1 Thursday, 26 April 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Today we off to a late start for the second day
7 running. Again, there was in a spirit of collegiality to accommodate the
8 difficulties in another Trial Chamber. It is a second day running that we
9 are late, and I know this has eaten into the time of the Prosecution. I
10 therefore plan tomorrow to begin at 8.30 and to reduce the luncheon
11 interval from one hour to half an hour. In that way, we will make up one
13 Mr. Whiting.
14 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, we're extremely grateful for that
15 accommodation and thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, Mr. Docherty, you were just about to
17 conclude laying the foundation for the -- your application to have this
18 document admitted.
19 MR. DOCHERTY: That's right.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: And I hope you will spend no more than another
21 five minutes.
22 MR. DOCHERTY: If that.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: If that. Good. Yes. And then we will hear from
24 Mr. Tapuskovic and then we give our ruling.
25 WITNESS: VEKAZ TURKOVIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examination by Mr. Docherty: [Continued]
3 Q. Mr. Turkovic, good afternoon. Mr. Turkovic --
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. At the end of the day yesterday we had been talking about the
6 spreadsheet, which I believe is on the -- yes, is on the screen. There
7 had been a number of questions about it and where it came from in the
8 police reports. At the end of all that, how accurate a reflection of the
9 data in the underlying police reports is this spreadsheet?
10 A. Among the data stated here, I'd say it is fairly accurate. I did
11 notice, however, some discrepancies in terms of different times.
12 Sometimes times different by some half an hour, but the rest seems to be
14 Q. And so, for example, names and dates and so forth were correct?
15 A. Yes, it is correct.
16 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I tender this exhibit, 65 ter 3124.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us hear from Mr. Tapuskovic on the question
18 of the admissibility of the spreadsheet.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Robinson, and I
21 would like to thank the Bench as well.
22 I have stated a portion of my arguments yesterday concerning our
23 position that this document shouldn't be admitted as the Prosecutor seeks
24 to do. I will try to explain the rest of our arguments, trying to be as
25 brief as probable.
1 First of all you made a decision as to whether it is possible to
2 hear another witness here, who is a senior police official by the name of
3 Nedzad Vejzagic. That proposition was rejected by the Bench. I do not
4 wish to go into any arguments as to this at this moment. However, there
5 is another attempt now to do the same thing, something that they tried to
6 do via Mr. Kucanin, who headed a part of the investigations and a group of
7 investigators. It is now being tried to be done through another witness
8 pertaining to a part of the indictment, speaking about the long sniping
9 and shelling campaign.
10 I believe there are 218 files pertaining to specific events, and
11 it is now being attempted to introduce all of those through this witness.
12 I have nothing personally against the witness. He came here to speak
13 about his knowledge of two events of the 1st of July and the 23rd of July,
14 1995, and we are most likely to hear what he has to say about that.
15 As for the other events, he has no knowledge of them. It is a
16 voluminous material, each file containing 50 or 60 pages. What he could
17 have been able to see were perhaps the dates and times but that's it about
18 it. If we draw a parallel, you know that in another case, this being the
19 Milutinovic et al, there was decision made on the 18th of April, the Bench
20 handed it down. It had to do with accepting numerous reports about
21 situation of human rights in Kosovo and Metohija. That Bench deemed it
22 important to have firsthand information from the spot provided by an
23 independent body and these were NGOs collecting general information.
24 On the list of documents being tendered, there were specific cases
25 stated with the goal of being used in that case in order to prove one of
1 the key points in the indictment. A key point is conducting a long-term
2 sniping and shelling activity and campaign against the civilian population
3 of Sarajevo. There's another thing I wanted to say which I believe to be
4 a key thing in this case. The position of the OTP that there was a
5 systematic and widespread attack on the civilian population causing a
6 great number of victims and that this was the only thing that was of
7 interest to the SRK, that is to target civilians. This is what they base
8 the entire case on.
9 Through this witness who was supposed to testify on but a few
10 incidents, they are trying to prove the most important point in the
11 indictment, and they were unable to do that so far. They tried to prove
12 certain incidents which may have been characteristics and now they are
13 trying to put this witness forward in order to get some alleged arguments
14 to strengthen their thesis about the existence of such a strategy. It
15 cannot be done through this witness.
16 I believe that this attempt by the Prosecutor -- I believe that
17 this attempt by the Prosecutor to try and prove something of fundamental
18 importance for this case, i.e., this is not merely collecting general
19 information. This is no general data. These are documents that had to be
20 testified on by a team leader, a person such as Kucanin. He was the
21 person who put the reports together, who compiled the documents and he was
22 the only person who could explain things to us. If we try to tender these
23 documents through this witness who knows nothing of any of these events,
24 apart from being able to leaf through the 218 incidents and we will yet, I
25 hope, be able to see how much time he needed to see the general nature of
1 the documents and what he was able to extract from it.
2 With Kucanin, one would have needed eight hours to discuss that.
3 In the given situation in context, I can ask no questions of this witness
4 about this topic since he has no knowledge of that, plus we have been
5 allotted a very short time.
6 Therefore, I would kindly ask you to rule against something which
7 would be fundamentally unfair to the accused.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Tapuskovic.
9 The Chamber will give its ruling on this matter. The Prosecution
10 seeks to admit into evidence a spreadsheet made on the basis of a
11 compilation of police reports on a large number of incidents prepared by
12 several police stations in Sarajevo, including the police station in which
13 the present witness was employed as a crime scene technician. The
14 spreadsheet contains information of the exact time and place of the
15 incidents, the weaponry used, the number of victims, and the alleged
16 origin of fire. The purpose of the document, according to the
17 Prosecution, is to substantiate the widespread nature of the attacks
18 against civilian targets in Sarajevo during the indictment period.
19 This document is sought to be admitted through a witness who did
20 not himself draft any of the reports and whose knowledge of the incidents
21 only extended to the limited number of investigations in which he himself
22 was involved. The authenticity of the reports on the remaining incidents
23 was only confirmed, on second-hand, by another police officer, who told
24 the present witness that the reports were authentic and true.
25 The Trial Chamber is reluctant to admit a document through a
1 witness who has little or no direct relation to most of the reports and
2 who is unable to testify to the substantive information contained in the
4 If admitted, furthermore, the Defence would have no chance of
5 challenging the spreadsheet's information during its cross-examination of
6 the witness, because the witness would be unable to testify to the
7 veracity of most of the substantive information contained in the
8 spreadsheet, let alone to the reliability of most of the underlying police
10 In the Trial Chamber's view, the spreadsheet could only be used
11 for the purpose of showing that there were a great number of incidents
12 involving an even larger number of victims in Sarajevo reported by the
13 police during the indictment period. The defence would be unable to
14 challenge this information through cross-examination, in particular the
15 information on the alleged origin of fire.
16 The Trial Chamber, therefore, will only admit the spreadsheet for
17 the limited purpose of showing the great number of incidents and victims
18 in Sarajevo reported by the police during the indictment period. Beyond
19 this limitation, the probative value of the spreadsheet would be
20 substantially outweighed in the terms of Rule 89 (D) by the need to ensure
21 a fair trial.
22 Cross-examination of the witness by the Defence on the basis of
23 the spreadsheet will therefore be confined to the matter of the number of
24 incidents and victims thereof reported by the police during the indictment
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is will go in as P602.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
3 Mr. Docherty.
4 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Turkovic, I want to move on now to a couple of air bomb --
6 modified air bomb investigations which you conducted during your time as a
7 crime scene technician in Ilidza.
8 To begin with, did you conduct an investigation on the 1st of July
9 of 1995?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And if I could ask the court officer to call up 65 ter number 114
12 and shortly after that, I will be calling for 65 ter number 115.
13 Mr. Turkovic, at the scene of the air bomb incident on the 1st of
14 July, 1995, did you and your colleagues concern yourselves with how many
15 air bombs had caused the damage at the location where it had fallen?
16 A. Before I respond, could I please see the document first, because I
17 only see the cover page on the screen.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: If we could please go to the next page of the
20 Q. Does that help you, Mr. Turkovic?
21 A. Yes, thank you.
22 Q. Do you recognise the document that is on the screen?
23 A. Yes, that is the official report.
24 Q. Is this a report of an investigation that you participated in?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter number 114.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As P603, Your Honours.
4 MR. DOCHERTY:
5 Q. And now, Mr. Turkovic, just a few questions before we move to 115.
6 Did you and your colleagues at the scene of this incident concern
7 yourselves with how many air bombs might have been involved?
8 A. Yes. At the beginning of the investigation, we considered a
9 possibility that two air bombs were involved, one of which we thought
10 ended up in the courtyard of one building, and another one on the roof of
11 another house which was close by.
12 Q. At the end of the investigation, what conclusions had you and your
13 colleagues reached as to how many air bombs actually were involved?
14 A. We concluded that it actually involved only one aerial bomb, which
15 in our view, ricochetted twice before landing in the final location.
16 Q. And are you aware of an expert report earlier submitted in this
17 trial in which a Professor Zecevic from the University of Sarajevo
18 disagrees and considers that there were in fact two bombs, as you and your
19 colleagues had first thought?
20 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
21 Q. And what is your view about the possibility of what Mr. Zecevic
22 says being correct?
23 A. I believe it is still a possibility. We made our conclusions
24 based on the very few shrapnel marks and the parts of the bomb as well as
25 rocket boosters found. Or, rather, very little of it was found, much less
1 than one would usually expect to be able to find at the scene of
3 Q. And when you -- the first sentence of your answer, "I believe it
4 is still a possibility," the "it" in that sentence, is that your and your
5 colleagues' conclusion or Professor Zecevic's conclusion?
6 A. I believe that Mr. Zecevic's conclusion, his expert conclusion is
7 possible that it actually happened as he think it did.
8 MR. DOCHERTY: If we could please go on now to 65 ter 115.
9 Q. There on the right-hand side of the screen, Mr. Turkovic, you see
10 a B/C/S document. Do you recognise that document?
11 A. Yes. It is a crime technician report from the site.
12 Q. And who was the crime technician at the site?
13 A. I was.
14 Q. So is this your report?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter number 115.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As P604, Your Honours.
19 MR. DOCHERTY:
20 Q. Mr. Turkovic, based -- according to these reports, how -- were
21 there casualties from this air bomb?
22 A. The people listed. The people who were at the scene of impact.
23 The two being Enis Kadic and Kemal Mortuza.
24 Q. Thank you, And finally, at the scene, Mr. Turkovic, did you take
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. DOCHERTY: If we could see, please, 65 ter number 02497.
3 Q. And, Mr. Turkovic, just to save a little time I will start asking
4 some questions before the photographs coming up.
5 Before coming to court today, have you looked at the photographs
6 that you took at the scene?
7 A. You mean today or generally?
8 Q. In the last few days.
9 A. Yes, I did. Sorry.
10 Q. On the screen now is the first of those photographs. Is that a
11 photograph that you took?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And there are several additional photographs behind this one. Are
14 the photographs that you took and that have you looked at again in the
15 past few days true, correct depictions of what you saw at the scene of
16 this air bomb explosion or air bomb, plural, explosion on the 1st of July,
18 A. Yes. The photographs I reviewed are my photographs.
19 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I'll tender at this time 65 ter number
20 02497, the photographs taken at the scene.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit them.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As P605, Your Honours.
23 MR. DOCHERTY:
24 Q. Mr. Turkovic, I want to turn now to an air bomb incident that I
25 believe you investigated on 23rd of July, 1995.
1 MR. DOCHERTY: And could we please see 65 ter number 54.
2 Q. And, again for the witness' benefit, could the B/C/S please turn
3 past the cover page, to the next page. Thank you.
4 Mr. Turkovic, on the screen in front of you on the right-hand side
5 is a document in the Bosnian language. Do you recognise this document?
6 A. Yes, the site sketch.
7 Q. And is this -- I'm sorry, you called this a site sketch.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I guess I'm stopping and being a bit puzzled because I at
10 least don't see a sketch, and on the English side I see a lot of text.
11 What are re looking at on the screen here?
12 A. This is the cover page of the site sketch containing only the
13 basic data from the document.
14 Q. I see. So when you say "site sketch," you mean data and not so
15 much a drawing; is that correct?
16 A. I didn't have the very sketch in mind, at least not only the
18 Q. All right. In any event, is what is on the screen a report from
19 the police concerning an air bomb incident on 23rd of July, 1995?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it a report of an incident -- a report of an investigation in
22 which you participated yourself?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter number 54.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's admitted.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As P606, Your Honours.
2 MR. DOCHERTY:
3 Q. At the scene of the 23rd of July air bomb incident, did you take
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. DOCHERTY: And if we could see, please, 65 ter number 02928.
7 Q. And, again, Mr. Turkovic, while the photographs are loading, did
8 you look in the last few days at the photographs you took on the 23rd of
9 July, 1995?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Did you find those photographs to be accurate depictions of what
12 you saw on the scene on that day?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. On the screen in front of you now is a colour photograph. Do you
15 recognise that as one in the series of photographs which you took?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 02928.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As P607, Your Honours.
20 MR. DOCHERTY:
21 Q. The last report which I want to ask you about, Mr. Turkovic, is 65
22 ter number 55.
23 There on the right-hand side of the screen you see a document in
24 the Bosnian language. Do you recognise that document?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What is that document?
2 A. It is a report on forensic on-site investigation from this
3 particular location.
4 Q. Is this your report?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter number 55.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As P608, Your Honours.
9 MR. DOCHERTY:
10 Q. Mr. Turkovic, according to these reports, were there casualties at
11 the scene of the air bomb incident on the 23rd of July, 1995?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And can you tell us how many casualties and whether they were
14 woundings or fatalities?
15 A. Two women were killed.
16 Q. And then the last couple of questions that I have go back to the
17 spreadsheet that was admitted a couple of minutes ago for a limited
18 purpose. That spreadsheet shows police responses to requests for
19 assistance. From what areas of the city of Sarajevo do those requests for
20 assistance come?
21 A. They came from all parts of Sarajevo.
22 Q. And at what hours of the day to those requests for assistance come
23 in to the police?
24 A. At different times of day.
25 Q. Are there any times of day that reports or requests are not coming
1 in that are blacked out in terms of calls for help?
2 A. No, there are not.
3 Q. And then, lastly, what about as far as what times of the year,
4 what times of the year, what seasons of the year do these calls for help
5 come in to the police?
6 A. All year round, in all seasons.
7 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, that concludes my direct examination.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
9 Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I hope
11 that according to the actual situation during my cross-examination and in
12 view of these reports admitted on the part of the Prosecution, I will be
13 given a little more time, although I am almost sure that I will finish
14 within the slot allotted to me.
15 Mr. Turkovic --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry, Mr. Tapuskovic, bear in mind the limit the
17 purpose for which the spreadsheet was admitted and that in fact we only
18 admitted them for the purpose of showing the number of incidents and
19 victims. The admission did not go any further than that, so you need not
20 concern yourself about the other matters such as origin of fire and the
21 other data set out in the spreadsheet. And the Chamber's ruling confines
22 cross-examination to the two matters of the number of incidents and the
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand very well, Your
25 Honour, Judge Robinson, your ruling and the gist of the ruling, and in
1 that respect I'm going to focus myself on a very limited number of
2 questions regarding this document. You can rest assured that I will do
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Turkovic, I represent the accused Dragomir
6 Milosevic and I would like to ask you a number of questions in order to
7 enable the Chamber to evaluate in a valid way your testimony.
8 In front of me I have document 65 ter 02873. It's already been
9 tendered as Exhibit P600. It was admitted yesterday and this is your
10 statement given on the 10th of March.
11 Now, I will like to ask you a few questions about your statement
12 of the 10th of March.
13 A. Please go ahead.
14 Q. This is the document. According to what is written here, can you
15 confirm that this is your statement?
16 A. Since we see my name, it is probably my statement.
17 Q. And there is your signature?
18 A. I don't see it, but it is possible -- yes, there it is.
19 Q. On page 2, if we can please bring it up, the first sentence -- or,
20 rather, the next one, which reads: "I went to a technical college in
21 Pofalici and at the age of 18 I went into the JNA for my military
23 Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. At the time, that is in 1990, because it says here that in
1 December you were in Slovenia, wasn't that the time when the situation was
2 normal? It was a normal obligation of every male citizen?
3 A. Yes. Only I went to the army a little bit earlier of my own
4 volition before I was drafted.
5 Q. So, since the situation was normal, people from Bosnia-Herzegovina
6 did their service in Slovenia. The people from Slovenia did their service
7 in Macedonia, et cetera; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. I believe the interpreter will
10 soon be asking you to observe the pause between question and answer.
11 Don't overlap. You have to wait until the interpretation is concluded.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. When you went there and throughout the whole period of your
15 military service, you never felt as a member of an army that was an
16 occupying force in Slovenia?
17 MR. DOCHERTY: I object to the relevance of that question, Your
18 Honour. The case does not concern Slovenia.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, what's the relevance of this?
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, already in the next
21 sentence the witness mentions the dates 26th or 27th June, 1991, when the
22 conflict broke out there Slovenia and he says: "I was in barracks in Novi
23 Mesto and we were surrounded by Slovenian troops."
24 Everything that subsequently happened in Yugoslavia began in
25 Slovenia on that day. In view of what I just read out to you, Witness,
1 can you say that in the barracks where you were -- and this is the
2 relevance of my question, because the same later happened in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina when barracks were surrounded, the barracks of the JNA.
4 Q. My question is: Were you surrounded, besieged in the barracks,
5 was there any shooting at the barracks and were there any soldiers who
6 died as a result?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, please answer the question.
8 A. My barrack was not fired at. There were some shots fired at
9 guards in our area of responsibility and it was coupled with certain
10 things that were happening inside the barracks in terms that certain
11 officers turned into some strange creatures. They started singing Chetnik
12 songs and things like that.
13 Q. And while they were singing Chetnik songs, you were under siege
14 and your life was threatened?
15 A. Our lives were never threatened in the barracks. As I said, most
16 shots were fired at outposts where there were soldiers on guard duty.
17 Q. Very well. As we can see from this very short sentence you
18 say: "We were then withdrawn to Serbia."
19 Is that correct?
20 A. That happened a few months later.
21 Q. Therefore, you were not sent to any strategic positions around
22 Sarajevo, but the army, rather, withdraw, heading for Serbia; is that
24 A. That's correct, as far as my unit was concerned. The army
25 withdrew either to Bosnia-Herzegovina or to Serbia.
1 Q. Was it physically possible otherwise then to withdraw the army
2 along these two routes? It couldn't fly over Bosnia-Herzegovina in order
3 to reach other parts of the country. Is that correct?
4 A. What I want to say, that the ultimate destination of these units
5 was either Serbia or Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. And then you say: "I returned to Sarajevo," and you left the
7 army? Is that correct?
8 A. That's correct. I went to see my father who had a surgery and I
9 spent the four days of my leave that had been granted to me in Sarajevo
10 and I never went back.
11 Q. In the next paragraph you speak about you living in Dobrinja.
12 After that, you moved to Alipasino Polje and then you joined the military
13 police. When did that happen? Whose military police?
14 A. It was in the summer of 1992. To tell you the truth, I don't know
15 exactly when that happened. It was the military police of the BH army.
16 Q. As I can see here, you remained in the police until February,
17 1993. Can you describe for me your duties as a military policeman. What
18 were you involved in?
19 A. I was just an ordinary military policeman.
20 Q. Then you say: "In February, 1993, I went on a course for criminal
21 technicians which was organised by the Ministry of the Interior."
22 Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. And this lasted until June of that year; is that correct?
25 A. It lasted six months, probably until June.
1 Q. This course involved certain skills and knowledge relating to
2 police work involved in public security duties; is that correct?
3 A. It was a specific course intended for crime scene technicians.
4 Q. For ordinary crimes like threats, violent crimes and other crimes
5 of that nature?
6 A. Yes, including -- including fires, explosions and similar
8 Q. So among the subjects that you studied, there was a photography
9 course as well, is that correct, examination of the crime scene,
10 examination of fingerprints, et cetera. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. Mainly general things relating to traditional crimes?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you say that you had some partial study of ballistics and
15 fire-arms. Yes or no?
16 A. I'm waiting for the interpretation.
17 Yes, there was a subject that dealt with these areas.
18 Q. After that, you resumed your duties in the military police; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. And you became an investigator of all crimes relating to the army;
22 is that correct? Like black marketeering, property crimes, drug smuggling
23 et cetera?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Now you say: "In December, 1993 I left the military police and
1 joined the civilian police."
2 Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Then you went on to say: "I worked as a street police officer for
5 a year and then I was transferred to the centre of public security."
6 Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it fair to say, if your answer is affirmative, that if in
9 December, 1993 you joined the civilian police and worked as a street
10 police officer, that since a year later you moved to the Security Services
11 Centre, you became involved in crime scene investigations in December,
13 A. Precisely so. I don't know whether the month is correct, but it
14 was in 1994.
15 Q. Thank you. And then we see that you -- that your responsibility
16 for -- was for municipality of Ilidza and you worked on all kinds of
17 crimes. How long were you involved in the general crime investigations
18 after December, 1994, because this is what you say here, that you dealt
19 with general crime involving civilians, and I presume by that you mean the
20 citizens of Sarajevo?
21 A. Whenever there was an on-site investigation of a crime, whether it
22 was something relating to war or general crime, and a crime scene
23 investigator was required on the scene, in Ilidza I was in charge.
24 Q. Does that mean that for a number of months in 1995 you were most
25 times involved in this type of civilian crimes?
1 A. This is not what I said.
2 Q. You say here after you came to work in December: "My area of
3 responsibility was the municipality of Ilidza and I worked all kinds of
4 crimes there. Some of the crime related to general crime involving
6 Was this predominantly your job at the time?
7 A. During the war, this was not the focus. I predominantly had to do
8 with shell incidents.
9 Q. Until end 1994, as we've discussed, you were not with the CSB and
10 you never mentioned in your statement that you had anything to do with
12 A. You asked me whether in 1995 for a number of months I
13 predominantly had to investigate ordinary crimes. I said no. I said that
14 I usually dealt with shelling incidents.
15 Q. But a moment ago you said that until the end of 1994 you mainly
16 worked on civilian crime and then moved to the CSB; is that correct?
17 A. I will wait for the interpreters.
18 I said I was a beat policeman or a patrolman, whatever the term
19 was that you used, until I don't know exactly what month in 1994, but that
20 is not of the essence. What is is that from that moment on I was a crime
21 scene technician in the municipality of Ilidza, and from that moment on,
22 most of the incidents I investigated had to do with shelling.
23 Q. I will have to ask you something again, something to explain to
24 me. Until December, 1993 you worked where you told us did. For a year
25 you were a beat policeman. I asked you about December, 1994 and I told
1 you -- I put to you that you started working on other tasks as of that
3 A. I am telling you that in 1994 I started working as a crime scene
4 technician. I don't know of what month exactly. Everything else is as
6 Q. A few questions about the document admitted by the Bench with its
7 limited scope.
8 If we forget about the first incident in May, 1995, could you
9 please go to -- I don't know what the number was that was assigned to this
10 document. It is the list or the spreadsheet 605? No. P602, 602.
11 Let us have a look at a few pages at the beginning of the
12 document. If we look at the dates -- let's forget about May, the first
13 date. But look at -- what you have here is August as the second
14 incident. Isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Then September, 1994. Then again September, 1994, all the way to
17 the bottom of the page. On page 2, or, rather, the next page, it's all
18 September, 1994.
19 We can go to page 3. November, 1994.
20 And then the page after that. December, 1994.
21 The last is at page 5. The 27th of December, 1994.
22 Is that correct? That was page 5.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. First you said that you started working on these tasks in
25 December. Let's say the end of that year. As for the incidents before
1 that, throughout 1994, you knew nothing about that by way of information
2 working as a policeman, since you were in the police as a patrolman?
3 A. That is correct. Perhaps I could add something. What I did was
4 confirm that these documents seemed authentic. This is the type of
5 documents that I would conclude came from the police. The rest, it's not
6 something for me to say. I don't know whether these things actually
8 Q. If we look at the last two items, the 26th of February and then
9 the 4th of March on page 5. On page 6, the 5th of March, the 12th of
10 March. In total, there are four incidents which took place in these
11 entire five months. Can -- is it fair to put it that way?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Everything else to the end is May, June, July, August,
14 September -- well, let's say we go as far as August.
15 It continues until the 30th of August and that was the period of
16 most of the incidents. That is on page 21.
17 A. I suppose so. What I see here is page 7.
18 Q. Let us go to page 21, please.
19 In any case, can you confirm -- well, I won't go into percentages,
20 but between May and August, the 28th or the 30th of August, according to
21 this document, and provided you leafed through it, and you said you did,
22 there were 80 per cent of all the incidents more or less. Don't hold me
23 to the exact percentage.
24 A. Well, don't ask me to do any statistics on the spot. So if you
25 say so, I'll take your word for it. I hope you did your math.
1 Q. Thank you. Now we can go back to your statement, since I have no
2 further questions as to the spreadsheet.
3 You continue with your statement by saying that you investigated
4 shellings. In 1994, you didn't have to do anything about any sniping
5 incidents and have you no knowledge of such incidents, do you? As a
6 policeman, I mean.
7 A. I don't remember whether I had any on-site investigations
8 concerning sniping. As a civilian I did encounter such incidents, but as
9 a policeman, I cannot really recall, pertaining to the period you
10 mentioned, that is.
11 Q. In the last sentence on page 2, you mention a sniping and you say
12 the following: "I also attended one incident when a civilian was shot
13 by -- from a sniper."
14 It was the only sniping incident that you participated in or
15 attended between 1994 and the end of the war as a crime scene inspector?
16 A. Since Ilidza was not exposed to much sniping, since it was closer
17 to the centre, as opposed to some other parts of Sarajevo, I didn't
18 encounter such incidents frequently. Some of my colleagues who worked in
19 other parts of the city did encounter them on a more frequent basis. I'm
20 not saying that there were none in my part of the city, but far less than
21 in other parts.
22 Q. Very well. Let us move on. We have to speed things up.
23 You did those investigations and you said: "My job was to find
24 out with where it came from to examine the traces and come to a
1 Is that correct?
2 A. My job was to find traces or marks at the scene, to mark them, and
3 if there is any physical evidence, they had to be sent for further expert
4 analysis, and it was up to me to write a report on the traces and marks
6 Q. Can we say that your ballistic expertise was very modest at the
8 A. If there was a need for any ballistic expert opinion, we sent
9 sketches with the position of marks, photographs or -- and descriptions
10 and we would send those to ballistic experts. We didn't go into any such
11 detail as to study ballistic traces, which could eventually or potentially
12 be used as evidence. We only provided a preliminary crime scene
13 technician's opinion, which would then be sent for further processing.
14 Q. When the war broke out, you said -- no. When you went to the army
15 you were 18, and by the end of 1993, if I may say so, you were only 21?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. If we go the next page, page 3, and in the English it is at the
18 end of page 2 and the top of page 3, the last sentence. You mainly had to
19 do with photography as a member of that team. You were in charge of the
21 A. Not mainly. It was one of my duties. If there was anyone taking
22 photographs, in 99 per cent of the cases, it was me, though.
23 Q. Thank you. In the last sentence at page 3, the first paragraph,
24 you say: "Sometimes I had to go to the morgue to photograph corpses."
25 Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. In the cases that you testified to today during the
3 examination-in-chief and pertaining to the events of the 1st and the 23rd
4 of July, in neither of the cases you didn't photograph any victims at the
5 location, and here I particularly have in mind the 23rd of July. Those
6 two women were not on the spot, were they?
7 A. Something will have to jog my memory, because I think the on-site
8 investigation was carried out a few hours after the incident, not
9 immediately after but a few hours later, and it wasn't realistic to expect
10 that the corpses would be there. I believe you are correct in saying
11 that, yes.
12 Q. If you went through all of the documents, as you said, concerning
13 the spreadsheet that was admitted, did you in any incident see any
14 photographs of bodies taken at the spot? If there were fatalities, did
15 you see a single corpse, was it photographed on the spot?
16 A. I don't remember any such cases. One wouldn't reasonably expect
17 that. Most of these people were immediately transported to hospitals,
18 trying to save their lives.
19 Q. Of course, that is reasonable to expect and no crime technician
20 would do otherwise. But what such cases -- what happened in such cases
21 when people were obviously dead?
22 A. I cannot recall a single incident in which a person wasn't being
23 helped or people tried to help. They would first take that person to the
24 nearest medical facility to see whether the person was dead indeed or
25 whether there was any chance to resuscitate them. I'm not telling you
1 that there were no incidents of people being killed on the spot, but I
2 simply cannot recall a single one.
3 Q. As a crime scene inspector, wouldn't you say that that would be
4 one of the basic tasks of such an inspector, to try and establish the
5 existence of fatalities. One doesn't need a medical doctor for that. If
6 you find a corpse, don't you take photographs first as one of the basic
7 tenants of the profession, of ballistics in general, of the science as
9 A. I'm waiting for the interpreter.
10 This would not be an everyday or routine task. Quite often, the
11 spot was still being shelled when we arrived. Therefore, we would be
12 called by neighbours and they would be the first people to get there, they
13 would be the people transporting the victims to the nearest medical
14 facility. It wouldn't be a regular call when someone would say, well,
15 there was a homicide and then the police would be the first to get there.
16 But first people would try to save victims' lives. It was a wartime
17 situation. It wasn't primary to bring the police to the scene but to try
18 and save lives.
19 Q. I won't dwell on it any further. I understand that, of course,
20 you tried to help a person that was hurt. But in cases when it was clear
21 that someone had been killed, was it necessary to expose your own lives to
22 danger to try and pull out a corpse, putting it before the interests of an
23 investigation, which would be better off with the corpse being left on the
25 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, mister --
2 MR. DOCHERTY: The witness has already testified that he
3 personally was never at the scene of an incident where a person was so
4 obviously deceased that they could forgo taking the person for medical
5 assistance. So the question just put to the witness implicitly misstates
6 the evidence that the witness has just given.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic, I agree. Move on to another
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Now you talk about bombs that landed and that you investigated.
11 In order to save time, I would like first to move on to incident
12 of the 1st of July, 1995.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have brought up
14 Prosecution evidence -- Exhibit P603. Page 2 of the official report.
15 Q. In paragraph 2 you can read that you received a report, and a
16 while ago you confirmed that you are aware of this report and that you
17 worked on it. You didn't sign it though?
18 A. I worked on this report. Actually, I was involved in this
20 Q. You didn't visit the scene on that day, that is, on the 1st of
21 July, but in fact you only went there on the 2nd of July. This is what is
22 written in the document.
23 A. Yes. I can see that.
24 Q. But towards the end of paragraph 2 you say: "On the 1st of July,
25 the criminal investigation police inspectors received certain information
1 from the head nurse of the hospital in Hrasnica."
2 Is that correct? That certain individuals sustained serious or
3 light injuries?
4 A. You said that, you say here. I would just like to point out that
5 this is it not my report, but I can confirm that it's written in the
6 report as you have just read.
7 Q. There's only mention of one person sustaining serious injuries and
8 remained in the hospital. Is that correct? Because this is what the
9 report says.
10 A. I cannot find that particular section, but if you read it, then I
11 believe that is what it says.
12 Q. I'm talking about the witness of the last name Kadic.
13 We don't have the supporting medical files, but it doesn't say
14 here how this person sustained these injuries, what caused the injuries.
15 Were the injuries caused by debris or by shrapnel?
16 A. I don't remember. I don't know.
17 Q. Now, if we turn to page 3, and here is a list of people who
18 sustained light injuries.
19 And then the next page. Page 3 in English.
20 Here you can see the list of names, seven or eight, all of them
21 were lightly injured. But there is no description of the nature of the
22 injuries and the cause of the injuries, whether it was from debris or from
24 A. Yes, very well.
25 Q. Yes or no?
1 A. I don't know what was the cause. I'm just confirming what you
2 have read.
3 Q. If we go on, on the same page we can see that on -- you visited
4 the scene on the 2nd of July at 8.00 and that you were among members of
5 the team; is that correct? It says Vekaz Turkovic.
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. I'm not going to read all of it. It says here that you have seen
8 a crater, and in the ground as well, in the close proximity, a few pieces
9 of shrapnel were detected. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at the
12 next page, which is page 4 in English. I am not going to read the whole
13 text to you. There is mention of damage to houses and the huge damage
14 caused. However, there is no mention of a single piece of shrapnel found
15 in any of those houses. You can read it for yourself, if you wish.
16 A. All I can see here is the finding of rocket engines. I don't see
17 any mention of shell fragments.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, there is a mention of shell fragments at the
19 end of the first paragraph. It says: "Shell fragments were removed from
20 the site."
21 Do you see that, Mr. Tapuskovic?
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what
23 the translation says. Except rocket engines that have been found, there
24 is no mention of any pieces of shrapnel being recovered. The only pieces
25 found were in the ground. There is no mention here of shrapnel. The only
1 mentioned here is what Mr. Turkovic himself has found, and that is that
2 rockets' engines were recovered and it is clearly stated in the B/C/S
3 version. I allowed the witness to read it.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would not shell fragments qualify as shrapnel?
5 Because the text which is in English has a reference to shell fragments.
6 I brought that to your attention earlier. The last sentence at the end of
7 the first paragraph: "Shell fragments were removed from the site."
8 JUDGE MINDUA: Maybe we should request the translator,
9 interpreters to read the text in the B/C/S and to tell us.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would the interpreters please do that.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] There is not a single pieces of
12 shrapnel and the witness confirmed that there is only rocket engine, there
13 is no shrapnel, absolutely not a single one. What I read earlier, some
14 shrapnel were found in the hole where the crater was.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, I asked the interpreters to do
16 something. Why did you interrupt?
17 Would the interpreters -- would you please bring the page back up.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The last part of the sentence of the second
19 paragraph on page -- I don't know which page in B/C/S. It's on the screen
20 now -- reads as follows literally: "Whereas parts or pieces of the
21 aforementioned projectile were recovered on the scene."
22 JUDGE MINDUA: Maybe we can start here, the UN --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, would --
24 Would you start from the sentence beginning: "The UN Military
1 It's just the sentence before the last one which the interpreter
2 just translated.
3 THE INTERPRETER: In front of the house owned by Hamdija Kadic and
4 in the presence of UN military observers, Frank Melum of Norway and
5 Brurmijn of the Netherlands, criminal investigation inspection of the
6 damaged vehicles were carried out, which -- damaged UN vehicles were
7 carried out which sustained total damage. The vehicle in question were
8 Toyota, registration plate number UN, illegible, 6351 and Toyota,
9 registration plate UN PP 15927. The scene and all the recovered physical
10 evidence were fixed by means of measurement, photography, whereas parts of
11 the aforementioned projectile were recovered from the scene."
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: The English text had "shell fragments." Now we
14 have "parts of the projectile."
15 But move on, Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] In order to make this clearer--
17 Q. When you continued on the following day the other location because
18 there was mention there of one or two shell, and it's a continuation of
19 this same document, you speak about the damage. You also speak about
20 pieces of rocket engines that were found and at the end, and that is why I
21 am insisting on this. Before the last sentence it says that: "All the
22 aforementioned traces were secured, i.e., measured and photographed.
23 Parts of the rocket engine were removed from the site."
24 Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Here in the second part of your investigation, you didn't find--
2 find a single piece of shrapnel.
3 A. I will try to explain. Since in a situation like this, there's
4 normally a few thousand pieces of shrapnel, we did not mark every single
5 trace or piece of physical evidence, as would be the standard police
6 procedure. Instead, we only took such number of pieces that would be
7 sufficient for the purpose, and that is what we collected in order to
8 facilitate a subsequent examination of the type of the weapon, because it
9 was simply impossible to retrieve all the pieces.
10 Q. Sir, I showed you what is clearly written on page 2, and it says
11 that in the close proximity of the crater you found several pieces of
12 shrapnel of different sizes and shapes, and you never again mentioned any
13 shrapnel. I'm not expecting you to collect thousands of pieces of
14 shrapnel. You didn't mention a single piece of shrapnel in these houses.
15 You just say that these houses were mentioned. How do you explain that --
17 Why didn't you collect also pieces of shrapnel from the location
18 that sustained such heavy damage?
19 A. I can only repeat what I said before. Standard procedure at the
20 time was to find at least one piece of shrapnel in order to serve as a
21 basis for determining the type of the weapon. The physical evidence that
22 you are referring to, we didn't believe to be necessary. We didn't think
23 it was necessary to collect them, because we -- in each incident we had an
24 enormous amount of physical evidence, and we followed the instructions
25 that we received, and that is to retrieve at least one piece of shrapnel,
1 which would serve as a basis for establishing the type of the weapons.
2 Q. This is not in your pictures at all. However, I'm going to move
3 on to another incident where we have the same situation. It happened on
4 the 23rd of July, 1995.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And if we can please have Exhibit
6 P 608 displayed on the screen. It's 65 ter P 608, it's another report.
7 Q. In this report, if you look at it, there is not a single mention
8 of any shrapnel. You also describe huge damage inflicted on the houses
9 and you say --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please indicate the paragraph
11 that is he reading from.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, the interpreter is asking that
13 you indicate the paragraph that are you now reading from.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It's approximately a little bit
15 below the middle of page 1 where Bijelasnicka number 44 street is
16 mentioned. "Where Hasa Rastoder's family house is located, on the top
17 floor of the house in the children's room parts of the missile's rocket
18 motor were found."
19 And then on the next page, Witness, it says under item
20 6: "Physical evidence recovered." Item 6 reads literally as follows
21 under (a): "Parts of the rocket motors of the missile were found on the
22 first floor of the house in Bijelasnicka street number 44. They were
23 described, photographed and sketched and sent for expert analysis."
24 Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. You mentioned there that photographs were taken, sketches were
2 made, but there's not a single mention of a single piece of shrapnel that
3 could have been taken for expert analysis so as to try and establish what
4 the type of projectile was. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: At this stage we'll take the break. 20 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 4.32 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.54 p.m.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no reason to
11 take up any more of your time, and I would like to thank Mr. Turkovic. I
12 have no further questions. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty.
14 MR. DOCHERTY: I have no re-examination, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, Witness, that concludes your evidence. We
16 thank you for giving it. You may now leave.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the next witness is ...
20 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, the next witness will be taken by
21 Ms. Edgerton. And may I be excused?
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, certainly.
23 MR. DOCHERTY: Thank you.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
2 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: MARTIN BELL
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
5 You may begin, Ms. Edgerton.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Examination by Ms. Edgerton:
8 MS. EDGERTON: And I'll begin by going through Mr. Bell's
9 curriculum vitae, and I have spoken to my learned friend in this regard.
10 I will be leading him through his curriculum vitae in the interest of
12 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bell.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. Now, you have been employed with the BBC from 1962 to 1997, I
15 understand; is that correct?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. And in that capacity, you have worked largely as a foreign affairs
18 war correspondent?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Since what time?
21 A. Since 1966, really.
22 Q. And during the course of those 29, 31 years, you have reported
23 from, I understand, approximately 90 countries and 11 wars or revolutions;
24 is that correct?
25 A. The number has since gone up to 100 countries and 15 war zones.
1 Q. And among the conflicts you reported from, we can include the
2 Vietnam war in 1968 and 1972; the Arab/Israeli war; Angola in 1976;
3 Rhodesia in 1972; El Salvador in 1983 to 1985; The Gulf War in 1991; as
4 well as events in Croatia that same year. Is my list accurate, Mr. Bell?
5 A. Not comprehensive, but it's accurate.
6 Q. Thank you. And from events in Croatia in 1991, am I correct in my
7 understanding that you moved to cover the conflict in Bosnia and
9 A. Yes, that is true.
10 Q. And you reported on events in Bosnia from the outbreak of war in
11 1992 to the Dayton agreement?
12 A. And the implementation of the Dayton agreement.
13 Q. Following your departure from the BBC in 1997 you entered
14 politics, I understand, and eventually became the first elected
15 independent member of the British parliament since 1951.
16 A. That is --
17 Q. Is that correct?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. In 2001 you were appointed UK ambassador for UNICEF for
20 humanitarian emergencies, and in that capacity I understand you visited a
21 number of humanitarian and natural disaster scenes; is that correct?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Including Tajekestan in 2001, Malawi in 2002, Iraq in 2003, Darfur
24 the following year, Sri Lanka in 2005, and in 2006 the Congo, Afghanistan
25 and Kabul; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. You've written three books, one of which In Harm's Way, I
3 understand touched upon your experiences during the conflict in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina, including events in Sarajevo. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes. That book was mostly about the war in Bosnian.
6 Q. Have you recently returned to Sarajevo, Mr. Bell?
7 A. Yes. In the unlikely capacity as a travel writer. I went on the
8 first British Airways direct flight from London to Sarajevo and wrote
9 about it and about the country, which I love, with great enthusiasm for
10 the London Daily Telegraph.
11 Q. And when was that most recent visit?
12 A. That was at the end the March, just a month ago.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, if I could take you back for the rest of your
14 testimony to the period between 1992 and 1995, I'd like to ask you, during
15 your assignments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where did you report from?
16 A. I reported initially from a base in the Hotel -- when I started,
17 it was the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo. When the war began we moved to the
18 Hotel Serbia in Ilidza. We went back to the Holiday Inn. We moved out to
19 Central Bosnia to report the side war between Muslims and Croats from
20 mostly from Vitez and Gornji Vakuf. I also travelled extensively
21 throughout the country, including Mostar, Dubrovnik and -- Mostar and
23 Q. Did your reports from Bosnia and Herzegovina include events in
25 A. Yes. I would say that over the three and a half years probably
1 more than half of my reports were about events in and immediately around
3 Q. You mentioned that for various periods of time of you were based
4 at the Holiday Inn. Could you tell us, was the Holiday Inn exposed to
5 Bosnian-Serb lines?
6 A. Yes, it was very much a front line hotel. It was, I guess, within
7 a couple of hundred metres of the front line for the three and a half
8 years of the war.
9 Q. Was it targeted?
10 A. Yes. The south side of the Hotel was not demolished but badly
11 damaged by shell fire, cannon fire and mortar fire, so that it was
13 Q. Now, how early did you actually begin reporting from Sarajevo
14 after hostilities broke out?
15 A. I started reporting before hostilities broke out in the referendum
16 in March 1992 and after the start of hostilities, and the war was slow to
17 start for reasons we understand. I was there, I suppose, within two days.
18 I must have arrived about maybe the 7th or 8th of April, 1992.
19 Q. Now, throughout your time in Sarajevo, did you notice any features
20 of the military activity in and around the city that were unique to that
22 A. Yes. I would say that all of the conflicts I have reported, this
23 was the only one conducted continuously and intensively in a modern
24 industrial city and in an urban environment. And of all of the conflicts
25 I have reported, I would say there was the least distinction between
1 soldiers and civilians when it came to targeting.
2 Q. So based on what you've just said, then, let me ask you this: Did
3 you observe targeting of civilians in Bosnian and Muslim-held Sarajevo?
4 A. I observed the casualties that occurred among civilians in the --
5 in the Bosnian government-held side of the city and which I feel would not
6 have happened if there had been any distinction made between military and
7 civilian casualties, but I also believe that civilians were targeted on
8 the Serb side of the lines.
9 Q. And we'll explore several aspects of what you said, but perhaps I
10 could first of all pinpoint your observation in time. From what point in
11 time did you observe that casualties occurred among civilians in the
12 Bosnian government-held side of the city?
13 A. I would say not immediately, not in the very first few days. The
14 first few days were very confusing days of street fighting between armies
15 and militias and even gangs in which the two sides were trying to
16 establish control in contested territory. But once the lines had
17 solidified, and I would put that around mid-May 1992, it soon became
18 apparent that the greater number of casualties were civilians.
19 Q. Did you make any observations as to the cause of the greatest
20 number of -- of that number of casualties, of the civilian casualties?
21 A. Yes. At that phase of the war they were casualties mostly to
22 small arms and sniper fire, to shell fire, to mortars. I had a friend who
23 lived in the old city whose husband was killed in the earlier days of the
24 war by a mortar fired into their house in an old caravanserai near the
1 Q. Did this phenomenon of the firing of sniper fire and shell fire,
2 mortar fire into the cities, into Sarajevo, continue as the war went on?
3 A. Yes. It was a feature of the entire war, not at a constant
4 level. It came and went. There tended to be a quieter period around
5 mid-winter. Summer was always the worst, and the periods of the most
6 intensive fighting and the highest casualties were the summers of 1992 and
8 Q. Now, did the character of these attacks you have been describing
9 change in any regard as the war went on?
10 A. Yes. There were different weapons among the weapons employed
11 towards the end of the war. In the summer of 1995, there were serious
12 attempts by the government forces both to break the siege from the inside
13 and break the siege from the outside. That is to say, there was also --
14 as well as the attacks on civilians, there was a conflict going on between
15 two armed forces.
16 Q. Now, you have mentioned there were different weapons among the
17 weapons employed towards the end of the war. I'd like to ask you about
18 that. What kind of weapons?
19 A. The three that we noted that were new, there was a use of a
20 wire-guided missile. There was a use of aircraft bombs rocket propelled
21 into the city of -- of Sarajevo, and on one occasion there was phosphorus.
22 Q. And what's your knowledge of who employed or which faction
23 employed these weapons?
24 A. There was from the start an asymmetry in the forces, that is that
25 the government side had a superiority in sheer manpower but the Bosnian
1 Serb side had a dominance in fire-power, and these new weapons were fired,
2 so far as we could tell, from the Serb side.
3 Q. I would like to move now to another component of -- or another
4 theme in your testimony in chief and ask you some questions about sniping,
5 which you've already referred to. Do you recall any particularly
6 dangerous areas of the city of Sarajevo in terms of civilian casualties?
7 And in this case I'm referring to Bosnian -- Muslim or Bosnian
8 government-held territory.
9 A. Yes. There were -- because it attempted to be a functioning city,
10 people mostly lived on the west side, and insofar as they had jobs, they
11 worked on the -- in the centre, there were two areas which were -- that
12 were particularly vulnerable. One was what we called "Snipers Alley" near
13 the city hall, and the other was the area outside the Holiday Inn roughly
14 between the Holiday Inn and the museum.
15 Q. Perhaps now I could ask Ms. Bosnjakovic to play clip 1 from the
16 compilation of videos we've prepared for this occasion. And hopefully
17 you'll see it on the screen in front of you in a few seconds, Mr. Bell,
18 and I'll ask you, based on the answers you've just given to have a look at
19 this clip, and I will have some further questions for you.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MS. EDGERTON:
22 Q. Mr. Bell, do you recognise on the screen in front of you the
23 location as being either of the two vulnerable locations you've just
24 referred to?
25 A. Yes. Most, if not all of these pictures appear to come from the
1 first of the two locations to which I referred.
2 Q. And do they bear any resemblance to how you recall those
3 intersections in the early stages of the war?
4 A. If there is a difference, you can see in the last sequence one of
5 the containers which were put in place to try and protect the people from
6 the snipers.
7 Q. Now, these last clips showed an area that you've spoke about near
8 the city centre. And I'd like to know, did you have occasion to observe
9 sniping activities in the Bosnian government-held areas in the western
10 part of the city of Sarajevo?
11 A. Yes, I did. I occasionally and at some risk visited Dobrinja, and
12 I -- and Mojmilo, and there was -- it was not as if the casualties were
13 confined to just these two places. There were very few places except
14 inside the tunnels and the cave down by the Miljacka river which I would
15 say were entirely safe.
16 Q. In the areas in the western part of the city then, did you ever
17 make observations as to whether sniping or shelling affected conditions of
18 life for the civilians there?
19 A. Well, of course they did. You couldn't get into Dobrinja except at
20 risk to your life, because the -- the road in was often under fire. And I
21 remember once in January, 1993 David Owen, the negotiator, driving in with
22 his motorcade and right past the body of a young women who had been killed
23 that night. She had blood on her face, and there was no safe place in
24 that city at that time.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Could I ask, then, Ms. Bosnjakovic to play clip 2
1 of the video compilation.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MS. EDGERTON:
4 Q. Are you in a position to comment, Mr. Bell, on the image of the
5 man climbing out of a window that you've seen in front of you?
6 A. Yes. In many places in Bosnia, not only in Sarajevo, the
7 civilians established sort of rat runs where they could get from one place
8 to another -- place to another, trying to avoid what happened there,
9 because usually it was un -- or often it was unsafe to go out of your
10 front door. That apply to the Holiday Inn as well.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Before I move on now to another area, I would ask
12 that the two first clips be admitted as exhibits, please, separately.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit them.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Ms. Edgerton, could you please tell
15 me when this video was made. Do you have the date of this video?
16 MS. EDGERTON: The second video, Your Honours, or the first one.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] No. Both, actually.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, both videos date from different
19 periods of time because they represent a compilation, but no later than
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, these will be admitted as P609 and
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. Now, Mr. Bell, with respect to these two videos which you've noted
25 depicted conditions as you saw them in the early parts of the war, to your
1 knowledge and based on observations, are you able to tell us whether these
2 same conditions existed through 1994 and 1995?
3 A. I was not there in the whole of 1994. I was there for most of
4 1995. I would say that the -- the level of sniper fire and general peril
5 rose and fell. It wasn't constant for three and a half years. The summer
6 of 1992 and 1995 were the worst. It abated considerably and for a while
7 almost to nothing after the cease-fire negotiated by former President
8 Jimmy Carter in December 19 -- Christmas cease-fire, Christmas, 1994, but
9 came back up again about March of 1995.
10 Q. Thank you. Now that we've moved on, actually, to 1994, I'd like
11 to ask you whether you're aware of the anti-sniping agreement which was
12 executed in August of that year.
13 A. Yes, yes, yes, I am. But I think it followed a particularly
14 dreadful incident in which a 11-year-old girl was killed by a shot that
15 ricochetted off the street. And it was -- for some reason the scene was
16 near one of the army headquarters and the camera man had gone there to
17 apply to get permission for something when it happened, so there was very
18 vivid and distressing coverage.
19 Q. Do you recall where that 11-year-old girl might have fallen
20 victim? Was it in Bosnian government-held territory or Bosnian
21 Serb-controlled territory?
22 A. It was in Bosnian government-held territory, very close to the
23 office of the army corps that controlled Sarajevo.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Could I ask, then, Mr. Registrar, that the document
25 bearing the 65 ter number 1956 be displayed on the screen.
1 Q. Do you have it on the screen in front of you, Mr. Bell?
2 A. I've only got what looks like a title, 17 patrol reports, general
3 incidents. I don't have the body of the document.
4 Q. Could I ask you --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't even have that.
6 MS. EDGERTON: I don't either, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Well, we'll keep trying.
8 MS. EDGERTON: I see it now, Your Honours.
9 Q. Do you have it on the screen in front of you?
10 A. I only have the heading of the document.
11 MS. EDGERTON: I'd ask Mr. Registrar to move --
12 A. Now -- now --
13 MS. EDGERTON: -- to page 2. Thank you.
14 A. Now I have the document.
15 MS. EDGERTON:
16 Q. Mr. Bell, I'd ask you to have a look at this document and the
17 details of the sniping incident dated 11 August 1994 contained therein,
18 and ask you whether that appears, to your knowledge, to be a report on the
19 incident you've just described?
20 A. Yes, it does.
21 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have that entered as the next exhibit,
22 please, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As P611, Your Honours.
25 MS. EDGERTON: And, I'm sorry, Mr. Registrar, were you able to
1 give numbers to the first two video clips.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. The first video was P609 and the second
3 video was P610.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. And my apologies.
5 Q. Now, you've mentioned that following -- you've mentioned that
6 sniping abated following a cease-fire in December 1994 but went on to
7 increase after that. So perhaps I could ask you this, Mr. Bell: Into
8 1995, what was the safety and security situation in Bosnian
9 government-held territory, in your observation, in terms of sniping?
10 Let's say, in fact, in that period prior to the signing of the cease-fire
11 agreement from November 1994 into early 1995.
12 A. It was still precarious and remained precarious but not as bad as
13 it had been in the summer of 1992 or as it later became following March of
15 Q. Did you file reports on the safety and security situation at that
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. I filed reports on a variety of attacks that occurred on civilians
20 on transportation and really -- and incidents that occurred in "Snipers
22 MS. EDGERTON: I'd like to ask Ms. Bosnjakovic then if she could
23 play clip 6.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
1 MS. EDGERTON: I'll note, Your Honours, that you see the date that
2 the video was from on the line in the top part of the screen, 24 November
4 Would you be able to begin the video again, please? Thank you.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MS. EDGERTON: Could we stop the video for a moment.
7 Q. Mr. Bell, the image --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MS. EDGERTON:
10 Q. Mr. Bell, the image that we've just seen, an UNPROFOR APC
11 sheltering a group of people, walking slowly beside it, can you comment on
12 that image?
13 A. When I first saw it, I found it very striking. And I haven't seen
14 it again until now. I think it's one of the iconic images of the war.
15 The French were trying to bring confidence to the people and a degree of
16 security down there. That was the area near the Holiday Inn. They
17 instituted this idea of the slowly moving armoured vehicle with the people
18 sheltering. And I think it conveys probably more than any single sniping
19 incident the daily perils of the people in the city.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Could we continue, please, now. Thank you.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MS. EDGERTON:
23 Q. Mr. Bell, are those reports that you filed on the safety and
24 security situation in Sarajevo between November, 1994 and March, 1995?
25 A. Yes, they are.
1 MS. EDGERTON: I would ask Your Honours that these videos on clip
2 6 be marked as the next exhibit, please.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As P612, Your Honours.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Ms. Bosnjakovic, would you be able to play clip 5
6 now for us.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MS. EDGERTON:
9 Q. Mr. Bell, do you recognise the locations depicted in this video?
10 A. Yes. The location appears to be the -- the second of the two
11 areas that I spoke about.
12 MS. EDGERTON: You can stop the video now. Thank you.
13 Q. And you spoke in respect of the image of the slow-moving APC
14 sheltering people in the previous video, and I wonder in that regard -- as
15 a measure of the protection that UNPROFOR was trying to deliver to the
16 population, I wonder in that regard if can you comment on what you've just
17 seen in clip 5?
18 A. Yes. The UNPROFOR was must criticised by the press at the time
19 for not living up to its title and protecting the people. Here it was
20 trying to protect the people and in the second of those two clips, as you
21 can see, it was tragically failing to do so.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Could I ask this clip 5 be entered as the next
23 exhibit, please, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As P613, Your Honours.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. Mr. Bell, you're in Sarajevo over the course of long bouts of time
3 between 1992 and 1995, and I wonder if from that perspective you could
4 tell us whether there was any significance to the operation of the trams
5 in Sarajevo?
6 A. Yes. Sarajevo was in some respect an Austro-Hungarian city and
7 the trams sort of dated from that time, and they were symbolic of the
8 normal functioning of the city. They were stopped, to the best of my
9 recollection, in a big battle on the 2nd of May, 1992, and were -- did not
10 resume for more than a year and a half, I think, till February or March,
11 1994. And the hope was or the thought was that when the trams resumed,
12 then things were getting better and the UN was doing its job and there was
13 hope for the future.
14 Q. Now, you mentioned the trams resumed operation in 1994. Do you
15 recall then following that time the trams having been subject to sniper
16 fire from Serb-held territory?
17 A. Yes, indeed. Whether or not they were targeted, they were
18 certainly hit, and I can only surmise they were attractive targets.
19 Q. Do you recall whether or not in terms of the operation or
20 targeting of the trams or the hitting of the trams there was any location
21 at which the trams were particularly vulnerable?
22 A. Yes. Really, just the same two locations I identified before, but
23 they were most vulnerable, I would have thought, passing that open ground
24 close to the Holiday Inn.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Could we turn then to clip 9, please.
1 Q. Did I make any reports on these incidents, Mr. Bell?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. Is that one of your reports, Mr. Bell?
6 A. Yes, it is, Ms. Edgerton.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have that admitted as the next exhibit,
8 please, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As P614, Your Honours.
11 MS. EDGERTON:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Bell, over the course of your work in Sarajevo in
13 particular, do you recall or were you aware of any incidents of UNPROFOR
14 being targeted by Bosnian Serb forces?
15 A. Yes. The detachment of UNPROFOR with area of responsibility in
16 the city centre were the French. The French lost 70 men over the war and
17 some of whom were apparently targeted in that area.
18 Q. Is -- in regard to targeting of UNPROFOR, is there any incident
19 that sticks out in your mind?
20 A. Yes. There was one fairly notorious incident in which a French
21 army engineer was trying to move an anti-sniper block and he was in his
22 vehicle, in his cab, and he was shot and killed there.
23 Q. Do you recall where that took place?
24 A. To the best of my recollection, that is in the same place where
25 you have seen most of the French armoured vehicles on the other clips,
1 that is to say, close to the Holiday Inn.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Ms. Bosnjakovic, could you play clip 4 now, please.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. Mr. Bell, does that appear to be the incident that you've just
7 A. That is so.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, could I have that entered as the next
9 exhibit, please.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As P615, Your Honours.
12 MS. EDGERTON:
13 Q. To your knowledge, were UNPROFOR targeted throughout the conflict?
14 A. Like the fighting in Sarajevo, Ms. Edgerton, it fluctuated. There
15 were UNPROFOR soldiers killed not only in Sarajevo but in Gornji Vakuf, in
16 the Spanish-held area and elsewhere. Yes, UNPROFOR, throughout the
17 conflict and throughout the country, the casualties they took were not
19 Q. And in Sarajevo in particular, what was the situation as regards
20 the targeting of UNPROFOR in late 1994 and early 1995?
21 A. The Christmas cease-fire negotiated by Jimmy Carter certainly
22 improved things for a while and a sort of dialogue resumed, but it was
23 mid-winter when it was always easier to establish a cease-fire, and to the
24 best of my recollection, by March 1995 that had started to fall apart.
25 Q. Do you recall whether you made --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MS. EDGERTON:
3 Q. Do you recall whether you made reports or broadcasts on the
4 targeting of UNPROFOR at this time?
5 A. I believe I did, but I don't have total recall of hundreds and
6 hundreds of reports.
7 Q. If I could just have your indulgence for a moment, Your Honours,
8 we will play one further clip. In fact, about 15 seconds of your
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Which number is that?
11 MS. EDGERTON: It will be clip number 3.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. EDGERTON:
14 Q. Mr. Bell, are these two of your reports that include references to
15 the targeting of UNPROFOR at this time?
16 A. Yes, they are. I think I said apparently in the first instance.
17 Yes, they are.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have this clip 3 entered as the next
19 exhibit, please, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As P616, Your Honours.
22 MS. EDGERTON:
23 Q. Now, Mr. Bell, at the outset of your testimony, you mentioned
24 reference to Serb-held areas around Sarajevo. I think in particular
25 Grbavica. And I'd like to ask you: Generally speaking, did you have
1 access to Serb-held areas around the city during the course of your work?
2 A. Yes, indeed. We began being based in the Hotel Serbia in Ilidza
3 and Ilidza was Serb-held. We continued to have access, rather
4 dangerously, to Serb-held areas. I used to visit Grbavica. When I --
5 even I was based in Vitez, we regularly went up the mountain road to Pale
6 so it wasn't continuous access, but we had access from the start of the
7 war until August, 1994.
8 Q. And from that time, was access closed to you?
9 A. Yes. Access was closed the day after the Bosnian Serb referendum
10 on the contact group plan which the Bosnian Serbs rejected.
11 Q. Now, in the area of Grbavica, did you observe sniping to have been
12 a concern for the civilians there as well?
13 A. It was a concern for the civilians. Of course, there were fewer
14 civilians in these Serb-held areas, because they had the means of getting
15 out of a war zone, certainly if they were not men of military age, but
16 there was anger and deep anxiety about the -- the sniper activity. And I
17 think I wrote in one of my books that there was no monopoly of suffering,
18 and that certainly applies -- applied to the Serbs. And I have been on
19 the receiving end of a Serb sniper myself and I was very lucky to escape.
20 Never -- I beg your pardon. I must change that. I was on the receiving
21 end of a sniper from the Bosnian government side and I was very lucky to
23 Q. And when was that, Mr. Bell?
24 A. That was on the balcony in the Hotel Serbia in -- on I would say
25 the 2nd of May, 1992. I was doing a report to London, and I don't know if
1 I was targeted, but we saw later on the recording the bullet coming in at
2 head height, and I dug it out of the wall and put it my pocket as a lucky
3 charm until I was mortared three months later.
4 Q. When you say -- I'll ask you two questions based on what you've
5 said there. Could you tell us exactly where the Hotel Serbia is located
6 in Sarajevo?
7 A. Hotel Serbia is in park land in Ilidza. I believe it the Hotel
8 with the archduke stayed before his assassination. It's a hotel with
9 history very firmly in the Serb-held area.
10 Q. Now, you mentioned you were mortared three months later. Exactly
11 when was that?
12 A. That was on the 26th of August, 1992.
13 Q. And could you tell us what happened?
14 A. I was investigating an outbreak of fighting near the Marsal Tito
15 barracks. I elected to go by the back road. My field craft failed me. I
16 stayed out of the armoured vehicle for too long, and I was hit by -- in
17 the lower abdomen by some mortar fragments.
18 Q. Do you have any information or any opinion as to where the mortar
19 fragments that injured you were fired from or came from?
20 A. You never know for sure, Ms. Edgerton, but common sense tells me
21 that if I'm hit and I am in the government-held areas, I am being targeted
22 or hit by a Serb shell, just as if I'm in a -- with the Serbs and a bullet
23 comes in and nearly kills me, I'm pretty sure it's coming from the Bosnian
24 government side.
25 Q. Now, going back to the access to Serb-held areas. I would like to
1 ask you, did you ever visit the front lines surrounding Sarajevo?
2 A. Yes, indeed. We were certainly initially made welcome and this
3 happened almost immediately, and Dr. Karadzic, the president of the
4 entity, was happy to show us around.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Could I ask Ms. Bosnjakovic then if we could turn
6 to clip number 10, please.
7 [Videotape played]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic.
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Forgive me, Your Honour, but we
10 can't see the picture very well. That might have something to do with the
11 lighting. We can't see what's going on. We just see something moving.
12 We don't see the details. I don't know if anything can be ...
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I will ask the technical people to attend to
15 Are we able to proceed?
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. I will just try another time. If it
18 doesn't succeed, a technician has been called.
19 The position is the same? If the position is the same,
20 Ms. Edgerton, move on to another topic and we will return to this.
21 Oh, it's there now. It's there good now. Okay.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. Mr. Bell, is that your voice we hear and is that your video report
25 of the visit to the front line?
1 A. Yes.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MS. EDGERTON:
4 Q. The question, on my colleague and I taking another look at the
5 video, is -- and perhaps you could guide us on this, Mr. Bell. Is this
6 actually a front line location or is it a location that lays behind the
7 front line? And if it assists you, we could play the video again.
8 A. No. I think I can help you with that.
9 As a general feature of the Bosnian war there were no fall-back
10 positions in trenches. I would say that was one of the Trebinje
11 positions, the one not absolutely closest to the city centre but there was
12 a side road with many more positions like that on it, and that was closer
13 to Pale and it was where Karadzic liked to take us.
14 Q. Was there -- at this location was there a sniper position?
15 A. Yes, I believe there was.
16 Q. Over the course of your time reporting from Sarajevo and while you
17 had access to Bosnian Serb-held territory, did you ever visit other sniper
18 positions above the city?
19 A. Yes. Most of the positions I visited were on the high road to
20 Pale, but in January, 1993, I visited an artillery position north-west of
21 Pale looking right down the Miljacka valley into the city where the
22 Bosnian Serb army had two batteries of what they called mountain guns.
23 These were 100-millimetre artillery pieces.
24 Q. Now, in respect of this January 1993 visit you've just mentioned,
25 on the compass with the city of Sarajevo at the centre, would you say the
1 artillery positions lay to the north, south, east, or west of the city?
2 A. These particular positions were to the east.
3 Q. Can you give even a rough estimate of approximately how far to the
4 east they lay?
5 A. I would have thought about ten kilometres, at the most, but closer
6 to the -- obviously, to the front lines, which were very close to them,
7 because the week before we showed up there, there had been an attempt to
8 overrun them by the government forces.
9 Q. At this location, did you observe a line of sight into the city of
11 A. They had a line of sight, certainly. But they were shooting at the
12 time apparently with cannon fire using tracer on to a government forces
13 front line by a forest, I suppose it was about a kilometre and a half
15 Q. So the sight was operational at the time you visited?
16 A. The artillery pieces were not firing, and the colonel told us he
17 had no intention of firing. Then his line was very similar to that taken
18 in the clip you saw from Dr. Karadzic.
19 Q. I just go back to your answer in the previous paragraph. You
20 say: "They were shooting at the time apparently with cannon fire, using
22 So I actually took from that, Mr. Bell, that the sight was
24 A. Oh, it was an active sight. But in -- in the army, you will
25 seldom have an artillery position with no other defence around it. I said
1 apparently cannon, because we couldn't see the cannon. They were in
2 another part of the same front line giving supporting fire.
3 Q. Thank you. During the course of your reporting from Sarajevo, did
4 you observe that the civilians in Bosnian government-held territory
5 suffered from privations in any regard?
6 A. Yes, in many regards. There was -- the siege was almost total.
7 There were shortage and -- except to the extent that it was broken by
8 relief flights by the UNHCR, there were shortages of food, of water, of
9 power, both gas and electricity, for much of the war.
10 Q. Did you see what people did then for fuel, for gas or
11 electricity? How did they cook or how did they keep warm?
12 A. They cut down trees, Ms. Edgerton. You will -- if you go to
13 Sarajevo to this day in the city centre you will find very few mature
14 trees except in the park land outside the Presidency. Those were taken
15 for fuel. And as for water, people went to the few water points that were
16 available when the fighting was at its fiercest, and these, of course,
17 included scooping water out of the river itself.
18 Q. And to your observation did these privations endure throughout the
20 A. Like the fighting, they fluctuated. There was a period, there
21 were periods during winter lulls, during cease-fires, during temporary
22 agreements where gas and electricity were intermittently restored. There
23 was a period when the food situation got better, but come April, 1995, the
24 plight of the civilians inside Sarajevo was as desperate as it had been at
25 any time.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Now, before I move to the next clip, could I tender
2 clip 10, the video of Karadzic, as an exhibit, please, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As P617, Your Honours.
5 MS. EDGERTON: And ask Ms. Bosnjakovic if she could play clip 12.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MS. EDGERTON:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Bell, having looked at these video clips, do they reflect
9 the privations you have described and the way civilians coped through
10 those privations, as you've set out in your testimony?
11 A. Yes. They were obviously shot at different times but -- and in
12 different seasons, but I think they convey the difficulties the population
13 were facing quite vividly.
14 Q. These gatherings of people, as you saw on the first clip, to get
15 water seem to have substantial numbers of people. Do you recall any
16 instance or any information of -- that you might personally have of a
17 water line having been targeted?
18 A. Yes. It happened near the old maternity hospital. Again it was
19 January, 1993. There was one standpipe from which people could get water,
20 but they were sniped at on their way there. And while we were filming
21 there, one of the water carriers was hit in the leg, so we just stopped
22 work, and my interpreter who was a nurse patched him, and I had the only
23 vehicle, so I took him to the hospital.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, if we could move on, I'd like to ask you a couple
25 of questions relating to shelling and some of the comments you made
1 earlier in your testimony about shelling.
2 Did you observe destruction in Bosnian government-held territory,
3 destruction of buildings caused by the shelling of the city?
4 A. Yes. You could see it in some of the landmark buildings like the
5 parliament office buildings, the south side of the Holiday Inn, the old
6 library that was destroyed. There was a certain amount of destruction
7 there caused by tank fire, artillery fire and so on.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Could I ask clip 12 be tendered as the next
9 exhibit. And we play clip 14 following that.
10 Clip, 12, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As P618, Your Honours.
13 MS. EDGERTON: And now moving on to clip 14, please.
14 [Videotape played]
15 MS. EDGERTON:
16 Q. You've spoken about landmark buildings, Mr. Bell. Do you
17 recognise the building that's burning in the picture in front you?
18 A. This one, of course, is the parliament office building. The one
19 before were the Unis towers.
20 Q. And the next building bearing the flag of the Red Cross?
21 A. That may have been a Red Cross building. I can't tell. This is a
22 main residential centre, and as you can see, the damage is not caused by
23 small arms.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have clip 14 tendered as the next exhibit,
1 please. Or could I tender clip 14 as the next exhibit.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As P619, Your Honours.
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. Now, earlier in your testimony, Mr. Bell, you mentioned later in
6 the war Serb used weapons they hadn't used before and you specifically
7 referred to wire-guided missiles, phosphorous and air bombs. If I could
8 refer to the wire-guided missiles first, did you make any report on the
9 use of those missiles?
10 A. Yes, I did, in an attack on the Presidency building.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Could I ask clip 15 be played, please.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. EDGERTON:
14 Q. Is that your report, Mr. Bell?
15 A. Yes, it is, Ms. Edgerton.
16 MS. EDGERTON: Could this clip 15 please be marked as the next
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As P620, Your Honours.
20 MS. EDGERTON:
21 Q. Now, next, Mr. Bell, you've mentioned the use of air bombs. What
22 was the first instance in which you became aware of their use; do you
24 A. Yes. It was in Hrasnica very much in the west of the
25 government-held area in the first week of June, 1995.
1 Q. Did you make a report?
2 A. Yes, I did. Actually, I had difficulty getting the attention of
3 the BBC to allow me to do so, because they said not another explosion in
4 Sarajevo. I said this is different and you should take note of it.
5 Q. And why was it different?
6 A. It was different because this was the first use, to my knowledge,
7 of an aircraft bomb rocket propelled into Sarajevo. This is a -- I
8 suppose we might now call it a weapon of mass destruction, and it is by
9 its nature. We might even call it a weapon of shock and awe. It is so
10 destructive that it is, more than most, incapable of distinguishing
11 between targets.
12 MS. EDGERTON: Could we play clip 16, please, and, Your Honours,
13 that relates to scheduled shelling, I think it's number 6 from the 7th of
14 April, 1995.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MS. EDGERTON:
17 Q. Mr. Bell, is that your report on the use of the air bomb in
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. And I note the date of the report appeared inscribed on the top of
21 the video, and it wasn't in fact a report on an incident in June, 1995,
22 was it?
23 A. No. I remember it as having been in June, but in that case I
24 misremembered. I'm sorry.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, could I have this clip 16 marked as
1 the next exhibit.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As P621, Your Honours.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
5 Q. Are you aware of the use of air bombs on any other occasion
6 Mr. Bell?
7 A. Yes. A similar bomb was fired at the television station I believe
8 in July, and it fell in one of the two wells surrounded by big building
9 blocks there and exploded, causing extensive damage and some casualties
10 and an air bomb was also used on a -- it certainly hit a UN vehicle depot
11 close to the television station at about the same time.
12 Q. Now, to your knowledge, was this the first time the television
13 station had been targeted with anything?
14 A. Not at all, Ms. Edgerton. It had been a regular target for attack
15 from the early days of the war.
16 Q. Do you have any view as to the appropriateness of the use of this
17 weapon in an urban environment?
18 A. I think it is disproportionate and thus against the -- against the
19 rules of law. It has no chance of distinguishing between targets.
20 Q. Did you make any observations or come across any information to
21 the effect that the Bosnian Muslim or Bosnian government forces had any
22 weapons of the same or similar nature or calibre as these bombs?
23 A. No. They were always short of heavy weapons and they certainly
24 had no rocket-delivered air bombs.
25 Q. You also now in terms of different weapons talked about the use of
1 phosphorus. When was that, do you recall?
2 A. Yes, I do recall that. It was on the 24th of May, 1995. It was
3 identified for us as a phosphorous bomb by the UN spokesman, Colonel Gary
4 Kalet [phoen], who used to be a gunner with expert knowledge of these
6 Q. What was the situation in Sarajevo at that time?
7 A. The situation was -- was very tense. The -- the UN commander,
8 General Smith, delivered an ultimatum to Pale to the Bosnian Serbs on that
9 day. And it -- it ended the following day or the day after with hostage
10 taking of the UN by the Bosnian Serbs or it didn't end there, but it
11 continued with that.
12 Q. All right. Over the course of time, you having been in and out of
13 Sarajevo for more or less the -- over the 44 months of the hostilities
14 could you or did you see any effect on the civilian population as a result
15 of the shelling or the sniping or the lack that you've spoken about of
16 basic necessities?
17 A. Yes. The effects were severe on civilians on both sides of the
18 front lines but especially acute on the government side, because the
19 civilians there had no prospect of escaping. They looked hagard, they
20 looked hunted. Their only business of the day was to get through the day
21 to survive. Survival was what it was about. They were -- they were truly
22 desperate times.
23 Q. Mr. Bell, were you in Sarajevo on the 28th of August, 1995?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. Did you make any reports on the shelling of the marketplace?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Could we please play clip 18 then.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. Is this your report, Mr. Bell?
6 A. Yes. And I'm -- to this day I'm not happy about it, but because
7 of the BBC's guidelines we were allowed to show very little of the real
8 bloodshed for fear of upsetting people, and I think we took it much too
9 far. The real scenes of what happened there, I wasn't allowed to show,
10 and I think the BBC should be ashamed of itself for that.
11 Q. Did you visit the scene, Mr. Bell?
12 A. Of course, yes. That's my business. It was my business. And as
13 you prepared this report on the incident and its aftermath, did you also
14 have occasion to view film by other agencies?
15 A. Yes, we did. We ran a pool. It was a cooperative effort, and we
16 had access to all the video that was shot, including the most vivid
17 pictures, which were not included in my television report.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Could have I this clip 18, please, tendered -- or
19 admitted as the next exhibit.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As P622, Your Honours.
22 MS. EDGERTON: And could I ask that clip 19 please be played.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MS. EDGERTON:
25 Q. Mr. Bell, do you have any comment on the film clip you've just
1 seen, please?
2 A. I think it's one of the most shocking of the war. On many
3 occasions, and that was one of them, I was thinking to myself that if you
4 ever tried to make a movie of this war, you couldn't. The scenes going on
5 around me could not be replicated for a movie. They were so terrible and
6 they were real world and really shocking, and I also felt this cannot go
7 on. We were more than three years into it. And I said to myself, you
8 know, this cannot go on. It has to be stopped in the name of our common
9 humanity. That's what I thought.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I'd like to have this clip 19
11 tendered as the last exhibit, please.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As P623, Your Honours.
14 MS. EDGERTON:
15 Q. I have one last question for you, Mr. Bell. Over the course of
16 your time in Sarajevo reporting from that city in respect of this or any
17 other incident, did you make any observations of Bosnian government forces
18 either firing on themselves or staging incidents?
19 A. No, I did not, nor of the Serbs or the Croats, either. As I've
20 just indicated, something like that is just -- is just not stageable. On
21 the larger political question, I think that the government forces had a --
22 and I've said so, in my testimony and in the book I wrote, had an interest
23 in trying to -- to break the siege and they had an interest in attracting
24 the sympathy of the outside world and indeed the intervention of the
25 outside world, but I have no evidence whatever that they would fire on
1 their own people to do that.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you hear stories to that effect?
3 THE WITNESS: There were -- Your Honour, there were-- the place
4 was so full of stories. General Lew MacKenzie, when he left in the high
5 summer of 1992, he gave a press conference to the local press in which he
6 said something like, it would help if both sides stopped targeting their
7 own people, and that was left hanging in the air. I've found nothing to
8 corroborate that on -- I mean, I reported this war from, I suppose, all
9 three sides, and I mean, there were armies with an interest in keeping the
10 fighting going. I mean, you've got to be motivated to be a soldier, but I
11 found, myself, no evidence of that. You saw in that last clip the French
12 army engineers were on the spot almost immediately, working -- doing
13 what's called crater analysis to find out where it came from, and they
14 concluded it came from the other side.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: When did General MacKenzie leave?
16 THE WITNESS: General MacKenzie left, to the best of my knowledge,
17 in about July, 1992.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: July, 1992.
19 MS. EDGERTON: That's correct.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. All right. Are you finished?
21 MS. EDGERTON:
22 Q. Mr. Bell, then, I take it from your response to Judge Robinson
23 that you gave no credence to any stories you might have heard to that
24 effect; is that right?
25 A. That is right, Ms. Edgerton.
1 MS. EDGERTON: I have no further questions now, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I just make one very quick follow-up before we
3 take the break. Because I thought you said you had been the target of a
4 government sniper at one time, so why would government forces be
5 interested in sniping at the -- at the -- at journalists?
6 THE WITNESS: I was within Bosnian Serb-held territory, I was
7 close to an active front line, and I see no reason why -- I never felt the
8 journalists as journalists were targeted from start to finish, but I was
9 rather unwisely in the open and there was a lot of led flying about and
10 one of these bullets nearly killed me, and, Your Honour if I may say so,
11 this happens to you, you tend to take things personally. They tend to
12 think that -- that I could have just been unlucky to have been so close to
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: But suppose you had been just an ordinary
15 civilian. You would have been living in -- sorry. Oh, you said you were
16 living in Bosnian Serb-held territory?
17 THE WITNESS: At that time, yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks.
19 MS. EDGERTON:
20 Q. And this -- the date of that incident, Mr. Bell?
21 A. It was the morning of the big battle for the hotel grounds, which
22 I think was the 22nd of April, 1992.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, the pictures that we saw
24 of the incident on the Markale, are these pictures yours? Did you shoot
25 them yourself?
1 THE WITNESS: They are a mixture, Your Honour, of pictures shot by
2 my own cameraman and some that came from the Sarajevo agency pool, but
3 they were predominantly shot by my own cameraman, because the Sarajevo
4 pictures were too vivid for me to be allowed to use, allowed by the BBC,
5 that is.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I thank Judge Mindua for asking that. You should
7 have led evidence on that issue.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Just to clarify, I assume from the question and
9 Mr. Bell's answer that he's referring to his own report, the first one,
10 P622, when he talks about whose cameraman shot the images.
11 THE WITNESS: That is correct.
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And your cameraman, Witness, got
13 there to this spot right after, I surmise, right after the incident
14 happened? I'm looking at the scene as it looks on the pictures. There's
15 a crowd. There's a lot of cars. There's a lot of traffic. This
16 cameraman of yours, was he already there when it happened or did he get
17 there a while later, and in that case, how long?
18 THE WITNESS: The second set of pictures that you saw were
19 obviously shot by a cameraman who was almost on the spot when it
20 happened. Towards the end of that sequence you will see some white
21 armoured civilian armoured vehicles which were the press vehicles which
22 came down as fast as possible from the press briefing at the United
23 Nations where we all there. Therefore, I would guess that between the
24 second more vivid coverage you saw and the first coverage, there was
25 probably a time-lapse of about ten minutes.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: And are you now finished?
3 MS. EDGERTON: I am.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we'll take the break.
5 --- Recess taken at 6.23 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 6.43 p.m.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic, you are to cross-examine.
8 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examination by Ms. Isailovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Witness. My name is Branislava
11 Isailovic and I am a lawyer from the Paris bar. I defend Mr. -- I
12 defended General Dragomir Milosevic, and I will now ask you a few
13 questions regarding your statement of today. And I will also refer to
14 your statement that you gave to the Prosecutor on the 29th of December,
15 1995, and I will also be referring to the statement of the 1996 --
16 February of 1996. Do you recall giving those statements to the Office of
17 the Prosecutor?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Tonight, we're not going to have much time, so I will start with
20 the statements in question. It's document bearing number DD00-20085.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Correction. DD00-20085.
22 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Your document is -- what is the date of your document?
24 A. Three dates: We have the 29th of December of 1995 and 6th and 7th
25 of February, 1996.
1 Q. Witness, I imagine that you yourself or maybe you went somewhere
2 or maybe you had people come over to see you to take this statement. Do
3 you recall giving this statement on those three dates -- these three
5 THE INTERPRETER: Or start over. Correction.
6 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Do you recall giving these statements on these dates?
8 A. Yes. I recall certainly at one point two lawyers from the
9 Tribunal came to my home in north London and we did it there.
10 Q. So it was on three different occasions?
11 A. It looks as if two of the dates were consecutive, so I think we
12 could take them really to have been two different sessions. I can't
13 remember if one of them was by telephone or not.
14 Q. But at any rate, I would like you to take a look at the screen and
15 to tell us if this statement is bearing your signature, if the left-hand
16 page bears your signature. Can you confirm that to us?
17 A. Yes, I can confirm that.
18 Q. Now, this statement covers the entire period during which you were
19 in Bosnia, in Croatia, in the former Yugoslavia?
20 A. Yes, that is true.
21 Q. The period that we are interested in is Sarajevo, between the 10th
22 of August, 1994, and the 21st of November, 1995. This is why I would
23 invite everybody to go to page 14.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is that in English; do you know?
25 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm going to give the
1 reference in English because my statement [as interpreted] is in English,
2 and I imagine that in B/C/S there is also a page that we can find easily.
3 It must be the same page, probably.
4 Q. Witness, on that page, on two or three places there is a mention
5 of a name, Milosevic. Could you please confirm to us that the mention
6 here is not Dragomir Milosevic but Slobodan -- is not Slobodan Milosevic,
7 but, rather, Dragomir Milosevic. I'm only asking you this to avoid
9 Now, I'm interested in the paragraph that begins by, "if there was
10 a general pattern." It's towards the middle of the page. And I would
11 like to you read out loud that paragraph, please. And then we will talk
12 about it.
13 A. "If there was a general pattern to the fighting in the Sarajevo
14 during the whole of the siege, it was that the Muslims would attack
15 outwards with small arms and infantry, and the Serbs would respond with
16 artillery because that was their strength. The world therefore got an
17 impression that Sarajevo was under constant and unprovoked bombardment.
18 However, the war was being waged by both sides. I would even say that the
19 Muslims had a political interest in provoking the Serbs to use their heavy
21 Q. So you maintain what is said here in this portion of your
23 A. Yes, I do, and I've -- I wrote a book about the war in Bosnia
24 making some of the same points, ma'am.
25 Q. We all have access to internet nowadays. My learned friend,
1 Ms. Edgerton, sent me an article. It seems to be sort of a note that
2 was -- notes that were taken during a televised programme taken with
3 Mr. Mick O'Regan. I don't know if I pronounce his name correctly. Can
4 you confirm that? Do you recall this? It's something to do with a --
5 with a role that reporter plays before international jurisdiction?
6 A. Yes, unfortunately, I don't recognise from your pronunciation the
7 name of the reporter. If could you spell it, maybe. Was it a BBC
8 programme? It doesn't matter, because if I said it, I'll stand by it.
9 Q. No, no. There is no problem. I will spell the name for you. His
10 first name is Mick and then there's O-'-R-e-g-a-n.
11 A. I honestly don't remember the programme. I do vaguely remember
12 his name. I do a lot of television, ma'am. But I'm probably quite happy
13 to stand by whatever I said. You can try me.
14 Q. Yes, thank you. So I'm going to quote something that was said
15 during that interview. It was said that the war in Bosnia, amongst other
16 things, was a televised war.
17 Would you be able to confirm this to us? Or do you maintain this?
18 A. I do. I do. The key qualification is among other things. The
19 war of words and -- and images was -- was extremely important to both
20 sides. It may interest you to know that our -- we were bombed out of our
21 Ilidza headquarters in the second week in May 1992. I had just left, and
22 the -- the editing equipment that we left behind on the video tapes formed
23 the basis of Bosnian Serb television when it was set up in Pale. I only
24 mention this to show how important the televised war was to both sides.
25 Q. So most of the time you were at the Holiday Inn Hotel?
1 A. We were in the Hotel Serbia in Ilidza for the first period for
2 about a month. After that, most of the time in Sarajevo, yes, we were in
3 Holiday Inn. But, of course, when we moved to Central Bosnia we were
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly wait for the end of the
6 question, thank you, before answering.
7 Q. I would like to talk about --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
9 Mr. Bell, the interpreter is asking you to wait until the question
10 has been asked so there is no overlapping.
11 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Yes, maybe it's better to put your headphones. This is why I put
13 my headphones as well. For the interpreters it's easier if we wait
14 between answers and questions.
15 So, I would like to refer to the period going from the month of
16 August of 1994 up until the end of the Dayton agreement. So could you
17 please confirm to me that the Holiday Inn Hotel was in a way your place of
18 residence while you were in Sarajevo; is that right?
19 A. Correct, that is correct.
20 Q. We saw some video clips earlier and we will take a look at more
21 video clips tomorrow, video clips that were taken by yourself. We noticed
22 some incidents, and there was an incident that took place right in front
23 of the Holiday Inn Hotel; is that right?
24 A. Yes. I would say more than one of those incidents took place in
25 front of the Holiday Inn Hotel.
1 Q. Yes, but at that time, how were you able to find out where the
2 shots were coming from -- when civilians who were targeted in front of the
3 Holiday Inn, how did you know where the shots were coming from? I'm not
4 asking you to give us a name but what was the -- what way, what mean did
5 you have of knowing this?
6 A. I suppose the answer is common sense. If a French soldier is
7 standing on -- on the protected side of an armoured vehicle and he looks
8 around the corner and there's a -- you hear the shot and he flinches back,
9 he knows where it's coming from, so I think the answer is common sense.
10 In the same way that when I was nearly killed when I was in Ilidza by
11 somebody on the government side, I assume that the shot came from there.
12 Q. But, precisely, I remember clearly that you said that when you
13 were hit by a bullet in Ilidza, this is what you said: "The confrontation
14 line was active."
15 Do you remember saying that?
16 A. I wasn't hit by a bullet, madam. I was nearly hit.
17 Yes, there was a -- there was a battle going on, on the perimeter
18 of the park land some way away.
19 Q. So you must have noticed at that time -- fortunately you were not
20 hit. You must have noticed that the line of confrontation, when it's
21 busy, it's a very dangerous spot, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, of course.
23 Q. And now, based on your memories which I presume must be reliable
24 of the -- the confrontation line near the Holiday Inn was relatively
1 A. Yes, it was close. I mean, I had been on the Bosnian Serb side
2 and their forward positions which were in one of the faculties of the
3 university, and I would have thought, I would guess that was no more than
4 two or at the most 300 metres from the Holiday Inn.
5 Q. Sorry, which faculty are you talking about, philosophy?
6 A. I remember -- my recollection is not absolute, but I do remember a
7 certain irony that war was going on and one of the front lines was in the
8 philosophy faculty. I think it was philosophy, but I couldn't be 100 per
9 cent certain after 15 years.
10 Q. So you must have seen soldiers of the ABiH around the Holiday Inn,
11 near the confrontation line.
12 A. They were not much in evidence there. I did on one occasion see a
13 group who I took to be snipers, because they were -- there were four,
14 five, men in uniform and they had with them encased weapons, which were
15 surely not fishing rods, and they were going into the office building of
16 the -- of the parliament. But in most of the front line -- I mean, the
17 positions could be only 40 metres or so from each other and the soldiers,
18 for their own protection, wouldn't be out where you could see them.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic, we have come to the time when we
20 must adjourn.
21 As indicated earlier, tomorrow we will start at 8.30. The sitting
22 schedule for tomorrow has been sent, I understand, by e-mail to all the
23 parties, and I hope it is satisfactory.
24 We stand adjourned.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m., to
1 be reconvened on Friday, the 27th day of April,
2 2007, at 8.30 a.m.