2 Wednesday, 23 August 2006
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
10 Case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone on
12 this Wednesday. We'll finish -- or we'll continue with the cross-
13 examination and the end of the cross-examination of Mr. Beese. In line
14 with what my colleagues said yesterday, I'd like to remind you that we are
15 very careful in monitoring the time used by the Defence. We've been able
16 to see that some abuse has been going on in time -- in the use of time, and
17 we might even consider taking sanctions if we find that our directions, our
18 orders, are not complied with. As a result, for the time left for the
19 examination of Mr. Beese, we have one hour and a half until the first
20 break, and then you'll have another hour and a half until the second break,
21 and that will be the end of it. In other words, after the second break,
22 we'll start examining the next witness.
23 Therefore, as a whole for the Defence, and I'm not going to say
24 what time is going to be allocated to the Defence of Mr. Praljak and the
25 previous counsel, on the whole you have three hours left. Let's not waste
1 any more time.
2 I'll now give the floor to the following counsel: The counsel
3 started -- was cross-examining Mr. Beese yesterday. You have the floor.
4 WITNESS: CHRISTOPHER BEESE [Resumed]
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yesterday,
6 we asked for two hours. I need to say this for the record: In view of
7 what Your Honour has just said, according to yesterday's decision, I should
8 take an hour and five minutes, but because I don't want to harm the defence
9 of Mr. Praljak, I will do my best within an hour.
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Beese, the last document I showed you
13 yesterday was document 2D 00021. It was a Defence order, and I will ask
14 for it to be shown on e-court. I told you yesterday that it was very
15 important, and your response was that you hadn't seen it. I will, however,
16 draw your attention to some portions of this document because I feel it is
17 indeed important. 2D 00021.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we don't have
19 anything on our screens. Very well.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. If we could take a look at point 1.2. That's the lower part --
22 well, on the next page, in fact. Yes. 1.2. I wish to read the sentence
23 before the last which reads as follows, and you can follow it on the
24 monitor. And let me remind you it's a Defence order: "In subsequent
25 operations, attack from the wing along the following axes: Semovac-Podhum,
1 Balinovac and Centre 2-Rudnik. Assign the seizing of Hum hill to part of
2 the forces."
3 Can we now look at 1.8, and in the translation it's on page
4 0098. Yes. Thank you. And here it says "The RBH MUP has the task to take
5 positions and defend the old bridge and the newly-built bridge at Musala,
6 and with part of the forces attack the premises of the MUP and the HZ and
7 the Mostar police station."
8 In 1.9, it says: "The reconnaissance platoon has the task of
9 taking the premises of Electrohercegvina. After taking the premises,
10 persistently defend them, and cut-off electricity only when requested from
11 the brigade."
12 From the text of this defence order and the codes we saw
13 yesterday, we may conclude -- well, it's my conclusion that this is an
14 order for attack, in fact.
15 Yesterday, from the report of your mission, 1981 of the 20th of
16 March, we saw that at that time Mr. Ganic was in Mostar. Am I right in
17 saying that? This was the day when, in the report we saw yesterday, it
18 said a meeting had started on the 18th of April and was interrupted by Mr.
19 Stojic. Is that correct?
20 Do you know, yesterday we saw that Mr. Ganic was a member of the
21 Presidency? Are you aware that at the same time he was the Supreme
22 Commander of the armed forces, and do you know that the Presidency of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina was the Supreme Commander of the army of Bosnia-
24 Herzegovina? Are you aware of that?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Well, yesterday, you put forward the assumption that Mr. Ganic
2 was the deputy president of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Does not it seem a little
3 illogical that on a day when he's going to Geneva for peace negotiations an
4 order such as this is issued, on the very same day when he is in Mostar?
5 A. It is. I'd be very interested to know when this order came into
6 the possession of the HVO headquarters.
7 Q. Well, I think it's much more important to see when it was
8 actually written, but you say you knew nothing about it. Am I right?
9 A. Which means it wasn't presented to us by any party, that issuing
10 it or that receiving it, by whatever means.
11 Q. At the time we are talking about, and yesterday we concluded that
12 Mr. Stojic intervened that day on the meeting of the 18th of April because
13 of certain attacks and preparations for attack on the HVO. Did you perhaps
14 check whether there were, in fact, any such orders to attack and any
16 A. I had no means, nor did my mission, of interrogating the military
17 intentions of either party, but either party was at liberty to present
18 their findings to us.
19 Q. Yes, but from your reports, it follows that the opinions
20 presented to you by the HVO were disregarded by you because you thought it
21 was their propaganda. Am I right?
22 A. It was essential that if people came with claims we could
23 substantiate them, that is all.
24 Q. I will go back to this interrupted meeting. Mr. Stojic said that
25 attacks had been launched on the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The meeting
1 was interrupted in order to check these allegations. Were these
2 allegations, in fact, checked by your mission?
3 A. The people to whom Mr. Stojic made these remarks were the head of
4 the ECMM mission in the region, Mr. Prlic and Mr. Ganic. Three very senior
5 people were present to be able to hear the complaint and to react to it.
6 Q. But my question was different. In view of the fact that the head
7 of your mission was at the meeting, were you given any instructions to
8 check -- within the scope of your mission, to check what Mr. Stojic had
10 A. It was very difficult at that time. There was active conflict
11 under way. We would not have had the resources to check everything we
12 would have wished to do so.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. I will now move on briefly to another
15 During the examination-in-chief and also during cross-
16 examination, you referred quite often to the situation in Gornji Vakuf in
17 early and mid-January, 1993. Could we please take a look at some documents
18 concerning this topic. Could we see 2D 00093, please.
19 As we can see -- could we look at the date. Yes, the 27th of
20 January, 1993. Mr. Alija Izetbegovic and Mr. Mate Boban signed a joint
21 statement in Geneva, and point 1 is very important to us. "We command that
22 confrontations (clashes) between the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO
23 stop immediately. We call upon the Croatian and Muslim people for complete
24 support because clashes are of use to the aggressor only."
25 Do you remember having seen this statement? Because all this
1 was taking place at the time we are talking about and Gornji Vakuf.
2 A. I am aware of the statement. I can't recall, I'm afraid, in what
3 form I saw or heard it.
4 Q. Very well. And in connection with this statement, could we look
5 at document 2D 00048.
6 Can we please look at page 001 in order to see what this
7 document is about. And while we're waiting for that page to turn up, it is
8 a document confirming that Mr. Sefer Halilovic, the commander of the armed
9 forces at that time, made a statement for El Pais, a Spanish newspaper.
10 This is his statement. We can show how we obtained this interview if
11 necessary, but I only wish to draw your attention to the date here, the
12 27th of January, 1993. And I wish to draw attention to the second
13 sentence: "No one can destroy the idea of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a
14 unitary and sovereign state through any kind of negotiating. Negotiations
15 are welcome, but in the opposite case we shall win on the battlefield."
16 This statement was made at the same time when Mr. Boban and Mr.
17 Izetbegovic were signing the joint statement, and here we see unitary
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This would be a Bosnia-Herzegovina in which the idea
19 of one man, one vote would prevail, and this was the idea advocated by the
20 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the political structures of Bosnia-
22 Now, look at the next sentence: "Halilovic's opinion most
23 probably has a greater importance even than the opinion of the president,
24 Alija Izetbegovic, since although he does not have a chair negotiating
25 table in Geneva, he represents all those who are fighting on the front
2 I'll show you two more sentences. Could we scroll down a little
3 bit. A little bit more, please. Yes. Now we have it. It's the end of
4 the last paragraph that can be seen on the screen.
5 "In Gornji Vakuf, they learnt a lesson and now they're asking
6 for a cease-fire."
7 Because you said that it was the HVO obstructing negotiations on
8 a cease-fire. Doesn't it follow from this that it was in fact the army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina dictating the conditions for a cease-fire and for
10 negotiations? Let's not forget that this is an interview given by Sefer
12 A. I'm afraid I can't comment on the activity in Sarajevo or Geneva
13 at this time, but certainly at the talks around the table in Gornji Vakuf,
14 the instructions given by senior commanders of both sides for a cease-fire
15 and withdrawal were adhered too more readily by one side than the other.
16 MS. NOZICA: All right. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which party adhered to the
18 cease-fire better than the others?
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the Bosnian Muslim party at the table
20 were more enthusiastic and prepared to withdraw or effect a cease-fire
21 sooner, faster than the HVO.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The counsel read out excerpts
23 of an interview given by Halilovic to El Pais. He seems to take a position
24 that is slightly opposed to that of Izetbegovic. How can you take a
25 position that is slightly opposed to that of Izetbegovic. How can you
1 explain these different positions taken on the one hand by the military and
2 on the other hand by the politicians?
3 THE WITNESS: I can't, I'm afraid, Your Honour.
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Precisely because you are defending your standpoint,
6 and I appreciate this, the standpoint expressed in your reports, it's my
7 task to show you some things that are different from what you said. I wish
8 to point out two more details from this interview.
9 Could we scroll down to the very end of the page. Yes. Thank
11 I will read the last part. You'll probably be able to find it
12 where Mr. Halilovic criticises the control of the international community
13 from the very beginning of the conflict, and he says: "If Europe doesn't
14 change its attitude, we will take measures and initiate terrorist actions
15 on their territories. Many European cities will burn in flames. They have
16 tied our hands and feet before an aggression of an army that we used to
18 This is referring to the Serbian aggression. And then, when
19 speaking of the troops in Bosnia up the United Nations flag, Commander
20 Halilovic carefully distinguishes between the behaviour of individual
21 countries and says: "The Spanish Battalion are behaving properly. The
22 French, however, are clearly helping the aggressor and 60 per cent of the
23 soldiers of the Canadian contingent are of Serbian origin. There's no need
24 to comment any further."
25 This last part of Mr. Halilovic's statement shows that
1 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, people thought that some people from
2 some countries were showing certain sympathies or certain prejudices
3 towards the different nations. Did you come across that during -- in the
4 course of your work?
5 A. I did come across a different interpretation of situations
6 between some of the United Nations battalions, yes. I cannot account for
7 the comments made in the interview here. They're very interesting.
8 Q. I wasn't asking you about other missions such as the UN. I meant
9 to ask whether there was any prejudice within your mission with respect to
10 the members of the particular armies.
11 A. I believe it would be correct to say that there were some
12 sympathies, some natural sympathies, between some of the national
13 contingents. I do not believe that they played out in practice. There
14 were, during most of our meetings, monitors from at least three countries
15 present, usually more in the region of five or six.
16 Q. Can you tell me whether at any point you had open complaints from
17 anyone within the European mission, complaints about partiality in your
18 reports or accusing only one side in certain situations?
19 A. Yes, I did. In particular, I remember a discussion in the Hotel
20 I Zagreb, where I think if my memory is correct, the Greek delegation
21 questioned our analysis and the difference between that and what media was
22 reporting. I think in the end we were able to demonstrate that actually
23 our reporting was correct in terms of the facts and analysis and that media
24 were wrong on that occasion.
25 Q. Could we take a look at Prosecution document 52051. In these
1 documents, while we -- which we have, there were at least two such
2 challenges, but let's look at this document, 2051. P 2051.
3 If we can look at the date on the first page. This is a
4 document dated the 1st of May. Let's look at page 1. But I wish to refer
5 to something on page 2 under point 3. Can we see point 3? Yes.
6 "The head of the Zenica regional centre who together with
7 General Morillon, headed the negotiations between the HVO and BH, on the
8 conclusion of the cease-fire agreement 10 days ago, has summed up his
9 observations on the conflict between the HVO and the BH in the report
10 enclosed on the situation in Central Bosnia. He places responsibility for
11 the conflicts that arose squarely on the shoulders of the Bosnian
12 Croatians. ECMM HQ did not endorse HRC/Zenica's desire to lift the arms
13 embargo imposed on the Muslims ..."
14 Do you remember this?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could we say that this is another example of your receiving a
17 direct challenge to what was stated in the reports?
18 A. I think the letter speaks for itself. It says that there is a
19 difference of opinion on the raising of sanctions. That's a policy issue.
20 It has nothing to do with analysis or matters on the ground.
21 Q. The report I just showed you was referring to a report compiled
22 on the 1st of May.
23 If we could look at the document 2168. It's also dated the 1st
24 of May. 2168.
25 2168, the 1st of May, 1993. Could we look at the last page,
2 Is this the last page? Is this the report that the previous
3 document was referring to? Let's see who signed it. "If such political
4 action is not possible, the only just solution would be lifting the arms
5 embargo, at least for defensive weapons."
6 All this places responsibility exclusively on the Croats. It's
7 a report by Mr. Thebault, who justifies everything that the Muslim forces
8 have done. He says they're acting out of desperation, because these
9 desperate conditions of living explain the return to religion even of old
10 communists. And he places the blame entirely on the Croats. And then
11 there was a response by Christian Warming.
12 Is this the situation that this report refers to, saying that
13 the lifting of the arms embargo is not something that can be agreed to?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. So except for what you said a moment ago, and I have a note
16 written down where you say that later on your analysis showed that you were
17 right, although that should be the subject of examination for which I
18 unfortunately don't have time. So these were two situations --
19 A. I must point out that that was referring a different incident.
20 It's not the same matter. Sorry.
21 Q. Yes. Yes. That's what I said. This is another case, a
22 different incident. The other one was a different one, and this is a
23 different one where we see open lack of agreement.
24 Now, we spoke about the ultimatums yesterday. I have my main
25 topic and my subtopics, and I'll try to get through all of them. I'm
1 afraid I won't be able to do that, but can we see 2D 00090 as the next
2 document, please.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, with respect to the
4 question that was just asked, the last paragraph of the document signed by
5 Mr. Thebault seems to indicate that there was a political drive towards
6 Croatia and the Croats of Bosnia, but that if ever that political action
7 was not crowned with success, then a solution would be -- that would be
8 effective was to lift the embargo on defensive weapons firstly. So was
9 that the ECMM's position as far as a solution was concerned?
10 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, thank you. There were a number of
11 solutions suggested. This is a message sent by, I must be careful of my
12 words here, but a desperate ambassador seeking a solution to a desperate
13 situation. We were asking for a number of measures to be taken on both
14 parties to restrain them at a time when conflagration in the area seemed
15 almost certain. That is not fighting in some areas but fighting across the
16 areas. This was one solution from a man within the area. There would, of
17 course, have been other options available to politicians and diplomats
18 outside the area.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Nozica.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. I asked for a document linked to the ultimatum. Let me repeat
22 the number of the document. It is Defence Exhibit 2D 00090.
23 This is a document of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
24 Ministry of Defence. The date is the 21st of January. It is signed by the
25 minister. The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ministry of Defence.
1 Now, you spoke about an ultimatum linked to January, 1993,
2 yesterday, and in response to Mr. Karnavas's question you said you never
3 saw it.
4 Now, I'd like to ask you -- or I'll read it out. I'll read the
5 order out. It says: "Deadline for the order of the 16th of January, 1993,
6 to be completed determined for January the 20th at 2400 hours is extended
7 until the end of the peace talks in Geneva."
8 And it is signed by Minister Bozo Rajic and it was delivered to
9 the Main Staff of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Main Staff of the
10 army of Republika Srpska, the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-
11 Herzegovina, the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, UNPROFOR, the ESMM in --
12 with its HQ in Sarajevo.
13 Have you ever seen this order or command as it says? Were you
14 aware of its contents if you hadn't actually seen the order?
15 A. I had not seen the order, and I was not aware of its contents.
16 Q. I would now like to go back to a question -- well, in your
17 statement, or in an ECMM report of yours and it was Prosecution Exhibit P
18 02620, refers to Mr. Stojic directly. And since I have very little time
19 left -- 2620 is the number. It is a report -- yes, that's the report. Can
20 we take a look at point 4, please. Second paragraph, point 4. Second
21 paragraph of point 4. It is the last sentence, in fact, and it says: "The
22 HVO -- the office of the HVO minister of defence, Mr. Bruno Stojic, has and
23 is frequented by arms salesmen, many of them from Germany."
24 That is your report. Do you remember? You signed it.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you explain to us on what basis you were able to conclude,
2 because you said you had five meetings with Mr. Stojic, how were you able
3 to conclude what you did, make these conclusions? What grounds? Did you
4 see those people? Did you meet those people? Did you talk to these
5 people, or did somebody else give you information to that effect?
6 A. In visits to Mr. Stojic's office, I saw people. I saw boxes of
7 equipments. I asked people accompanying me, some of them Croat, afterwards
8 who these people would be, and that is the basis of my report.
9 Q. I'm not sure I understood you fully. The people who brought the
10 boxes were Germans, were they?
11 A. It was explained to me by people I asked afterwards that they
13 Q. I don't understand. I apologise. You saw some people, and
14 somebody told you that they were selling arms, arms salesmen, and then they
15 brought these boxes full of arms on the spot. Doesn't that seem a little
16 improbable during a time when there was an embargo in force that somebody
17 should come and see the minister directly with boxes, openly shows the
18 contents of those boxes? And let me remind you that you said they had come
19 previously as well and that most of them were from Germany. So this is a
20 definite finite verb, that you draw the conclusion that they came
21 previously, that they came on that occasion. So did somebody tell you
22 about that every time, or did you see for yourself that that was indeed the
24 A. I hope there's nothing lost in translation here. I did not
25 suggest that they bought arms and sold them on the spot. I said that when
1 I visited that office I saw people. I saw boxes. I asked other people
2 afterwards who these people may have been, and I was told by those people
3 that they were German arms salesmen.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may. You seem to assume that the boxes
5 held weaponry. What is this assumption based upon? Were there labels, or
6 were they open?
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, they looked like munitions boxes.
8 They were of a certain pattern of wood and paint that suggested they were
9 munitions boxes. And I asked people afterwards who those people may have
10 been. I understood the replies to be that they were German arms salesmen.
11 I'm sorry, I cannot give you better definition of that. Sorry.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I know those boxes, so I can
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Beese, you who were a
15 British army officer and who went to the famous academy at Sandhurst, a
16 professional like yourself, if he sees arms boxes, can he not identify the
17 origins, whether they were munitions from the United States, for example,
18 or from Russia, or from Germany, or from France, Great Britain, or whatever
19 else? Those boxes of munitions, as a technician, where would you say those
20 arms came from? Because the salesmen might have been German, which doesn't
21 mean to say that the munitions were from Germany necessarily.
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, thank you. I take your point
23 precisely. I was not able to tell at the distance where they came from. I
24 would have liked to have been able to, but it was not -- it was not
25 protocol for us to probe and poke what was happening. We asked questions
1 afterwards. In the same way we had to be extremely careful about asking
2 questions and endeavouring to inspect the presence of foreign troops on the
3 soil, whether they came from Croatia, from the Middle East. These were
4 delicate matters.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Nozica.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. However, although according to what you've just explained Their
8 Honours there was absolutely unreliable information, you say at a distance.
9 Well, what distance was this? Because I saw boxes like that during the
10 war, too, but what was the distance that you couldn't read what it said on
11 the boxes? If you enter an office, and we have had occasion to see it,
12 then there's no great distance there from which you would not be able to
13 see the writing on the boxes. So you didn't see the contents of the boxes.
14 You weren't able to establish where the boxes were from. You just said
15 that you heard somebody else say that these were arms salesmen and that
16 they were Germans at that, and then you put all this down as a fait
17 accompli in your report. You don't say alleged or leave a little leeway
18 there, you just put it down as something that is very exact and correct.
19 Am I right?
20 A. In the context of this report, which covers HV involvement in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I couldn't either tell you whether a T-55 tank had been
22 made in any one of the East Bloc countries if I was standing next to it.
23 The report covers the presence of foreign arms and a supply of them into
24 the country. If that report by me in connection with this is incorrect and
25 they were not German arms salesmen, I apologise. It doesn't change the
1 weight of the report.
2 Q. Mr. Beese, it is not my intention to enter into polemics, nor can
3 I do that in the court, but I'm just saying that you wrote down something
4 in your report that you did not check out 100 per cent, which you could
5 have done.
6 When you speak of the presence of foreign arms, you spoke in
7 fact of the presence of elements of the Croatian army on the territory --
8 on HVO territory, and you spoke about licence plates on cars, on vehicles.
9 Can you tell me whether any -- there is any difference between the licence
10 plates that the HV had and the HVO in colour, shape, or any other
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Ms. Nozica, you have said you
13 didn't want to be polemic. Now you tell the witness that he did not
14 control elements that he could have controlled, but he has just said that
15 he could not. So on what do you base the assumption that he could verify
16 more exactly what ammunition was in the boxes and where it came from? He
17 said he could not, and you have not contradicted it.
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is not my intention
19 to deny something that is a notorious fact. If the witness says that at
20 that distance he couldn't read what was written on the boxes, it seems
21 logical that if you enter this in your report, you could approach the box
22 and take a look. And also, it is logical -- well, the witness is sticking
23 to his guns. He stated that quite clearly. But I consider that my
24 conclusion, my final conclusion was a logical conclusion to be drawn from
25 the witness's answer.
1 So the first pocket was to draw closer to the boxes and have a
2 look. The second possibility was to try and see the contents in some way.
3 And the third possibility was to talk to the people, which I would have
4 done, although I don't have much experience as an operative. But I would
5 have spoken a few words with those people and tried to see where they were
6 from, what language they spoke, then once I had done that this would have
7 given me more or less reliable material to be able to make that kind of
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So you reject the witness's statement that such
10 control was outside protocol within the context of his mission. You say
11 that is not true. There was no such restraint. He could have -- contrary
12 to what he says, you tell him that his mission, in fact, allowed him to
13 approach the boxes, to inspect them, apparently.
14 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think that the
15 mission is important here. We know what the mission was. But if this kind
16 of conclusion is drawn and placed in a report without routine verification
17 of the type that I mentioned, I didn't say that the mission had the right
18 to examine the contents of boxes, but just routine control, routine checks
19 that could have been done, then this is an assumption, and it is my job to
20 do that, to challenge what is stated and to establish whether what was
21 written down was done on the basis of research or just on the basis of
22 assumptions. And it is my conclusion that the witness's conclusion was
23 made on the basis of an assumption.
24 I can see that the witness has raised his hand.
25 THE WITNESS: If you may permit me, Your Honours. To understand
1 the seriousness of the situation here, when one of our vehicles closed in
2 on a truck with HV plates and endeavoured to photograph it, our vehicle was
3 fired upon by the occupants. That is the type of action I cautioned our
4 teams not to undertake. This energetic and enthusiastic team did.
5 That is the seriousness with which these issues are dealt with
6 and the context in which we operated.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I asked you something quite different. What is the difference,
9 do you remember, whether there was any difference and, if so, what
10 difference to the best of your recollection existed between the licence
11 plates on HVO vehicles and HV vehicles? That was my question.
12 A. If I recall correctly, because I myself observed one, HV vehicles
13 had "HV" on the plates. HVO had "HVO."
14 Q. Was there any difference in colour between the licence plates?
15 A. Not that I recall.
16 Q. I'd like to show you now three examples of licence plates. This
17 is a Mostar licence plate. I'll show you first and then the Trial Chamber
18 after that. These are HVO licence plates. Do you remember them being like
19 that? Yes?
20 A. Yes. On civilian vehicles. And the HVO plate looked similar to
21 a military vehicle.
22 Q. What were they like on military vehicles then?
23 A. Similar to the HVO plate you've just shown me.
24 Q. What do you mean similar? Can you explain that, please?
25 A. I'm afraid I can only say similar because it was not possible to
1 draw that close or to photograph, and I'm afraid after 13 years, I can't
2 recall the minor details.
3 Q. Were they similar in colour?
4 A. I believe so.
5 Q. I'm going to show you HVO [sic] licence plates now. This is what
6 they look like. HV. I'm sorry, I made a mistake. I meant to say HV.
7 A. Then I think we're agreed.
8 Q. Is this similar, in your opinion?
9 A. I replied to your question that HVO plates had "HVO" on them and
10 HV had "HV." That is what you're showing me.
11 Q. But you said they were the same colour too.
12 A. I recall that.
13 Q. They were the same colour, you mean?
14 A. I have also been careful to say that over 13 years it's difficult
15 to recall. When I came up behind an HV vehicle, I was satisfied it was an
16 HV vehicle.
17 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Beese, but I'm going to conclude that it is much
18 easier to recognise licence plates by their colour and if you're close up
19 rather than the letters. Here we can see that the colours of these licence
20 plates are quite different, which can be distinguished and must have been
21 seen at any distance. Am I right?
22 A. I'm not going to dispute that.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. Then we'll move on to another topic. I
24 don't have many topics left. This next one seems to me to be very
1 May we briefly take a look at document 2D 00111, 111. 00111.
2 It is a report of your mission, and it is Prosecution number -- Prosecution
3 Exhibit -- just to mark the document, it is P 03031. Perhaps we'll find it
4 easier that way.
5 Yes. Can we zoom in to where it says M2. This is a report of
6 the 30th of June, 1993. As far as I can see, it is the coordinating centre
7 of Mostar.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Stop, please. The registrar
9 has just told me that this is a confidential document placed under seal.
10 So we will have to go into private session to discuss it.
11 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, Mr.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
17 Q. May we look at the last page, please. The last page of this
18 document. This is the penultimate. The number is 0737. 0737. The ERN
19 number, I can't see that. I can read it out while we get it up on our
20 screens. I assume we've all seen it. Their Honours have one.
21 "The attack of the army, we think, was an attack to survive the
22 very poor situation on the eastern side and to raise morale. On the other
23 hand, it looks like a first step of linking up the Jablanica area with the
24 Mostar area."
25 Do you remember that report? It's a report of the same day, the
1 30th of June. Can you confirm whether you remember this report and whether
2 you remember the event as well?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm not going to show any more documents. All I
5 want to do is to ask you in conclusion whether in your work in compiling
6 your reports travelling around the terrain, did you ever come across
7 prisons where Croats were incarcerated, and do you happen to remember
8 whether you took part in compiling reports either personally or in the
9 manner in which you explained to us yesterday about prisons in which there
10 were Croats precisely at the period we're discussing, that is to say, the
11 period of your mission in January to the 21st of July?
12 A. I believe we reported that there were prisons holding Croats in
13 the Konjic area.
14 Q. Did you establish that there were prisons with Croats? I'm
15 asking you personally. Because I looked through large number of documents,
16 and I came across this fact about a prison in only one document. So did
17 you tour the area, learn about this and write about it or take part in
18 writing any document about prisons in which Croats were being held?
19 Mostar, for example. Do you know that there was a prison in the
20 SDK in the Razvitak department store and in the brotherhood and unity
21 school in Mostar? Did you know about prisons of that type in the material
23 A. I did hear there were such prisons, and in discussions with
24 fellow agencies, in take United Nations high commissioner for refugees and
25 the International Committee for the Red Cross, it was agreed that they were
1 primarily their responsibility. They had better and more continual access.
2 Therefore, they would monitor them for the international community, not us.
3 JUDGE PRANDLER: May I? Thank you for waiting. I simply would
4 like to indicate that the French translation just finished when I started
5 to speak, so it is almost five minutes when the French translation can
6 follow you, and it is -- it is already -- time and again I try to ask all
7 of you, Defence and the witness, et cetera, and even it goes for ourselves,
8 for the Judges as well, and the Prosecution, that really we have to be
9 careful when we are talking. I know that the Defence is in a hurry. I
10 understand this, but it is for everybody's interest that all of us could
11 follow the translation in time. So it is my penultimate request to you.
12 Probably I will repeat it again and again. Thank you very much.
13 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. Your
14 Honour is right. This number of reports and of topics, the number of times
15 the witness has mentioned my client during his examination-in-chief, all of
16 this means that I am under tremendous pressure of time. That is the only
17 reason why these situations arise.
18 Q. Before His Honour's intervention, you said that you left it to
19 other missions to deal with the prisons in which Croats were imprisoned.
20 Did I understand you correctly?
21 A. As a general rule, yes. On occasion, we were asked specifically
22 to investigate reports of Croat detainees, and I can think of one in
23 particular, and that is group of Croatian nuns who were said to be
24 imprisoned in the Konjic area. We did investigate to the best of our
25 ability, and we found them to be in good health. On the other hand, when
1 we asked for access to Muslim detainees in Sovici and Doljani area, we were
2 refused access to them. So it is a difficult business inspecting
3 prisoners, especially when you're denied access.
4 Q. The Court will have an opportunity to familiarise itself with
5 every report that is admitted into evidence. In quite a few of these you
6 mention visits by your mention to the Heliodrom, and I see in this a
7 discrepancy between what you just said, that you left this to others, but
8 let me ask you a brief question. Did you know that in Zenica, where the
9 regional centre was, there were about a hundred Croats imprisoned in the
10 music school from January to April, 1993? Did you know about this, and did
11 you report this to anyone, or do you know that somebody else reported it?
12 A. I was aware of it, and I understand that a number of agencies
13 other than ourselves also understood that, yes.
14 Q. Was this included in your reports? This is the period from
15 January until mid-April, 1993, while you yourself were there. In the same
16 period, there were 250 civilians imprisoned in Mehurici. In the same
17 period in Travnik, Croatian civilians were imprisoned. There were also
18 some imprisoned in the Seretna hotel. I didn't have time to deal with the
19 document dealing with the detention of the entire HVO leadership in Zenica
20 on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of April, 1992.
21 Did you write any reports, or did your regional centre do so,
22 and do you remember these events? And if these events are true and
23 correct, do they alter the picture that follows from your reports, the
24 impression that everything the HVO says about crimes is pure propaganda, as
25 you said?
1 A. I will answer that in full. I think it deserves a longer reply
2 than a yes or a no.
3 I cannot pretend, and nor would my colleagues in the mission,
4 that either we had the answers to every problem in the region or the
5 resources to even investigate every matter in the region. Our priority was
6 inevitably to attend to areas of immediate conflict where people were dying
7 by the moment. We were not able to investigate every report of prisons.
8 We did know that prison existed. We simply did not have the resources to
9 attend to them. And that is not to say that we preferred one side or the
10 other, but there were pressing matters to be addressed first. That does
11 not mean I do not have sympathy for people incarcerated.
12 Q. A prison implies something similar to what you said, organised
13 crime. A prison is merely a consequence, but everything that happened
14 before that was subject of your reporting. I simply wanted to say that the
15 events that resulted in the incarceration of these people cannot be found
16 in the reports for the period while you were reporting.
17 Thank you very much. I have used up my time. I wish to say at
18 the end, and we shall inform Your Honours of this in writing, I was not
19 able to deal with all the topics I intended to deal with during this cross-
20 examination. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic and
22 then Mr. Praljak, who has a number of questions to put to the witness. But
23 first there is a question from the Bench.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, one point of
25 clarification, if I may. When answering the questions put to you by Ms.
1 Nozica about your comment regarding the purchase of weapons by the office
2 of Mr. Bruno Stojic, you stated that during one of your visits you noticed
3 a number of boxes, and you assumed that these were boxes containing
4 ammunition. In that office, you also saw people who, according to your
5 information, might have been of German nationality. Conclusion: This was
6 an example of import of weapons, of purchase of weapons despite the
8 I'd like to know the following considering your experience and
9 your background: I'd like to know if your conclusion related to the
10 violation of the embargo, I'd like to know if that conclusion is based
11 solely on these boxes in the office and on the presence of these people
12 that you assume are Germans in the office, or whether you had other
13 indicia, other information that were -- that led you to reach that
15 Do you understand my question?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. In reply to that, I can say
17 that the comment I made and which has been questioned in detail is a very
18 minor comment in a much larger report which much larger issues at stake. I
19 hope to have been able to alert my superiors to the fact that arms and
20 people were coming in from outside, and if this was an example, it is a
21 small example against a much larger background.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have 15 minutes
23 or -- no, 20 minutes before the break. I'm now going to give the floor to
24 the last Defence counsel and to Mr. Praljak if he has questions to put to
25 the witness. Last counsel on our list is Mr. Kovacic.
1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I ask your leave that
2 my client, General Praljak, begin putting his questions, and then I will
3 put my questions after he does. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Praljak, you
5 have the floor.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 We have been preparing for some 20 days to respond to the examination-in-
8 chief. There is a book with 630 paragraphs containing opinions,
9 assumptions, conclusions preconceived opinions which in our view are
10 erroneous and would require a long, exhaustive and precise examination in
11 order to challenge. Unfortunately, although I have tried and tried to
12 shorten my questions, I don't quite see how this will look.
13 Can we go into private session, please?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
15 [Private session]
11 Page 5401 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are in open
22 session, and we'll now play a number of excerpts of a DVD. This was
23 requested by the Defence, and namely by Mr. Praljak.
24 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have the
25 DVD number before you and a brief summary of each section. Has this been
1 distributed to Your Honours?
2 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, it was distributed.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Could perhaps the Prosecution be provided with a
4 copy of this summary?
5 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, you got it. It's one table, one paper. It
6 looks like -- no, sorry, yours was left on the desk. Sorry. I apologise,
7 Your Honour [microphone not activated].
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
9 [Videotape played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Where it is evident that members
11 of the Arabic world are present here on the territory of the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna. Here we are today in Busovaca."
13 "These are the faces of citizens of the state of Iran. They
14 were in possession of guns and other supplies, which is later stated in
15 their statements."
16 "This is for our togetherness."
17 "This is the main BH army staff department in Visoko found with
18 the persons named in the vehicle."
19 "These are tapes containing music."
20 "Fervor for the killing of Allah's enemies who are stronger
21 than they have ever been."
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] So "Fervor for the killing
23 of Allah's enemies." We can skip over this part now.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] The United Nations
1 participating in the exchange of Mujahedin taken prisoner.
2 [Videotape played]
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. We can
5 [Videotape played]
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation].
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation].
9 [Videotape played]
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Alija Izetbegovic
11 reviewing the troops.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [No interpretation]. [Interpretation] We
14 see children aged under 18.
15 THE INTERPRETER: It's very difficult for the interpreter to
16 hear Mr. Praljak over the tape -- or the DVD.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] All those who were
19 involved in the international network of terrorism have had their names
20 expunged or their faces removed in this way.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Alija Izetbegovic
23 reviewing the Mujahedin troops.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You see the tanks, Mr. Beese?
2 [Videotape played]
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] President Izetbegovic.
4 This is a review of the 7th Muslim Brigade which we do not consider to be a
5 Mujahedin brigade, but it was very religiously oriented with respect to
6 their combat activities.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you know, Mr. Beese, what this greeting means?
10 A. Not specifically, no.
11 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. For your information, these are the five foundations of the
15 Koran, of Islam.
16 A. Thank you.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] They are greeting Allah,
19 not the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Thank you. We can move on.
20 Let's move on.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Beese, would you be surprised if I were to say that the UK
24 and half of Europe is trembling before people like these?
25 A. I understand that.
1 Q. We didn't find this in your reports, Mr. Beese.
2 A. I must reply I wasn't presented with it by you either.
3 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Beese.
4 [Videotape played]
5 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Since there are 40 DVDs that we've supplied to the Court, all testifying --
7 or 98 per cent of them speaking differently to what we find in Mr. Beese's
8 descriptions, I'd like to show you some and talk about them after the
9 break. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But go ahead and
11 ask your question which summarises what you've just been saying, because
12 during the cross-examination, the witness -- the cross-examination was
13 different, but the witness can now answer your questions.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness
15 wrote 630 points about all this. Now, I don't want to enter into polemics
16 with the witness, but if you give me the time to do so, ten hours, then I'm
17 sure we would have an exhaustive discussion and a useful one. But unless I
18 enter into polemics, I can do nothing.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm going to sum
21 Mr. Beese, you've just seen several minutes of excerpts from
22 DVDs. Now, with respect to what you might have written in your reports or
23 writings, what is your point of view today?
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, at the time, the matter of Mujahedin
25 -- [French on English channel]. Sorry. I'll start again, Your Honour.
1 With regard to the Mujahedin, the matter was only ever brought
2 to our attention as a mission when we were present in HVO offices to
3 present a complaint about something else. It was as if it was the primary
4 excuse for the HVO aggression. We were ever available to the HVO at almost
5 any level for them to have presented a case. You can imagine if we had
6 been presented with significant information on either the threat or the
7 outcome of the threat, that we would have passed it to a good number of
8 authorities well beyond us. As it was, we were not presented with this
10 As regards the practical part played by, call them Mujahedin for
11 useful purposes, there are others much better qualified than I serving in
12 the mission who could comment on their practical application on the
14 I do, Your Honour, find this DVD very interesting.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll continue in
16 a while, after the break.
17 I saw Mr. Mundis on his feet, but he'll tell us after the break
18 what he wants to say.
19 It is ten to 4.00. We reconvene at approximately ten minutes
20 past 4.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have an hour and a half
24 left to complete the cross-examination by Mr. Praljak and his counsel, but
25 Mr. Mundis was on his feet a moment ago. Let's hear what he has to say.
1 Mr. Mundis.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I will be as -- as brief
3 as possible and as quick as possible, but I do want to put on the record a
4 number of -- of points at this stage.
5 The first, and again I won't belabour it because I mentioned it
6 yesterday, the first is that the Prosecution remains amenable to agreed
7 facts concerning a number of issues pertaining to the Mujahedin.
8 Second, the Prosecution is of the position that until or unless
9 one or more of the Defence teams can articulate a reason as to why all of
10 this evidence concerning the Mujahedin is relevant, it remains just that,
11 irrelevant to the charges that these six accused face as listed in the
13 And third, and most immediate in light of the current cross-
14 examination, the Prosecution submits, with all due respect to the accused
15 Praljak, that this is not the proper way to conduct a cross-examination.
16 It's simply showing the witness a -- an excerpt of approximately 38
17 minutes, according to the sheet that I was provided with a few moments ago,
18 and then asking him some questions about what's contained in 38 minutes of
19 videotape excerpts is not a proper way to proceed on a number of grounds.
20 First of all, we don't know where these videotapes came from, the dates the
21 videotapes were taken, the location where the videotapes were taken, et
22 cetera. And we could suggest that there are ways to proceed if this
23 witness is to be cross-examined on these issues, but the way that -- that
24 General Praljak is doing so in terms of making speeches or making comments
25 is not an appropriate way to proceed.
1 And again, for the record, we, at this point, want to indicate
2 these three points. I am confident that they will continue to -- that they
3 will continue to be raised, but nevertheless at this point in the
4 proceedings which is the first time where it appears as though extended
5 discussions and conversations and evidence concerning the Mujahedin will be
6 led we want to put it on the record, that we think it is irrelevant, that
7 we nevertheless would be prepared to agree to many of these things if the
8 Defence would propose in writing some stipulated facts, but more
9 particularly at this point, we don't believe that the procedure that is --
10 that has been undertaken is a proper one.
11 MR. KOVACEVIC: [Interpretation] If I may be heard very briefly.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to
14 suggest since this discussion could take a lot of time, as the Prosecution
15 has said he's only saying it for the record, so shall we leave that debate
16 until later on when we tender exhibits, and Praljak will say why he
17 considered it necessary to the videos and what link they have to the
18 testimony and the material shown.
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the
20 indictment, paragraph 17, 37 and 39(a), with respect to joint criminal
21 enterprise, mention is made that we spoke about the -- that we used the --
22 spoke about the Mujahedins and accuse them, and the Mujahedins are
23 mentioned. Therefore, the Mujahedins in all their dimension, their
24 numbers, their extremist opinions, their religious character, and their
25 brutality and numbers, the way in which they arrived, and then that they
1 went all over the world, and these same people, and I have proof of this,
2 took part in New York, in the events in New York. And that is so important
3 that I don't think we can avoid them today, nor could we have avoided them
5 So I rely on -- refer to P 2868, a Prosecution Exhibit on the
6 same topic.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Praljak. So
8 when we said it was irrelevant, you're saying that paragraph 17, 37, and
9 39(a), in your opinion, relate to this problem, and as far as you're
10 concern, it is very useful in your defence case to raise the issue. Is
11 that how we're to understand it?
12 And, Mr. Kovacic, are you going to analyse the problem in that
13 light in a judicial manner?
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. In those
15 paragraphs and in some other paragraphs in the indictment and other
16 documents introduced through this witness, mention is made of the Mujahedin
17 as a category and as the product of HVO propaganda, among other things, for
18 the HVO to win over the Croatian people, which according to the Vance-Owen
19 Plan would come under the Muslim side, that those Croats be resettled into
20 other areas which would come under Croatian control according to the Vance-
21 Owen Plan. And we can present arguments to evidence that. So in that
22 context it is highly relevant.
23 And there's another important context, and I have to put my
24 strategy before the witness, but I'm willing to run that risk. The fact
25 is, Your Honours, that the ECMM, in its reports, is minimising -- minimised
1 the existence of the Mujahedin as a factor to be reckoned with in the area.
2 What we wanted to show is that it was an elephant on the road that was
3 bypassed by the ECMM who refused to see this enormous elephant on the road.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, do you want to
5 ask Mr. Beese any questions?
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Beese, do you know when the first Mujahedin began to arrive
8 in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Yes or no?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Do you know in 1993, according to internationally relevant
11 sources, how far the ECMM knew about their numbers and what their numbers
12 were in Konjic and in Mostar?
13 A. I don't think we knew, no.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] The number that is
15 mentioned in relevant documents is 5.000. Thank you.
16 Now, may we see the next document, and I'll tell you what it's
17 about. They are the names and surnames --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, no objections
19 which are not focused. Go ahead.
20 MR. MUNDIS: I would like to see the document that makes
21 reference to 5.000 Mujahedin in Konjic and Mostar. If that document could
22 be produced, please.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Not in Konjic and Mostar
24 but the total number in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And among other things, in
25 Mostar and Konjic as well, but the figure refers to the whole area.
1 Q. Yes. May we have the next document, the names and surnames of
2 those from the Mujahedin ranks from other countries who had to leave
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina under pressure from a major world power. Of course,
4 when the problem of the Mujahedin began to affect it after that famous 9/11
5 date in New York.
6 A little slower, please.
7 Now, Mr. Beese, do you recognise any of these people? Did you
8 ever meet any of them?
9 A. No.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, where does the
11 document come from?
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] It comes from official but
13 not public sources. And because they are secret services, the secret
14 services of several countries, in fact, and certain persons from Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina as well, I would not like to mention any names, because I could
16 put their lives at risk.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but, Mr. Praljak,
18 the document was handed to you either by Croatian secret services or
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina or some other country, whatever, but you say that you
20 cannot tell us who gave you these documents because you don't want to
21 imperil the source; is that right?
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document
23 was compiled -- may we go into private session for me to give an
24 explanation, please?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] After public pressure --
2 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, out of an abundance of caution, I
20 would strongly suggest that this material not be made public at this point
21 in time and that it be placed under seal, if Mr. Praljak is intending on
22 exhibiting it.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. Now go ahead
24 and ask your question, Mr. Praljak.
25 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would like 3D 00322 to
1 be played now, please, the next document.
2 Your Honour, I prepared the document, which deals with 22
3 municipalities in which, from Central Bosnia towards Mostar, Mr. Beese
4 moved around and in which there were conflicts between two sides and even
5 three sides. The document was the result of a lot of information and facts
6 and figures, and it enumerates crimes against Croats from 1991 to 1995,
7 crimes committed against the Croats.
8 This is the document. Unfortunately because of the time
9 constraints, I have selected only Konjic. So may we see the Konjic
10 document, please.
11 In the Konjic municipality in a brutal manner, 85 persons were
12 massacred in the following places: Gostovici, Gorani, Boksevica, Trusina,
13 Radesine, Celebici, Orahovica, Zabrdge, Polje Bijela, Spiljani, Ovcari,
14 Galjevo, Ovcari, Podorasac, Vrci, Gornja Visnjevica, Orliste, Mrkosovice,
15 Buscak I and Junkici.
16 May we have the next page, please?
17 Mr. Beese, these are the dates and the names of the victims will
18 be published later on.
19 Next number, please.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Again, Mr. President, is this a question that's
21 being put to the witness? We would object to this type of procedure.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I assume that Mr. Praljak will
23 get to a question eventually, but before he asks his question he wants to
24 show the witness the document. He can't ask the question before he shows
25 the witness the documents.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 How can I put my question to the witness if, in the words of Mr. Beese,
3 published in his reports, I do not juxtapose this with documents
4 challenging and denying those reports? If I ask him about his reports,
5 I'll receive the same words coming from him that he used in writing his
6 report, and that's quite normal.
7 Q. On the 25th of March, 1993, Orliste, four victims, on the 23rd of
8 March, 1993, Vrci, 9 victims. Buscak, the 13th and 14 it is of April,
9 Gostovici on the 23rd of March, 1993, 4 victims. Next page, please, we can
10 skip over the rest. Yes, it's easy for us to skip over the dead.
11 Let's look at Trusina. On the 16th of April, 1993, 23 victims.
12 Those are all the persons who at that point in time were in the village.
13 I'd like to highlight the date, the 16th of April, which is when
14 the crime in Ahmici took place. Ahmici rightly became a symbol of crimes
15 committed by somebody belonging to the Croatian people, but Trusina don't
16 exist anywhere. You won't find Trusina in anybody's report, including your
17 own, Mr. Beese. Isn't that right? No mention of Trusina. Yes or no? As
18 far as your report is concerned.
19 A. I couldn't get into that area because of your people. So I
20 didn't know. So the answer to your question is no.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Next, please. Take a look
22 at the dates to save time on reading them out. Their Honours will be able
23 to read your reports, and they will be able to see that you went to Konjic
24 regularly, and even on one occasion you returned the buses, sent the buses
25 back in order to retain your neutrality. Buses which were supposed to have
1 pulled out the Croats from Celebici, for example, take them back. And your
2 words were that they would be completely safe there.
3 Now, what kind of safety and security existed in Konjic with 17
4 -- where the Croatian population numbered 17 per cent is something that
5 these documents show. Thank you.
6 And now the last part. On this document, we can see the
7 municipalities that were dealt with in the broader document, and the total
8 number of victims is 1.148 outside combat activities. That is to say, not
9 killed in combat operations.
10 May we now see just one more page. For compiling this
11 presentation, the following material was used: Books, documents, et
12 cetera. They're all publicly accessible, of course, through the engagement
13 of my own team. Thank you.
14 In one point of your report, and because I'm going through this
15 very quickly I haven't found it yet, but anyway, Mr. Beese, you were in
16 charge, among other things, of taking care of - it is paragraph 34 - of the
17 social and economic activities. Death is certainly a social activity, at
18 least where the spirit is concerned. Fear, pain, hatred, sadness,
19 especially when the number of victims is over a thousand.
20 On the territory which at that time was no longer populated by
21 180.000 Croats. So as a piece of information for the Trial Chamber and
22 you, I have some calculations to show you. Can we show it on the overhead
23 projector, please, on the ELMO? Can we display this document?
24 Can we zoom in on the whole page so we can see the whole page.
25 The whole page, please. Zoom out so we can see the whole page. Thank you.
1 This is mathematics, the arithmetic of death, which is taught in
2 primary school. They are divisions, multiplications, additions and
3 subtractions, and what I calculated is the following: If you take 180.000
4 inhabitants, and we have 1.184 victims, or 1.200, both civilians and
5 prisoners, then calculated on the example of France that that is a
6 population of 60 million or the United Kingdom which also has roughly 60
7 million, a population of 60 million, this would be 400.000 dead, the ratio.
8 If we look at the United States of America, then that proportion would be 2
9 million victims, 2 million persons dead, just on that basis.
10 So my question to you is as follows: For social and economic
11 reasons, did you ever ask yourself what the social psychopathology was of
12 the people, of a people with so many dead? If we were to compare this to
13 America, that would be 2 million dead, killed outside combat. Or in France
14 or in the United Kingdom, this figure would be 400.000 dead,
15 proportionately, let alone the situation that prevailed in our country with
16 no electricity, supply difficulties and so on. Did you look at that kind
17 of psychology and the psychological problems that this led to? Because I
18 never saw anything of the kind in any of your reports. You didn't deal
19 with anything like that.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Beese, would you answer
21 the question, please. The accused has just told us that on the basis of
22 his calculations, there was 1.184 victims outside combat for a global
23 population of 180.000, and he was drawing a parallel with other countries
24 such as France, Great Britain, and the United States if they had the same
25 number of victims proportionate to the number of inhabitants. So I'd like
1 to refine that question further and say: How come in your reports you make
2 no mention of the importance of those victims and how this was reflected on
3 the population concerned?
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, to us, any death was a concern, and
5 actually, 5, 10, 15, 20, is significant, but ultimately it's still death.
6 Where we had reports of death or issue, we endeavoured to look into it. We
7 had relatively few resources. Sometimes we had reports of massacres, and
8 we simply couldn't enter the area. We much regret this. Any of us would.
9 But I can't quite see what the point is here, Your Honour. Perhaps I'm
10 missing something. But to us, any death is a concern. And I constantly
11 hear reference to my reports about how I don't report something for one
12 side and do for the other. I think if you look through my account, I make
13 reference to the actions of both sides. If, for instance, there was
14 extreme activity on one side, you will find a reference to extreme activity
15 on the other side.
16 I would like to have investigated more of these issues, but
17 fundamentally our mission was to attempt to dampen the conflict that gave
18 rise to the incidents rather than, as a police force, respond to every one.
19 In the same way as while the United Nations forces faithfully recorded
20 every impact of shell-fire, our concern was: Why are these shells being
21 fired now at this place and what does it mean?
22 So I apologise if we seem to have paid insufficient attention to
23 the casualties. That was not our intention.
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Beese, I would like to ask a question. In
25 your previous answer when you answered to Mr. Praljak to a certain
1 question, you mentioned that you were not allowed to go to certain places
2 if you wished to go there, and you were prevented to do so by, in your
3 words if I remember well, that "It was prevented by your own people," you
4 said to Mr. Praljak.
5 So my question is if you were really prevented to go anywhere in
6 your -- in your region of duty. Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, yes, we were prevented from entering
8 the area immediately west of Jablanica where we understood that there were
9 problems which needed urgent attention.
10 In the same context as the bus incident referred to earlier, how
11 could we accept when we had established a joint commission of the two
12 sides, Muslim and Croat, that the commission was permitted by one side to
13 enter some areas but not by the other? We had to maintain a neutrality,
14 and we had to encourage, perhaps even coerce, force, other sides to permit
15 us access to territory. It simply wasn't possible.
16 There were times -- sorry. I'm going too fast I expect. There
17 were times when people expected us to investigate an incident and we simply
18 couldn't leave a tunnel without receiving tank fire. This was a very
19 serious business, and we could but complain.
20 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] If we had time, Mr. Beese,
22 I would go through each of your visits to Konjic when Pasalic or Zulfikar
23 Zukaneda [phone] were there and so on, but unfortunately we cannot deal
24 with this fully today.
25 Your Honours, Evan F. Kohlmann after the archives of the secret
1 services of the CIA and others were made public, wrote a book entitled "Al
2 Qaeda's Jihad in Europe, the Afghanistan Bosnian network." It's
3 exhaustive, precise, full of information. So let's take a look at who Mr.
4 Coleman is. Mr. Coleman is an advisor in the United States Justice
5 Department and the FBI for international terrorism. With reference to his
6 book, Mr. Clark of the US Security Council says Coleman's knowledge of this
7 stage of the war on terrorism is complete. And the Prosecutor, in a case
8 concerning the attempt to destroy the VTC in 1993 says that Coleman is one
9 of the leading world experts on terrorism and that he documents this topic
10 in-depth and very knowledgeably.
11 I have prepared 25 points, but there is no chance time-wise.
12 However, let's look at point 16, for example. This is 45 in English.
13 Could you display it for the Judges, please.
14 "As a cultural advisor of Sudan in Vienna in March 1992,
15 Hassanei unofficially had the duty of overseeing the external policy of
16 the MIF in eastern Europe." The MIF is a humanitarian aid organisation.
17 "In an interview given in the 1994, he explained that the issue of the war
18 in Bosnia did not boil down just to making peace or repelling the attacker.
19 Instead, he claimed, "And I quote, "Bosnia must ultimately be Muslim
20 Bosnia. If this does not happen, everything will be pointless and this war
21 will have been for nothing."
22 Your Honour, this gentleman, Hassanei turned up in Zagreb at a
23 humanitarian convention of Muslim countries to provide assistance the
24 Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Could we now look at 17 or English 46.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please ask a
2 question to Mr. Beese in relation to point 16 on page 45 of the book. What
3 question do you want to put to the witness?
4 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
5 Q. My question is the following: Nowhere in his reports have I seen
6 a clear explanation of the ideology that was so present of 5.000 Mujahedin
7 who were in Bosnia-Herzegovina then. How is this represented in his
8 reports? How can you explain this to me?
9 A. On one occasion related in my account, I describe how the mayor
10 of Visoko asked me to view a video of immense concern to him and of concern
11 to me. I do not recall any occasion where the HVO attempted to present in
12 any formal way their concerns. If we were unaware, I apologise, but --
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Praljak. You are here quoting
15 someone who quotes someone else who is from Sudan. He is not a Bosnian.
16 He is not a Muslim from Bosnia. And I think it's a bit far-fetched indeed.
17 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, and I'll
18 tell you why. Because it's only a matter of time, and I cannot read where
19 and when that man said this, it's my inability to bring in four files of
20 documents which this same gentleman was involved in the financing of the
21 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina with hundreds of millions of dollars. These
22 documents originate from the Bundesnachrichten Dienst and the German
23 investigation centres as well as the Austrian investigation centres.
24 Therefore, could we look at 17, English 46. This gentleman --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I have to draw your attention to
1 the fact that this is a statement dated 1994. Magazine interview 1994.
2 That is after Mr. Beese's time there. I think you are really stretching
3 our patience very far by bringing forward material that is hardly possible
4 to link to the issues this witness is called to testify about.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's try to find a way out of
6 this problem.
7 Don't you want to ask the following question to the witness: It
8 seems that whilst you were in theatre, the presence of some 5.000 Mujahedin
9 was mentioned, and apparently the Defence would try and understand the
10 presence of these 5.000 foreign fighters in Bosnia-Herzegovina were
11 fighting either against the HVO or against the Serbs. Why is the presence
12 of these people not mentioned repeatedly in the various reports you would
13 send to the European mission and to the -- and to the relevant authorities?
14 I think that's what Mr. Praljak is trying to a ask bit clumsily
15 and I'm going to phrase the question myself on my own we behalf.
16 How some these 5.000 foreign fighters were never mentioned in
17 your reports? Can you provide an explanation?
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, during my time in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
19 I was aware that there were foreign fighters, if we want to call them that,
20 working for both sides, both Croat and Muslim. I did not have specific
21 details and data or numbers for either party's foreign fighters. If there
22 is a suggestion that there were 5.000 foreign fighters working for the
23 Muslims, then that would have been such an enormous issue and problem in
24 terms of effect on the ground that we could not fail to have noticed it.
25 If, however, we had proven there was a gathering of a significant number
1 somewhere, that would have been a matter for the United Nations Protection
2 Force to address. We might have reported on it, but unfortunately, we did
3 not have the information to report upon. And if there is an oversight
4 there on our part, I can but apologise for our mission.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you can proceed.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Praljak.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] 46, please.
8 Q. "The TWRA," that's another humanitarian organisation, "was also
9 involved in the procurement and transportation of weapons primarily from
10 Sudan and the former Soviet Union directly to the Bosnian front line. In
11 September 1992, western intelligence officials learned of a major ongoing
12 project of the relief agency to ship 120 tonnes of Soviet-made assault
13 rifles, mortars, mines, and ammunition via Sudan and Slovenia to Muslim
14 forces in Bosnia. After Soviet-built transport planes deposited the arms
15 in a Slovenian warehouse leased by the TWRA, chartered helicopters provided
16 by a joint Russian-American venture shuttled the weapons from the warehouse
17 through Croatia directly to Tuzla and Zenica."
18 Mr. Beese, did you see helicopters used by the army of Bosnia-
19 Herzegovina, MI6 Russian made?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you know the number of men under arms in the army of Bosnia-
22 Herzegovina during the time you were in theatre?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Do you know the numbers of the HVO?
25 A. No.
1 Q. There was shooting every day, either against the Serbs or against
2 each other for the most part.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you imagine how many tons of ammunition, shells, and so on
5 were needed every day to be delivered to the theatre for that amount of
6 shooting to take place? How many tons would that be per day in your view?
7 A. I was aware before the conflict and before I arrived that
8 Yugoslavia, as an entire nation, had prepared itself for lengthy war. I
9 understood there were stockpiles of munitions all over the country. So I
10 hadn't specifically asked myself, I'm afraid, how many tons had to be
11 brought in to sustain that kind of conflict.
12 Q. Mr. Beese, we have concluded here umpteen times that the JNA,
13 before the conflict began, cleaned out all the depots of the Territorial
14 Defence to the last bullet. Nothing was left, or what was left was so
15 little there had to be truckloads and truckloads of ammunition rolling in
16 from Croatia every week to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina to make it
17 possible for them to shoot that much. There had to be tank trucks of fuel
18 for tanks to drive around, for helicopters to fly around, and for you to
19 fuel your vehicles. And in your report, you mention two cases which can be
20 used up by five men in one day, five men shooting the way people were
21 shooting there, which you saw with Mr. Bruno Stojic. Allegedly saw.
22 Do you have any explanation for this? What kind of observer
23 were you? What kind of analyst were you? You were someone who was
24 supposed to learn the truth and write about it.
25 A. With respect particularly to HVO resupply, I have commented in my
1 account, and I commented in my official reports that there was an enormous
2 weight of Croatian resupply coming in from Dalmatia. I have commented on
3 helicopters being used by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to resupply
4 the enclaves. I have remarked upon the US aircraft that flew below my
5 hotel window to keep Bosnian helicopters on the ground. I have reported
6 these matters.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Beese, please. My intelligence is not so poor. I keep
10 asking you what were 200.000 members of the armija -- army of Bosnia-
11 Herzegovina using to shoot every day at the Serbs or at the Croats? Where
12 were their weapons coming from, from Belgrade by helicopter or from
13 Croatia, breaking the embargo, violating it? And if there was an
14 indictment here for violations of the embargo, we could have thousands of
15 accused here whom we could lock up right away. If we were not to adhere to
16 the principle that no embargo can prevent the natural right of individuals
17 and nations to self-defence once the aggressor from Serbia was not stopped.
18 Where did they get this from? You were on the ground. You walked around.
19 You investigated. It was your duty to investigate things. Do you have any
20 knowledge about this? Just say yes or no, please.
21 A. First of all, I do not mean to insult your intelligence, and if
22 it comes across that way, I must apologise for that. I do apologise.
23 On the matter of resupply, I have heard claims from the HVO that
24 they resupplied the Muslims for a considerable period during the conflict.
25 Otherwise, I do not have information on resupply, no.
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you. And
2 two more points. English 90. Could we have it displayed?
3 Colonel Stjepan Siber, the deputy of the commander of the army
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the operative commander for Central Bosnia boldly
5 stated for the Western press "It was a mistake to allow Arab guerrillas to
6 come here. Nobody asked them to come. They committed the most crimes and
7 they're working against the interests of the Muslim people. They are
8 killing, looting, and stealing. They are not under the control of the army
9 of BH, and they have to leave. We hope that President Izetbegovic will
10 command them within a few days to leave."
11 This is quoted from Andrew Hawk, "The Trail of the Mujahedin."
12 "Rasim Delic, the then-commander of the Bosnian Muslim army
13 admitted that the foreigners were "perpetrating" senseless massacres like
14 their enemies. They are kamikaze, desperate people." Josip
15 Bogdanski, Iranian and Bosnian leaders and so on, 1993, page 6.
16 This was said by those who had a lot more reason to hide the
17 truth about the Mujahedin than a monitor of the European Union would have,
18 and that's what you were, Mr. Beese.
19 I will skip over a vast amount of material concerning Vakuf.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak. You've just
21 mentioned Colonel Siber quoted by Rasim Delic. What is the question you
22 want to put to the witness in relation what you're trying to establish?
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Beese, did you meet Mr. Delic and Mr. Siber and talk to them
25 about these issues, and, if you did meet them, did they answer any
1 questions you may have put to them about the Mujahedin?
2 A. I met Mr. Delic, on one occasion only, in Jablanica. I met
3 Colonel Siber on a number of occasions in Central Bosnia. The issues we
4 were discussing at the time were, I'm afraid, more to do with HVO
5 aggression into Fojnica than they were about Mujahedin. If I had known
6 more about Mujahedin, I might have asked the questions.
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now
8 move into private session, and I'll have just a few more questions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 5428-5433 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] May we have on the monitor P 3827,
24 that document.
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session.
1 MR. KOVACIC: I hope it is a public document. I checked that.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] It is a document dated the 30th of July, and
4 we'll see that it is a letter signed by Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault,
5 the head of the office in Zenica.
6 I apologise to Mr. Beese. I did not introduce myself, but I
7 assume you've gathered that I am Mr. Praljak's Defence counsel. I omitted
8 it say that.
9 A. Thank you.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, here we have an observation. On page 3 -- we
11 see the date here, the 30th of July, 1993. Zenica, HRC. Last page, page
12 3, please, and the last paragraph on that page. Page 3.
13 Mr. Beese, this is the last portion. Would you read it out,
14 please, the last paragraph? Or, rather, here we see an answer made by your
15 superior, Ambassador Thebault, and according to the date, this was written
16 sometime after you had left. So two or three introductory questions first.
17 We saw earlier on and heard from you that some assertions in the
18 reports were sometimes prepared for several days, because various
19 information came in and then you waited for several days to write
20 something. Is that correct?
21 A. It might be possible, yes.
22 Q. Did you perhaps take part in any way in the preparation of this
23 piece of information or, rather, did you have information on the basis of
24 which this assessment was made and presented in this document?
25 A. Can I see the date again? I don't think so. Can I see the date
1 again, please?
2 Q. The 30th of July, 1993.
3 A. No, Your Honour. I had no part in the preparation of this
5 Q. Very well. Do you happen to know, perhaps, whether Ambassador
6 Thebault talked to General Praljak with respect to his links with the HVO
7 forces or, rather, with Croatia in general?
8 A. I have no idea, I'm afraid.
9 Q. Do you know perhaps that Mr. Thebault might have talked to the
10 Defence Minister, Mr. Susak, about the topic?
11 A. I'm afraid I know nothing in relation to this subject at all.
12 Q. [In English] Okay. [Interpretation] In another document of
13 yours, not to go into private session, you know the one I mean, P 92601,
14 you make no mention anywhere of General Praljak. Did you ever meet him?
15 A. No, I did not.
16 Q. Heard anything about him?
17 A. Only his name.
18 Q. Nothing about his role?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you. I'll try to deal with an area for which I would need
21 more time, but I'll try and do it in the time I have. May we have document
22 P 2692 placed on e-court, please, Mr. Registrar.
23 Mr. Beese, it will come up soon. It is a report of the ECMM
24 dealing with the events of the 8th of June, 1993.
25 A little lower down, please. We can see the date. Yes, there
1 we have it. It is the 9th of June, 1993. And further down we see that the
2 report covers the 8th of June, 1993.
3 May we now turn to page 5 first, please. Page 5.
4 On page 5, we have a title "Special report, Travnik." The 8th
5 of June, 2006. At the bottom of the page. At the bottom of page 5,
6 please. The bottom of page 5, please. [In English] We lost it from the
8 [Interpretation] I suggest we put it on the ELMO since it's gone
9 from e-court. At least I can't see it on e-court.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It's back now.
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] It's reappeared. Thank you.
12 Q. As I was saying, the excerpt that we see here, have you read
13 through it, Mr. Beese?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. From this we can see that the ECMM visited the village of Guca
16 Gora. However, you denied that anything important -- any important
17 incident happened in Guca Gora.
18 Now may we look at page 6, and we'll look at a few excerpts
19 there and then I'll ask you some questions. Page 6, please.
20 And at the top we have a paragraph with the heading "Specific."
21 May we zoom down to the next paragraph. Scroll down. Yes,
23 Would you read out the paragraph beginning "The armija command
24 were questioned about alleged atrocities ..." ? Would you read that
25 paragraph, please. They offered to visit the village. They did visit it.
1 Mirko Ivkic, from Travnik, a priest was present as was UNPROFOR, and you
2 establish what it says here, that the village was empty. That the were
3 refugees in the church. There was one casualty who was treated there, and
4 that the body of a civilian was found. Were you there visiting Guca Gora
6 A. No, I was not.
7 Q. You were not there. Right. Did you hear anything about this
8 report and that visit and the event? You said you worked as a team when it
9 came to important information.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. On page 7 -- may we see page 7 of this document now, please.
12 After the visit, consistent with what it said, would you read
13 out the first excerpt on the page. Here, in a way you imply that they are
14 rumours here again, which could suggest a coherent and coordinated Croatian
15 policy with careful management of information. So that is your main
16 assessment, the assessment you make in that paragraph. Do we agree?
17 A. I did not write this personally. I do understand the events. I
18 would try to understand what you're saying here.
19 There was a report that the church had been burnt and many
20 civilians killed. The patrol of ours went to the village when they could,
21 found the church was still standing intact, and there was one death. That
22 was not the --
23 Q. I apologise, Mr. Beese, but we don't have time to go into that.
24 The documents on our screens, we're all able to read it. We know what it
25 says. All I'm doing is putting this to you, that from the parts we have
1 read, it would emerge that throughout the time you considered that it was a
2 minimal event, a minor event. That's the first point. And second, that it
3 was the fruit of propaganda, that the event was an example of HVO
4 propaganda, in fact. Do you agree with that assertion?
5 A. We had to consider that, yes.
6 Q. However, I could go on showing you a number of reports, but I'm
7 just going to show for the record page 7, RC Zenica on the 8th of June.
8 Then page 8, and so on.
9 So the assertions are the same all through this report. For
10 example, on page 8, assessment. We have an express assessment on your part
11 here, page 8. Somewhere in the middle it says: "We are witnessing the
12 Bosnian Croat propaganda [In English] is best against the Bosnians which
13 will be difficult to diffuse and to clarify with what really happened."
14 [Interpretation] Now, a question. During your previous
15 testimony, you confirmed that you knew, in fact, you had limited resources
16 and that objectively speaking, it was well nigh impossible to establish the
17 facts and what actually happened -- when you tried to establish what
18 actually happened. Would that be right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you stress that here, that it will be difficult to diffuse
21 and clarify what really happened; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. KOVACEVIC: [Interpretation] Now, I'm going to ask my
24 assistant to play a video now about Guca Gora, because we've just seen --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have four more minutes
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm quite sure that will
4 MR. KARNAVAS: While that's getting ready, Your Honour, by my
5 calculation, Your Honour, for the next witness, I have 25 minutes. I have
6 no intention of cross-examining the next witness, therefore, I would like
7 to donate my 25 minutes of the following witness to the Praljak team so
8 they could complete the cross-examination.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Can we play the tape.
10 [Videotape played]
11 "... where the villages sought sanctuary. Guarded overnight by
12 British warriors which had been driven to their rescue. Inside, 187 Croat
13 men, women and children, too terrified to leave for fear of being
14 slaughtered by rampaging Muslim soldiers. For the British army commander
15 trying to reach Guca Gora the road was fraught with danger and problems.
16 Why don't you help us said this group of Muslims?"
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Can we stop there?
18 Q. We saw the British officer. Do you happen to recognise him? You
19 met him, I think.
20 A. I'm afraid that was a very quick glimpse. I did recognise other
21 people there.
22 Q. You'll see him again, and we'll see -- no. We'll see who you
23 recognise in and I'll ask you later?
24 [Videotape played]
25 "... fear of being slaughtered by rampaging Muslim soldiers.
1 For the British army commander trying to reach Guca Gora, the road was
2 fraught with danger and problems. Why don't you help us, said this group
3 of Muslims who showed him a young boy's body to prove how they were
4 suffering too. Eventually, the reinforcement warriors were allowed to move
5 on after promises that once the Croats had been taken to safety, the
6 British would return to help Muslim people. In Guca Gora, those brave
7 enough to venture outside were preparing to bury their dead. Seven in all
8 killed in yesterday's battle. There was no priest there and so the army
9 chaplain took charge of the funeral service."
10 "The gunmen in the surrounding hills tried to prevent these
11 people from paying their last respects, but as British army snipers took
12 cover, the chaplain read on."
13 "The attack continued until the army replied with 340 rounds
14 from their chain guns. It was then that the commanding officer decided to
15 evacuate the monastery giving orders for the families to be transported
16 inside his armoured warriors. Thank you, they said, as they clutched their
17 children and a few belongings. They were leaving their homes but they were
18 all together. The most delicate of passengers were tenderly hoisted aboard
19 by burly British squaddies. It was the first real test in Bosnia for the
20 man in charge, and it's being regarded as huge success."
21 "If we get these people out we have achieved something. It is
22 a small attempt. And I'm well aware that around this whole area of
23 conflict, there are many other people..." MR. KOVACIC:
24 [Interpretation] We have run out of time.
25 Q. The first question, this UNPROFOR official, do you know him?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Alistair Duncan. You met him personally, did you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. He was at the base in Vitez, was he?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So from this video and from what Duncan says, we saw certain
7 facts. We saw that people were on the run, and in later reports that I
8 won't be able to refer to, you go a step further and accept in the ECMM
9 report number 2849 P, I hope you'll take me at my word, in a later report
10 you accept that UNPROFOR did find six dead bodies, but you still state that
11 all this was propaganda, do you? How can you explain the difference?
12 On the one hand, we saw authentic footage and we saw the intervention by
13 BritBat violating their policy of neutrality, shooting at Muslim forces
14 which are making it impossible for the funeral to take place, and the whole
15 atmosphere shows that Guca Gora was a serious incident, whereas the ECMM
16 reports constantly state that it was nothing more than HVO propaganda. How
17 do you explain that difference?
18 A. You've seen in this video that UNPROFOR was active in the area
19 with significant amounts of armour and men. You also see from the coverage
20 that the church reputedly burnt to the ground is still intact. You also
21 see some members of our team in the background. So we accompanied
22 UNPROFOR. UNPROFOR would have produced their complete report of the
23 patrol. Our comments relate to the allegation that the church was burn to
24 the ground. It was not.
25 Q. We agree. We agree that all the information that went round the
1 international bodies were not correct. I completely agree with that.
2 That's quite obvious. But it is also obvious that the event itself was far
3 more serious than the description or image portrayed on the basis of these
4 ECMM descriptions. And if I were an ambassador of one of the ECMM
5 countries using those reports, had I read the document, just like my
6 colleague said, in a comfortable atmosphere of air-conditioning, listening
7 to light music, quite obviously I did not receive information that in Guca
8 Gora at the same time when the Croats might have committed some crime that
9 simultaneously, the Croats were victims over there and that was the chain
10 of events that's what happened so that kind of information is not contained
11 in your report. Guca Gora was portrayed as primarily an attempt at
12 propaganda. That's the fact as it stands. Do you agree with that or not?
13 I'm not asking for an explanation, I'm just asking you whether you agree
14 with what I'm saying or not. Just give me a yes or no answer. Yes, you
15 agree or no you don't. But your yes and no to the question of whether it
16 is true that your main conclusion about Guca Gora was that it was just
17 purely HVO propaganda regardless of the dimensions of the event. You keep
18 maintaining that it was HVO propaganda, nothing more. Yes or no?
19 A. No.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No. Thank you.
21 Your Honour, I'd just like to assure you, and when we come to
22 proof and evidence, I would have several more examples, if time were to
23 allow, where we have documents and videos that events happened in quite a
24 different way than the ECMM portrayed them.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I hope Mr. Mundis
1 does not have any additional questions at this point since the Judges have
2 no questions. We observe that the Defence had nine hours, 17 minutes for
3 the cross-examination. The registrar has put me right. It was 9 hours, 7
4 minutes, but anyway, it was more than the 8 hours initially stated.
5 Mr. Beese, thank you for coming to testify for the Prosecution.
6 You came twice. We wish you a good return to your country and every
7 success in your future activities.
8 It's quarter to 6.00. We're going to take the usual 20-minute
9 break and reconvene at approximately five past 6.00 when we will introduce
10 the next witness.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
15 resumed. I see that the blinds are down. First of all, let's stay in open
16 session about the exhibits to be tendered by the Defence. Please wait
17 until tomorrow to tell us about these exhibits, because we have to begin
18 hearing the witness now, and tomorrow at the beginning of the hearing we'll
19 expect you to tell us what exhibits you want to be tendered.
20 Mr. Mundis, if the blinds are down, I suppose that something new
21 has happened. So we'll now move into closed session.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 5445 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session.
7 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I have two very quick matters which
8 can be dealt with while the witness is being brought to court.
9 The first one relates to a future witness, Mr. Mesic. There is
10 a Rule 92 bis motion pending from the Prosecution. Our response is
11 presently due on Friday. We would like to take the weekend to finalise it.
12 Mr. Mundis has kindly indicated that there is no objection from the
13 Prosecution, so I make an oral application for leave to -- for an extension
14 of time until Monday to file that document.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Murphy. The
16 Trial Chamber takes note of your application, and it is granted. You will
17 be able to file your missions on Monday.
18 MR. MURPHY: The second matters relates to another forthcoming
19 witness, Mr. Tomljanovich. The Chamber may recall that this witness is an
20 employee of the Office of the Prosecutor. We had some discussion about
21 that, and I see Your Honour nodding, so I needn't deal with it at length.
22 We felt it right to draw Your Honour's attention to the fact
23 that the Trial Chamber in the Milutinovic case has made an order with
24 respect to a similar witness that it would not be proper for him to be
25 accepted as an expert witness because of his closeness to the Prosecution
1 team in preparing the case and interviewing witnesses. That -- that issue
2 has apparently -- the Prosecution has applied for certification for appeal
3 of that issue. My understanding is that the Trial Chamber has not ruled on
4 it yet.
5 Clearly, it would be undesirable for there to be conflicting
6 rulings between two Trial Chambers on this point, and we would like to make
7 the suggestion, Your Honour, that perhaps sometime early next week, both
8 the Prosecution and the Defence be permitted to file very brief submissions
9 on that issue to invite the Trial Chamber to reconsider its ruling in the
10 case of Mr. Tomljanovich. This need not delay his testimony in any way,
11 because regardless of the outcome, he would clearly be entitled to testify
12 as a factual witness and the conclusions to be drawn from his testimony by
13 the Chamber would be all that's in issue there. So my application would be
14 to file brief submissions on that matter, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Murphy. This
16 is news to us that the Milutinovic trial in a similar case ruled by saying
17 that a staff member of the Office of the Prosecution could not appear as an
18 expert witness. This order has been -- is on appeal now. A certification
19 has been requested, and you're stating that this could pose us a problem.
20 Tomorrow morning, as usual, we'll have a meeting. We'll discuss that
21 issue, and then we'll let you know what we've decided. We'll let you know
22 whether we maintain the decision we took earlier on or whether we consider
23 that the witness should be heard as any other witness and that his written
24 report should not be admitted.
25 The other question we'll have to rule upon tomorrow is whether
1 you will be allowed, on both sides, to file submissions. But as I'm
2 speaking, I'm looking at the chart here about prospective witnesses. As
3 you know, next week we have one witness who will come to be cross-examined,
4 plus an additional witness, and that person, the one you're mentioning,
5 should be heard the following week. Therefore, this is very short notice.
6 We don't need hours to understand the problem. I've understood within 15
8 We'll discuss the matter tomorrow morning, and then we'll let
9 you know about our decision.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I have one just one brief matter, Your Honour and
11 -- well, just going back to that what -- you could give us until Monday,
12 both sides, to respond since the Prosecution is already aware of the issue,
13 but my -- my matter is, and we could take this up tomorrow at some point
14 after the witness, because we don't intend to cross-examine him. I don't
15 think the witness will be there for a minute or two.
16 But getting back to the assertion that there has been some abuse
17 by some members of the Defence, I take it probably I stand guilty as
18 charged on that for taking more time than necessary, I certainly want to go
19 on record to at least express my profound regret that when we have this
20 strict, you know, sort of stopwatch approach, it is a fundamental
21 unfairness to our clients, and I don't think any one of us who is not an
22 accused would appreciate being tried in this kind of fashion, because
23 tomorrow this witness will probably be ending after the first session and
24 we'll have two additional sessions. But I do want to at least have the
25 opportunity to put on record that I believe that especially with this last
1 witness, no abuse was made by anyone, and that the Trial Chamber, while it
2 has shown flexibility, should perhaps be slightly more flexible in the
3 future on occasion. And I've done this job for a very long time. I
4 certainly can improve. I certainly would like guidance from the Trial
5 Chamber as to how I can improve and be more efficient. But I think just
6 for the record, for every hour of cross-examination, my team spent well
7 over 200 hours in preparation for this witness, and, gentlemen, please
8 consider that. There is no need for me to prepare if I will not have the
9 opportunity to represent my client. He deserves as much as I can give him,
10 as everyone else.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This is an occasion to bring something to your
12 attention that I have been pondering and we have been discussing for some
14 First of all, let me say that I fully agree with what you've
15 just said, that you are here for your clients and you must, of course, be
16 able to get the maximum out of the time that is available here. And cross-
17 examination can certainly be a very valuable and important instrument in
18 getting a more complete and correct picture of the realities, also in
19 assessing the credibility of the witness. I want to make it quite clear
20 that this is not in question and that the Chamber is fully in support of
21 this basic idea.
22 I also wish to say that we share, the Chamber shares the bad
23 feelings that the Defence very frequently voices at being in a kind of a
24 temporal corset which, of course, the Chamber has not chosen as the Defence
25 has not chosen. These are circumstances that you cannot completely
1 disregard without not doing our duty.
2 Now, it has occurred to me, especially when re-reading the
3 transcripts after an absence of four days where I could not attend, where I
4 read them particularly carefully that it is a suggestion to you -- of
5 course, it is not for us to tell you how to do your job and I'm again fully
6 aware of that, but it might be of some use if you very critically re-read
7 the transcripts of cross-examinations, so to speak, asking yourself word by
8 word, "Was this necessary?"
9 We have the feeling, and I know my colleagues share this
10 entirely, that a very large amount of words used here are not conducive to
11 the -- to what we conceive as being the usefulness of cross-examination.
12 We have a lot of simple pleading. We have rhetorical elegance, which we do
13 appreciate, but still regard as something of a bit of luxury.
14 We want, if you want to follow my example, to find brilliant
15 examples of economic cross-examination, and you may also find other
16 instances where you might reconsider whether it is impossible to improve
17 the style so as to get more out of the limited time that is at our
19 I ask for understanding that I make this statement. I regard it
20 myself as delicate. I don't like to -- to do it, but it has occurred to me
21 and I thought it was only a matter of courtesy and honesty that I share the
22 thought with you. Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you. I wouldn't like to prolong the
24 discussion on that issue which was raised by Mr. Karnavas, but since
25 yesterday I raised the question of how to cope with the situation that we
1 are of course pressed by time, I do agree, first of all, with the statement
2 just made by -- by Judge Trechsel.
3 Secondly, I would also like to emphasise that we are not and I
4 am not for a kind of stopwatch approach as it was mentioned by Mr.
5 Karnavas, but simply we would like to call your attention to the fact that
6 during the last I would say couple of months after when the decision of the
7 Trial Chamber was adopted on the time sharing, I am -- I'm really sure that
8 the -- the Defence has always had more than the return, I would say, 50 per
9 cent, and I'm sure of it. And now, as we have heard, we had -- I mean --
10 we heard that nine hours, 7 minutes were used and of course I do not
11 remember exactly what was the chief examination for Mr. Beese, but I'm sure
12 it was less than that.
13 But having said this, again I emphasise that I am fully aware
14 and in a way clinging to the important issue of the Defence's rights, and I
15 will do whatever I can to assure this right to you and to ensure that the
16 Defence should always be listened to adequately. At the same time, I think
17 that what examples were mentioned by Judge Trechsel, they also have to be
18 borne in mind, and I hope that this issue will not have any major -- excuse
19 me, any major repercussions in the future but we can go along with useful
20 work, all of us here in the Chamber. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll give the
22 floor to Mr. Prlic later. Let me just add that I fully agree with what has
23 just been said by my two colleagues. For me, the actual problem, the real
24 problem you're experiencing is due to the fact that in between yourselves,
25 you don't seem to be able to find an agreement about how to share the time.
1 Let me take an example with this witness, Mr. Beese.
2 We saw that Mr. Ibrisimovic decided that he was not going to ask
3 any questions because this witness was not concerning him and his client,
4 so then you should have been in a position to know who was coming second,
5 third, and fourth, and you should have been able to appropriately
6 distribute the time amongst yourselves, because we had been quite flexible
7 in the time we had allocated to you. We said eight hours, or as the
8 Prosecution, speaking from memory, had used five hours and a few minutes.
9 So we had been extremely flexible in our approach towards you. But despite
10 that, despite these eight hours granted to you, you were not able to find
11 an agreement, because you don't seem to be able to decide who is going to
12 ask that question, who is going to ask that other type of question,
13 because that's the way you would be able to gain time.
14 Let me take an example. The issue of the credibility of the
15 witness. One of you could be the one to deal with the credibility of the
16 witness. There is no point in all four lawyers dealing with that issue.
17 Another example, the HVO, the Mujahedin. That could have been
18 allocated to one of you or several of you.
19 And I think it's because of all these problems that we are faced
20 with the problem we have, because you don't seem to be able to find an
21 agreement. We all agree with what Mr. Karnavas has just said. The Defence
22 is entitled to speak, to ask questions, but we are pressed for time. We
23 have a limited amount of time at our disposal. And do not forget that the
24 objective of the cross-examination is for us to understand the essence of
25 your case. That is your interest. Therefore, the questions you put to the
1 witness have to be extremely focused. What you should ask yourself is, "If
2 I were the Judge, would I find this question interesting?" That's the
3 approach you should have when cross-examining a witness. If you adopt that
4 approach, you will gain time. And that's what Judge Trechsel told you,
5 please read very carefully the transcript of the examination-in-chief in
6 order to focus your questions during the cross-examination.
7 I know that that is very difficult exercise, but we trust you.
8 We believe that you are able to conduct this exercise properly.
9 Mr. Prlic, you wanted to take the floor.
10 THE ACCUSED PRLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am not
11 participating in these proceedings, but I do feel the need to say
12 something. As a person who is accused here, I am in favour of shortening
13 the time but under one condition. I am the last person to give advice to
14 Your Honours, but if the proceedings were streamlined in such a way that
15 the important points were clear, cross-examination could be conducted
17 I do prepare for my counsel, and for the first time he was able
18 to use over 50 per cent of what was prepared with the witness. Usually the
19 percentage is about 10 per cent. I feel that this imperils my fundamental
20 rights. We cannot uphold the principle if we don't know what is behind it.
21 We all know this principle of the same amount of time divided by six is not
22 a good one, but there is time limit, there is an indictment, and we cannot
23 influence that. So I would appeal to Your Honours to direct the
24 proceedings more, because the indictment is so wide-ranging with a joint
25 criminal enterprise involved that we have to prove there was another joint
1 criminal enterprise with others supporting it, and this is posing enormous
2 problems for us.
3 My Defence will not be very involved when this comes to the
4 crime base, but we do have to get involved when it has to do with policy
5 and politics and so on. The time could be shortened if Your Honours were
6 to point out what you felt was especially important.
7 Also, we have a proofing chart which is either not adhered to or
8 not used. If we have a witness and we are told he's going to refer to
9 such-and-such counts in the indictment, we should all then adhere to that,
10 and then this would shorten the time, both of the examination-in-chief and
11 the cross-examination. However, we have witnesses talking about all kinds
12 of things.
13 If a witness says there was no telephone, it takes 20 seconds
14 for him to say that. But then if we have to prove to that, in fact, there
15 was a telephone we may need up to three hours to prove that.
16 So I would suggest to the Chamber to suggest at every point what
17 is most important. Also, if the Prosecutor were to state clearly what is
18 the aim the Prosecution which is to achieve through a particular witness.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Prlic, for
21 these comments. We'll discuss this matter again tomorrow, because you have
22 to understand that this is an issue that we repeatedly discuss during our
23 meetings, and considering the comments made by all of you today, we'll
24 consider the matter again tomorrow in order to try and find a solution that
25 is acceptable for everyone. We don't want the accused to have the feeling
1 that they are not being listened to. We don't want their lawyers to have
2 that feeling either.
3 Mr. Mundis, about that specific issue would you like to say
5 MR. KRUGER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President, just one point to
6 respond to something that Mr. Prlic just said, which is of potentially of
7 very great importance. Page 82, lines 12 to 14, wherein Mr. Prlic said,
8 "My Defence will not be very involved when this comes to the crime base."
9 I'm just, at this point, signalling to everyone that the
10 Prosecution is going to attempt to re-engage the Defence with respect to
11 perhaps some admissions concerning the crime base, because again as -- even
12 as Mr. Karnavas himself indicated with respect to the following witness,
13 they're not going to be extensively cross-examining that witness, and
14 again, crime base is something that we might be able to save a significant
15 amount of time on were there to be some admissions or were we to be in a
16 position to adduce that evidence by way of additional means. And I'm
17 simply at this point signalling to everyone that we will be re-engaging the
18 Defence on additional issues, particularly relating crime base, as a means
19 of saving additional time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With your comments
21 you give me the opportunity to say the following -- to ask the following:
22 The next witness was scheduled for -- to take two hours and a half for the
23 examination-in-chief. There are four main points in the examination of the
24 witness, four dates that the interpreter has missed.
25 Mr. Prlic has invited us to direct the proceedings. If it was
1 me, I would not need two hours to cover these four dates. So I'd like to
2 invite the Prosecution to really focus the examination-in-chief on the most
3 vital issues, because as you perfectly well know, what everything you --
4 you present during your case you find it back in the judgement, but
5 sometimes for one witness you'll have just one footnote at the end of the
6 judgement, because otherwise the judgements would be thousands of pages
7 long. So as far as I'm concerned, I believe that two and a half hours,
8 that's far too long.
9 One of the solutions we could envisage would be to interrupt
10 you, and as Mr. Prlic has quite rightly said, it might be up to the Judges
11 to refocus the proceedings. The Tribunal as a whole is currently
12 considering its completion strategy. There will soon be a Plenary Session
13 of all the Judges of the Tribunal to see how we can achieve that. As far
14 as I'm concerned, and I've made no secret about it, I believe that we would
15 go much faster if the Judges were able to control the proceedings more than
16 they can, but unfortunately we are using proceedings that is now very, very
17 old and where the Judges have to -- can't intervene as much as they should.
18 But the Judges are currently considering these issues, and this might lead
19 to changes in the procedure that would make the proceedings much more
21 Our objective is for each and every one of you to be able to
22 speak as part of an adversarial -- this adversarial system, and the aim is
23 also for the accused to have the deep feeling that their case has been put
24 properly to the Judges and understood by the Judges, because if that's not
25 the case, then justice cannot have been rendered properly.
1 We have a few minutes left. We've bring in the witness in order
2 to deal with the protective measures, and tomorrow we should complete the
3 testimony of the witness. So I'll ask for the witness to be brought in.
4 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, while the witness is being brought in,
5 if I can indicate that at least I intend to conduct the examination-in-
6 chief in much less than two and a half hours, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's very good news. So
8 we've already saved 30 minutes.
9 MR. MURPHY: I think we were in open session, Your Honour.
10 Should we perhaps go into private session?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please.
12 [Closed session]
11 Pages 5458-5461 redacted. Closed session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In open session I
5 give the floor to the Prosecution.
6 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Witness, during 1993, around May 1993, your husband, was he a
8 soldier or involved in any military organisation?
9 A. No, he wasn't.
10 Q. During 1993, May 1993, Dreznica, could that be described as
11 falling within territory controlled by the ABiH or by the HVO?
12 A. The BH army.
13 Q. During May, 1993, did you feel safe living in Dreznica as a
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. And is it correct that you decided to invite your family to come
17 and live with you at that period, or certain members of your family?
18 A. That's right, I did.
19 Q. Where was your family or these members of your family living in
20 May, 1993?
21 A. In Prozor, Gracanica.
22 Q. How far is Gracanica from Dreznica approximately?
23 A. Approximately 20 kilometres. 20, 22 kilometres.
24 Q. And Gracanica, is that within what can be described as ABiH
25 territory or HVO territory at that stage?
1 A. At that stage it was HVO, Gracanica was.
2 Q. Which members of your family, without mentioning names, which
3 members of your family were living there at that stage?
4 A. We were all there. There were no problems at that time.
5 Q. Yes, but which members of your family were living in Gracanica
6 during May, 1993?
7 A. My sisters and brothers, my mother and father, my daughter-in-law
8 and -- or, rather, yes, my daughter-in-law and her son.
9 Q. Gracanica at that stage, could you describe or give the Court an
10 idea of how many people lived there and whether they were Muslim or Croat?
11 A. Muslims and Croats.
12 Q. And were there more Muslims or more Croats living there?
13 A. More Muslims in that village.
14 Q. Could you tell the Court why did you think that it would be good
15 to invite your family to come and live with you in Dreznica?
16 A. Well, I saw that something would happen. The HVO put up
17 checkpoints in Prozor, in Gracanica, and that's when I went up there to ask
18 them to come down to Dreznica and live with me, especially my father who
19 was an invalid. He didn't have a leg. He didn't want to leave his house
20 nor his property.
21 Q. When you went to Gracanica, when was that?
22 A. Around the 18th. I can't say exactly. 1993.
23 Q. And which month?
24 A. Yes. Well, I can't be sure. I can't remember the month.
25 Q. We've been talking about May so far. Would that have been in
2 A. Yes, in May.
3 Q. Who went with you to Gracanica?
4 A. My husband and I.
5 Q. At that stage, that's shortly before the birth of your first son,
6 so you were pregnant at that stage?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Now, you mentioned that your parents and brothers and sisters,
9 they didn't want to leave Gracanica, so you and your husband, what did you
10 do then?
11 A. We tried to go back to the village of Dreznica. In the meantime,
12 checkpoints were erected and we weren't able to pass because of the HVO
13 army. They didn't allow us to come back down, so I stayed.
14 Q. The checkpoints, by which army were they manned?
15 A. The HVO army.
16 Q. Did they tell you why you -- why you couldn't leave the
17 municipality or go back to Dreznica?
18 A. No, they did not.
19 Q. You and your husband then stayed in Gracanica; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 Q. Now, during the next few weeks did you become afraid while
22 staying in Gracanica?
23 A. Of course I did, yes.
24 Q. Why did you become afraid?
25 A. Well, I was afraid because of the soldiers. They would go around
1 at night, shoot at houses, make a lot of noise, throw bombs in the forest
2 and so on.
3 Q. Which soldiers were these?
4 A. Soldiers of the HVO.
5 Q. And do you have any idea from which unit or from which area these
6 soldiers came?
7 A. I don't know exactly. All I know is that they were people from
8 Jajce. I remember that well. They didn't do anything to us. They didn't
9 mistreat us or touch us in any way. I know that very well. As to the
10 rest, I know that most of the soldiers were from Papak. They did what they
11 did mostly.
12 Q. Papak, where is Papak situated?
13 A. Papak and Gracanica are at a distance of three kilometres
15 Q. And the people living in Papak, are they Muslim or Croat?
16 A. They were Croats.
17 Q. These soldiers that you refer to who came and who made you afraid
18 in Gracanica, how did you know that they belonged to the HVO?
19 A. Well, I knew. I knew that very well, because I would see some of
20 those young men. I recognised them.
21 Q. Were they wearing uniforms?
22 A. Yes. They were wearing camouflage uniforms, multicoloured
24 Q. And did they have any insignia?
25 A. Yes, they did. They had HVO insignia on their arms.
1 Q. Did you at that stage know what HVO insignia looked like?
2 A. I did know. I had seen them.
3 Q. So being afraid in -- in Gracanica, did you stay in Gracanica?
4 A. No. We were in the woods. We might go back and get some food or
5 cook some meals, but we would go back to the woods because we were afraid
6 of staying in the houses and the HVO soldiers turning up.
7 Q. Did there come a time when you decided, you and your family, to
8 move away from the immediate area of Gracanica?
9 A. Well, no. We stayed there. We didn't have anywhere else to go.
10 Q. Now, during June did you go to Mount Tolovac?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, when we come to this piece of
13 evidence, it -- it may be a good time to stop because this will introduce
14 the next phase of the witness's tomorrow. If we could perhaps adjourn
15 until tomorrow.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam, it's almost
17 7.00. As I told you a moment ago, we'll have to stop there. You will be
18 taken over by the witness service. They will look after you during the
19 evening, and they will bring you back tomorrow morning. Between now and
20 then, please do not discuss the case with anyone, and we'll have the
21 pleasure of seeing you back here tomorrow.
22 I wish everybody a pleasant evening, and we reconvene at 2.15
23 tomorrow afternoon.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.56 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 24th day
1 of August 2006, at 2.15 p.m.