1 Tuesday, 23 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
8 This is case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I'd
10 like to welcome all those present, Mr. Scott and his assistant, the
11 Defence counsel, the accused, and all the other people in the courtroom.
12 I'm going to start off by giving the floor to the registrar for
13 the IC numbers.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Several parties have submitted lists of documents
15 to be tendered through Witness CV. The list submitted by the OTP shall be
16 given Exhibit number IC 240. The list submitted by 2D will be given comb
17 number IC 241. The list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit number IC
18 242. The list submitted by 4D shall be given Exhibit number IC 243. The
19 list submitted by 5D shall be given Exhibit number IC 244. The OTP has
20 also submitted a list of documents to be tendered through Witness CW.
21 That will be given Exhibit number IC 245. And the OTP has also submitted
22 a list of documents to be tendered through Witness CX. That list will be
23 given Exhibit number IC 246. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
25 I have two oral decisions for today. The first regarding the
1 translation of Exhibit P 02291.
2 During the testimony of Witness BJ on the 29th of August, 2006, at
3 page 5673 of the transcript in French, Counsel Ibrisimovic asked for a new
4 translation of Exhibit P 02291. It concerns a passage in the translation
5 which reads as follows, and I quote: "On the part of the HVO,
6 Mr. Berislav Pusic is appointed liaison officer with UNPROFOR."
7 This exhibit was admitted on the 28th of September, 2006. The
8 registrar has informed us that the CLSS, the translation service, provided
9 a new translation that was requested, and therefore I request that the
10 registrar in these proceedings replace the translation that has been
11 admitted by the revised version.
12 Second oral decision concerning the expert report by Mr. Patrick
13 van der Weijden. I see that the name hasn't been introduced into the
14 transcript v-a-n d-e-r and then W-e-i-j-d-e-n, Weijden.
15 On the 15th of December, 2006, the Prosecution submitted to the
16 Defence and the Chamber the expert report by Mr. Patrick van der Weijden
17 pursuant to Article 94 bis of the Rules of Procedure. In their response
18 dated the 15th of January, 2007, the Defence teams of the six accused
19 challenged the admission of this report contesting the quality of the
20 expert in matters of ballistic science. However, the Defence did not
21 contest the qualifications of this expert with regard to isolated shots or
22 the relevance of this report, reserving the right to further challenge the
23 probative value of seven aspects of his report. They also requested to be
24 able to cross-examine Mr. van der Weijden.
25 The Chamber, having deliberated on the expert report would like to
1 emphasise first of all that the Defence teams have not provided a single
2 specific reason to justify their opposition to the request filed by the
3 Prosecution on the 15th of December, 2006. Furthermore, having read the
4 expert report and the curriculum vitae of its author, the Chamber
5 considers that Mr. Patrick van der Weijden is well used to giving
6 testimony as an expert witness concerning the subjects he deals with in
7 his report. More specifically, isolated firing techniques and shots.
8 In response to a request from the Defence the Chamber conscious
9 that Mr. Patrick van der Weijden should testify in person before the
10 Tribunal in order to answer questions from the Defence teams during the
11 cross-examination. This will allow counsel to challenge the credibility
12 of the conclusions reached in the expert report. The Chamber is of the
13 opinion that only after hearing the examination and cross-examination of
14 Mr. Patrick van der Weijden will it be able to determine definitely the
15 probative value of the expert report.
16 In view of the highly technical report of this expert report, the
17 expert witness shall be granted permission to consult the report while
18 giving testimony in order to explain the conclusions arrived there. The
19 Chamber accords two hours for the examination-in-chief and three -- four
20 hours -- and four hours for the cross-examination, giving each Defence
21 team 40 minutes unless the Defence teams decide to divide up the time
22 amongst themselves differently.
23 And in order to summarise, the expert witness will have his report
24 in front of him when he testifies. The Prosecution will have a maximum of
25 two hours to ask him questions, and the Defence will have four hours in
1 total to cross-examine the expert witness. Each of the counsel has 40
2 minutes at their disposal unless regulated otherwise by the Defence
4 So those are the rulings for today, and this latter ruling for the
5 expert witness.
6 Pursuant to our request, three days before the expert witness
7 comes in we will hear victim witnesses who will come in to testify, that
8 is to say on the 31st of January and the beginning of February and the 5th
9 of February, and the expert witness will be coming in on the 6th, 7th, and
10 8th of February.
11 Now, there is a third point that I would like to make pursuant to
12 Mr. Karnavas's request to be given 20 minutes for a 65 ter meeting. The
13 Chamber has not yet deliberated on the grounds for that request, but with
14 respect to the 20 minutes, we will have to find the time to have this
15 meeting either -- if this witness finishes perhaps at 6.30 or 20 to 7.00
16 and then I will grant Mr. Karnavas 20 minutes. If we have not finished
17 with this witness by then the Defence will be given 20 minutes tomorrow
18 during which to put forward their opinions. If I understood Mr. Karnavas,
19 Mr. Karnavas would like to intervene pursuant to a request made by the
20 Prosecution with regard to 92 bis (A) and (B) of the Rules of Procedure
21 regarding a filing concerning Gornji Vakuf, and the Defence filed a
22 response on the 12th of January, 2007, as far as I can see, and the
23 Prosecution responded to that on the 18th of January, 2007.
24 So I think, Mr. Karnavas, that you're going to want to raise the
25 issue of the response you received with special reference to the last
1 paragraph of the document. So we're going to devote 20 minutes either at
2 the end of today's proceedings or at the beginning of tomorrow's session
3 to discuss the issue.
4 From my point of view, what you want to say has to do with the
5 response that you have received from the Prosecution; is that right?
6 Because I am wary of the translation.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President; good afternoon,
8 Your Honours. It's the reply to our response. The leave to reply which
9 was also the reply, there are some contents in that reply which we believe
10 need to be addressed, certain issues that were raised by the Prosecution
11 which I think deserve to be heard both by the Defence and by the
12 Prosecution. I don't want to elaborate on that.
13 Incidentally, I believe, prior to coming here today, to our
14 commencement of the proceedings, there was a filing to at least give the
15 Trial Chamber an update as to the general issues that we wanted to
16 address. So you'll have that in writing. You should have that, at least.
17 It was filed. It was filed before we started here today.
18 Also just with -- since I'm on my feet, with respect to the sniper
19 expert, just to inform the Trial Chamber we did make a request to meet
20 with the gentleman prior to him testifying. The Prosecution agreed and
21 has made -- is making the gentleman available. We want to thank the
22 Prosecution for making that arrangement, and we want to express this on
23 the record to show you that the Prosecution is assisting us and we're
24 working to expedite that -- that witness's testimony.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Just a moment,
1 please. What you've just said, the Judges are going to deliberate
2 tomorrow because this is the first time that this has been brought up
3 before this Trial Chamber, to know whether the Defence can meet with a
4 Prosecution witness before the proceedings. So this is a question of
5 principle that we're going to have to deal with, confer, and deliberate.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I don't think -- you need to
7 deliberate on that. The Prosecution has agreed to allow us to meet with
8 the expert witness. They can be present, and in fact I believe they will
9 be present. It's merely to -- to discuss with them what exactly they did,
10 because the report we received is not comprehensive as one would expect
11 from an expert of this nature. So I don't think that there's -- that the
12 Prosecution is going to be prejudiced. They will be present.
13 Of course, we will do answer instructed, but I think -- I must say
14 it is common practice, at least in the adversarial procedures, to be -- to
15 have access to the expert witness provided that you either monitor the
16 meeting or, you know, it's done in the presence of the other party.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll let you know
18 tomorrow in the afternoon. We'll tell you what we have decided on this
19 matter. And once a witness takes the solemn declaration, he is no longer
20 a witness of either party but of justice.
21 Let us have the next witness brought in. As to duration, we have
22 decided to give the Prosecution one and a half hours and to give the
23 Defence one and a half hours as well, plus the Judges' questions, which
24 I'm sure will be forthcoming, which will allows us to conclude with this
25 witness and might provide us with the 20 minutes we need for the Defence
1 to be able to develop their arguments.
2 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I -- may I, thank you, Your Honour.
3 May I say something about that allocation? It just happens that the
4 Petkovic Defence are first off on this particular witness, but it's this,
5 Your Honour, that the standard guidelines and practice adopted, which are
6 reflected in what Your Honour has just said, we submit, really don't work
7 very well for a witness of this nature, because the result is, we're
8 talking about 15 minutes each in fact, nobody really has enough to do a
9 proper cross-examination and, Your Honour, you can see from yesterday's
10 examination of a witness that we are very economical and we don't explore
11 issues unnecessarily, but, for example, Ms. Alaburic and I, we discussed
12 the cross-examination. From Mr. Petkovic's point of view there is really
13 no way that 15 minutes is enough. I'm not seeking an hour or anything
14 like that, Your Honour, but 15 minutes isn't enough. And Mr. Petkovic --
15 there are two things.
16 First of all, he is with respect to entitled to sufficient time
17 for his counsel to cross-examine. On the other hand, he's not entitled to
18 have time from our colleagues. And I should say that among the Defence
19 teams we all enjoy excellent personal and professional relations, but
20 we're not entitled --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, I hear what you're
22 saying, but what you're telling us now was discussed before you arrived.
23 Mr. Stewart, at the beginning the Prosecution told us that they needed
24 three years to present their case, three years. Now, if you make the
25 calculations mathematical, if the Defence would need the same time then
1 that means the trial would last 21 years for six accused. So that's the
2 general framework. And you're telling us that you need a lot of time to
3 examine the journalist that is arriving.
4 MR. STEWART: I didn't quite say that, with respect, Your Honour.
5 I said that 15 minutes was unnecessarily tight. And, Your Honour, the
6 overall timetable relates to the point that I alluded to, that yesterday
7 we were very economical. Some witnesses we don't use and we won't need to
8 use the time, but some witnesses simply don't lend themselves to the
9 cross-examination for any one client being adequately covered in 15
10 minutes. I'm not asking for a lot of time, Your Honour, but what I am
11 asking is for -- and we haven't heard the evidence from the witness yet,
12 he's in court now, but I'm just asking for a little flexible when we come
13 to it, Your Honour, when we can get a feel of it, but my prediction --
14 perhaps I'll be completely wrong but my prediction, Your Honour, is that
15 at 15 minutes it will not have been possible to cover the ground. I
16 should be as quick as I can. I put down that marker. I make that
17 request, Your Honour. May I -- well, I can renew it of course but
18 perhaps, Your Honour, I can simply renew it in the light of where we are
19 in a couple of hours' time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have heard what you said.
21 [The witness enters court]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you stand, please, sir.
23 Before you take the solemn declaration, for the transcript would you
24 please give me your first name, last name, and date of birth.
25 THE WITNESS: Jeremy Bowen, 6th of February, 1960.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what is your present
3 THE WITNESS: I'm journalist.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where?
5 THE WITNESS: I'm -- I work for the BBC. I'm the Middle East
6 editor for the BBC.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, have you ever testified
8 before in front of a court on the events that took place in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the years 1990 to 1993, 1994, or is this the first
10 time that you're testifying?
11 THE WITNESS: No, it's not the first time. I testified in the
12 trial of Tuta and Stela.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you were a Prosecution
14 witness or a Defence witness in that trial?
15 THE WITNESS: I was a Prosecution witness.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. How long did you
17 testify in the Tuta Stela trial?
18 THE WITNESS: That was a few years ago. I can't remember exactly,
19 but I was there, I think, for most of one day. There was a break for
20 lunch. I was there in the morning and in the afternoon.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the
22 cross-examination took place on the same day after the Prosecution's
23 examination-in-chief, I assume?
24 THE WITNESS: It was all done in one day. The whole -- my whole
25 testimony was in the course of a single day.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Thank
2 you for explaining that to us. It might be useful to the two parties.
3 Would you now read the solemn declaration, please, sir.
4 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
5 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: JEREMY BOWEN
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. You may be
9 I'm just going to give you some information about the proceedings.
10 The Prosecution will have an hour and a half for the examination-in-chief,
11 and the Defence will also have one and a half hours.
12 Now, as opposed to the Tuta and Stela trial, we have six accused
13 and 12 counsel, and you might be asked questions by the accused as well in
14 addition to their Defence counsel. The Bench will also be asking you
15 questions, I'm sure. So the Judges can ask questions as well. As I've
16 just said, I know I will and I assume my colleagues will too.
17 When you give your answers try and be as precise as possible and
18 as brief as possible and answer the question asked. If you have trouble
19 understanding a question, don't hesitate for the person asking the
20 question to restate it.
21 During the examination-in-chief, you might be shown documents by
22 the Prosecution and a video which was broadcast by the BBC. So I'm sure
23 we're going to see the fruits of your labours.
24 Having said that, I give the floor to Mr. Scott who has an hour
25 and a half.
1 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon Mr. President, Your Honours, and to
2 everyone in the courtroom.
3 Examination by Mr. Scott:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bowen.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Sir, the Judge has taken you through already very briefly some of
7 your background. Just very quickly again, is it correct, sir, that you
8 were born in Cardiff on the 6th of February, 1960?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you are and have been for some years a journalist with the
12 A. Yeah, almost 23 years.
13 Q. Is it correct, sir, that you joined the BBC in 1984, spent the
14 first two years in London completing your BBC training?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And can you tell us a bit more about how you are currently
18 A. My job at the moment, the job I've had for about 18 months is the
19 Middle East editor of the BBC. That means I'm the main on-air person
20 commenting and analysing the Middle East on -- on BBC news. I live in
21 London but I travel very frequently to the region.
22 Q. All right. Sir, leading up to your time in Mostar that you're
23 going to tell us about today, I'd like to ask you just a bit more about
24 your background. Is it correct, sir, that between approximately -- for
25 approximately seven or eight years beginning in 1987 you were a foreign
1 correspondent first based in Geneva and later based in London?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. In the course of that time, sir, is it correct that you reported
4 on approximately -- stories in approximately 60 countries involving a
5 number of armed conflict situations around the world?
6 A. Yes. In that period between 1987 and the mid 1990s I essentially
7 went to all the big stories that were going.
8 Q. Is it correct, sir, that in 1989 you reported on the conflicts,
9 for example, in El Salvador and in Afghanistan?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. In late 1989 and early 1990, did you cover the revolution in
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In 1991 did you cover what we I guess describe today as the first
15 Gulf War?
16 A. Yes. I was in -- I was in Baghdad during the period of the war
18 Q. And did you also report from Somalia during the civil war there in
20 A. Yes and also just before that period I was in China in the martial
21 law period after Tiananmen Square, and that was a big story.
22 Q. Is it correct, sir, that when you first received your assignments
23 to go to the former Yugoslavia you had a number of years of experience not
24 only reporting on foreign stories but specifically armed conflict
1 A. Yeah. When I first went to former Yugoslavia in 1991 I was 31
2 years old and I'd say that of my generation I was about the most
3 experienced reporter the BBC had at that point.
4 Q. So I'm going to pause and caution both of us perhaps to speak a
5 bit more slowly, mindful of the interpreters, please?
6 A. Sorry.
7 Q. No problem. Sir is it correct that in 1995 while a BBC
8 correspondent in the Middle East, you won an award for -- as the best news
9 correspondent at the New York Television Festival?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. In 1996, did you receive an award for best breaking news report
12 concerning the an assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin?
13 A. Yes that's true.
14 Q. Did you in fact receive an award at the Monte Carlo Film and TV
15 Festival in connection with the documentary "Unfinished Business" which we
16 will look at later today?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. That was in 1994?
19 A. Yes, it was, yes. It was awarded in 1994 for work produced in
21 Q. And can you tell us, sir, finally, did you also receive an award
22 in connection with the coverage of the arrest of Saddam Hussein in Iraq?
23 A. Yes, I won a Sony Gold Award.
24 Q. With this background, sir, let me turn to your -- particularly
25 your experience in the former Yugoslavia. Can you tell the Judges when
1 you first went to Yugoslavia and on what assignment?
2 A. I first went to Yugoslavia in 1991 when the war started in
3 Croatia. I went first of all from Belgrade and went to the -- the Serb
4 enclaves on the Croatian side of the river Danube and then I was based in
5 Zagreb, and I worked extensively on the Croatian side. I was in, among
6 other places, Vukovar, Osijek, and most of the main theatres of warfare
7 during that year.
8 Q. All right. Later, as part of your reporting in the former
9 Yugoslavia, did you -- were you based in and report from the city of
11 A. Yeah. I first went to Sarajevo in July of 1992, and I went after
12 that pretty constantly until just before the end of the war in 1995.
13 Q. Can you just briefly describe your work in Sarajevo and the
14 conditions that you reported on while you were there?
15 A. Well, during the time I was actually working out of the city of
16 Sarajevo and I worked elsewhere in Bosnia as well, I reported on the
17 siege, on the progress of the war, on the international humanitarian
18 mission. First and foremost, I suppose, the main story for us was the
19 plight of the civilians who were caught up in the siege, actually on both
20 sides of the lines. I also tried to work as much as I could on the Serb
21 side. I also travelled to Eastern Bosnia. I also went to -- from
22 thereafter I went to the Gorazde enclave and I also worked in -- by the,
23 sort of, autumn of 1992, when tension was rising in Central Bosnia, I
24 worked quite a bit in Central Bosnia as well.
25 Q. Let me ask you a few more questions about Sarajevo before moving
1 forward. What was your personal experience there in terms of the shelling
2 and sniping that was going on in that city at that time?
3 A. Well, all the -- well, the vast majority of foreign journalists
4 who were in Sarajevo stayed in the Holiday Inn hotel, which was right in
5 the centre of the city and very close to the confrontation line that ran
6 down the middle of the city. So we were right in the centre of the
7 sniping and shooting. You couldn't go out the main door of the hotel
8 because of a sniper. You couldn't stay at the front of the hotel because
9 of sniping and shooting. The hotel itself was quite often hit. So we
10 were -- you know, we experienced the war in all its -- you know, in all
11 its characteristics. Of course, as foreign journalists we were able to
12 get out, which was the big advantage we had over the people who lived
14 Q. What was the humanitarian situation in Sarajevo during that
16 A. Well, it was pretty desperate because of the -- the killing. The
17 food situation -- once the crisis at the beginning of the war got out of
18 the way and once the humanitarian airlift started, the food situation was
19 you know contained. People had just about enough to eat.
20 The main problem there was the fact that they -- the vast majority
21 of them anyway couldn't leave and it was very dangerous because there was
22 no place in the city where you couldn't be hit by a shell.
23 Q. In the course of your work in Sarajevo, can you tell the Judges,
24 did you visit and report from or about the -- the two principal hospitals
25 there, the Kosovo hospital and the state hospital?
1 A. Yes. Like all the journalists there, I went to those hospitals
2 many times. If you work in a war zone as a journalist, a hospital is
3 quite a good place to try to find stories, to try to talk to victims of
4 war, and if you're lucky, it's a little bit less dangerous than being out
5 on the streets, although, of course, we were out on the streets every
7 Q. You mentioned earlier that you also travelled to and reported from
8 or about the city of Gorazde. Again, can you just by way of back brief
9 background tell us what you experienced in that situation in?
10 A. In August of 1992, the UNHCR and one of their local staff who is
11 called Larry Hollingworth arranged a convoy into Gorazde. Gorazde at that
12 time was -- hadn't had any kind of relief effort since the beginning of
13 the wore. So Larry Hollingworth arranged a number of local cease-fires,
14 he arranged permission to get through Serb territory en route to Gorazde.
15 We went through Rogatica, for example, where we had a few problems but
16 essentially we got through. And then when we arrived in Gorazde, the
17 people were very happy to see us. It was -- I immediately thought of
18 pictures I had seen of towns in Europe being liberated in World War II by
19 the Allied forces. Everyone came rushing out with flowers in their
20 gardens, were overjoyed because they thought they were being rescued; of
21 course, that mission was only there for a day. They were very pale.
22 Although it was a very hot summer they had been indoors the whole time,
23 and you could see the damage in the city. There was a fair amount of war
24 going on there.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may interjection there, Your Honour, and I --
1 excuse me, sir. And I'm certainly -- I'm sure the gentleman has a lot of
2 stories about Bosnia. The work, you know, took place all over the country
3 but given the limited nature of our time, I think we best just focus in
4 on, you know, Sarajevo was fine, but now we can get to Mostar. I just
5 think it's best -- I mean, we're not challenging that the gentleman wasn't
6 there and wasn't aware of what was happening in Gorazde or Srebrenica or
7 other places.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 Mr. Scott, that is just what I was thinking a few moments ago.
10 MR. SCOTT: We are almost finished, Your Honour. In fact we are
11 finished with the background.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's true that --
13 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... There --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So having set the stage can we
15 move to the heart of the matter because the witness has enormous
16 experience, and everything that he lived through we could listen to for
17 day, but of course we must go to the heart of the matter, to the essential
18 points which are Mostar.
19 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Your Honour, he could talk about it for
20 days, and I've just spent a very few minutes giving the Court some
21 background on his experiences especially specifically in the former
23 Q. Specifically before we turn to Mostar, sir, you said you'd also
24 gone into the area of Central Bosnia which is indeed related to evidence
25 in this case. Can you tell us what was the occasion -- on what occasion
1 did you go into Central Bosnia and for what purpose, in terms of what
2 reporting were you doing?
3 A. I wanted to find out what was happening in Central Bosnia by about
4 I suppose by now we're talking about the autumn of 1992. So I travelled
5 with my team right through the Lasva valley. I went to it all the main
6 places there, all the main towns, and I also -- one of the -- I also
7 started to get some direct experience of Bosnian Croat ideas through a
8 meeting I had in Busovaca with Dario Kordic.
9 Q. How did you come to meet and interview Dario Kordic?
10 A. Through the -- our local fixer, translator, who was a woman from
11 Zagreb who had had some connection with him. I'm not quite sure what it
12 was. But she said, "Look, this is a guy," I hadn't heard of him at that
13 point. She said, "This is a guy you really ought to meet because he's
14 very important and he's going to be more important," and essentially what
15 we spoke about was the national project that the Croatians had.
16 Q. Let me just back up for a moment did you in fact sit down and meet
17 with Dario Kordic and, if so, where approximately?
18 A. On a hill outside Busovaca. There was -- I think it was a small
19 village, and we went up to this. He had a sort of headquarters. You
20 could call it a war room. There were maps and so on, and he had a small
21 office there. I remember it quite vividly because it had had brown suede
22 wallpaper and in that office we spoke for -- we had quite a long
24 Q. You said a few moments ago, and I'm looking at the transcript,
25 that Kordic spoke about the national project that the Croatians had. Can
1 you tell the Judges anything more Mr. Kordic said about that?
2 A. I can't give you direct quotes on it because it's a quite a long
3 time ago and I haven't got my notebook with me. But what I can say is
4 that you know he spoke about the kind of fellow feeling they had with
5 Zagreb, the fact that they felt that there was a connection and -- and
6 they also --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I notice that the gentleman did not
9 testify in Kordic. Obviously he would have been available at Kordic.
10 Mr. Kordic, you know, was tried, was convicted, and of course he's
11 unavailable to bring in as a witness. I find that we are handicapped in
12 this situation in light of the fact that now, for the first time, we're
13 going into matters which are not detailed, which are not in the
14 gentleman's witness statement that was taken. So I would -- I would -- I
15 would object to going into any detail --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, what is
17 interesting in the statement, there is something that evokes that meeting.
18 You shouldn't say that it would be a prejudice if what he's saying were
19 compared with what Mr. Kordic had to say, and you can always compare that
20 with what Mr. Kordic has said. So you can't say that he cannot testify
21 about that.
22 Mr. Scott, you may continue.
23 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Just for the record, the Court is
24 absolutely correct. It's on page 2 of the witness's statement. It's very
25 explicit and it's just a completely false statement to say that it wasn't
1 in the witness's prior statement.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Hold on. Excuse me. I'm going to object to that
3 characterisation that it's -- that it's false.
4 MR. SCOTT: Here it is.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, sir, you should know better.
6 Now, there's one sentence here. There's no elaboration. I do not
7 have access to Mr. Kordic nor do I know whether Mr. Kordic testified or
8 not in this trial but he's certainly not available to be cross-examined
9 here. I do -- Mr. Kordic is not part of this trial. The Prosecution
10 could have called the gentleman during -- in the Kordic case if they
11 thought that that was an issue. And so that's why I would -- I would
12 object to the gentleman going into any specific details with respect to
13 his conversation with Mr. Kordic. It does prejudice us because we do not
14 have -- he's unavailable. I understand that hearsay information can come
15 in, but the gentleman -- but the gentleman is unavailable to be
17 MR. SCOTT: Well, number one, Your Honour, that's no basis for an
18 objection the an all. It's no basis at all. And if Mr. Karnavas wants to
19 call Mr. Kordic, I assume he can have him brought here.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges have deliberated. As
21 you know, we react very quickly and we don't need hours to reach our
22 decision. We have deliberated, and we have decided that the Prosecution
23 can ask questions about things that are featured in the statement, in the
24 written statement, because this is what the Defence has been informed
25 about, and the Defence with equally cross-examine on the contents of the
2 Mr. Scott, there are four or five sentences that do feature in the
3 written statement, so you can examine starting from that.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Really, we were virtually
5 done with it. I just simply ask the witness to tell us as much as he
6 could remember about the conversation with Mr. Kordic about the
7 so-called "national project" involving Croatia and he -- I think his
8 answer was interrupted.
9 Q. So, sir, Mr. Bowen, if you can recall let me just ask you the
10 question again. Can you just tell us as much as you can recall about what
11 Mr. Kordic told you about this national project with Croatia?
12 A. Well, essentially he was talking -- the theme of his remarks was
13 that the Bosnian Croats had rights, that they wanted to be separate from
14 other people in Bosnia, and -- and the underlying tone of the conversation
15 and the mood of it was they felt quite secure in this because they knew
16 they had the backing of the Tudjman government in Zagreb.
17 Q. Now, sir, moving then specifically to Mostar. Can you please tell
18 the Judges, then, as we prepare to look at the video, the documentary that
19 you prepared, how did you first come to know about Mostar and become
20 interested in reporting about that location and things that were happening
22 A. There was a briefing every morning at the headquarters of UNPROFOR
23 in Sarajevo for journalists, as well as a military briefing from the
24 UNPROFOR people. There was also after that always a humanitarian briefing
25 from the UNHCR.
1 One morning in -- it would have been late July or early August of
2 1993, I think early August of 1993, the UNHCR spokesman, who is called
3 Peter Kessler, talked about -- for the first time talked about the
4 situation on the east side of Mostar. I roughly remember him saying that
5 there are I think he said 25.000 people approximately there, very little
6 food, very little water, under siege, surrounded, and he also said that
7 there was -- and he used this phrase: "There was a Ho Chi Minh trail
8 into Mostar from Jablanica." So where they were -- the Bosnian army were
9 bringing in supplies. So as a reporter I immediately thought, well, I
10 want to go down that road. I want to go down that trail. I want to get
11 to Jablanica and get to Mostar to try to find out what's going on there
12 because it was a newish theatre of war, and so it was -- it was clearly
13 going to be an important story.
14 Q. Well, sir, I'm going to spend the next few minutes asking
15 you --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. Sir, Mr. Bowen,
17 you have just told us -- so far we haven't heard anything like this, you
18 have just told us that every morning UNPROFOR had a briefing for
19 journalists. So we conclude that you were present there.
20 According to your own feelings, you were familiar with the events
21 that we can qualify as very important events. What you saw at the
22 UNPROFOR meetings, did they seem well-informed, objective, or did you have
23 a feeling that their reports were not very accurate? What was your
24 feeling? What would be your sentiment about those press conferences, and
25 who was it who was in charge of those press conferences? Was it the
1 spokesman for UNPROFOR, the commander of UNPROFOR? Who was it who
2 delivered those press conferences?
3 THE WITNESS: Generally speaking the press conferences were
4 delivered by the spokespeople for UNPROFOR. At that time I can't
5 remember. It might have been Barry Frewer, who was a Canadian military
6 officer. There were a couple of others too who would speak at different
7 times. I thought in general they were quite reliable on some things. For
8 example, every morning they would give a shell count. The UN military
9 observers would actually count how many shells had exploded in Sarajevo
10 and they'd give us that. That would be interesting. And some other
12 I was conscious at that sometimes I felt that they were trying to
13 spin the United Nations line. There was -- for example, there was a
14 controversy that year, I think, about whether or not what was happening in
15 Sarajevo was a siege or what the spokesman called a strategic
16 encirclement. For their own political reasons they didn't want to call it
17 a siege. However. The -- we used to get more material, frankly, out of
18 the UNHCR briefings because they were about civilians, about the plight of
19 civilians, and I generally -- at this it point Peter Kessler, who gave
20 that briefing about Mostar and said that there was this "Ho Chi Minh trail
21 going into Mostar," at this point I knew him for at least a year and I
22 found his information to be reliable. He'd been a good source of stories
23 and very helpful. So I had known Peter -- I knew him. We were on first
24 name terms. We were colleagues really by that stage, and so I spoke to
25 him after the briefing and he gave me a little bit more information, and I
1 had no reason to doubt that he was telling the truth on this.
2 He was also quite -- he was quite exercised about it. You know,
3 he said, "Look, there's a real story down there. There's some people,
4 25.000 people who are in a lot of trouble," and he said, "We can't get
5 conveys in there. And the only way to get in, as far as we know, is with
6 the Bosnian army through the mountains on foot. And if we want to get
7 convoys in we have to use the roads and at the moment we're not able to
8 get through the Bosnian Croat lines."
9 So in other words, Your Honour, it sounded like a good story and
10 one well worth pursuing.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about this Ho Chi Minh
12 trail? I understand what it is. For the transcript could you please
13 explain what you mean by this Ho Chi Minh trail?
14 THE WITNESS: Well, the phrase is a reference to the supply line
15 that the North Vietnamese established to take supplies down to the
16 guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam during the Vietnam war versus the
17 Americans in the 1960s. This was on a much smaller scale, but by Ho Chi
18 Minh trail, what I took it to mean was that there was an overland route on
19 foot away from the roads leading ultimately through the front line and
20 into the besieged sector of Mostar, and you know, to be honest I was very
21 intrigued by it. It sounded like it would be -- even getting there would
22 be a very interesting experience.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Sir, I was about to ask you, I'm going to spend a few minutes now
25 asking you about your two visits or trips into Mostar, and can we just say
1 for now for the record is it correct, sir, that on the basis of these two
2 trips that we're going to talk about, a BBC document was prepared
3 entitled "Unfinished Business"?
4 A. Yes, that's true. I also did a third visit there in the early
5 part of 1994, but the two -- the documentary that I think you're going to
6 see is based on those two trips in August and September and October of --
7 of 1993.
8 Q. Now, following up on the president's questions, can you tell us a
9 bit more then what you did to gain access or go into East Mostar the first
10 time in August 1993?
11 A. It was very complicated. These days if you want to drive from
12 Sarajevo to Mostar it takes about -- I think less than two hours. During
13 the war it took us three days. We first of all had to get permissions to
14 cross various front lines to get out of the city of Sarajevo. We then
15 drove along the -- actually, the main road for a while, the main
16 Sarajevo-Mostar road. Then somewhere near the town of Konjic it was
17 blocked because that's where the war was starting again basically, because
18 up to there between Sarajevo and, there, there was an enclave controlled
19 by the Bosnian government. At that point and by this stage it was sort of
20 beginning to get dark on the first day.
21 We then diverted off to the main road. We were going south, so I
22 guess it would be to the west. Went through some forest tracks. There
23 was a -- quite a thick forest, and there were some narrow tracks, and some
24 soldiers said -- I said, "Jablanica road, where is Jablanica?" And they
25 pointed, "Up there." So basically we had no real idea where we were
1 doing. But we went off through this forest. It got very dark and very
2 late and, in the middle of the forest that night, I saw a light on and we
3 knocked on the door and we stayed there.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, sir. During your
5 journey through the forest, did you have flak vests or were you marked as
6 press or were you wearing civilian clothes, just ordinary civilian
7 clothes? How were you dressed?
8 THE WITNESS: We were wearing civilian clothes. We'd always wear
9 that, but we were travelling in a -- in an armoured Land Rover which was
10 marked BBC, and we also -- we weren't wearing them inside the vehicle, but
11 we also had -- with us inside the vehicle we had flak jackets and helmets
12 me and my colleagues I had three colleagues there with me. In fact, we
13 knew it was very -- we thought it was very -- we heard it was quite
14 dangerous in this forest, so we locked the doors on the inside and then we
15 were trying to have discussions about what do we do if we were stopped by
16 men with guns and we had various strategies.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. Sir, once you'd reached Jablanica, can you tell us then, just
19 continue the story from -- once you'd reached Jablanica, how did you get
20 to Mostar?
21 A. We reached Jablanica by about the middle of the second day of our
22 journey. We -- I just started asking people questions. I said, "Look," I
23 was -- there's a hotel there in Jablanica. Jablanica is not a very big
24 town. There was a Spanish UN base there, and we went there first of all,
25 and we left the car there and our supplies. They said it was important to
1 because there was no law in Jablanica. It would get stolen otherwise.
2 And we walked then to the hotel. I think it was called the Hotel Bosna
3 but I may be wrong on that. They said that "You should go there and try
4 and meet people who travel between Jablanica and Mostar." And while we
5 were there someone -- I just was asking complete strangers, you know, if
6 they knew how to do this and someone put us in touch with a man called
8 Humo, it turned out, was -- he described himself as the deputy
9 commander of fighters in the east side of Mostar, and he offered to help
10 us get in. In fact, he said he'd been in Sarajevo and he'd been there to
11 try and find a TV crew to come in with him and he couldn't find one and
12 was returning empty handed. So he was quite pleased to see us. And he
13 told us to come to -- the following morning to a place called Glogosnica.
14 I think that's something like the correct pronunciation which is a just a
15 little ways south of Jablanica, and this place was where they started
16 their -- their convoys.
17 Q. Now, can you describe -- well, first of all how long did it take
18 you to then travel by foot from Jablanica to Mostar?
19 A. It took I'd say about 18 or 20 hours. It was a very long day, and
20 quite a bit of the night. We -- they had a -- a caravan of about 20 or 25
21 pack horses and I think some mules as well. Most of the horses and mules
22 were carrying ammunition, and we rented from them four horse to put our
23 equipment on, and we walked with the horses and -- following the horses
24 and following Humo, we walked till we got there. I mean, there was some
25 delays en route. We were shot at, at one point, and we had to wait there
1 for -- until it got dark, until might fell and it was safe to go on. And
2 we finished the journey the last few miles. What happened was you walked
3 to the outlying villages in the northern part of their enclave, and then
4 they would then -- unloaded the horses, loaded all the ammunition. It
5 amounted to just one truckload. And then we sat on top of it with various
6 Bosnian army soldiers and then drove in from -- from that village into the
7 centre of East Mostar.
8 Q. Sir, we need to move on a bit, but let me just ask you before we
9 leave going on the -- going over on the mountain trail, can you just
10 describe for the Judges the nature of this trail? Are we talking about a
11 road? Are we talking about a single footpath can you just describe what
12 this path looked like and consisted of?
13 A. It was a single footpath, very steep in places. I was amazed the
14 horses, some of which were very heavily laden, were able to keep their
15 footing, and from Jablanica there was quite a steep climb up through
16 wooded slopes, and then when you got to the -- the top, there was a big
17 mountainous plateau. There was a plateau surrounded by mountains but open
18 ground by then. And so a lot of the walk was through open ground. I
19 mean, it was -- it's fantastic terrain. You know, it would be a great
20 hike to do in peacetime but over two days. We did it over a day; it was
21 very tough.
22 Q. Could you tell the Judges what your understanding was whether
23 there was anyway into East Mostar other than this mountain trial that
24 you've described?
25 A. My understanding from talking to the -- to Humo especially was
1 that this was the only way in.
2 Q. And is it correct, sir, that you then when you arrived in Mostar
3 you remained in the first occasion, your first visit, for approximately
4 seven to 10 days?
5 A. Yeah, that's right. Seven to 10 days I think that's about it.
6 Maybe more like 10 than seven.
7 Q. Can you just briefly tell us where you stayed during this time
8 when you were actually in town?
9 A. I stayed -- I stayed in -- no, excuse me.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Petkovic would like to
12 THE ACCUSED PETKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like
13 you to ask the witness whether it was his own wish to use the military
14 trail [phoen], or maybe he could have used the protection of UNPROFOR and
15 go from Jablanica to Mostar along the Neretva valley. I believe that the
16 witness could have chosen to be a protected person and join the UNPROFOR
17 and take the regular road. I believe that he did it of his own will, that
18 he went on this steep trail of his own will.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a question that can be
20 asked during cross-examination. However, General Petkovic's question
21 reminds me of another question that I wanted to put to you, sir.
22 Before you left Jablanica, did you inform UNPROFOR that you were
23 headed for Mostar along that trail, and did they maybe tell you it is
24 dangerous. Why don't you come with us? What was the position of UNPROFOR
25 regarding your intention to go on that journey along that particular
2 THE WITNESS: I would say -- first of all, I did tell the UNPROFOR
3 people in Jablanica, the Spanish Battalion who were there, I told them
4 where we were going because I asked them how we could get in and did they
5 know people who could help us. As to whether we could ride with
6 UNPROFOR. Well, it didn't work like that with journalists in Bosnia. I
7 can't think of I can think of a couple of occasions with the British
8 UNPROFOR troops in Central Bosnia, but it was my experience that it was a
9 very, very rare that you were able to travel with UNPROFOR as part of
10 their convoy. Generally speaking they didn't allow that.
11 Sometimes people would try to follow them, but generally what
12 happened was that, if you tried to just follow an UNPROFOR convoy, they'd
13 get to a roadblock, they'd be waved through, and if you tried to follow
14 them you'd be stopped. So we tried that kind of thing around Sarajevo,
15 just following UNPROFOR, and it just -- it didn't work out. Unless you
16 had -- for example, the convoy I went on to Gorazde, that was a UNHCR
17 convoy with UNPROFOR protection, and they incorporated us right in the
18 centre of the convoy, because what always happened with journalists'
19 vehicles was, if you were just following the last APC in the convoy, then
20 whether it was Bosnian army, Serb, or Bosnian Croat roadblocks, you'd
21 always get stopped and you then would be in -- you know, the very -- the
22 best -- the best outcome would be that you would be turned back and the
23 worst outcome would be you'd be in a lot of trouble.
24 So by the summer of 1993 it had been two years that the war in
25 Croatia had started. I'd spent a lot of time there and I'd been through a
1 lot of roadblocks and stopped at a lot and I didn't want to be I thought
2 there would be no future in just following them because the Spanish people
3 didn't say that we could go with them. So therefore that reinforced my
4 feeling that the only way in was with the Bosnian army. I mean, that's
5 the message I also got from the Spaniards which was, you know, that's your
6 way in if you want to do it.
7 Also, I have to say that the Spanish were quite well known for --
8 they weren't particularly proactive in that area. They did various
9 patrols but they weren't amazingly active. So I felt that -- I also felt,
10 frankly, that it was part of the story to do it with the Bosnian army
11 because that was part of the story, how they got their supplies in. Had
12 it been possible to go with UNPROFOR I don't know which choice I would
13 have made. But anyway, we didn't have the choice. As far as I was
14 concerned, and as far -- that was based on what I was hearing, not least
15 from UNPROFOR, that the only way in was through this trail.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott, you may
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Mr. Bowen, I was just asking you just briefly to tell us just so
20 the Judges again have some idea of the conditions you encountered, where
21 did you stay, you your crew, during this first trip to Mostar in
23 A. The first night that we arrived in Mostar we stayed at the
24 building - I think it was a former bank - that the Bosnian forces there
25 were using as their HQ. After that, for a few nights we stayed in a
1 cellar opposite the war hospital in Mostar which they fitted out as an
2 overflow hospital ward, but we had to move from that because it was
3 filling up with wounded. So they needed -- they needed the beds that we
4 were occupying. So we made a deal with a man who lived in -- who had a
5 house next door. We basically rented his house for whatever number of
6 Deutschmarks it was and stayed there for the rest of the time. It was
7 just opposite the war hospital, this particular house.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the transcript, could you
9 give us the exact date, please? When did you arrive?
10 THE WITNESS: I can't -- I'm sorry I can't give you the exact
11 date. Had I noticed that, I might have been able to find it, but I can
12 tell you it was sometime around the second or third week of August, I
13 would say, of 1993. It was about -- it was -- I can tell you more
14 precisely. It was five for six days before the first UNHCR convoy got
15 into Mostar.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Sir, just looking ahead at the documentary, the Judges will hear
18 early in the documentary you make the statement that at that time Mostar
19 was the most vicious theatre of fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Can you
20 tell it the Judges how did what you see in Mostar at that time compare to
21 what you'd seen in other parts of the former Yugoslavia?
22 A. Well, it was really the intensity of it. The only place I saw
23 that -- I mean, I felt I could make a judgement like that because
24 essentially I'd been to all the other theatres of fighting. The only
25 place I'd seen that had been comparable with it was the previous year --
1 no, two years previously - sorry - in Vukovar. But I used that phrase at
2 the time because as it was there in 1993, it was much more intense. I was
3 comparing it mainly to Sarajevo. I mean, there it was much more intense.
4 It was a smaller area. There wasn't the international dimension there in
5 terms of humanitarian aid. There was a lot of damage. The pressure on
6 the civilian population because of the lack of international aid, because
7 of the smallness of the area, the fact it was pretty crowded with people,
8 all that meant that the people there were under a great deal of pressure
9 and that I also factored into the -- you know, the intensity because
10 modern wars are really about their effect on civilians, to a large degree.
11 Modern wars - and I've seen this all over the world - are fought very much
12 because of the -- the impact on the civilians is a major part of the
13 impact of modern war, and there was a strong impact, a very serious impact
14 on the civilians of East Mostar at that particular time, which I -- you
15 know, I saw immediately really in the first couple of days.
16 Q. You said a moment ago in reference to a benchmark in time if you
17 will in response to the president's question that you arrived there
18 approximately five or six days before an UNHCR convoy arrived in August
19 1993; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Did -- did you understand that was the first convoy that had
22 actually come into East Mostar for some substantial time?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I will object to the leading nature. I understand
24 it's -- you know, there may be a basis for it, but when we come to this
25 sorts of information, it would be best just to get the information from
1 the witness and not provide the witness with the answer.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Sir, can you tell us what you knew about this convoy that entered
4 Mostar towards the end of August, 1993?
5 A. What I was told by the UNHCR people who travelled with it, both of
6 whom I'd met at different times, various -- various -- sorry, a number of
7 whom I'd met before was that it was the first convoy that they had got
8 into East Mostar since the fighting had become intense earlier that
9 summer, in the early part of the summer.
10 Q. And -- and where and how were the people living in East Mostar
11 during this time, in terms of what you saw on the first visit?
12 A. Well, mainly underground in cellars. There were some quite modern
13 apartment buildings that had big cellars in them. There was a curfew for
14 large parts of the day. The authorities there-one thing that struck me
15 was that it was a very mobilised and quite well organised enclave. The
16 authorities there had a strict rationing system for food. There wasn't a
17 black market like there was in Sarajevo, and most of the people there --
18 so people got some food but it was very, very little. They had rations of
19 a couple of bowls of soup a day from the authorities. Most people would
20 spend as much time as they could inside and in a cellar, if they had one,
21 because of the -- the dangers of -- of going outside, the dangers coming
22 from sniping and from shelling.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bowen, you've just described
24 the situation to us in August, and a witness told us that the first convoy
25 arrived on the 21st of August. So if I understand you correctly, you
1 arrived around the 15th of August. When you arrived, were you the only
2 representative of the international press or did you have other colleagues
3 who were there in Mostar?
4 THE WITNESS: With us was a photographer who had come. She -- we
5 had given her a lift, basically. We had room in the van, in our Land
6 Rover. She was called Alexandra Boulet, and she's a French photographer.
7 There was -- I think -- I'm trying to think. There may have been one
8 person there from the AFP, I think, from the Agence France Presse, and
9 there was someone a few days before just for half a day from CNN but not
10 while we were there. So essentially when we were there we were the
11 only -- certainly the broadcasters who were there and I think -- I can't
12 remember if I saw the man from the AFP in the August trip or the September
13 trip. Maybe it was in September. Anyway, there were very few journalists
14 there. They were all in Sarajevo mainly.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Thank you. I asked you
16 the question because in 1990, the international media, when they were in
17 exposed areas there were always live reports. Does that mean in August in
18 Mostar the international media could not report live outside the area
19 about what was going on in town?
20 THE WITNESS: Not live on TV. In those days and things have --
21 you know, if it was now we could do a live on TV from there because the
22 way -- the equipment these days is much more -- is much smaller, easier to
23 use, it's lighter. These days you can send pictures down a telephone
24 line. But in -- you know, it's 14 years ago. Then to do a TV live you
25 needed probably the best part of a tonne of equipment and big generators,
1 and it just wasn't practical to take it in.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You yourself, I assume you had a
3 satellite telephone. Did you call your headquarters in London to tell
4 them that the situation was such-and-such, that it required investment on
5 the part of the media, that is to say to have somebody locally on the
6 ground, that this would be important? Did you communicate with London and
7 explain the situation to them and tell them that the situation was highly
9 THE WITNESS: Well, I was going to say, Your Honour, that I did
10 some -- we did have a satellite telephone, and we did some live reports
11 for -- through the satellite telephone, some of which were broadcast on TV
12 and some of which were broadcast on the radio.
13 I certainly said to my people in London it would be great if we
14 could get live TV in there, but at that particular time it was considered
15 too dangerous because it was a very dangerous -- to get at that time, and
16 it's still the case now, but it was absolutely the case then, because of
17 the bulky nature of the equipment and the fact that it would need two
18 engineers to operate it and would be -- the feeling was, it was -- the
19 right decision was that it was too difficult logistically and essentially
20 too dangerous to have that kind of gear in there. You know, it was --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, there's something that I'm
22 surprised about. You say you had a telephone and that you were in contact
23 with London. But you could have recounted what you were experiencing, and
24 then you have SkyNews or other television changes. You could have the
25 journalist's commentary on a still. So you could say, I'm walking along
1 such-and-such a street. Around me I can see such-and-such. You didn't do
2 anything like that, did you?
3 THE WITNESS: No. Sorry, I obviously didn't explain myself
4 properly. Yes, I did do that kind of thing on the radio, on the
5 telephone, and it was broadcast on the television and also on the radio.
6 In those days satellite phones were -- weighed about 50 kilos so you
7 couldn't walk up and down with them. You had to sit in one place. But we
8 would -- yeah, I certainly used the satellite telephone to do some reports
9 both live and recorded, which I sent out.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Sir, after this first trip then in August 1993, you returned to
12 London and what did you do after that in looking forward to the second
14 A. When I got back after that first trip to -- to Mostar, when I got
15 back to London, almost immediately, coincidentally, I was telephoned by a
16 BBC documentary producer called Eamonn Matthews. Eamonn Matthews said to
17 me that he would like to do a documentary with me as the reporter and him
18 as the director and producer about the war in Bosnia. And I said I know
19 exactly where to do this because there's an incredible story there in
20 Mostar, and it's a story that really hasn't been told that much. I'd been
21 a bit -- because of our logistical problems that you've -- that
22 Your Honour mentioned in terms of not having live TV there, I felt that we
23 could have done a much better job with TV. There were many other things
24 we could do. So I was very anxious to go back. So when Eamonn said,
25 "Look we can do this film," I said, "Well, let's go to Mostar. It's the
1 obvious thing to do."
2 Q. All right. And then what arrangements did you make just
3 logistical arrangements to actually go into East Mostar on this second
5 A. Eamonn, the producer, made the logistical arrangements. He went
6 on a rekkie trip around the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina actually for a
7 week or 10 days, I think, where he looked into other story lines as well.
8 He went to Central Bosnia. He went to Sarajevo. He went to the west side
9 of Mostar. He spoke to the Bosnian Croat authorities. And he didn't go
10 to East Mostar but what he did -- because at that point -- after that
11 first United Nations convoy things opened up a little bit for the -- the
12 international humanitarian effort. So by then it -- it had become
13 possible in the -- in the interim period, it had become possible to cross
14 in by vehicle into -- into the east side of Mostar. So he made an
15 arrangement with the European Monitoring Mission there, the guys in white
16 clothing. He made an arrangement to go -- they said they could get us in
17 and that's what happened.
18 Q. All right. And is it correct, sir, that you then returned to East
19 Mostar on the 25th of September, 1993, and stayed on this second occasion
20 approximately two and a half or three weeks?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Your documentary shows name of Muslims crossing over or arriving
23 in East Mostar, which we will be seeing in a few minutes. Can you tell
24 the Judges, is that something you saw only once or on a number of
1 A. I saw -- there's one sequence, there's one scene in the film which
2 is filmed at night with a night-vision camera where you see people
3 crossing over the river Neretva. There's gunfire going on as well.
4 They're being shot at -- shot -- gunfire is over their heads, but I could
5 hear the sounds of bullets passing over -- I was with the people and I
6 could hear the sound -- you can also hear on the sound -- track the sound
7 of bullets going over which has a very particular sound you know what it
8 is. So that happened on one particular night. I think it happened on a
9 couple of other nights when we were there but we weren't able to film it.
10 But these were people coming from West Mostar who had been kicked out over
11 the front line.
12 We -- I also saw - on any given day there were small numbers of
13 people milling around looking lost who just arrived. And I remember for
14 example, talking to a pair of sisters, both of whom had babies who had
15 both -- who both said they had come from Capljina, that they'd been badly
16 treated, their husbands had been taken, and -- in fact they said that they
17 thought they had -- they were -- expected to be shot, but they said they
18 thought they'd escaped it because their mother had explained that she was
19 half Croatian, half Croat, and so she felt -- they felt they were then
20 spared. But anyway that was a typical encounter. There were a lot of
21 people who weren't from East Mostar who had come from the surrounding
22 places in --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. We have
24 a question from the Bench.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] While you're on this subject,
1 Witness, what you want to say is that when this population, the Muslims,
2 crossed the river Neretva, the civilians, women and children, were the
3 targets of sniping fire were they? Is that what you want to say? Or do
4 you mean that the shots came from the Bosnian Croats targeting the
5 opposite army? Do you understand my question? Were they targeting the
6 people crossing the river or were they targeting the armed forces on the
7 other bank, the opposite bank?
8 THE WITNESS: They were -- it was harassing fire, I felt, because
9 nobody was hit by it, but it was -- the people -- there were women and
10 children and some old men. There were no men of military age. And there
11 was quite a large amount of gunfire, but as I say, nobody was hit. So I
12 think if they had been trying to kill them, they could have done that
13 probably. You know, they could have used mortars as well if they wanted
14 to kill them. I think it was harassment, just to make the experience even
15 more unpleasant, I suppose, because I spoke to quite a few of the people
16 after they came over and they told me -- and it's in the film. They told
17 me some quite hair-raising stories about the experiences that they'd had
18 in the previous few hours as they were thrown out of their homes by forces
19 in West Mostar.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: Thank you. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're telling us, and this is
22 important for us, you're telling us that the women, children, and the
23 elderly who were crossing the river, that there were shots, but you're
24 saying that if they had wanted to, they could have shot them, hit them.
25 But in fact, that they were -- that it was harassing fire. Is that what
1 you're saying, that this was harassing fire? And I understood it that if
2 they wanted to kill them, to kill these people, they could have used
3 mortars and killed them. So what you saw with your own very own eyes, was
4 it this kind of situation? You saw people crossing and there were shots
5 being fired surround about or above their heads to harass them, to stop
6 them crossing but not with the intention of killing them or wounding them.
7 Would you be very precise on that point, please, and tell us exactly what
8 you think?
9 THE WITNESS: My assumption, and it's based on the experience I'd
10 had covering war, and it's not based clearly on talking to the people who
11 were firing, but my assumption was that they were -- it was essentially a
12 terror tactic, that these people had been thoroughly -- as I say, I found
13 out the stories of a lot of them. Not just the people you see on the
14 film. I did a lot of interviews afterwards for two or three hours, and
15 the -- they had been thoroughly terrorised as it was. The male members of
16 their family had been taken away. They assumed or worried that some of
17 them had been killed. They'd been violently expelled from their homes,
18 and my assumption was that the fire directed at them -- I mean, maybe --
19 I'm assuming that the Bosnian Croat forces were efficient enough to kill
20 them if they wanted to, as I say, by using mortars or by shooting just a
21 little bit lower down. You know, when a bullet goes over your head, it
22 makes a -- it goes -- it makes a "tdzzz" sort of noise, a very
23 characteristic sort of sound, and that's quite close to you. If you hear
24 a bullet making that noises it means the bullet's quite close to you, and
25 so I heard that a lot that night, those bullets were going, you know, very
1 close over our heads. So I guessed that it would have been possible,
2 yeah, if they wanted to have killed them. I think the intention was to
3 terrorise them rather than kill them on that particular night, but, as I
4 say, that was my assumption and not anything I could definitively say. I
5 think that if they wanted to kill them, they probably could have. In
6 fact, they could have killed them before they left West Mostar, if that
7 was the intention.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Sir, you've mentioned several times in the last few minutes that
10 the people that you saw coming into East Mostar either from West Mostar or
11 from Capljina that these were women, children, elderly. I think you said
12 a moment ago, you did not see military-aged men; is that correct?
13 A. Of all the people I saw or spoke to coming in from West Mostar or
14 from the surrounding villages, and I saw a lot of people over the period I
15 was there who fit that description. I didn't see any men of military age,
16 and by that I mean there was hardly any even young boys who were able to
17 shave. So it was essentially from beginning of puberty right up to being
18 not strong enough anymore to carry a gun. You know, military age was
19 generally interpreted as something between about 13 and, you know, 65 or
20 70, frankly, you know, in the case of a fit man of that age.
21 Q. Did you gain any knowledge or understanding at that time as to
22 where the Muslim men were, these men of military age?
23 A. Yes. We were told by -- I was told by many different people that
24 they -- by women especially, that their men were in the Heliodrom.
25 Q. Did you make any effort during the time -- the two times that you
1 were in Mostar in 1993 to visit and film at the Heliodrom?
2 A. We tried to --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor is moving on to
4 another area, but before he does so, can we go back to your previous
5 answer about the shooting. There were people who were leaving West Mostar
6 and going to East Mostar, and we had this firing, these shots. Now, as
7 far as we Judges are concerned, we would like to know who did the
8 shooting. What would your opinion be? Who did the shooting, shooting
9 round about, shooting up in the air, and harassing fire? Who was it who
10 did the shooting, in opinion, if you know? If you don't know, that's
11 another matter, you tell us you don't know.
12 THE WITNESS: It was coming from the Bosnian Croats. The people
13 who were crossing the river on that particular day said they'd only left
14 them a matter of minutes before. So, no, it was clear, I felt, that it
15 was coming from the Bosnian Croat side. Perhaps -- I don't know if I did
16 say this by also saw people crossing in daylight in other front line
17 positions near Bulevar. Again, old -- there was an elderly -- they're
18 also in the film, an elderly couple and another old lady who were just
19 pushed over in daylight and, again, there were a few shots fired over
20 their heads as they -- as they left. And you'll see that in -- the
21 pictures of that in the film.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. Sir, the question that I put to you previously was you had been
24 told by women and others that they -- they understood the men were at the
25 Heliodrom. Did the BBC, did your team ever seek to visit and film at the
1 Heliodrom during the time when you were there?
2 A. Yes. In the -- the period when my colleague Eamonn Matthews was
3 making the arrangements for the film we -- he visited the Bosnian Croat
4 authorities in West Mostar and requested their cooperation with our
5 project. Our plan initially was to film on both sides of the lines, age
6 as part of that we asked to go to various places that were in the news,
7 and my understanding was the Heliodrom was one of the places he asked for.
8 The -- however, we did not get the cooperation we were hoping for from
9 that side, so we -- we went into the east side, which is where the film is
11 Q. Can you tell the Judges, by the way, when you were in East Mostar
12 did you encounter mostly Muslims there or were there also Serbs and Croats
13 there in East Mostar at the time?
14 A. Mainly Muslims but quite a few people who were in mixed marriages
15 or who were the products, the children of mixed marriages. The people who
16 come in from the villages around I would say were almost 100 per cent
17 Muslims, but the people who had been living in the city were quite often
18 people who had sections with other different communities. You know, this
19 was quite a common thing in Bosnian cities, that were people who came from
20 mixed ethnic backgrounds. I mean, I remember, for example, there was a
21 doctor at the hospital who didn't want us to film him because his wife and
22 children were on the other side. He had actually been -- on the day that
23 the barricades finally went up, he'd been on the east side of the city and
24 was trapped there. And he wasn't able to get out and he was -- I think he
25 was a Muslim and his wife was a Croat. So as I say there were -- there
1 were numbers of mixed marriages, though, you know it was certainly mainly
2 Muslims there.
3 Q. All right. Can you tell us a bit more about the shelling and
4 sniping as you observed and experienced it?
5 A. Sniping was a real danger. There were a number of different
6 places on the east side of Mostar where it was known that there were --
7 there were dangerous sniper spots. People knew that because people had
8 been killed there by snipers. There was one between -- on Tito Street
9 between the military HQ and the war hospital. Sometimes people just
10 dashed across about a -- I suppose a 25-meter stretch of road. It was a
11 T-junction, and the top of the T was Tito Street, and then there was
12 another road that faced town to the west side of Mostar. So there was a
13 clear shot down that way and a number of people were killed there.
14 There was a way round the back of it which you went through a
15 couple of apartment buildings and a hairdresser shop and you got through
16 to the hospital.
17 Also, on the other side of the city there was another spot, too,
18 where there was a notorious sniper spot. So sniping was a real danger,
19 and shelling also was something which could basically happen at any time
20 of the day or night. Sometimes it would be quite quiet for a while, and
21 the pattern would often be, if it was quiet then people would start coming
22 out trying to get some water. Kids were -- you know, you can't keep kids
23 inside the whole time so they would want to come out and play, even if it
24 was just in the doorway of the shelter or cellar. But shelling could come
25 in at -- really at any time. So that was --
1 JUDGE PRANDLER: The microphone is working. So I would -- I
2 apologise that I interrupt you, Mr. Scott, and interrupted our witness.
3 Mr. Bowen, you have mentioned sniping now when you talked about
4 your experience in East Mostar and also in your written statement there
5 are several mentioning of sniper activities. My question is if you have
6 observed or if you have been aware of any sniping activities from East
7 Mostar to the west. That means that if the Bosnian Muslim forces did use
8 the same sniper activities as a way of fighting, or it was mainly
9 concentrated on sniping activities from the west side of Mostar.
10 THE WITNESS: I didn't see it happening but I assumed it would
11 have been happening. I assumed that that was a tactic that they'd use.
12 The Bosnian army -- the Bosnian authorities used the -- the Bosnian army
13 used that tactic in Sarajevo. Sniping went both ways across the front
14 line in Sarajevo, and I had no reason to doubt that sniping went both ways
15 across the front lines in Mostar as well.
16 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bowen, you were present
18 there, and according to what you're saying, you -- you witnessed a
19 shooting, the looting, and as a professional who has travelled the world
20 and the hottest spots in this world, what was your personal impression as
21 a witness to these events? These shots, were they organised? Was it
22 organised fire or was it left to the discretion of the soldiers who were
23 on the ground and who would just fire to destruct themselves? In other
24 words, were those shots a result of a military strategy of a military
25 organisation, or was it a result of individual behaviour of soldiers who
1 were well or not so well organised? What can you tell us about that?
2 THE WITNESS: I would say that they were probably quite
3 well-organised. I'd seen the HVO working elsewhere, and they always
4 seemed to me to be well-organised. They had good equipment, good
6 On the northern end of that enclave, for example, they had set up
7 search lights. So if you drove down the road, and we did this a couple of
8 times, and we were caught in the searchlights and fired upon. They set up
9 the searchlights to catch vehicles and people moving at night. So that
10 shows to me some organisation.
11 They had quite heavy weapons, heavy mortars and tanks. That shows
12 some kind of organisation.
13 What -- it wasn't, you know, constant bang, bang, bang the whole
14 time. Sometimes there'd be a very noisy hour or two hours and then it
15 would be quiet for maybe an hour or two hours, half a day. But generally
16 speaking you'd hear small-arms fire going on quite a bit.
17 As for the sniping activity, you know, it takes only one man to be
18 a sniper but, you know, he has to be quite well-organised in terms of his
19 own skills and the equipment, you know, using a specialist sniper rifle.
20 So I would say it was my assumption -- and also I would say it was
21 pretty organised because also it kept going for quite some time. I'm
22 talking of periods of weeks and months.
23 The other main weapon used to target East Mostar was the big
24 anti-aircraft weapon that was set up on Hum, on the hill that overlooked
25 it, and this was a weapon that terrified everybody on the east side
1 because it was a large-calibre weapon which could cause quite a bit of
2 damage, but also it was really noisy. So when they fired it, the sound of
3 it boomed right round East Mostar, which wasn't a large area.
4 I went, for example, once, to a funeral of a child who had been
5 killed, as it were, by shrapnel wounds and the funeral was held after
6 dark and the child was buried in the cemetery after dark because the
7 cemetery itself was in full view of Hum and the anti-aircraft weapon, and
8 they were very worried that they might be targeted by it while they were
10 I mean, to answer your question in a sentence, I'd say to me it
11 seemed organised because I knew that the people behind it were the HVO,
12 who were an organised fighting unit, and it kept on going for quite a
13 period. So therefore it needed a lot of logistic support and soldiers who
14 stuck to it.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm looking at the time. We
16 have to make a 20-minute break. We will resume at 10 past 4.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.51 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask a few more questions but also move -- try to
22 move fairly quickly to get to the video. But before we leave the topic of
23 sniping at least for now, were there some locations in East Mostar where
24 in fact there were signs posted warning about sniping?
25 A. Yes, there were, "pazi snajper." And there were signs, and there
1 were also some places where screens had been erected, metal screens to
2 allow people to move with a little bit more safety. But it was always --
3 I mean, I've done it -- you know, there were some places which you had to
4 cross to get from A to B and that was a place where people would run, and
5 that was -- you know, that was -- in those places it was a common sight.
6 And that was -- I'm talking now of everything that was happening east of
7 the -- of the river Neretva. Obviously things were more intense on the
8 west side, that strip of territory that the Bosnian army held on the west
9 side of the Neretva because that's where most of the actual fighting was
10 going on and where the front lines were. That was -- that was more
11 dangerous again.
12 Q. All right. On that very point, sir, in terms of the front line
13 being on the west side of the Neretva River, can you tell us what
14 observations you made about the -- the shelling and any patterns of
15 shelling that you encountered at the location of the impacts of
17 A. There wasn't really a pattern to it, to be quite honest. You had
18 to assume that shelling could come almost anywhere at any particular time.
19 I've -- I was certainly, while I was there, close to the impacts of
20 shells. For example, that were not close to any military position that I
21 could see. You know, I'm sure that if military positions were set up they
22 would try to shell them, too, but they were -- it seemed to me that shells
23 would come in a -- frankly a pretty indiscriminate way into the east side
24 of the city.
25 Q. Before we leave that topic, could you tell us during the times you
1 were in Mostar, did you see any Bosnian army military positions near the
3 A. No, I didn't see any near the hospital. That's not to say -- you
4 know, I can't say that there weren't any but I didn't see any.
5 Q. All right. Did you talk during your time in Mostar to any Bosnian
6 army soldiers at the front line about the use of Muslim prisoners?
7 A. Yes. I made a number of visits to front-line positions in Santici
8 and Bulevar, and I also met front-line soldiers who had withdrawn from
9 those positions and were having a bit of time away from the front lines,
10 and with those I was able to have some quite long conversations. And I
11 heard from a number of different sources about the use of Bosnian army
12 prisoners as human shields, effectively, in front of advances. I heard a
13 number of stories, and I think one of them is featured in the film, about
14 how soldiers were -- sorry, prisoners were pushed out to cover an advance
15 behind them by the Bosnian Croat forces, and in fact some of the soldiers
16 I spoke to spoke about how they were forced to throw grenades and to open
17 fire at their own people when they were confronted with this.
18 I also heard from them as well about the use of prisoners to do
19 various forced labour jobs on the front lines, digging trenches, filling
20 sandbags, that kind of thing.
21 Q. Did you also hear during your time there about any Croat prisoners
22 who were held on the Muslim side or in East Mostar?
23 A. Yes. I first saw Croat prisoners there on my first trip in August
24 and it was in the barracks, on the grounds of the northern barracks in
25 Mostar where -- in fact, we were just going along the road and I saw there
1 was a crowd of people and I went to investigate with the camera crew, and
2 there were a group of -- of prisoners who were exhuming bodies, bodies
3 of -- Croat bodies. So there were Croat prisoners digging up Croat
4 bodies, and the idea was that they would use this in some kind of an
5 exchange of bodies. Then later -- so therefore I knew that there were
6 Croat prisoners in East Mostar.
7 When I returned there to film the documentary, as I already knew
8 that there were prisoners there we put in a request to see them, and we
9 were able to -- to see them in a -- they were locked at that particular
10 time in a -- in a -- I can't remember if -- if it was a cellar or a -- or
11 a ground floor room. Anyway, it was a windowless room or a window that
12 was shuttered, lit by artificial light, and they were not allowed to
13 speak to us. I did try to talk to them even though I'd been asked not to,
14 and they were -- they didn't reply. I mean, they were -- just sort of
15 stared ahead of them. They'd obviously been told, I suppose, not to
16 engage us.
17 Q. Can you tell us in that regard, by the way, when your travelling
18 and filming about Mostar on both visits were any restrictions put on your
19 movement or what you could film by the Muslim side?
20 A. No. Well, the restrictions were -- well, in any war zone the main
21 restriction is danger, where you can go, how you can try -- the big
22 challenge for a journalist is to try to operate in a place like that
23 without becoming a casualty yourself. So we asked for and got guides to
24 take us to front-line positions, and obviously we went to the front-line
25 positions with their consent, because if you're a stranger approaching a
1 front-line position without consent then you're going to be -- you can
2 be -- you can end up getting shot. So you need to have a guide, also to
3 know where to go and the safe way to get there and the relative -- I mean,
4 there was nothing safe but the least dangerous option in terms of trying
5 to get there.
6 You know, for example, we crossed one of the bridges to get to
7 Santici before dawn, very, very early, because we were told that there
8 were Bosnian Croat positions very close by and so we had to -- you know,
9 it have very nerve-wracking, it was pitch black but we had to trip across
10 this bridge to get to those positions so we needed help for those kinds of
11 things but I certainly -- at no point did they say, "You can't do that.
12 You must do this."
13 Q. All right?
14 A. It wasn't like Iraq, where I'd worked quite a bit, where that
15 kind of thing would happen in Iraq. But nothing like that happened in
17 Q. When you say "nothing like that," you mean in terms of having --
18 A. Having a minder or guide who would be, you know, like -- who would
19 actually say, "No, you can't do that." "Yes, you can do this." "Point
20 your camera that way." "Don't point your camera in the other way." That
21 sort of thing.
22 Q. You did not have that when you were in Mostar?
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 Q. And is it correct, sir, that you left East Mostar then in early
25 October, 1993, and returned to London?
1 A. Yes. We returned to -- for the post-production phase of making
2 the documentary. You know, the putting together part of it, the
4 Q. And is it correct, sir, that the documentary was then first aired
5 on the BBC in November 1993?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, at this time we would then ask to play
8 the video.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before that, I have a question
10 that I would like to ask you. You are the first witness who is well
11 suited to answer such a question. According to what you have just told
12 us, you were there around the 15th of August, and then in September you
13 came back. You said that there was a front line. In your assessment, in
14 your view, while you were in East Mostar among those who belonged to the
15 BiH army who were on the Muslim side, in your view could the HVO have
16 taken the front line easily if they had put up an organised attack and
17 could they have occupied East Mostar? Would that have been possible? Or
18 would this have been impossible in military terms, which would explain the
19 permanence -- permanent status of this front line?
20 You're not a military professional, but you are somebody who was
21 there and who have -- had 23 years of experience with front lines. In
22 your view, if the HVO had wanted to do so would they have been able to
23 occupy the entire east side of Mostar by an organised assault action?
24 THE WITNESS: It was my view that the Bosnian army there were very
25 well organised, as a matter of fact, that they were -- they were highly
1 mobilised. They had got all the men of military age in uniform and
2 fighting. They seemed to be pretty unified in what they were doing. In
3 Sarajevo, for example, you couldn't say that. Different units were --
4 there was a lot of internal tension in Sarajevo, and I didn't get that in
6 I think that they were doing a pretty effective job defending
7 their positions, and their positions were quite -- quite good ones. They
8 were quite secure. I have no idea if the HVO could have brought up more
9 forces and mounted some kind of assault, and I don't know if that's what
10 they wanted to do, but certainly it seemed to me that the Bosnian army
11 forces there were doing a pretty effective job in defending their
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just to clarify this. You have
14 just told us that the HVO was on Hum hill. You have also told us that
15 there were tanks, and you have spoken about shooting and sniper fire.
16 What about this shooting on the east side? Despite the shooting and
17 despite the organisation of the BH army, were they forced to retreat
18 because of the terrain? And there was constant shelling, and would one
19 say this constant shelling was the cause why this military situation could
20 not have been resolved sooner, in a more efficient way?
21 THE WITNESS: You know, I was not privy to the internal politics
22 of either side. There's a story I think we tell in the film about -- I
23 interviewed a man called General Pasalic, Arif Pasalic, and he said -- he
24 claimed that they had gone a long way to capturing the gun on Hum in an
25 assault sometime before we arrived there and that they'd been asked to --
1 they'd been ordered to pull back by the -- the BiH military command in
2 Sarajevo because there was -- they wanted to show that they were prepared
3 to respect a cease-fire or something like that. There was a wider
4 political reason for it, in other words.
5 It seemed to me that -- at the time that the HVO looked pretty
6 serious about wanting to take over the whole of Mostar as their capital,
7 and there was at times quite intense exchanges between the -- the two
8 sides. You know, we'd see a pretty steady stream of wounded coming into
9 the hospital, for example. And while I was at the front lines on
10 various -- various visits there was -- you know, there was exchanges of
11 fire. You know, not constant, not all-out intense, intense, intense. You
12 know, for example, a couple of years after that I was in Grozny when the
13 Russians first attacked it, and that was much, much more intent. But by
14 the standards of the Bosnian war it was pretty intense -- very intense in
16 And as to your question about whether the HVO could have moved in
17 and taken those positions, the thing about warfare in towns, urban
18 [Realtime transcript read in error, "open"] warfare is very difficult.
19 Again using my experience of Grozny as a yardstick, in Grozny the Russians
20 moved in very heavily with air support, very heavy weaponry. They smashed
21 a concrete and steel city down in weeks yet they couldn't defeat the
22 Chechen fighters. And on a smaller scale I suspect that the HVO, had they
23 mapped to break through would have had problems. The leans, for example,
24 the streets were too narrow in the BiH enclave on the west side of the
25 river Neretva. The streets were too narrow to use in the main to use
1 tanks in. Even if they had tanks they couldn't have used them
2 effectively. So it would have been down to man against man, and that's
3 a -- a lot then is to do with the motivation of different forces and it
4 struck me that the -- the Bosnian forces, the BiH forces in East Mostar
5 were very highly motivated. They really thought that if they didn't fight
6 they'd die. They thought they had nowhere to go and no way out and it was
7 a fight to the death. I heard that from so many different people there
8 that I had to believe it.
9 Quite a few of them told stories of, you know, other male
10 relations that were imprisoned by the Bosnian Croats. They told stories
11 of members of their family who were killed already. They were angry about
12 what was happening to the civilians. They struck me as being very
13 strongly motivated and, as a result, effective fighters.
14 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I raise a point on transcript
15 because it could give rise to misunderstanding. At page 54, line 17, it
16 says "open warfare." I heard urban warfare.
17 THE WITNESS: I said urban.
18 MR. STEWART: It's easily misheard. The witness confirms he
19 said "urban." It's easily misheard, so may I observe that on the
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And my last question
22 before the video: You've told us that you had an interview with
23 General Arif Pasalic. We're certainly going to see that. However, in the
24 conversation with either him or other persons, did -- did he tell you that
25 the solution could not be a military one but that it could only be a
1 political solution? Did you hear anything of such a political solution to
2 the conflict that was going on in Mostar? Did anybody in your interviews,
3 in your talks mention a political solution that was being sought for the
4 situation in Mostar?
5 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, not particularly. In fact, I asked a
6 lot of them whether what they wanted was a Muslim state, and they all
7 denied it, actually. They didn't say they wanted a Muslim state.
8 I -- to be honest with you, Your Honour, I don't -- I don't recall
9 without my notebook I can't recall the precise details of the conversation
10 you had with -- with Pasalic on the political future. I think -- in a lot
11 of people I spoke to there, perhaps he was one of them as well, there was
12 a feeling that ultimately it would come down to politics, but, you know,
13 essentially talking to people there, they were in a very immediate,
14 day-to-day fight, and their horizons were not that high. You know, they
15 were trying to get through the next day very often.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
17 Mr. Scott, the video please.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] This morning we were trying to
20 repair our wall."
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. Mr. Bowen, if I could just ask you a couple of questions about
24 what we just saw, just some points of clarification. In an early part of
25 the documentary you said something to the effect -- I think I wrote it
1 down correctly, that the HVO was aided and abetted by the Croatian
2 government. Can you tell the Judges what you based that on, what
3 information you had or knowledge that you gained at that time that you
4 based that on?
5 A. I based that on what I already knew about Mostar about the links
6 between Herceg-Bosna and Zagreb. I got that information partly from
7 conversations with people in Zagreb, from the meeting I talked about
8 with -- with Mr. Kordic in Busovaca. While I was there as well, they
9 pointed out to me that they -- they showed me ID papers of Croatian
10 regulars and people from Zagreb who they had taken these papers they said
11 from prisoner and from bodies. And in addition, at that particular in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the whole projects of Greater Croatia and for that
13 matter Greater Serbia is something that people spoke about on a regular
14 basis and people also spoke about it in Zagreb and in -- for the Serbian
15 project in Belgrade as well. It was the kind of thing that was in
16 contemporary discourse. It didn't seem to be a secret. It was -- it
17 seemed to be part of the -- part of the weather, if you like.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I comment. Mr. Scott didn't
19 actually quite write it down correctly. What it says -- I'm not arguing
20 about it but it does actually say, "Since May Bosnian Croats aided and
21 abetted by the Croatian government ..." Just for the record.
22 MR. SCOTT: I think that's a very, very close statement but, of
23 course, I think the video will speak for itself but I think the point is
25 Q. Sir, there was the footage -- there was a -- night-time footage we
1 saw of a group of Muslims coming across a bridge. Do you happen to
2 recall -- were you able to remember the date of that particular event?
3 A. It was towards the end of September. I did have the date and I
4 think I put it in my witness statement because I went back to the cassette
5 to get the date from. Was it the 29th of September? From memory I can't
6 quite remember but I know the date I put it in my witness statement was
7 based -- as I say, I'd gone back to the original tape. We always put the
8 dates that the tapes were shot, on the rushes tapes, so I would go with
9 the date that was in my witness statement which, I'm sorry, at the moment
10 I can't recall precisely.
11 Q. Just let me look for a moment, please.
12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if necessary, I can show the witness
13 his statement. I think everyone in the courtroom has it. I might just
14 read that part of the statement to him since he's already referred to it
15 as being in his statement, but I'll proceed in however the Chamber would
16 like me to proceed.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, we accept that in the statement it
18 does indicate the night of the 29th September, 1993. That's what's in the
19 statement. We can just proceed. Thank you.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
21 If I can just look at my notes for a moment.
22 Q. The group that you saw coming across that night, the 29th of
23 September, 1993, can you tell us was that the largest single group you saw
24 coming across from West Mostar during the time that you were there?
25 A. Yes, it was the largest group I saw. And I'd been disappointed a
1 couple of nights earlier because they'd said, "Oh," you know, "You'd
2 already gone to bed but a whole group of people came across the river."
3 So we said to them, "Look, if it happens again, come and get us." So
4 that's what they did, and that was the biggest single group that I saw. I
5 was interested, by the way, in my -- to clarify something. In the script
6 there I said they were trying to kill them and here in the testimony I
7 said it seemed like harassing fire. I think that's just what memory does.
8 You know, 14 years ago when I was there I thought that their intentions
9 were to kill. So maybe that was more accurate than what I said before we
10 saw the film.
11 Q. Mr. Bowen, I think based on the questions the Judges have asked
12 and other questions and comments you've made, that really concludes the
13 questions I have for you. I want to thank you very much for coming to The
14 Hague and giving your evidence. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to
16 the Defence teams. As regards the time that Mr. Stewart has asked for,
17 there has been a misunderstanding. In a decision that we rendered, the
18 word was about the supplementary time and we have stated that the Defence
19 would have one and a half hours. Unless they agree differently, they will
20 split the time among themselves. So that means that Mr. Petkovic's
21 Defence can have up to one hour and a half. We are, unfortunately,
22 obliged to divide the time in six.
23 Who is going to start? If we divide the time in six, that means
24 15 minutes for every Defence team. Maybe some Defence teams will not have
25 any questions to ask. Who is going to start, please?
1 MR. STEWART: I am, Your Honour, but that still leaves me rather
2 unclear. Since I don't know what's happening with the other Defence
3 teams, I shall stop at the end of 15 minutes, shan't I? Is Your Honour
4 saying if there's time left at the end I can have that as well later?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe a solution suggested by my
6 colleague is to have a break of 20 minutes during which time the Defence
7 teams will talk. And I have already told you that you had the time to
8 prepare for the week, and that with regard to this witness you should have
9 talked and you should have agreed who would cross-examine this journalist
10 from the BBC which would have avoided everybody asking the same questions
11 about the same topic.
12 We are going to make a 20-minute break, and maybe amongst
13 yourselves you're going to be able to agree on who is going to use most of
14 the time or maybe all the time, because this is how you should work. Or
15 maybe you want to use up your 15 minutes, each of you. Within the 15
16 minutes, of course, you can't ask that many questions.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I just ask before Your Honour
18 leaves, I say nothing at the moment about Your Honour's observations just
19 then, though I do please reserve the position. Can we just ask whether
20 the Prosecution just had an hour and a half. We assume it includes the
21 documentary. It's just we've been in court rather a long time, and I know
22 that the calculations get complicated, but did the Prosecution have one
23 and a half hours or did they have something different in the end?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One hour and 34 minutes.
25 MR. STEWART: I asked the question, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have gotten that from the
3 MR. STEWART: I'm not going to make a major issue of four minutes
4 and how it's split amongst six people, although I suppose I reserve the
5 right to have another 40 seconds [Realtime transcript read in error,
6 "minutes"] if I'm pushed, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a 20-minute break.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, you have the floor
11 since you're on your feet.
12 MR. STEWART: Thank you. Sorry. I anticipated, Your Honour,
13 being on my feet. I beg your pardon or I hadn't bothered to sit down.
14 Your Honour, I think there's a correction on the transcript. I
15 talked about 40 seconds rather than 40 minutes immediately before the
16 break. There is a difference.
17 Your Honour, on the point that I said I would simply reserve my
18 position before the break, Your Honour, it is -- we understand what
19 Your Honour is proposing, but it's actually unreal to expect six Defence
20 teams to get together and have the sort of discussion that Your Honour has
21 in mind. In the last break we spent the time with our client, which has
22 to be rather a serious priority, but if Your Honour just please thinks or
23 Your Honours think of the exercise of six Defence teams getting together
24 to discuss what questions they will ask in cross-examination, what topics
25 they will cover, it really is just unreal. We can't do that. We end up
1 with a certain amount of -- or sometimes it's horse trading. Parties
2 consider whether it's in their own client's interest to give their time to
3 somebody else. But we're left -- it has to be some sort of indulgence.
4 We have no right to have any more time, so at the moment I'm simply left
5 under the allocation of 15 minutes and I return to my original submission
6 that 15 minutes just isn't long enough for anybody to conduct a
7 cross-examination of a serious witness, and the result is it's a bit like
8 six people have got to be somewhere 12 miles away, you can't just say,
9 well, each of them go two miles because you don't get there, Your Honour.
10 It's just -- it's just completely useless, these small chunks. Well, I
11 say "completely useless"; people may judge my cross-examination in that
12 way. But these small chunks of time for serious cross-examination just
13 will not work, Your Honour, and I know it all happened before I came here
14 but I'm not aware from my discussions with Mrs. Alaburic, my lead counsel,
15 that we have signed up to this arrangement. We have consistently
16 protested when necessary and asked for more time when necessary and we
17 do repeat our position on that, Your Honour, that it's deeply
19 I don't know whether anybody else wants to say anything before I
20 now embark on such cross-examination as I --
21 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could just make one brief --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please,
23 Mr. Karnavas, before you take the floor. I listened carefully to what
24 Mr. Stewart was saying, and while he was speaking I was looking at the six
25 documents of the Petkovic Defence and I was wondering and thinking that
1 during the time he was speaking I would have had time to present the six
2 documents to the witness. So there we have it.
3 Now, Mr. Karnavas, if you wish to waste more time, then go ahead,
4 but it would be better to ask useful questions of the journalist that we
5 have here rather than wasting time.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Mr. President. I do wish to put on the
7 record that the gentleman spoke about a variety of issues concerning the
8 indictment such as the joint criminal enterprise, wide and systematic
9 attacks in a national armed conflict, and so on and so forth. And might I
10 also appointment out just briefly that we spent 45 minutes watching a
11 video that we all watched before coming here and we could have watched at
12 some other point in time when we had some free time and this would have
13 allotted us more time for cross-examination. I certainly don't see this
14 as good management time on behalf of the Prosecution, and I think that we
15 are the victims of not having sufficient time now to cross-examine the
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say that Petkovic Defence like
18 every Defence in this case is entitled both to cross-examine and make
19 appropriate submissions on procedural matters, and I have exercised my
20 right and done my duty to my client in making that submission and,
21 Your Honour, with respect, we will not be deterred by the suggestion that
22 we should have done something else while we were "wasting time." We're
23 not wasting time, Your Honour, by making cogent submissions, even if they
24 are rejected.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the record I would
1 like to state that I fully agree with what my colleagues have said. I
2 don't wish to take up more time. I fully endorse what they said, and I'd
3 just like to add that we consider that every Defence team is a separate
4 Defence team in this trial, and every accused has the right to their time
5 and has the right to challenge any witness's testimony if he feels that he
6 needs to do so. So this distribution of time amongst ourselves, which we
7 do do whenever possible, when we manage to reach an agreement, can not be
8 interpreted in any other way but bartering time amongst ourselves.
9 All of us merit raising questions on any salient point, and, as my
10 colleagues Mr. Stewart and Mr. Karnavas said, there are a few vital
11 subjects which enter into the critical passages in the indictment.
12 Given 15 minutes' time or one and a half hours for all of us, we
13 just cannot do the job properly.
14 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I would also like to put on the record
15 that I agree with what Mr. Stewart has said. I needn't take up any more
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, one minute, one minute. They've taken I
18 think about 15 minutes, so let me have one minute.
19 Your Honour, this comment by Mr. Karnavas is completely
20 inappropriate. Of course we put on our evidence. We used exactly --
21 almost exactly the time the Chamber gave us. We'd asked for two hours.
22 The Chamber cut us to an hour and a half. We put on the evidence. We
23 don't put on the evidence publicly, we get complaints that the evidence
24 hasn't been put on publicly. If we do -- you know, it's the old whatever
25 you do it's wrong. We object to that. We have to put on our case. The
1 Prosecution manages to put on its case, also under protest, I might add.
2 The Chamber knows our position on the time we've been allowed but we try
3 to go forward the best we can. And now once again, once again we spent
4 another 20 minutes on these matters whatever they may be, but we don't
5 have to do this every day. Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber has deliberated, and
8 we have decided that you should start off within the 15 minutes that you
9 have and if there are any important questions that remain we can always be
10 flexible. But we must weigh up the relevance of the questions because if
11 you're going to speak about everything and nothing, then that won't be
12 that important. So start off and we'll see whether you realistically need
13 more time to broach certain issues that are necessary.
14 I should like to remind you without making any reference, precise
15 references to -- the rulings of the Appeals Chamber is that the
16 cross-examination is not an absolute right, and that cross-examination as
17 a process must follow certain rules and regulations and restrictions and
18 that it must be linked to the questions raised by the Prosecution and the
19 Judges and so on and so forth.
20 So start off and we'll see whether there are any questions that
21 you did not have time to raise, and then we'll see whether to grant you
22 additional time or not.
23 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Stewart:
25 Q. Mr. Bowen, I'm sure you found that edifying. Good afternoon.
1 Mr. Bowen, you've probably gathered that Ms. Alaburic next to me and I
2 represent Mr. Petkovic who was on his feet earlier.
3 Mr. Bowen, in -- in the documentary right towards the end of your
4 evidence you had asked Mr. Humo, you said, "What if your military efforts
5 are undercut by President Izetbegovic signing a piece of paper that says
6 we have a cease-fire just where we are now and we stop fighting? Would
7 you accept that?"
8 Could I just be clear. Does that bit of the documentary come from
9 recordings made on your second visit in September 1993?
10 A. All the interviews with Humo were recorded in that second visit,
12 Q. At that time do you recall or do you know that in fact there had
13 already been by the time you returned to Mostar a piece of paper signed by
14 President Izetbegovic and by President Tudjman, a joint declaration for a
16 A. This is your document here.
17 Q. It is one of the documents there; that's absolutely right. It's
18 document P 05051. It's the first document in your bundle.
19 A. Yeah, I had a quick look at it. I was aware that -- one of the
20 things that I found through four years of covering all the various wars
21 in -- in Bosnia -- in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995 is that
22 there were very often cease-fires and very often they had no effect at all
23 on the ground. I almost lost count of the times where I would be
24 listening to the BBC World Service on my shortwave radio telling me that a
25 cease-fire had been signed when we were taking shelter from shelling
1 somewhere, in a place where a cease-fire was supposedly holding. So as a
2 reporter in the area, I never attached a great degree of credence to
3 statements made in -- you know, far from the fighting in places like
4 Geneva. I always went more by what I saw myself on the ground.
5 Q. But you were aware, then, were you, when you had this exchange
6 with Mr. Humo that there had already been such a piece of paper just a
7 week or so previously?
8 A. I can't remember in detail if I was aware of this particular
9 thing, but I can say that I imagine my reaction would have within, "We've
10 heard about cease-fires lots of times; let's see if it actually holds."
11 My feeling, my sort of journalistic analysis of the policy of cease-fires
12 is very often they came as a result of outside pressure and didn't
13 actually reflect a will to have a cease-fire among the protagonists in the
15 Q. Were you aware that there had been in August a -- an agreement for
16 a cease-fire but then a revival of really quite serious plans on the part
17 of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army for offensive action against the HVO?
18 A. I wasn't aware of any of their plans, and I found it interesting
19 looking at some of these documents because at the time, obviously things
20 like public joint declarations we would have had access to but secret
21 military orders, no, I mean, we had no idea about. Before I went to
22 Mostar I went to the office of Rasim Delic in Sarajevo, for example, and
23 we got no information about those kinds of things. So, no, I was not
24 aware of their offensive plans.
25 Q. The action that you describe in the documentary on Mount Hum,
1 the -- the -- well, successful action as far as the army were concerned
2 but then rather called to a halt by directions, orders from Sarajevo,
3 that was part of -- of an action or was known as Neretva 93. Do you
4 recall that?
5 A. I haven't heard that code word ever, no.
6 Q. And -- and do you recall, is this correct, that by certainly a few
7 days before you arrived there had been -- whatever peace discussions and
8 declarations there'd been, there had been a concerted continuation of
9 offensive activities by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. Yeah. I mean, they told me that they'd had this -- this assault.
11 A war was going on there. You know, I -- in no sense in my reporting
12 there did I suggest that one side was attacking the other side wasn't.
13 You know, it was a war. It was a two-way street. They fought each
15 I personally would very much have liked to have been able to cover
16 the Bosnian Croat side in the detail I was able to cover the BiH
17 government side, but we didn't -- couldn't get access so I wasn't able to
18 do it. You know, I wasn't there to -- I mean, essentially I was there to
19 report what was happening at a given time. That's how I saw my particular
21 Q. Were you aware of any -- an order made subsequently by Mr. Delic
22 on the 30th of September? Do you know anything about that?
23 A. 30th September. No. No, I didn't.
24 Q. What I have in mind, Mr. Bowen -- it's all right Mr. Praljak is
25 going to pick up that point.
1 A. All right, fine.
2 Q. So I'll leave that for the moment then. At page --
3 A. Is that the other document that's here?
4 Q. It -- don't worry about it, Mr. Bowen; that's fine. Mr. Praljak
5 is going to deal with that.
6 A. Okay.
7 Q. At page 24 of the transcript of the documentary you talked about
8 the -- the order coming from Sarajevo telling them to retreat, the
9 government wanted to accepted a positive signal and you mentioned that in
10 your evidence. Then you go on to a question of supply of ammunition. All
11 right, it may not have been the conventional ideal method of bringing in
12 ammunition but it was a fact, wasn't it, that pretty substantial amounts
13 of ammunition were being brought into -- into Mostar by the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time?
15 A. I guess it depends how you deep fine substantial. It was
16 certainly steady, as far as I could see. And on the caravan of horses
17 that I travelled with most of the -- you know, it wasn't -- it was mainly
18 mortar bombs, which suggested that you know they had the mortars to fire
19 them out of.
20 No, they had the tools, I think, to do their job, to a degree,
21 anyway. Certainly when it came to fairly light infantry weapons. They
22 didn't have quite so much in terms of heavier weapons.
23 Q. But they were clearly able to sustain this concerted offensive
24 action, weren't they, and were frustrated when orders from elsewhere
25 stepped in?
1 A. Yeah, they were -- as I said, they were highly motivated and they
2 were fighting the war in a very efficient way. One the characteristics of
3 the first year or so of the war from the BiH government side is, frankly,
4 they were often a bit chaotic. What impressed me about the BiH forces in
5 East Mostar was that they were well organised. They got their act
6 together and they were fighting efficiently and effectively.
7 Q. You refer in the -- in the documentary to the independent-minded
8 Mostar commanders. You -- you've indicated their dissatisfaction about
9 orders from Sarajevo, that -- just in case, "independent-minded Mostar
10 commanders are buying weapons from the Serbs as well." Independent-minded
11 sounds like a little bit of a euphemism there. Was it actually that they
12 were inclined to go against what they were being ordered from above?
13 A. No, that wasn't the impression I had. You know, for example,
14 Pasalic, I had a few conversations with him and he said they weren't --
15 they followed the orders but they weren't happy with them. They felt --
16 they felt essentially that the authorities of Sarajevo were not
17 prosecuting the war with the determination that they were doing and that
18 if they only did that in Sarajevo then they'd get much further in the war
19 themselves. They basically wanted the people in Sarajevo to fight a bit
21 Q. Okay. Now, I want to ask you a bit about the events on the 29th
22 of November. You've put a date on it --
23 A. Of September.
24 Q. Of September, I beg your pardon. Thank you for the correction.
25 29th of September. In your statement, and I'm talking about the most
1 reaccept statement you've given -- I don't know whether you have a copy in
2 front of you?
3 A. I don't understand.
4 Q. You don't, I wonder.
5 A. At least I don't think -- maybe I do. Wait a minute, there are
6 some documents it here.
7 Q. I'll read it and then if we run into any difficulty or anybody
8 tells me I'm reading it wrong we'll --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Please make a pause between questions and
10 answers for the interpreters. Thank you.
11 MR. STEWART:
12 Q. Okay. You said that during -- it's on page 4 of the statement for
13 everybody's reference, and it's the second full paragraph. "During both
14 of my trips to East Mostar in August and September 1993 there was always
15 at the least a constant trickle of Muslims coming into East Mostar from
16 the west side or from other areas in the region. On some days or nights
17 the number of Muslims coming into East Mostar increased dramatically.
18 These people had been expelled from their homes and villages by the
19 Bosnian Croat forces. The 'Unfinished Business' documentary contains
20 footage taken during the night of 29th September, 1993, of a large number
21 of Muslims being expelled into East Mostar."
22 You'll see I'm slowing down, Mr. Bowen.
23 "On this night approximately 200 people were expelled into East
25 The documentary says 500. Your statement says 200. What -- can
1 you explain that discrepancy?
2 A. I think it's probably again the effects of memory. I wrote the
3 script for the documentary with the notebooks I had there and the notes
4 I'd taken. And with it very fresh in my mind I wrote the script probably
5 three weeks, maximum, after the event, and that statement was several
6 years after the event. More than several years. I think it was --
7 Q. No, it certainly was, Mr. Bowen.
8 A. It was probably seven or eight years after the event. So that's
9 just, I think, a slip of memory. I personally would go with the number
10 closer to the time as the more -- the more accurate one, and I think when
11 I made the statement I probably didn't recall I'd said 500 in the film
12 because I hadn't seen the film at that point in some time.
13 Q. Okay. So 500. And then you go on in the statement - I want to
14 make sure I'm sticking with the statement at the moment - that, "With the
15 Bosnian Croat forces shooting at them or over their heads as they crossed
16 a small foot bridge over the river Neretva."
17 Now, just to make it clear what I'm saying, there is no reference
18 I could find in the documentary transcript of shooting over their heads.
19 So this seems to be, if you like, this is an improvement of your memory
20 because this ties in with what you've told the Court this morning or this
22 A. Yes. Shooting over their heads or shooting at them. Well, the
23 next day as we saw in the film there was one a body lying in no man's land
24 who somebody had killed.
25 Q. You're talking about the woman?
1 A. Yeah, yeah, that was the route that they'd taken.
2 Q. Was that the one you said was skilled by a sniper? Was that --
3 A. Yeah, I mean, the next morning they said -- they came to us the
4 next morning and said, "By the way, those people who came over, the route
5 that they took, we can see the route that they took and there's a new body
6 lying there." Because, you know, they kept the places under observation.
7 They could tell, so we went then to that front line position.
8 Q. Well, you said the -- you said earlier today in your
9 evidence-in-chief that nobody was hit. You didn't suggest that that
10 woman -- she was put in the documentary as being killed by a sniper. You
11 didn't suggest that she was somebody -- you said in terms that nobody was
13 A. No, I meant when they were crossing the river.
14 Q. Right. So nobody was hit when they were crossing the river. By
15 the way, the position was this, wasn't it, that the -- of course there
16 were Muslims on the east side of the river and then but the Muslim front
17 line was on the other side of the Neretva wasn't it? So you --
18 A. Yeah, it was.
19 Q. So you then --
20 A. You're familiar with the map as I am. You will see that in some
21 places it was quite wide and some places it wasn't so wide.
22 Q. So on that night 500, and you've gone for 500 this morning, so 500
23 near enough cross over, and --
24 A. Or -- if I can just interrupt. All those numbers that journalists
25 give in these things are an estimate based on what they saw at the time.
1 It's not particularly scientific. You know, what you do is you see the
2 room they've pitched up in and you try and work out roughly how many there
3 were. I certainly didn't count them individually.
4 Q. Mr. Bowen, I'm not going to suggest anything different.
5 A. Okay.
6 Q. I accept that. It's just that as between 200 and 500, you --
7 A. Sure.
8 Q. -- you've gone with the 500, so I said near enough -- for working
9 purposes, several hundred people?
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. Not one of them -- according to you, not one of them was actually
12 hit. It would be fair to say, wouldn't it, Mr. Bowen, that if one or more
13 of them had been hit and had clearly hit, it's a racing certainty that you
14 would have included that in the documentary, isn't it?
15 A. No. I mean -- as I said in my earlier testimony, the -- there
16 were a lot of -- of bullets flying around as they crossed the river, and
17 while I absolutely agree that there were BiH forces on both sides of the
18 river, you know the -- the range of a Kalashnikov is, you know, is 600
19 metres more than that I think in the hands of a good soldier, and that's
20 assuming they were using Kalashnikovs and not weapons with -- which fired
21 with a greater range than that. So I had no reason to suppose that they
22 were firing on their own people.
23 Q. Mr. Bowen, I'm sorry, what I'm putting to you is this that what
24 you were describing this morning was, was actually essentially correct and
25 that they were not actually trying to kill people, whereas in the
1 documentary you said unequivocally that they were trying to kill women and
2 children and that's not what you've said this morning?
3 A. You know, as I say, that might be the dilution effect of memory
4 because, now that we're talking about it, you know, I remember the feeling
5 of being there and hearing the bullets whistling around my head. As I
6 said -- and you can hear it on the soundtrack, incoming bullets coming
7 near your head displace air and it makes a very specific noise.
8 Q. But isn't the position this --
9 A. I certainly felt that evening -- I was very conscious, for
10 example, that because we'd gone out there in a hurry I wasn't wearing my
11 flak jacket. I didn't have my helmet. I could hear the bullets going
12 around me and -- so I guess I drew the conclusion that they were out to
13 kill. Maybe they just didn't hit anybody.
14 Q. But maybe --
15 A. And maybe -- let me just finish. Maybe after this many years I'm
16 giving the HVO forces more credit than they deserve - I don't know - in
17 terms of whether they were able to hit the people they -- they were firing
19 Q. Mr. Bowen, I apologise. I'm caught between the courtesies of not
20 interrupting the witness and the pressure of time.
21 A. Sorry.
22 Q. So I apologise.
23 A. I'll try and keep it short.
24 Q. You're doing very well, thank you. Mr. Bowen, it's -- what I'm
25 putting to you is that what you said this morning makes common sense, that
1 given the -- where they were, the fact that nobody was actually -- let's
2 leave aside that poor woman for the moment, but the fact that nobody was
3 killed was at the time sufficiently strong indication that they had not
4 intended to kill anybody for it not to have been correct to have said in
5 unqualified terms in the documentary that that's what they were trying to
6 do. I am putting that to you fairly and squarely, Mr. Bowen.
7 A. And I would say that it's probably a mistake to overlook the woman
8 whose body that we saw, who was killed in the course of that exodus.
9 Q. Well, you're the one that overlooked it, Mr. Bowen, earlier in
10 your evidence.
11 A. Yes, well, I did. I -- to be honest with you, I'd probably
12 forgotten that we had that picture. I hadn't seen this -- this film for
13 quite some time and, since it was there, and I will always think that
14 these things, it's better to go with what you said at the time rather than
15 what you say 14 years later.
16 Q. All right. I'm going to move on from that, Mr. Bowen.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Your Honours, I'm looking at the clock. I do submit that that was
19 a reasonable area to explore and that inevitably a detailed area like that
20 takes quite a few minutes. So I may I continue with my next topic?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your next topic?
22 MR. STEWART: It almost is as quick to put it as to describe it,
23 Your Honour, but I'm going into the question of the references in the
24 documentary to the Croats and various other terms used for the Croats.
25 May I -- Your Honour, may I just put it -- it really will be about as
1 quick to put it, leaving aside the answer.
2 Q. Mr. Bowen, you refer to Bosnian Croats -- you often refer, and I'm
3 not criticising this at all, you refer to "the Croats" and "their Croat
4 enemies," and so on, "a Croat sniper," and then at page 17 of the -- of
5 the transcript we get a reference to the Croat extremists and that follows
6 a reference to the Croat gangs and you're using the phrase "Croat gangs"
7 to describe people you are reporting as having expelled people from West
8 Mostar, and then you use the phrase -- and you say, "the brutality of the
9 expulsions drives home the message that compromise with Croat extremists
10 is neither possible nor desirable."
11 And, first of all, I'm asking you what you meant by the phrase
12 "the Croat extremists." It's the only time in this transcript that you
13 use such a phrase, apart from the gangs.
14 A. It was strong language -- gangs and extremists, I agree, are
15 strong language. However, I'd done probably several dozen interviews,
16 some quite extensive at only a fraction of which made it on air with
17 people who had been expelled forcibly by groups of young armed men, who
18 treated them brutally, from their homes in the middle of the night you
19 know, women, children, old people with these -- and I can only say gangs
20 of young men coming and kicking them out of their houses. I thought in
21 the circumstances it's a strong word but its a fair one. I also -- by
22 that -- this point in the war in Bosnian, the phrase "ethnic cleansing"
23 was something that was often used. The concept was well-known, and I felt
24 that groups that practised ethnic cleansing were practising an extreme
25 form of political action trying to -- to if you like create -- change the
1 ethnic demographic composition of places by force, and I felt that it's
2 reasonable in the circumstances to describe that as extreme behaviour.
3 Q. So when you refer to the Croat extremists there, you're not
4 referring then to the -- to the -- the regular authorities if you
5 understand what I mean the regular governmental authorities?
6 A. I'm referring to anybody who is responsible for the people doing
7 it at such an organised scale. The scale in which it was happening could
8 not reasonably be described as -- as accidental or anything other than
9 coordinated. It was happening with such regularity that it had to be
10 coordinated, so I would say that whoever was giving the orders to the
11 people to drive, as I say, these defenseless civilians out of their homes
12 in the middle of the night at gunpoint beating them and taking away the
13 men and, in the case of the woman who was interviewed who had been told
14 that her two sons had had their throats cut, killing them, according to
15 her, what she was saying, and there were many other stories as well of men
16 being taken off and never being seen again.
17 Q. Mr. Bowen, may I --
18 A. The point I'm making --
19 Q. -- hurdle, we have seen all this --
20 A. I just felt that "extremist" was a fair use of the word.
21 Q. So you say Croat -- compromise with Croat extremists is neither
22 possible nor desirable. Compromise with those in positions of higher
23 authority would have been obviously desirable, wouldn't it?
24 A. I wasn't -- the impression that I tried to give through that
25 sentence and maybe I didn't make it as sharp as I could have was not, this
1 is my view, but this is the impression taken from this by the mainly
2 Muslim defenders of East Mostar. They felt that there was no point trying
3 to compromise with people who were capable of doing things like that.
4 Q. Do you agree that your label of ethnic cleansing there's a sort of
5 template is that a fair word to describe it for each scene you have a
6 you've got six you've got about eight topics and you mark them for each
7 scene -- I call it a template, I don't know, perhaps you've got a jargon
8 name in the business for it.
9 A. I'm not quite sure what you mean.
10 Q. On your transcript on each scene, I assume it's yours rather than
11 anybody else's, it says --
12 A. I wrote it.
13 Q. You say "rape" and then "military/paramilitary," the various
14 topics on each page. Do you need a reminder as to what it looks like? I
15 thought you had seen the transcript of your ...
16 A. The transcript is on my desk here.
17 Q. Just give me --
18 A. Give me a --
19 Q. -- at -- what, page 17 is what I'm looking at here.
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. You see at the bottom of the page "rape," yes, is marked do you
22 see what I mean?
23 A. 17, it's in French, the one I've got.
24 Q. Well, it's probably there --
25 A. Hang on. English. No, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.
1 Q. The -- or something like that.
2 A. Wait a second, I've got it here in English, too.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. Oh, that was -- that must have been added by the people here. I
5 mean, that's -- this is not my script. This is a -- this is a transcript
6 which has been prepared by the --
7 Q. That's OTP note or something?
8 A. -- by the Tribunal.
9 Q. I was hopelessly confused by that, and --
10 A. It's nothing. No, I -- if only we were that organised. Well,
11 I --
12 Q. All right. Okay. Well, we should withdraw all that then. But so
13 far as ethnic cleansing is concerned, not a label on the piece of paper
14 then, but as your label, do you agree that your term, "ethnic cleansing,"
15 would cover a single incident by a small group of the brutal nature that
16 you describe in your documentary at one end of the spectrum to the at the
17 other end of the spectrum, as a matter of definition, would cover an
18 orchestrated campaign and policy at the highest level. So it would cover
19 the whole range wouldn't it?
20 A. Well, I mean, you could define it like that, but I think you can
21 only use words that describe whole trends or policies like that if it's a
22 repeated pattern of behaviour. And by that point in the -- you know, if
23 it only happened once, if only one family had ever been evicted by a group
24 of armed men, then I would -- probably wouldn't call it ethnic cleansing
25 but since it was happening so much, and not just in this theatre of war,
1 it was, I feel -- I'm not sure I even used the phrase in the film itself,
2 but ethnic cleansing is a -- is a phrase that people understand and I
3 think the most -- the best definition of it is something which is an
4 overall policy, and, of course, every big policy is made up of lots of
5 individual actions.
6 Q. Yes.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the time question is greatly helped by
8 fact that the person I would cross-examine, if I had the chance, would be
9 Mr. Scott on that template, as I described it, and since that's not
10 possible, I don't need to pursue that.
11 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour. Just so there's no mistake in
12 the record, the transcripts that are before you is -- are exactly as
13 received from the BBC, and I can understand that it was apparently an
14 indexing system used by the BBC. You will notice in the first page of the
15 English version, video archive and database. I suppose like most news
16 organisation or large people who deal with large amounts of data and
17 information there is an archive and there is a coding -- an indexing
19 THE WITNESS: Observing, okay.
20 MR. SCOTT: So this was not added by the OTP; it came from the BBC
21 exactly as here.
22 THE WITNESS: Okay.
23 MR. STEWART: That's extremely helpful, and I have to make no
24 application to cross-examine Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: I have no idea.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I then go to that? The -- that
2 is -- you -- you were not involved in this.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart, my colleagues feel
4 that you have used up your time and that we should stop you. What
5 question is it that you would like to ask that would be useful, as far as
6 the Judges are concerned?
7 MR. STEWART: Well --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because do not forget that the
9 questions that you're asking are ones that should be designed to have a
10 result for the Judges.
11 MR. STEWART: Well, for the Judges in performance of our duty to
12 Mr. Petkovic. Exactly, Your Honour, the twin -- twin aims. I do know --
13 by the way, I should say, Your Honour, I do know that Mr. Petkovic himself
14 wishes to put two short questions. But all I wanted to ask the witness --
15 Your Honour, since the witness appears to have no particular knowledge of
16 this template, I'll - he's shaking his head; he clearly doesn't - I'll
17 drop it there, Your Honour.
18 Sorry, excuse me, Your Honour.
19 Apparently -- good news for Your Honours is Mr. Petkovic does not
20 have questions, Your Honours, so thank you for the -- for the additional
21 time. That is appreciated.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was just about too
23 give Mr. Petkovic the floor. I was ready to do that but if he doesn't
24 have any questions let's move on to the next Defence team. Mr. Karnavas,
25 you're turning to your fellow counsels.
1 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we do not
2 have any questions for this witness and we have given our time to the
3 Praljak Defence.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic.
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have also
6 placed our time at the Praljak Defence's disposition.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours, again.
9 I will indulge in a few questions.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. I'll be very focused on what I'm trying to get at and that is the
14 title of your -- ever your documentary is "Unfinished Business," and I
15 think it is quite apropos because, obviously, you never got to the other
16 side, you know, to at least get their side of the story. So from my
17 perspective it is rather unfinished. Would you not say that?
18 A. I think it was a finished -- I tell you what, we said "unfinished
19 business" because the war wasn't over. I mean, that was the purpose of
20 the title.
21 Q. Okay. But you never went on the other side?
22 A. The producer went on the other side before we started filming to
23 try to arrange something we did on the BiH side but, as I said earlier,
24 he -- unfortunately the cooperation was not forthcoming.
25 Q. Okay. Well, so you say. Were you aware that other British
1 journalists were able to go to the other side and get interviews on
3 A. Maybe they were, but these things were never consistent.
4 Q. All right. Well, did you, sir, you personally, did you make any
5 efforts yourself, not your producer but you?
6 A. I -- on that particular -- on that particular trip, no, I didn't
7 because my producer had gone there to arrange the work --
8 Q. I'm not asking you --
9 A. -- the meetings and so, therefore, I didn't, no.
10 Q. We're going to go step-by-step.
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. All right. You're in country for some time. You say back in 1992
13 you had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Kordic; right?
14 A. I did, yeah.
15 Q. Now, you hear about this story sometime in August 1993 and you
16 decide that you're going to chase that lead.
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. And you here about the Ho Chi Minh trail and so you decide, why
19 not, let's go for it, and that's exactly what you did. Right?
20 A. Hmm.
21 Q. Now, prior to going there did you consult with any or try to get a
22 hold of any Croats to see whether you could also get their point of view
23 because obviously you're only getting one side of the --
24 A. You mean on the first trip.
25 Q. On the first trip.
1 A. No, I didn't. What I was trying to --
2 Q. I'm just -- okay --
3 A. Sure.
4 Q. -- going step-by-step --
5 A. All right. Sure.
6 Q. I know you're trying to --
7 A. I'm trying to answer your questions further down the line --
8 okay. Go ahead.
9 Q. So you go there. You see that there is a story. You make some --
10 you do probably file some stories from the first trip. Then when you go
11 back to London, that's when you have this opportunity to go back and do
12 the video; right? Am I correct on that?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. Okay. Now, before going back into -- into Mostar, did you
15 yourself, I know you have a producer, but did you yourself do any
16 research? Regarding Mostar.
17 A. I did some reserve. I didn't do much between the two trips
18 because I'd just been there and I was recovering from the first one.
19 Q. All right. But did you for instance try to figure out who is on
20 the other side, where the political structure lies?
21 A. Yes, yeah.
22 Q. You did?
23 A. Yeah, sure I got information and I read it.
24 Q. All right. Well, now, from reading that material did you make any
25 efforts, for instance, to contact Mr. Boban to see if he would give you
1 permission to go into West --
2 A. Did I personally, no.
3 Q. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Now, do you know whether this individual, your
4 producer, actually called him?
5 A. I have no idea.
6 Q. All right. Did he ever tell you exactly who he contacted and who
7 said no to him?
8 A. If he did, I don't recall it. I know he spent several days trying
9 to make it happen.
10 Q. Okay. Where was he during that period of time?
11 A. He was -- I think he was staying in a hotel in Medjugorje and he
12 was travelling to the west side of Mostar.
13 Q. Okay, but according -- surely you would have had notes if he would
14 have told you the names of the individuals he saw? For instance, maybe
15 starting with who was at the HVO in the political leadership or further up
16 the chain, he would have passed those names on to you; right?
17 A. That's not how it works. You know, he's a trusted very
18 experienced colleague so if he says to me, "Look, I went there. I tried
19 for a couple of days. It didn't happen." I didn't cross-examine him as
20 to why it didn't happen; I took his word for it.
21 Q. Okay. All right. And did you ever bother to call Mr. Kordic to
22 see whether he could be -- he would be able to assist you in any way?
23 A. I -- there were no telephones. I didn't have -- if Mr. Kordic had
24 a satellite telephone number, I certainly didn't have it. There were --
25 throughout the war there was almost no phone contact.
1 Q. All right. Well, you went to Central Bosnia before; right?
2 That's where you --
3 A. Yeah, sure.
4 Q. And I guess -- again, I don't want to try to pin you down, but
5 before going to Mostar, I mean obviously you had the story in mind when
6 you went back the is second time; right? You're shaking your head?
7 A. No, I'm shaking -- I'm agreeing. I'm nodding. I'm nodding.
8 Q. Okay, but we need to make a record.
9 A. Sure okay.
10 Q. I'm not trying to be obnoxious. You had a story in mind you
11 obviously knew there were two sides to the story; right? You're shaking
12 your head again.
13 A. I agree with you. I saw -- I know that there are two sides to a
15 Q. And obviously you probably wanted to get both sides of the
17 A. Yeah, I did.
18 Q. Okay. And all we know today is what you're telling us, and that
19 is that this producer told you that you could not go on the other side to
20 do any filming.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you also said --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. The
24 questions that you're asking, Mr. Karnavas, are ones that I wanted to
1 You're a journalist, sir, a high-level journalist. You work for
2 the BBC, which is well-known all over the world, and you have the chance
3 of being in an area, in a zone where important events are taking place.
4 Now, as far as I know, in August and September UNPROFOR was also there.
5 Now, a journalist of your renown and competent reporting from the
6 area, it would be normal for you to give all sides of the problem. How
7 come you didn't contact UNPROFOR perhaps to -- to say to them, "Is it not
8 possible for me representing the BBC to cross over to the other side to
9 interview Mr. Boban, Mr. X, Y, or Z, so that I can have that view and not
10 only the one on the east bank"? Did that idea come to mind at all?
11 THE WITNESS: Not specifically. I was in contact with UNPROFOR at
12 different times, not while I was actually in -- the only contacts I had
13 with UNPROFOR while I was in Mostar itself were with the Spanish soldiers
14 who were there.
15 The thing about working for big news organisation like the BBC is
16 that on the first trip that we did, I wasn't doing a documentary. I was
17 doing daily news reports. We also had coverage from the west side of
18 Mostar. We had a team working in Zagreb who had come regularly to
19 Medjugorje and would go on to the west side of Mostar. We had another
20 team who was with the UNHCR convoy that came in, in late August. So I was
21 part of a wider news operation. We had, for example, a cameraman, a
22 Croatian guy, who lived -- well, we based him in Zagreb. He had a
23 motorcycle, and he spent weeks and the west side of Mostar getting
24 pictures and talking to people.
25 When I was unable to -- so that's when I was doing the news
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to stop you. We're
3 discovering here, and this wasn't evident up to now, that the BBC had
4 teams deployed in the area, one covering the Mostar west side, the other
5 one the east bank, and others that were attached to humanitarian convoys
6 and so on.
7 Now, between these members of the BBC teams that were divided into
8 different groups, did you have contacts amongst yourselves? You had a
9 satellite telephone, as you told us, and I assume that the others did,
10 too. So did you keep in contact and exchange information?
11 THE WITNESS: No. Communications were really difficult, even with
12 a satellite telephone. Satellite telephones at that time were very --
13 were quite primitive compared to how they work now. They didn't work very
14 well. They used up a great deal of current and power, so we spared the
15 battery a lot of the times. I used them for the bare minimum. Sometimes
16 it was too dangerous to set it up. We were working under -- you know, it
17 was -- there was a lot of pressure there and, frankly, I didn't have time
18 to talk to my colleagues about what they were doing. I thought, They can
19 do what they're doing; I'll do what I'm doing, and it's up to the people
20 in London to coordinate them.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Now, the west bank
22 teams, could your colleagues have asked for an interview with Mr. Boban,
23 for example?
24 THE WITNESS: I'm sure they did, and I'm -- they weren't
25 constantly in the west side of Mostar through the month of August but I
1 know they visited. I would say that I'm sure that they -- I'm sure that
2 Mr. Boban gave interviews to the BBC during that period. I'm certainly
3 sure that if he didn't give them that they asked for it. It's very
4 typical that we would have almost a constant bid in for an interview with
5 a leader of his importance and stature.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I give you the
7 floor again.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. I think you
9 shortened cross-examination quite a bit and I appreciate the questions
11 Q. Well, it would appear sir from your answers that, had you wanted
12 to go on the other side, at that moment you could have?
13 A. No.
14 Q. At least that is what I'm reading between the lines.
15 A. Can I -- could I answer that?
16 Q. Before you answer that --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I would appreciate if I don't get any comments from
18 the peanut gallery because Mr. Scott now is commenting. So go ahead.
19 MR. SCOTT: Then don't mischaracterise the evidence Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, then you can stand up and you can object.
21 MR. SCOTT: I do object.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Go ahead.
23 Q. What I'm reading between the lines, sir, is you never made one
24 single effort yourself to go on the other side. You didn't go through
25 Zagreb. You didn't call your contacts. You hadn't made any efforts, and
1 I'm putting to you that we've had witness here, other Brits, journalists,
2 maybe not as experienced as you, that at that same period of time were
3 able to go into the west side and meet with the leadership of the Croatian
5 A. There's a difference between going there to do a quick news
6 interview and going there to do a big documentary. I think that if I'd
7 turned up there with a camera crew and stood outside the headquarters and
8 put in -- maybe I would have got an interview. But there's a very big
9 difference between getting one interview and getting the kind of
10 weeks-long access that you need to put together a documentary film.
11 You have to make a distinction between a single, freestanding
12 documentary and the overall news story.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bowen --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I just --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- we saw the documentary a
16 moment ago. Technically speaking, the BBC could have made the same
17 document on the other side, along the front line. The BBC could have made
18 a documentary with HVO soldiers, for instance, who could have explained
19 why they were fighting, why they were there and so on. The same
20 documentary could have been made the other side, on the west bank. Would
21 you agree with that? Would that have been possible?
22 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour, I wouldn't. I mean, that's the
23 point I'm making. We asked for that kind of a facility with the Bosnian
24 Croats in West Mostar, and that request was denied.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. Well.
2 A. We would very much, I would very much have been like to be able to
3 get to the other side and interview those soldiers. But the point is,
4 when my very experienced colleague, much -- 10 years older than me and a
5 veteran of very many, very serious documentaries went there and tried to
6 make it happen and didn't succeed, I was certainly prepared to take his
7 word for it and not in our limited time go back to ask the same questions
8 again of those same people. You know, it's an -- a division of labour
9 when you're making these films.
10 Q. Very well.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Just for the record, Your Honour on page 2094 you
12 will have seen and perhaps remembered that we had another witness, Ms.
13 Giles here on -- who apparently was able to make an interview on 28
14 August, 1993. I point that for the record. It was on the West side and
15 so this was with Mr. Prlic. She was making a documentary at the same
16 point in time.
17 In any event, sir -- in any event, sir, thank you very much for
18 your evidence. Good luck in the future.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The following team,
21 Mr. Murphy.
22 MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Murphy:
24 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bowen.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. When you introduced yourself to the Court today, you said that you
2 had in the course of your career covered all the big stories. Do you
3 remember that?
4 A. Most, yeah. I think pretty much between -- when I was a
5 London-based foreign correspondent between 1988 and 1995, I went to every
6 big story.
7 Q. And you gave one particular example, I think, of what had happened
8 in China after the revolution -- or attempted revolution in the square
9 there, and you said that was a big story?
10 A. It was a big story, yeah.
11 Q. And when you heard from Mr. Kasselman at the press conference,
12 started to learn about Mostar, that was also a big story?
13 A. Kessler.
14 Q. Kessler, thank you.
15 A. Yeah, it was a big development in the ongoing war in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina story, yes it was.
17 Q. Even on a smaller level you said that it was often good to go to
18 hospitals because they were a good place to find stories.
19 A. Yep. Yes.
20 Q. Stories, stories are a big thing for you in your profession,
21 aren't they, Mr. Bowen?
22 A. Stories is what we refer to to the -- what we do, the events that
23 we cover, we refer to them as stories. It doesn't mean to say they're not
24 true. But we call them stories.
25 Q. But a story also has the implication of being somewhat
1 sensational, doesn't it?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Doesn't it increase your chances of winning a prestigious award
4 such as the Monte Carlo Award if the story you're covering has a somewhat
5 sensational aspect to it?
6 A. I would hope that they don't award -- I would hope they don't give
7 awards for sensationalism. I would say that a lot of the material that
8 was in that film was dramatic and that's because we were covering very
9 dramatic events and we were very close to them and we had very good access
10 to them because we had pretty much free movement, considering there was a
11 war going on in that part of Mostar at that particular time.
12 Q. You said in answer to Mr. Karnavas that you wished that you had
13 had the opportunity to present the other side by going to West Mostar, if
14 I understand you correctly?
15 A. I would have been delighted to have done another documentary even
16 about that, but as I say when we asked to get the two- or three-week long
17 access we needed, we weren't allowed to have it.
18 Q. I take it from what you say that as a matter of principle you
19 agree that it is important to present both sides of a story.
20 A. Of course it is.
21 Q. Well, let me focus on one particular aspect of the story that was
22 told in the documentary and that you've testified about today.
23 You mentioned, and you've mentioned on previous occasions your
24 belief that what was going on in -- in Mostar and generally with the
25 Bosnian Croats was being done with some form of cooperation of the
1 government of Croatia.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And I want to talk with you for a moment about the basis for that
4 opinion and what you did to verify it. Now, today is not the first time
5 that you've testified under oath on that subject, is it?
6 A. I've testified in this court before.
7 Q. Yes. In the Tuta and Stela case you were asked questions about
8 exactly that same subject?
9 A. Mm-hmm.
10 Q. And for the record, the matters that I'm going to mention to you
11 are on page 5805 and page 5806 of the transcript from that case.
12 Do you remember counsel for the Prosecution asking you what the
13 basis was for your view that there was some cooperation by the government
14 of Croatia?
15 A. Yeah, I do. Well, I saw the -- I had -- I looked through the
16 transcript again yesterday, so, yes, I do remember that.
17 Q. You do remember that. And let me -- let me remind you of one or
18 two of the things that you said, if I could. You said when asked this
19 question and I'm quoting now, "I can explain this on a number of different
20 levels. There was evidence that I saw that there was an involvement by
21 the Croatian army and, by extension, by the government in Zagreb."
22 Do you remember giving that answer?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And then you went on to talk about having seen identity papers
25 that had been taken from prisoners and dead bodies and so on.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In addition to that, you also mentioned, as you did today, that
3 you'd had a connection with -- a conversation with Dario Kordic.
4 A. I did indeed, yes.
5 Q. And you've also said, as you have today, that you have spoken to
6 people in Zagreb, and your expression then was -- on that occasion, "I
7 also spoke to people in Zagreb, in an informal way, who told me about
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Karnavas mentioned another British journalist that we've
11 heard of by the name of Belinda Giles. Is that somebody that you know?
12 A. I know Belinda, yes.
13 Q. Do you know a documentary programme that she produced for channel
14 4 in November of 1993 called, "A Greater Croatia"?
15 A. No.
16 Q. So then you won't be aware that in the course of that documentary
17 that -- that did deal in detail with the government of Croatia, Ms. Giles
18 interviewed name of high-ranking people in the Croatian government?
19 A. I'm -- as I say, I didn't see the film so I'm not aware of it.
20 Q. No knowledge about it. Sir, in preparing for your own documentary
21 in which you made this allegation against the government of Croatia, did
22 you interview any ministers of that government? ^^ ?
23 A. I had -- in the course of the previous two years of covering there
24 I had been in Zagreb quite a few times, and I had interviewed a number of
25 different people in the government, yes. I'd also had conversations with
2 Q. Let me -- let me put my question again. Perhaps I wasn't specific
4 For the purpose of making this documentary, did you interview
5 anyone in the government of Croatia?
6 A. No, I did not.
7 Q. You did not. Did you interview anyone holding office in the
8 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
9 A. For this documentary, no, I didn't --
10 Q. You did not.
11 A. -- for the reasons I've already given.
12 Q. By the way, I represent Mr. Bruno Stojic. Have you ever
13 interviewed Bruno Stojic?
14 A. I haven't, no. I'm sure I would have remembered if I had.
15 Q. Let me just ask you this, sir, then in -- in light of what you've
16 just told us, is it your contention that this allegation that you make
17 against the government of Croatia of being involved in a nationalist
18 project, do you think that you have fairly presented both sides of that
20 Sorry, I'm going to pause while the Judges confer for a moment.
21 Let me repeat that question. Do you feel, based on what you've
22 told us that in -- in making this allegation against the government of
23 Croatia, you have fairly presented both sides of that question?
24 A. The documentary was not about that particular question, but in the
25 context of the wider story I mentioned it as a contributing factor. Had I
1 wanted to do a documentary about that particular thing, then I would have
2 gone into it in much more detail. But I was journalistically clear in my
3 own mind based on those things that you've already discussed and that
4 you've mentioned and read out from my previous testimony, I was clear in
5 my own mind that that was the case.
6 Q. Based on --
7 A. And so were many other people at the time.
8 Q. Based upon the conversations you've told us about.
9 A. Conversations, yeah, in Bosnia. Conversations in Zagreb.
10 Bloodstained identity papers that I was shown. There seemed to be a lot
11 of indications. Plus as well, there were reports as -- it was something
12 that was being reported at the time. It was part of the discourse at the
13 time that --
14 Q. It was part of the discourse; is that right?
15 A. Yes. Yeah it was part of the -- if you talked to people in
16 Zagreb, it was almost --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bowen, to stay in line with
18 the questioning by Mr. Murphy, I have the transcript of what you said in
19 your documentary, and let me read this sentence to you. You're
20 saying: "The Croatian propaganda is resounding across the lines in
21 Mostar," and you add on to that, "Since May, Bosnian Croats aided and
22 abetted by the Croatian government have been laying siege to about 60.000
23 people in East Mostar."
24 When you say this as a journalist of the BBC, you must have
25 imagined the impact your words would have. What allowed you at that
1 moment to provide a comment to the effect of the Croatian government being
2 involved in what was going on?
3 THE WITNESS: Frankly, Your Honour, I didn't think me saying that
4 at the time would come as a great surprise to anybody. It -- it had been,
5 I think, quite widely reported already by other journalists. It was -- I
6 think I used that phrase more as a reminder to what I hoped the audience
7 had already picked up. I wasn't trying to break news to them at that
8 particular point.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So for you it was a notorious
10 fact by then.
11 THE WITNESS: It was something that a lot of people talked about.
12 You know, they'd say things like, "Well, how do you think the Bosnian
13 Croats are continuing to be armed? Where do you think their weapons are
14 coming from? Where do you think they get their -- the shells for their
15 tanks from?" Even their uniforms. Their uniforms were -- even just the
16 lowest level of circumstantial evidence let alone the other stuff. Their
17 uniforms are almost identical to the uniforms of Croatian regulars. Their
18 badges were almost identical. The -- as I say, I was a frequent visitor
19 to Zagreb. I was a frequent visitor also to Split, and I had a lot of
20 conversations about this kind of thing with people there, with people who
21 were working in various capacities, officially and unofficially, working
22 for the Croatian government.
23 As I say, when I used that phrase in the script, I didn't think
24 that would come as a surprise to anybody who would be following the
1 MR. MURPHY:
2 Q. So then, sir, you made the leap if I can put it in that way, from
3 evidence of involvement by the Croatian army to evidence of a national
4 project involving the Croatian government; is that right?
5 A. I had spent some time -- as I say, quite a lot of time in Croatia
6 and I made the -- perhaps I never questioned the assumption, but I figured
7 that the Croatian army was acting with the consent and under the direction
8 of the president of Croatia, who was after all a former general.
9 Q. But you've never conducted interviews to verify that story, as far
10 as we know?
11 A. I -- I had many off-the-record conversations on that story and I
12 had an on-the-record interview with Dario Kordic in Busovaca.
13 Q. Was Dario Kordic a member of the government of Croatia to your
15 A. No, but he was a senior are member of the leadership of
16 Herceg-Bosna, and I felt that his opinion in that was therefore valid.
17 MR. MURPHY: Would Your Honour allow me just a moment.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. MURPHY:
20 Q. Did you also become aware, sir, while you were making your
21 research and investigating these questions of the presence of other
22 foreign troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war, some of them from
23 Islamist countries?
24 A. Yeah, I was aware of that. I heard that, for example, there were
25 Afghans or -- anyway, some kind of Islamic forces around. Zenica
1 particularly was well known as a centre for this kind of thing.
2 Q. Did you draw the conclusion from this that the government of
3 Afghanistan was participating or encouraging some nationalist project in
5 A. Well, the government of Afghanistan was not a well-organised
6 entity. I spent a lot of -- at that point I'd spent a lot of time in
7 Afghanistan and in 1992 the Mujahedin overthrew the government of
8 Afghanistan. So they were in no position to give orders.
9 Q. Okay let's substitute Iran or Turkey or Syria. Take your pick.
10 Now, did you draw the -- did you draw the inference, Mr. Bowen, that any
11 of those governments was involved in a nationalist project in Bosnia and
13 A. I didn't know that there were Irans [sic], Turks, or Syrians who
14 were said to be -- who were said to be there. The nationalities I heard
15 were Afghans and Saudis.
16 MR. MURPHY: I have nothing further, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have only the Defence of
18 Mr. Praljak, who will have 45 minutes given to them by Mrs. Tomic and
19 Mr. Ibrisimovic.
20 You have 45 minutes, which means we will have to continue
21 tomorrow. Today we have 10 minutes. I give you the floor.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]. Thank you, Your Honour. I
23 will use the four minutes that the Prosecution has used on top of the time
24 allocated to them.
25 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Bowen.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. During the time when you were in East Mostar, who was the
4 commander of the HVO? During the time when you were in Mostar, who was
5 the commander of the HVO?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. I was the commander of the HVO. My name is Praljak, and I'm one
8 of the accused, and my question is this: Isn't it incredible for a
9 professional BBC journalist not to know the name of the commander of the
10 army that he talks so much about? Isn't that a very strange fact?
11 A. I did know your name because it was one of the names that people
12 talked about.
13 Q. Mr. Bowen, please. Mr. Bowen, please. I don't have much time,
14 and that's why I would kindly ask you to answer me. From my CV, I can
15 tell you that before the war I was a film director. I had authored a
16 number of documentaries, and maybe we can talk on that level.
17 So you don't know who the commander of the HVO was in -- during
18 the time when you were in Mostar. Just yes or no.
19 A. Perhaps I didn't recall it, but I certainly knew your name, and
20 perhaps at the time I knew that you were the commander. I think what I
21 men in my answer was, if I did know, I don't recall.
22 Q. Thank you. Kindly, let's refrain from "maybes." Let's try not to
23 use too much "perhaps." We're dealing with facts here, so if you know
24 something, tells us what you know. If you don't know, just say you don't
25 know. I will move on to more important topics, but now --
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, I think it is not feasible to ask a
2 witness to state anything with certainty when a witness is in doubt
3 because otherwise he would be lying. So I warn you not to make statements
4 here that come close to inciting a witness to answer untruly. If the
5 witness is insecure, he must honestly say "perhaps," or something to that
7 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bowen, the question that
9 Mr. Praljak is asking you, I would have asked you -- when you interviewed
10 Mr. Arif Pasalic, and I would have thought you interviewed the commander
11 of the 3rd Corps. Did it maybe occur to him to interview the other side,
12 the commander of the other side? At the time it may have been difficult.
13 However, at the time the commander of the HVO, did you know the name or
14 did you not know the name of the HVO commander?
15 THE WITNESS: I think that the answer I gave a couple of minutes
16 ago was frankly -- is probably a little ill thought out. I knew
17 Mr. Praljak's name. I spoke in a lot of detail at the time about what was
18 going on the time -- I spent a lot of time with Mr. Pasalic, and he spoke
19 a lot about the people on the other side. So I -- I mean, I can't recall
20 it recall it definitively, but I say I must have known his name because --
21 in fact, when I was asked about this particular case by a Croatian friend
22 of mine and they said, who are the defendants, that was the first name
23 that I came up with when I was reporting back to her what I was coming
24 here to do.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that
1 Mr. Pasalic referred to some of the names of the people who were on the
2 other side in the interview with yourself.
3 THE WITNESS: Generals often talk about their opposite numbers.
4 They are always interested in what they may or may not be doing.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Once again, please. Do you know who my deputy was, who was the
8 deputy of the commander of the Main Staff of the HVO, who the deputy was?
9 A. Maybe I knew then. I can't recall now. If you tell me his name,
10 I'll tell you if I recognise it.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you know who -- Mr. Pasalic was the commander of
12 the 4th Corps. His counterpart on the HVO, there was something called
13 that was called south-east Herzegovina Operation Zone. Do you know who
14 the commander of that zone was, the zone of south-east Herzegovina which
15 was at the same rank as Mr. Pasalic in the BH army?
16 A. I've got to admit I was not an expert on the order of battle of
17 the HVO. Some of the individuals who were frequently talked about, and
18 you were one of them, I was familiar with those names. Equally --
19 Q. Mr. Bowen, you're stealing my time. You're wasting my time. I
21 A. May I answer your question?
22 Q. Please, do you know the name of the commander at the time of the
23 south-east Herzegovina operations zone? You either know it or you don't.
24 This is not matter of discussion.
25 A. And I repeat perhaps I knew it then. I can't recall it now.
1 Q. Thank you. I have another minute. In the documentary, did you
2 use only the material that you recorded in Mostar at the time, or did you
3 also use some other materials? Please answer me as a professional, as one
4 professional to another. Did you only use the material that you yourself
5 recorded at the time or did you maybe use some materials that you didn't
6 record or you recorded at some other time?
7 A. We -- about -- of that 43 minutes, I would say about three minutes
8 was taken from footage recorded during our first trip. Also while we were
9 there we hired another guy and he was fully credited in the documentary to
10 do additional camera work, someone called Nigel Chandler who was a British
11 cameraman who was there. So effectively we had two cameras. So we used
12 his material and our material. So effectively it was 100 per cent BBC
13 material, yes.
14 Q. I didn't ask about BBC material. In your documentary, there is
15 frame or maybe even a few frames which were recorded in the part of Mostar
16 which was under the control of the HVO in Liskova Street. Is that
17 correct? Is that true or not?
18 A. That's not correct. Everything in our documentary came from the
19 part that was under the control of the BiH. I forgot to say in what I was
20 just telling you that we also had a few pictures which, if you remember, I
21 mentioned in the soundtrack that were taken by a local man of the shelling
22 of the -- of the old bridge.
23 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, unfortunately
24 it is 7.00, so we will continue tomorrow. Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bowen, unfortunately you
1 will have to spend the night in The Hague and return tomorrow afternoon.
2 Unfortunately, again we sit in the afternoon, so you have to come back at
3 quarter past 2.00. And it goes without saying that you should not talk to
4 anybody about your testimony. You're now the witness of the justice since
5 you have made a solemn declaration.
6 I wish you a pleasant evening, and I invite you all to come back
7 tomorrow at quarter past 2.00.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day
10 of January, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.