1 Monday, 21 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good afternoon. Case
8 number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Today is Monday, the
10 21st of August, 2006. I would like to greet all those present in this
11 courtroom. Good afternoon, Mr. Mundis. Good afternoon to all Defence
12 counsel as well as the new counsel who has recently been appointed and who
13 is with us today. I would like also to greet the accused whom we already
14 saw on Thursday and who were waiting for the -- this hearing to resume
16 There are a number of decisions we have to issue orally. First, a
17 decision about the admissibility of evidence regarding to the witness who
18 testified on Thursday, last Thursday. All the exhibits are admitted -
19 Mr. Registrar, you would only need look up the references given in the
20 transcript last week - except for two exhibits. One exhibit offered by
21 the Prosecution, it was the document attesting to the death -- the death
22 certificate of a victim. It was not legible so we are going to mark it
23 for identification only, and we hope that the Prosecution will be able to
24 produce a certificate that is more legible regarding the name of the
1 The second exhibit that is not going to be admitted is an exhibit
2 produced by Ms. Alaburic. I think it's Exhibit 71. It's the transcript
3 of an interview with the witness. The witness said that this was not
4 conformed to what he had said during the interview, and furthermore, the
5 document had not been signed by the witness. This is a document 4D 0071.
6 This Exhibit will not be admitted. But as for the other exhibits, they
7 are all admitted, and later on, Mr. Registrar, you will give us numbers
8 for these exhibits.
9 We are also going to issue a decision that I'm going to read very
10 slowly for the interpreters to be able to translate what I'm saying. This
11 is a decision regarding the comments made by Mr. Ibrisimovic on the 3rd of
12 July, 2006. Before the recess, on the 3rd of July, Mr. Ibrisimovic said
13 that he regretted the fact that the Prosecutor had submitted to him three
14 days before the appearance of witness Josip Manolic, that he has given him
15 12 documents, one of these documents being more than 400 pages long, and
16 he stated that these documents were not on the 65 ter list of exhibits.
17 The Chamber took note of this difficulty encountered by the
18 Defence and would like to issue a decision on principle with regard to
19 this issue.
20 According to the decision rendered orally on the 3rd of July, and
21 on the written decision of the 13th of July regarding the admission of
22 evidence, the Trial Chamber would first like to recall that the Prosecutor
23 has to disclose to the Defence all documents he intends to offer during
24 the hearing in one of the working languages of the Tribunal as well as in
25 the language of the accused, and this has to be done at least two weeks
1 before the witness comes to testify.
2 In order to allow the Defence to prepare its cross-examination
3 efficiently and for a good administration of justice, the Trial Chamber
4 believes that the Prosecutor should, as a general rule, only submit to the
5 Defence -- only disclose to the Defence those documents that are included
6 in the 65 ter list. Any other document that the Prosecutor deems relevant
7 and for the case, any other document should be offered if that document
8 appears to be absolutely essential for the case.
9 At the time when these documents are disclosed to the Defence, the
10 documents that the Prosecutor intends to offer during the testimony of the
11 witness, from now on the Prosecutor will have the obligation to state very
12 precisely which of these documents did not appear on the 65 ter list.
13 During the testimony of the witness during the hearing, and during
14 the production of various documents submitted to the witness, the
15 Prosecution will have to inform the Chamber of the documents that were not
16 on the list, and the Prosecution will then have to justify this and to
17 explain to the Chamber why these documents are essential for the case.
18 The Prosecutor is also duty-bound to explain and to justify why these
19 documents were submitted to the Defence with such delay and why these
20 documents were not included on the 65 ter list.
21 This is the decision rendered by the Chamber, and I would like to
22 invite the Prosecution to read it very carefully again after the hearing,
23 but to sum up, when a document that was not on the 65ter list is submitted
24 to a witness, then it is up to the Prosecution to explain to us and to
25 justify why this document only is admitted at this specific time, and then
1 the Prosecutor will also have explain in what way this document is
2 absolutely essential for the case.
3 This is for this decision. And tomorrow we'll issue or we'll
4 deliver two rulings about documents related to Witness Manolic, and the
5 second decision we'll deliver has to do with Witness Hujdur. We'll
6 deliver these decisions tomorrow.
7 Last week, at the end of the hearing, Mr. Praljak stated that he
8 wished to take the floor and to deal with a logistical matter. I'd like
9 to give the floor to Mr. Praljak.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I could speak
11 at length about justice and fairness, but I will be brief. For a long
12 time and very persistently documents have been gathered in order to
13 attempt to challenge the indictment. A team consisting of many people has
14 been working for me, facing numerous difficulties, as Your Honours have
15 heard. It was very difficult to obtain these documents. My team has
16 collected over 50.000 documents in a desire to arrive at the truth about
17 the war. Not all of these documents can be used here because there are
18 too many of them, but it was said that we do have the right to have
19 computers which will make it possible for us to inspect those documents.
20 All these lawyers with their brilliant legal minds are not fully
21 familiar with all these events and their mutual interrelationships. They
22 are not as familiar with these events as we are. This is a court of
23 justice, and it is for the court to decide whether my rights can be
24 exercised or not. The OTP, with Madam Carla Del Ponte, cannot do that,
25 nor can the Detention Unit. So I ask Your Honours that such a simple,
1 banal problem as the problem of a computer, which can be checked in a
2 matter of ten minutes, should be resolved, that it should be put at our
3 disposal so that we can select the most important documents to enable Your
4 Honours to reach a fair and just judgement.
5 I hope that you will issue a judicial decision to make a computer
6 available as soon as possible. Thank you.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, to
8 complete the information provided by my client, I wish to hand over copies
9 of our correspondence with the Registry regarding the putting into use of
10 these computers which are such that Mr. Praljak cannot use the database he
11 needs to use in order to assist us. Perhaps if the usher could hand these
12 copies to you so that you can see that we are continuously discussing with
13 the Registry, and no solution has yet been reached although it has been
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges will
16 confer about this tomorrow morning. As far as I'm concerned personally,
17 let me recall that this computer problem, I mentioned it during the
18 pre-trial stage, I mentioned it during the Srebrenica case, the
19 preparation of that case that started today, and at the time the Registry
20 told me that computers will be provided to the accused with certain memory
21 for these computers, and I thought that this was to happen in the next few
22 days, but I now find that six weeks -- six months later Mr. Praljak is
23 telling us that he still does not have access to a computer that would
24 allow him to manage these 50.000 documents.
25 We'll discuss the matter with the other Judges. I cannot take a
1 decision of my own accord. We need to discuss it with the other Judges,
2 and as soon as -- tomorrow we'll tell you what we want to do about this,
3 maybe write a memo to the Registrar, or maybe issue a decision that will
4 make it an obligation to the Registry to provide these computers. So
5 we'll tell you all about it tomorrow, because the Judges meet on a daily
6 basis, and we'll deal with that specific issue in our meeting tomorrow.
7 We now have a witness who should be cross-examined. Today, let me
8 remind you, before I give the floor to Mr. Murphy, that the witness was
9 examined during 5 hours and 36 minutes as part of the
10 examination-in-chief. The Trial Chamber believes that the Defence should
11 have eight hours. That is to say we'll hear the witness today, tomorrow,
12 and also on Wednesday, part of Wednesday, because we have another witness
13 who should be heard on Wednesday. I don't know how the Defence is going
14 to organise itself, what will be the order of cross-examination, who will
15 speak first.
16 Mr. Murphy, you wanted to take the floor?
17 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President. It's about the
18 cross-examination of Mr. Beese. We have, of course -- we are aware, of
19 course, of who will begin, and I think the Defence has reached a certain
20 amount of agreement as to the areas to be covered, but there is one
21 practical difficulty. Your Honours will recall that on the 13th of July
22 of this year you rendered a decision on the admission of evidence dealing
23 with certain documents that had been produced to Mr. Beese, and that
24 decision, Your Honour, records that about 34 documents were put to the
25 witness and tendered in evidence when he gave evidence on the 15th of
1 June. But there were also, of course, a large number of documents - in
2 all some 384 - ECMM documents which the Prosecution indicated they would
3 like to be admitted.
4 Your Honour, the difficulty is this: We would ask the Trial
5 Chamber to -- to rule on the question of the admissibility of these extra
6 documents, because there is a practical difficulty in the
7 cross-examination as to how the Defence deals with them. If -- if they
8 had all been admitted, then of course the Defence would have the
9 obligation to cross-examine in a great deal more detail about these
10 documents. If it were limited to the original 34, then the
11 cross-examination might take a different course. But without the Trial
12 Chamber's ruling, we are not quite sure how to proceed, and we certainly
13 want to avoid being in a position where we have to come back and ask the
14 Trial Chamber for further time, which might involve Mr. Beese in being
15 recalled yet again.
16 The Trial Chamber's decision of the 13th of July directs the
17 Prosecution to submit a written motion requesting the admission of the
18 additional documents in accordance with the Court's guidelines, and the
19 guideline - guideline 6 specifically - tells us that the Prosecution may,
20 within eight days of the witness's appearance, file such a written motion
21 in the case of documents which were not put before the witness in court.
22 Mr. Mundis will correct me if I'm wrong, and I hope that I'm not;
23 it's not my intention to mislead anyone: I don't believe that any such
24 motion has yet been filed, and in those circumstances, Your Honour, I
25 would now invite the Court to rule that these documents, the additional
1 documents that were not shown to Mr. Beese, should not be admitted in
3 If the Trial Chamber is not yet ready to make that ruling, then,
4 Your Honour, we would ask the Trial Chamber to note that it may be
5 necessary for us to -- to ask for additional time depending on which of
6 those documents may be admitted at some future time.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Murphy, I've
8 listened very carefully to what you've said. You've recalled the essence
9 of our decision of the 13th of July, 2006. It was a very clear decision.
10 We admitted the 34 documents that had been put to the witness, to the
11 witness Beese, and as for the 384 other documents, we stated that if the
12 Prosecution wished later on, after the hearing of the witness, if the
13 Prosecution wanted to tender these documents, it was to follow and comply
14 with a number of conditions according to our guidelines.
15 As for the cross-examination, you have had the opportunity to
16 access these documents, because a number of months have elapsed between
17 the examination-in-chief and the cross-examination that will be starting
18 today. Therefore, when you ask your questions to the witness, you can
19 refer to these unadmitted documents, and later on you will be able to
20 challenge them according to our decision if you wish that these documents
21 should not be admitted. That's the way we have to go about it, because
22 this decision that was given, it was delivered in between the
23 cross-examination and the examination-in-chief.
24 Once the witness has testified, if the Prosecution wants to tender
25 a number of these 384 documents, the Prosecution will have to file a
1 motion in accordance with the criteria we have outlined. And if you want
2 -- if you, the Defence -- to challenge these documents, you will be able
3 to do so and to explain why you believe that these documents should not be
4 admitted. The principle of a fair trial will already allow you to ask any
5 question you deem fit during cross-examination, questions based on the
6 documents you have and documents you've had the opportunity to inspect.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My fellow Judge has just made a
9 comment to me, but I think it's better if he says it himself.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I believe that it would be much
11 better if very quickly - maybe tonight - the Prosecution were in a
12 position to file a motion in order to make its position known to the Trial
13 Chamber for the Trial Chamber to be able to rule on the admissibility of
14 these documents before the end of the cross-examination of the witness.
15 And this will make it so that it will not be necessary to recall the
16 witness because -- a possibility that was mentioned by Mr. Murphy.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I'm sure you have
18 understood what has just been said.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. We are
20 endeavouring to produce a chart pursuant to paragraph 6 of the guidelines
21 that were attached to the decision of 13 July, 2006. I will be quite
22 transparent with the Chamber that, given the fact that the trial team's
23 resources are dedicated to finalising the overall chart that is due to be
24 filed on the 4th of September with respect to linking all exhibits to the
25 witnesses, but particularly with respect to paragraph 6(A)(iv) of the
1 guidelines, I'm not confident that the Prosecution will be in a position
2 to file any such motion concerning the witness Beese in light of paragraph
3 6 of the guidelines.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, what we're asking
5 here regarding these 300 documents and a bit more is for you to tell us
6 through a motion that you should file very quickly to tell us why these
7 documents will not be submitted to another witness, why it's not possible,
8 because you could imagine that with another ECMM witness you could produce
9 these documents.
10 And second criterion, very important criterion, you have to
11 explain why these documents or some of these documents are absolutely
12 essential for the case. That's it. It's very simple.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] I've been made aware of the fact
14 that we decided that the Prosecution would be granted eight days, eight
15 days to submit its conclusions. It's paragraph 6 of these guidelines. So
16 we could be a bit more flexible, a bit more generous, and consider that
17 the -- we should not take the recess into account, but nonetheless, that
18 leaves you a very short period of time to comply, and you might be in a
19 position to file this motion more quickly, because the Defence will have
20 eight days to respond, and by that time, of course, the cross-examination
21 would be completed, but the Defence is not duty-bound to use up these
22 eight days.
23 Mr. Mundis, a practical solution that you could envisage without
24 interfering in the way you go about presenting your case is that you
25 probably have other witnesses from the ECMM, and you might choose to use
1 some of these -- the other documents for these other witnesses, and you
2 might like to only keep here in this motion the documents directly related
3 to Mr. Beese, and this would enable the Defence to prepare itself more
4 efficiently. What do you have to say about this? What is your position?
5 MR. MUNDIS: As a starting point, Your Honours, the Prosecution is
6 interpreting paragraph 6, and perhaps we're mistaken, but our
7 interpretation of the guidelines, and particularly paragraph 6 in the
8 English language version, says: "The Prosecution may, after the testimony
9 of a witness and within eight days of his/her appearance before the
10 Chamber, request the Chamber ..." Our interpretation of that,
11 Mr. President and Your Honours, is that the phrase "after the testimony of
12 a witness" would certainly include the cross-examination, and therefore
13 our understanding - and we may be entirely wrong - is that that eight days
14 begins once the testimony of the witness is complete, and that's not the
15 direct examination but that refers to the cross-examination. And again,
16 if we're mistaken in that, we will do what we can to rectify the
17 situation. But in all honesty, in all transparency, we were interpreting
18 this as meaning within eight days of the completion of this or any other
19 witness's testimony.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You're not wrong. You're
21 quite right. It's just that my colleague, taking into account, like all
22 the other Judges, that we are in a case which is in between the
23 examination-in-chief and cross-examination and that this decision was
24 rendered in the middle, in the interim, that we must find the right kind
25 of procedure which would not be rigid and restricted by this eight-day
1 rule. So you're quite right in your thinking. It is after the
2 cross-examination that you will have eight days. But my colleague has
3 just suggested that in anticipating these eight days and in making -- you
4 could make this motion after tomorrow if that is possible. If not, then
5 you can do it eight days later. But you're not wrong. You've understood
6 it very well and done the proper analysis of our ruling. It's just that
7 my colleague the Judge wanted to try, in accordance with the other Judges,
8 of course, to give you more flexibility and to allow the Defence to deal
9 with the problem raised by Mr. Murphy and to try and find a solution that
10 would be a suitable one. But if you can't, we quite understand that.
11 MR. MURPHY: If I may suggest perhaps a middle course that might
12 answer Judge Trechsel's concern as well as Mr. Mundis's. I wonder whether
13 it might be possible for the Prosecution at least to provide us with a
14 list of the documents to which their proposed motion would relate. In
15 other words, those documents that they actually wish the Court to admit
16 through Mr. Beese, and then to supply the other details required by
17 guideline 6(A) at later time. That would address our concerns on the
18 Defence side, because we would know which documents we're dealing with.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Mundis, you've just
20 heard what Mr. Murphy said. He's just made a proposal. I think that I
21 can agree, and so do all my colleagues, and that is that you should
22 quickly tell the Defence, by mail or in any other way, what exhibits
23 you're going to send in a written motion about after this eight-day period
24 so that they know what to expect. That wouldn't be impossible, would it?
25 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I'm not mistaken, at the conclusion
1 of the direct examination we -- we formally asked and tendered all of
2 these exhibits to be admitted. I understand that we need to comply with
3 the guidelines, and particularly paragraph 6 of the guidelines, in
4 producing a chart. What we are endeavouring to do is to produce such a
5 chart while at the same time complying with the Trial Chamber's order to
6 produce the massive overall chart on the 4th of September. Whether we are
7 able to do that in a short period of time, or even within eight days of
8 the conclusion of this witness's testimony, I'm not standing here right
9 now in a position to acknowledge.
10 I will say that it's our position, the Prosecution's position,
11 remains as we indicated on our filing of the 15th of June, and that is
12 that the jurisprudence of the Tribunal supports our position, we submit,
13 that it is permissible to admit all of these documents through the Witness
14 Beese. We will produce the chart. We will endeavour to produce the chart
15 within eight days of the testimony. If I can do that sooner, I assure you
16 that we will do so, but we have formally -- to the best of my
17 recollection, we have formally requested that all of the documents be
18 admitted into evidence.
19 My learned colleague is correct in that we anticipate additional
20 ECMM witnesses coming to testify, and to a certain extent that may be part
21 of the answer. Which documents would go with which subsequent ECMM
22 witness is an entirely different matter and is partially what we're trying
23 to accomplish pursuant to paragraph 6 of the guidelines. But I will
24 stress again for the record that, as Your Honours are well aware, with
25 this witness who is currently testifying, we spent, as Your Honour
1 indicated, about five and a half hours and went through 34 documents with
2 him. And we have an additional 384 documents to go, and at that rate it's
3 going to require some 60 hours of direct examination to go through those
4 documents at the same rate, on average.
5 So we are endeavouring to do this, Your Honours. I give you my
6 assurance that we will do so as quickly as we are able to do, but I can't,
7 in all good faith, give you an assurance or a promise that it will be
8 tomorrow or the day after.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Following on from Mr. Murphy's
10 suggestion, we ask for all the documents, 384, so there's no reason to
11 reduce their number. So the answer is -- that's the answer.
12 We're now going to have the witness shown in without further ado,
13 and we're going to discuss the problem. The Judges will discuss it.
14 Ms. Alaburic, we've already lost half an hour, so perhaps we
15 should let the witness come in, and I'm sure your questions are very
16 important, but yes, you have the floor before the witness arrives.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That's
18 what I wanted to suggest, to use that time.
19 If the -- since the Prosecution needed five hours to conduct the
20 examination-in-chief on the basis of 34 documents, and according to what
21 my learned colleague Mr. Mundis said, he would need 60 hours for the
22 examination-in-chief on the basis of all the documents, pursuant to the
23 ruling that the Defence has the same time, is accorded the same time as
24 the Prosecution, and as we expect the cross-examination to be conducted on
25 all the documents, we consider that the Court should make a ruling to
1 accord more time to the Defence teams for the cross-examination.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We're going to
4 discuss the matter tomorrow morning. We have taken note of what you've
6 WITNESS: CHRISTOPHER BEESE [Resumed]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to say good afternoon,
8 to you, sir. We know each other. We saw each other during the
9 examination-in-chief. Today we come to the cross-examination. The
10 Defence counsels are going to ask you questions, so you will be testifying
11 today, tomorrow, and part of Wednesday.
12 There we have it. Now, who is going to start off? Ms. Alaburic,
13 Counsel Alaburic?
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Beese, good afternoon. My name is Vesna
17 Alaburic, I'm Defence counsel from Zagreb, and I'm here as Defence counsel
18 for General Milivoj Petkovic.
19 I'm going to ask you several questions grouped together, and I'm
20 sure that your answers will help us throw more light and have a better
21 understanding of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first half of
22 1993 when you reported from that area.
11 Pages 5179-5181 redacted.
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, given that this was a particularly
2 important convoy, this was an opportunity for the two sides party to this
3 particular conflict to demonstrate their commitment to working together.
4 I would have expected, sir, given the seriousness of the situation, to
5 have seen more -- more significant government effort on the part of the
6 HVO to see it through. I am aware that some military commanders attended
7 the scene, but I believe there could have been more done politically and
8 militarily to see it through to its conclusion.
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
14 Now, in that context, in the context of the convoy of the 10th of
15 June, I'd like to ask you whether General Petkovic, who was there and who
16 did everything in his power to try to ensure the passage of the convoy,
17 could have done anything more. So a concrete specific person in -- faced
18 with that situation, could they have done more or not, or can't you say?
19 A. I believe more could have been done, yes.
20 Q. Very well. Now, in trying to explain the work of the European
21 Monitoring Mission, you told us last time that in order to solve certain
22 problems you contacted people whom you thought had the necessary power to
23 solve those problems independently of the function and posts they held.
24 Do you remember saying that?
25 A. Not specifically, no. Can you direct me to a statement to that
2 Q. Last time you testified during the examination-in-chief when you
3 explained who you contacted when you had a problem to solve, you said that
4 you would contact people who had the power to do so regardless of whether
5 they had that official position. Whether somebody was a minister or not a
6 minister, that was immaterial, it wasn't important, but that you went to
7 the man who you thought could solve the problem. But if you don't
8 remember, I'll move on.
9 A. No, I'll accept that, yes.
17 Q. Now, in view of the explanations you gave us as to who you
18 contacted, and in view of what we've just said, would it be logical to
19 conclude that you didn't contact General Petkovic in order to solve the
20 many problems that arose principally because you considered that he didn't
21 have the power to solve those problems? Would that be right?
22 A. Not specifically. We were directed to deal with the HVO Ministry
23 of Defence and, in particular, Mr. Stojic and Mr. Bozic. So it would have
24 been appropriate for us, under that arrangement, to see them first.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Would the registrar now show us
2 document 4D 00100. Could that document be made available. It is an
3 interview of my client, General Milivoj Petkovic, and it was published in
4 the Zagreb newspaper called Vecernji List, a political daily, and it was
5 published on the 16th of February, 1993. We don't have the document on
6 our screens yet, but I hope we will do soon. We have translated the
7 heading into English, and the last portion.
8 My case manager Davor has been able to access the document.
9 Well, not to waste time, perhaps it would be simplest, since I'm
10 just going to focus on one particular passage that I consider to be
11 relevant, for me to read it out. And I'd like to ask Madam Usher to place
12 the English version, the English translation of that portion, on the ELMO,
14 Q. As I said, it is an interview, the heading of which is "Guns
15 belong to a smelting plant." And we're dealing with mid-February, 1993.
16 That's the date. And General Petkovic, the Chief of the Main Staff of the
17 HVO, says as follows, and I quote: "If we do not want the war to start
18 again, for someone will always be discontented, and if all this military
19 power is left on the territory of BH, it will be difficult to put it under
20 control of any kind, and the war will always be top, actual. I think that
21 the arms should be completely relocated from the whole territory of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina or - and that is my proposal - to smelt all heavy arms in
23 the Zenica steel plants. Consequently, the solution is in the complete
24 demilitarisation of this state."
25 Tell us, please, Mr. Beese, in view of your rich experiences in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, would you consider this position to be the position
2 of, as you said, a moderate officer who can contribute to peace in
4 A. I must apologise. I don't think it's appropriate for me to
5 comment on this. I can understand your position. I don't necessarily
6 believe one can draw that conclusion from this alone.
7 Q. Thank you. Mr. Beese, I'd now like to ask you a few questions
8 about your education and qualifications for performing the job of an ECMM
13 Q. During the examination-in-chief, you also told us that you left
14 school when you were 18 and that you attended a military academy which
15 lasted for 12 months and then attended a military training course for six
16 months. And this was recorded on 3051, page 3051 of the transcript. Is
17 that a correct interpretation of your education and training?
18 A. Up until that time, yes.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, as far as your professional involvement is
20 concerned, you've told us that you were in the army until 1978, that you
21 worked for the Lloyd insurance company until 1982, and that up until 1988
2 A. That is correct, yes.
3 Q. From that data, tell us, please, Mr. Beese, would it be
4 well-founded to state that you have no knowledge of political sciences and
5 sociology, social psychology, history, or any other science which would be
6 important for analysing the political and general social relationships in
7 a community?
8 A. I don't think that's correct, no.
9 Q. Can you explain why you say it's not correct?
10 A. Wherever I have worked, whether it has been in the Middle East or
11 Africa or even in Europe, I've been required to understand the background
12 to the issues that I was dealing with. In the Middle East I had
13 responsibility for delineation or border, for relations between the two
14 parties either side of the border. And in Africa I had to understand the
15 economic background to the conflict I encountered in Mozambique as well as
16 to understand the social issues of the time if I was to be successful.
17 It is correct to say that at some stage I was responsible for a
18 motor pool. That was only a small part of my role.
19 Q. According to what you wrote, in Mozambique you were engaged in the
20 construction of railways, electrical power plants, and so on, and in this
21 context you also dealt with economic issues. In Oman, you dealt with a
22 motor pool, but there is nothing to indicate that you dealt with any kind
23 of analysis or reporting. Is this correct?
24 A. No, it's not correct.
25 Q. Can you say which of the documents we discussed last time contains
1 information showing that, before your arrival in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you
2 dealt with political analysis?
3 A. This is the first time I've been asked specifically that question.
4 I can describe how I was required to analyse social, political, and
5 economic issues in the Middle East and in Africa and how I was to report
6 my findings to the chief of staffs of the military in Mozambique and Oman.
7 That was part of my role.
8 Q. Mr. Beese, the documents that you created which we have seen as a
9 rule do not contain information about your sources. So the credibility of
10 those statements cannot be checked. When you put forward an evaluation,
11 you do not say on which facts and sources your conclusions are based.
12 Your reports are full of characterisations and alleged facts which cannot
13 be checked because the source is not known.
14 To the best of your knowledge, is this manner of compiling reports
15 something that is in line with the proper and correct political analysis
16 and reporting?
17 A. The account I submitted of my time in Bosnia is just that; it's an
18 account. It doesn't set out to be proof of any particular position. I'm
19 very happy to be questioned on anything I say. It is not indicative of
20 the analysis I produce for my professional submissions. Those, such as
21 those submitted to the ECMM, had supporting evidence provided by teams, by
22 documents, by reports from third parties. They do not stand alone. They
23 are supported by other people's submissions and views.
24 Q. We will discuss your standpoints and analyses, but before that, if
25 we could just clarify the following: What did you know about
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina prior to your arrival there? When you explained how
2 you were engaged, you did not say that you underwent any kind of training
3 in the foreign office. May we conclude, then, that you were not given any
4 training in the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
5 A. That is correct. I was briefed only when I arrived in theatre.
6 Q. You told us that you were informed of the conflict in Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina like the average citizen, from the media. Television and
8 newspaper reports, but primarily television. Which television stations
9 did you watch, and which reports were the source of your information about
10 the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. The television stations were those broadcasting to Britain, that
12 is the BBC and ITN, and the newspapers were those on sale in Britain,
13 British newspapers.
14 Q. Did you follow media from any other country?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Were there different approaches toward the conflict in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the British media you watched, or were all the
18 reports uniform?
19 A. The reports, as I continued to find during my time in Bosnia, were
20 not always in accordance with the facts we observed in the field, and much
21 of my responsibility in Bosnia was to report what I found, not what I
22 read. It was important that I went in and had some information. There
23 wasn't a great deal made available to me. The importance of my work was
24 to find out exactly what was going on.
25 Q. Well, yes, of course. We're only trying to establish now what you
1 knew about Bosnia and Herzegovina prior to your arrival there. Can you
2 then tell us, at the time you arrived on the territory of the former
3 Yugoslavia, what did you know about who the warring sides were in
5 A. I knew who the warring parties were. I knew very little of the
7 Q. Did you know about the aims of each of these warring parties?
8 A. I believe so.
9 Q. Can you define for us now what these aims were? To put it simply,
10 of the Croats, Serbs, and Muslims?
11 A. I do not believe I can possibly give you an adequate reply in the
12 context of the people in this room. The general understanding was a
13 conflict to secure power.
14 Q. Mr. Beese, in answer to my clear question as to whether you knew
15 what the aims of the warring parties were, you said that you believed you
16 did. That's why I'm asking you to say very clearly what it was that you
17 knew about the aims of the warring parties when you arrived on the
18 territory of the former Yugoslavia.
19 A. I think it's very important to maintain a reasonably open view
20 given that the media does not always have the answers. My account of my
21 time, I hope, leads people through an experience perhaps to understand how
22 I came to my conclusions. Those conclusions have not, to my knowledge,
23 been published in a similar format elsewhere.
24 Q. Mr. Beese, I'm asking you about your view of the aims of each of
25 the warring parties. My question is very simple. You can say you did not
1 have a clear picture and we can move on to the next question.
2 A. I'm sorry, but the answer is a complex one. It is much more
3 complex in practice than asked. There was an attempt by a number of
4 parties to secure their interest in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That as an aim is
5 enough in itself. To understand the background to that and what
6 particularly they wished in the future was much more complex. I'm afraid
7 I can only give you an inadequate answer to your question.
8 Q. Mr. Beese, your knowledge when you arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 was based exclusively on media reports. These media reports presented in
10 a very simple and simplified way the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
11 only logical conclusion is that your view of the situation could be
12 reduced to some very simple standpoints.
13 A. I entered Yugoslavia generally with an open mind. I had an
14 understanding of the degree of conflict. I was there to report on what I
15 found, not necessarily to take a preconceived position. I didn't have a
16 preconceived position when I arrived.
17 Q. I wasn't trying to say that. I just wanted to establish that at
18 the time when you arrived on the territory of the former Yugoslavia you
19 did not have a clear picture of the events and of the warring parties, but
20 we'll move on.
21 To the best of your knowledge, did the government of Great Britain
22 have a clearly defined policy with respect to the events in
24 A. UK government policy at the time was to support the international
25 talks in Geneva with the aim of securing peace. There are other parts of
1 the policy which are less clear and which I'm not qualified to speak on.
2 Q. What you just say, that you're not qualified to speak on these
3 elements of UK policy, does this mean you're not qualified to reach
4 conclusions about international political relations?
5 A. My business is to report my observations and to reach certain
6 conclusions and report them. It's not for me to interpret people's
7 claims. You will see in my account that a number of claims made I found
8 to be misleading, inappropriate. Therefore, accepting political comment
9 on its own is not something I choose to do. I would rather understand the
10 detail behind it before assessing whether or not I considered it to be
11 appropriate or correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Your briefing in Zagreb and Split in January, 1993, in
13 view of the fact that the Monitoring Mission in May, 1992, left
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, what was the source of the information about events on
15 the ground for the people who briefed you, if you know, as they were not
16 there on the ground?
17 A. There was very little detailed knowledge available. Most of it
18 recounted actions that had occurred rather than the intentions of any one
24 Could you please explain to me what a civil war is.
25 A. I cannot give you a legal definition of a civil war. The use of
1 the phrase in my account gives the view that it is one people against the
2 same people. There may be divisions within them for political, religious,
3 or other reason, but it is essentially one people fighting themselves.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me, please. If I may ask for a position.
5 What people do you have in mind? What people fighting what
6 people? Within what people?
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, given -- given Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
8 people of Herzegovina -- Bosnia-Herzegovina were fighting themselves. The
9 people of Herzegovina fighting the people of Herzegovina. They came from
10 perhaps fragmented communities within it, but they were from it. People
11 fighting themselves.
12 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Beese, as you were reporting about such sensitive matters and
14 the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan, I have to ask you whether you
15 know that there were three nations living in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as
16 members of other ethnic minorities who we will leave aside for the moment.
17 Do you know that in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were three nations, and there
18 still are three nations, not one?
19 A. This is a subject which I believe has been taken apart and put
20 back together in so many ways. It was not entirely clear at the time
21 outside Bosnia-Herzegovina what was happening. I don't believe there was
22 sufficient government understanding from the nations who were involved,
23 that is the Member States of the United Nations or the European Community.
24 It was certainly not for me to interpret this kind of phraseology. My
25 responsibility was to understand what was happening, why, and report it.
1 That is what I did.
2 Q. Mr. Beese, are you trying to say that the Monitoring Mission of
3 the European Community was not aware of the fact that there are three
4 nations living in Bosnia-Herzegovina - Muslims, Serbs, and Croats - and
5 that the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a conflict among those three
7 A. With respect, I think the question itself is a view.
8 Q. Well, you see, the question is: Is there one nation or are there
9 three nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina? And that's a matter of fact, not of
10 opinion. If you can be assisted by the constitution of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, which stated, and still does, that it's a state of three
12 constituent nations; Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, as well as members of
13 other national minorities. So it is an indisputable fact which has never
14 anywhere been brought into question by anyone that Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 is a state inhabited by three constituent nations. The fact that you do
16 not know that there were and still are three nations living in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina throws a very interesting light on the entire
18 Monitoring Mission and your reports. It seems quite incredible that you
19 do not know who lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But as this is not a
20 question, I'll proceed.
21 A. I'd quite like to answer that, if I may.
22 Q. Yes, please do.
23 A. I encountered a community in Bosnia-Herzegovina with an
24 infrastructure to support it. Academically, one can argue at great length
25 as to the number of nations that community comprised of, even as you could
1 argue about the constituent parts of the European Community mission. We
2 were one mission. We were monitoring one community. That community was
4 Q. What community were you monitoring?
5 A. Villages, towns, were part of a community. They contained
6 elements of the three nations you mentioned, and others, but they were a
7 community. They had lived hitherto in reasonable peace. The desire of
8 the international community was, I believe, for them to continue to live
9 in peace. I quite accept your point that there were evidently, as I
10 discovered, three quite distinct nations, but the substance of that matter
11 is not honestly of my concern except in terms of outcome, that is, how the
12 three constituent parts later performed. But we were there to monitor a
14 Q. Very well. I may conclude, then, that you were aware of the fact
15 that there were and are three nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and that these
16 were Muslims, now called Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that the tripartite talks in Geneva
19 conducted under the auspices of the International Conference on the former
20 Yugoslavia, at which the internal order of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
21 discussed, were attended by representatives of the Muslims, Serbs, and
22 Croats, and that is precisely the reason why they are called tripartite
23 talks; is that correct?
24 A. I think we refer to them as talks, but I understand you, yes.
25 Q. Let's look at who represented what nation at these tripartite
1 talks. The Serbs, I assume you will agree, will represented by Radovan
2 Karadzic. Are you familiar with the name of Radovan Karadzic as the
3 leader of the Bosnian Serbs?
4 A. Yes, I am.
5 Q. Thank you. The Croats were represented by Mate Boban; is that
6 correct? Can you tell us who represented the Muslims?
7 A. Alija Izetbegovic.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell us, in your documents, in your reports, you
9 vehemently opposed Alija Izetbegovic being treated as a representative of
10 the Muslims and insisted that the Croats were wrong to treat Alija
11 Izetbegovic as exclusively a Muslim representative rather than the
12 representative of all of Bosnia-Herzegovina. You have just told us that
13 the Muslims were represented by Alija Izetbegovic at these talks, so it
14 would be logical to conclude that Alija Izetbegovic could not have
15 represented all three nations. Am I correct in concluding this?
16 A. I'm sorry, I don't quite understand where you have found this in
17 my statement. I have not formed an opinion or a conclusion on
18 representation at that level.
19 Q. You just told us here that the Muslims at the tripartite talks in
20 Geneva were represented by Alija Izetbegovic. I only wish to stress your
21 response and draw the logical conclusion that a person representing one of
22 three warring nations cannot at the same time represent all three warring
23 nations or the state in which those three warring nations live. This is a
24 logical conclusion, whether you agree with it or not. So we can proceed
25 to find out what these three warring nations living in Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina were fighting about.
2 Would you agree that the essence of the difference in the
3 standpoints among the leaders of these three nations was the issue of the
4 internal organisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or, rather, whether
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina would be a unitary state, or whether it would be a
6 loose confederation or a federation, or a state decentralised in some way?
7 Would you agree with what I say?
8 A. That might be an academic view, but unfortunately, it's run
9 straight through by the military operations on the ground. These were not
10 consistent with that view. If the Serb party, for instance, had purely
11 wished to organise itself in a particular way, it would not have secured
12 territory in the way it did and forced refugees out from the area it
13 considered to be its own.
14 Q. Very well. I suggest that we test this by answering the following
15 questions: What kind of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in your view, did the Muslims
17 A. With respect, this is not the substance of my reporting in Bosnia,
18 nor my submission to the Court.
3 Would you agree with me if I were to conclude that the Muslims
4 wanted an independent and sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina which, as regards
5 its internal organisation, would be organised as a unitary state according
6 to the system of one man, one vote, and that this was the main political
7 goal of the Muslims -- or, rather, of Alija Izetbegovic?
8 A. That is as I would have understood it, yes.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will take the break now. We
11 will resume at five past 4.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. Counsel
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Beese, we agreed what the object of the Muslims was. Now,
18 briefly, I'd like to ask you -- and I'd like to ask you to be brief in
19 your answers generally speaking. Let's look at the object of the Croats.
20 Would you agree with me that it was their goal that Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 should not remain in Yugoslavia but should be an independent and sovereign
22 state and that it should be a composite social community in which each of
23 the three nations on a given territory would be the majority nation so
24 that the state should be a federation, confederation, an agglomeration of
25 provinces or something along those lines? Would you agree with that
1 assertion of mine?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, from the documents provided to us by the
4 Prosecution and compiled by the European Monitors, we can conclude that
5 the regional centre in Zenica sympathised or favourised the Muslim goals.
6 Would you agree with that? Or, rather, that it favourised a unitary
7 set-up for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. The regional centre in Zenica did not favour any one particular
9 political position.
10 Q. May we show Prosecution Exhibit P 02051 to the witness now,
11 please. And I'd like the witness, once the document has appeared on
12 e-court, to take a look at it and to look at point 2, Mr. Beese, sentence
13 number one. It says the declaration is worrying because it allows the
14 confederation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and from that -- "The declaration is
15 disturbing since it adopts HVO's wish for a confederate division of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina," which would lead us to conclude that you considered
17 this to be worrying. So would you agree with that?
18 A. The principal concern of the regional centre was that political
19 dialogue should continue towards a conclusion, a satisfactory and peaceful
20 conclusion. Its responsibility in the field was to report where that was
21 going astray and where influences were being brought to bear that would
22 wreck that process. So it is not for the regional centre to give a view
23 on a political outcome except where a particular view and subsequent
24 actions might destabilise the status quo.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beese. My conclusions on the basis of your reports
1 are different, but I think we'll clarify that. Now I'd like to ask you
2 some questions about the Vance-Owen Plan. You wrote about the Vance-Owen
3 Plan and spoke about it and so I assume that we'll agree very quickly on
4 certain key elements in that plan. So listen to me carefully now, please,
5 and let us establish certain standpoints with respect to the contents.
6 The Vance-Owen Plan, from January, 1993, provided for a
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a decentralised state; is that right? Would that be
9 A. I can't comment on the Vance-Owen Plan in detail. It was what it
10 was. In the end, it did not prove to be of great value.
11 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Beese, do you know or do not know the
12 contents of the Vance-Owen Plan? We're not going to comment on it. All I
13 wish us to establish now is the contents. So are you aware and have
14 knowledge of the contents of the Vance-Owen Plan as laid down in January,
15 1993? If not, say so and we can move on.
16 A. I was familiar with the practical aspects as they would be laid
17 out in theatre rather than theory behind it.
18 Q. Mr. Beese, for you to be familiar of the practical aspects of
19 something, you have to know what that something is that leads to those
20 consequences. So there's no problem if you tell us that you don't know
21 what the contents of the Vance-Owen Plan is. Are you familiar with the
22 contents of the Vance-Owen Plan? I ask you again not theory, just the
23 contents of the plan.
24 A. In principle, yes.
25 Q. Tell us in principle what you know about the plan.
1 A. The plan was to offer the opportunity for a federal state - I
2 think that's the right description of it - to be established whereby a
3 number of provinces could be established with -- with lines agreed,
4 frontiers agreed, if you want to use that word, between the three parties
5 as a mechanism for the three parties to reach agreement on a political
7 Q. I'd like to show the witness document P 01043, Prosecution
8 Exhibit. It is a document which is a map as part of the Vance-Owen Peace
10 Mr. Beese, are you familiar with the fact that the blue areas on
11 the map would be provinces 3 in the north, 8 and 10, that they were
12 supposed to be provinces where the Croats would be in the majority, or to
13 put it simpler, as Croatian provinces, designated as that, and that's why
14 they were drawn into the map in blue?
15 A. I haven't seen them with these colours on the map, and the
16 establishment of provinces where one party had a majority did not or was
17 not supposed to be the same as having ownership of them and powers that
18 were absolute in them. You could call them, for convenience, Serb,
19 Muslim, and Croat, to encourage parties to sign up, but that's not quite
20 the same.
21 Q. Yes. Well, we're not talking about property rights. That's not
22 what I wanted to suggest. We'll get to that later on. The provinces
23 marked in white - 1, 5 and 9 - were designated in simple terms to be
24 Muslim; is that right? Muslim provinces.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would you agree with me when I say that the Muslims did not wish
2 to implement the -- the Vance-Owen Plan? They didn't want to see it
3 implemented, and that they considered it to be unfair?
4 A. Some parties were much slower than others to come to agreement on
5 it. Some never did.
6 Q. Can you be more precise, please? Which parties were much slower,
7 and which never agreed to it?
8 A. At different times different parties found that it suited their
9 agenda. There were times when the military situation on the ground did
10 not make it attractive to some parties. Therefore, at any one moment some
11 might have cause to agree with it and some might not. It was a political
12 solution that was attempted to be overlain over active conflict, so it
13 didn't start off with a great deal of chance.
14 Q. Just one explanation. When you say "parties," I assume you mean
15 the Croatian, Muslim, and Serb side; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Could we show the witness Prosecution Exhibit now,
18 please, 02168. The English version on page 7. For those following in
19 Croatian, it is on page 4.
20 This is what it says: "Quite obviously there are people not ready
21 to accept the Vance-Owen Plan, especially among prominent military leaders
22 who are conscious of the actual situation, the definite loss of Eastern
23 Bosnia and the fact that the -- they will have to give over to the Croats
24 large territories where the Muslims are the absolute majority, and there's
25 no sense in that."
1 That is a quotation from a report of yours to the ECMM, or words
2 to that effect.
3 A. You say mine. I can't see who transmitted this.
4 Q. When I say "your" I never mean yours personally but the Monitoring
5 Mission. Since you spoke to us about many documents of the ECMM Mission
6 of which you're not the author. So when I say "you," I mean the observer
8 Mr. Beese, in your opinion, the last part of that sentence, does
9 it represent a political assessment of the ECMM, that there's no sense to
11 A. The intention is to suggest what will work as opposed to what will
12 not work. It doesn't necessarily carry a political opinion, although it
13 might be understood.
14 Q. Fine. Now, would you agree with me that the Muslims never clearly
15 -- or stated loud and clear their opposition to the proposed Vance-Owen
16 Plan, as the Serbs did, for instance, the Bosnian Serbs?
17 A. The Muslims were at a military disadvantage. It might not have
18 been their wish to sign anything like the proposals that were put on the
19 table. There were times when they came closer to signing because the
20 pressure eased, but they were not keen on it.
21 Q. Would you agree with me, Mr. Beese, if I were to say that you
22 personally were opposed to the plan?
23 A. My position was solely whether or not a plan would actually work.
24 The possibility of trying to implement a plan practically at a time of
25 open conflict was of grave concern to me. It doesn't matter whether I
1 think it is going to be a good plan or a bad plan. That is not my
3 Q. Tell us, please, from that statement of yours that you considered
4 the plan was not a good one as long as the conflict continued, did you
5 consider that the conflict should cease first for the sovereign nations to
6 be able to decide their future? Is that what you meant? Was that your
8 A. To clarify, it is only possible to implement a plan acceptable to
9 all parties given certain conditions in the field. The conditions were
10 not there, and it was our understanding from the actions of some of the
11 parties that although they had perhaps signed to it, they were not keen to
12 implement it as signed. In other words, military activity in the field
13 was at variance with the desire to sign this agreement in Geneva.
2 Now, the regional centre in Zenica was also opposed to the
3 Vance-Owen Plan, and this can be borne out by the following document, so
4 I'd like that document to be shown the witness. It is P 02737.
5 And in that document, in point 2, it says the following: "The
6 Vance-Owen Plan could have been an acceptable transition, but no chance
7 was given to the future of that country. The next step after recognition
8 of autonomy would be independence after a referendum, and gradually there
9 was ethnic cleansing."
10 JUDGE PRANDLER: I'm waiting for the end of the French
11 translation. May I ask you, Ms. Alaburic, to slow down a bit because of
12 the difficulties with the translation, and I would be very grateful to
13 you. Thank you, madam.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I apologise to
15 the interpreters. It wasn't my intention to speed up.
16 Q. On the basis of what I've just said, anybody unbiased reading the
18 Vance-Owen Plan was not acceptable to the ECMM because it did not ensure a
19 unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina. Would you agree with that?
20 A. The writer of this report, in this case a professional diplomat,
21 was giving his view that the plan as proposed was a halfway house to
22 nowhere and that perhaps more ill could come of it than good. I think he
23 was duty-bound to give his feelings.
24 Q. Very well. Now, from the ECMM documents, it would emerge that it
25 was considered a much more acceptable solution to assist the army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which as you consider was the sole force fighting for
2 a uniform state, and that it should be helped by lifting the embargo,
3 because that would enable it to fight for the interests of the Muslim
4 people and win them. Would you agree with that assessment?
5 A. Comment on the lifting of embargo would have been made as a
6 suggestion towards stabilising the region. There were opposing views
7 about the rearmament of the central government. Some felt it would
8 destabilise, some felt it would stabilise, but it certainly was another
9 possibility to be considered.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beese. Now, during the examination-in-chief with
11 respect to the alleged numerous ultimatums that the HVO made on the army
12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you said that you remember two of those ultimatums,
13 and you mention the dates. The 16th of January was one, and the 14th of
14 March was the other.
20 Q. Now, with respect to the alleged January, 1993, ultimatum, you
21 told us during the examination-in-chief that the commander of the brigade
22 of the BH army in Mostar - and you didn't remember what his name was -
23 informed you on the 15th of January about an ultimatum by the HVO
24 demanding that the units of the BH army in the Croatian provinces
25 according to the Vance-Owen Plan should be placed under the control of the
1 HVO up until the 20th of January, 1993.
2 Now, in respect of that statement of yours, I would like to ask
3 you to explain to us, what were the consequences of the BH army not
4 complying with that condition stipulated? What would have happened?
5 A. There was, to my understanding, no official word on what would
6 have happened.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, tell us this: The commander of the BH army
8 brigade, was he the sole source of your knowledge about that alleged
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Tell us, did you ever later on see any decision which would have
12 the force of an ultimatum?
13 A. Sorry, can I ask you to ask that one again.
14 Q. You said that this oral information given you by this officer of
15 the BH army, that that was the sole source of your information at the
16 time. Now, I'm asking you whether ever at a later date you saw any
17 decision whatsoever in which that ultimatum was made to the BH army. Any
18 document about an ultimatum, the alleged ultimatum?
19 A. No.
20 Q. On the 20th of January, 1993, on that date, did anything vital
21 happen in relations between the HVO and the BH army, or did those
22 relations continue as they had been up until that date?
23 A. The relations continued to be strained.
24 Q. Without any revolutionary changes in those tensions?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, as regards the second alleged ultimatum, on page
2 93 -- or, rather, in 1993, in paragraph 310 you wrote the following: You
3 said that that new ultimatum that was mentioned by Mr. Arif Pasalic on the
4 14th of April, 1993; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us what demands were made of the BH army on the basis
7 of this new ultimatum?
8 A. The demands as I understood them were for the BiH forces in the
9 Dreznica valley to lay down their arms.
10 Q. So in one area, in one locality. Thank you. Tell me, please,
11 from your later knowledge about the events in April, 1993, would you agree
12 with my following assertion, that the rumours going around by members of
13 the BH army about an ultimatum in April, 1993, were in fact an alibi for
14 military action which the Muslims were then able to portray as a
16 A. I don't think I could have made that connection.
17 Q. Very well.
18 Could the witness be shown Prosecution document P 09494, which is
19 a communique dated the 1st of May, 1993. The witness said something about
20 this document. It's on transcript page 3149.
21 Mr. Beese, with respect to point 3 of that public statement, it
22 says: "The utmost concern was expressed with respect to the continued
23 aggression by Muslim units against the Croatian civilian population, and
24 this is based on information from Konjic, Jablanica, Zenica, Travnik,
25 Busovaca and Vitez."
1 Mr. Beese, according to what you knew then, or what you learned
2 later, is this part of the statement true or not?
3 A. It is not consistent with my understanding of what was happening
4 in theatre at the time. There were events, relatively confined minor
5 events that could have been seen to be Muslim aggression, but they should
6 be seen in the context of HVO military advances and attacks. To describe
7 Muslim aggression when they were but pin-pricks against the background of
8 open hostility is not valuable.
9 Q. Mr. Beese, if I understand you correctly, you think that these
10 military activities by Muslim units were a counter-offensive or, rather, a
11 response to HVO activities?
12 A. They were, I understand, response.
13 Q. Could the witness please be shown document 4D 00081.
14 I apologise to the witness, but we have not yet received
15 translations of the BH army documents we have, so we will have to use the
16 version in B/C/S. I will try to read to you what I feel is relevant here.
17 The document we have on the screen is an order issued by Mr. Arif
18 Pasalic on the 7th of April, 1993, and in point 1 of the order it says:
19 "Take all necessary measures and actions in the spirit of our earlier
20 order about putting units into full combat readiness as ordered."
21 I will leave out the remaining points, and I will draw attention
22 to the last sentence in capital letters: "For a free Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 - until final victory!"
24 I will put my question after we have seen the whole set of
1 The next document, 4D 0083. 4D 00083. We have the B/C/S version
2 because the translation was not ready. This is a combat report issued by
3 the command of the Lisanj Battalion. It is signed by Esad Ramic, and it
4 refers to Konjic and Jablanica. I wish to draw attention to a sentence
5 contained in lines five and six from the bottom. I quote: "This time
6 there is no stopping. We will press on until the final victory, because
7 we are now convinced that the HVO is an enemy of the Republic of
9 The greeting at the end is again: "Until the final victory!!!"
10 with three exclamation marks.
11 Could the witness also be shown document 4D 00084.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges take note of the fact
13 that the witness is not in a position to identify these documents. He
14 doesn't know these documents. So you probably have a question to put to
15 him because there is probably a point to all this.
16 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I will explain. I do not wish to
17 tender these documents into evidence at this point precisely because the
18 witness is unable to identify the documents or the authors. However,
19 these are documents issued by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they can
20 be very valuable to clarify the events that took place in April, 1993, and
21 especially the ECMM reports on these events in April, 1993. I feel that
22 the responses to the events described in BH army documents can be very
23 important in assessing the credibility both of this witness and of the
24 ECMM documents. That's why I feel it's much better to show the documents
25 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina than to put questions in the
1 abstract. I believe that after showing these documents the witness may
2 get a different picture of events in Bosnia and Herzegovina in April,
3 1993. That's why I ask that I be given leave to show these documents to
4 the witness. I will go through them very quickly and not spend a lot of
5 time on them. Thank you.
6 Document 4D 00084 is also an order issued by Mr. Arif Pasalic,
7 dated the 16th of April, 1993. And in item 1 it says: "Continue combat
8 activities in your zones."
9 Could we also show the witness 4D 00086. 4D 00086. This is again
10 an order issued by commander Arif Pasalic, dated the 17th of April, 1993,
11 in which he orders a continuation of offensive combat activities, and this
12 has been altered by hand into "defensive." He says that initial successes
13 must be exploited to the maximum.
14 In order to save time, I will skip over several BH army documents,
15 and I will ask that the witness be shown 4D 00094 as the next document.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I have a question with regard to this document.
17 What is your position as to this handmade change? Is it a change that was
18 made by General Pasalic or by someone else later on? And either way, what
19 reasons do you have to uphold this?
20 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I am referring to the alterations
21 because they are evident to the naked eye, and anyone holding this order
22 in their hand will certainly notice this alteration. As you do not have a
23 translation and can read neither the word underneath nor the word on top,
24 I thought it was correct to say that the word "offensive" was typed and
25 that it was corrected in hand -- by hand into "defensive." That's the
1 only reason I mentioned this.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Ms. Alaburic. Actually, this has not
3 escaped me. By hand, yes. The question is, which you have not answered,
4 whose hand? General Pasalic's hand, or someone else's hand? This cannot
5 be seen by naked eye.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I cannot know who
7 altered this word by hand. This document comes from the archives of the
8 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I can only draw the following logical
9 conclusion: A document referring to a continuation of offensive combat
10 activities would be in favour of members of the HVO and people involved in
11 any way in the activities of the HVO, and perhaps also the accused. So to
12 make this alteration would certainly not be in my interest or the interest
13 of the accused here. It seems quite hard to believe that anyone from the
14 Croatian side would make this alteration.
15 If one tries to conclude logically in whose favour this alteration
16 could be made, it can only be made in favour of the army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina or, to put things very simply, the Muslims, because it
18 was their usual tactics to describe even offensive combat activities as
19 defensive. Ten or 15 years later, when Your Honours or somebody else sees
20 a certain document, not knowing what lay behind it, you might really
21 believe that these were defensive and not offensive actions.
22 I know my answer cannot satisfy Your Honour's question, but I
23 really do not know who made the alteration. In any case, I feel it's
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much. The question, of course,
1 remains open whether it was General Pasalic himself who made the
2 alteration, or whether it was someone else who, as it were, forged the
3 document, falsified it later on. This we just must leave open, and this
4 is the value we attach to this. Thank you.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Could the witness please be shown this document, which is
7 information issued by the commander of the 4th Corps on a meeting with the
8 European Monitors, and it's a meeting which you yourself described during
9 your examination-in-chief, and it took place on the 8th of May, 1993.
10 I wish to draw your attention to the second paragraph of this
11 information, which says, I quote: "The representatives of the European
12 Community demanded that the European Community be allowed access to Konjic
13 and Parsovici," and in brackets it says "the surrounding settlements."
14 Mr. Beese, during your examination-in-chief you did not mention
15 that you demanded in imperative terms entry to certain settlements in the
16 Konjic area. Was this an accidental oversight or did you have some reason
17 for not mentioning it?
18 A. Can I be clear? We have a series of documents here which you're
19 going to pose some questions to me. This question relates solely to this
20 document? I'm sorry, I have seen four --
21 Q. It's just about this document and then I'll put another question
22 concerning all the documents. Did you fail to mention the fact that you
23 demanded entry to certain places in the Konjic area on purpose, or was it
24 just an oversight?
25 A. I would not specifically have commented. Access to all areas was
1 implicit in the agreements between the parties, and access was not given
2 by some of the parties. I didn't have to say it on a particular day. It
3 was implicit in the business of the day.
4 Q. Can you tell us whether before this members of the army of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina denied you access to certain places in the Konjic area?
6 A. We had had some difficulty in the Turija pocket south-east of
7 Konjic, yes.
8 Q. I would now like to show another document. It's a Prosecution
9 document, and then we'll round off the topic of April and Konjic. It's
10 document 01911. It's an ECMM document about the current crisis in
11 Jablanica. In point 5 it says that Bosnia-Herzegovina -- or, rather, the
12 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina is trying to take strategic military positions
13 in Zlatar to the east of Konjic, block the communication from Prozor to
14 Jablanica, and expel all HVO units from Jablanica and Konjic.
15 This is under 5, "Current situation," or "Present situation."
16 A. Yes. I'm sorry, what was the question?
17 Q. Now, my question concerns all of these documents. After you have
18 seen all these documents showing that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 planned offensive combat activities and that it did so as early as early
20 April, 1993, and that in April, 1993, members of the army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina really did take Konjic and numerous villages around
22 Konjic, and everything you knew about the events in April, 1993, would you
23 agree that this was a Muslim aggression on territories previously
24 inhabited or controlled by Croats?
25 A. I cannot give you a yes or no. I am duty-bound, I think, to
1 explain to the Court in this context what is meant, because the documents
2 that you have produced here could be seen to be something other than what
3 I suspect they are.
4 Given that the HVO had advanced on Jablanica with the strongest
5 possible forces from Prozor and from Doljani, given that the HVO was
6 attempting to move from Prozor north-east towards Fojnica, and because
7 that was difficult, also north through Kostajnica to Fojnica. These would
8 be reasonable measures to take to protect the territory that was being
9 moved against by the HVO. I can't accept that these in themselves amount
10 to proof of offensive action. They would be the measures you would expect
11 of an army that was under considerable pressure.
12 Q. Would I be right in concluding that all these activities of the
13 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in April, 1993, you feel are justified?
14 A. I didn't used the word "justification," of course, very carefully.
15 I see nothing from the documents you've shown me and kindly explained to
16 me that give details about what aggression you expect to see from the army
17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is considerable mention of people
18 needing to get their kit on and get ready for combat and to fulfil their
19 instructions to any particular degree, but they don't suggest to me any
20 particular plan. But I do understand, from what I could see and do know,
21 that there would have had to have been a military response to HVO
22 aggression across the front, and this would have been perfectly
23 understandable and expected. That's not the same as accepted or
1 - I apologise if I'm wrong - but I have not found any critical remarks
2 about the actions of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina or any criticism of
3 their activities, unlike the sea of very cynical comments referring either
4 to individual Croats, Croatian officials, the HVO, and I will be happy to
5 be proved wrong. So can you show me whether in any document of which you
6 are the author there is any critical comment about Alija Izetbegovic, Arif
7 Pasalic, or any other officer of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina or any
8 Muslim politician.
9 A. You will see, if you read the account from beginning to end, there
10 is considerable comment on Muslim or armija or Bosnian activity which I
11 find to be wrong, incorrect, unjustified. Considerable comment. You will
12 also see through my account, which at the time it was written was not
13 produced for this purpose, I stress the need for the monitors to remain
14 neutral as best they can, unbiased in their dealings.
15 If I have condemned in my writings, or it is interpreted that way,
16 that I find one party's methods or actions to be reprehensible, then I
17 have done so. The greater weight of evidence, I believe, condemns one
18 party of greater aggression than the other. That is not what I heard from
19 the party concerned, and I find that the use of these five or six
20 documents put here go to support a position that the Muslims were
21 aggressive. They do not do that to me at all. I do not take that to be
22 the view, and I find this to be consistent with the propaganda that I
23 experienced at the time in 1993 in Bosnia.
24 Q. In view of the fact that I'm not familiar with any statements of
25 yours containing such critical comments on Muslim actions, could you
1 please tell us what statements those are?
2 A. I comment on the activities of some irregular elements,
3 particularly in the Klis region. I comment on the activities of unknown
4 but certainly aligned to Muslim forces in Zenica on prisoner exchange. I
5 give comments on the political personalities in Zenica with whom I can
6 hardly have been said to agree on a number of occasions. I think you will
7 find many examples of where I comment on their disorganisation, their
8 inability to determine who truly represented them. You've mentioned
9 Mr. Izetbegovic. Many laid claims to running the show. Few managed to
10 deliver. They did not measure to the HVO in terms of organisation or
11 equipment or planning, but certainly what I see here is a desperate
12 response to wholesale aggression.
13 Interestingly, the dates that you show some of these messages
14 immediately follow the unprovoked shelling of Jablanica and the
15 destruction of Ahmici. They can only be seen to me, without other
16 evidence, to be a natural progression, something that I believe the HVO
17 initiated rather than the other party. I'm sorry if you haven't drawn the
18 same conclusions from my account.
19 Q. I think your standpoint toward the warring parties is clear now
20 from what you say and that your sympathies were with the Muslims. This is
21 understandable in a way, but I think it's very important when a European
22 monitor shows sympathies for one of the warring sides, this is very
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please, because
2 I'm lost here. You're saying that sympathies lie with the Muslims whereas
3 as part of his mission he was supposed to be neutral.
4 Mr. Beese, the Defence counsel is saying that you were sympathetic
5 to the Muslim side. What do you have to answer to this?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I can only report on what I
7 experienced. I have no sympathy with one side or the other. I do have
8 concerns for aggressors. I have some understanding with the victims of
9 aggression. I do not have sympathies that are displayed professionally
10 for one or the other. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic, what can -- what
12 allows you to say that he had sympathy with one party? Because he's just
13 said that he was neutral.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Could we put P 02620 to the
15 witness. This is a report by the deputy of the head of the Monitoring
16 Mission for political issues, Mr. Anderson, about the meeting with Ejup
17 Ganic in Geneva. Ejup Ganic was the deputy of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic.
18 In this report, in point 7(A), it says, I quote: "The special
19 observations of the ECM Mission were the following: The Muslims have to
20 adhere to human rights, norms with respect to the Croatian and Serbian
21 minorities in areas under Muslim control if they don't want to risk losing
22 the understanding of the international community."
23 Since one cannot lose something one does not have, it's logical to
24 conclude that the Monitoring Mission is here declaring that the
25 international community has understanding for and is supporting the Muslim
1 side in the conflict.
2 Also, from the documents we read today, when we compare the
3 comments made about the wishes of the Croats to have a federal
4 organisation and the wishes of the Muslims to have a unitary state, when
5 one looks at Mr. Beese's comments, who never uses any negative adjectives
6 when talking about the Muslims, whereas whenever he mentions the Croats he
7 always as a rule includes negative comments, ranging from their shoes,
8 vehicles, the way they speak, and many other elements important in
13 least not in public.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Beese, what do you have to
15 say to that, to those observations?
16 THE WITNESS: If -- if I could, Your Honour, I'd like to see this
17 point 7 on the screen. I'm too high on the document at the moment.
18 Your Honour, I understood there was a question on point 7. I'm
19 looking at point 6, which appears to be the last point.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On e-court we don't seem to have
21 point 7. Perhaps we can put it on the overhead projector.
22 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] It is a document, to the best of my
23 recollections, but I can check this out. It is a Croatian and English
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think you are -- I think you are referring to a
1 different document than the one that is on the screen. Perhaps if you
2 would identify the document, not just by the number but by date and what
3 else belongs to it.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Before I do that, may I ask a
6 Q. Mr. Beese, what quotation are you interested in precisely, because
7 I quoted several documents, and I don't know what you're referring to now
8 specifically. Could you specify, please? 2620, the Ejup Ganic meeting in
10 A. To be honest, I was at a loss to keep up.
11 Q. May we place the Croatian version of this text on the ELMO,
12 please. Then I'll be left without it, but it will enable us all to
13 follow. I will mark in red the portion that is relevant. It is
14 Prosecution document -- a Prosecution document, and the red portion is the
15 portion I quoted from. Point 7. It says: "Especial comments of the ECMM
16 included the following:
17 "a. The Muslims have to adhere to international rules on human
18 rights in view of the Serbian and Croatian minority in the areas under
19 Muslim control if they do not wish to risk the loss of understanding and
20 support from the international community."
21 So the members of the ECMM, in talking to the vice-president,
22 Alija Izetbegovic, clearly stated and expressed their understanding and
23 support to one of the parties in the conflict.
24 A. I'm sorry, I can't make that connection. This would have been a
25 normal comment that all parties need to respect human rights in their
1 areas. I don't see the bias in this.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps -- perhaps one should also note that the
3 text speaks of understanding, not of sympathy.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel Alaburic. All the
5 Judges are unanimous in noting that that sentence is -- or phrase is not
6 -- does not relate to sympathy. It is just that the Muslims should
7 respect minorities, whether they be Serbian or Croatian, in their -- in
8 the area under their control. No sympathies in that article. I don't
9 know how you understand the text, but that's how we understand it.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I did not use the word "sympathies"
11 in respect of this text, because the important words here are
12 "understanding," and "support." Those two words. And in this sentence
13 it says that the Muslims, if something were to happen, would forfeit the
14 understanding and support of the international community, which means that
15 at that point when that is being stated the Muslims do enjoy the
16 understanding and support of the international community.
17 Now, that statement by the ECMM to the vice-president --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can change the words and the
19 text will apply to the Serbs or Croats, but you can draw your own
20 conclusions and the Judges will take note of what has been said.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]. Now, as far as the word
24 comparative analysis of how many Croatian bodies and officers or soldiers
25 he mentioned compared to the Muslim ones and how he portrayed one and the
1 other and what qualifications he used to describe one set and the other
2 set, we don't have enough time to do that. But if we were to be able to
3 do that and go into all the documents we could analyse that. But I've
4 spent quite a lot of my time or, rather, my colleagues' time already, so
5 I'll have to interrupt the cross-examination there.
6 Mr. Beese, thank you for your answers and for your cooperation.
7 And I also thank the Chamber for listening.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Next Defence counsel, please.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, Mr. Beese,
21 you've heard what the Defence counsel said. He quoted a number of
22 paragraphs from your writings. 23 -- paragraph 23 where you say that the
23 Croats are arrogant, nationalist, and so on and so forth. And paragraph
24 594, Counsel Karnavas went on to list a number of points. What do you
25 have to say to that?
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, what I report or the conclusions I
2 reach are the product of what I observed. If officials in the HVO had
3 pictures of Ante Pavlovic on their walls, who was known to be an
4 extremist, if the rocks around Herzegovina have the U symbol of Ustasha on
5 them, I'm bound to draw some conclusion. These are only some examples.
6 I'm quite prepared to discuss many of these and how I reached the
7 conclusions, but it doesn't mean to say I'm biased in my dealings, and I
8 make great pains through the document to express how we needed to be to be
9 credible. And those aren't because I wished to be seen to be something
10 and be something else. That is the business. That is the job.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So your answer is -- well, we
12 see Mr. -- We've heard your answer but Mr. Praljak is on his feet. We
13 won't enter into that discussion, we're going to lose a lot more time.
14 You will have an opportunity to come back to that.
15 But let's have the next Defence counsel. Who is it? Yes, please
16 go ahead, madam.
17 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
18 would like to say at the outset that I will conduct the cross-examination,
19 and perhaps after that Mr. Coric will use his own time.
20 Cross-examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Beese. My name is Dijana
22 Tomasegovic Tomic, I am a lawyer from Zagreb, Defence counsel for
23 Mr. Valentin Coric in this case.
24 A. Thank you.
25 Q. I have a series of questions to ask you too, but as we've just got
1 into this whole discussion of bigotry and bias and prejudice, I would like
2 to follow on from that and ask you to help me out here.
3 As far as I understood my learned colleagues and Their Honours a
4 moment ago, it was not your attitude about officers that was a case in
5 point but your attitude towards the Croatian people. As far as I
6 understood your answers to my learned colleague Ms. Alaburic, you said
7 that you had a short briefing, and after that you took up your duties
8 straight away. You came to Zagreb, and that's what you've said in the
9 examination-in-chief. You went to Siroki Brijeg, and you arrived in
10 Siroki Brijeg in January, did you not? The beginning of January. On the
11 8th of January, I believe.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. I'd like to ask you the following now: I'm sure you will remember
14 an event that took place when you took up your duties in the first two or
15 three days of your mission there when, in the Republic of Croatia, you
16 attended a memorial meeting, a ceremony to -- about the death of the ECMM
17 monitor. Do you remember that event?
18 A. I do.
25 Unless I'm very much mistaken, one or two days after your arrival
1 in the Republic of Croatia, and you were there for the first time in your
2 life, you describe the people present in a church for a commemorative
3 service, and as it was a Catholic church I assume most of them were
4 Catholics, were Croats, so you described them; is that right?
5 A. I'm sorry, I'm not clear quite what the issue is here or what the
6 question is. Is it that I --
7 Q. My question is: What -- who does your description refer to, and
8 is it obvious that it is a description of the people who were in the
9 church when you were there? And they were the local population, and they
10 were in the Catholic church where the commemorative service was being
11 held, so I assume that they were Croats. Is that right? And my question
12 is am I right in assuming that?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
1 What I want to ask you in respect of that is this: As far as I
2 was able to understand, this is an event that took place just a few days
3 after your arrival in Siroki Brijeg and your first sojourn in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Am I right?
5 A. You are right. Of course the writing of this was not --
11 A. I believe I had a reasonable understanding.
12 Q. Where did you have this reasonable understanding from? Did you
13 look at statistical data, how many people worked in Germany, for example,
14 or their origins? Did you know where their roots were? How many people
15 did you talk to? Can you answer those questions or not?
16 A. Yes, I can. I had reasonable discussion with the people with whom
17 we stayed, with interpreters, with officials.
18 Q. Which officials, and how many inhabitants from Herzegovina work in
19 Germany, for instance?
20 A. I can't give you figures, and the --
23 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] With Your Honour's
24 permission, then, I'd like to ask Mr. Beese whether in 1994 he had
25 statistical and demographic data.
1 THE WITNESS: No.
2 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. And now I'd just like to ask you the following or, rather, to draw
4 a comparison that I'd like you to clarify. As far as I understand it,
5 Mr. Beese on several occasions told me today and my colleagues that he
6 doesn't see where our line of questioning is leading. Am I right when I
7 say that?
8 A. I can see a tremendous amount of indignation from you, which I can
10 Q. Yes. Now, your interpretations and descriptions seem to be biased
11 to me. As somebody who is a Croat and from those areas, I'm astounded
12 with this type of position on the part of an ECMM.
13 Now, I'd like to ask a hypothetical here. In your
14 examination-in-chief you said that you were in the service of the Sultan
15 of Oman, and that after that you were in Northern Ireland within the
16 British army there to keep law and order.
17 Now, my image of you -- if I were to give my image of you,
18 description of you as you did of the Croats, that if I could say
19 hypothetically that because you were in the service of the Sultan of Oman,
20 for example, you were -- your sympathies lay with the Muslims because they
21 paid your salary or, rather, that you have something against the Catholics
22 because the Irish are Catholics and you were in the British army and
23 established law and order in Northern Ireland. I don't think that would
24 be in order. I don't think that would be proper, and I'm sure you'll
25 agree with me that that kind of conclusion would be completely biased and
1 partial about you.
2 A. I agree.
3 Q. Now, I'd like to move on to another topic. I think we've
4 exhausted the previous one. And I'd like to go back to an event which you
5 described in the examination-in-chief when asked by the Prosecutor. It is
6 the event of the 5th of the -- of the 5th of February of 1993, when,
7 according to your knowledge, in Ante Zvanic Street, from their flats in
8 Mostar, 14 people were taken away towards the separation line or
9 demarcation line in Stolac with the Serbs. You remember speaking about
10 that? You know the event I mean?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Now, linked to that event you stated during your testimony that on
13 the 6th of February you visited the flats and building or, rather, the
14 building where those flats were located escorted by Mr. Ray Lane. Do you
15 remember saying that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, you also said something different with respect to that event.
18 You said that Ray Lane and Paul Ronksley decided to go to Mostar to
19 discuss the case with officials there while you and your colleagues went
20 to Stolac to talk to eyewitnesses to the event. Do you remember having
21 said that as well?
22 A. Yes.
11 Page 5230 redacted.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have to take a
4 break. Maybe if you have a very short question, you can put it to the
5 witness and then we'll have a break.
6 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] I need five minutes, if
7 possible, and that would round off this part.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. In that case, we'll take
9 the break now, and we'll resume 6.00 p.m.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
14 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Beese, before the break we were referring to an event of the
16 5th of February, 1993. We have discussed two quotations or, rather, two
17 statements made by you during your direct examination, and also an ECMM
18 report of the 19th [as interpreted] of February, 1993. I now wish to
19 continue. I apologise. I believe in the transcript it says the 19th of
20 February. This was in fact the 10th of February, 1993.
13 Q. I now wish to move on to my next question. In your statement, you
14 also said that in connection to this event you also spoke to Mr. Valentin
15 Coric. Can you tell us where and when you talked to him?
16 A. I think my account will describe a meeting in March, I think March
17 or April, when I asked Mr. Coric how the investigation was proceeding and
18 whether there had been any outcome.
19 Q. Did Mr. Coric then tell you who was in charge of the
21 A. Not specifically, though I would have understood that it would
22 have been his responsibility as much as anyone else's to have
24 Q. Talking of responsibility, please tell me, in your opinion if
25 Mr. Coric had initiated an investigation and if persons subordinate to him
1 had carried out an investigation, would you have thought that he had
2 fulfilled his duty? You have a military background, so I wish to know if
3 he had ordered an investigation to be carried out and if the investigation
4 was indeed carried out, would you have felt that he as a commander had
5 fulfilled his duty?
6 A. I'm sorry, I'm missing something. I don't quite understand. I
7 was given to understand that Mr. Prlic had given a commitment to open an
8 investigation. I would understand that Mr. Coric would be critical to
9 that investigation. It was important to understand that it was one of his
10 offices at the base of the flats from where these people were taken.
11 Yes, if there had been investigation, yes, there should be some
12 findings even if the findings don't reach conclusions on who was
13 responsible. At that stage I could see no particular evidence for there
14 having been an investigation.
15 Q. Did you see any reports connected to that investigation?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Could we put on the ELMO document 5D 00523. The heading reads
18 "Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
19 Croatian Defence Council, Defence Department." In the left-hand corner,
20 it says: "Administration of the military police," and there is a number
21 and a date: "Mostar, the 9th of February, 1993." The title is "Special
22 report with respect to the arrest and transport of 13 persons of Serb
23 nationality on the Mostar-Stolac route."
24 And if we could scroll down and look at the signature. It says
25 that the signatory is Chief Dragan Barbaric, and there is the seal of the
1 military police administration.
2 Could you please tell us whether you have ever seen this document
4 A. I have not.
5 Q. Could we now show in e-court document number 5D 00524 [as
7 We have some technical problems. This is not the document. Could
8 we put it on the ELMO, please. I do apologise. I've been told that it's
9 wrong in the record. I'm going for 5D 00534. This is the document.
10 It's a document which again has the heading "Republic of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Croatian Defence
12 Council." And on the left-hand side it says: "Ministry of Defence, SIS
13 Centre Mostar." And then there is the registration number, and the date
14 is Mostar, 7th of December, 1993.
15 I would like to read to you parts of that document. "Pursuant to
16 Article 151, paragraph 2 of the law on criminal procedure, authorised
17 officers of the Mostar SIS centre in the presence of a recording clerk are
18 composing the following minutes:
19 "About information provided on the 6th of December, 1992, by
20 Vukasin Batinic, son of Djordje and Zora, nee Kostic," and then the
21 details of this person follow, which I will skip over, and he's a resident
22 in Ante Zvanic Street, number 15D.
23 "On 5th of February, 1993, at around 1200 hours, I was sitting
24 with my family in my flat, and our neighbour Ivanka was there as well.
25 Two soldiers came in wearing camouflage uniforms without any visible
1 insignia showing to what unit they belonged."
2 The end of that paragraph reads: "From there they took us on the
3 road towards Rastani. We passed by the hydroelectric power plant in
4 Mostar, and we took the road to Stolac. When we arrived in Stolac, they
5 found a white sheet and a stick and took us to Begovina. This is area
6 between Stolac and Berkovici towards the Serbian lines.
7 "They stopped us, gave us the white flag, and said, 'Go to your
8 people. If they don't kill you, we will.'"
9 Tell me, Mr. Beese, in your statement you said that you questioned
10 witnesses to the events in Stolac. I have abbreviated this because we
11 don't have time for me to read the whole statement to you, but does this
12 part of the statement refer to that incident in Stolac?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I will now read to you another part of the statement, which reads
15 as follows: "My wife and I have firmly decided to go back. I heard over
16 the radio of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna that we were expelled
17 by an unauthorised group and that we can return without any problems. We
18 contacted UNPROFOR and kept asking about how we could return to Mostar.
19 We succeeded in this on the 3rd of December, 1993, when we returned along
20 the same road over which we were expelled, in an exchange. We cried with
21 joy and on arrival in Mostar in our home we found our daughter Vanja and
22 saw that none of our belongings were missing."
23 And the last passage says: "I don't have any objections to the
24 work of the officers of SIS in Mostar. Everything I have said has been
25 correctly entered into the record, which I confirm with my own signature."
1 And then there follows his signature, Vukasin Batinic, and this is also
2 signed by Zoran Lasic, the head of the SIS office in Mostar, and it has an
3 official seal.
4 In connection with these documents which we've seen, as far as I
5 was able to understand, you discussed this event with Mr. Coric a few
6 weeks or a month after the event occurred. Is that correct?
7 A. It is.
8 Q. Subsequently, in the period up to July, 1993, which I understand
9 is the time you spent in Bosnia, did you subsequently again inquire about
10 the investigation in this case with Mr. Coric?
11 A. No, I did not.
12 Q. Do you then allow for the possibility that there was an
13 investigation which was completed after you had left Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. The date of the statement you've shown me is December, which is
15 after I left Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the statement doesn't answer the
16 fundamental questions as to how the event happened in the first place or
17 what efforts had been made to discover how it could have happened. And
18 I'm not talking about the criminal activity that is alleged to have
19 happened in the report but how it was possible for these things to happen
20 without official involvement of some kind.
21 Q. My question was: Do you allow for the possibility that an
22 investigation was initiated and continued to be conducted after you left
23 the area? Why, then, would anyone inform you of it after you had left
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
25 A. They wouldn't.
1 Q. I would now like to move on. In your statement, you mentioned
2 that you spoke to Mr. Coric about a transport of prisoners in an
3 ambulance. Do you remember having mentioned that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you personally see such a transport?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell me where and when?
8 A. Outside the -- outside the office of Mr. Prlic, some hundred
9 metres to the west of his office.
10 Q. And where were you at that point in time when you were looking at
11 the vehicle? How far away from it were you?
12 A. Twenty-five metres.
13 Q. Could you tell us whether the vehicle was a van or did it have a
14 canvas? What type of vehicle was it?
15 A. It was a -- of the size of a van. If I recall correctly, it was
16 green and carried hospital markings.
17 Q. Tell me, please, did you see what the persons inside the van were
18 wearing? And how did you see this? Was the door open? You saw it from a
19 distance of 25 metres. What were the uniforms like?
20 A. The uniforms were fairly ragged military camouflage.
21 Q. Did you see the insignia on these uniforms?
22 A. They didn't appear to have any insignia.
23 Q. Could you please tell me, then, how you came to conclude that they
24 were prisoners.
25 A. The camouflage uniforms used by the different units were not
1 exactly the same. Although these were faded and battered, they looked
2 much more like the uniforms that were in use with the army of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina. The fact they were getting in and out nowhere near a
4 hospital, the fact that their demeanour showed them to be more captive and
5 they were covered by armed men rather than injured, with bandages or
6 anything else, suggested that they were prisoners and not wounded.
7 Q. Did you approach any closer and take a closer look at these
8 people? Did you ask them what was going on?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Could we then say that it was merely your assumption that these
11 were prisoners of war?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions about this. Now, I wish
14 to move on to another topic.
15 Among the other topics you discussed with Mr. Coric, according to
16 your statement, you also discussed Mujahedin. You stated that Valentin
17 Coric complained about extremist Muslim elements, Mujahedin, in Central
18 Bosnia, and that you told him, How could they have arrived in Central
19 Bosnia when passage to Central Bosnia is controlled by the HVO at
21 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Do you agree -- I will not use the word "Mujahedin." I will use
18 the word "volunteers" from Islamic countries, extreme Muslims. Do you
19 know that there were such people fighting in the ranks of the army of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the time period we are now discussing in Central
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Do you accept that or deny it?
22 A. The conversation was quite specifically that there were those
23 people in Central Bosnia, that they had, some of them, entered as aid
24 workers, which meant moving through HVO territory. Mr. Coric referred to
25 them as Mujahedin, not me, and I offered the view that if they were coming
1 through HVO territory, the HVO had some control, perhaps, of their flow.
2 I'm sorry if my account didn't come across that way.
3 Q. Tell me, please -- I still don't have an answer to my question.
4 My question was: Do you consider that on the territory of Central Bosnia
5 there were extreme elements who were volunteers from Islamic countries or
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So there were such people there. Thank you. Excuse me. Yes.
9 We have now clarified a situation where you say that in relation
10 to the arrival of these extreme elements into Central Bosnia Mr. Coric
11 complained to you and you said to him that it was the HVO that were
12 supposed to control the roads leading to Central Bosnia and prevent such
13 extreme elements from entering the territory. Is this the conclusion
14 we've reached from all this? Am I right?
15 A. The word "supposed to" control is not correct. Whether they
16 should or should not, they did control the roads; therefore, they had some
17 means of control.
18 Q. Will you tell me what those means of control were and on what
20 A. The HVO controlled movement on all roads leading from the coast,
21 where aid entered the country, to Central Bosnia.
22 Q. Tell me, now, as you have military experience - and in Northern
23 Ireland there were also extreme conditions, I think you will agree with me
24 that the conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina were no better than those in
25 Northern Ireland - while you were in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in your statement
1 where you describe your job in Northern Ireland, you say that under those
2 conditions for security you had to control the flow of people and
3 vehicles. When you say "in those conditions," do you mean dangerous
4 conditions similar to wartime conditions?
5 A. Dangerous conditions, though the conditions in Bosnia were a good
6 deal worse than those in Northern Ireland at the time.
7 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, do you allow for the possibility that
8 under the pretext of humanitarian aid some persons from a criminal milieu
9 in Bosnia and Herzegovina attempted to engage in smuggling, black
10 marketeering, and so on? Do you allow for the possibility of that
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Also, in view of your statement about the possibility of
14 preventing the passage of extreme elements, do you agree with me that such
15 passage had to be checked at HVO checkpoints by checking the identity of
16 persons passing through the checkpoints? Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell me, please, do you know that the HVO military police,
19 together with the International Red Cross Committee, discussed ways for
20 the convoy carrying humanitarian aid to pass through with the aim of
21 preventing the abuse by persons who were not authorised to travel in such
22 convoys and engage in traffickeering and things like that? Do you know
23 about that?
24 A. Not specifically.
25 Q. May the witness be shown the following document now, please:
1 5D 00524. It says as the heading "The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
2 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Croatian Defence Council, Defence
3 Department." And on the left-hand side, "Administration office of the
4 military police," the number. And it says "Mostar, the 5th of February,
5 1993." The signatory of this order -- may we zoom -- or, rather, see the
6 document at the bottom. It says "Valentin Coric," as chief, and on the
7 left-hand side, it was delivered to, under 5, the ICRC Committee.
8 In the document it says the following: "In conformity with the
9 agreement by authorised representatives of the ICRC and the head of the
10 military police department of the 4th of February, 1993, linked to the
11 passage of humanitarian aid convoys organised by the ICRC, I hereby order:
12 That as of the 7th of February, 1993, the following regime be established:
13 The ICRC is duty-bound to give notification of passing convoys on
14 telephone or facsimile at least 24 hours before the passing of the convoy.
15 "2. Notification of the route;"
16 And 3, that a list of names will be handed over, three copies,
17 travel list.
18 So those are the contents of this order as related to the convoy.
19 I'm going to show you a number of documents first and then I'll
20 come to my question. So the next document is 5D 00525. I think we have
21 prepared that document for the ELMO.
22 This is the document. You can see the telefax that arrived from
23 the ICRC chief in Metkovic on the 9th of February, 1993. And it reads as
24 follows: "With this I inform you of the unfortunate incident that
25 occurred this morning around 10.00 hours in Capljina, and what we are
1 prepared to undertake:
2 "Sequel of the event is as follows:
3 "Humanitarian aid sent to Capljina on three trucks in height of
4 about 75 tonnes of food around 10.00 hours this morning on 9 February,
5 1993, stopped by the military police and taken to the circle of the
6 barracks in Capljina. Drivers were taken and trucks impounded. First
7 information came to me when one of the drivers reached the telephone and
8 informed me about it. After my arrival in the barracks in Capljina, we
9 were left to wait more than half an hour for the commander of the military
10 police, Mr. Kraljevic, who did not show up even after that. In the
11 meantime, the drivers were released from the detention in the circle of
12 the barracks. I left a message to Mr. Kraljevic that we expect his
13 official apology tonight in circle of UNHCR Metkovic, and that if the
14 drivers and the trucks are not released immediately, all the aid to
15 Herceg-Bosna will be suspended until further notice as of tomorrow."
16 And linked to that document I'd like to display one more document
17 to be placed on the ELMO. 5D 00526 is the number.
18 The heading once again, "Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
19 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, Croatian Defence Council."
20 The letter is addressed to the UNHCR of Metkovic on the 9th of
21 February, 1993. The signatory is Mr. Valentin Coric.
22 "Respected gentlemen, in regards to the above enclosed fax, we
23 inform you that this incident occurred due to misunderstanding for which
24 part of the blame is borne by both sides. The fax we received did not
25 have the exact address of the receiver of the aid but only the city of
1 Capljina. Considering that we had information that a convoy with smuggled
2 goods that supposed to be used for criminal actions ... will come across
3 the Doljani border, which is not intended for the members of the units but
4 criminals using it for plunder of the population of Herceg-Bosna,
5 Mr. Kraljevic was on an official trip so that we kept your convoy longer.
6 "We apologise for all the unpleasantness that you have met with
7 and I hope that this incident will not influence the cooperation between
8 the UNHCR and the military police of the HVO for the benefit of the people
9 living in Herceg-Bosna."
10 Now, after you've seen those three documents, would you agree with
11 me when I say that it is possible that the convoy was held back at the
12 checkpoints because the individuals transporting the humanitarian aid did
13 not have the right papers or did not report their arrival beforehand, so
14 that there was misunderstanding and complications with regard to the
15 passage of the convoy?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. I have two more documents to show you now. They are
18 5D 00529. That's the first document.
19 The document is once again the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
20 the Croatian Defence Council, military police, 3rd Battalion of the 3rd
21 Company. We have a number - again I don't want to read it out - and the
22 date is the 9th of February, 1993. And the signatory is Ivan Ancic, who
23 compiled the report, report made by.
24 And the text states as follows, may we zoom up: "During the day a
25 military police patrol from -- took in from Gabela point ten cargo
1 vehicles loaded with boards and wooden material in total amount of 88.316
2 cubic metres, the leader of the convoy was Eljub Cakovic."
3 The second paragraph, at the end of it, I'd like to read now:
4 "The vehicles were moving from the direction of Olovo towards Metkovic
5 but did not go to the main border with the intent of avoiding customs so
6 they were returned to the barracks and after that sent to the
7 administration office of the military police, where they were released,
8 and last night they were noticed selling material from the trucks on a
9 roundabout in Ljubuski. It was pure smuggling."
10 Having read that, in your opinion could that be the smuggling
11 incident that I asked you about several minutes ago when you said that you
12 agreed with me that it was necessary to control the checkpoints to avoid
13 smuggling, to control the goods at the checkpoint to avoid smuggling?
14 Could that be an attempt of that kind?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'd now like to read out paragraph 3 of this document: "A vehicle
17 Mercedes 12/3 was taken in from Doljani, registration place MO 172-813
18 with a cargo of humanitarian aid for Mostar with the driver Nusret
19 Mustovic with blank confirmation issued by Jadran Topic dated the 21st of
20 December, 1992, without a packing list and without destination as to who
21 is the receiver of the goods."
22 Would you agree with me that this event, the one that I just read
23 out, referred to cargo being transported but without the necessary papers
24 and documents since we said that there was blank confirmation?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. May we have document 5D 00528 now, please.
2 The heading is the same as on the previous document, and so is the
3 date, and the report was compiled once again by Ivan Ancic and this is
4 what paragraph 2 says: "During the day a truck of the Mercedes 12-12 type
5 was checked, registration plates MO 172-813, transporting humanitarian
6 aid. A statement was taken, the data checked, and the vehicle was
7 released to continue its journey towards Mostar."
8 I'd just like us to take note of the fact that it was a vehicle
9 which in the previous report which was described - judging from the
10 licence plates we can tell that it's the same vehicle - and that it was
11 stopped to check the data.
12 That concludes my cross-examination. I'd like to thank you,
13 Mr. Beese. I don't know whether Mr. Valentin Coric would like to ask you
14 any questions. He did ask for a few minutes of our time earlier on.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric. Go ahead,
17 please. We have 15 minutes left.
18 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by the Accused Coric:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Beese, you said that we met four or five
21 times; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. My Defence counsel has more or less recounted the contents of our
24 discussions or talks. Would that be right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. On a number of occasions you complimented me on my English. Do
2 you happen to remember whether we had an interpreter while we were
4 A. On that latter occasion I believe we did. Present with us, not
5 necessarily acting.
6 Q. Thank you. I would like to comment on something that I think
7 needs to be said after the cross-examination by my Defence counsel. You
8 stressed that I spoke about the problem of foreigners, foreign warriors in
9 Central Bosnia; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you remember that four escorts of the brigade commander from
12 Zenica, Zivko Totic, were killed at a checkpoint in Central Bosnia?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know who killed those men?
15 A. I believe they were an extreme Muslim group.
16 Q. So you remember that the official position of the BH army was that
17 that was perpetrated by the Mujahedin; is that right? Do you agree with
19 A. I don't know if that word was used, but -- but extreme elements,
21 Q. All right. I'll use "extreme elements," two words instead of the
22 one. Now, do you know what happened afterwards, after the killing of
23 those four military policemen?
24 A. Mr. Totic was later exchanged. He was handed -- handed back and
1 Q. Do you know who he was exchanged for?
2 A. I'm sorry, I --
3 Q. Who was released and who --
4 A. I'm sorry, I can't recall.
5 Q. Let me remind you, or I'll try and jog your memory. He was
6 exchanged for six extremist Muslims, and later plus two, which makes
8 Did you write about that in your report? Or perhaps your
9 colleagues did.
10 A. I was not present in Zenica on the day that that exchange took
11 place, and the account from which some of the extracts of Defence
12 counsel's questioning today has been taken from is more of an account of
13 my time. It's not meant to be an exclusive -- sorry, inclusive history of
14 all events.
2 Q. One of those extreme Muslims.
3 I'd like document 5D 00527 to be placed on the ELMO now, please.
4 Do we have the document? So I shall begin.
5 As you can see, the document is from the administration office of
6 the military police, department for political activity, Ljubuski. The
7 date is the 7th of November, 1993. It says: "Number of persons killed,
8 wounded and missing or arrested members of the military police of the HVO
9 HR HB."
10 This document speaks about the casualties from among the military
11 police for the whole of Herceg-Bosna from the beginning of the war up
12 until roughly the moment that I left the military police. So everything
13 that I am going to read out took place when I was the number one man in
14 the military police. I'm going to read the final figures, not the others.
15 During that period, roughly speaking, the military police numbered
16 between 700 to 2.000-odd members during that period of time. And during
17 that time, 152 members of the military police were killed, 565 persons
18 were wounded, and persons who had disappeared or were arrested, 52.
19 This document was signed by Pavle Loncar, the head of the PD
20 department. And these figures, with photographs, can be found in an
21 official document of this court, which is a military police manual.
22 If we look at a battalion in Central Bosnia, where the
23 concentration of those extremist Muslims and religious fighters was
24 greatest, who had come in as humanitarian workers, you will see that
25 almost 50 per cent of the casualties took place precisely in that area
1 over there. Now, do you think that I had reason enough to caution you and
2 to tell you to take into account that fact already at the beginning of
3 1993? Do you understand me today if you failed to understand me at the
5 A. Thank you. I do see the importance of it, yes.
6 Q. Is it clear to you that I wasn't politicising or dramatising the
7 situation without reason, for no reason at the time?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Then I have to ask you another question. In your observations at
10 various places, did you come to proclaim the military police almost as a
11 political organisation? Did -- were those people killed at rostrums,
12 perhaps, while we were speaking? I don't think so, and I'm sure you'll
13 agree with me on that point, won't you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know that many military policemen lost their lives
16 precisely at checkpoints where they were controlling the passage of people
17 and goods, that they were brutally killed by shelling or whatever, and you
18 were a witness yourself in Bosnia at that junction at Nova Bila. Do you
19 remember that incident at Nova Bila?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Beese, I have had very positive experiences from our wartime
3 Q. Well, I think that certain events are seen better close up than
4 from a distance. You would agree, wouldn't you? We worked together a
5 great deal at the time, didn't we? But let's leave that alone for now,
6 although I can't keep silent, and I do understand my Defence counsel when
7 she was very emotional when she referred to the insults you hurled at the
8 Croats in Herzegovina.
9 Why did you choose Siroki Brijeg for living in if it was so bad?
10 Why didn't you go to Jablanica? Was your security and safety good or bad
11 at that time there? Did those people insult you, perhaps? Did they
12 perhaps attack you in any way?
13 A. The choice of Siroki Brijeg was made before I arrived. However,
14 it was a convenient position from which to work into Mostar. At the time,
15 it was seen to be more important that we engaged with the senior officials
16 at the HVO and others in Mostar than those in the provincial towns.
17 The people of Siroki Brijeg, some were very hospitable, some were
18 certainly not.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to clarify one more point. In -- you
20 say at one point when the people of Siroki Brijeg go to Germany, they go
21 to their patrons. What do you mean by "patrons"? What did you mean when
22 you used that word?
23 A. Not a derogatory word at all. It was simply that there was a
24 sound relationship between the people of that area who worked as guest
25 workers in Germany as opposed to anywhere else. Certainly not a
1 derogatory term.
2 Q. I don't think you're being honest, sincere. I was very grateful
3 to my own patrons, but it was my impression when I read that that you were
4 alluding to World War II. Would that be correct?
5 A. A special relationship between Herzegovina, say, for instance, and
6 Germany may endure for many years. I was referring specifically at that
7 time to the relationship between Germany and Herzegovina for guest workers
8 in the years prior to the conflict in Bosnia. That is, the more recent
10 Q. Well, I'm -- you know that I cannot be satisfied with your answer,
11 and I don't think other people would be satisfied either, but I'd just
12 like to remind you of this, that most of the people of Herzegovina went to
13 Germany and other countries of Western Europe and America - there are more
14 people living over there than there are living in my village - just to
15 survive, to have bread to eat, not for political patronage or any other
16 patronage. And if you didn't know the truth before, I'm telling you now.
17 The people of Herzegovina -- or Herzegovina was not a state. It was an
18 area which suffered greatly and had to go through very harsh times during
19 the times of Yugoslavia, and that's why they had to leave.
20 So I thank you for your cooperation, more your wartime cooperation
21 with me than your cooperation now. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 7.00 p.m., which means that
23 we have concluded business for today. We shall reconvene tomorrow
24 afternoon at 2.15.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 22nd day
2 of August, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.