1 Monday, 7 January 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused not present]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to each and everyone in and around
6 the courtroom. I would like to convey to all of you the Trial Chamber's
7 best wishes for the new year.
8 Mr. Registrar, would you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May we have the appearances, please.
12 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
13 Judge Mindua. Counsel, good morning and happy new year to all of you as
14 well. For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer appearing with
15 Matthew Gillett and OTP analyst, Sandra Ramirez Rodriguez, who has been
16 very instrumental in assisting with the organisation of the documents for
17 this witness as well as Case Manager, Thomas Laugel.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. For the Defence Mr. Zivanovic.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
20 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May the record reflect that we sit
22 pursuant to Rule 15 bis, Judge Hall being absent.
23 Mr. Zivanovic, I see that your client is not in the courtroom.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. We -- we filed a waiver for his absence. I
25 hope you got it.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: It has been filed. Okay. Thank you. Thank you
2 very much. So if that's all, Mr. Gillett, you have a witness.
3 MR. GILLETT: Yes. The next witness is Dr. Strinovic, GH-105.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Before -- before we go to that, the Trial Chamber
5 has a short oral ruling.
6 On the 10th of December, 2012, the Prosecution filed a motion for
7 leave to amend its Rule 65 ter exhibit list by adding nine documents.
8 The Prosecution indicated that it intends to use four of these documents
9 with Witness Davor Strinovic, who is scheduled to commence his testimony
11 The Defence does not object to the addition of these four
12 documents and indicated -- as indicated in its response of 24th December.
13 The Chamber recalls that amendments to the exhibit list may be
14 granted when the interests of justice allow. The Chamber is satisfied
15 that taking into account the specific circumstances of this case and the
16 lack of objection of the Defence good cause has been shown for amending
17 the Prosecution exhibit list to include the documents designated with the
18 following proposed Rule 65 ter numbers: 06365, 06366, 06367, and 06368.
19 The documents are relevant and of sufficient importance to
20 justify addition at this stage of the trial. The Trial Chamber is
21 satisfied that the addition of the documents will not result in undue
22 prejudice to the Defence.
23 The motion is therefore granted in part and the Prosecution may
24 add the documents to its exhibit list. Issues as to the admissibility of
25 the documents will be addressed at such time as the documents are
2 The Trial Chamber remains seized of the motion in all other
4 Mr. Stringer, in order to plan the upcoming weeks and more in
5 particular the week starting 21st and 28 of January, could we ask you to
6 send to us and to the Defence your witness notification for those weeks
7 by Thursday.
8 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Your Honour. We can do that with no trouble
9 at all.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. The witness may be brought
11 in. Thank you.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Witness. Thank you for coming
14 to The Hague to assist this Trial Chamber. First of all, do you hear me
15 in a language you understand?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I can hear you
17 very well. Thank you.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you please tell us your name and your date
19 of birth and also what your ethnicity is, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Davor Strinovic. I was
21 born on the 8th of March, 1949, and I'm Croat by ethnicity.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Strinovic. You are about to read
23 the solemn declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the
24 truth. I need to point out that the solemn declaration that you are
25 about to make does expose you to the penalty of perjury should you give
1 misleading or untruthful evidence to this Tribunal. Please read the
2 solemn declaration now.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: DAVOR STRINOVIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
8 Yes, Mr. Gillett.
9 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, President. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Examination by Mr. Gillett:
11 Q. Good morning, sir. Could you please state your profession and
12 your current positions.
13 A. I am a specialist in forensic medicine, a professor and head of
14 the institute for forensic medicine and criminology in Zagreb. I am also
15 head of the government commission for the missing persons since 1991.
16 Q. How long have you been a forensic pathologist?
17 A. I joined the institute for forensic medicine in 1976 and since
18 1980 I have been a specialist in forensic medicine.
19 Q. Could you briefly explain what a forensic pathologist does.
20 A. Well, the specialisation in forensic medicine implies certain
21 problems, mainly in determining the cause of death; that is to say all
22 those cases that are pronounced violent deaths or suspicious deaths where
23 the cause is not clear are the object of interest of forensic medicine.
24 Postmortem is one of the important parts of our job, but
25 pathologists also do other work, primarily testifying in court, and a
1 professor like I also trains students and educates other professionals
2 such as in the police force, writes papers, scientific work, et cetera.
3 Q. And when you refer to postmortem, I understand that you're
4 referring to autopsies. How many autopsies would you yourself have
5 performed through your career?
6 A. That is a question that is difficult to give a precise answer to,
7 because I have been a forensic pathologist for 37 years now, and we do
8 autopsies on a daily basis. It's the largest institute in the
9 Republic of Croatia that performs around 15- to 1.600 autopsies per year.
10 There were years when our staff was smaller, and in those years I did 500
11 to 600 autopsies myself per year, although that number is smaller now,
12 200 to 300 per year.
13 Q. And how frequently do you testify in relation to forensic
14 pathology in domestic proceedings?
15 A. I live in the largest city in Croatia with the largest number of
16 courts and judges, so forensic pathologists such as I appear before
17 courts very often or at least provide expert reports and opinions. It's
18 difficult to put a number on it, but I can say that since I have become a
19 forensic pathologist in 1980, I have been in daily contact with forensic
20 work either testifying before courts or writing expert reports.
21 Q. And have you testified before the Tribunal as an expert witness
23 A. To the best of my recollection, I have been before this court
24 already five times in well-known cases that you must be familiar with.
25 Q. Yes. Thank you. You mentioned that you write papers.
1 Approximately how many publications would you have in relation to this
3 A. If you are asking me about forensic medicine as a subject, as I
4 understand, that would be 55 to 65 papers including books and
5 publications for foreign and domestic journals.
6 Q. You mentioned that you're in the commission for missing persons.
7 I understand this is the commission for detained and missing persons in
8 Croatia. Can you tell us when this commission was established?
9 A. The commission for detained and missing persons was established
10 in Croatia towards the end of 1991, December 1991, and has existed since
11 then, changing names several times, but it deals with the same problems
12 as before.
13 Q. And why was it established? What is its purpose?
14 A. When the war in Croatia began, we realised that one of the
15 greatest problems is the number of missing persons. The number varied
16 over different periods, and it was very high at a certain point, and we
17 wanted to establish a commission that would investigate and try to solve
18 such problems and help primarily the families of the missing persons but
19 also the state to restore some order and establish a precise number of
20 detained and missing persons.
21 Q. So you mentioned the function at the start of the establishment
22 of the commission. Did its functions change significantly in 1995, and
23 if so, how?
24 A. I can say very briefly, perhaps, just to acquaint the Court with
25 the purpose of that commission, we established the commission in 1991,
1 primarily to collect as much data as possible about missing persons and
2 create lists of missing persons including ante-mortal information or any
3 kind of information about the missing persons. We collected that
4 information over four years when we contacted families through the
5 Red Cross and other organisations to inquire with the closest relatives
6 and collect general data but also particular data that are valuable to us
7 such as the health status or some chronic conditions that could be
8 reflected on the bones, braces, protheses that could help with
9 identification. Especially precious were dental records, so we contacted
10 the dentists of the missing persons, requiring all the papers and
11 documentation they had. And here I must say that due to the war in
12 Croatia, most of that medical documentation was not available. So the
13 key information was the one we received from families, the so-called
14 ante-mortem information that is collected over the years. So once you
15 find the body, you can carry out identification.
16 That's what we did from 1992 when we began our work until 1995,
17 and that was preparation for what would follow later when we find the
19 And the second prong of our job was to obtain whatever
20 information we could from the opposite side that was involved in the
21 incidents in which these persons went missing. So we asked Yugoslavia
22 and later Serbia for such information, later also Bosnia-Herzegovina, to
23 get as much data that could help us later find individual graves and mass
24 graves and identify these people.
25 That was that period from 1992 through 1995 where we did
1 everything possible to prepare for the next period when we got access to
2 these graves and proceed with exhumations. It was not easy to find these
3 graves that had been hidden before, that were subject to natural changes,
4 weather conditions, that were obscured by the vegetation. Anyway, we
5 proceeded with that work, identifying locations, exhumations, retrieving
6 the bodies and matching the information we had before with the -- with
7 the actual state of the bodies as established through autopsies to permit
9 Q. What was your role particularly in that period from 1995 onwards
10 in relation to the exhumations and identifications of the bodies that you
12 A. Since I was a member of the commission as of 1991, it was
13 logical, as we had to continue the work on identifying graves and
14 carrying out identifications, it was logical for me to take care of the
15 work related to identification. As the graves were located and bodies
16 were found, teams were formed that first carried out exhumations and then
17 the processing of mortal remains.
18 At the beginning there was a lot of such work in all parts of
19 Croatia that was liberated in full by that time. There were many graves,
20 so all pathologists and specialists of forensic medicine were involved in
21 these exhumations and autopsies. All that needed to be co-ordinated in
22 order to cover every location, every grave. All that needed to be
23 harmonised, and that was done through the government commission for
24 detained and missing persons, whereas the other part of the work
25 involving medical experts that needed to attend exhumations and autopsies
1 was done in agreement with me. I did the co-ordination so that
2 everything could operate without any delay.
3 Q. Did you personally participate in some of the exhumations and
4 autopsies of the victims that were found?
5 A. Of course. Throughout that time and to date I have been involved
6 in exhumations and autopsies and identifications. At first I did more
7 fieldwork and performed autopsies either on site or at the institute for
8 forensic medicine in Zagreb, because we had prepared premises for that
9 purpose alone. And all the time since 1995, I have been involved very
10 much both as an organiser and a direct participant.
11 Q. Were internationals also involved in this process of exhumations
12 and autopsies?
13 A. Yes. I must say I don't know how the work was divided, but
14 international experts came to Croatia on several occasions sent by
15 international organisations to perform exhumations and post-mortems.
16 There were several teams, international experts who performed this work
17 before turning it over to us to continue with work geared at
19 Q. When the internationals carried out exhumations and post-mortems,
20 were representatives from Croatia and Yugoslavia also involved?
21 A. Practically with every exhumation carried out in Croatia, several
22 sides were involved, especially international organisations that led
23 these exhumations and the processing. There was also somebody present
24 from the Serbian side, mainly experts from Serbia or the so-called
1 Q. I'm going to ask some more questions about the technical
2 processes of exhumations, autopsies, identifications. Before we get into
3 that, there's a few terms that arise frequently in the documentation, and
4 I'd ask you to clarify. One of the terms is saponified or
5 saponification. Could you briefly explain what that is.
6 A. After death, changes occur on the human body. In the first day
7 or two the changes are not visible. The body is still fresh, as we say,
8 and that is the optimal time for conducting post-mortems, but with time
9 changes progress on the body. If the body is in a humid environment or
10 in water, or in clay, the body will saponify. The body remains compact,
11 the skin and tissue remain intact so that this saponification, which can
12 take a month or longer, leads to changes, but we can still see things on
13 skin like tattoos and scars. On a saponified corpse we can also see
14 injuries such as from a projectile, a knife, et cetera, because the skin
15 is well preserved. Internally we can see injuries to organs. So
16 generally speaking, saponification helps us in processing mortal remains.
17 We have more elements to establish the cause of death, because we can see
18 things that we cannot see on a skeleton.
19 Q. And in relation to a skeleton, the term skeletonisation, briefly.
20 A. If after death the body is left outside, exposed to air,
21 skeletonisation can occur very quickly, within months, which means that
22 only the skeleton remains without any tissue. That happens to a body
23 left out in the open. If the body is in the ground, in dry soil, it
24 takes seven to ten years for a body to skeletonise. That means that only
25 the skeleton remains, and along with the skeleton parts of clothing. And
1 it's important to note here that when we have only the skeleton, we can
2 judge only by the bones whether we have enough elements for
3 identification or whether we are able to identify a person only based on
4 changes in the bones. And, of course, the same applies to the cause of
5 death. We can establish the cause of death only based on changes to the
6 bones. These changes could be very specific and could indicate with a
7 high degree of probability the cause of death, but they can also be very
8 unspecific or very broad. So we can only say that it's a violent death
9 in the broad sense a result of injury, but we cannot identify the
10 mechanism, whether it's a blow by an axe or a rapid projectile or a shell
11 with high velocity shrapnel. The changes would be approximately the
12 same, broad injuries and very recognisable ones.
13 Q. Moving to the process of identification of remains, you've
14 mentioned the term ante-mortal or ante-mortem information. How can this
15 assist with identifying who the remains are?
16 A. I would like to start by saying the following: A classical
17 identification that we are going to describe in a minute was the only
18 type of identification up to sometime in 1998 or perhaps in the year
19 2000. Before then we did not know much about the DNA. In Croatia, the
20 first time we started using the DNA identification method was around that
21 time, and then it became the first and the foremost type of
22 identification for each and every body.
23 When we're talking about ante-mortal information, that was very
24 important, because in 1995 or 1996 or 1997, the only thing we could rely
25 on was the -- a comparison between ante-mortal information and the mortal
1 remains. Like I've told you before, as of 1991, we started collecting
2 that kind of information, i.e., the information that could provide
3 answers to the questions that were raised during post-mortem and when we
4 compared those, we could arrive at some sort of a more or less probable
5 identification. The ante-mortal information consists of the main
6 information such as sex, height, gender - that's what every ante-mortal
7 protocol should contain - and then we proceed to details such as clothes,
8 footwear, jewellery, any objects that may be related to a missing person
9 that could help with the identification, and then we proceed to the body
10 itself. We can conclude that a person could have suffered from an
11 illness, from some changes on the organs such as bones or, for example,
12 teeth. Teeth are very important for post-mortem identification. If the
13 teeth are present, if they're preserved, which is very often the case
14 then with a high probability of almost a hundred per cent we can confirm
15 the identity of the person. What does that mean? Practically it is very
16 difficult to find two people with two identical dental record. When it
17 comes to normal teeth, they can grow in several ways. The gaps between
18 the teeth are different, the colour of the teeth is different. The
19 various procedures that were done on the teeth like fillings, dentures,
20 and so on and so forth. There is a whole series ever elements. And when
21 you have a very good dental status, i.e., very good ante-mortal
22 information that was provided by a dentist or from a medical history,
23 that information is very valuable and such ante-mortal information can
24 help us with our post-mortem identification and provides us with an
25 almost hundred per cent identification match.
1 This was very valuable to us when we first started doing those
2 post-mortems. So whatever we learned from ante-mortal information is
3 entered and is used in identification and that includes the information
4 on the cause of death, because there are witnesses, there are statements.
5 And when you talk to the families and other people, and we have
6 interviewed thousands of people, a lot of people have information about
7 how people perished, how they died, and that part which is the cause of
8 that and similar thing can help and can be used as one of the
9 identification elements.
10 I have to emphasise that when we're talking about classical
11 identification and when we talk about ante-mortal information, the more
12 pieces of ante-mortal information we have and if we find similar things
13 during post-mortem and if we can compare the two sets of data we can
14 establish the identity of the person. We do not like such identification
15 where just one element will be used to establish a positive match. The
16 more positive matches, the better and the more reliable identification.
17 So ante-mortal information is very important, and it was particularly
18 important before the year 2000, before we started relying more heavily on
20 Q. Thank you. And speaking of DNA, could you briefly describe how
21 DNA assists to identify the remains that you discover.
22 A. DNA analysis is an analysis which has greatly helped
23 identifications. When you have a good DNA findings, then your result is
24 99.99 per cent, and this is never contested by either the family or
25 anybody else who might want to challenge your findings.
1 Every person has a DNA which is unique, and only a twin can have
2 the same DNA, and this is the only cause of problem. If we have twins
3 with the same DNA image, then we have a problem. Otherwise, the DNA is
5 When it comes to mortal remains, we encounter a problem. Bones
6 and teeth are the ideal material for taking DNA. If the bones and teeth
7 are well preserved, and they do keep better than any other part of the
8 body, we can take the DNA, but we don't know who that is, because this is
9 still an unknown person. We have to move one step forward, and that DNA
10 has to be compared with the next of kin. The DNA's taken from blood,
11 usually from the mother or father of the missing person or the wife and
12 the child of the missing person. This is what is done in paternity
13 testing. In that same way, we prove who the father is or who the child
14 is. If we have a mother and a father, then we take their DNA samples
15 from living relatives, and if we have a missing son with his DNA taken
16 from the bones, we can match the two and we can prove that that mother
17 and that father are the parents of that missing person and that missing
18 person cannot be anybody else but their son.
19 The same applies to a situation where we're talking about a wife
20 and a child. We actually proved that that child can only be the child of
21 that mother and that late father and that's how we prove that the body
22 belongs to that person.
23 The DNA method is virtually perfect. However, there are cases
24 when even the DNA method cannot be help, i.e., we will not be able to
25 isolate the DNA from either the bones or the teeth. Usually we are
1 talking about the bodies who have burnt. The DNA was disintegrated. It
2 cannot be found in the bones. Or if the bodies were exposed to
3 unfavourable conditions for a long time. For example, if they were in
4 open air, then the bones disintegrate. They turn into dust and the DNA
5 cannot be isolated. Unfortunately, we have cases in which we cannot
6 identify the person either by the classical method or by the DNA analysis
7 because simply DNA cannot be isolated in some cases.
8 I have to say that the DNA analysis which is used -- which has
9 been used since 1992, 1993, but it took off in a bigger way since 1999
10 and 2000. In Croatia we have three large laboratories. One of them is
11 in Zagreb, and this is where routine identifications are performed.
12 Today everybody that is found, that is processed is subject to the DNA
13 analysis. So every identification process is completed with a full DNA
14 analysis of that body.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Strinovic, could I ask you to slow down a
16 little bit. The interpreters have some difficulty to follow your speech.
17 Thank you.
18 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
19 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions now about the topic of cause
20 of death that you mentioned, and I'll ask you about some of the factors
21 that go into assessing cause of death.
22 Firstly, how can the clothes that are found on a set of remains
23 assist in establishing what the cause of death was?
24 A. I would like to start by saying this: When it comes to
25 establishing the cause of death in bodies which were found after a number
1 of years is one of the most difficult tasks that faces a forensic expert.
2 Believe me, it is very difficult to be decisive, and we like to be as
3 sure as possible as when it comes to issues like that.
4 When it comes to identifying post-mortem remains after a number
5 of years, then the cause of death is a delicate issue and it is very
6 difficult to be a hundred per cent sure.
7 When it comes to clothes, obviously everything that is found
8 around the body and on the body, everything that is damaged can help with
9 arriving at a final conclusion on the cause of death. Every piece of
10 clothing that can -- that is found on the dead body, if it covers that
11 part of the body which was injured, then that item of clothing will be
12 damaged. For example, if the body was killed by a projectile, that
13 projectile will have damaged the skin, but it will also damage the
14 clothes. Those are small defects on the clothes that suggest that the
15 person died from a bullet. However, the clothes do not last long. They
16 disintegrate, and after a while it is going to be more difficult to
17 provide more concrete information based on the clothes. The clothes do
18 help, and if we encounter characteristics damage on the clothes, we can
19 use it to support our findings on the cause of that arrived at from the
20 bones and from other tissues. We will be able to tell whether the person
21 was -- died as a result of injuries or from some other causes.
22 Q. What about the skull, cranium?
23 A. The skull is something that in most cases when the skull is
24 preserved tells us in the most exact way what the cause of death was,
25 because of some specific features of the skull. If the skull is
1 preserved, and we are talking only about the bones, you can see defects
2 that are the imprints of the object that are used to inflict the
3 injuries. There will be cuts or blunt imprints. If the body was injured
4 by a projectile, we will find the entry and exit bounds on the cranium
5 which are very characteristic.
6 What does that mean? Every projectile, when it reaches a bone,
7 it pierces the bone owing to its speed. However, where the place where
8 it enters the bone is a round and regular defect and the exit wound will
9 cause damages of the bone, so such injuries inflicted by a broad
10 projectile are very characteristic. When a projectile exits the skull,
11 the interior part is damaged to a lesser extent, and the exterior is
12 damaged to a bigger extent. We can then therefore establish that it was
13 a gun-shot wound. We can establish where the projectile entered the
14 wound, where it existed the skull. The skull is obviously very
15 interesting when it comes to identification but when it comes to the
16 cause of death, it is very difficult when we have gun-shot wounds. The
17 problem arises when a gun-shot wound which is very common is inflicted by
18 a fast projectile.
19 What does that mean? If a projectile travels fast we have an
20 extensive wound of all the structures including bones. Why is that the
21 case? Because we're talking about high velocity, high energy that is
22 transferred onto the tissue, onto the bone and the kinetic energy is
23 transformed into the elastic energy which injuries the tissues including
24 the bones, and then at the end, after a while when the bone
25 disintegrates, we end up with a skull which is fragmented, and it is very
1 difficult for us to put the fragments together and to establish the true
2 cause of death; i.e., it is very difficult to reconstruct that the person
3 suffered from a gun-shot wound.
4 A similar picture is seen in an explosion of a shell when there
5 is shrapnel and the shrapnel destroys the bones -- bone, and there's also
6 other type of trauma such as blunt trauma, several blows which injured
7 the bone and once the muscles and the soft tissues disappear, what we end
8 up with is a fragmented bone from which it is difficult to reconstruct
9 how the injury was inflicted. I'm saying this just to make sure you
10 understand that not all the injuries will be clear cut. In some cases it
11 will be very clear what the cause of death was and sometimes it will not
12 be possible to establish the cause of death for the reasons that I
13 mentioned just a while ago.
14 Q. And how do X-rays assist in establishing the cause of death?
15 A. I must say that at the beginning of our work when it comes to the
16 processing of mortal remains, we did not have an X-ray. It was obtained
17 in 1986, and then we could put the bodies through the X-ray machine. Why
18 is that important? Because it takes the image of the bones and all the
19 other metal bodies -- metal objects on the body which are sometimes very
20 difficult to find. Even when you're faced with a fresh body, sometimes
21 it is impossible for us to find the projectile or shrapnel. We have to
22 subject the body to an X-ray in order to localise the location of the
23 metal and then we extract that metal object from the body.
24 It is particularly obvious when the bodies have spent a lot of
25 time in the soil, and by an external examination or if soft tissues are
1 preserved, it is very difficult to establish the place where the
2 projectile or a metal bullet is. So the only way to establish the
3 location of such metal objects is -- or the fragments of -- or particles
4 of metal is to use an X-ray machine.
5 After we started using an X-ray machine, we could say with more
6 certainty how the person was injured and what the cause of death was,
7 especially when we were faced with shrapnel that can be lethal, and it
8 was only in that way that we could positively conclude what happened to
9 the person who died.
10 Q. So based on what you've told us, if we have an autopsy report
11 where the cause of death says unknown or unascertained, is it possible
12 that that person could still have been shot by a gun, for instance, but
13 they cannot determine the precise cause of death?
14 A. Yes, precisely so. I've tried to explain that. In some cases we
15 have typical wounds of either soft tissues or the bones that remain.
16 However, in some cases it is not the case. The wounds are not typical.
17 There are no multiple fractures or multiple injuries, and we cannot draw
18 a conclusion on the cause of death, although it does appear possible that
19 the cause of death was a gun-shot wound, but it cannot be positively
21 MR. GILLETT: Could we now get 65 ter document 03005 on the
23 Sorry, do I see that you have a question there before we move on?
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. Before we move on, if I may.
25 Witness, Mr. Strinovic, if I understood you properly, and you
1 correct me if I am wrong, when we're talking about the skull, you said
2 that a projectile, the faster it is, the easier it is to establish the
3 cause of death. Is that the case?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. In cases
5 when such fast projectiles cause multiple fractures of the skull which is
6 very common. If a projectile damages the skull in such a way that we do
7 not have a typical entry-exit wound but only multiple fractures of the
8 bones that are fractures, in such cases we cannot talk with certainty
9 about the cause of death.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Is that the same for
11 soft tissues or is it different with soft tissues?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When a fast projectile reaches soft
13 tissues, it goes through such soft tissues, and the faster the speed, the
14 higher the speed, the bigger the destruction. A slow projectile that
15 reaches soft tissue makes a canal that is of the diametre of the
16 projectile. If we are talking about more than 800 or a thousand metres
17 in a second then the damages of the soft tissue will be larger for the
18 same reason it is the case with the bone. The kinetic energy of a fast
19 projectile is transformed into the elastic energy that destroys tissue
20 and creates a huge wave in the body which results in extensive injuries
21 which are much larger than the projectile itself. That's the reason why
22 fast projectiles are as dangerous as they are. They do not need to
23 injure vital organs and still they can cause death because they cause
24 may -- massive destruction of soft tissues, the traumatic shock, bleeding
25 and ultimately a person's death.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. This was
2 very clear.
3 MR. GILLETT:
4 Q. And so is it correct to summarise that an injury inflicted by a
5 slower projectile causing an entry wound and exit wound, for instance, to
6 the skull, will be easier to ascertain the cause of death than if you
7 have from a faster projectile which has shattered the skull? Is that
9 A. Yes, absolutely, you're right. This is precisely so.
10 MR. GILLETT: Okay. Could we get 03005 on the monitor, please.
11 Q. This should come up on the monitor in front of you,
12 Dr. Strinovic.
13 Do you see this document in front of you?
14 A. Yes, if you're talking about my curriculum vitae, yes, I can see
16 Q. And does this document set out further details about your
17 background, your education, your membership of expert associations and
18 professional experience?
19 A. It does, obviously. I drafted my own curriculum vitae, so it's
20 truthful, of course.
21 Q. And then if we go on a couple of pages, we'll see discussions of
22 your role in exhumations and identifications; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. And does this report still accurately reflect the methodology
25 that you used in the exhumations, autopsies, and identification processes
1 that you were involved in?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, I'd request that 65 ter document
4 03005 be admitted and that could be admitted publicly.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P351. Thank you.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. GILLETT:
9 Q. I'm now going to ask some questions about the specific documents
10 related to the victims in this case, and for the purposes of this, there
11 is a table referring to a large number of documents.
12 MR. GILLETT: We have printed out hard copies, colour copies of
13 this for Your Honours and for the Defence. There is, in fact, two
14 tables: One relating to all the incidents other than the Ovcara
15 incident; and one relating to the Ovcara incident. With Your Honours'
16 leave, I would distribute those to you as I think they'll be easier to
17 use than if we were all trying to follow on the computer the whole time.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do, Mr. Gillett.
19 MR. GILLETT: And while they're being distributed, I would point
20 out that we're happy to provide searchable electronic copies of these
21 tables to Your Honours and the Defence after the witness has testified.
22 Also, these documents were made before we had 65 ter numbers, so the
23 document numbers referred to in the table are the ERNs or doc IDs so I'll
24 try and refer to the documents by those numbers as we go through this.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: And, Mr. Gillett, when you say searchable
1 document, you mean Excel format?
2 MR. GILLETT: Excel.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. GILLETT:
5 Q. So we're going to start with the thicker document, which is the
6 non-Ovcara one.
7 Now, Dr. Strinovic, in preparation for your testimony in this
8 case today, were you asked to review a collection of exhumation, autopsy
9 and identification related documents?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And does the table that is in front of you set out the references
12 to the documents that you reviewed?
13 A. Yes, I believe so.
14 MR. GILLETT: And I would just note that there are some
15 additional documents referred to in the table that Dr. Strinovic was not
16 asked to review. They are generally missing persons questionnaires, and
17 the way that you can see that is if the column -- the box in the column
18 document authenticity is blank, that means it is not a document that he
19 was asked to review.
20 Q. If we look at the column entitled "Cause of death" which is the
21 third from the right, does this list the causes of death for each victim
22 that reflects the underlying documentation?
23 A. Yes, I believe so.
24 Q. And when you carried out the process of reviewing these
25 documents, if you concluded that one was authentic, did you cross out the
1 "No" in the document "Authenticity" column and leave the "Yes" showing?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. And where there is handwriting on this document, whose
4 handwriting is that?
5 A. That's my handwriting.
6 Q. Now, when you carried out the review of all this documentation,
7 on what basis were you able to authenticate the various documents in a
8 general sense?
9 A. My basis for comparison were the original autopsy protocols that
10 were -- are kept at the forensic institute in Zagreb. When I compared
11 the two, I could establish that we're talking about the same documents,
12 i.e., I could establish the authenticity of the documents.
13 Q. And were you involved in producing some of these documents?
14 A. If you mean autopsy reports, then yes.
15 Q. And do you know the performers of the autopsy reports other than
16 yourself that appeared on these documents?
17 A. Yes. I think I can say I know all of them. They're my
19 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we're going to go through some
20 examples. Obviously in the interests of time we won't be able to go
21 through every single one, but I'll try and pick some emblematic ones
22 that -- with some commonly occurring issues to help explain how the table
23 works. Just as an aside, the letters SNS are written beside some of the
24 documents. That's an internal thing that can be ignored. It just
25 relates to a previous case. And where some documents are coloured
1 yellow, that can also be ignored. It just relates to more recently
2 received documents.
3 Q. If we go to page 1, the first entry is for paragraph 24, the
4 first listed victim, and these victims follow the order in the annexes to
5 the indictment. And the first lists victim is Zoran Andjal. The first
6 document listed for this first victim is an autopsy report.
7 MR. GILLETT: And if we could get that report on the screen, it
8 is ERN 02027317, and that's 65 ter 03685. Thank you.
9 Q. Now, if we look at the persons that carried out this autopsy, do
10 you recognise any of the names on page 1?
11 A. [In English] That is Dr. Mladen Marcikic. His is head of the
12 institute in Osijek.
13 Q. And do you know the autopsy performer, Boris Dumencic?
14 A. [Interpretation] Yes, of course. He was also doing
15 specialisation -- [Interpretation] He did his specialisation in Zagreb,
16 and he worked in Osijek together with Dr. Marcikic.
17 Q. The second sentence of text on the first page which starts
18 "On 23 February, 1998," states that on LOK 1, under the number 152 in
19 Celije, "exhumation of remains was carried out." What does this number
20 152 signify?
21 A. When an exhumation is begun in a certain area, the site is mark
22 such as it was done in Celije, and its divided into locations, location
23 1, 2, et cetera, whereas 152 is the number of the body bag where a
24 certain person is placed. In fact, their mortal remains.
25 Q. And what information does this report contain? Could you talk us
1 just briefly and generally through the elements that it sets out?
2 A. In this autopsy report we see first the description of the
3 clothing together with all the objects found. If you want me, I can
4 quote them here. We'll refer to it just in general terms.
5 After that, we proceed with the autopsy itself, and we go part by
6 part describing first - we can move to the next page - the head where
7 multiple fractures were found of the head, followed by the lower and
8 upper jaw and then other parts of the body. Do you want me to comment on
9 this or --
10 Q. No, that's okay. And then where would we find the cause of death
11 for this victim listed?
12 A. In the conclusion. The basic information about injuries is
13 provided, and reference is made to a violent death.
14 Q. And does that information in the conclusion about the injuries
15 reflect what is in the table under the column "Cause of death" for
16 Zoran Andjal?
17 A. Yes. In this table we see before us, we see injuries listed, and
18 in view of their number and appearance, they indicate a high probability
19 of a gun-shot or blast wound.
20 Q. And on the report, if the victim were found with a weapon or a
21 military ID, for example, would that also be listed on an autopsy or
22 exhumation report?
23 A. I must say that the pathologist, when he gets the body, he will
24 describe the entire body, including with everything on it, and that
25 includes weapons, and if there is nothing, he will just say the body is
1 naked. But the person performing the autopsy describes everything that
2 comes with the body.
3 Q. Okay. On page 1 of this report, we don't necessarily need to go
4 there, but it refers to a Iscan Yasar phase 4 reflecting an age of 26 to
5 32 years. What is this Iscan Yasar phase? Sorry, it's Iscan Yasar.
6 Maybe we should go to page 1 of the report. It's the third line from the
8 A. I still don't see that page.
9 Q. Apologies. It's in the Croatian original. I believe it is
10 page 2. It is the third paragraph of text down.
11 A. I can tell you the following: When you look at changes on the
12 bones, you also look to see whether you can determine the age based on
13 the bones. There are several methods to determine the age of a person,
14 and one of them is the examination of ribs that grow into the sternum.
15 With time changes occur in the ribs. First of all, in youth they are
16 elastic and then they ossify and get less flexible. Anyway, you can see
17 changes on the ribs that are due to age, and looking at the ribs you can
18 give an estimate on the age.
19 In this specific case, it was determined that this was a young
20 person aged 26 to 32. That is an age where ossification is not complete.
21 But these are normal changes that exist in every person, not with the
22 same speed. In any case, you can see on certain bones such as the ribs
23 and the pelvis or even the skull. When the person is still young, we can
24 roughly estimate the age by the changes that occur on every bone.
25 Q. And you're referred to the pelvis. In the following bullet point
1 on the pelvis it refers to the Suchey-Brooksukoy test phase 3. Is
2 this --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, before you go there, could you ask
4 the witness what is -- ask again what Iscan Yasar means. According to
5 Iscan Yasar -- I suppose it is the name of a method but we should have it
6 on the record.
7 MR. GILLETT:
8 Q. Could you clarify what Iscan Yasar means?
9 A. According to Iscan Yasar, that means those are the authors who
10 promoted this method, who concluded after examining many cases that there
11 were certain changes that could indicate age and provided a table with --
12 with a range. Those are the authors of the method.
13 Q. And in the following bullet point the report refers to the -
14 forgive my pronunciation - Suchey-Brooksukoy phase 3. What is this?
15 A. The situation here was very similar to the previous one. Those
16 were authors who [indiscernible] the changes on the symphysis, which is
17 the joint between the left and the right side of the pelvis. First of
18 all, these bones have cartilage and they are elastic. Later with age
19 they lose their elasticity and ossify. So persons can be divided by age
20 groups. Here it was determined that the age would be 21 to 46 years.
21 This is rather a large range, but it's not considered to be a very
22 precise method.
23 MR. GILLETT: Could we move to the second document for this same
24 listed victim in the indictment which is ERN 06822903, and that's 65 ter
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, I think the best thing to do is the
2 take the first break now, even if we started 15 minutes late, but we --
3 this way we won't get confused.
4 Mr. Witness, we take the break now for half an hour and come back
5 at 11.00. The usher will escort you out of court. Thank you.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, while we are waiting for the
11 witness, I could perhaps ask you this -- ask to clarify that eventually
12 with the witness. Page 86 and 87, in the last column there is a
13 handwritten note, and it says "CD correct," what that would mean. And at
14 page 88 and 89, it is said "No protocol."
15 MR. GILLETT: That is certainly on my list of questions,
16 Your Honour.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 MR. GILLETT: May I proceed?
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
21 MR. GILLETT:
22 Q. Welcome back, Dr. Strinovic. Thank you. Now, we were just
23 looking at the second document for the first listed victim on the
24 non-Ovcara table, and this is Zoran Andjal. So I believe this document
25 is still up on the screen in front of you. Could you tell us what this
1 document is?
2 A. Yes. It's a death certificate. It is a document issued to the
3 family after an identification is definitively confirmed, and when the
4 family agrees with the identification, it signs to confirm that it is
5 precisely their relative, and then with this death certificate they go to
6 the municipality where the body was found and they get the final death
7 certificate as the final document confirming death.
8 Q. On this document, in box number 3 on the first page, the date of
9 death is recorded as 22 September 1991. What would that information or
10 that date be based on?
11 A. It's probably clear to you that we don't know the exact time of
12 death, but we must have some information. We get that information
13 usually from the family or from the government commission which indicate
14 as a rule the date of disappearance, which is sometimes probably the date
15 of death. Otherwise, the date of death is difficult to determine. So we
16 take that date to be the date of death.
17 Q. And so am I right thinking that they are not always accurate and
18 certain dates of death?
19 A. Yes, precisely. That's what I just said. We really don't know,
20 because we were not eyewitnesses. We can only assume based on other
21 information such as information about the time when the person went
23 Q. What about the place of death that's recorded? Would that be
24 based on the same type of information?
25 A. The same. The fact is that the place where the body was found is
1 taken to be the place of death. Of course, it doesn't have to be
2 necessarily so, but in absence of other information, the date -- the
3 place where the body was found is taken as the place of death.
4 Q. And this may be an obvious question, but if you did have a
5 witness to the event or someone with specific information as to the place
6 or time of death, that would be reflected in the death certificate if
7 they had provided that information?
8 A. I think that would be written.
9 Q. Okay. If we could move to the third document for this victim,
10 Zoran Andjal. This is ERN -- sorry.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, I have a question about this last
12 question and answer.
13 Mr. Strinovic, you say, "I think that would be written." What
14 would be written? Would be written the date of death that you get from
15 that information or would it be written that there is information as to
16 such and such date?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand the question, but it's
18 difficult to give a definitive answer. As I said, we usually put the
19 date when the person went missing in these death certificates. If there
20 were witnesses who knew more about the events and dates, it was possible
21 to enter such information in the death certificate as well, but I don't
22 know really.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. GILLETT: If we could shift to the third document for this
25 victim, and this is ERN 06822905. That's 65 ter 03687. And this is a
1 DNA report.
2 Q. You've already described the general process of DNA
3 identification so I won't go back over that in any detail, but I'd note
4 that the -- this report refers to the body number 152 from Celije, which
5 is the same number that we've just seen on the first document above.
6 On page 1, the last line of text, and this is in the English, it
7 concludes that this was most probably Zoran Andjal. On what basis do
8 they conclude that this is Zoran Andjal, or most probably?
9 A. It's the usual language involving DNA. When we talk about 99.99
10 per cent, that is the statistical expression that is almost certain.
11 Q. Could we go to the second page of this document, if there is a
12 second page. Okay. And the very last block of text under "Opinion," is
13 that where we find the percentage that you've just referred to?
14 A. Yes. As we see at the end of this opinion there is a percentage,
15 99.9998 per cent. That is the degree of probability that this is indeed
16 the named person. It is a statistical expression for almost practically
18 Q. Where do we find the people that samples were taken from to
19 compare with the remains to establish who this person was?
20 A. In this specific case blood samples were given by the mother and
21 the father, and this proves paternity. It proves that the person found
22 was indeed the child of these two persons.
23 Q. And I saw you pointing to the screen. Were you pointing to the
24 heading "Findings" on this -- on this document?
25 A. In the opinion I read the percentage. In the findings above,
1 there is information about the parents.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'm going to turn now to the entry for the
3 victim called Ivan Zelember which is on page 5 of the table. And this --
4 the document that I'd like to look at on the screen is 65 ter 03709.
5 This is the first document listed, the autopsy report for this victim on
6 page 5.
7 Now, while we wait for this document to come up, I'd note that on
8 page 3, under the conclusion, it refers to fracture to the right side of
9 the face bone -- or fractures, sorry, to the right side of the face bone,
10 right upper jaw, and left side of the scapula and left arm. This is on
11 the document on page 3. Page 3 of the English.
12 Now, these -- these various fractures, do you see that in front
13 of you on the document on the screen, not on the -- I believe it's also
14 reflected in the table, but on the document on the screen?
15 A. Yes, I see it.
16 Q. Could these injuries have been caused by a simple accident, for
17 instance, falling over or something like that?
18 A. Injuries such as those listed and described in view of their
19 localisation and juxtaposition indicate the use of force rather than
20 fall. In a fall, the juxtaposition of injuries would be a little
21 different, and it would involve some injuries that are not listed here.
22 These injuries are typical for the use of a blunt instrument or perhaps
23 the palm of a hand.
24 Q. What is it about the localisation and juxtaposition of these
25 injuries that makes them more typical of injuries from a blunt instrument
1 than a fall, for instance?
2 A. First of all, there are two injuries to the upper jaw, and the
3 maxial bone that regularly occur from a blow. In a fall, injuries would
4 be most frequent to the back of the head. When somebody falls on their
5 face, it is to be expected the nose and the forehead would be injured,
6 and it would have to be a very bad fall. So the injuries juxtaposed as
7 here are typical for a blow. There is also an injury to the shoulder
8 blade which occurs from a blow. In a fall forward, there would be
9 injuries to the lower jaw and the forehead. The shoulder blade would not
10 be injured. And it's not typical for a fall. This specific injury to
11 the shoulder blade is difficult to sustain from things other than a blow.
12 Q. Could I turn now to page 25 of the table, and this is the entry
13 for Pero Rasic. Sorry, sorry, not page 25, page 14 of the table. This
14 is Pero Rasic, who is one of the victims listed in paragraph 25 of the
16 Now, the first thing for this victim, in the indictment he's
17 listed as Petar Rasic, but in the documents he's listed as Pero Rasic.
18 How could that come about?
19 A. I can only say that Petar and Pero is one and the same thing.
20 It's one and the same name, which can be interpreted in two different
21 names -- or, rather, expressed in two different ways. This is a
22 legitimate mistake. It's actually the same name spelled in two different
24 Q. Now, for this victim we have an autopsy report carried out in
25 2002 in Croatia, and we also have an attached earlier autopsy report
1 carried out on 16 October, 1991, and how does it come about that you have
2 two autopsy reports carried out in two different countries 20 years
4 A. It's not the only case. In this situation, the body that was
5 found on the banks of the Danube near Novi Sad was transferred and
6 processed in Novi Sad. That was in 1991. After that, the body was
7 buried as an unknown individual, and it was only much later that that
8 body was finally recognised based on a sample of the bone that was taken
9 for the DNA analysis. It was then transferred to Croatia. Another
10 post-mortem was carried out 20 years later, as you have stated it
11 yourself, and finally the person was recognised, identified, and buried
12 under his name, and the whole process was thus finished.
13 Q. In the earlier autopsy report from Novi Sad, and this can be
14 found at page 14 of 65 ter document 3755, so perhaps we could get that on
15 the screen to show it as I describe it, but I'll summarise that the
16 autopsy report from 1991 notes that the body had the tattoo of a flying
17 bird on the left arm with a date underneath it stating 13.IX.1966, and
18 the inscription JNA. It also notes that one of the teeth was made of
19 yellow metal and that there was a ring with the body. This is all shown
20 on, I believe, page 14.
21 Now, are these the types of elements that could assist with
22 identifying a victim?
23 A. Very much so. The information listed in here, and this
24 information obviously was obtained not long after the body was found, a
25 tattoo can help a lot when it comes to the identification of a person.
1 Q. So if these would have assisted with the identification, why were
2 the earlier reports carried out in Serbia not handed over earlier?
3 A. Well, it's a very difficult question and a question that is very
4 difficult to answer. There is an explanation. This person was treated
5 as an unknown person. That's how he was buried. His body was found on
6 the banks of the Danube, one could assume where the person was from, but
7 obviously it took some time to co-ordinate matters, to exchange mortal
8 remains and for everyone to finalise such cases. We're talking about
9 various kinds of circumstances including political circumstances and all
10 sorts of misunderstandings. All of that played a role in the duration of
11 the process.
12 Q. And could I ask you to clarify "political circumstances." I
13 understand there are a number of different factors, but if you could just
14 explain what you mean by that term.
15 A. What I meant was that there was no goodwill in place for
16 exchanges to take place, for the truth to be established, to establish
17 why those people were killed, who they were at the end of the day.
18 Q. Okay. And I'll be returning to this topic in relation to Ovcara
19 subsequently in the examination. For now, if we could turn to -- sorry,
20 page 34 of the table, and this is the entry for Josip Bence. And if we
21 could get document 65 ter 03856 on the screen, page 2.
22 Now, on page 2 of this document, for the cause of death it first
23 states a Latin term which I believe is vulnera sclopetaria capitis -- it
24 should be on page 2. Vulnera sclopetaria capitis. Subsequently, it says
25 the cause of death was war. Firstly, what does vulnus sclopetaria
1 capitis mean? And secondly, why would it state cause of death is war?
2 A. Vulnera sclopetaria capitis is a gun-shot wound to the head. And
3 as for your second question about the war, I must say that it is an
4 administrative worker at the institute who fills out the form, and
5 sometimes when causes of death were entered were not the strict
6 translation of what is here. Like for example here it says
7 vulnera sclopetaria capitis. Instead, somebody entered the word "war,"
8 meaning the person died in the war. That's all I can say.
9 Q. I believe if we shift over to page 2 of the English, it will show
10 that description where it lists war.
11 I apologise. This may be a doc -- ah, yes. Sorry. There it is
12 under the data of violent death and it says external cause of violent
13 depth equals war. It's on page 2 of the English.
14 Now aside from various discrepancies in names that may arise, in
15 some of these documents, as you've noted on the table, there are
16 discrepancies in the dates of birth between the dates of birth listed in
17 the indictment and dates of birth listed in the documents. How could
18 this arise that you would have different dates of birth provided?
19 A. Obviously this depends on the source of information. The
20 information about any sorts of dates is obtained from various people,
21 including family members such as mothers, wives, and sometimes they
22 provide us with different dates. We must have obtained this information
23 from somebody. We did not make it up. The information was obtained from
24 somebody, and sometimes discrepancies are possible, but they should be
25 attributed to the various sources of the information obtained.
1 Q. And for the record, one example where we have this is
2 Ivan Palijan on page 27 of the report where the indictment lists him as
3 born in 1956, but Dr. Strinovic has marked in the table that his birth
4 date is 1949. That's page 27 of the table.
5 Now, if we skip to page 85 of the table, near the end, the entry
6 for Helena Albert says protocol missing, and then words to the effect of
7 the documents on the CD appear correct. What does this mean?
8 A. I apologise. I could not follow you. Let's repeat. We're
9 talking about page 85?
10 Q. 85. Sorry. In the last column, "Additional comments," the
11 handwritten words say "protocol missing. Documents on CD appear
12 correct." Could you explain what this means? It's for the first entry
13 on that page, Helena Albert.
14 A. Helena Albert, yes. This means that we do not have the
15 post-mortem protocol. It was not available to us when we drafted our
16 report. As for what we received from you on CD, that seems to be a
17 correct finding.
18 Q. And when you say "a correct finding," did you review the
19 documents that were on the CD in this instance for Helena Albert?
20 A. Yes, yes. That -- that's what it means.
21 Q. And I note there are similar handwritten words in the entries on
22 page 86 for Viktorija Albert and page 87 for Ana Terzic. Your Honour
23 also noted at two instances where the additional comments record no
24 protocol, and in the document authenticity column for those two documents
25 Dr. Strinovic has indicated no. So I was going to deal with those
1 separately after I finished dealing with the table, if that suits
2 Your Honour. Thank you.
3 So having been through the table and referred to examples of the
4 underlying documents, can you confirm that you have authenticated the
5 ones where it is indicated "yes" in the document authenticity column?
6 A. Yes, I can do that.
7 Q. Okay. And have you signed each page of the table at the bottom?
8 A. Yes, I believe so.
9 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, at this stage we would ask for the
10 table and the underlying documents to be admitted. I realise there's a
11 large number of documents. There maybe logistical issues, but I'll
12 first, of course, leave it open in case there's any objections.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: If there is none. Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would -- thank you, Your Honour. I would
15 object to the admission of the document "Croatian missing persons
16 questionnaire," regarding Kusic, Darko. It is at page 3 of the table.
17 Actually, at page 3 of this document, it is paragraph 8G, and at page 13
18 and 14 are allegations of a person who reported the death of the -- the
19 death of this person and incriminating the accused. So it is -- in its
20 nature it is -- it is the statement, and it could be admitted just under
21 Rule 92 ter of the Rules.
22 MR. GILLETT: Could I --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Which -- which --
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is page 3 --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, which is the name? The name of the --
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Kusic. Darko Kusic.
2 MR. GILLETT: Your Honour, if I could clarify one point that may
3 resolve this objection.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please do.
5 MR. GILLETT: I believe my learned colleague is referring to the
6 missing persons questionnaire, and we're not seeking to tender documents
7 that are blank in the document authenticity column, and this is -- this
8 is one of those. So this is not a document that we would consider
9 associated with this -- this table.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: So I understand you well, the documents that have
11 a blank in the column "Document authenticity" are not tendered.
12 MR. GILLETT: That's correct.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Does that solve your problem,
14 Mr. Zivanovic?
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. Yes. I withdraw my objection, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. The table and the underlying documents are
17 admitted and marked. I suppose we will ask the Registrar to circulate
18 whatever way is best to give numbers, exhibit numbers.
19 MR. GILLETT: That seems the best way to proceed. I envisaged
20 something like the Rule 92 ter procedure where we have a large number of
21 associated documents, but it's of course at Your Honours' and the
22 Registrar's discretion.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You may proceed.
24 MR. GILLETT:
25 Q. Now, moving to the entries that the President referred to where
1 it stated "No protocol," the first one is on page 88 of the table, and
2 it's in relation to Stevan Nad. It's the -- page 88, the second last
3 box, in the last column, "Additional comments."
4 Now, you've explained what you mean in relation to the other --
5 some other instances when you say no protocol that you didn't have it in
6 house. And so I'd like now to look at this document if we could and this
7 document is 65 ter 04181. That's ERN 02008482.
8 Now, firstly, do you recognise any of the people involved in
9 carrying out this autopsy?
10 A. Yes, I know Dr. Marcikic from Osijek. We have already mentioned
12 Q. And if we go to the final page, which I believe is page 2, and
13 look at the stamp and signature. Perhaps on -- at the end of -- if we go
14 one -- one further page.
15 Do you recognise the signature and/or stamp there of
16 Dr. Marcikic?
17 A. Yes, I can confirm that.
18 Q. And you've had a chance to review this document during proofing.
19 Does it appear to be an authentic autopsy report?
20 A. Yes. This is a kind of an autopsy report that Dr. Marcikic used
21 to draft, yes.
22 Q. Okay. If we could shift across the page in the table to the very
23 final page, 89, and for the first victim named under Vlahovic, again we
24 see "No protocol" listed. So could we bring up 65 ter 04183, which is
25 ERN 02008479. And this is again an autopsy report, and it indicates it's
1 carried out by Dr. Mladen Marcikic. If we could go to the signature on
2 this document on the final page, and you could take a look.
3 Do you recognise his signature and/or stamp on this document?
4 A. Yes, like in the previous case.
5 Q. And when you looked at the document during proofing, was there
6 anything that would suggest it's not an authentic autopsy report?
7 A. No. I would say that this is an example of a very typical
8 autopsy report drafted by Dr. Marcikic.
9 Q. If we return to page 1 of this same document on the monitor, the
10 autopsy report, it describes defects to the cranium with what appears to
11 be an entry wound from the bullet in the occipital region and an exit
12 wound in the temporal region. That's on page 1 in the English version.
13 And it's in the block of text which is in the middle of the page starting
14 with the word "Head."
15 So where we have what appears to be an entry wound from a bullet
16 in the occipital region, an exit wound in the temporal region, how can
17 the examiner tell which one is the entry wound and which one is the exit
19 A. I have already explained when I spoke about the cranium, i.e.,
20 the skull. If we're dealing with a projectile, we can establish the
21 exact entry point as well as the exact exit point when we look at the
22 fracture of the skull. The entry wound is smaller. The exit wound is
23 bigger. We can establish the direction. The interior defect is smaller
24 of the exit wound, and the funnel is turned differently. So when you
25 have a gun-shot wound through the cranium, we can establish with an
1 absolute certainty which one is the entry wound and which one is the exit
3 Q. And if I'm correct, the entry in the occipital region is at the
4 back, and the exit wound is at the front. What would this suggest about
5 the way in which this victim and other victims with similar injuries
7 A. We can look at this situation in two ways. In any case when the
8 entry wound is at the back and when the direction is either lateral or
9 towards the front, this shows the position of the head when the shot was
10 fired. In this case, the back of the head was before the gun, and this
11 is typical of executions when bullets are fired in the back of the head.
12 It -- the situation could have been different, of course. That person
13 may have found himself in that position, i.e., the gun from which fire
14 was opened could have been pointed into the back of the person's head by
16 MR. GILLETT: Okay. Your Honours, at this point we would tender
17 these two -- these two documents, which are 04181 and 04183 for
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: They will be assigned exhibit numbers P352 and
21 P353 respectively. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Mr. Gillett, just to understand
23 completely the table and Mr. Strinovic's testimony, would that for this
24 particular entry mean that he changes his "no" in the column "Document
25 authenticity" for Vlahovic, Anda into a yes?
1 MR. GILLETT:
2 Q. Dr. Strinovic, now that you've reviewed these documents, we'll
3 start with Anda Vlahovic, for the comment "Document authenticity," would
4 you now indicate a yes as His Honour has asked you?
5 A. Of course. When I have a document in front of me, then I can say
6 yes. If I don't have it, then I say no. When I drafted my report based
7 on your tables and information, I did not have that document. I could
8 not obtain it. That's why I stated no. The situation is different now.
9 I have in the meantime seen an authentic document signed by Dr. Marcikic,
10 and now my comment would be yes.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. GILLETT:
13 Q. And just to clarify, would that be the same for the first entry
14 that we just discussed with Stevan Nad?
15 A. Of course the situation would be the same.
16 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. If we could now get document
17 65 ter 05850. And we're now moving away from the table on the screen.
18 And if we could go to page 5 in the English of 05850. And to explain,
19 Your Honours, this document includes a response from the Croatian
20 authorities to a Request for Assistance, but the document -- the part of
21 the document that's relevant for our purposes is the list with the series
22 of names and information which in the English I believe starts at page 5.
23 I'm seeing it in the B/C/S on the screen.
24 Q. Okay. The first name listed here at number 1 is Zoran Andjal,
25 who we've discussed earlier, and if we look at the information for
1 Zoran Andjal, what does this document -- what information does it provide
2 in relation to him?
3 A. I'm very sorry. The print is so small that I cannot read it.
4 Could you help me in any way? Could you zoom in a little to make it more
5 legible? Now it's better. Thank you.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. You want an explanation for Zoran Andjal. You want me to say
8 what information is provided about him; right?
9 Q. Particularly in the column "Remarks."
10 A. It begins with the mass grave Celije, exhumation date
11 23 February 1998. That person was put in body bag 152, and it was
12 identified on the 3rd of November, 2000.
13 Q. Then if we look further down at entry number 12 for Ernest Baca,
14 it says in the remarks column "Taken over from Republic of Serbia." What
15 does that mean?
16 A. When the exchanges began and we were able to recover the bodies
17 that were buried in Serbia as often happened in Novi Sad, for instance,
18 Croatia took them over. In this case this was 23rd February, 2002, and
19 it was identified on the 23rd of March.
20 Q. Yes. And -- sorry, if he could just check those dates, and this
21 is for entry number 12 taken over --
22 A. 2002.
23 Q. Am I correct to understand it was taken over from Serbia on
24 21st of March, 2002, and identified on 12th of February, 2003?
25 A. Yes, that's correct. That's what's written.
1 Q. And does this document provide similar information for other
2 victims whose remains were exhumed in various mass graves?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we'd seek to have this admitted.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Before we do that, Mr. Gillett, could we have a
6 word of explanation about the previous column, ID, I suppose identified,
7 but NES, what's the other one, NP, what would that mean?
8 MR. GILLETT: Absolutely. Actually if we go to the last page I
9 believe there's a key, guide, to these terms.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Then it's okay.
11 MR. GILLETT: So I would seek to have this admitted.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: And should be assigned Exhibit P354. Thank you.
14 MR. GILLETT: Could we have that admitted under seal, please,
15 because of the RFA component to it.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted under seal.
17 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Your Honour. Could I just inquire what
18 time we're taking the next break.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: 12.15, Mr. Gillett.
20 MR. GILLETT: 12.15. Okay. Could we now get document 06365 on
21 the monitor. 06365. And this is one of the documents that was added to
22 the 65 ter list at the start of proceedings today, as are the following
23 three documents that I'm going to address.
24 Q. At the top of page 1 of this document, it states -- it's record
25 858/91 for an unidentified person. So who created this autopsy report or
2 A. It's obviously a report written in 1991, and considering the way
3 it was written, I suppose it was written in Serbia. I don't know exactly
4 where. Not yet. Maybe we'll be able to see where the autopsy was
5 performed. Anyway, it was performed in 1991. The body was found in the
6 Danube, so I suppose it was in Novi Sad.
7 Q. And have you seen similar documents to this?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, under the heading "Autopsy" on page 2 of this document, the
10 findings indicate that the person was shot in the head but was alive when
11 they landed in the water of the Danube. How could the examiner conclude
12 that the person was still alive when they were thrown into the Danube?
13 A. Yes. When injury occurs, including injuries to the head, death
14 does not have to occur immediately. Death occurs even after a gun-shot
15 wound, after some time, sometimes even hours. However, when the body
16 finds itself in water, lungs continue to breathe, and in autopsy you can
17 establish the cause of death easily by seeing whether the water reached
18 the lungs, the alveoli, or another part of the lungs. So we can conclude
19 in this case that the person was wounded in the head, came into contact
20 with water and died from drowning.
21 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we would seek to admit this document.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P355. Thank you.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. GILLETT: If we could now get 65 ter document 06366 on the
2 Q. Now, this is a DNA analysis. If you take a look at the document,
3 could you tell us who carried it out.
4 A. This analysis was performed in the hospital in Osijek, and it was
5 done by the doctor who still performs DNA analysis today.
6 Q. And in the previous document we saw the number at the top 858/91,
7 but it was an unidentified person. How can we link this autopsy report
8 with this -- that -- that previous -- sorry. How could we link this DNA
9 report with the previous autopsy report?
10 A. There is a link with a number from Novi Sad, 858/91. That's the
11 number of -- on one side on the autopsy report from the autopsy done in
12 Novi Sad, and this link, which is the number of body bag in the report,
13 and this indicates a connection. Those are the samples from that body
14 bag, so it's a sample from that person.
15 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we would seek the admission of this
16 document at this time.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
18 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P356. Thank you.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 MR. GILLETT: Could we now get document 06367.
21 Q. And when you take a look, could you describe what this document
22 is and who it's for.
23 A. [In English] I'm sorry. [Interpretation] Could we enlarge it?
24 Thank you very much.
25 This is a death certificate that we discussed before. It's an
1 official document stating that a person has been identified, and this
2 certificate is given to the family. This concerns Ivan Tomicic. Place
3 of death, Dalj, municipality Erdut. Do you want to know anything else
4 from this document?
5 Q. That's okay.
6 MR. GILLETT: We would seek the admission of this document.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P357. Thank you.
9 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. Could we get document 06368, please.
10 Q. Now, you had a chance to review this document during proofing.
11 Could you describe to us what it is and let us know if we need to enlarge
12 it for you.
13 A. Yes, I remember this case. We discussed it before. In cases
14 where we have a missing person, if they are not found and identified
15 after a certain period, whereas there are witnesses and there is firm
16 evidence that the person is dead, then before a court in the municipality
17 of residence of that person proceedings are conducted to have the court
18 issue a decision, a ruling, that that person is dead. That is done when
19 the person has been missing for a long time and there are witnesses who
20 can confirm that the person is dead, although there are cases where the
21 family has received a death certificate and the person is later found and
22 identified by name and surname. Then another procedure is conducted
23 when the initial certificate is used to obtain a final confirmation of
24 death, final certificate.
25 Q. And is this decision, from what you've reviewed, an authentic
1 decision, and who is it for? Who is the victim?
2 A. I see the Croatian coat of arms. It looks authentic. It says
3 it's the Municipal Court in Beli Manastir, and the decision is issued
4 declaring dead Tibor Siles, born in Osijek on 23rd May, 1963.
5 MR. GILLETT: I'd seek the admission of this document at this
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P358. Thank you.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 MR. GILLETT: Thank you. Your Honours, I'm now going to turn to
11 the Ovcara incident, which is paragraph 32 of the indictment, and so this
12 is discussed -- or reflected in the smaller of the two tables that was
14 I'd recall at the outset that this incident is covered by a
15 number of the agreed facts between the parties, and those are facts 103
16 to 110, where it's been agreed essentially, I'm summarising, that the 194
17 named victims in the annex for paragraph 32 of the indictment were
18 murdered at Ovcara, that they were detained when they were murdered, that
19 they were buried in a mass grave at Ovcara, that the grave was protected
20 by UN personnel, and the exhumation and autopsies were carried out by
21 international and domestic experts, and representatives the Croat and
22 Yugoslav authorities were present.
23 Q. In the process of examinations and identifications of the people
24 found at Ovcara, what was your involvement?
25 A. I'll have to provide an introduction, because it is a very
1 peculiar case, and I was involved from the early days in the
2 investigation concerning Ovcara and retrieving the bodies from Ovcara.
3 As I said before, in the month of December 1991, I was invited to join
4 the commission for detained and missing persons, which was just being
5 established, and it was to deal with all the missing persons in Croatia,
6 but one of the major issues were the persons who went missing at the
7 hospital in Vukovar. The whole country was seeking answers. It happened
8 on the 9th of November, 1991, and ever since that time there was an
9 outcry for the truth to be revealed and to find out what happened to
10 these people. So starting in January 1992, we had negotiations between
11 Croatia and Serbia, also involving international organisations, and the
12 main issues were related precisely to the people removed from the
13 Vukovar Hospital.
14 So I was involved from the very beginning. I know the chronology
15 of the inquiry into Ovcara, and I -- if you wish, we can discuss that
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I just noted -- I just noted an error in
18 transcript at page 51, line 2, about the date.
19 MR. GILLETT:
20 Q. On the record it says 9 November 1991, for when the commission
21 was established. Is that correct or could you give us the correct date?
22 A. I must be honest, I don't know exactly when the commission is
23 first mentioned with the date, but I know that I was invited to join it
24 in November. Whether it was earlier, I can't say with certainty.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, he didn't speak about the commission, the
1 date of founding of the commission, but about the disappearance of the
2 patients from the Vukovar Hospital.
3 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, sorry, for clarifying that. I'll be
4 asking some further questions about the details of the incident
5 subsequently, so we'll come back to this topic, and at that point I think
6 it will be clarified. So apologies to confuse the two issues there.
7 Q. For a start, if we can look to the table that's been distributed,
8 and I'll ask you similar questions as to the previous table without going
9 into as much detail in light of the agreed facts, but in preparation for
10 your testimony today, were you asked to review autopsy reports or records
11 for the victims at the Ovcara incident?
12 A. Yes, I did that several times, and I prepared for this case in
13 the same way, comparing reports, autopsy reports with the tables that
14 were presented to me.
15 Q. And were you able to authenticate these documents?
16 A. Yes. That's what I did, and every page has been signed by me.
17 Q. And in the column called "ID Method," which is the fifth column
18 from the right, it refers to classical and DNA. What -- does this relate
19 to your previous answers about the means of identifying victims?
20 A. Yes, precisely. We could talk about that a lot, but in any case,
21 we began with Ovcara. From a classification the DNA analysis had not
22 been perfected at that time, so the first cases were identified in the
23 traditional way, comparing the ante-mortem information with findings, and
24 that was accepted.
25 Q. And if we could open the first document referred to here, which
1 is for Josip Kozul and the document ERN is 00559729. That number is
3 And does this report set out the typical elements that you would
4 find in an autopsy report, from your experience?
5 A. Yes. I would say it's a very good report, including all the
6 information that is established in this type of autopsy. So it's a job
7 very well done.
8 Q. And then if we could go to the next page, please. It says at the
9 first word "Commingling: No." What does "commingling" mean? It's the
10 very first word at the top of the page.
11 MR. GILLETT: Maybe if we could get the B/C/S copy of this for
12 that first word. There is no B/C/S?
13 To explain, these documents are -- we broke out the translations
14 from a much bigger B/C/S document, and which I believe should be
15 available on e-court under 00559729 to 00560697, but I can actually get
16 the 65 ter number for you. Yeah. The 65 ter number is 4192.
17 Q. Could I ask without referring to the document, are you aware of
18 the term "commingling"?
19 A. Yes, certainly. In that context, it means mixing, commingling.
20 That is a frequent problem with mass graves, and we have to be very
21 careful with this commingling. We have to separate one body from another
22 completely. In some situations such as wells, it is practically
23 impossible, but in mass graves such as Ovcara through careful examination
24 of mortal remains it is possible to finally separate one body from
25 another and to avoid commingling.
1 MR. GILLETT: Now, Your Honours, the autopsy reports for these
2 victims are quite formulaic, so I'm not going to go through more of them.
3 Q. I will ask do you know the approximate age range of the victims
4 that were found at the Ovcara grave site?
5 A. As far as I remember the range was 16 to 71 years -- sorry, 72
6 years. And it is rather precise because this is information we got after
7 identification. In the course of processing, the anthropologist can give
8 a rough estimate of the age based on the teeth, ribs, and the pelvis, and
9 the estimate comes in a range. However, when we finalise the process and
10 the body's identified, when we know the date of birth of that person, of
11 course we know the exact age. This is why this range which I just
12 mentioned, 16 to 72 years, was the final information after all the
13 identifications were done.
14 Q. And on the table where there is handwriting, is that your
16 A. Yes, that is my handwriting and my signature at the bottom.
17 Q. And in some cases have you indicated where there are
18 discrepancies in the dates of birth or spellings of names and marked the
19 correct spelling or date of birth?
20 A. Yes. If we leaf through the table for Ovcara, we'll see there
21 are cases when the date of birth has been changed or the name, which is
22 obviously a result of the final identification when we were able to put
23 in the exact data.
24 MR. GILLETT: At this stage we'd ask for the table and the
25 underlying documents to be admitted. Those are the documents with yes or
1 no -- well, with yes indicated in the authenticity column, the final
2 column. There are some missing persons questionnaires right at the end
3 of the table which we are not admitting and they're blank in that
4 authenticity column.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gillett, may I take it that in the Excel
6 version you will add the 65 ter numbers of all these documents?
7 MR. GILLETT: We do indeed already have a version with the 65 ter
8 numbers added, but they weren't available at the stage when we first made
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. Admitted and marked.
11 MR. GILLETT: And to -- just a couple of notes to tidy up in the
12 remaining seconds. I'll just note with the handwritten remarks sometimes
13 they're slightly difficult to make out, but I've confirmed with the
14 witness that in the entry for Anton Mutvar the -- it should read
15 "30.1.69." For the entry for OVC-004, the handwriting should read
16 "13.6.1959." For the entry for OVC-066 the handwriting reads Holjevac
17 that is with one L. For OVC-073 it reads "1.NOV.1979". And then I think
18 the rest of the entries will be -- will be clear enough. We'll also note
19 in the electronic versions of these tables the diacritics are not
20 included, because if they're included it makes it hard to electronically
21 search for the names. So that's the way it's set up.
22 I see we've reached 12.15. Perhaps it's a good time to take a
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Gillett.
25 Mr. Witness, we will take the second break now and come back at
1 12.45. The Court Usher will escort you out of court. Thank you.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Gillett.
8 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, President.
9 Q. Dr. Strinovic, before the break we were discussing the victims
10 exhumed at Ovcara, and could I ask you how many bodies in total were
11 exhumed from the Ovcara mass grave?
12 A. Exactly 20 bodies. I apologise, 200 bodies were exhumed at
14 Q. And were all of the bodies or have all of the bodies been
16 A. No. We were in charge of that identification right from the very
17 beginning, and we know that so far a total of 193 persons have been
18 identified. One was identified based on the DNA, but that was not
19 accepted by the family, which means that officially we have 192 bodies
20 positively identified, 1 pending acceptance by the family, and 7 bodies
21 pending identification.
22 MR. GILLETT: Could we get 65 ter document 02498 on the screen,
24 Q. Now, on this list we see a series of numbers, OVC-001, OVC-002
25 listed, and there are 200 of these numbers which corresponds to the total
1 number of 200 bodies that you just provided. On page 1, if we look down
2 to OVC-011, what see the words "No name." What does this mean?
3 A. OVC-001?
4 Q. OVC-011.
5 A. This means that OVC-011 has not been identified.
6 Q. And if we shift to page -- page 3 of this document, after the
7 list of 200 remains with OVC numbers -- if we could go one further page
8 on, please. Sorry, and even one further beyond that.
9 So there we see up to OVC-200, and after that we have six names
10 listed which say "Not deceased." Could you explain who these people are
11 or how this came about?
12 A. These are people who were at Ovcara, but they were not killed
13 there, which means that they are still alive.
14 Q. Following the six names with "Not deceased" listed after them, we
15 have another series of names, approximately 50 or 60, that continue
16 across to the next page. Do you know the circumstances of these people
17 or how these names arrived on this list?
18 A. When people went missing from the Vukovar Hospital, lists of the
19 missing persons were compiled. Those included the 200 bodies from
20 Ovcara. However, the final list was longer, so the number of people
21 missing from the hospital was about 260. The persons whose names are
22 listed here are the persons who were on the list of the missing persons
23 who were not found -- or, rather, whose bodies were not found at Ovcara
24 but were originally on the list of the persons missing from the
25 Vukovar Hospital.
1 Q. And have efforts continued to locate those persons since the
2 lists were originally created?
3 A. Of course we are trying. We have been trying from the very start
4 to find all of those who are on the list. We will never stop looking for
5 those people. To this very day we have not been fully successful in
6 finding all the people from the list.
7 MR. GILLETT: We would seek the admission of this document at
8 this time.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P359. Thank you.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. GILLETT:
13 Q. Dr. Strinovic, before the break you said that you would be able
14 to provide a chronology of the investigation into the Ovcara incident and
15 the mass grave. Could you briefly do so now.
16 A. From the moment when people went missing from the
17 Vukovar Hospital between the 19th and 20th December 1991, the list of
18 their names was compiled and attempts were made to learn the truth.
19 There were witnesses. There was indicia and indications that people from
20 the hospital were taken in an unknown location after which their traces
21 were lost. We held several meetings with the representatives of Serbia
22 in order to try and learn as to what had happened to the people from the
23 Vukovar Hospital. All that time from the moment those people went
24 missing to the moment the grave was found and bodies there identified, we
25 were very busy trying to establish the truth.
1 According to the chronology, on the 20th of December, 1991 -- or,
2 rather, in 1992, Dr. Clyde Snow, who was invited by the government of the
3 Republic of Croatia and who arrived from the United Nations as an expert
4 to try and locate the grave where the mortal remains were buried. He
5 arrived in East Slavonia, and sometime in the month of November, as far
6 as I can remember, he did go to the location. He found something that he
7 found suspicious and indicative. He found an area which differed from
8 the rest of the terrain. It was somewhat depressed. He found some
9 traces of bullets there, and on the surface of the soil he found remains
10 of human bones, and that was his first visit to Ovcara, and that was the
11 first time that he indicated that the mass grave could be located there.
12 That was in 1992.
13 And then in 1993, we revisited that place. The grave was marked
14 somewhat better and some trial excavations were done in 1993. The size
15 of the grave was already defined by then, and then the exhumation of the
16 grave had to start. Some preparations were already underway, but all the
17 works were stopped, and what we could do at that moment, from the moment
18 Clyde Snow visited the grave, further on the grave was secured by
19 UNPROFOR soldiers. The area was well protected, so that in 1993,
20 UNPROFOR soldiers were there, protect -- they protected the grave and
21 practically we could not reach it until the year 1996.
22 And then in the month of September of 1996, preparations started,
23 followed by the exhumations of the grave at Ovcara. I was involved in
24 all that as a monitor on the Croatian side, and on the Serbian side there
25 were also experts hailing from Vukovar. Everything was observed.
1 Everything was monitored while the exhumation of the mortal remains was
2 carried out, and it was carried out by international experts who had
3 prepared the exhumation. They carried it out, and the total of 200
4 bodies were found. Those bodies were bagged and marked with numbers 1 to
5 200. Number 1 was the first body that was found. Number 200 was the
6 last that was found. All the bodies were brought to the surface and
7 brought to Zagreb in a convoy to the school of medicine there at the
8 institute for pathology. Special rooms were dedicated to the process of
9 identification, the process of -- started sometime in late October 1996,
10 and by the end of the year, the processing of the mortal remains was
12 Again, international experts were monitored by the Croatian side,
13 the Serbian side, and the local authorities in Vukovar, which means that
14 we had control of all what was being done.
15 When the bodies were processed sometime in early 1997, we took
16 over the bodies. We received the minutes of the post-mortem examinations
17 about the part that was important for identification. We were under a
18 lot of pressure. We had to proceed with identification as soon as
19 possible, so we received the minutes of the post-mortem findings that
20 helped us with the identification. We did not receive the part that
21 dealt with the causes of death.
22 The process of identification started. There was some cases
23 which were identified based on the comparison of ante-mortal and
24 post-mortem information, and in that way we managed to identify a certain
25 number of cases which were relatively clear cut and simple. The families
1 were invited to come to the institute of forensic medicine in Zagreb, and
2 the process was launched. The identification was gradual.
3 And let me just illustrate how painstakingly long the process
4 was. Two weeks ago, we identified body number 192. This means that
5 constantly from 1997 until this very day, we have been involved in trying
6 to identify all the 200 bodies. We are still missing seven. So the
7 process has been continuous.
8 During the first couple of years, we used the method of classical
9 identification, i.e., the comparison of post-mortem remains and
10 ante-mortem information with the help of the families who kept on coming
11 with new information, new photos, new details. We carried out our
12 identification so that about 97 persons were identified in the classical
13 way. And after that --
14 Q. If I could just ask you to slow down slightly for the
15 interpreters. Sorry, please just finish off what you were saying.
16 A. So now we are at the end of this classical identification method
17 by which we identified 97 persons, and then we could use the DNA method.
18 All the other Ovcara cases have been identified using the DNA method so
19 that we now have 192 positive identifications, 192 positive
20 identifications plus the one that has not been accepted by the family for
21 emotional reasons. And this is the most important thing that I can tell
22 you about the chronology. From the very beginning, from the moment when
23 the people went missing to this very -- if you need additional
24 clarifications, or if there's anything else you'd like to ask me, I would
25 be very happy to answer you, any questions you might have.
1 Q. I do have some clarifying questions. Going back to the start of
2 the chronology, before the break you referred to the incident where the
3 people were taken from the Vukovar Hospital and on the transcript it
4 recorded the date 9 November 1991. Now, a few minutes ago when you gave
5 a date it came out as 19 and 20 December 1991. Do you recall which month
6 it was, November or December 1991? I realise that you weren't present at
7 the incident.
8 A. It's a memorable -- memorable date. It is the date when Vukovar
9 fell. It was the 19th of November, 1991. That's the day when Vukovar
10 fell and when the hospital fell into the hands of the Serbian side.
11 Q. Thank you. And then shifting in the chronology, you mentioned
12 that in 1993, the initial exhumation that had been started was stopped.
13 Who stopped the exhumation in 1993?
14 A. According to what I know, the exhumation was indeed stopped in
15 1993 for political reasons, i.e. -- I don't know why exactly. I suppose
16 that somebody else will know why it was stopped, but from what we knew at
17 the time and from what we understood about why the exhumation was not
18 being carried out was the large number of dead who all had come from one
19 hospital, and I suppose that must have been the reason why the whole
20 procedure was stopped.
21 Q. Who stopped the procedure?
22 A. I repeat, I don't know. I can only assume. I can repeat what
23 I've just told you. Obviously, the procedure was stopped by the people,
24 by the authorities that were in power at the time, and that was not
25 Croatia at the time.
1 Q. The -- could you clarify which authorities you're referring to?
2 A. As far as I know, the local Serbs and the former JNA held the
3 power in their hands at that time.
4 Q. Now, you've mentioned that you don't know precisely why it was
5 stopped, but you referred to political reasons. Can you elaborate on
6 that at all?
7 A. No, I can't speak about political reasons. I am not a
8 politician. I can only speculate. If a large people went missing from a
9 hospital, if they were obviously killed and buried somewhere, it was a
10 delicate situation, and in 1993, the time was not ripe to publicise the
11 whole matter, and I suppose that's why the whole procedure was stopped.
12 But these are my speculations. Political reasons in this case may be at
13 least one part of the answer to your question, but I really don't know.
14 Q. That's totally understandable. Going back to the exhumations
15 themselves, was the delay from 1993 until 1996 when the full exhumation
16 was carried out, what effect did that delay have on the process of
17 identifying the victims? I.e., did it make it easier for more difficult?
18 A. As I've already stated, in 1993 the exhumation was stopped; i.e.,
19 no excavation was carried out, and nothing was happening in the area
20 until 1996. It was guarded, and that's important. And obviously as time
21 went by, the elements that help the identification deteriorated. The
22 fresher the mortal remains, the better identification and the better
23 establishment of the cause of death. And the longer the period of time
24 between the death and the identification process, the more difficult it
25 is to identify the body, obviously.
1 Q. Now, you referred to the incident where the people were taken
2 from Vukovar Hospital and that -- that you learned of this quite soon
3 after it occurred. How did you learn about it, from what sources?
4 A. There were several sources. The first source were newspapers and
5 newspaper articles about the situation and about the people who went
6 missing, and there were also reports received from the doctors who worked
7 at the hospital, Dr. Bosanac and Dr. Njavro, one a surgeon and the other
8 the hospital principal. They kept on sending us information. That
9 information reached our commission, the commission that I was a member
10 of. So those were the two principal sources, the media and the
11 information that reached us from the Vukovar Hospital. Later on, we also
12 received information from the relatives and the friends of the deceased
13 of those who had gone missing. They wanted to know what had happened to
14 them. And I apologise, maybe I should add one more thing. At that time,
15 some people who were at Ovcara, the Croats who were supposed to be
16 executed but escaped, they also provided some information when they
17 arrived in Zagreb. I don't know when that was. I believe that it was
18 very soon after the event, but they also testified as to what might have
19 happened at Ovcara.
20 Q. And you mentioned that information reached your commission and
21 the commission was established in December 1991. Who did your commission
22 meet with?
23 A. That commission met with their counterparts from Serbia, a
24 similar commission from Serbia, and those meetings were organised through
25 international organisations that chaired those meetings. Those meetings
1 were in English, and they were co-ordinated by those international
3 Q. And what subjects were discussed at those meetings between the
4 two commissions?
5 A. When those meetings started, we started by discussing people who
6 went missing from Croatia and those that went missing from occupied
7 areas. Each side had its arguments. We all looked for people who went
8 missing and we couldn't find, and that's how we tried to learn from the
9 other side and vice versa. The commission from Serbia sought information
10 about those people who either went missing or of whom it was positively
11 known that they had been killed during the war.
12 MR. GILLETT: Could we get document 01161 on the monitor, please.
13 Q. Now, this document on the front is titled "Draft. Minutes
14 commission for Vukovar, Budapest, 12 June 1992." If we turn across to
15 page 2, we see a list of participants in this meeting. Aside from
16 yourself, obviously, can you describe who these people were and
17 particularly the members of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
18 commission, as far as you recall.
19 A. Yes. On the Croatian side there was Ivan Simonovic, law
20 professor. There was Dr. Vesna Bosanac who was the CO of the
21 Vukovar Hospital. Dubravka Horvat from the Red Cross of Croatia and
22 Ivan Kopjar who represented the Armija, the Croatian Army, I believe.
23 On the Serbian side I don't know much about those people. It was
24 a long time ago. I never had any subsequent contacts with them. My
25 colleague Dr. Stankovic was a captain at the time, and later was promoted
1 to become a general. I know him. He was resident in Zagreb. That's how
2 I knew him. And as for the others, I don't know. I don't want to guess.
3 In any case, there were corresponding profiles to our side.
4 There was the Red Cross, the organisation representing missing persons,
5 the army, but I don't know any details about any of them.
6 Q. Okay. If we turn to page 4 of the English under heading
7 number 2. In the first line of the first paragraph under that heading we
8 see that Dr. Strinovic said that:
9 "It was necessary to establish a tripartite commission for the
10 identification of mortal remains. At the meeting in Pec held in January,
11 it was agreed that such commission would be formed. However, in Geneva,
12 the Serbian side refused such co-operation. Up to date such commission
13 has not been established."
14 Do you recall making this suggestion for a tripartite commission?
15 A. It was really a long time ago. What comes to mind first is this
16 tripartite commission which was supposed to comprise the Croatian side,
17 the Serbian side, and the international side. That would have been that
18 tripartite commission, and that's what I had in mind when I proposed
19 that, I suppose.
20 Q. And did they give reasons where the Serb side, where they did not
21 agree to this co-operation?
22 A. It's very hard for me to answer that question. I really don't
23 know what the reason was. There may have been several, but I really
24 don't know.
25 Q. On page 7 of the English -- and this should be the second last
1 paragraph from the end. It's page 6, last paragraph in the B/C/S
2 version. Now, this is quite hard to read. Unfortunately, this is the
3 only copy of this document we have. We checked. But in this paragraph
4 at least that can be read, it states that:
5 "Colonel Starcevic said that the JNA evacuated 174 persons and
6 handed them to the CEE without precise names. According to
7 Major Sljivancanin, among these 174 persons were all the wounded and ill
8 from the hospital. The group stayed overnight at Ovcara and were handed
9 the next day to the ECMM."
10 Do you recall this account being given about missing persons from
11 the Vukovar Hospital?
12 A. What I remember, although it was a long time ago, was that the
13 negotiations was very hard, and precisely from the example you cited, you
14 can see that it was practically impossible. We did not get any reliable
15 information, especially about Ovcara. About Ovcara we got nothing. So
16 these negotiations were very difficult, and there was practically no
17 progress on some important things such as Ovcara was for Croatia. One
18 side would present very high figures, the other side would present very
19 lower figures for the same thing, and we could not find common ground
20 on -- on major issues.
21 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, we'd seek admission of this document
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P360. Thank you.
25 MR. GILLETT: And if we could now get 65 ter 02444, and this is a
1 photo booklet relating to the exhumation at Lovas farm, which is one of
2 the -- relates to one of the incidents in the indictment. I believe it's
3 paragraph 33 of the indictment. Now, if we could skip to the second
5 Q. In this photo booklet, there is a large number of pictures.
6 During proofing, did you have the opportunity to go through all of these
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So I'm not going to run through all of them, as similar elements
10 continuously reappear. I'm just going to highlight a couple of examples.
11 If we could go to photograph number 8, please. I believe it's page 8.
12 Now, in this picture and in a number of the other pictures we see
13 the remains of a person and that there's a card with numbers and letters
14 printed on it. In this case, "NN 33." Could you describe what the
15 information on that card is, if you can read it? Perhaps if we could
16 zoom in on the card itself.
17 A. Yes. When exhumations were done, every body was brought out
18 separately whenever possible and put in a body bag. The body bag was
19 marked, first of all, with the date of the exhumation and the location so
20 the exact site where the exhumation was performed, and this NN means
21 unidentified person, and the cardinal number of the body beginning with
23 So all the information that was required in order not to mix up
24 the bags and to make sure that each body bag contained a particular
25 person was placed on the body bag, and after that the body bags were
1 transported to a place where autopsies were done, and one and the same
2 number followed the mortal remains from the beginning of that path to the
4 Q. I understand when you say the cardinal number 1, you're not
5 referring to this specific photograph here but that it's the first body
6 that was dug up would receive a number 1; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. I just wanted to be more precise. Of course, it did not
8 begin with number 33. It begins usually with number 1 and then we
9 reached a number like this.
10 Q. Thank you. Could we turn to page 22. And could you describe
11 what this photograph shows.
12 A. When an identification is done, everybody is taken separately,
13 and everything found on the body, on the arms, in the pockets, everything
14 accompanying the body, all the objects are placed with the body, and
15 during the post-mortem a description is provided not only of the body but
16 also of all the accompanying objects such as clothing, jewellery, and
17 especially documents that maybe relevant for identification. Because you
18 have to know that before we had DNA, what was of particular interest to
19 us and was key for the family to accept our identification were precisely
20 these things such as keys or some personal item or a car key that could
21 open a certain car ten years before. It was very valuable for the
22 families to recognise the items that were found with the body, such as in
23 this case, NN 33 [as interpreted].
24 Q. And in this case, how do we know for certain that these effects
25 were found with this body, NN 30?
1 A. At every exhumation special care was paid not to take some
2 objects from the side and not put them in the wrong bag. So all the
3 objects that were put in the body bag were found immediately on the body,
4 around the neck, in the pocket, et cetera. Of course, in theory, you can
5 argue there was a possibility that somebody confused these objects later,
6 but we took strictly objects on the body itself, not around the body.
7 Those items were included in the body bag, and they later were taken into
8 account during identification.
9 MR. GILLETT: And, Your Honours, for the record, the identity of
10 the body in -- shown in this particular picture and the personal effects
11 can be established if you look at 65 ter documents 04043; 04046, page 9
12 in the English; and 05850, page 9 in the English.
13 Could we go to page 69 of this booklet.
14 Q. And could you describe what this picture shows?
15 A. You see on this photograph an open grave. What does that mean?
16 When we started the exhumation, the principle we followed was not to
17 touch the bodies or the objects on them until the entire grave is
18 exhumed. We had to photograph the entirety, because only in that way,
19 after a careful and professional exhumation, can bodies be retrieved one
20 by one and placed in bags.
21 We see a multitude of bones here. The bodies look very mixed up.
22 But in view of the position of the bodies and in view of the fact that
23 there was clothing on them, we could separate individual bodies with a
24 high degree of accuracy. When the bodies are found exactly as they were
25 at the time of death, we are able to separate them into individual
1 bodies. However, in some situations, this may be impossible, such as in
2 cases when bodies were damaged subsequently or thrown into wells, and
3 then identification will not be possible in the same way. We will not be
4 able to perform the exhumation so well or separate the bodies quite
6 MR. GILLETT: Could we have this photo booklet admitted. I just
7 note that the other pictures are of a similar nature to this one.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
9 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P361. Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 MR. GILLETT: Could we now get document 65 ter number 02472 on
12 the monitor. And this is a report on exhumations in Eastern Slavonia,
13 and it's written by John Clark.
14 Q. Before we even see the document, do you know John Clark, and did
15 you work with him at all?
16 A. Yes, I know John Clark. He was in Zagreb several times, and we
17 collaborated on autopsies on our premises when they -- or, rather,
18 John Clark carried out identifications and processing of mortal remains.
19 Q. And on page 1, near the bottom, under the heading "Receipt of the
20 bodies in the mortuary," this is page 2 in the B/C/S, the report states:
21 "At the completion of each exhumation, the bodies were
22 transferred in sealed and labelled body bags to the mortuary in Zagreb."
23 Did you see those bodies bags, and did you deal with those cases
24 at all?
25 A. When the bodies were delivered to Zagreb and we began with
1 autopsies, just like in the Ovcara case, occasionally I would be present
2 at autopsies together with my colleagues, and I saw those markings on the
3 body bags.
4 Q. On page 2 of the English and B/C/S, this report sets out the
5 methodology that they followed for autopsies in these cases, and you can
6 see that in the indent the bullet points. Does that adhere to the usual
7 professional standards for autopsies carried out?
8 A. Yes. I've seen this before. That is exactly the same way we do
9 it. They went step-by-step. The bodies were received with their
10 numbers. One by one they were placed on the tables, and then the
11 autopsies were performed according to procedure.
12 Q. Now, if we could just turn over - and I'll get the page number
13 now - to page number 12 in the English. And in the -- at the fourth
14 bullet point this says that -- it's a summary of the findings, that the
15 large majority of bodies found died from single gunshots to the head or
17 If we go back to the non-Ovcara table that you have already
18 discussed earlier in your evidence and we look to the corresponding
19 incident which is at paragraphs -- it's at pages 76 to 84 of the bigger
20 of the two tables that was distributed to Your Honours and the Defence at
21 the start of today's proceedings, and these are paragraphs 34 and 35 of
22 the indictment, if you scan through those pages in your report from 76 to
23 84 looking at the cause of death findings, do they in general match the
24 findings in the John Clark summary of findings? Again this is page 76 to
1 And while you're scrolling through those, I just note for
2 Your Honours the easiest way I find to link the bodies referred to in
3 exhumations such as this John Clark report to a specific paragraph of the
4 indictment is to use the document that was admitted earlier today. It's
5 65 ter 05850, which lists the body numbers for the victims, and you can
6 usually follow those numbers through to the other identification
7 documents on the table to figure out which incidents from the indictment
8 are at issue.
9 So I will repeat my question. The summary of findings for the
10 victims found at this Daljski Atar in John Clark's report is that the
11 majority died of gunshot wounds to the head and neck. Does that match
12 the findings in your table from reviewing the documentation?
13 A. Yes, that's correct. I've just reviewed the table once again,
14 and it is consistent with what you've just said.
15 Q. If we could turn to page 19 of the John Clark report which is on
16 the monitor, and this is page 30 in the B/C/S. The second paragraph
17 under the heading "Post-mortem findings." And it describes that two
18 females and one male were located. In relation to the male, it states
19 that the man had an obvious physical deformity and must have walked
20 awkwardly and that this may have been related to a more generalised
21 neurological condition.
22 Firstly, is this deformity something that would be typically
23 discovered by the forensic pathologist or an anthropologist or both?
24 A. When mortal remains are examined, it is first done by a
25 pathologists and then an anthropologist. In any case, damage like this,
1 and it is relatively important damage, both the pathologist and
2 anthropologist must have seen it, and that's why they wrote that this
3 damage was important, must have made walking difficult, and that means
4 that it was perfectly obvious to both specialists.
5 Q. And how would this type of information assist to identify who the
6 remains belonged to?
7 A. For us any information of this type, something irregular,
8 something unusual, something unhealthy such as this damage to the pelvis
9 or the hip is very valuable, especially when we have a small group of
10 missing persons. The smaller the group, information of this type is the
11 more important.
12 If we have a group of 1.000 people missing, there is a greater
13 likelihood that two persons would have this type of deformity. However,
14 the smaller the group, the more important this information is. It is
15 very unlikely that two people in a small group or from a small village
16 would have the same type of deformity. So this is one of the firmest
17 evidence that we get for identification, changes on limbs, on bones that
18 are evident and very helpful in identification, and it also means that
19 the families would not have any problem with -- with the identification
21 MR. GILLETT: We would seek the admission of this report of
22 John Clark, which is 02472.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be assigned Exhibit P362. Thank you.
25 MR. GILLETT: Now could I get 05579 on the monitor, please.
1 Q. And while that's coming up, this is a report on exhumations of
2 wells, and it covers some of the same locations as the previous report
3 that we saw. However, it goes into further detail on the personnel who
4 were involved in these exhumations.
5 On page 1, the first paragraph, the report notes that the
6 Tribunal asked Colonel Ivan Grujic to exhume two of the alleged sites.
7 Were you working with or for Colonel Ivan Grujic at this time? This is
8 in the year 2000.
9 A. Yes, certainly. We collaborated from -- was it 1994? Anyway,
10 around that time he joined the commission for the detained and missing
11 persons, and from that time we have been collaborating all the time.
12 MR. GILLETT: Could I just ask that this not be publicly
13 broadcast on the monitor because it's an internal document.
14 Q. In terms of the exhumations that -- that are discussed here, are
15 you aware of these exhumations from wells in Eastern Slavonia in -- near
16 Borovo Selo?
17 A. Yes, I was aware. I know about these cases and I think most of
18 them ended up in Zagreb. In any case, the answer is yes.
19 Q. On page 2 of the English and B/C/S it refers to some of the
20 pathologists who were present. Do you recognise any of these people? Do
21 you know them?
22 A. On this list we see Dr. Dumancic, a forensic expert from Osijek
23 who was in the field very often because he was based in Osijek which is
24 very close to all those localities.
25 Q. Now, if we could turn to page 8, and the corresponding pages are
1 9 through to 10 in the B/C/S. And here we have a description of the
2 exhumation of a body marked with NN 35. Then if we continue to the top
3 of page 9 in the English, we'll see that the report states -- it gives a
4 possible cause of death. Do you see that in the first -- I'm not sure if
5 you're looking at the English or the B/C/S, but it should be in English
6 the first three lines at the top of page 9. Maybe if we could close-up
7 on those.
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 MR. GILLETT: And, Your Honours, this body number relates to the
10 very final victim listed in the large Ovcara table that has been
11 provided, Marija Senasi. That is who we are discussing.
12 Q. Do you see what is listed for the possible cause of death?
13 MR. GILLETT: Could we zoom in on the English to the first -- to
14 the top of the page.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it. Thank you. Your
16 question is what does that mean?
17 MR. GILLETT:
18 Q. Yes. What does the report state as to possible cause of death?
19 MR. GILLETT: This should be page 9 in the English.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This refers to a probable violent
21 cause of death. This is the literal translation of what is written here.
22 If you're asking me why that is written, I would have to read the report
23 to see what the findings were.
24 MR. GILLETT:
25 Q. And let's go to the corresponding report for this victim which is
1 65 ter 04185.
2 MR. GILLETT: If we could get that on the screen. And again that
3 is listed on the non-Ovcara table, on the very final page. It is the
4 autopsy report, the first document for Marija Senasi. If we could go to
5 page 5 of the original.
6 Q. Now, the cause of death --
7 MR. GILLETT: This should be page 1 of the B/C/S translation. Is
8 this 04185? I believe there is a translation issue. Some of these
9 reports are written partly in English and partly in B/C/S, so the
10 translation is a composite of the two. It should be in e-court the
11 very -- the first document which is the original. If we could go to
12 page 5 of that. And in the -- there should be a summary with the third
13 paragraph. That's the document. Thank you very much.
14 Q. So in the summary, in the third paragraph, the report states that
15 the cause of death, it's possible this was gun-shot injury to the back of
16 the neck, but it reaches the conclusion that the cause of death is
17 unknown or unascertained. On what basis could they -- they make the
18 suggestion that a possible cause would be gun-shot injury to the back of
19 the neck?
20 A. You're asking me something that is very hard to answer without
21 the complete information. I can only speculate. I suppose that there is
22 information to the effect as to what the expert found. He must have
23 found something on the neck. Perhaps one part of the spine was missing,
24 some part of the bone was missing. Things are not clear from the
25 summary. I could be more precise if I had the full description of the
1 findings of the skull, the cervical spine and so on and so forth. Then I
2 would be able to answer your question. The way it is written in here
3 does not tell us much about what happened. It says it is possible that
4 the cause of death was a spinal -- or cervical spine wound, but I would
5 have to see the whole -- the complete findings to see what the
6 pathologist actually saw himself, and then I'd be able to answer your
7 question properly.
8 I apologise. The writing is again very small. There maybe a
9 description here. Maybe if you blew up the summary, either in English or
10 in Croatian, it doesn't really matter, maybe I would be able to answer
11 your question actually. Yes, that's that.
12 There is description which says that the -- there were parallel
13 fractures in the body in the occipital part of the cranium which
14 connected at the top. The description in itself doesn't say much, but
15 further on it says that several cervical bones were missing. It says
16 "neck bones," but there are no neck bones. There are cervical spine
17 bones which are missing. And based on all the appearance where you can
18 see that some of the cervical spine bones were missing and that there is
19 a fracture of the skull, as a result of which the pathologist thought
20 that the death may have been caused by the gun-shot wound of the neck.
21 The finding was not specific, but it did say something. It did
22 reveal a fracture. It did reveal some missing cervical spine bones.
23 This is the upper part of the spine. And based on that, he provided the
24 possibility which can be accepted as one of the possible explanations.
25 We can still not be sure because we do not have a classical gun-shot
1 wound or an entry-exit wound through either a skull or the cervical
2 spine. That would be conclusive. But this is a nonspecific findings.
3 There is a fracture, some cervical bones are missing. Something must
4 have happened, but way don't know what. The event may be due to a
5 gun-shot, so there may have been a gun-shot wound involved, but we cannot
6 say that for -- for a fact.
7 Q. Thank you for that explanation.
8 MR. GILLETT: And could we have the report that we started on,
9 which was 05579 admitted.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would object to the admission of this document.
12 It is internal report made by the investigator of the Prosecution, and it
13 contained the information from the unknown witness, it is under page 1,
14 that goes to the guilt of the accused.
15 MR. GILLETT: Your Honours, the witness has provided additional
16 information about the people involved, such as Dumancic. He's provided
17 additional explanation about the processes involved and confirmed that
18 he's aware of these exhumations taking place. Now, I think the concerns
19 of the Defence would go to the weight rather than the admissibility of
20 this document, and you will hear more evidence in relation to the issues
21 that my learned colleague has concerns about from a different witness.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Objection overruled. Admitted and marked.
23 MR. GILLETT: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. Last couple of questions, Dr. Strinovic. Looking at the
25 overview, what is the approximate total number of missing persons from
1 the conflict in Croatia -- I apologise. I should have waited for the
2 Court Officer to have provided a number for that document.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, indeed, Mr. Gillett.
4 MR. GILLETT: And could it be admitted under seal, please.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: It is only the internal memorandum you --
6 MR. GILLETT: Yes, it's 05579. Sorry, we shifted to a different
7 document to help with the explanation of that.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: And why should it be under seal?
9 MR. GILLETT: Because it's an internal document and it has the
10 names of some of our investigators on it. I'm happy to look into the
11 possibility of having that switched to a public document in due course,
12 but currently in the interest of not frustrating the purpose of
13 confidentiality, we'd prefer it to be admitted under seal at this stage.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: And just to make sure that we come back to it,
15 when would you be able to take a final position?
16 MR. GILLETT: Certainly by the end of tomorrow.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. So it's admitted under seal for the
18 moment, for the time being.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P363. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. GILLETT: Thank you.
22 Q. I'll repeat my question. Going to the overview of your work in
23 the conflict in Croatia, what is the approximate total number of missing
24 persons from the conflict in Croatian in the 1990s?
25 A. Your question is impossible to answer, and I'll explain why. In
1 1991, when the commission was first set up at the end of 1991, the number
2 of missing was very high. At one point a reference was made to 16.000 to
3 20.000 missing people, but they were not all dead. A certain number of
4 them have been found. Some were in camps, prisons. Some had left the
5 country, and so on and so forth. I can't tell you how many were reported
6 as missing in 1991. The number was high. I can tell you what the
7 situation is now, how many missing persons we have at the moment. First
8 of all, those who were killed or went missing in 1991 and 1992, and then
9 a large number who went missing in 1995. All of that in Croatia. I can
10 tell you the figure as it stands now. I can't tell you how many went
11 missing in 1991. It was a colourful number as it were, and it is very
12 difficult to say how many really went missing as opposed to those who had
13 gone missing and then were rediscovered or reappeared from somewhere.
14 Q. I'm looking for that approximate number for the current number of
15 how many are missing.
16 A. What I'm going to tell you is the information of the government's
17 commission. From the 1st of January, 2013, Croatia is looking for 968
18 persons who have gone missing from 1991. Over 88 per cent of them are
19 Croats, but there were others as well. So that's the data for the year
20 1991 and 1992.
21 As for what happened in 1995, Croatia is still looking for 743
22 persons, residents of Croatia of Serb ethnicity, who went missing in
24 Up to today, a total of 933 people have been exhumed, 572 were
25 identified, which is a total of 61 per cent.
1 At the moment, Croatia is looking for 968 people of -- plus those
2 who went missing in 1995. We're talking about 743 people. So all in
3 all, Croatia is still looking for nearly 1.700 missing persons.
4 Q. And for the total number of people that died during the conflict,
5 would that be greater than the 933 people that have been exhumed?
6 A. I can only repeat what I have already said. 933 have been
7 exhumed. 743 persons are still being searched, and those are the people
8 that went missing in 1995.
9 Did I make myself clear on that part?
10 Q. That part is certainly clear, and it's okay if you don't have the
11 information. I was just looking for a general figure of the number of
12 people killed during the conflict in Croatia, but if that's not
13 available, that's not a problem.
14 A. I understand the question. It's -- it's been put differently
15 now. It's very difficult for me to tell you the exact number at the
16 moment. I know that the figure was about 11.000-plus people, if that's
17 what you're asking me. This is the figure that is referred to by the
18 government, and that is the figure that should be correct. So this is
19 the number of all those people who died, who were killed during the
20 homeland war, 11.000-plus people.
21 MR. GILLETT: Okay. Your Honours, that concludes my questions on
22 direct exam. Do I understand that we're breaking at 2.15 or are we
23 breaking at 2.00 today?
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Normally we break at 2.00, I think.
25 MR. GILLETT: I wasn't sure because of the 15-minute delay at the
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: But by all means, if this concludes your
3 examination, I don't think we'll ask the Defence to start
4 cross-examination for 15 minutes. I have one or two questions to ask,
5 clarification questions.
6 So you're done for the moment.
7 MR. GILLETT: Yes, unless any questions arise if I can assist,
8 but otherwise I'm done.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: You showed us and you tendered the list with the
10 more or less 200 -- yes, about -- a number of about 200 victims of the
11 Vukovar Hospital incident. Could we have some information about the
12 origin of that document? It's the document with the 200 names of which 6
13 are -- were unidentified, and then 60 other names.
14 MR. GILLETT: Could I just say that's 65 ter 02498. I'm not sure
15 what the exhibit number is.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: 2498.
17 MR. GILLETT: Yes.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: 2498, sorry. 2498, that's right.
19 MR. GILLETT: Is the question directed to myself or the witness?
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Whoever can answer the question. If the witness
21 can answer the question, I would refer the witness to answer it.
22 Mr. Strinovic, do you remember that list?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let's try and explain
24 once again. When we're talking about the Vukovar Hospital, the list of
25 the missing persons was compiled very early on, immediately after the
1 event. There were several such lists. Some were expanded. However, the
2 shortest list of the names contained over 290 names. That was the list
3 of the missing persons.
4 Second of all, when the persons who were found at Ovcara, the 200
5 bodies were identified, we ended up with 193 completed identifications.
6 The names that you see from 1 to 200 or 1 to 193, those are the names of
7 the peoples who were excavated from Ovcara, who were identified, and
8 their body bags were marked by numbers from 1 to 200. And then on that
9 list you have a large number of other names that are mentioned. Those
10 are the people whose names were on the list of those who went missing
11 from the hospital. They have never been found. They did go missing from
12 the hospital. There are witnesses to that. But their bodies, the bodies
13 of some 60 people who indeed did go missing from the hospital, their
14 bodies were -- have not been found yet anywhere.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Strinovic, the purpose of my question was to
16 know what this list is part of. I suppose it's not something on itself.
17 Somebody compiled it. Where is it part of? What is it part of? Is it
18 part of some kind of report? Do you know?
19 MR. GILLETT: I could just offer that the information we have is
20 that it's a fax -- it was attached to a fax received from the commission
21 for detained and missing persons in March 2003, and I understand there's
22 been various lists in relation to this matter sent back and forward at
23 various times.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Commission of which the witness was a member;
1 MR. GILLETT: That's correct.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: So do you -- do you recognise this list as a list
3 made or compiled by the commission you were a member of?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I recognise the
5 list. I and my colleagues identified the victims. I recognise the
6 names, the names of 193 people whose bodies have been identified over the
7 past ten years or so, mostly by me.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. And another little question about the
9 booklet with photos that was shown to you. The inscriptions, the papers
10 on the body bags, mention Lovas farm. Was that the location of the mass
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was never there at Lovas farm,
13 but I should have thought so, yes.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: We can perhaps pull up that document. It's
15 65 ter number 02444. Let's perhaps go to page -- page 10, in body bag
16 with the number 20, and it says "Lakacija 4, Farma Lovas." Now, my
17 question is: Is that Farma Lovas, is that part of the location where the
18 body was found, or is it something else?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on several occasions,
20 in one location such as Farma Lovas bodies were buried in several places.
21 Farma Lovas is an area. It's a place. It's a location with several
22 graves, and each of the graves was a location. Location 4 was where the
23 body of an unknown person marked by number 32 was found at Lovas farm.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think your -- your question -- your answer is
25 quite clear. I'll clarify my question to which I have an answer now. So
1 Lovas farm on this paper does not refer to the place of death. It refers
2 to the place of finding of the mortal remains. You agree with that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
5 So we take the break for today. You'll come back tomorrow
6 morning at 9.00, and I must remind you that you are under oath, which
7 implies that you are not allowed to discuss your testimony with anybody,
8 and you are not allowed to speak to any of the parties at all. Do you
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, Your Honours, yes.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. The usher -- the usher will
12 escort you out of the court now. Thank you.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.10 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day
17 of January, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.