1 Friday, 18 October 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 The Chamber was informed that there are no preliminaries;
12 therefore, the witness can be escorted into the courtroom.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Bowen.
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I would like to remind you that
17 you are still bound by the solemn declaration you have given yesterday at
18 the beginning of your testimony.
19 WITNESS: JEREMY BOWEN [Resumed]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bowen and Mr. Jeremy, if you would develop a
21 speed of speech as I have developed over the last two minutes, then you
22 make life far easier for both our interpreters and for the transcribers.
23 If that is understood, I hope that I don't have to remind you, but the
24 proof of the pudding is in the eating.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Examination by Mr. Jeremy: [Continued]
3 Q. And good morning, Mr. Bowen.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. I'd like to begin by making a clarification to the discussion
6 that we were having at the very end of your testimony yesterday, and in
7 particular in relation to the -- the departure of civilians from Cerska.
8 Now, at transcript page 18055, lines 7 to 9, the transcript
9 records me as asking you as follows:
10 "Q. Did you have any idea about where those Bosnian Serb
11 civilians who were in Cerska had gone?"
12 You then proceeded to answer the question as follows:
13 "A. The assumption was that they had fallen back towards
15 Now, I intended to ask you about Bosnian Muslim civilians leaving
16 Cerska rather than Bosnian Serb civilians, but I wanted to clarify with
17 you which population group were you referring to in your answer?
18 A. Well -- yeah, well, I misheard your slip of the tongue, so I
19 thought you were talking about Bosnian Muslims.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. And that was what I my answer was about.
22 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, Ms. Stewart will now play a video-clip
23 related to the movement of civilians into Srebrenica, 65 ter 22510I.
24 [Video-clip played]
25 "Each attempt to evacuate civilians in Srebrenica so far has
1 ended in chaos. Desperate people have rushed the UN lorries, some of the
2 weakest have been killed in the crush. But the UNHCR it seems now
3 believes it's found a better way to do it. It says it has 60 trucks on
4 standby. The plan is take 20 into the town every day partially loaded
5 with food. On their way out, they'll evacuate between 1.000 and 1500
6 people. The UNHCR hopes to rescue up to 15.000, a little less than half
7 the population of the town. The UNHCR denies it's assisting in the
8 Serb's policy of ethnic cleansing.
9 "The people we are evacuating from Srebrenica have already been
10 ethnically cleansed because they are coming from areas that have fallen
11 under Serbian control. They are not people from Srebrenica. They are
12 refugees arriving --
13 "From the villages --
14 "Villages around and also from Konjevic Polje, from Cerska, areas
15 that were -- fall under Serbian control a couple of weeks ago.
16 "The Serbs who surround Srebrenica and control who goes in and
17 out seem to be stepping up their offensive in the area. Privately, aid
18 workers believe that the fall of the town is only a matter of time and
19 that the civilian population must be evacuated before that happens. The
20 next 48 hours the UNHCR believes will be crucial."
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'd just like to verify whether transcription,
22 et cetera, is complete, and whether everything was duly translated.
23 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, a transcript for this particular clip
24 was provided to the booths in advance and they verified it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, the speed of speech in the video was
1 still very high. But if I hear no further messages that you need more
2 time, then you may proceed.
3 MR. JEREMY:
4 Q. Mr. Bowen, did you recognise that report?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And do you recall the approximate date of the report?
7 A. I think it's around -- it was around April, I think, April of
8 1993. Or was it 1994? It was the April after the fall of Cerska which
9 we were discussing yesterday.
10 Q. Thank you. The -- the man in the clip that we saw who -- who
11 stated that the people being evacuated from Srebrenica had already been
12 ethnically cleansed from elsewhere. Do you recall who that was?
13 A. He was a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner
14 for Refugees, and his name was, I think, Jose Maria -- I can't remember
15 his surname be to be honest with you. But he was is a very senior envoy
16 for the UNHCR who -- even much more than a spokesman. He was someone who
17 went into big meetings with leaders.
18 Q. And the pattern that he describes of persons in Srebrenica being
19 persons who've been ethnically cleansed from areas around Srebrenica, is
20 that the pattern of population displacement that you were referring to at
21 the end of your testimony yesterday?
22 A. Yes. I was referring to that sort of pattern where people would
23 fall back towards what they regarded as the next safer area or more
24 secure area for them, as the military pressure from the Bosnian Serb side
25 continued on the places where they were.
1 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I'd tender that clip as the next
2 Prosecution exhibit.
3 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 22501I receives number P2529,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P2529 is admitted.
8 MR. JEREMY:
9 Q. Mr. Bowen, in paragraph 11 of your statement, P2515 MFI, you
10 discuss your visit to Bijeljina in 1994, where you met a local Bosnian
11 Serb official who you state was involved in "shipping out Muslims." I'd
12 now like to show you a video in connection with this.
13 MR. JEREMY: 65 ter 22511C, and we're going to start it from
14 56 seconds.
15 And, Your Honours, the transcript for this clip has been provided
16 to the booths in advance.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 "At his office, Vojkan had assembled some of the last Muslims
19 left in his Bijeljina. He said they're his friends. Vojkan is president
20 of the regional commission for the free movement of the civilian
21 population. That means he's in charge of ethnic cleansing. A report
22 prepared for the UN says he's led groups of armed men who have been
23 terrorising the Muslim community. Vojkan cheerfully denies it all.
24 "He's turned ethnic cleansing into an official procedure and
25 turned Bijeljina into such an ethnically Serb town that these Muslims are
1 desperate to get out.
2 "When permission came through for them to leave, Vojkan made sure
3 we were there. He gave them time to say their goodbyes and to pack up
4 the few possessions that hadn't been stolen. Deportations are no longer
5 done at gunpoint, but Serbs like Vojkan are no less determined to remove
6 Muslims from their towns. It's still ethnic cleansing."
7 MR. JEREMY:
8 Q. Mr. Bowen, the official that you refer to in paragraph 11 of your
9 statement, is that the official we see here, Vojkan?
10 A. Yeah. Ah, his name was Vojkan Jerkovic.
11 Q. And in the report you state that Vojkan had turned ethnic
12 cleansing into "an official procedure." Can you explain that observation
13 in a little more detail, please?
14 A. Well -- well, as I hope you had an impression from that clip --
15 and we went into it in greater depth in the film. That was from a
16 one-hour documentary I did about a journey through the so-called corridor
17 going through right across the Serb-controlled areas. He -- it had
18 become a bureaucratic procedure. These were people who, according to the
19 testimony of the people concerned, and we showed a little bit of it from
20 that -- that old man and the woman who were there in that clip, they were
21 people who said they had been highly intimidated by the way that life was
22 in Bijeljina by that particular time. Wholesale deportations at gunpoint
23 had ceased, but the people who were left behind were steadily being
24 squeezed out, and it had got to the point where there was a bureaucratic
25 procedure involving forms and an office where it would happen. And
1 Vojkan Jerkovic even said that his mission -- elsewhere in the piece he
2 says that he -- he is expecting the Nobel Peace Prize for what he was
3 doing to try to help community relations.
4 So what they were doing, as you saw there, was there was an
5 office and he would arrange the transportation and they would go. But
6 they were thoroughly intimidated and it seems to me, and also to the
7 United Nations report that actually prompted us to seek him out, that the
8 consequences were the same, the trauma was similar; but instead of being
9 pushed out at gunpoint or bayonet point, they were being pushed out by
10 the changed realities on the ground, that the ethnic balance had been
11 changed in the town, there were people of extreme views who were in
12 charge, and they were working very hard to continue the process of
13 pushing them out. And as they said in those clips, at night-time and
14 away from TV cameras there was still intimidation that was forcing people
15 out; their homes being taken, people being beaten up, break-ins and so
17 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I would tender that clip as the next
18 Prosecution exhibit.
19 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document receives number P2530, Your Honours.
22 MR. IVETIC: For me, granted leave to consult --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, the entire procedure is a
24 bit too fast for interpretation.
25 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Mr. Mladic is expected to remain
2 Let's first deal with the decision on admission. P2530 is
3 admitted into evidence.
4 If you need time to briefly consult, Mr. Ivetic, you have an
5 opportunity to do so.
6 Mr. Jeremy, you're on your feet. It was unclear to me whether
7 you wanted to intervene at this moment in what happened or not, not to
8 say that you should not be on your feet.
9 MR. JEREMY: Oh, I'll give Mr. Ivetic a little bit of time,
10 Your Honours.
11 Q. Mr. Bowen, from Sarajevo you covered events in Srebrenica in
12 July 1995; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct. I was in Sarajevo at the time of the -- the
14 fall of Srebrenica and it's takeover by Bosnian Serb forces, and we
15 weren't able to travel from Sarajevo to Srebrenica so we did it from
16 Sarajevo itself.
17 Q. I'd like to show you the final video in connection with that.
18 MR. JEREMY: 65 ter 22879H.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 "The first pictures of the Srebrenica enclave since it fell were
21 broadcast by Bosnian Serb TV this evening. The Dutch UN peacekeepers,
22 who are effectively prisoners, could only watch as Bosnian Serb soldiers
23 performed for the cameras, handing out chocolate.
24 "General Ratko Mladic, Commander-In-Chief of the Bosnian Serb
25 army, addressed the crowd. Don't be afraid, he said, buses will take you
1 to Muslim territory. Women and children first. Nobody will hurt you.
2 The crowd of women and old men chorused 'thank you' as he went about his
4 "Today the business has been ethnic cleansing. Around 30.000
5 people, almost all of them Muslims, were trapped in the enclave. Tonight
6 the picture showed no Bosnian men of fighting age. The UN says all males
7 over 16 are being interviewed as suspected war criminals.
8 "Successful action against Muslim terrorists continues, the
9 headline said. Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, was in the
10 studio. This, he said, is the latest is a example of the superiority of
11 the Serbian people. Threats from the international community mean
12 nothing to us. If NATO attacks, we must defend. He said that if Muslims
13 in Zepa and Gorazde, the other safe areas in Eastern Bosnia, don't give
14 up their weapons, the Serbs must attack. And as for the people who are
15 leaving Srebrenica, he said that nobody was forcing them to go.
16 "Well, it's ethnic cleansing with a twist, I'd say. The
17 difference is that first of all these people don't want to try out on
18 their own backs the hospitality of the Bosnian Serb army. They have
19 heard them. Many have felt that hospitality previous. Many of those
20 people are refugees from other areas that have been ethnically cleansed
21 by the Bosnian Serbs.
22 "What has the UN got to say about ethnic cleansing?
23 "Well, the UN has always strongly condemned ethnic cleansing as
25 MR. JEREMY:
1 Q. Mr. Bowen, do you recall where you got the footage for this
2 particular report from?
3 A. Yeah, I recall putting that report together very vividly, as a
4 matter of fact. We were we reported -- we were able, technically, in
5 Sarajevo, to record Bosnian Serbian TV that was broadcast from Pale, and
6 we sat in the TV station in Sarajevo watching the news on Bosnian Serb
7 television, and I think that was where we got the majority of those
8 pictures from. It's possible that some were recorded from other sources
9 and perhaps put in -- in London to improve the technical quality of them.
10 But essentially all the pictures came out of Pale TV, and we were able to
11 watch them in Sarajevo and record them and then use them.
12 Q. And the person we saw towards the end of the clip who said that
13 the UN had always condemned ethnic cleansing as genocide, do you recall
14 who that was?
15 A. Yes, that was a man called Alexander Ivanko. He was a spokesman
16 for the UNHCR.
17 Q. Getting to my final question, Mr. Bowen. Today we've
18 discussed -- today and yesterday we've discussed Bosnian Muslim refugees
19 that you experienced during your time in Bosnia during 1992, 1993, 1994,
20 and 1995. Refugees in Sarajevo, Gorazde, Travnik, Trnopolje, Cerska, and
21 Bijeljina, among other places. Can you estimate how many refugees you
22 personally came into contact with, both interviewed and also saw with
23 your own eyes?
24 A. Well, I would say that in the course of those -- those years in
25 Bosnia, I probably spoke to hundreds of refugees on a one-to-one level,
1 and I saw thousands of them. Literally thousands. People in improvised
2 shelters. People walking down the roads, freshly deported from their
3 homes. People arriving on buses. People crying in refugee centres. It
4 was is a very -- it was one of the constant themes of the war, that there
5 were these refugees very often in a very poor and traumatised condition.
6 And as I say, I spoke to very, very many of them, definitely in the
7 hundreds, the high hundreds probably, and I saw certainly in the
8 thousands, and that was just my own individual experience.
9 Q. And of those refugees you've just referred to, what were your
10 personal observations of the impact that this ethnic cleansing had had on
11 those individuals and their families?
12 A. The impact of ethnic cleansing, of being ethnically cleansed, on
13 those people was absolutely catastrophic. There is no question about
14 that. In my experience as a journalist before that, which was already
15 quite considerable, and since then, which is 20 years more experience,
16 I've been to something like 17 or 18 wars now, and I've seen many, many
17 refugees crises, and being a refugee is always traumatizing, but I think
18 the way in which those ethnically cleansed people were displaced was
19 particularly traumatic. It had a catastrophic effect on their lives.
20 Often being deported at gunpoint at very short notice, sometimes with
21 only minutes to get out of their house, grabbing almost nothing, being
22 rendered homeless and penniless in a very short time.
23 Quite often they would say -- and one of the things about dealing
24 with these refugees was their stories were -- I heard the same stories
25 again and again and again, over a period of years, and they said that
1 very often they were kicked out by people they knew. They were kicked
2 out as well violently, particularly in the early years of the war. The
3 impact on them was absolutely catastrophic and traumatizing. I would
4 generally be talking to either old men or to women, because the men of
5 fighting age - this was again a characteristic - men of fighting age
6 would be separated out and taken away. And quite often, some of those
7 women and old men saw husbands or sons or brothers actually shot down in
8 front of their eyes. I heard that repeatedly in Travnik with people who
9 had come from Prijedor. And so they would sometimes as well talk about
10 young teenage boys, 13 or 14-year-olds, who were also taken away with the
11 older men.
12 Now, for those people who came from villages, especially who came
13 from quite traditional patriarchal societies, they were often quite
14 literally left rudderless because, while the women a had a strong role in
15 their communities, they were quite used to decisions being taken by the
16 men. And the men would be taken away and these people would be cast off
17 in this sea of trauma and loneliness and despair and fear and it was
18 something which actually has stayed with me for the 20 years or so since
19 then, seeing those people who were uprooted in such a brutal manner from
20 where they lived, and it was absolutely horrific. And actually as a
21 journalist, as the years went by, it became harder to get this on the air
22 because there was almost an element of refugee fatigue among our news
23 editors because of the fact that the stories were always the same. They
24 were always very, very similar, and sometimes people would say: Are you
25 talking again about these refugees who are again talking about being
1 physically forced out of where they live. We've heard all this before,
2 many, many times. And I think that -- and I would argue that that -- and
3 I argued then --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
5 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I'll go more slowly. I'll try to go more
6 slowly. I argued then that the very fact that the stories were being
7 repeated time and time and time again was a reason -- was what made them
8 significant, even more significant because it was a pattern that emerged
9 very early on in the war and it continued.
10 MR. JEREMY:
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bowen.
12 MR. JEREMY: I've no further questions, Your Honours.
13 There are two exhibits that I've used that I would like to
14 tender. Firstly, the last clip that we viewed, 22879H.
15 MR. IVETIC: No objection to 22879H.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 22879H receives number P2531,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P2531 is admitted.
20 MR. JEREMY: The second document is the document that I finished
21 yesterday's session using, 65 ter 01027. That's the letter from the
22 EC Monitoring Mission to General Mladic, dated 2 March 1993. This isn't
23 a document that Mr. Bowen saw contemporaneously. His evidence does
24 substantially overlap with the content of that document. Therefore, on
25 that basis, I would tender it from the bar table now.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC: We would object to that document as again it is one
3 that was neither authored nor contemporaneously seen by the witness. His
4 testimony yesterday could not corroborate the communications said to be
5 contained therein. If the Prosecution wishes to bar table it, we would
6 expect them to make a bar table submission with all the appropriate
7 criteria as has been the case with the several bar table motions that
8 have been filed, and we would then reserve further response based upon
9 that submission.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: It is a short document. It is a short document and
12 where rules apply for bar table motions not directly in relation with
13 specific witnesses, the Chamber has accepted and has explained why it
14 accepted a single bar-tabled documents directly connected to the subject
15 matter on which a witness testified. Therefore, the objection is denied.
16 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 01027 receives number P2532,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P2532 is admitted.
20 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, are you ready to cross-examine the
23 MR. IVETIC: I believe I am, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bowen, you will now be cross-examined by
25 Mr. Ivetic. Mr. Ivetic is a member of the Defence team of Mr. Mladic.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
4 Q. Good day, Mr. Bowen.
5 A. Good day.
6 Q. Sir, before we begin with my questions, I'd like to kindly ask
7 you to try to ensure a pause between my question and your answer so that
8 the court reporters and translators can do their work, and I will try to
9 do the same after your answers. Is that understood, sir?
10 A. Yes, that's understood.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, first I want to make sure that I have your
12 background accurately understood. Looking at the first page of your
13 Rule 92 ter statement, which is P2515, marked for identification, you
14 have a total of three languages listed, none of which are Serbo-Croatian.
15 Can we conclude from the same that you are not fluent nor conversant in
16 the Serbo-Croat language?
17 A. That is correct. As time went by in the Balkans, I picked a bit
18 of it up, enough to speak a bit at roadblocks. But no, in no sense of
19 the word am I fluent or conversant in the Serbo-Croat language.
20 Q. Was anyone from the BBC involved in vetting you for your
21 testimony here today or for either your Rule 92 ter statement interview
22 or the testimony in the Karadzic case which is also submitted under
23 Rule 92 ter?
24 A. By Rule 92 ter statement, you mean the witness statement that I
1 Q. That is correct.
2 A. Nobody from the BBC vetted me for my testimony or for my
3 statement, no.
4 Q. Now first a general question for you, sir. Would you agree with
5 me that a journalist has a professional obligation to accurately report
6 facts of which they have knowledge?
7 A. Yes, I'd agree with that.
8 Q. Would you also agree with me that a journalist has a professional
9 obligation to be impartial in the reporting of facts of which he has
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Would you agree that a journalist has a professional obligation
13 to investigate and verify facts given by others before reporting the same
14 to ensure that they are accurate?
15 A. Yes, I would agree up to a point. But sometimes it's necessary
16 to report people's views, not to treat them as statements of fact but to
17 make clear in one's reporting that you're reporting someone's view,
18 someone's perception of a situation. So that doesn't mean that one would
19 conduct a major investigation into, say, a statement made by somebody at
20 a press conference or in an interview, particularly if that person was
21 speaking from a position of responsibility. What you'd say is that this
22 is the point of view given by that individual.
23 Q. Sir, do you feel that in the course of your reporting about the
24 former Yugoslavia, you managed to maintain your obligation to be accurate
25 and impartial?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Now how about this witness statement that we have before us,
3 P2515 marked for identification, do you believe that it too is true to
4 the journalistic obligation to be accurate and impartial?
5 A. I believe it is true to that journalistic obligation and also to
6 the statement that I made in front of the Court, yes.
7 Q. Now is it correct that you had occasion to rely upon reports of
8 amateur ham radio operators in Sarajevo for some of your information that
9 you reported on for the BBC?
10 A. On a few occasions, we quoted and sometimes filmed the ham radio
11 reports who were in touch from Sarajevo with some of the Bosnian
12 government-controlled enclaves in Eastern Bosnia. "Rely," I think, would
13 be too strong a word. We would quote them as one of the sources of
14 information in the same way that I would quote, for example, the UNHCR or
15 Bosnian Serb TV in Pale.
16 Q. In those instances where you would quote amateur ham radio
17 operators as sources, would you take any steps to verify such information
18 before broadcasting the same?
19 A. I think the kind -- I think the way that I approached it would be
20 to say information coming from those places is scarce. One of the ways
21 in which people in Sarajevo get their information is via amateur ham
22 radio operators. Now, I think it's important when you quote information
23 like that to put the context in that, clearly, those ham radio operators
24 were operating under their own particular set of circumstances.
25 Q. Were you aware of concerns during the time-period of others as to
1 the accuracy or inaccuracy of ham radio reports?
2 A. As a journalist, no matter what the story and no matter who
3 speaks, I am always concerned about the accuracy of what they say because
4 I am aware -- I was aware then, 20 years ago, and I am equally aware now,
5 that people speak from their own perspectives always. People don't --
6 people are not objective. People speak through a subjective prism based
7 on their own circumstances, education, and background. That's -- that's
8 an absolute given, I think, in human communication.
9 MR. IVETIC: If we can turn to page 3 of the witness statement
10 that we have in e-court, and it's page 4 in the B/C/S.
11 Q. I want to look at paragraph 2 of the same with you. Here you
12 state that you reviewed your original statement and relied on video
13 reports for the purposes of this statement. Now insofar as there are no
14 actual videos explicitly identified or referenced in this statement, can
15 you tell us if you reviewed each and every single one of the reports that
16 you generated about the former Yugoslavia prior to giving this statement
17 or just some selection of the same.
18 A. I did many video reports in the years from former Yugoslavia,
19 some of them were different versions of the same story, so I can't say
20 that I looked at every one of them. But in the period before I made this
21 witness statement in June of 2009, I'd also written a book which wasn't
22 just about the former Yugoslavia but former Yugoslavia featured in it, so
23 to write that book I had also -- I'd gone through a very large number of
24 video reports, which I have myself at home copies of, and as well as that
25 I went through my original notebooks and also went back and talked to
1 some of the people who I had worked with to -- to jog my memory. So I
2 think that I was -- yes, I think I was well prepared, as a matter of
3 fact, in terms of all the background information that I needed. Clearly,
4 over a long period, sometimes you need to refresh your memory. But,
5 yeah, I looked at -- I would say I'm very familiar with all the reports
6 that I've seen that have been presented here as evidence.
7 Q. Okay. Returning to the text of your statement that is before us
8 on the monitors, at paragraph 4 you describe yourself as "quite an
9 experienced war reporter" by the time the war started in Yugoslavia. And
10 in paragraph 3 you identify a variety of places you reported from. Would
11 it be more accurate to say that you reported on approximately
12 60 countries involving a number of armed conflict situations between 1987
13 and the mid-1990s?
14 A. That's probably right, I should think. I mean, I couldn't say
15 60 exactly but -- and, of course, that's probably about right. I
16 couldn't say 60 exactly. And you'll remember, of course, at that time
17 that new countries were emerging. But, yeah, I was very busy and I
18 travelled almost constantly. And from 1989, when I went to my first war
19 in El Salvador, I went to many armed conflicts.
20 Q. For those approximately 60 different countries where you reported
21 on armed conflict situations prior to the war in Yugoslavia, did you
22 actually see combat in any of those prior war zones?
23 A. Just to make it clear, it wasn't 60 different countries and
24 60 different war zones. That 60 included some relatively peaceful
25 stories. But, yes, I had been in places where I had been under direct
1 fire before I was in former Yugoslavia. In El Salvador, I had been in
2 Baghdad when it was being bombed by the Americans and by the British and
3 others. In 1991, I had been in Afghanistan, by then, when the Soviets
4 were leaving. In 1992, before I was in Sarajevo, I was in Kabul when the
5 Mujahedin took over the city, which was some extremely violent fighting
6 with a large number of casualties which I saw and moments of great peril.
7 So, yes, I had had pretty extensive experience of being under
8 fire with armed men in different places, in different circumstances,
9 different wars, regular armies, insurgent groups, by the time I got to
10 Bosnia in 1992, and then, of course, also before that I'd been in Croatia
11 in 1991.
12 Q. And then perhaps that is what leads to my confusion. With this
13 prior combat experience, combat reporting experience, how is it that you
14 couldn't believe your eyes in 1991 in Croatia when, in paragraph 5, you
15 say you saw a tank firing?
16 A. Well, I think the next sentence in the statement says why. It
17 struck me that nothing like that had happened in Europe since 1945. My
18 amazement was that, as a European, I was seeing tanks firing in anger on
19 my continent in western -- pretty much for the first time. Yes, there
20 had been maybe Hungary 1956. Tanks had been used, I suppose. But in
21 terms of that kind of war, suddenly I saw in some cases World War II era
22 tanks as well as more modern T-54s and so on being used.
23 And my amazement was not that a tank was firing, but my amazement
24 was that a tank was firing in Europe and that villages were burning and
25 bodies were lying in the streets, and that's something that as a
1 European, I hadn't expected to see. My experience of wars had been in
2 Asia. It had been in Central America. It hadn't been in my own
3 backyard. That's what amazed me.
4 Q. Now if we can get back to focusing on your background. Before
5 you became a reporter, is it correct that you never served in the armed
6 forces of any country in any capacity?
7 A. I've never served in the armed forces. Before I became a
8 reporter, I was a graduate student of international affairs in the
9 United States of America.
10 Q. And is it correct, as part of your education, that you never
11 underwent any military training or education?
12 A. That is correct. I was never in the military.
13 Q. Arising out of your work as a journalist, is it correct that you
14 received an award at the Monte Carlo Film and TV Festival in 1994 for a
15 documentary you produced called "Unfinished Business," relating to events
16 in Mostar?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. It was about the siege of the mainly Muslim
18 eastern side of Mostar in 1993.
19 Q. Apart from that award, has your work relating to the former
20 Yugoslavia resulted in any other awards or honours?
21 A. It's a long time ago now. I got a medal from the New York TV
22 Festival, I believe, at about the same time for coverage of Mostar. I
23 think that was about it on former Yugoslavia in terms of awards.
24 Q. You've mentioned generally a book that you published. Is it
25 correct that the book is entitled: "War Stories"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Have you published any other books that have dealt with the
3 former Yugoslavia apart from the one section in that book that relates to
4 the same?
5 A. No, though I have mentioned I last year published a book about
6 the Arab uprisings, and that starts off with a mention of the testimony I
7 gave, in fact, in this court against Radovan Karadzic, which was at the
8 same time as the Tunisian revolution. And I think I make a comparison
9 between the legal pursuit of some Arab leaders and the legal pursuit of
10 some leaders from the former Yugoslavia. But apart from that mention,
11 no, the -- what I have written in books about -- what I have written in
12 books about former Yugoslavia was in that book "War Stories."
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could I seek clarification of that answer. You
14 said: "I gave in fact --" you are talking about the testimony you said
15 you gave, in fact, in this court against Radovan Karadzic. Did you mean
16 to say that you gave evidence against Radovan Karadzic or that you gave
17 evidence in the case against Radovan Karadzic?
18 THE WITNESS: Apologies, Your Honours. I am not quite sure of
19 the legal distinctions. But I've --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the legal distinction is the following:
21 Witnesses are expected not to testify against or in favour --
22 THE WITNESS: Ah, okay.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- of a person but are expected to testify on the
24 basis of their truthful recollection of events and that may happen in a
25 case against a person.
1 THE WITNESS: Right. Well I can --
2 JUDGE ORIE: You may be called by one of the parties. And if the
3 Prosecution calls you, then it's reasonable to expect that the
4 Prosecution thinks that you could give evidence in support of their case
5 which is a case against a person.
6 THE WITNESS: I understood, Your Honour. And apologies for my
7 misunderstanding of legal terminology. I appeared as a witness against
8 Radovan Karadzic, and I was called by the Prosecution.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you are still repeating that you were a witness
10 against a person.
11 THE WITNESS: Oh, sorry. I appeared as a witness in the trial of
12 Mr. Karadzic -- Dr. Karadzic, and I was -- yeah, I was --
13 JUDGE ORIE: I just want to make sure that if you used those
14 words, that you did not intend to say that your testimony was coloured by
15 an adverse position --
16 THE WITNESS: No.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- against an accused. Is that well understood?
18 THE WITNESS: That is -- yes, Your Honour, that is well
19 understood, and I simply gave testimony based on my honest recollection
20 of what I had experienced at the time, and I was called by the
21 Prosecution side.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That's been clarified.
23 Mr. Ivetic, you may proceed.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
25 Q. Now, sir, I would like to return to the tank which you saw firing
1 in 1991 in Croatia for which you couldn't believe what you were seeing.
2 I note, sir, that the statement, which we still have before us, at
3 paragraph 5, with the references to the burning Croatian village, seems
4 to imply that the tank you are talking about is a Serb tank firing
5 unmolested at the Croats. But in fact, sir, you are reporting on a fire
6 fight between a Yugoslav tank and Croat forces including a Croat tank;
7 isn't that right?
8 A. I -- I don't see any implication in that, that it was a Serb tank
9 firing indiscriminately into a Croat village. In fact, it was a Croat
10 tank in an area that was -- where a fight had been going on and the
11 village was on fire, but the tank that I saw was not firing into the
12 village. It was firing, I think, in another direction. No, it was a --
13 we had accessed that part of the fight from Zagreb, so I must have been
14 on the Croatian side of the lines. So it was a Croat tank, yeah. I did
15 not intend to imply, and I don't think I did imply, in that section that
16 it was a tank belonging to the JNA.
17 Q. Okay.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where, Mr. Ivetic, from that paragraph, do you get
19 the impression that the witness implied that it was a Serb tank?
20 MR. IVETIC: I didn't say that the witness implied. I said that
21 I believe that the statement seems to imply.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, it is the witnesses's statement.
23 MR. IVETIC: Agreed, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: So answer my first question.
25 MR. IVETIC: In reading the statement, Your Honours, it seems
1 that he's talking about actions --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's why --
3 MR. IVETIC: -- of the Serbs.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- I am asking you to show us where in that
5 paragraph you get that impression.
6 MR. IVETIC: I got that impression from reading the entirety of
7 the statement, Your Honour, which is focused on actions of Serbs. And to
8 have an ambiguity where they don't specify what tank is firing, I
9 think --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You --
11 MR. IVETIC: -- is --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's look at what you said, sir. At page 23,
13 lines 13, you said:
14 "Now, sir, I would like to return to the tank which you saw
15 firing in 1991 in Croatia for which you couldn't believe what you were
16 seeing. I note, sir, that the statement, which we still have before us,
17 at paragraph 5, with the references to the burning Croatian village,
18 seems to imply that the tank you are talking about is a Serb tank firing
19 unmolested at the Croats."
20 MR. IVETIC: And that's the impression that every single member
21 of my team that read this statement had, Your Honour. So I believe I was
22 perfectly proper in seeking clarification on it.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, I understand that. I'm asking -- you are
24 directing the attention of the witness to paragraph 5 --
25 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- where you say this impression is.
2 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: And I'm asking you: Can you show us from
4 paragraph 5 where that impression comes from.
5 MR. IVETIC: From reading paragraph 5 in the context of the
6 entire statement.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much, Mr. Ivetic. You may
9 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. Yes, Your Honour. I see we are at the
10 time for the break.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could I invite you not to hide behind
12 members of the team. You, as cross-examining counsel, are responsible
13 for what you put to a witness. We leave it to that.
14 We take a break.
15 Mr. Bowen, you will be escorted out of the courtroom by the
17 We take a break and resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to come in, the
22 Chamber notices that the response by the Defence on the
23 39th 92 bis motion has been filed yesterday. However, we had not yet put
24 on the record that an extension of time was granted. The extension of
25 time was granted on the 4th of October and the extension granted was
1 14 days. The new dead-line at that time set at the 17th of October.
2 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom. Yes.
3 And that the Chamber had informed the parties accordingly. That,
4 therefore, hereby is now put on the record.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, you may proceed.
8 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, excuse me.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 THE WITNESS: Can I just clarify one of the points I made in
11 my -- one of my answers in the previous session?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: That's okay with you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please.
15 THE WITNESS: I was asked about if I had served in the armed
16 forces and the answer - correct answer - which I gave was: No, I
17 haven't. But I've -- just in the interests of full disclosure, I spent
18 some time with the British army as a young man when I was about 18 as
19 a -- what they called a potential officer, when I was contemplating
20 joining the military, and spent some time with them in Aldershot, which
21 is a big British military town. Get the -- you know, spending time with
22 them and doing some of the things that they did. So I had had some
23 connections with them. That's all I wanted to say.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That's appreciated.
25 Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. If we can call up 1D1339 in e-court,
2 which should be the book authored by the witness. And if we could please
3 turn to page 2 in e-court, which is pages 126 through 127 of the book.
4 Q. And I'd like to direct at the bottom of page 126 and the top of
5 page 127, I think we can see here that we are again talking about the
6 very same tank that is in paragraph 5 of your statement. You say it
7 looks like a remake of Kelly's Heros and you half expected to see
8 Telly Savalas.
9 Now I'd like to focus at the second paragraph beginning at the
10 middle of the page which is labeled 127, which reads as follows:
11 "The local Croatians had raided a military museum and towed away
12 a T-34 tank, the kind that the Red Army drove from Stalingrad to Berlin
13 to defeat the Nazis. Its gun still worked and they had the right kind of
14 shells. So they dug the World War II veteran into the embankment of the
15 motorway of Brotherhood and Unity that linked Zagreb and Belgrade. Every
16 now and then they fired it at the Serbs who were about a mile away.
17 "A hospital in what had been a spa town was full of wounded men.
18 In the basement, tended by doctors and relatively safe, were the Croatian
19 wounded. In a ward on the ground floor, next to big windows, wounded
20 Serb fighters were tied to their beds during a barrage. The windows had
21 been blown in by the shelling and the men who lay on the beds had fresh
22 nicks and cuts on their arms and faces from shrapnel and glass. The
23 tortured faces from the thought that the next shell might come in through
24 the roof. They might as well have been pinned out in the sun for the
1 Now, first of all, sir, is this account from your book an
2 accurate and truthful account of the facts that you witnessed at that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And is this, in fact, the same tank that is referenced in
6 paragraph 5 of your statement?
7 A. You're referring to the T-34 that was dug into the embank?
8 Q. Correct.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. Did you or did someone at the Office of the Prosecutor
11 make a conscious decision to remove any mention of the tank in
12 paragraph 5 being a Croatian tank?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. If I could just add something, sir. If you see in the previous
16 paragraph, again I'm talking -- I'm talking about the tank that was
17 moving, and at no time in that do I say it was a Serb tank.
18 Q. Fair enough. Now, one other thing that I did not see a reference
19 to in your statement was any significant coverage of the city of Mostar.
20 Would you agree with me that Mostar, rather than Sarajevo, was the most
21 vicious theatre of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. I felt, in 1993, when I was in the east side of the Mostar, that
23 albeit it was a small enclave, a small area, that the level of violence I
24 saw there, the level of fight -- of -- of suffering was -- was worse than
25 in Sarajevo. Yeah, I thought so at the time. That's not to minimise
1 what I saw in Sarajevo, but it -- Sarajevo was a bigger area and it --
2 and the crucial difference was that it was -- there was a better supplied
3 relief effort into Sarajevo. But all told, the level of suffering was
4 greater in Mostar because there was virtually -- at that time in 1993,
5 there was almost no relief aid getting in there. I had to get in there
6 by walking over the mountains with the Bosnian army. There no easy road
7 in. It was really pretty much completely cut off.
8 Q. Okay. And would you agree that another difference between Mostar
9 and Sarajevo which led to your conclusion that Mostar was the most
10 vicious theater of the war and, in fact, more devastated, was the lack of
11 a existing black market in Mostar?
12 A. Yes. Yes, the -- the absence of relief supplies meant that there
13 was very little to trade on a black market in Mostar. There was a bit of
14 a black market. There were some people who had connections across the
15 lines, not least with local Serbs to the -- the east of -- further east,
16 and there were some people who had some connections. But it was -- as I
17 said, it was a much smaller enclave, and it was more -- more militarised
18 and organised. I would say it was more comparable with the situation in,
19 say, Gorazde, or even in Dobrinje in Sarajevo, than it was in the main
20 part of the Sarajevo itself where, as is well known, there was a very
21 thriving black market.
22 Q. Would you agree that despite not having a thriving black market,
23 despite being more isolated than Sarajevo, East Mostar, controlled by the
24 Muslim side, was able to maintain a steady stream of weapons and supplies
25 such that the ABiH forces in that part of the city even carried out an
1 offensive and captured significant ground from the Croats?
2 A. They had a kind of Ho Chi Min trail that ran from Jablanica into
3 Mostar, and that's the route I took to get in there. And I went in with
4 a train of pack horses that was carrying a large number of -- well, fair
5 number of mortar shells and small arms ammunition, and that was 1993.
6 And, yeah, they were -- they were organised militarily there. And the
7 Croats relied more on their heavy guns to bombard the city than using
8 foot soldiers.
9 Q. And is it correct that the ABiH forces that were supplied by this
10 Ho Chi Minh trail that you described were able to undertake an offensive
11 and capture significant territory from the Bosnian Croat forces before
12 being ordered by Sarajevo to stop their offensive?
13 A. I can't remember the precise details and I'm not sure if that
14 happened at a time when I was there, but I certainly remember the people
15 who were involved in their military operations telling me that they had
16 captured -- they -- they had pushed out their perimeter. I certainly
17 remember being told that. Whether -- I wasn't privy to whether or not
18 they had been told to desist by the authorities in Sarajevo.
19 Q. Okay. Now getting back to Sarajevo. Did you have any occasion
20 to consider or any knowledge that in Sarajevo, with an existing black
21 market and not as geographically isolated as Mostar, the ABiH forces were
22 able to equip themselves even better with weapons and ammunition?
23 A. In 1992 they weren't well equipped. I saw people, fighters, for
24 example, who were armed with hunting rifles, not with proper
25 military-grade automatic weapons, Kalashnikovs and the like. As the war
1 went on and especially after they built their tunnel, yes, they were
2 better organised and they organised themselves militarily. There is no
3 doubt about that. Yeah. They were -- they became more organised as
4 the -- as the years went by. In 1992, it was pretty chaotic and they
5 didn't have much. But by 1994, 1995, they had more.
6 Q. If we can focus on Sarajevo for a moment, would you agree with me
7 that one of the other differences in between Sarajevo and Mostar was the
8 fact that in Mostar the ABiH forces were very unified, whereas in
9 Sarajevo there were many armed factions, often hostile to one another?
10 A. Yes, I'd say that's an accurate picture of the way that things
11 were. They were -- again, it -- a lot of it came down to size. But in
12 Mostar, the BiH forces were much more cohesive than they were in Sarajevo
13 where they were definitely -- at different times were warring factions.
14 Particularly in the sort of 1994, 1993-1994 period, there were a lot
15 of -- there were a number of different warring factions within the city
16 of Sarajevo. "Warring factions" is too strong. Rival factions, I would
18 Q. And for the sake of clarity, these rival factions would have all
19 been BiH Muslim forces?
20 A. Not wholly Muslim, no. At all times in the city, there were
21 people of mixed birth and there were also people who were ethnic Croats
22 and ethnic Serbs. So not overwhelmingly Muslim -- sorry, not wholly
23 Muslim, but the certainly the vast majority of their leaders that I was
24 aware of were Muslim. And most of the -- yeah, sure, most of the men who
25 carried guns probably as well.
1 MR. IVETIC: If we can now take a look at 1D1348 in e-court.
2 Q. This is a -- this is the transcript of your testimony in the
3 Prlic proceedings.
4 MR. IVETIC: And if we can turn to page 46 of the same in
5 e-court, that ought to correlate to transcript page 12756 of the
6 underlying transcript. And if we can focus from line 3 onwards.
7 Q. I will quote the question and answer for you, sir, and then have
8 some follow-up questions.
9 "Q. Mr. Bowen, you have mentioned sniping now when you talked
10 about your experience in East Mostar and also in your written statement
11 there are several mentioning of sniper activities. My question is if you
12 have observed or if you have been aware of any sniping activities from
13 East Mostar to the west. That means if the Bosnian Muslim forces did use
14 the same sniper activities as a way of fighting, or it was mainly
15 concentrated on sniping activities from the west side of Mostar.
16 "THE WITNESS: I didn't see it happening but I assumed it would
17 have been happening. I'd assumed that that was a tactic that they'd use.
18 The Bosnian army -- the Bosnian authorities used the -- the Bosnian army
19 used that tactic in Sarajevo. Sniping went both ways across the front
20 lines in Sarajevo, and I had no reason to doubt that sniping went both
21 ways across the front lines in Mostar as well."
22 Sir, first of all, does this accurately depict your answer to
23 this question?
24 A. I have no reason to doubt the transcript, no.
25 Q. Is the answer truthful such that you would so testify again the
1 same way today?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And now in relation to the sniping tactic that the Bosnian
4 authorities used in Sarajevo, could you please clarify for us, because in
5 the Prlic case, in the pages leading up to this, there was talk of
6 sniping against civilians who tried to cross the boundary line. Is that
7 the type of tactic that you are talking about here or something else?
8 A. Sorry, are you referring now to Sarajevo or to Mostar?
9 Q. Sorry, to Sarajevo.
10 A. No, when I'm talking about sniping activity -- do you mean
11 sniping activities coming from the Serb side or coming from the Bosnian
13 Q. From the Bosnian side.
14 A. I think that -- I mean, there was plenty -- there was plenty of
15 evidence that on the Bosnian side there were snipers who shot over the
16 front lines and into Serb-controlled territory. I personally never went
17 and filmed one of the guys doing that. But I know I had colleagues who
18 did, and there was video -- in fact, I used once -- I think in one of the
19 my pieces, filmed by somebody else, of a Bosnian sniper shooting into
20 the -- the Serb side, yeah. And sniping came the other way as well. It
21 was a big hazard for people inside Sarajevo. But it's absolutely the
22 case that sniping went both ways.
23 Q. Okay.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Before you continue, Mr. Ivetic.
25 Mr. Jeremy, is it part of the Prosecution's case that there was
1 no sniping from the Muslim side into Bosnian held -- Serb-held territory?
2 MR. JEREMY: No, it's not, Your Honours. And in fact, one of the
3 associated exhibits for this witness is the video that Mr. Bowen just
4 referred to of Bosnian Muslim sniping into Serb territory.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, I understood your line of questioning to
6 establish that there was sniping the other way which seems to be a fact
7 which is not in dispute. Therefore, I wonder whether we could try to
8 focus on matters which are in dispute.
9 MR. IVETIC: If I may refer to my question, Your Honours, I
10 thought I was rather clear. In referencing the Prlic case where this
11 witness testified and where was there was talk of sniping at civilians
12 who were trying to cross the boundary between East and West Mostar, and I
13 asked if, when he referred to sniping tactics, he was talking about
14 sniping at civilians trying to cross the boundary line or to something
15 else, and now he's described that in fact that it was something else. So
16 I was trying to clarify which sniping tactic he was talking about.
17 THE WITNESS: If I could add something, sir. I have --
18 JUDGE ORIE: You may.
19 THE WITNESS: I -- thank you. I do not know if they were also
20 sniping at people trying to cross the boundary line, but my impression
21 was that they would get themselves into positions where they could see
22 targets moving on the other side, and they would then shoot at them.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
25 If we can have a look at 1D1347 in e-court and page 33 of the
2 Q. This will be a transcript from another case you testified in,
3 sir, the Martinovic and Naletilic case. And this will, I believe, be a
4 selection from your documentary film "Unfinished Business," starting at
5 line 4. I would like to have you follow along and then I will have some
6 questions in relation to what is recorded there.
7 "Hodza, Goran's commander, used a mirror to point out the
8 whereabouts of a Croat sniper. He was in the tower. Hodza didn't try to
9 hide the way the Bosnian army treats its prisoners either. A Croatian
10 prisoner of war appeared in the trench we just crossed. Prisoners dug
11 the trenches and lay sandbags in the most exposed and dangerous positions
12 on the front lines. When they are not working, they are imprisoned in a
13 sweaty, badly ventilated cellar. We could film, but we weren't allowed
14 to talk to any of them.
15 "One prisoner was badly wounded. He was in considerable pain. A
16 lot of the prisoners had been hurt. The injuries were caused, their
17 guards said with some relish, by Croat fire on the front line. The
18 prisoners were thin, but they looked no worse fed than many civilians in
19 East Mostar. The guard said that they eat the same food.
20 "Their captors know that the work they do on the front line -
21 here they were exhuming bodies - contravenes the Geneva Conventions. As
22 far as they're concerned, though, that's better than seeing their own
23 people doing it. In this war, there is no middle way. There are victors
24 and there are victims. The Bosnian soldiers know which they want to be.
25 They dug up these bodies to use them as currency in a prisoner exchange."
1 Now first of all, sir, is all this truthful as to what you had
2 knowledge of or saw in East Mostar?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just first seek clarification. What we
4 listened to, is that part of a text of a video or is that testimony of
5 the witness?
6 MR. IVETIC: It is, I believe, the documentary "Unfinished
7 Business" produced by the witness. He can --
8 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore the first thing we would have to
9 establish is who speaks and not treat it as if these were answers given
10 during the testimony of the witness.
11 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That having been clarified now, perhaps you could
13 frame your question in such a way that this becomes clear so that we know
14 what the witness is responding to, either to his own testimony or to what
15 was shown to him in the courtroom.
16 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. IVETIC:
19 Q. Sir, are these your own words from the documentary "Unfinished
21 A. Yes. What you read out was the script that I wrote for that
22 documentary, which was designed, obviously, to work with the pictures.
23 That was a script -- those were words to be written over pictures. And
24 that is a -- an extract of the script of the documentary that was played
25 as part of the evidence, I believe, in that case.
1 Q. And is this script that was part of the documentary truthful as
2 to what you had knowledge of and what you saw in East Mostar?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Okay. Now was this tactic or this treatment of prisoners
5 something that you also eye-witnessed in Sarajevo; for instance, when you
6 saw Caco's men forcing people with shovels to the front lines?
7 A. That was a little bit different in Sarajevo, because Caco and his
8 people were picking on members of the public they regarded as slackers.
9 They would go around cafes and they would find men who weren't in uniform
10 and who weren't in any kind of armed formation, and they would drag them
11 out and march them up to the front line and make them dig trenches. And
12 I saw that myself with my own eyes, a group these people in civilian
13 clothes, carrying spades, being marched by armed men up past the Bistrica
14 barracks and further up and up the hill, up that way, towards the front
15 line, and that was a tactic that Caco used quite a bit. And among the
16 people who supported him, it was a popular tactic. But those weren't --
17 as far as I'm aware, they weren't imprisoned fighters as they had been in
18 Mostar. They were various civilians, and I've no knowledge of their
19 ethnicities, who Caco and his people felt were not doing all they could
20 during the war.
21 Q. Thank you. Now if we could return to your statement, P2515
22 marked for identification. At page 13 of the English, page 17 in the
23 B/C/S. I'd like to focus on the last three lines of paragraph 42, where
24 it is written:
25 "Foreigners were less welcome. Some parts of Sarajevo were on
1 the way to becoming effectively no-go areas for foreign reporters because
2 of the hostility of local warlords."
3 Was one of the local warlords that you identify here the person
4 we've been talking about known as Caco, C-a-c-o, with the full name of
5 Muslan Topalovic, commander of the ABiH unit known as the
6 10th Mountain Brigade?
7 A. Yes, I was specifically referring to Caco and the area of
8 Sarajevo controlled by the 10th Mountain Brigade.
9 I did actually -- if I could just add. I did manage to go to
10 that area more than once because I knew people who lived there, but I
11 never went with my camera or cameraman, or my flak jacket, or anything
12 that would identify me as a journalist. That's how I managed to see his
13 prisoners, for example, being marched up to the front line because I was
14 just walking around with a friend of mine who was actually in the
15 10th Mountain Brigade. And so under the -- effectively the protection of
16 this person, I was able to observe what was going on in there. But I
17 absolutely couldn't film it. It would have been -- the camera would have
18 been taken from me, at the very least.
19 Q. If you could please clarify for me, sir. A few moments ago you
20 told me the activities of Caco did not involve prisoners. And now in
21 answer to a different question, you say at line 14, "that's how I managed
22 to see his prisoners."
23 A. Sorry, I was referring to the people inside Sarajevo who he had
24 taken prisoner. They were his prisoners, his men's prisoners. They
25 weren't what I suppose you would call prisoners of war, as far as I could
1 tell. In other words, Serb combatants who had been captured. They were
2 people, as I said, who were -- who had been picked up mainly in cafes and
3 marched off to the front line. So they were prisoners, but they weren't
4 prisoners of war.
5 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Is it correct that the
6 10th Mountain Brigade led by this individual Caco had a fair number of
7 foreign Mujahedin fighters in their midst?
8 A. I never heard anything about that while I was in Sarajevo and I
9 never saw anything. I never saw any foreign fighters who were part of
11 Q. Okay.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could I seek clarification of one
14 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Earlier you told us in the examination-in-chief that
16 you would try to get -- to enter Grbavica, and you managed I think only
17 once in all those years. Do I understand this, paragraph 42, to say that
18 whereas the Serb territory which was a no-go without permission, which
19 you almost never got, that it now, within the city, in the
20 Muslim-controlled areas, that similar situation slowly developed, that
21 there were no-go areas?
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, it really wasn't quite the same thing,
23 I would say, because to get to Dobrinja, you had to cross the front line,
24 you had to cross the airport, which was effectively the front line, go to
25 Lukavica barracks, get permission to go to Pale. In Pale get permission
1 to go to Grbavica. And as I say, it happened to me one time only between
2 1992 and 1995, despite many, many requests. To get to the areas -- I
3 said effectively no-go areas because what I meant by that was you could
4 drive freely into them. You could get into your vehicle and drive from
5 where we were based at the TV station to the area which was just past the
6 Bistrica barracks where the -- the area that I understood to be the place
7 that was controlled by, in that period, the 10th Mountain Brigade, and
8 you could go into it, but if you then took out your camera, started
9 working, they were hostile. And there were plenty of cases of people
10 being arrested, their flak jackets being confiscated, their camera
11 equipment being confiscated. So I never personally ever risked doing
12 that because I never wanted to lose our flak jackets, our vehicle, or our
13 camera equipment.
14 But as I said, I managed to get into there and look around
15 through my friend who was in the 10th Mountain Brigade. I didn't -- so
16 effectively a no-go area in that you couldn't work there, but not nearly
17 the same thing as crossing the front line and having to get permission to
18 even go towards the territory. I could walk in without showing any
19 papers, into that particular area, and look at what was happening, but
20 what I couldn't do was take out a camera. It was effectively a no-go
21 area, I suppose you would say, for a working foreign reporter working --
22 not working covertly.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
24 Please proceed.
25 Q. In relation to Caco and his men, his unit, would you agree with
1 they that undertook violent and undisciplined and even criminal actions
2 in Sarajevo against both Serbs and non-Serbs alike?
3 A. When I first heard about Caco, he had, I suppose, what we
4 describe in Britain as a Robin Hood reputation because he -- when people
5 were suffering from lack food, they had enough so they wouldn't starve
6 because of the UNHCR's relief operation, but it was a very repetitive
7 diet and no one was getting fat on it. So he broke open some government
8 food stores and distributed the food to the poor and to the refugees and
9 so on, and that made him for a while very popular.
10 He became less popular when he appeared to be -- become getting
11 out of control, and there were plenty of reports at the time of Caco
12 intimidating Serbs, defying the government. He was also -- at the same
13 time, his forces were carrying out military operations up on the front
14 line. I know this from -- again from my friend and connection, who
15 actually took part in some of them and who described to me how -- and it
16 was a sign of the differences between the government and Caco, that this
17 person was saying to me that they were doing their operation and the plan
18 was that they would get some support from a government-controlled unit,
19 which then didn't -- the support never arrived, and they lost fighters as
20 a result of that. And those kinds of incidents made the -- the
21 differences between the government and between Caco sharper.
22 Q. Now, sir, yesterday, the Prosecution started your examination by
23 showing a video in relation to the Europa hotel in which we could see
24 several men in civilian clothing walking around the hotel carrying
25 Kalashnikov-type rifles and other weapons. You testified at transcript
1 page 18035 that these men were various fighters who came in to help
3 Are you really trying to tell us that these armed men carrying
4 rifles were helping the evacuation rather than being stationed at the
5 Europa hotel?
6 A. They were helping the evacuation. I never saw -- and I visited
7 the Europa hotel a lot. I never saw armed men stationed at the hotel.
8 But there were in different places, at check-points and so on, in the
9 city there were armed men, and on that particular day they -- that
10 particular night, my clear understanding was that they'd come in to help
11 evacuate some of the civilians who were -- some of whom were old and
12 infirm, who were trying to get out -- and children as well, who were
13 trying to get out of this burning building. At no time in the war, and
14 as I say, I was a regular visitor to the hotel, I never saw armed men
15 inside it stationed there, as a military headquarters or even as a place
16 where they'd go to drink coffee in between shifts.
17 Q. Is it correct that many of your visits to the Europa hotel were,
18 in fact, to visit your friend who was a member of Caco's unit?
19 A. My friend and my friend's family, yeah.
20 Q. Okay. If we could --
21 A. In fact, if I just could add something. After my friend joined
22 Caco's unit, I saw more and more of the family and less and less of my
23 friend, because my friend was not there. So actually I saw the mother,
24 the sisters, and gave them coffee. And we had a lot of -- we brought
25 provisions in with us, and I felt it was very unfair that we had so much
1 and they had so little, so I did my bit to try and give a few things
3 Q. Okay.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put one question in that respect. You say
5 you visited Caco and his family in Hotel Europa.
6 THE WITNESS: No, not Caco, I visited --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, no, your friend who was --
8 THE WITNESS: -- who was -- who -- who --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry --
10 THE WITNESS: -- ultimately became a fighter in Caco's unit. But
11 initially --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just --
13 THE WITNESS: -- was not, was just a regular civilian.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just misspoke.
15 THE WITNESS: I beg your pardon.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Why was your friend and his family living or
17 stationed in the Hotel Europa?
18 THE WITNESS: Well, it was her family. Because they were
19 displaced from their homes which were right up -- very high up on the
20 front line effectively, near the bobsleigh run.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
22 MR. IVETIC: If we could look at 1D1339 in e-court, and page 8 of
23 the same.
24 Q. And again, sir, this is your book, and to be fair and to give the
25 full picture, I'd like to focus on the bottom of the right-hand page,
1 139, where you talk about your friend and the Europa hotel.
2 "Every few months after that, when I was in Sarajevo, I went to
3 the Europa to try to find her. I usually gave her family a sack of
4 provisions looted from the BBC stores. Often she wasn't there, and I
5 left the food with her mother. The war was changing everything for
6 civilians in Sarajevo. As it went on, they started to forget the lives
7 they used to have and the dreams they had about the future. As peace
8 recedes into the past, war takes over and crushes everything. My friend,
9 and I think I shouldn't use her name, went back to her family home to
10 look after her father. It was dangerous, but so was sitting around the
11 squalid, burnt-out corridors of the Europa hotel. At least she was doing
12 something, and soon she was doing more. She joined her father's army
13 unit as a medic. I did not see her again until the following year, in
14 Sarajevo Old Town near the Europa hotel. The black rings under her eyes
15 were deeper and darker and she was wearing combat fatigues. She said she
16 had become a fighter, and she told a story of deceit and failure."
17 First of all, sir, is this selection from your book accurate and
18 truthful as to the facts that are set forth therein?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. And is this the friend you've been talking about and, in fact,
21 the story of deceit and failure the story that you told us a few moments
22 ago about the offensive by Caco's men and the ABiH where the support did
23 not arrive?
24 A. That was one of the incidents. Yeah, they were becoming -- the
25 people who supported him were becoming progressively more alienated from
1 the leadership of the Bosnian Serb -- sorry, the Bosnian government and
2 its armed forces.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. IVETIC: If we could turn to page 11 of this book.
5 Q. Which should correlate to pages 144 and 145 of your actual book.
6 And in -- on the left-hand side, the first full paragraph that starts
7 out, "In Caco's domain," talks about one of the incidents we've talked
8 about with the men who were -- who were being -- who were being sent to
9 dig trenches. I'd like to pick up at the middle of that paragraph with
10 something that I would like to ask you about, and it reads as follows:
11 "After the war, some of Caco's men were also imprisoned for
12 shooting Serb civilians for no reason other than their ethnicity. They
13 threw the bodies of their victims into a ravine. My friend, who found
14 herself in a world of violence, looked close to breaking, exhausted and
15 pale. She was carrying a loaf of bread that she said was for her mother
16 and sister. A man in her unit who protected her had been killed. She
17 was not sure what was coming next."
18 Is this also an accurate and truthful account of the
19 activities -- of the facts that are set forth therein?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now if we could return to P2515 marked for identification, which
22 is again your witness statement, and look at page 7 in English and page 9
23 in the B/C/S, and I'd like to look at paragraph number 20 with you. You
25 "Access to the city was always difficult. The reason was that
1 the Bosnian Serbs decided who came in and who went out."
2 And I want to ask you, did you consider that the actions of Caco
3 and his men, and others like them, perhaps affected the ability of
4 persons to leave Sarajevo?
5 A. The fundamental reason why people couldn't leave the city was the
6 siege. As time went by, there were people like Caco. But it would be
7 wrong to say that they controlled large areas of the city or dominated
8 its life. They were factors within it at different times. But the --
9 the fundamental unifying reason why people were not able to get out of
10 the city, in my opinion, and based on my observations and evidence, was
11 the siege with which the Bosnian Serbs invested the city.
12 Q. We've already established that the -- at least one paragraph in
13 your statement was a reference to Caco although it did not name him. Why
14 was there no specific reference or identification of Caco in the
15 paragraph of your statement that dealt with the activities that you were
16 describing of him and his men?
17 A. Could we go back and look at that statement -- that paragraph
18 again so that I know precisely what you're referring to.
19 Q. Absolutely. If we could look at page 13 in the English, page 17
20 in the B/C/S. That's -- the last part of the paragraph 42 was where we
21 started the discussion as to Caco.
22 A. I think I wasn't -- I didn't mention his name there because at
23 that particular point I wasn't getting into his whole story. I suppose
24 it's my -- my instinct as a journalist that by raising a question about
25 somebody, you then need to go into more detail as to who they are. But
1 to simply say "local warlords," that probably said enough at that
2 particular time. In no sense was I trying to gloss over what Caco had
3 been doing.
4 Q. Would you agree that Caco was not the only such local warlord on
5 the BiH side that you had knowledge of operating in this fashion?
6 A. Right from the -- right from the beginning of the war, there were
7 other strongmen, warlords if you like, who operated in Sarajevo and had a
8 following of their own that was effectively independent of the -- what
9 you might call the central authorities there. There were a couple of
10 Celos, one of whom I got to know a little bit. There was Juka. There
11 were -- yeah, there were people who were very well reported on at the
12 time, who had these nicknames and were seen as semi-independent actors
13 within the constellation of military forces there.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could I ask one question to clarify.
15 Did you gain any impression as to the quantitative aspect of
16 that? Was it 30 per cent which were following warlords and having their
17 own programme, not necessarily excluded from taking part in hostilities
18 as well? Or was it 10 per cent or 70? Did you gain any impression about
19 the importance of that -- those factions?
20 THE WITNESS: At the very beginning of the war, this guy -- and
21 it was actually the months -- by the time I got there in July 1992, this
22 guy, Juka, his star was already waning, but to start with he was a very
23 prominent fighter who had organised a force. My impression was that
24 these people were very much minority players. The one that was seen as
25 the biggest potential threat by the government of President Izetbegovic
1 was Caco, I'd say. And in the end they took action against him.
2 But especially as the time went by and the Bosnian -- the Army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina became more organised, these people became less
4 relevant. And it was the fact, though, that as the siege went on, the
5 levels of crime increased, levels of corruption, black marketeering, and
6 some of these people were -- most of these people became -- either were
7 or became criminal or semi-criminal in their activities. And it was
8 quite hard to -- sometimes to see where their supposed military
9 activities ended and the criminal activities started.
10 I remember one of the Celos, for example, at the beginning of the
11 war he was like a mobster basically. But he also had been an effective
12 fighter. He had a following and he had some tough guys who followed him.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You said they developed to be minority players --
14 THE WITNESS: Yes --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Now, 49 per cent is minority --
16 THE WITNESS: Okay --
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- and 5 per cent is minority. Is there --
18 THE WITNESS: Closer to 5 than 49. I am reluctant to get into
19 numbers because I never knew exactly how many forces people had, but they
20 were very much minority players, individuals with a small following, in
21 the single figures, I would say, in terms of percentages, and not mass
22 movements in any sense.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. IVETIC: If we could turn back to 1D1339, page 9 in e-court,
1 which should correlate to pages 140 to 141 of your book.
2 Q. We've already talked about Juka Prazina, who is referenced at the
3 bottom of page 140. I'd like to focus on the top of page 141, on the
4 right-hand side, which I believe is the man that you've just talked
5 about. So if you could follow with me, sir.
6 "Fortunes were made trading food and cigarettes on the black
7 market, which were smuggled into Sarajevo through the front lines and by
8 corrupt UN soldiers and workers. The local mobsters became very
9 powerful. I knew one of them slightly. He was the sort of man who, in
10 normal times, the police would have arrested, but when the war started,
11 he made a reputation for himself as a fighter in what he called a special
12 unit of the military police. He was physically very big, which got him
13 noticed. His head was shaved and his nickname was Celo, which means
14 bald. A year after the war started, he had diversified his operations.
15 He drove round in a convertible with a very young girl, who was sexy in a
16 tarty way, and a couple of body-guards. All his men were armed. I would
17 see him swaggering into bars with his moll, wearing a silver pendant
18 shaped like a boxing glove, peeling off money from a thick wad of German
19 marks to buy packets of Marlboro cigarettes, which he through back over
20 his head without looking, knowing that his boys would be there to catch
22 First of all, sir, are the words as recorded here accurate and
23 truthful to what you experienced in Sarajevo in relation to this
25 A. Yes, they are.
1 Q. And you've mentioned earlier that are there are several Celos.
2 Is this the Celo that you had just been talking about in reference to the
3 questions posed by the Chamber?
4 A. Yes, yes, indeed. And in reference to what Your Honour said, he
5 was somebody who had a small following. He'd hang out in his place with
6 a dozen guys. I mean, it was that level of -- that level of a following
7 at that particular time, a year after the war started. And he was -- by
8 that time, he'd gone away from being the fighter that he'd been at the
9 beginning and he was much more into racketeering by that point. And so
10 he would sit a bit like -- if you imagine the TV show "The Sopranos," he
11 would sit with his henchmen in the room and you'd go and see the guy, and
12 sometimes you would see him swaggering about town as I described there.
13 But he wasn't -- by that point he was a -- he wasn't a military force.
14 He was a criminal. But he became prominent through fighting at the
15 beginning of the war when he was in this so-called special unit.
16 Q. And that's what I was going to ask you about. So it was your
17 understanding it was a special unit of the military police of the Armija
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina loyal to President Izetbegovic's side?
19 A. At the beginning of the war, there were all kinds of units and
20 they generally called them -- very often called themselves "special
21 forces" or "special units," with no particular basis in terms of military
22 training. I think they'd just thought it sounded better. It was, as I
23 said, that time in 1992 when they were organising the defence of their
24 part of the city, it was pretty chaotic. And when I was first introduced
25 to this man Celo, he were -- he described himself as being in a special
1 unit and he had a uniform and he was carrying a Kalashnikov, and he said
2 he was a fighter and he was in this special unit, as he called it, of the
3 police -- of the military police. And then I went to find him again a
4 year after the war started, which was when I went to him to this cafe. I
5 saw him swaggering around and he was very much then the mafiosi mobster
6 kind of guy, rather than someone who was -- at this point he wasn't even
7 claiming, I think, to be a fighter. He was into business, criminal
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I think we are at the time for the
11 second break.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 I would have a small question in relation to your last answer.
14 You're talking about so-called units and everything being pretty chaotic.
15 When they said that they were special units, did you gain the impression
16 that these units were formed by any higher authority or that they were
17 just self-proclaimed units claiming police powers which may not have or
18 may have formally made available to them? I mean, is it just all
19 self-invented police or was it anywhere in a kind of structure linked to
20 government power and police power?
21 THE WITNESS: It was my impression, Your Honour, at the beginning
22 of the war - and I'm talking about July 1992 when I first went there -
23 that while there were official units linked to the -- the government,
24 there were also these rather maverick units of which he was one, which I
25 would say they were more self-proclaimed than appointed. They probably
1 had some backing because they were useful. They were doing their --
2 their job, but I don't think that they took orders from anyone
3 particularly, except for themselves.
4 By the following year, by 1993, there was a man called
5 General Delic who was in charge of the army then, and by then they had a
6 formal headquarters. There were procedures. For example, when I went to
7 Mostar, I had to get various permissions to cross various front lines,
8 and we were able to go to General Delic and ask formally for special
9 letters and accreditation which they were able to grant us. Back in
10 1992, I -- there wasn't really a procedure like that. So they were
11 starting to organise themselves, but in -- in 1992 it -- I think the best
12 way I would say was quite chaotic, and self-proclaimed units rather than
13 units which were formally invested with powers by -- what was described
14 as the central government but, in fact, was essentially at that point in
15 1992 a group of leaders who were in the Presidency.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And were they in 1993, as you described when it was
17 all better organised, were these same people or same units or
18 quasi-units, were they still functioning within that new system, if I
19 could say so?
20 THE WITNESS: No. No, by then Juka had been forced out, I think,
21 of Sarajevo, and he was later -- as I said in the book, in 1994 he was
22 found dead in Belgium. This original Celo, I don't know what happened to
23 him. Well, he -- by 1993 he was involved in racketeering, not in
24 fighting. So I think that they -- they got their act together actually
25 pretty fast, because they had to, and they were -- I think once former
1 officers of the JNA were involved in it in a more real way, then they
2 were organising themselves more along military lines. And the ragtag of
3 various kinds of Territorial Defence units and people who picked up guns
4 and self-proclaimed special units and so on were slowly regularised into
5 what became, by the end of the war, a much more effective armed force.
6 JUDGE ORIE: We -- Mr. Jeremy.
7 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, just for the purposes of scheduling,
8 it would be helpful to know whether it's likely we'll get to the next
9 witness today or whether it will be on Monday?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could you in any way assist Mr. Jeremy?
11 MR. IVETIC: I'm -- I'm still on track to complete the witness
12 within the time-period that we had estimated for him, which was three and
13 a half hours. So I would think that I should -- I'm confident that we
14 will take up the remainder of the day with this witness.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Which means the next witness doesn't have to remain
17 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bowen, would you please follow the usher. We'll
19 take a break of 20 minutes.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at quarter past 12.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 11.56 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.16 p.m.
25 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy.
2 MR. JEREMY: Just in the interests of trying to ensure the
3 witness is finished today, at the moment I don't have any redirect.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 Mr. Ivetic, it's to some extent in your hands whether the witness
6 can leave today. Would you please consider that.
7 MR. IVETIC: I will, Your Honours, and I'll try my best.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile, I use the opportunity to -- to give
9 you -- yes, I'll do that after the break.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, you may proceed.
12 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
13 Q. Sir, while -- when we left off, we were talking about these men
14 who had their own units which you described as self-proclaimed, and we
15 had discussed three of them. Earlier, you had mentioned that there was
16 more than one Celo. We have already talked about one who was the
17 mobster. Am I correct that the other Celo was a gentleman by the name of
18 Ramiz Delalic, who, in fact, was the commander of the
19 9th Mountain Brigade of the Army of BiH?
20 A. The reason why I was a bit vague about that Celo is because I
21 didn't have very much contact with him myself or much knowledge of him.
22 I think I remember towards the end of the war he was quite badly wounded,
23 but apart from that, I don't really have any knowledge of what he was
25 Q. Okay. The -- these men and their units whom you've described as
1 being minority players in Sarajevo, is it correct that they would be
2 stationed in and operate outside of school buildings within Sarajevo?
3 A. If they did, I was not aware of that. I certainly saw no
4 evidence of them operating from or alongside school buildings, no.
5 Q. Did you have knowledge that these men, or at least some of them,
6 for instance, Caco with the 10th Mountain Brigade, and the second Celo
7 with the 9th Mountain Brigade, had control over artillery, tanks,
8 mortars, and the like?
9 A. I wasn't -- I wasn't aware of the kind of armament that they had.
10 The soldiers of -- fighters of Caco who I saw were armed with
11 Kalashnikovs in the main.
12 Q. Okay. While we still have your book up on the screen, I'd like
13 to look at page 14 of the same in e-court. And once we get there, I'd
14 like to focus on the top of page 151 on the right. You say here, sir:
15 "Reporters should never forget the cruelty of war, but they
16 should also state clearly when crimes are being committed, and if they
17 can, say who is responsible. We should have been harder on the leaders
18 of the Bosnian Serbs who were treated by Western governments and their
19 military representatives, until almost the very end, as legitimate people
20 with whom business could be done."
21 Sir, is this a position that you still adhere to?
22 A. What I was referring to then was that I was very struck by the
23 way that even though there were already serious questions about human
24 rights violations, violations of the laws of war and so on, violations of
25 international humanitarian law that we -- that were being directed
1 especially at the Bosnian Serb leadership, that I'd say -- I'd see
2 UNPROFOR leaders, Western military people, meeting with them, sometimes
3 engaging in a cheery toast, and I just saw a contrast in -- with that
4 behaviour with information that was coming out of -- out of other
6 I felt that -- yeah, I felt that in my own reporting I should
7 have got more into the political context. I concentrated my reporting
8 much more on the -- the plight of civilians rather than going more
9 deeply, as I would now as a more experienced reporter, into the political
10 background of what was happening and the degree to which it seemed to me,
11 at the time, that there was a -- an organised push going on by the
12 Bosnian Serb leadership, for example, in the field of ethnic cleansing.
13 And at the time, I think I mistakenly in my reporting felt that getting
14 into the politics was possibly a little complicated for some of our
15 audience, which I think was a mistake. And if I look back at my
16 reporting of the Bosnian war, that's the thing which I would change. We
17 did an awful lot of the humanitarian side, on the impact of the war on
18 civilians, without going enough into the -- the political reasons why it
19 was happening, and I think that's something which we should have done,
20 and that's what I was referring to there.
21 Q. If we could now focus on page 24 of the document in e-court,
22 which should correlate to pages 168 and 169. And if we could focus on
23 169 at the bottom.
24 "Journalists' motives are never pure in these matters either. We
25 also intervene in people's lives, telling ourselves that the upshot of it
1 all will be positive. What right had I to play God when I decided to use
2 my platform on BBC News to make sure that Eldar Kalamujic, the boy with
3 liver failure, was evacuated? The answer is that I thought I was doing
4 good, that I was righting a wrong. But actions have consequences."
5 Sir, is this statement a position you still adhere to as a
7 A. I think to give the full context to that paragraph, you possibly
8 should also have read the paragraph on the previous page where I say that
9 for the only time in my life I decided to manipulate a news story to get
10 Eldar and his family evacuated.
11 What had happened was that after the huge world-wide publicity
12 about the case of -- of one particular girl who was very badly wounded,
13 the British government sent over a plane, a hospital plane to evacuate
14 more children. And I felt they were doing that under a feeling of
15 political pressure that they should do something to help things in
16 Bosnia, because they were also under pressure to intervene militarily,
17 which is what they didn't want to do. And I saw that there was a doctor
18 who went round, and he said -- he went round the hospital, and he said
19 that this particular child wouldn't be evacuated because children in
20 Britain were -- also died of liver failure. And I felt -- because he
21 wasn't wounded. He was just dying of liver failure because his liver was
22 failing. And I felt that was unfair, and I said in the book, and as the
23 UNHCR said, actually -- UNHCR, I quote them as saying: When you come to
24 Sarajevo to evacuate wounded and sick children, you shouldn't pick and
1 So I decided - and I revealed it in that book because it's the
2 only time in my life I've done it - and I decided that why not use the
3 power of the press to embarrass them to evacuate the child as well. So
4 that's what I did. And what I go on to say is that he -- by the time
5 he'd had his liver transplant in London, he had have -- he'd developed
6 brain damage. And while he lived for a few years, and his parents were
7 very delighted that he lived for the few years, and I've spoken to them
8 and they told that they felt I did the right thing, he still lived with
9 brain damage for a few years, and his parents, as I say, feel that we did
10 the right thing in that case.
11 But I felt since this book was about some of the motivations of
12 journalists in covering wars, I felt it was -- in the interests of
13 telling the truth, it was good to get into this particular incident. I
14 was not referring to the way I report other stories. This was one very
15 specific incident as I make very clear on page 168 in the second
16 paragraph down.
17 Q. Now I'd like to focus on an incident you describe in your
18 statement. So if we could have P2515 MFI in e-court, page 11 in English
19 and page 14 in the B/C/S. And it's described at paragraphs 37 and 38 of
20 the same and is the incident with the orphan bus and the shelling of the
21 subsequent funeral. Are you sure this is not another incident where you
22 felt you had to intervene to right a wrong?
23 A. Absolutely certain, 100 per cent.
24 Q. I'd like to look at a few things from that incident with you.
25 First of all, is it correct that one of the orphans killed,
1 Vedrana Glavas, was actually an ethnic Serb, and her family had never
2 given permission for nor knew that she was being taken out of Sarajevo on
3 the convoy?
4 A. You know, I never asked the family what their ethnicity was,
5 funnily enough. I was focused on the death of the child. But as I made
6 very clear in my report of that, the family didn't know that she was
7 being taken out and she had been presented by the local aid organisation
8 who fixed up this bungled evacuation, she had -- we were told initially
9 that she was an orphan, and then we found out that she wasn't an orphan.
10 She had a mother and a grandmother. But as for her ethnicity, I didn't
11 actually ask.
12 Q. Now at paragraph 37 of your statement, you say that they, the
13 bus, were shot at by bullets that appeared to come from Serb positions.
14 You did not have occasion to eyewitness the incoming shots; that is to
15 say, you were not an eye-witness. Am I right?
16 A. Of incoming shots, no, I wasn't. No.
17 Q. Is it correct that your initial broadcast report on this
18 incident, as you indicated in direct, according to you, misidentified the
19 location of the bus at the time that it was attacked? The place were the
20 shooters were?
21 A. Yeah. As I said in my clarification at the beginning of my
22 testimony, I misidentified in that particular part of the report where
23 the shooters were. But actually looking at the video, it's illogical,
24 knowing the geography of Sarajevo better, as I did very shortly
25 afterwards, to say that it could have come from there because that was
1 always in government hands. And we, in the piece, very clearly show a
2 picture of the bus leaving the final Bosnian check-point and driving down
3 the road to Ilidza, which is -- that final Bosnian check-point was
4 probably a good half-mile past the Oslobodjenje building, maybe a little
5 further than that.
6 Q. What's the range of a sniper rifle, sir?
7 A. It depends what weapon is used and it depends on the prevailing
8 conditions. It depends on the weather. It depends on the skill of the
9 shooter. It depends on the amount of wind. I think in the hands of a
10 proper sniper rifle, a special sniper rifle with a big calibre bullet,
11 which I don't think was used on this occasion, judging by the wounds that
12 I was told about and saw on the children, has a -- can be, I think, the
13 best part of a kilometre, I am told. I think a Kalashnikov, as I
14 understand it, in the hands of a -- you know, of an accomplished
15 marksman, might be more like 3- or 400 metres.
16 But I'm -- as you pointed out, I am not a military man so I can
17 easily be -- stand corrected on those particular ranges. What I do know
18 is that the shooting incident happened a few minutes after the bus had
19 left the final Bosnian check-point and was heading towards Ilidza, and
20 there was very little space, very little road, because I had driven along
21 the road to Ilidza myself. There was -- there is not a long distance
22 between that. It's a few minutes drive, probably. Four, five minutes,
24 Q. And is it correct that your cameraman who had filmed the bus
25 before it left was at the scene immediately after the shootings?
1 A. No, he wasn't immediately after the shootings, I believe, because
2 he thought that the bus had gone. They saw the bus leaving. They filmed
3 on the bus as it went towards the final check-point, which is where you
4 saw the pictures of the children tied to the seats with bedsheets. They
5 then left the bus. They took shots of the bus driving off towards Ilidza
6 and then returned to our offices. They -- they didn't -- so they weren't
7 there when -- then we later subsequently heard, I think, an hour or so
8 later about what had happened, and we went back. And I think I'm right
9 in saying -- yeah, by the time we went back, the children were in a
10 makeshift morgue, which wasn't far from the Bosnian check-point. And as
11 you saw in the piece that was actually broadcast in this court yesterday,
12 we had pictures of the two children with sheets over them, and the sheets
13 were bloody. In other words, it wasn't long after they were killed. The
14 blood hadn't congealed. The blood was still flowing out of their bodies
15 when they were put in there.
16 Q. Is it correct, sir, that your cameraman received the initial
17 information that the source of fire had been the Oslobodjenje building?
18 A. No, I don't think the cameraman did receive the -- I can't
19 remember where that extraneous report came from. And --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could I again invite you --
21 THE WITNESS: Oh, sorry, be slower.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- to take a break between question and answer --
23 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- and to be slower.
25 THE WITNESS: I do not recall where that extraneous report came
1 from, but my guess is that it wouldn't have come from any of our local
2 staff because they would have corrected me very quickly as to the -- as
3 to who controlled the Oslobodjenje building at that particular time and
4 throughout the war.
5 MR. IVETIC:
6 Q. So was the exclusion of the Oslobodjenje building as a source of
7 fire based upon its location or who controlled it?
8 A. Well, it was based on its location and who controlled it because
9 the way we worked it out through talking to people who were around the
10 check-point, to talking subsequently as well to UN people, was that their
11 information was that the -- you know, we went to the UNPROFOR people and
12 asked them what their information was, because, of course, there were
13 UNPROFOR soldiers in different places and the information would filter
14 back to their press people. We were told very clearly that the shooting
15 incident took place significantly after the bus had left the final
16 Bosnian check-point. And since -- since you mention it, since the
17 Oslobodjenje building was maybe half a mile back from there, I don't
18 think it's physically possibly for someone to have opened fire from there
19 and to have hit the bus.
20 And my recollection of the pictures of the bus as well were that
21 it would be -- that it was hit from the side. So it wouldn't have been
22 from way back down the road; it would have been from somewhere along the
23 side as it -- after it had left the final Bosnian check-point and as it
24 approached Ilidza. I don't know which point on the road that it -- that
25 it occurred.
1 Q. In relation to your conclusion of who was responsible for the
2 shooting upon the bus, did you later do any follow-up to determine if any
3 formal investigation of the incident had determined that identity?
4 A. I don't believe so. Things were moving very fast at that
5 particular time. I think we got caught up in other news stories.
6 MR. IVETIC: If we could take a look at something from the
7 Karadzic trial. 1D1349. Page 99 of the same, which ought to correlate
8 to page 10166 of the underlying transcript.
9 Q. And at line 16 and onwards you were asked as follows, sir:
10 "Q. How did you establish that it was the Serbs who shot at the
11 bus? How did you come to reject the theory that that could have been
12 done by Muslim soldiers or, rather, the government, although the theory
13 was supported by the UN?
14 "A. At that point, I hadn't heard the theory that the Bosnian
15 government side were doing it to their own people. I first heard the
16 theory from a military aide to General Lewis MacKenzie, who was the
17 UNPROFOR Sarajevo Sector commander at the time, towards the end of that
18 first visit I paid to Sarajevo, which was August of 1992. So he took me
19 to one side and said, Look, by the way, I want you to know we're
20 convinced that the Serbs -- sorry, that the Bosnian government are
21 shelling themselves. So I said, Well, what evidence have you got? And
22 he said, We don't really have any evidence, but that's what we think."
23 First of all, sir, is this the -- is this the same aide that you
24 are referencing in your statement at paragraph 39, which is at page 12 in
25 the English, page 16 in the B/C/S? Again, that being P2515 marked for
1 identification. Are we talking about the same individual?
2 A. Yeah, we are talking about the same individual.
3 Q. And my first question for you on this topic: Could you identify
4 for us this aide to General MacKenzie that provided this information to
5 you? If you'd like, we can go into private session to do so.
6 A. No, as a journalist I can't reveal my sources.
7 Q. Apart from this aide to General MacKenzie, was he the only one
8 that told you of such a conspiracy story or did other UN officials at the
9 time voice or talk about such a thing?
10 A. He was the only UN official who mentioned it. He was -- and he
11 took me aside and told me in an undertone as if it was something that was
12 semisecret. As I said, in the -- as you just were pointing out, I mean,
13 my view was that evidence would have emerged. I think it's -- my
14 experience as a journalist tells me it's very hard to keep things secret
15 for 20 years. I am very surprised that someone hasn't come forward and
16 said, Yes, we did it, if that was indeed the case. As for that bus, it
17 was shot at at quite close range going through Serb-controlled territory.
18 Q. Is it your belief, sir, that there has not been any evidence that
19 has come forth in the intervening 20 years of any single incident of the
20 ABiH side shooting at their own side, for whatever reason?
21 A. While I was in Sarajevo, I saw none of this evidence. Now in the
22 last 20 years, I am aware that there have been some reports, I think,
23 made public, and I've certainly had military figures, military sources
24 sharing information of that nature with me more recently about -- about
25 incidents in 1995. The incident that -- I've heard an assertion that the
1 incident, the attack on the market that prompted NATO intervention,
2 ultimately, in 1995, that there was some evidence that was claimed from
3 crater analysis that the shots had come from the -- the explosions, the
4 mortars had come from the Bosnian side.
5 But as a journal -- I mean, I want to put very much on record
6 that as a journalist, I would have been absolutely delighted to do that
7 story. I would have got a lot of kudos for it and I would have had no
8 hesitation in doing the story. And we tried to look into it as much as
9 we could, about who was shelling whom, and I can absolutely state
10 unequivocally that had I been able to find out that the Bosnian
11 government was shelling their own people and causing a large number of
12 people and causing large numbers of casualties or any casualties, I would
13 have reported it. I absolutely would have. And I never saw that proof.
14 And I haven't seen people coming forward since then and saying,
15 Yeah, you know, we were running an operation that did that. Similar
16 things have -- other kinds of dirty tricks have come out of other
17 conflicts. But not as far as I am aware - and I don't cover the Balkans
18 anymore so I can't pretend to be up to date - but as far as I'm aware,
19 over the subsequent 20 years, I don't think that levels of detail that
20 would support it have come out. I could be wrong.
21 Q. So have you not heard of the so-called Seva unit that operated in
22 Sarajevo and conducted such operations?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay. I'd like to look at a document with you. 1D --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could I try to clarify at least one
2 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The witness said something about shelling their own
4 side. Your next question was about shooting. Did you intend to refer to
5 shelling as well? Because the witness then answered again in terms of
6 shelling. You used a different word. Now I am just trying to find out
7 for myself whether you either misspoke or that you intended to shift from
8 shelling to shooting, and then we could verify with the witness whether
9 his answer would be accurate for shooting as well.
10 MR. IVETIC: I originally had asked about shelling and shooting
11 in a general sense for which the witness had said he -- gave his answer,
12 and then I asked specifically about the Seva unit in relation to shooting
13 which -- as opposed to shelling. So it was meant to be a question as to
14 a particular formation for which I believe there is --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
16 MR. IVETIC: -- information that they were shooting, not shelling.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me then try to reconstruct what I think
18 happened. The witness told us about someone who had told him that the
19 government forces were shelling their own side. And the witness said,
20 "I'm not going to reveal my sources." He told us that it was the only
21 one who told him about this conspiracy story. It was about shelling.
22 Then you asked him, "Is it your belief," when the witness said
23 that he never had received any evidence on that, "Is it your belief, sir,
24 that there has not been any evidence coming forth in the intervening
25 20 years of any single of the ABiH side shooting at their own side for
1 whatever reason?" So there we shifted from shelling to shooting. The
2 witness answered that question about 20 years of evidence, focusing on
3 shelling again. And then you asked about the Seva unit, where you refer
4 to Seva unit as "that operated in Sarajevo and conducted such
5 operations," not making it clear whether it was about shelling or
6 shooting. I just want to avoid that there is any misunderstanding.
7 Did you ever receive any evidence about shooting, that is, not
8 shelling but shots being fired at -- within your own territory, your own
9 controlled territory by ABiH forces?
10 THE WITNESS: Subsequently, and I quoted it and it's already been
11 mentioned, I think, this morning, there were stories of some of Caco's
12 people shooting Serbs who were in Bosnian government-held territory. And
13 I think the case -- the accusation against them was that they were
14 summarily executed. I was referring in my answers, and my understanding
15 of that question, actually, about the Seva unit, was that the reference
16 was to shelling, that's what I was mentally focused on. But I -- so all
17 my answers were -- were referring, really, to shelling.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: Um --
20 JUDGE ORIE: I just want --
21 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- to avoid any confusion, and that's the reason why
23 I asked him whether you heard about shooting --
24 THE WITNESS: Yeah. And I have not heard of Seva at all.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. If we can have 1D1338 in e-court. I
2 think will we see when the document comes up that it is dated the
3 27th of October, 1994. And it is from UNPROFOR Sector Sarajevo to
4 General Rose.
5 Q. First of all, looking at this date, were you still covering
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sarajevo at that time?
7 A. I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994. I'm -- I wasn't in
8 Sarajevo, though, at that particular time. I think that was more or less
9 the time that I was doing that documentary which included the interview
10 with the gentleman, the Serb official, who was engaged in the
11 deportations. So I was more in Bosnian Serb territory at that time. I
12 wasn't -- in the autumn of 1994, I wasn't in the Sector Sarajevo -- in
13 Sarajevo itself as controlled by the BH government.
14 Q. Are you familiar with the Brigadier Fikret that is mentioned in
15 relation to the recce of Igman in this memo?
16 A. His name rings a bell. He's not someone I met, someone I knew.
17 Q. Let me see if I can refresh your recollection. Several witnesses
18 in this trial have identified a Brigadier Fikret, saying he was involved
19 in criminal activities and in charge of smuggle and all traffic through
20 the Butmir airport tunnel. For instance, we had David Fraser at
21 transcript page 5825 through 5826, and RM163 at transcript pages 6164
22 through 6165. Does that refresh your recollection of a Brigadier Fikret
23 operating in Sarajevo?
24 A. I never really did the story of the tunnel very much. That was
25 done, I think, by colleagues of mine. You know, we took turn and
1 turnabout to go into -- different rotations going into Sarajevo. And
2 I -- I don't recall interviewing Brigadier Fikret, and I certainly never
3 went through the tunnel. I knew -- I knew of its existence, as everybody
4 did, but I didn't report on it myself. I think that would have been done
5 by other BBC people.
6 Q. You say you knew the tunnel as everyone did. Was it a well-known
7 fact that the tunnel existed and was used for transportation of goods and
8 people in and out of the city?
9 A. Yeah, well, if I knew about it, I think it was a fair bet that
10 other people knew about it too, yes. I think it was pretty well known.
11 The first reports of it, I can't remember quite where they were, were --
12 it wasn't quite so believed, but then it became clear that it was
13 happening, and I spoke to people, foreign dignitaries who had been
14 through the tunnel and who told -- described it to me in great detail.
15 Q. Do you think it would be fair to have to take into account the
16 operation of the tunnel, whether by Brigadier Fikret or by some other
17 individual, in terms of evaluating the statements and the responsibility
18 of -- that you attribute to the Serbs for being the ones controlling who
19 was able to get in and out of Sarajevo?
20 A. The tunnel was a hole in the wall. It wasn't a breach of the
21 wall. By "wall," of course, I'm speaking metaphorically. The siege
22 continued. And I think that when people aren't able to move of their own
23 volition easily and safely without being fired on, in that particular
24 case it was a siege. So, yes, there were -- at times the siege was
25 porous. It was porus because of black market activities and corruption
1 and local alliances between people on either side of the front line, and
2 the tunnel was a major hole in it. But in terms of how that affected the
3 condition of the people, the people couldn't go in and out of the tunnel
4 as they wanted. They couldn't go across and visit their families on the
5 other side of the -- of the airport in Butmir through the tunnel. It was
6 very much controlled by the military and used for, I imagine, the
7 transportation of military supplies.
8 Q. If we can turn to the second page of this document. At the top
9 we have an item marked "tram, flag B." And it says:
10 "At 1735 hours, 25 October, tram shot area BRATSVA Br, and
11 reported 8 injured. BAT 4 conducts investigation (see report)
13 "- sentries and police suggest rounds near north bank of river.
14 "- paint chips suggest tram located NE of police Kiosk.
15 "- trajectory of rounds suggest shooter near ground level and
16 from BiH side of river.
17 "- all evidence and corroboration by Bosnian officials indicate
18 shots came from Bosnian-held territory (see map for building)."
19 Did you, I suppose, not have knowledge of this incident around
20 the 25th of October, 1994, at the Bratsva, I think, bridge, where a tram
21 was shot at and eight persons were injured?
22 A. No, as I say, I wasn't in the city at that particular time. I
23 mean, if as a journalist I had seen this particular document at the time,
24 it would have been a great story, and I would have -- I would probably
25 have asked why was it also corroborated by Bosnian officials? I mean,
1 that's my journalistic response to it. But no, I wasn't -- that's
2 hypothetical because I wasn't in the city at that particular time.
3 Q. Do you think -- do you think had you had access to information
4 about an incident like this one would have made you rethink or retract
5 your assessment of the validity or not of the conspiracy theory that we
6 had talked about from paragraph 39 of your statement?
7 A. Not retract. Because I was thinking more there about major
8 shelling operations against people inflicting mass casualties. I think
9 it would have been a -- as I say, it would have been a story that would
10 have been, you know, this -- that would have been a -- if they had made
11 that public at the time, maybe they did, but had it been made public at
12 the time, it would have been a significant story, certainly. Yeah, it
13 would have been. But, you know, I think with all these things, you have
14 to take them -- take the individual circumstances of each particular
15 incident. And going back to that incident with the bus, seeing this
16 doesn't make my change my mind about conclusions I drew at the time
17 because of the location of the bus where it happened.
18 Q. I understand that. I was asking about the --
19 A. Sure.
20 Q. -- observations you made about the conspiracy theory in
21 paragraph 39 of the statement. Just so we're clear.
22 A. No, I don't think that one incident necessarily confirms the
23 whole theory.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would move to admit this document
1 into evidence as the next available Defence exhibit number.
2 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I wouldn't oppose admission on the
3 basis of context. It's been discussed today. Although, you know, I
4 would note that the witness wasn't in Sarajevo at the time of this
5 incident. And I'd also note that so far as I'm aware, this document
6 wasn't put to General Rose while he was here as one might expect under
7 Rule 90(E). But I do not oppose admission of that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: But you do not oppose admission. Then we leave it
9 to that.
10 Madam Registrar, the number would be.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1338 receives number D387,
12 Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
14 Mr. Ivetic, it would certainly assist the Chamber, but I don't
15 know whether it does exist or not, all evidence and corroboration by
16 Bosnian officials indicate shots came from Bosnian-held territory. The
17 witness was -- your interest was triggered by this observation that the
18 Bosnian would have corroborated this to be the source of fire. If there
19 is any further material about that, I think it would be interesting for
20 the Chamber to see that.
21 MR. IVETIC: Understood. I will try to find out if there is
22 anything more. I don't have anything at this time. Otherwise I would
23 have brought it to Your Honours' attention.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
25 MR. IVETIC: If we can please have 1D1336 in e-court.
1 Q. And as you can see, it is dated the 17th of August, 1994, and
2 it's from the UN Centre for Human Rights Field Office in Sarajevo in
3 relation to a meeting with General Soubirou of UNPROFOR Sector Sarajevo.
4 Now, I'd like to have a look at the second page of the same and focus in
5 on item number 2 at the second half of the page.
6 "The BiH government seemed to present the International Community
7 with propaganda regarding violations committed by the Serb side, omitting
8 to do the same regarding violations committed by them.
9 "For example, the civilian population has major administrative
10 obstacles in leaving Sarajevo, and the police and military officials,
11 being powerful, contribute significantly to this policy."
12 The question I first have for you, sir: Did you ever have access
13 to any information of this type, from international officials or other
14 sources, that the BiH government was imposing administrative obstacles to
15 keep people from leaving Sarajevo?
16 A. Just to clarify, just so I'm clear in my own mind, this is a
17 statement, is it, from -- oh, I touched the screen. I beg your pardon.
18 From the general, from General Soubirou?
19 MR. IVETIC: If we could go back to the first page.
20 Q. I think we'll see its from the field office --
21 A. Okay.
22 Q. -- of the UN Centre for Human Rights to the chief of Special
23 Procedures branch of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights in
24 Geneva, talking about a meeting that they had with General Soubirou, is
25 the way I understand it.
1 A. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, okay. So the question was, was I aware of
2 these administrative hurdles that were put in place by the BiH government
3 and the army; is that right?
4 Q. Correct. That prevented people from leaving Sarajevo.
5 A. I did hear as time went on in the war -- I did hear as time went
6 on in the war that there were those kinds of hurdles put on the -- put in
7 the -- as obstacles for some people to leave, and I wondered at the time
8 did that change the status of the situation there as a siege. I felt it
9 did not because my understanding of that was that they were trying to
10 keep people there as part of their war effort and that the -- the thing
11 that had set it all off in the first place was the imposition of the
12 siege. And also my understanding, too, was that it didn't mean that it
13 was impossible for people to leave Sarajevo because I was aware of quite
14 a lot of people who left Sarajevo at that particular time. But I do
15 think that, you know, it was a -- as they organised themselves more, they
16 became increasingly bureaucratic. And I think you had to have a lot of
17 paperwork to move, to get permissions to travel and so on.
18 Q. Do you think that your statement of approximately 21 pages that
19 omits any reference to this that you had knowledge of, that the BiH side
20 was imposing obstacles to people leaving Sarajevo, is really accurate and
21 impartial in assessing that the Bosnian Serbs were the ones that kept
22 people from leaving Sarajevo?
23 A. I don't think the -- what's revealed in that document in the
24 opinion of the -- of this UNPROFOR general affects the fundamental fact
25 of the siege really one iota. The siege was imposed and kept going by
1 military force from the Bosnian Serb side, and as a -- as a result of the
2 siege and the way that things continued, life became very corrupt and
3 difficult and unjust for quite a few people inside Sarajevo. It was in
4 no sense a happy place. People didn't live in some harmony of pulling
5 together, necessarily. It was a divided and unhappy place where some
6 people had permission to get in and out and some people didn't. But my
7 opinion that the siege was imposed and prosecuted by the Bosnian Serb
8 side doesn't change as a result of that. I feel that that's a fact.
9 Q. Sir, let's step a way from the opinion of the author of this
10 document and let's talk about what you just testified that you knew about
11 which is not in your statement. Do you believe that the failure to
12 include in your statement which you knew about these obstacles being put
13 in place by the BiH side to keep people from leaving Sarajevo, if you're
14 statement accurately and impartially describes matters, even though it
15 fails to include this information that you just testified you did know
17 A. That statement isn't an account of everything I knew about the
18 situation in Sarajevo from beginning to end. I was there regularly
19 for -- for three years. I don't think that it -- no, because I think
20 that the -- as I said, I believe that the -- the fact that there were
21 some bureaucratic obstacles that were put in place was troubling for
22 those people that were affected by them. It effect everybody by any
23 means, and I don't think, to repeat, that it gets away from the fact that
24 the siege was imposed by the Bosnian Serbs.
25 I travelled on a regular basis along the roads to Pale, past
1 Bosnian Serb positions, and I saw the guns, I saw the piles of spent
2 shell casings and bullet casings from -- everything from .50-calibre
3 weapons up to anti-aircraft and heavier and tanks as well that were
4 firing into the city. I spoke to the gunners in those places through a
5 translator, once or twice they spoke English, maybe a few times. But I
6 spoke through a translator who -- and these men cheerfully admitted what
7 they were doing. They let us film down the barrels of their guns that
8 were targeted in places within the city. That's a siege. I'm sorry, it
9 is. And that was the fundamental fact in the reason why there had to be
10 an air-lift to bring in -- why there had to be an air-lift, to bring in
11 relief supplies, because there was a siege. What were those men doing on
12 the hills, who, as I say, I very regularly saw and spoke to and saw the
13 piles of spent shell casings. What were they doing other than
14 prosecuting a siege?
15 And I think that if the exit of some people as a result of
16 bureaucratic problems -- it's not like they were stopped at the barrel of
17 a gun from doing it. It was because they didn't have the correct forms.
18 I don't think that's comparable and I don't think it dilutes the fact
19 that a siege was going on.
20 Q. Were Caco's men in the 10th Mountain Brigade stopping people at
21 the barrel of a gun from leaving the territory?
22 A. I've absolutely no idea what they were doing, because they
23 certainly weren't operational. Their zone of operation was nowhere near
24 the tunnel that went to Butmir and nowhere near the -- those
25 particular -- that end of the city. It was more near the old city, and
1 looking up at those heights towards the -- the bobsleigh run. So that
2 was their -- their main centre of operations. They had a little enclave
3 there at the height of his powers. It was very strongly -- I know this
4 because when I travelled to Mostar in -- first of all in August of 1993,
5 to cross the -- the runway through various check-points controlled by the
6 BiH Army, I had to get an official permission from the -- the office, the
7 military headquarters of General Delic who, at that point, was the
8 military commander, and the people who we dealt with on the check-points
9 were uniformed members of the BiH forces. So they weren't -- that was
10 still the Caco era, I believe, and so no, they couldn't have been in
11 contact -- in touch in -- in control of that particular place at that
12 particular time.
13 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, may I please have leave to consult
14 with my client briefly.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You may if Mr. Mladic will keep his -- the volume of
16 his voice down.
17 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, Mr. Ivetic, would it assist if we take
19 the break a little bit earlier so that you have more time to consult? We
20 are close to the point where we would take --
21 MR. IVETIC: That would, Your Honours, perhaps.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll take the break of 20 minutes.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 1.30.
2 --- Recess taken at 1.11 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.32 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I meanwhile use the time for the following. On the
5 1st of October of this year, the Prosecution tendered 65 ter 28036, which
6 was initially tendered through Witness RM506, and the Defence indicated
7 that they needed to consider whether they have any objections to
8 admission. They were instructed to do so not later than that week,
9 transcript page 17711, and the Defence is invited to clarify their
10 position in relation to this. Not necessarily immediately, unless it
11 could be a simple yes or no, but at least as soon as possible.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, you may proceed.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. While we still have the document on the screen, I'd like to look
16 at item number 4 on the list as it relates to Rogatica, which is also a
17 topic that you covered in the witness statement at paragraph 10, for
18 instance. This document reads:
19 "Concerning the forced eviction of civilians in Rogatica which
20 was covered by the media as ethnic cleansing, General Soubirou believes
21 that it was part of an agreement between the two parties."
22 Did your inquiries as a journalist uncover any information
23 tending to point to the fact that population exchanges in Rogatica in
24 1994 in the month of August were, in fact, negotiated between the two
1 A. No, I never saw any evidence of that. But then again, I didn't
2 look for it. As I say again, I wasn't in the city at that particular
3 time. My references to Rogatica earlier on were, I think, in connection
4 with incidents that happened there in 1992, 1993. Certainly people there
5 spoke to me about the situation in Rogatica as I was passing through it
6 on my way to Gorazde in 1992, and I subsequently spoke to people who had
7 been displaced from Rogatica to Sarajevo when they were in Sarajevo, and
8 I remember them telling me about particularly brutal treatment, including
9 rapes, at the hands of Serb forces there. Whether or not that was by
10 agreement, I have absolutely no idea.
11 Q. I now propose to take a look at a short video-clip of less than
12 one minute. It is one for which the transcript has not been verified, so
13 I will first play it once through and then play it a second time in
14 accord with the procedure Your Honours have identified.
15 MR. IVETIC: The transcripts were distributed to the booths
16 yesterday -- or I should say the transcript, I only have it in one
17 language, English.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's the --
19 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. The number is 1D1354.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed as you suggested.
21 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Playing it the first time.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 MR. IVETIC: I note I'm not getting sound.
24 THE WITNESS: No, me neither.
25 MR. IVETIC: Perhaps while we try to get that sorted, I can go
1 and make use of our time to ask other questions and return to this.
2 If we can call up 1D1337.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it is quite difficult -- now it's
5 MR. IVETIC:
6 Q. And this document is dated 9 November 1994. It is from the
7 UNPROFOR investigative team led by a Lieutenant-Colonel Le Chevalier of
8 Sector Sarajevo, and indicates that it is a technical report on mortar
9 shells. If we look at the description of the incident, in the middle of
10 the page it indicates that two 82-millimetre mortar shells landed at
11 Livanjska Street.
12 First of all, sir, would you agree with me that this location at
13 Livanjska Street would be within BiH-controlled territory as confirmed by
14 the fact that the presence of the Bosnian police were at the scene of the
16 A. I would have to take your word for that because I don't remember
17 specifically a street of that name or its location.
18 Q. If we could turn to page 3 in both the B/C/S and the English, I'd
19 like to focus on the conclusion reached by this UN team.
21 "It is possible to conclude that the most suspected area are
22 under the control of BiH.
23 "To fire from BSA positions for the same ranges and with the same
24 angle of descent, the direction of the mortar should be 4200 milliems
25 (from Grdonj) or 700 milliems (from Orlovac) which means that the
1 direction of the weapon measured from the impact location should be
2 1000 milliems (Grdonj) or 700 milliems (Orlovac). The impacts on the
3 ground are too clear to allow such errors. To fire from BSA positions
4 and from the direction between 1200 and 1600 milliems, the distance
5 should be at least 3700 metres. The angle of descent in that case should
6 be less than 60 degrees."
7 Would you agree, sir, that this is pretty convincing evidence
8 that the BiH side fired the mortar shells in question?
9 A. I have to say I've never heard the word "milliem" before. I
10 don't quite know what it means. But going from the first sentence in
11 that conclusion, it's possible to conclude the most suspected are under
12 the control of BiH, I assume from that that they're saying that the
13 greater likelihood was that the mortars were fired from their positions.
14 I wasn't in the city at the time. I can't comment on the
15 specific incident. As a journalist and as an observer, what I would
16 say -- my first question would be: Well, what was the intent of the
17 attack if it did come from the BiH area? Were they are targeting
18 something? Were they trying to hit Bosnian Serb positions and it dropped
19 short? Was it a misfire? You know, it raises as many questions as it
20 answers in my mind. And as for the technical information about angles of
21 descent and milliems, I -- I mean I am not an expert about that. I have
22 no knowledge of it so I can't comment, I'm afraid.
23 Q. Okay. At this trial, David Fraser, who was the MA to the Sector
24 Sarajevo chief of UNPROFOR in 1994 and 1995, testified at transcript
25 page 5880 through 5882 about his knowledge of several incidents of
1 attempted deception by the ABiH side, including one where the site of a
2 shell that came from the Serb side was subsequently shelled by the BiH
3 side when people came out to investigate the first shell, both causing
4 casualties. In that instance, a joint BiH and UN investigation confirmed
5 that whereas the first shell came from the Serb side, the second shell
6 was confirmed to have come from the BiH side.
7 Can we conclude that you did not have knowledge of such incidents
8 as reported by -- by General Fraser, who at that time was a major?
9 A. I -- no, I didn't have knowledge of that incident. Not at all.
10 They weren't, I think, in the habit of sharing that kind of thing with
11 the press in -- openly anyway. And so no, I didn't have any knowledge of
12 that incident.
13 Q. Would knowledge of incidents like these that we have just gone
14 through cause you to reconsider your conclusions in paragraph 39 of your
15 statement about the "conspiracy theory" within the UN?
16 A. Well, again, I mean, I see questions as well as answers in that
17 assertion from General, then Major, Fraser. For example, I'm again
18 intrigued by the Bosnian authorities who were involved in the
19 investigation and also seemingly corroborating it. I think perhaps they
20 were implying that there were freelance operators who were throwing in
21 shells, perhaps. So to make a proper comment on that, really, I feel I
22 would need the full context and the full story, rather than just a couple
23 of lines taken by themselves.
24 Q. Now I'd like to look at another part of your Rule 92 ter
25 statement. P2515 MFI, page 8 in the English, page 11 of the B/C/S.
1 Paragraph 25 of the same. Here you talk of the time you spent at both
2 the Kosevo and state hospitals in Sarajevo, and you talk of holes from
3 tank rounds in the walls of the state hospital.
4 First of all, did Kosevo Hospital appear to have similar damage
5 and tank-round holes when you visited that hospital?
6 A. No, it was in a different kind of location. The state hospital
7 is a -- quite a high building which -- it's multiple floors. I think
8 it's probably eight -- six or eight floors, perhaps, and it directly
9 faces the positions on the -- on the mountain which the Serbs were in
10 control of, and there was a direct line of fire from those positions into
11 the -- the state hospital, which meant that those upper floors, which I
12 went up to and examined myself, and again this was early in the war,
13 those upper floors were uninhabitable. They had large holes in the
14 windows big enough for a human being to fall out, and they were --
15 everybody had been moved down into the basement.
16 The Kosevo Hospital was -- it's a -- it's more of a low-rise
17 building, which was damaged, but it's more sprawling, it's more spread
18 out, and in a somewhat different position strategically to --
19 geographically, I should say, to the state hospital. It was right in
20 the -- much more in the centre of town. Kosevo is a bit more off to the
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, before I forget, you put the evidence of
23 Mr. Fraser to the -- to the witness. I think when that evidence was
24 given, I addressed both Prosecution and Defence, Ms. Bolton and you, to
25 see whether there was any further documentation, any contemporaneous
1 reports about that. Have you consulted with the Prosecution on that
2 matter and what is the result of this strong invitation to provide the
3 Chamber with a detailed report so that we are better able to access
4 the -- the value of the evidence in this respect.
5 MR. IVETIC: I don't believe that we found any documents in
6 relation to that. My recollection was at that time when we consulted
7 with the Prosecution that they were unaware of any documents. I don't
8 remember offhand whether there was a date mentioned by General Fraser. I
9 believe it was without an actual date for the incident, which would make
10 it hard to locate documents. Although, we will obviously look.
11 But as I stand up on my feet, I do not remember being able to
12 find any written reports or other -- other written material about this
13 incident apart from the reference in the one statement by General Fraser,
14 his testimony in, I believe, one other proceeding, and a reference to the
15 same incident in a prior statement dating closer to the time-period of
16 the conflict.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I hear from the Prosecution as well,
18 whether Ms. Bolton was any -- successful and whether she sat together
19 with Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I'd have to take some time to --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand --
22 MR. JEREMY: -- inquire about and come back to that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber is very much interested in
24 detailed evidence if these important matters are the subject matter of
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
3 Q. Did you, in the course of your work, ever have occasion to hear
4 about a Colonel John Hamill, an Irish officer within, first, the UNMOs
5 and, later, a UN artillery expert brought in to investigate the first
6 so-called Markale market shelling?
7 A. No, I never met that gentleman.
8 Q. Colonel Hamill was a witness for the Prosecution at this trial,
9 and he talked about some damage he found at Kosevo Hospital.
10 MR. IVETIC: And if we can call that up, it's 1D1352 in e-court.
11 Page 2 of the same, which is the print-out of transcript page 5514 of our
12 trial transcript.
13 Q. And I'd like to go through some of this with you to see if this
14 relates to anything that you would have seen. Let's start -- well:
15 "Q. Starting with the question, and it will tell you the
16 time-frame I'm talking about, sir:
17 "'Q. On the 5th of December, 1993, you went to Kiseljak to
18 attend a conference, and then you moved to the Papa side. You saw the
19 Kosevo Hospital, and you saw the two nurses and one doctor killed by a
20 shell. You also saw a hole in a wall over 1 metre in diameter, forming
21 almost a perfect circle. Do you remember that?
22 "'A. That is almost correct. I didn't see any nurses or a
23 doctor killed. I was informed when we were there that there had been
24 those casualties when the building was hit by a shell, but that had
25 happened some time before and I don't know when. I did see the hole in
1 the wall. It was a large one, and it was almost a perfect circle. So,
2 yes, that part is correct.'
3 "First of all, when you're talking -- does this comport with your
4 recollection, your factual observations at the Kosevo Hospital building
5 in December of 1993?
6 "A. Yes, my answer does. The question obviously doesn't.
7 "Q. And am I correct that you reached a conclusion based upon
8 this factual observation as to the fire more likely having come from
9 inside the Muslim or Papa zone, rather than from the VRS, as is, I
10 believe, contained in the next four lines of the transcript?
11 "A. That was my opinion, yes."
12 Sir, did you have such information that, in fact, damage to the
13 Kosevo Hospital had been the result of tank round damage that probably
14 came from the BiH side as Mr. Hamill indicates in this portion of the
15 transcript that I've discussed with you?
16 A. No, he never shared his opinion with me, I never met him, and so
17 I didn't know have that information.
18 Q. Okay. Did you have occasion to see the hole that he's talking
19 about at Kosevo Hospital during any of your trips to the same?
20 A. I don't remember an almost perfect circle in the wall. No, I
22 Q. While we are on the topic of the hospitals, several witnesses at
23 this trial have talked about mobile ABiH mortars mounted on vehicles,
24 firing rounds from near or at the hospital to attract return fire from
25 the Serbs. For instance, we have had Pyers Tucker, at transcript
1 page 3847, in relation to Kosevo Hospital; General Abdel-Razek, at
2 transcript page 3639, talking about the use of such mortars at
3 humanitarian buildings; John Jordan, at transcript page 1818 to 1820,
4 talking about Kosevo Hospital; Francis Roy Thomas, at transcript
5 page 5172, talking about Kosevo Hospital; and Colonel Richard Mole, at
6 transcript page 4412 through 413, talking about Kosevo Hospital.
7 Sir, did you have any such information about mobile mortars
8 deployed and fired by the BiH side from near hospitals or humanitarian
9 buildings to draw the fire of Serbs?
10 A. No, I didn't have that information. I knew that in the area
11 where we were in Sarajevo, where I was sleeping at the Holiday Inn hotel
12 and where we had an office as well, that there was outgoing fire that
13 would come sometimes very loudly from near there. I know that they
14 sometimes had a recoilless rifle that they used near there. And I did
15 hear outgoing fire coming from the region -- I mean, from that -- the
16 area around the hotel at times. I didn't have any information. I wasn't
17 ever told any information about such a thing happening from near the
18 hospital, no.
19 Q. Okay. Again, I ask you now, having in mind these additional --
20 this additional information, the testimony of Colonel Hamill, these
21 instances of the ABiH using -- deploying mobile mortars, would any of
22 that cause you to change your conclusions as to the -- or to revisit the
23 conclusions as to the conspiracy theory of the UN that we talked about
24 earlier from paragraph 39 of your statement?
25 A. Well, I think if I'd been privy -- well, I think if I'd been
1 privy to that information at the time, I would have wanted to look into
2 it myself and find out how true it was, what those officers based the
3 information on. I would like also to try and find out -- to speak
4 first-hand to some of the people who were alleged to have done that or
5 perhaps more likely speak to more people who were alleged to -- who said
6 that they'd heard it or seen it, speaking to witnesses about that. It's
7 really very difficult for me based on just a few snippets of information
8 that you give me, to come to a -- you know, a firm and settled conclusion
9 about whether or not that changes what I saw myself in that particular
10 time. One thing I've learned over the years as a journalist is that
11 experts of all sorts are at times fallible as well.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy.
13 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I've not been able to verify the
14 various transcript references that Mr. Ivetic has provided. We have
15 taken a look at one of those references in relation to Witness Tucker,
16 transcript page 3847, and there we don't see anything about the ABiH
17 using mobile mortars to attract return fire from the Serbs. So just a
18 little bit concerned about the characterisation of some of the evidence
19 that we -- we've already heard in this case.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could you -- where there is a challenge
21 to your source, your reference, could you take us to page 3847 so as to
22 indicate where we find --
23 MR. IVETIC: Unfortunately, Your Honour, the transcripts are not
24 in e-court of our case.
25 JUDGE ORIE: But you can -- we all can use the e-court system.
1 So if you tell me on what page, then even without the e-court --
2 MR. IVETIC: 3847.
3 JUDGE ORIE: 3847, yes.
4 MR. IVETIC: Talking about mobile mortars that were launched from
5 Kosevo Hospital.
6 JUDGE ORIE: 3847, just taking a look. Could you guide me to
7 the -- 3847. I am at that page on my system.
8 MR. IVETIC: Unfortunately from the courtroom, we can't use the
9 other LiveNotes. I'm stuck with the scrolling one.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, at least on page 3847, reference is made
11 to the shelling conducted from the Kosevo Hospital by a group of Bosnian
12 Muslim mortars. Although it doesn't say anything about them being
13 mobile, but is that what --
14 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, my -- my concern is the suggestion
15 that this was done for the purpose of drawing return fire.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you just said that nothing was said about
17 mobile mortars. Now, firing from a hospital ground, for whatever reason,
18 whether or not to attract -- I mean, there is a basis for what Mr. Ivetic
19 said, on that page, although perhaps not in exactly the same wordings,
20 isn't it? Page 3847, let me read it aloud, because if it's not.
21 "Yesterday at transcript page," so-and-so, it starts on line 1,
22 "I would like to get more details about the incident where you describe
23 at paragraph 303 of your statement on the same page that we have now,
24 just a little lower. The shelling conducted from the Kosevo Hospital by
25 a group of Bosnian Muslim mortars."
1 Or is it your position that they had fixed mortar positions
3 MR. JEREMY: No, I accept there is a reference to mobile mortars
4 and perhaps I wasn't clear in my objection. My objection is to the
5 suggestion that these mobile mortars were being used in, for instance,
6 Kosevo Hospital for the purpose of drawing return fire onto the hospital.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's not how I understood your observation.
8 But check the other ones and we'll see.
9 Mr. Ivetic, meanwhile you may proceed.
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 If we can ...
12 Q. Today at temporary transcript at page 16, line 2, I asked you a
13 question and you responded as follows:
14 "Would you agree that a journalist has a professional obligation
15 to investigate and verify facts given by others before reporting the same
16 to ensure that they are accurate?"
17 And your answer was recorded as:
18 "Yes, I would agree up to a point. But sometimes it's necessary
19 to report people's views, not to treat them as statements of fact but to
20 make clear in one's reporting that you're reporting someone's view,
21 someone's perception of a situation. So that doesn't mean that one would
22 conduct a major investigation into, say, a statement made by somebody at
23 a presentation conference or in an interview, particularly if that person
24 was speaking from a position of responsibility. What you'd say is that
25 this is the point of view given by that individual."
1 Sir, do you make clear in your reporting when you are reporting
2 your own view or perception of a situation?
3 A. I don't report my own views. I make professional judgements
4 based on observation, on talking to people, most especially when it came
5 to Sarajevo on what I saw and heard myself. I think to expand on the
6 point that you were making regarding my answer and the quotation you gave
7 from my answer, it's quite clear that everybody who speaks particularly
8 to the media, especially if they are in a position of power or strength,
9 tends to speak to an incident from their own perspective, and that's why
10 it's very important to -- to try and lay out the provenance of those
11 remarks. As a BBC journalist, I don't stand up and say: These are my
12 views. What I do is make professional judgements based on the
13 information that I have at any given time.
14 Q. Is it correct, sir, that you are the subject of a finding by the
15 Editorial Standards Committee of the BBC Trust, that in your report of
16 4 June 1997, "How 1967 defined the Middle East," that that article had
17 breached the BBC impartiality guidelines?
18 A. I think it was 2007, wasn't it?
19 Q. You are correct. 2007. In relation to this, is it correct that
20 the Editorial Standards Committee found that you had not clearly
21 indicated that you were presenting a thesis or interpretation on a highly
22 controversial subject and that other views were available?
23 A. I know that we are short of time, but since you've chosen to
24 bring up this particular, quite controversial decision made by the
25 Editorial Standards Committee of the BBC, I'm afraid it might, Your
1 Honour, take a couple of minutes to explain some of the context, and I'll
2 make it as brief as I can.
3 Covering the Middle East, and especially the Israeli-Palestinian
4 conflict, means that my work is pretty much constantly subjected to the
5 criticism and sometimes formalised complaints through the BBC complaints
6 procedure, often by organised, deeply unimpartial -- deeply partial,
8 Now, in this particular situation, the -- a paid lobbyist in the
9 United States and a very active lobbyist in Britain got together and,
10 between the two of them, they put together a long, long list of
11 complaints. In the end, I would say that the BBC Editorial Standards
12 Committee made a flawed decision which was incorrect, and I think the --
13 the substance of that is -- of me saying that is based on the fact that I
14 received no censure from the BBC about it. I received, in fact, from
15 senior BBC people a lot of support. They had a feeling that our
16 complaints process was flawed, and as a result of that, the incorrect
17 decision had been made by people who weren't well informed.
18 There was a particular issue about whether or not I was going to
19 reveal a source. They said that had I revealed the source, then the
20 veracity of what I'd written would be -- would be clearer. Now,
21 obviously a journalist doesn't reveal a source, so I didn't. It so
22 happened that the point that they were making, I had a very good source
23 for it, but I respected that guy's identity and didn't reveal it.
24 So, yes, they did make a finding against me, and I continue to
25 reject their decision and I am comforted in that by the fact that my
1 peers and, most particularly, the management of the company I work for
2 also effectively rejected it by not censuring me in any way for that.
3 I should say that the Editorial Standards Committee is part of
4 the BBC's governing body which is connected to the BBC, the BBC Trust,
5 but not exactly of the BBC. In fact, its status is -- it's a slightly
6 grey area exactly what its status is.
7 Q. Is it correct that you were the subject to the finding by the
8 Editorial Standards Committee for the BBC Trust for your 12 January 2008
9 BBC Radio 4 report "From Our Correspondent" which breached BBC accuracy
11 A. The accuracy finding was about the -- the source that I was
12 talking about. They said -- it was about the American attitude towards
13 settlements in the occupied territories, and they bizarrely came up with
14 an idea that if I had said -- a senior American official had told me that
15 they treated them -- they treated the area as occupied territory even
16 though in their public statements they didn't condemn settlements at that
17 time under the Bush administration. I was told that had I revealed my
18 source, they could have found it as an accurate -- they would have found
19 it as an accurate statement; but because I didn't reveal my source, it
20 was therefore inaccurate.
21 Now, in any standards of journalism, that's nonsensical. There
22 was mainly a lay panel who didn't understand the way that we worked. So
23 again --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the interpreters, please.
25 Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: So again, I would say that I agree that they found
2 that. I disagree with their findings. And again, my management also
3 effectively did because, once again, there was no censure at all. In
4 fact, there was only support coming from them.
5 And I should say from that that there was a -- a change in the --
6 after that particular incident, the BBC started looking at its complaints
7 procedure with a fear that it had been -- there risks it could be
8 hijacked by professional complainants who were able to put together
9 sophisticated lobbying campaigns, and since then it's been changed.
10 MR. IVETIC:
11 Q. Is it accurate that the Editorial Committee of the BBC Trust
12 stated that:
13 "Jeremy Bowen had stated his professional view without
14 qualification or explanation and that the lack of precision in his
15 language rendered the statement inaccurate. The committee considered
16 that the Middle East editor should have either sourced his comment or
17 stated that it was what officials felt privately but couldn't say."
18 A. Well, I think I'm -- my response to that is covered by what I've
19 already said, that they believed that I should have revealed my source
20 and then magically the statement would become accurate. I mean, I think
21 that's frankly gobbledygook, and, again, was the result of inexperienced
22 people getting under the sway of professional lobbyists.
23 Q. To read further:
24 "The committee considered that the Middle East editor should have
25 either sourced his comments or stated that it was what officials felt
1 privately but couldn't stated."
2 Couldn't you have --
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's the same --
4 MR. IVETIC: Is it the same --
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- quote you read out a second ago.
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. Isn't that a less severe option, to give that additional
8 information without naming the source if, in fact, you felt you could not
9 reveal your source?
10 A. They were actually referring to about four words I put into a
11 parenthesis, between two commas. I didn't -- you don't, in every
12 statement that you write, say exactly what the source was for that
13 particular statement because if you did, there would be no kind of
14 coherent flow of argument in a piece. So, no, I felt that the fact that
15 I had it on background from a very senior former US official backing up
16 my -- I wrote that based on something I'd been told by a very senior US
17 official. I was prepared to approach him and if ask his -- if he was
18 okay about his identity being revealed to the Editorial Standards
19 Committee, and they said, No, that won't be necessary.
20 So again, I stand by what I wrote and I feel that they made a
21 serious professional error in doing what they did. And they were widely
22 criticised within the journalistic profession, not just within the BBC,
23 for what they did and by -- what was seen -- widely seen as a flawed
25 Q. Do you agree that the BBC Trust has the general function of
1 setting the strategic framework for the BBC in accordance with the Royal
2 Charter and Framework Agreement?
3 A. Well, that's in their remit. Yeah, it is.
4 Q. Do you agree that the rulings by the BBC, upholding complaints
5 against journalists, as was seen in your case, is not a regular
6 occurrence at the BBC?
7 A. No, I think that they -- they make -- to be honest, I don't
8 follow in any detail at all what the Editorial Standards Committee do,
9 except insofar as it has applied to my work over the years. I just know
10 that I have spoken to senior people within the BBC Trust subsequently,
11 very senior people, who have said -- who have pretty much dismissed what
12 the Editorial Standards Committee said to me at that particular time.
13 The Trust itself has become quiet a controversial body within Britain,
14 and there is talk about it being changed or reformed.
15 Q. Could you tell us how many of your colleagues, senior editors
16 within the BBC have had similar rulings upheld against them?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, if it was your purpose to draw the
18 attention of the Chamber to two instances where the -- the committee has
19 given a negative verdict on reporting, I do understand the reporting not
20 related to Bosnia-Herzegovina, then you have achieved that goal. Now, of
21 course, we could deal with the statistics on how often it happens.
22 That's -- you have drawn our attention to that. And the witness has been
23 giving an answer. So if you think you would need another minute to do
24 that, I would not stop you, but ...
25 MR. IVETIC: I think I would like to know how many of his
1 colleagues have had similar rulings against them or upheld complaints, I
2 should say, against them.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then I suggest that the parties together provide the
4 Chamber with statistical information about the number of cases brought
5 before the BBC committee, and to give the Chamber detailed information
6 about all that so that we are provided with the evidence, Mr. Ivetic, you
7 think we would need. We'll then have a look at it and we'll decide
8 whether we really need it or not.
9 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy.
11 MR. JEREMY: No objection to that, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. The parties are encouraged to undertake this
14 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
17 Now if we can call up 1D1344 in e-court.
18 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would you still need, Mr. Ivetic?
19 MR. IVETIC: I have approximately 15 minutes, I think,
20 including -- we should be able to get the video if it's -- if the audio
21 is not functioning. The video itself is, I believe, only 48 seconds, so
22 twice would be about two minutes, give or take.
23 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Would you have any further questions, Mr. Jeremy?
1 MR. JEREMY: Not at this point, Your Honours. And I would also
2 say, for the video 1D1354, that's actually -- it looks like the second
3 half of the very first video that I played yesterday. So --
4 JUDGE ORIE: So you mean that there is no need to have it played
5 again unless there are specific questions about the -- what we see?
6 MR. JEREMY: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Mr. Ivetic, the Chamber has considered the -- and we have, of
9 course, looked at how you developed your cross-examination. The Chamber
10 grants you ten minutes. If, at least, we get the support of the booth to
11 continue for -- to go over 12 minutes to the usual time.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
14 If we can have 1D1344 in e-court.
15 Q. This is from an organisation with a web site known as BBC Watch.
16 And I just want to see if a quote they attribute to you is accurate. If
17 we can turn to page 3. And it's there in the middle of the page.
18 "We all come from somewhere; we all have a prism through which we
19 see the world; we all have an education, and views and experiences. It's
20 a false objective to be objective.
21 "But I think I can be impartial by trying to disentangle all the
22 threads that make up a story. That's an ambitious thing to do in two and
23 a half minutes on TV. You have got to be aware of what your own
24 prejudices and principles are and put them to one side in a box."
25 Do you acknowledge these words as your own from a 2006 interview
1 with, I believe, Ian Burrell?
2 A. I think that's probably an accurate quote. I can't remember
3 precisely. One point I would like to make is that BBC Watch is an
4 utterly biassed and partial organisation which exists essentially to
5 discredit the BBC. It's an operation which is highly pro-Israel and it's
6 designed to try to get the BBC to -- to adopt a pro-Israeli narrative at
7 all times. So it is an accurate quote but it's a pretty flawed source.
8 I can explain what I meant in that statement, if you like.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if Mr. Ivetic wants his -- to use his ten
10 minutes in this way, he'll tell you.
11 THE WITNESS: Okay.
12 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 If we can have 1D1342 in court -- in e-court.
14 Q. I believe this will be an article authored by you relating to the
15 situation in Egypt. If we can turn to the second page in e-court, here
16 you go talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, and you say:
17 "The country's only properly organised mass political movement
18 outside the ruling party is the Muslim Brotherhood, and it would do very
19 well in any free election.
20 "Unlike the jihadis, it does not believe it is at war with the
21 West. It is conservative and nonviolent. But it is highly critical of
22 Western policy in the Middle East."
23 Do you stand by your assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood?
24 A. Yes, I do. I would like to actually add some context to that.
25 As you all know if you've been following events in Egypt, the Muslim
1 Brotherhood, which actually went on to win a free election, as I've
2 mentioned there, they had a free election and the Muslim Brotherhood won
3 it, and there was a Muslim Brotherhood president who was removed by the
4 army in a military coup. And since then there has been some violence in
5 the country as a result of that, considerable violence, and a lot of
6 people, not least Muslim Brotherhood supporters, have been killed.
7 But what the Muslim Brotherhood still does not have is an
8 official creed of violence. There was a lot of debate within the
9 movement in the 1960s, and the 1950s, about whether they should go back
10 to a policy of violence which they'd had earlier in their history, and
11 because the mainstream leadership of the movement decided against it,
12 other splinter groups, which became jihadi groups, in fact, some that
13 went on to become al-Qaeda, split away from the Muslim Brotherhood and
14 went down that road. The people I was referring to, which is the very
15 conservative - with a small C, and also with a big C, I suppose -
16 leadership of the Brotherhood in Egypt and in other countries, does have
17 no creed of -- of violence. So yes, I would -- with those, with that
18 extra context, I would absolutely stand by what I wrote back then before
19 the fall of Mubarak.
20 Q. Are you familiar with Mahdi Akef?
21 A. Mahdi Akef? You'd have to remind me.
22 MR. IVETIC: If we can call up 1D1341.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, the Chamber is not assisted at this
24 moment by hearing answers to those questions, unless in one question you
25 can make it perfectly clear what the relevance is. Apparently you are
1 challenging the opinion expressed by the witness when he is reporting on
2 matters, which is not the same as giving testimony on matters. So
3 therefore, will you please keep this in mind for the remaining three
4 minutes you have.
5 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Looking at the middle of the screen, and this is from up front --
7 hurryupharry.org, the guide of the Muslim Brotherhood identified as
8 Mahdi Akef is quoted here as stating in response to a question regarding
9 resistance and jihad.
10 "... do you consider Osama Bin Laden a terrorist or an Islamic
12 And Akef is quoted as saying:
13 "Certainly, a mujahid, and I have no doubt in his sincerity in
14 resisting the occupation, drawing closer to God Almighty."
15 Did your research into the Muslim Brotherhood reveal such
16 sentiments as expressed by Mahdi Akef and as reflected in this document
17 prior to publishing your article that we just looked at?
18 A. I have spoken at length to senior members of the Egyptian Muslim
19 Brotherhood, both on camera and on background, and I have heard many
20 condemnations of the actions of Osama Bin Laden, of al-Qaeda, of all
21 those who follow what's known as attack theory idealogy. Frankly, when
22 it comes to the Middle East, you can search the internet and find all
23 kinds of things on fringe blogs and web sites like this hurryupharry.org,
24 which will -- you can -- you can -- build any argument you like based on
25 them. But I have actually spoken to the main players involved, and I can
1 tell you that I have heard a lot of condemnation from them about
2 Osama Bin Laden. And the fact is, among the vast majority of Muslims in
3 the Middle East, the activities of al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden are
4 deeply unpopular because his main targets and al-Qaeda's main targets are
5 often Muslims who they accuse of being apostates. So no, I -- for your
6 Middle East information, I suggest you don't go to hurryupharry.org. I
7 don't think it's a particularly good source.
8 Q. And I shouldn't go to BBC Trust either?
9 A. Go to the BBC web site is what I'd suggest.
10 Q. But not the BBC Trust --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic. Mr. Ivetic, there is one sentence,
12 perhaps I spoke too quickly, which is missing from the transcript. I
13 think that is that the Chamber was not assisted by hearing the answer to
14 the question unless in the next question you could immediately establish
15 the relevance. You failed to do so. Apart from that, I didn't interrupt
16 you, the ten minutes are over. So this concludes your cross-examination.
17 MR. IVETIC: Can I play the videotape that the --
18 JUDGE ORIE: No --
19 MR. IVETIC: -- court technical services did not permit me to
20 play earlier, Your Honour?
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Ivetic. I told you that you had ten minutes
22 left and I interrupted you halfway, where I said we were not assisted by
23 what you elicited from this witness. You nevertheless continued.
24 Therefore, my question now to you, Mr. Jeremy, is whether you
25 have any further questions.
1 MR. JEREMY: No further questions, Your Honours.
2 MR. IVETIC: I want it stated on the record that the Defence was
3 not permitted to play a videotape that it had tried to present
4 earlier which the court services would not have audio for it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It is already on the record, Mr. Ivetic.
6 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, you asked whether you could do it, and I
8 said no, you can't because you have spent your last ten minutes in a
9 different way. And the ten minutes were based upon the Chamber's
10 observation on how you conducted your cross-examination.
11 Mr. Bowen, I would like to thank you very much for having come to
12 The Hague and for having answered the questions that were put to you by
13 the parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
14 You may follow the usher.
15 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour. Thank you very
16 much, ladies and gentlemen.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then, and I have to ask for the indulgence for
19 another two or three minutes on an urgent matter which I would have
20 certainly postponed if it was not urgent.
21 I briefly deal with the following matter. It is a decision
22 concerning the Prosecution's proposal regarding the Theunens expert
23 report. On the 25th of September, 2013, the Chamber informed the parties
24 of its inclination to deny part 1 of the Theunens report and asked the
25 Prosecution to elicit any relevant matters related to this part during
1 the examination of the witness.
2 On the 27th of September, after further submissions by the
3 Prosecution, the Chamber invited the Prosecution to make a proposal on
4 how to best elicit the most relevant information dealt with in part 1,
5 short of having the whole part admitted into evidence. The Chamber gave
6 as an example that the Prosecution could consider tendering a drastically
7 reduced selection of part 1, perhaps in the area of 10 or 15 per cent of
8 it, which, together with the focused examination of Theunens, could
9 provide the Chamber with the information needed.
10 On the 2nd of October, the Prosecution submitted a proposal to
11 redact approximately 50 pages of the approximately 180-pages long part 1.
12 Having reviewed the unredacted portions, the Chamber's position is still
13 that part 1 is excessive in length in light of its apparent limited
14 relevance. The Chamber would therefore prefer that the Prosecution
15 elicit any relevant matters related to part one during the examination of
16 Mr. Theunens. The Prosecution should inform the Chamber and the Defence
17 in due course about the additional time it needs for this purpose.
18 That is our statement in relation to the testimony of
19 Mr. Theunens. We adjourn for the day and we resume Monday, the
20 21st of October, 2013, at 9.30 in the morning in this same courtroom, I.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.31 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Monday, the 21st day of
23 October, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.