In her sixth and probably last testimony before the Tribunal, Dr Vesna Bosanac confirmed that 93 of the 193 victims identified after the exhumation of the mass grave at Ovcara had been hospital patients. The victims included civilians, soldiers and hospital staff, the witness said

Vesna Bosanac, witness at the Goran Hadzic trialVesna Bosanac, witness at the Goran Hadzic trial

Vesna Bosanac, former and current director of the Vukovar Hospital, continued her evidence at the trial of Goran Hadzic. The evacuation of the wounded and sick was the topic of her conversation with the commander of the JNA Operational Group South Mile Mrksic in Negoslavci on 19 November 1991. The evacuation was supposed to be carried out in line with the agreement signed in Zagreb the day before by the representatives of the Serb and Croat sides. According to Dr Bosanac, Mrksic was unaware of the agreement.

At the trial of Goran Hadzic, former prime minister of the Serb Autonomous Region of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, the witness said that she told General Mrksic that the hospital was full of the wounded civilians and soldiers. Dr Bosanac also told Mrksic that there was no electricity, that everybody was ‘hungry, thirsty and in need of medication’ and that the evacuation should be executed as soon as possible. It was agreed that the next day, 20 November 1991, the wounded and the sick would be transferred to the territory under the control of the Croat forces. The indictment against Hadzic alleges that instead of being taken to Croatia or Serbia, more than 200 persons were transferred to the Ovcara farm. There they were summarily executed and their bodies were buried in a mass grave near the execution site in Grabovo.

In the videos the prosecutor played in court, the witness was able to identify several persons who are either missing or were killed at Ovcara. Ninety-three of the 193 persons whose remains were exhumed from the mass grave and who were subsequently identified were hospital patients. The rest of the victims were soldiers, civilians and hospital staff, Dr Bosanac explained.

The witness described the injuries of several victims whose names were on the list of Vukovar Hospital patients identified after the exhumation from the mass grave. She made the list based on the medical records for each of her patients. She had regularly sent these records to the Health Ministry until 6 November 1991. She also used the data she received from the association of mothers who are looking for their family members and from the lists of former detainees in the prison camps.

While the wounded and the sick from the Vukovar Hospital waited for the evacuation that was purportedly about to take place, Dr Bosanac was taken into custody in the JNA military barracks. The next day, on 21 November 1991, Dr Bosanac was moved to the prison in Sremska Mitrovica. Dr Bosanac remained there for three weeks and was then taken to the remand prison in Belgrade. Dr Bosanac was charged with ‘verbal transgression’ in the form of daily appeals in which she accused the JNA of being ‘an aggressor and an army bent on crime’. Dr Bosanac was exchanged on 10 December 1991.

As the hearing drew to a close, Dr Bosanac was cross-examined by Hadzic’s defense counsel Christopher Gosnell. The cross-examination continues tomorrow.