1 Friday, 27 April 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic, you are to continue with your
8 WITNESS: MARTIN BELL [Resumed]
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Isailovic: [Continued]
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
12 We're now going to carry on with your statement, as we said it
14 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to have the help
15 of the usher to have the document DD00-2005, please. That's page 14 of
16 the English version, and page 15 in the B/C/S version.
17 Q. Witness, after that paragraph which you read yourself yesterday,
18 carry on down your statement, I'd like to you take a look at what comes
19 right after paragraph (c) at the left of the screen, or rather, the
20 paragraph at the left of the screen which starts with: "Nevertheless."
21 In the earlier paragraph, which we already commented on, you were
22 referring to the military situation in Sarajevo and consequences for the
23 civilian population, right?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. You've used -- I'm now going to translate it into French, but you
1 used the word "traps" for civilians. They were caught in a trap. Could
2 you just say the word in the microphone so it's in the transcript. You
3 used the word which is the equivalent of trap?
4 A. Yes. I said that the burden of the bombardment fell on the
5 civilians trapped within the city.
6 Q. And, in fact, since by your profession as a journalist, you had to
7 travel everywhere through Bosnia. You can put it like that, right?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Well, you were acquainted with the situation of civilians
10 elsewhere, all over, in the rest Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Could you then say that everywhere, other than Sarajevo, civilians
13 with the help of the Red Cross and other international organisations were
14 helped to leave, to flee mostly to western countries.
15 A. It was very difficult for them to flee, madam. Some people did
16 manage to get out early in the war from Sarajevo. Civilians were trapped,
17 not by the encirclement of an enclave, not only in Sarajevo but in the
18 Lasva Valley where the Croats could not get out.
19 So it was not a situation totally unique to the civilians in
20 Sarajevo, but those on the government side of the lines were, of course,
21 facing an encirclement; whereas, those on the Serbian side of the lines
22 were able to get out to safer territory, if they wished.
23 Q. But would you say, and here I'm concerned with the time between
24 August 1994 and up to the Dayton agreements, did you know of the existence
25 of a tunnel in Dobrinja, leading to Igman and free territory basically, of
1 government forces of Bosnian forces?
2 A. Yes, I was aware of that. The press were, of course, kept away
3 from it for reasons of operational security. My understanding was that
4 its uses were mostly military and that the Bosnian government forces were
5 able to use it to bring reinforcements into the city. But if an ordinary
6 civilian wished to use the tunnel to get from inside out, that would have
7 required special permissions.
8 Q. At the time, did you perhaps know about the person who was in
9 charge of handing out these permits?
10 A. No, madam, I did not.
11 Q. But one may say that the tunnel was not in fact used to evacuate
12 civilians who is wanted to get out of the city itself, of the city centre
13 of Sarajevo, that part that was held by the forces of the government of
15 A. So far as I am aware, they were not able to do so on any
16 significant scale. I didn't -- I didn't see any great difference in the
17 population of the size of the population of Sarajevo at that stage of the
18 war relative to what it had been three years ago, three years before.
19 Q. But you did see that there was a difference between the military
20 activities during the period where you were in Sarajevo. I'm speaking of
21 the entire duration of the conflict. There were different areas, so to
22 speak, in that conflict, weren't there?
23 A. Yes there were. The intensity of the fighting fluctuated. There
24 were times of relatively lull and quiet, and I would specify, for example,
25 in January of 1995. There are times when it reached a real peak and the
1 worst of these were the summer of 1992 and the summer of 1995, with the
2 addition of what I said in my evidence to Ms. Edgerton, that some new
3 weapons were also deployed and there were signs of an of an implement
4 attempt by the Bosnian government side to break the siege in the
5 spring/early summer of 1995.
6 So the military -- the answer to your question is that the front
7 lines were nearly all the same, that the military situation was not
9 Q. And, in fact, you say in your statement, and that's the last
10 sentence basically, the last paragraph on page 14: "The Serbs were on the
11 defensive [In English] throughout 1995."
12 Does that confirm what you just said?
13 A. Yes. I talked to them early in the war and I had a long session
14 with Dr. Zametica, actually, and I said this is going to happen. A time
15 will come when the manpower on the government side is so great and yours
16 is so little that you will have difficulty holding your lined. And this
17 in fact happened with an attempt to break out of the city and into it. It
18 actually got across the Pale road, and yes, I would say that certainly
19 from the time when Glamoc and Grahovo were lost in the previous year. I
20 would say that the -- that the Bosnian Serbs were on the defensive, yes.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Can we conclude from that that on the other side
22 government forces, the ABiH, were in fact on the offensive?
23 A. It was not only the army of BH. They were preparing for an
24 offensive, which they delivered and which actually didn't quite succeed.
25 But the Croats were breaking through on the -- on the western flank, and
1 the big change in the military situation came from the HVO and regular
2 forces from Croatia.
3 Q. But at that time - I'm now referring to 1994 and 1995 - they were
4 together, right? They were on the same side, the Croat army and the army
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, against the forces of the Republika Srpska, right?
6 A. That is true, and that is one reason why the forces of the
7 Republika Srpska were on the defensive.
8 Q. But before that, since you're familiar with the situation even
9 before 1994, did you know of anything about the relations that existed
10 between the HVO and the army of the Republika Srpska? That's before they
11 allied with the forces of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. I heard reports of actually liaison between the two armies, though
13 I never saw it for myself. This was, of course, the time of what I call
14 the side war between the army of BiH and the Croats, chiefly in Central
15 Bosnia, and the Serbs were stood aside from that. It was not their war,
16 but clearly it helped them.
17 Q. And did you know at the time the hospital at Blazuj, near Ilidza,
18 it was called -- well, it wasn't actually a hospital. It was a wartime
19 hospital. It was called Zetra in Blazuj, near Ilidza?
20 A. No. I did visit one Bosnian Serb field hospital, but it was not
21 that one.
22 Q. Now, let me get back to the time for which my client is accused
23 before this Chamber, that's August 1994, coming towards the end of the
24 war. Is it correct to say that the situation of civilians was also
25 fluctuating as a consequence of the military activities that were going on
1 in the theatre of operations?
2 A. That is absolutely correct. When there was a lull in the
3 fighting, it was safer for civilians to walk the streets and there was
4 more chance that basic supplies of gas and electricity and water would
5 also be restored. So it depended entirely on the fighting and the
6 external access to the city and the point of relief flights coming into
7 Sarajevo airport. And that -- what I'm saying that the plight of the
8 civilians in Sarajevo on both sides, like the fighting itself, fluctuated
9 and that the two bore a relation to each other.
10 Q. And did you hear anything about tunnels being used to bring food
11 into the city; that is, that part of the city which was in the hands of
12 the forces of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes, I did hear reports of that. As I explained for reasons of
14 operational security, we were -- the press was kept away from tunnels.
15 But I think to be realistic, it could have been only on a reflectively
16 small scale because of the size of the tunnel.
17 Q. Mr. Bell, you told us yesterday.
18 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I have to apologise before the
19 Chamber and my learned colleagues that I can quote neither the page nor
20 the line of the transcript, since we were not able to use a quote last
21 night, neither at home nor in the room of the Defence.
22 Q. If you remember saying the following, I'd like you to confirm it.
23 "The situation regarding food improved around the spring of 1995." Do
24 you remember saying that yesterday?
25 A. I probably said that. This would have been the consequence of at
1 least two months of -- of relative calm in the city; but then, of course,
2 when the fighting started, it deteriorated again.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see Ms. Edgerton is on her feet.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, Your Honours. If it assists, I have the
5 copies of the transcript of yesterday in English, the relative pages. I
6 can refer my friend to, and I'm happy to provide those -- the copy of the
7 transcript to Mr. Bell, if that might assist his recollection.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That will be helpful, but it seems as if he
9 has agreed that he did say that.
10 So let us proceed.
11 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And, yesterday, we looked at several videos showing the plight of
13 the civilians and filmed by you, your own cameraman, and commented by
14 yourself sometimes. Unfortunately, there were no dates on those videos.
15 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] And for the transcript, I'm now
16 going to give the names of these exhibits, which have been put in as
17 exhibits without dates P609, P610, P613, P614, P615, P617, P618, P619.
18 Q. I'd now like you to confirm for me, or deny, that these videos,
19 with no dates, were in fact filmed between August 1994 and 1995; that is,
20 towards the end of the conflict.
21 A. It's difficult for me to do that without having these videos
22 before me. I think most of them were from that period, but it is possible
23 that some of the early sniper videos of snipers corner were taken before
24 August 1994; on the other hand, I'm sure that the videos involving the
25 French armoured vehicles were taken during and shown during the period
1 relevant -- immediately relevant to this trial.
2 Q. You also said yesterday - this time I do have the page in the
3 working version of the transcript. I noted it. It was page 68, line 28 -
4 in which you said that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was trying to draw
5 attention, the attention of public opinion. Do you remember saying that,
6 and can you confirm it today?
7 A. Yes, indeed.
8 Q. Can one say then, having looked at all these videos and you
9 confirmed something about this yesterday, that a lot of incidents --
10 sniping incidents happened around the Holiday Inn, in front of the Holiday
11 Inn Hotel. Is that right?
12 A. Yes. Most of the sniping incidents in my experience happened in
13 that area and about four, 500 metres to the east in what became known as
14 snipers corner.
15 Q. And yesterday, with Ms. Edgerton, you talked about an incident in
16 which a girl was, I believe, shot dead on August 11th, 1994. And you said
17 - I'd like you to confirm it if you can - that this happened near
18 headquarters, the headquarters of the ABiH, and that journalists were
19 there and filmed it. Is this something that you can confirm?
20 A. I can confirm, and I would like to ample fly that if I may. It --
21 the girl was shot actually not outside the main corps headquarters but
22 outside the press office, which was separate in a different area from the
23 corps headquarters, and I think it was separate for reasons of operational
24 security so that the journalists could come and go without a lot of
25 security. It just happened to be in that street, but it was just the
1 press office of the corps that was there.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Ms. Isailovic.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bell, there was something that you said
5 yesterday in your testimony, and I have tried to recollect it and my
6 colleagues have confirmed. I believe you said that the ABiH had a
7 political interest in provoking some of the incidents. Do you remember
8 saying something to that effect.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. I said that, and I have written
10 it on a number of occasions.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you explain what the interest is? What do
12 you mean by a political interest.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. The army of the ABiH and the
14 government side were facing a very critical situation, especially in their
15 relative lack of heavy weapons that they would only be able to break the
16 siege by making sacrificial attacks, which is what they attempted.
17 They were all the time, I think, from the beginning of the war to
18 the end, looking for outside intervention, to help them; and to that
19 reason, they were not going to sit quietly under a siege. They had an
20 eloquent spokesman in Haris Silajdzic, who consistently used the media to
21 call for outside intervention.
22 So, yes, I think it is best to explain, if you like, there were
23 two conflicts going on in the city. One was a conflict between two
24 armies; the Bosnian Serb army and the ABiH. But there were also
25 bombardments of civilian areas and the -- and the sniping at civilians,
1 which I would say happened on both sides and were against the rules of
2 law, as I understand them.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you recall any particular incident which you
4 might be able to say was provoked by the ABiH?
5 THE WITNESS: There was a -- there was fighting on the 24th of
6 May, which started very early in the morning, and which, as I remember,
7 led the Bosnian Serbs to take their heavy weapons back out of the special
8 zones where they had been put in safe areas. This was part of a previous
9 deal. And they went and seized them because they felt their lines were --
10 were going to be overrun so they took their heavy weapons back. And that
11 was what led General Smith to -- to threaten the Bosnian Serbs with
12 retaliation, which happened, and that in turn led to the seizing of UN
13 military observers and other UN personnel by the Bosnian Serbs as
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you tell us generally what form would this
16 provocation take?
17 THE WITNESS: The ABiH had mortars. It knew where the Bosnian
18 Serbs positions were. They would, from time to time, use their mortars.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you mean that they would initiate an attack?
20 THE WITNESS: They certainly initiated an attack when they tried
21 and, indeed, succeeded in crossing the Pale road, I think, early in June
22 1995. That was -- we actually had video of their infantry. It was on a
23 long shot. You could see them snaking up the hill to storm the position.
24 I mean, it was -- it was a war fought on both sides.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Bell.
1 Could I just pick up on your distinction between the two wars.
2 Who waged the second war?
3 THE WITNESS: In my opinion, Your Honour, the second war was waged
4 on both sides but the preponderance of it by the -- by the Bosnian Serbs.
5 Both sides had snipers. There is evidence of civilians being targeted
6 and, indeed, killed on both sides, but there were many fewer civilians
7 left there Grbavica, which was the area most in danger. If you drove
8 through Grbavica, you would see these tarpaulins, the sheets, on lines
9 across the road, which were put there in order to -- to blind the snipers.
10 The shocking thing, to my point of view, because I mean I
11 understand wars between main forces. I have been there lots of them, but
12 I had not seen the targeting of civilians. Well, I had been in Rwanda but
13 I hadn't seen the targeting of civilians on this scale before.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: My question really was whether the so-called the
15 second war was fought between the military forces; that is to say, that
16 they were fought out by personnel which formed part of the military
17 structure, and thus under command of the responsible officers.
18 THE WITNESS: I think, Your Honour, you will find that as the war
19 went on, the armies became increasingly structured and increasingly
20 professional. When the war began, you would find on the Bosnian Serb side
21 militia men and soldiers with Chetnik insignia; that is, the old
22 irregulars going back. Those were removed from the uniforms.
23 The Bosnian Serb army prided itself on being a correct and
24 disciplined military force, and the ABiH was also. It got rid of some of
25 its dissident elements. There is was a notorious character called Juka
1 who was driven out and fled and joined the Croats in Mostar. I would have
2 thought by the end of 1992, the armies were much more like regular armies
3 than they were when the war began, with chain of commands.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I just to be sure that I have understood you
5 correctly put the same question from the back side; namely, to say that it
6 is it your understanding that civilians did not themselves take a direct
7 part in the conflict. They did not take to arms.
8 THE WITNESS: They obviously did in so far as they were recruited
9 into the military; and if you were a young man of military age, you had
10 little chose over than to serve. In the early weeks, anybody who had a
11 gun picked it up and used it; but as the war developed, no, I would
12 discount the idea that there was any significant freelance military
13 activity, except for gangsterdom and criminality, which did occur,
14 especially within the city.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Isailovic.
17 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Bell, I'm going to carry on in the same direction. I earlier
19 asked you about this specific incident that had occurred in front of the
20 press centre. Now, just before the anti-sniping agreement was signed, you
21 also referred to one of your memories. I don't know exactly when the
22 incident happened, but you did tell us there were people waiting for
23 water. They were queueing up to get water, that you yourself were
24 present, and that you filmed that time when those people started being
25 shot at. You were right there. Can you confirm saying that?
1 A. Yes. I did say that, and I was there. But if it is any help to
2 you, this was in a period before that -- to which this Court is investing
3 itself. It was during the winter of 1992 to 1993 that the sniping of the
4 water pipes -- standing pipes was particularly acute, because that was
5 when the water shortage was the most acute.
6 MS. EDGERTON: And for the record, that is at page 61 of the
7 transcript from yesterday.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Edgerton.
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I didn't take a note
10 of the page number.
11 Q. I have now given a few examples, and I'm going to give some more
12 of situations that had one thing in common; that is, the presence of
13 journalists right when the incident was happening. Can you put it that
15 A. The incident -- I mean, there were many incidents happening when
16 there were no journalists there. I would be very reluctant to suggest
17 that anything happened because there were journalists. We're talking
18 about a relatively small area, one end to another maybe about two miles.
19 The press corps was never less than about 50 strong. They were around in
20 the streets a lot. There were many water points in the winter of 1992 to
21 1993. There would not have been any press around at all.
22 I happened to be doing a documentary, a longer programme, and I
23 wanted to show something of the plight of the people. I simply wanted to
24 show them getting their water in difficult circumstances. But while this
25 was happening, this man was shot at. It was happening all the time and
1 most of it frankly went unrecorded and unmarked by the press. It was part
2 of daily life.
3 Q. We have also watched videos of what happened at Markale. That's
4 the incident of Markale 2 on August 28th, 1995. And since in this Chamber
5 we've seen quite a few exhibits that relate to this incident, I'd like it
6 ask you whether you think it is fair to say that journalists went there
7 faster, in fact, than even the local police, if you look at the video?
8 A. Looking at the video, as we remember, was in two sections. One
9 was my edited report, most of which was shot, I would have thought, 15, 20
10 minutes after the attack, but it was quite obvious there was one camera
11 very close and on the scene immediately. Again, this wouldn't altogether
12 surprise me.
13 This was a time when the press corps was increasing in numbers
14 because it had been a very active and dangerous summer, and I don't think
15 that any particular significance can be read into the fact that there
16 happened to be a camera nearby. It would is been very odd if in the
17 middle of the morning or around market time, there hadn't been a camera
18 around anywhere. It was a city with a lot of the cameras in it at the
20 Q. While on the subject of these provocations, or rather, to begin
21 with, before anything else, it is very important.
22 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to have this exhibit
23 tendered, DD00-2085, if I could have a number for that exhibit, please.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: D178, Your Honours.
1 THE WITNESS: Is this a document?
2 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. It's the document that's on the screen before you. It's a
4 technical issue. Before I can move to another document, I have to have it
5 tendered as evidence.
6 Now, I'd like to you take a look to watch a video together. This
7 is one of your films. On the list, it has the number 4D.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
11 [Videotape played]
12 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
14 [Videotape played]
15 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. That was the video that was shot on September 4th, 1994. Do you
17 recall these events, this video?
18 A. Yes, I do, Ms. Isailovic.
19 Q. Well, this is, in my opinion, a good example, this particular
20 video. Your colleague is in this studio back at the BBC and is
21 summarizing basically what is going on. What you've shot lasts roughly
22 two minutes, and some conclusion had to be made, have to be drawn in order
23 to draw the interest of the viewers. That's the way it works, correct?
24 Is that the way it works?
25 A. I don't think in this case conclusions were necessary.
1 Editorialising was not necessary. The difficulties of arranging the
2 Pope's visit because of the insecurity in Sarajevo at the time would get
3 the viewer's attention anyway.
4 Q. What I think is interesting is that your colleague back home in
5 the BBC studies says that the Serbs can't guarantee the Pope's safety. Is
6 that something that we with agree on?
7 A. That's what he said. I am not sure I want to be held responsible
8 for what the news reader says in the studio. I would stand by what I
9 wrote there. Thank you.
10 Q. Certainly not. I am merely trying to analyse how things work in
11 the media, with your help because are you in the best position to explain
12 it to us.
13 Can we then agree that hearing what was being said in that news
14 reel, the word "Serb" and that of "safety" are put together. It's the
15 Serbs that can't guarantee the safety of the Pope?
16 A. I don't think I said that. We have -- we had a difficulty there.
17 At the time, I don't think we were able to get to Pale. Those pictures
18 would say have been sent from Pale to London, the pictures of Karadzic and
19 slotted into the report.
20 Now, there were times when the Serbs said, in 1995, they could not
21 guarantee the safety of UN flights, and I would then say that that was
22 taken by the UN to be a threat against -- against their flights.
23 But looking at that exhibit, I think it stands up pretty well as a
24 fair-minded report, that the Pope's safety was threatened by the war, and
25 either side could have provoked or carried out an incident on that time
1 and blamed it on the other. And as I also pointed out, there were others
2 at risk besides his own. I haven't seen that since I did it, but I'm not
3 ashamed of having done it, if you see what I mean.
4 Q. I quite agree with you. But this very way of working for the
5 television news is being discussed in the west. The idea is that it
6 presents to us, the television viewer sitting around the dinner table, a
7 vision of what is going on far away but which is of a concern to us, as
8 human beings, even though we're sitting in there, eating, and looking at
9 disasters far away.
10 This way of doing things, would you say that it requires for one
11 thing to draw everybody's attention, one thing to trigger the attention so
12 that people will go on watching? Would you say that beyond this
13 particular video that is the way that you make television news?
14 A. I would say it is the way television news is sometimes made. It
15 is, for instance, extremely difficult to get a television programme to
16 accept a story about peacemaking or post-war reconstruction. But at the
17 height of the war, we didn't need any editorialising, any tricks, any
18 slight of hand. The images and the facts of what was happening were
19 themselves sufficient to attract and keep the attention of the viewers. I
20 didn't see any artifice in that particular -- I see that as a very
21 straight report, that example you gave.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic, to what part of your case is all
23 of this relevant?
24 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, if I may use my own methods,
25 so to speak, and "slight of hand," to quote, I have my own documents that
1 I want to show Mr. Bell. We're going to look at them together and in the
2 perspective of what the television viewer sitting back home in Britain was
3 watching. Looking at what was going on in Sarajevo and based on the
4 documents of UNPROFOR. This, I think, can be an interesting exercise.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're not here for interesting exercises. I'm
6 asking how does this effect the question of the criminal liability of the
8 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, actually, Your Honour, you
9 know that the case of the Defence is, as it has been shown several times,
10 that the media were doing a lot of manipulation to do with the role of the
11 army of the Republika Srpska, of which my client happened to be a
12 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. And I think this is going to be
13 an example of what is being reported on, in good faith, but compared with
14 the documents actually compiled by the people who are there, and who are
15 investigating the actual event, related to this particular visit and the
16 visit of the Pope as planned, which in the end didn't happen.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you suggesting that he has been wrongly
18 charged because of exaggerated reports by the media? I'm trying to
19 understand how it affects the liability of the accused.
20 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, you see, Your Honour, the
21 Defence has contested all along and will continue to contest the factual
22 basis of this case. All those incidents that happened, that we contest,
23 we do not agree with the version given by the Prosecutor about these
24 incidents. What I would like to show now is the documents available and
25 compare them with this particular news report. This witness is in a very
1 good position to tell us, and he does talk about the interest that the
2 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina had --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic, let us move on.
4 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Okay. But now I'm a bit lost.
5 I've lost the thread of what I was trying to get at, but I do hope that
6 I'm going to pick it up very quickly.
7 Q. Before I was interrupted by the Judge, I was about to -- we were
8 watching a video shown by the BBC, and there was talk about Serbs being
9 unable to guarantee the safety of the Pope.
10 I'm now going to ask you a question: On that day, September 4th -
11 that's the actual date of that report - did you hear of an incident, a
12 sniping incident, that happened to target people in Zetra. A place where
13 they were building this alter for the planned and subsequently failed
14 visit of the Pope, which was what provoked the lack of safety, the
15 insecurity that you just mentioned in your report?
16 A. If there was such an incident, if there was such an incident,
17 Ms. Isailovic, it which must have happened after that report was compiled
18 or, of course, I would certainly have included it.
19 Q. Well, I would like to have a look at document DD00-2123. And to
20 begin with, were you familiar at the time with press conferences -- the
21 press conferences given by the UNPROFOR in Sarajevo?
22 A. Yes. Whenever I was in the city and not otherwise engaged, I
23 would attend these press conferences.
24 Q. And what we have here is an UNPROFOR report about the events that
25 occurred between September 3rd and 4th, 1994. According to a general
1 assessment --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Correction: Following general
3 assessment, you can read the paragraph, more specifically the three first
4 sentences of that paragraph.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, the UNPROFOR - and this was also mentioned in the regular
7 press conference - was suggesting, in fact, that the government side, the
8 government forces, were provoking, that they were shooting around Zetra,
9 which was supposed to be the place where the Pope was going to speak. I
10 assume that you had to work very quickly; and because of that, you had to
11 leave out this UNPROFOR report?
12 A. Ms. Isailovic, I was reporting on the day for the day. I was in
13 the area of Zetra myself on the day. That report would have been used at
14 the end of the day. You will see from the UN report there was no sniping
15 activity reported in the city on that day.
16 So whatever the relative significance of what happened the day
17 before, I clearly considered at the time that it was not significant
18 enough to nut my report. I'm not saying I was right. We all make
19 mistakes, but the -- when you saw the French senior officer looking around
20 and the preparations being made, I mean, those people would not have been
21 making those preparations if there been serious sniping activity in the
23 Q. But these sniper events were going on on that very same day on
24 September the 4th.
25 We're now going to look at another document. It's in English. We
1 do have a document in French, but that has already been tendered. So I'd
2 rather show you -- I'd like you to take a look at this report of an
3 investigation of the UNPROFOR --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: By the UNPROFOR.
5 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] These are, in fact, sniping
6 incidents in Zetra. And these investigations tend to show that the
7 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina was to blame and that these sniping
8 incidents are to be considered as a provocation. Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, I see that. I also see that this was included in the press
10 briefing for the 5th of September.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Ms. Isailovic, when you show us a
12 document on the screen, it would be best to give us its number. I take
13 notes myself, and I don't actually know what to call this document.
14 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] DD00-2078. Sorry about that.
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
16 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Oh, please forgive me. DD00-2116.
17 Your Honour, I would like to have this document tendered since we
18 can use it to demonstrate that these events were in fact known. But since
19 we already have this document up, this is Exhibit D51. It's a report of
20 this incompetence but it's the French version, and this is a report on the
21 investigations carry you had by the UNPROFOR in the wake of this sniping
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Isailovic, I'm not quite sure of the dates.
24 Could you help us out here.
25 I see on the top of the screen a date which appears to be the 6th
1 of September; and then in point 1A, it says that the HQ Sector Sarajevo
2 sitrep, dated 04/22/00, which as we have been taught would signify the 4th
3 of September at 10.00 p.m., states that a Danish team, and so on, had been
4 shot at. So that would indicate that this incident did occur, in fact, on
5 the 4th of September, and yet the report somewhere else also appears as
6 having been made on the basis of incoming reports made on the 5th of
8 So what is the exact relevant date of this document?
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there are many dates
10 and that's normal in a way, because it's an investigation report from the
11 site -- on-site report. So this is the 4th of September, 1994 -- one of
12 the reports is on the 4th of September, 1994 and after that investigation
13 took place; and then we have Exhibit D51 that with be shown as well. But
14 that is already tendered into evidence.
15 So the French team made or carried out a complete investigation on
16 this; and following these investigations, which were carried out on the
17 5th of September, they drafted this report on the 6th of September. So
18 all this looks very logical to me. It's logical that there are many
19 dates. And if we look at the report, the report that I was showing a
20 little bit earlier, the first report relates to the first day of the
21 incident. So I wanted to show the witness a report that was seen by
22 viewers in England on that day, and I wanted to put a few questions to our
23 witness regarding that.
24 But, first, I would like to ask that this document be tendered
25 into evidence.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document ID number DD00-2116 becomes
4 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. And to be able to look at all the elements before I put the
6 question to you, we have this document. It's D51. We see it. We see
7 this document on the screen. I'm sorry. So we see the first page, and
8 it's in French. Therefore, I'm going to read it for the interpreter.
9 "Incident occurred on the 4th of September 1994 in Zetra. And in
10 Sarajevo on the 5th of September, the following day, the investigation was
11 carried out given the importance of what happened and following the
12 interpretation given by the reporters of the event."
13 Mr. Bell, I'm very glad are you here and I can ask you this
14 question, but are reporters required to be so fast? And because of this,
15 does that stop you from checking the information afterwards and to correct
16 the information received eventually if something was erroneous and to say
17 it to the viewers?
18 A. Ms. Isailovic, obviously, in the nature of news, we are not
19 shooting a documentary. You gather what information you can when you can.
20 And you prepare it as accurately and as fairly as you can. And in this
21 particular case -- I mean, not everything that happened. There were
22 attacks on the UN regularly all over the city at its outposts, and we
23 didn't know about them all at the time.
24 And, clearly, if we had been in Zetra at these hours, we would
25 have reflected what had happened. But if you also look at your paperwork,
1 you will see it didn't get into the UN system until late that day after I
2 had filed my report. I mean, I cannot conceive of having known of an
3 attack alleged by the UN to have come from the BiH forces on an UN patrol
4 near the stadium, almost on the eve of the Pope's visit. I would have
5 been extraordinarily negligent not to have used it in my report.
6 I can only add that I have a reputation. My colleagues in the
7 press corps tended to regard me as rather an odd character, that I would
8 tend to bend over backwards to be -- to be fair to the people who were not
9 represented on that side of the line, even though we had no direct access
10 ourselves to Pale. In fact, I will admit that some of my colleagues
11 thought of me as being rather pro-Serb.
12 Q. Yes. But my following question is to ask you to either confirm or
13 deny whether the role of reporters is not to carry out investigation but,
14 rather, to show the truth. It is to inform the viewers of all the
15 information that you have at your disposal before you show your televised
17 A. That is always what we tried to do. To be honest, the easiest
18 thing to report is a fire fight, a battle. One side doing this and the
19 other side doing that. To be fair to the viewers, we tried to give it a
20 little bit of context. Why is that side doing that? With what weapons?
21 In what circumstances? Where can we find out how did this begin?
22 Therefore, an element of investigation is necessary to the craft.
23 But it's all very fragmentary because we only have a few hours to put it
24 together. I would especially on the really difficult issues, like the
25 reporting of atrocities, I would never go with allegations. You had to be
1 absolutely sure before you reported something.
2 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I forgot to ask
3 that the video clip be tendered into file. So it was the portion that we
4 were able to see, and then later on we can see with the Registry how we
5 can do this. But it's the document that's bears the number 7160, from 47
6 minutes 51 seconds up until the end of that video clip.
7 I was told yesterday -- the Prosecutor, rather, told me yesterday
8 that it is important to withdraw that particular part, or to select that
9 particular portion and to give it a number.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit that particular portion of the
12 THE REGISTRAR: As D180, Your Honours.
13 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Bell, you also mentioned, yesterday, that there were attacks
15 that were carried out against the television building. We called this
16 building the TV building. Do you recall stating that yesterday?
17 A. Yes. Yes, I did, and it is true.
18 Q. And you've also stated that this building was always a target, was
19 a permanent target is in a way; is that right?
20 A. I don't think permanent is right because it suggests that there
21 are constant attacks, but there were many attacks on it over the first
22 three and a half years. I remember standing outside it in April 1992, and
23 we just saw one shell after another coming in on the face, roughly every
24 two minutes. It was -- at the time, it was targeted. It was targeted by
25 the air bomb in 1995, and there were attacks in between.
1 But constant, no.
2 Q. I would have liked to show you a document that's part of documents
3 that were introduced by the Defence, D103. This document relates to that
4 shell or air bomb that hit the television building on the 28th of June,
5 1995. I would like to ask you to look at it briefly, and then I will ask
6 you a question about it.
7 This is a report stemming from the UNPROFOR, or rather, excuse
8 me. It's an UN report. We see here that it says, "heard and saw."
9 A. Can we scroll down it a little bit?
10 Q. Yes, please.
11 So it was by chance that this report was found. It is a report
12 from the UNMOs, and they were stationed in Sarajevo. They describe in
13 this report, this water collection point and they say that the shell or
14 the projectile came from the territory controlled by the army of the --
15 the ABiH army. Are you surprised by this?
16 A. Can you show me where it says that, please.
17 Q. "Heard and saw." It's approximately where the cursor is.
18 A. Okay. I've got it. I'm not your best witness on this,
19 Ms. Isailovic, because my colleague, Jeremy Bowen, was doing the reporting
20 from Sarajevo at the time.
21 Q. Mr. Bell, my question was to ask you whether you are now surprised
22 by this. There is some evidence to tell us that the television building
23 was targeted by the ABiH forces. Are you surprised by this?
24 A. Yes. I am surprised because I have no knowledge that they had
25 such a weapon in their arsenal.
1 Q. On the other hand, as a reporter and an independent reporter, you
2 were not able to know the entire arsenal of the ABiH army?
3 A. We would over three and more years have a pretty good idea, and
4 nothing of this kind had been used before. I mean, I would be interested
5 to see what the UNPROFOR briefing said about this attack.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is this the first time you're hearing of this
8 THE WITNESS: It is not the first time that I'm hearing of the
9 incident, but it is the first time that I'm seeing this particular UNMO's
11 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Bell, you said that at the time for the first time those
13 weapons were seen, air bombs, it was the first time during that period
14 when those bombs were seen, and that's when you heard of this new weapon.
15 Is that right?
16 A. Yes, that is correct. I was in Sarajevo at that time, and the
17 first use of this weapon was in Hrasnica, as we described yesterday.
18 Q. You're not a weapons expert, I imagine?
19 A. I'm not an expert in heavy weapons, madam, but I have been a
21 Q. I am also not a weapons expert. But regarding that weapon, since
22 the weapon in question appeared for the first time in the spring of 1995,
23 it was considered to be a new weapon, and you did not have time to check
24 if both sides had that weapon. Is that right?
25 A. It was my general experience of the war even then that if an army
1 had a weapon, it would use it. They were improvising. The Croats were at
2 one point were rolling sea mines down the hills into villages. If they
3 had a weapon, they would use it. I would be really interested. Because
4 you do surprise me with this document, I would be interested to see what
5 UNPROFOR's conclusion was.
6 We have here one report by an UNMO. I would like to see how that
7 was presented at the following briefing. That would be helpful. But, of
8 course, I wasn't there at the time so, as I explained, I'm not your best
9 witness here.
10 Q. Mr. Bell, I wanted to show you this report because you have
11 excluded the possibility, yesterday, of an eventual fire that could have
12 come from the ABiH forces on two parts of the territory that they
13 themselves held.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton would like so say that that is not a
15 correct characterisation of the evidence.
16 MS. EDGERTON: No. Ms. Edgerton would actually like to say, Your
17 Honours, that these questions have been asked an answered and asked an
18 answered. I think the witness has reaffirmed his answer several times
19 that he wasn't there at the time. Mr. Bowen is the appropriate witness to
20 comment in more detail about this. He has asked for UNPROFOR's final
21 conclusion. The matter has been fully dealt with now several times over
22 now, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, the last utterance from Ms. Isailovic was
24 more in the form of a statement than a question. She says she wanted to
25 show the report because, yesterday, the witness excluded the possibility
1 of an eventual fire that could have come from the ABiH forces on two parts
2 of the territory that they themselves held.
3 What is you're answer to that, if indeed it was a question?
4 THE WITNESS: Even if it wasn't a question, I will attempt an
6 This is the first evidence I have seen from within the UN system
7 of any account of an attack of certainly of a heavy weapon of this kind
8 being used by the ABiH. I don't know if this report is correct or not. I
9 mean, if I were doing anything in this court other than being a witness, I
10 would like to see what the -- what the UN's final conclusions were when
11 they had done the crater analysis and everything else that they do. So I
12 would just -- never having seen this before, if I'm allowed to, just to
13 suspend judgement on it, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
15 Now, Ms. Isailovic, I have to conclude that you have exhausted
16 this topic. Please move on to another area of questioning.
17 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. But before I go
18 on to another topic, I would like to put the following question to
19 Mr. Bell.
20 Q. Had you ever heard of --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is this on the same topic?
22 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] No, no, no. I'm not talking about
23 the television building anymore. It's a general question.
24 Q. Sir, we've heard evidence before this Trial Chamber, and I will
25 quote the page; page 975, line 20 of the transcript. We've heard a
1 general, his name is Nicolai. General Nicolai was at the time the head
2 of -- I'm not really certain what his function was at the time, but it was
3 at the time while General Rupert Smith was the commander of the BH sector.
4 He was working him, and he testified before this Tribunal and told us that
5 his predecessor at the UN, a General Van Baal, talked to him and told him
6 after the investigation that he carried out that there was at least one
7 occasion an example when BH forces fired on the territory that they held,
9 So, Mr. Bell, General Van Baal, does that ring a bell, that name?
10 Did you know him maybe at the time when you were in Sarajevo?
11 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, if I may, that's -- I have here page
12 975, line 20 in front of me, and that is not what General Nicolai said.
13 General Nicolai said, "General Van Baal, who was actually my predecessor's
14 predecessor, told me before my departure that in one specific case, they
15 had a very strong impression that the Bosnian Muslim forces had fired on
16 their own people with the intention of shifting the blame towards the
17 Bosnian Serbs," and he continued.
18 I'm formulating it because it was very strongly his impression
19 that that is the way it happened. They never had 100 per cent evidence of
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you for that.
22 Now Ms. Isailovic --
23 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] No, no. But, in fact, I raise for
24 this moment. In fact, I wanted to give the exact reference. I wanted to
25 do it before but I was interrupted. The page is 1045. And during the
1 redirect the Prosecutor, Mr. Docherty, asked a question to that effect.
2 He wanted to know if those were rumours. But General Nicolai said that
3 General Van Baal carried out these investigations, and that it was
4 following those investigations that he himself was able to make this
5 conclusion. That was on page 1045, line 3.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is not the page you quoted Ms. Edgerton.
7 MS. EDGERTON: No. I quoted the first page that my friend was
8 referring to, and I quoted it verbatim, Your Honours. Now I would like it
9 if we could go to page 1045 and report exactly what General Nicolai said.
10 He replied: "But to answer the question, was General Van Baal
11 basing this material" --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that in re-examination.
13 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
14 "But to answer the question, was General Van Baal basing this upon
15 material he had received from somebody else?"
16 The answer was: "The answer was based on the outcome of
17 investigations into the incident that happened during the period that he
18 was Chief of Staff."
19 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] But this is exactly what I said,
20 Mr. President. I said the same thing, didn't I? Following the
21 investigation, he was able to get to conclusion as --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the question that you wish to put to the
24 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I have already put the question to
25 the witness before I was interrupted by my learned friend, Ms. Edgerton.
1 Q. So, sir, did you know General Van Baal at the time of your stay?
2 A. I knew General Nicolai who was, as I remember, the Chief of Staff
3 to General Smith, but I do not remember having met General Van Baal.
4 Q. So I imagine that you never heard of this incident that General
5 Van Baal investigated following which the conclusions were that the ABiH
6 forces fired on their own territory?
7 A. My response to that was that this would be such an important
8 allegation and an important investigation that there must be somewhere
9 within the paperwork of UNPROFOR a result of an investigation, rather than
10 just a report of what one general said to another general afterwards.
11 These are very serious matters and these allegations were raised
12 from time to time, and we constantly tried to get to the bottom of them.
13 I mentioned General MacKenzie having made allegations of this sort against
14 one side or another - he didn't specify - in July 1992.
15 I'm not a lawyer, but I would think you -- this is so serious a
16 matter that you would expect a hard documentary evidence of the
17 investigation at the time.
18 Q. I think so, too. They must exist and I will try and find them,
19 but first I wanted to know if you heard of General Van Baal?
20 A. No. I may have heard of him; but if I did, I have forgotten.
21 General Nicolai I did know.
22 I think probably General Van Baal's period of office coincided
23 with the time when I was reporting the war in Central Bosnia.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, Ms. Isailovic, we're five minutes to the
25 break, and I'm told that you have remaining about six or seven minutes for
1 your cross-examination.
2 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, already now I can
3 tell you that I would need a little bit more time. Maybe just a few more
4 minutes, because I would like to finish my second topic that I would like
5 to start, which was already -- which already in evidence.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will grant you an extension, so let us
8 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Yesterday, Exhibit 621 was
9 tendered into evidence. It's a video from the 7th of April, 1994 relating
10 to Hrasnica. It's a video clip, and I would have liked to see the entire
11 clip that was shown on the BBC television the evening of the 7th of April.
12 And I would like to ask my assistant to show us the same video
13 clip, DD00-7160. It is a 65 ter document. It's at 30 minutes and 44
14 seconds. This is where it starts.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Yesterday, we saw part of this video. Do you remember that,
18 Mr. Bell?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Now, simply to have the information whole, I thought it was a good
21 idea to watch the whole thing that was seen by the television viewers,
22 those people who were watching the BBC that evening. And there was a part
23 not shown by the Prosecution, and that is the part where you were standing
24 with the soldiers of the ABiH, I believe, at a time when they were
25 preparing for this offensive. Is that basically right?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. You have earlier stated concerning the incident in Hrasnica that
3 Serbs were attacking for three days in a row, is that correct, that part
4 of Sarajevo.
5 A. That part of Sarajevo was under pressure at the time.
6 Q. At the time, were you aware of the fact that Hrasnica was, in
7 fact, a very important location where soldiers of the ABiH were present?
8 A. I was aware that it was certainly a front line location; and if it
9 was a front line location, then ABiH soldier would have been there.
10 Q. So there was a time of intense fighting. Is that the right way to
11 put it?
12 A. It was a time when the intensity of the fighting was increasing,
13 and we were aware that this kind of a showdown was about to occur, yes. I
14 could just add that I'm not responsible for the selection of the videos.
15 I am only a witness, but I think the report was reasonably fair and
16 balanced because it showed what was happening in two areas, and people can
17 draw whatever conclusions they wish.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will take the break now.
19 20 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.05 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.28 a.m.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Isailovic.
23 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Bell, we're now going to carry on. We've looked at the video
25 from start to end of April 7th, 1995, and in your comments --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: We heard your
3 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Now, as a witness at the time, can
4 you confirm to us that before April, there had been a lull on the Sarajevo
5 front line?
6 A. There had been, to my recollection, a relative lull. There had
7 been quite a lot going on in other front lines around the country.
8 Q. But, specifically, in the Sarajevo area as a whole, it's fair to
9 say that in early 1995 and up to the beginning of the spring, this was a
10 relatively quiet time and the cease-fire was in fact respected.
11 A. Yes, I think I would agree with that.
12 Q. Now, I would like to look at document together. I don't think
13 that you have seen this document before, but it's a part of our case file.
14 It's Exhibit D163, and I'd like to stress at this point we were take being
15 April 7th, 1995. You, in your report, were stating that for three days
16 the Serbs had been attacking Hrasnica. Do you remember that?
17 A. If you tell me the words that were used, they certainly attacked
18 it on that day.
19 Q. Actually, I'm trying to quote you what you're saying in the clip
20 that we just watched, in the video. You were saying, and maybe we could
21 watch it again. You were saying that the Serbs had been in the offensive
22 for three days in a row at Hrasnica, which is a suburb of Sarajevo. I
23 think that is roughly what you were say?
24 A. If I said that, I said that. I'm certainly not going to waste
25 your time by asking to you play it again.
1 Q. Quite. Now, what I'd like you to do now is to look at this
2 exhibit -- Defence exhibit that you can see here is a letter written by
3 Mr. Rasim Delic. Is that a name that rings a bell?
4 A. Yes, certainly. He was the commander of the ABiH at the time.
5 Q. And he writes to Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, who was the president at
6 the time of Bosnia. I'd like to you look at the document and particularly
7 the middle of the page.
8 A. Yes, I see it.
9 Q. It says here, I'm going to read it in B/C/S --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: To the counsel, please read
11 the portion in B/C/S again.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're being asked to read the B/C/S portion
13 again, Ms. Isailovic.
14 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I was merely trying to draw your
15 attention. We can read it in English here as well: "[In English] We
16 will defend ourselves."
17 [Interpretation] Do you read that?
18 A. Yes, yes I see it. What particular part do you wish to draw my
19 attention, Ms. Isailovic?
20 Q. Well, it's around the middle starting, "[In English] We will
21 defend ourselves."
22 A. "We must continue saying that we will defend ourselves." Yes, of
24 Q. Now, upon reading this, does it look to you that Mr. Rasim Delic
25 is displeased with the cease-fire, that he is not happy with it. Is that
1 fair to say?
2 A. I think the fair to say that he is planning an offensive. He is
3 planning to break the siege, and I think that was consistent with the
4 second part of my report. That is what the soldiers were training for
6 So this doesn't surprise me at all, nor does it surprise me that
7 he says that "we will defending ourselves" when in fact they were
8 attacking. That is, in fact, what they did. What everybody did. I see
9 no surprise in this. I just wish I had access to it at the time.
10 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] And since the document is already
11 an exhibit, I'd like to have the whole of the clip of the video that we've
12 seen tendered. Parts of that is already exhibit P 261, but I would like
13 to have the Defence exhibit be the whole of this video, meaning video
14 number 65 ter V000-7060, minute 30, 40 seconds, to the 11th minute, 53rd
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bell, would you just explain to us again your
17 understanding of the sentence, "We must continue saying that we will
18 defend ourselves and that we will not be the first to attack."
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 A. I think on both sides of this war, certainly at that time, they
21 would always say they were responding to attacks, rather than initiating
22 attacks. It was also a time when we in the Sarajevo press corps were
23 aware that there was an offensive coming up, we had heard reports of the
24 BiH fighters being moved from Central Bosnia closer to Sarajevo and even
25 through the tunnel in Sarajevo. To prepare for it, there was one special
1 forces unit called the Black Swans, who were involved in these military
2 movements of soldiers, troop movements.
3 What I'm saying, Your Honour, is I don't see anything that
4 surprises me in that interesting paragraph, but it really confirms the
5 kinds of things that we were saying at the time, in the sense that an
6 offensive was imminent.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Isailovic.
8 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, starting from this time - I'm referring to the time when
10 fighting started again in April - do you recall if that was the beginning
11 of a time of rather intensive fighting and that was going to carry on?
12 A. I would not say that the fighting in April was so intensive,
13 except in the capture of Mount Vlasic, which I have in my notes of the 9th
14 of April. I was not here for the rest of April so I can't answer that;
15 but certainly in May, it became very intense, yes.
16 Q. And after June 1995, were you also --
17 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, I'm waiting. The
18 Chamber is conferring.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Continue, Ms. Isailovic.
20 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. If you would care to look at what you were doing in June 1995,
22 were you in Sarajevo at that time?
23 A. Yes. Yes, I was.
24 Q. And in that month of June, did you notice how intense fighting
25 was? I'm referring specifically to the area -- the urban area, really
1 along the Miljacka river.
2 A. Yes. I would specific it was particularly heavy on the 7th and
3 the 8th of June, according to my records.
4 Q. And further on, if you still have your notes, were you still in
5 Sarajevo on June 15th and 16th?
6 A. Yes. My notes tell me there was a BiH offensive on the 15th and
7 an attempted break out of the city on the 16th.
8 Q. Now to complement --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: To conclude the
11 MS ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to look at 65 ter
12 number DD00-7060.
13 Q. We already watched part of this video yesterday. It's a BBC dated
14 April 9th, 1995. I would have liked to watch it together, the whole
15 thing. So we can have all of the information it contains as it was given
16 to the television viewers by yourself. This was Exhibit 616 and we are
17 now going to see the video as a whole. That is the 35th minute.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Now, there, Mr. Bell, we've seen a fragment that we didn't see
21 yesterday of this news report concerning these soldiers, a liaison
22 officers, Serb liaison officers, that had been expelled, to go by what
23 they are saying, by General Smith. I presume that refers to General
24 Rupert Smith, who was at the time commander in that sector of
1 Would you be in a position to explain what you're showing in this
2 news report, please?
3 A. Yes. You can say by the branding on the top of the screen that we
4 couldn't get to Pale at the time so we took it off air. These were two
5 liaison officers who been based in the Gornji Vakuf at the UN base there,
6 as part of a confidence building measure, I think, put in at about the
7 time of the Christmas cease-fire. It was -- there was a lot of
8 unhappiness inside UNPROFOR about this decision to expel these two liaison
9 officers and the way it was -- it was handled.
10 That's all I can tell from memory, but I had good friends inside
11 the UNPROFOR headquarters. I know there was some fierce debates at which
12 it was concluded that was not well handled. This whole matter was not
13 well handled by UNPROFOR.
14 As for the video in general, if the UN told me they were expecting
15 a Serb offensive, then they were expecting a Serb offensive. But I think
16 as I tried to explain as even-handedly as I did, there was fighting on
17 both sides, and it was pretty clear to us that a military showdown was
18 imminent. But the expulsion of these two -- these two liaison officers, I
19 suppose, was another sign of how bad it was getting.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
21 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry about that. I would like
22 to have this part of video, 65 ter number V000-7160, tendered as evidence,
23 35th minute to 36, 26 seconds.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As D182, Your Honours.
1 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] And just to check with the
2 registrar, was the earlier video duly tendered and given a number? I'm
3 speaking of the one dated April 7th.
4 THE REGISTRAR: I don't have the dates. However, I have DD00-7160
5 tendered and admitted as D181.
6 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] That's right. Thank you very
8 Q. I also want to thank Mr. Bell. It was a great honour to me.
9 Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any re-examination.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, actually just one question.
12 Re-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
13 Q. Mr. Bell, today at page 7 of the transcript line 25, you were
14 asked whether you recalled saying yesterday that the situation regarding
15 food in Sarajevo had improved in the spring of 1995; and without the
16 transcript in front of you, you said: "I probably said that."
17 Now, Mr. Bell, you have the transcript in front of you, and I'd
18 like to direct you to page 60, line 20. And for the record, I can read
19 what appears on the page in front of you.
20 When asked whether these privations endured throughout the war,
21 you said: "Like the fighting, they fluctuated. There were periods during
22 winter lulls, during cease-fires, during temporary agreements where gas
23 and electricity were intermittently restored. There was a period when the
24 food situation got better; but come April 1995, the plight of the
25 civilians inside Sarajevo was as desperate as it had been at any time."
1 Do you stand by what you said yesterday, Mr. Bell?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. EDGERTON: No other questions, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bell, that concludes your evidence. We thank
6 you for come together Tribunal to give it and you may now leave.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next witness.
10 MR. WAESPI: Good morning, Your Honours, Mr. President.
11 The next witness will be W-156, who will be in closed session,
12 pursuant to your decision.
13 [Closed session]
11 Pages 5320-5396 redacted. Closed session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the name of the witness, Mr. Sachdeva.
20 MR. WHITING: Ijaz Hussain Malik.
21 JUDGE MINDUA: I think if is the witness is not protected, one,
22 you should remove the curtain.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
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: IJAZ HUSSAIN MALIK
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
5 And you may begin, Mr. Sachdeva.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Examination by Mr. Sachdeva:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
9 A. Good afternoon, sir.
10 Q. Can you start by stating your full name and your date of birth,
12 A. I'm Ijaz Hussain Malik, and my date of birth is 20th of the
13 October, 1959.
14 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, with your leave, can I lead the
15 witness through personal details.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 MR. SACHDEVA:
18 Q. Mr. Malik, are you, presently, a colonel in the Pakistan army?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you joined the Pakistan army in 1979; is that right?
21 A. Yes, October 1979.
22 Q. And your remit or speciality is infantry; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. I'm in infantry.
24 Q. Were you deployed for Dessert Storm in 1990 with the Pakistani
1 A. Yes, i was part of Pakistani contingent, and it wasn't in the main
2 sector. It was on one the sides towards Yemen.
3 Q. Colonel, were you deployed with the United Nations, firstly, in
4 Zagreb in October, 1994?
5 A. Say it again, please.
6 Q. Were you deployed with the United Nations in Zagreb in October
7 1994, as part of the Pakistani contingent?
8 A. It wasn't part of the Pakistani contingent. At the start of my
9 mission as military observer, I was initially posted in Zagreb as air
10 field monitor, and there after the second mission was in Sarajevo.
11 Q. As an air field monitor what were your primary duties?
12 A. As an air field monitor, I had three duties. Number one was there
13 was an office right inside the airport, and we had to man that office.
14 Number two was there was a radar, again, in the airport. It was
15 part of that civil airport. One panel was given to us, and we had to
16 monitor that and report the violations.
17 And the third one was it was patrolling of the area. There were
18 two Croatia air bases. One was pretty close to the airport and the
19 another was a little further away about ten, 12 kilometres away. We had
20 to go there and just [indiscernible] the aircrafts.
21 Q. You said in an earlier answer that you were then deployed to
22 Sarajevo. When was that?
23 A. When I was deployed there, is that the question?
24 Q. Yes, that's right.
25 A. The first six months, I think from 14th October to probably 30th
1 of April, I was in Zagreb; and, thereafter, from first of May till end of
2 mission, which was 14th of October, 1995, I was on the strength of the
4 Q. Where were you deployed in Sarajevo?
5 A. Initially, I was deployed in a team. Sierra India was probably
6 the name, and the place was Hrasnica. It was on the outskirts of the
7 Sarajevo. It is a little away from Sarajevo city main.
8 Q. And when you say your team, do you mean UN Military Observer team?
9 A. Yeah. We used to stay as a team. There used to be ten, 12
10 military observers from different countries living together in a civil
11 hired accommodation. So, initially, yes, it was Hrasnica. We were about
12 ten, and we were in Hrasnica for about two months. Later on, the position
13 was changed.
14 Q. You said that you were about ten people in the team. Do you
15 recall who was your team leader?
16 A. When I went there, I think, for first one or two weeks, probably
17 it was a British officer. I don't remember his name, but he was a
18 captain, as far as the rank is concerned. And after about one or two
19 weeks, it was changed. He left the mission and somebody else, I think it
20 was Captain Melum from Norway. He was a Norwegian officer. He was the
21 one who took over as team leader.
22 Q. When you were posted to Zagreb, and before you arrived in Sarajevo
23 in May 1995, did you undergo any training; and if so, what kind of
24 training did you have?
25 A. As such, there was no formal training meant for me. Any UNMO,
1 when they were going in the mission, they were given, initially, a few
2 tests, tests for the UN entry. And, thereafter, it was about three days,
3 I think, general training. That included how to fill in certain forms and
4 going right to different places, in case you're posted to a hard area,
5 like, Sarajevo where it is more active. So a very cursory sort of, what
6 do you call it, training. In general, you can't call a course; but,
7 certainly, three days for filling out the forms and knowing the details.
8 Q. And in those three days, did you undergo training with respect to
9 investigations that -- that you would do once you arrived in Sarajevo?
10 A. Yeah. To some extent - I would not say 100 per cent - I was
11 introduced with certain formats, and those were basic things. I mean,
12 there was nothing to be trained in that. We were just trained for three
13 days, four days.
14 Q. In your career with the Pakistani army, have you had training in
15 what is termed as crater analysis?
16 A. Crater analysis by itself, not as a course. But in an army, I
17 have undergone, I think, eight, nine, ten courses. So even in the very
18 basic course, they do give us a know-how of the crater analysis. But
19 certainly, it is meant for the specialist for a particular arm. And from
20 infantries, we don't have to do crater analysis. But I had an idea, and
21 it was in the basic training.
22 Q. So would you say that are you familiar with the fundamentals of
23 crater analysis?
24 A. Yes, you can say the basics.
25 Q. Now, you said that you were posted in Hrasnica. I'm going to --
1 well, firstly, why don't you start by telling the Court what were your
2 duties with the UNMO team, Sierra India 1.
3 A. Can I have water, please.
4 Q. Of course.
5 A. You asked me regarding my tasks in Hrasnica?
6 Q. That's right.
7 A. Hrasnica, number one, was that we had to patrol the area. Number
8 two was there was one OP. It was basically manned by the French soldiers,
9 and we also used to go there just for about two, three, hours in the
10 evening, daily. Number three was reporting of the incidents in case there
11 was an explosion or firing.
12 Q. When you say "OP," do you mean observation point?
13 A. Yeah, observation point.
14 Q. Thanks. And from that observation point, what were you able to
15 observe, generally, first?
16 A. From observation point, it was located, if I may recall, on the
17 start of the track, which used to be at that time known as Gunway Road.
18 It is on the Igman hill. And from where it started, just about, I think,
19 after about 100 or 200 metres, it was a little higher than the normal
20 place. So from that place, I think, we could see very clearly a place
21 known as Ilidza; then a general area of Butmir Sokolovic; and to some
22 extent - I would not say very clearly - but to some extent, I would say
23 probably to the right, I'm forgetting the name, that was given a number
25 Q. That's fine. Let me just ask you, if I was show you a map, would
1 you be able to, approximately, mark the location of this observation
3 A. Approximately, yes. It may not be 100 per cent correct.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, if I could have 65 ter 2738 brought
5 up on the screen, please.
6 Q. Colonel, in a moment, a map will appear on the screen in front of
7 you, and I will ask you a few questions.
8 While that is loading, maybe I can ask you a question. You
9 mentioned that you can see clearly a place known as Ilidza. Do you know
10 whether the army of Republika Srpska or the ABiH controlled that area?
11 A. Sorry, say again?
12 Q. The place of Ilidza, this is a place that you said you could see
13 from the observation point. Can you tell the Court which party the
14 conflict controlled that area?
15 A. I think it was Serbs.
16 Q. Okay. We have the map now.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: If the bottom left-hand section could be enlarged,
19 Q. Colonel, can you see that map?
20 A. Yeah.
21 Q. And can you see Hrasnica?
22 A. I can't see Hrasnica written anywhere. Just point it out, please.
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Perhaps we can scroll down to the bottom left, so
24 we can get that whole section. That's fine.
25 Q. Is that clearer, Colonel?
1 A. Yeah.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Can it be enlarged further, is that possible?
4 Q. How about that?
5 A. I can see it clearer now.
6 Q. Okay, fabulous. Can I just take the pen which the court usher
7 will give you and mark the place Hrasnica, please.
8 A. Just the Hrasnica, you said?
9 Q. Yes. For the moment, Hrasnica.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. And if could you now, with a cross, just mark the location of the
12 observation point that you have earlier spoken about?
13 A. Okay. It may not be 100 per cent correct. What I recollect is
14 that at the end of Hrasnica, on the left, it used to go up. If this is
15 Igman, so probably it was somewhere here. It was close to the convoy road.
16 Q. Thank you. And the convoy road, can you --
17 A. I don't know if marking is correct or something.
18 Q. That's okay. Can you mark with the letter R the location of the
19 convoy road?
20 A. That's what I'm saying, that probably this could be in this, like
21 this one.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. It was further right, even including this, what do you call it,
25 Q. Just with respect to this convoy road, who -- in your time there,
1 who used that road?
2 A. It was used, I think, by everybody, by the civilian workers, by
3 the UN vehicles. I think there was certainly NGOs who also used it.
4 Q. And how significant or how important was this road?
5 A. I think it was probably the most important. As I know it, this
6 was the only road available for communicating with the Sarajevo from this
7 side. That was the only place.
8 Q. Now, you said that you would go to the observation point?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I think you said a few hours every day; is that right?
11 A. Yeah, yeah.
12 Q. And what was it specifically that you observed when you were
14 A. Basically, I observed, for one, it was very close to the convoy
15 road, so we could see the movement on that road.
16 Number two, any firing incident, because the firing incident in
17 those days were mostly in this area. Any movement on this was fired upon
18 from a position in the [indiscernible]. So that was one reporting of the
19 incidents, the number of vehicles moving, and at a time -- they is were
20 timed. It wasn't -- everybody can't go there. So the time was given that
21 from this place to this time to this time, a particular convoy is going do
22 be move. It could be civilian convoy. It could be any other convoy. So
23 we used to observe that.
24 And number two [sic], in front, it was a higher place. So in
25 front in case, there was any firing incident or maybe some movement if
1 that is visible at that time, that was also reported upon.
2 Q. Firstly, let me ask you, how -- the view or -- yes the view from
3 the observation point how good was it?
4 A. Up to Ilidza, it was okay. We could even find the -- lots of
5 people were moving. But certainly the skeletons and the general movement,
6 we could feel it. You could see with naked eye. We had the binoculars
7 also. But even with naked eye, up to Ilidza, yes. Not
8 towards right side, towards left side, yes.
9 Q. And you said that -- you said in those days there was firing from
10 positions, I think you said in Ilidza; is that right?
11 A. Please repeat the question.
12 Q. That you saw -- that you observed firing from positions in Ilidza?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. Firstly, do you recall what -- briefly tell the Court, what did
15 you see being fired from Ilidza?
16 A. The only thing I'm very sure that there was either the 12.7 or the
17 14.5 rifle firing in the direction of the convoy road. I mean that was
18 very normal. If there were any vehicle moving on this, rest assured that
19 it will be fired upon. So that was one. And other than this, there were
20 certain mortar rockets fired from this area to the general direction of
21 the track which was going to the Sarajevo.
22 Q. Can you firstly mark -- you have already marked the Igman road.
23 Can you mark that track "going to the Sarajevo," as you have stated?
24 A. I was there for only, I think, three, four months, and it is over
25 now 12 years. I may not be 100 per cent correct.
1 Q. That's no problem.
2 A. Generally, I know that if this is the airport, it used to cross on
3 this side, going like this one; and then maybe somewhere here, we think
4 this is convoy road or something.
5 Q. Age so you said that mortars from Ilidza would fire on that track;
6 is that right?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Let me ask you how did you know it was a mortar being fired from
10 A. Number one, as I said, even with the naked eye, you can find the
11 positions. Mortar is a weapon that has its different select. You can
12 even find it out on ground, if it is being fired upon from a particular
13 place and when you are located at such a position. So that is one.
14 Number two is it has a different type of trajectory, the weapon
15 itself. It is not a direct firing weapon. So on that clue by itself
16 indicates the type of weapon, the loop of the trajectory that makes the
17 rocket makes. And then even the distances where it falls, that also
18 indicates that it can't be a very long range weapon, or something. So
19 mortars were certainly a small range weapon.
20 Q. You said that you used to go to the observation point at I think
21 you said in the evening.
22 A. Yeah, at night. Evening, at night, I mean, say, 7.00, 8.00, that
23 was the time. The exact times were not there. Maybe one hour later.
24 Q. Can I take it then that while you were there, it was -- well, was
25 it dark?
1 A. Yes. It was dark, yes.
2 Q. Is there anything about -- well, did the darkness or the lack of
3 light assist you in any way in determining that mortars were being fired
4 from Ilidza?
5 A. Maybe you can say -- for sure the 12.7 and 14.5, they have the
6 tracers. So you can clearly find from this place that it is being fired
7 and where it is retained So that is for sure. In case of mortar, you
8 can't say. They don't have the tracer, where generally the point of
9 impact or when it is fired, maybe a small little flash. So that is one
10 thing. But for sure, 12.7, yes, tracers were being fired.
11 Q. Now, on this road that you marked, this track going to the
12 airport, in your time in Hrasnica, who used that road? What kind of
13 vehicles travelled on that road?
14 A. I'll say almost all kinds of vehicle. I can't specify, but these
15 were being checked by the UN, closer to airport and closer to Sarajevo.
16 Only the designated and the [indiscernible] were allowed to go to
17 Sarajevo. They were the only ones who were permitted.
18 Q. Yes. Perhaps my question wasn't precise enough.
19 Were there -- was this road exclusively used by military, or were
20 there also civilian vehicles using that road?
21 A. I would say for all, for all. For everybody, not exclusively.
22 But at that time, I mean, the civilian traffic was comparatively lesser.
23 Q. You said "not exclusively," so are you saying civilians did use
24 that road?
25 A. Yes. Yes, certainly, when I say it was NGOs and people who were
1 being fired on that day, yes.
2 Q. And you saw from Ilidza that road being hit, being targeted. Was
3 it -- from your observation, is it your view that civilians were also
4 being targeted on that road?
5 A. I would not say specifically that it was meant for the civilians.
6 Any vehicle driving on that road was being fired on, whether it was
7 civilian, whether UN, or whether it was somebody else.
8 Q. Can I ask you to, if you can see it on there, can you just mark
9 with an I the location of Ilidza, please.
10 A. It was somewhere here. I can't see it. Generally, I think this
11 would be the area. This one maybe, if it is the one ...
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I ask that this still be admitted
14 into evidence.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P634, Your Honours.
17 MR. SACHDEVA:
18 Q. Colonel, I now want to concentrate on the area of Hrasnica. That
19 is where you were posted.
20 Firstly, to your knowledge, and while you were there, were there
21 any military barracks or installations in Hrasnica?
22 A. Frankly, I, in person, have never visited any of the barracks.
23 But one of the captains, he was -- I think the name was Captain Mustafa.
24 He used to come to our team, just for the -- asking for any administration
25 or some help. So that indicated that maybe -- and he used to introduce
1 himself among the staff officers. Whether that is correct or not, I
2 cannot say because I have not visited any of the barracks there.
3 Q. Well, do you know if there were barracks in Hrasnica?
4 A. Maybe.
5 Q. Did you, while you were there, ever see Bosnian government or
6 Bosnian army mortars being fired from -- from the residential area of
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you ever see Bosnian army tanks in that area in Hrasnica?
10 A. No. Yes, I only say, one day we heard there were some tanks. We
11 went, not me but my teammates, went outside to see there were no tanks. I
12 haven't seen a tank.
13 Q. Do you know who you heard that from?
14 A. I remember it was the interpreter or somebody from -- or the
15 landlord at the house that we were living in. They said, We had seen some
16 tanks, and immediately the team members went outside, but there was
18 Q. So upon that information, members of your team went outside to
20 A. Yeah.
21 Q. And they did not see --
22 A. No, they did not see.
23 Q. I'm going to ask you in a bit more detail in a moment, but did
24 something happen to you on the 1st of July, 1995 in Hrasnica?
25 A. Yes. 1st of July, there was explosion outside our accommodation,
1 and I was injured.
2 Q. Okay. And I said I will just get to that topic in a moment. But
3 I want to ask you where you were; in other words, where your team was in
5 A. We were --
6 Q. Just one second, sorry. The place where you were, were there --
7 in that vicinity, were there any military facilities, military vehicles in
8 the vicinity of that place?
9 A. Does that include the UN also?
10 Q. No, no. I mean really from the Bosnian army.
11 A. Not in the close vicinity. I can't say. I'm very sure not on,
12 say, five to seven houses on both sides. It was a civilian area, and our
13 house was somewhere in the centre. Not there, not in that line.
14 Q. Now, when you conducted -- well, let me ask you, did you conduct
15 investigations into shelling incidents?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And these incidents that you conducted investigations on, were
18 they incidents that involved civilians -- were they incidents that
19 involved civilians or military personnel?
20 A. It was only civilians.
21 Q. When you conduct the your investigation, what -- what did you or
22 your team members what did you do?
23 A. I couldn't get your question, please.
24 Q. What exactly was your role when it came to these investigations?
25 A. Oh, okay. When the moment, we used to hear all the time reported
1 by somebody, so we used to rush to that area, the area of impact. And
2 there was a form. We had to fill it, and you had to include the area of
3 impact, the time of incident, and the damages, the injuries, casualties.
4 Casualties, I mean, at times were there when we used to reach; and at
5 other times, they were removed from that place and we might have to go to
6 the hospital or the morgue. So all these things were to be reported
8 Q. When you talk about casualties, if, as you say, they weren't at
9 the scene, was it routine for the -- for you and your team members to
10 visit the hospitals to confirm the casualties?
11 A. In a way, yes. No where was it written that we must go to
12 hospital and to the morgue, but we had to report the casualties so we used
13 to go to those places.
14 Q. And I take it you personally did that on occasion?
15 A. I did it, yes, sir, once or twice.
16 Q. And when you did that, how were you able to establish that the
17 casualties or the injured persons that you saw were indeed injured from
18 the incident you were investigating?
19 A. Frankly, when it was the time difference between the incident and
20 the UNMO reaching there, myself, in one case, I [indiscernible] a place.
21 I think it was Butmir probably, and there were certain flesh of the body,
22 even found in that area. And when asked, they said they have moved one of
23 the dead body to one of the morgues close by. So I went there. They were
25 You cannot just say that probably the injury has been caused just
1 a few minutes back, so that is the only reason; otherwise, I can't say
2 that -- it is merely the -- time of injury and you reaching there is
3 between 15 or 20 minutes. So you can make out whether it is this injury
4 or not. If you're asking me whether it was -- the reason was something
5 else, I would say maybe.
6 Q. Now, you were talking -- you were about to explain the incident on
7 the 1st of July, 1995.
8 A. You want me to give the entire --
9 Q. Let me ask you one question before you do give an explanation. Do
10 you recall what that incident was caused by, what kind of weapon caused
11 that incident?
12 A. Okay.
13 Q. The one that --
14 A. Should I give the entire answer now?
15 Right. It was 1st of July when the incident -- I have my
16 birthday -- my wife birthday is 1st of July, and now I also after this
17 incident celebrate my birthday. I thought probably I got another life. I
18 was sitting and writing a letter to my wife, and it was in one room. It
19 was a two-storey house. The lower portion was with the landlord, his wife
20 and his son and his daughter-in-law. We were on the second, we had the
21 office there, the kitchen and it was on the first floor, and second was
22 mainly the accommodation.
23 So I was sitting in the kitchen on a table writing a letter, and
24 the rest of the team, they were sitting in the so-called office, and they
25 was enjoying -- probably it was one of the team members' national day,
1 Canadian or something.
2 Q. Colonel, I'm very sorry, I loathe to interrupt you. I just want
3 to ask one or two questions from what you said just now. You said it was
4 a two-storey his house with your landlord, his wife, his son. Were these
5 people civilians or military?
6 A. Yes, civilians.
7 Q. And secondly, do you recall what time of day or night it was?
8 A. I think it was around -- should be 9.00, 9.00 in the evening.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you for that.
10 A. 2100 hours. So I was writing the letter. The other fellow that
11 was sitting in the room, and then we -- one of my colleagues shouted, and
12 that was a normal practice there. I mean, when there used to be a
13 fire-arm, the things I'm talking of is only our first one or two months,
14 that is June, July. Later on things were different.
15 So that was a difficult time. So we used to listen to this noise
16 I think coming from one side or the other side, so you could hear the
17 noise, a whistle-like noise. So one of my -- and they used to shout,
18 There is something coming.
19 So somebody shouted from the other room that there is something
20 big coming. They heard a noise, and we all thought probably it will go
21 off and fall somewhere else. So in about, I think, a few seconds' time,
22 when there was no noise, and after about ten seconds there was a big
23 explosion, and I could only -- I mean, I was sitting like the way now I am
24 sitting, and on the right was the window. So the entire window that
25 unhinged from that wall had just fallen on me, on my face was on the
1 right. I just fell down.
2 I had some injuries there on the right shoulder and then I was on
3 my left leg. That was comparatively a little more serious. And this
4 happened because of the glass of the window and the wood of the window.
5 And the leg was basically, I think there was some glass piece which went
6 inside and it caused a little more damage.
7 So that was it. And thereafter there was no light, and there was
8 a huge bang, and after about five -- I mean, a few seconds, we thought
9 that probably -- I mean, there was no casualties, serious casualties.
10 Everybody started shouting. I was breathing on -- one of the other
11 colleague, a Bangladeshi officer, he was from air force, he also was
12 injured, and the rest of us, we were closer to the roadside, so the other
13 people on the left side, they were safe.
14 So there was no light, so we could only -- I mean, they helped us
15 to go up to the bathroom, which was close by, so that they can clean our
16 faces and remove the blood.
17 Q. Let me ask you: You said that somebody shouted from the other
18 room that there was something big coming. What was it that -- what was it
19 that made him describe this as something big coming; do you know?
20 A. Who described it?
21 Q. What --
22 A. It was the noise -- I mean, when you are sitting underneath, or
23 when it is something big, so you can hear the noise before that. It's
24 something like a rocket or maybe fighter aircraft. I mean, it is
25 something like that. That is the -- something. And why people used to
1 shout, because it was a normal practice in those days, just to alert
2 everybody. It was normal practice.
3 Q. When you say it was normal practice, do you mean that this -- this
4 occurrence was regular or frequent while you were in Hrasnica?
5 A. I say, yes, for first few days. I'm talking of the first few days
6 it was. But later on, the things were different. There was nothing --
7 thereafter, I was -- should I continue?
8 Q. I just want to make one clarification. I understood when you
9 started your answer that you said for the first few months.
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. And now you're saying for the first few days.
12 A. The first few months, yes, one or two months. Till 1st July.
13 Q. Okay. I just wanted to get that clear because --
14 So you -- were you able to -- or was it established what kind of
15 projectile caused this -- caused your injuries and caused this incident?
16 A. Frankly, because I was injured, I was evacuated initially to the
17 Hrasnica hospital and then to one of the French hospital [sic], and I had
18 some stitches, and thereafter I was kept there in Sarajevo, as in
19 Sarajevo -- one of the other team.
20 So I will not say that I had seen all this, but later on I was
21 told that probably it was one of the modified bomb with some additional
22 explosive and additional rockets which may gave it a little more range and
23 a little more force. So that was ... probably was the one.
24 Q. And this modified bomb with additional rockets, you said that the
25 rockets gave it more range and more force. Can you say anything about its
2 A. I was told -- I mean, no. Regarding accuracy, there are two
3 things: One is with the direct firing weapons; and the second is the one
4 that now we are talking of.
5 It was -- I mean, something like anti-tank weapons, rockets, or
6 maybe ammunition, so that was so old that it never used to follow the same
7 direction and in most of the cases that was not even exploded.
8 In this case, again, the accuracy was not -- I mean, you have
9 something modified. The simple answer is that the accuracy will be, I
10 mean, unquestionable.
11 Q. Now, upon -- well, was this incident -- was this incident, to your
12 knowledge, investigated?
13 A. Yes, it was investigated.
14 Q. Were you in any way involved in the investigation?
15 A. I just gave my statement there in Sarajevo to one of the police
16 officer [sic], I think, and there were a few people who came, and I gave
17 the statement, what happened with me.
18 Q. Do you recall whether a report was completed upon the
20 A. It was completed.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, if I could ask for 65 ter 02770 to
22 be shown on the screen.
23 Q. Colonel, in a moment, you will see a document on your screen and I
24 will ask you a couple of questions.
25 Do you see the document there on the right-hand side, Colonel?
1 A. Yeah, I see it.
2 Q. And from the subject, does it appear to you to be an official
3 authentic UN document on the incident that you just spoken about?
4 A. It is a report of the Hrasnica bombing incident on the 1st of
5 July, yes.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: And if we could move to page 4, please.
7 Q. You see your name on that page, Colonel?
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. And I believe the -- Captain Frank Melum. This is the --
10 A. The team leader.
11 Q. Right. Now three of them have signatures, and you have not --
12 there's no signature for you. Can you tell the Court why is that?
13 A. Maybe I think I was evacuated to some other place. It was
14 Hrasnica and I was evacuated to Sarajevo. My second month as a --
15 [indiscernible] both were injured. I mean, we were serious -- not very
16 serious. I mean, we were comparatively more seriously injured, so we were
17 transported in a French APC to the French hospital in Sarajevo, so maybe
18 that is the reason why it is not signed.
19 But I think I have signed one or a document of this, maybe one. I
20 had definitely signed that statement that I had been given. But this
21 could be the reason, that I wasn't there; I was in Sarajevo.
22 Q. Okay. Thank for that.
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I ask that this document be tendered
24 into evidence -- or be admitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P635, Your Honours.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I wonder whether -- I understand
3 we're stopping at 5.00. I wonder whether ...
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we will adjourn until next Tuesday at
5 9.00 a.m.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.59 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st day of May,
8 2007, at 9.00 a.m.