Vasiljevic. This format has not changed from 1992?
8 A. You mean whether it's still like this?
9 JUDGE TAYA: Yes.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE TAYA: My next question is also concerning Exhibit 138. On
12 page 1 of Exhibit 138, column 17, which concerns the doctor who treated
13 the patient. It is written, "Dr. B. Jovacevic and Dr. S. Simic."
14 And page 4, there are names of Dr. Stojkovic and the name of
15 Dr. Morjevic. On page 2, there is the name of Dr. Gordic. He is a
17 There is no name Dr. S. Simic except column 17 on page 1. Can you
18 explain why the name of Dr. S. Simic is written in column 17?
19 A. Because Dr. Simic treated him in the psychiatric ward. Dr.
20 Jovacecic was in the orthopaedic ward.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Do either counsel want to ask any questions arising
22 out of that?
23 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
24 MR. DOMAZET: I have some, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Yes.
1 Further examined by Mr. Domazet: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mrs. Tomasevic, to this question by Judge Taya, you said that Dr.
3 Simic was the neuropsychiatric physician and that he treated him and
4 that's why his name is down there. Take a look, please, at the names that
5 appear on page 3, the doctors on page 3. Or maybe it's 4 with the dates
6 the 5th of July, the 7th of July, the 17th of July, that page. Which of
7 these doctors are from the orthopaedics ward and which ones are possibly
8 from the neuropsychiatric ward?
9 A. The 5th of July, 1992, Dr. Stojkovic, he's an orthopaedics
10 surgeon. At 2200 hours, Dr. Stojkovic, orthopaedics surgeon. The 7th of
11 July, Dr. Stojkovic, orthopaedics, and on the 17th, Dr. Bogdanovic, the
12 late Dr. Bogdanovic, a neuropsychiatrist, and on the 17th of July, Dr.
13 Moljevic, an orthopaedic surgeon.
14 Q. So of these doctors, only on the 7th of July was the psychiatric
15 doctor, and you recognised, I think, the handwriting of Dr. Bogdanovic a
16 moment ago and recognised that he wrote this.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know why on the 7th of July, on that particular day, it
19 wasn't Dr. Simic who examined the patient and gave his opinion but why it
20 was Dr. Bogdanovic?
21 A. He was doing specialist training and he received the case history
22 the next day. And he had his mentor, so they can't work themselves if
23 they are doing specialist training. He had a mentor and that was Dr.
24 Jevtovic, a lady.
25 Q. When you said he was a specialist trainee, which doctor do you
1 have in mind?
2 A. I was thinking of Dr. Simic.
3 Q. Thank you. And now the 7th of July you said was a national
4 holiday. Were the duty doctors on duty or the doctors working generally?
5 A. No. It was just the doctor on duty who was working on the
6 national holiday.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, madam, for coming to give evidence and for
9 the evidence you have given. You are now free to leave.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for listening to me.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, while we're waiting for the next witness,
13 you are to tell us today the periods in those documents you wanted to be
14 the subject of a forensic documentary examination.
15 MR. GROOME: I apologise to the Court. I haven't had an
16 opportunity to look at these books yet. I'm hoping that I can perhaps get
17 them this evening or --
18 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, certainly. Any exhibits you take away we'd like
19 a receipt for, that's all.
20 MR. GROOME: Surely, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Including the handwriting one which no doubt you've
22 spirited away.
23 MR. GROOME: I'm not in possession of that.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Aren't you yet? Anyway, you may have access to them,
25 but please just give us a receipt.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE HUNT: Now, sir, will you please make the solemn declaration
3 in the document which the court usher is showing you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, sir.
7 WITNESS: SLOBODAN SIMIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
10 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Examined by Mr. Domazet:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, good afternoon.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. I'm going to be questioning you today, Mr. Simic, on behalf of the
15 Defence team, and I kindly ask you to answer but to make pauses between my
16 questions and your answer, because we speak the same language, but this
17 will facilitate the work of the interpreters if we make a break. So
18 please bear that in mind. Thank you.
19 First of all, give us your name and surname, date of birth, and
20 place of birth, please?
21 A. My name is Slobodan Simic. I was born in Uzice, Republic of
22 Serbia, Yugoslavia. I was born on the 22nd of August, 1963.
23 Q. Mr. Simic, what education have you had and when did you complete
24 your education?
25 A. I graduated from the faculty of medicine in Belgrade and I passed
1 my specialist training in the field of psychiatry and now I am a
2 specialist, a psychiatrist specialist.
3 Q. When did you graduate?
4 A. I graduated in 1990.
5 Q. What was your first job after graduation, Mr. Simic, your first
6 place of employ?
7 A. My first job was in the general hospital of Uzice, in the
8 psychiatric ward.
9 Q. When did you start working on that ward?
10 A. I started working in 1991.
11 Q. From 1991 onwards, how long did you work at the psychiatric ward
12 of the Uzice hospital?
13 A. I worked in the psychiatric ward until I left to do my specialist
14 training in Belgrade, which was until 1994.
15 Q. After you finished your specialist training, did you go back to
16 work in Uzice? And if not, where did you work after that and where do you
17 work now?
18 A. After I finished my specialist training, I worked for six months
19 in the general hospital in Uzice, and afterwards, I moved to Belgrade, and
20 I worked for one and a half years in the prison hospital in Belgrade.
21 After that, I returned to the Uzice general hospital, where I worked for
22 about two years until three months ago, in fact, when I transferred to the
23 clinical hospital centre called Zezdora [phoen] In Belgrade, which is
24 somewhere I work now.
25 Q. Could you tell us, please, in mid-1992, where were you working, at
1 what post in the Uzice hospital?
2 A. In 1992, I was working in the psychiatric ward of the Uzice
3 general hospital as a general practitioner.
4 Q. How many other doctors did the ward have, if you remember, and who
5 were they?
6 A. Well, at that time, the head of the ward was Dr. Borislav
7 Martinovic, and the other doctors working there were Dr. Slavica Jelkovic,
8 a lady doctor, and she was my mentor. Then there was Dr. Radoslava
9 Bukovic, also a lady, and Dr. Zoran Dimitrijevic. As far as I remember,
10 that was the team of psychiatrists working on the ward.
11 Q. When you say, Mr. Simic, that Mrs. Slavica Jeftovic - not
12 Jelkovic, Jeftovic - was your mentor, what do that mean in your life of
14 A. It meant that I was responsible for my work to her, which meant
15 that all decisions having to do with patients directly were made by her.
16 She made the decisions and I tabled the proposals.
17 Q. At that time, did the hospital have an organisation according to
18 which there was an outpatient psychiatric department and a psychiatric
20 A. Yes. There was always an outpatient psychiatric department and
21 the psychiatric ward proper.
22 Q. Did you work on the ward?
23 A. I was what was called a ward doctor, which meant that I just
24 worked on the ward.
25 Q. From what you have told us, it transpires that you were a young
1 doctor or starting out your training and career. You probably remember
2 the method of organisation and method of work. What can you tell us,
3 please? How were patients admitted?
4 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, there has been no challenge to what we
5 have heard from the other doctors about this. Do you need to repeat it?
6 As I understand it, this witness is here to establish that your
7 client was in hospital, and if necessary, his psychiatric condition.
8 That's all that you need to ask him about. None of this has been
9 challenged. You are entitled to proceed on the basis that the Prosecution
10 does not challenge it.
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not quite sure from
12 Mr. Groome's questions, that is to say, I came to understand that the
13 questions that he asked the previous witness expressed some doubt as to
14 how the protocols were kept and how the patients were admitted into
15 hospital. So I thought I would ask this witness about that procedure. If
16 you consider that that is not necessary and that the matter is clear, I
17 shall be happy to proceed and move on to asking the witness questions
18 within the realm of his work as a doctor.
19 JUDGE HUNT: My clear understanding of the cross-examination, and
20 if I'm wrong I better be set right, was that there was no challenge to the
21 method by which these records were kept. The challenge was to whether
22 that method was followed on this particular occasion by that particular
23 witness and whether it was her writing on the document, and no more. But
24 method, the general method that is meant to be followed, as I understand
25 it, is not challenged.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Is that so, Mr. Groome?
2 MR. GROOME: That's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE HUNT: So let's deal with what this witness is brought here
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Simic, do you happen to recall that during that period of
7 time, and we're talking about 1992, that is to say, the second year in
8 which you were working at the psychiatric ward of the general hospital,
9 meeting a patient by the name of Mitar Vasiljevic?
10 A. Yes, I do remember that.
11 Q. Could you tell us what you remember and whether you, yourself,
12 were his ward doctor? Because you said a moment ago that you were the
13 ward doctor, or did you just take part in his treatment?
14 A. I was the ward doctor of a patient Vasiljevic. It was my task, as
15 the youngest doctor on the ward, to take care of the newly admitted
16 patients, and in this case it was Mitar Vasiljevic. And that meant that I
17 should check his state of health and to keep a record of his state of
18 health in the case history, and also to inform my mentor regularly of the
19 state of the patient's health.
20 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Simic, any details, starting with the arrival
21 of Mitar Vasiljevic on the ward and after that?
22 A. I remembered the patient because he -- it is not usual or very
23 frequent that patients are transferred from another ward in a psychotic
24 state, a state of psychotic disturbance, so that I remember that.
25 Q. From what ward was Mr. Mitar transferred to your ward, Mr. Simic?
1 A. Patient Mitar Vasiljevic was transferred from the orthopaedics
3 Q. Do you remember why he was in the orthopedics ward in the first
5 A. He was in a plaster cast so that it was the result of a fracture,
6 most probably of the leg. And I think that's what was written in his case
7 history, because the case history is the same one, common. It's just a
8 continuation. It's taken over from the orthopedics ward. We continued
9 writing in the case history when he came to our ward, and I think all that
10 was recorded in his case history.
11 Q. Yes. That's as far as orthopedics is concerned. Now, the reason
12 that he was transferred to the psychiatric ward, do you happen to remember
13 that, the reasons for that and can you tell us something about that?
14 A. The patient Vasiljevic was highly agitated, aggressive, and he was
15 forcibly transferred to the psychiatric ward, so that on the ward we had
16 to fixate or tie the patient and administer urgent therapy prescribed for
17 that kind of condition.
18 Q. Do you remember those first days or, rather, were you there when
19 he was admitted or did you come in later? Did you find him on the ward
20 when you came in later perhaps?
21 A. He was brought to the ward, I assume on orders from one of the
22 consultant psychiatrists who had probably examined him. I don't know that
23 for sure, but the procedure is the psychiatric consultant examines the
24 patient, and if he deems that the condition is such that he should be
25 admitted to the psychiatric ward, then he is transferred to the ward. So
1 I saw him when he had already been brought to the ward. And the man had
2 the manifestations of acute psychotic disorder and therefore had to be
4 Q. Could you explain what that means in practical terms? You used
5 the word "fix" or "fixated." What does that mean?
6 A. It means to be tied to the bed with special straps for protection,
7 for the patient's own protection and to protect the staff as well.
8 Q. When you say for the patient's and staff's protection, do you mean
9 other patients, including the man himself?
10 A. Yes. The patient himself and other patients, too.
11 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Simic, that if the doctors decide to strap the
12 patient to the bed, that that means that the patient might be harmful to
13 himself, that he might do something to harm his own person?
14 A. A patient suffering from acute psychotic disorder is most often
15 extremely agitated, excited, cannot control his behaviour. He is
16 aggressive from time to time, and in a condition of that kind, because of
17 the disorder that he is suffering from, he may hurt himself accidentally
18 or hurt someone around him, and therefore, strapping him to the bed is a
19 protective measure to avoid that.
20 Q. Do you happen to recall how long this protective measure was in
21 place? How long was it applied for or how long is it generally applied
22 for? Are there any hard and fast rules or is it individual, depending on
23 the patient?
24 A. Well, it's an individual thing and depends on the psychological
25 state of the patient in question. But in practice, generally speaking, it
1 is a relatively short period of time, perhaps one or two days, until the
2 initial surge of agitation and excitation passes and until the therapy and
3 medicaments start working. So this condition is resolved fairly quickly.
4 Q. When you say, Mr. Simic, under the effects of therapy, adequate
5 therapy, medicaments, are strong medicaments administered which would have
6 calming effects, artificial calming effects on the patient? Is that what
7 you do? Is that the therapy?
8 A. Well, they are standard anti-psychotic drugs that we administer,
9 drugs which affect sedation and lead to a calming effect of the -- and
10 psycho-motor agitation and excitation, and they are customary and
11 standardised procedure and a standard drug that is administered.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Domazet?
13 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE HUNT: We'll resume again tomorrow at 9.30.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.00 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 27th day of
17 November, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.