1 Wednesday, 14 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
8 morning to one and all. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor
9 versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm going to ask
11 Mr. Mundis to introduce his co-Prosecutor that I see there.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
13 Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
14 Prosecution today Ken Scott, Daryl Mundis, Roeland Bos and our case
15 manager Skye Winner. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
17 Mr. Mundis. I'm not going to ask the Defence counsel teams to present
18 themselves because they're the same people. I should like to say good
19 morning to everyone present in the courtroom; the accused whom we haven't
20 seen for more than a week. I'd also like to say good morning to the
21 representatives of the Prosecution, all the counsel, and everybody else,
22 all the staff in the courtroom.
23 As we're in open session, I can tell you that we weren't here last
24 week because we were on location last week, and we visited most of the
25 sites mentioned in the indictment, and so that having been done, we're
1 going to take up our work again. We didn't sit yesterday because we had a
2 procedural problem, and as the Prosecution asked the witness to present a
3 communication -- to disclose his personal notes, this is something that
4 the witness did, and so the Defence counsel rightly asked that a
5 translation of these papers be seen to, which means that today and
6 tomorrow we're going to have the examination-in-chief of this witness, and
7 the cross-examination will take place sometime later on, and we're going
8 to set a date for that in due course.
9 Without further ado, that is what our proceedings are going to
10 look like today and tomorrow. Mr. Coric isn't here. As you know -- and
11 may I go into private session to explain this. Thank you.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 3034-3042 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
6 Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm turning to towards the
8 Prosecution in open session. We're going to have a witness, and you would
9 like to introduce a certain number of documents through that witness. I
10 assume that those documents will be presented in the order that we have
11 received them here, that I have before me. How are you going to proceed?
12 Because as far as I understand it, there are 350 documents. We're going
13 to have to go through them very quickly and demonstrate our
14 professionalism so that we don't waste any time. And if you have
15 envisaged six hours for your examination-in-chief, will that be enough for
16 you to present the documents very quickly and then look at one document,
17 go on to the next, and so on until you've got through the lot?
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Again, as I indicated
19 earlier this morning, there are six bundles of documents the Chamber has
20 been provided with. Those six bundles actually fall into two categories.
21 There is one category of documents that is marked "Exhibits for
22 Prosecution witness Christopher Beese." That is one bundle of documents
23 and that is the one that contains the typewritten version of the diary.
24 These are, in effect, the core documents that we will be discussing with
25 this witness more extensively.
1 The remaining five bundles of documents are all ECMM exhibits.
2 There are 384 of them in 5 bundles, and there should also be a landscape
3 version spreadsheet that lists those 384 documents in those five binders
4 that don't have a cover spreadsheet on them.
5 With respect to those documents, Mr. President, we will be laying
6 some foundational questions. The witness himself has gone through those
7 five bundles, or in case, when we dealt with him, in binders. He has
8 reviewed all of those documents. We expect his testimony to be that those
9 are all ECMM reports. He will testify at length. We'll examine him on
10 how ECMM was structured, what its purpose was, how it reported, et cetera.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 MR. MUNDIS: It is not our intention to take that witness through
13 those 384 ECMM documents. We will take him through the approximately 40
14 documents in the binder that has the spreadsheet with his name on it, but
15 we will be seeking to tender all six of these bundles of documents into
16 evidence at the conclusion of the direct examination.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Just to summarise:
18 You're going to proceed in two ways. You have these documents here in the
19 first binder, and they begin with 1215, et cetera, and then the famous
20 document of 127 pages. You're going to present that, too, and we're going
21 to have very precise questions on that document. And you have other
22 documents, another set of documents which are the ECMM documents,
23 exhibits, and you're going to confirm that they come from the organisation
24 that the witness worked for and that he is aware and knows about the
25 documents, is familiar with them.
1 So during the examination, whether in chief or cross-examination,
2 you are free to ask questions on all these documents. I think that's an
3 intelligent way of proceeding. And without further ado, we're going to
4 have the witness introduced now. Mr. Registrar -- Mr. Usher, would you
5 please bring the witness in.
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel Kovacic.
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps, just very briefly with
9 respect to the presentation and tendering of documents, perhaps we ought
10 to exercise caution. We have not been through the documents in detail
11 because we don't know which witnesses are going to come, but in the bundle
12 introduced through Witness Beese there is a large number of documents
13 which were created, compiled by other observers, other ECMM observers, and
14 those observers are planned to appear -- at least, some of them are
15 planned to appear but I don't know which ones. Perhaps we could hear
16 about that so that those documents could go with the other observers to
17 come. But as I have already taken the floor, Your Honour, may I today
18 receive from you, or tomorrow -- rather, may I be accorded three minutes
19 for a request I have to make and a matter I wish to raise?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Go ahead.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is what it's
22 about: It's the problem of using PCs, personal computers, by my client in
23 the Detention Unit. According to the rules of the Registry and the
24 detailed rules of the Detention Unit, it is provided for that the accused
25 have access to personal computers. However, a problem has arisen because
1 the administrative rules and the capacity for PCs, installing PCs in the
2 detention centre which the accused can use allows for a maximum of 75
3 gigabyte capacity whereas my client has his own data and PC with the
4 search engine and everything else which would require 150 gigabytes in
5 total, which means double the power that is provided for according to the
6 rules. So physically 150 gigabytes cannot be put into the computer. We
7 did provide a solution. We were very patient. We had talks with the
8 accused and representatives of the Registrar, but a solution hasn't been
9 found. We did put forward a proposal, two concrete technically applicable
10 solutions, very simple ones: One is to allow the client to use his own
11 external PC with all his information and search systems inside, and the
12 other possibility would be for him to take in the personal computer that
13 contains all this information.
14 Now, I'd like the Court or the Trial Chamber to issue instructions
15 one way or another because it goes to the detriment of the defence of my
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Our legal officer
18 has informed me that the matter is being dealt with by the Registrar, but
19 as you know, I also dealt with this question of computers, and I
20 personally, as president of this Trial Chamber in charge of organising the
21 proceedings and work of this Trial Chamber, have apprised the Registrar of
22 the situation and asked him why the accused do not have a PC at their
23 disposal, because the Statute indicates that each accused should have
24 maximum facilities in order to be able to ensure their defence. And the
25 maximum is what I have added. "Maximum," the word "maximum" does not
1 exist in the Statute, but one can understand that all the necessary
2 facilities should be provided.
3 I also indicated in the memo that I sent to the Registrar that I
4 happened to discover that Milosevic, for example, had at his disposal
5 these facilities. So I don't understand why there should be any
6 discrimination between individuals. So I am waiting for an answer to the
7 memo I sent, and you have raised another problem which is the question of
8 the double capacity from 75 gigabytes to 150 gigabytes. So there, too, I
9 am going to raise the problem again in that respect, and once I receive a
10 response, I will indicate it to you.
11 Unfortunately, the Trial Chamber, if it can make rulings in
12 certain matters, it does so. So far, I cannot deblock money for
13 such-and-such an operation, nor can I take decisions regarding security
14 issues. So that is how matters stand, but we will look into the matter to
15 see how the rights of the Defence teams are impinged. We'll go into that.
16 But rest assured that we as Judges are always -- always pay great
17 attention to the proceedings and do what we can to resolve situations.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Having said that, I'd like to
20 say good morning to Mr. Beese, who has just arrived. I'm just going to
21 check whether you can understand the proceedings in your own language. If
22 that is the case, then please tell me, please let me know that you can
23 hear me and understand me.
24 WITNESS: CHRISTOPHER BEESE
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
1 THE WITNESS: I can. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. "I can" is your
3 answer. Thank you for that. Before you take the solemn declaration,
4 could you tell us your name, surname, and date of birth, please, by way of
6 THE WITNESS: My name is Christopher Beese, and I was born on the
7 1st of March, 1955.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Can you tell me now
9 -- you were born where, in what town, what country?
10 THE WITNESS: In London, England.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what is your profession at
12 that time present?
13 THE WITNESS: I'm a director of a security company.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992, 1993, and 1994, what
15 was your function?
16 THE WITNESS: In 1992, I was a security advisor commercially. In
17 1993, I spent the majority of my time in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a monitor
18 with the European Community Monitoring Mission; and in 1994 I was working
19 again as a commercial security director.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Have you ever
21 testified before this Tribunal or before any other court about the facts
22 that you could have been a witness to in 1992, 1993, and 1994?
23 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I testified on one particular day
24 several years ago in the Dario Kordic case here in The Hague.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you have already
1 testified before this Tribunal. I'm now going to ask you to read the
2 solemn declaration that the usher is going to hand you.
3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please be seated.
6 Before I give the floor to the Prosecution to go ahead with the
7 examination-in-chief, I'm going to give you some information as to how the
8 proceedings are going to continue. You are going to testify today and
10 The second stage is the cross-examination, which will take place
11 in due course, because the Defence recently learnt about the existence of
12 a document and have asked for more time to be able to study that document
13 and prepare for the cross-examination. And the Trial Chamber allowed the
14 Defence to do that, so your cross-examination will be held at a later
15 stage. You will be coming back depending on the calendar and when you're
16 able to return in order to answer questions by the Defence counsel and the
17 accused as well.
18 But since you've already testified before this Tribunal in the
19 Kordic case, you know how the proceedings are conducted. You're now going
20 to answer questions put to you by the Prosecution, the representatives of
21 Madam Carla Del Ponte. The questions are asked in a non-leading, neutral
22 way, and you will be answering the questions you have been asked.
23 When we come to the cross-examination stage, the questions take a
24 different form and usually your answers will be a yes or a no.
25 The Judges sitting before you - normally there are four of us but
1 there are three Judges sitting before you because the fourth is otherwise
2 engaged - so the three Judges sitting in front you can ask you questions
3 at any point in time during the proceedings. If we ask you a question, it
4 is either to clarify an answer you have already given to either one of the
5 parties or because, in the interests of justice, it seems to us to be
6 important to ask the question we deem necessary. And all of us will have
7 the right to ask you questions later on as well.
8 We shall be working in sessions of one and a half hours with
9 breaks in between, 20-minute breaks, to allow you to have a rest and also
10 for technical reasons. Around about 12.30, we're going to adjourn the
11 meeting for an hour and a half to give you a chance to rest and to give
12 the accused a chance to take a rest. It's the coffee break, and we shall
13 reconvene after this adjournment of an hour and a half and have another
14 three-hour session which will take us up to about 5.00 p.m. If you have
15 -- encounter any difficulties during the examination, please let us know
16 and we will try and find a solution.
17 If you have not understood a question properly, please ask the
18 person to reformulate the question, to ask it again.
19 You are a British citizen, and I'd like to inform you that we're
20 in a sort of common law system, following a common law system here, but
21 your words will be transcribed on the screen in front you. That is the
22 transcript and the record of the proceedings, and everything that is said
23 in court is recorded and comes up on the screen.
24 So in general terms, that is what I wanted to tell you by way of
25 information. You have taken the solemn declaration to tell the truth, the
1 whole truth, and nothing but truth, so you will of course tell us about
2 events as they evolved without mendacity, and any infraction of that can,
3 of course, be punished in the form of contempt of Court.
4 That is what I wanted to say. Without further ado, I'm going to
5 give the floor to the Prosecution, and we have until 10.30 before the
6 technical break.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Examination by Mr. Mundis:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Beese.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. Because we speak similar languages, I'm going to ask you to ensure
12 there is always a pause between question and answer so that the testimony
13 can be recorded in the transcript.
14 Mr. Beese, can you please tell us, from the period when you left
15 school, a brief summary of your career.
16 A. I left school at the age of 18 and entered the Royal Military
17 Academy Sandhurst. I carried out my basic officer training and regular
18 career course training in war studies. I --
19 Q. Sir, how long did those courses last?
20 A. Twelve months. I then joined an armoured regiment and completed
21 my special to arm -- armour training, which lasted another six months.
22 Q. Following completion of that training, where were you assigned?
23 A. I was posted initially to a training area in Great Britain, and
24 then underwent tours of duty in Northern Ireland and tours to Cyprus and
25 Germany. I then left the army as a regular officer in 1977.
1 Following service with the army, I went into the city of London
2 and was an insurance broker with a Lloyds' company from 1978 to 1982.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, if I may, just an additional
4 question: What was your rank when you left the army?
5 THE WITNESS: Lieutenant.
6 In 1992 [sic], I determined to return to military service and
7 joined the Sultan of Oman's land forces in Oman. I entered the army there
8 as a captain, as a training officer, to train Dofari soldiers, that is
9 those from southern Oman, in counter-insurgency techniques and border
10 security. I then spent the next five and a half years with a small team
11 raising a reconnaissance regiment responsible for counter-insurgency and
12 border security.
13 I left the Sultan's forces in 1988, and joined the company that I
14 presently serve with in 1989.
15 MR. MUNDIS:
16 Q. Mr. Beese, if I could just stop you at this point. On page 21,
17 line 2, the transcript indicates that in 1992 you determined to return to
18 military service. Is that accurate?
19 A. I apologise: 1982.
20 Q. And during the period from 1978 until 1982, while you were
21 employed as an insurance broker, did you have any military obligations?
22 A. I continued to serve as a regular reserve officer assigned to
23 armoured forces in the UK and Germany, spending the occasional week with
24 the forces.
25 Q. Can you please then continue where you left off when you joined
1 the security company that you're currently employed by.
2 A. I joined the security company was assigned to Mozambique, where I
3 worked on a programme approved by the British and American governments to
4 secure Mozambique's fledging economy following its civil war. It was
5 still a time of civil war, and our responsibility was to train guards to
6 protect sugar refineries, power stations, dams, plantations, railway
7 networks. I left there 18 months later and was reassigned to
8 transportation security in the United Kingdom. There I was responsible
9 for countering the hijack of vehicles by those seeking to secure
10 electronic goods, wine, spirits, tobaccos and other sensitive items.
11 Some 12 months later I was assigned to Heathrow where I was
12 consultant to a support team working with British Airways to adjust their
13 security arm to changing market conditions.
14 In 1992, that contract was completed with British Airways. I did
15 some time in the Congo, some two months as regional manager in lieu of the
16 full time manager, and returned to Britain in the summer of 1992.
17 I then took a gap and later in the year applied to the Foreign
18 Office for work with the European Community in the former Yugoslavia.
19 Q. We'll get to that, Mr. Beese, in just a moment, but let me ask
20 you, you told us earlier that during the time you served in the army, you
21 were with an armoured regiment.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us where that regiment was deployed during the time
24 that you served with that regiment.
25 A. I spent time in England with battle tanks, Chieftain battle tanks.
1 I spent time in a dismounted role as an infantryman in Northern Ireland,
2 and exercised as an infantryman in Cyprus and as an armoured regiment in
4 Q. Mr. Beese, what was the time period that you were in Northern
5 Ireland, and what was the situation like at that time on the ground in
6 Northern Ireland?
7 A. I spent the better part of 1976 in Northern Ireland, at a time
8 when there was an effort by terrorists to kill policemen, and our
9 responsibility at the time was to control the movement of people,
10 vehicles, and to try to prevent further losses of the police. This took
11 me to Belfast and County Antrim.
12 Q. At the time, sir, that your reserve obligations with the British
13 army ended, what was the most senior rank that you had attained in the
14 British army?
15 A. Lieutenant.
16 Q. And, sir, what was the most senior rank that you obtained in the
17 Sultan of Oman's armed forces?
18 A. Major.
19 Q. Can you tell us about the situation on the ground when you were in
20 Mozambique, working for the security company that is your employer.
21 A. Mozambique was still in a state of civil war between the Marxist
22 government and Renamo guerrillas, backed by a regime in South Africa, who
23 endeavoured to interfere with the economy and normal proceedings in
24 Mozambique. Our responsibility was to try to restore the economy by
25 securing railways, power stations, dams, in support of an effort, I
1 believe, by the United States and Britain to return the country to a
2 degree of normality in pursuit of peace.
3 Q. You told us, Mr. Beese, that you were there for approximately 18
4 months in Mozambique.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you recall the time period when you were in Mozambique?
7 A. Through the most part of 1978 and half of 1979. Wrong. I'm
8 sorry. I say that again. Sorry. For the most part of 1988 and half of
10 Q. Before we took this little digression, Mr. Beese, you were telling
11 us about applying to -- through the Foreign Office, the British Foreign
12 Office, to become an EC monitor. Can you tell us how that process worked.
13 How did you become aware that the Foreign Office was searching for
14 monitors? How did you apply?
15 A. I heard from colleagues who had worked out of theatre, by which I
16 mean outside Europe, before, principally those who worked in Oman and
17 Africa, who said that they were enjoying the work in Yugoslavia, it gave
18 them good purpose, it was an opportunity to apply skills they'd learnt
19 elsewhere in terms of border security, mediation, observation. They --
20 they thought this might well suit me, so I applied to the Foreign Office
21 to see if there was a suitable opportunity in Yugoslavia for my services.
22 Q. What was the response of the Foreign Office?
23 A. The Foreign Office interviewed me, initially said they had no
24 spaces at the time but bore in mind my interest, said it would be some
25 months before I might be called again. In fact, I was called in less than
1 a month.
2 Q. Approximately what time period were you called back by the Foreign
3 Office? The month and the year, if you remember.
4 A. I was called back at the beginning of December, 1992.
5 Q. What happened after you received this call from the Foreign
7 A. They interviewed me again, and after interview, gave me notice
8 that I would depart at the beginning of January, 1993; and I flew on the
9 2nd of January, 1993, to the headquarters of the European Community
10 Monitoring Mission in Zagreb.
11 Q. We'll ask -- I'll ask you a number of questions about the European
12 Community Monitoring Mission in a moment, but can you tell us, after your
13 arrival in Zagreb on 2 January, 1993, how long you remained. How long was
14 your mission in the former Yugoslavia?
15 A. I continued to serve in Yugoslavia, with the exception of two
16 short periods of leave outside the country, until the 21st of July, 1993.
17 Q. Can you please tell us, Mr. Beese, what steps were undertaken to
18 prepare you for this mission prior, prior to your departure for Zagreb?
19 What steps did you take to prepare yourself?
20 A. I had followed the course of the conflict as a normal -- as a
21 normal member of the public, an observer; television coverage principally,
22 newspaper coverage. I understood the general dynamics of the conflict but
23 not necessarily the detail.
24 Q. How long, sir, were you in Zagreb after your arrival in 2 January,
1 A. I remained in Zagreb, being briefed, while my assignment was
2 determined, and I was finally deployed to Split on the 8th of January, and
3 to Siroki Brijeg on the 9th of January.
4 Q. And, Mr. Beese, what types of preparation did you undergo during
5 the period you were in Zagreb from 2 through 8 January, 1993, for your
7 A. We were given technical training on the Capsat communication
8 system and the high frequency radio system, we were given refresher
9 training on first aid, and we were given briefings on the general
10 situation, personalities, places, the layout of the United Nations
11 Protected Areas.
12 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Beese, you've made reference to the Capsat
13 communication system. Can you tell us a little bit more about Capsat;
14 what it was, how it worked?
15 A. The Capsat system is a satellite system designed, I understand,
16 principally for use by fishing fleets, by the Danish manufacturer Thrane
17 and Thrane. It is used to transmit data entered through a PC system -
18 which would be familiar to us as a laptop computer - in a suitcase with a
19 separate transmitter unit and cabling. So generally you would deploy the
20 satellite transmitter outside of a window and type in a report, for
21 instance, save it, and/or transmit it.
22 Q. How big was this system?
23 A. Small suitcase size. It enabled us to carry it by vehicle, to
24 open it, deploy it, use it from buildings or from a vehicle if necessary.
25 It gave us the means to communicate almost instantly with any other Capsat
1 system across the theatre.
2 Q. At the time of your arrival and deployment with the European
3 Community Monitoring Mission, or ECMM, can you tell us a little bit about
4 the structure of that entity.
5 A. The mission, I understand, was established during the conference
6 at Brioni in 1991 and deployed in July, 1991, sponsored by the European
7 Community and the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Its
8 aim was to field monitors, people into the former Yugoslavia who could
9 then properly report on the affairs, the practical affairs as they took
10 place in Yugoslavia to the presidency of the European Community and to the
11 peace talks in Geneva.
12 Q. What was the structure or organisation of ECMM on the ground in
13 the former Yugoslavia at the time you arrived?
14 A. When I arrived, the headquarters of the ECMM was based in the
15 Hotel I in Zagreb, Croatia. The mission had regional centres then across
16 the constituent parts of the former Yugoslavia and in surrounding
17 territories, though there was a regional centre in Zagreb that cared for
18 matters arising in Croatia. There were regional centres in Hungary,
19 Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, and in Belgrade. There had been a regional
20 centre in Mostar, or at least a coordination centre in Mostar and a
21 regional centre in Sarajevo until May, 1992. At that point in time, the
22 conflict became so intense as to require its withdrawal. So as I arrived,
23 the European Mission was moving back into Bosnia-Herzegovina. It did this
24 by establishing a coordination centre in Grude, a second in Tuzla, and a
25 third in Zenica.
1 The regional centres communicated with their monitors through
2 coordination centres which had reporting to them one or more teams of
4 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, you've mentioned teams. Can you tell us a little
5 bit about what these teams were, how many people they had, and how they
6 were structured?
7 A. A team normally comprised a single vehicle with communication
8 systems, crewed by a driver, a senior monitor, where possible a second
9 monitor, and an interpreter.
10 Q. To whom did the teams report?
11 A. The teams reported to the head of the coordination centre. The
12 teams would operate during the day on their given tasks, return to the
13 base in the evening, compile their reports, and produce them for the head
14 of the coordination centre. The teams may or may not be collocated with
15 the coordination centre. For instance, in Herzegovina, when I arrived,
16 the head of coordination centre was in -- was based in Siroki Brijeg with
17 a satellite team in Tomislavgrad.
18 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness now be shown a document
19 marked P 09493.
20 Q. Mr. Beese, do you see a document on the screen before you?
21 A. Not presently. It's now present on the screen.
22 Q. Have you seen this document before, Mr. Beese?
23 A. Yes, I have.
24 Q. What is this document?
25 A. This shows the --
1 MR. MURPHY: Excuse me, Mr. President. I'm sorry, we still don't
2 have the document on the Defence side.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The ELMO, please, Mr. Usher.
4 ELMO. May it be placed on the overhead projector.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We have it.
6 MR. MUNDIS:
7 Q. Mr. Beese, can you tell us what this document shows, please.
8 A. It shows the outline structure of the European Community
9 Monitoring Mission as it was through 1993, with particular reference to
10 the teams allocated to RC Zenica.
11 Q. And I take it, sir, from that answer that each of the other
12 regional centres would have had similar coordination centres under them
13 but they're not depicted on the chart?
14 A. That might be the case, but they would not have had the strength
15 that's shown here on the RC Zenica organisation because they did not face
16 the complexity of operations that we faced.
17 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Beese, starting at the bottom of the chart,
18 explain the chart and how it works up to the Zagreb headquarters at the
20 A. You can see the layout of teams at the bottom. On the left Mike
21 1, 2, 3 and 4. Tango 1, Tango 2, and then Victor 1 to 4. Those teams
22 would have reported to their respective coordination centre. The
23 coordination centre would report daily its findings, that is activity in
24 its location, its area of responsibility, and some analysis to the
25 regional centre, in our case to the regional centre in Zenica when it was
2 The regional centre would then assess and analyse the information
3 it had been given from the coordination centres and report its findings to
4 Zagreb each evening.
5 Q. Mr. Beese, can you please explain to us what the Mike, Tango and
6 Victor that you just referred to are abbreviations for.
7 A. Because there were numerous name changes in the region at the time
8 I joined it -- some communities had been renamed. For instance, to show
9 you the complexity, I was assigned to CC Grude, which is the coordination
10 centre initially established in Grude, but by the time I joined, it was
11 based in Siroki Brijeg that had recently changed its name from Listica.
12 It was much easier to assign radio call signal to a team than to give it a
13 name. Additionally, in case a team was redeployed to a new area, the team
14 continued to use its call-sign. Much easier to understand who is who.
15 MR. MUNDIS: I'd ask now that the witness be shown the exhibit
16 that's been marked P 09607.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you give us the number
18 again because what appeared on the screen doesn't seem to be it.
19 MR. MUNDIS: P 09607.
20 Q. Mr. Beese, do you see the document on the screen in front you?
21 A. I do.
22 Q. Can you describe this document.
23 A. The document shows the reporting chain from the field, that is the
24 monitoring teams, all the way through the command structure of the
25 European Community Monitoring Mission into the net users of that
1 information. That is the European Commission, and particularly its
2 presidency, which at the time I arrived had just changed from the British
3 to the Danes, and to the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia
4 conducting peace talks in Geneva.
5 Q. Can you take us on this chart from the bottom to the top, please.
6 A. It shows here how the monitors would tour their area of
7 responsibility, report each day their findings to the coordination centre
8 to which they reported, which in turn would submit a consolidated report
9 to the regional centre. It does show here sometimes where there are
10 communications difficulties or there are special reports a monitoring team
11 could report directly to the regional centre.
12 The regional centre had a larger staff, which included personnel
13 assigned for analysis. The regional centre would be able to produce in
14 the evening a report of activity in its area and transmit it to Zagreb
15 headquarters in the Hotel I. It would additionally send weekly summary
16 reports and, occasionally, special subject reports. The headquarters in
17 Zagreb would analyse the reports from across the region and produce its
18 own summaries.
19 Q. Where would these -- where would these summaries and reports
20 ultimately go?
21 A. Physically, most of the reports from the region would sit in the
22 Hotel I in Zagreb. Practically, the information would be distributed to
23 the foreign ministers of the countries contributing to the European
24 Community Monitoring Mission, which were the Member States of the European
25 Community as well as others from the Conference on Security and
1 Cooperation in Europe, which included Canada, Poland, and Slovakia. They,
2 representing their governments, would be able to better understand the
3 circumstances in the region. The information also went to David Owen and
4 Cyrus Vance, and later, Thorvald Stoltenberg in Geneva whose
5 responsibility it was to encourage the parties to conflict towards peace.
6 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask that the witness be shown P 09603.
7 Q. Mr. Beese, do you recognise the document on the screen before you?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Who produced this document?
10 A. I produced it.
11 Q. Can you tell us what it depicts, please.
12 A. This was a -- a somewhat quickly produced document. Lacking more
13 sophisticated design software, this is drawn by hand to illustrate the
14 areas of responsibility for each of the teams operating in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina under command of the regional centre in Zenica.
16 Q. Can you describe the various markings that are placed in this map
17 covering the regional centre Zenica's area of responsibility, please.
18 A. We show the principal communities and the principal roads. We
19 then show by area of responsibility where each team was principally
20 allocated a responsibility. Therefore, in the south those given a Mike
21 call-sign were assigned to the coordination centre in the Mostar area. At
22 the time, there was a Mike 1, a Mike 2, and then Mike 9 which is the head
23 the coordination centre, so you can take it there were three teams there.
24 I beg your pardon, I see there is also two further more to the north. So
25 there are four Mike teams in operation, and one head of coordination
1 centre. This depicts also the highest level of manning that we had in
2 June and July after reinforcement from other areas. Normally that area
3 would have been covered, as it was when I arrived, by three teams only.
4 This shows four teams plus a fifth coordination team.
5 Q. And, Mr. Beese, for the sake of completeness, can you please move
6 up the map northwards and describe for us what we see in the centre and
7 top parts of this map.
8 A. In the centre the call-signs are Victor call-signs, derived from
9 the Vitez name where they first entered the region. There are a number of
10 teams there and a headquarters team, the head of coordination centre,
11 based in Zenica. In this particular case, the coordination centre was
12 collocated with the regional centre in Zenica.
13 Q. And, sir, what is the call-sign for the headquarters team that was
14 collocated in Zenica with the regional centre?
15 A. I don't recall that the RC teams had call-signs as such.
16 Q. Sorry, you misunderstood. The coordination team headquarters that
17 was collocated, what was the call-sign?
18 A. Victor 9.
19 Q. And, Mr. Beese, can you now move to the northernmost part of the
20 map and describe for us what that indicates.
21 A. The Tuzla area produced Tango call-signs. The front lines were
22 relatively stable. It required fewer assets to monitor and, therefore,
23 was confined to two mobile teams and one headquarter team in Tuzla.
24 Q. The call-sign for the headquarters team?
25 A. Tango 9.
1 Q. Mr. Beese, when, approximately, did you produce this map or this
3 A. I would have produced this when I was appointed deputy head of
4 regional centre in Zenica in June, 1993.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, just in general so that we have an overview of
6 what the teams did, can you tell us what the teams did on a -- on a daily
7 basis? What did they actually do?
8 A. The teams would be assigned a set of normal operating tasks, such
9 as routine liaison with civic authorities, routine liaison with government
10 authorities, routine liaison with supporting organisations such as
11 UNPROFOR, UNHCR, ICRC, and the monitoring of any cease-fire.
12 If it was given specific tasking, such as to go and do this or to
13 go and do that, it would do so. Otherwise, it would fall back on its
14 normal tasking, and that was sufficient to enable the teams to roam their
15 areas of responsibility at will and to determine what is actually
16 happening, to produce reports on military, socio-economic, and other
17 activity, and to understand what the leaders in their particular area from
18 whichever denomination they came from, what their views were.
19 Q. How were the teams put together?
20 A. There was a continual turnover of monitors. Different countries
21 dispatched their monitors to Yugoslavia for different periods of time.
22 Therefore, one monitor might serve four months, one from another country
23 might serve six months, and some countries, such as Great Britain, were
24 prepared to assign their monitors for up to two years. Therefore, there
25 were some with considerable experience and some with very little. There
1 were also differences in skill base between those assigned to the mission.
2 Some might be armoured officers, some might be intelligence officers.
3 Almost all of them were serving or former officers of their armed forces,
4 and therefore there might be retired officers of the rank of colonel to
5 general, there might be much younger officers in their late 20's,
6 lieutenants, and captains. It would be appropriate to mix the teams, so
7 you mixed the experience in theatre with experience generally of life.
8 Q. What type of clothing did the monitors wear?
9 A. We all wore white: White tops - that's shirts, pullovers - and
10 white trousers. We had EC badging, with the normal blue background,
11 yellow stars.
12 Q. What type of vehicles did the teams use?
13 A. Two types. There were normal what I would call soft-skinned
14 vehicles available, that is a normal production Land Rover, Nissan Patrol,
15 Toyota Land Cruiser, Mitsubishi Shogun. A four-by-four able to traverse
16 the terrain competently or, in times of difficulty, there were armoured
17 Mercedes Gelandewagens available. They had been contributed by Germany
18 and were vehicles formerly used on the border between West and East
20 Q. What types of arms, if any, did the EC monitors carry?
21 A. The EC monitors were unarmed.
22 Q. You mentioned a few moments ago, Mr. Beese, as reflected on line
23 17 of page 34, that some of the monitors might be armoured officers, some
24 might be intelligence officers. What role, if any, were the EC monitors
25 playing in terms of intelligence gathering?
1 A. The need was for information rather than intelligence.
2 Intelligence is a sensitive word and it was imperative that the EC mission
3 was seen to be a provider of relevant information as opposed to military
4 disposition. It was important that the EC monitors were not seen to be
5 spies, that they were not seen to pass military dispositions between the
6 various parties they met and discuss matters with, and that sensitive
7 military information was not generally available over Capsat or any other
9 Q. Can you elaborate for us on the difference between information and
11 A. The questions we asked of the people we met, whether they were
12 civil leaders, politicians, or military, was what are their feelings about
13 the current situation? What intentions did they have, if any? The
14 various parties to the conflict would have a public intention, such as to
15 -- to work closely with another party towards peace. It was not
16 necessary then to ask them for details of military dispositions but to
17 pass -- pass on information regarding their -- their search for peace.
18 They had the opportunity to speak frankly, we had the opportunity to
19 report accurately.
20 On occasion, it was quite clear to us that activity in practice
21 did not match declared intention, and there -- possibly there might be a
22 conflict between the provision of information or intelligence, but
23 actually the requirement was to corroborate the main aim and the declared
24 intention, or to question it.
25 Q. Mr. Beese, in what way, if any, was information shared by ECMM
1 with the various parties?
2 A. ECMM would not share the intentions or declarations of one party
3 to another except where it was explicitly understood that that would be
4 the case. The ECMM itself as an organisation would share its information
5 with the United Nations.
6 Q. You mentioned a few moments ago, Mr. Beese, that there were also
7 liaison functions between ECMM and other international agencies.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How did those liaison functions work on the ground?
10 A. Very informally. The international agencies themselves struggled
11 to provide the assets and resource necessary to maintain a presence across
12 the area. Therefore, in Mostar there might be a UNHCR office, it might
13 concentrate principally on humanitarian aid or on protection matters such
14 as the protection of refugees. They would not be present in every town.
15 ICRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, likewise had scarce
16 resource. They needed sufficient to monitor human interest, and it was
17 for the teams to know who the representatives were in each area, of those
18 international organisations, and to communicate with them, work with them
19 where possible, and to be mutually supporting where relevant.
20 Q. How would you differentiate or distinguish between the role of the
21 ECMM and the role, for example, of UNPROFOR at this point in time?
22 A. UNPROFOR had a very clearly defined mission, and in that context
23 it was closely -- working closely with UNHCR principally for the delivery
24 of aid. The ECMM had a much broader mandate, and whereas United Nations
25 units necessarily reported through a strict control mechanism and it would
1 have been inappropriate for military personnel within the United Nations
2 to deal with people of a different standing in their region, EC monitors
3 were individuals able to communicate with whomever they wished, and to
4 travel to see whomever they wished at any time. They had much greater
6 Q. And how did this greater flexibility manifest itself on the
8 A. The connection between command and control and troops on the
9 ground could be worked more efficiently if, for instance, a team could
10 monitor a cease-fire and compliance with a government directive. And I
11 might give an example. In Gornji Vakuf, the team would liaise with the
12 troops either engaged in conflict with another faction or withdrawing and
13 be able to speak, if there was any difficulty, with the command and
14 control structure or even the politicians in Mostar to see -- to check
15 whether instructions were being complied with. It would have been very
16 difficult for United Nations observers to work with both troops on the
17 ground and politicians in a government building.
18 Q. What, Mr. Beese, what were the main, if you will, modes of action
19 that the monitors undertook?
20 A. On my arrival, the concern was the free flow of humanitarian aid.
21 So there was a concentration on the mechanisms by which humanitarian aid
22 moved from the coast to the interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were
23 also issues of tension between particularly the three parties to the
24 conflict, that is two working together, the Croats and the Muslims, and
25 their common adversary the Serb. Those were the principal activities;
1 humanitarian aid and tension.
2 Q. And what was the role of ECMM with respect to humanitarian aid?
3 A. The ECMM had a common interest in ensuring a constant flow of
4 humanitarian aid, both for humanitarian reasons and because any
5 obstruction to aid would inevitably create tension.
6 Q. But what precisely -- what was the more precise role? Was ECMM
7 actually accompanying convoys or assisting with humanitarian relief? Can
8 you be a little bit more specific?
9 A. The ECMM monitored the movement of convoys, generally speaking.
10 It was not a question of how many trucks and how many days, but whether
11 aid was free flowing or not. If it was hindered, that was a matter of
13 Q. And what was the primary way in which ECMM looked after issues of
14 tension between the parties at the time of your arrival?
15 A. ECMM had the option to address a matter locally or centrally.
16 Therefore, a team would endeavour to manage tension locally with local
17 commanders. If that failed, the team would refer the matter to the
18 coordination centre. In Herzegovina, for instance, the coordination
19 centre had the opportunity to meet with senior officials of the HVO in
20 Mostar. If it was believed that the matter was so serious it was beyond
21 the means of the coordination centre to resolve, it would report the
22 matter to the regional centre, at that time based in Split prior to its
23 deployment to Zenica, and the regional centre, headed by a diplomat,
24 usually an active ambassador, would have the opportunity to address the
25 government of whichever party directly.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beese.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. This would be an
3 appropriate place for the first technical break.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We're going to reconvene
5 at approximately ten to eleven.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's continue until
10 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Beese, I'd now like to turn your attention to your departure
12 from Zagreb. Can you tell us -- you told us earlier that you arrived in
13 Siroki Brijeg on about the 9th of January, 1993. Did you make any
14 intermediate stops in travelling from Zagreb to Siroki Brijeg?
15 A. I was initially sent from Split by vehicle -- sorry, from Zagreb
16 by vehicle to Split, where I spent two days.
17 Q. And what did you do in Split during those two days?
18 A. Briefed on the local circumstance of operations to the north and
19 east of Split.
20 Q. Let's turn our attention now, sir, to your arrival in Siroki
21 Brijeg. Can you tell us what further preparation, if any, you made upon
22 your arrival in Siroki Brijeg.
23 A. Ray Lane, the Irish head of coordination centre, briefed me on
24 what his teams were doing in the Mostar region.
25 Q. And at the time of your arrival, sir, where was -- just so we're
1 all clear, where was the coordination centre headquarters at that time?
2 A. The headquarters was based in a private house in Siroki Brijeg.
3 Q. And at the time of your arrival on 9 January, 1993, how many teams
4 reported to the coordination centre headquarters?
5 A. Three. One was based in Tomislavgrad and lived there; two teams
6 were based out of Siroki Brijeg, including that of Ray Lane.
7 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what team you were initially assigned to.
8 A. I was assigned to the second team working out of Siroki Brijeg.
9 Q. And who were the other members of that team?
10 A. Variously, I would accompany Juan Valentin, a Spanish officer, or
11 Volmer Svensen, a Danish officer, or Ray Lane himself.
12 Q. At the time of your arrival, sir, how many monitors were assigned
13 to the coordination centre headquartered in Siroki Brijeg?
14 A. Four of us.
15 Q. How many support personnel were assigned to the coordination
16 centre headquartered in Siroki Brijeg upon your arrival?
17 A. We had no core staff. There were only the four monitors and two
19 Q. What assets were available to you in terms of interpretation or
20 translation support?
21 A. We could make use of local interpreters as they were available.
22 Other than that, none.
23 Q. Do you recall, sir, the approximate date when you were sent out on
24 your first mission with ECMM?
25 A. I started moving out around the area, both to familiarise myself
1 and engage in normal tasking business, on the 10th of January.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I'm simply calling to the attention of
3 the Trial Chamber and to the Defence that the witness does seem to have a
4 piece of paper in front of him, which I wanted to do just in terms of
6 Q. Mr. Beese, can you tell us what this piece of paper is.
7 A. It is a list of key events or key dates to remind me of dates.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you put that in
9 your pocket. Please continue. If at a certain point in time you forget
10 something and you would like to refresh your memory, please tell us.
11 Otherwise, try and answer the questions as they have been asked.
12 THE WITNESS: Certainly.
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Mr. Beese, do you recall the approximate mission or mandate that
15 you were given for that first mission that you were sent out with as an
16 ECMM monitor?
17 A. We were looking at the movement of aid from Metkovic towards
18 Mostar, and we were examining the circumstances of refugees, mostly Muslim
19 refugees, living in Southern Herzegovina, or small pockets of Serb
20 citizens who remained in Herzegovina.
21 Q. And how long did you undertake this specific mission?
22 A. Excuse me, is that for the day or for the period?
23 Q. Well, for that -- for that -- I guess you answered that question;
24 that was a one-day mission?
25 A. Yes. But it was consistent with the work of those days, for a
1 week or so.
2 Q. And approximately -- again, in this period I'd like to focus on
3 January, 1993, for the moment. During the period January, 1993,
4 approximately how many days a week were you out on mission?
5 A. Almost every day, though Sunday was inevitably a quieter day
6 because there were fewer officials to meet.
7 Q. And again, in January, 1993, if it's possible, can you describe
8 for us a typical day as an ECMM monitor based out of Siroki Brijeg.
9 A. The team would depart the base at around 8.00 in the morning,
10 would travel to one of the -- one of the towns in the area, for instance,
11 Ljubuski to visit refugees, to Glusci to visit a Serb pocket, to Stolac to
12 visit the hospital and the community there, to Mostar to liaise with
13 ministers and HVO and Muslim officials responsible for humanitarian aid
14 such that we came to understand what was working and possibly what wasn't
16 Q. What would you do after you went to these locations or met with
17 the people that you were liaising with? What would you do then?
18 A. Towards the end of the day we would return to the base, we would
19 then report to Ray Lane, either with a verbal briefing or with a short
20 written report, to enable him to understand what we had found, to discuss
21 matters of mutual interest. He likewise would brief us on what he'd been
22 doing, and by the end of the day we would understand, hopefully, what was
23 happening in our area and be in a position to brief Zagreb.
24 Q. And again, just so that we're clear, sir, how was this briefing to
25 Zagreb undertaken?
1 A. Ray Lane would produce a report and transmit it by Capsat through
2 the regional centre in Split.
3 Q. Do you recall, sir, other than monitoring humanitarian missions or
4 humanitarian aid relief, what other missions you were assigned to
5 undertake as an ECMM monitor in January, 1993?
6 A. Where there were issues of tension, we were required either to
7 report it if it was new or to react to it if it was known. Therefore, for
8 instance, as we became more familiar as part of the move of the mission
9 back into Bosnia, we were reacquainted with the officials of the various
10 parties, and there were only two parties of significance in the Mostar
11 area, and that is the HVO with its political and military apparatus, and
12 the forces of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Q. Now, again in this period January, 1993, do you recall some of
14 the, as you put it, parties of significance in the Mostar area? Who were
15 the people that you were actually speaking with or liaising with in
16 January, 1993?
17 A. We had access to HVO officials of various levels responsible for
18 humanitarian aid, for matters of defence, military matters, and political.
19 We had access to the armija officers, either at brigade level or later at
20 corps level. Therefore, we dealt with the likes of Arif Pasalic on one
21 hand and the likes of Bruno Stojic and his assistant Slobodan Bozic on the
22 other hand. We also dealt with the minister -- HVO minister responsible
23 for humanitarian affairs, Mr. Tadic.
24 Q. Do you recall any specific meetings with any of these individuals
25 that occurred in January, 1993?
1 A. Apart from routine discussions, the discussion perhaps of most
2 significance was with the brigade commander of the armija in Mostar who
3 briefed us on an ultimatum that had been given the forces of the army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina by the HVO to disband and to come under control of the
6 Q. Mr. Beese, do you recall the name of this brigade commander of the
7 armija in Mostar who briefed you?
8 A. I do not.
9 Q. Do you recall the specific time line or time period when this
10 ultimatum was given and when it was set to expire?
11 A. Ray Lane first heard of the ultimatum when he met the brigade
12 commander on the 15th. The brigade commander stated that tension was
13 increasing, that Muslim people were being arrested, and that the HVO had
14 announced by public means, by word of mouth, by radio broadcast, but not
15 through the armija, that the armija was to come under command of the HVO
16 with effect from the 20th. That was not expected to be a smooth transfer
17 of authority. It was expected to be resisted.
18 Q. And again, Mr. Beese, for the purpose of the transcript, when you
19 make reference to the 15th and the 20th, can you tell us the month and
20 year those dates refer to.
21 A. We became aware of the -- of the ultimatum on the 15th when Ray
22 Lane met with the brigade commander. He understood there were tensions
23 and that the ultimatum was due to come into effect on the 20th of January.
24 I then went to meet with the brigade commander again on the 16th of
25 January, following Ray Lane's visit, and was given specific details of the
1 ultimatum, such as the date of implementation.
2 Q. Can you describe for us, sir, what the conditions were like in
3 Mostar during this period 15, 16 January, 1993.
4 A. Mostar was a tense city. Mostar was subject to periodic shelling
5 by Serbs. Serbian artillery was based on Mount Velez, immediately to the
6 east of Mostar. The Serbs would shell the city with four, six, a dozen
7 shells a day or every other day. That was the principal cause of -- of
8 tension, though there was increasing tension between the HVO and the
9 armija, between the two communities. The HVO had established checkpoints
10 around the city of Mostar, and it was necessary even by that stage for
11 Muslim commanders - I can't say what it was like for the private citizen -
12 to seek permission from the HVO to leave or enter Mostar. The HVO
13 appeared to have control of much of Mostar and its daily life.
14 Q. After you obtained this information from this ABiH brigade
15 commander, what did you do with that information?
16 A. The information was deemed to be so serious and potentially so
17 destabilising that it was necessary for my team to travel immediately to
18 Split where Ray Lane was discussing the matter with the head of the
19 regional centre, Ambassador Beaussou, and to report to them directly what
20 I'd heard.
21 Q. Can you tell us about that briefing with Ambassador Beaussou.
22 A. Ray Lane understood the implications, as did the ambassador. The
23 ambassador reported the matter to Zagreb and determined to approach senior
24 officials in the HVO to determine whether this was in fact true and what
25 it meant, and therefore the ambassador travelled back to Mostar on the
1 19th to meet with Mr. Prlic.
2 Q. Can you tell us, sir, at any point between your meeting on the
3 16th and the 19th of January, 1993, if you were again in the immediate
4 area of Mostar.
5 A. Yes. It became our -- our responsibility then to monitor tension,
6 to monitor what was to be a curfew imposed by the HVO, and to respond if
7 in fact the ultimatum gave rise to HVO action in an attempt to enforce the
9 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what was the geographic scope of the curfew
10 to be imposed by the HVO?
11 A. I understood it was -- it was a general curfew applying to the
12 region, though in practice with a relatively small Muslim population and
13 community spread amongst the towns of Herzegovina, those of Grude,
14 Posusje, Ljubuski, Capljina and Citluk, the curfew really was imposed on
15 Mostar and not on the outlying towns.
16 Q. Do you recall any discussions that you had with ABiH officials
17 during this time period from the 16th -- again not talking about your
18 discussion with the brigade commander but after that meeting with the
19 brigade commander up until the 19th? Did you have any further discussions
20 with any ABiH officials?
21 A. We began to talk then with the corps commander Arif Pasalic, but I
22 can't recall the date specifically without reference to my account.
23 Q. But it was between the 16th and the 19th of January, 1993?
24 A. I believe so.
25 Q. Do you recall any of the specifics of what Arif Pasalic told you
1 during that time period?
2 A. Arif Pasalic related in greater detail the restrictions imposed on
3 them by the HVO. He recounted how his headquarters had been cut off
4 telephonically, how power and water supplies might be interrupted, and
5 life generally made more difficult. He also related how he had very few
6 troops of his own in Mostar because the majority of armija troops were
7 based on the front line to the east, in confrontation with the Serbs.
8 Therefore, the HVO had many more troops in and around Mostar than he did.
9 Q. I'd like to turn your attention now, Mr. Beese, to that meeting of
10 the 19th of January, 1993. Do you recall who was in attendance at this
12 A. I was not present, but I am aware that Ray Lane accompanied
13 Ambassador Beaussou to meetings with Mr. Prlic. Also, I believe with Mr.
14 -- with General Petkovic. And it was through General Petkovic that the
15 word of concern - for that was what the European Community expressed -
16 concern that at this particular stage implementation of the ultimatum
17 would do no good to the general peace process at all.
18 Q. Were you briefed on what occurred at this meeting after its
20 A. Immediately afterwards by Ray Lane when he returned to the
21 coordination centre.
22 Q. And what did he tell you took place at this meeting?
23 A. He related how the HVO had heard the EC expression of concern and
24 how the HVO regarded the transfer of responsibility for all forces to the
25 HVO as a natural progression of organisation in the area. It would not be
1 unusual for Mr. Prlic to --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object, Your Honour, at this point.
3 Please withhold finishing that sentence.
4 At this point now the gentleman is commenting about a meeting that
5 he wasn't present at and now he's about to voice an opinion. So if some
6 foundational background can be put in for the gentleman to voice an
7 opinion, that's fine, but since he wasn't present, I find it offensive
8 that we would have a witness here testifying to matters that are clearly,
9 you know, outside his knowledge. It's clear hearsay, and I understand
10 hearsay can come in. I don't have a problem with that. He was briefed,
11 but he wasn't present. So now he's going into a mindset of someone who
12 was at a meeting where he wasn't present, and that I do object to.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Karnavas, the Judges and
14 the Chamber are trying to follow the logic of that. A moment ago, you
15 told us that in chapter 13 there were personal opinions of the witness
16 expressed -- or, rather, chapter 13 wasn't there and you wanted to know
17 them. Now he wants to give an opinion and you are opposed to it.
18 Now, I'm doing my best as a Cartesian to find my way around all
19 that. Could you enlighten me, please.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll help you out, Your Honour, I'll help you out.
21 I haven't seen his reflections, so --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, help me out.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I will. I don't have his chapter on reflections
24 and I don't know what's in it and how he arrives at certain conclusions or
25 reflections, but in this particular instance he's saying -- or he began by
1 saying it would not be unusual -- I cut him off at that point. In this
2 particular instance, he wasn't present at the meeting. He gets a briefing
3 according to his own testimony, and now he is going to comment about a --
4 about somebody's mindset at a briefing where he wasn't present. Now, if
5 he has met Mr. Prlic and a question can be posed to the gentleman after
6 meeting with Mr. Prlic what his impressions are of Mr. Prlic, and so on
7 and so forth; I don't have a problem. But keeping in mind that this is a
8 purely hearsay testimony, I do have some concerns, and I think that I need
9 to highlight it so at least it's on the record.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. Mr. Mundis,
11 don't ask the witness about a meeting that he didn't attend and ask him
12 his impressions. There are other subjects where the witness was present
13 and that would be far more useful. Please continue.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Mr. Beese, during the time period that you were in Bosnia from
16 January through July, 1993, did you ever have occasion to meet with
17 Mr. Prlic?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. On approximately how many occasions during that six- or
20 seven-month period did you meet with Mr. Prlic?
21 A. Perhaps eight occasions.
22 Q. Sitting here today, are there any themes that were consistently
23 told to you or expressed to you by Mr. Prlic during these approximately
24 eight meetings that you had with him?
25 A. Yes. Mr. Prlic, as was representative of the line given us by he
1 and his colleagues, was that the HVO represented the only organised entity
2 in the region and, therefore, whether the issue in hand was a matter of
3 humanitarian aid or military operation or internal affairs, matters of
4 education, culture, licensing and the like, the HVO represented the best
5 option, indeed the only option, for running the territory.
6 Q. Let's return now to the briefing that you received by Mr. Lane
7 following the meeting on the 19th of January, 1993. Do you recall any of
8 the specifics of what Mr. Lane told you had taken place at that meeting?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may. I don't mean to -- I hate
10 to do this. I understand that we have -- that hearsay can come in. If
11 Mr. Lane is on the witness list, he is obviously the best evidence for
12 this sort of testimony, and that would trump hearsay testimony, as I
13 understand how the rules are and how they should be applied. So if
14 Mr. Lane is going to be coming in to talk about a meeting that he had with
15 Mr. Prlic, I think it's wiser to have Mr. Lane describe this as opposed to
16 this gentleman who, after all, got a briefing, keeping in mind that
17 hearsay does come in, I understand that.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, if Mr. Lane is on
19 the witness list and is coming in, then you can ask Mr. Lane directly
20 rather than asking the witness about hearsay evidence. And he can go back
21 to what the man told him but with less precision. So are you going to
22 have Mr. Lane come in to testify? And if so, you can ask him directly.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I could respond to that. Again, I
24 think, as Mr. Karnavas recognised several times, hearsay evidence is
25 admissible. Whether Mr. Lane comes and testifies or not, if Mr. Lane were
1 to come six months from now and say immediately after the meeting I
2 briefed Mr. Beese, then I'm open to criticism as to why I didn't ask
3 Mr. Beese about the contemporaneous briefing that Mr. Lane gave to him.
4 What we're trying to simply do is to say, in effect, whether we call
5 Mr. Lane or not, if Mr. Lane's recollection of that meeting is
6 corroborated by what this witness tells us he was told on the very day
7 that that meeting took place, that's another reason for why this type of
8 evidence should be admissible. It's simply a question of weight at the
9 end of the day anyway.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The Judges agree. Please
12 MR. MUNDIS:
13 Q. Again, Mr. Beese, can you recall any of the specifics of what
14 Mr. Lane briefed you on following this meeting on the 19th of January,
16 A. I'd rather refer to my account in that respect.
17 THE WITNESS: With respect, Your Honour, many details -- many
18 events took place in that time. It is now some time ago. From events one
19 distilled a view of various processes. It is much easier for me to recall
20 the processes and the themes than it is some of the specifics without me
21 relating to my notes. And when it comes to detail, I would rather confine
22 myself to what I can accurately recall through my account.
23 MR. MUNDIS: All right. Mr. President, with the Trial Chamber's
24 leave, let me digress at this point and ask the witness some foundational
25 questions with respect to his account, as he's called it.
1 Q. Mr. Beese, you made reference to your account. Can you tell us,
2 please, what you're referring to when you say "my account."
3 A. When I returned from the former Yugoslavia, I inevitably had many
4 concerns in my head. I had a need to put down in writing what I had
5 experienced, both for the benefit of my family, so they would understand
6 what it was that I'd been and done, perhaps with a view also to improving
7 the training for monitors in future missions. I therefore put down in
8 1994 and late 1993, when I returned from the mission, as much detail as I
9 could, adding to it a certain amount of personal feelings as experienced
10 by a monitor to show the personal conflicts and issues that a monitor
12 The account was not meant to be a detailed record of everything
13 that was said and done. It does include a certain amount of detail, and
14 where I have written detail and comment on people's comments, that is, to
15 my understanding, accurate. I produced this account from records I had,
16 from notebooks and recollections, but it was not at all meant to be a
17 diary of events other than the fact that it was a process, something that
18 took place over several months, and is therefore my product and my product
20 Q. Mr. Beese --
21 MR. KARNAVAS: At this point, Your Honour, at this point I
22 understand -- I don't want to interrupt again, but if we're going to be
23 using this as a basis, as a foundation to get this account in so the
24 gentleman can use to refresh his memory, what I -- I would be asking for
25 all of the records and all of the notebooks upon which this account was
1 based on, because I think they are part and parcel. They all come in as
2 one package. So I want to make this objection right on -- on -- right up
3 front at this point. Before there's an introduction of this account, I
4 would like to have a commitment that we're going to be getting the records
5 and notebooks upon which this account was drafted and whether those exist
6 and what have you. I think it's fair. It all comes in.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Can you ask the witness
8 questions as to how he was able to do this, how -- whether he was helped
9 by anybody, before presenting him with a document.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Let me --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If not, then I'll be asking the
12 questions myself.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Let me -- let me return, Mr. President, to the
14 witness's previous answer and we'll build on it from there, if I may.
15 Q. Mr. Beese, you told us that you produced this account from - and
16 this is on line 7 of page 53 - from records that you had, from notebooks
17 and recollections. Can you tell us, sir, the process by which you created
18 these earlier notebooks and/or recollections. How did you do this? How
19 did you accumulate the information in the field?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, this is -- well, I object to the form of the
21 question. We can ask where do they come from, where do these notebooks
22 come from, the recollections and the records. I would -- it's a much
23 cleaner way of asking the question, because the other one is somewhat
24 suggestive that they were actually made in the field.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to intervene at this
2 Sir, it would appear that you produced a document on your
3 recollections of your mission. You explained a moment ago that it was for
4 your family, perhaps for history, or whatever. Now, that document, where
5 did you produce it?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I produced it on a computer after hours
7 at my place of work.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And could you tell
9 us what month that was? You said the end of 1993, beginning of 1994.
10 Could you be more precise and perhaps give us a month? Because as far as
11 I understood it, you left Bosnia-Herzegovina in July. So several months
12 elapsed. And when did you take up this work, as of what date?
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I began in December, 1993.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. So
15 produced it with your -- on your computer, based on your memory, and as
16 Mr. Karnavas suggested, you used other documents, other paper. So did you
17 do it on the basis of other elements that you had at your disposal?
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, through my time in Yugoslavia, I
19 maintained a normal pocket diary which, for instance, gave me the
20 locations I was in day by day and something of what took place. I also
21 had notebooks wherein I recorded some of the substance of meetings that I
22 attended. I also had --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So I have discovered
24 that you had a normal pocket diary and notebooks. Is that right? And
25 where is that pocket diary and the notebooks? Where are they?
1 THE WITNESS: I have a -- a copy of my diary, and I have the
2 notebooks in my hotel, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why did you not provide all this
4 material to the Prosecutor? Because apparently what you did supply them
5 with was a document of 127 pages but not the rest of the material; is that
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the -- the notebooks make sense to me
8 as the writer of those notebooks, but the notes themselves do not
9 necessarily on their own make sense to other people. A single word on a
10 particular page might remind me specifically of something that was said
11 but might make no sense to another reader. So ...
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the document that you did
13 provide the Prosecution with, as far as you are concerned, is the faithful
14 original of the diary that you were keeping and the notebooks in which you
15 made your little entries. Could I understand it that way? That it is the
16 transcription and faithful transcribing of what you had jotted down in
17 your pocket diary or in your other notes or notebooks, your little memo
18 pads or whatever you used. Can you answer that?
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, it is -- it is a distillation. It
20 doesn't contain, of course, every word or every remark in the notebooks.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we can observe
22 that it was a selection, a distillation, as you say.
23 Counsel Karnavas, anything to add?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. I can only speak from my own
25 experience of having received reports, for instance, from police officers
1 where they're based on notes that they take in the field, and I can assure
2 the Trial Chamber that in my experience sometimes there are sometimes
3 minor, sometimes major inconsistencies from the notes to what is actually
4 put in the report where the report is written after, once they get into
5 the field. I think it's discoverable. I don't think we can just take the
6 account without taking the notebooks. So I certainly would -- I am
7 moving, making an oral application at this point in time, for everything.
8 And again, there is a mechanism, there is a mechanism -- I'll wait. If I
9 could be heard --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we understand. We're
11 trying to save time here. Counsel Karnavas, the witness has taken the
12 solemn declaration to tell the truth and the whole truth. That obliges
13 him to tell us exactly what he noticed and what he was able to write down.
14 Now, you would like him to bring in piles and piles of documents to test
15 that. That would take years. We have to get to the core of the matter
16 quickly, and the heart of the matter is this famous document that we were
17 referring to a moment ago. During the cross-examination, you will have
18 ample opportunity to answer him -- to ask him any questions that you deem
19 necessary and that concern your client.
20 So as we go along, we will see whether there is any need to
21 complete what he says with respect to the documents that he has in his
22 hotel room. We'll see that in due course. But we don't want to waste any
23 more time and waste these proceedings dealing with a problem which is
24 losing time and is not advancing our search for the truth. So let's hear
25 what the witness is going to tell us about the events he attended.
1 Mr. Mundis, please proceed.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Well, Mr. President, I believe we were at the point
3 where the witness indicated that he needed to refer to the account, as
4 he's put it, in order to answer the question I'd asked him, so at this
5 point in time, rather than using the e-court system, I'm proposing that
6 the witness be provided with a bound copy of the account which we've
7 marked as P 09601.
8 Q. And again, Mr. Beese, the question that was put to you several
9 minutes ago was whether you had any recollections of what Ray Lane briefed
10 you on immediately after the meeting of 19 January, 1993. Mr. Beese, if
11 you could look at paragraph 68, I believe.
12 A. It is apparent to me here that the meeting between the ambassador
13 and Mr. Prlic was a little one-sided inasmuch as it was the EC who wished
14 to deliver a message to the HVO, and therefore it does not give comment on
15 the HVO response.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. MUNDIS: At this point in time, Mr. President, I'd ask the
18 witness be shown P 01215.
19 Q. And, sir, if you could just now close the account but perhaps
20 leave it to the side.
21 Mr. Beese, do you see a document before you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us what that document is.
24 A. The document I have before me is in -- written in Croatian, I
25 believe, and although I have an idea --
1 Q. Sorry. We need to get the witness to be able to see the English
2 version of the document, please.
3 A. I can see a report written by the head of regional centre in Split
4 to the headquarters of the ECMM in Zagreb.
5 Q. Let me just stop you there, sir. You said you saw the report was
6 written by the head of the regional centre in Split. How do you know
8 A. At the top it says "HRC Split," and then gives a list of
10 Q. At this point in time, sir, when this letter was written, who was
11 "HRC Split"?
12 A. Ambassador Beaussou.
13 Q. Can you again tell us the list of addressees, and again because
14 you're the first witness from ECMM, can you explain to us who these
15 addressees are and what the initials stand for.
16 A. The report is issued to headquarters in Zagreb, specifically for
17 the following addressees: The Deputy Head of Mission political, the
18 Deputy Head of Mission operational, the chief operating officer, and with
19 copies to the EC liaison officer with UNPROFOR in Kiseljak, to the
20 coordination centre in Grude, and to the coordination centres in Zenica
21 and the team in Tomislavgrad.
22 Q. If we could -- could you please explain to us what the purpose of
23 this document was.
24 A. The report appears to be an account of the meeting between the
25 ambassador and a number of senior officials in Mostar in connection with
1 the HVO ultimatum.
2 Q. Could we please go to the second page of this document, please.
3 Do you see the second page, sir?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to the paragraph that was carried
6 over from the previous page in the sense of being number 2. If you see
7 the (c). Do you see --
8 A. I do.
9 Q. -- right above paragraph 3?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Were you in any way briefed on what is reported in paragraph (c)
12 of page 2 of this document?
13 A. Yes. That is -- that is in line with what Ray Lane reported to me
14 after his meetings in Mostar.
15 Q. Thank you. Let me now ask you, sir, and that -- we're done with
16 that document for the moment.
17 Let me ask you, Mr. Beese, what happened on or about the 20th of
18 January, 1993, with respect to the ultimatum?
19 A. As far as we could observe, the ultimatum was not seen through,
20 and therefore there was no evident change in status between the two
22 Q. Are there any other events, Mr. Beese, in January, 1993, that
23 stick out in your mind with respect to the situation that you were
24 monitoring based out of Siroki Brijeg?
25 A. There were concerns for the flow of aid from the coast to Central
1 Bosnia. There were changes in the terms required of the aid convoys by
2 the HVO minister for humanitarian affairs, which made it more difficult
3 for aid to flow freely. As far as we could tell, there was intervention
4 in the free flow of aid through the diversion of trucks from Metkovic to
5 Ljubuski where they would be processed, which meant examining the cargos
6 in detail, stripping off what was not required or was not considered to be
7 emergency foodstuffs before the trucks were allowed on their way.
8 Q. Mr. Beese, I'd now like to turn your attention, if you would, to
9 February, 1993, and the first few days of February, 1993. Do you recall
10 any of the specific missions that you were tasked with --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a question with respect to
12 this document. This document, did you have it -- did you read it at the
13 time, or was it Mr. Lane who spoke to you about it? Did you see it with
14 your own eyes? Did you read it yourself at the time?
15 THE WITNESS: I did not, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: And, Your Honour, just based on that, I just want
18 to make sure that we have a procedure in place so I don't have to be
19 objecting too much. Documents that the gentleman did not generate, I
20 don't have a problem in him identifying them as being ECMM documents, but
21 commenting as to the content within the document, if he did not generate
22 that particular document, I would object to. It's a standing objection
23 for all documents to come. Obviously he can talk about observations,
24 perceptions that he generated, you know, at the time. I don't have a
25 problem about that. And this was an issue, by the way, in the previous
1 case where the gentleman testified, so it's nothing novel.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Again, Mr. President, just for the record, I note at
3 page 60, lines 4 and 5, with respect to that paragraph that was shown to
4 the witness, the witness indicated that that paragraph is in line with
5 what Ray Lane reported to him after the meetings in Mostar. So again this
6 is not simply where we're asking him to comment on the contents of
7 documents without him having independent knowledge or an independent basis
8 for that comment.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Which is why I do not object.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Fair enough.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I thought it was proper. I thought it was very
12 proper of Mr. Mundis, and I commend him for that.
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Let me again turn your attention, sir, to the first few days of
15 February, 1993, and ask you if you recall any specific missions that you
16 were tasked with as part of your ECMM duties in the first few days or
17 first week of February, 1993.
18 A. I recall on the 6th of February being asked by Ray Lane to respond
19 to a request from the United Nations Military Observers in Medjugorje to
20 attend their office without delay. This was in response to a matter that
21 had been reported to the UNMO centre in Medjugorje by their counterpart
22 team in Trebinje to the east of Stolac.
23 Q. And Mr. Beese, what was the subject matter of this request from
24 the UNMOs in Medjugorje?
25 A. The UNMOs in Medjugorje had been informed by UNMOs in Trebinje
1 that refugees, if one wishes to call them that, had come through the lines
2 at Stolac the previous evening after abduction in Mostar by persons
3 unknown. They had been abducted, taken to the front line at Stolac,
4 pushed across the front line towards the Serbian lines.
5 Q. And what was your specific tasking with respect to this incident?
6 A. In Medjugorje, the senior UNMO, Major Paul Ronksley from Canada,
7 briefed myself, Ray Lane, and Joran, the senior UNHCR protection officer
8 in the region, on the material that he'd been advised of, as much as he
9 knew, and we determined how best to respond this issue.
10 Q. What steps, if any, did you take in terms of, as you put it,
11 responding to this issue?
12 A. Ray Lane and Paul Ronksley determined to move to Mostar to discuss
13 the matter with the officials there, and in particular Mr. Prlic, whilst I
14 and colleagues moved to Stolac to examine a survivor of the incident in
15 the Stolac hospital.
16 Q. Can you describe for us this examination that took place in the
17 Stolac hospital.
18 A. I met with a woman in her 50s who had been injured by shrapnel and
19 bullet the previous evening. She was in a hospital bed. She was able to
20 talk. And I was accompanied by United Nations Military Observers, Spanish
21 officers from the UNPROFOR battalion at Medjugorje, UNHCR representatives,
22 and HVO representatives.
23 Q. What did this woman tell you when you met with her?
24 A. She recounted how the previous evening she and some 14 other
25 civilians had been taken forcibly from their flats in the Avenue Ante
1 Zuanica in central Mostar. They had been placed in the back of a panel
2 van, driven to Stolac. At the time they were not aware of where they
3 were. It was dark. They were in the back of a van. They were told to
4 get out of the van, and they were told to walk down a road. They
5 understood at that moment that they were close to the front line at
6 Stolac. Some of the women were not accompanied by their husbands who had
7 been elsewhere at the time of the abduction, and refused to cross the
8 front line without their husbands. They had then been shouted at by the
9 abductors, and because of their refusal to move east, grenades were thrown
10 at them together with rifle fire. One woman had been killed by this fire.
11 The injured woman had managed to run away, to cross a river, and to reach
12 some form of sanctuary offered by people on the other side in Stolac.
13 Q. Mr. Beese, you told us that some of the women were not accompanied
14 by their husbands. Do you know if other people -- other women were
15 accompanied by their husbands?
16 A. Yes, there were. The 14 people abducted were of mixed
17 nationality, including Serb and Muslim, men and women, old and young.
18 Q. Approximately how long did you meet with this woman in Stolac at
19 the hospital?
20 A. Perhaps half an hour with the woman before moving on to the
21 mortuary to examine the dead woman whose body had been recovered.
22 Q. And approximately how long in total did you remain in Stolac on
23 this day?
24 A. Probably an hour and a half to two hours.
25 Q. Mr. Beese, where did you go after you were at the hospital and
1 morgue in Stolac?
2 A. I returned through Medjugorje to meet up with Ray Lane and to move
3 to Mostar.
4 Q. What steps, if any, did you subsequently take with respect this
5 incident in Stolac?
6 A. We lodged a complaint with the HVO and specifically with
7 Mr. Prlic.
8 Q. Mr. Beese, when you say "we," who are you referring to?
9 A. Ray Lane and myself, but supported by the UNMOs and the protection
11 Q. On this occasion, Mr. Beese, did you personally meet with
12 Mr. Prlic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you recall the approximate date of that meeting?
15 A. That would be the 6th of February, 1993.
16 Q. Can you relate to the Trial Chamber what was discussed at this
18 A. The -- the EC and UN lodged a complaint that this had happened.
19 It was understood to have happened in central Mostar. We had visited the
20 flats. The flats were occupied by a number of senior officials, and at
21 the base of the flats was an HVO military police post. We considered that
22 it would not be difficult for the HVO to find out who the abductors were,
23 to investigate the matter, and to report to us. We also asked for
24 assurances that people in Mostar generally should be able to live there
25 safely and not fear for similar abduction.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, let me ask you a couple of follow-on questions
2 from that answer. You testified the flats were occupied by a number of
3 senior officials. Do you know who these officials were?
4 A. I understood senior HVO officials. The only one that was named to
5 me was Petar Zelenika.
6 Q. And Mr. Beese, did you personally visit the flats?
7 A. I did, yes.
8 Q. Once this information was conveyed to Mr. Prlic, what response, if
9 any, were you given by Mr. Prlic?
10 A. Mr. Prlic committed to investigate the matter and in due course to
11 issue us with a report of his findings, and he offered the safe return of
12 the abductees and a guarantee of their safety afterwards.
13 Q. Mr. Beese, were you in fact in due course presented with a report
14 of Mr. Prlic's findings?
15 A. No.
16 Q. On any other occasion did this topic -- again was this topic
17 discussed with Mr. Prlic?
18 A. Yes. Several weeks later I asked for a report, I believe of
19 Mr. Prlic, certainly of Mr. Zoric [phoen]. I did not receive ever a
20 report nor any explanation.
21 Q. Mr. Beese, the transcript indicates Mr. Zoric. Can you please
22 tell us who you were referring to.
23 A. To Valentin Coric, who was the head of the military police for the
25 Q. And can you spell his name?
1 A. C-o-r-i-c. I apologise if I've not pronounced it correctly.
2 Q. That's fine.
3 MR. MUNDIS: I would now ask that the witness be shown document
4 P 01459. Mr. President, this document was provided to the Prosecution
5 pursuant to Rule 70, so we would ask that this document not be made
6 available to the public.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But you want to put
8 it on the overhead? We won't focus the camera on it.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, before the answer from lines 8 through
10 10 disappear off the screen, I believe that the transcript contains an
11 error, and I would ask the witness if he could read that answer and make
12 any clarifications or corrections in the event the transcript is
14 A. If I understand correctly, line 11 spells Mr. Coric with a Z when
15 it would be appropriate to have a C, I believe.
16 Q. Mr. Beese, I'm actually referring to the answer immediately above
17 that line.
18 A. The same again.
19 Q. If you could read that entire answer, please.
20 A. Yes. "Several weeks later, I asked for a report, I believe of
21 Mr. Prlic, certainly of Mr. Zoric." Zoric should be spelt with a C. "I
22 did not --"
23 Q. Continue.
24 A. "I did not receive a report. I never did receive a report or an
1 Q. So again so that we're clear, did you or did you not receive a
2 report or explanation from the HVO authorities, Mr. Prlic, or Mr. Coric,
3 concerning this incident in Stolac?
4 A. I did not.
5 Q. Mr. Beese, I'd now ask if you have P 01459 visible on the screen
6 in front of you, if you could take a look at that document. Can you see
7 this document, sir?
8 A. I can.
9 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what this document is.
10 A. It appears to be a summary -- summary report from Zagreb, the
11 headquarters ECMM in Zagreb to a -- perhaps a common list of addressees
12 that would be understood by the word "COREU," "Correspondence European
13 Union." That to be to the foreign ministers, to the presidency, and to
14 the peace talks in Geneva.
15 Q. And again, sir, because many of these abbreviations are new to the
16 Trial Chamber perhaps, the first line of this document, can you tell us
17 what that says. I'm not referring to the DK number but the first line of
18 the text.
19 A. It is from COP COREU, which is -- I'm not familiar with that
20 particular term having not operated in the headquarters in Zagreb.
21 Q. Okay. Could we please go to page 2 of this document, and
22 specifically the third full paragraph of that document, the one beginning
23 "In Mostar ..."
24 A. "In Mostar the head of regional centre Split met with Mr. Prlic,
25 president of the HVO, and voiced his disquiet at the abduction of 14 Serbs
1 from Mostar Stolac area and their dispatch across the front line.
2 Mr. Prlic stated that the inquiry into the incident has now -- was now
3 being conducted by the civilian authorities along with the military
4 police. He asked CC Grude to inform those abducted that they had his
5 guarantee of protection if they wished to return to Mostar."
6 Now, Mr. Beese, were you aware or in attendance of a meeting that
7 HRC Split had with Mr. Prlic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Does this paragraph reflect the meeting that you attended, your
10 recollection of what occurred at the meeting?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. I would now ask, Mr. Beese, if you could discuss with
13 us a little bit about subsequent events in early to mid-February, 1993.
14 What were your primary taskings after these people were abducted and taken
15 to the front lines in Stolac?
16 A. Our principal concern at that time was the outbreak of violence
17 north of Mostar, and in particular in Gornji Vakuf.
18 Q. And under which coordination centre was Gornji Vakuf at that point
19 in time, early --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Beese, a moment ago you told
21 us that when you were in Stolac, you had a meeting with the lady, 50 years
22 old, and she told you what had happened, and then you said that, because
23 the Prosecutor moved on, that you were in the mortuary to see the woman
24 who had been killed, whereas in the paragraph that we've just shown you,
25 and you said that the 14 individuals were mixed, but in that particular
1 paragraph, you speak about 14 Serbs and there's no mention of people who
2 were killed or injured. How do you explain that?
3 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I can't account for that. Certainly
4 the abduction of 14 would appear to be correct. My understanding is that
5 they were of mixed religion or background, and I cannot account for the
6 lack of comment on the death or injuries inflicted upon the abductees.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you said that you went to
8 see the body of the person who was killed. Did you see the body of the
9 lady who was killed?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, you mentioned that your principal concern - and
14 this is on lines 4 and 5, page 69 - was the outbreak of violence north of
15 Mostar, and in particular in Gornji Vakuf. In early to mid-February,
16 1993, Gornji Vakuf was located in which coordination centre's area of
18 A. Gornji Vakuf was not in any particular area of responsibility.
19 The responsibilities of CC Grude in the south were to monitor the
20 territory principally up to Jablanica and no further. Further north, the
21 people responding to CC Zenica were working down along the Lasva Valley in
22 Vitez and Busovaca. At the time, there was no presence with the ECMM in
23 the area between Jablanica and the Lasva Valley. So Gornji Vakuf did not
24 have a dedicated EC presence.
25 Q. And Mr. Beese, from the period you first arrived in Siroki Brijeg
1 on or about the 9th of January, 1993, until early to mid-February, 1993,
2 were you aware of the conditions or situation in Gornji Vakuf?
3 A. Yes. I understood that there was some conflict there, but I was
4 not aware of all the details.
5 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Beese, when you were sent to Gornji
7 A. I travelled north to Gornji Vakuf on the 13th of February, to
8 assist with the operation there.
9 Q. And how long on this occasion in total did you remain in Gornji
11 A. I would have spent a day in Gornji Vakuf and travelled back I
12 believe that evening, but I was to spend the next several weeks in Gornji
14 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber, please, what you observed
15 upon first arriving in Gornji Vakuf on the 13th of February, 1993.
16 A. I travelled north from Mostar with Ray Lane and officials from the
17 HVO and the armija, in particular General Petkovic of the HVO and Arif
18 Pasalic of the armija. We arrived at the Makljen checkpoint, which is a
19 high feature overlooking Gornji Vakuf, travelled down to the Karamustava
20 checkpoint at the bottom of the hill, where we linked up with a team that
21 had joined us from Split, including Ambassador Beaussou. We then entered
22 Gornji Vakuf along the normal road. It was evident to us from dead
23 animals - that's livestock, cattle, domestic animals, dogs - dead in the
24 fields and beside the streets, and from the number of damaged properties,
25 that there had been conflict in Gornji Vakuf.
1 Q. You told us, Mr. Beese, that you were travelling with Ray Lane and
2 officials from the armija and the HVO. How many vehicles were in this
4 A. Four or five.
5 Q. And what was the purpose for making this trip to Gornji Vakuf on
6 the 13th of February, 1993?
7 A. Ambassador Beaussou and Ray Lane had visited Gornji Vakuf in the
8 days beforehand and spoken with senior officials - I believe Mr. Prlic -
9 with whom they had agreed that a cease-fire was necessary and that the
10 parties should meet in Gornji Vakuf to arrange a cease-fire and ultimately
11 a disengagement of forces.
12 Q. And, Mr. Beese, did you personally or were you personally involved
13 in these cease-fire negotiations?
14 A. Yes. I attended them throughout from that day forward until the
15 eventual cease-fire and disengagement on the 18th of February, 1993.
16 Q. Can you describe to the Trial Chamber how those negotiations were
17 carried out.
18 A. The parties to the talks assembled in the former industrial
19 facility that was occupied by a company of British troops with UNPROFOR.
20 We used that as the base for discussion. We used one room in particular
21 where Ray Lane, myself, and officials from UNPROFOR would chair a meeting
22 between the two parties to the conflict in Gornji Vakuf.
23 Q. Can you describe, Mr. Beese, the atmosphere during these
24 negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Gornji Vakuf.
25 A. The talks on the first day - that is the 13th - involved General
1 Petkovic and General Pasalic agreeing that a cease-fire was necessary,
2 agreeing that a disengagement of forces was necessary. Subsequent days
3 involved a meeting of local commanders, in particular the HVO Colonel
4 Zeljko Siljeg and his armija counterparts, as we worked towards a detailed
5 cease-fire and withdrawal. It is not easy to disengage troops, and
6 therefore we had to have a detailed manoeuvre with specific timings and
7 actions. It took some days to come to agreement on that.
8 Q. And, Mr. Beese, if you recall, in February, 1993, what were the
9 weather conditions like in the Gornji Vakuf area?
10 A. Cold and progressively colder until it began to snow.
11 Q. And how long in total did these negotiation sessions last?
12 A. Every day until the 18th when the cease-fire was implemented first
13 thing in the morning and the disengagement took place.
14 Q. And you told us, sir, on lines 12 through 15 that the first day of
15 the talks involved Generals Petkovic and Mr. Pasalic. Did they remain
16 there after that first day?
17 A. No. They handed their responsibility over, having made the
18 decision and issued the orders that talks should continue, to finalise the
19 arrangements to their subordinates.
20 Q. Were there any difficulties encountered in hammering out the final
21 details of this cease-fire agreement?
22 A. Yes. It was a protracted affair. Progress was very slow.
23 Obstructions were placed in the way. Perhaps unavoidably in some cases.
24 The arrival of troops from the Jajce area, both HVO and armija,
25 complicated the withdrawal process.
1 Q. Can you elaborate, Mr. Beese, on obstructions that were placed in
2 the way, as you told us?
3 A. The two -- the two parties had legitimate concerns for significant
4 sized units moving through their zones. If, for instance, armija troops
5 were to disperse to Central Bosnia, they had to pass through territory
6 commanded further north by the HVO Colonel Blaskic. Likewise, HVO forces
7 moving back from the Jajce area had to move through armija positions
8 towards Prozor. It might have been straightforward and relatively easy to
9 agree to the details of those movements, but I believe the process was
10 used to obstruct and delay the outcome and eventual withdrawal.
11 Q. And were both parties being obstructive?
12 A. To my understanding and my knowledge, only the HVO were
14 Q. Can you tell us briefly about the process of disengagement
15 following the signature of the cease-fire agreement?
16 A. The cease-fire would have come into effect at first light on the
17 18th of February. A number of monitoring teams, not only ourselves but
18 reinforcements from Tomislavgrad and elsewhere, along with UNPROFOR units,
19 were to escort or accompany HVO and armija units as they disengaged, and
20 to observe the cease-fire. A team such as mine included a commissioner,
21 which is a representative, one of the HVO, and one of the armija. So to
22 provide a degree of mutual confidence in the -- the quiet and unobstructed
24 Q. During the disengagement process, Mr. Beese, where were you?
25 Where did you go, if anywhere?
1 A. My first task was to move to Drimci [phoen], a small village to
2 the south-east of Gornji Vakuf, and to confirm with both commissioners
3 that HVO forces from that area had departed that area.
4 Q. And upon your arrival in Zdrimci, can you tell us what you
6 A. I had not visited the village before. I found it extremely quiet,
7 and I noticed that the Muslim quarter as I knew it or understood it to be,
8 to be completely destroyed.
9 Q. What about the rest of the village?
10 A. There were houses that were intact.
11 Q. And approximately how long did you remain in Zdrimci on this
13 A. Less than 10 minutes.
14 Q. What were the weather conditions like?
15 A. We had about 20 to 30 centimetres of snow on the ground.
16 Q. Did you have the opportunity, sir, to visit any of the other areas
17 or any of the other villages in the area of Gornji Vakuf?
18 A. I visited the villages of Hrasnica and Grnica. May I apologise
19 here if my pronunciation is not correct for the purpose of transcribing,
20 I'm happy to help to correct it.
21 I also visited the villages to the west of Gornji Vakuf, to the
22 west of the Podavi ridge.
23 Q. Mr. Beese, do you recall approximately when you left the Gornji
24 Vakuf area?
25 A. After the cease-fire, the talks continued for a further few days
1 as we endeavoured to address issues of reconstruction. I stayed there for
2 another day or so. I think, on the -- or I believe my account would give
3 me a correct timing and date, but I moved out on the evening of the 18th
4 to Siroki Brijeg, to return a few days later to Gornji Vakuf.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Let me again ask, Mr. President, with the assistance
6 of the usher if the document P 01459 could again be shown to the witness,
7 and I would ask that we go to page 2 of that document.
8 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, while that is happening, if I could draw
9 the attention of the Court to the transcript on page 74, the end of page
10 74, line 25, the witness was asked a question, "Approximately how long did
11 you remain in Zdrimci on this occasion?" I think his answer, which is
12 omitted from the record, was "Less 10 minutes." Your Honour, if the
13 witness agrees, perhaps the record could be corrected to reflect that.
14 MR. MUNDIS: I also note there seems to be -- the following
15 question has been omitted which was "What were the weather conditions? "
16 and that answer is reflected in the transcript, there so we seem to be
17 missing an answer and a question at that point in the transcripts.
18 THE WITNESS: With respect, the spelling of the villages is also,
19 I believe, incorrect.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Zdrimci is with a Z at the beginning.
21 Q. Those issues will be taken care of when the transcribers review
22 the transcripts.
23 A. Thank you.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Let me again ask if we could go to the second page of
25 P 01459, and again, Mr. President, I'd ask that this not be broadcast
1 outside of the courtroom.
2 Q. Mr. Beese, if you could take a look at the paragraph that begins
3 "HRC Split ..." and simply read that to yourself and I'll then ask you a
4 question about that.
5 Mr. Beese, does that description in P 01459 accurately reflect
6 your recollection of the events as described in that paragraph?
7 A. The first part to do with a meeting on the 13th of February is
8 correct, but in practice the cease-fire and disengagement did not take
9 place until the 18th. It says here the 14th.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beese. You told us, sir, that among the -- the
11 people who went with you were these two commissioners. Do you recall who
12 the commissioners were that travelled with you in your vehicle?
13 A. Not by name, no.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Let me now ask that the witness be shown a photograph
15 P 09137. And again, Mr. President, this is a Rule 70 document; I believe
16 it needs to be under seal.
17 Q. Can you see that photograph, Mr. Beese? Not yet.
18 A. No. I can now see the photograph.
19 Q. Can you tell us what this photograph depicts.
20 A. The photograph is of the room used for meetings between the
21 parties in the UNPROFOR base in Gornji Vakuf. At the head of the table is
22 the chairman of the moment, Mr. Ray Lane. To his left, standing, is
23 myself. And we are surrounded by the local representatives of the two
24 parties, which suggests to me that this would be later in the process,
25 probably some weeks later, perhaps even towards mid-March.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beese. I'd now like to turn your attention to the
2 period after you left Gornji Vakuf. Do you recall what your primary
3 missions or taskings were in the period beginning in late February into
4 early March, 1993?
5 A. The focus of attention for us shifted from Gornji Vakuf to Prozor
6 where we continued to hold discussions between the HVO and the armija on
7 matters of mutual interest and tension. There were concerns for the
8 release of prisoners who had not yet been released in Gornji Vakuf, for
9 the release of prisoners who had not been released from Prozor, and for
10 the tension in the hills to the north-east of Prozor, particularly in the
11 villages of Here, Kute and Scipe, where refugees were living after their
12 expulsion from Prozor in late 1992.
13 Q. And, Mr. Beese, do you recall any meetings that you attended
14 concerning the events in Prozor; any meetings actually in Prozor itself?
15 A. I held meetings on a number of occasions with the representatives
16 of the HVO and armija, and in particular Colonel Zeljko Siljeg for the
17 HVO, and Amir Bijedic for the armija.
18 Q. Do you recall any of the substantive matters that were discussed
19 in these meetings particularly with Mr. -- or Colonel Zeljko Siljeg?
20 A. Three matters of concern to me come to mind, in particular his
21 reluctance to release prisoners. It was brought to his attention on a
22 number of occasions that there were, say, a number of prisoners held
23 captive by him and he would variously deny either having prisoners or then
24 agree to a date for their release and fail to meet the date. That was one
1 The second issue concerned the population of Prozor and our belief
2 that there should be some Muslim representation in Prozor. Colonel Siljeg
3 appeared happy to have representation but the Muslim officials did not
4 believe that there was sufficient security in Prozor to enable them to
6 And the third issue was the continued pressure directed at the
7 three villages to the east by the HVO, which amounted to a continuation of
8 the conflict in Gornji Vakuf.
9 Q. What were the specific issues that were discussed concerning the
10 three villages? And again for the record, if you could please tell us
11 which three villages you're referring to.
12 A. The three villages are Here, Kute, and Scipe, which lie some five,
13 six kilometres to the north-east of Prozor on high ground. They had no
14 freedom of movement, they believe, back towards Prozor, and they were
15 effectively cut off. They were also subject to harassing fire from
16 artillery and mortars.
17 Q. And who were the people that were living in these three villages,
18 Here, Kute, and Scipe?
19 A. They were armija men who had withdrawn from Gornji Vakuf and from
20 Prozor in late 1992, and a significant number of refugees who had lived
21 previously in Prozor, as well as the villagers. There were very few
22 Croats living in that area.
23 Q. And you testified, sir, on lines 19 and 20 on page 78, "They were
24 also subject to harassing fire from artillery and mortars." Which force
25 or forces were conducting the harassing fire from artillery and mortars
1 that you spoke of?
2 A. The HVO.
3 Q. Do you recall your specific discussions with Colonel Siljeg
4 concerning these three villages?
5 A. I raised the matter of -- of harassing fire. I didn't receive a
6 satisfactory response. I was given an explanation of his view of the
7 overall dynamics in the region, and that was that he represented the West
8 in its confrontation with the East. And by that he meant the front line,
9 if you wish, between Christian West and Muslim East.
10 Q. Do you recall any of the specific things he told you about this
12 A. He explained to me that -- that the matter in -- in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina was not dissimilar to circumstances elsewhere in
14 Armenia, Georgia, other parts of Eastern Europe.
15 Q. Did you engage Colonel Siljeg in this discussion?
16 A. Not particularly, no.
17 Q. Was that the first time this subject area had been raised with you
18 during the time you were in Bosnia?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Beese, after leaving -- let me ask you this: When did you
21 leave the Prozor area?
22 A. I worked in and around Prozor for some weeks. I would return to
23 Siroki Brijeg, conduct other -- other business, and periodically, say once
24 a week, return to Prozor for further talks.
25 Q. And again, are we talking about the time period in February and
1 March, 1993 --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- or March, April? What time period?
4 A. Late February, early March.
5 Q. And what were the -- what was the route, the transportation route
6 that you used to travel from Siroki Brijeg to Prozor in late February,
7 early March, 1993?
8 A. I had two options only available to me, and they were the same two
9 options available to anyone else in the region, and that was travelling
10 from Siroki Brijeg to the west through Tomislavgrad over what was known as
11 the Road of Salvation to Prozor, or through Mostar north to Jablanica and
12 north-west to Prozor.
13 Q. What -- what were the conditions like on the road through Mostar
14 north to Jablanica and north-west to Prozor?
15 A. The route from Mostar north to Jablanica is a river valley formed
16 by the Neretva. It's very narrow. It had HVO checkpoints along it almost
17 the entire way to the outskirts of Jablanica. The road was then
18 relatively clear, though there were roadblocks with community police
19 between Jablanica and Prozor. If one went around the other way, the route
20 was entirely clear to Prozor. There were no checkpoints particularly on
21 the road other than one on the Road of Salvation.
22 Q. Mr. Beese, on line 22 of page 80, you said "... there were
23 roadblocks with community police ..." What community are you referring
25 A. Where there were -- were communities, Muslim or Croat, they may
1 have their own armed guards on checkpoints. It was not possible to
2 determine whether they were necessarily official or not. If it was an HVO
3 post, it nearly always had the Croatian flag flying above it.
4 Q. Other than these weekly trips to Prozor during this time period,
5 late February, early March, 1993, what were the other issues that you were
6 particularly involved with monitoring?
7 A. Continuing tension in Mostar and the need to continue talks with
8 Arif Pasalic and his HVO counterparts, as well as the exchange of people
9 across front lines between HVO territory and Bosnian Serb territory;
10 general discussions with -- with community leaders.
11 Q. Can you tell us about -- you mentioned continuing tension in
12 Mostar. Can you tell us what the situation was like by this point in
13 time, and again I'm talking late February, early March, 1993.
14 A. Increasing tension, increasing restrictions on movement, I think
15 increasing division between the two communities. They no longer mixed the
16 same way. Muslims living on the west bank felt increasingly
17 uncomfortable. They would be arrested on relatively small charges,
18 detained, and possibly evicted from their homes.
19 Q. At this point in time, sir, was there any signs of open armed
20 conflict in Mostar?
21 A. Not in Mostar itself, I don't believe. Serb shelling continued
22 randomly at this point.
23 Q. What about humanitarian aid or relief aid reaching the city of
24 Mostar in this time period? Were you aware of -- of any humanitarian aid
25 reaching the city at this point in time?
1 A. Certainly the aid route from the coast to Central Bosnia was
2 increasingly drying. The formalities required of the drivers coming down
3 from Central Bosnia to collect aid were increasing such that more and more
4 trucks came south not to return to the centre again. That produced a
5 degree of desperation in Central Bosnia which began to lack foodstuffs.
6 Q. Can you explain, sir, what you meant by trucks coming south not to
7 return to the centre again?
8 A. Trucks belonging to the local authorities and private individuals
9 in Central Bosnia would travel south to collect aid from the port at
10 Ploce. They would then return, passing through the border checkpoint
11 between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina at Metkovic, at which point they
12 were frequently diverted to Ljubuski, a place that became known to us as
13 the Ljubuski Triangle. Trucks and cargos went into it and didn't seem to
14 come out of it. It became a large truck park. Drivers were detained,
15 loads searched, matters that were not -- materials that were not
16 essentially humanitarian - I give an example of coffee - were taken off
17 the trucks. Some trucks allowed to continue, but the need to obtain more
18 passes, prove this, do the other, produced a bureaucratic mechanism that
19 made it almost impossible for the trucks to return to the centre.
20 Q. Were you aware of the effect of this on the centre, as you put it?
21 A. I was not familiar with conditions in the centre at that time.
22 One was simply aware that, mathematically, Central Bosnia would one day
23 run out of trucks.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. This would be an
25 appropriate place for the lunch break.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
2 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 2.04 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We continue the hearing. Before
5 I give you the floor, Mr. Mundis, I'd just like to make something clear
6 concerning the documents. You explained to us that there was a first
7 batch that you were going to present to the witness, and you've started
8 that already. Then there's a second batch that I have in front of me, and
9 as I say, it's at least half a metre thick. And I took a look at these
10 documents this morning and noted the following fact: The 3/5th or 4/5th
11 of the documents are posterior, or rather, come after the departure of the
12 witness from Bosnia-Herzegovina. He left on the 21st of July, 1993, and
13 we have documents here dating to August, September, November, December,
14 1993, and some documents date to 1994, which he could not have known
15 about, of course. So therefore he cannot have knowledge of the documents
16 because he left.
17 Secondly, there are documents during the period that the witness
18 was there, so we could -- well, he could have known about them or not.
19 Now, you should address these documents and just mention the
20 documents that the witness knew of directly or indirectly and then the
21 documents that the witness could not have had any knowledge of, so you'll
22 have to introduce those through another witness. The documents must be
23 shown to the witness at any rate, and we hope the relevancy has been
24 established, and that the witness knows about -- has knowledge of the
25 documents himself or has heard about them. Otherwise, they won't be able
1 to be introduced through this witness.
2 So all this is, I think, clear now. Please continue the
3 examination-in-chief from where we left off, those famous 40 documents.
4 Now, as far as the other documents are concerned, for tomorrow you'll have
5 to make a selection, because certain documents cannot be introduced
6 because the witness left the area in July. So a document dated October,
7 1993, is one that he has no knowledge of and therefore cannot be
8 introduced through him.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I believe we might return
10 to this issue perhaps later this afternoon or tomorrow morning when we get
11 to that point. But for now --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MR. MUNDIS: -- simply to save time and move forward, I would
14 propose that we set that issue aside for the moment and we will
15 undoubtedly return to it later, perhaps in the absence of the witness.
16 Q. Mr. Beese, immediately before lunch, as reflected on page 82, line
17 16, of the transcript, you made reference to an area that you told us came
18 to be known as the Ljubuski Triangle. Do you remember saying that, sir?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Can you tell us which force or forces controlled the Ljubuski
22 A. The controlling force was from the Vojna Policija; that is the HVO
23 military police.
24 Q. Thank you, sir. I would now like to turn to the period of April,
25 1993. Can you tell us, sir, what were the primary focus -- or what was
1 the primary focus of your monitoring work in April, 1993.
2 A. I had two priorities: The first was to continue to monitor the
3 confrontation around Prozor and north of Jablanica between HVO and armija
4 forces, which was a continuing concern. The second was the interest shown
5 by HVO authorities in the Vance-Owen Peace Plan and the need to begin to
6 consider how, if it was agreed, it might be implemented.
7 Q. Can you tell me first -- or tell us first a little bit about the
8 work monitoring the confrontation around Prozor and north of Jablanica in
9 this period April, 1993.
10 A. We continued to be aware that there was armed confrontation, that
11 the harassment of Here, Kute, and Scipe continued. From around the 24th
12 of February, 1993, we were aware also that there was manoeuvering north of
13 Lake Jablanicko in the region known as Klis, and most particularly around
14 the villages of Kostajnica held by the HVO and Pasovici held by the
16 Q. Mr. Beese, if I could just stop you there before you continue so
17 this doesn't disappear off the page, on page 85, lines 2 and 3, there was
18 reference to the military police as being the controlling force in
19 Ljubuski. Military police of what military organisation?
20 A. The Vojna Policija were a department of the HVO.
21 Q. Sorry for that interruption. I wanted to clear that up before it
22 disappeared. Can you continue, please, with the efforts in April, 1993,
23 in the Jablanica area.
24 A. We were aware at that stage probably for the first time that
25 attempts were being made to secure routes from Herzegovina to Central
1 Bosnia for use by the HVO. And the control of the limited routes became
2 something of considerable importance and increasing importance as the
3 weeks went by.
4 Q. Mr. Beese, what was the relationship between Herzegovina and
5 Central Bosnia at this point in time?
6 A. Herzegovina was, if you like, the undisputed power base of the
7 HVO. The population of the area west of the Neretva and south-west of
8 Mostar, including the towns of Grude, Siroki Brijeg, Ljubuski, Capljina,
9 Citluk, Posusje, Tomislavgrad, and Livno were almost entirely Croat and
10 dominated by the HVO. The area north of Mostar, the Dreznica valley,
11 Jablanica, Konjic, and Klis, that is between Lake Jablanicko and the Lasva
12 Valley were controlled primarily by the armija. North of that in the
13 Lasva Valley were a string of communities, including Kiseljak, Busovaca,
14 Vitez, and Novi Travnik that were controlled by HVO again with significant
15 Croat populations. Those populations were armed, there was conflict
16 between them and their neighbours along the Lasva Valley, and it appeared
17 to us that they were endeavouring to control the Lasva Valley.
18 Q. And when you say, Mr. Beese, it appeared to you that "they were
19 endeavouring to control the Lasva Valley," what or to whom does the word
20 "they" apply?
21 A. The HVO.
22 Q. And from where were they attempting to control the Lasva Valley?
23 A. From their bases in Vitez, Busovaca, and Kiseljak.
24 Q. And, sir, if you know, what was the relationship between the bases
25 in Vitez, Busovaca, and Kiseljak and those areas controlled by the HVO in
2 A. To broaden the subject, it appeared to us that the HVO in Mostar
3 sought to consolidate power in Herzegovina but sought control of the
4 economic facilities along the Neretva Valley, the water resources,
5 hydroelectric plants and the like, and to do that they had to control the
6 ground immediately beyond it. They also had to reinforce their colleagues
7 in the Lasva Valley.
8 Q. By what means were they attempting to reinforce their colleagues
9 in the Lasva Valley?
10 A. There was a need to resupply them. I'm confident they had
11 communication between the various communities, but they needed to move up
12 fuel, munitions, and other war materiel necessary to exercise control of
13 the critical Lasva Valley.
14 Q. And based on your observations, were they successful in doing
16 A. No, not entirely. In fact, each attempt to open a new route was
18 Q. And can you tell us a little bit about these attempts to open new
19 routes that you were familiar with from your observation and monitoring
21 A. Before my arrival in theatre, the town of Jajce had been lost to
22 Serb forces. The town of Jajce and Donji Vakuf to its south-east provided
23 a -- an effective route for heavy transport from the south to Central
24 Bosnia and was therefore suitable for resupply. That route had been lost
25 when Jajce fell, and the significance of that was brought to my attention
1 when a number of people remarked how furious the Croats had been that the
2 Muslims appeared to have collapsed at Jajce and permitted its fall. That
3 was the best route from the south to the north in terms of road surface.
4 It became apparent to me from circumstances and discussions that the
5 attack on Gornji Vakuf had been designed to secure the second route from
6 Prozor north through Gornji Vakuf to Novi Travnik and into Central Bosnia.
7 Lack of control of Gornji Vakuf meant lack of control of resupply.
8 From what we've already discussed today, the ongoing tension east
9 of Prozor, it appeared to me that the Croats were attempting to use
10 forestry haul roads, perhaps improved by engineers, to break out
11 north-east from Prozor towards Fojnica and again link up. That was
12 frustrated by the continuing resistance of the three villages Here, Kute,
13 and Scipe.
14 The outbreak of violence in Kostajnica appeared to be an attempt
15 to destabilise the Klis region and perhaps force a route up from
16 Kostajnica across Klis to Fojnica.
17 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Beese, whether you were aware of command and
18 control links between Herzegovina and Central Bosnia with respect to HVO
20 A. It was apparent, again through discussion, visits, that the HVO
21 command in Mostar was aware of circumstances in Central Bosnia on an
22 hourly basis, which presumably would have been facilitated by radio.
23 There was no other means of managing those communications. There were not
24 effective road communications, it was not possible for people to easily
25 physically travel between Central Bosnia and Mostar. The telephone lines
1 were not operational, and therefore given that the HVO in Mostar always
2 appeared to know what was going on, one can only assume that they had
3 radio communication.
4 Q. Let's return, sir, to discussions about your involvement in terms
5 of monitoring the situation in and around Jablanica in April, 1993. Can
6 you tell us, sir, at that point in time where you were and what you were
8 A. In late March and early April, 1993, I was involved with
9 discussions between the HVO and, through Arif Pasalic, the Presidency in
10 Sarajevo on the need to consider ways to implement the Vance-Owen Peace
11 Plan, but while I was talking with the HVO about agendas for this meeting
12 and the peaceful way forward, I was aware that increasing pressure was
13 brought to bear on the Klis region and Jablanica. Jablanica is a key
14 point in the region, not only because it is a focal point for road
15 communications but also has control of the water sources derived from Lake
16 Ramsko outside Prozor to Mostar in the south. Therefore, if there was to
17 be control of the water resources and hydroelectric facilities, Jablanica
18 had to be taken control of.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, if I may interject here for one
20 second. I understand that the gentleman has a military background. I
21 understand that he was an observer. He told us the purposes for which he
22 was observing. We now seem to be going into areas which would indicate
23 that perhaps he's testifying as an expert, as it were.
24 If that is the case, I would like to know whether he's been
25 qualified as an expert, if he's rendering opinions as an expert, or are
1 these merely his -- his observations as a layperson, which means that when
2 it comes time to weighing his testimony, it would have less weight to be
3 given to it since he's a layperson as opposed to being an expert.
4 So I mention this because I think we're going into an area where
5 he is testifying into matters that might appear to require some sort of an
6 expertise and therefore he needs to be qualified as an expert if indeed he
7 is one.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, with respect to the
9 remarks made by Defence counsel, what is your position?
10 MR. MUNDIS: Well, clearly -- clearly, Mr. President, the witness
11 has told us earlier about his experience, the skills that he had obtained,
12 the purpose of his work, how his work was undertaken, and given the
13 totality of the circumstances, including briefings and consultation with
14 his colleagues, he's certainly qualified to reach these types of
15 conclusions with respect to things he observed.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, if Mr. --
17 Mr. Mundis, if you had presented a report, we would -- we would have been
18 able to see the sense of the remarks differently, and I would like to make
19 things quite clear.
20 Mr. Beese, tell us, please, you spoke at length about the lake
21 from which the water was derived for certain localities, and you explained
22 why it was important for the HVO to have control of that water source. So
23 that is actually an assessment that ought to be made by an expert witness.
24 The question now is, did you include those types of comments in the
25 reports you sent out to the headquarters of the ECMM? Did you include in
1 your reports things like that? Did you describe a lake XY and say that
2 the lake was important from the military point of view because it was a
3 water supply for certain settlements or things like that? So was that
4 part of your mission, to observe matters of that kind?
5 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, it was. There were others in the
6 region who were able to report, for instance, how many shells had landed
7 in a particular place on a particular day. That itself was not a
8 difficult task. It was much more important for some of us to understand
9 why they landed where they landed at and what that meant, and --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. So you're telling us that
11 when you're answering the questions put to you by the Prosecution, the
12 answers that you are giving us are personal observations that you saw on
13 the ground, and those observations you mention in the reports, and you
14 send them out to the people that sent you on the mission. Is that how I
15 am to understand your answer to the question?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. It was not --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Karnavas, what do you
18 have to say?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. I have to say one thing.
20 If you look earlier, he talked about the importance of the communications,
21 the roads. Then he talked about the water. And then he was -- he was
22 asked a question by Mr. Mundis -- or Mr. Mundis made a comment that the
23 gentleman is qualified to render these sorts of opinions. These are, in
24 my -- in my humble opinion, what he's using the gentleman for and what the
25 gentleman seems to be alluding to is that he is a military expert and
1 therefore his opinions are of -- of that nature. If that is indeed the
2 case, then obviously under the Rules he should have been qualified as an
3 expert, he should have prepared a report, and we should have been able to
4 at least anticipate that he would be coming in as an expert, but that does
5 not seem to be the case.
6 Now --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When the witness was recruited
10 by the Foreign Office, he explained to us that he had an interview and
11 that when he was recruited, he was recruited because of his military past
12 experience. He had been to the military academy of Sandhurst, and if
13 somebody is an officer, then somebody can address matters of communication
14 and routes. He can stress the strategic importance. You don't have to be
15 an expert for that. And we can say that a certain road is of strategic
16 importance. So I don't see where the problem is on that score. But let's
17 stop there.
18 Mr. Mundis, continue please.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'd ask that the witness
20 now be shown the document marked P 01911.
21 Q. Mr. Beese, can you see a document on the screen before you?
22 A. I can, yes.
23 Q. What is this document?
24 A. This is a report written for the purpose of better understanding
25 the crisis in Jablanica as viewed by the ECMM.
1 Q. And, Mr. Beese, who wrote this report?
2 A. I wrote the report.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to renew my objection, Your Honour, just
4 for the record, for the sake of the record, because if I just look at it,
5 it says "Political and military analysis." So now we're into the area
6 where the gentleman is going to be testifying about a document generated
7 as a military expert. So I just renew my objection so at least we're
8 clear that I'm not waiving it.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I think you are well aware, as we
10 all are, that there are flowing limits between a witness and an expert and
11 to a large extent our witness has spoken about his own experience, and I
12 think it's quite correct that this includes assessments he has made. That
13 is also a fact the witness can talk about as something which he has
14 personally witnessed.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I totally agree, Your Honour. My question has to
16 go to weight, because otherwise, if he's deemed an expert, the Trial
17 Chamber may give his testimony more weight than a layperson. That was my
18 concern. So that's why I wanted a designation. Is he testifying as an
19 expert or merely giving his observation as a lay witness?
20 MR. MUNDIS: For the record, the Prosecution position would
21 certainly be that there are shades of witnesses, as alluded to by Judge
22 Trechsel, including there are some people who might be considered lay
23 witnesses who have a certain degree of knowledge and experience that might
24 give their testimony greater weight than if you simply took cab drivers
25 off the street and sent them down to Bosnia as -- as monitors.
1 Q. Mr. -- Mr. Beese, can you tell us for what purpose this report
2 P 01911 was drafted?
3 A. The purpose was to present the situation as we saw it in the
4 Jablanica and Klis area quite clearly to our superiors in Split and
6 Q. What was the basis, or how did you produce this document?
7 A. I was privileged to have a fairly unique degree of access to
8 people, access to places. I had dozens of discussions and field visits
9 and the time devoted to understand what was happening around us.
10 MR. MUNDIS: If we could please -- I'd ask with the assistance of
11 Mr. Registrar that the section marked 2, "Regional Importance," at the
12 bottom of this document be enlarged.
13 Q. While we're waiting for that, Mr. Beese, if you can read it on the
14 screen, could you just take a quick look to yourself, read it to yourself,
15 the bottom part of this document under heading 2, "Regional Importance."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us, sir, when this report was written, how you came
18 about obtaining the information that's in this document.
19 A. My visits to discussions in and understanding of the situation
20 around Prozor, Jablanica, and Konjic gave me cause to analyse the reasons
21 for certain actions. It would have been very easy, given the HVO's
22 declared interest in peace, to have left peace in place. This was not in
23 fact the case. Therefore, if there was military manoeuvre in the region,
24 there had to be an explanation for it.
25 Q. What military manoeuvre in the region are you referring to, sir?
1 A. I'm referring to the need to secure routes, that is the
2 engagements in Gornji Vakuf, then east of Prozor, then in Kostajnica, and
3 the apparent reinforcement of the area south-west of Jablanica by HVO
4 troops moving in from Tomislavgrad to put pressure on Jablanica itself.
5 Q. If we could please go to the second page of this document.
6 Mr. Beese, I'd like to turn your attention to the paragraph or
7 subheading 3, "Political Activity." Who drafted this part of this report?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. Upon what basis did you write this section of the report?
10 A. May I please read it first?
11 Q. Yes. Certainly.
12 A. Thank you.
13 Q. The information that's contained in this part of the report, what
14 was the source for that?
15 A. Reports from monitoring teams, the discussions with the officials
16 of both parties, and travel through the area.
17 Q. If we could please turn to page 4 of this document.
18 Now, Mr. Beese, at the top it is indicated under number 6,
19 "Indicators," and I'm wondering if you could tell us a little bit about
20 what you meant by the use of the term "indicators."
21 A. These are some of the contributing factors that have been reviewed
22 and support a view.
23 Q. Can you please read out for us the fourth paragraph of this
24 document, and then I'd like to ask you a question or two about that,
1 A. Certainly. "The HVO make regular radio broadcast ultimatums to
2 the Muslim forces in Herceg-Bosna (they never appear written) yet seldom
3 follow up the ultimatums, suggesting that the concept is to provoke
4 Muslims into action that can then be used to justify aggression in the
5 name of defence."
6 Q. Who was the author of that sentence?
7 A. I was.
8 Q. And, Mr. Beese, what was the basis for you writing that sentence?
9 A. The discussions with the armija who reported to us that the
10 ultimatums had been delivered. We never received word from the HVO that
11 they had these intentions. That itself is unusual, given a general
12 commitment to peace, and the abstention from any move that may raise
14 Q. What do you mean, sir, by "the abstention from any move that may
15 raise tension"? Can you explain that to us?
16 A. In discussions with HVO authorities, we would hear their
17 commitment to peace and to a working relationship with the Muslim party,
18 but the issue of ultimatums could not be seen to be given in the context
19 of that. They were at odds with statements given to us.
20 Q. How so?
21 A. Because there was no need other than an administrative convenience
22 to bring Muslim forces under control of the HVO. It perhaps made perfect
23 sense as a strategy that they work together in closer cooperation, but
24 there are better ways to bring people within your fold than to deliver
25 ultimatums, particularly if you deliver them through media means rather
1 than through direct negotiation.
2 Q. Mr. Beese, during the time period that you were in Bosnia in 1993,
3 on how many occasions were you aware of these ultimatums?
4 A. I was aware of at least two that come to mind. The first was the
5 one of 16 January. The second was the 14th of March.
6 Q. Let me ask you, sir, before we leave this general area about
7 specific locations, if any, that you went to in Jablanica municipality in
8 the spring of 1993.
9 A. I travelled the hills around Here, Kute, and Scipe. I travelled
10 the road frequently from Prozor to Jablanica. I crossed Lake Jablanicko
11 into Kostajnica and Pasovici, and I travelled frequently into Konjic to
12 the east.
13 Q. Did you at any point in time become aware of conflict in the
14 Sovici or Doljani areas?
15 A. I became aware from mid-March that tension was rising in the
16 region, and the outbreak of violence in Kostajnica confirmed our concerns.
17 I was later aware of problems in Sovici and Doljani, initially as rumour,
18 that there were problems, that there were expulsions of Muslims by HVO,
19 and the burning of villages.
20 Q. Did you personally ever go to either of those two villages?
21 A. I was denied access, as were my teams and the UNMOs, to that area.
22 We could neither gain entry through Tomislavgrad to the west nor directly
23 from Jablanica.
24 Q. And, sir, with respect to the entry through Tomislavgrad to the
25 West, which force denied entry to Sovici, Doljani?
1 A. We had a team based at Tomislavgrad which endeavoured to move from
2 Tomislavgrad north-east towards Sovici and Doljani and was turned back at
3 HVO roadblocks.
4 Q. And with respect to attempts to gain entry to those locations from
5 Jablanica, what force denied entry?
6 A. We made a number attempts. On the first occasion we were turned
7 back by the armija, which did not wish to lift its roadblocks - these were
8 physical roadblocks - for fear that the HVO beyond would rush the
9 checkpoint and overcome it. When we managed to persuade them that this
10 should not be an issue, our teams pushed through the armija roadblocks and
11 were stopped at HVO checkpoints.
12 Q. You told us, sir, that you initially had heard about rumours that
13 there were problems of expulsions in those villages. At any subsequent
14 point in time were you able to confirm or -- or deny those rumours?
15 A. Personally I met refugees in Jablanica who said they'd come from
16 Sovici and Doljani and had been forced out, but we never gained access to
17 those villages.
18 Q. Let me turn now, sir, to the city of Mostar in April, 1993. At
19 any point in time in April, 1993, did your duties take you to Mostar?
20 A. I spent a great deal of my time in Mostar during that period.
21 Q. And what were your primary tasks or assignments in April, 1993, as
22 they related to Mostar?
23 A. I was in touch with Mr. Prlic and Mr. Jozo Maric, the mayor of
24 Grude, during that period. We had discussed the need to implement the
25 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and if it was signed, would be required to
1 implement it and needed an agenda of the matters that needed attending to
3 Q. Mr. Beese, you just told us that you were in touch with Mr. Prlic
4 and Mr. Jozo Maric. Do you know the date that you first were in touch
5 with them on this subject?
6 A. I had spoken to Mr. Maric a number of times on the matter. I
7 can't recall here and now the dates. I believe I first spoke on the issue
8 with Mr. Prlic on the 1st of April, 1993.
9 Q. Do you recall, sir, any of the specifics of that conversation or
10 discussion that you had with Mr. Prlic on 1 April, 1993?
11 A. There were two subjects principally for discussion. The first was
12 to who was to represent each party at these discussions. It was evident
13 that Mr. Prlic should represent the HVO, as the senior political figure.
14 There was much discussion as to who would represent the Muslim entity or
15 the Presidency in Sarajevo, and at the time in Mostar there was no
16 satisfactory counterpart to Mr. Prlic, General Arif Pasalic being a
17 military man only.
18 The second subject for discussion was the agenda of any talks, and
19 the agenda focused principally on matters of social integration such as
20 education, vehicle registration plates, and the like.
21 Q. Mr. Beese, at this -- with respect to this conversation that you
22 had, or this discussion you had with Mr. Prlic on 1 April, 1993, were
23 there any other persons from the ECMM that were present on that day?
24 A. I would have been accompanied by an assistant. I can't recall who
25 it was on that day.
1 Q. Do you recall approximately how long that meeting lasted?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you recall where that meeting took place?
4 A. It took place in Mr. Prlic's office in central Mostar.
5 Q. Do you recall any more specifics about -- at this meeting about
6 who would represent the Muslim entity or the Presidency?
7 A. It was suggested by Mr. Prlic it would be someone of sufficient
8 standing to represent their interests, that is the interests of the
10 Q. With respect to the agenda, you've indicated a number of issues.
11 Were there any follow-up discussions?
12 A. We continued to hold discussions on a regular basis. I can't tell
13 you quite how often as I sit here, until the meeting itself was held on
14 the 18th of March.
15 Q. Were you aware, Mr. Beese, of any correspondence relating to the
16 setting of the agenda?
17 A. I believe there was an exchange of views and notes taken. I can't
18 recall exactly how the agenda was reached. The agenda changed from time
19 to time, but I can't recall exactly how it was transmitted between me and
20 my superiors, though I do recall discussing with Arif Pasalic as the only
21 means of discussing matters with the Presidency how the Presidency
22 representative would react and what agenda they wished to include.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I would ask for Mr. Registrar's
24 assistance in showing the witness P 09589. And I would ask if it's
25 possible that both the English and Croatian versions of this document be
1 shown simultaneously to the witness with a split screen, if we can do
3 MR. KARNAVAS: This is a point of clarification for the record,
4 and I believe it's line 21 on 100, the gentleman said March 18th if the
5 meeting took place -- he first met him on 1st April, and I wonder if that
6 could be corrected for the record.
7 MR. MUNDIS:
8 Q. Sir do you recall the month that this meeting took place when you
9 said the 18th?
10 A. I apologise. It would have been the 18th of April. Thank you for
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. MUNDIS: If it's not possible to do the split screen, let's
14 start, first of all, with the Croatian version of the document.
15 Q. Do you see the document in Croatian before you?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Have you ever seen this document before to the best of your
19 A. Yes, I have.
20 Q. What makes you say that you've seen this before?
21 A. I passed a copy of it to the Tribunal at the date at the top, the
22 23rd of November, 2001.
23 Q. Mr. Beese, do you read or speak any Croatian at all?
24 A. I do not.
25 Q. Nevertheless, I would like you to look at about the 6th or 7th
1 line down on the Croatian version of this document, and I would ask you if
2 you recognise any of the words contained on that document.
3 A. Apart from my own name and that of my colleague Enrique Salamanca
4 de Garay.
5 Q. Okay. That was actually my point. Your name is mentioned in this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now if we could please take a look at the English translation of
9 the document, please.
10 Mr. Beese, if you could just take a moment to quickly read through
11 or take a look at this document, and let me know when you've finished
12 doing that, please.
13 A. Thank you.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, how did you come to possess this document, if you
16 A. I believe it was passed to me by Mr. Prlic for passing to my
17 superior, Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault, head of regional centre at the
18 time Split but later Zenica.
19 Q. Just at this point to make a brief digression, earlier you told us
20 that the head of the regional centre was Ambassador Beaussou, and now
21 you've mentioned Ambassador Thebault. Do you recall approximately when
22 Ambassador Thebault became head of the regional centre?
23 A. Ambassador Thebault took over some weeks before this.
24 Q. And at this point in time, Mr. Beese, just to be clear, on or
25 about the beginning of April, 1993, what was your -- what was your role
1 within ECMM?
2 A. I was responsible for reporting on all issues pertinent to the
3 conflict in territory south of Gornji Vakuf, and therefore relations with
4 the HVO government on behalf of the regional centre. Thus, in this
5 particular exercise, you see me passing people's views between each other
6 without taking executive action on them. That was the responsibility of
7 my superiors.
8 Q. At this point in time, sir, were you still a monitor? Was that
9 your formal title?
10 A. The title "monitor" applies throughout the tour no matter your
11 appointment as a monitor. Your salary, terms and conditions, for
12 instance, remain exactly the same. You are a monitor.
13 By this stage I was the head of the coordination centre in Siroki
14 Brijeg responsible for Herzegovina, the territory up to and as far as
15 Gornji Vakuf.
16 Q. What was the approximate date, sir, that you became the head of
17 the coordination centre in Siroki Brijeg?
18 A. On Ray Lane's departure on around about the 20th of March.
19 Perhaps a week later.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, concerning this meeting that you had with
21 Mr. Prlic on April 1, 1993, was the topic of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Beese, what do you recall being discussed at this meeting in
25 Mr. Prlic's office concerning the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
1 A. I understand that the Vance-Owen Peace Plan was on the table,
2 there was a distinct prospect of it being implemented, and if it were to
3 be implemented, the Croats would be the predominant party in provinces 8
4 and 10 to the plan.
5 Q. Do you recall anything that Mr. Prlic told you about the
6 Vance-Owen Peace Plan at this meeting?
7 A. Not specifically.
8 Q. Can you describe the atmosphere of the meeting that you had with
9 Mr. Prlic on the 1st of April, 1993.
10 A. Cordial and productive.
11 Q. How so? What do you mean by "productive"?
12 A. We had a mutual interest, I believe, in discussing what would
13 happen if the plan was implemented. Mr. Prlic, as a senior political
14 figure, would have been responsible for coordinating HVO representation
15 during elections and provincial government, and I would no doubt be
16 required to play a part in the implementation process and the monitoring
17 of it.
18 Q. And, sir, when you say the implementation process and the
19 monitoring of it, are you referring to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Had that plan taken effect?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you recall, sir, having -- other than on this instance, having
24 discussions with Mr. Prlic at any other time concerning the Vance-Owen
25 Peace Plan?
1 A. I can't recall specifically. I did meet him on more than one
2 occasion during those weeks to the lead-up to the talks in Mostar on the
4 Q. Based on your discussion with Mr. Prlic concerning the
5 implementation or the adoption of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, what was his
6 reaction during the course of your meetings with him to the Vance-Owen
7 Peace Plan?
8 A. Enthusiastic.
9 Q. Did you ask him why he was enthusiastic?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Why not?
12 A. The Vance-Owen Peace Plan was something that many people looked
13 forward to, perhaps for different reasons. Peace itself was something
14 that everyone should have wished for. Better organisation of the region
15 was something people would have wished for, but we were aware of the
16 difficulties of implementation. We were aware that given the number of
17 cease-fires, agreements, and commissions that there had been up to that
18 time, the chance of successful implementation while there was still
19 military confrontation and engagement was slim.
20 Q. Following this meeting with Mr. Prlic on the 1st of April, 1993,
21 what steps or what efforts did ECMM take to bring about fruitful
22 discussions between the government in Sarajevo and the HVO authorities in
24 A. I was responsible for keeping my regional centre properly briefed.
25 The regional centre, principally Jean-Pierre Thebault, was responsible
1 for liaising with international authorities, including the
2 United Nations and its various organs, and to determine who from the
3 Presidency should represent Bosnian interests at those talks.
4 Q. What type of follow-up meetings did you have in terms of
5 preparation for these talks?
6 A. It was necessary for us - and by "us" I mean the ECMM and the UN
7 as host parties - and the two parties to the Vance-Owen Plan, the Croats
8 and the Muslims, to agree a place to meet, preferably a place of some
9 neutrality and isolation that was easily protected, for their mutual
10 interests, as well as agreeing the agenda. So there was routine
11 consultation on the practicalities of managing a high-level meeting.
12 Q. Do you recall what the selected location and date for these talks
14 A. The date set was the 18th of April, and the location was the
15 hospital - not at the time I believe used as a hospital - just west of the
16 centre of Mostar, which stands on a promontory.
17 Q. And during this period in the first two weeks of April, 1993,
18 leading up to these talks, did you have follow-up meetings with either of
19 the parties to the talk?
20 A. Regular meetings prior to the main meeting on the 18th, yes.
21 Q. And with whom did you meet during this period from the HVO side?
22 A. Mr. Prlic.
23 Q. Do you recall the approximate date that you had this meeting with
24 Mr. Prlic?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Would that be something that's reflected in your diary or in the
3 A. Most likely.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with your leave, I would ask that the
5 witness be allowed to refresh his memory by referring to -- and
6 specifically, sir, paragraph -- paragraph --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 MR. MUNDIS: -- the paragraphs around 295 through 297.
9 Q. Beginning on page 290 -- or paragraph 290 and continuing through
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you now, sir, having had recourse to your account of these
13 events, can you tell us what day you had this meeting with Mr. Prlic?
14 A. On the 7th of April.
15 Q. Can you tell us what was discussed at that meeting? And again,
16 sir, I'd ask now if you could please close your -- Do you recall what was
17 discussed at this meeting with Mr. Prlic on the 7th of April, 1993?
18 A. The agenda, the purpose of the meeting, together with concerns for
19 continuing tension in the region.
20 Q. Do you recall any of the specific topics that were discussed
21 concerning the purpose of the meeting?
22 A. Only to establish better relations between the two parties and to
23 establish a degree of normalisation.
24 Q. Can you tell us then, sir, what transpired between the period of 7
25 April, 1993, and these talks that were scheduled for the 18th of April,
2 A. The focus of the international community was on the meeting. All
3 parties prepared for it. It certainly drew our focus in the ECMM, but we
4 were mindful at the same time that events elsewhere were less than
5 satisfactory. There appeared to be ongoing aggression on the part of the
6 HVO, continuing pressure on Jablanica and other areas north of the
7 Prozor-Jablanica road.
8 Q. What other steps did the international community take during this
9 point in time to bring these talks to fruition?
10 A. The United Nations through UNPROFOR was committed to support them.
11 UNPROFOR offered armoured transportation to safely convey people to the
12 meeting point and to secure the hospital where the talks were to take
14 Q. What involvement, if any, sir, did Ambassador Thebault have
15 relation to these talks scheduled for the 18th of April, 1993?
16 A. He was to chair the talks.
17 Q. What about his work with respect to preparation or preparatory
18 talks for the 18 April talks, 1993?
19 A. He met with Franjo Boras in Mostar on the 7th of April,
20 endeavoured to discover, perhaps, who the moderates were in each party to
21 better facilitate discussions, and arranged for Ejup Ganic to be received
22 from the Presidency into Medjugorje to lead the Bosnian government party.
23 Q. And, sir, in the period, say 7 to 10 days prior to these talks,
24 what was the environment like in Mostar?
25 A. Very tense. There was effectively an armed standoff between the
1 two parties. It was an extremely tense location. We were concerned also
2 at the violence in -- in the central area. Jablanica was shelled by the
3 HVO on the 15th, which is only three days before the talks. There was an
4 outburst of violence along the Lasva Valley on the same date, the 15th of
5 April. And whilst we were committed to furthering the talks and the
6 interests of peace, we were extremely concerned that whilst on one hand
7 the HVO were talking peace and on the other hand they were blatantly
8 aggression -- aggressive throughout the territory.
9 Q. Can you tell us what happened on the day of the actual talks?
10 A. Yes. The parties needed to meet in the hospital. Mr. Prlic, I
11 believe, found his own way by his own means, but then it was, generally
12 speaking, his territory through which he was travelling. Mr. Pasalic was
13 given the opportunity of armoured transportation, and Ejup Ganic, arriving
14 by helicopter in the Spanish camp at Medjugorje, was conveyed to Mostar by
15 armoured vehicle.
16 The talks then took place. I attended much of the discussion,
17 though my responsibilities were to ensure the success of the venture. On
18 occasion I was in the room and party to discussions. On occasion I was
19 outside, checking security and due process, therefore I heard some of what
20 was said.
21 I understand that the meeting was a success, and I understand that
22 because Jean-Pierre Thebault came out at one stage to brief me while I was
23 outside dealing with security. Later, as the meeting was breaking up,
24 Jean-Pierre came out again to explain an outburst that we'd heard in the
25 meeting room which had been dealt with by Spanish officers of UNPROFOR.
1 Q. Let me ask you a couple of follow-on questions, Mr. Beese. You
2 told us, as reflected on line 21, that on occasion you were in the room
3 and party to the discussions. Do you recall some of the specifics of what
4 was discussed during the time period that you were in the room?
5 A. Matters of normalisation as regards life in Herzegovina and the
6 interests of the two parties in terms of education and such like, the
7 relations between the HVO and the Presidency. I don't recall much else.
8 Q. Do you recall any of the specifics on the relationships or
9 relations between the HVO and the Presidency that were discussed in your
11 A. There was an attempt by both parties to bring a degree of
12 normalisation into the relationship, and it was strained. Both parties
13 committed to an improvement in relations.
14 Q. You also, sir, told us about an outburst that you'd heard in the
15 meeting room that was dealt with by Spanish officers of UNPROFOR. What
16 did Ambassador Thebault tell you about this outburst that had taken place?
17 A. I could hear the outburst from outside in the corridor when it
18 took place. Bruno Stojic had arrived at the meeting and launched a tirade
19 of accusations against Ejup Ganic, holding him responsible for the death
20 of a number of Croats in Central Bosnia, for the kidnapping of the HVO
21 representative in Zenica, and a number other matters.
22 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now that the witness be shown what's been
23 marked as P 01981.
24 Q. Do you see at that document before you, Mr. Beese?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Have you seen this document before today?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us what this document is.
4 A. This is a report written by Ole Brix Andersen, who was the deputy
5 head of the ED mission responsible for political matters. He was a career
6 diplomat in the Danish Foreign Ministry, and he is addressing the missions
7 generally, although this particular copy appears to be sent to the Danish
8 delegation -- sorry, from the Danish delegation. It's clear he submitted
9 it to his superiors in Copenhagen who were also responsible for the EC
10 presidency at the time.
11 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you to take a look at part of this document
12 in a moment, but before I do that, sir, can you tell us what results, if
13 any, were obtained at these talks on the 18th of April, 1993? Any
14 practical outcome?
15 A. There was a commitment to establish a cease-fire. There was a
16 commitment to establish a commission to monitor inter-party relations, to
17 provide confidence-building measures to support the peace process. That
18 commission was to be established in Mostar, and it was agreed that
19 representatives of the two parties would tour the area for which they were
20 responsible, that is the area of the federation between the two across
21 again what they referred to as "free Bosnia," that is that held by the
22 Croats or the Muslims. And when the meeting on the 18th completed in
23 Mostar, we all moved back to Medjugorje, less Mr. Prlic and Mr. Pasalic, I
24 believe, and then prepared to turn around and re-enter Mostar for further
25 discussions on the implementation of those measures.
1 Q. Let me now ask you, sir, if you could -- if we could please turn
2 to page 2 of P 01981. If we could please go to page 2 of that document.
3 Mr. Beese, I would turn your attention to the last paragraph, or
4 the beginning of the last paragraph on this page, and ask you to take a
5 quick look at this.
6 A. I see it.
7 Q. If we can then have page 3 where this paragraph continues.
8 Do you recall, sir, the incidents described in this document?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. Approximately how long was this postponement that is referred to
11 in this document?
12 A. I'm not clear why it would say the meeting was postponed if this
13 is the meeting in Mostar on the 18th. It concluded in the afternoon and
14 reconvened in the evening. It was necessary for the parties to brief
15 their subordinates so the subordinates could come together and discuss the
16 practical aspects of implementation of a cease-fire.
17 Q. Let's turn our attention, then, sir, to this subsequent meeting.
18 Do you recall approximately what time that meeting began in the evening?
19 A. We - that is the EC contingent - together with Mr. Ganic moved,
20 with Spanish escort from Medjugorje, in daylight towards Mostar. By the
21 time we arrived in the heights above Mostar, it was dark. So perhaps half
22 past six, seven, or more in the evening.
23 Q. Do you recall what was discussed when this meeting reconvened in
24 the evening?
25 A. Yes. By this stage, General Morillon, as commander UNPROFOR in
1 Bosnia, had arrived. He was accompanied by General Pellnas, who was chief
2 UNMO. They chaired the meeting between Mr. Pasalic, Mr. Petkovic -- in
3 fact I believe Mr. Halilovic was also present by then, and the two
4 discussed the measures that they would take to implement a cease-fire in
5 the region.
6 Q. Can you tell us, sir, about this cease-fire that was discussed.
7 Did it ever take place?
8 A. Practically, no. Yes, it could be agreed; and yes, the parties
9 could tour the region and brief their subordinates on the need for a
10 cease-fire. In practice, no, it was not effective.
11 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what the situation was like on the ground in
12 Mostar on or about the time of this meeting on 18 April, 1993.
13 A. When our column reached the high ground above Mostar prior to
14 descending into Mostar, in the dark we waited whilst Spanish forces below
15 reported that the route was clear. We -- in my case I got out of my
16 vehicle, looked down into Mostar. It was dark. I could hear the thump of
17 grenades exploding and the flash of grenades. I could also hear and see
18 small-arms fire in the city.
19 Q. Mr. Beese, I'd now like to turn your attention to the end of April
20 and the beginning of May, 1993. Where -- where were you primarily working
21 during that point in time?
22 A. After the -- immediately after the talks, I spent time in Mostar
23 attending to the joint commission which was staffed by Mr. Pasalic and
24 Mr. Lasic for the HVO. I then escorted these two gentlemen to Jablanica
25 in an attempt to free up passage into Doljani and Sovici in the west,
1 Kostajnica and Pasovici in the north, Konjic, and the two HVO pockets at
2 Celebici and Turija in the east.
3 Q. Did there come a time, sir, when you became aware of any HVO
4 declarations towards the end of April, beginning of May?
5 A. During this period of negotiation at Jablanica, which itself was
6 not successful, we concluded with a fairly high-level meeting in Jablanica
7 on the 28th of April. On the evening of that I was transferred and
8 reassigned to RC Zenica as the Deputy Head of Mission, so I left the south
9 and moved north towards Zenica.
10 I am aware that on the 25th of April there had been a meeting of
11 the HVO or HDZ in Citluk. They had issued a declaration which was
12 broadcast on the 29th of April, 1993.
13 Q. Do you recall the subject matter of this declaration?
14 A. The declaration attended to a number of matters but the principal
15 of which was the decision that the HVO or HDZ would not recognise
16 President Alija Izetbegovic as having any control over or responsibility
17 for any matter in provinces 8 and 10.
18 Q. Did you subsequently have any additional knowledge about this
20 A. I came to discuss the declaration in Mostar on the 8th of May in
21 the presence of a fact-finding mission appointed by the head of mission in
22 Zagreb who had dispatched a team of heads of national delegation, that is
23 the senior representatives of their particular country in the EC mission,
24 to Bosnia to give the head of mission, if you like, a second opinion other
25 than the reliance on Jean-Pierre Thebault and myself. Those three were
1 Ambassadors Guy Hart of Great Britain, Pierre Cornee of France, and
2 Antonio Sanchez of Spain. They had the opportunity in Central Bosnia to
3 meet personalities including as Dario Kordic, Ante Valenta, Tihomir
4 Blaskic, General Enver Hadzihasanovic, and others. They then moved with
5 me to the southern area, through Tomislavgrad into Mostar, where we met
6 with Mr. Mate Boban. At least, the -- the understanding was that we had a
7 meeting with Mr. Mate Boban. In practice there were other representatives
8 in the HVO present at the meeting as well.
9 Q. Mr. Beese, we'll return to this May 8, 1993, meeting in just a
11 MR. MUNDIS: But first I would ask that the witness be shown
12 P 02051.
13 Q. Mr. Beese, do you see the document before you on the screen?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. Have you seen this document before?
16 A. I have.
17 Q. What is this document?
18 A. This is a report written by the political advisor to the ECMM,
19 that is Christian Warming. He's written it to a distribution list, and it
20 covers the declaration of Citluk, dated 25 April.
21 Q. And, sir, is it clear -- just for the benefit of the Trial
22 Chamber, is it clear to whom this was sent? You've told us a distribution
23 list, but can you explain a little bit how that worked in practice?
24 A. I can only see that it's -- it's sent to N2 and copied to N6. I'm
25 not aware of who those were. I would have expected it to be the EC
1 presidency, that is the Danish Foreign Minister, Mr. Petersen, and to the
2 talks in Geneva, Dr. Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg.
3 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now that the witness be shown P 02149.
4 Q. Mr. Beese, do you see the document that's now on the screen?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. What is this document?
7 A. This is the substance of the declaration by the HVO from Citluk on
8 the 25th of April.
9 Q. Do you know where this document came from?
10 A. This particular document appears to be a shortened or electronic
11 version, perhaps fax version, of the original HVO statement. In fact, I
12 beg your pardon, it looks as though it was perhaps a press report. I'm
13 unfamiliar with the word "Hina."
14 MR. MUNDIS: Let me NOW ask that the witness be shown P 09494.
15 Q. Do you see that document, Mr. Beese?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us what that document -- what this document is.
18 A. I'm not entirely clear, I'm afraid, without -- without sight of
19 more of the document.
20 Q. If we could please go to the next page, the second page, and then
21 we'll go on to the third page once you've had a chance to see the second
23 A. Yes. Thank you.
24 Q. Can we please go to the third page of this document.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Beese, what this document relates to.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me. Excuse me, sir. I'm going to object on
3 this unless a foundation is laid. The gentleman did not indicate that he
4 knows of the document. We can all read it. You know, the document speaks
5 for itself.
6 THE WITNESS: Sorry, could I, with respect, comment that I have
7 seen it. I've seen it in a different format, but I have seen it.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't aware of that.
9 MR. MUNDIS:
10 Q. Mr. Beese, can you tell us, you've said you've seen it in a
11 different format. What format did you previously see this document in?
12 A. I was previously passed a copy of this but on headed HVO
13 notepaper, by Mr. Mate Boban on the 8th of May, 1993.
14 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Beese, the document that you've just -- we've
15 all just seen, what does that document relate to?
16 A. The document mentions a number of -- of different matters, such as
17 Muslim aggression, such as population, such as command and control from
18 Sarajevo. However, it is not delivered as a matter of fact so much as a
19 message. It is issued as a clear message to Croats as to their position.
20 It is a message to the Bosnian Presidency to the effect that it no longer
21 particularly has control, and read in total it gives rise to immense
22 concern to international observers.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beese.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. I'm about to move to
25 the meetings of the 8th of May. This might be a convenient place to stop
1 for the next break.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It is almost half past
3 three, so we'll take a 20-minute break and reconvene at approximately ten
4 minutes to four.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.27 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 3.52 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Mundis. We have
8 an hour and a half before us, so over to you.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Beese, shortly before the break you told us about a meeting in
11 which you escorted three EC ambassadors for meetings in Mostar. Can you
12 tell us a little bit more about -- well, first of all, what was the date
13 of that meeting?
14 A. It was the 8th of May, 1993.
15 Q. What was the purpose of this meeting?
16 A. The purpose was for the fact-finding mission, which was the three
17 ambassadors, to meet with senior HVO officials to understand their general
19 Q. What specific role, Mr. Beese, did you personally take with
20 respect to the organisation of this meeting, setting up this meeting?
21 A. None at all. The meeting was arranged by Ante Valenta and
22 Jean-Pierre Thebault.
23 Q. What role, sir, did you have at the actual meeting?
24 A. I was to introduce the three ambassadors and to see them
25 effectively through the meeting.
1 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Beese, approximately what time the meeting
3 A. It would have been sometime mid-morning on the 8th of May.
4 Q. And where was this meeting held?
5 A. In Mr. Boban's office in Mostar.
6 Q. Do you recall, other than the three ambassadors and yourself, who
7 was in attendance at this meeting?
8 A. Mr. Boban was attended by Mr. Prlic, Mr. Stojic, Mr. Zubak,
9 Mr. Bozic.
10 Q. Can you tell us what you recall being discussed at this meeting.
11 A. The ambassadors exchanged views with Mr. Boban on the
12 circumstances and deplored the level of violence generally, to which
13 Mr. Boban replied that the violence was generally one way and spoke much
14 of Muslim aggression.
15 Q. In response to this statement of Mr. Boban, did any of the
16 ambassadors or anyone else present say anything in response?
17 A. The ambassadors listened with interest. I countered Mr. Boban and
18 thought it necessary to explain that the events that he described of
19 Muslim aggression were not as we saw them, as the EC mission, that we
20 believed it to be the other way.
21 Q. Can you recall any of the specifics of what you told Mr. Boban in
22 this regard?
23 A. I told Mr. Boban that much of his -- what he said did not appear
24 to be true.
25 Q. Did any of the other members of the HVO delegation express
1 anything in response to what you've said?
2 A. Mr. Bozic supported Mr. Boban's view and gave examples of Muslim
3 aggression, or at least Croat misfortune, where Croats were victims, he
4 said, of aggression in such places as the Celebici pocket between
5 Jablanica and Konjic, and the Turija pocket just south of Konjic.
6 Mr. Stojic then added his view that the Muslims were responsible for
7 countless deaths and that the HVO needed to protect their people from this
9 Q. Do you recall with any degree of specificity what locations
10 Mr. Stojic was referring to?
11 A. I cannot recall, I'm afraid, without reference to my account.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Again, Mr. President, with your leave, I would ask
13 that the witness be permitted to look at paragraphs 430 through 440 of his
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. To refresh your memory,
16 please take a look at your document.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 MR. MUNDIS:
19 Q. Having had reference, sir, to your account, do you recall with any
20 degree of specificity what locations Mr. Stojic was referring to?
21 A. Mr. Stojic and Mr. Bozic referred to a number of what I would call
22 Croat pockets, including Kostajnica, where they wished access. I
23 endeavoured to raise the subject of the Muslim pockets. Generally there
24 were Croats pockets to the east of Jablanica, Celebici, Turija,
25 Kostajnica, but there were, of course, Muslim pockets or Muslim areas of
1 interest and damage that needed to be examined west of Jablanica, such as
2 Doljani and Sovici. And it was important in all talks, where one party
3 raised their concerns, to remind them of the other party's concerns.
4 Q. What satisfaction, if any, did you obtain having raised these
5 points with the HVO delegation?
6 A. I received no satisfaction at all. I was greatly concerned when
7 the meeting broke up.
8 Q. What were your concerns centred on?
9 A. Mr. Boban's statement that if Muslim aggression didn't cease, he
10 would be forced to act to protect his people.
11 Q. Sir, earlier this afternoon with respect to the Citluk
12 Declaration, you indicated that Mr. Boban gave you a document or documents
13 at this meeting.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was that Citluk Declaration discussed at the meeting?
16 A. There was reference to it. It was a background. It was his
17 ultimate statement that was chilling. His ultimate statement gave me
18 reason to believe that there would be action precipitated almost
19 immediately. It was not clear to me where or what, but I was left in no
20 doubt, as he said to the ambassadors, that they were watching or
21 witnessing historic events unfolding.
22 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Beese, whether Mr. Prlic said anything at this
24 A. If I recall correctly, he was relatively silent.
25 Q. Mr. Beese, do you recall approximately what time this meeting
1 disbanded or was completed?
2 A. The meeting would have been completed at around about midday,
3 after which we were invited to lunch at Mr. Prlic's office.
4 Q. What was on the agenda for the EC ambassadors on the 8th of May,
5 1993, other than this meeting that you've described with the HVO
7 A. The EC ambassadors were then due, as was only correct in terms of
8 protocol, to meet with the SDA representatives, the political arm of the
9 Muslim party, at around 2.00 p.m. that afternoon.
10 Q. Can you tell us what transpired at the lunch at Mr. Prlic's
12 A. Mr. Prlic was an extremely good host. The meal was very good,
13 though rather delayed.
14 Q. Approximately how long were you delayed at the lunch?
15 A. I was concerned that the delay ran towards 2.00 p.m. Mr. Prlic
16 was aware that we had a meeting with the SDA and should move there to be
17 as prompt as possible. I could not see particularly a reason for delay
18 and was concerned as the time passed half past two, for instance, that we
19 were going to be late and that would not be seen to be consistent with the
20 ambassadors' status as recognising each party for their relative value;
21 that they should be punctual if they possibly could.
22 Q. Did you, sir, in fact accompany the EC delegation to meet with the
23 SDA representatives?
24 A. I did, yes.
25 Q. Approximately what time did that meeting begin?
1 A. I cannot recall the specific time. I would understand it to have
2 been around 3.00 p.m.
3 Q. And, Mr. Beese, where was this meeting taking place?
4 A. At an SDA office somewhere on the west bank in Mostar. I cannot
5 recall the specific location.
6 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Beese, with whom the delegation met at this
8 A. We met with a number of SDA officials who we were not familiar
9 with. The introduction to them was effected by Emir Bijedic, with whom I
10 was very familiar from our discussions in Gornji Vakuf and Prozor.
11 Q. And again, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, what position did
12 Emir Bijedic hold at that point in time?
13 A. Emir Bijedic appeared to be a senior assistant to Arif Pasalic.
14 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what was discussed with the SDA
15 officials in Mostar on the afternoon of 8 May, 1993?
16 A. The ambassadors were there to hear the concerns and political
17 views of the SDA. In practice, the meeting quickly became a one-way
18 stream of expression of concern from the SDA to the ambassadors,
19 encompassing all manner of concern to do with the status of the Muslims in
21 Q. And, sir, approximately how long did this meeting take to run its
23 A. The meeting finished after perhaps an hour, an hour and a half,
24 but perhaps prematurely. During the meeting those of us in the meeting
25 could hear the sound of gunfire and explosions outside. That sound
1 increased during the meeting, and it became clear that there were serious
2 issues taking place outside, a confrontation between the HVO and the
3 armija, and it was time to consider the ambassadors' safety.
4 Q. And approximately what time did you therefore depart this meeting?
5 A. We left the meeting and directly left Mostar while it was still
6 light. It could have been any time between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m.
7 Q. And, Mr. Beese, on that occasion, if you recall, which route did
8 you take leaving the city of Mostar?
9 A. We moved west directly up the mountain road towards Siroki Brijeg.
10 Q. Can you tell us about that drive on that afternoon of 8 May, 1993,
11 leaving Mostar.
12 A. We left to the continuing sound of gunfire. We moved up the hill.
13 The route chosen was the most direct route to Split. The ambassadors were
14 keen to stop halfway up the mountain to watch the developments that were
15 unfolding. I suggested to them with advice that it was unwise to stop.
16 We ourselves might become a target. Our presence at that stage might have
17 been an inconvenience and that our first responsibility was to report what
18 we had heard and seen to our superiors in Split and Zagreb.
19 Q. Where did the EC delegation go that evening?
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, may I just ask: Did the ambassadors
21 impose their will or did you impose your will? Did they stop or did you
22 not stop?
23 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, they were very gracious and agreed to
24 continue, understanding that the priority in the mission at this stage was
25 to safely convey our concerns to Split and Zagreb.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
2 MR. MUNDIS:
3 Q. Mr. Beese, where did the delegation, the EC delegation go that
5 A. They went directly to the -- to the office in Split. Although the
6 regional centre and control mechanism had moved from Split to Zenica, the
7 administrative support was still in Split. That is where we had
8 facilities, accommodation, and catering and, most importantly,
10 Q. And Mr. Beese, did you accompany them or did you go to another
12 A. I accompanied them right to Split.
13 Q. And what did the EC delegation do upon arrival in Split?
14 A. They continued to confer amongst themselves and they produced, I
15 understand, a report they then sent to the Head of Mission in Zagreb.
16 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask, Mr. President, with the assistance of
17 Mr. Registrar that P 02300 be shown to the witness.
18 Q. Mr. Beese, do you see a document on the screen in front of you?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Have you seen this document before?
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. What is this document?
23 A. This is the report of the fact-finding mission, that is the three
24 ambassadors, to their superiors recounting their -- the entire course of
25 their mission and their views.
1 Q. Mr. Beese, how long -- if you recall, how long was their mission
2 in duration?
3 A. They had arrived in Central Bosnia to RC Zenica on the 3rd of May,
4 flying from Split to Kiseljak by helicopter, and by road from Kiseljak to
6 Q. And for how long during the course of their mission did you
7 accompany them?
8 A. Through what could be regarded as the second half. Once they had
9 met the senior officials of all parties in Central Bosnia, accompanied by
10 Jean-Pierre Thebault, I was responsible for accompanying them to Mostar in
12 Q. I would ask, please, if we could be shown the fifth page of this
14 Mr. Beese, do you recognise the names of the individuals who
15 signed this document?
16 A. I do. They were the three ambassadors.
17 Q. Mr. Beese, do you know who actually drafted this report?
18 A. By this particular date, the date of this document, 11th of May, I
19 had travelled to the United Kingdom on leave. To my understanding, the
20 three ambassadors had discussed their concerns the evening we arrived in
21 Split. That would have been the 8th of May. I see the document is dated
22 the 11th of May, which surprises me.
23 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now that the witness be shown two
24 additional documents. The first one is P 09606.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we move on to that, so I take it based on
1 the question that was posed to the gentleman, the answer is, "I don't
2 know." Is that what I just heard? As to who drafted the document, that
4 MR. MUNDIS:
5 Q. Do you know, Mr. Beese, who in fact drafted the document, the
7 A. I understood Guy Hart drafted it with the assistance of the other
8 two. I cannot say specifically; I was not present.
9 Q. Thank you. If we could now turn to P 09606.
10 Mr. Beese, do you see the document that's now before you?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. With
12 respect to the intervention by Mr. Karnavas who wanted to know who wrote
13 the document, and he suggested that if you don't know, you should say you
14 do not know, now, if you were present yourself, because you explained to
15 us that you were in Great Britain, would it have been you who have
16 redacted the document if you would have been present?
17 A. No. The fact-finding commission was independent of those monitors
18 of us on the ground. It was their responsibility to report independently
19 of what the regional centre believed.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And then what allows you to say
21 that it was Mr. Guy Hart who finished the document?
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, because, of the three, Guy Hart took
23 notes and appeared to be the lead in the presentation of a written form of
24 report. That is not to say that the three didn't have equal say in it.
25 They held lengthy discussions into the night when we returned to Split.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If we could see again the document. At the
2 bottom of each page I seem to have noticed there is something handwritten,
3 and I wonder whether you could identify that or read it or say what it
5 MR. MUNDIS: If the registrar could please assist us by putting
6 P 02300 back on the screen, please, for the benefit of the witness.
7 THE WITNESS: Could I please have it expanded?
8 MR. MUNDIS: Could we please zoom in on the signature at the
9 bottom of the page, please.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Further down, please. A bit further down,
11 please. Perhaps a bit smaller. Further down. Yes, this one I want also
12 to have.
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, it would appear to me to be Guy Hart,
14 but I cannot say for certain.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
16 MR. MUNDIS:
17 Q. While -- while we have this document back on the screen, if we
18 could go back, please, to the -- to the third page of this document. That
19 page, please.
20 Mr. Beese, could you please read to yourself paragraph 10 of that
22 A. Thank you.
23 Q. Do you recall, while you were in attendance at this meeting, this
24 letter that's referred to in paragraph 10?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can we please turn now to the following page, which has -- or to
2 paragraph -- if we could please turn to the next page of the document,
3 please. And again, if we could focus our attention on paragraph 16.
4 Do you recall, sir, at this meeting whether there were other
5 documents that Mr. Boban handed to the EC delegation?
6 A. Mr. Boban certainly passed us two. One was a copy of the Citluk
7 Declaration of 25 April. The second was their disclosure of that or their
8 publication of that on the 29th.
9 I recall there being such a letter. I cannot recall whether it
10 was handed out to us during that meeting.
11 MR. MUNDIS: With the assistance of the usher, I'd ask that the
12 witness now be shown through e-court P 09606.
13 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, before -- before we lose sight of that
14 document if I could for a moment come back to the question asked by Judge
15 Trechsel relating to the signature at the bottom of the page. It did
16 appear that those signatures bore a date which appeared to be in 1999. I
17 wonder if the witness could shed any light as to whether the signature is
18 original to the document or may have perhaps been added by Mr. Hart at a
19 later stage for purposes of verification of some kind.
20 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, sir, is the question directed to me?
21 MR. MURPHY: I'm not allowed to ask you questions directly. I
22 wondered if the Prosecution might enable us to clear that up, perhaps.
23 MR. MUNDIS:
24 Q. Mr. Beese, do you have any knowledge as to the date contained on
25 the bottom of this document in handwriting? Does that have any meaning
1 for you?
2 A. We have previously seen a document today that was signed by me in
3 2001 on the date that I submitted it to the Tribunal. I can see no other
4 reason for this having the date that it has, or the signature, other than
5 Guy Hart handing this document or a copy of it to the Tribunal.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beese. If we can now go to P 09606.
7 Mr. Beese, you now have P 09606 before you. Have you ever seen
8 this document before?
9 A. Yes I have.
10 Q. When did you first see this document, to the best of your
12 A. I'm afraid I cannot recall when I first saw it.
13 Q. Can you tell us what this document relates to?
14 A. It is -- it is interpreted by me to be a declaration to the
15 international community that unless circumstances change, the HVO will
16 take matters into their own hands.
17 Q. Would you please go to the third page of this document.
18 Mr. Beese, again, based on the list of persons to whom this letter was to
19 be provided, do you have any further comments concerning this letter?
20 A. The letter is addressed to -- perhaps it might be regarded to be
21 the most senior of the international governments involved in the conflict
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 MR. MUNDIS: I would ask now that the witness be shown P 09602.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the next document is
25 shown, Mr. Beese, could you give us an explanation, if you could do so.
1 The letter was apparently sent to the UN Secretary-General and the other
2 people. Now, the last man, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, why doesn't it contain
3 his title? We have his name but with no title. Do you have an
4 explanation for that or none?
5 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, at this point the detail of the letter
6 is, perhaps to me as an observer there, not so important as the message it
7 imparts. The purpose of the letter is not the sum of its content, by
8 which I mean, to me, understanding or having seen what I'd seen in the
9 region, I understood this letter to be a matter of propaganda. It is a
10 clear warning that, "We told you there was aggression. We told you unless
11 aggression ceased that we would take action." It is, if you like, to me,
12 an excuse for taking action.
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Thank you. Could we please now turn to P 09602.
15 Mr. Beese, do you have P 09602 before you?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Have you seen this document before?
18 A. I have.
19 Q. Do you recall when was the first time you saw this document?
20 A. I'm afraid I cannot recall.
21 Q. Can you take a look at this document and tell us what your
22 understanding of this document is.
23 A. It is quite difficult for me to express anything other than an
24 opinion on the letter. It is -- it is not for me to go through each
25 detail in turn. The details themselves are not important. This is a
1 clear message, and again, it is a matter of propaganda. Much of what it
2 says does not make sense to me. It is quite disconnected with events on
3 the ground.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President. Mr. President, I hate to be jumping
5 up and down, and I certainly don't wish to be disputatious, but again,
6 here we're going into reading the tea leaves. The gentleman was not
7 participating in any of these events, obviously. He is rendering an
8 opinion based on a document which we can all read and draw conclusions.
9 Now, if there are questions that can be elicited from the gentleman that
10 can then be tied into the document, I don't have any objections, but
11 reading the document and then saying what he thinks it is or what the
12 document purports to do, I think is improper. No foundation has been laid
13 for that. So I would object to it.
14 These are not documents that were generated by the ECMM. These
15 are other documents, and I see no reason why we're going through this at
16 this point in time.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I could. The witness at this point
18 in time, based on the date of this document, had been in Bosnia for five
19 months. He just told us it is quite disconnected with events on the
20 ground. Your Honours have heard this witness's testimony about the
21 incidents and other things he'd observed, meetings he'd attended, et
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We understood the
24 observation made by the Defence, and they think that the witness made a
25 personal estimation saying that it was propaganda. So we have taken note
1 of your observation, Mr. Karnavas, and we shall decide on the basis of the
2 totality of the elements presented and the cross-examination that you're
3 going to hold in due course.
4 Mr. Mundis.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Again, referring to what you said on lines 4 and 5 of the
7 transcript, can you elaborate upon what you meant by "This document is
8 disconnected with events on the ground." What do you mean by that
10 A. There is constant reference here to Muslim aggression. Through my
11 -- my time, through my many meetings, my many travels, the many reports I
12 received from my monitors on the ground, there is a clear difference
13 between what is alleged here by one party against the reality that we
14 observed on the ground. At no time during the discussions leading up to
15 the meeting in Mostar of 18 March to this stage was there any letup in
16 pressure applied to the armija by the HVO. Indeed, whenever a cease-fire
17 was signed, it simply meant the moving on of one military operation to the
18 next. It didn't signal peace, it signalled the next stage and, therefore,
19 the continued use of an allegation of aggression was and could only have
20 been an attempt to disguise the truth.
21 Q. Mr. Beese, on line 17 of page 133, there is reference to the
22 meeting in Mostar of 18 March. Which meeting are you referring to?
23 A. I beg your pardon; 18 April.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Beese, can you tell us what reports you
25 received concerning events in Mostar, the city of Mostar, concerning the
1 events of 8, 9 May, 1993.
2 A. The events of 8 May, 1993, heralded what appeared to be an all-out
3 assault by the HVO on the Muslim presence in Mostar with the apparent aim
4 to drive the Muslim presence or representation not only off the west bank
5 to the east bank but clearly out of Mostar altogether.
6 Q. To the best of your recollection, Mr. Beese, how long did the
7 assault by the HVO last in the town of Mostar?
8 A. It continued with some ferocity for at least two months, during
9 which time the international observers were denied access to Mostar.
10 Q. Again, Mr. Beese, focusing on the period May, 1993, did the EC
11 take any steps to intervene with respect to the conflict in Mostar?
12 A. Two levels of interest here. First of all, the locally deployed
13 monitoring teams continued to maintain, where they could, relations with
14 all parties, though at the time that was not in Mostar itself because the
15 monitors did not gain permission to enter Mostar. It was denied to them.
16 At a higher level, at the regional centre, the events in Mostar were of
17 such gravity that they demanded the attention of the international
18 community. Not only the EC and its representative governments but of the
19 United Nations, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other
20 UN agencies. From that moment forward it would appear that the HVO had
21 played its hand in Mostar and it was for the international community
22 together to resolve the issue. It was well beyond the control of a
23 regional centre.
24 Q. Mr. Beese, were you aware of any steps taken by the EC with
25 respect to the events occurring in mid-May, 1993?
1 A. I believe there was correspondence between the EC and Mr. Franjo
2 Tudjman, the president of Croatia, imploring him to exercise restraint
3 where he could.
4 Q. How did you come to know about this correspondence?
5 A. I was later shown copies of letters between Mr. Petersen of the
6 European Community and those from -- or that from Mr. Tudjman in response.
7 Q. Again, Mr. Beese, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber and the
8 transcript, who was Mr. Petersen?
9 A. Mr. Petersen was the foreign minister of Denmark. At that time
10 Denmark held the presidency of the EC.
11 Q. Mr. Beese, do you recall approximately when you saw copies of the
12 letters between Mr. Petersen and Mr. Tudjman?
13 A. I cannot give you a date. I would understand I saw them on my
14 return from leave.
15 Q. Okay. And again, just for the record, can you tell us what period
16 of time you were on leave at this point in time.
17 A. From -- I was on leave from the 9th of May, returning some 14 days
19 MR. MUNDIS: With the benefit of the registrar, I would ask that
20 the witness be shown P 9605.
21 Q. Mr. Beese, do you see the document on the screen before you?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. Have you seen this document before?
24 A. I have.
25 Q. What is this document?
1 A. This is the letter from Mr. Petersen to President Franjo Tudjman.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, do you have any explanation or any idea why this
3 letter doesn't seem to be on a letterhead and does not appear to be
5 A. Because of the difficulty in communications between different
6 parts of the mission area, it is possible and would not unusually be the
7 case that a text had been transcribed and sent by Capsat or other means.
8 MR. MUNDIS: I would now ask that the witness be shown what's been
9 marked P 09604.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Petersen -- or excuse me, Mr. Beese, do you recognise the
12 document that's on the screen before you?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. If you recall, when did you see this document before?
15 A. I do not recall.
16 Q. Can you tell us what this document is, to the best of your
18 A. To my understanding, it is President Franjo Tudjman's reply to
19 Mr. Petersen.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Beese, can you tell us a little bit about the situation
21 and developments in the Mostar region following your return from leave on
22 or about the 23rd of May, 1993.
23 A. On my return, I had been briefed on developments in my absence. I
24 was made aware that there had been meetings, high-level meetings at
25 Medjugorje and Sarajevo on the 12th and 18th of May, the latter resulting
1 in an agreement between the Presidency and the HVO to implement the
2 Vance-Owen Peace Plan in free Bosnia. Again, that is the
3 federation-controlled area between the HVO and the Presidency.
4 Q. And how did the situation develop during the course of the month
5 of June, 1993?
6 A. There was no letup in the violence, and although cease-fires had
7 been signed and agreed, there appeared to be no change of heart amongst
8 the two parties. The HVO continued their attempt to secure a military
9 grasp of the region that they knew as provinces 8 and 10. The EC was
10 required to brief elements of the two parties on what implementation of
11 the Vance-Owen Plan meant in practice and to encourage the two parties and
12 their political representatives to consider how they would implement the
13 Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
14 Q. Mr. Beese, I would like you now to take a look at P 02636.
15 Mr. Beese, have you seen this document before?
16 A. I'm afraid I would have to see a second or consequent page.
17 Q. Could we please go to the next page.
18 A. Thank you.
19 Q. Is this document familiar to you, Mr. Beese?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Can we please go to the next page. And I draw your attention,
22 sir, to the final line of this page. Do you see what's written at the
23 very bottom?
24 A. This concerns the flags and coats of arms, or --
25 Q. No, actually, the very last line of the page that's shown on your
2 A. "Province Mostar (8)."
3 Q. Fine. Can we please go to the next page. Can you tell us,
4 Mr. Beese, who drafted this document, if you know?
5 A. It would appear to be drafted by Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault.
6 Q. Are you familiar with the contents of this document as they relate
7 to Province Mostar?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. To the best of your recollection, do these descriptive paragraphs
10 reflect what was being reported to you during this time period?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 MR. MUNDIS: I would now ask that the witness be shown P 02710.
13 This document, Mr. President, is under seal, or should be under seal. We
14 -- this was provided to us pursuant to Rule 70.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please don't show
16 the document on the screen.
17 MR. MUNDIS: And perhaps, Mr. President, out of an abundance of
18 caution, if we could just move into private session for a few moments
19 while I ask the witness some questions about this document.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 3171-3189 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in open session, I officially
3 adjourn the meeting for today and state that we're going to reconvene
4 tomorrow morning at 9.00.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.22 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day
7 of June, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.