1 Tuesday, 25 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.58 a.m.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-98-32-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Mitar Vasiljevic.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, Mr. Ossogo.
10 WITNESS: AMOR MASOVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
13 morning, Your Honours. We are resuming this morning the
14 examination-in-chief of Mr. Amor Masovic, and before we do so, we should
15 like to ask the approval of the Chamber to show about nine minutes of a
16 videotape on some of the sites in question referred to in annexes 1 and 2
17 of Table B, so as to give you a better insight of the places where these
18 crimes were committed, or rather, where the bodies were buried, and for
19 the Chamber to have a better appreciation of the whole case. And it will
20 be as brief as possible, bearing in mind your observations yesterday to
21 the effect that this examination, including the cross-examination of this
22 witness, should not exceed a certain amount of time. So I hope Your
23 Honours will allow this.
24 JUDGE HUNT: I didn't intend to suggest that you were limited to
25 the three hours. I said he had been set down for three hours and we hoped
1 that we would finish within that time. But -- so don't feel that you're
2 bound by any particular time limit, Mr. Ossogo. We'll sit and watch the
3 video if you want us to, and then we'll worry about whether it becomes
4 evidence after we hear Mr. Domazet.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Could the witness comment on the
8 Q. Mr. Amor, please, up to this stage, could you give us some
9 explanations for the site in question and possibly the persons that you
10 were able to recognise who were participating in the exhumation.
11 A. So this is a site officially known as Slap 1, which on the map
12 that we had yesterday has been marked as group 2, site 2. In the course
13 of yesterday's testimony, I pointed out that there were 125 victims
14 located at this site who were floating down the Drina
15 1992, and the local population knew that these were civilian non-Serbs, in
16 this particular case exclusively Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims, who were
17 liquidated in the town of Visegrad
18 The site that we have seen roughly covers an area which is about
19 60 metres long, of varying widths, between 8 and 15 metres. The victims
20 were marked with wooden tablets, with ordinal numbers above their heads
21 and legs. In one row there were between at least one and a maximum of
22 eight victims per row. The site is situated about 500 metres from the
23 confluence of the Zepa and the Drina
24 flows into the Drina River.
25 In the latter part of this video, I noticed Mr. Ibrahim Hadzic,
1 who is an investigating judge of the cantonal court in Sarajevo
2 district court, and on the video we can also see representatives of my
3 commission, including myself, and the manual workers, who were actually
4 digging up the bodies.
5 In the initial part of the video, one could see Dr. Nermin
6 Sarajlic, who was working on the cleaning of the remains of four
7 victims, using a brush to remove the earth and the sand from the remains.
8 He is a forensic expert attached to the Court in Sarajevo
9 employed at the Institute for Forensic Medicine of the university in
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Masovic. Let us go back to the distinction between
12 civilians or military men among the exhumed bodies. We will continue to
13 view the video now, please.
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Could we stop there for a second,
17 Q. The two people, Mr. Masovic, could you identify them, please?
18 A. I didn't pay sufficient attention. Could you wind back the video
19 for a couple of seconds? Because there are 10 or 15 people there --
20 JUDGE HUNT: Does it matter, Mr. --
21 A. -- and I didn't register who was carrying the bag.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Does it matter? The method being used is of some
23 importance, I suppose, but unless you need to tie it into later evidence,
24 do we really need to know who all these people are?
25 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] It's not of extraordinary importance.
1 Perhaps we can continue.
2 Let us continue with the video, please.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] A brief stop, please.
5 Q. Mr. Masovic, what site is this one where we were able to see
6 numbers up to number 7, I think? Could you tell us which site this is?
7 A. This is site Slap 2, which is about half a kilometre or a bit more
8 from Slap 1 site, downstream along the Drina
9 where there's a canyon and where the lake's banks are rather steep. And
10 one of the witnesses brought us there, or rather, the man who pulled out
11 these seven victims from the waters of the Drina
12 spot. On that occasion, he made a note, or rather, a record, describing
13 the clothing that the victims were wearing at the time of burial, and he
14 also noted that one person was a female and six were males.
15 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 The video, please.
17 [Videotape played]
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Could you please tell us what site this is, Mr. Masovic.
20 A. This site is officially known as Jama Paklenik or a pit. It is
21 one of the sites under group 1 on the map and marked with the number 1, so
22 this is a natural cave which is 32 metres deep at first and then, later
23 on, there are several corridors branching off, going as far as 37 metres
24 in depth.
25 A witness brought us to this spot. The witness I will refer to
1 with his initials, SF, who survived an execution that was carried out in
2 the immediate vicinity of this cave and who brought us there, so that from
3 the 15th of August until the 2nd of September last year, we carried out
4 the exhumation of 73 victims from this cave. The identification of these
5 victims showed that our information about this to the effect that they
6 were a group of Bosniak Muslims and a group from Rogatica, so the
7 exhumation confirmed our information. Out of the 73, 65 victims were
8 identified, 44 from the town of Visegrad
9 One of the victims, which is typical for this particular site and
10 cave, which we didn't come across in other caves that were processed by my
11 team, one of the victims survived the execution by firearms and only one
12 bullet hit the forearm, his forearm, which was not fatal. This shot was
13 not fatal, and the victim even survived the fall to a depth of 32 metres
14 and, after that, managed to hide in a higher part of the cave that was
15 concealed, and the conclusion of forensic experts is that that victim most
16 probably died of hunger rather than of injuries sustained.
17 In the cave, we identified members of several families, fathers
18 and sons from one family, or rather, from several families fathers and
19 sons, and in one case there were four brothers who were identified by
20 their father.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Masovic, and thank you for the video. We've
22 finished with it.
23 We're now going to go on to the question of identification of
24 these victims. You spoke of a witness whose initials are FS in connection
25 with the victims and bodies discovered at this last site. So let's
1 discuss this witness.
2 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, this is
3 a victim who has already testified before this Chamber, who renounced
4 protective measures, and that is why we can use his name and obtain more
5 details regarding the testimony in connection with this victim. The
6 witness's name is Ferid Spahic.
7 JUDGE HUNT: [Previous translation continues] ...
8 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] That's right, Mr. President. He
9 renounced protective measures and he testified here in open session.
10 We're going to stop there, Mr. Masovic, regarding this site, and
11 we will ask you now to go back to Table B so that we can identify on this
12 table some of the victims on it and that were found in this cave at this
14 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, that's not yet in evidence. Would it not
15 be better if we made it an exhibit? And also the video, if there is no
16 objection to it.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. It will be
18 tendered as an exhibit. This was simply for the witness to identify a
19 certain number of names. But if that is not necessary, we can go on, we
20 can move on.
21 JUDGE HUNT: No, no. My concern is that you keep referring to
22 documents and things, but they're never tendered in evidence. Now, if
23 they're going to be tendered in evidence, they should be. Now, 54/5, I've
24 got a note here, should be tendered. If it has been tendered, I will
25 apologise, but I have no record of it as such. But it was referred to
1 yesterday and explained. You can certainly go to it, but are you going to
2 tender that document? All right.
3 Now, is there any objection to it, Mr. Domazet? Mr. Domazet, is
4 there any objection?
5 MR. DOMAZET: No, no objection, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. That will be Exhibit P54/5.
7 Now, what about the video, before we forget that?
8 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] The video, Mr. President, will be
10 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection to that, Mr. Domazet?
11 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. That will be Exhibit P54/6.
13 I've got a note here, whilst we're on the question of exhibits, of
14 149/1. I'm not sure what it was. I can't find it in the transcript.
15 Certainly 149, which is the map, has gone into evidence. Was there a
17 You don't have any reference to it? Well, that's in evidence, so
18 we won't worry at this stage.
19 You proceed, please.
20 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Masovic, could you confirm, listening to the numbers that I am
22 going to tell you, whether they are the persons or victims whose bodies
23 were indeed found at site known as Paklenik, Jama Paklenik, and who are
24 mentioned in annex 1 and 2 of Table B? So I'm going to quote some
25 numbers. The numbers are 54 on Table B, 55, 56, 58.
1 A. Yes. All these victims were located in the Paklenik cave, and
2 also from numbers 56 through to 59, those are the four brothers, Esad,
3 Hamed, Izet and Mirsad, who were identified in the morgue in Visoko by
4 their father, Ibrahim. 54 and 55 are also two brothers, Sabit and Hasan,
5 the sons of Hamed.
6 Q. And possibly number 62?
7 A. Yes. Fikret Karaman.
8 Q. 83, 84, and 89?
9 A. Yes. Kustura Suvad, Kustura Ismet and Kustura Enes.
10 Q. And 91?
11 A. Yes. Kustura Medo, son of Meho.
12 Q. 116 and 117?
13 A. Yes. Omerovic Seval and Omerovic Mensur.
14 Q. 118 and 120?
15 A. Kustura Smail, or rather, Smail Omerovic, and Mustafa Omerovic.
16 In some of these cases, these are fathers and sons, or two brothers.
17 Q. And 24 and 25, on page 1?
18 A. Yes. Hilmo and Musan Celik, father and son.
19 Q. Could you tell us or remind us on the basis of which elements,
20 through testimony of witnesses and other information, were you able to
21 establish that these persons were killed by violent means?
22 A. The most important source, which served as a starting point for
23 the identification of these victims, was witness Ferid Spahic, who even
24 before contacting our commission, that is, immediately after surviving the
25 firing squad, after managing to escape from the place of execution, he
1 drew up a list of the people he knew who were in the vehicle together with
2 him on the way to the place of execution. Also, other witnesses knew who
3 were the people in that particular bus which set out from Visegrad,
4 arrived close to the town of Olovo, and then turned back to the area of
5 Sokolac municipality, where the execution was carried out.
6 During the actual identification process of these victims,
7 families played the most important role, because on the basis of clothing,
8 footwear, and personal belongings and documents found on the victims, and
9 coupled with the information that we had obtained from forensic experts
10 who did the autopsy of the victims, they managed to recognise their
11 relatives, with the exception of eight cases, in which the identification
12 has not been completed to this moment in time.
13 Q. Thank you. We'll stop there for the moment with respect to this
14 site of Paklenik. And I should now like, still referring to Table B, to
15 indicate a few numbers which concern another site. They are victims found
16 in another site, for the purpose of their identification and for telling
17 us possibly about the cause of death. We have number 32, 32, page 1 of
18 Table B, document 54/5; number 33, 34.
19 A. They were victims who were located on the sites from group 2, in
20 group 2, which is Slap 1, Slap 2, Kamenicko Tocilo and Luke. And they are
21 marked in group 2, marked by the numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5. I'm not sure
22 whether I am able to determine at which of these sites each of these
23 individual victims was found, whether Slap 1 or Slap 2. I think that in
24 the Slap 2 site, where there were seven victims, to the present day none
25 of those persons have been identified. In the Kamenicko Tocilo site, I
1 think that only one person has been identified to date. And on the Luke
2 site, I'm not quite sure how many victims have been identified. The
3 largest number of identified victims from this group, that is to say,
4 group 2, comes from the Slap 1 locality.
5 Q. Thank you. Let's continue. I should like you to look at number
6 68, 69, and 72, once again Table B, document or Exhibit 54/5.
7 A. I think they were victims who were exhumed on the Slap 1 site:
8 Did you say 75? Did you say number 75?
9 Q. No. 72. 72 was the number.
10 A. Oh, I see. 72, yes. 75 was exhumed from the Paklenik cave, from
11 group 1.
12 Q. And to wind up, I'd like to refer you to number 20 -- 20, 45 - in
13 the same document - 134.
14 A. The Slap 1 site.
15 Q. You said Slap 1 site, did you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Number 2, on page 1 of Exhibit 54/5. Would you look at that,
19 A. Agic Emin, Slap 1. Emin Agic, Slap 1.
20 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, I've discovered the missing document that
22 I'm concerned about. It was not 149, it's my bad writing. It's
23 140/1, which is this map. That's not yet in evidence either. Are you
24 tendering it?
25 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] 140. Yes, precisely, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection to it, Mr. Domazet?
2 MR. DOMAZET: No.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. That will be Exhibit P140/1. Just keep
4 it in mind, would you, so we don't forget them. Otherwise, we're going to
5 be in trouble at the end; we can't refer to the material we've been
6 looking at.
7 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for making
8 those observations.
9 Q. Mr. Masovic, you said a moment ago and yesterday -- that is to
10 say, you gave certain indications as to the quality -- as to the state of
11 the bodies of the persons retrieved, and you gave us a partial overview of
12 identification and the process of identification and how you determined
13 civilians and so on. Could you tell us a little more about what and who
14 those persons were. Generally speaking, would you say they were
15 civilians, or were there any army people among them, any soldiers, the
16 bodies that you identified or the bodies that were exhumed but have not
17 been identified as yet. Could you tell us anything more about who the
18 people were?
19 A. When speaking about the persons identified, then it is absolutely
20 certain that they were civilians, because this was confirmed by their
21 family members, who identified the bodies, and also there were other
22 indications, that is to say, the clothing they were wearing, the footwear
23 they had, and also the testimony of people who were present during the
24 liquidations, the executions of some of those people who had been
25 identified. That is to say, people who were witnesses when these -- some
1 of these individuals were taken away, taken off. When some of these
2 individuals, some of these victims were arrested and taken into custody
3 and led to certain places where they were detained, there were other
4 people present who witnessed this and saw that, on a certain day, a
5 certain number of victims had been taken away by certain individuals,
6 after which all trace was lost of those persons.
7 Now, talking about the unidentified victims, then it is quite
8 clear that we were able to see, judging from their clothing, that these
9 people were not soldiers, not military men. Otherwise, the commission led
10 by myself, at whose head I am, deals in the quest for missing persons,
11 both civilians and soldiers. But in these particular cases, with the
12 exception of two bodies where they were indeed soldiers, these two were
13 soldiers who had been killed during combat and whose names were written up
14 above their graves. All the other victims, however, were civilians. If
15 necessary, I can identify the two soldiers in question who were buried on
16 a separate site on the Slap 1 site and whose graves have been -- contain
17 their names and surnames, as is customary, according to standard practice,
18 and it is only those two victims who were not brought down by the waters
19 of the Drina but had in fact been killed near the Slap 1 site, and that is
20 why they were buried together with the other civilian victims.
21 Q. Yes. Thank you. You said that, apart from the two soldiers, all
22 the other persons were civilian victims. Now, there were 311 bodies
23 exhumed on the 14 sites, and you indicated this on Table B and its annexes
24 and on the map. You said that they were 311 bodies, minus two means 309
25 bodies were civilians; is that right? Three hundred and nine bodies were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. No. Actually, the two soldiers did not make up the figure of
3 311. Three hundred and eleven was the figure of the exhumed civilian
4 victims, whereas the two soldiers are logged in a separate registry book,
5 because they were never categorised as missing persons. And I said in my
6 introduction that we deal with the quest for missing persons, and these
7 two soldiers, their fate was known, both what they did while they were
8 alive and also with regard their date of death. Their parents always knew
9 where they were buried and what had happened to them. And actually, they
10 were exhumed at the request of their families, only because -- only so
11 that after my team had exhumed the remaining 125 victims from that site,
12 only so that those two soldiers should not remain buried alone in that
13 locality once all the other victims had been exhumed.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, does that mean that the two military
15 men's names or details are not in Exhibit 54/5?
16 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Just as the witness has just stated,
17 the names of those two military men are not on that list because they do
18 not make up the number of missing persons who were exhumed.
19 Q. Is that right, Witness, they're not on the list?
20 A. Yes, I can confirm that, but their name is Galib Seta and Camil
21 Karic and you will not find their names in Table B, which contains 152
22 names of identified victims.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
24 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
25 Q. With respect to the identification of civilians, have you any
1 other method of identifying them, apart from clothing and family, their
2 families who identified them? Have you any other means of identification?
3 A. Well, in all cases where we suspected that they might be soldiers
4 who were exhumed, when victims of that type were buried, the army of the
5 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina becomes involved in the process, and they
6 have their log book in which their members' names are logged.
7 So this is an additional element on the basis of which it is
8 possible to ascertain that in this particular case we are dealing
9 exclusively with civilians.
10 Q. Based on your experience with these exhumations and everything
11 else that you have gained in the course of your work, could you tell us
12 what the general shape of the body, form of the body was, condition; that
13 is to say, what was the condition of the bodies that were buried? Were
14 there traces of violence on the bodies that you were able to determine and
15 which helped you determine the cause of death, and if so, could you
16 indicate that to the Chamber, please.
17 A. With respect to the 311 victims, in each case they were victims
18 who had died in the course of 1992, or, to be more precise, most of these
19 victims were victims who died in the period between April and mid and late
20 August 1992, which means that the bodily remains that we found were
21 skeletal remains exclusively, with elements of clothing, footwear,
22 personal belongings attached to them. Very rarely did we find any
23 personal identification documents. There were no soft tissue -- there was
24 no soft tissue present.
25 Q. To go back just for a moment to ethnicity, the ethnicity that the
1 people belonged to, can you give us any indication as to ethnicity, any
2 information in that respect, speaking on those 311 bodies? Can you say
3 anything about ethnicity, which those bodies were?
4 A. At present, we can speak exclusively of the national affiliation
5 of the identified victims, the 152 identified victims, and all of them
6 were Bosniak by nationality, or rather, Bosnian Muslims, with the
7 exception of victim under number 101 in Table B, and his name was Adonis
8 Mladenovic, who was from a mixed marriage, that is to say, his parents
9 were of different national affiliation, different ethnicity. Otherwise,
10 let me also say that this victim was from the Rogatica municipality, and
11 that is where the execution took place. It did not take place on the
12 territory of the Visegrad municipality.
13 As for all the other cases, all the other victims, they were all
14 Bosniaks of the Muslim faith, with the exception of persons who were of
15 Albanian origin but they were also of Muslim faith, and they have been
16 marked by the number 114 and 115. Their surname was Nurudini. And also
17 one more number, number 103, and that surname was Mucovski.
18 When speaking about the non-identified victims, I cannot --
19 JUDGE HUNT: Just a moment, sir. 103, was that an Albanian Muslim
20 or something else?
21 A. Yes. Yes. I've just said that. Yes. He was of Albanian ethnic
22 origin but of the Muslim faith.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
24 A. As to the unidentified victims, that is to say, the remaining 159,
25 it is difficult to say with absolute certainty whether they were all
1 Bosniaks, but on the basis of some other pointers, and in certain cases
2 this would be clothing, and in all cases there is the assumption that they
3 were members of the Bosniak population, and this assumption is based on
4 the fact that in the Visegrad municipality area, persons missing are
5 considered persons who became missing in 1992, with a high percentage;
6 that is to say, over 99.9, 99.9 per cent, in fact, is exclusively the
7 Bosniak population.
8 As to the other ethnic groups, we recorded the case of the
9 disappearance of an individual who was a Croat in the Visegrad area. All
10 the other persons, and I'm referring to 1992, were Bosniaks, or rather,
11 Bosnian Muslims. So that is one of the important facts, on the basis of
12 which we are able to assume that the other unidentified victims are also
13 members of the Bosniak nationality.
14 JUDGE HUNT: There's still one matter left up in the air, if I may
15 suggest, sir. 101, which you said was of mixed ethnicity, was one of
16 those ethnicities a Bosnian Muslim?
17 A. Your Honour, I can't say with certainty. The father quite
18 certainly was not a Bosnian Muslim.
19 JUDGE HUNT: He was a Serb, by the look of the name, was he?
20 A. No. He would rather -- he would most probably be a Bosnian Croat,
21 as far as I am able to ascertain. The name of the victim is neutral, if I
22 can put it that way, of a neutral character, of Greek denomination, not
23 characteristic for the Balkans, the first name. And the father's name
24 could be both a Bosnian Serb and a Bosnian Croat, but more frequently the
25 name is found amongst Bosnian Croats, actually. As to the victim's mother
1 -- as to the person's mother, and I had contacts with her at least
2 50 times over the last nine years, because she would come to my office in
3 Sarajevo very frequently searching for her son, I never actually felt the
4 need to determine which ethnicity she was, so that I really can't say for
5 sure whether she is a Bosnian Muslim, a Croat, Serb, or something else.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
7 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Masovic, did you have any information in the course of your
9 investigation about the fact that the victims, before being killed, were
10 robbed of their personal effects, their personal property, by illegal
11 means? Was their property confiscated illegally in any way? Do you have
12 any information about that?
13 A. That was not the subject of the work of the commission at whose
14 head I stand. It is our task to search for missing persons. From my
15 personal experience, I can say that I'm aware of the fact that out of
16 almost 11.000 victims which were exhumed by my own team or the
17 Prosecutor's team in the Srebrenica area, in more than 95 per cent of the
18 cases the victims did not have any ID documents on them, personal
19 documents, or any items of value, any valuables. This includes money. We
20 can assume, but that's all we can do, just assume, that their personal
21 documents and money, any items of jewellery and other valuables, had been
22 taken from the victims. But I would not venture to say for sure. I have
23 no knowledge or information about that, nor is that the subject of our
24 expertise. All I can do is note with regret that the confiscation of
25 personal documents, ID documents and personal items, especially pieces of
1 jewellery, makes the process of identification of the victims much more
2 difficult. A ring, a wedding band on a victim's hand can tell you a lot,
3 especially if it has the date of the wedding engraved on it. That could
4 help us enormously in the identification of the victim. Unfortunately, as
5 I have already said, of the almost 11.000 victims that have been exhumed
6 to date, only about 5 per cent of those victims did have any personal
7 documents on them or other items which would help us to identify them.
8 JUDGE HUNT: It's almost 11.00. I think we had better go back on
9 to the usual timetable. We'll take the adjournment now and resume at
10 11.30. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.29 a.m.
13 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo.
14 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. As a
15 preliminary question, I should like to ask for permission to present,
16 through colleague Ms. Bauer, a motion for the protection of a witness. We
17 have just received information about a problem which will take a few
18 minutes. It has to do with the witness who will be examined in-chief
19 tomorrow morning.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, Ms. Bauer.
21 MS. BAUER: Your Honour, I'm not quite sure that it is necessary
22 to go in private session. The witness that is called tomorrow, VG115,
23 asked that basically the protective measures are extended to include voice
24 distortion. If the Court needs to hear the reasons for that purpose, I
25 would ask for a short private session.
1 JUDGE HUNT: We do have to have some reasons, so we'll go into
2 private session for that purpose.
3 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE HUNT: We are now in public session.
17 Mr. Ossogo, off you go.
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Amor, could you please turn to document 54/1, number 54/1,
20 Table A. Have you found it? This Table A has as attachments two other
21 documents, document 54/2, immediately after the main document, that is,
22 Table 1, and annex 2, which is 54/3 among the OTP documents. Was it you
23 who drew up this document?
24 A. Yes. I gave instructions to my staff to compile these documents.
25 Q. Table A is, therefore, a table giving names, and there are 875
1 names on this table; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. These are persons whose disappearance was noted in the
4 municipality of Visegrad; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that is right.
6 Q. And annex 1 to this table relates to the percentage share in age
7 groups that you attach to this table?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Whereas annex 2 consists of names from the original table listing
10 people who were over 70 years of age?
11 A. Yes, that is right.
12 Q. In the course of previous testimony in other cases, you indicated
13 the methods that you used to draw up these tables, and you mentioned those
14 methods also when we were talking about the lists of persons exhumed.
15 That is why I will ask you a few questions regarding the procedure used
16 and the comparison between this document and other documents that may come
17 from other sources regarding missing persons in the municipality of
18 Visegrad. Could you please tell us, very briefly, in a few minutes, the
19 process you applied to establish this figure of missing persons in the
20 municipality of Visegrad and in what year did these persons go missing, or
21 what years.
22 A. Yes. First of all, I wish to say that I am confident that the
23 number of missing persons in the territory of Visegrad municipality is
24 certainly much greater than 875, the number contained in this table for
25 a large number of persons who, in 1991 and the beginning of 1992, were
1 living in Visegrad municipality, disappeared from the territories of some
2 other municipalities during the war, that is, in the period from 1992 to
3 1995. They may either be neighbouring municipalities, such as Rogatica,
4 Rudo, Cajnice and Gorazde, or they may have gone missing in municipalities
5 which do not border on Visegrad municipality.
6 A number of persons from Visegrad went missing on the mountains
7 while attempting to get out of Visegrad or Gorazde, to which they had
8 originally sought refuge, and it is estimated that about 3.000 Bosniaks
9 from Visegrad fled to Gorazde. A certain number of them attempting to
10 reach Sarajevo or Zenica or Central Bosnia in general, where government
11 forces were in control, went missing. Therefore, this table represents
12 the number of persons who went missing in Visegrad municipality in the
13 course of 1992.
14 Q. Thank you. Are there other institutions, local or international,
15 which are engaged in the same kind of work as your commission, that is, in
16 compiling information concerning missing persons and their number?
17 A. Yes. Local commissions, which are actually departments of our own
18 commission, which is based in Sarajevo
19 information and knowledge about the capture or disappearance of persons to
20 our head office in Sarajevo, where that information was systematised.
21 In addition to the local commission, this work was engaged in by
22 certain other state institutions. During the wartime period, they were
23 War Presidencies of the municipalities. Thus, for instance, the War
24 Presidency of Visegrad municipality provided us with this kind of
25 information, and also information about missing persons was forwarded by
1 the police, by military authorities. And in the period after the war,
2 that is, after 1995, an international organisation also set up a database
3 of missing persons in the territory of the former Yugoslavia
4 international organisation is the International Committee of the Red
5 Cross, headquartered in Geneva.
6 Q. Are there any differences between the figures that you had and
7 those obtained by the International Red Cross that you mentioned, or did
8 you cooperate amongst yourselves?
9 A. Yes, there is cooperation in complementing databases between those
10 of the local commissions for searching missing persons of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the International Committee of the Red Cross, but
12 there are also discrepancies in the records of missing persons, and as a
13 rule, the local commissions in the territory not only of Bosnia
14 Herzegovina but also the Republic of Croatia
15 have more complete and voluminous data on missing persons. So the number
16 of missing persons, according to the International Red Cross Committee
17 records with regard to Visegrad municipality, amounts to just over 600,
18 which means that in our records, that is, the records of the commission of
19 which I am the head, there are just over 250 persons whose names are not
20 to be found in the records of the International Red Cross Committee.
21 In my earlier testimony before this Honourable Tribunal, I
22 presented the reasons for these differences, and with your permission, I
23 can repeat them in these proceedings.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Just one moment, sir. We'll see whether it's there.
25 Have you checked, Mr. Ossogo, whether that part of it is within
1 the evidence which has been reproduced and tendered? I certainly recall
2 the witness giving the evidence, but I haven't read through this
3 transcript again.
4 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I just thought
5 that he could summarise these reasons regarding Visegrad municipality,
6 because the difference was established in the other case, the case of the
7 Prosecutor versus Milorad Krnojelac with regard to Foca municipality. He
8 could just refer to the principal elements, which explain these
9 differences with regard to Visegrad municipality.
10 JUDGE HUNT: First of all, I think we have to establish that the
11 material to which the witness has now referred is indeed in the evidence,
12 because the explanation he gave was quite a detailed one and it was very
14 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE HUNT: I think it would waste time to ask him to repeat it
16 if it's already here.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] It is document 54/4, Exhibit 54/4.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, but what page? Where is the explanation that he
20 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] I have the English version here, not
21 the French one, but it is the testimony given on the 20th of March in
23 JUDGE HUNT: He gave evidence in one day.
24 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Perhaps you could have your case manager look through
1 the transcript and you go on to something else and we can come back to it
2 if it's not in the transcript that we have got here as an exhibit. It is
3 an important issue and it's a very detailed response, and I want to save
4 some time if we can.
5 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. President. We will
6 check through the three days of testimony that the witness gave to find
7 the pages for the relevant explanations, so as not to waste time.
8 Q. Mr. Masovic, to go back to the document, that is, Table A,
9 concerning persons that have disappeared in this municipality, I should
10 like to refer you to number 397 to 404. It is Exhibit 54/1, 397 to 340
11 [sic]. This is a series of names, 46 names, which are the same. Perhaps
12 they are families. So could you give us some indication as to what led
13 you to include them in this document of missing persons and any
14 information you have regarding those names.
15 A. If I may, in connection with the previous question, that is, what
16 I said in the other case, and that is that the most important reason for
17 the difference in the records of the International Red Cross and the
18 records that we have is due to the fact that the International Committee
19 accepts applications of disappearance exclusively from immediate family
20 members. Visegrad is an excellent example to identify the difference
21 between the International Committee's records and the records of our
22 commission. In the Foca case, I explained this, and I'm going to repeat
23 it again here. A large number of families, especially --
24 JUDGE HUNT: Please, sir. If we've got it -- we have a lot of
25 your evidence here from the transcript, and if it's in there, you needn't
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 repeat it, because it's already been put into evidence here. It's only if
2 the selection which they have given us here doesn't include that
3 explanation that we'll come back and ask you for it. So you had perhaps
4 better answer the question that was asked of you in relation to the
5 various numbers in document numbered 54/1.
6 You've called it an exhibit, Mr. Ossogo, but it is not an
7 exhibit; it hasn't been tendered yet.
8 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. We are going to
9 tender it in a moment. It is document 54/1 of the Office of the
10 Prosecutor, which indeed is still not an exhibit but which we are going to
11 tender after using it during this examination.
12 Q. So let me repeat my question. So I'm referring to the names
13 starting from 397 to 440, which are to be found in this document and which
14 are the same names.
15 A. That's quite right. This is the (redacted), which
16 originally came from Koritnik, or rather, most of them were living in the
17 area of Koritnik village in Visegrad municipality. And I think that our
18 records contain 46 names of members of the (redacted) who at this
19 point in time are considered missing persons. In the records of the
20 International Committee for the Red Cross, I think that not more than 12
21 to 15 have been recorded, and that is what I wanted to draw attention to
22 in my response a moment ago.
23 A very small number of the (redacted) members survived the
24 year 1992 in Koritnik, or in Visegrad, and simply very few members of
25 their immediate family remain who could submit a search request to the
1 International Red Cross Committee. We have here a large number of close
2 relatives, parents and children, brothers, brothers and sisters, closest
3 family members, uncles, aunts. In some cases there are three generations:
4 Grandfathers, parents, and children -- grandparents, parents, and
6 Unfortunately, the (redacted) is not the only one to be
7 represented in such a large number among the missing persons. If you look
8 at other parts of this same list, you will find, on page 1 of this
9 document, the Ahmet Spahijic family, of whom 14 are missing. On page 2 of
10 the document, the Avdic family, of whom, again, 14 are missing. On page 3
11 of the document, the Besirevic family, of whom 9 are missing. And if you
12 go through the list to the end, you will find that there are cases when in
13 some families more than 20 persons are still
14 missing and nothing is known about them.
15 Q. According to the principle that you have just told us about, these
16 are indeed family members who contacted you, specifically regarding the
18 A. Yes, that is right.
19 Q. I should also like to refer you to number 87 and 90 of this same
20 document; 54/1, 87 and 90. I'm just referring to the numbers, because
21 these are names again of persons, protected persons in these proceedings.
22 Do you know by whom you were informed before putting these names on the
23 list of missing persons? I am talking about numbers 87 and 90.
24 A. I cannot give you each first and last name from this list, but it
25 was mostly family members who informed us about their immediate relatives
1 who went missing. Just now I really am unable to answer the question how
3 this list. I assume that one of their relatives came to our department in
4 Gorazde, or to the head office in Sarajevo
6 Q. After having identified the bodies and having registered them in
7 your files, did you separate the bodies that you identified and those that
8 were not identified? So did you delete them from this list of missing
9 persons once you found their bodies?
10 A. Yes. They were deleted from the list of missing persons, but they
11 were kept in our records, with the note that the victims had been located,
12 exhumed, and identified and buried. But they are no longer kept in the
13 record of missing persons and their names are not found in this document.
14 They are in a separate document consisting of 152 identified persons, and
15 this document is also here in this file as Table B.
16 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, to go back to the
17 transcript, page -- I'm not sure of the page. No. It is page 5267 --
18 4267 of Exhibit 54/4.
19 JUDGE HUNT: That's the bald statement, yes. I thought that the
20 witness had given a lot more detail.
21 Sir, you are recorded in the previous trial as having said of the
22 Red Cross, or the International Committee of the Red Cross this: "Their
23 information is scantier because they record missing persons. Only family
24 members have reported them as such, whereas we have broader criteria and
25 I already explained at the beginning of my testimony who are all the
1 persons and organisations that can submit information to us in order to
2 register persons as missing."
3 Now, my recollection is that at some other stage in the course of
4 your evidence you gave a more detailed explanation. It may be that it
5 will be quicker if we take it from you again than to try and find it. If
6 you want to add to that explanation, please do.
7 A. Yes, Your Honour. With the exception of the family members, we
8 accepted all notification for other individuals whom we knew or assumed
9 could have any knowledge as to the disappearance of certain persons. For
10 example, witnesses who were present when one person or a group of persons
11 were taken away are a very valuable source of information on the
12 disappearance of certain individuals, and in cases like that, the family
13 members did not have any direct knowledge of the disappearance of their
14 relatives but there are witnesses who saw them being taken off,
15 individual or a group. Sometimes those groups numbered several tens of
16 persons whom the witness knew and recorded. He would register the date
17 and time the people were taken away and, afterwards, these people were
18 never seen or heard of again.
19 So in addition to that type of witness, we have former prisoners
20 or former inmates who registered the presence of their inmates in certain
21 camps and prisons and those detainees were taken out of the prison or camp
22 where they were held and never appeared again. In the case of Foca, as in
23 the case of Visegrad, there are a certain number of witnesses who were
24 prisoners at one time, former inmates, who during the war were exchanged
25 with the help of commissions, and I worked with these commissions. And
1 those victims testified that a certain number of men from Visegrad prisons
2 such as the Uzamnica prison were taken out, never to be returned to the
3 prison again.
4 Apart from these direct sources of knowledge concerning missing
5 persons, we also received information of this kind from the information
6 that the local police organs and military organs came by, as well as the
7 wartime presidencies, and as I said in the course of my testimony
8 yesterday, from the database which the International Red Cross Committee
9 has at its disposal.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
11 Is there anything you want to ask further, Mr. Ossogo?
12 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President. At this stage,
13 Mr. President, we would like to tender documents 54/1 and the annex, which
14 annex is marked 54/2 and 54/3, annexes 1 and 2, as exhibits.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection, Mr. Domazet?
16 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. They will be Exhibits P54/1, 54/2, and
19 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that completes our
20 examination of this witness.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
22 Mr. Domazet.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Masovic, Exhibit 141, the map titled the
25 Exhumations Conducted in Visegrad Municipality, my question is the
1 following: According to your commission and its findings, were they
2 victims from the territory of Visegrad municipality or does this just show
3 the exhumation sites on the territory of that municipality?
4 A. The title of the document is somewhat different. The heading is
5 different. In the Bosnian language it would be translated as "Exhumation
6 in Connection to the Visegrad Municipality," so not exhumation on the
7 territory of Visegrad. And from the document it is clearly evident that
8 these 14 sites or localities were not all on the territory of Visegrad
10 The number 1 group is in the Sokolac municipality, for example.
11 But during my testimony I explained that it was the case of a bus with
12 prisoners coming from Visegrad, originating from Visegrad, and in that bus
13 Mr. FS was in the bus too. The bus was sent towards Olovo and then sent
14 back to the Kalimanici locality, or rather, the Paklenik mountain, where
15 these 50-odd victims were liquidated and thrown into a 32-metre-deep pit
16 or cave.
17 The locality, or rather, group 2, the next site, partially
18 encompasses - and we're talking about Slap 1 and Slap 2 here, sites 2 and
19 3 - lie in the locality of the Rogatica municipality, and it is the yellow
20 shaded area on the map, but the victims floated down the Drina River from
21 the town of Visegrad and its surroundings.
22 Group 3, all the sites are on the Visegrad territory.
23 Q. Thank you. Part of my question referred to that, because it says
24 on the map that there were 14 places and 311 bodies in total that were
25 exhumed. From what you have just explained, a portion of those, and you
1 know the exact number, in the Rogatica municipality does not refer to
2 these victims and the events in Visegrad. That is certain, is it not?
3 A. In group number 1 at least 21 victims originate from the Rogatica
4 municipality, and they were executed in the town of Rogatica
5 dead to the area above the Paklenik cave and thrown into that same cave
6 where the victims from Visegrad were executed and thrown into. So there
7 we're dealing with 21 individuals from the Rogatica area, and that has
8 been clearly designated in Table B, which contains 152 names of identified
9 victims, and they originate from the Rogatica area.
10 Q. You have just mentioned the table containing all these facts and
11 data. I didn't notice, and I don't think it is included in the tables,
12 because there were some questions from Mr. Ossogo on that matter as well.
13 What I'm talking about is different persons under different numbers, and
14 you were telling us where the bodies were found. Now, my question is as
15 follows: Why did you not compile a table which would show where the
16 bodies of the identified persons were exhumed? Because that would
17 facilitate your investigation considerably.
18 A. I'm afraid that a table like that could lead to some confusion if
19 we were to separate the bodies belonging to Visegrad. Then we would have
20 to include all the previous exhumations that we conducted in the Rogatica
21 area, and I think that there were more than 400 victims exhumed to date
22 from that area.
23 Q. I don't think you understood me. My question was the following:
24 Let us take an example, 54, 55, and 56, those numbers. Mr. Ossogo asked
25 you where those individuals were exhumed and you said, I think, Paklenik.
1 Now, my question is: Why is that piece of information not included in the
2 table? Because that would facilitate checking out the Slap 1 or other
3 areas marked by you.
4 A. Yes, I agree with you there. If what is important for you is to
5 know where each of the victims were exhumed, from which grave site, if you
6 need to know that, I would be happy to answer your questions. I can tell
7 you where each of these 152 victims were exhumed, in which mass grave or
8 individual grave. If that is essential and vital for you, I can answer
9 that question for you.
10 Q. Thank you. What I was asking you was merely whether this exists
11 as a separate piece of information, and you said no. Yes, you're quite
13 JUDGE HUNT: Does that mean, Mr. Domazet, that you do not want
14 that information; it's just a criticism of the method, is it?
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I would have
16 preferred to have had that information, because then I could go through
17 those persons to see if any of them have anything to do with this trial.
18 But I'm not going to ask the witness what Mr. Ossogo did, because he asked
19 him specifically about some individuals who could be connected to the
21 JUDGE HUNT: But the witness has offered to give you that
22 information. I'm not suggesting we go through each of the 152 at this
23 stage, but if, before he leaves, he marked up a copy of this particular
24 table with the particular exhumation site, if you want it, we'll ask him
25 to do it.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Well, sir, perhaps, if you could before you leave, go
3 through the table and insert the particular site, exhumation site for each
4 of the 152. You said you were able to do it. Now, would you do it --
5 when you finish giving your evidence, would you be able to do it for us on
6 a copy of one of these exhibits?
7 A. That will take me 15 minutes, and I can do that, yes.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much, sir. We look forward to it.
9 You proceed, Mr. Domazet.
10 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Masovic, in answering questions about identification,
12 ethnicity, the ethnicity of the victims, you said that most of them, or
13 practically all of them, belonged to the Bosniak Muslim category. You
14 used a term and said that they were all of Muslim faith and that that was
15 one of the criteria. Do you not think that that need not be the case
16 because they might have been atheists and that there were many of those in
17 our former country. There were quite a lot of atheists. I assume that
18 you thought that most of them were what you said they were by virtue of
19 faith, but did you think about the atheists?
20 A. There were objective reasons why I said that. When a victim is
21 identified, we move to its burial, and on the basis of the ceremony, the
22 funeral, the burial ceremony itself and the traditions applied there, it
23 is very easy to see which faith the victim belonged to. Let me tell you
24 that on the 5th of August, for example, this year, in Visegrad more than
25 150 identified and unidentified victims were buried. They had their
1 funerals there. And those funerals were held in keeping with Islamic
2 customs and tradition. So this is indicative and an objective way of
3 concluding that the victims were indeed of the Muslim -- of the Islamic
5 I can agree with you that affiliation to the Bosniak nation need
6 not, at the same time, mean belonging to the Islamic faith, but I know of
7 no example in the Visegrad case which would indicate that the people were
8 not members of the Islamic faith at the same time.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Masovic. You have explained one criterion for us
10 which is a possible one, that is to say, the funeral, which can indicate
11 ethnicity and faith. Although we're dealing with just one case and
12 therefore it's particularly not too important, I would like to refer for a
13 minute to victim 101, whom you said was from a mixed marriage in which the
14 father was a Bosnian Croat or Bosnian Serb, so that criterion there was
15 not checked out in the way you have just described to us for you to be
16 able to give us your opinion. So although you said that the name Tihomir
17 can be both a Croatian and Serbian name, and I agree with that, but
18 Mladenovic is more typically a Serbian name, and I'm sure you'll agree
19 with that.
20 A. Yes, absolutely so. The mother of this victim, as I said,
21 contacted me about 50 times over the past eight or nine years, and I know
22 that this victim was buried in Sarajevo.
23 Q. Thank you. You also said, Mr. Masovic, that only about 5 per cent
24 of those victims, the exhumed victims, had on them any documents or items
25 which could identify them. Does that mean that all the other ones who
1 were identified were identified on the basis of witnesses or family member
2 testimony or in similar ways by people being able to recognise the bodies
3 on the basis of some factors?
4 A. In most cases we relied on the testimony of the victims' immediate
5 families, if they survived. If not, then on the basis of the broader
6 family members or witnesses who had knowledge of what the victim looked
7 like, what they were wearing the day they disappeared, and of course, on
8 the basis of anthropological characteristics of the victim, that is to
9 say, the height of the victim, the teeth, any possible fractures which the
10 victims had suffered in the course of their life and which were common
11 knowledge to their relatives.
12 And quite recently, but we can't speak of this as a general
13 method, the identification of victims at least in the Srebrenica case is
14 being conducted with the help of DNA analyses.
15 Q. Yes. That was what I was interested in, looking at Visegrad,
16 because if we're talking about the identification of exhumed persons who
17 were exhumed mostly in the year 2000, eight years later, and as you
18 yourself said, they were skeletons mostly, I assume that identification on
19 the basis of recognition by relatives is a very rare occurrence, relatives
20 or friends, after so much time with the skeletons you had.
21 A. No. On the contrary, I said that the most common way of
22 identification was with the help of the family members. But you must be
23 aware of one particular fact, and that is that in the Paklenik cave, for
24 example, we had 73 victims. Of that number, we knew that 50 of them were
25 in the bus with the witness who survived the execution, and that witness I
1 think knew 47 names of the victims who were in the bus with him. That
2 means that we were able to narrow down the potential circle of victims
3 from 875, which was the total number that had disappeared on the overall
4 territory of Visegrad
5 was narrowed down to 50 persons, those 50 who the witness had seen when
6 they were executed, he was present. It was our task, of those 50, to
7 determine who was Esad, who was Mirsad, who was Enes, for example, who was
8 Adonis, and so on and so forth. So our task wasn't an overly difficult
9 one with respect to identification.
10 In some other cases, such as Slap 1, for example, I've already
11 said that the people pulling out the bodies from the River Drina took out
12 fresh bodies, so to speak, who were recognisable at first glance because
13 they had been killed one or two days before, upstream, upstream from Slap
14 in Visegrad, and refugees from Visegrad who worked on the retrieval of
15 these bodies, pulling them out, were able to ascertain the identity of the
16 victims on the spot, so that that fact made our identification task much
17 more easy. The skeletons, we found eight years after the event had taken
18 place. Our task was facilitated in that way.
19 Q. Yes, Mr. Masovic. I understand you. The situation is quite
20 different when the bodies were pulled out one or two days after death or
21 ten days after death, and there were cases like that. I know that. So
22 that that is quite certainly easier. But my question focused on the
23 bodies this wasn't done: In Slap 1, eight years later, was it possible to
24 identify the bodies on the basis of what the relatives said or was this
25 only possible on the basis of forensic experts?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Both. Both the anthropological characteristics of the victim and
2 what the witnesses and family members said. Putting those two together,
3 we were able to identify the victims. Unfortunately, from the documents
4 that you have before you, it is evident that even more than 50 per cent of
5 the victims to the present day have not been identified, which means that
6 either no family members remain or witnesses who were able to help us out
7 in the identification process or, quite simply, the condition of the
8 skeleton, of the victim, was such that it was impossible to make any form
9 of classical identification. It is only with the help and application of
10 DNA analysis, on condition that some family members are living and
11 specific family members, because the DNA analysis requires that we look at
12 the descendents on the female side, female antecedents and then compare
13 the DNA structure of the blood of live relatives with the DNA structure of
14 the bones of the victim. Only by applying that method will it maybe be
15 possible over the next five or seven years, it might may be possible to
16 establish the identity of the remaining 159 Visegrad victims.
17 Q. I understand fully what you're saying, Mr. Masovic. Among the
18 identified persons, as they were identified in various stages and in
19 various ways, as you have just explained, do you consider this to be
20 completely reliable or is it possible to consider that there may have been
21 some errors, more or less of them?
22 A. There's really not a single reason of an objective or a subjective
23 nature that would lead me to think that these 152 victims are not
24 precisely the persons indicated by their family members. So if you want a
25 straightforward answer, I'm absolutely confident that no error was made in
1 the process of their identification, that the family members recognised
2 them with the help of elements provided by the forensic experts and that
3 they really recognised their family members and identified them.
4 Q. There were cases, Mr. Masovic, that people who were burying those
5 bodies in Slap 1, that they recognised some of those bodies and they
6 marked the graves. Was their statement sufficient for you, or did you
7 check those statements out through family members and medical experts as
9 A. Of course we did not rely only on identification by laymen. The
10 establishment of the identity of the bodies, in accordance with the laws
11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, has to be established by a commission consisting of
12 the investigating judge, the Prosecutor, a crime technician or a
13 policeman, and a forensic medical expert; and even in the case I mentioned
14 in the introductory part of my testimony, even in the case of those two
15 members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, of whom we knew with certainty
16 that they were precisely those persons, as they were buried by their
17 relatives, who marked their graves with their first and last name - Seta
18 Galib, Karic Camil - even in that case, we checked out their identity, and
19 I even had to answer a question put by Galib Seta's father, who asked me,
20 "Why are you doing this? Why is further verification of identity
21 required when he as the father knows with certainty that that is his son,
22 that he was buried there in Slap?" And my answer simply was that this was
23 a legal requirement which we have to observe, regardless of whether the
24 parents wish it or not.
25 Q. When you mentioned these two soldiers who were separated and you
1 explained this to us, the question of their uniforms, this brings me to my
2 next question: Would it be possible among these victims wearing civilian
3 clothes, that there may have been persons who may have taken part in the
4 war operations and lost their life in those operations in view of the time
5 period in question and when, according to abundant evidence, many belonged
6 to various formations without having any military uniforms, which could be
7 a very important identifying factor. So could it be possible that even
8 among these who have been identified as civilians to have been killed as a
9 soldier on any of the sides, warring sides?
10 A. It is very difficult to make such an assumption. Why? The vast
11 majority of those 125 bodies arrived in the period from the beginning of
12 June up to mid-August or the end of August 1992. If you are familiar with
13 the military situation in Visegrad at the time, then it is quite clear
14 that this area upstream of Slap, in the direction of Visegrad, was under
15 the control of the Serb army, so that there were in fact no military
16 operations there. If we were dealing with some other areas where there
17 were occasional clashes between the armies, then there would be grounds to
18 assume that among the victims there may have been people who were killed
19 in battle. In this case, it is indeed difficult to assume that any one of
20 the victims could have been a victim of a direct confrontation of two
21 warring armies.
22 Q. I understand, Mr. Masovic, but according to the testimony of some
23 witnesses in this case, in these proceedings, we were told that from June,
24 sometime around the 10th of June, if I'm not mistaken, they belonged to
25 the Muslim, not Serb brigade, which in those villages along the Drina were
1 active, and that is where they were positioned immediately after leaving
2 the territory conditionally speaking under Serb control. They explained
3 that they became members of such-and-such a brigade. I assume that they
4 didn't have uniforms, and we have some evidence and photographs confirming
6 Now, whether they could have got killed in operations, that's
7 another matter, but there is evidence that such military formations did
8 exist in the territory of Visegrad from the month of June onwards. But of
9 course that is not part of your testimony or your expertise. But my next
10 question, as you're focusing on Visegrad, is: Is it possible for these
11 corpses to have come along the Drina but from places further removed from
12 Foca or Gorazde, that those corpses may have come from one of these
13 locations and been buried in Slap 1 or Slap 2?
14 A. There are at least two reasons due to which my answer to your
15 question is no. The first reason is that among the 125 identified
16 victims, or rather, 52 persons identified from Slap, 125 exhumed, there's
17 not a single one who went missing in any other area outside of the town of
18 Visegrad. Therefore, all those who were identified went missing in
20 Regarding the non-identified persons, we cannot tell where they
21 disappeared from, because we don't know their identity, but we do know
22 that in the town of Visegrad, upstream from the town itself, there is a
23 hydro power station. There's an artificial dam on the Drina River which
24 would prevent the flow of any material, and therefore including bodies
25 passing through that dam.
1 So it is quite clear that all the victims were liquidated
2 downstream from the Visegrad power plant dam, and unfortunately, we can by
3 now state that those two dams of the Visegrad hydro power station and the
4 other one in Bajna Basta, that is, the Perucac hydro power station dam
5 have probably forever destroyed a very large number of victims from the
6 territory of Visegrad and downstream from Visegrad, and from Foca, which
7 is upstream from Visegrad. The bodies reached the turbines of the power
8 plant and probably there's nothing left of those bodies.
9 So I'm absolutely certain, to come back to your question, that all
10 the victims to be found in graves Slap 1, Slap 2, Kamenicko Tocilo and
11 Luke marked in group 2 as sites 2, 3, 4, and 5, come from the area of
12 Visegrad municipality or the town of Visegrad
13 There are another three sites, at least, of which we are sure, and
14 they are downstream from Visegrad, that they contain dozens of new bodies
15 of victims from Visegrad, but we have still not managed to exhume those
16 victims because we are collecting data which could be helpful in
17 identifying those victims, and we will probably, at the beginning of next
18 year, start on those exhumations as well.
19 Q. Mr. Masovic, I understand the two reasons that you have given.
20 Allow me, with regard to this second, regarding the dam, I do know that
21 there is the dam on the hydro power station, and clearly if a body reaches
22 the turbines, no traces would be left of them. But we are also aware that
23 the water was released from the dam in large quantities for some similar
24 reasons. So I personally believe - I don't know whether you will agree -
25 that in those cases, when the water was released from the dam, bodies
1 could have come from upstream. I would agree with you that this may apply
2 to a smaller number, that the majority come from this area, but I really
3 don't think you could exclude that possibility. But I'm asking you just
4 once more. I won't dwell on it any further.
5 A. I am really not an expert for such matters. You would have to
6 call someone working on hydro power plants to give an explanation. All I
7 can do is repeat what I have said, and that is: Out of the 52 identified
8 victims in site Slap 1, absolutely each and every one of them was from
10 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, didn't one of the witnesses tell us the
11 date upon which the first body came down? That was well after the water
12 had been released, and you didn't challenge that date. It's an
13 interesting theory, but it seems, if I may say so, not to be in accordance
14 with the evidence we've got. There may be some other evidence coming in.
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wasn't referring to
16 that particular release that witnesses spoke of. That is true, that
17 happened much earlier. It was a few days prior to the arrival of the
18 Uzice Corps, if I'm not mistaken, and then at least there were no
19 killings, at least no large-scale killings. That was when the water was
20 released and flooding occurred of some settlements, but that's something
22 I'm referring to the situation when water was released over the
23 dams, not into the turbines, over the dams for various reasons, and as I
24 have seen, it is being alleged that some persons intentionally released
25 the water to raise the water level for the bodies to flow down the Drina.
1 So I'm talking about those occasions. But of course, that is a matter
2 that needs to be proven, and of course the witness is not an expert, nor
3 am I, for that particular situation.
4 As regards the first reason that you have given, which is a
5 logical one, but don't you think that it would be very difficult to
6 expect families of missing persons further upstream, that is, Gorazde and
7 Foca, could take part in procedures taking place close to Visegrad, so it
8 is normal that relatives and friends living close by could be there; if
9 there were any cases of bodies coming further upstream, that it would be
10 unlikely for their family members to be present?
11 A. All family members were given an opportunity to attend, so the
12 invitation was addressed to all persons who were searching for their dear
13 ones. It is true that families mostly focus on their area, but there are
14 family members who have been coming to attend all identification
15 procedures for three or four years, wherever they may be in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So I cannot give you a specific answer whether this
17 particular identification process was attended by anyone from Foca or
18 Gorazde. I can't answer that question. But everyone could attend each of
19 the identification procedures, and I can tell you that we in the
20 commission are doing everything in our power to have as many families
21 respond to these calls, because the success of our work is measured not
22 only by the number of exhumed victims but particularly by the number of
23 identified victims. So that it is very important for us for as many
24 victims to be identified as possible.
25 Q. Yes, of course. I quite understand that the purpose of your
1 commission is to have as many bodies identified as possible and to have
2 the largest possible percentage share of identified victims. That is why
3 I asked you this question about reliability, because I expressed the fear
4 that in some cases there may have been mistakes. But you have told us
5 that that -- you think that was not possible.
6 A question has to do with your terminology. I don't know whether
7 it was a slip of the tongue or not. You used the term "mass grave." In
8 my view, and on the basis of what I have read, a mass grave has to consist
9 of a large number of bodies. In this case, Paklenik could be described in
10 this way. But according to the evidence we have, these were bodies that
11 were mostly buried one next to another, so I don't think we can use the
12 term "mass grave." Maybe you used it because you felt that a large number
13 of people were buried in the area.
14 A. I am really not sure, because in the world there are different
15 theories as to what can be defined as a mass grave. Some prominent
16 forensic experts that I have worked with of worldwide renown, such as Mr.
17 William Haglund, from the United States of America
18 it be a grave in which three or more victims are buried. At the local
19 level in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we consider a mass grave to be one in which
20 five or more persons are buried in one grave. So there are two different
21 criteria: It has to be one grave, a single grave, and to contain at least
22 five victims.
23 I have explained that Slap 1 covers an area that is about 60
24 metres long and between 8 and 15 metres wide, that the graves are lined up
25 in file. In some rows there is only a single grave and in other lines
1 there are up to eight graves. There are places with four or five victims
2 inside, and you were able to see this on the video when there are four
3 or five victims buried in the same grave, which means that a single grave
4 was dug, 2 by 2 metres in size, into which four or five victims were laid.
5 And that is why I used the term "mass grave," but I could agree with you
6 that this was not the mass grave in the strict sense of the word, in which
7 victims were thrown in one on top of another without any order, and such
8 graves, in my personal experience, there were more than 200 such graves in
9 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 In this case, it is quite evident what we are dealing with. As
11 the local Bosniak population was burying the victims, they did so as much
12 as they could in a civilised and decent manner, so that there was some
13 order to it, putting the victims one next to another rather than throwing
14 them one on top of another, as we found in group 1 in the Paklenik site or
15 in some other cases, at the Kurtalici site, for instance, where 62 victims
16 were located, some seven or eight kilometres downstream from Visegrad on
17 the right bank of the Drina River, where the victims were completely mixed
18 together and where it is virtually impossible to separate which part of
19 the skeleton belongs to which victim. And that is why very few of the
20 victims at this site were identified. Only six out of 62 have been
21 identified on this site, precisely because of the way in which the victims
22 were buried, if they were buried at all, because this was an area which
23 most of the year is below the level of the water in the lake, and only
24 when the season is extremely dry and the water level is exceptionally low,
25 the water level in the lake, is it possible to reach that site and
1 discover this mass grave.
2 Q. Mr. Masovic talking about Paklenik - I think that is the name -
3 which is certainly a mass grave, as you explained, you have a very large
4 percentage of identified victims, and you explained to us that witness SF,
5 he is not a protected witness, therefore I can name him, Ferid Spahic,
6 that he gave you the names of 47 persons, if I'm not mistaken, that he
7 said were killed there. As I see, 44 were identified. So my question is:
8 Was it on the basis of his statement or was the identity of each of these
9 bodies verified to make sure who they were, so that only in a few number
10 of cases were you unable to establish the identity?
11 A. In each of the cases, the identity was established individually.
12 There are at least another four names, I think, that is, the victims we
13 know of. We know their first and last names, we know that they are in the
14 Paklenik cave. But their families, on the basis of what we found there,
15 were unable to confirm their identity. They were buried as "NN," that is,
16 non-identified, name unknown, and samples of bone were taken from remains
17 of skeletons and DNK [as interpreted] analysis is underway in the US to
18 establish the identity of the remaining victims.
19 Q. Mr. Masovic, another point in connection with ethnicity. When you
20 said that you believe that all or almost all of them were Bosniak Muslims
21 or Bosniaks, and you said that 99.9 per cent of the missing persons were
22 Bosniaks, that only one Croat has been reported missing. So my question
23 is: In view of the commission and the division between ethnic groups at
24 the time, did the Serbs at all report any disappearances to you? As far
25 as I know, no missing Serb would be -- the disappearance of a Serb would
1 not be reported to your commission, as far as I understand it.
2 A. In the course of the war, from 1992 to 1995, indeed a very small
3 number of persons of the Bosnian Serb population would report the
4 disappearance of their relatives to our commission in Sarajevo
5 post-war period, and especially during the last two years, there are more
6 and more Bosnian Serbs who are coming and reporting the disappearance of
7 their loved ones to our commission in Sarajevo
8 will not sound immodest on my part - probably also because of the 11.000
9 victims that we have managed to exhume in the last five years alone or
10 with the help of investigators from the Tribunal.
11 However, persons of all ethnicities were able to report not only
12 to local commissions but also to the International Committee of the Red
13 Cross. So if you look at the records of the International Committee of
14 the Red Cross relevant to the town of Visegrad, out of more than 600
15 reported disappearances, only one Bosnian Serb has been registered, and he
16 disappeared in April 1993. His name is Stevan Pesic and he disappeared
17 somewhere around Medzedza in Visegrad municipality.
18 I said earlier on that a Bosnian Croat had been reported missing.
19 His surname is Loncaric, who disappeared in the town of Visegrad,
20 simultaneously with the Bosniaks from that town.
21 So those are the data of the International Committee of the Red
22 Cross, which could be considered a completely neutral organisation.
23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you. [In English] My last
25 JUDGE HUNT: Go ahead.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Actually, maybe I wouldn't be asking this question at all, but
3 this answer of yours I think differs significantly from what we were given
4 as written testimony by Witness Eva Tabeau and a diagram showing that
5 among the missing persons there were a large number of Serbs, many more
6 than the number you have given in 1992, but we have that report too, and
7 these were reports from the International Red Cross. But that is probably
8 not too important. Thank you anyway. I have no more questions.
9 A. I do have that document of the International Committee of the Red
10 Cross, which is called Missing Persons on the Territory of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it can be seen from this document on page 355 that
12 Pesic Stevan disappeared in Medzedza on the 12th of April, 1993. If you
13 mean that there were other Serbs among the 600 or so, then will you please
14 help me find them? I was unable to find any missing Serbs in this
15 document, apart from this one.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Sir, during the luncheon adjournment, would you take
17 a copy of annex B and note on it from which exhumation site each of the
18 152 victims was taken. I hope it won't take up too much time of your
19 lunch break.
20 I should have recorded in the transcript that in Exhibit 54/4,
21 which is the transcript of Mr. Masovic's evidence in the Krnojelac case,
22 there's also a reference to the difference between his figures and the
23 ICRC figures at pages 4348 to 4351.
24 We'll come back at 2.30 for the re-examination, if any.
25 Thank you. We'll adjourn now.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.01 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 2.41 p.m.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Now, has this document been completed that we
4 requested? It has indeed. Well, Mr. Domazet, except for the heading of
5 Mass Grave Site, is there any problem you have with this document? It
6 seems to be the answer to what you had sought.
7 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour. I have no objections.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Very well, then.
9 Mr. Ossogo, what do you suggest we call it? 54/7?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
11 JUDGE HUNT: You need your microphone on.
12 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] That's it, I think, Mr. President,
13 but let me just make sure. Yes, Mr. President, it is 54/7.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. That will be Exhibit P54/7.
15 Thank you, sir, very much for having compiled that for us. It
16 will be of assistance to us, and we're grateful to you for the time you
18 Now, any re-examination, Mr. Ossogo?
19 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Well, thank you again for coming to give evidence
21 here. We'll probably be seeing you from case to case in relation to these
22 problems. We're grateful to you for coming here and for the time you
23 spent in preparing the matter for us. You are now free to leave.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Now, we're starting with VG115 tomorrow. Is there
1 any realistic estimate of how long that witness will take?
2 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my colleague will be
3 conducting that examination, but we expect it to last a little less than
4 two morning sessions.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Why I ask is that we have got a fairly tight schedule
6 with the witnesses on the videolink, and that if we don't finish them, I'm
7 not sure whether we've got the videolink available to us on Friday as
9 It's all right. I'm told that the videolink will be available on
10 the Friday. So that's all right. I was concerned that we should give
11 priority to the videolink witnesses, but if that's the way we have to deal
12 with it, then we'll deal with 115 first thing in the morning.
13 Very well. Is there anything else that we need or can -- need to
14 or can dispose of now?
15 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, no other problems
16 to submit to you.
17 JUDGE HUNT: How about you, Mr. Domazet? Have you got anything
18 else you want to raise at this stage?
19 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour; for the moment, nothing.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much. Very well. We'll adjourn now
21 and resume at 9.30 tomorrow morning.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.46 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day of
24 September, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.