Case No. IT-96-21
1 Tuesday, 2nd December 1997
2 (10.30 am)
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
4 Can we have the appearances, please?
5 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, my name is Grant
6 Niemann and I appear with my colleagues, Ms. McHenry,
7 Mr. Dixon and Mr. Khan for the Prosecution.
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Appearances for the Defence, please.
9 Thank you.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: Good morning, your Honours, I am Edina
11 Residovic, Defence counsel for Mr. Zejnil Delalic.
12 Defending Mr. Delalic with me is my colleague, Professor
13 Eugene O'Sullivan from Canada.
14 MR. OLUJIC: Good morning, your Honours, I am Zeljko Olujic,
15 Defence attorney from Croatia, appearing on behalf of
16 Mr. Zdravko Mucic, alongside with Mr. Michael Greaves,
17 attorney from the United Kingdom.
18 MR. KARABDIC: Good morning, your Honours, I am Salih
19 Karabdic, attorney from Sarajevo, appearing on behalf of
20 Mr. Hazim Delic, alongside with Mr. Thomas Moran, attorney
21 from Houston, Texas.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, your Honours, I am John
23 Ackerman, I appear here today on behalf of Mr. Esad
24 Landzo, along with my co-counsel Cynthia McMurrey.
25 Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much. Can we have the
3 (Witness entered court)
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly remind the witness he is still
5 on his oath.
6 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you are still under
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, Mr. Ackerman, I think you can
10 DR JAMES GOW (continued)
11 Cross-examined by MR. ACKERMAN (continued)
12 Q. Thank you very much, your Honour. Well, Dr. Gow, good
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. How are you?
16 A. As can be expected, still here.
17 Q. Did you have a good rest last night?
18 A. Indeed, I slept rather a lot.
19 Q. So you are ready for a long day of cross-examination.
20 A. As ready as one can ever be.
21 Q. Let us go to where we left off last night, and we had
22 talked about something you had written that appears on
23 page 10 of your book "Triumph". Let me read it again.
24 You are talking, of course, about the degree of detail
25 that you have gone into in the book, and what you tell
1 your readers is:
2 "This degree of detail is necessary for an
3 accurate interpretation rather than the more usual
4 approach to analysis of the difficulties of the Yugoslav
5 conflict, which relies less on analysis of particulars
6 and more on opinion based on incomplete information and
8 When we parted last night, you were ready to
9 comment regarding that particular quote, so please do
11 A. Okay. I was going to make three comments on it
12 immediately. The first was that I would not take the
13 implication of the final words of that quote as meaning
14 that I understand that what I have done either to be
15 perfect or absolutely complete and comprehensive; indeed
16 anything anybody would ever do would always be lacking
17 in some respect, I fear.
18 The second is that it was addressed to a specific
19 comment which had been made on drafts of the manuscript
20 to the extent that it was very detailed and very long
21 and, "one thing after a damned nother" by one of the
22 reviewers, and I was putting this in as an explanation,
23 saying that you had to have as much as this in in order
24 to be able to get any kind of proper understanding.
25 The third element was addressed to the fact that
1 the vast majority, if not almost all the books that
2 I had read, and articles and so forth, very often missed
3 out crucial things, and one of the most crucial things
4 absent, among others, mainly in terms of the dealings of
5 international diplomacy, such as the fact that on
6 6th October 1991, the European Council of the European
7 Union had decided that from then onwards they would be
8 looking at the prospect of -- that they would eventually
9 be dealing with the Yugoslav republics on an independent
10 basis, or rather they would continue negotiations in the
11 light of the right to independence, which is something
12 that is generally not noted and recorded and therefore
13 leads to misinterpretations regarding European Union
14 actions in January and April 1992 and specifically also
15 to the fact that many people, if not almost all, simply
16 write things about events starting from certain points,
17 taking no note, for example, of the declaration of
18 Serbian autonomous regions, first in Croatia but
19 particularly in Bosnia-Herzegovina in September 1991 and
20 November 1991, all of which are crucial parts of
21 understanding what actually happened. That is a comment
22 I would make on the quote and why I put that part in the
24 Q. So it kind of had two meanings; number one you were in a
25 way being critical of those who would arrive at
1 conclusions about what occurred in the Yugoslav conflict
2 based upon incomplete information and understanding and
3 base their analysis on that and arrive at conclusions
4 that may be faulty; and the second thing you were doing
5 was trying to make it clear that you were attempting not
6 to do that; is that a fair statement?
7 A. That in as far as the book was as long as it was and had
8 as much detail, was that I was trying to make sure to
9 include those things which were salient.
10 Q. Okay. I take it that you are familiar with Lord Owen's
11 book about his experiences about the Yugoslav situation?
12 A. If you are asking me, I am, yes.
13 Q. That book, of course, was written more from a personal
14 perspective, detailing his experiences in dealing with
15 the international conference for the former Yugoslavia
16 and the development of the Vance-Owen peace plan and
17 things of that nature, right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. One thing that we might be able to say about Lord Owen's
20 book was that he sort of followed the same, maybe even
21 more so, pattern that you were trying to follow in
22 "Triumph", and that is being as certain as he could be
23 about his facts; in fact accompanying that book was a CD
24 that was published at the same time that contained a lot
25 of the documents upon which he had relied for the things
1 that he wrote in his book. You are familiar with that,
2 are you not?
3 A. I am familiar that he produced the CD ROM, I think a
4 couple of times I have seen versions of it opened on
5 people's computers.
6 Q. One thing that kind of surprised me in looking through
7 his book was that he relied upon and cited a number of
8 other authors and commentators, like Misha Glenny, for
9 instance, and so forth like that, and did not cite any
10 of your work, which surprised me, because you had done
11 such a large quantity of work at that point about
12 Yugoslavia. Was there some problem between the two of
13 you at that time or anything?
14 A. I am not aware of any problem whatsoever. I talked
15 extensively with his research assistant, Norbert Both,
16 who later went on to co-operate with one of my
17 colleagues, Junger Holnich, in writing what I would call
18 the best book on Srebrenica, and also I talked
19 intermittently with people working for Lord Owen's
20 office, Jeremy Braid and David Ludlow, as well as other
21 people in the Foreign Office. I do not see any problem
22 with that.
23 Q. We got very briefly into an issue yesterday that I want
24 to explore just a tad more.
25 A. And also Graham Mesevi Whiting, his military advisor.
1 Q. An issue I want to explore just a tad more, and we were
2 talking about the difference between writing that might
3 be done by an academic and that that might be done by a
4 journalist. Do you remember us talking about that a
5 little bit?
6 A. I do indeed.
7 Q. One of the things that you tend to find in academic
8 writings that may or may not be present in journalistic
9 writings is the extensive use of footnotes.
10 A. That is a difference, yes, most often.
11 Q. An academic, of course, wants to make it clear to the
12 readership, which frequently is a bunch of other
13 hypercritical academicians, that he has sources for the
14 conclusions he is making and frequently the footnotes
15 tell you what those sources are and where the
16 information came from so that you can evaluate it?
17 A. Ideally that is the case, yes.
18 Q. So when an historian claims something to be a fact and
19 footnotes it that is one thing, but then when an
20 historian is basically giving an opinion, then it also
21 is usually clear from the writing that that is what is
22 happening, so an historian for instance might say that
23 something seems to be so, saying that, "the best
24 conclusion I can reach from the facts I have looked at
25 is it seems to be that this is what is happening"; that
1 might be a way to express an opinion as opposed to a
2 fact, correct?
3 MR. NIEMANN: Objection, your Honour, Dr. Gow said yesterday
4 he was not an historian. He has been asked to express
5 opinions on the writing and methodology of historians
6 and having regard to his testimony on this matter
7 I object.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me just ask him if that is his position.
9 Is that your position?
10 A. I think I said yesterday, I am not trained as an
11 historian. I deal with matters that derive from the
12 past, I have some awareness of the discipline of
13 history, but I think it would be most improper to speak,
14 to make comments on history as a profession and a
16 Q. We can probably talk about academia then and separate it
17 from an historian specifically, but before we do that,
18 I then must ask you about something you have written in
19 the introductory part of your book "Triumph", where you
20 say this:
21 "The second challenge I have tried to face is to
22 provide on the basis of available documents, accounts
23 and discussions a volume which will as far as possible
24 stand the test of historians 30 or more years after the
25 events combing the archives to discover what really
1 happened. At a minimum, I hope the book may be a
2 benchmark against which to test their findings. There
3 will certainly be scope for improvement on the basis of
4 new information which will inevitably emerge over the
5 next 30 years."
6 You are saying there, are you not, that you are
7 writing a work of history that you hope will stand the
8 test of future historians looking into this issue. Is
9 that not what you are saying there?
10 A. With respect, no, it is not. I think if you read it
11 properly it will say that I am writing which I hope will
12 stand the test of historians in 30 years time, meaning
13 that when documents and documentation is available from
14 archives that people will be able to go to that document
15 as historians, in the way that historians would, and use
16 the documentation and my hope, maybe it is a vain hope,
17 but my hope in putting this together in the way that
18 I have on the basis of the available documentation and
19 of discussions, interviews et cetera, is that it will
20 stand that test, but that is not to say that it is a
21 work of history. It quite clearly does not say that.
22 Q. So when you want it to stand the test of historians, you
23 are not contending that your work is an historical work
24 by any means, correct?
25 A. It is not a work which I believe an historian trained in
1 the discipline of history would regard as a historical
3 Q. What is it you claim to be if you do not claim to be an
5 A. I am an expert in war studies. It is an
6 interdisciplinary blend of some elements of history,
7 some elements of international relations, of politics,
8 sociology. There is a complete composite blend of
9 different things which gives you, in some ways maybe
10 makes me a mongrel. If you asked me how I would usually
11 describe myself, it is as somebody who does a lot of
12 policy related academic work.
13 Q. Like a degree in international affairs generally
14 involves training in history, economics, political
15 science, maybe languages, things of that nature, so even
16 though you are not following any of those particular
17 disciplines, to an extent you become an historian, an
18 economist and a political scientist all at the same time
19 in many ways, correct?
20 A. Or perhaps none of them, more pertinently, because you
21 are something which is a blend of different parts of
22 many of them.
23 Q. Either way, you look at it, it can be one of those two
24 possibilities, I guess.
25 What has come out of the last few minutes of our
1 discussion and especially that last quote we talked
2 about from the introduction to your book, is that as we
3 sit here today, and you are talking about standing the
4 test of time, as we sit here today, there is a great
5 deal of information about the conflict in Yugoslavia
6 that simply is not yet available?
7 A. I would suspect that there are things which will not be
8 available until official government archives are opened
9 in 30 or more years time. I take that as something
10 which is normal, I take myself as being somebody who
11 does their best to find out as much as what is available
12 at the time. That is the kind of role somebody such as
13 myself as an academic would play.
14 Q. We have learned in your absence from this courtroom that
15 there are Bosnian army archives that have not yet been
16 compiled that are sitting in corps headquarters around
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina that no one from an academic stand
18 point has yet had a chance to peruse?
19 A. That I am sure is the case and will be the case for
20 those of many other armed forces, government departments
21 in all countries.
22 Q. It would be the case in Serbia, in Croatia, throughout
23 the former Yugoslavia, there would be documents lying
24 around that have not been made available to academicians
25 at this stage?
1 A. Not only to academicians but I suspect a lot of the time
2 to some officials and politicians, government figures.
3 Q. We know that even though World War II ended more than 50
4 years ago, things are still being discovered about World
5 War II that tend to change our view of it almost on a
6 yearly basis?
7 A. I am not sure that I would agree that things are coming
8 out which significantly change our view, the general
9 view, if that is what you are saying, but yes, there are
10 always new things to be discovered.
11 Q. I did not use the word "significant", probably not
12 significantly changed, but we are learning things we did
13 not know before?
14 A. There are always small areas to be explored.
15 Q. When you are dealing with a situation in which you have
16 "incomplete information and understanding", those are
17 your words, there is always a danger that one could draw
18 a faulty conclusion.
19 A. There is a danger that one might make some errors in
20 terms of specific detail because there is a gap. It is
21 possible in some cases that you might end up drawing the
22 wrong conclusions from that. In this particular case,
23 I would have to say that I am very confident about the
24 conclusions that I draw, my general understanding, and
25 that I would stand by it and as I put in the bit you
1 quoted, I expect most of it to stand the test of time in
2 30 years.
3 Q. Yes, I suspect you do. When you are writing an academic
4 work, whether it is an article or a book or whatever, if
5 you have reached some faulty conclusions, the most that
6 may happen is that someone may point that out in a later
7 work with additional facts that have come to their
8 knowledge and although it might be a bit embarrassing,
9 nothing terrible comes of it other than that you have
10 arrived at a conclusion that turned out to be wrong. If
11 we look through the body of historical work coming out
12 of, say, for instance World War II, going back to the
13 earlier volumes, you find conclusions in there that
14 turned out, as a result of later knowledge, to have been
15 faulty. That is a fair statement, is it not?
16 A. In that case, you do, yes, which does not mean to say in
17 other cases the same would apply.
18 Q. It does not mean to say that, but it is not unlikely, is
20 A. I would say it is less likely in something such as the
21 Yugoslav war. In the Second World War, you are talking
22 about circumstances which were shrouded in a good deal
23 of necessary and general secrecy by all the governments
24 involved. I think there has been far more openness of
25 information in terms of the Yugoslav war, for example,
1 than there was at that stage. I think it was generally
2 the case in the modern world.
3 Q. But with the Yugoslav case, there is serious question
4 regarding the veracity and reliability of a number of
5 the things that one can read about, the statements made
6 by participants, the contentions made by participants,
7 things of that nature. It is a bit difficult to sort
8 out truth from fiction, is it not?
9 A. That may be the case if you do not have a sense of what
10 is really involved and which things were going on.
11 Q. When we move from journalistic writing and historical
12 writing into a courtroom, which we are in now, where the
13 result of a faulty conclusion can have a serious impact
14 on the lives of a human being, we require a much more
15 stringent standard of proof, and that is proof beyond a
16 reasonable doubt, because when we get here, the cost of
17 error is high, do you understand that?
18 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I object. Your Honour, Dr. Gow is
19 not here to comment upon the functions of this Tribunal,
20 and on issues such as proof beyond reasonable doubt. He
21 has never purported to be in a position to comment on
22 such matters, your Honour.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually I know Mr. Ackerman is familiar
24 that an expert comes to give opinions and does nothing
25 more than that. The opinions which he gives are not
1 necessarily binding.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I fully understand that, your Honour.
3 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: The question of proof does not belong
4 to his own exercise.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: There is no question about that. What I am
6 talking to him about is the factual basis of these
7 opinions which is the important issue, not what the
8 opinions are. Thank you.
9 We had just very briefly talked about the
10 difficulty of credibility and veracity of things that
11 participants in this conflict might have to say about
12 it. Are you familiar with the frustration expressed by
13 Lord Owen in his book about that, where he says:
14 "Never before in over 30 years of public life have
15 I had to operate in such a climate of dishonour,
16 propaganda and dissembling. Many of the people with
17 whom I have had to deal in the former Yugoslavia were
18 literally strangers to the truth."
19 Do you remember reading that?
20 A. I am sure that I read it. I also remember Lord Owen
21 expressing that opinion on other occasions as well.
22 Q. He talks with regard to that, does he not, about many of
23 the people involved in the conflict in Yugoslavia having
24 matured in their lives under Tito's communism, the
25 communist system where truth was valued far less than it
1 is in western democracies. Do you recall him making
2 that point?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you disagree with Lord Owen's frustration regarding
5 the inability to figure out truth from fiction when
6 talking to some of these participants?
7 A. I am not sure how I agree or disagree with his
8 frustration. I recognise that he was frustrated in that
10 Q. I suspect you must have experienced some similar
11 frustration in trying to sort out whether some of the
12 things people were saying about what happened really
13 were true or not.
14 A. Have I experienced frustration is the question?
15 Q. With regard to that, I suspect you have.
16 A. I have had a degree of frustration. I think nothing to
17 the extent of that which Lord Owen faced. Lord Owen was
18 in a very different position, having to deal with people
19 and to negotiate with them, which put him in a position
20 where a lot of time, of necessity, they would not be
21 telling him what he might otherwise know to be the
22 truth. In my case, I will talk to some people and
23 I suspect maybe some of the time you get a little bit
24 more of an honest answer, because they are talking on a
25 different basis.
1 Q. Lord Owen was also a lot more deeply involved in trying
2 to sort out what was going on and to draw some fairly
3 far reaching conclusions upon which to base policy.
4 A. I believe that Lord Owen would desperately have loved to
5 be in a position to do anything on which to base
6 policy. I suspect one of his frustrations, apart from
7 dealing with disingenuous actors from the Yugoslav
8 territories, was also being able to get concerted
9 support of the various governments in the international
10 community supporting the international conference to
11 form some kind of a policy or to support the actions of
12 the international conference and of himself and first
13 Cyrus Vance and then Stoltenberg as representatives of
14 the international community. I think it is not on which
15 to base policy, but rather try to do anything in the
16 context of which coherent policy was not available.
17 Q. Without naming them all, I think we can agree that
18 virtually everyone who on a diplomatic international
19 basis made efforts to solve the riddle of Yugoslavia
20 wound up being met with frustration at almost every
21 turn, up to and including Dayton and its subsequent
22 time; still the frustration exists, does it not?
23 A. Surely.
24 Q. Okay. I want to now talk to you for a while about the
25 testimony that you gave on direct examination yesterday,
1 and talk a little bit about some of the things you told
2 us yesterday, okay?
3 You talked about many of the conclusions that you
4 reached in your testimony yesterday being based on
5 documents that were provided to you by the Office of the
6 Prosecutor, correct?
7 A. It is true that the Office of the Prosecutor made
8 documents available to me and I looked at some of those
10 Q. When were those documents provided to you?
11 A. At various stages since August 1994, since I began
12 co-operating with the Office of the Prosecutor.
13 Q. Specifically yesterday you were talking in some detail
14 about the events in Konjic and the Konjic area, and
15 again with regard to that, you told us that you were
16 relying on documents that had been provided to you by
17 the Office of the Prosecutor, correct?
18 A. I am not sure what you have in mind and therefore
19 whether I made a direct connection between documents
20 made available to me by the Office of the Prosecutor and
21 whatever you have in mind, but it is true that in the
22 beginning of evidence yesterday I did say, among other
23 things, that I relied on documents made available to me
24 by the Office of the Prosecutor and I can confirm that
25 some of those documents related to the Konjic
2 Q. When were the documents specifically related to events
3 in and around Konjic supplied to you by the Office of
4 the Prosecutor?
5 A. I would have to check to confirm when that was, if I am
6 allowed to ask anybody over there, I think it was
7 probably about -- the first ones were probably around
8 some time in September when the Office of the Prosecutor
9 began to deal with me on this question and again in
10 November, when I saw further documents when I came over
11 initially expecting to give evidence at that stage.
12 Q. Were all these documents sent to you in London, or did
13 you see them here in the Office of the Prosecutor?
14 Where did you have a chance to peruse all these
16 A. I saw the majority of them here in the Office of the
17 Prosecutor, I was given some documents to take away.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I would like at this point to
19 request that the Office of the Prosecutor supply me with
20 copies of any of those documents that might not
21 previously have been supplied to the Defence, so that
22 I might use them for purposes of cross-examination and
23 impeachment. It may be --
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Which are the documents you have in
25 mind? They may not know which you are referring to.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: The only way they would know is what I am
2 asking for is the documents that they provided to Dr. Gow
3 that were not provided to the Defence or not made
4 exhibits in this trial. If there are any such
5 documents, I would like to see them. There may not be.
6 They may be all documents we already have or are
7 exhibits in the case; only Mr. Niemann could know that.
8 I cannot possibly know.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are supplied with some of them?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: The Prosecution has given us a number of
11 documents since the beginning of the case, your Honour.
12 I simply do not know whether I have been supplied with
13 all the documents shared with Dr. Gow. If there are
14 documents in the possession of the Prosecution that were
15 shared with Dr. Gow on which he bases opinions and
16 conclusions that he is giving to this Tribunal, then
17 I think I should be entitled to see those documents so
18 I can test --
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are assuming that were some given
20 to him which were not given to you.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I have no idea, that is my inquiry whether
22 there are or not. I would think Mr. Niemann could tell
23 us rather quickly whether there are or not.
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose you would not. The
25 Prosecution would know whether they did not supply him
1 with all the documents supplied to the experts.
2 A. My understanding was that I was given things that had
3 been put into evidence already which was why they were
4 not introduced.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Could I ask that the court enquire of
6 Mr. Niemann about that?
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Niemann, do you know whether any of
8 the documents supplied to the expert were not given to
9 the Defence?
10 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I know of no documents which have
11 not either been given to the Defence or tendered in the
12 proceedings that have been shown to Dr. Gow.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: That is fine. I am satisfied with that, your
15 You told us yesterday, and this is an answer you
16 gave to a question from MR. NIEMANN:
17 "As I understand it, although Konjic was not a
18 majority Serbian area, it was designated to become part
19 of a Serbian territory on the basis of the number of
20 representatives from the Serbian community in local
21 political bodies. I am afraid I do not know what that
22 figure is, but I also believe that the actual number
23 does not make any difference, given that that was the
24 basis on which they sought to act."
25 I want to ask you from where you get this
2 A. I got that understanding from a document which I saw,
3 which I understood to have been handed over or in
4 evidence, but maybe this can be confirmed, indicating a
5 number of areas which would be taken over, either on the
6 basis of more than 50 per cent of the population in a
7 municipality or on the basis of the number of
9 Q. Are you aware of the original source of that document?
10 A. The original source -- as I recall, it was a SDS
12 Q. Okay. You told us that it was your understanding
13 yesterday, and let me quote it so I can be totally fair
14 to you:
15 "It is my understanding that the SDS in Konjic
16 provided, distributed around 400 weapons to Serbs in the
18 Can you tell us where you got that information?
19 A. Directly I got it from a secondary source, which is a
20 book published in Spanish by a man whose name escaped me
21 completely, the first name is Xavier, and I would not
22 attempt off the top of my head to give you the title in
23 Spanish. I think he quotes a source -- he quotes a
24 source for a document presented perhaps in some other
25 context here at the Tribunal or perhaps for the
1 expert -- the commission of experts.
2 Q. So it is just something floating around out there that
3 made its way into a Spanish book that you have decided
4 is authoritative?
5 A. I take it, I suppose rather than just giving evidence
6 I should have checked exactly on the source and brought
7 it with me, but I take it as being fairly authoritative
8 and I have spoken to the author about the book.
9 Q. Okay, "fairly authoritative". I want to write that
10 down. Another answer you gave us yesterday was this:
11 "I believe, judge, quite clearly" -- I have to go
12 back a bit.
13 You were talking about the decision that was taken
14 by Jovic and Milosevic on 5th December 1991, okay?
15 A. I was talking about it.
16 Q. You were asked by MR. NIEMANN:
17 "In your opinion, what was their motivation for
18 doing this?"
19 "This" being the decision to basically split the
20 JNA between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia Montenegro.
21 Your answer was this, and I again will do my best to
22 quote it the way you gave it:
23 "I believe, judge, quite clearly their motivation
24 in doing this was to prepare for a situation in which
25 the JNA units deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina with a view
1 to carrying out the project of annexing parts of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina for this new state project. After,
3 any international recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina's
4 independent international personality would be seen as a
5 foreign occupying force and that therefore this decision
6 was taken as a means of providing a way to camouflage
7 the activity; that is to confuse the issue and to say,
8 by formally dividing the JNA and by having primarily
9 Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that this was in
10 fact no longer the same army, although it continued to
11 have the same structure and to be left with all the
12 capabilities of the JNA as they had been in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina before."
14 On what do you base this opinion?
15 A. I base this opinion on my general understanding of what
16 has happened on the territories of the former
17 Yugoslavia, and on the words in Jovic's diary which make
18 it clear that they were foreseeing a situation in which
19 the JNA, if it remained in Bosnia-Herzegovina without
20 some step being taken, would be regarded as a foreign
21 army on the territory of what would by then be a country
22 with independent international personality and therefore
23 they were taking steps to alter that situation. I think
24 this is not an opinion which is solely my own, I think
25 you will probably have noted in the course of your
1 investigations into this situation that the
2 United Nations Security Council also applied a sanctions
3 regime against Serbia and Montenegro in May 1992
4 precisely because of the role that was being played by
5 the Belgrade armed forces and others on the territory of
7 Q. Yes. Before we finish here, we will talk at length
8 about that. Right now, what I am interested in is
9 whether in the diary of Jovic there clearly is not any
10 language in there which sets out what the motivation of
11 he and Milosevic was in terms of camouflaging, tricking,
12 things of that nature. What it says is, "we are
13 concerned about the international repercussions that
14 would come from Serbian and Montenegrin forces being
15 deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina after recognition of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina". That is what it says.
17 A. It says that, and the fact that they are thinking about
18 it and taking steps to avoid that, and the steps that
19 they take in fact do not include the withdrawal of all
20 the equipment of the JNA from Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 I think indicates that quite clearly their intention was
22 to allow this project to be pursued but to attempt to
23 disguise the project.
24 I should point out by comparison that when the JNA
25 was withdrawn from Slovenia and from non-occupied areas
1 in Croatia and from Macedonia, as well as from the areas
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina not intended to be part of this
3 state, all equipment was withdrawn. I think you can
4 read from that a very significant difference in the
5 situation which I, based on the fact that among other
6 things the member governments of the Security Council
7 judged was a situation in which this was what was being
8 attempted. I have talked to many people who have been
9 involved and I think most would agree that that was the
11 Q. You do know that there were, and we will go into this in
12 more detail later, but you do know there were
13 situations, do you not, where the Serb rebels in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina inhibited, prevented the withdrawal
15 of weaponry from Bosnia-Herzegovina back to Serbia and
16 Montenegro. You know that, do you not?
17 A. Very little weaponry was withdrawn from Serbian areas in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina to Serbia and Montenegro. Most of it
19 was left with units and most of that which was withdrawn
20 was in the sphere of higher technology. They were only
21 left with something like 40-odd aircraft, mainly
22 aircraft were withdrawn. For the most part, the
23 weaponry was left, in some cases there was
24 misunderstanding and certainly some elements in the JNA
25 at this stage were not, shall we say, in the loop on
1 what was happening and I suspect, I am not certain, that
2 General Kukanjac at the time of independence, commander
3 of the Sarajevo military district, was possibly one of
4 those, but I am not certain.
5 Q. I need to ask you the question again. You know that
6 there were occasions, do you not, when the Serb rebels
7 inhibited the removal of weaponry from
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina by Serbian and Montenegrin forces;
9 prevented in fact?
10 A. If it was not clear from what I just said, then it is
11 the case that there were instances where -- relatively
12 few, but instances where Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 tried to prevent not only the weaponry being removed but
14 the JNA itself from going, as they understood things to
15 be happening, which is not necessarily consistent with
16 what was happening.
17 Q. With regard to the diary of Jovic, you told us yesterday
18 that you had managed to get your hands on a copy of it,
19 that it is kind of a rare document because it was
20 withdrawn from circulation rather early. What I want to
21 know is when you got your copy of that?
22 A. I am afraid I can -- I do not recall any longer when
23 I got it.
24 Q. Would it have been more than a year ago?
25 A. I really do not recall. I could find ways of checking
1 out and get back to you another time, but just now ...
2 Q. Please understand I am not seeking a precise date, I am
3 seeking a time-frame.
4 A. I understand that as well and perfectly frankly, I do
5 not really have a sense of the time-frame. It could have
6 been a year ago, it could have been a little more, a
7 little less, I really do not know.
8 Q. Do you think you had it in March 1997?
9 A. It is possible, maybe probable that I had it in March
11 Q. Do you think you had it when you testified in the Tadic
13 A. I had seen it when I testified in the Tadic case. I did
14 not at that stage have my own copy which I had
15 consulted, but I had seen it and I was aware of the
16 contents at that time. One of the reasons I introduced
17 it now was because in retrospect, I judged it to have
18 perhaps been a mistake to rely on the videotape evidence
19 from, "The Death of Yugoslavia" interviews of Jovic
20 saying the same thing rather than the diary entry,
21 because the diary entry gives the specific date and we
22 did not make it clear the point at which this decision
23 was being taken, and the evidence behind the decision,
24 when I was giving evidence in the Tadic case.
25 Q. Those diary entries by Jovic were not something that
1 came to your attention recently since your testimony in
2 Tadic or since March 1997, but something you knew about
3 prior to that?
4 A. I was aware about it.
5 Q. Other than the documents which you were shown by the
6 Prosecution about issues dealing specifically with
7 Konjic and that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, what
8 information is it that has come to your attention since
9 March 1997 that you told us about here yesterday for the
10 first time, the new material that you did not know
11 anything about prior to March 1997 that has come to your
12 attention since then. What was it that is new?
13 A. I am sorry, but I am not clear -- if I said something
14 was new yesterday, maybe you could give me the context
15 for it. I am not aware of having said that and at the
16 moment the question does not make particular sense to
17 me. I am sure things are new to me since March 1997,
18 but there are always new things.
19 Q. I am not aware either, and that is what I am trying to
20 find out from you, if there is some document that has
21 come to your attention, some breakthrough in knowledge,
22 some new analysis you have done since March 1997 that
23 changes your view since your testimony in Tadic or since
24 March 1997. If there is, I would like to know what it
25 is; if there is not, just tell us.
1 A. Put in those terms, I am not quite sure that
2 I understand -- in the back of my mind is why do you ask
3 this, but as far as I am aware, there is no significant
4 difference. I cannot say that no new information has
5 come to light, but I have seen nothing which will change
6 my broad understanding.
7 JUDGE JAN: Mr. Ackerman, is it all relevant really?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it is, your Honour. I am about to get
10 Was there a time that you told someone from the
11 Office of the Prosecutor that you had come upon some
12 startling new information that changed your views about
13 this situation that you wanted to come share with this
14 court? Did you ever tell them that?
15 A. I do not recall either telling anybody in the Office of
16 the Prosecutor or indeed anybody else that, but -- I do
17 not recall that.
18 Q. So I take it it would surprise you to some extent that
19 the Office of the Prosecutor, in a motion filed with
20 this court asking the court to grant your appearance
21 here, suggested that there was new information that you
22 would bring to this court that was not available in
23 March 1997 and that that was a basis upon which they
24 should grant your appearance here. That would surprise
25 you, I take it?
1 A. No, it would not surprise me. Can I ask, I am not
2 clear; was March 1997 when I testified in the Tadic
3 case? I do not recall when that was.
4 Q. March 1997 is when this case started.
5 A. Okay. "New information" is perhaps -- I do not know,
6 I cannot speak for the Office of the Prosecutor
7 obviously, but I think it is important that there is the
8 evidence that I have been presenting on both aspects to
9 which I made reference, I think I am bringing evidence
10 into this case which is not otherwise there, so I do not
11 see why you would have a problem with the word "new" in
12 that context.
13 Q. You and I are interpreting "new" differently as we might
14 interpret the title "Reader" differently.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I object to this line of
16 questioning. Dr. Gow has not seen this motion and it is
17 being put to him on the basis that he alerted us, or we
18 alerted him, of new facts. In fact, the paragraph that
19 I assume counsel is referring to is paragraph 2 on
20 page 2, where it says:
21 "Moreover, subsequent to the testimony of
22 Dr. Calic, new facts and information on the
23 internationality of the armed conflict in the former
24 Yugoslavia and the protected status of the victims have
25 come to the knowledge of the Prosecution."
1 Your Honours, this is not a matter, if counsel
2 requires clarification of the matter, it is not a matter
3 which arises because of new facts that Dr. Gow can attest
4 to. It goes to other issues in addition to the evidence
5 of Dr. Calic, that was specifically intended to be
6 additional to the evidence of Dr. Calic. I object,
7 your Honours, to questions being put on the basis that
8 somehow or other Dr. Gow solicited the process of giving
9 evidence before the Tribunal.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: With all respect to Mr. Niemann, your Honours,
11 the representation to your Honours was that you had to
12 permit them to call Dr. Gow because he was bringing new
13 facts that were not available at the time Dr. Calic
14 testified regarding this issue of international armed
15 conflict. Dr. Gow has now just told us that that is not
16 true, there are no new facts of which he is aware that
17 bear on that that he did not know about as early as
18 March 1997. That is the whole purpose of the question
19 and I do not need to pursue it further.
20 JUDGE JAN: Have you seen the testimony of Dr. Calic?
21 A. Yes, I did look at the testimony of Dr. Calic some time
22 back in September when the Office of the Prosecutor
23 contacted me about this matter. If I may, going back to
24 the comment that was just made by the Defence counsel,
25 say that I did not say that this was not true, I said
1 that I was uncertain about it because I did not know --
2 I did not understand it was a reference to this motion,
3 nor did I understand -- nor am I certain whether there
4 is anything that is new to me in this or not. I just do
5 not recall, so I think it would be unfair to say I said
6 that it was true or not true. The word "true" is
7 inappropriate, if I may say so.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: If there were some startling new evidence that
9 would change your view since your testimony in Tadic,
10 you would certainly be able to tell us what it is as you
11 sit there today, would you not?
12 A. If you are saying "startling" new evidence then I do not
13 believe there is any startling new evidence. I think
14 I said, there may have been new evidence, but nothing
15 which has changed my broad understanding, either since
16 Tadic or since March 1997, but I am still not sure when,
17 if anything new came into my understanding and any
18 information either generally or in terms of what I have
19 presented here.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay, I think we are finished with that.
21 Would you like to take the morning break, your Honour.
22 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I really do not see the need for all
23 this argument, because there are differences between the
24 Tadic case and the Celebici case. I think if he was
25 giving evidence about similar incidents they will not
1 pass us by, really, so I do not see any problem about
2 whether anything happened in the Tadic case and
3 something else is happening here. I really do not see
4 the problem.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: My only concern, your Honour, was the
6 representation made to your Honours by the Prosecution
7 and the lack of new evidence that was represented to you
8 to exist, that was the only thing I was concerned about.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: New evidence to the Prosecution, not
10 necessarily to him. To the Prosecution, not necessarily
11 what he considers as new. It is the expert who is
12 giving the evidence and he decides what he thinks is
13 relevant and pertinent to what he is saying before the
14 Trial Chamber.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: If you are accepting it may have been new to
16 Grant Niemann then I will accept that.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes,.
18 JUDGE JAN: "Startling" is a strong word.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it may have been too strong for the
20 circumstances. Do you want to break now, your Honour?
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, we will take our break here and
22 come back at 12.00.
23 (11.30 am)
24 (A short break)
25 (12.00 pm)
1 (Witness entered court)
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You may continue, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you very much, your Honour.
4 Dr. Gow, in connection with the diaries of
5 Mr. Jovic, you sort of mentioned in passing yesterday
6 that the translation that the Office of the Prosecutor
7 had given you was imprecise, correct?
8 A. I do not recall if that is exactly what I said. What
9 I said was that it was not a perfect translation, which
10 I think anybody reading it would recognise, it was not
11 a, shall we say, perfectly finished form of English.
12 I do not think, as far as I recall, that there was
13 anything imperfect about it in terms of conveying the
15 Q. That was what I wanted to ask you. Was it such that it
16 would change the meaning of the language?
17 A. Not as far as I am able to say.
18 Q. Thank you. You told us yesterday the following, and the
19 question dealt with the significance of the date
20 5th December 1991. You told us:
21 "The significance is that on 5th December 1991,
22 Milosevic and Jovic foresaw what the situation would be
23 following recognition of the independent international
24 personality of Bosnia-Herzegovina and therefore carried
25 out a decision to enable the overall project to be
1 continued, but in some way to attempt to be disguised."
2 What I want to ask you about is that last phrase,
3 "in some way to attempt to be disguised". Is there a
4 documentary basis for your conclusion that there was an
5 attempt to disguise?
6 A. I am not sure about that. I am trying to recollect all
7 the things that I have seen. I would say primarily that
8 I draw the inference not from a document anyway, but
9 from the facts of the situation, which saw the decision
10 taken in conjunction with the JNA commander General
11 Kadijevic, and I also made reference to the memoirs of
12 General Kadijevic which are relevant in this matter for
13 the intention for the plan, through two phases, to take
14 territories in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and also
15 through the fact of the assistance, indeed instrumental
16 use of -- sorry, the instrumental use of Serbs in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Serbian security service and
18 the continuing presence in effect of JNA units after the
19 purported division of the JNA into two armed forces, and
20 the continuing presence, even after that on occasions,
21 maybe frequent occasions, of units from Serbia and
22 Montenegro, so I draw the inference from the facts
23 rather than specifically from a document. I do not
24 recall if there is a documentary element in this or not.
25 Q. You are certainly not aware of any documents that are
1 authentic and clearly so in which either Mr. Milosevic or
2 Mr. Jovic said, "what we were trying to do was disguise
3 our intentions with what we were doing with the
4 splitting of the JNA between Bosnia-Herzegovina and
5 Serbia and Montenegro". That is not said specifically
6 by either one of them in a document of any kind, is it?
7 A. If I recall correctly, in the Jovic interview for "The
8 Death of Yugoslavia", my recollection is that he puts
9 this something like in terms of sleight of hand, the way
10 it is translated, which seems to indicate that there was
11 an intention here to give an impression which was other
12 than the substance of the situation.
13 Q. We may have an opportunity to look at that as we go
14 along here. You were asked the question yesterday by
15 MR. NIEMANN:
16 "Was the role of Belgrade one of support or was it
17 something else, or something more?"
18 You gave the following answer:
19 "It seems to me that Belgrade's role was to
20 conceive of and to plan the execution of this project
21 which would see these territories carved from
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina to be attached to Serbia or
24 This statement, "it seems to me" that you make in
25 connection with that answer does not appear to be
1 consistent with your rigorous academic discipline
2 regarding conclusions drawn from facts. Is it?
3 A. I do not see in particular how it presents problems.
4 I think, and again I say I think, I believe, it seems to
5 me, what you are looking at is a case of looking at the
6 evidence available and things known to me and having
7 drawn an understanding here, asked as an expert to
8 assist the Trial Chamber, I am giving an opinion about
9 what seems to me, in my judgement, to have been the
10 case. I do not think that causes any difficulties or
11 raises any discrepancies between factual basis and the
12 opinion which I offer based on the factual material, but
13 maybe I misunderstand.
14 Q. I do not think you do. Let me ask you what specific
15 document supports your "seeming" in this regard?
16 A. Which specific document supports my seeming in this
18 Q. You are saying it seems to you that the facts are such
19 and such. What supports your seeming that the facts are
20 such and such, as opposed to some other conclusion one
21 might draw from it? Is there a document which directly
22 supports that conclusion, or is it just the best you can
23 do based upon what is available?
24 A. It is the sum of assessment of material available to me,
25 either in documentary form or from events themselves as
1 they took place, or from -- on the basis of discussions
2 and interviews with people who have been involved along
3 the way. I stand by that judgement entirely and I see no
4 reason why I would want to change it, and going back to
5 something you were saying earlier, I do believe, most
6 confidently, that it will stand the test of time in 30
8 Q. Please understand I am not in anything that I am asking
9 you today asking you to change your opinion.
10 A. I understand that, I am just wanting to confirm the
12 Q. I am only trying to find out from you whether these are
13 conclusions basically drawn out of a hat or if they are
14 based on documentation that you could share with us, and
15 that is all I am trying to do.
16 I want to go now to --
17 A. If I may add, some of the documentation has been shared,
18 so therefore the documentation that has been shared,
19 either in this case or in the evidence I gave in Tadic;
20 it seems to me, this answers your question.
21 Q. You know of no documentation that you -- of course, it
22 would be very difficult for you to know this, but you do
23 not know of any specific documentation that might not
24 have been shared or you might not have mentioned in your
25 writings or something of that nature. It is your belief
1 that I have everything that would be a basis for your
2 opinions, is it not?
3 A. I could not say for sure that you have everything which
4 is a basis for my opinions by any means, no, but I think
5 you have things which show that there is basis for my
7 Q. Okay, thank you.
8 JUDGE JAN: Just before you proceed further, I have here
9 excerpts from the diary of Jovic. Does the expression
10 "Sloba" refer to President Slobodan Milosevic?
11 A. It does.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: You were asked yesterday by MR. NIEMANN:
13 "How would you characterise the relationship
14 between the Bosnian Serbs and Belgrade?"
15 Your answer was:
16 "I think the Bosnian Serbs within the JNA and
17 within certain political structures, and indeed
18 associated with them who were loyal to this project,
19 were effectively acting in the interests of Belgrade and
20 pursuing a course by Belgrade, although in doing that,
21 I think they may well have been undermining what would
22 otherwise have been a genuine political question for
23 Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but they were taking the
24 role of acting for Belgrade against Bosnia-Herzegovina."
25 I take it, boiling that all down, you are taking
1 the position that the Bosnian Serbs in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina were acting for Belgrade?
3 A. With the caveat that not all Bosnian Serbs were acting
4 for Belgrade. In effect, those who were taking part in
5 the Prosecution of this project were acting in the
6 interests of Belgrade, and given the last comment -- the
7 comment you included on the genuine political question,
8 I do believe that there was a genuine political question
9 for the Bosnian Serbs about their status within
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
11 but that question was completely pushed out of the way
12 by the resort to violence.
13 Q. Referring only to those in that group that you just
14 described, you would say then that they were acting in
15 support of the concept of the establishment of a greater
17 A. I would say they were acting in the concept of the
18 establishment of a mini Yugoslavia, not as such a
19 greater Serbia. I think if you look at the language
20 used by General Kadijevic, it is clear that the concept
21 was a new Yugoslavia, incorporating elements of the
22 territory of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina for the
24 Q. Can you tell me if there is a difference other than
25 terminology between the Milosevic idea of a greater
1 Serbia and what you just told us about Kadijevic's idea
2 about grabbing a bunch of land from Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 and Croatia and creating a Yugoslavia composed of
4 Serbs? What is the difference there?
5 A. I am not sure that it would be accurate to refer to
6 Milosevic's idea of greater Serbia either. I would not
7 want to get into unnecessary discussion about it, but
8 I suspect also Milosevic would couch this in terms of a
9 new Yugoslavia, a mini Yugoslavia, a lesser Yugoslavia,
10 whatever qualification you put upon the term Yugoslavia,
11 but one for the Serbs. I make the point as one of
12 accuracy about their conception of what it was that they
13 were doing. If you are asking me substantively, apart
14 from the name, is there a big difference between a
15 territory controlled by Belgrade for the Serbs called
16 Yugoslavia or one called, as was proposed I think in
17 January 1992, "Federation" or "Association", I forget,
18 "of United Serbian Territories", the substantive
19 situation remains the same, that there would be the
20 territories involved and the population and they would
21 be ruled by Belgrade. But the great Serbia is not what
22 they would see it as being.
23 Q. It is certainly not a concept, greater Serbia, that
24 I just stood here and invented, is it? It has been
25 talked about by academicians and politicians and Serbia
1 over and over for years?
2 A. Many people talk about great Serbia and the idea of
3 great Serbia. My impression, without having done a
4 detailed assessment of it, is that most of those who
5 talk about great Serbia are not necessarily within
6 Serbia or the Serbian communities themselves. It does
7 not seem to me that it is a matter of great substance
8 other than for the accuracy.
9 Q. I do not think so either, when you understand that, no
10 matter what you call it, the idea was to enlarge the
11 area of Serbia Montenegro to include all the Serbs
12 living in Yugoslavia, if possible.
13 A. If you accept that the substance was to create a
14 situation which would be the case, ruled from Belgrade.
15 Q. This concept was not a concept that was limited to the
16 minds of Jovic and Milosevic, but something that was a
17 concept at large in Serbia at the time, and among
19 A. It was certainly an idea which probably could be said
20 from the mid 19th century, but talked more pertinently
21 from the mid 1980s, had been circulating in Yugoslavia
22 and particularly among Serbs, the position of the Serbs
23 in toto across the territories of the SFRY.
24 Q. That would have included Serbs living in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs living in Croatia, there was a
1 great deal of support among some Serbs for that
2 proposition, that there ought to be a homeland for
3 Serbs, basically; a country that was composed of Serbs
4 and pretty much Serbs alone.
5 A. There was certainly an issue in Croatia regarding the
6 accurate designation of the Serbian community, when the
7 new Croatian constitution was brought in in 1990, or
8 rather the draft, which seemed to change the status of
9 the Serbs from being a state-forming people, as they
10 were to because of their position in Yugoslavia, to
11 being something called a minority, another group, and
12 that certainly caused popular feeling in Croatia.
13 Q. You do not want to back off of your proposition that
14 there was a project to create a larger mini Yugoslavia
15 composed primarily of Serbs?
16 A. Absolutely not, no.
17 Q. You stay with that proposition, and you understand, do
18 you not, that that was not a concept limited to
19 Kadijevic, Milosevic, Jovic, the powers that be in
20 Belgrade, but one that has been adopted by Serbs
21 throughout Yugoslavia, many of them?
22 A. It was a concept which had currency and, in some circles
23 certainly, popularity in the conditions of the crisis
24 and dissolution of the SFRY, that is the case. I think
25 it has to be clear that Milosevic or Jovic or Kadijevic,
1 or anybody else, would not have been able to pursue this
2 kind of action without the material, the fuel to
3 exploit. If you are asking me was there material for
4 them to use in instrumentalising these communities, then
5 I would say absolutely that is the case, in exactly the
6 same way, maybe, that Hitler exploited Henlein and the
7 Sudeten Germans, precisely the same situation where the
8 population maybe had some questions of their own and
9 issues to raise, but they were quite clearly used, in my
10 distant expert judgement, by the Nazis.
11 Q. It does not mean then, does it, that because you are a
12 Serb living in Bosnia-Herzegovina who ascribes to this
13 philosophy and attempts to pursue that philosophy and
14 make it a reality that you are necessarily tied to
15 Belgrade in doing Belgrade's bidding? You are basically
16 doing your own bidding at that point. You are part of a
17 project that is universal among many Serb people, no
18 matter where they are living?
19 A. It is a project, first which only makes sense if it
20 comes with the agreement of Belgrade. It is one thing
21 to be a Bosnian or a Croatian Serb and say, "we want
22 this united territory of all the Serbs". That is not
23 possible if Belgrade itself does not -- is not at a
24 minimum open to the idea, or is in this case actually
25 seeking to use the idea to exploit it, and as I was
1 saying before, actually to move what might have been a
2 genuine political question by fostering, by making the
3 arrangements for the implementation of a project,
4 military and political, which involved the use of force
5 and I think the use of violence made it very difficult
6 for that genuine political case to be heard.
7 Q. It was certainly very clear during the war in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina to Radovan Karadzic, the SDS, the
9 followers of Karadzic that in pursuing this philosophy,
10 there was a sympathetic ear in Belgrade for that. That
11 was clear, was it not? There was no question about how
12 Belgrade felt about that?
13 A. I think it was quite clear to them because elements of
14 the JNA and the Serbian security service had been
15 assisting them, indeed making the arrangements for them
16 to carry out and implement this project, which goes
17 back, as I may point out, when necessary the head of the
18 Serbian security service could go and take control of
19 any event regarding the Bosnian Serb leadership.
20 Q. You told us yesterday:
21 "The Bosnian Serbs responded politically by
22 formalising the Serbian republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 which was later renamed Republika Srpska in August
24 1992 -- sorry, in April 1992. They formally
25 consolidated the Serbian republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 which then later in August they renamed Republika
2 Srpska, effectively declaring its association with
3 Serbia and Montenegro, through the constitution which
4 had been enacted in January 1992, and militarily, in
5 co-operation with the JNA, they began the armed campaign
6 to secure all major communications and access points
7 into Bosnia-Herzegovina, so as to create a frame for
8 military and political developments."
9 Is that answer not to some extent inconsistent
10 with what we were just talking about?
11 A. I do not see the inconsistency.
12 Q. If the Bosnian Serbs were simply the pawns and the
13 puppets of the Belgrade machine, then would it not make
14 sense that they would simply capture as much territory
15 as possible, including as many Serbs as possible, and
16 declare that they were part of the new Federal Republic
17 of Yugoslavia? It seems to me that it is inconsistent
18 with that idea that they would form their own separate
19 republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina as if they somehow did
20 not have ties with Belgrade, but had their own republic
21 in mind separate from Belgrade. Is there not some
22 inconsistency there?
23 A. If I may help you, in Article 2 of the January 1992
24 constitution they specifically said that the Serbian
25 republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that which was later
1 renamed Republika Srpska, was a part of federal
2 Yugoslavia they did this in the hope it would be
3 possible to persuade Bosnia-Herzegovina to join with
4 Serbia and Montenegro. When that did not happen, then
5 in April the formalised -- the consolidation of the
6 Republika Srpska -- if I may, I will use the term
7 Republika Srpska, even though it was not called that in
8 April -- the consolidation of Republika Srpska at that
9 stage was to be a federal unit to be associated in this
10 new Yugoslavia, so I do not see that there is an
11 inconsistency at all.
12 Q. There did come a time, did there not, when Karadzic and
13 Milosevic found themselves at odds with each other and
14 in disagreement, actually large disagreement between
15 each other?
16 A. There was a period in which Milosevic and Karadzic
17 certainly appear to have been in disagreement, but I add
18 the caveat that going back to one of the comments you
19 made about Lord Owen, it is always very difficult to be
20 sure with some of these people that which is genuine and
21 that which is window dressing, but I do believe there
22 was a genuine difference.
23 Q. Karadzic, I do not know if you will agree with me or
24 not, Karadzic kind of developed some messianic ideas and
25 decided maybe rather than Milosevic being the leader of
1 the Serbs, he should be the leader of the Serbs?
2 A. He may have done. I do not know.
3 Q. He certainly has acted many times as if he considered
4 Republika Srpska totally separate from Belgrade and
5 pursued totally different paths and aims, correct?
6 A. I think there were differences between them, differences
7 which can be explained broadly in terms of the
8 requirements of Belgrade in the given international
9 circumstances. I think, if I recall in Kadijevic's
10 memoirs, he makes the comment, "realised as far as is
11 possible in existing or contemporary circumstances",
12 something to that effect. I have seen similar phrases
13 I believe in biographies of General Mladic as well. It
14 is the idea that there is a point, which, given current
15 international realities, means this is the way it has to
16 be. I suspect the differences between Belgrade and
17 Karadzic and others in Pale was largely on the bases of
18 Belgrade saying, "at this moment we cannot do this and
19 say this".
20 Q. For which you have no documentary support?
21 A. I think if you were to go to reports of meetings, for
22 example, in Pale in May 1993, you would see Milosevic
23 reported as saying to the Pale, the assembly, that is,
24 the assembly of the SDS, the Bosnian Serbs, "at this
25 juncture, for the good of the whole Serbian people, it
1 would be better not to continue to pursue this project.
2 We have done all that we can up to this point, but now
3 is a time to see the interest of the whole Serbian
4 people, not just the Serbs in Bosnia".
5 I think at that point, this is one of the points
6 you can say there were differences between them.
7 Milosevic was saying, "it is not in Serbia's interest
8 for you to pursue this at this stage". The opinion from
9 Pale was, "we are not happy with that".
10 Q. That was the time, was it not, when Milosevic was
11 basically booed, rejected and run out of town, his ideas
12 were specifically rejected by the folks in Pale?
13 A. I am not sure that "run out of town" would be an
14 accurate description, but certainly the Pale assembly
15 rejected this proposal.
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. But I do not think that necessarily means that Serbia
18 withdrew all its involvement and quite clearly it did
19 not, because it was still engaged in 1995.
20 Q. Yesterday you were asked this question:
21 "Did the JNA operate in the municipality of
22 Konjic, so far as you know from your readings?
23 Answer: I believe the JNA did operate in Konjic
24 municipality. It was there for only a relatively short
25 period of the armed conflict, perhaps until May, some
1 time in May 1992, although once specifically JNA units
2 had been moved out of some of the areas in Konjic,
3 I believe bombardments using JNA artillery continued."
4 What readings are you referring to to arrive at
5 that conclusion?
6 A. Documents that I have seen in the Office of the
7 Prosecutor, which documents I presume from everything
8 that I understand are already in evidence, or have been
9 offered to the Defence.
10 Q. Are you able to be any more specific about what those
11 documents are and what they said?
12 A. Documents include -- it is difficult to bring them to
13 mind like this, but I think one document would be the
14 interview I made reference to yesterday with Mr. Delalic
15 in which he describes, as I recall -- I think it was
16 this document and it was Mr. Delalic, but without
17 checking I have to say I cannot be certain -- in which
18 he describes first the taking of Celebici barracks and
19 then later of Bradina, Ljuta as well, and describes this
20 situation in which the JNA presence was removed from
21 Konjic in this formal way.
22 Q. So that would be a situation where the authorities in
23 Konjic were basically running the JNA out of the area?
24 A. I should also add that I believe it is the same
25 interview, but it might be some other document, which
1 points out that the JNA actually remained, or the JNA
2 renamed -- remained and also was involved in continuing
3 artillery action after this point. Ran the JNA out?
4 I am not sure I would go with the exact phrasing, but it
5 is certainly the case that Mr. Delalic and others seem to
6 have been involved in activity which secured the removal
7 of the JNA from Konjic municipality.
8 Q. Certainly by relying on that, you are taking the
9 position that Mr. Delalic is an accurate and truthful
10 reporter of the things that happened in the Konjic area
11 during the war?
12 A. I made reference to Mr. Delalic's interview. As I say,
13 I looked at many other things, I cannot recall all of
14 them precisely in connection with this. There was
15 nothing in this, however, which seemed to me to be
16 either unreasonable or discrepant with any other
17 information about that situation.
18 Q. I take it you have no documentation whatsoever or any
19 information whatsoever to show that in early May 1992,
20 the JNA, and I want to be specific and I am referring to
21 the JNA, engaged in any combat operations in the Konjic
23 A. My understanding is that the JNA units based in the
24 Konjic municipality were not in a position to engage in
25 armed hostilities because their barracks were encircled
1 and under siege and had water, electricity supplies cut
2 off to them. That is my understanding based on what
3 I gained from the Delalic interview and other things
4 that I have seen, and I base what I say on that, and
5 I would stress that I make mention of the situation in
6 Konjic only insofar as it fits into what I have seen is
7 consistent with and fits into my broad understanding as
8 an expert of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I do
9 not speak as an investigator on the question of events
10 in Konjic.
11 Q. Yes. Mr. Niemann went into an area with you yesterday
12 regarding a declaration by President Izetbegovic of a
13 state of war on 22nd June 1992, in which it was claimed
14 that Bosnia-Herzegovina was engaged in a state of war
15 with a foreign power; do you remember that bit of
17 A. I recall that.
18 Q. You were asked:
19 "What was the foreign power in which it was in a
20 state of war with?
21 Answer: The declaration of a state of war,
22 I believe, regarded the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
23 so-called Serbia and Montenegro, as being the hostile
25 You know, do you not, that throughout the war in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina the Bosnian government was making
2 claims and taking actions in an attempt to induce the
3 United States and/or NATO to enter the war in support of
5 A. If you are asking me, was part of the Bosnian
6 government's strategy to try and mobilise international
7 support for its position then I think the answer is yes.
8 Q. That is exactly what I was asking you. I thought I was
9 clear, but apparently not.
10 A. It was not the words you used, forgive me.
11 Q. Claims were made, were they not, that the Bosnian
12 government had even shelled its own citizens in an
13 attempt to attract international sympathy and support?
14 A. Those claims were made.
15 Q. Do you recall an incident on 8th September 1992 when it
16 was alleged by, was it General Nambiar, is that his
17 name, that Bosnian government forces attacked a
18 humanitarian convoy in which two French soldiers were
20 A. I do not recall that report on that day, but incidents
21 of that kind did occur.
22 Q. In those cases, the Bosnian government, if what the
23 reports suggest are true, the Bosnian government was
24 blaming Serb forces, again in an effort to attract
25 international sympathy and intention on their side of
1 the conflict?
2 A. I am not able to recall that specific incident,
3 therefore I do not think it is appropriate to pass that
4 kind of a judgement on it.
5 Q. Is it something I might perhaps be able to refresh your
6 memory with, or is it something you have not ever known
7 anything about?
8 A. You may be able to refresh my memory about it. I do not
9 say that I did not know about it, I just do not recall
10 that now.
11 Q. Lord Owen reports a letter from General Nambiar to
12 President Izetbegovic on 9th September in which he said
13 to Izetbegovic:
14 "It is with a deep sense of outrage that I have to
15 inform you that at approximately 19.30 hours on
16 8th September 1992 troops under your command attacked an
17 unarmed UNPROFOR logistical convoy at the entrance to
18 the airport. This unprovoked attack in broad daylight
19 on an unmistakably UN humanitarian convoy caused the
20 death of two French soldiers, injury to three more and
21 the destruction or damage of four UN vehicles."
22 Does that refresh your memory at all?
23 A. I am quite happy to accept that that incident took place
24 on 8th September.
25 Q. Lord Owen indicates that:
1 "The motivation for this action was that the
2 Bosnian Muslims were trying to plant the responsibility
3 for their actions on to the Bosnian Serbs, thereby
4 portraying the Serbs as even worse than they were in the
5 eyes of world opinion. This behaviour they supposedly
6 could justify if it brought the Americans and NATO into
7 the war on the Muslim side. It was the end justifying
8 the means."
9 Do you agree with that analysis?
10 A. I do not know on what document or other precise
11 information Lord Owen bases that judgement, but I do not
12 have a problem with the general sense that there were
13 occasions on which the Bosnian government forces carried
14 out actions, sometimes against UN, sometimes against
15 objects on Bosnian government-controlled territory and
16 the reasonable deduction would be that in doing this
17 they were hoping to mobilise support, as I indicated
19 Q. This takes us back to those statements of Lord Owen's
20 that we discussed earlier this morning, and that is the
21 difficulty to figure out the difference between truth
22 and fiction in what was going on and what people were
23 saying in the Yugoslav crisis, does it not?
24 A. It may do.
25 Q. Yes. Let me go to another matter that you discussed at
1 some length yesterday, and that was this question that
2 Mr. Niemann went into with you about what is a
3 co-ordinator and what is the role of a co-ordinator; do
4 you remember going into that?
5 A. I do. If I may, would you mind if I went back to your
6 previous question, just to add something for
7 clarification. You were saying that the difficulty in
8 establishing truth and fiction, the particular incident
9 you quote, it is hard for me from here, without looking
10 into it, to say any further than yes, it is consistent
11 with a pattern. I think more pertinently there was an
12 incident in 1994 where British symboline radar with the
13 UN force clearly identified Bosnian government forces
14 firing in the manner you have been describing, so
15 I think there are ways of establishing that these things
16 did happen on occasions, so I do not think there is any
17 problem with saying that, but it is easier to go with
18 the clear instances where it could be established.
19 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to this co-ordinator
20 business. You went into a fairly detailed explanation
21 yesterday of what your understanding of what a
22 co-ordinator was and what the duties of a co-ordinator
23 would be, and specifically you spoke of John Hackett and
24 his role as a co-ordinator in World War II. You
25 remember talking about all that, correct?
1 A. I remember that.
2 Q. You opined, based upon your knowledge of the role of
3 John Hackett in World War II, that that may help the
4 court to understand the role of a co-ordinator.
5 A. I gave it as an example where I had knowledge of there
6 being a co-ordinator used in military operations and the
7 kind of activity that was performed. I think it gives a
8 general indication of the kind of a role a co-ordinator
9 might perform, but because it is not a normal term it
10 has to be understood always in the specific context, but
11 I think generic qualities can be shown through that
12 role; the need for full knowledge and the need for a
13 degree of authority, if you are going to be successful.
14 Q. Do you actually believe that a group of Bosnians sat
15 around in a building in Konjic and said, "let us create
16 a co-ordinator like John Hackett was in World War II"?
17 A. I do not believe that at all. I do not think I gave any
18 indication that I did.
19 Q. I would guess that before yesterday, with the possible
20 exception of you and Mr. Greaves, no one in this room had
21 any idea what role was played by John Hackett in World
22 War II as a co-ordinator; would you not guess that?
23 A. Are you speaking about people within the Trial Chamber?
24 Q. Yes, people sitting in this room.
25 A. People sitting in the Trial Chamber, I would not want to
1 presume, but I would not also presume they would know
2 about it.
3 Q. It is a fairly obscure bit of information, is it not?
4 A. It is a piece of information which is more likely to
5 come to somebody engaged in war studies than somebody
6 sitting in a Trial Chamber or practising law.
7 Q. You do not have any reason to believe that a bunch of
8 Bosnians sitting in Konjic would have known what John
9 Hackett did, what his role was, what his duties were as
10 a co-ordinator during World War II, would you?
11 A. I think as I already indicated, I do not think that they
12 had any knowledge of it or were making reference to it,
13 so I do not see that really is particularly relevant.
14 Q. It is particularly relevant, because you were suggesting
15 to this court that the role played by Mr. Delalic as
16 co-ordinator in Konjic probably had some relationship to
17 what John Hackett was doing in World War II and that we
18 could define his duties based on this obscure business
19 of history that you dredged up here yesterday. Is that
20 not what you were suggesting?
21 MR. NIEMANN: I object your Honour. That is a
22 misconstruction of the evidence that was given.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it is not. I think that was exactly
24 what was trying to be done yesterday.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, the witness at no stage said that
1 what happened with John Hackett was what Mr. Delalic
2 said. The witness was merely giving an example to
3 assist the court in an understanding of what the role
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I will accept that from Mr. Niemann, your
6 Honour, and I will ask the witness this.
7 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I thought the witness himself
8 explained. He was drawing an analogy between what John
9 Hackett was and what the accused could have been.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I will ask this question about that: tell the
11 Trial Chamber what it is about the actions of John
12 Hackett as a co-ordinator in World War II that would in
13 any way help them understand the actions of Zejnil
14 Delalic in Konjic in 1992? How could that possibly help
15 them if you agree that the Bosnians in Konjic and
16 Delalic himself had no idea what Sir John Hackett was
17 doing during World War II?
18 A. I do not think there is any necessity of linking their
19 having knowledge to the understanding of what the role
20 of a co-ordinator might be and how it could be
21 understood. I think as I made clear, and I think I made
22 expressly clear because the bench while I was giving a
23 general understanding of what the term might be by
24 reference to Hackett, specifically said, "what about
25 Konjic?", and therefore I proceeded to say that you have
1 similar features in the situation. The lack of an
2 appropriate regularised command structure, a number of
3 what, I put it in quotation marks as "private armies",
4 in the absence of the formalised command structure,
5 units with different commanders acting to some extent
6 independently, and the situation in which with that
7 fluidity and degree of uncertainty, there was a role to
8 be played by an individual with the appropriate
9 qualities, the key ones being the ability to know
10 everything, from each of the units what was going on,
11 and the ability to have a degree of authority, therefore
12 to be able to discuss with them, make arrangements with
13 them, to be able to co-ordinate, defined by the same
14 word, to be able to make arrangements for operations to
15 be conducted or maybe in some cases not conducted where
16 they would not be consistent with the actions or overall
17 aims of others and to arrange for supplies and so
18 forth. I thought I had made that fairly clear, but
19 quite explicitly I was looking to similarities in the
20 circumstances and under no circumstances was I saying
21 that Zejnil Delalic, or indeed anybody else in Konjic,
22 or probably anybody anywhere else in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 or all the whole of the former Yugoslav territories, was
24 saying, "Hey, what shall we do here, let us look at John
25 Hackett. Hey, that is a good example, let us do it".
1 It is something which is appropriate to the
2 circumstances in which it emerges. I think that is what
3 I was saying.
4 I was not saying that there was an exact parallel
5 either, I was saying the relevance which maybe would
6 help to understand what the term "co-ordinator" might
8 Q. I take it that as you sit here today that you have no
9 information, no knowledge, but what maybe the War
10 Presidency said, "we need somebody to solve the problem
11 of material and supplies between these various units
12 operating in Konjic, could we get you, Zejnil, to do
13 that?", and Zejnil said, "sure, I would be happy to do
14 that. What should my title be?"; someone said, "how
15 about co-ordinator?". It may not have gone any further
16 than that, correct?
17 A. First, I believe the indication he was already playing
18 de facto some kind of role already. There was a
19 document I saw of 2nd May giving him authorisation to
20 travel and do other things, which I would note I think
21 also said that where it was not paid for by others, at
22 his own expense, which is one of the reasons I drew the
23 conclusion yesterday that in performing this role, one
24 of the qualities he had was personal wealth, and also
25 probably the international travel facility, which
1 enabled him to perform this kind of role. It seems to
2 me that he was carrying out a role of co-ordination
3 based on exactly the qualities I described which were
4 relevant for John Hackett, which was then confirmed by
5 the label "co-ordinator" on 18th May.
6 To be clear, yet again, I am not saying either
7 that it was derived from knowledge of Hackett and saying
8 "let us do the same thing", or that it was formally
9 understood in any way, but it was simply use of a label
10 which was relevant to the role to be played which was a
11 role which might otherwise have been within the command
12 structures but those command structures were not
13 available. It seems to me to be perfectly
14 straightforward what I am trying to say, but if not I am
15 glad to help you again.
16 Q. Did the Prosecutor, in supplying you with information
17 and documents in helping you to formulate your testimony
18 before this Tribunal, share with you the full testimony
19 of a couple of Bosnian generals who have testified here?
20 A. If you are making reference to the evidence by Divjak
21 and Pasalic, then yes.
22 Q. I wonder if you would not defer, since they are the
23 experts regarding the Yugoslavian use of that term, to
24 what they told us about their understanding of what a
25 co-ordinator would have been; would you not do that?
1 A. I am trying hard, I do not recall looking at it being
2 struck by what they said in a way which would make me
3 think, "aha, that is something other than what
4 I understand". Perhaps if you would care to remind me
5 of something, I might be able to assist you further.
6 Q. I think you very much admitted to us yesterday and made
7 it clear to the Trial Chamber yesterday that the term
8 "co-ordinator" is really not a specifically defined,
9 universally understood military term or position.
10 A. I said, and I would not change my position, that it is
11 not a normal term. I think I also said that I was not
12 aware, and maybe I missed something in the testimony of
13 Divjak or Pasalic of which you are going to remind me,
14 but I was not aware of it having any previous use in the
15 Yugoslav context.
16 Q. Yes, so the term "co-ordinator" in a military context
17 really means nothing more than what those who create
18 that position intend for it to mean, does it?
19 A. I think if you look to the record, I said yesterday it
20 is a term which could be anything and nothing, but to be
21 successful, whatever the specific duties and tasks
22 involved, whatever role played, to make sense it would
23 have to be based on -- it would only apply in unusual
24 circumstances where there was not a regular and formal
25 structure to call on, or where that was not appropriate
1 and it would rely on the qualities of full knowledge and
2 the degree of authority to be able to do something. It
3 could be anything or nothing, but within that, to be
4 successful, you have to have those qualities.
5 Q. I think you virtually conceded yesterday that in this
6 particular situation it may very well have rested almost
7 entirely on the fact that Mr. Delalic seemed to be able
8 to have a trust and rapport among all the different
9 groups that were operating in the Konjic area and
10 perhaps it did not go beyond his ability just to
11 communicate with all of those various groups matters
12 that he thought should be of universal concern?
13 A. I am sorry, I think I lost track of some of what you
14 were putting into what I presume is a question, but
15 I would say --
16 Q. If you do not understand the question, maybe you would
17 like me to repeat it. I do not want you to answer a
18 question I did not ask you.
19 A. If you care to repeat it, I will try to keep hold of all
20 of it.
21 Q. It may very well be, as to some extent you indicated
22 yesterday, that the position of co-ordinator was really
23 based upon the unique ability of Zejnil Delalic to have
24 the confidence of and to be able to communicate with the
25 various armed groups that were operating in the Konjic
1 area in terms of suggesting matters that should have
2 been of universal concern to all of them?
3 A. Yes, I think I would say that that was one of the
4 qualities which was relevant, just as it was with John
5 Hackett. A different person could not have done it.
6 Q. The other position that you discussed again at some
7 length yesterday was a tactical group, and you told the
8 Tribunal what your understanding of what a tactical
9 group was and what its function was, and in doing that,
10 you were relying on your general military knowledge of
11 what a tactical group's function is in other armies that
12 you have studied.
13 A. That, but also on references in the Vojna Enciklopedija
14 of the old JNA, and the Vojni Leksikon, that is the old
15 JNA which makes short entries for these things as well.
16 Q. I take it again that you would not quarrel with Generals
17 Divjak and Pasalic, who came here and told us what their
18 understanding of what a Tactical Group was in the
19 context of what was going on in the Konjic area in 1992,
20 would you?
21 A. I am not aware of a way in which I would differ with
23 Q. You would tend to defer to them on the basis of their
24 understanding of what that term might have meant to
1 A. I would defer to them if it was pointed out that their
2 understanding was other than that expressed in the Vojna
3 Enciklopedija or the Vojni Leksikon, which it would seem
4 to me would be the understanding to be taken.
5 Q. So if this Tribunal is faced with trying to decide what
6 a tactical group was in terms of what happened in Konjic
7 in 1992, they would be better advised to look at the
8 testimony of Generals Divjak and Pasalic, as opposed to
9 what you told them yesterday; would that be a fair
11 A. I do not think it would be consistent with what I just
12 said, and unless we went into other things between the
13 two statements, I cannot say whether or not it would
14 completely be fair. I would not presume to know more or
15 be better informed than either Divjak or Pasalic, but as
16 I said, I would want to know whether it was consistent
17 with the use of those terms in Yugoslav military
18 publications, quite significant well known Yugoslav
19 military publications, and also the degree to which any
20 of that has to be interpreted in the context of the
21 situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time in 1992
22 when there was still, as I think I was making clear in
23 evidence yesterday, an army which was not yet formed,
24 was in the process of being put together, and given its
25 structures and in which this particular measure of a
1 temporary nature was used, as one of relevance.
2 I think I also said in testimony yesterday, quite
3 clearly, that the decision on 27th July to appoint
4 Delalic not only commander of the tactical group but to
5 say that that was all units on a particular geographical
6 territory is not consistent either with Yugoslav or any
7 other particular use of the term "tactical group" I am
8 aware of. It is unusual for a tactical group to involve
9 more than, say, five brigades. To put all units in a
10 particular geographical area under control is taking it
11 a step further, but I can see reasons why that might be
12 the case.
13 Q. Let me see if I can find something we would agree on.
14 Would you agree that on any view of what a tactical
15 group is that its function and duties are limited to the
16 functions and duties assigned by its creator?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Wonderful.
19 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think we can stop here and go for
20 lunch and come back at 2.30.
21 (1.00 pm)
22 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Let us have the witness, please.
3 (Witness entered court)
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Kindly remind the witness he is still
5 on his oath.
6 THE REGISTRAR: I remind you, sir, that you are still under
8 A. Thank you.
9 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Mr. Ackerman, you may continue.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you very much, your Honour.
11 Good afternoon, Dr. Gow.
12 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Ackerman.
13 Q. You told us yesterday about another of your impressions,
14 this one being from some documentation that you saw in
15 the Office of the Prosecutor that there was a personal
16 rivalry between Mr. Delalic and Captain Esad Ramic. What
17 documents would that be that gave you that impression?
18 A. It is difficult to say without having the documents to
19 hand to refer to them, but among others, on the basis of
20 having the impression that this was the case from an
21 earlier stage, there are two documents dated August
22 24th and August 28th, the first of which says "I hold
23 Esad Ramic responsible to me for this", and the second
24 of which, three or four days later, is on the same
25 matter but is directed to somebody else, I believe
1 Mr. Mucic, bypassing that and includes the reference, as
2 in so many other cases, "the order has not been
3 implemented in the intention". I say this against the
4 background of some other documentation or maybe from the
5 interview that I saw earlier, but it seemed to fit into
6 this pattern where I was suggesting that I suspect ---
7 I can say no more than that, I have not looked into the
8 Konjic situation so deeply or closely, but I just have
9 this impression, coming as an expert and looking at the
10 way in which events fit my broader understanding.
11 I have the impression that that could have been the
13 Q. Okay. The best you can tell us is "impression that it
14 could have been the case"?
15 A. I think I made that clear yesterday. I have the
16 impression from seeing things, I do not think I have
17 seen anything from either -- anything which directly
18 says there is a real problem here.
19 Q. You have raised again this issue, you have mentioned
20 again these documents provided to you by the
21 Prosecution. First of all, I suspect if you feel that
22 in order to properly answer one of my questions you need
23 to consult those documents again, that Mr. Niemann would
24 be happy to supply them to you, and I think all you
25 would have to do is ask, okay?
1 A. I am happy to look at them whenever, if it is deemed
2 suitable to do so.
3 Q. I have no insistence on that regard, but if you feel you
4 cannot adequately answer a question without doing it,
5 then please feel free to request the document. I think
6 you can do that.
7 A. Okay, I think it would be a collection of documents that
8 I would then have to see which ones I recognised.
9 Again, I am quite happy to do that as and when it seems
10 relevant. I think on the whole what I am saying is on
11 the basis of assimilating all the various pieces of
12 information available to me against the background of my
13 general understanding.
14 Q. One thing I would like to ask you about that process by
15 which you viewed documents from the Office of the
16 Prosecutor, did they supply you with basically all the
17 exhibits in this case plus a number of additional
18 documents from which you selected certain ones that you
19 thought were relevant to your testimony, or did they
20 simply supply you with a small number of documents that
21 they felt might be relevant to your testimony. Which
22 way did that happen?
23 A. I am not sure what the answer is regarding the first
24 part of the question. I do not know if they showed me
25 all documents put into evidence. They certainly showed
1 me a lot of documents, or gave me the opportunity to
2 look at a lot of documents. I have to say that there
3 were very many of them and I did my best to skim through
4 and try and identify things which looked as though they
5 might be relevant as meeting points for my expertise.
6 I would have to say that unfortunately, I do not have
7 the time to have examined absolutely every document that
8 was offered to me. I was given opportunity to look at a
9 set of lever arch files like this or that, I cannot work
10 it out, and I was given some indication as to some
11 things which were in evidence which were found to be of
12 relevance, but no more than that.
13 Q. Among those documents, do you recall that there were
14 documents that were seized from an apartment in Vienna
15 by the Vienna police that you looked at, documents that
16 allegedly came from an apartment there?
17 A. I was shown some documents which I was told were Vienna
18 documents, so I presume these would be the same.
19 Q. So to some extent, some of the impressions and opinions
20 that you have been giving us here today would be based
21 on some of those "Vienna" documents?
22 A. It is reasonable to say that I assimilated that
23 information in shaping my views on this, yes.
24 Q. Did you become aware in the study of documents supplied
25 to you by the Office of the Prosecutor, or from other
1 sources, that there were, and I am talking about the
2 period of time starting in May 1992 through the end of
3 that year, that there were several co-ordinators
4 operating in the Konjic municipality?
5 A. I am not aware of there having been several
6 co-ordinators operating in the Konjic municipality. No,
7 I am not aware of that.
8 Q. You are not aware then that there was a co-ordinator for
9 communications issues?
10 A. I do not recall being aware of that, but as I have
11 stressed a number of times now, I do not regard myself
12 as having investigated the Konjic situation, I regard
13 myself as an expert who looks at the way in which
14 elements come together in the -- with my broad
15 understanding. If I were asked to begin work as an
16 investigator, then I would look into all things of that
17 nature. It seems to me that that is a separate question
18 in trying to understand what a co-ordinator might be.
19 The fact that there might be another co-ordinator in
20 another sphere seems to me does not really make any
21 difference to how you understand the role of
23 Q. I am really not trying to quarrel with you as what your
24 role is as a witness here. I am trying to establish
25 from some fairly simple things, and I am willing to let
1 you take all the time you want to answer my questions,
2 but I have no hidden agenda here with regard to these
3 questions. My question is, do you know these things or
4 do you not? If you do not know them, that is fine, you
5 can tell me and I will understand there are reasons why
6 you do not know those sorts of things, and that sort of
8 My next question is, did you know there was a
9 co-ordinator for economics matters in the Konjic area?
10 A. I think I can say and possibly pre-empt any other
11 question of this kind, I was not aware of other
12 co-ordinators. I think I already said that.
13 Q. Among the documents that were shown you by the Office of
14 the Prosecutor, or that you had access to from some
15 other source, did you learn about the existence of other
16 tactical groups, Tactical Group 2 for instance?
17 A. Yes, I am aware of the existence of other tactical
19 Q. Were you aware that there was an "Operational Group
20 Mt. Igman" that was in existence?
21 A. I am aware of the existence of the operational group.
22 Q. Okay. Yesterday, not necessarily in response to a
23 question, you went into some explanation about the
24 situation in Nicaragua and the Contras and that whole
25 issue there, did you not?
1 A. I did, expressly not in relation to a question. It was
2 something I was aware was an issue and it seemed to me
3 relevant to say. I prefaced it, "if I may".
4 Q. I suspect you went into that because you are somewhat
5 miffed over the Tadic Tribunal's decision and the fact
6 it was based to some extent on what you view as a
7 misinterpretation by that Tribunal of the decision in
8 Nicaragua versus United States. Is that a fair
10 A. No, it is not a fair characterisation.
11 Q. Have you read the decision of the ICJ in Nicaragua
12 versus United States?
13 A. Of the ICJ?
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: In the Nicaragua case, ICJ, yes, you
15 are correct. You are saying the right thing.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you. Have you read that case?
17 A. Have I read the judgement of the ICJ on the USA and
18 Nicaragua case?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. I do not believe that I have.
21 Q. Do you have any legal training?
22 A. I have no legal training, but I do not think I would
23 deem to come before a Trial Chamber and try to express a
24 legal opinion. I do not see the relevance of the
25 question, if I may say so.
1 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I stand at this stage because
2 Dr. Gow expressly gave his views in relation to facts in
3 connection with the Nicaragua conflict. The transcript
4 clearly shows that. At no stage did he purport to give
5 any view or opinion regarding the decision of the court,
6 in fact that was never raised.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: And because you do not know anything about the
8 opinion of the court, I take it then you do not know
9 that no part of that decision was based upon what the
10 aims of the Contras were, and their activity in
11 Nicaragua? I take it you do not know that?
12 A. What I understand is not from reading that document. It
13 does relate to at least reading in some degree the
14 judgement on the Tadic case, and with no understanding as
15 a non-lawyer for the legal implications, and
16 understanding that my impression is perhaps not so much
17 that it was anything to do with what I had in evidence
18 but perhaps more to do with the construction and making
19 of links and showing certain things were there, rather
20 than that the evidence itself was there or not, leaving
21 that aside, it does seem to me that to compare the two
22 cases as a matter of substance, which I think is the
23 point I was making yesterday or as a matter of fact is
24 incorrect. What legal implications that might have I do
25 not know and is not for me to say, but I do see that
1 there are substantive differences between the two cases
2 and I raise that, because it seems to me, somebody
3 looking at it with a degree of expertise in
4 international relations or matters relating to war,
5 there is a clear difference in the two situations, both
6 in terms of the nature of the activities on the
7 territory of the country in question and in the nature
8 of the activities of those outside the country who are
9 deemed or are alleged to have been involved.
10 Q. If you have read the Tadic decision, you must know that
11 the basis of that part of Nicaragua versus United States
12 that we are talking about was not the nature of the
13 conflict but whether or not the United States exerted
14 sufficient command and control over the Contras to be
15 considered a part of that conflict. That is what the
16 issue in Nicaragua versus United States, as far as that
17 part of it was concerned, boiled down to, was it not?
18 A. As far as I understand that from seeing this, it strikes
19 me that the factual material differs between the two
20 cases, which is why I volunteered to make the point.
21 Q. Let me ask you again, the issue there was a command and
22 control issue, was it not?
23 A. Yes, I think that is --
24 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are still going back to the
25 technical issues which perhaps is not your position to
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the definite impression that
3 I got yesterday from his testimony was he was trying to
4 convince the court that US versus Nicaragua should not
5 apply because it had different war aims than the
6 Yugoslavia conflict. If he wants to sit here and give
7 opinions that have legal significance, then I think
8 I should be able to explore those opinions and it turns
9 out, apparently, that his opinion is really not based
10 upon any knowledge of United Nations v Nicaragua, or
11 Nicaragua v United States. I will go on, I am through
12 with that and I will start another subject.
13 A. If I may, what I said was based not on knowledge of the
14 legal case United States versus Nicaragua but on some
15 knowledge of the factual material involved in the case
16 and that was what I was talking about. I hate to
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Those things might result in different
19 legal consequences. This is what counsel is saying.
20 A. That I understand, but I also understand that to be a
21 legal matter for your Honours or other people to decide
22 who are expert in law.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Dr. Gow, we have taken fairly close to a full
24 day to get this far, and I need you to know we have not
25 got very far. I want to go into an area now that I am
1 only interested in dealing with very broad generalities,
2 I do not think any of the things I want to talk to you
3 about right now are any kind of a challenge to you or
4 your expertise or anything else. It is a small area of
5 pretty much general knowledge that I need to put on the
6 record of this case, and I really hope we do not have to
7 get into long detailed explanations and long arguments
8 about this little significant area that I want to go
9 into. Let us see if we can do that. I am going to try
10 to ask simple questions and I hope that you can either
11 answer them yes or no and that we can get through some
12 of this material rather rapidly, because we are going to
13 get into some material that is going to be more
14 difficult as we go down the road here.
15 I want to talk just for a moment about the
16 United Nations and the creation of the United Nations
17 and see if we can agree on just a few things. The
18 United Nations was basically born as a response to what
19 had happened during World War II and the failure of the
20 League of Nations preceding that, was it not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It was specifically designed to try to succeed as an
23 organisation of states where the League of Nations had
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And an effort was made to try to repair some of the
2 deficiencies that had existed in the League of Nations
3 to make it an effective organisation?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the goal always with the League of Nations and the
6 United Nations was to create an organisation which could
7 prevent the kind of things that had happened during
8 World War I and World War II, to try to keep those wars
9 from happening again?
10 A. Broadly that was the primary purpose and one of the
12 Q. A lot of the impetus for the creation of the
13 United Nations was based upon the aggression that had
14 been practised by the Third Reich, and the genocide that
15 had been practised during that war?
16 A. That clearly provided some of the impetus, but as you
17 already said, also the failure of the League of Nations
18 before that.
19 Q. At the time, the people who were creating the
20 United Nations were approaching it from a kind of hope
21 in "never again" kind of philosophy, that somehow they
22 could create an international organisation that could be
23 effective in preventing things like the things that had
24 happened during World War II?
25 A. I think the concept of collective security which
1 underpins the United Nations was intended to try and
2 deter the outbreak of wars.
3 Q. And you have anticipated my next question, the basic
4 mechanism was that idea of collective security, was it
6 A. It was.
7 Q. Based upon the proposition that if nations understood if
8 they engaged in aggression or acts of genocide, things
9 like that, the other nations of the world would be
10 arrayed against them through the United Nations?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. One thing that happened shortly after World War II, did
13 it not, the United Nations with all of the work and
14 effort that had gone on in creating it, was severely
15 hampered by the existence of the Cold War and the veto
16 powers of major players in that Cold War in the Security
18 A. That is indeed the case.
19 Q. When the Cold War however came to an end, the UN then,
20 maybe for the first time since its creation, really had
21 the opportunity to fulfil its birthright, so to speak?
22 A. I do not know about the "so to speak", but it certainly
23 had the opportunity to begin to work more in the way
24 that it had been intended at its conception.
25 Q. Theoretically at least the idea of collective security
1 could have some real meaning, finally?
2 A. At least the idea of collective action to maintain
3 international peace and security could; whether or not
4 the actual concept of collective security itself,
5 I think is a different question.
6 Q. To some extent we saw how that could operate in
7 connection with the Gulf War, did we not?
8 A. We did.
9 Q. But I think you would agree with me that the UN utterly
10 failed in that mission with regard to what went on in
11 the former Yugoslavia?
12 A. I would not agree that it utterly failed, I would agree
13 that the mechanisms of the United Nations were more
14 challenged than they had been in the case of Iraq and
15 Kuwait. Many things took place which represented in
16 fact if not the same kind of action as took place
17 regarding Iraq, at least significant international
18 engagement and involvement in an attempt to maintain
19 international peace and security initiatives towards the
20 maintenance of international peace and security which
21 marks a significant breach with previous cases.
22 For example, many people might point to the first
23 world war, where incidents in Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 provided the spark and a number of other powers came
25 charging in using the pretext one way and another, so
1 I think in that case, it would be fair to say that it
2 was far from ideal, and in some senses you can describe
3 it as failure, but to say it was an utter failure really
4 would be to exaggerate.
5 Q. I guess you would probably agree that to some extent,
6 the lack of a strong UN response to Yugoslavia was in
7 some sense at least dependent upon a failure of will, to
8 adopt some words of yours, on behalf of some of the
9 member states of the United Nations, or a lack of will?
10 A. I think that is fair to say. The United Nations is an
11 organisation, it has many elements, one of which is the
12 Security Council. At the end of the day, the action
13 taken is the measure of what the member states are
14 prepared to do to address a particular situation, but
15 the fact remains that they took in fact what I would
16 regard and most people would regard as insufficient to
17 the needs of the situation in an ideal sense, but
18 certainly far more than I think anybody would have
19 expected only a year before the dissolution of
21 Q. Yes, but even within the United Nations itself, there
22 were the same kinds of setting aside any failures on
23 behalf of member states, there were the same kinds of
24 failures, and I speak most notably about the attitude of
25 Boutros Boutros-Ghali who contended, as you know, that
1 the UN had no business being involved there at all, that
2 it was a rich man's war?
3 MR. NIEMANN: Objection, your Honour, on the grounds of
4 relevance. I do not see where this is leading us to.
5 Whatever Boutros Boutros-Ghali said, or anybody else
6 said in relation to it, I submit is not relevant to
7 these proceedings.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, sometimes the relevance may only
9 become clear when one hears the final arguments at the
10 end of the case and this is relevant to something I am
11 trying to accomplish.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, your Honour, please.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: You are actually making a statement
14 which you expect him to agree with.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: That is the way cross-examination works,
16 I think.
17 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Not all the time. So he need not agree
18 with you.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: That is absolutely certain. He need not, and
20 I have no demand that he agree with me. I cannot.
21 You know that that was a contention made by
22 Boutros Boutros-Ghali, do you not?
23 A. I am aware that Boutros Boutros-Ghali expressed a
24 personal opinion that he had reservations about the
25 United Nations as an organisation becoming involved in
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina. I do not think that was the
2 general assessment of those working in the UN
3 organisation and clearly was not the general sense of
4 the member states, the representatives of the member
5 states making up the United Nations. Boutros
6 Boutros-Ghali made a statement of that kind, but I do
7 not think it can be taken as representative of the
8 United Nations in any sense.
9 Q. I would not suggest that. In fact the evidence is to
10 the contrary, the Security Council did involve the
11 United Nations in what was going on in Yugoslavia, at
12 least to some degree, and in some extent to a fairly
13 large degree, correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Okay. Again I have another area that I want to go
16 through rapidly and I want to go through it rapidly
17 simply because to some extent it has already been dealt
18 with by the testimony of Ms Calic, so I really think
19 I can get through it quickly and we can get through it
20 on a "yes, yes" kind of basis. I encourage you to try
21 because we both want to get this over with.
22 A. Fine.
23 Q. Please understand I do not want to go into this in any
24 depth, but I want to talk a little bit about Yugoslav
25 history, because it is a basis of some questions I want
1 to follow up with. I do not want to go into it in any
2 depth at all. I am not going back further than December
3 1st 1918 when the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
4 was created, you know that.
5 A. That was when it was proclaimed, not when it was
7 Q. That is what developed out of the events that occurred
8 during World War I.
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And the idea at that time was to combine the Southern
11 Slav peoples into a single kingdom, partly to increase
12 their political and economic stability and
14 A. Certainly the idea was to bring various south Slav
15 peoples together in one country. Whether or not the
16 motivation was for political or economic benefit is not
17 really clearly to be said. I suspect one reason, if
18 I may, one clear reason was more security benefit in
19 some cases.
20 Q. In that -- I will agree with that. In that Southern
21 Slav community, there were three major groups at least,
22 there were Serbs, who were primarily Southern Slavs, who
23 became members of the eastern Orthodox faith through the
24 Byzantine occupation, if you will, of Yugoslavia during
25 a period of time; is that a fair statement?
1 A. I am sorry, is that a fair statement that there were
2 three main groups which were the Serbs who became --
3 Q. That is one of the groups?
4 A. If you are saying is that one of the groups, then yes,
5 that is the case.
6 Q. There was another group, the Croats, who were primarily
7 adherents to Roman Catholicism?
8 A. That is the case.
9 Q. That had a lot to do with the influence of the
10 Austro-Hungarian empire?
11 A. The lands inhabited by Croats were part of the
12 Austro-Hungarian empire.
13 Q. There were Muslims who became Muslims based upon the
14 occupation of the Balkans by Turkey.
15 A. I am not sure what the phrase "based upon" means, but
16 they certainly converted to Islam in the period of
17 Ottoman occupation.
18 Q. That was what I was trying to say. Of course, there
19 were a number of other groups, there were Germans and
20 Jews and gypsies and Hungarians and Albanians and quite
21 a number of different persons living in that broad area
22 of Yugoslavia.
23 A. That is the case, if you are asking a question, also
24 including Macedonians and Slovenes, important to the
25 formation of Yugoslavia.
1 Q. It became in 1929, it actually adopted the name of
3 A. It did.
4 Q. Which I think literally means "united Slavs"?
5 A. It means "south Slav land".
6 Q. After 1929 when it became Yugoslavia, it was not
7 necessarily a country that lived in agreement and peace
8 and harmony throughout that period of time, was it?
9 A. I would say it became the kingdom of Yugoslavia
10 precisely because in the period before that, there had
11 been significant political nationalist differences,
12 including the assassination in Parliament of one of the
13 Croatian political representatives and the declaration
14 of a royal dictatorship and the proclamation of the
15 kingdom of Yugoslavia was a response to that situation.
16 Q. Even after 1929, the Croatians in particular were not
17 particularly happy with their lot within this
18 Yugoslavia, were they?
19 A. The proclamation of a royal dictatorship did not take
20 away the problems. You will probably know that King
21 Alexander himself was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934
22 by a Macedonian terrorist acting on a joint operation
23 between Macedonian and Croatian terrorist organisations.
24 Q. This 1929 version of Yugoslavia effectively ended when
25 Germany and Italy invaded on 6th April 1941, correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Then after World War II, Yugoslavia was basically
3 reconstituted by Tito as a communist state.
4 A. Correct, as a communist federation.
5 Q. And contained the six republics that we are all familiar
6 with, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia,
7 Montenegro and Macedonia?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Each of these had a certain autonomy, constitutionally
10 at least, and I want to emphasise that, and clearly
11 defined borders?
12 A. Each of them had formal sovereignty, although in the
13 initial phases it was clearly understood that it was all
14 a facade for single Communist Party rule. Over time
15 that changed, and on the question of clearly defined
16 borders -- clearly defined but not always precisely,
17 because one of the things after the dissolution of
18 Yugoslavia in some cases has been the question of
19 delineating, particularly between Slovenia and Croatia
20 exactly where the border fell. For Bosnia and Serbia,
21 Bosnia and Croatia, for example, it was easy because the
22 border was a river.
23 Q. From the time of Tito's creation of that federation,
24 those borders have remained roughly the same up until
1 A. Those borders remained, as far as I am aware they
2 remained the same from -- with the exception of the
3 Slovene/Italian border, which was finalised in 1953,
4 they remained the same, and from that point that also
5 remained the same through to the end of the SFRY and
7 Q. I told you I was not going to go back before 1918, but
8 in fact just to -- it is kind of a throwaway here,
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, of course, had existed long before
10 the formation of the kingdom of Croats, Slovenes and
11 Serbs, whatever it was called, correct?
12 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina had been a principality within the
13 Hapsburg empire and before that within the Ottoman
14 empire, and before that there had been a medieval
15 kingdom of Bosnia-Herzegovina with different
16 territories. The territories of the present day
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina were established maybe late 18th,
18 early 19th century.
19 Q. It has often been said, has it not, that Bosnia could be
20 recognised as a place in which there was great harmony
21 between the different groups.
22 A. That has been said, other people have also pointed out
23 where it is a place where you could recognise periods of
24 lots of trouble between them.
25 Q. What I just said has been said by you.
1 A. It has, I am sure.
2 Q. The federal government under Tito was a constitutional
3 government in the sense at least that it had a written
5 A. That is so.
6 Q. And each of those republics that were part of the
7 federation also had written constitutions of their own.
8 A. That is true.
9 Q. And the federal constitution went through a number of
10 changes over the years, did it not?
11 A. I do not think it is the federal constitution went under
12 a number of changes, but there were a number of federal
13 constitutions, I think, what is it, four, 46, 53, 63 and
15 Q. The one that I am primarily interested in is the one of
16 1974, and the basic constitutional scheme of that
17 constitution was recognition of the ethnic populations
18 of Yugoslavia and a concept of proportional
19 representation of each of those populations in the
20 activities of the government?
21 A. It is not clear to me what you mean by "populations" in
22 this case, but I will answer the question in what
23 I regard as the accurate way, which is that the
24 federation was constructed upon the basis of the
25 republics and of the two autonomous provinces which had
1 been created within Serbia and which had also by the
2 1974 constitution been given a degree of autonomy; not
3 equivalent with either the power and autonomy of the
4 republics or indeed their formal sovereignty, and there
5 was equal representation within federal bodies from the
6 republics, so if by "populations" you mean from the
7 republics, then the answer is yes. If you mean
8 something else, then the answer is no.
9 Q. Let me see if I can be a little more specific. In the
10 makeup, for instance, of the JNA, there was an effort in
11 at least the officer corps of the JNA to accurately
12 reflect the percentage of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes,
13 Macedonians, Muslims that lived within Yugoslavia, so
14 everybody would feel like they were proportionally
15 represented in the organs of the state?
16 A. There was an effort to see that on the basis of
17 ethnicity, which also sometimes was seen in terms of
18 republican origin, that there was a proportionate
19 representation within the officer corps.
20 Q. And that also was applied down through the various state
21 industries that operated in Yugoslavia.
22 A. I am not sure that that is the case, because most of the
23 industry, as I understand it, I am not an expert in
24 industry, but, as I understand it, most of the industry
25 was based in specific places, in particular republics,
1 and was generally regarded as being the industry of that
2 place, so you would have the Croatian electric and gas
3 industry or something. I think there is a sense in
4 which industries are seen as being from particular
6 Q. Would you agree with me that this 1974 constitution was
7 not a totally satisfactory framework to all the
8 population of Yugoslavia?
9 A. It would be hard to disagree, because it seems, probably
10 always was the case and certainly over time, some people
11 came to regard it as being inadequate. In fact by the
12 end of the SFRY, there was broadly dissensus about the
13 continuation of that constitution.
14 Q. There was a feeling abroad in the land, for instance,
15 that that constitution gave Belgrade and the federal
16 government too big a role in the governing of
18 A. There were two conflicting views, one which was that
19 there was too much of Belgrade in the federation,
20 particularly in the situation where Communist Party
21 control had been devolved to the republics, so each
22 republican communist party was now building its own
23 fiefdom. There was equally the view held primarily in
24 Belgrade, but also in Montenegro and by some other
25 people, that there was not enough of Belgrade.
1 Q. You have again anticipated my next question, and that
2 was that there were those in Serbia who felt a sense of
3 injury because of the construction of that constitution?
4 A. There were those who felt an injury because of the
5 construction of that constitution I think primarily
6 because of the creation of the autonomous regions,
7 rather than because of the situation vis-à-vis the other
8 republics, but the two things in many ways in the late
9 1980s became conflated.
10 Q. That became sort of clear publicly in 1986 with the
11 memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences,
12 did it not?
13 A. Again to be precise, I am not sure that it became clear,
14 because the document itself was not put into the public
15 domain at that stage, but it certainly became a
16 prominent issue, the position of the Serbs in
17 Yugoslavia, and particularly the constitutional status
18 of Serbia vis-à-vis the autonomous provinces.
19 Q. It was certainly expressed in that memorandum.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And the basic complaint of that memorandum was that the
22 Serbs did not have their own country, that Serbia
23 contained these two autonomous provinces and that this
24 was unfair and that the Serbs needed to define their own
25 national interests; is that a fair statement?
1 A. That is an accurate statement which to some extent is
2 fair, it might be a little more fair if you point out
3 that it was written in the context of foreseeing the
4 possible pressures for the dissolution of the SFRY.
5 Q. The sense of the memorandum being that Serbia was not
6 allowed by the constitution to have its own state,
8 A. There was the sense that Serbia was not allowed to have
9 its own state, but I think that has to be understood
10 specifically with reference to the existence of the
11 autonomous provinces within Serbia which had a
12 substantial degree of autonomy, at least by 1981. That
13 situation remained formal in the case but de facto
14 changed after 1981. Clearly that was a question for
15 Serbia, how Serbia could be sovereign and yet the
16 autonomous provinces, one could have representation on
17 some federal bodies and two, could in many ways veto
18 Serbian law-making capacities on their territory --
19 sorry, on the territory of Serbia as a whole. The idea
20 is that law making in Serbia as a whole is infringed by
21 the capacity of the Serbian authorities and Parliament
22 to do this, it is infringed by the existence of
23 substantial autonomy in the provinces.
24 Q. That was a contention in spite of the fact that there
25 was a republic called Serbia which was inhabited
1 significantly by Serbs, with the exception of the
2 Albanians and some Muslims and so forth, but primarily
3 it was a Serbian republic, was it not?
4 A. Yes, it had a population of something like 66 per cent
6 Q. The memorandum did not make the same kind of complaints
7 with regard to the Muslims not having a state within
8 Yugoslavia and how the constitution was unfair to
9 Muslims for not having -- for there not being a Muslim
10 state, did it?
11 A. It did not, but I am not sure that I would expect a
12 memorandum of the Serbian Academy to do that.
13 Q. Nor would I.
14 A. Fair enough.
15 Q. This memorandum played a role and maybe an important
16 role in the rise of Slobodan Milosevic, did it not?
17 A. It is often said to have played an important role in the
18 rise of Slobodan Milosevic. It is certainly something
19 which was contributing to the atmosphere prevalent at
20 the time in which Slobodan Milosevic became first leader
21 of the League of Communists of Serbia, subsequently he
22 was to become President of Serbia. It certainly played
23 a role -- it was an issue at the time he became leader,
24 but particularly so was the question of Kosovo, so the
25 two things went together.
1 Q. If you said with regard to the memorandum "this played
2 an important role in the rise of Slobodan Milosevic as
3 leader of Serbia", would you now disavow that statement?
4 A. No, I would agree with that statement, but I would have
5 it to be understood in the way I just put it. I make
6 this distinction, because some people have put it almost
7 as though the Serbian Academy document was produced and
8 Slobodan Milosevic picked it up and made it a party
9 platform. I do not think that is the case. I think it
10 was an issue which created circumstances in which he
11 became leader of the League of Communists of Serbia.
12 Q. You would not want people reading that statement in your
13 book ""Triumph"" to interrupt it in the way you just
14 suggested, but in the way you explained it, correct?
15 A. I think I would ask you to clarify.
16 Q. That was a terrible question. When I asked you if it
17 played an important role, you had an explanation for
18 that, yet in your book ""Triumph"", you wrote that
19 sentence, that it played an important role in the rise
20 of Slobodan Milosevic, without the explanation that we
21 heard from you today and you would, of course, want
22 people reading your book to understand that there is an
23 explanation that goes beyond the mere words of that
25 A. I would prefer that people did, but as the text you are
1 referring to was writing about this in the context of
2 setting up a broader set of questions and therefore was
3 not going into it in detail, I think it is fair enough
4 for them to read it however they want. If I were to
5 write about that subject, I would take the care to
6 explain in the way I did.
7 Q. We are doing the same thing here today and that is to
8 set up a broader set of questions, okay?
9 In the late 1980s, Milosevic became the leader of
10 the League of Communists of Serbia, correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Prior to his ascendancy to that leadership, there had
13 been some problems in Kosovo with the Albanians and
14 claims of Serb minorities there, that they were being
15 discriminated against and pushed out of jobs and things
16 of that nature?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Milosevic was sent there by the person who was at the
19 time head of the League of Communists to see if he could
20 deal with that situation?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. It was during one of those visits that he made one of
23 his speeches that has become somewhat famous and that
24 was his contention to the Serbs assembled, where he
25 said, "no one should be allowed to beat you".
1 A. That was on his second visit within a period of five
2 days, on the basis of having arranged for a
3 stage-managed scenario in which this came to happen,
5 Q. The effect was that he sort of stirred up that Serb
6 minority in the Kosovo region at that time by those
7 kinds of statements?
8 A. I think as you already indicated, the Serbian community
9 in Kosovo was already stirred up. Milosevic was
10 exploiting that situation through the use of arranged
11 situations set up by his people.
12 Q. But also he was making it clear to them that they could
13 look to Belgrade for some support for their discontent?
14 A. I would think it was making it clear that they could
15 look to him for support for their discontent.
16 Q. Once he took over as the leader of the League of
17 Communists, one of the things that he set out to try to
18 accomplish was to remove the autonomy of Kosovo and
19 Vojvodina and to reintegrate them into Serbia, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And he succeeded in doing that?
22 A. Although formally Kosovo and Vojvodina retain autonomous
23 status, yes, in effect the powers which made them
24 autonomous had been removed.
25 Q. Yes, and that really gave the reason that the autonomy
1 remained in name only was because Milosevic realised
2 that that would give him three votes on the presidency
3 as opposed to one if he totally destroyed them. That
4 was just a political move on his part, was it not?
5 A. Quite right.
6 Q. This business of removing this autonomy from Kosovo and
7 Vojvodina was not, although major war did not break out,
8 it was done in the context of threats being made and it
9 was a dangerous situation at the time it was going on,
10 was it not?
11 A. It was a dangerous situation at the time what was going
13 Q. That the autonomy was being removed from Kosovo and
15 A. It took place over a period of time, but when what
16 I think was the final important vote, certainly it was
17 one of the most important votes that was taken, it was
18 in a situation of duress with military presence.
19 Q. Just to clarify exactly what it is I am talking about,
20 you told the Tribunal in Tadic:
21 "When the eventual vote on the removal of the
22 autonomy or elements of the autonomy of Kosovo was
23 taken, it was under a considerable degree of threat and
24 elements of Serbian and federal Interior Ministry" --
25 I am going to start over:
1 "When the eventual vote on the removal of the
2 autonomy or elements of the autonomy of Kosovo was
3 taken, it was under a considerable degree of threat, and
4 elements of Serbian and federal Interior Ministry and
5 I believe also Yugoslav People's Army armed forces were
6 deployed in the area in and around the Parliament."
8 A. I said that, yes.
9 Q. You said it because it is true?
10 A. I said it because I understand that to be an accurate
11 interpretation with the answer I just gave you before
13 Q. These developments that were going on in Serbia
14 regarding the removal of autonomy from Kosovo and
15 Vojvodina had a rather significant effect on the
16 thinking of those in the other republics in Yugoslavia,
18 A. I judge that to be the case, yes.
19 Q. It created an apprehension that the leadership in
20 Belgrade may attempt to expand its control beyond the
21 borders of Serbia, then?
22 A. It created the apprehension that the leadership in
23 Belgrade was interested in strengthening the central
24 elements of the federation, and thereby diminishing the
25 powers held by the republics, and, as I indicated
1 earlier, putting the Communist Party control at the
2 republican level had created strong republican political
3 structures and those involved I think, if nothing else,
4 did not want to see that position changed.
5 Q. And it was at this point then that those in the other
6 republics began seriously to discuss things like
7 self-protection and perhaps even independence, was it
9 A. That was certainly my understanding.
10 Q. One clear result of this concern, this apprehension was
11 the formation of ethnic-based political parties in these
12 other republics.
13 A. It is true that ethnically defined parties emerged in
14 other republics, as also they did in Serbia.
15 Q. Yes, and then in 1990, of course, there were elections
16 in various places and the Communist Party fared poorly,
17 it was the ethnic parties that garnered the vast
18 majority of the votes in those elections.
19 A. That really would depend on which of the Yugoslav states
20 you were looking at. The revamped League of Communists
21 in Slovenia in one sense did not do badly because the
22 leader of the Communist Party at the time you are
23 talking about was recently, the weekend before last,
24 re-elected as President of Slovenia, so I think --
25 Q. Mr. Kucan?
1 A. Mr. Kucan. I think there is a varied picture to be
3 Q. That was certainly the case in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. It was the case in Bosnia-Herzegovina that the bulk of
5 the seats were taken by ethnically characterised
6 parties, although around 25 per cent of the vote went to
7 non-ethnically defined parties.
8 Q. There was also, was there not, during this period of
9 change, a change in the law in Croatia which at least
10 caused the Serbian population of Croatia to believe that
11 their status had been changed?
12 A. I think there were a number of changes in the laws in
13 Croatia. I suspect you are making reference to the
14 drafting of the new Croatian constitution in 1990, to
15 which I made reference in evidence yesterday. If that
16 is the case, then as I said in my evidence yesterday,
17 that certainly was the case, there was a change in the
18 constitution which appeared to -- maybe it was this
19 morning, sorry, but anyway, earlier I said this, it
20 changed the way in which -- the point at which the
21 Serbian people in Croatia appeared in the constitution,
22 which they took to be a diminution of status.
23 Q. It was in response to that that the Serbian people in
24 Croatia declared the two autonomous regions that you
25 discussed with us yesterday.
1 A. No, I do not think it was in response to that decision,
2 that decision was -- that constitutional change was a
3 significant factor in creating the situation in which
4 the Serbs in Croatia were unhappy. There were a number
5 of other events, particularly in the summer of 1992,
6 changes within Croatia, including a restructuring of the
7 Interior Ministry, which was designed, on my
8 understanding, to get rid of people who were communists
9 and Serbs, the two went together. Were they changes to
10 get rid of communists or Serbs? At the end of the day,
11 the effect is the same, so these were also things which
12 were creating apprehensions among the Serbian
13 communities there, but the declaration of the Republika
14 Srpska Krajina was not for a long time afterwards and
15 the declaration of one of the two autonomous regions was
16 again not for -- I do not remember the dates now, but it
17 was many, many months afterwards, the declaration of the
18 first was not long after this constitutional change.
19 I think it would be unfair to give quite such a
20 simplistic interpretation of it and say the autonomous
21 regions were declared in response to constitutional
22 change. Constitutional change was a factor in the
23 political circumstances in which a Serbian autonomous
24 region was proclaimed.
25 Q. Do you understand that I am not asking these questions
1 in a vacuum? Let me share some of your own words with
2 you, referring to that constitutional change:
3 "It was certainly a move which made some of the
4 Serbs in the Krajina area begin to feel a sense of
5 threat and it was a situation in which, with backing
6 from Belgrade and in some cases with the assistance of
7 the Yugoslav People's Army, that local Serbs began to
8 declare autonomous regions. In the course of 1990, they
9 declared two autonomous regions, one of Krajina and the
10 other of Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem and Baranja.
11 In these two areas, they began to create, certainly in
12 the area of the Krajina, a de facto no-go area for any
13 Croatian authorities."
14 That was what you told the Tribunal in Tadic and
15 that is an accurate characterisation, is it not?
16 A. That is an accurate characterisation. I would regard it
17 as accurate. It seems to me perfectly consistent with
18 what I said to you before.
19 Q. These kinds of activities were the initial death throes,
20 if you will, of Yugoslavia. It was at this point that
21 Yugoslavia began to disintegrate and break up.
22 A. I think that is a subject for an academic discourse on
23 which point it finally began to break up, but clearly
24 this was one of the events in the course of its
25 dissolution, leading to its dissolution.
1 Q. We are not going to leave it there and you will have a
2 full opportunity, because we are going to go into the
3 break-up of Yugoslavia now, okay? I am sure you are
4 going to get the opportunity to tell us what you want to
5 tell us about that.
6 If we look broadly at the dissolution of
7 Yugoslavia, it basically came about to some extent
8 because of the end of the Cold War, correct?
9 A. The Cold War was one of the factors which was relevant.
10 Q. Yes, internally the glue that kind of helped hold it
11 together had been a need for collective defence
12 throughout all of Yugoslavia to repel supposed Soviet
14 A. Under Tito's rule, he was able to do things to keep a
15 degree of order and in the years after his death,
16 I think the prospect, possibility, however realistic, of
17 a Soviet invasion in circumstances of internal division
18 was taken to be a reason to find a way to go on with
20 Q. The additional factor was that throughout that Cold War
21 period after, certainly after the break between Tito and
22 Stalin, the west viewed Yugoslavia as strategically
23 important with regard to the Cold War, in the Cold War
25 A. It was not of primary strategic importance to either the
1 west or the Soviets, but it was of some strategic
2 interest to both and its position during the Cold War
3 was to some extent defined by that.
4 Q. I think I read somewhere that the west tended to view
5 the territory of Yugoslavia as a route, maybe not a very
6 likely route, but certainly a route through which the
7 Soviet Union could invade Europe and there was therefore
8 some interest in the west in maintaining a fairly strong
9 Yugoslav army and a strong Yugoslav defence framework
10 during the Cold War period. Did I read that wrong? Is
11 that not true?
12 A. There are a number of things in what you just said.
13 Maybe I can help you. I believe that in the Cold War,
14 the west saw three strategic questions regarding
15 Yugoslavia, one of which was the Ljubljana gap, which
16 I guess is what you were referring to, the idea that
17 Soviet Warsaw Pact forces might come down from Hungary
18 through Slovenia, through the Ljubljana gap and into
19 Italy, so on the southern flank of NATO this would be a
20 question. But the primary strategic question for NATO
21 was always central front, central Europe forces in
23 The second reason was as far as possible to deny
24 the Soviets basing on the Adriatic coast of Yugoslav
25 naval facilities and the third, as I understand it, was
1 in the grand strategic realm of maintaining a communist
2 regime in Yugoslavia, but a dissident communist regime
3 which was not loyal to the Soviets, thereby serving to
4 indicate that there could be more than one version of
5 "communist" and facilitating the process of trying to
6 undermine communist rule. I hope that it is of some
7 assistance, for me to make this clear. That does not in
8 all cases necessarily mean keeping a strong Yugoslav
9 army; certainly around 1950 the United States and others
10 gave some assistance to Yugoslavia to enable it to
11 survive and not to come under Soviet control again.
12 However, I would not be certain that by the 1980s, there
13 was not a view and some reason to suppose that the
14 Yugoslav army's links, whatever its links with the west
15 and its position in between, its links with the Soviets
16 were likely to be closer in the events of war than those
17 with the west.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. Which is confirmed to some extent by the relationship
20 between General Kadijevic and General Yazov in the
21 Soviet Union in these very last days to which we are
22 making reference.
23 Q. I want to move forward in time. First we see the death
24 of Tito and we see the end of the Cold War and we see
25 the problems we have talked about developing in
1 Yugoslavia and then we see the appearance of Slobodan
2 Milosevic. Do you think there was a time when Slobodan
3 Milosevic tended to see himself as a potential new Tito,
4 a new Yugoslav strong man who could hold Yugoslavia
5 together and maintain Yugoslavia much in the way that
6 Tito had kept it together under the brotherhood and
7 unity idea and that sort of thing? Do you think that he
8 at one point thought that is what he would be able to
10 A. Be cautious in putting myself in his place and
11 expressing what his thoughts and beliefs were. I am not
12 sure whether or not he expressed something to this
13 effect. I have a suspicion that he was interested in
14 rising to the top and perhaps might have in some cases
15 seen that, but it was certainly an impression that some
16 outsiders, diplomatic representatives in Belgrade had
17 in, say, around 1987/1988, where they saw him as the
18 possibility of the new strong man, not necessarily a new
19 Tito, but a new strong man who would be able to rise to
20 the top and take control of the Yugoslav federation.
21 Q. That was the thinking of the State Department of the
22 United States during a two year period, was it not?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. NIEMANN: I object, your Honour, on the grounds of
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Initially being a fairly dedicated communist
2 and adherent to this concept of brotherhood and unity,
3 Milosevic was very opposed to the nationalist ideas that
4 were emerging in Serbia, was he not?
5 A. Again, it is hard to know exactly what his position
6 was. He was certainly adhering to established party
7 principles until around about the time in 1987 where he
8 went on these two visits to Kosovo and returned and
9 thereafter seemed to adopt a new platform.
10 Q. Are you aware of a --
11 A. If I may add, the real significance is in these two
12 visits to Kosovo, because on the first of them he does
13 spout the traditional Yugoslav communist kind of speech
14 about it, and when he goes back, at the end of the week,
15 it is a different perspective.
16 Q. That speech in fact appears in the series of "Death of
17 Yugoslavia", where he made that statement?
18 A. I believe part of it does, yes.
19 Q. Are you aware of a quote that appeared in Vreme, where
20 Milosevic said:
21 "The appearance of the memorandum of the Serbian
22 Academy of Arts and Sciences represents nothing else but
23 the darkest nationalism. It means the liquidation of
24 the current socialist system of our country; that is the
25 disintegration after which there is no survival for any
1 nation or nationality. Tito's policy of brotherhood and
2 unity is the only basis on which Yugoslavia's survival
3 can be secured."
4 Are you familiar with that quote?
5 A. I am familiar with that quote.
6 Q. As you said, it seemed that all of a sudden on his
7 second visit to Kosovo, he had realised that the path to
8 power was through nationalism rather than brotherhood
9 and unity?
10 A. That seems to be the case.
11 Q. The backing that we just talked about that Milosevic had
12 received from the United States obviously was something
13 that gave him some courage to proceed with his efforts
14 to amalgamate his power in Yugoslavia, correct?
15 A. I am not sure I am able to comment on what backing he
16 got from the United States and what he felt about it.
17 Q. Again, let us remind you of something you have written.
18 This would have been in, I think it is a journal called
20 "The US gave Milosevic its clear backing through
21 the first two years of his rise to power in Serbia.
22 This reflected the American hope that such a leader
23 would be able to take charge of Yugoslav politics in the
24 same way that Tito had. American backing for Milosevic
25 undoubtedly reinforced the Serbian leader's
1 aggressiveness vis-à-vis other elements in the
3 Do you subscribe to that statement?
4 MR. NIEMANN: Objection, your Honour. Your Honours, I cannot
5 see how the position of the United States vis-à-vis
6 Slobodan Milosevic can be in any way relevant to these
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose there are ways of getting
9 round things. It might be a detour, perhaps he might
10 land somewhere. I know it is fairly relevant, but
11 I still have not seen where it is driving at. The
12 cross-examiner might tell us where he is going.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: A number of these things will only become
14 relevant, your Honour, when I make my final remarks to
15 you at the close of the case, but I assure you I am not
16 just trying to waste this court's time in dealing with
17 matters I think have nothing to do with where we go in
18 this case. I am trying to proceed as rapidly as I can
19 through this.
20 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: In September 1989, Slovenia amended its
22 constitution, asserting republican sovereignty, did it
24 A. It did.
25 Q. Once Slovenia took that step, whether you call it a
1 fatal step or whatever you want to call it, once
2 Slovenia took that step then all the other republics
3 tended to follow suit.
4 A. Yes, generally each republic was trying to establish its
6 Q. At some point in that process, Serbia responded by
7 proposing what really amounted to a new Yugoslav
8 federation, wanting to continue a single Yugoslavia run
9 from Belgrade, right?
10 A. Yes, that is correct. If I might just point back to the
11 last question, when Slovenia took that step, it was also
12 following the assertion of sovereignty in Serbia
13 already, regarding Kosovo, as we had discussed.
14 Q. I am trying as much as I can, and I know I am failing,
15 to build chronologically, and I keep jumping out of that
17 A. I understand it is very difficult. I do it a lot of the
19 Q. It is. Croatia and Slovenia during that period
20 proposed, did they not, a Yugoslavia that would be more
21 of a confederation, based to some extent on the European
22 Community, a loose association of sovereign states?
23 A. Whether or not it specifically could be said to be based
24 on the European Community, although that is an allusion,
25 an image which was raised at the time by some people,
1 maybe as a matter of interpretation, but certainly they
2 made a joint proposal for something called "the
3 Confederation", which would be based on assuring the
4 sovereignty of, call it political independence of the
5 republics, as opposed to the Serbian idea, which would
6 be a federation more of the old kind in which the powers
7 of the republics would be concentrated in the centre.
8 Q. So what you quarrel with about my question was
9 including -- modelled on the European Community?
10 A. I would not quarrel with your question, I would just
11 express caution about saying it was modelled on the
12 European Community. The European Community was an image
13 used sometimes to associate with it. I am sorry I said
14 it, probably we should not be detained by this.
15 Q. You see, when I get an answer like that from you it just
16 causes you to be here longer, because now I have to read
17 you something you wrote in your book ""Triumph"", which
18 is very recent:
19 "Confederation was propounded by Slovenes and
20 Croats who wished to reform Yugoslavia as a loose
21 association of sovereign states" -- these are your
22 words, Dr. Gow -- "modelled on the European Community."
23 A. Those are my words and I make the distinction between my
24 words and my interpretation. I was saying the image was
25 used, and necessarily the intentions or the design and
1 the precise modelling of those involved. I do not think
2 it is a matter of great substance, I hope it is not, but
3 if it is let those words be mine -- my interpretation
4 rather than being attributed to other people.
5 Q. I am just trying to point out that sometimes when you
6 quarrel with the language of my questions you wind up
7 quarrelling with your own words.
8 A. I do not feel that I was quarrelling. Maybe at this
9 point I am in danger of quarrelling, because I do not
10 think I am quarrelling with my own words. It seems to me
11 I am consistent with the words. When you put a question
12 to me, I am trying to be accurate in answering the
14 Q. You recall saying in answer to my question "I would not
15 say it was modelled on the European Community". That is
16 what you told me when I asked you the question.
17 A. I would be interested to see the transcript. My
18 recollection is that I would not say it was necessarily
19 modelled on it in terms of those involved in projecting
20 the idea.
21 Q. This is beating a dead horse and I want to stop. During
22 this time, western policy, to the extent that there was
23 a western policy, it was primarily dedicated to the
24 proposition of trying to preserve the Yugoslav
25 federation, the state of Yugoslavia.
1 A. Yes, that is the case.
2 Q. This position by the west had perhaps the unintended
3 effect of supporting to some extent the aims of
4 Milosevic and the Serbs.
5 A. That seems to me to be correct.
6 Q. Because Milosevic and the Serbs basically saw the west
7 as supporting their efforts to keep a Yugoslav
8 federation, there was little incentive for Milosevic and
9 the Serbs to be at all flexible about that proposition?
10 A. That seems to be the case.
11 Q. When Croatia announced and affirmed its own sovereignty
12 in 1990, the ethnic Serbs then in Croatia began to react
13 and we have already talked about how they effectively
14 cut off part of Croatia and made it a no-go zone for
15 Croatians and started creating these autonomous areas.
16 A. We have already talked about that, yes.
17 Q. And it was at this point that Milosevic began to
18 understand that he was not going to succeed in becoming
19 a new Yugoslav strong man and holding all of Yugoslavia
20 together under his rule, and began then to talk about
21 the sovereignty of the Serb nation, and announce that
22 Serbs should all be united in one nation, and even
23 though he could not have all of Yugoslavia, he was going
24 to have as much of it as he could get as a Serb nation;
25 is that a reasonably fair statement?
1 A. If I may, I find it difficult to deal with some of these
2 questions because the way they are phrased seems to
3 involve a little bit of a free-flowing, casual
4 interpretation, the use of words which sometimes I might
5 myself use as well in context, but it does strike me,
6 and I really hate to say this because I do not want to
7 get out of place, but in the context of a court and
8 reference to something you said earlier, which I was not
9 given an opportunity to address, it does seem to me that
10 there is a burden in this context to take the language
11 and the phrasing even more seriously than might be the
12 case at other times and therefore to try to be precise
13 in what is being said, and please forgive me all around,
14 your Honours and everybody else, if I am out of place,
15 but it does seem to me -- I have a difficulty with the
16 questions sometimes because like this, the final phrases
17 there --
18 Q. Dr. Gow, let me set your mind at ease. I forgive you,
19 you are here as an expert, we are all interested in the
20 precision. I am not an expert and I am not capable of
21 the precision, so please any time I ask you a question
22 that you need to lend precision to, please feel free to
23 do so because what we want is as much understanding as
24 we can have, not for you to buy into some imprecise
25 question I might ask.
1 A. That is fine. I raise this because this last question
2 I could easily answer yes, but only on the basis that
3 I would have reservations about the precise terminology.
4 Q. Do you want to try to be more precise about the issue
5 that I asked you about, or would you like me to perhaps
6 read you something that you wrote in your book about
8 A. As you wish.
9 Q. What you said in your book, and this really is the basis
10 for that imprecise question:
11 "Milosevic declared that the Serb nation was
12 sovereign and that all Serbs therefore should live in
13 one state, which meant that if there was not to be a
14 Yugoslav federation, then attempts would be made to
15 unite all Serbs. Neither Croatia nor Bosnia, where
16 Serbs accounted for around 30 per cent of the
17 inhabitants, could be independent without trouble. As
18 violence gripped Croatia and Bosnia in May 1991, both
19 Milosevic and opposition leaders made speeches
20 containing the threat of war."
21 So basically what I want to draw your attention to
22 is the first part of that, the declaration of
23 sovereignty of the Serb nation and that all Serbs should
24 live in one state, and that sort of thing. That is
25 where I get a question that is imprecise.
1 A. If you put it in those words, then I have no problem in
2 saying yes. It was the terminology you used before
3 struck me as being slightly different and looser than
4 that, but I am happy to go with that and that quite
5 clearly was the case.
6 Q. When I get in trouble with you is when I take what you
7 say and put it in my own words and therefore in your
8 view make it less precise than you intended it?
9 A. I hope you do not get into trouble with me, but one of
10 the reasons we are maybe sometimes having longer
11 exchanges than necessary is because I am trying to be
12 precise than what has been said.
13 Q. I appreciate that very much. It became, after these
14 kinds of announcements, and I am referring to the kinds
15 of announcements about the Serbs all living in one
16 nation by Milosevic, it became clear to the leaders in
17 Croatia and Slovenia that any hope of working out some
18 kind of an accommodation with Milosevic for any kind of
19 a new Yugoslav federation probably did not exist.
20 A. I think that they drew that conclusion, they may have in
21 some ways have drawn that conclusion before that time as
23 Q. Certainly a very strong signal that there was to be no
24 accommodation with Milosevic was the meeting of the
25 Yugoslav presidency on May 15th -- was it March
1 15th 1991? I think it was, when Stipe Mesic was denied
2 the presidency.
3 A. May 15th 1991.
4 Q. I am going to go back for just a moment to what we had
5 discussed about the western policy, which basically
6 wound up, intentionally or otherwise, supporting the
7 aims of Milosevic and the Serbs, that is trying to keep
8 the federation together. That in addition had the
9 effect of, at least in Milosevic's mind or in the mind
10 of Kadijevic or other Serbian leaders, that there was
11 some legitimacy involved in using force in Slovenia and
12 Croatia at the time that those two republics broke off
13 from Yugoslavia and began to establish their own
15 A. I am not certain, if I take you correctly, that you can
16 say that it was necessarily judged that there was
17 legitimacy in using force to hold Yugoslavia together,
18 but that there was support for holding Yugoslavia
19 together and possibly an understanding that if force was
20 used, there might be objections to it, but at the end of
21 the day, it would not matter.
22 I might add at this point, seeing as you seem to
23 be relying fairly heavily in going through this sequence
24 of events on the book, that since finishing that text,
25 I have also become aware that although some of this is
1 based on external appearances and the way some of the
2 things seemed to be at the time, on looking at
3 specifically a couple of other things, the memoirs of
4 Warren Zimmermann, the US Ambassador to Belgrade at the
5 time, and the Jovic diaries, to which we made reference
6 earlier, it is clear that privately the United States
7 was saying that, "we favour a single Yugoslavia, but we
8 will never stand in the way of democracy". Maybe that
9 was in the book, but clearly in the Jovic diaries, there
10 are a number of cases where Zimmermann is delivering
11 demarche to him about the possibility of using force, so
12 maybe it is not quite as clear cut, on the basis of what
13 I know now, as things that I said earlier, and
14 particularly articles written in 1991 to which you made
15 reference earlier, "Survival".
16 Q. Are you telling me this book "Triumph", which you hoped
17 at the time of its writing to stand the test of
18 historians 30 or more years after the event, is already
19 starting to crumble?
20 A. Absolutely not, I do not think that this significantly
21 changes that at all. I just say that, as I anticipated
22 in writing that, new material would become available
23 over time.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay. This would be a good time for a break,
25 your Honour.
1 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I know we should rise now for 30
2 minutes for you to continue. We will rise for 30
4 (4.00 pm)
5 (A short break)
6 (4.30 pm)
7 (Witness entered court)
8 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Yes, Mr. Ackerman. You may continue.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, your Honour.
10 Dr. Gow, I am going to try again. What I am trying
11 to accomplish at this stage is to move as rapidly as
12 possible through some background historical material.
13 I am not trying to be precise about it, because I think
14 it is just background, and I do expect at some point to
15 get into some matters which require a great deal of
16 precision, and how long it takes us to move through this
17 historical material really depends on you. I certainly
18 would not want you to permit me to misstate something
19 about the history, but perhaps we can move a little
20 faster if you did not find it so necessary to quarrel
21 with my use of language, as long as the general
22 proposition is being stated rather accurately. I do not
23 know if we can do that or not. I certainly want to try,
24 and I will try and I will continue to try.
25 The question I want to ask you now is this: it is
1 correct, is it not, that in 1990 and 1991, western
2 policy, wittingly or unwittingly, backed Serbia,
3 reinforced its intransigence and contributed to the
4 diplomatic impasse. Because the west wanted what Serbia
5 wanted, Serbia and the federal army had little incentive
6 to be flexible. Slovenia and Croatia decided that the
7 only way to break the stalemate was unilateral action.
8 Western policy effectively served to legitimise the use
9 of force against first Slovenia and then Croatia after
10 the two declared their independence; is that correct?
11 A. That sounds correct to me. I would also like to add
12 something, just the thing you were talking about before
13 the recess on this idea of threat or not threat and what
14 I said about Zimmermanns demarche. Also while there was
15 concern about that at one stage, when Kadijevic went to
16 Moscow in March he was assured by Yazov that their
17 intelligence sources said that there would no such
18 intervention, so from that point onwards, the situation
19 I was describing originally was the case anyway. That
20 is just a point of clarification.
21 Q. There were a number of statements coming out of the west
22 and western governments that we are not going to commit
23 any troops to Yugoslavia or anything like that. There
24 really was, was there not, a climate of fear in Belgrade
25 that there would be military intervention throughout
1 most of the war right up through 1995; just as a general
2 proposition that is the case, is it not?
3 A. I think there was often a concern, but a general
4 proposition, I think there was the belief that would not
5 happen as long as thresholds were not crossed.
6 Q. You talked a little bit earlier about Milan Kucan, the
7 President of Slovenia. There came a point in time when
8 Milosevic was prepared to make some kind of a deal in
9 which he would agree to Slovenian independence in
10 exchange for Slovenian agreement to change the SFRY
11 constitution. It is clear from that that Milosevic was
12 seeking to change the constitution to extend or change
13 the interpretation of sovereignty to apply to the
14 nations, the peoples, that is what he would regard as
15 ethno-national groups, irrespective of their territorial
17 A. That broadly is the case, yes.
18 Q. What Mr. Kucan said about that meeting that he had with
19 Milosevic was that:
20 "It was obvious at that meeting that the Serbs
21 would not insist on keeping Slovenia within
22 Yugoslavia. We Slovenes said that we wanted the right to
23 have our own state. Milosevic said the Serbs wanted
24 recognition of this right for themselves too; that is
25 all Serbs in Yugoslavia in one state. My reply, of
1 course, was that the Serbs also had this right, but in
2 the same way as the Slovenes, without hurting the rights
3 of other nations. Milosevic replied, 'yes, of course,
4 this is clear' and with that we flew home to Ljubljana."
5 Do you recall that being a statement made by Milan
6 Kucan representing his views of that meeting with
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I want to talk as briefly as I can about the efforts of
10 the European Community to work out a solution to the
11 crisis. There was an early plan, was there not, that
12 came out of a conference that Lord Carrington chaired
13 here in The Hague on 7th September 1991.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The basic principles of that proposed agreement were
16 that there would be no unilateral change of borders by
17 force, that there would be protection of the rights of
18 all in Yugoslavia, and there would be full respect for
19 all legitimate interests and aspirations.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. That plan was, in many ways, similar to that that
22 Slovenia and Croatia had proposed, a loose confederation
23 based to some extent on the EC model.
24 A. I might interpret it that way. Others did interpret it
25 that way. I think people in Belgrade did not, or rather
1 they interpreted it in that way, yes. I will just say
2 yes, sorry.
3 Q. Five of the six republican leaderships in Yugoslavia
4 agreed, in principle at least, with this plan as
5 suggested by Lord Carrington.
6 A. Five of the republics agreed to the plan.
7 Q. Milosevic opposed it.
8 A. He opposed it, having previously agreed in principle to
9 the terms for the agreement, which is why they had then
10 put the plan forward.
11 Q. He wound up opposing it because he said he did not want
12 the Serbs to become national minorities in new republics
13 within Yugoslavia, but wanted those minorities in
14 Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to have their own
15 separate sovereignty, those Serb minorities?
16 A. As I recall, the Serbian delegation raised the question
17 with the Carrington conference as to whether or not the
18 Serbs in Croatia, one, could be regarded as sovereign
19 and two, had the right to self-determination. I think
20 that was specifically the question that was put to which
21 the answers, as I recall, were they cannot be judged as
22 being sovereign on the basis of a people, but that they
23 may be entitled, in an undefined way, to some degree of
25 Q. The Milosevic response to that plan and his objection to
1 it was basically consistent with the deal he had tried
2 earlier to work out with Kucan, correct?
3 A. The attempt to make the deal with Kucan, which by the
4 way Kucan did not actually make the changes to the
5 constitution, was on the, say, basis of trying to ensure
6 the whole of the Serbian people would be defined as
7 sovereign rather than the political territorial
9 Q. The other thing he found offensive in the proposal was
10 that he would not agree to restoration of autonomy for
11 Kosovo and Vojvodina?
12 A. I would have to go back and look at it to be sure. It
13 is not my recollection directly that the restoration of
14 autonomy for Vojvodina and Kosovo was part --
15 JUDGE JAN: You said sovereign as a whole, without
16 limitation of territory. Really I do not understand
17 what that means, really.
18 A. What I said, if I may, that --
19 JUDGE JAN: I just want to understand.
20 A. The idea being put forward by Milosevic was that the
21 Serbian people, Serbian nation, should be interpreted as
22 being sovereign, that is across the territories of the
23 republics of Yugoslavia, rather than the republics being
24 the repository of sovereignty, so I think
25 conventionally, the idea of, if I understand, the way
1 I understand it is that sovereignty applies to
2 territorial units rather than population groups and what
3 Milosevic was proposing was that sovereignty should be
4 applied not to Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia,
5 Slovenia, Macedonia, but to the Serbian people and that
6 he would recognise the Slovenes as a population group in
7 that sense, if Kucan agreed to make the changes so that
8 the position of the Serbs across the territories would
9 be recognised as one of sovereignty. I hope that
10 explanation -- what he was proposing was to make the
11 Serbian people across the territories be understood to
12 be an embodiment of sovereignty, rather than the
13 territorial unit.
14 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Actually what is typically confusing is
15 that irrespective of territorial boundaries of the
16 different states --
17 JUDGE JAN: You talk of sovereignty of a state, not of
18 people. I was just wondering if I could understand what
19 it implied. I have understood.
20 A. Thank you. If I may, in practice what he meant was
21 infringing the sovereignty, changing the territorial
22 position of other sovereign entities.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Let us do it this way again, Dr. Gow. I will
25 "With five out of six republican leaderships
1 accepting the EC plan in principle, the only stumbling
2 block was Milosevic, who rejected it, although this
3 rejection was not completely out of hand. Serbia's
4 chief objection was the proposed position of the Serb
5 communities outside Serbia, having been classified as
6 part of a nation in the old Yugoslavia, these would now
7 become national minorities. Serbia's position was that
8 these minorities should be sovereign. This corresponded
9 with the proposal of the Serbs in Croatia.
10 "A further major stumbling block was the quid pro
11 quo for Serb political autonomy in Croatia, the
12 restoration of autonomy for the Serbian provinces of
13 Kosovo and Vojvodina, the removal of which had been
14 Milosevic's central political platform, and the only
15 real achievement since coming to power in 1986.
16 Suggesting this, he said, constituted interference in
17 Serbia's internal affairs."
18 A. That is a perfectly fair representation. I might point
19 out with reference to your question, which I was
20 interrupted and did not get a chance to answer, there is
21 a difference between something being included in the
22 plan and the quid pro quo which was made clear, I think,
23 to the Serbian camp, which was that if they were
24 proposing some kind of status for Serbs in Croatia then
25 this would raise the question, the quid pro quo, of the
1 status of the province of Kosovo with its majority
2 Albanian population. As I was saying, I would have to
3 go back and check whether it was formally part of the
4 plan. I do not believe there was specific reference to
5 Kosovo, but that was understood, that the quid pro quo
6 of looking at the question of autonomy for Serbs in
7 Croatia was also linked to the same type of arrangement
8 in Serbia.
9 Q. To maybe clarify as much as possible these differences,
10 the EC was basically operating out of fairly long
11 established principles of international law arising out
12 of an agreement at Helsinki and also exemplified by the
13 history of the United Nations regarding the integrity of
14 international borders. Milosevic, on the other hand,
15 was trying to establish a sovereignty based on
16 ethno-nationalism without regard to international
17 borders, and that is where the conflict really was
18 between he and the European Community and the
19 international community, basically, at that point. Is
20 that not fair?
21 A. That was a central element.
22 Q. Yes. Could you just take a moment and tell us -- let me
23 ask you something else. There was -- this philosophy we
24 just described, that Milosevic was putting forward, was
25 something that he was not necessarily consistent about,
1 in the sense that he never expressed a willingness to
2 apply that principle with regard to the Albanians in
3 Kosovo, that they should have any kind of sovereignty.
4 He seemed only willing to apply it to the Serbs
5 throughout Yugoslavia.
6 A. That is the case, if you wish I can explain why that was
7 the case.
8 Q. If it is important, you can do that, but it seems to me
9 what is clear is that a principle that he was willing to
10 apply for the benefit of Serbs he was not willing to
11 apply to the detriment of Serbs and for the benefit of
12 Albanians. That is basically what it boils down to, is
13 it not?
14 A. Yes, it can be reduced to that.
15 Q. Bearing in mind we are trying to move rather rapidly
16 through material here, maybe we can be comfortable with
17 that, okay? I do not know if the Tribunal fully
18 understands who this fellow we have been talking about a
19 lot, Kadijevic, was at this time, and what his role
20 was. Could you just take a brief moment and explain who
21 he was and what his role was?
22 A. If I did not explain during the course of evidence
23 yesterday, forgive me, but I will be clear and expand.
24 General Veko Kadijevic was the Federal Secretary for
25 Defence in the Socialist Federative Republic of
1 Yugoslavia. He was the highest ranking man in the
2 Yugoslav military, serving as a minister in the
3 government, as a representative ex officio at the
4 meetings of the State Council or Collective Presidency
5 and as commander, subject to the supreme command of the
6 Presidency, of the Yugoslav People's Army, of the armed
7 forces of Yugoslavia.
8 Q. Kadijevic was like Milosevic, very opposed to this idea
9 floated by the European Community at that time, was he
11 A. Like Milosevic, he was opposed, though I am not sure
12 that the opposition was based on precisely the same
14 Q. He characterised the plan as, "Germany very openly
15 attacking Yugoslavia for the third time this century",
16 did he not?
17 A. He did.
18 Q. Of course, he also had a kind of personal concern,
19 I suppose, in the sense that he understood that the
20 adoption of such a plan would mean the end of the
21 Yugoslav People's Army and then perhaps the end of his
22 tenure as its head?
23 A. Certainly the dissolution of Yugoslavia would mean
24 that. Whether or not the plan necessarily meant it I am
25 not sure, but he certainly understood that that was what
1 the consequence would be.
2 Q. I take it you would agree that with this statement, he
3 also bewailed the reality that the plan would mean the
4 end of the federal army?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I think you have expressed your conclusion about this
7 next issue with such frequency that we can deal with it
8 rather rapidly. You have taken the position on numerous
9 occasions that Yugoslavia ceased to exist on 15th May
10 1991 when Stipe Mesic was not permitted to take his seat
11 as President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia.
12 A. I may have expressed that judgement. As I recall, there
13 was a question about this in the Tadic case, and I think
14 what I said there was that I think from that point
15 onwards, the SFRY ceased to function, but that the SFRY
16 ultimately can formally be said to have ceased to exist
17 on 27th April 1992. I am saying this in line with the
18 opinions of the Badinter Advisory Commission to the
19 European Community conference, you made reference
20 before, here in The Hague.
21 JUDGE JAN: Who was Mesic?
22 A. Stipe Mesic was the designated Croatian representative
23 to the State Council, otherwise known as the Collective
24 Presidency. This was a point at which representatives
25 from each of the six republics, plus a representative
1 from each of the two autonomous provinces within Serbia,
2 came together. The Defence Secretary Kadijevic would
3 also attend the meetings. Mesic was due on 15th May
4 1991 to rotate to being President of this Council in
5 what had otherwise always been a formality, but on this
6 occasion, the vote to confirm this was blocked. The
7 reason why I take 15th May as being the date on which
8 the SFRY effectively ceased to function is precisely
9 because of this blockage.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Ceasing to function in many ways is synonymous
11 with ceasing to exist. It could not function as a
12 federation any longer, so therefore really it did not
13 have any effective existence from that point forward,
14 did it?
15 A. That would be my judgement, but the issue is not
16 straightforward, as I think I just made clear.
17 Q. That has been your judgement on a number of occasions.
18 You have I think been careful on each occasion to use
19 the words "ceased to function" as opposed to ceased to
20 exist, but certainly you would not quarrel with the
21 proposition that by April 1992 that it ceased to exist?
22 A. I would not.
23 Q. Certainly by May 1st 1992, there was no SFRY.
24 A. Agreed.
25 Q. Okay. By May 1st 1992, the federal authorities in
1 Belgrade only had control at that point legally over
2 matters within Serbia and Montenegro. That is the only
3 place they could exercise control as a government.
4 A. Serbia and Montenegro were the republics which were said
5 to form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
6 Q. The sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
7 did not extend beyond the borders of Serbia and
9 A. I think that is the case.
10 Q. This was by this time recognised as a fact at least, and
11 I am not suggesting diplomatic recognition of FRY, I am
12 just recognising de facto that Serbia and Montenegro was
13 now its own separate little fiefdom, that its
14 sovereignty was confined to those two countries.
15 A. That is the case.
16 Q. There had been, had there not, significantly prior to
17 this agreement by Milosevic, even though he took
18 different positions now and then, in October 1991 he
19 agreed that the borders of the republics were to be
20 respected, did he not?
21 A. Yes, on 4th October 1991 he agreed in principle to the
22 idea of territorial integrity for the republics.
23 Q. When it became clear to the European Community that
24 Yugoslavia was dissolving and that there were yearnings
25 for independence on the part of Slovenia, Croatia and
1 perhaps other republics, a response that the EC
2 fashioned to that was to create a commission to study
3 that called, and I cannot pronounce this man's name,
4 I think it is Badinter, or something like that; is that
6 A. The EC organised the conference in The Hague and the
7 advisory commission, under French jurist Robert Badinter
8 was assigned to advise on legal matters.
9 Q. That commission was basically tasked to advise the EC on
10 what the conditions should be under which recognition
11 would be extended to these proposed republics, proposed
12 independent states.
13 A. The commission was established to give opinions to the
14 conference, in particular to the conference chair Lord
15 Carrington on questions that he raised. For example,
16 when the Serbian delegation raised the question we
17 discussed earlier on, sovereignty of Serbs or the right
18 to self-determination, that was then a question which
19 Carrington put to the commission to get an advisory
20 opinion upon and that was the basis for it.
21 At a later stage, if I think -- maybe now I am
22 just realising what you are talking about, as part of
23 this process, when the EC in December 1991 decided to
24 invite those Yugoslav republics seeking recognition as
25 having independent international personality to do so,
1 then also the EC Council in this case through the
2 conference asked Badinter Advisory Commission to assess
3 the applications vis-à-vis a number of possible
4 guidelines for whether or not it would be appropriate to
5 do so.
6 JUDGE JAN: Is it the same commission which Dr. Calic
7 described as "arbitration commission"?
8 A. She might well. I would have to check the transcript as
9 to what Dr. Calic called it. But it was the advisory
10 commission to the European Conference on Yugoslavia.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: This commission, this Badinter Commission in
12 fact proposed to the Council guidelines that the Council
13 should apply in determining whether or not to extend
14 recognition to these fledgling states.
15 A. There were guidelines and the advisory commission gave
16 opinions on the applications.
17 Q. There came a point, did there not, where the EC Council
18 met and agreed to follow the vision of the commission
19 regarding these guidelines?
20 A. I am not sure what you have in mind. I will say anyway,
21 the European Council met on 16th going through into the
22 night of 17th December 1991, at which it was agreed to
23 draw up these guidelines and to suggest the invitation
24 or possibility of having recognition of independent
25 international personality.
1 Then on 15th January 1992, the European Council
2 met to discuss the opinions offered by the advisory
3 commission and then proceeded to make political
4 decisions on the basis of those opinions, but not
5 entirely on the basis of those opinions, given that one
6 of the opinions was that Macedonia should be recognised,
7 but for political reasons that did not happen.
8 Q. I seem to always be able to be more precise when I read
9 your words to you, so I will do that:
10 "Only one week after establishing a common EC
11 policy, including the process of taking advice from the
12 Badinter Commission and the priority of acting jointly,
13 Bonn", that would be the German government, "announced
14 on 23rd December 1991 that it would recognise Slovenia
15 and Croatia and establish diplomatic links on
16 15th January."
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. In effect what happened there was the German government,
19 having agreed that they would go through this Badinter
20 process, then, for whatever reason, and there are
21 reasons we could discuss and I do not think we need to,
22 but for whatever reason, basically the German government
23 said, "we are going to go ahead and recognise as of
24 January 15th". That is what happened, is it not?
25 A. That is what happened.
1 Q. What was going on at that point with the EC was a very
2 deliberate and careful effort to try to methodically go
3 through this process in a way to try to avoid the
4 breaking out of armed hostilities, when the recognitions
5 finally came about, to try to establish a framework, an
6 understanding, a way to do this, to minimise as much as
7 possible the possibility of war breaking out.
8 A. I think the EC, as was the case with all other
9 international actors, wanted to limit any possibilities
10 of armed hostilities, or the scope of armed
11 hostilities. Again, forgive me for doing what you say
12 is quarrelling, but I do not believe I am quarrelling with
13 you, I am just seeking to be clear, armed hostilities
14 had been taking place in Croatia, which is one of the
15 countries in question, for some six months by this
16 stage, so I do not think it was any question of the EC
17 in doing this attempting to prevent the possibilities of
18 armed hostilities. They were actually taking place, so
19 whilst there was a general desire always to prevent
20 armed hostilities, that would have been filtered into
21 this process.
22 If I understood you correctly, or heard you
23 correctly, I do not think you could say that this was
24 the motivation in carrying out the work of this meeting
25 of the European Council. I think what it was was a way
1 of managing the process of dissolution of the SFRY,
3 Q. There was certainly a sense, was there not, that -- and
4 we are talking about some fairly sensitive diplomatic
5 work that was going on here during this time, there was
6 a sense, was there not, in the EC that by going about
7 this through the use of the Badinter Commission and
8 being careful and deliberate about it, that not only
9 might the process end, the hostilities that were going
10 on in Croatia, but also prevent the outbreak of a wider
11 Yugoslavian war. Was that not on the minds of the
12 people that were trying to work through this?
13 A. I think they certainly hoped that whatever they did
14 would be able to prevent that, but it was a significant
15 issue of dispute, even at the European Council meeting
16 in December, to which I made reference, between those
17 who felt that the way to do this would be to move sooner
18 rather than later towards recognition of independent
19 international personality and those who thought it might
20 be better to delay the process.
21 Q. I think you will agree at least that several
22 commentators have seen the rather precipitous action of
23 the German government as perhaps contributing to the
24 breakout of a wider war?
25 A. I would agree that a number of commentators have made
1 that observation.
2 Q. I am going to fast forward a bit now, and I want to
3 concentrate a little bit on events that were occurring
4 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is not necessarily forward in
5 time, but forward in subject matter. I want to direct
6 your attention to October 1991, and activities that were
7 going on in the Bosnian Parliament at that time. At
8 that stage, the Parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 affirmed the sovereign state quality of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, indicating them to be a state of
11 equal citizens and peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina; that
12 is the Muslims, the Slav Muslims, the Serbs and the
13 Croats, as well as any other population groups living on
14 the territories. That happened in October 1991,
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. At that time, in that Parliament, representing the SDS
18 was a fellow by the name of Radovan Karadzic.
19 A. At that time Karadzic was leader of the SDS in the
20 Bosnian Parliament, although at the precise time of the
21 adoption of the platform on sovereignty, it is my
22 recollection that Karadzic had led the SDS delegates out
23 of the chamber.
24 Q. On October 14th 1991, expressing his opposition to this
25 idea of sovereignty for Bosnia-Herzegovina, he actually
1 took the podium and made a speech, did he not?
2 A. He did.
3 Q. I want to quote his words, tell me if you believe I am
4 quoting him accurately:
5 "You want to take Bosnia and Herzegovina down the
6 same highway of hell and suffering that Slovenia and
7 Croatia are travelling. Do not think that you will not
8 lead Bosnia and Herzegovina into hell and do not think
9 that you will perhaps make the Muslim people disappear,
10 because the Muslims cannot defend themselves if there is
11 war. How will you prevent everyone from being killed in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina?"
14 A. Right.
15 Q. Fairly provocative words, are they not?
16 A. They appear to be, yes.
17 Q. President Izetbegovic felt it necessary to reply to that
18 outburst by saying:
19 "As President of the Presidency of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I am sorry that in this situation
21 I must talk for the Muslim people. I solemnly state
22 that the Muslims will not attack anyone. However, just
23 as solemnly, I state that the Muslims will defend
24 themselves with great determination and survive. They
25 will not disappear as Karadzic said, they cannot
2 Do you remember that?
3 A. Yes, I do. It might be helpful to their Honours if
4 I also add that this discussion on the platform on
5 sovereignty was taking place against the background of
6 the declaration of the Serbian autonomous regions to
7 which I made reference earlier in testimony, which took
8 place in September 1991.
9 Q. Yes. And the vision that was in the mind of Karadzic at
10 that point, some of which had already been carried into
11 effect by declaration, was for a large piece of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina to become purely Serb and perhaps
13 link up with FRY and become part of FRY.
14 A. That would be my judgement.
15 Q. There were, however, large numbers of Serbs living in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina that rejected this vision of
17 Karadzic, did they not?
18 A. There were certainly good numbers of Serbs who did not
19 necessarily support this Karadzic vision, even some
20 members of the SDS, for example, at later stages when
21 they began to see exactly what was happening, left the
23 Q. You have written in your book, and I think there may
24 very well be a proof reading problem with this sentence,
25 which you recognise as a problem many places in
1 "Triumph", do you not?
2 A. I fear I do.
3 Q. I do not want to embarrass you about that and I am not
4 trying to.
5 A. I am not going into it, but I think it is not
6 necessarily a question of proof reading.
7 Q. I do not want to go into it either, but perhaps you can
8 clarify this sentence, because it is not clear the way
9 it is written in your book:
10 "It should not be assumed, however, that all the
11 Serbs held to the Karadzic line; clearly tens, if not
12 hundreds, of thousands of them rejected his vision."
13 I do not understand that, whether it is saying ten
14 Serbs or hundred Serbs or 100,000 Serbs. What was the
15 number you were trying to state there?
16 A. Forgive me if I was not clear, but I was indicating that
17 maybe it would be better expressed as tens of thousands
18 of Serbs, possibly hundreds of thousands of them, did
19 not opt for the Karadzic vision, although I do not think
20 there is a way to be precise about the numbers.
21 Q. That is the way I read it, but I was not certain. There
22 were even Serbs serving in the Parliament of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina who supported the Izetbegovic
24 position and favoured the holding of the referendum that
25 had been recommended by the Badinter Commission,
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Karadzic, of course, opposed the holding of that
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. The referendum in fact took place on February 29th and
7 1st March 1992.
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. 64.4 per cent of the Bosnian population voted.
10 A. That is probably the figure. As I do not have it to
11 hand and I have not rehearsed I cannot be sure,
12 something of that kind.
13 Q. Do you understand that I am trying to be accurate?
14 A. I do understand, which is why I am careful, because I do
15 not have a figure in mind.
16 Q. Of that number, 99.7 per cent voted in favour of
18 A. That seems to me to be right.
19 Q. There has been subsequent claim by Serbs that the
20 referendum was not valid because they had boycotted that
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. In fact the SDS announced a boycott of the referendum.
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. More than announcing and encouraging Serbs to boycott
1 it, they took active steps to prevent Serbs from voting
2 in that referendum, did they not?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. They erected barriers so that ballot boxes could not get
5 to polling places where Serbs were likely to vote.
6 A. That was reported to be the case.
7 Q. I think you would agree with me that under ordinary
8 democratic principles, this referendum was in fact
9 binding on the entire population of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. I think you said "ordinary democratic principles", but
11 I am not quite sure what ordinary democratic principles
12 are. Referendums are held on a number of different
13 bases, requiring different types of majority. It is my
14 judgement, derived from the opinion of the advisory
15 commission we discussed, that this was appropriate and
16 binding in this case.
17 Q. Ordinary democratic principles going all the way back to
18 ancient Greece tend to be based on the proposition of
19 majority rule; that is a fair statement, is it not?
20 A. That is one of the elements of democracy. Also if you
21 are talking about referendums, sometimes particular
22 benchmarks are set.
23 Q. In this case, there were none.
24 A. That is my understanding.
25 Q. The Serb position that because a minority refused to
1 vote, would be absurd, could defeat a referendum because
2 a minority refused to vote would be absurd, because what
3 you are then looking at is rule by minority rather than
5 A. That would be the case in what you might describe as an
6 ordinary situation. In the context of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbs also made this claim on
8 the basis of a constitutional amendment in 1990,
9 equating all the constituent peoples and therefore
10 argued that because a number of the Serbs had not
11 participated in the referendum then it should be
12 regarded as being invalid, but that is not the opinion
13 that was taken by the advisory commission.
14 Q. It is real interesting to bar people from voting and
15 then claim because they did not vote the referendum has
16 no validity, is it not?
17 A. You mean for the SDS activists to try to prevent --
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Bizarre if you are thinking in terms of democratic
20 practices, but not necessarily if you are thinking in
21 terms of this situation and their intentions and
23 Q. The only people who accepted the proposition that the
24 Serbs put forward that the referendum was invalid were
25 other Serbs; the rest of the world saw the referendum as
1 valid and acted upon it as if it were valid, correct?
2 A. That is broadly correct, although if you have read the
3 Tadic case, then you will see that an academic colleague
4 of mine, Robert Hayden, actually believes that that
5 should not have been the case. Not everybody on the
6 outside world.
7 Q. That is true. Not everybody in the outside world.
8 Nothing is agreed to by everybody in the outside world.
9 But in any event as a result of that referendum, the
10 Badinter Commission was satisfied that it was sufficient
11 to constitute an expression of the will of the people of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the EC and its member states
13 then proceeded to recognise the independent
14 international personality of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. On May 22nd 1992, the United Nations admitted
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina putting the further stamp of
18 international approval on the route it had taken as a
19 state, correct?
20 A. True.
21 Q. So that once Bosnia-Herzegovina had acquired this
22 international recognition through the EC, the United
23 States, and finally the United Nations, then any
24 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who took up arms against
25 that legitimate internationally recognised government
1 could appropriately be termed rebels, could they not?
2 A. They could be termed rebels, but that is not the only
3 way in which they might be termed.
4 Q. They could be termed a lot of things, but it may be more
5 accurate to refer to them as Bosnian rebels than to
6 refer to them as Serb forces, for instance.
7 A. I doubt if it would be appropriate to refer to them as
8 Bosnian rebels, although in one technical sense of that
9 you could say that it is the case, but in a meaningful
10 sense they regarded themselves as being Serbs rather
11 than Bosnians in this context and therefore the
12 rebellion, if that is the way you want to describe it,
13 was not of Bosnians but of Serbs who were seeking, if
14 anything, to reject some sense of that which was
16 Q. For perhaps a few hundred years prior to that time,
17 those Serbs who had been born in Bosnia, whose fathers
18 had been born in Bosnia, whose grandfathers had been
19 born in Bosnia, certainly recognised themselves as
20 Bosnians and citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, did they
22 A. Another of these problematic expressions.
23 Q. They called themselves --
24 A. First of all I think the idea of citizenship of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina is not anything which can be said to
1 be appropriate until the creation of the Socialist
2 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, within the Federal
3 People's Republic of Yugoslavia or possibly even the
4 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, that is
5 from 1974, from which time at least they were issued
6 with specific passports, so from which republic you
7 came, you would have a BH passport or a Croatia passport
8 or an Serbia passport, so in terms of citizenship,
9 I would say it would be inappropriate to say they had
10 these centuries of citizenship. It is clear that
11 through periods of the 19th century and parts of the
12 20th century there were some who regarded themselves as
13 Bosnians and in general in the former Yugoslavia people
14 would refer to Bosnians, whether or not they were Serbs,
15 Croats or Muslims but it is also the case, you can see
16 this from events in 1976/88, that some of them regarded
17 themselves as Orthodox, which also increasingly came to
18 be associated as being Serb, as you pointed out yourself
19 earlier, eastern Orthodox were the Serbs and this became
20 the identity as Serbia became more and more a prominent
22 Q. To an extent they called themselves Bosnian Serbs, they
23 voted in elections that were held in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 they served in the Parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 they held positions in the government of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and they lived in
3 A. If you are talking rather than for hundreds of years
4 before, which I think is what you said about the latter
5 period, then with the exception that I am not sure they
6 necessarily called themselves Bosnian Serbs, that is the
8 I might point out, not that I have expertise in
9 anthropology, but anthropologists have noted that in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina the distinctions were made between
11 Croat, Muslim and Orthodox, rather than between Croats,
12 Muslims and Serbs, for most of the time. I say that with
13 complete recognition, just for clarification in the use
14 of the terminology and what they were deemed to call
15 themselves, and without making any greater claim than
16 the use of it.
17 Q. If we go far enough back in history --
18 A. I am sorry, in saying that, I am not going back in
19 history, I am talking about research done in the 1980s.
20 Q. But if we go far enough back in history, there are
21 people who call themselves Muslim Croats living in
23 A. You can find people who call themselves many things.
24 Q. I do not know if you know this or not, and if you do
25 not, you can just tell me and we can get there with
1 someone else or in a different way, but do you know that
2 citizenship of the Socialist Federal Republic of
3 Yugoslavia, SFRY, was what is known as a derivative
4 citizenship; in other words, to be a citizen of SFRY,
5 you had to be recognised as a citizen of one of its
6 republics; did you know that?
7 A. I cannot say that I really know about citizenship and
8 this idea of, what you say, derivative, but I think
9 maybe I can get there by going back to my previous or
10 last but one answer, in which I pointed out that there
11 was a degree of attachment to each republic and if you
12 had a SFRY passport, it stated your republic -- which
13 republic you came from, designated your citizenship
14 status, so each serial number would begin -- for
15 example, for Bosnia-Herzegovina would be "BH".
16 Q. So to get a Yugoslav passport, you had to prove and
17 demonstrate that you were a citizen of one of the
18 republics, and that designation appeared on the
20 A. On the whole, but that designation which appeared was
21 not necessarily that of the republic from which you
22 came, always. I know of cases where people from
23 Belgrade had BH passports, never having had anything to
24 do with Bosnia-Herzegovina, I should point out.
25 Q. There are people going around with passports from places
1 they have never been today. Those kind of things
2 happen, right?
3 A. Right, I am just making that clear.
4 Q. If you want to be a citizen of Dominica, all you have to
5 do is send them $50,000 and they will send you a
6 passport. Did you know that?
7 A. I did not know that, but thanks for the advice.
8 Q. You do not even have to go to Dominica.
9 When we start talking about the breakout of the
10 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and forces being assembled
11 that wound up fighting each other, I think you will
12 agree with me that the Bosnian government forces, those
13 trying to defend the integrity of that newly independent
14 state, were made up of virtually all the constituent
15 ethnic population of Bosnia-Herzegovina; there were
16 Muslims and Serbs and Croats and Jews and gypsies and
17 virtually all the people that were living in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina to some extent were some of the
19 Bosnian government army, TO or other organisation?
20 A. Whichever designation you use, then there were
21 representatives from different communities in the armed
22 forces. I think that is probably the first time I have
23 heard of gypsies being involved, but I do not know that
24 there were not gypsies either.
25 Q. You are certainly familiar with General Divjak.
1 A. I know who General Divjak is.
2 Q. You know he was a Bosnian Serb who formerly had been an
3 officer in the JNA?
4 A. I do know that, and he was deputy commander of the armed
5 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. So to refer to the Bosnian government forces as Muslim
7 forces is a bit misleading also, is it not?
8 A. It would be technically inaccurate, the appropriate
9 designation probably would be mainly Muslim, which is
10 generally the way in which, if they are not described as
11 the Bosnian government armed forces, the way to which
12 they are referred.
13 Q. Probably the best way to describe those forces are
14 Bosnian government forces, because that was what they
16 A. That is the best way to describe them, but it is not the
17 only way.
18 Q. You talked yesterday about the Patriot League.
19 A. The Patriotic League, yes.
20 Q. That group also contained Serbs and Croats.
21 A. It did, but again it was primarily Muslim.
22 Q. When the rebellion broke out, not all of the Serbs
23 living in Bosnia supported the rebel forces or
24 participated on the side of the rebel forces, did they?
25 A. No, they did not. I believe we have already established
2 Q. We have established that they did not support the
3 Karadzic line, but when war actually started, they also
4 did not participate in that.
5 A. Some did not, but I think we also established that some
6 of them participated as members of the armed forces of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina as well.
8 Q. Tens of thousands of Serbs fled the country rather than
9 become involved in fighting on behalf of the Bosnian
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Primarily, that was the better educated Serbs who were
13 living in places like Banja Luka and places like that.
14 A. That may well be the case.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I am at a perfect breaking
16 point. I have a whole new subject to start at this
17 point and this may be a good point to end.
18 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I suppose your programme itself
19 compelled you to stop, the programme you have been
20 following, and you have reached the stage where you
21 could not go forward. Thank you very much.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, your Honour.
23 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: I think when we start -- Mr. Niemann,
24 you suggested Dr. Gow is not staying beyond today.
25 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour, that was one of the
1 difficulties I had foreshadowed, one of the reasons that
2 I suggested I would not call Dr. Gow, because he cannot
3 now be available until the next date in January.
4 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: It is all right. I think we will still
5 have to tolerate that process. So many of these things
6 have been going in pieces here, we have so many
7 disjointed arrangements. We do not have it flowing the
8 way we would want it. I think it depends on the next
9 date which you will call him generally. I know you
10 still have another expert witness tomorrow, do you not?
11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. That witness has arrived and
12 will be ready to be called first thing in the morning.
13 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: So goodbye Dr. Gow, we have not finished
14 with you. I do not know whether we have even gone
15 halfway, I am not sure. Whatever it is, we will
16 continue with interesting questions and answers when you
17 come back next time. It is an expert opinion we are
18 expecting each time, so whenever you come, we hope to
19 expect the best out of the whole exercise.
20 A. Are we at chapter two by now?
21 JUDGE KARIBI-WHYTE: Thank you very much for the time
22 being. I think we will see you again. So the Trial
23 Chamber will now rise and reassemble tomorrow morning.
24 (5.30 pm)
25 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)