1 Wednesday, 3 October 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 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: Sorry for the late beginning, but there has been a
10 small technical hitch that hasn't yet been cured, but we'll see how we
12 Mr. Groome.
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, when we ended yesterday, the Court said
14 we would start this morning by discussing two questions relative to the
15 admission of this new piece of evidence. The first part of my remarks
16 will be regarding whether -- regarding the inconsistencies that were
17 brought up by Mr. Domazet on cross-examination and the relevance of this
18 statement to those. And they are in two areas, Your Honour.
19 The first one has to do with whether or not Mr. Vasiljevic was
20 present when the people were moved from the Memic house to the Omeragic
21 house. And I would refer the Court to the transcript, at the bottom of 79
22 to 80, and I will quote it here. Mr. Domazet asked:
23 "My next question is: When you were talking about being taken
24 from one house to the other house, the Omeragic house, you said today that
25 Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic were there. My question, again, is: Can
1 that be found in your statement to the investigator?"
2 THE INTERPRETER: Will counsel slow down, please.
3 MR. GROOME: Did you say that to the investigator of the
4 Tribunal? And the witness answered in the affirmative, and Mr. Domazet
5 sought to enter the statement to contravene that.
6 Now, the Bosnian statement --
7 JUDGE HUNT: Are we going to get all the issues that you want to
8 address, or do you want to take each of them separately?
9 MR. GROOME: I prefer just to make my remarks, Your Honour, and
10 then I'll leave it to the Court to decide --
11 JUDGE HUNT: There's more than issue that he took with whether or
12 not the witness had told the Prosecution's investigator these various
13 matters. That was one.
14 MR. GROOME: And I will address that now, Your Honour, if that
15 pleases you.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Yes.
17 MR. GROOME: The way I'm proposing to do it is to now refer to the
18 part of the Bosnian statement which is germane to this and then move on to
19 the second issue.
20 In the Bosnian statement, quoting from that - the English
21 translation of that -:
22 "Once they had herded about 80 of us into that house, they set
23 fire to something like gas at the front door, and big flames roared into
24 the rooms where we were all crowded together."
25 Then the last part of the statement, the person who made this
1 statement identifies Mr. Vasiljevic as one of those persons.
2 The second inconsistency which Mr. Domazet has introduced this
3 statement -- or the witness's ICTY statement in relation to is whether or
4 not Mr. Vasiljevic was present at the time that the witness and the other
5 people were searched and their belongings were taken. And there are two
6 portions in the transcript where Mr. Domazet does that. The first one is
7 at page 80. And again, I am quoting:
8 "Madam, if you didn't mention your neighbours, perhaps in this
9 particular case it's not of essential importance. But it is very
10 important if you are saying today that Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic
11 took part in all these events; whereas earlier on, you said it was Milan
12 Lukic and Sredoje Lukic. This is an important discrepancy. This is a
13 very important discrepancy. So my question is: Could it not have been
14 Sredoje Lukic who you omitted to mention, but instead of him, you have
15 been mentioning Mitar Vasiljevic going from the plunder, looting, and the
16 burning itself."
17 And now I'm quoting from page 88 of yesterday's transcript.
18 Mr. Domazet, question: "I have to ask you whether you remember that you
19 stated in the statement to the investigator that Mitar had already left
20 and it was after his departure that Sredoje Lukic arrived and you went on
21 to give their description."
22 And I believe there was a part of the transcript that was not
23 decipherable as of yesterday when we were provided a copy of it. The
24 answer to that question was:
25 "Mitar Vasiljevic left after he had given the certificate to (redacted)
1 (redacted), and during the plunder and mistreatment, they were all there
2 again." Once again, Mr. Domazet introduced the ICTY statement for the
3 purposes of showing that that was not in that statement.
4 The Bosnian statement, again the person refers to "they": "They
5 took all our money and gold." And once again at the end of that
6 statement, the person who gave that statement identifies Mitar Vasiljevic
7 as one of the perpetrators of that.
8 Now, regarding whether we know -- whether I should be permitted to
9 ask this witness whether she recognises this statement, I believe, Your
10 Honour, yesterday -- well, I believe the standard is not whether I
11 personally know whether this is, in fact, her statement but is whether I
12 have a good-faith basis for showing the statement to her and asking her
13 whether or not it is her statement. And I think there are three reasons,
14 if we look at this statement, that we can tell that there is certainly a
15 good-faith basis.
16 One of the lines in the statement is: "I jumped out of the house
17 with my 13-year-old son." For that very reason, Your Honour, we know that
18 it must be either VG13 or VG18 in this case, and I would submit that that
19 alone provides a good-faith basis for asking the question.
20 But there is more. There's a quote in the statement that says:
21 "I know for certain that only four of us managed to get out." At the end
22 of the statement -- and, incidentally, the entire statement is written in
23 the first-person, that is to say, from the point of view of the person
24 making these claims. This person mentions the identities of three other
25 people who she knows survived, and they are VG18, VG38, and Edhem
1 Kurspahic. The fact that she mentions VG18 indicates that this statement
2 was probably given by VG13, and in it she identified the three survivors
3 aside from herself. This is also consistent with what we now know from
4 both this witness and her son. At the time that this statement was given
5 three months after the fire, this witness did not know that her son had
6 survived the fire.
7 And finally, Your Honour, if Your Honours were to review the
8 statement of VG18, I believe that the Court would reasonably conclude that
9 the statement from the Bosnians is more probably the statement of VG13.
10 So on that basis, I think I do have a good-faith basis to show her the
11 statement. Of course I am bound by her answer. If she says that she does
12 not recognise it or it is not herself, I am bound by that answer. But I
13 believe there's a good-faith basis for showing it to her.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE HUNT: You may proceed, Mr. Groome.
16 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that Exhibit 59.1 be returned to the witness
17 to look at.
18 WITNESS: WITNESS VG13 [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Re-examined by Mr. Groome: [Continued]
21 Q. Witness VG13, yesterday you had an opportunity to begin looking at
22 the Document 59.1. Did you have an opportunity to finish reading it
23 yesterday afternoon?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you recognise or is this a statement that you gave? Do you
1 recognise this statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it a statement that you gave to Bosnian authorities?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I would tender 59.1 and
6 59.2 into evidence.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Yes.
8 Mr. Domazet, any objection?
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had objections
10 yesterday, because this is not a statement given to any official body. It
11 is part of a book by Naser Oric entitled "Srebrenica Witnesses/Accused."
12 That is at least how I understand this document.
13 JUDGE HUNT: It doesn't matter that it's not to an official body.
14 The Prosecution would be entitled to produce any statement, oral even, one
15 made to a newspaper, one made on a television programme. It doesn't have
16 to be to an official body.
17 You have drawn attention to the absence of any reference in her
18 statement to the Prosecution of a number of matters. Now, the only reason
19 you do so is to invite us to say that she is not telling the truth. That
20 is a well-known process of cross-examination, but it does invite a
21 response from the Prosecution that she may not have told the Prosecution
22 about it but she's told other people about it. And this one has the
23 virtue of being in September 1992. Now, have you got any objection on the
24 basis that they are seeking to reinstate her credit as a witness because
25 of your cross-examination that she had failed to tell the Prosecution's
1 investigator about this?
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my question to the
3 witness was whether she had made any statements to the MUP of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I really would like to see that report, because
5 she said, yes, the statement she actually made to the police of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because to my understanding this document may have
7 been taken out of one such report, because it says here "we," not "I" but
8 "we." "Among the four monsters, we recognised two." Milan Lukic is not
9 mentioned at all, whom she did refer to extensively in her testimony, so
10 that I really cannot recognise this to be a statement of this witness we
11 have before you. Of course I shall be bound by your decision regarding
12 this document and its admission.
13 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, that goes to the weight to be given to
14 it. There is a very serious issue as to whether or not the reference in
15 the penultimate paragraph to your client should be interpreted as having
16 been the persons or one of the persons to whom she referred to throughout
17 the whole of the statement. She has described him as one of the
18 perpetrators, which could mean simply lighting the fire or being there
19 shining torches on people when they are jumping out the window to enable
20 somebody to shoot at them. That's a question of weight. It's not a
21 question of admissibility.
22 Is there anything more you want to say?
23 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Despite your description of it as an exhibit, it is
25 not yet an exhibit, but it will now become Exhibit P59.1. Is it necessary
1 for it to be under seal?
2 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. It refers to the names of two
3 protected witnesses.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Well, if you can make out who they are from it. But,
5 anyway, we'll make it under seal. It will be Exhibit P59.1, and it shall
6 be under seal. Yes.
7 MR. GROOME: And simultaneously 59.2, the English translation of
8 that document.
9 JUDGE HUNT: That's got a different number, has it?
10 MR. GROOME: Yes. 59.2 is the English translation.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Well, that will be Exhibit P59.2, and it will also be
12 under seal.
13 MR. GROOME: Thank you.
14 Q. Witness VG13, do you know a person by the name of Bula Kurspahic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is that a man or a woman?
17 A. A woman.
18 Q. Did she die in the fire that night?
19 A. Yes, and her two grandchildren and daughter-in-law.
20 Q. And can you tell us, did she have children?
21 A. Yes --
22 Q. Without telling us their names, would you please tell us how many
23 daughters and how many sons she had that you know of?
24 A. She had five daughters and two sons.
25 Q. And at the time that you made a statement to the ICTY
1 investigator, which is now in evidence as D4, did you inform the
2 investigator about Bula Kurspahic and her family being in Pionirska
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, madam, that's the end of your task here.
7 We are very grateful to you for having come to give evidence and for the
8 evidence that you have given. You are now free to leave.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, Mr. Groome. Who is your next witness?
11 MR. GROOME: The next witness will be taken by Mr. Ossogo.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, I hope that this report will be tendered
13 so that the doctor does not have to repeat anything in it. We've had the
14 opportunity to read it, and you can add anything to it or explain it. You
15 have to put his qualifications into evidence. But otherwise, we don't
16 want you to take him through the report unless there is some particular
17 matter you want him to add to it or to explain.
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. President, I didn't
19 catch the interpretation on time.
20 JUDGE HUNT: I was saying, Mr. Ossogo, I did not want you to take
21 the witness through the report word for word. I want you to tender the
22 report; and then if you want him to add anything or explain anything, you
23 take him to those specific matters. We've had the opportunity to read the
24 report; and subject to anything Mr. Domazet says about its admissibility,
25 it can take the place of his evidence.
1 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Quite.
2 The examination of this witness this morning will be rather
3 brief. We have not received any particular objection on the part of the
4 Defence pursuant to Article 94 bis. When I disclosed this report to the
5 Defence, they had no particular objection to it, so that fully fits into
6 what you have just said. And the witness will be asked to explain only a
7 few technical points, and we will undertake a very brief presentation of
8 his curriculum vitae so we know the witness we have before us.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Now, sir, would you stand up, please. Would you make
10 the solemn declaration in the form of the document the court usher is
11 handing to you.
12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
13 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Sit down, please, sir.
15 Mr. Ossogo, we do have his curriculum vitae now filed. That's
16 another way of shortening it. You should just tender it, I suggest.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Quite, Mr. President. May I begin,
18 Mr. President?
19 WITNESS: JOHN CLARK
20 Examined by Mr. Ossogo:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Clark.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. I think you heard what the President has just said regarding the
24 way in which the examination-in-chief should take place. So could you
25 just indicate to us regarding your qualifications without, of course,
1 repeating your curriculum vitae which the Judges have before them.
2 Your name is John Clark, is it not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were born on the 5th of September, 1951?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. You are a British citizen?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. A graduate of the University of Aberdeen?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You specialised in forensic medicine, pathology, and you are a
11 professor at Glasgow University in Scotland?
12 A. Not professor. Actually what we call a senior lecturer, which is
13 equivalent to an assistant professor.
14 JUDGE HUNT: May I suggest, Mr. Ossogo, that you tender this
15 document which was filed on Monday.
16 Is there any objection to the curriculum vitae, Mr. Domazet?
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much.
19 I don't want to intrude upon the Prosecution's numbering system.
20 What's the next number which is available?
21 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it will be
22 Document 61, Exhibit 61.
23 JUDGE, HUNT: Thank you. The witness's curriculum vitae,
24 Exhibit 61, P61.
1 MR. OSSOGO:
2 Q. [Interpretation] You have just told us that you are not actually
3 a professor; but in French when you say "professor," it need not
4 necessarily be a degree but it means that somebody teaches at the
6 You're a member of a number of scientific associations, including
7 the Royal College of Pathologists, and President of the Examining Board;
8 is that right?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. What exactly does this scientific association engage in?
11 A. The Royal College of Pathologists is a United Kingdom
12 organisation. It's the main professional association of pathologists
13 throughout the country. It sets the standards and examinations for all
14 pathologists, and I am in charge of the committee monitoring the forensic
16 Q. Could you explain to us, very briefly, what does the work of a
17 pathologist imply? The judges probably know this, but everyone is not
18 aware of the scientific aspects of this profession.
19 A. Well, a pathologist, in general, is someone who looks and studies
20 disease, and they look at diseased tissues, and they also carry out
21 postmortem examinations on people to find out how they have died.
22 A forensic pathologist has a particular expertise in looking at
23 injuries and interpreting injuries; and, therefore, they have an expertise
24 in examining the bodies of people who have died in suspicious and
25 potentially criminal circumstances.
1 Q. So generally, you are working on human bodies?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Are there any limits regarding your work, regarding the time that
4 has elapsed since the person died, or can you work on any bodies
6 A. We can work on any body. But obviously, our findings are much
7 easier to interpret the fresher the body is, if you like. And the longer
8 the person has been dead, it become more difficult; not impossible, but
9 much more difficult.
10 Q. You are chief pathologist for the International Tribunal for the
11 Former Yugoslavia based in Visoko. Your offices are in Visoko, aren't
13 A. Yes. I have been chief pathologist in Bosnia and Croatia for the
14 past three years.
15 Q. Have you done any other project at the international level in your
16 field of expertise?
17 A. Yes. As is indicated in my curriculum vitae, I have done a
18 postmortem examination in Pakistan on the head of the chief of the army
19 staff. I have also done work for the British Military Police, both in
20 Kosovo and in Germany, and I have been involved in giving opinions in
21 other international cases.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 Regarding your work, in connection with your current position, do
24 you work outside your office, or do you always do your work in your own
25 office when working on bodies?
1 A. I'm not sure if I follow that question.
2 Q. Do you work on the sites where the bodies were found, or do you
3 wait for them to be brought to you, to your offices?
4 A. No, I work in the mortuary. The bodies are recovered by a
5 separate team. They are brought to the mortuary, and that's where our
6 work commences. I visit the site from time to time, and I'm well aware of
7 the -- how the site teams work and the layout of the graves. But our work
8 starts in the mortuary.
9 Q. You spoke about teams. What is the makeup of your teams,
10 technologically and scientifically speaking? Are they from the same
11 country, the members of your team? Are they interdisciplinary, if I can
12 put it that way? Do they come from different countries? Could you
13 explain that, please?
14 JUDGE HUNT: All of this is set out in his report, is it not, the
15 team name, the countries they come from? Can't we just tender the report,
16 and then go to anything you want to add to it?
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Quite, Mr. President. I am just
18 focusing on certain points for credibility to assay -- to give the
19 witness's credentials. This is a public hearing, so perhaps there are
20 some details that are not generally known, because people don't have any
21 access to procedure of this kind. So perhaps this throws more light on
22 what the work entails, who the witness is and so on. But I will conclude
23 Mr. John Clark's background, having said that.
24 Q. We were speaking, Mr. Clark, about the multidisciplinary
25 composition of your teams, the teams helping you, I assume, in the work
1 that you do at Visoko. Could you give us some specificities about that,
2 give us a breakdown of that?
3 A. Well, briefly, it is a very international team from many different
4 countries, not all there at the same time. So there's a regular
5 turnover. We have at any one time three pathologists, three forensic
6 pathologists, and they are assisted by anthropologists, whose speciality
7 is in examining bones. And we have a various series of crime officers:
8 photographers, radiographer, secretaries, et cetera, as back-up staff.
9 Q. You tabled a report to the Chamber and the Tribunal, dated the
10 10th of September of this year. And on the last page of that report, you
11 have a series of names, and you say they are listed in the order in which
12 they assisted you. Now, did you include all this in the synthesis you
14 A. I missed that question.
15 JUDGE HUNT: We can see it in the report. Please, Mr. Ossogo, let
16 us proceed with what is important in this case. I know it's a public
17 hearing. I know that a lot of people will not have access to the report,
18 but we are not here to educate the public. We are here to hear a
19 criminal trial, and we have a lot of work to do. Please, let's get on
20 with it.
21 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. President, your
22 concern for moving on quickly, but I think it is important to know the
23 overall report has been compiled from the individual postmortem reports
24 completed by the team of pathologists, and so perhaps we could hear
25 something about the way in which these postmortem reports were integrated
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 in his own final report, and this will indicate the responsibility of each
2 of the pathologists.
3 Q. So were there postmortem reports incorporated into the overall
4 report, Mr. John Clark? You yourself, sir, compiled the report according
5 to standard procedure, and you encountered certain difficulties, you say.
6 But we're not going to go back to those difficulties.
7 However, there were limits concerning the bodies that you
8 examined. You established that one of the principal difficulties you came
9 across were that there was no more tissue, no tissue existed on the
10 bodies, but you had to work with the bones alone. Could you elaborate,
11 please? Could you explain what you mean? What was this particular
12 difficulty that you encountered, the nature of it?
13 A. Well, that that was the main difficulty. These people had
14 allegedly been in the ground for eight years. The bodies were reduced to
15 skeletons, so all we had to look at was the bones.
16 In our normal forensic practice, when we interpret injuries, it is
17 very much done on looking at skin and soft tissues, looking for bruising
18 and grazing and bleeding. And that can tell us, very clearly often, what
19 specific thing caused the injuries and how old the injury was.
20 If you remove all the skin and soft tissues and all we have left
21 is the bones, then it becomes much more difficult, because if you break a
22 bone just before you die, the actual damage to the bone will look exactly
23 the same if you break the bone weeks after. So theoretically, since we
24 just had the bones to look at, we couldn't be 100 per cent certain that
25 any of the injuries that we found necessarily occurred in life, and they
1 may well have occurred after death. So that was a sort of fundamental
3 We were also very much aware that there was a great potential for
4 injuries to have occurred to the bodies after death. This could have
5 occurred in various ways. It is alleged that these bodies floated down
6 the river for 20 kilometres or so. There could have been damage during
7 that period. They were recovered from the river and manhandled onto boats
8 or whatever. Then they were buried. And over the years, with the bodies
9 in the graves, the bones would become brittle, and the weight of the soil
10 above could also cause fractures.
11 So two things really: Because there was no soft tissue left, that
12 made interpretation of injuries difficult, and there was a potential for
13 injuries to have occurred after death. These were the main difficulties.
14 There were other ones: interpretation of what exactly was a
15 gunshot injury and what wasn't, and also in just working out what was the
16 precise cause of death, because we find an injury to a bone. It's not an
17 injury to a bone that kills you. It's the injury to the soft tissues
18 roundabout in the internal organs which kills you. And if they are no
19 longer there, we can only imply the cause of death rather than actually
20 prove it.
21 So these factors were very much borne in mind in our autopsies,
22 and we worded our reports keeping that in mind.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, every word of that is in the report.
24 Rule 92 bis was introduced in order to prevent this very sort of thing
25 happening. We have a report. We are not here to hear the doctor tell us
1 what is in the report. Now, please tender it so that we can get on, and
2 then once you've tendered it, you may take the doctor to expand anything
3 you want him to expand. But please let us not have this way of
4 introducing the evidence twice.
5 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we were going to
6 tender the report after having asked those few questions, but we will
7 proceed as you have just suggested. So we should like to tender the
8 report under Number 60.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection, Mr. Domazet?
10 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. That will be Exhibit P60. And you may
12 take it we've read it.
13 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. As the report
14 has now been tendered and there has been no objections from the Defence --
15 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. We need an original to become the exhibit,
16 that's all.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, quite. Absolutely so. You
18 already have copies, but the originals -- let me just see, take a moment.
19 I apologise for that delay. The originals, I have just been told,
20 have colours, and the last one that we sent you was the 10th of
21 September. My assistant has just told me that the originals, in colour,
22 will be available shortly later on.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Okay. Let's proceed, and we'll look forward to those
25 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Clark, you have just told us of the difficulties you
2 encountered. Now, were there any insurmountable difficulties and, if so,
3 which thesis did you adopt in compiling your report to the Tribunal if
4 there were such difficulties? So how were you able to give us a final
5 finding with respect to the cause of death, et cetera?
6 A. Well, I think I've explained the difficulties, and I have no more
7 to add than what I said there.
8 Q. Yes. I was talking about your thesis, the thesis you finally
9 adopted on the basis of everything you saw and the difficulties you
10 encountered. How were you able to summarise your findings as a
11 pathologist? What rule did you follow in reaching the summary of the
12 findings, in view of some of the insurmountable difficulties that you
14 A. Well, I took a common-sense attitude, because the difficulties
15 I've just explained, the primary one being proving that the injuries
16 occurred before or after death, if I was to say that all the injuries
17 occurred after death, then we would have to allege that people had been
18 shot deliberately after death, sometimes several times. And I took a
19 common-sense attitude that that would seem to be most unlikely, and that
20 was my general approach.
21 Q. So you were able to confirm death, ascertain death, prove death by
22 gunshot or by the use of firearms?
23 A. Yes, we found many bodies with gunshot injuries.
24 Q. With respect to firearms, we find in your report - and it is on
25 page 11 of that report - that you speak of two types of shots, two types
1 of ammunition or shots which you found in the bodies, according to your
2 report on page 11, different bullets. And on page 9, you also specify the
3 type of gunshot wound entrance, bullet entrance hole, and the gunshot exit
5 Could you explain to us, looking at the figures found on page 9
6 and also what you say on page 4 -- we see an arrow. Could you tell us
7 what that signifies? On figure 4 of page 9, the left-hand figure,
8 figure 4 on page 9, there is an arrow on the dark surface, where you have
9 the bullet entrance hole in the top of head. I'm referring to figure 4 of
10 page 9. Could you explain what the arrow means?
11 A. Yes, perhaps I could -- just to say that the vast majority of the
12 gunshot injuries were what we interpret as high-velocity weapons, and we
13 could interpret this for two reasons: the type -- the nature of the damage
14 to the bone, where you get a huge amount of fragmentation and destruction,
15 and also the fact that we found bullets and the remains of high-velocity
16 bullets in a lot of the bodies.
17 This skull here is a typical example of a high-velocity injury.
18 You have the entrance hole just here, this circular hole in the top of the
19 skull just to the left of the midline. It has caused a circular hole in
20 the skull and it has also caused fractures, these long fractures running
21 forwards and backwards and also to either side, and that's a very typical
22 high-velocity entrance injury to the skull. The exit would have been at
23 the bottom of the skull opposite and would have caused a great deal of
25 If you look at the second picture, this is a different case, but
1 this shows almost the reverse, if you imagine the bullet coming from the
2 bottom up out of the top, and this is the exit. And it's just to show the
3 huge amount of destruction that a high-velocity weapon will cause in the
4 skull. And that would be an immediately fatal -- fatal injury.
5 There were two cases in which we found handgun bullets. These are
6 much more low-velocity weapons, and they cause far less fracturing. They
7 would probably just cause just the hole there without any fractures
8 roundabout. They wouldn't cause all this damage. So in at least two
9 cases, handguns were used, and possibly an additional two as well. But
10 the vast majority, high-velocity weapons.
11 Q. What you refer to as "high-velocity weapons," can you explain what
12 you mean? What are high-velocity weapons? And if we look at page 11 of
13 your report, page 11, you show bullets recovered from the bodies. "A" is
14 a high-velocity rifle, and "B" is the example of a handgun used. Could
15 you explain the difference?
16 A. The area of what we see, the bullets travel at much higher speeds
17 in a high-velocity rifle, these automatic rifles, AK-47s, et cetera. The
18 typical bullet is this one on the left, the sharp, pointed bullet. When
19 it reaches the body, it not only causes a hole but causes huge pressure
20 waves inside the body, which causes a huge amount of damage. And imagine
21 that in the skull. It enters the skull and then causes huge pressure
22 waves, which causes all the other fracturing.
23 A handgun bullet from a pistol or a revolver is going at much less
24 speed and really tends to just cause the physical damage as it goes
25 through without any cavitation or surrounding effects.
1 Q. 130 individual bodies were examined. And in paragraph 5 of the
2 conclusions made in your report, you say that 72 percent -- paragraph 5 of
3 your report -- 72 percent say -- you say that people died from gunshot
4 injuries. On the basis of your analysis and the examinations you did on
5 the bodies, high-velocity bullets coming from special weapons, what was
6 the percentage of high-velocity weapons with these 72 percent of people
7 killed with gunshot injuries? What percentage were high-velocity weapons?
8 A. We found only two with handguns. The figure is going to be about
9 70 percent of people. Roughly, 70 percent of people died from
10 high-velocity gunshot injuries.
11 Q. Thank you. You also state, going back to page 9 of your report,
12 that you were able to find 180 shots fired on the number of bodies.
13 54 percent were to the trunk, or 98; 27 percent were to the head, or 48;
14 and that the arms and legs were -- 13 percent were to the arms and
15 6 percent to the legs.
16 Could you explain to us, please, or give us your opinion as an
17 expert witness on the fact that most of the shots were to the trunk, more
18 than half, and the next in line were shots to the head, that is to say,
19 27 percent of those?
20 A. The large number of shots to the trunk is not particularly
21 surprising, because the trunk is the largest part of the body. So if you
22 were to fire at somebody, you would have more chance than not of hitting
23 the trunk. And these figures are very comparable to other cases that we
24 have dealt with in Bosnia. The slightly surprising figure here is the
25 lower level of shots to the legs.
1 Now, in other sites, we've found a substantial number of shots to
2 the legs. And bear in mind, the legs form a large part of the body
3 surface as well. And this may or may not reflect how close the firer was
4 to the victim. The closer the firer was, then the less chance,
5 presumably, of striking the legs. It may reflect that. I don't know.
6 But it's certainly an observation worth making, that there are less shots
7 to the legs than in other cases that we have dealt with.
8 Q. Can one say, therefore, that the lower number or percentage of
9 shots to the legs is because the potential victims, if I can use the term,
10 were in the hands of the killers and they weren't able to escape, they
11 weren't able to run away?
12 A. That's a possibility, or they were fired at close range. That
13 would be my initial interpretation of that, yes.
14 Q. You speak of cases where shots to the legs were more important,
15 and there were more of those. Could you give us an idea of where you
16 considered that to have been the case?
17 A. Well, in some of the other grave sites we have dealt with in
18 Bosnia, particularly the Srebrenica sites, in which the allegation was
19 that people were shot from a little -- well, from some distance. Then
20 there's a higher proportion of shots to the legs.
21 Q. In those cases, did you know who the victims were? Were they
22 soldiers or civilians? Were you able to establish that?
23 A. As far as we could establish, they weren't soldiers, so they were
24 civilians, yes.
25 Q. May we now move on to page 10, Doctor, please, page 10 of your
1 report. Could you explain to us, please, the situation in which the
2 shooters found themselves? That is to say -- what I mean by that is the
3 position. In the cases, there were shots from behind to the head, 20, and
4 the trunk, 37, from behind; the side, 13 shots to the head and 4 shots to
5 the trunk; and shots from the front, 9 to the head, 24 to the trunk.
6 How can you be certain of the position of the victims on the basis
7 of the trajectory, the direction of the bullets, of where the bullets were
8 lodged, or the configuration of the entrance holes or anything else?
9 A. When somebody is shot in the head, we can usually find out the --
10 find the entrance hole when we stick the pieces together, and we can
11 usually work out where the exit. So really, in all the case with shots to
12 the head, we could tell where the bullet had entered. And the majority
13 were either at the back of the head or the side of the head. And
14 relatively few are at the front.
15 Now, you could say, well, the people have been shot from behind or
16 the side, but the head is very movable, so it would be possible, perhaps,
17 for the firer to be in front of the person, and the victims' heads to the
18 side. The bullet will go in the side, although you are actually facing
19 the person. Similarly, with a shot to the top of the head, that does not
20 necessarily mean that the firer was above the victim, because just by
21 bending your head forward, you're going to expose the top of your head to
22 the weapon. But generally, more shots were towards the back of the head,
23 and the implication that more often than not, people were shot from
25 The trunk is a little more difficult. Again, as far as we could
1 tell, more shots came from behind. It's a little more difficult to turn
2 your trunk, so these are fairly genuine figures. But it's less easy when
3 you're examining the bones in the trunk to determine a direction, and a
4 lot of these cases, we couldn't tell. So that figure slightly dilutes the
5 findings. But overall, more people were shot from behind than from any
6 other direction.
7 Q. Can we determine on the basis of those shots from behind, and with
8 respect to the trunk, the entrance wounds or exit wounds, whether they
9 were sporadic individual gunshots or a burst of gunshot -- a burst of
10 gunfire? Were these shots from behind in a burst of gunfire or individual
11 gunshots to the victims?
12 A. Well, a lot of them were individual shots. As I said in the table
13 earlier, most people -- well, the majority of people had been shot just
14 the once. So the majority of people who had been shot from behind
15 probably was just a single shot. There were some people who had been shot
16 up to six times, and that undoubtedly would be -- probably a burst of
17 fire. But a mixture of both, but probably mainly one shot.
18 I have stated these -- the next page, the top of the page, there
19 are just examples of four cases, and they have all been shot just the
20 once. First, one shot in the back of the head in the midline; secondly,
21 to the side of the chest; another, one shot just once behind the right
22 ear, and a young girl shot once in the back of the chest. So these are
23 all individual shots, mainly from behind.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 Could you now tell us whether it is possible -- we see it in your
1 report, but in somewhat greater detail -- whether it is possible that
2 these people died not as a result of gunshots, but as a result of shocks,
3 falling into the water from a bridge? Was the percentage of such deaths
4 significant or minimum, in your opinion?
5 A. No, it was significant. In 28 percent of cases, we were not
6 convinced that we had found a cause of death. There could be various
7 reasons for that. One was that the injuries we found, say a gunshot
8 injury, the pathologist did not consider that necessarily fatal. So if
9 somebody is shot in the arm, that wouldn't necessarily kill you and you
10 can survive that. And we found no other injuries, yet the person was
11 dead, so they must have died for some other reason. Similarly, some
12 people may have been shot through the abdomen, which is not going to
13 damage the bones, so we would miss that. That was one group of people.
14 Then there was a substantial group in which we actually found no
15 injuries at all, no antemortem injuries, and one could only speculate that
16 they may have died in other ways. The bodies were found in water, so
17 there must be a possibility that they drowned. If they had been stabbed
18 or cut-throat injuries, then we would not pick that up on a skeleton. If
19 somebody had been strangled, that would be -- we wouldn't pick that up
20 either. So there are other possible causes.
21 Quite a number had been -- had what we call "blunt-force
22 injuries." These are injuries nothing to do with gunshots but injuries
23 caused by weapons, blows from weapons, or kicking, or even falling. And I
24 have detailed seven cases in which there were very convincing blunt-force
25 injuries. These would not necessarily be fatal, but they were certainly
2 Q. Thank you. Could you determine in this latter case whether it is
3 possible to make a distinction between the blows that these people
4 received, blunt-force blows, and the death that occurred following those?
5 A. Blunt-force injuries will not necessarily kill you, even a
6 fractured skull or a blow from a weapon. It may render you unconscious
7 but would not necessarily kill you. Potentially, if these people had been
8 beaten and their bodies thrown into the river, then they would have
9 drowned. That would be the probable cause of death, would be drowning. I
10 can't prove drowning after eight years, so I couldn't give a cause of
12 A gunshot injury to the head will necessarily kill you almost
13 immediately. Blunt-force injuries will not necessarily do that.
14 Q. Thank you. Doctor, let us go on to page 7 of your report. When
15 those bodies were brought to you, there was clothing and personal effects
16 found on those bodies. I understand, as you have said, that it is
17 difficult to establish certain elements because of the state of the bodies
18 when there was no soft tissue and the relationship between the bodies and
19 certain effects found on them. But you did draw up a table on page 7 of
20 the English version of your report from which it follows a certain number
21 of elements that lead us to conclude that there was violence of some
22 sort. We find figures of black, parcel-binding straps and other elements
23 that you found. In your opinion, were these elements that assisted in
24 exerting violence on the bodies that you examined subsequently?
25 A. Well, these were ten cases which I have detailed in which we found
1 items in the bodies which we attributed to being ligatures or bindings,
2 that these people had been -- either their wrists tied or the whole body
3 tied together. The difficulty was that with these skeletonised remains,
4 these ligatures were no longer actually in place around the wrists or
5 necessarily around the body. But we certainly did find, when we
6 unravelled them, loops, tied loops, which looked very much like the sort
7 of loops you would put around somebody's wrists or somebody's waist. So
8 that was our interpretation; these were ligatures and bindings.
9 Q. I should like to draw your attention, Doctor, to the horizontal
10 columns, number 7 and 8, the two last ones that relate to women, F40 to 70
11 and F50 to 85 found in Slap 1.
12 SP01 449B, there were two blankets that were found around the body
13 secured by electrical wire around the chest and legs. Did you make any
14 other findings regarding these blankets and the wire? Was this one body?
15 Are you sure that it was only one body that was found?
16 A. Yes, I think you have the numbers slightly mixed up, but it's the
17 last two in the first section, if you like, 418B and 432B. These were
18 both women. One had two blankets around her body, and these were tied by
19 an electrical wire. The other one was just a blanket wrapped around the
20 body without any bindings. These suggested to me that this is how these
21 women had been -- ended up in the water, wrapped in blankets. Both of
22 these were killed by gunshot injuries.
23 Q. Were you able to establish any characteristics of these blankets,
24 their colour; perhaps was anything written on them?
25 A. As I recall, 418B, the blanket -- one was a sort of
1 fawn-coloured -- light-brown-coloured blanket. The other one was a grey
2 blanket with red designs on it. I don't think there was any writing on
3 the blanket at all. They were examined more closely by scenes of crime
4 officers. But as I recall, there was no identifying tags on the
6 Q. Is it possible, even when there is no human tissue left on the
7 bodies, to determine that there was violence exerted on the skeletons that
8 you found?
9 A. If there is damage to the skeleton, yes, that implies violence,
11 Q. Among these ten cases on your table, were you able to establish
12 the nature of that violence?
13 A. Yes, we were able to find a cause of death in each one of these.
14 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have completed my
15 questions for this witness.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Mr. Domazet.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Clark, I have a question for you, prompted by
19 your answer to Mr. Ossogo's question, and that is: When asked whether the
20 victims could have been military men, your answer was that the victims
21 were not soldiers but civilians. My question is: On the basis of which
22 elements were you able to ascertain that, in view of everything else that
23 you have told us about, that is, regarding the time that has elapsed and
24 the condition of the bodies or the skeletons when you were examining
25 them? That is, in most cases there was no clothing found on them, which
1 perhaps could have been one of the elements making possible your
2 identification as to whether they were civilian or military?
3 A. Well, to be correct, my response to that -- my answer about the
4 military and civilian was not related to these -- these bodies. I was
5 asked about another site, one of the Srebrenica sites, when commenting
6 about distance. So I've actually made no comment about these victims
7 being either military or civilian. My only observation was that we found,
8 well, there were a mixture of males and females, young and old. And of
9 the clothing that we found, none of it was military, and we found no
10 weapons or bullets on any of these people. So although I can't exclude
11 that this particular group of people, none of them were soldiers, there
12 was certainly no positive evidence to point to them being military. But
13 my comment, as I say, about civilian and military was related to another
14 site entirely.
15 Q. I think I understand you now. But we are now talking about Site
16 Slap, are we not, in this case?
17 A. I just explained that of this site, we found no positive evidence
18 to suggest that these people were soldiers. As I've said, none of the
19 clothing that we found was of military type. The victims were both male
20 and female, children, adolescents, and older people.
21 Q. Yes. But as far as I was able to understand, in a large number of
22 cases, in view of the time that has elapsed, about nine years, there were
23 very few such traces of clothing.
24 A. That's not entirely true. We find -- found clothing or pieces of
25 clothing in most bodies. And the clothing is carefully washed in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 mortuary and examined, and even though it's only a sleeve of a shirt or
2 something, we can usually tell if that's military or not. And there was
3 no evidence of that in any of these cases.
4 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour. I have no additional
6 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Any re-examination, Mr. Ossogo?
7 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, Doctor, for coming along to explain it all
9 to us. We are very grateful to you for coming, and you are now free to
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE HUNT: Now, Mr. Domazet, I understand you have a personal
14 matter which you have to attend to, which will mean you won't be here
15 tomorrow or Friday. I also understand that the witnesses who were
16 nominated for tomorrow will be called now on Monday, and then we'll
17 finally end up the Prosecution case on Tuesday with Dr. de Grave. Do you
18 see any particular problem? I'm thinking of the time that you're going to
19 have available after the close of the Prosecution case before your case
20 opens, but I'm anxious that there should be no prolongation of the
21 evidence beyond Tuesday so that you do have the end of that week and the
22 next week to be ready.
23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. If we complete
24 the Prosecution case on Monday and Tuesday - and I hope we will be able to
25 do that - it is my understanding that we would resume on Monday, the 22nd
1 of October.
2 JUDGE HUNT: That's right. And then the following week,
3 unfortunately we will not be able to sit. Hopefully, if you can get us
4 your list of witnesses and their summaries and everything by the Friday
5 beforehand, then we will have the Pre-Defence Conference on the Monday and
6 you can open your case on the Tuesday. If you like, we'll leave making
7 any orders about it and see how we go on Monday and Tuesday.
8 But my purpose in raising it at this stage is to obtain from you,
9 which I have obtained from you, your hope that we will conclude all of the
10 Prosecution evidence by Tuesday. And if that's so, it seems to me that's
11 the way we'll proceed, with those documents you have to file by the Friday
12 before the 22nd, the Pre-Defence Conference on the Monday, and you open on
13 the Tuesday, but with the understanding that we will not be sitting the
14 following week.
15 Is there anything else that we can deal with at this stage?
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] As far as I have been able to see,
17 according to the schedule, Mr. Yves Roy has been proposed, the
18 investigator. Perhaps his examination could take place today instead of
19 leaving it for Tuesday; if possible, of course. I'm quite prepared for
20 other witnesses too today, but apparently these two witnesses are still
21 not ready to testify. That is my understanding of what I was told by the
23 JUDGE HUNT: They are the ones who were subpoenaed to attend, do
24 you mean?
25 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
1 JUDGE HUNT: I think Mr. Groome told us they were coming in
2 yesterday, last night or something. And that's obviously where he is
3 now. But what about the investigator?
4 MS. BAUER: Your Honour, may we take the adjournment to try to
5 figure that out?
6 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, by all means. Well, as I understand it, Mr. Roy
7 is going to give very short evidence, and we can assemble at any time
8 today when he's available. If any of these subpoenaed witnesses are ready
9 during the day, we'll hear them as well. It's best to get as much of this
10 done as possible so there can be no likelihood of the evidence spilling
11 beyond Dr. de Grave on Tuesday.
12 We'll adjourn, and we won't resume until we hear from you. But we
13 would like to hear from you as to the progress of your inquiries,
14 Ms. Bauer. That's all. Will that be all right?
15 MS. BAUER: We'll do so as soon as we know.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much.
17 All right. We'll adjourn now.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
19 at 10.52 a.m. to be reconvened on Monday,
20 the 8th day of October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.