Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 9409

1 Tuesday, 23 May 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.48 a.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. I'm sorry that delays with transport

7 of the accused have caused us to have a late start.

8 Good morning, sir. Could I ask you, please, to stand and take the

9 card and read aloud the affirmation.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

11 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.

13 Mr. Smith.

14 MR. SMITH: Good morning, Your Honours.


16 [Witness answered through interpreter]

17 Examination by Mr. Smith:

18 Q. Good morning, Witness. Could you state your full name, your

19 profession, and your current position.

20 A. My name is Davor Strinovic. I'm a forensic medical expert, a

21 professor at the medical school at the University of Zagreb and deputy

22 head of the institute.

23 Q. Could you explain, at the University of Zagreb, what is the nature

24 of your work?

25 A. As a professor of forensic science I teach forensic science to

Page 9410

1 medical students, dentistry students, legal students and the police. I

2 also carry out autopsies, and I monitor the work of those specialising in

3 forensic medicine and those students hail from all over Croatia. I also

4 carry out and issue expertise opinions before tribunals. Apart from that,

5 I am engaged in scientific work with a focus on identifying victims of

6 mass disasters and victims of war.

7 Q. And in December 1991, did you become a member of the Government

8 Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons?

9 A. Yes, that is correct.

10 Q. That commission was set up by the Croatian government; is that

11 correct?

12 A. That is correct as well.

13 Q. Can you explain the purpose of that commission?

14 A. The commission was founded in December 1991, primarily because at

15 that time there were large numbers of missing persons and the search for

16 them was to be initiated. We estimated that a portion of the missing

17 persons were still alive and detained somewhere, whereas the others were

18 presumed dead but they were yet to be found and identified. That was the

19 basic role of the commission.

20 Q. Are you still a member of that commission?

21 A. Yes, I still am a member of the commission.

22 Q. And this commission was set up in relation to the effects of the

23 conflict in the former Yugoslavia in Croatia?

24 A. Yes, that is correct.

25 Q. Briefly, what was the nature of the commission's work between 1991

Page 9411

1 and 1995 whilst the conflict was in process?

2 A. Since there were large numbers of missing persons involved, the

3 commission, in its meetings with the other party, that is the

4 representatives of Yugoslavia, to establish as many facts and data

5 concerning the missing people. And to track them in those four years

6 between 1991 and 1995 there were several such meetings, during which we

7 were supposed to discuss the issue of the missing persons and those

8 presumed dead, and those meetings were on a regular basis. Most often in

9 Hungary, in Pecs and Budapest.

10 Q. Briefly, what was the nature of the cooperation between the

11 Yugoslav government and the Croatian government between that period? Was

12 it smooth or difficult?

13 A. On the one hand, the meetings were quite fair. They were held on

14 a regular basis. We discussed issues, and it was important to keep up the

15 momentum so that both sides would gain the data they needed as to their

16 missing and dead. But as for the results in specific facts and data,

17 those were rather scarce.

18 Q. After 1995 did the nature of the commission's work change, and if

19 it did, how did it change?

20 A. Yes. After 1995, the commission focused mostly on finding mass

21 graves and looking for bodily remains and their identification. But the

22 cooperation continued and is still continuing between Croatia and Serbia

23 on the remaining missing persons who haven't been located as to date.

24 Q. What was your specific role within the commission and what is it

25 now?

Page 9412

1 A. At the beginning, from 1991 until 1995, I was the only forensic

2 member of the commission, and we tried to gather as much data as possible

3 in relation to bodily remains, mass graves, the names and so on and so

4 forth. That was my primary role up until 1995.

5 After that teams were formed for identification in Croatia, and I

6 coordinated their work. Then we began with actual exhumations and

7 identification of those killed during the war. Throughout I coordinated

8 the teams and the tasks all over Croatia, and I took part myself in most

9 of the jobs pertaining to exhumations, identifications, treatment of

10 mortal remains and subsequently identification.

11 Q. The exhumations that were conducted as a result of the war in

12 Croatia, were they conducted by the Croatian government, namely through

13 the commission, or were they also conducted by international

14 representatives?

15 A. The exhumations and the process of exhumations was led by the

16 commission for the missing persons of the Republic of Croatia. In some

17 cases the international experts carried out entire procedures; that is,

18 from the exhumation itself up until the identification and determining of

19 elements for identification. In some such instances, international

20 experts came to help the Croatian side. Notably myself acted as monitors

21 in such cases.

22 Q. So you were the coordinator for the identification of individuals

23 that were exhumed. Were you also the coordinator for the exhumations

24 themselves, the forensic pathologists and other people involved in those

25 exhumations?

Page 9413

1 A. Yes, that is correct.

2 Q. When you say that you coordinated teams, what types of individuals

3 were in these teams that were involved in the exhumation and

4 identification process? What qualifications did they have generally?

5 A. The part of the teams that I coordinated included a physician, a

6 specialist of either forensic science or a pathologist, and they always

7 had an assistant, a nurse who had had previous experience with exhumations

8 and identifications. That was the medical part of the exhumation team.

9 There were other members of the team, of course, such as necessary

10 to carry out the operation successfully. Sometimes the area had to be

11 de-mined, transportation was needed, but those tasks did not concern any

12 medical staff, and it wasn't under my competence but, rather, the team

13 would usually have a physician and an assistant in its medical component.

14 Q. In relation to the identification of exhumed bodies, were there

15 other people involved in that process such as dentitions, anthropologists,

16 radiologists, et cetera?

17 A. The people you mentioned indeed participated in treating or

18 processing the mortal remains. That was the second phase. The first

19 phase is the phase of exhumation.

20 During exhumations, there were entire teams in the field,

21 including the physician and the assistant, and bodies are exhumed, put

22 into bags and then transported to the place to be treated. It was usually

23 done in the field under tents where identification elements were being

24 gathered. And occasionally identifications were carried out as well with

25 the assistance of relatives such as was possible in certain cases when

Page 9414

1 bodies were well-preserved and when we knew we were dealing with small

2 groups of people.

3 In all other cases, a more detailed treatment was necessary

4 because there were more unknown factors. Such cases were treated in

5 various institutes, notably in the forensic institute in Zagreb, but also

6 in Osijek, in Rijeka, in Split and so on and so forth; in larger centres,

7 that is, where forensic medical staff would carry out such determination

8 of elements used for identification and to determine the cause of death.

9 When we had particularly complex cases on our hands and large

10 numbers of dead bodies, such treatment was carried out in Zagreb at the

11 institute for forensic medicine, and we would always bring on board other

12 specialists like a stomatologist, anthropologist, radiologist; that is,

13 the people needed to carry the treatment out as -- in the best way

14 possible.

15 Q. Thank you. You said anthropologists, radiologists were

16 involved. Can you explain the reason and the importance of the

17 anthropologists being involved in this process and what they can offer in

18 terms of identifying who the individual was?

19 A. Anthropologists have their separate role. As time goes by, softer

20 tissues are destroyed and all that is left are bones, skeletons.

21 Proportionately the role of the anthropologist grows with the passing of

22 time. They can read or interpret things other specialists cannot.

23 Therefore, the anthropologist can make his conclusions based on the bones

24 he has at his disposal as to the cause and time of death. That is why

25 anthropologists were important. They could interpret data several years

Page 9415

1 after the actual death as in these cases. In such cases, anthropologists

2 are quite important. They can also establish some basic things such as

3 age, height, then build, as well as potential degenerative changes on the

4 skeleton in terms of pathological health conditions, age, as well as

5 previous trauma of any nature, various anomalies on the bones, fresh, so

6 to say, trauma, and the cause of death.

7 Q. Thank you. And you said that dental experts were involved in this

8 process. What value do they add to the identification processes? Just

9 briefly, please.

10 A. Dental experts were also important because of the fact that in

11 addition to the bones the only other tissue remaining are actually the

12 teeth. From well-preserved teeth, one can gather much data necessary for

13 identification. Each person is characteristic, having a different set of

14 teeth. An interpretation of a dental expert can provide a lot of

15 elements, based on which in our conversations with the relatives and if we

16 have dental files from before, we can use that to make a positive

17 identification.

18 Q. Thank you. How does the radiologist assist in the identification

19 process, briefly?

20 A. Radiologists are of much help in such identifications because once

21 we begin treating the body, while still in the bag, the radiologist checks

22 it. He looks for any potential metal objects interesting for the process

23 of identification. Braces or anything remaining from previous operations

24 can be used for identification.

25 On the other hand, the radiologist can also detect metal objects

Page 9416

1 that may have been the cause of death. Parts of grenades, shrapnels or

2 other metal objects that could have been the cause of death. Otherwise we

3 wouldn't be able to retrieve them during autopsies because these are small

4 fragments that may have been buried in the bones. But on an X-ray they

5 are well visible. Therefore, they are of much help when determining the

6 cause of death.

7 Q. Thank you. You are currently the deputy head of the Institute of

8 Forensic Medicine in Zagreb; is that correct?

9 A. That is correct.

10 Q. And you've been a forensic pathologist for at least the last 26

11 years; is that right?

12 A. Yes. I concluded my specialisation 25 years ago, that is correct.

13 Q. And in very brief terms, can you define what forensic pathology

14 is, the nature of that subject matter?

15 A. Forensic pathology or, as we call it, forensic medicine, is

16 somewhat different from pathology itself. We deal with violent causes of

17 death, whereas pathology itself deals with disease.

18 Forensic medicine or forensic pathology deals with violent causes

19 of death in -- or, rather, anything that may be useful to a tribunal or a

20 court when determining the cause of death. Therefore, the major

21 difference is the violent factor, to try and determine possible injury or

22 trauma that may have been the cause of death, such as occurs in the cases

23 of homicides, suicides, and so on and so forth. This also includes

24 traffic accidents and all other types of injury, as well as the injuries

25 that may appear during the -- during war.

Page 9417

1 Q. In preparation for your testimony here at the Tribunal in this and

2 other cases, did you prepare an expert report relating to the -- your role

3 in the exhumation and identification process relating to victims in the

4 conflict in Croatia during -- between 1991 and 1995?

5 A. Yes. I did.

6 Q. And in that report, did you also outline publications in your --

7 that you have been authors of -- author of and also your professional

8 background?

9 A. Yes, that is correct.

10 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, binders have been distributed with

11 tabs 1 to 7. Excuse me.

12 [Prosecution counsel confer]

13 MR. SMITH: Which are just being distributed now. The Defence

14 have received them. They contain a number of documents. At the beginning

15 of that binder there is an index to it and a number of tables that will be

16 referred to in the testimony. The binders have been given to the Defence,

17 and the information has been disclosed. Also Your Honours will receive a

18 chart that was prepared by the witness and brought here yesterday, and

19 that was disclosed to the Defence. And it further explains the

20 identification process.

21 Q. Witness, if we look at tab number 1 in your binder, do you see the

22 expert report that you've prepared?

23 A. Yes, I do.

24 Q. English ERN number 0307-1914 to 0307-1927. And the B/C/S

25 0117-6675 to 0117-6688.

Page 9418

1 That report, Professor, also contains at the back of the report a

2 number of tables in relation to exhumations conducted in Croatia relating

3 to the conflict. Do you agree?

4 A. Yes, those are my tables.

5 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender that report. It's been

6 filed previously on the 15th of September, 2005. And it's registry page

7 numbers 3881 to 3815.

8 JUDGE PARKER: The report will be received.

9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 451, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith, the table, is there to be translation of

11 it?

12 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, there should be -- there is a translation

13 of the table that relates to the binder itself. There are a number of

14 tables, Your Honour, or charts that are attached to his report which are

15 in English and also translated in B/C/S.

16 JUDGE PARKER: I'm looking at the separate document that you said

17 arrived yesterday.

18 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, this document, it does

19 contain a translation to the extent that hopefully is required. If we

20 look at the top row of the document, we have the English terms immediately

21 above the Croatian terms. And then on the right-hand column we have the

22 translations of the words that appear there when they first appear. Then

23 after that the words repeat themselves.

24 JUDGE PARKER: So you are treating it as a self-translating

25 document.

Page 9419

1 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.

2 JUDGE PARKER: And obviously "da" and "ne" are yes and no.

3 MR. SMITH: That is about the limit of my Croatian, and that is

4 the case.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Because of photocopying, in the centre of the first

6 page of the document at the top I am missing the word above "wounds." Can

7 you tell me what that is?

8 MR. SMITH: It may be "bandages," Your Honour. And -- I believe

9 it may have been "bandages." I'll ask -- perhaps I can ask the witness in

10 relation to that.

11 Q. Witness, if you can turn to tab 6 of your binder. And then behind

12 that you have the new document you brought to The Hague. If you look at

13 the column where it states "zavoji ranjavalje," can you translate those

14 words, please?

15 A. Bandages. [In English] means bandages, and "ranjavalje" means

16 wounding.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 JUDGE PARKER: Finally, this table, you are treating as part of

19 Exhibit 451?

20 MR. SMITH: No, Your Honour, that would be separate.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Do you tender it?

22 MR. SMITH: Well, I tender that table. I can tender that table.

23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

24 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit 452, Your Honour.


Page 9420

1 Q. Witness, looking at your expert report, you refer to a number of

2 publications. Can you briefly describe the number of publications or

3 papers you have written in relation to the identification process of

4 individuals exhumed in a -- wartime situations or in large-scale

5 disasters?

6 A. The one thing I can say is that our first experience at the Zagreb

7 institute was the experience that we had with a large-scale railway

8 accident in 1974 where 200 people were killed. The next page of

9 experience we had was a plane clash over Zagreb with two planes colliding,

10 and there were 170 dead. This was back in 1976. This was a large number

11 of victims that had to be identified.

12 After that, from the beginning of the war in 1991, there were

13 several exhumations. The first was of 20 persons who had been in the

14 country for about six months.

15 THE INTERPRETER: That had been in the ground for 16 months [as

16 interpreted], interpreter's correction.

17 A. Articles were written to study the various problems normally

18 encountered during exhumations and identification of bodies. We had a

19 five-year project, an American-Croatian project, to identify various dead

20 bodies. This was later carried through by the Croatian ministry. Work

21 continued on identifying dead bodies.

22 Since 1992, there have been a number of international conferences,

23 over 15 I would say, where the research projects were presented as well as

24 the results of our identification efforts. Likewise, two years ago there

25 was a huge conference in Kuwait where identification of bodies in Iraq was

Page 9421

1 discussed. They wanted to hear about our experience in Croatia and I was

2 there as a lecturer to present our experience. I talked about mass graves

3 and exhumations as well as identifying bodies.

4 There is a whole number of conferences. There is a lot of

5 research going on, studying problems of identification, problems related

6 to identifying dead bodies. It was in this way that we have succeeded in

7 amassing a large amount of practical experience and knowledge.


9 Q. And how often have you testified in courts of law in relation to

10 forensic pathology opinions, forensic pathologist opinions?

11 A. It's difficult to be specific about the number of opinions, but I

12 offer opinions almost on a daily basis, orally or in a written form. For

13 the last 25 years, I have been giving opinions in writing or orally on a

14 daily basis.

15 Q. And briefly, the particular nature of your expert opinion, the

16 nature of the testimony?

17 A. As a forensic pathologist working at the institute normally I give

18 opinions on general medical issues; murders, traffic incidents. I give

19 opinions on a doctor's responsibility and whatever opinions are requested

20 that have to do with forensic pathology.

21 Q. And you've also testified here at the Tribunal in the Milosevic

22 case in 2003 on the 13th to the 14th of March; is that correct?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. And also in relation to the Martic case in 2006, this year?

25 A. Correct.

Page 9422

1 Q. And you've also testified in the Belgrade trial for the

2 perpetrators for -- the physical perpetrators of the Ovcara incident in

3 Vukovar?

4 A. Yes, that is also correct.

5 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, at this stage I would seek to tender the

6 testimony in the Milosevic case with ERN numbers 0001-7810 to 0001-7924

7 from the 13th to the 14th of March, 2003.

8 [Prosecution counsel confer]

9 MR. SMITH: I've just been informed there are two separate files,

10 those two ERN numbers, one for the 13th and one for the 14th. But perhaps

11 if it could be one exhibit.

12 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received as one exhibit.

13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 453, Your Honour.

14 MR. SMITH: Thank you.

15 Q. Witness, I'd now like to turn to the actual process of

16 identification. In your expert report you refer to at paragraph 12 two

17 types of processes; one being the classical process of identification, and

18 one being the process by DNA. Can you briefly describe what factors go

19 into identifying someone in the classical method, what you would look for

20 to find a positive identification?

21 A. Classical identification means there is a post mortem. When there

22 is a post mortem, an autopsy, elements are gathered that might help

23 towards establishing the identity of a body. You start with the clothes

24 and any items found on the body. Each item, especially jewellery,

25 documents, personal documents and such are very important for identifying

Page 9423

1 the body and as a rule very helpful.

2 The next step is the body itself. The skin can yield a lot of

3 elements useful for identification. Any scars from previous surgery,

4 injuries, old injuries, scar tissue, tattoos, a very typical feature, and

5 where I come from, still very common. This can also be used for

6 identification purposes.

7 The next thing that is important is the teeth. If one is able to

8 study the teeth, this can be used to provide very reliable elements of

9 identification. The teeth remain preserved even if a body spends several

10 years in the ground and that's why they are very useful. They are

11 preserved much better than most of the other organs. The only problem is

12 that in wartime situations medical files were missing and so were dental

13 files. It was difficult to compare what we found with any files, given

14 that most of the files were missing.

15 Furthermore, changes to the bones or to the skull can provide

16 another important element. Every piece of information of that sort,

17 previous trauma, previous surgery, any braces that exist, any scars also

18 provide reliable guide-lines for identifying a body. It is very unlikely

19 that more than one or two people can ever undergo the same kind of surgery

20 in the very same place on the same organ with the same sort of scarring,

21 and this provides more than a reliable hint for identifying a given body.

22 There are a number of elements when talking about classical

23 identification that we look at as forensic pathologists every time we have

24 a new body. When identifying a body, it is especially important to study

25 details, details to do with clothing, with any items found on the body,

Page 9424

1 any peculiarities of the skin, any scar tissue. We hereby derive a whole

2 number of different elements that then we try to piece together to get at

3 a person's identity.

4 Classical identification can only be effective if the so-called

5 antemortem information is gathered at the same time. As soon as a person

6 goes missing we try to get in touch with their families, their nearest and

7 dearest, so that they may provide us with the greatest amount of

8 antemortem information; so to say, pre-death information. We try to get

9 as many useful elements as possible and we then compare anti-mortal

10 information and elements found in the course of an autopsy. We need all

11 of these in order to be able to identify a body.

12 If one uses the classical method and tries to describe all the

13 possible elements, this usually succeeds in about 80 per cent of the

14 cases. I mean of 80 per cent of all the dead bodies subjected to this

15 classical method of identification.

16 Q. So in summary, you collect as many identifying features from the

17 body or found on the body itself, and you compare that with information

18 received either before the body was found or after the body was found from

19 relatives, friends, or any other person that may have known that

20 individual?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. It's -- this is probably an obvious question, but how important is

23 it to make sure that the identification that is made, that is finally

24 decided upon, is positive and is a strong identification? And what sort

25 of problems arise in your work if tentative identifications are made

Page 9425

1 incorrectly?

2 A. Normally when you start carrying out an autopsy on a body,

3 elements are found that normally provide indications for a possible

4 identification. This is normally termed preliminary identification, which

5 means that you often find a document on a person or some sort of a typical

6 feature, distinctive feature, and this is consistent with some of the

7 antemortem information that we have managed to obtain.

8 Once a body has been processed, a possible identification is

9 established. If there is no sound argument in terms of documents to

10 corroborate this, we then call the family, we tell them about our

11 findings. And then there is also the other element that we normally find

12 strongly indicative, something to suggest that this might be the person,

13 such as personal documents, a case history of their previous illnesses,

14 that sort of thing.

15 So we go through the whole thing with their families. And if a

16 family believes that the elements are not sufficient for a positive ID and

17 we have been unable to establish a sufficient number of elements during

18 our autopsy, then we take further steps. We again reapply the classical

19 method in case there are new elements that emerge, or we may do some DNA

20 analysis. But if there is an identification that has been established but

21 not confirmed by the family, we do not accept this as final.

22 It was for purely practical reasons that we termed this

23 preliminary identification. This was by no means a final identification.

24 If this was not confirmed, it would not be accepted as a final finding,

25 and the body would remain classified as unidentified until final

Page 9426

1 confirmation was obtained.

2 You asked me about the classification. There are several problems

3 that occur here. This is in relation to the elements themselves, how

4 reliable are they, how safe are they, and how much information is obtained

5 from the other side. I'm referring to antemortem information, a-n-t-e,

6 and how much information you can obtain from the family of the deceased.

7 As time goes by, less and less is known about certain things, certain

8 elements. People forget. That is in the very nature of things. So these

9 elements grow more and more meager over the years, and people find it more

10 difficult to be very decided, very determined about certain things.

11 Therefore, we may have an autopsy with a whole lot of information but

12 nothing to compare it to, no one to make a positive ID. And that is when

13 we have no choice but to leave a case open.

14 Sometimes we deal with more subjective problems. Meaning a

15 family, usually the mother, is unable to face the facts. They still keep

16 on hoping that their son is a captive somewhere, still languishing in a

17 prison somewhere but not dead. It is for purely emotional reasons that a

18 mother may be unable to face this sort of reality. This is another

19 aggravating circumstance -- circumstance for the identification process.

20 The simple fact of the matter is unless there is approval from the family,

21 you cannot have a final positive ID.

22 There is maybe one thing I that I would like to point out here.

23 Each case of classical identification must be concluded in a meeting with

24 the family. When they accept the results, they have to sign a statement

25 to that effect. A death certificate is issued to them.

Page 9427

1 Q. Thank you. And to summarise, is it fair to say that in relation

2 to the features attained from the body itself and the antemortem data that

3 you have obtained in relation to the potential identification of that

4 individual, there needs to be a high level of consistency of features

5 pointing to one particular individual before a positive identification is

6 made. Is that a fair summary?

7 A. That is certainly the essence of what we call the classical

8 method. The important thing is for the pathologist in charge to be as

9 objective as possible. The pathologist must be sure that these are

10 reliable elements, that the elements that he is working with are reliable

11 to have an identification. And then, in a way, he has to be successful in

12 convincing the family, so that they too understand that these are the

13 best, the most reliable results.

14 One thing we have to keep in mind is that those families, those

15 relatives, are not used to images such as those awaiting them in our

16 office. What they see when they come to our office is the remains of a

17 skeleton and not the body, as they remember it. In that situation, a

18 layman may find it hard to accept the appearance of a body like that.

19 This is an experience that is totally alien to them. We have few remains,

20 we have few elements, and yet it is based on this that we wish to build a

21 case for identification, and then we have to get the family to accept

22 this. It is very often difficult to persuade them that this person who

23 was young, who was full of beans, perfectly healthy, is now suddenly dead.

24 There is only a skeleton left and precious little to identify the person.

25 It may be extremely difficult for a family to face the facts, and it may

Page 9428

1 be extremely difficult for us, in turn, to persuade them that this might

2 be the very person.

3 Q. Thank you. And just briefly, can you explain the process of

4 identification by DNA, in very brief terms, and the reliability of the

5 results?

6 A. I do have to point out that I am no DNA expert. I am, however, in

7 touch with the laboratory and with the people who are involved in DNA

8 analysis. This is a new identification method, one that has so far proven

9 to be exceptionally successful.

10 When you have a positive DNA match, that is as good as you can

11 ever get in terms of identifying a body. Each human body has its own DNA,

12 each person has a unique DNA code, so to speak, not shared by anyone else.

13 Only twins can have the same sort of DNA. It is precisely for this

14 reason, because DNA is unique to each person, that the degree of certainty

15 in an identification is practically 100 per cent.

16 When you have DNA analysis, the important thing is to track down

17 the nearest and dearest, the closest possible relative, so that we -- we

18 have DNA samples to compare. What we try to establish is actually

19 paternity or maternity. If there is a missing person and we can track

20 down the mom and dad, we take blood samples for them, and if the -- these

21 samples are confirmed to be consistent, we shall have a near 100 per cent

22 certitude that this is the person because it couldn't possibly be any

23 other person.

24 It is also possible that if a missing person has a wife or a

25 child, we might want to use the same method to achieve the same high

Page 9429

1 degree of certainty in order to prove that this unknown person, this

2 missing person is a child's father. And then this is normally the same

3 kind of percentage that we're looking at, 99.9 per cent of certainty, of

4 certitude.

5 It is also possible in some cases, if there are two or three

6 children, to attain the same high degree of certainty, if this person has

7 fathered two or three children. It is also possible if there is no

8 father, there is just the mother or someone from the mother's family, to

9 use a different method. The first method is the cellular DNA method.

10 This is the most reliable one. There is the mitochondrial DNA method.

11 When you look at the mother's features and her bloodline, the percentages

12 are normally high in terms of certainty, and when identity is established

13 the percentage we normally -- we're normally looking at in these cases is

14 also 99.999 per cent.

15 These methods are extremely reliable methods where you can isolate

16 DNA samples. The problem with bodies that spend a lot of time, a long

17 time in the ground is there is a lot of decomposition, and it is very

18 difficult to isolate DNA samples. But in certain bones, such as the thigh

19 bone, or the teeth, you can still retrieve DNA samples after many years.

20 You can use these samples to compare them to blood samples, the blood

21 samples of close relatives in most cases.

22 There can be a problem, for example, if the body has burnt down;

23 it will obviously be impossible to isolate DNA samples. If a body has

24 been decomposing for a long time, the DNA cells may have disintegrated.

25 This can be due to weather conditions or anything else, but you can have

Page 9430

1 cases where DNA samples may prove impossible to obtain; therefore, you

2 can't have DNA analysis.

3 The problem that we usually face in our work is that there is very

4 often no one to compare this isolated DNA sample to. It's about the

5 nearest and dearest, we can't track these down, these close relatives.

6 Sometimes families leave an area altogether and move elsewhere. We don't

7 have their current address, we have no idea about their whereabouts, so

8 these families don't respond to our summons when we call them to provide

9 blood samples for DNA analysis. These are daily problems that we

10 encounter in our work.

11 Sometimes we have a body, sometimes we have a DNA sample, but

12 there is no way we can establish a person's identify because there's

13 nothing to compare these samples to. We use this as step two, so to

14 speak, as some sort of a back-up option. When our classical procedure

15 fails, we try to do DNA analysis. This has proved to be effective in the

16 great majority of cases, and there is almost -- there is nearly always a

17 positive ID.

18 Q. Thank you very much for that very complete and comprehensive

19 answer.

20 Dr. Strinovic, I would now like to turn your mind to the

21 exhumation at Ovcara near Vukovar which was conducted in 1996. You were

22 involved in monitoring that exhumation; is that correct?

23 A. Yes. That's correct.

24 Q. And now I'd like to take your mind back before that. When did you

25 ever hear of people being evacuated from the Vukovar Hospital and going

Page 9431

1 missing?

2 A. As far as I remember, it was the very next day after it happened.

3 It was on the 20th or possibly the 21st of November, 1991.

4 Q. Can you explain to the Court what you heard in relation to these

5 people going missing from the Vukovar Hospital. You said the very next

6 day. What information did you get and how did you get it?

7 A. I learned about the missing persons from the Vukovar Hospital via

8 the media. As far as I remember, there were several issues in various

9 papers writing about the missing people and several figures mentioned as

10 well. In any case, a large figure was mentioned of the people who went

11 missing from the Vukovar Hospital on that day.

12 Q. You stated earlier that the commission was set up in December

13 1991, the commission for missing persons. Is that correct? The Croatian

14 commission.

15 A. Yes, that is correct.

16 Q. When did the -- when did the commission first meet after it was

17 set up?

18 A. As far as I remember, it was in January 1992. We met in Pecs.

19 Q. Where is Pecs, which country?

20 A. Pecs is in Hungary, P-e-c-s. It is relatively close to the

21 Croatian border.

22 Q. And the Yugoslav government at that stage, the Serbian government,

23 they had their own commission set up as well in relation to missing

24 persons; is that correct?

25 A. Yes, that is correct.

Page 9432

1 Q. And did the Croatian commission and the Yugoslav commission, did

2 they meet in Pecs?

3 A. Yes. That is correct.

4 Q. Are you able to remember what the subject of discussion was, the

5 main subject of discussion at that first meeting?

6 A. Yes. It was a long time ago. Therefore, my recollection is not

7 so clear anymore. But I know we discussed the missing persons. One of

8 the first questions posed was concerning the missing people from the

9 Vukovar Hospital.

10 Q. From the Yugoslav government side, from their commission, are you

11 able to remember the individuals or the types of individuals and the

12 positions they held that were representatives of their commission at this

13 meeting?

14 A. I'll do my best. As far as I can remember, the commission was

15 headed by a military person. I believe he was a colonel or

16 lieutenant-colonel by rank. There were representatives of the Yugoslav

17 Red Cross as well, and I can't be any more specific as regards the other

18 people.

19 At the second meeting, I believe, there was a forensic medical

20 specialist from Yugoslavia.

21 Q. Between the time that the Ovcara grave was first discovered - and

22 in your Milosevic testimony I think you stated in about October 1992 the

23 grave was first discovered - about how many meetings were held between the

24 two commissions, the Croatian commission and the Yugoslav commission for

25 missing persons, prior to that, prior to that initial discovery of the

Page 9433

1 grave at Ovcara?

2 A. I can't be precise. As far as I can remember, in early 1992, from

3 January onwards, we held regular meetings, every month or every 40 days or

4 so. Up until that summer we have had at least four or five meetings in

5 Pecs.

6 Q. You mentioned at the first meeting there was a lieutenant-colonel

7 representing -- or as one of the representatives from the Yugoslav

8 commission. Do you mean a lieutenant-colonel from the JNA army at that

9 stage?

10 A. As far as I can remember it, yes.

11 Q. And about how many representatives did the Croatian side have at

12 these meetings, and who were some of those representatives?

13 A. To the best of my recollection, there was Professor Kostovic on

14 behalf of the Croatian government who was there. Then the lecturer and

15 examiner Mr. Simunovic from the school of law. Then the Red Cross of

16 Croatia. I was there as a forensic pathologist. And that's as far as I

17 can remember.

18 Q. And did you attend all of the commission meetings with the

19 Yugoslav government prior to the discovery of the grave? With the

20 commission, I mean.

21 A. As far as I remember, I attended all of the meetings between

22 January and June 1992. Before the mass grave at Ovcara was discovered.

23 Q. And at those meetings how often was the issue of the missing

24 people from Vukovar, how often was that on the agenda at those meetings?

25 At all of them or one of them or ...

Page 9434

1 A. As far as I remember, we discussed it at every meeting. We

2 discussed the people who went missing from the town of Vukovar, with a

3 particular focus on the Vukovar Hospital.

4 Q. And from the representatives of the Yugoslav commission, what was

5 their response to this issue? Did they have any information in relation

6 to them? How did they approach it?

7 A. As regards the missing people from the Vukovar Hospital, they

8 usually stated that they had no knowledge of such a group and that they

9 could offer no assistance. I think it was what they said, but as I said,

10 it's been a long time ago. That's what I can remember.

11 Q. And about what -- what amount of time was spent in relation to

12 discussing the issue of the missing people from the Vukovar Hospital at

13 these meetings? At the particular meetings.

14 A. Such meetings lasted for two or three days, depending on the given

15 meeting. And a large portion of our time was spent discussing the missing

16 people from the Vukovar Hospital.

17 Q. You said that to the best of your recollection you believe that

18 the representatives from the Yugoslav side said that they had no knowledge

19 of such a group going missing. At these meetings with the Croatian

20 commission, did you attempt to persuade the Yugoslav commission that, in

21 fact, people had gone missing? And, if you did, how did you do that?

22 A. Yes, I remember us discussing that. There were Croatians put by

23 the -- questions put by the Croatian side. By that time we already had

24 some witnesses who could testify as to the missing people from the Vukovar

25 Hospital. We knew they were there, then they went missing. But we also

Page 9435

1 knew of the existence of some lists put together by the physicians or the

2 staff of the hospital and some lists made by the refugees themselves when

3 they came to Zagreb or other parts of Croatia. We knew that a large

4 portion of those people went missing. Some witnesses claimed that they

5 ended up at Ovcara and then we knew nothing of their fate from then on.

6 We don't know whether they were detained or killed. That remained

7 unclear, and we tried to find the truth, but we never did, up until a

8 certain moment.

9 Q. And that was information from the witnesses and the lists,

10 et cetera, was that put forward to the Yugoslav commission to assist them

11 in trying to locate these people at these meetings? Either in particular

12 or generally?

13 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, those meetings were always

14 monitored by various European organisations. We often communicated in

15 English, precisely because of those people who actually chaired those

16 meetings from the international community. As far as I remember, the

17 Croatian side tried to present its arguments or what it knew about the

18 missing people to find out the truth. There are probably records where

19 one could check that.

20 Q. And prior to the grave being discovered in October 1992, and apart

21 from the meetings and the discussions that the Croatian commission had

22 with the Yugoslav commission about the missing people, was the fact of

23 missing people from the Vukovar Hospital, was that publicly known prior to

24 the grave being located in October 1992 generally?

25 A. As far as I remember, there were doubts of the existence of a mass

Page 9436

1 grave, but I can't be any more specific.

2 Q. Thank you.

3 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, if we perhaps -- perhaps I will turn to

4 an exhibit now, Your Honour, so perhaps it may be time for a break.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.

6 We will break now and resume at 20 past.

7 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.

8 --- On resuming at 11.24 a.m.

9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Smith.

10 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honours.

11 Q. Witness, before -- Doctor, before we broke we spoke about the

12 discovery of the grave at Ovcara in 1992. You mentioned that in your

13 testimony in Milosevic, but can you expand on that briefly about when you

14 first heard that the grave site was discovered?

15 A. As far as I can remember now, after having discovered the mass

16 grave in October 1992, Dr. Snow came to Zagreb and we heard from him about

17 that. There were also reports in the media. Therefore, I could learn

18 about it in the papers.

19 Q. Can you explain with more detail who Dr. Snow is and what his role

20 was in Croatia at that time?

21 A. As far as I know, Dr. Snow is a -- an experienced forensic

22 pathologist who had been invited to Croatia with the intention of trying

23 to locate the mass grave at Ovcara, and so he did.

24 Q. Did Dr. Snow perform any initial excavation or examination of the

25 Ovcara site when he first arrived at the grave in 1992 or shortly after?

Page 9437

1 Are you aware of that?

2 A. As far as I know, when he visited Ovcara for the first time when

3 he found an area he thought suspicious, he attempted some excavations.

4 And there were some skeleton remains found in shallow earth, as well as

5 some objects that could have been associated with the persons missing from

6 the hospital.

7 Q. Have you seen any photographs of that initial examination of the

8 site by Dr. Snow?

9 A. Yes, I have, but later.

10 Q. And when did you first see those photographs in relation to that

11 examination at the site?

12 A. I'm uncertain whether that was in 1996 when Snow returned to

13 Croatia or whether it was here at this Tribunal.

14 Q. And 1996 was when the full exhumation of the site occurred?

15 A. Yes, that is correct.

16 Q. Do you know why the site wasn't exhumed or the bodies weren't

17 exhumed in 1992, when it was discovered, and four years had passed before

18 the exhumation was fully undertaken?

19 A. As far as I know, the exhumation could not have been carried out

20 back in 1992 because the local Serbs wouldn't permit.

21 Q. Do you know why they didn't allow the exhumation to occur then?

22 A. I can only presume or guess at their reasons. I guess they were

23 afraid of others finding this -- finding out about this horrible truth.

24 Q. And when you say "the local Serbs," are you referring to just

25 local civilian people, or are you referring to the local Serb government

Page 9438

1 at the time? Who are you referring to?

2 A. I had in mind all of them whom you mentioned now.

3 MR. SMITH: If we can go to -- it's not the exhibit that I

4 referred the ushers to beforehand, but if we can go to 65 ter video, which

5 is 316, and we can play it on Sanction. There is a series of photographs

6 that relate to the initial discovery of the site, and I would ask that you

7 see those photographs and then comment on them at the end.

8 [Slides shown]

9 MR. SMITH: Perhaps if we could stop the video there.

10 Q. Looking at this slide, I believe it's slide 5, what is that a

11 picture of?

12 A. On slide 5 we see an aerial photograph. Next to the forest to the

13 right side of the photograph there is a depression which didn't look

14 natural. That was one of the reasons that they attempted to find or

15 locate a mass grave there.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 MR. SMITH: If we can continue with the slides.

18 [Slides shown]

19 MR. SMITH: If we can stop there, please.

20 Q. I believe this is slide 15. Doctor, can you explain what is

21 occurring in this photograph?

22 A. Before I do that, I wanted to say that we saw a sequence of

23 photographs. Some of them were obviously taken in October, and we see the

24 vegetation that is green at that time. That was the first visit of

25 Dr. Snow. He came across an area, a depression, and next to a forest.

Page 9439

1 Then they became suspicious that that could be the location of the grave.

2 He found the skeleton, including the skull you could see in shallow

3 ground. And in terms of indicators, that sufficed to become suspicious of

4 the existence of the grave.

5 Some of the other photographs may have been made later in December

6 when he returned and they did initial or testing excavations in order to

7 be able to approach the bodies to try and determine the actual size of the

8 mass grave. That's why we see this ditch here. In order to try and

9 approach the bodies to determine the size of the grave.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 MR. SMITH: If we can move to the next slides, please.

12 [Slides shown]

13 MR. SMITH: If we can stop the slide there, please.

14 Q. I believe this was slide 21. The person that we see in the

15 photograph, is that Mr. Snow, or Dr. Snow?

16 A. Yes. That is Dr. Snow. There is no mistake because he used to

17 wear that hat all the time.

18 Q. And can you describe what he's doing in the photograph?

19 A. Dr. Snow approached the skeletal remains, and he is measuring the

20 femur here to determine the height and possibly the age of that person.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 MR. SMITH: If we can move to the next slides, please.

23 [Slides shown]

24 MR. SMITH: Thank you.

25 Q. Doctor, looking at those slides, briefly can you describe the

Page 9440

1 process that occurred in that first excavation of Ovcara?

2 A. The initial exhumation was begun in October with the first of

3 Dr. Snow's visits when he discovered the suspicious area next to the

4 forest. He also was able to establish that there were bones protruding

5 out of the earth and he established them as being human bones and a skull

6 of a young male. There were also some objects next to the bone, and he

7 could safely assume that it was a person of Croatian ethnicity, because of

8 the symbols they represented, being the cross and a rosary, as well as a

9 picture of a saint.

10 And on the second occasion, when exhumations were carried out,

11 they were more detailed and precise. They tried to measure the size of

12 the mass grave and the position of the bodies, as well as to try and

13 assess the number of bodies. That's why they tried digging out small,

14 shallow trenches, or corridors, so to speak, to try and determine the

15 limits of the grave. Those were all testing or initial exhumations by

16 which they sought to confirm that indeed it was a mass grave, and that

17 more than one body could be found there.

18 This being confirmed, as far as I remember, they put the earth

19 back, they marked the limits of the mass grave, and put under guard by the

20 UN soldiers up until the moment of true exhumation.

21 Q. And so the remains were placed back in the grave and then the dirt

22 was covered over? Is that correct?

23 A. Yes, that is correct.

24 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender that video. It was

25 tendered in the Dokmanovic case through Dr. Clyde Snow, and it's 65 ter

Page 9441

1 number 316.

2 JUDGE PARKER: The slides will be received.

3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 454, Your Honour.

4 MR. SMITH: I would now ask that we move to 65 ter number 974.

5 It's a newspaper article dated the 28th of October, 1992. It's a

6 newspaper article from Novi Vjesnik.

7 Your Honours, at this stage the translation is being prepared, and

8 so unless -- if there is any objections to tendering, we can have the

9 translation -- have the article marked and then the translation admitted

10 hopefully in the next couple of days.

11 Q. Dr. Strinovic, if we can look at -- firstly could you read the

12 title of the article?

13 A. "Are there any living beings in the darkness at Ovcara."

14 Q. And if I could ask --

15 A. Or, "Is there anyone still alive in the darkness of Ovcara."

16 Q. If I could ask the registry representative if she could enlarge

17 the right-hand side of the article, that boxed -- thank you, that boxed

18 section. And perhaps one size larger, so that Dr. Strinovic can read it.

19 Just that first paragraph, thank you.

20 Dr. Strinovic, could you read that first paragraph, the title and

21 read the first paragraph, and then I'll ask you a couple of questions

22 about that, please.

23 A. "Is the grave concealing the wounded from the hospital? The

24 discovery of a mass grave near Vukovar in the report of Tado Samasivjeski

25 [phoen], the plenipotentiary of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights in

Page 9442

1 the former Yugoslavia, has this day shaken both the domestic public and

2 the international public as well as a great number of people from Vukovar,

3 who are still hoping for one of the next exchanges where they might

4 finally get to meet some of their near relatives. Additional disquiet was

5 caused by the statement of Clyde Snow, forensic pathologist and a member

6 of the UN Commission for Human Rights for investigating crimes in the

7 territory of the former Yugoslavia, who in an interview to the American

8 journalists on Monday evening disclosed that the mass grave found with

9 bones protruding actually contained bodies from the 174 Croats detained at

10 the Vukovar Hospital who were first tortured and then killed. He also

11 invokes witness statements that were used to locate the protruding bones.

12 It is for this reason that we have decided to interview Vesna Bosanac, the

13 once director of the Vukovar Hospital, and today's health minister,

14 Dr. Jure Njavro, who were eyewitnesses to the war horrors of Vukovar."

15 Q. Thank you. And if we can move to the second page, please. And to

16 the bottom right-hand side. Thank you. Just showing the newspaper and

17 the date right at the footer of the page, please. If we can just go down

18 further. Thank you. Thank you.

19 Doctor, the -- this paper is Novi Vjesnik; is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And it's dated the 28th of October, 1992; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And Novi Vjesnik, is that a Croatian paper?

24 A. Yes.

25 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, I seek to tender that document, which is

Page 9443

1 65 ter number 974. And would be providing a translation in the next

2 couple of days.

3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 455, Your Honour.


6 Q. Dr. Strinovic, you stated that the exhumation wasn't carried

7 through because the local Serb authorities did not allow that to occur.

8 Is that correct?

9 A. Yes, as far as I know.

10 Q. And between 1992 and the full exhumation in 1996, was that site

11 that was found by Dr. Snow, was that protected, security-wise?

12 A. As far as I know, yes. Throughout that period there was someone

13 guarding the site, UN troops guarding the access to the site and the grave

14 itself.

15 Q. So the best of your knowledge, between the time that it was

16 discovered and the time that the full exhumation commenced, the grave site

17 wasn't interfered with?

18 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.

19 Q. And then when in 1996 did the full exhumation occur?

20 A. As far as I remember, this happened on the 31st of August. Well,

21 actually, information started leaking through, if you like, throughout

22 September and October 1996.

23 Q. And that exhumation, to your knowledge, was conducted under the

24 authority -- the Tribunal -- Tribunal's authority, the Yugoslav Tribunal's

25 authority; is that correct?

Page 9444

1 A. Yes, that, too, is correct.

2 Q. How long did the exhumation last, retrieving the bodies from the

3 grave, and then delivering them to Zagreb?

4 A. The procedure itself took about two months.

5 Q. After the bodies were transferred to Zagreb, were autopsies

6 conducted on each and every one of the bodies?

7 A. Yes. After the bodies were brought to the forensic pathology

8 institute, international pathologists and domestic pathologists examined

9 every single body.

10 Q. And were those autopsies done in 1996, at the end of 1996?

11 A. Yes. That, too, is correct.

12 Q. Who actually carried out the exhumation and the autopsies?

13 A. The exhumation, as well as the autopsies, were conducted by

14 international experts. The whole process was monitored by the Croatian

15 side, myself and other colleagues who would occasionally stand in for me.

16 And this applied to both the exhumation itself and the autopsies.

17 Q. And were representatives from the Yugoslav government, were they

18 present at the exhumation and the autopsies?

19 A. That is also true. From the time the exhumation began and

20 throughout the autopsies.

21 Q. So in relation to the exhumation and the autopsies, your role as

22 the forensic pathologist within the commission set up for locating missing

23 persons, that was to monitor rather than to conduct the exhumation or

24 autopsies?

25 A. That is also absolutely true.

Page 9445

1 Q. And after the autopsies were completed, is it the case that the

2 Croatian commission for missing persons had the responsibility of carrying

3 out the identification process and not the Tribunal or the international

4 experts?

5 A. That is true in its entirety. The moment the autopsies were

6 concluded, the Croatian side obtained everything that was pertinent to the

7 identification process and we started the procedure right away.

8 Q. Were you present at the exhumation in 1996 and, if you were, for

9 about how many days were you present there?

10 A. I would occasionally attend the exhumation. From the start to the

11 end I came about 10 times myself, and the rest of the times a colleague

12 who normally attended the exhumation would go there to replace me.

13 Q. Thank you. I would now like to show you a series of photographs

14 taken from the exhumation in 1996, and I would ask if you could comment on

15 them. Photographs, 65 ter number 878.

16 Doctor, looking at photograph 1, can you explain what we see

17 there? Just briefly.

18 A. This is the site of the mass grave. In this photograph, you can

19 see a depression, the ground is depressed, and the landscape has been

20 altered. It is not consistent with the landscape all around this site.

21 There had obviously been alterations made to this site, and that's why

22 suspicions arose that this might be the site of a mass grave.

23 Q. And the fence that we see on photograph 1, is that -- was that

24 erected to protect the site?

25 A. Yes, of course. That's why the fence is there. Wasn't always

Page 9446

1 there. It was put up because of the grave.

2 Q. Thank you. If we could turn to photograph 2, please.

3 The white building that we see in photograph 2, what is that

4 building, Doctor? On the right-hand side; it's a little bit hard to see,

5 but ...

6 A. As far as I remember, this was a section of the building that was

7 added later on. This was a facility where the experts were accommodated,

8 and they carried out some of their preparations in that building.

9 Q. Thank you. If we can slowly click through from 3 to 4, and then

10 stop at 5, please. Thank you.

11 Doctor, looking at photograph 5, what do we see here?

12 A. We see a new road here for the purposes of the exhumation. We see

13 a fence that protected the grave site and the experts in order to shield

14 the whole procedure from view, as it were. In order to keep anyone on the

15 outside looking inside.

16 Q. Thank you. And again, if we could move slowly through from 6

17 to 10, and then stop at 10, please.

18 Doctor, looking at slide 10, is this a trench that is being dug to

19 commence the exhumation?

20 A. This was the real start of the exhumation. The outer limits of

21 the grave were marked, and then they started with this so that they could

22 approach the bodies and determine the size of the grave itself.

23 Q. Thank you. And if we can move through slowly to 12 and stop

24 at 12, please.

25 And, Doctor, looking at this plastic sheeting that we see, what's

Page 9447

1 the purpose of that?

2 A. When a day's work was finished, at night the plastic sheeting that

3 you can see here would be spread across the grave to keep it from the

4 elements, from rain, until a tent was eventually put up.

5 Q. Thank you. And if we can move through to 14, please.

6 Doctor, looking at the excavator that we see in the photograph,

7 what -- how did that assist in the exhumation, and how was that used?

8 A. This was a large area, a large grave. In order to be able to

9 approach the bodies, in order to arrange the earth around the grave

10 itself, one needed an excavator to carry out these preparations so that

11 one might then start excavating by hand, as it were, as soon as one got

12 close enough to the actual bodies in the ground.

13 Q. Thank you. If we can move to 15, please. If we could enlarge it

14 one level. Thanks.

15 Doctor, looking at this photograph here, in the foreground of the

16 photograph, what do you see?

17 A. There are visual hints here, these seem like bones, but the

18 photograph is not exactly crystal clear, so it's a bit difficult for me to

19 comment on this particular photograph.

20 Q. Thank you. Perhaps if we move through to 16.

21 This photograph, can you explain what we see here?

22 A. Another aerial photograph of the fenced-off area around the mass

23 grave, and the grove itself, which is just adjacent to the grave.

24 Q. If we can move to 17, please.

25 Doctor, just above the pencil in that photograph, what do you see?

Page 9448

1 A. You can see a bullet, a fire-arm bullet.

2 Q. If we can move slowly through to 19, please. And if we can

3 enlarge one size. Thank you. And perhaps even one size again. Thanks.

4 Doctor, looking at this photograph, what do you see here?

5 A. In this photograph, we can see around the edges of the photograph

6 a trench all around the grave. The exhumation of bodies has begun. You

7 see intertwined bodies in the foreground, and to the left you can see that

8 this is indeed a mass grave, that there is a whole mass of bodies there

9 lying intertwined and strewn around.

10 Q. Thank you. Slide 20, please.

11 Doctor, looking at this scaffolding, or beginnings of a building,

12 can you explain why this was erected?

13 A. Autumn was on its way, and the autumn rains were too. The ground

14 was wet, so this was done in order to avoid problems with the rain. This

15 plastic sheeting was used at first, but then the idea occurred to someone

16 to put up a rather large tent in order to protect the entire site and in

17 order to improve the working conditions during the actual exhumation.

18 Q. Thank you. If we could move through to slide 23, please. And

19 perhaps if we can enlarge that to one more level. Thank you.

20 Doctor, in slide 23, what do you see there?

21 A. I think this is a photograph of a lot of bodies lying there

22 intertwined. That is how the photograph was taken before the digging

23 began where the bodies were.

24 Q. Thank you. And slide 24, please.

25 Doctor, looking at this photograph, can you explain what you see,

Page 9449

1 and can you also indicate what the meaning of that number 5 is?

2 A. In this photograph you can see a number of bodies, and then one

3 particular body is shown. You can see the legs, you can see the trunk,

4 the rump, and you can see the head.

5 The number 5 here, I suppose, must be in reference to case

6 number 5, the Ovcara case. When bodies were extracted, it was done on

7 individual basis, one by one, and then number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and all the

8 way up to 200. I suppose the number 5 tag attached to this body means

9 that this was the fifth body extracted or pulled out of the mass grave.

10 Q. And those numbers that were assigned to the bodies that were in

11 the grave, did those numbers stay with the bodies right through the

12 completion of the exhumation process, the autopsy process, and the

13 identification process? And does that appear in all of the records that

14 you have at the commission today?

15 A. That is most certainly true. A lot of attention was paid to this,

16 to keeping the chronological order intact, to keep the numbers the same

17 all the time. Once the numbers were mixed up, identification would become

18 more difficult. But the numbers were always the same from the time a

19 given body was exhumed until a positive ID was finally made. And the

20 numbers are still the same.

21 Q. On that point, you stated that you didn't conduct an exhumation

22 yourself but you monitored it. What was your assessment of the work that

23 was done by the pathologists that were involved in the exhumations in

24 relation to how carefully they carried out the exhumation?

25 A. Those were, for the most part, archaeologists who carried out all

Page 9450

1 the necessary preparations and who did the digging itself. This was done

2 by experts in archaeology and that was done in a very neat and impeccable

3 way, you must say, and I have no objections to their work.

4 Q. Thank you. And if we can move slowly through to slide number 28,

5 please.

6 Doctor, looking at slide 28, can you explain what you see in this

7 photograph? What is happening at that time?

8 A. In this photograph you can see the following: Once the grave was

9 dug up in its entirety and all the bodies were in a single mound, the

10 bodies were carefully extricated with all the clothing, wherever there was

11 some, and the bodies were placed in white bags; you can see the white bags

12 in the photograph. There would be a plastic number attached to the body

13 itself, and then the same number would be put on the bag, 1 to 200. So

14 this was a preliminary step before the bodies were eventually taken to

15 Zagreb.

16 Q. Thank you. And if we can just go back to slide 25, I think.

17 Perhaps slide 26. Thank you.

18 Doctor, looking at the photograph here, can you explain what you

19 see?

20 A. In this photograph I can see an open grave, I can see the bodies

21 inside, a mound of bodies all thrown together. It's a huge grave with a

22 lot of bodies. The bodies are about to be placed in the white bags. You

23 can see some stretchers along the edge, and those were used to take the

24 bodies to the containers before further processing.

25 Q. And approximately what size was the grave, in terms of the size of

Page 9451

1 the pile of the bodies?

2 A. I know someone did get the dimensions, the size. In my estimate,

3 it could have been 15 or 20 metres across.

4 Q. And you mentioned earlier that there were 200 bodies found at this

5 grave site. We can -- we will discuss the figures a little more shortly.

6 But is that the correct number of bodies that were found at Ovcara?

7 A. Yes. There were exactly 200 bodies found at Ovcara.

8 Q. Thank you. And if we can move to slide 29, please.

9 Doctor, can you explain what you see here and the relevance of

10 this photograph?

11 A. It was a large grave with many bodies, some of which are closer to

12 the surface. In some of the initial photographs during testing

13 excavations we saw some parts of the skeletons and bones that were

14 skeletonised. The bodies that were deeper in the ground, some parts of

15 skin were also preserved, among other elements necessary for

16 identification.

17 In this photograph, we see a piece of skin with a tattoo, which is

18 quite specific and recognisable. Using such an identification element, we

19 can safely identify the person. Unfortunately, there weren't so many

20 cases of skin with tattoos, but in cases there were such elements the

21 process of identification was being far easier -- was being made far

22 easier.

23 Q. Thank you. And that number, 190, relates to the number that was

24 assigned to that individual throughout this whole process; is that

25 correct?

Page 9452

1 A. Yes, that is right. As I stated before, the particular number for

2 the particular body throughout the procedure.

3 Q. Thank you. And if we can move through to photograph 31. Thank

4 you.

5 And, Doctor, looking at photograph 31, can you explain briefly

6 what you see there?

7 A. On this photograph we see the white bags, one of which is open.

8 There was a body put inside, and the bag was to be closed off, and there

9 is a number inside the bag and on the outside of the bag. And in such way

10 the bodies were transported onwards to the forensic institute for further

11 processing.

12 Q. Thank you. And if we can move through to photo 35, please.

13 Now, Doctor, looking at photograph 35, what is occurring or what

14 has occurred just recently before this photograph was taken?

15 A. This photograph was taken at the end of the exhumation when the

16 entire grave had been emptied. The bodies were put in plastic bags and

17 taken away. This is what was left behind. That's the empty mass grave,

18 which was then again covered with earth.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender those photographs, and

21 they're photographs in 65 ter 878.

22 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.

23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 456, Your Honour.


25 Q. Dr. Strinovic, you stated that after the -- well, firstly, the 200

Page 9453

1 bodies that were found at Ovcara, were they taken back to the forensic

2 institute in Zagreb, where you worked?

3 A. That is correct. The bodies were transferred to the forensic

4 institute in Zagreb, and that's where the international experts carried

5 out the autopsies of all the bodies.

6 Q. And you stated earlier that you weren't responsible for carrying

7 out the autopsies, but you monitored how those autopsies were carried out.

8 Is that correct?

9 A. That is correct as well.

10 Q. You have stated your opinion as to how the exhumation was carried

11 out. In relation to the autopsies, what is your opinion in how those

12 pathologists carried out their work?

13 A. In principle I have no objections. They did their part of the

14 work very well, though some details made things a bit more difficult for

15 us later on when trying to identify, because perhaps they offered too

16 little detail and photographs that subsequently proved important for

17 identification. Therefore, we needed a bit more time to see things

18 through. But generally speaking, everything was done according to the

19 rules of their profession.

20 Q. And then in 1997 those, the bodies that were discovered at Ovcara,

21 they were handed over into -- they were placed into your custody or the

22 forensic institute's custody, or more broadly, the commission for missing

23 persons custody, is that correct, to carry out the positive

24 identifications?

25 A. That is correct.

Page 9454

1 Q. So the responsibility of the internationals was simply to try and

2 determine the cause of death?

3 A. That was their primary task. Since they carried out the autopsies

4 in a proper way, they described everything else that may not have been

5 linked directly to the cause of death, but was linked to the process of

6 identification. Therefore, we received their documentation making it far

7 easier for us to carry out identifications.

8 Q. And is it correct that one aspect of their documentation that you

9 did not receive was the information relating to the cause of death, as

10 opposed to identification information?

11 A. That is correct as well. We received all data necessary for

12 identification, and we were told that we can get the data relating to the

13 humanitarian issue of identification. As for the actual cause of death,

14 we were told that this was within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and

15 that we may not -- we couldn't be provided with such documentation at the

16 time.

17 Q. If I can ask you to turn to tab 4 of our -- of your binder and our

18 binders, please. And this is a table entitled "Paragraph 49." And the

19 ERN number 0327-2129. And it relates to a chart that was prepared for the

20 Milosevic case and which was tendered through you in that trial. When we

21 look at this chart, do you know who prepared this table?

22 A. Yes. The table was prepared at our institute. I did that with

23 the assistance of my colleagues.

24 Q. And does this table relate to certain statistics relating to cause

25 of death, and also some broad identifying features of the 200 bodies that

Page 9455

1 were exhumed at Ovcara?

2 A. Yes. That is correct. One can clearly see that from the table.

3 Q. And if we look at the table, in relation to causes of death, that

4 information you stated wasn't initially given to you when you were doing

5 the identifications. However, did you subsequently receive information as

6 to the individual causes of death relating to the bodies from some source?

7 A. Yes. The data on the causes of death was received subsequently.

8 I don't know exactly when, but it could have been sometime in 2002 or so.

9 Q. And in that table the cause, how many -- firstly, how many cases

10 was the cause of death established? Perhaps it's obvious, it was in 195

11 cases. Is that correct?

12 A. Yes, that is correct. We can see that from the first column where

13 the cause is established, that the number is 195.

14 Q. And how many individuals were killed as a result of shooting?

15 A. [In English] 188. [Interpretation] 188.

16 Q. And in relation to the causes of death in relation to trauma, we

17 have six individuals, and other violence we have one. Does that mean that

18 those individuals were not shot, or is it an equivocal figure in relation

19 to shooting? What do those figures mean?

20 A. It is difficult for me to provide a precise comment on these

21 figures, but if trauma is mentioned as the cause of death instead of

22 shooting, one would expect that that body did not sustain an injury from a

23 fire-arm, but rather from -- by another source. Some sort of force was

24 applied, perhaps it could have been strangulation or something else. But

25 I can't really provide any comment without going into the documentation

Page 9456

1 itself.

2 As regards your question, according to the data we have and on the

3 basis on which the data was compiled, out of 188, those people were shot,

4 six had trauma excluding fire-arm woundings as the cause of death, and the

5 same goes for that one case of other violence.

6 Q. Is it possible that someone could be shot but that not be shown up

7 in a cause of death on an autopsy report? Is that a possibility?

8 A. Of course it is. Especially in cases when we have bodies which

9 spent several years under the ground and the soft tissue disintegrated.

10 For example, if one received a bullet through the heart, the soft tissues

11 are gone and there are no injuries to the bones. It is possible to

12 sustain such a wound. During an autopsy, we wouldn't be able to ascertain

13 the cause of death. We can't establish that that person was shot,

14 although he or she could have been. Therefore, the answer is yes.

15 Q. Now, I'm about to ask you some questions about the -- some of the

16 identifying statistics in relation to these bodies that were find.

17 MR. SMITH: But, Your Honours, it's 12.30. I wonder if lunch is

18 at 12.30 or 1.00.

19 JUDGE PARKER: Lunch is at 12.30.

20 Are you tendering this table?

21 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour, but I have a few extra questions in

22 relation to it.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we'll receive it now, so that the record

24 discloses that.

25 MR. SMITH: Thank you.

Page 9457

1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 457, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE PARKER: We resume at 1.45.

3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.32 p.m.

4 --- On resuming at 1.49 p.m.

5 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Good afternoon. Judge Parker is unable

6 to sit this afternoon, so pursuant to the Rules, Judge Thelin and myself

7 will be sitting alone.

8 Mr. Smith, before you start, we would like to indicate to you that

9 we would suggest to have the break at 3.00 so that the afternoon session

10 is better cut into two.

11 MR. SMITH: All right. I'll take that into account. Thank you.

12 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Please proceed.


14 Q. Doctor, before the break we were referring to Exhibit 457, and

15 this was the chart that your office prepared in relation to the cause of

16 death and some identifying features of the bodies that were exhumed from

17 Ovcara. I would now like to ask you to explain briefly the comment in

18 this chart that 86 of -- were previously wounded and 114 were not

19 previously wounded. Can you explain what that means, "previously

20 wounded"?

21 A. This concerns some people from the hospital, and it was to be

22 expected that some of those were -- had been wounded before or had been

23 sick, and therefore admitted into the hospital.

24 What we were able to conclude, based on the information we

25 received, and we could see there information on wounds and previous

Page 9458

1 injuries, and it was stated there that those wounds or injuries must have

2 been the reason for their admittance to the hospital. This concerns 86

3 people. The international experts, in carrying out their autopsies, found

4 evidence of previous wounds.

5 As for the other 114, there were no entries made regarding their

6 possible wounds sustained before, and those people had no visible trauma

7 that may have been there before they were admitted to the hospital.

8 Q. What was the average age of the individuals that were killed at

9 Ovcara?

10 A. After the process of identification was carried out we could be

11 precise as to the average age, which was, according to our data, 32.5

12 years.

13 Q. And in the -- in your statistics you state that there were 198

14 males, that were exhumed, and two of them were female. Is that correct?

15 A. Yes, it is. As can be seen in the paragraph 49 table before you.

16 Q. And the age -- the age range of those individuals exhumed, what

17 was that?

18 A. According to the data and identification, we could see the age

19 average of the bodies treated, and that was between 16 and 72.

20 Q. Thank you. If we can now move to tab 3, that previous document

21 has been tendered already. Tab 3 of your binder. And this chart is

22 entitled "Summary of examination findings." Do you have that table in

23 front of you?

24 A. Yes, I do.

25 Q. And the ERN number is 0327-2169 to 0327-2176.

Page 9459

1 Who prepared this table?

2 A. As far as I know, this table was prepared by the international

3 experts who carried out the identifications. According to the data from

4 the table, we could see it was prepared on the 12th of June, 1997. I

5 think it was a mistake though. I think it should have been 97 instead

6 of 07; therefore, in 1997.

7 Q. And briefly could you explain what this table shows. If we can go

8 from left to right and explain the criteria that's listed in this table,

9 please.

10 A. On the table first we have case numbers or Ovcara numbers, as we

11 call them. The way -- or in the sequence the bodies were exhumed from 1

12 to 200. So we started with case number 1, of course.

13 Then date. I believe it to be the date of exhumation. Or rather,

14 the initiation of examination.

15 Then age. Sorry, first gender, then age, age in terms of the

16 minimum and maximum number of years. That means together with the dental

17 expert and the forensic pathologist, the anthropologist is attempting to

18 assess the age of the person based on the remains treated during the

19 abduction [as interpreted] giving the minimum and maximum number of years

20 and then the mean values being calculated.

21 Then height, minimum and maximum, of course. We -- since we

22 couldn't measure bodies in full, we used separate bones, and in our

23 calculations we receive the possible range of height and then we

24 calculated the mean, the mean value.

25 After that there is death, the cause of death with a description

Page 9460

1 of cause as well as manner, meaning homicide. And the last column is

2 tentative identification. In those cases in which, based on certain

3 elements, the experts thought that a name could be ascribed to a

4 particular body, and all effort was made to reach the proper -- the

5 conclusion about the identity of the person. Once we had all the elements

6 necessary, we could perhaps make a positive identification out of the 200

7 that were found there.

8 Q. Thank you. In relation to tentative identifications of these

9 individuals that were exhumed, of the 200 about how many were tentatively

10 identified by the internationals that were doing the autopsies, from that

11 chart? Are you able to say?

12 A. If you take all the tentative identification cases we come up with

13 a total of 56.

14 Q. Now, you said earlier that your responsibility was to ensure -- or

15 the commission's responsibility was to ensure that the bodies were

16 identified correctly, and the internationals' responsibility, the ones

17 that carried out the autopsies, was to establish the cause of death. Did

18 you accept these tentative identifications as final identifications, or

19 was more work done to ensure that people were identified correctly?

20 A. In the cases where the so-called preliminary or probable

21 identification existed, during our process of identification we ran checks

22 on that, meaning that we tried to compare that with the antemortem data

23 that we have been collecting as of the moment those people went missing.

24 We had a database in place for all those missing in Croatia, including the

25 area of Vukovar and its hospital.

Page 9461

1 Once in possession of such data, we could cross-reference that

2 with other information that we received from the family and friends and

3 compare that with the findings of the autopsies, in cases of persons for

4 whom tentative identification was attempted. Then we had more elements in

5 place, based on the additional information received. That's how we tried

6 to verify things. And when we thought there were sufficient elements in

7 place to make an identification, in the cases of tentative identification

8 we tried to get in touch with their families. We would tell their

9 families why we called them; that is, that we were being -- we thought

10 that we may have one of their family members at the institute, and then

11 they would be asked to come and make a positive identification or not.

12 In the case of Ovcara, these tentative or preliminary

13 identifications were carried out first. Out of the 200 John Does, we had

14 a number of people for whom we may have been in possession of their names.

15 Once accepted by their family, we could be certain that we have a

16 positive identification, and then the bodies were turned over to their

17 families and properly buried, concluding the process of identification

18 after the family has signed.

19 Q. Can you explain why your office, the commission for missing

20 persons, and in particular your role in the forensic institute, was to --

21 why your office was chosen to identify these people in a positive manner

22 as opposed to the internationals that were conducting the autopsies? Why

23 weren't they given that responsibility?

24 A. It is difficult to give you a precise answer, but I may offer my

25 opinion. The international experts were in charge of the exhumations up

Page 9462

1 to the point of autopsies and determining the cause of death. That was

2 the primary task of those experts. Such data was then forwarded to the

3 Tribunal as to the cause of death. When one is treating bodily remains,

4 we also need to involve identification elements. In their work they

5 gathered a number of such elements, they would note them down on paper,

6 and then they forwarded that to us to continue with the humanitarian part

7 of the operation as regards identifications.

8 The basic task of those experts was to carry out autopsies, to

9 come up with the number of the victims, as well as to establish the cause

10 of death. The latter portion of the process was left to the Croatian side

11 to follow through. Since the entire treatment was done at the forensic

12 institute, where we had the best conditions, we had all the equipment

13 necessary, including the X-ray machines and separate halls to carry out

14 identifications. And being the leading such an institution in Croatia,

15 such cases were treated in Zagreb, and that's why the institute was tasked

16 with the second part of the process to carry out the identification.

17 Q. Thank you. And on this table we can also see what I believe to be

18 the anthropologist involved in the autopsy, as well as the pathologist;

19 is that correct? Or does the anthropologist relate to the exhumation

20 itself? And I'm referring to the third column, and I think it's about

21 the 9th or 10th column, for the anthropologist -- I mean pathologist?

22 A. I think we're talking about A-n-t-h, the heading A-n-t-h, is that

23 what you're referring to? That's it, yes. I think we have the names of

24 the pathologists here. Their initials. They were involved with

25 processing information.

Page 9463

1 Q. And in relation to the third column where we have A-n-t-h, is that

2 short for anthropologist, or does that relate to the pathologist as well?

3 A. I assume that the third one is in relation to the anthropologists.

4 And the next one, P-a-t-h, is probably the pathologists. That's my

5 assumption. We had both kinds of experts on these international teams.

6 The final finding would be a joint one. It was normally an autopsy report

7 that was important for ascertaining the cause of death and for subsequent

8 identification. The Croatian side was eventually only given details as

9 they related to the identification procedure.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender that document.

12 0327-2169 to 2176.

13 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: It will be received.

14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 458, Your Honours.

15 MR. SMITH: Thank you.

16 Q. Witness, Doctor, if we can turn to tab 5, please, of your binder,

17 and of our binders. And this is ERN number 0327-2177 to 0327-2182. And

18 it's a list of names. Can you explain to us -- well, firstly, who

19 prepared this table; do you know?

20 A. As far as I know, this table was produced by the Croatian

21 commission for detained and missing persons. We see the names of those

22 identified, their date of birth, and the status of their identification.

23 At the end of that table we have a list of missing persons who were not

24 identified.

25 Q. And this table was tendered through you in the Milosevic case in

Page 9464

1 2003. Are you able to say whether this table was accurate at the time

2 that you tendered it in the Milosevic case, in terms of people that have

3 been identified who were found in the grave at Ovcara?

4 A. All the information in this table was obtained from the forensic

5 pathology institute where the identification procedure was carried out.

6 All the names should be consistent with the original document. The list

7 should be consistent with the persons who were identified. This is in

8 actual fact information originating from our institute, once the

9 identification procedure had been dealt with.

10 Q. Of the 200 Ovcara victims that were found in the grave, on my

11 count there are 11 victims who -- who names -- who hadn't been identified

12 as of 2003, is that correct, from this table.

13 A. Yes, that's correct.

14 Q. Now, in the column on the right-hand side we have status, and it

15 has, I believe, positive identification; that's a short form is written

16 there, Pos. Id. Is that quite a different form of identification to the

17 identification we looked at that was provided by the internationals at the

18 autopsies in 1997 when it was listed as tentative identification?

19 A. That's right. As I've explained before, preliminary

20 identification does not constitute a final identification. It's just a

21 way to make the job easier on those who are carrying out the final

22 evaluation of all the data obtained. They have the names to go on and

23 they can then speed up the identification process. Preliminary

24 identification is just an initial stage. What we have in front of us, the

25 document, contains positive IDs, which means their families accepted the

Page 9465

1 results and then these are the final designations, as it were, given to

2 the bodies identified, their names and numbers.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender this -- I seek to tender this

5 document, Your Honours.

6 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: It will be received.

7 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit 459, Your Honours.

8 MR. SMITH: Thank you.

9 Q. Doctor, if we can now turn to tab 6, please, of the binder. And

10 this is a list of -- a list of names with what appears to be the method of

11 identification on the right-hand side, whether it was via classical or DNA

12 methods. And the ERN number is English 0469-8425 to 0469-8429, and the

13 B/C/S 0469-8425 to 0469 -- sorry, that's my mistake there. The B/C/S is

14 0469-8425 -- perhaps it wasn't, 8427.

15 Do you see that document in front of you, Doctor?

16 A. Yes, thank you, I do.

17 Q. Who prepared this document?

18 A. This one was prepared by our institute of forensic pathology,

19 which means that it was produced by my colleagues and myself.

20 Q. And if we look at the end of the document, it states there are a

21 total of 200 persons where eight were unidentified. This document was

22 prepared this year; is that correct?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. So between 2003 and 2006 there were a further three people, that

25 were previously unidentified, identified; is that correct?

Page 9466

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. Which leaves, of the 200 people, exhumed from Ovcara, eight still

3 unidentified?

4 A. Right again.

5 Q. Why is it so difficult to identify, say, these last eight bodies?

6 Just briefly, please.

7 A. As I've pointed out in my introduction concerning identification

8 problems, it is obvious that in these cases we weren't able to contact any

9 relatives to confirm our DNA identification. In these cases the classical

10 method is out of the question, since there are too few elements to go on

11 in order to solve these cases. That's why we used DNA analysis to isolate

12 these eight remaining cases.

13 The thing is, we couldn't get through to their relatives in order

14 to obtain blood samples to use for a comparison. We don't know which list

15 these eight persons belonged to. It could be a larger number of persons

16 or a smaller number of persons. I'm talking about who these eight bodies

17 might be. Why do we not have a blood sample? There are several

18 possibilities. There may be no relatives around or alive. It might also

19 be the case that their family had, at some point, moved, relocated and we

20 had no means of contacting them. And this was not only a problem with

21 Ovcara. This also applied to a number of other situations.

22 We have currently in Zagreb about 500 bodies waiting

23 identification. The classical method has been applied, DNA samples were

24 extracted from their bones and teeth, but we are still unable to trace

25 these people back to any specific names. So the same would seem to apply

Page 9467

1 to this large number of bodies that we've processed, about 4.000 persons.

2 As to these eight unidentified bodies from Ovcara, we are unable

3 to establish identity simply because we do not have the sort of blood

4 samples necessary to confirm the identity of those bodies. This situation

5 might be expected in a disaster such as war. It's very difficult to track

6 down relatives. It's very difficult to obtain blood samples to use in

7 order to confirm the identity of these bodies. We shall be forging ahead,

8 we shall further pursue this and try to get to these blood samples, but as

9 time goes by I think this might prove to become increasingly difficult.

10 Q. And I notice at the end of the chart you state that: "Of the 192

11 identified, 93 were identified in the classical manner and 99 by DNA."

12 A. That's true.

13 Q. Of the 192 people that have been identified, are you able to say

14 what ethnicity these people were?

15 A. We don't have that indicated in these tables. I can only say that

16 the great majority of these persons are Croats.

17 Q. And when you say the "great majority," can you put an approximate

18 figure, a statistical figure on that?

19 A. 95 per cent, 98 per cent, perhaps more. One would need to go back

20 to the table, one would need to retrieve this particular piece of

21 information, because it is there, it is available. If you would like to

22 have another table with the ethnicity stated, I think that would be

23 possible. The percentage, at any rate, of Croats would be exceedingly

24 high.

25 Q. Now, were you able to compare the spellings of some of these names

Page 9468

1 in the 2006 list, the one that your office prepared, to the list that was

2 produced by the internationals in 1997, and in some cases did you notice a

3 few spelling differences between the names, slight variations?

4 A. Yes. I did check that, as a matter of fact. And I ascertained

5 that in some cases, not too many though, there have been spelling

6 discrepancies, as it were. Which is only understandable, if you bear in

7 mind who carried out the identification procedures and who wrote these

8 names. It is possible that the international experts may have left out a

9 letter or two, and that is why errors occurred. This is only

10 understandable, given the nature of the work performed and given the

11 complexity level of some of the names being mentioned here.

12 Q. When comparing this 2006 list to the 1997 list, there are two

13 tentative identifications which are different to the positive

14 identifications in your list. And firstly, I refer to individual number

15 50 on your list, the 2006 list, where in 2006 you have that no one has

16 been identified at this stage. Is that correct? Is that correct?

17 A. Yes, correct. I can explain that, briefly.

18 Preliminary identification does not amount to final

19 identification, as I've pointed out before. It does indicate who the

20 person might be, it does give us a lead, as it were, but this, as a rule,

21 needs further confirmation, further elements before it can be set in

22 stone, as it were. As an expert, I do understand why this must be this

23 way. This is not to detract from the value of preliminary identification.

24 Oftentimes it is proved to be accurate. But it is nothing more than just

25 that, and it can only be expected that cases may occur where

Page 9469

1 identification is not confirmed, which again I must say, is perfectly

2 understandable under the circumstances.

3 Q. And would this apply also to individual 146, who is identified in

4 your chart has Damir Simunic, but was tentatively identified as Marko

5 Ribic? Does that same answer apply to that difference?

6 A. Certainly, the same answer.

7 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, I seek to tender that document.

8 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: It will be received.

9 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit 460, Your Honours.


11 Q. Doctor, if we can now go to Exhibit 452, which was the chart that

12 is not in the binders but was given to counsel and Your Honours

13 separately. This is the chart that's headed "classic," and it has a

14 number of identifying factors that enabled your office to form a positive

15 identification. Do you have that document in front of you? It's ERN

16 number 0600-3011?

17 A. I do.

18 Q. And perhaps rather than me explain the chart, if you can explain

19 the chart and the purpose of it.

20 A. This chart or table shows cases of classical identification. You

21 have the numbers of the so-called Ovcara cases, and the names of those

22 identified. And then you have the most usual elements used in identifying

23 a body. Each piece of information is important for a possible

24 identification. The more elements, the more reliable an identification,

25 and the easier it is to track down a body's family, so to speak. We're

Page 9470

1 talking about the classical method. We have those who are younger and

2 those who are older, and then we can introduce subsets in order to arrive

3 at a final identification.

4 Then we have the question of teeth; we've spoken about that.

5 Teeth are always a peculiar feature of any body. If there is a good deal

6 of reliable antemortem information, if there are dental files, then this

7 is very helpful in identifying a body. These are the most important

8 primary signs that go towards establishing a body's identity.

9 Depending on where a body was found, and I'm talking about Ovcara,

10 whether it was on the surface, in those cases sometimes only skeletons

11 remained, but if bodies were buried deeper in the ground, then very often

12 the skin too was preserved, as well as hair, which was used in some of the

13 cases. That was another element to help identify a body. And there are

14 special features, what we describe as special features, possible

15 anomalies, previous changes to the tissues, something that might help us

16 with identification. Whenever there were indications, this was something

17 that we could use, since most of these anomalies are not something that

18 everybody has, but rather very few people. These are normally unique and

19 as such very helpful.

20 The next column, bandages and wounds, we are looking at people who

21 were at some point hospitalised. If their skin was preserved, you could

22 see if there were had been any previous injuries or fractures, not

23 necessarily causing death but previous fractures and injuries. On the

24 other hand, you have bandages and you have plaster-casts, limbs being

25 immobilised, the normal sort of assistance administered in a hospital.

Page 9471

1 You have a patient with a plaster-cast or with a bandage on their arms or

2 legs.

3 Now, this is normally something that can also prove very helpful

4 in identifying a body. In a number of such cases where we did, in fact,

5 have antemortem information on a person, we had some of their case

6 histories, when they were hospitalised, why, where, what exactly did they,

7 have plaster-casts, bandages, was the wound seen to surgically and so on

8 and so forth. So this was the sort of information that we found very

9 helpful in our work, and this proved to be just that, very helpful. These

10 were solid elements that we could rely on for identification.

11 Items of clothing, that was helpful to too, needless to say. When

12 and where it was relatively well preserved. Especially if relatives could

13 be tracked down, who were perhaps familiar with a particular item of

14 clothing. Something that is normally invisible to an untrained eye, so to

15 speak. Some of the relatives may have made those clothes or patched them

16 up or whatever. Only the person who did this would be in a position to

17 know, and this is very convincing proof, because whenever this was the

18 case this was a solid foundation for identifying a body.

19 For example, a mother may know that she at one point in time

20 mended the shirt of her son. She knows precisely what sort of a patch she

21 put there. If you can produce that item of clothing, if you can show her,

22 she may be in a position to say positively, yes, this is something I did,

23 or perhaps I never did this, but that is why clothing can sometimes be

24 very important for identification. And if this occurs, the mother is

25 likely to accept identification because she is then convinced and

Page 9472

1 absolutely certain that she was the one who did that. She finds it easier

2 to accept the identification of her son's dead body.

3 Documents, this is not only ID, this is not only about passports,

4 it's also a reference to other documents, such as case histories, a

5 doctor's referral, that sort of thing. This is not very often the case,

6 but whenever these are found, then if you have a document like that, you

7 can categorise the person as a possible ID, and this makes it easier to

8 eventually identify that person. Obviously if you see somebody's ID in

9 somebody's pocket, it is quite clear that is something that the family are

10 more likely to accept as such. Because this is very palpable, it's

11 tangible, it's incontrovertible very evidence, you might say.

12 The next category is jewellery. When found, this can be extremely

13 valuable, because again jewellery is something that is usually unique. If

14 you have the wedding ring, there's usually the name engraved right there,

15 sometimes a date, a distinctive feature in one word. If we're talking

16 about other types of jewellery, there can be all different kinds, colour,

17 shape, make, you can even trace it back to a particular goldsmith at

18 times. This may all be very relevant. For example, if you have a wedding

19 ring bearing the year, name and date, this is very strong proof, it's

20 material evidence, and it might prove relatively easy to identify that

21 person, having found that items or identifying objects, a whole range of

22 items found on a body such as keys, other types of items. A comb, a

23 lighter, that sort of thing.

24 This may also be very interesting, keys were often found on these

25 bodies and key-rings. These keys seem quite relevant because sometimes

Page 9473

1 these persons would bring keys or even the keys given to them during an

2 identification session, they could try them out to open a vehicle or a

3 flat. And it would be confirmed in this way whether this set of keys

4 belonged to their husband, son and so on and so forth.

5 This is the sort of thing that families like to see, because this

6 is palpable, this is tangible. This is solid evidence, and it

7 corroborates any possible identification. Sometimes these items can be

8 highly relevant and a very convincing piece of evidence. Rock hard

9 evidence, if you like.

10 The last column says main identifying elements. It's

11 self-explanatory. It can be a combination of different things, it can be

12 just one thing, but it needs to be something that is very convincing, that

13 is very indicative, and then this main element is derived.

14 We like to have a combination, we like to have many things at a

15 time. If you have more elements, needless to say, it may be easier to

16 identify a body and the error margin is significantly reduced.

17 It's important for one particular element to stick out, as it

18 were, to be particularly prominent. By way of an example, this may be a

19 document found on a body, it may be the teeth, so that any previous

20 injury, any antemortem trauma, can provide a decisive element. For

21 example, if somebody had an obvious injury to one of their fingers, this

22 is something that quite a few people tend to know about, their families.

23 There are few people with just this kind of injury, so this is rock hard.

24 This can be used as an important thread to identify a body.

25 So this is the sort of information that we had. This is what we

Page 9474

1 used in order to have a positive ID. Something that could be seen as

2 reliable, something that could be accepted by their families. And this is

3 eventually how the whole process was carried out.

4 Q. Thank you. You might want a glass of water after that answer. It

5 was very complete and comprehensive. Thank you very much.

6 And, Doctor, this chart relates to the 93 individuals who were

7 exhumed and identified in the classical method; is that correct? Is that

8 correct?

9 A. Absolutely so.

10 Q. And on looking at the chart, I see that in no cases is there only

11 one identifying feature. In every case in this chart, from what I can

12 glean, is that there's always more than -- more than one identifying

13 feature that would lead to a positive identification.

14 My question for you is: Is it ever the case that you would do a

15 positive identification on only one identifying feature, or do you always

16 look for more?

17 A. When trying to identify we look for several features, always. But

18 we are also quite limited with what we actually received, what sort of

19 remains we have on our hands.

20 As regards Ovcara, more or less all of the bodies were complete.

21 Therefore, based on several different features, we could ID them.

22 Whenever we have the complete body or at least most of it, we have to come

23 up with at least several features, including the height, the age and so on

24 and so forth. And then we need to move on to the more solid features to

25 reconfirm the identification. We always try to have several features, and

Page 9475

1 this was a particularly good example, because the bodies were relatively

2 well preserved, and the identification process was made easier for that

3 reason.

4 Q. And is it the case that you and the team that worked with you were

5 responsible for the positive identification of all of these individuals

6 that had been identified so far, the 192?

7 A. I'll put it the following way: Our team, whether we used the

8 classical or the DNA method, we carried out our job as best we could, and

9 we prepared the necessary identification elements, including everything

10 needed by the family, so that they would be able to grasp what the

11 elements are and to reach the final conclusion of who the person is. In

12 doing so, we did everything by the book, and we prepared all the material

13 that we had at our disposal to be presented to the family. And then the

14 family could accept or not whether indeed that is their family member. It

15 was a joint decision, so to say, on our part and on the part of the

16 family, but the family gives the final "yes." And legally speaking they

17 are responsible for the positive identification, although we did the best

18 job we could and we tried to present it as best we could to the family.

19 If the classical method failed, we went with the DNA method. As

20 I've explained, when we deal with the DNA method, we come up with 99.99

21 per cent figures, which points to a very high statistical probability that

22 indeed this is the person, and such results are then accepted by the

23 family, concluding the process of identification.

24 Q. Thank you. And perhaps -- that document has been tendered

25 already. Thank you, Doctor.

Page 9476

1 If we can now turn to tab 2 of the binder.

2 JUDGE THELIN: Excuse me, Mr. Smith. We know that there is a

3 translation to follow here, but as far as I can see, there are two words

4 which are not preliminarily translated into English. Maybe we could

5 explore that.

6 MR. SMITH: It's a good idea. Thank you, Your Honour.

7 Q. Doctor, Your Honour has pointed out that the two words on the

8 chart and I think we're referring to "da" and "ne"?

9 JUDGE THELIN: No, that was sorted out before. I'm referring

10 to --

11 If you look at the left-hand column, Doctor, you find the number

12 27 on the chart. And then you go to the right-hand column, you have two

13 words. If you kindly enough to translate that. "Oziljci" "tetovaze," in

14 my poor rendition. What does that mean?

15 THE WITNESS: [In English] Yes, of course. That means scars and

16 tattoos.


18 Q. Thank you, Doctor.

19 Doctor, if we could now turn to tab 2 of your folder. And this is

20 ERN number 0600-2948 to 0600-2960. Doctor, this table was a chart that

21 was prepared by the Office of the Prosecutor which brings together the

22 autopsy report numbers, your 2006 identification results, and the names

23 that appear in your 2006 list. And also on the right-hand side the names

24 that appear in Annex A of the indictment and the year of birth. Do you

25 agree?

Page 9477

1 A. Yes, I do.

2 Q. And perhaps, if we look at the left-hand side of the table, where

3 we see "name," the footnote perhaps number 3, you can see that it relates

4 to the 2006 list. And also the date of birth with the footnote 2, relates

5 to the list that you provided in the Milosevic case that we've referred to

6 earlier of the individuals exhumed. And then also in the identification

7 method, column number -- further along we see that also relates to your

8 chart in the -- made in 2006.

9 In relation to the information that's placed in this chart from

10 the 2003 list, just -- provided by the commission for missing persons, in

11 relation to the 2006 list, is that information accurate? Have you had a

12 chance to have a look at this list to see that the information has been

13 transferred correctly?

14 A. Yes. I believe we went through this data, and there are some

15 discrepancies between the names here and in the other documents; namely,

16 some spelling errors occurred when retyping. Column 3 put together in

17 2006 with the data after the final identification accepted by the family,

18 and in cases where the death certificates were issued, those should be the

19 correct, the accurate particulars.

20 Q. Thank you. But I would like to take you to items or autopsy --

21 autopsy report numbers 65 and 66, which is on page 5 of the document. If

22 we look at the name of the individual 65, and if we compare it with the

23 name in the annex in the indictment you see that the surname is spelled

24 slightly differently; the Z is different. In this case, which spelling

25 would you say would be correct, the one in your 2006 list, or the one in

Page 9478

1 the annex to the indictment, and why?

2 A. In case number 65, I'm practically certain that the last name

3 indeed is Zeravica, with a check, and whether there was the issue of where

4 the list was made and whether there was a letter Z in the template,

5 perhaps that's why we ended up with a Z. But it should have been

6 Zeravica.

7 As regards number 66, we have the last name appearing there with

8 two Ls. It is a common name in our part of the world, but I've never seen

9 it with two Ls. This is a typo. And it seems that the name mentioned in

10 the annex is the correct one, where we have Holjevac with a single L.

11 Q. Thank you. And if we can just go to one last one, which is 198,

12 the name of the individual is in your list, is Marko Josi Jurisic; the

13 name in the annex to the indictment is Josip -- Marko Josip Jurisic. Are

14 you able to say which one of those spellings is correct or not?

15 A. I cannot be fully certain, but if I try to deduce logically, the

16 first name of Josip is a common name in Croatia, whereas Josi, I've never

17 heard of such a name. Therefore, I presume that Josip is the correct

18 version. But as to which one is the accurate one, I cannot be certain.

19 Q. Thank you. And you've had an opportunity to study this list prior

20 to testifying. There are also some minor spelling differences in other

21 cases. And in those cases that we looked at which -- which spellings

22 would you believe to be more accurate, the ones in the 2006 list, or the

23 ones in the annex to the indictment where there is a minor difference,

24 other than those three that we talked about?

25 A. Having gone through the two lists and compared them, it is easier

Page 9479

1 for me to explain that the list which is more correct would be the one

2 under number 3, dating back to 2006.

3 Q. Thank you. And also there is a few cases where the year of birth

4 and the date of birth have varied by one year, and in one case two years.

5 There was four cases of that in the chart. Which -- which would you deem

6 to be more correct, the ones in the list provided by the commission in the

7 fourth column, or the year of birth in the annex to the indictment?

8 A. The same reply. I cannot be certain. We would have to compare

9 that against the death certificates, but my guess is that the fourth

10 column is the more correct one when it says DOB(2) because that is more

11 recent data compiled in 2006.

12 MR. SMITH: And just for the assistance of Your Honours, the minor

13 spelling differences between the 2006 list and the annex to the indictment

14 are at numbers 4, 19, 20, 21, 34, 49, 79, 80, 110, 119, 163, 177, 188, and

15 191. And the slight differences in the year of birth and date of birth

16 can be found at 147, 184, 195 and 199.

17 Your Honours, I seek to tender that document.

18 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: It will be received.

19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 461, Your Honours.


21 Q. Doctor, if we can now turn to tab 7, please. This is an autopsy

22 report in relation to Ovcara victim number 9, Josip Balog, and it can be

23 found at e-court 861. E-court page number 38.

24 Doctor, do you see the autopsy report in your binder there? Do

25 you have that report in front of you?

Page 9480

1 A. Yes, thank you. I do.

2 Q. Now, I think we've discussed this earlier, but this autopsy report

3 was prepared by the international group of pathologists; is that correct?

4 Or one of those pathologists?

5 A. That is correct.

6 Q. And if we look at the third page of the report, it's -- the

7 pathologist was Bryan Mitchell and it's dated the 11th of October, 1996.

8 You stated earlier that you received identification protocols from

9 the international group that did the autopsies, but you didn't receive the

10 cause of death part of their findings. In relation to this autopsy

11 report, can you explain which part that you received in 1997 to assist you

12 with your identification process and which part of the report you didn't

13 receive?

14 A. We received the entire first and the second page, and the third

15 page up to where it says: "Trauma related to death." That part wasn't

16 given to us. Everything before that we did.

17 Q. And if you -- perhaps if you can take us through this report,

18 through this example of Josip Balog and explain to us what factors here,

19 in terms of identification features, were useful to you to perform the

20 identification. Just very briefly.

21 A. As with any other report, there is the case number as well as the

22 autopsy date, the mean age, and the possible range. I have explained

23 before the reason for the age range, as we couldn't establish the exact

24 age during an autopsy. We can also determine the sex and the height,

25 which can vary, as well as whether the person was left or right-handed.

Page 9481

1 In this specific case it was unknown.

2 After that we have clothing in detail, as it was taken off the

3 remains, providing details for each of the items, and footwear. After

4 that, personal effects in detail; for example, cigarettes, lighters, keys,

5 rings, or jewellery, as well as a watch. Also occasionally medication was

6 found on the body, as well as some other papers that can be useful with

7 identification.

8 In case there were any identification papers, it was stipulated in

9 a separate -- as a separate item. And when the person was in possession

10 of such an identification paper with the first and last name or with a

11 telephone number, then we could make the preliminary identification using

12 this as one of the solid elements.

13 After that, on page 2 we have external examination. Mentioning

14 the condition of the body. Then hair and all the details pertaining to

15 that. As well as skin characteristics, where we have tattoos, scars,

16 injuries and so on and so forth, anything that can be found on the skin

17 provided it was preserved. Then we have deformity, the congenital, and

18 the acquired ones. All fractures as well and amputations of limbs.

19 After that there is internal examination. We look for any organs

20 that may have been preserved. If that was the case, we described them.

21 Then we also indicated whether there were any medical prothesis or

22 objects, implants inserted into the body that may be important for

23 identification. Then we have the description of the teeth; if there were

24 none, we mentioned here that there were none. There were cases in which

25 not a single tooth was left.

Page 9482

1 After that recent injuries and evidence of hospitalisation that

2 occurred before death in relation to injuries and perhaps hospitalisation.

3 Then we have tracheostomy, meaning in this case the person was operated

4 on. This was a patient who had difficulty breathing.

5 After that we have trauma related to death that we didn't receive.

6 In this specific case, we had multiple gunshot injuries of the mandibula,

7 of the cervical vertebral fractures, as well as the right scapula

8 fractures, which point to the cause of death being gunshots.

9 Then we have the cause of death, which is the conclusion made

10 based on the previous two items, citing here multiple gunshot wounds as

11 the cause of death. This was so in most of the Ovcara cases.

12 Finally we have manner of death, in this case homicide. That was

13 the classical form used for all 200 cases. We used the same principle and

14 we included all the data and elements we had into such documents.

15 Q. Thank you, Doctor. It's now 3.00. I just have a few questions

16 about this document after the break.

17 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Okay. We will rise now for 20 minutes

18 and we will resume at 20 past 3.00.

19 --- Recess taken at 3.01 p.m.

20 --- On resuming at 3.22 p.m.


22 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honours.

23 Q. Doctor, you had taken us through a sample of one autopsy report in

24 relation to Ovcara victim number 9. And you explained to us the types of

25 components that were contained in that report from which you commenced

Page 9483

1 your identifications. Attached to this report is an odontological post

2 mortem data sheet, which you should be able to see attached and a

3 Physicians for Human Rights Ovcara mass grave site sheet, as well as a

4 certification of cause of death attached to the report. When you received

5 the autopsy report or the part of it that related to the identification

6 from the internationals in 1997, did you also receive these three

7 documents, these type of documents attached to each of the reports, if

8 they -- if they were there?

9 A. As far as I can remember, we received the odontological data.

10 Since the findings were insufficient, we had our own dental expert who

11 examined all 200 dentitions, and he provided an additional description

12 that we used when identifying the bodies. That's as regards the first

13 page you mentioned.

14 The second, I must admit I don't remember this one, because it

15 wasn't of some particular interest for our identification.

16 The third one, the certificate of cause of death, we didn't

17 receive that. It was not given to us at that time, as I've explained.

18 Q. Thank you. Why was it decided to have another dental technician

19 or someone examining the teeth over and above what was done previously by

20 the internationals?

21 A. Out of the entire documentation we received, which was clearly

22 defined and written down by the forensic pathologist, by the

23 anthropologist and all the others who participated, this was the only

24 portion, the odontological part, that was somewhat insufficient. We

25 couldn't find our bearings in it because it lacked the essential elements

Page 9484

1 for identification. We had our own expert, who was a lecturer and

2 examiner at the time, and he was the person who specialised in forensic

3 medicine. He provided us with a more detailed odontological finding, and

4 we thought it to be particularly important to come up with a positive ID.

5 We needed a more detailed report on the dentitions, because in the Ovcara

6 cases it was quite important for identification, as we may have concluded

7 from one of the previous tables that we looked into.

8 Q. In relation to the process of identification that you've discussed

9 throughout today, you have explained that it's been relatively involved in

10 relation to looking at the bodies, any identifying features in terms of

11 clothings, other articles, documents, and also in terms of looking at

12 antemortem data and perhaps speaking to relatives and friends, et cetera.

13 Would it be fair to say that this identification process is, in fact, an

14 investigative process that you conducted in relation to these 200

15 individuals rather than a process that occurred very quickly in a short

16 period of time?

17 A. Yes, being the short answer. As I've mentioned before, for such

18 an identification procedure one needs to be well prepared. When we have

19 the entire process in mind, a large portion of it is determined by good

20 preparation. First and foremost that means putting together the list of

21 the missing persons as well as collecting the antemortem data. We tried

22 to establish contact with the families, with the people who may know some

23 important details about the missing persons. They need to provide as many

24 answers as possible. And all that is included in the preparation phase.

25 The treatment of the body, as well as the preparations made to

Page 9485

1 call the family in to identify and the overall communication with the

2 family was very important, because it occurred in various phases of the

3 process. These are all very important elements of the process which takes

4 time and patience. It is the only way to carry out a quality

5 classical-type identification.

6 Q. Thank you. And just looking at this autopsy report in relation to

7 Josip Balog, we have that appendix to it relating to the Physicians for

8 Human Rights. That sheet, which is 0055-970 [sic], was that sheet

9 prepared by a group of people from Physicians for Human Rights, were they

10 present at the exhumation and at the autopsy?

11 A. Yes. I believe what you have stated is correct. They made this

12 list, or rather they put in the data, and I believe they were present at

13 exhumations and autopsies.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, I seek to tender this report in

16 particular, but it relates to the whole 200 reports, which are identified

17 in the 65 ter exhibit number 861. It's about 900 or so pages for the 200,

18 and I would seek to tender all of those reports. The Prosecution have

19 received these documents from the physicians -- a representative from the

20 Physicians for Human Rights in 1997. In fact, we received them from Bryan

21 Mitchell who is, in fact, I think the pathologist in this -- in this

22 report. So we would seek to tender that exhibit, the 200 reports.

23 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: It will be received.

24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 462, Your Honours.


Page 9486

1 Q. Doctor, in tab 7, behind the tab we have a series of photographs

2 that relate to this individual, Mr. Josip Balog. And these photographs

3 appear to be photographs of Mr. Balog in the grave as well as photographs

4 taken at the post mortem.

5 And the 65 ter number of these photographs is 867, and I would ask

6 that -- if that could be called up on e-court, please.

7 In the meantime, Doctor, were photographs taken of every victim at

8 the exhumation site and of every victim when the autopsy was conducted, as

9 far as you are aware?

10 A. As far as I'm aware, each person, each victim, was photographed

11 before their bodies were pulled out of the grave. A number was attached,

12 bodies were placed in white bags. And this was also the case each time an

13 autopsy was performed. So there is a photograph in relation to each body.

14 Q. Thank you. And if we can look at the first photograph on the

15 screen, do you see the photograph with the number 7 there?

16 A. [No interpretation].

17 Q. And perhaps if we can go to the next photograph, please. Can you

18 describe briefly what you see in that photograph?

19 A. I have to admit that the photograph is not very clear except for

20 the number. I suppose the number is 9, although it could be an inverted 6

21 as well. This was obviously photographed in the grave itself. The

22 photograph itself is quite dark, and it's difficult to discuss any

23 details.

24 Q. Perhaps if we can move to the next photo. And the next. Thank

25 you.

Page 9487

1 Doctor, look at this photograph, is this a photograph of the body

2 of Josip Balog?

3 A. This is a body marked as number 9, it's now been placed in a bag,

4 and stored. Further identification indicated that this body, indeed,

5 belonged to a person named Josip Balog.

6 Q. If we could move to the next photo, please. And the next, please.

7 And the next, thank you. If we can keep moving through, and then perhaps

8 I'll -- I'll say if we can stop. Thanks. If we can stop there, thank

9 you.

10 In relation to the exhumation, firstly what can you see in this

11 photograph, and how was the clothing treated once bodies were removed from

12 the grave?

13 A. The bodies, including any clothing and items, were placed in a bag

14 marked with a number and delivered to our forensic pathology institute

15 where autopsies were performed. All the items and clothing were taken off

16 the bodies, the items were washed and dried, after which they were

17 arranged like this and photographed in order to be as identifiable as

18 possible.

19 Q. And perhaps now if we could move through the photographs from --

20 from this point to the end, and then I'll ask you to just to describe

21 basically the types of photos that were taken for each of the -- each of

22 the victims. Perhaps if we can just stop at that one, thank you.

23 Doctor, what do you see in this photograph?

24 A. In this photograph, I can see a piece of the cranium bone. This

25 is a gunshot wound causing a multiple fracture of the skull. After some

Page 9488

1 time, the skin and soft tissue decomposes and all that remains is the

2 bone. The bone is fragmented. This, as you see, is a mere fragment of

3 the skull. You see where the arrow is, there is a semi-circular shape

4 which indicates with a high degree of probability that there was a gunshot

5 wound. This semi-circular shape or lesion indicates with a very high

6 probability that the cause of death was a gunshot wound.

7 Q. Thank you. And this is 0056-1522. If we can just continue

8 through the photographs, please. And if we can stop there.

9 Doctor, this is an -- appears to be an identification card

10 relating to Josip Balog. In a number of cases were identification cards

11 found on these individuals, or similar identifying documents?

12 A. As far as I remember, there weren't too many documents like that

13 lying around. Some were found, such as this one, for example. This is

14 the most valuable piece of evidence possible. Everybody keeps their ID on

15 them. Sometimes other types of documents were found, case histories,

16 bills issued to a certain person bearing the person's name, different

17 types of documents. But an ID is the best thing to have, because it makes

18 the identification process relatively simple.

19 Q. Thank you. And of the victims that had identifying documents or

20 papers on them, did -- were those papers or documents kept by the

21 institute in Zagreb or were they kept by the internationals?

22 A. Nearly all the documents bearing a person's name were taken to

23 The Hague, taken delivery of by international experts, in other words.

24 The only information we had is what you can find on the first page of our

25 report, indicating that an ID was found, a person's name, number and

Page 9489

1 address. So we knew that the piece of evidence was found, but we

2 sometimes didn't even receive copies, let alone the original documents.

3 It would have been useful for us to get a peek at something like this, but

4 it wasn't available to us at the time, regrettably.

5 Q. But the substance of the information was placed in the

6 identification protocol, which was given to you; is that correct?

7 A. That's correct. I did say so, didn't I? That was on page 1,

8 personal information. Something that we could work with and which would

9 have given us a lead about the person's identity.

10 Q. Thank you. If we could continue through the photographs, please.

11 Thank you. I think we've finished there.

12 Doctor, just from the photographs that we've seen in relation to

13 Ovcara victim number 9, we've seen a number of personal effects; keys,

14 glasses, medical prescriptions and other documentation. Would it be fair

15 to say that there was a number of leads or a number of identifying

16 characteristics within that material to identify the right person in

17 addition to the identification card?

18 A. Yes. That's true. In this case, as we have seen, we had a number

19 of items, clothes and other such items that were unique or peculiar in a

20 way. Things such as sets of keys, a pair of glasses. Individual items in

21 the sense of belonging to a particular person. The keys can be checked,

22 can be compared to other sets of keys. This is something that families

23 can check and accept as a positive ID. In this particular case, there

24 were a great number of items found, as well as items of clothing found on

25 a person, and this certainly helped us in identifying the body. Plus the

Page 9490

1 ID card, obviously, which was the final proof.

2 Q. Thank you. You've mentioned that the identification cards and

3 identification papers weren't left with you at the institute for the

4 identification process. But in relation to the clothing and personal

5 effects that we saw, say as an example with Mr. Josip Balog, were those --

6 were they kept with the institute or were they taken by the internationals

7 and taken somewhere else?

8 A. No. Everything else, clothing or other items, was left with the

9 institute to help identify the bodies and it did, indeed, prove very

10 helpful to our work.

11 Q. And you also had access to the -- to the individual for further

12 identification procedures, if requested; is that correct? If required, I

13 mean.

14 A. Of course. Each body, alongside with any items and reports, was

15 forwarded to us. The bodies were there, there were many cases where we

16 showed families the bodies, or they may have wanted to see a body or what

17 remained of it. Many people asked to be there to see for themselves, to

18 have a look and decide themselves, if their direct experience would

19 corroborate what they could glean from any other types of evidence such as

20 photographs and documents.

21 Q. And in relation to the photographs of the results of the autopsy

22 and the identification material, you didn't keep photographs of that.

23 They were taken by the internationals when they left in 1997. Is that

24 correct?

25 A. Yes. We didn't have photographs from the autopsy when injuries

Page 9491

1 were defined, when bullets lodged in the bone were found. We had

2 photographs of the teeth; there was a special photographer taking those.

3 And this was something that we could show the families. These were

4 preserved, and each time a body was identified, and I don't mean just the

5 bones but everything else that the body had on it, would be shown so the

6 families were given a chance to have a look for themselves at what we had

7 found.

8 Q. Thank you.

9 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender the photographs in

10 relation to Ovcara victim number 9, which is 867 on the 65 ter list. And

11 in addition to that I also seek to tender nine sets of photographs of

12 other individuals that have been victims from Ovcara that the Prosecution

13 has received from the Physicians for Human Rights on the 20th of October,

14 1997. It's just a selection of photographs rather than the whole sets for

15 the whole 200. And those photos have 65 ter numbers of 868, 869, 870,

16 871, 872, 873, 874, 875, 876, and 877. And they're in the binder index,

17 12 to 20.

18 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: And you want them to be one exhibit?

19 MR. SMITH: I think it might be easier for e-court if they're

20 separate exhibits. And perhaps they could be assigned a number whether

21 now or later, I'm not sure.

22 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Okay. Then they will be received and

23 they will receive different numbers, but you can do that after the

24 session.

25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.

Page 9492


2 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.

3 Also, whilst we're on that, Your Honour, I also would like to

4 tender identification papers that -- or photographs of identification

5 papers that we have received from, again, the Physicians for Human Rights

6 who were involved in the process on the 18th of November, 1996, and there

7 are similar identification papers to that seen in these photographs, and

8 there are 43 individuals that were exhumed from Ovcara, and -- which

9 including Josip Balog, they're in binder index number 9, then to 21 to 64

10 in the index. I can read those 65 ter numbers out or I can leave it at

11 that in terms of identifying through the index.

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Mr. Smith, the photograph relating to 09,

14 is that a double set, is it identical, or -- is it identical to 463, the

15 one we have already received, or is it still another set of photographs

16 relating to the same victim?

17 MR. SMITH: 867 is of 09, and then the other nine individuals are

18 in addition to 867, which is 09.

19 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: 867 is the 65 ter number.

20 MR. SMITH: That's right.

21 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Okay. Okay. Can the court officer

22 manage?

23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. There will be exhibit with a

24 65 ter number 867 will be Exhibit 463. And then 65 ter number 868 will be

25 Exhibit 464. 65 ter 869, Exhibit 465. 65 ter 870, Exhibit 466. 65 ter

Page 9493

1 871, Exhibit 467. 65 ter 872, Exhibit 468. 65 ter 873, Exhibit 469.

2 65 ter 874, Exhibit 470. 65 ter 875, Exhibit 471. 65 ter 876,

3 Exhibit 472. And 65 ter 877, Exhibit 473.

4 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Thank you very much.

5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

6 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Okay. The court officer just tells me

7 that she's going to give the numbers and will inform us when she has gone

8 through all the lists.

9 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Thank you very much.


12 Q. Doctor, I just have a couple more questions for you. In relation

13 to the meetings that you had with the Yugoslav commission for missing

14 persons and as a representative of the Croatian missing persons commission

15 in early 1990 to mid-1992, do you remember a Zoran Stankovic being a

16 member of the Yugoslav commission or not and attending those meetings?

17 A. I do remember Zoran Stankovic being a member of the commission. I

18 don't think he attended the first or the second meeting but then he did

19 attend several meetings in a row. So in answer to your question, yes, he

20 was a member.

21 Q. And was he a member of the JNA?

22 A. Yes, as far as I know. He was a captain first class at the time,

23 as far as I remember. That was the rank that he held.

24 Q. And do you know what position he had within the JNA, what part of

25 the JNA he belonged to?

Page 9494

1 A. As far as I know, Zoran Stankovic was a forensic pathologist at

2 the military medical academy. I think he was the head of forensic

3 pathology there at the time.

4 Q. And was he present at some of those commission meetings prior to

5 the grave being discovered in October 1992?

6 A. Yes. He certainly was present there.

7 Q. And can we assume therefore that he was present when the

8 discussions relating to the missing people from the Vukovar Hospital were

9 had?

10 A. As I've indicated before, this was something that was discussed at

11 each and every meeting, starting in January 1992, and all the way up until

12 the time the grave was discovered. One of the major subjects being

13 discussed, normally the first one to be discussed at any meeting, was the

14 fate of the wounded from the Vukovar Hospital.

15 Q. And do you also know a person by the name of Miodrag Starcevic?

16 A. As far as I remember, because I never saw this gentleman again, he

17 was a military official in this commission. Whether he was a

18 lieutenant-colonel or a colonel, I really don't know, but I think he was

19 the head of the Yugoslav delegation at the time.

20 Q. And do you know which section within the JNA he belonged to?

21 A. I'm not positive, but I think he was actually an intelligence

22 officer.

23 Q. Thank you. And just one last topic, if we can go to e-court,

24 Exhibit number 256, please. It's a series of photographs. And if we

25 could go to photograph 26, thanks. Number 26, please. If that could just

Page 9495

1 be rotated 90 degrees, thank you. Oh, yes. Thank you.

2 Doctor, looking at this photograph in front of you, do you

3 recognise that area?

4 A. I must say it's very difficult for me to get a grip on this. I

5 can't be certain.

6 Q. Well, perhaps if I can assist you a little. On the left-hand side

7 of the photograph, you see -- two-thirds of the way up you see three

8 buildings. That is the Ovcara hangars. That is where the evacuees from

9 the Vukovar Hospital were kept before they were -- before they were

10 killed. In relation to that, are you able to see anywhere on this

11 photograph the grave site where the exhumation occurred, if that helps.

12 If you are unable to, that's fine.

13 A. I was there as early as 1995 and then at the beginning of the

14 exhumations. We passed by the hangars, I remember that. But any more

15 than that, I can't say. This is an aerial photograph, and now I see the

16 three hangars you pointed at, but apart from that, I can't find my

17 bearings.

18 Q. Okay. Thank you. I think we'll leave it at that. Thank you.

19 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, I have no further questions.

20 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Thank you, Mr. Smith.

21 Mr. Domazet.

22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

23 Cross-examination by Mr. Domazet:

24 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Strinovic. My name is Vladimir Domazet, a

25 member of the Defence team for Mr. Mrksic, and I will cross-examine you on

Page 9496

1 his behalf. Just a moment until I get the lectern, please.

2 Mr. Strinovic, we usually tell the same thing to each witness, to

3 pause between question and answer, particularly in such cases when we both

4 speak the same language. I saw up until now that you were quite cautious

5 in providing your answers, and you had the interpreters in mind;

6 therefore, you could continue that practice and keep one eye on the

7 screen.

8 Dr. Strinovic, during your testimony in chief you provided some of

9 your particulars and you've mentioned your current employment. You said

10 that you are a professor at the medical school. Since we are interested

11 in the time relevant to this indictment, could you perhaps tell us what

12 your tasks or duties were at that time?

13 A. In 1991, I believe you had that in mind, I was a lecturer and an

14 examiner at the same institute. I was also a court expert, much like

15 today. The then head had retired, and at that time I was his -- I was

16 only a lecturer and examiner and by now I've become deputy head.

17 In December of 1991, I was appointed to the commission for the

18 missing and detained persons. That is as far as the distinction between

19 1991 and today is.

20 Q. Thank you. When we talk about the commission, the member of which

21 you began -- you became at the end of 1992, could you tell me who were the

22 members of the commission. I'm not so much interested in the names, but

23 in the profile of the members and who presided over the commission.

24 A. As far as I know, back in 1991 and 1992 when we initiated the

25 negotiations there was a physician in the commission, there was a lawyer

Page 9497

1 as well, who was the then lecturer and examiner at the law school, there

2 were representatives of the Red Cross, and I was there representing the

3 forensic pathologists as a profession. And I don't know about the

4 others. Since that time I haven't had much dealings with the commission,

5 so I can't say any more as to the members on the Croatian side. The

6 commission was presided over by a professor of the medical school.

7 Q. Thank you. I believe you said that that commission is still in

8 existence; is that correct?

9 A. Yes, it is. Under a somewhat different name. But it is the same

10 commission, which changed in time. At that time its main role was to

11 negotiate, so to speak. After 1995 its focus was somewhat changed. It

12 focused on exhumations and locating mass graves and then further

13 processing and identification. The commission, as it is today, still

14 maintains contacts with Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and its counter-parts

15 there, in trying to locate those still missing on all sides.

16 Q. Were you the only forensic pathologist in the commission, or were

17 there any others?

18 A. On the Croatian side, I was the only one, I believe. There was a

19 forensic pathologist on the Yugoslav side, this being Dr. Stankovic.

20 Q. As you've explained, you were appointed by your government to

21 monitor the operation at Ovcara. This probably had to do with your

22 membership in the commission and because of your field of work, I believe.

23 Perhaps both factors could have qualified you for a monitor?

24 A. Yes, I believe so. I was a member of the commission since before

25 that time, and that was one of the reasons why I was appointed as a

Page 9498

1 monitor.

2 Q. You mentioned the task you had concerning Vukovar, and that was to

3 establish where the people were who went missing from the Vukovar

4 Hospital, since, according to the data you had, you presumed some of them

5 missing and you discussed this at the commission's meetings. What was the

6 figure you had at your disposal at that time as a commission member? And

7 I have in mind those who went missing from the hospital.

8 A. I wasn't the one to come up with the figures. Those are the

9 figures presented by the president of the commission and the Red Cross,

10 but I remember there were several figures in circulation. 270 or 400, so

11 it wasn't a single figure, but it varied. In any case, it pertained to

12 the people who went missing from the Vukovar Hospital, and the figure

13 mentioned at the time was around 400.

14 Q. When you said the figure varied, does that mean that it went up or

15 down in different times and does that mean the list was expanded or

16 reduced, why do you say the figure varied?

17 A. As far as I know, the list was amended. There were families

18 coming in looking for their relatives, and the numbers increased in time.

19 That's why the figure wasn't fixed. We received more data, we received

20 new family inquiries, and the numbers grew.

21 Also, some of those people would occasionally resurface,

22 decreasing the number. That's the other reason why the figure wasn't

23 stable.

24 Q. As far as you remember, the figure varied from the initial 270 all

25 the way up to around 400. Is my interpretation correct?

Page 9499

1 A. Yes, that's how I remember it.

2 Q. Either you or the commission, were you in possession of the list

3 of the missing persons?

4 A. As far as I know, there was a list of first and last names of the

5 missing persons. We didn't only use the figure, but we had the actual

6 names.

7 Q. Thank you. Apart from first and last names, did the list contain

8 anything else, any other information?

9 A. I don't remember whether I actually saw that list in that form.

10 All I can presume is that it probably contained the date of birth, address

11 and similar, but I can't be any more precise.

12 Q. I understand, but maybe I can refresh your memory. Apart from the

13 first and last names, were there also information about whether those

14 people were hospital staff or in what capacity they were at the hospital?

15 Do you remember anything of such nature?

16 A. As far as I can remember today, I believe it did mention whether

17 those people were wounded or whether they were hospital patients or

18 hospital staff. I believe it was included, because people talked about it

19 and it must have been mentioned somewhere.

20 Q. Thank you. You also testified in the Milosevic case. You

21 provided a report there as well as some tables. In that case, you

22 testified on some other locations; that is, on more locations than we're

23 interested in today, but one of them still being Ovcara. Is that correct?

24 A. Yes, it is.

25 Q. We are first and foremost interested in the events at Ovcara, and

Page 9500

1 I wanted to ask you about your appointment as monitor for the exhumations.

2 You said you were appointed by the Croatian government. Do you remember

3 exactly when and do you remember when it was that you came to Vukovar and

4 Ovcara in that capacity for the first time?

5 A. If you're asking me about the exact date, I really can't say.

6 Being a member of the commission for the detained and missing persons, and

7 since the exhumation process was supposed to have been monitored, it was

8 logical that out of all the members of the commission I would be appointed

9 as the only forensic pathologist because I've dealt with the issues of

10 identification and exhumation before. Therefore, I was elected to be

11 monitor.

12 As for the date, I can't say. I was at Ovcara sometime in 1995

13 when we toured the area, and then the second time I came there I was

14 already a monitor and that was at the time when the exhumations began.

15 Q. So you went to Ovcara a year before that. Could you explain who

16 you were with on that occasion, since we have information on a ban that

17 was issued at the time, that's why I'm interested in your first visit in

18 1995.

19 A. Unfortunately a lot of time has passed, and I can't provide an

20 answer to your question as to why we went there the first time. I do

21 remember, however, that we went there in an organised way with an escort,

22 and I believe Mr. Grujic was with me. He must be in possession of more

23 information about that. That was the Croatian commission's visit, and as

24 I stated, I was there, together with Mr. Grujic, but any more than that, I

25 can't say. I believe that it was a commission visit.

Page 9501

1 Q. You mentioned the escort. What sort of escort was it?

2 A. When we went through Osijek and afterwards we were escorted by

3 the UN, we were escorted by some military personnel up to Ovcara and back.

4 We didn't go through Vukovar, but around it, finally reaching Ovcara.

5 Q. When you say you arrived at Ovcara, where exactly, and what did

6 you see there then?

7 A. As far as I remember, we passed by the hangars, reaching the point

8 marked by Clyde Snow. He marked it as a mass grave. We saw that spot

9 next to the grove in the photographs with the depression. And we looked

10 at that.

11 Q. If I understood you properly, that was all you did on that first

12 occasion. You didn't do anything else there, either yourselves or anyone

13 else?

14 A. Yes, exactly. We weren't allowed to do anything else, we just

15 came to see. And as far as I remember, we couldn't even take photographs.

16 That was the nature of the visit, if I may say.

17 Q. The location marked by Dr. Snow, I believe it was done on the 28th

18 of October, 1992 when he went there. I believe you had that in mind when

19 he marked off the location?

20 A. Yes. As far as I know, that was the first time that someone

21 actually marked off the location.

22 Q. Since you weren't with him on that occasion, nevertheless you

23 mention that event today, and I believe you described Mr. Snow as an

24 expert in locating mass graves, and you mentioned his previous experience

25 with such cases and that he was the one who actually established the

Page 9502

1 actual location of the site?

2 A. That is correct.

3 Q. Do you remember perhaps that at that very time, or maybe even

4 before Snow arrived at the location, there was a newspaper article in a

5 Croatian newspaper containing a statement of a witness who claimed to have

6 escaped the execution at Ovcara, and he described the location of the site

7 in quite some detail, in relation to Ovcara. Do you remember that,

8 perhaps?

9 A. I have a vague recollection of articles like that being published.

10 And there was one about a person who, as you have suggested, escaped the

11 execution and fled. There must have been an article like that, I'm

12 certain of it.

13 Q. I should not imagine that you personally know whether this gave

14 rise to Dr. Snow and his team's visit to the area in order to discover a

15 mass grave?

16 A. I'm not sure if it was that one witness or some other witnesses

17 too, or another reason altogether. I'm not sure what the decisive factor

18 was.

19 Q. You say that this only took a couple of days, and that about two

20 days later, if I understand you correctly, permission was refused to

21 continue work at the site by the local Serbs, as you say. What is your

22 personal knowledge of this? It was probably at the time that you found

23 out or a little later, wasn't it? Was permission issued to Dr. Snow for

24 what he did on the 28th and around those days and then subsequently

25 refused? Do you know how exactly events unfolded back then?

Page 9503

1 A. I don't know about that aspect. I don't know who approved Snow's

2 visit to the site. I don't know how he got there. I'm not sure if it was

3 by UN mediation or someone else. I really can't say.

4 Q. But you have spoken about that today. You did give some answers

5 to Mr. Smith.

6 A. If I may be allowed to clarify, one thing that I knew was that

7 excavations or exhumations were strictly prohibited. That was what I

8 learned, because of the refusal of the local authorities to authorise any

9 exhumations, but that was all I knew.

10 Q. Thank you. Based on what you have told us, this refusal to

11 authorise any exhumations continued until 1995, which is when work was

12 started at the site, and this we have covered in detail today, haven't we?

13 A. Yes, that's true.

14 Q. You probably do remember one thing quite well. When we speak

15 about the local Serbs, let us try to clarify this, I believe Mr. Smith has

16 asked a number of questions, but I believe further clarification is

17 needed. You probably meant the local Serb authorities in the area. Is it

18 not true that this was at the time under the government of the Republic of

19 Serbian Krajina or the autonomous province of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja

20 and Srem. I think that was what it was called at the time. The president

21 being Goran Hadzic. Can you confirm that?

22 A. I think you're right, yes.

23 Q. I'll ask you something. You might know for all I know, since you

24 were a member of the commission. There is information to indicate that

25 back in 1993 on the 17th of November in Erdut, more specifically a meeting

Page 9504

1 was held with the head of your own commission in attendance as well as

2 some other people, including Goran Hadzic. There is information

3 indicating that he authorised for excavations to begin in March or April

4 the following year. Does this ring a bell?

5 A. No, not at all.

6 Q. I would like to go now to the beginning of the dig at Ovcara.

7 Were you there personally from day one? Did you attend when they first

8 started digging?

9 A. As I said before, I went there several times. At the very outset

10 and then I came later. I attended several times during the actual work up

11 until the very end. I saw all the stages; this took over 60 days. I

12 wasn't there every day. There was another colleague of mine who went

13 regularly, and I would just pass by every now and then to see how things

14 were going.

15 Q. That precisely is the gist of my question. Was anyone standing in

16 for you? Was there always someone present as an observer for the Croatian

17 side?

18 A. Yes, I had a deputy, Dr. Baricevic, who usually travelled on

19 behalf of our commission. For all I know, he was there all the time or

20 most of the time at any rate. I can't vouch for every single day, but he

21 certainly spent most of the time there.

22 Q. Thank you. It had been agreed that on behalf of Yugoslavia

23 observers should be present too. Based on what I can tell, two names are

24 mentioned, I'll ask you about these, Dr. Dunjic and Dr. Ratasevic

25 [phoen]. Was there anyone else present; do you remember that?

Page 9505

1 A. I think Dr. Dunjic was there, and Dr. Ratasevic was with me in

2 Zagreb as we were processing all the data, Professor Ratasevic.

3 Q. Yes, indeed, Professor Ratasevic was in Zagreb. I saw that in the

4 report, but he produced a report, we may come to that report a little

5 later, indicating that he was also at the site in Ovcara, possibly not at

6 the same time as you and that was why you never met there. That might be

7 an explanation, because he spent a while at Ovcara too.

8 A. That's entirely possible, but I have nothing to say about that.

9 Q. You have described today and in your previous testimony the way

10 the bodies were extracted and placed in bags and marked in an ascending

11 order from 1 to 200. My question: When this was done -- you mentioned

12 this took over 60 days. Was this being done all the time or as I heard

13 today when you were looking at a photograph that this was done when

14 everything was dug up, that this was only done then. Can you please

15 explain, or, rather, can you please clarify this procedure, as far as

16 you're familiar with it?

17 A. As far as I know, the intention was to dig the whole thing up, the

18 whole grave, to expose the bodies. And after that to start the second

19 stage, extracting the bodies, placing the bodies into bags. As far as I

20 know, that was the method used.

21 Q. That's how it should have been, based on an agreement that was

22 made at the outset, right?

23 A. Yes, based on the agreement, and based on what I personally

24 witnessed there, and based on what I can remember now.

25 Q. Thank you very much.

Page 9506

1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think we're just

2 about to run out of time. We'll be continuing tomorrow. Thank you very

3 much.

4 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.

5 We will adjourn now for the day and resume tomorrow at 9.30.

6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.30 p.m.,

7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of May,

8 2006, at 9.30 a.m.